Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Lower Keys Medical Center, the homeless woman Kari Dangler, and Key West's homeless shelter (KOTS)

From: sloan bashinsky <>
To: <>; James K. Scholl <>; SD Smith <>
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 9:23:57 AM CST
Subject: Lower Keys Community Hospital and Kari Dangler and KOTS recently and today

Dear Key West Mayor Teri Johnston, City Manager Jim Scholl and City Attorney Shawn Smith:

What follows was told to me by Kari Dangler, who lives on the streets of Key West.

Maybe 10 days ago, Kari woke up in her hidey hole in the night time and looked up and saw a shooting star. Shortly, a man Kari did not know walked over to where she lay and said she knew who he was and where he came from, and she has a purpose, she needs to change, and she needs to leave Key West. The man turned around and walked back toward where he had come from. I tried to persuade Kari to call her aged and somewhat ailing parents on the mainland about going to spend some time with them, helping them out. I would pay for the Greyhound bus ticket. Kari declined.

A few days later, Kari went to the local hospital ER, because she was very weak and could barely walk; she was really congested in her respiratory tract, and her bowel discharges were like she had eaten bad food. She told ER staff she was homeless and a vodka addict and cigarette smoker. She was admitted and then was diagnosed having pneumonia and gastroenteritis. She was put in I.C.U. 

A Dr. Sterkel became Kari's doctor in I.C.U. Kari remained really weak. She could not get to the bathroom unassisted in her hospital room. She soiled her clothes with urine and feces in the bed. A portable chair toilet was brought into her room for her to use. She complained of abdomen and pain and a hard place on her abdomen, and she was having trouble urinating. A catheter was put into her and it drained a lot of fluid and she discharged a lot of fluid into the bed pan. She remained very weak. 

On Kari's 3rd day in the hospital, as I recall the timing, Dr. Sterkel told Kari she was being discharged the next morning. Kari asked Dr. Sterkel if that was because she did not have insurance? Dr. Sterkel said, No. Kari was discharged from the hospital the next morning and was given a form to take to Dr. Covington's office at DePoo Hospital, the poverty medical clinic, for him or his nurse assistant Gloria to sign for Kari to bring back to the hospital so it could get some kind of government-provided reimbursement for treating Kari. Twice before, Dr. Covington had gotten the hospital somewhat reimbursed for treating Kari for 2 different stays. The 1st for bowel surgery. The 2nd for follow up bowel surgery and respiratory and urinary tract infections.

Kari's bicycle was locked to the bike rack at the entrance to the ER. She was too weak to ride it into Key West. She took a city bus to the K-Mart shopping center. She took a city bus back to the hospital, where she hung out a good while. Then, she went to the ER. She told a Dr. Doug why she was in there before and that she had been discharged that morning, and he giggled. Blood was found in Kari's urine. Dr. Doug said that would either be caused by liver trouble or stomach trouble. A liver test was done and enzymes came back normal. Kari was moved from ER to a hospital room not in ER. She requested not being put in ICU again. A different lady doctor came by and talked with Kari. Later, Dr. Sterkel came by and said something like, "Kari!, I'm discharging you tomorrow and sending you home." Kari had no home. 

I told Kari to refuse to leave, to not resist, to make them carry her out of the hospital, after she read to read them what I told her to write down to tell them. Patient's legal rights. Hippocratic Oath. Medical malpractice complaints with Florida Medical and Hospital Boards. Complaints with ACLU, State Attorney, Mayor of Key West, who has met Kari. And for themselves get the form to Dr. Covington's office, so they could get reimbursement like they did the two prior times Kari was in the hospital for 2 bowel surgeries and also lung and urinary tract infection. Both times LKMC discharged her  before she was able to cope with living on the street. The 1st time, a church gave Kari shelter in an apartment at the church, until she was recovered  enough to be on the street. The 2nd time, Kari recuperated in the  home of my landlords, Naja and Arnaud Girard, where I rented an efficiency apartment. The Girards were overseas. 

Kari talked with the nursing director, told the director she was homeless and was banned for life from KOTS. The director said they sent people home worse off than Kari was, and she was seen after she was discharged the morning before, walking around at the K-Mart shopping center. The nursing director called KOTS and was told Kari was not banned, she could sleep there at night. I wondered if KOTS said that because the hospital had called, or because Kari was not banned? Back when there was a big commotion about KOTS banning a lot of homeless people for life and it went before the City Commission, the then Executive Director of SHAL, which runs KOTS for the city, had told me Kari was banned for life.

Kari spent that night at KOTS in the women's trailer dorm. She started smoking cigarettes again. She said she did not start drinking vodka again. She said this morning, after her 2nd night at KOTS, that she still has not drunk vodka again. I said nobody will have sympathy for her after she went back to smoking cigarettes while still recovering from pneumonia. What's the point of being allowed to use the hospital, if she doesn't do her part to take care of herself? I said I had dreamed about all of this and her last night, and I would have to write about it today.

Kari said of KOTS, that the food is good in the evenings. KOTS is a lot better run than it was back when she stayed there some years ago and was a client volunteer, before she was banned for life. Kari said the current KOTS manager, a woman named Lottie, I think is the correct spelling, is a good manager and a real go-getter. The air conditioning in the women's trailer dorm is not working well, and Lottie put on a plastic suit and crawled underneath the trailer and tried to fix the AC. Kari said the old, ratty shower/bathroom trailer has been replaced and the new bathrooms and showers are nice. Clients are required to bathe before they are assigned a bunk. Shelter staff search clients' backpacks for booze and drugs when they come through the front gate. 

I used to make a lot of noise on my blog about the old, filthy, ratty shower and bathroom trailer. And I made noise about dirty, stinking clients in the men's dorms, until KOTS required clients to bathe before they were assigned a bunk.

Sloan Bashinsky

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

some light bulb verses that jumped out of not one of Key West's poet laureates during dark hours

Dreams last night pointed me toward three poems that fell out of me in Key West, which pretty well mapped my bizarre course with what I vaguely understand God to be. Vaguely is about all I think anyone can comprehend of God.

The first poem jumped out of me in mid-March 2001, the morning after I was told in my sleep, as I slept on flattened cardboard boxes in a business doorway on Fleming Street, just off Duval Street, "You will fail, but you might enter the Kingdom of God."

Heavy Wait
I know what it is to love fully,
have my heart broken by death
and by loved ones’ rejections,
Over and over again,
So I can love even more.

I know what it is to be engulfed in pain,
Awash in evil,
Terrified, enraged, despaired,
Believing God has again forsaken me,
Then be given the truth
that again makes me free.

I know what it is to doubt,
Be lost and wandering
time and time again,
Then be rescued yet again
and my faith grows deeper.

I know what it is to blindly trust,
Then be destroyed by betrayal
time and time again,
Until I trust only God.

I know what it is to have much
and be completely of this world,
Then have it all taken away
and be in the world but not of it.

I know what it is to fail in this world,
And fail and fail and fail:
The world’s greatest failure,
I can serve only God.

I know what it is to give
and give and give and give;
I cannot stop giving
because giving is receiving.

I know what it is to explain God
time after time after time again.
Something demands I keep explaining:
Maybe someone will listen,
Maybe me.

The second poem fell out of me in early June 2003, right before I learned I was dying of MRSA.

I am a man.
I said,
I am a man!

What means it,
being a man?

A man is a warrior:
he lives by a code of honor,
his word is reliable,
his actions confirm his words,
his commitment is holiness,
his enemies are welcome at his hearth,
he fears but moves forward,
he cries and gets up again,
he hates but forgives,
he loves and let’s go,
he doubts but trusts God,
he’s a good friend,
he seeks resolutions,
he demands nothing,
he risks everything,
he regrets his mistakes,
he seeks to make amends,
he puts others’ welfare first,
he accepts apologies truly made,
he expects nothing back,
he lives ready to die,
he laughs when he “should” scream,
he screams when he “should” laugh,
he sings just because,
he shrugs off insults,
he learns from misfortune,
he cusses God for making him,
he wishes he was done,
he loves children and animals,
he relishes a woman’s scent,
he smiles when he’s content,
he knows God’s his master,
he walks in rainbows,
his garden is the world,
his way is nature,
he loves fishing,
his wife is his soul,
his food is life,
his pay is whatever he receives.
Yep, he’s crazy.

The third poem fell out of me on June 7, 2004, after I had spent the past few months totally blowing a spiritual assignment I had been given in a series of dreams in early 2004, and I was in a bewildered, frightened, deranged state:

A calling to serve carries its own wisdom,
which legitimates both the calling and the serving
so that the two are one:
Only the one called to serve
can know this wisdom,
and for some who are called
the knowing comes easily,
while for others the knowing is a fiery baptism.
Each calling is different,
and while some callings can be declined,
others cannot,
and those whose calling is without repentance
know they are in it for the duration of the calling,
and while others may try to persuade them out of it,
the calling for ones such as these always prevails;
thus is it advised to all called for keeps
that they view their calling as a blessing
even when it seems at times to be a curse,
and that they try to reconcile the loss of their captain status
and allow the Spirit of God to man the helm of their ship,
and be glad and willing crew members thereon,
knowing that all sailing ships of souls
need a crew as well as a captain
to maintain and navigate the ship through
seas of many tones, depths and flavors;
so consider each league sailed
as part of the overall journey
going to where the captain deigns to go
by using whatever winds and sea currents available
to navigate the ship to the experiences
this ship and crew need to have
in order to fulfill their calling and its wisdom
revealed by the journey of many leagues,
many known only to the ship and its crew,
all of whom come to know,
some sooner than others,
that once conscripted
there is no safe jumping ship.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

free speech has its ups and downs

This below was in my Facebook timeline this morning:

As with many stories from the South, the truth is better than fiction...

About this website

Following widespread condemnation of his editorial that called for mass lynchings, Goodloe Sutton has turned over the Democrat-Reporter to Elecia Dexter.

  • Sloan Bashinsky

    Sloan Bashinsky There were plenty of uncouth personal black-white moments in my past, which I would not care to have plastered viral today.
    After reading this and other articles online about Goodloe Sutton's editorial, I was not able to find his editorial online. I'd like to read it, if it can be found, so I can see the full context.
    One, perhaps both, of the parents in the family living next door to my parents' home in Birmingham, were from Linden, Alabama, where Sutton lives. I think their son, a close friend of my brother, moved back to Linden after he graduated from Auburn's veterinary medicine school. I think he is the godfather of my brother's children by his first wife. I wonder what he thinks about Sutton?
    I wonder what the daughter of Alabama slaves, who raised my brother and sister and me as if we were her own children, thinks about how I behaved once upon a time, and how she thinks about Sutton?
    My first wife and I were the only two white people at my black mother's singing in the packed black Baptist church in Bessemer, which lies west of Birmingham. The black minister welcomed "our white brothers and sisters". He told of during "the time of the troubles", when Sister Charlotte Washington got time off from working for her white family in Birmingham and went into black churches in the area and counseled her people to be patient with and tolerant of their white brothers and sisters.
    I don't feel patience with or tolerance for Goodloe Sutton.
    Excerpts from a New York Times article on Sutton, followed by a link to the article:
    ~You can still be taken aback by some of the problems we still have,” said Timothy Thurman, the superintendent of the local public school system. Its student population is almost entirely black, he said; most white families in Linden prefer to home-school their children or send them to a private school founded in 1969 at the height of the state’s integration battles.
    ~Yet almost in the same breath, Dr. Thurman, who is black, spoke of friendly relations between the races in town. “Honestly,” he said, “everybody gets along.”

    An Alabama Editor Urges the K.K.K. to ‘Ride Again,’ and His Small Town Winces
    An Alabama Editor Urges the K.K.K. to ‘Ride Again,’ and His Small Town…
    An Alabama Editor Urges the K.K.K. to ‘Ride Again,’ and His Small Town Winces

From the Monroe County (Florida Keys) State Attorney (top law enforcement officer):

Dennis Ward <>
To:J. Timothy Gratz,,,Rita Wales,shirrel

Feb 23 at 4:16 PM

He needs to do the right thing, this time.
Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 23, 2019, at 10:09 AM, J. Timothy Gratz <> wrote:




From the Hill today:

Three House Democrats are collecting signatures for a letter calling on President Trump to demand the resignation of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.

The push comes a day after a federal judge ruled that Acosta and other federal prosecutors acted illegally in making a plea deal with accused child sexual abuser and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein before speaking with his victims. 

“Despite abundant evidence and multiple witnesses still willing to come forward, then-U.S. Attorney Acosta failed to charge Epstein under federal trafficking laws, which could have put Epstein away for life,” the letter states. “Instead, he pleaded guilty to far lesser prostitution-related charges and served only 13 months in a private wing of a county jail but was able to leave 6 days a week for 12 hours at a time.”

The letter is being organized by Democratic Reps. Jackie Speier (Calif.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) and Lois Frankel (Fla.).

“This despicable unjust plea deal that was arranged by Acosta showed no respect for the suffering of the victims and credible accounts of human trafficking and was a clear abuse of power for political gain,” the lawmakers write.

The letter says Acosta’s mishandling of the situation shows he's unfit to serve in the administration, arguing he “succumbed to the pressure” from Epstein’s legal team while disregarding the law.

“As Members of Congress we are committed to ensuring that those who occupy top positions in the federal government are held to the highest standards of the law,” they said. “We strongly believe that Secretary Acosta was negligent in his duty to represent the best interests of the victims and the U.S. Government. As such, we request that you immediately demand his letter of resignation.”

Lawmakers had until 2 p.m. Friday to add their signatures to the letter.

Epstein has been accused of setting up a network of underage girls for sex that included as many as 80 young women. Victims were allegedly asked to recruit more women for the scheme.

The Democrats cited reporting by the Miami Herald in November that said multiple women “were intimidated by Epstein and his staff and told not to talk to the police,” even after his arrest.


Florida has a very broad public records law. Virtually all electronic mail sent or received by the Office of the State Attorney is available to the public upon request.

sloan bashinsky <>
To:J. Timothy Gratz,Dennis Ward,,,Rita Wales,shirrel
Feb 23 at 5:05 PM

If Trump does not remove Acosta, then does that make Trump, and  anyone who does not call for his impeachment, just as guilty and EVIL as Acosta and Epstein?

From a fellow who once worked for my father's company:

  • Sloan Bashinsky Amen. Imagine a US president, all members of Congress and the Supreme Court suddenly having the fear of God put into them. Then perhaps they would know what being under God means. And perhaps they would think it was the Devil after them? Same for every other American. Be very careful what you ask for, it has been said. Ain't no telling what God might do upon receiving such and invitation. Ain't no telling. I know. It's happened to me lots of times.

From one of the Founding Fathers:

For the Fourth: Benjamin Franklin (Kind Of) on Freedom of Speech

July 4, 2012
On this Independence Day, FIRE would like to quote Benjamin Franklin, favorite son of our own hometown of Philadelphia, on free speech. 
Actually, that’s not 100% true. This particular statement of free speech was not written by Franklin but rather quoted at length with approval by Franklin from an "Abstract from the London Journal." But even this didn’t appear under the name "Benjamin Franklin"—Franklin printed it under the name of Silence Dogood, a fictional middle-aged widow that Franklin made up. Why did he do that? Because Franklin was only 16 when he wrote the letters from Silence Dogood to his brother James’ newspaper, the New England Courant(where Franklin was an apprentice printer), and James refused to print anything his little brother wrote.
It gets weirder: this issue of the Courant, from 2-9 July 1722, was printed by Benjamin Franklin, not James Franklin. Why? Because James Franklin was in jail at the time for printing something that offended government officials in Massachusetts—and the 16 year old Benjamin Franklin went on publishing the paper without him! 
So we have Ben Franklin printing something written by someone else under another someone else’s name in yet another someone else’s paper that was in fact being printed by nobody else besides him. Franklin certainly was an American original! It’s no wonder that when James found out that Benjamin was writing the Silence Dogood letters, Benjamin broke off his apprenticeship and ran away to Philadelphia to avoid his brother’s wrath.
With that context, let’s see some excerpts of what Franklin/Dogood/the London Journal had to say about free speech:

I prefer the following Abstract from the London Journal to any Thing of my own, and therefore shall present it to your Readers this week without any further Preface.

Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the Right of every Man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or controul the Right of another: And this is the only Check it ought to suffer, and the only Bounds it ought to know.
This sacred Privilege is so essential to free Governments, that the Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together; and in those wretched Countries where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own, he can scarce call any Thing else his own. Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Freeness of Speech; a Thing terrible to Publick Traytors.
Freedom of Speech is ever the Symptom, as well as the Effect of a good Government. 
GUILT only dreads Liberty of Speech, which drags it out of its lurking Holes, and exposes its Deformity and Horrour to Day-light. 

FIRE is in hearty agreement with Mr. Franklin. Happy Independence Day!