Tuesday, October 8, 2019

select Key West karma lessons

Texts started yesterday by a Key West friend after he read the October 6, 2019 the razor's edge living, politics and 2020 hurricane season in Key West  post at this blog:

KW Friend:
Hi Sloan, I just finished your latest post. With respect to Kari’s arrest for camping, didn’t Judge Mark Wilson dismiss on of her earlier arrests for camping, saying that if she can be arrested for sitting on a blanket, then so can everyone doing the same on Smathers Beach?

Me to KW Friend:
I will ask Kari if Judge Wilson that that, but what do KWPD and the mayor and commissioners care?

KW Friend:
As I recall, you wrote inn your blog about Judge Wilson dismissing the camping charge and why.

May have published that, but don’t remember.

If I were Judge Wilson, I would ream out State Attorney and KWPD, fine them, and tell them next time I put them in jail for contempt.

All of them – the mayor, city commissioners, city police, state attorney, the judges who preside over Kari’s cases and do not stop city police from persecuting her for being homeless – are racking up serious karma, personal and city, that’s going to come back and bite them and the city in the ass, and they, and the people of the so-called one human family city, most of whom worship the homeless man, Jesus, may never see, much less connect, the dots.

Just like most people down there did not connect Jim Hendrick’s brain cancer with how he conducted his affairs in Key West and the Florida Keys.

See my blot post today, after I get it published.

A few nights ago, Jim Hendrick's and my mutual friend Todd German told me in a dream that he thought it would be better if I started fires at the bottom of the mountain, instead of at the top. I saw a mountain where I had started several fires at the top. I said the wind would blow the fires to the bottom of the mountain.

On waking, I figured the dream was about this below, which I had inserted, as a delayed post-script, at the end of the first of my blog posts about Jim Hendrick's passing in Key West. I wrote those posts after being pressed by Todd to honor the request of Jim's widow, that people who knew Jim, write something about him. So, here those fires are at the end, the bottom of the mountain.

Jim Hendrick Epilogue: How Lucifer Sells

I go back to the beginning, late fall 2006, when Jim Hendrick told the county commissioners a special place in hell is reserved for developers who buy trailer parks and evict the tenants. Jim was representing the mega-real estate developer, Pritam Singh, another follower of the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn. Singh had purchased a trailer park on Stock Island, the island just above Key West. Jim convinced the commissioners that Pritam was not making the tenants leave, and the development was grandfathered under a Florida statute, which subsequently was repealed. By the time it was all over, all the trailer tenants would leave. As time passed and things happened, I came to to think Pritam Singh was possessed by Lucifer, and I published that on my blogs a number of times.

A registered Independent, by a 3/1 margin, I had recently lost my first county commission race to the Republican incumbent commissioner. My mantra during the race was: "No more new development, period, the end. The Florida Keys already are way over developed, and there is not a person living here who can look in a mirror and honestly argue otherwise." I introduced myself to Jim as he was leaving that commission meeting. He knew of me from the commission race. We exchanged email addresses. 

Jim then sent out email blasts "from the defense table", reporting the progress of his conspiracy, witness tampering and obstruction of justice trial in federal court. Jim and his defense lawyer were taking turns examining witnesses and putting on evidence. Jim was upbeat. His defense was doing a great job. I was astounded Jim was acting as his own lawyer. What happened to, "He who has himself as a lawyer has a fool for a client?" But that was not what most got my attention.

What most got my attention was the opening argument made by Jim's lawyer. The real bad guy in the case was "The Prince of Darkness." The nick-name of one of the other defendants. The defendant who wore a wire while talking with Jim, as part of a no prison time plea deal made with the US Attorney. The local newspapers reported that trial testimony was Jim and The Prince of Darkness were long time buddies. Another defendant, who would die, was one of their buddies. They joked around about the "Prince of Darkness" nickname. But now Jim's lawyer was trying to spin it to make Jim the victim of the Devil. I thought Jim and his lawyer had lost their minds. I imagined what the jurors thought. I knew then that Jim was infected by Lucifer. He and his lawyer had proved it in federal court. I wondered how that might play out?

Jim was convicted by the jury and put on probation by the federal trail judge. The US Attorney appealed the probation, because it did not meet federal sentencing guidelines. The federal appeals court agreed with the US Attorney and remanded the case for a probation hearing. The trial judge had retired. A new trial judge was assigned to preside at the probation hearing.

I received copies of legal arguments Jim's legal team were making. I told Jim to forget all of that. To go to the hearing and apologize for what he had done and throw himself on the mercy of the court. Shortly before the probation hearing, Jim told me that his defense team had come up with a "secret weapon". At the probation hearing, I saw the secret weapon. Jim's buddy, Father Tony, a Florida Keys Roman Catholic priest, testified before the new judge, a devout Roman Catholic, wonderful things about Jim, including he sometimes helped give communion in Father Tony's church. Jim had told me and other people that he was not a Christian, and he viewed Jesus as simply a man. I could not imagine Father Tony did not know that. 

The Roman Catholic judge left Jim on probation, but put him under house arrest, wearing a tracker. Jim was allowed to leave home only to go to his office and do community service, of which he would do a great deal and it was beneficial to the local community. Jim and I now only played chess in his office. One day a fellow came into Jim's office while I was there. The fellow and Jim talked a while. The fellow asked Jim if he would ever try to get his law license back? Jim said, No. The fellow asked, Why not? Jim said, because he was doing everything he had done when he practiced law, but go to court. Jim's name was still on the law office sign out front. I told him to get his name off the sign to avoid trouble with the Florida Bar Association. Jim's name was taken off the sign.

I recall one morning I was readying to go to a county commission meeting, to speak against new real developments on Stock Island. Jim called and invited me come over to his office and play chess, which would be a lot more fun than a county commission meeting. Jim and I never played chess in the morning. I said I needed to be at the commission meeting. I figured Jim had something before the commission he did not want me to speak against. I understood Jim now worked behind the scenes more than in public meetings. I later wished I had reported that during my allotted three minutes before the county commissioners. What I told them instead was, it is the duty of a real estate developer's lawyer to screw the county in favor of his client. If a developer's lawyer does not do that, then it is legal malpractice. Never forget that.

Around that time, a young lawyer named Barton Smith rented office space from the law firm where Jim Hendrick's office was. Barton's parents were Stock Island developers. Jim schooled Barton in representing real estate developers. Barton mostly seemed to replace Jim as the lawyer for real estate developers to have at county and city commission meetings. A lot of people in Key West and the Florida Keys ended up reading a great deal in the local newspapers about Barton and his parents and his developer clients getting away with what seemed outrageous real estate deals, which never should have been approved. By and by, County Commissioner Sylvia Murphy said during a county commission meeting, after Barton Smith had proposed the commission do something, that if Barton Smith was for it, then it had to be bad for the county and she was against it.

Now the grand finale. 

From time to time Jim invited me to have evening dinner at his home. I suppose that happened half a dozen times. Always present was Jim's wife, another woman I didn't know well, Todd German and myself. Jim told me the other woman was a good friend of the family. Her husband had died unexpectedly, she'd had a boyfriend die unexpectedly before that. Jim and his wife were trying to help her recover. I later would learned that woman was Jim's girlfriend and I was the only person at those dinners who did not know it. She would become Jim's next wife.

Meanwhile, in 2010, during what would prove to be the last of one of those dinners, Jim announced he was going to prove to me that Pritam Singh was not possessed by Lucifer, which I had published was the case. I invited Jim to put on his case. Jim said Pritam was the best salesman he ever met. Pritam got people to look at what he wanted them to see, and not at what  he didn't want them to see. I said, "That's how Lucifer sells. I rest my case." That seemed to have no effect on Jim. Nor on Todd German and Jim's wife and girlfriend. The sound of one hand clapping?

Jim then said he and I would play a game of chess. I said it was not time for that, we were with people who didn’t care about chess. Jim insisted, I again tried to beg off. Jim insisted, got out his chess board, set up the pieces. I relented.

Jim said he was going to tell me his strategy as we played, and he still would beat me. That’s what happened, as he also criticized my play. Jim said we would play another game, and the same would happen. I again said it was not the time for that, and he had proved he was the better chess player. He insisted. I gave in. Same thing happened again, as Todd, Jim's wife and future wife watched on.

I reported that on my blogs.

I viewed the chess games as Jim and Lucifer’s reaction to my inviting Jim to put on his case and my then saying he had proved Pritam was possessed by Lucifer. 

Some time before that fated dinner and trial and chess games, Jim had told me that Pritam had asked him to see if I would have lunch with them? Sure, I said. Just let me know when and where. I heard nothing back. After a while, I reminded Jim of Pritam's invitation. Jim said he would get on it. Later, I saw Pritam in the hall of a building where he kept an office. I was there on another matter. I told Pritam that I would be happy to have lunch with him and Jim, just let me know when and where. Pritam said he would talk with Jim. I heard nothing back. I eventually told Jim about my seeing Pritam. The lunch never happened. 

Pritam never threatened me with defamation litigation over what I published on my blogs about my views of his business practices, which were well known in Key West and the Florida Keys. Nor was I ever threatened by Jim with defamation litigation over what I published about my views of his business practices, which were well known in Key West and the Florida Keys.


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