Depress ctrl and + keys together to increase zoom/font size; depress ctrl and – keys together to reduce
Letter to the editor in the Key West Citizen today:
Obama’s actions don’t reflect his words
Wednesday, was the 50th anniversary of the famous “I have a dream” speech given by Martin Luther King Jr.
In honor of King’s speech, America’s first African-American president addressed the nation from the very spot where history was made. In so doing he made it again and honored the memory of the Civil Rights struggle, the Anti-War movement and the hope for peace. After his remarks, and in full defiance of Dr. King’s legacy and the expressed wishes of the American people, he returned to the White House and ordered his generals to make ready for war.
Two nights ago, I dreamt of gently taking the hand of an old friend in the Key West Poetry Guild, whom I’d once upset at a poetry reading by slamming President Obama for accepting the Nobel Peace Prize while waging the two very stupid wars of his very stupid predecessor in office, and telling her that Obama had really fucked up. After that dream, I figured President Obama might be the theme of my poetry emission at last night’s Poetry Guild meeting, but I had no clue how it would unfold.
I had received an email from my friend saying poets who had entered the Key West poems embedded in sidewalks contest would be allowed to recite their poems, and since I had those two short poems locked into memory, that’s what I went to the Guild meeting in the upper room of Blue Heaven restaurant in Bahama Village prepared to emit. However, right off, it was announced that it was a mistake, poems in the contest should not be recited, which I had felt was correct, and said so when my turn in the first round came.
Prompted by earlier poets banging America at war, my first round went something like …
I was out on Higgs Beach this afternoon talking with a fellow who was in the Navy and then in the Army, a paratrooper, and an underwater demolition’s expert; he said now they have unmanned fighter jets, so they don’t have to kill pilots. F-18s, aka Super Hornets like what fly out of Naval Air Station Key West. But they have a different name for those aircraft.
I will begin with a poem I have recited a number of times at Guild meetings, and it will go from there:
Who invented the rule that poetry must rhyme, have pentameter, be cast into verse? Yes, please tell me who invented that really silly rule? Surely it warn’t de maker of the first stone, udderwise der’d be no stones to break all dem slavin’ rules!
Who invented the rule that the President of the Unites States had to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, even though it was awarded to him while he fought the two wars of his fool predecessor?
Who invented the rule that Bradly Manning should not be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism far beyond the call of duty?
Who invented the rule that you should vote in a presidential election? I did not vote for either candidate?
Who invented the rule that you should vote for the lesser of evils? Voting for evil is evil.
Who invented the rule that poetry should rhyme, have pentameter, be cast into verse, stay on the safe side of the fence, or be politically correct, which is a terminal fucking spiritual disease!
Some disagreement followed my emission that poetry does not have to rhyme. Then, a poet came late, having no knowledge of that conversation, and before doing her first round, she said her poetry teacher once upon a time said poems which rhyme are written by beginners.
We did two rounds last night. My second emission went something like …
I once met a man who told me stories about himself, I cannot say they were true, but he seemed to feel they were.
The man said, one night in his sleep, a voice he well knew asked him, “Will you make a prayer for a Divine Intervention for all of humanity?” He said he woke up, wondering what that was about? He said, “Okay, I ask for a Divine Intervention for all of humanity.” A few days later, buildings came down in New York City. He wondered if Osama bin Laden was the Divine Intervention?
The man said one year to the night later, he was asked the same question in his sleep, but this time he asked for the Divine Intervention for all of humanity in the dream, and to it he added, “And let it begin in me!” Oweee! – he said he then was turned every which a way but loose, and about two weeks later he was told by his wife in a dream that he had married Kali, and he awoke terrified.
The man said, in 2008, he was told in his sleep that Barack Obama had the potential to be the Anti-Christ, and after Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, the man told me he did not shit for a month.
The man said, last Thanksgiving, he was asked if he would make a prayer for a Divine Intervention of the feminine into the United States of America? He made the prayer and wondered what the Divine Intervention would look like? He said he later didn’t think it was the six women on the George Zimmerman jury.
Then, he said, he figured it out – Chelsea Manning is the the Divine Intervention of the feminine into the United States of America!
Another poet, who happens to live in the same home where I live, was the featured poet at the Guild meeting tonight. After reading one of his poems, he as interrupted by a woman in the audience who said he needed to explain the poem. I said, “You do not explain poems.” The poet told her of a time when he read something containing many definitions of poetry, and one of the definitions is poetry needs no explanation, its fragrance (or something like that) explains it.
Moving over to the cruise ship epic poem unfolding in Key West, for better or for worse not yet known, Bob Kelly of Key West replied to my reproduction in yesterday’s Labor Day, recent adventures in “paradise” – Key West post of Bobby Bernreuter’s letter to the editor in the Key West Citizen:
Bobby Bernreuter? This Bobby Bernreuter? “… Bobby Bernreuter, National Sales Manager for Historic Tours of America…”
The Citizen knows who Bernreuter is, and that Historic Tours of America makes lots of money hauling cruise ship passengers in conch trains and trolleys, but did the Citizen tell its readers what it knows?
Letter to the editor in the Key West Citizen today, from Bernreuter’s boss:
Channel study will lead to informed decision
There are voters in Key West who believe that a wider, updated channel will be good for our environment, good for our economy and good for our working people and their families.
There are voters in Key West who believe that a wider, updated channel will not be good for our environment, not be good for our economy and not be good for our working people and their families.
And there are voters in Key West who would like to know more about these issues before they decide whether they are for or against the channel widening.
Providing information about these issues is what the feasibility study is about. And because of federal, state and local business funding, the study will be at no cost to the city.
Pants on fire! If the referendum is approved, that will be used by this letter writer and others in his camp to try to persuade the Feds that Key West wants the channel dredged so more and bigger cruise ships can get into Key West. This scam is spendidly exposed in the the lead article - The Referendum To Nowhere - in the latest edition of Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com
All research will be done by independent federal, state and agency staff members and outside consultants.
All Key West citizens and groups will be able to provide input to the study.
Referendum wording: Shall the City of Key West request that the Army Corps of Engineers conduct a comprehensive feasibility study, at no monetary cost to the City, to determine the environmental, economic and social impacts of widening the Key West Main Ship Channel for use by modern and longer cruise ships while also addressing navigational safety?
With the information from this study, we can make an informed decision of whether we want to request the widening and fund it.
That decision comes after the study. Better information leads to better decisions.
We need to make a good decision because this decision will affect our future in Key West for many decades.
Please vote yes on the study referendum on Oct. 1 to protect our environment, to protect our economy, and to protect our working people and their families.
Edwin O. Swift, III
The Citzen knows Ed Swift owns Historic Tours of America, but did the Citizen tell its readers what it knows?
Continuing Paul’s and my earlier email discussion reported in yesterday’sLabor Day, recent adventures in “paradise” – Key West post:
We would do well to remember that The Cruise Ship Industry has a lot of pull, even in huge places like New York, New Jersey and Miami. If they wanted , they could make the Chicago Outfit look like some West Side Story kids.
Their power to influence people is greater, practically, than that of most sovereign nations. Why? They have far more mobile cash available at all times than most countries do in their dreams. Imagine the real and practical effects of that raw money power here, for example, over the years.
Imagine its powerful, definitive influence on multi millionaire New York City Council Members. Compare the microscopic, teensy weensy size of Key West and its valiant Commission. It’s easy to talk fire safety as a ( literally) irresponsible community activist, but a bit more challenging if you’re getting your brains knocked out, or at least smacked around by – by some corporate Godzilla.
In comparison to NYC, Key West, with all due respect, is a microscopic, economic non entity. Key West movers and shakers, way off camera and behind closed doors, would have to be almost saintly to swim against the relentless, ever present tide of always – friendly Cruise Industry largesse. And, why then, struggle over vague intangibles? So they could remain morally unblemished on some vaguely defined potential future debates over issues with community wide impact?
Yeah. Perhaps if this were Shangri La, and all the Key West proprietors all – seeing wonder – monks.
Cruise Ships are a thoroughly legal business and the biggest source of waterborne cash here since the wrecking industry. Who, with any economic horses in the local game, is going to oppose them too loudly or too fiercely? Hotels? Maybe, but hotels are ultra quiet and low key by nature; they’re just not inclined toward leading community charges or engaging in loud public arguments of any sort, no matter how righteous.
The ships, in fact, have been too big for Key West for decades, but as long as they keep selling tickets , that size increase trend is not going to change. Traditional island ambience, here, has no place on their balance sheet.
WE DONT EVEN EXIST – AS PEOPLE – FOR THE CRUISE SHIP “PEOPLE”.
It’s not that they’re malicious. BIG is just what they do temporarily, when they can’t do even BIGGER.
What I mean , Sloan, is that there already are tankers built seven times heavier than the USS Nimitz! Some new container ships are 4 to 5 aircraft carriers big – already. There are today enthusiastic plans drawn for the very next iteration of cruise liners that will immediately mean ships three times larger than they are now. Categorically larger ones are set to follow those giants in the not distant future.
So, is there any reason for anybody on Key West to think that in five years there won’t be another strenuous, sincere, corporate demand – this time for a 70 or 80 deep Key West Ship Channel?
Soon after that, will they need 120 feet from Fort Zach to the reef? Yeah, almost certainly.
Will this City Council cave to the merely marginal requirements of already stupidly wealthy, clearly bullet proof, permanently avaricious globalists?
Quite possibly…. yet…
Most residents live here in order to breathe a quality of air that is being systematically eradicated by interests who do not even live here – at all. This, they do, just to pick up another half point on their global annual reports.
We may expect that both City and County legislators will continue to watch as External Forces prevail over the wishes of their constituents. Local legislators will display individual thoughtfulness, but be collectively, grossly, inept.
Maybe the Blue Paper and you and others with some community influence can help long time residents of the island prevail now, on the channel degradation issue. If so, they will be saved, on at least one front, from sliding even further beneath amoral, choking waves generated by off – island Expansionists.
Otherwise, it’s: “Miami Beach Annex”, full blast, with touches of Hemingway and Buffet in the local marketing pitch.
Can’t the super ships go some place else more suitable? Izzat too much to ask from locally elected … what should we call these ineffective persons? … Certainly not our “Representatives”.
Sloan: ’round dese parts, we just wanna’ heah da’ boyds choip in da mawnin.
Hey! Izzat too much to ask?
‘N: We also want our chirrrens’ chirren ta heah dare boyds choip in all dare mawnins’, too.
… ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished, no?
I almost am left at loss for words, other than I don’t understand the valiant label you put on Key West’s elected officials, nor why you keep making them out to have no say so in cruise ships calling on Key West, and I still wonder why you waited so long to weigh in?
From part-time Key West resident Christine Russell:
Hi Sloan -
I see you are back in Key West.
Some say you can never leave KW that they always come back- sort of like the Hotel California….
“You can check out any time you want – but YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE”
Sometimes I feel like this is where I have been sent as punishment.
The place where I keep beating my head against the wall
Ready to do something positive for folks who really appreciate it.
Thanks, maybe I’m trapped in KW, not sure that would be great news to everyone here. Enjoy Panama, again – will you have time to send me your two cents worth on cruise ships before you leave?
Hey Sloan -
I tried to cut and paste something to you on cruise ships but could not do it.
All cruise ships are not created equal.
Google “Friends of the Earth Cruise Ship Record”
They issue this report every year. Carnival gets an D+ overall. And look – they get an F in sewage treatment! I don’t recall which ship came to KW to show off their state-of-the-art sewage system, but doesn’t mean all their ships have that same wonderful new system. They probably have ONE, and then show it off to those stupid enough to buy their propaganda. Why would any city allow these filthy dirty ships to dock in their ports?! We’ve had way too many dirty Carnival ships calling on Key West, I have been glad to see that they have been skipping Key West – GOOD! Go pollute some other area – still not good for the oceans.
But also see there are cruise lines that do seem to care about the environment.
Disney A-, Princess B+, Holland America B-, Norwegian B-
So there are less evil cruise lines.
So WHY does Key West NOT set down some rules about WHO is ALLOWED to dock in our once pristine waters. Key West allows ANY DIRTY cruise ship line to come to Key West that wants to. WHO is driving this ship?
There are a few areas in the world that “manage” the cruise lines instead of the cruise lines running the show. Maybe we just need some NEW politicians!
I don’t get it.
She also included, my interjected thoughts in italics:
What can you do about it? You can choose a greener cruise!
Yes, but that has nothing to do with KW allowing polluter cruise ships to call on KW.
With new ships that can carry more than 8,000 passengers and crew, these floating cities pollute the air we breathe.
So do the smaller ships already calling on Key West.
and the water we use and enjoy. Friends of the Earth’s third Cruise Ship Report Card compares the environmental footprint of 15 major cruise lines and 148 cruise ships.
We evaluated the cruise lines on three environmental factors:
Whether a cruise line has installed the most advanced sewage and wastewater treatment systems
available instead of dumping minimally treated sewage directly into the water;
Air pollution reduction
Whether a cruise line has retrofitted its ships to “plug in” to available shoreside electrical grids
instead of running polluting engines when docked; and
Water quality compliance
To what degree cruise ships violated 2010 water pollution standards designed to better
protect the Alaskan coast.
Right now, we have the issue dead in front of us in KW. What has Alaska got to do with KW? That’s Alaska’s problem.
I had hoped to hear your personal thoughts on cruise ships, which you indicated a few days ago you would hare with me.
When it comes down to it, Christine, the folks I did not vote for who are in office today are where the buck stops with cruise ships today. For them, the $ revenues from cruise ships trump everything else. That’s just how it is. I see no sign they care a twit about what impact cruise ships have on the environment when entering and leaving KW’s harbor, or out of sight of KW. Same can be said of the current elected officials’ predecessors in office.
On what cruise ships dump into the ocean, here is part of my article in this week’s issue of Key West the Newspaper: “Conversations between a Psychiatrist and a Mystic”:
…from Reef Relief’s Facebook page [Peter Anderson now is Chairman of the Board of Reef Relief, DeeVon Quirolo was a co-founder of Reef Relief].
Peter Anderson Cruise ships do not dump raw sewage into the sea anymore, Janet. Reef Relief and many others made them change those habits years and years ago.
DeeVon Quirolo Not so. The cruise ship industry made a big deal about agreeing to go to secondary treatment–settling the solids and adding chlorine ON NEW SHIPS ONLY; but they will still dump the highly concentrated liquids overboard and this will at best eventually include only a small fraction of the cruise ships on the high seas. The worst part is that they dump outside the reef tract on their way to Key West from Port Everglades.
The Everglades are thrilled to have this unholy place named after them.
DeeVon wrote to me:
The current situation is that cruise ships routinely dump thousands of gallons of partially treated concentrated waste in the ocean outside of the reef on their way to Key West from Port Everglades. They run just outside the reef to avoid the offshore counter current of the Gulfstream, which is why the Area to be Avoided was established by the International Maritime Organization to keep them far enough off critical areas where many large ships ran aground the reef. When I was on the Cruise Ship Task Force for the City, we tried running a sample of cruise ship waste through the sewage treatment plant, but it was so anoxic that it would have shut down the anerobic action of the plant by depleting all the oxygen needed. Plus it was in salt, not fresh water, so that was an additional negative factor that reduced the potential for the biological treatment that is employed at the plant.
All the best, DeeVon.
I wish the Citizen would publish the above, but lately it’s been looking to me that the Citizen, including Gwen Filosa, have been gotten to by the pro-dredging to bring more and bigger cruise ships into Key West camp.
I did send you my thoughts on cruise ships.
They are not all the same.
Did you Google the Cruise Ship Report Card?
Personally I do not like cruise ships – I prefer other ways to spend my vacation time and money.
I took one cruise 25 years ago before I became ‘enlightened’, it was a Carnival cruise. They herded us around like a bunch of cattle. Most port cities you visit are over-run with people, dirty, and with crappy shops selling junk to passengers – like KW t-shirt shops and some of other junk vendors (NOT ALL merchants) on Duval St. They nickel and dime cruise passengers to death, but it is a cheap vacation for those into that – transportation and food included – all for a few hundred dollars. I think it is the uneducated, cheap, or self-centered (not caring about the environment) that would even consider taking a Carnival cruise, or others at the bottom of the Report Card list.
There are some great cruises to take however. I took a tall ship cruise out of Mystic Conn. several years ago. It was great! I have known people who have taken river cruises in Europe that sound wonderful. I have considered an Alaskan cruise as it seems like a good way to see Alaska, and Alaska has a reputation for managing the cruise ship business in a responsible way. But one week or 10 days in Alaska is not what I am interested in, we will Alaska car ferry one year and get off and on as we please. I like to plan my own itineraries.
I just do not know why Key West does not MANAGE their cruise ship business? And I mean determine some environmental guidelines and stop this crap like Carnival from bringing their cheap cruisers to Key West to clog up the streets and spend a couple of dollars on a t-shirt or drink (since they do have to pay for alcohol on board). Maybe our elected officials have not thought of that! Maybe we should approach one of the more insightful Commissioners with this idea! OMG it would probably a worse and longer campaign that this channel DREDGING Referendum.
Or maybe it would be better to just sit ALL the Commissioners and Mayor down and show them the 60 Minutes segment on the Costa Concordia that was on last night. Did you see it? It was on how they intend to get rid of that ship without creating a further disaster than it already is. Did you know that ship is sitting in a marine protected sanctuary of some kind? I had NO idea until the reporter from 60 Minutes asked why they did not just blow up the ship. If you have not seen the segment you HAVE to watch how they are going to do get that ship out of there. Their plan is a one shot deal and it has about a 50/50 chance or working they said, or maybe 60/40. The cost is incredible. Like $400 million to refloat and then 2 years to cut the ship up for scrap and another $200 or $300 million I think it was. So like $700 million for salvage costs, and none of that addresses the lose of human life, the damages to this protected marine area, or the cost of the ship itself. I hope insurance companies rethink insuring these beasts – especially for cheap ass companies like Carnival that own like 10 cruise ship lines.
“Carnival Cruise Lines is a British-American owned cruise line, based in Doral, Florida, a suburb of Miami in the United States. Originally an independent company founded in 1972 by Ted Arison, the company is now one of ten cruise ship brands owned and operated by Carnival Corporation & plc. The company has the largest fleet in the group, with 24 vessels currently in operation that account for 21.1% of the worldwide market share. Executive control of the company is provided by the North American division of Carnival Corporation, headquartered in Doral, Florida.
Carnival was a pioneer in the concept of shorter, less expensive cruises. Its ships are known for their Las Vegas-style decor and entertainment.”
The greedy SOB’s pushing for dredging (honestly – what else can we call them – they all have $$$$ in the game and NO concern for the environment, the island or its citizens long term) would probably say – see this is why we need the channel DREDGED to prevent some ‘accident’ like this happening in KW. Then the informed and non-greedy would respond – an accident like the Costa Concordia could happen ANYWHERE. It was an IDIOT CAPTAIN who was responsible for this accident and those deaths. How many more pompous idiot captains are out there? This kind of accident is just waiting to happen at any port that welcomes cruise ships, and particularly port cities located in PROTECTED MARINE SANCTUARIES.
It will happen again, hopefully not in Key West. But it will be like 9/11 and people will look back (even after the Costa Concordia) and ask how this could happen. Didn’t we all do that after 9/11. Maybe Key West will wake up – start managing the cruise ship business like they should – pick and chose what lines are allowed in KW ports. Or maybe we will go back to the days when these beasts did not overshadow our little island. And maybe nothing will happen – until another Costa Concordia event, and people demand action.
Watch the show on-line when you can if you have not seen it, we just happened to have the tv on in our hotel room last night. The actual attempt to re-float the ship will be covered in the media – stay tuned.
Out of here
Just my opinion, but when it comes to cruise ships, I can’t say I see any insightful elected city officials. We will learn on election day just how insightful the voters are.
As for who’s running this ship? – your friends, Mayor Craig Cates, and City Commissioners Jimmy Weekley, Teri Johnston, Mark Rossi, Clayton Lopez, Billy Wardlow and Tony Yaniz - that’s where the buck stops regardless of what spin to the contrary they, or anyone else, put on it.
Safe and hopefully fun travels.
Meanwhile, the Citizen, the pro-dredging/more cruise ships camp and the anti-dredging camp all continue to ignore, or dodge, this beauty pageant winner leaving Key West’s outer mole pier: