“Land Fall”, 9/20/13, second of five soul drawings suggesting (to me) the demise of the bigger cruise ship referendum; this drawing arrived as I sat in Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, facing the channel cruise ships use to get into port at Key West; the drawing hangs from the top point, not square, so rotate your screen a bit to the left to see it as it arrived with the drawing pad tilted with the point at the top; will try to get the other four drawings scanned and emailed to me, so I can post all five in time sequence of arrival …
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Vicki Weeks, of Savannah, formerly of Key West, replied to yesterday’s letters from readers, mostly – Key West and beyond post at this website:
As I recall, there actually were a lot of us who took up that banner at the outset of the [cruise ship] onslaught but at that time, pre-internet, communications for organizing was limited to word of mouth and phone calls – not quite so available and effective as today’s outreach tools.
Christine Russell, of Panama and Key West, replied to Erika Biddle’s “The Sea Gypsy Philosopher” part of yesterday’s post:
Hey Sloan and Erika -
After reading what Erika posted that Ray, from KW but now living in Panama had written, I recalled something I had read from one of my yahoo groups related to Panama. I really liked and identified with what this person, referred to as Robinson Crusoe had said. Religion has always been a strange phenomenon to me. So much hate and killing in the name of various ‘religions’ just has never made much sense. When I read the following a few months ago I like it so much I saved it. Worshiping nature. I often refer to Mother Nature in things I say or write. Maybe what some refer to as God I refer to as Mother Nature or Mother Earth. Maybe more of us should show some respect, for her. Maybe we would be a little less war-like and maybe we would not be destroying this planet, our home. Maybe some people with a little more respect would not even consider dredging channels, polluting the air and sea – maybe we could all get along and work together for the greater good if we all worshipped nature.
Any way …..I wonder….could these be the same people? Too many coincidences…….
Robinson Crusoe in Panama – by Rusty (USAF Retired)
On one of my many trips to Panama I met an interesting old German man (obviously in his 80?s or even older). Some locals call him a modern day Robinson Crusoe. He lives on an island off the coast where he works as an island caretaker…possibly he is the owner…I do not know. If he is the caretaker, I assume he receives a penchant of a salary. There he fishes and maintains a garden for food. Every few months he takes his little outboard motorboat to Panama City to buy fuel and supplies. He then finds a pub and wets his whistle. He just happened to pull-up a bar stool next to me.
He spoke English fairly well. So we chatted and drank a few beers together. I was fascinated to hear his story how he navigates the open ocean for hours with his small outboard motorboat. I asked him, “How do you navigate when you cannot see land?” He knowingly smiled and pointed to his nose. I inquisitively raised my eyebrows and asked him, “Aren’t you just a little afraid traveling such a distance in a small boat?” He answered me, “no, I’m an old seaman. I can feel my way. I use my natural senses…my eyes, my ears, my nose…I watch the birds fly…I see the fish swim…I can sense the currents…” Then he pondered for a moment and said, “…and then of course, I have a GPS.” We immediately shared a good laugh and ordered another beer.
He told me that as a young man in Germany he fought in WWII for Adolph Hitler. He said during the war he saw nothing but carnage…as he put it…”all in the name of religion.” Because of what he saw, he renounced all organized religion deciding instead to worship only nature. He worships natural, everyday miracles, most of us usually take for granted.
He told me since the end of WWII, he shunned most men and instead sought a life of semi-solitude with nature…living on a small and remote island with his woman…somewhat like Robinson Crusoe. He chidingly complained that SHE is getting too old for him. She just turned 60. Yes, she was a good companion. But he wanted a younger woman…one that could make babies. He made me laugh.
Then somehow the subject of religion re-appeared and he told me. “I worship the Earth, I worship the water, I worship life, the Sun, Moon and Stars. I worship what I can see and what makes life and death, possible. I reject men who tell me how I must live. I reject men who tell me I must believe in a God I can only find in a book. They are insane, these religious people…killing each other in the name of their God! I reject organized religion and the violence that too often accompanies it. I choose to live away from these things…peacefully…in nature…the way it should be (in Panama).”
Before I departed, I bought him another beer for the road. As we enjoyed our final, ice cold, cerveza together, I was amazed by how well he looked for his age. His hair and beard were gray and white, his face was grandfatherly, wrinkled and somewhat weathered from the sea…but his eyes were bright and full of life. Though he was old and may not live but a few more years, I envied him. He was living free as only I can dream.
From inside welled-up a feeling. I really wanted to rip-up my airline ticket and simply abandon my “captive” life in the US. I wanted to break away to a simpler life without all the hustle and bustle. I wanted a life without the stress of commitment and responsibility that my job in the US brings.
Yet, commitment, responsibility, and the need for money ultimately reasoned me back to reality. I was forced (hopefully temporarily) to abandon my urges for the ultimate freedom in exchange for the reality of my life. I shook this distinguished gentleman’s hand bidding him farewell. Then reluctantly stepped back into the fast lane where I live.
One day I shall return…to live free as does my friend, whom I shall call, Robinson Crusoe in Panama.
Wonderful story, Christine, will share it with my readers; I’m figuring they need something fresh and inspirational after all the wars and rumors of wars for some time now; I know I need something fresh and uplifting. Hmmm, that could be read different ways, I suppose. Don’t imagine the old German man believes much in coincidence any more; I don’t. Ciaosky
Alas, not being a modern day Robinson Caruso, living in what bills itself as paradise, the beat goes on.
Erika Biddle, a Germany native living in Key West, launched this Facebook thread yesterday:
Day 3 of US Gov shut down
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening that Republican Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has held meetings with senior House Republicans aimed at using the government funding crisis to revive earlier proposals for a “Grand Bargain” to cut social programs and slash corporate taxes and income taxes for the wealthy….
Troy Feldkamp Shocker, too bad an officer got it instead of the real criminals of this country!
Mary O’Shea oh boy!
Troy Feldkamp Sorry I don’t mean to offend anyone I just don’t understand their thinking, no one should be hurt over their beliefs, I just want Healthcare for the overly taxed middle class , I don’t understand why that’s so offensive to these people.
Janet Hartwell Exactly the opposite of the way it should be in an evolved country. But then, most of them don’t believe in evolution, do they? Perhaps that’s the root of the problem?
Ross Neagley Maybe he will suffocate!!!!!!!!
Sloan Bashinsky Assuming he is an air-breather, maybe that’s his natural state and if his head was out of his ass he would asphyxiate.
Peggy Butler, formerly of Key West, now living in West Palm Beach, sent yesterday:
The only news yesterday, today and probably tomorrow about the ongoing shutdown of the federal government concerns the polarization of positions by the warring parties. And there is little of significance to report.
But two other developing news stories — related to the shutdown — provide material that could, and should, grab the attention of the press and the public. Obamacare has made a noisy arrival, while Speaker John Boehner may be facing a somewhat quieter departure.
On Tuesday, health insurance exchanges opened nationwide as the Affordable Care Act –better known now, and forever, as Obamacare — moved further along toward full enactment. The enrollment period for signing up is from October 1 through March 31 of next year, with the various plans going into effect January 1, 2014.
The opening day for the exchanges was marked by countless glitches, and the media provided lots of examples of the problems incurred. Those Republicans who opposed passage of the Affordable Care Act, and then sought to repeal it or at least defund some provisions of it, were euphoric over the first-day difficulties.
But Tuesday’s bad news may, in reality, be good news for the president’s signature piece of legislation. Republican glee may be short-lived — and replaced by their worst nightmare — as the public will try it and come to like it.
Most of the difficulties have been attributed to “connectivity issues” caused in large part by the massive amount of first-day traffic, millions more than expected. There can be no denying now that there is great interest in the program.
And there is a certain irony in that greater-than-expected interest, for those Republicans who shut down the government over Obamacare actually gave it much-needed promotion. Those Republicans may have provided the impetus to make Obamacare as permanent as Social Security and Medicare.
Meanwhile, Speaker John Boehner faces a legacy-defining political decision that could result in his giving up, or losing, his speakership.
If he stays with the presently-stated Republican position that the federal government will remain shut down until the president acquiesces to ever-changing GOP demands, he loses more respect with the moderates in his party, as well as with many members of the media and much of the American electorate. He will be labeled as a weak Speaker who contributed to the ineptness of what is frequently being called the worst Congress in American history. He may be politically wounded beyond recovery.
If John Boehner thinks of America first, his party second, and that trouble-making, obstructionist right wing not at all, he will meet with Nancy Pelosi and bring together her Democrats with his more-sensible Republicans (of which there are more than enough) to pass a clean Continuing Resolution that will end the stalemate and bring the full government back to life.
Such a move would surely incur the wrath of the Senator Cruz-inspired right wingers in the House, and he could well lose his speakership. But John Boehner could then walk away from that treasured position a proud man. He would have earned the respect he doesn’t have now.
Hi, Peggy, thanks for sending this link, I like this article a lot more than I liked Haney’s article on President Obama being a man of peace and accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. I confess to total ignorance about what now is known as Obama Care, so I cannot comment on it. I suppose I’m going to have to learn a little about it, if for no other reason, to see how it might apply to me and where I can sign up for it, if it seems to my advantage. I dunno, maybe I could wonder, if the Tea Party and the Republicans hate it, it might not be such a bad thing. Can’t imagine it being nearly as bad as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which were/are total disasters for the US, and not just financially. Sloan
Ginger, of Jupiter, Florida, wrote yesterday:
50,000 to 100,000 midwives burned at stake as witches beginning in 10th to 14th century as the Church degreed the women who delivered babies witches. The women also provided herbs and medicine that reduced and eliminated pain during childbirth and provided healing. The Church saw them as a threat and also declared women couldn’t be doctors by not allowing them to study medicine.
During the BLACK PERIOD OF 1337 AD to 1770 AD, the Plague killed more than 100 million people in Europe over 400 years, the good, the bad and the ugly and the priests and monks. So the common people began to realize the Church wasn’t in charge and began to enjoy life in the fast lane as no one knew how long they had to live. So the Catholic Church lost a lot of control during the Dark Ages which followed the collapse of Rome in 410 AD. The Crusades and the discovery of the sites of Jesus and St. Peter, etc caused a renewal of religion but then the Black Plague killing75% of the population within 30 years turned people away from the Church.
Read BARBARA TUCKMAN’S book, THROUGH THE GLASS DARKLY or something like that, about the customs and views that came out of the Black Plague. The people turned against the Jews because the Church had to look for someone to blame when their Priests and Monks were dying along with the good and bad people. The Jews survived with a higher rate because they took care of each other, didn’t live with their livestock in their house or stables, and gave their sick food and water. In Florence, Italy if someone got the plague, they walled them in their homes and the people and whole families died of starvation and thirst.
I wrote to Jolly Benson yesterday – he led the charge to defeat the bigger cruise ships in Key West referendum.
Hi, Jolly – I can provide without coming close to breaking sweat, a long list of people who think I’m a righ-wing nut comspiracy freak. I can give you another list, maybe about as long, of people who do not feel that way, but still scratch their heads plenty over me. And, there is yet another list, somewhat shorter, I could give of people who egg me on.
I have liked you from when I heard you speak at the Reef Relief annual meeting, after we had talked some earlier at one of the tables starting to get to know each other. I told you then, winning the referendum was stage one, and you agreed, but I do not think we agreed then, perhaps not even now, on how stage two is to proceed.
I agree, the city needs alternative tourism to cruise ships, however, the poisoned exploding harpoon I stuck in the mayor and city commissioners at the end of my citizen comments the other night, providently provided, ironically, by the President of the Chamber of Commerce ["The dirtiest, worse possible cruise ships are calling on Key West."], is not going to go away. Either the mayor and commissioners, and Key West, face up to what cruise ships really are, not just what they seem to be in Key West’s harbor, or the selling out started long ago, maybe even before you were born, will continue.
What the referendum did was stop the selling out from getting worse for now, or until that tide turns again. I don’t give [City Commissioner] Jimmy Weekley’s motion for a resolution against ever dredging the channel, other than maintenance dredging, to ever gain much traction. It would not be binding, I don’t think, but it would throw up yet another emotional barrier against another attempt.
As for my promoting you as a write-in candidate for mayor, which is the essence of democracy, to be sort of simple minded of me, it was a screen play, and poem, a skit, a production, meant to cause people to really stop and think that there was something weird about voting for Craig Cates [our mayor who wanted the bigger cruise ships study referendum to pass] and voting against the referendum. I figured you, being a screen writer and poet yourself, secretly laughed your ass off, even as I figured your actually being mayor would make you seriously unhappy, perhaps even seriously ill, maybe even suicidal, if your request for a recount failed to unseat you.
I ran three times for mayor, not wanting the job, but because it was a screen play, a poem, a skit, a production, meant to cause people to look at things differently, if possible. I didn’t want to run, but those were my marching orders, so I ran. It ain’t easy pretending to be insane all the time, takes lots of planning and energy. That’s meant as a joke, sort of.
Back in September, I told Jolly I was doing soul drawings again, and in the past they often had predicted the future. He asked if my soul drawings had ever predicted anything good. I said, sometimes.