Could Key West Reach the Ferguson Flashpoint?

 

“Cartwright began yelling as loud as he could, and almost immediately a large crowd began forming around us […] Within minutes a crowd of at least 50 bystanders surrounded us and Det. Wormington called for additional Officers while I held down Cartwright.”

Police officers were arresting bad boy Ricky Cartwright who had ridden his bicycle through a stop sign while texting, allegedly with a beer in his hand.  They tased him in the back.  He was now screaming in pain in the middle of the road, attracting an angry crowd which, according to Detective Siracuse’s police report, kept “drawing closer and closer… despite numerous commands to stay back.”

No, this is not Ferguson, Missouri.  This is Bahama Village, Key West, May 9, 2014.  Detective Siracuse had just tased a black man on Emma Street and yes this is the same Siracuse who three years ago tased Matthew Murphy into a coma.

On May 9th, lost in their imaginary war, Detectives Siracuse and Wormington believe they are now under siege.  Wormington calls for the cavalry – literally – First on scene is an officer riding a horse; the one you see during Fantasy Fest.  He is working “crowd control” by rearing the butt of his horse into the crowd of protesters.   More police cars show up.  Siracuse and Wormington decide it’s safer to move north to the next corner of Emma Street where they would be more protected.  Quite a circus.

So, could Key West reach that “flashpoint”?  Could we find ourselves watching angry mobs throw rocks through shop windows on Duval Street?

Why were the residents of Bahama Village so upset?  According to one bystander, Siracuse kept jerking the electric wires connected to the Taser probes buried in Cartright’s back causing him to scream in pain.

In the crowd, Siracuse recognizes a man he knew as Johnny Taylor.  Taylor is visibly upset at Siracuse’s treatment of Cartwright. [Taylor is the man wearing the neck brace in the video.]

“Ya’ll quick to put that shit in somebody but y’all don’t want to put that shit outta nobody,”  Taylor is heard saying on the dash cam video.

A female voice:

“Illegal search!  Illegal search!  What they stop the man for?  For nothin.  They stopped him for nothin.”

After sending Cartwright off to jail, Siracuse came back to arrest Taylor for “resisting an officer without violence.”

Protests against police methods have now become one of the most explosive issues in the nation.

“Freedom of speech,” said Taylor, “I can say whatever I want to say.  What are you arresting me for?  For speaking my mind?” Three months later Taylor is still in jail awaiting trial.

Siracuse disagrees with Taylor on the free speech issue.  In his report he claims that Taylor “kept drawing closer and closer, egging on the crowd,”  that he ordered Taylor to stay back but that he kept coming. He finally claims that another officer, Officer Hall, was also unsuccessful in containing Taylor. The problem is the dash cam video clearly shows Taylor very upset, but not moving from the area where he stood when the incident began, even after Cartwright is taken away in a police car. It’s hard to discount that officers intended to retaliate against free speech in the charge against Taylor.

It appears that police officers don’t react well to criticism and have alienated themselves from many black communities.  This is what is really at stake in these protests. As in Ferguson, this explosive mix was not created in one day.  The shooting of Michael Brown was just “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” as one Ferguson resident interviewed by CBS News put it.  Abuse and apparently police discrimination against blacks had been going on for years in Ferguson.

Stopping and searching Cartwright gave officers the opportunity to [allegedly] find a minute amount of drugs [which apparently was so small that Cartwirght managed to smash it into the ground.]  But how many young black men are frisked in this way before police score that half-gram of cocaine?

One resident explained:  “By the time the police has searched 100 people for drugs, nobody cares if on the 101st time they caught a guy with a crack rock.  Everybody hates their guts by then, for not letting us have a life.”

Some comments are more colorful:  “The police ain’t worth two dead flies in Chinese money.”

“All people want is to go about their business in peace.”

The methods used by certain officers who work Bahama Village are simply appalling.  Officer Siracuse is now famous for the latex gloves that he slaps on in order to, in plain view of the public, proceed with cavity searches of suspected drug dealers.  There are at least two videos showing black men on the street with their legs spread apart, while Siracuse apparently sticks his fingers up their butts.

“We still have rights,” said Bobby Mosby, who personally experienced Siracuse’s humiliating search methods, “I could see doing that inside, at the jail. But out in public, in front of everybody?”  As a matter of fact, those searches are prohibited.  Under Florida Statute 901.211, “visual or manual inspection of genitals; buttocks; anus; breasts,” can only be performed “on premises where the search cannot be observed by persons not physically conducting … the search pursuant to this section.”

Glenn Hanes, also a black man from Bahama Village, was filmed standing at the back of a police cruiser. Sergeant Pablo Rodriguez kicks his feet apart while Officer Siracuse gets into “exploration mode”.

“I didn’t know y”all could go in their behinds and look in their assholes,” says Sheila Butler sarcastically, as she films the whole thing.  “I didn’t do it,” laughs Rodriguez.  Hanes asked for a rape test when he was booked into the Monroe County jail.

“This is not new,” says attorney, Julio Margalli, “my office used to be on Petronia Street.  I remember looking at the police systematically stopping and frisking black kids — boys really.  I got so sick of it I threatened one officer with a lawsuit. And what happened?  He came back the next day to slap a parking ticket on my car.  My car, I might add, parked inside of my own parking lot.”

Three weeks ago we reported on an incident that made us about fall off of our chairs.  Detective Leahy had taken three officers over to Grandma Yvonne Edwards house in the Village.  Wearing hoods on their heads, they burst into the tiny home to arrest then 23 year-old black resident, Shamika Clark on a theft charge. [We wrote:  “granted the hoods were not white and pointy, but what could possess four white police officers to do such a thing considering this country’s history?”]

This week we discovered a disturbing photograph those officers took of their catch: handcuffed, partially-clad, Shamika.  “They stayed way too long with her inside that bathroom,” said grandma Edwards, “Why wasn’t there a woman officer in there with them?”

No drugs, no weapons, the whole affair revolved around a dispute between two ex-lovers over the ownership of a puppy and some electronics.  With what ease the Court handed Shamika five years probation and 15 months in prison!

We also reported that the same Detective Leahy took a SWAT team over to an apartment at Fort Street Village last April. There they found eleven year old Shanyia Winn home alone and pointed all of their guns at her.  Leahy interrogated her outside her home with a shotgun to her head.  Did we say she was eleven years old?  Eleven years old!!!  “They pointed guns at me so that if I had moved or my dog had barked I would have been dead.”

The same day KWPD officers stopped a car carrying Sheila Carey.  They pulled her out of the car and pushed her to the ground to handcuff her.  Then they forced her six-year old son and her eleven-year old daughter out at gunpoint.  The police claimed they were looking for Carey’s boyfriend Marvin Smith, but it was later learned that he was already in police custody at the time.  [We asked, “Would these children have been treated that way if they had been white?”]

Warning the City Commission last Tuesday about the possibility of similarities between the problems in Ferguson and in our own City, Key West citizen activist Christine Russel quoted from the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes. “What happens to a dream deferred?…  Does it explode?”

But Mayor Cates dismissed Russel’s concerns saying [and we are not making this up], “There are organizations all over this town being involved with children…  They try to give them brand name stuff that people donate so they do have some sense of pride, so they can go on and be productive.”

The most disturbing thing is not that much the unnecessary brutality, but the fact that it appears to be systemic, with the City seemingly willing to rubberstamp, disguise, or cover-up what is occurring.

When Glenn Hanes arrived at the jail complaining of Siracuse’s intrusive cavity search, the jail called the hospital about a rape test, but it also contacted the KWPD.  According to Hanes KWPD officials asked the jail not to send Hanes to the hospital because FDLE was going to send their own nurse to conduct the examination.  “I have no idea what is going on with my complaint,” said Hanes who is at the Monroe County Detention Center awaiting trial.

As observed in the Charles Eimers death-in-custody case, FDLE appears to have an overly cozy relationship with KWPD, and the fact is, evidence incriminating to the police has been jeopardized:  Eimers body was nearly cremated before autopsy on FDLE’s watch.  Matthew Shaun Murphy’s Taser accident was never even investigated.  Donnie Lee, the Chief of Police, appears ready to add to misinformation about police activities, publicly stating that Siracuse repeatedly ordered Murphy to stop fighting before firing his Taser, even though that account is contradicted by all witness statements, including the officer’s own testimony.

In Bahama Village, the police are the “Princes of the Projects.”  It seems that the Housing Authority rarely has to bother with civil process.  Complaints by tenants are often met with police force.  Any guest or family member can be issued a “No Trespass Warning” followed by an arrest. Police officers are literally on the Housing Authority’s payroll.  The entire community lives in a parallel legal universe.

And the police, apparently stick to their own, no matter what.  Officer Henry Arroyo Jr. was recently discharged from the force over several very serious accusations of child sexual molestation.  He was, however, immediately hired by the Housing Authority, which already employs many of his fellow officers as security guards.  No one, aside from the residents, seems to be concerned that an alleged sexual predator was hired to work in housing complexes where hundreds of children are at risk.  The residents of course perceive it as yet another slap in the face.

People wonder if our police force is lost in a dark and disconnected dream of paramilitary violence.  There are approximately 90 Key West police officers and so far 99% of the problems that have been reported to The Blue Paper have been about the actions of a handful of officers.  Those few, however, appear to be operating under the total protection of a system that will obstruct justice, endorse the officers’ lies and even lie for them, defend them at any cost, or simply fail to take action, all in line with what the good Doctor King called, “The intolerable silence of the good people.”

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  58 Responses to “Could Key West Reach the Ferguson Flashpoint?”

  1. Dig the wax out of your ears, Sister. I chose nothing. The angels running me told me in dreams to run for mayor this year. They told me in a dream in late 2012, when I still lived on Little Torch Key, that I would run for mayor of Key West again, and then they started moving me in that direction.

    But for the angels directives, I would not have entered the mayor’s race this year, nor would I have entered three prior mayor races here, nor three earlier county commission races, nor one school board race.

    You say what I, as mayor, would be about requires action and not talk, and then you suggest action by me, as mayor, that only can be done by talking or by writing.

    Sure, I can draft that PETITION to have the specific bad apples in the KWPD fired, but I’d have to be darn sure I had concrete proof of who the bad apple cops are. And even then, the police benevolent union would fight it tooth and nail, fang and claw, in the state court system. The lawsuit probably would drag out past my 2-year term, and I would not file to run for a second term, which I have said in every race I have run down here.

    Pretending the police benevolent union would welcome the PETITION with open arms, even if I got 10,000 signatures on the PETITION, the City Manager could legally ignore it. And the City Commission could legally ignore it. The political impact might be considerable, however. So, the PETITION might be a good move politically and emotionally, if it gained thousands of signatures.

    However, what I would like see happen instead is a PETITION drive to amend the city Charter, to abolish the commission-mayor form of government and replace it with a single elected official, who could be called the mayor, to whom all city departments, including the police department, answer directly, and which department heads are hired and fired by the mayor. Yes, a the king, or the queen, for the 2 years in office. Or the 4 years, if the term is increased as part of the PETITION drive and the voters approving the Charter amendment. However the Charter amendment might require more than 50 percent voter approval. I will have to look into that. And, I think the Charter amendment would require approval by the State of Florida. All of which, of course, might take as long as, or longer, than the police benevolent union’s lawsuit.

    Any and all of which would make for interesting ongoing reading in the local paper rags and blogs, but it might end up being nothing but noise and wasted paper.

    As for tasers being banned, if I were mayor, I would have one vote on that. As a private citizen, I would have no vote. So I think a PETITION drive is the way to go at that. But I wonder if such a PETITION would pass legal muster, after the police benevolent union challenges the petition in court, as depriving police officers of their right to protect themselves using modern police methods and, interfering with their duty to enforce the laws and protect the public? That, too, would make for lots of interesting reading in the local rags and blogs.

    But that’s not my problem with tasers. My problem is I am not in favor of banning tasers, because tasers, with few exceptions, taser are not lethal, but guns are, and I don’t want police to only have guns. I want police to have tasers to use instead of guns, except when they have no choice but to use guns. Saying it another way, I think banning tasers will result in more dead, maimed and paralyzed and post-traumatic-shocked citizens, by police shooting them with guns.

    Certainy, if elected mayor, I will do what I can to meet with Bahama Village leaders. Understand, though, that their churches, lodges and clubs are an integral part of their society, and their leaders, as far as I know, are leaders in their churches, lodges and clubs.

    It was painful for me to be at that city commission meeting and watch and hear one Bahama Village elder after another, nearly all were black, argue for the Goombay Festival being returned to their control. My impression was, making money was their main motivation. Making money for their churches, lodges, clubs, charities. And, I imagine, some of them making money for themselves.

    I also heard from a few of them complaints about Goombay having drifted far from its Bahamian-Caribbean African roots, which was true. But they and/or their predecessors were in on that back when they and/or their predecessors controlled Goombay. I very much hope, and during citizen comments that night, I urged the mayor and city commissioners and both groups vyying for this year’s Goombay contract, to require only African roots themes in this year’s Goombay. Later, I was told by Mayor Cates that that legally could not be required. Maybe it would mess with Interstate Commerce to restrict Goombay in that way. Left to me, I would require it anyway, and let the the lawsuit come, nor not.

    So, in that I see, a great deal falls on those black churches, lodges, clubs, etc., to bring off the kind of change I, and others, feel is needed between Bahama Village and KWPD.

    If Bahama Village leaders are not willing to come to city commission meetings and speak their minds during the 3 minutes allotted to any citizen at the end of each commission meeting, what message does that send to me, as mayor, to the city commissioners, to the city manager, to the chief of police, to the KWPD, to the citizens of Key West, and to God’s angels?

    Already in this article’s comments thread, I suggested a town hall meeting just on Bahama Village and KWPD, at which the mayor and city commissioners are present and have to respond to citizen comments. As mayor, I can put such a town hall meeting on a city commission agenda for discussion and approval, but if I get outvoted, then there is no town hall meeting approved by the City Commission.

    I could sponsor an informal town hall meeting somewhere off city property, but it would be unofficial, city commissioners might not come, and might not speak, and might not respond to citizen comments. Maybe the press would attend. I would trust the blue paper to report it well, but not the Citizen, the Keynoter, KONK Life, the Weekly Newspapers. I would wear it out at http://www.goodmorningkeywest.com, and everything else in the city needing wearing out.

    As for traffic stops, sure, good idea. I, the mayor, sit down with the police chief, if he’s willing, and he educates me. I can’t make him sit down with me, and I can’t make any of his officers sit down with me, either. Perhaps far more productive, another town hall meeting just on traffic stops: vehicle, motor cycle, motor scooter, bicycle and pedestrian. The police chief and his ranking offices, down through sergeant, are required to attend, if the city manager goes along.

    As for SWAT and FURTHER militarization of the police department, again, with only one vote on the city commission, I have no legal power to tell the city manager to tell the police chief to curtail SWAT teams and militarization. To call up US Attorney General Eric Holder, the F.B.I. and/or the US Attorney, which I imagine is what happened in Ferguson, some top elected official made that call. I need far more than my personal sentiments. I need something compelling, which will have a chance of catapulting the feds into action in Key West.

    The only thing I see right now, which the blue paper has published, which rises to that level, in my opinion, is the cover up after Charles Eimers died on South Beach. Killing him was one thing, but covering it up was another matter altogether. I am in limbo on that, until I know the outcome of the local Grand Jury proceeding. And, that case is not about Bahama Village.

    I never asked anyone if they had a magic wand for any of this, but you keep coming across as if you expect me, or someone, to have a magic wand to wave, which will make you happy. There is no magic wand, unless the angels wave theirs. And wave it they can, if they are so inclined.

    I dunno, it just now comes to me to wonder, Sister, belatedly, if you hate God for how this world is? A sorry state it is in many ways.

    I’m not God, don’t want to be God, would not know how to be God, and know God is infinitely smarter than I am; as are the angels running me. Perhaps you’d like to get to know them better?

    • That all depends on which God you’re speaking of. Good luck with the election. Peace out.

      • By whatever name you, or anyone, wishes to call the Source Of All, here is only one God, on which no religion on this world has a lock. In fact, the religions on this world understand God about as well as a zebra understands the little star, as stars go, upon which the planet depends for its very survival. Saying it another way, God is unfathomable to human beings, and even angels only know what of God what God gives them to know.

        I wish everyone had peace; what a very different species human beings on this planet would be.

        As for the election on Tuesday, thanks, and I will share what I told Christine Russell the morning after Mayor Cates slammed her for bringing up during closing citizen comments at that city commission meeting that she, and the mayor and city commissioners should be concerned about doing all possible to head off a Ferguson event in Key West.

        I told Christine that Mayor Cates and Margaret Romero both want very much to win on Tuesday, while I am really interested in seeing how the voting in the mayor’s race turns out, because that will tell me a great deal about Key West.

        And, imagine, it will tell me other things of which I am not yet aware. The thing about God is, which many religious people keep seeming to forget, is God, and thus the angels, really like mystery, surprises; it’s the spice of spirit life, apparently.

        In that regard, a poem comes to mind:

        Rosa Mystica
        Sweet Mystery
        Bride of Christ,
        Living water
        without which
        there are no rainbows
        and God is dead.

        That is not a religious poem. Religion is an attempt to know God and the angelic realms, and to compress them down to something understandable, and thus predictable and controllable, which simply cannot be done by religions. Back to the zebra and little star analogy.

  2. Evil flourish, when individuals alleging to be good, do nothing. These “Allegers” are responsible for the filth that perforates the world. Hiding behind a veneer of righteousness, their toxic stench and vileness are clear, precise and palpable.

    As outlined by ‘Brother Sloan’, police officers have a ‘Code of Honor’ upon which all of their law-enforcement activities are measured. Nothing comes before this ‘Code’, for without it, there isn’t any Law.

    The wheel does not need to be reinvented. Whether it be in our classrooms, school districts, police departments or ‘white house’, it is the ‘Individual’ that either brings dignity and grace; or disgrace and ignominy to the office they hold.

    I want the mayor, city commissioners, city manager and the police chief, along with every officer, to re-read the affirmation affixed to the KWPD building.

    Unfortunately, the citizens of Key West have the type of leadership and police officers that they deserve. Critical Mass has been achieved. It will be difficult to ‘right the course’.

    When it blows, a change will be made….

  3. Keysbum,

    Newsflash….When combat forces from nations that are at war with one another arrive on a battlefield together, there is going to be plenty of violence and killing. By whatever means necessary, up close and personal, or a ‘gunshot’ wound, the enormity of suffering is unimaginable.

    At one time, because the magnitude of this type of destructiveness and infirmity were so great, only ‘Congress’ could ‘declare war’.

    Lawless presidencies have ceased to follow the ‘Constitution’. These ‘Imperial Czars’ have become accustomed to dictating their demands upon a cowering congress and citizenry, as combat troops continue to be deployed in conflicts around the world.

    “War is the ultimate foreign policy failure”.

    Keysbum, please stop electing incompetent buffoons into positions of authority, and if you believe it’s necessary, inform those ‘Rothschild Types’ of a more profitable way to conduct business, so as to decrease world violence.

    The North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong guerillas believed in their government and cause. I believed in the United States of America. We met in Southeast Asia.

    What do you know about the NVA or VC? What do you know about being a United States Marine?

    Keysbum, you’re quick to judge and make statements concerning matters of importance that you ‘Know Nothing’ about. You make plenty of harsh assertions concerning the conduct of myself and the Marines that I served with, which are both factually incorrect.

    A focus of my conversation has been upon the innocent civilians that get caught up in all wars. An emphasis I’ve offered many times, as a ‘primary sourced historian’, has not been accepted by an alleged ‘learned individual’. You continue to reduce my detailed accounts of extraordinary compassion, kindness and love rendered by hardened Marines, in light of the realities facing them, to the villagers in the hamlets that we passed through, as: “…Giving a snickers bar to a kid right before you put a bullet into their father brain, or a slammed your rifle butt into their mothers skull…”.

    Nice Stuff…..

    Keysbum, you’re either intoxicated, severely damaged through the indoctrination of your choosing, dumb as a rock; or in need of therapy and some authentic medication.

    Just because you’re able to string a few nice sounding words together, an individual of substance, you are not. Your presentations are unimpressive and inconsequential.

    I’ve attempted to maintain a modicum of respect in my dialogue with you. However, you’ve denigrated and trivialized myself , my Marines and the Vietnamese children and civilians, whom we lived with, that died in our arms, while we comforted them and their families.

    Your bitterness, anger and emptiness has manifested themselves in statements you’ve directed at me. It’s rather unflattering of you.

    You’ve been quick to diagnose me with your proclamations of illness. Perhaps, you need to look in the mirror and examine yourself. I sense a degree of instability.

    I don’t need to make up things to believe in. Nor, as you suggested, do I need to rationalize anything about myself. I Am as I Am.

    It’s evident to me, that you hate yourself and those who have put on a ‘Uniform’ to serve their country and community. Your comments regarding the Armed Forces and the KWPD, unfortunately, are of no import.

    Keysbum, I will continue to correspond with you. However, if your obtuseness prevails, a change is coming.

    There are answers and solutions for the KWPD. Reform and Transformation must immediately begin, from the top down.

    NO LEADERSHIP, NO PEACE….

    • You are right, John, about voters electing bad presidents and other office holders; it’s a terminal disease apparently. And not just in America.

      Maybe this from today’s bigpinekey.com Coconut Telegraph fits in this discussion:

      “Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle East? Let me explain. We support the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS. We don’t like ISIS, but ISIS is supported by Saudi Arabia who we do like. We don’t like Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but ISIS is also fighting against him. We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIS. So some of our friends support our enemies, some enemies are now our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, who we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they could be replaced by people we like even less. And all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who were not actually there until we went in to drive them out. It’s quite simple, really.”

    • Mr. Donnelly:

      it is indeed regrettable that you have deemed it necessary to resort to name calling and pejoratives. as they say, that is the last refuge of someone who lacks cognizant argument or intellectual veracity. be that as it may, i will of course refrain from returning the name calling in kind. i will however use your own words, as i have in the past, to author my retort.

      you blame lawless presidents for sending you to war. they, according to you, violated the constitution. now, wouldn’t that be the same constitution that you swore an oath to uphold as a member of the USMC? by going off to war, you violated the constitution, making what you did a criminal act, and thus made you a criminal. those are the facts as stated by yourself.

      now that we have established that you were a criminal, engaging in criminal activity, how it is that you were serving your country? how is it that you can claim honor and glory?

      I’ll answer that: you can’t.

      “war is the ultimate foreign policy failure.” no, war is the desired foreign policy success.

      for your edification Mr. Donnelly, I have never voted in my life. I will not dignify a system that is nothing more than a charade. you, though i doubt i will ever convince you, have never elected anyone on the national level either. your vote does not count. you have no choice. your leaders are selected for you. when one of those leaders goes off plan, say JFK and Carter, look at what happens to them.

      now, i am not aware of any judgmental statement(s) made towards you. i have made statements using the words that you yourself have chosen to define yourself. or did i misread the part about you killing and beating people up?

      i have never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, and though i can “string a few nice sounding words together” would not presume any intellectual superiority over anyone.

      until now.

      Mr. Donnelly, you are a walking contradiction. you cannot proclaim humanitarian concern while in the same breath admit to killing and beating people up. you cannot claim that you engaged in war to serve your country when you knowingly admit it was a criminal act, and you yourself were a criminal. for those same reasons, you cannot bask in the honor and glory of the USMC.

      you cannot have it both ways sir.

      • Keysbum, you remind me of a professional assassin, but not in the sense that designation is normally used. For many years, I have viewed the Vietnam and subsequent American wars as acts of Evil, driven by corporate greed, and if you wish to toss in the Illuminati, or something similar, the Rothschilds (spelling?), I have no problem with that, either.

        Perhaps the same assessment applies to all American wars, but I was a young boy during WWII and the Korean War, so I don’t have the emotional experience of those wars, at least not consciously.

        America has a general right now, I saw on TV yesterday morning, pushing President Obama to escalate, seriously it seems, US military interdiction in Syria. I shook my head, wondered what was going on inside that general’s head? I wondered the same thing about the generals in the Iraq war, and in the Afghanistan war? Did they take leave of their senses?

        I wish American Generals (and Admirals) would stop letting idiots in the White House put America into such wars. Just refuse to follow orders, command their troops to refuse to follow orders. Go on strike. For America, nothing but bad, and worse, Evil, came out of those wars I named. The karma has to be horrific.

        The propaganda was those wars were to protect America, but that’s all it was, propaganda. Same for Vietnam.

        In my experience, this can be discussed civilly, or uncivilly, until hell freezes over, to be crude about it, and nothing will change, and, absent some sort of epiphany, nobody will change their view from what it already is.

        I think America is lost and headed to hell, to be further blunt. And I think it goes back much father in time, to how our white ancestors treated the indigenous Americans and the Africans. The karma from that was huge and will have its say.

        Just as white Americans taking a lot of Spanish/Mexican territory is having its way today – America is being invaded and overrun by Spanish people from south of the US boarder with Mexico.

        I do have a problem, though, with you using a pseudonym, especially in volatile forums such as the blue paper is providing. In fact, I found myself wondering today, if you would submit to the blue paper what you write, if your legal name was attached to it? Sister already convinced me she would not be chatting so vigorously in this forum with her legal name.

        I know of cases where Key West police and Monroe County deputies actually tracked people down elsewhere, even several states from Florida, and made their lives miserable, often as not having someone they knew near their target do the dirty work.

        I have heard Naja and Arnaud lament more than a few times of being told about something they felt inclined to investigate, but the source didn’t want to be involved, even though the source was a witness. I myself have had that happen quite a few times as well, with someone sending me something but not wanting to be identified, to telling me they have something I need to know, but I have to promise not to get them involved after they tell me what it is.

        Deer Ed, who published bigpinekey.com’s Coconut Telegraph, did that with me about two weeks ago. In the context, it seemed to me it might have to do with the county commissioner race for George Neugent’s seat. But I was not positive. I told Deer Ed, though, if it was something that bore on that race, then it should be aired out. I don’t know if it was aired out or not. Nor do I know what it was about.

        Who are you, Keysbum? Where do you live? I imagine people besides me would like to know.

        • Mr. Bashinsky:

          was I just insulted??? can’t tell.

          I do not understand your preoccupation with people’s real identities. what does it matter (or as you pointed out, perhaps it does)? I consider this forum to be in fun and do not take it for any more than that. I mean no disrespect to anyone, and despite being on the receiving end of some name calling, refrain from engaging in it myself…. at least obviously.
          as for where I live; I have property in the Keys and the mainland and split my time. I will be down there fishing this weekend off American Shoal as a matter of fact, and hope to restock on snapper. I would like to eat at Caroline’s on Saturday, but I think the wife will force me to go to Roostica. sad.
          anyway, as stated, my comments are made in the interest of spirited debate, and will never cross over into personal animus.

          if I were to ever run into you or Mr. Donnelly, I would not hesitate to come over and exchange pleasantries.

          • Sorry, Keysbum, pleasantries I do not assign to your and John Donnelly’s back and forths. Nor is John doing this for fun – you are? For real? Deadly serious, spiritually lethal topics are being discussed. This is not a video game to John, nor to me, nor to Naja and Arnaud Girard. Is that what you think this forum is, Keysbum, a video game? No, you don’t think that. You are going for the jugular, which is okay, but it is not okay to spin you are not doing it. You answered my question: you don’t want your identity known in these blue paper reader forums.

  4. Keysbum,

    It was apparent to me that you strayed a little too far, in your descriptive condemnation of actions taken by Americans under fire, without an objective consideration of the facts.

    You display an unwillingness to accept, not agree with, a detailed analysis of events that you’ve already formed an opinion about.

    If you refuse to listen to anything that I have to say, let alone take my information in for serious consideration, there isn’t a legitimate rational for continuing our dialogue.

    It appeared to me that you became rather nasty and mean-spirited, in the manner you expressed yourself in the last communiqué. I decided to give you a dose, of what I believed to be, your own medicine. Please accept my apology, if my words in any way exceeded their intent.

    From your previous comments I’ve ascertained that, for whatever reason, you did not enlist into the Armed Forces.

    I’ve offered a brief synopsis, laying the groundwork for my volunteering to serve in the USMC.

    There aren’t any value judgments here on my part.

    Our civilian leadership sent my unit into combat.

    The controversy concerning the legality of a president sending troops off to war, without the approval of congress, is still being wrangled, as to its legality. It seems that our politicians have gotten cover from the ‘War Powers Act’.

    Coming up against well trained, heavily armed and accomplished warriors, determined to kill you by whatever means necessary, what would you have my Marines do?

    Remember, for the sake of this discussion, I’m not talking about your personal views, perspectives or understandings of the ‘war’, just the realities we faced as described.

    We engaged this skillful enemy on their terrain, with a tunnel system and method of entry onto the battlefield that we were unfamiliar with.

    During combat, we beat and killed every enemy soldier that we got our hands on. They returned the violence in kind, often utilizing children and civilians to increase the number of Marines they killed and wounded.

    If you have a problem with the fact that during battle, United States Marines beat and killed enemy soldiers; we do not.

    According to our Constitutional Republic, there hasn’t been any Constitutional Violations, as far as presidents sending troops off to war. I may feel that there are violations, but as a matter of law, there’s been no breeches.

    Therefore, you may think that I am a criminal, but in fact, I’m not.

    Contrary to your continued derision of me and the Marines that I served with, we were humanitarians of colossal proportions.

    For you to continue to deny this truth, places you in a peculiar category.

    It’s strange, that you adamantly deny the goodness that myself and my Marines rendered unto Vietnamese civilians. These people were not our enemy.

    I accept you as you are. I do not judge you, nor do I want to change you.

    I do not want your approval. Nor, do I want to convince you of something, you’re unwilling to accept.

    Perhaps our conversations have run their course. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

    Whatever your decision, for the most part I’ve enjoyed our exchanges. I wish you well.

    Blessings & Respect…

    • Mr. Donnelly:

      ya know what, let’s let this subject go. we can agree to disagree. but let me make it clear that I do not judge you in any way, nor do I put you in any where near the same category as our friend CaptainLarry. I take you to be a thoughtful individual, with good intentions, and a background of achievement that would be the envy of anyone.

      looking forward to our next discussion.

      Dave

  5. I saw “Calvary” at Tropic Cinema last night, about a soldier this world needs many more of.

  6. Mr. Bashinsky:

    I think you take this a little too seriously. a comment section is just that, for comments, not the launching pad for actionable policy. I enjoy the back and forth with Mr. Donnelly, and if I may be so bold, I think he enjoys it as well. he and I are both adults, enjoy in spirited debate, and as much as we disagree, I think the mental exercise we get from engaging with one another is beneficial to us both.

    if you lack the maturity or mental acuity to see this comment section for what it is, perhaps you should not participate. conversing with your angels may be a safer haven for you.

  7. Sloan,

    I sincerely appreciate your drawing my attention to the motion picture entitled “The Cavalry”.

    The Independent Film & Television Alliance is a non-profit organization that represents more than 150 members from 23 countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, television companies, and institutions engaged in film finance.

    This reputable alliance recognized “The Cavalry” as ‘The Best Film’, with the ‘Best Lead Actor’, as well as being the ‘Best Screenplay-Film’, for the year 2014.

    ‘The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury’ is an independent film award for feature films given at the Cannes Film Festival. They conferred “The Cavalry” with this prestigious recognition, as its ‘Best Panoramic’ presentation (2014).

    The International Federation of Film Critics identified the Director of “The Cavalry” as the ‘Best Director’ (2014).

    I value the enormity of your service, as it relates towards fostering a Self-Actualized Society. Thank You…

    Blessings & Respect

  8. Dave (Keysbum),

    Thank you for your compliments. As I’ve previously stated, your discernment and intelligent discussion of important matters, contains a depth and gravitas not frequently published.

    A constructive and purposeful exchange of ideas and information are critical for the maintenance of a ‘free society’.

    To the extent that this process takes place, will determine the awareness with which we live our lives.

    “We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin

    Blessings & Respect

  9. Sloan,

    By the way, it was extremely refreshing to see you cover my back and flanks, from not so ‘friendly fire’.

    It sparked a good feeling, knowing you were there.

    Appreciate and value your support, insight and wisdom. Thanks again…

    Blessings & Respect

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