democracy, kings, queens, dictators, crazy people, meds, a cure – Key West business as usual

ship of fools
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Key West-Panama resident-activist Christine Russell replied from Panama to the recent maybe not entirely for Rambo fans, sometimes the heart gets a real workout in Key West post at
Christine Russell - Panama
Hello Sloan –

You summed it up very well when you said “it’s a giant mess”.  And I am not talking about just water quality. 
Too much to say on that subject, but all one has to do is read your blog, the Citizen or the Blue Paper.
it is way beyond sad.
I hope we all can find a little of peace with far less self-centeredness, corruption and greed some day.
Speaking of corruption and greed – keep your eye on the Panama elections next week.
Some are talking about a new dictator and some are even ‘prepping’ for a ‘situation’.
Similar and dysfunctional here, as Key West politics, but on a larger and worse scale if you can imagine 🙁
Life is interesting!
Here at Spay Panama where I volunteer, our motto is “Together we can make a difference”.  When is the world going to get this and work together?!
Your friend –
I replied:
Hi there, Jaguar woman –

I agree, it’s a giant mess, and it’s far bigger than just water quality. 
I was in Panama in 1981, as I recall. Went down with some Birmingham friends to a fish camp on the Isle of Coiba off the west coast of Panama, the island was part of Panama. The fish camp owner was a friend of Panama’s then dictator, who not long afterward died, in a helicopter crash as I recall.

Omar Torrijos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maximum Leader & Supremo Supremo
Omar Torrijos
Omar Torrijos 1977.jpg
Maximum Leader of the Revolution
In office
Preceded by New Title
Succeeded by None
Military Leader of Panama
In office
October 11, 1968 – July 31, 1981
President José María Pinilla (1968-69)
Demetrio Lakas Bahas (1969-78)
Aristides Royo (1978-82)
Preceded by Arnulfo Arias (President)
Succeeded by Florencio Flores Aguilar
Personal details
Born February 13, 1929
Santiago, Panama
Died July 31, 1981 (aged 52)
near PenonoméPanama
Political party Democratic Revolutionary Party(1979-1981)
Spouse(s) Raquel Pauzner de Torrijos
Occupation Military Officer
Religion Roman Catholic

Omar Efraín Torrijos Herrera (February 13, 1929 – July 31, 1981) was the Commander of the Panamanian and National Guard and thede facto dictator of Panama from 1968 to 1981. Torrijos was never officially the president of Panama, but instead held titles including “Maximum Leader of the Panamanian Revolution” and “Supreme Chief of Government.” Although he was considered a leftistautocrat, he simultaneously had the support of the United States as he opposed communism. His regime was based instead on progressivism.

Torrijos is best known for negotiating the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties that eventually gave Panama full sovereignty over thePanama Canal, at noon on December 31, 1999. His son Martín Torrijos was elected president and served from 2004 to 2009.

I dunno, Christine, the way “democracy” has gone in USA since the First Continental Congress, Declaration of Independence, ensuing Revolutionary war, etc., maybe the Founding Fathers should have just made one of them King. Sorry, back then there was zero chance of making one of their women folk Queen.
Dictators call the shots, if they really are dictators and not puppets for an invisible string puller or pullers. 
Maybe I’ve been going about this all wrong in Key West. Maybe I should be preaching change this place’s name from The Conch Republic to The Conch Kingdom, and abolish the City Commission, city commissioner and mayor positions, and create a King or Queen position. The King or Queen serves, say, a 4-year term, with absolute power over the Kingdom’s government and subjects. Then, a general election is had for the next King or Queen, who can be the previous King or Queen. Nobody can run for the position. It has to be totally grassroots, a write-in ballot. No names appear on printed ballots. No campaigning allowed under penalty of death, which any subject can carry out upon observing some one campaigning. There are no candidate forums, either. Kings or Queens who oppress their subjects can be stabbed, shot, beheaded, fed to sharks, etc.
Yeah, when pigs fly.
Here’s a fun democracy story.
While I was just above Panama in Costa Rica during the spring of 2000, it was all over the Costa Rica news that the elected President of that true democracy, one person, one vote, had sold the national utility company, which provided both electricity and telephone service throughout Costa Rica, to an American corporate conglomerate, without consulting the Costa Rica Legislature. In protest, Costa Rica farmers took to randomly parking their trucks sideways across paved roads, including the Pan Am highway, all over Costa Rica, creating inconvenient traffic snarls. After some time of that happening, the Costa Rica Supreme Court, on its own motion, declared the contract to sell the national utility company null and void, because the Costa Rica Constitution required the Costa Rica Legislature to approve the contract. The deal then fell through.
I learned when I was in Costa Rica, that its very first elected President, as I recall the timing, upon being sworn in, abolished the national military and racial discrimination. 
When I was chewed up by a German shepherd, a Costa Rica rural hospital treated me for nothing; they have universal health care. They also have private physicians rich people can use. I received excellent care from public physicians. Maybe they can afford universal health care because they don’t spend half their country’s annual budget on military stuff and wars.
Still, I heard things are not all that great in Costa Rica today, although perhaps nicer than most places in Central America. Panama has the Canal, which is a serious national revenue producer. Maybe it won’t be long before you decide to retreat up to your land not all that far south of Costa Rica, build you a solar home, and expect to see me show up with my water purifier, sleeping hammock, blow gun and skinning knife 🙂
Christine replied:
Hey Sloan –

Torrijos death as I recall was some what suspicious – maybe the term murder could be used.  And it was thought that the US was involved – would that surprise anyone?  You know he was the one who negotiated Panama regaining control of their land – the Panama Canal.  I don’t know what could have been gained by the US if they did arrange his death, but the US has supported and partnered with some on the most evil leaders in history –  Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden, Noriega…. when it benefits them or they have something they want the US supports these evil ones, then they get out of control, we take them out, and start a new war – wars keep the economy going.
I like your idea of King or Queen with absolute power.  Maybe something could get done if only one person could make the decisions.  Instead of kicking cans around for years, some of those 130 city projects might actually have been done, finished and we enjoying them now – like a park 🙁   But I think power is like a drug – once you have it you want more and more until….you have to have it and con not imagine being powerless.  President Martinelli here in Panama, was a very wealthy businessman owning a chain of grocery stores throughout the country.  Before becoming President I think he was a very big dog in the canal for years, but a little power can go to ones head.  Now as Pres, he is not only enjoying a true VIP status but all that comes with it – women, yachts, jets and that too is never enough.  He has accepted millions and millions as bribes for contracts, and is being investigated for an Italian job that the bribe blew up.  He needs the power (drug) so badly now, some time ago he attempted to change the Constitution so he could run for President again, he kept saying he had no intention of running again – duh – you can’t it’s the law!  When changing the law did not work, he cleverly decided to put his wife on the ballot as Vice President!  If the CD party should win next Sunday – he will essentially be running the country.  More bribes, more money, more money and the cycle will continue – that is how dictators are created.
I am anxious to see how the election turns out here.  I have been talking to my friends at Spay Panama, who are the people I spend the most time with, asking them how elections are conducted and if they have faith in the electoral process here.  In KW where I have worked the elections for several years, I have total faith that elections are as honest as possible, and who the people voted for are the ones put into office.  Here in Panama, they all go to the schools to vote and they are given a piece of paper to vote on and they vote in secret, putting their piece of paper in the voting box.  End of day the box must go to headquarters and votes are somehow counted.  So do I believe all those actual votes are counted?  Might they be replaced with some “other” more favorable votes?  Don’t know.  But I like the electronic voting we do in the Keys, seems it is beyond tampering, AND the results come in immediately.  I can’t imagine how long it takes to count all the votes here – some must have to come in by plane, boat, and maybe horse or by foot in the jungles of the Darien.  It is sort of the wild wild west 🙂
Funny you mentioned your time in Costa Rica and the farmers protesting and parking their vehicles over the roads, like the Pan Am Highway.  That is a constant occurrence here!  It is the way every group seems to protest by blocking the roads.  The teachers were on strike last week.  Doctors and Nurses a few months ago.  An Indian group is always blocking the Pan Am Highway in protest of a hydro project a damn that will flood their land – seems the Indians get screwed everywhere.  The ones who have the most respect for the land get screwed and the “white” (or Panamanian) comes in and ruins the land for everyone for years to come – in the name of progress!  One spay event last year, the Indians were blocking the Highway, we are always on a tight schedule to arrive and set up at a location that might be 4-5 hours away – we don’t have time to sit while they make their point which is to piss-off and put pressure the government.  On this occasion rocks and trees and Indians were blocking our way, our Founder and leader got off the bus, went to have a discussion and explain our plight in trying to get to the poor Panamanians waiting for our services – and the Red Sea immediately parted and we were on our way – with all the Indians waving and shouting to us as we passed.  We got clout with the people here – they know we help them, and in turn we have earned their respect.  It’s terrific being part of such a wonderful group of people 🙂
Now the new canal – that is a different story.  It was supposed to be done this year for the 100 year celebration, but strikes and problems slowed things down.  Then the group from Spain building the new canal, who turned in the lowest bid and everyone knew the canal could NOT be built for such a number – put in like a $1.6 billion dollar change order!  KW knows all about change orders, I know Teri [Key West City Commissioner Teri Johnston] has spoke out several times that the routine occurrence of change orders has to stop – Amen Teri!  They stopped work when Martinelli refused to pay (they probably refused to further grease his palm too)  Martinelli threatened them with failure to preform to their contract and with the state of the Spanish economy it would have ruined this company and not been good for Spain’s reputation considering this is a project the world is watching.  They finally settled, went back to work, and now the workers are on strike for better wages.  At lease those workers don’t protest and block the roads – or the canal waterway.
It seems as complicated here as in the US.  But in the US we seem a bit more civilized.  When we don’t like something – like the N. Roosevelt project some time ago, or the channel widening referendum, or the dirty Carnival ships. But we didn’t get out and block the road, or block the ship channel which we could have done 🙂
Keep on talkin’ Sloan.  You’re not as crazy as I used to think you were!  Name me one perfect person.  I think we’re all a little crazy in our own way!
I replied:
Hi again, Christine –
I told the North Roosevelt Blvd business owners to put up big signs in front of their businesses, saying Governor Scott’s DOT (Department of Transportation) fucked our business. Then, I learned from the head of DOT in old City Hall, that it was the City Commission which had fucked those North Roosevelt businesses, by using the city noise ordinance, which could have been waived by the City Commission, to prevent the North Roosevelt redo from being domr round the clock, instead of just one shift a day, five days a week. Mayor Cates got all over me for how I grilled the DOT head, until he outed Mayor Cates and the city commissioners who had decided peace and quiet in the North Roosevelt neighborhoods in the evening, at night and on weekends was more important than the North Roosevelt businesses, which were dying on the vine with that road all tore up. If I had not grilled the FDOT head, Mayor Cates and the city commissioners would not have been embarrassed by what the DOT head finally said, which the Citizen never reported, even though I had explained right after it happened to Gwen Filosa, who wrote the next say’s Citizen report, what the FDOT head had done. Do you have selective newspaper reporting like that in Panama? Probably not a sincere question.

Why am I not surprised you jumped out of one hot skillet (Key West) into another (Panama)? Good for you, getting involved in something where you actually can see you are making progress, befriending the natives, and maybe having some fun along the way. 
Actually, I’m a lot crazier than you ever suspected, but sometimes I feel moved to act like I’m not.
Recently, I met a Montreal couple down here for a rest from whatever they do up there, never could get a fix on that. They look to be in their maybe late 40s. I gave them a copy of HEAVY WAIT: A Strange Tale (understatement, the strange part), and she started reading it and whenever I bumped into them, or her, again, she said she was enjoying it.
I bumped into them last night when I pedaled my bicycle over to Salute to hear Love Lane Gang perform. They were having dinner and I asked if they wanted some company for conversation, as I’d already eaten. They said sure, so I sat down with them. 
As had happened a couple of times before, she again said she is really enjoying the novel. And as also had happened, the conversation came around to her grave concern that I am schizophrenic, or something, and need to be on meds, she really believes in them, and my repeated assurances that meds would kill me and the angels are my meds, controllers, correctors, etc. 
I said, no schizophrenic person could have written that novel she is reading and really likes. She disputed that, said she’s known many creative schizophrenic people. So have I, creative in demonstrating how crazy they are, I did not say. 
She kept expressing her grave concern that I need to be on meds, and I said meds are no cure to anything, which she again disputed. I said psychosis can be treated, if the person with it wants to be treated, but not by psychiatry and psychology, and not by religion, either. 
I said I know what causes psychosis in most people and how to treat it, with the angels’ help, but nobody wants the treatment has been my experience. Nor does society want the treatment. She asked what caused psychosis? I said destruction of the internal feminine, and in some cases, demonic possession on top of that. 
She said there are pills for demonic possession. I said no pill can fix demonic possession, nor psychosis, but it might sedate a psychotic person, regulate brain chemistry somewhat, tone down symptoms, while causing all sorts of awful side effects. Out of whack brain chemistry is a symptom, just like psychosis is a symptom – the cause is destruction of the internal feminine and sometimes demonic possession on top of that.
She kept after me to be on meds, and I said I’ve heard that many times and she has told me nothing new, yet she has never heard anything before I have told her and that’s why we were arranged to meet. She kept saying I need to be on meds, and by now I’m wondering if meds are what are holding her together? Or if she is a psychiatrist, or a psychologist, or a licensed clinical social worker? 
I told her that, back when the angels really came on strong to me, I was married to a licensed clinical social worker, and she was getting doses of the angels, too, and we knew it was not from this world and we never once considered meds. I said, besides being a licensed clinical social worker, she was trained by a Jungian Analyst who had been a direct student of Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist. Her teacher, Dora Kalff founded Sandplay Therapy, and was my dear friend.
The Canadian woman kept after me to be on meds, and finally I said she was way out of her depth; she’d never met anyone like me, and she probably would never meet another one. Maybe the angels she thinks I invent will introduce themselves to her and give her a demonstration of what it’s like to be me, like happened to several women the angels arranged for me to be with in the past, and those women really didn’t care for being messed with by angels.
I said, maybe after being with her a while, the angels will use her as a messenger; she’d make a good one, having been so in favor of pills. I said, if the angels do start doing stuff to her, she should not take pills, but should trust the angels to take her through it. She said she would take pills. I said again, do not take pills. She said it sounded like I was putting a hex on her. I said I don’t do hexes, but sometimes I deal with people who do hexes.
At this moment, her husband intervened, said that was enough. I said no problem, I’m leaving and I hope they have a nice life.
Later, the husband came over to where I was talking with another Canadian I have known since he was a vicious van dweller criminal, but now he has a girlfriend from Kentucky who has a house in Key West and he stays there when he is in  Key West. The Canadian woman’s husband tried to smooth it over. I said no problem, and maybe he will tell his wife that she kept pushing, I did not want to go there with her, but she kept pushing. Again, I said I hope they have a nice life, and I meant it.
The husband left, I talked a while longer with my old Canadian friend, who used to be a vicious van dweller criminal in Key West. He’s quite good on guitar, plays and sings lots of songs. A self-taught painter, he sets up days by the Southernmost house and does pretty good selling his work. Before he retired in New Brunswick, he was a machinist. He is bilingual – English and French, and I think he speaks German pretty well. He is well read, up on world events, history. 
Once he was seeing a woman, also living in a vehicle. She was an ordained Methodist minister. I got to know her somewhat hanging out at Higgs Beach. Every time she said she would pray for me, that night I would have terrible dreams, so I asked her to stop praying for me. 
Then, she told him she had discovered she had cancer, she was going into chemotherapy. She’d always wanted to have her own boat to live on, would he “loan” her enough to buy a boat? She showed him what looked like doctor’s bills. She said she was on chemo now, showed him red splotches on her skin she said were chemo reaction. 
I dreamed that she was playing him, she did not have cancer. I dreamed that living in a tent on the Bridle Path in the spring of 2004. On waking that morning, I pedaled my bicycle straight to Higgs Beach and found him and told him of the dream and said don’t buy the boat for her. He bought her the boat. Some time passed. It came out she had  made it all up. She did not have cancer, she was not on chemo. She did not make up, however, that she was an ordained Methodist minister. By then, she was pastoring a church in Key West.
I swan, Christine – there’s plenty going on in this insane town to keep me entertained a good bit of the time. I just wish the angels would not run it all through my liver and G.I. tract. Maybe I should send the city a monthly bill for waste water treatment.
I told the angels a couple of times last night that the first chapter in HEAVY WAIT, which introduces the novel and how it came to be written, is more important than the tale itself. When I mentioned that to the Canadian woman last night, she did not seem to remember the introduction. I summarized a little of it. She still did not seem to remember any of it. 
The novel is available at The kindle version’s introduction and the first three chapters can be seen for free.
Product Details

Heavy Wait: A Strange Tale by Sloan Bashinsky (Oct 28, 2013)

I didn’t feel moved to tell the Canadian woman who believes in pills that, during my crazy life, I had treated several psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers for problems they were getting no help with from their professions, religion (western and/or eastern), yogis, gurus, shamans, spiritual healers, etc. That’s what I did before the angels sent me to Key West to get involved in politics. 
That, and send me into churches to explain Jesus and God. Another fool’s errand.
Sloan and Mike 2
Me with Mike Mongo, another Key West crazy person
Sloan Bashinsky
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West
Right after publishing the above, this Facebook message below arrived from Erika Biddle, of Key West. After replying to her, I decided to go ahead and post it today. About a year an a half ago, when I was being besieged by School Board member Robin Smith-Martin, of Key West, and others, for being batshitcrazy, Erika, who was in South America with hubby Joel, sent me the batshicrazy pic and said down there in the jungles, the bat shaman is the most revered shaman because he/she can see in the dark. Grimal Grove is well worth seeing in the daylight.
  • Erika Biddle
    Erika Biddle

    perhaps you’d like to mention the event on your blog

    Growing Hope Initiative's photo.
    Thursday at 5:00pm
    You were invited by Erika Biddle
    Join Growing Hope Initiative for an evening of music, food and sunflowers at the Grimal Grove.

    Headlined by national touring act Scythian, and joined by local favorites The Love Lane Gang, the evening will serve as a community gathering as well as a showcase for Florida nonprofits and the valuable work that they do.

    Feel free to bring something to share.A potluck spread with donations from local eateries will be served and “Grimal Grog” will also be available for sale by the glass. Exhibitors have been invited to meet potential volunteers and customers in the Keys. And yes, there will be sunflowers!A Little HistoryOriginally held in the mountains of western Maryland in 2009, Sunflower Fest is now following the sun and relocating to The Florida Keys. It was always the organizers’ intention to create a festival that combines music and service. What was once a 2000 person spectacle will now manifest itself as a smaller music and arts showcases held on the intimate grounds of the Grimal Grove throughout the year. Expect the same energy and quality.

    Tickets are $10 (children 12 and under are free) and will be sold in advance at these locations: KEY WEST: Help Yourself Cafe; BIG PINE, Good Food Conspiracy; MARATHON: Food for Thought. Tickets are very limited so don’t wait.

    Bring a blanket, beach chairs and a dish to share in the community potluck. Off-site parking has been arranged. If you have questions, contact us at Patrick Garvey at 305-923-6663.

    This event is being planned in conjunction with the forum being hosted by The Florida Association for Volunteer Resource Management, (FAVRM).

    Volunteer Forum to focus on Non-Profits

    The Florida Association for Volunteer Resource Management, FAVRM, is a vibrant, passionate and experienced group of volunteer management professionals who provide a great support network.

    FAVRM is hosting a Forum April 30 – May 2 at Hawks Cay in our beautiful Florida Keys. Click here for more details:

    Forums provide face-to-face opportunities to discuss new ways to engage volunteers, professional development for volunteer leaders, as well as share best practices to ensure that volunteers have good, meaningful experiences. I hope you will consider joining us.
    If you are interested in learning more about FAVRM membership and the benefits, please contact Suzy Gamblain, Treasurer. FAVRM is open to all volunteer management professionals so feel free to share this information with your colleagues.

    Come join us and be a part of the amazing things that are happening in our state all with the help of volunteers!

  • Sloan Bashinsky
    Sloan Bashinsky

    yes, maybe tomorrow, am on a batshitcrazy mission impossible today


    Erika also sent the angelina from South America, which she said was in a public place in the city where she and Joel then were – the cure to schizophrenia, the rape of Mother Nature by humanity, political shenanigans, etc., etc., etc.

    A woman friend in North Georgia just called, who is in shaman training. She said she had just read this post today, and she then had  a vision of the Canadian woman being on a lot of meds. And, she is not reading HEAVY WAIT, or she is so medicated that she does grasp or remember what she is reading. I said I had told the angels last night that the Canadian woman needs help and they ought to help her without roughing her up, scaring her out of her wits.

    I told the Canadian couple that excessive testosterone drive, literally and symbolically, is what ails humanity.


About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; spoken for; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days at, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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