the law of unintended consequences is alive and well in Key West, and other poetic confluences

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Two items in today’s Citizen’s Voice – www.keysnews.com:

“I applaud Monroe County for creating a beautiful children’s play area at Higgs Beach that is devoid of the filthy, drunken homeless people lying on picnic tables as they once did. This should challenge the city to respect its citizens in like manner by keeping these same undesirables away from decent folks. I have seen no other place that so coddles filthy invaders as does Key West.”

Am wondering if this nice person was born in Key West, or is just another invader like Charles Eimer was?

“After reading some of our elected politicians’ comments on the CBS story ‘Murder in Paradise,’ it appears it is definitely time to clean house at City Hall. I would vote to keep only Commissioner Teri Johnston.”

Teri was quoted in the Citizen as saying she did not think the CBS report was unfair, and the city needs to deal with this terrible case. However, I have yet to hear of her publicly expressing remorse, or apologizing to Charles Eimers’ family, for what city police did to him Thanksgiving Day 2013.

Charles Eimer's take down

www.thebluepaper.com editorial “cartoon”

Yesterday, kill em softly Kurt Wagner commented on Charles Eimers leaving the scene of the initial traffic stop without his drivers license; Kurt’s email showed it went to the city manager, the city attorney, the city spokesperson, the mayor and city commissioners, and perhaps to every member of KWPD:

Kurt Wagner

Kurt

The police report claims Eimers left after the original stop without his drivers license. If this is true, maybe he was fatigued from driving. If he drove from Michigan to Key West non stop I can understand his brain not working logically. I’ve driven many times 24+ hours non stop and I can tell you it’s going to cloud your thinking process. There obviously is more to the story than is being told. The KWPD is lying about how the stop ended (with murder) so why would anyone believe the KWPD about how the stop and subsequent chase(?) began?

Kurt Wagner
St. Thomas, USVI

I wrote to Kurt, only:

You would leave a traffic stop without your driver’s license?

Kurt replied:

If i’d been awake and driving for 30 hours ..maybe, but probably not. Is there any proof that he did, other than the original officers statement? (recording of radio transmissions between officers etc. all PD’s record this) With all the other lies the KWPD has told, I’m suspicious of the officers statement without proof. Have they released the audio recording? What proof is there that it’s true? Has anyone requested the audio recording? Maybe I have a hard time believing anything coming from the mouths of the KWPD or city officials.

I wrote back:

According to what Naja told me, there is only the officer’s statement that Eimers left the scene, while the officer still had Eimers’ drivers license, and the license is in the evidence locker at KWPD. She said she had ascertained for a fact that’s where the license is.

Say you will keep it to just yourself, and I will tell you what one of our mutual friends told me, which might explain it.

Kurt replied:

No problem Sloan. Lips are sealed.

I wrote back, this will take a while to read, but perhaps some readers might find it interesting; the Key West Poetry Guild seems to really like the poem last night. (Yes, the angels who run me cleared from “moderation” what I told Kurt to keep a lid on. Maybe the angels felt it was time to stir the pot a bit more; give the KWPD a chance to tell the rest of us the state of Charles Eimers drivers license, or make it disappear, depending its state.)

Okay, Kurt, my other email account currently is down for reasons I don’t comprehend, and that is where the email resides, so this is from memory.

Our mutual vicious Vietnam vet van dweller criminal friend wrote that 4-5 years ago he was stopped for something by a local cop and given a hard time over nothing, and then the cop said he wasn’t going to return our mutual friend’s drivers license, and our mutual friend said that wasn’t going to happen, and the cop kept holding the license and bending it back and forth, and finally he returned it to our mutual friend, who later, because of what the cop had done to his license, went to the drivers license station next to the airport on South Roosevelt Blvd to get a new license, and when he told the woman who waited on him what the cop had done and that was why he had come to get a new license, she said the police bend and even crease drivers licenses to let cops who later have dealings with the holder of those licenses know they are dealing with a homeless person.

Our mutual friend said remembering that caused him to wonder if much the same had happened to Charles Eimers? I thought, hmmm, and Eimers, being new to town, didn’t put up a fuss, didn’t stand his ground, but gave up and drove away without his driver’s license, wondering what in the hell he had gotten himself into, coming to Key West? Soon revealed – to be killed by Key West cops.

Today brought the first Sunday in the month Key West Poetry Guild reading at Blue Heaven restaurant, and I wondered off and on during the day if a new poem would come to me, to read tonight?

As the day passed, nothing seemed to come, and around 5 p.m. I pedaled my bicycle to Jack Flats on Duval Street to watch the end of this week’s professional golf tournament, which was played at Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial County Club in Ohio. En route to Jack Flats, “conduct unbecoming” came to me, and I felt that might be the poem’s theme, if not also its title. I had my writing notebook with me, just in case.

After I was settled at the bar before the big screen with the golf tournament coming to an as yet unknown somewhat surprise ending, with two Asian pros tying and having to go extra holes to determine the winner, I pulled out the notebook and wrote the words, “Conduct unbecoming”, and then the poem came pretty fast, in five, maybe ten minutes, as I watched the tournament during brief pauses in the writing.

By the time I left Jack Flats, it was close enough to time to head to Blue Heaven, so I went on over there, and in the courtyard bumped into local poet Sheri Lohr at the outside bar,

Sheri Lohr

Sheri

who smiled and greeted me, and said to the people she was with that I am her favorite madman. I laughed, said, thank you, what a high complement! Then, I went on upstairs to where the readings are held.

Inside was Alex Symington,

Alex Symington

Alex

who wanted to talk about Naja and Arnaud Girard’s good work,

NajaArnaud Girard

Naja and Arnaud

and his concern for their safety. I said they have done a terrific job and are indeed at risk, I told them that several months ago.

When my time to recite came, I said the poem came to me at Jack Flats about an hour before the poetry reading began, and when I got to Blue Heaven, Sheri Lohr said I was her favorite madman, and then Alex Symington said something which caused me to dedicate the poem to Naja and Arnaud Girard, who publish the blue newspaper in Key West – that seemed to shift the energy in the room, and I began reading.

Conduct unbecoming,
a way of life in Key West –

Just take Fantasy Fest,
people letting all hang out
on Duval Street, what
back home in Key West, Iowa
they’d never do,
nor just a few blocks away
in their own far west of weird front yards!

Unbecoming seems contagious down here —

a city commissioner challenges the mayor
to step outside,
settle it like man to man;
the mayor says,
put up or shut up,
file to run against me,
or get over it –
the city commissioner weenies,
as the mayor goes by the book.

CBS treated his beautiful city one-sided,
dang liberal TV journalists,
but for them, the world
never would have found out
about his police killing
suspected homeless man Charles Eimers
in paradise
last Thanksgiving Day.

Dang that blue Key West the Newspaper
for catching his police red-handed
making up stories about
how Charles Eimers actually killed himself,
then he intimidated witnesses,
wrote up false incident reports,
shot a cellphone video of what
he really didn’t do,
smuggled it from the grave
to the blue paper.

Not to mention, he sent
his body to a mortuary
to be cremated, as in adios evidence,
instead of to the Medical Examiner
for an autopsy,
then were all the tissue samples
the hospital took from his body,
which Eimers got tossed before
the Medical Examiner even knew
a body was headed his way.

What a pickle, the Medical Examiner
finally quit, got a teaching job
somewhere safe on the mainland,
as Eimers stalled the state investigation …
from the grave.

It’s all that dang Eimers’ fault,
he has no respect for going
by the book,
he told the first cop
he came down here to do God’s work —
hell, plain as day,
pretending to be homeless,
he worked for the Devil!

Another great chapter for
The Bubba Conch Justice Book!
A million ways to die,
in Key West.

A lot of really good poetry got read last night, the poets came up with lots of ways to die, in Key West, and elsewhere, not all entirely in the mortuary sense. Next month, I’m the featured poet. Sheri Lohr’s favorite madman. Terrifying.

I checked a Tom Corcoran mystery novel out of the library yesterday, and now am going to get started on it and see how many ways he dreamed up for people to die in R.I.P. West.

Sloan

Kurt later sent this:

It sounds to me, there are a lot of unanswered questions as to why the KWPD murdered Charles Eimers. Will any one of the cops involved come forward and tell the truth? I doubt anyone will. The ‘Blue wall’ is too strong. But will any one of the officers actually come forward and tell the truth? We can only hope some one on the KWPD has the balls to tell the truth. Every one of you cops haven’t the balls to tell the truth. Yes that includes you female cops too. (come on B.S. tell the truth) I doubt this will happen because “bubba justice” is the way of Key West. Are you afraid of losing your job? Are you afraid you will never get a job in law enforcement again? You don’t deserve a job in Law Enforcement. Maybe no other municipality will hire you , but you have the knowledge you told the truth. Isn’t knowing you are right, trump the assholes who are wrong?

I replied:

Can’t argue with that; nor, I don’t imagine, can Jesus, just in case some of them are Christians.

A Facebook friend wrote this morning:

John Q Smith
The Coroner will lie.

Sloan Bashinsky
Or, he won’t. Either way, he will be on the hot seat, if he stays down here.

John Q Smith A good house cleaning… long overdue.. I messaged Nancy Grace… I can only hope she takes heed. A great episode on National Television it would make and with such a lovely back drop.. with the Sandy Beaches , Palm trees… and Azure waters… and all…..

karma police

Moving laterally, lots of reader comments to the Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

tasered into brain damage and paralysis article in the most recent edition of Key West the Newspaper – here’s the blue paper’s teaser for the article; open it and you will find reader comments below it.

Who Is Responsible? Father Tased By Key West Police Suffered Catastrophic Brain Injury
BY ARNAUD AND NAJA GIRARD

Three years after being tased on Duval Street by a Key West Police officer, Matthew Shaun Murphy is still lying in a hospital bed. It was around 3:30 am on April 16th, 2011, Murphy and his fiancé Marie Annulysse were on their way back home from a night on the town when they heard a raspy woman’s voice yelling, “Hey nigger lover!” At this point you need to know that Matthew, 27 at the time, is a white man from West Virginia and Marie, then 23, is a black woman from Key West.

Sitting on the steps in front of the “Flirt” store in the 300 block were Beverly Anderson, Jason Moffet, and their pit bull. According to Annulysse, while she was pushing Murphy away, across Eaton Street, the insults and threats kept pouring out of Anderson’s mouth, “I’m gonna kick your nigger girlfriend’s ass!” and “that’s how you make monkey babies!”

The Blue Paper has now obtained the 911 audio files. You can hear Anderson spewing an endless sewer of racial slurs at Murphy and his girlfriend. According to Annulysse, Murphy went back and began arguing with Moffet and Anderson. Police Officer Mark Siracuse arrived on scene at precisely the moment when Murphy punched Moffet in the jaw. Siracuse, who had already pulled out his Taser, zapped Murphy on his right shoulder. [...full article]

——————————————-

You will not see two comments I submitted, which were not cleared from moderation. The first comment I did not save, said Arnaud had told me that Murphy’s fiance had asked him for two days to go with her to Duval Street, and he had told her that he didn’t want to go there, he felt he would be bothered by the police. When she asked him on the third day to go with her to Duval Street, he agreed to go.

Then, this reader comment was posted:

SISTER MAY 31, 2014 AT 12:26 PM

From the book End of All Evil….

Principle versus law

To understand how evil controls people, it is necessary to
understand the difference between principle and law.
A principle is a truth that creates freedom. A law is a lie that
creates slavery.
Principles describe reality. They are knowledge that help you
to make use of your world. Because of your intelligence, you
recognize principles in everything you do. Every true thing you
learn is a principle. The movements of your hands, which foods
taste good, mathematics and empathy for a friend are all based
on principles.
Laws are artificial ideas created by evil men to restrict the
thinking and understanding of people. Laws mask themselves in authority so that they can impersonate principles. When people
mistake law for principle their freedom is restricted. When
people mistake truth for the ideas of authority, their abilities and
their wisdom are diminished. This is the purpose of law.

I then submitted a comment, which I did save:

REPLY
SLOAN BASHINSKY YOUR COMMENT IS AWAITING MODERATION.
MAY 31, 2014 AT 1:52 PM

Principles vs. law reminds me of what I sometimes heard from my law professors, and read in famous cases, which was called “The spirit of the law.”

And, it reminds me of the laws Jesus spoke of, of the Spirit, vs. the laws of this world: Render unto God that which is God’s, and unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. He didn’t have much good to say about lawyers, likening them, and false profits, to ravenous wolves.

Once upon a time, the band of angels I sometimes write about (just joking, I write about them a lot) put me to writing a book about practicing law in a different way. I ended up calling it “The High Legal Road: A New Approach to Legal Problems”. It’s now long out of print.

The basic theme was, a legal problem (like any problem), is symbolic, representational, like a dream. If you approach a legal problem in the customary way, you miss the spiritual lesson and it comes back around again, as another legal problem, as some other trouble, and it keeps coming back around until you deal with it in a spiritual way, instead of in a secular way. If you approach the legal problem as mirroring back to you something in you that needs dealing with, and if you deal with it, then you learn the lesson and experience spiritual gain.

It took me nearly three years to write that book, mostly due to my slowness in getting on board with the new way. It reminded me of Jesus saying in the Gospels, first, take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

The book changed my perspective of everything that befalls people on this world; then came more experiences, which added onto that perspective, and then more experiences, added even more onto that perspective.

Naja and Arnaud have yet to report what happened, which set into motion what happened on Duval Street. Arnaud told me about it. I submitted a comment about it yesterday, which Naja deleted from moderation. I reported it twice at http://www.goodmorningkeywest. com, the last time on May 29 of this year.

In no way does it mitigate what later happened, but it is part and parcel of the whole.

———————————–

I told a younger woman friend in North Georgia, who is in shaman training, that angels of the Lord warned Murphy not to go to Duval Street, but Murphy finally decided to go anyway, and the racists going after Murphy’s girlfriend was what what the angels had warned Murphy about, and instead of heeding the warning and moving on, he got into it with the racists, punched the man, and the result was horrible for Murphy, his fiance, their child, the cop, the racists, and the city.

I know this “analysis” will not go  down well with most people I know down here, but the blue paper invited this analysis with the “Who is responsible?” lead into the title of its article: Who Is Responsible? Father Tased By Key West Police Suffered Catastrophic Brain Injury

My north Georgia amiga said this morning, every time I speak to something heavy duty down here, she gets clobbered up there; was I noticing that? I said, for quite a while I have been noticing that. She not only takes it in her body and spirit; her car breaks down and has to go to the shop just about everything I speak to something really rough down here. It get hit hard, too, in my body and my spirit, but not in my car, so much. Instead, of my car, I get his in my wallet.

Over breakfast with Tom Milone

tom-milone.jpg

at Harpoon Harry’s yesterday morning, I told him that I hoped I never was homeless again, I didn’t think I would be able to survive it another time. He said, he hoped I was situated so that was no going to happen. I replied, everything is temporary, everything. He said he had really enjoyed my reply to the woman who wrote to me, on behalf of her political campaign marketing company, offering to get me elected mayor this year. If you missed that howler, you should be able to get there by clicking on this link:

lipstick on a pig heaven – Key West

An article in today’s KONK Life www.konknet.com – also caught my eye, I added the pics:

sunset celebration 4sunset celebration 3

NEWS STORIES
CITY PUTS LEVEL FIELD CONTROLS ON SUNSET CELEBRATION
SHARE ON:
KONK LIFE EDITOR RM — SUN, JUN 1 2014
City puts level field controls on Sunset Celebration

BY PRU SOWERS

KONK LIFE STAFF WRITER

In an effort to stabilize the troubled Sunset Celebration in Mallory Square, City Manager Bob Vitas is shaking things up.

Vitas sent a letter to Key West Cultural Preservation Society Friday, May 23, outlining the steps the non-profit, which has managed the nightly event for the past 10 years, must take in order for its lease of the Mallory Square pier to be renewed. The CPS has been on a month-to-month lease extension since March, when the original lease expired.

Vitas told Konk Life this week he was worried about in-fighting among the CPS membership and between CPS board members themselves, as well as the growing financial insolvency of the organization. In addition, Vitas said, CPS’s obligations to the city to provide an annual audit and quarterly financial statements have not been met. Before signing a new lease with CPS, several standard operating guidelines need to be changed, according to the letter. If the CPS membership agrees to the changes, a formal lease will be drawn up by the city.

“We’re cleaning up what has been a difficult situation,” Vitas said, referring to a growing rift within CPS that he said has impacted the organization’s ability to effectively manage the event, one of the top tourist attractions in the city.

The two-page letter laid out several specific changes in the use agreement the city would like to see in order to renew the Mallory Square lease. One of the most contentious issues it addresses is how the performers, artisans and food vendors are selected to win coveted space on the pier, how much each group will pay for that privilege and which CPS members get to vote on the guidelines. In the past, according to Vitas and two CPS members who asked not to be identified, factions within the membership would encourage friends to join the non-profit organization right before an important guidelines vote was taken.

The city wants voting privileges on any Sunset Celebration guideline to be limited to active CPS members who are current artisans, performers, food vendors and special category participants on the pier.

“You can’t now go and rustle up 50 people who pay $20 to join CPS and skew the vote anymore,” Vitas said. “That way we avoid the internal politics.”

Another significant change in the proposed operational guidelines for Celebration is the fee members must pay the city to participate. Currently, artisans selling artwork and food vendors are required to pay $600 a month to CPS if they work every day. The fee lowers to $300 for working 15 days a month and $200 for 10 days a month.

The fee change requested by the city is a flat $300 a month or $25 a day for more sporadic participants. But the more important change is that the new fees will apply to all participants, not just artisans and food vendors. Currently, performers only pay a fee if they sell merchandise such as t-shirts as part of their act. This bi-level payment structure has been a source of conflict among CPS members.

“There will be no distinguishing between those who are performing artists and those selling goods or food,” Vitas said. “It was one of the sticking points. We’re trying to address all concerns on both side of the argument.”

Under the current lease structure, CPS pays the city $5,216 a month for rental of the pier. Celebration participants pay their fees to CPS. However, member payments have not been keeping up with CPS’s monthly financial obligations to the city.

“This [new guidelines] will help to generate revenue, as well. The revenue coming in from those who pay is not sufficient to cover CPS expenses. They’re in the red and their reserve fund is depleted,” Vitas said.

Wendell Winko, chair of a new CPS subcommittee charged with analyzing the city guideline recommendations, said the subcommittee was to meet and report back to the CPS board at its June 2 meeting. “We’re looking at all aspects” of the city’s letter, he said, but no changes will be made to CPS guidelines until they have been submitted to the organization’s entire membership. Whatever the membership as a whole decides, he said, is what the CPS will submit back to the city in the next round of negotiations.

Winko said he personally agreed with the recommendation that voting on Celebration guidelines be limited to active participants. However, he emphasized the subcommittee has not finalized its recommendations.

“There are a few items in there we feel are palatable and some that need to be discussed,” he said, declining to name specific items. “Right now it’s a work in progress.”

SLOAN BASHINSKY
Mon, Jun 2 2014 at 7:28 am — Reply

Interesting article. One of the members of the Sunset Celebration board members told me that the reason they are in financially trouble is defending many lawsuits filed against Sunset by a handful of disgruntled members, who also have opposed performing artists having to pay to perform at Sunset Celebration. This board member told me, for some time they have tried to get the city to agree that all Sunset members have to pay, including performers. This board member is a performer, and is in favor of performers having to pay each night they perform. His name is Mark Riggs. He is a world class street performer. He told me, everywhere else he performs, cities pay him a substantial fee, plus he gets to keep his tips. He said he makes lots more more money in other places, than in Key West, but he loves performing here: he tries to help the people who depend on Sunset Celebration be able to make a living, and he tries to keep a few people, who want to be in charge and get special treatment, from not being in charge. I told the City Commission during closing citizen comments maybe two months ago, that I have known Mark Rigss since early 2001, and if he comes before them and tells them something about Sunset Celebration, they can take it to the bank. The centerpiece of Mark’s act is

sunset celebration 2Mark RiggsMark Riggs 3Mark Riggs 2

he is up on a 10-foot unicycle, cutting jokes, juggling daggers and fire batons, then he tips off his hat and catches it on his foot, then he kicks his hat back up onto his head. From my observation over 14 years, he is the biggest crowd drawer at Sunset Celebration, he gives his audiences a terrific show, at no small physical risk to himself, and his audiences leave feeling appreciated and well-entertained. Other performers have the same effect on Sunset Celebration audiences, but I don’t think they draw as big of crowds as Mark. I told him, he might ought to consider just paying the $25 nightly fee and get out of the politics; he might be a lot happier, and $25 a night would mean nothing to him. He said probably so, but he feels obligated to do what he can to try to help everyone at Sunset, who is trying to make a living there. For some vendors and performers, he said, it is all they have, and some nights they make very little, or nothing. But for what they make at Sunset Celebration, some of them might, or will, be homeless.

P.S. Mark told me, and I have heard him tell the City Commission, that next to the ocean, Sunset Celebration is the biggest crowd draw in the city; it is known around the world, people come to Key West to see it. I agree, based on my observations since I arrived in Key West in late 2000. I told Mark, if the city takes over the operation of Sunset Celebration, it might turn out like what happened when the city opened KOTS, the city’s overnight homeless shelter. It was a disaster, and the city had to beg Father Stephen Braddock of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition to take over KOTS and straighten it out, which FKOC did. I told Mark, I became familiar with Sunset Celebration politics in 2001, and I learned then that a few people were causing most of the trouble for many people, and I figured those few people were still at it, and were hoping to end up in charge of Sunset Celebration, either directly, or behind the scenes, if the city ends up taking it over.

P.P.S.

Mark also told me that Sunset Celebration raises a good bit of money for worthy causes in Key West, which might (or will) be jeopardized, if the city takes over Sunset Celebration.

Flashback:

Passing through Tallahassee in late December 2000 on a Greyhound Bus, ultimately bound for Key West, I dozed off and the federal judge, for whom I had clerked after graduating from the University of Alabama School of Law, came in a dream and told me he was thinking about getting into politics, and I said I didn’t think that was a good idea, but knowing him, that’s what he was going to do. I awoke in shock. He had run the Democratic Party in Alabama, from behind the scenes. That was the political party in Alabama back then; nobody ran for state or national office without first getting his blessing. I knew I was going to get into politics, and I was not happy – I detested politics. Still do.

Sloan at HH

Sloan Bashinsky

keysmyhome@hotmail.com

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West

About Sloan

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