truth, or consequences – Key West and way beyond

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Sancho Panzadon-quixote.jpgDon Quixote

From a Spanish-speaking reader yesterday, re the Spanish woman’s words in the video of the apprehension by KWPD officers of soon to be dead Charles Eimers on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day:


It sounds like the woman in the video is saying: ” Oh God, look at all the police, look at all the patrol units; they won’t let him….”. It ends right there.

With thanks,

Here is  Key West the Newspaper – – link to the video:


Today’s  Citizen’s Voice –

“On Monday, the Key West Chamber of Commerce and Community Foundation of the Florida Keys is holding a public forum at the Westin. I would like to see them to address ‘real’ affordable housing for hospitality workers. It has reached a crisis point. I urge all concerned to show up and make our concerns known.”

How about affordable housing for anyone? According to the notice I received from the Chamber for this event, it is a lecture by an expert on non-profits raising money for their endeavors. Excerpted from what the Chamber emailed to many recipients, I imagine:

The Key West Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, has a history of partnering together for greater community impact. In 2005, the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Key West Chamber of Commerce formed a strategic alliance to spearhead the largest local community-driven disaster relief initiative to date. Over $1.3 million was raised and re-granted back to the community within 90 days of Hurricane Wilma, through the My Key West Emergency Relief Fund.

We would like to encourage others to form similar strategic alliances to benefit our community.

Facilitating the discussion will be Mark Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Central Florida Foundation. He has earned respect for his ability to build community partnerships that meet issues head-on and produce measureable results. He has worked with hundreds of individuals, families, and corporations to establish philanthropy plans, endowments, funding strategies, and planned gifts. More than 100 regional nonprofit boards have enlisted Mark’s assistance with strategic and scenario planning initiatives that included the use of endowed investments to sustain their organizations. He is a well-known national speaker on nonprofit sector management and strategy, philanthropy’s role in America, venture philanthropy strategies, and the role of the nonprofit sector in public policy. Mark frequently advises private and corporate foundation grant makers across the Central Florida region.

Perhaps there will be time for citizen input on affordable housing and other burning issues. I’d like to ask what the Chamber is going to do about getting truly affordable RENTAL housing for ALL residents in Key West, and what the Chamber is going to do about THE DIRTIEST WORST POSSIBLE CRUISE SHIPS calling on Key West going back to the first cruise ship calling on Key West decades ago?

Also In today’s Citizen Voice –

“As a 10-year homeowner on Petronia Street, I can tell you that the Goombay Festival has never run as well as it has in the past two years. The opposition group had a chance and blew it.”


Over breakfast at Harpoon Harry’s yesterday, I told Tom Milone


that Goombay was blown in a far more serious way: it strayed from its Bahamian/Caribbean African roots. Tom said Goombay lets in food vendors having nothing to do with Bahamian/Caribbean African roots. Food vendors from the mainland. Same food vendors, who come down from the mainland for other Key West street events. I agreed, said Goombay means nothing to them, other than a chance to make money selling their own food.

Tom said, white Bahamian-descent Conchs also claimed their right to celebrate Goombay. I said, white Conchs should have held their peace. Goombay is not about them. It’s about Bahamian/Caribbean African roots.

Tom was out of town last week and missed the Goombay war at the City Commission meeting, during which a citizen speaker for the side which did not get the bid said Goombay had drifted away from being an Bahamian/Caribbean African event, by playing Spanish music all one afternoon down at the end of Petronia Street, where a big bandstand historically is set up.

I told Tom, during my citizen comments, I asked the mayor and commissioners to mandate Goombay is strictly Bahamian/Caribbean African roots. During their ensuing discussion, the mayor and city commissioners, including Commissioner Lopez, who has African ancestry, in whose voting district is Bahama Village where Goombay is held is situated, did not address my request.

Tom said, money was involved. Someone wanted to make money off of Goombay.  I said money was what the war  was about. The churches and Mason lodges wanted to make money for their organizations and projects. The promoters who got the bid wanted to make money for themselves and for their projects. People who operate charitable organizations usually get paid to do it. Employees in charitable organizations usually get paid for their work. What money is left over goes to what the charities are trying to help.

Tom described a long-standing annual art festival held each year where he came from in western New York, which is all volunteer; nobody makes money except for artists who sell their work. The local government funds it. I said Key West should fund Goombay. The city subsidizes the power boat races. The city subsidizes Historic Tours of America bringing cruise ship passengers in from the outer mole. The city should subsidize Goombay, which, at the level of soul, is far more important to the city than power boat races and cruise ship passengers.

I said, at the level of soul,  the Goombay war last week was more important than the war over firing City Manager Bob Vitas and getting rid of Assistant City Manager David Fernandez, which war made next-day front page in the Citizen after each skirmish. I said, it took the Citizen six days to report the Goombay war. By then, I had reported it twice in posts at, stating my distress that the Citizen had yet to report it.

Tom and I agreed: the mayor and city commissioners lost either way they voted on Goombay; there was no safe way out for them. Only City Commissioner Tony Yaniz, who was out of town, dodged that bullet. Margaret Romero dodged it, by saying nothing about Goombay during citizen comments. I took it head on, by speaking to the real issue: Goombay is suppose to be a Bahamian/Caribbean African roots festival. Period, the end. And the City Commission should have made it so, period, the end, regardless of who was awarded the bid. The City Commission did not do that. Why?

Tom reminisced back to when he was passionate to try to make a difference in Key West, but after two unsuccessful runs for the city commission seat held by Mark Rossi, and getting less than 30 percent of the vote in the second race, Tom said he had lost his zeal. He said he still remains interested, he still comes to city government meetings, and sometimes he speaks during citizen comments. (He also is on the Citizen Police Review Board.) But he doesn’t see real change happening.

Tom said a few citizens, himself, Christine Russell, Margaret Romero and me, show up regularly at city government meetings and speak to issues, and the mayor and city commissioners look like they are paying attention to us, but the decisions are made privately over meals in various local restaurants, involving local people who never show up and speak at city commission meetings. I agreed, said, if I was attached to causing change in Key West, I would go insane. I have to be able to play with it; there has to be fun in it, even though nothing changes.

I keep finding myself wondering where were my opponents in the mayor’s race, incumbent Craig Cates and Margaret Romero,

Mayor CatesMargaret Romero

back when I was attending city commission meetings and speaking to various issues during citizen comments? Back before I ever heard of Margaret Romero or Craig Cates. Back in 2002, and later.

The first I ever heard of Craig was when he announced in late 2008 that he was going to run for mayor in 2009. At least Margaret put in time attending city government meetings before she ran for mayor the first time, 3 years ago. As far as I know, Craig never attended a city government meeting before he decided to run for mayor. Now he is running for his 4th term, the last term, he says. He said that when he ran in 2009.

Well, I can’t complain. After each of the 8 times I ran for public office in the Keys, 3 times for KW mayor, 3 times for county commission, 1 time for school board, I said that was my last race. I hoped it was. The angels had other plans. As usual.

ship of fools

I reported in yesterday’s ship of fools, so many opportunities in Key West and beyond post at that, among other fun things, angels also arranged for me to be invited into the Assemblies of God discussion group at Linkedin. Below is one of the discussions I entered. If it doesn’t interest you, skip down to my comments about why I included that discussion today, and the tie back in to the Goombay war at the most recent city commission meeting.

AGREE or DISAGREE? “If this is going to be a Christian nation ….. admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

Owner – Internet Ministry Income & Christian Business Entrprenuership Specialist at IFG GroupTop Contributor

AGREE or DISAGREE?  “If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy…

  • Buford Dowell

    Buford Dowell








    *GO FOR GOD! -B.D.

    ” AMERICA………………..IT’S TIME TO PRAY! ”

  • Ernst van Olffen

    Ernst van Olffen

    Retired consultant building installations at private consulting

    What is a Christian country” ??? Where is a “Christian country??? How many Christians dwell in a Christian country??? 1% or 99%??? I’m happy, discovering 1 Christian, following Jesus Christ 100%!! The other Christians are paper-Christians, that’s the problem…… Christian countries are a farce and don’t exist anymore, because a Chrsitian country begins with its president!!

     Randy P.Bishop James B. and 1 other like this

  • Follower of Jesus the Messiah

    Looks like somebody from the White House is representing’ in this group. As Uncle Si would say, “But hey!”

    July 4th What? The most wicked and arrogant nation on earth has outlawed the Bible and prayer in it’s public schools, and now attacks the Covenant word and people of the Lord in it’s military branches. In it’s pride and haughtiness, this nation now leads a war against God’s holy Covenant of Marriage that has been exclusive to a male and female union since inception and for millennia. And in an unconscionable partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood’s puppet terror group, the Palestinian Hamas, this same nation has moved on the world stage to divide God’s Covenant land of Israel.

    HAPPY 4th!l

  • Bishop James Brown

    Bishop James

    Bishop James Brown

    Owner – Internet Ministry Income & Christian Business Entrprenuership Specialist at IFG Group

    Top Contributor

    Hi Buford,

    Did you watch the vid or read his whole comment?

    If so, how does what you said relate?

    I actually agree with some of what you said …

    However, the quote was really not talking about the corporate country… Rather the country of individuals who act like Jesus

    Just sayin ….

    In Him,
    JMb <><

  • Bishop James Brown

    Bishop James Brown

    Owner – Internet Ministry Income & Christian Business Entrprenuership Specialist at IFG Group

    Top Contributor

    Hi Ernst

    I think you are on point!

    Say THAT!

    We TALK to much and LIVE AND ACT to little

    In Him

  • Michael Bergquist

    Michael Bergquist

    Owner at M&M Enterprises

    You all make good points but none of you addressed the question about feeding the poor. This is what mainstream christianity has become in this country. Ignore the WILL of GOD (feeding the poor) while talking about the will of James this shows you that it has come to the individual person and body to feed those you can and God will provide for the rest because everyone is making excuses for why they can’t or wont or even why they dont have to feed the poor. Those will be the ones Jesus spits out of His mouth.
    God has allready spoken His command for us to feed the poor so the only prayer is for the provision for the poor but most christians are following their pastors prayer for their own personal provision instead of the poors Time to wake up and reread the book people. Arent todays pastors becoming more and more like the pharisee’s of old? I think so. They are all after not only the allmighty dollar but total and complete control. ie… mega churchs,satelite locations,multiple church churhces. We have become way to busy building our own kingdoms instead of His kingdom. 🙁

  • Bishop James Brown

    Bishop James

    Bishop James Brown

    Owner – Internet Ministry Income & Christian Business Entrprenuership Specialist at IFG Group

    Top Contributor

    Hi Michael,

    Thats what I see as well

    In Him,
    JMb <><

  • Ernst van Olffen

    Ernst van Olffen

    Retired consultant building installations at private consulting

    “Feeding the poor” is not a privlege for only Christians! Many unbelievers are doing the same thing!! Its true that Christians ought to feed the poor!! The question was about “Christian Nations”…..

  • Bishop James Brown

    Bishop James Brown

    Owner – Internet Ministry Income & Christian Business Entrprenuership Specialist at IFG Group

    Top Contributor

    Hi Ernest,

    No, actually the fhe full quote in the link above DOES DEAL with the need to help the poor

    In Him,
    JMb <><

  • Randy Poole

    Randy Poole

    Servant – Evangelist-Head Coach Project 100 Million- Moderator- Teacher- Public Figure.

    “A Christian Nation” Let me think about this one for a few minutes This land belonged to the Natives of this land the American Indian, The Natives did not practice Christianity and many to this date do not. One if not several of the basic 10 commandments was broken by the European Missionary’s when they decided to take the land and force Christianity on the natives. Now, the idea of European’s “stealing” land isn’t that it was settled by white people, because given the chance (and this has been stated by many prominent Native people in the past) Natives would have been fine with living side by side with European people, but the whites just kept wanting more, and then wanted to convert these people to Christianity. No, the thievery comes from promises made by the American government to Native peoples, in the form of treaties and agreements, to leave certain places alone so Natives could live unmolested, and then turning around and forcibly moving these peoples away from their homes, and onto parcels of land that were too poor for white people.

    These peoples had been living here since the beginning of man, and then just because European’s were Christian, they thought they were entitled to these people’s homes. Mainstream media tells us that Native American people were ruthless, merciless savages. Would you not do anything and everything you could to ensure the safety of your women, children and old ones? Would you not kill a man for killing your wife or your child, or your brother? These people were not “Indians”, they were and are HUMAN BEINGS fighting for their families, cultures, religions, and what this country is supposed to be about, FREEDOM. When looking at History I can not truly say YES this is a Christian Nation, This is just my opinion.

  • Ernst van Olffen

    Ernst van Olffen

    Retired consultant building installations at private consulting

    I live(d) in a country with a good social system!! Most West-European countries have good social systems. These social systems are helping the poor but the system has nothing to do with Christian faith!!

  • Myrtle Foster

    Certified Professional Business Coach and Seminar/Workshop Facilitator

    The Scripture shows clearly that Jesus commanded us to love and care for the poor and needy, therefore we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy…
    15 John 15:21-17, shows, When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
    God bless you all!!!

  • Sloan Bashinsky

    Sloan Bashinsky

    janitor at God, Inc.

    The Declaration of Independence contains 5, as I recall, references to a Deity by different names, which do not seem Biblical to me. That author of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, not only was not Christian, he did not like Christianity and successfully led the charge in Virginia to prevent Christians from including in that state’s Constitution that it was a Christian state. I imagine Native Americans didn’t end up feeling like they had been been done to by American settlers and US Government soldiers the way those settlers and soldiers wanted done to them. I don’t imagine American slaves felt any different from Native Americans. It’s one thing to claim to be a Christian nation, or to claim to be a Christian, it’s something else altogether to live as Jesus lived and told his disciples and other people to live. Do unto others didn’t pass muster in Colonial times and later for whites’ treatment of Native Americans and African slaves.

  • Raymond P. Rose

    Raymond P. Rose

    rayprose @ gmail – Pres. NuEnvelope/Broker Realty Assoc./Teacher LCU

    We help our poor more than any single nation on earth. Our poor have it better here than most third world countries wealthy. They have cell phones, AC, Cars to drive, food stamps, health care and I could go on and on. The difficulty is that we spend Billions and Billions overseas helping other peoples nations feed their poor. If we were to use those funds to solve our domestic problems we would have no financial problems and could help our needy better.

  • Don Schaefer

    Don Schaefer

    Principal E/M Designer at Suncoast Drafting & Design

    You know this Nation will be a Christian Nation when and if the Christians who live here decide to start living like Christians and as a result of that God’s love flows through them to influence the remainder of the population. Then the call of the Holy Spirit will draw in those who are not Christ followers. As a nation we are and must remain a “religiously free” country. That is the main tenet that this nation was originally founded upon. So if you want this nation to be a Christian Nation, then we all need to “act like Christ” so that his love will infect the others that reside here. It cannot be forced upon them, they much choose, then and only then will this truly be a Christian nation. As is stands now our judicial system and many of our laws are based on Judeo-Christian beliefs but that is far different from being a Christian Nation. just my $0.02.

  • Sloan Bashinsky

    Sloan Bashinsky

    janitor at God, Inc.

    I understand close to 1/2 USA’s annual spending is on weapons, soldiers, retired soldiers and wars. Most Americans supported the US invasion of Iraq, and then of Afghanistan. Most American Christians I knew supported those wars. Three nights before 9/11, in my sleep, a voice I knew well by then asked me, “Will you make a prayer for a Divine Intervention for all of humanity?” I awoke, startled. Then, I made the prayer, figuring something must be coming down. I saw on 9/11 what it was. The lady I then was with and I both were in a state of grace, it had to have been angel-induced. Our concern was that America should not retaliate, but should make a different response. I knew it was bait, a trap. As time and events proved, that’s what it was. I got into a discussion online in a Christian Science forum. I kept saying USA should not invade Iraq. It wasn’t the Jesus response. He had said resist not one who does evil, turn the other cheek, do good and pray for those who persecute you. Some other people in the group thanked me, others attacked me; including others who were Christians. I was told in my sleep before Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination in 2008, that he had the potential to be the Anti-Christ. He proved it when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, while still waging G.W. Bush’s two evil, ruinous wars, which bankrupted USA; then Obama bankrupted USA again. Agree, every American would do well to get down on his/her knees and beg God to help America, and them. How that help might come, if it comes, might not be what anyone expects it to look like, though.

  • Tony Llewellyn


    Tony Llewellyn

    Senior Pastor at Ararat Church of Christ

    I would have to repeat someone’s earlier question: what is a Christian country? Are talking about America? I would suggest that the only people who see America as a Christian country are Americans. I doubt if many outside America see it that way.

    However, if there is any such thing as a Christian country, I would think that mass repentance would be a good place to start, followed by a widespread outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

I submitted this comment before dawn’s early light today:

Just my personal opinion … What American Christians, and all Christians, need to be doing is living as Jesus lived and taught in the Gospels that people should live. This ongoing familiar discussion I often see online about America being a Christian nation looks like a diversion to me; a diversion away from actually living the Christ way, as Jesus modeled and taught in the Gospels. I realize I’m a heretic in many Christian circles for saying, to the extent Christians live Jesus’ model and sayings in the Gospels, they demonstrate their belief in him and the degree to which they are saved by him. I simply do not buy the standard salvation formula, which denies how Christians live has anything to do with salvation. By grace, works cannot save you, I hear over and over. Tell that to Jesus, who harped and harped and harped on works in the Gospels. Tell that to Jesus’ brother James, who said, ask him not about his faith, but look to his works, and in his works his faith is seen. This view was given to me by Jesus, Archangel Michael and Melchizedek. I did not invent that view myself. I was raised on the traditional salvation formula. Yet, as I matured, I wondered how could Christians claim salvation through Jesus, yet do things which ravaged his teachings and model? That just didn’t work for me. Perhaps it works for Jesus; I never was schooled about that. However, I was told many times, that Jesus looks at a person totally; at how that person lives, at how that person thinks, at how that person speaks. That is how Jesus sizes up a person. Not at what the person personally professes about him/herself. Action speaks louder than words, is how it came across to me. I was taught to worry about my own standing with God, and to do my best to develop toward God, which has not been easy. The training and trials are ongoing. The instruction and corrections are ongoing. America no more looks to me like one nation, under God, than does Saudi Arabia. In spirit, God is over all nations on this world. The way nations behave is an entirely different matter. I imagine for America to become a Christian nation, it would have to start behaving as Jesus behaved and taught in the Gospels. Me, I have all I can say grace over being a Jesus nation in myself.

So, what could all of that have to do with my running for mayor of Key West?

question marks

Well, isn’t a candidate for office’s spiritual perspective relevant to his qualifications and to the voters? Oh, my pardon. A candidate’s spiritual perspective is not relevant because we have separation of church and state in America.

Well, God is God, and church is church, and I seriously doubt the Founding Fathers intended to separate God from state. Just church, which historically was known in Europe to commit all sorts of atrocities in God and Jesus’ name, which had a great deal do with many early British and Eurppean settlers fleeing to America.

We did not have separation of church and state during the Goombay war at the most recent city commission meeting. From the side that would lose the bid for Goombay, one church pastor and member after another, and one Mason lodge member after another, got up during citizen comments and held forth on their church and lodge’s longstanding good doings in Key West, avoiding entirely the fact that back when they had Goombay, it nearly folded, and they did not paid all the bills. So, the other side ended up being awarded Goombay two years ago, last year, and again this year.

It was a power struggle between the churches and lodges, on one side, and between the side which had paid the bills on the other side. Lost in the shuffle was the reason for Goombay in the first place. A Bahamian/Caribbean African festival/celebration. Not Christian church or Mason lodge celebration. Not a white Bahamian Conch celebration. Not a mainland food vendors’ economic opportunity. But an African roots celebration, with economic opportunity for people sharing that passion.

What I witnessed during that civil war in Old City Hall made me sick to my stomach. It made the city commissioners and mayor sick to their stomachs. It was a travesty. Hopefully, Goombay will move forward into what it is supposed to be.

I told Tom Milone yesterday that I’m pissing off as many people as possible; a great campaign strategy.

Sloan blue

Sloan Bashinsky

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West, aka “southernmost the nut house”

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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