Brightline Letter Published
Yes, the Palm Beach Post did publish my letter, the one that appeared in the last blog posting, about the danger presented by the grade crossings on the tracks traveled by Brightline's high-speed trains. I had pointed out that they printed four earlier letters on this subject from me all of which fell on deaf ears. In fact, they went me one better and referenced a fifth letter that I had not mentioned. They captioned my latest letter, ‘Overpass ideas along FEC effectively derailed.’ Very clever! And correct, too. Too bad only about 88,000 readers read the Post on weekdays.
Why did I write that nothing will be done, despite my letters, those of others and even the Post’s caption agreeing with that? The reason is that a majority of Floridians do not recognize the danger right before their eyes. Proof of that is their repeated election to State offices of candidates pledged to positions that are not in that majority’s best interests!
Here's the sentence with which I closed my letter: 'The combination of Brightline, increased freight traffic, and the location of the FEC tracks add up to a disaster waiting to happen.”
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Political Stuff: DeSantis, News Sources, and a Question for You (and Ron)
I am not particularly worried about Ron DeSantis getting the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, or if he manages to do that, about his getting elected.
In my opinion, the American public, at least those that vote, are smarter than the residents of Florida, who are easily swayed by right-wing emotional appeals to their fears and their historic bigotry. Many retirees to Florida come from States where progressive ideas supported by a majority of voters prevailed and with which they personally opposed.
But still, it is important to actively oppose such foes of democracy who pose as its savior, as DeSantis does. To give an equal voice to proven liars is wrong! And that must be fought.
Sometimes, when I view right-wing news articles forwarded to me by those who have been suckered into believing them and passing them on, I note the sources being quoted. They are never credible media organizations or real newspapers. They are always sources with credentials acceptable only to the far right and those who know no better.
Here’s a question: Would you, dear reader, consider replacing your primary family physician with Florida’s Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo? I would wager that even Florida’s present Governor would not. And I would bet that his kids are vaccinated, something Lapado discourages.
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Another Day, Another Shooting
It’s clear that the killer of three in the Orlando area the other day had no particular agenda or motivation and was probably suffering from an undiagnosed mental disorder as most mass killers turn out to be. Nevertheless, three innocent people are dead, including a TV reporter who was reporting on the first murder from its scene, to which the killer returned, and was murdered.
The bottom line is clear. The availability of guns in this country must be curtailed. The gross misinterpretation of the Second Amendment by the Supreme Court in 2008 must be corrected. Florida’s pathetic Republican-controlled State legislature is actually working to increase their availability and to allow anyone to carry a gun, no questions asked. When in session, these puppets of the governor redefine ‘craziness’ on a daily basis.
Anyone who votes for any Republican legislator in Florida is an accessory to these latest murders, as well as to the Parkland and Pulse massacres. Unfortunately, most Floridian voters, for a variety of reasons, fail to see the connection between mass killings and legislation passed in Tallahassee.
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The Honda Classic, Our Local Major Golf Tournament
Watching the Saturday round of the Honda Classic, it became clear to me that the sport of golf compromised itself when it allowed the almost unlimited presence of temporary grandstands surrounding the greens on the course’s key holes. I’ve attended several Honda Classics over the years but never were there so many temporary grandstands all over the place.
In the past, I have enjoyed moving with the crowd from hole to hole to try to get as close as possible to the action, be it on a green, a fairway, or at the tee. On those occasions where I had a grandstand seat, all I watched were golfer after golfer attempting to solve whatever challenge the green in front of me presented, and nothing more. It’s not unlike a seat at a football game where all you could see would be the ‘red zone’ from the twenty-yard line to the goal line, and nothing more of the field.
On the final hole on Saturday, golfer Chris Kirk with a two-stroke lead over his nearest competitor on that day's round, drove over the green with the ball nestling behind a sandbag stored at the base of the temporary grandstand, not many feet from the green itself. Removing the bag and just leaving the ball where it lay did not give Kirk enough room to swing the club even an inch, because of its proximity to the grandstand. I suspect, were the grandstand not there, the ball would have traveled a few yards further away from the green.
The officials granted Kirk what in golf is known as ‘relief’ since his predicament was not part of the challenge a golfer faces in playing a golf course, but instead, was caused by the tournament’s placement of the grandstand, which by following Rule 16 of the Rules of the USGA, constituted an ‘abnormal course condition.’ He was given the choice of several adjacent locations from which to hit the ball and received no penalty. Two strokes later, he putted the ball into the hole, and his lead for the day was preserved.
On Sunday, Kirk became the final Honda Classic winner (next year, there will be a new sponsor) in a playoff against Eric Cole, both of whom were tied after eighteen holes of golf. The Rule 16 ‘relief’ he received on Saturday didn’t affect the tournament’s final results but what if that had occurred on Sunday, when it might have?
In any event, the people who run these lucrative golf tournaments should move their grandstands further away from the playing area where they clearly can constitute ‘abnormal course conditions.’
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