A growing collection of facts, thoughts and events from a 76-year-old man and his family, friends, and the characters that he has met along the way . . .

These “Happy Gators” were filmed by me on The Anhinga Trail in The Everglades National Park

In November of 2013, I posted this information under the heading, “WHY ARE WE GIVING PALESTINE ANOTHER USD$75MM?”

WHY ARE WE GIVING PALESTINE ANOTHER USD$75MM WHEN OUR COUNTRY IS BORDERING ON BANKRUPTCY AND, ACCORDING TO THE 2012 U.S. CENSUS, 15% OF OUR OWN POPULATION (46.5 MILLION PEOPLE) ARE LIVING IN POVERTY (see below).

Today, March 3,2014, Secretary of State, John Kerry, made the following promised in Kiev:  In a demonstration of support for Ukraine’s fledgling government and a new swipe at Russia, Secretary of State John Kerry visited Kiev on Tuesday with an offer of $1 billion in an American loan guarantee and pledges of technical assistance.

“The centerpiece of the American aid package is the $1 billion loan guarantee, which is intended to cushion Ukrainian households as the new government undertakes the wrenching economic changes demanded by the International Monetary Fund and contends with the reduction of energy subsidies from Russia, which has challenged the new government’s legitimacy and occupied the Crimean Peninsula.”  

(Quoted from:  https://www.google.com/search?q=Secretary+of+State+John+Kerry+in+Ukraine&rlz=1C1CHMO_enUS558US558&oq=secretary&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j69i59j0l4.4249j0j8&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8

WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?  Don’t we need to cushion our own households and resolve our own wrenching economic conditions, and, in the case of the money going to Palestine, don’t  we need to improve our own roads, schools and other infrastructure???

Is this guy a loose cannon, or what?

(AND 11.3 MILLION OF OUR PEOPLE WERE STILL UNEMPLOYED AS OF SEPTEMBER, 2013 ACCORDING TO THE U S DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf).

(http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/)?

Well, According to the Associated Press, Secretary of State, John Kerry announced Wednesday that the United States will provide an additional $75 million in aid to create Palestinian jobs and help them improve roads, schools and other infrastructure. However, U.S. officials say the aid is designed to boost Palestinian public support for faltering peace talks with Israel by showing them tangible benefits from the process
(http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/06/21332498-grappling-with-troubled-peace-process-kerry-urges-israeli-settlement-limits).

With this additional USD$75MM, OUR government will now be giving a total of $100,000,000.00 to Palestine. WHILE I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST THE PALESTINIANS THIS IS SAD NEWS AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED; WE NEED THAT MONEY TO HELP OUR OWN PEOPLE!!!

WHY ARE WE GIVING PALESTINE ANOTHER USD$75MM WHEN OUR COUNTRY IS BORDERING ON BANKRUPTCY AND, ACCORDING TO THE 2012 U.S. CENSUS, 15% OF OUR OWN POPULATION (46.5 MILLION PEOPLE) ARE LIVING IN POVERTY

(AND 11.3 MILLION OF OUR PEOPLE WERE STILL UNEMPLOYED AS OF SEPTEMBER, 2013 ACCORDING TO THE U S DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf).

(http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/)?

Well, According to the Associated Press, Secretary of State, John Kerry announced Wednesday that the United States will provide an additional $75 million in aid to create Palestinian jobs and help them improve roads, schools and other infrastructure. However, U.S. officials say the aid is designed to boost Palestinian public support for faltering peace talks with Israel by showing them tangible benefits from the process
(http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/06/21332498-grappling-with-troubled-peace-process-kerry-urges-israeli-settlement-limits).

With this additional USD$75MM, OUR government will now be giving a total of $100,000,000.00 to Palestine. WHILE I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST THE PALESTINIANS THIS IS SAD NEWS AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED; WE NEED THAT MONEY TO HELP OUR OWN PEOPLE!!!

Read the rest of this entry »

Government+Closed

The Speaker of the House is paid $223,500.00 annually, and the House Majority and Minority Leaders and the President Pro Tempore are each paid $193,400 yearly; the rest of the gang, poor souls, only receive $174,00.00.

Did you know that they receive mileage from their home to Washington, DC?  The minimum amount paid for this benefit is $6,200.00!  (Is that for every time they travel to DC? I’m not sure, but I bet they do)!

THAT IS WHAT THOSE S.*.*.’s WHO JUST SHUT DOWN OUR GOVERNMENT AND PUT THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE OUT OF WORK EARNS, AND THIS INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND IN http://www.nolabels.org/blog/congressional-compensation-how-much-do-members-congress-get-paid AND IT IS VERIFIED IN JANUARY, 2013, BY: http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?pid=’0E%2C*PL%5B%3D%23P%20%20%0A

AND I JUST HEARD ON THE NEWS A FEW MINUTES AGO THAT ALTHOUGH SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS WILL STILL BE SENT OUT, THEY MAY BE SENT OUT TWO WEEKS LATE IN NOVEMBER!

It is my personal opinion that the pay and benefits to all of those representatives that voted to shut down our government be suspended immediately and until our government is restarted – and I hope that all of you who read this feel the same way!!!

(Photo from:  http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/09/government-shutdown-could-come-in-only-five-days-2775592.html)

ARE FOODS THAT CONTAIN GMOs SAFE TO EAT?

While listening to NBC News, Channel 8, in Tampa Bay this afternoon a discussion about whether or not foods containing GMOs are safe to eat caught my attention.   The commentator mentioned the five worst foods containing GMOs just before signing off, but moments later I could only recall 4 of them:  Corn, Soybeans, Canola Oil, and Sugar.  This caused me to go online to see if I could identify the fifth worst food.  That’s when I discovered how much confusion really exists today on this subject.  It does appear that most opponents of GMO foods would also include Papayas, dairy products, tomatoes, and zucchini and yellow squash in the worst GMO foods list, but the list can go on and on.

Being 76 years old I don’t think I need to worry about dying because I ate foods containing genetically modified organisms, however, I really do not like the idea of eating something that a worm will not eat!  When I was just a little kid growing up on a farm in English Creek, New Jersey, we raised and sold corn.   In those days, the corn was so sweet Corn Earworms attacked the ears of corn and one could almost always find one or more gnawing away at the small kernels just under the silk at the top of the vegetable when it was husked.  Nobody was upset by this; one just hacked off the top of the ear of corn, or cut out the part that was ruined by the worm.  This was a common practice in those days.  NOW that corn is being treated with GMOs even the worms won’t eat it!

One of the biggest issues concerning foods containing GMOs appears to be whether or not mandatory labeling should be required.  I found an excellent article regarding this subject, posted on October 17, 2012, in the Huffington Post. It is well worth reading:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-j-cederquist-md/prop-37-california_b_1971259.html.  While it seems that the issue of labeling may also go on and on, I think I have a simple solution to this problem.  Rather than have growers and packers explain on a label what GMOs are contained in their product, why not simply label the food that does not contain genetically modified organisms?  Perhaps something like this:

GMO FREE LABEL 001

Please remember, we are not only dealing with foods like those listed above when it comes to GMOs.  We also have FRANKENFISH, and who knows what else!  This information comes from an article posted in MSN News in May, 2013:

“Just in time for salmon season, the Food and Drug Administration is on the verge of approving genetically modified salmon, dubbed “frankenfish” by some and considered a wunderfish by others.

The salmon would be the first-ever transgenic animal (one that carries a foreign gene that has been inserted into its DNA) to be available to both U.S. and world consumers. It looks like any other salmon, but there is a definite twist.

Exacerbating criticism, current laws and initial reports suggest the fish would not be required to be labeled, a point the FDA has not yet determined. “A decision has not yet been made regarding labeling for AquAdvantage Salmon,” an FDA spokeswoman told MSN News last week.”

“. . . Detractors claim that the FDA, scientific and agency reviews fall short, and that there are several lingering health and environmental issues associated with the genetically modified (or GM) salmon. Environmentalists are concerned that AquAdvantage fish will escape and reproduce, threatening the wild population. Food safety and health activist groups feel that current testing can’t rule out unknown risks to human health. The Organic Consumers Union claims that AquAdvantage contains elevated levels of the growth hormone IGF-1, which is linked to prostate, breast and colon cancers.”

http://news.msn.com/science-technology/gmo-salmon-debate-frankenfish-or-wunderfish?stay=1

WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR DINNER LAST NIGHT?

Southern Fried Mullet

Black Mullet April 21 2013 002

It has been said that one cannot catch mullet on a hook, and that one cannot catch mullet on fish bait.  I grew up knowing that one could catch mullet, in Florida’s fresh water canals, on a small hook baited with little balls of bread dough.  That was taught to me by a Seminole Indian lady (she was in fact, my stepfather’s mother).  However, until last year I truly believed that one could not catch mullet on a hook baited with anything other than bread; that is, until I caught a 3 lb Black Mullet on a small hook baited with dead shrimp last year in the salt water canal behind my home.

Mullet graze along the bottom of the bays and canals and they primarily eat weeds, plants, and algae.  However, after considerable research, I determined that mullet – especially large ones – will eat almost anything that gets in the way of their mouth, including bits of shrimp and guppies  (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_do_mullets_eat).  I know this because I caught another one today on a tiny hook baited with a piece of shrimp; a 3.14 pound Black Mullet, according to Roland Martin’s length and girth formula.  This one was 18.5″ long and had a girth of 11″ (a fat and strong one that put up a really good fight on the micro spinning tackle that I use to catch live bait)!

Black Mullet April 21 2013 003

Mullet are not considered to be good food fare according to most people, and I tend to agree after having cooked the first one using a recipe for “Blackened Drunken Mullet.” After tasting that dish I have determined that one should probably be slightly inebriated before attempting to eat “Blackened Mullet.”  But, since the fish I caught today produced two very nice little fillets, I am going to try once again to dine on mullet.   This time I am going to use a recipe for Southern Fried Mullet that I took from the website of the Boggy Bay Mullet Festival which is held annually in Niceville, Florida (how could I go wrong)?

The Magnificent Sooty Sea Hare

The Magnificent Sooty Sea Hare

This is just a short post to display an even shorter video of a sea creature that I discovered in the canal behind my humble abode about a month ago.  On a cold winters night in March my neighbors and I spotted several strange apparitions swmming in a circle over another neighbors underwater  light just across the canal. It sort of looked like they were “flapping their wings” as they swam(?) round and round, and we had quite a dispute as to what we thought we were looking at.  I did take a few photographs of what we were watching, but they were too far away and the light was too poor for me to get a good picture.  Although no one agreed with me, I thought they were Sea Hares because I had once seen one swimming just off Miami Beach a great many years ago – and I proved to right!  A  few days ago one swam right up to my dock in broad daylight, but I did not have my camera handy.

Yesterday, as my daughter Terri, and my granddaughters, Andrea & Ellie, were enjoying lunch at my home one of the girls discovered “something strange” swimming on the surface of the water several yards away.  IT WAS ANOTHER SEA HARE, and we all got some great pictures as it swam around our viewing area.  I even managed to get a few short film clips of this magnificent sea creature:

<>

One of my granddaughters netted the Sea Hare and it was quickly deposited in a bucket of sea water.  In defense the creature immediately ejected a considerable amount of pinkish-purple fluid or ink.  After a short examination, the Sooty Sea Hare was returned to the canal and a few minutes  later it surfaced; then began feeding on algae along the seawall.

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