Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Who's Lying Now?

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”
                       -Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part III

The Captain has been trying to extract myself from the various political conversations littering the American landscape these days. (See previous post here.)

Last week I may have lost a long-time friend over this election. I have always known and respected her conservative positions on politics and religion, and it’s always been okay. But at this point I don’t see how anyone could possibly support this year’s Republican candidate for President. She doesn't see how I could possibly support the Democratic candidate.

Call the Captain a “Yellow-Dog Democrat” if you want. In previous elections I have considered candidates on both sides of the political spectrum. Had Romney, Ryan, or even McCain (without Palin) been the candidate this year, I could see myself voting their way. But this year I would truly choose a yellow dog over Donald Trump (OMFG!)!

He’s getting absolutely ridiculous.

And I’m pretty sure my blood pressure creeps up a little bit each day when I think about it.

So at the advice of a fellow pirate captain, I started looking for nicer things going on in the world.

“Oh, look! It’s Hemingway Days in Key West!”

Every morning on Facebook I am posting a cheerful, happy song (stolen from YouTube).

I am trying to share positive, uplifting (and non-political) memes.

I’m trying.


And if I don’t release it here on the Banana Winds, like Michael Corleone in "The Godfather III", either my head or my heart will soon explode!

Over the weekend, WikiLeaks released thousands of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee demonstrating that the DNC was working to promote former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Senator Bernie Sanders as the Democratic candidate for President.

This comes on the heels of another email “scandal” concerning Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. Republican accusations insisted Clinton did not turn over some 30,000 emails, which she claims have nothing to do with the job she was doing.

Captain’s Note: In fairness to Clinton, Carl Rove and the Bush administration admitted to deleting approximately 20 million emails in the midst of an investigation of the Bush administration. There was not a single congressional inquiry and very little was said in “the liberal media” about it.

Nonetheless, on Monday night at the Democratic National Convention, an angry Sanders made a courageous and compelling speech in support of Clinton as the Democratic nominee, and encouraged his faithful supporters to do likewise.

Government officials suspect Russian hackers assisted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in finding and releasing the DNC emails. Republican die-hards insist the Dems are just trying to deflect attention away from the content of the emails.

Anyone else find it odd that WikiLeaks believes there should be no secrets in the world – their rationale for releasing the documents as they have – but yet they refuse to release the identity of any of their contributors / hackers?

Moving on…

So today, in an interview, the Republican’s clown prince presidential candidate, Donald Trump (OMFG!), stated, “…Russia, if you are listening I hope you will be able to find the 30,000 [Clinton] emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called his comments “beyond the pale… asking Russia to engage in American politics.”

Phillip Reiner, former official with the National Security Council during the Obama administration, called Trump (OMFG!) a “scumbag animal”. “Hacking emails is a criminal activity. And he’s asking a foreign government – a murderous, repressive regime – to attack not just one of our citizens but the Democratic presidential candidate? Of course it’s a national security threat.”

And so you know the Captain is not simply launching a partisan attack, hear from William Inboden, also of the NSC but during the H.W. Bush administration: “[this is] tantamount to treason… It’s an assault on the Constitution.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) gave yet another milquetoast rebuke to his party’s candidate, but still supports him.

Of course, Trump’s (OMFG!) enablers insist their candidate was joking.

That’s about as funny as when President Ronald Reagan was testing a microphone and quipped, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

So Trump (OMFG!) tried to cover his ass soften the tone with a follow-up tweet: “If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI.”

Yeah, that’s what he meant…

The “Law & Order Candidate”… my ass!

But Trump (OMFG!) just cannot shut up. In another interview this afternoon, he stated, “I never met Putin. I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me, He said I’m a genius. I said ‘Thank you very much’ to the newspaper, and that was the end of it. I never met Putin.”

Captain's Note: To set the record straight, Putin called
Trump (OMFG!) "flamboyant", not "a genius".
And yet, during a Republican Primary Debate just last November, Trump (OMFG!) boasted, “I got to know [Putin] very well because we were both on ’60 Minutes’, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night.”

Of course, when called on that comment three days after the debate, Trump (OMFG!) back-tracked in a tweet: “I only said I was on @60Minutes four weeks ago with Putin – Never said I was in the Green Room. Separate pieces – great ratings!”

During the primaries Trump (OMFG!) successfully portrayed Ted Cruz as a liar. “Lying Ted Cruz” became a rallying cry against his primary opponent.

Then Trump (OMFG!) moved on to label Clinton a liar. “Lying Hillary”, he repeatedly says.

But who is the real liar here? Does Trump (OMFG!) know Putin or not? He says he doesn’t know him or anything about him. Yet after all the praise he has lavished upon the Russian leader recently:

“When people call you ‘brilliant’ it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia. He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader. You know, unlike we have in this country.”

(Yes, I know it's photoshopped... Or is it...?)
Who’s lying now?

“Lying Donald Trump”, that’s who!


Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Following the first night of the Republican National Convention, the Captain is having a very difficult time not reverting to political rants.

Ahhh! That's better!
Oh, those rants will inevitably come as we get closer to the actual election, but as I noted in my last post, that's not what this blog is supposed to be about.

So I'll not mention the plagarized speech made by Trump's (OMFG!) wife, or the divided convention, or the irony of Trump (OMFG!) walking on stage to a Freddie Mercury anthem!

Instead, I am adding a new blogger to the crew, and he will do most of that for me!

You can find his insightful - and often humorous - rants here.

You will find a link to his blog listed under "Flotsam". (See lists of favorite sites to the right.)

I especially enjoyed this post:

And this one:


Peace out!

Friday, July 15, 2016


Nibblin' on sponge cake, watchin' the sun bake
   all of those tourists covered in oil;
Strummin' my six-string on my front porch swing,
   smell those shrimp, hey, they're beginnin' to boil.

Just one of several Jimmy Buffett songs the Captain has tried to model my life after.

A casual, laid-back lifestyle. 

Good eats. 


Even this blog is named for a Jimmy Buffett song. 

Captain's Note: The Captain apologizes to you, dear readers, that the current political climate has forced me to veer from my original intentions for a season. We hope to get back on track shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Jimmy Buffett was born in Mobile, Alabama. To the chagrin of his father, he wanted to play music. But the music business was difficult to break into. Then, in 1973, Jim Croce died. According to Jimmy, that created an opening at ABC Dunhill for another long-haired, pot-smokin’, guitar player on its label.

Four years and seven albums later, Jimmy’s “Margaritaville” hit #8 on Billboard’s Top 100 chart, later rising to #1 on the Easy Listening chart.

Jimmy turns 70 this year and despite more than 30 albums to his name now, he hasn’t had a solo hit like “Margaritaville”.

Captain’s Note: After a 30-year drought, Jimmy Buffett rocketed to the top of the Country Music charts with Alan Jackson in the 2003 hit “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere”. Ironically, Moose Brown, who wrote the song, first offered it to singer Kenny Chesney – who, in the Captain’s opinion, has been trying to position himself to be heir to Jimmy Buffett’s fan base for a long time.

Wastin' away again in Margaritaville,
   searching for my lost shaker of salt;
some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
   but I know it's nobody's fault.

But Jimmy hasn’t simply been “wastin’ away”. He still tours to sold out stadiums and has amassed an amazing and faithful following of Parrotheads.

Did I say amazing...?
I don't know the reason I stayed here all season,
   nothin' to show but this brand new tattoo;
but it's a real beauty, a Mexican cutie -
   how it got here I haven't a clue!

More than just a tattoo, Jimmy has a lot to show for his career. He earns around $100 million per year, with an estimated net worth of $400 million, and apparently has no intention to stop!

His music career did not initially take off with “Margaritaville”, so looking to find some other way to make a living, he opened his first bar in Key West in 1985, and, as they say, the rest is history. He now sits atop an empire that includes restaurants, hotels and casinos; beer, tequila and rum; Frozen Concoction Makers, drink mixers and food; shoes, clothing and furniture; and a radio station on Sirius XM. He owns two minor league baseball teams and several recording studios; has written several books, appeared in television shows and movies, and is currently working on a musical based on his life and music.

Wastin' away again in Margaritaville,
searchin' for my lost shaker of salt;
some people claim that there's a woman to blame -
now I think, hell, it could be my fault.

All of this is organized under Margaritaville Holdings LLC, under the leadership of John Cohlan, Jimmy’s co-partner and CEO who is working feverishly to expand and capitalize on the Margaritaville name.

The latest project is a Margaritaville-themed resort in South Orlando. It will have a 175-room Margaritaville Hotel, 1,000 themed vacation homes, 300 timeshare units, 200,000 feet of retail space, a dining and entertainment district, a 12-acre water part, a three-acre freshwater lagoon with natural sand beaches, cabanas and water activities.

Dammit! The Captain will never be able to find his lost shaker of salt there!

I blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop-top,
   cut my heel had to cruise on back home;
but there's booze in the blender and soon it will render
   that frozen concoction that helps me hang on.

I don’t begrudge Jimmy one bit. He has done remarkable things with his life. I have enjoyed myself at several of his concerts, five of his restaurants, and two visits to the Margaritaville Hotel in Pensacola Beach.

Yep, $300+ per night...
I wish him well.

But the current – and future – manifestation of Margaritaville is not what the song was about, nor is it the Margaritaville I am in search of.

Ahhh, this is more like it!
Wastin' away again in Margaritaville,
   searching for my lost shaker of salt;
some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
   but I know it's my own damn fault.