Trayvon Martin for Target Practice

I just can’t help myself. No amount of willpower justifies tight lips on this news tidbit. On  Friday Sgt. Ron King  of the Port Canaveral police department in Florida, was fired after he offered a likeness of Trayvon Martin for target practice. The only saving graces being that the other officers refused to fire at them, and this disgraceful police officer lost his job.

Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old black youth, visiting his father at a gated community in Sanford, Florida. As he walked home from the corner store, bag of candy in hand, talking on his cell phone to his girlfriend; Community Watch volunteer George Zimmerman spotted him. Trayvon told his girlfriend he was scared; he was being followed and didn’t know what to do. Several 911 calls are public record, the first is Zimmerman calling police to report a suspicious thug, the second from a woman reporting gunshots with Trayvon crying for help in the background. The police clearly tell Zimmerman not to take action; undaunted it appears he appointed himself judge, jury, and ultimately executioner. Zimmerman claimed he acted in self defence – it took weeks of public outcry and media condemnation before Zimmerman was charged with a crime. The case goes to trial in June.

I realize the actions of Sgt.. King represent an isolated incident. I’m pondering Zimmerman’s mindset, being quite certain many more Americans inhabit the same head space. Listening these past months to gun advocates rationalize how guns don’t kill people, people kill people,  violent media and working parents contribute to the problem, or mental health issues need to be addressed – I wonder where the George Zimmermans of this world fit in.

I humbly offer this suggestion – children learn by example, and perhaps America needs to tighten up the practice of arming volunteers. Creating paranoia never comes with a happy ending. Try to remember how it was to be a child. Media violence isn’t the culprit – hysterical parents strike fear into hearts of the young. Keep your guns if you have to America, but keep them out of the shaking hands of zealous volunteer watch dogs.

Coral Castle

Edward Leedskalnin was a Latvian immigrant, who settled in Florida in 1919. The story goes that he was jilted by his fiancé the day before they were to be married. Reported to only have a grade 4 education, he worked in lumber camps prior to seeking the warmer climate of Florida. His move to Florida City is said to have been a decision made after he contracted Tuberculosis. He started building a monument to the Latvian girl who broke his heart. He called her his “sweet sixteen” and the structure, “Rock Gate Park”.

Ten years after his work started, he hired a truck and moved the structure to Homestead, Florida – where it rests today and is known as the Coral Castle. Until his death in 1951 Leedskalnin worked alone, under the cover of darkness, ever expanding his strange monument.

So what you say? Ponder this – this is a man with virtually no education. Working alone, and only at night so as not to be observed, he somehow managed to quarry and move 1,100 tons of rock. Some pieces of rock weigh 30 tons. His only tools; timber and something he fashioned from an old Ford motor. He erected a 9 ton revolving door, so perfectly balanced it could be turned with the push of a finger.

Eventually he opened Coral Castle up for tours; something he charged 10 cents for. This however was not built as a tourist attraction; it was his home. When asked how he accomplished it without any help his answer was always the same – that he understood the laws of weight and leverage, and knew the secrets of the people who built the pyramids.

Edward Leedskalin had strong opinions which he published and sold in pamphlets. Of the 5 he is known to have “sold” through ads in the local newspaper; the first is an incredibly twisted moral perspective about keeping girls “pure” and the “soiling” influence of young men. The other 4 expressed his thoughts on the interaction of electricity and magnetism.

My apologies, the above is a Wikipedia link, but it will give an interesting synopsis of his writing.

Coral Castle has me pondering because I like nothing more than a good old fashioned mystery. This one is ripe with conspiracy theory, alien or other worldly believers, and more questions than answers. Leedskalin’s broken heart fuelled a mighty odd legacy. I suspect he wouldn’t care that it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Something tells me it might just lift his spirits to know how much debate still surrounds the construction.


American Versailles

A story out of Windermere, Florida revealed that Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel told his employees  if Barack Obama was re-elected and raised taxes, he would have to fire some of them. His rationale being that he couldn’t afford the cost of growing his company.

This is beyond pondering, this is jaw dropping. Visions of mining or lumber towns complete with the company store popped into my head. I used to think “big brother” meant the government listened in on your phone calls. A new Big Brother is emerging and it’s far more insidious. In a downtrodden America the thought of persuasive voting makes my skin crawl.

Here’s the punch line – David Siegel and his wife Jackie built the largest home in America. At 90,000 Square feet it is larger than 747 airplane hangers. It has 9 kitchens and 30 bathrooms, 2 movie theatres, a bowling alley of course, dubbed the “American Versailles” the Siegels lost Versailles when they ran into financial difficulty. Siegel, the “time share” king of Florida is a self made billionaire. His company currently employs 7000 people, down 5000 employees since 2007. I can understand why the rich hate taxes: the Mahogany doors and windows in Versailles cost 4 million dollars. What I can’t fathom is why they believe their money is different from anyone else’s.

The above link includes a copy of the email Siegel sent his employees.

Just for fun, take a look at American Versailles….

Biggest House In America David Siegel