The Sarcastic Cynic™

Sarcastic and cynical view of the world.

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution — January 14, 2019

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution

See: https:// www. Graham

And Justice for Four… — January 12, 2019

And Justice for Four…

screen shot 2019-01-12 at 6.31.20 am

Warning for those with sensitive eyes and character and character.

Read also:

Gilbert King, Devil in the Grove, Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America.



Interesting is what you can find by accident. — January 8, 2019

Interesting is what you can find by accident.

From the Imagine Museum to the Holocaust Museum to a a title of a book Alicia My Story to the Devil in the Grove to Olive Grove a two-month-old girl and to Epiphany a kitten, so named  by Joseph and his son Titan who I met as I walked towards the Epiphany celebration in Tarpon Springs, to the #MeToo movement.


On page 50 of Gilbert King’s, Devil in the Grove, Thurgood Marshall the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of  a New America “… A thoroughgoing study of one of the most important civil rights cases argued by Thurgood Marshall in dimantling Jim Crow strictures…Deeeply reserched and superbly composed.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)—

In December 1940, Eleanor Strubing, a thirty-two-year-old housewife, socialite, and former fashion model from Greenwich, Connecticut, claimed that her Negro butler and chauffeur, Joseph Spell, had kidnapped her, written a ramson note, tied her  up, then raped four times before dragging her to a car and driving to Kensico Reservoir, in adjacent West Chester County/ New York where he’d thrown her off a bridge into the wate and then pelted her with rocks.  The newspaper coverage was predictably sensational.  The front page of hte New York Daily News featured a pictue of Strubing in a bathing suit adjacent ot a phot of Spell, arranged so the the brooding butler appeard t be staring staight at the vulnerable socialite.  The provocative story led to rumores that “panic-stricken Westchester families were firing their black servant,”

Instead of finding  the front cover on microfilm of the December 1940 New York Daily News, I found:

Marshall and #MeToo: A 77-year-old civil rights fight exposes the reactionary character of the sexual misconduct witch-hunt.

 by Fred Mazellis, 1 February 2018

The 2018 Academy Award nominations have been announced, and among those films passed over was Marshall, the film biography of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Justice of the US Supreme Court.

The film, as we have previously noted, suffered from its one-sided portrayal of the career of its protagonist, but despite this weakness, its subject matter was significant and worth considering. It focused on a landmark criminal case in a Northern courtroom, in the period just before US entry into the Second World War.

In winning acquittal for a black defendant, Joseph Spell, accused of raping his white employer, Marshall and his co-counsel, Sam Friedman, struck an important blow for civil rights and liberties, against racial discrimination in the legal system. Marshall had been sent to Connecticut by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to assist Friedman, who was admitted to the Connecticut bar.

Read more if you wish:

Most frustrating to Marshall was the fact that the NAACP did not have suffiecient funds to provide legal assistance; also, many of the rape cases simply did not fit the criteria that Marshall himself had defined for LDF (Legal Defense Fund). Outraged by the inhumanity of whites who abused their power or authority, and moved deeply by the suffering of their poor black victims.  Marshall could only apologize that he and the organization could not do more, in the affectively written letters he sent to regional NAACP personnel, as well as to the families of raped, beaten , and sometimes murdered adolescent girls.

My 95 year-old neighbor passed away — December 30, 2018

My 95 year-old neighbor passed away

Sparky, his 21 year-old chihuahua, was put to sleep a few days before Victor fell down and broke his hip. The operation was a success, so say the medical professionals.  His house was put on the market yesterday.  Life is so short and death is sometimes too quick.

The Dali Museum was doing an architectural tour of the edifice that holds their treasure. I ddn’t know I would be arriving just in the nick of time to join the docent tour.  “Are you arriving with  a guest today? an attractive woman asked me.  I looked to my side if a woman had suddenly attached herself to me.  It has happened to me before but this time I said.  “No, not today.  But if she wasn’t waiting for me at the desk after parking the car, then I think I lost her.”  She cracked up with laughter.  I don’t think I’m usually funny but I guess after all the tragedy around us, laughter or making someone laugh without trying is good for the soul.  My soul.


After the tour ended, I asked the docent if she could point me to the painting she referred as being created using the Fibonacci sequence.  I had seen this one many times and never noticed what she had pointed out during the tour.

Normally I avoid docent tours, I’m too restless to follow slowly a bunch of tourists with their cameras.  Don’t mind, me but most of the times, I’m the tourist doing the Japanese way of visiting a country.  Picture after picture after picture…

I thanked the docent for her tour and hazarded asking her,  “Do you know where the “Holocaust Museum  is located.”  She wasn’t sure, but she knew a trolley stop where you can hop on and off to see all the sights without having to burn any calories.  She referred me to the desk, and of course I went straight to my woman at the desk.  She wasn’t sure.  “There are pamphlets across the aisle from the bathroom.” she said.

I know those files with thousands of little cards with  maps the size of a flea.  I couldn’t find anything, which isn’t unusual for a man.  To my left two ladies opened a door and both had badges on theirt chest.  Both knew but one stopped to decipher the map.  She game me a good idea of where it was located.  “Don’t you have your phone on you?” “No” I answered.  “I left it at home.”  Sometimes I don’t carry a phone with me, that’s true.  But in reality I did have it in my shirt’s pocket.  I was too embarrased to show her my phone. A dinosaur of a phone with a solid keyboard for texting!  Too bad I don’t do much of that either. Then she said, “You can’t miss it!”  Oh boy I thought, now I know I’m going to miss it. It’s on Central Avenue around 4th or 5th street.

As I approached 3rd and Central Ave, I made a left then a right and parked by the first open spot on the corner of 5th Avenue and 2nd Street.  I walked like a tourist looking to my right at the YMCA building.  I convinced myself not to take any pictures.  I arrived at the next corner 3rd Street to see a man screech to a stop on his bicycle.  I said, “I bet you know your way around this area.”  “What can I help you my man,”he said.  He pointed me in the wrong direction back towards the Dali Museum.  I followed his exact instructions to end up at another corner to ask a man with a woman the same question.  From the vantage point we were standing he pointed to a building on the left.  It’s either the first white one or the second.  His girlfriend was already walking away from us, back to her building.


I crossed the street, took a picture of them walking hand in hand. Reached the original corner where I asked the cyclist and voilà there was the holocaust museum.  If I hadn’t asked for directions I would have seen the Holocaust Museum.


Alicia: My Story by Alicia Appleman- Jurman

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An American Explorer and his ties to the Cali Cartel — December 28, 2018

An American Explorer and his ties to the Cali Cartel

Jungle Mike wrestled snakes, built a hospital in Colombia — and served 20 years for a record St. Pete cocaine seizure

Michael Tsalickis of Tarpon Springs had such an extraordinary life that National Geographic once filmed him wrestling an anaconda and actor Robert Duvall starred in a movie based on his adventures.

This is the account by the Tampa Bay Times about Michael Tsalickis who emigrated to Colombia.  He settled in a remote area in the department of Amazonas.  To a city named Leticia.  He went there to hire human apes to catch monkeys.  Those apes he hired then spent their measly pesos in Leticia, a city allegedly “transformed by Michael James Tsalickis into a thriving town with a hospital, a hotel and a bona fide airport.”

Mike, Jimmy, Mr. T , “Jungle Mike” as he was known,  went to Colombia to exploit the region.  To build a business selling exotic animals to zoos and monkeys to researchers.  Previously “Jungle Mike” opened a zoo in Tarpon Springs, Florida with an unnamed friend.    Do you have to wonder why a zoo owner would go to Brazil and Colombia to trap exotic animals?

The apes he hired so benevolently to trap and not eat what was abundant in that region, helped him buy an airplane,  build a business transporting medical supplies, trade exotic animals for profit and science, and  extend a runway for an airport that lured Brazilian and Colombian airlines.  [The national airline of Colombia, AVIANCA is now owned by a Brazilian citizen.]

Can you imagine how much it cost to build a runway that can handle heavy metal?  How many monkeys, oscelots, and medical supplies did it take “Jungle Mike” to have the deep pockets of a Rockerfellar?  That’s where the Cali cartel came to the rescue of a man who had failed once before in a little town of Florida, know as Tarpon Springs.

“It takes a monkey to buy pants in Leticia,”  Tsalickis would say.  “It takes a monkey to buy a shirt in Leticia.”

To read more about “Jungle Mike” please click on the link for the Tampa Bay Times.

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I was in West Berlin the day the wall was opened. — December 20, 2018

I was in West Berlin the day the wall was opened.

Before crossing through Check Point Charlie, I was there with a hammer breaking chips of painted concrete to bring back as gifts to friends in New York. Hours before the wall was to be opened I tried to escape into West Berlin through a hole that was still being manned by the East German guards. I was denied that exit.  I had to return  to Check Point Charlie to legally exit East Germany. I returned many years later to see the remnants of the wall.  The Brandenburg Gate is now not as impressive as it was the last time I saw it in 1989.

Is the Berlin Wall the only that accomplished its goal?

Increasing the height on a section of the Berlin Wall on Oct. 9, 1961. The Communist East Germans built it to stem mass migrations into West Berlin. The wall accomplished that goal, but it also became an enduring symbol of the Cold War as people risked their lives to flee over and under it. Germans tore it down in 1989.

Trump spews vicious slur against immigrants. — January 12, 2018
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