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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



A weekly look at the Tampa Bay area and national politics from a conservative viewpoint – plus a helping of sports and lifestyle items. Warning: not everything printed here should be taken at face value.


Our choice for Clearwater Council Seat 2: Bruce Rector


We wish the choices we face in selecting a candidate for the Clearwater City Council were always this difficult (as is the Mayor’s race TBRR 1/26/20). Too often in recent years, we’ve had to choose who would do the least damage – the last election cycle being the exception. Council Seat 2 offers two appealing choices – Mike Mannino and Bruce Rector. Both men appear to be very neighborhood oriented which Clearwater has seemed to drift away from in recent times. What sets Rector apart for us is his focus on economic development – another area Clearwater has badly neglected since the halcyon days of the late 1990s. Clearwater cannot go wrong with either candidate, but Rector brings more to the table and should be a strong presence on the Council. (Next week Seat 3).


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Mark your calendar for February 22nd. Clearwater High is inviting grads to have a “last visit” of the nearly 70-year-old school before it is razed for a new facility. The event is from 11 am to 1 pm. Later that day, the Classes of 1963 through 66 are having a get together at the Clearwater Country Club. Class of ‘66 grad Sam McClelland (441-3493) can give you details.

2. Former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has been hit with $17.5 million in penalties by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for the company’s egregious scamming of its customers. Get back to us when the former CEO and the other players do some jail time. And why is this company still even in business?

3. Breaking news: Michael Bloomberg endorsed by Judge Judy - just another reason not to vote for the latter day Ross Perot.

4. Great thought: Any effective committee should fit inside a taxi – from the father of the Polaroid camera and other great inventions – Edwin Land.

5. You’ve lived in Pinellas County for a long time if you remember when the grocery store was called Winn Dixie/Kwik Chek.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. If you were picking a Top-10 all-time NBA team, Kobe Bryant, who died along with eight other people in a tragic helicopter crash last week, would have to be on it.

7. The Rays top the major leagues with six prospects in the Top 100. A number of teams have five including the Braves, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners and Marlins. Only one team, the Brewers, had no prospects in the Top 100.

8. Breaking sports news: Astros hire septuagenarian Dusty Baker as their manager. Baker has an interesting legacy – he managed the Giants, the Cubs and the Nationals – all teams that won World Series just a year or two after he was let go. Astro fans can’t be happy.

9. Quote of the week: “I’m coming back to the NFL” – Antonio Brown. Yeah, good luck with that. The guy is radioactive.

10. They’re here! This week in 1964, topping the charts for the first time (they would top the charts 20 times total) are the Beatles and I Want to Hold Your Hand. It would be the biggest hit of the year.


Everybody loves a good conspiracy theory


Some of the great conspiracy theories include FDR knowing about, even inviting, Pearl Harbor; Amelia Earhart being on a spy mission went she went missing and the dozens of JFK conspiracies. A more recent vintage theory involves the loss of the U.S. nuclear sub Scorpion some fifty years ago. Two books, one by Panama City based author Ed Offley (Scorpion Down) and the other by veteran submariner Kenneth Sewell (All Hands Down) cover the subject. Both gentlemen reach the same conclusion – that the sub was sunk by the Soviet Union. Only the methodology differs. And both authors agree on the reason for the sinking – the Soviet Union’s suspicion that the U.S. downed one of their subs – the K-129 – a separate conspiracy theory that is documented by Sewell in Red Star Rogue as well as at least a couple of other authors. Would we bet our house on either theory? No. But given the extensive documentation of all three books, we wouldn’t bet against the theories either. All three books are well worth a read.

Up Next: The Clearwater Indians; Don’t retire early; Honoring Freddie



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