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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF JUNE 21, 2020


TBRR is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports and lifestyle items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - certain accounts printed here should not be taken literally.



Things just get curiouser and curiouser!



We seem to have to reach back to authors of a different era to describe what is going on in our country- first George Orwell (TBRR 5/17/20) and now Lewis Carroll. The knee jerks to police brutality in Minneapolis began with some wack jobs wanting to get rid of police departments. We still haven’t heard the plan when one’s home is broken into or a girl is being beaten up by her boyfriend. To borrow from Ghostbusters, “who ya gonna call?” Not satisfied with stripping Americans of their protection, the radical left now wants to rename military bases, pull America’s number one film of all time, Gone with the Wind, off the airwaves and God help you if you’re a television show with the words police or cop in the title. At least two have already been canceled. You have to ask yourself when is this madness ignited by four bad cops in Minnesota going to stop – and what are the consequences? Or to reach out to another renowned man of the pen, T.S. Eliot, “Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm. But the harm does not interest them.”


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. One of the businesses damaged by senseless rioting in Minneapolis has announced it is leaving the troubled city for a new location. Sigma-7 had been part of the city’s business landscape for a third century. Their plant was destroyed by fires during the turmoil in the twin cities.

2. Idle thought: a great many bad things in the world can be avoided by simply obeying our laws.

3. Suddenly, it’s a big deal that Publix won’t allow BLM face masks on its employees? Any major corporation has standing policies on politically charged wearing apparel in the workplace. You won’t see masks with MAGA on their employees either.

4. Speaking of Publix, did you ever wonder why The Times chose Wednesday to go along with Sunday in their diminished two-a-week circulation? Surely it has nothing to do with the thousands and thousands of dollars they reap from the supermarket’s weekly flyer.

5. You’ve lived in the bay area a long time if you ever feasted on a Biff Burger. Bonus points if you ever ate at Burger Chef. Biff Burger originated in Clearwater and now has just two stores left - on 49th Street and in Greensboro, NC. Burger Chef sold out to the Hardee’s chain in 1982.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. With your Humble Blogger, it’s always been Faith, Family and Job followed very closely by baseball. But at this juncture, we’re good with punting the 2020 season – particularly with recent developments at the Blue Jays’ and Phillies’ complexes.

7. It’s the start of summer and time for our annual summer playlist suggestions starting with two great Carolina beach songs – John Franklin’s haunting Ocean Drive Sunday and Alabama’s Dancin’, Shaggin’ on the Boulevard along with the Beach Boys’ recollection of summers past – Do It Again; add in Keeping The Summer Alive by The Legendary Surf Riders and, in our first summer as a very young DJ, the most requested song, the Tymes’ classic So Much in Love.


8. Sticking with music, the recent passing of Bonnie Pointer reminds us that only a half dozen acts had more popularity than the Pointer Sisters but no number one record. They did peak at number two with both Fire and Slow Hand.

9. We bow to the marketing geniuses at Ford and Quaker Oats. Ford wanted to return the Bronco to its product line on O.J. Simpson’s birthday while Quaker Oats has decided to eliminate the branding of its Aunt Jemima pancake line after 130 years – a brand that made ex-slave Nancy Green (aka Aunt Jemima) a millionaire. Who thinks up these things?

10. Hard to believe: Erin Murphy who played Tabitha on Bewitched turned 56 last week.


Brand loyalty isn’t what it seems



We begin with a story from our youth. In the 1950s, our Dad managed a division of Westinghouse in the southern tier of New York that manufactured radio and TV tubes. They would do a run of a particular tube and then halt the line briefly and change the stamp on the tube from Westinghouse to Sylvania or RCA or GE. Being young and naïve, we thought Dad was going to get arrested for such a practice. About 75 miles down the road, a GE plant was cranking out tubes with Westinghouse and other brand names on them. Yet, so many folks would not buy a product unless it had a Westinghouse or GE or RCA nameplate. It’s the same with the “Buy American” campaign. By 1968, there was only one American television manufactured entirely in the U.S. Today, the transmission in your Ford could likely be manufactured in France. Conversely, the Toyota Camry is built in Kentucky and the Buick Encore and its Chevrolet cousin, the Trax are both built in Mexico. The good news – the Hershey Bar is still made in Hershey, Pa. You just don’t mess with some things!

NEXT UP: Waterfront dining; Craig Lefferts; In search of Jimmy Carter



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