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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



TBR&R is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports, lifestyle and nostalgia items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - much of what is printed here should not be taken literally.


U.S.A. to the world: we know we can do better


On this, the 57th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy, we reflect back on our nation’s leaders. We know, we, as electors, have not done well. Considering the Top 10 Presidents as great or near great in a non-partisan U.S. News poll, we have produced one Top 10 President in the last fifty years – Ronald Reagan. The last three, including our President-Elect have been jokes (sad jokes, but jokes). Kennedy wasn’t quite as good as we baby boomers wish to remember – ranked number 10 in the poll of historians. The top five Presidents in the poll, and every such poll we’ve ever seen, are both Roosevelts, Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln. The worst five are James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, Warren G. Harding and William Henry Harrison – kind of harsh since he only served 31 days before dying. So with Presidents neither great nor lousy with the exception of Reagan, most of us have been saddled with middling Presidents during our lifetime. Although, you can be pretty sure space near the bottom of the poll is being reserved for our current President and the guy stumbling in after him. Can we all vow to do better in 2024?


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Here we go with the 2021 spending spree – forgiving student loans. And what of us who saved, budgeted and sacrificed to pay off those loans over the years? We’re not happy. Modify terms of re-payment perhaps if you will, but it all comes down to being responsible adults – and not putting another burden on taxpayers like you and me.

2. A belated Happy Birthday to Joltin’ Joe. At 78, he is statistically two years younger than the average person admitted to a nursing home.

3. This week’s bad idea – a registry for downtown Clearwater properties that are vacant - complete with a fee. The city is throwing the baby out with the bath water (read Scientology) as the last thing a property owner needs while trying to fill an empty space is more paperwork and more expense.

4. All four new Apple iPhones are now available for sale ranging from $699 to $1099 – no charger included. Man, you would think for a grand, they would include a lousy wire and two connectors. Yet many people, your humble flip phone blogger not included, will buy these things.

5. Breaking News: Chelsea Clinton blames Trump for Secret Service COVID infections. Raise your hand if you lose sleep over what Chelsea Clinton thinks.



Sports, media and other stuff:


6. This week marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of versatile actor Ricardo Montalban, perhaps best known for the Fantasy Island series and the big screen’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

7. After this year’s successful staging of the World Series in Texas, there is at least some talk of making the series an “event” much like the Super Bowl in either warm weather or domed facilities. Our guess is the idea dies on the vine.

8. Tampa is the latest “rent a city” for a Canadian pro team – the NBA Raptors. The Toronto Raptors finished second in the NBA East last year.

9. To no one’s surprise, Kevin Cash won the AL Manager of the Year award. What is puzzling is the runner-up Rick Renteria was fired by the White Sox after leading them to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. He joins Joe Girardi who actually won Manager of the Year with Miami in 2006 – having been fired the previous week.

10. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you did some of your Christmas shopping at Montgomery Ward on the corner of Missouri and Cleveland downtown. The store later moved adjacent to the then new Clearwater Mall on U.S. 19 and ceased operations in 2001.


Thank goodness for mentors


Recently we read of the passing of a woman just a year or two younger than us. Frankly, we never had the pleasure of meeting her, but her late father was a terrific mentor when we began a business nearly forty years ago. He was just one of several folks we were blessed with over the years offering advice, guidance and, as we often required, restraint. Most of them are gone now, but there are a couple younger people who have also been guides as we navigate life. We’d like to think that, like our incredible wife, we may have been a mentor to a few folks over the years. We never really thought about it in that regard until just recently with the passing of our mentor’s daughter. But as we enjoy Thanksgiving week, let us all pause and give thanks for the good guidance we’ve received (and perhaps given) over the years.

NEXT UP: Christmas Past; Another Bad Amendment; Take Five

Happy Thanksgiving!



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