WAUNAKEE’S SHARIE AND MARK

The name Waunakee initially reminded me of Smucker’s…..With a name like that it has to be good! It is.

Waunakee is a small village in Lane County, Wisconsin. Population 12,000. Waunakee proudly labels itself “The Only Waunakee In The World.”

Waunakee a good place. In 2009, the village was listed in “Top 100 Best Places To Live” for small towns.

Which brings me to Sharie and Mark. Met them at the Chart Room last night. They’re from Waunakee! First time in the Chart Room, though they have visited Key West several times in the past. After last night, I guarantee the Chart Room will become their favorite watering hole when they visit Key West.

Married 30 plus years. Two sons. Soon to be grandparents for the first time. All excited. They have already rented a home for their Key West visit next January. A family trip. Baby included.

Mark was in the excavation business. His Dad began it. His son now working it. Three generations and still going. Sharie helped out in the business over the years.

Sharie a dog lover. Three. Named them after baseball players. Hank, Aaron, and Eddy.

Charming people. Fun. I hope to run into them before they leave. If not, I am confident we will meet in January.

Headed over to Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Ate at the bar. Grouper instead of prime rib.

On the way to my car, walked past the Chart Room. Sharie and Mark still there. The Chart Room standing room only. Sharie and Mark visibly having a good time.

My day yesterday began with Lori. Haircut time. We reminisced a bit. Lori has been a hair dresser 28 years. I a customer now a friend, 18. She looks as lovely today as when I first met her 18 years ago.

Afterwards, stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. My eye caught the name Utica College on the TV screen. An advertisement for nursing students. It was going off as I saw it.

Utica College is in my home town in upper New York State. I recall its beginnings. Provided a small assistance in getting it started.

Found out later in the day that Utica College is soon to offer extension services to students in the Keys. The ability to earn a nursing degree over the internet. Even nurse practitioner status. A representative of Utica College was in Key West last week arranging for the plan to be implemented.

Later in the afternoon before heading to the Chart Room, stopped for a manicure. Tammy’s last day for a week. Starting a vacation today. Good for her! Deserved. She is hard working. From 7 in the morning to 8 in the evening six days a week.

Key West postal workers protesting. Signs and all.

Proper they are protesting.

Budget cuts have been dramatic in recent years. Fewer and fewer postal workers. Sometimes only one person servicing the counter. Waiting lines up to one hour before one reaches the counter. Fortunately, Key West is a friendly town. Neighbors and acquaintances get to chat.

To fully appreciate the situation, there are 18 fewer clerk positions since 2016. Postal workers doing more with no significant pay raises.

Wake up my friends, our America is slipping away from us. I watched the far rights annual conference on TV yesterday. Full name Conservative Political Action Conference. Popularly known as CPAC.

NRA’s Wayne La Pierre the featured speaker. He was loud. Shouting on many occasions. Speaking of the devil. Those high school students misrepresenting the Douglas High School shooting.

I could see what was motivating him. The NRA was to confront for the first time a force that could neither be stopped nor bought. Children. It was obvious La Pierre is afraid that people will listen to them.

He lied. Not surprising. Trump lies also. He sets the standard for the country. La Pierre had the audacity to blame school safety, families, and the FBI for the shooting.

Trump an NRA supporter. Big time. No wonder. The NRA contributed $30 million to his campaign. Trump referred to members of the NRA as “great people and great American patriots.”

Someone sick here.

As I watched La Pierre, I recalled this scene playing in the past. Berlin in the 1930’s. All La Pierre needed was a mustache.

A dark speech, a dark moment.

Roger C. Kostmayer is a wise elderly Key West gentleman. A Letter to the Editor written by him was printed in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. In it Kostmayer said, “Any politician accepting money or support from the NRA…..has BLOOD ON HIS HANDS.” Emphasis Kostmayer’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

SUPREME COURT MAY BE MOVING AWAY FROM NRA POSITIONS RE GUNS

I consider the Justice Building Blog one of the finest on the internet. Published once or twice a week. I read it religiously.

The blog is written by someone at the Miami Courthouse. Generally right on re legal issues.

Guns the big news these days. Understandably so. The Justice Building Blog dealt with one phase of the issue in its 2/20/18 publication.

The blog reviewed Justice Clarence Thomas’ 14 page dissent in Sylvester v. Becerra, 583 U.S.__(2018).

The Supreme Court as a whole, except for Thomas, had decided to deny certiorari and not hear the appeal in the Sylvester case. Involved was California’s 10 day waiting period in order to purchase a firearm.

The appellant was a gun owner who already had a firearm and had been earlier approved during a 10 day waiting period for that firearm. Since he was purchasing a second firearm and had already been approved re the first, he felt it was wrong to apply the 10 day waiting period to him.

The Supreme Court, except for Thomas, opted to pass on the issue and not entertain it.

Thomas is considered an NRA supporter.

I do not hold Thomas in high esteem. I have always considered him inept. A mistake on the Court.

Thomas was upset because the Court would not hear and rule on the matter. He wrote a lengthy dissent. An educational one from my perspective. Brought to my attention facts I was unaware off.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not heard a gun case in almost 8 years. Thomas criticized the Court’s “continued direction in this area.” Meaning the Court has not wished to hear gun cases in almost 8 years.

Some other Thomas comments: “The right to keep and bear arms is apparently the Court’s constitutional orphan…..We have not heard argument in a Second Amendment case for nearly eight years…..And we have not clarified the standard for asserting Second Amendment claims for almost 10.”

He compared the Court’s failure as he viewed it comparable to not having heard in many years Third Amendment cases. The Third Amendment involves the prohibition against quartering of soldiers in homes. He also invoked the Eighteenth Amendment which prohibits the sale and manufacture of liquor.

I suspect the Supreme Court has avoided gun cases because it wants federal or state legislatures to move on the issue first.

Burt Bacharach was one of the premier song writers back when. In 1965, he published What The World Needs Now Is Love. Let the tune play through your mind.

The Justice Building Blog ended with a take on Bacharach’s tune. One printed with tongue in cheek I am sure: What The World Needs Now Are Guns, more guns…..not just for some, but for everyone.

A tough emotional day yesterday. I was glued to the TV set. Douglas High School children and others appearing in Tallahassee and Washington. The Washington group with the President.

Moving. The tears flowed freely on occasion.

I want to share some at random thoughts re what I observed.

Initially, I thought the Trump meeting was a political ploy and nothing more. He and the NRA are hand in hand. Turned out differently. I now suspect the President did it with sincerity and sorrow.

The high schoolers and some of the parents spoke with an eloquence even Shakespeare could not have composed. From the heart. Gut feelings. “My daughter is dead. Nine bullets in her body.” “My daughter killed from a bullet in her back which shattered her spine.”

The high schoolers most definitely a sleeping giant awakened. Beware NRA and those who blindly support the NRA for dollars.

The shooting itself the beginning of the end of the NRA.

My fear is Trump will not go far enough. Ban assault weapons should be the first issue up front. An AR-15 only good for two things. War and killing school children.

Trump’s thought that teachers should carry useless. Probably the NRA’s idea. Would sell more guns. What good is a pistol going to be against an AR-15?

Enough for today. No more soap boxing.

Last night Tavern ‘n Town for an early dinner. Then to the Chart Room to watch Syracuse/North Carolina. Syracuse lost 78-74. Came close to winning at the end. Had it all tied up with 1 1/2 minutes left. Blew three chances to win.

North Carolina the superior team. I was impressed that Syracuse came back at the end.

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori at noon. A manicure with Tammy later in the afternoon. Glad I called Tammy for an appointment yesterday. She leaves on vacation tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!

I MET A RAILROAD TRAIN CONDUCTOR

I met a railroad train conductor. A for real honest to goodness one. In his early 70’s. A conductor for 50 years. Still working at it.

Goes by JJ. He has been a conductor on the Union Pacific all those years. Enjoys his job. Showed me a photo of himself in a Christmas outfit he wears on the holiday runs. A normal conductor outfit dressed up for Christmas. Low hanging glasses. A mustache. No beard.

I met JJ when I sat next to him at the bar at Roostica.

JJ is vacationing for two weeks. His fifth year in the Key West area. Drives down. Rents a tent at Boyd’s and is happy. Fishes everyday all day.

When he mentioned the Union Pacific, my mind went back to the movies portraying the building of the railroad. With much difficulty. Bad guys, Indians, etc.

The Union Pacific was the US’ expansion west. The intent to have a transcontinental railroad. The first. A daring feat.

The man primarily responsible was Abraham Lincoln. He had a vision of bringing the east and west together via the railroad. The connection would be Omaha and Sacramento.

The Union Pacific an unmentioned part of Lincoln’s legacy. Lincoln signed the Act authorizing the construction July 1, 1862. During the Civil War. Ground was broken in Omaha in December 1863. Delays were monumental. The first rails were not laid till July 1865. Three months after Lincoln’s death.

Roostica owner Bobby Mongelli sat with me for a few moments. His three restaurants are doing well. Obvious to the eye. I mentioned I had been to Geiger Key a few times recently and the place was packed. He agreed. Told me business there now exceeds Roostica’s.

Why was I so impressed with JJ? Probably because I have not been on a train in at least 40 years. We all rode trains once. He was a figure out of the past to me.

Spent most of yesterday preparing for my podcast in the evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I split the podcast into two sections. Non-Trump and Trump. Trump overwhelms the news. I wanted my listeners to also hear what is going on in the non-Trump world.

Before leaving for Roostica, I had to shower. Cold water again. No hot at all. The cold shower reenergizing.

I am turning into a half-assed engineer as concerns the water heater. There are two heating elements behind two doors. I suspect one or both have to be replaced. It appears one is working overtime, overheating and throwing the circuit breaker. As it is supposed to do.

Phone just rang. Frankie the Plumber is on his way.

Douglas High School students meet with Florida legislators in Tallahassee today. It appears the legislators are not taking the students seriously.

Bill SB 196 was pending. It would have prohibited the sale of assault weapons. The Republicans opposed to the bill. They went through a few procedural machinations yesterday. The bill died in committee. It will stay in committee this year.

Sort of an up yours to the students. Like who do you kids think you are!

I am curious as to how the students will react.

We all understand guns kill. There was another item before the legislature yesterday. A resolution exclaiming pornography was dangerous, a public health risk. One which could lead to mental and physical illnesses.

Not only did the porn resolution pass overwhelmingly, it was also debated at length.

The legislature’s priorities are screwed up.

Syracuse/North Carolina tonight at 7. ESPN. North Carolina a 5 point favorite.

Another item Bobby Mongelli and I discussed was why solar energy is not available big time and cheaply in the Keys. Who has more sun than us?

This morning I read that furniture maker IKEA has been selling in Europe and Asia “at cost” home solar panel systems. Simple to install. Cost for everything between $7,500 and $10,000.

IKEA next moving in to Australia with the product.

Solar energy has continued to decrease in cost each year. The International Energy Agency predicts solar will be the world’s primary energy source by 2050.

I wish it would get here. Energy costs are astronomical!

I want to close with Karl Marx.

On this day in 1848, Marx’s Communist Manifesto was published in London. Marx had the assistance of Friedrich Engels in writing it.

The Manifesto opens with dramatic words: “A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of communism.” The Manifesto ends: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite.”

It took 69 years for Marx’s Manifesto to succeed. The year 1917. Vladimir Lenin led the world’s first successful communist revolution in Russia.

Communism has been a threat to the United States and world ever since.

Plumber just arrived. Good service. I asked where Frankie was. Frankie and wife Sandy Don’s Place and bocce friends. He and his wife Sandy vacationing in Cancun. Sandy arranged the visit for me via cellphone.

Impressive. Love the modern world!

The plumber already advised it is the thermostat. He is putting a new one in.

Enjoy your day!

 

TWO GREAT COUPLES

Last night unusual. Spent time with two great couples. One I had met last year. The other, new.

I was at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Crowded. I was sitting alone at a small table. All of a sudden Tom and Clare Keller appeared. Took me a few seconds. We had met last year.

They joined me.

Tom and Clare new residents to Key West. Closed on a condominium in January. All excited. Properly so.

Both retired. Time to enjoy and play. Life without concern. They are ready.

Tom is a former Washington DC attorney. We have a mutual friend. He knows her much better than I. Former Ambassador Amy Bondourant. An Ambassador under Clinton and Bush 2. Amy and her husband relocated from Paris to Key West last year.

Tom and Amy were law partners in Washington.

Tom and Clare two new friends.

The other couple Kristina and John. I stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. I had not intended. However, my stomach was growling. Enjoyed my diet prime rib.

Sitting at the bar next to me were Kristina and John. A vacationing couple from Mays Landing, New Jersey. Near Atlantic City. A very enjoyable couple. We talked of many things. From the beauty of Jersey beaches and their bikini clad women to whatever.

Both at with the FAA. Kristina a research manager with drones. Sounded interesting. John not at liberty to tell me what he did.

Married. Two children.

They return home this morning. I can’t wait to meet up with them again next year.

Now back to Aqua and Dueling bartenders.

Terri the guest artist.

Two weeks ago, Terri received favorable news from her cancer hospital in Tampa. She is in remission. Her singing last night exhibited a gusto I attribute to the news. She also danced and pranced about. Terri was a Broadway hoofer as well as singer.

She was singing a love song. Came over and threw her arm around me in what was intended as a hug. It was not. My face became imbedded in her left breast. I could not breathe. She did not know.

Bear at Aqua also. His first time. Only 10 weeks old. What a good boy! Sat under a chair and ignored everyone. Probably scared seeing all the people. A never before event for him.

Donna came in later. She has been dieting. Looked good. Tall and thin.

I met at the Aqua bar last year a man from Utica. Not Utica, NY. Utica, Michigan. He was back last night. This time with an oxygen tube in his nostrils. Made no difference, he was whooping it up at the bar having a good time.

While at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town, Fred Tillman stopped by to say hello. Tillman a Key Wester for years. Owned Kelly’s and two other restaurants for years. He catered Lisa’s wedding.

His outstanding achievement from my perspective were the years he was married to Hollywood actress Kelly McGillis. The Kelly McGillis of Top Gun/Tom Cruise fame. Kelly lived in Key West with Fred and they operated the three restaurants together.

Now, long divorced.

I last saw Fred in December at David Wolkowsky’s 98th birthday party. Go David!

I have spoken of David many times. He is the father of modern Key West. Key West would not have developed as it has were it not for David.

An example is the Pier House. David built the Pier House. A section at a time. On the gulf end of Key West that was nothing but a mud puddle. On this day in 1967, David began construction of the Pier House Motel. A few rooms to become a gigantic resort. Big trees from little acorns grew.

Tonight, Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol. Five thirty at Aqua. Singing galore. A fundraiser for Lynda’s beloved Waterfront Playhouse.

Mary Lou Hoover busier than normal. She is running for Key West Commissioner. She will be the best Commissioner ever! Her campaign kick-off is February 26 at Salute’s.

Tonight, my podcast. What I describe as an internet radio show. You can see my picture and hear my voice. Nothing moves. Somewhat similar to radio.

I am into my third year. Impressed. I have advertisers. Not solicited by me. They come because of the size of my listening audience. Two of my favorites are GEICO, Ins. and Old Navy.

Showtime tonight is 9. The show a quick moving half hour. I talk about everything. A lot of politics. I am a political junkie.

My opinion generally shared. Love being able to share my thoughts on an issue without concern or permission.

Join me. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

TRUMP NOT MAN ENOUGH FOR LISTENING SESSION WITH DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

The kids from Parkland’s Douglas High School are tough. The buck stops with them! They appear committed to bringing the gun issue to a head.

Trump hears their cries. He has to do something. His nature.

It was announced yesterday that the President plans listening sessions this week with students and teachers. The announcement did not say what students and teachers.

Those from Douglas High School where 17 were killed? I doubt it. The students would make him look foolish. For two reasons. First, from the mouth of children comes truth. Second, the students know bullshit when they hear it.

The confrontation would be interesting.

I do not believe it will occur, however. A losing proposition for Trump. He would come out of it looking bad.

I believe that where ever and with whom ever the listening sessions will be held will be from another area. Trump will be working at rigging the meeting.

Remember rigged from the election?

Staying with the Douglas High School shooting a moment longer, there is a need for blood. O negative.

Enough blood was available to care for the injured victims. The supply is now tapped out. A request has gone forth to anyone who should wish to donate to help replenish O negative. Instructions direct traveling to their usual donation sites to give.

The AR-15 rifle in the news other than in Parkland.

Levi Patterson coaches a 9 and under baseball team in Nesoho, Missouri. Third graders. The team needs to raise money. The father of one of the players sells guns. He donated an AR-15 rifle for a raffle prize.

The team players, age 7-9, are selling the raffle tickets.

Coach Patterson sees no problem with the AR-15 being used. He believes people think differently about guns in his area. In effect, the AR-15 is ok.

Tyler Tannahill is a Kansas Congressional candidate. A month ago, he decided to have a giveaway contest. Someone to win an AR-15 rifle.

Douglas occurred last week. Tannahill refuses to withdraw the AR-15 as the prize. He is a passionate defender of gun rights.

Sometimes we see the same person over a period of several years and yet  never get to know their names, etc. Always a smile and cheerful hello in passing.

My situation with one of the concierges at the Marriott Beachside.

We discovered each other on a more personal basis yesterday.

My photo and announcement of Irma and I covered the front page of KONK Life last week. The concierge called out to me yesterday morning by name. She said she had not known it before, but had seen my pic and read the article. Told me she has begun reading my blog.

Her name, Toni Tarracino. Last name sound familiar? She is one of the daughters of now deceased Captain Tony. Key West Mayor, saloon keeper, icon, etc. Toni proudly told me she is known as Little Toni.

My day began with the stop at the Marriott Beachside. Followed by a business lunch at the Geiger Key Marina. At noon, hardly a seat. No question the season has arrived.

Back to my home. I had no hot water. A two day wait for a plumber. Called a friend who stopped over. Problem resolved in 15 minutes. After two days and three cold showers, it was a pleasure later in the afternoon to enjoy a hot one.

Last night, the Gardens. A comfortable way to finish sunday.

Many people.

Ran into Jenna Stauffer. A love of my life for 10 years. Jenna was the producer for the TV show I did for three years. She was all bubbly and excited. Just returned from Paris.

Also ran into June Hudson. A couple of years since we have seen each other. Unchanged. Charming and lovely.

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for a late dinner. A rack of lamb. Nothing else. Diet still holding at 19 pounds.

Iguanas are an exotic species. Look like small dragons. To Key West residents, disgusting.

The iguanas are not native. They started their invasion about 15 years ago. Now, all over the island.

They deficate all over, including in the pools. They eat your expensive planted flowers.

They fear not. You can walk up to one and it will not move.

All of a sudden, the State has become aware there is an iguana problem. Don’t know where the State has been. However the State does not wish them killed. The State has scheduled clinics to advise how to capture and arrange for their removal to another part of the State.

Capture and remove? How stupid. Authorize their killing.

A State representative said, “We do not know the extent of the threat.” Live here and you will know. They are all over the place.

The State should recall how it handled the python invasion. Too little, too late. Now number in excess of 1 million. They can only be controlled, not eradicated.

Can you imagine 1 million plus iguanas? They will be living in our homes. Laugh not.

Dueling Bartenders tonight at Aqua.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

A SLEEPING GIANT AWAKENED

The students at Parkland High School may be a sleeping giant awakened.

Several sources attribute a sleeping giant comment to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto following Japan’s successful bombing of Pearl Harbor. Yamamoto led the Japanese forces in the attack.

Yamamoto is alleged to have said: “I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Parkland students are disturbed. Properly so. Disturbed at an age where fear is not a part of their composition. They are able to speak out and are speaking out…..Stop the useless slaughters! Protect students! Washington, do something! President Trump, do something! How much money did the President get from the NRA? And on and on.

Good for them! Their cries/words may finally be the impetus to get something done.

The students cannot be considered crass for asking how much Trump received from the NRA for his campaign. Money does influence. Money does talk.

The number is $21 million. The largest amount the NRA has ever contributed to a Presidential candidate.

Such may account for what appears to be Trump’s calculated silence re gun violence. Note he spoke of first responders on his Parkland visit and merely glossed over the shooting and gun control itself.

The last time a President addressed the NRA was 1983. Till Trump became President Trump. Trump spoke before the NRA and said, “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”

We believe you Mr. President. You did not lie when you made that statement.

Violence begets violence. One crazy act another. Near home this time. Marathon.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department received a phone call yesterday morning that pictures of guns were being shown on Instagram together with a message threatening Marathon High School. Specifically, a band concert to be held that afternoon.

The Sheriff’s Department immediately went to work. Brought all federal ad state agencies together. The perpetrator was identified. Nineteen year old Marathon resident Duviel Gonzalez was arrested.

The arrest was made prior to the band concert. The concert went on a s scheduled at 3 pm, though under heavy security.

Every day a good day when living in Key West. Some even better. Yesterday was one of those days.

I watched the Syracuse/Miami game on TV. Syracuse having a difficult season. Needed an on the road win. Got it! Beat Miami 62-55.

Picked Catherine up before 4. A different Saturday late afternoon into evening began.

First Mary Ellen’s on Applerouth. A relatively new bar. Heard good things about its Happy Hour. Toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup the house specialty. Everyone had told me both to die for. They were right!

What no one told me however was that the tomato soup came with garlic bread. Wow! Delicious!

The sun still shining when we left Mary Ellen’s. What next? We walked two blocks to the Green Parrot.

I had not been to the Green Parrot in several years.

The place packed. Standing room only. A New Orleans group playing. People dancing. Stayed a while. Enjoyed a couple of drinks. Enjoyed each other’s company.

Where next as we left the Green parrot? I said, home. I’m tired.

It was dark.

We went to Catherine’s, sat on her terrace by candlelight and talked of many things.

After leaving Catherine’s and on the way home, I stopped at Donna and Terri’s to visit Bear. Donna and Terri live around the block from Catherine.

Bear fine. Biting. Learning to let Donna and Terri know when he has to pee. Goes to the door and whines. The other taking time.

Bear a friendly bundle of joy. A good addition to Donna and Terri’s life. Forgotten are Donna’s still fractured shoulder and Terri’s close encounter with cancer. Bear is everything!

A post Irma update. More than 5 months since the hurricane hit and renovations and rebuilding not close to completion. Not because people are slow. Because Irma beat the hell out of many parts of the Keys.

This past week the County started cleaning up the canals. Those of you who do not live in the Keys nor have never visited must understand that canals are like roads. Behind many homes. People swim and boat in them.

Not since Irma, however.

Pictures in yesterday’s edition of the Key West Citizen painted the picture vividly. Debris like you would not believe. Everything from homes to boats to appliances to shrubbery. So thick, it appears man could walk across them and the water.

A busy Sunday ahead. I have a luncheon scheduled. Then Kate Miano’s Gardens later in the afternoon.

Enjoy your Sunday!

CHILDREN SUFFERING POST IRMA

Who is feeding the children of the Keys post Irma?

Irma came and went 5 months ago on September 10. Things appear better in Key West. Duval booming. Though I suspect the tourist numbers are down. Down based on a fear that Irma’s effects still with us.

Physical damage more obvious as you move up the Keys. Especially from Cudjoe to Marathon. House damage, especially. Small tent cities evident. Cars visible housing whole families.

A food problem exists. Full employment has not returned. Too many businesses still closed because of Irma. Waiting for federal or insurance monies to repair or rebuild.

The food problem most evident with children. The schools have brought it to light.

I became aware via an excellent article in KONK E-Blast and the Key West Citizen editorial, both this morning.

The federal government ceased paying for school meals as of February 1. The kids still line up for food. Say, please charge it. The schools charge. Otherwise, many children would not eat.

The numbers shocking. Four thousand living units in the Keys damaged beyond repair. Prior to Irma, homeless children numbered 150. Now, more than 500.

Since February 1, it has been costing the School District $400 a day to feed the additional homeless and others whose parents have not yet returned to work.

The feds who cut off FEMA funding prohibit school food programs from acquiring debt or using surplus funding. The School Board has to figure out how the monies can be found administratively. In the meantime, donations are coming in to keep the children fed.

Another big evening last night.

Began with the Sons and Daughters of Italy’s scholarship fundraiser. Involved was a silent auction and drawing for a cooked and served Italian dinner for 8.

Free food at the event. Home made by the members. Outstanding! I could not have eaten better anywhere else last night. Dates stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in bacon. Meatballs in sauce. More. All mouth watering.

Blew my diet a bit. Only as to the stuffed dates. Enjoyed two.

Catherine was with me. We went over to Louie’s Backyard afterwards. Sat on the deck outside enjoying a couple of drinks.

I ran into Kate Miano. One of the finest persons in Key West. She told me she decided to run for Mayor. She will win. If she is able to run the City as she does her Gardens Hotel, Key West will benefit big time.

I was pleased and impressed with the announcement by Mueller yesterday that 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies had been indicted for screwing around with our Presidential election. Knocks the legs out of Trump’s claim that the Russians did not. Recall, he said Putin told him he and the Russians had nothing to do with it. He believed Putin.

I switched to FOX News immediately upon learning. Curious as to how FOX would be handling the news. Hannity was on. He seemed out of kilter. Unusual for him. Always damning things not Trump. He was obviously confused. He was suggesting the indictments were serious business and proof the Russians had committed wrong.

A couple of hours later when I returned to FOX, it was obvious Hannity had received other orders. Nothing good re the indictments was coming out of his mouth.

This morning FOX was the same. Three newscasters chatting back and forth. All negative re the indictments, of course. They lack backbone. They also don’t want to lose their pay checks.

I came across a Woodrow Wilson quote. Fits Trump perfectly: “All the extraordinary men I have ever known were chiefly extraordinary in their own estimation.”

Trump visited Parkland last night. Stopped at the hospital. Spoke to two of the injured children. A boy and girl. Focused his statements on first responders and the wonderful job they did. Failed to discuss the shooting itself, guns, and change to our gun laws.

Governor Scott and Senator Rubio were with him. It is reported Rubio spoke to the President emotionally re the impact on local families: ” This is a community and a state that’s in deep pain and they want action to make sure this never happens again.”

Trump replied: ” You can count on it.”

Good luck!

Trump recently submitted his proposed budget. The budget calls for a 30 percent cut to an Education Department grant program that supports safe schools. The budget also slashes public funds for mental health treatment.

The President speaks out of both sides of his mouth.

Seems to be a Trump morning for me.

Another Trump story involving the ladies. If this paragraph were titled, it would read something like Same Place, Same Week, Same Bungalow, Lake Tahoe.

It was reported that at the same 2006 golf tournament at Lake Tahoe where the President purportedly had a sexual liaison with porn star Stormy Daniels, he had another. She revealed herself yesterday. Her name Karen McDougal. 1998 Playboy Playmate of the Year. She received $150,000. Daniels settled for $130,000.

And no one seems to care. Morality out the window as far as this President is concerned.

Syracuse/Miami at noon. Vegas line has Miami a 6 point favorite. Syracuse needs the win. I will be watching.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRUMP IMPOTENT

Trump is impotent in three regards: (1) Putin, (2) guns, and (3) respect for women.

Think about it.

Information is leaking out re Nickolas Cruz the Parkland High School murderer.

ABC News reported Cruz told authorities he heard voices in his head to carry out the massacre. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law claims Cruz was affiliated with a white nationalistic militia and that he received paramilitary training with them.

I couldn’t wait to get to the Chart Room last night. Enjoy the banter that fills the room. Spent some time chatting with bartender friend John and several customers.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. I was back on the diet after one day of cheating. I am on Atkins. High protein, low carb. Enjoyed a rack of lamb. Just lamb. No vegetables, nothing.

Met an interesting woman at the bar. Yvonnie Ametin. She has resided in Key West 20 years, has three children, a home on Olivia Street, and is involved with social media.

We got into social media a bit. She helps people market via the internet. I found her very knowledgeable.

Interestingly, Yvonnie’s children go to the same Montessori as Robert and Ally. Her oldest daughter and Ally are probably in the same class.

The Side Door at Aqua will be fun tonight. The Sons and Daughters of Italy are having a fundraiser. The monies raised to go for scholarships for locals moving on to college.

There will be a silent auction. Also, a drawing. Tickets have been sold the past few months to add monies to the scholarship fund. The winner to receive an Italian dinner for 8 at his/her home. Everything provided, including dishes, silverware, clean up, etc.

Food free. A cash bar.

The event begins at 5:30.

Chopin was a sick man when he played his last concert in Paris this day in 1848. He would die of tuberculosis 18 months later at age 39.

Chopin is one of the musical greats. Both as composer and concert pianist.

Words describing his piano talent sensitive and descriptive. One wrote that his piano playing was “…..like the sighings of a flower, the whisper of the clouds…..the murmur of the stars.” Another, “…..the  slyph of the piano…..attached to this mortal world by the merest touch of a finger and nourished by a dream from on high.”

Sad days followed by notable ones. The Bataan Death Marched is ever seared in the minds of Americans and Filipinos. In 1942, the Japanese captured Bataan. The U.S.’s last stronghold in the Philippines.

Americans and Filipinos were force marched 55 miles. Along the way, 600 Americans and 5,000 Filipinos died. From the extreme brutality of the Japanese. They were starved, beaten, kicked, and bayoneted.

Americans and Filipinos recaptured Bataan three years later on this day in 1945.

No death march for the Japanese captured. American and Filipino values different from that of the enemy.

The $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels may turn into a problem for Trump and Michael Cohen. Cohen was Trump’s attorney and claims he paid the $130,000 settlement monies to Stormy Daniels out of his own pocket.

Hard to believe. Does not make sense. Lawyers don’t do that.

The Federal Election Commission is looking into the matter. The issue as to whether the $130,000 payment constituted an in kind political contribution.

If anything should come of this, it would be like Al Capone going to jail for tax evasion instead of the more popular criminal activity he may have been engaged in.

My Syracuse. Having difficulty winning this season. Needs to win all or one less than all of its remaining games to make the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse plays Miami tomorrow at noon.

Enjoy your day!

 

CHILDREN DIE

Another school shooting. Yesterday, Parkland High School. Located in Broward County Florida. The 19th school shooting  this year in the United States. Today, only February 15. Means 19 school shootings in 46 days. Seventeen killed yesterday. More injured.

The blame lies primarily with the NRA and our elected politicians. The politicos are owned by the NRA.

Children die because politicians are interested in keeping their seats.

Sick!

The extremist NRA lobbies. Elected officials are subservient to them because of the power and money the NRA has. Both of which could be used to defeat them if they dared to oppose the NRA.

Our elected representatives today reflect man at his worst. Money being more important than lives.

The past year saw politicians with a new line following a mass shooting. A line I would guarantee has to have been formulated by the NRA. When asked what the politician thought, what could be done, etc.,  the response always is not the time to talk about it.

If not immediately following a mass shooting, when?

Appreciate the amount of NRA money being spent on Congressional people alone. The New York Times set forth such information on October 4, 2017. I take from the article the top three US Senators who received the most in contributions from the NRA.

John Mc Cain #1. $7,700,000. Richard Burr #2. $6,900,000. Ray Blunt #3. $4,500,000.

The numbers say it all. The truth lies within them.

Big night yesterday. Actually started in the afternoon.

The Custom House first for the St. Valentine’s Day mass kiss-in. My date was Catherine. The kiss-in scheduled precisely for 6pm. One thousand expected. Five hundred couples kissing.

We got there at 4:30. The crowd still small. We knew we could not stay till 6 because of another event. We sat on the steps and chatted till 5:15.

Free rum beginning at 5. We did not get any. By 5, the line was long. The Spectrelles singing. Couples kissing when ever they wanted. The woman slung over on the man’s arm.

We left, but not without kissing. Our first. Immediately turned into 3 or 4. Led to more kissing later in the evening. Made me wonder why we had not done this on previous dates.

Then to the Sons and Daughters of Italy St. Valentine’s day dinner and meeting.

The dinner outstanding. Lasagna! Followed by a huge heart shaped chocolate cake covered deep in frosting.

I cheated. Only the third time since November 27. The night before, I craved cake. Any kind. I am on a low carb diet. The craving was satisfied last night. The lasagna an added bonus.

A night cap was in order. We were off to the Chart Room. John bartending.

Lovely Nikki cried out…..Key West Lou! We had never met before. Nikki is from Atlanta. Reads this blog every day. Thank you, Nikki!

Nikki and her husband Russ are from Atlanta. Vacationing. Have been doing so in Key West annually for many years. They were married on Smathers Beach in 2007.

Nikki is a paralegal. Husband Russ, a marina manager.

They were enjoying Key West with Atlanta friends Tatiana and Doug.

Permit an observation. Both Nikki and Tatiana extremely beautiful women.

I found Tatiana’s name different. Special. She explained she was Brazilian. Tatiana however not Brazilian. Tatiana was born sometime around the 1980 Winter Olympics. There was a Russian skater named Tatiana that impressed her mother. Ergo, the name Tatiana.

Tatiana is a nurse practitioner. Proud of her work and the responsibility that goes with it.

Doug into transportation logistics.

Four wonderful people! Hope I run into them again.

There is a new musical in Key West. Undying Love. Tickets hard to come by.

Described as an off beat musical. It is the story of Key West’s Count Carl von Cosel whose love Elena Milagro de Hoyos had died. He stole her body from her grave. Kept Elena with him for several years till discovered. In his bed. Preserved with wax.

Sick!

Made into a musical, however. And from all I hear, a tremendous success.

The Battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor this day in 1898. Two hundred sixty American sailors killed. Led to the Spanish American War.

Key West has two connections to the tragedy.

The first involves many of the sailors who died. They are interred in the Key West Cemetery. Duly honored every year.

The other is the location of the formal hearing to determine the cause of the explosion. The US Court of Naval Inquiry met at what is today’s Custom House. Then a newly constructed federal building.

The stock market crashed last week. I predicted it. Though not an economist, being 82 I have lived through several and could sense this one coming.

I am going to stick my neck out. The crash is not yet complete. There will be another this year, worse.

Enjoy your day!

 

PUCKER UP…..KEY WEST LOVES LOVE

Today, St. Valentine’s Day. Lovers’ day.

The most personal expression of that love is the kiss.

There will be a mass kiss-in tonight at 6 in front of the Custom House. The second year for the event. A success last year in its first attempt. More than 250 couples participated. More than 500 expected this year.

The purpose of the event is to spread a message to the world. One of peace and love.

The Custom House invites everyone to pucker up at 6 tonight! No charge. Kissing free.

Last night was podcast time for me. I had to rework the program at the last minute. To accommodate the revelations that came out of the Senate Committee hearing involving the heads of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Everything disturbed me. The one the most was the fact that all those testifying agreed that Russia had hacked into the 2016 election, that they were prepared to do it again in 2018 and 2020, and that our government was doing nothing to prevent the anticipated 2018 and 2020 hackings.

Makes sense. Trump denies Russia did anything. God forbid he say anything negative about Putin. There is no leadership concerning the issue.

The 2018 elections around the corner. Looks like Russia will get away with meddling in the mid term elections. And no one seems to care enough to do something about it.

Hard to  understand.

Pads And Tampons And the Problem With Periods. The title of a bill before the Arizona Legislature. Up for a vote. One legislator sent it to committee. The legislative committee an all male one. Just the make up to deal with a female issue.

The problem arose because female prisoners were receiving only 12 thin pads a month to deal with menstruation. Apparently not enough. Especially for heavy flowers. Thicker pads and the addition of tampons required.

The cost measured at $80,000 a year. The bill introduced by a female legislator.

Women knocked the doors down to testify. Former inmates and not.

Their testimony fell on deaf ears. The bill died in committee.

The legislator who sent it to committee is receiving pads and tampons mailed to him at his home and office.

Interestingly, the Federal Bureau of Prisons was faced with the same problem last year. They dealt with it. A memo was issued compelling wardens to issue tampons, pads and panty liners at no cost to inmates.

Trump a deceptive person. Those around him become deceptive after a while. An example being Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen of many years and his handling of stripper Stormy Daniels claim of sexual harassment by Trump.

They allegedly had an affair of sorts several years before Trump’s election. She was going to go public with the information just before the election.

Daniels was paid $130,000 in settlement of any claims she might have had.

The question arises as to who paid Daniel’s the $130,000. Whose pocket did it come out of?

Cohen says he personally paid the money, not Trump. Daniels is silent. She is bound by a non-disclosure clause in the agreement evidencing the payment. If she speaks in any way, she has to return the $130,000.

It appears Cohen is covering Trump’s ass. In the meantime, he may have gotten his ass in a jam. One involving a violation of Campaign Finance Laws. Cohen’s payment could be considered an excess-in kind contribution.

Theodore Roosevelt is recognized as having been a tough guy. No wonder. Life molded him that way.

One of the formative events involved his wife and mother. Both died the same day. This day in 1884. His wife of a kidney ailment. His mother, typhoid fever.

Netanyahu and Trump are birds of a feather. Both thugs and bullies.

I have reported re Netanyahu’s possible arrest the past several months. Police recently advised they are recommending a corruption indictment against Netanyahu, including bribery. The claim is Israeli’s government has turned into a culture of corruption.

Not the Israel of yesteryear. Nor is Trump’s United States the same as before his election.

Enjoy your day! Kiss your wife, woman, partner!