THE BLIND CAN SEE

Starting late this morning. Had an early doctor visit to do fasting blood work.

A new nurse. My blood pressure 117/62. Pulse 64. She checked my age on the chart. 83! How do you do it?

My response: Eat, drink, and sex. Her eyes opened wide!

I laughed and said not really. I eat and drink less. Sex, what is that?

Her turn to laugh.

Dinner with Terri and Donna last night at Hogfish.

A blind organization in Miami visits persons newly blind to teach them how to cope. Terri received such assistance the past 2 saturdays. Three hours each time.

She should have done it sooner.

Time and modern science have made it easier for persons such as Terri to cope. You will be impressed.

Terri has been given a new walking cane/stick. This one has a ball a vibrating ball at the tip. It tells Terri when she is near a curb or wall. Also, how high whatever is.

She was wearing a new watch. Pressed the button on the watch. It spoke! Date, day of week, and time.

Colors. Specially related to clothes. Works with everything, however. She has a scanner. Brushes it across a blouse, shorts, etc. and it sings out the color. If a print, describes the print. Like palm trees.

Terri wears rings. Different colored stones. Works with the rings, also.

How about weighing herself? No problem. She steps on the scale, it says hello, ready, tells her her weight, and then says good bye.

If she has to sign her signature on a document or piece of paper, she has a card. It is placed over the page. There is a vertical opening for her signature. She finds it by feel.

Money. How to distinguish paper money amounts. $1, $5, $10, etc. Terri now has an app in her cell phone. Runs the cell phone over the bill(s). Tells her the amount.

Re something hot, Terri wears arm coverings from wrist to elbow. Gets near something hot, before she would know it is hot, and the covering tells her “hot.”

This is the best. She can read! Not braille. She has a special scanner. She swipes it over the page and it reads the material back to her.

More to Come! Terri is all excited!

A reminder. Larry Smith Christmas Show tonight at the Studios. 8 pm. Terrific show! I have been watching Larry’s Christmas shows for years. Would not miss one. I will be there. You should be, also.

The Custom House as we know it was completed in 1891. The cost $107,955.96.

There was a Custom House before the new one was constructed. I understand somewhere in the 100 block of Duval. I will try to find it and let you know what it might have looked like.

Florida has some strange laws. Especially when it comes to sex. All of the following still the law. Why, I do not know.

Sex may only be done in the missionary position. Oral, illegal.

Illegal for an unmarried couple to live together. Doubly illegal if the couple commit “lewd acts.”

Unnatural and lascivious acts illegal. Whatever they may be. An exception. Breast feeding.

Destined to have occurred. A 7 year old migrant girl died after having been taken into custody at the border. New Mexico area.

A group of about 160 quietly came over the border and surrendered to authorities. She was with her father. The child fell ill almost immediately. Rushed to a hospital. Temperature 105.7. She had neither eaten nor had water for several days. Went into cardiac failure. Revived. Then died.

This all happened on December 6. It took one week for border personnel to report it.

The matter is being investigated.

I have to hustle. Pedicure scheduled for noon.

I lead a tough life.

Enjoy your day!

AS YE SOW, SO SHALL YE REAP

Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in jail yesterday. Deservedly so. 

The Good Book tells us “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6-7.

Three years is a relatively light sentence. Consider the millions the man made while associated with Trump. His lifestyle, what he provided his family.

Time to pay the fiddler.

The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Monroe Doctrine are coming back into play.

When the Russians were placing missiles in Cuba, Kennedy had to confront the situation and get the Russians out. He did. 

A sensitive encounter. Brought the U.S. to the brink of war with Russia. Were it not for Kennedy’s state of mind and that of his closest advisers, a nuclear war might have occurred.

The Monroe Doctrine came into being in 1823. President at the time was James Monroe. Interestingly, he did not father the document. It was his Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams.

Basically, the Monroe Doctrine was notice to European nations to stay out of the Americas. Invoked by many Presidents since. Not just Kennedy.

Time again.

On monday, 2 Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear  missiles landed in Venezuela. To the welcoming arms of Maduro. This is Putin testing American waters. He recognizes Trump is in trouble and believes this might be the time to take advantage.

My concern is Trump. He is not presently stable. The noose is tightening, the walls are closing in. Not the time for a confrontation. Nor are most of his advisers capable to handle such a situation.

Amazing that Putin is making such a move. After all, we have been led to believe Putin is Trump’s friend. Never has Trump poorly spoken of his “friend.” Even though Putin has been sticking it to Trump every chance he gets.

Difficult times ahead. The bombers have to go.

Never made the Sons and Daughters of Italy Christmas Party last night. When the time came to get ready, the body was not. I stayed home.

Harpoon Harry’s a delightful place to dine. Especially breakfast and lunch. Good solid diner type food.

The restaurant is located on Caroline. A lovely 2 story pink building.

This morning’s edition of KONK Life E-Blast carries a photo of the building from another time. Then Fishermen’s Cafe. No date accompanied the photo.

A shack! Aged weathered wood in a state of disrepair.

Unquestionably, the Key West of old.

How things change! For the better in this instance.

Banana Bay gone. Yesterday’s news. Officially closed monday. A new resort under construction. Should be outstanding considering the magnificent bay view available.

Key West weather. As mentioned yesterday, fluctuating like the stock market. Yesterday weather in the 60’s. Today high 81, low 77.

Everyone needs money. governments included. Their money comes from taxes. Sometimes a governmental entity will overreach. California may be attempting to do so at this time.

Serious consideration is being given to taxing text messages. A one time flat tax per year. Not a per call tax. Anticipated the tax will raise $44.5 million.

Nothing is sacred!

Comments to this blog are many. One struck my attention this morning. By JustSaying. I would title it America Lost: Trump…..”found the pulse of his base. The Wall, lock her up, the swamp all grade school level–school yard offerings by a con artist and, guess what, the world. It speaks more to the quality and maturity of Americans than it does Trump. America lost.”

Though I rarely agree wit him, I read the Canadian blogger Ian Welsh. Just as I watch FOX News on occasion. Always curious what the other side are saying.

Stephen Jay Gould was a well read scientist. Died 2002 at the age of 60. Welsh quoted this morning something Gould wrote: “I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”

Welsh added his comment at the end: “These days, McDonald’s, Walmarts and Amazon warehouses.”

Anti-Semetism continues to be on the rise. World wide. Joseph Goebbels was Hitler’s facilitator when it came to the Jews.

Goebbels was not pleased with how Jews were treated by the Italians. Lax, he thought: “The Italians are extremely lax in their treatment of Jews. They protect Italian Jews both in Tunis and occupied France and won’t permit their being drafted for work or compelled to wear the Star of David.”

The Italians might not have been the greatest warriors in World War II. However, their treatment of the Jews was humane and proper. I am proud my ancestry stood up for them.

I close with the middle class. A diminishing breed.

A recent study indicated 2/3’s of Americans consider themselves middle class. They are not. 

One half of American workers make less than $30,533 a year. A middle class lifestyle for a family of 4 cannot be sustained on that kind of money.

Enjoy your day!

KEY WEST WEATHER LIKE THE STOCK MARKET

The stock market in recent days up and down. Dramatically. So too Key West weather. Mid 70’s by day, low 60’s in the evening. A couple of nights as low as 60 degrees.

Then days and evenings in the 70’s. The weather “adjusting.”

Evenings in the 60’s cold! Outside and in bed!

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon continues to be savior to ailing turtles from everywhere.

Cold up north. Cape Cod waters freezing. Turtles can’t take it. Many washing up on shore. Stunned by the cold.

Thirty two sick Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles afflicted.

The turtles were flown to the Turtle Hospital. They will survive. Guaranteed. Best turtle care in the world!

Irma occurred September 10, 2017. Fifteen months ago. Recovery still ongoing. Much yet to be done.

The Matecumbe Sandy Cove Condominiums in Islamorada went down. Needs to be removed, not rebuilt. Finally ready to start now. Problem: Bureaucracy. Took this long to get the necessary permits.

Three Big Pine Parks took a beating. Directly in the path of Irma when it hit as a category 4. Money finally available to repair. $579,000.

There is much more yet to be done.

Money the problem. Primary failure falls on the shoulders of the federal government. Not remitting funds timely. I suspect broke because of all the natural disasters the federal government presently is funding.

Trying to move my ass. I have a dental appointment this morning. Per custom, because I am in a hurry everything going wrong. The platform people changed how I do things here completely. I am not adjusting well. Just lost 1.5 hours because I must have hit a wrong button. Thank God Sloan was at home!

Looking forward to tonight. Sons and Daughters of Italy Christmas Party. Always fun! At La Trattoria Beachside. 

Watched the meeting involving the President, Pelosi and Schumer in the Oval Office yesterday. Trump is losing it. Pelosi’s experience and ability evident.

Trump insists he will close the government down if he does not get the monies for the wall.

He further claims most of the wall already built. Can’t be so. Needed $25 billion. Only $1.3 billion appropriated in the past. How did he build it? 

Fact Check says wall not built. Trump was referring to fencing, not a wall, erected decades ago.

Trump keeps screwing around with countries all over the world. The Russians benefit. Venezuela an example.

Putin’s genius evident. Friendship with Trump, also.

Six months ago, Trump threatened to invade Venezuela. He was concerned for the poor there. Who was he trying to kid? Trump wants Venezuela’s oil reserves. The largest in the world.

Maduro responded strongly.

A couple of days later threatened to move from the petro-dollar-to petro-currency. Such would hurt the U.S. economy, weaken the U.S. dollar.

Russia and China are pushing the petro-currency.

Two days ago, Venezuela announced it was moving into petro-currency. 

Yesterday, 2 Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons landed in Venezuela.

Trump and Pompeo upset. Putin assuredly smiling in the background.

Another job well done, Donald!

On December 10, a Climate Change Conference was held in Poland. The largest climate conference ever. Purpose to find ways to resolve global warming.

Trump’s handpicked man at the meeting representing the U.S. Wells Griffith. He spoke and said the U.S. supports fossil fuels. He was mocked with laughter by those present.

The U.S. is having its problems. Certain European counties dramatically worse. France on the verge of revolution. Germany replacing Merkle. Theresa May may not survive a confidence vote later this afternoon.

I am the product of a Catholic education. Grammar school, high school and college. My Church has disappointed me over the years. Especially with the pedophilia problem.

Nuns taught me in grammar and high school. Lovely women. Even at this age, I think fondly of them.

Appears the Church’s contamination has inculcated the nuns.

Not sexually. Thievery the problem.

Two nuns at the St. James Catholic School in Redono Beach, California, embezzled $500,000 in school funds. Took the money from tuition payments, school fees and donations.

The good ladies used the funds for trips and casino gambling.

Parents are shocked. The nuns over the years made the parents believe the school was operating on a shoestring budget.

Is everything screwed up?

Enjoy your day!

HELP WANTED!!!!!

Key West is killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Actions taken over the years motivated by greed have resulted in leaks in the dike. One piece of evidence is the difficulty restaurant and bar owners are experiencing in finding/keeping help.

Waiters, waitresses, bartenders, are the mainstay of a tourist environment. The lowest paid also. Forgotten as the rest of the community has pocketed bigger and bigger dollars over the years.

Those making the least are finding it harder to make ends meet. To survive. The cost of living in Paradise too high. Rents out of sight. Two to four persons sharing a small apartment for $3,000 a month. Food costs continually on the rise. Many without health insurance.

The solution for these people simple. They move away. To places cheaper to live. Especially when it comes to rent.

Which means the restaurants and bars are quietly competing for help. Not in the newspapers. Personal telephone calls encouraging people to come to work for them.

Some restaurants have begun limiting the number of reservations they take. They can only handle so many customers because of the lack of help.

Eventually, the restaurant and bar owners will suffer.  Their lifestyles and operating expenses are based on a certain level of business. As fewer customers are accepted, the dollar intake goes down. The employers feel the pinch.

Further evidence that things are tough are the number of empty stores on Duval.  Scary. Understandable. Commercial rents out of sight.

How wise are the money makers in Key West? Can they see beyond their noises? Nothing is forever. Things of value must be operated properly to remain successful. Failure a silent killer. It comes as swiftly as death in the night. 

Which brings me to another Key West problem. One that could be a gigantic problem if not handled properly.

Key West has a habit of buying a pig in a poke. Everything the City does ends up costing significantly more dollars. Tax dollars. Yours and mine.

One of the issues discussed at the December 4 meeting of the City Commission was the possible redevelopment of Mount Trashmore. The landfill remediated many years ago. Now a hill near the golf course. Beautiful. Grass covered.

The talk is to remove the hill in its entirety. Take it down and build on it. Construct affordable housing.

Sounds like a good idea to help the housing crisis.

Beware! All that glitters is not gold. 

If Trashmore is not handled properly, the additional cost to Key West will be in the millions of dollars.

The talk I understand is to take the hill down. Why? Not necessary. It can be built upon.

A whole world exists beneath the grass. Running hundreds of feet into the ground. All kinds of hazardous substances. Living together. Blending together over the years. More potent today than the time years ago when the landfill was remediated.

Solids and liquids. Screw around with them and they move. Find pathways through their environment to the outside world. All of a sudden, what had been a safe landfill is now leaching. Hazardous fluids moving out. The water table affected. Properties nearby polluted. 

The EPA and Florida environmental people will be on Key West’s ass immediately to fix. A fix so costly it will blow people’s minds.

The landfill is not dormant. It lives. Waiting to break out.

I understand the remediatd landfill does not have a liner. Agreed to and done by the City to save money back when. Touch the landfill and the first thing the government will require today is for a liner to be placed underneath. Big bucks!

Pseudo experts a dime a dozen. Extreme caution to be exercised in selecting those to guide Key West if the job is done.

Time a factor. Taking down the hill not a one or two year thing. Must be done to the satisfaction of governmental agencies embodied to protect the environment. Affordable housing will not come into being for a number of years. A 5-10 year job start to finish.

Read an article yesterday that reported the Keys to be the warmest place in the country at the present time. Even warmer than Hawaii.

I share this with you this morning when it is 67 degrees. The high today projected at 69. Fell to 60 during the night. I had the heat on and a quilt over me.

Larry Smith performs friday evening. Eight at the Studios of Key West. The Larry Smith Holiday Jazz Concert.

I have seen every one of Larry’s Christmas specials for 20 years. Each year better than the preceding one. Do yourself a favor and go! He and those ensembled will leave you feeling warm and Christmassy at the end of the evening.

I close with some Hemingway. His youth.

Hemingway and his sister Marcelline were one year apart. Hemingway older by one year.

Their mother Grace had this fixation on them being twins. She held Marcelline back one year so she and her brother could enter school in the first grade as twins.

Mother Hemingway had problems.

Hemingway used to sing songs of little rhymes. Enjoyed performing. Short performances where he recited passages of poetry (like Longfellow’s Hiawatha), told tales he made up.

He enjoyed nature. His father responsible for that part of his upbringing. Enjoyed fishing especially. In those days, fresh water. At 3, he was recognized as some sort of fishing expert. He had a natural talent. He knew when he had a bite.

Boxing already. Mother Grace had a music room. Hemingway would take his friends in the room and box with them. Generally box against them. No matter how many. One at a time, of course.

He played the cello. Unhappily. His mother forced it upon him. He disliked the instrument itself and the one hour a day of practice. He finally was able to give up the cello while in high school. 

Hemingway an avid reader. Books at home, books from the public library. He read Robinson Caruso, Ivanhoe, Dicken’s Christmas stories, the Red Badge of Courage. He read everything!

While in high school, discovered sex. Enjoyed a sexual relationship with a Prudence Boulton.

Hemingway was an excellent student. Except for Latin. He required tutoring.

Tonight, my podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick moving interesting half hour. I vent about everything and anything. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

HARRY TRUMAN’S FATHER A FIRM DISCIPLINARIAN

Again…..Harry Truman loved Key West, Key West loves Harry Truman.

Truman’s early years were spent living on a farm. Both of his parents taught their children. Father Truman farm work, mother Truman reading. Character a given.

Harry had a pony. One day his father told him to come along with him to check the farm’s barb wire fences. Harry rode his pony.

Soon the barb wire inspection was complete. Harry’s father said lets check the cattle now to see if any are sick or injured.

They came across one of the cattle laying on the ground. Harry bent over to see what might be wrong with the animal. He fell off his pony.

Harry was not hurt.

His father was incensed, however. His face red with anger. 

Harry’s father said, “A boy who cannot stay on a pony has no business riding one, Harry. You’ll walk home from here.”

Father Truman took the reins of the pony and rode off. 

It was a long way home. Harry cried all the way.

That evening, Harry could hear his father and mother arguing.  His mother thought her husband had been abusive to Harry.

The Back Door at Aqua began my evening last night. Lauri Thibaud back!

Initially, I was her only customer.

Lauri all excited. In addition to her return to Aqua, she has another job. A new one for which she has no formal experience. Fear not, she will be a winner!

Lauri is going to have her own radio show. Drive at 5. Station 105.7. Three days a week from 4-7. The station a new one. Touted by its owners as the Keys only party station. 

Lauri will make it a big time party! She knows how to talk, make people laugh, etc. For 17 years, she emceed many of Aqua’s live stage shows.

Two gents from San Francisco stopped in. Lauri knew them from the night before. Jeff and Robert. The four of us discussed San Francisco and California’s many problems.

Liked the guys. Recommended they do Dueling Bartenders tonight.

I had a strange experience while sitting at the Back Door’s outside bar. I was seated beneath a huge tree. All of a sudden I heard a huge “plop” and felt something wet on my arm. An iguana had defecated on me…..almost. The main excretion landed on the bar a foot from my arm.

I hate iguanas. They shit in my pool, eat my flowers. No one likes them, except tourists who think they are cute. Three times I have had to empty my pool because of their crap polluting the water.

Florida has finally realized iguanas are propagating big time and taking over in a sense as the pythons have. The State is trying to figure out how to eradicate them. The iguanas are some sort of protected species. 

Would you believe!

Then to the Chart Room. John barftending. The bar itself crowded. 

There is a national group of lawyers who over the years have supported the legalization of marijuana. They have a one week convention each year at the Pier House. Hundreds attend.

The attorneys have won. Pot smoking welcomed in varying degrees in most States.

Stopped on the way home at Fernandy’s for Cuban toast and coffee. Fernandy’s Is Sandy Cafe’s new name.

Key West has become a small island with big cruise ships. The waters can be difficult in the winter months. Currents and winds a problem.

The inevitable finally occurred. A cruise ship was pushed by wind and current into a mooring as it was attempting to leave the Mallory Square port of call. The Silversea Silver Spirit, 691 feet long.

Damage was to a large concrete block atop pilings. Cost to repair estimated at $500,00. Three months to fix.

Fortunately, Key West has 2 other ports of call. The Outer Mole Pier and Margaritaville Resort Pier. However, Key West will lose one third of its cruise customers for 3 months. A significant financial hit to merchants.

The Studios of Key West continues to do itself proud. A roof top terrace is under construction. To be called Hugh’s View. One of the highest spots in Key West. The plan is to use Hugh’s View for sunset celebrations, intimate concerts, and quiet moments.

Our weather these days is like a yo yo. Winter is upon us. Seventy six the high today. Sixty this evening. A drop!

Wyoming was the first state or teritory to give women the right to vote. It was a territory at the time. December 10, 1869.

Gender equality had nothing to do with it. Sex the primary motivation. Wyoming had 6,000 adult males at the time and only 1,000 adult females.

The Khashoggi killing in Istanbul by Saudis disgusted the civilized world. The man was not only murdered, his body surgically cut into pieces for removal in suitcases. There is a question as to whether Khashoggi was dead before the chopping began.

History reveals similar other atrocities. One involves a wealthy white woman living in Louisiana in 1834. Delphine La Laurie. Slaves were money. She owned many slaves.

A sadist at heart, Delphine tortured and killed her slaves at random. Never made sense since she was killing off pieces of her wealth each time she did so.

An arson fire occurred at her home in 1834. The fire revealed the extent of her sick nature. African-American bodies were found hung, necks stretched, body parts stretched, limbs torn from bodies, intestines cut out and wrapped around waists like belts.

Delphine obviously had to leave town. She fled to Paris where she lived out her life.

Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade has turned me on since I first read the poem in high school. The bravery of the men involved!

Every opportunity to mention the writing, I do. 

The Battle of Balaklava was fought October 25, 1854. Six weeks later, Lord Tennyson published his famous work.

The words I find most inspiring: “All in the valley of death / Rode the six hundred….. / Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die.”

Enjoy your day!

WHAT A GAME!

College basketball at its finest! Syracuse/Georgetown. Titans of the Big East. Games played at the Carrier Dome, Georgetown Campus, Madison Square Garden, and where ever Final Four matches were played.

Each game hard fought! Most close. 

Neither side liked the other. Enemies. Even the coaches Jim Boeheim and Jim Thompson. They never talked. Ignored each other. The animosity ran deep.

Boeheim now in his 43rd year coaching at Syracuse. Thompson long retired. They met a couple of years after Thompson’s retirement at some event. They talked. Could not understand why they never became friends. Today, the best of friends.

Syracuse has left the Big East. Now part of the ACC. The two schools met yesterday in an out of league game. What a game! Just like days of old!

The last 5 minutes especially. Wow! Game close. Baskets exchanged. 10.6 seconds left. Syracuse down 1 point. Battle took an 18 foot jump shot with 2.5 seconds remaining. Clean! Syracuse up by one. Georgetown had a long 3. Well past half court. Popped it up just in time. Almost went in.

Syracuse won!

Everyone agrees. The 2 schools should schedule more games. Pure unadulterated basketball at its best!

Blue Macaw last night.

Finally saw Andrea and Joe again. The last time before Thanksgiving. Good people. Enjoyed a couple of drinks with them.

Also chatted with artist Jean Paul. An interesting guy. Jean, Andrea and I discussed internet dating. Jean Paul into it at the present time.

Everyone off to 801 to watch the Christmas Parade. I was lazy. Standing to watch the parade did not turn me on. I remained and had another drink.

Montana back bartending. A lovely young lady. Great personality. She had been on vacation for 2 weeks.

Remember Lauri no longer at the Rum Barrel on Sundays. She has returned to Aqua. She will be hosting the Back Bar beginning at 4.

Go! Lauri’s personality makes it special.

Harry Truman loved Key West. Key West loves Harry Truman.

C-Span recently did a poll to determine how U.S. Presidents through 2000 stacked up. Harry Truman ranked #5. Understandable. He inherited a full plate and handled things well.

Truman #5 behind Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Trump is too stupid to recognize what is going on around him. The neocons are taking over. Led by John Bolton. A warmonger.

When Huawei’s Meng was arrested in Vancouver, China’s Xi, Trump and their staffs were having dinner in Buenos Aires attempting to work out the tariff problems. Meng was arrested at the same time they were dining.

Bolton knew Meng was being arrested. Never told Trump. Makes Trump look like an ass. Embarrasses Xi and China.

One item, not much revealed. Meng was arrested for an alleged violation by her company re doing business with those doing business with Iran. The U.S. takes the position that if anyone does business with Iran, they will be penalized by the U.S.

Strange power the U.S. has.

The sanction violated does not have to do with Trump’s recent sanctions against Iran. Rather for a violation of sanctions imposed prior to 2015 by Obama. 

Shameful for Trump. He should have at least made such a move on sanctions he imposed.

Another thing bothering me is why Canada has been involved. Canada merely the arresting nation under extradition laws. Hearings going on presently in Canada to determine if Meng is to be extradited to New York for trial.

Trump keeps pushing the U.S.’s long time friend and neighbor Canada around.

Does not make sense. Merely exhibits a bully doing what he wants without caring about others.

Enjoy your Sunday!

HEMINGWAY HATED HIS MOTHER

Strong title. Can’t argue with history, however. Fact is fact.

Hemingway hated his mother.

John dos Passos, famous writer and Hemingway friend, said Hemingway was the only man he ever knew who truly hated his mother.

His mother was Grace Hall Hemingway. An aspiring opera singer, she settled into marriage and family. Taught music and voice lessons from the Hemingway home. Strictly religious, a woman with a melodramatic and mercurial temperament.

Grace had a peculiarity. Probably what contributed to her son hating her. She had a fondness for dressing Hemingway and his older sister as twins. Sometimes as boys with short hair, sometimes as girls with flowery dresses and long hair.

Hemingway was concerned at Christmas time when he was 3 that Santa Claus would not know he was a boy.

He was 6 years old when his mother finally permitted him to cut off his long locks for good.

Historians claim being dressed as a girl, etc. is why Hemingway spent his life proving his masculinity to himself and those closest to him.

The bitterness of his mother’s treatment is further evident in the way Hemingway treated female characters in his fiction and the way he treated his 4 wives.

Life is strange. Strange the impact a parent has on a child. Good, bad, or indifferent.

Spent time at the Chart Room last night.

John bartending. Steve and Cindy at the bar. Also Mike, owner of the Grand Guesthouse.

Steve and Cindy unquestionably Key West historians. They have resided in Key West since the mid 1970’s. Steve owned a series of taco stands in Key West and throughout Florida. Cindy was Jimmy Buffett’s assistant for more than 30 years.

They both know everything there is to know about Key West for the past 50 years.

Mike owns the Grand Guesthouse in Key West. A year since I had last seen him. We chatted a while. Learned something I did not know. His wife is Chef at the Reach. She has to be an absolutely outstanding cook. One of the finest steak houses in Key West.

A side note. Common knowledge that David Wolkowsky built the Pier House. What most do not know is that he also built the Reach. Two fine hotels on the opposite sides of the island.

The Reach initially was a rough sand beach with a shack sitting on it. Owned by the Catholic Church. A gathering spot for druggies. Wolkowsky bought the property, threw the beach bums out, and built a magnificent edifice.

A busy afternoon ahead for me. Sloan at 2. Some important work to be done. One of my programs is screwed up. Then at 3:30, Syracuse/Georgetown. Old time Big East basketball foes. Syracuse 6-2, Georgetown 7-1. Syracuse a 12 point favorite.

Patrick Ewing was an All-American star at Georgetown in his college days. Syracuse coached by Boeheim back then. Boeheim now in his 43rd year as Syracuse coach.

Ewing today in his second year as head basketball coach at Georgetown. A Hall of Fame Coach and a Hall of Fame Player oppose each other this afternoon.

Tonight one of my favorite Key West evenings. The Christmas Parade. Like one no where else. The whole town turns out to watch. I sometimes think half of Key West is in the parade itself. An exaggeration, of course.

I generally watch somewhere on Truman. Near Don’s Place. With Lisa and the grandkids.

Don’t know if I will make it tonight. I will be tired from my afternoon and will probably end up staying home.

The stock market.. Like Humpty Dumpty……Falling down!

Blame Trump.

The tariffs and sanctions he has imposed.

Things are not getting better.

Last week at the G 20 in Buenos Aires, Trump and China President Xi were having a private dinner with staff to try to work out the tariff war which is greatly adversely affecting the U.S. and China.

Duplicity reared its ugly head.

While Trump and Xi were talking in Buenos Aires, the U.S. had a prominent Chinese business person arrested at the Vancouver airport. Huawei CFO Meng. Huawei is a major Chinese company. Heavily involved in cell phones in Africa, Europe and Asia. Meng’s father and Xi close friends.

Meng was on her way to Mexico. She was arrested because her company has been doing business with companies doing business with Iran. Contrary to Trump imposed rules.

Such bullshit!

The horror of it all is that Trump and Xi were supposedly trying to work things out tariff wise at the moment of her arrest.

China pissed! Big time! A major insult by way of Asian thinking to China and Xi.

The market has been dropping dramatically as a result. One day up, I think. The rest down. Big numbers.

Yesterday the market dropped 558 points to 24,388. The 558 point drop erased all market gains for the year.

Good job, Donald!

The drop in my opinion not over. The tariffs and sanctions remain. China the biggest concern. Arresting Meng did not help.

If the market drops below 2,000 by year’s end, it will be the beginning of a world wide recession. Hopefully it will not hit 2,000.

I predicted last year that late this year or early into next year, the U.S. would be in recession. Not because I am an economic genius. Rather because I am 83 years old and have seen recessions develop in the past.

Enjoy your day!

 

CHINA 2018 THE JAPAN OF 1941?

December 7, 1941. In the words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “A date that will live in infamy.” Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor.

There is cause and effect. Every action does have an equal and opposite reaction. Are the U.S. and China on a path similar to that  which led to the Japanese attack?

Examine the facts.

It was December 6, 1941, the day before Pearl Harbor. U.S. intelligence less than adequate. Roosevelt had been told the Japanese fleet was heading for Thailand.

Roosevelt sent a telegram to Emperor Hirohito: “For the sake of humanity” intervene “to prevent further death and destruction in the world.”

Roosevelt amusingly told his wife Eleanor…..”The son of man has just sent his final message to the son of God.”

U.S. intelligence was wrong. Roosevelt relied on the erroneous intelligence. The next day, Hawaii was attacked. Not Thailand.

Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor? Japan was a non-entity in world affairs in the years leading to 1900. Isolated from the rest of the world.

In 1894 and 1904, Japan successfully engaged in wars against nations considered superior to Japan. During World War I, Japan participated on the side of the Allies.

The Great Depression affected Japan as most nations at the time. Tensions had begun  growing between the U.S. and Japan 10 years earlier. Driven by economic and demographic woes.

Japan invaded Manchuria and other parts of China. The League of Nations condemned the invasion. Japan withdrew from the League as a result.

The Sino-Japanese War began in 1937. Japan acted in an extremely brutal fashion. Perpetrated massacres. Mass killings and rapes.

It was obvious Japan was expanding globally. The U.S. tried to stop Japan’s expansion. The U.S. imposed economic sanctions on Japan, including trade embargoes on aircraft exports, oil, and scrap metal.

In September 1940, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy. The U.S. not involved in war with Germany and Italy yet.

The U.S. and Japan negotiated Japan’s expansion, the sanctions, etc. for months. Without success.

The U.S. had hoped the embargoes on oil and other key goods would lead Japan to halt its expansions.

The opposite proved correct. The sanctions and other penalties actually convinced Japan to stand its ground. Stand up for Japan.

Japan became increasingly angered. Thought U.S. conduct a part of Western interference in Asian affairs.

Importantly also, Japan felt the U.S. was not paying Japan the respect to which it was entitled. Japan believed they had earned respect as a world power beginning with the wars surrounding 1900 and its actions into the 1940’s.

Respect/face very important in Asian thinking. Neither was forthcoming from the U.S. There was a failure to recognize the new kid on the block.

Japan realized war was inevitable. Japan recognized the odds were stacked against them in a military confrontation. Success depended on surprise. The target Pearl Harbor. Four thousand miles from Japan’s homeland. The U.S. would not expect it.

Pearl Harbor was perfect. The U.S. fleet, except for carriers, in harbor. The fleet and U.S. morale would be destroyed. There would be no will to fight back.

Japan underestimated the U.S. and its people.

Sanctions a major cause compelling Japan’s decision to attack.

U.S. sanctions in effect today against China. The tariff wars. War, global recession possible. Perhaps imminent.

The issues the same. Overbearing sanctions, the economies of both countries in disarray. Everything moving at a rapid pace.

Trump the creator of the present scenario. His intelligence advise questionable. Where it does exist, he does not pay attention. He refuses to be properly briefed.

An example is Meng Wanzhou who was arrested/detained in Vancouver saturday. At the same time Trump was sitting with China’s President Xi in Buenos Aires.

Meng is CFO of China’s second largest technology company Huawei. Her father founder and a leading Chinese figure.

Huawei has been violating U.S. imposed sanctions by doing business with Iran. The reason Meng was arrested. She is awaiting deportation to New York for a federal court appearance.

Note again she was arrested while Trump and Xi negotiating at the G 20. An embarrassing loss of face for Xi.

The question also arises as to what right the U.S. has to impose penalties on China for doing business with Iran. The Iran problem is between the U.S. and Iran, not the U.S., Iran, and China.

Word is that Trump was unaware Meng was being arrested. John Bolton says Trump did not know and had not been briefed.

Makes one wonder what is going on at the highest levels of U.S. government.

The outcome of any military conflict uncertain. Both nations have nuclear weapons. China considered the world’s second most powerful nation. It may be questionable whether it is behind the U.S. militarily.

In the past five years, China has gone all out improving its military. In excess of 350 new naval vessels constructed with up to date nuclear missile capacity.

China has also constructed islands where none existed in Asian waters. Islands out of nothing. Now airbases with planes and troops stationed thereon.

It makes me question whether the U.S. is still the strongest nation in the world. I would not what to find out the answer.

Similarities exist between the Japan of yesterday and the China of today. Especially as regards each’s relationship at the specific time with the U.S.

Hopefully both the U.S. and China will negotiate their way out of this mess.

We are entering a Don’t Tread On Me situation. Where one side will not take it anymore. Similar to the Boston Tea Party, the Alamo, Pearl Harbor. Not a comfortable time.

MERYL STREEP AND ANTONIO BANDERAS IN TOWN

Meryl Streep and Antonio Banderas in Key West for a few days. Filming a movie. The Laundromat.

Movie stars Gary Oldman, also. Do not think he is here. Actual filming in Key West only 2 days. 12/5 & 12/6.

Filming taking place on Caroline Street. Caroline already Christmas decorated. Decorations had to be removed for the filming.

Locals hired as extras. $125 for a 12 hour day.

The Laundromat is the story of a group of journalists who took part in unearthing 11.5 million files linking the world’s most powerful figures to secret banking accounts to avoid taxes. The film chronicles how a Panamanian law firm allowed the wealthy and connected to funnel money illegally via tax havens.

Last night, a colorful one. The Lighted Bike Ride. Christmas decorated  bicycles and riders. Hundreds participated. The Ride ended at Mary Ellen’s on Applerouth. Applerouth one block long. Closed. A block party held for the bike riders.

Love Mary Ellen’s! Not 2 years old yet. A popular spot. Inexpensive. The best tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Funky decorated. Funky games. Like tuesday evenings at 9 for the Dildo Races.

Stopped at Blue Macaw. Cold! Seventy degrees. Temperature dropped to low 60’s during the evening. Heat back on!

Bar crowd skimpy. Said hello to Alisa and Stephanie. Chatted too briefly with Angie.

A bit warmer tonight. Low 70. Still heat time for locals. Our blood is thin!

I watched President Bush’s service at the Washington National Cathedral. Moving. Mourning and celebratory. More celebratory. Showed sides of the man not generally known. Bush had a sense of humor. Stories told which shared that facet of his life.

One of the more humorous involved Bush’s operation of the motorboat at his Maine home. Bush was less than a good driver. He scared the hell out of Putin!

Tears shed on occasion. By those in the Cathedral and Louis.

The eulogies personal and warm. Son George broke down and cried near the end of his. Former Senator Simpson could have had a career as a comedian. Former Canadian Prime minister Mulroney, also.

Jon Mecham articulate. Warm. Weaves words well. Described the President as Mr. Peepers who wanted to be John Wayne to the laughter of all.

Perhaps not everyone. I refer to President Trump. Perhaps Melanie, also. Both obviously uncomfortable, a strange addition to the rest in the Cathedral.

The former Presidents and their spouses sat together in the front row. Trump and Melania came in after they had been seated a while. Before their appearance, the former Presidents and wives were chatting and joking.

Trump arrived and everyone went stiff. Sat quietly staring ahead.

The Obamas were seated next to the Trumps. They briefly and respectfully greeted the Trumps. The Clintons would have nothing to do with him nor Trump they.

Trump appeared uncomfortable throughout. Scowling and arms crossed. Slouching forward. Looked like a slob compared to the other Presidents.

The thought just occurred. If you remove the T from Trump and replace wit with a G, it becomes Grump. Respectfully, what Trump appeared to be during the service.

Trump supported by the Evangelicals. A strong religious group in the United States. Trump did not appear evangelical yesterday. He did not participate in prayers or hymns. The Apostles’ Creed was recited by all. It was even printed in the program. Trump’s lips closed throughout, as were Melania’s. So too with the Lord’s Prayer.

One other Presidential observation. President Carter and Hillary. Sat next to each other. A “created” space between them. Appeared to be by choice. Never saw them talk to each other.

Family. The Bush family tight. Close. The influence of George Sr. and Barbara apparent.

It was obvious throughout that brothers Jeb and George have a close relationship.

Today ends the President’s final services. The family has to be beat. They  are in Houston for a service at the President’s personal Church. Then a 70 mile train ride to his Library where he will be buried with Barbara and Robin.

This is the first time in more than half a century a political figure worthy of note has been  train transported to his final resting place. Robert Kennedy. I clearly recall. A train took his body to Washington. The tracks along the way lined with people paying their last respects. As thousands had done a hundred years earlier for Lincoln.

God bless President Bush! God bless our having been reminded of him. It comes at a time in American history when we need to recall there have been Presidents of character, morality, empathy, humanity, etc.

Enjoy your day!

A DAY OF NATIONAL MOURNING

This morning at 11, family, friends, world, and national leaders will pay homage to George H. W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral.

We no longer refer to funeral services as a time for sorrow, a time for mourning. Though in fact they are. Over the years those two words have transformed into a time for celebration.

Whatever, all apply.

While Bush’s life is being celebrated in the Cathedral, I will be full of sorrow. My heart will mourn for a good man gone.

I will shed some tears. Always do at events of this nature. A box of tissues nearby.

The Washington National Cathedral was completed in 1990. Following 83 years of construction. Though not complete till 1990, used for religious services in the years leading up to 1990.

Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller are laid to rest within the walls of the Cathedral.

Later today, Bush will be flown to Houston. Tomorrow at 5:15 pm, he will be buried on the grounds of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum next to his wife Barbara and daughter Robin.

Television yesterday showed former Senator  and Presidential candidate Bob Dole pay his last respects to Bush at the Capitol Rotunda. Moving. Friends and foes in the past. One saying good bye to the other.

Bush and Dole are members of the Greatest Generation. Both fought with distinction in World War II. Bush as a Navy carrier pilot shot down twice. Dole as an infantry man so severely wounded he was lucky to survive. Let alone still living today at age 95.

It was touching to watch Dole be helped from his wheel chair to offer a final salute to his friend and leader.

Syracuse won big time last night. Beat Northeastern 72-49. The team looked good. May they continue improving.

Syracuse’s next foe old time rival Georgetown. Saturday afternoon.

Immediately following the game, it was Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Enjoyed doing the show last night. Then again, I enjoy doing it every time it is done. The show went smoothly. Many thoughts shared.

My dear friend Lauri Thibaud has left the Rum Barrel and returned to Aqua. She will be working the Back Bar saturday and sunday evenings. Saturdays beginning at 5, sundays at 4.

Harry Truman time again.

I mentioned yesterday how Truman had bad eyesight, wanted to join the Missouri national guard in 1905, and feared he would fail the eye test. He cheated. Sort of. He memorized the eye chart. Passed with flying colors!

Truman now a private. Proud. Wanted his grandmother Louisa Young to see him in his uniform. He made a special trip to Grandview, Missouri to visit her.

Wore his uniform. Blue with red stripes down the trouser legs, red piping on the cuffs, and a red fourragere over the shoulder.

His grandmother was outraged! She told him the uniform reminded her of the Union soldiers who pillaged the family farm during the Civil War. She admonished him never to return wearing the uniform again.

He never did.

Enjoy your day!