MAJOR KEY WEST EVENT…..CONCH REPUBLIC DRAG RACE TODAY

This is the day! A major once a year event scheduled. The Conch Republic Drag Race. Duval Street. Part of Conch Republic Days.

Drag Queens galore! Female impersonators at their best! Males in female attire, wigs and make up. Most importantly, heels. High heels!

The 700 block of Duval. Race hosted by the Bourbon Street Pub.

The obstacle course difficult. Tires in the road, etc. Queens will be sitting in supercharged shopping carts driven by local male dancers.

Anything can happen! Usually does!

Enjoy!

A noon haircut with Lori yesterday. Her salon packed. Has been for weeks. We talked about it.

We were in accord. The big business ends this weekend. A holiday. Tourists in in large numbers. Snowbirds will go home next week. Business will be dramatically down in a week.

So it is. So it has been for many years. Lori and her staff plan for it. All are tired. Glad things will slow down.

Stopped into Fernandy’s for lunch. A gentleman came over. He knew me. I did not recognize him, however. His wife followed.

Turned out we had met at the Chart Room 5 years ago. Dave and Rhonda from Birmingham.

Dave reads this blog religiously. He knew it was time for my haircut and manicure. He was right! Haircut yesterday. Hopefully, manicure today.

Dave and Rhonda are visiting for one month. They rented a house near the Blue Macaw. Indicated they wanted to see Terri White. Perfect! She sings wednesday evening at 7 at Blue Macaw. They were excited.

Dave and Rhonda nice people. Understandable. They live in Birmingham, Alabama. Home of Jean and Joe Thornton. My benefactors during Irma.

Dave knew all about the stay. As I was trying to tell him about how nice Birmingham people were, he was a step ahead of me. He had read it all in the blog at the time. He agreed Birmingham people are the best.

Strange night. Began raining early. Around 9-10. Kept raining all night. Heavy. Noisy.

Heavy rain had been predicted for South Florida. Did not think it included the Keys. It did. Periodically woke me during the evening.

Met Janet Bengel and Don Bearden thursday at the radio station when I finished the show with Laurie. Laurie was going to interview them on her next segment re a show they are doing.

I chatted briefly with them in between segments.

Their involvement with the Fringe Theater. Live Key West theater.

Janet is President of Fringe Theater. Don a writer and sometime actor.

Don has written a new show. It’s All About Us. A romance and time travel story. It’s world premier April 24 and 25 in Key West at the Key West Theater on Eaton street.

Sounds good. I hope to be there.

Hurricane Michael back in the news. Destroyed the Panhandle last year. The federal government continues to fail the Panhandle. They are being treated like second cousins. Not getting the federal bucks and help required. An absolute disgrace.

They are American citizens living on the soil of an American state. Compared to Puerto Ricans who are Americans citizens and also still suffering more than a year later following Maria.

The government has and continues to fail both. A disgrace! Trump really knows how to take care of his own! Said with tongue in cheek. He knowingly permits U.S. citizens to suffer.

The problem is money. He would rather send it to the southwestern border than to northern Florida and Puerto Rico. His priorities screwed up.

Michael is back in the news. It was first classified as a category 4. Five miles short of a 5. It has been reclassified as a category 5. Why, I am not sure. I could find no specific reason. Five miles a minuscule difference.

My circle of friends continues to get smaller.

John Longeretta died.

John a Utica attorney I have known since high school days. An athlete. Exceptional football player. Played at Hamilton College. Baltimore looked him over.

John went to Syracuse University School of Law as I did. He was a year older and a year ahead of me.

John and I were always friends. Not saturday night dinner types. Good friends professionally and personally, never the less.

A quick story.

I had been sworn in 2 weeks earlier as a for real honest to goodness licensed lawyer. Received a telephone call from Judge Walsh’s secretary at 3 on a friday afternoon. The Judge wanted to see me.

I was all excited. A Judge wanted to see me!

Rushed down to his Chambers. He told me he was assigning me to a criminal case scheduled to begin trial monday morning. Three African-Americans had killed a semi-prominent white man and robbed him. The other 2 defendants were being represented by John Longeretta and Harold Hymes. Harold later became Chief Judge of the Utica City Court System.

Was I thrilled! They were charged with murder in the 2nd degree. Carried a death sentence. Electrocution in those days.

Note I had officially only been a lawyer for 2 weeks. I knew from nothing. They did not teach in law school in those days how to try a case. You learned by doing following graduation.

John had tried several criminal cases already. Harold had tried many over the years.

I was a total screw up! Mistakes! Wow!

At one time, I made a huge terrible one. I asked a stupid question that should never have been asked. Hurt our side badly. Judge Walsh called an immediate conference in Chambers.

I did not have to wait for the Judge to ream me a new you know what. Harold was all over me. Respectfully, John never said a word.

I took my beating. What else could I do? We returned to the court room.

The trial last 5 1/2 weeks. The jury was out in excess of 24 hours continuously. A blinding snowstorm raging outside. The courthouse heat inadequate in the night time.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty of robbery in the 2nd degree. Not guilty on the murder count.

The maximum  sentence in those days for robbery 2nd was 18 months. My “client” had spent 24 months awaiting trial. He would walk out of the courthouse with me.

He knew he was poorly represented. When he heard “guilty” and not understanding to what and the significance thereof, he looked at me and called me an “asshole.”

So it was.

None of us defending got paid. In those days, indigents were appointed counsel. Who worked for free. Pro bono. No public defender system.

I enjoyed working the case with John. Enjoyed working the case period. My first.

By the way, I got better as time went on.

John married Mirella. A beautiful stewardess from Italy. They had 4 children. Three boys and a girl. Their daughter Andria was a superior gymnast. I believe she went to George Washington because of the talent. Not sure what son John did for a living.

My friend had 2 other sons. Paul and David. Both became attorneys and spent their lives working with their father. Both, good people. I had an especially close relationship with David.

John, everyone will miss you. Rest in peace.

My date for dinner tonight is Terri. Donna is in Detroit doing Passover with her family. Terri opted not to go this year.

It will be a good evening.

No blog tomorrow. I wish you a Happy Easter today. Lisa is doing a big brunch at 9.

Enjoy your day!

MY OBSERVATIONS…..MUELLER REPORT

Trump is lucky Mueller was the Special Prosecutor. Mueller who operates by the book. Knows no deviation. Anyone else would have found a path to indict Trump.

Now the world will have to wait 2-4 years more to know if such will occur.

Winston Churchill’s words ring true here: “The end of the beginning.” The Trump investigation is nowhere at an end. Trump still has to deal with certain Congressional Committees, the Southern District of New York, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Barr came out a two faced liar. He sold his soul for Trump. He went into the Attorney General’s job for the second time a man of respect. He has been tainted by Trump. Anyone who comes into contact with Trump comes out dirtied.

Obstruction big. Trump will perish on his own sword.

Though Trump not indicted, the Mueller Report stands as a brutal indictment of him. The Report does not “totally and completely exonerate” Trump as Trump and his attorneys would have you believe.

Sarah Sanders comes out an acknowledged liar. We always knew. Another who has been dirtied by Trump. Or perhaps herself. Her desire for fame and glory making her do whatever was necessary to attain her goals.

The preceding my initial thoughts. More to come.

Laurie Thibaud and I had a great 1.5 hours together yesterday. The show gets better each week. The show’s name should be Fun Time on the Airwaves.

Laurie does the radio show weekends on the street at the new Duval Mall.

She views the Mall a success. Bases her conclusion on those attending. More each weekend. Smiles on their faces. Laurie says the Mall gives Key Westers who rarely go out something enjoyable to do.

Then to the Chart Room. Mary came in. We chatted a while. Ended up having dinner at La Trattoria. Tiffany bartending.

I sat next to Dink. One of the most impressive people in Key West today. A local, a Conch. He knows everything about the Key West of yesterday. His Dad was Hemingway’s driver for 10 years.

An early night. I was home in bed at 9 watching television.

Passover today. Begins at sun down. An 8 day festival commemorating the emancipation of Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

I have been fortunate for years to be Donna’s guest at Seder. Tonight’s dinner. Not this year, however. Donna and her family are doing Seder in Detroit this year. I took Donna to the airport yesterday afternoon.

One impropriety leads to another. One violation of law leads to another.

The story. A civilian group is policing the southwest border. Specifically, the New Mexico portion. Called the United Constitutional Patriots. A white nationalist group.

Uniformed. Carrying guns. Tell migrants they are a part of the Border Patrol/helping the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol apparently welcomes their assistance.

I do not and you should not. A self proclaimed group. Militarized themselves. Carry weapons. Perform police duties.

The federal government should immediate put the group out of business. Arrest and charge them. Will not happen, however. Trump probably welcomes their support and assistance.

Note carefully that this type white nationalist group operates openly in one area now. If they get away with it, they will rapidly spread across our land.

We do not need this. Smother the operation in its infancy.

Proof of the group’s existence already in video form on the internet. They are proud of what they are doing, video themselves and spread what they are doing via the internet.

The measles epidemic in New York is heading for an appellate confrontation. Two weeks ago, a group of parents  asked a Rockland County Judge to remove the ruling that those non-vaccinated could not attend public places. Schools, malls, parks, etc. The Judge agreed with the parents saying it was improper for government to impose such a ban.

So the measle epidemic was left to spread in Rockland County.

Last week, New York’s Mayor de Blasio ordered mandatory measle vaccinations. Schools were closed. Parents went to court. This time unsuccessfully.

Justice Lawrence Knipel wrote in his opinion: “A fireman need not obtained informed consent of the owner before extinguishing a house fire…..Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire contagion.”

For Christians, today is Good Friday. The day Jesus was crucified.

There was a time before I became a fallen away Catholic that I would attend a 3 hour service in Church on Good Friday. Noon to 3. No more.

I wonder how many still do.

Enjoy your day!

BARR MADNESS…..SOWING POLITICAL DISCORD

Going to be one hell of a day politically! Beginning at 9:30 this morning when attorney General Barr has a press conference re the Mueller Report.

The Report supposedly will be delivered to appropriate Congressional members around noon.

Word is Barr has already reviewed with various White House counsel contents of the Report. A no no. Not proper procedure. Report required to first go to the Congressional Committees involved.

Question whether Congress will see the whole or a redacted version.

Barr fails to understand or has intentionally forgotten he is sworn to uphold he Constitution. He is not personal attorney to the President. Not any type counsel to the President. He is wearing the wrong hat the way he is conducting his responsibilities.

By not going by the book, Barr is sowing political distrust, political discord. Many wonder if he is participating in a cover-up of certain facts.

The country is in jeopardy. Barr by not doing his duty as required contributes greatly to that jeopardy.

A few days ago, I suggested what is needed at this time is a Federal Judge to oversee the whole of the investigation. Someone similar to Judge John Sirica in Nixon/Watergate.

It may be happening.

Already several Federal Judges are involved in various aspects. One is Judge Reggie Walton. He has been assigned the BuzzFeed News’ FOIA request.

Judge Wilson announced yesterday that he should be involved in any redaction issues before any part of the Report goes public.

No determination has been made as yet.

There is a humor involved. Judge Walton is African-American. Trump a bigot. Poetic justice should Walton be assigned to the redaction phase of the case.

Made it to the Chart Room just after 5 yesterday. Seated at the bar were Mike, Jeff, and Gray. All Virginians.  Two from Arlington, one Fort Royal. Mike and Jeff brothers. Gray Mike’s brother in law.

Here with the wives. The men having a couple of drinks while waiting for the ladies to get ready for dinner. They were booked into Seven Fishes.

Jeff described their trip as a “spring break.” Twentieth visit to Key West for Mike and Jeff. Tenth for Gray.

The men have reached the successful time in their lives. Mike manages a software business, Jeff in business development, and Gary wealth management.

They are staying at Sweet Home Angelita. Never heard of it. They praised the accommodation. I googled it this morning. Magnificent!

Speaking of the Green Parrot, Mike thought the Green Parrot had the best Bloody Mary’s in Key West.

Harpoon Harry’s has become my place for dinner wednesday nights. A complete Thanksgiving turkey dinner. So good! Enjoyed last night!

Followed by a walk along the docks by Turtle Kral. Dusk. A comfortable breeze. The views of the boats lined up in every direction. A sight to see in the gray of the night.

More information re the Key West Citizen Building. The people by vote approved the purchase of the building for $5 million.

Only 14 percent of eligible voters participated. Sixty nine percent (1,459) approved. Six hundred forty nine voted no.

A poor turnout considering Key West has 15,000 registered voters.

Turtle time once again.

Marathon’s Turtle Hospital cares for sick turtles from all over the U.S. The place for a very sick turtle. The Hospital’s results outstanding.

When healing completed, the turtle is returned to the ocean.

Yesterday was Snappy’s big day. All better after weeks of care, he was returned to the ocean

So many boats, yachts, vessels of all kinds in Keys’ waters. Infrequently, one burns. Such occurred a few days ago. A 48 foot yacht somewhere offshore of Islamorada was on fire. Big time. A photo shows 3/4’s of the top side totally engulfed in flames. Thick black smoke on top reaching to the sky.

Fortunately, no injuries to those on board. Two adults and a dog. Our efficient Coast Guard quickly removed them before the flames got out of hand.

The weather has been getting humid this past week. Always occurs just before Easter. Today’s temperature a high of 88. Sunny, breezy, and HUMID.

From mid afternoon today busy for me.

At 3, I drive Donna to the airport. She is off to Detroit for the Jewish holiday. Returns sunday night.

Then to radio station 107.5 FM, WGAY FM to guest on Lori Thibaud’s radio show from 4-5:30. We do good together. Have been improving every week.

The radio station is across the street from the Pier House. I walk over to the Chart Room and imbibe for a couple of hours. Always meet friends or make new ones. I suspect I will end up having dinner with one of the old friends.

Almost another Columbine.

Columbine was 20 years ago. The 20th anniversary of the tragedy 5 days hence.

An 18 year old female high school student flew to Denver to celebrate the event by killing more students.

Her name, Sol Pais. She had been talking about Columbine in a strange fashion for days before. She was obsessed with Columbine. As soon she was off the plane, she drove to a store and purchased a shotgun and shells.

Various agencies became alerted. Traced her down. She committed suicide before they were upon her in a forest.

The various police agencies have to be complimented. They were ready for something like this. Picked up on the clues and went to work. As a result, another Columbine averted!

This day a significant one in history.

On this day in 1906, the Great San Francisco earthquake. An 8.0 on the rector scale.Hundreds killed. Two hundred fifty shock waves following the hurricane.

In 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes gained notoriety. They rode their horses all over the countryside warning of the British moving on Concord and Lexington.

Dawes actually rode much farther than Revere. However Revere was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem Paul Revere’s Ride. Recall the stanza: “One if by land / Two if by sea.”

The U.S. achieved its first revenge on Japan for Pearl Harbor. The year 1942. The event Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo.

This day in 1982 the Conch Republic was born. The Border Patrol blocked U.S. 1 at Florida City. Caused a 15 mile backup. The authorities checked everyone going north. It was thought persons illegally in the U.S. were bringing drugs into the U.S. through the Keys.

The event touched the humor bone of many Keys persons. A group organized itself into the Conch Republic. Immediately attacked the Border Patrol blockade. Followed with an equally immediate surrender to the U.S. and a reparation demand of $1 million.

Key West celebrates the occasion with a week long party each year.

Have to hustle. Started early. Want to catch Barr on TV at 9:30.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TODAY’S MUSLIMS YESTERDAY’S JEWS

 

Yes, there is a growing anti-Semitic movement world wide. Why, I cannot understand. Perhaps man needs a particular group to look down upon and abuse.

Then there are Muslims. Frowned upon, warred against, for years. Today the anti-Muslim movement appears to be growing with rapidity. World wide. Speed depending on the geographic area.

The U.S. still in the slow stage. Were it not for Trump, there would be far less anti-Muslim feeling than exists. He has fostered and nurtured anti-Muslim feelings in the U.S.

The nation at the forefront today is China. Insanely so.

China has “re-education camps.”  Gulags. Supposedly to change the Muslim’s religious way of thinking. More like Hitler’s concentration camps, however.

China’s Xinjiang region has 1 million Muslims so incarcerated. The 1 million making up 7 percent of the region’s population.

The anti-Muslim movement forcefully separate parents and children, incarcerate children in state run orphanages. China’s methods have been described as “a ruthlessly efficient Nazi-like systemic oppression.”

The world hears little of China’s treatment of its Muslim population. Two reasons therefore.

The first has to do with money. China a place for  world elites to make money. Big dollars. Why upset China. The opportunity for riches could stop. U.S. business persons part of the elite who want to continue doing business, could care less for the Chinese Muslim persecutions.

The other, the media. For some reason, the media is reluctant to address the problem.

Trump obviously anti-Muslim. It appears also he picked up some of China’s tricks.

I am always home tuesday evenings. Podcast time! I broadcast from my home.

Fun to do. The show informative. If you are not a listener, join me next week. You may enjoy the show.

In a quick hard hitting half hour, I covered the redacted Mueller report due to be released tomorrow, the Notre Dame fire, Appalachian coal miners becoming beekeepers, the F 35 expose, 20 veteran suicides a day, Trump’s retaliatory plan for sanctuary cities, words by the prophet Isaiah, and Steve Miller.

The people of Key West have spoken. In a vote, the people voted to have Key West buy the Citizen plant. For $5 million. Only 2,109 voted.

I was one of those who did not exercise my right to vote in this instance. Nor did I speak about the proposed sale at any time, except personally with people.

The property is not worth $5 million. The building has many problems. Though too late, I would like to know the anticipated cost for renovations.

Yemen, oh Yemen! Food and medicine shortages. On the brink of famine. Many killed every day. Primarily by Saudi planes dropping bombs and strafing.

Yemen a far worse humanitarian crisis than Venezuela.

The whole world has known and condemns the Yemen massacre. The U.S. does not. The U.S. provides military assistance to Saudi Arabia. Primarily in the form of the bombs dropped.

The House and Senate worked together in a bi-partisan fashion to cease supplying military equipment to Saudi Arabia. Trump vetoed the bill.

I hope Congress has sufficient votes to override the veto.

Congress passed the bill in an effort to finally stand up to a bad scene. Thousands killed. People starving. No medical care.

Congress is also extremely upset with Jamal Khashoggi’s killing. Recall, the Washington Post journalist whose body was chopped up in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

Trump vetoed because Saudi Arabia is his friend. Recall how they treated him when first he visited after his election.

Add Trump’s veto to his record of failures.

The Assange problems has so many twists and turns. Truth, exaggeration, lies, make up the story/package.

You recall that Assange had remained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for years. Ecuador surrendered him to English police last week.

Many countries want him. Including the U.S. Looks like the U.S. will get him.

A hearing was before British Judge Michael Snow. A trial trial. Assange was charged with publishing materials specifying U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The trial took 15 minutes. Assange only spoke once and that was to say “Not Guilty.” The Judge found Assange guilty.

Assange will be returned to the U.S.

His attorney described the proceeding a kangaroo court. Sounds like one to me.

In the long run, I am not sure exactly what Assange did that makes more than one country want him and want him desperately. The U.S. wants him for more than the charges he was found guilty of in the English court.

A strange outcome. Not the final result. I am sure the U.S. will hit him hard with additional charges when he returns.

Not the American way to get him. This whole matter over the years has left me confused.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SOUL OF PARIS BURNS

A busy 24 hours. Locally and internationally.

Paris first. Notre Dame Cathedral burned yesterday. A big fire. Roof and spire collapsed.

Paris in tears.

Paris firemen performed excellently. The fire was officially declared extinguished  in 8 hours.

The crown of thorns that Christ wore as he was beaten and crucified was saved. A priest ran into the burning Cathedral to save the ancient religious relic.

The Cathedral is 12th century Gothic in design. The building itself described as a masterpiece.

It will be rebuilt. The stone walls still stand. Already 2 donors have pledged a total of $3.5 million towards the reconstruction.

The Cathedral has survived several major abuses over the centuries. The rampages of the Huguenots in the 16th century, the depredations of radicals during the French Revolution in the 18th century when the cathedral was utilized as the home of the Cult of Reason and a warehouse, and incidental damages suffered in 2 World Wars in the 20th century.

Notre Dame will return!

Respectfully, Trump consistently gets his nose into things he knows nothing about. The Paris fire an example.

First however let’s go back to the California wildfires several months ago. Trump said California was negligent because it failed to sweep the forest lands. Thereby imputing responsibility for the wildfires to California.

His solution yesterday for the Cathedral fire was to use “flying water tankers.” What he had in mind is what firefighters refer to as “water bombing.”

Several professional sources responded immediately such was not the way to go. Water dropped from the air would cause the walls and remaining structure to collapse, worsen the situation, and endanger nearby buildings.

Trump may be an expert in some fields. He is not in firefighting.

He brought to mind the 1958 Spencer Tracy movie The Last Hurrah. Tracy played Mayor Frank Skeffington seeking reelection following several terms in office. The opposition hated him. Tracy was shanty Irish, the opposition Wasps.

The Wasps were blocking funds that the Mayor needed for a housing project in a poor neighborhood.

The son of one of the Wasps was visibly a horse’s ass. An obvious embarrassment to his father. The Mayor called him into his office unbeknown to his father. The Mayor made him Fire Chief. Had some photos taken in a fire hat and holding a horn of sorts.. Sent to the father before going to the press.

The father withdrew his opposition to the housing project. The Mayor withdrew the son’s nomination as Fire Chief. No one knew the better.

Trump may be a wasp. I do not know for sure. Whatever, in the field of fire fighting he is as good as the son who never became Fire Chief.

Anna was back to work  yesterday. She had some personal matters to resolve and was gone 6 weeks. Not easy for an old bachelor to clean house, do the wash, and iron. I am thrilled she has returned!

The outside of the house is getting a clean-up. The owners have had the entire house painted. Looks brand new!

Dueling Bartenders to start the evening yesterday. Teri White in a guest appearance. She and Rick Dery rocked the place!

Donna came in after work. Liz was there with Mary.

Bruce Moore came in especially to hear and see Terri. Bruce visiting for 2 weeks.

Bruce a singer and dancer himself. Appeared several times on Broadway. The guy does not age. He looked the same as when I last saw him 10 years ago.

Took a walk to La Trattoria where I had dinner alone. Dink came over as I was finishing. We talked quite a while.

Dink is a Conch. Born here. His father was Hemingway’s driver.

Hemingway’s last wife returned to Key West a year or two after her husband’s death. A room full of boxes had been discovered in Sloppy Joe’s back room. Hemingway materials. She went to examine the contents.

She took some. The major portion she left. She gave those boxes/items to Dink’s father. Turns out some of the materials have value. An unpublished book, a series of short stories, miscellaneous writings, and other materials.

Dink’s father and mother have passed on. The treasure trove Dink’s. We talked at length about it last night.

A Viking burial! Soon to be one in Key West. To “bury” a prominent Key Wester’s ashes.

Frank Holden well loved by many. To know him was to love him.

He had captained/mastered large vessels since the late 1960’s. Came to Key West and settled here in the early 1970’s. Died here February 25 at the age of 66. His death sudden and unexpected. He dropped. That was it.

Frank one of the Chart Room Bunch. Vino’s and The Porch, also.

At the time of his demise, he was the Admiral of the Conch Republic Navy.

His burial at sea tuesday April 23 at 1. A boat of relatives and friends will accompany his remains out to sea. Boats of others who knew Frank will join the flotilla.

Frank is to receive a Conch Republic Naval Burial at Sea. Airplanes and all. The event has been described to me as a Viking burial.

I suspect the harbor will be full of boats attending the ceremony. Following which there will be a celebration of Frank’s life at Schooner’s upstairs loft.

I was chatting with Donna at Dueling Bartenders. Told her many of my friends are in wheel chairs, or using canes and walkers.

Told her I hoped my time was still a far way off for such assistance.

Donna responded, “No one is promised tomorrow.”

Profound. True.

Which brings me to the prophet Isaiah: “Woe unto those who legislate evil and rob the poor of their rights and make women and children their prey.”

Remind you of anyone? The man who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Boston Marathon yesterday. Run in the worst weather in years.

The male winner was Worknesh Degefa. Won by 2 seconds. Numbers 2 and 3 were right behind him. A last second spurt did it.

The female, Luorce Cherno. Far and away number 1. She took the lead after 5 miles and never saw the pack behind her again.

The Russian Revolution an interesting event. At least for me. Russian history has always appealed to me. Mixed in with their writings, music, etc.

On this day in 1917, Lenin returned from exile to lead the Russian Revolution. He had been in exile for 10 years. His thoughts and actions impacted the world. Still do.

The Russian revolutionaries had split into 2 groups. The White Bolsheviks and the Red Bolsheviks. The Whites had the power at first. The first President of free Russia and a White Bolshevik  was Alexander Kerensky.

When Lenin and the Reds came to power, Kerensky fearing for his life fled Russia. First to London, then New York City.

I attended Manhattan College in New York City. In my senior year ((1956-1957), 2 Russian history courses were offered for the first time. Covered the Russian Revolution. I was thrilled. Took them both.

The professor was Alexander Kerensky. The man who had been the first President of a free Russia and also a leader of the White Bolsheviks.

Thrilling? You have no idea. To listen to a man who had experienced what he was teaching us. He had been there for everything. Wow!

Tonight another Wow! My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of Louis ranting and raving about whatever moves me at the moment.

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

Enjoy your day!

EXCITE YOUR TASTE BUDS…..TASTE OF KEY WEST

Big event tonight. Mallory Square, 6-9. Taste of Key West. Twenty fourth consecutive year.

A charitable fund raiser.  Works through SMART Ride 61. SMART Ride is the annual Miami to Key West bike ride. The Ride specializes in providing assistance and health services to individuals living with HIV/AIDs.

A fun event. If you enjoy eating, and who does not, Mallory Square is the place to be. Restaurants and food vendors from Key West and the Lower Keys offer the best their culinary talents can provide.

Eat your heart out!

The delectable foods for you, the funds for a group in need.

Opted for a quiet sunday evening. Chart Room around 5. Glad I showed up. I was John’s only customer. Later, the bar filled up.

Left after 2 drinks. Needed food again. For whatever reason, my refrigerator is always bare. I was in dire need.

I have been back into my diet for a month. Lost 12 pounds already. Last year, I lost 62 pounds. Gained 15 back. Decided to get rid of it before it became an ordeal.

It’s working again! I probably will go a few pounds over 15.

Turned on the TV while eating my dinner consisting of next to nothing. There was Gone With The Wind. One of my favorite movies.

Two lines have always stuck with me. Rhett Butler’s “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” And Scarlett O’Hara’s  “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

Both powerful in their respective settings.

My sunday afternoon noteworthy, also.

Tiger Woods winning the Masters. Thrilling! Brought a few tears to my eyes. A wayward life and body ailments brought his career to an end in the last 10 years. Woods never thought he would play again.

He won a tournament late last year.

Yesterday, he won again! A bigee! The Masters.

God was good.

Tiger went wild. The crowd cheered him. I cried.

I was channel switching. Watched Mayor Pete speak. An amazing individual! A breath of fresh air. His words and calm delivery remind me of John and Robert Kennedy.

As they did, he represents the new face of America.

Mayor Pete speaks the truth. Simply. Calm, yet with passion. He is intelligent. Did not speak down to the crowd. You never felt he was lying.

Youthful. Not a white old man with white hair.

Mayor Pete wants to take the U.S. in a new direction. Change the Nation’s course.

As he said, his winning would not be of an election. Rather, an era.

He impresses me. Not ready to commit yet, however. Would like to hear them all.

Michael Snyder is a conservative columnist. He refers to himself as conservatist. Sometimes, he deviates. To the middle. And on rare occasions goes over the line into liberal country.

I enjoy his writings. You have heard me refer to him in the past.

A recent column involved “Florida men.” Some 30 different factually correct happenings. From Snyder’s perspective, stories that prove America is in for more trouble than we thought.

A quote from the article: “When times are one of the darkest that the light is needed the most…..America is in desperate need of a new direction.”

Does not sound conservative to me. Even if it is, he is stating the obvious. We need new leadership!

An American tragedy. The U.S. has many. Some seem to fall between the cracks and get little attention. From government and the media.

Veteran suicides.

Twenty veterans a day die as suicides. No one seems to be paying attention. These former military persons did not have to stand in line when they signed up. However, they do stand in line now when medical care is required.

The press has to get into this first. Raise the volume so everyone can hear. Only then will the government pay attention.

Trump campaigned he was for veterans. He still talks about all he is doing for the vets.  Mostly lies, of course.

Our veterans are a forgotten breed.

I have never liked Stephen Miller. He and Bannon walked hand in hand initially. May still be doing so on the silent.

Miller sits in the White House at the right hand of Trump. He is the one controlling Trump’s immigration policies. Also the individual who writes most of Trump’s speeches covering important matters.

As a practical matter, Miller is a fink. Historically he reminds me of Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

Depicting Miller, interesting. He is an immigration warlord…..in a Rasputin type role…..knows how to keep his fingerprints/spots off the bodies of fallen rivals….put the knife in the back of Kirstjen Nielsen…..architect of Trump’s cruel immigration policies.

Miller knows he is in a position of power. Exercises it. If people do not jump high enough when he says jump, they become yesterday’s news.

Thank you Donald for providing America with the opportunity to experience Stephen Miller.

Dueling Bartenders at Aqua tonight for me. I am dieting. Taste of the Town not my thing at the moment. I would rather hum, sing along with Rick Dery and then enjoy a quiet dinner at La Trattoria.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

BLACK DAYS FOR AMERICA

On this day in 1865, Abraham Lincoln was shot. It was 5 days after Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House. Lincoln was at the Ford Theater watching a show.

John Wilkes Booth snuck up behind Lincoln and shot him in the head. Lincoln died the next morning.

The 2 days were black days for the Nation.

Following the shooting, Lincoln was immediately taken across the street to a lodging house. The Petersen House. He died at 7:22 the next morning.

Lincoln was a tall man. The bed was too short for him. He was laid diagonally on the bed.

Both the Ford Theater and the Petersen House today are under the supervision of the National Park Service.

Both facilities open to the public.

The furniture in the room Lincoln spent his last hours is not the same. It was sold and resold. Today is on display at the Chicago Historical Museum. Replicas however have taken their place in the Petersen House.

Part of the Petersen House exhibit does contain the original blood stained pillow and pillow case that held Lincoln’s head.

During my professional career, I visited Washington often. Always on business, never for pleasure. Never a tourist. Rarely saw anything of an historical nature. I would fly in in the morning and fly out in the evening.

Five yeas ago, I decided it was time to see my Nation’s capital. I took a one week vacation. I played tourist.

Nothing like Washington. Most museums and exhibits free. Long lines, however. The only negative. I did as much as time permitted.

Thrilling the only way to describe the trip.

The Smithsonian exhibits mind blowing. The Holocaust Museum sad to the point of tears on occasion. Especially a box car that was used to transport Jews to the death camps.

The Jefferson Memorial left me speechless. Jefferson standing tall. The Lincoln Memorial, likewise. Except, Lincoln was majestically seated.

If you ever have the opportunity, go! Take the kids and grandkids. As perfect for them as for you.

Amazing. I had to be in my late 70’s before I became a Washington tourist.

I plan on returning some day. Impossible to see it all in one week.

Last night, a pleasant one. Dinner at Antonia’s  with a new friend. Bobbie Cotton.

A pic in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast startled me. It was of a 4 seater scooter. The 4 people sitting one behind the other.

I assume it is the newest toy that will be plaguing Key West streets.

Key West has enough traffic. Too many different type vehicles and bikes. Just what we need now. A 4 seater scooter.

What less than intelligent public official approved the scooter’s use? Should be fired!

Key West is a city of many strange tales. Some real, others concocted. A real one happens to be the tale of a sick eccentric romantic. Carl Tanzler aka Count Carl von Cosel. It concerns his time with the woman he loved, Elena Hoyos Mesa. A young Cuban beauty.

They were in love. The Count most definitely in love.

The Count was a medical technologist at whatever was the Key West hospital at the time.

Elena died on October 25, 1931. The Count was lost. The love of his life gone. He devised a plan.

She had been buried in a lovely mausoleum at the Key West Cemetery. Paid for by the Count, of course.

Two years following Elena’s death, the Count in the dark of night removed her body from the mausoleum. Took Elena’s bones, etc. home with him. He reconstructed her body. Covered the final product in wax. Dressed her. Heavily bathe her in perfumes to keep the decomposition stench down.

The Count put her in his bed. He slept next to her. For 7 years till Elena’s sister discovered the madness which was taking place.

The Count was arrested. The charges involved moving a deceased’s body parts. He was never tried nor convicted. The statute of limitations had run.

The authorities took Elena’s body and buried her in an unmarked grave. Hoping the Count would not do the same thing again.

On April 14, 1941, Elena’s empty mausoleum blew up. Some one had set the charges.

The Count had left the day before to spend the rest of his life in Pasco County, Florida.

It is suspected the Count blew up the mausoleum.

The matter gets a bit sicker.

In 1972, 2 doctors who had examined Elena’s remains in 1940 mentioned that the body they examined contained a paper type tube in the woman’s vagina.

The doctors recalled the discovery as part of their 1940 examination. However, did not include it in their report.

Elena was buried in an unmarked grave back when. The authorities did not want the Count doing anything further with Elena’s body. The paper tube led persons to conclude the Count was having sex with Elena’s dead body the 7 years she was in his bed.

The situation became more convoluted. The Count died in 1952. At his home. His body not discovered for several days. There were some items in the room where he died, in the house, and surrounding his body. These items led  authorities to conclude that the Count might have discovered the location of her body in the unmarked grave, removed it, and returned Elena to Pasco County with him.

No one bothered to check the unmarked grave to see if her body was still there. Not then, nor to this day.

My April 3 blog concerned itself with The Americans. A group that considered women second class citizens. The group were leading male citizens. Under the guise of preventing the spread of venereal disease, a law was passed that made any woman viewed as suspicious by the police subject to arrest, incarceration, sometimes sterilization.

The law is still on the books in some states, though rarely enforced these days.

The law was/is known as the Chamberlain-Kahn Act.

Jasper Jottings is a weekly blog put out by F. John Reinke. His blog concerns Jaspers. Jaspers are Manhattan College graduates. Reinke graduated from Manhattan in the late 1960’s. I graduated from Manhattan in 1957. We have never met. Know each other however by our respective blogs.

Reinke refers to his blog as the Achievement Journal of My Fellow Jaspers, Alumni of Manhattan College.

Reinke carried my April 3 article re Women Second Class Citizens. I appreciate it. Reinke ran the article in his publication dated April 14.

I want to thank John. It was nice of him to print it.

Today, Sunday. Love Sundays! Pleasant things to do. Hot Dog Church, Kate Miano’s Gardens, the Chart Room. I hope to get at least 2 in tonight.

Enjoy your Sunday!

FRED AND WILMA…..STONE AGE COUPLE? TREES?

Spent yesterday primarily researching. By dinner time and time for me to be on the road, I was tired. Opted to remain home and watch TV.

Fred and Wilma. For our purposes today, a Keys story. For most of the world, a television show.

Let’s begin with the TV show. Fred and Wilma stars of The Flintstones. A 1960-66 pre-historic couple living in modern day surroundings. Great comedy!

Not the Fred and Wilma I am dwelling on today, however. My Fred and Wilma are part of the Old Seven Mile Bridge.

The Old Seven Mile Bridge was completed in the early 1900’s as part of the Florida Keys Over Sea Rail Road. Connected Marathon and Little Duck Key. The Old Seven Mile Bridge was basically wiped out by the Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Donna 1960.

The bridge has been closed to motorists and pedestrians for years. Finally, a rehabilitation has been undertaken. It will take till 2021 to complete repairs.

A sturdy tree has grown in the road bed of the Old Seven Mile Bridge. No one sure where it came from, how it got there, etc. The best guess is that the tree sprouted from bird or osprey droppings.

The tree an Australian pine one.

Note there is no friendly soil for growth purposes on the bridge.

The tree is named Fred.

Everyone loves Fred.

Christmas time Fred is decorated holiday style. Brightly.

The bridge has a problem. It is inaccessible these days. It can only be reached by parachute, jet pack, or scaling a 100 year old pylon from a boat bobbing in water more than 20 feet below the roadbed.

Fred is not alone. Another and smaller tree sits several hundred feet to the south of Fred. Called Wilma.

I would guess Fred and Wilma were so named because of the early 1960’s TV show, though I am not certain.

As you are driving north over today’s Seven Mile Bridge, take a look to your left. You will see Fred and Wilma. If traveling south, look to your right.

Tiger Woods. An athlete!

This is the weekend of the Masters. After 2 days, Woods is in second place. One stroke out of first.

There are a ton of young players at the top of the score board. Only a few near him age wise.

Woods won his first Masters in 1997 by 12 strokes. He was 21 at the time. Twenty two years later, he is with the leaders at this point.

Woods has had a tough career because of personal and health problems. He has gone through a lot. He has recovered. Has already won at least once this year.

Las Vegas and London odds favor Woods to win this weekend.

It is tougher competition in recent years for Woods. The young players of today are as good as he was 20 years. Woods set the standard, the kids adapted.

I will be pulling for him to win tomorrow.

Took a couple of breaks yesterday while researching. Spent some time watching the Masters and an old movie on TV.

The movie was a 1940 one staring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Too Many Girls. A stupid film about a southwestern college, the football team, and young love.

Van Johnson was in the movie. Spotted him immediately No talking part. Merely part of the crowd. Did some dancing. His name was not listed in the credits.

It was his first film. He was always in the front of a group or dance line. Smiling and waving his arms.

Four years later, he was the star in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. Starred in many films over the years. Even into his later yeas. He died in 2008.

Two other films of note were Caine Mutiny and The Last Time I Saw Paris. I especially enjoyed the Paris film. Johnson played a heavy. His co-star was Elizabeth Taylor.

Johnson is viewed as one of the last matinee idols of what has been described as Hollywood’s “golden age.”

Oh, Donald! Will he ever stop screwing things up, threatening , not caring about cost, legality meaningless to him, etc.?

His newest ploy is to get even with the sanctuary cities. He is threatening to dump the immigrants on them.

Neither practical nor legal. He has been told by his people the cost would be out of sight to accomplish.

He also would be violating U.S. domestic laws. Diverting money for political purposes to settle political scores is not allowed.

Then there is the Posse Comitatus Act. It has been mentioned he would use U.S. military already at the border to move the migrants and establish procedures to be followed in so doing. The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the use of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to enforce the domestic laws of the U.S., except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress.

The circumstances involved are not expressly permitted under the Constitution. Congress will definitely not pass legislation permitting it. His actions would never gain muster through the Democratically controlled Congress.

The man is destroying our country!

Enjoy your day!

 

STEVE BANNON WANTS TO BRING POPE FRANCIS DOWN

Steve Bannon is not the best of people. When he supported Trump and then was in Trump’s White House, his goal was to transform the U.S. as we have known. It is still his goal.

His primary function in life is to destroy existing governments and replace them with populist ones. Governments that are national conservative political movements.

The U.S. was not big enough for him to destroy. After he and Trump split, Bannon looked to larger governments to remake.

He found it. The Catholic Church!

In order to accomplish the goal, he has to bring Pope Francis down. He and Francis do not think alike.

Frances is administrator of the Church and also a politician. Francis opposes the populist national movement. He blames most of the world’s problems on the movement. He has said populists could lead to the election of leaders like Hitler.

There have been scandals within the Church. Sexual in nature. Homosexuality, pedophilia, bishop/nun sex, nun abortions, etc. Bannon believes Francis has not taken these scandals seriously enough. He is not confronting clerical sexual abuse head on.

Bannon has a partner in crime. Cardinal Raymond Burke. An American. Leader of the conservative faction of the clergy. The #1 conservative Catholic clergyman in the U.S.

Bannon and Burke now walk hand in hand. Their goals the same. Call for Francis’ resignation. Failing in that, erect another Vatican on grounds immediately outside the present Vatican. It will be the place for Church conservatives and many clerical homosexuals. A second Vatican, a separate Vatican from the present one.

Homosexuality plays a big part in all this. It is believed 80 percent of cardinals are homosexuals. Many lesser rank clergy working in the Vatican also.

They fear discovery.

Francis is not a homosexual. He is a man among “queens.” He was elected Pope because both sides felt they were safe with him. This poor humble boy from Argentina. What did he know!

Francis has been dealing with the clerical homosexual and sex abuse problems. Openly. That is why most of he Cardinals and others in the Vatican do not like him. He believes in transparency.

There are 2 groups of homosexuals within the Church. Those open about it. They believe based on recent world events that homosexuals are more and more accepted. They believe that acceptance would extend to them also.

Whether they are correct, I do not know. It is a long stretch.

The other group are homosexuals acting as homophobics. This group does not wish to be publicly identified as homosexuals. They therefore condemn those who practice homosexuality. To cover their asses.

In Frederic Martel’s In The Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy, Martel describes those who play at being homophobics as “ladies” who protest too much.

Burke and his American group are homophobics as described in the preceding. Bannon is working with them to accomplish their needs as well as his own.

In the meantime, there is a second pope living in the Vatican. Benedict XVI. The war between the two homosexual groups forced his retirement. A first.

Benedict is becoming a problem. The Burke/Bannon group is pushing him in a direction he does not enjoy.

All being done with the intent of getting rid of Frances and replacing him with a Pope more to the Burke/Benedict way of thinking.

A recent quote re Francis: “As for Pope Francis, he was presented by the press as a progressive. That isn’t precisely true: he’s merciful. He has a pastoral approach: he hold his hand out to the sinner. It isn’t the same thing at all.”

A pleasant thursday afternoon and evening yesterday.

Joined Laurie on her radio show at Station 107.5 FM, WGAY FM. A fun time! Our exchange gets better each week. Love doing the show with her!

Then to the Chart Room. Watched some of the Masters. Jean arrived., We chatted a bit. Decided to have dinner together. We did at La Tattoria. Tiffany bartending.

Dinner over at 8:30. Jean hopped on her bike to go to Vino’s. I in my car to go home.

Remember when Castro decided to teach the U.S. a lesson. He sent thousands to our shores. Refugees. He assumed we would welcome them. We did.

One problem. They were mostly mental defectives. Castro’s way of saying…..Up yours!

Trump had a similar idea.

In November and February, Trump seriously considered dumping the overflow migrants into “sanctuary cities.”

Teach sanctuary advocates a lesson!

Trump considers Ivanka a very smart woman. In recent months, he has considered appointing her to lead the World Bank or serve as UN Ambassador. Trump claims his daughter is very good with numbers and a natural diplomat.

He claims the only reason he did neither is because he knew he would be accused of nepotism.

Michael Avenatti. Came upon the scene 2-3 years ago. A sudden big time lawyer.

I was uncomfortable with Avenatti. He did not conduct himself as a lawyer. Especially one of quality. Cases are won in the courtroom, not on the steps of the court house or on TV.

Everyone I discussed the matter with disagreed with me. This guy is terrific! All thought.

I feel sorry for Avenatti. Like Humpty Dumpty, he fell off the wall. Doubt he can be put together again.

He was arrested yesterday on 36 counts. Based on a federal grand jury indictment. The feds seized his $4.5 million jet. Some of the  charges include income tax evasion. Some of the counts charged occurred over a 10 year period.

His fall came about recently based on a matter in which he was representing a client against NIKE. His demand $20 million. NIKE thought it was extortion. The authorities were called in.

The next 2-3 years are going to be difficult for Avenatti. Tough especially for a lawyer. I wish him well.

I close with Albert Einstein. A wise man in many ways, he said: “The greatest danger to the world is not the bad people but it’s the good people who don’t speak out.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DONNA BARNETT

Birthday party time last night. Donna’s. Friends gathered with her upstairs at the Blue Macaw. A good time had by all.

Terri sang Happy Birthday! to her wife. May she sing it for many years to come.

On the way home, I stopped at Publix to pick up a few things. Things I forgot at the time of my last visit.

Later this after noon, I sit with Laurie Thibaud for 1 1/2 hours. I will be guesting on Laurie’s Party Time Show. Beginning at 4. Station 105.7 FM, WGAY FM.

Laurie and I will sit facing each other and cover a multitude of sins.

Join us.

Then to the Chart Room. Don’t know at this point what I will be doing after the Chart Room.

Medical marijuana has finally found its way to Key West. Strictly recreational to this point.

The first medical marijuana store has opened or will be opening this weekend on Flagler. I think in Habana Plaza. In the next 2 weeks, two more. Both on Duval.

A lot of sick people going to need marijuana medication. I suspect the number of those requiring it will grow rapidly.

Without power late yesterday afternoon. Almost 2 hours. A sailboat hit power lines near Tavernier.

Attorney General Barr continues to make me uncomfortable .He speaks with forked tongue. He is emboldening Trump in wrongdoing.

During Watergate, John Sirica was the federal judge in charge/control of proceedings. The main thrust of the Mueller investigation does not seem to have reached that point yet. It needs to do so sooner than later. Otherwise Trump’s people will make a mockery of the investigation and prove that crime does pay.

Barr should be careful. An Attorney General can be criminally charged. Recall Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell. He spent 19 months in jail.

Measles. One of my childhood afflictions. Everyone my age today got the measles when they were very young. Once you had the measles and survived, there were built in immunities in your body to protect against ever getting the measles again.

Then came the vaccination shot. Replaced in effect actually getting the measles. The vaccination reliable. Twenty years ago, measles were declared to be gone. U.S. persons did not have to concern themselves. The vaccination protected all those vaccinated.

In every society, there are those who for various reasons are opposed to whatever. There were and are parents in the U.S. who do not believe in the vaccination and court’s have permitted them to legally prevent their children from being inoculated.

Rockland County, New York, was experiencing a measles epidemic. Within areas inhabited by orthodox Jewish families. The number infected somewhere in the 160’s. The County Legislature passed a law requiring unvaccinated children to be vaccinated immediately. Otherwise, they were barred from attending schools and being in public places.

Some anti-vaccination families took the matter to State Court. The Judge threw the ban out . Claimed it improper. The kids could go to school and anywhere they wanted.

The County filed an immediate appeal.

A stupid decision, I thought. A rogue Judge.

Now 2 weeks later, a portion of New York City has been declared a measles health emergency. The Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Interestingly, an orthodox Jewish community also. Two eighty five measles cases since October. Contrast that with only 2 cases in the whole of 2017.

Mayor de Blasio declared a public health emergency. All unvaccinated persons must be vaccinated or face heavy fines.

Note the measles epidemic occurred in orthodox Jewish areas in both Rockland County and Brooklyn. There had to have been a gathering of orthodox Jews which caused the disease to easily spread.

Enjoy your day!