SIT ON GRASS AND FIRE ANTS WILL DEVOUR YOUR BUTT AND GROIN

A unique Key West experience are fire ants. You have not lived till you have been bitten by a few. Nor the extreme itching that accompanies the bites.

Why fire ants this morning? Two reasons. The Citizens Voice and the Truman Waterfront Park Amphitheater.

This morning’s Voice carried the comment: “Anyone who wants to sit on the ground down here obviously has never heard of fire ants.”

The relatively new Amphitheater has a large grass area where it has been suggested people can sit on the grass. To their detriment! As your derriere, butt and legs will discover. Not one or two bites. Many!

You don’t feel the effects for several hours. Then the itching, pain and suffering sets in.

Small red hive-like lesions develop. Appear to become puss filled. Not puss. Dead skin. Most times accompanied by a black head on top.

A good 2-3 weeks before total relief is experienced.

I had my first experience some 20 years ago. I was playing golf. My approach shot was just off the green. I took a pitching wedge and putter with me. Laid the putter on the grass as I hit onto the green with the wedge.

Then picked up the putter. Immediately, I was full of red ants. Tons of them. Up my arms, under my tee shirt, up my legs, and into my shorts. Even my privates were under attack.

I had laid the putter on a fire ant hill.

I did not know what had invaded me. Never had heard of a fire ant. Knew I had to get them off my body. Swiftly stripped to nothing. Jumped around and knocked them off.

The guys I was playing with all laughed. Experienced Key Westers. I insisted I had got them all. They laughed. Wait!

That night it started. Red inflammation and pimples. A day or 2 later the red puss followed by the tiny black heads.

I was dying! What to do?

Went to Walgreens. Talked with the pharmacist. A woman with no heart.

She said every 3 days you take a sharp knife and cut the heads off. Then dab the sore with cotton soaked in alcohol. The red pimples and puss will return. However, you keep cutting them off. In about 3 weeks, everything will be fine.

I looked at her and said, “You’re nuts! You want me to take a knife and cut them off!”

She look at me as if I was stupid. She could have cared less. She turned around and walked away.

I went home and tried the knife routine. Could not do it! The mere thought of cutting myself made me squeamish.

There had to be a better way. I came up with it! I took a clean rough bath towel and rubbed them off. A little discomfort. No big deal. A hell of a lot better than cutting them off!

Bring a folding chair if you intend to sit on the grass at the Amphitheater. Be admonished however that your legs will not be protected. Some will crawl up them and do their dirty deed.

Better you go to the movies.

Dueling Bartenders last night. Rick Dery at the bar. Jodie Campbell guest performer.

Jean Thornton at the bar. First time I have seen her in months. She is back till after Fantasy Fest. Sheila and Sally, also. Afterwards, Jean and I had dinner together at La Trattoria.

A special evening. Love the lady!

Donna has been having a string of bad luck. The fall and cut to her head. Another fall and she broke her kneecap badly. Stomach discomfort this past week.

The stomach discomfort turned out to be diverticulitis. In an advanced stage. Her colon had perforated. The hospital did not pick up on the perforation during her first 2 visits. Her nausea overwhelming because of the hospital’s failure to diagnose the perforation. She had shit in her body! She was sick!

She was back in the hospital yesterday. I am sure they are filling her with appropriate antibiotics. Made she get well soon.

Goombay begins friday. The for real Fantasy Fest sunday night. The event is the talk of the town. The local conversation piece. Properly so. It is an exciting event!

Tonight, Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. There is so much to talk about. Trump and Syria at the top of the list. I am going to enjoy ranting and raving. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I have a bit of a problem tonight. My show is 9-9:30. The Democratic debate 8-11. I will be missing a good half hour of the debate.

Accidents happen. Some can be extremely serious.

A sad occurrence saturday night at the Key West Airport. Husband and wife in a private plane. Just the 2 of them. A Cessena 172.

The husband went to drive the plane onto the runway. It would not move. He went outside to check. Told his wife to remain in the plane.

The tire blocks had not been removed. He was removing them. His wife left the plane to help. She exited the plane and walked around to the front. Directly into the propeller.

She lost an arm and foot.

With all due respect (the lawyer in me), Trump is ignorant, knows not what he does. Causes all kinds of problems. Screws up everything he touches. Destroys people and reputations.

And last but not least, I fear he is going to get us into a worldwide conflict.

A week ago sunday he had the famous telephone call with Turkey’s Erdogan. Following the call, Trump announced the U.S. was pulling out of Syria and Turkey was free to do whatever it wanted. He made it sound like the decision was his. Erdogan had nothing to do with it.

Erdogan moved on the “permission” the next day. Turkish troops rapidly moved into Syria. Their goal the Kurds in the northeast region of Syria. The Kurds our friends. In word only from that moment on.

Trump immediately announced that if Turkey did anything to endanger American troops, he would in effect kill Turkey with economic sanctions. Another tariff war. Note that tariff wars take months if not years to really make an effect that can be felt.

In one week, everything is a mess. The Kurds are being defeated. Turkish soldiers are executing Kurds on the sides of roads. Isis prisoners are escaping jails. Two hundred seventy five thousand persons have been displaced. And as of yesterday, U.S. troops are in a bind. Caught between opposing forces. The word is an airlift will be required to get them out.

Four nations now engaged. The U.S. not one of them. A real danger exists that our soldiers will be hurt. Perhaps a war beyond Syria’s borders will begin. World War III will have its beginnings in the Middle and Far East.

Don’t say no! Trump is playing with fire. I find it amusing that he is the arsonist that began this mess and somehow he wants to be the frieman to put it out.

Trump has let the fox in the hen house.

Word is coming out of Washington that Trump did not take Erdogan seriously when he said sunday night he was going to invade Syria and get the Kurds.

Unquestionably, the U.S. has betrayed the Kurds. A reporter said he was asked by a Kurd who he was. An American journalist, he responded. The Kurd said, “Oh, the chickens!”

Ballsy Trump has demanded an immediate cease fire. No one is listening to him. World leaders have come to know what he is.

It was announced yesterday that Trump directed Pence to lead a delegation to Turkey to bring the bloodshed to an end. The best that can be expected is a Neville Chamberlain peace in our lifetime return message. A peace that will last as long as Chamberlain’s did.

John Bolton got dumped by Trump a couple of months ago. I never liked Bolton. Decidedly a warmonger.

Bolton is turning out to be as if a woman scorned. He is going “to get” Trump.”

Yesterday Bolton commented that Trump was involved in the effort to get the Ukraine to investigate Biden. He called the effort involving Trump, Giuliani, etc. as similar to a “drug deal.” He referred specifically to Giuliani as a “hand grenade.”

Enough for tuesday morning. Again, please join me at 9 tonight for Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

TRUMP: TROOPS OUT IMMEDIATELY

Can the President ever be believed? Can the people of the U.S. believe his word good enough to be taken to a bank?

Were his representations re the 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria being immediately withdrawn based on (1) ignorance or (2) an intentional lie?

About one week ago, Trump announced he had ordered the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria. This followed a telephone conference with Turkey’s President Erdogan.

I thought his move stupid. For all the reasons everyone has been talking about. Additionally, I thought it impossible to move 1,000 troops and equipment out “immediately.”

Friday the rumblings began. Troops still there. Only a handful removed. The reality was only 50 had been removed. Two groups that had been serving at 2 small observation posts.

Prior to friday, Trump had made statements on wednesday and thursday that U.S. troops were gone from Syria.

Wednesday: “We have not soldiers in the area, you know. We’re getting out of endless wars. We have to do it.”

Thursday: “We are out of there. We’ve been out of there for a while. No soldiers whatsoever…..We have no soldiers in Syria.”

In the past few days, it has been reported that certain of the remaining soldiers had been fired upon by Turkish artillery forces. So heavy that the American troops came close to shooting back.

The Washington conversation and media reports this past weekend clearly indicate U.S. troops still in Syria.

Another Trump lie? Or merely an indication that Trump lacks the necessary intelligence to lead?

Beware that his ineptness does not get us into a major shooting conflict. One that would be partially fought on our shores. One where many U.S. civilians would be killed.

The amusing facet of the whole mess is that Putin is coming out the winner. Everyone involved, except for the U.S. at the moment, is acknowledging Putin is the one to resolve the issues involved.

Putin not a benevolent benefactor. His interest the crude oil Syria controls.

Trump sitting in the grandstand at the moment taking everything in. Doing nothing. Perhaps nothing the best thing. He could only make things worse.

A local mess evidenced this past weekend. Who is correct, I do not know.

The issue involves the Poker Run. The past weekend was the 4r6th running of the Poker Run. Up to 3 years ago, a Key West event. A charitable fundraiser. Conducted by the Sunrise Rotary. Raised monies for local charities.

Three years ago, some local “biker gangs” from Miami joined the event. Reportedly caused havoc.

Sunrise Rotary threw up their hands. We’re out! They were there as volunteers. Not to control or oversee hoodlums. The big reason they claimed was that the event was too much work for volunteers and was not bringing in enough money.

My recollection is liability insurance became a problem also. Someone decided insurance was required to protect the City. The “gangs” brought a fear factor with them. A $1 million policy or something like that would henceforth be required.

Who would pay? The City or Sunrise Rotary. Neither would. Marked the end of Key West’s involvement in Poker Run.

The Run has been taken over by the Peterson family out of Miami. Motorcycle dealers. They also have a personal connection to the event. The family’s father Phil Peterson was one of the founders of Poker Run 46 years ago.

The event turned into participation by 10,000 to 15,000 bikers each year.

Recall a few days ago, I mentioned that I would be on Duval saturday night to look over the bikes. Very expensive machines. Usually parked along Duval. In special places on many Duval blocks.

I was disappointed saturday night. I saw a total of a dozen bikes from the time I left home til the time I returned. Three coming down U.S. 1. A few in the Pier House parking lot. None parked on Duval. The city had barricaded the parking spots. An obvious sign the bikers were not welcome.

This year and last year the Poker Run has involved 5 restaurants/bars between Big Pine and Key West. Official stopping off places for the bikers.

Such is the biker story involving Key West. Except for Duval merchants, no one seems to care. Many claim the bikes were noisy and disrupted the peace and tranquility of even Duval Street.

The Miami bikers did not help the situation either.

I have much more to cover this morning. Too much more. Would be at least double which I usually write.

I am stopping at this point. The blog would be too long. Also I believe the American troop problem in Syria and Key West’s abandonment of the Poker Run both of unusual significance. Worthy of being set forth alone.

Dueling Bartenders and La Trattoria tonight!

Enjoy your day! Continue Reading

ROADSIDE EXECUTIONS, SLAUGHTERING OF A PEOPLE, 100,000 PEOPLE DISPLACED

 

The Turkish/Kurd war is moving swiftly. Roughly a week old and the worst is becoming apparent.

Stories abound of roadside executions. Kurds tied, made to kneel, and then shot. Not once. Not by one person. Many times by many Turkish soldiers.

The slaughter was predicted even before the war began. Trump did not listen. Or if he did, he did not care. A Kurd military leader is reported to have said to certain U.S. leaders this past week, “You are leaving us to be slaughtered.”

A week and 100,000 persons displaced. How many more as time moves on.Some estimates are 200,000 more for a total of 300,000.

Woe the adjoining countries. Woe Turkey. Woe Trump. There is enough blame to go around and it will go around.

Something difficult to understand here. Trump has the 1,000 U.S. troops pulled out. Knowing full well the disaster that will befall the Kurds.

Last week had another military announcement of consequence. Trump’s administration announced the U.S. was sending more troops and fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. Thousands of more troops and 2 squadrons of fighter jets.

There is a strangeness involved. Since May, the U.S. has sent 11,000 troops to Saudi Arabia. Three thousand in the last month alone.

Why?

U.S. warmongers say Iran is “clearly responsible.” Cited in support is a claimed attack last month on oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia. Another reason is that the U.S. wants to have a “robust military capacity” in the region to respond to any crisis.

Something is wrong here. Quickly forgotten the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the dismembering of his body. Forgotten also that our friends the Saudis gave us $4 a gallon gasoline several years ago. Topped with 15 of the 9/11 perpetrators having been Saudi citizens.

Trump acting in typical fashion. Forgetting the U.S.’s “real friends” and seeking the friendship of nations led by despots.

Some quotes/sayings out there that have application today.

Mark Twain: “It’s easier to fool the people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

Fact check says Twain may not have said it. However they do not claim that he actually did not or another did. They are just not sure. Whereas most do attribute the statement to Twain.

I set forth the quote to identify one of the reasons that the same percentage continues to support Trump.

Then there is Bill Murray who said, “It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.”

Respectfully, Trump is lacking in intelligence.

A saying that has been bouncing around Florida for a few years which I believe has application to the White House and those that work within its walls: “Florida must have the highest rate of kindergarten dropouts.” Delete “Florida” and replace with “The White House.”

Another saying involves “ignorance taken to a whole new level.” Our present leader has turned ignorance into an art form.

The entire world seems to accept that politicians lie. Especially when they fail to deliver on campaign promises. The public seems to accept the situation. Pols are given a free pass.

No more in the City of Las Margaritas in Mexico.

The farm citizens were pissed the Mayor failed to deliver on campaign promises. Like failure to improve roads, and bring drinking water and electricity to their community.

They kidnapped the Mayor, tied him to the back end of a pick-up truck, and dragged him through the streets. Fortunately, he suffered no serious injuries.

A mob followed the pick up truck. Yelling in support of the Mayor’s punishment.

Imagine the outcome if such began happening to some of our politicians who fail to deliver on promises. I am not subscribing to the method. It might work, however.

I did go out last night! Finally! Only for 2 1/2 hours, however.

Joined Tammy for a manicure. We had an interesting chat as she worked on me.

The beginning of Fantasy Fest is friday. Goombay. We agreed that the first 2 days of Fantasy Fest known as Goombay are a family event.

The conversation then turned to business. She told me the same thing that Lori who does my hair has told me over the years. Both have “local businesses.” They do not depend on tourists.

When there is a slow season tourist wise, their customers cannot afford hair and nail treatment. Their incomes are down.

However, as soon as there is a big weekend or week, business booms the following week. The ladies have money! Money to attend to their personal needs.

Tammy and Lori plan accordingly.

Stopped at the Chart Room. In and out. Packed. No room to even stand. Half the crowd appear to be bikers.

Drove down Duval to look at the bikes parked along the curb. No bikes. Actually City had parking area fenced off so no bikes could park. Apparently a City/biker feud.

Intended to have dinner at La Trattoria. Packed, also.

Decided to go home and make a sandwich. Instead stopped at Outback. Last time there 2 years ago. Half empty. Enjoyed a light meal, watched football and baseball, and chatted with a lovely waitress. Tasha from Poland. Here 5 years. Lovely. We talked about diets. She just lost 18 pounds.

Roughly 10 years ago, Donna Barnett took me as her guest to see The Rocky Horror Show at the Waterfront Playhouse. Great show!

The show returns this week for a 7 day run. October 19-25.

I look forward to “seeing” the show again. Perhaps with Donna and Terri.

Today is Sunday. Sloan due at 1. Several things to be worked on.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

STONE CRAB SEASON OPENS SOON

My favorite food. Stone crabs!

The season opens 10/15 and runs through 5/16.

The red tide affected last year’s catch. I only had stone crabs 3 times. The taste was off. Fishermen blamed the red tide which had devastated the stone crab population.

This year the red tide is dramatically diminished. It is not expected to affect the stone crabs.

One fisherman described last season’s stone crab catch as “bad, bad, bad.”

The recent spiny lobster season was not the best. Supposedly the spiny lobsters still feeling the affects of Irma. Irma killed most off, caused larva to wash away, and destroyed their habitats.

A big event tomorrow night. The Southernmost Slow Ride. Also known as the Full Moon Bike Ride. Begins at 7. Runs to 10. Gather at Truman Waterfront Park to participate.

All ages. Few costumes.

Fantasy Fest a week away. Mosquitos a problem. Key West and Monroe County concerned for Fantasy Fet visitors. The last thing desired is for some to come down with dengue fever or some other mosquito affliction.

The Mosquito Control Board has gotten ready. It has made 2,834 inspections to make sure Key West and the lower keys are safe for visitors and locals alike.

This is Poker Run Weekend. Wrote about it yesterday. A big event. Fun for participants. A money maker for merchants. Things have been dead the past several months.

I mentioned yesterday that 3 years ago there had been a problem. Bad bikers came to town. The Marlon Brando crew. They raised hell. Changed the flavor of the event.

I thought whatever the necessary steps were to make sure such did not occur again had been taken.

I was wrong. The bad bikers expected to make problems this year also.

The Key West City Manager and Monroe County Sheriff advised they have concern.

Prohibition affected all of the U.S. Even back then, Key West had big time drinkers living here.

On this day in 1933, Key West voted 1,299-85 for the repeal of the 18th Amendment which prohibited the sale of alcohol beverages.

Drinkers then and drinkers now.

The Key West Lighthouse is a popular visitors’ venue today. Located at the corner of Truman and Whitehead, always a crowd.

No long used as a lighthouse. Deactivated and removed from operation in 1969.

The lighthouse was constructed in 1825. The Great Havana Hurricane of 1846 destroyed it. Another was built in its place in 1848 and operated till its official closing in 1969.

Cuba has known many revolutions. The first of significance was in 1868. Cubans and Spaniards never got along.

Carlos M. De Cespedes declared Cuba a free state and led the revolution. The war that began in 1868 became a ten year war ending in 1878.

The Spaniards crushed the Cubans. The defeat led to a massive Cuban migration to Key West. With the migration came the Cuban cigar.

Factories were opened to make hand rolled Cuban cigars. The experienced work force was in Key West because of the migration. Clear leaf Cuban tobacco was used.

There were once stilt houses in the waters west of Key West. Out a number of miles. Seventeen at their height. In various places. Three off Ballast Key.

All privately owned and constructed.

There came a time when the 17 were down to 11. I could not determine the precise reason why. I assume because of abandonment and non-use.

No one actually lived in the stilt houses. They were weekend places, party places. Sometimes a place from which to fish for spiny lobsters and stone crabs.

The area where the stilt houses were located at some point became part of the 2,000 square mile Everglades National Park. Whether before or after, I could not ascertain.

The federal government said the stilt houses had to come down. I cannot tell you why. Little is written about the stilt houses.

The federal government took the stilt houses under eminent domain. A major federal case ensued. Long decision. The primary issue just compensation. A federal judge by the name of William O. Mehrtens heard the case.

I write about the stilt houses for 2 reasons.

First, I would not expect stilt houses to be built or survive in ocean waters adjoining Key West. Recall, a number of miles out.

Second, my Chart Room friend of days gone by Marty Leshaw owns a stilt house somewhere in the Atlantic off Fort Lauderdale. His home is in Fort Lauderdale.

I have seen pictures of his stilt house. It is large compared to those in photos of Key West area stilt homes.

Marty has invited me several times to join him in Fort Lauderdale for a few days. I never seem to make it. Some day.

Quote for the day. Attributed to Aldous Huxley: “Men do not learn much from the lessons of history, and that is the most important of all lessons.”

Jane Fonda a woman whose life has been full of multi-faceted experiences. A major movie star in her own right, daughter of Henry Fonda, Barbella, protestor for causes, former wife of Ted Turner, etc.

She has done it all. Still doing.

Jane is soon to be 80. She was arrested friday by Washington police for taking part in a climate change protest on the steps of the U.S. Capital Building. The charge unlawful demonstrating.

She was one of 16 arrested. A photo indicated those demonstrating were small in number. I would not be surprised if only 16 in total.

The story of her arrest stated, “She was protesting mostly with people not yet old enough to vote.”

Jane stated she will be on the Capital steps for the next 16 fridays continuing the protest. Sort of throwing the gauntlet down: Arrest me, if you dare! They probably will.

We live in an era today where people have little trust in their government. Is was the same during the Vietnam War. The U.S. was in turmoil. Most disagreed with the war, no reason to be there, I do not want my children killed in a stupid war, etc.

Jane protested against the Vietnam War, also. She took a bad hit because of it.

Many thought the Vietnamese were correct and the U.S. wrong. Jane went to Vietnam to see for herself. While in Hanoi, she was photographed sitting on an enemy aircraft gun surrounded by Vietnamese soldiers. Everyone smiling.

It was 1972. By that time, almost 60,000 Americans had died in the war. The photo hit newspapers world wide. Millions of Americans were incensed by her conduct. They took it to mean she was pro-Vietnamese.

Such was not the case. A trip encased in good intent became her downfall. She became known as Hanoi Jane.

She was 34 at the time. Her reputation and career took a beating for some time thereafter. Her conduct considered by many to be treasonous.

She recognized her visit was the result of a lapse of judgment. She also believed she had been used by the Vietnamese.

She never really defended herself. Took her beating quietly. Eventually time overcame wounds inflicted.

You have to respect Jane Fonda today. A woman almost 80 demonstrating with teenagers and college students for a worthy cause. Arrested therefore and knowing she will be arrested again and again as she protests in subsequent weeks.

There are not many like her.

I don’t think I have been out an evening since last friday or saturday. Not drinking one reason. Key West a bar/drinking town. Difficult to sit and chat with folks when they are drinking and you are not.

Another reason I have become a recluse this week is that I fell. Again. In the house this time. Climbing the stairs.

Don’t ask me how. I don’t know. I fell against the bannister. My shoulder still hurts. No fracture. My arm bled from the force of the fall. A bit of a mess.

Tonight, I am out! Definitely!

I have a manicure with Tammy at 5:30. Then to the Chart Room for a diet Coke or two. A bit of a walk on Duval to look at the bikes. Finally, dinner at La Trattoria. I crave pasta with garlic sauce. Not a problem. I will be without a woman.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

MORNING STEW #22

A lot of material this morning. Too much to organize. I will lay things out as they come up in my notes.

Enjoy!

Haircut yesterday with Lori. I have not seen her in a month. She was sick when my last haircut was scheduled. In the meantime, I began growing a beard. The last time I had one was about 12 years ago.

The beard is entering its fifth week. Coming in well. I have trimmed it twice. Past the wild stage. Chin and moustache gaining body. Sides of face still not much. Apparently grows slower.

Lori and I had a conference. Should I try letting my hair grow. I have kept my head bald for at least 15 years. Half my head is naturally bald.

We decided to try. She cleaned my head up a bit. Very minimally.

Whether to grow hair is one of the heavy decisions one has to make at my age. So it should be!

Watched Syracuse/North Carolina State football last night. Not going to be a good season for Syracuse. We lost 16-10.

North Carolina played well. As the game progressed, I thought they were really going to kill us. They have a freshman quarterback. Seasoned already.

Syracuse’s De Vito is a redshirted sophomore. He needs seasoning. A lot to learn. He spiked the ball 3 times for example. Even once would have been too much.

This is De Vito’s year to learn. Means Syracuse will not shine till next year. Hopefully!

Caught pieces of Trump’s Minneapolis rally during the night when I woke and could not get back to sleep.

Typical Trump.

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. I occasionally use swear words in the blog to describe my feelings or what I think about another person. Fortunately, I do not use profanity or less than acceptable language as much as Trump.

Last night, he said Biden was only good while he was Vice President because he would “kiss Obama’s ass.”

Made me think. The guy most certainly is not a role model for the youth of America. Not just because of “ass.” He has used rougher language in the past. In fact, frequently.

Kids deserve better.

Clinton was not much of a role model either. His was  sex. The children understood. Someone someday will write a book re the impact Clinton had on the children of America.

The news before the rally was Trump was in a war with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. Over money.

It cost Minneapolis $530,000 for extra police protection services, etc. The Mayor said the President should pay. Trump said no way, he never pays. Which is true. Everywhere he has had a rally, he has left the city holding the bag.

Trump believes it is a city’s legal obligation to pay. He claims the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech. He as President is speaking. He should not have to pay.

No question Trump is el cheapo. He took in $125 million the first quarter this year to help with the campaign. A rally is part and parcel of a campaign. The President should pay. Especially since he is rolling in campaign money. Recall he is paying Facebook $1.6 million a week for political advertising. Most of which is going towards negative Biden ads which are coming up as lies.

The GM/UAW strike is in its 25th day. No resolution in sight as yet.

One of the biggest issues, if not the biggest, is the union’s demand that GM move work back from plants in Mexico to plants in the U.S. GM had announced pre strike that it was closing 4 U.S. plants. Three of the 4 have already halted production.

A difficult issue to resolve. Labor costs much cheaper in Mexico. Makes cost of the car to the consumer cheaper, also.

A huge chasm to cross in resolving the issue.

Woe the web we weave when first we seek to deceive. This Ukraine thing is growing. More persons being drawn into it. I suspect it will be the problem that brings Trump down in the final analysis.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York arrested 2 former Ukrainians who are now U.S. citizens. They make money for themselves and others by doing deals that may be less than proper involving the Ukraine.

The 2 were arrested at Dulles Airport wednesday as they were getting on a plane to fly to Venice. One way tickets. The two charged with campaign-finance law violations.

The 2 are “clients” of Rudy Giuliani.

A photo appeared in the newspapers yesterday showing the 2 at lunch with a third man and Donald Trump Jr.

It is claimed Trump has 119 business interests in the Ukraine.

Recall Trump’s cries that he was going to clean the swamp that Washington had become. His performance leaves much to be desired. In fact, the swamp has gotten swampier.

The U.S. has been at war in Afghanistan for 18 years. The U.S. has reached the point where many of the U.S. military serving in Afghanistan are 18 years old. Fifteen thousand three hundred sixty four.

Afghanistan is the place we should get out of. Not the Ukraine as Trump has done.

Interestingly, the U.S. is not the first nation/group that spent years in the Afghanistan region without success. The following failed: Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, the British Empire, and Russia.

A study was recently released listing the “most miserable” cities in the U.S. Gary, Indiana was #1.

Gary used to be a hub for manufacturing. Its jobs have gone elsewhere. When jobs go, the people do also. Of those remaining, only 50 percent are employed, 36 percent live under the poverty line.

Even “crimes” have left.

Gary used to be the murder capital of the U.S. Hardly anyone left to kill. Gary also used to be the drug capital of the U.S. No more. For drugs you need money. There is no money. There are not sufficient jobs nor things to steal.

Key West still in hurricane season. Till November 31.

Key West has had its share of hurricanes. Part of the Key West living experience.

There was the Great Hurricane of 1846. High winds and a 7 foot surge. All buildings damaged or destroyed. The hurricane considered the “most severe” till that time. Difficult to be certain. Fewer formal records kept. Those that were kept did not survive the hurricane.

Then there was the October 10, 1909 hurricane. A category 3. Winds over 100 mph. Twelve inches of rain in 5 hours.

Most of Key West destroyed. Leveled. KONK E-Blast ran a pic of the Ruy Lopez Cigar Factory. A huge 2 story building. Long. Ninety percent leveled. Not a pleasant sight.

This weekend the ROAR. Loud it will be. The 46th annual Florida Keys Poker Run. A fundraiser for charities and non-profits.

Hundreds of motorcycles will roar down U.S. 1 today to party in Key West through sunday. Then roar out with the same noise level. None of the bikes seem to have mufflers.

They drive U.S. 1 30-40 at a time in group formation.

The drivers and riders look like bad people. Black leather, Nazi type helmets, etc. Many with their women riding behind them. Similarly attired. All with tight blouses and shorts/jeans.

Men and women alike look like bums and dangerous people. Actually, not. They are doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. with their wives and girl friends. Coming to Key West for a fun filled weekend.

The merchants will be happy. The restaurants and bars will do a big business. The bikers spend money! The bikes cost as much as a good car. Beautiful vehicles.

The bikers come from all over the U.S. Unless Florida residents, they have their bikes shipped to Miami. Pick them up there and then ride U.S. 1 to Key West.

A few years ago, some biker groups joined the event. Not good guys. Bad ones. Came to start fights, etc. Key West wanted the event no more. The problem was resolved and last year the doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. were the only ones partying in Key West.

Enjoy your day!

 

I BET RIGHT NOW YOU WISH I WAS JEWISH TOO

A Yom Kippur story.

Sandy Koufax  is one of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time. In 1965, he was the absolute best.

On October 6, 1965, Koufax was playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers were playing the Minnesota Twins that day in the opening game of the World Series.

Koufax refused to play. He was Jewish. It was Yom Kippur, a religious day. The Dodger manager was Walter Alston. Neither he nor any of Koufax’s team mates got upset with Koufax. They respected his decision to put his religion ahead of  his job.

Don Drysdale was selected to pitch in Koufax’s place. Drysdale an excellent pitcher in his own right.

Not that day, however. He did not have it as the saying goes. In less than 3 innings, he gave up several runs.

When Alston went out to the mound to take out his starting pitcher, Drysdale quipped, “I bet right now you wish I was Jewish too.”

Historical genius Donald Trump was at it again yesterday.

Seeking to justify his giving Turkey the green light to invade the Kurds in northeastern Syria, he said, “They did not help us in the Second World War.”

Someone should remind him that neither did Germany or Japan. In spite of the clashes the U.S. has with them, Trump would never arrange to have either invaded.

At least, I don’t think so. Never know with Trump.

Another quip by Trump yesterday was, “They weren’t at Normandy.” An event 70 years ago. An observation by a man who avoided military service because of alleged bone chips in his foot.

It was mentioned yesterday on one of the news shows that Trump has many business interests in Turkey. One hundred nineteen to be exact.

An influencing factor in his decision?

There is no justification for what Trump is doing to the Kurds. He has stabbed a “friend” in the back.

America’s Judas. The best way to describe Trump. Because of him, women, kids and men are fleeing on foot the Turkish invasion. Some in wheelchairs. Smoke is seen billowing over a city. The sound of bombs can be heard. Soon 10,000 plus ISIS prisoners will be released from jail to act out their beliefs again on the Kurds. Perhaps even Americans.

The Turks are invading Syria from the north, Russian backed forces from the south, and ISIS fighters are attacking Raqqa. Trump has unraveled death and destruction.

It was reported that as many as 300,00 persons could be displaced. Talk about immigration problems! Other parts of Syria and other Mideast and European nations will be impacted.

Good job, Donald!

Trump’s war chest is big. He is taking in millions.

Trump’s campaign is spending $1.6 million a week advertising on Facebook. Political ads. Right now directed at Biden. Most of the ads false.

Facebook’s policy was to review political ads before running them to make sure what was being said was correct. Two weeks ago, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg met with Trump in the White House. A couple of days later, Facebook changed its policy re political ads. It no longer reviews them for correctness. Facebook has intentionally excluded them.

I have been opposed to government overseeing the internet. I wonder now if my thinking has been correct. Money talks!

This past week, Vice President Pence was interviewed by Anderson Cooper. This man who holds himself out as a most religious person defended Trump’s call to Turkey’s President Zelensky. He told Anderson that no request was made for the Ukraine to investigate Biden.

Now to Key West.

Lovely sweet Tammy from the Chart Room will be on a float for Fantasy Fest. Her first time.

I told her I had been on one years ago with Howard Livingston. Never again. Too much work. I was exhausted at the end of the evening. It’s the beads. Continuing to throw them to the screaming crowd tiring.

Tammy is 48. Looks 28.

She worked for a time as a bartender at the Garden of Eden. The clothing optional operation. Her time included a Fantasy Fest Week. She was required to go topless. Permitted however to have her breasts painted.

She was lucky.

There are female tourists on the street walking around with their entire bodies painted. Clothing consists of pasties on the nipples and sandals on the feet. Nothing in between.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

ANOTHER POLAND?

Turkey began entering Syria yesterday. A small band to prepare for the larger invasion which may begin today. TV and the Internet show tanks heading for the border. It is reported that the Turks will use tanks, foot shoulders, F16 jets, and howitzers to accomplish the invasion.

The Kurds are among the world’s best soldiers today. Trained by U.S. forces. They have distinguished themselves in the Syrian Civil War which has been ongoing for 7 years 8 months.

The Kurds do not have sufficient soldiers nor equipment to defeat the Turks. They will be defeated. A massacre of the Kurd forces and their families is anticipated.

All thanks to the “impetuous” Donald Trump who gave the ok signal to Turkey to go for it. He did so by “immediately” withdrawing the 1,000 American soldiers who had been helping the Kurds.

Seeing the Turkish tanks on TV and the internet reminded me of September 1, 1939 when Hitler began his invasion of Poland. The blitzkrieg. The start of World War II.

Turkey’s President Erdogan reminds me of Hitler. The same type moustache. Narrowed in. The war he is leading similar to the Polish invasion.

Actually, Erdogan and Trump remind me of Hitler and Mussolini. Erdogan Hitler in appearance and war effort. Trump Mussolini in appearance. However the two can be described as dissimilar. Trump purportedly has the brains and could be considered Hitler. Forget not, it was Trump who said in a monday press conference that he has “great and unmatched wisdom.”

World War II resulted in 70-85 million deaths. Military and civilian. Four hundred thousand American military.

It is difficult to determine the actual number of deaths caused thus far by the war in Syria. Syria’s President Assad a mean man in his own right. A killer. Cares not for his people. He has had many killed via the military and while imprisoned. He tortures the imprisoned big time. Many to their deaths. He once had 803 children killed at one time. He has been known to use chemical warfare.

Throw in Turkey. Add on Russia, Iran, and the Islamic State. All responsible in one fashion or another for deaths.

Can’t leave the U.S. out. Turkey and the Kurds our friends. We have been helping each side.

The U.N. estimates overall deaths between 400,000 and 570,000.

My concern is whether the Turkish invasion is the beginning of the end. I worry it may be the start of an even larger conflict. Like a world war.

I have always assumed if there was a third world war, it would begin in the Middle East or thereabouts. Too many war crazy people.

Add Trump into the mix and who knows what will happen. I fear Trump has become the facilitator for the big war. Doing stupid things like he did in telling Erdogan sunday he would pull American troops out.

The joke of it all is that in the entire Syrian War only 4 Americans have been killed. The U.S. does not have a similar track record anywhere else.

Why does everyone want all or a piece of Syria?

I suspect Turkey merely for expansion purposes. Erdogan refers to the land they want as becoming a “buffer zone.” Sounds a lot like Israel and the Palestinians.

Russia and Iran are after the oil. Crude oil. Syria is the only significant oil producing country in the Eastern Middle East region.

The U.S. is not interested in a buffer state or the oil. It is difficult to recall how the U.S became involved in Syria.

The entire situation a scary mess.

In the meantime, Trump is aggravating the hell out of China. He has declared new and significant tariffs. Trump keeps pushing and China is going to send some missiles our way. A people can only be defecated on so long.

My blog has been limited to the Turkey-Kurdish-Syria situation. It is that important.

Enjoy your day!

 

IN MY GREAT AND UNMATCHED WISDOM…..

He’s nuts! Narcissistic! Our President. Donald Trump.

Forty eight hours ago, he stabbed our friends the Kurds in the back. He ordered the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from northeastern Syria. Gave Turkey’s President Erdogan the ok to attack the border where the Kurds are stationed.

It is anticipated a massacre will result. Kurd soldiers and their families.

Trump made the decision without consultation with anyone he should have. Like Defense, the Pentagon, CIA, etc.

None agree with his move. Many Republican Senators also.

Such reflects how bad Trump’s decision was.

Apparently Trump and Erdogan had a telephone conference sunday. Erdogan was already extremely upset with Trump. Trump had not met with him privately at the U.N conference. May have caused Erdogan to lose face.

Whatever, in the call Trump agreed to the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Some say Trump was “rolled” by Erdogan. Typical of Trump. He gave something of value and received nothing in return. Takes me back to the campaign when Trump was proclaiming he was a negotiator, knew how to negotiate, etc.

Withing hours of the decision, experts were on Trump’s back. A bum move on his part.

He had to walk his decision back a bit.

At a press conference, Trump said he would “totally destroy and obliterate Turkey’s economy (I’ve done before) if it takes unspecified off limit actions.”

Trump also said that “…..if Turkey does anything that I IN MY GREAT AND UNMATCHED WISDOM CONSIDER TO BE OFF LIMITS,” Turkey would receive the economic destruction and obliteration previously described.

One of our problems is Trump believes his wisdom is “great and unmatched.” He knows not how limited his abilities are.

The U.S. has been involved in Syria for years. In an assisting capacity. Assad forever. Joined by Iran and Russia. Can you imagine! We have been helping Assad’s forces who have been totally aligned with those of Iran and Russia. We knew it all the time.

Strange in itself. The U.S. was in Syria to destroy ISIS. Somehow we got tangled with 2 of our worst enemies, Iran and Russia.

Why has Assad been so hot in taking over Syria? Why also Iran and Russia? The answer the same as with many present military engagements. Oil. Syria is the only significant oil producing country in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Oil is gold!

Respectfully, Trump is an asshole. He continues to remind me of Little Jack Horner. Recall, Little Jack Horner sat in a corner eating his Christmas pie. He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said, “What a good boy am I.”

I am sure Trump thought oh, what a good boy was he. He had pulled out a plum when he made the deal with Assad sunday to pull U.S. troops out.

The man is incompetent and inept. And those words give him too much credit!

Attorney General Barr belongs in Washington running the Justice Department. Not running around the world looking for dirt. Something to overturn the popularly believed concept that Russia was not involved in the 2016 U.S. elections.

He has recently visited Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom searching for wrongdoing by Democrats which would help Trump in the 2020 election. Interestingly, he has been coldly received in all 3 countries. Deciding rightfully that U.S. politics are none of their business.

Barr is doing such at the behest of Trump. Not his job. He should stop sucking up to Trump. Get fired or quit, if necessary. His reputation has become severely tarnished and gets more so with each passing day.

Tonight, my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Am I going to have fun!

Join me at 9 my time for a quick moving and interesting half hour. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

KEY WEST BREAKFAST CLUBS

Some consume alcohol in the evening, some in the afternoon into the evening, some in the evening. Some consume all day.

Drinking seems to be an All American sport. Definitely is in Key West.

Some require that early morning drink(s). Soothe the nerves, alcoholism, call it whatever you like. It is definitely needed!

I am aware of 2 Key West breakfast clubs. Schooner Wharf and Don’s Place. Both open at 7 in the morning. People arrive early and stand waiting for the 7 o’clock bell.

Schooner is open air. So people stand at the bar waiting. Don’s enclosed. They begin lining up outside at 6:45.

Never a mere handful at either place. A significant number of patrons waiting.

Schooner Wharf has an official club. Six hundred fifty two members.

I have been at both bars early morning.

Schooner Wharf several times years ago when my grandkids would visit me. Schooners has one of the best breakfasts in town and a terrific view of boats from dock side tables. I would take the grandkids for breakfast around 8. Nod hello to some of my friends at the bar as we were being seate.

Don’s Place is Key West icon Don Manaher’s place. Actually called Don’s Millionaire Bar. Don paid $1 million for the bar years ago.

This is where the customers line up outside waiting for the doors to open at 7. Don does a big breakfast club business.

I was at Don’s one morning at 7. Never again. Too early for me to drink. Actually, Don had arranged some sort of party. I went for the party phase. Knocked on my ass by the drinking phase.

A man’s word is his bond. So the saying goes. A nation’s word should be its bond also. Agreements between nations are reduced to writing. Makes the bond even stronger.

I have always respected Great Britain and France for declaring war on Germany immediately when Hitler attacked Poland. They had a mutual defense pact with each other.

The U.S. has many agreements between nations. Some for war, some for trade, whatever.

A nation sticks to its word. Most have. Till the past couple of years. The U.S. has failed to be a dependable partner since Trump’s election.

Syria has been an ongoing war for years. Never seems to get resolved. Many countries involved. Most want to control Syria for economic reasons.

Turkey is led by an authoritarian figure, Tayyip Erdogan. Though elected President, a dictator. He wants Syria for Turkey.

Trump and Erdogan are birds of a feather. Bullies, nationalists. The two perceive themselves to be tough guys. They get along well.

Last night, the 2 had a long distance call.  Erdogan wanted to invade the northeast border of Syria. The much respected Kurds have been defending the area. With the assistance of 1,000 American troops.

Trump agreed to withdraw the American troops immediately. The Americans have been withdrawing all day from the border. Turkey prepared to go in. Tough though the Kurds may be, it is highly questionable whether they can hold back the Turks.

The U.S. and Kurds have had a long standing agreement that U.S. forces would work with them. Trump did not care. He has no respect for agreements. Many Kurd friends and Syrian civilians will die because Trump wanted to impress a “political friend.”

Trump has justified his actions with the statement it is time to remove the U.S. from “ridiculous endless wars.”

Bullshit, of course. His intent is to show another national leader of the power he (Trump) has.

There is a shame factor involved. The U.S. by Trump’s actions have shamed itself. Trump stabbed the Kurds in the back.

Another area of the U.S. government reflects shame. The Republican members of the U.S. Senate. They blindly stand with Trump on most things. Things diabolical, non-legal, etc. And criticize not. They fear Trump. Amazing! Less than 3 years in office and he has them cowering.

Wisconsin’s Republican Senator Johnson guested on Meet the Press yesterday.

Some may think he did his duty by defending Trump. Others may view his performance as scary.

Johnson is not new to the political game. He is in his second term and is considered one of the Senate’s brighter members. Did not come over as such yesterday.

Rather than answer questions posed, he jumped in and started swiftly reading from a prepared document. He kept screwing it up. He frequently left the document which added to the confusion. He ranted and raved. Conducted himself abusively.

The man was the personification of fear. He feared. I have to assume he feared Trump. It appeared he sold his soul to the country store.

He reminded me of Sean Spicer. Spicer was Trump’s first Press Secretary. Recall inauguration day. Trump was upset with Sean’s description of the crowd. Trump wanted it to be the largest ever. Spicer spoke truth. It was much less than Obama’s.

Trump sent Spicer back before the TV cameras several times. Each time the pain and anger with that which he was being forced to do was obvious on his face.

Such is what I saw in Johnson’s conduct yesterday on Meet the Press.

To make the picture complete, friday evening Johnson was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. He was upset with Trump. He thought Trump had created a quid pro quo by holding up military aid to the Ukraine.

Less than 48 hours later on sunday morning, he took an opposite position. I cannot say he was less upset sunday morning as he had been friday evening. No, he was more upset sunday morning.

It was obvious Johnson had been imposed upon and was preaching a line not to his liking.

An example of the pot calling the kettle black. Trump said this past week that Nancy Pelosi may be guilty of treason. Why? She knew of all the “many shifty Adam Schiff lies and massive frauds perpetrated upon Congress and the American people.” Trump twittered, “The knowledge constitutes High Crimes and Misdemeanors, and even treason.”

Today is Vladimir Putin’s birthday. He is 67 years old. I bet Trump will call and wish his “friend” a Happy Birthday!

I conclude with a question: Does Democracy have a future?

Mull the question over. Some may wish to comment with a response.

Enjoy your day!

MUMMY, CAN I SHOW YOU SOMETHING…..

Happy Sunday!

Victoria Komada was born 3 years ago in Norwich, Poland. She was born with backward legs.

The medical term bilateral tibial hemimelia. A congenital deformity which results in deformed legs and missing bones.

She would never walk.

The doctors advised the only solution was a double amputation.

Her parents were reluctant to so proceed. They rapidly searched world wide. They discovered a surgeon in Florida who thought he would be able to reconstruct one of her legs.

The medical costs would total $235,000. The parents did not have the money. They sought donations via various sources world wide. The money was raised.

Victoria and her parents flew to Paley Institute in West Palm Beach. Dr. Dror Paley was the physician who thought he could help. His examination confirmed the left leg could be fixed and the right leg could simply be fitted with a prosthetic.

The surgery was successfully performed. Victoria could walk. One problem. She was reluctant to do so in front of her parents.

On her discharge day while on the way to a car, Victoria said, “Mummy can I show you something…..” She walked!

Victoria can walk, run and play sports. Her results described as “superb.” All possible because of parents who would not give up, a doctor who thought he could do the job, and thousands of people who contributed to make the surgery possible.

The murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger ended this week. She had returned home, went into the wrong apartment, saw a black man, became frightened and shot him.

She was found guilty. Sentenced to 10 years in jail. Could have received 99.

Immediately following sentencing, a strange happening occurred. An unusual one. The victim’s brother went up to Amber, put his arms around her and said, “I forgive you.”

Even stranger, the Judge (a black female) came off the bench, hugged Amber and gave her a Bible.

Friday night, the scenario became even stranger.

The key witness in the case was a black man. Joshua Brown. He had provided significant testimony during the trial. He was shot several times while standing in the parking lot of his apartment building. He died upon arrival at the hospital.

Key West is home to many ghastly stories. Some truth, some fiction. The most strange probably is the story of Count Carl von Tanzler and his love Elaine Hoyo Mesa. A true story.

On this day in 1940, the Count was arrested. The charges involved his stealing his dead girl friend’s body and sleeping with it for 7 years at his home.

The Count was employed at the Marine Hospital as an expert x-ray technician. Elaine was admitted for tuberculosis. She died sometime after being discharged.

The Count had developed an excessive obsession for Elaine even in death. She was first buried in a crypt in the cemetery. Two years later, the Count removed her body to his home. He kept her in his bed 7 years. Maintained her physical features with wax, plaster, and other items.

Her family and police became suspicious. The Count was arrested. Never tried. The statute of limitations saved him.

What I am about to describe probably requires a person to have lived during its time to appreciate the fear involved.

On this day in 1961, President Kennedy announced to the people of the United States that they should build backyard bomb shelters. Underground ones. The purpose of the bomb shelters was to protect against an atomic fallout in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.

That is how sensitive U.S. and Soviet relations were at the time. War was considered a probability.

I was 27. Married. Four children. Living in a home we had recently purchased.

Rome, N.Y. was a mere 14 miles from Utica where we lived. There was a SAC base in Rome. Griffiss Air Force Base. My recollection is there were only 6 SAC bases in the U.S. The planes carrying U.S. atomic bombs were located at the 6 bases.

There was no way Utica was going to avoid atomic fallout in the event the base was bombed. As it would have been.

For whatever reason I cannot recall at the moment, I never built the shelter. Nor did anyone I know.

One year later, President Kennedy’s concern could have become reality. The Cuban missile crisis occurred.

The ex-Marine who lied last week when he claimed he had sexual relations with Elizabeth Warren was found out at the time. The story was a lie.

The Marine claimed he had fought in Afghanistan. Marine Headquarters announced yesterday another lie. The Marine never had been deployed to Afghanistan.

Mitt Romney came out against Trump re the Biden/Ukraine story. One of the first Republican senators to so do.

As per his custom, Trump retaliated. Called Romney a “pompous ass.” Also began a hashtag: #impeachmittromney.

What follows concerns Mexico and the U.S.

Trump has been President close to 3 years. Recall his campaign promise that he was going to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. His track record thus far leaves much to be desired.

Since becoming President, he broke a trade treaty with Mexico and began a tariff war. He has also squeezed Mexico re immigrant responsibility.

A recent report indicates the auto industry has shifted its production base from the U.S. to Mexico. Today, Mexico is the #1 exporter of autos to the U.S. and not the other way around.

General Motors, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen and Honda leading the pack. The reason labor costs. Labor costs in Mexico pale to those in the U.S.

The Mexico bound trend continues despite growing opposition from U.S. auto workers and their unions.

The most recent data covers January-September this year.

During that time frame, 2.03 million new vehicles were dispatched from Mexican assembly plants to U.S. markets. The number  158,000 more than during the same time period last year.

The projections suggest the U.S. is on track this year to import 2.7 million new vehicles from Mexico.

The percentage of increase for certain companies January-September 2019 dramatic. General Motors 21 percent, Ford 18.3 percent, Volkswagen 56 percent, Honda 53 percent.

Not all auto companies have increased numbers. Mazda is down 71 percent, Chrysler 12 percent, Audi 22 percent, Nissan 4.3 percent.

Where am I going? What am I suggesting? Trump has not done well returning or keeping auto business in the U.S.

Enjoy your Sunday!