MORNING STEW #29

Another Morning Stew day!

Today because so many diverse topics. Not certain what to open with nor order to lay them out. The result is they come to you in the order they appear in my notes.

Sanctions/embargoes can hurt. Lead to war as is recognized by the Japanese decision to bomb Pearl Harbor.

Trump loves sanctions. His weapon of war.

North Korea did a big test yesterday. The biggest yet. Kim Jong Un wants sanctions on North Korea by U.S. lifted. It has been 2 years North Korea and the U.S. have been talking or trying to talk.

North Korea blames Trump for no result. North Korea wants the sanctions removed first. Trump does not seem to have a grave concern either way. He keeps telling the American people he and Kim are “friends.” “In love with each other.”

Many a love relationship breaks up in a nasty fashion. Trump playing tough guy might force Kim to make a difficult decision.

Pete Buttigieg. An interesting man. I believe he is Presidential timber. Though not this year.

It took the U.S. forever to accept a person of color as President. It will take more time to accept a gay person. The U.S. is not yet ready for a “First Gentleman.”

Putin may soon “beat” Trump again.

The Ukraine has been a U.S. friend for 30 years.

Ukraine is at war with Russia. Friends help friends. Trump however held up almost $400 million dollars Congress had approved to help the Ukraine in its war with Russia. For personal political reasons.

While Trump has refused to give Zelensky the personal meeting requested, Putin has moved in. Ukraine sits down with its Russian enemy tomorrow in Paris.

Trump has the propensity to screw things up. Should Zelensky and Putin walk away “friends” and their war on the road to ending, Trump will have lost another valuable friend.

Putin is good at one upmanship when it comes to Trump.

Beer. A new diet?

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond needed to slim down. He took up yoga and dieted over the summer. His diet might be described as the beer diet.

Drummond was not much of a beer drinker prior to the diet. Now swears by it. Says “I never drank so much beer in my life.”

Meats were also eliminated. Strictly a fish man now.

Begins with a cold one for lunch. How much at dinner and other times, I do not know.

Today the 6’10” player weighs 279 pounds.

The diet appears to be working. Thus far this season, he is averaging 17.1 points and 17.1 rebounds per game. No pro basketball player since Moses Malone in the 1970’s has done as well.

The beer diet was not Drummond’s idea.The diet is the result of physical tests to reveal the granular particulars of his body and decide the most effective method for him to eat.

Giuliani is going to hurt to people. Himself and the President. He is a cannon out of control. Back in the Ukraine this past week. Claims to be coming up with the Ukraine 2016 and Biden dirt he has been seeking. He wants to appear before Congress to share it.

Trump appears excited by the Giuliani news.

Two nuts! I can visualize both men sitting in a corner holding their pumpkin pies. At a point they each stick in their fingers, pull out a plum, and say “What a good boy am I!”

William Barr functioning as no other Attorney General has.

The Department of Justice he heads has 113,000 employees.

In recent months, Barr has traveled to Great Britain and Italy seeking “dirt” re the 2016 election and the Bidens. He has communicated with the highest echelons of the Australian government, also.

The Attorney General is like the CEO of a major corporation. He makes policy and at the same time makes sure that the many Attorney General obligations under the law are followed.

He does not dig ditches. Traveling as he has to investigate comparable to digging ditches. He has enough experienced staff out of the 113,000 to do the traveling and investigating.

There is another strangeness to the trips. Barr is investigating the investigators. His Department has already completed the investigations and found no wrongdoing.

David Lufman is a former Justice Department official. He observed, it is “fairly unorthodox for the Attorney General to be flying around the world as point person to further gather evidence for a specific Justice Department investigation.”

Uber sexual assaults have been in the news for several months. The news seemed to apply to passengers. Turns out drivers have been sexually assaulted, also. So much so, there is a movement to provide drivers with “employment protection.”

There were 3,045 sexual assaults last year. Forty percent were by passengers assaulting drivers.

Another woman’s world in the making?

Syracuse won big friday! Finally! Beat Georgia Tech 97-63. Wow! Big Syracuse numbers!

Both teams had similar poor records going into the game. Let us hope Syracuse continues to score in the 90’s in its coming games.

Georgetown next saturday.

The Key West Christmas Parade was its usual “best” last night. A spectacular event for a small town.

Long. One float after another. One convertible after another. Candy being thrown from the floats and cars to children curbside.

Three million Santa Claus’s participating. An exaggeration, of course. At least 25 in the Parade, however.

An Auschwitz love story in today’s New York Times: “Lovers in Auschwitz , Reunited 72 Years Later. He Had One Question. Was She The Reason He Was Alive Today.” The article by Keren Blankfeld dated 12/8/19.

I would love sharing the details with you. However too long and detailed. Read the article. You will weep!

Another German concentration camp story bears mention today. “Sophie’s Choice.”

It was on this day 1982 that the movie “Sophie’s Choice” opened in theaters throughout the U.S. Meryl Streep starred. The movie based on William Styron’s best selling 1979 novel of the same name.

The book and movie heart wrenching. Involved a choice no mother should ever have to make. Streep’s character had to choose which of her 2 children would live or die when in a German concentration camp.

Nineteen eighty seven not so long ago. A mere 32 years ago. It was a different time. The quality of the people involved different, also.

On this day in 1987, the U.S. and Russia agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals. Reagan and Gorbachev doing the negotiating.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

IT’S THE OIL, STUPID

December 7, 1941. As President Roosevelt stated. “A  day which will live in infamy.” Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor. More than 2,400 American lives lost. The U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet destroyed.

How did the day come about? What caused Japan to conduct the heinous act?

Oil. Plain and simple.

Japan became a warmongering nation in the early 1920’s. In 1931, it invaded Manchuria. Various events caused Japan to enter into an all out war with China in 1937.

It was Japan’s invasion of French Indochina in July 1941 that broke the camel’s back. The invasion set the stage for the invasion of Pearl Harbor in December.

President Roosevelt felt Japan’s invasions had reached the “too much” point. He sought to temper Japan’s war activities.

On July 26, 1941, Roosevelt froze all Japanese assets in the U.S. The result was that Japan lost access to three quarters of its overseas trade and 90 percent of its imported oil.

Britain followed suit.

The oil deprivation was a killer in the making. Japan could not survive without oil. It imported its oil. Japan’s oil reserves at the time would last no more than 3 years. One and a half years if war with the U.S. was commenced causing its fuel supply to be consumed at a faster pace.

Roosevelt assumed/hoped Japan would back off certain of its conquests. Then the U.S. would cease the freeze and permit the flow of oil to Japan again.

Japan faced a dilemma. Back off its invasion of Southeast Asia and hope the oil embargo would be eased. Or, continue its invasion policy and seize the oil in Malaysia and other Pacific locations. Such would further antagonize the U.S. and the West. Perhaps even lead to war.

Japan decided its future. It opted for a preemptive strike “before its oil gauge ran empty.” The preemptive strike Pearl Harbor.

Japan believed its overwhelming strike at Pearl Harbor and other U.S. and British holdings in the Pacific within a few days would bring the U.S. to the peace table. If not, Japan still would have secured the oil reserves it needed by occupying southeast Asia.

Even today, oil continues to be gold. A necessity of life for most nations. Wars still fought with oil the real reason for invasion or contemplated invasion. Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia examples.

It’s the oil! Not one country wanting to help the abused peoples of another.

One of the visiting law professors before the House Intelligence Committee monday was Jonathan Turly. The sole representative for the Republicans.

Turly is a law professor at George Washington University. In addition, he has frequently been involved in representing one side or another in governmental matters.

Do not assume Turly is a rock hard conservative Republican. Far from it. Turly understands the function of an attorney. A lawyer represents a position in the law. Many disputes arise as to what the law means, was intended, etc. Close calls. Turly does his best to represent the position of his client as the law might be.

He understands and does his job as an advocate.

I do not know his political party. Could be either of the major ones. Or, perhaps independent. His legal positions lead many to believe he is a liberal at heart.

He once argued for the legalization of polygamy.

He has often in recent years expressed his worries that the Supreme Court is injecting itself into partisan politics. He has frequently expressed the view that recent nominees to the Court hold extreme views.

Turly argued an opposite view from that he expressed monday in a previous impeachment proceeding. The Clinton impeachment trial before the Senate. Turly spoke at the time, “Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker; it breeds contempt for the law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

The world is catching up with Trump. Democratic nations are moving ahead without him. His opinions finally seem to have no value.

Due to Trump’s actions, thought process, etc., other leaders are losing respect for the U.S. The U.S. can no longer be depended upon.

Lack of respect for Trump was evident at the recent NATO meeting in London. He was laughed at in a private chit chat between several leaders at a social function. Macron told him to be “serious” when he attempted to make a joke at what Maron considered a serious matter. He referred to Trudeau as “two faced.” The pot calling the kettle black? He left the conference early. Failing to attend a news conference scheduled for him alone.

It is basic. If one wants respect, he must give respect. Trump does not understand this. He is a bully. Beats up on people. When he does, which is often, he cannot expect those same people to look upon him favorably thereafter.

Joe Biden said it right after Trump’s embarrassing performance at the NATO meeting: “The world is laughing at President Trump.”

No question about it. The only problem is it means they are laughing at the U.S. also.

Some parents no matter how good have a wayward child among their brood. So it appears with Joe Biden. His son Hunter.

Our children are our children. Parent don’t pick their children, nor do children pick their parents. The child the result of nature. An act of God.

In some instances, the child a cross for the parent to bear.

Hunter’s most recent escapade occurred this week. He failed to show up for a child support hearing regarding his out of wedlock child. The mother a Washington stripper. Her name Lunden Roberts.

Lunden in court seeking $11,000 in legal fees and child support. A DNA test recently revealed that Hunter is the father.

Hunter previously had told the court he could not pay. He was broke. Additionally he wanted the court to seal his financial records because of his “significant debts.”

Being broke an amusing defense. Recall all of what is going on with Hunter, the Ukrainian company Barisma, and Hunter’s consulting firm being paid $83,333 per month for his services as a director.

Homelessness unquestionably a major U.S. problem. When we think of the homeless, we generally think of adults. It must be remembered children are among the homeless, also.

New York City recently reported that there are 114,000 homeless children in the New York City school system.

It is the same across the U.S. Nothing to be proud of!

Genocide always in eh news. Thousands, even millions, killed here and there.

Mass killings not a today thing alone. In 1240, the Mongols under Bata Khan occupied and destroyed Kiev. A one day battle. Only 2,000 survived of the 50,000 who lived in Kiev prior to the battle.

Finally! Santa Claus is coming to town! Tonight! The annual Key West Christmas Parade. On Truman and Duval. Tonight at 7.

The best anywhere in the country!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

A WALL HAS MORE THAN ONE USE

One more day re climate change, rising water levels, properties washed away, etc.

An admonishment. Those of you who have little or no interest in the problem get your head out of the sand. The problem is real. Already being felt. If not dealt with, will be overwhelming.

The Old Testament tells us, “The Lord has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm.” Nahum 1:3 KJV. Do we blame God for that which is forthcoming?

Not really. No question man is responsible for climate change and that which it brings.

The problem a serious one. I believe an apocalyptic line will soon be crossed. Then it will make no difference. It will be a terrible world, whatever that world may be.

Tangier Island sits in Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. A few towns thereon. One the Town of Tangier. Per the 2010 census, population 727.

The Island known as the soft shell capital of the world.

Strange happenings to the Island even before climate change was an issue. The Island’s landmass has reduced 67 percent since 1850. Two thirds of the Island gone!

Scientists expect the remaining landmass to be lost within the next 50 years. Tangier Island will be no more.

The Island began disappearing even before the Civil War. Its land loss back then and till recent times attributed to glacial rebound. Today, erosion and rising sea levels.

The people of Tangier Island have there own belief as to why the Island is diminishing in size. It is not climate change. They blame “erosion” brought on by the increasing incidence of severe flooding.

I am not arguing with them as to the why fore of the “severe flooding.” The older generation lived on the Island before climate change was even a catchy phrase. Ergo, they see the Island diminishing in size as the result of whatever has been responsible for it since 1850.

The residents have their own idea as to what should be done. Ideas that may have credence. They have been talking to their political representatives for decades to get protection for the Island in the form of jetties or sea walls.

Something to think about. The world will deal with the climate change problem and the Island and government an immediate solution in the the form of jetties and/or a sea wall.

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

There is an immediacy to the problem. A marine biologist said, “They are literally one storm away from being wiped out.”

Some communities have already been wiped out. Ruben Town and Canaan. Back in the 1930’s. Tourists today visit to see the Island before it’s completely gone.

A prominent Tangier resident is James Eskridge. He says, “They talk about a wall. We’d like to see a wall all the way around Tangier.” He is serious.

Somehow Eskridge got to talk to Trump via telephone in 2017. Trump in effect told Eskridge there was nothing to worry about, Tangier had been there for hundreds of years and will be here for hundreds of years more.

Eskridge later appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Colbert said, “Trump is going to get them that wall – and then make the ocean pay for it.”

Again, the people don’t buy climate change. They resist blaming their problem on climate change. Accordingly Trump was the right person for Eskridge to speak with.

Tangier is presently losing 15 feet per year.

The wall not a wild idea. It should be looked into.

Another resolution is relocation. Everyone on Tangier Island to somewhere else.

Not as strange as it sounds. Two examples.

In 2016, the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe received $48 million from the federal government to relocate its village on the Isle de Jean Charles to another location.

In 2018, the Town of Newtok, Alaska was relocated. Home to a few hundred persons, mostly indigenous. Its relocation funded by the government also.

Serious business. A consideration on the government’s part is economic justification.

The government is not going to move everyone. It cannot afford it. However, I have shared this portion of the article with you to show that more immediate help is available in the form of a wall or relocation. Climate change still necessary. A wall or relocation can be more swiftly accomplished however while the many years for climate change to take effect is underway.

Two days re climate change problems enough for the time being. Tomorrow, I return to my normal blog.

Enjoy your day!

 

BAD NEWS UP FRONT WHERE IT BELONGS

Sometimes we do not want to face the inevitable. We know bad days are coming, but close our minds to it. Like a child putting his or her head under the pillow hoping the ghost will go away.

Climate change has been discussed for years. Many concerned. Not many panicked.

Start!

The wake up call is bad news in one’s face. Stark reality.

Key Westers and lower key residents got it yesterday. Rising ocean levels are going to replace many roads and homes.

Can the problem be avoided? If not, who pays? Are government entities financially responsible? Or, do homeowners lose their homes and no one pays them for their loss?

A climate change conference was held yesterday in Key West. A meeting of the Southeast Regional Climate Leadership Conference.

I first read about the meeting last night in a New York Times article: Florida Keys Deliver A Hard Message: As Seas Rise, Some Places Can’t Be Saved. Then the report which appeared this morning on the  front page of the Key West Citizen: Price of Protection High For Keys.

Opening comment in the first 2 paragraphs of the Times article began the eye opener: “As seas rise and flooding gets worse, not everyone can be saved…..And in some places, it does not even make sense to try.”

A key speaker at the meeting was Rhonda Haag, Monroe County Sustainability Director. She reported the results of a one year study to calculate how high its 300 miles of roads must be elevated to stay dry and at what cost.

Note the study was only as to roads. Not the houses and buildings on certain roads.

Haag said the county can’t do it all. She was talking “cost.” She said some places cannot be protected at a price taxpayers can be expected to pay. She further advised that the County may have to say “no,” that not all steps required would be “doable.”

The study results focused on Old State Road 4A in Sugarloaf. A single 3 mile stretch of road at the southernmost tip of Sugarloaf Key.

Two dozen houses located on the 3 mile stretch.

In order to keep the 3 mile of road dry year round, it would have to be raised. Raised 1.3 feet by 2025, total cost $75 million. Broken down, $25 million per mile. Raised by 2045 to an elevation of 2.2 feet, $128 million. Raised by 2060 to expected flooding levels, $181 million.

Not chicken feed. Big dollars. Taxpayer dollars. To provide access to 2 dozen homes.

Haag made it clear that elected officials will be faced with difficult calls to make. The County alone could not do it.

County Mayor Carruthers said,  “We can’t protect every single house.”

One homeowner living on the 3 mile stretch said, “This is all I have. If that road goes under, I go under.”

Such the case for most homeowners. Their homes all they have. Their primary investment in life. Their retirement.

Enjoy your day?

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN

Santa Claus is coming to Key West! Watch for him saturday. He will be in the annual Key West Christmas Parade.

In fact, there will be several Santa Claus’s. In addition to a couple of Mrs. Claus’s.

The parade begins at 7 on Truman. Then to Duval. Long. Adults and kids dressed in Christmas gear and riding floats. The floats throwing out candy to the children sitting on the curbs along the way.

At my age, I have traveled much and seen Christmas parades in many towns. Key West’s is the best! Without question!

Not sure what makes it so. Could be the local enthusiasm. Everyone into the evening.

I enjoyed watching the NATO meeting in London yesterday and so far this morning. Donald got put in his place. Finally.

Trump disrupts. Causes problems. Problems where not existed before he expressed himself.

If I were to guess, I would believe the leaders of some of the other countries got together and decided they would not brook Trump’s ways anymore.

Trump arrived quietly and gentlemanly. He must have seen the handwriting on the wall. He was going to be nice.

His mouth still got the better of him.

Macron literally knocked him on his ass. Macron, Johnson, Trudeau and Rutte made fun of him at a reception. It was caught on camera. Oral reception not good. It went viral 2 hours ago.

Trump got away with nothing. At one point, he attempted to make a joke at a meeting. Macron snapped back, “Be serious.”

Other leaders know what Trump is and have decided not to put up with him. Too many important matters are at stake world wide, including peace.

The New York Times described yesterday’s NATO meeting as “a surprising role reversal.”

An hour from now, the House Intelligence committee will deliver its report to the House Judiciary Committee. The next step in the impeachment process.

Going to be interesting.

Pay special attention to how the Republicans behave. I assume they will continue to be “bullies.” They will try to be disruptive.

I worry Judiciary Chairman Nadler might not be able to handle them.

The 300 page report seems to have more than was exposed publicly during the hearings. Telephone logs for one. Considered extremely important.

The logs indicate Giuliani involvement. Surprisingly, Congressman Nunes also.

From the beginning of the Mueller investigation, I have on occasion mentioned money would ultimately be found to be at the bottom of everything. I still believe so.

Via money laundering.

In recent days, I have thrown drugs into the mix. Prompted by John Bolton’s reference to a “drug deal.”

Anything possible here.

I am 84. I am lucky. Few things bother me. Syracuse basketball does, however.

It happened again last night! Syracuse lost to Iowa 68-54. Fourth loss in a row.

If this keeps up, I will be joining Mighty Casey and the “no joy” aspect of the game.

There is a french fry problem. During the next year, there will be fewer and those available for sale may be more expensive.

A potato shortage following a weak potato harvest. Cold temperatures and the impact of Hurricane Dorian responsible.

Canada affected, aalso.

The U.S. potato harvest down 6.1 percent this year. Canada even more. Eighteen percent. Idaho is the U.S.’s top potato producer. Its harvest down 5.5 percent.

Trump raves how employment is the highest ever. He is absolutely correct. One problem, however. More important than the number of jobs, is what the jobs pay. U.,S. job numbers have more Popeye workers who make chicken sandwiches, McDonald hamburger workers, etc. than jobs that pay a family wage or better.

Numbers do not lie.

The quality of U.S. jobs since 1990 suck. Most low wage jobs. It seems the economy is limited to primarily creating only poor paying jobs.

In the past 30 years, two thirds of all jobs were low paying ones. Half of all U.S. workers make less than $33,000 a year. At the same time that the cost of living has steadily increased. Housing costs, health insurance and other basic necessities have risen faster than paychecks.

Economists believe 30 years of low paying jobs is one of the biggest factors in the systematic erosion of the middle class.

Temperature better this morning. Seventy two degrees at 7 am. The high today will be 76.

Loved doing last night’s Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Great topics hard hit! If you have never listened, do so next week. Tuesday night at 9. A quick moving half hour.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

KEY WEST…..CIGAR CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

The world knows there was a time when Key West was the cigar capital of the world. Cuban cigars!

In 1900, the cigar business was booming. The average weekly cigar output was over 1.5 million. Big business! On this day in December 1900, the steamer Lampasas sailed for New York. Its cargo 1,846,000 cigars.

Cigar business no more. Except for the solitary old Cuban on the street hand rolling them for tourists.

The only remnants from the successful days gone by are some old factory buildings that have been converted to other uses. Like the Gato building on Simonton. Now a County office building. Also, the tiny Conch houses that were built by the cigar factory owners to house the immigrants who worked for them. Those houses today selling for $1 million plus.

The weather man was correct. Woke this morning to 65 degrees. The high today 68. Not even 70!

I turned the heat on when I woke.

A Key West life. Julia La Congo.

Julia died this day in 1930 at the age of 110. God bless her!

Julia initially was Queen of a tribe in Africa. She was captured by slavers and sold into slavery in Cuba. At some point, she was freed.

She came to Key West. Met her man and married. She and her husband operated a grocery store till World War I.

Guy deBoer ran a series of pictures in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. The subject the C. W. Colts Backyard Concert Series. Four band members. Three men and a woman. The woman the vocalist.

I never heard of the group before. Means nothing. There are so many vocal groups in Key West. Whatever, I will try to find out more about the group and let you know.

Many a movie has been filmed in Key West. Many the star that has made films here.

In December 1997, A Mast of Crows was filmed. Its star, Academy Award winning Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I have in Key West for 30 years. Sort of makes me a local.

Change and death are the two certainties in life. Key West has experienced change.

The Key West of 30 years ago is not the Key West of today.

Its change has been too fast and too dramatic. I doubt Key West will ever know another Jimmy Buffett and Cheeseburger in Paradise.

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice  published a comment by a person I assume has been a Key Wester a long time. He said he agreed with the negative Key West articles which pop up on occasion.

He wrote, “Sadly, our city government and the TDC are marketing a false narrative of ‘paradise of a bygone day.’ Overpriced, dirty, and in no way what Buffett sang about.”

I agree with the comment, except for the “dirty” part. I don’t see it.

Key West has changed dramatically the past 5 years. Especially, the last 2. Primarily the TDC is responsible. A tourist organization. The group has done its job well in advertising and attracting tourists to Key West. Too well. Tourists arrive from all over the world.

There was a time when they came during the “season.” Like January to April. Summers dead. There was a saying a person could throw a bowling ball down Duval and not hit anyone.

Today, summers are almost as busy as season.

Sad. The Key West of yesterday will never return. A gem disappearing.

Trump is in London today. Participating in the NATO conference.

The past 2 years, he has knocked the hell out of NATO. Not this trip. I watched him on TV this morning. He is kumbaya. Loves most attendees. Speaks positively about things.

What a change! Part of a devious plan I suspect.

His selected foe this trip is France’s Macron. Macron has no fear of Trump. Stands up to him, where and when necessary.

Trump does not like that.

Last week, Macron was interviewed by the Economist Magazine. Macron commented about the “diminished state” of the NATO alliance. He said the same was occurring because of the “brain death of NATO due to lack of American support.”

Trump wasn’t going to stand for France knocking NATO. Trump the person who has been saying all sort of adverse things about NATO for almost 3 years.

Trump needed a scapegoat to beat up on. His way of doing things. He picked on Macron.

Trump decried Macron’s comments, said they were “very very nasty…..very disrespectful…..very insulting.”

Would you believe!

Respectfully, the man is a whore. A two faced one.

Trump also announced he was seriously considering new tariffs to be imposed on French imports. Like champagne, cheese, handbags, and porcelain. Trump is going to punish Macron for saying nasty things about NATO. I assume also Trump thought beating up on Macron would bring most of the other nations of NATO to Trump’s side. Our man! How can he be unaware most Europeans dislike him?

Trump does not understand human nature. You beat up people, you defecate on them, and they are going to retaliate. A don’t tread on me attitude.

French Finance Minister Bruno LeMaire said the Eurounion would strike back against the U.S. Trump made a mistake in thinking that there would be no retaliatory action. Even more, he failed to recognize that the Eurounion would retaliate.

The result would be a trans Atlantic trade war.

Trump needed more than his adverse comments re Macron as an excuse to impose these new tariffs on France. He found one.

France recently imposed digital services taxes. On U.S. companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. Done for no other reason than a business one.

Trump is using the digital tax imposition as the “real” reason he is going to be difficult with France.

Trump failed to do his homework once again. France is late to the game in taxing U.S. companies providing digital services. Austria, Italy and Turkey have been doing it for some time.

Trump was unaware and the word now is the U.S. may investigate Austria, Italy and Turkey for purposes of determining the appropriateness of such digital taxes.

Another example of Trump doing something without doing the necessary homework. Trump announced he would be imposing tariffs on Brazilian and Argentine steel and aluminum exports to the U.S.

It appears the tariffs could boomerang on American steel makers. They need semi-finished products exported by Brazil in order to operate their mills.

Some things are right and some things are wrong.

There is a saying that the child should not be made to pay for the sins of the father. I would adjust the statement a bit. A wife should not be made to pay for the sins of the husband.

First Lady Melania Trump recently spoke at an opioid awareness event at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. The event titled the B’More Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness.

She was booed when introduced, during her opening remarks, and sporadically during her talk. The boos were described as “resounding.”

The audience was comprised primarily of middle school and high school students.

The First Lady took the booming in stride. She said afterwards the U.S. is a free country and people have a right to express themselves.

Husband Donald tried to smooth things over by announcing he was donating one quarter of his $400,000 salary to combat the opioid crisis.

Tonight, my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A half hour of me ranting and raving about what I like and don’t like, what I think is good and what I think is bad. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

MORNING STEW #28

A Morning Stew Day. All kinds of topics, issues, etc.

The Chart Room last night. Did not expect to see anyone. I was surprised! Jean Thornton! She had returned the day before.

Jean, one of the finest people I know. We chatted away. One of the items was how to cook sausages.

The post low fat high carb pancreatitis diet a pain to deal with. Tried some chicken sausages I had purchased at Publix. First went to the internet to see how to cook them. Then did it.

Jean thought I did well. Her admonition…..Cook well! Must beware of bacteria.

There was a time I might have talked to a woman about sex. No more.

This week the beginning of what might best be described as a disgraceful political war. The House Judiciary Committee and the next step in the impeachment inquiry. The Republicans are ready. Hopefully to draw blood. They will act as thugs in attacking the Intelligence Committee Report.

A pox on the Republican house. Leave well enough alone. Let the inquiry take its natural course. Let the chips fall where they may. Object where you must. However be statesmen and not animals off the street.

Trump will be in London today for the beginning of the NATO meeting. Seventieth anniversary of NATO. It has stood strongly until Trump became President. His goal is to destroy NATO. An act that would make his friend Putin happy.

Trump does not understand the “mutual security” NATO provides. Probably because he will stand with Putin and other dictators/despots in the event of a confrontation.

His failure to know or understand history contributes. He fails to realize Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo were the tough guys leading up to and at the beginning of World War II. The Allies stood together, provided mutual security to each other. The good guys won!

Strange things happen.

A woman needs an ass amputation after shots to enhance her derriere.

Courtney Barnes is a 22 year old model. Two years ago, a club dancer. The dollar bills were not readily forthcoming when she performed. A fellow performer told her she needed a larger butt. She needed “more booty if she wanted to make more money.”

Her friend knew just the person to do it.

Injections the method to purportedly give her a larger back end. Done at Courtney’s home. The results horrible!

Her butt grew. Beyond normal proportions. Looks worse than no butt at all. The injection areas leak. Her cheeks full of dimples.

All the result of $8,000 worth of illegal injections.

One of Trump’s toys to punish or get what he wants from another nation are tariffs.

Two years ago, Trump imposed a 25 percent steel tariff and 10 percent aluminum tariff on many nations. He exempted Brazil and Argentina from the tariffs. They were “our friends.”

No more. At least from Trump’s perspective.

Both nations have been experiencing economic problems. They weakened their currencies to survive.

Trump claims that as a result, American farmers are being hurt.

Such bullshit! He always blames something he is responsible for on others.

It is without dispute that Trump’s tariff war with China is hurting American farmers. As Trump killed farm sales to China, China had to look elsewhere.Especially for soybeans, corn and wheat. Soybeans the most important.

The Chinese could not wait for Trump to make up his mind as to when the tariff war would end. Note it is still ongoing 2 years later.

The Chinese wisely began buying soybeans, etc., from Brazil and Argentina.

The Chinese tariff war is killing American farmers. Badly! An election next year. Trump does not want the blame, though he is without question responsible. So he does what comes naturally. He lies.

He blames Brazil and Argentina and supports it with a bogus reason.

One thing that can be said of Trump is he is a “class” President.

Soon after taking office, Trump discovered that 2 FBI personnel shared negative tweets about him. Nothing more than he would in effect make in a lousy President. It also turned out the 2 were having a relationship.

Trump had them canned. He used the event to begin the “deep state conspiracy.”

Lisa Page was an FBI attorney involved in the tweets with her then boy friend.

Last month on October 11, Trump was at a rally in Minneapolis. He resurrected the Lisa page story. In referring to her, he enacted her having an “orgasm.” He made orgastic noises and contorted his body.

A real gentleman.

Lisa is fighting back. The first time she has spoken publicly since the tweets were discovered.  She says the straw that broke the camel’s back was Trump’s “demeaning fake organism” of her.

Trump considers her tweets with FBI agent Peter Strzok to somehow have been involved with criminal activity. Lisa says, “There’s no fathomable way I have committed a crime at all.”

A federal investigative report is expected in 2 weeks which is expected to support Lisa’s position and exonerate her from any wrongdoing.

Trump claims there is no climate change. He refuses to support climate change advocates.

In the meantime, the world, which includes the U.S., is going down the drain.

A 2 week climate conference began yesterday in Madrid. Twenty nine thousand expected to participate. It is a COP25 conference. U.N. Chief Antonio Guterres was one of the first to speak. He said,  We are at the “point of no return…..the end is in sight.”

The northern cold hits Key West this afternoon. Presently 78 degrees. It is projected the temperature will drop to 63 degrees tonight.

Wow! Cold! Definitely turn the heat on!

Two great football teams were embarrassed over the weekend. Alabama and the New England Patriots. Both defeated.

Such is life. Difficult to accept if you are a fan.

Trump should put the U.S.’s money where his mouth is!

Today is World Aids Day. Trump tweeted he and the First Lady have “support for those living with HIV/AIDS and mourn lives lost.”

His words meaningless. Trump’s proposed 2020 budget slashes funding for global HIV programs by $1.35 billion. A 30 percent cut.

An American hero. A civil rights hero. She did it alone!

I refer to Rosa Parks.

Sixty four years ago yesterday, she refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. Her refusal changed the world.

“John Brown’s body lies a-moldering in his grave…..”

On this day in 1859, John Brown was hung having been found guilty of treason, murder, and insurrection.

It was October 18, Brown and his group had seized Harpers Ferry, a federal installation. The battle did not last long. Brown was defeated.

The U.S. forces were a group of U.S. Marines led by Col. Robert E. Lee and Lt. J.E.B. Stuart. Both would later become Civil War generals.

The day of Brown’s execution was 16 months before the outbreak of the Civil War. The morning of his execution Brown said, “The crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.”

Enjoy your day!

TOMORROW…..KEY WEST WEATHER WILL BE FRIGHTFUL

Whenever it is “really” cold up north, it is felt in Key West. Key West temperatures drop into the 60s, 50s, and occasionally the high 40s.

The big storm soon to arrive up north will hit the northeast.

The local weatherman advises that by tomorrow afternoon, winds will come in from the northwest at 20-25 mph. The temperature will be in the low 60s. For the first time this winter.

Means cold!!!!!

The weather man had good news, also. The cold spell will last only a couple of days. Then back to at least 75 degrees.

I know little about coral reefs. What I do know is that they are in serious trouble. There is a huge reef near Key West that is ailing and dying. The pattern for coral reefs everywhere in Florida waters.

Causes purported to me many. Climate change a major one.

When a coral reef is dying or dead, most of the the fish leave. A ghostly quiet ensues.

Contrasted to when a coral reef is vibrant and alive. When so, coral reefs are noisy places: “The crackle of snappy shrimp and the whoops and grunts of fish.” Such combine to form a dazzling tropical soundscape.

A group of scientists have suggested a way to bring the fish back. Music! Not precisely. However close to. A symphony of the shrimp crackling and fish whooping and grunting is placed underwater near the reef. Man made underwater sound.

Tests have established that the number of fish that remained is up by 50 percent and the different species by 50 percent.

More study being done.

The “music” assistance just that. Assistance. Not enough to totally correct the sick coral reef problem. However an unquestionable plus in working towards a solution.

Rising water levels a problem in many parts of the world. Key West waters have been rising slightly each year. Street flooding worse each year.

I sense the problem will be an acute one in 10-20 years.

Venice a today problem. At the moment, close to 7 feet of water covering the place. The water continues to rise and will probably soon exceed 7 feet.

Water has reached its highest peak ever this month (November). Residents are leaving. Tourists still coming, however. A local joke is the increased tourists may cause Venice to totally sink beneath the water.

Venice’s problem simply stated: The water is rising and the population is falling. No one knows what Venice’s future will be.

Venice is set in a lagoon. Referred to as the Venetian lagoon.

Many Venetians believe the problem has a cause in addition to climate change.

In the 1960’s, excavation for a deep canal was done. Its purpose to accommodate oil tankers. Many believe irreparable damage was done to the lagoon’s delicate ecosystem at the time.

Few merchants remain selling medieval goods. They have and are being replaced with stores selling the cheapest possible goods. Generally, Chinese made.

The next few months are going to be horrible for me. I see it coming. My Syracuse! Another basketball loss friday night. To Penn State 85-64.

I extend my condolences to Jean Thornton. An Alabama grad, she lives and dies for the football team. Alabama got beat for the second time this season saturday.

Even the mighty fall!

Thus far Jared Kushner’s governmental career has not impressed me. Donald has given him too many tasks. The Middle East one wherein he has failed, except for that which he did for Israel.

Yesterday it was reported that his father in law gave Jared responsibility for the wall. Jared says he wants 400 miles of additional new wall completed by the end of 2020. He has already had meetings. Biggest issue is where will the money come from. He plans to use eminent domain to take properties immediately.

The eminent domain thing a major problem in the making. Jared does not understand anything other than the government can take real property for whatever reason. The wall qualifies.

The process not that simple, however. I know well.

Back in the 1960’s, the U.S. went crazy with Urban Renewal. I enjoyed 2 different experiences during those years.

First, I served as a judge in hearing cases as to what was “fair market value” for a property taken. “Judge” not the accurate term. I was a Commissioner. The process was to have 3 persons appointed to listen to the proof and make a decision.

Long cases. Took forever. My Commission consisted of 2 attorneys and a realtor. The cases were heard in a courtroom. We sat on the bench.

The Commission jobs were not intended to be full time. We sat evenings and saturdays.

Following my Commissioner time, I handled many eminent domain  cases as a private attorney.

Problems that will arise with the wall takings include dispossessing businesses and families that have owned a property for years. Families who have worked the land 3 or 4 generations.

The government will low ball the offer. Thereby necessitating  lawsuits by property owners. All this takes a number of years.

When Trump has pitched the wall, I do not recall ever hearing what the cost of taking was to be. The billions of dollars we hear are for the construction phase of the wall.

What about the cost of government attorneys to take and defend the cases brought by the property owner? What about hearing officers? What about courtroom space to hear these cases? What about civil servants to follow these cases, keep records, etc.

The dollar number will be in the billions. Note again in addition to the actual construction cost of the wall.

There are instances where the government location for the wall may not meet governmental guidelines. A longer and bigger lawsuit.

If Trump received from Congress the money to construct, the government can take title to the lands forthwith. Again assuming a staff is available to do the necessary paperwork and court appearances.

The political consideration has to be considered. Many who lose their properties will not be Trump fans in 2020. “You took our home” will be the cry.

I doubt Trump and Kushner can build the 400 miles by the end of 2020. Assuming the money is available. Too many other problems involved.

I might add Trump and Kushner being builders and realtors does not provide the necessary experience to accomplish the task. It is a different ball game!

Ronald Reagan is credited with “Trust but verify.” A wise statement. However first spoken by Vladimir Lenin.

Lenin said, “Doveryai no proveryai.”

Enjoy your day!