TRUMP THE TOUGHIE

Trump is losing it. The numbers seem to be stagnant against him. Each day his anger becomes more pronounced.

The man is argumentative and aggressive. He knows he is losing it. He is falling apart because of it.

Biden on he other hand remains relatively quiet. Subdued. He looks Presidential and acts Presidential. The same cannot be said of Donald.

Which man will be more attractive to American voters?

To me the answer is obvious. To many others obvious also. Those are the ones who have decided to vote for Trump or are leaning towards doing so.

Corporate America loves Trump. Why not? While the pandemic has been destroying much of America economically, Wall Street profits have soared.

It is a false economy when not all benefit. A nation cannot continue to survive where not everyone sits at the table.

Coronavirus keeps hitting America every day. Surges occurring in many States. Last wednesday, the number of new coronavirus cases in one day reached almost 60,000. Deaths on the rise in more than 20 States.

No end to the pandemic in sight.

An example of the rich getting richer. Morgan Stanley an example. In the 3 month quarter July through September the company reaped $2.7 billion in profits. A 25 percent raise from the same time last year.

Goldman Sachs did even better. Its quarterly profit was $3.7 billion.

These people are not waiting in food lines. These people can pay their bills.

I was rereading portions of COLLUSION: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Trump Win. Written by Luke Harding, published in 2017.

Came across an interesting passage I wish to share with you: “For Putin, lying was an operational KGB tactic. Russia’s twenty first century postmodern media strategy borrowed something from Lenin’s relativist ideas. The actual truth was unimportant. What was important was the Kremlin’s ‘sovereign’ version of it. This was energetically disseminated inside Russia and increasingly abroad via Russia Today (later, RT) and other state news platforms.”

When will it end? Is nothing sacred anymore? Pedophilia is a black mark the Catholic Church will have to live with till the end of time. It will remain a constant as the Inquisition has.

The incident about to be described hopefully a solitary incident. It will not be remembered long, but the act as wrong and sacriligious as pedophilia.

The place a small catholic Church in Paul River, Louisiana. The Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Its pastor a 38 year old priest.

The time this year.

The pastor engaged in sexual acts with 2 female parishioners on teh Church’s altar. What could be more disgusting!

The 3 have been arrested and charged with violation of a Louisiana obscenity statute.

The Church relatively small. Some 380 members. The congregation obviously upset, disturbed, etc. This sort of thing does not happen in a Catholic Church and involve a Catholic priest.

Archbishop Greg Almond traveled to the Church on two consecutive sundays. During the second visit, hew celebrated mass and reconsecrated the Church and its new altar.

The altar used was obviously contaminated. It was destroyed by fire. The new altar was Fromm a Catholic Church which closed the year before.

The Archbishop spoke words which he hoped would be helpful to the parishioners. He described what had occurred as “obscene. He was “shocked and angered.” He referred to the occurrence as “demonic.”. Claimed it was “sinful and totally unacceptable.”

What more can be said about an occurrence which is just not supposed to happen.

The priest was removed from his duties and prohibited from being a practicing Catholic priest forever. What happened with the criminal charges, I was not able to ascertain.

The informal Fantasy Fest was to have begun this past weekend. I am sure it did. However, I do not know what happened. I am self quarantined. I telephoned many local friends as to what occurred.

No one could tell me. They were either self quarantined also, or did not waste their time attending the bogus Fantasy Fest being spearheaded by some swinger groups.

The Citizen was devoid of any information, except for a brief comment in today’s Citizens’ Voice section: “Dear tourists that are still planning a Fantasy Fest event: go home! You are not welcome.”

Spells out the position of locals. Except of course for the bars, restaurants and hotels. Their greed is manifesting itself during the crisis.

Tonight Tuesday talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Lots for me to rant and rave about. A quick moving half hour. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

DESPERATE HUNGER ON THE HORIZON

I continuously write about the impending food shortage. Impending may not be the correct word. The problem is already here. On a course to get worse. Extremely bad.

What follows is an update concerning the problem.

A federal judge in Washington blocked Trump’s effort to end food stamps for 700,000 unemployed. In a scathing ruling, Chief Judge Beryl Howell called Trump’s move “arbitrary and capricious.”

Judge Howell wrote he considers the food stamp program a “food safety net.” Especially so during a pandemic which has sent unemployment soaring and increased the number of people dependent on food stamps.

He noted that the pandemic had added more than 6 million to the food stamp program.

I do not believe Judge Howell is cut from the same cloth as Trump’s recent federal court appointees. Were he, 6 million plus would be starving today. Yes, starving. Call it for what it is.

The food shortage developing in the U.S. is slight in comparison to some other areas in the world. Six smaller nations combined face famine as Covid-19 ravages their countries.

People involved total 55.5 million. The nations are Yemen, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia.

The international charity Oxam reported the preceding in a recent article titled: Later Will Be Too Late.

The report further spelled out that the people of these 6 nations are presently living in severe to extreme levels of food insecurity or even famine conditions. Due largely to the fallout from the coronavirus epidemic.

The middle class gets smaller and smaller. Its downward slide seems not to stop. Half the working population in the U.S. make less than $3,000 a month.

The Social Security Wage Statistics for 2019 indicate the median yearly salary is $34,248.45. Divided by 12 months indicates one half of American workers made less than $34,000 a year. Which when divided by 12 months amounts to $2,854.00.

Try living on it!

Not a living wage. Not even a survival wage.

Such is the reason why the middle class has been and is getting smaller.

Those earning the $34,000 per year seem to accumulate more and more debt. They borrow from Peter to pay Paul. Run up their credit cards to survive.

Which means this group of America is in serious debt. Not as bad however as the U.S. itself.

The U.S. budget deficit tripled this past week to a record $3.1 trillion.

We the people are expected to live within our means. Not the U.S. government. You may be shocked. The U.S. spends 90 percent more than it collects in taxes.

The $3.1 trillion is not all the U.S. owes. There is something called the “off balance sheet obligations.” The “off sheet” carries an additional $100 trillion in obligations. Such “obligations” include $27.1 trillion for coronavirus debt.

The U.S. is never going to be out of debt.

Third world countries and autocratic leaders jail or kill leaders of the political opposition.Trump wants to jail the opposition. He has not yet suggested killing anyone.

He thought Hillary should have been jailed in 2016.

In the present campaign, he has either said or encouraged those at his rallies that Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer be jailed. Rally attendees in Michigan last week were shouting “lock her up.” Trump smiling and encouraging them.

In a Nevada rally this past week, Trump said Joe Biden was “corrupt.” Again he smiled in an encouraging fashion while those at the rally shouted “lock him up.”

Trump would be defecating in his pants were those shouting at rallies that Trump be “locked up.”

Trump’s four years have not been the best of times for our country and people. If anyone could screw something up, Trump could and did. He will go down in history as our worst President.

Hopefully, the election will mark the end of the Trump era. Let all of us then sit back and think…..Thanks for the memories…..No more!

Enjoy your day!

 

COVID CARNIVAL

Key West smartly cancelled this year’s Fantasy Fest several months ago. Some merchants, primarily bar owners and hotels, were not happy about it. They were losing money and money had become more important to them than good health.

The bar owners especially saw the need for something to replace Fantasy Fest. An informal fantasy fest 10/16-24.

The City said it would not be involved in any way. No additional police, etc.

The informal group is planning to hold some of the usual festive parties under different names.

Local businessmen have been advertising this week’s informal gathering as far away as Tampa.

Doesn’t anyone care about staying healthy, not placing themselves in harm’s way?

So what is happening? This is the first weekend of the informal fantasy fest.

I am into roughly 240 days of self-quarantine. Not on Duval Friday or Saturday nights. My local friends I called to find out what they had seen were wise also. Few went. No way were they going to expose themselves to the virus.

I have piecemealed information from various sources. This is what has been discovered.

Earlier this week, a bare assed woman was sitting on the tiger in front of City Hall. Pictures were being taken. Some by professional photographers it is assumed.

Not one official person tried to stop the exposition.

The  City announced that public nudity and body painting would not be allowed.

Apparently a big group is coming down from Tampa. Primarily swingers. They visited for Fantasy Fest a couple of years go and began a huge furor.

The swingers are returning. Someone mentioned they would not be kissing.

Additionally, some one from the Tampa area advised they planned on being “completely non compliant.” No masks, social distancing, etc.

Hotels and guest houses doing a booming business. Most close to full occupancy. Rates at the better hotels $800 a night. Season rates! Shocking people are paying that much.

Someone familiar with Key West happenings mentioned a guest house in one of the “poorer neighborhoods” advertising rooms beginning at $500.

Some interesting observations.

A local described Key West this week as a “Covid Carnival.”

Dr. John Norris is Chief of Staff at the Lower Keys Medical Center. He is also my primary care physician.

He was quoted in a recent interview. The good doctor is much concerned with the virus. He said, “Fantasy Fest is no Sesame Street…..Risque behavior is too risky…..We don’t have anything like a Covid hotel.”

This informal fantasy fest opened its festival party week the same day as the newest coronavirus  report came out. This past week, 50 of the 52 States experienced a rise in coronavirus cases. The highest number since July.

Total number of cases now exceeds more than 8 million. Deaths 218,600.

Infectious disease experts warn the U.S. could be facing a “substantial third wave.” I am not an expert. However, I believe we never left the first wave. This “third wave” is actually the ongoing first wave.

Some parents are whacky. Fail to understand the consequences of one person being affected with coronavirus. This group is adamantly opposed to mask wearing by their children.

The problem has arisen in Monroe County schools. Key West is a part of Monroe County.

I suspect the parents have not made themselves aware of the consequences if school children do not wear masks. Monroe County has decided children MUST wear masks.

The parental furor, though not substantial, would make one think the children were being asked to donate a healthy kidney.

The parents’ argument is twofold.

First, the Constitutional rights of their children and themselves are being violated. The second reason a medical one.The claim being made that wearing a face mask more that 6 hours is injurious to a child’s health. Comparable to a child wearing a dirty diaper for 6 hours.

A parent’s tears will not bring back to life the child of the parent opposing mask wearing.

Harsh, but true.

Trump ways are a consistent pattern. It took us 4 years to discover his reactions.

Every time a less than good situation arises affecting Trump, his shout is “bias…..deep Democratic ties…..unfair.”

Spoken by the President with bravado.

The next and last Presidential debate’s moderator is NBC’s Kristen Welker. Trump does not like her for the quoted reasons stated. He said however with further bravado, “I’ll still play the game.”

Yesterday’s Citizens’ Voice contained the following comment: “Just because you say it louder doesn’t make it any more correct. Saying the same untruth repeatedly doesn’t make it not a lie.”

Syracuse football. Another bad day for the Orange. Nevertheless, we still love you “Cuse!

Now to the down and dirty. Syracuse lost yesterday to Liberty University 38-21.  Leaves Syracuse 1-4 for the season thus far.

On the other hand, Liberty is 4-0.

Liberty has come a long way!

The school a Christian evangelical university. One of its founders in 1971 Jerry Falwell. An extremist Republican. To the far far right.

The Republican right itself has come a long way. Today they control the Presidency, Senate, Supreme Court, and if the trend continues, national football. The Alabama of tomorrow!

Enjoy your Sunday!

400-500 B.C. TO MODERN KEY WEST…..A HISTORY OF COCKFIGHTING

I am sick of politics! The political junkie has had it. Felt the need for a day off.

The sole topic today will be a history of cockfighting. A bit like politics. Both roosters going at each others throats to bloody the other.

Cockfighting is the sport of ancients, Presidents and common man. Though illegal, it is still considered a sport.

Roosters are trained to be killers, to hate other roosters. Their natural spurs are altered by adding on razor shop metal ones. The roosters are then ready to fight to the death.

Cockfighting is referred to as a blood sport because of the preceding.

Cockfighting had it’s beginnings sometime around 400-500 B.C. It was considered a sport.

The Chinese, Persians and Greeks were the first. Rooster owners were considered sportsmen and trainers. Much like horse owners and their trainers of today.

Spectators involved. They paid an entry fee to watch the fight and gamble on its outcome.

Three Presidents participated in and enjoyed the sport. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

Over the centuries, the sport became illegal. Primarily in the 20th century. All States ban cockfighting.

In 2007, George W. Bush signed a federal law banning cockfighting.

Both State and Federal law carry severe jail time.

Two reasons are put forth as to why cockfighting is philosophically  illegal. First, it is gambling. Second, animal cruelty.

Key West and the lower Keys historically have been a home to the sport.

Roosters and chickens today walk around freely.

During the 1800’s, chickens became big business in Cuba. Breeders purchased varieties of Filipino Fowl from Spain. The Cubans created their own breed called Cubalayo. Their size and aggressiveness made them perfect for cockfighting.

In 1860, the Ten Years’ War began in Cuba. Cuba’s fight for freedom. Many Cubans moved to the United States. They brought their love of cockfighting with them.

Then came the cigar industry. Its success in Key West brought more Cubans and cockfighting chickens.

When Cubans migrated to Key West, an insufficient food supply existed. There was no U.S. 1 or railroad. Ergo, the Cubans also brought chickens for human consumption.

The chickens provided eggs and meat. They reproduced easily. Roosters and chickens are very prolific. The gestation period 29 days.

As Key West became more connected with the rest of the world and with the advent of local markets and supermarkets carrying chicken products, there was no need to raise chickens for food.

Most people stopped raising chickens. They freed them to wander wherever.

The chickens learned quickly how to survive on their own. They ate native insects, lizards, scorpions and worms.

Many believe the roaming chickens have also provided a benefit to the community. It is claimed they have minimized Key West’s cockroach population.

Key West outlawed cockfighting in the 1970’s. Cubalayo chickens were no longer of value. Most owners put the Cubalayos on the street to fend for themselves.

Roosters and chickens roamed freely. Nature took its course. Sex abounded. A chicken’s gestation time is 29 days. It did not take long for Key West to have chickens galore.

The marriage of the food chickens with Cubalayp ones resulted in what today are known as Gypsy chickens. The Gypsys are the ones running around Key West today.

Gypsys are a protected species.

The outlawing of cockfights has not eliminated the sport. Merely minimized it. There are still those who like to breed and train. Others who enjoy making money sponsoring cockfights. And those who enjoy watching and gambling as to the outcome of a fight.

Cockfights therefore do exist. Generally outside of Key West. In mangroves and other isolated places.

In 2017, a drug raid in Ramrod Key discovered 250 cockfighting chickens and fighting paraphernalia. The owners/operators of the cocks and fighting paraphernalia were arrested.

For some reason, present day cockfighting appears to be moving out of the Keys to mid Florida. In 2019, a raid took place in Summerland, Florida. Summerland being in Marian County. Fifty roosters were discovered.

The only place in Key West that I am aware of that had regular cock fights was the Gato House at 1209 Virginia Street. I could not ascertain the time frame. I doubt it could have been when the Gato family was residing there.

Gato moved out. Donated the house for a hospital. He had one condition. The hospital had to be named after his wife Mercedes. The Mercedes Hospital came into being.

The Mercedes Hospital closed down around 1942. It was vacant for a while. Then it was purchased and turned into a guest house. Today an apartment building.

The Gato House is the place where Key West’s most famous ghost resides. The hospital’s matron Maria Valdez de Gutsens. It is claimed she still walks the rooms and hallways of the Gato House.

The Gato House has a backyard. It was also constructed in such fashion as to have a center court. The cockfights probably occurred after the hospital closed. During the years the building was run down and overgrown with weeds.

Hope you enjoyed.

Have a nice day!

DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY?

The world has changed. Most families are dysfunctional today. Respect lacking. From both sides. Child v. parent, parent v. child, grandparents ignored.

The lessons of my youth seem no longer to apply.

Dysfunctional hit the media big time yesterday. Rudi Giuliani’s daughter Carol Rose wrote a scathing article about her father. It was published in Vanity Fair. Titled: Everyone Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

No question, Carol Rose is mad at Dad.

I quote some interesting passages from her article.

“We are mountains apart, politically and otherwise.”

“None of us can afford to be silent right now.”

There is a “desperation to escape corrosive political discourse.”

“There is hope on the horizon, but we’ll only grasp it if we elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”

“I’m asking you to stand with me in the fight to end Donald’s reign of terror.”

My father has become the “President’s personal bulldog.”

“Corruption starts with ‘yes-men’ and women, the cronies who create an echo chamber of lies and subservience to maintain their proximity to power.”

“We are hanging by a single, slipping finger on a cliff’s edge, and the fall will be fatal.”

The Town Halls last night. Both at time same time. Made no sense to schedule them thusly. I was switching back and forth attempting to get the thrust of each man’s responses.

Two different men. Two different sets of values. One lies, the other truthful. One full of rancor and hate. The other calm. One basically non-responsive, the other detailed.

I got the impression at one point that Trump was trying to shout his way back into the White House.

One moderator good. The other leaving much to be desired.

ABC’s George Stephanopolus moderated Biden. He was looking for a “gotcha” moment. Failed. His followups were poor, not meaty and significant at all.

On the other hand, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie was outstanding! She had Trump to deal with. Her followups right on.

I have been writing and talking the past 2 years about a coming food shortage. Many have been critical of me. They were blind. Refused to see what was coming.

Not good to be out of food at any time. Worse when many unemployed and do not have the money to buy sufficient food even were it available.

An interesting article in Bloomberg’s this morning: Supply Lines: Scrambling for food.

Hunger on the rise is a global problem. Coronavirus a major crippling force. Lack of money the other.

The worse coronavirus gets, the less food that will be available.

Trucking delays add to the problem. Money problems leave food product stranded in areas, sitting in ports, logjams in warehouses.

With more and more becoming unemployed, food banks are swamped with requests for help. Their food supplies diminishing steadily each day.

Soon there will be no food at food banks. Then what?

John Brown raided Harpers Ferry this date in 1859. Brown and 6 of his followers were captured and executed.

Brown’s body lies on a mountaintop near Lake Placid in the Adirondacks. Next to his home.

I have visited twice. A thing to do on a rainy day in the Adirondacks.

The house is small. Furnished spartanly. Brown buried next to the house.

Tom and Fran Dixon have been Key West friends for more than 10 years. They still live in Buffalo. Travel to Key West 4-5 times a year because of a business interest here.

Fran is the charming woman who for several years has been bringing me jars of homemade meat sauce with pork, meatballs and sausage. She worries about me! Love her!

This year no Italian sauce. Instead, face masks.

My friends are die hard Syracuse fans also. Fran made Syracuse face masks. 1095s. With inserts.

Tom and Fran are far braver than I. They flew on the plane, drank in bars, ate in restaurants, etc. They are 74 and 70 respectively.

I told them they were foolish. Good friends can speak to each other in such fashion.

They wanted to visit, to bring me the face masks.

They were aware of my 200 plus days of self quarantine. I told them they could not come in the house. What a good friend am I!

It was no problem. Easily resolved. They stood on the sidewalk in front of my house and I on the porch, leaning on my cane.

We talked quite a while. Then I was impolite again, though it was not taken that way. I told them the visit was over. The sun was killing me and I was tired leaning on my cane.

Guy de Boer called at 7:55 this morning. His 8 o’clock guest on his KONK radio show could not make it. Asked me to fill in which I was most happy to do. We “exorcised” last night’s Town Hall shows.

The Citizens Voice spoke well this morning. A reader’s comment I agree with: “Key West has a seedy past. Long live Key West’s seedy side.” It had to be more fun back then.

Twenty year old May Johnson continues to enjoy her Key West life in 1896.

She started her evening this day in 1896 by attending a teacher’s meeting. Received free physicals which took a long time.

Then she and Charlie went to La Brisa. She had a wonderful evening. Danced every dance.

She was upset with Dr. Nobo, however. It bothered her that he sat watching her all night.

Her purported love Ernesto was as usual out of town working.

May lets no grass grow under her feet.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE DIKE IS ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSING

Our legal system is disintegrating.

In days gone by, the law could be depended upon to do the right thing. No more. As a result people are losing faith in the legal system.

The legal system is like a dike. It can handle a leak. Cracks are another story. The leaks turn into cracks and the walls are in danger of collapsing.

The Supreme Court is on the verge of losing face. Its politicization is destroying it. People are losing faith.

The non-judicial portion of the legal system has lost its way. Somehow, somewhere. The system seems to pay less and less attention to the 99 percent. Rights are violated. Rights not upheld. The system becoming more and more out of control.

A perfect example: Police being able to kill blacks with impunity.

A society whose laws fail to protect everyone understandably and fairly cannot survive.

Can the U.S. survive? Perhaps. Timing is everything. The disintegration discussed herein is no different than the Ovid-19 virus plaguing us. Millions infected and thousands dead.

The people of the U.S. must move with all deliberation and seriousness to destroy the political virus before it destroys America.

Can they?

I have had enough of Amy Coney Barret. She is on the wrong side of history.

Her ascendancy to the Supreme Court a fait accompli.

The Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation have succeeded. It took them fifty years to finally and firmly change the face of the Supreme Court. Their patience won.

It will take a generation to correct the wrongs the 6-3 conservative Supreme Court will now perpetrate.

Nicholas Kristof published a right on Opinion piece in yesterday’s New York Times. Titled: Will We Choose The Right Side Of History.

One of the areas he zeroed in on was Amy Coney Barrett’s method of answering questions. He described at as “avoidance.” Pure and simple. Precedent would control or she had no firm views on an issue. Hr evasiveness obvious.

So bad were such responses that Kristof wrote, “If she had been asked about astronomy, she might have explained: ‘I have read things about the Earth being round. I would not say I have a firm view on it.'”

Another doctor visit yesterday. Since I was downtown, I opted to drop of my mail in ballot at the Election Bureau.

I was concerned that my signature on the envelope might not look as it did when I first registered some 15 years ago. As my legs wobble, so do my hands on occasion.

I asked the clerk if I could see a copy of my registration signature. She brought it up on her computer screen. Told me not to worry. The same.

My car was parked in front of the Green Parrot. Several years ago the Green Parrot purchased the building next to it on Southard. Turned it into a restaurant. Big. Basically served burgers and the like.

The place was closed down. Windows boarded. A large sign: FOR SALE.

I observed the crowd on Duval again. Crowd the wrong term. Like nobody would have been more accurate. Roughly 10 percent that would be walking Duval at that time on a weekday if no virus. Next to no masks.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

AMERICAN DREAM…..going Going GONE

Six years ago on 12/8/14 I published an article in KONK Life whose words ring true today as back then: American Dream…..going Going GONE.
We have not made much progress in 6 years. If anything, we continue to drift backwards. I republish the article today as a reminder that we must move forward rather than backward.
Time is of the essence.
THE AMERICAN DREAM. Work hard, study, go to college…..The world is yours! Gone!
There was a time when parents hoped for their children a better life than they had experienced. The process was known as social mobility. It worked. The children went on to better jobs, educations and enjoyed the excesses of a material world. No more. Gone!
The American dream has been replaced by an American reality. People find themselves stuck in a social status. There is no upward mobility. Sociologists and economists claim what you will be is determined by who you are. Lineage and ancestry come into play. If your father was a carpenter, you will be one. If your father was a ditch digger, you will be one.
The United States is on the road to becoming a banana republic. We may already be there. There are two reasons. First, bad government policies. Second, systematic crime and manipulation by big banks. Both have little or no consideration for anything but themselves. The rich get richer and the poor poorer.
While  this downward trend has been going on, the United States’ reputation has suffered a similar malaise. The United States is on its way to no longer be a leading power and shining city on the hill.
While the middle class has been disappearing, it has found significant success in other countries. We are going backward while the rest of the world moves forward.
What is replacing the middle class is a form of the feudal system known in the middle ages. The king in a castle on the hill and the serfs working the fields below. Fields owned by the king. Families doing so for generations.
The middle class was born of World War II. Soldiers returned. They wanted a better way. They went to school and worked hard. From 1945 to the mid 1970s, the system worked. As productivity increased, wages increased. A middle class developed. People were earning good wages. They could provide for themselves and their families. Their children went on to a better life.
Since 1973 there has been a downward spiral, however. Productivity has increased 80 percent. Wages, only 10 percent.
The reason obvious. Government first and foremost. Government has been bought by corporate America and the banks. Lobbyists hired by them have great influence. They write laws and have Congressional members introduce them. Congress dances to their tune.Who is doing similar work for the former middle class and other persons not so fortunate?
We have been sold a bill of goods. For example, U.S. corporations claim they cannot pay higher wages. They cannot afford it. If they do, they will not be able to compete globally. A crock. How can Germany be explained? Germany is an industrial nation. Successful by today’s standards. Germany has consistently raised the wages of its workers and has a strong middle class. Germany competes in the same world market as the United States.
People are discouraged and despondent. A 2013 CNN poll showed 60 percent of Americans believed the American dream was no longer available. Three reasons were given. Lagging wages, a tough job market, and greater income inequality.
A college education is more expensive than ever. Most students go into extreme debt to obtain a college degree. Purportedly the ticket to success and wealth. Then they cannot get a job upon graduation.
We are told the recession ended in 2009. Tell that to the unemployed or those making low wages. Control by corporations and banks of government power has resulted in the top 1 percent earning significantly more dollars in the past five years.
The unemployment figures fail to impress me. Yes, under 6 percent is terrific. However, that figure does not include the 92.6 million unemployed that have fallen off the radar and are not counted.
Workers’ wages have fallen 36 percent in the last ten years. Seventy six percent of Americans live pay check to pay check. Burgeoning unpaid student loans constitute a big economic threat. Employment growth is only found in the MacDonald’s of this world. Twice the number of people are on food stamps today than were in 2008.
There has been no recovery for the working people. Most will work till they die. Forget retirement.
The solution? People have to take back the government. It is not going to happen quickly. Election districts have been gerrymandered under the guidance of the rich. It has to start at a grass root level.The precinct level. People must organize and go door to door to elect people who genuinely have their interests at heart. A tough long term way. However one of the few if the middle class is going to have a chance of recovering.
If not my suggestion or some other workable one, I fear we may experience an Arab Spring. It has happened elsewhere in the world. Why not here? There already are demonstrations nationwide over the race/police issue. Such could grow into a why can’t we get a better jobs one. Remember that in the Egyptian demonstrations, college graduates who could not get decent paying jobs were in the forefront.
Our country is in a hole. We have to dig our way out. The road back is long.

I’M ON THE ROAD AGAIN

After 11 days of home confinement, Trump was “back on the road again.” Shades of Willie Nelson.

He was in Sanford, Florida. Now his “home state.” A rally of thousands at the airport. Chanting USA! USA!

Donald’s people. Most maskless.

Pure unadulterated adulation emanating from their lips.

Trump said, “I’m immune!” Followed by he was willing to come out into the crowd and kiss the men and women. He had met the enemy coronavirus and defeated it. He was invincible.

No social distancing. Thousands of prospective Covid-19 challenging the virus to attack them. Their god Trump clear indication their was nothing to fear.

Yesterday’s news re coronavirus not good. The virus is up by at least 50 percent in 5 states. In one week! An obvious resurgence.

The States involved Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont.

The numbers were up in 31 other states in one week also. Though not to the 50 percent level.

Yesterday was Columbus Day. Brought to mind the rhyme we were all taught back in grammar school: “In fourteen hundred ninety-two / Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

Heard from 2 separate couples I have not been in touch with in several months.

Saturday it was Larry and Christine Smith. Christine Cordone her professional name. Still Key Westers. They have purchased a home somewhere in Pennsylvania.

They are snowbirds in reverse. Still maintain their Key West home.

The reason for the Pennsylvania purchase was Larry’s mom. She is on in her years and living in an assisted living facility. He wanted to be close to his mother who he visits every day.

Coronavirus affects how they meet. There are 2 barriers between he and his mother.

Larry mentioned something of interest. He said It was Trump country where he lived. Tons of Trump signs. One house after another.

Tom and Fran Dixon from Buffalo are in for a few days. A board meeting. Tom owns a small piece of the Ocean Key House.

I have not seen Tom and Fran in over a year.

They thought I would be out on the town with them. Told them no way! I have been self quarantined for over 200 days. I also chastised them for traveling during these times. They are in their 70’s.

Good people.

They insisted on seeing me. We worked out a deal. They would drive to my home and stop for a few minutes in the street. I would stand on my porch. We would laugh, communicate and have a few minutes of fun.

Fran has been my benefactor over the years food wise. She always brings me homemade meat sauce with pork and meatballs. About a dozen bottles. And I won’t see her! I am ashamed, but correct.

This trip no sauce. Instead Syracuse face masks which she made herself.

Love the girl!

That’s it for today. I am scheduled to appear on Guy de Boer’s KONK radio show at 8:22. Don’t laugh. The topic is Amy Coney Barrett and yesterday’s Senate Judiciary hearing.

Enjoy your day!

 

TODAY…..A BAD DAY FOR AMERICA

Today is the first day of years of bad days to come for our country. Assuming of course everything goes as Trump and the U.S. Senate anticipate.

This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee meets for what is expected to be a one week process confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Trump could not have made a worse choice. America will rue her ascendancy for many years.

It has to do with religion. I am fully aware that a person’s religion is not to be considered in deciding if she should move on to the Supreme Court. It is not her choice of religion that is the problem. It is how it will affect her judgment and rulings.

The best example is 1960 and John Kennedy’s race for the Presidency. He was Catholic. The U.S. had never had a Catholic President. Many feared that Kennedy would be the Pope’s puppet and his decisions would be influenced by the Pope.

In one sentence, the issue was put to rest. Kennedy said, “Render unto God that which is God’s and to Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”

Barrett’s problem similar to the one Kennedy faced.

Barrett claims to be Catholic. I don’t know and can’t figure if she is. It is not her Catholicism that concerns me, it is her other religious affiliation. People of Praise.

People of Praise is not a church per se. It is a network of para Christian groups. The majority are Catholics, though there are some Protestants.

The group was founded in 1971. It has 1,700 members today.

People of Praise considers itself charismatic. Such concerns me. Most are not aware of what the charismatic movement stands for.

Some of its tenets worry me. Note Barrett can belong to any religious group she wants. However, her involvement with certain types could affect her judgment improperly. In this instance she will succumb to People of Praise dictates.

I had the opportunity to attend a charismatic service in Utica in 1978. I wanted to know what it was about. Especially since my wife and a lady friend had become enamored with the movement. That was all they were talking about at the time.

What I saw that evening was a bunch of nuts.

Charismatics believe in the Holy Spirit. No problem. I do also. The third person of the Holy Trinity. What seemed way out to me was that the people at the service believed that the Holy Spirit would “speak to them in tongues.” Come down from above on a person individually. Speak in a foreign language not understood by the person being so “blessed.”

Simultaneously, the person afflicted would raise his/her arms in a hallelujah cry and shout out I am being talked to. Some ran into the aisles, some fell to the floor ranting.

A holy rollers situation.

There are certain other aspects of Persons of Praise that make me uncomfortable.

Each member has a “head.” A spiritually mature person. A member meets with the “head” on a frequent basis. As many as 3 times a week. The “head” acting as a personal adviser. Note personal adviser. Not just concerning religious matters. The “head” provides areas of encouragement, correction, and help in non religious areas.

Some tenets do not fit into today’s way of thinking. For example, the husband is the head of the household and spiritual adviser to his wife. The wife at all times is subservient to her husband.

You may say so what. How bad can it be? Terrible! Because it is off track. Not normal.

Approach the situation in a different fashion. There are other off beat and/or wacky religious groups.

Those involving snakes. Snake handling. Also known as serpent handling. The group has a small number of churches in the U.S. They are part of Holivers movement.

In addition to Holivers, Pentecostals, Charismatics, and other Evangelicals.

What about Satanism. A recognized religion in the U.S. Contemporary as People of Praise. Founded in 1966.

Snake churches go back to the Middle Ages and before. The Inquisition where people were tortured and put to death.

What about the Salem witch hunts? People claimed the Devil was in their midst or in a person, and reacted accordingly. People were hung and had harm otherwise inflicted upon them.

People who believe snakes are intrinsically involved in religion and those that recognize Satan as their Christ, are deviants to some extent.  How much different from a charismatic group that believes the Holy Spirit descends upon them and “speaks in tongues?” And then they shout out about it in holly roller spirit.

I would be more comfortable if persons of Barrett’s ilk were not considered for the Supreme Court. Barrett’s group thinks differently from most Americans in having a person they must talk to weekly to share concerns, etc. A Supreme Court Justice should not require such counsel and neither seek nor accept it.

To the women, think of how hard you have fought for women’s rights. The hard won battles of the last 60 years. Out the window with Barrett.

As I opened, today is a bad day for America. The Senate Republicans will approve her.

Enjoy your day! Continue Reading

“BAT-SHIT-CRAZY ANTICS OF REPUBLICAN PARTY” TRANSFORMS 2 YEARS LATER TO “LIBERALS ACTUALLY THE RACISTS…..THE TROLLS”

Pray tell, where does Trump get these supporters? The most recent to come to light is Candance Owens. A 31 year old black woman who formed and leads BLEXIT. A far right  black Republican conservative group.

BLEXIT was the group present on the South Lawn of the White House yesterday for the brief talk by God: Trump standing on the Truman balcony far above the 300-400 black BLEXIT’s standing below him.

Allegedly young Republicans. Not sure if Republicans, conservatives, or anything actually.

The talk had been promoted during the week preceding it as a law enforcement one. Two thousand persons had been invited. The HUGE outdoor rally advertised failed to even closely reach its goal.

Many of the 300-400 Brexit persons came from elsewhere. Most had their travel and lodging expense paid by Candance Owens’ BLEXIT group. All were given blue BLEXIT T shirts which they were mandated to wear without exception. Also face masks to wear, with no requirement that they had to be worn. There was no social distancing. They stood shoulder to shoulder looking up at the President.

The black attendees were required to fill out a form that in effect notified them that BLEXIT, a campaign urging Black Americans to leave the Democratic Party, would be covering travel costs.

Trump referred to the group as Black Conservatives.I wonder how many were even enrolled with a political party.

Candance Owens was running the show. A former liberal Democrat now a Republican conservative.

Trump was expected to discuss law enforcement with the Conservative Blacks.

Owens was a staunch Democrat activist till 2017. In 2015, she criticized conservative Republicans in a writing. She wrote about the “bat-shit-crazy antics of the Republican Tea Party.” She further wrote, “They will obviously die off then we can get on with the OBVIOUS social changes that need to happen.”

Something occurred in 2017 that affected her politically. What, I do not know. All of a sudden the staunch Democrat became a black hearted Republican. As she wrote in 2017, “Overnight…..I realized that liberals were actually the racists. Liberals were actually the trolls.”

Owens came to Trump’s attention this year. The Republican Party will take as many blacks into its ranks as it can. Especially smart ones. A mere 10-15 percent of the voting population are black and Republican.

Those on the White House lawn have been referred to as “secret paid protesters.”

Owens is planning an “anti-Black Lives Matter” event. Her followers have been urged to attend and have been further advised a limited number will receive travel stipends.

Regarding BLEXIT which Owens formed in 2018, she said, “We have to take this mask off. We have to unmask America.”

A question. Where is the money coming from to finance BLEXIT? I wonder. I doubt she is independently wealthy. She is a 31 year old college drop out.

Trump must be disappointed he failed to win the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. He need not worry. His name has already been submitted for the 2021 Peace award

He was nominated by Laura Huhtasaari, a right wing Finnish politician. She said she nominated Trump based on his “endeavors to end the era of endless wars.” She felt Trump had been “snubbed” in failing to receive the award this year.

How Cubans and Cuban cigars came to Key West.

In 1868, M. De Caspedes started a revolution on his estate in Bayamo, Cuba. The Spanish government immediately crushed the uprising.

Such led to the first mass Cuban migration to Key West. De Caspedes and his followers.

They brought with them the knowledge and seed to make Cuban cigars. The hand rolled Cuban cigar business was established using clear leaf Cuban tobacco.

The football season does not look good for Syracuse. My team lost to Duke yesterday 38-24.

Duke had lost its first 4 games this season. Syracuse was 1-2.

Syracuse had played exceptionally well against Georgia Tech which was the team’s first win. I expected the same against Duke.

It was not to be.

On obvious reason is Syracuse receivers could not hold on to the ball. Perfect throws dropped from their hands.

Some day, glory will be Syracuse’s again. I hope I am around to see it.

Enjoy your Sunday!