MORNING STEW #20

Morning Stew #20!

One of those mornings. So much to share. Simply going to lay the material out in the order it appears in my notes.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night.

Hit on the Saudi Arabia oil attack. Explored who really might have done it.

Much of my time was spent involving health care in general and U.S. health care being received by our children. Health insured are down the last 10 years. American kids not well cared for in U.S. system. U.S. ranks #37 in child health care world wide.

Trump spent 2 days doing fundraisers in California. Several over 2 days. Raised $15 million.

Except for the money, don’t know why he spent the time in California. No way can Trump win California. Democratic registration too high.

Watched most of Corey Lewandowski’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. His conduct/performance disgusting. Totally lacking in respect. What can we expect? The President has no respect for anyone. Ergo, it is permissible for those who support him to exercise a similar lack of respect

He stonewalled the Committee.

The Republicans on the Committee showed the same lack of respect for the Committee, its important function, and the Democrats on the Committee.

Lewandowsky testified about 6 hours. The first 5 1/2 wasted. Then came the last  half hour. Per the rules, the last half hour was reserved for a 30 minute examination of Lewandowski by an attorney retained by the Democrats to conduct the examination. The attorney Barry Berke.

An outstanding trial lawyer! Cross-examination his niche. He caught Lewandowski every which way.

There has to be a punishment for those who stonewall and mock a Congressional Committee. If there is none, no information of any value will ever be obtained.

My suggestion is a fine be established before anyone testifies further. Permissible under the law. Something like $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 per day.

They’ll testify!

Another storm on the way. Tropical storm Jerry. Tenth storm of the season. Jerry is expected to attain hurricane status in the next couple of days.

Presently moving west-northwest. Not expected to place the U.S. in danger. Will sweep north and then east out into the Atlantic.

Humberto still out there. Will pass over the edge of Bermuda today on its way into the northeast Atlantic. Not even close to the U.S. Goodbye, Humberto!

Abortions are at the lowest rate since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. A 1980 study showed 29.3 abortions per every 1,000 women of child bearing age. The most recent study in 2017 indicated 13.5 abortions.

Don’t know where you stand on the issue. However, it is important to share as part of this piece that the U.S. is now performing 862,000 abortions a year…..in spite of the reduction.

They are still counting the ballots in Israel. A very close election. Presently each side has 32 seats. Ballots being counted today will decide if Netanyahu survives. It is expected he will not.

We will know by tomorrow.

The General Motor strike continues. No where close to a resolution.

What GM did yesterday a clear indication of how Corporate America operates. GM cut off medical coverage for all employees effective immediately. Hard to tell what “immediately” means. Either yesterday or next tuesday.

Management said employees will not be hurt. The present contract provides the Union will pay the health insurance premiums for its members. Out of an emergency strike fund.

Hardball!

John Kennedy said, “The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.”

Kennedy had Russia and Cuba to deal with. Trump, Russia and the Middle East.

World problems cannot be considered and decided by one person. As it took a village to raise a child, it takes a village to exercise good judgment in world affairs.

A President must have a wise staff and rely on them. Not make solitary decisions as Trump does. The President should also be a well versed educated person. A person who reads. Not a personality freak.

The border wall has to make Trump crazy. Just as negating the Iran nuclear deal does.

Trump is anxious to fast track the border wall before the 2020 election. Haste makes waste. A lack of proper in depth examination before proceeding does not bode well for completion of a project.

Going through Arizona, there is  a 5 foot barrer. Trump wants to replace it with a 30 foot steel barrier. The portion of the wall runs through the Arizona Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. A federal area.

The National Park Service says a problem exists. The work will require bulldozers and excavators that could irreparably damage unexcavated artifacts and other traces of ancient Sonoran Desert peoples.

Five hundred miles of wall involved.

Wonder how Trump will work this one out. Trample over antiquity?

This past week a significant number of spying surveillance devices were found around the District of Columbia. The number/size has been described as massive.

Our people say it is the work of Israelian spies. Trump’s initial response no way.

Silence since the discovery. Will the U.S. take action? Will the situation be swept under the rug?

Certain nations must believe the U.S. has become a patsy since Trump was elected. In addition to other spying type problems, there is the cyber attack on the 2016 elections.

The Civil War has always turned me on. I took several Civil War courses in college.

One of my term papers involved the Presidential election of 1864. George McClellan v. Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln beat McClellan easily.

McClellan was a know it all. Egotistical.

On this day in 1862, the Battle of Antietam was waged. A one day battle. Decisive. Bloodiest battle of the Civil War. A Union victory. The Confederates left the battle field never to return.

Lee led the Confederate Army. McClellan was a Union general at the time. Head of the Army of the Potomac in the Eastern Theater.

Lincoln told McClellan to finish the job. Go after the retreating Lee.

McClellan was a know it all as indicated before. His nickname was the “youthful Napoleon.” McClellan thought Lee had with him 60,000 fresh troops. Too much for the Union soldiers he had left to handle.

McClellan was wrong. Lee did not have the 60,000 or any other additional amount.

McClellan was always questioning Lincoln. They did not get along. McClellan resigned from the Army and ran for President on the Democratic ticket against the Republican Lincoln.

Another mistake. He got his ass whipped!

A lovely day. They’re all lovely! Key West is truly a paradise.

Enjoy your day!

 

SAUDIS ALWAYS WANT TO FIGHT IRANIANS TO THE LAST AMERICAN

Robert Gates was a great Secretary of Defense. Politics never influenced his judgment. He diligently served under Bush 2 and Obama.

Too bad he is not Secretary of Defense at this time.

In a cable to the French Foreign Minister in 2010, he wrote the Saudis always want to “fight the Iranians to the last American.”

How true. Saudis are users and abusers when it comes to America. They pretend to be our friends. Yet every time they embrace, one of their hands is in our back pocket.

So much about the Saudis that makes me question their sincerity.

How can a nation that kills Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi and then dismembers his body be trustworthy?

Never forget that 15 of the 19 perpetrators of 9/11 were Saudi citizens. Even more, when no planes were allowed to fly for several days, a load of Saudis were permitted to fly back to Saudi Arabia the day after 9/11.

One of the best is Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia soon after he took office. The Saudis were aware of Trump’s likes and dislikes. His ego. How to appeal to him.

On the ride from his plane to wherever they were meeting, crowds lined the streets cheering Trump. Large pictures of Trump hung on buildings. At a reception, Trump was given a huge gold chain. He also participated in a Saudi dance with others. He wore a black apron and danced with them waving a sword over his head as his hosts did.

You could see it on his face. Trump was having a ball!

Little was he aware the Saudis were bullshitting him. Setting him up. They knew how to appeal to Trump and garner his support.

Another way is money. They used his hotels and bought his condominiums. Then and now pay cash for everything.

Jared Kushner then and to this day spends much time in Saudi Arabia. A high ranking Prince a close friend.

Trump has moved from “locked and loaded” to a conciliatory tune this morning. He’d “like to avoid” military confrontation. Adding Tehran officials want to talk and “make a deal.”

Sounds like his tune is softening. I hope so. I have to raise the question. Is Trump speaking the truth with those words? We never know.

Fools the Saudis are not. They do not want a direct confrontation with their cross Gulf rivals. The Saudis are fully aware that Iran has developed a formidable arsenal of long range weapons.

Trump’s talk/suggestion of war the past few days leaves me confused. Why would the U.S. jump into this fiasco to help the Saudis? The U.S. has no treaty with Saudi Arabia requiring such. The present situation requires more than the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

The Constitution says only Congress may declare war. A conflict with Iran would require Congressional approval in my opinion.

Unfortunately, Trump reads little and probably would not pay attention to the Congressional admonition if he could.

Would Congress stand up to him under the circumstances?

China warned Trump yesterday not to believe hawkish “conspiracy theories” that Iran was behind the attack. Mentioning that a “revenge attack” could cause the Middle East to “spiral out of control.”

Iran claims it is not the responsible party. Trump and Pompeo say Iran is. The only proof provided by Pompeo were 2 photos of the bombed sites in smoke. Tells me nothing as to who caused the explosions.

Iran is standing firm. A high ranking Iranian official said, “Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers are in a distance of up to 2000 km around Iran and within the range of our missiles.”

I don’t know who the responsible nation is. Nor does anyone else with certainty. Except for the actual perpetrator. Several nations could be responsible, however.

The Saudis have been at war in Yemen since 2015. A group from Yemen could be responsible.

The finger is also being pointed at Iraq.

Netanyahu has spent the past several years warning the U.S. against Iran. He wants Iran destroyed. He wants the U.S. to help him do it. Such would make Israel a major military power in the Middle East.

Don’t forget Russia. Putin the greatest sneak of all. Forget not Crimea. If Trump gets sucked into this Saudi mess it would work to Russia’s best interest. Putin is and has been committed to doing everything to make the U.S. look foolish and weak in the eyes of the rest of the world.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, the fog of war is upon us. Not healthy. The winds of war are blowing. Let’s hope Trump tip toes through the tulips and stays out of a fighting conflict.

Tonight my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time.

So much to talk about. Actually, too much. The voluminous available materials are indication alone that too many dangerous situations are popping up around he world.

Join me. Listen to me rant and rave. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THE FOG OF WAR

The fog of war is thick this morning.

Whoever bombed Saudi Arabia is drooling. Trump is anxious to jump in. The Saudis are playing poor me. Yemen says not me. And no one gives credit to Putin.

Trump back to retaliatory threats. The U.S. is “locked and loaded.” Depends of course who is ultimately determined to have been responsible.

What do I think.

Not the time for Iran to pull something like this. On the other hand, Iran is backing the Yemen rebels who the Saudis are fighting.

Putin had the New York Times reporter killed and his body dismembered. Putin has been a troublemaker consistently for several years. Think Crimea.

Whoever bombed the Saudi oil has excellent equipment. The ten strikes were described as “precision hits.”

I do not think Trump had anything to do with it.

I could care less about the Saudis.Fifteen of the 19 Twin Towers perpetrators were Saudi citizens. When no planes were flying the day after 9/11, a group of Saudis were permitted to fly out of New York City and back home. The Saudis at the time supported al Qaeda.

The Saudis gave us $4 a gallon gasoline. Our friends! Who needs them!

If Trump opts to go to war to support the Saudis, he is endangering the U.S greatly. He would then be placing us directly in the path of harm’s way.

A comment to someone’s writing this morning (not mine) said the U.S. was “goin to war for the cocksuckers who took down the Towers.”

What a mess!

I do not recall Trump ever complaining about his alleged bone spurs.  Assuming they have gone away, as the U.S. leader he should have an up front position. He should be the first off a landing barge or the first to parachute out of a plane over enemy territory.

Someone has to do it.

The General Motors strike bothers me. Tens of thousands of GM employees from Michigan to Texas left work at midnight.

One fortunate thing is negotiations will continue even though there is a strike. Teams from management and labor are meeting at the moment.

GM cannot stand a strike. The last strike in 2007 cost the company $6 million. And it only lasted 2 days!

Our government bailed GM out when it looked like it was going under. The employees cooperated at the time to keep GM afloat. Trump’s tax cut helped major corporations significantly. It did nothing or next to nothing for GM’s workers.

Trump said he was going to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. How about keeping what we have here?

M gut feeling is the strike will not last long. If they are sitting together this morning, it is a sign they are close.

I hope.

Citizens of Key West and the lower keys. Oxitec has been found to be wanting again. At a time when they are seeking permission to begin a new study here.

A recent Yale study claims Oxitec does not work. In fact, may have some adverse affects. In an article published in the Activist Post 9/15/19, the Yale study found the mosquito offspring more robust and eventually being birthed in larger numbers.

A team of Yale students studied the genomes of both the genetically modified strain and the wild species before release, and then 6, 12, and 27-30 months after the releases began.

We went through Oxitec and its genetically modified mosquitoes 3 years ago. The people of the keys were opposed. It took a public vote to get the Oxitec plan knocked out.

Oxitec is back. They are talking with the State and the Mosquito Control Board. Be aware. It is time to man the ramparts again!

Country music singer and songwriter Billy Currington was in Key West last night. He did a free concert. The crowd of 2,500 stretched from the foot of Duval to Ocean Key’s Sunset Pier. The entire pier packed.

Prior to the outdoor show, Currington did a donation appearance at the Key West Theater. All monies raised were for Key West’s sister city in the Bahamas, Green Turtle Cay.

Part of Currington’s performance included a song he wrote about Green Turtle Cay some time ago.

I was having a late Sunday mid afternoon breakfast at Harpoon Harry’s. The place almost empty. A woman sat a couple of seats from me at the bar. We began talking.

Her name Gail Schulte. Married name. Ancestral name Pratt. Her husband Mark Schulte.

They have been residents of Key West for more than a year. Lived in Sandwich, Massachusetts where they ran a guest house. Sold it and bought one in Key West thereby fulfilling a lifetime dream.

The Key West guest house is Suite Dreams Inn at 1001 Von Phister.

Sandwich is near Chatham on Cape Cod. I frequented Chatham many times over the years. Ergo, the conversation drifted into the Cape and Gail’s descendants.

Gail’s great, great, great, great grandfather was Edmund Freeman. I am not sure I have enough grandfathers. Whatever, Edmund came to our shores in 1635.

The Mayflower was the first boat to come to the new land. It arrived together with 2 other vessels in 1621 landing at Plymouth Rock.

The Abigail led groups of ships to the new land. The Abigail’s second trip in 1635.

There were religious difference with those who had landed at Plymouth Rock several years earlier. England was aware and did not want the 2 groups to live together. Edmund’s group was way of course in any event. Ended up even further than its original landing place.

The landing was on Cape Cod in what is now Sandwich.

Edmund’s group elected 10 men to be their leaders. Edmund was one of them. He later served as Assistant Governor of Plymouth Colony under Governor William Bradford.

The Cape and Sandwich land increased in value over the years. Some of Edmund’s descendents became very wealthy. I don’t know if Gail was so fortunate.

There is more to the story. Involves Key West locals.

When I first purchased my Key West home 25 years ago, I was fortunate to meet Woody and Joan Cornell. A great couple. They had met during World War II when Woody was stationed in England.

They prospered, but worked hard in doing so. They owned and operated a country house/resort in New England. I recall Woody telling me once that he and Joan were lucky to have had their daughter Greer before they went into the hotel business. He said there would have been no time thereafter. It was work, work, work, and more work for he and Joan.

Woody and Joan eventually sold the New England operation. Moved to Key West in 1995. Bought either a former home or guest house. Their intent to get back into the resort business in a much smaller way.

They spent 8 months “configuring” the place.

Woody was extremely talented. He and Joan could build, renovate, etc. anything. The result absolute beauty.

The building Woody and Joan configured and made into a guest house is the Suite Dreams Inn Gail and her husband purchased last year.

I met Woody and Joan through my daughter Lisa. She was good friends with their daughter Greer. Greer today is in the hospitality business as her parents were. I first met Greer when she was at the Casa Marina. She is associated today with 24 North on the Boulevard.

Small world. Everything interconnects.

I finish with climate change. An item of great concern.

A Swedish scientist has arrived at a theory whereby an insufficient food supply problem could be remedied. Eat human flesh. The bodies of dead relatives.

The scientist is big on his theory. Certain it would work. Problem is how people would react and accept/not accept it. The scientist believes people have a resistance to cannibalism. He describes it as “conservative” and “selfish.” I think it “sick.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

ALONZO’S WILL REOPEN, HUMBERTO WILL SKIP, SYRACUSE CRUCIFIED

Good friend Don Teich e-mailed me re Alonzo’s. Remodeling. Expected to reopen mid-October under same ownership.

Don and his lovely spouse Chris are Syracuse area friends. Also Key West friends. They visit 3-4 times a year. I look forward to their next visit.

Humberto running around somewhat like Dorian did. Here, there and everywhere. Except Humbert no where near the explosive power of Dorian.

Humberto not yet a hurricane. Expected to become a category 1 today.

Humberto has missed the Bahamas. It is heading towards the U.S. mainland. Will run off shore for a while and then turn northeast out into the ocean.

The report so far. Never know. As I am prone to say, hurricanes are fickle. All over the place unexpectedly.

I am getting too old for these Syracuse games!

Clemson beat Syracuse 42-6 last night. Pure torture to watch!

The first 5 minutes looked like Syracuse was going to make a game out of it. No way. It was brutal.

DeVito requires more seasoning. A sophmore. Syracuse’s quarterback. Played a bit last year. No Eric Dungey, however. At least not at this time.

The offensive line sucks. DeVito was sacked 8 times. Unheard of!

DeVito is responsible for shortcomings also. He rarely drops into the pocket to pass. Instead runs back. Then nailed for a significant loss.

Syracuse’s rushing game left much to be desired. Gained 15 yards on 42 carries. Syracuse could not convert when it should have. Four trips to the red zone resulted in a mere 6 points. Two field goals.

A big game and big night for Syracuse. Third largest crowd in Syracuse history, 50,248. Even the Goodyear Blimp showed up. Unusual. Rarely makes it to the north country.

Sports can be surprising. A result not as expected. Last week, Maryland destroyed Syracuse about as bad as Clemson. Everyone thought a big year ahead for Maryland. Turns out it may not be so. Little Temple walloped Maryland yesterday.

The Border Patrol complains they are unpopular. No wonder! They are!

One commented yesterday that “people actively hate us.” They do Trump’s dirty work. What do they expect.

ICE is similarly disliked. For the same reason.

The Border Patrol and ICE are marching in the steps of Hitler’s Gestapo.

Trump should have left Iran well enough alone. They were performing per the Agreement. Trump had to play anti-Obama big shot however and break the Agreement. Note that the several other nations involved did not.

Trump now wants to talk with Iran. Negotiate. Iran is saying up yours! You started this. You wait till we’re ready, if we ever are.

Saudi Arabia got drone bombed last night. Half its oil fields were destroyed.

All nations have been quiet. Even as to whether it actually was Iran who did the bombing. Only Pompeo has spoken out. He is certain. He says it is Iran.

Gas prices may go up.

I have to laugh. Trump campaigned on “I know how to negotiate!” Iran may not even give him the chance. As the saying goes, you sleep in the bed you made.

The international word is that the U.S. and Israel might enter into a mutual defense treaty. Netanyahu is up for reelection next week. He apparently believes he needs another public relations shot.

Trump has over done with Israel. The U.S. has stood with Israel from day one. And always will. All the things Trump has done were not required. Just as a mutual defense treaty is not required. The U.S. would be immediately with Israel should Israel be attacked.

The talk re a mutual defense treaty is nothing more than a political ploy.

Eric Holder was a distinguished Attorney General under Barack Obama. I did not always agree with him. That is the way it is, however.

I totally disagreed with Holder following 2008. It became obvious the banks were responsible. They had committed all kinds of wrong. Even criminal wrong.

They should have been prosecuted.

Holder said no, banks are too big to prosecute, all kinds of economic upheavals could occur if banks were held criminally responsible.

And so except for some hefty fines, no bank has ever paid for its sins which led to 2008. Yet millions of Americans lost their homes, savings and jobs.

Holder was questioned in the past few days on a talk show. He was asked if Trump should be prosecuted after he leaves the Presidency. Holder said he “was against prosecuting Trump post Presidency.” It would not look good and the country would suffer from a Presidential prosecution.

I do not buy it!

No one is above the law. Everyone expected to comply. Even a President. Especially one that has been so flagrant with his wrongdoing. His very actions show disrespect for the Nation and its people.

We have prosecuted governors and prominent legislative leaders. Even judges. Why not a President?

Enjoy your Sunday!

WILL MIGHTY CASEY STRIKE OUT TONIGHT?

 

Here we are into football season and I come up with a baseball metaphor. Casey at the Bat. It fits, however.

Will there be joy in Mudville tonight? Mudville being Syracuse.

Syracuse plays Clemson. Clemson ranked #1, Syracuse around #40. After last week’s drubbing by Maryland, it is going to take a long time to climb back into being a ranked team this year. Unless, Syracuse beats Clemson tonight!

Not impossible if the past 2 seasons are any indication.

Two years ago, Clemson was #1. Syracuse not ranked. Ended up having a lousy season, also. The night they met was special, however. The gods looked favorably upon Syracuse. Syracuse beat Clemson!

There was joy in Mudville!

Last year, almost the same result. Early in the season. Clemson #1. Syracuse not yet ranked thought it did end the season ranked based on a 9-3 record prior to the bowl games.

Syracuse lost by 3 points. Either team could have won. One of the finest football college games ever. The lead went back and forth.

I cannot say there was no joy in Mudville. There was. Everyone was happy. Clemson was supposed to kill Syracuse and failed to do so. At the time, none of us knew what a great season Syracuse would have. Clemson was ranked #1 at the time and ended the season #1.

Will it be 3 in a row tonight? A win or close defeat the same after the Maryland game.

We shall see. Mighty Casey will be at the bat.

I mentioned yesterday, the war that apparently exists between Comcast and ACCN. I can’t get Syracuse games.

Since Clemson is #1, it does not appear to be a problem. The game will be shown tonight on ABC also.

Jean and Joe Thornton back from a month in Europe. Two weeks now.

Spoke with Jean via telephone this morning. It was good to hear her voice. Love the lady!

I called to ask her about Alonzo’s which I will get to in a moment.

Jean reminded me that we were together 2 years ago. Irma had hit Key West 9/10. I arrived as a refugee at her home 9/8. Several others were arriving that day and the next.

Jean and I reminisced about all the fun we had. Twelve days together. All of us sleeping in the same home. Jean and Joe great hosts.

An experience. A unique one. A good one.

Jean mentioned that Birmingham had been without rain 3-4 weeks. I laughed. It has been pouring in Key West every morning for about 3 weeks. Raining now. The sky black.

The Alonzo thing. Alonzo’s is a famous Key West fish house. Alonzo’s has been located in the same place on the waterfront the many years I have been here.

It came to my attention yesterday that Alonzo’s is closed. Not only closed, but gutted! No one could tell me if Alonzo’s is returning or another restaurant.

Could be the place is rented to another outfit. Several buildings in the area were purchased by a group of local businessmen last year. They may be remodeling or rented to another.

Jean said she would check and let me know. By day’s end, Jean will know and have told me.

Berlin’s is upstairs from Alonzo’s. The new building owners made almost immediate changes to Berlin’s when they took title. The 2 that bothered me the most were cutting out smoking in the bar and charging for parking.

I have yet to return to Berlin’s.

A couple of interesting comments in this morning’s Citizens’ Voice.

The first made mention of the generosity of the people of the Florida Keys re the Bahamas. Locally garnered together supplies and money which is being sent over every day. Manpower also. People remaining and helping.

Sounds good! Is!

However, the comment also makes mention of something that continues to aggravate many in the lower keys.

It is 2 years post Irma. Renovation, rehabilitation, etc. still not complete. Up around Big Pine people still living in tents with no toilets, water supply or power.

I have spoken to the issue for 2 years. The reason for the problem lies clearly with Washington. Trump has failed to make available sufficient federal dollars to help. He always says when a disaster occurs not to worry. The government has enough money.

I believe the government does. The problem is Trump takes from the FEMA account and uses it for something else somewhere else. Like the recent monies he took to finish building the wall. Monies that had been appropriated by the House of Representatives for natural disasters.

The people of Puerto Rico, Florida Panhandle and Georgia continue to suffer also. Several hurricanes having hit.

All crying for help. The people of the Florida Panhandle view themselves as forgotten people.

Another comment along the lines of the previous involved the inability of Florida key’s people to rebuild or rehab for financial reasons. Again because federal dollars have come up short.

Many houses that went down are still down. Those leveled were mostly older ground level homes. Replacement homes have to be built on footings. Code required.

Many people cannot afford the new/additional cost to rebuild.

The federal government paying insufficient dribs and drabs. Insurance companies likewise. Would you believed that 2 years later and people are still waiting for an insurance settlement?

These same people continue to pay their mortgages. Now on an empty lot, in addition to paying for alternate housing.

Enjoy your day!

 

PARASKEOIDEKARIAPHOBIA, TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA, FRIGGATRISKAPHOBIA

Big words! Spelling bee material. Perhaps too long. Whatever, daunting.

All three mean basically the same thing. Fear of friday the 13th. Today being that day.

Paraskeoidekaphobia your basic fear of friday the 13th. Greek derivation.

Triskaidekaphobia a bit more than a normal fear. The scientific name. Generally requires psychiatric attention. The symptoms persistent, irrational, and unwarranted.

Friggatriskaphobia another way of describing everyday fear of friday the 13th. Of Greek derivation, also.

Those who fear would rather spend the day in bed. The day being the most superstitious of the year. Those who suffer the malady view nothing but ill omens permeating the day.

Several reasons why friday the 13 so coniered. The two most popular causes involve Christ. Jesus died on a friday. Thirteen persons had dinner at the Last Supper the night before. Some fear the day because Judas was at the Last Supper.

So feared was friday the 13th that no weddings were performed on the day during the Middle Ages.

Today’s admonition: Don’t walk under a ladder and avoid a black cat walking in front of you.

Humberto still coming. Though not yet fast enough to officially have acquired the name. It will before it is done, however.

Presently a mix of rain and wind not sufficient for designation. Though it will move to a tropical storm today or tomorrow over the Bahamas.

A tropical storm can do damage. I have seen it occur here in Key West. Winds are between 39-73 mph accompanied by heavy rainfall.

Damage wrought nowhere as great as the category 5 which hit the Bahamas earlier in the week when winds reached as high as 200 mph.

Humberto will continue northwestward after passing the Bahamas. Key West safe. Humberto will hit landfall around West Palm Beach and continue northward along U.S. coastal lands. It could also avoid making landfall and run north in line with the U.S. seaboard. Surges could be a danger, however.

More coming. Three or four more storms already have left Africa. Too soon to determine if any will actually become a hurricane or hit U.S. lands.

The Democratic Debate last night.

The best of the three so far. Apparently those participating have to develop an experience factor.

If I had to select a winner, it would be Biden. Not fantastic. Did what he had to do however and it so doing looked good.

Julian Castro made an ass out of himself. He took on Biden. Not in a very professional manner. Tried to demean and embarrass him.

Biden handled the situation well. Following the debate, it was discovered Castro had his facts wrong.

He deserved to be embarrassed.

I admired Castro till last night. You just don’t beat up on someone. Especially Biden. He warrants respect.

The candidates have to stop beating up on each other. Beat up on Trump! Don’t give the Republicans fodder to throw at whoever will be the Democratic candidate.

Castro reminded me of Kamala Harris. She nailed Biden during the first debate. Harshly. Her numbers went up the next day. Down soon after. People do not like icons defecated upon.

I thought Corey Booker an excellent candidate. Especially if Warren ends up the Presidential candidate. A black male for Vice-President. Almost a sure bet.

I got totally turned off to him last night. It has been building in me. He is a sneak. He hits the opposition sweetly and many times nauseatingly.

He was riding on Castro’s shirt tales last night.

Three debates, three sets of moderators. All stunk. Performed their jobs poorly. They seek to play gotcha.

Ohhhhhhh tomorrow! Syracuse plays #1 Clemson. A 27.5 underdog.

After last week’s shellacking by Maryland, I doubt Syracuse has the capacity to beat Clemson. You either have it or don’t. That is the way it is.

I am irked with my ability to get the game on my TV sets at home.

Syracuse plays in the ACC. The ACC now has its own sports outlet channel. ACCN. One problem. Whoever you get your TV service from must be carrying ACCN.

Comcast my server. Comcast and the ACC apparently have not made a deal. Pisses me off no end!

I have been spending more time home evenings. Generally working on the Italian book. I have decided to give it a new turn about 1/3 the way through the book.

I am never going to finish at this rate. I am beginning to wonder if I want to.

Enjoy your day!

 

AMERICA FAILS ITS CHILDREN

Three topics of exceptional importance this morning. America failing its children, America’s growing diversity, and Humberto. The blog opens with these three. Then to some Key West items followed by a few more non-related Key West topics.

Some things escape us. We simply don’t know. One is how America is failing its children. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote an eye opening article concerning the problem which appears in this morning’s Times.

Right to it: America’s children rank #37 world wide in well being.

Shameful.

The U.S. provides universal health coverage for senior citizens (which is very expensive) but not for kids (which would be very cheap).

Why, you may ask. Kristof says because seniors vote and children do not.

America’s diversity is on the rise! Very soon whites will be the minority compared to the rest of the population.

The diversity is like an oncoming tide. Can’t be stopped. Will be overwhelming.

In a recent edition of the Axio Citizen newsletter, Kim Hart addressed the issue. Her observations interesting.

Since 2010, 96 percent of all U.S. counties experienced a decline in white population. The nation’s white population has grown only 0.1 percent since 2010.

The America of today is more racially diverse than at any time in history. Racial minorities more geographically dispersed.

The fastest growing racial minority groups are Hispanics and Asians. The two groups have increased 18.6 percent and 27.4 percent respectively from 2010-2018.

The next 5 years will show a decline in white population. The next 5 years, the 20 something population will be minority whites.

The 2020 election could be the last hurrah for America’s whites. If not, 2024 definitely.

A hurricane here, a hurricane there. They are coming out of Africa  too frequently this year.

Humberto of present concern. Actually should not yet be named. Still not a tropical storm.

The cone shows Humberto, in whatever force, passing right over Key West. Though not certain yet. The experts will know better over the weekend.

It also appears Humberto will hit the Bahamas first.

We can handle a tropical storm with little difficulty. Few will evacuate. Heavy rain and wind. Trees and some roof tiles down. Power interrupted for a while.

I enjoyed last night. The Sons and Daughters of Italy had a dinner at La Trattoria on the Ocean. A social gathering, no business.

Fun.

Key West is hurting for money. City fathers are instituting new measures to bring in more tax revenue.

The primary reason for additional income being required is that the City has 12 new staff positions to fund and higher salaries for some who have had their job descriptions reclassified.

The money is to come from increased taxes and many additional parking meters.

$1.9 million new dollars required.

An irate citizen wrote in this morning’s Citizens’ Voice that it is wrong to raise money for new positions and increased salaries.

If taxes are to be raised, put them to good use.Where most required. Where they have been most required for years.

Like the streets.

The irate citizen said Key West streets have needed repair for years. If money is to be raised, use it to repair the streets. Key West streets resemble “third world roads.”

I agree.

Tonight, a political one. The third Democratic debate from 5-8. A long evening. I will eat it up!

Seems that lying by national leaders is not limited to the United States. Great Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused by a Court of having lied to Queen Elizabeth re a Brexit step he recommended.

Not many George Washington’s left in this world!

Eisenhower warned us. We did not heed his words. The military-industrial-complex is making a ton of many. I question whether all of the military spending is necessary.

Also, where is it going.

Last year, it was reported that a proper audit of the Defense Department could not be done. Either $300 million or $300 billion could not be accounted for. No receipts, etc. No one had any knowledge concerning the spending.

An example of whether money in some respects in being spent willy-nilly.

F-35 fighter planes.

Poland is our friend and ally. Lockheed-Martin recently received a $6.5 billion contract from Poland for F-35’s.

The U.S. supports Poland and has been engaged for many years in providing the country with dollars to be spent militarily.

The money Poland will pay Lockheed-Martin will come from U.S. tax dollars. Congress has the right to modify or block the expenditure.

Lockheed-Martin and the U.S. Defense Department have made a deal whereby the Defense Department will procure 470 new F-35’s for itself.

Tax dollars, again.

Military-industrial-complex doing well.

I wonder how closely these expenditures are scrutinized.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGED

 

September 11, 2001 is as imbedded in Amercan minds as December 7, 1941. Neither will be forgotten. As long as America exists, its people will remember.

9/11 affected us all. Even those not in New York City.

I was sitting in my office with some clients. I was interrupted with a phone call. The person at the other end told me to turn on the TV.

There it was. Tower #1 burning.

Later that day, my Congressman Sherry Boehlert telephoned from Washington. His words of wisdom: We will never be the same…..The world has changed.

He was correct. Nothing has been the same since.

I suffered an immediate disaster. My clients were primarily corporations outside upstate New York. I served as their counsel for any problems they had upstate.

Excellent clients to have. Enjoyable legal work. They paid. On time!

Getting paid on time ended on 9/11 for 2 months.

The corporate clients did not know what was going to happen. They began protecting themselves financially. None paid their bills for the next 2 months.

It was not easy. The work went on in spite of the pay lagging behind.

Many who were in New York City that day could not wait to get out.

A young lawyer worked near the Twin Towers. When the rumbling began, he got out of his office and ran. He told me he just kept running. The smoke was thick. There was crap in the air.

He ran till he reached the Brooklyn Bridge. Then ran across.

He, his wife and 3 children lived in New Jersey. All he could think of was moving. If it happened once, it could happen again. He had to protect his family.

He began looking for work far from New York City. I ended up hiring him. He moved everyone to Utica immediately.

He was an excellent lawyer. He worked in my firm for several years till he joined another attorney in a community about 50 miles away as a partner.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. So much material! Trump’s fault. He had an exceptionally busy week screwing things up.

Key West is having financial problems. Taxes going up. Parking permits being doubled in cost. New parking meters being installed.

One of the places for new parking meters is Smathers Beach. When I first arrived in Key West, they were there. Then at some point in time, they disappeared. I paid no attention. I was happy I could park for nothing.

Key West has announced they are lining Smathers Beach again with parking meters. Not sure how much per hour to park. If like the rest of Key West where metered, $4-4.50 per hour with a 4 hour limit.

Someone advised in this morning’s Citizens’ Voice that Key West could not legally do it. Smathers is on South Roosevelt Boulevard, a county road. Does not belong to Key West.

Interesting.

If anyone knows the correct situation, please let me know.

The Key West Library opened April 8, 1892 at 700 Fleming Street. Still there.

It was south Florida’s first public library.

A comfortable reading room. Walk in, sit and read the newspapers. I have not done so frequently. Other than a very infrequent stop for newspaper reading and an occasional lecture, I do not even think about going. The reason parking. As with most places in Key West, parking is a pain in the ass.

Yesterday, I learned that I was wrong. I was driving on the side street next to the library. Lo and behold, there is a huge parking lot behind the library. I shall be visiting more often.

I have felt guilty this past year that I spend so little time at the library. My book Irma and Me is on the shelves of the library. A big deal! At least from my perspective.

I shall let you know when I go and how I felt after leaving.

Special event this evening. The Sons and Daughters of Italy are having a dinner meeting at La Trattoria Beachside. Good food and company. I look forward to it.

Samantha Power. She was on 2 different TV talk shows 2 days in a row. An impressive woman. Her intelligence obvious. Her humility also.

She is pedaling her most recent book….. The Education of An Idealist: A Memoir. More importantly, her background. An immigrant. Born in Ireland. Today an academic, author and diplomat.

Now 48, married, mother of 2, she has served on the White House Obama team, spent 4 years as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N, won a Pulitzer Prize for a previous book, etc.

I enjoyed watching her speak. Now I have another book to read. You might want to, also.

Trump fired John Bolton. Bolton said he retired. Whatever, it is one of the rare times Trump has done something correctly.

Bolton has been National Security Adviser for 17 months. A mistake that Trump took him on board. A warmonger. He has tried for 17 months to draw the U.S. into wars all over the world.

In those 17 months the number of additional U.S. troops deployed worldwide has increased, with the U.S. consistently threatening war everywhere. He brought the U.S. within minutes of bombing Iran.

I apologize for the manner I am going to express myself. However, good riddance to bad rubbish.

We worry about plastic straws screwing up the oceans and reefs of the world. The problem may be more extensive.

A recently released study suggests an apolyothic problem. The Study: Detection of Various Microplastics in Human Stool. The study was limited. Only 8 persons. However selected from all parts of the world.

None was sample free. All had microplastics in their bodies.

Further studies obviously required. How are human organs being affected? We must know.

The ocean is one of the ways the microplastics are transported. Another wind. The Arctic is significantly contaminated.

Very interesting. Worthy of significant concern and further investigation.

Trump is correct when he says more people are making more money than ever before. He fails to tells us however that the percentage of health uninsured Americans has risen in the past decade.

The primary cause are the cuts that have been made in the Affordable Care Act by Trump. Amazing! More people making more money, yet more people lacking in health insurance.

Congratulations, Donald! You kicked Obama in the ass each time you did something to diminish the Affordable Care Act. You also kicked the American people in the ass.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

MORNING STEW #19

Where do I begin…..

I have been doing this blog 15 years. At the beginning, it was difficult to come up with topics I thought people might be interested in/enjoy. Today, no problem!

Tons of topics, issues.

I blame/give credit to Trump. No question, he knows how to create news. Which means my research time has become longer as have the blogs.

Some days there is so much news that It is difficult for me to organize the blog. Those days I do what has become known as a Morning Stew. Write from my notes in the order of the notes. Helter-skelter.

Today #19 in the Morning Stew series.

The “failure” of Trump’s secret meeting at Camp David with the Taliban and the President of Afghanistan a good thing. Nothing of value would have come of it.

From what I understand, the meeting began a week before as a thought in Trump’s mind. He dealt with the Taliban. Ignored the government of Afghanistan. Got both to agree to attend the meeting. We all know what happened and as a result the meeting was cancelled by Trump.

A couple of background facts.

The Taliban were already preaching to their people the “peace meeting” was at the request to the Americans. A Taliban victory. The Americans had capitulated. The Taliban had defeated the “invaders” after 18 years of war. The Americans were leaving Afghanistan “in shame.”

Women’s rights. Always an issue in the Islamic world. The Taliban were willing to agree to deal with women consistent with “Islamic values.”

Not much of a guaranty.

Since the war began in 2001, women in the cities have become modernized. They are allowed to leave their homes, work. No no’s before.

Today’s Afghan women fear a return to the old days. Women being stoned to death, banned from school, and prohibited from being out in public places. Plus, the burqa. Would have to be worn again covering everything but the eyes.

Everyone came out ahead by the meeting being called off. Trump did not have it organized properly. A meeting to end an 18 year old war cannot be arranged and negotiated in a week or two’s time.

The Afghan President had nothing to agree to. Within months, he would have been out. Probably dead.

Trump’s short lived “victory” gone within months. A Kim Jung Un type victory.

Someone referred to Trump as a deal breaker, not a deal maker. True.

Another that Trump put things together on the spur of the moment. True. Not a winning technique.

September 9, 1964 a big day for Key West. As were the two days following.

The Beatles were flying to a concert in Jacksonville. Hurricane Dora forced their plane to land in Key West. Spent 2 days at the Key West Motel on South Roosevelt Boulevard.

Key West went crazy.

The Beatles made good use of the motel’s pool.

People started filling small bottles with the pool water the Beatles had swum in.

The fans were entitled to the indulgence. The Beatles are one of history’s great musical combinations. Brought joy to many.

Jean and Joe Thornton have returned. Concluding a one month European vacation. Not to Key West yet. Got back to Birmingham a few days ago.

Yesterday Hurricane Gabrielle was thought might be a danger to south Florida. Keys included. No more. Gabrielle made a very sharp turn north and then west. It is expected to make landfall in Ireland and the UK in a few days.

Humberto could be a problem. Meteorologists are waiting for it to form.

The possible impeachment of Trump a growing thing. A little bit more each day. Now a smoking gun. Soon to be an arsenal.

Trump is a mean man. The Bahamas are hurting big time. It will take years for certain parts of the Bahamas to return. In the meantime, its people have been crushed.

Miami is only 50 miles away. The Bahamas are closer to Miami than Key West is to Cuba. Many are leaving the Bahamas for the United States. Makes sense. An emergency situation. Take them in!

Trump was quoted as saying in the September 4 Washington Post, “…..the federal government must not forget about our neighbors, just 50 miles from Miami.”

As with everything else, Trump’s position was short lived.

Trump will not permit entry into the U.S. by any Bahamians not having proper papers. He said some are criminals, bad people, etc. He will allow no one in who is not properly vetted.

He shames out nation, he shames our people.

A thought to be shared. Most Bahamians are people of color.

Dinner with Terri last night at Antonia’s. She wanted to skip Aqua.

Good time! Nicolle bartending.

The streets of Key West are quiet. Dead a better description. Off season. However, Antonia’s had an excellent crowd. Strange.

I have been doing Antonia’s for 25 years. Everything the same today as then. With 2 exceptions.

Bread and cookies. Back then, I suspect the bread was fresh baked in house. Doubt it is today. Not as good. Also, at the end of the meal, a small plate of house baked cookies were brought to the table. Free. An assortment. Delicious. No more cookies.

I am not complaining. Though I really miss the cookies.

Trump reminds me of two children’s rhyme characters.

Little Jack Horner. Trump thinks he always does good. In those instances he brings to mind…..Little Jack Horner sat in the corner, eating his pumpkin pie. He stuck in his thumb, pulled out a plumb and said, “Oh, what a good boy am I!”

And then there is Humpty Dumpty. Both Trump and Humpty physically the same.

When Trump falls, and he is going to, the rhyme will have proven itself…..Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty took a great fall. All the king’s horsemen and all the king’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

So it will be.

Two years ago today, a time of major consequence for Key West and the lower keys. Irma made landfall.

Projected as a category 5, it hit Key West as a 1. However 16 miles up the road, it landed on Cudjoe Key as a category 4. And was a 4-5 for the next 60-70 miles up the keys. Major devastation. Bahamas type.

Irma will be with us forever. Can not be forgotten.

Pouring big time at the moment. Weather forecasted to be heavy rain and wind over the weekend.

Father Trump has made and continues to make a big deal out of the Alabama thing. He screwed up and cannot admit he made a mistake. That simple. Would not have been a big deal. He has made it a big deal.

I suspect that as the House proceeds with impeachment, Wilbur Mills telling NOAA to change what had been said will be a big deal.

Daughter Ivanka getting into the picture.

Ivanka is visiting Alabama today or next tuesday. I could not figure out what tuesday from the way it was reported.

The question was asked somewhere this morning whether she would be surveying the hurricane damage there.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time.

Going to be an interesting evening. So much to talk about. Just as there is so much to write about this morning.

Big Pine took a heavy hit from Irma. A category 4. Some areas still recovering. Trump has failed to provide necessary monies to assist. As he has failed with other areas hit by other hurricanes.

The minor children of Big Pine recall not what Trump did. They recall the assistance the Bahamas provided. Seven children ages 5-10 sold lemonade over the weekend. To raise money to help the people of the Bahamas who had helped them. Note that 5 of the children lost their homes.

The children raised a little over $650. The money has already been sent to the Bahamas.

Another group has not forgotten. The Key  West Sunrise Rotary. They sent a check for $25,000.

I still have pages more. Blog long enough. I will cover some of the topics tonight and write about the others tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!

 

GENDER EQUALITY MEANS BOYS WEAR SKIRTS AS PART OF SCHOOL GENDER EQUALITY PROGRAM

In today’s modern world, gender equality has a tendency to go a step too far. Sometimes, a mile too far!

An example of political correctness gone mad is what is occurring at a school in Lewes, England.

Last week, 100 female students protested at the gate to their school. The gate was locked barring their entry. Police were in attendance.

The school sought gender equality. Voted the school uniform would require boys and girls to wear pants. No skirts for the girls.

The girls said no way. They would would not attend school unless they could wear skirts. The line was drawn in the sand. As of today, no solution as yet.

Parents support their daughters.

The school insists it is doing what is right. “Gender neutral” addresses “inequality” and “inclusiveness.”

I see the problem a simple one. The girls are being punished in effect because – shock, horror – they want to continue wearing skirts. Let them continue wearing them. Females were wearing skirts before the birth of Christ. Men wearing skirts back then also.

Suppose in support of “gender neutrality,” the boys wanted the right to wear skirts. All hell would break loose at the administration’s end!

One parent suggested that a gender neutral uniform program would allow boys and girls to wear skirts, and both to wear trousers.

Too much for me to handle.

I have more than normal diverse topics today. Difficult to place them in any sort of order. Ergo, from this point forward I am presenting as if this were a Morning Stew blog. Laying them out as they appear in my notes!

A noon brunch at Harpoon Harry’s yesterday. Amazing the business the place does. Seems to have been in its location forever. Fifties style layout. Food good. Prices reasonable.

Even though Key West is still out of season, the place was packed. People required to wait for seating.

Relished my eggs benedict and hash browns.

A Comment to yesterday’s blog read: “The not-so-sharpie, with the sharpie.” An obvious reference to Trump.

A relatively new term gaining in popularity: Media disinformation. Means we ain’t getting the truth!

An example is Venezuela. The U.S. and the U.N.’s involvement in a devious representation.

The information came to my attention in an article published by Voltaire Network on 9/6/19. The thrust of the article was to evidence how Venezuelans had been misled when told they had no future in their home land. Additionally, it was reported Maduro was inept and illegitimate as President.

Note Voltaire claims such based on the U.S. and U.N. working in cahoots.

The article also explored the theory of “migrants as weapons of war.”

The facts.

In August 2018, the international press reported a mass exodus of Venezuelans who were fleeing the famine and chauvinist dictatorship of Nicholas Maduro. The claim was that 18,000 persons a day were fleeing Venezuela.

The U.N. predicted 5.3 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees would leave Venezuela and would be required to live in Latin America. A major crisis.

Actually, no crisis. Voltaire claims the figures were pure propaganda. Nowhere near the predicted number left. Many who did, returned.

The campaign of “media disinformation” seeking to destabilize Venezuela was in error.

This one is a bit over my head. I do not know if Voltaire is correct. I share the article however because if it was, it is cause for significant worry. Migrants being used as weapons of war. Orally and in print, without military weapons.

Trump is playing the game.

Trump keeps expanding the tariff war with China. Trump hits China with an increase, China hits back. The way of the world.

My concern continues to be an all out military conflict. One with the nation considered the second strongest in the world. I wonder whether it is #1.

China’s military has grown in the past 7 years. and continues to grow. China announced last week that it had entered into the mass production of stealth fighters. Chengdu J-20. At the moment, China has 13 in service.

Came across a new word. Hard to spell, hard to pronounce. Schadenfreude. Belongs in a spelling bee contest. Means to derive pleasure from the misfortune of another person.

Trump?

What I am about to share I can only describe as Washington behaving like assholes. Sorry for language. However, it fits.

The Bahamas were hit big by Dorian. A category 5. Things so bad, it will take years for the Bahamas to be totally rebuilt.

Many Bahamians are leaving the Bahamas for the U.S. A mere 50 mile trip.

We should be welcoming them with open arms.

Those leaving were told all they needed was a Bahamian passport and a clean police record.

After getting on the boat and before it departed, it was announced over the public address system that a visa was required also. Those without should get off the boat.

Many did not have visas. Were required to leave the boat.

The U.S. law involved reads: “All persons must possess valid identity and travel documents.”

Another tidbit involved. Turns out a different set of rules apply whether a person flies into the U.S. or arrives by boat. Rules by boat more stringent.

Some of those left behind will probably die. Merely because some bureaucratic idiot in Washington failed to get the visa rule waived. There are no rules requiring adherence in an emergency situation such as confronts the people of the Bahamas.

It has been 6 weeks since my  pancreatitis attack. I spend more evenings at home than out. Drinking the reason. I am off alcohol. The major cause of pancreatitis.

Key West a drinking town. Everyone in the bars at night.

I go much less now. Actually, rarely. As most know, if everyone else is drinking and you are not, it’s tough! No fun.

I have been spending much more time at home. Not bad. Could be better. My evenings are spent writing. Perhaps I will get another book out. Maybe the Italian one.

Here I share that I remain home most evenings, and now I will tell you how I will be out tonight.

Donna is in Detroit. Terri alone. My date tonight. We are attending Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders and then having dinner at Antonia’s.

I look forward to it. Terri good company. Will see others I have not in a while. The not drinking will bother me. I kid you not. Even watching what some will eat at Antonia’s. I am off fats. Someone nearby will be enjoying a steak or lamb chops.

I am paying for my sins!

Enjoy your day!