THE WHEEL WAS INVENTED BY AMERICANS

The people of the United States are fortunate to have so intelligent and wise a man as Donald Trump as President. There is no one smarter anywhere.

Speaking at the Davos meeting yesterday, Trump uttered words in support of his America First ways. One reason was to protect American inventors and inventions.

Trump told the economic leaders of the world, “You know we have to protect Thomas Edison and we have to protect all these people that – came up with originally the light bulb and – the wheel.”

Americans invented the wheel! I did not know. You did not know. The economic leaders of the world did not know. No one knew, except Donald.

Most historians agree that the first evidence of “wheel movement” was found in the form of miniature clay wheels north of the Black Sea before 4000 B.C.

Stopped at the hospital on the way into town last night. Dan Reardon was in the hospital. Chest pains.

Tests all negative through last night. He is undergoing a stress test at the moment.

Dan was in a cheerful mood. Had not had a pain since arriving at the hospital in the morning. It’s always that way!

His wife Lisa arrived as I was leaving. I think it is always tougher on the spouse.

Instead of going south into Key West, I decided on a Hogfish evening.

My concern as I drove was I would not be able to find a parking place or there would be no place at the bar. Always that way this time of the year.

The gods were with me. A parking place waiting for me right in front. An empty seat at the bar.

Enjoyed a Key West meal. Lobster bisque and hogfish sticks. The sticks appeared to be 2 large pieces of hogfish cut up. Indicating a large catch yesterday.

Juan sat next to me. Good guy, good company. Fortyish. Of Mexican extraction. He has lived in Key West some 20 years. In construction. As most Key Westers, he works 2 jobs. The second 2 nights a week at Santiago’s.

We chatted about everything. It was a pleasant evening.

This morning’s Key West Citizens’ Voice had an interesting and true comment: “Bum Farto is our Jimmy Hoffa.”

Amazing. The stories of both men end the same way.

Iguanas should be eliminated from the face of Florida! The damage they wrought!

The City of West Palm Beach announced iguanas had caused $1.8 million damage. The damage was to a seawall that controlled water flow into City reservoirs.

The iguana problem may be beyond relief. We may have reached the point as Florida did with pythons. Started paying attention to the “problem” too late. Now the python problem can only controlled, not eradicated.

Florida announced last year iguanas were a “problem” and something had to be done. They would study the problem.

Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the Holocaust’s end. Six million Jews killed. A handful in comparison survived.

At a commemorative event attended by Putin and Pence, Mier Lau spoke. A Holocaust survivor. Now 82. A rabbi.

He entered a concentration camp for the first time at the age of 7. From that time forward, he had no name. Only a number. His family killed.

He said, “I cannot forgive.”

I can’t blame him.

One of the outstanding journalists of the 20th and 21st centuries was Jim Lehr. He died yesterday at 85.

Most of Lehr’s professional career was spent with PBS. He was PBS anchor for 36 years, a founder of the PBS News Hour, the moderator of 12 Presidential debates, wrote novels and plays.

A distinguished life. May he rest in peace.

Word is slipping out of world economic centers that the world economy would collapse if banks stopped laundering money. A sad state of affairs if true. It would not surprise me if it is.

Insanity prevails. Good guys are bad guys. The story of a Euclid, Ohio police officer. Solomon Nhiwatuiva, age 34.

The officer was driving a police car. A seventh grade girl was standing waiting for the school bus. He stopped and asked the girl if she wanted a ride. She said no. He drove a short distance and parked the police car.

Walked back to the girl and exposed his genitals. Then urinated on her head, upper body, and legs.

While so doing, he filmed the whole incident on his cell phone.

The police officer has been sentenced to 4.5 years in jail.

Punishment enough? The seventh grade female victim is mentally screwed up as a result. From an excited seventh grader prior to the incident, she is now a depressed recluse who draws pictures of people committing suicide.

Three years ago, I wrote about the Defense Department not being able to find some $300 billion. No one knew where the money went.

No mention has ever been made since as to where the $300 billion went.

In 2019, the Defense department made $35 trillion in accounting adjustment/changes. The $35 trillion number is larger than the U.S. economy and underscores the Defense Department’s continuing difficulty in balancing its books.

The problem existed in 2017 and 2018 also. In 2018, adjustments had to be made to the tune of $30.7 trillion. In 2018, $29 trillion.

Re the $30 trillion a Pentagon budget expert said, “Within that $30 trillion is a lot of double, triple and quadruple counting of the same money as it got moved between accounts.”

No excuse. We are required to balance our check books. Generally without assistance. The Defense Department has thousands working on the books. There is no excuse for the books being screwed up as they are.

Trump tells us the economy is good. The numbers support him. I do not buy it, however. The lower echelons are hurting economically. Wages suck.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released information to the effect that wages today still do not match 1970 levels.

I buy it.

I have been predicting a recession for quite a while. Thought it would occur last year. I was wrong as to timing. Still believe it is coming. Has to. Trump has screwed up the economic stability of too many countries.

Adam Schiff continues to impress me. He is Presidential timber. Not this year as he is not even in the primary race.

He would make an excellent Vice-President candidate. Will not happen. Assuming a white man heads the Democratic ticket, the Vice Presidential candidate will have to be a woman or person of color or both.

Enjoy your day!

COW KEY BRIDGE REPAIRS SOON…..OH! THE AGGRAVATION

It’s coming. soon. The beginning of the repair work to the Cow Key Bridge. Anywhere from 220 to 480 days of pure unadulterated aggravation.

The Cow Key Bridge is part of US 1. The only way in and out of Key West. Sits just outside the Key West boundary line.

The bridge 4 lanes wide. Two lanes each way.

The Boulevards permit entry onto US 1 and then Cow Key Bridge. North and South Roosevelt Boulevards. Two lanes coming on and off US 1.

Seven to 9 in the morning and 4 to 6 in the evening the busiest times. People coming to work and going home make up most of the traffic.

I live on the golf course. Presently takes me 15 minutes to go less than 2 miles on US 1 to get into Key West. Traffic.

It has been projected it will take anywhere from 26 to 36 additional minutes during the bridge repair phase. From my perspective, conservative estimates.

The reason fr additional time is that the 4 bridge lanes will be reduced by at least 1 to 3 lanes.

Last night paints a clear picture as to the problem. No repair work yet. All lanes open and flowing. It was 6 and I was returning home. Coming to Flagler on South Roosevelt Boulevard. The right lane traffic for cars turning on to US 1 began at Flagler. Quite a distance. A 5-10 minute delay now. It will be more when 1 or 2 lanes are closed down.

Cow Key Bridge is not long. Three hounded feet. Work will begin in April. The State tells us 220 days if only one lane closed, 480 if 2.

A disaster in the making. High blood pressure. Not going to be a fun time.

People have already begun talking about what lies ahead. No one happy.

Locals are aware the State cannot be depended for accurate estimates, etc. It took forever a couple of years ago for North Roosevelt Boulevard to be repaired. And then certain parts were done wrong and had to be corrected. More aggravation after we thought it was all behind us.

I believe there has to be a better way so traffic can move faster. However, I am not bridge construction savvy and may be wrong.

You will hear more about the issue as April approaches.

Aqua Idol last night! My first visit in 10 years. Previously it was held on tuesday night. My blog talk radio evening. Could not attend. This season it has moved to wednesday.

A terrific show! Sixteen singers participating. All good. One contestant per week is eliminated. The contest lasts 16 weeks.

Aqua was packed. I got there early enough to get a seat at the bar. Viewers all locals. Residents and snowbirds. Most senior citizens. Everyone having a good time.

Lynda Frechette has to be complimented. She began this fundraiser 14 years ago for the Waterfront Playhouse. The success of the event is attributable to her.

Left before the show was over. I wanted to catch the second half of the Syracuse/Notre Dame game. Hurried to Jack Flats. Not one TV set was on the game. All showing other games with people already watching. No screen for Louis to watch Syracuse.

Walked across the street to La Trattoria for dinner.

Then home.

The game was over by the time I arrived home. Syracuse had won 84-82. Syracuse on a streak! Did poorly in pre-season play. The team has now won 4 consecutive games in ACC play.

Go “Cuse!

Recall Bruce Springsteen’s Pink Cadillac: Well now you may think I’m foolish / For the foolish things I do.

There’s a pink Cadillac cruising the Keys. Docked in Islamorada.

Its captain Joe Fox. He was taken with Captain Nemo from the movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

He built from wood a vessel that ended up looking like a Cadillac. A pink one. He named it Nautilimo after Captain Nemo.

The Nautilimo is available for charter each day. A party vehicle. Carries six.

Former New York Yankee star Derek Jeter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The first time he was eligible. His tally was one vote short of unanimous.

I mention Jeter because there was a time a few years ago when he was a frequent visitor to Key West.

The Curry name is legend in Key West.

William Curry died this day in 1896. He was born in the Bahamas. Came to Key West at the age of 16. Began a mercantile business.

He became Florida’s first millionaire.

Another distinguished Key West person of days gone by is Henry Flagler.

It was on this day in 1912 that the official opening of the Overseas Extension of the Florida East Coast Railroad took place. It is reported the crowd for the event was the largest ever up to that time in Key West.

Flagler was welcomed by then Mayor J. N. Fogarty.

The first train ever had arrived in Key West!

The Key West Citizen has been carrying diary excerpts of a May Johnson from many many years ago.

May was 19 at the time. A school teacher.

On the particular day reported it was fun and frolic for her. No school. She did many things around town. With boys and girls her age.

When May returned home, her mother was not happy. May wrote, “Mama put a damper on all of my good feelings by some of her foolishness.”

Even back then, parents and children had a hard tome getting along. The same considerations as today. Out all day with boys, not knowing where she was, etc.

S things never change.

Caught Trump early this morning on TV. He was still in Davos. He said he was not concerned with the impeachment trial since he had all the “documents.”

The U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973. Legalized abortion.

It has been a war ever since. Although Roe was decided 47 years ago, the battle to overturn the decision is ongoing.

Trump was at one time “very pro choice.” Politics has apparently changed his tune.

Decidedly an opportunist.

Pro-lifers have infrequently visited him in the White House.

Things have changed. The anti-abortion group March for Life holds its annual rally tomorrow. Trump is attending and participating. It will be the first time a sitting President has attended in 47 years.

The reason understandable. Pro-life is close to Trump’s evangelical base. He is making sure they know he wants their support. They should know by now. The 100 plus federal judges he has appointed who are pro-life speaks for itself.

During his press conference in Davos yesteryear, Trump announced he would seek cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

Interesting.

He’s a bit of a two face. In 2016, he said there would be no cuts in either. Three years latter, he has changed his mind. Probably thinks it will insure his victory.

In his announcement, Trump d said entitlements are “the easiest of all things to cut.”

The wrath of senior citizens will come down upon him! The elderly are a large voting block.

The impeachment trial so far is a sham. A trial without witnesses and documents. Will forever be known as a “Trump trial.”

A “Trump trial” does not offer justice.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

LET MY PEOPLE GO

Moses said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go…..If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow.”

Locusts are a problem today. One which few in our country are aware. It has to do with climate change.

First however a brief review of Trump’s position re climate change.

He is in Davos, Switzerland. A world economic meeting. The chief concern  of the group not money directly this year. It is concerns climate change. Most of those attending believe climate change is a reality and has already begun destroying the earth.

Trump does not believe in climate change. This morning in Davos, he decried the “climate prophets of doom.” He called for a rejection of the “predators of an apocalypse.”

Michael Snyder is a well respected blogger. The blog he published yesterday is titled: “A Plague of Locusts, Earthquakes In Diverse Places, and Weather That has Gone Completely Nuts.”

Interesting material.

His article concerned itself solely with what has occurred because of climate change this year. That means from January 1, 2020. All of 3 weeks.

Weird happenings all over the world.

Massive amounts of locusts, for example. Millions. Voraciously eating crops in Asia, Africa and India.

Each square kilometer of locusts in a swarm can eat as much in a day as 35,000 people. Such creates an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods.

Earthquakes, also. In strange places.

Kansas had a 4.5 one. Last year for a 5 day period in August, 17 earthquakes occurred in the same area.

Papua has experienced a 6.0 earthquake.

China a 6.0 also, followed by 3 additional earthquakes in a 47 hour period.

The Philippines 466 ranging between 1.0 and 4.0.

Puerto Rico has suffered from a 1,000 in recent weeks.

Weather temperatures. Unusual. Crazy.

Certain Canadian provinces are experiencing temperatures colder than Mars, Siberia, and Greenland.

St. John’s, Newfoundland had a blizzard with winds of 98 miles per hour. Dumped 30 inches of snow on St. John’s.

Note again that which has been described has occurred since the first of the year.

Snyder wrote, “On an almost daily basis” we are seeing “natural disasters unlike anything before.” He follows it up with : It “is just the beginning.”

We are entering into uncharted territory. With a President who neither recognizes nor understands the problem.

An interesting phenomena is occurring. Involved with a change in climate. However not connected with climate change as we commonly reference it.

Florida temperatures in recent days have fallen dramatically. My heat is still on. Today’s high will be 66. The low tonight 62.

A strong ocean breeze is accompanying the drop in temperature. Biting.

It is raining. Not violets. Iguanas. We are experiencing nights of the falling iguanas. Odd for South Florida.

Most iguanas spend considerable time in trees. The cold is stunning the iguanas causing them to become unconscious and fall from the trees.

They lie on the ground and look dead.

Not dead, however. Once it warms up, they will be “reconstituted.” Too bad. They should die. They have become a serious problem for a number of reasons. Florida is finally paying attention and working on how to eliminate them.

Might be too late. Too many may already be here.

Two biggies tonight.

First, Aqua Idol at Aqua. Lynn Frechette’s annual fundraiser for the Waterfront Playhouse. A 16 week event. Every wednesday night.

Great singers competing! All in a half hour. From 6:30-8:00. I recommend you arrive early. Seats quickly gone. You may have to stand.

The other event is Syracuse/Notre Dame. Will Syracuse be able to continue its winning streak?

I close with a representation made earlier this morning by Trump at the Davos meeting.

A lie in the making.

I doubt as many Americans will believe him as did the last time.

Trump announced he is planning a middle class tax cut. Sound familiar? One was promised during the 2016 campaign. He finally provided it. Benefited the top 10 percent. Forgot everyone else.

Read specifically what Trump said this morning. He claims the tax cut will go into effect IF he is reelected President and the Republicans control Congress.

He refused to offer any further details. Said he would in 90 days.

He did say the tax cut would be “fairly substantial.”

Some will not permit themselves to be fooled again. They were the first time. They have learned. Their votes will go Democratic in 2020.

Enjoy your day!

 

VIGILANTES…..LYNCH MOB

There is a well intentioned group in Key West that reminds me of the vigilantes  and lynch mobs of old. Sometimes the wrong person got hung.

Key West’s modern day group is known as the Key West Rip-Off Rapid Response Team. The bad guys the “rip off cosmetic shops on Duval.”

The ripoffs directed at older persons walking along Duval. Generally, tourists. Outside certain cosmetic shops stand good looking young men and/or women.

They work for the cosmetic shop. With smile and kind words, entice the elderly into their shops. Youth regenerated skin one of the pitches. Who would not want to look younger?

The “customers” are oversold. Enticed. Purchase too many items. Some credit card slips have an extra “0” added after the customer leaves. A hundred dollar purchase turned into a thousand dollar one.

The tourist returns home. Realizes in one fashion or another he or she have been ripped off. Generally contact the Key West police for assistance. Only to be told the problem is a”civil” one, not criminal. The customer will have to pursue the matter civilly, probably will need an attorney.

The police are wrong in my opinion. The scenario stinks of fraud. It is a police matter to handle.

The problem was becoming pronounced. The Rip-Off Rapid Response Team was formed. Good hearted locals. Mostly elderly. Well intentioned. Made up signs and began protesting by walking back and forth in front of cosmetic shops. Not good for the cosmetic shop business.

The Rapid Response Team v. the cosmetic shops has been ongoing for more than a year.

One of the cosmetic shops is “Oh La La.” The Rip Off team has had some degree of success against it in the past.

It is claimed part of a previous solution was that the owner of the store/building who rented to Oh La La would evict Oh La La at the end of the year. The owner Michael Halpern. A respected Key West business man.

Whether the representation was actually made, I do not know.

In any event, Halpern also owns the Southernmost House at the Atlantic end of Duval. Saturday evening the Mayor’s Ball was held at the Southernmost House. A charitable fund raiser. Many local luminaries in attendance.

The Rip-Off Team decided to bring Halpern’s purported failure to evict Oh La La to the event. They apparently had a don’t screw with us attitude. A disgraceful display by the group occurred. Embarrassing to all.

The Rip Off team has announced it will contribute $1,000 to each of the charities involved and an apology to the Southernmost House, Halpern and those who sponsored the Mayor’s Ball.

My admonition to the Rip-Off Team, knock it off. You are wrong. The responsibility to act belongs with the City and Police. Harass them. Get things worked out. Attention is most often paid to the squeaky wheel.

Cold!!!!!!Last night and today!!!!!!!

When I left home last night, it was 67 degrees. Today’s high projected at 65. Tonight, 54.

The heat is on.

My first stop last night was Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Rick Dery and the fabulous Terri White performing. Great singing!

Terri’s birthday is thursday. Drop her a Happy Birthday! I am sure she will be pleased to receive it.

Donna was already there when I arrived. Donna is Terri’s wife.

Also at the bar were “my dear friend” Stephanie Kaple and her parents Marilyn and Ben. Visiting. Love Marilyn! She is an avid reader of my blog.

Skaneateles Dan and Lisa came in. Syracuse fans! They are into sort of a semi retirement. Sold their restaurant outside Syracuse in November. Leading the leisurely life at the moment.

With Dan and Lisa were their friends David and Judy. I had met them in previous years. They reside in Orlando.

I left early. I was cold. Did not dress properly. I did not realize how cold it was when I left the house.

Stopped at Antonia’s for dinner. Sat at “my seat” in the corner of the bar.

Nicolle bartending. The nicest of the nice. One reason was my one and only Irma and Me book signing.

Initially, it was only me and a pile of books. No one was coming. Then appeared Nicolle and her friend. My first customer! I will never forget.

Nicolle is slimming down. Dieting. She was on the heavy side. No more. Has proudly lost 31 pounds. Working on the next 30. Looks terrific!

Enjoyed conversation with a gentleman who sat next to me. From Aspen. Is building a home on Von Phister and Walton.

Trump’s impeachment trial begins today. A sorry event to unfold. Not the impeachment itself. Trump deserves to be impeached.

Rather it is the method by which the Republican Senate plans on conducting the trial. I will not even go into the sordid details. They are all over the news.

My concern is the Republicans are behaving like a bunch of kids. Unreasonable in the rules they have formulated. They forget they are supposedly statesmen and not juveniles. The best thing that could happen to our country is if there was a way to throw them all out. Democrats and Republicans alike.

Then start all over!

In the meantime, our “esteemed” President is in Switzerland at the world wide Davos economic meeting. He spoke early this morning. I watched on TV.

Finally gave up after 10 minutes. All he was doing was telling everyone the glorious things he was accomplishing in the U.S. Some factual, most bullshit.

Tomorrow night, Syracuse/Notre Dame. Hope Syracuse continues its recent winning ways.

The past several years, Tibetan monks have visited the Keys. An annual January event. This year’s visit begins saturday. I know no other details at the moment.

Some 1,600 of the world’s leading CEO’s were recently interviewed as part of a survey. The survey issue whether an economic slowdown in growth was expected in 2020. The survey was done in preparation for the Davos meeting.

Fifty three percent expected an economic slow down. The number was contrasted with last year’s similar survey for 2019. At that time, 57 percent expressed optimism for record levels.

The numbers have turned. If there is validity to this year’s response, the world wide recession which has been expected will occur.

Two reasons were claimed for the adverse turn around. Political unrest and uncertainty of the China-U.S. deal.

A man who left his marked imprint on history died this date 1924. Vladimir Lenin. He was 54. A brain hemorrhage caused his death.

Whether one agrees with his politics, Lenin is an historical figure of note. The architect of Bolshevism and the first leader of the Soviet Union.

January 21, 2008 was not a good one in American history. Referred to as “Black Monday” and the “Panic of 2008.”

The stock market crashed. The second biggest market failure in U.S. history. Topped only by the recession which began in 1929.

Banking abuses were the cause. The government had to bail the banks out. Not the millions of home owners who lost their homes, however.

Another crash is coming. I thought it would occur last year. It is inevitable. The government is already supporting and coming to the aid of banks and hedge funds with their “repo” actions.

Tonight is the night! Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Interesting topics! Our nation and the world is crazy!

Enjoy your day!

SULLY SPEAKS…..

Remember that cold wintry day in January 2009 when a jet airliner put down on the Hudson River. One hundred fifty five persons aboard. All saved.

The pilot an instantaneous hero. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.

During the Democratic primary battles, the world for the first time has become aware that Joe Biden has a stuttering problem. Took a long time to discover.

Some people are mean. Mock those who stutter or once did stutter. One of those is Trump’s daughter in law Lara, wife to Trump’s son Eric. On a national TV show, she made fun of Biden. Skillfully. Had to be planned. The word stuttering never used.

Her words directed at Biden were: “Joe can you get it out? Let’s get the words out Joe.”

Sully came to Biden’s defense. His words to Lara: “Stop. Grow up. Show some decency. People who can’t have no place in public life.”

Sully described the Biden attack as part of a “culture of cruelty.”

What compelled Sully to speak out? He stuttered as a child. He knew well how other children made fun of him and how difficult it was to overcome.

John Mulholland is the U.S. Editor of Guardian. Over the weekend he wrote,  “America is at a tipping point, finely balanced between truth and lies, hope and hate, cruelty and nastiness.”

So it is.

January 20 is Presidential inauguration day in the U.S. Every 4 years on January 20.

Kennedy was sworn in on this day in 1961. He was a “President.” Trump was sworn in 2017. He not a “President.”

Kennedy’s inaugural address left us with passages that will last forever. Especially, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

I recall no memorable words in Trump’s address.

Comment is frequently made that at 38, Pete Buttigieg is too young to be President. If he were elected, he would be 39 years old at the time of his inauguration.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Recalled by Americans for all the good he accomplished in the civil rights movement which lead to his death.

King was 39 years old when assassinated.

His age did not affect his work and leadership qualities. Buttigieg’s age will not affect his ability to lead.

One either has it or does not.

Age should not be an issue. He speaks well and is thoughtful. Trump in his 70’s when elected. A buffoon. Not intelligent. Knowing little.

A sensitive day ahead. In Virginia. A gun rights rally. Both sides will probably be present. Violence likely.

A sorry day.

One of Key West’s leading singers Terri White performs tonight at Dueling Bartenders. The former Broadway star is always at the top of her game.

I plan on being at Aqua to hear Terri.

A reminder. Lynn Frechette’s Aqua Idol opens its season wednesday. A not to be missed event.

Laurie Thibaud is emcee. Recall I did several Party Time radio shows with her several months ago. A talented woman.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUCK TEST

“If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”

I believe Trump retained Alan Dershowitz as one of his impeachment defense counsel because of the book Dershowitz wrote 1n 2018. “The Case Against Impeaching Trump.” Dershowitz claims Trump cannot be impeached because he committed no crime. No crime, no impeachment.

Dershowitz’s opinion a minority one.

The majority opinion is to the effect that violation of an established crime is not required. Such scholars are of the opinion the Founding Fathers left the standard loose to cover things they could not even think of.

The Constitution does not define “impeachment” precisely. Rather in general terms: “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Loose language. Possible of encompassing many things.

As a result, most Constitutional scholars believe grounds for impeachment do not have to involve the breach of a criminal statute.

The Harvard Law Review 12/10/18 published the article “High Crimes Without Law.” Spelled out therein: “The majority view is that a president can legally be impeached for intentional, evil deeds that dramatically subvert the Constitution and involve an unforgivable abuse of the presidency – even if those deeds didn’t violate any criminal laws.”

Again, it is obvious that the Founding Fathers had the vision to keep the application of impeachment loose. Basically, if it looks wrong, it is wrong. The Duck Test is like a sniff test. If what has been done stinks, impeachment might very well apply.

Trump’s conduct show he failed both tests.

It is going to be interesting to see how many Republican Senators understand the Duck and Stink Tests. There is nothing difficult in applying both to the facts and coming up with a decision removing Trump from the White House.

The women of America showed their disdain for Trump the day following his inauguration. The Women’s March. Millions of ladies on the road nationwide.

The results of the 2018 election show the women remained involved.  The House results prove it.

Yesterday, The Women’s March group held rallies in 180 cities. The turnout, though less than the day following Trump’s inauguration, significant. Guaranteed more as election day comes closer.

One of the Washington marchers best described Trump. The “biggest bully in the world.”

Trump will find it difficult to win later this year with the attitude of the ladies of America being such.

Victory, Victory, Victory! Syracuse won again yesterday. Beat Virginia Tech 71-69. Terrific game. In the final 7.4 seconds, it was Boeheim’s coaching that guaranteed the win.

Notre Dame wednesday.

Last night enjoyable, also. Dinner with Donna and Terri at their home. Donna cooked.

I have said it before and say it again, Donna is an absolute talent in the kitchen

The menu simple. Chicken soup with matzoh balls and sandwiches made from the soup chicken.

Donna made the chicken soup friday. Boiled 10 pieces of chicken for several hours,. Some vegetables thrown in. She made the matzoh balls.

The sandwiches sourdough bread. The chicken pieces moist and tasty.

All I can say is WOW! What a meal!

Cannot forget Bear. He must eat well, also. Has never tasted table food. Bear is not yet 18 months old. Weighs 88 pounds. My wives tell me he is still growing.

Lynda Frechette. A Key West jewel!

For something like 12 years Lynda has been organizing and running Aqua Idols. A fundraiser for the Waterfront Playhouse.

A successful endeavor each year.

Lynda searches Key West for singing talent. Convinces those she discovers to participate in Aqua Idol. A multiple week contest involving 16 performers. A weekly elimination involved.

Lynda has announced that the evening of the event has changed. It has been a Tuesday event. No more. Wednesday evenings.

First show of the new season January 22. Show runs 6:30-8. Suggest you get to Aqua around 5. The place a bit later will be jammed and you will not be able to get a seat.

Another worthwhile Key West event is the annual Historic Key West Cemetery Stroll. Another activity I suggest you not miss.

The Key West Cemetery is full of interesting history. Local, national, and militarily. Many of the Battleship Maine sailors buried there. The stones of locals tell interesting stories. The best in my opinion has always been: I Told You I Was Sick.

Virginia and the Second Amendment will be under attack tomorrow in Virginia. There may be blood on the streets. Rallies opposing each other. For gun restrictions, against gun restrictions.

Videos of those against gun control are on the internet. They are uninformed up and bearing all type military equipment. Guns alone appear formidable.

The Governor has already called out the national guard.

Trump is helping. He announced yesterday his support in effect for the wannabe soldiers supporting guns. He tweeted “They are trying to take away your Second Amendment rights.”

Blood on the streets? Trump will bear a portion of the responsibility.

Enjoy your Sunday!

WORD ON THE STREET…..JIMMY BUFFETT TONIGHT AT MARGARITAVILLE

I was out last night. The talk was Jimmy Buffett was in town and would be performing tonight at Margaritaville on Duval. Purportedly he was in Key West to do some recordings today.

Not sure. People hyped, however. Again, I may not be correct. Go at your own risk. The worse that can happen is you will enjoy a good burger.

My night began at the Chart Room. John bartending. My farmer friend Devon from northwest Illinois at the bar.He had just returned from Illinois. Checked things out, bought some seed, visited his bankers.

Devon still not a happy camper as far as Trump is concerned. May never be. As he tells it, Trump has screwed everything up in the farming industry. People in his area are going out of business or hanging in there suffering big time.

He and his brother run a large farm. Big time farmers! Soybeans their primary product. The soybeans are filling barns and lying under carps on the ground.

Devon is happy the Canada/Mexican deal is a go. He won’t make more money. He will make the same, however. Nothing will ever make up for the loss his operation has suffered.

The China deal does not impress him. He has experienced China shenanigans before. He will believe a somewhat China resolution when that which he grows moves and sells.

In the meantime, Devon enjoys Key West. He is a snowbird. Owns a huge condominium complex at the corner of Fleming and William Streets. Purchased when things were good.

Stopped at the VFW on the way home for a bite to eat. A grilled cheese sandwich.

Met Abigail. Cute bartender.

The VFW has dancing music friday nights. I was unaware. Many couples. Happily dancing the night away.

I did bad last night. Had 2 drinks. Beefeater on the rocks. I said screw it! It was time to cheat a bit.

One at the Chart Room, the other at VFW.

This day in different years Key West movie time.

On this day in 1956, The Rose Tattoo premiered at the Strand and San Carlos Theaters in Key West.

A movie filmed in Key West. Most of the filming done at a house on Duncan. Two doors from Tennessee Williams’ home. Williams had written the play The Rose Tattoo.

My Lisa lives 1 1/2 blocks from The Rose Tattoo house and Willams’ home.

Burt Lancaster and Anna Mangani starred in the movie. Mangani won the Academy Award for Best Performance by a Woman.

Come 1959 and Operation Petticoat was being filmed in Key West. A humorous World War II submarine movie starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.

Trump’s attorneys for the Senate impeachment trial have been announced. Two are Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz.

My thoughts concerning each.

Ken Starr is now 73. He “prosecuted” the Clinton impeachment. I considered him a slime then and still do. His pursuit of a case of oral copulation and a lie would have been comparable to Hitler or Stalin having been out on trial for their wrongdoings. I did not like the manner in which he pursued “victory.”

I was especially disappointed when he obtained court orders forcing Secret Service agents who were protecting Clinton to testify to whatever they knew of his transgressions. A first for the Secret Service “telling” on the man they were sworn to protect.

Starr had a distinguished legal career before becoming  Special Counsel. He had been a federal appellate judge and Solicitor General of the U.S.

I suspect he took on the “heavy responsibility” of proving a blow job because he thought it might lead to a U.S. Supreme Court seat.

He was fooled. He ended up a Professor of Law at Pepperdine University and then Chancellor/President at Baylor University.

Interestingly, sex initially made him popular and some time later sex led to his downfall. There was an accusation of sexual violence having occurred at Baylor and the Administration not doing anything about it.

Baylor “punished” Starr by removing him for the President’s job. He was permitted to stay on as Chancellor. The only class thing I give Starr credit for involved what happened thereafter. He resigned the Chancellorship and left Baylor saying, “The Captain goes down with the ship.”

Monica Lewinsky was made aware of Starr’s appointment to the President’s team yesterday. She tweeted, “Are you f–king” kidding me?”

I would expect nothing less from her. Starr maltreated Lewinsky badly during the investigation. Like secreting her in a hotel room away from counsel while grilling her as to what had occurred. Starr and staff beating up in effect on a young lady hidden away from an attorney and her family.

Alan Dershowitz. Now 81. An outstanding attorney most of his life. I am not sure as to his ability at this stage of his life. Time may have passed him by.

Dershowitz spent most of his career as a Harvard Law Professor. During those years, he was permitted to practice outside of his teaching duties. His 2 most famous cases involved Claus von Bulow and O. J. Simpson.

His efforts have been all over the place in recent years.

He campaigned against Trump in 2016.  He has already endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic primary.

Dershowitz has been critical of many of Trump’s decisions. Like the travel ban, rescission of protections for Dreamers, and failure to single out white national provocations in Charlottesville.

On the other hand, he does not believe Trump’s firing of Comey constituted an obstruction of justice, believes the Michael Flynn conviction strange, and Russia’s collusion in the 2016 election not a crime.

Regarding impeachment itself and perhaps the reason Trump selected him, Dershowitz published in 2018: The Case Against Impeaching Trump.

Enjoy your day!

CAN ONLY STRAIGHT PEOPLE HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?

Evangelist Franklin Graham was in Key West yesterday. His visit to Key West specific. Key West is gay friendly. He wanted to save the souls of the homosexual/gay community.

A pompous ass!

His hatred towards the LGBT community is well known. He preaches homosexuality is a sin. His lead up to the Key West visit included these words: “I’m going to Key West to tell everyone how they can have a relationship with God through faith in his son, Jesus Christ.”

My initial reaction to his visit was…..Get out of here! You are a troublemaker!

My anger faded. He has a right to speak as to his beliefs. Referred to as freedom of speech. I have the same right, though I speak in direct opposition to his beliefs.

His pre-appearance public relations shared his bigoted thoughts. He compares homosexuality to adultery, lying, stealing and having pride. He said, “I am sure a lot of people in Key West have committed adultery.”

Yes, some with the same sex, others with the opposite sex. No one goes through life without lying. More than once, many tomes. Stealing I am not sure. Don’t believe that many steal.

Pride. A sin of magnitude. I view Graham as one who wears his pride on his sleeve. See world how good I am!

Proverbs 16:16 tells us “pride goeth before a fall.”

Then there are those who believe they are without sin. Christ did not believe so. Recall John 8:7. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

I was not able to attend his talk at the Amphitheater yesterday. Supporters and protesters alike did. Those I have spoken with indicated an equal group of each.

We are one human family. Not only do the straights accept gays, the gays accept straights. Never an issue.

Graham would be surprised to know that the Mayor of Key West and the Mayor of Monroe County are gay women married to other women. Healthy God fearing women, not immoral.

At some point yesterday, I stopped at the Fairfield. My lesbian wife Donna is concierge. She is married to my other lesbian wife Terri.

I have been sickly the past 3 months. Never made it to deliver Christmas gifts to my beloved ladies. Dropped them off to Donna yesterday. Better late than never.

Donna chewed my ass out for staying in so much. Claims if she was 84, she would be out evenings having a good time. Including a drink or two.

Why so many inconsistencies in what Trump tells us? Another lie/misrepresentation. A simple thing. Iran’s retaliation to the killing of Soleimani were missiles fired at 2 U.S. airbases in Iraq. The missile attacks occurred somewhere around January 8. Trump and Pompeo immediately advised no U.S. personnel killed nor injured.

Yesterday, the U.S. military announced 11 U.S. troops were injured. Concussions. Were flown to Germany and Kuwait for treatment.

Rachel Maddow interviewed Lev Parnas 2 evenings in a row. Interesting. He sat at the table during the Iraqi/Biden/ hold back the money scenario. He appeared to be telling the truth. We will know better if he is permitted to testify at the Senate trial.

A Letter to the Editor in the Los Angeles Times yesterday concerning the Senate trial.

Paraphrasing.

The Senators have taken their oath of impartiality as jurors. However, most have already indicated they do not want to hear witness testimony nor compel the presence of any witnesses.

Sort of a dictatorship approach to things. The jury is told in advance what to believe and how to vote. A clear vision to the world of just how corrupt our government has become.

The letter writer however thought it all would amount in the final analysis to a hill of beans. By the time of the election, there would be no impeachment winners or losers, only participants.

Another example of Trump caring more for corporations rather than people.

Round-Up a deadly herbicide. Known to be so for years. Cancer causing.

Several countries have banned its sale. Two or three yeas ago even Russia. Putin said in effect let the Americans kill themselves, we’re not.

Monsanto the bad guy manufacturer. Recently sold its entire operation to Bayer AG for $63 billion.

Thousands of lawsuits are pending against Monsanto. Bayer AG probably assumed liability for them under the sales agreement. That is how the game is played.

Two significant verdicts have come in against Monsanto. Both involving California ground keepers. Each got cancer which the jury in each instance held Monsanto responsible for. The grounds were failing to inform customers the product was capable of causing cancer. A common ground for holding a company responsible when its product causes cancer and there has been no warning it could.

The judgments for $289 million and $25 million respectively.

Both cases are on appeal. The EPA and Justice Department are on the side of Monsanto/Bayer AG. They want the judgments overturned  and a determination that Round-Up is not cancer causing.

Donald, prove to America your belief that Round-Up is safe. Square off a sizable area on White House grounds. Treat the grass with Round-Up. You, personally. Do it several times. Have one of your children help you each time.

Sign a waiver before that you will not sue if you come down with cancer. Might as well protect these corporate giants all the way.

Guess what? The odds are you will be afflicted.

Earlier this morning, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei led prayers in Tehran. The first time the Supreme Leader has done so in 8 years.

Part of his presentation included mocking U.S. officials. They are “American clowns.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

LIES ERODE TRUMP

Walter Scott’s words penned in 1808 in Marmion: “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

Trump and his cohorts are tangled. Details in the Ukraine story are coming out. None supportive of Trump.

Two interviews over the weekend were nails in the coffin. Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow. Interviewed was Lev Parnas. Indicted but talking.

He reveals those primarily involved. Trump himself. Then Vice-President Pence, Attorney General Barr, Congressman Devin Nunes, and Rudy Giuliani

Parnas claims all Ukraine activities had nothing to do with corruption within Ukraine. Rather with guaranteeing Trump’s 2020 victory. In Parnas’ words: “For him to stay on for four years” more.

All will ultimately go down. Some will do jail time.

The scenario reminds me of Nixon and Watergate.

Those close to Nixon went to jail: Attorney General Mitchell, Chief of Staff Haldeman, Assistant to the President Ehrlich, White House Counsel Colson, and White House Counsel Dean.

I sense it happening again. Especially if John Bolton testifies.

A children’s poem comes to mind: “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, / Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; / All the king’s horses and all the king’s men / Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Assuming all plays out as I suspect, there is a humorous and ironic aspect at the end. Nancy Pelosi will become President. The Constitution places the Speaker of the House in succession if the President and Vice-President go down.

A totalitarian on the other side of the world may be in trouble. Vladimir Putin.

Putin has been experiencing internal problems the past 2 years. Especially, the past year. Unpopular reforms and a stagnant economy.

There is a growing unhappiness among the Russian people. Protests have become commonplace.

This past week, Putin submitted proposed sweeping changes to Russia’s Constitution. All directed at giving Putin more power.

Putin may have gone a step too far.

Putin’s Cabinet balked and resigned in mass in protest.

Putin is no fool. He may ultimately resolve the situation. If not, he is extremely wealthy. Considered the richest man in the world. He should take his money and leave.

Silvio Berlusconi is Putin’s close friend. He lives in Portofino. Years ago, Putin built a home next door to Berlusconi in Portofino. He could live a good life there.

An admonition: Those opposing Putin should beware of dying from unknown causes.

Syracuse won again! Two games in a row! Beat Boston College 76-50.

Has the season turned for Syracuse? Or, 2 lucky wins?

A busy Louis day ahead. Haircut, manicure and pedicure.

Enjoy your day!

 

BOLITA, KEY WEST, AND THREE DEAD MOBSTERS

Bolita is a form of gambling. A lottery. A numbers game.

The term bolita means “little ball.” One hundred used to play the game every day.

One hundred small balls have numbers running from 1-100 placed inside. People place bets on a certain number. If their ball is drawn, they win.

Small money involved. As little as a nickel. Sometimes, a dollar. The higher the amount bet, the higher the multiple for the winner.

The balls were placed in a bag, shaken and then someone picked one of the balls. The ball picked was cracked open. The number inside was the day’s winning number.

The game came over from Cuba in the late 19th century. Initially began in Tampa. Moved its way south till it arrived in Key West.

Bolita’s customers were working class Hispanics, Italians, and members of the black population.

When bolita made its appearance in Key West, the Cuban population was one third of the Key West population.

Cash flow was big. Nickels turned into dollars. Though gambling was illegal in Florida, bolita flourished. Numbers could be bought on the streets and in saloons. Local politicians and law enforcement bribed.

In the 1930’s, turf wars were commonplace. Especially from Tampa to Miami. Italian mobsters got involved. They saw the opportunity to make money and felt they could control the numbers game.

The turf wars are referred to as the “Era of Blood.”

The Trafficanti crime family was based in Tampa. It was 1950 and bolita was being widely played in Tampa, Miami, and Key West.

In 1951, one hundred bolita houses were operating in Key West. Each evening, 3 balls were drawn in a room behind a bar at 1925 Truman Avenue.

The Trafficanti family wanted their piece/control of Key West’s bolita activity.

The Key West bolita kingpins were locals. They did not welcome outside interference.

The “syndicate” sent 3 “enforcers” to Key West to take over the bolita trade. A bad move. All 3 ended up dead.

The first was found in a Key West public swimming pool. His hands tied behind behind his back and a line running around his neck, knees and feet. His body weighted down with old time window weights.

Another was found on Stock Island lying on the ground dead having been shot.

The third was found on South Beach. Shot and dead.

No guns were found near the bodies on Stock Island and South Beach.

The Justice of the Peace determined all 3 deaths were “suicides.”

Key West for Key Westers!

Bolita slowed down later in the 1950’s. Returned with a huge resurgence in the 1960’s.

Authorities investigated big time. A joke. Arrests were made by the State Attorney’s Office and Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. Kingpin Louis “Blackie” Fernades and several others were arrested.

In the front door and out the back of the jail in minutes. Fines generally small. Did not discourage the bolita trade.

A “cozy relationship” was enjoyed with the Justices of the Peace and others in the criminal justice system.

Bolita was a way of life in Key West!

The many years I have been in Key West I have neither seen the sale of nor heard of the bolita lottery. Somewhere along the way it was gone. How and when I was not able to ascertain.

Enjoy your day!