JOHN KEATS AND ME

John Keats was a romantic poet. A romantic lyric poet. Unfortunately, his life was short. He died this day in 1821 at the age of 26. Tuberculosis.

Keats father died when he was young. His mother deserted him. Left him in his grandmother’s care.

Keats himself was sickly. In what might be described as his later years, he developed tuberculosis. His then doctor thought the cold winter would be too much for him. Suggested Keats travel to Rome where it was warmer.

Keats condition worsened. The tuberculosis advanced in 1819-20. He constantly ran a high fever. His body never free from pain.

His Rome doctor put him on  a strict diet. One anchovy and one slice of bread a day. That’s all.

The doctor was also concerned with the flow of blood to his stomach. He induced heavy bleeding which resulted in Keats suffering from both a lack of oxygen and a lack of food.

The wonders of “modern medicine” at the time!

Thirty five years ago, I spent a month in the Rome area with my family. On one of our last days in Rome, my then wife wanted to go shopping for herself and my daughters.

The American dollar was worth a fortune. One American dollar was worth 2,100 lire. Everything cheap!

My wife made me a deal. She said give me $3,000 American money. I will not bother you for a year for money for myself or our 3 daughters for clothes.

Made sense. I went to American Express and turned $3,000 into I don’t know how much lire. American Express placed my lire fortune in 3 large paper grocery shopping bags. Dumped the lire in in no particular order.

Off the ladies went. My wife was correct. She did not even spend all the lire. To appreciate its buying power, we had to purchase additional suitcases for the return trip. We went through customs with close to 30 suitcases.

I hate shopping. Always have. Even for men’s clothes.

While they shopped, I wandered. Came to the Spanish Steps. Sat for a while and watched the world go by.

Walked again.

Immediately next door at the foot of the Spanish steps was a small 4 story building. Described by some as a villa. There was a small bronze plaque by the door. Inscribed “John Keats.”

The last time I had heard Keats was back in college in a poetry writing class.

I entered. Discovered it was a Keats Museum.

The bedroom which was his final resting place was on the fourth floor. I was able to view the bedroom and the other rooms he lived in.

Off the bedroom was a small library. Contained Keats works. One brought tears to my eyes.

It was a line from one of his poems. Scribbled in pencil on a piece of paper. Probably the most famous line he ever wrote: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

Enjoyed dinner last night with a wonderful companion. Susan Neill.

We have known each other some 15 years. She is assistant to Dr. McIvor, my heart doctor.

We have become friends over the years. My “shortcut” to seeing Doctor McIvor. She is also available to explain what is going on with me when the good Doctor is at the hospital.

Needless to say, she has “put up” with me for 15 years.

We both are political junkies.

Got to together for the first time socially last night. Dinner at Pier 1.

It was an evening of good food, good company, and good fun. We were the last to leave the restaurant.

Bernie Sanders’ Nevada victory yesterday stunning! He could ultimately end up the Democratic candidate. We should know by mid March.

Is Sanders’ victory to be considered a breakout moment? Or is he toast and will not hold up in subsequent primaries?

I don’t know. Have thoughts, but not opinions.

He appears in demand at the moment. Many of his supporters appear to be discontents. The same type people who elected Trump. Not the same group, the same mentality.

The young voters his largest group of supporters. Why not? If I were their age, I probably would also. Free public college tuition, forgiveness of student loans.

He is a socialist. Not a bad word. Not a good political philosophy however for one seeking to guide the strongest nation in the world. Would his election mean the U.S. will become a socialistic state in due course?

Another question. Will Congress be completely Democratic if Sanders wins? Will he be able to carry a Democratic Senate into office with him?

I doubt it. The Senate might become decidedly more Republican. Which means nothing will get done. The status quo will continue. Sanders’ grandiose, sometimes great, ideas will never become laws.

Trump’s influence is being felt on the Supreme Court.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor is a Democrat. One of 4. The remaining 5 Republican appointees. Two Trump’s.

In a written decision friday, Justice Sotomayor accused her fellow Justices (Republican ones) of doing President Trump’s bidding. In a 5-4 decision.

Involved was nothing of great consequence. The case had already been decided by 2 lower courts. Both decided contrary to what the Supreme Court did.

The subject matter concerned providing the Trump administration a temporary stay till the Supreme Court could review the matter. Involved was updating a “public change” involving immigrants.

The Republican side of the Supreme Court has consistently voted in Trump’s favor in these cases. Justice Sotomayor had it! She wrote openly as to what she thought about her fellow jurists. An unusual thing.

She wrote: Granting the stays amounts to “putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won the stay.”

In the past 2 years, Trump has asked for and received significant increases in the military budget. His cry always the same: We need the money to protect ourselves.

If such is the case, why does money keep moving from the military budget to pay for the wall? Billions of dollars in each of the past 2 years.

Another issue arises. The Pentagon continues to come up with big dollars it cannot account for. The most recent the announcement that the Defense Department Inspector General discovered $715.8 million in weapons for which it could not account. All were supposedly to have been used in fighting ISIS.

Syracuse beat Georgia Tech yesterday 79-72. The game’s result unique. Not that Syracuse won. How Syracuse won!

Syracuse was down by 11 points at half time. The second half was  another story. Syracuse came out fast. Continued to do so. Outscored Georgia Tech 52-39 in the second half.

Syracuse only shot 27 percent in the first half. The second, 64 percent of the time. Says it all!

Syracuse obviously came to play in the second half.

Enjoy your Sunday!

19 comments on “JOHN KEATS AND ME

  1. Bernie is NOT a real Socialist, at least not in a way (Communist) the Republicans want to portray him. He does however have many ideas and policy proposals that benefit society instead of business. Something America could do better with, right now, like college and medical care. Why not give that a try, swing the pendulum back in that direction a little after several decades of constantly favoring business and corporations. Look where that has gotten us, an electorate that has little to do anymore with elections and government,

    Bernie is what our younger generation wants, what’s wrong with that? A democracy is what we are supposed to be, isn’t it?

    • A Democracy provides every legal citizen of a certain age with the free and equal right to participate in a system of government that elects representatives of the people by the majority of the people, who promise to do the will of the people.

      I do not think we are a democracy. Did you ever say no to your kids when they wanted to play in traffic? Maybe your kids should go to Venezuela for spring brake and see how socialist government works. They can leave right now . We are free!

  2. Sanders will have to overcome the inaccurate label he has been given. Bernie is self described as a Democratic Socialist. Why he chose to attach this to himself is a mystery. Perhaps to distinguish himself from the other political party definitions, I’m not aware of the reason. He is not a Socialist as commonly defined. Changing the taxpayer funded education from K-12 to K-16, access to health care for all who need it and a living wage are his main issues. Education alone has evolved over time, from home schooled only to elementary grade mandates to 12th grade, the latter two taxpayer funded. It is a change of the times and the need for a better educated citizen. Was President Roosevelt a Socialist for signing into law the SSA? Minimum wage increases over the years have been made by many administrations? Is there any part of what Bernie proposes that can be considered not in the best interest of America or out of line with what others have done?

  3. you’ve written this equivalent blog post a few times at least, and I’ve heard you tell this story in person like 50 times. It’s still not really that interesting. It’s more like a back-handed way of saying that you’re a rich guy and have been for some time. Yawn.

  4. The people who will benefit most from a living wage will not be hiding it in some offshore account or Switzerland. They will be spending it in their neighborhoods. A rising tide lifts all boats.

    • There are so many benefits for so many people, if more people were able to earn a proper living wage from their work. Sure, the very wealthy may suffer a little, but it would only reduce their wealth by that area they don’t actually put into the economy anyhow.

  5. Look Bernie, there goes an other boat load of folks from Miami heading back to Cuba for free schooling. And what is the living wage in Venezuela?

    • ALWAYS the clueless, inarticulate jerk, huh? Have you no clue that Cuba is a Communist country and BOTH Cuba and Venezuela are BOTH authoritarian ruled by dictators? NONE of which Bernie Sanders or any other of the Democrat candidates are attempting or even suggesting.

      The only road for the United States to end up like how Cuba and Venezuela are run will be by electing Trump, who is well on the road to authoritarian dictatorship rule, just like Cuba and Venezuela. Furthermore he has this closest friend and ally, Vladimir Putin, the authoritarian dictator from communist Russia, showing and helping him how to do it.

      Cant you get ANYTHING right?

    • sandy feet is an annoying troll, mouthing the FOX News mantra that ANY government program that benefits society is total Communism with totalitarian dictatorship rule, ignoring the truth and trying to scare everybody.

      If you want to really be scared, consider four more years of Trump!

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