HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT

My grandson is 14 years old. Robert, Happy Birthday! Poppa loves you!

I remember the day he was born. With cancer of the liver. Within two hours, he was on a helicopter to Miami Children’s Hospital.

Two major surgeries the first 8 days of his life. Frequent check up visits the next 10 years.

Today, a typical 14 year old. Graduates from Montessori soon. High school next.

A smart young man academically. A gentleman all the time. He is his father.

Tonight, Happy Birthday cake and blowing out the candles.

God is good!

Hurricane season is here. June 1. Seems like yesterday we were escaping Irma. Irma hit September 10.

Recent weather and weather reports suggest tropical storms may be around the corner. Too much rain lately. Every day. Big! Strong winds!

Sunday, Key West got 3.25 inches of rain. The intersection of Eaton and White Streets flooded. I have seen it in previous years. Twice saw people swimming in the intersection.

Weather reports indicate rain through next sunday.

Things can be different in Key West. A bit funky.

Page 2 of the Key West Citizen carries the weather report. The report for the next 5 days amusing. Small printed verbiage beneath each day. Rain of course predicted for each day.

Today, “ark flooded.” Tonight, “life preserver needed.” Wednesday, “thunderstorms; float feet first.” Thursday, “who’ll stop the rain?” Friday, “rain drops keep falling.” Saturday, “nothing worrying me.”

Another storm of consequence this early in the season would be devastating. The lower Keys are still recovering from Irma.

I wrote about Irma. My personal experience. Irma and Me.

If you have not read it, this may be the time to acquire it. It is a history of the before, during and after a hurricane. Available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

I have known Lee Ann Holland for 15 years. More beautiful each year.

Her picture on the front page of this morning’s Key West Citizen. She is being recognized as a Familiar Face.

Lee Ann has become an integral part of Key West Ambassadors. A lecturer at the program. Recently completed addressing her 16th group.

Lee Ann, congratulations!

Two things are constant in life. Death and change.

The U.S. Supreme Court presented us with “change” yesterday. The decision Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.

A federal law was passed in 1992 prohibiting sports gambling. Nevada excepted. Congress was recognized as having the sole authority to regulate sports gambling directly.

No more. The Supreme Court decision recognized Congress had the right to regulate. However if Congress failed to exercise that right, then each State was free to act on its own.

Means two things in the offing. First, goodbye bookies. Second, a new area for State taxation.

We have all experienced the fish that got away. Always a big one.

Happens other than in fishing, also.

On January 1, 1962, the Beatles performed for Decca Records in London. The Beatles were looking for a recording contract. Decca turned them down. The person responsible thought guitar groups were on the way out.

Later in 1962, the Beatles signed with London’s Parlophone label. Still unknown. A struggling rock band.

Parlophone liked them.

Parlophone worked out deals with Apple and Capitol. The rest is history.

Trump does it again! An action difficult to understand. Unless something in the background that should not be.

During the campaign, Trump knocked the hell out of China for stealing jobs from the U.S. He pledged to stop it! To get jobs back from China!

ZTE is a Chinese smart phone business. In trouble financially. U.S. imposed sanctions on other countries killing Smartphone’s business.

Yesterday, Trump announced the U.S. was going to help the Company “get back into business fast.” He directed Secretary Wilbur Ross to do everything expeditiously to help.

Did not make sense to me. Did it have something to do with the China/U.S. talks scheduled this week in Washington?

Turns out remotely so, if at all.

Last night, the news reported that three days earlier, China had agreed to a $500,000 million loan for a new theme park in Indonesia which would contain Trump hotels and golf courses.

I assume the Indonesia deal was Trump’s motivation.

When will he learn he is not supposed to do these things?

By  the way, ZTE has a record of cyber crimes, espionage and hacking. Was ZTE involved with our 2016 election?

Tonight, my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. A quick moving interesting half hour.

Topics tonight have to include Trump. However, I open with other items of interest. Like the hurricane season, Chinese hog hotels, Germans invading Belgium and Holland in 1940, the eloquence of leaders in time of war,  and House Chaplain Father Conroy.

Then, Donald.

Enjoy your day!

IRAN AND AMERICAN INDIANS HAVE MUCH IN COMMON

Trump got his way yesterday. He withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear agreement with Iran. Chaos will result. Problems arise. Hopefully Iran and the remaining nations to the anti-nuclear pact can keep things on the straight and narrow.

Iran and the American Indians have much in common. The U.S. could not maintain agreements with either. Deals were made to be broken. Agreements kept only as long as it served the U.S.’s interest.

Honor becomes meaningless under the circumstances. A nation’s word, a person’s word, has to have meaning….. You can stand by me, I keep my word.

Trump’s walking away from the deal could also be part of a march to war with Iran. Some Republican Congressmen favor it. Saudi Arabia and Israel definitely. Both nations have sucked up to Trump big time since he became President.

I was beginning to feel sorry for Michael Cohen. Did I make a mistake! He is not merely the poor lackey of Donald Trump. Not when he is sitting on $4.4 million plus.

The question now is did he get to keep most of it? Or did it move into other hands?

Religion and government are like oil and water. They do not mix. The recent House/Speaker Ryan situation with House Chaplain Father Conroy a perfect example.

Washington Post opinion writer E. J. Dionne, Jr. wrote on May 5 concerning the event. Dionne commented, “The House Republican leadership was more inclined to push out a chaplain than to impose accountability on a President who is a proven liar and trashes the rule of law for his own selfish purposes day after day.”

Jennifer Rubin wrote in an opinion on December 15, 2017 that the religious right was not doing much for religion. Re evangelicals, she wrote that the group has become a politicized clergy who have made the word evangelical “toxic and divisive.”

American history took a back seat yesterday. A proud historic day forgotten. Buried beneath Trump tripe.

I refer to V-E Day. Yes, yesterday was Victory in Europe. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945.

Such days must be remembered and celebrated. Otherwise, we forget who we are. Or should it be “who we were?”

Poor Venezuela. I have been following Venezuela closely since Maduro became President some five years ago.

The country is economically depressed. Inflation rampant. Paper money worthless. Food worse than scarce. People starving. They ate their pets long ago.

Maduro survives because he has the army and Venezuela’s congress behind him. All on the take. All benefiting while babies do not have milk.

Things have become so desperate that bartering has replaced currency. Things are swapped.

A haircut costs 5 bananas and 2 eggs. A cab ride a carton of cigarettes. A restaurant meal several packages of paper napkins. A spot in a parking lot a freshly baked baguette.

Medicine for humans hard to come by. Many are being treated with dog medicine.

Diapers are equivalent to a bar of gold. Pirates bring them in from Trinidad to trade.

While such is occurring, Venezuela continues to have the largest oil reserves in the world. Somehow Maduro has never been able to make the oil work to the benefit of his people.

Last night, my podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

It was a fast moving half hour. From V-E Day to Iran and Stormy Daniels.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

LAST SUPPER…..MINE

I viewed last night’s dinner as my Last Supper. Till tomorrow night. Today, liquids only.

Tomorrow morning, a colonoscopy and endoscopy. I have had them before. The procedure nothing. Knocked out. The prep today the problem. You who have had the procedure understand. Those who have not, your time will come and you will understand.

I enjoyed lamb chops at Antonia’s. The lovely Nicolle bartending. As I think about it, I was enjoying lamb chops last monday at La Trattoria when it became necessary for Carrie the bartender to Heimlich me.

One of the reasons for the procedures tomorrow.

After Antonia’s, It was Publix. I had to buy various liquids to consume today. No food till tomorrow afternoon.

Prior to dinner, I stopped at Aqua. my usual monday evening haunt. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery great. My friend Liz sitting on the other side of the bar enjoying them also. Liz looked great! A new hairdo.

Due to the fun time I shall be enjoying today and tomorrow, some activities/events have been cancelled. My Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou podcast will not be aired this evening. Nor this blog and my Key West Lou Live video tomorrow morning.

Paraphrasing General Douglas MacArthur, I shall return thursday.

Big Pine is 30 miles up the road. North on US 1. Got killed by Irma. Still recovering. Many yet homeless.

Sunday another disaster befell its residents. A raging wildfire. Still burning yesterday. Thought to be under control, but will not be sure until today runs its course.

Smoke covering the Key.

Local, state and federal forestry personnel battling the flames. Fire crews brought in from all the agencies. Including a helicopter which dropped 500 gallons of water at a time.

As of last night, 100 acres already burned. Strong winds encouraged the fire. Dried vegetation left over from Irma fueled it.

A tough fire to fight. The firefighters would put out one area only to find another had begun elsewhere.

Fortunately, losses limited to one house and one garage. No lives.

William Hackley became a part of our lives 2 years ago. Hackley lived and worked in Key West prior to the Civil War. He kept a diary. The Key West Citizen found portions of it and has been reporting Hackley’s life on a daily basis.

I have read 99 percent of the articles. Hackley is moving. Leaving Key West. He has been packing for a couple of weeks. Somewhere along the way, I must have missed a diary entry. I do not know why he is moving.

While in Key West, Hackley and his family enjoyed the life of the well to do. Hackley an attorney holding various positions.

I did a little digging and came up with Hackley’s life after leaving Key West. Only 10 years. He died during a yellow fever epidemic while living in Memphis in 1867.

Hackley left Key West in 1857. Settled in Joliet, Illinois for 6 years. Ran into financial difficulties. Moved to Memphis, Tennessee.

From 1863-1865, Hackley worked as a special agent for the US Treasury and as a cotton agent. In 1865, he became a special agent of the Treasury Department responsible for gathering cotton which had belonged to the Confederate States in Mississippi.

A yellow fever epidemic of great proportion struck in 1867. Hackley infected. He died in Memphis from yellow fever in 1867.

Trump making noises about immigration again. The “caravan” immigrants from Honduras and Guatemala trying to reach the United States. Most seek asylum. They have the necessary paperwork prepared for presentation to US officials at a border point.

Trump announced in recent days that the “caravan” was reaching the Tijuana crossing into the United States. He ordered the Department of Homeland Security to deny them entry.

Typical of Trump, he made it sound like barbarians were at the gate.

Not so.

The initial group leaving Honduras and Guatemala totaled 1,200. Families, many with children and babies. All walking.

The group reaching Tijuana 50. A handful. With papers.

Trump is going to deny them entry without even a proper review of their papers. Some or all just might qualify for entry.

Trump is a big man physically and a big man in every other respect. A giant. He is beating up little people.

Enjoy your day!

.

 

 

 

WORLD NEEDS MORE BARBARA BUSHES

Three breaking news items last night. The most important and most sad was the death of Barbara Bush.

Wife of one President, mother of another. A class act. An independent women. Wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother. A political influence in her own way.

The world needs more Barbara Bushes.

Another breaking news item involved a Supreme Court case and Justice Neil Gorsuch. A Trump appointee. Trump’s only appointee so far. A conservative. Tipped the balance of power on the Court to 5-4 in favor of the conservative block.

A good Justice/Judge is one that cannot be depended on to vote the party line, so to speak. Gorsuch has generally been voting with his conservative brethren. Not in the Sessions v. Dimaya decision rendered yesterday.

Gorsuch voted with the liberal block. As a result, the Court struck down a part of one of Trump’s immigration laws having to do with the deportation of illegal immigrants who had criminal records. Thousands of immigrants affected.

Gorsuch wrote a decision saying the law was vague. What is a cime under the statue? Everyone? Traffic offenses?

Gorsuch wrote, “Vague laws invite arbitrary power.” I view Trump as an authoritarian figure. Arbitrariness part of authoritarianism.

Trump had to be upset. I can hear him now. I gave the guy the best job a lawyer can have. Made his career. And he does this to me!

May Trump experience more surprises!

The third breaking news item involved Sean Hannity. Turns out he has more than one Trump attorney. Victoria Toensing and Jay Sekulow have joined the club.

More interesting the nature of the representation.

On May 25, 2017, Toensing and Sekulow jointly wrote a letter to a Tulsa, Oklahoma radio station. They signed the letter as Counsel For Sean Hannity.

A conservative activist had said on a show that Hannity had been “creepy” towards her and invited her to his room.

The Toensing and Sekulow letter was a warning to the radio station to cease and desist from any further comment re the woman’s claims.

The woman’s name was reported.

I care not how many Trump lawyers Hannity uses. Though I do wish he would come clean on an issue that has nothing to do with anything.

By being silent, he may have opened the door to real aggravation. The woman’s statement. Time will tell.

Key West is to be honored tomorrow. Trump is visiting. Only for two hours. He is meeting with a military anti-smuggling group. An in and out trip.

This morning’s Key West Citizen says to expect protests. Meeting places include the White Street Pier and City Hall. Those protesting are asked to dress in black and carry signs.

Key West will not be behaving as One Human Family tomorrow.

KONK Life is a weekly publication. Covers the Keys.

I wrote a column for several years for KONK Life. The Key West Lou COMMENTARY. I considered the column the best writing I did.

I had too much on my plate and stopped doing the column two years ago. I have missed it. I believe I am better organized today.

My first column will be published in the KONK Life edition which hits the stands tomorrow. Concerns the Post Office. I believe the Post Office has been stomped upon in recent years. They are not at fault for today’s Post Office debt and insufficient help. Congress is the culprit.

The article is titled Congress To Blame For Post Office Debt. Eye opening.

Jenna Stauffer is a love of my life. My producer when I did my TV show for 3 years. Taught me everything.

Jenna continues to have a finger here and there in Key West life. One involves videoing for realtors houses they intend to sell. Her work professional. I know. She has videoed me several times over the years and each time I came out looking better than I did.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote of our Revolutionary War in The Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere. He wrote the work in the 1860’s. The ride of Paul Revere took place in the 1775. It involved Concord and Lexington and the beginning of our war for freedom.

Longfellow made Revere hero of the day. He was a hero, though not the only one. There were other riders through the night shouting…..To arms, to arms, the British are coming.

Besides Revere, William Dawes, Samuel Prescott and a Dr. Peterson.

The British captured Revere early in his ride. Questioned him roughly for two hours and then let him go. Dr. Peterson is reported to have completed Revere’s ride.

Dawes was captured also. He escaped by jumping his horse over a stone wall.  Subsequently, he lost his horse and had to walk to Lexington.

Prescott originally was not part of the ride. He was returning from a lady friend’s house at the awkward hour of 1 am. He was recruited for the ride. The British captured him, also. He escaped and rode on to Concord warning Patriots along the way.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

WOE THE WEB WE WEAVE…..

My legal career was spent in the court room. When ever I would catch a witness in a lie or a party’s case full of lies, I would start my summation to the jury by looking them in the eye and with all seriousness say…..Woe the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

I would follow it up with the story of throwing a pebble into a still pool of water. The pebble would cause a small circle to surround it. The circle in the water would get bigger and bigger. As a lie got bigger and bigger and took in more people.

Yesterday it was Michael Cohen and Sean Hannity.

Trump’s lies ultimately bring everyone around him down. Including his children.

Will Trump throw them under the bus as he has others? Will he take the rap to save them? Interesting.

Saw Dr. Jones yesterday morning. He scheduled me for an endoscopy and colonoscopy for a week from tomorrow.

I am anxious for the endoscopy. For the past six months, food gets stuck in my throat. Cannot wash it down. Fluid shoots back out my mouth. Takes a bit of gulping to get the food to pass.

Till last night.

I was enjoying lamb chops at the La Trattoria bar. Carrie bartending. Fortunately.

A piece of meat got stuck in my throat. Carrie saw I was in trouble. She came running over and started with back blows moving to the Heimlich. Did not work. Gulping did not work.

I could breath.

I walked out. Gulped for two blocks. Finally the meat moved down.

A relief. The longest it has taken. Thank God I am doing the endoscopy next wednesday. Dr. Jones is aware of my problem and will stretch my throat and esophagus while I am under.

Lunch yesterday after the Dr. Jones visit at Sandy’s Cafe. My favorite snack. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large cup of Cuban coffee.

The waitresses at Sandy’s are a happy bunch. They spread that joy to the customers as they wait on them.

Last night Dueling Bartenders. Bobby Nesbitt guest performing. Tom Luna and Rick Dery doing their usual. The three singing a song together outstanding!

Many Bobby Nesbitt friends in attendance. Lynda and Bob Frechette, David, Lisa, etc.

We sang along with Tom, Rick and Bobby.

Loved it!

It was after Dueling Bartenders that I went to La Trattoria for dinner.

Marty Leshaw and I were Key West friends for years. We would meet at the Chart Room and then have dinner together somewhere. Marty left Key West. Returned to his primary residence in Fort Lauderdale.

Marty and I communicate infrequently. I heard from him yesterday. Did I hit 40 yet? Meaning pounds lost. Whatever the inquiry or statement, I always enjoy hearing from Marty. Though we disagreed on almost everything. Especially politics.

I have fond memories of our relationship.

Trump is visiting Key West thursday. For two hours. He flies into Boca Chica. Then he will be part of a caravan of cars taking him to the Truman Waterfront. He is visiting the Joint Interagency Task Force South. A military anti-smuggling center.

Some are thrilled by his visit. Others could care less.

Diana Millikan returns to Key West tomorrow. She e-mailed me she plans to stand on the corner of Truman and White and wave at Trump as he passes. She has been a die hard Trump fan since day one. Part of that 35-40 percent.

Global climate change a concern to us who live on the ocean. We have been warned for several years that the waters will rise and take away some homes built on the water.

Michael Mann is a climatologist.  He says the change is coming and sooner than thought.

All has to do with currents. Southern waters, including the Gulf Stream, will flow northward. The colder deep waters of the north will flow southward.

I do not understand this changes things. The bottom line however is that the scenario will not be good. Our water levels will increase 1.6 feet. Surface temperatures will be warmer for most of the US east coast. Europe will be colder because of changes in the Gulf Stream.

Mann says “…..we’re close to a tipping point…..the changing currents are without precedent…..the event about a century ahead of schedule.”

He also says all this may not happen. That we are dealing with systems we don’t fully understand.

Love the Citizens’ Voice in the Key West Citizen. Readers say it the way it is.

This morning’s column had a note from a local. The iguana problem the subject.

The writer had the solution. Bring in about a hundred Jaguars and mountain lions. The natural enemies of iguanas.

My  thought is the suggestion will help resolve another problem. The too many people on the island problem. Jaguars and mountain lions are the natural enemies of humans, also.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk  with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. I express my thoughts as to the conduct and sins of many. Guaranteed you will like the show. A quick moving half hour.

Enjoy your day!

 

MR. PRESIDENT…..WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

I refer today for the first time to Trump as Mr. President. Not because he has achieved that recognition in my mind. Because for the first time he may be leaning that way.

My concern Syria.

The President has challenged Putin for the first time. Especially this morning. Recognizes Russia as a partner with the bad guys in Syria and bearing responsibility for the gasings.

The President said he was going to do something re the chemical attack. That was over the weekend. All recognized time was of the essence. If there was to be retaliation, it had to be immediate. Don’t give Putin and others time to move their war machinery around, get ready for a military hit, etc.

The President screwed up. It is now wednesday. The too long a time has passed. Putin however kept it alive with his tweet that he and his friends had the where with all to knock down any missiles the US might shoot.

An added concern is that the US has at least 2 Naval vessels in the area that are subject to retaliatory missiles.

I believe we have no choice but to go for it. Destroy something big time in Syria. Take the gamble with Putin. He has thrown down the gauntlet. The US cannot do what Obama did. Nothing.

Note that Russia is in bad shape. Their economy is way down. The ruble fell again last week. Putin cannot afford an all out war.

I further believe if Putin sees the US is serious, he will back off on the rhetoric and find a way to quiet the confrontation. He has done such in the past.

I criticize the time it has taken with no reaction yet by the US. Where is our planning? Where have the CIA and military been? Plans should have already been prepared and held in abeyance till needed.

An obvious failure in Washington in protecting the US. This fault may include the Obama administration.

Yesterday, my first book signing. Sold ten books in 3 hours. Not disappointed. Did not think prior to the signing I would sell one.

More experienced authors Reef Perkins and Robert Coburn participated also. I doubt they sold more than 10 books each.

The problem was no one came. We were alone for 3 hours in the hot boiling Key West summer sun.

Ross Pipkin was part of the program. Ross does voice overs for books. He did a reading. Interesting and humorous.

I thank good friends Kate Miano and Lynda Frechette for attending. A Jane who I never met before.

Towards the end of the 3 hours, Bob and Stevie from the Chicago area arrived. We had never met before. They came especially to buy my book. Bob and Stevie are loyal readers of this blog.

They leave today for home. Hopefully, we will meet next year when they return. We agreed on the Chart Room.

My favorite female bartender Nicolle showed up with her partner Dara. Nicolle works at Antonia’s. She did not buy a book. Did not have to. She had already purchased a copy through Amazon. She brought the book in for signing. My pleasure!

The book signing was at the Andrews Inn. Michael and Albena new owners. Eight months. Albena from Belgium. The Inn was run down when purchased. They have fixed the place up. Irma interrupted and added to the renovations.

The Inn is lovely. Tiny adding to its quaintness.

Michael noticed the crowd was sparse. Actually, non-existent at one point. He showed ingenuity. Went out on the street and dragged about 20 tourists in. Induced them with the free food and drink. A smart guy. The Inn cannot fail.

The book signing was a charity fund raiser. Titled the Bow-Wow Meow Book Signing. A fundraiser for the SPCA. Help the dogs and cats.

Not much help yesterday. I feel guilty. I plan on sending a check.

I enjoyed doing my podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A mix of topics. Key West, Anchorage, and a little Trump. I try to include topics about what is going on involving persons other than Trump. He is available enough on the media.

The weather continues to be hot. Summer definitely here. Eighty six yesterday. And humid! Will be the same today.

Very likable and talented artist Jon “Tosh” McIntosh died last month. A memorial service will be held this saturday at 3:30 at St. Paul’s Church.

Sons and Daughters of Italy meeting tonight.

I was doing a Key West Lou Live video every day til about 2 months ago. Louis ranting and raving about some issue for a few minutes.

Renewed the show this morning. It is revived! Look for it daily on Facebook.

Enjoy your day!

 

BUSY…..BOOK SIGNING AND PODCAST

Yesterday, busy. Today, busy. Adrenalin flowing. Ready to go.

Today, the Irma and Me Book Signing. Tonight, my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Both required preparation. Especially the podcast.

Yesterday was get ready time. Began at 5:30 am.

Got an early start on the day’s blog.

Then an hour getting things ready for today’s book signing. Finding a bag to carry the books, a box to hold cash, a bank run for a roll of nickels and different cash bills, prepare tonight’s Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou show, and I don’t recall what else.

Finished all by 4. I was ready. Almost, still needed today’s blog which I am doing at the moment.

Out for the evening. Needed a drink. Enjoyed one at Catherine’s when I picked her up. Felt better.

First stop was Aqua’s for Dueling Bartenders. Terri performing. Would not have missed it.

Bear greeted me. Getting bigger. He was with George and Art.

Lynda and Bob Frechette at the bar. I went over leaving Catherine at the other bar. Who are you with, Lynda asked. I could not remember Catherine’s name. I was doing good.

Lynda and Bob will be at the book signing.

Dinner afterwards at Antonia’s bar. Nicole bartending. She made my day. Not only is she stopping by the book signing, she has already ordered the book via Amazon.

Finished the evening early. I was tired. Dropped Catherine off and went directly home intending to hop in bed. Changed my mind. Instead prepared notes for the blog I am presently writing.

I received a call from Jean Thornton during the day. She called to wish me well at the book signing.

Jean is an integral part of Irma and Me. It was at her and Joe’s home in Birmingham where I stayed for 12 days having escaped Irma. Louis, six other humans, and three dogs.

The book signing will be sort of a reunion. Five of the others have e-mailed and told me they will be there. The sixth, McKee, also e-mailed. He will not. He is on a cruise somewhere.

Neither will Jean and Joe. They leave from Birmingham today for a one month European cruise. Sounds exciting. Fly to Barcelona and get on a ship. Their home for the next 30 days. Primarily Scandinavian countries. Twenty different ports.

The Irma and Me book signing noon to 3 at Andrews Inn. Located at Zero Whalton Lane. A street running perpendicular to Duval between Truman and Olivia. Across from Viva Cafe.

Tonight at 9 my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. All done and ready to go. Some interesting topics. Only two involving Trump. I try to get away from Trump in my talks. We get too much of him otherwise every day.

Topics include visits to a few old time Key West bordellos, a discussion concerning Florida beaches which are no longer public, a transgender vote by the people rather than elected officials in Anchorage, the caravan, Syria, and more.

A fast moving half hour. Interesting. Sometimes provocative. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

My blog for today done! And it is only 8 am rather than 11 am. Last night’s prep helped. I have nothing to do till 11 when  I leave for the book signing.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

FLORIDA PUBLIC BEACHES NO MORE

Strange laws are made. For strange purposes. By strange men.

Most Florida beaches have been public like forever. Now a law has been passed. One whereby beachfront property owners can kick people of the beaches.

The new law recognizes beachfront property owners to have claim to “the land above the mean high-water tide level.” Means private property beach owners can kick the public off beaches that heretofore were public.

The power behind the new law the rich. Wealthy beachfront homeowners and hotel owners.

Governor Scott owns a home on the beach in Naples. He was not concerned . He indicated people should not worry….rich people were unlikely to abuse their new powers.

As good as an assurance that it will never snow again in the Arctic.

Every now and then a person makes a special connection with Key West. Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett for example. Most recently, Diana Nyad.

Diana is a long distance swimmer. In 2013, she swam from Cuba to Key West. No easy task. Ever since, there has been a marriage between Diana and Key West.

She did not establish a residence. However does visit frequently. Key West honored her accomplishment with a memorial at the beach.

Irma knocked the hell out of certain parts of the lower keys. Many still recovering. Easy to understand when one realizes that 4,000 plus residential dwellings were destroyed in the keys as a whole.

Diana is in Key West for a month. Together with a group of friends. All runners, not swimmers. They are presently working every day along side Habit for Humanity repairing Irma damaged homes. Presently in the Big Pine area.

Key West showed its love to Diana. She is returning it ten fold.

Stability is lacking in our government. Tariff wars and sanctions lead to fighting wars.

Japan a perfect example. President Roosevelt was squeezing Japan in the time before Pearl Harbor. Japan had invaded China. Roosevelt wanted Japan out of China.

Japan a big importer of oil. Could not survive without oil. Roosevelt put the squeeze on Japan by placing an embargo on oil that normally would go to Japan from various parts of Asia. Plus, other sanctions.

Japan said…..Up yours! Pearl Harbor resulted.

Roosevelt was successfully choking Japan economically. Japan could have capitulated and agreed with Roosevelt’s terms which included Japan’s total withdrawal from China. Or, Japan could have taken the position you cannot do this to us and gone to war.

The answer we all know.

World War II resulted in a marriage of three nations. Germany, Italy and Japan. All fascist nations.

The Democracies plus Russia won World War II. Russia an immediate problem. However the Democracies kept Russia in tow.

In April 1945, Hitler committed suicide in a Berlin Bunker. Mussolini’s corpse was hung upside down at a gas station in Milan 2 days earlier. Following the War, Tojo was executed by hanging for war crimes.

Fascism for all intents and purposes was dead. Till recent years. It has returned. Big time. Trump the Pied Piper.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright wrote an interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times 4/6/18 re the issue of fascism titled: Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late.

Some countries were authoritarian leaning before Trump. Some since. Trump most definitely authoritarian. Another way of describing a fascist.

Other world leaders say if Trump can be a dictator of sorts, why can’t I? Leaders in Hungary, the Philippines, Poland and Turkey. Moves toward fascist states in Egypt, Syria and Venezuela. Russia under Putin already there.

Albright wrote that fascism on “the world stage is enhanced by the volatile Presidency of Donald Trump.”

I started this part of the blog discussing sanctions and tariffs being economic wars leading to fighting wars. China today is the U.S.’ primary adversary in an economic war. China a tough adversary. Would never even think of capitulating. Face too important.

So China will do everything to win the economic war Trump has guided us into with China.

Gao Feng, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said recently, “We will not start a war, we will definitely fight back…..No options will be ruled out.”

Feng was speaking of tariffs. However, the tariff war of today can easily turn into a fighting war tomorrow.

And who would we have to thank? Donald Trump!

A message to T-Shirt Jordan. Please send me your full name and address.

Forget not my Irma and Me book signing tuesday noon to 3 at Andrews Inn, Zero Whalton Lane, Key West.

Enjoy your day!

 

BLOOD ON THE SAND

Tyranny abounds. It begins in the White House.

Tyranny has many definitions. Basically, government or a ruler gone amiss. I selected three which fit Trump: Cruel, unreasonable or arbitrary use of power or control…..Cruel and oppressive government or rule…..Unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.

Government under Trump moves fast. Every day something new. Everything an immediate problem. It is the immediacy which concerns me at the moment.

Government used to be a studied drawn out affair. Issues were discussed and analyzed. The President spoke with Congress. Congress spoke with the President. Congress debated. Etc.

No more. An issue hits today. Requires resolution yesterday. No debate, no thought entering into the process.

The United States is a nation with roughly 12 million illegal immigrants at the present time. In the last 48 hours, we have been hit with another and different immigration problem. One involving 1,200 people.

Trump has announced he is calling in the military. The National Guard. He is already working with the Governors of the States involved.

The “caravan” from Honduras and Guatemala the meager 1,200. Consists of men, women and children. Families. Videos on TV show women carrying small children. Walking from Central America to the U.S. border.

Some will seek asylum. The legal approach. Others will try to sneak over the border.

Trump is rabble rousing the public. He is gearing up like a major invasion is in the making which has to be defended against. He is preparing for a war on a small number of poor people.

I fear blood on the sands at the border. Blood that will also be on Trump’s hands.

We are told the National Guard will have no physical contact with the immigrants nor will they process them at the border. The purpose of the National Guard will be to provide  surveillance via air and through camera monitoring of the border.

I don’t buy it.

Too much man power. I feel the worst will result.

A few observations.

It has been reported that Trump decided to call in the military without advising his advisers. They were caught by surprise.

Where is the money coming from to finance what is about to happen? The budget for $1.3 trillion was approved only two weeks ago. Not in the budget.

You have to give credit where credit is due. Trump has acted with expediency. Swifter than he did with Puerto Rico following the hurricanes. He recognizes value. The border in this instance more important than the lives of hundreds of thousands still suffering in Puerto Rico.

I received a sad telephone call at 5 yesterday afternoon. My cousin Theresa had died. I cried quite awhile. Tears in my eyes as I type this.

Theresa roughly my age.

We grew up in the same houses. First, the three story six family house in East Utica. Theresa lived in the first floor rear apartment. I in the third floor front.

My parents bought a two family home in 1941. Soon thereafter, Theresa, her parents and sisters moved into the upstairs flat.

We grew up together. Like brother and sister.

I have not seen Theresa in 15 years. Families grow and move on. Marriages and children occur. The children have children. Some family members move from their place of birth to other parts of the country.

We see each other no more. The last time I saw Theresa was 15 years ago in the parking lot of a supermarket in Utica.

Never the less, I love Theresa as much today as when we lived in the two homes and when last we met in the supermarket parking lot 15 years ago. Life moving on separated us physically, but not in the heart.

Lunched with Guy de Boer tuesday at Harpoon Harry’s. His beard large. He could easily be taken even in every day clothes as Santa Claus.

Guy is publisher of KONK Life and KONK Life E-Blast. Guy got me started in writing and radio many years ago. For years I wrote the Key West Lou COMMENTARY for KONK Life.

I am returning to write the weekly column in two weeks. Why? I have missed it. It was a place where I could pontificate to my heart’s content on one issue. The only difference this time is that the one issue will be limited to 500 words.

Irma and Me and me will shortly undergo a new experience. A book signing. I never did one. The book signing is next tuesday April 10th. At the Andrews Inn at Zero Whalton Lane in Key West. Whalton Lane is a side street off Truman between Duval and Whitehead. Time, noon to 3.

Three other authors will be signing books. A speaker is scheduled to do a reading.

Come join us.

Last night dinner at Donna and Terri’s. A good time as usual. Got to see Bear again. It had been two weeks. I was amazed at how he has grown.

Donna and I spent three hours after dinner working on a trailer/ad piece and poster for the book signing. The lady is talented!

Enjoy your day!

I’VE RETIRED FROM THE FIELD OF HOMOSEXUALITY

I have been coming to Key West for 30 years. Bought my home 20 years ago. In all that time, Key West has been One Happy Family.

Not so 10 years before I first came. The winter of 1979-80 was a time of flux. Straights versus gays. Violence commonplace. The gays generally on the losing end.

A bigoted man of God resided in Key West. A Baptist minister. His goal was to drive the deviates out of town. He bought an ad in the Key West Citizen. His position simple. He recommended 100 men with baseball bats walk down Duval Street and hit the “freaks” in the head.

The good minister claimed that was the way it was done in Key West in the days he loved and remembered.

One of Key West’s leading citizens at the time was Tennessee Williams. Thirty years a resident. Resided in a quaint bungalow on Duncan Street.

Williams had a gardener who cared for his grounds. The man was found in a pool of blood at his home. He had been killed by point blank shots to the head and neck.

The man was a friend. Williams took his death badly.

Six days after the gardener had been killed, William’s home was broken into. Vandalized, some minor thievery.

Williams was further disturbed. First time in 30 years anyone had invaded his home.

One month later, Williams and a house guest friend were coming out of the Monster. A gay disco off Duval. Late at night. Both men feeling no pain.

Williams and his friend were jumped by 4-5 guys. Williams struck and thrown to the ground. His glasses broken. His friend knocked down from a blow to the jaw.

The friend shouted they may have knives! Let’s get out of here! Williams refused. He stood his ground: “I am not in the habit of retreat.”

Some time thereafter, a group appeared in front of Williams home. They threw beer cans at the house. Shouted, “Come out, faggot.” Then threw fire crackers.

Williams and his friend were in the house. The fire crackers sounded like bullets. Williams and his friend thought they were under attack.

A little history.

Beginning in the mid 1960’s, Key West began becoming economically depressed. The Naval Base had significantly down sized, businesses were closing down. Many left.

It was then that the gays began arriving. They sensed Key West was a place for them. A place they could make home. They were like immigrants. Worked hard from day one to make Key West a better place.

With the gays came problems. Not just the disturbed minister. The gay improvements to the community caused real estate prices and taxes to go up. The gays were buying more and more property.

Some of the gays were not typical of non-gay Key West residents. For example, Williams’ gardener who was shot in the head several times was an eccentric. He would walk around Key West shouting, “I am a woman.”

Male prostitutes arrived on the scene. I find this fact amusing. If the new residents were gay, why did they need male prostitutes?

Drugs and crime accelerated. Assaults and battery common place. The gays were under siege.

Key West was Williams’ home. Had been for 30 years. He refused to leave. He also withdrew from sex at the time saying “I’ve retired from the field of homosexuality at present…..because of age, I have no desires.”

Williams understood why the gay community was being warred upon. Bad gays had followed the good gays to Key West. The bad ones were giving the good ones a bad name.

Key West soon became known as the Fire Island of Florida. Williams said the name did not fit. He viewed the bad gays and others as punks and predators.

Williams was possessed with foresight. He believed this anti-gay sentiment would pass. He firmly believed the violence would be gone by the next year. He was correct.

In the meantime, the Baptist minister kept ranting and raving. He threatened to bring Anita Bryant to Key West to assist in his anti-gay crusade.

The minister thought things would go one way or the other. He gave it 5 years. He took the position by the end of that time, there would be a revival of a “normal society” or the homosexuals would have taken over.

The good guys won.

During the winter of fire, Williams became exceptionally careful. He stopped walking or riding a bicycle down Duval late at night. He claimed he was “more frightened” in Key West “than I am in New York.”

Williams refused to leave Key West: “I have been here longer than they have and I’m not leaving.”

I never sensed the war like atmosphere when I arrived in Key West for the first time 10 years later. Gays owned businesses. Gays were in business with straights. No feeling of discrimination existed. Everyone loved everyone else. One Happy Family.