NORWAY……HEALTHCARE AND COLLEGE EDUCATION FREE

Heard from Jean Thornton yesterday. Key West’s Golden Girl was in Bergen, Norway. She and Joe had just finished lunch. Jean, soup and a beer. Joe, fish and chips and a beer. Cost, $75.

My first impression, WOW! Lord, save me from Norway!

The WOW understandable. On the other hand, in spite of the cost of the lunch, Norway may not be a bad place to live.

Healthcare is free. A public education through college is free. The country has a comprehensive social security system.

Norway is considered the star of 21st century socialism.

It has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Forty six weeks paid parental leave. An average hourly wage among the highest in the world. An average hourly productivity level also among the highest in the world.

Norway is the largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East. It has the fourth highest per capita income in the world. The second wealthiest country in the world in monetary value, with the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation.

On top of it all, a low crime rate. No need to steal where the government in one fashion or another takes care of its own.

There is also a negative side. Not sure if negative is the correct word. Norway’s cost of living (excluding housing) is 52 percent higher than in the United States. Probably the reason Jean and Joe had to pay $75 for lunch.

Watched Trump speak to the NRA convention in Dallas yesterday afternoon. His cry…..Elect Republicans to save gun rights!

The man respectfully is a whore. I recall how several months ago he sat in the White House and told students, teachers and parents following the 17 Florida high school shooting deaths that no one should be afraid of the NRA. He was not, suggesting he was finally prepared to stand up to the NRA.

He made clear yesterday before the NRA that his words in the White House were for show. Yesterday he said, ” We will never give up our freedom. We will live free and we will die free.”

He was Teddy Roosevelt and the audience was ready to follow him up the hill.

The Chart Room again last night. Spent considerable time chatting with John and David.

Stopped at Five Guys on the way home. They have cheeseburgers wrapped in lettuce. Perfect for my diet. Enjoyed two.

Big day today! The Kentucky Derby!

I have been privileged to attend many major sporting events. Never a Kentucky Derby, however. Doubt I will in the future. Can’t do everything.

Rain predicted for this afternoon. The track may be a bit muddy. A horse called Justify the favorite. I do not follow the horses so I know nothing about him.

I have three places to watch the race. Don’s Place, the Chart Room, and Bob and Donna’s. Don’s Place always fun. Never watched the race at the Chart Room. Bob and Donna’s sure to be a great house party.

Recently, I have been referring to Netanyahu and Trump as birds of a feather. They are. Especially in the area of lying. Truth means nothing to them.

Netanyahu has been on a kick re Iran for a year. Especially the past week. He did a drama made for TV. Charts, diagrams, etc. Some even in color.

All to provide Iran nuclear information. Poorly stated. Actually, Iran nuclear disinformation. Turns out much of the material he relied upon was old and known. That not old, he fabricated. Significantly.

Netanyahu and Trump want war with Iran. Trump could get it now that he has Bolan and Pompeo as aides.

If a war should erupt with any country, it will be nuclear. Trump, his staff and family will be safely beneath some mountain in the West. While you and I will be scurrying to find a table to hide under.

Another problem seems to be overwhelming us. Lying is becoming acceptable. We don’t get upset when a political leader lies today. We have come to expect and accept lying. The kind Trump engages in.

A study suggest Trump lies 6.5 times a day and has lied more that 3,000 times since taking office.

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!

.