WHERE WERE THE TEARS?

An interesting comment kept popping up yesterday on Facebook. Anonymous. However, many were sharing it with their friends.

The comment was right on. I paraphrased and used it on my Facebook video later in the day. About 2 minutes worth.

I titled my video: Crocodile Tears…..Hypocrisy.

The shooting at the ball field where the Republicans were practicing was horrific and touching. I shed a few tears watching the occurrence on TV. The Republican Congressmen were my people. Americans. An attack/injury to one is an attack/injury to all.

Additionally emotional were the Republican Congressmen weeping , swelling up, choking on their words.

The Facebook comment referred to earlier tragic occurrences. Asked where were Congress’ tears for the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook, the 49 people killed in a night club, the 9 people killed at a church service.

Even more to the point, where were Congress’ tears when Gabby Giffords was shot in the head. Gabby being one of their own.

The comment an excellent observation.

Though hopeful, I do not believe this most recent tragedy will bring the two parties together. Sincere talk. Results elusive, however. I doubt the love and roses talk will last more than a few weeks. Kumbaya not for Republicans and Democrats in these times.

Decided to visit Donna and Terri yesterday afternoon. Terri had been under the weather the past few days.

Picked a perfect time to go. Dry in Key Haven. As soon as I was two blocks from Donna and Terri’s, all hell broke loose rain wise. I got soaking wet in the 20 feet from my car to their porch.

Stopped at the French Croissant next to Roostica to pick up some pastries for the sick visit. Croissant’s pastries are the best! Bare none! Expensive also. Worth it, however.

One problem. Donna has sworn off carbs. Since her heart attack, Terri avoids fats. Only Louis enjoyed a pastry. I took the rest home with me.

Ended up staying for dinner. Donna continues to be an excellent cook. Fine restaurant dining.

Got home around 9.

Citizens’ Voice carried an interesting comment this morning: “Key West is a traffic jam.” Truer words cannot be written.

Accidents happen even on the high seas. The one in Tokyo harbor this week. There was another naval one in 1942 in waters off Key West.

The US Navy had mined the waters to the northwest of Key West. The steamship Bosiljka was on its way from New Orleans to Key West. It accidently sailed into the minefield. The Bosiljka was sunk.

Hitler was a master liar. He believed in the Big Lie. The bigger the lie, the more who would believe it.

Joseph Goebbels believed his Fuhrer’s words. He repeated the thought in his form and style. Orally and in writing. “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.”

Yesterday’s talk shows had one of Trump’s new attorneys on. His message: Trump is not under investigation.

The Hitler/Goebbels approach at work.

My home town is Utica. Central New York located.

A small village to the west is Frankfurt. Less than 10 miles away. I cannot recall the population. I would guess around 5,000, if that many.

As far back as I can recall, there was a sign on the highway where cars  entered Frankfurt. The sign: Frankfurt…..Watch Us Grow.

The sign is still there. Never replaced. Worn by the more than 70 years of its existence.

Frankfurt never grew.

Frankfurt achieved notoriety this past saturday. Made the news big time. Illegal bird fighting. Chickens primarily.

A barn on farm land. A bird fighting ring inside. Fights going on. Close to 40 spectators.

Police had been investigating. They raided the place. Forty two persons arrested. Fifty five birds captured. Sixty eight thousand dollars seized.

There was another barn on the property. The barn was used as a game bird breeding and training facility. One hundred eighty more birds were captured.  And last but not least, 100 grams of heroin.

Frankfurt finally made it!

I doubt most of the residents were pleased by the gaming. Assuming they knew. Frankfurt is small town America. People provincial. Honest, good folk.

It’s still raining.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SIN PAPEL

Sin papel. Spanish for without paper. Toilet paper.

I found it strange four years ago when I read Venezuela was without toilet paper. The first crisis new President Nicolas Maduro faced.

I did not think such possible. Who runs out of toilet paper?Thought Maduro would rectify the problem in short order. He did not. Four years later and Venezuela is still without toilet paper. Food, also. The situation overall got worse.

Now, I discover Cuba is without toilet paper. Has been without toilet paper for very many years.

Americans are now visiting Cuba. Stories come back. One being the scarcity of toilet paper. For those in need, toilet paper is sold on the streets of Havana at $.25 a sheet.

One of Havana’s popular restaurants is La Guarida. A roof top restaurant. Frequented by Cubans and tourists.

The ladies room has a large watercolor. An attractive woman squatting over a toilet. Squatting as women do on strange toilets. Not sitting. Behind her hanging on the wall is a toilet paper roll hanger. The roll without paper.

The name of the watercolor: Sin Papel. Without paper.

President Trump addresses Congress tonight. At 8. My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou at 9. I am always competing with a Presidential address. At least, I will be able to hear Trump before I do my show. And assuredly, I will make a comment or two.

My topics either mundane or more informative than the President’s. Depends on what he says.

My topics tonight include black people off on a tangent re whites, Trump and Miller prone to lie, war on drugs, law and order, pot soon to be attacked on all fronts, a whole face implant, cost of Trump crack down on illegals, and more.

Join me at 9 my time. The show a fast moving, often revealing, half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Last night was a stop at the Pier House Beach Bar. John working the bar. A beautiful place. Setting sun, lovely water, boats streaming by.

Followed the Beach Bar with Smokin Tuna. A place I rarely visit. Don’t know why. Enjoyed great music and a fish sandwich at the bar.

I was home early. Before 9.

A big night tonight for the Waterfront Playhouse. A fundraiser. Lynda Frechette’s baby.

Aqua Idol at Aqua. Six thirty to 8. Duet evening. Contestants bring their own partner. Wonder who brings Terri White?

The place fills up. Wall to wall. Suggest you get there an hour early.

Only four weeks left in this contest to benefit the Waterfront Playhouse. Support the Waterfront and Lynda!

Ladies time, again. Always ladies time.

March is Women’s History Month. The U.S. so decreed it in 1987.

International Woman’s Day is March 8. The day has so been observed since 1911.

I learn. We learn.

Tippecanoe and Tyler Too. The Tyler portion reflected upon John Tyler. Tyler ultimately became the 10th President of the United States.

Tyler was 52 when his wife Letita died. Soon thereafter, he fell in love with Julia Gardiner. Julia 22 at the time. He said, marry me. She said, no. His age affecting her judgment.

Tyler persevered and two years later Tyler 54 married Julia 24. Julia 30 years younger.

It was a happy marriage. Reflected by the number of children born of the marriage. Seven.

Tyler was a good man!

My Go Live videos on Facebook doing well. Increased numbers every day. Excites me.

Take a look. You might enjoy. It is Louis live and speaking. Different subjects. A few minutes each time.

When you watch, I would appreciate if you would help me by hitting the SHARE button. I am trying to expand my exposure the Facebook way.

One of yesterday’s segments involved a recent report that it is expected marijuana related jobs will exceed new manufacturing jobs by 250,000 by 2020.

And Sessions is determined to stop the legality trend and return those States now legal to illegal!

Enjoy your day!

 

SYRACUSE BEATS DUKE…..AT THE BUZZER

Five in the morning. Up early. Heart test at 8:30. Blog will be short this morning.

What a game!

Syracuse over Duke by 3. A 3 pointer at the buzzer from way out. Gillon made the shot with 3 Duke players on him and 2 others nearby.

Looked to me to be the Doug Flute Hail Mary shot of basketball.

Should be enough to qualify Syracuse for the NCAA tournament.

These town halls do my heart good. Or, maybe the strain is too much.

Trump the problem. Republican Congressional persons are paying for supporting him. Trump may be destroying the country. Voters starting to realize it. Wish they had realized it would be a possibility on election day.

Sessions won! Right out the door. Reversed policy re transgenders.

Trump helping Sessions. Shows Trump’s duplicity. During the campaign, he promised to protect transgender rights. First chance Trump got, he reversed his position.

Bocce begins tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

LENIN WANTED TO DESTROY THE STATE…..MY GOAL, TOO

Ed Rollins was on one of the TV talk shows last night. Stephen Bannon the object of discussion. Bannon is the 63 year old Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to President Trump.

It has been said in recent days that Bannon has increasing influence over the President and is either now or becoming the power person on the White House staff.

Bannon’s background is checkered. He was Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, a white supremacy website. David Duke and the KKK found his selection by Trump to be an excellent one. He is anti-Semitic. Democrats and Republicans alike oppose him.

As mentioned yesterday, the comment was recently made that Bannon makes Cheney look like Mother Teresa.

Rollins commented that Bannon had said Lenin wanted to destroy the state and that he (Bannon) wanted to destroy today’s establishment.

Strong words. Trump appointed as a close adviser a man who in effect wants to bring down the government.

I sought the source. Turns out to have been the New York Times. An article on 11/14/16 by Daniel Victor and Liam stack.

The Times repeated a statement made in The Legal Beast. The Legal Beast the source. No source for The Legal Beast’s statement attributed to Bannon set forth.

The purported Bannon statement: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too…..I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

Bannon is known to have such thought and drive most of his adult life.

When asked regarding the comment, Bannon did not deny. He said he could not recall the conversation.

My podcast show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick interesting thought provoking half hour. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics will include Bannon, of course. As well as Stephen Miller, a 31 year old White House adviser. The person who wrote the immigration/refugee executive order.

Also, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, the Trump-Putin telephone call saturday, Russia initiating further war activity in Ukraine sunday and monday, Trump’s dying relationship with Congress, police at Standing Rock equipped with missile launchers, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Mark Zuckerberg wanting to be President, and more.

At 8 tonight, Trump will announce his designee for the Supreme Court. I will have something to say about whoever it is. Trump is down to three choices. We know who they are and they have been vetted in the media.

A most enjoyable dinner last night. With friend Andrew who is in for a few days from his Switzerland home. Together with Jim and Donna. An evening of great conversation.

Guy Fawkes died this date in 1606. He had led a Catholic revolution against Parliament and King James. His intent was to blow up Parliament and James I at the same time. He was caught before he had the opportunity.

Fawkes was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. He was to be hung, drawn, and quartered.

Fawkes threw himself off the ladder leading to the gallows. Broke his neck and immediately died. Spoiling Parliament’s cruel death plan for him.

The English celebrate November 5 as Guy Fawkes Day. There are bonfires and fire works. Fawkes burned in effigy, also. The event celebrating Fawkes’ failure to blow up Parliament and James I.

Enjoy your day!

DIXONS BACK IN TOWN

My years in Key West have brought me many new friends. Two are Tom and Fran Dixon. From Buffalo. They have business interests which bring them to Key West several times a year.

We have become very close. Fran makes homemade candy. Chocolate her specialty. Each trip she brings me a box. It was no different last night. We had dinner together. Fran gave me the candy. Two kinds. Told me one chocolate was made with something hot. The candy would have a tang.

I could not wait to get home to try the candy. Started while driving home. Good! Especially the peppery chocolate. It was a bit sharp.

The entire evening was fun. We met first at the Chart Room. Spent a couple of hours there with Jean and Sheila. Laughter prevailed.

Then Tom, Fran and I were off to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. More fun!

Tom had a stroke a month ago. I was not aware till last night. You would never know it. He looked good and was his usual joyful self.

Tom and I are bonded in a special way. Both die hard Syracuse fans!

My friends are getting sick. Tom, who fortunately quickly recovered. Terri who is on her way to recovery. Terri returned to Key West yesterday. Spoke with her on the telephone. She was bubbly and cheerful.

It is saturday again. Comes fast each week. I have to research my KONK column today. Thought about a topic yesterday. Did a little digging. Came up with it! Not sure of the title yet. The topic concerns Hitler and homosexuals.

Hitler disliked homosexuals as well as Jews. His slogan for the Jews was: Exterminate them! For homosexuals: Castrate them!

My Bagels column is rerun in this morning’s KONK E-Blast. With the last eight paragraphs included. Bagels are American today. Not always, however. Bagels did not gain in national popularity till the 1950s.

Two social comments/observations.

It was announced yesterday that several more Flint and Michigan officials had been arrested re the Flint water crisis. The lead in the water story.

Obama immediately arranged for $5 million to help when the lead problem surfaced in January.. He also asked Congress to approve significantly more monies. Congress held hearings. The politicos could be seen on TV condemning what had occurred, enunciating clearly that something had to be done. Swiftly.

That was in January. The people of Flint are still waiting. The federal government sitting on its ass. Congress is on a seven week vacation not yet having approved funding. The people of Flint drinking bottled water and using faucet filters. Not even close to being enough.

2016 sometimes similar to centuries ago. Somtimes, thousands of years ago. Middle East beheadings one example.

Another is what is occurring in Turkey.

The coup failed. Some plotters arrested and executed. Others will follow. Turkey’s President refuses to permit funeral prayers and services for the plotters. A decent burial denied. Not even a casket. Dig a hole and drop the body in.

A stray dog facility is being erected. A place for dogs to run about and enjoy. In one corner, a cemetery is located for the bodies. It is called Traitors’ Cemetery. So marked with a small black metal sign. A place for the dogs to freely run about and do whatever.

The President sick! His actions reflective of something Hitler or Stalin might have done.

Enjoy your day!

 

365 DAYS TILL NEXT BIRTHDAY

First day of a new year in my life. Number 82. God willing, I will be here at this time next year.

My thanks to all who said Happy Birthday in one fashion or another. This blog has made me friends all over the world. It warmed my heart hearing from you.

Day yesterday a quiet one. Started with lunch at Cuban Coffee Queen. Cuban cheese toast and a large cold Cuban coffee. Nothing better!

Did some quiet reading in the afternoon.

Happy birthday dinner at Lisa’s. A great meal. Terrific cake! White with chocolate frosting. The cake light, the frosting the best. Robert picked out the frosting at Publix. His favorite. A Hershey product. Thick tasty chocolate.

Robert and Ally an extra special gift for me on such an occasion. Imagine, an 81 year old grandfather with grandchildren 12 and 11.

Robert and Ally are into birthdays. Especially, Ally.

It was still early when I left Lisa’s. Went over to the Chart Room. Glad I did. Finally ran into David. I have not seen him in weeks. John bartending.

Then home to bed and an early sleep.

The Congressional committee examining FBI Director James Comey today is wrong. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Beware my friends. Whether Republican or Democrat, this type oversight is unAmeriican. Dangerous to all.

The system said no charges warranted. That is the end of it. A disgruntled opposition party should not use their review power. I don’t care how much oversight the committee has. In this instance, a step too far. This crap went on in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Onward! The course of police shooting blacks in the U.S. St. Anthony, Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana this week. Government control of police departments is out of control. The police are becoming misguided vigilantes in blue. The next step if not stopped will be Klu Klux Klanners in blue.

There has been an immigrant problem ongoing the past few days in Minneapolis. In an upscale neighborhood. Million dollar homes. The media relatively quiet re reporting the situation. The biggest Minneapolis newspaper totally silent.

Twenty to 30 Somali immigrants have been harassing the neighborhood. Threatening to kidnap and rape women. One woman was told rape was ok because Sharia law says it is legal. The intruders shouting “Jihad!” Cars driven on sidewalks and lawns. Bottle rockets being shot.

Leaves me speechless. Leaves you speechless also. The unbelievable occurring.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

MAINE LOBSTER

Years since I had a Maine Lobster. Once you live full time in the Florida keys, you gravitate to Florida lobster.

Last night, it was a steamed lobster at Duffy’s. Outstanding! I enjoyed every morsel.

Maine lobster is priced outrageously in Key West. Most places, in the $50-$70 range. Duffy’s, only $38.

Do yourself a favor. Try the Maine lobster at Duffy’s.

I was at the Chart Room before Duffy’s. Enjoyed heavy conversation with Che. Finally saw David. Enjoyed his company, also.

Bill and Kate at the bar. We had met some time ago at Louie’s Back Yard. They apparently know Lisa. Also, Lee Garrison. I have neither seen nor heard of Lee in a couple of years. He is alive and kicking, though a bit ill. Residing at Truman Annex.

Bill is a federal firefighter at Boca Chica.

Kate, I liked. Her work, I did not. Said respectfully. She does clinical trials for the pharmaceutical industry.

Bill and Kate live at the presently infamous Peary Court. They are not concerned with the furor Peary Court has been experiencing.

My morning yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. I am doing better. Got the speed almost up to where it was before I had to stop. My time still lagging.

After the treadmill, I had almost two hours to kill. Before a haircut appointment. Stopped at Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch and Cuban coffee. Around the corner from Lori’s Blown away. Killed the time reading the newspapers.

There is a new employee working the counter at Cuban Coffee Queen. Ruby. Somewhere in her 20s. A smart girl. Swift and efficient. Remembers customer’s names. She took care of me two times and now says Hi, Louis when I walk up.

Ruby has talent. She will go far in life. She is thrilled at the moment to have a job at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Even in busy Key West, things are not that good.

The humidity was heavy while I was sitting reading the newspapers. Did not realize how heavy. Felt it when I went to get up. Wow! Could not wait to get to Lori’s air conditioned shop.

Lori always good company.

I laid in bed this morning instead of getting up to do this blog. I was going to report Bubbles was going to go home to the ocean at 10 at Sombrero Beach. She is already gone. It is 11:30 at the moment.

Pride Week a success! As usual! Today, the Street Fair at the 700-900 blocks of Duval. Tomorrow, the Pride Parade at 5. Always a big deal!

On and off yesterday, I watched the Muhammad Ali services on TV. One of the finest services I have seen. Warm. The best way to describe it. His wife touching. They say the fruit does not fall far from the tree. It was evident when Ali’s children spoke.

The man was loved.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a KONK column about Jeanette Rankin. She was born this date in 1880. A few comments.

She was elected to Congress in 1916. The first woman ever to be elected to Congress. She could not be sworn in. It took two months for her fellow Congressional people to decide if a woman should be admitted to the Congress.

Times have changed. One hundred years later, a woman is running for President as the nominee of a major party.

Rankin voted against entry into World War I. She was one of 50 Congressional persons doing so. She left Congress in 1919.

She ran for Congress again in 1940. Won. December 7 occurred. President Roosevelt asked for a declaration of war against Japan the next day. Rankin was the only member of Congress to vote against the war. Made her very unpopular throughout the country. She did not run for reelection.

Rankin was decidedly anti-war. During the Vietnam conflict, she was a national leader in opposition to the war.

Strange things are happening!

Canada’s Supreme Court ruled this past week that human sex acts with animals is permissible if there is no penetration.

Eleven States in the U.S. do not have laws prohibiting bestiality.

Five years ago, I wrote a KONK column titled Berlin The Whore House of Europe. Left Amsterdam in the dust. I reran the article last year with some updates.

Now, I learn Germany has gone further down the road of perversity. Animal brothels are permitted. Germans view animal brothels as a lifestyle choice.

Sick.

Enjoy your day!

 

CONCH REPUBLIC PILOT DIES

William Gordon died yesterday. He was flying a World War II vintage P-41 at a New York city air show. his plane crashed into the Hudson river.

Gordon was 56.

Gordon was no stranger to Key West. Earlier this year, he participated in gthe Naval Air Show at Boca chica. He also flew a bi-plane on behalf of the Conch Republic Air Force in the Conch Republic Days Bloody Battle recently.

He was no stranger to Key west. in recent years he has visitied many times. Friends indicate it was his intention to permanently reside here at some point.

May he rest in peace.

Sloppy Joe’s grand opening recently passed. I forgot to mention it. I refer nogt to the four years Sloppy Joe’s wass located at what is now Captain Tony’s on greene Street. TRather to the corner of Duval and Greene opening on May 5, 1937.

The grand opening was at 9 in the evening. Free dancing. First time i was aware dancing was a pay event in Key West then or now.

Sloppy Joe’s has remained openb for 79 years. The place the mosrt popular in bar in Key West. It provides a unique Key West flaor. It will be in th dsame place doing the same business 79 years from now.

Screwy afternoon yesterday. Lunched at 5 Guys. no food at home. Intended to grocery shop after lunch.

5 Guiys’ parking lot empty. It was 1 pm. thought the place waqs closed. Not so. i walked in and the employees all standig around. Not a customer present.

I placed my oder and waited. cionmtinued to wait. was taking forever to get fed. and I was the only one prfesent!

the problem appeared to be everything had been closed down to some extent. The cooking arfea had to be heated. Fresh French fries had toi be made.

Finally, my number was called. 84. I looked agt the employee who called my number. i had a strange look on my face. he suddenly understood and bust owut laughing. I did, also. I was the only customer in the place. Sitting right in front of where he was.

Then to Publix. Parking lot half full. where were the other shoppers on the saturday of Memorial Day Weekend?

I went inside. Very few.

I asked the gent behind the cold cuts counter where were all thje peeople. He said they had come in in droves in the morning. it had been quiet since.

Spent a couple of hours rfeasearching this week’s KONK Life column. Four different subjects. None turned me on. None I thought would be of interest to readers.

Here it si sunday morning and I still do not have a topic. Bad!!! My column  has to be to the Publisher by 5.

Dinner time! Wanted to try something different. Did. ended up at the Half Shell Raw Bar. I had not b een therre in at least 15 years.

Enjoyed! A dozen fresh oysters and a crab stuffed lobster. To die for!

Today is Bob Hope’s

 

DA VINCI’S LAST SUPPER

This morning’s Key West Citizen makes mention of Da Vinci’s greatest work, The Last Supper.

On one of my Milan trips several years ago, I was fortunate to view The Last Supper. Overwhelming!

I never realized til the viewing that Da Vinci had painted The Last Supper on a dry wall. It is roughly 15 feet by 28 feet. Contributes to the overwhelmingness.

The Last Supper was painted in the 15th century. Within 60 years, deterioration had begun. Nature, a war, etc. contributed further to its deterioration.

Finally in the 20th century, a 22 year restoration took place. Concluded in 1999.

The painting sits in a large room. The building the room is located in sits next to a large Church. However, The Last Supper is not in the Church. It is in the large room.

I make the distinction because to view The Last Supper before me was like being in Church. Solemn. Respectful.

I sat an hour taking it all in. An emotional time that stayed with me the balance of the day.

My day yesterday began with Lori at Blown Away. Haircut time.

Lori is a runner. Long distance. She recently competed in the KEYS 100 relay race. She ran 16 miles of it.

Lori is a tiny lady. Thin, of course.

She amazes me.

Then around the corner to the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch and newspaper reading.

I normally enjoy Cuban cheese toast. Yesterday, I sexed it up. Added ham. Did not like it as much as without. I will be back to the cheese toast alone next time.

The Chart Room first last night. The new bartender at work. Emily has quit. She bought a home and some land in Indiana and will shortly be moving there.

Good luck Emily! You are a good friend who will be missed.

The new bartender is John. Appears to be a nice guy.

A fellow named JT came in. We started talking. Thirty nine years old. Went to Marist College. Majored in history. Has a Masters in education. Engaged now with the Poughkeepsie School District.

JT was a walk on with the Marist basketball team. I had attended Manhattan. The two colleges occasionally meet in basketball. The conversation was interesting.

JT and I had dinner together at the Hot Tin Roof bar.

On the way to my car, I passed the Chart Room. Che was inside. I had not seen Che in months. In fact, I had asked John about him earlier in the evening.

Che is not Cuban. His name misleading. He is a New York City Jew. Extremely intelligent.

Che is the only person I run into occasionally in my night time pursuits who is older than me. He is 86.

It was good to see him. And find him healthy!

Key West gasoline prices have risen in the last 5 weeks. Dramatically. From $2.05 a gallon to $2.63. This is how it began several years ago. I filled my gas tank yesterday. Cost me just over $30. The first time in months I have been in the 30s. Better however than the $60 it cost a couple of years ago.

We are into the Memorial Day Weekend. Tons of incoming US 1 traffic yesterday into the evening. Northern Boulevard busy, also.

There is always one! A man was riding a bicycle. The simple foot operated kind. The type that cannot go fast. He was driving down the Boulevard. In the middle of the driving lane. Ambling along. Not a care in the world. Traffic backed up big time behind him.

The wide sidewalk by the water was empty.

God is good! Sometimes even government.

For whatever reason, the road direction in Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is being changed to make way for a new entrance.  One hundred fifty five trees to be cut down.

Local bird lovers became incensed. The gray kingbird spends several months a year in the trees. A meeting was held. The problem discussed. The government acquiesced. At least 60 of the 155 trees will not be cut down.

This morning’s Key West Citizen makes mention of Maya Angelou having died this day in 2014.

Maya was in Key West one time, as I recall. Her dear friend Oprah planned a party for Maya’s 86th birthday. A long time Caribbean cruise. Referred to as a floating birthday party.

Oprah planned one day of the celebration for Key West. On Sunset Key.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

WORSE EVER CONGRESS

It was 1948. Harry Truman was running for reelection. The major thrust of his campaign was the Congress that had been in office the previous two years was the worst ever. He referred to Congress as …..The do nothing Congress!

Truman was not the favorite in the race. Republican Tom Dewey was the anticipated winner. However, Truman spoke the truth re the Congress and won reelection.

Truth has a way of winning.

Today, we are confronted with a similar type Congress. A House of Representatives that has accomplished nothing.  They have not governed the nation. They do not seem to be able to govern themselves. The present Speaker fiasco being proof thereof.

In November 2013, I wrote a column entitled U.S. House of Representatives Works Too Hard. Title written with tongue in cheek.The contents reveal one of the reasons Congressional government has not worked in recent years. Congress fails to spend sufficient time in Washington to get anything done.

Eric Cantor was majority leader and a right winger. A favorite of the Tea Party. He said Congress should spend more time in their home districts rather than Washington. It was more important to be back home with constituents. The people who elected them and paid their salaries.

You saw how it worked for Cantor. He was defeated in a primary in his home district. His constituents could not be fooled. He came out smelling like a rose, however.  Within weeks, he had a job with a Washington power house lobbying group. His salary, $3.4 million a year.

I share the November 2013 article with you again as part of this column. It is worth repeating.  It says a lot about a present day Republican Party incapable of governing.

THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WORKS TOO HARD

The U.S. House of Representatives works too hard.

A blatant misstatement. A lie. A joke. The American people would be lucky if the House of Representatives merely worked. Not even hard.

I was watching television last week and there was a news report that the House of Representatives were going home for several days. The comment further was that the House would not be working more than eight days each month in November or December. They would return sometime during the first week in January.

The video accompanying the story showed Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Speaker John Boehner leading some Republican members out of the House.

The smile on Cantor’s face bothered me. Pompous and disconcerting. Like look at the sweet deal we have and screw you.

What disturbed me even further is that shutdown time and the debt ceiling await us again in mid December and early January. The obvious thrust of the story was such did not seem to concern Cantor and Boehner or their followers.

My curiosity was tickled. How can these people take so much time off? I dug a bit. This is the story.

Cantor is in charge of the work day schedule. He published the 2014 one on Twitter last week. He also published one the year before for 2013.

In 2013, the House worked a total of 124 days. In 2014, they are scheduled to work even less. One hundred thirteen days. This abbreviated working schedule began with the Republicans elected to the House in 2010. That is when they regained the majority.

By the way, House members are paid at least $174,000 a year regardless of how many days they work.

Cantor claims House members require extensive time off. They need to be back in their home districts. It is necessary for them to keep in touch with the people who pay them. Their constituents.

Cantor says a short House work schedule is required “…..to ensure that we never lose touch with the constituents we each represent while completing our work in Washington.”

Bullshit! How stupid he and his cronies must think the American people are.

Keep in mind that Cantor and his buddies are the same House members who gave us the recent government shutdown.

The numbers are telling.

2013 saw the House working 126 days. The base salary per member is $174,000 a year. Plus all kinds of benefits and perks. However, I am only concerned with direct  salary. One hundred twenty six working days amounts to $1,380 per day. In 2014, the House will work fewer days. It appears they needed two weeks more off. One hundred thirteen working days amounts to $1,540 per day.

Lets view the time worked and dollars paid from another perspective.

The average American works 2,080 hours per year. Average pay $29,000. $111 dollars per day. A far cry from what House members make. I refuse to use the term earn. A House member makes in effect 13 times the salary of the average American.

Tea Party success returned control of the House to the Republicans in 2010. The years since are the poorest production wise in modern times. The 112th House passed 283 bills that went to the President for his consideration. The present 113th House only 46 bills. Prior to the 112th and 113th Houses, the range of bills going to the President per session was 300 plus to 700 plus.

I have some observations.

If the House wants to work part time, the members should be paid part time. If the 425 members work only one third the year, they should receive one third pay. If House members need more time off, I suggest 20 years to life in a federal maximum security facility.

Let’s continue with the numbers.

The House only works one week on and two off. I believe it shows a contempt for the American people.

I have been harping on governmental waste in recent weeks. Brought on by Republican sought cuts in food stamps, Social Security and Medicare. The House’s working schedule is a perfect example of government waste and one where a $50 million per year savings could be accomplished.

Again, the basic salary of a House member is $174,000 a year. If they only work 126 days a year, they should be paid for 126 days. That would drop their salary to $60,065 per year. An annual savings of $113,935 per member. Multiplying the 425 members by that number evidences a savings of almost $50 million a year. That is, If House members were paid only for days worked. Like everyone else.

Perhaps politicians are all cut from the same cloth. Perhaps not. The Senate works significantly more days per year than the House.

You would assume there is much written on the issue. There is not. My research discovered only two articles of any substance. Both excellent. If you are further interested, I suggest you read them.

One is Congress Announces It Will Be In Session Fewer Days In 2014. Written by Mike Krumbotz, October 31, 2013 for the Yahoo News Sideshow.

The other is House To Be In Session Only 126 Days In 2013. Written by Robert Longley, December 12, 2012 for About.com/USGovernmentInfo.

The House of Representatives is a national disgrace. They must be voted out. It will not be easy. Americans have to get so mad at being fleeced so that they will not take it anymore. Otherwise, the status quo will prevail.