ESPRESSO MARTINI

Espresso Martinis were popular in the Key West of the late 1990’s. Locals and tourists alike imbibing. Even me.

Not consumed as much these days. I hear the drink rarely ordered. Till last night.

I was at Berlin’s waiting for Jean Thornton to join me for dinner. Two couples came in. They were a party of 20, early, having a drink at the bar while waiting for the rest of their group.

The ladies exceptionally lovely. Hair and make up perfection. Dresses obviously from the world’s finest stores. Jewelry like you would not believe. The real stuff. I have not seen that much expensive jewelry on a woman in years.

The ladies were polite, but demanding. They knew exactly what they wanted. Both espresso martinis. Directed Shaun how to prepare them. Each drinking a slightly different variation. An espresso martini is generally prepared with vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso coffee.

The group must have been off one of the 165 foot yachts being seen more frequently in our harbor.

As usual, a pleasant evening at Berlin’s. Jean the best of company. Bria singing. Shaun and Gage to chat with. Janyne arrived. Waiting for friends for dinner in the restaurant itself. Joined us for a drink. A charming woman. She has been operating the Pier House Beach Bar for 17 years.

After the two couples left the bar area, I asked Shaun and Gage who had discovered/invented the espresso martini and where. My impression was Key West in the late 1990’s. Gage checked with someone in the kitchen. He said New York City in 1977.

I checked it out on the internet this morning. Wikipedia says Dick Bradsell in the late 1980’s at the Brasserie in the Soho section of London.

Jean and I stopped at the Chart Room after dinner for a nightcap. Business slow. John bartending. Jean left. I was getting ready to pay the bill when a lady came in and sat next to me. The bar seats were all empty.

She said, “Hello, Louis” I smiled and said hello in return. She said, “You don’t remember me, do you?” I politely said no. She said, “The Chart House last year.”

“Oh, I said.” Truth be known, I still did not recall her.

We made small talk and I left after paying for her drink.

BOB time.

Military evacuation when a hurricane is approaching. Primarily Navy. In the 1990’s, the Navy had a huge contingency in Key West and the Boca Chica Naval Base 10 miles up Route 1.

Military personnel and their families were taken to secure shelters or flown to points north on Navy planes. Free of charge, of course. A plan already in place. Each military person had a number and directions for he and his family.

BOB did not approve. The military were getting a free ride at taxpayer expense. A convenient ride. Whereas poor civilians had to gas up and slowly drive north under adverse conditions.

Amy Bondurant and husband David Dunn for real Key Westers. They moved to Key West more than a year ago and call it home. In their other lives, Amy was an Ambassador under Bush 2, David a prominent Washington attorney.

They still maintain a Paris home dating back to Amy’s ambassador days. Amy e-mailed me from Paris. They intend soon to bicycle through Denmark.

Amy sent as part of the e-mail an article which she thought sobering and wanted to bring to my attention. The article was written by Benn Steil and appeared in the 6/12/18 edition of Foreign Policy. Titled: The World Will Die So Trump Can.

The thrust of the article was the United States as we know it was in decline and responsible was Donald Trump.

He attributed such to the recent failure of the G-7 summit, Trump’s negative remarks re Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Trump’s glowing misunderstanding/non-understanding of tariffs, Trump’s sucking up to authoritarian leaders while making enemies of our friends of 50 years.

Steil’s concern was that Trump has/will become the “new normal.” The U.S.we knew gone. Perhaps never to be again.

This blog goes out over a dozen sites. Some have comment sections. Yesterday’s blog title was Sessions’ Improper Use Of Bible. A reader and frequent commentator is I’mNotLou.

I don’t make the names up!

I’mNotLou’s comment: “Sessions is more a religious forger than a person of faith. He is like too many ‘religious’ folk these days – a student of pick and choose for what suits your taste or your bigotry.”

Trump is dragging the U.S. into a tariff war with China, amongst others. China is the biggest importer of soybeans grown in the U.S. Soybeans a huge part of the economy of several states. Most of which supported Trump in the election.

China will not take this tariff increase sitting down. Trump is picking on the wrong nation to abuse. Beside intending to meet the tariffs dollar for dollar, China has already advised it is looking to the soybean fields of South America for future purchases. Argentina, for example.

Mexico also imports U.S. soybeans. Mexico says it will be looking to South America.

U.S. farmers growing soybeans not happy campers.

Enjoy your day!

 

WHO PUSHES THE CART?

Yesterday, a Key West day all day. Rare.

The most important event was taking Terri grocery shopping at Publix. Donna is out of town for a week.

Terri could not take herself. She is not driving any more. Her eye sight is failing.

I volunteered.

I had a concern. How was Terri going to maneuver around the store. The first thing that struck me was whether she could direct the cart.

I asked her: Who pushes the cart?

Her response: I PUSH THE CART!

Sorry I asked.

We shopped. Pleasantly.

Next, she wanted to stop at CVS to pick up a prescription. I did not even bother to go in with her. I was confident she could handle it.

Love Terri!

Terri was the third scheduled event for the day. I started earlier with a haircut with Lori. It takes all of 2 minutes to cut my hair. She never wants to charge me. I give her $20.

Ran into Lori later in the evening. I was having dinner at the bar in Roostica. There was Lori and her husband at the end of the bar. A good looking couple. We chatted a bit.

Stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for a quick lunch after the haircut. Sandy’s and Lori’s are like 5-6 doors apart on White Street.

Then, it was Terri’s turn.

I had one more appointment following Terri. A manicure with Tammy.

Tammy always a pleasant experience. Admire what she and her husband have accomplished developing their business Lee Nails.

Business was slow. The season over.

Last night, a lecture sponsored by KWAHS at the Custom House. A history of Duval Street from its beginnings to 1970. I was disappointed. Insufficient detail.

Always a smart ass or two in the audience. Three or four asked questions whose answers were known to God alone.

I was early for the lecture. Ran into Karen who was early also. We went across the street for a drink.

A pleasant half hour. Karen and I have not talked alone that long in 15 years.

Then to the Chart Room.

Packed! John busy!

I stayed a couple of hours. I was the only local. Unusual.

Met two charming ladies from New Jersey. Their 16th year visiting Key  West. Doing it up big. An ocean front room at the Pier House.

One a hospital comptroller. The other, retired.

I am always interested in how people feel about Trump, did they vote for him, etc. Apparently neither I nor the questions are offensive. People are happy to share their thoughts.

The retired woman a Trump supporter. Voted for him and thinks he is doing a great job. Making up for Obama’s failures. She was also thrilled with her retirement account. The market is up.

My stomach was growling. Time to eat. Stopped at Roostica’s on Stock Island on the way home. Great Italian food at reasonable prices. Seated at the bar next to me was Jim Clark. I have not seen him in a while.

We first met at bocce. I used to hate playing his team. Jim good! He shot first for his team. The polina always long, always down the middle. His ball on top of it. I always followed him. Rarely did I get close.

Jim into into social media, advertising, etc. He publishes Best Key West Restaurant Menus.

The weekly KONK Life publishes an internet paper daily. KONK Life E-Blast.

My column this past week in KONK Life was Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. It was run this morning on E-Blast. Unusual. I suspect the column was a filler.

Sometimes a piece of news leaves you feeling empty. Following is one that did.

Scott Peterson was a Broward County Deputy Sheriff. He was the deputy on the scene at the Parkland high school shooting three months ago. The only one. He heard the gun shots and ran to them. He never opened the door to enter the school. He remained frozen outside.

Peterson recently retired after 25 years on the job. He is 55 years old. His pension $104,000 a year.

We worry about China and trade wars. Meetings at the moment in Washington between the U.S. and China.

China has been struggling with a declining birth rate over the years. The matter has become of concern to the government. One which limited families generally to one child per couple.

All of a sudden, the U.S. is experiencing a similar problem. The birth rate hit an all time low in 2017. Three million eight hundred thousand. Two percent lower than 2016, the lowest ever recorded in 30 years.

The cause is attributed to economics. Although 2008 is behind us, economic uncertainty remains. Such concern does not bode well for those wishing to have children.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CHILDREN DIE

Another school shooting. Yesterday, Parkland High School. Located in Broward County Florida. The 19th school shooting  this year in the United States. Today, only February 15. Means 19 school shootings in 46 days. Seventeen killed yesterday. More injured.

The blame lies primarily with the NRA and our elected politicians. The politicos are owned by the NRA.

Children die because politicians are interested in keeping their seats.

Sick!

The extremist NRA lobbies. Elected officials are subservient to them because of the power and money the NRA has. Both of which could be used to defeat them if they dared to oppose the NRA.

Our elected representatives today reflect man at his worst. Money being more important than lives.

The past year saw politicians with a new line following a mass shooting. A line I would guarantee has to have been formulated by the NRA. When asked what the politician thought, what could be done, etc.,  the response always is not the time to talk about it.

If not immediately following a mass shooting, when?

Appreciate the amount of NRA money being spent on Congressional people alone. The New York Times set forth such information on October 4, 2017. I take from the article the top three US Senators who received the most in contributions from the NRA.

John Mc Cain #1. $7,700,000. Richard Burr #2. $6,900,000. Ray Blunt #3. $4,500,000.

The numbers say it all. The truth lies within them.

Big night yesterday. Actually started in the afternoon.

The Custom House first for the St. Valentine’s Day mass kiss-in. My date was Catherine. The kiss-in scheduled precisely for 6pm. One thousand expected. Five hundred couples kissing.

We got there at 4:30. The crowd still small. We knew we could not stay till 6 because of another event. We sat on the steps and chatted till 5:15.

Free rum beginning at 5. We did not get any. By 5, the line was long. The Spectrelles singing. Couples kissing when ever they wanted. The woman slung over on the man’s arm.

We left, but not without kissing. Our first. Immediately turned into 3 or 4. Led to more kissing later in the evening. Made me wonder why we had not done this on previous dates.

Then to the Sons and Daughters of Italy St. Valentine’s day dinner and meeting.

The dinner outstanding. Lasagna! Followed by a huge heart shaped chocolate cake covered deep in frosting.

I cheated. Only the third time since November 27. The night before, I craved cake. Any kind. I am on a low carb diet. The craving was satisfied last night. The lasagna an added bonus.

A night cap was in order. We were off to the Chart Room. John bartending.

Lovely Nikki cried out…..Key West Lou! We had never met before. Nikki is from Atlanta. Reads this blog every day. Thank you, Nikki!

Nikki and her husband Russ are from Atlanta. Vacationing. Have been doing so in Key West annually for many years. They were married on Smathers Beach in 2007.

Nikki is a paralegal. Husband Russ, a marina manager.

They were enjoying Key West with Atlanta friends Tatiana and Doug.

Permit an observation. Both Nikki and Tatiana extremely beautiful women.

I found Tatiana’s name different. Special. She explained she was Brazilian. Tatiana however not Brazilian. Tatiana was born sometime around the 1980 Winter Olympics. There was a Russian skater named Tatiana that impressed her mother. Ergo, the name Tatiana.

Tatiana is a nurse practitioner. Proud of her work and the responsibility that goes with it.

Doug into transportation logistics.

Four wonderful people! Hope I run into them again.

There is a new musical in Key West. Undying Love. Tickets hard to come by.

Described as an off beat musical. It is the story of Key West’s Count Carl von Cosel whose love Elena Milagro de Hoyos had died. He stole her body from her grave. Kept Elena with him for several years till discovered. In his bed. Preserved with wax.

Sick!

Made into a musical, however. And from all I hear, a tremendous success.

The Battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor this day in 1898. Two hundred sixty American sailors killed. Led to the Spanish American War.

Key West has two connections to the tragedy.

The first involves many of the sailors who died. They are interred in the Key West Cemetery. Duly honored every year.

The other is the location of the formal hearing to determine the cause of the explosion. The US Court of Naval Inquiry met at what is today’s Custom House. Then a newly constructed federal building.

The stock market crashed last week. I predicted it. Though not an economist, being 82 I have lived through several and could sense this one coming.

I am going to stick my neck out. The crash is not yet complete. There will be another this year, worse.

Enjoy your day!

 

PUCKER UP…..KEY WEST LOVES LOVE

Today, St. Valentine’s Day. Lovers’ day.

The most personal expression of that love is the kiss.

There will be a mass kiss-in tonight at 6 in front of the Custom House. The second year for the event. A success last year in its first attempt. More than 250 couples participated. More than 500 expected this year.

The purpose of the event is to spread a message to the world. One of peace and love.

The Custom House invites everyone to pucker up at 6 tonight! No charge. Kissing free.

Last night was podcast time for me. I had to rework the program at the last minute. To accommodate the revelations that came out of the Senate Committee hearing involving the heads of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Everything disturbed me. The one the most was the fact that all those testifying agreed that Russia had hacked into the 2016 election, that they were prepared to do it again in 2018 and 2020, and that our government was doing nothing to prevent the anticipated 2018 and 2020 hackings.

Makes sense. Trump denies Russia did anything. God forbid he say anything negative about Putin. There is no leadership concerning the issue.

The 2018 elections around the corner. Looks like Russia will get away with meddling in the mid term elections. And no one seems to care enough to do something about it.

Hard to  understand.

Pads And Tampons And the Problem With Periods. The title of a bill before the Arizona Legislature. Up for a vote. One legislator sent it to committee. The legislative committee an all male one. Just the make up to deal with a female issue.

The problem arose because female prisoners were receiving only 12 thin pads a month to deal with menstruation. Apparently not enough. Especially for heavy flowers. Thicker pads and the addition of tampons required.

The cost measured at $80,000 a year. The bill introduced by a female legislator.

Women knocked the doors down to testify. Former inmates and not.

Their testimony fell on deaf ears. The bill died in committee.

The legislator who sent it to committee is receiving pads and tampons mailed to him at his home and office.

Interestingly, the Federal Bureau of Prisons was faced with the same problem last year. They dealt with it. A memo was issued compelling wardens to issue tampons, pads and panty liners at no cost to inmates.

Trump a deceptive person. Those around him become deceptive after a while. An example being Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen of many years and his handling of stripper Stormy Daniels claim of sexual harassment by Trump.

They allegedly had an affair of sorts several years before Trump’s election. She was going to go public with the information just before the election.

Daniels was paid $130,000 in settlement of any claims she might have had.

The question arises as to who paid Daniel’s the $130,000. Whose pocket did it come out of?

Cohen says he personally paid the money, not Trump. Daniels is silent. She is bound by a non-disclosure clause in the agreement evidencing the payment. If she speaks in any way, she has to return the $130,000.

It appears Cohen is covering Trump’s ass. In the meantime, he may have gotten his ass in a jam. One involving a violation of Campaign Finance Laws. Cohen’s payment could be considered an excess-in kind contribution.

Theodore Roosevelt is recognized as having been a tough guy. No wonder. Life molded him that way.

One of the formative events involved his wife and mother. Both died the same day. This day in 1884. His wife of a kidney ailment. His mother, typhoid fever.

Netanyahu and Trump are birds of a feather. Both thugs and bullies.

I have reported re Netanyahu’s possible arrest the past several months. Police recently advised they are recommending a corruption indictment against Netanyahu, including bribery. The claim is Israeli’s government has turned into a culture of corruption.

Not the Israel of yesteryear. Nor is Trump’s United States the same as before his election.

Enjoy your day! Kiss your wife, woman, partner!

 

AYN RAND…..DIFFERENT

 

Ayn Rand considered absolutely brilliant by some. Crazy by others. Some initially overwhelmed by her only to later become disillusioned.

I am in the later group. First, amazed. Considered her thoughts brilliant.  Then realized the nut she was.

Ayn Rand’s birthday was yesterday. She was born February 2, 1905. Died March 6, 1982.

To many, she was and is considered a philosopher. To others, a writer.

Two of her novels initially captured my thought process. I was a young attorney when I first read The Fountainhead. What a book! Its message that individual rights were the ultimate. Societal collectivism be damned.

Wow!

Rand’s message was that society had forgotten “I” and replaced it with “we.” She fictionalized a society where totalitarian collectivism had triumphed. Her hero, an individual true and true who fought the onslaught.

Many questions were left unanswered in my mind after reading The Fountainhead. They were answered when I read her second successful novel, Atlas Shrugged.

Rand believed in laissez-faire capitalism. An economic system in which transactions between private parties are free from government intervention such as regulation, privilege, tariffs, and subsidies.

The true Republican/Conservative in thought. And in action. She supported Barry Goldwater for President in 1964.

Her individualistic philosophy is best typified by her own words: An individual should “exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.”

None of this is mentally imposing. Easy to comprehend. I must concede a movie helped. Atlas shrugged starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. Their unusual love affair formed the basis for what Rand perceived as the individual vs. collective society war.

Rand thought much of herself. She claimed her greatest influence was Aristotle. Followed by Thomas Aquinas. She said if a history of philosophy were written, the three top philosophers would be Aristotle, Aquinas, and Rand. Signifying how high she held her own thought process.

My disillusionment came two years after reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I became aware that Rand was publishing a weekly newspaper in New York City. I subscribed to it.

The woman was absolutely mad! Her columns represnted her thought process carried to the ultimate. No frills. The woman was not stable. Wacky an excellent description. Dangerous, another.

Such was the end of my acceptance of Rand’s philosophy.

In spite of my change in thinking, I still recommend The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged for reading. An experience!

Spent last night at the Chart Room. Quiet. John bartending. Chatted with Christina.

Second time I met Christina. Sheila introduced her to me a month ago at the Chart Room. Christina is on the staff at the Custom House. She and Sheila worked together at the Custom House one time.

The conversation pleasant. The evening pleasant.

This afternoon Syracuse/Virginia. Virginia #2 in the country. Syracuse will probably lose. On the other hand, Syracuse is in for a good game. Overdue. You never know. Hope springs eternal.

The Republican “memo” a dud. Its anticipation full of sound and fury. In the end, signified nothing.

The Republican Congress worries me. They serve the Party rather than the people.

Partially responsible is Trump’s magnetic personality. He is a Pied Piper. Most Republicans blindly follow him.

Yesterday morning, the employment numbers were announced. Two hundred thousand more jobs. Big!

It was also announced interest rates would be going up.

By the end of the day, the market closed 665 points down. The sixth largest one day decline in history.

A crack in the dyke? A tiny one, I suspect. The market will be up monday. Money to be made by buying the stocks that went down. I ask however if there is a message in the 665 point drop. An indication of that which is to come.

Justice is confusing these days. Trump responsible for a good share of the confusion.

California legalized marijuana. Now, California is moving through the court system to vacate thousands of felony and misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975.

At the same time that Attorney General Sessions’ Justice Department is gearing up to seek more marijuana prosecutions.

Both actions amazing!

I close with a bit of Florida Keys information.

I never knew how many Keys there were. Merely assumed a lot. In case you have an interest, there are over 1,700 islands. Few populated. Most small. Only 43 connected by bridges.

Enjoy your day!

 

KEY WEST BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN COORDINATOR RESIGNS…..GREAT!

I am rarely excited about the decisions of the Key West City Commission. They make decisions, pass rules and regulations, and then sit in the corner like Little Jack Horner. Each sticking his thumb in the pie and coming up with a plum. Saying simultaneously…..What a good boy am I!

Decisions off the wall. They throw money at everything. Frequently not the solution.

Last year, the Commission hired a Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator. Chris Hamilton. Never met Hamilton. Began to think he was crazy as he got into the job.

The man moved. Earned his salary by making changes. Changes I considered not always good.

Bikes his job. He removed parking spaces and replaced them with bike lanes. He added bike lanes in dangerous places.

The man was pro-bike and anti-car. He forgot we who drive cars worry constantly about hitting a bike rider who with his 5 member family are rolling down a Key West Street. Some of the kids 4-5 years old. Then there is the 60ish woman who probably has not been on a bike in 40 years. She has trouble keeping her ass on the seat and wobbles uncontrollably.

I could go on.

I hope the position remains unfilled. Traffic congestion and parking problems have to be decided at one time by a group. Not piece meal. The City may be moving in that direction.

Got to the Chart Room early. Before 5. Wanted to see John about something. My self phone lost his number.

My game plan was to go from there to bocce. Never made bocce. The Chart Room was too interesting and fun to leave.

Met George. Nice guy. 47. From New Jersey. A software engineer. Could have been an Arts major. Reads everything. Big on Hemingway.

George visits once a year with a group of friends. One a police officer from Red Bank. The officer’s police patch hangs on the Chart Room wall. He proudly pointed it out to everyone.

George told me about Pompous Hemingway. A book of sorts by Hemingway. I tried to find it this morning. Could not. George, if you are reading this blog this morning, e-mail me how to find the book in the Comments section. Forget the long number you gave me. Turned out I did not know how to use it.

The new amphitheater is constantly discussed these days. Who to name it after? That person or company pays a fee for the privilege. Normally, very generous.

Several names have been mentioned. Jimmy Buffett one of them.

The anti-Buffett talk is amazing. Many do not want the facility named after him. Hard to understand. Jimmy Buffet is a part of Key West as much as Hemingway and Tennessee Williams.

A local I had never seen before was sitting at the other end of the Chart Room bar. Attractive. Her feet up on the bar stool next to hear. In her slightly inebriated high pitched voice she was berating Buffett as a choice.

In the very room where Buffett got his start!

Key West has bright stars in many areas of accomplishment. Dr. Cori Convertino is one.

Cori is affiliated with the Key West Art and Historical Society. She is the Curator at the Custom House.

She is a recognized maritime history expert.

Cori recently completed a two year project. The Flagler Railroad section of the Custom House. Fantastic!

She has been invited to speak at the U.S. Naval Academy September 14-15 at a maritime symposium. Her topic to be involves Commodore David Porter and his anti-piracy efforts in 1823 which effectively eliminated piracy from Key West waters.

Sally Rand was a famous fan dancer for many years. Even into her 60’s. She lived in Key West in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.

I met her in 1965. At a convention at Grossinger’s in New York’s Catskill mountains. I was attorney for the group holding the conference.

Sally was retained to perform one evening.

I met her the night before at a small cocktail party at the Grossinger residence. At 60, Sally was still beautiful. We hit it off and I spent much time the next two days when not working in her company.

I was unaware she was the lady friend of one of my client’s officer staff. A secret friend. They had had a tiff.

Three days following the convention, I received a letter advising my services were no longer required and I was terminated.

A learning experience.

Harvey has displaced one million persons. Forty four dead. The number will increase as more bodies are found. Beaumont is a community of 120,000 persons. They have no drinking water.

The sadness of it all.

Irma is on the way. Similar in power to Harvey. Still two thousand miles away. A hurricane already. Expected to be a 4 when it hits in a week. Winds will be 140 miles per hour plus.

Whether it will reach land or turn north up into the Atlantic not yet certain. At this time heading for the Bahamas. Too soon to determine its impact, if any, with the United states.

After Harvey, I am concerned. I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Enjoy your day!

 

OUTSTANDING FLAGLER RAILWAY EXHIBIT

Slept late. Bed followed by a meeting. Ergo, blog late today. Sorry.

I went to the opening of the Flagler Railway Exhibit at the Custom House last night. Outstanding!

Curator Dr. Cori Convertino performed well. She was in charge of the exhibit. A permanent one. A lot of work and time had to be involved. The finished product made it worthwhile.

I could not find Nicky’s drawing of Flagler. It’s there. I will return when there is no crowd and I can take my time looking.

Dr. Convertino in attendance, of course. All decked out in long. Looked terrific! A hug and a kiss of congratulations.

Ran into George. George is a female. She bartends at Hogsbreath. For at least 15 years.

I had not seen her in years. She never changes. I told her so. Looks the same as when I first met her at Lisa’s wedding 13 years ago.

Walked over to the Chart Room following the exhibit. Another fun evening.

Sheila was there. First time in three months that I have seen her. Sat next to her.

Linda Cunningham seated next to Sheila. She contributed to making it an enjoyable evening. In her other life, Linda was an editor. In Key West, she is a Board member of The Stars and Stripes.

Kevin and Holly at the other end of the bar. Chatted with them briefly. Holly her usual lovely self.

Met Grace and Steve. They reside in one of the Villages. Visiting Key West for the holiday weekend.

Grace into legal case management. Steve a former crane operator. Now, retired.

Nice people. Steve especially expressive.

John handled the bar well. Joined in the conversations when he could.

Zbigniew Brzezinski died. Eighty nine years old. A distinguished American. He was National Security Adviser under President Carter. He succeeded Henry Kissinger in the position.

Brzezinski’s family escaped Europe before World War II. Amazing the heights Brzezinski attained.

He is the father of Mika Brzezinski, one of the Morning Joe hosts.

The Rainbow Flag. One and a quarter miles long. From one end of Duval to the other. An expression gay pride.

A portion of the flag is referred to as Section 93. It has been exhibited in several parts of the U.S. and as far away as Australia.

On January 11, Section 93 will participate in a unity and pride parade in Washington, DC. The Equality March for Unity and Pride. It will lead the parade.

Big time sailboat races no more in Key West. For thirty years, the Key West Race Week held in waters off Key West. A big deal!

Unfortunately, participation has dwindled. In 2001, 326 boats. In 2016, 130. This past January, 90.

The numbers explain the cancellation determination.

At a Trump rally in March, Senator Jim Kane’s son was present. Senator Kane was Hillary’s Vice-Presidential running mate.

The son is Linwood “Woody” Kane.

Young Kane was opposed to Trump. He and friends disrupted the rally. One threw a smoke bomb.

That was March. He was arrested this week for his activities at the rally. My question: Why did it take two months to arrest him? Does not make sense.

You can always find an outside the box event in the Keys. This afternoon a dog wash fundraiser. Sponsored by the Sheriff’s Department. Being held at the Keys Animal Hospital. The proceeds go to the Florida Keys SPCA.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

HITLER REVISITED

History repeats itself. No question. In one fashion or another.

Recall Auschwitz. Hitler’s pride. An example of German efficiency.

The gas chambers were so effective, that the bodies could not be disposed of fast enough. Mass graves were not doing the job. Crematoriums came into play. Burn the bodies! Quicker, cleaner, less burdensome. Also, ashes not discoverable in later years. Mass graves are.

Some 70 years later comes Syria’s Assad. Guilty of mass executions. Problem was body disposition and secrecy. A crematorium was constructed at Sednaya Military Prison. Problem resolved.

Note Assad has killed thousands without resort to judicial proceedings.

Assad is supported by Russia and Saudi Arabia. The United States supports the rebels opposing Assad. Russia is supposedly not the U.S.’s friend. Perhaps Trump’s however. Saudi Arabia has become a much closer friend since last week’s visit by Trump. Trump was sucked up to big time.

Zeroing in on Saudi Arabia, how can the U.S. be friends with a friend and supporter of a mass executioner such as Assad?

Trump forgets who our friends are. He plays up to despots while insulting and ignoring those who have been friends of the U.S. for years.

I was correct re the effect of the south wind yesterday. The rain storm came at 6:30 last night. Heavy and prolonged. Streets flooded.

The last block to my home deeper in rain water than I have ever seen. I questioned whether I should drive it. The alternative was walking through water 12-18 inches deep. I said screw it. Hit the pedal hard and rammed through the water.

The Chart Room first last night. Kevin and Holly there. John bartending. Quiet. We chatted for a couple of hours. A lot of laughing involved.

Stopped at Outback on the way home for dinner.

Memorial Day Weekend begins tomorrow. Key West will be buried in tourists. Everyone having a good time.

Much will be going on. One of the highlights of the weekend is the Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta sunday. Don’t miss it! Lots of laughs!

Dr. Cori Convertino is a talented woman. She is the Curator at the Key West Art and Historical Society. Located at the Custom House.

Tomorrow night a new exhibit opens. One Dr. Convertino has spent months working on. Overseas to the Keys: Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway Exhibit.

John Kennedy had a way of inspiring. He made us feel we could accomplish the impossible. He gave us pride.

On this day in 1961, Kennedy announced his plan to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

We believed him!

Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon on July 21, 1969.

Kennedy pride. Not the Trump pride Trump tries to foist on us.

Staying with Trump for a moment, Trump reminds me of what happens when a pebble is thrown into a pool of water. The circle caused where the pebble hit grows. Ring after ring. Each larger than the previous

Sort of like……Woe the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

CONCH REPUBLIC DAYS

It was April 1982. Drugs and illegal immigrants were coming in through Key West and the lower Keys. The U.S. Border Patrol set up a roadblock and checkpoint at the northern end of US 1.

Traffic backed up big time. Many locals and tourists were inconvenienced and angry.

A federal court action was brought to have the roadblock/checkpoint removed. It failed.

Key Westers were undaunted. Their mentality prevailed. A group of local citizens decided to protest. In humorous fashion, of course. They went to the roadblock/checkpoint and opened one on their own. Under the auspices of the newly formed Conch Republic. The day, April 23.

History was made!

The men assembled advised the U.S. Border Patrol that Key West had seceded and was an independent nation. They further advised that then and there they were declaring war on the United States.

The group waited one minute and then advised they were surrendering. In addition, they demanded $1 billion in foreign aid.

The aid never came. However much has developed since that 1982 day.

The Conch Republic has won a form of recognition from the U.S. It has a capital headquarters in a yellow conch house on Simonton Street. The Conch Republic flag flies in front.

The Conch Republic has an Army, Navy and Air Force. Officers uniformed. An ocean going fleet consisting of the Schooner Wolf and ten civilian boats. An Air Force consisting of several pre-World War II bi-planes.

A female contingent exists. Young lovely ladies. Their uniform, bikinis.

Even a national anthem. Working In The Conch Republic.

The 35th anniversary of the birth of the Conch Republic is being celebrated with a week long event. Begins tonight at the Schooner Wharf Bar at 7. The event is the Conch Shell Blowing Contest.

A major event is the Great Sea Battle which will take place in a few days. The Conch Republic and United States engage in war!

Off Schooner Wharf, the Conch Republic Navy consisting of the schooner Wolf (a pirate ship in reality) and several small motorized vehicles will engage the big ships of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Conch’s will fire sea water via large hoses at the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will retaliate with fire hoses.

The Conch’s will throw cabbages, eggs and tomatoes at the Coast Guard. The bikini clad ladies will be holding on from the yardarm doing most of the throwing. They will be attired as pirate ladies. The men as pirates, also.

The air battle is terrific. U.S. Navy jets from Boca Chica will engage Conch Republic bi-planes. The bi-planes will also bomb the Coast Guard cutters. With rolls of toilet paper which open up and flutter down on the Coast Guard vessels. Something to see.

Don’t miss the Great Sea Battle! It’s a winner!

Buffalo’s Tom and Fran Dixon are in town. I hope to go out to dinner with them tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BOOKS & BOOKS…..BIPOLAR DISORDER TONIGHT

Judy Blume has arranged a big one for Books & Books tonight. Kay Redford Jamison discussing her newest book: Robert Lowell, Setting The River On Fire.

A rather unique presentation. The famed poet Robert Lowell was bipolar. Jamison is bipolar. As well as being Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins.

Six tonight for a most interesting discussion.

After Jameson, I will be off to Donna and Terri’s. Donna cooking. Her famous pot roast. Juicy and tender.

Yesterday another lazy one. A bug must have recently bitten me.

I did get out of the house. Drove up to No Name Pub for lunch. Love the place!

Later in the afternoon, watched North Carolina/Kentucky. A game! North Carolina won by 3. Great basketball. Kentucky on its way to the Final Four.

Oregon a part this year of the Final Four, also.

March Madness had its birth this day in 1939. The first NCAA Tournament. Oregon beat Ohio State.

It was doubtful Oregon would make the Final Four this year. Congratulations to them.

Russia experienced 99 separate protests over the weekend. In its cities and towns. Unusual. Especially against Putin. Putin does not tolerate opposition. Several opposing political leaders have died under strange circumstances the past two years. Their deaths thought to be Putin ordered.

Now street protests. Will Putin call out the tanks as the Soviet Union did in Hungary in the 1950’s?

Is Russia experiencing an Arab Spring as Egypt did?

My gut tells me Trump has an involvement. I suspect the negative Trump/Russia dialogue in the U.S. is working against Trump in Russia.

Hemingway left his mark on Key West. For which we are all glad.

Many the words he wrote or spoke became memorable quotes. One I especially enjoy involves love: Stop chasing the wrong one, the right one won’t run.

Words of wisdom!

On this day in 1998, the band played and the drums roared. The FDA approved Viagra. The first oral medication to treat erectile dysfunction.

Harry Truman again. Never forget, Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

Truman spent 175 days over 11 trips enjoying Key West. On this date in 1952, Truman left Key West for Washington following a three week vacation.

Enjoy your day!