KICK ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE DOWN…..THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

The U.S. and Turkey are supposedly friends. Both led by authoritarian figures. Trump and Turkey’s President Erdogan. Birds of a feather.

Turkey has always been considered a key American ally. The U.S. has a large military base there. There is also a NATO base.

Friends no more. A pissing match instead. Trump is irritated Erdogan will not release an American minister it has held prisoner since 2016. Trump suggested an exchange. Some Turkish citizen the U.S. has been holding.

Erdogan said no. No one says no to Trump. Especially another authoritarian figure. As far as Trump is concerned, it is his way or the highway as far as Turkey is concerned.

Turkey has been hurting economically. Its currency fell to a record low this morning. Inflation 17.75 percent. The country is on the verge of an economic meltdown.

Turkey’s crisis has made the American dollar strong when pitted against Turkish currency.

Friday Trump delivered a major blow to Turkey. All because Turkey continued to refuse his demand that the minister prisoner be released. Trump doubled the tariffs already imposed on Turkey as part of the tariff wars. Aluminum rose to 20 percent and steel 50 percent.

Trump tweeted friday with the news: “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

European and Asian stock markets have reacted to the tariff increases. The feud perhaps the start of a world wide recession similar to 2008. Though not considered imminent at this time. Turkey’s economy ranks only 17th world wide.

My concern is it only takes a spark to start a forest fire. One of the major California fires still burning a perfect example.

Trump is kicking a “friend” while the friend is down. Not what friends are for!

Now to my yesterday.

Brunch 10 to 12 at Hard Rock Cafe. Terri White was singing with Larry Baeder. A WOW! Great show! Performances outstanding! Be certain to go next week. Terri and Larry will regularly appear at brunch time every sunday.

For a blind woman, my girl does terrific!

Terri has another gig tonight. She is singing with Dueling Bartenders Tom Luna and Rick Dery at Aqua.

Go girl, go!

Spent the afternoon watching the PGA. Excellent golf. Brook Koepka won. By 2 strokes over Tiger Woods.

Brook has won 3 of the last 6 majors. Only 28. He has only one other win. A tour win. Unusual for someone who has won three big ones.

Tiger gets better every week. He is due back as a winner soon. And then a consistent one.

Tiger shot a 64 yesterday. His putting not yet what it was. Had a few dropped, he would have won.

On one of the last holes, he hit a 40 foot plus putt. It hung on the lip of the cup. Everyone holding their breaths waiting for it to drop. It did not.

Jean Thornton and I partied together last night. Began at the Orchid Bar. Victor bartending.

I meet a lot of interesting people. A couple I met at the Orchid Bar last night, one of the most interesting.

Dan and Pam. Now hail from Largo, Florida.

Dan is retired from the New York City Carpenter’s Union. Pam still working. Bookkeeper for general contractors.

Dan described two jobs he was especially proud of. One was the scaffolding when the Statue of Liberty was being shaped up. The other involved something to do with a major job at the UN where he had 80 men working under him.

Then to the Rum Bar. Jean and I not traveling together. Jean rides her bicycle all over town.

The Rum Bar will be a regular sunday stop for me. My friend Lauri the bartender there sunday evenings. Left Aqua after 17 years to work the Rum Bar.

With Lauri running the show, the Rum Bar is quickly becoming a new locals place. Donna and Terri, Sally, Ingrid, Art and George there when Jean and I arrived.

Jean and I decided on Antonia’s for dinner. Closed. Must be shut down for the slow days of August and September.

No problem. We went across the street to La Trattoria.

We had a terrific time! Jean a wonderful companion.

Tiffany bartending. She mentioned we have known each other for 25 years. True!

Dinner done. I was tired. Jean still raring to go. I went home. Jean peddled her bike to Vino’s.

The white nationals/supremacists were holding a major rally in Washington yesterday. Publicized Unite The Right 2. Turned out to be a flop. Only a small contingency of the group appeared.

Why?

These are bad people. Fascists, Neo-Nazis, and KKK members. They believe there is only one race. The white race.

They became empowered by Trump’s statement following Charlottesville last year. The President supported them. Seemed to legitimize them.

I think they realized though the President supported them, most of the people did not. The vermin disappeared back into the woodwork instead of participating in the rally.

This does not mean they will not return to raise havoc another day. They will. They are mostly young whites. Some are your neighbors, though you are not aware of their political leanings.

Be on your guard.

For the past several years, I have written and spoken re Afghanistan and its opium fields. Ninety percent of the heroin on American streets comes from the poppy seeds grown in Afghanistan.

How so if the U.S. has been engaged in a war in Afghanistan for 16 years? The poppy fields neither attacked or destroyed. Poppy farming goes on. Heroin a thriving business.

I have consistently suggested someone has to be on the take.  More than one. Too much drug money involved for it not to be so.

A recent government report indicates that as the Afghanistan war progressed, opium production increased. Even though the U.S., separate from war dollars, has spent $8.62 billion between 2002 and 2017 in an effort to eradicate the opium problem.

The attempt to eradicate an absolute failure. As the report stated: “Afghanistan remains the world’s largest opium producer, and opium poppy is the country’s largest cash crop.”

Enjoy your day!

PINOCCHIO

Donald Trump is Pinocchio. He only lacks the growing nose. If it were possible, his would be 10 feet long by this time and require a crane to hold it up.

Trump’s problem is he has no Mr. Geppetto to counsel him, to guide him.

Trump loves notoriety. He seeks glorification. History will remember him. Not for a Noble Peace Price. Rather for being the biggest Presidential liar of all time. Perhaps simply the greatest liar of all time.

Ally’s birthday dinner last night.

As suspected, Ally was beat. The whole family was.

Ally had a total of 5 girl friends for a sleepover. They fell asleep around midnight. Robert said they were loud. I told him women generally are when they get together.

The family and the sleepovers were up at 6. The sleepovers left at 3:30. Lisa prepared breakfast and lunch. One of the young ladies was gluten free. Lisa had to be concerned with that factor. She was not  pre-warned.

The group to Higgs Beach early in the afternoon.

My family was beat. Everyone quiet by the time I arrived.

Lisa had not had time to shop. She threw together a carb dinner. Pasta! Great for my diet! I was not concerned. Figured it would shake up my diet a bit and cause me to lose a pound. It did not nor did it cause me to gain a pound.

A brother/sister discussion ensued while we were at the cake stage. Not an agreeable one. Adult, however. Robert wanted Ally to do something for him. Nothing of consequence. Ally said no. He should do it for himself.

The two went at it for a few minutes. I was enjoying the give and take. Excellent.

Then the parents got involved. Supported Ally’s position. I would have supported Robert’s. Kept quiet, however.

Robert was slowly getting hot under the collar. Finally told his family they could expect nothing from him in the future.

All amusing. Impressive on the part of Ally and Robert. They are growing up well.

Watched the Warriors/Cavaliers game last night. Warriors won big 122-103. The last quarter crucial. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 33 points.

I knew it was going to be the Warriors night when Curry, with the clock running down, threw a one handed shot at the basket while standing sideways. He never expected the ball to go in. No one did. It did. Clean.

It’s monday. Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Today an important one in American history. On this day in 1942, the Battle of Midway began. A 4 day encounter. A naval battle. The U.S. decisively defeated Japan.

It was the first American victory of the U.S./Japan conflict.

The Japanese lost 4 carriers, the U.S. 1. The Japanese lost 292 aircraft, the U.S. 145. The Japanese suffered 2,500 casualties, the U.S. 300.

Guadalcanal was next on the path to victory.

North Korea’s Kim a strange duck. A careful suspicious man.

Next week, he will be in Singapore for several days for the Summit. The farthest he has been from home ever. He fired his top 3 generals. Did not think he could trust them in his absence.

Drinking and driving not a wise combination. We know it!

Pot becoming popular in the U.S. Several states have legalized its use.

I have noticed the past couple of weeks TV ads decrying the use of marijuana while driving. Too soon, perhaps. Insufficient evidence.

I would agree in any event, people should not smoke pot and drive.

The TV ad decrying pot and driving was funded by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. The Association has nothing to do with Governors. The organization is a front for the alcohol industry. Regarded as the alcohol industry’s voice.

Trump has become an expert in pissing off our Allies and sucking up to our enemies. The steel/aluminum tariff imposed on Canada, Mexico and the European Union the best example.

His numbers also wrong. The U.S. will lose significantly more jobs over the next two years from lay offs in the peripheral industries.

Recall that similar onerous type tariffs were imposed by the U.S. in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Many economists believe such the cause of the great Depression and additionally an action giving impetus to Hitler’s rise.

Forty one million Americans live in poverty. One third or 14 million of them children.

Trump not responsible. The numbers calculated to the end of Obama’s time. No numbers yet re Trump. However, Trump is grossly aggravating the situation.

The UN issued a report recently claiming Trump was making life harder for the poor. He seems to be deliberately designing programs to remove basic protections for the poorest, to punish those not employed, and to make basic health care a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship.

I agree with the UN observations.

Harvard’s recent report setting forth what it believes are the correct number of deaths in Puerto Rico mind blowing. Harvard says the actual number is 4,645. Contrast that with the U.S. government’s claim of 64 and the New York Times number of 1,052.

The Harvard study was a hands on, on the ground, doors knocked on, inquiry. Houses were randomly chosen. The deaths recorded began on the day of Maria September 20 and extended to December 31.

The New York Times arrived at its number by comparing previous deaths in certain areas, etc. A mathematically arrived at decision.

No one knows how ICE came up with 64.

Shame on Trump! He failed to help our fellow Americans. Our people. Why?

I suspect two reasons.

First, Puerto Ricans are tan. People of color. Trump is a racist.

Second, Trump years ago failed in an economic venture in Puerto Rico. He walked away with a pretty dollar. However, the project went nowhere.

Maybe Trump bears ill will because of his failed Puerto Rico efforts.

I was viewing TV yesterday. The Mayor of San Juan was interviewed. Pictures were shown of the devastation as it exists today. Horrible! Living conditions disgusting. No electricity and water in certain areas.

So much going on in the world. Trump the initiator of most of the events.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLY

An important thing in life. Children’s birthdays! Today, my granddaughter Ally’s is being celebrated.

Thirteen years old. Definitely a young lady. The flower is blossoming.

Ally’s birthday was Friday. Conflicted with Robert’s graduation. Ally wanted her own day. It began Saturday. She had her hair striped.

Terrible! Too young! I am merely a voice in the wilderness, however. Not the parent, not my decision.

What I really was expressing is it pains me to think she is maturing. Not a little girl any longer.

Last night, a sleep over. Which means Ally will be beat this evening for the family birthday dinner, cake, etc. Perhaps a bit grouchy.

Can’t win them all!

In any event, I love you Ally. A big Happy Birthday to you!

My yesterday began with a manicure. Tammy and her husband Rick are entrepreneurs. Mid-thirties at best. Tammy in the U.S. about 14 years. From Vietnam. Became a citizen last year. Rick of Vietnamese extraction. Born in the U.S.

They have a great business. Employ many. Work hard. Achieving the American dream. I doubt they are the type people Trump would praise and acknowledge. They do not rape, kill, pillage, rob, do drugs. Why not?

Chart Room last night. Quiet. Enjoyed a couple of drinks and moved on to the Beach Bar. John was working the Beach Bar last night.

Glad I stopped by. Ran into Dan and Stephanie from Ohio. Never met them before this week. Have enjoyed their company three evenings, however.

Their time in Paradise coming to an end. Leave Tuesday for home. Expect to return some time this summer.

Dan and Stephanie were heading to the Pride Follies. Good choice, I advised. Mentioned that Rick Dery of Dueling Bartenders was the director. Recommended Dueling Bartenders on Monday nights to them.

A quiet Saturday evening. I was home in bed before 9.

The Key West Citizen’s weekend edition ran a major article re Mallory Square and the homeless. The homeless becoming a problem.

Mallory Square is where the sunset is watched every evening. Hundreds of people. All ages. A cat through a wheel of fire, a man swallowing a sword, etc.

A growing group of homeless are getting drunk, argumentative, threaten each other, harass customers and vendors for money, sleep illegally, etc.

Key West is a great venue for the homeless. Many are snowbirds. Visit our island for the season. Then drift off till next Fall because the humidity becomes heavy and uncomfortable. A size able group remains, however.

Key West takes care of its homeless. Two very huge air conditioned tents, showers, cots with clean sheets each night, food at several locations, etc. No reason for them to camp at Mallory Square. A business place for vendors and tourists.

One thing sure in our country, the rich are getting richer while the poor poorer. Corporate America is not and has not for a number of years shared its successes.

An example is Toys R Us. Filed for bankruptcy. One week before the filing voted top echelon people $8 million in bonuses. The 30,000 workers who will be without jobs, nothing. No severance pay. Not a penny.

To compound the wrong, in the year before the filing the CEO was paid $11.2 million.

Much federal legislation has been blocked by a handful of far rights who were elected to Congress. Some, not all, appear a bit wacky when on television.

There appears to be a larger number of crazies running for Congress this year. This group’s ideologies different from the far righters. Some will be elected. It is the way of elections in recent years.

Three examples.

Nathan Larson. A Virginia Libertarian. Running as an independent. Supports abolishing age restrictions for marriage (a nice way of saying pedophilia is ok), supports abolishing laws opposed to marital rape, believes women should be under the control of men, is a white supremacist, believes Hitler was a good thing for Germany, believes incest should be legalized.

Patrick Little. A Republican candidate for the Senate representing California. Denies the Holocaust and calls for a country “free from Jews.”

Little is popular. He is running second in polls to Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein. California’s strange election laws could result in him being elected.

Arthur Jones. Chicago area. A candidate for Congress. Denies the Holocaust, a former leader of the American Nazi Party, believes people of color are mentally inferior to whites.

Jones is the official Republican candidate. He is running in a very strong Democratic district where no other Republican wanted to waste time running.

Some things are hard to understand. The Kim/Trump Summit is scheduled to begin in Singapore June 12. Kim will be staying at the 5 star Fullerton Hotel. The Presidential suite costs $6,000 a night. Kim’s staff has to be housed also.

Kim/North Korea refuse to pay the bill. The U.S. looking for a means to legally pay the bill.

Sung-Yoon Lee is a Tufts University Korean expert. He says re the payment quandary, “North Korea can build nukes and ICBMs, but claim they are too poor to pay for foreign travel costs.”

Trump apparently considers himself the summit king now that the meeting with North Korea is locked in. Trump indicated yesterday he wants a summit with Putin arranged.

Putin will eat him up.

Enjoy your Sunday!