CONGRESS TO BLAME FOR POST OFFICE DEBT

After a two year absence, I am returning to write a weekly column for KONK Life. My first article hits the stands wednesday. A timely topic. The Post Office’s debt. Titled: Congress To Blame For Post Office Debt.

Sloan came over around noon yesterday. I could not structure the article on my computer. She got me set up.

I wrote a detailed column concerning the issue. The bottom line is Trump should get off Amazon’s back. Congress the blame. Congress saw a cash cow in 2006 and legislated the scenario leading almost immediately to Post Office insolvency.

Prior to Congress getting greedy, the Post Office was solvent. One year before the legislation in 2005, the Post Office was debt free.

You will enjoy the article. Informative.

My sunday got screwed up. I wanted to do Hot Dog Church, the Chorale and the Gardens. Due to time constraints because of writing the Post Office column, I thought I might only make the Gardens.

I made none.

The Gardens was still an option when I received a call from Donna. Terri was to sing at the Gardens. Terri told me the Gardens was cancelling. A rainstorm coming in at 6.

The rain did not arrive till 7. Heavy, Even at that time would have had a couple hundred people scurrying for cover.

So, I took a nap around 4.

My big evening was James Comey’s interview.

One of the points he drove home was that Trump is not morally fit to be President. I agree. Especially now that “pee sex” is becoming part of the national debate.

How low can political discourse get? Trump brings us to a new level with everything he does.

I discussed the pee sex/morality issue during my Key West Lou Live video on Facebook this morning.

The Cow Key Bridge Race was yesterday. One thousand strong participating. Most costumed.

A new record established for the 300 foot event: 22.2 seconds. The previous was 23.1 seconds.

The athletes guzzled pints of beer the night before preparing for the race.

This morning busy. A business meeting at 10. A doctor visit at 11:15. First meeting preparatory to setting up a colonoscopy and endoscopy. The tests I mind not. It is the prep for the colonoscopy which is bothersome.

Jean Thornton’s trip of trips continues.

Yesterday, she and Joe still in Barcelona. The day began at 7 with a delicious breakfast. Then a brisk morning walk around the ship’s decks watching Barcelona wake up.

At 9:30, a tour of Barcelona with Julio.

Seven mountains surround Barcelona. The bus took them all the way up one. Jean reports the view of Barcelona below amazing!.

Following the bus tour, Jean and Joe took a walk around the old Gothic quarter. Discovered an old Cathedral and Roman ruins. Then discovered the famous Las Rambla Boulevard.

They lucked out. Ran into a political demonstration. Hundreds marching and chanting in support of Catalan independence. Flags, yellow attire.

Lunch time. Stopped at a tapas restaurant. Standing outside waiting for a table.

Jean and Joe must look like rich Americans or stupid tourists. A woman tried to pickpocket Joe. His turn.

He felt someone bump him. Felt a hand go into his back pocket. Fortunately, his money was in a pouch on his stomach.

Joe turned. Saw a nicely dressed woman. She immediately pointed forward. Joe looked ahead. When he turned back, she was gone. Lost in the crowd.

The story gets more interesting.

Immediately, a young nervous man was upon Jean and Joe. Flashed a badge quickly. Started asking about the confrontation. He was going to report the incident.

Jean and Joe wary by this tine. When the man asked Joe for ID, he said bring me a uniformed police officer. With that the man went one way and Jean and Joe the other.

The found another restaurant down a pedestrian walkway. After being assured there were no pickpockets, they were seated. Enjoyed tapas and wine.

On the walk back to the ship detoured onto a side street. A street that once housed Paul Guell’s private residence. The house was one of architect Gaudi’s famous works. Jean described the house as amazing.

Then back to the ship. A safety drill. Following which they set sail for Cartagena.

Between jet lag and a lot of walking, the Thorntons were dead. It was early to bed for the both of them.

The Trump administration announced yesterday additional sanctions on Russia. Sanctions on Russian companies and persons who were involved in making or helping with the chemical gas dropped on Syria.

I don’t know if I approve. We hit Syria with over a 100 missiles. Now chastise Russia with these sanctions?

I see John Bolton’s influence. Hit, hit, hit.

Russia is only a second or third rate nation military wise. However, Russia has a ton of nuclear weapons. The situation should not be aggravated more than it is. The U.S. made its point with the missile attack.

Sanctions can lead to war. Any war between the U.S. and Russia would be fought on U.S. soil also and affect our 300 million plus citizens very personally.

On this day in 1917, Vladimir Lenin returned from exile to Russia. He was the head of the Red Bolshevik Party. He returned home to take rein of the Russian Revolution. The Revolution up to that point was led by Alexander Kerensky and the White Bolshevik Party who were doing an ineffective job.

Lenin took over. Kerensky’s life as in danger. He fled Russia.

Many years later, I was a student in college taking courses in Russian history from Kerensky. It was exciting to hear first hand the happenings and intricacies of 1917.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

RAIN IN SPAIN DOES NOT STAY MAINLY ON THE PLAIN

First, a major screw up yesterday. The blog was titled Tosh Memorial Service Today. I forgot to click PUBLISH when finished. Ergo, it never got published yesterday.

Upon discovering my error this morning, I published the blog even though a day late. It bears today’s date. Read it with the mistake in mind. Otherwise, you will pickup on a Lincoln death date that will read wrong.

I am now doing today’s blog. Note both blogs will bear the same date. So read both.

Jean rode a high speed 196 mile per hour train over the high mountain regions of Spain yesterday. Madrid to Barcelona. Reports the landscape on the mountains desert like.

Started raining as the train descended into Barcelona. Jean wrote, “So apparently the rain in Spain does not stay mainly on the plain but rather near the train.”

From the train to a bus to the ship. Ship magnificent. She and Joe were greeted with champagne and warm towels.

Their stateroom gorgeous! King sized bed, flat TV screen, big closet, 2 sitting chairs, a coffee table and mini fridge. The bathroom large.

They were booked for an off ship flamenco dinner show. However, jet lag was beating them up. They opted to remain on board for dinner. The meal delicious. Then took in a Cuban music show. Jean said she could not keep awake. Her head kept bobbing. Left the show early for bed.

Jean has been in Spain 48 hours. She is already acclimated to the language and customs. Her good bye to me was “Adios!”

Attended Tosh’s memorial service at St. Paul’s yesterday afternoon. The respect for Tosh obvious. The Church was packed. I would estimate 400.

Service excellent. His children’s words touching. His grandchildren beautiful.

At the conclusion of the service, a Scottish bagpiper appeared. He played some tunes. Then led the Pastor, Tosh’s immediate family and close friends out a side door to St. Paul’s burial ground. His ashes were interned in St. Paul’s Memorial Garden and Columbarium in a private ceremony.

I started to write this week’s KONK Life column earlier in the afternoon. Could not put it together. Not the material. The set up on the computer. Got nothing done.

Sloan is due here this morning around 11:30 to set me up. Thank God for Sloan!

I hope she makes it. She will have to travel over Cow Key Bridge just before the race starts. A thousand people to get through.

I had planned dinner with Donna and Terri in the evening. Received an e-mail from Catherine earlier in the afternoon. I forgot I was supposed to join her for a sunset cruise anniversary party. Cancelled Donna and Terri. Understanding people.

The cruise was on a Southernmost Island Charter. A big vessel. One hundred fifty guests. Mostly members of the Key West Sunrise Rotary.

It was a 30th anniversary celebration. The host is a member of the Rotary and invited the members to join he and his wife.

Cruise 3 hours. Two in the sun. Followed by sunset. Then another hour on the water.

Food and refreshments excellent. A good time had by all.

The last time I did a sunset cruise was 5 years ago. Last night’s a reminder I should do it more often.

The Chorale Concert this afternoon at 4 at St. Paul’s. Fifty plus singers. Everything from Mendelssohn to Billy Joel.

A $20 donation requested at the door.

My day scheduled. Sloan and then actually writing this week’s KONK Life column. Followed by Hot Dog Church, the Chorale, and Kate Miano’s Gardens. Terri is singing.

I will only be able to make 2 of the 3, if I am lucky. Terri is a definite. The Chorale hopefully. Hot Dog Church will have to do without me this week.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

BUSY…..BOOK SIGNING AND PODCAST

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

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

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

Got an early start on the day’s blog.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lynda and Bob will be at the book signing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BLOOD ON THE SAND

Tyranny abounds. It begins in the White House.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t buy it.

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

A few observations.

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

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

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

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

Theresa roughly my age.

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

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

We grew up together. Like brother and sister.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come join us.

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

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

Enjoy your day!

STATIONS OF THE CROSS REINACTED

Christ lived, died, and was resurrected.

Catholics believe He was crucified yesterday, lies entombed in a rock cave with a large rock blocking the entrance today, and will rise from the dead tomorrow.

Tomorrow being Easter Sunday.

Current writings by sociologists and political scientists suggest religion is dying. I see it in my Catholic religion. Churches closing, Catholic schools disappearing, very few women entering the nunnery, priests a problem unto themselves, etc.

Then an occurrence. One that makes me question the premise that religion is dying.

Yesterday in Portland at the Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish Church, the Stations of the Cross  were performed. Part of Good Friday activities.

Normally, the Stations of the Cross involve a priest and two altar boys/girls going to each of the 14 Stations and reciting what occurred.

The Portland Church enacted the 14 Stations.

Participants were dressed in the garb of 33 AD. Roman soldiers in dramatic red and gold uniforms. An estimated 100 parishioners in the dress of 33 AD. The cross was large and wood. There even was a replica of a stone burial chamber.

The place Jerusalem. The Stations beginning with Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Ending with Him being laid to rest in a tomb of stone.

The parish an immigrant one. The people poor. They come to the United States from other parts of the world. They bring their religion with them. The Stations were recited in French, Spanish and English.

Makes me wonder whether I have been correct in assuming religion is dying. The experts write it is. Universities teach it.

Could it be that only those that need God believe in Him? Did we in the U.S. and other advanced countries become too intelligent and too affluent forgetting Him?

I do not know. But how religion is handled in the Portland Church causes me to stop and think.

Seder last night. With Donna’s family and friends. At her daughter Stacey’s home. Thirty two in all. From 3 to 82. Guess who was 82?

I have been celebrating Seder with them for many years. Always a warm family event.

My dinner companion was Terri. We sat next to each other. Her eyes failing more rapidly than anticipated.

Love the lady!

A unique experience at lunch time. Stopped in Sandy’s Cafe. There was my grandson Robert and a lady friend. A girl friend. The two enjoying lunch.

Robert handled introductions well. Was not flustered. His lady friend a bit intimidated.

Robert has gone to another level in my mind. No longer a boy. He is a young man. He will be 14 in two months, in high school in August, college in 4 years.

It was only yesterday Robert was born. Lisa insisted I remain for the birth. Her husband holding one leg up and I the other. Yelling at Lisa to push while Lisa was responding with a loud I can’t do this!

Three hours later Robert was on a helicopter to Miami Children’s Hospital. He was born with cancer of the liver. The tumor larger than his liver. Two major surgeries the first 8 days of his life.

God is good. All is well today. And…..He has a girl friend!

The Sons and Daughters of Italy have a scholarship fund. One of their fundraisers is a bocce event. Tonight from 5:30-9:30. At the bocce courts across from the White Street Pier.

Come join us. I will be cooking sausage and hots dogs and teaching bocce to novices.

A fun evening. Cost $20 for adults and $10 for children.

I will be rushing home right after the event. The Final Four begins tonight. I should be able to catch the last game.

World population grows. The scientists tell us at some point there will not be enough food to feed everyone. It is therefore important that we develop alternative ways to grow/create foods. The laboratories of the world become important for this.

Zen Honeycutt published an interesting article on the problem in ECO Watch 3/27/18. The work was limited to Monsanto, glyphosate, herbicides, and pesticides.

I sometimes hate Monsanto for what they do. Other times, I recognize the cause of feeding the world’s peoples is an overwhelming task not without pitfalls.

Glyphosate is bad stuff found in Monsanto’s Roundup. It is also a part of other herbicides and pesticides.

Glyphosate has been discovered in certain wines and beers world wide. Some in popular U.S. brands. All U.S. brands are moving rapidly to change over and use other herbicides and pesticides.

The article makes reference to a Save the Children 2013 report. The report indicated the U.S. has 50 percent more infant deaths on day one of life than all other developed countries involved. The question raised was whether such was due to the widespread use of herbicides and pesticides like Roundup.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT FOR PARTICIPATING IN NATIONAL SCHOOL WALKOUT

Corporal punishment for school students is alive and well in 15 states. Would you believe? Bend over the desk and get your ass paddled!

Arkansas a state permitting corporal punishment. Came to my attention as a result of National School Walkout Day. Involved the Arkansas Greenbrier Public School. Greenbrier is located in an ultra conservative area.

Three students opted to participate in National Walkout Day. Only 3. They were vocally insulted and degraded by their fellow students. Two among the smartest in their class. The 3 consisting of both genders.

They left school and sat on a bench on school grounds for 17 minutes. They were told to return to class or face punishment. They opted to remain for the 17 minutes.

They were directed to the principal’s office upon reentry. They were given a choice as to punishment. Corporal punishment or a 2 day suspension. The punishments offered dictated by school board and school policy. The 3 agreed to corporal punishment. Two swats by a paddle on their derrieres.

Their parents were advised of the punishment prior to it being inflicted.

I consider the use of corporal punishment barbaric. In this case, the use of violence on 3 students who were protesting violence. A state sanctioning it and the parents agreeing to it some form of insanity in this day and age.

I admire the 3 protesters. They followed their consciences and took their punishment. They will go far in life.

St. Patrick’s Day did not turn out as anticipated. No corned beef and cabbage. Neither in a restaurant or as a take out. Restaurants too busy for take out. Terri fell eliminating going out to a restaurant.

Bear follows Terri everywhere. Always at her feet. While at home, he somehow got between her legs and she went down. Her head and knees came in contact with the tile floor. Ok, but sore.

Bear lay next to her on the floor crying.

Bear is 14 weeks old today. Getting big! Very big! We are solid friends. He has taken to me. I was seated on the couch most of the time. He was next to me, with me, etc.

Terri into dogs in her past life. Bear is already trained in certain respects. Upon command, he sits, lays down, offers his paw, and high fives. Except, the high fives are both paws.

We ended up ordering from Sandy’s Cafe. They deliver. A Cuban meal for 3 under $20. I had my favorite, Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee.

Bear and I watched most of the Kentucky/Buffalo game together. Buffalo has a better team each year. This year, the best so far. Though an underdog, I thought they might upset Kentucky. I was wrong. Kentucky killed them.

This afternoon at 2:40 on CBS, Syracuse/Michigan State. Syracuse the underdog once again.

I hope to watch the game and then hurry over to Kate Miano’s Gardens. Early Sunday evening always a fun time there. An added reason tonight. Terri is singing.

At some point, I have to shop. The refrigerator totally lacking in food. All I had yesterday before the Cuban sandwich at Donna and Terri’s was a cup of tea and 4 slices of bacon. No wonder I am losing weight!

For a month, Diana Millikan has been forwarding me information gathered from The Jews of Key West. Author Key West’s Arlo Haskell. When we met for dinner recently, she brought her copy of the book for me to glance over.

Diana thought the book was terrific. She was correct.

It has been announced that The Jews of Key West has received the 2017 Florida Book Award.

Trump is impressed by dictators. Perhaps evidencing a desire on his part to become one.

The Philippines and China have a drug problem. It was overwhelming at one point. No longer. Duterte and Xi kill drug dealers. With little or no attention payed to judicial process. Duterte has them shot on the street.

Both men came to this kill them outright approach based on a simple rationale. They were executing a person for killing one person. Drug dealers ultimately are responsible for the deaths of thousands. Justification enough. Kill them, too!

Trump has advised he likes the approach. He has promised a plan to deal with drug dealers this week. The kill them all approach, I suspect.

Opioids are killing 115 plus persons a day in the U.S.  Most manufactured by American pharmaceutical companies. A few pharmaceutical CEO’s should be indicted for producing these killers of hundreds of thousands of our people. Everyone agrees the problem is at a crisis stage.

Pharma Company-1 makes Fentanyl Spray. Bad stuff. Addictive. Fifty to a hundred times stronger than morphine.

Two Pharma employees and 5 doctors were recently arrested in New York. Pharma was sponsoring educational programs. Doctors were invited to speak for which they received exorbitant fees. A pre-condition to the invitation was that the doctors had to be big prescribers of Fentanyl Spray. The fee received based on the number of prescriptions for the Fentanyl Spray a doctor wrote.

Doctors were entertained lavishly to jump on board. A Pharma representative greeted several at a New York strip club. Pharma paid $4,100 for a private room, alcoholic drinks, and lap dances.

I do not agree with Trump’s thoughts re making the death penalty applicable to drug dealers. A step too far. If he does however, he should add drug company CEO’s who produce a product contributing to the opioid crisis.

Fair is fair.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

SPRING BREAK STORY

Spring break was not for me during my college days. Who could afford it!

My education however did provide many “spring breaks” world wide later in life.

Several years ago, I experienced a sort of spring break. Reported the story in my blog at the time. An amusing episode.

This has been spring break week in Key West. It brought a Key West spring break experience to mind. Several years ago, a couple were visiting. We were out on Duval one night. Took them to Irish Kevin’s. A young people’s place. This old man especially liked it because the young ladies were often induced to take to the stage and expose their breasts.

The place was crowded with spring breakers. My friends my age. We worked our way to the bar and ordered drinks. The college students were pleasant. They engaged us in conversation. One asked what we were doing in Key West during spring break? What were we doing in Irish Kevin’s?

I lied. I did not tell them about the bare breasts. Instead, I responded, “We’re retired senior citizens who returned to college to get our degrees…..Decided we should do spring break, also!”

We were the heroes of the night! Could not buy a drink. Spent three hours with the kids having fun. Just college students hanging out together.

Another good sunday yesterday.

Spent the afternoon watching the PGA golf tournament. Tiger Woods was playing. His best performance in recent years!

He came in second. One stroke behind. His putting failed him. Otherwise, he would have won by several strokes.

The man who went years without missing a putt under 5 feet, missed a few yesterday. Two from 5 feet. Two more from 2-3 feet. His age? He is 42. Or, does he need to work at it more?

Interestingly, he sunk 2 or 3 putts from the 20 foot range.

Later in the afternoon to Hot Dog Church. Pastor Lauri as usual presiding. George, Art, Donna, Terri, and Bear already at the bar.

Glad I went! Met two former Syracuse University people.

First, Stacey Veeder. She took the empty seat at the bar next to me. My last name sounded familiar to her. Not from Key West. Where? From the recesses of her mind. She spent most of her career working in administration at Syracuse University. I was active with the University during certain of her years.

She was married. To a man. Surprised me. Hot Dog Church is a lesbian gathering. I was there by special invitation.

Married if I recall correctly 37 years. To Steve Wexler. Steve was a professor at the Syracuse College of Law for 21 years. Beginning in 1979.

She telephoned Steve to come over so we could meet. We did for a short time. We had not met during his teaching years. I graduated in 1960. However, I was a member and then chairman of the Law School Board of Visitors for many years. There was much we could talk about.

Hopefully, I will run into Stacey and Steve tonight at Dueling Bartenders.

Terri sings tonight at Dueling Bartenders. Tom, Rick and Terri will blow the walls out with their powerful renditions of yesterday tunes.

Speaking of Syracuse, the team made it to the NCAA Tournament. The listing announced last night. Sixty eight teams invited. Syracuse #68. Who cares? We made it! That’s enough!

I was surprised. Still maintain we do not belong. God was good however and snuck us in.

He will be even better if He permits us to make it to the Final Four.

Dinner last night was at Donna and Terri’s. George, Art and I enjoyed Chinese take out with the ladies.

For the past two years, I have frequently written about robots. Always lecturing they are coming and we are not preparing for them.

Flippy was introduced to Pasadena hamburger lovers as Flippy the Burger Flipping Robot recently. He can cook 2,000 burgers a day. He was introduced by the Cali Group that operates several hundred fast food burger places.

Flippy lasted two days. He did his job. The support staff did not. They could not. I refer to the humans who prepare the patties for the grill and those who pile on lettuce and other fixins’.

The humans could not keep up with Flippy.

Flippy is on leave while experts look the situation over to decide how humans have to function to keep up with Flippy.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt communicated with citizens via a method which became known as a fireside chat. No television back then. Only radio. The President would speak to the nation in comforting tones and keep them updated on what was happening. His first  fireside chat on this day in 1933. A time of serious economic distress. Thirty percent unemployment. People scared.

Trump’s rallies are Roosevelt’s fireside chats. In form only. Not substance.

Trump rants and raves, demeans, criticizes, swears, etc. Far from Presidential. Not in the style of real leaders like Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Reagan.

His bully tough guy performances clear evidence the man lacks Presidential qualities.

Irma and Me doing well. I am impressed with the sales. My first book was a disaster sales wise. Those of you who have not yet ordered the book, please do so. You will enjoy!

Irma and Me is available through Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your day!

KATE MIANO…..1,000 STRONG

 

Everyone wants to be the next Mayor of Key West. Twelve candidates have announced already. Two or three more expected.

Though our small island is a world wide vacation destination, Key West has its problems. Most cities are concerned with snow removal and garbage collection. Snow not a problem here. Garbage collection down to a science.

Key West’s problems involve continued recovery from Irma, affordable housing, the homeless, parking, traffic patterns, and whether Duval Street should become a pedestrian walk way. We have growing pains. More and more tourists visit each year. I sometimes think the island will sink under the weight of them all.

Kate Miano one of the candidates. I support her. I am sure her views are not totally in line with mine. People differ. I support Kate because I know her. I know her to be a woman of character, honest, a successful business person, kind, always available with a helping hand to those in need.

Key West recognized her nature in January when she was awarded the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year Award.

All of which bring me to last night. Kate’s campaign kickoff party. At The Gardens. Her Gardens. The community came out to wish her well, to extend their support. At least 1,000 strong! Perhaps more!

A turnout exceeding expectations. Evidence of the esteem in which Kate is held.

My friends…..Kate Miano, the next Mayor of Key West!

I was with Catherine, Donna,and Terri at Kate’s event. Afterwards, we went to Le Petit Paris for dinner. Robert the owner. Originally from Paris. Opened his dream in 2012. A success. His food spectacular. Prices reasonable. Located at Duval and Olivia. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We had a good time.

Terri has been told by her doctors to go out and live. She started in the last two weeks. Good to see her out and about. Most importantly, enjoying life without fear.

The weather sucks. Sixty one degrees last night. My heating unit on the blink. New one will not be here till wednesday. Two heavy blankets and I was still cold! Today will be better. Mid 70’s by day, low 70’s during the night.

I do not understand police behavior involving the recent Douglas High School shootings.

The police officer on duty did not go in the building. I would have assumed his first responsibility would have been to confront the attacker.

Two more officers appeared on the scene. They did not go in. The claim is they were told to establish a perimeter and not enter.

In the meantime, people were being killed inside. I have to believe if they did do something, some lives would have been saved. Even one would have justified their engaging the attacker.

The story gets better.

Two members of the Miramar Police Department were in the area. Both detectives, both members of the SWAT team. They immediately responded. What they did when they arrived, I do not know.

They have been suspended. They have been required to surrender their SWAT issued rifles. The reason for the chastisement: They failed to follow protocol by not getting permission from a superior prior to rushing to the scene.

Unusual circumstances call for unusual activity. Initiative becomes the order of the day. Not with the Miramar Police Department, however. The two officers are being punished for doing the right thing.

The Russian revolution began about this time in 1917. In Petrograd. Russia’s army was fighting the Kaiser somewhere else. Czar Nicholas II leading the Army. An inefficient, timid man. The cost of the war breaking Russia’s back. Food scarce. The people were demonstrating in the streets. The demonstrations turned into outright rebellion.

The rebellious leader was Alexander Kerensky. The leader of the White Bolshevists.

Czar Nicholas II was quickly deposed and abdicated.

Germany wanted Russia out of the war. The Kaiser offered Kerensky a good deal to withdraw Russia from the conflict. Kerensky opted to keep Russia in the war.

The very thing which brought the Czar down brought Kerensky down. The war continued to be expensive, the people still starving.

Vladimir Lenin was the leader of the Red Bolshevists. He returned to Russia and overthrew the Kerensky government. Communist Russia was born.

Kerensky was a doomed man. He fled Russia. First to England. Then to the United States.

I was fortunate to have had Kerensky as a professor while in college. I took two courses in the Russian revolution from him. Exciting! To hear it first hand from a man who was an integral part of the revolution.

Lets suppose for a moment.

If Kerensky took Germany’s offer to get out of the war, history would have been different. Lenin’s group would have failed. Probably not even have attempted to overthrow Kerensky. There would have been no Stalin. There would have been no Hitler. Germany would have won the war and the depressed Germany which resulted in Hitler never would have been.

Kerensky’s mistake was that he wanted to establish a democratic monarchy. Lenin was smarter. He knew the people had had it with the Czars. They wanted to run the country.

Interesting might have beens.

Enjoy your day!

 

BEAR AND BASKETBALL

Great dinner last night at Donna and Terri’s. Stone crabs. My favorite food. Their favorite food. We pigged out!

Amazing how rapidly Bear is growing. Twelve weeks old. I see him generally once a week. Bigger each time. Much bigger.

After dinner, I was watching the Syracuse/Boston College game. Bear came over and sat on the floor to the front of me. He looked up at the TV screen. His eyes remained glued.

I called Terri over. He’s watching the game with me. I don’t believe it!

She said, he is. Does it all the time when basketball is on. She believes Bear can hear the sneaks hitting the floor and that is what keeps his attention.

Whatever, he sat there for a whole half. Not budging.

Too bad it was not a good game. Syracuse lost again.  85-70.

The pain of it all!

Bad news. Jean and Joe Thornton in Hawaii. I received word from Jean that daughter Laura had emergency gall bladder surgery. Two gall stones the size of walnuts removed also. I could not figure out if Laura was with them in Hawaii or home in Birmingham.

Fortunately, the surgery was able to be done laparoscopally. Laura was released the same day as the surgery.

I can recall gall bladder surgery when I was young. Not to me. To others. Left an impact in my mind. The patient in bed with tubes in every part of the body. A 10 day hospitalization at the time. How medical science has advanced that it can now be done in a same day surgery.

Deviate sex goes both ways. Man alone is not the perpetrator. In some instances, the woman.

Stephanie Peterson Ferri is a 26 year old school teacher at the New Smyrna Beach Middle School. She was arrested yesterday. Charged with having sex with a 14 year old male student over a period of several months. Occasionally supplied him with marijuana, also.

Ferri further sent the 14 year old nude photos of herself over the cell phone. Her face showing.

Not the first time I have come across an older woman and boy in a sexual relationship. The occurrence rare, however. Apparently there are fewer female pedophiles than male ones. Much fewer from what I could determine.

The youthfulness of the boy was apparent when his mother confronted him. She had discovered the naked pics of the school teacher on his cellphone.

The boy cried.

Libby Schaaf is mayor of Oakland. One of America’s larger cities. Oakland is a sanctuary city. And proud of it.

The federal government is aware of which cities have declared themselves sanctuary ones. Thus far there have been only threats from the federal government to cease and desist. No other action against the sanctuaries.

Mayor Schaaf became aware that there was going to be a mass arrest by ICE the next day in northern California. Especially the cities of San Francisco and Oakland. She became aware not from official sources.

The Mayor went public with the news. ICE came in the next day expecting to make roughly 1,000 arrests. Only made 150. The illegals had gone into hiding.

Mayor Schaaf is being threatened with arrest. She does not believe she violated any laws since the information she spread was received by her from unofficial sources.

The Mayor claims she would it again and that she would go to jail to protect Oakland’s sanctuary city status. From her perspective, blowing the whistle was the right thing to do.

Mayor Schaaf said, “What I did was my job as the mayor of Oakland and reflective of the values of the people that I represent.”

I say…..Good for Mayor Schaaf!

Trump has blown the immigration problem out of context and control. Federal agents in the form of ICE arresting people on the street and out of their apartments. Followed by quick deportation.

Appears similar to the Nazi raids on the Jews in Germany in the mid 1930’s.

I doubt the Mayor would be convicted if arrested. There is something called jury nullification. Juries permit defendants to walk if they believe the crime charged is wrong in itself.

Mayor Schaaf is a hero.

A recent study shows that the student debt is $1.5 trillion. The U.S. is on the hook for that amount. Said another way, the $1.5 trillion is listed as an asset on the U.S.’s balance sheet. It represents 30 percent of the government’s assets.

Collection of all questionable. Even half questionable. The total amount always out there. Increases daily. Not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

A phony asset. Misrepresentative.

Enjoy your day!

 

PUTIN ACTS WHILE TRUMP SITS ON HIS ASS

Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place…..because of those who look on and do nothing.”

He could have been talking about Trump.

We know Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Hacked our computer systems. An act of cyber war.

Our entire top level intelligence people agree such occurred. I assume most Americans believe it occurred. Yet Trump does nothing. His lips sealed. He has not issued an order to his top people to get after Russia and make them pay for this invasion of the very essence of our democracy.

Putin on the other hand is preparing for what he anticipates in due course will be retaliatory action by the United States. He recently gave Russia’s Federal Guard Services powers to counter hack attacks on state data resources and to protect the personal data of senior state officials and their families.

One sits on his ass while the other protects his.

At the same time, the Trump Administration has issued a new round of sanctions targeting oil smugglers in Libya: Six people, 24 companies, and 7 vessels. The sanctions consist of prohibiting Americans from doing business with the sanctioned persons/entities and freezes their property in the U.S.

Oil may be important. Our elections more. Trump should show the U.S. can walk and chew gum at the same time. Sanction Russia and Libya simultaneously.

Readership of yesterday’s blog the highest in February. Not sure why? The title advising I had lost 23 pounds? Or was it that portion dealing with how touch phones and touch tablets are affecting the mental development of children? The touch items affecting a child’s ability to hold a pencil down the road. Something to do with finger muscle development and left right brain movement.

Many comments. I learned much.

Two comments especially interesting.

Children who don’t crawl prior to walking initially have trouble reading. Reading being a left to right orientation.

The other involved new neighborhoods that lack curbs along the streets. Children enjoy walking curbs. I barked at my children and grandchildren every time I saw them do it. Thought they would fall and break an ankle.

Children walking on curbs unknowingly are practicing a left to right brain orientation. Neighborhoods without curbs found at school time the children were not making progress reading. It was determined it was the lack of curbs.

Schools installed 2 x 4’s in kindergarten classrooms for children to walk on. Thereby learning balance and improving their left to right brain functions.

My podcast last night. I spent half the show discussing the NRA. Interesting material. The dike is leaking as far as the NRA is concerned.

A meal for a king this evening. I am having dinner at Donna and Terri’s. Stone crabs!

Added enjoyment this evening. Syracuse/Boston College at 9. A toss up as to one will win. Only one Syracuse game left after Boston College. At the moment, Syracuse is not even on the bubble. It will take a victory tonight and in the last game of the season. And/or a distinguished performance in the ACC tournament beginning next week.

A tough season.

Conch a popular Key West food. Some conchs large. Their shells equally large. Key West has an annual Conch Blowing Contest. This year’s to be held sunday at noon in the gardens of the Oldest House on Duval.

This is not necessarily a kid’s contest. Mostly adults participate. Leading citizens of the community. Several years ago, Kate Miano of Gardens fame and presently a mayoral candidate blew hard. She won.

Key West is a baseball town. As is all of Florida. The primary sport through high school is baseball.

Key West has had top teams statewide. Also players who went on to play major league ball. In one instance, Key West fielded the best high school baseball team in the United States. On this day in 1996, the Key West team was rated #1 nationally by USA Today.

School boards and families concerned with child safety all over the U.S. More so in view of the recent Douglas High School deaths.

The Pike County School Board is not waiting for some one to tell them what to do. They have acted on their own. They voted to have teachers carry concealed guns inside schools. School Superintendent Roger Akins said, “We may be criticized, but…..I’ll take criticism to protect my students.”

Who could not have loved MASH? Ran 11 years on TV. Today reruns all day and night 2 days a week on Sundance. The Korean War drama/comedy involved a front line medical facility. Starred Alan Alda.

On this day in 1983, the last episode of MASH was shown. A special 2 1/2 hour feature. The show so popular at the time, it was watched by 77 percent of the viewing audience.

Enjoy your day!