MICHAEL’S CONTINUING SAGA

The old hymn…..Onward Christian soldiers. Michael appears to have moved to the tune. Though not with God on his side. In and out quickly. Did not hang around. In less than two days, did a number on northern Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Now over the Atlantic, 185 miles east-northeast of Norfolk.

The Panhandle pure devastation. Comments include unprecedented damage, a war zone, communities obliterated, an Air Force Base wiped out, catastrophic, looks like an atomic bomb dropped, cars and boats piled up like rubbish.

Keeps going. Entire blocks empty, houses on them smashed by storm surge and wind, washed out to sea.

First responders going in. Difficult work. The war zone description repeated frequently.

Michael maintained hurricane intensity 200 miles inland. Unusual.

Though Michael far out to sea, Virginia still experiencing dangerous wind gusts.

Michael gone. Recovery help required big time. I do not hear of FEMA’s involvement. Sure they must be there. Tell us. I am concerned Trump will fail the Panhandle as he did Puerto Rico. It all comes down to money. Soon I suspect we will hear there is not enough money. Then what?

Sad stories. Every one of them. One of the worst, 11 year old Sarah Radrey. Staying with her grandparents in Georgia. A car port crashed through the roof and killed her.

God help Sarah, her parents, and her grandparents. Tragedy of the worst kind!

Stopped into the Chart Room first last night. John working. Had not seen him in a week.

The room was packed! Tight standing room only. Forget getting a seat. Highly unusual this time of year. Off season.

Met two nice people. Lisa and Bob. Celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary.

Lisa and Bob from River Edge, New Jersey. Bob affiliated with the New York City Carpenters Union. Lisa works for a podiatrist.

Two grown sons. Twenty four and twenty two.

Their third visit to Key West. Second time at the Pier House. First time stayed at the Ocean Key across the street.

We talked of many things. A bit of politics. Lisa and I on opposite sides of the fence. She watches FOX News!

Liked them. Hope to see them again the next time they return.

David showed up somewhere along the evening. Always good to see David. I enjoy his company.

Then to the Blue Macaw. Enjoyed a drink, brie and good company. Andrea, Joe, John, Doug, Mary, Donna, and Terri.

I was anxious to talk with Doug. He is a tour guide at the Hemingway House.

I have been into ghosts the past few days. First, South Carolina’s Gray Man. Yesterday, Key West’s Angel of Mercy Maria Gutsens.                      .

Researching for more ghost tales yesterday, I came across an article claiming Ernest Hemingway and his second wife Pauline were making nocturnal visits to the Hemingway House.

Hard to believe! Doug would know.

Doug said no to Ernest, maybe to Pauline, but suggested Asa Tift as the real ghost. Asa was a wrecker/salvager in Key West’s early days. A self made tycoon. Built the Hemingway House for he and his family.

I could find nothing to substantiate the Asa story. Did come across more re the Hemingways.

Ghost appearances are technically referred to as manifestations. Many manifestations at the Hemingway House.

Hemingway writing in his loft work room, seen walking around the house, and standing on the veranda occasionally waving at passersby.

Pauline standing at the top of the central staircase looking to the loft watching her husband working and out the window her children playing outside. Occasionally standing at night by the gate smoking a cigarette.

One manifestation is hearing the typewriter clicking in the early morning. Supposedly, Hemingway writing. Could not be true. Hemingway did not type his works. He hand wrote them with a pencil. Then either Pauline or his sister would type them up.

My home bound trip from the Blue Macaw evenings takes me right by the Hemingway House. I shall be looking manifestations.

Key West’s humorous weather man at it again. He predicts this evening at 78 degrees and partly cloudy. Follows it up with…..Stars play peek-a-boo.

Traffic is reaching the breaking point on US 1. The only way in and out of Key West. The only highway through 140 miles of the Keys. Traffic especially heavy the past two years. A recent study attributes the increase to tourists. Claim tourists jam the highway.

Merely sharing. I have no comment.

Another study suggests two major medical problems. The first obviously the flu. The other too many C-sections. The number world wide has doubled from 2000 to 2015. The increase in the U.S. up as much as 30 percent in certain years. China up as much as 62 percent.

The message most of the C-sections not required. Medical problems for mother and child increasing as a result.

DOW doing well. Two days ago, down more than 800 points. Yesterday, more than 500. Today?

Trump’s lack of character evident with the Jamal Khashoggi situation. Trump says U.S. economy more important. We have a $110 billion agreement with Saudi Arabia for planes, etc. Trump says Khashoggi not even a citizen. Correct. He is a legal U.S. resident however and writes for the Washington Post.

News this morning says the $110 billion agreement mostly a holdover from the Obama administration. Actually, letters of intent. Not binding. Saudi Arabia has never purchased anything pursuant to the agreement.

Tonight, I dine! Andrea cooking. Joe making pina coladas. Andrea’s food preparation dining without question. Joe’s pina coladas fun.

Enjoy your day!

 

BETO O’ROURKE

It’s a new day, it’s a new time. In politics. A new larger generation of voters. The millennials. Voters looking for new faces. The younger the better. Persons they can relate to, persons they can trust.

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke appears to be one of them. Age 45. A 3 time elected Congressman from Texas. Running as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate. Against a formidable opponent. Republican Ted Cruz.

A strange background. Perhaps a today background. A Columbia University graduate. Captain of the crew team. A pony tailed punk band performer. FOSS. Traveled the U.S. in a van with 3 other band members.

Presently, a 3 time elected member of Congress. Today, as a member of Congress short hair, neatly attired, etc.

A progressive. He is viewed as not your ordinary every day politician. Different. Says it like it is. No bullshit.

He already has visited all 254 Texas counties. Is in the process of revisiting them.

A legend already. Many say the feeling following his town halls is as it was in Iowa with Obama in 2007.

Texas is solid Republican. Next to impossible for a Democrat to be elected. The feeling is Beto might do it. He is only one point behind in the polls today.

Politicos believe that even if Beto loses, he should be considered a viable candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2020.

Not so foolish. Lincoln lost his Senate bid in 1858. Two years later, elected President.

Staying with politics for a moment, the elective process has gotten down and dirty. Always less than clean. Now so low politicians have to look up to see bottom.

There were two other times when elections were this bad. The 1850’s prior to the Civil War. Free or slave state? The other the 1968 Presidential election. Vietnam boiling. Conflict in the streets.

In each instance, candidates vindictive. Dirty.

We are already into it this election season. In the Florida governor race, Ron De Santis use of the word “monkey” while talking about his opponent the African-American Andrew Gillum. Last night in a debate in the New York Democratic governor primary, Cynthia Nixon’s attack on Andrew Cuomo.

Locally, Margaret Romero will be the run off candidate against Teri Johnson for Key West Mayor. Romero beat her closest opponent by 28 votes.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. Kevin at the bar. Kevin a strong Trump supporter. We went at it for a half hour. It’s fortunate we are friends.

Met Helen and Dan. They visit Key West frequently. Have a home in Jensen Beach also.

I liked Helen the second we met. She told me she reads my blog every day! Her husband affirmed her representation.

Dan sells fish in Key West. A distributor/wholesaler of fresh fish. His customers primarily restaurant chefs. He has been doing this type work in Key West for 8 years. He is affiliated with Independent Seafoods.

The tariff wars have piqued my interest in the fish industry and our exports to China and other places. I was interested in what Dan had to say.

Fun people. They have 5 children and 1 grandchild. An extended marriage. The ages of the kids run from somewhere in the 30’s down to 13.

Met Roxanne. I heard her mention the Jersey Shore from the other end of the bar. The best beaches in the world!

She and her husband Ed vacationing from Long Valley, New Jersey. Staying at the Pier House. I asked how she liked Key West. She exclaimed with great enthusiasm, “I love it!” I then learned she had only arrived in the afternoon. It did not take her long to recognize how special Key West is.

Roxanne is Director of Sales for Brother Sales. Ed a retired Vice-President for an electronic company.

They have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.

I was hungry. To Blue Macaw for ribs.

Ran into Mary and Doug. Both tour guides. Doug at the Hemingway House and Mary at The Little White House. I listened to them exchange war stories. Interesting.

Today is thursday August 30. I am sure.

Enjoy your day!

 

INSULT…..TRUMP FAILS TO LOWER FLAG SECOND DAY

John McCain an American hero for the ages. His name will be long remembered. Similar to Senate greats of another day such as Daniel Webster and Henry Clay.

Another comparable figure in American history is Teddy Roosevelt. Both possessing that commanding go for it attitude. Both honest to the bone. Though McCain never became President, Roosevelt never was a Senator. The two can be equated, never the less.

Marc Anthony said following Julius Caesar’s death…..”The evil that men do lives after them; / The good is oft interred with their bones.”

Such will not be the case with McCain. He was too good. His shortcomings of no consequence. A man for the ages.

There is one however who apparently sees evil in McCain, has disdain for him. Donald Trump. Amusing on the one hand since Trump is no John McCain. Could never be. His evil diametrically opposite to McCain’s good.

In spite of personal feelings, people generally respect the dead. Not Trump in the case of John McCain. An outstanding example in the three days since McCain’s death is the President’s refusal to fly the American flag over the White House at half mast. Lowering of the flag a way of showing respect for a particular deceased.

There are rules/traditions governing flag lowering at such a time. Note again the lowering is a posthumous mark of respect.

Flags are normally lowered by Presidential Proclamation. With a noted exception. A Senator who dies in office. The flag lowering automatic at such time. The President’s approval not required. The flags are lowered from the Senator’s date of death till burial.

McCain will not be buried for several days.

The White House flag was lowered the day he died. It has not been lowered since. The pettiness of Trump. His disrespect obvious.

Sunday brunch yesterday at Hard Rock Cafe. Terri performing along with Larry Baeder. A smash! Hard Rock became packed as time progressed.

Blue Macaw with Mary last night. Paul and Ron back from Europe. Paul was My Man in Europe re the public urinals. Doug showed up. He is a tour guide at the Hemingway House. Mary is similarly employed. She is a tour guide at the Little White House.

Tuesday is election day. I voted early. Vote if you have not already.

I want to express my personal support for Mary Lou Hoover. She is a candidate for District 5 Commissioner. A better person does not exist. She has been involved in community efforts her entire life. She will make good things happen if she is permitted to sit on the Key West Commission.

I did not vote for Mary Lou. Amusing. I could not. I do not live in her district. No problem. I can still unequivocally recommend her to you.

Another Trump observation. In addition to the one where he insults McCain’s memory. Trump has the usually strong American dollar on the path to devaluation. If such occurs, recession inevitable.

The American dollar is strong and used in most world transactions. Sixty percent of global reserves and 80 percent of global payments are in dollars. Such gives the U.S. control over imports and exports. It also makes it possible for the U.S. to force countries into submission by the use of sanctions.

Oil transactions utilize the dollar. Referred to as petro-dollars.

Trump initiated the tariff wars. More countries will suffer. Russia suffering from sanctions, although Trump and Putin are buddies.

China is the U.S.’s major competing opponent. China wants to be top dog economically.

The world is sick of Trump’s tariff wars and the nervousness it is causing to the world wide economy. Russia has been goosing the rest of the world to abandon the dollar. Russia announced yesterday it was the direction it will be following. China, Iran and Venezuela are in bed with Russia.

China wants the yuan to be number one re oil transactions. The petro-yuan. Russia, Iran and Venezuela support the move. Pakistan recently jumped on board after Trump did some nasty thing to Pakistan a month ago.

The bottom line is that Trump is destroying our economy. Wars can be fought without guns. Economically one way. Another we have learned only too well is cyber war.

The U.S. is losing in both. Will apples being sold on street corners return?

Wake up America! Trump is hurting, no, destroying us.

Enjoy your day!

CAPTAIN TONY…..I BEAT THE MAFIA

Captain Tony Tarracino an icon. Part and parcel of Key West. Died at 92. His 102nd birthday being celebrated friday night at 8 at Captain Tony’s.

A crowd guaranteed. Family and friends. Tourists.

A unique personality. Tony is remembered as a salon keeper, boat captain, rum runner, gun runner, politician, gambler, Key West mayor, and a story teller.

Married several times. Actual number not certain. Perhaps 4. Married to his last wife 38 years. Fathered 13 children.

Jimmy Buffett a good friend. Ran one of Tony’s mayoral campaigns. When Tony died, Buffett wrote a song commemorating him: Last Mango In Paris. The song’s opening line…..”I went down to Captain Tony’s / To get out of the heat / Heard a voice call out to me / ‘Son come have a seat’.”

Tony’s father was a bootlegger. Tony dropped out of school at 9 to sell liquor. Illegal at the time.

Tony was lucky to get to Key West.

He got involved with the New Jersey Mafia. Screwed them on some horse races. Became persona non grata. The Mafia thought they killed him in retribution. Dumped his body somewhere in New Jersey. He was not dead. Got out of Dodge. Escaped to Key West.

I only know one of Tony’s children. A daughter nick-named Tony who is a concierge at the Marriott Beachside. Warm and charming. Look forward to seeing her friday night at the birthday party.

Key West a money maker for investors! Developers have faith Key West prosperity will continue. It was announced yesterday that a San Francisco group KHP Capital Partners had purchased six Key West guest houses. A package deal. One hundred nine million dollars. Two hundred twenty two guest rooms.

The Key West City Commission gave formal approval to the proposed “pocket park” at the Atlantic end of Duval. A group will rent the last block from the City. Perhaps the pier. I am not sure.

Tables and chairs will be set in the street. Nine parking places to be removed. Food will be served from the Southernmost Beach Cafe and the Southernmost Guest House. A food truck will be located on the Guest House property.

I do not approve. The Bubba system at its worst. The street and its view should be left as is. Nature already perfect. Does not require upgrading.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. A friend from last year at the bar. Gordon Anderson from Tombstone, Arizona.

Gordon runs the Larian Motel in Tombstone. Two blocks from O.K. Corral.

A year changed nothing re our political views. Gordon remains firm in his conviction that Trump is the right guy to be President. He has faith in him. Believes in him. Has hope for Trump’s Presidency.

Gordon appears to be one of the 89 percent Republicans who remain supportive of the President.

The give and take was excellent. Just as it was last year.

Then to the Blue Macaw for ribs and a drink. Met Doug. Ten years a Key Wester. Works at the Hemingway House as a guide. Loves the job.

Doug is from the Boston area. We chatted re Boston, Hemingway, his wives, his girl friend who eventually moved to Key West, etc.

A nice guy. Enjoyable conversation.

The weather man’s advice in simple terms for today: Nice day, nice night.

Thank you.

Trump was going to clean the swamp. Good luck! It is worse than ever. A culture of corruption pervades. From the White House down. A fish rots from the head.

The most recent alleged wrongdoer is upstate New York Congressman Chris Collins. A Republican. Represents the Buffalo and Rochester areas.

He was arrested for insider trading. His son and son’s fiance’s father, also.

Collins was the first Congressperson to support Trump. He seconded Trump’s nomination at the convention. Served on Trump’s Transition Team.

We may not know the winner of the Ohio Congressional race for a while. The Republican candidate is ahead by 1,504 votes. However more than 8,000 provisional and absentee ballots remain to be counted. They are required by law to be tabulated by August 24.

I close with my thoughts re Federal District Court Judge Thomas Selby Ellis. He is hearing the Manafort case.

Ellis has been a Judge 31 years.

He is obviously cantankerous on the bench. Disrespectful to attorneys. Involves himself in questioning too much. Etc. He is aware of how he conducts himself. He once said, “I am a Caesar in my own Rome.”

He should be off the bench. I wrote and spoke re judges who sit too long two weeks ago. At that time re the Supreme Court where Justices sit for life. Thirty plus years not uncommon. Justices in their 80’s common.

Too old to serve. Judges do not get better with age. They get cantankerous, mean, disrespectful. Know everything. Tempers short.

I advised at the time that the reason our Founding Fathers did not set an age limit for federal judges was the length of life back then. The average life of a white male was 35 years.

All Federal judges sit for life.

Judges are like everyone else. People think because they wear black robes they are supposedly fair and without human shortcomings. Judges are just like everyone else. If they have a bad night or morning with their wives, the lawyers feel it in the courtroom. Some are prejudiced. Dislike persons of color, certain ethnics, etc. They don’t know it. I have never met a bigot who knew he was a bigot.

And so on.

Ellis is to old for the job. It is time that thought be given to a Constitutional amendment setting a fixed number of year for the job. Justice will fail to be served in all instnaces otherwise.

I missed doing the blog and Key West Lou Live show yesterday. A new pill. Reacted adversely with my other medications. I was in rough shape yesterday morning. Kept feeling I was going to pass out.

Enjoy your day!