IRMA REVISITED

One year ago today, Irma hit the Florida Keys. Everyone is aware of the details. The damage wrought. I want to share feelings experienced. As I experienced them.

As Irma was traveling over the water, its pending arrival resulted in a knot in my chest. Irma was predicted as a category 5. It was heading straight for Key West.

My mind kept repeating…..Get out of Dodge!

Five days before Irma’s arrival, I did.

My escape to Birmingham took 4 days. Traffic unbelievable. Reminded me of newsreels taken at the beginning of World War II. Poland, Czechoslovakia and France. People in long lines walking away from danger. In Irma’s instance, driving.

The miles of slow moving cars added to the realization that we were all escaping a bad thing. Escape not easy. Mental uncertainty jumped in as to whether I would make it.

The gasoline problem added negative thoughts. Sometimes, no gas available. Other times, a 1 to 1 1/2 hour wait to get gas. What would happen if there were no gas and we all were left sitting in our cars on the road side?

People panic. I saw at a Pompano gas station, people on foot pushing and shoving to get at gas pumps with cans to fill. Their cars apparently already topped.

Food entered my mind. Suppose where ever I was or ended up, food ran out. How would people behave?

Whatever, I made it to the Thornton’s in Birmingham.

Now my concern and those of my other evacuees went to how Irma was affecting Key West and the lower Keys. Concern, big time. Glued to the TV screen. Anxious for every bit of news.

Irma came and went. Concern for friends who remained on going. Communication difficult. Cell phones non operable.

Thornton guests anxious to return home. Not only to look after their property, but also to help those who remained. The desire to be of assistance ran deep.

The trip home less crowded.  I waited a week after Irma before I left. No sense in returning without air conditioning, power, water, food, etc.

The view fine till I hit Marathon. Then the damage. Increasing the further south I drove. Depressing. Boats on the side of highways, cars in the water, homes flattened like pancakes, appliances all over, debris everywhere.

Islamorada, Big Pine and Cudjoe Key the worse. Unbelievable. Emotional. Tears running down my face.

Finally made it to Key West. Duval desolate. Dark. Power downtown a problem. People in the shadows. Everyone glad to see each other.

One year later, Irma’s foot print remains. Not everyone back in a home. Some still in tents. Food a problem. Jobs a big problem. The canals still plugged with sunken houses and boats. Canal cleanup only recently begun. U.S. 1 looks good. Go off the highway one block in many areas and it looks like Irma hit yesterday.

Recovery a big step. Even a year later, much to be done.

The thing that impacted me the most was the resiliency of the people. Irma gone. Damage left. Everyone pitching in to help. Neighbors and strangers shoulder to shoulder. Any mental depression long gone. Still a job to do and people getting at it.

Enjoy your day!

 

POLICE HAVE NO RIGHT TO STRIKE

It was September 9, 1919. The Boston Police were unhappy. They had been denied the right to unionize. They went on strike. Eighty percent of the force failed to show up for work.

Calvin Coolidge rode the strike into the U.S. Presidency.

Massachusetts Governor at the time. He said, “There is no right to strike against public safety by anybody, anywhere, anytime.” He sent in the Massachusetts Militia.

Coolidge enjoyed a politically fortuitous life. He got into the police strike fray as it was dying down. Made a brilliant statement. He was given credit for putting the strike down.

Coolidge was selected to run as Vice-President with Warren Harding as President. Harding died in office. Coolidge became President.

Yesterday afternoon, I was able to watch the first half of the Syracuse/Wagner game. Syracuse looked good. Wagner a small school beginning to grow its football program.

Syracuse has not looked good for many years. They beat Wagner 62-10. Impressive. However, the quality of the opposition has to be taken into account. Next week will tell. Syracuse plays Florida State.

My dear Donna has competition for the title of the Julia Child of Key West. Andrea.

Donna, Terri and I were guests of Andrea and Joe last night for dinner. What a meal! Lasagna! Fantastic! Buttery banana bread for desert.

My diet went out the window!

We all headed over to Blue Macaw after dinner. Terri sat in for a while with Larry Baeder.

It is Terri again this morning. She is singing with Larry at Hard Rock Cafe’s Sunday brunch. Ten to twelve.

Got to admire Terri. She keeps working, putting one foot in front of the other. She has a steady gig at Blue Macaw beginning Wednesday. Her night.

Remember Shrimp Boats Are A Coming. Think Rosemary Clooney sang it. Delete Shrimp boats and replace the term with Florence. Florence is a coming! No question, unless it makes a hard right back into the Atlantic at the last moment.

Florence is headed for the mid Atlantic states. North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia have already declared a state of emergency. Florence’s path will remain uncertain for 5 days. Then!

The hurricane experts say Florence will begin a rapid intensification beginning today. It will return to hurricane status. Expected to be a major hurricane when it hits.

Some people get away with murder!

The U.S. is facing a major opioid crisis. One hundred plus a day dying. The prescription drug Oxycontin a major contributor. A pain killer. Quick to addict.

Purdue Pharma has been producing the drug for years. The government and the public are aware. The government is doing little. The public trying to do a lot. There are presently lawsuits against Purdue Pharma in over 1,000 jurisdictions.

Purdue Pharma is a family business. The Sackler family. One of the sons is Richard Sackler. At one time, President of Purdue Pharma.

Richard and five others recently obtained a patent for a new drug. To be used where a person has an opioid disorder. To be used for opioid addiction treatment.

I love it! Sackler and family a major contributor to the opioid crisis. Made millions if not billions in the process. Now one of them will add to his wealth for having come up with a cure.

Would you believe!

Only in America!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

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!

JOHN McCAIN…..A TRUE AMERICAN HERO

John McCain died yesterday. A true American hero. A man for the ages. A person to be emulated. He will forever be remembered.

We need more John McCain’s.

David Wolkowsky’s 99th birthday party! As expected, over the top. Champagne flowed. David and champagne go together.

A wonderful man. An American hero in his own right. His successes in Key West and Philadelphia speak for themselves.

As I raised my glass to David, I thought…..Next year! Hope you make 100 my friend!

I was invited to Donna and Terri’s for dinner. Was running early. Stopped at the Blue Macaw first for a drink. There was Terri at the bar sipping a ginger ale. Donna and Terri live across the street from Blue Macaw.

I joined Terri. Enjoyed a drink. Following which she took my right elbow and we went home.

We talked about one of Blue Macaw’s bartenders. A tiny lovely young blond lady. Montana her name.

People in Key West work hard. As most others in the U.S. do today. Montana has two jobs. Her daytime job begins at 7 in the morning. Not sure what it is. I admire how hard she works. The Macaw bar is huge. She moves around it swiftly.

Dinner delicious! What else! Donna cooked. A gourmet chef in disguise. Meat loaf! Like Mom used to make. Outstanding!

Bear coming along. Stitches come out Friday. I still hate what they had done to him. Neutered.

I am moving my ass this morning. Terri sings at 10 at Hard Rock Cafe. She and Larry Baeder entertain together 10-12. Stop over for brunch and enjoy the duo.

I early voted this week. Did not recognize any of the State wide candidates, except for Gwen Graham. Gwen is running in the Democratic primary for Governor.

One of the reasons I did not know the candidates is that the Key West Citizen rarely mentions the State races.

I received this morning via e-mail a copy of the August 23 edition of Florida Politics. There was a big pic of Gwen and a story involving her and Big Pine.

Gwen, her parents, sisters and children were in Big Pine last Sunday. Working with Brian Vest’s Conch Republic Marine Army to clean up debris yet remaining from Irma. Yes, almost a year later much cleanup and repair work yet remains.

Gwen’s team had contacted Vest to ask what they could do. He said come on down and help. The candidate and her family came. The pic showed Gwen in shorts and a t-shirt in the water with gloves on pulling debris out of the water. Sweating like a pig as the saying goes. She was working!

The title of the article was Gwen Graham Gets Hands On During Cleaning Up Day In The Keys.

I make mention for 3 reasons.

First, I support Gwen’s candidacy.

Second, I and my fellow Key residents appreciate Gwen paying attention to the Keys. We are generally the forgotten relative.

Third, the Key West Citizen made no mention of Gwen’s visit. For shame! In fact, very very little of any of the State races have been reported on thus far.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

PUBLIC URINALS WORLDWIDE

I wrote 3 days ago that Paris and Berlin were into public urinals. Open street public urinals. Paris for men. Berlin co-ed. Berlin’s uniqueness that women would be required to pee standing up.

Yesterday, I mentioned that CNN had picked up on the Paris public urinals and titled their news report Qui Qui. An excellent take on a French word.

This morning, I woke to an e-mail from Paul Harding. Paul and Ron are Blue Macaw friends who are on a European trek. They are following my blog while away.

Paul and Ron were in Sitges, Spain yesterday. Paul wrote that outdoor public urinals for men were common place in Sitges. Even sent me a photo of one next to a park bench.

Steges is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Commonly referred to as the St. Tropez of Spain. Property prices approaching those of the most expensive European cities.

Paris, Berlin, Steges. Anywhere else? Yes. The Netherlands, UK, Philippines, Sweden, India and Portugal.

We never knew.

The public urinals primarily for men. Seems they have a habit of peeing in the street. Could not understand why. Some communities install the urinals outside near bars. Seems men have a need to go when they leave, having forgotten to unload before leaving.

Co-ed public urinals where ever situated had a common denominator. Women standing while peeing.

What is the world coming to?

Last night enjoyable.

Made a sick call first. To Donna and Terri’s. Bear was neutered Wednesday.

Poor Bear! Fortunately, doped up. I walked in to find Bear lying down and Donna holding a bag of ice to the area where his prized male possessions formerly existed.

The three of us then walked across the street to Blue Macaw. Terri was to sing with Larry Baeder. The combination was terrific.

Terri and Larry are performing at Hard Rock Cafe’s Sunday brunch this morning from 10-12.

Spent a lot of time at the Blue Macaw. Chatted with Mary quite a while. An intelligent woman. A tour guide at The Little White House, an economist by education.

John showed up. His night off from the Chart Room. Joe and Andrea Phillips at the bar, also.

I woke as the sun was coming up this morning. I was downstairs making tea. Looked outside the glass doors to the walled in area in the back of the house. The white concrete walls, the brick floor and blue pool were all pink. Looked up to the sky, white clouds covered in pink.

Reminded me of an old saying. Suggesting rain heavy at some point today.

The dity most of us learned when young…..Red sky at night, / sailor’s delight. / Red sky at morning, /  sailors take warning.

Seems Jesus first memorialized the saying. Matthew 16:2B-3 wherein Jesus says, “When it is evening, you say, it will be fair weather, for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.”

Even Shakespeare got into the act. In Venus and Adonis, he wrote, “Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, / Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, / Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds, / Gusts and foul flows to herdsmen and to herds.”

Trump tells us Putin is our friend. Friends don’t screw each other. Putin periodically does something adverse to the U.S. Trump turns the other cheek.

The tariff war between China and the U.S. is initially hurting China more than the U.S. Soybeans an issue. China uses tons of soybeans. The U.S. exports more soybeans to China than any other country. A massive soybean shortage would lead to political and social upheavals across China.

Putin has extended a helping hand to China. He has offered China the use of 2.5 million acres of arable Russian land. To grow soybeans to meet the large scale demand for the product.

I wrote and spoke recently what I perceive as Netanyahu’s development into an authoritarian figure. He and Trump birds of a feather.

Netanyahu has been leading Israel into wars in different places. He continues to wage war on Palestinian civilians living under Israeli occupation.

The U.N. says enough. Stop!

U.N. Secretary  General Antonio Guterres issued a report Friday recommending U.N. deployment of military and/or civilian persons to protect the Palestinian civilians.

Security Council approval is required. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley says the U.S. will veto any such plan.

There was time the world would expect such vetoes from Russia. Now the U.S. is acquiring the tinge of the bad guy by vetoing measures that make sense.

Not sense to Trump, however. He and Netanyahu are buddies. Both freely elected. Now authoritarian. Reaching for the next level of despotism. Dictatorship of some sort.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

HE WHO STEALS MY GOOD NAME…..

A Shakespearean quote fits perfectly into the American society of today. Concerns Trump and his attempts at destroying reputations of good and honorable persons. The passage from Othello: “Good name in man and woman….. / Is the immediate jewel of…..souls / Who steals my purse steals trash….. / But he that filches from me my good name / Robs me of that which not enriches him, / And makes me poor indeed.”

He who steals my good name…..

John Brennan a distinguished American. Headed the CIA, served under six Presidents. Trump in a moment of retaliatory pettiness stripped him of his security clearance.

Thirteen retired military and intelligence persons all signed a letter in support of Brennan.

Brennan in an MSNBC interview said Trump was “drunk on power.”

The New York Times this morning suggested in so many words Trump was not a king.

The President is out of hand. He is overly impressed with himself. An authoritarian figure envisioning that which he is not. However, that which he hopes to become.

Trump has said he will strip many other persons of security clearance. Suggested it was a punishment. He was in effect keeping a list and knew who they were.

Crazy!!! Nixonian!!!

The French have a term “les majeste.” Means it is a crime to criticize the monarch, tantamount to treason. Trump is not a monarch. He does not serve by divine right. He was elected by the people to be their President. Period.

He can be criticized and it is not a crime to do so.

Chart Room first last night. John bartending. Quiet.

Did meet a doctor at the bar. One of the rowdy ones from the night before. All from the Youngstown area. All grew up together. Celebrating someone’s 40th birthday.

They all live in the same area today. Socialize together. Their children go to the same schools, etc.

Nice. The good doctor a nice guy, also. In spite of the night before.

Met also a gent from North Carolina. Enjoying life, as he put it. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer near his left eye. He has had surgery, radiation and chemo.

The cancer has returned. He feels chipper. He and his wife intend to enjoy.

The cancer has left him without the sense of taste. Also, he has next to no vision in the left eye.

Blue Macaw next for a bite to eat.

Met a terrific couple.. Amanda and Kip. Sixtyish. Married now 3 years. They are at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park working as volunteers. They live in a 46 foot hauler of some sort on the grounds of Fort Zach. Enjoying their time at the beach.

Terri White sings tonight and tomorrow morning.

This evening at Blue Macaw with Larry Baeder. Tomorrow morning for Brunch at Hard Rock Cafe 10-12.

I plan on being with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri at both events.

So many wonderful people in Key West! So many good friends! I am lucky in my old age.

One is Mary Lou Hoover. Reminds me of Cole Porter’s….She’s the tops, she’s the Mona Lisa.

Mary Lou has decided to be a politician in her mid years. She is running for City Commissioner in Key West’s District 5. If you are qualified to vote, vote for Mary Lou!

The other day, I wrote of public urinals for men on the streets of Paris. Men stand up to a box on a poll and in front of God, the world and passer-byes pee.

I woke about 5 this morning. Turned on TV to CNN. There it was. The Paris urinal story. Titled appropriately…..Qui Qui.

Church and state are like water and oil. They do not mix.

Many have forgotten the separation of church and state in this country that served us so well for many years. Trouble rises because of the forgetfulness.

The Arkansas State Capitol. A major fight several years ago. One faction of State government wanted to erect a statue of the Ten Commandments on State Capitol property. The group succeeded.

Now comes the members of the Satanic Temple.  They delivered and placed an 8.5 foot of Baphomet on Capitol grounds. Baphomet with two adoring children at his side.

Baphomet is a goat headed winged creature. A Sabbatical Goat. His followers devil worshipers.

The Satanic Temple members take the position that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If a statue of the Ten Commandments can stand, so too the statue of Baphomet.

Called freedom of religion. In conflict with separation of church and state. The problem would not have arisen had some religious zealots not insisted on the Christian statue. They and Arizona government forgot there is more than one religion in this country.

The rich get richer and the poor poorer.

Continues to be true.

The Economic Policy Institute issued a report. CEO’s receive higher compensation than employees each and every year. Employee salaries rarely change.

Numbers tell the story. Ratios of CEO salaries and workers compensation from 1965-2017. In 1965, the ratio was 20-1. In 1989, 58-1. In 2017, 312-1.

Wow! Are the workers of America getting screwed! The ratio  of 312-1 beyond belief. We are aware, however. One of the things that has to change. The 99 percent are entitled to live better also. Not as much as CEO’s. But better than they do today.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

KEY WEST BEWARE…..GILLEAN AND ROZALYN IN TOWN

Met them last night! Two lovelies from Virginia Beach! Gillean and Rozalyn!

At the Blue Macaw.

Lovely fails to describe them sufficiently. Beautiful! Early 30’s. Arrived yesterday. Staying till tuesday. Guarantee they will leave their imprint on Key West.

Gillean in marketing. Rozalyn a nurse.

They already had a list of must do/see things. Garden of Eden at the top of the list. Gillean can’t wait to go topless. Excited.

Both experienced divers. Plan on exploring the reef.

I suggested several places to play, eat and drink. Rozalyn put them all into her cell phone.

I suspect I will run into them. The Garden of Eden the best spot. However, I have not been on the roof in years. My heart no longer can handle the three flights of steep stairs. If I could make it, my heart probably would not be able to handle what I would see up there.

Hopefully we will see each other again sunday morning at the Hard Rock Cafe brunch. Terri and Larry Baeder will be singing. Guaranteed monday at Dueling Bartenders.

Started my yesterday at Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. Then to Publix. I really needed groceries!

Some reading in the afternoon. Still going through Madeleine Albright’s Fascism. I highly recommend it. She traces modern day authoritarian figures beginning with Mussolini and Hitler. Leads up to Trump.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. One of Key West’s great personalities.

Met 2 guys. One from Scranton. The other originally from Albany, his wife Rochester. My home town Utica in the middle.

They were headed over to Michael’s for dinner.

Met Dion. Another lovely. An evening for lovely women!

Dion from Jamaica. I have visited twice. Many years ago. We talked about then and now. Interesting.

A tragedy yesterday. Of monumental proportions. Donna and Terri had Bear neutered. His testicles snipped. Horrendous! The mere thought bothers me.

Bear not a happy camper last night.

David Wolkowsky keeps popping up the past couple of weeks. My friend will be 99 saturday. A small party of 25 planned. I am invited. Can’t wait. An intimate event as only David can arrange.

David is Mr. Key West. If not for him, the Key West of today would not exist.

David bought a key 10 miles off Key West in 1974. Ballast Key. He constructed a magnificent home. All the amenities, although 10 miles off shore.

In his earlier days, he entertained big time at Ballast Key. World and national figures including British Prime Minister Edward Heath and Leonard Bernstein. His forever friend Jimmy Buffett a frequent guest.

David’s menu always the same. Champagne, hot dogs and chips.

A move is underway to rename Ballast Key to David Wolkowsky Key. This past week, the Monroe County Commission approved the change. Next, the approval of the federal government is required. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names. If they approve, the change will take take effect 5 years following David’s death.

Things never get better in Venezuela. Yet Maduro survives. Amazing.

The economy is in the shit house. Has been for several years. People do not have enough food. Several years ago, they ate their pets and zoo animals. People have trained themselves to eat every other day. Even babies.

Desperate times bring on desperate deeds. Many Venezuelans have turned to piracy. Old time piracy. Blackbeard’s type. Venezuelan pirates are rampaging the Caribbean in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago. Attacking yachts and fishing vessels.

Criminal chaos unleashed.

One victim who survived a pirate attack reported his group were doused with hot oil, hacked with machetes, and thrown overboard. Following which their boat was taken.

Manafort’s trial goes to the jury today. He spent a lot of money on items associated with the good life. Ten thousand dollar custom made suits an example.

Manafort has been sitting during the trial dressed to the nines, except he wears no socks. Turns out as a prisoner he can only wear government issued white socks. He is in court wearing magnificent suits and shoes. No socks! White socks do not go with his attire. He would rather go without.

The U.S. does not belong in Syria. Never the less, we are there. As is Russia and several other nations. All want a piece of the pie, ultimate control, etc. Russia and the U.S. till recently on opposite  sides. Trump however has us moving closer to being in bed with Russia.

Putin believes Russia will be involved with Syria for the long term. Hopefully forever. He is pulling a Hitler trick to assure such. He is after the Syrian youth.

Beginning this year, Syrian children will be permitted to attend Russian military academies in Russia. The first group begins September 1. The Syrians permitted to attend are the children of Syrian war heroes. Those who died in the long bloody Syrian conflict.

The intention is to develop the children into the military elite of the Syrian Arab Republic. Within 15 years, a sufficient number will have made it through the program and will control the Syrian military.

All Russian brain washed.

The program has been approved by a Russian governmental decree. Means Putin approved. It is referred to as “adaptation training.”

Hitler did something similar with the Hitler Youth. Hitler’s attitude then and Putin’s now: Get them while their young!

Enjoy your day!

 

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!

HUMPTY DUMPTY

I just completed my Key West Lou Live show on Facebook. Three minutes of rambling on a particular object. This morning…..Humpty Dumpty. The Mother Goose rhyme.

Remember the words: “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, / Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.”

In 1925, the song I’m Sitting On Top Of The World was written. It was later popularized by Dean Martin, Doris Day and Bobby Darin. A phrase in the song: “…..just like Humpty Dumpty, I’m gonna fall.”

Donald Trump is Humpty Dumpty. He’s gonna fall!

Even though 89 percent of his party love him and a good percentage of the American people do also, his failures are mounting. Most recently, Kim at Singapore, Putin at Helsinki, and the tariff wars.

I have been predicting the tariff wars would take their toll. A recession by next year. It is beginning. Soy bean farmers, lobster fishermen, potato farmers, and car manufacturers, amongst others, are complaining. They are hurting and will hurt worse.

The Mueller investigation is at Trump’s door.

He is in his last mile.

Dueling Bartenders last night at Aqua. Terri my date. She was not working. A customer, though she did sing a song or two. Donna arrived later. She had been working.

Rick Dery and Heather-May performing. Tom Luna not for some reason.

Jean Thornton was there. My friend forever. I am indebted to her.

The girls from saturday night at Blue Heaven. Debbie, the other half of the Golden Girls, Sharon, Megan and Mary. Kevin and Holly experienced Dueling Bartenders for the first time. Good friend Joseph arrived with Linda and Barbara.

Hank came over to say hello. He was in the Hemingway Look-a -Like contest this weekend. One hundred fifty one Hemingways participated.

He said we had met 5 years ago at the Chart Room. Hank has been participating for 25 years. Says he will never win. But fun!

He gave me a gift. A Hemingway chain he received during the competition. Inscribed on it: “Write drunk, edit sober.” Signed, Ernest Hemingway.

A pleasing gift. I will wear it on occasion. I an Italian-American who never wore neck jewelry in his life!

Thanks again, Hank.

Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe with Donna and Terri. Ribs. So good! I could not finished them. My lunch later today.

Tonight, my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A slew of interesting subjects. Join me for a quick moving half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Lauri, Lauri, Lauri. Seventeen years worked at Aqua. She gave her notice. She is moving on. To the Rum Barrel. She will be working the bar wednesday, friday and saturday nights.

A new watering hole for me.

Key West is experiencing budget problems. In all my years in Key West, this is the first time I have heard it. Irma a contributing factor.

City Commissioners are doing the right thing. They are cutting the budget. I have no objection. Every now and then, we all have to tighten our belts.

My concern is that if one is to suffer, all should suffer. Ergo, I do not understand why City employees are scheduled to get a 4 percent pay raise.

BOB is recovering from last night. Says he plans on completing the Fantasy Fest portion of his story tomorrow. Recommends it be read.

One portion will cover that time when women walked about nude with their bodies covered only with paint. From the hairline down to the toes. Breasts and genitalia merely painted over.

Trump is upset with Kim. The results of the Singapore summit not as Trump thought or reported. What really got to Trump was that he and Kim shook hands on whatever was purportedly agreed to.

Makes me laugh. How many hands did Trump shake in construction deals and then screw people in the end. Not making full payment, claiming work was improperly performed, etc.

His way of doing business. Kim’s also.

The Singapore Summit is turning out to have been a colossal failure and utter waste of time.

When Pompeo flew to North Korea to see Kim and straighten things out, Kim did not meet with Pompeo. He was busy in the fields picking potatoes.

I wrote recently that if China were to sell off U.S. Treasury bonds or fail to purchase new ones as others reached maturity, it would have a dire impact on the American economy.

If we are to believe Trump, Putin is our friend. Friends help, not hurt each other. In March, Russia held $96.1 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds. In April, that number was down to $48.7 billion. In May, $14.9 billion.

Friend Putin is selling us out!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I WAS HUNGRY AND YOU GAVE ME FOOD

I repeat what I have said many times. Key West has a heart.

I was hungry and you gave me food. Matthew 25:35.

Yesterday, the Star of the Sea Foundation sponsored a free food for the needy event. In the pouring rain. Produce, frozen meats, canned goods and other food stuffs. Hundreds at the receiving end.

Cain asked of the Lord after he slain his brother Abel, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9.

We all are our brother’s keeper.

Proof is Taste of Key West tomorrow night at Mallory Square 6-9. The 22nd annual Taste of Key West. All kinds of dishes prepared by chefs from Key West restaurants.

Taste has been a highly successful fund raiser over the years for AIDS Help. Key West never turned its back on the AIDS problem and to this day continues to help.

We all are our brother’s keeper.

Donna is a concierge. An excellent one. She and Terri take me out with the concierge tickets Donna receives.

Last night, it was Hard Rock Cafe.

First time for me. Anywhere in the world. May never go again. I was not particularly impressed.

Others are, however. The place was packed. Even a wedding party that took over the whole first floor.

We had a good time. The three of us always do. That is why we hang out together frequently.

Poured heavy yesterday. All day. I was wearing my yellow slicker and baseball cap when out.

I wear crocs. Every day. One pair is all I have. That pair oh, so comfortable!

Old means soles worn out. Dangerous on a wet surface. Easy to fall and break something.

On the way from the Chart Room to Hard Rock Cafe, I stopped into the croc store to buy a new pair. Safety first!

Rain predicted for today. Ninety percent chance. Sunny right now.

Key West schools have strange programs. Strange from the perspective of one who grew up in central New York. Robert is taking a sailing class. Graded.

A group of high school students from two Key West schools are making a service trip to Masaya, Nicaragua. To help people there who are physically, mentally or economically challenged.

Robert and Ally’s step brother Cameron graduates from Florida State in two weeks. Six years ago, he made a similar trip to Mongolia. For two months. Alone.

I am enjoying William Hackley’s day by day story from his diary as printed in the Key West Citizen each day. Many others do, also. Reading it a learning process.

One of things written today a bit confusing. Could be the English. The thrust is that John Geiger sold the Lonja to Michael Farina for a negro boy valued at $600 and $800. Payments to be made every 6 months for 24 months. Hackley drew the bill of sale for the boy.

Lonja confused me. Googled it. Confused me even more. My best conclusion (and I could be wrong) is that the transaction involved only the boy. A lonja is defined among other things as being an auction or market.

I mention the John Geiger thing because of what African-American college students are doing at many universities across the country. If a building or some monument is named after a person who dealt with slaves in any fashion, there should be a name change and in the case of a monument, the removal of the monument.

Universities are giving in to the pressure and acceding to the demands of African-American students.

I disagree with what is occurring.

However…..Geiger Key. Up the road. A key and a famous waterfront restaurant and marina.

Should the name be changed? Of course not. Absolutely stupid! But, some might disagr

Enjoy your Sunday!