KEY WEST PEACE

Strange as it may sound, Key West is a very peaceful place to live.

Most think it is Duval Street night after night. Once for me. No more. The once being when I first started coming to Key West 26 years ago. After a few years, I had it with Duval. Too much for me. The excitement gone.

I still hit a bar or restaurant occasionally. That’s it. Don’t do one bar after another anymore.

Some things I did yesterday and will do today reflect the peaceful existence I enjoy.

Researched and wrote all day yesterday. Chart Room last night. Only the Chart Room. Sat at the bar and chatted with John. For a while with Phil from Minneapolis who sat next to me.

Phil only 36. A hard worker. Ha already made his mark and a bit of a fortune in an intellectual property firm he founded and sold. He is on vacation with an absolutely lovely lady friend. They are staying at the Pier House.

Enjoyed my time with John and Phil. Stimulating conversation.

A tough day ahead today. A haircut and manicure. Several hours apart. I will read and write in between.

Tonight, bocce. Though I no longer play because of my heart, I am still carried on the team roster. I sit on the players’ bench and cheer my friends on. Enjoying a couple of drinks at the same time.

I had to stop playing a couple of years ago. When I bent over to pick up the ball, I fell over. My  team mates began doing he bending and handing me the ball. Kind of them. Made me foolish.

Then I started losing strength when I threw the ball. That definitely was the end. I was of no value to the team.

I retired from bocce.

Conch Republic Days begin tomorrow. A many event weekend. Adults playing like children. I will watch some of the activities.

The carrier fleet heading for North Korean waters a continuing fiasco. No one assumes responsibility.

The USS Vinson was more than 3,000 miles away heading for the Indian Ocean for war games with Australia. Has been turned around and is now heading for Korean waters. Still around 3,000 miles away.

An obvious screw up. Trump and his people take the position that they were correct when they said the carrier fleet was heading for Korean waters. They never said when, however. Now that the Vinson has turned around, the fleet is heading for Korean waters.

Ergo, no one was misled.

We all make mistakes! Own up to them when they occur.

Trump came out with another beauty yesterday. He said Korea “actually used to be a part of China.” Truth searchers say no.

Tillerson announced yesterday he is seeking an exception for Russia from certain sanctions. Russia and Exxon-Mobile discovered what may be the largest oil deposit ever in Arctic waters. Saudi Arabia’s deposits minuscule in comparison.

Russia and the oil company are engaged in a joint venture/ownership in drilling for the oil. Work stopped because of the sanctions.

Tillerson says let the work proceed. What is he thinking? Here we are investigating Russia for tampering with our elections. Consider also Tillerson was CEO of Exxon-Mobile for 15 years.

Tillerson forgets he now works for the people of the United States.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE SILENCING OF ELIZABETH WARREN

We lose our freedoms a bit at a time. The cumulative effect at some point could be overwhelming.

America lost last night when Senator Elizabeth Warren was charged with impugning the character of a fellow member of the Senate. Jeff Sessions.

Does not make sense. Sessions the Senator was not the subject matter of the discussion. Sessions the nominee for Attorney Genera was. As such, he was fair game.

Especially since Warren was chastised and seated for wanting to read a letter by Coretta Scott Key re Sessions’ qualifications. Her letter of some 20 years ago when Sessions was a candidate for a federal judgeship. Read then, why not now?

The world’s greatest house for debate tainted itself last night by stifling fair comment.

My blog talk radio show last night interfered with watching the Syracuse/Clemson game.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou touched several Trump situations. Topped off with the Chicago Police Department’s unusually high suicide rate.

Syracuse, my Syracuse! Won again! By one point. 82-81. With a 3 pointer at the buzzer. God bless America! God bless Syracuse! Keep it up guys!

This morning finds the water level low. Tide out. Water calm.

A number of houses of prostitution existed in the Key West area in the 1930s and 1940s. The U.S. Naval Base provided most of the customers.

One was Alice Reid’s aka Mom’s Tea Room. She once was found guilty of bringing women across state lines for purposes of prostitution in violation of the Mann Act. Sentenced to three years. Another time, one of her ladies committed suicide. Cecelia Thompson Trunks. An overdose.

Whore houses are no more. Replaced by the socially acceptable strip joints/gentlemen’s clubs.

As well as escort services provided via telephone and the internet. Menu services. Order what you want.

Whether houses of ill repute of old or today’s more modern ways of finding sexual companionship, all wrong. Most of the women young ladies working under adverse conditions. In many instances, the products of human slavery.

Trump’s executive orders becoming cumulative. The orders and proposed legislation empower corporate America. The people losing along the way. A step at a time.

Stephen Bannon not happy with merely changing America. He is out to change the Vatican, also.

Bannon a Catholic. He is not happy with Pope Francis. A liberal. Bannon at best can be described as a far to the right conservative.

Politics everywhere. Even in the Vatican. Bannon has joined with Cardinal Burke to undermine and replace somehow Pope Francis. Burke a conservatve Church leader who was demoted by Pope Francis.

Lenin hoped his communist philosophy would ultimately take over the whole world. Bannon I suspect is hopeful that his far right beliefs will bring down not only government as we know it, but also the Catholic Church. Each to be replaced by new and radically different governments.

Yemen and the United States today. A perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.

Trump’s first commando raid was into Yemen last week. A disaster. One American killed, one $75 million helicopter lost, 14 al Qaeda soldiers killed, several citizens killed. One an 8 year old girl.

Yemen might be described as a split country. The U.S. recently assisted the good guys with an anti-terror ground mission.

Yemen is unhappy. Citizens were killed. A no no in most Middle East countries. Yemen’s people are upset. They have been burning the American flag in the streets.

They have also said they want no further anti-terror ground missions. No Americans to fight on their behalf. However, they will permit American military drones to continue their attacks. Also, they will permit American military advisers to remain.

A sort of biting the hand that feeds you situation.

Enjoy your day!

A DAY LIKE ALL DAYS

Busy yesterday. Did nothing out of the ordinary, however.

Started with a noon haircut appointment with Lori. Always a pleasure to spend time with Lori. Fifteen plus years now.

The Cuban Coffee Queen is around the corner from Blown Away. The heat/humidity too heavy to eat outside. Decided to pick up some things at Publix and feed myself at home.

Driving the Publix motivation was the fact that I had been dreaming for a couple of days of a home prepared chicken sandwich.

Bought a lemon pepper chicken.

Lunch was the desired chicken sandwich. A large soft roll. A thick slice of white chicken breast. Covered with a slice of tomato. A bit of salt and pepper. Then mayonnaise.

A dream come true!

Screwed around on the computer in the afternoon searching for a KONK column topic to do. Came up with nothing that excited me.

The Chart Room first last night. John told me Tom and Fran had been in earlier looking for me. Telephoned them. They were at Kermit’s enjoying key lime pie. Told me they would shortly join me.

Spent some time with Tom and Fran enjoying a couple of drinks. Then they were off to do sunset. Knew one of the entertainers and wanted to visit with him. The man with the cats jumping through hoops of fire.

I went across the street to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Enjoyed lamb chops again.

Joseph still on the mend. There is a new general manager. JP. We were introduced.

The Noble Group is not screwing Joseph. As I understand, there is an office job awaiting him when he returns.

Joseph has graduated from a walker to two canes. Progress slow.

Hello Jim Wenzel! Close friend of Tom Dixon. Both Buffalo bred. Jim now resides in Tampa. Tom told me he turned Jim on to the blog and he now reads it daily.

Welcome and thank you, Jim!

On the way back to my car, I passed the Chart Room. Ollie was at the bar. One of the heroes of the Zika test spraying fight. I stopped in to congratulate him. He believes Key Haven will defeat the test spraying proposal.

This week’s KONK Life column is German Persecution of Jews. It was carried this morning on E-Blast and also linked to my Key West Lou column. www.keywestlou.com.

My conscience Patrick posted a comment yesterday morning. He wanted to know why I had not commented on the $4 million/Iran/hostage situation. Simple. I only had the first blast of news. Accusatory. Did not make sense. Thought I should wait a day to see how the story played out.

Glad I delayed. Nothing wrong occurred.

Better safe than sorry. I concede I occasionally jump the gun. Rarely however. Sorry when I do.

Trump was terrific. Claimed he saw the whole thing on video. There was no video. He still kept saying he saw it on video.

Ronald Reagan was a tough guy.

On this day in 1981, he fired 11,359 air controllers. None to ever be rehired. When they struck and walked out two days earlier, he gave them 48 hours to return to work.

The union thought it was calling Reagan’s bluff. no way. He called theirs.

Reagan’s action was the beginning of the fall of union dominance in the United States.

Enjoy your day!

BOMB THREAT AGAIN

There was a bomb threat at the Key West High School yesterday morning. The second in a month. Telephoned in again.

Authorities investigated the auditorium first. It was deemed safe. Students and faculty were immediately secured in the auditorium. Two persons were injured in the move.

No bomb was found. Classes resumed.

Some nut or nuts is having fun. Sick fun. My concern is that another type nut will enter the scene. One who will plant a bomb. One crazy encourages another.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Then to Walgreens. A prescription pick up. Publix for a few items.

I was home by one. No TV, computer or house phone. All on Comcast. Comcast down. Did not come on till 4.

Difficult to live without TV and computer. I had some fine tuning remaining for last night’s show. Needed the computer. Could not do it till after 4. Fortunately, there was not much to do.

I wish Comcast was required to pay us for down time. Take something off our monthly bills. Comcast shows no mercy. They are difficult to do business with. Good luck in trying to talk to a human on the telephone. Impossible to complain.

Last night’s show went fine. Only one problem. My show is at 9. The President’s State of the Union address began at 9. I am sure he took more listeners from me than I him.

Watched the last half hour of the President’s State of the Union after my show concluded. You cannot take it away from Obama. He speaks well.

Hurried over to Hogfish for a quick bite around 6:30. Packed. Snowbirds again. Found a seat at the bar. Between body heat and heaters, I did not feel the cold.

My dryer died. Time for a new one. Keith picked one up for me at Sears. It sits in my garage in a box. I assume Keith will install it today. I never learned how to do these things.

The weather. It is cold. We are into our winter. A typical January. Last night really cold. Dropped to 66.

I live on open water. My bedroom faces the northwest. The wind over the ocean comes from the northwest. It is colder than the cold on the land. It seems to permeate my walls. I was freezing!

Tried an extra blanket. Not much help. Turned on the heat. Was reluctant to do so. Glad I did. Within minutes, my bedroom and body were warm.

Going to be cold today. High around 69.

Syracuse plays Boston College tonight. Syracuse should win. Boston’s record 7-8. Syracuse 10-7.

Wednesday is my friday. It is also screw off day for me. I research and write steadily friday through tuesday. It will be a Louis day all day.

I am going to schedule a manicure and pedicure. That’s being good to me!

Enjoy  your day!

 

LONG WRITING DAY

Yesterday was Sunday. Sunday is the day I write my KONK Life column.

I have wanted to write about the U.S. involvement in a war with Russia from 1917-1918. An interesting story. One few know about. The U.S. sent 13,000 troops.

The U.S. involvement was in a civil war. The Russian Civil War. The Reds/Whites battle.

We are involved in civil wars in the Middle East today. A lesson to be learned here. Ergo, I expanded the article to include civil wars and fighting wars to win. The Russian Civil War and today’s Middle East conflicts have much in common. Birds of a feather.

One problem. The longer the story, the longer it took to complete. Instead of finishing 3-4, I was at it till just after 6.

The time worth it. I was pleased with the final product. I hope you will be. The article publishes wednesday. The title: Stay Out of Civil Wars, Fight Wars To Win.

The extra time screwed up my sunday evening. I had intended to go to Kate Miano’s Gardens at 5. The sun broke late afternoon and it would have been perfect. There is always next week.

Rain. Heavy Rain. The last three days. Pours. Then stops. Only to return a couple of hours later.

The temperature is dropping also. The high today 71. 71 will be the highest all week. By weekend, the high will be down to 67. Long pants weather.

We have been lucky. December was terrific. We can handle a few weeks of cold.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff had a tongue in cheek comment in a recent article. Something to the effect that if Trump wins, he will rename the White House Trump Palace.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are at each other’s throats. These Middle East wars are civil wars. Based on religion. It is the Sunni/Shia battle which has been ongoing since just after the Prophet Muhammad’s death. The issue is which sect will lead the Muslims. Over 300 hundred years and still not resolved.

We are crazy to be involved. We should get out. We have been involved steadily in the Middle East in one fashion or another for fifteen years. Not our war!

Read an interesting comment somewhere this week. Cannot recall which publication. I read constantly. In any event, the comment was to the effect that Americans should not fight each other so much. We are not enemies but Americans first. We help ISIS when we destroy each other.

Enjoy your day!

THE WORLD IS UPSIDE DOWN

Two years ago, I published my first book. The World Upside Down. If I thought things were screwed up then, they are worse now. The world IS upside down.

The past two days a perfect example.

The U.S. House of Representatives. Congress in chaos, turmoil. Congress not working.

Major powers screwing up.

It was reported yesterday that Russia was firing missiles from a vessel at Syria. Four of the missiles landed in Iran. Russia’s friend. Russia denies such occurred. Claims it is part of psychological warfare on the part of the United States.

If the missile event did occur, it fits into my representation that the world is upside down. If it did not occur and the U.S. made it up, it likewise fits.

I forgot to mention yesterday an experience at Don’s Place wednesday evening. When I walked in, several mentioned congratulations. I heard the word lottery mentioned. I paid no attention.

After chatting with Don and David a while, John and Jimmy congratulated me on winning the lottery. I should be so lucky! All of us should be so lucky!

Jimmy told me the word was I won $10,000 on a lottery scratch off card. Not so.

I knew a local businessman back home who won $1 million in the lottery. One year later, he won another $1 million.

He died six months after his second winning.

Yesterday so so and easy. The anti-gravity treadmill in the morning. Spent the afternoon researching. I have not yet decided what next week’s KONK Life column will be.

Last night, bocce. We won 2 out of 3 games. Trounced in the game we lost.

Our record now 17-4. Someone said last night left us tied for second place. First place had only two defeats.

It’s amazing! In any other season, a win of 2 out of 3 games was considered a win. Not this season. We want to win 3 out of 3 all the time. The only way we can maintain our position. We are in a place we have never been before.

I am on the radio just past noon today. 12:10. 104.9. KONK News Hour. Guy deBoer will be discussing with me this week’s column. The Doctors Killed The President.

Only 10 minutes. If possible, listen in.

Enjoy your day!

BUBBA SYSTEM AT WORK

Key West politicians take care of their own. Meaning Key Westers. In Key West called the Bubba System. What these politicos forget is that those they are protecting against generally are locals also.

The Uber handling thus far a disgrace. Shades of Duck tours.

It is easy to understand what occurred. When local cab companies and cab drivers became aware Uber was coming, they complained to City Commission members. The City Commission took care of their own. They passed an ordinance making it illegal for Uber to operate.

There are only 72 permits available for cabs in  Key West. Four cab companies the owners. Permits hard to get. There has not been a permit available for 26 years.

The new ordinance made it a crime in effect for drivers to operate under Uber auspices (though Uber was not mentioned specifically in the ordinance), subjected drivers to arrest and jail upon conviction, and worst of all provided that no jury trial would be available. The lack of right to a jury trial specific evidence of the intent of the City Commission to stand solidly behind locals to the detriment of others.

A we’ll get them attitude. The same attitude that cost Key West taxpayers $8 million in the Duck Tours case.

I am motivated to write about Uber once more because this morning’s Key West Citizen tells the story of a local who drove under Uber. He recently had lost a $900 a month management job. Uber was his God send. A way to make up the money. And not at $10-12 an hour. He was arrested yesterday by two undercover police officers. Sounds like a major drug bust!

The City Commission forgets Key West has many outside companies that provide jobs for locals and provide a specific service to residents. Think about it. Gap, Banana Republic, McDonald’s, Sears, Outback. Even hotels. The Pier House, La Concha, and the Southernmost Complex.

My yesterday was the anti-gravity treadmill, my dentist Dr. George Lindner, and researching for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Topics include how the U.S. has lost its way, Iran, the French Revolution, a Greece update, El Salvador refusing to use Monsanto herbicides, China not sitting on its ass, and more.

Join me at 9 o’clock for a fast moving interesting show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Th U.S./Iran deal announced this morning. I am fearful. I do not trust middle east nations. Iran and Saudi Arabia two examples. What they promise and what they ultimately do two different things. The U.S. is fortunate Israel is not buying in. Israel will bomb the hell out of Iran if their suspicions turn into realities.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..” Opening words of Charles Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities. A story of the French Revolution. Today is the anniversary of the event. On this day in 1789, the French people went to the streets, stormed the Bastille, etc.

Enjoy your day!

KEY WEST CHICKENS

The morning of what will be another good day in Key West!

Today’s Key West Citizen’s Day in History section made comment re Key West chickens. On this day in 2004, the City Commission appointed an official chicken catcher. An experiment that failed.

The contract with the chicken catcher was for 9 months. He would be paid $20 for each chicken captured. There was a limit of 900. At the time, it was estimated there were 2,000-3,000 free roaming chickens.

The chicken catcher captured 542. Considered to be roughly 25 percent of the chicken population. At that point, the chicken catcher packed it in.

He claimed the City leaders were not committed to the cause. He felt they were micromanaging by providing him with chicken lists which specified particular areas where he should do his catching. The chicken catcher found this difficult. Many chickens might be in  a particular area today, but not tomorrow. They moved at will. The chicken lists were useless. By the time he got to an area to catch them, they were gone.

The chicken catcher claimed Key West residents were not cooperative.  They would stomp on his traps and taunt him. The oral abuse was too much.

Another consideration was involved. Money. Chickens are an endangered species or have some sort of protected status in Florida. They cannot be killed. The chicken catcher was required to ship them to a chicken farm located somewhere in northern Florida. The chickens would spend their remaining days in chicken comfort. The cost of shipping the chickens north came out of the $20.

There are chickens in Key West to this day. They probably will be here for all time.

Where did the chickens come from? Two sources are suggested.

The first involves cock fighting. A big sport in the keys for years. It is said cock fighting matches still go on in the wooded mangrove areas away from highways and police. The chickens of today are the descendants of the chickens originally brought to the lower keys for cock fighting purposes.

The other source is that early on, chickens were part of the food chain. There were no super markets. People kept chickens for food and eggs. A number of today’s chickens are descendants of those chickens.

Personally, I do not like the chickens. They are dirty and I fear germ carrying. I will concede however they are lovely to look at.

On to professional football. When I first heard of the deflated ball problem and the Patriots a few days ago, my initial reaction was that whoever was involved should be barred from professional football for all time. The wrong as bad as that committed by the Chicago White Sox many years ago. However after watching many retired pro football players on TV commenting on the issue, it appears every team does it. If so, then the punishment, if any, should be nominal.

The NFL however must put means and rules in place that will prevent this from happening again. The whole matter leaves me with a sour taste.

We close with my diet. I finally lost another pound. I am thrilled. It is now 28 pounds I have shed. I look forward to 30, though I do not plan quitting at that number.

Enjoy your day!