NO POKER RUN ANGERS MERCHANTS

This past weekend was Poker Run. Along the Keys. Racing down U.S. 1. Ending some 25 miles north of Key West at Boondocks Restaurant.

Key West no longer a part of Poker Run.

Poker Run a charity fundraising event. Bikers from all over come to Key West. Most ship their bikes to Miami and then ride them down the Keys. Good people most. Actually doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs on a fun weekend. Many with their ladies perched behind them. Everyone attired Marlon Brando style.

Last year a problem arose. Two for real biker gangs came to town for the event. Bad guys. Each gang here to make claim to Key West as their turf. They came looking for trouble. A bloody fight ensued between them at a Greene Street bar.

Key West City fathers became concerned as a result. Set conditions for the Poker Run sponsor to meet. Conditions that would have obligated him personally for injuries and damages. He of course declined.

Marked the end of Poker Run in Key West.

Key West prepared for the onslaught of bikers in the event its refusal to have them was not recognized. Barricades and signs were placed the length of Duval where the bikers normally parked.

Now comes the anger. The Duval merchants. Clamoring over the loss of business. September slow. Some still hurting from Irma. Employees could use the extra money.

I do not condone the for real biker gangs. The bikers other than them were normal tourists, except for attire and mode of transportation.

Key West is changing, however. I am not sure I agree with the changes. Key West has its own flavors. Now, no nudity at Fantasy Fest, no Poker Run. We might very well be contributing to killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Sloan spent a couple of hours with me yesterday. Resolved the computer problem about 80 percent. Problems reoccurred last night, though to a lesser degree.

Orchid Bar my first stop last night. Victor bartending. Knew Kevin would be there.

Two couples from North Carolina seated next to us. They got out of Dodge. Escaped Florence. Glad they did. Their community flooded. No way to return. They will wait out the time in Key West enjoying themselves till it is safe to return.

A smart move. Reminded me of Irma and Birmingham.

Then to the Rum Bar. Friend Lauri bartending. Art and George at the bar. No Donna and Terri. Both home recovering from bronchitis and colds.

A problem. Everyone lip kisses Terri. Cannot be permitted. Donna and Terri agree. They are returning to Terri banging elbows with people.

Bocce season has returned. Teams competing three weeks already. Don’s Place tied for 5th place with a 6-3 record. Not bad.

I miss playing.

Ever hear of Herkimer, N.Y.? A little town 12 miles from my home town Utica. The scene of Revolutionary War battles.

Back then, Herkimer was known as German Flats.

It was this day 1778. The fight for freedom raging. Local Iroquois and Mohawk Indians were fighting on the side of the British. Mohawk Indian Chief and British loyalist leader Joseph Bryant led  a surprise attack on German Flats. He led a force of 150 Iroquois Indians and 300 British loyalists in the attack.

Fortunately, the settlers became aware just before the attack that it was coming. They escaped to safety at nearby forts.

The Indians and British loyalists set fire to German Flats. Destroyed 63 homes, 57 barns, 3 grist mills, and 1 saw mill.

The Herkimer of today is much like Key West. Except for the Duval/tourist section. People pleasant. Conservative. Smaller in population. The County seat. I tried many cases in Herkimer County Supreme Court.

I worry about U.S. involvement in Syria. I mentioned certain of my concerns yesterday. I continue today.

Iran is a testing ground re U.S./ Russia relations. Both nations are bumping heads. Putin on the side of Assad, together with Iran. Trump on the side of the rebels, being encouraged by Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The area of conflict known as Ibid. The last al-Qaeda stronghold in Syria. The rebels al-Qaeda.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard a Democrat from Hawaii. An Iraqi war veteran and a current Army reserve officer.

9/11 was last week. Two days following 9/11, the Congresswoman spoke on the floor of Congress. She called on Congress to condemn the Trump administration’s protection of the al-Qaeda in Ibid. She believes Trump’s policies are “a betrayal of the American people. Especially victims of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack.”

The Congresswoman wants military withdrawal and non-intervention in Syria. She claims Trump is seeking regime change.

Her position succinctly stated: Get out of Syria! Not our headache!

Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination hitting a few bumps in the road. The most recent the allegation of a Professor Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh tried to attack her sexually when they were high school students. Kavanaugh adamantly denies the charge.

I assume Ford will get her day before the Committee this week.

If true, an isolated incident? Are there more sex abuse situations during Kavanaugh’s life? My experience indicates if there are more, now is the time they will come out of the wood work.

Even if no others appear, consider if Ford is believed. Such makes Kavanaugh a liar. Combine that lie with others it appears he made during his hearings. A liar on the Supreme Court?

An interesting week ahead.

Dueling Bartenders tonight. Kevin will probably meet me. Holly is out of state visiting her mother.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

SYRACUSE BURIES FLORIDA STATE 30-7

My orange blood boiled yesterday. From excitement! Syracuse beat Florida State. Handily, 30-7.

Mighty Casey did not strike out!

Florida State had won the previous 11 encounters between the schools.

Was Syracuse that good or was Florida State that bad? A combination, I suspect. The test comes in future games. Next week Connecticut. A Syracuse victory. The following week, Clemson. Who knows. A real test.

Star quarterback Eric Dungey got hurt again. Second quarter. Freshman Tom DeVito went in. What a game DeVito played!

It is exciting that well played football is returning to Syracuse. It has been a long time. If my recollection is correct, the late 1990’s was the last time the team experienced golden years. Duncan McNabb’s time.

Spent my Saturday night at Blue Macaw. Enjoyed!

Met Jean Paul. A Hatian by birth. Came to the U.S. at 19. Now 61. Entertained last night. Played and sang.

Jean Paul multi-talented. A musician and artist. Showed me some of his paintings. Magnificent! Paints his homeland in vibrant colors. He has an outdoor gallery on Duval across the street from Hard Rock Cafe.

The story is told that when Jean Paul came to the U.S. at 19, the family settled in a flat in Brooklyn. Cold! Colder than that apparently. Jean Paul was accustomed to Haitian heat.

We talked long. I like Jean Paul. Sense we will be friends.

Andrea and Joe were at the bar. We sat together. Good people!

Paul was there again with his sister Laura and brother in law Dennis. They escaped Florence. They are from Myrtle Beach.

Laura a former first grade school teacher. Dennis retired from the Post Office.

Larry Baeder played later in the evening. I learned Larry is quite a giving man. Generous of his time. He works gratis teaching the young children at the Community Center music and how to play musical instruments.

I did a Publix stop on the way home. It was 9:50. Publix closes at 10. I moved my ass around fast enough to spend $70 and be out the door at 9:59. The third time I have done late late night shopping recently.

Florence ain’t going away! More and worse flooding for several days yet. Those who failed to leave now being rescued by first responders.

I hope everything works out as Trump projected. The number of people requiring assistance grows by day. I question whether there will be sufficient shelter, water and food. I question preparations for Florence’s arrival. There was sufficient time to be ready.

Trump enjoys twittering. As of this coming thursday, he will have a new toy. Referred to as the Presidential Alert System.

A law was authorized in 2015 establishing an Emergency Alert System. Using cell phones. Provides for immediate contact by the President warning of disasters.

The system is for Presidential use. The subject matter must relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, other man made disasters, or a threat to public safety.

A good idea. My concern is whether Trump will abuse the new system. Use it as he uses Twitter. Probably.

FEMA will test the new system next Thursday for the first time.

There are good people in the world. We do not hear of them enough. I came across one this morning while glancing through John Reinke’s Jasper Jottings.

Dennis Frandsen is a mid west successful banker.  His bank has 35 branches in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Luck Public School is located in Wisconsin. This year’s graduating class will number 34. Frandsen has guaranteed each graduate a free college education. He will pay tuition for at least 2 years at a technical college.

The U.S. and Russia are pushing at each other in Syria. Let me share one person’s thoughts.

Ian Welsh is a Canadian blogger I follow. He recently wrote Syria could be straining the already strained U.S./Russia relationship. Russia together with Iran support Assad. The U.S. supports the rebels.

Saber rattling going on. Rumors afloat that Assad plans to use chemical weapons against the rebels. Trump has clearly said the U.S. will retaliate if he does. Russia is pushing Assad.

Welsh thinks the U.S. could lose in a fighting conflict with Russia. The basis for his belief is that the U.S. has fallen behind re missiles and missile defense technology. I believe him correct that the U.S. is behind missile wise.

Welsh describes Trump’s position as follows: He is against getting into a war with Russia “but he seems to have become deranged about Syria’s Iran ties…..U.S. foreign policy…..is doing what Saudi Arabia and Israel want, not what is good for the U.S.”

Sloan coming at noon. A busy afternoon ahead.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEMA…..ARE YOU THERE?……ARE YOU DOING THE JOB?

I worry. Are we going to fall on our face once again when it comes to helping our own? Katrina a Bush failure. Puerto Rico Trump’s.

Florence here. Trump assured us he was ready. FEMA was ready. Both had enough time to get ready. We knew Florence was coming for days. We knew it was going to be a big one.

I am concerned that Trump fails to understand the magnitude of the Florence assistance required. We will know in a week.

FEMA puts out reports constantly. Bureaucratic bullshit. The official FEMA report published at 7 am September 14 spelled out in detail what was being done and would be done. The report was titled the Hurricane Florence Lifeline.

I hope everyone involved read it and are prepared to take on one of the largest natural disaster recoveries in U.S. history.

Last night the Chart Room. Quiet. John bartending. I wanted to say bon voyage and wish him well. He leaves sunday morning for a 10 day Jamaican vacation.

Mary was seated at the bar. I normally see her at Blue Macaw. Spent some time chatting with her. An intelligent woman.

Mary is a tour guide at The Little White House. I consider myself extremely knowledgeable re Harry Truman. Mary has me beat. I learned several new Truman things from her.

I left Mary at the Chart Room and headed over to Blue Macaw. Packed! No room at the bar! So I left.

It was Sandy’s Cafe for dinner. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee. The bill $5.03. Can’t beat it.

Home in bed before 9. A good boy was I.

The Tropic Cinema is Key West. Conceived, constructed and operated by locals. A life like statue of Marilyn Monroe sits in front of the theater. Her skirt blowing upwards from a subway vent beneath her feet.

Monroe laughing.

On this day in 1954, the “skirt” scene was filmed. The Tropic Cinema did well in capturing that moment for Key West.

The VIP Gentlemen’s Club is at the quiet far end of Duval. 1221 Duval. There has been some sort of “club’ there for years. Young ladies siting on the front porch enticing men as they walk by. Young ladies inside.

It appears to be a house of ill repute. I do not think so. More of a rip off place. Men pay a fee to get inside. Once heard $300. Any service by the girls extra. Paid for. Not provided. The ladies do not engage in that sort of thing.

Credit car bills occasionally have a 0 or 2 added on.

The police rarely get involved. They view the problems as contractual/civil rather than criminal.

The place should have been closed years ago. It is a taint on Duval and Key West. No better than the hustlers at the other end of Duval ripping off customers in perfume shops.

Yesterday, the police did get involved. Not for the normal problems, however. Ashley Barrett, age 26, is a “stripper” at the club. She apparently got drunk during the day. Threatened her coworkers first with a knife. Later in the day with an iron.

She was arrested.

Paul Manafort buried Trump yesterday with his plea. He flipped. All the way. Caused Humpty Dumpty to fall off the wall. Ended up with Manafort’s heel on Trump’s throat.

Donald Jr and Jared next. Then, the big one! Deservedly so. He has brought America to the brink of disaster in many ways. Possible shooting wars, the tariff wars, etc.

A pleasurable afternoon awaits. Syracuse/Florida State at noon. Florida State a 2 1/2 point favorite. Syracuse’s first real competition this season. I am excited. Hope Syracuse wins!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

I FELL ASLEEP

Tuesday night at 9 is my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spend all day tuesday preparing for the show. Never leave the house.

Everything was ready to go at 8. Everything hooked up, notes on the desk, etc. Needed only 30 seconds to make everything operational.

I laid on my bed to watch TV till show time. Fell asleep!!! A no no!!!

Woke and Rachel Maddow was on. Her show starts at 9. It was 9:02. Rushed to my office, did the necessary, and was on the air 3 minutes late.

I was still half asleep. The first few minutes were a disaster. Even got a coughing jag.

I have not looked at the finished product. Some will write me today and tell me how it came out, ask what was wrong, etc.

Florence is bothering me mentally. I attribute the problem to Irma. Amazing!

Spent 60 percent of the show discussing hurricanes. Florence, Maria and the Labor Day 1935 Hurricane.

Trump had the audacity to speak of Puerto Rico yesterday. Trump said Puerto Rico was the “best” job the U.S. did. Described the help provided as fantastic. Closed with the assistance provided as “an incredible unsung success.”

What does he smoke?

Trump deludes himself. Puerto Rico a failure if there ever was one. Almost 3,000 dead as a result.

I buy the President is not mentally stable.

Re Florence, he says we’re ready. FEMA ready. A good job will be done. I hope so. However, I am willing to bet he will blow it here also. No one at Trump or FEMA’s level seems to understand what is coming. The devastation Florence will wrought.

Florence is a monster racing to the coast. The Carolinas in danger. Perhaps even Georgia. Hurricanes are fickle. All wind is fickle. Some experts believe Florence could turn left, move south, and not make landfall till it hits Georgia.

Whatever, rain will be torrential. Twenty inches or more. Surges 18-20 feet. Flood waters estimated at 4 feet.

The Carolinas have not been subjected to such a storm since some time in the 1950’s. I read somewhere that Eisenhower was President and Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were newlyweds at the time.

My car is sick. Does not start immediately. At the garage. Not the battery or starter. Mechanic thinks it is the ignition.

The car a Volkswagen Beetle. Ten years old. Only 40,000 miles. Should be good for another 10. However, the past two years it has been costing me money. One thing after another.

Terri sings tonight at Blue Macaw. Larry and Terri. A big event. First time she will be paid by Blue Macaw. Beginning this evening, every wednesday a paid performance.

My working lady!

The Southwest Point. A very popular tourist stop. Purportedly the most southernmost point in the U.S. Not really, but accepted as such.

Tourists line up a hundred at a time by day to stand in front of the red, yellow and blue monument. They wait in line so their pictures can be taken standing in front of the monument.

When I finish my night at Blue Macaw, my way home takes me past the monument. Ten at night, there are still people waiting in line to take a picture. Not many. Ten to twenty. Interesting. Definitely a popular tourist attraction.

Pythons a non-resolvable problem for Florida. The State waited too long to deal with them. Now estimated to be more than 1 million. Present goal is to contain the pythons, not eradicate them.

The State periodically runs eradication programs. Hunt down pythons and kill them! Not very successful.

The Irula tribe are born and raised in India. Their specialty is killing poisonous snakes. Male children are taught how to do so beginning at age 3.

They are in Florida now at the invitation of the State. To hunt and kill pythons. I am unaware as to what they are being paid.

The federal government was severely criticized in 1935 following the Labor Day hurricane in the mid Keys. A category 5. Close to 700 World War I veterans were sent to work on U.S. 1. Lived in tents, etc. The hurricane killed 485, most of whom were veteran workers.

The criticism levied against the government was for sending workers into the Keys during hurricane season. Turned out Washington was not cognizant of hurricanes or their season.

A somewhat similar situation occurred recently.

This is hurricane season. Florence on the way. Unquestionably a biggie! This summer Homeland Security took $10 million from its hurricane budget and transferred the money to ICE. ICE was in need of additional funding for immigrant detention and deportation.

Another Trump administration screw up! After Florence departs, Trump will be crying how much money the government needs to help Florence victims and how it does not have enough.

Washington values are misplaced.

Enjoy your day!

 

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!

 

JIMMY BUFFETT…..JAMAICA MISTAICA

I continue to live and learn.

Chart Room good fun last night.

John mentioned he would be gone for 2 weeks. Vacation. Jamaica.

I am still reading Peter Schweizer’s Secret Empires. Came across a line yesterday that stated Jamaica was corrupt. Time frame maybe 10 years ago. Suggested John beware.

Kevin and Holly were chatting with us. Kevin and John both stated Jamaica was corrupt. As are many of the smaller islands. They then told me the Jimmy Buffett story and his plane having been shot at in Jamaica because the gendarmes thought it belonged to drug smugglers.

First time I was hearing the story.

It was January 16, 1996. Twenty two years ago. Buffett had his own plane. A Grumman HU-16 Albatross flying boat. Buffett named it Hemisphere Dancer.

Buffett has a commercial pilot license. He was flying the plane that day. On board were U2’s Bono, his wife Ali, their 2 children, and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.

Buffett was either landing near Negril or taking off. No formal record of the flight nor landing registered. They had stopped or were stopping to enjoy the “best” jerky chicken in Jamaica.

Jamaican authorities suspecting drug smuggling began shooting. The plane took several hits. Fortunately, no one injured.

Jamaica apologized several weeks later.

Buffett wrote a song about the incident titled Jamaica Mistaica. A stanza: “Come back, come back to Jamaica / Don’t chu know we made a big mistake / We’d be so sad if you told us good-bye / And we promise not to shot you out of the sky.”

More dialogue at the Chart Room.

Kevin and I were at it re the Democrats and Republicans. He a die hard Trump fan. Fortunately, we are friends. Even when our voices raise on high. However, we both think the other does not know what he is talking about.

John said he had a ton of fresh tuna. A customer had given it to him. Cleaned. John had frozen it.

Let’s have a party!

Monday at 4.

Kevin and John asked me to bring along Donna and Terri. Ran into them later at Blue Macaw and they were excited. Except, Donna cannot make it. She will be working. Terri becomes my date.

Enjoyed a drink with Donna and Terri at Blue Macaw. Terri was in a bad way. Extremely sorrowful. Down in the dumps. Donna, likewise.

Terri had starred in Nunsense 1 and 2 with Rue McClanahan. Most of you will remember Rue as Blanche Devereaux on the The Golden Girls. The TV show that ran 1985-1982.

Rue died in 2010. However, a British Company is doing a series about her. Terri was interviewed by a British representative of the company long distance yesterday for 2 hours. About her relationship personally and professionally with Rue.

The interview weighed heavily on both my ladies last night.

Syracuse football back! Play Wagner this afternoon. A small college. Syracuse a 25 point favorite. Hope I can get the game on TV. I subscribe to the college game channels. Unfortunately, they do not carry all of them.

Tonight another dinner party. At Joe and Andrea’s. Donna and Terri invited also. Afterwards to Blue Macaw where Terri will be singing with Larry Baeder.

Hurricane Florence. She’s coming! So say the weather people. Still far off. If it hits landfall in the U.S., it will be sometime mid week.

Florence has diminished in strength from a category 4 to a tropical storm. Professionals say it was expected. However at some point, Florence will increase in intensity and return to hurricane status.

Landfall somewhere along the North American shore. Governor Cooper of North Carolina has already declared a state of emergency. He’s not screwing around.

Florence may decide not to make land. The alternative is a hard right turn into the Atlantic. Too soon to tell.

I watched Obama’s speech yesterday afternoon. Simply stated…..Vote! God helps those who help themselves.

A step back in history. On this day in 1974, President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. Ford claimed his motivation was to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal. The Nation had to be reunited.

Ford pardoned Nixon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office.

I agreed with Ford then. I continue to agree with him.

Unfortunately, not everyone felt as I did. Many harbored ill will towards Ford because of the pardon. It cost him the election when he ran.

Enjoy your day!

 

ORIGIN OF UNCLE SAM

The United States has a nickname. We all know it. Uncle Sam.

Where did it come from? How did it originate? Who is responsible for the nickname?

We have to go back to the War of 1812 for the answer.

Samuel Wilson was a Troy, N.Y. meat packer who supplied beef to the U.S. Army. Beef was transported in barrels.

On this day in 1813, Wilson began stamping the barrels with “U.S.” Purpose to inform everyone who was in contact with the barrels that the contents came from the United States.

Soldiers began referring to the beef they were eating as “Uncle Sam’s.”

A local newspaper picked up on the story. In due course, Uncle Sam gained widespread acceptance as the nick name for the U.S. federal government.

Recognition of Wilson’s contribution took a long time to acknowledge. However in September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Wilson as “the progenitor (father of) America’s symbol of Uncle Sam.”

My yesterday began with a haircut. Enjoy the time I spend with Lori. She has now been cutting my hair for 18 years. Looks as young today as she did back then.

Then to Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. I like the place. They know me and I know them. Always a friendly welcome. No need to order. They know I eat the same thing each time. Automatically bring it to me.

A car problem developing. Could be the battery. Not sure. Turns over slowly. Strange, however. If the car has been sitting for a half hour or more, it starts slowly. If sitting 5 minutes or so, starts normally.

Hopefully, I will find out today. Every time I returned to the car yesterday, I was not certain it would start. Not a welcome feeling.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. Steve and Cindy at the bar. Enjoyed their company.

Met Colin and Carli from Sarasota. Have been vacationing for a week. Staying at the Pier House. They married on Smathers Beach several years ago. Return to Key West often.

Colin originally from Northern England. They return there also to visit.

Both are employed by the same company, different departments. Computer soft ware programming.

Drove to Blue Macaw for a bite. Enjoyed ribs and a drink.

Ran into Donna, Terri, Joe and Andrea. Stayed a while. Stopped by Mary and Doug to share a few words.

Close to 10 when I left. Stopped at Publix on the way home. Desperately in need of food. Swiftly up and down the aisles to beat closing time. Good exercise.

Prior to the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, I considered Judge Kavanaugh not to be the best of choices. Too far to the right. Rigid. Not fair.

I listened to him being questioned 2 days ago. I was very impressed. The man has one of the best legal minds I have been exposed to. Brilliant.

Such does not necessarily mean he would make a good Supreme Court Justice. The law is not black and white. It is gray. His legal genius would be able to twist things to his far right way of thinking and bring us back to the middle ages.

Ergo, an excellent legal thinker whose ideas are not in the best interests of most U.S. citizens.

I spelled this position out in my Key West Love Live video on Facebook yesterday.

Then, I watched parts of yesterday’s proceedings. Cause me to suspect the good Judge is a liar. A skillful one. Prone to avoid, I don’t recall, lie.

I now find him to be not only an improper candidate for the Supreme Court bench, but also the Circuit Court he sits on.

The Republicans have been playing games with records. It became obvious yesterday why. Kavanaugh has a track record. What he has written or done in the past does not always coincide with his testimony this week.

Two Democratic Senators need to be applauded. Both fought the Chair. Broke some Senate rules in so doing. The only way to out the truth, however.

New Jersey’s Senator Corey Booker and Hawaii’s Senator Mazie Hirono each being described as Spartacus. They were! At one point, Booker told the Chair if you want to bring me up on charges, go for it! The gauntlet was thrown.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

A SPECIAL EVENING

Last night, a special evening. I spent it with Christina Oxenberg. Though she has lived in Key West since 2011, we never met before. I wish we had.

The evening began at Guy de Boer’s home. Drinks. Christina indulges in water only. I still trust her, however. Followed by dinner at Antonia’s. Finished the evening with a night cap at the Chart Room.

A writer. She has written a column for KONK Life for a number of years. Published 7 books. Articles printed in Allure and Huffington Post. Owns a knit wear company that sells worldwide.

I have read her KONK life writings.  Superior. Unusual. Mystic. Subtle. You do not know where she is going., the point she wishes to make. Till the end. When it hits between the eyes.

Christina is of royal lineage. For real. Her mother was Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. Her ancestry includes Serbia’s Karageorge, Greece’s King George I, Russia’s Tsar Alexander II, Russia’s Empress Catherine II, and Great Britain’s King George II.

As we arrived at the Pier House, Christina’s phone rang. It was David Wolkowsky. Christina and David are close friends. Chat on the phone once or twice a day. Visits him frequnetly at his home.

Christina was at David’s 99th birthday party I attended two weeks ago. I did not know her before. Did not meet her that evening. No recollection of have seen her.

I would have missed the boat were it not for last night.

David was thrilled to learn we were going to the Chart Room. He built the Pier House and created the Chart Room many many years ago.

Weather continues to be important. Hurricane season.

I made a mistake yesterday in advising Gordon had hit land off the Gulf as a category 1.  It never reached hurricane status. At the moment, it remains a tropical storm moving 70 mph towards Arkansas.

Typical this time of the year, another is on the way. Florence. No screwing around here. Florence is 1,300 miles east off Bermuda and already a category 4.

Tracking not possible yet. It may turn right and stay in the Atlantic. Or, land somewhere on the east coast. May take 5 days to determine a reliable track. Then a few more days before Florence gets where ever she is going.

Social media taking a beating. Justified and non justified. Facebook millennials concerned. A recent Pew Research Center study indicated 44 percent of Americans 18-27 deleted their Facebook apps so far this year.

The concern leading to the deletions involved Facebook’s repeated failures to protect consumer data. The data that was shared and abused by a myriad of Facebook partners.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer. His columns well researched and on point. He recently wrote re the world’s economy.

The world’s economy is on a downward thrust. Washington either is not aware or does not care. We hear nothing about it, other than the economy is good.

The problem at the moment involves 20 countries. Except for China, all emerging nations. During boom years, they all borrowed heavily. A high percentage of the loans denominated in U.S. dollars.

All in trouble economically. China included.  A death spiral has begun. Most will crash. Those having U.S. denominated debt will not be able to make loan payments. U.S. and European banks will not be paid. Losses could be astronomical.

A bubble exists. If matters continue as they are, our economy will take a hell  of a hit. A recession resulting.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GORDON A HURRICANE AT LANDFALL

Gordon grew in intensity over the Gulf. Made landfall west of the Mississippi/Alabama border. Now a category 1 hurricane.

One death. A child in a mobile home. A tree fell on the mobile home.

Keep in mind. All type storms and weather changes have been occurring in recent years. For me, it is global warming. As to hurricanes, the numbers have increased. The hurricane season runs to November 30. I hold my breath.

I wrote last friday that the Key West Citizen had been sold. The formal announcement would be tuesday. It was. Announced yesterday that the Adams Publishing Group had purchased all assets of Cooke Communications LLC. One of Cooke’s assets the Key West Citizen.

Sarabeth is a popular dining place at 530 Simonton Street. The building housing Sarabeth’s not always a commercial facility. The structure was built in 1889 to be a synagogue. The B’nai Zion Synagogue.

Pause the next time you pass by. Look closely and you can identify parts of the building as having been a synagogue.

Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kavanaugh an extremely conservative judge. His thinking very far to the right. Too far. He is pro-gun, anti-abortion, believes in a powerful President, believes neither impeachment nor indictment till a President is out of office. A President too busy with important matters to deal with such situations.

Kavanaugh must be confirmed by the Senate. The first step a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The first hearing yesterday.

Chaos. Crazy. Fireworks.

Kavanaugh presents the worst nomination to the Supreme Court in modern history. His legal thinking will mandate his striking down hard fought legal victories of the past 70 years. Not because he is a bad guy. It is the way he thinks.

He will be confirmed. He will sit as a Justice of the Supreme Court. The sadness…..For the next 30-40 years.

Love investigative reporters! Two outstanding ones Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The two who discovered Nixon’s wrongdoing resulting in Nixon’s resignation.

Both still active. Report and write books.

Bob Woodward’s most recent FEAR: Trump in the White House. Publication a few days off. The Washington Post got an early copy.

Wow! is the best way to describe the book. I can’t wait to read it.

A few items revealed and made available via the media.

Trump’s first lawyer John Dowd put Trump through some mock interviews preparatory to Mueller doing the same officially. Trump lied, lied, lied. He was incapable of telling the truth.

Dowd told him, “Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit.”

Woodward reports contrary to what Trump repeatedly has said, he told Dowd the practice sessions: “I don’t want to testify.”

Dowd resigned the next day.

General Mattis is reported to have said, Trump has the mentality of a “sixth grader.” Chief of Staff John Kelly, Trump is “unhinged,” an “idiot,” “we’re in Crazytown, ” “the worse job I have ever had.”

Author Bob Woodward himself describes the Trump White House as “Crazytown.”

Carl Bernstein commenting on the book said, “The Trump presidency is a national emergency.”

Our President!!!!!

A possible oil crisis by year’s end. Actually, probable. Cause involves sanctions, tariff wars, increasing demand, and inflation. $4 a gallon predicted by year’s end. As high as $5 a gallon next year.

China needs crude oil. The U.S. needs crude oil. In 2017, China surpassed the U.S. in the importation of crude oil. China imported 8.4 million barrels a day. The U.S., 7.9 million.

Iran comes into the picture. U.S. sanctions preventing crude oil export. Two months from now, Iran will be exporting next to nothing because of new sanctions already on the books.

Inflation comes into play. Only 2.4 percent today. Rising, however still low.

Learned something I did not know. The government plays with the inflation figures. That is, how the rate is determined. If calculated by 1990 standards, today’s 2.4 percent would be 6 percent. If calculated by 1980 standards, 10 percent.

Trump pushes us closer and closer to a recession. Though not immediately apparent, such is inevitable when sanctions, tariff wars and increased oil prices combine.

I have been predicting a recession at year’s end or early into 2019 for some time. The handwriting is on the wall.

I love Russian novels. Something dramatic about them.

On this day in 1958, Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago was published in the U.S. The novel had to be secreted out of Russia a few pages at a time. Russian authorities claimed the novel romanticized the pre-Revolution upper class and degraded the peasants.

Pasternak was awarded to Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 also. Khrushchev would not permit him to accept the prize.

Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace was published in 1869 after previously having been serialized.

Dr. Zhivago and War and Peace two of my favorite Russian novels.

I had some fun last night ranting and raving on my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. So much to chat about!

Join me for the show next week.

Enjoy your day!

 

HERO HONORED

John McCain’s church service yesterday emotional and uplifting. Befitting an American hero.

His daughter Meghan’s eulogy heart wrenching. Everyone had to shed a tear. Actually, tears.

Meghan a tough woman. I have watched her on View a few times. She stands her ground. She rebuked Trump as only an angered daughter could: “The America of John McCain does not need to be made great again, because America was always great.”

Julia Child cooked last night! Actually, Donna. The Julia Child of Key West.

I enjoyed dinner at Donna and Terri’s. A small dinner party. Joe and Andrea partaking, also.

Good food, good people, good conversation.

Bear appears mended. He was his usual self.

Afterwards, we went across the street to Macaws. Terri was entertaining with Larry Baeder. Her singing magnificent. Blindness has not impaired her voice or delivery.

Terri sings this morning again. At Hard Rock Cafe’s brunch from 10-12.

Three significant historical events occurred this day, though in different years.

The one closest to Key West if Diana Nyad’s dangerous swim from Havana to Key West in 2013. In jellyfish and shark infested waters. Without a shark cage. Diane 64 years old at the time.

She landed on Smathers Beach. The trip took 53 hours. Record time.

On this day in 1969, the first ATM was made available in Rockville Center, New York. We have become accustomed to ATM machines. Quick cash.

The experience will end in the next few years. We are moving toward a cashless society. Everyone will have a card. Something like a credit card. The card will tie directly into a person’s bank account. All transactions will be per the card.

Of special historical significance is this day in 1945. Japan formally surrendered ending World War II. The surrender ceremony took place on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

This week is the heart of hurricane season. So far, so good. The weather is changing a bit. The temperature has dropped from 95 degrees to the high 80’s. Humidity less.

Not sure it will remain so. September is generally considered the hottest and most humid month.

I am disappointed. I receive my Key West Citizen via the internet. No Key West Citizen this morning. Wonder if it has anything to do with the reported sale of the Citizen to the Adams Publishing Group. The sale has not been formally reported yet.

Whatever, enjoy your Sunday!