HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

 

Happy Fourth of July!

Independence Day. The birthday of our country.

Two hundred forty two years old. It was July 4, 1776 at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia that the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

We are a young nation. Compare our age to that of European nations. Still growing. Tensions abound. The Trump era crazy and dangerous.

America celebrates. Tonight, fireworks! In Key West, off the White Street Pier.

This past week has been strange politically. Relatively quiet. We have not heard from Rudy Giuliani and other Trump cohorts who were making the news. Are they quiet because of Michael Cohen on the verge of possibly flipping?

Cohen is making noise like Trump when he wants something. He is using the media. Cohen seems to be telling the Second District he wants to jump fence and play on their side. Thus far they have not picked up on his offer.

Spent yesterday afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Thoroughly enjoyed doing the show. Covered a multitude of sins. Wish I had had more time.

Casey joined me for dinner before the show. At Roostica.

Casey and his 70′ x 30′ catamaran sit in the water off Hogfish. Casey new to Key West. Been here all of 10 days. Yesterday, he took his dingy and visited Wisteria Island. He is interested in Key West lore. The day before he went out into the Gulf a bit and did some diving.

Jennifer waited on us. It has been two years since I last saw her. She was pregnant at the time and due any day. She proudly showed me her son’s picture. Two years old. A handsome little man.

Good friends Fran and Tom Dixon have arrived. Buffalo their home. They visit four times a year. Stay at Ocean Key. Tom is on the Board.

We are doing dinner tonight. Meeting at 6 at the Chart Room. My turn to host. Probably the A&B Lobster House. Plan on calling for a reservation since today is a holiday.

Fran is concerned for me. She thinks I am not well fed. She brings me food from Buffalo. Tonight, I will receive at least 4 jars of homemade sauce containing pork, sausage and meatballs. Plus low carb bread and home made candy.

Love the woman!

You have to believe in guardian angels! God, too! Two examples evidencing why.

A few days ago, the cruise liner Norwegian Gallery was 28 miles off the northwest of Cuba. A crew member fell off the ship. His fall seen. The ship backed up and searched. Could not find him. Authorities notified. Air and sea searches proved fruitless.

The next day, the cruise ship Carnival Glory was traveling in the opposite direction. Twenty one miles off the north coast of Cuba. Saw the crew member in the water. He was rescued. In good health.

The man had been in the water 22 hours. Treading. No life jacket. Fortunately the water is warm and calm this time of year. Even more fortunate, a shark did not come upon him.

Did the man have a guardian angel? No question in my mind. God was looking after him.

A Thailand event the other example.

A 12 member soccer team and their coach got lost in a mountain gave in north Thailand. The boys 11-16.

The cave is part of a huge mountain. Full of corridors of all sizes. Some entrances small. The boys had to squeeze to get through. The team was able to get down into the heart of the mountain about one mile.

Then stuck. Water all around them. The caves have flowing water in various depths.

They could not get out. Spent 10 days in the dark and without food. Searchers and divers arrived from all over the world. A total of 1,000 looking to provide assistance. Two British divers found them over the weekend.

All basically in good health. Food, water and medical assistance provided.

At this point it is clear the kids and their coach had a special guardian angel looking over them. God directing their rescue.

The rescue is not complete however. It has been raining since the team got lost. The rainy season. Every day. The rain sometimes six inches in an hour. Cave passage ways flooding.

The team will have to swim and dive in order to get out. A mile.

None know how to swim or dive. Present plans are to teach them how to swim and dive. Then take them out. Two professional divers guiding each team person.

It is estimated the plan will take months. However so far the only way determined to get them out.

Hope the guardian angels and the good Lord stay with them.

Children detained in chain linked cages. We should be ashamed! I do not understand how Trump supporters find nothing wrong with the scenario: “They broke the law.” “They brought their children into the U.S.” “They invited what is happening to them.”

For shame!

The Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis is expressing its concern and disagreement. Statues of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus sit on the lawn of the Church in a chain linked enclosed cage.

BOB says it is a holiday. He is not writing today.

Enjoy your Fourth!

 

“I’LL PROBABLY GO THE SAME WAY”

 

Fifty seven years ago today. July 2, 1961. A sad day.

Ernest Hemingway committed suicide. At his then home in Sun Valley, Idaho.

One of the greats in the annals of literary history. A favorite son of Key West.

Hemingway’s father Dr. Clarence Hemingway committed suicide many years earlier. Hemingway said at the time: “I’ll probably go the same way.”

A quiet evening last night. A drink at the Chart Room and grocery shopping at Publix. The refrigerator was empty again.

BOB returns. The Bum Farto saga continued.

Authorities did not initially pay attention to drug dealing in Key West. Farto and friends became aware. He and some Bubba friends decided to make some easy money.

Farto fixed up El Jefe and his personal appearance. What he was doing became open and notorious. El Jefe was lime green to begin and carried a sign with El Jefe on it. Farto added a bright gold eagle to the hood, together with reflective glass and two sawed off shotguns.

He uniformed himself. He wore a shocking pink uniform, rose colored glasses, and a generous helping of gold jewelry.

Farto was on the way! His new career took off! Drug dealer!

Ssles and deliveries were made from El Jefe. The drugs secreted in McDonald lunch bags and pizza boxes.

Dealing drugs did not interfere with Farto continuing his regular job as Fire Chief.

The operation expanded. Thirty some odd fellow Key West citizens became involved. None, including Farto, were Mafia types. They merely happened upon an easy way to make money and said why not. Never seriously considering the consequences.

Federal authorities became aware. No one sure how. The flamboyant manner in which Farto was doing business? Someone squealed? The answer not known.

There was a massive arrest by authorities. Thirty in all. Farto included. Referred to as the Big Bubba Bust.

The timing had one inconvenient factor. Key West’s primary bail bondsman was among those arrested. The only other bondsman was out of town on vacation.

Who was going to bail these good citizens of Key West out of jail?

The bonding company Bankers Casualty Insurance Company became involved. Probably because they did not want to lose all the money they could make bonding thirty good and true men out of jail. The Company arranged for the release of the bondsman who in turn bailed out the remaining 29 defendants.

The best is yet to come.

To be continued…..

ICE is going to become well known to the American people. Some have begun referring to ICE as Trump’s private army. A scary thought.

My immediate concern is where are the babies and girls? Yesterday, photos of some of the girls were shown. Where are they? Where are the babies? What is going on? Time to open the doors and let the media and public in. I fear something bad has occurred.

On this day in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. A monumental moment!

Color would no longer be an issue. Did not work out that way. Things are better. However, race still an issue in our country. Trump I suspect a racist.

We have a long way to go.

On this day in 1881, President James Garfield was shot. He died some 80 days later. His doctors killed him, not the assassin who shot him.

A few yeas ago, I wrote a KONK Life column on the topic. I asked Sloan this morning to dig it out. If she finds it, I plan on running the column as tomorrow’s blog adding only a brief introduction.

The moment of truth is upon us. The truth re Trump’s use of tariffs to enhance the U.S. economically.

Yesterday, Canada began adding new tariffs totaling $12.6 billion on U.S. products. China begins friday when it will add new tariffs totaling $34 billion. U.S. soybean farmers are going to be hit big time. China’s tariffs are being imposed on the same day the U.S. is adding $34 billion on Chinese goods.

Harley-Davidson has already said it is moving a significant number of its production lines out of the U.S. because of the tariffs. Nine thousand jobs will be gone.

General Motors and Polaris warned in recent days that they may have to take certain of their businesses overseas.

The largest U.S. nail manufacturer, Mid-Continental Nail, announced it has laid off 60 employees already because of the tariffs. The Company further advised that if something is not done to correct the situation, it will be out of business by Labor Day.

Helicopter assisted escapes from jails becoming commonplace. Forty nine since 1971. Thirty successful, nineteen failed.

Yesterday at a jail outside Paris, Redoine Fain successfully escaped. A stolen helicopter landed inside jail walls, picked up Fain, and were up and away in less than a minute.

Since 1971, seven movies, a number of TV shows, and several books have been written re the “art” of jail helicopter escapes.

Tonight, one of my Key West favorites. Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders. I find it relaxing to sit, have a couple of drinks, and sing along with the bartenders.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BOB…..RECOLLECTIONS OF BUM FARTO

On this lovely Sunday morning, no better way to begin than with a Jimmy Buffett quote. A profound one. “I’d rather die while I’m living then live while I’m dead.”

BOB is back. The Afro Sheen Caper is next in the book. Only problem is I do not quite understand what BOB wrote. Nor did research provide any help.

Anyone who has knowledge, please forward to me.

In the meanwhile, it becomes Bum Farto time. BOB gives a history of Farto leading up to…..Bum Farto where are you? Interesting. A bit lengthy. I have added some info I discovered to BOB’s rendition. Ergo, the Bum Farto portion may take 3-4 days to report.

Hang on! The ride is good!

BOB titles the chapter Bum Farto And The Lime Green “Jefe” Car.

Farto was born in 1919 in Key West. A for real Conch. He grew up across the street from a fire station. He was constantly charming the firemen to give them their loose change. Resulted in Farto being nicknamed “Bum.”

Farto became a fireman. Started as a nozzleman. Eventually became Fire Chief.

Along the way, he supplemented his income by driving a hearse for a local funeral home.

Farto became Chief in 1964. His first run in with the law occurred two years later in 1966. He was charged with multiple counts of having misused Fire Department funds. The claim was he signed the names of various firefighters on their checks and cashed them.

Farto lucked out. The bubba system saved his ass. His nephew headed the Civil Service Review Board. Farto was tried by his nephew. He was found not guilty of all counts, except for one. That he had threatened to fire one of his employees. He received a 30 day suspension.

As Chief, Farto drove a lime green vehicle. On the side was a sign which read “El Jefe.” El Jefe is Spanish for Chief.

Tomorrow, Farto and the drug trade.

Spent yesterday afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column. Got it out to the publisher last night. Hits the stands Wednesday evening.

I initially was going to write a history of the Key West Cemetery. As I researched further, It became obvious there was more to the story than merely a history of today’s cemetery. The hurricane that hit Key West as a 5 on November 11, 1846  definitely a part of the tale.

My column went from A History of the Key West Cemetery to Hurricanes and Key West Cemeteries.

You will enjoy!

Ocasio-Cortez’s name in the headlines the past few days. She is the Democrat Socialist who defeated 20 year House of Representative member Joseph Crowley in a Democratic primary.

The lady is 28. Makes an excellent appearance. Appears intelligent. She may represent the wave of the future for Democrats. Liberals tending beyond progressivism to socialism. A mouthful.

Ocasio-Cortez is described as a radical. I question the label. The reason is that she stands for things I do. Such as free tuition, true universal health care, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and describing Israeli shooting of Palestinians a massacre.

I believe that the Trump tariffs will destroy our economy and that of the world within 1-2 years. The tariffs  seed for another recession. A big one.

A recent study indicates Trump intends to impose a 20 percent tariff on EU cars. Recognize many are made in the U.S. today. Regardless, the price increases are startling.

Luxury cars will suffer the biggest increase. A 2018 Mercedes SL Roadster’s starting price will increase $17, 640. From $88,200 to $105,840. A lower priced car now costing $34,600 will suffer an increase of $6,920 to $41,520.

These increases will appear about 2 months after the tariff goes into effect.

The tariff war coming is senseless. The brainchild of Trump. A man who knows not what he does.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

DINNER WITH JENNA

Jenna Stauffer and I have been friends for more than 10 years. We first met when she graduated college. She came to Key West seeking a career.

I had just started doing an internet show for Guy de Boer. Jenna taught me the ropes. Then proceeded to get involved with my show. In effect, becoming its producer.

Later, Jenna was instrumental in getting me a spot on Key West’s only TV station at the time. I did a one hour a week talk show that went from Key West to Fort Lauderdale. Jenna was a big shot at the studio at the time. She still made time for me and my show, however.

Jenna was doing her own TV talk show at the same time.

In those early  years, we both got involved with Larry Smith and an internet show he put together. I did not last long. The show was primarily music and jokes. I had no singing voice. A joker I was not. One show and I was out.

Jenna and Larry made a good fit. Jenna co-hosting the show with Larry. She got a great deal of experience working with Larry.

Jenna is off to all sorts of great things today. A successful free lancer. In addition to her Key West activity, she is frequently in Miami hosting a show here or there and doing some modeling.

Last night was the first time in months we were able to get together. Our schedules conflicted. It was a pleasure seeing her. As lovely as ever. As bright and cheerful as ever.

Dinner at Berlin’s.

Jenna is in love. I am happy for her! The relationship seems to be moving in the right direction.

I am to meet the lucky man. Probably a week from now. To provide grandfatherly approval.

Bria Ansara sang. She leaves in 8 days for Norway and Germany. A much deserved vacation.

Stopped at the Chart Room for a night cap and chat with John before going home. Met Melissa. A manager at Schooner Wharf.

BOB is still on a sort of sabbatical.

There has been much conversation recently re civility in politics. I find it difficult to agree with most I read.

Republicans and Democrats are at war. Big time! Primarily because of Trump and his crazy ways. Feelings being stomped on. Many becoming aggravated. Trump administrative persons have recently been the center of embarrassing situations while dining in restaurants.

It bothers me that many Democratic leaders are saying such conduct was bad. Should not continue. Be civil!

How wrong their attitudes.

Republicans fight down and dirty. They go for the jugular. Democrats pussy foot around. With apologies to Michelle Obama, I do not agree with her philosophy that when “they” go low, we go high.

You hit me and I am going to hit you back. Harder. I am a don’t tread on me type guy.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson recently wrote a column regarding the issue: Democrats Must Channel Anti-Trump Fervor Into Winning Midterms.”

The column’s opening and closing paragraphs clearly express my feelings. I am glad that another, especially a Eugene Robinson, shares my thoughts.

Robinson wrote in opening: “Let me get this straight. President Trump and his associates treat politics like a back-alley knife fight, but his critics are supposed to pretend it’s a garden party? I don’t think so.”

His closing paragraph: “The remedy is not for progressives to choose their words oh-so-carefully and hope no one takes offense. It is to be loud and clear-and tough as nails-in fighting back.”

In June 1914, Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo. A series of events followed leading to the beginning of World War I a few months later.

I mention the Archduke’s assassination and the precipitating factor it became re World War I in order to make a point. In an unruly world, we never know what incident will result in the carnage of a world war.

The world society is unsteady today.  The constant fear exists that some leader/country will perform an act leading to a major war. Significant deaths resulting in a short time.

I worry in these times that some idiot will press the button. The button’s size being immaterial.

Today is the day I write my KONK Life column for next week. I have not yet decided on a topic. I would like to do another that does not involve politics, war, etc. A change of pace story.

Last week it was sand.

I am toying with the idea of doing something about the Key West Cemetery. There is a local effort to identify all buried persons. Many graves are without stones or markings.

Perhaps a history of the Key West Cemetery.

Enjoy your day!

 

KOKOMO MAN…..HEADS IN THE SAND

This blog is available on several sites. Most provide for comment. Some of the comments are vicious.

WordPress has the worst. Some days, it is World War III.

My KONK Life column this week is titled World Running Out Of Sand. Sand is a non-replaceable natural resource. We should be concerned. We are not. Probably because most are unaware. My purpose in writing about sand’s depletion was to bring the problem to the attention of others.

Kokomo Man is a frequent commenter on the WordPress site. One of the more reasonable. Kokomo Man commented re the sand issue: “This, just as other environmental problems, like global warming, is another problem that won’t go away while many…..wait for it…..stick their heads in the sand.”

“Stick their heads in the sand!” Love it! Humor instead of venom. A change of pace.

A busy mid day yesterday. Office Max, Walgreens, and Sandy’s Cafe.

I picked up the wrong drug. I take 11 pills a day so it is easy to screw up. This particular prescription was replaced with another by my heart doctor some time ago.

I have insurance. Still have co-pay, however. Yesterday, $114. How could it be. The sales person was no help. Showed me how my insurance company saved me $1,100. Bullshit itself.

No further help at Walgreens.

Called my heart doctor and got the problem straightened out. Back to Walgreens today to return the pills and get a $114 credit on my credit card.

Americans are getting screwed when it comes to the cost of prescription drugs. We may be paying the highest prices in the world. It takes a President and Congress to fix the problem. Previous Presidents have not.

Trump promised to do so in the campaign. He is now trying, but not as he had promised. His thought then was throw it into Medicare/make it work like Medicare.

A month ago, Trump made a big deal speech re the issue. He was going to fix the problem. By having the pharmaceutical houses sit down and negotiating fairer prices for the American people.

A far cry from the Medicare solution.

The Chart Room last night. John bartending. Small crowd.

Met Steve. An eighth grade math teacher from St. Petersburg. Enjoyed our conversation. John a part of it. Included some Steve Carlton.

Tyler and Jenn at the other end of the bar. From Newark, Ohio. Told them I liked their Governor Kasich for President.

Walked across the street to Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Watched a college baseball playoff game. Enjoyed the company of a vacationing couple. Irma a significant part of the conversation.

Pouring like hell at the moment! Has been doing so for 20 minutes. Ok. We are in to the rainy season. Once the rain stops and the sun comes out, the humidity will be overwhelming. As the saying goes, you can cut it with a knife.

My today begins with Lori and a haircut. Amazing! I have nothing but fuzz. Needs to be buzzed off every two weeks.

Then lunch and the newspapers a few doors down at Sandy’s Cafe.

Tonight, I do not know. Not concerned. Something always comes up.

Mark Rossi is a Key West business man and public servant. He owns the Red Garter on Duval. A moneymaker!

Rossi is running for mayor. Or, he was. Candidates for the office must pay a $225 fee by a certain date of filing. Rossi vacationing in Europe. He or someone on his staff forgot. The court ruled yesterday Rossi is ineligible to run.

A proper decision. We have enough problems as it is with our elections. Election laws must be strictly enforced.

Some dance to a different tune in the Keys. Voyeurism generally involves a man sneaking a look at a woman’s privates. Could work in another fashion. A man trying to get a look at another man’s privates.

A male employee at the Big Pine Walgreens some how got a video to photograph men in the men’s room. He got caught and has been arrested. The charge, video voyeurism. His excuse, he was aroused by viewing the film. Merely watched, never distributed.

BOB is taking another day off.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement yesterday after 30 years of service. A serious loss to the Court. He was the occasional swing vote.

Kennedy’s replacement will be a conservative. Most likely, a far to the right one. Trump’s prerogative. In addition, he has a Republican Senate to back him.

Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Conservatives have been dying to get it reversed since that time. It will come up while the new Justice is sitting. A woman’s right to abortion in anger. The Court will be 5-4 in favor of the conservative element.

Unless the new Justice pulls a Warren or Souter. Both representative of the Republican right. Both turned in rendering their decisions. Sided with the Court’sliberals.

Eisenhower said many times that his worst appointment was Warren.

Trump told us following his meeting with Kim that North Korea had agreed to denuclearize. If such was the case, why have recent satellite photos shown North Korea expanding a nuclear research center? Major infrastructure improvements moving at a rapid rate.

Trump is doing a summit with Putin July 16 in Helsinki. The man is crazy. Trump, not Putin. Trump no competition for Putin.

Possibilities coming out of the summit include a goodbye to NATO and U.S. defensive weapons removed from Poland.

Trump is saving Putin’s ass. The man who interfered in our 2016 elections. An avowed enemy of the U.S. and democracy. One seeking to return Russia to its former glory.

We cannot win in the confrontation. Trump says he is smart.  Putin is smart.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

FEAR OF MOSQUITOES

Some people fear mosquitoes. More than just not liking them. Actually fear them. It is called insectophobia. Also, entomophobia. Defined as an unrealistic fear of one or more classes of insect.

Mosquitoes are insects. The phobia is linked with fear of itching.

Those afflicted with the phobia are prone to say: “Kill them all!”

Never knew some feared simple mosquito bites merely because of the itching. Yellow fever I could understand.

I became interested in the topic the past few days. Some TV programs showed pictures of Trump during the campaign and since elected swapping mosquitoes who were flying around him. He generally referred to them as no good. Said, “Kill them all!”

Our President has the phobia!

Spent yesterday afternoon fine tuning last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I had the program organized. My intent was to begin with some non-Trump items. Then move on to Trump re immigrant children and tariffs.

The U.S. Supreme Court screwed me up. They decided Trump v. Hawaii yesterday. Had to work the decision into the show.

I do not agree with the decision. The Supreme Court has become as politicized as Congress and the Nation. Our government is not working at any level.

The issue in the case was religious freedom. Not Presidential power.

I have read portions of the decision and listened to various TV persons analyze it. Associate Justice Sotomayer had it right in her dissent. Chief Justice Roberts majority decision read like Comey explaining his decision re Hillary Clinton and her computer usage.

Another case was decided yesterday. One of importance re immigrant children. The case was decided in a California federal court by Judge Dana M. Sabraw.

The case pin pointed separating children from their parents.

Judge Sabraw ruled that authorities cannot split families who illegally cross the border. Those already separated must be reunited within 30 days. Two weeks for children under 5. All children must be allowed to speak with parents within 10 days.

The Judge hit certain things right on. He wrote property is accounted for with more efficiency and accuracy than immigrant children. Also, adults may not be deported from the U.S. without their children.

He observed that chaos existed. The chaotic circumstances of the government’s own making.

The government will probably appeal.

I had time to sneak out for a bite to eat before the show. Hurried to Roostica. Arrived in time for Happy Hour. Did not know they even had a Happy Hour.

A good deal! Eight limoncello wings for $8. The full meal of 10, $12. Two less and save $4. A good deal!

Chatted with the man who sat next to me. From England, he has worked at Byrd’s 15 years. Byrd’s is where Cheryl and Roger used to park their RV on Stock Island.

He knew Cheryl and Roger well. Agreed they were the best of people. Said Roger had stopped by in the morning to say hello.

Americans do not tolerate taxation without representation. It caused the Revolutionary War.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided last week that internet sales could be taxed. I believe the issue not yet resolved. It will be litigated ad infinitum till it reaches the Supreme Court again.

“Leave my husband alone!” Like “Don’t tread on me!”

Trump administration officials and supporters are being harangued. People feel they are being abused. They have begun pushing back. Last week saw Secretary Kristjen Nielsen and Sandra Huckabee Sanders confronted. Both in restaurants.

Yesterday at Georgetown University, Georgetown students approached Majority Leader McConnell and his wife Transportation Secretary Chao as they were leaving dinner at the University. The students played the recording of the now famous immigrant children voices, cries of woe, etc. They also shared their thoughts. Directed at McConnell.

His wife came to his defense: “Why don’t you leave my husband alone?” Followed by, “Leave my husband alone.”

This is but the beginning. Confrontations will continue. Again, people are upset. Even some conservatives. Government is not being run as it should. I worry about the demonstrations nationwide which are to take place this saturday. Emotions are running high with the children situation. The fuse is lit. I hope nothing of a serious consequence occurs.

Suicides on the rise. This we have heard for several weeks. A recent article indicated that farmers are the occupation group with the highest suicide rate. Five times more than the broader population.

Blame is attributed to economics. Farmers are living on the same income as they earned 15 years ago.

Things are expected to get worse. As they do, farmer suicides are expected to increase.

Causes will include retaliatory tariffs from China, the EU set to further undermine U.S. crop prices, and the Federal Reserve expected to soon raise interest rates making loans upon which farmers depend increasingly expensive.

My KONK Life article re Sand hits the stands today. It will appear in E-Blast friday.

The world is running out of sand. Getting expensive. Black markets popping up to handle sales.

Note that sand is a non-renewable natural resource.

The article interesting. If you have the opportunity, read it.

BOB has a day off.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

THE BEST OF BOB

BOB tiny, but powerfully interesting.

Today BOB takes us back to the Key West days when honest and powerful citizens discovered marijuana was the path to easy money. Big money.

Integrity took a back seat.

Key West’s location made it a perfect place to bring marijuana into the country. The Business as it was known developed. A cottage industry. No ties to organized crime. Simple small town folks making an extra dollar.

Boats and planes dropped bales of marijuana into the ocean. The bales became known as square grouper. Locals would boat out and pick up the bales. The bales were brought into Key West and unloaded next to the Coast Guard dock. Then taken home and left in front yards and on roof tops to dry.

An open industry. No one concerned about getting caught.

After dried, the bales were put on a U.S. Mail tractor-trailer for delivery to Miami. The Mail vehicle made the trip every day.

Arrangements were made prior to each trip to accommodate the Sheriff’s Department. If not made, the U.S. Mail vehicle was stopped and fined half the marijuana load.

This scenario went on quite some time. Eventually, the federal government became aware. The “federales” cracked down on the operation. Arrests were made. Trials. Some prominent Key Westers received jail time.

Such the next part of the story. Referred to by BOB as the Afro Sheen Caper. For another day.

Spent last night with Cheryl and Roger. Former Key West snowbirds now living in Cape Coral.

We started the evening at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual great selves.

Then to Antonia’s for dinner.

I was surprised how packed Antonia’s was. We are into off season. Restaurants generally empty. Not Antonia’s last night. It must be Antonia’s summer time special. Pasta $10 a serving.

We got the last table.

I like Cheryl and Roger. Interesting people. Sincere. Call it as it is.

A good time was had. We sat and chatted a while after dinner.

I am getting hooked on the Key West Citizen weatherman. Today’s prediction, 89 degrees. In fine print below: “…..afternoon t-storms; bad hair day.”

The bad hair day I found intriguing. Must refer to the humidity. Not a problem for me. My head is shaved bald.

Robots back in the news! A new IBM artificial intelligence creature debated last week in San Francisco two of the world’s champion debaters. The robot held his own. The topic was made known at the start of the debate. No prior preparation for the two human debaters and the robot.

Yesterday’s Justice Building Blog commented on Trump’s announcement that he wanted to close down the immigration courts. Merely arrest and deport. No hearing, no due process.

Such would mean we are a nation of men, not laws. Exactly what we have not been. The Occupied America writer wrote “…..we are occupied by a narcissistic man of limited intelligence, his followers who are equally self obsessed, lacking in self esteem and poorly educated. And the power we fight is nothing less than evil ignorance seeking to end our democracy.”

The looming trade war nothing less than a disaster, also. For the world. The U.S. already hurt. Harley-Davidson’s announcement yesterday that they were moving to Europe. To remain in the U.S. under the tariff percentages being discussed would mean a loss of $100 million a year.

Thank you, Donald Trump!

The EU says the world is heading for a “trade apocalypse.” The World Trade Organization is facing an all but certain demise.

Good job, Mr. President!

All because of one man who does not know what he is doing. I fail to understand how Trump keeps his followers.

On this day in 1956, Congress approved the Federal Highway Act. Thirty billion dollars to construct 41 million miles of interstate highways.

The bill was actually Eisenhower’s baby. He conceived  it and got everyone to work together in a bipartisan effort to bring it to realization. The Highway Act is considered Eisenhower’s greatest domestic achievement.

The bill passed the Senate with one dissenting vote. The House passed it by voice vote. Eisenhower signed it into law three days later.

Cooperation by both parties, the two legislative houses, and the President. Not today! We live in a different world. One bred from hate and evolving because of evil.

A side note. I benefited from the new law. The summer of 1957 found me between college and law school. I drove a dump truck on a highway project outside Rome, NY.

Tonight, podcast time! My podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine, my time. A quick half hour of me venting. My likes and dislikes. Many topics discussed are eye openers. Hidden from public view.

Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

BOB…..CRAPPING IN YOUR PANTS

Bob Smith’s BOB was written over a period of time ending in 1997. Bob viewed the world at that time. I knew Bob. He talked of world/political events frequently. A concerned person.

The chapter I draw on today is titled Remedial Reasoning. Expresses Bob’s thoughts on how to correct things and why.

First, a new college was to be established. The University of What’s Happening Now. Bob would be a full professor, of course. A primary motivation reflecting the need for the new type institution was that the bizarre at the time was being accepted as the norm.

Sound familiar?

Bob intended teaching Wisen You Up 101. Other courses included Humanity and how not to be a victim, Real estate and sexual assault and how to discern the difference, The entire legal system and how never to be involved, and Pragmatism the word of the day.

Bob ventured that people can be toilet trained, but could not be trained to deal with new matters unless in imminent physical danger. He was referring to then matters of concern such as global warming, the ozone layer, etc.

Bob compared people’s inability to get it or act on a potential danger was a consequence similar to “crapping in your pants.”

Things have not changed much since 1997 when Bob shared his thoughts. Most do not want to learn. Some have a vested interest which mandates they close their eyes.

Spent my sunday afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column. World Running Out Of Sand. Excellent reading. Most unaware re the nature of usable sand and that in due course it will exist no more. Sand being a non-renewable resource.

Later stopped at the Marriott Beachside for the sunday newspapers. Then to Sandy’s Cafe for dinner. My usual. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a diet Coke.

Home or the Chart Room next? Decided to stop by the Chart Room for a drink and some conversation. Glad I did. Old friends Cheryl and Roger at the bar.

Cheryl and Roger from the Chicago area. Still have a home there. For years, Key West snowbirds. They enjoyed a huge RV that they parked several months a year on Stock Island.

We became friend. Two finer people, I do not know. Loyal blog readers. Bought Irma and Me right away. Have introduced their friends to this blog.

I also like them because I enjoy their company.

I knew they would be arriving for a few days. Not exactly when. They arrived at the Pier House where they were staying around 5. I met up with them at 7.

Cheryl and Roger purchased another home somewhere on Florida’s west coast. They drove down and will be staying till wednesday.

We will be together tonight. Roger’s turn to buy. We will dine at Antonia’s. Earlier, they will be my guests at Dueling Bartenders. They have never been.

This morning’s Key West Citizen ran an article about parking in the 100 block of Simonton. A real problem. Recent construction contributing.

The problem will be resolved in due course. Some parking on a pay basis will be permitted. Not the whole block, however.

My concern even greater. Fix Simonton Street in that area. The road condition horrendous! Terrible! Stop paying for generally useless studies for a while and put the money into road repairs. My kidneys are beginning to hurt!

Continue to love whoever does the Citizen weather reports. In very fine print under each day’s forecast is an interesting and/or humorous tidbit.

Humidity has been heavy lately. A breeze generally non-existent. Even a small one would help.

The weatherman’s comment for today: “Can I buy a breeze?”

Someone at a criminal court house in Miami writes a blog that I read. The Justice Building Blog. Sometimes merely legal matters. Others, tell it like it is.

The blog always ends with the admonition: Fight The Power!

Yesterdays blog contained a phrase worth repeating: “…..where we don’t yet burn books…..we do rip infants from the arms of their mothers.”

There will be demonstrations across the land this weekend. Protesting the Trump administration separating children from parents, maintaining immigrant children in detention type facilities, most information concerning the children kept secret, etc.

I am concerned. Violence could erupt. Retaliatory to the President’s actions. If so, the seeds of rebellion will have been planted. To erupt another day.

I recall vividly the Vietnam War demonstrations. Some violent. I thought terrible. I was concerned. Where was my country headed?

The two events different. As bad as the anti-Vietnam cries were, the situation with the immigrant children even worse. Separating children from parents strikes at the core of one’s being. Party lines disappear. The evil that men are capable of doing becomes obvious.

What will come of all this?

Enjoy your day!

HURRICANE HOLE

My Saturday was quiet. As was Friday, the day before.

Slowing down in my old age.

I spent a part of yesterday afternoon continuing research for this week’s KONK Life column.The subject mater sand. The world is running out of usable sand. Comparable to the world’s water problem.

So bad, a black market in sand already exists in certain countries.

I look forward to writing the article this afternoon. Few are aware of the sand problem.

Got out last night! Dinner with Donna and Terri at Hurricane Hole.

Hurricane Hole is a hole. Therein lies its charm. A small marina on a small bit of water surrounded by mangroves. An open air bar and tables. Nothing fancy. Food good, however.

Not easy to find. Hurricane Hole sits on US 1. Less than .2 of a mile outside Key West. Just over Cow Key Bridge going north on US 1.

My ladies were tired. Getting ready to move. In a week. Still packing boxes. Their new abode will be in Bahama Village. At the corner of Whitehead and Petronia Streets.

Terri is doing well and not so well. Her eyes get worse by day. She needs assistance walking. An arm on her arm. She has a walking stick. Uses it well.

Some vision available for minor uses. Like eating. She wears two sets of glasses. One upon the other to get minimum vision. Soon, there will be no vision.

They have had Bear to the seeing eye dog trainer to determine if he qualifies. He does. Soon, the training will begin.

BOB an excellent learning tool, as well as informative.

Bob and Ann Smith were having lunch at Road Kill Cafe. Before my time. Never heard of it.

The waitress an acquaintance. She came up to Bob and asked if he had a smoke. He offered a cigarette. She was looking for a joint.

A conversation ensued re the high cost of grass. The question arose as to why? Because of golf, Bob said.

Bear with me. I am not sure even after reading the chapter several times how the two are interconnected. The story however interesting.

Bob explained that when they lived in Buffalo, there was a lot of snow. Everyone carried jumper cables in their cars. In the middle of the night, Bob’s front door bell rang. It was the police. A passer by had seen someone steal Bob’s jumper cables. The police were able to quickly apprehend the culprit. They wanted to make Bob aware.

Bob obviously was pleased. He asked the officer to hand him the jumper cables. The officer refused, explaining that the theft of jumper cables in New York was a Class A Felony and had to be retained for evidence.

Two weeks later, Bob received a notice to appear in court. The notice further advised that if he failed to do so, a warrant for his arrest could be issued.

Bob appeared. Directed to a large court room and told to take a seat. Bob estimates 300 people in the room. Bob was dressed suit and tie for the occasion. Most others, not.

Soon several of the others began asking him about the proceedings. Bob explained he was not a lawyer. Merely like them. Which he was not. Most were defendants waiting to go before the judge. Bob had been directed to the wrong room.

He went into the hall. Saw the public defender representing the man who stole his jumper cables and the arresting police officer. He went over and chatted with them.

Bob was anxious to get out of the place and asked them what had to be done. They said the action was on the floor above. Nothing really moved on the floor they were on.

So upstairs the three went. Into a maze of offices with a lone secretary sitting in the middle. Several assistant district attorneys plea bargaining cases. Bob described the scene as chaos.

The public defender and police officer knew what to do. Soon the guy who stole Bob’s jumper cables case was resolved.

Bob was free to leave.

He asked how plea bargaining came to be.

At first plea bargaining was used to get one defendant to turn on another in order to get a sweet deal. Flipping. The system worked well. Cases moved.

One judge said, in effect, hey this works terrific! Why don’t we use it to negotiate sentences so a sole defendant will agree to plead to a lesser charge. His motivation was that judges could get out of work earlier and have time each afternoon to play golf. In fact, he thought they could be out by lunch.

Plea bargaining born to provide judge’s with the opportunity to play golf. What all this had to do with the high cost of pot, I still do not understand.

Children separated from parents at the border. Commonplace recently in the United States. We read and talk about the impact on the children. To hear about it first hand from a person it actually happened to impactful.

The New York Times began an OPINIONS section this morning. It will run every Sunday. People writing about first hand experiences.

Victoria Smolkin today a history professor at Wesleyan University and an author. Thirty years ago, 8 years old. She, her parents and family were escaping Communist Russia. They had necessary papers. They reached the crucial point at the border. Theirs bags searched. The mother’s contained an inexpensive broach that was a family heirloom. The Russian guards thought she was taking expensive jewelry out of Russia.

The mother was taken away. The problem resolved two days later and her mother returned.

Here it is 30 years later. Victoria recalls how she developed a huge bald spot on the right side of her head and wet the bed for two years.

Trauma? You bet. Imagine what the immigrant children in the U.S. are experiencing and will suffer therefrom  for years.

Victoria wrote: “…..separating families at the border…..not about law and order…..about power, and the abuse of power – because if, in the collision between border and body, no one protects the body, the border always wins.”

Enjoy your Sunday!

TARIFF WAR WITH CHINA BAD FOR U.S.

Respectfully, most things started by Trump end up being disasters. The immigrant children the most recent. Soon to come, a tariff war with China.

If the war proceeds as presently described, a disaster for the U.S.

Nine States each exported more than $1 billion worth of tariff eligible goods to China in 2017. Five of the States red politically.

All nine States will take a big time beating.

By some time in 2019 (next year), unemployed will increase to 6 million. In 2020, unemployed will be at 8.6 percent.

If the numbers are correct, the U.S. will be plunged into a recession. The world will soon follow.

My yesterday, a lazy one. I did not feel that great. Did some research for next week’s KONK Life column, watched some TV, and napped. Did not go out last night.

The KONK column will be about sand. Sand, today. As with water, failing supplies. Sand has become gold.

Hard to believe. True, however.

BOB reported that in the 1990’s, a live mine was found floating in the Marquesas. The Marquesas a few miles west of the Keys. The mine was a model MK6 left over from World War II. Three feet in diameter and covered in barnacles.

During World War II, German U-boats were regularly in the waters off the Keys. The U.S. Navy set out 4,328 MK6 mines.

Following the War, 2,316 were accounted for.

BOB wanted to know what happened to the rest.

The mine discovered was live. The remaining 2,000 plus unaccounted for would still be alive, even today. There were no “off” switches after a period of time on mines then as there are today.

Again, BOB curious. What happened to the other 2,000 mines?

BOB also reported a Duval Street robbery. From an adult store. A full sized anatomically correct female blow up doll with a built in vibrator. Obviously, a straight guy.

This blog goes out over at least a dozen sites. One is WordPress. Comments are fiery. My blog provides many with a place to vent.

Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria still discussed. Patrick against several others. The issue concerning help/no help for Puerto Rico to this day. I mentioned months ago Patrick was wrong. He persists in his position. Repeatedly gets knocked down.

Months after Maria and still arguing.

My undergrad school was Manhattan College. The Jasper Jottings blog recently shared a story how some present day Manhattan students did their small part in helping Puerto Rico.

Worthy of sharing with you.

A small group of engineering students and a professor went to Puerto Rico 3/9-3/12. To Colegio De La Salle in Anasco. A La Sallian grade school, kindergarten through 12th grade. With only intermittent power. Without clean water.

The students designed a Water and Solar Power Project. Cheap and easy to construct. The next step, someone has to build it. Puerto Ricans themselves or perhaps the students will return.

The purpose of the story. Puerto Rico still in desperate need of assistance. Even a little help is a lot. Helping hands required to fill in where Trump/the U.S. have failed our fellow citizens.

The confinement/detention centers for the immigrant children receiving continual discussion. One person recently said, “A prison is a prison is a prison, whether we want to call them nice euphemisms…..If people aren’t allowed to leave, then its imprisonment, and so we need to be clear about that.”

My concern about the babies grows with each passing day. Why no photos of them or visits to them? I pray this is not a further tragedy in the making.

A side point of interest. The CEO of the largest private non-profit caring for the children is paid $1.5 million a year.

Dinner with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri tonight at Hurricane Hole. I have not seen the ladies in two weeks. They are packing day and night preparatory to moving by the end of the month.

Enjoy your day!