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!

 

 

 

COMCAST DOWN AGAIN

The bigger Comcast gets, the poorer its service. Service in the Keys. Failed again yesterday. Internet, e-mail and television. From 6:30 am to 3:00 pm.

Failure of service has become a consistent pattern.

Comcast has become too big for its britches. In recent years, it purchased NBC. The company probably spends more time and is more concerned about big time NBC rather than Comcast. The Comcast I assume helped finance NBC’s purchase.

As a result of the service failure, I was not able to get the blog out. My apologies, even though not my fault.

I learned a lesson yesterday. Louis cannot live without internet and TV. I read a bit. Never the less, it was a long boring day.

Last night however made up for the day’s earlier frustrations. Partied at Andrea and Joe’s.

Donna, Terri and I were to stop by for drinks and then out to dinner. Never left Donna and Joe’s. My second Key West Julia Child had laid out a table of pickies that the best restaurant could not have topped. Everything from small pieces of meat to shrimp to dips to breads.

At one point, Andrea, Joe and I stepped outside for a cigarette. I know. Bad. While we were standing there, a car drove up. The woman in the passenger seat leaned out and started talking. It was mayoral candidate Teri Johnston.

She was campaigning. Brilliant, I thought! Teri lost the primary by one point. She failed to reach the 50 percent required to avoid a run off. Her opponent received 24 percent of the vote.

Instead of resting home secure that she would probably win in November with these numbers, Teri was out campaigning.

Andrea mentioned that Donna and Terri were inside. Teri is good friends with them. She came in.

The girls hugged and kissed. A happy mood prevailed. One of Teri’s workers walked in with a video camera. Teri, Donna and Terri were videoed while Terri was belting out a song.

Teri then left for her next stop. Another person or persons standing outside their home. By car. Smart campaigning.

Wednesday night was the Blue Macaw. Terri singing with Larry Baeder. For the first time as a paid performer at Blue Macaw. She now has a regular wednesday night gig.

Place packed. Everyone there.

Ran into Stephanie and Angie who I had met the night before.

Stephanie a daytime bartender for 17 years at Hogsbreath…..Ain’t no breath like hogs breath! Knows my friend George who also has bartended there for years.

Angie owns Crystals and Coconuts across the street. A smart shop. Exquisitely designed jewelry available.

Matthew McConaughey stopped into Crystals and Coconuts when he was filming in Key West a few months ago. A picture of the star and Angie appears on the internet of McConaughey purchasing a necklace for his daughter.

Irma had an impact on Key West in more than one way. I have lost my fourth couple friends because of Irma. Kentucky’s David and Marilyn. I received an e-mail from David advising they had sold their home around the corner from Santiago’s Bodega and returned to Kentucky.

I assume the fear of another impending storm. Scares the hell out of you. No question. I know.

David was a writer and basketball fan. I shall miss him.

Florence doing its thing. Rains and flooding big time. Two or three more days to go. Irma causes me to worry about these people.

Trump says he is ready for Florence. I hope so. I fear another Puerto Rico, however. Florence is big. The aftermath bigger. Excuses will not fly if there is failure. I expect there will be.

Does Trump know what he is doing?

The number of detained immigrant children has skyrocketed. From 2,400 in May 2017 to 12,800 this month. Causes alleged involve a reduction in release time, the number straining the children and system, and the fact that most of the children crossed the border without parents.

The last item portraying how desperate parents are to be sure their children will be safe and find a better way of life.

In the meantime, it was announced this week that Trump wants to pay Mexico $20 million to assist in resolving U.S. border problems. The Trump administration sent a Notice to Congress that it requires the $20 million in order to pay Mexico the cost of plane and bus tickets to return unauthorized immigrants in Mexico who are on their way to the U.S. The tickets are to return them home, not to the U.S.

Seventeen thousand unauthorized immigrants involved.

I have to hand it to Trump. He knows how to piss money away. Twenty five million for the wall, $20 million for plane and bus tickets.

I will be surprised if Congress gives him the money.

Syracuse/Florida State tomorrow. A Syracuse win will indicate the direction the season is taking. Florida State a 3 point favorite.

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!

 

TUNA PARTY NEVER WAS

The big tuna party yesterday at Kevin and Holly’s never was. I rushed to get ready, pick up Terri and get to their home on time. Terri and I were the first ones there. No one else yet. Holly by the pool. Kevin sleeping.

Strange.

The party had been cancelled. The cancellation was texted and e-mailed to me. I had not look at my messages all afternoon.

Kevin got out of bed and entertained us. We stayed 15 minutes and left for Dueling Bartenders. No sense in wasting an evening.

Took a while to get to Aqua. My car would not start. It goes into the garage as soon as I finish this blog.

Before leaving to pick up Terri for the party that never was, I received a call from Jean Thornton in Birmingham. My savior! I had spent 12 days at her home in Birmingham during Irma last year.

Nostalgia had set in. Yesterday being the one year anniversary of Irma. We reminisced about the occasion. Memorable for those of us who had escaped Irma.

A good crowd at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual outstanding selves. Terri was sitting next to me. I had a great seat. Terri sang every song along with Tom and Rick.

Donna arrived from work. I stayed a bit longer and left. It was off to Blue Macaw for me. Joe and Andrea at the bar. Mary showed up.

I met two interesting ladies who were seated next to me. Stephanie and Angie. One lovelier than the other.

Stephanie has lived in Key West 20 years. She has worked 17 1/2 of those years at Hogsbreath…..Ain’t no breath like Hog’s breath!

We had never met.

She knows George. A fellow bartender. Lisa’s friend who became my friend.

Stephanie lives upstairs in the building backing Blue Macaw. On Whitehead. Convenient. Must be pleasurable, also. I often look up at the large porch surrounding the building and think how nice. I am a devoted porch sitter.

Angie owns Crystals and Coconuts. A store on Whitehead across the street from Blue Macaw. Her store specializes in primitive handmade gemstone and crystal jewelry, hand painted coconuts, and tropical treasures.

I must stop in.

Florence continues its march to land. The Carolinas and Virginia in danger. More than one million persons have been told to evacuate. Florence is expected to hit as a category 4. Maybe even a 5.

Dangerous!

Irma has made me and other Key Westers sensitive to and uncomfortable when it comes to hurricanes.

Today a significant one in American history. 9/11! The day planes took down the Twin Towers in New York City, hit the Pentagon, and crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Close to 3,000 killed. Many first responders suffering cancer and other related problems from working at the New York site.

Attacks on American soil have been few. The Revolution and War of 1812. 9/11. All by foreigners who came to the U.S. to perpetrate their evil.

The next attack will not be by foreigners coming upon American soil. Modern warfare makes it unnecessary. North Korea has missiles with nuclear warheads capable of reaching our shores. China can hit the U.S. from any of the islands recently constructed in Asian waters and from its newly constructed missile naval vessels. Even Russia has updated. Its new submarine fleet can hit anywhere in the U.S. with missiles fired from them.

There are two new type wars. Each making missiles, nuclear weapons, etc. unnecessary.

One is cyber war. Screw up our computer systems. The other economic warfare. Break the back of a nation’s economy.

A lot on the U.S.’s plate for our leaders to handle. Hope they are paying proper attention.

In the past few days, the Key West Citizen has either completely left out or shortened the Citizens’ Voice. Why? It is the most important part of Key West’s local newspaper. A place where people can vent. Many times corrections to problems have resulted because of a complaint read in the column.

Tonight, tonight…..My podcast show! Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A fast moving interesting half hour. Tune in and listen to me rant and rave about the good and bad going on in our world. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

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!

 

POLICE HAVE NO RIGHT TO STRIKE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My diet went out the window!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some people get away with murder!

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

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

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

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

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

Would you believe!

Only in America!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

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!

 

 

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!

 

HURRICANE TIME

A storm was heading for the Keys yesterday. Not strong enough to be named. Got strong overnight. Named. Gordon.

Gordon made a lot of noise last night as it passed over Key West. Woke me a couple of times. Thunder and lightning big time. The lightning coming through the blinds and lighting up the bedroom. Heavy rain, of course.

Winds 45 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph.

Gordon hit land in the upper Keys. As a tropical storm. It is now in the Gulf. Heading for Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. Anticipated that when it hits one of these areas, Gordon will be a category 1 hurricane.

The impact of last year’s September hurricanes still with us. Cudjoe to Marathon still recovering from Irma. Many remain homeless.  Food a problem. Debris still be removed.

The Boca Chica Naval Station beginning its second phase of repairs. A $22 million restoration. Expected to be complete by February 2020.

Puerto Rico took two hits last September. First, Irma. Then, Maria. Puerto Rico remains desperate. A forgotten island.

I blame Trump for Puerto Rico’s condition. He turned his back on the island. Even though Americans. Last wednesday Trump said, “I think we did a fantastic job in Puerto Rico.”

What is he smoking?

Key West’s Womenfest begins tomorrow. Runs through September 9. A major event. Thousands of women will arrive from all over the world. The lesbian community and their friends take over the town. Fun time!

The ladies play Flag Football. Practice is friday at Bayview Park. Saturday the big game. Claimed to be a “friendship game.” Watch them play!

I periodically write and speak of iguanas and pythons. Both populations out of hand. The State waited too long to deal with their invasions. Now permanent Florida residents. The government can only contain, not eradicate.

Lizards have entered the picture. I wrote about them recently. They are here and becoming a problem. I hope the State will get into eradication now rather than tomorrow. Tomorrow will be too late.

A seven foot 150 pound lizard took up residence in a family’s back yard somewhere in mid Florida last week. Refuses to leave. Thus far has escaped capture.

Officials still trying to capture the lizard. The homeowners were told not to be concerned. The lizard was of a type not dangerous to humans.

Alligators becoming a problem also. Attacks in Florida on the rise. From 1988-1999, one attack every 3 years. From 2000-2019, 6 per year.

Planet of the Apes on the way. The only difference the nature of the beasts. This time, the reptiles.

The Kavanaugh hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on TV at the moment. Has been running since 10. Now 11:30. A war! Democrats screaming for fairness and more time. Republicans know they have voting control sitting back letting the Democrats vent.

Nothing more can be said regarding John McCain. Last week he was praised in every possible fashion. The man a true American, a true American hero. Words will quiet down. His memory not. He will remain with us for generations to come.

Meghan McCain’s words will frequently be recalled and repeated: “The America of John McCain does not need to be make America great again, because America was always great.”

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. recently completed a study re the economy. The results of the study clearly established Trump’s “Greatest Economy Ever” is not. The American dream has vanished.

A great number of the American people are struggling with debt and lack of savings. Eighty percent define “American dream” to be financial security and owning a home. More than half believe it is unattainable. The white picket fence gone. The American dream evaporated.

And yet Trump frequently tells us the U.S. is experiencing the greatest economy ever. Ninety percent of the people do not believe it. The man lives in a dream world.

Enjoy your day!

DEATH AND DESTRUCTION…..LABOR DAY HURRICANE 1935

It is that time of the year. The hurricane season. The beginning of September considered the worst time.

At the moment, there is a potential tropical storm developing in the Atlantic. One hundred seventy five miles east of Marathon. Not a big deal. Yet. Winds 30 miles per hour. The lower keys will receive 2-4 inches of rain today through tomorrow morning.

The storm not named yet. Not considered a problem till it hits the Gulf. It is projected it will then develop into a tropical storm or hurricane. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana have been warned they could be in trouble.

Last year, it was Irma. Hit the lower keys September 10. Projected as a category 5. Hit Key West as a 1. However, Cudjoe north to Marathon a 4. Significant damage. One year later, recovery still ongoing. Homes destroyed, debris not removed, people living in tents, people without food, etc.

Labor Day 1935 the worst up to that time. A category 5. One hundred eighty five miles per hour when it hit land near Islamorada. Surge 18-20 feet. Islamorada obliterated. Portions of the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway damaged or destroyed. Four hundred eighty five killed.

Death and destruction. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The most intense hurricane to have struck the United States up to that time.

Six hundred ninety five World War I veterans were working on the Overseas Highway. Several camps in the area. A rescue train left Miami at 4:25 pm. Several delays on the way due to a number of non storm related problems. The rescue train did not arrive till 8:20 pm.

It arrived just as the storm surge hit Islamorada. The train’s 11 cars were swept off the tracks. Only the locomotive and tender remained.

Railroad bridges destroyed. Never to be rebuilt. It was the end of the Railway.

Corpses all over the place. The humidity and heat outrageous. Bodies swelling. Splitting open three days after the storm. Health officials concerned. Bodies buried or cremated. Mostly cremated. Some merely thrown in piles and incinerated. Others placed in wood boxes, piled on one another, and then cremated.

The greater percentage of the dead were veterans working on the Overseas Highway.

Though the railroad bed was of no use, certain portions of the road bed and bridges survived. They became part of the Overseas Highway which was completed in 1938. The Highway connected Key West and Miami.

Ernest Hemingway assisted in rescue efforts. He initially rode out the hurricane at his home in Key West. Then hurried up the keys by boat to help. He was incensed by the devastation and deaths.

Hemingway blamed the U.S. government of negligence in sending the veterans to work in the keys during hurricane season. He wrote a critical article titled Who Killed The Veterans which was published in The New Masses magazine.

Hemingway viewed the veterans as unwitting victims of a system that appeared to lack concern for their welfare.

Hemingway was correct. The federal government had forgotten their obligation to those who fought in World War I. Veterans had earlier protested in Washington. Following which the government settled them in work camps such as those that were situated on the Overseas Highway.

The government had a study made to determine responsibility for the deaths of the veterans. The study determined it was an Act of God. A whitewash.

The government did not care and did not want to bear responsibility. Shades of Trump and Puerto Rico.

The National Commander of the American Legion at the time was Ray Murphy. He blamed the loss of life on “Inefficiency, Indifference, and Ignorance.”

The inefficiency the manner in which the camps were set up. The indifference in that no one was in charge of safety. The ignorance that no one understood the real danger from a tropical storm.

May such a storm never occur again. A hope. It will. Recall Andrew in 1992. Wiped out Homestead and the Air Force Base nearby. Ninety five percent of the structures in Homestead leveled.

I appreciate that today’s blog concerns the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. I would be remiss however if I failed to mention Terri White. A force unto herself.

This past year found Terri falling into total blindness. A gutsy lady. A professional singer. Many Broadway shows to her credit.

She still works.

Saturday night, Terri sang at Blue Macaw. Sunday morning at Hard Rock Cafe. Tonight part of Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Go Terri!

Enjoy your day!