HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOUIS

 

Today is my birthday. Eighty three years. Wow!

Time moves fast. Everything just yesterday. High school, college, law school, marriage, children, grandchildren, court cases, successful practice, mistakes made, lessons learned, etc.

I feel good for my age. The body breaks down as we go along. Mine started around 60. You go to the doctor and hope they can fix whatever it is. Generally can. As you get older however, you become concerned about the day something many not be able to be fixed.

Mentally, I am still 35. Amazing! The issue of mental age comes up in conversations among the elderly. Everyone is between 25-45. Interesting.

My poor Mother. Several times she reminded me of my birth. Mid summer 1935. Hot. Humid. No air  conditioning. Not invented yet. The hospital sweltering!!!

Took 26 hours of labor for me to make my entrance.

I was born in Utica’s General Hospital. A welfare type hospital for the poor. Amazing how this country provides the opportunity to live a better more affluent life.

I look forward to 84. Hopefully many more years following. My Dad made it to 98, his father 94, his sister 102. One condition. I would want to be in good shape physically and mentally.

Midnight was the beginning of a dark day for global trade. Trump permitted his threatened tariffs re China to go into effect. China waited hoping Trump would back off. When he did not, China imposed retaliatory tariffs.

China described what occurred as the beginning of the “largest trade war in history.” An economist described the event as “typical trade bullying.”

The first salvo has been fired. America will be the first casualty. Trump does not understand. An example the soybean farmers who will not be able to sell their product. The U.S. supplies China with 60 percent of its soybean imports.

Take a walk back in time. Herbert Hoover elected President. It is 1928. The stock market booming. At an all time high. Hoover a protectionist. Believed in tariffs. Could not leave well enough alone. Imposed tariffs. One year later, the Great Depression.

Trump was in Montana last night at a rally. His audience a mere 6,500. Down dramatically from the many thousands who previously attended. A smaller audience, seated closer together, to make the place look more full.

Trump’s mouth his worst enemy. Among other sad/improper things uttered last night included knocking Bush I and John McCain. Both war heroes. Bush shot down twice during World War II. McCain spent six years in a Vietnamese concentration camp, tortured non stop.

Trump was a draft dodger.

The man knocks everyone and everything. Lies consistently. Thinks he knows everything. He is leading us to a doom.

Chart Room last night. As always, a good and interesting time.

Steve and Cindy back. I have been looking to their return. They lived in Key West in the early and mid 1970’s when things were different. On the wild side! I take notes rapidly. Add a bit of research, each becomes a story to be written.

Dorothy in for a few days. Her dentist husband died two years ago. It was good to see her again. An author who achieved success. Dorothy has a sharp mind. It was evident when a new friend, Ray from Dublin, told us a great joke. Dorothy had an instantaneous  follow up that fit.

Met a most interesting couple. One Ray already mentioned and his wife Augusta. World travelers of sorts. Ray has been in the oil business over the years in one capacity or another. Retired now, invests primarily in oil stocks and other types he believes are going to move. Apparently successful.

Enjoyed their company. Ray and I disagree on one point. He has traveled the world living and working. He believes Trump will be viewed as the greatest U.S. President since Reagan.

Bothersome. Worries me.

Trump overwhelms the news. As a result, we fail to get sufficient information re what is going on in the rest of the world. Nicaragua, for example.

A horrendous conflict once again. The government killing people randomly. The war relatively new. Three weeks. A full blown civil war in the making.

The conflict includes the Catholic Church which is opposed to what is going on. Involved are President Daniel Ortega. He was President many years ago. And his wife Rosario Murillo. She, Vice-President.

The Vice-President wife recently said God favors repression against priests and people. Trump not the only one who is sick.

Bad days in Nicaragua that will only get worse. People will flee the country. U.S. borders will be closed to them.

BOB begged off again this morning. Still tired from the fireworks. The trial result and what followed left to tomorrow. Hopefully.

One thing I learned last night was that Bum Farto was involved in more than drugs. Prostitution. He drove El Jefe around dropping off prostitutes and picking them up when their work was done.

Enjoy your day!

SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL

Key West is in the middle of this year’s Songwriters Festival. The event began May 9 and ends May 13. Five days and nights of live music. The faces, voices and stories behind the songs.

Two hundred plus performers and fifty plus shows. To be seen and heard on parts of Duval and its side streets and in many bars and restaurants along the way.

Key West will be over run with music lovers from all over the world.

A post Irma report has just come out re tourism revenue. In the eight months since Irma, tourist revenue is down 11-24 percent depending on the month.

The ad agency representing Key West has recommended that more money be spent in advertising to attract the number of tourists lost.

I disagree. Key West is over touristed. The island is sinking beneath the added weight of too many visitors. Traffic is heavy, bicyclists a danger, pedestrians crossing streets without looking, etc.

Greed is killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Key West cannot continue to receive more and more visitors each year. There is a breaking point. We are reaching it.

Some things cannot be questioned. One, man needs water to survive.

As far back as Aristotle, water was a concern. Being the genius he was, Aristotle shared his thoughts and solutions for his time: “Salt water, when it turns into vapour, becomes sweet and the vapour does not form salt water again when it condenses.”

Aristotle also noticed that a fine wax vessel would hold potable water after being submerged long enough in seawater, having acted as a membrane to filter the salt.

Ocean going ships over the centuries had a desperate need for fresh water. Ways to desalinate were improved for vessels.

Thomas Jefferson came up with a better method to desalinate on ships. Decals with his instructions were prepared and placed on the back of all shipping permits.

Desalinization improved following World War II. So good that optimization became the goal.

Which brings me to the why I have spent this time on desalinization.

The Florida Keys need water. Especially, Key West. We pipe our water in from the mainland 150 miles away. Scarcity periodically a problem.

On this day in 1967, a $3.3 million desalting plant was constructed to assist Key West and its immediate surroundings. The new plant capable of producing 2.62 million gallons of fresh water a day.

The plant ended a critical water shortage at the time.

Trump and his staff show little respect for John McCain. McCain has brain cancer and is reaching the end of his days.

McCain qualifies as a torture expert.

One day after he announced opposition to Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel, a White House staff meeting was being held. Trump was not present.

It is claimed that during the meeting, Special Assistant Kelly Sadler while discussing the torture issue and McCain’s position said, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”

Her comment has been perceived as mocking McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis. Sadler says she meant it as a joke. However it was not received as such. It has been reported there was a dead silence in the room following the statement having been made.

Sadler apologized to one of McCain’s daughters following the incident.

A Pandora’s box has been opened. The $4.4 million Michael Cohen received following Trump’s election. The question arises: Where did the money go after leaving Cohen’s hands? Any of it to the President?

I mentioned yesterday how the new US ambassador to Germany on tuesday advised the Germans they should stop doing business with Iran. The Germans laughed at him.

Other European nations are reacting. France’s Finance Minster said yesterday that Europe is not a US vassal, not the world’s economic policeman.

I have followed Venezuela more than 5 years. Ever since Nicolas Maduro became President. Maduro is doing a lousy job. I cannot understand why the people have not revolted.

Starvation exists. Everyday. Little relief. The pets were eaten three years ago. Babies fed every other day with some sort of powder concoction. On it goes.

Several months ago, Maduro said something nasty about Trump. I do not recall what. The next day Trump said the US was considering invading Venezuela to relieve the poverty that had befallen its people.

On monday, it was announced that the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Venezuela. On 3 Venezuelans personally and 20 Venezuelan companies. The justification claimed was narcotics trading tied to Maduro.

Almost simultaneously, Pence appeared before the Organization of American States and told the audience that there was a need to take greater steps to isolate Maduro. The drug issue the justification again.

Something wrong here. How do you sanction a nation whose people are already starving? Who ate family pets? Whose babies get fed every second day?

The narcotics claim is disturbing. Venezuela is the other end of the Earth from the US. The real drug problem affecting the US is Afghanistan. Afghanistan produces 95 percent of the world’s heroin. Most of it ends up on our streets. Our people dying big time daily from its effects.

The US has been fighting a war in Afghanistan for 17 years. In that time, the poppy fields have grown, heroin exports increased dramatically. Little done by the US to stop it.

Something stinks and has stunk in Afghanistan re drugs since the US became involved with the country.

Enjoy your day!

SANCTIONS BOTH AVOID AND LEAD TO WAR

Sanctions are constantly in the news. One country does something another country disagrees with and sanctions come into play. Bank accounts seized, shipping prohibited, etc. Cause the offending country to suffer for its wrongdoing.

Sanctions are so prevalent these days that many have come to believe it is a way to avoid war.

I believe such is the case only because a war has not yet occurred.

History repeats itself. We tend to forget.

On this day in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt seized all Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for Japan’s occupation of French-Indo China. As was intended, the result hurt Japan deeply. Japan lost three quarters of its overseas trade and 88 percent of its imported oil.

War was inevitable. Japan could not tolerate the sanctions. Especially the loss of 88 percent of its imported oil. Japan had no oil except that which it imported. Japan’s industrial death was imminent.

Japan in effect said screw you to the U.S. The result Pearl Harbor a little more than four months later.

Two strange occurrences yesterday.

Three weeks ago, I filed a change of address with the Post Office. I am getting mail at my new address. Also, at my old address.

Went to the downtown Post Office to straighten the mater out. I was told by the clerk it could not be happening. I calmly explained again it was. No way, I was told.

It became a problem for the supervisor to deal with. No supervisor. He was somewhere else.

I have to return today.

Next stop was Walgreens. Bought a large container of Bayer Aspirin. Take a whole pill a day for my heart.

When I got home and opened the bottle, the foil seal was broken and completely open. When I return to Walgreens today for an exchange, will I be told it could not happen?

A change of pace podcast last night. Trump has been overwhelming my show as it has the media. There are other stories to be told. Decided to do a limited Trump comment and the rest of the show human events of the past few days world wide.

Because of yesterday happenings, I ended up with three Trump/political observations. However, I did finish with 8 non Trump stories.

I hope that those of you who listened to Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou enjoyed the change of pace.

Being the political animal I am, I want to briefly share with you the three political observations.

Jared Kushner’s testimony has been described by some in the examining rooms as truthful and forthcoming. I would not believe Kushner and his Trump in laws on a stack of Bibles. Liars one and all. It is the nature of the beast. The conclusion of the various investigations will substantiate they speak with forked tongues.

The Democrats came out with a Better Deal slogan yesterday. Sucks! My recommendation is that they hire a professional PR firm to provide a today slogan. Also, it is time for Pelosi and Schumer to go. It is a new day. Their time has passed. Voters world wide have shown in recent elections the desire for new and more youthful faces.

Finally, John McCain. A man I respect and admire. But yesterday he did not go far enough in his comments to the Senate.

McCain has cancer of the brain. Operations, doctors, medicines, etc. His medical bills will be high. Overwhelming if no insurance. He has insurance, however. Ergo, he has a chance to be cured, to survive.

What of the 32 million who will have no insurance if Obamacare is dumped? They will not have the chance to maybe have their lives saved.

It was McCain’s moment. He should have said, I have changed my mind. I stand with those who do not want to repeal, or repeal and replace. Lets fix Obamacare and move on.

He did not.

Historical paths cross.

William Faulkner lived a period of his life in Key West. As did Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway wrote To Have and To Hold. Faulkner went to Hollywood and wrote the screen script for To Have and To Hold. Both the novel and the movie were gigantic successes. Humphrey Bogart starred in the movie.

In the early 1860’s, a U.S. Navy vessel captured a slave ship. It delivered the 1,432 Africans aboard to Key West. Two hundred ninety-four died while here. The remaining Africans were sent to Libya.

The 294 who died were buried somewhere in Key West. No one certain as to the exact spot till several years ago.

The bodies were discovered buried on portions of Higgs Beach and nearby. A plaque has been placed on the beach noting their burial place. Each year, a service is held at the site in their honor.

Have to hustle. A heart test scheduled for 1.

Enjoy your day!

MAN WALKS ON THE MOON

Many times I have mentioned that the two happenings which excited/impressed/moved me the most were man walking on the moon and the Berlin Wall coming down.

Today, the anniversary of the first man on the moon.  The year 1969. Neil Armstrong: “…..one mall step for man, one giant step for mankind.”

It happens too many times as I get older. Go for a routine physical feeling fine. Walk out concerned.

Every 3-4 years my blood pressure goes out of whack. It is out of whack again. Big time. One of the highest numbers I have recorded.

My ankles a bit swollen, also.

Most people might not be greatly concerned. At 82, I am. Everything concerns me.

Tests next week. Water pills for a few days immediately.

My blood work normal.

Doctor thinks my murmur is louder.

Sad about John McCain. A brain cancer tumor. One of America’s greats. May God help resolve the problem rather than take him.

Trump at it again. His consistency is his inconsistency. Never know what he is going to do. When he does perform, it is generally incorrect.

Three items of concern this week so far. Note it is only thursday.

First, pulling the CIA out of Syria. A major Putin victory. Makes us look less than dependable to the free world. Plus, Trump got nothing from Putin in return.

Second, the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity which Trump appointed. Met for the first time yesterday in Washington.

I listened to the Chair and Vice-Chair speak. Two nuts. Both already believe there were major problems in 2016.

Finally, Trump’s words last night re Sessions, the Justice Department and Mueller. Trump fears the police arm of our government. He should if he has something to fear. Which I believe he does.

He wants to get rid of Sessions and the Acting Attorney General. Also Mueller, if Mueller gets into his and his family’s finances. On top of which he wants the FBI to answer directly to the President.

Anna, my Anna. She is presently in Athens. Always in a place where excitement is going to occur.

She e-mailed me yesterday. The media carried the story, also.

Ermou Street in Athens is one of its finest shopping areas. Like our Fifth Avenue. I walked down it twice every day. To Playka and back.

I wrote about Ermou several years ago. The streets full of beggars. Like I had never seen before. Makes our homeless look good.

So you can understand. Every day there was a man with no arms and legs. Face badly scarred. Hair burned never to grow again. Blind.

Propped up on a curb. His hands out searching for contributions.

Anarchists ran Ermou Street monday. Breaking windows, destroying the inside of shops. Throwing chemicals about. Sixty stores involved.

They were protesting on behalf of a 29 year old woman whose appeal of her terrorist conviction had failed.

The police did not interfere. When asked why, they said they did not have instructions to do so.

I can understand. As I wrote many times several years ago, the Greek Nazi Party is influential with the police. Half the members of the Nazi Party are police officers. The Golden Dawn (the actual name of the Greek Nazi Party) are a law unto themselves.

I wrote I had a sense of fear every time I saw them. Young Aryans. Blond. Great bodies. Wear black shirts, ties and pants. Swastika look a likes as armbands. The Hitler salute.

The Jew of Hitler’s days is the immigrant of today. They blame immigrants for everything.

I saw what I assumed was an immigrant being violently beaten by them one day. Just off Ermou street. Two police officers were nearby. They turned and walked away.

Hemingway Days today. At 6:30, the preliminary round of the Hemingway Look-Alike contest. Sloppy Joe’s

Big day in Key West history. On this day in 1985, Mel Fisher discovered the mother lode of the Spanish galleon Atocha. After 15 years of searching and struggling. $400 million in gold, jewels, and other artifacts.

Enjoy your day!