ETHIOPIA BURN THE WHITE HOUSE?

Trump’s weak knowledge of American history has generated a lot of comment. One of the best appeared in the Justice Building Blog: “Neither Canada nor Ethiopia invaded and burned the White House.”

If not Canada, why not Ethiopia?

Visited Dr. Norris yesterday. He thinks I may be too old for the surgery contemplated. My primary care physician. My hear doctor said no problem. The endoscopy doctor was concerned that my age might be a problem.

I feel the best I have in 20 years and I am being told that at 82 I am too old for a relatively simple surgery.

My next stop Cleveland Clinic strictly for a consultation. To determine if my age is a concern to them.

Last night the Chart Room. Better than a doctor visit.

John bartending. Not that many people. Those who did stop in interesting.

Sheila arrived with her house guest Sandra. Sandra a nurse from Roanoke, Virginia. Loved Sandra the moment we met. She reads my blog every day!

A terrific couple from Marathon sitting to my right. Robert and Angela. In Key West to celebrate their anniversary. Thirty three years today.

Congratulations!

They live up the road a bit. Marathon. Visit Key West a few days here and there. Marathon a great place to live. However, its night life leaves something to be desired.

They have a 54 foot power boat. Showed me a photo. Magnificent! Generally come down with the boat for a one month stay in March.

Originally from San Antonio, Robert was a CPA. Today works part time/as little as possible as a private equity investor.

Angela a retired elementary teacher. Once owned a lower Keys taxi company.

Excellent conversationalists. Hope to run into them again.

David came in. Good to see him. We do not run into each other often these days.

Steve and Cindy arrived. Enjoy their company.

Cindy brought me Bob Smith’s book. Titled: BOB. He wrote it in 1990, 1997, or during the years in between. Cannot be sure.

The cover of the book is Bob in drag. He was straight with a warped sense of humor.

Married to Annie. A better woman does not exist.

Bob died several years ago. He is one of those whose ashes lie in the Chart Room Bar. A distinction!

He was a friend.

Bob’s book is a collection of Key West antidotes told from Bob’s perspective. I have decided to share some with you in the coming days. Probably months. There are that many.

How is this: “There are only two kinds of people in this world: assholes and the rest of us. Race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, you name it, doesn’t matter. You’re either an asshole or you’re not…..problem is you can’t easily tell who is and who isn’t…..Here’s what we need to do. When we come across a true asshole we need to brand them square in the forehead: A.H. Our proclivity for prejudice will finally be well placed and justified. The whole world will be better off.”

The G7 meeting today and tomorrow. Tensions will be great. Heated words may be exchanged, the calm shattered.

I wish I could watch the exchanges.

We as a Nation should be ashamed. I refer to the detention of immigrant children.

A few years ago, several Walmarts closed down. They are now being used to house the children. Reportedly in cages on concrete floors. The cages described as big. Fencing. Wire and nets stretched along the top to prevent escape.

The situation as reported described by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Or). Although he is a U.S. Senator, he was denied entry at one of the Walmarts. Police called. He was almost arrested. He did gain entry to another apparently without permission.

The White House has accused Merkley of spreading lies.

Bet he isn’t!

CNN’s gifted story teller Anthony Bourdain dead at 61. A suicide.

Suicides dramatically up in recent years. Locally, nationally, and internationally.

Tomorrow at 5 on Duval, the 15th annual Key West Pride Parade. Key West’s Sea-To-Sea Rainbow Flag extending the length of Duval carried on the hands of many with pride.

Enjoy your day!

TRUMP VINDICTIVE AND MEAN

The President is a vindictive and mean man. For a man in his 70’s, he appears not to have learned what goes around, comes around. All in due course.

Andrew McCabe has been an outstanding public servant with the FBI for 21 years. Achieved the number 3 position in the FBI hierarchy. Served as Acting Attorney General for a time.

For whatever reason, Trump does not like McCabe. Might have some doing with failing to fire Mueller.

Trump has been threatening to fire McCabe for several months. McCabe announced his retirement. It becomes effective sunday. The word is Trump may have McCabe fired today or tomorrow. So doing would result in McCabe losing all his retirement benefits.

The charge being alleged against McCabe a bullshit one.

Vindictive? Mean?

Mr. President, back off. You have beaten and tarnished the man and his reputation. Enough is enough.

I enjoy the Justice Building Blog. Today’s a spoof. Titled The Last Days of Rex Tillerson. One portion sub-titled White House Switchboard Operators Resign. An excerpt: “You’ve reached the best White House switchboard. A switchboard no one has ever seen one as good. If you are a Cabinet member seeking to resign, press one; if you represent a porn star and want to have your client give an interview, press two; if you are the Attorney General of the United States, you suck and your time is coming pal.”

Spent the whole day home with the air conditioning people. Three of them. Installed a completely new air conditioning/heating system.

Everything worked last night! I had heat! Even better, the purchase and installation cost me nothing. I am a tenant.

By the time the air conditioning people left, it was too late for me to make the Sons and Daughters of Italy dinner meeting. Called Catherine who is also a member and said let’s go to the Chart Room for drink.

We did.

Kevin and Holly at the round table. My Wampsville buddy Ted Kane at the bar.

I wanted to get home by 9 to watch the Syracuse/Arizona game. Catherine and I had dinner at the Pier House’s ONE Duval.  The Pier House’s fancy restaurant. Sits where the Wine Galley used to be.

Enjoyed a filet mignon. One of the best I have had in years!

Rushed Catherine home by 9. Hurried to my house in time for the start of the game.

Syracuse won 60-56. With 3 minutes to go, I did not think Syracuse would win. They had a great final 1.5 minutes.

Onward Syracuse! I do not know who we will be playing next and when.

The U.S. Navy maintains an air base 5 miles from where I live. Boca Chica. Huge. Busy at one time. Now not so busy. Used primarily for training.

Two U.S. Navy aviators died yesterday in the waters off Boca Chica.  They were the crew of a F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet attempting a landing at Boca Chica. The plane crashed in the ocean. The crew was able to eject beforehand. Rescued. However both were declared dead when they arrived at the hospital.

No further details  are available.

The National Students Walkout yesterday.

I am proud of these high school students. They may accomplish what adults have not.

Thousands walked. No disturbances. Those who spoke were articulate and intelligent.

The one word used which moved me was “hunted.” Many said they were not comfortable being “hunted.”

Today is March 15. Known also as the Ides of March. The day in 44 B.C. that Julius Caesar was assassinated. Shakespeare’s famous words recalled through the centuries: “Et tu, Brute.”

Those who deceive are thought of today as Brutus’. A close friend who performs a despicable act upon a friend.

Have to move my ass. A noon doctor’s visit.

Enjoy your day!

SUPREME COURT MAY BE MOVING AWAY FROM NRA POSITIONS RE GUNS

I consider the Justice Building Blog one of the finest on the internet. Published once or twice a week. I read it religiously.

The blog is written by someone at the Miami Courthouse. Generally right on re legal issues.

Guns the big news these days. Understandably so. The Justice Building Blog dealt with one phase of the issue in its 2/20/18 publication.

The blog reviewed Justice Clarence Thomas’ 14 page dissent in Sylvester v. Becerra, 583 U.S.__(2018).

The Supreme Court as a whole, except for Thomas, had decided to deny certiorari and not hear the appeal in the Sylvester case. Involved was California’s 10 day waiting period in order to purchase a firearm.

The appellant was a gun owner who already had a firearm and had been earlier approved during a 10 day waiting period for that firearm. Since he was purchasing a second firearm and had already been approved re the first, he felt it was wrong to apply the 10 day waiting period to him.

The Supreme Court, except for Thomas, opted to pass on the issue and not entertain it.

Thomas is considered an NRA supporter.

I do not hold Thomas in high esteem. I have always considered him inept. A mistake on the Court.

Thomas was upset because the Court would not hear and rule on the matter. He wrote a lengthy dissent. An educational one from my perspective. Brought to my attention facts I was unaware off.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not heard a gun case in almost 8 years. Thomas criticized the Court’s “continued direction in this area.” Meaning the Court has not wished to hear gun cases in almost 8 years.

Some other Thomas comments: “The right to keep and bear arms is apparently the Court’s constitutional orphan…..We have not heard argument in a Second Amendment case for nearly eight years…..And we have not clarified the standard for asserting Second Amendment claims for almost 10.”

He compared the Court’s failure as he viewed it comparable to not having heard in many years Third Amendment cases. The Third Amendment involves the prohibition against quartering of soldiers in homes. He also invoked the Eighteenth Amendment which prohibits the sale and manufacture of liquor.

I suspect the Supreme Court has avoided gun cases because it wants federal or state legislatures to move on the issue first.

Burt Bacharach was one of the premier song writers back when. In 1965, he published What The World Needs Now Is Love. Let the tune play through your mind.

The Justice Building Blog ended with a take on Bacharach’s tune. One printed with tongue in cheek I am sure: What The World Needs Now Are Guns, more guns…..not just for some, but for everyone.

A tough emotional day yesterday. I was glued to the TV set. Douglas High School children and others appearing in Tallahassee and Washington. The Washington group with the President.

Moving. The tears flowed freely on occasion.

I want to share some at random thoughts re what I observed.

Initially, I thought the Trump meeting was a political ploy and nothing more. He and the NRA are hand in hand. Turned out differently. I now suspect the President did it with sincerity and sorrow.

The high schoolers and some of the parents spoke with an eloquence even Shakespeare could not have composed. From the heart. Gut feelings. “My daughter is dead. Nine bullets in her body.” “My daughter killed from a bullet in her back which shattered her spine.”

The high schoolers most definitely a sleeping giant awakened. Beware NRA and those who blindly support the NRA for dollars.

The shooting itself the beginning of the end of the NRA.

My fear is Trump will not go far enough. Ban assault weapons should be the first issue up front. An AR-15 only good for two things. War and killing school children.

Trump’s thought that teachers should carry useless. Probably the NRA’s idea. Would sell more guns. What good is a pistol going to be against an AR-15?

Enough for today. No more soap boxing.

Last night Tavern ‘n Town for an early dinner. Then to the Chart Room to watch Syracuse/North Carolina. Syracuse lost 78-74. Came close to winning at the end. Had it all tied up with 1 1/2 minutes left. Blew three chances to win.

North Carolina the superior team. I was impressed that Syracuse came back at the end.

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori at noon. A manicure with Tammy later in the afternoon. Glad I called Tammy for an appointment yesterday. She leaves on vacation tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!

SYLVANUS JOHNSON…..AFRICAN AMERICAN TREATMENT YESTERDAY AND TODAY

A story of white man’s justice as regards blacks in 1897.

The event took place in Key West. Representative of justice at the time for people of color throughout the South.

It was June 1897. Sylvanus Johnson resided in Key West. An African-American. A United States citizen. Johnson was accused of raping a white woman.

He was brought to trial immediately. The rape charge a capital crime. Death the expected sentence, if convicted.

Johnson was assigned counsel. He could not afford one on his own. A kangaroo court and an all white jury decided his fate. The judge a good old boy. He would not permit Johnson’s attorney to cross examine witnesses.

A lynch mob formed during the trial. Daytime outside the court house. Night time, outside the jail. The mob wanted white man’s justice immediately. Hang him!

Blacks formed outside the court house by day and jail by night to protect Johnson.

A confrontation.

The Sheriff panicked. Stood his ground, but knew he needed help to keep Johnson safe from the lynch mob. Asked the Governor for assistance. The Governor viewed the situation as a black insurrection. He immediately asked President McKinley for federal troops. McKinley considered the matter not worthy of assistance.

A local reporter described the African-Americans as a “tough negro element.” Portrayed them as troublemakers.

Johnson was convicted. Took the jury one hour forty minutes.

When the verdict was announced, Johnson turned to the jury and said, “If God was black and came before this jury you would find him guilty. You may take my black body, but you cannot harm my innocent soul.”

Johnson was hung within a matter of days.

There is a reason why I recall the Johnson story. It has to do with Irma and retrospectively Katrina.

African-Americans have come a long way since Johnson’s days. Not far enough, however. They have equality in name. Not in fact.

FEMA had tents erected in the public parking area behind the Key West fire station on Simonton. A place for people to seek and receive governmental assistance. I noted the people applying were all persons of color. Tan. Blacks, Cubans, etc. No whites.

Saturday evening, I drove down Duval. Somewhere in the middle of Duval was a FEMA truck. It was handing out food packages. All the people waiting for the packages were black. No tans,  no whites.

Katrina had similarities. Blacks ended up in the huge sports arena. Nary a white.

My point is African-Americans and other persons of color have come a long way since 1897. Not enough, however. Equality and opportunity not yet fully theirs.

How much longer must these people wait?

Understand what I have written here and you will understand why we continue to have turmoil in the streets involving blacks and whites.

There was a concert in Mallory Square over the weekend. A locals event. To celebrate survival and exhibit the community will come back. A huge crowd in attendance whooping it up in Key West fashion.

My yesterday quiet. Worked with Sloan in the morning. Under the weather the rest of the day. Heavy sweating and a runny nose. Stayed in bed. This morning, I feel fine.

Comcast has finally completed its responsibilities. Late last night, I got back wi-fi and hard line.

Like being reborn! Computer, wi-fi and hard line all at one time!

Consistent with most positions he takes, Trump is totally off base as regards the NFL. He fails to realize that freedom of speech includes spitting, urinating, defecating, burning, and dragging through he dirt the American flag. Constitutionally guaranteed free speech.

The United States has survived over 200 years recognizing the right.

Trump understands neither the history of this country or the Constitution. He prefers standing before a huge American flag Patton style denouncing the NFL and its players. Shouting words he is most famous for…..You’re fired!

I feel good this blog has returned to normalcy. Irma is behind us, except for recovery.

Tonight Louis will be at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. I suspect many others will also.

Enjoy your day!

ARGENTINE TANGO

Dance the Tango! The Argentine Tango!

Tonight!

Key West Theater on Eaton Street. Part of the Key West World of Culture Dance Series. Learn or watch. Your choice.

Trump on the receiving end. The tide is turning. It does not seem he can take it as well as he can give it out.

Liberty University a major Trump supporter. Liberty’s President Jerry Falwell, Jr. at the forefront. A few graduates are unhappy with Falwell’s support of Trump following Trump’s Nazi and alt right comments. So far, one hundred. They are returning their diplomas.

I have become a fan of the Justice Building Blog. Sometimes bland, sometimes humorous. Today’s on the funny side.

Trump on frequent occasion makes statements that are historically incorrect, nonsensical, just plain stupid. Some quotes attributable to Trump listed today. None said by Trump. Could have been, however.

Like…..”Nazis are people too. Americans.” How about…..”We spend all the money on nuclear weapons and don’t use them. What good are they? Or…..”Lincoln did not believe in global warming. Neither did Patton. Neither do I.”

Confederate statues and memorials being removed. Some in the dark of night. My thoughts move back and forth.

At first, I did not agree. Like it or not, the Civil War is part of American history. The Nation united following the war. Southern peoples have the right to honor their heroes of that moment in American history.

Then I heard the voices of today’s African-Americans. Most of the statues/memorials were constructed during the 1920’s by and in support of the Klu Klux Klan or in support of southern States during the 1960’s civil rights disturbances.

Their voices loud and clear. Whether a statue, monument or flag, we are reminded of our slavery heritage. These items represent a time when our people suffered.

I understood. Or, thought I did. Tear them down became part of my thought process.

Now, I find myself swaying back and forth between both conclusions.

Which brings me to Key West and the issue.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reveals three Confederate statues/memorials. One in Bayview Park. Another, Clinton Square. The third, Mallory square itself. There is a fourth I discovered myself.

The Confederate memorial in Bayview Park was constructed in 1924 by the Stephen Mallory chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Dedicated to the soldiers and sailors of the Confederacy.

The one in Clinton Square erected in honor of Confederate veteran and Judge J.V. Harris.

Mallory Square the best of the best or outrageous based on one’s perspective.

The huge expanse known as Mallory Square is named after Stephen R. Mallory. Mallory was raised in Key West. A United States Senator representing Florida prior to the Civil War. Served as Confederate Secretary of the Navy during the Civil War. Charged with treason following the war. Imprisoned for a time. Then paroled by President Andrew Johnson.

When a U.S. Senator, his first speech was for a return to flogging on U.S. Navy vessels. The nature of the man reflected?

I am unaware if he continued to live in Key West during his Senatorial years or any time thereafter. He died not in Key West, but at his home in Pensacola.

Well my fellow residents of Key West, do we tear down the Bayview Park memorial, the Clinton Square statue, and rename Mallory Square? No thought given so far. I doubt that Key Westers really care.

One more example. Asa Forseyth Tift.

Tift was the first owner of what today is the Hemingway House. He built it in 1851. Tift owned 14 slaves. They constituted the labor force used.

Tift’s bust is located in the Memorial Sculpture Garden at the edge of Mallory Square.

Should the Hemingway House be torn down? Should Tift’s bust be removed from the Memorial Sculpture Garden?

All food for thought. What is good for Charlottesville, Baltimore and other cities, should be good for Key West. Lets have a universal application. Or, cease and desist with the removal of these historical representations.

A confusing issue for those with no ax to grind. Like me.

Enjoy your day!