ERIKA BIDDLE…..A MOST INTERESTING WOMAN

The plan was to meet Jean Thornton at Dueling Bartenders last night. Bobby Nesbitt the scheduled guest performer. Found Jean at the bar seated next to Erika Biddle.

I probably have run into Erika no more than five times over the years. She is unique. The woman has tasted much of life. Both good and bad.

Erika was born in Germany in the years immediate following World War II. Though having avoided the war itself, she remembers clearly the destroyed cities, the debris, etc. waiting for reconstruction. Recovery was slow.

She recalls going without food. The lack of food experience was evident later in the evening when we dined at Antonia’s. I never saw a plate so clean at the end of a meal.

Erika came to Key West in 1994 after living in several cities around the world. She was immediately aware Key West was for her. She once said regarding Key West, ” This was the only city I ever visited where I’m not the most eccentric person around. Here I’m the normal one.”

Her eccentricity best reflected in a nudie calendar venture she put together. An avid environmentalist, Erika came up with a way to raise money for environmental purposes.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger once mentioned something to the effect that the environmental cause was best reflected by a nude woman. Soon after, an English movie came out where a bunch of elderly English women needing money for a charity did a nudie calendar of themselves.

Erika was emboldened. She convinced 15 Key West ladies to agree posing for a nudie calendar. Titled: Women Sustaining the Earth. The women between 44 and 78 years of age. All lovely. The calendar tastefully done.

Sold well!

Erika’s life or parts thereof great book material.

It rained for 2 hours early in the afternoon. Big time! Roaring thunder! Brought to mind Zeus, ancient Greece’s sky and thunder god. King of Mount Olympus.

The Key West Citizen’s weather person a humorist.  Yesterday’s prediction: Mostly cloudy, a shower; free car wash. The shower could have been better described. It was a monsoon! The “free car wash” right on. My car shiny bright after the sun dried it off.

I am ahead of the game time wise re my next KONK Life column. This week’s already done and at the printers. It is titled Sit At Attention Or Die. A bit of Kim/Trump. It is the article for a week from tomorrow that I was working on.

A change of pace topic. Felt compelled to get away from Trump. Environmental. About sand. As with water, in short supply world wide. Hard to believe.

Sand is the new gold.

I read yesterday that recent wind storms have affected Florida’s sandy beaches drastically. The sand loss described as Gone With The Wind.

An interesting article in the making.

The music at Dueling Bartenders the best. Always is. Bobby, Tom Luna and Rick Dery made the walls shake.

Bobby recently married Mike Mulligan. They had lived together 37 years. About time! In honor of the nuptials, Bobby sang I’m Getting Married In The Morning from My Fair Lady.

Jean, Erika and Louis walked over to Antonia’s for dinner. Jean and Erika interesting women. I enjoyed being with them.

Diseases come and go. Initially death causing and then man finds the pill/shot making it possible to avoid the sickness.

Yellow fever was a major killer in the mid 1800’s. The Citizen’s Keys History section mentioned that on this date in 1865, the vessel Adventure arrived in Key West in distress. Four crew members had yellow fever. The four were taken to the Marine Hospital.

The yellow fever spread from the four to Army troops stationed in Key West. Three hundred thirty one cases. Seventy one died. The number of civilians infected and dead not recorded.

A thought. Mull it. Conservative Americans are all about family – unless the family has darker skin and is from another country.

Child abuse in the news constantly these days. The immigrant children taken from parents. The abuse takes other forms and occurs on a smaller scale around the country.

An undocumented mother lives in San Antonio with her 4 year old daughter. A San Antonio Sheriff deputy was having sex with the four year old. Apparently on a regular basis.

The four year old told her mother over the weekend. The mother confronted the officer. He did not deny. He made it clear however that if she told anyone, she would be deported.

Fearing the police, the mother went to a fire station and told the fire officers what was going on. The deputy was arrested yesterday.

What is occurring on the border sick. What happened to this four year old equally sick.

Tonight, my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine sharp. A quick half hour of me pontificating about anything that tickles my interest. Provocative. Eye opening. Guaranteed you will enjoy.

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

Enjoy your day!

CHE A NO SHOW

Several of us were at the Chart Room at 5 yesterday to visit with Che. An old friend, Chart Room cohort, one who has an empty hole in the bar awaiting his ashes, a first class debater in any friendly argument, a man soon to be 84.

The meeting had been arranged by Jean Thornton. Che has become a recluse in recent months. His health failing. He would not open his door if someone knocked. We wanted to visit with him.

No Che. Failed to appear. Probably decided he simply did not want to do it. No problem. Che has earned the right to call them as he sees them.

We sat at the round table and enjoyed ourselves. Jean, David, Cori, Nic, Captain Frank, Valerie, Lisa, and Louis. Later, Quincy Perkins showed up.

Jean made a batch of deviled eggs and brought them for all to enjoy.

Later, Jean and I had dinner together at Hot Tin Roof. Sheila bartending.

Jean and I are a match. We get along well. I consider her a benefactor. Escaped Irma by staying at her home in Birmingham for 12 days.

The Ocean Key House pier was severely damaged by Irma. The contractor waited six months to get back to Ocean Key that he could not do the job for the price bid. Another company has stepped in. They are swiftly working. A huge crane, huge wood posts, etc. I understand the entire pier is going to be redone in concrete.

My sunday afternoon was spent writing this week’s KONK Life column. Sit At Attention Or Die. A Kim/Trump tale. Mostly, Kim. It hits the stands wednesday evening.

The article was well researched and wrote swiftly. I had time left over. Skimmed the internet a bit to determine what the following week’s article will be.

Came up with the subject! Sand! The world is running out of sand. A black market has developed. I did some preliminary research. Interesting.

What a difference 100 years make! Price of Key West Hotel rooms.

In 1914, the Panama Hotel was located at the corner of Eaton and Elizabeth Streets. A new hotel. Running water in each room. A big deal! Rates $1.00, $1.50, and $2.00.

A sad situation. Paul Donnelly was the Key West Citizen Controller. In a management restructuring in March, Paul was one of the those let go.

Paul got in trouble last thursday in Plainview, Michigan. He robbed a bank. Walked up to a teller, handed her a note saying this is a robbery and my bag contains a bomb.

Paul walked out with $4,700. Eight hours later, he was arrested without incident.

Paul was in Plainview visiting relatives. The relatives claim Paul was suicidal, the bank robbery a call for help, he was fighting alcoholism, the sudden loss of his job had affected him, and he had recurring problems from a brain tumor.

Several years ago, I wrote a KONK Life article re Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. The Waterloo battle was waged this day in 1815.

I discovered in my research at the time that the popular reason for Napoleon’s defeat was not correct. It was not the genius of the Duke of Wellington, though his military prowess probably did make some contribution.

Napoleon had hemorrhoids. They were extremely painful the night before. He doped himself with some narcotic that evening and in the late morning when he woke to kill the pain. He overslept. Did not get to the battlefield till just before noon. The battle had started in the early morning.

He could not sit comfortably on his horse. As a result, he did not move around the battlefield to personally view and assess conditions.

The battle was lost early evening.

My research clearly indicated it was the hemorrhoids that did him in.

The immigration children problem disturbs me as it must most of you. Children separated from parents. Sort of a Sophie’s choice, though not as final.

Totally un-American. Not what good people do. I am ashamed my country is doing this.

The problem has to be resolved like yesterday. Realistically, by the end of this week.

How would Trump have felt if his three oldest when young were taken from him and his wife in a fashion similar to what is occurring at the borders? Or, Barron today?

Cock fighting in the lower Keys was a big deal back when. Perhaps even today. I recall a few years ago a group was arrested for involvement with cock fighting.

BOB reports British Peter had a cock fighting experience.

The time would have been the mid 1990’s. Peter was driving cab for a living. New to the job. Got a call asking if he would go to Rockland Key to pick up a fare. Peter jumped at the chance. The fare $17 plus tip.

He picked up 3 young boys each with a paper bag on a side road off US 1. They asked to be taken to Bahama Village. Made sure they had money to pay. Started up and reached the intersection with US 1.

All of a sudden, a huge truck was behind the cab. Lights glaring, horn blowing, and the driver waving out the window. Peter had no idea what was going on. He immediately called for help. The Sheriff’s Department arrived in 2 minutes.

The guy in the tuck ran to the cab. The boys jumped out and ran onto US 1 emptying their bags as they ran. They assumed the chickens would run into the woods. Not so. The chickens were fighters. They engaged in a mammoth cock fight on US 1 in front of the Sheriff Deputies.

The guy in the truck was arrested. The kids taken into custody. The chickens collected.

A problem arose. The Sheriff/County had no place to keep the chickens pending trial. Evidence. They solved the problem in Key West fashion. The chickens were turned over to the now defendant truck driver who they assumed knew how to safeguard them.

BOB does not tell  us how the case ended. Was there a trial? Were the chickens produced? I doubt it. These chickens were lucky if they saw the light of day following the incident.

The situation bothered Peter. He put a sign in his cab: No Rockland County trips, no Rockland County residents.

Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SESSIONS’ IMPROPER USE OF BIBLE

Thousands of immigrant children taken from their parents. Placed in fenced-in areas inside abandoned Walmart buildings. A tent city being planned.

They are the concentration children of America. I am not proud. I am ashamed. Ashamed that something like this could happen in the United States. Many are likewise ashamed. A large number not, however.

Attorney General Sessions can claim major credit. He tells us he is enforcing a law that has not been enforced recently. Incorrect. What he is doing is using a new philosophy to justify his handling of the children. There is no law permitting what is being done.

Sessions considers himself a God-like man. He even quoted the Bible in a speech yesterday in Fort Wayne to support his wrongdoing. The New Testament Book of Romans Chapter 13 wherein St. Paul commanded that the laws of the government be obeyed because God had ordained the government for his purposes.

One problem, however. Sessions misused the Biblical quote. He failed to read the entire passage. The balance would have made him aware of Chapter 13’s true meaning.

The same quote Sessions used was relied upon by others in the past.

Southerners used the quote to justify southern slavery in the 1840’s and 1850’s. South Africa invoked it during apartheid. Hitler to justify his authoritarian rule in the 1930’s.

Even Nero got in the act. He was anti-Christian. Enemies of the state, he said. Killed them. Necessary to quell dissent. He relied on the quote when ordering Christians dipped in oil and set on fire. To light his gardens at night.

Sessions should read Matthew 25:35…..I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

There is nothing in the Bible saying children should be separated from parents.

America, wake up! We are turning into a bad people! Silent acceptance of improper deeds builds up. To a point where Trump could become the Pied Piper. The masses blindly following him.

Sessions did do something good recently. His Department of Justice announced the successful conclusion by a task force of a 3 month operation called Broken Heart. The goal of the task force the identification and arrest of suspected child predators. The crime, child sex trafficking.

The task force consisted of federal, state, local and tribal officers/agents working in unison. The group totaled 4,500.

A successful effort. Two thousand three hundred arrested.

The media has failed to report or comment.

BOB reflected on the cry to evacuate when a hurricane threatens. Only one way out. Drive. The government says gas up and drive to the mainland 150 miles away.

BOB considers the government direction to be ill conceived. There is not enough gas in Key West to fill everyone’s tank.

I must compliment Gov. Scott. He had it right for Irma. He knew gasoline would be a problem. He used one lane or a shoulder of a highway to get the gas filled tankers to the Keys.

I direct your attention to this morning’s Key West Citizen. The weather report section on page 2. Whoever writes it has a sense of humor. Today’s forecast is “Clouds, sun, a t-storm.” The writer’s comment in small print below: “Nature confused.”

Dinner tonight with Jean Thornton at Berlin’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

A JACKASS CAN KICK DOWN A BARN…..

Sam Rayburn was Speaker of the House of Representatives back when. A smart fox. Understood people. Trumanesque in the way he described things.

A quote that has followed him through the ages comes to mind today: “A jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one.”

This is an if the shoe fits, wear it situation. I view Trump as a jackass. A man who lacks the political talents to build on the good of his predecessors in making America greater.

Trump continually destroys American programs developed over the years which have made lives better. He favors corporations to the detriment of people.

Trump also is destroying relationships developed since World War II which have inured to the benefit of the U.S. and its friends. He seems to want to sleep with what heretofore has been considered the enemy. He forgets if you go to bed with a dog who has fleas, you wake up with fleas.

Our world everyday becomes more and more like world of the late 1930’s and 1940. Hitler the bully. The free world attempting to avoid war. McMillan and his “peace in our lifetime” tirade ever in our memories.

Trump may be leading us to war. Look at what he has accomplished in only 1.5 years. With 2.5 years remaining in his term, who knows what will occur.

Trump fails to understand the world will only be defecated upon so long. Then don’t tread on me will come into play. War perhaps to follow.

Trump has surrounded himself with a limited number of advisers, most of whom can only be described as scum. Larry Kudlow the most recent. I heard him earlier this morning lambasting Canada’s Trudeau. It was sickening. I find it inconceivable the U.S. could have any significant problems with Canada. But, it is happening.

Yesterday afternoon a joy! I watched Robert play in a tennis competition. The last time I saw Robert with a racquet in his hand was 5 years ago when he first took up the sport.

He has come a long way. I was impressed with him yesterday. He beat his opponent 6-2 and 6-0.

Off to Forest Hills a few years from now?

It was hot watching the match. Sitting in the sun. The humidity heavy. I was exhausted at the end. As if I had played. I returned home and went to bed. Slept for 3 hours. Which means I never got to writing this week’s KONK Life column. I begged off with the publisher. Must get it done today.

I had no plan to go out. Donna called. Come over for dinner. I went.

Oh, what a cook she is! Chicken prepared in a non fat oil and greens. Soft rolls. Perfect for dunking in the oil.

Bear loves me. Does not leave me alone. He is growing. Six months old today.

Fresh water always a problem in the Keys. Makes sense. Dig down and soon hit sea water.

The Key West Citizen in its Keys History section reported fresh water was a problem for Key West resident S.O. Johnson in 1909. He contracted to have a well dug to 1,000 feet in hopes of finding fresh water. He found none.

Trump is pushing the U.S. into isolationism. Screw everyone! We need no one! We are the strongest nation in the world!

His friends other authoritarian figures. Like Putin and Duterte. Bad guys. He is rapidly walking away from our friends of more than 50 years.

President Eisenhower in a speech he gave this day in 1953 rejected calls for U.S. “isolationism.” Some political leaders were pushing such an agenda.

Eisenhower said all free nations should stand together.

He also suggested Communism should be battled worldwide.

Trump should take heed. Probably won’t. He is not a student of history. Especially, U.S. history.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN VISITS

Finally met Barb last night. Iowa Barb. A devout blog reader. She had written she would be visiting Key West and wanted to meet. Also wanted me to sign her copy of Irma and Me.

We finally got together last night at the Chart Room.

Barb a charming woman. She has been a librarian for 39 years at the Iowa State University Library. Has visited Key West 9 times in the past 10 years. Loves Key West! Knows her way around.

Interested in politics. Dislikes Trump. Understandable. Her father was a Teamster for years.

Her sister Debbie with her. Debbie’s first Key West visit. She is the Cambridge, Iowa City Clerk. Made sure to tell me her politics were different from her sister’s. Debbie a black hearted Republican.

I had not planned on going out last night. Spent the afternoon researching for this week’s KONK Life column. Rudy Giuliani’s recent comments about Stormy Daniels motivated me to look up Giuliani’s sex history. People in glass houses should not throw stones.

My intent was to write the column last night. It has to be to the publisher today.

John called and said a Barb was looking for me. Would I come down? Ergo, I will not be writing about Giuliani and his sexcapades till this afternoon.

My today a busy one. Have to finish the blog. Watch Robert in a tennis competition at one. Write the Giuliani column.

I definitely will not be going out tonight.

Dorothy Downs was at the bar. I have not seen her in a couple of years. Her husband was a dentist. He had an office in Miami and one in the Keys. They frequented the Chart Room often.

Dorothy told he her husband had passed away last year. Sad.

We talked at length. I learned more about her last night than in all the times we had met previously.

She is a writer. Five books. Dorothy is an art historian, specialist in American art, wrote and produced the PBS documentary Pillars of Power about Seminole and Miccosukee women.

Dorothy’s most recent book is Canoe Back In Time. The story of a special Miccosukee girl who was given the gift of being an artist.

The book is selling.

My handwriting is poor. Dorothy’s worse. She wrote down her e-mail address for me. Impossible to read. Dorothy, you have mine. Write me soon so I will have yours.

Three pirates came in. Two men and a woman. One of the guys was soon asleep head down on a table. They had been doing the Duval Crawl.

I spoke with the two sober ones. Explained I had recently written about the pirate Black Caesar and also the pirates of Port Royal.

The three were part of a pirate group. A nightly thing in Key West. Called Eat Drink Discover Key West. An eat and drink venture.

Sounds interesting. If you are, the group can be booked online at www.EatDrinkDiscoverKeyWest.com.

Everyone was gone, except for Kevin and me. We chatted a while. He is recovering well from his horrendous accident.

Needed to eat. Stopped at Hogfish on the way home. Sat at the bar and enjoyed hogfish. What else!

It began pouring on the way to Hogfish. Continued raining when I left. Fortunately, I am always prepared for rain. Two umbrellas. One at home and one in the car. Large black ones.

A BOB comment about waking in Key West: “A cat fight has set off the dogs. The dogs have set off the roosters. The din moves back and forth across the island in waves. Human sounds join in. There is no way anyone is sleeping through this, that’s it, I’m awake…..it looks like a nice day. Another beautiful day in Paradise.”

The Belmont later today. Hope Justify wins.

Trump’s words yesterday re his summit meeting with Kim and the degree of his preparation: “I’ve prepared my entire life for the North Korea summit.”

I worry.

Trump is on a high. He has screwed up G7. He is on his way to meet with Kim. He figures the world and the Nobel Peace Prize are his if he succeeds with Kim.

I do not see it happening.

Weather around 90 this past week. Heavy humidity. Weather man says some thunder today. Describes it as “rock ‘n’ roll thunder.”

As Porky Pig was wont to say at the end of his cartoons of yesteryear…..That’s all folks!

Enjoy your day!

 

HOUND DOG

This day in 1956 a big one in the entertainment industry. Elvis Presley appeared on the Milton Berle Show.

First time Presley’s entire body was shown. No guitar to cover his pelvic area. His infamous gyrating pelvis finally visible to the whole world. Prior to that evening, Presley’s hip action was considered scandalous. Tight assed America decried his stage actions.

Presley exhibiting full body form sang Hound Dog.

The song as well as Presley were both more popular after the Milton Berle Show. America had seen all of Presley. Loved his voice. Loved his gyrations. The country turned around. Presley was on his way!

Last night began at Aqua. Dueling Bartenders.

Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual outstanding selves. Destiny the guest performer. Destiny is this year’s Fantasy Fest Queen. A lovely face and a lovely voice.

The bar pretty well packed. Spoke with Edie and Julia for the first time. Regulars at Dueling Bartenders. We had a nodding acquaintance. Jean Thornton formally introduced me to them last night.

Edie and Julia warmed my heart. They read this blog every day! Love them!

Also singing away with everyone else were Liz, Mary, Josefina, Linda and Don.

Time to eat. Where to go? An easy choice. Antonia’s. Not only for the good food. Nicolle the bartender an attraction in herself. A very hospitable person.

The yellowtail was delicious. Perfect for my diet.

Nicolle’s love of her life is Darragh. He bartends at Blue Heaven. Met him for the first time at my book signing a couple of months ago.

Marsha was sitting to my left at the bar. She has been a Key West resident 7 years. Works at Key West Bait & Tackle.

Mother of three, grandmother of 3.

Marsha was especially proud she has no need for a car. She lives in Old Town and gets around easily on her bicycle.

Good for her! No car payment, no insurance bill.

To my right at the far end of the bar sat another lovely lady. Jenn Stefanacci. I asked if I could join her. She said yes and I moved down. I had coffee while she was finishing a pasta dish.

Jenn works at 223 & Co. and TBD Bar.

One trait women possess. They dislike a cheating husband. History teaches men to beware a woman scorned.

This morning’s Blue Paper reported A Key West story containing such elements.

A husband was napping sunday on a couch. His wife got into his cell phone. Came across a message on his cell phone from an ex-lover. The message was three years old.

She lost it.

Hit him repeatedly with her fists. Turned on the burners and threw a towel in the oven in an apparent effort to burn down their abode. Worst of all, she chased her husband with a kitchen knife threatening to “gut” him.

She has been charged with battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

A teaching comment in this morning’s Citizens’ Voice. The solution to kicking poverty and becoming rich: “We were so tired of being poor we went down and registered as Republicans, then bought a house on Shark Key and a yacht. Never thought it would be that easy.”

Brought a smile to my face.

Monsanto has to be one of the  most hated corporations in the world. Some countries will neither permit Monsanto to plant nor sell their products.

Putin threw them out of Russia about 5 years ago. The U.S. has been in bed big time with Monsanto. Primarily made possible by our Congress which has passed a ton of laws favorable to the company.

After thursday, there will be no more Monsanto. The U.K.’s Bayer is buying/merging with Monsanto. Bayer has assured the name Monsanto will never be used again. Bayer has further assured the European Union it would neither produce nor sell Monsanto type products in Union countries.

European comment has been big re the sale/merger. Some have described the coming together as a “deadly wedding.” Others, “diabolical.”

The Philadelphia Eagles were invited to the White House. Most players declined the invitation. Trump retaliated. After being informed of their not coming, he withdrew the invitation. Sort of after the fact.

Instead, Trump claims a group of 1,000 will visit the White House in the place and stead of the Eagles. They and Trump will stand for the National Anthem which Trump assures will be played loud and clear.

Trump fails to understand the issue is not paying honor to the flag and National Anthem. It has to do with black discrimination and the many falsehoods the President speaks. Some people are getting fed up.

A further example is Giuliani. One of the President’s attorneys. He has been all over the media lying and exaggerating various issues of the case. Giuliani appeared at Yankee Stadium last week. He is often there. His seat is front row behind home plate.

Giuliani was booed when the public address system announced his presence.

The public is slowly waking up.

Tuesday again. Love tuesdays! I get to do my podcast show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Wild! I say what I want. Offer opinions many do not agree with. Whatever, the show is a fast moving half hour full of all kinds of issues affecting us.

Join me. I guarantee you will enjoy. Nine o’clock my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLY

An important thing in life. Children’s birthdays! Today, my granddaughter Ally’s is being celebrated.

Thirteen years old. Definitely a young lady. The flower is blossoming.

Ally’s birthday was Friday. Conflicted with Robert’s graduation. Ally wanted her own day. It began Saturday. She had her hair striped.

Terrible! Too young! I am merely a voice in the wilderness, however. Not the parent, not my decision.

What I really was expressing is it pains me to think she is maturing. Not a little girl any longer.

Last night, a sleep over. Which means Ally will be beat this evening for the family birthday dinner, cake, etc. Perhaps a bit grouchy.

Can’t win them all!

In any event, I love you Ally. A big Happy Birthday to you!

My yesterday began with a manicure. Tammy and her husband Rick are entrepreneurs. Mid-thirties at best. Tammy in the U.S. about 14 years. From Vietnam. Became a citizen last year. Rick of Vietnamese extraction. Born in the U.S.

They have a great business. Employ many. Work hard. Achieving the American dream. I doubt they are the type people Trump would praise and acknowledge. They do not rape, kill, pillage, rob, do drugs. Why not?

Chart Room last night. Quiet. Enjoyed a couple of drinks and moved on to the Beach Bar. John was working the Beach Bar last night.

Glad I stopped by. Ran into Dan and Stephanie from Ohio. Never met them before this week. Have enjoyed their company three evenings, however.

Their time in Paradise coming to an end. Leave Tuesday for home. Expect to return some time this summer.

Dan and Stephanie were heading to the Pride Follies. Good choice, I advised. Mentioned that Rick Dery of Dueling Bartenders was the director. Recommended Dueling Bartenders on Monday nights to them.

A quiet Saturday evening. I was home in bed before 9.

The Key West Citizen’s weekend edition ran a major article re Mallory Square and the homeless. The homeless becoming a problem.

Mallory Square is where the sunset is watched every evening. Hundreds of people. All ages. A cat through a wheel of fire, a man swallowing a sword, etc.

A growing group of homeless are getting drunk, argumentative, threaten each other, harass customers and vendors for money, sleep illegally, etc.

Key West is a great venue for the homeless. Many are snowbirds. Visit our island for the season. Then drift off till next Fall because the humidity becomes heavy and uncomfortable. A size able group remains, however.

Key West takes care of its homeless. Two very huge air conditioned tents, showers, cots with clean sheets each night, food at several locations, etc. No reason for them to camp at Mallory Square. A business place for vendors and tourists.

One thing sure in our country, the rich are getting richer while the poor poorer. Corporate America is not and has not for a number of years shared its successes.

An example is Toys R Us. Filed for bankruptcy. One week before the filing voted top echelon people $8 million in bonuses. The 30,000 workers who will be without jobs, nothing. No severance pay. Not a penny.

To compound the wrong, in the year before the filing the CEO was paid $11.2 million.

Much federal legislation has been blocked by a handful of far rights who were elected to Congress. Some, not all, appear a bit wacky when on television.

There appears to be a larger number of crazies running for Congress this year. This group’s ideologies different from the far righters. Some will be elected. It is the way of elections in recent years.

Three examples.

Nathan Larson. A Virginia Libertarian. Running as an independent. Supports abolishing age restrictions for marriage (a nice way of saying pedophilia is ok), supports abolishing laws opposed to marital rape, believes women should be under the control of men, is a white supremacist, believes Hitler was a good thing for Germany, believes incest should be legalized.

Patrick Little. A Republican candidate for the Senate representing California. Denies the Holocaust and calls for a country “free from Jews.”

Little is popular. He is running second in polls to Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein. California’s strange election laws could result in him being elected.

Arthur Jones. Chicago area. A candidate for Congress. Denies the Holocaust, a former leader of the American Nazi Party, believes people of color are mentally inferior to whites.

Jones is the official Republican candidate. He is running in a very strong Democratic district where no other Republican wanted to waste time running.

Some things are hard to understand. The Kim/Trump Summit is scheduled to begin in Singapore June 12. Kim will be staying at the 5 star Fullerton Hotel. The Presidential suite costs $6,000 a night. Kim’s staff has to be housed also.

Kim/North Korea refuse to pay the bill. The U.S. looking for a means to legally pay the bill.

Sung-Yoon Lee is a Tufts University Korean expert. He says re the payment quandary, “North Korea can build nukes and ICBMs, but claim they are too poor to pay for foreign travel costs.”

Trump apparently considers himself the summit king now that the meeting with North Korea is locked in. Trump indicated yesterday he wants a summit with Putin arranged.

Putin will eat him up.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

RIP-OFF RAPID RESPONSE TEAM

Several years ago, a new type sales store appeared on Duval Street. A cosmetic shop. Sold all kinds of goodies to enhance a woman’s facial features.

Soon there were more such shops.

Each engaged in overcharging. Significantly. Unknown to the purchaser. A $300 purchase showing up on a customer’s credit card billing as $3,000 for example.

The police did not consider the problem criminal. The ripped off customer was left to suing the store directly. A long tedious process uncertain of success.

A handful of Key West citizens decided to do something about it. A vigilante committee of sorts.

The group organized the Rip-Off Rapid Response Team. They fought the cosmetic shops not with guns. Rather with signs and picketing. The signs reflecting the fraud involved.

The group almost immediately became successful. The cosmetic merchants did not want a bunch of vocal crazies (from their perspective) spoiling business.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has a front page story and photo of the group in action.

One of the cosmetic stores had overcharged/ripped off a 54 year old Vermont visitor to the tune of $9,752. It took sign carrying picketers 1 1/2 hours to get the store to capitulate. The cosmetic store reimbursed the ripped off man the $9,752.

Congratulations to the do gooders!

I have a concern, however. What continually happens in these situations is fraud. Clear and simple. Why do the police not deal with the problem?

Key West’s finest are the finest. I think our police force does an excellent job. However in this regard, they fail the public they serve.

My understanding is the police consider the rip-off a civil matter. Not a criminal one. Ergo, the defrauded person has to resort to civil remedies.

I don’t buy it. It’s like passing the buck, I don’t want to get involved.

A similar situation existed with the former Scrub Club on Duval. Men would go in understanding a “massage” was $300. When the credit card bill was received, it was $3,000. The police refused to get involved. Considered the wrongdoing a civil matter.

Comcast. A pain the ass! Finally got a repairman. Took five days.

Learned something I did not know. The repair people do not work for Comcast. Comcast contracts out the repair work. To a Tennessee company. The company maintains 7 repair men in the Key West area.

From what I could determine, the repair people are overloaded. My repair man showed up around 6 last night. Was due between 1 and 3.

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for my podcast show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Then the show at 9.

I have become sick and tired of Trump, Trump, Trump, in the news. All around us. Last night I did a show 95 percent non-
Trump. A change of pace. There are other things happening in the world we should be aware of, think about, discuss.

A point to be made with most of the topics. Of course, I made the point in each instance.

The show is archived. You can listen to it at any time at your convenience. You might especially enjoy listening to last night’s show. www.blogtalkradio/key-west-lou.

This week’s KONK Life on the stands. My column Right To Declare War. Congress’ right Constitutionally. However one that the Presidency has usurped since the Korean War. Interesting reading.

Pythons a dramatic problem in south Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Pythons sexually inclined. Now number in excess of one million. Most centered in the Everglades.

They can never be eliminated, eradicated. Too many. Hopefully, contained.

The State of Florida is always declaring war on the pythons. Last year, the State authorized 25 hunters to catch and kill them. A joke! Since March 2017, the 25 have caught 1,000 so far.

Like a drop of water in the ocean or adding a grain of sand to a beach.

Dentist appointment at 11:30. I think the endoscopy procedure might have screwed up an implant.

Enjoy your day!

FIRST MOTOR VEHICLE SPEED LIMIT: 12 MPH CITIES, 15 MPH COUNTRY ROADS

It was the turn of the century. The 20th century. 1901 to be specific. Automobiles were ripping up the streets and highways. Scaring horses, endangering people.

Connecticut became the first State to impose speed limits on motor vehicles. 12 mph in the cities, 15 mph on country roads.

Hard to believe. Everything starts somewhere, however.

Began my sunday working on this week’s KONK Life column. Right To Declare War. A power Constitutionally Congress’. One which has been usurped by the Presidency since the Korean War.

Comcast absorbed an hour. Second day in a row I had to spend considerable time on the phone with Comcast and I still am without TV.

Friday, I was told it was the remotes. Get two new ones. I did. I was not able to coordinate them with the sets. Meant I still had no TV.

Back on the phone yesterday. After an hour was told it was not the remote. It was the box. Someone would be at my home between 1 and 3 today to fix.

In the several hours following yesterday’s repair call, I received 4 calls from Comcast personnel. All real people. Wow! To remind me how sorry they were for my problem, was it still continuing, someone would be there tomorrow (today) to fix.

Why all the bullshit? Just get some one over here to solve the problem.

Early evening, Kate Miano’s Gardens. Kate just returned from 3 weeks at her home in France.

I enjoyed Kate and friends. Chatted the time away. All great people.

Met Jeff and Linda for the first time. From Chicago. Bought a home here 3 years ago. Snowbirds. Can’t wait to be full time residents.

Can’t blame them.

Decided on Hogfish for dinner. Second time in recent days. Enjoyed hogfish again.

Key lime pie was a featured dessert. I craved. Capitulated. Went for it. Delicious! A little cheating here and there has not affected my diet.

It rained mid-day yesterday. As it has in recent days, a monsoon/hurricane storm. For quite a while. Would not end.

Unusual weather for this time of year.

As I was listening to the howling pouring rain, Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head ran through my mind. Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s song from 1969.

The theme in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. My mind returned to Paul Newman riding a bicycle with Katharine Ross perched on the handlebars.

This morning’s Key West Citizen in the Keys History section mentioned that on this day in 1929, the Improved Order of Red Men and Degree of Pocahontas opened its 56th annual Great Sun Council at the Strand Theater on Duval. The old theater now a Walgreens.

My curiosity was aroused. Who were these people? Such a strange name.

We have to go back to the Boston Tea Party in 1765 for the answer. The Patriots who dumped the tea overboard were known as Sons of Liberty. They were disguised as Red Men. Also known as Indians. Now Native Americans.

In 1813, a group of white men formed a fraternal lodge known as the Society of Red Men. Named after the Boston tea party Patriots.

From a  handful of members in 1813, the organization grew to 519,000 in 1921. Its numbers  fell. To 15,000 in 2011. The organization is still alive and active in spite of its reduced membership.

Only whites were permitted to membership till 1974.

The group’s structure is similar to Freemasonry.

A female auxiliary was formed in 1885. Degree of Pocahontas.

Time changes everything. The Red Men significantly reduced in number, the Strand Theater now a Walgreens.

Starbucks was recently confronted with an embarrassing situation. Two black businessmen wanted to use one of its rest rooms. They had not purchased coffee and apparently did not intend to do so. Local management prohibited the use of the bathroom. Words were exchanged. Police called. The men arrested.

Within a short period of time, the Starbucks national office had the charges dropped and apologies extended.

Starbucks has gone even a step further. It announced a new policy. People can sit at a Starbucks without buying anything.

I always thought such was the case. Many the Starbucks I have sat, read a newspaper or worked on my computr while not ordering anything. For some reason, I thought Starbucks was for people to enjoy without purchase if they wished. What wasn’t, now is.

Dueling Bartenders tonight.

Enjoy your day!

SUB-HUMAN…..ANIMALS TO BE KILLED

Monday was a disgrace. A shame.

Israel killed 59 Palestinians, eight of them children. Injured 2,700. So many that the hospitals could not handle them all. Medical personnel, medicines, dressings, etc. were insufficient.

Palestinians were protesting. On their side of the fence. The power and might of war machinery on the other side of the fence. Israel sending drones and missiles,  in addition to shooting over the fence.

Ian Welsh is a noted blogger and editor. He wrote, “The simple fact is that too many Israelis now think of Palestinians as sub-human: animals to be killed if they are inconvenient.”

I recall when Israelis were abused. Those who abuse tend to become abusers. Such has happened to Israel.

Finally got my car back yesterday. The brake light problem was not a simple one involving a new fuse. Needed a brake switch. Had to come from Miami. First one that arrived the wrong one. Returned to get another. The order got lost in Miami. Finally, the correct brake switch arrived.

Lights worked. Voila!

Problem: Brakes were locked. Could not drive. Car had to remain at garage overnight.

Whatever, I was happy to have my car back yesterday. Decided I was entitled to a feast of sorts.  Lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee. Always delicious!

Then home. I still had to finalize, revise my podcast to be delivered last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Dinner before the show at Lisa’s. Robert’s birthday. Fourteen years old. Blew out the candles and sang Happy Birthday!

Robert and Ally had to leave the table immediately following the cake. They begin final exams today.

I enjoyed delivering the podcast last night. So many exciting, interesting, and disgusting events occurring worldwide. Kim Jung Un threatening to call off his summit with Trump, American Embassy opening in Jerusalem resulting in 59 dead and 2,700 injured, and American designated evangelist Pastor Robert Jeffress offering a prayer at the Embassy opening, among the topics. Jeffress especially interesting. He has repeatedly said over the years that “Jews will go to Hell.”

The best of the best however was the China/ZTE/Trump story. A quid pro quo. Three days before Trump announced we have to help China retain jobs, a Chinese bank loaned $500,000 million to an Indonesia theme park in the making. Trump’s company is part of the theme park. A Trump hotel, golf course, and condominiums.

A recent study re States and healthcare has Florida in poor standing. It ranked Florida 48th among all 50 States and the District of Columbia.

Two great white sharks traced near Florida Keys. Hilton and Savannah. Yes, they have names. They were tagged several months ago and are being followed.

Hilton a male, 12’5″, 1,300 pounds. Savannah a 8’6″ female.

They are moving north. Will travel up the Atlantic coast line. Expected to move closer to Key West the next few days.

Beware!

Enjoy your day!