100 YEARS LATER…..ANOTHER FLU EPIDEMIC

It was 1918. Millions died world wide. From the worst flu epidemic up to that time.

Now 100 years later. A flu epidemic of huge proportions gripping the United States. Not as devastating as the 1918 epidemic. Affecting more than normal, however.

The flu vaccine this year only 10-30 percent effective. A new flu bug. N3N2. The vaccine ineffective against it.

California hit bad. The hospitals full. Giant camp like tents being set up in parking lots to accomodate the sick. Nurses being brought in from out of state. Hospitals already full beyond capacity turning away ambulances.

Persons over and below 65 dying. The young normally can handle an attack and survive. Yet 40 under 65 have already died this year. The year is not yet a month old. Last year, 9.

The 1918 flu epidemic hit Utica. I was not born yet. The family has told me of relatives who died. There was a significant relative who did not die. My grandfather.

He was dying. My grandmother attempted the only recourse left her. She prayed. To Saints Cosmas and Damian. Saints revered by immigrant Italians.

The Saints were twins, physicians and martyrs.

Every year on the last weekend in September, a feast honoring Cosmas and Damian was held in Utica. Still is to this day. My grandmother told the Saints she would march in the procession on the Sunday morning of the feast barefoot the rest of her life if they saved my grandfather’s life.

She did.

My grandfather recovered. He lived to 94.

I have a specific recollection of the feast and Sunday morning procession. My grandmother permitted me to join her when I was small.

I wore shoes, however. She, barefoot as promised.

My grandmother carried a candle. A big one! Three feet high and 3 inches in diameter.

Some years, not easy.

I have my grandparents’ wedding picture hanging in my living room. My grandmother was a sleek beauty. Thin. By 1918, she had 7 children and the years showed bodywise. She was a typical Italian grandmother. Short and obese.

The walk and candle were hard for her. Some years, the sweat poured from her. She persevered. Never missed the feast till her late 60’s when she developed heart problems.

Tomorrow could be a significant day in American history. Budget or no budget. A confrontation. Who will blink? Will anyone blink?

Key West weather continues to be cold. The high today projected at 60 degrees. The low tonight 53.

An emotional story on page one of the Key West Citizen this morning. Photos, also.

Two Vietnam veterans meeting again after 53 year. Willie Powell, Houston, Texas and Ray Gutierrez, Key West. They had fought together shoulder to shoulder in the jungles of Vietnam.

They discovered each other last year on the internet.

Powell was in on a cruise ship with his daughter. The two men spent the day together.

I don’t know what it was. The way the story was written or the essence of the story itself. Whatever, the story brought tears to my eyes.

Last night, the Chart Room and Tavern ‘n Town.

The Chart Room great! Good crowd, interesting people.

Things a bit confusing at first. A very lovely young lady standing on one side of me and a couple seated on the other. Turned out all three had roots in Cape May, New Jersey. Their conversation was running through me and over me till the young lady moved to an empty seat next to the woman.

Eventually, I was allowed into the conversation.

The young lady is Morgan. Extremely beautiful. No exaggeration. Twenty six years old. Recently moved to Key West. Her mother already living here.

Morgan bubbly. Well educated. She has a Master’s Degree. Geography. Started working two days ago at the Naval Base at Boca Chica. She is employed by the federal government. Excellent starting salary and benefits.

Turned out Morgan knew me. She has been reading this blog quite a while.

The couple were Ed and Yvonne. Now residing in Charleston, South Carolina. Run a beach bar. For 30 years. Three grown children.

They have been visiting Key West twice a year for 15 years.

Now looking to buy. They started looking this trip. Ed and I spoke about Key West real estate, the value of living in Key West, etc.

It was time to eat. I headed out to Tavern ‘n Town. Lucky to get a seat at the bar. Enjoyed prime rib again. Getting to be my diet dinner. Only the meat and au jus sauce.

Guaranteed fun night this evening. Dinner party at Donna and Terri’s. Eight of us. Large stone crabs!

My book. Irma and Me. The hurricane and Louis. Forget me not. Available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and kobobooks.com.

Enjoy your day!

 

6′ 3″ 236 POUNDS…..NO WAY!!!!!

I have weight problems. Always have. Started my most recent diet at 240. I am 6’1″. Trump’s medical report was revealed yesterday. The report states Trump is 6’3″ and purportedly weighs 236 pounds.

No way!!!!!

I have never looked as fat as the President. Even in my 250 pound days.

The truth be known, he has to weigh at least 30 pounds more.

Why the lie? Why the misrepresentation? The White House doctor is Ronny L. Jackson. Also a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy. He did the examination and reported the results.

At 71, the way Trump eats, the tension he is under, his lifestyle…..he has to have more than a cholesterol problem. I read the other day  that his daily MacDonald’s lunch consists of 2 cheeseburgers, 2 chicken sandwiches and a chocolate milk shake. His veins and arteries have to be bursting with plaque pride!

The cognitive test. I take it every year as part of my physical. Not 30 steps, however. Only 10. Easy. What day is it? Who is President of the U.S.? What year is it? Spell a short word backwards. Draw a couple of boxes already printed on a form. Etc.

Child’s play!

Takes all of two minutes. The President’s, probably 5-10.

The results merely represent whether you are mentally ok to get along in society. Trump is more than merely in society. He is President of the U.S. Leader of the most powerful nation in the world.

I would rather he was examined by a psychiatrist rather than merely taking the cognitive test.

Admiral Jackson says Trump is in “excellent” physical health. True or false?

Others who appear to lie for the President include Senators Cotton and Perdue, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

Formerly respectable, responsible persons willingly walking the plank for the man. Why?

Staying with Homeland Secretary Nielsen a moment, she testified also before the Congressional Committee yesterday that her Department has asked federal prosecutors if the Department can lodge criminal charges against sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation efforts.

Shades of a totalitarian state.

My podcast show last night.Went well. Enjoyed doing it. Opened with three medical issues. The rest of the show Trump. Cannot be helped. He is into everything nationally and world wide.

I was able to catch the second half of the Syracuse/Pittsburgh game following the show. Syracuse won decisively. Glad the team won again! They lost their previous four games.

Weather continues to be cold. Stepped on the porch in tee shirt and shorts this morning after reading today’s weather report in the Key West Citizen. Eighty six degrees today. Seventy seven tomorrow. The rest of the week in the mid 80’s. The cold spell was over!

It was cold on the porch.

Rechecked the Citizen report. I had read it correctly. Checked some of the weather stations. The Citizen had it wrong.

Maybe a joke.

Viagra has many uses. As I live and learn.

Robin Robinson writes a weekly column for the Citizen. Gardening. Her article this past weekend titled: How To Keep Your Fresh Flowers Erect.

Her article reported some put a penny in the water to keep the flowers fresh/erect. Others, an aspirin. Some, viagra. Erectability guaranteed.

The flu season is upon us big time. World wide.

The vaccination apparently not working this year. Experts claim only 10-30 percent effective.

Proof of the pudding Santa Barbara, California. Eight died in two weeks. Seven of them had received the flu shot. All 8, 65 or older.

In another U.S. area, a 40 year old mother who had received the vaccination died within 3 days of becoming sick.

A DACA update.

A California federal district court judge ordered the Trump administration last week to resume accepting renewal applications for DACA. Screws up Trump’s deportation process.

Attorney General Sessions says the ruling “defies both law and common sense.” He cannot understand how DACA can be “mandated” by a single federal judge sitting in San Francisco.

It’s the law, stupid. That’s how it works! Almost since the beginning of our country.

Sessions indicated he is going to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take a direct review of the judge’s ruling. Highly unusual!

The process involves as a first step an appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Assuming a continued adverse ruling by the Circuit Court, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is then proper. If the Supreme Court accepts the case. They accept few.

Time involved, 1-2 years.

Screws up Trump’s plan to deport 800,000 who should not be deported. Would irritate Trump no end. He probably would then tweet that the Supreme Court needs to be examined, outdated, have too much power, many of the justices too old, etc.

On this day in 1961, Eisenhower delivered his Farewell Address. He warned of the “military-industrial complex.” We did not listen.

Enjoy your day!

DOTTIE CLIFFORD…..A FAMILIAR FACE

One of the most thoughtful persons I have met in Key West is Dottie Clifford. We go back 20 years. We used to see each other often years ago. Less starting 10 years ago. The last time 5 years ago.

Dottie is being honored today. The Key West Citizen presents her front page as a Key West Familiar Face.

Dottie an almost Conch. Been here 40 years. The Citizen article notes that when she first arrived in Key West, it was a hippie outpost. Today, a world renown hospitality hot spot.

She has seen it all!

Dottie is President and owner of the Key West Attractions Association.

Calamity befell her a few years ago. Pancreatic cancer. Normally, the death knell. God was with her. Dottie survived. She has been cancer free for two years.

Her illness did not diminish her bubbly personality. Uplifted all the time. You hear her cheery laugh before you even see her.

Dottie, here is to another 40 years!

The Paradise Big Band performed recently. Its 20th anniversary.

I missed the event this year. Ralph De Palma’s photos appeared in this morning’s E-Blast. There were my friends! Holly and Peter Diamond singing and dancing, Skipper Kripitz on the drums, and Larry Smith the piano.

A special time. Sorry I could not make it.

Dueling Bartenders last night. One of the best events in town. Great singing! The kind that busts the walls. Tom Luna and Rick Dery the bartenders. Bobby Smith a guest bartender.

What a trio!

Tons of people.

Liz and her entourage of 4 came in. She is the Queen at Battling Bartenders and treated as such.

Liz looked magnificent! Like just off her motorcycle. Bright red turtle neck sweater, a necklace of white stones, and a black bikers jacket. I looked to see if Marlon Brando was following her.

Friend Liz is 83 and former Dean of two law schools.

With Liz were Josefina, Genevieva, and Debbie. Plus an unknown gentleman.

Skaneateles Dan Reardon and wife came in. Together with Dan’s visiting brother John and his wife.

Dan and I are orange hearted Syracuse fans. We talked about saturday’s defeat.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for another prime rib. Great for my diet.

I was fortunate to get a seat next to Jean and Ron. They are from Eastern Maryland. Jean a retired school administrator. Ron a general contractor. Grandparents to three. This their third or fourth visit to Key West.

Ron a Maryland fan. Maryland was playing Michigan. Maryland lost by 1  point. The last 5 minutes exciting. A Michigan  foul shot with 1.5 seconds to go gave Michigan the victory.

I got into the game with Ron. Whooping it up! Especially a Maryland 3 pointer with less than a minute to go.

A Mike came from the other end of the bar. Asked if I was Key West Lou. Mike advised he is a loyal blog reader. Loved Mike!

Stopped by to say good night when leaving. Met his wife. Nice people.

I can see! Amazing! I have had my new prescription glasses since friday. The difference they make! Reminds me of when I had cataract surgery on both eyes.

I waited too long to get new glasses. Never again.

I learned I needed them when I escaped Irma. Road signs impossible to read. Turn offs not visible till upon them. Lucky I survived night driving.

Speaking of Irma, my book Irma and Me appears to be selling. If you have not ordered it, please do so. Guaranteed you will enjoy! Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and  Kobobooks.com.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I have a ton of topics to share. Normally get through 10. I have accumulated 25 during the week in anticipation of the show. I will spend the afternoon selecting those to be used and organizing tonight’s format.

One of the topics will include Trump’s shithole countries comment. I read this morning the Alt-Right loves Trump because of the reference. They hate immigrants.

Think about what I am going to write. Immigrants are disliked and a problem world wide. The immigrants of today are the Jews of yesterday. Peoples need a scapegoat, someone to hate.

Enjoy your day!

 

SLOPPY JOE’S 80th ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR

Sloppy Joe’s.

Infamous. A Key West tradition. Hemingway hang out.

Proprietor Joe Russell began business at the Greene and Duval Street corner site 80 years ago on May 3, 1938. Russell a Key West icon in his own right. A bootlegger, fishing boat captain, speakeasy operator, etc. An original Key Wester.

Russell had previously operated where Captain Tony’s is located on Greene Street today. A speakeasy at first. When prohibition ended, as the Blind Pig. Put a dance floor in and renamed the place the Silver Slipper.

Hemingway and Russell became best friends when Russell ran Greene Street as a speakeasy. They drank, fished, and gambled together.

The Silver Slipper sold whiskey for 15 cents and gin for ten. A far cry from today’s bar prices.

The move from Greene Street to the present location of Sloppy Joe’s took place at midnight. Russell lost not one penny. Customers, including Hemingway, helped carry the furniture and bottled booze to the new location where they continued drinking.

The old location had ceramic troughs where the men piddled. Russell had no need for them in the new place. Hemingway carried them home to his house on Whitehead. To this day, Hemingway’s six toed cats drink from the ceramic troughs which are fresh water pipe fed.

Syracuse lost in double over time to Florida State yesterday afternoon. An excellent game! Syracuse played well till the second overtime. The final score says it all. 101-90.

Telephoned Catherine while watching the game to invite her to the movies. I wanted to see the Post. She declined. Catherine is an active Rotarian. The Rotary sponsored a marathon over the weekend. Catherine has been working on the race since Thursday. Even in Friday’s pouring rain. Crazy!

She said she was tired. I understood.

I do not enjoy going to the movies alone. Ergo, my evening changed. Started at the Chart Room. Packed! The Eagles game.

Remained for one drink. Chatted with Shaun and a friend he introduced me too. Noel or Noelle. Not sure which. She has managed a couple of restaurants in Key West.

She and I bonded immediately. She is starting on a diet Monday. Keto. Sister to Atkins. However more fatty foods than protein. She told me to beware of dairy products on Atkins. Even though carb free, inhibit weight loss. Maybe that is why I hung in at only a 10 pound loss since 11/27 when I started the diet. I have been eating a ton of cheese.

Beginning today, I eliminate cheese from the diet.

I finally lost 2 pounds yesterday. One more today. After forever at 10. I do not understand why. Cheese part of my diet through yesterday.

Dinner last night at Tavern ‘n Town. I have not eaten there since I started the diet. I was welcome back like a war hero returned home. Enjoyed a prime rib. So delicious! Great on the Atkins diet.

Cold! Heat on. Fifty six degrees at the moment. High today 63. The cold front will be with us till Saturday.

Shaun’s mother is visiting from Minnesota. Exceptionally cold weather up there. She is freezing in Key West, however. Even though warmer. In Minnesota, she has heat. Shaun’s apartment does not have heat.

Stopped at Donna and Terri’s on the way home for a drink. I worry about Terri. She is doing well. Returning to Tampa in a week for a week of tests. My concern is the flu. Key West is rampant with the flu. Terri’s immune system might not be able to handle it should she get the bug.

In spite of the cold, hope to make Hot Dog Church and Gardens today.

La Te Da’s infamous Sunday afternoon Tea Dance has returned. From 4-7. Party time! Described by some as a little outdoor Studio 54. Men dance with men, women with women, men with women, young with old.

Christopher Rounds is to be complimented in making sure the Sunday afternoon Tea Dance lived on.

The last time I attended a Tea Dance was years ago. At the time, it was held at Atlantic Shores. A WOW place!

Last but not least, the false missile alarm yesterday in Hawaii: Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound. Seek Immediate Shelter. This Is Not A Drill.

The report caused by human error in Hawaii. Took 38 minutes for the populace to be advised the incoming missile not for real. In the meantime, panic. Understandably so.

This is a perfect example of what could happen with two nuts out there. Jung-U and Trump.

Trump was playing golf when he found out. We have not been advised yet whether it was before it was discovered the attack was not a real one.

Assume the report to Trump was incoming missile headed for Hawaii. Assume further Trump decided to retaliate immediately. Most likely with one or more nuclear missiles. A nuclear war. North Korea would then have retaliated immediately against the U.S.

The beginning of World War III. All because two nuts head the governments immediately involved.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

CHRISTINA OXENBERG…..PAINTS WITH WORDS

I read Christina Oxenberg’s latest KONK column in E-Blast this morning. Her writing continues to amaze! Outstanding! She does with a keyboard what an artist does with a brush. The written words descriptive.

She wrote in today’s E-Blast about a recent visit to Big Pine. Irma struck in early September. Its mark on Big Pine still visible.

Christina’s description of the area speaks for itself. Support my position re her unique talent.

An “apocalyptic scene…..blocks with nothing but the innards of homes…..one house stands and his neighbor is obliterated…..twisters snapping tree trunks and hurling them like javelins.”

Today and tomorrow good times to visit Bayview Park. The Annual Seafood Festival sponsored by the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association.

Great eating! Do not miss!

The State of Florida went with the Confederacy, except for one small part. Key West. Key West remained with the Union. Strategically important because of Fort Taylor’s location near Key West.

The Union retained Fort Taylor because of the prompt action by one man. Captain James M. Brannan, Commandant of the Army Barracks. He marched his men to Fort Taylor and took command of the Fort.

Fluctuating weather these days in Key West. The cold spell last week. The beginning of a new cold spell today. The high today will be 71, tonight 56 (cold!). Tomorrow, worse. Sixty five by day and 58 at night. It will remain cold for several days.

Whenever it is unusually cold up north, it is cold in Key West.

There was a time I enjoyed having a woman next to me in bed for sex. These days I would be happy to have one for body heat.

I continue to believe Trump poorly treated Puerto Rico because the people are of color. Puerto Rico still trying to get out from under. It will take years.

Trump never seems to be aware of incidental ramifications that could develop because of his failures.

U.S. hospitals have an insufficient supply of medically filled bags. Saline bags, nutrient solution bags and the like. Why? Because Puerto Rican plants produced the items. Irma and Maria put the bag plants almost totally out of business. The production situation remains fragile.

The end result is American hospitals and emergency rooms are suffering. Especially in the heavy flu season being experienced. A crisis situation. There are those that will die because of the lack of the bags.

I am a fallen away Catholic. Believe in an Almighty. Question and despair at actions of the Catholic Church.

Priests and pedophilia was earth shattering for this product of a Catholic grammar school, high school, and college.

I was taught in grammar and high schools by nuns. Brown Franciscans (robes brown) and Sisters of Charity. It never dawned on me that none were black.

There were no Whoopi Goldbergs. Recall Sister Act and Sister Act 2.

A recent study reflects of the intentional failure to admit those of color to the nunnery. The Catholic Church was discriminatory.

It’s amazing. The older I get, the more I live and learn. The Church discriminating against black women before and patient dumping which follows. Also known as hospital dumping. Patients are being thrown out of hospitals because they cannot pay. I am not referring to emergency room care.

The situation came to my attention because of a patient “dumped” at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The weather cold. Thirty degrees. A 22 year old black woman wheel chaired by four security personnel to a bus stop and left. Attired only in a flimsy hospital gown and socks.

Were it not for a psychotherapist leaving his office building across the street, this incident might never have come to light. He tried to help, get the hospital personnel to take her back inside. They refused. Smartly, he recorded everything on his cell phone and then went viral with it on Facebook.

The accidental guardian angel called 911. The police came. They got the hospital to take the woman back in.

The hospital administrator accepted responsibility for the hospital. Described the incident as a failure and isolated incident.

The story initiated a series of internet stories revealing patient dumping somewhat commonplace in the United States.

An in your face reason for the U.S. adopting universal health care. Medicare for all!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SHITHOLE COUNTRIES

“Shithole countries…..”

Racist. Bigoted.

Nordic. Aryan.

Authoritarian today. Totalitarian tomorrow.

Democracy being tested as never before.

Finally! Got new eyeglasses yesterday. Took 2 months and 3 prescriptions. I can see! Everything distinct and visible. Street signs, buildings, etc. Colors vibrant. Like when I had cataracts removed 35 years ago.

Dinner last night at La Trattoria with Jean Thornton. My  Birmingham hostess following my escape from Irma. Husband Joe was supposed to join us. He has pneumonia. Very tired.

They return to Birmingham today. Will return 3 months from now. Two months at home in Birmingham followed by a one month trip to some part of Europe.

Following dinner, Jean went to Vino’s and I to the Chart Room.

I was to meet Kentucky David at the Chart Room. He was waiting when I arrived.

Met David here a few years ago. He and his wife are snowbirds. They own a second home in Bahama Village. Kentucky home. David a die hard Kentucky fan.

The blog brought us together. Occasionally, we watch a game together at Jack Flatts. On an evening when both Syracuse and Kentucky are playing. Though not each other. We sit at the bar next to each other. Two TV sets in front of us. One with the Syracuse game, the other Kentucky.

David has taken to writing. A mystery. He told me about it.

Takes place in Key West. His fact pattern amazing. David has a vivid imagination. Characters and events I could never come up with.

My publisher advised me once to write a mystery or love story. They sell the best, he said.

I could not get into the mystery. I lacked the necessary imagination. Tried a love story. Publisher said lots of sex. Thought the writing would be a snap. No, again. I found it difficult to put on paper that which I might have experienced.

Met Laura and Jamey. From Iowa City, Iowa. Told them how much I admired Iowans. Shared with them the loving story of my Iowa friends Cindy and Tom.

Jamey sells financial products. Laura a stay at home Mom. Three children.

Laura and Jamey were married at the Pier House 9 years ago. They have returned to Key West once a year since.

Walmart announced yesterday that the new tax law made it possible to do something for its employees. The starting hourly wage was raised to $11 an hour, employee benefits expanded, and bonuses up to $1,000 depending on length of employment.

Sounded good.

Walmart failed to announce plans to close  60 or 63 Sam’s Clubs. Affects 11,000 employees. They received notices of the closings via FedEx during the day. Some went to work before receiving the notice to find locked doors and signs indicating the closing.

Give with one hand and take back with the other. Hero and heel at the same time.

I am old enough to remember Amos ‘n’ Andy. A popular radio show when I was a kid. A comedy.

Two fast talking black men from the Deep South who moved to Chicago to seek their fortunes. However, the black men were not black. They were white men imitating black men. Freeman Gosden and Charles Carrell.

Amos ‘n’ Andy became the most popular radio program in American history. Ran 22 years.

I mention Amos ‘n’ Andy because I recall frequently listening to it. And because on this day in 1926, the show first aired.

Broadway Joe Namath. Alabama football star. New York Jets star quarterback.

Super Bowl III time. Pro football divided into two leagues. The NFL and AFL. The AFL relatively new. The NFL tried and true. Considered superior.

Two teams met this date in 1969 in Super Bowl III. New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts. The money on the Colts.

Three days before the game, Namath announced to the world the Jets would win. In fact, he guaranteed it.

The Jets did win. 17-6. One of the greatest upsets in American sports history.

Enjoy your day!

 

COMCAST SUCKS

The world has changed! At least for me.

I was up at 6 yesterday morning. Did my research for the blog. Went to begin the blog at 8. No wi-fi. No TV, no land line also.

Called Comcast. Everything will be working at 11:18 said the recorded message. Came noon and still nothing. New recorded message said 11:30 in the evening.

I learned yesterday I cannot live without the internet. I needed to pound the keys to get the blog out. Then research into the afternoon re other matters. I was a druggie in withdrawal.

The Comcast problem is the reason there was no blog yesterday.

Two days of thoughts to share.

Syracuse got their asses whipped by Virginia tuesday night. Syracuse has lost its last 3 or 4 games. This keeps up and Syracuse will not even get into the NIT.

Yesterday’s Citizens’ Voice brought Forrest Gump to mind. His famous line…..Stupid is as stupid does.

The people of Florida have the fourth weakest credit in the United States. Key West rents are off the wall. Unaffordable for many. Three and four workers required to share an apartment.

Yesterday, Trump once again proved he is all heart. The billionaire President has started the process whereby States will be allowed to impose a work requirement on their Medicaid programs. To qualify, a person must prove he/she is working, training for a job, or volunteering. Exempted are the medically frail (whatever that means) and pregnant women.

Which brings me back to Forrest Gump and stupid is as stupid does.

Most of the Key West workers live pay check to pay check. They voted for Trump because he was going to make their lives better. Thus far he has not. Nothing has changed.

They still love Trump, however. Give him time, the Democrats are screwing him up, etc.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Let me go another step forward. Jared Kushner, son in law to the President, is a special adviser to the President. Sits at his right hand in the White House.

Kushner’s other life had him involved in real estate.

A federal position as Kushner has requires that his position not be used for personal gain.

Kushner accompanied Trump on Trump’s first visit to Israel. Kushner’s White House responsibility involves U.S.-Middle East policy. Which includes Israel.

Just before Kushner left on the trip, a major financial Israeli investment firm invested $30 million in Kushner’s real estate company.

The rich get richer, the poor poorer.

And yet, many Key West workers continue to have faith that Trump is Moses. He will lead them to the better life. Not going to happen. Stupid is as stupid does.

Two important events to report.

Ladies, January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Get checked! If you do not have a physician, Womankind will help.

My love of history will be satiated later this month. 1776 opens January 23 at the Waterfront Playhouse.

Enjoy your day!

 

BRIA ANSARA…..FRIENDLY AND ACCESSIBLE DIVA

Two years ago, I insulted Bria Ansara in this blog. What possessed me I know not. It took six months before Bria would forgive me. We are now friends. She was the lady at a time when I was not the gentleman.

Bria is recognized today by the Key West Citizen. As one of Key West’s “Familiar Faces.” Front page photo recognition and article. Familiar Faces writes of people who contribute in some fashion to the island.

She is an outstanding performer. Sings, acts, etc. I generally dine friday or saturday at Berlin’s where she entertains weekends. Yes, the food is good. I go because of Bria. She is better. The best.

Friendly fits Bria. The Citizen describes her as friendly and accessible. Correctly so.

Bria has another life besides that of an entertainer. She teaches art. To students at Montessori. She teaches my Robert and Ally.

The Alabama/Georgia game destroyed me last night. I remained  awake to watch it. I had remained up late sunday evening also.

Fell asleep with 5 minutes to go. Missed the most interesting parts. The final minutes and overtime.

From the reruns this morning, I missed the best parts of the game. Whatever. Congrats to both teams. Especially to Alabama freshman Tagovailoa who went into the game in the second half and played a hell of a game.

Earlier in the day, I worked on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Tons of hot issues out there. I have assembled a dozen interesting topics to share, excite and perhaps even open your eyes.

Join me at 9. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Guaranteed you will enjoy. Even if you disagree with me.

I was in Aqua at 5. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Heather-May.

The best deal in town. Great singing. Off the wall good. Costs nothing, except for a drink or two.

Met Rob and James at Dueling Bartenders. They recently bought a home in Key West. Their primary residence Boca Raton.

Pleasant guys. Rob’s other life had him  involved in real estate and with IBM. Most recently, a math teacher at the Lower Keys Community College. James, an operations manager for a large insurance company.

Wanted to get home for the game. Stopped at Publix for a few things. I am on Atkins. It requires constant food replenishing. Expensive. I don’t know if I shared with you the scale showed a 2 pound loss three days ago. The loss has remained. Makes a total of 12 pounds.

Slow.

There is a new webcam in Key West. At Conch Republic. Operates 24 hours. Shows Key West Historic Seaport. Take a look. KeyWestHistoricSeaport.com.

Last week, Trump cut off Pakistan from financial aid the U.S. has been providing for years. Trump claimed it was because Pakistan was not controlling terrorists in its country.

Strange. There are other countries the U.S. provides aid that are not controlling terrorists within their borders.

There is a story behind the one Washington suggests.

Pakistan has become friendly with China. It permitted China to build a naval base last year in Djibouti. The ribbon cutting ceremony was July 1, 2017.

Last week, Pakistan announced that China would build a second naval base at Gwadar.

Both bases primarily intended to provide China with military outposts.

Trump is in the process of cutting off Pakistan because of the Chinese bases, not the terrorism issue.

Pakistan is not a nation to be defecated upon. The day after Trump’s announcement, Pakistan announced it was moving from the American dollar to the Chinese yuan for certain monetary transactions.

Venezuela did the same thing several months ago when Trump suggested the U.S. might have to invade Venezuela because Maduro was not taking care of his people.

Moving to the yuan weakens the American dollar. Should this trend continue, the dollar will be debased tremendously. Significant economic problems the result.

Trump continues to shot from the hip without thinking, without carefully examining the ramifications of his moves.

Trump further said the money saved by cutting Pakistan off would be used to build roads and bridges in the United States.

Sometimes the President reminds me of tonic salesmen of old.

Consider purchasing Irma and Me. Humor and sadness combined. Easy reading. Available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Kobobooks.com.

Enjoy your day!

 

AMERICA SLEEPS AGAIN

Once we were not concerned enough, did not care, did not believe what was happening in Europe was bad. The Atlantic would protect us from the evils of Germany. America slept. The result, we ended up in a World War.

It is happening again. A World War may not be the result. However, something bad inevitably will occur.

The problem is President Trump.

Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury published last week has aroused Trump and his troops to the heights. They have come out battling. Cabinet members and White House aides were on national TV talk shows yesterday morning. Denying the accuracy of Wolff’s comments and supporting the mental well being, etc. of their leader.

One was Steve Miller. He appeared on CNN.

Miller was a speech writer for Trump during the campaign. Thirty two. Maybe thirty three now. Knows everything. In reality, nothing. He is a nationalist, white supremacist. Student of Steve Banner, till Banner’s refutation by Trump last week.

I have compared Miller to Hitler’s Joseph Goebbels. Adolph’s propaganda minister. Lie, lie, lie. Eventually the people will believe.

During the interview, Miller was basically non-responsive to questions. Talked about that which he wanted. Finally, the interviewer called an end to the interview of Miller.

Amusingly or sadly, Miller had to be escorted out of the CNN building. Apparently he did not want to leave. What occurred specifically, I do not know. No one is talking about it in any detail as yet.

Our President is mentally incapable of being President. A nut case. He has turned his back on our friends and sucks up to those who have been our enemies for years. Wants to destroy the FBI. Wants Hillary Clinton in jail.

Addressing the last point. We have never thrown a political opponent in jail. Banana republics do it. Totalitarian states, also.

Wake up Republican legislators, wake up America! Trump is trouble. He is dramatically harming the nation.

Spent yesterday lounging around the house. Watched the Golden Globes last night.

Gary Oldman won for Best Actor. The Darkest Hour.

Kirk Douglas appeared. Ninety one. Looks it, unfortunately. In a wheel chair, the results of his stroke remain on his face, speech slurred.

Oprah Winfrey was honored. She won the Humanitarian Award. A special person. A special speaker.

Missed Chicken Dog Church and the Gardens yesterday by giving into my laziness. Tonight, I will be out. Definitely. Dueling Bartenders and then home to watch the Alabama/Georgia game. Alabama favored by four points. Going to be close. Never can tell who the winner will be in a national championship game.

Papua, New Guinea in trouble. The volcano on Kadovar Island is erupting for the first time in history. A tsunami and landslides feared. People evacuating.

I mention Papua because there are a few Papuans who read this blog. Almost from its inception.

I wish everyone on the island good luck.

Christmas is Christmas. However certain portions are celebrated differently in other places.

Italy, for example.

Christian. Roman in origin. Celebrate all of Christmas on December 25, except for gift giving. Gift giving occurs on January 6. January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany. The day the three Wise Men paid homage to baby Jesus.

The Italians do not celebrate the Epiphany as such. Rather the day belongs to pagan folklore. An old hag dressed in black with a black witch’s hat riding on a broom. Her name, Befana. She brings gifts during the night as Santa Claus does elsewhere at Christmas. If a person was bad, no gift. Coal in the stocking!

Accompanying the gifts are sweets. Cookies and candy.

I am not an economist. Nor would I consider myself a stock market expert. Except in one regard.

My eighty two years has taught me that when the market is flying high, as it has been for quite a while, it will crash. No question. What goes up, comes down. Faster. The crash dramatic. Unexpected. Assets diminished big time, fortunes wiped out.

I have been predicting a crash for more than a year. I suspect later this year or sometime next year.

The experts call the crash an “adjustment.” The market does it on its own. It regurgitates hundreds and thousand of points at a time.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CATHERINE, THE SAINT, AND TROPIC CINEMA

Another good night in Key West!

Remaining in and early to bed New Year’s Eve lost me nothing. As I reported New Years Day, every evening in Key West is New Year’s Eve.

Started early yesterday. Four thirty. My companion Catherine.

Falling is common with seniors. Especially me. At 82, I seem to have it under control. I watch every step I take. Pay attention to how I am moving. There will be times though when it will happen again.

Catherine is ten years younger than me. She uses a cane. Wobbly on her feet. Walks carefully. Hers not a balance problem. She had hip replacement surgery in October. Still recovering.

She toppled last week at Berlin’s. Not at all last night.

We have a problem when we are together should she fall. I cannot help her up. My heart. I lift nothing. Additionally, when I bend down, I get dizzy and go completely down.

Catherine tends to drop things. Retrieval her headache. She understands.

We are a dangerous couple together.

The game plan was Happy Hour at the Saint and then across the street to the Tropic Cinema to see the Churchill film Darkest Hour.

Food and atmosphere at the Saint excellent.

Then to the movies.

I was anxious to see the Darkest Hour. Love World War II stories. The film is good, not excellent. Worth seeing. Gary Oldman may win an Academy Award for his performance.

I was taken with the woman who played Churchill’s wife. A difficult role. Perhaps a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

Our evening was over at 8:30 when I returned Catherine home. Still early. Decided to stop at the Chart Room.

Ollie there. We have not seen each other in months. An environmental genius. Takes nature seriously.

Ollie just returned from a two week vacation. Drove Key West to Washington, DC and back. Except for Washington, stayed a day or two in small communities. Enjoyed the trip tremendously.

The Chart Room was quiet. Shaun bartending. All of a sudden, Jean Thornton showed up. She and Joe had dinner at Berlin’s. Joe was tired. Went home to sleep. The evening still early. Jean stopped in.

We had a very good time. Jean, Ollie, Shaun and Louis. Lots of laughs.

Wounded Warriors Day yesterday in Key West. The Wounded Warrior Project is nationwide. Veterans bike long distances for 3-4 days. Yesterday, they came down from Boca Chica to Key West.

Cheering groups along the way greeted the veterans.

A couple of hours before the bikers arrived was tie a yellow ribbon time. Recalls the popular song of the mid 1970’s.

Local veterans tied 180 yellow ribbons and small American flags on palm trees on North Roosevelt Boulevard and elsewhere. A proud time for watchers and the riders themselves.

The weather still cold. In the 50’s last night. Supposed to hit 70 during the day. Then down to 64 during the evening. Tomorrow or the next day, the daytime temperature will rise to 75-76 degrees. Not for long. Another cold front is coming in Saturday or Sunday and it will be Key West cold for a week.

Syracuse disaster yesterday! My team lost to Notre Dame 51-49. I missed the game. My concern growing.

Attorney General Sessions a man of the past. Nineteen fiftyish. He advised this week that his attorneys would be pursuing marijuana use where States had already made its recreational use legal. There is a Federal law in conflict with State law. The Federal law makes marijuana use illegal.

A waste of time and money. If Sessions wants to pursue drug suppliers and users, he should make war on the opioid epidemic engulfing the U.S. More than 100 persons a day dying from opioid use.

Gallup and Pew are respected pollsters. Each came out with a poll this week showing more than 60 percent of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. Those not in favor primarily older citizens.

A subsequent article described those opposed as Neanderthals and self-righteous Evangelicals.

Trump made a big speech two months ago. Opioids an emergency situation. One problem, however. Trump did not put the money where his mouth was. He passed the buck to the States to make the war.

French President Macron accused the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia of desiring war with Iran. Claimed the three nations had a deliberate strategy to push war.

I agree. Look at who the U.S. has for partners. Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both great friends of Donald Trump. The old story that birds of a feather flock together.

I get the feeling Irma and Me is selling. People stop me to say they bought the book or ask me questions about it. People e-mail me to advise they ordered the book.

God bless!

Enjoy your Sunday!