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!

POT SMOKE vs. TOBACCO SMOKE

I smoked my first cigarette back in high school. And my second and third, etc. The high school was Catholic and run by Sisters of Charity. Smoking strictly prohibited, of course.

When the good nuns caught us sneaking a smoke, we were forced to learn a little diddy which we were compelled to recite each time caught: The cigarette is a dirty weed and from it the Devil doth proceed.

I was reading this week’s Jasper Jottings. A Manhattan alumni news journal published weekly by John Reinke. An e-mail from a 1973 grad got into smoking. Close to what I had to memorize in 1950. With pot added. I paraphrase: Pot smoke created by God and good for us, tobacco smoke created by Satan and will kill us.

We did not know what pot was in 1950. Marijuana? Never heard the word till I was in college. Had not yet gained popularity. Pot hit big time in the 1960’s and 70’s. Now being legalized.

A…..You’ve come a long way Charlie Brown!

I wrote about the royal wedding yesterday. All good thoughts. Yet last night when out and about, I was confronted by racist statements from several persons I ran into. As with tobacco smoke, racism adversely affects our country.

Will we ever be free of it?

Chart Room first last night. John bartending. The new John. Has been working three weeks now. Different from the other John. Both bartenders named John. The new John has returned to Key West after several years in Palm Springs.

Ran into Don and Linda from Fishkill again. Enjoying celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary.

Met Mark and Amy from Charlotte. Mark a physician’s assistant, Amy a school principal. Fun people.

Walked over to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner.

Sat next to Clare at the bar. The bartender introduced us. She and her husband have had a home on Ash Street for years. I till recently in Key Haven for 21 years. We never met before. We discussed how often it happens. Meeting other long time Key Westers. Difficult to understand why many locals do not meet earlier. The island is small.

Hot Tin Roof has added a trio and singer Saturday nights. Great music. The only problem is the ensemble takes up a third of the room.

Must be successful. The bar was packed with people standing listening to the group.

Trump was on his soap box yesterday beating the hell out of Amazon and how it is purportedly bleeding the Post Office economically. Nothing is farther from the truth. Amazon package delivering is the Post Office’s life line. It keeps the Post Office afloat. A moneymaker.

I wrote a lengthy column on the subject a few weeks ago in KONK Life.

Trump is on a personal tirade. Not knowing what he is talking about. He has an ax to grind with Amazon’s owner who also owns the Washington Post. Trump does not like the way the Washington Post reports his antics.

Whether a Trump fan is immaterial. It is wrong to use the power of the Presidency to try to harm or destroy one who disagrees with you. Especially when the facts relied on are wrong to begin with.

There is a new glamour product on the market. Popularly referred to as a penis facial. A serum used in making the product is derived from the foreskin of new born Korean babies.

Its use on the rise. Two well known movie stars using it and shouting how it makes their skin glow like that of a new born baby. They have no financial involvement with the product. Thrilled however with what it is doing for their fifty year old faces.

One problem is getting enough foreskins to make the serum. Such concerns me. Circumcision is not medically required nor that common worldwide. The last thing desired is the demand for foreskins does not turn into an organ type selling thing.

We know historically that the Jewish faith circumcise new born males. I suspect it is part of their tradition because of disease centuries ago that could have plagued the new born males.

In reading about the cosmetic, I learned two things I did not know. First, circumcision was introduced in English speaking countries in the late 1800’s. To control or prevent masturbation.

How terrible. The circumcision, not the masturbation.

The need for male circumcision was compared to female circumcision which had been ongoing in some societies for centuries. The female’s clitoris and labia were removed. To prevent female masturbation.

With male baby circumcision these days, anesthesia is not used. I thought it was because a 3-4 day old baby boy could not feel pain down there when the procedure was done. Not the case. The baby feels pain! Anesthesia is not used because of possible dangers of interactions in the infant.

It is pouring like hell at the moment. Actually for the last 20 minutes. Hurricane/monsoon type rain. Almost every day. Something strange. This is not the rainy season.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

WHO PUSHES THE CART?

Yesterday, a Key West day all day. Rare.

The most important event was taking Terri grocery shopping at Publix. Donna is out of town for a week.

Terri could not take herself. She is not driving any more. Her eye sight is failing.

I volunteered.

I had a concern. How was Terri going to maneuver around the store. The first thing that struck me was whether she could direct the cart.

I asked her: Who pushes the cart?

Her response: I PUSH THE CART!

Sorry I asked.

We shopped. Pleasantly.

Next, she wanted to stop at CVS to pick up a prescription. I did not even bother to go in with her. I was confident she could handle it.

Love Terri!

Terri was the third scheduled event for the day. I started earlier with a haircut with Lori. It takes all of 2 minutes to cut my hair. She never wants to charge me. I give her $20.

Ran into Lori later in the evening. I was having dinner at the bar in Roostica. There was Lori and her husband at the end of the bar. A good looking couple. We chatted a bit.

Stopped at Sandy’s Cafe for a quick lunch after the haircut. Sandy’s and Lori’s are like 5-6 doors apart on White Street.

Then, it was Terri’s turn.

I had one more appointment following Terri. A manicure with Tammy.

Tammy always a pleasant experience. Admire what she and her husband have accomplished developing their business Lee Nails.

Business was slow. The season over.

Last night, a lecture sponsored by KWAHS at the Custom House. A history of Duval Street from its beginnings to 1970. I was disappointed. Insufficient detail.

Always a smart ass or two in the audience. Three or four asked questions whose answers were known to God alone.

I was early for the lecture. Ran into Karen who was early also. We went across the street for a drink.

A pleasant half hour. Karen and I have not talked alone that long in 15 years.

Then to the Chart Room.

Packed! John busy!

I stayed a couple of hours. I was the only local. Unusual.

Met two charming ladies from New Jersey. Their 16th year visiting Key  West. Doing it up big. An ocean front room at the Pier House.

One a hospital comptroller. The other, retired.

I am always interested in how people feel about Trump, did they vote for him, etc. Apparently neither I nor the questions are offensive. People are happy to share their thoughts.

The retired woman a Trump supporter. Voted for him and thinks he is doing a great job. Making up for Obama’s failures. She was also thrilled with her retirement account. The market is up.

My stomach was growling. Time to eat. Stopped at Roostica’s on Stock Island on the way home. Great Italian food at reasonable prices. Seated at the bar next to me was Jim Clark. I have not seen him in a while.

We first met at bocce. I used to hate playing his team. Jim good! He shot first for his team. The polina always long, always down the middle. His ball on top of it. I always followed him. Rarely did I get close.

Jim into into social media, advertising, etc. He publishes Best Key West Restaurant Menus.

The weekly KONK Life publishes an internet paper daily. KONK Life E-Blast.

My column this past week in KONK Life was Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. It was run this morning on E-Blast. Unusual. I suspect the column was a filler.

Sometimes a piece of news leaves you feeling empty. Following is one that did.

Scott Peterson was a Broward County Deputy Sheriff. He was the deputy on the scene at the Parkland high school shooting three months ago. The only one. He heard the gun shots and ran to them. He never opened the door to enter the school. He remained frozen outside.

Peterson recently retired after 25 years on the job. He is 55 years old. His pension $104,000 a year.

We worry about China and trade wars. Meetings at the moment in Washington between the U.S. and China.

China has been struggling with a declining birth rate over the years. The matter has become of concern to the government. One which limited families generally to one child per couple.

All of a sudden, the U.S. is experiencing a similar problem. The birth rate hit an all time low in 2017. Three million eight hundred thousand. Two percent lower than 2016, the lowest ever recorded in 30 years.

The cause is attributed to economics. Although 2008 is behind us, economic uncertainty remains. Such concern does not bode well for those wishing to have children.

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!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT

My grandson is 14 years old. Robert, Happy Birthday! Poppa loves you!

I remember the day he was born. With cancer of the liver. Within two hours, he was on a helicopter to Miami Children’s Hospital.

Two major surgeries the first 8 days of his life. Frequent check up visits the next 10 years.

Today, a typical 14 year old. Graduates from Montessori soon. High school next.

A smart young man academically. A gentleman all the time. He is his father.

Tonight, Happy Birthday cake and blowing out the candles.

God is good!

Hurricane season is here. June 1. Seems like yesterday we were escaping Irma. Irma hit September 10.

Recent weather and weather reports suggest tropical storms may be around the corner. Too much rain lately. Every day. Big! Strong winds!

Sunday, Key West got 3.25 inches of rain. The intersection of Eaton and White Streets flooded. I have seen it in previous years. Twice saw people swimming in the intersection.

Weather reports indicate rain through next sunday.

Things can be different in Key West. A bit funky.

Page 2 of the Key West Citizen carries the weather report. The report for the next 5 days amusing. Small printed verbiage beneath each day. Rain of course predicted for each day.

Today, “ark flooded.” Tonight, “life preserver needed.” Wednesday, “thunderstorms; float feet first.” Thursday, “who’ll stop the rain?” Friday, “rain drops keep falling.” Saturday, “nothing worrying me.”

Another storm of consequence this early in the season would be devastating. The lower Keys are still recovering from Irma.

I wrote about Irma. My personal experience. Irma and Me.

If you have not read it, this may be the time to acquire it. It is a history of the before, during and after a hurricane. Available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

I have known Lee Ann Holland for 15 years. More beautiful each year.

Her picture on the front page of this morning’s Key West Citizen. She is being recognized as a Familiar Face.

Lee Ann has become an integral part of Key West Ambassadors. A lecturer at the program. Recently completed addressing her 16th group.

Lee Ann, congratulations!

Two things are constant in life. Death and change.

The U.S. Supreme Court presented us with “change” yesterday. The decision Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.

A federal law was passed in 1992 prohibiting sports gambling. Nevada excepted. Congress was recognized as having the sole authority to regulate sports gambling directly.

No more. The Supreme Court decision recognized Congress had the right to regulate. However if Congress failed to exercise that right, then each State was free to act on its own.

Means two things in the offing. First, goodbye bookies. Second, a new area for State taxation.

We have all experienced the fish that got away. Always a big one.

Happens other than in fishing, also.

On January 1, 1962, the Beatles performed for Decca Records in London. The Beatles were looking for a recording contract. Decca turned them down. The person responsible thought guitar groups were on the way out.

Later in 1962, the Beatles signed with London’s Parlophone label. Still unknown. A struggling rock band.

Parlophone liked them.

Parlophone worked out deals with Apple and Capitol. The rest is history.

Trump does it again! An action difficult to understand. Unless something in the background that should not be.

During the campaign, Trump knocked the hell out of China for stealing jobs from the U.S. He pledged to stop it! To get jobs back from China!

ZTE is a Chinese smart phone business. In trouble financially. U.S. imposed sanctions on other countries killing Smartphone’s business.

Yesterday, Trump announced the U.S. was going to help the Company “get back into business fast.” He directed Secretary Wilbur Ross to do everything expeditiously to help.

Did not make sense to me. Did it have something to do with the China/U.S. talks scheduled this week in Washington?

Turns out remotely so, if at all.

Last night, the news reported that three days earlier, China had agreed to a $500,000 million loan for a new theme park in Indonesia which would contain Trump hotels and golf courses.

I assume the Indonesia deal was Trump’s motivation.

When will he learn he is not supposed to do these things?

By  the way, ZTE has a record of cyber crimes, espionage and hacking. Was ZTE involved with our 2016 election?

Tonight, my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. A quick moving interesting half hour.

Topics tonight have to include Trump. However, I open with other items of interest. Like the hurricane season, Chinese hog hotels, Germans invading Belgium and Holland in 1940, the eloquence of leaders in time of war,  and House Chaplain Father Conroy.

Then, Donald.

Enjoy your day!

MY MOTHER…..A WISE WOMAN

Big day today! Mother’s Day!

The person who knows us best.

My mother was unique. Then, I assume all mothers are.

She was born in Italy. The last of eight children. The first girl. The previous seven boys. Her parents felt fortunate they finally had a daughter. They named her Fortunata, Italian for Fortune.

She came to the U.S. at an early age. Never made it beyond the third grade. At 9, she was working 16 hours a day in a shoe factory in New York.

Move swiftly ahead.

I had become a lawyer. A successful one. On my drive home after work, I would stop to see my mother. She was always ready for me. A bottle of Beefeaters and a glass filled with ice on the kitchen table.

We would sit and talk. About nothing and everything. My day. The kids, her grandchildren. My father. Whatever moved us at the moment.

She could tell when I had something on my mind. What is the problem, she would ask. I would share and this woman with only a third grade education generally in her own way had a solution.

She has been gone more than 30 years. Missed! A day has not gone by when I have not thought of her.

On the wall opposite my desk, her painting hangs. She is in my face several times a day. I talk to her frequently.

I wish she could talk back.

Spent yesterday afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column which publishes wednesday. Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. Interesting. Big pirate back when. One of the biggest. His story.

Finally got out of the house last night. Catherine took pity and picked me up. We dined at the bar at Berlin’s.

Bria Ansara not singing. Home sick. Laryngitis.

Sloan’s daughter hosting. Always a warm greeting.

Catherine told me about a site I should take a look at. I did this morning. I am going to share it with you. Absolutely terrific! https://youtu.be/580dYcYneA.

The man Randy Rainbow. A humorous pundit.

Remember Sound of Music? How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria……He sang it with North Korea in place of Maria. While dressed as a nun.

Pouring this morning. As it did yesterday morning. Then, the rest of the day beautiful. Hopefully, it will be the same today.

Donna and Terri have promised to come get me and take me to Hot Dog Church later this afternoon.

I am a lucky man. Surrounded by loving women who want to care for me. Lesbians included.

I am a Manhattan College grad. As is John Reinke. John writes a weekly blog re Manhattan graduates. Titled Jasper Jottings. A slew of information.

This morning’s blog mentioned Japanese bus drivers. They are on strike. Striking differently, however. They have kept driving. The difference, they refuse to take fares.

There is an eloquence associated with great men. I read somewhere that Lincoln would not have been a great President without the Civil War and slavery. Churchill without World War II. Roosevelt without the Great Depression and World War II.

Whatever the reason, permit me to share examples of eloquence.

The bombs were falling all over Europe. Churchill elected Prime Minister. He said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat…..Victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however long and hard the road may be.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt upon taking office and facing the Great Depression: The “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” His address to Congress asking for a declaration of war following the bombing of Pear Harbor: December 7, “a day which will live in infamy.”

Psychics everywhere. Key West included. Not all for real. Some dishonest.

New York’s Psychic Zoe, aka Ann Thompson, is a self-proclaimed clairvoyant. Arrested. Charged with fortune telling fraud.

Took 2 victims/clients for $800,000. One for $740,000, the other $72,000. Each began with a $5 charge. The victims were plied with things like never being able to love again if the victim did not continue with the clairvoyant. Clearly chicanery. Clearly a fraud.

I feel sad for the gullible who satisfied an emotional need by succumbing to the lies in this instance of a fortune teller.

A psychic worth $800,000 should have been able to see her investigation and arrest coming and avoided it. What happened?

I am amused by North Korea making all these concessions prior to the actual meting between the two leaders. The most recent is North Korea has invited foreign journalists (including U.S.) to be in North Korea May 23-25 when North Korea dismantles its nuclear test site.

Query: What about the nuclear warheads, etc. which North Korea already has? I doubt Jung-Un will destroy them. In fact, I guarantee he will not.

Then what is Trump going to say? He has told us constantly that he is firm  in the total denuclerization of North Korea. Which includes nuclear weapons North Korea already has.

Hurricane season around the corner. Begins June 1. At a time  we are not yet finished with recovery work from Irma. Lets hope this will be a hurricane free season.

If you have not read Irma and Me, please do. It will provide the opportunity to understand what happens prior to, during and following a hurricane. My book combines humor and tragedy. Available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

POST OFFICE LONG LINES…..RETIREES NOT REPLACED

Reporting my local experiences have been limited this week. I have not related my Key West nocturnal activities. I have not left the house since sunday.

The reason is my car is waiting for a part from Miami.

I live outside Key West so walking is not even a consideration.

It has not been bad. Caught up on some research I have been meaning to do. Read a bit. Watched a ton of old movies on TV.

Now, I have had it. Must get out this evening. Someone will have to pick me up. I also need groceries. Enough left in the refrigerator to prepare one last meal.

You would think laying around would cause me to have gained weight. Not so. Lost 2 more pounds. Total now 38 pounds!

I feel like Little Jack Horner…..eating his pumpkin pie…..he stuck in his thumb, pulled out a plum, and said what a good boy am I!

In April, I wrote a column for KONK Life titled Congress To Blame For Post Office Debt. The reason obvious.

The Post Office was solvent. Money in the bank.  For real. Congress wanted to use the sitting money. Passed a law requiring the Post Office to pre-pay in 10 years long term pension and health care liabilities. Covering 75 years.

The money would sit in a different account till needed. Congress could dip into it. And as with Social Security, never pay it back.

The 10 years has passed. The Post Office could not meet the pre-pay. Onerous. Owes $49 billion to it.

Congress was unhappy. On paper looks like the Post Officenow in debt. Not really, if not compelled to make the pre-payments.

What other business pre-pays pensions, etc. 75 years into the future?

Congress has been mini-managing the Post Office under the guise that obviously the Post Office cannot mange itself. Congress passed another law. As postal employees retire, they would not be replaced. A money saving gambit.

Why do we stand in line forever at the Post Office? It is not the postal workers fault. They are not slow. The problem is there are not enough of them because of Congress’ law re replacing retirees.

The Chinese are smart people. A relatively recent example are the hog hotels being constructed. Pig hotels, another name.

America’s experience is with Perdue and other chicken farms. Place the chicken/hog in tight quarters and grow them.

China presently has 2 seven story buildings to grow hogs. Breed and raise them. One thousand hogs per floor.

The buildings are sow breeding operations more than anything else. Eighty percent of the pigs are adult female swine. Sows. Twenty percent are gilts. Young sows to replace the sows when they get pregnant.

Gestation is 114 days.

Disease the danger. Protected against in every possible way.

No one talks about the male pigs who provide the seed. They must be exhausted! It takes the male 20 minutes to ejaculate. I do not know how many times a day the male is called upon to perform. Nor do I know the average number of times a sow or gilt must engage in sex to become pregnant.

A good sized liter is 16 piglets.

Four new hog hotels are in the planning stage. One will be 13 stories.

Family Separation Policy. Love these fancy governmental terms. The three words relate to the Trump/Sessions plan to separate children from parents in situations where families cross our southern border.

Both men are sick! How long before Congress begins exercising its Constitutional powers? Especially the Republicans. Stand up and be men. Legislators not afraid to oppose Trump.

I was against the Iraqi War before it even began. Made no sense. History agrees.

Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of State at the time. I thought he was a horse’s ass. He thought he was smart. There was a question whether the U.S. had sufficient troops, etc. to go to war. Rumsfeld said, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

Contrast this with how Hitler handled things.

In May 1940, Germany invaded Holland and Belgium. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned. Winston Churchill replaced him.

Holland and Belgium were not military giants at the time. Never the less, Hitler hit them with everything. More than was needed for a German victory. One hundred thirty six ground divisions, 2,500 aircraft, and 16,000 airborne troops.

A country prepares for war. If unexpectedly attacked as the U.S. was at Pearl Harbor, then you begin the fight with what you have.

Enjoy your day!

 

SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The plant ended a critical water shortage at the time.

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

McCain qualifies as a torture expert.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

ROGER J. GOEBEL DIED

Roger J. Goebel met his Maker on April 20, 2018. Roger was 82.

The meeting had to be an interesting one. Roger an intellectual. A genius. Few could match his mental acumen.

Roger’s life was committed to the law. The last 33 years as a Professor at Fordham Law. He might very well be serving as a counselor to the Lord today.

Strange I am writing about Roger today. The last time I saw him was on the day we both graduated from Manhattan College in 1957. My only connection with him since has occasionally reading about him in the news. Prior to teaching law, he was a partner with an international law firm. He spent many years in the firm’s Paris office.

Roger and I developed a strange relationship. He was beyond me mentally. I doubt anyone was of his intellectual level. Which meant he was a loner.

For some reason, we became friends in our last two years at Manhattan. We would walk one or two evenings a week around the campus chatting. Sometimes at his level, sometimes at mine. I found him to be a lonely person. His intellect setting him aside from others.

God love you, Roger! Sad we never spoke again after Manhattan.

I would never have known Roger died were it not for a fellow Manhattan graduate, John Reinke. Class of 1968. Reinke publishes a weekly internet periodical Jasper Jottings. Manhattan College is known less formally as the Jaspers.

How John gets Jasper Jottings out amazes me. Alumni detail big time.

Keep up the good work, John. You help so many of us in small but important ways.

Another Manhattan graduate who also became a lawyer is presently in the news daily. Rudy Giuliani. Not a class mate of Roger and I. Giuliani graduated some 8-10 years after us.

I have spoken/written of Giuliani the past few days several times. In this blog, my newspaper column, my podcast, and Facebook live video. The man is over the hill. His time has passed.

I suspect Trump has brought him on his team as an ego booster. He is not helping him legally.

Perhaps Trump does have a genius. By keeping Giuliani at his side, he keeps the news on Giuliani and not himself.

Yesterday morning, I wrote this week’s KONK Life column. It has to be to the publisher on Saturday. The paper hits the stands on Wednesday.

This week’s topic a change of pace. A walk back in history. A relatively unknown part.

The article concerns General James Wilkinson. Part of George Washington’s team and involved in American politics and military service in one fashion or another till after the War of 1812.

I wrote about Wilkinson because he was worse than Aaron Burr. For whatever reason, history rarely speaks of him. A devious man.

One example of his less than honorable ways is when he was serving as an American general, he was also on the payroll of the Spanish government as a spy against the U.S. Spain paid him so much in silver that he had difficulty getting it back to the U.S. Too heavy to transport.

Lunch afterwards at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Spent a couple of hours sipping Cuban coffee and reading the newspapers.

I was supposed to party last night at one of several places. I made none. As the race approached, I decided to watch it alone at home. A sign age is catching up with me.

I received several photos from the different parties. All suggesting the same thing…..See what you missed!

I was impressed with Justify. Three inches of rain fell before the race. The track muddy. The race only in doubt for a split second.

The Washington Post ran an interesting internet article yesterday afternoon. Concerned Trump. Title: “As The ‘King Of Debt,’ Trump Borrowed To Build His Empire. Then He Began Spending Hundreds Of Millions In Cash.”

The article claims that nine years before Trump became President, his company spent more than $400 million in cash for new properties. Fourteen transactions involved.

Real estate money men do not buy real estate by paying cash. They take on partners and borrow as much as they can. Debt is the way business is done.

All of a sudden, Trump has large amounts of cash! Does not make sense. Especially noting that the recession of 2008 occurred during the nine year period.

Where did the cash come from? Are these deals part of any investigation?

Glad it’s Sunday. Always a good day. I will probably attend Hot Dog Church with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri, followed by Kate Miano’s Gardens.

Enjoy your Sunday!