WORLD NEEDS MORE BARBARA BUSHES

Three breaking news items last night. The most important and most sad was the death of Barbara Bush.

Wife of one President, mother of another. A class act. An independent women. Wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother. A political influence in her own way.

The world needs more Barbara Bushes.

Another breaking news item involved a Supreme Court case and Justice Neil Gorsuch. A Trump appointee. Trump’s only appointee so far. A conservative. Tipped the balance of power on the Court to 5-4 in favor of the conservative block.

A good Justice/Judge is one that cannot be depended on to vote the party line, so to speak. Gorsuch has generally been voting with his conservative brethren. Not in the Sessions v. Dimaya decision rendered yesterday.

Gorsuch voted with the liberal block. As a result, the Court struck down a part of one of Trump’s immigration laws having to do with the deportation of illegal immigrants who had criminal records. Thousands of immigrants affected.

Gorsuch wrote a decision saying the law was vague. What is a cime under the statue? Everyone? Traffic offenses?

Gorsuch wrote, “Vague laws invite arbitrary power.” I view Trump as an authoritarian figure. Arbitrariness part of authoritarianism.

Trump had to be upset. I can hear him now. I gave the guy the best job a lawyer can have. Made his career. And he does this to me!

May Trump experience more surprises!

The third breaking news item involved Sean Hannity. Turns out he has more than one Trump attorney. Victoria Toensing and Jay Sekulow have joined the club.

More interesting the nature of the representation.

On May 25, 2017, Toensing and Sekulow jointly wrote a letter to a Tulsa, Oklahoma radio station. They signed the letter as Counsel For Sean Hannity.

A conservative activist had said on a show that Hannity had been “creepy” towards her and invited her to his room.

The Toensing and Sekulow letter was a warning to the radio station to cease and desist from any further comment re the woman’s claims.

The woman’s name was reported.

I care not how many Trump lawyers Hannity uses. Though I do wish he would come clean on an issue that has nothing to do with anything.

By being silent, he may have opened the door to real aggravation. The woman’s statement. Time will tell.

Key West is to be honored tomorrow. Trump is visiting. Only for two hours. He is meeting with a military anti-smuggling group. An in and out trip.

This morning’s Key West Citizen says to expect protests. Meeting places include the White Street Pier and City Hall. Those protesting are asked to dress in black and carry signs.

Key West will not be behaving as One Human Family tomorrow.

KONK Life is a weekly publication. Covers the Keys.

I wrote a column for several years for KONK Life. The Key West Lou COMMENTARY. I considered the column the best writing I did.

I had too much on my plate and stopped doing the column two years ago. I have missed it. I believe I am better organized today.

My first column will be published in the KONK Life edition which hits the stands tomorrow. Concerns the Post Office. I believe the Post Office has been stomped upon in recent years. They are not at fault for today’s Post Office debt and insufficient help. Congress is the culprit.

The article is titled Congress To Blame For Post Office Debt. Eye opening.

Jenna Stauffer is a love of my life. My producer when I did my TV show for 3 years. Taught me everything.

Jenna continues to have a finger here and there in Key West life. One involves videoing for realtors houses they intend to sell. Her work professional. I know. She has videoed me several times over the years and each time I came out looking better than I did.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote of our Revolutionary War in The Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere. He wrote the work in the 1860’s. The ride of Paul Revere took place in the 1775. It involved Concord and Lexington and the beginning of our war for freedom.

Longfellow made Revere hero of the day. He was a hero, though not the only one. There were other riders through the night shouting…..To arms, to arms, the British are coming.

Besides Revere, William Dawes, Samuel Prescott and a Dr. Peterson.

The British captured Revere early in his ride. Questioned him roughly for two hours and then let him go. Dr. Peterson is reported to have completed Revere’s ride.

Dawes was captured also. He escaped by jumping his horse over a stone wall.  Subsequently, he lost his horse and had to walk to Lexington.

Prescott originally was not part of the ride. He was returning from a lady friend’s house at the awkward hour of 1 am. He was recruited for the ride. The British captured him, also. He escaped and rode on to Concord warning Patriots along the way.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

WOE THE WEB WE WEAVE…..

My legal career was spent in the court room. When ever I would catch a witness in a lie or a party’s case full of lies, I would start my summation to the jury by looking them in the eye and with all seriousness say…..Woe the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

I would follow it up with the story of throwing a pebble into a still pool of water. The pebble would cause a small circle to surround it. The circle in the water would get bigger and bigger. As a lie got bigger and bigger and took in more people.

Yesterday it was Michael Cohen and Sean Hannity.

Trump’s lies ultimately bring everyone around him down. Including his children.

Will Trump throw them under the bus as he has others? Will he take the rap to save them? Interesting.

Saw Dr. Jones yesterday morning. He scheduled me for an endoscopy and colonoscopy for a week from tomorrow.

I am anxious for the endoscopy. For the past six months, food gets stuck in my throat. Cannot wash it down. Fluid shoots back out my mouth. Takes a bit of gulping to get the food to pass.

Till last night.

I was enjoying lamb chops at the La Trattoria bar. Carrie bartending. Fortunately.

A piece of meat got stuck in my throat. Carrie saw I was in trouble. She came running over and started with back blows moving to the Heimlich. Did not work. Gulping did not work.

I could breath.

I walked out. Gulped for two blocks. Finally the meat moved down.

A relief. The longest it has taken. Thank God I am doing the endoscopy next wednesday. Dr. Jones is aware of my problem and will stretch my throat and esophagus while I am under.

Lunch yesterday after the Dr. Jones visit at Sandy’s Cafe. My favorite snack. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large cup of Cuban coffee.

The waitresses at Sandy’s are a happy bunch. They spread that joy to the customers as they wait on them.

Last night Dueling Bartenders. Bobby Nesbitt guest performing. Tom Luna and Rick Dery doing their usual. The three singing a song together outstanding!

Many Bobby Nesbitt friends in attendance. Lynda and Bob Frechette, David, Lisa, etc.

We sang along with Tom, Rick and Bobby.

Loved it!

It was after Dueling Bartenders that I went to La Trattoria for dinner.

Marty Leshaw and I were Key West friends for years. We would meet at the Chart Room and then have dinner together somewhere. Marty left Key West. Returned to his primary residence in Fort Lauderdale.

Marty and I communicate infrequently. I heard from him yesterday. Did I hit 40 yet? Meaning pounds lost. Whatever the inquiry or statement, I always enjoy hearing from Marty. Though we disagreed on almost everything. Especially politics.

I have fond memories of our relationship.

Trump is visiting Key West thursday. For two hours. He flies into Boca Chica. Then he will be part of a caravan of cars taking him to the Truman Waterfront. He is visiting the Joint Interagency Task Force South. A military anti-smuggling center.

Some are thrilled by his visit. Others could care less.

Diana Millikan returns to Key West tomorrow. She e-mailed me she plans to stand on the corner of Truman and White and wave at Trump as he passes. She has been a die hard Trump fan since day one. Part of that 35-40 percent.

Global climate change a concern to us who live on the ocean. We have been warned for several years that the waters will rise and take away some homes built on the water.

Michael Mann is a climatologist.  He says the change is coming and sooner than thought.

All has to do with currents. Southern waters, including the Gulf Stream, will flow northward. The colder deep waters of the north will flow southward.

I do not understand this changes things. The bottom line however is that the scenario will not be good. Our water levels will increase 1.6 feet. Surface temperatures will be warmer for most of the US east coast. Europe will be colder because of changes in the Gulf Stream.

Mann says “…..we’re close to a tipping point…..the changing currents are without precedent…..the event about a century ahead of schedule.”

He also says all this may not happen. That we are dealing with systems we don’t fully understand.

Love the Citizens’ Voice in the Key West Citizen. Readers say it the way it is.

This morning’s column had a note from a local. The iguana problem the subject.

The writer had the solution. Bring in about a hundred Jaguars and mountain lions. The natural enemies of iguanas.

My  thought is the suggestion will help resolve another problem. The too many people on the island problem. Jaguars and mountain lions are the natural enemies of humans, also.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk  with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. I express my thoughts as to the conduct and sins of many. Guaranteed you will like the show. A quick moving half hour.

Enjoy your day!

 

CONGRESS TO BLAME FOR POST OFFICE DEBT

After a two year absence, I am returning to write a weekly column for KONK Life. My first article hits the stands wednesday. A timely topic. The Post Office’s debt. Titled: Congress To Blame For Post Office Debt.

Sloan came over around noon yesterday. I could not structure the article on my computer. She got me set up.

I wrote a detailed column concerning the issue. The bottom line is Trump should get off Amazon’s back. Congress the blame. Congress saw a cash cow in 2006 and legislated the scenario leading almost immediately to Post Office insolvency.

Prior to Congress getting greedy, the Post Office was solvent. One year before the legislation in 2005, the Post Office was debt free.

You will enjoy the article. Informative.

My sunday got screwed up. I wanted to do Hot Dog Church, the Chorale and the Gardens. Due to time constraints because of writing the Post Office column, I thought I might only make the Gardens.

I made none.

The Gardens was still an option when I received a call from Donna. Terri was to sing at the Gardens. Terri told me the Gardens was cancelling. A rainstorm coming in at 6.

The rain did not arrive till 7. Heavy, Even at that time would have had a couple hundred people scurrying for cover.

So, I took a nap around 4.

My big evening was James Comey’s interview.

One of the points he drove home was that Trump is not morally fit to be President. I agree. Especially now that “pee sex” is becoming part of the national debate.

How low can political discourse get? Trump brings us to a new level with everything he does.

I discussed the pee sex/morality issue during my Key West Lou Live video on Facebook this morning.

The Cow Key Bridge Race was yesterday. One thousand strong participating. Most costumed.

A new record established for the 300 foot event: 22.2 seconds. The previous was 23.1 seconds.

The athletes guzzled pints of beer the night before preparing for the race.

This morning busy. A business meeting at 10. A doctor visit at 11:15. First meeting preparatory to setting up a colonoscopy and endoscopy. The tests I mind not. It is the prep for the colonoscopy which is bothersome.

Jean Thornton’s trip of trips continues.

Yesterday, she and Joe still in Barcelona. The day began at 7 with a delicious breakfast. Then a brisk morning walk around the ship’s decks watching Barcelona wake up.

At 9:30, a tour of Barcelona with Julio.

Seven mountains surround Barcelona. The bus took them all the way up one. Jean reports the view of Barcelona below amazing!.

Following the bus tour, Jean and Joe took a walk around the old Gothic quarter. Discovered an old Cathedral and Roman ruins. Then discovered the famous Las Rambla Boulevard.

They lucked out. Ran into a political demonstration. Hundreds marching and chanting in support of Catalan independence. Flags, yellow attire.

Lunch time. Stopped at a tapas restaurant. Standing outside waiting for a table.

Jean and Joe must look like rich Americans or stupid tourists. A woman tried to pickpocket Joe. His turn.

He felt someone bump him. Felt a hand go into his back pocket. Fortunately, his money was in a pouch on his stomach.

Joe turned. Saw a nicely dressed woman. She immediately pointed forward. Joe looked ahead. When he turned back, she was gone. Lost in the crowd.

The story gets more interesting.

Immediately, a young nervous man was upon Jean and Joe. Flashed a badge quickly. Started asking about the confrontation. He was going to report the incident.

Jean and Joe wary by this tine. When the man asked Joe for ID, he said bring me a uniformed police officer. With that the man went one way and Jean and Joe the other.

The found another restaurant down a pedestrian walkway. After being assured there were no pickpockets, they were seated. Enjoyed tapas and wine.

On the walk back to the ship detoured onto a side street. A street that once housed Paul Guell’s private residence. The house was one of architect Gaudi’s famous works. Jean described the house as amazing.

Then back to the ship. A safety drill. Following which they set sail for Cartagena.

Between jet lag and a lot of walking, the Thorntons were dead. It was early to bed for the both of them.

The Trump administration announced yesterday additional sanctions on Russia. Sanctions on Russian companies and persons who were involved in making or helping with the chemical gas dropped on Syria.

I don’t know if I approve. We hit Syria with over a 100 missiles. Now chastise Russia with these sanctions?

I see John Bolton’s influence. Hit, hit, hit.

Russia is only a second or third rate nation military wise. However, Russia has a ton of nuclear weapons. The situation should not be aggravated more than it is. The U.S. made its point with the missile attack.

Sanctions can lead to war. Any war between the U.S. and Russia would be fought on U.S. soil also and affect our 300 million plus citizens very personally.

On this day in 1917, Vladimir Lenin returned from exile to Russia. He was the head of the Red Bolshevik Party. He returned home to take rein of the Russian Revolution. The Revolution up to that point was led by Alexander Kerensky and the White Bolshevik Party who were doing an ineffective job.

Lenin took over. Kerensky’s life as in danger. He fled Russia.

Many years later, I was a student in college taking courses in Russian history from Kerensky. It was exciting to hear first hand the happenings and intricacies of 1917.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

RAIN IN SPAIN DOES NOT STAY MAINLY ON THE PLAIN

First, a major screw up yesterday. The blog was titled Tosh Memorial Service Today. I forgot to click PUBLISH when finished. Ergo, it never got published yesterday.

Upon discovering my error this morning, I published the blog even though a day late. It bears today’s date. Read it with the mistake in mind. Otherwise, you will pickup on a Lincoln death date that will read wrong.

I am now doing today’s blog. Note both blogs will bear the same date. So read both.

Jean rode a high speed 196 mile per hour train over the high mountain regions of Spain yesterday. Madrid to Barcelona. Reports the landscape on the mountains desert like.

Started raining as the train descended into Barcelona. Jean wrote, “So apparently the rain in Spain does not stay mainly on the plain but rather near the train.”

From the train to a bus to the ship. Ship magnificent. She and Joe were greeted with champagne and warm towels.

Their stateroom gorgeous! King sized bed, flat TV screen, big closet, 2 sitting chairs, a coffee table and mini fridge. The bathroom large.

They were booked for an off ship flamenco dinner show. However, jet lag was beating them up. They opted to remain on board for dinner. The meal delicious. Then took in a Cuban music show. Jean said she could not keep awake. Her head kept bobbing. Left the show early for bed.

Jean has been in Spain 48 hours. She is already acclimated to the language and customs. Her good bye to me was “Adios!”

Attended Tosh’s memorial service at St. Paul’s yesterday afternoon. The respect for Tosh obvious. The Church was packed. I would estimate 400.

Service excellent. His children’s words touching. His grandchildren beautiful.

At the conclusion of the service, a Scottish bagpiper appeared. He played some tunes. Then led the Pastor, Tosh’s immediate family and close friends out a side door to St. Paul’s burial ground. His ashes were interned in St. Paul’s Memorial Garden and Columbarium in a private ceremony.

I started to write this week’s KONK Life column earlier in the afternoon. Could not put it together. Not the material. The set up on the computer. Got nothing done.

Sloan is due here this morning around 11:30 to set me up. Thank God for Sloan!

I hope she makes it. She will have to travel over Cow Key Bridge just before the race starts. A thousand people to get through.

I had planned dinner with Donna and Terri in the evening. Received an e-mail from Catherine earlier in the afternoon. I forgot I was supposed to join her for a sunset cruise anniversary party. Cancelled Donna and Terri. Understanding people.

The cruise was on a Southernmost Island Charter. A big vessel. One hundred fifty guests. Mostly members of the Key West Sunrise Rotary.

It was a 30th anniversary celebration. The host is a member of the Rotary and invited the members to join he and his wife.

Cruise 3 hours. Two in the sun. Followed by sunset. Then another hour on the water.

Food and refreshments excellent. A good time had by all.

The last time I did a sunset cruise was 5 years ago. Last night’s a reminder I should do it more often.

The Chorale Concert this afternoon at 4 at St. Paul’s. Fifty plus singers. Everything from Mendelssohn to Billy Joel.

A $20 donation requested at the door.

My day scheduled. Sloan and then actually writing this week’s KONK Life column. Followed by Hot Dog Church, the Chorale, and Kate Miano’s Gardens. Terri is singing.

I will only be able to make 2 of the 3, if I am lucky. Terri is a definite. The Chorale hopefully. Hot Dog Church will have to do without me this week.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

SESSIONS’ NAMESAKE GENERAL BEAUREGARD FIRED ON FORT SUMTER

On this day in 1861, the Civil War began. The Confederates bombarded Fort Sumter. By the next morning, Union forces were beaten and surrendered the Fort.

The Confederate forces were led by General P.G.T. Beauregard.

Beauregard a lovely name of the old South.

Attorney General Sessions’ full name is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. Sessions is named after his father whose parents gave him Beauregard as a middle name.

Not all Confederates supported the plan to bombard Fort Sumter. One in opposition was Confederate Secretary of State Robert Toombs. Toombs wrote Confederate President Jefferson Davis: “You will only strike a hornet’s nest. Legions now quiet will swarm out and sting us to death. It is unnecessary. It puts us in the wrong. It is fatal.”

Toombs thought negotiation could resolve any problems and that the Union would accept secession of the Southern states. He also believed the manufacturing power of the North would ultimately bury the agrarian South.

I mention Toombs’ words because they are similar to the purported words of the Japanese Admiral who lead the assault on Pearl Harbor. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is claimed to have said, “I fear all we have done is to awake a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Many believe Kumamoto so spoke. Historians disagree. His words actually film dialogue. The Admiral and his quote part of the movies Tora, Tora, Tora and Pearl Harbor.

Last night began with the Sons and Daughters of Italy dinner meeting.

One of the members Mac cooked. Chicken marsala and pasta. Delicious!

Mac has played a special part in the lives of Robert and Lisa. For seven years, I engaged Robert to play Santa Claus for them.

A great Santa Claus!

Robert and Ally are now too old to believe in Santa Claus. I intend to have Mac join Robert, Ally and me at some point for lunch.

A notable experience in the making! How many kids have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus years later when they no longer believe?

Headed over to the Chart Room afterwards. John bartending. David and another at the bar. The other Robert Coburn. Robert one of the other authors at the books signing two days ago.

We had never met before two days ago. We greeted each other last night like long lost friends.

Robert started writing five years ago as I did. He also is 82. I am one month older. He will be 83 in August and I in July.

We had a good time.

Robert a snowbird. His home in California’s Carmel. A lovely place. He is on a plane this morning to Carmel. He returns to Key West in June.

The Key West Citizen runs a daily column titled Citizens Voice. A place where people can complain/compliment. Mostly complaints.

A local apparently wanted to reflect on Key West sins. He wrote that as he ran a stop sign on his bicycle, he saw a man using a leaf blower to remove iguanas and chickens from a native tree he was about to cut down. The tree was located near the amphitheater where he had earlier heard the Navy loudspeaker booming. All this made him think about the snowbirds in illegal short term rentals.

Judge Robert Cical. An example of a life destroyed.

Judge Cical a jurist on New York’s Suffolk County District Court.

He became addicted to his 23 year old female neighbor’s dirty panties. He was breaking into her next door house to steal them. He was caught. Some of the panties in his pocket.

He has been arrested. His defense…..an urge made him do it.

Sexual predilections common today with many elected officials. Beginning with the President and working down.

I have revived my video Key West Lou Live on Facebook. Did my second show this morning. Discussed the new toy of the rich. Private railroad cars.

Join me at your convenience. Available any time of the day. Two-three minutes of interesting chat.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

MR. PRESIDENT…..WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

I refer today for the first time to Trump as Mr. President. Not because he has achieved that recognition in my mind. Because for the first time he may be leaning that way.

My concern Syria.

The President has challenged Putin for the first time. Especially this morning. Recognizes Russia as a partner with the bad guys in Syria and bearing responsibility for the gasings.

The President said he was going to do something re the chemical attack. That was over the weekend. All recognized time was of the essence. If there was to be retaliation, it had to be immediate. Don’t give Putin and others time to move their war machinery around, get ready for a military hit, etc.

The President screwed up. It is now wednesday. The too long a time has passed. Putin however kept it alive with his tweet that he and his friends had the where with all to knock down any missiles the US might shoot.

An added concern is that the US has at least 2 Naval vessels in the area that are subject to retaliatory missiles.

I believe we have no choice but to go for it. Destroy something big time in Syria. Take the gamble with Putin. He has thrown down the gauntlet. The US cannot do what Obama did. Nothing.

Note that Russia is in bad shape. Their economy is way down. The ruble fell again last week. Putin cannot afford an all out war.

I further believe if Putin sees the US is serious, he will back off on the rhetoric and find a way to quiet the confrontation. He has done such in the past.

I criticize the time it has taken with no reaction yet by the US. Where is our planning? Where have the CIA and military been? Plans should have already been prepared and held in abeyance till needed.

An obvious failure in Washington in protecting the US. This fault may include the Obama administration.

Yesterday, my first book signing. Sold ten books in 3 hours. Not disappointed. Did not think prior to the signing I would sell one.

More experienced authors Reef Perkins and Robert Coburn participated also. I doubt they sold more than 10 books each.

The problem was no one came. We were alone for 3 hours in the hot boiling Key West summer sun.

Ross Pipkin was part of the program. Ross does voice overs for books. He did a reading. Interesting and humorous.

I thank good friends Kate Miano and Lynda Frechette for attending. A Jane who I never met before.

Towards the end of the 3 hours, Bob and Stevie from the Chicago area arrived. We had never met before. They came especially to buy my book. Bob and Stevie are loyal readers of this blog.

They leave today for home. Hopefully, we will meet next year when they return. We agreed on the Chart Room.

My favorite female bartender Nicolle showed up with her partner Dara. Nicolle works at Antonia’s. She did not buy a book. Did not have to. She had already purchased a copy through Amazon. She brought the book in for signing. My pleasure!

The book signing was at the Andrews Inn. Michael and Albena new owners. Eight months. Albena from Belgium. The Inn was run down when purchased. They have fixed the place up. Irma interrupted and added to the renovations.

The Inn is lovely. Tiny adding to its quaintness.

Michael noticed the crowd was sparse. Actually, non-existent at one point. He showed ingenuity. Went out on the street and dragged about 20 tourists in. Induced them with the free food and drink. A smart guy. The Inn cannot fail.

The book signing was a charity fund raiser. Titled the Bow-Wow Meow Book Signing. A fundraiser for the SPCA. Help the dogs and cats.

Not much help yesterday. I feel guilty. I plan on sending a check.

I enjoyed doing my podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A mix of topics. Key West, Anchorage, and a little Trump. I try to include topics about what is going on involving persons other than Trump. He is available enough on the media.

The weather continues to be hot. Summer definitely here. Eighty six yesterday. And humid! Will be the same today.

Very likable and talented artist Jon “Tosh” McIntosh died last month. A memorial service will be held this saturday at 3:30 at St. Paul’s Church.

Sons and Daughters of Italy meeting tonight.

I was doing a Key West Lou Live video every day til about 2 months ago. Louis ranting and raving about some issue for a few minutes.

Renewed the show this morning. It is revived! Look for it daily on Facebook.

Enjoy your day!

 

FLORIDA PUBLIC BEACHES NO MORE

Strange laws are made. For strange purposes. By strange men.

Most Florida beaches have been public like forever. Now a law has been passed. One whereby beachfront property owners can kick people of the beaches.

The new law recognizes beachfront property owners to have claim to “the land above the mean high-water tide level.” Means private property beach owners can kick the public off beaches that heretofore were public.

The power behind the new law the rich. Wealthy beachfront homeowners and hotel owners.

Governor Scott owns a home on the beach in Naples. He was not concerned . He indicated people should not worry….rich people were unlikely to abuse their new powers.

As good as an assurance that it will never snow again in the Arctic.

Every now and then a person makes a special connection with Key West. Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett for example. Most recently, Diana Nyad.

Diana is a long distance swimmer. In 2013, she swam from Cuba to Key West. No easy task. Ever since, there has been a marriage between Diana and Key West.

She did not establish a residence. However does visit frequently. Key West honored her accomplishment with a memorial at the beach.

Irma knocked the hell out of certain parts of the lower keys. Many still recovering. Easy to understand when one realizes that 4,000 plus residential dwellings were destroyed in the keys as a whole.

Diana is in Key West for a month. Together with a group of friends. All runners, not swimmers. They are presently working every day along side Habit for Humanity repairing Irma damaged homes. Presently in the Big Pine area.

Key West showed its love to Diana. She is returning it ten fold.

Stability is lacking in our government. Tariff wars and sanctions lead to fighting wars.

Japan a perfect example. President Roosevelt was squeezing Japan in the time before Pearl Harbor. Japan had invaded China. Roosevelt wanted Japan out of China.

Japan a big importer of oil. Could not survive without oil. Roosevelt put the squeeze on Japan by placing an embargo on oil that normally would go to Japan from various parts of Asia. Plus, other sanctions.

Japan said…..Up yours! Pearl Harbor resulted.

Roosevelt was successfully choking Japan economically. Japan could have capitulated and agreed with Roosevelt’s terms which included Japan’s total withdrawal from China. Or, Japan could have taken the position you cannot do this to us and gone to war.

The answer we all know.

World War II resulted in a marriage of three nations. Germany, Italy and Japan. All fascist nations.

The Democracies plus Russia won World War II. Russia an immediate problem. However the Democracies kept Russia in tow.

In April 1945, Hitler committed suicide in a Berlin Bunker. Mussolini’s corpse was hung upside down at a gas station in Milan 2 days earlier. Following the War, Tojo was executed by hanging for war crimes.

Fascism for all intents and purposes was dead. Till recent years. It has returned. Big time. Trump the Pied Piper.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright wrote an interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times 4/6/18 re the issue of fascism titled: Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late.

Some countries were authoritarian leaning before Trump. Some since. Trump most definitely authoritarian. Another way of describing a fascist.

Other world leaders say if Trump can be a dictator of sorts, why can’t I? Leaders in Hungary, the Philippines, Poland and Turkey. Moves toward fascist states in Egypt, Syria and Venezuela. Russia under Putin already there.

Albright wrote that fascism on “the world stage is enhanced by the volatile Presidency of Donald Trump.”

I started this part of the blog discussing sanctions and tariffs being economic wars leading to fighting wars. China today is the U.S.’ primary adversary in an economic war. China a tough adversary. Would never even think of capitulating. Face too important.

So China will do everything to win the economic war Trump has guided us into with China.

Gao Feng, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said recently, “We will not start a war, we will definitely fight back…..No options will be ruled out.”

Feng was speaking of tariffs. However, the tariff war of today can easily turn into a fighting war tomorrow.

And who would we have to thank? Donald Trump!

A message to T-Shirt Jordan. Please send me your full name and address.

Forget not my Irma and Me book signing tuesday noon to 3 at Andrews Inn, Zero Whalton Lane, Key West.

Enjoy your day!

 

I’VE RETIRED FROM THE FIELD OF HOMOSEXUALITY

I have been coming to Key West for 30 years. Bought my home 20 years ago. In all that time, Key West has been One Happy Family.

Not so 10 years before I first came. The winter of 1979-80 was a time of flux. Straights versus gays. Violence commonplace. The gays generally on the losing end.

A bigoted man of God resided in Key West. A Baptist minister. His goal was to drive the deviates out of town. He bought an ad in the Key West Citizen. His position simple. He recommended 100 men with baseball bats walk down Duval Street and hit the “freaks” in the head.

The good minister claimed that was the way it was done in Key West in the days he loved and remembered.

One of Key West’s leading citizens at the time was Tennessee Williams. Thirty years a resident. Resided in a quaint bungalow on Duncan Street.

Williams had a gardener who cared for his grounds. The man was found in a pool of blood at his home. He had been killed by point blank shots to the head and neck.

The man was a friend. Williams took his death badly.

Six days after the gardener had been killed, William’s home was broken into. Vandalized, some minor thievery.

Williams was further disturbed. First time in 30 years anyone had invaded his home.

One month later, Williams and a house guest friend were coming out of the Monster. A gay disco off Duval. Late at night. Both men feeling no pain.

Williams and his friend were jumped by 4-5 guys. Williams struck and thrown to the ground. His glasses broken. His friend knocked down from a blow to the jaw.

The friend shouted they may have knives! Let’s get out of here! Williams refused. He stood his ground: “I am not in the habit of retreat.”

Some time thereafter, a group appeared in front of Williams home. They threw beer cans at the house. Shouted, “Come out, faggot.” Then threw fire crackers.

Williams and his friend were in the house. The fire crackers sounded like bullets. Williams and his friend thought they were under attack.

A little history.

Beginning in the mid 1960’s, Key West began becoming economically depressed. The Naval Base had significantly down sized, businesses were closing down. Many left.

It was then that the gays began arriving. They sensed Key West was a place for them. A place they could make home. They were like immigrants. Worked hard from day one to make Key West a better place.

With the gays came problems. Not just the disturbed minister. The gay improvements to the community caused real estate prices and taxes to go up. The gays were buying more and more property.

Some of the gays were not typical of non-gay Key West residents. For example, Williams’ gardener who was shot in the head several times was an eccentric. He would walk around Key West shouting, “I am a woman.”

Male prostitutes arrived on the scene. I find this fact amusing. If the new residents were gay, why did they need male prostitutes?

Drugs and crime accelerated. Assaults and battery common place. The gays were under siege.

Key West was Williams’ home. Had been for 30 years. He refused to leave. He also withdrew from sex at the time saying “I’ve retired from the field of homosexuality at present…..because of age, I have no desires.”

Williams understood why the gay community was being warred upon. Bad gays had followed the good gays to Key West. The bad ones were giving the good ones a bad name.

Key West soon became known as the Fire Island of Florida. Williams said the name did not fit. He viewed the bad gays and others as punks and predators.

Williams was possessed with foresight. He believed this anti-gay sentiment would pass. He firmly believed the violence would be gone by the next year. He was correct.

In the meantime, the Baptist minister kept ranting and raving. He threatened to bring Anita Bryant to Key West to assist in his anti-gay crusade.

The minister thought things would go one way or the other. He gave it 5 years. He took the position by the end of that time, there would be a revival of a “normal society” or the homosexuals would have taken over.

The good guys won.

During the winter of fire, Williams became exceptionally careful. He stopped walking or riding a bicycle down Duval late at night. He claimed he was “more frightened” in Key West “than I am in New York.”

Williams refused to leave Key West: “I have been here longer than they have and I’m not leaving.”

I never sensed the war like atmosphere when I arrived in Key West for the first time 10 years later. Gays owned businesses. Gays were in business with straights. No feeling of discrimination existed. Everyone loved everyone else. One Happy Family.

 

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR IN CONCERT…..OUTSTANDING

NBC did itself proud last night. Its presentation of Jesus Christ Superstar In Concert. The most recent interpretation of the rock opera which opened on Broadway in 1971.

Some of the comments describing last night’s show: Absolutely incredible…..Electrifying…..Emotional climax…..A resurrection of the inner spirit…..The end miraculous.

I saw the Broadway hit in 1972. The movie in 1973. The TV version last night. Each unique in its own way. Each pleasing, Last night’s perhaps the best.

The scaffold setting added another and different dimension to the show.

A perfect ending to Easter Sunday.

My Easter Sunday began at 9. Breakfast with Lisa and family.

I started a tradition when my children were small. An Easter egg hunt. Outside or inside depending on the weather. We often still had snow in upstate New York on Easter.

When the kids got too old, my wife and I did the hunt. Sometimes, my parents. Everyone whooping it up on the sidelines.

Then came grandchildren. The tradition continued.

Lisa continues the tradition with her children. At 13 and 12, they are too old to hunt for Easter eggs and baskets. Today, items teenagers can use. A new cellphone, items of clothing, etc.

Breakfast was at 9 at the conclusion of the hunt. Still fun.

I noticed Robert was now a young man when I saw him a few days ago.

Ally was a young lady yesterday. Dressed beautifully. Hair done. Carried herself with a bearing. As contrasted with a year ago when she did not care her hair was messy, her clothes equally messy, her conversation less than brilliant. Yesterday, she spoke with the adults like an adult.

Which means I am getting older. I grow as they grow. More an old man each year.

I rose at my usual 6 am  yesterday. Spent two hours researching for yesterday’s blog. Did not write it at the time. Showered and hustled over to Lisa’s.

Returned home at 12:30. Did the blog. Published late. Finished the blog at 2:30.

The balance of the day was one of rest.

Saturday evening I was out. The Sons and Daughters of Italy had a fundraiser for the organization’s scholarship fund. A bocce evening.

This was the second year for the bocce event. Last year considered a success because although for a first time, the club made money.

Saturday night better than last year. Last year, only 3 courts used. Saturday, all 7. The overflow walking around, watching the bocce games, enjoying sausage sandwiches washed down with beer or wine.

Most of those playing bocce were novices. They come to learn. Two experienced bocce members on each court teaching the participants the ropes.

Many worked to make the event a success. Bob Farrow headed the group. He and his helpers deserve much credit.

I tire easily. Saturday night made me feel tired sunday afternoon. I spent the rest of the day in bed. Watched Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. What would we have done without  Charlton Heston?

Then at 8, the magnificence of Jesus Christ Superstar!

For basketball enthusiasts, tonight the night of nights! The final game of the NCAA tournament. The championship Final Four game. The best of the best in men’s collegiate basketball to be determined.

Michigan/Villanova. At 9:20.

Villanova favored by 6.5 points. If Villanova sinks 3’s as the team did saturday night, Michigan does not stand a chance. On the other hand, I question whether Villanova can shoot that well two games in a row. Add to the mix that Michigan has reached this point with a stellar defense.

Should be a hell of a game!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

EASTER SUNDAY

Matthew 20:19…..On the third day he will be raised to life.

Luke 24…..He is not here, he is risen.

Such Easter Sunday’s religious joyous connotation. There also is another joyous one. In a popular sense. Best exemplified by Irving Berlin’s 1933 Easter Parade: In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.

I used to believe death was the only constant. Life has taught me otherwise. Change is a constant, also. Nothing remains the same. Nothing is as it was.

Easter Sunday attire is reflective of change. Big time. Mike Ragland is a retired police officer living in the Rome, Georgia area. He recently wrote a change type article for the Rome News Tribune titled “In Your Easter Bonnet.”

I have combined some of my thoughts with his for today’s blog.

The tale of Easter Sunday attire begins with Constantine I. Emperor of Rome in the early fourth century. He ordered his subjects to dress in their finest clothes and parade in honor of Christ’s Resurrection.

His decree developed with time.

In Tudor days, superstition originated which claimed that unless a person had new homespun cloth available at Easter, moths and crickets would eat his old clothes.

The Irish added a vestige that stated, “For Christmas, food and drink; for Easter, new clothes.”

A 15th century proverb from Poor Richard’s Almanac stated that if on Easter Sunday some part of the outfit was not new, one would not enjoy good luck during the year.

German settlers in Pennsylvania as early as 1782 paraded on Easter Monday. Easter Monday was widely celebrated as a holiday. The parading continued for over a century.

Then came the big one!

In 1870, ladies of congregations along New York’s Fifth Avenue began decorating churches with fresh flowers to commemorate Easter Sunday. A New York newspaper noted over half the female congregation members were decked out in their best finery while so doing.

A few years later, ladies and their escorts began walking to other churches to view floral arrangements and to be seen. The strolling area extended from 49th Street to 57th Street on Fifth Avenue.

By 1900, Easter Sunday  was rivaling Christmas as a merchant’s dream and was spreading to other cities.

Irving Berlin’s 1933 Easter Parade glorified the day as it had become. Fifteen years later, Judy Garland and Fred Astaire made the movie Easter Parade. One of the most profitable movies made to that time.

I am 82. In my youth, the whole family dressed on Easter Sunday. Where affordable, of course. I first noticed the everyone dressing up thing during World War II when I was 5-10 years old.

We dressed for church. Walked to and back from church as a family. Everyone smiling and exchanging hellos with neighbors and friends.

Followed by Easter Sunday dinner. Exceeded only by Christmas dinner.

The ladies wore hats. New ones, big ones, little ones, frilly and flowered.

I recall Easter Sundays in the 1960’s. Married with four little ones. We all dressed, went to church, and then to a huge family dinner.

The historical Easter Sunday and the one I knew is no more. A thought to be constant having disappeared. No one dresses as they did. Hats, what hats? Few families go to church together. Few go to church. The big meal, rare.

I am glad I was fortunate to have lived through those times. The memories real and warm.

My friends, whatever way you celebrate Easter Sunday, whatever you wear, whatever you eat, enjoy the day. This is what it is. Not bad, not as good, just the way it is.

Happy Easter!