WHAT A GLORIOUS FEELIN’…..I’M SINGING IN THE RAIN

The deluge has begun this morning. Amazing! So much rain on such a consistent basis.

Interestingly, no one appears to be upset with the rain. Including the tourists. They have been able to sneak in a few hours of sun bathing here and there.

The rain reminds me of Gene Kelly’s singing/dancing scene in the 1952 movie Singin’ In The Rain. A smile on his face.

Though the movie was produced in 1952, the title song was composed in 1929. Took a while to gain popularity.

The movie was not much of a hit when released. It took a few years. Today is considered the fifth best movie of all time.

The song rings in my head. The first 8 lines the most significant: “I’m singin’ in the rain / Just singing in the rain / What a glorious feelin’ / I’m happy again / I’m happy at clouds / So dark up above / The sun’s in my heart / And I’m ready for love.”

A lot of rain is best signified by what has fallen on Key West this month: 9.68 inches to date. The whole year to date: 13.25 inches. The numbers speak for themselves.

Now the good news (written with tongue in cheek). A tropical storm or hurricane is forming. Big rain. Will hit northern Florida sunday night. Alberto. Not expected to be bad. A category 1 if a hurricane.

After Irma, I find it difficult to believe anything re hurricanes. Hurricanes are fickle. They do  not move as anticipated. Nor are their winds always as projected. The storm has a will of its own.

Alberto can impact the lower Keys rather than northern Florida.

Alberto will be the topic of conversation in homes, around bars, etc. for the next 48-72 hours.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on next week’s KONK Life column. May actually write it this afternoon.

Driving to the Chart Room last night, I was surprised how little traffic there was. US 1 was not crowded at all, nor was the Boulevard.

It will all change beginning today. Heavy traffic anticipated for the Memorial Day Weekend.

Quiet at the Chart Room. Just John and I for a while. Then Omar came in. Met Omar for the first time.

Omar’s mother of Italian descent. Made for interesting conversation. Which got even better when Omar revealed he had gone to Syracuse University College of Law for a couple of months. He did not enjoy it. Left and got a Masters instead in Economics. Then worked on Wall street for years.

We live in scary times. Uncalled for, except for Trump’s antics.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis gave the commencement address to the Air Force Academy last night. Nine hundred eighty four new lieutenants. Four hundred heading for pilot training.

Mattis told the graduates to prepare for war…..They must be ready to fight and win.

A news item came to my attention this morning. The Air Force is considering calling 1,000 pilots out of retirement. For stints up to 48 months. A shortage of qualified pilots exists.

A U.S. war declaration has to be on most minds these days. The question arises as to who has the right to declare war. Most people believe it is Congress. Technically, yes. However the Presidency has usurped that power since the Korean War.

My KONK Life article on the stands at the moment is titled Right To Declare War. Read it, if you can. It explores the problem.

KONK life also publishes a daily internet news letter. E-Blast. This morning’s news letter carries the KONK Life column Right To Declare War, also.

Good basketball tonight. Cleveland/Boston. Boston up 3-2 in the playoffs. People are saying LeBron James older and tired whereas Boston’s players young and have more energy.

Cleveland has to win tonight or the season is over for them.

Wish you could be sitting with me and hear the rain in the background. The heavy rain driven by the wind. Sort of ominous.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GOING TO NEED NOAH’S ARK SOON

In my 30 years of living in and visiting Key West, I have never seen rain like we are experiencing. Especially this time of the year. May is normally a dry month. People talk about needing rain.

It poured again yesterday. All day! Heavy!

Streets are flooding that never flooded before. Amazing!

The Comcast saga continues. Repair man due yesterday between 1 and 3. Got a call at 2. Three to four hours behind. Will come tomorrow (today).

I have been without TV since thursday.

Visited Dr. Jones late afternoon. Received my various test results. No cancer. Do have a problem, however. Cleveland Clinic next for consultation. Surgery probable in due course.

I am ok. Mentally in tune with what is occurring.

Aqua after Dr. Jones. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Guest performer the lovely Laura Richardson. Laura the owner of Salt Gallery.

Met Laura’s parents. Both retired corporate attorneys. Key West residents. Enjoyed my conversation with her father. Her mom seated too far away for any meaningful conversation.

Rick Dery a director, also. He has directed Pride Follies for several years. This year’s show is June 2 at 8 in the evening at the Key West Theater.

Always a winner!

Word on the street is Bank of America on Southard closing. I have not been able to verify the information. If so, the building would make an excellent dance facility. I have always thought downtown Key West needed a place where everyone regardless of age could get out there and do their thing.

Zombies in southern Florida! Reported by a power outage alert sunday in Lake Worth. The outage affected 7,880 residents.

The “alert” reported power was lost “due to extreme zombie activity.” Obviously a bogus report. Or was it? Actual cause remains unknown.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Interesting topics. My opinions shared. Though not necessarily the same as those who are tuned in.

The show’s audience gets larger each week. I love it! My advertisers love it!

Join me for a fast moving half hour.

Pope Francis a breath of fresh air in the world of Catholicism. Two weeks ago, he said in speaking to a gay man: “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.”

The second time Francis has spoken in acceptance of homosexuality. A man of courage and conviction. The Bible tells us homosexuality is a sin.

Trump makes me laugh. He does not accept Venezuela’s election results. Phony, a sham. Earlier had threatened invasion. Now has fallen back to severe sanctions.

There are many tyrants elected in phony elections world wide. Putin, for example. Trump should threaten him and all other tyrants with invasion and/or severe sanctions.

Why pick and choose. Go after everyone.

The Trump administration continues on a fast track to dismantle Obama signature policies. Could Obama have been that wrong? Or is there another reason?

I suspect it may be because Obama is a person of color and Trump a racist. Or, it could be because Obama made fun of Trump at a White House Correspondents Dinner. When slighted, Trump has the memory of an elephant.

The Trump/Kim summit almost blew up. Trump may have saved it. John Bolton appears to have been the cause.

Bolton is crazy. A neo-con. A war hawk big time. Scares me.

In preliminary talks with North Korea, Bolton told the other side the U.S. supported a Libya Solution. Gaddafi was convinced to give up his nuclear program. Several years later, Gaddafi was found hiding in a sewer pipe, captured, tried and executed.

The North Koreans are not fools.

Some have suggested that Bolton’s meeting with his North Korean counterparts was an amateur hour.

The recent U.S./China trade talks another example of amateur hour play on the part of those representing the U.S. Nothing resolved. Problems kicked down the road.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mulchin should be sent back to Wall Street. He is neither qualified to be Treasury Secretary nor engaged in trade talks on behalf of the U.S.

Yesterday, Trump described Congressman Devin Nunes as “a very courageous man.” For pushing the DOJ and FBI for the name of an informant.

Recall Nunes’ support of Trump since day one. Running to the White House to report something that had happened in his Committee. More recently, having the House Intelligence Committee, which he Chairs, issue a majority report saying in effect no Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

I consider Nunes a stooge for Trump, an informant of sorts. He has forgotten his Congressional responsibilities in sucking up to the President.

An Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday causes me great concern. Note it was authored by Brigadier General Ronen Manelis of Israel’s Defense Forces.

The Jerusalem opening of the U.S. Embassy last week proved a disaster. At least initially. Now, I am not sure.

It was reported many Palestinians were protesting at the fence. On the Gaza side and unarmed. Israeli forces unloaded on them. Missiles, small fire, etc. Sixty two killed. Eight of them children. Two thousand seven hundred injured.

The world, including me, dumped on Israel.

Now it appears things may not have been as they appeared. Further investigation is required.

The Opinion claims the protest was funded by Hamas as a terrorist propaganda operation. Hamas provided free transportation to innocent citizens to the border, including women and children. These people were hired in effect as extras: $14 per person, $100 per family, and $500 if anyone was injured.

What is truth? The world should know.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

ROYAL WEDDING…..THE MOUNTAIN MOVED

Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding this morning a sight to behold. A royal wedding in all its splendor, yet simple.

I shed a few tears.

It was a wedding the likes of none would ever have thought could occur in stately conservative England. Megan a person of color. The ceremony combined her ancestry with that of England’s. The ceremony equally combining the traditions of the black and white races.

This coming together did not have its beginning today. It started with Prince Harry’s mother Diana. Were it not for her, the mountain would have not moved.

The ceremony signified the coming of a new age. A cultural togetherness. The door to a new era completely opened.

Comcast! Will the company ever learn? How Comcast has become the giant it is, I do not understand. The company cannot take care of the simple problems of its customers.

Yesterday, I could not change channels on my two TV sets with either remote. Spent a half hour on the phone. Comcast’s representative extremely helpful. But, could not solve the problem.

Advised me to go to nearest Comcast and ask for the XR-15. Comcast’s most recent remote. I told her service at the local Comcast completely inept. I had no choice, however.

Brought the old remotes as directed. Asked to trade for 2 XR-15’s. Was told they had no XR-15’s. Only 2 of the model I had brought in.

When can I get XR-15? I don’t know. I pressed, explaining I was told to get the XR-15. Asked her to bring my record up on the computer. No time. I was the only customer with 2 Comcast employees in attendance.

Seeing I was adamant (politely so), she now told me she had made a mistake. The 2 remotes she gave me were XR-15’s.

Who was bullshitting who here? I took the remotes and walked out. Too old to wage war. I assume the 2 new remotes should work bevcuse they are the same model I had returned.

My next problem is doing whatever has to be done to get the remotes synchronized with the sets. This is a task my generation was not prepared for.

The Chart Room and Hogfish last night. Especially enjoyed Hogfish. Sat at the corner of the bar and people watched.

A Conch train and a pedestrian came into contact early last evening near the intersection of Truman and White. The train was empty. The pedestrian thought to be homeless. He was helicoptered to Miami.

No further news available.

Bocce playoffs begin today. Assuming the courts are dry.

I miss playing.

My team Don’s Place did not make the playoffs. Sad. Maybe they need me back.

Larry Smith’s team Not Don’s Place did make the playoffs. I telephoned Larry to congratulate him.

Another school shooting yesterday. This time outside Houston, Texas. The Santa Fe High School. Ten dead, ten wounded.

Trump was on TV almost immediately. His usual utterings. Terrible, been going on for years, no decades. Like it is not his fault in any fashion. Claimed  he is committed to putting an end to the shootings.

Trump speaks with a forked tongue. He rattled in a similar fashion following the Parkland shooting 3 months ago which resulted in 17 deaths. Recall, he even brought students, teachers and parents to the White House. Said he was not afraid of the NRA. He was going to do something about the shootings.

Two weeks ago, Trump spoke before the NRA Convention. He was clear in his support:  You have a friend in the White House.

Relationships are disintegrating. Swifter than in previous times. Even world leaders speak openly in disparaging terms with those they disagree. Respect lacking.

Trump bears significant responsibility. He bad mouths everyone. A tough talker. The bully standing on the corner.

License to orally degrade has spread swiftly. Benjamin Netanyahu’s son an example. His name. Yair. Yesterday, Yair redid the wording on a Turkish flag and ran it on Instagram: Fuck Turkey.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

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!

 

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!

A BEGUILING HISTORY…..THE SOUTHERNMOST HOUSE

Big trees from little acorns grow.

The story of Key West. A tiny island 4 x 2.5 miles. A huge history. Whatever the eye can see, a story anxious to be told.

The Southernmost House. 1400 Duval Street. The corner of Duval and South Streets.  An historic mansion sitting on the Atlantic Ocean.

The Southernmost was built in 1897 by Judge Jeptha Vining Harris. The cost $250,000. An extremely huge sum in those days.

The Judge’s wife was Florida Curry. Florida was the youngest daughter of William Curry, Florida’s first millionaire.

A three story structure. Queen Anne Victorian in design. Open water views. Public rooms, two story balconies, and large glass stained windows to catch the ocean breezes.

Elegant.

The new Curry home had one oddity. Only one bedroom.

Electricity was a novelty at the time. Florida retained the services of Thomas Edison to oversee the design and installation of an electrical system.

Socialization and entertainment on a humongous scale took place during the years the Judge and Florida resided in the House.

Soon came the prohibition years 1919-33. An air conditioning system was installed. Air conditioning as new as electricity was when installed.

The use of the mansion changed. It became a speakeasy. The first floor was turned into a restaurant. The second was utilized for casino gambling. The third for “socializing.”

The Southernmost was visited during the prohibition years by celebrities and gamblers. The House was a stop over on the way to Havana.

The 1940’s found the House being turned into a night club. The Cafe Cayo Hueso. A gathering place for the rich and famous. Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Tallulah Bankhead, Louis Armstrong, and Charles Lindberg.

The Southernmost was completely renovated in 1949 for use once again as a private residence. Many dignitaries visited. Spain’s King Juan Carlos, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter.

Today, the Southernmost House has acquired a new dignity and elegance. One bedroom when constructed in 1897. Now a class 18 room bed and breakfast.

Spent yesterday afternoon at Hot Dog Church with Donna, Terri and friends. A weekly lesbian gathering. Good food and company. A few males are welcome. I am one of them.

The event is held at Aqua’s Back Bar. Lauri in charge.

Later in the evening, I enjoyed a light dinner with Donna and Terri at their home.

Bear is getting big. Only 18 weeks old. Looks full grown already. Well trained. I am still his buddy. He lay next to me with his leg on mine.

Terri singing tonight! She is the featured performer at Aqua’s Dueling Bartenders. The place will be packed with those wanting to hear Terri sing.

I am doing the blog late this morning. I had to be at the hospital early this morning for a barium swallow test. Suspect I will be in Miami in June for surgery.

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!

 

 

 

NORWAY……HEALTHCARE AND COLLEGE EDUCATION FREE

Heard from Jean Thornton yesterday. Key West’s Golden Girl was in Bergen, Norway. She and Joe had just finished lunch. Jean, soup and a beer. Joe, fish and chips and a beer. Cost, $75.

My first impression, WOW! Lord, save me from Norway!

The WOW understandable. On the other hand, in spite of the cost of the lunch, Norway may not be a bad place to live.

Healthcare is free. A public education through college is free. The country has a comprehensive social security system.

Norway is considered the star of 21st century socialism.

It has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Forty six weeks paid parental leave. An average hourly wage among the highest in the world. An average hourly productivity level also among the highest in the world.

Norway is the largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East. It has the fourth highest per capita income in the world. The second wealthiest country in the world in monetary value, with the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation.

On top of it all, a low crime rate. No need to steal where the government in one fashion or another takes care of its own.

There is also a negative side. Not sure if negative is the correct word. Norway’s cost of living (excluding housing) is 52 percent higher than in the United States. Probably the reason Jean and Joe had to pay $75 for lunch.

Watched Trump speak to the NRA convention in Dallas yesterday afternoon. His cry…..Elect Republicans to save gun rights!

The man respectfully is a whore. I recall how several months ago he sat in the White House and told students, teachers and parents following the 17 Florida high school shooting deaths that no one should be afraid of the NRA. He was not, suggesting he was finally prepared to stand up to the NRA.

He made clear yesterday before the NRA that his words in the White House were for show. Yesterday he said, ” We will never give up our freedom. We will live free and we will die free.”

He was Teddy Roosevelt and the audience was ready to follow him up the hill.

The Chart Room again last night. Spent considerable time chatting with John and David.

Stopped at Five Guys on the way home. They have cheeseburgers wrapped in lettuce. Perfect for my diet. Enjoyed two.

Big day today! The Kentucky Derby!

I have been privileged to attend many major sporting events. Never a Kentucky Derby, however. Doubt I will in the future. Can’t do everything.

Rain predicted for this afternoon. The track may be a bit muddy. A horse called Justify the favorite. I do not follow the horses so I know nothing about him.

I have three places to watch the race. Don’s Place, the Chart Room, and Bob and Donna’s. Don’s Place always fun. Never watched the race at the Chart Room. Bob and Donna’s sure to be a great house party.

Recently, I have been referring to Netanyahu and Trump as birds of a feather. They are. Especially in the area of lying. Truth means nothing to them.

Netanyahu has been on a kick re Iran for a year. Especially the past week. He did a drama made for TV. Charts, diagrams, etc. Some even in color.

All to provide Iran nuclear information. Poorly stated. Actually, Iran nuclear disinformation. Turns out much of the material he relied upon was old and known. That not old, he fabricated. Significantly.

Netanyahu and Trump want war with Iran. Trump could get it now that he has Bolan and Pompeo as aides.

If a war should erupt with any country, it will be nuclear. Trump, his staff and family will be safely beneath some mountain in the West. While you and I will be scurrying to find a table to hide under.

Another problem seems to be overwhelming us. Lying is becoming acceptable. We don’t get upset when a political leader lies today. We have come to expect and accept lying. The kind Trump engages in.

A study suggest Trump lies 6.5 times a day and has lied more that 3,000 times since taking office.

Enjoy your day!