ANOTHER DAY OF BEAUTIFUL SOUND

Terri White two days in a row! Nothing could be better!

Terri was guest performer last night at Aqua. She participated with Tom Luna and Rick Dery in Dueling Bartenders.

Her voice…..Magnificent! The woman a top notch vocalist. The crowd went crazy for her tune renditions.

The entire show was good. How could it not be? A trio of great singers…..Tom Luna, Rick Dery and Terri White.

Do yourself a favor. Stop by some monday evening 5:50-8-00 and enjoy!

Tom looking better. Still recovering from a kidney stone surgery. Needs to put back on a few more pounds.

Donna was there, of course. The lovely Jean Thornton, also. She leaves tomorrow for her home in Birmingham. Key West will not know her again till October 15. I will miss her.

Sheila and John at the end of the bar.

Joe Phillips came over to say hello. We had met some time back. He and his wife relatively new to Key West. His wife, Andrea Phillips. Both veterans. Several tours of duty each. Joe’s first actual war engagement was Kuwait.

Donna and others were headed over to Antonia’s for dinner. The $10 summer pasta special. Too many carbs for me. I am protecting my diet. Begged off. Went to Sandy’s Cafe instead for a Cuban cheese toast and diet soda.

I mentioned yesterday that Antonia’s appeared to be closed at this time of the summer. I was wrong. Only sundays till the end of September.

Cuban dancing music saturday night in Key West. At the Key West Theater. The show Havana Nights Cuba. A combination of Havana spirits and Latin rhythms.

The beat exciting!

Sometimes the public is kept ignorant. Intentionally. I came across an item this morning that has not appeared yet in the media. It involves Peter Strzok, the FBI Special Agent fired this week. Trump considered his firing a great victory.

The information I came across indicated Strozk still a Federal employee. He had two jobs. Worked for the FBI and CIA. He is the Section Chief of the CIA’s Counterespionage Group. Served as such in recent years while also serving as Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.

If true, the man was sheep dipped. In intelligence work means he had an alternate identity.

True or false? Time will tell. Quickly, I assume.

If true, nothing wrong with it. Merely shows Trump is not as smart as he thinks. He does not know everything. Nor do those who closely work with him.

The crazies keep coming out to public view. Persons way out who want to be in government.

The most recent is New York’s Carl Paladino. A very wealthy man. Lives in New York’s 27th Congressional District. The Buffalo-Rochester area. The District where present Representative Chris Collins announced following his arrest for insider trading that he would not be running for reelection.

The seat a solid Republican one.

Paladino totally off the wall. He ran for Governor against Cuomo. Lost by 30 points. He was Co-Chair of Trump’s New York Campaign.

Similar to Trump in many ways. Loud, conservative and known for insulting people.

He reminds me of Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan. One difference. Jordan is a pussy compared to Paladino.

Paladino is anti-immigrant. In 2015, he bemoaned “non-Americans walking around.” Another time, he denounced the “damn Asians coming here to go to school.”

Even worse, he is anti-black. Anti-Obamas definitely. He once said of Barack Obama, “Barack should die from mad cow disease.” Not a friend of Michelle’s either: “A man who should go live with gorillas.”

The nuts run because normal people are reluctant to enter today’s extremely dirty political fray.

Paladino is running in a Republican primary for the seat.

Strange things happen. This one I do not understand. There has to be a legitimate reason for it. George Papadopoulos is scheduled to be sentenced September 7 for lying to the FBI. He has been cooperating with the Mueller team.

Mueller obtained a protective order yesterday to prevent/prohibit the release of evidence bearing on Papadopoulos. The Court granted Mueller’s request for the protective order immediately.

Does not mean anything wrong. Unusual, however.

Omarosa and the tapes. Wowie! She spent 15 years working with Trump. First on the Apprentice and then in the White House. A long relationship. In some fashion, she is going to blow the whistle on the President.

The 15 year relationship does not make sense. Trump not known for long term relationships. There has to be a glue that kept them together. It would be extremely amusing if one or more of the tapes involved sex.

Tonight the night! My podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting and eye opening occurrences.

Join me. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

KICK ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE DOWN…..THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

The U.S. and Turkey are supposedly friends. Both led by authoritarian figures. Trump and Turkey’s President Erdogan. Birds of a feather.

Turkey has always been considered a key American ally. The U.S. has a large military base there. There is also a NATO base.

Friends no more. A pissing match instead. Trump is irritated Erdogan will not release an American minister it has held prisoner since 2016. Trump suggested an exchange. Some Turkish citizen the U.S. has been holding.

Erdogan said no. No one says no to Trump. Especially another authoritarian figure. As far as Trump is concerned, it is his way or the highway as far as Turkey is concerned.

Turkey has been hurting economically. Its currency fell to a record low this morning. Inflation 17.75 percent. The country is on the verge of an economic meltdown.

Turkey’s crisis has made the American dollar strong when pitted against Turkish currency.

Friday Trump delivered a major blow to Turkey. All because Turkey continued to refuse his demand that the minister prisoner be released. Trump doubled the tariffs already imposed on Turkey as part of the tariff wars. Aluminum rose to 20 percent and steel 50 percent.

Trump tweeted friday with the news: “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

European and Asian stock markets have reacted to the tariff increases. The feud perhaps the start of a world wide recession similar to 2008. Though not considered imminent at this time. Turkey’s economy ranks only 17th world wide.

My concern is it only takes a spark to start a forest fire. One of the major California fires still burning a perfect example.

Trump is kicking a “friend” while the friend is down. Not what friends are for!

Now to my yesterday.

Brunch 10 to 12 at Hard Rock Cafe. Terri White was singing with Larry Baeder. A WOW! Great show! Performances outstanding! Be certain to go next week. Terri and Larry will regularly appear at brunch time every sunday.

For a blind woman, my girl does terrific!

Terri has another gig tonight. She is singing with Dueling Bartenders Tom Luna and Rick Dery at Aqua.

Go girl, go!

Spent the afternoon watching the PGA. Excellent golf. Brook Koepka won. By 2 strokes over Tiger Woods.

Brook has won 3 of the last 6 majors. Only 28. He has only one other win. A tour win. Unusual for someone who has won three big ones.

Tiger gets better every week. He is due back as a winner soon. And then a consistent one.

Tiger shot a 64 yesterday. His putting not yet what it was. Had a few dropped, he would have won.

On one of the last holes, he hit a 40 foot plus putt. It hung on the lip of the cup. Everyone holding their breaths waiting for it to drop. It did not.

Jean Thornton and I partied together last night. Began at the Orchid Bar. Victor bartending.

I meet a lot of interesting people. A couple I met at the Orchid Bar last night, one of the most interesting.

Dan and Pam. Now hail from Largo, Florida.

Dan is retired from the New York City Carpenter’s Union. Pam still working. Bookkeeper for general contractors.

Dan described two jobs he was especially proud of. One was the scaffolding when the Statue of Liberty was being shaped up. The other involved something to do with a major job at the UN where he had 80 men working under him.

Then to the Rum Bar. Jean and I not traveling together. Jean rides her bicycle all over town.

The Rum Bar will be a regular sunday stop for me. My friend Lauri the bartender there sunday evenings. Left Aqua after 17 years to work the Rum Bar.

With Lauri running the show, the Rum Bar is quickly becoming a new locals place. Donna and Terri, Sally, Ingrid, Art and George there when Jean and I arrived.

Jean and I decided on Antonia’s for dinner. Closed. Must be shut down for the slow days of August and September.

No problem. We went across the street to La Trattoria.

We had a terrific time! Jean a wonderful companion.

Tiffany bartending. She mentioned we have known each other for 25 years. True!

Dinner done. I was tired. Jean still raring to go. I went home. Jean peddled her bike to Vino’s.

The white nationals/supremacists were holding a major rally in Washington yesterday. Publicized Unite The Right 2. Turned out to be a flop. Only a small contingency of the group appeared.

Why?

These are bad people. Fascists, Neo-Nazis, and KKK members. They believe there is only one race. The white race.

They became empowered by Trump’s statement following Charlottesville last year. The President supported them. Seemed to legitimize them.

I think they realized though the President supported them, most of the people did not. The vermin disappeared back into the woodwork instead of participating in the rally.

This does not mean they will not return to raise havoc another day. They will. They are mostly young whites. Some are your neighbors, though you are not aware of their political leanings.

Be on your guard.

For the past several years, I have written and spoken re Afghanistan and its opium fields. Ninety percent of the heroin on American streets comes from the poppy seeds grown in Afghanistan.

How so if the U.S. has been engaged in a war in Afghanistan for 16 years? The poppy fields neither attacked or destroyed. Poppy farming goes on. Heroin a thriving business.

I have consistently suggested someone has to be on the take.  More than one. Too much drug money involved for it not to be so.

A recent government report indicates that as the Afghanistan war progressed, opium production increased. Even though the U.S., separate from war dollars, has spent $8.62 billion between 2002 and 2017 in an effort to eradicate the opium problem.

The attempt to eradicate an absolute failure. As the report stated: “Afghanistan remains the world’s largest opium producer, and opium poppy is the country’s largest cash crop.”

Enjoy your day!

CONSISTENCY LACKING

My yesterday afternoon was spent watching the PGA and Tiger Woods. I frequently hit the remote to see what was going on in Charlottesville.

Tiger was terrific everywhere, except on the greens. His putter failed him. Yet, he is only 4 behind going into the final round today.

Charlottesville not what I expected. The opposition to the white nationals was not organized. There were few protesters also. The media described them in the hundreds rather than the thousands.

What I saw on TV was a strong police presence. The authorities ready for whatever was going to happen. A tight ship was run. No permits were allowed for anything.

Many of the protesters were University of Virginia students. Their cry…..Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand!

Internet photos indicate few blacks protesting. Most of the students white.

Fortunately, the event was largely devoid of conflict.

It also failed to make a clear response in opposition to white nationalism.

If groups are going to oppose what I view as a growing cancer, they must plan better their rallies and protests so the message will be clear. Yes, cops are a problem. Decidedly. However lets not confuse the message. One issue at a time.

I have a feeling the demonstration in Washington today will be much different. The white supremacists will be out in force. It is their rally. I expect those in opposition who failed to show in Charlottesville will be there in large number also.

Chart Room first last night. Met a couple from Fort Lauderdale. His 14th year visiting Key West. Comes down for Lobsterfest each year. His companion a former Miss Norway. Looked just as I would have expected a Miss Norway to look. Beautiful. Light skinned, blond hair. Great smile.

A point to be made. Several months ago, Trump said in effect immigrants should come from Norway. That all white look! Similar to Hitler’s desire for an Aryan race. Light skinned blond men.

Left the Chart Room and headed for Duval. Walked a few blocks through Lobsterfest. Lobsters being cooked every which way. The smells delicious.

I was hungry. Did not buy a lobster, however. I don’t like Florida lobsters. Guess I am a snob. Prefer Maine lobster. The taste is different.

Drove to Hogfish for dinner. Packed as if it were season. Luckily found a seat at the bar.

Nothing dramatic occurred. I talked to no one. No one seemed to want to talk with me. I enjoyed my fish and people watched.

I was home in bed before 9:30.

I missed Captain Tony’s birthday party Friday night. Of his 13 children, I only know daughter Toni. A kind person. She e-mailed me yesterday forgiving me in effect for not showing up. Closed her message with “Next year!!!”

Terri sings this morning at Hard Rock Cafe. During brunch. From 10-12. I have to hustle to get there on time.

Tonight, Jean Thornton.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

DAVID WOLKOWSKY’S PIER HOUSE MOTEL AT DUVAL-ON-THE-GULF

The best laid plans of mice and men…..

Last night was to be Captain Tony’s at 8 for his 102nd birthday bash. Thought it would be fun. Locals and tourists combined.

Never made it.

I enjoy researching. Can be a trip! Occasionally, a drudge.

Began researching at 2 yesterday afternoon. I was right into it. It was quickly 7. I was enjoying myself. Decided to skip Captain Tony’s party. I was confident he would not miss me.

I worked till 2 am. Dead this morning.

Tomorrow morning from 10 to noon, Terri White sings! With Larry Baeder at Hard Rock Cafe. Brunch time. Terri will be appearing every sunday morning with Larry.

I plan on having brunch at Hard Rock tomorrow morning. My lady entertains!

David Wolkowsky is responsible for the Key West of today. No one had his vision when he opened the Pier House in 1968. Actually, on this day in 1968.

Called the operation the Pier House Motel-At-Duval-On-The-Gulf. Fifty rooms.

David a person who could see whether others could not. The Duval location was nothing but a mud pit when he decided to develop it.

David has had many accomplishments. One notable is Jimmy Buffett. Buffett will tell you David was the first person in Key West to pay him to sing. In the Pier House Chart Room, of course.

David not yet a 100. He has a ways to go. He will be 99 later this month. I received my invitation to his birthday party yesterday.

Mom’s Tea Room was a popular place back in the 1930’s and 1940’s. A bar with ladies of the night. Even in the day time.  A house of ill repute. A whore house.

If my recollection is correct, she operated at different times at 3 locations. Two in Key West and one on Stock Island. The authorities kept closing her down. The local police were not concerned. The federal government was. The Navy base was large in those days. The Navy did not feel it proper for their men to frequent a place like Mom’s.

On this day in 1941, Mom’s Tea Room was located near Fort Zachery Taylor. The constabularies raided the place. Three of Mom’s ladies were arrested.

Recall the power outage I reported this week. The one that occurred thursday night while I was at the Blue Macaw. The power outage was caused by a sailboat that struck a transmission line at the north end of the Seven Mile Bridge.

Irma beat up the Key West Shipwreck Museum. Located at 1 Whitehead. Recently reopened. The Museum has a 65 foot tower. The view spectacular. The island and Key West Harbor.

The Museum and tower are free to locals through September 30. Take advantage!

The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard are friends. We have lived together since way before World War II.

Friends take care of each other.

This past week, a fishing boat was out 63 miles northwest of Key West. A man on board was thought to have had a heart attack. The Naval Air Station was called. A Coast Guard boat arrived swiftly.

The crew recognized the man required immediate attention. A helicopter was called. The helicopter arrived in 9 minutes.

A medic was lowered from the helicopter. Arranged for the man to be lifted to the helicopter. He was flown to Lower Keys Medical Center. He is in stable condition.

Today and tomorrow tumultuous ones. Our country’s dark side will be exposed. Today, Charlottesville. Tomorrow, Washington, D.C.

Today is the one year anniversary of what could be described as the Charlottesville race riot. A wound opened. Exposed. A President who indicated support for the bad guys. By so doing, blatantly evidencing his racism.

White nationalists were on the march. Persons of color and those supporting them in opposition.

The vermin came out of the woodwork.

White nationalists are pro-white. Supportive of those who have come to America from European countries. They are white. Nazis at heart. Supportive of Hitler and his beliefs. Anti-Semitic.

An advanced U.S. group consists of those with extreme far right leanings. They are known as the alt-right. Whether extreme, all are white supremacists.

They Heil Hitler! Use the Nazi verbiage, Sieg Heil!

Primarily young. Difficult to distinguish or be aware of their political leanings. Your next door neighbor.

They believe white people are a race unto themselves. Whites presently are a majority in the U.S. They want to maintain that majority. They believe non-whites are on a mission of genocide to destroy whites. They seek to protect their own.

They are anti-immigration. Immigration allows additional non-whites to enter the country.

Trump supports them. They support Trump. They are part of the hard-core Republican conservative base that supports Trump.

They claim history supports their position.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 set forth the rules for granting naturalized citizenship. Immigration was limited to those who were “free white persons” of “good moral character.”

The law remained such till the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868. Did not blanket cover everyone, however. Granted citizenship only to black people born in the U.S.

The issue as to other non-whites was resolved in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898. Allowed for naturalization to be available to everyone.

John C. Calhoun is a respected historical figure. Never the less, he was pro white and anti all other persuasions. He said, “We have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race – the free white race…..Ours, sir, is the Government of a white people.”

I took the time this morning to spell out in some detail the background, etc. re the white nationalists. They are the enemy of our democracy. They seek to change it. By so doing, destroy it.

You will hear much on the media today and tomorrow re Charlottesville and Washington happenings. Our country may bleed a little.

Understand what is going on.

Enjoy your day!

 

USE IT OR LOSE IT

Use it or lose it applies in various circumstances. The one referenced today involves saying what you want and having it read by thousands of persons.

I refer specifically to the Citizens’ Voice portion of the Key West Citizen. Page 2, left hand column. There every day. I would assume one of the most popular sections of the paper.

The Citizens’ Voice allows persons to express themselves/vent freely on any issue.

The newspaper prints comments received. Even in those instances where the paper’s policy might disagree.

There was no Citizens’ Voice in this morning’s edition. Instead the Key West Citizen advised there were not enough comments to run in today’s newspaper. Further advising that “hopefully” the section could resume being printed in the Weekend Edition.

I know very few Key West residents who do not have an opinion on something. Complaining commonplace in the Keys. Get back on your soap boxes and let the world know what you think!

Participate in the Citizens’ Voice.

Use it or lose it.

The turtles are hatching. Babies waddling to the ocean. An exciting yearly event.

Not without danger, however.

Take Smathers Beach for example. Many turtle nests. The babies hatch generally at night. Their immediate goal the ocean. They are attracted to the ocean by the light of the moon. They travel towards the moonlight eventually finding their way to water.

A problem arose several years ago at Smathers Beach. On the other side of the road from the beach are condominiums and hotels. The turtles were being confused by the lights of the buildings. They were more confused by the street lights. Assumed it was moonlight. Headed towards the lights. Many were being run over by cars as they crossed the highway.

Key West did the right thing. It always does for its friends from the sea. They ordered the street lights on South Roosevelt Boulevard to be turned off at night during the hatching season. That alone significantly helped the situation. Baby turtle deaths reduced to almost nothing.

There is a Key West Sea Turtle Club. I believe recently formed. They have been out this hatching season marking nests and otherwise being concerned for the safety of the baby turtles.

Big party tonight! Celebration of what would have been Captain Tony’s 102nd birthday. Captain Tony’s at 8 o’clock. Going to be a blast!

It is almost a year since Irma hit. The havoc wrought still being experienced. This morning’s Key West Citizen in a major front page article re the need for affordable housing mentioned that 4,000 homes in the Keys were destroyed by Irma.

Many still without proper accommodations. The housing need existed before Irma. However with Irma, it has become significantly more pronounced.

The Keys need affordable housing!

One admonition. Make sure it is “affordable.”

My yesterday began with an 11:30 haircut appointment with Lori. Seventeen years she has been cutting my hair.

I had a difficult time getting to her place of business on the corner of White and Virginia. There had been an accident 15 minutes before. One of the vehicles plowed into the building where Lori’s salon is.

Lori said the building shook.

Then to Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down for lunch. The Sandy’s Federal court dispute has been resolved. The details of the resolution not public. Why, I do not know.

The Chart Room last night. A locals’ evening. Steve and Cindy, Sheila, David, Jean Thornton,  and Cori Convertino. A good time was had by all.

I was hungry. Decided on Blue Macaw. Love the place! Food and drinks cheap. Atmosphere terrific. People friendly. And they have parking!

Did wings. Could only enjoy 6 of the 9 presented. I was easily full. My long term diet responsible. I eat significantly less now.

I was up to 257 pounds. My doctors got on my ass. Lose weight! I did and I didn’t. Cut back on eating and drinking for a few months. Dropped to 245. Then my fourth heart catheterization. The Miami doctor looked at me sternly and said lose 40-50 pounds more.

I did not like his attitude. But, I listened.

I began serious dieting November 27th last year. Today, I am 202 pounds. Still going! Intend to break 200.

Amazing!

Blue Macaw’s Happy Hour menu has helped in recent weeks. I order wings or ribs. That’s dinner!

Met Tim at the Blue Macaw bar. Tim is the plumber at Ocean Key House. Nice guy. We talked of many things.

The lights went out while at the bar. Everything black. Someone yelled out the power was down from Marathon to Key West.

A power failure has its disadvantages. The bartenders cannot run credit cards. Pay by cash or wait til the power comes back on. Fortunately, I had cash. A rarity for me these days. I have gotten to using my credit card for everything. Even small purchases.

Hypocrisy an eye opener. Gives us the opportunity to recognize people who fudge or speak out of both sides of their mouth.

Trump a major hypocrite.

His in-laws the most recent example. Melania’s parents.

They became U.S. citizens yesterday. Good for them! Congratulations! Happy they could join us.

The problem is how they became citizens. Trump has severely criticized persons who become citizens because they are sponsored by a family member. He refers to it as “chain migration.”

Trump wants the law repealed. Claims it is harmful to the U.S. Permits “everyone” to come in.

Melania is a naturalized citizen. She sponsored her parents.

No comment by Trump.

I would not be here today if immigration laws were not loose and chain migration in some form had not existed back when.

My grandfather came over around the turn of the century (1900). I do not know how. He was 12 and never knew his parents. He was a bastard.

My grandmother came over a couple of years later. I do not know under what authority. My grandparents did not meet nor know of each other till they were in the U.S.

My mother came over via a chain migration situation. She was born in Italy. Her father came a few years earlier. She, her mother and brothers, followed as his dependents.

Immigration obviously simpler back then.

I often think of my ancestry and smile. Running through my  mind each time is the thought that had my people not immigrated, I would probably ended up a sheep herder in a field outside Naples.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

CAPTAIN TONY…..I BEAT THE MAFIA

Captain Tony Tarracino an icon. Part and parcel of Key West. Died at 92. His 102nd birthday being celebrated friday night at 8 at Captain Tony’s.

A crowd guaranteed. Family and friends. Tourists.

A unique personality. Tony is remembered as a salon keeper, boat captain, rum runner, gun runner, politician, gambler, Key West mayor, and a story teller.

Married several times. Actual number not certain. Perhaps 4. Married to his last wife 38 years. Fathered 13 children.

Jimmy Buffett a good friend. Ran one of Tony’s mayoral campaigns. When Tony died, Buffett wrote a song commemorating him: Last Mango In Paris. The song’s opening line…..”I went down to Captain Tony’s / To get out of the heat / Heard a voice call out to me / ‘Son come have a seat’.”

Tony’s father was a bootlegger. Tony dropped out of school at 9 to sell liquor. Illegal at the time.

Tony was lucky to get to Key West.

He got involved with the New Jersey Mafia. Screwed them on some horse races. Became persona non grata. The Mafia thought they killed him in retribution. Dumped his body somewhere in New Jersey. He was not dead. Got out of Dodge. Escaped to Key West.

I only know one of Tony’s children. A daughter nick-named Tony who is a concierge at the Marriott Beachside. Warm and charming. Look forward to seeing her friday night at the birthday party.

Key West a money maker for investors! Developers have faith Key West prosperity will continue. It was announced yesterday that a San Francisco group KHP Capital Partners had purchased six Key West guest houses. A package deal. One hundred nine million dollars. Two hundred twenty two guest rooms.

The Key West City Commission gave formal approval to the proposed “pocket park” at the Atlantic end of Duval. A group will rent the last block from the City. Perhaps the pier. I am not sure.

Tables and chairs will be set in the street. Nine parking places to be removed. Food will be served from the Southernmost Beach Cafe and the Southernmost Guest House. A food truck will be located on the Guest House property.

I do not approve. The Bubba system at its worst. The street and its view should be left as is. Nature already perfect. Does not require upgrading.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. A friend from last year at the bar. Gordon Anderson from Tombstone, Arizona.

Gordon runs the Larian Motel in Tombstone. Two blocks from O.K. Corral.

A year changed nothing re our political views. Gordon remains firm in his conviction that Trump is the right guy to be President. He has faith in him. Believes in him. Has hope for Trump’s Presidency.

Gordon appears to be one of the 89 percent Republicans who remain supportive of the President.

The give and take was excellent. Just as it was last year.

Then to the Blue Macaw for ribs and a drink. Met Doug. Ten years a Key Wester. Works at the Hemingway House as a guide. Loves the job.

Doug is from the Boston area. We chatted re Boston, Hemingway, his wives, his girl friend who eventually moved to Key West, etc.

A nice guy. Enjoyable conversation.

The weather man’s advice in simple terms for today: Nice day, nice night.

Thank you.

Trump was going to clean the swamp. Good luck! It is worse than ever. A culture of corruption pervades. From the White House down. A fish rots from the head.

The most recent alleged wrongdoer is upstate New York Congressman Chris Collins. A Republican. Represents the Buffalo and Rochester areas.

He was arrested for insider trading. His son and son’s fiance’s father, also.

Collins was the first Congressperson to support Trump. He seconded Trump’s nomination at the convention. Served on Trump’s Transition Team.

We may not know the winner of the Ohio Congressional race for a while. The Republican candidate is ahead by 1,504 votes. However more than 8,000 provisional and absentee ballots remain to be counted. They are required by law to be tabulated by August 24.

I close with my thoughts re Federal District Court Judge Thomas Selby Ellis. He is hearing the Manafort case.

Ellis has been a Judge 31 years.

He is obviously cantankerous on the bench. Disrespectful to attorneys. Involves himself in questioning too much. Etc. He is aware of how he conducts himself. He once said, “I am a Caesar in my own Rome.”

He should be off the bench. I wrote and spoke re judges who sit too long two weeks ago. At that time re the Supreme Court where Justices sit for life. Thirty plus years not uncommon. Justices in their 80’s common.

Too old to serve. Judges do not get better with age. They get cantankerous, mean, disrespectful. Know everything. Tempers short.

I advised at the time that the reason our Founding Fathers did not set an age limit for federal judges was the length of life back then. The average life of a white male was 35 years.

All Federal judges sit for life.

Judges are like everyone else. People think because they wear black robes they are supposedly fair and without human shortcomings. Judges are just like everyone else. If they have a bad night or morning with their wives, the lawyers feel it in the courtroom. Some are prejudiced. Dislike persons of color, certain ethnics, etc. They don’t know it. I have never met a bigot who knew he was a bigot.

And so on.

Ellis is to old for the job. It is time that thought be given to a Constitutional amendment setting a fixed number of year for the job. Justice will fail to be served in all instnaces otherwise.

I missed doing the blog and Key West Lou Live show yesterday. A new pill. Reacted adversely with my other medications. I was in rough shape yesterday morning. Kept feeling I was going to pass out.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

KEY WEST…..WE’RE COOKING

 

It’s hot! No question about it. The hottest July ever. August will probably be hotter. Followed by historically the hottest of the hot…..September.

Yesterday, the weatherman said relief would be available. It was going to be breezy. It was. Learned something. Hot and no breeze,  hot. Hot with breeze, still hot. Perhaps worse.

As I was walking yesterday with the hot air blowing in my face, I was reminded of the 1940’s when our house was heated by a coal furnace. My job to keep the coal fire burning. Replace the burned out coal.

Every time I opened the furnace door, a blast of hot air hit me in the face. Yesterday, the same sensation.

Spent part of the afternoon reading. Still with Madeleine Albright’s Fascism. The primary fascists of almost a 100 years ago were Mussolini and Hitler. Trump so much like them.

Aqua for Dueling Bartenders at 6. Tom Luna and Rick Dery doing the entertaining.

Tom has not been present for 3 weeks. He was diagnosed with diverticulitis. Treated for it. Not diverticulitis. Kidney stones. Had surgery for the kidney stones a few days ago.

Liz and Josefina at the bar when I arrived. Liz looked lovely. She was happy to be there.

Jean Thornton came in. We sat together. She looked good and smelled good. Told her so. Love the lady!

Jean complained about the heat. Said she has begun staying in during the day to avoid it. Sounded familiar.

Normally, Jean and I would have had dinner together. I had to beg off. My podcast is tonight and I had to work on the show last night.

Join me at 9 tonight for the podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A fast moving, interesting, and eye opening account of how I see things. You do not have to agree with me. It is good however to hear what might be a different set of thoughts. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I am a poor sleeper. Leave the TV in the bedroom on all night so I can watch something during the hours sleep escapes me. The bedroom TV went kaput about 2 monday morning.

I called Comcast. Had to wait 30 minutes for a live person. We had a communication problem. I could not understand her. Probably from east Istanbul.

After another hour of her directing me to do this and that, TV still not working. Comcast needs to send a repair person over. No one available till thursday morning.

Can’t win!

The battle between the 2 Sandy Cafes has been resolved. Settled. Details of the settlement unavailable.

A significant election in Ohio today. A special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional district. Takes in Columbus and a wide suburban swath surrounding it.

Republican country. Thirty five years since a Democrat has held the seat. Trump won the district by 11 points.

Today’s election has become a testing ground for November. The Democratic candidate was far behind at the beginning. Today, a dead heat. Trump was in the area over the weekend campaigning for the Republican candidate.

Politicos believe suburban wives will decide the election. Most are Republicans. However, most are upset with Trump’s child separation policy.

If the Democrat wins, it foretells a blue November. If the Democrat loses by 3 points or less, the same.

We will know tonight.

A new national poll indicates Trump’s largest bloc of supporters are white persons without college degrees. Fifty four percent.

I believe the group supports Trump because they feel the country has left them behind. They believe they need governmental programs that will help them. Most are middle aged and older. They are disappointed with how life has treated them. There has been no American dream.

Dorothy Downs is an interesting woman. Among other things, an author. An expert regarding certain Indian tribes. She and her husband lived in Miami and had a second home in Key West. He has passed on.

Dorothy continues to inhabit the homes in both locales. A frequent Key West visitor.

Dorothy has a political streak in her. She is supporting Gwen Graham in the Democratic primary for Governor. Personal friends for years.

She recently wrote and asked how the race looked in Key West. I replied I did not know who was running, except for a fellow by the name of Green. His TV ads were excellent.

Dorothy made me feel ashamed that I was not paying attention and did not know of her friend.

Let me share with you what I have learned about Gwen Graham.

She is way ahead in the polls. Burying her opponents. Her father is former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. A distinguished statesman of the old school. Knew how to negotiate with the opposition and was not afraid to do so.

Dorothy wrote, “Being a public servant is born in Gwen’s DNA.”

Gwen is an attorney, was a stay at home Mom for 13 years, a PTA president, a school administrator, and a one term Congresswoman.

I will be paying close attention to Gwen. The primary is August 28.

They say this is the Year of the Woman. Probably so. I for one would like to see all women elected to every post. Men have done enough damage.

I close with a recent Trump tweet.

California is being devastated with fires. Trump indicated that the fires were ongoing due to a shortage of water. He claimed water that could be used to fight fires was “foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”

No one understands the statement. Water supply has been sufficient. No one has complained of a lack of water causing the fires to spread, etc.

Many believe climate change is the cause of more severe and destructive fires. This has been the hottest summer across the U.S.

Perhaps Trump does not wish to acknowledge climate change. He has consistently been on the side of those who deny it.

Enjoy your day!

 

SATURDAY NIGHT WITH MY LESBIAN WIVES

Donna and Terri are married. Lesbian wives. My friends for years.  Love them both. Refer to them as my lesbian wives.

Spent last night with the ladies. Dinner at their home. Donna cooked. Her cooking spectacular! As always.

Afterwards, we walked across the street to Blue Macaw for a drink. Larry Baeder performing. Per his usual custom, he asked Terri to join him. Made her night.

The last several years have been tough on Terri. First, a heart attack. Then 2 terrible cancers from which she was lucky to survive.

Terri was going blind before the cancers. Still had many years of sight however, though diminishing. The cancer medications accelerated her blindness. She is now 80 percent blind. Can see shadows. Next year, not even shadows.

Terri’s disposition not affected. An “up” person. God love her!

It has been reported that last month was the hottest July ever. Ever being 1871 when records began being kept. Twenty nine days were 90 degrees or better.

Normally September is the worst month heat wise. Yet to come. Humidity extremely heavy in September.

I have learned how to beat the heat. Remain indoors. Generally at home. Air conditioning!

The evenings were not bad in July. For some reason, most of the evenings were comfortable. Even though temperatures were in the high 80’s.

Several days ago, I wrote concerning the California Bedsloe family. A heavy to read about and then report. A 70 year old great grandfather on the cell phone listening to his wife and  2 great grandchildren in the seconds before they died. A California fire killed the three.

This morning a video is running on the internet. Ed Bledsoe being interviewed. He repeated his 5 year old grandson James’ last words…..Grandpa, the fire is coming in the door!

It was hard reading the words last week. Far worse this morning listening to Ed Bledsoe repeat them.

The fire is named the Carr Fire. The sixth most destructive in California history. Strange how it began.

A flat tire the cause. A tire failed. The rim scrapped the asphalt. Sparks shot out. Ignited the dry brush on the side of the road.

In today’s society, common sense and good judgment are diminishing qualities.

Several times when I was young, I had a lemonade stand alone or with a friend. Five cents a cup. People were kind. Even police officers. Always sold out.

Today, another story. I have read several times the past few years about governmental authorities shutting down lemonade stands run by some young person.

The most recent occurred in Ballston Spa, N.Y. Located in Saratoga County.

Seven year old Brendan Mulvaney was operating a lemonade stand outside the entrance to the County Fair. Lemonade seventy five cents.

Four vendors inside the fair complained to the New York State Department of Health. The vendors were required to be permitted ($30) and charge $7 for the same cup of lemonade Brendan was selling for $ .75.

The State inspectors shut Brendan down because he did not have a permit.

Stupid.

I have observed this scenario many times. Even if Brendan became permitted, he would then have imposed on him the need to keep the lemonade at a certain temperature, proof of insurance, a stand constructed to legal specifications, working papers, etc.

A kid can’t win these days!

Syracuse and Utica are neighbors in upstate New York. Fifty miles separating them.

My Father took me to Syracuse football games when I was young. I went to Syracuse Law School.  Later opened an office in Syracuse. Tried many cases in Syracuse courts. Enjoyed a private box at the Carrier Dome for football and basketball. Remained active at the University.

Many have a connection to the area. Two are Tom Cruise and Dick Clark.

I discovered this morning that Tom Cruise was born in Syracuse. Lived there his first 9 years. His Syracuse life described as poor and Catholic. We were all poor and Catholic in our early days.

Dick Clark of American Bandstand Fame got his television start in Utica in the mid 1950’s. TV station WKTV. Prior to TV, he was a weather man on Danny Fusco’s WRUN morning radio show.

Dick Clark was known as Dick Clay in those days. His Dad was a disc jockey on a Utica radio station. In order to avoid confusion, Clark changed his last name. When he moved on to a Philadelphia TV station, he went back to Clark.

Sloan will be here at noon. We have a lot of work to do.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

WILKES-BARRE UNMENTIONABLES

Trump did another rally last night. In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Before rigid loyal supporters.

The media last night and this morning covered his rantings. The usual. In addition to media reports, I watched his entire talk during the late night when rerun on the internet.

Three important things omitted from the media coverage. The three items stuck out like a sore thumb when I watched Trump’s delivery in its entirety. Each cause for concern.

One had to do with children. Trump has been getting heaped upon for his separation policy re immigrants and their children. Last night, I saw a first. I suspect to portray to the nation Trump’s concern for children and their support of him.

In the group sitting immediately behind Trump as he talked were kids. Many. Interspersed throughout. Obviously there. Some sitting quietly, others waving signs. The cameras zeroing in on them.

A phony demonstration. However, one which puts the fear of God in me. Trump is authoritarian. Would like to be President forever. A dictator. Recall the Hitler Youth. Hitler started the organization in 1926. It grew more rapidly beginning in the mid 1930’s. Existed till 1945.

Is this a beginning? Is this part of an overall plan to get ’em while they’re young?

Sounds crazy. However with Trump, you never know.

The second item that struck me was his reference to NATO and his belief it only exists to protect Europe. A like…..who needs it thing. The suggestion being we are going to get out of NATO, European wars not our concern.

Reminded me of America First and the tenor of some in the late 1930’s in the U.S. The desire by many to have the U.S. stay out of European alliances and wars. The further desire the U.S. should remain an isolationist nation.

My sense of Trump was that he was telling us the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans would protect us. The same crazy talk pre World War II.

The oceans are meaningless protectors today. Kim and North Korea the most recent example. Our military experts advise North Korea has or soon will have missiles with nuclear warheads that can reach the U.S.

Russian submarines carrying missiles with nuclear warheads a similar problem. China has developed the capacity to fire missiles capable of reaching U.S. shores from the new islands it has created in Asian waters.

The third item involved Trump’s threat to shutdown the government if he does not get his wall funding. The question he raised was whether to shutdown before or after the midterms.

He bragged he was not afraid of politics. He might shutdown before.

He mentioned Russ Limbaugh and Sean Hannity supporting him in this regard.

God help us!

Last night, a Blue Macaw evening for me. Diane Millikan my guest. Diane helps me occasionally with research. She is a terrific researcher.

We were joined by Donna and Terri. They brought Elle, short for Eleanor. I never met Elle before. A lovely 37 year old from Argentina. Has been in Key West 10 years. Worked several of those years at Burrito with my friend Grant. Now works at the new sandwich shop in the small shopping center at the corner of Duval and Truman.

Different strokes for different folks. Each country has its own ways. Elle had long armpit hair. Uncovered and obvious. We discussed it. Her custom. The fashion in Argentina.

A little history. On this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus departed from Palos, Spain with the Santa Maria, Pinta and Nina. Nine weeks later on October 12, he and the ships would land in the Bahamas. Columbus thought China. Though unaware and more importantly, he had discovered the New World.

A new study supportive of those who drink alcohol. In moderation, of course. The study claims people who do not drink any alcohol are more likely to develop dementia by early old age. Teetotaling not recommended for the middle aged.

Moderation. What is moderation? One and a half bottles of wine per week.

That’s all? Fortunately, I do not drink wine.

Enjoy your day!

 

CASABLANCA AND TEARS

Tears. Crying. Normal to cry. Especially women. Last night the tears flowed.

Irma caused several of us to escape. We evacuated to Birmingham, Alabama. Guests of Jean and Joe Thornton for 12 days. A wonderful experience! Jean and Joe great hosts.

We kept busy. From 5 in the afternoon to 3-4 in the morning every day. Fun time. All kinds of experiences.

One was watching Casablanca. The great love story starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. I had seen it several times before as had the others.

During the showing, I noticed the ladies knew every line. They were whispering them before even spoken on the screen. The ladies also cried. Big time!

I was surprised.

Casablanca touched their very souls. The love scenes torture for them.

Some of us evacuees enjoyed a reunion last night. At the Key West Theater. A free showing of Casablanca. Besides Louis, Jean Thornton herself, Hayward, Joanne and Ann.

I was not disappointed. The ladies cried. The tears flowed. Jean the first to break down. Their eyes red at the end of the film.

Tender ladies!

Jean and I met for dinner before the movie. The Saint. We enjoyed a great duck meal.

Following the movie, Hayward and Joanne left the group. Jean, Ann and I went over to the Chart Room. A good crowd. Happy people on vacation in Key West.

A big guy came over to say hello. He introduced himself as Pittsburgh John. Said we had met last year and I wrote a column about him. I apologized for not recalling. We sat a while and chatted.

He brought up on his cell phone the Key West Lou column from February 18, 2017 titled Pittsburgh John. He was correct. I had written about him. Still could not recall the evening, however.

No problem.

A nice guy. He visits Key West religiously three times a year. Obviously lives in Pittsburgh. A big time concrete salesman. Travels several States.

John’s claim to fame and something he is most proud of is that at 16 he was the bat boy for the visiting Pittsburgh baseball team. He met baseball luminaries like Dwight Gordon, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Schmidt.

He was also proud of his relationship with Rocco Clemente. They occasionally shot hoops on a neighborhood court together.

Chatted with two charming and vivacious women. Donna and Jane. Friends since elementary school. Vacationing together. First time in Key West.

Donna is from The Woodlands, Texas. Divorced. An office manager for an oil and gas company.

Jane from Houston. Single. Lovely. Her professional career involves supply chain work.

The ladies plan to rip up the town while they are here.

I repeatedly say the Chart Room is the cross roads of the world. I meet people from everywhere. Last night, South Africa.

Matt and Lisa. Presently located in Washington, D.C. They work together in their own business. Described to me as assisting people to communicate with each other.

I met Matt and Lisa as I was paying my bill. Tired. Spent too little time with them. Hopefully, I will run into them again before they leave.

Why was I tired? It was after 11. I am in bed by 9 most evenings.

I normally wake at 6 and begin this blog. I did not wake till 10 this morning. Reason why the blog is being published late today.

Hemingway one of the greats who spent a number of years residing in Key West. Wrote To Have And Have Not and The Snows of Kilimanjaro while living here.

Every now and then, one of his undiscovered stories pops up. One of the most recent A Room On The Garden Side. A World War II fiction piece. Described as typical Hemingway. A debate in a hotel between two men concerning “the dirty trade of war.”

The story has been authenticated as a Hemingway work.

It appears in Strand Magazine. Strand is a quarterly publication. The Hemingway piece in its Summer Edition which was published this week.

BOB tired today. If BOB is tired, I am tired. Better stated, I am tired. Therefore, BOB is tired. The next chapter in his book hopefully tomorrow.

Today, a significant one in American history. On this day in 1776, members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration had been approved in resolution form one month earlier on July 2. The written Declaration was adopted two days later on July 4. However not signed till almost a month later. Traveling times slow, not enough States yet committed.

Marijuana delegalization is ongoing. Done in various ways. An example is Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Vance announced yesterday a “decline to prosecute” policy.

Beginning yesterday, no charges would be filed for marijuana possession and use. Two exceptions. If an individual possesses for purpose of sale or if a possession demonstrates a threat to public safety.

Trump was in Tampa for a rally two days ago.  We have all heard his error re the need to have an ID with photo thereon in order to buy groceries. The President has obviously never been to a grocery store.

Another one has filtered through the news. Another tax break for the rich. Trump must think the people demand  such. He is blinded by his wealth and that of others.

Trump advised a new plan for the rich. One that does not require Congressional approval. He wants to change the way capital gains are handled. Such would provide an enormous tax savings to those having big stock portfolios.

Seth Meyers the late night TV comedian suggested Trump would probably be relentless in having the tax law changed. He said Trump and his people “won’t be happy till this country is just 10 trillionaires and 300 million people fighting over one Go-Gurt.”

Trump says Putin is his friend. He better watch out. A person who goes to bed with a dog that has fleas wakes up with fleas.

Putin is recognized as a killer. As most dictators/despots have been.

Alexander Rastorguev is a Russian critic of Putin. Rastorguev was in the Central Africa Republic filming a documentary exposing the activities of a company called Wagner. Wagner is a private Russian military firm. Wagner is suspected of clandestine military operations in Syria and East Ukraine based on orders from the Kremlin.

Rastorguev, his camera man, and a reporter were ambushed and killed while riding in a car by persons unknown.

Putin involved?

Diana Millikan is in town. She is researching a book I would like to write on The History of Key West Prostitution. We’ve been at it two years. Not much recorded information on whore houses, etc.

Diana and I will be at the Blue Macaw tonight.

Enjoy your day!