RUSSIA COPYING U.S. METHODS

Russia was always the bad guy. Made to look bad even when not so. No more. Russia has learned. Primarily due to Putin. With skill. Making the U.S. look bad occasionally. More frequently it seems.

Russia has a Federal Drug Control Service. A recent report blames the U.S. with the increase in opium production in Afghanistan. the increase has caused more than one million to die world wide. It also has caused a transnational increase in crime from drug sales.

The thrust of the report is that Afghan opium production is 40 times higher since the U.S. led NATO invasion in 2001. Remember, Operation Enduring Freedom.

I still do not know why we are in Afghanistan or why we remain. Recall the Afghans took down Russia in the 1980s. No one seems to win against the Afghans. The battles rage year after year with the end never in sight.

I wrote two major articles for KONK Life in the past several years re Afghanistan and opium. The last two years ago.

The point in each concerned the Afghan poppy fields which turned into heroin on American streets.

An interesting observation in each was that in a war that has resulted in huge damage and thousands of lives lost, not one poppy field has been bombed. Nor one poppy farmer killed. Nor has one war lord owning the fields ever complained about damage.

The fields are protected.

I have suggested graft exists. On our side. Militarily and otherwise. If not, why do the poppy fields grow without interference and heroin reaches our shores to continue killing and addicting our people?

Russia does not say what I have directly. It merely says opium production 40 times higher today than 16 years ago when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to save the nation.

We were going to bring democracy to a country that never sought it. We failed. In the meantime, contributed greatly to its destruction.

The Russians are using truth against us as concerns Afghanistan. Amazing! They have learned.

Great evening last night. My friend Ted Kane from Wampsville, NY is in Key West on a fishing trip. He enjoys flat fishing this time of the year. Visits Key West several times a year.

Wampsville sits in Madison County in the middle of New York State. It is next door to what was my home county, Oneida.

Ted a lawyer, also. Finished his legal career with a long stretch as Court Clerk. Actually, the confidential clerk to two Judges.

Clerks are a Judge’s brains. Clerks generally research and write the opinions which the Judge then signs.

I never knew Ted back when. How we failed to trip over each other, I do not know. I met Ted 3 years ago at the Chart Room. We have become good friends.

We had dinner together at Hot Tin Roof, followed by a drink at the Chart Room.

I returned home after my pleasant evening out to discover the upstairs air conditioning was not working. It was Hell! I could not get comfortable downstairs. Ended up sleeping in my bed upstairs with the fan over me going full blast.

This morning’s Citizens’ Comment carried an interesting observation. It takes forever to build any public building or edifice these days. The writer asked…..Why? Flagler built the Seven Mile Bridge in less than a year. At a time when construction equipment was no where as sophisticated as today’s.

Two big things on the agenda this morning. The Senate’s proposed health plan and a visit to my heart doctor. Both can be painful. I will do better with my heart than the American people are going to do with the health plan.

Enjoy your day!

 

GEORGIA ELECTION RESULT

The Georgia Congressional result rang out one clear message: Trump is a force who remains acceptable to the people.

During Handel’s victory speech, the audience shouted: Trump! Trump! Trump!

Handel’s victory substantiated my fear that Trump remains strong. My listening post is the Chart Room. A crossroads. Trump supporters are not down on Trump in spite of all the bad stuff flying about concerning him. Their cry is give him time, he’s new to the job, everyone is against him, he cares for us, etc.

I get the same thing from others I speak with.

The Senate healthcare bill is supposed to come out tomorrow. It will reflect how much Trump and the Republicans care about the American people.

Busy day yesterday. I did servile work. Cleaned out the garage. In all the humidity, besides. Knocked me on my ass. Thought I never would stop sweating.

Then prepared my blog talk for the evening show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I had a great show prepared. I was cut off after 15 minutes. Show came to its normal end, but 15 minutes early. Sloan looking into the problem.

I decided to do less Trump and more other matters. Never discussed a Trump issue in the 15 minutes I was on air.

A welcomed breather!

Tavern ‘n Town again last night. A quick bite to eat before the show.

Glad I went. Tavern ‘n Town has a new Tapas menu 1/2 price plus 2 drinks for 1 from 5-7 on tuesdays and thursdays. A bargain!

My bill was $18.

Carmen Rodriquez was singing. A lovely voice. A lovely woman.

Strange, I have seen and watched her for 20 years. I nod a polite hello each time. She has never reciprocated with a nod back or a hello.

Must have offended her way back when. Don’t recall. On the other hand, perhaps she is just not social.

The local Mosquito Control Board has had a string of unfavorable decisions. The Board decided to limit their terms as a concession to the public. Board members are elected.

The Board voted to limit their terms to 3 terms of 4 years each. a total of 12 years. Some concession! A lifetime!

Courts can be strange. Sometimes a decision comes down I find hard to accept/understand.

The U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision yesterday in Packingham v. North Carolina. Packingham was a registered sex offender. He used/participated in social media. The Court’s decision included sites like Facebook, You Tube and Twitter.

Packingham set up a Facebook account under a false name and posted a message that praised God for the dismissal of a traffic ticket. North Carolina said it was a no no. Registered sex offenders could not use social media.

The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision said North Carolina was wrong. Its law violated first amendment free speech rights. Even a sex offender has them. They were not lost because Packingham was a registered sex offender.

Justice Kennedy wrote the primary opinion. There were two concurrent ones. Kennedy said social media is a powerful mechanism available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard. Should be available to all.

Suppose Packingham was using Facebook for sex banter or to induce friendship with a female minor?

It seems to me the decision would encompass that situation, although not specifically spelled out in the decision.

Betsy Dietz much loved. Passed away recently. A celebration of Life is scheduled for 5 today at the Ocean Grill.

The place will be packed!

Key West humidity is a killer this year. About a month early. Heavy!

In 1902, Willis Carrier invented what might be described as modern air conditioning.  He assembled the first large scale electrical air conditioning system. Controlled both temperature and humidity.

What we enjoy today is derived from Carrier’s invention, whether in a large building, residential property or automobile.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TODAY SUMMER SOLSTICE

Good morning!

A lovely Key West day in the making.

Today is Summer Solstice. the longest day of the year. the day the sun is highest in the sky.

Happens twice a year. June 20 and December 22.

Last night began with Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Lovely Heather guest performer. Heather adding a special touch.

The singing outstanding! The bar crowd mostly seniors. A lot of 50’s and 60’s tunes. A 70’s or 80’s thrown in here and there.

Met Sally. a Key Wester for 8 years. In her other life, she was a San Francisco police officer. Retired a detective.

Sally wanted a life in the law. Did a year of law school. Too subdued for her. Left law school and joined the police force.

Moved on to Tavern ‘n Town. You have no idea how thrilled I am that the season is over. I can now get a seat at the bar any time I want.

Enjoyed some good food while reading the newspapers.

George Bueno has been bartending at Tavern ‘n Town for 2 years. He had 10 plus years at two other places before Tavern ‘n Town grabbed him.

George is being recognized this week. He is Bartender of the Week. His picture and column appearing in the weekly Key West Week.

Any reason for a party! That’s Key west!

The Key Lime Festival saturday July 1. An only in Key West type event. At the Key West Lighthouse. A gravity defying key lime pie drop. From the top of the Lighthouse. Also  known as the Key Lime Drop Contest.

Pies provided. Four inches in diameter.

Goal is to drop the pie to a specified target without splattering it. Pie in the best condition wins. A trophy and a crisp $100 bill.

Contestants are permitted to create a device or container to protect the pie during its fall and impact.

Finally! Key West is getting Uber! Beginning July 1. The City Commission and Bubba system prevented Uber from operating two years ago when it wanted to begin. New state law prevents Key West from keeping Uber out as long as it meets state requirements.

The City Commission has a propensity for screwing up. Especially when erecting or remodeling a building. The cost goes up dramatically. The Commission always buys some half assed excuse and pays the additional monies.

This time it is the repair of the Frederick Douglas Gym in Bahama Village. The original estimate was $1.7 million. When the bids came in, the cost went up to $2.1 million. Now has ballooned to just under $2.3 million. And the work nowhere close to being done!

Working for the City many times is like having an open check book.

Another folly. There are three sight seeing franchises in Key West. Trolley, buses, etc. All three recently renewed their contracts with the City.

Traffic is a major problem these days. Actually, the major problem. Each of the agreements contain a clause that permits duck boats. In the event the Navy changes its mind and permits them.

Why do we need duck boats? There is not enough room for anything more on Key West streets. Previous duck boats were 39 feet long and 8 feet wide.

Permission should not have been granted. All parties should have waited till Navy approval or some remedy to make the duck boats acceptable. Then an amendment to the agreements could have been negotiated. With the traffic issue a main item of contention.

Ingenuity, mostly American, exists in our penal institutions. Contraband has been smuggled into federal and state jails in increasing numbers over the past five years. Contraband consisting of mobile phones, drugs and pornography.

Drones the method of delivery. Authorities are not equipped with the necessary technology to prevent the deliveries.

One of the finest persons I have met in Key West is Betsy Dietz. A kind charming woman. A good friend of Lisa’s. We have done Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together for over 10 years at Lisa’s.

Betsy recently passed on. A Celebration of Life will be held tomorrow at 5 at the Ocean Grill in Duval Square.

I am confident the crowd paying her honor will be overwhelming.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me at 9. A quick half hour of interesting topics. Many eye opening. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

WHERE WERE THE TEARS?

An interesting comment kept popping up yesterday on Facebook. Anonymous. However, many were sharing it with their friends.

The comment was right on. I paraphrased and used it on my Facebook video later in the day. About 2 minutes worth.

I titled my video: Crocodile Tears…..Hypocrisy.

The shooting at the ball field where the Republicans were practicing was horrific and touching. I shed a few tears watching the occurrence on TV. The Republican Congressmen were my people. Americans. An attack/injury to one is an attack/injury to all.

Additionally emotional were the Republican Congressmen weeping , swelling up, choking on their words.

The Facebook comment referred to earlier tragic occurrences. Asked where were Congress’ tears for the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook, the 49 people killed in a night club, the 9 people killed at a church service.

Even more to the point, where were Congress’ tears when Gabby Giffords was shot in the head. Gabby being one of their own.

The comment an excellent observation.

Though hopeful, I do not believe this most recent tragedy will bring the two parties together. Sincere talk. Results elusive, however. I doubt the love and roses talk will last more than a few weeks. Kumbaya not for Republicans and Democrats in these times.

Decided to visit Donna and Terri yesterday afternoon. Terri had been under the weather the past few days.

Picked a perfect time to go. Dry in Key Haven. As soon as I was two blocks from Donna and Terri’s, all hell broke loose rain wise. I got soaking wet in the 20 feet from my car to their porch.

Stopped at the French Croissant next to Roostica to pick up some pastries for the sick visit. Croissant’s pastries are the best! Bare none! Expensive also. Worth it, however.

One problem. Donna has sworn off carbs. Since her heart attack, Terri avoids fats. Only Louis enjoyed a pastry. I took the rest home with me.

Ended up staying for dinner. Donna continues to be an excellent cook. Fine restaurant dining.

Got home around 9.

Citizens’ Voice carried an interesting comment this morning: “Key West is a traffic jam.” Truer words cannot be written.

Accidents happen even on the high seas. The one in Tokyo harbor this week. There was another naval one in 1942 in waters off Key West.

The US Navy had mined the waters to the northwest of Key West. The steamship Bosiljka was on its way from New Orleans to Key West. It accidently sailed into the minefield. The Bosiljka was sunk.

Hitler was a master liar. He believed in the Big Lie. The bigger the lie, the more who would believe it.

Joseph Goebbels believed his Fuhrer’s words. He repeated the thought in his form and style. Orally and in writing. “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.”

Yesterday’s talk shows had one of Trump’s new attorneys on. His message: Trump is not under investigation.

The Hitler/Goebbels approach at work.

My home town is Utica. Central New York located.

A small village to the west is Frankfurt. Less than 10 miles away. I cannot recall the population. I would guess around 5,000, if that many.

As far back as I can recall, there was a sign on the highway where cars  entered Frankfurt. The sign: Frankfurt…..Watch Us Grow.

The sign is still there. Never replaced. Worn by the more than 70 years of its existence.

Frankfurt never grew.

Frankfurt achieved notoriety this past saturday. Made the news big time. Illegal bird fighting. Chickens primarily.

A barn on farm land. A bird fighting ring inside. Fights going on. Close to 40 spectators.

Police had been investigating. They raided the place. Forty two persons arrested. Fifty five birds captured. Sixty eight thousand dollars seized.

There was another barn on the property. The barn was used as a game bird breeding and training facility. One hundred eighty more birds were captured.  And last but not least, 100 grams of heroin.

Frankfurt finally made it!

I doubt most of the residents were pleased by the gaming. Assuming they knew. Frankfurt is small town America. People provincial. Honest, good folk.

It’s still raining.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

FATHER’S DAY…..HARD TIME BECOMING A NATIONAL HOLIDAY

Big day today! Father’s Day! Many the proud father today. Many the happy kids giving Dad a Father’s Day gift.

Father’s Day seems like a natural. Unfortunately, it was not considered so for many years. Congress opposed efforts going back to 1098 to establish the holiday. The excuse was it would lead to commercialization of the day.

Would you believe?

Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Lyndon Johnson exercised their best abilities to legalize Father’s Day as a national holiday. Richard Nixon was finally successful. In 1972, he signed a Congressional bill into law recognizing the 3rd Sunday in June as such.

Father’s Day had its beginnings in the Middle Ages in Catholic Europe. St. Joseph was the father of Jesus Christ. St. Joseph’s Day was June 19. June 19 became recognized as Father’s Day also as a result.

Father’s Day did not take hold in the United States till early in the 20th century. Immigrants at the time probably brought the holiday with them.

Happy Father’s Day to all Dads. Enjoy the day. It is yours. Well deserved. As Mother’s Day is for the Moms.

Tammy for a manicure yesterday. The place is a gold mine! People with and without appointments coming in. Tammy and her staff working hard. always smiling. Accommodated one and all.

Dinner last night with Donna at Duffy’s. Terri home. She has a cold. Has to be careful whatever the problem. She threw Donna out of the house and told her to join me.

Even those not ill, but who care for those who are, get run down. Need a change of pace.

Home before 9. Watched the Watergate special on MSNBC. Excellent!

David Wolkowsky did it again! The man is amazing. Ninety eight years old and still active.

Mr. Key West annually since 2001 has given $65,000 a year to Key West High School teachers. Recipient teachers awarded are referred to as Teachers of Merit. One receives $25,000. Eight others, $5,000 each.

A better man does not exist. He is all heart and soul.

Yesterday was the 63rd anniversary of the Rocky Marciano/Ezzard Charles World Heavy Weight Championship fight.

I was there! June 17, 1954.

I had just finished my freshman year at Manhattan College. My parents drove to New York City to pick me up. While there, my Father and Uncle Gus decided to attend the fight. At Yankee Stadium. They took me!

It was a typical New York City Italian evening.

We took the subway. Our seats were in left field. We could see nothing. My Aunt Louise had made us sandwiches which we took with us wrapped in wax paper and carried in a paper bag.

Fortunately, my Uncle brought binoculars. He had done the rodeo before. My father and Uncle treated me fairly. I got my time with the binoculars.

I was impressed before the fight. Big black limousines driving over the outfield to the seats surrounding the ring in the infield. Out came men in tuxedos and ladies in long. The fight was a social event.

I was impressed.

The fight began. Blurry unless you had the binoculars in hand.

Turned out, I had use of the binoculars at the right moment. I saw Marciano hit Charles so hard on the side of his face that I thought his fist was going to come out the other side of Charles’ face.

I could actually see the force of the blow thrust half of the other side of Charles’ face outward. Looked 3-4 inches to me. I thought Charles’ head was going to come off.

Marciano won soon thereafter. Marciano went on to win the rest of his fights. He retired undefeated.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

END THE WAR

Not Iraq. Not Afghanistan. The one going on in the Comments section of this blog. Grow up guys. you are all dumping on one woman. Does it take all of you to prove one female wrong?

Talk politics, issues, etc. Not the crap that seems to have taken over.

It makes me wonder. Those commenting about real issues provide some great reads. Really. I am impressed with the quality of most of the comments. The give and take terrific…..re real issues. Keep it up and walk away from Diana.

I appreciate Diana is hard to take on occasion. So are some of you guys.

I like Diana. Consider her a friend. Difficult though she may be. When she is off and running, I look the other way and do not hear.

She has been in Key West 3 weeks. Leaves tuesday. She has rented a condo for a year so will be back and forth.

In three weeks, I have been with her two times. For dinner each time. The first night she arrived and last night. Both evenings enjoyable.

Diana easily makes friends. Don’t laugh. Obvious when she makes friends. People open up to her immediately.

Diana is an outstanding researcher, developer of the facts. She has given me a hand on a couple of things. She knows how to dig.

What amazes me is Diana is not sharp tongued. Though she does come over that way in her comments. She is soft spoken. Amazing the difference between reading her and speaking with her.

Drinks first last night at Louie’s Backyard. Diana does not drink. A cheap date in that regard. Stopped afterwards at VFW for a sandwich. Diana does not eat. A shrimp cocktail. A cheap date foodwise, also.

By the way, Diana does not require me to defend her. She is capable of doing such very well on her own. As some of you have already discovered.

I just gave Diana 300 words. Have non-Diana information to share. Must do so swiftly. Tammy’s for a manicure later in the morning.

My lesbian wives Donna and Terri are taking me out to dinner tonight. A fun evening ahead.

I cannot keep up with them. I will go home immediately after dinner. They make an evening of it. Aqua, the Monkey Bar, etc. Till the wee morning hours.

Venezuela continues to go down the tubes. The citizens continue to suffer. Again, I ask why they have not revolted in the past four years.

First out of toilet paper. Then food. Now doctors and medicines.

Thousands of doctors have left. To surrounding countries. Most to small nearby islands. The toilet paper, food, etc. had something to do with it. However, it was the authoritarian government headed by Maduro that motivated them. They are making less money. Feel safe and secure for themselves and their families, however.

In the past year, maternal mortality rose 66 percent. Infant mortality, 30 percent. Malaria, 66 percent. Diphtheria is soaring.

Shortages of insect repellents, vaccinations, and public health funding the primary reasons.

The infant mortality rate is higher than Syria’s for the same period of time. Hard to believe!

In a recent medical malpractice case in Pennsylvania, a jury returned an $870,000 verdict. The patient was to have his right testicle removed. The doctor removed the good left one.

Early in my practice, I was peripherally involved in a similar malpractice case. The patient had cancer in one eye. The eye had to be removed. The doctor removed the good eye.

Terrible! It happens, however. Roughly 2,000 times a year the wrong limb or organ is removed.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

A DEATH TRAP

Grenfell has been a death trap since 2015 when it was retrofitted. Death by fire inevitable. It happened this past week. The death count 17 so far. Expected to exceed 100. Some burned so badly, identification may not be possible.

Grenfell is a London high rise. The fire occurred wednesday. Rapidly spread upward. Comparable to a fire drawing up a chimney.

An outer sheet was placed over the exterior of the building at the time of renovations in 2015. A space remained between the outer sheet and the building wall. The interior of the sheet plastic.

The process is called cladding. Thought to be environmentally sound. The space between the new outer sheeting and original wall served as insulation.

A final report as to the cause of the fire not yet released. Two stick out and are sure to be included. The space described and the plastic coating. The space served as a draft for the flames to quickly shoot up enclosing the entire building. The plastic highly flammable.

An American company manufactured the covering. Reynobond. Two types. One with and one without the plastic coating. The without more expensive. Probably due to the nature of a different coating.

The difference in using the safe one over the one possible of fire 5,000 pounds.

Cladding is banned outright in Germany. In the United States, it is banned in buildings more than 40 feet high.

Warnings have been forthcoming since 1999 that cladding was not safe. Primarily because of the chimney effect if a fire occurs.

Grenfell a disaster that should not have occurred. An avoidable one. Money and an environmentally sound but dangerous material major contributing factors.

My big event yesterday was shopping at Farmers Market. Bread, tomatoes and honey purchased.

Stopped at 5 Guys. Sitting at the table next to me was the owner of Harpoon Harry’s. Both of us munching away on huge cheeseburgers.

Gotcha time. We laughed when we saw each other. Caught cheating!

Trump is wrong to change the relatively new rules re Cuba. He is acceding to a handful of Cuban immigrants who each year diminish in numbers.

Castro’s revolution was 1959. Cubans who fled left at that time. Many settled in Miami.

Sixty five more or less years ago. Time generally heals wounds no matter how great initially. We should have hated Germany and Japan following World War II. Thousands of our men and women killed. We had better sense. We made them our friends. Look at the relationships that developed.

Trump is sucking up to a handful of American-Cuban voters. Typical. He does not use his head.

I came across an article re Coney Island and its roller coaster Cyclone. Both may be closed today.

Brought back memories of me and my Uncle Gus. My mother’s oldest brother. A barber in the Bronx.

Uncle Gus took me to Coney Island every year when we visited. A ride on the Cyclone always on the agenda. I was 4-10 during those years. Scared of the roller coaster.

Uncle Gus always insisted we had to sit in the front seat. I thought I was going to die each time. Fall out. In the vernacular, I shit my pants!

Uncle Gus loved it! He would yell and scream. I eventually realized I was his excuse to ride on the Cyclone.

In 1858, Lincoln was running for the United States Senate. He lost.

On this day in 1858 at a debate, Lincoln warned that America was becoming a “house divided.” He said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Heed well my friends! A warning. Words of wisdom that apply as much today as then.

Enjoy your day!

MONEY LAUNDERING

The New York Times reported this morning that Trump associates were being looked at for money laundering. Not a major portion of the article. Came up at the very end. The thrust of the writing was the news that Trump was being investigated by Mueller.

I have taken the position for six or seven months that in the end it would be money laundering that would bring Trump down. In this blog, my podcast and Facebook video, I have taken that position. More than once in each place.

I am not claiming to be an oracle of wisdom. I did however pick up on the money laundering several months ago in researching a separate matter. I also talk to tourists/people constantly about certain issues. Key West a good place to do so. Everyone is here at one time or another.

Now we wait to see what will happen. The hole dug by Trump and associates gets deeper by the day.

The Chart Room first last night. An unusual crowd for this time of the year. Wall to wall.

John bartending. He was training Bart who will bartend tuesday evenings at the Chart Room and three other evenings at the Beach Bar. Bart needed no training. He has bartended for 12 years at various Duval drinking establishments.

Janyne walked by the Chart Room on her way home. I nodded for her to come in. Chatted a bit. A lovely lady. A great personality.

Stopped at Outback on the way home. A small prime rib, baked potato and steamed vegetables.

Then, home.

I was on the road at 4. My evening finished by 8. Home in bed at 8:30. Fell asleep. Woke at one and have been awake ever since.

The moral: Never go to bed early unless you need the sleep.

Howard and Cindy Livingston are two of the nicest people in the Keys. I have known Howard for years. Even before he was the Howard Livingston he is today.

Howard a success. As is Cindy. She works every gig with him in one fashion or another. Also provides the moral support a good woman gives her man.

Neither Howard nor Cindy were born in Key west. However, they are loved by all and participate in many charitable events. Recently, Mayor Cates awarded each a certificate designating them as Honorary Conchs.

A big deal!

I recently read something concerning Pepe’s. The great restaurant on Caroline.

Pepe’s is the oldest restaurant in Key West. Born 1909.

Pepe’s special meal is steak smothered in pork chops. Outstanding! Enough for three!

The article seemed to suggest Pepe’s was serving the steak smothered in pork chops back in 1909. Correct? I will have dinner soon at Pepe’s to find out.

Every now and then I enjoy traveling back hundred of years to a significant person or place. Several times, I have visited Dante.

It is Dante again today.

Dante aka Dante Alighieri. On this date in 1300 A.D., Dante became a prior of Florence. He was one of six. they ran Florence politically.

Dante irritated some leading citizens. In 1302, he was banned from Florence.

How swiftly the mighty fall!

Dante and his family became wanderers. They sought the protection of several cities over the years.

The reason I mention Dante today is that during his years as a wanderer, he wrote The Divine Comedy.

A busy morning. A haircut with Lori and a visit to Farmers Market.

Enjoy your day!

GOP SHOOTING

A sad morning.

Sad for the people of the United States.

Republican Congressmen were shot at early this morning while practicing for a baseball game tomorrow morning. Against Democrats. An annual charity fundraiser.

Steve Scalise, the Majority Whip, was shot. In the hip. In surgery at the moment. Several others shot, including two police officers.

I am not a Scalise fan. He is a right wing conservative. However, that does not mean I want him shot. The philosophical battles between my side and his are fought in the halls of Congress and at the ballot box.

One observation. I place part of the blame on the venom and in your face bully type comments spewed by Trump. It invites reaction. In this instance, against Republican Congressmen.

All wrong!

An attack against a Congressman is an attack against me and against you. We are all Americans.

My yesterday a busy one. Running around all day taking care of the mundane.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. My podcast. Dwelt on Sessions’ testimony, the Cabinet meeting (the ass kissing one), and Boeing building or planning on building plants in China, Saudi Arabia, and India.

Forbes March edition reported there are 2,043 billionaires in the world. Their combined net worth $7.67 trillion.

Our national debt is three times that amount!

This Qatar thing is having effects. I once again blame Trump for emboldening the Saudis.

Qatar is one of the richest nations in the world. However a financial crisis is looming. The Saudis have shut off Qatar’s outside its borders bank transactions.

Another problem is milk. A problem of more immediate consequence. Milk. Milk is generally imported. Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations have blockaded Qatar.

Local Qatar entrepreneurs have started a cow paradropping campaign. The Berlin Airlift on a minor scale.

The Key West Citizen carries columns by national columnists several times a week. One appeared today. By the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker: Wishing for a Trump Tweetectomy.

Right on!

More than any other President, Trump has increased material for use by comedians.

Comedy Central’s Daily Show is opening this weekend the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library. The featured subject: Trump tweets. The Library is at 3 West 57th Street in Manhattan. It will be open friday-sunday. Admission free.

Some 20 years ago, a waitress at Square One had a sister who was afflicted with some rare disease. The sister was in Philadelphia. The waitress walked from Key West to Philadelphia to bring attention to the disease and to raise money to assist in finding a cure.

Impressive!

Another such venture. This one in the water rather than on land.

Three women are paddle boarding from Havana to South Florida. Hopefully, Smathers Beach.

One paddle board. three women. Each will take turns of two hours or less paddling. One of the ladies said, “Our arms are our engines.” Actually, the ladies cup their hands and use their hands to cut the water.

A vessel will lead them.

The trip is anticipated to take 25 hours.

Purpose: To bring two charities to the forefront. Ocean of Hope and Special Olympics 305.

Brave, tough ladies. Not an easy trip. Beside crazy waters and sharks, jelly fish could be the most significant problem. The ladies expect bites. They believe they can mentally as well as physically handle the pain.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TEAR DOWN THE WALL

Two events have occurred in my lifetime which I consider momentous. Man on the moon and the Berlin Wall coming down. No other event excels.

Man walking on the moon blew my mind. A real WOW! Inconceivable.

The Berlin Wall went up in 1969. Communist Russia and the United states were at each other’s throats for years. Fear of war overwhelmed us.

On this day in 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood before the Berlin wall and said to Secretary Gorbachev, “Take down this wall!”

Reagan had brass balls.

The Wall came down two years later. The Berlin people themselves knocked it down. Brick by brick, stone by stone.

Absolutely amazing!

The Soviet Union would dissolve two years later. Who would have thought?

Pride and Women’s Equality Parades yesterday. Both successful events. Crowds on the sidewalk cheering. Pride floats magnificent. Everyone happy!

One hundred feet of the Rainbow Flag was carried the length of the Parade.

The group on one of the floats kept repeating : Love, not hate, that’s what makes America great. A fitting slogan. A better variation on anything Trump has said thus far.

Today in Bayview Park, 49 Rainbow Flags are flying to commemorate the 49 lives lost one year ago today at Orlando’s Pulse Club.  In addition, a one hundred foot section of the Rainbow Flag flies in Orlando today.

Love one another!

William Hackley’s diary entry of yesterday in 1856 noted that his daughter Lucia had the chicken pox.

I recall the chicken pox when I had them at 3 or 4 years of age. My father dabbing me with calamine lotion to ease the itching.

Then came my four children. All close in age. We had 4 in 5 years.

They all came down with chicken pox the same summer. Not all at once, however. One every two weeks. A long summer!

I did as my father. Dabbed the sores with calamine lotion.

Qatar a problem place. For a short time, I hope. Muscle flexing by Saudi Arabia and a few other Arab states.

Qatar is small. Very small. Very rich. It has huge supplies of natural gas. Qatar and Iran have shared the benefits of the natural gas together for years.

Qatar has hired former Attorney General John Ashcroft and his law firm to represent Qatar in its problems with Saudi Arabia and others. Ashcroft was Attorney General under Bush 2.

The pay is good. A retainer of $2.5 million. For only the first 90 days of work.

Terri sings tonight with the Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Enjoy your day!