VENEZUELA’S DESCENT INTO HELL

Nicolas Maduro has been President of Venezuela for four years. His Presidency a steady decline to the gates of Hell. First no toilet paper. Then no food. Finally, pets and zoo animals eaten. Along the way, people disappearing or killed.

Today, Venezuela stands at those gates. It is election day. A special election day. Maduro wants to replace Venezuela’s National Assembly and adopt a new Constitution. The new National Assembly will be composed of persons nominated by Maduro. The new Constitution will give him the powers of a dictator.

I have written about Venezuela the four years Maduro has been President. I was intrigued when the nation ran out of toilet paper.

It has bothered me the people never revolted. They protest in huge numbers. In recent weeks, a handful have clashed with Maduro supporters.

Turns out Cuba is behind it all. Yes, our tiny neighbor 90 miles to the south. Cuba is responsible for everything that has been happening in Venezuela.

Cuba is the power. It controls the levers of power. The government and those who support it.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote an excellent opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal’s July 17, 2017 edition. Titled: How Cuba Runs Venezuela.

Cuba has been trying for 50 years to sow its ideological revolution in South America. Concerning Venezuela, it has succeeded.

Cuba needs Venezuela to transport Colombian cocaine to the United States and to Africa to supply Europe. It also relies heavily on cut-rate Venezuelan oil.

Cuba has established a Soviet type hold on Venezuela. Working in Venezuela are 50 high ranking Cuban military officers, 4,500 Cuban soldiers, and 34,000 doctors and health professionals who are there to defend Cuba’s tyranny with arms if necessary.

Thousands of other Cubans hold high level Venezuelan government positions.

The Cubans have toilet paper and eat well.

Similar to Soviet oversight, each Venezuelan military commander has a civilian minder. A person who watches every turn and reports to higher ups any deviation from expected conduct.

I find it amazing how relatively silent the American media has been over the years re Cuba’s influence.

Today’s election is most important. I fear Maduro and his followers will win. Nothing good can come from the victory for the Venezuelan people and the rest of the world.

Last week when Trump lifted our new relationship with Cuba, I thought he was succumbing to that small group of Cubans who had to flee Cuba fifty and more years ago and now reside in Miami. A poor reason I thought.

Now, I wonder if Trump was motivated to show the world he stood against the evils imposed by Cuba upon Venezuela.

Regardless, the Monroe Doctrine has been forgotten.

Yesterday was Saturday. It became my Sunday. My lazy day.

I never left the house. Read, wrote, napped and watched TV.

Hackley’s journal has suggested, at least to me, that Hackley used slaves. Not as an owner. He rented them.

Further indication of Hackley as a lessee is found in his entry of this date in 1856. Hackley speaks of his cook Black Matilda. It was yellow fever time. He wrote she had “some fever and pains in the head.”

Hackley got Black Matilda out of the house immediately. Delivered her to someone else to worry about.

Some generally unaware history concerning Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West to this day loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. He did so at the Truman Library in Independence. Truman was still alive and attended.

Why the Truman Library and in Truman’s presence?

Truman was the first President to propose national health insurance. Congress opposed. He could never get it passed.

Johnson further paid tribute to Truman by enrolling Truman as Medicare’s first beneficiary.

Enjoy your Sunday!

FATHER’S DAY LONG IN COMMING

Happy Father’s Day!

They did not want Father’s Day. For shame! Social groups thought the only purpose was to commercialize the day. No honor to Dads involved. These groups had Washington politicians in their back pockets. It took till 1972 to legalize Father’s Day as a holiday.

Prejudice involved, also. Many thought fathers were not entitled to be honored as mothers were.

The media opposed marking the day. Newspapers featured cynical and sarcastic attacks on the issue. Jokes were made of the idea of having a Father’s Day.

Resistance began crumbling during Woodward Wilson’s time as President. He tried. He could not get Congress to approve a bill, however. Lyndon Johnson met with the same resistance. Seeing he could not get a law out of it, he settled for a Presidential Proclamation.

Richard Nixon succeeded where others had failed. He got Congress to pass a bill and Nixon signed it into law. Father’s Day forever to be the third Sunday in June.

My afternoon yesterday was spent researching this week’s KONK Life column. I will write the article this afternoon. Title: Napoleon 2 Xs. Interesting history rarely mentioned in reviewing Napoleon’s exploits. Eye opening information regarding Waterloo and the Louisiana Purchase.

Last night, Tavern ‘n Town. Dinner with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri. Always good company.

Ran into Dr. Sullivan and his wife. First time I met his wife. He and Donna and Terri are old friends.

While waiting for Donn a and Terri, I enjoyed a drink at the bar. Made new friends. Karen  and Jim. They purchased a condominium at the far end of Stock Island. Beautiful open water views.

Their last stop before Key West was Punta Gorda.

Karen a former law office administrator. Jim a former IBM consultant. Had been with IBM 30 years prior to retiring.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

BOCCE PLAYOFFS

It was festival time yesterday at the bocce courts. Playoffs! Tents covering players from the blazing sun. Food and drink. Lots of spectators. Even babies.

We played the #1 team from monday night. We were #3 from the thursday night league. Got our asses whipped in the first game. 16-4. We were competitive in the second. Lost 16-15.

We are done.

The team that beat us will probably go on to win the whole thing. Three times. They were good. No question about it. Precision shooting. Missed only one blast.

Joe Quartarone e mailed me. He is an officer in the national bocce organization. He made inquiry of the Key West league via my blog. He wanted to know among other things numbers. How many players, teams, etc. I told him 56 teams, over 500 players.

He wrote back excitedly. Key West has one of the biggest leagues in the country. He is going to visit, etc.

Watched the Preakness at Don’s Place. For some reason, it did not excite me this year.

Probably because I was anxious to get over to the Firehouse Museum. A birthday party. 102 years old. A mamey tree. Purportedly the grandfather of all mamey trees in the United States. DNA proven.

The tree is on the side of the Museum. Majestic. 54 feet tall.

About 200 at the party when I arrived.

The tree’s fruit is used to make ice cream. There was free ice cream. Tried it. Delicious!

During the course of the afternoon before going to the Museum, I asked many if they had ever heard of a mamey tree. No one knew what I was talking about. Guess I asked the wrong people. The 200 at the Museum knew.

While at Don’s Place, Clare and Stan introduced me to Clare’s new boss. John Cary. He is the new President of Dion Oil LLC. Dion’s is now owned by Uphoff Ventures. Uphoff purchased the business from the Dion family several months ago.

Don’t let the oil in the name of the business fool you. Dion’s is best known for its chicken. The absolute best!

Cary a nice guy. Intelligent. He should do well in caring for and expanding Dion’s.

I was home before 8. Wanted to watch the Lyndon Johnson movie on HBO. All the Way. I was disappointed.

Johnson was portrayed in too dramatic a fashion, nutty, and intense.

Johnson was a hard driving individual. However to portray him as a man who did not want to get out of bed when things got tough was an insult to the man and his true history.

Spent yesterday morning researching this week’s KONK Life column. I will write the column this afternoon. To Bee or Not To Bee. Not Shakesperian. It is the story of bees as used in warfare. From centuries before the birth of Christ to present day.

How many movies have we seen of wagon trains? Going west. Did you ever give thought to how long a trip took. I never did.

Read something this morning that evidences the time factor. On this day in 1843, what has been described as the Great Emigration began. A covered wagon trip from Independence, Missouri to Oregon. One thousand settlers and 1,000 cattle.

Five months.

A quiet Sunday ahead. I have nothing planned.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

LOU HARRIS A PART OF AMERICAN HISTORY

I enjoyed last evening’s talk by Lou Harris tremendously. He was the final speaker in the 2015 Friends of the Key West Library Speakers Series. Harris is 94. He has been a part of American history. He is respectfully known today as the Dean of American Pollsters.

Harris was an intimate of former Presidents. Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. He shared some Johnson quirks. Humorous. He knew Joe Kennedy very well.

He decried today’s pollsters. They give he who is paying the bill what they want. Not necessarily the truth. Romney being an example. He sees Hillary as the next President. However, the e mails will be a problem for her. He thought Elizabeth Warren would be a more exciting candidate.

Harris recognized the growing strength/power of women. They are rapidly become leaders. Simply because they are better equipped to handle problems.

Education a problem. Our children not getting a proper education. Unless remedied, it could lead to the United States becoming the biggest banana republic ever. Also, children cannot learn if 16 percent go to school hungry.

He was clear that racial problems must be fixed.

He damned corporate America.

The evening was a pleasurable experience for me.

I was with June hudson. We stopped at La Concha after the talk for a drink. Ran into Aaron and Karen. Then to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Did some sataki.

On the way to our cars, it started raining. Pouring a better description. We ducked into the Chart Room till the rain stopped. It poured all night also. It is still raining heavy as I write. Strange because we are no where close to the rainy season.

Met Louis Snow for the first time at the Chart Room. Snow is a retired attorney from Skaneateles, N.Y. Home also of my friends Dan and Lisa Reardon. He knows them.

Snow is a frequent visitor to Key West. His present trip for 6-8 weeks.

I hope we run into each other again this trip. I would enjoy sharing war stories with an attorney who practiced in some of the same court rooms as I did.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me. The topics interesting. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou..

Topics such as Russia giving Denmark a nuclear warning, Andorra becoming the new place for money to be laundered, a police impersonator who had the misfortune of pulling over a real cop, a woman who was convicted of killing her child and had served 20 plus years being released because the proof against her was grossly unreliable, the Phoenix Zoo discovering after two years that a two year old bear was a female and not male, and more.

Another morning where I have to hustle. I have a late morning appointment with my dermatologist. A routine six month check up.

Enjoy your day!