PUERTO RICO IGNORED INTENTIONALLY?

Puerto Rico and Las Vegas are tragedies. Of the highest order. Each approached differently by President Trump.

Trump visits Puerto Rico today. Two weeks post Maria. Trump visits Las Vegas tomorrow. Two days post the shooting.

Trump mentioned yesterday he might remain in Las Vegas more than one day.

Re Puerto Rico, Trump announced early on: “We have it under really great control.” San Juan’s Mayor Cruz contradicted him. No way, she said. Trump referred to those complaining as “politically motivated ingrates.”

A picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures and videos of Puerto Rico show the horrific damage clearly. Three million four hundred thousand American citizens suffering.

The question arises as to why help for Puerto Rico has been so slow.

J.T. Thompson wrote a Letter to the Editor which appeared in this morning’s KONK Life. Thompson’s letter responded directly to the question

I paraphrase.

Harvey headed to Texas. The White House relaxed regulations and delivered troops and resources in advance of landfall. Then assisted Texas quickly and efficiently after landfall.

A similar scenario with Florida re Irma. Relaxed regulations and delivery of troops and resources in advance of landfall. Quick and efficient assistance following landfall.

Puerto Rico was hit by category 5 hurricane Irma a week before. Then by another category 5 Maria one week later.

As Maria headed to the Caribbean, the White House did little in advance. Nine days after landfall, 3.4 million American citizens were waiting for food, fuel and drinking water.

Eleven days post landfall, San Juan’s Mayor  asked for “meaningful assistance.” Advising many could die without it.

Thompson answers the question why from a political perspective.

Texas has 38 electoral votes and supported Trump. Florida has 29 electoral votes and supported Trump. Puerto Rico has zero electoral votes and supported Clinton with its popular vote.

I do not know whether Thompson is correct. However, his position is food for thought.

As you are aware, I considered Florida’s Governor Rick Scott a terrible Governor. Till Irma. His attention to Irma and its people problems perfection. He covered all the bases getting ready and during the hurricane itself.

His attention to and anticipation of post Irma problems right on, also. One example being displaced Puerto Ricans who will be fleeing to Florida. Anticipated on an emergency basis to be in excess of 100,000.

Scott announced yesterday Florida is ready for them. The displaced Puerto Ricans will be welcomed with open arms. Every assistance will be provided them.

Scott has permitted State agencies to take extraordinary measures to assist families that will soon arrive in droves to cities like Orlando and Miami. The two cities have large populations of former Puerto Ricans. State agencies will be allowed to waive regulations.

Disaster relief centers are being opened today. Two each at Orlando and Miami airports. To welcome and offer every available resource from the State.

Scott is determined that the displaced Puerto Ricans are matched with available State resources to insure families are given the tools needed to work and provide their children with great educations.

Right on, Governor Scott! You are the man! You are welcoming people  to our shores rather than trying to keep them out. People in need.

A reminder. My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou at 9 tonight. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

CASABLANCA / 18 NEW 15 FOR SEX / TEETH WHITENED AND VAGINA REJUVINATION

Time to lighten up. Things have been too heavy for more than a week. Even an evacuee experiences stress.

Last night an experience. I watched Casablanca with three women. Jean, Joanne, and Ann.

A great love story. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The ladies cried throughout. Jean and Joanne had seen the film many times before. For Ann, the first time.

They bawled!

A new study recently released. Concerned teen age sex. When do the kids start having sex. Used to be 15. No longer. Now, 18. Described as 18 being the new 15.

Attributed to parents and children spending more time together. Parents thereby exercising more influence over them.

Michael Robinson I believe is a Key Wester who escaped Irma, also. I do not know him personally. However, his name and picture were familiar.

Robinson reported in Facebook an advertising sign he saw in Miami: Teeth Whitened and Vagina Rejuvenation.

Could both procedures be done at the same time?

Now to the serious.

Apparently everyone in Key West now has power, except for me and 44 neighbors. Anna called yesterday that my power was not working. Called Peter the realtor who watches over the house and is also a golf course resident. He had power and so did the people on his block.

He checked into it. I was without power. Turns out 45 homes on the golf course are with another electric company or two companies share the responsibility.

The two companies are arguing over who has to pay for the repairs.

I am not returning without power, water not having to be boiled, food and whatever other calamity remains.

Poor Jean. She may be stuck with us for a long time. I had to think before I shared the no power situation with you. I wanted t be sure the reason I have not left is no power, etc. and not that I have become comfortable living with Jean and Joe.

Looks like Key West is getting a pass as far as Maria is concerned. The projection is it will turn north while still in the ocean.

Florida electrical utilities screw the public. This includes our local Keys Energy. Charge for everything (including using a credit card to pay), frequently increase prices in spite of making significant profit.

The electric utilities and their lobbyists have had laws passed guaranteeing they can play fast and loose with customers.

One example involve solar panels. Florida unquestionably a great place for their usage. The power companies can stop a customer from using solar panels during an emergency by merely flipping a switch.

They do. The companies claim to permit the solar panels to operate could be dangerous to those doing power repairs.

For real?

Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly today. Never know what he is going to say. He will say something that will enrage most. I hope not something like: North Korea, one more test and we will bomb you.

Republicans are taking one last shot at repealing Obamacare. A Graham-Cassidy bill will be introduced to repeal and replace. Similar to the one that went down to defeat in July, except tougher. Takes away even more things.

Congressional passage and the President signing into law has to occur by September 30. Otherwise, 60 votes will be required in the Senate to pass instead of 50.

On this date in 1881, President James Garfield died. He had been shot in the back and arm 80 days earlier at the Washington railroad station. By an unhappy office seeker, Charles Guiteau.

The back bullet was the cause of death.

Actually, it was several medical mishaps. Malpractice by today’s standards.

Garfield was on the dirty railroad floor a long time before being removed. During that time, a nearby physician tried to prod the bullet out. Unsuccessfully. Other persons were touching the wound.

Infection was inevitable.

Subsequent to that day, doctors continued to prod with fingers and instruments for the bullet. They prodded on only one side of his back.

An incompetent doctor was put in charge of the President. The doctor who happened to be present at the railroad station when the President was shot. He insisted the bullet was on one side, the side it had entered, and only that side could be prodded.

Clean doctor’s hands not a practice at the time.

The bullet had to be found. It was causing the infection killing the President.

Even Thomas Edison was called in. He had recently invented a new machine that could detect foreign objects in the body. The machine had been successfully tested on numerous Civil War veterans.

The machine could locate nothing.

The reason was the President was laying on a metal spring mattress. The mattress having only recently been invented. One had been given to the White House free for the President’s use.

The metal springs screwed up Edison’s machine. It did work properly. However not on metal springs.

When Garfield died, it was found the bullet was not on the side of his back where the doctors thought. It was on the other side. The prodding had caused it to move. The doctors were looking in the wrong place.

Guiteau was placed on trial for murder. His defense was he did not kill the President, the doctors did. Technically correct. Never the less, he was found guilty and executed.

I apologize for being long winded re the Garfield story. I wrote a lengthy column several years ago for KONK Life concerning the shooting and the President’s death.

No Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou tonight. The podcast requires my land line in Key West to do the show.

Enjoy your day!

ANTI-SEMITISM HAS ANOTHER BROTHER

Moving on a step at the time. First with world news.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump both facing possible criminal charges. Birds of a feather.

Netanyahu’s wife is reported to be close to indictment.

Netanyahu’s son Yair recently made anti-Semitic comments on Facebook. A prominent neo-Nazi leader referred to Yair as “…..a total bro. Next he is going to call for gassings.” Yair succumbed to political pressure and removed his comments from Facebook.

Prominent families. Affluent and influential. Both screwed up!

The food continues to be excellent at Casa Thornton.

Ever hear of Blue Apron? I had not till last night. Blue provides prepared meals. Sent by mail. Prepared as to ingredients. Food provided and how to fix. Preparation and cooking the responsibility of the purchaser.

The quality of the meal impressed me. The work involving preparation did not. It took Jean and two ladies a half hour of chopping and cooking.

We enjoyed herb crusted rock fish, chicken ragu, greens in oil, and mashed potatoes. Accompanied by fine wine, of course.

Dessert consisted of three different packages of Keebler cookies. Wine accompanying.

Entres and dessert opposite ends of the spectrum.

When do I return to Key West? A minimum two day trip. I am getting all kind of messages from friends there. Stay / go. My decision will be like flipping a coin.

Everyone has water. Dirty water. Boil first rule. Toilets flushing. Water available fifteen miles north to Shark Key.

Gasoline available. No lines.

Power is sketchy. Comes and goes. I have power thanks to my new residence being near the local hospital. Means air conditioning. Impossible to live without in the Keys.

Three problems of concern remain.

Food continues to be limited. The old Publix is open a few hours a day. A limited number of people allowed in at a time. Government officials advising buy a seven day supply. The alternative for those returning is to bring a one week supply with them.

Flats galore on US 1. From debris rudiments remaining. Warning is be prepared to change a flat. I have not changed a flat since law school. Either the car will fall off the jack or I will get a heart attack removing the lug nuts.

Interruption: Re power. I had power. Do not have it now. Anna went to clean. Just called. Ninety five degrees.

Final concern is mosquitoes. I am told they are breeding in the pools. Ergo, many mosquitoes. I was told to return with bug spray. Lots. Also advised some are getting sick from the bites. One person said dengue fever. We had a case or two a few years back. I hope we have not returned to the problem.

Mayor Cates was interviewed on TV yesterday. Key West has a population of 25,000. Twenty thousand left, 5,000 remained. Yesterday residents were permitted to return for the first time. Cates anticipated 8,000 would return the first day. I am anxious to see how the returnees make out today and tomorrow.

Good luck contacting Bank of America. On the phone an hour listening to crappy music waiting for someone to pick up at the other end. A national number. I finally hung up. Both Bank of America branches in Key West closed. It is going to take a few days before my credit card problem is resolved.

Maria, Maria, Maria! She’s on her way! Almost the same track as Irma took at this point. A category 3.

Hope it takes that turn north out into the ocean.

Will I ever leave Birmingham? Nice place. Good company. Excellent food. Excellent wine. Jean is at the store at the moment purchasing another half gallon of Beefeaters.

It is embarrassing being an unexpected house guest this long. Already over a week.

Enjoy your day!

MARIA, MARIA, MARIA…..MAY MEET A GIRL NAMED MARIA…..THE NAME MAY NEVER BE THE SAME

The most beautiful sound I ever heard: Maria, Maria, Maria…..I’ve just met a girl named Maria /And suddenly that name / Will never be the same…..Maria!

The West Side Story’s music happy. Irma has not been. Now comes Maria. The song resonates. However, Maria may make us unhappy. As unhappy as Irma.

Maria on her way. A category 3 at the moment. On a path similar to Irma. Could come right over the Keys and Florida. Maybe not. Maria has a slight bend to the east.

Jose in between. The male meaningless. Expected to downgrade to a tropical storm. If it landfalls, probably the northeast coast of the United States.

For some, Keys’ living is a dream. Paradise. The reason they located here. Irma destroyed that dream for many. The Keys will recover. The time in between will be difficult.

As Irma approached, the issue for many was whether to stay. Significantly more left than stayed.

A woman who stayed regrets her decision. To those returning at this time, she suggests they do not: “To paraphrase Sheriff Ramsey, bring enough resources…..to last a week. If you can’t do that, then get back in your car and get the hell out. It’s not fun. We have no power. It’s hot. We’re rationing ice, and the water is brown out of the tap…..We wouldn’t stay again.”

My friend called me again this morning. Continues to be impressed with 801 and Bourbon Street. Air conditioning, ice and free food. Tells me the same person owns both establishments.

He recommended I not return yet. Very little power, no water, little gasoline, sewer problems continue, the smell/stench abominable, air thick with humidity, ATM machines covered, etc.

He told me I misspoke in yesterday’s blog re roadside debris. Could be seen all the way to Cudjoe Key, not Islamorada. From Cudjoe to Key West, merely bent trees.

US 1 opened for residents and business people all the way to Key West 7 this morning. Traffic heavy. Flat tires frequent.

US 1 has only one checkpoint. At Florida City.

Side roads apparently a problem. There are 21 side road checkpoints between Marathon and Key West due to unsafe conditions.

Someone reported on Facebook this morning 2 accidents already on US 1. One of the accidents a head on. One person dead. I have not been able to verify this information.

My admonition. Drive carefully. Do not speed. An extra half hour in getting to Key West will make no difference.

A personal calamity. Pisses me off.

I have a debit card with Bank of America. About four days before I left Key West to avoid Irma, I received a letter from Bank of America advising some one got into a series of card numbers. They were issuing new cards and I should receive one by the 14th. To use it when received. Ok to use old card in the meantime.

Hurrying to leave Key West, I gave the card no thought. Know I did not receive the new card as of the date I left.

Took Jean and Joe and my fellow evacuees to dinner last night. First time I have trued to use the card since 9/3. Card no good. The recorded wording something to the effect my number not registered with them. I tried every which way to get a human to speak with. No luck.

I had other cards to pay for the dinner.

Figured I would run over to a Bank of America tomorrow morning to get a temporary card. No Bank of Americas in Alabama.

I’m doing good!

I cannot talk to a human bank person till Monday morning during bank working hours on the phone.

I have a feeling I will be returning to Key West at some point this week without the card.

Suppose I needed the card? Suppose it was the only card I had? Suppose I was facing a 1,000 mile drive back to Key West without a card for gas and a motel one night?

In view of Irma, someone at the bank end should have made the decision to keep the old cards good at least till the end of the month. It had to be obvious not all would have received the new card before escaping Irma.

Robert and Ally’s dog Jake a Jack Terrier mix. Looks and acts like a Jack Terrier. Took a while, but we finally bonded.

Joanna is an evacuee staying with the Thornton’s, also. Johanna is a manager at the Audubon House. She has a Jack Terrier mix. Ralphie. Yesterday, I was sitting in a chair watching television and he jumped on my lap. Stayed. I rubbed his head, back and tummy of course.

Ralphie and I are bonded. He follows me around. Makes me play with him.

I live and learn. Teddy Roosevelt was fond of Jack Terriers. The White House had a rat problem. Jack Terriers are the natural enemy of rats. Roosevelt had several brought into the White House to live. It was the end of the rat problem.

Enjoy your Sunday!