SUCKING AMERICA DRY

Several years ago, I wrote a lengthy article in KONK Life concerning the severe drought California was experiencing. A contributing factor was the cheap price bottled water companies were paying for water.

Companies such as Nestle were paying city rates. The same rates homeowners were paying. Water was costing bottled water companies less than a penny a bottle. Consider at this moment how much you pay for a bottle of water. The profit margin astronomical.

The problem has reared its ugly head again in Evart, Michigan.

Evart has huge supplies of groundwater. Nestle has an existing contract with Evart to withdraw 945 litres per minute. Nestle wants to expand its taking to 1,500 litres per minute. Amounts to 4.2 million bottles of water in a 24 hour period.

Evart’s citizens are opposed. A temporary ban has been obtained precluding Nestle from extending the limit.

Cost a major consideration. The question raised is why the bottling companies can purchase water from the City at the same rate as a homeowner and then turn it into a huge profit when bottled and sold. The thrust is the bottling company should pay more. Another consideration is Evart might need the water itself at a future time.

Bottled water is bottled gold. Water has become the most consumed beverage in North America. In addition to Nestle, Pepsi and Coca Cola sell huge amounts of Aquafina and Dasni. Pepsi and Coca Cola paying city rates also.

The profits once again massive.

Consider present day California. Nestle has a 20 year supply agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to take California groundwater. The price paid $0.000001 for the water in each bottle.

Ten years ago, fresh water was considered the best long term investment over the next decade. An astute observation!

Interestingly, bottles labeled “pure spring water” are generally merely fresh groundwater.

Detroit’s water is still foul. A major problem. Excess water in other parts of Michigan are not being made available to Detroit directly. Why?

China comes into play. Only 12 percent of China’s 1.35 billion citizens have access to fresh water. U.S. major bottling companies are set to rake in big dollars once the China market is developed.

Nestle, Pepsi, and Coca Cola are examples of corporate America controlling a life necessary item. The price of bottled water off super market shelves will increase dramatically over the years.

Such is inevitable.

Enjoy your day!

 

CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE

I enjoyed a cheeseburger in paradise experience yesterday. Before elaborating, a conflict requires explanation.

I have always been under the impression Jimmy Buffett wrote Cheeseburger in Paradise at a drug store once located on the corner of Simonton and United. An old time drug store. A bar with stools that swiveled. Several tables with old time rubber checkered tablecloths.

Buffett enjoyed cheeseburger lunches there. I did, also. Years later, of course. The cheeseburgers were good. I went however for the Buffett memory.

Recently, I was advised that Buffett did not write the song at or about the drug store. Rather, Buffett was on a Caribbean cruise and only had canned vegetables and peanut butter to eat. He dreamed of a cheeseburger. The first island stopped at, Buffett got himself a cheeseburger. Cheeseburger in paradise!

I do not buy the Caribbean story. I have never heard any other than the drug store one for 25 years.

Which brings me to why I am writing about Cheeseburger in Paradise this morning.

I started my evening yesterday at Aqua’s back bar. Mark Watson and friends.

Then decided to take a walk on Duval. Just a couple of blocks. Walked past Margaritaville. Stopped. Why not go in? In 26 years in Key West, I have only been inside twice.

Sat at the bar. Ordered a cheeseburger, of course.

Seated next to me were Dan and Anna from Grand Rapids, Michigan. We chatted. About Flint water, Michigan’s governor, and many other things.

Dan and Anna are around 70. Retired. Children gone. Seeing the world now.

Dan was involved in the manufacture of furniture. I learned that Grand Rapids is known as the Furniture City. Anna, a retired kindergarten teacher.

A good time.

My morning began with the anti-gravity treadmill. I cut everything back another 50 percent. Even time. Only on the machine 15 minutes. Learned something. I went back to my big time speed too soon. I have to crawl before walking. I was not tired at all afterwards nor any time during the day.

Then a Cuban cheese toast and Cuban coffee at the Cuban Coffee Queen.

It took forever to place my order.

There were two couples placing their order in front of me. Probably my age. They only wanted coffee. They asked the counter girl every conceivable question about each of the coffees. Then the sweeteners. What would she recommend? Finally, one guy and one woman walked away and left the completion of the order to the other two.

Came time to pay. Counter girl gave them the check. Oh no, we want separate checks!

Fortunately, I was in good humor. Actually found the whole thing interesting.

I have to compliment the counter girl. Took it all in stride with a never ending smile.

Not the end of the story.

When all four were seated at their table, the ladies took four subs out of their bags. Subs they obviously had purchased elsewhere.

Several years ago, the DC Madam was arrested. Her list of 800 plus prominent Washington big wigs confiscated. Louisiana Senator David Vitter’s name was on the list. He was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President at the time.  That was the end of that. Though he was reelected to the Senate by Louisiana a couple of years later.

Recently, someone went to court to have the entire customer list released for public viewing. The reason being there were names thereon of persons possible candidates for the 2016 Presidential election.

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the request to release the names. Without opinion.

Greece, my Greece! I love Greece!

Greece has had and continues to have big time financial problems. Greece had to be bailed out by the Eurounion. What was unknown at the time was that the bailout dollars were required to meet bank obligations. Shades of the U.S. We bailed the banks out directly.

A study was released last week showing that 95 percent of the monies loaned went to pay off Greece’s bank obligations. Only 5 percent to help the Greek people in crisis.

I spoke to this in a blog last year. Also, on my blog talk radio show.

Many say Greece placed itself in the debt position. So screw them! All must agree with me however that the Eurounion arranging for the multi-billion dollar loans was only to save the European banks’ asses. Not help the Greek people.

Enjoy your day!

FELL ASLEEP

My blog talk radio show was at 9 last night. It takes me five minutes before to connect with the radio station. The process is not permitted till 8:45.

It was 8 o’clock. I was watching primary returns. I fell asleep. Woke precisely at 9. Rushed to the computer. It took till 9:06 to connect.

This has happened before. I have to move my ass under pressure to connect.

Listeners last night were cheated of five minutes. Those archived will never know. I know and apologize. Promise to never fall asleep again.

The blog talk radio show went well. In spite of the lost five minutes. I hit hard on two issues. Female genital mutilation in England and Michigan’s Senate passing a bill last week making oral and anal sex illegal. Good for 15 years in jail!

The high number of mutilations in England is due to the high number of Muslim immigrants. Michigan’s soon to be law is the government invading the bedroom. Nine states already have such laws.

Today is wednesday. Wednesday is Hump Day. For me, Screw Off Day. No writing till the weekend.

The anti-gravity treadmill in the morning. Increasing my speed. I am impressed!

I misjudged my preparation for last night’s show. I thought I had things pretty well ready. About an hour’s work to complete.

I was wrong. Took me 3.5 hours. The reason being I found some items more interesting than that which I had prepared.

The New Hampshire results telling. I hate to admit it. It appears Trump will end up the Republican nominee. The Sanders/Clinton race still up in the air. Sanders victory impressive. Beat Hillary by 22 percentage points.

I suspect Hillary may be on her way down. Not because she is a bad woman. Her time has passed. She represents yesterday’s thinking. She has too many other problems on her plate.

Sanders an interesting candidate. He is of the Jewish faith. He would be the first Jew elected President should he win. Much like Obama’s victory as the first black.

We were all shocked by Flint, Michigan. It now comes out the lead problem has occurred in the past in other cities and in each the news of was kept from the public. Sebring, Ohio, Washington, D.C., Jackson, Mississippi, Durham and Greenville, North Carolina.

On this day in history in 1763, the French and Indian War ended. Recall, I made mention two weeks ago in KONK Life of the war as part of my Yankee Doodle Dandy article.

The Brits won  the French and Indian War. As a result, France lost most of its colonial empire. France did not forget. Many historians believe the French supported the colonists in the Revolutionary War for that reason.

Enjoy your day!

 

KELLEY MC GILLIS / FLAG FOOTBALL

The 25th annual Kelley McGillis International Women and Girls’ Flag Football Championship games begin January 25 in Key West. A welcome event every year!

The games have become closely associated with Kelley McGillis. A former top movie star. She was the female lead to Tom Cruise in Top Gun and Harrison Ford in Witness.

Kelley lived many years in Key West. She and her then husband owned three restaurants. Kelley’s on Whitehead is named after her. Kelley now resides on a farm in Pennsylvania.

She returns every year for the flag football event. She is an active participant in peripheral  activities. I do not know whether she still plays the game.

These championship games have grown. Sixty teams will arrive in Key West to participate. Primarily from North America, Latin America and Europe.

Cuba got into the picture in 2005. They now have an active flag football league.

Today is the day! Out of the house! I am ok. Feel fine. Need to shave first. Look like a bum.

I need food! Bad! Publix a definite stop. Tissues a must. Amazing the number of boxes you go through when you have a cold.

I want to go out tonight. I need to go out. Something easy. Like Don’s Place. I miss everyone.

Cold! 58 degrees at 7 this morning! High today 71. Even that number is cold for Key Westers, though better than high 50s. I am glad I have heat. My cold would have turned into pneumonia if not.

Many do not have heat in Key West. Key West is in the sub-tropics. Supposedly always warm. Not true.

You can get along without heat if you have a spouse. Two warm bodies next to each other. I did not put the heat in till after my wife left me.

The Flint, Michigan thing a disgrace. Lead in the water. Should not occur in modern America. Does not happen in the United States of today. But it did!

There will be a lot of blame to go around. Properly so. Thousands of children will develop brain problems in later years because they drank the water. I know about these things. My firm handled a number of lead poisoning cases years ago.

I spoke re the Flint problem on my January 5 blog talk radio show. The #1 topic. Somewhere the same day of the show, I came up with something about the problem. I could not understand why the national media were not dealing with it. It is only this past week they have gotten into it.

Cause and effect always an issue. I was aware that Flint got its water for many years from Detroit. Detroit had been in bankruptcy. Flint was under some kind of manager. The governor had taken over the running of Flint because of its financial problems.

At the time, I said money had to be the problem. The cause. The effect obvious. I thought the trustee in bankruptcy might have raised the cost of water to Detroit water users. Recall how Detroit was turning off water to thousands of homes where people were three months behind on their bills.

I took it another step. Thought that Flint had to drop Detroit water because it was too expensive. The governor appointed manager had to find ways to cut also. He concluded use Flint River water.

I cannot believe the Flint River waters were not tested. It is the way things are done. Another mistake in this scenario?

Big time snowstorm predicted up north. Two to three feet. A lot of snow. Many will be snowed in.

We went through this several times over the years in Utica. Never minded being snowed in. The 2-3 days were family time. Just me, the wife and children. There was a calm involved. Except when the kids were at each other’s throats!

Enjoy your day!