DON’T BRING SHEEP IN THE BACK DOOR

BOB wrote of September in Key West. Remember, BOB is writing as it was in the mid 1990’s. The doldrums. Tourist industry flat. Heat oppressive.

The saying back then was you could throw a bowling ball down Duval and hit no one.

BOB wrote “…..we are thrown on our meager resources, bar tabs rise, hurricanes are tracked, and the mood becomes introspective.” Further, living in Key West under these conditions is “…..not good for a terminally weird population.”

An overheard comment illustrates the point: “You know what’s interesting about this place? / No, what? / Well, if you like to screw sheep, and you bring ’em in your front door, your neighbor could care less and think none the less of you. But if you bring them in the back door, people get really suspicious about what’s going on. / Dead on.”

I intended to take part in Mel Fisher Days last night at Schooner Wharf. Jean Thornton scheduled as a celebrity bartender. Got side tracked, never made it.

Guy de Boer called. Stop over for a drink. I had never seen his home on Flagler. Was curious. It is one of those multi million dollar places just off South Roosevelt Drive.

Magnificent!

We sat in the back by the pool overlooking a wide canal. One drink led to a few more.

Hunger arrived. Guy suggested Moe’s on White Street. I have not been to Moe’s in 15 years. Food good back then. New owners today. The food just as good.

An enjoyable evening.

Tomorrow, I bring Key West Lou Live back to Facebook. Three to four minutes of current commentary. Guaranteed you will enjoy my ranting and raving. Join me. Any time of the day.

Jim Jordan is a bull in a China shop. Worse than Trump. Tasteless, classless.

He may be receiving his come up in’s.

Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University back when. It is now claimed that team Doctor Strauss was perpetrating some sort of sexual abuse on team members. It is further claimed Jordan was aware and did nothing about it.

The issue involves awareness. Jordan denies awareness.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Penn State’s revered Joe Paterno died in shame because of a similar situation. His campus statue taken down. If what was true concerning Paterno is true with Jordan, then Jordan deserves public rebuke also.

I have been against the use of mercenary soldiers since day one. Also the privatization of governmental agencies. In due course, no good rears its ugly head.

Blackwater was the first major mercenary providing corporation. Eric Prince its founder. Some questionable conduct resulted in Blackwater ceasing to exist. A new company was formed. Frontier Services Group.

Both organizations headed by Eric Prince.

Prince has been working with the CIA on a plan to withdraw active U.S. troops from Afghanistan and replace them with a force solely comprised of mercenaries. Six thousand of them.

It could sell. Big money involved.

Always follow the money. Money paid for mercenaries significant. Prince’s sister a member of Trump’s cabinet. Contributions to the Trump campaign huge.

Corruption generally follows.

Another concern from my end is that mercenaries could easily become the private army of a despot. A cause for concern with a President who would like to be President for life.

Madeleine Alright’s Fascism continues to intrigue me. Deals obviously with authoritarian figures. I have just completed my review of Mussolini. Next, Hitler.

Re Mussolini, I set forth two significant quotes from the book.

Twentieth century Fascism began “with a magnetic leader exploiting widespread dissatisfaction by promising all things.”

The other, “He sought to govern well, but to do that, he felt the need to rule absolutely. He had full trust in his own judgment, and there was no satiating his hunger for power.”

Familiar? Characteristics of a today person?

Trump failed to impress the English. Two hundred fifty thousand UK’s marched in opposition to his visit.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

TRUMP WILL DISAPPOINT

Some people cannot win for losing. Donald Trump is one. He started off big. Many believed in him. The second coming. He is beginning to fail in the eyes of some who initially supported him.

I am plodding through Madeleine Albright’s Fascism. In one part she writes of Benito Mussolini. Reminds me to a degree of how some thought/think of Trump.

She wrote: Thomas Edison hailed him as the “genius of the modern age”; Gandhi as a “superman.” Winston Churchill pledged to stand by him in his “struggle against the bestial appetites of Leninism.” Newspapers in Rome, host to the Vatican, referred to him as “the incarnation of God.” In the end, people who had worshiped his every move hung his corpse upside down next to his mistress’s near a gas station in Milan.

Albright wrote elsewhere re Mussolini’s speaking prowess: He knew the value of the popular touch and usually succeeded in eliciting whoops of approval from his audience. Before long, he had come to consider himself a man of destiny…..

Last night, the Blue MacCaw again. Guest of Donna and Terri.

My opinion remains the same. A winner! Food and drink reasonable. People cheerful. Entertainment excellent.

Blue MacCaw has been added to my list of watering holes.

Ran into Paul and Ron again. Second night in a row. We have become instantaneous friends. They knew Donna and Terri when Terri was performing in Washington.

Less I forget, Happy Hour is 4-9. A big one!

From Key West to Paris. Today is Bastille Day. On this day in 1789, the Bastille was stormed. The turning point of the French Revolution. France celebrates its Revolution on this day. A Revolution that lasted 10 years.

Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities. A book that reflected conditions leading to the French Revolution and Reign of Terror: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….. it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

BOB reflects on Bum Farto’s trial and its aftermath.

Farto was convicted. Sentenced to 30 years. Most of the other 29 defendants fared better. After an unbelievable series of delays, mistrials, bribes, jury tampering, and legal chicanery, most walked free.

Farto appealed. He was out on bail pending the appeal. In that interim, Farto worked to get a lesser sentence. His choices two fold. Turn on and testify against those not convicted. Or, the Golden Parachute. Bribe someone.

Neither option worked. A third option presented itself. If he could, disappear. Forever.

He disappeared.

The story at this point a bit murky. He backed out of his driveway one day, only to be surrounded by two black cars and a tractor trailer. Or, he backed out and simply drove away.

Farto’s car was found in Miami two weeks later.

Farto was never found.

Had he gone the way of Jimmy Hoffa? Perhaps buried in the concrete below I-95? Or, had he made it to Bali, the Fiji Islands or somewhere in Europe or Asia?

Farto’s wife waited 2 1/2 weeks before she reported his disappearance to the police. She told them she was so upset that she could not call them earlier. Truth be told, she and Bum had not been getting along and she could have cared less.

T-shirts began coming out with various inscriptions. The first was El Jefe. Then one with a B-25 dropping bombs with writing below: Bum’s Away. The next was Where Is Bum Farto? The final and still available one is Bum Farto, Where Are You?

And so the saga of Bum Farto ends. Tomorrow, another BOB begins.

Obviously, the English people do not like Trump. So many planned to demonstrate in London that the authorities called off the reception initially planned for him.

Trump and Melania were to be driven through London in a horse drawn open carriage. Normally, thousands would have been on the curbs cheering them. However, this time jeering.

That evening a white tie black tail event. Canceled for the same reason as the parade.

Trump experienced a bummer. He was relegated to tea with the Queen at Windsor castle. The event took 17 minutes. Before, he and the Queen inspected a line of troops in front of the castle.

The public not at either event.

If I were one here in America who had been involved in the Russian hacking, I would be concerned. The indictment revealed yesterday which involved 12 Russians was sufficiently detailed to convince the Russians hacked the election.

There will be at least one more set of indictments. Maybe more. Whatever, I would expect the next set to identify those in the United States who were involved in some fashion.

Key West Lou Live returns monday on Facebook. I missed doing it. Loved being able to rant and rave 3-4 minutes on a topic. Take a look.

Enjoy your day!

 

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FLORIDA PUBLIC BEACHES NO MORE

Strange laws are made. For strange purposes. By strange men.

Most Florida beaches have been public like forever. Now a law has been passed. One whereby beachfront property owners can kick people of the beaches.

The new law recognizes beachfront property owners to have claim to “the land above the mean high-water tide level.” Means private property beach owners can kick the public off beaches that heretofore were public.

The power behind the new law the rich. Wealthy beachfront homeowners and hotel owners.

Governor Scott owns a home on the beach in Naples. He was not concerned . He indicated people should not worry….rich people were unlikely to abuse their new powers.

As good as an assurance that it will never snow again in the Arctic.

Every now and then a person makes a special connection with Key West. Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett for example. Most recently, Diana Nyad.

Diana is a long distance swimmer. In 2013, she swam from Cuba to Key West. No easy task. Ever since, there has been a marriage between Diana and Key West.

She did not establish a residence. However does visit frequently. Key West honored her accomplishment with a memorial at the beach.

Irma knocked the hell out of certain parts of the lower keys. Many still recovering. Easy to understand when one realizes that 4,000 plus residential dwellings were destroyed in the keys as a whole.

Diana is in Key West for a month. Together with a group of friends. All runners, not swimmers. They are presently working every day along side Habit for Humanity repairing Irma damaged homes. Presently in the Big Pine area.

Key West showed its love to Diana. She is returning it ten fold.

Stability is lacking in our government. Tariff wars and sanctions lead to fighting wars.

Japan a perfect example. President Roosevelt was squeezing Japan in the time before Pearl Harbor. Japan had invaded China. Roosevelt wanted Japan out of China.

Japan a big importer of oil. Could not survive without oil. Roosevelt put the squeeze on Japan by placing an embargo on oil that normally would go to Japan from various parts of Asia. Plus, other sanctions.

Japan said…..Up yours! Pearl Harbor resulted.

Roosevelt was successfully choking Japan economically. Japan could have capitulated and agreed with Roosevelt’s terms which included Japan’s total withdrawal from China. Or, Japan could have taken the position you cannot do this to us and gone to war.

The answer we all know.

World War II resulted in a marriage of three nations. Germany, Italy and Japan. All fascist nations.

The Democracies plus Russia won World War II. Russia an immediate problem. However the Democracies kept Russia in tow.

In April 1945, Hitler committed suicide in a Berlin Bunker. Mussolini’s corpse was hung upside down at a gas station in Milan 2 days earlier. Following the War, Tojo was executed by hanging for war crimes.

Fascism for all intents and purposes was dead. Till recent years. It has returned. Big time. Trump the Pied Piper.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright wrote an interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times 4/6/18 re the issue of fascism titled: Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late.

Some countries were authoritarian leaning before Trump. Some since. Trump most definitely authoritarian. Another way of describing a fascist.

Other world leaders say if Trump can be a dictator of sorts, why can’t I? Leaders in Hungary, the Philippines, Poland and Turkey. Moves toward fascist states in Egypt, Syria and Venezuela. Russia under Putin already there.

Albright wrote that fascism on “the world stage is enhanced by the volatile Presidency of Donald Trump.”

I started this part of the blog discussing sanctions and tariffs being economic wars leading to fighting wars. China today is the U.S.’ primary adversary in an economic war. China a tough adversary. Would never even think of capitulating. Face too important.

So China will do everything to win the economic war Trump has guided us into with China.

Gao Feng, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said recently, “We will not start a war, we will definitely fight back…..No options will be ruled out.”

Feng was speaking of tariffs. However, the tariff war of today can easily turn into a fighting war tomorrow.

And who would we have to thank? Donald Trump!

A message to T-Shirt Jordan. Please send me your full name and address.

Forget not my Irma and Me book signing tuesday noon to 3 at Andrews Inn, Zero Whalton Lane, Key West.

Enjoy your day!

 

35 VICTORIOUS YEARS

No, not sick yesterday. Had some morning business matters that required attention. Thank you for your concern.

Little guys can beat the big eyes. Small nations can defeat or take the best of larger nations. One example being the colonists in 1776 who eventually beat the mighty Great Britain. Another the Vietnamese who eventually forced us out of Vietnam.

Key West’s population a steady 25,000 over the years. The United States 330 million. Yet every year for 35 consecutive years, the tiny Conch Republic has defeated the forces of the United States.

Last night was the Great Sea Battle. As anticipated, the Conch Republic won. A tiny pirate ship and other small boats beating vessels of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Conch Air Force consisting of pre-World War II bi-planes defeating  U.S. Navy jets from Boca Chica.

An exciting evening!

I watched from the Ocean Key House Pier. Cheered the Conch Republic on. Got wet from the spray.

Did the Chart Room before and after. Crowded. John bartending.

KONK E-Blast ran an interesting article and video this morning. A Deputy Sheriff on duty observed a meteor. He followed it with his dashcam. Through the sky till it is exploded. The explosion visible, also.

Two of Key West’s premier entertainers are teaming up to do a wednesday night event beginning this wednesday. Bobby Nesbitt will sing and play the piano. Skipper Kripitz, the drums. Both together at the Little Room Jazz Club.

Bocce thursday night a disaster. My team lost all three games. If the trend continues, I am going to come off the inactive list.

The team is having a difficult season. Hard to understand. For at least 5 years, the team one of the top ones. Good! All of a sudden, cannot do anything right. Inexplicable.

The State has reported no ZIKA disease found in mosquito samples this year.

Trump stated friday his first hundred days were “just about the most successful in our country’s history.”

Trump set the standard for what his accomplishments would be. Other than a Supreme Court Justice, he failed from my perspective. It has to appear that way to his supporters, also. Unless they are so blind they cannot see. Better stated, do not wish to see.

I expect a deluge of comments tomorrow morning disagreeing with me.

Where o’ where is the USS Carl Vinson?

We are concerned with North Korea. The Vinson part of a “carrier armada” Trump told us was on its way to North Korean waters. The carrier was first diverted to war  games in the Indian Ocean. Games have been long over. Vinson does not yet appear to have reached the North Korea area.

Information in the Indian Ocean days was that the Vinson could make the 3,000 miles to North Korea in four days by traveling at full speed. Thirty five mph.

On April 28, 1945, the dead bodies of Mussolini and his mistress were hung upside down from a grid at a gasoline service station site in Milan.

On my first visit to Novara several years ago, I visited Milan often. A half hour train ride away. Anna is very familiar with Milan. She attended college there and then worked in Milan for several years.

The gas station where Mussolini was hung was one of the places we visited. All I could think was deserved retribution.

More robot/artificial intelligence information.

A Chinese technologist Kai-Fu Lee claims that within ten years  artificial intelligence will replace humans in 50 percent of all jobs.

We should/must pay more intelligence to robots and artificial intelligence.

A couple of Key West/Hollywood connections.

Gloria Swanson spent several of her younger school years living in Key West. Her father was stationed here with the U.S. Army.

On a yacht trip in 1939, Swanson returned to Key West with several friends. Spent a few days learning about Key West anew.

Big star Jennifer Jones and equally big director David O. Selznick guested at La Concha in April 1946. They were not married at the time. What is common place now was not back then. Non-marrieds sharing a hotel room frowned upon.

Selznick was married to another. My recollection, Jones was divorced.

We end on a happy note. One involving a sad despicable place. On this day in 1945, the Dachau concentration camp in Germany was liberated by U.S. troops.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE EARLIEST SCROOGE OF RECORD

Christmas today is not the same as those of yesterday.

The holiday under different names was celebrated centuries before the birth of Christ. Pagan in substance. Drunkenness, sexual orgies, human sacrifice, etc.

What follows is a brief history of Christmas as practiced in early America. Specifically, the 1600s and 1700s.

The Puritans were the earliest Scrooges of record. Descendants of the English Reformation. Christmas had no place in England because of the pagan history of the holiday. Oliver Cromwell banned the practice of Christmas in England.

The Puritans did not recognize Christmas nor would they permit the few who wanted to to practice it. Christmas was banned in Boston from 1659-1681.

Colonials during the American Revolution did not recognize the holiday. English influence prevailed.

Several years after the Revolution, a handful of colonists began celebrating Christmas. The English influence no longer carried the weight it did prior to the Revolution. It was not Christmas as we know it. The event was rowdy. Similar to Mardi Gras and Fantasy Fest.

Tomorrow, I will trace Christmas in America a bit further. The story interesting.

Spent 1.5 hours yesterday morning getting examined. All kinds of tests. All that remains is the actual physical by the doctor which will take place next week.

Stopped at Publix afterwards. Needed a few things. Very few shoppers. However, those that were there were pushing extremely full carts to the cash registers. Early Christmas grocery shoppers.

Peter Max will be in Key West in February. Three separate visits. He will be showing at the Key West Gallery.

His visit exciting!

The Berlin terrorist was caught and killed in Milan.

All Italian cities are beautiful. Milan perhaps the most beautiful. I have visited several times.

Milan is a business and governmental center. Its people as beautiful as the City.

The Piazza del Duomo is one of Milan’s most exciting areas.

The Milan Cathedral aka Duomo di Milan sits at one end of the Piazza. Huge. Magnificent. Steeples galore. Took almost six centuries to build.

I recall one day when the heat was getting to me. I needed cool. Air conditioning is not as prevalent in Italy as in the U.S. Electricity not sufficient to air condition everything. Especially a huge cathedral.

Churches are always cool. Thick stone walls, small colored windows.

I went inside the Cathedral. I fell asleep for two hours. Slept till an attendant/guard nudged me awake. Told me I could not sleep in the Cathedral.

On one side of the Pizza sits a three story stone building. The second floor has a huge balcony. Mussolini stood on the balcony shouting to the crowded Piazza…..War, War, War! He was announcing Italy’s entrance into what would become World War II.

A few blocks off the Piazza is the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The home of the Last Supper. Painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1495.

The Last Supper is painted on the wall of the dining room. Quite large. 15′ x 29′.

I never  knew it was that large or painted on a wall till I saw the painting for the first time.

An awesome sight! The painting captures the instant moment when Jesus revealed to his friends that one of them would betray him. Da Vinci captured what would have been the shock and rage on the faces of the apostles.

Enjoy your day!