JUNE 6, 1944…..MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN THE 20TH CENTURY

June 6, 1944 was a dark ominous day on the beaches of northern France. The precise location, Normandy.

Allied troops landed on the beaches. One hundred seventy six thousand. Accompanied by 14,000 aircraft. The invasion of Europe had begun.

Ships involved constituted the largest armada ever. The largest amphibious military operation in history.

June 6 is considered by many as the most important day of the 20th century. The first step on the road to Germany. To a victory of good over evil.

Americans fought side by side with Canadians, British, and French. Among the same people Trump is defecating on today.

The admonishment to keep enemies close does not mean disregarding friends.

Were it not that today is D-Day, the lead topic would have been: I LOST 41 POUNDS! Wow. Took 7 months and 1 week.

I have been stuck at 38 pounds for a month. Previously, I have gone 2-3 weeks without losing a pound. Then 3-4 in one day. The scale does not lie. Today, the elusive 3 pounds.

Tuesdays generally a stay at home day. My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou is in the evening. I spend the afternoon fine tuning the show. So it was yesterday.

Two topics especially interested me as I thought they would those listening. The turmoil of 1968 and Bayer buying Monsanto.

Nineteen sixty eight found Robert  Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. being killed. The Vietnam War was at it speak. Ripping our Nation. Riots in the streets. Johnson opted not to run for a second elected term. The Vietnam War would have made his reelection impossible.

Monsanto not the best of companies. Its pesticide Round Up and certain of its products grown unhealthy. Monsanto opposed world wide. While the U.S. was welcoming and protecting Monsanto with legislation, many countries were throwing them out. Even Russia. Putin told them to go do their thing in the U.S. who apparently did not care if its people were killed.

The news this week is that Bayer is buying Monsanto. The closing tomorrow. Bayer has advised the name Monsanto will never be used or uttered by it. Also that certain of Monsanto products would be reevaluated for safety.

We shall see.

What have we become? Who are we? Presently, 11,000 children taken from their parents by immigration authorities. To temporary detention and then something a bit better. Too many, however. No where enough places to send them. Not even enough beds and blankets to comfort them.

Children involved run from babies to teenagers.

Attorney General Sessions is pleased. His plan. To discourage people from attempting to enter the U.S. Even those trying to enter legally.

The program cruel. Appears the children are being caused to suffer because of the sins of their parents. Trying to find a better life for themselves and their children.

Sessions has 3 children, 10 grandchildren. How would he and his wife have felt if his 3 children were taken away when young. Or, any of their 10 grandchildren today under authority of some asinine stupid mandate.

Paul Butler had a right on article in today’s Vanity Fair. Its title: “The Policing of Black Americans Is Racial Harassment Funded By The State.”

Many things bother me. Most difficult to understand. Today’s involves Trump/Putin and war with Russia.

Trump said yesterday he speaks regularly with Putin by phone. Sounds like the two are buddies. Everything kumbaya.

Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Mattis advised NATO to prepare for a Russian attack with planes, ships and troops.

A happy recollection. On this day in 1933, the first drive in movie opened. Called a Park-In Theater at the time.

Drive ins enjoyed their hey day in the late 1950’s into the mid 1960’s.

Drive ins during high school and college were a good place to neck. Loved it! Half the parking area were teenagers and young adults kissing.

As the young people got older, they became parents. The drive in still a good place to go. Young Moms and Dads had an evening out. The kids in the back seat with pillows and blankets sleeping. Parents in the front seat. Watching the movie, not necking.

So it was.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

WORLD WAR II RATIONING…..PUBLIC’S PART IN WAR EFFORT

The U.S. has had boots on the ground in 17 different countries since 9/11. Military involvement. Too much by any measure.

One of the reasons our country easily goes into these different countries to war is that most American people are not involved on a personal basis.

We have a volunteer military. No draft. Only those that want to go, go. We are not meeting the the military’s goals number wise. The quality of those volunteering is less than desirable mentally, drug wise and in other respects.

If there was a draft, Congress would be reluctant to vote monies for more and more wars. The people back home would be on their asses if they were committing their husbands, children and grandchildren to go in harm’s way.

During World War II because of the draft, everyone was involved on the home front as well as the war front.

Another method existed for citizen participation. Rationing. Painful in its own way.

Coffee one of the items rationed. Coffee came from Latin America. Military needed coffee more than the folks back home. Also, demands placed on shipping a contributing factor to the rationing of coffee.

Then there was gasoline. Imagine, each car owner got only 3 gallons a week. Butter, also. The boys at the front required it more.

Rationing gave those on the home front a hand in the war. A way to sacrifice, to participate personally.

The way things work today without a draft  or rationing, the home front is not a front. Those at home rarely feel the consequences of the wars. Unless a volunteer returns home dead or maimed.

Lunch yesterday at Five Guys. Second day in a row. A cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce leafs. Followed by minimal grocery shopping for the diet at Publix.

Ran into Giorgio at Publix. His Key West home for sale. He and Sharon are moving to central Florida. Irma evacuation got to him. Also, he needs to be close to good hospitals. The helicopter ride to Miami might get him there too late.

Giorgio is President of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. We have become good friends since I joined. I will miss  him.

Giorgio and I are having a farewell dinner together friday night. Drinks at the Chart Room and diner at Hot Tin Roof.

Last night my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. One of the better ones. Got into Muslims yesterday and today, the Catholic Church’s involvement in the First Crusade, the new Islamic Coalition comparable to NATO, etc.

Tragedy and pleasure struck yesterday. No hot water. Showered in the cold.

Tenancy has it advantages. Telephoned the rental manager. He came over and checked things. Unable to fix. He will have a repair man here today.

When I owned, it would have been my headache to arrange and pay for repair. Like it better this way.

Trump has enough on his hands. What with North Korea and the tax bill. Never the less, he seems to find time to return to the foolish. Yesterday, it was revealed he is back into the birther issue. He has returned to his original position: Obama was not born in the U.S.

When the sexual harassment issue hit the news several weeks ago, I said on my Facebook live video show Key West Lou Live that to a smaller degree women bore some responsibility. The was they dressed. Sexually. An invitation to wrongdoing by man.

No one else took a similar position till yesterday. Angela Lansbury. Now 92, a British Dame, former star of Broadway and Hollywood.

Lansbury said women’s efforts at beautifying themselves had “backfired.” Left them at risk of sexual harassment, encouraged sexual harassment. Women in some instances take the blame.

Lansbury added however that here was no excuse for men who prey on women.

Enjoy your day!

 

FIRST THANKSGIVING MEAL

The first Thanksgiving meal was not as it is today. There was neither turkey, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes nor pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving dinner has evolved!

The date of the event questionable. By a year. Some say 1621, the first year the Pilgrims were on Plymouth soil. Others say 1622, one year later.

The Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians joined together for the party. Not one meal. Actually, a three day feast.

Turkeys were plentiful in the area. Not generally eaten by the Pilgrims. A “fowling party” was sent out to capture the birds to be consumed. Birds regularly eaten by the Pilgrims. Ducks, geese and swans.

Bread stuffing. No way. Herbs, onions or nuts added to the bird for extra flavor purposes.

There was meat. The Indians contributed five deer.

Cranberries were plentiful. Still fifty years away from being used for eating purposes. Sauces or relishes with the meal consisted of sugar which remained from the long Mayflower voyage. The sugar in minimal supply, however.

Fifty years later people started boiling cranberries with sugar. The cranberry sauce first being used as an accompaniment to meats.

Mussels part of the meal. Mussels plentiful in the area. Clung to rocks along the sea shore.

No potatoes. Neither white nor sweet.

Potatoes originally from South America. The Spaniards brought them to Spain. Potatoes were still foreign to England at the time the Mayflower left.

No pumpkin pie. Pumpkins plentiful. Butter and wheat flour required for the crust not available. Nor were there any ovens for baking.

It is possible some pumpkins were hollowed out. Then filled with milk, honey and spices. Following which the gourds were roasted whole in hot ashes.

So much for the first Thanksgiving dinner. Habit of course, but I prefer turkey, cranberries, potatoes, and stuffing buried in gravy. Dessert, pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving, not a day to diet!

More from my blog/Facebook friend Jim Brown who lives on the island of Crete in Greece. Following is a further part of his detailed e-mail response to my inquiry as to why Obama was protested during his recent visit.

Some history required.

The U.S. and Greece were allies during World War II. The Greeks fought shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. in Korea. Greece was a part of NATO.

A military dictatorship took control of Greece in 1967. Unpopular. Remained in power, however. The junta was still in power in November 1973.

Athens Polytechnic is an Athens based university. On November 14, the students went on strike against the military dictatorship. By the next day, November 15, the strike had turned into a revolt.

The students occupied the Polytechnic campus during those days. The demonstrations increased in intensity from the 15th to the 17th.

The military government finally had it. They sent the tanks in on November 17. It was the end of the revolution. Many students died.

The Greeks take the events of those November days seriously. The 17th is a national holiday. There is a memorial stone on the campus. It contains the names of Polytechnic students who fought and were killed during the Greek resistance to Germany during World War II. The monument also contains the names of the students killed on November 17.

A commemoration event takes place each year on campus. The day the students decided to revolt. Two days after the commemoration event, demonstrators march the streets to the United States Embassy.

Why the U.S. Embassy?

Greeks have memories like elephants. They never forget. To this day, the Greeks are upset the U.S. did not support them in the November 1973 uprising. We were allies and friends at the time.

The U.S. and Russia were engaged in the Cold War. The U.S. thought it advantageous to support the military junta against the students. The U.S. felt it was the right move for them re the Cold War.

Once the U.S. broke faith with the Greeks, other reasons developed.

The U.S. was a significant part of NATO. NATO ended the Yugoslavia War in 1999 by bombing Serbia. Serbia was Greece’s orthodox ally.

The U.S. supports the European Union. The Union has been killing Greece with austerity programs. Another reason to be anti-U.S.

The U.S. supports the International Monetary Fund. The Greeks consider the Fund anti-Greece.

The annual parade on November 17 is to pay tribute to the students who died and secondarily, to express Greece’s continued displeasure with the U.S.’s position.

The last President to visit Greece prior to Obama’s visit was Bill Clinton. He formally apologized to the Greeks. He openly admitted the U.S. allowed its interests in prosecuting the Cold War to prevail over its obligation to support democracy.

Now comes Obama’s visit. On November 15. Not the 17th when the parade/demonstration was scheduled. Why waste a parade/demonstration? The event was moved up two days to coincide with Obama’s arrival.

Eight thousand protested. Anarchists and leftists.

The Greeks consider the U.S. a friend. In spite of the reasons given why not. Obama should not have been included in the demonstration. However, Greeks are Greeks. Such is their nature.

Recognize also that those protesting are only a portion of the Greek population.

Again, I must skip a day of Key West history based on a Rotary history. The blog today, though interesting,

already too long. Tomorrow, the Key West Rotary World War II and the immediate years following.

There will be more from Jim Brown, also.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Be grateful for whatever you have. Bountiful or limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A SUGARLOAF EVENING

Sugarloaf is 15 miles up US 1. One of the prettiest residential keys. Lovely homes.

I enjoyed a Sugarloaf evening last night.

June has owned or rented a home in Sugarloaf for more than a quarter century. She invited me to join her for a Sugarloaf experience last night.

First stop was a visit with Ineke and Fritz. Originally from the Netherlands, they have been U.S. citizens for many years. They enjoy two homes. A yearly residence in Connecticut, a winter home in Sugarloaf.

Fritz is a retired airline pilot. Ineke paints. Her works sell. Their Sugarloaf home walls covered with her paintings. All fantastic! Especially the abstracts. Their home lovely.

After an hour of pleasant conversation, we all moved on to Peggy and Wayne’s for dinner. Neva and Jerry joined us.

Another lovely Sugarloaf home. Sugarloaf has its own distinctive flavor. The homes reflect that distinction.

This was my third time with Peggy and Wayne. A fun couple.

A first time meet for me with Neva and Jerry. They stood out. Radiantly. They met eight weeks ago and fell in love. That quickly. It was obvious. God was good.

It was an evening of good company, drink and food. Accompanied by non-stop laughter.

I spent a good part of yesterday morning into the early afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column. When Education Fails, A Nation Fails. Title says it all.

Our educational system has been on a downward spiral for years. Other industrialized nations have moved ahead of us. My recollection is that the U.S. is #29 among the 66 industrialized nations. A sure bet for more nations to move ahead of us economically and socially over the next 20 years.

The Blue Angels were performing again yesterday at Boca Chica. I did not have to go to the airfield to see them. My bedroom terrace was sufficient. Every time I heard the roar approaching, I ran out.

Outstanding! Beyond outstanding!

A couple of years ago, I came across an article suggesting that Lincoln had a dream that he had been assassinated ten days before he actually was. I doubted the validity of the story. Let it pass without comment.

I have come across the same story twice the past few days. I did a little digging. It seems the story has legs. It is for real.

Lincoln’s dream involved a group of subdued mourners around a casket in the White House’s East Room. Lincoln asked a guard who had died. The response, the President who was killed by an assassin.

Lincoln was bothered by the dream. He mentioned it to a close friend whose name escapes me.

The dream occurred on this day in 1865.

The world gets crazier by the moment. New York City is apparently having a problem with taxi and hired car drivers. Passengers being subjected to sexual comments and acts.

The City is working on a proposal banning the drivers from flirting with passengers or ejaculating on them. Ejaculating? Yes, it has become a problem.

Key West is one human family. Homosexuals and straights live side by side. Work and socialize together. Sexual preference not an issue.

Not so everywhere.

Saudi Arabia a problem place. The same Saudis who claim to be our friends. Those thought to have helped finance 9/11. Seventeen of the 21 persons involved in 9/11 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. Less I forget, the same Saudi Arabia that gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

Criminal prosecutors in Saudi Arabia are recommending an extreme sentence for those engaging in homosexual acts. The death penalty.

The Saudis blame Facebook and the social media for creating the homosexual problem. They actually believe Facebook and social media are turning people gay.

Enjoy your day!