HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLY

An important thing in life. Children’s birthdays! Today, my granddaughter Ally’s is being celebrated.

Thirteen years old. Definitely a young lady. The flower is blossoming.

Ally’s birthday was Friday. Conflicted with Robert’s graduation. Ally wanted her own day. It began Saturday. She had her hair striped.

Terrible! Too young! I am merely a voice in the wilderness, however. Not the parent, not my decision.

What I really was expressing is it pains me to think she is maturing. Not a little girl any longer.

Last night, a sleep over. Which means Ally will be beat this evening for the family birthday dinner, cake, etc. Perhaps a bit grouchy.

Can’t win them all!

In any event, I love you Ally. A big Happy Birthday to you!

My yesterday began with a manicure. Tammy and her husband Rick are entrepreneurs. Mid-thirties at best. Tammy in the U.S. about 14 years. From Vietnam. Became a citizen last year. Rick of Vietnamese extraction. Born in the U.S.

They have a great business. Employ many. Work hard. Achieving the American dream. I doubt they are the type people Trump would praise and acknowledge. They do not rape, kill, pillage, rob, do drugs. Why not?

Chart Room last night. Quiet. Enjoyed a couple of drinks and moved on to the Beach Bar. John was working the Beach Bar last night.

Glad I stopped by. Ran into Dan and Stephanie from Ohio. Never met them before this week. Have enjoyed their company three evenings, however.

Their time in Paradise coming to an end. Leave Tuesday for home. Expect to return some time this summer.

Dan and Stephanie were heading to the Pride Follies. Good choice, I advised. Mentioned that Rick Dery of Dueling Bartenders was the director. Recommended Dueling Bartenders on Monday nights to them.

A quiet Saturday evening. I was home in bed before 9.

The Key West Citizen’s weekend edition ran a major article re Mallory Square and the homeless. The homeless becoming a problem.

Mallory Square is where the sunset is watched every evening. Hundreds of people. All ages. A cat through a wheel of fire, a man swallowing a sword, etc.

A growing group of homeless are getting drunk, argumentative, threaten each other, harass customers and vendors for money, sleep illegally, etc.

Key West is a great venue for the homeless. Many are snowbirds. Visit our island for the season. Then drift off till next Fall because the humidity becomes heavy and uncomfortable. A size able group remains, however.

Key West takes care of its homeless. Two very huge air conditioned tents, showers, cots with clean sheets each night, food at several locations, etc. No reason for them to camp at Mallory Square. A business place for vendors and tourists.

One thing sure in our country, the rich are getting richer while the poor poorer. Corporate America is not and has not for a number of years shared its successes.

An example is Toys R Us. Filed for bankruptcy. One week before the filing voted top echelon people $8 million in bonuses. The 30,000 workers who will be without jobs, nothing. No severance pay. Not a penny.

To compound the wrong, in the year before the filing the CEO was paid $11.2 million.

Much federal legislation has been blocked by a handful of far rights who were elected to Congress. Some, not all, appear a bit wacky when on television.

There appears to be a larger number of crazies running for Congress this year. This group’s ideologies different from the far righters. Some will be elected. It is the way of elections in recent years.

Three examples.

Nathan Larson. A Virginia Libertarian. Running as an independent. Supports abolishing age restrictions for marriage (a nice way of saying pedophilia is ok), supports abolishing laws opposed to marital rape, believes women should be under the control of men, is a white supremacist, believes Hitler was a good thing for Germany, believes incest should be legalized.

Patrick Little. A Republican candidate for the Senate representing California. Denies the Holocaust and calls for a country “free from Jews.”

Little is popular. He is running second in polls to Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein. California’s strange election laws could result in him being elected.

Arthur Jones. Chicago area. A candidate for Congress. Denies the Holocaust, a former leader of the American Nazi Party, believes people of color are mentally inferior to whites.

Jones is the official Republican candidate. He is running in a very strong Democratic district where no other Republican wanted to waste time running.

Some things are hard to understand. The Kim/Trump Summit is scheduled to begin in Singapore June 12. Kim will be staying at the 5 star Fullerton Hotel. The Presidential suite costs $6,000 a night. Kim’s staff has to be housed also.

Kim/North Korea refuse to pay the bill. The U.S. looking for a means to legally pay the bill.

Sung-Yoon Lee is a Tufts University Korean expert. He says re the payment quandary, “North Korea can build nukes and ICBMs, but claim they are too poor to pay for foreign travel costs.”

Trump apparently considers himself the summit king now that the meeting with North Korea is locked in. Trump indicated yesterday he wants a summit with Putin arranged.

Putin will eat him up.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

MY MOTHER…..A WISE WOMAN

Big day today! Mother’s Day!

The person who knows us best.

My mother was unique. Then, I assume all mothers are.

She was born in Italy. The last of eight children. The first girl. The previous seven boys. Her parents felt fortunate they finally had a daughter. They named her Fortunata, Italian for Fortune.

She came to the U.S. at an early age. Never made it beyond the third grade. At 9, she was working 16 hours a day in a shoe factory in New York.

Move swiftly ahead.

I had become a lawyer. A successful one. On my drive home after work, I would stop to see my mother. She was always ready for me. A bottle of Beefeaters and a glass filled with ice on the kitchen table.

We would sit and talk. About nothing and everything. My day. The kids, her grandchildren. My father. Whatever moved us at the moment.

She could tell when I had something on my mind. What is the problem, she would ask. I would share and this woman with only a third grade education generally in her own way had a solution.

She has been gone more than 30 years. Missed! A day has not gone by when I have not thought of her.

On the wall opposite my desk, her painting hangs. She is in my face several times a day. I talk to her frequently.

I wish she could talk back.

Spent yesterday afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column which publishes wednesday. Black Caesar…..Keys Pirate. Interesting. Big pirate back when. One of the biggest. His story.

Finally got out of the house last night. Catherine took pity and picked me up. We dined at the bar at Berlin’s.

Bria Ansara not singing. Home sick. Laryngitis.

Sloan’s daughter hosting. Always a warm greeting.

Catherine told me about a site I should take a look at. I did this morning. I am going to share it with you. Absolutely terrific! https://youtu.be/580dYcYneA.

The man Randy Rainbow. A humorous pundit.

Remember Sound of Music? How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria……He sang it with North Korea in place of Maria. While dressed as a nun.

Pouring this morning. As it did yesterday morning. Then, the rest of the day beautiful. Hopefully, it will be the same today.

Donna and Terri have promised to come get me and take me to Hot Dog Church later this afternoon.

I am a lucky man. Surrounded by loving women who want to care for me. Lesbians included.

I am a Manhattan College grad. As is John Reinke. John writes a weekly blog re Manhattan graduates. Titled Jasper Jottings. A slew of information.

This morning’s blog mentioned Japanese bus drivers. They are on strike. Striking differently, however. They have kept driving. The difference, they refuse to take fares.

There is an eloquence associated with great men. I read somewhere that Lincoln would not have been a great President without the Civil War and slavery. Churchill without World War II. Roosevelt without the Great Depression and World War II.

Whatever the reason, permit me to share examples of eloquence.

The bombs were falling all over Europe. Churchill elected Prime Minister. He said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat…..Victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however long and hard the road may be.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt upon taking office and facing the Great Depression: The “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” His address to Congress asking for a declaration of war following the bombing of Pear Harbor: December 7, “a day which will live in infamy.”

Psychics everywhere. Key West included. Not all for real. Some dishonest.

New York’s Psychic Zoe, aka Ann Thompson, is a self-proclaimed clairvoyant. Arrested. Charged with fortune telling fraud.

Took 2 victims/clients for $800,000. One for $740,000, the other $72,000. Each began with a $5 charge. The victims were plied with things like never being able to love again if the victim did not continue with the clairvoyant. Clearly chicanery. Clearly a fraud.

I feel sad for the gullible who satisfied an emotional need by succumbing to the lies in this instance of a fortune teller.

A psychic worth $800,000 should have been able to see her investigation and arrest coming and avoided it. What happened?

I am amused by North Korea making all these concessions prior to the actual meting between the two leaders. The most recent is North Korea has invited foreign journalists (including U.S.) to be in North Korea May 23-25 when North Korea dismantles its nuclear test site.

Query: What about the nuclear warheads, etc. which North Korea already has? I doubt Jung-Un will destroy them. In fact, I guarantee he will not.

Then what is Trump going to say? He has told us constantly that he is firm  in the total denuclerization of North Korea. Which includes nuclear weapons North Korea already has.

Hurricane season around the corner. Begins June 1. At a time  we are not yet finished with recovery work from Irma. Lets hope this will be a hurricane free season.

If you have not read Irma and Me, please do. It will provide the opportunity to understand what happens prior to, during and following a hurricane. My book combines humor and tragedy. Available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

GREAT SEA BATTLE

History records many famous sea battles. Samalis (480 B.C.), Defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588), Trafalgar (1805), and Midway (1942) amongst others. Not mentioned however is Key West’s Great Sea Battle (1982).

Important to the Florida Keys. A battle for independence. Resulted in the birth of the Conch Republic.

The Great Sea Battle is reenacted every year. In April. This year, tonight. The forces of the Conch Republic meet those of the United States. A sea battle like no other.

Involved on the side of the United States are Naval jet fighters and Coast Guard vessels. For the Conch Republic, World War I bi-planes and pirate ships.

Bombs from the World War I bi-planes will be dropped on the Coast Guard vessels. The bombs, rolls of toilet paper. A sight to behold as they flutter downward continually opening. Conch bi-planes will also engage the Navy jet fighters.

On the sea, two pirate ships will appear on behalf of the Conch Republic. Maned by pirates and their wenches. Dressed appropriately. The wenches all young and beautiful.

The pirate ships will attack the Coast Guard vessels with rotten cabbage heads, tomatoes and eggs. The pirate ships will also be equipped with large hoses from which they will spray the Coast Guard with ocean water.

The best show in town! The Best Key West has to offer! Exciting!

The Battle takes place on the Gulf side of Key West off Schooner Wharf. Thousands lined up all along the shore line watching.

Firefighters from near and far are to be complimented in how they have been battling the Big Pine fire. The fire began sunday.

Covers 100 acres. A tough fire. Sixty percent under control as of today. The fire at this point considered minimal. Hot spots being moped up and defensive space around homes and structures being created.

A 65 year old war ended. North Korea and South Korea signed a peace pact. Unquestionably historic.

I was in the last three years of high school during the war. Had it not ended as a practical manner when it did in 1953, I would have been drafted. My life thereafter would have been different.

The U.S. Marine Hymn…..From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.

On this day in 1805, the Marines were in Derna. Derna a part of Tripoli. Tripoli had been testing the mettle of the new  U.S.

Pirates from the Barbary Coast had been capturing American sailors and charging the U.S. high ransom for their return. The Marines were sent to resolve the situation, teach a lesson, etc.

They did their job. In so doing, deposed the ruler and replaced him with one sympathetic to the U.S.

Student loans. A guarantee for most of a lifetime of debt.

A foremost expert on the subject of student loans has been Drew Cloud. His writings have appeared in major news outlets, including The Washington Post and CNBC.

Cloud the informed person with advice to students with college debt. Portending to be an advocate for their financial well being.

One problem. Recently discovered. There is no Drew Cloud. He does not exist. A phony.

The Student Law Report is affiliated with lenders who loan to students. “Drew Cloud” articles, etc. were prepared by any staff person available.

Students getting screwed by those they thought were helping them.

Trump is running America into the ground as he did with his businesses. Along the way, he is causing the U.S. to lose face.

Bidding for the 2026 World Cup is in process. Two bidders. A joint bid by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. A bid by Morocco.

Trump tweeted wednesday that countries we support should support us in this bid. Tweeting, “Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?”

A bully and an asshole. Sorry, I cannot describe him any other way. Tiny Morocco being stepped on by the big and mighty U.S. Other nations being stepped on also.

Interestingly, French President Marcon was in the U.S. this week for a state visit. He and Trump were all over each other. Pawing. Showing affection for each other. Buddies.

France has announced it is supporting Morocco.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

DON AND CHRIS’ PRE-WEDDING GET TOGETHER

 

Don and Chris will marry at 7 saturday evening on the Hyatt dock as the sun sets.

Romantic.

Lovely.

I hope every one makes the wedding. The partying began wednesday evening at the Chart Room. A handful of guests.

Last night more guests. Fifteen to twenty. What Don described as a “pre-wedding get together” was held at the Hyatt Beach Bar. Good food and good company. Good drinking, of course.

Don and Chris’ friends coming in from all parts of the world. Including Korea. Don has a piece of a Korean company. Three primary owners. All Korean. One in already and at the party. The other two arriving today.

Joon the owner I met last night. His father sent him to Texas for finishing school and then to the University of Texas. Today, he runs the company.

Met Gilly. Don and Gilly worked for the same company for 27 years. Arm in arm. Today, competitors. Still friends.

Trixie and John from Litchfield, Connecticut.

Trixie is Chris’ best friend. Affiliated with Pfizer. Producers of Viagra. I got an education re Viagra and its generic.

John a doctor. A rheumatologist.

I noticed Trixie always had her hand on John’s arm and hand. I mentioned how lovely. I envied them. Turned out they are relatively newly married. Eighteen months. The glow still there. Good for them!

Recall Phil from yesterday’s blog? He is involved in a family business, has a second home in Tuscany, etc. I did not get much detail on him the night before. I did last night.

The company the Golden Rod Corporation. Operated three generations by Phil’s family. The first two generations in Italy. Montechio, Maggiori. The plant still operational. Phil’s Tuscany home in the same area.

Phil is involved in operating the U.S. facility. Prospect, Connecticut. The business is involved in manufacturing components for paper and plastic industries. They supply customers world wide.

Phil is with Christina. A couple. Christina 30 years old. Works a bit. Only a bit. Weekends. She delivers pizzas. She does not need to work. Delivered pizzas in college. Keeps her hand in it weekends for the fun of it. Claims she provides joy to those she delivers to. People always smile as they receive their pizza orders.

Trixie and Christina read the blog. I love everyone who reads my blog! We were excited to meet each other.

The party was breaking down. Don was leading everyone to the Chart Room. Not me. I could not handle another drinking night. Made my excuses and said I was going to bed. Told Trixie if I did not watch myself, I would never make the wedding saturday night.

My car was at the Pier House. Stopped in the Chart Room for a few minutes. Drank a diet soda. The wedding group was 15 minutes behind me.

Glad I stopped. Ran into Susan and Huggie from Charleston, South Carolina. I had met them last year.

Love ’em. Susan was quick to point out she reads the blog every day and also read Irma and Me.

We enjoyed an interesting few minutes.

Susan mentioned Syracuse. Followed it up with Loyola. I assumed Susan and Huggie were Loyola fans. I was unaware that Loyola had played earlier in the evening and beat Nevada by one point. Realized it only after I got home. Sorry, folks.

Syracuse/Duke tonight at 10. Duke favored by 11.5 points. Ranked #4 in the nation. Syracuse undaunted. We have been the underdog in the 3 NCAA games played thus far.

It will be onward Christian soldiers and let the chips fall where they may!

The weather was cold last night. Down to 64. Heat on.

Checked the weather for saturday’s wedding. E-mailed Chris and told her it was not necessary to put the rosary beads out. Weather saturday 78 by day and 70 by night.

My research goes in strange directions sometime. Came across “vaginal steaming” yesterday. Also known as “yoni steaming.”

Several years ago, movie star Gwen Paltrow began Goop. Began as a weekly e-mail. Now, a lifestyle website.

At one point, Paltrow endorsed vaginal steaming. A woman sits over a hot pot of water filled with herbs for up to 45 minutes. Supposedly cleanses the uterus and balances female hormones.

Perhaps. The real reason for its use is ages old. Centuries. Intended to help men, not women. Tightened the vagina so as to provide more pleasure to the man.

Whatever, the century old procedure is today part of the program at many spas for women world wide. One southern California spa advertises it as the “reawakening of the inner goddess.”

A couple of short Trump observations.

Trump appointed John Bolton National Security Adviser. The worse man possible for the job. A neocon, war hawk, hardliner. He takes office April 9.

Bolton was once U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bush 2 appointed him. Knew he would have difficulty getting Senate confirmation. Waited till recess to make the appointment. Avoided advise and consent. Bolton served as an interim appointee.

The National Security Adviser position does not require Senate confirmation.

To place Bolton’s appointment in perspective, he favors a preemptive war against Iran and North Korea. Without authorization from Congress.

I continue to fear Trump wants to be a war President.

Trump announced yesterday certain tariffs he intended to impose on China. China says they will retaliate. A tariff war guaranteed. Other countries will follow. A tariff war could destroy economies. Especially the U.S.’s I fear.

Trump not a thinker. Even a little bit. China is our bank. They loan us money every day. Our second biggest creditor. We owe China around $1.4 trillion.

Suppose China said no more money. Even worse, suppose China said  pay up. They called in our notes.

The man does not see, cannot comprehend, knows not what he is doing.

The market dropped 724 points yesterday because of the China/tariff situation.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

DAY OF REST

As far back as I can remember, Sunday has always been my lazy day. I plan to do much. End up doing nothing or next to nothing.

Yesterday, no different. My plan was to go to the Gardens later in the afternoon and then home to watch the Academy Awards. Missed the Gardens. Caught the Academy Awards.

My comments re the Academy Awards brief.

A good show. Jimmy Kimmel said at the beginning a tight schedule time wise. Hoped winners would keep their thank yous short. Even offered a prize for the most short. A $17,500 Jet Ski. Thought the Jet Ski thing tarnished the show a bit.

If time was a problem, why were the commercial advertisements so long. Perhaps the longest for this show. Also, some of the musical numbers ran longer than normal.

Inconsistencies.

Another item I found troublesome. Support for the feminist movement profound. Nothing wrong with it. However, I do not recall any mention of the gun issue which is at the least of equal importance.

Whatever, I enjoyed the show.

I did spend some time reading in the afternoon. Finished Collusion by Luke Harding. The book cover says: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia helped Donald Trump Win. Not quite. I fear a race to the printer caused the book to fail in showing with particularity how Russia helped Trump to win.

The book ends with parts of the time frame during transition. Two more months and the author would have had significantly more to talk about.

Don’t waste your time reading the book.

Love Kate Miano! A good friend, a good person. Candidate for Mayor. Hope she wins!

Her campaign slogan: Expect Great! Elect Kate!

I like it.

Don’t forget Kate’s campaign kickoff party Friday night. Six at the Gardens. Free food and drink. Bring a friend or two. Kate deserves everyone’s help.

Been cool the past two nights. High 60’s. Turned on the heat. Today 76 by day and 66 by night. Heater back on tonight. Not all night. I use it to take the chill out of the air when I go to bed.

I don’t think Wilbur Ross is good for the country. Ross is presently Secretary of Commerce. The guy on TV the past few days explaining how a trade war would not really impact on the American consumer. Used a can of Campbell Soup and a can of soda to explain his position.

Recall Herbert Hoover began a trade war. Look where it got us!

Ross and Trump met during Trump’s Atlantic City casino days in the 1980’s. Ross was a Rothschild banker. His specialty then and throughout his career has involved the purchase of bankrupt businesses, get them going again, and then sell them for a profit. Much involved with steel mills in this regard.

Ross was and is known as the King of Bankruptcy.

Re Atlantic City, Ross was not representing Trump. He was representing one of the banks. Whatever, Trump ended up putting his corporations into bankruptcy while at the same time retaining control of the casinos. Brilliant! Ross thought to be responsible,

Ross has Russia connections all over the place. Some of which he failed to sufficiently disclose during his confirmation hearing. Shortly thereafter, the Paradise Papers bloomed. Leaked documents which showed Ross had failed to clearly disclose his financial ties to Russian interests. He provided further information and agreed to divest himself from some 80 companies he had an interest in which were doing business with Russia. Not disclosed by him the first time around.

It is suspected some of the companies remain undisclosed even at this time.

The Ross items not clearly or sufficiently disclosed include the following.

He was Vice-Chairman of the Bank of Cyprus. A bank that did significant business with Russian persons.

His Navigator Holdings. Ross’s interest in a shipping company that transports petrochemicals for Russian gas and petroleum. The Russian company is Silbur.

Silbur has been sanctioned for its close ties to Russian oligarchs and Putin’s son in law Kirill Shamalov.

A question remains as to whether there has been sufficient divestment.

Ross checkered and questionable. Yet he sits at the right hand of Trump.

Senator Lindsey Graham shocked me with a comment he made yesterday. He thought a war with North Korea was “worth it.”

Graham acknowledged deaths in the millions. Tens of thousands of American soldiers. Significant non-military deaths up and down the Korean peninsula.

An American general said that such a war would involve brutality beyond the experience of any living soldier.

Graham’s words were based on his belief that such a war would bring “long term stability” to a region requiring it.

Trump is crazy. Is Graham also? Who under any circumstances would want a war of such devastation?

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Enjoy your day!

 

KATE MIANO FOR MAYOR

A couple of heavy items to discuss today. Sad topics. I have opted to start with the happy rather than those.

Which means first and foremost, Kate Miano.

Lovable, warm, caring, interested in people and causes. An available helping hand. A successful woman to boot.

The 2018 recipient of the prestigious Humanitarian of the Year Award. Former Fantasy Fest Queen. Conch Shell Blower winner. The list endless.

Kate has been around a while. She personifies the Key West of yesterday and today. Perfectly blended.

Instead of sitting back and relaxing, she wants to take on Key West’s present woes. Solve the community’s problems. As only a Mayor can do.

The election is not till August. Already something like 10 persons have filed to run. The total in the end will be 10-12.

A Kate Miano for Mayor Kickoff Party is scheduled for friday March 9 at the Gardens Hotel. Six in the evening. Open bar and food. Come, join, visit, meet. Kate would love for you to stop by.

I would too. Bring your friends.

I have had company for a few days. Delivered the company to the airport yesterday for return to the north country. Flight canceled. The Northeaster. Flights cancelled today, also. At the moment, tomorrow looks good.

Early to the Chart Room last night. Good friend John bartending. Stayed a couple of hours. When I left, standing room only.

It never fails. As soon as the sun has set, tourists come pouring into the Chart Room.

Met some very interesting people.

Cathi and Mark from Atlanta.

We talked of Irma and its impact on Atlanta. Cathi and Mark lost a few trees. I told the story of my being kicked out of an Atlanta hotel after two nights because Irma was coming.

Cathi and Mark married 21 years. She “the best real estate agent in Atlanta.” Mark into finance and insurance.

Both 50ish, considering retirement and buying a home in Key West. Are frequent visitors to Key West. Hope they do opt to live here. They would be welcomed with open arms.

Met a sort of neighbor from upstate New York. George from Rochester. Ninety miles from my home town of Utica.

George unquestionably smart. Spent his career as a Physics Professor at the University of Rochester. Physics was always too heavy for me.

George and I almost contemporaries. He is 87. Sharp.

He used to visit Key West regularly years ago. He was in the Chart Room looking for his old friends Che and British Peter. Che at 83 has become a recluse. British Peter now living in the State  of Washington.

George lived on a boat in days gone by. He still owns the slip on Stock Island.

It was time to eat. I decided to return to Mary Ellen’s on Applerouth. A toasted cheese sandwich and tomato soup. So good the last time. Knew it had to be good again. It was.

Mary Ellen’s nothing fancy. I would describe it as typical Key West.

Entertainment last night. Dildo races. Electric vibrator dildo races.

Only in Key West.

A two foot board, ten feet long. Tipped forward about 25 degrees. Groved so the dildos would fit just right.

Betting beforehand. Bid on which dildo you wanted. The one you hoped would win. Bidding as high as $20-30 for each dildo.

The vibrators were turned on, the gate opened, and the dildos off and running! Spectators yelling just as if at a race track.

I did not bet.

As I was leaving, I heard the next race announced. The “Don’t Drop the Soap Race.”

Again, only in Key West!

I am still with the happy.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. The President made 11 trips to Key West totaling 175 days. He loved the place!

Truman arrived this day in 1951 for a three week visit. He would be staying at The Little White House.

Now for the unhappy. Two re Trump and one re Secretary of the Treasury Steve Munchin.

Trump announced yesterday steep tariffs beginning next week on steel and aluminum coming into the United States. Twenty five percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

The beginning of trade wars. Most of which historically have resulted in depressions and actual shooting wars.

Trump does not seem to care. He thinks he knows what is best.

The tariff increase would be world wide. No country left out.

Canada is our close friend and neighbor. We buy more steel from Canada than any other country.

China is the U.S.’s banker. The U.S. already owes China in excess of $1.3 trillion. We borrow from China almost daily. We never pay back. China always renews the notes.

Woe us if China decided to stop lending and called in the notes.

Trump does not seem to consider all ramifications before he makes a move. To our nation’s detriment.

The market knows what could occur. It dropped 500 points yesterday.

Another Trump catastrophe in the making. Guns, the NRA.

Wednesday he had a White House meeting involving himself, Congressional people, and parents and victims of some of the shootings. He spoke with bravado how something had to be done and he was going to see it got done. Preferably in one bill. He would sign it right away.

Not everyone bought what he was selling. He had been heard before re other important matters and failed when the time came to keep his word.

That was wednesday afternoon. Thursday evening there was another meeting in the White House. Only Trump. Pence and a representative of the NRA. Just the three of them.

The NRA rep was Chris Cox. Cox is the Executive Director of the NRA’s lobbying arm.

The meeting of the three appeared to have been kumbaya. In a tweet following the meeting, Cox reported Trump “does not want gun control.” Trump tweeted re the meeting: “Good (Great) meting in Oval Office tonight with the NRA.”

Trump playing games. He should have had Cox at the public meeting wednesday afternoon. A face to face confrontation between both sides. A no bullshit meeting.

My guess is the NRA will never budge re AR-15’s and other weapons of war. They will hold firm knowing their bought and paid for Congress will do their bidding.

Finally, Secretary of Treasury Steve Munchin. A former Goldman Sachs banker. An asshole first class from my perspective. Always ready to do Trump’s bidding. Not a free thinker. Happy to be Secretary of the Treasury. Beams with the joy of it.

Munchin married a much younger Scottish actress this summer. Good for him. Nothing wrong in it. However, he took his bride on their honeymoon on an Air Force jet that cost $25,000 an hour to operate. Taxpayer dollars. He justified it by claiming his security required it.

The man a pig impressed with his own self importance.

Munchin spoke at UCLA monday. The students were not nice to him.

One student referred to him as an enemy of the people because of the new tax law. Also referred to him as a plutocratic bullshiter.

Students in the audience yelled “I think you’re full of shit.” They denounced the Republican tax bill as an attack on “people who are in poverty.”

Munchin retaliated with wanting the students to identify themselves and the reason why a question was being asked.

The event was being videoed. Munchin had agreed before hand that it could be and later UCLA could run it on its TV network. Munchin withdrew his permission following his speech.

Cell phones are great. Some students videoed Munchin and excerpts can be found on the internet.

College and high school students are close in age. I sense a marriage and movement in the making. The young will not be silenced.

Enjoy your day!

 

BLAMES THE JEWS

Anti-Semitism is on the rise. Has been for roughly a decade. Slowly creeping up each year. Evident in the United States and Europe, especially.

The NRA has finally met its match. In the children. The NRA aware their rising cry will be difficult to stifle. From the mouths of babes come truth. So another troublemaker must be identified. One that can be blamed for destroying American freedoms. As perceived by the NRA.

The Jews! Who else? The all time international scapegoat.

It is claimed gun rights are being destroyed by Jewish elite. The mega rich. Further, social engineering in general  by Jews will destroy other American freedoms.

The anti-Semitic trend part of La Pierre’s raving speech at CPAC this week.

Beware! Don’t buy it!

Staying with guns for a moment, there are 265 million privately owned firearms in the United States. One hundred thirty three million are owned by 3 percent of Americans. The 3 percent are referred to as super owners.

Bottom line, 3 percent of Americans own more than half the country’s guns. Averages out to 17 guns per super owner.

Another pleasant evening last night. Spent with Donna and Terri. Bear too for a part of the evening.

We were going out to dinner. Cocktails first at Donna and Terri’s.

I bought Bear another small toy to chew and chase. A soft lamb chop. He loved it!

I have not seen Bear in a week. He has grown. Appears to have doubled in size. Could it be? Only 11 weeks old.

Dinner was at La Trattoria. Bear left home alone. First time alone. Don’t know yet how he handled it.

Food and companionship outstanding. Always a good time with my lesbian wives.

I continue to observe the tourist crowd. Many, though less than previous years. I expect it will continue till season is over.

Bicyclists a never ending problem. So many on the streets. Even in the dark of night. Most without lights, of course. I cannot understand the infrequency of accidents. Don’t tell me because bicycle operators are safe drivers. Come drive our streets and find out how wrong you would be.

Trump continues to tell us things are good economically. Actually, great! I disagree. No question better. However not all Americans experiencing the benefits of a terrific economy.

Employees of American Eagle an example.

American Eagle is a subsidiary of American Airlines. American Airlines last year had a profit of $1.9 billion. Eagle and its parent American have been negotiating a new contract for almost two years to no avail.

Following are trials and tribulations some American Eagle employees claim they are suffering: Need for food stamps, other public assistance to make ends meet, purchase out of date food, borrow from retirement accounts, sell blood. Some being paid $9.48 per hour.

The white man was as bad as the Indians. Perhaps worse.

Lets begin with scalping. I am not sure who started it. However as far back as 1621, things were not as kumbaya as one might believe. Even the first Thanksgiving had the Pilgrims and Indians looking over the table at each other with animosity.

Days before, Miles Standish led a band of Pilgrims on a special quest. They wanted the head of a local Indian chief. They could not find him. However they did locate an Indian by the name of Wituwamat. They beheaded him and placed his head on a wooden spike at their encampment. Wituwamat’s head so remained for many years.

On Thanksgiving Day 1626, the colonists were after Indian Chief Metacomet. They captured him, decapitated him, quartered his body and left it to the wolves. His head was placed on a pole in Plymouth.

A few years later, 700 Pequot Indians were killed, burned alive, and beheaded. Some of the colonists used the heads as bowling balls. They bowled down the various streets of a nearby town.

Moving ahead to 1725, whites scalping Indians became a big thing. Indian scalps were worth money.

In February, a posse of New Hampshire volunteers attacked an Indian encampment. They took 10 scalps. The first significant appropriation of Indian scalps by European colonists.

The posse sold the scalps to Boston authorities who paid them 100 pounds per scalp.

Scalping and decapitation by the white man in early pre-United States days. Would you believe?

I had computer problems while writing today’s blog. My key board froze. Took a couple of hours to find the problem and fix it. In the meantime, some of you were able to receive a shortened entry together with grammatical errors and misspellings. Sorry. Hope you returned to this final version.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

My Yesterday…..Research, Berlin’s, and Bria Ansara

 

Enjoyed my yesterday.

Researched all day. Love digging for information.

Berlin’s last night for dinner. A full house. Got the last seat at the bar. The meal excellent as was Bria Ansara. Her singing touching everyone.

A big night ahead.

Syracuse/Duke at 6:15 on ESPN. Duke ranked #5 nationally. Going to be a tough game. Syracuse needs the win. We shall see.

Dinner with Donna and Terri tonight at La Trattoria. Cocktails first at their home. I have to see Bear. It has been a week.

Key West the home of writers. One, Tennessee Williams. Lived here more than 40 years. Williams died this day in 1983.

Williams’ The Glass Menagerie played yesterday afternoon on Turner Classics. I captured a small portion of its end. I have seen The Glass Menagerie at least twenty times. Amazed each time by the power of Williams’ words.

Spent a bit of time watching CPAC. Second day in a row. The first day, wild screaming Wayne La Pierre. Barbarians at the gate.

Yesterday, the master of exuberance Donald Trump. He was before his people. That 37 percent.

CPAC an ultra conservative group. Not the conservatives of yesteryear, however. Neither Barry Goldwaters nor Ronald Reagans.

What I saw were extremists. Too many Lock Her Up chants. Encouraged of course by Trump. He beat Hillary. I do not understand why he cannot let the dead rest.

The audience reminded me of street thugs. A tough appearing and tough acting crowd. The absolute fringe of the Republican Party.

Their apparent rowdiness meshed well with the Trump we have come to know.

CPAC had difficulty attracting speakers. Prominent politicians avoided the show. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, for example. The only Senator was Texas’ Cruz.

I cannot understand Cruz. During the primary, Trump accused Cruz’s father of being involved somehow in the Kennedy assassination. Cruz now sucking up to the man.

Prominent non office holders also absent. None!

The speakers consisted of Trump and members of his White House staff. Plus FOX News.

Even the mighty fall. Inner corrosion eats away.

The Douglas High School shooting the beginning of the end of the NRA as a power in American politics. The wrong group attacked. High school children. They have no fear. They are like a snowball that starts rolling down a hill. Small at the beginning. Gets larger with every turn. The students with every day.

Corporate America is turning its back on the NRA. Several have severed ties with the NRA. Ties involving co-branding partnerships, discounts to NRA members credit cards, etc. An economic blow to the NRA. Swiftly like a saber decapitating a person.

Corporations involved include Hertz, Avis, Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, Symantec, Enterprise, Chubb Limited, MetLife, Delta, and American Airlines.

Justice comes in many forms. One the soon to be filed bankruptcy application by Remington. In trouble financially. The filing will be for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company may survive. Whether it will be the giant it has been for two centuries remains to be seen.

Remington began in 1816 in Ilion, NY. Fifteen miles from my hometown of Utica. Remington remains the major employer to this day in Ilion. It also has other plants throughout the United States.

Remington is America’s oldest gun maker. A definite part of  American gun culture. The name Remington appears on frontier flintlocks as well as US Army .45’s.

I learned something in the last 24 hours while researching this topic.

Guns sales rose dramatically in the 10 years prior to Trump’s election. Since his election, sales have fallen dramatically. The reason is gun sales rise when politicos are elected who want to pursue more stringent gun control laws. People run to stack up on guns.

Trump supports the NRA, its members, etc. Gun laws supposedly not going anywhere under him. So gun lovers fear not and buy fewer guns.

Such has been Trump’s first year. Till now. I am assuming gun sales have shot upward based on post Douglas talk.

The down trend in gun sales is one reason Remington got into financial trouble. The other is that it was a Remington manufactured AR-15 that killed the first and second graders at Sandy Hook. Remington has borne the burden of defending against lawsuits arising out of the Sandy Hook incidence, though Remington itself was not found liable. Lawyers cost money. Especially in big money cases.

A side note of interest. Remington built a new plant in Huntsville, Alabama in 2014 to manufacture AR-15s. Prior to 2014, they were manufactured at the Ilion plant.

A soap box morning. Required sometimes. Things have to be said. People made aware.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

LOST REEF ADVENTURES

Yesterday being sunday, I decided to breakfast out. Went to one of my favorite haunts. Harpoon Harry’s. No room at the inn. People standing outside waiting to get in.

Walked one block to the Gulf. Enjoyed breakfast at Turtle Kraals. Sat outside. Excellent view of marina boats.

I have written about Turtle Kraals and the area it is situated several times over the years. At one time, it was the heart of Key West’s thriving turtle industry.

The industry long gone. A few old buildings remain. Turtle Kraals may be one of them. There is a much smaller building about 50 feet away. A one story wood structure. Now a turtle museum operated by the Mel Fisher Museum.

I took a walk after breakfast. Not far. Across the street. To Lost Reef Adventures. Sloan’s partner of many years Nick owns the place.

Lost Reef Adventures is a full service dive shop. Sits plum in the middle of the Historic Seaport. Snorkeling, scuba and a sunset cruise daily. Also, a one day scuba course is available for those interested.

Lost Reef Adventures has been in business for 30 years. Operators and staff safety conscious reliable locals.

Then to Publix. Out of food again. Purchased more diet food. Loss now 18 pounds.

Publix was packed. It was obvious most were last minute shoppers preparing for Super Bowl. Moving fast through the store.

Publix must have anticipated a large demand for already cooked chicken wings. All kinds were packaged and ready for sale.

Yesterday’s Super Bowl can only be described as a great game. Thinking about it, most of them are. The Eagles finally won. 41-33.

The Eagles always a small step behind. Making them that much better. It showed in the final score.

Tom Brady continues to amaze me. Forty yeas old and going strong. Said he will be back next year.

The Eagles quarterback was the team’s back up one till December when the starting quarterback was injured and out for the season. He was a Tom Brady yesterday. Voted MVP.

Good for him!

I mentioned last week or the week before that a political party that runs candidates like Alabama’s Roy Moore is doing a disservice to the country. Every nut will think he is qualified to run.

Several are running. One is Arthur Jones of Illinois. The district he is running in contains a part of Chicago.

He has no opposition. Filing for the Republican primary passed in December.

Jones is openly anti-Semitic, a racist, supporter of the radical left, and a neo-Nazi. He denies the Holocaust. Claims it is an international extortion racket.

Jones will lose. The district is overwhelmingly Democrat. Some day however, these nuts will begin winning. Then more problems for our country.

Crazies believe it is ok to run for office. Trump’s election the reason. He is not the most stable of individuals. His policies lacking. Their belief being if Trump can be elected President, I can be elected to Congress!

God help us!

Speaking of Trump, he did it again! Lied!

Trump claims his State of the Union address drew the highest number of viewers in history. False. The First State of the Union speeches by Obama, Bush 2, and Clinton drew more.

Trump concerns me for a number of reasons. In addition to his frequent misrepresentations. The most recent is his belief that the country needs something to happen to unify it. To me, that means war. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 the best unifiers ever.

In recent days, Trump has also said North Korea needs a “bloody nose.” Do unity and giving North Korea a bloody nose go hand in hand? Is Trump getting ready to bomb North Korea?

Enjoy your day!

 

WHO IS THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL?

The woman who uttered the words while looking in a mirror…..Who is the fairest of them all? The Wicked Queen. Snow White, the response.

So began Walt Disney’s great film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The animated movie made its film debut this day in 1938.

An instant hit! Quickly grossed $8 million. Big bucks in 1938. The $8 million represented the most money made by a film up to that time.

I saw the movie in 1938. My mother took me. I was 3 years old. We watched it at the Rialto Theater in Utica. Two movies were shown in those days for the price of one ticket. I recall the other film, also. Gunga Din.

The seven dwarfs blew me away. The Wicked Witch scared me at the beginning of the film. A mean looking woman.

Of all the dwarfs, Dopey received the most accolades. Charlie Chaplin said that Walt Disney “created in him one of the greatest comediennes of all time.”

Watched Syracuse go down to defeat yesterday. Lost to Virginia 59-44.

I hurt when Syracuse loses. I especially hurt this year for Jim Boeheim. A class act. In his last years as a coach.

I know Boeheim personally. We initially came together because of the University. I was a heavy contributor. It was sort of a requirement that he play golf with me once or twice a year. His club in Syracuse, mine in Utica.

At first, I was embarrassed. Boeheim was a 2 handicap. Me, a 35 plus. He never complained. Spent time in the woods helping me look for my ball, etc. Even took the time on occasion to recommend a change in swing or grip. Teaching as he does with his players during a game.

Unfortunately, I was a hopeless cause.

Tavern ‘n Town for dinner last night. I had planned on a quick one. Turned into 3 hours.

Sat at the bar next to Jill and Steve.

Vacationing from the Point Pleasant area in New Jersey. Both avid fisherman, especially Steve. They have a 62 foot custom made fisherman. Steve understood what I meant when I said he considered fishing a battle of man against nature.

Jill can only be described as an enthusiastic conversationalist. She kept me glued to my seat.

Jill has been involved with Johnson and Johnson for 25 years as part of its vision care division. Contact lenses and contact solution. She is a top sales performer.

Steve, a demolition contractor. I did not have the opportunity to talk with Steve that much. I would have been interested in what he did as a demolition contractor. A wrecking company? I worked for one the summer between high school and college. The hardest job I ever had! I started at 7 in the morning and was exhausted by 7:05. A bit of an exaggeration. Believe you get the point, however.

If I had any thought of not going to college, that job remedied it.

An Irma update. Debris removal continues to be a problem. Irma hit September 10. It has taken that long and will take longer to collect the trees, shrubbery, busted up homes, trailers, etc. piled on roadsides.

The Lower Keys of concern. Upper Sugarloaf, Lower Sugarloaf, Ramrod, and Summerland Keys completed. A final pass will be made this coming week to Cudjoe, Little Torch, Big Pine, and No Name Keys.

Other problems still exist. Some remain without housing. Families still living in tents. Food and water in short supply. FEMA rebuilding money coming in slowly.

Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. He spent 175 days covering 11 separate trips enjoying Key West. The Admiral’s quarters where he stayed renamed the Harry Truman Little White House.

The first time Truman visited Key West he had a bad cold he could not get rid of. His doctor recommended a “heart starter bourbon drink.” The prescription, bourbon and orange juice. Between the bourbon and sun, Truman recovered quickly.

Presidents Day Weekend around the corner. Friday to sunday February 16-18. Part of the celebration includes a bourbon and barbecue cook off.

Super Bowl today! Game time 6:30 on NBC. Love it!

I have been invited to several parties. Normally, I would watch the game a Don’s Place. I have already decided I will watch the game alone at home. The reason being my diet. I would drink a bit too much and definitely eat too much were I out.

I started with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which opened in movie houses this date in 1938. I close with another art form. the written word. On this day in 1826, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans was published.

Cooper was born, raised and spent most of his life in what is Cooperstown, NY. The Home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, also.

His home stands to this day. Known as the James Fenimore Cooper House, aka James Fenimore Cooper Museum.

Cooperstown is a mere 40 miles from Utica. I have visited theHouse many times. Professionally and socially.

The House sits on a modest hill overlooking lovely Otsego Lake. The House can only be described as magnificent! Cooper’s father built it.

He was a man of means. His son never really worked, other than his writings. He considered himself a gentleman’s farmer which meant servitude was not part of his life style.

Cooperstown when the father Cooper built it and during the years his son lived there was the frontier. Initially, nothing west of Cooperstown.

The frontier life and Indians making up The Last of the Mohicans accordingly familiar to Cooper when he began writing the book.

Enjoy your Sunday! Enjoy the Super Bowl!