MR. PRESIDENT…..WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

I refer today for the first time to Trump as Mr. President. Not because he has achieved that recognition in my mind. Because for the first time he may be leaning that way.

My concern Syria.

The President has challenged Putin for the first time. Especially this morning. Recognizes Russia as a partner with the bad guys in Syria and bearing responsibility for the gasings.

The President said he was going to do something re the chemical attack. That was over the weekend. All recognized time was of the essence. If there was to be retaliation, it had to be immediate. Don’t give Putin and others time to move their war machinery around, get ready for a military hit, etc.

The President screwed up. It is now wednesday. The too long a time has passed. Putin however kept it alive with his tweet that he and his friends had the where with all to knock down any missiles the US might shoot.

An added concern is that the US has at least 2 Naval vessels in the area that are subject to retaliatory missiles.

I believe we have no choice but to go for it. Destroy something big time in Syria. Take the gamble with Putin. He has thrown down the gauntlet. The US cannot do what Obama did. Nothing.

Note that Russia is in bad shape. Their economy is way down. The ruble fell again last week. Putin cannot afford an all out war.

I further believe if Putin sees the US is serious, he will back off on the rhetoric and find a way to quiet the confrontation. He has done such in the past.

I criticize the time it has taken with no reaction yet by the US. Where is our planning? Where have the CIA and military been? Plans should have already been prepared and held in abeyance till needed.

An obvious failure in Washington in protecting the US. This fault may include the Obama administration.

Yesterday, my first book signing. Sold ten books in 3 hours. Not disappointed. Did not think prior to the signing I would sell one.

More experienced authors Reef Perkins and Robert Coburn participated also. I doubt they sold more than 10 books each.

The problem was no one came. We were alone for 3 hours in the hot boiling Key West summer sun.

Ross Pipkin was part of the program. Ross does voice overs for books. He did a reading. Interesting and humorous.

I thank good friends Kate Miano and Lynda Frechette for attending. A Jane who I never met before.

Towards the end of the 3 hours, Bob and Stevie from the Chicago area arrived. We had never met before. They came especially to buy my book. Bob and Stevie are loyal readers of this blog.

They leave today for home. Hopefully, we will meet next year when they return. We agreed on the Chart Room.

My favorite female bartender Nicolle showed up with her partner Dara. Nicolle works at Antonia’s. She did not buy a book. Did not have to. She had already purchased a copy through Amazon. She brought the book in for signing. My pleasure!

The book signing was at the Andrews Inn. Michael and Albena new owners. Eight months. Albena from Belgium. The Inn was run down when purchased. They have fixed the place up. Irma interrupted and added to the renovations.

The Inn is lovely. Tiny adding to its quaintness.

Michael noticed the crowd was sparse. Actually, non-existent at one point. He showed ingenuity. Went out on the street and dragged about 20 tourists in. Induced them with the free food and drink. A smart guy. The Inn cannot fail.

The book signing was a charity fund raiser. Titled the Bow-Wow Meow Book Signing. A fundraiser for the SPCA. Help the dogs and cats.

Not much help yesterday. I feel guilty. I plan on sending a check.

I enjoyed doing my podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A mix of topics. Key West, Anchorage, and a little Trump. I try to include topics about what is going on involving persons other than Trump. He is available enough on the media.

The weather continues to be hot. Summer definitely here. Eighty six yesterday. And humid! Will be the same today.

Very likable and talented artist Jon “Tosh” McIntosh died last month. A memorial service will be held this saturday at 3:30 at St. Paul’s Church.

Sons and Daughters of Italy meeting tonight.

I was doing a Key West Lou Live video every day til about 2 months ago. Louis ranting and raving about some issue for a few minutes.

Renewed the show this morning. It is revived! Look for it daily on Facebook.

Enjoy your day!

 

KEY WEST AREA BORDELLOS BACK WHEN

The Key West area had its share of houses of prostitution back in the late 1940’s into the 1950’s. Going back 300 years, also. And since the 1950’s.

An age old business. Its roots traced to Biblical times. However, my house of ill repute comments are limited to the late 1940’s, early 1950’s time frame.

Today, a significant one in local prostitution history. On this day in 1953, Mom’s Tea Room on Stock Island was closed. A popular place. Open 11 years.

A forced closing.

The US Navy was upset its men were big time customers of Mom’s. Not that anything bad happened to them while they were enjoying Mom’s ladies. The Navy merely felt it was morally improper and leaned on local officials to close Mom’s down.

Mom’s was a local example of white slavery in operation. Mom was from Georgia. Her husband would travel to Georgia and abduct young Georgian ladies. Returned them to Mom’s to become working girls.

Mom and her husband felt this was not abuse since they made sure the girls were at least 17 years old.

There was another brothel on Stock Island at the time. Big Anne’s. However, I know nothing more about it than it existed.

Key West itself had many whore houses. Two on Petronia Street.

The Square Roof. White ladies available.

Another whose name I have not been able to determine. It provided primarily black women.

Sex was cheap in those days. Generally, $2. Not shocking when you consider a loaf of bread cost 2 cents and a gallon of gas 15 cents.

Between getting the blog out and working 3 hours with Sloan yesterday, I was wiped out. Decided to stay home. Never made it to Hot Dog Church or the Gardens.

Laid around watching the Masters.  Outstanding! Several could have won. One did. The leader for most of the day, Patrick Reed. He hung on to win by one stroke. A “dogfight” as he described it afterwards.

Big event later today. From 4-7. At the Grand Vin at 1107 Duval. A fundraiser for Commission candidate Mary Lou Hoover.

My candidate. A deserving person who based on prior performance will do much to help Key West.

The event is a Best BBQ Chef competition. Donation $20 and eat all the barbecue you can consume!

Trump and California Gov. Jerry Brown have been engaged in an ongoing battle re sanctuary cities. Brown recently used his Governor powers to pardon 5 convicts facing deportation because of their illegal status.

Well done, Jerry Brown! Trump had to be disturbed.

This day again one of significance. Sad historical significance. On this day in 1942, the US surrendered Bataan to Japan. Twelve thousand Americans and 66,000 Filipinos. Followed immediately by the Bataan Death March where many died.

We are engaged in another type war today with Japan. A tariff war. Tariff wars can lead to fighting wars. Recall that the primary reason the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor was the oil embargo imposed on Japan by the Roosevelt administration.

Roosevelt’s message to Japan was simple. Get out of China and we will withdraw the oil embargo.

China was not to be insulted by such terms. The result was Pearl Harbor.

War is all around us. Assad it is claimed chemically attacked his people again. A little town called Douma outside Damascus. Films of the event sickening. Gas bombing has been a no no for all nations since World War I.

Assad does not care. He has done it several times. Russia and Iran who support Assad do not seem to care. In fact, Putin does not believe it occurred. He wants proof.

TV film not enough for him. It can be rigged.

Trump said yesterday that Assad would have a “big price to pay.” He has drawn a line in the sand. He must do something. Otherwise Russia, Iran and North Korea will not believe we will do anything to them at any time regardless of what they do.

There cannot be another Obama situation. Recall after an Assad gas bombing, he “drew a line in the sand.” The next time it happened, Obama failed to follow up. He did nothing.

Trump should immediately get a few other nations on board. France has already indicated it will cooperate. Such must be done this week.

The retaliation must not be equal to, but rather even more harsh than merely gassing a population. What, I do not know. Outside my pay grade. But again must be severe. Like taking out every Syrian industrial area, bomb Assad’s quarters, etc.

I doubt Putin would get involved. At this point, he is all mouth. His military forces are old and lacking. He does have nuclear bombs, however.

Whatever, Putin cannot go to war with anyone with out China as a partner. China is not stupid. It is not in China’s best interest to engage in a fighting war with the US at this time. China believes it can beat us economically.

Tomorrow, a big day for Louis and Irma and Me. Our first book signing. From noon to 3. At Andrews Inn at Zero Whalton Lane. Come visit. My sense is it will be fun.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS VLADIMIR

Some things I do not understand.

Trump telephoned Putin yesterday to congratulate him on his reelection victory. He did this after his staff specifically advised him not to.

Putin is our enemy. He is playing with the U.S. and laughing while doing it. Especially when Trump sucks up to him.

The blind cannot see. Maybe Trump is blind when it comes to Putin. Or, perhaps he can see but acts the way he does because of some nefarious activities in the past which Putin holds over Trump’s head.

My day yesterday was spent preparing for last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I believe the show one of the best done. It flowed. Covered everything from the Key West Cemetery to Trump power gone mad.

Tonight, the Chart Room at 6. The beginning of Don and Chris’ wedding celebration. They marry saturday.

This morning’s Key West Citizen ran an article re woonerf. Spelled correctly. Also known as a shared street.

The article advised Miami was going to try a woonerf in a four block area of the Wynwood section.

A woonerf is where cars, bikes, and pedestrians share the pavement on an equal footing.

Sounds strange. But, it works.

Experienced it on my several trips to Novara in northern Italy. Anna’s condo sits in a 1,500 year old building. The building sits on a wide street. Cars, bikes and people move freely over the street. There is no sidewalk. Everyone exercises caution. Cars travel a bit slower.

Never experienced a problem. Never even gave it a thought that the street was being shared by everyone.

The fourth northeaster of the month hitting the northeast. Don’t tell me global warming does not exist.

The northeaster incidentally affects Key West. The temperature will drop to 63 this evening.

Irma hit September 10. Though still recovering, the Keys have done well.

The story is not the same with Puerto Rico.

Things were bad at the beginning. I blame Trump for turning his back on the American citizens living there.

I saw some photos on the internet this morning of present day damage. Doesn’t look much better than six months ago. I continue to blame Trump.

The article I read said the US Army Corps of Engineers have pulled back on some of their assistance. Federal help has been grossly insufficient. I worry it will take a generation for Puerto Rico to recover.

I wrote a few days ago that Trump was mean and vindictive. The failure to properly assist Puerto Rico an example of his meanness and vindictiveness. Six months later, Puerto Rico is a society still in pain.

I sometimes wonder if his failure to help the Puerto Ricans has to do with the color of their skin. Most are tan.

Ben Carson is Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. His wife is Candy.

Carson thought his office needed a new dining set. The old worn, nails sticking out.

He left the task of securing one to his wife. Candy allegedly spent the $31,000 without his knowledge. Carson takes no blame. She did it!

Appears to me Carson threw his wife under the bus.

Enjoy your day!

 

PUTIN ACTS WHILE TRUMP SITS ON HIS ASS

Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place…..because of those who look on and do nothing.”

He could have been talking about Trump.

We know Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Hacked our computer systems. An act of cyber war.

Our entire top level intelligence people agree such occurred. I assume most Americans believe it occurred. Yet Trump does nothing. His lips sealed. He has not issued an order to his top people to get after Russia and make them pay for this invasion of the very essence of our democracy.

Putin on the other hand is preparing for what he anticipates in due course will be retaliatory action by the United States. He recently gave Russia’s Federal Guard Services powers to counter hack attacks on state data resources and to protect the personal data of senior state officials and their families.

One sits on his ass while the other protects his.

At the same time, the Trump Administration has issued a new round of sanctions targeting oil smugglers in Libya: Six people, 24 companies, and 7 vessels. The sanctions consist of prohibiting Americans from doing business with the sanctioned persons/entities and freezes their property in the U.S.

Oil may be important. Our elections more. Trump should show the U.S. can walk and chew gum at the same time. Sanction Russia and Libya simultaneously.

Readership of yesterday’s blog the highest in February. Not sure why? The title advising I had lost 23 pounds? Or was it that portion dealing with how touch phones and touch tablets are affecting the mental development of children? The touch items affecting a child’s ability to hold a pencil down the road. Something to do with finger muscle development and left right brain movement.

Many comments. I learned much.

Two comments especially interesting.

Children who don’t crawl prior to walking initially have trouble reading. Reading being a left to right orientation.

The other involved new neighborhoods that lack curbs along the streets. Children enjoy walking curbs. I barked at my children and grandchildren every time I saw them do it. Thought they would fall and break an ankle.

Children walking on curbs unknowingly are practicing a left to right brain orientation. Neighborhoods without curbs found at school time the children were not making progress reading. It was determined it was the lack of curbs.

Schools installed 2 x 4’s in kindergarten classrooms for children to walk on. Thereby learning balance and improving their left to right brain functions.

My podcast last night. I spent half the show discussing the NRA. Interesting material. The dike is leaking as far as the NRA is concerned.

A meal for a king this evening. I am having dinner at Donna and Terri’s. Stone crabs!

Added enjoyment this evening. Syracuse/Boston College at 9. A toss up as to one will win. Only one Syracuse game left after Boston College. At the moment, Syracuse is not even on the bubble. It will take a victory tonight and in the last game of the season. And/or a distinguished performance in the ACC tournament beginning next week.

A tough season.

Conch a popular Key West food. Some conchs large. Their shells equally large. Key West has an annual Conch Blowing Contest. This year’s to be held sunday at noon in the gardens of the Oldest House on Duval.

This is not necessarily a kid’s contest. Mostly adults participate. Leading citizens of the community. Several years ago, Kate Miano of Gardens fame and presently a mayoral candidate blew hard. She won.

Key West is a baseball town. As is all of Florida. The primary sport through high school is baseball.

Key West has had top teams statewide. Also players who went on to play major league ball. In one instance, Key West fielded the best high school baseball team in the United States. On this day in 1996, the Key West team was rated #1 nationally by USA Today.

School boards and families concerned with child safety all over the U.S. More so in view of the recent Douglas High School deaths.

The Pike County School Board is not waiting for some one to tell them what to do. They have acted on their own. They voted to have teachers carry concealed guns inside schools. School Superintendent Roger Akins said, “We may be criticized, but…..I’ll take criticism to protect my students.”

Who could not have loved MASH? Ran 11 years on TV. Today reruns all day and night 2 days a week on Sundance. The Korean War drama/comedy involved a front line medical facility. Starred Alan Alda.

On this day in 1983, the last episode of MASH was shown. A special 2 1/2 hour feature. The show so popular at the time, it was watched by 77 percent of the viewing audience.

Enjoy your day!

 

TWO GREAT COUPLES

Last night unusual. Spent time with two great couples. One I had met last year. The other, new.

I was at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Crowded. I was sitting alone at a small table. All of a sudden Tom and Clare Keller appeared. Took me a few seconds. We had met last year.

They joined me.

Tom and Clare new residents to Key West. Closed on a condominium in January. All excited. Properly so.

Both retired. Time to enjoy and play. Life without concern. They are ready.

Tom is a former Washington DC attorney. We have a mutual friend. He knows her much better than I. Former Ambassador Amy Bondourant. An Ambassador under Clinton and Bush 2. Amy and her husband relocated from Paris to Key West last year.

Tom and Amy were law partners in Washington.

Tom and Clare two new friends.

The other couple Kristina and John. I stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. I had not intended. However, my stomach was growling. Enjoyed my diet prime rib.

Sitting at the bar next to me were Kristina and John. A vacationing couple from Mays Landing, New Jersey. Near Atlantic City. A very enjoyable couple. We talked of many things. From the beauty of Jersey beaches and their bikini clad women to whatever.

Both at with the FAA. Kristina a research manager with drones. Sounded interesting. John not at liberty to tell me what he did.

Married. Two children.

They return home this morning. I can’t wait to meet up with them again next year.

Now back to Aqua and Dueling bartenders.

Terri the guest artist.

Two weeks ago, Terri received favorable news from her cancer hospital in Tampa. She is in remission. Her singing last night exhibited a gusto I attribute to the news. She also danced and pranced about. Terri was a Broadway hoofer as well as singer.

She was singing a love song. Came over and threw her arm around me in what was intended as a hug. It was not. My face became imbedded in her left breast. I could not breathe. She did not know.

Bear at Aqua also. His first time. Only 10 weeks old. What a good boy! Sat under a chair and ignored everyone. Probably scared seeing all the people. A never before event for him.

Donna came in later. She has been dieting. Looked good. Tall and thin.

I met at the Aqua bar last year a man from Utica. Not Utica, NY. Utica, Michigan. He was back last night. This time with an oxygen tube in his nostrils. Made no difference, he was whooping it up at the bar having a good time.

While at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town, Fred Tillman stopped by to say hello. Tillman a Key Wester for years. Owned Kelly’s and two other restaurants for years. He catered Lisa’s wedding.

His outstanding achievement from my perspective were the years he was married to Hollywood actress Kelly McGillis. The Kelly McGillis of Top Gun/Tom Cruise fame. Kelly lived in Key West with Fred and they operated the three restaurants together.

Now, long divorced.

I last saw Fred in December at David Wolkowsky’s 98th birthday party. Go David!

I have spoken of David many times. He is the father of modern Key West. Key West would not have developed as it has were it not for David.

An example is the Pier House. David built the Pier House. A section at a time. On the gulf end of Key West that was nothing but a mud puddle. On this day in 1967, David began construction of the Pier House Motel. A few rooms to become a gigantic resort. Big trees from little acorns grew.

Tonight, Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol. Five thirty at Aqua. Singing galore. A fundraiser for Lynda’s beloved Waterfront Playhouse.

Mary Lou Hoover busier than normal. She is running for Key West Commissioner. She will be the best Commissioner ever! Her campaign kick-off is February 26 at Salute’s.

Tonight, my podcast. What I describe as an internet radio show. You can see my picture and hear my voice. Nothing moves. Somewhat similar to radio.

I am into my third year. Impressed. I have advertisers. Not solicited by me. They come because of the size of my listening audience. Two of my favorites are GEICO, Ins. and Old Navy.

Showtime tonight is 9. The show a quick moving half hour. I talk about everything. A lot of politics. I am a political junkie.

My opinion generally shared. Love being able to share my thoughts on an issue without concern or permission.

Join me. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

TRUMP IMPOTENT

Trump is impotent in three regards: (1) Putin, (2) guns, and (3) respect for women.

Think about it.

Information is leaking out re Nickolas Cruz the Parkland High School murderer.

ABC News reported Cruz told authorities he heard voices in his head to carry out the massacre. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law claims Cruz was affiliated with a white nationalistic militia and that he received paramilitary training with them.

I couldn’t wait to get to the Chart Room last night. Enjoy the banter that fills the room. Spent some time chatting with bartender friend John and several customers.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. I was back on the diet after one day of cheating. I am on Atkins. High protein, low carb. Enjoyed a rack of lamb. Just lamb. No vegetables, nothing.

Met an interesting woman at the bar. Yvonnie Ametin. She has resided in Key West 20 years, has three children, a home on Olivia Street, and is involved with social media.

We got into social media a bit. She helps people market via the internet. I found her very knowledgeable.

Interestingly, Yvonnie’s children go to the same Montessori as Robert and Ally. Her oldest daughter and Ally are probably in the same class.

The Side Door at Aqua will be fun tonight. The Sons and Daughters of Italy are having a fundraiser. The monies raised to go for scholarships for locals moving on to college.

There will be a silent auction. Also, a drawing. Tickets have been sold the past few months to add monies to the scholarship fund. The winner to receive an Italian dinner for 8 at his/her home. Everything provided, including dishes, silverware, clean up, etc.

Food free. A cash bar.

The event begins at 5:30.

Chopin was a sick man when he played his last concert in Paris this day in 1848. He would die of tuberculosis 18 months later at age 39.

Chopin is one of the musical greats. Both as composer and concert pianist.

Words describing his piano talent sensitive and descriptive. One wrote that his piano playing was “…..like the sighings of a flower, the whisper of the clouds…..the murmur of the stars.” Another, “…..the  slyph of the piano…..attached to this mortal world by the merest touch of a finger and nourished by a dream from on high.”

Sad days followed by notable ones. The Bataan Death Marched is ever seared in the minds of Americans and Filipinos. In 1942, the Japanese captured Bataan. The U.S.’s last stronghold in the Philippines.

Americans and Filipinos were force marched 55 miles. Along the way, 600 Americans and 5,000 Filipinos died. From the extreme brutality of the Japanese. They were starved, beaten, kicked, and bayoneted.

Americans and Filipinos recaptured Bataan three years later on this day in 1945.

No death march for the Japanese captured. American and Filipino values different from that of the enemy.

The $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels may turn into a problem for Trump and Michael Cohen. Cohen was Trump’s attorney and claims he paid the $130,000 settlement monies to Stormy Daniels out of his own pocket.

Hard to believe. Does not make sense. Lawyers don’t do that.

The Federal Election Commission is looking into the matter. The issue as to whether the $130,000 payment constituted an in kind political contribution.

If anything should come of this, it would be like Al Capone going to jail for tax evasion instead of the more popular criminal activity he may have been engaged in.

My Syracuse. Having difficulty winning this season. Needs to win all or one less than all of its remaining games to make the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse plays Miami tomorrow at noon.

Enjoy your day!

 

A HEMINGWAY STORY…..

Hemingway’s personal experiences are just as interesting as his novels.

Hemingway was a lover. A ladies man. Enjoyed his sexual adventures.

He was into  his second marriage. Pauline Pfeiffer, the wife. They were married 13 years. Ten of those years spent in Key West.

The marriage proved healthy for Hemingway’s writings. Most of his best works were written during his marriage to Pauline.

Pauline’s father wealthy. Pauline enjoyed inherited wealth. Provided Hemingway with a comfortable life style.

The home on Whitehead was bought during the marriage. Primarily with Pauline’s dollars. The home stands to this day. Now, a museum. The Hemingway House.

The gardens were to the front of the house. Hemingway had constructed a boxing ring. He was a boxing enthusiast.

Hemingway was off to Spain as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. He met and fell in love with Martha Gellhorn there, she also a war journalist.

Word got back to Pauline in Key West that husband Ernest was seriously screwing around. Pissed her off big time!

Pauline had the boxing ring torn down and replaced it with a $20,000 swimming pool. A lot of money for a pool in those days. Had Hemingway billed for it. The pool was lovely. Its setting in the gardens perfect. The sunlight equally perfect. The water glistened.

When Hemingway returned home, he became angered when he found out how much the pool cost. He and Pauline had words. Hemingway took a penny out of his pocket and flung it on the ground saying, “Pauline, you’ve spent all but my last penny, so might as well have that.”

The penny has become part of Hemingway House folklore. There is a 1934 penny imbedded in the concrete at the foot of the pool. Whether the same penny, I do not know.

Pauline and Hemingway in due course divorced. Martha became wife number three.

Hemingway drew on life experiences for his books. He and Pauline had two sons. Pauline’s labor was extremely difficult for one. Legend has it Hemingway used Pauline’s suffering as the basis for Catherine’s death in A Farewell To Arms.

My podcast show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A mix of Trump and local Key West stories. The show did not include the Hemingway one just shared. Key West has a slew of tales to be told.

The United States is getting better in dealing with natural disasters. Better not enough, however. More time and money must be spent planning how to react before a disaster even occurs.

New Orleans’ Katrina should have taught us a lot. Turns out, not enough.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. FEMA immediately saw the need for food. FEMA contracted with an Atlanta firm for 30 million meals, clearly spelling out time was of the essence. Delivery had to be as soon as possible. Only 50,000 were delivered.

The Atlanta firm was Tribate Contracting LLC. A one employee firm. The sole employee the owner Tiffany Brown. Brown had no experience in large scale disaster relief.

The contract was for $156 million.

It was Brown’s responsibility to find and contract with vendors to prepare and get the food to Puerto Rico. She was only intended as a run through. A conduit. She would be paid handsomely for her company’s services in that regard.

Brown hired a wedding caterer with a staff of 11 to prepare and freeze dry meals.

FEMA cancelled its contract with Brown’s company.

In the meantime, many in Puerto Rico were going without food.

Italy’s former Prime Minister and political force Silvio Berlusconi is back in the news. He has not been heard from in recent years after being convicted of tax fraud and sexual involvement with a 17 year old girl.

Due to the convictions, Berlusconi can no longer hold public office. Nothing bars him from being a political leader/force, however.

A national election is scheduled for March 4.

Berlusconi now 81 years old.

Immigration the issue. Everywhere!

In  the past few years, African Muslims seeking a way to Sweden have moved through Italy. Many remained in Italy. Six hundred thousand.

In my several trips to northern Italy in recent years, I have become familiar with the problem. Seen it first hand. Novara where my friend Anna lives appears to be a black community rather than a white one. Anna and her friends are not happy about it.

The homeless are not well taken care of at all. They sit on formerly prosperous streets, their backs against the walls, day and night. They are everywhere. Black prostitutes openly working the neighborhoods day and night.

Berlusconi says he will immediately deport the 600,000 immigrants.

Sounds like Trump.

My travels took me to Portofino. Expensive! I was paying $20 for a glass of gin.

Two places have impressed me beauty wise in my travels. Santorini and the bay at Portofino.

Berlusconi has a home in Portofino. On the water, of course. Huge. Magnificent. The shrubbery and flower beds alone have to cost a ton  of money to keep up.

Berlusconi and Putin are, if you will excuse the description, asshole buddies. Putin had a summer home built in Portofino right next to Berlusconi’s.

Evidence the relationship is close one. Several years ago and prior to Putin constructing his Portofino home, Putin allowed his teenage daughter to spend the summer at Berlusconi’s Portofino home.

What a world!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE DISGUSTING

This morning with us facing a crashing market and Trump issues all over the place, I deem what is occurring with the local education system more important.

I learned yesterday that the Monroe County School District graduation rate for 2016-7 was 79.2 percent.

Disgusting!

Parents, the community and the School Board should consider the number unacceptable. And do something about it!

The problem has to have existed for a number of years. To the School Board I say what is happening in the classroom is more important than housing. Get your priorities straight! The kids come first!

School officials say there is cause for celebration. The percentage is a bit higher and close to the State’s. The State graduation level also sucks. 82.3 percent.

I have a selfish interest. Robert and Ally shortly will be attending the Key West High School. Thus far they have been educated by Montessori. I am impressed at the degree of knowledge they have acquired. I do not want it to stop when they enter high school.

The Dow dropped 665 points friday and 1,100 plus yesterday. Wow!

Trump keeps taking credit for the market. I felt the market’s meteoric rise could not continue. At 82, I have seen similar markets in my life time. I said and wrote last year that the market could not sustain itself. There would be a crash. I thought it might occur by the end of last year or early this year.

I spoke of an impending crash last week in one of my Key West Lou Live Videos. Suggested it could occur anytime. If not the immediate future, sometime into the year.

My reasoning simple. What goes up, must come down. Especially a market that moves with abnormal swiftness. Everyone getting rich thinking there is no end to the success.

I referred to Trump at the time as the Herbert Hoover of 2018. So certain I was that the market would take a dive.

It began friday. Continued yesterday. Probably will continue today. The European and Asian markets went down during the night. Our misfortune affects the world.

The market corrects itself. No one knows precisely why. The market is like a person in certain respects. If it gets too rich, it regurgitates. Pukes. That is what it is doing now. It will continue till the market feels it has reached a price correction.

To place the market’s meteoric rise in proper perspective, lets look at a couple of numbers.

The market rose 1,900 points in the first 18 days of this year. Since Trump’s election, the market has risen 8,300 points. Mind boggling increases. Not normal. Shades of 1929.

Since Trump took credit for the market’s rise, I am curious to see how he handles its nose dive.

Pelosi’s fault? Democrats? The FBI’s?

A term rarely heard. Part of market jargon. The dead cat bounce.

Market lingo for a recovery after a market decline based on fundamentals. Some people buy in at a time referred to as dips. Investing for a quick profit. Makes everything look peachy and wonderful when it is not. The market is moves upward a bit. After the quick profit is taken, the market goes back down.

Last night a quiet one for me. Dueling Bartenders at Aqua and dinner at the outside bar at La Te Da.

Tom Luna missing last night. Bobby Nesbitt sitting in for him. Not a band substitute.

Aqua Idol tonight! Lynda Frechette’s baby. A fund raiser for the Waterfront Playhouse. Great singing! Big crowd! Fun!

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. So many things to talk about. I have notes covering 23 topics. I am lucky if I get 10 in.

Join me tonight at 9. The show’s following grows weekly. Amazing! I even have national sponsors! www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING SOLUTION

Word on the street is the Key West lodging and entertainment industry is having staffing problems. No wonder. The work staff, bartenders, wait staff, hotel workers, etc. are departing. They cannot afford to live in Key West any longer. Irma the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Rents became too high for ordinary Joes and Janes. Many ending up sharing an accommodation with anywhere from one to three other persons.

Irma caused damage in varying degrees to real estate. Renters found themselves without a home. Landlords in many instances became pigs. The law of supply and demand. Raised the rent!

Most were not able to work during the crisis. Two weeks or more  going unpaid.

Can you blame them for leaving? Or would you rather have them live under the Cow Key Bridge?

The heart of the housing problem is that the local law requiring Key West rentals to be for at least 28 days is not being effectively enforced. Forget excuses and difficulty of enforcement. Enforce! Hit violators with the fines permitted under the law, not a slap on the wrist.

Within a year, the affordable housing problem could be resolved. Without the need to construct affordable housing. The high cost of affordable housing itself  a joke.

Berlin proves my point.

Berlin was experiencing a relatively new housing crisis. Rentals became unavailable. Those available experienced sky rocketing rents.

Berlin attributed the problem to Airbnb. The greed of swift big dollars caused homes to be converted to unlicensed, super profitable hotel rooms. Such caused housing prices to be driven up and a shrinking rental inventory. Suddenly, Berlin was unaffordable for the people who lived and worked there.

Berlin dealt with the problem face on. Enforced a long term rental policy. Punished those who violated the policy.

In the first year alone, 8,000 units were returned to Berlin’s long term rental market.

San Francisco had a similar problem. Enforced its long term rental laws. As a result, 6,000 illegal listings disappeared.

New York City is presently complaining of the Airbnb problem. Airbnb has resulted in a raised cost of living for renters.

Unless local laws are enforced sternly, the situation will be as the comedian Robin Williams related regarding England’s unarmed police: Stop or I’ll say stop again!

Key West must use the law and its staff to combat the problem. Give Codes more men, a bigger budget. Resolve cases with significant fines. Of a size that hurt.

Then there will be no need for affordable housing. The working community will be able to pay fair market prices for rentals.

Trump’s State of the Union Address last night. What can I say that is not being bandied about via the media last night and this morning. I thought the address more form than substance. Considered it divisive. The tone Trump’s way or the highway.

Trump is fortunate to have finally discovered the value of prompters. He stuck to script last night. Made him appear Presidential.

Things are happening under Trump which I do not consider in the best interests of our Nation.

I hear purge and cleanse too often these days. With relation to the Department of Justice and FBI. Trump is a destroyer. A member of the Apocalypse.

Trump could have sanctioned Russia yesterday. He already had Congressional approval. He failed to do so. His excuse being he thought the ability to sanction was a sufficient deterrent to Russia.

He gave Russia a free pass. Russia who is out to bury us. A Russia that cannot be trusted. A Russia that only understands force/compulsion.

Trump claims that one of the benefits of the new tax law is that many corporations are paying bonuses in the thousands to its employees. I would buy $1,000. Not the point, however. A recent study shows only 9 percent of Fortune 500 companies have arranged to have their employees share in the windfall.

Whether 9 percent or 100 percent, the corporations who pay something to their employees still come out with huge significant monies remaining.

I am concerned. A society that is 1 percent/99 percent cannot survive. The 99 percent deficated upon will accept it only so long. Social disorder could result.

I worry about the market. So high! Higher every day!

Such cannot sustain itself. Fifty percent of Americans are not in the market, not benefiting.

Herbert Hoover was elected in 1929 when the market was acting as it is today. Upwards, ever upwards! Less than 8 months after his election, the market fell. The U.S. experienced its worse depression in history.

Trump could be the Herbert Hoover of the 21st century.

Irma and Me is now available at the Key West Library. Available for checking out. I am honored.

Syracuse/Georgia Tech tonight at 8. I will be watching the game. I am not sure where yet.

Enjoy your day!

 

MY COUNTRY, ‘TIS OF THEE, SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY…..

My Country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty…..Let freedom ring!

No more. We’re losing it.

Democracy is being sacrificed on the altar of Donald Trump. Politicians more concerned with expediency rather than correctness.

Yesterday, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward. Today, Stephen R. Mallory.

Mallory of Key West fame. Confederate fame, also. Key West’s famous Mallory Square is named after him. His bronze bust sits in the Key West Memorial Sculpture Garden. One of 39 recognized for having had a major impact on Key West.

He was a United States Senator from Florida 1851-1861. During that time, he was Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs.

He joined the Confederacy when Florida seceded. He served as Secretary of the Navy for the Confederacy during the entire Civil War. He did an excellent job for the Confederacy.

He fled Richmond at the end of the War, was captured, imprisoned, and charged with treason. After one year, he was paroled by President Andrew Johnson.

Mallory rarely if any time returned to Key West. He settled in Pensacola where he practiced law til his death.

I spoke of the Mallory/Confederacy problem last year when the move to remove statues, proclamations, etc. of Southern supporters arose. I asked: Should Mallory Square be renamed? Should Mallory’s bust be removed from the Garden of honor?

My answer then simple. The same today. Leave well enough alone. Broward, Mallory, and all the rest part of American history. Good, bad or indifferent.

History should neither be altered, destroyed nor removed.

Attended the Key West Craft Show yesterday afternoon. Covered half the length of Whitehead. Everything on exhibit, everything for sale. Great craft!

The Craft Show has been ongoing more than 30 years.

I bought my first Jack Baron painting 20 years ago at the Craft Show. A black Madonna and Child. $3,500. My wife at the time said I was out of my mind.

I still have the painting, as well as many other Baron works. It gives me joy every time I look at it.

Visited with Diana Millikan at cocktail time at her Key West home on Hilton Haven Drive. Her tiny condo sits on a canal.

Diana and I have been working on a book together for ever so long. It seems to be taking forever to complete. We are still at the research stage. The novel intended is a history of Key West prostitution. All the way back to 1660.

Diana just returned from a trip to Haiti to attend the funeral of a friend. She was down with dysentery for three days. She said she drank bottled water. Turned out the water was bottled in Haiti with Haitian waters.

Then to the Chart Room. Shaun bartending. Quiet.

Heard a cruise ship could not dock yesterday. Wind too strong.

Spoke with Tom and Fran Dixson in Buffalo last night. They recently returned from a cruise to Cuba. Leave soon for a 2 week tour of Rome and southern Italy. They are traveling with a Buffalo area seminary. The trip includes an audience with the Pope.

Too much on  my mind sometimes. I thought the Syracuse/Pitt game was tomorrow night. It was saturday night. Missed it. Syracuse won 60-55.

Next game wednesday evening against Georgia Tech at 8. I will not miss it.

Donna called last night. They made it to Tampa. Donna hurting bad. Going to find a Tampa orthopedist today.

Terri’s testing began at 6:30 this morning. I wish her well.

New Orleans has Mardi Gras. Key West, Fantasy Fest.

Beads have been clogging New Orleans’ catch basins for years. To the point, water ain’t moving. A bead removal project underway. Estimated 93,000 pounds of beads (46 tons) to be removed. Sixty four thousand catch basins. Cost: $7 million.

Will Key West ever be so afflicted? Hope not.

We have been complaining about Russian interference in our elections. Putin has turned the tables on us. He is complaining of U.S. meddling in the Russian elections to be held March 18. The pot calling the kettle black.

There is no need for any country to attempt to influence Russian elections. Putin either kills or jails the opposition before the election.

We take automobiles for granted. To drive or ride in. There was a time when autos were new, however.

William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States. He was the first American President to ride in an auto. September 1901 in a Stanley Steamer.

Enjoy your day!