GOP SHOOTING

A sad morning.

Sad for the people of the United States.

Republican Congressmen were shot at early this morning while practicing for a baseball game tomorrow morning. Against Democrats. An annual charity fundraiser.

Steve Scalise, the Majority Whip, was shot. In the hip. In surgery at the moment. Several others shot, including two police officers.

I am not a Scalise fan. He is a right wing conservative. However, that does not mean I want him shot. The philosophical battles between my side and his are fought in the halls of Congress and at the ballot box.

One observation. I place part of the blame on the venom and in your face bully type comments spewed by Trump. It invites reaction. In this instance, against Republican Congressmen.

All wrong!

An attack against a Congressman is an attack against me and against you. We are all Americans.

My yesterday a busy one. Running around all day taking care of the mundane.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. My podcast. Dwelt on Sessions’ testimony, the Cabinet meeting (the ass kissing one), and Boeing building or planning on building plants in China, Saudi Arabia, and India.

Forbes March edition reported there are 2,043 billionaires in the world. Their combined net worth $7.67 trillion.

Our national debt is three times that amount!

This Qatar thing is having effects. I once again blame Trump for emboldening the Saudis.

Qatar is one of the richest nations in the world. However a financial crisis is looming. The Saudis have shut off Qatar’s outside its borders bank transactions.

Another problem is milk. A problem of more immediate consequence. Milk. Milk is generally imported. Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations have blockaded Qatar.

Local Qatar entrepreneurs have started a cow paradropping campaign. The Berlin Airlift on a minor scale.

The Key West Citizen carries columns by national columnists several times a week. One appeared today. By the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker: Wishing for a Trump Tweetectomy.

Right on!

More than any other President, Trump has increased material for use by comedians.

Comedy Central’s Daily Show is opening this weekend the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library. The featured subject: Trump tweets. The Library is at 3 West 57th Street in Manhattan. It will be open friday-sunday. Admission free.

Some 20 years ago, a waitress at Square One had a sister who was afflicted with some rare disease. The sister was in Philadelphia. The waitress walked from Key West to Philadelphia to bring attention to the disease and to raise money to assist in finding a cure.

Impressive!

Another such venture. This one in the water rather than on land.

Three women are paddle boarding from Havana to South Florida. Hopefully, Smathers Beach.

One paddle board. three women. Each will take turns of two hours or less paddling. One of the ladies said, “Our arms are our engines.” Actually, the ladies cup their hands and use their hands to cut the water.

A vessel will lead them.

The trip is anticipated to take 25 hours.

Purpose: To bring two charities to the forefront. Ocean of Hope and Special Olympics 305.

Brave, tough ladies. Not an easy trip. Beside crazy waters and sharks, jelly fish could be the most significant problem. The ladies expect bites. They believe they can mentally as well as physically handle the pain.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TEAR DOWN THE WALL

Two events have occurred in my lifetime which I consider momentous. Man on the moon and the Berlin Wall coming down. No other event excels.

Man walking on the moon blew my mind. A real WOW! Inconceivable.

The Berlin Wall went up in 1969. Communist Russia and the United states were at each other’s throats for years. Fear of war overwhelmed us.

On this day in 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood before the Berlin wall and said to Secretary Gorbachev, “Take down this wall!”

Reagan had brass balls.

The Wall came down two years later. The Berlin people themselves knocked it down. Brick by brick, stone by stone.

Absolutely amazing!

The Soviet Union would dissolve two years later. Who would have thought?

Pride and Women’s Equality Parades yesterday. Both successful events. Crowds on the sidewalk cheering. Pride floats magnificent. Everyone happy!

One hundred feet of the Rainbow Flag was carried the length of the Parade.

The group on one of the floats kept repeating : Love, not hate, that’s what makes America great. A fitting slogan. A better variation on anything Trump has said thus far.

Today in Bayview Park, 49 Rainbow Flags are flying to commemorate the 49 lives lost one year ago today at Orlando’s Pulse Club.  In addition, a one hundred foot section of the Rainbow Flag flies in Orlando today.

Love one another!

William Hackley’s diary entry of yesterday in 1856 noted that his daughter Lucia had the chicken pox.

I recall the chicken pox when I had them at 3 or 4 years of age. My father dabbing me with calamine lotion to ease the itching.

Then came my four children. All close in age. We had 4 in 5 years.

They all came down with chicken pox the same summer. Not all at once, however. One every two weeks. A long summer!

I did as my father. Dabbed the sores with calamine lotion.

Qatar a problem place. For a short time, I hope. Muscle flexing by Saudi Arabia and a few other Arab states.

Qatar is small. Very small. Very rich. It has huge supplies of natural gas. Qatar and Iran have shared the benefits of the natural gas together for years.

Qatar has hired former Attorney General John Ashcroft and his law firm to represent Qatar in its problems with Saudi Arabia and others. Ashcroft was Attorney General under Bush 2.

The pay is good. A retainer of $2.5 million. For only the first 90 days of work.

Terri sings tonight with the Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GAY BETSY ROSS

A group of historians credit Betsy Ross with making the first American flag. Questionable. Another group say she had nothing to do with the flag.

That group claims Betsy was the madam of a house of ill repute. She and her girls purported to be seamstresses as a cover. The girls would sit around waiting for men to take them to a back room for pay and play.

When the history of the flag was first being written, the writer was in a quandary as to who actually made the flag. No one knew. One of those he was talking with said Betsy Ross, the seamstress. He was joking.

Whatever, the Betsy Ross and flag story stuck. To this day, most believe it.

What does this have to do with the Gay Betsy Ross? Nothing actually. Except for name application. The maker of the Key West Pride Flag has become known as the Gay Betsy Ross.

Gilbert Baker was gay. Proud and open about it.

The time 1978.

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Milk was assassinated the same year.

Gilbert Baker a Key Wester at the time. He created the Rainbow Flag. A big one! More than a mile long. Intended to symbolize diversity and equality, as well as in memory of Milk.

The flag covered the entire length of Duval Street from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

2003 found Key West celebrating the 25th anniversary of the flag. Known also by that time as the Sea to Sea Diversity Flag.

The flag first as a whole and now in parts has become an integral part of today’s Pride Parade.

Mayor Craig Cates has named June 15th as Gilbert Baker Day in honor of his creating the flag.

There are two parades today. Immediately following the Pride Parade, the Florida Keys Women’s March for Equality will parade down to Duval. Actual title of the parade: Equality March and Rally for Unity and Pride.

The Women’s Parade is a grass roots movement being held today. Across 110 cities world wide. Cities where women support LGBTQ+ individuals.

As mentioned, Harvey Milk inspired Baker to make the flag. Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk will speak at St. Paul’s today at the conclusion of the Women’s Parade.

Dinner with Donna and Terri last night at Tavern ‘n Town. Today, they both will be watching/participating in the parades.

Lynda and Bob Frechette at the bar. They leave Key West Tuesday for the summer. Great people. Good friends. Love them both. I will see them one last time Monday night at Dueling Bartenders. Terri is guest performer. They will be there supporting Terri.

Bobby Nesbitt performed last night. He leaves today for New York City. A week of Broadway shows. He mentioned looking forward to seeing Hello Dolly, Hamilton, and Sunset Boulevard, amongst others.

Chatted briefly with Dennis the Manager. He does his job well.

Donna, Terri and I were at the bar a long time. May have been the last to leave. The time well spent laughing at one story after another. Including one involving Patrick and Terri at Rosie’s in the Village many years ago.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

I DINED WELL

Good company, good food, good drink. More a person could not ask for.

Last night was one of those times. I dined well. At Donna and Terri’s. Donna cooked, Terri sang and I enjoyed. Donna is a superior cook. Terri bursting into song cannot be excelled. I was the perfect sponge. Absorbed everything.

It amazes me how well Terri looked. She had a chemo day thursday. Last night, you would never know she had the chemo nor cancer.

The weather continued to be bad yesterday. Poured off and on. Big time. Last night, especially. Supposed to rain into next week. Unusual. Summer is upon us. Rains every day. Like 5-10 minutes. Not pour. This is crazy!

Pride Week. Big goings on. Today, a street festival. 700-900 blocks of Duval blocked off. Through midnight. Tomorrow, Pride Parade. Five pm. The length of Duval.

Key West is a writer’s paradise. Not only novels and short stories, poetry also. Poetry writing significant.

The Key West Poet Laureate for 2017 has been announced. Flower Conroy.

In addition to national recognition, her work has been locally acknowledged. She won the Tennessee Williams Poetry Contest, the Richard Heyman Award, and is the recipient of a 2017 grant from the Anne McKee Artist Fund to produce an anthology of poetry for the five day workshop Conroy recently lead at the Key West Library.

Bobby Nesbitt and Skipper Kripitz. Two outstanding Key West entertainers. Two nice guys. This wednesday evening, they will appear for the last time at The Room. A recognition “the season” has ended. They will return in the Fall.

The Key West City Commission declared a new activity. Several months late in beginning. Third delay of its start announced.

I am referring to the Duval Loop Bus. Part of a plan to reduce traffic and congestion on Duval.

A 16 stop free bus service. I have to smile. Needed parking spaces will be eliminated to accommodate most of the bus stops. The bus itself when stopped will delay traffic in many instances.

The bus was supposed to be ready for operation in December. Unable to. Not enough drivers. Second time, bus wraps (whatever they are) and promotional materials had not arrived.

Bus drivers have been hired. Still cannot use them on the Loop service. The third delay has been announced. Something about a 3 inch wide pole not yet finished. The poles are required at the stops. Hurricane problems require a bigger pole. Not normal. Special manufacture apparently.

In the meantime, bus drivers must be paid or the City will lose them. They are filling in on City buses.

Sounds like money wasted to me.

Not strange. Not unusual. Everything the City does is late and one way or another costs more money.

Did you notice? Trump never mentions Russia and its intrusion into our election system. Why not? It is the key reason for the investigation.

I continue the Trump emboldening Saudi Arabia kick.

After Trump’s visit, no question Trump and Saudi Arabia asshole buddies. A logical conclusion if Trump is close to Saudi Arabia, then the U.S. must be also.

Saudi Arabi is on Qatar’s back for spreading terrorism. Makes me laugh! The Middle East’s biggest supporter of terrorism has been Saudi Arabia.

Trump yesterday announced the U.S. would no longer provide “high level” support to Qatar. He forgets we have a major military base in Qatar with 10,000 military personnel stationed there.

One hour after Trump’s statement, Tillerson announced Saudi Arabia should lift its blockade and talk things out with Qatar. His opinion being that the Saudi/Qatar conflict was affecting the war on ISIS.

Trump and Tillerson messages not in sync. Typical however of what we have come to expect from the Trump administration. The left hand many times does not know what the right is doing. Described another way, the President went off on his own without consultation with his Secretary of State.

The Belmont today. Some of the excitement lost. Neither the Kentucky Derby winner nor the Preakness winner are entered.

Enjoy your day!

FROM MOSES BASKETS TO HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES

Not only is Key West One Human Family, it is One Happy Family. Family being the operative word.

This story involves Blue Heaven, its owner, and its employees over the years.

Richard Hatch owns Blue Heaven. An absolute Key West success! Tourists wait in line to dine.

Hatch understood the personal needs of his staff. He permitted hosts, waitresses, etc. to bring their babies to work. Generally in baskets. Moses baskets.

A number of the babies are now full grown. A good number graduated from the Key West High School several days ago. The mothers of many have continued to work at Blue Heaven over the years. Some of the recent graduates also during their high school days.

The graduation called for a Blue Heaven Party. What else!

The party was held at Hatch’s home. The home lovely. A huge pool in the back.

A crowd estimated at 100.

Organizing the party were Donna’s daughter Stacey and Satia. Both still working at Blue Heaven after all these years. Both had children graduating.

A good time had by all! All because of a Richard Hatch who had the foresight to understand young mothers some 20 years ago needed to take their kids to work. He worked with them and they and their children have happily worked with and for him.

A sad occurrence in 2015. A visitor at the Tiki Bar at the Galleon decided to dive in the ocean. The dock was roped off. He went over the rope. Might have been drinking.

An unfortunate accident occurred. He hit head first. Water shallow. An instantaneous quadriplegic.

He sued. The basis of the suit was that the Bar and Galleon had no signs posted warning of shallow water and no signs posted prohibiting diving.

The case was settled this past week for $10.75 million.

I enjoyed a perfect evening last night. Watched the 1946 Cole Porter movie starring Cary Grant. and Alexis Smith. Night and Day. A tear jerker.

The music a killer! Touching! Romantic! Glad I opted to remain home and watch the movie.

Songs like Night and Day, Begin the Beguine, I Get a Kick Out of You, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, You’re the Top, You’d Be So Easy to Love, In the Still of the Night, etc.

Wow!

Trump has stirred the emotions of Middle East countries. He emboldened Saudi Arabia by his visit. Four days ago, the Saudis blockaded Qatar and threaten to attack Qatar. Turkey has since entered into a military pact with Qatar. Iran has offered food and ports to Qatar.

Great job, Donald! Keep it up and our country will end up looking like Afghanistan and Iraq.

Speaking of the President, he spoke to a group of Evangelicals yesterday. His strongest group of supporters. His message: “We’re under siege.”

Amazon is smart business.

Amazon has recognized the middle class no longer exists. It wants customers from both ends of the economic spectrum, however. Those at the bottom and those at the top.

Amazon has had Price Membership for several years. For $99 a year, it provides free 2 day shipping. Amounts to $10.99 a month.

They recognize the other market and are going after it. Amazon announced it will provide 2 day shipping service to those in the lowest economic scale. $5.99 per month. A state issued debit card for government benefits required to participate.

Cultural and religious differences frequently clash these days.

The Saudi Arabia (Them again!) soccer team is participating in the World Cup in Australia. A moment of silence was called for in memory of the recent victims of the London Bridge attack.

The Saudi Arabia team refused to observe the moment.

The Saudi Arabia Soccer Federation later in the day issued an apology.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

DISGUSTING PERFORMANCE

Yesterday’s Senate Committee Hearing was a perfect example of how inept our government has become. Four witnesses. All major figures. All bad. All unresponsive. Two terribly so.

An example of how our country is falling apart at the seams. Responsibility forgotten. A nation cannot survive unless everyone pulls together when it comes to basics.

Answer questions asked, unless there is a legal reason not to do so. There was none yesterday.

Today, Comey. He will be more responsive. Many say this is Comey’s day. I disagree. It is America’s day.

Rained like hell yesterday! Flooding all over!

This morning’s Key West Citizen has excellent photos of the flooding at Front and Duval Streets and Simonton and United.

Supposed to be rainy through the weekend. This afternoon and tonight heavy again. Then moderating off.

Wind warnings for this afternoon. Forty mile per hour winds. Not the time for boating.

Key West Pride week begins today. Runs through sunday.

Several days of festivities. The parade sunday afternoon. Always spectacular! Runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic.

Key West is one happy family. Gays and straights intermingle. No one concerned. No one even thinks about a different sex preference.

Key West has had a gay mayor. Even a gay elected leader of the Chamber of Commerce. He was known as the Gay Master. Made BD/SM gear.

A gay master bd/sm manufacturer as head of the Chamber of Commerce would never have flown in Utica. People too uptight.

I mentioned Qatar and Iran yesterday. How Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states are on their backs. I attributed the move to Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia two weeks ago. From my perspective, emboldened the Saudis.

Trump lacking in background knowledge and basic common sense the cause. He did the embolding.

No mention in yesterday and today’s papers re the ISIS attack in Iran and Saudi Arabia’s blockading and threatening little Qatar with invasion.

Was my Trump observation wrong? Or, have the Senate hearings re Russia, etc. blocked out all other significant news?

I read somewhere that people don’t change, they reveal who they really are. We are seeing it with Trump. Many of us knew he was unstable. It is more evident now that he has taken office.

A great religious figure died this date in 632 AD. Muhammad. One of the most influential figures in history. Today Islam is the world’s second largest religion.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

NOT A WOMAN SO HAVE NO BAD DAYS…..RUSSIAN PROSTITUTES THE BEST

“I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days.”

Putin in a new documentary by film maker Oliver Stone.

Russia’s prostitutes are “unquestionably the best in the world.”

Putin again. This time in a Bloomberg Politics interview. The issue came up when Putin was asked what dirt Russia had on Trump. Putin responded none. He further added he did not believe Trump cohorted with prostitutes while in Russia. It was at that point he added the best prostitutes in the world comment.

Why my setting forth the two quotes? Putin and Trump are leaders of two of the most powerful nations in the world. Both have dirty mouths. Never heard Eisenhower, Truman, or Reagan speak thusly.

There are more important things for leaders of powerful nations to talk about than a woman’s bodily function or who has the best prostitutes.

Never left the house yesterday. Researched and wrote. Started working on last night’s podcast at one in the afternoon.

Great topics. Interesting. From D-Day to Trump to government waste to European Union and African Islamists to inequality to flying cars.

Quite a variety.

Rained all night. Heavy. Raining heavy this morning. Going to rain all day and tonight. Streets will flood. I may not get out tonight.

June 15 is National Dump to Pump Day. Fifteenth annual one. The cry is not to drive your car. Take a bus, bicycle or walk.

City of Key West pushing the day. Want everyone to ride the bus. We ain’t got enough busses!

The City Commissioners also want us to drive cars less. They encourage bike riding. To reduce traffic congestion.

Very anti-automobile. I like my car and prefer driving it. Especially since I live three keys outside Key West. I cannot see myself riding on a bike on  US 1 or the Boulevard. A sure auto/bicycle accident in the making. My old body involved.

Trump went to Saudi Arabia two weeks ago and sucked up to the Saudis and representatives of 53 other Arab nations. Turns out his visit has emboldened the Saudis. Great America is apparently on their side.

Two developments in the last 24 hours prove the point.

Iran was terrorized by ISIS. First any type terrorist attack in 10 years. Tehran no longer safe from ISIS.

Qatar has been warned by Saudi Arabia to change their tune and dance to Saudi Arabia’s dictates. The Saudis have blockaded little Qatar. Thirty six hours ago, ten  conditions for Qatar to agree to were submitted by the Saudis to Qatar. Qatar was given 24 hours to agree. Otherwise the veiled threat of invasion.

Twenty four hours have passed. No agreement, no invasion. The fear of war continues to exist, however.

None of this would have happened had Trump not behaved as he did when he visited Saudi Arabia. Again, he emboldened the Saudis. His conduct gave tacit approval to Saudi Arabia to flex its muscle.

The problem with Iran is Sunni / Shite hatred for one another. They tolerated each other for 10 years. Till trump got involved with the Saudis.

I fear Trump is going to get us into a war. Not necessarily the Middle East. Somewhere. It’s a big world. He’s a loose cannon with a six shooter on his hip.

Enjoy your day!

GAY MASS SHOOTING

Anne from Ithaca is a loyal follower of this blog. She commented on why I advised no blog yesterday. She gave me the benefit of the doubt. Thought because of the Orlando killings, I was saying nothing so people could ponder the event on their own before I expressed my thoughts.

Wish your observation was correct, Anne. Makes me look good. Thank you. Not the reason, however. I was tired.

This week’s KONK Life column is The Rape of Social Security. Researched it on saturday. Needed verification of some facts before writing. Rose at 6 yesterday morning to check the facts. Followed by putting the article together.

It was almost 11 when I finished. I was tired! Writing the blog would have been like climbing a mountain. Took a day off. Went to bed and slept till late afternoon.

I never knew of the Orlando disaster till late afternoon when I woke. Ergo, I cannot take credit for having made what Anne perceived as a thoughtful gesture.

Nevertheless, thank you Anne.

You do not need me to tell you the Orlando killings and injuries should not have been. The work of a radicalized young man. Anti-gay and anti-female. He had wrapped himself in his religion.

What blows me out is that the culprit was American born in New York City. Educated. Through college. Not some Muslim nut from the Middle East who somehow got into our country.

How did he get radicalized? My thought is the internet has to have been a major contributing factor. Information and contacts galore available 24 hours a day.

Yesterday was part of Gay Pride Week. The shootings occurred at a gay night spot. Pride Week being celebrated all over the United States. Including of course Key West.

Gays and straights alike wore black arm bands yesterday in Key West.

I want to stay with the Islamic mind/teachings for a moment. A Dutch woman was in Qatar. She had a drink at a bar. The next thing she remembers is waking up somewhere else. Waking up and discovering her body had been had. Raped. Suspects she was served a mickey at the bar.

She reported the incident to the police. They arrested her. The way it is in the Middle East. Women are not supposed to have sex outside marriage. If they do, it is automatically deemed to be the woman’s fault.

She was jailed in March. Tried this past week. Found guilty of illicit consensual fornication and drunkedness. Sentenced to a year in jail and three years probation. Sentence suspended. She is being thrown out of the country. Happily so.

They located the guy. Found guilty of illegal consensual sex and drinking alcohol. Got 100 lashes for the sex and 4o additional lashes for the drinking.

I would normally say these people are crazy. Muslims in general. However, I have seen the error of my ways and wish to be politically correct. Seriously so. Not all Muslims are driven by the thinking of the Orlando shooter nor the laws of Qatar. How do we distinguish between the good guys and the bad? Therein is the problem.

Trump’s comments following the killings off base. He shoots from the hip. Too volatile to be President.

Met Lynn Sherman at the Gardens last night. First time. She is an artist. A successful one. Her paintings sell. She paints fronts of homes on small canvases. She has had several showings at the Lucky Street Gallery.

An interesting woman. Good company.

My lesbian wives Donna and Terri are back in town. Ran into them saturday night at Tavern ‘n Town and last night at the Gardens. Glad they have opted to return. They add to the quality of Key West.

Met two interesting men at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. Albert Sullivan and Richard Manley. One sitting to my left and the other to my right.

Albert is a physician-scientist. Richard the Manley of Manley de Boer for 40 years.

Humidity becoming a killer. Heavier each day. And it is only June!

Enjoy your day!