OLD COUPLE

Strange experience last night.

I did not want to go into town. Parking a problem during Goombay and Fantasy Fest. Three different times my car has been towed. $200 plus each time. Additionally, after 25 years I have seen all there is to see about the events. I have rarely attended in recent years.

Diane Millikan is back. Gave her a call and said join me for dinner. Meet me at the new SONIC across the street from where you are staying.

Sonic a new short order food operation in Key West. Mega bucks involved for the property. I was curious what it was like.

I opted to eat at an outside table rather than in the car. One orders by standing in front of a huge screen. The size of a 50 inch TV screen. The menu listed. A press button operation. Someone answers and you place your order.

When the food and bill arrived, I noticed something unusual on the bill: CUST INFO: OLD COUPLE.

Bothered me. Not because I am old. Because SONIC obviously had to have a camera built into the screen that automatically deduced Diana and I are old. SONIC probably requires the information for their purposes. However, it irritated me someone was taking my picture and labeling me without my permission.

See if I eat their cheeseburgers again!

The food sucked. Not because of the picture taking. It did. And the tables were dirty. All of them. I had to clean one off before we sat down.

Today the day! The beginning of Fantasy Fest itself. A wild week ahead. Tourists galore. As many as 60,000 the night of the parade. Every year, I wonder where they sleep. There are not enough rooms in the Keys to accommodate all of them.

A Michael update. Michael’s strength and the surge unearthed 15 19th century ships that had been wrecked off Dog Island by a hurricane. The hurricane occurred in 1899. The ships are siting on the beaches.

Syracuse/UNC an interesting game yesterday afternoon. I missed the best part. I fell asleep.

With 3 minutes to go, Syracuse was losing. I think by 3 points. That is when I fell asleep.

I assumed Syracuse lost and never checked the final score when I woke. I did last night when I returned home. Syracuse won in a double overtime 40-37.

Friends have been e-mailing me and asking…..Wasn’t it a great game!

Not the first time this has happened to me.

This morning’s news advises that Trump announced following his latest rally last night that the U.S. was going to exit its nuclear treaty with Russia. A treaty that was entered into in 1987 between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Reagan at the time used a Russian proverb as to how he was going to handle whether Russia was complying with the provisions of the agreement. Doveryai no proveryai. Trust, but verify.

Trump claims Russia has been violating the treaty. Why rush to a North Korea type confrontation? All Trump had to do was ask Putin if Russia was. If Putin said no, then Trump should be comfortable with the response. As he was each time Putin told him Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election.

I suspect Trump is playing this new game to show voters he is tough. The November 6 elections around the corner.

Also, this confrontation in the making provides Trump with evidence in the Mueller investigation that he is not friends with Russia. He’s willing to go to nuclear war with them!

Realistically, I doubt any war is about to occur. Russia militarily is not our equal. Except in their new submarine fleet that can shoot missiles onto our shores.

The only way Russia could stand up to the U.S. militarily is if China joined them. A possibility always. Putin and Xi have been making all kinds of economic deals the past few years.

Behind Trump’s present blustering is John Bolton. A bad man. A war monger. Most previous Presidents have been able to avoid him. Trump, not. Bolton talks tough. As does Trump. Birds of a feather.

Trump is turning migration into a campaign issue again. People are escaping Guatemala to avoid harm, to seek a better life for themselves and their children, etc. Trump makes it sound like an attack en mass is coming.

Many of the 4,000 are stuck on a bridge over a river separating Guatemala and Mexico. Body to body. No food, no toilets, no water, no shelter, etc. Sounds like the aftermath of Michael.

One woman interviewed crying while kneeling on the bridge clutching her 11 month old infant to her breast. The baby had a fever. The baby was without a diaper. There were none.

I continue to say if people are willing to walk 2,000 miles and go through these type conditions, they cannot be bad. They are in need. In need of a better way.

Forget the money. We piss money away on many things. Here at least it would go for a good cause.

This is not a crisis. Authorities say except for a spike here and there, immigration is at a 40 year low.

Time to help a neighbor. We forget. Especially the Golden Rule…..Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don’t respond with…..God helps those who help themselves. These people are trying to help themselves. They are walking 2,000 miles and jeopardizing the health and lives of themselves and their children.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

POST SUMMIT THOUGHTS

I am addicted to politics and world events. I am paying for it this morning. I remained awake most of the night watching the Singapore Summit. Trump’s press conference was 4 am.

My first thought is I should have gone to sleep. I am dead! Laid in bed till 9. Here it is after 11 and I am just beginning the blog. Still have to prepare for tonight’s podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Be awake and sharp while I do the show.

What a day it’s going to be!

Talk is better than fury and fire. Trump and Kim agreed on nothing significant. The joint agreement said nothing. Denuclearization danced around.

However, the two met. They are now friends. Trump invited Kim to Washington. The world’s worst dictator has come front stage. They will engage in telephone chats. Things kumbaya. At least for a while.

Not enough for Trump to win the Nuclear Peace Prize. A meet and greet insufficient. A promise to denuclearize was required. The man who deserves the Prize is Moon Je, President of South Korea. He is the person who got the ball rolling resulting in the Summit.

One final thought. Trump was not ready. He has to prepare for these meetings. He requires a knowledgeable staff to guide him. Trump’s personality, good or bad, insufficient when it comes to the details.

So no misunderstanding exists, I consider the Summit a failure, except that now two leaders have come to know each other and will communicate.

Success may come re nuclear weapons. Down the road, however.

History tells us of a major success that began as a failure.

Reagan and Gorbachev met in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1987. They were unable to agree on anything of importance. Nothing was signed. The Summit was considered a failure.

Reagan and Gorbachev however began to talk informally. They now knew each other. Those talks paved the way to the eventual end of the Cold War and at that time the threat of nuclear war.

My KONK Life column several weeks ago was titled: I’m The President, Aren’t I?” Concerned Reagan’s speech at the Berlin Wall. In front of Brandenburg Gate.

Reagan and aides had worked on the speech for several weeks. Reagan wrote what he considered a strong line in the speech: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” His top advisers thought the sentence too strong. Wanted it out. It came out. Reagan would put it back in. This back and forth continued.

It was the morning of the speech. Reagan in a quandary. The line out. He still wanted it in.

He had a conversation with Deputy Chief of Staff Duberstein.

Reagan: I’m the President, aren’t I?

Duberstein: Yes, sir, Mr. President. We’re clear about that.

Reagan: So I get to decide whether the line about tearing the wall                       down stays in?

Duberstein: That’s right, sir. It’s your decision.

Reagan: Then it stays in.

A dramatic moment. I recall watching Reagan on TV. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Two and a half years later, the wall came down.

Big trees from little acorns grow. The Singapore Summit could result in good. Or, not. Time will tell. One thing certain. Trump and Kim must continue to talk if good is to be accomplished.

My podcast tonight. Join me. Nine o’clock.  A quick half hour of my ramblings, sharing thoughts, etc. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

The show must be good. Or at least, interesting. My numbers keep going up. The show has acquired national advertisers.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

I’M THE PRESIDENT, AREN’T I?

Russia is a problem today. Russia was a problem yesterday. It has been a problem since the Russian Revolution of 1917. More so following World War II. Then a hiatus from 1989 till the ascendency of Vladimir Putin to power.

By 1961, Berlin had been divided into two different entities. East Berlin under Russian control and West Berlin under U.S. and West Berlin control.

People did not like living under Russian domination in East Berlin. They began escaping into West Berlin. The Russians did not approve. In August 1961, construction of a Russian inspired wall began to keep the East Berliners in East Berlin. The wall composed of barb wire and concrete.

The wall became known as the Berlin Wall.

The wall eventually started coming down 28 years later in 1989.

During its existence, 100,000 persons tried to escape to West Berlin. Only 500 made it. One hundred forty died trying.

Ronald Reagan became President of the United States and Mikhail Gorbachev of Russia. They learned how to get along.

Gorbachev knew Russia was suffering. Its war with Afghanistan was costly and a drain on Russia’s economy. He also knew Russia had to reform its political system if it were to survive.

Reagan was scheduled to speak at the wall’s Brandenburg Gate on June 12, 1987. He wanted the speech to be special. He wanted it to make a point.

His speech writer was Deputy White House Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein. Duberstein wrote a dramatic line. Even more powerful when Reagan would deliver it with his acting fervor. The line: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Reagan liked the line. No one else. Secretary  of State George Shultz and National Security Adviser Colin Powell were vehemently opposed. The line too strong.

Those involved with the speech argued for weeks right up to the day of the speech whether the line should remain.

Reagan wanted the line in.

On the day of the speech, Duberstein and Reagan had this memorable exchange.

REAGAN: I’m the President, aren’t I?

DUBERSTEIN: Yes sir, Mr. President. We’re clear about that.

REAGAN: So I get to decide whether the line about tearing the wall down stays in?

DUBERSTEIN: That’s right, sir. It’s your decision.

REAGAN: Then it stays in.

Stayed in it did! Reagan’s words for history. Two and a half years later, the wall began to come down.

A DAY LIKE ALL DAYS

Busy yesterday. Did nothing out of the ordinary, however.

Started with a noon haircut appointment with Lori. Always a pleasure to spend time with Lori. Fifteen plus years now.

The Cuban Coffee Queen is around the corner from Blown Away. The heat/humidity too heavy to eat outside. Decided to pick up some things at Publix and feed myself at home.

Driving the Publix motivation was the fact that I had been dreaming for a couple of days of a home prepared chicken sandwich.

Bought a lemon pepper chicken.

Lunch was the desired chicken sandwich. A large soft roll. A thick slice of white chicken breast. Covered with a slice of tomato. A bit of salt and pepper. Then mayonnaise.

A dream come true!

Screwed around on the computer in the afternoon searching for a KONK column topic to do. Came up with nothing that excited me.

The Chart Room first last night. John told me Tom and Fran had been in earlier looking for me. Telephoned them. They were at Kermit’s enjoying key lime pie. Told me they would shortly join me.

Spent some time with Tom and Fran enjoying a couple of drinks. Then they were off to do sunset. Knew one of the entertainers and wanted to visit with him. The man with the cats jumping through hoops of fire.

I went across the street to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Enjoyed lamb chops again.

Joseph still on the mend. There is a new general manager. JP. We were introduced.

The Noble Group is not screwing Joseph. As I understand, there is an office job awaiting him when he returns.

Joseph has graduated from a walker to two canes. Progress slow.

Hello Jim Wenzel! Close friend of Tom Dixon. Both Buffalo bred. Jim now resides in Tampa. Tom told me he turned Jim on to the blog and he now reads it daily.

Welcome and thank you, Jim!

On the way back to my car, I passed the Chart Room. Ollie was at the bar. One of the heroes of the Zika test spraying fight. I stopped in to congratulate him. He believes Key Haven will defeat the test spraying proposal.

This week’s KONK Life column is German Persecution of Jews. It was carried this morning on E-Blast and also linked to my Key West Lou column. www.keywestlou.com.

My conscience Patrick posted a comment yesterday morning. He wanted to know why I had not commented on the $4 million/Iran/hostage situation. Simple. I only had the first blast of news. Accusatory. Did not make sense. Thought I should wait a day to see how the story played out.

Glad I delayed. Nothing wrong occurred.

Better safe than sorry. I concede I occasionally jump the gun. Rarely however. Sorry when I do.

Trump was terrific. Claimed he saw the whole thing on video. There was no video. He still kept saying he saw it on video.

Ronald Reagan was a tough guy.

On this day in 1981, he fired 11,359 air controllers. None to ever be rehired. When they struck and walked out two days earlier, he gave them 48 hours to return to work.

The union thought it was calling Reagan’s bluff. no way. He called theirs.

Reagan’s action was the beginning of the fall of union dominance in the United States.

Enjoy your day!

MUCH TO TALK ABOUT

It’s amazing! yesterday, I was tired. Dead tired. Doing the blog an ordeal. Never got to researching this week’s column.

This morning totally different. I am alive! Slept well.

Ergo, I have much to share this morning.

I have decided not to do a KONK Life column for this week. I should have researched it yesterday. Would have written it today. Generally, five hours for research and five hours for writing. Means a ten hour effort today.

Too much in one day. Would also effect the quality of the writing. When tired, I tend to get sloppy. Rewriting takes a long time. So, I am skipping. Playing hooky. Forgive me.

I am cheating at the moment. One eye on the keyboard. The other on the TV set. The British Open. Mickelson and Stenson in a real battle. Yesterday and so far today. Exciting golf.

I mentioned yesterday I was pulling for Mickelson. As big a star as he is, Mickelson has not won in three years. His age the problem. Forty six. In that time, he has been in or close to the lead many times. For three days. Loses his energy on the fourth. This is probably his last shot at winning another major.

William Hackley reports today that Baby is improving. Seems ok, except for some throat sores.

Hackley mentions he paid $12.50 for the Havana goat. The goat that failed to provide milk. $12.50 a lot of money in 1855.

I pushed myself to go out last night. If I stayed home, I would have fallen asleep early. To wake early. I wanted a normal night’s sleep.

Went to Tavern ‘n Town. My usual Saturday night haunt. Bobby Nesbitt time. I sit at a corner of the bar reading the newspaper and eating slowly while humming to Bobby’s singing. Love it!

David Brown is the Dallas police Chief.  He is becoming an American folk hero. Properly so.

He recently said, “We’re asking cops to do too much in this country.” He may be correct. Worthy of thought.

As I think of his words, I am reminded of what we have been putting our troops through in the last 15 years. Multiple deployments. Three and four times.

Hemingway Days begin this week. Two interesting/exciting events.

Nancy Sindelar is an Ernest Hemingway scholar. She is speaking at the Custom House thursday evening. Her topic: People and Places That Influenced Ernest Hemingway.

I am a Hemingway buff. Her talk sounds interesting.

Boat race time, also. One of the events is the Key West Marlin Tournament. Three days. Cash prizes totaling $50,000. Bicardi the sponsor.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West has never stopped loving Truman. He enjoyed 175 days in Key West over a period of 11 trips.

Today, an historical day for Truman. Not President long and World War II still ongoing, Truman met Russia’s Joseph Stalin for the first time. At the Potsdam Conference. The two were alone for this first meeting.

Imagine these two guys sizing each other up!

Some politics.

Watched Trump introduce Pence yesterday morning as his VP selection. Trump did not seem to care. He spoke for almost a half hour in introducing Pence. About himself. Rarely Pence. Trump failed to stay on stage while Pence spoke. At the end of Pence’s talk, Trump’s whole family came out. Pence only his tiny wife.

I suspect Trump really does not care about the VP spot. He will be the winner or loser. He is the star. The campaign will be run thusly.

I was not impressed with Pence. He did not seem ready for the big time.

Watched Pence on the Hannity show two nights ago. He worried me. He made it clear that we knew where ISIS was. We should go in and clean them out. The inference: War! War! War!

Reminded me of the square I visited in Milan. Someone pointed out the second floor balcony of a building on the square. Told me Mussolini stood there and announced to his people: War! War! War!

Trump is a prophet. Going to do this and that. A false prophet. Beware.

There has been talk of a small group trying to change the Republican voting process so as to deny Trump the nomination. It appears to have failed.

The last time such was attempted was in 1976. Reagan trying to steal the nomination from Ford. Ford defeated the move. Reagan had to wait 4 more years before he could run for President.

Ford’s floor manager who lead the effort which defeated Reagan was a young Paul Manafort. The same Paul Manafort heading Trump’s election efforts today.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

BIONIC DENTISTRY / REAGAN AND THE MILITARY

 

Sunrise this morning was a fiery orange ball breaking through a bank of dark gray clouds. Pretty.

Busy day yesterday. Began with the dentist. One of my implants was screwed up. Actually, not screwed any longer. Something fell out. A tiny gasket. Took all of ten minutes to correct. These implants are amazing. I feel like the bionic man. Bionic as far as my teeth are concerned.

After the dentist, I went over to Publix. Robert was sick and had a fever. Lisa wanted popsicles for him.

I spent the rest of the day working on You Tube. The technical aspects. Like where to do the show from. It will be my home. But where specifically?  I decided to move around. Inside and out, depending on the day.

I was hopeful You Tube would be locked in by the end of this week. It will not. I now suspect it will take till the end of next week.

Lisa telephoned in the middle of the afternoon. She needed me to babysit a while. She had to pick up Ally from school. It was easy. Robert was sound asleep on the couch. He looked sick.

I spoke with Corey this morning. Robert is still aching. Still sick. But on the mend. He ate last night which was good. He was still asleep. Unusual for Robert. He is generally awake by six. It is now 8:30.

My plan was to start with the Chart Room last night. I never made it. I opted instead to stay in. I read. I am still reading Rachel Maddow’s book Drift. I dislike her writing style. Her paragraphs are loaded with details and her opinions. Too much of both. Makes for difficult reading.

The story itself is interesting, if you can hang in there. Has to do with the use of military power by Presidents. Assuming her research of the Reagan years is correct, Reagan mislead everyone as to Grenada and the strength of Communist Russia. I find it amazing that she has come up with facts to support her premise. I consider Reagan to have been one of our great Presidents. Even if what she says about Reagan is true, his results overshadow the means used to achieve them. I recall President Johnson saying once that Presidents have to be devious. He gave us Vietnam.

Enjoy your day!