I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK

Tombstones tell wonderful stories. History imprinted forever. Especially on Key West head stones.

The one that has always intrigued me, interested me the most, says…..I Told You I Was Sick.

This saturday, the Key West Cemetery is providing 3 guided tours. Ninety minutes each. Do yourself a favor, go. Reservations required.

Spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon working on Growing Up Italian.

Last night, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Friends galore.

Don and Chris in from Syracuse. They are getting married saturday at the Hyatt. Celebration time! I am invited. I am honored. Only 45 people. Three from Korea. His business partners.

Chris radiant. Always. This time a little more so.

Tom and Fran Dixon in from Buffalo. Only for 3 days. Leave wednesday morning.

Fran mothers me. Takes good care of me. Normally, she brings frozen containers of sauce with meatballs, sausage and pork. This time not frozen. Three canning jars full. No meatballs. She is aware I am on Atkins and did not want to submit me to bread crumbs.

The two couples Syracuse fans. We text each other during games. The object of our conversations last night Syracuse’s success thus far in the NCAA tournament. Exciting!

Lovely Liz at the bar. Met a family from somewhere. Two were Hamilton College grads. Actually, one Hamilton and one Kirkland. Kirkland the ladies part.

Nice people. A couple of interesting Hamilton exchanges.

Key West has been knocked down, destroyed, etc. many times over the years. Hurricanes a problem. In the early years, fires. Building codes either non existent or not as good as today.

On this day in 1923, an unoccupied cigar factory on the corner of White and Newton burned down. The fire spread. Forty three homes were destroyed. Forty families left homeless.

Show of shows tonight! My podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick and exciting half hour. Join me as I share my opinionated thoughts. About everything from a Key West problem to our national problem Donald Trump. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I consider New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Presidential timber. I am impressed how he has run New York State. Free tuition at 4 year State colleges, legalized same sex marriage, enacted gun control legislation. He balanced the budget on time during his first year for the first time in many years. Every area of the State has experienced significant development.

A negative is one of his aides was recently convicted of taking a $300,000 kickback. Cuomo was not involved.

It was announced this week Cuomo has primary opposition in his race for reelection.

Recall the movie Sex and the City. One of the four ladies was Cynthia Nixon. She is running a primary against Cuomo. One of her platform items corruption in his administration. I question the validity of the charge as it may personally involves him in any respect.

She has a list of other items. All sound good. Nixon has been active in New York City politics for years. Her other items appear to be New York City needs.

Not enough. There is upstate New York, also. The forgotten relative. Most Governors pay little attention to upstate New York. Cuomo has not. He is responsible for massive development upstate.

If Nixon wishes to succeed, she will have to come out with a for real program for the upstaters.

Trump on a high. Reminds me of a dog after he has done his business. Joyfully bounds around.

Why? He fired Andrew McCabe. News reports suggest he has become emboldened as a result. Accomplished a big thing from his perspective. Can do anything. Knows how to do everything. Does not need the advice of others.

His legal team a spot where he is spreading his wings. Apparently paying less attention to them. He has brought on another attorney. Joseph diGenova.

diGenova many years ago a U.S. Attorney. Today, a Washington attorney who frequently appears on FOX. He has been a part of the FOX group going back 20 or more years.

As does Trump, knows everything. Labeled Comey the “dirtiest cop in America.” Claims Comey destroyed the FBI’s reputation. Believes the Justice Department and Mueller are trying to frame Trump.

Washington attorneys describe him as a “wild card.” A qualification to represent Trump. They are birds of a feather.

Trump has brought  diGenova on board I assume based on diGenova’s appearances and statements made on FOX. Such do not qualify diGenova as the man for Trump. He does not need a TV star. He requires the very best attorney qualified in the areas Mueller is investigating.

My other area of concern is that Trump is apparently now running the legal show. He is not aware of one of the first axioms learned in law school: A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. I adjust it a bit to read…..A person who represents himself is a fool.

A person under investigation lives or dies by his attorney’s judgments, not his own.

Enjoy your day!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Belongs to the Irish. For this day alone, everyone is Irish.

Years ago, I did the Duval Crawl on St. Patrick’s Day. Drank green beer. Pissed green. Whooped it up.

No more. Time has caught up with me.

I look forward however to a good meal of corned beef and cabbage. Will do so with Donna and Terri.

Reservations generally required. Even with them, difficult to be seated timely. This year we are playing it smart. Take out from Shanna Key.

Parades a big deal this day. The only time I marched was when I was in college in New York City. I was in the Air Force ROTC. We marched in perfect precision up Fifth Avenue. A sharp eyes right as we passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral where the Cardinal sat.

Interestingly, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland. It was in New York City in 1762. As early as then there already was a large contingency of Irish living in New York.

Let me share with you an old Irish blessing: “May your troubles be less, your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.”

Yesterday, a party at a lovely home on the water in Sugarloaf. Hosts Anita and Tom. Great company and food. A magnificent setting sun.

Watched Syracuse defeat TCU last night 57-52. Another squeaker.

Next game sunday against Michigan State. CBS at 2:40 pm. Syracuse the underdog once again.

Big week ahead. Folks coming in.

Today or tomorrow, Don and Chris. Their wedding next saturday at the Hyatt. I see a week of partying ahead. Liver abuse time!

Tomorrow, Tom and Fran Dixon from Buffalo. Recently returned from a trip to Italy. Fran will be bringing me frozen sauce with meatballs, sausage and pork. If I am lucky, home made pasta. Tom and Fran excellent company.

I mentioned earlier this week that long time Key West artist Jon “Tosh” McIntosh had passed on. This weekend’s Key West Citizen has an Editorial Page “cartoon” honoring Tosh. Tosh was the Editorial Page cartoonist for 20 years.

We have bad leaders in Washington. Whose fault? Ours.

Leaders rise from the people. We elect them. Ergo, we are complicit in the fact that our President and Congress are bad or have gone bad.

All cause and effect.

We live in a time where power has gone mad. Two occurrences in the last 24 hours proof. The firing of Andrew McCabe and Trump suing Stoney Daniels for $20 million.

This morning’s news tells us that Russia has found its way into our power grid. The computers, etc. that control electricity, etc. By the push of a button, Putin can shut the U.S. down. Place us in immediate danger. Our nuclear weapons and other defense items work off electricity.

A President’s first obligation is to protect the people. Trump is failing/has failed. First, by his reluctance to acknowledge and do something about Russia’s intrusion into the 2016 election. Now the danger of Russia turning off the U.S.’s power grid.

I am old school. I believe people should stay married, children should live with two parents, etc. I am one of the divorced. My wife divorced me after 52 years. Ouch!

I mention divorce because it has been announced Donald Trump, Jr and his wife Vanessa are divorcing. Apparently her idea.

Divorce is a lifer changer. I feel sorry for both of them and their children.

Donald Jr. may find additional aggravation from Mueller as a result. Vanessa might decide to reveal whatever she knows which might be adverse to her husband. Though certain laws might bar such testimony by her because of marriage, it would not bar her from sharing any information she has with regard to Donald Sr.

A woman scorned thing.

Have we become a society where there is no shame? Michael Flynn is Trump’s former National Security Adviser who plead guilty several months ago to lying to the FBI.  He has opted to take a deal, is providing information to Mueller, and agreed to testify against Trump if it becomes necessary.

Flynn was recently in California. He campaigned with and spoke on behalf of the Republican candidate who is running against Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Flynn was selling out America on a cell phone on inauguration day while Trump was being sworn in. Flynn seated several rows from Trump.

No one seems to care about character any more. For sure, Flynn, the Republican candidate he was speaking for, and the crowd that gave him a rousing cheer.

I am not sure why. Yesterday’s readership doubled. It happens occasionally. It had to be one of two blogs I wrote.

Enjoy your day.

 

TWO NOTEWORTHY EVENTS TONIGHT

Tuesday night always busy in Key West. Two events occur with regularity tuesday evenings. Aqua Idol and Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Aqua Idol a fundraiser. This year’s beneficiary the Waterfront Playhouse.

Aqua Idol is Lynda Frechette’s baby. Conceived, organized and directed by her. A tough job to keep going. Requires a slew of good singers willing to perform weekly. Lynda obviously knows what she is doing. Aqua is standing room only every week.

I suggest you get to Aqua by 5:30 if you wish to sit. The seats fill quickly.

The other tuesday event is my podcast. My blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. In its third year, the show’s numbers increase weekly. To the point the show has advertisers. Like GEICO Insurance and Old Navy.

Tuesday Talk is a quick moving half hour of me pontificating on world events. Listeners may not always agree. They return weekly, however.

Join me tonight at 9 my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Last night was Aqua and the Green Parrot. Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. The Green Parrot for dinner. I assume the restaurant next door/attached is now part of the Green Parrot. Whatever, I had dinner there.

Catherine joined me for the evening.

Dueling Bartenders was especially sweet. My beloved Terri White the guest performer. Together with Tom Luna and Rick Dery, the singing was over the top.

I sat with Bear. Except for barking a few times when Terri was singing, he was exceptionally good. Sitting at our able were Catherine, George, Art, and Stacey. At the bar, Liz, David, and Sheila.

Tried Antonia’s and La Trattoria for dinner. No room at the inn. Season packing the restaurants. That is why I ended at the place next door to the Green Parrot. Enjoyed ribs and wings.

Cold again! Another northeaster burying Boston and the Cape. We feel the cold this far south. Never fails to work that way.

Last night 61 again. I still without heat. You could hang meat in my bedroom. The cold will continue today. The high 68. Tonight, 63.

A major announcement just came over TV. Secretary of State Tillerson gone. Trump let him go and replaced him with CIA Director Pompeo.

Tillerson was ineffective. Not a diplomat. An oil man. Not qualified for the position as many Trump Cabinet persons. Tillerson’s main qualification when appointed was that he was a close friend of Putin. He now joins the some dozen other key Trump appointees who have gone along the wayside.

One of Tillerson’s problems is he spoke too candidly for Trump. They were not always on the same page.

Pompeo has all kinds of credentials. Whether the man for job remains to be seen. Pompeo a West Point graduate, Harvard Law graduate and most recently Director of the CIA.

An observation. Perhaps improper. I am not sure. Trump avoids confrontation in certain instances. Like when firing a main support person. Both Comey and Tillerson were out of town when they got the ax. TV is reporting Tillerson first heard of his firing via Twitter.

What happened to our political leaders being Americans first and politicians second? It has been obvious from day one that the House Intelligence Committee in its review of the Trump/Russia/collusion issue has been pro Trump and anti truth. The Committee’s Republican majority concluded yesterday there was no evidence of collusion between Trump’s Presidential campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Recognizing however that Russia had interfered with the election.

Fortunately, the Mueller investigation remains ongoing. The truth will out.

Trump has appointed a Commission on School Safety. A typical move. He has a pattern of passing the buck rather than making the hard decisions. Commissions and Committees have always been a Washington way of avoiding decision making re sensitive issues.

Trump has appointed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as Chairman. Her intellectual level is on a par with Sarah Palin’s. DeVos was interviewed a few days ago on national television. Her responses to questions shocking. Evidenced a definite lack of mental acumen.

Woe the safety issue and woe the education of American children.

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!

 

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!

 

PROHIBITION OVER

The band played, the drums roared…..Recreational marijuana became legal yesterday in California. Prohibition over.

Within five years, most States will permit the use of recreational pot. The reason simple. Tax dollars! Big ones expected.

A few States will resist. Evangelicals, the extreme right their moving force. Those who refuse to learn, to accept. They will view legalized marijuana as morality tossed out the window.

My only stop last night the Chart Room. Quiet at first. Chatted with Shaun. Watched the beginning of the Oklahoma/Georgia game. I left at half time. My recollection Oklahoma winning by 17 points at the time.

While at the Chart Room, met Barbara and Joe. From Westchester, Pennsylvania. Barbara still working. A nurse. Joe, retired. A retired attorney and college educator who taught law classes.

They visit Key West frequently. Their Keys home on Little Torch Key. A mobile home destroyed by Irma.

We talked about the tragedy wrought by Irma. Barbara and Joe’s Little Torch home right in the middle of Irma’s blast.

Got into a discussion re retirement. Two retired attorneys. I ventured I went crazy with nothing to do. My blog born of that boredom. My other writings, TV show, weekly newspaper column, and podcast followed.

Joe agreed re the boredom, the difficulty initially of handling doing nothing.

A voice joined us from the other end of the bar. Tomas Mazeika. An attorney, also! A partner in a major law firm in western United States with offices in most major west coast cities.

Tomas, Joe and I agreed on one thing. Practicing law was/is hard work! The issue arose when I mentioned how content I am writing. Told them I wished I had majored in English and became a writer rather than an attorney. I would not have made as much money, but life would have been a lot easier.

Headed home. I was interested in the Alabama/Clemson game.

Hopped in bed and turned on the game. No Alabama/Clemson. Oklahoma/Georgia still on. Georgia had come back. The game tied. Two overtimes. Georgia finally winning.

An exciting finish.

Began watching Alabama/Clemson. Fell asleep within minutes. Woke at 3:30. Curious as to who had won, I went to my office and turned on the computer. Alabama 24-6.

Georgia/Alabama has the makings of an exciting game!

The jet stream is out of its neighborhood. All the way down to southern U.S. states. Including Florida. The jet stream bringing Canadian cold to us.

Sixty one degrees in Key West at 8 this morning. High today 68. Cold tomorrow. Even colder beginning thursday. Evenings in the mid 50’s and days in the mid 60’s.

The heat on at on at the moment.

Trump acts without thinking. Shoots from the hip. Most times totally unaware of the consequences. Several months ago, Trump decided to get on Venezuela’s back. He heard the people were starving. They had been starving for four years.

He tweeted. Knocked Venezuela’s President Maduro. Threatened a U.S. invasion.

The U.S. invading Venezuela? Pure stupidity!

Maduro reacted. In effect said to Trump, up yours!

The story. The U.S. has been the beneficiary of a deal made many years ago involving oil. Basically means any crude oil transactions and those emanating therefrom, were to be in American dollars. Such kept the U.S. dollar stable.

China has been making noises in recent years that it would like to have countries use the Chinese yuan instead of the American dollar.

Maduro opened the door for China.

Venezuela has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Venezuela went to the yuan. Russia and China announced they are going to the yuan. More countries will follow.

The U.S. at some point will experience an economic crisis. The stable American dollar will no longer be stable.

The beginning of the scenario occurring because Trump threatened to invade Venezuela.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting discussion. Many items eye opening.

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

If you have not purchased my recent book Irma and Me, please do so. It is the only published work on the hurricane. Humor and tragedy mixed.

Irma and Me is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE

The man who would not die. His name, Rasputin.

History tells us he was a con man supreme, a self-proclaimed holy person, one who caused a royal dynasty to fall. Romanov Russia.

Rasputin helped bring revolution to Russia. He made possible the birth of Communist Russia.

Born Grigory Efinovich Rasputin. To a peasant family. At some point, he underwent a religious conversion. Proclaimed himself a healer.

Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra’s son Alexi was a hemophiliac. Rasputin seemed to have the ability to stop Alexi’s bleeding. The year 1908. From that time forward, Rasputin was an accepted friend, confidant, and adviser to Nicholas and Alexandra. Especially, Alexandra. History believes she had an ongoing affair with Rasputin.

He became a dark influence on the royal family.

All of Russia disliked Rasputin. Nobles, church orthodoxy, and peasants alike. He was constantly drunk, a womanizer, an evil in the Romanov homes. He was concerned not with the best interests of Russia. His concern at all times was his image. Some what like Trump today.

A group of Russian nobles were eager to end Rasputin’s influence over the royal family. They murdered him the night and early morning of December 29-30, 1916.

Even at the time of his death, Rasputin exhibited messianic powers. He was a man who would not die.

The nobles laced his food and drink with cyanide. No effect. They then shot him at close range. He revived and tried to escape. The nobles shot him again. He continued to live.

The nobles finally tied Rasputin up and tossed him into a freezing river.

That did it!

The nobles killed Rasputin. Rasputin killed Romanov Russia. The peasants in due course revolted. In 1922, Soviet Russia was born.

Rasputin put into motion a series of events which even to today affect the world. U.S./Russian relations an example.

Last night, a lovely evening. A charming companion. Catherine.

We dined at Berlin’s. Guy de Boer sitting next to me at the bar. Berlin’s the busiest I have ever seen. Makes sense. Christmas week the busiest tourist time of the year for Key West.

I enjoyed a prime rib again. Terrific! Just the meat and au jus sauce. Part of the Atkins diet.

I am into my fifth week of the diet. Only cheated Christmas eve and Christmas day. I should have lost 15-20 pounds by now. I lost 10 pounds the first week. Not an ounce more since.

Discouraging.

I am thinner. Into shirts and shorts one size smaller. I need the pounds off, however. The scale speaks the truth!

Worry not, I will continue with the diet.

Big event tomorrow at noon. The Annual Dachshund Walk. Hundreds will congregate at the Courthouse on Whitehead to watch the parade.

Only in Key West!

Trump upsets me this morning. I saw the news that a small group had protested in Iran. Trump announced to the world how terrible the Iranian government was, good luck to the protesters, etc.

Trump does not know when to keep his mouth shut and when to speak.

The world is dividing into two camps. Just as Germany and the Allies did prior to World War II. Iran and Russia are friends. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia friends on the other side. Trump should not encourage further division. He has yet to learn it is better to make friends than enemies.

I wonder how Trump would have felt if after Charlottesville, Iranian and Russian leaders spoke out telling the world the U.S. was bad, good luck to the protesters, etc. Trump would have shouted back that each country should mind its own business.

Trump continues to be a growing menace to the health and security of the U.S.

The weather started turning last night. Today’s high projected at 73. The low tonight 64. Cold for us. Warm to my friends up north suffering in low teen freezing cold and tons of snow.

It will continue cold for a few days. Long pants, sweat shirts, sweaters, etc. for us. For me, the heat on tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

MADMEN BOTH…..NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE

Two madmen facing off against each other. Not caring about their people. Caring about their images. Ready to blow up the world.

A nuclear apocalypse in the making.

God help us!

At first I thought it was Kim Jung Un playing his usual game. Not at all. Donald Trump has welcomed the challenge. The bravado that goes with it.

Instead of calm diplomacy, Trump adds fuel to the fire daily. Terms like…..Fired and ready…..Locked and loaded.

Face is especially important in the Far East. Jung Un is being backed into a corner.

Trump in the meantime is in all his glory. Watching him on television yesterday, he was on a high. On the biggest stage in the world. He has thrown the gauntlet down. Telling Jung Un in effect…..Don’t screw with me!

If nuclear war occurs, I can see Trump and Jung Un at the end. Each sitting on top of massive death and destruction in their respective countries. Each thinking as Jack Horner once said…..Oh, what a good boy am I!

My yesterday began pleasantly. As was the whole day. A haircut with Lori.

Then to Lisa’s to pick up Robert and Ally for an afternoon with Poppa.

I walked in. Everyone looked at me strangely. Robert and Ally had friends in. I saw Robert eating a sandwich. Why are you eating? We are going out for lunch?

Yes, we are going out for lunch. Not yesterday, however. Saturday. I screwed up. It happens at my age.

Last night the Chart Room. A unique time.

At some point the Chart Room was empty. Just David, John and Louis. For about 45 minutes. The silence overwhelming.

David and I sat at the round table. Enjoyed a terrific conversation. No background noises bothering us. Not enough booze imbibed to affect our thought processes.

It was great! David a thinker. Knowledgeable.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for the 9-11 Happy Hour. Read the newspapers and enjoyed a light snack.

Jenna called me before I went out last night. We were to go out tonight together. She cancelled. She has a shoot in Fort Lauderdale and is leaving tonight.

She loves me no more!

We agreed we would get together next week.

Donna had telephoned before Jenna. Asked if I wanted to join my lesbian wives tonight. Said, no. Going to dinner with Jenna. Ten minutes later I was on the phone asking Donna if I could join she and Terri tonight.

My dates this evening, the wives! A fundraiser first at Bottle Cap. Then dinner somewhere.

Tom Luna. The best of the best. A good guy. A fixture at Aqua for years. He is leaving. Going to bartend at The Marker wednesday, thursday and fridays from 3-7. He will continue monday nights at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Joanie. Painter Joanie. Bocce Joanie. Don’s Place Joanie.

I mentioned she was sick and at Kendall Hospital in Miami.

Joanie has been diagnosed. Stage 4 liver cancer.

Pray for her!

Key West has been reading William Hackley daily the past couple of years. Thanks to the Key West Citizen that is running excerpts from his diary.

I have suspected Hackley rented slaves. Not an owner. I also suspected Hackley was a good guy. No more.

He mentions in a diary entry this date in 1856 that he whipped Spring. Never heard of Spring before. Whipped him to make him obey.

Spring skipped away and ran home. When he returned, Hackley chained him and “whipped him well.”

Spring has to be either a slave or a dog. Whipping in neither instance acceptable. Hackley no longer held in the high esteem by me.

Finally, David Wolkowsky recognition. On this day in 1968, David opened the Pier House Motel. Today the site of the Pier House Resort. Big trees from little acorns grow.

David juvinated that end of Duval. He rejuvenated other areas of Key West. The Key West we know would not have been without him.

Enjoy your day!

PROVERB 17: 7 RE A RULER’S LYING LIPS

President Trump lies almost every day. The truth escapes him. Those who do not agree refuse to see that which is blatantly before them.

Church going I am not. Religious I am.

The Ninth Commandment says…..Thou shalt not lie.

Proverb 17:7 appears to have been written in anticipation of a Trump Presidency…..Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool – how much worse lying lips to a ruler.

Yascha Mousk wrote a New York Times Op-Ed recently re Trump. Re his overall conduct.

Mousk’s message….. Beware!

She sees a democratic dissolution in the works, the beginning of authoritarianism. She warns the demise of democracy is gradual and easy to overlook.

Secretary of State Tillerson recently committed a difficult to understand act. He rejected $80 million in the House approved budget for his Department. The purpose of the $80 million to counter propaganda emanating from ISIS and Russia. ISIS terrorist propaganda and Russia’s disinformation.

Tillerson’s reason: He did not wish to aggravate Russia.

The triangle at the intersection of US 1 and the Boulevards is under reconstruction to correct errors made in the original planning. Projected as a 2-3 month job. I forget which.

My complaint is no one is working. The State started the job 3 weeks ago. Activity the first week. Since then, next to nothing. No one working.

Near the end date per the contract, the contractor will tell the State more time required. Which, of course, will result in additional dollars.

The people never win.

Busy afternoon yesterday. Walgreens to pick up a new water pill prescription. Hopefully my ankles will look normal in a few days. Then to Publix. Cupboard bare again.

Returned home. Fine tuned last night’s blog talk radio show.

Enjoyed doing the show. Key topic involved jail prisoners/inmates doing work enuring to the benefit of the State or privately run jailers with little or no benefit to those performing the work.

The 13th Amendment adopted in 1865 freed the slaves, except persons jailed for crimes. Ergo, legal.

Big Latch on Day friday. Part of International Breast Feeding Week. Locally, mothers and babies are asked to join together at the Keys-Eco-Discovery Center at 10 am. Babies all drink at the same time!

John Kennedy was a Lieutenant JG on August 1, 1943. His vessel, PT-109, was sunk by the Japanese. He and his men spent several days on an island waiting rescue. Kennedy’s acts during that time heroic.

In 1962, a movie was to be made regarding the episode. Kennedy was in Key West. With him was Sheriff John Spottswood. Later to be a State Senator.

The location for the filming had not yet been decided. Hollywood was searching for an island.

Spottswood owned Little Munson Island at the time. He suggested Munson to Kennedy. Munson was selected to be the site for the movie.

Little Munson Island no longer known as such. Today, it is the world famous resort Little Palm Key.

Hackley reports Black Matilda better. Not returned home yet. Yellow fever still a concern. She must be completely recovered.

Yellow fever comparable to a plague in 1856. At the same time Black Matilda was sick, a vessel arrived. The steward and mate down with yellow fever. The ship was quarantined at anchor.

Inga is celebrating her 20th anniversary as a drag queen at Aqua. Loved by all! Inga’s real life person Roger Hultman.

Have to hustle. Manicure in an hour.

Enjoy your day!

DOG TICKS, CROCODILES AND BOEING

What do dog ticks, crocodiles and Boeing have to do with each other? Absolutely nothing. Thought it made for an interesting title.

Dog ticks came to my attention when reading William Hackley’s diary entry for this day in 1856. He took dash for an ocean ride on the steamer Jasper. Dash had ticks.

Salt air cure dog ticks? A quick google told me no. Salt water does cure fleas. Maybe Hackley had ticks and fleas mixed up. Even in 1856, tick removal required tweezers.

This morning’s Citizens’ Comment made mention of the crocodile that now lives at the Key West Golf Course. My recollection, a Nile crocodile.

I was under the impression crocodiles are harmless to humans. Especially, Nile crocs. Not so.

Crocodiles and alligators alike enjoy feeding on humans. Crocs 4 feet are attracted to human babies and children. The size leads the crocodile to believe the baby/child is an animal.

Crocodiles 6.6 feet and over prefer adult humans.

The above info the result of a quick google search, also.

So…..Those that tell us not to worry about the 7-8 foot Nile crocodile living on the Golf Course may be wrong. Could be wrong. Whatever. Be on the safe side and keep a safe distance.

Five months ago at a Boeing plant in South Carolina, Trump and Boeing’s CEO enjoyed a kumbaya meeting. Trump announced he and Boeing had an understanding. No more jobs to go elsewhere. Jobs to remain. Plants to be built in the United States.

Boeing’s CEO was excited. Exclaimed…..We have a seat at the table!

Since that time, it has been announced that Boeing is building or planning to build plants in China, Saudi Arabia and India. It was further announced yesterday that just under 200 employees were going to be let go at a North Carolina plant.

So much for Trump fighting for every last job.

When the plant building became evident in the three foreign countries, the Boeing CEO said he was misunderstood five months ago. His comments were only to the effect that employment rolls would not be diminished . Job numbers would remain the same. No promise was made to increase the numbers.

I did not hear it that way.

New news this morning on Morning Joe. A Washington Post investigative reporter guest appeared. New cyber war information had been released moments earlier in a Post announcement. The information was not in this morning’s paper.

One of the steps taken by Obama was to somehow infiltrate late in December Russia’s cyber sources that provided the means to hack into the Presidential election. The U.S. had the capacity to destroy the technology involved.

Obama left the decision to Trump to decide when or if. Trump has and has had the information and decision making power since his inauguration.

Trump has the ability to pres the button. He has not. Nor has he even mentioned Russia and the election. Why?

My yesterday began with a visit to my heart doctor. Routine.

Late afternoon, I stopped at Louie’s Backyard. Meditation time. Sat looking out over the water thinking about this and that while enjoying a couple of drinks. Louie’s Backyard has one of the most relaxing water views in the Keys. A God is in His Heaven, all is right with the world feeling.

Big day for the ladies June 23, 1972. Title IX was enacted into law. Banned sex discrimination in federally funded educational institutions.

A boon to female college athletes!

No Key West Lou Facebook Video the past two days. Sorry. Back on track this afternoon.

Enjoy your day!