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!

 

 

 

 

RUSSIA COPYING U.S. METHODS

Russia was always the bad guy. Made to look bad even when not so. No more. Russia has learned. Primarily due to Putin. With skill. Making the U.S. look bad occasionally. More frequently it seems.

Russia has a Federal Drug Control Service. A recent report blames the U.S. with the increase in opium production in Afghanistan. the increase has caused more than one million to die world wide. It also has caused a transnational increase in crime from drug sales.

The thrust of the report is that Afghan opium production is 40 times higher since the U.S. led NATO invasion in 2001. Remember, Operation Enduring Freedom.

I still do not know why we are in Afghanistan or why we remain. Recall the Afghans took down Russia in the 1980s. No one seems to win against the Afghans. The battles rage year after year with the end never in sight.

I wrote two major articles for KONK Life in the past several years re Afghanistan and opium. The last two years ago.

The point in each concerned the Afghan poppy fields which turned into heroin on American streets.

An interesting observation in each was that in a war that has resulted in huge damage and thousands of lives lost, not one poppy field has been bombed. Nor one poppy farmer killed. Nor has one war lord owning the fields ever complained about damage.

The fields are protected.

I have suggested graft exists. On our side. Militarily and otherwise. If not, why do the poppy fields grow without interference and heroin reaches our shores to continue killing and addicting our people?

Russia does not say what I have directly. It merely says opium production 40 times higher today than 16 years ago when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to save the nation.

We were going to bring democracy to a country that never sought it. We failed. In the meantime, contributed greatly to its destruction.

The Russians are using truth against us as concerns Afghanistan. Amazing! They have learned.

Great evening last night. My friend Ted Kane from Wampsville, NY is in Key West on a fishing trip. He enjoys flat fishing this time of the year. Visits Key West several times a year.

Wampsville sits in Madison County in the middle of New York State. It is next door to what was my home county, Oneida.

Ted a lawyer, also. Finished his legal career with a long stretch as Court Clerk. Actually, the confidential clerk to two Judges.

Clerks are a Judge’s brains. Clerks generally research and write the opinions which the Judge then signs.

I never knew Ted back when. How we failed to trip over each other, I do not know. I met Ted 3 years ago at the Chart Room. We have become good friends.

We had dinner together at Hot Tin Roof, followed by a drink at the Chart Room.

I returned home after my pleasant evening out to discover the upstairs air conditioning was not working. It was Hell! I could not get comfortable downstairs. Ended up sleeping in my bed upstairs with the fan over me going full blast.

This morning’s Citizens’ Comment carried an interesting observation. It takes forever to build any public building or edifice these days. The writer asked…..Why? Flagler built the Seven Mile Bridge in less than a year. At a time when construction equipment was no where as sophisticated as today’s.

Two big things on the agenda this morning. The Senate’s proposed health plan and a visit to my heart doctor. Both can be painful. I will do better with my heart than the American people are going to do with the health plan.

Enjoy your day!

 

MONEY LAUNDERING

The New York Times reported this morning that Trump associates were being looked at for money laundering. Not a major portion of the article. Came up at the very end. The thrust of the writing was the news that Trump was being investigated by Mueller.

I have taken the position for six or seven months that in the end it would be money laundering that would bring Trump down. In this blog, my podcast and Facebook video, I have taken that position. More than once in each place.

I am not claiming to be an oracle of wisdom. I did however pick up on the money laundering several months ago in researching a separate matter. I also talk to tourists/people constantly about certain issues. Key West a good place to do so. Everyone is here at one time or another.

Now we wait to see what will happen. The hole dug by Trump and associates gets deeper by the day.

The Chart Room first last night. An unusual crowd for this time of the year. Wall to wall.

John bartending. He was training Bart who will bartend tuesday evenings at the Chart Room and three other evenings at the Beach Bar. Bart needed no training. He has bartended for 12 years at various Duval drinking establishments.

Janyne walked by the Chart Room on her way home. I nodded for her to come in. Chatted a bit. A lovely lady. A great personality.

Stopped at Outback on the way home. A small prime rib, baked potato and steamed vegetables.

Then, home.

I was on the road at 4. My evening finished by 8. Home in bed at 8:30. Fell asleep. Woke at one and have been awake ever since.

The moral: Never go to bed early unless you need the sleep.

Howard and Cindy Livingston are two of the nicest people in the Keys. I have known Howard for years. Even before he was the Howard Livingston he is today.

Howard a success. As is Cindy. She works every gig with him in one fashion or another. Also provides the moral support a good woman gives her man.

Neither Howard nor Cindy were born in Key west. However, they are loved by all and participate in many charitable events. Recently, Mayor Cates awarded each a certificate designating them as Honorary Conchs.

A big deal!

I recently read something concerning Pepe’s. The great restaurant on Caroline.

Pepe’s is the oldest restaurant in Key West. Born 1909.

Pepe’s special meal is steak smothered in pork chops. Outstanding! Enough for three!

The article seemed to suggest Pepe’s was serving the steak smothered in pork chops back in 1909. Correct? I will have dinner soon at Pepe’s to find out.

Every now and then I enjoy traveling back hundred of years to a significant person or place. Several times, I have visited Dante.

It is Dante again today.

Dante aka Dante Alighieri. On this date in 1300 A.D., Dante became a prior of Florence. He was one of six. they ran Florence politically.

Dante irritated some leading citizens. In 1302, he was banned from Florence.

How swiftly the mighty fall!

Dante and his family became wanderers. They sought the protection of several cities over the years.

The reason I mention Dante today is that during his years as a wanderer, he wrote The Divine Comedy.

A busy morning. A haircut with Lori and a visit to Farmers Market.

Enjoy your day!

TRUMP…..WHAT NEXT?

 

Better than a television series! Donald Trump!

The most recent episode the disclosure of highly classified intelligence. To Russians, of course. Showing off? Trying to make whatever his relationship is with Putin more solid?

A man who calls Russia a friend and Canada an enemy gives me concern. Trump consistently treats our enemies as friends and friends as enemies.

He is President, not dictator. Maybe he would like to be a dictator.

Beware. The time could come when we have martial law. Troops in the streets.

An observation: The media is our savior. Without their investigations of Trump’s activities, we would be ignorant of the true facts.

I went to the Republican meeting last night at the VFW. Even though I am a Democrat. I wanted to hear Commissioner Mike Forster of Islamorada speak on why he wants Route 1 to become a toll road.

The public was invited. I am one of the public.

The meeting got started. Pledge of Allegiance. A few opening comments by the chairman. Then his apologies. Forster would not be attending. He forgot to invite him.

Such is life. I had to get out of the meeting. I did not belong there. Fifty feet to the door. I hung my head and tip toed towards the door.

Silence! Everyone looking at me. I looked up, smiled and said…..I’m a Democrat. Wanted to hear Forster.

Smiles and laughter accompanied me as I left.

I decided to stay at the VFW for dinner. Sat at the bar. Mike to my right. We talked most of the night.

We both have Christian Brothers backgrounds. He went to La Salle, I Manhattan. Got into basketball.

Mike is night manager at Hogsbreath. We spoke of George, a friend of both Lisa and I who has bartended at Hogsbreath for years.

He suggested I order the braised ribs sandwich. Did. Wow! Delicious! Yesterdays ribs between freshly baked ciabatta bread. Cheese, onions, etc, also.

A young man to my left was discussing Isaiah Thomas with a friend. I interjected that Thomas was the last selected in the NBA draft his year. Number 60. He looked at me as if I was crazy.

He was drafted #60. Hard to believe!

I was told the VFW kitchen was now operated by La Trattoria. The food overall must be good!

I learned for the first time this morning that Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough were engaged about ten days ago. Stars of the Morning Joe Show. Theywere vacationing in the South of France when he popped the question.

I have been watching Morning Joe religiously for years. Could see the closeness developing. Wonder if the engagement/marriage will affect their relationship when Joe yells or puts Mika down. As he is prone to do.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Join me. Topics interesting. Trump, of course. Also, new kinds of GMOs, whites sub-human, a Venezuela update, and more.

Enjoy your day!

IS TRUMP FEELING THE HEAT?

Is Trump feeling the heat? Is the Russian probe revealing possible Trump involvement?

Whatever, Trump’s firing of Comey last night indicates something is going on. Behind the scenes. Matters we as a people are not aware of yet.

The people made a mistake in electing Trump. It is becoming increasingly obvious. The chaos he is causing world wide is now happening here at home.

Washington is being called upon to test the fundamental issue. Balance of power. Trump does not respect it. He does not understand it. Will Congress remember it and do its duty. Duty before destruction of our democracy. We are neither a third world country nor a banana republic.

What is happening is a stress test of our basic beliefs.

The chorus for a special prosecutor is becoming thunderous. Hopefully, Congress will recall its duty and the balance of power which imposes that duty on them.

Rod Rothenstein requires comment. The new Deputy Attorney General. In office only thirteen days. A Judas in Comey’s midst. His 30 pieces of silver the job and who knows what further in the Justice Department.

The grounds Trump relies on for firing Comey occurred in July and October. Some nine and seven months ago. If Trump was concerned, he should have fired Comey as soon as he took office.

Trump’s letter to Comey included the following: “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”

I would change the quote a bit to evidence what is going on in our country: “It is essential that the Nation find new leadership in the Presidency that restores public trust and confidence in the office.”

Enjoy your day!