AYN RAND…..DIFFERENT

 

Ayn Rand considered absolutely brilliant by some. Crazy by others. Some initially overwhelmed by her only to later become disillusioned.

I am in the later group. First, amazed. Considered her thoughts brilliant.  Then realized the nut she was.

Ayn Rand’s birthday was yesterday. She was born February 2, 1905. Died March 6, 1982.

To many, she was and is considered a philosopher. To others, a writer.

Two of her novels initially captured my thought process. I was a young attorney when I first read The Fountainhead. What a book! Its message that individual rights were the ultimate. Societal collectivism be damned.

Wow!

Rand’s message was that society had forgotten “I” and replaced it with “we.” She fictionalized a society where totalitarian collectivism had triumphed. Her hero, an individual true and true who fought the onslaught.

Many questions were left unanswered in my mind after reading The Fountainhead. They were answered when I read her second successful novel, Atlas Shrugged.

Rand believed in laissez-faire capitalism. An economic system in which transactions between private parties are free from government intervention such as regulation, privilege, tariffs, and subsidies.

The true Republican/Conservative in thought. And in action. She supported Barry Goldwater for President in 1964.

Her individualistic philosophy is best typified by her own words: An individual should “exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.”

None of this is mentally imposing. Easy to comprehend. I must concede a movie helped. Atlas shrugged starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. Their unusual love affair formed the basis for what Rand perceived as the individual vs. collective society war.

Rand thought much of herself. She claimed her greatest influence was Aristotle. Followed by Thomas Aquinas. She said if a history of philosophy were written, the three top philosophers would be Aristotle, Aquinas, and Rand. Signifying how high she held her own thought process.

My disillusionment came two years after reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I became aware that Rand was publishing a weekly newspaper in New York City. I subscribed to it.

The woman was absolutely mad! Her columns represnted her thought process carried to the ultimate. No frills. The woman was not stable. Wacky an excellent description. Dangerous, another.

Such was the end of my acceptance of Rand’s philosophy.

In spite of my change in thinking, I still recommend The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged for reading. An experience!

Spent last night at the Chart Room. Quiet. John bartending. Chatted with Christina.

Second time I met Christina. Sheila introduced her to me a month ago at the Chart Room. Christina is on the staff at the Custom House. She and Sheila worked together at the Custom House one time.

The conversation pleasant. The evening pleasant.

This afternoon Syracuse/Virginia. Virginia #2 in the country. Syracuse will probably lose. On the other hand, Syracuse is in for a good game. Overdue. You never know. Hope springs eternal.

The Republican “memo” a dud. Its anticipation full of sound and fury. In the end, signified nothing.

The Republican Congress worries me. They serve the Party rather than the people.

Partially responsible is Trump’s magnetic personality. He is a Pied Piper. Most Republicans blindly follow him.

Yesterday morning, the employment numbers were announced. Two hundred thousand more jobs. Big!

It was also announced interest rates would be going up.

By the end of the day, the market closed 665 points down. The sixth largest one day decline in history.

A crack in the dyke? A tiny one, I suspect. The market will be up monday. Money to be made by buying the stocks that went down. I ask however if there is a message in the 665 point drop. An indication of that which is to come.

Justice is confusing these days. Trump responsible for a good share of the confusion.

California legalized marijuana. Now, California is moving through the court system to vacate thousands of felony and misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975.

At the same time that Attorney General Sessions’ Justice Department is gearing up to seek more marijuana prosecutions.

Both actions amazing!

I close with a bit of Florida Keys information.

I never knew how many Keys there were. Merely assumed a lot. In case you have an interest, there are over 1,700 islands. Few populated. Most small. Only 43 connected by bridges.

Enjoy your day!

 

6′ 3″ 236 POUNDS…..NO WAY!!!!!

I have weight problems. Always have. Started my most recent diet at 240. I am 6’1″. Trump’s medical report was revealed yesterday. The report states Trump is 6’3″ and purportedly weighs 236 pounds.

No way!!!!!

I have never looked as fat as the President. Even in my 250 pound days.

The truth be known, he has to weigh at least 30 pounds more.

Why the lie? Why the misrepresentation? The White House doctor is Ronny L. Jackson. Also a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy. He did the examination and reported the results.

At 71, the way Trump eats, the tension he is under, his lifestyle…..he has to have more than a cholesterol problem. I read the other day  that his daily MacDonald’s lunch consists of 2 cheeseburgers, 2 chicken sandwiches and a chocolate milk shake. His veins and arteries have to be bursting with plaque pride!

The cognitive test. I take it every year as part of my physical. Not 30 steps, however. Only 10. Easy. What day is it? Who is President of the U.S.? What year is it? Spell a short word backwards. Draw a couple of boxes already printed on a form. Etc.

Child’s play!

Takes all of two minutes. The President’s, probably 5-10.

The results merely represent whether you are mentally ok to get along in society. Trump is more than merely in society. He is President of the U.S. Leader of the most powerful nation in the world.

I would rather he was examined by a psychiatrist rather than merely taking the cognitive test.

Admiral Jackson says Trump is in “excellent” physical health. True or false?

Others who appear to lie for the President include Senators Cotton and Perdue, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

Formerly respectable, responsible persons willingly walking the plank for the man. Why?

Staying with Homeland Secretary Nielsen a moment, she testified also before the Congressional Committee yesterday that her Department has asked federal prosecutors if the Department can lodge criminal charges against sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation efforts.

Shades of a totalitarian state.

My podcast show last night.Went well. Enjoyed doing it. Opened with three medical issues. The rest of the show Trump. Cannot be helped. He is into everything nationally and world wide.

I was able to catch the second half of the Syracuse/Pittsburgh game following the show. Syracuse won decisively. Glad the team won again! They lost their previous four games.

Weather continues to be cold. Stepped on the porch in tee shirt and shorts this morning after reading today’s weather report in the Key West Citizen. Eighty six degrees today. Seventy seven tomorrow. The rest of the week in the mid 80’s. The cold spell was over!

It was cold on the porch.

Rechecked the Citizen report. I had read it correctly. Checked some of the weather stations. The Citizen had it wrong.

Maybe a joke.

Viagra has many uses. As I live and learn.

Robin Robinson writes a weekly column for the Citizen. Gardening. Her article this past weekend titled: How To Keep Your Fresh Flowers Erect.

Her article reported some put a penny in the water to keep the flowers fresh/erect. Others, an aspirin. Some, viagra. Erectability guaranteed.

The flu season is upon us big time. World wide.

The vaccination apparently not working this year. Experts claim only 10-30 percent effective.

Proof of the pudding Santa Barbara, California. Eight died in two weeks. Seven of them had received the flu shot. All 8, 65 or older.

In another U.S. area, a 40 year old mother who had received the vaccination died within 3 days of becoming sick.

A DACA update.

A California federal district court judge ordered the Trump administration last week to resume accepting renewal applications for DACA. Screws up Trump’s deportation process.

Attorney General Sessions says the ruling “defies both law and common sense.” He cannot understand how DACA can be “mandated” by a single federal judge sitting in San Francisco.

It’s the law, stupid. That’s how it works! Almost since the beginning of our country.

Sessions indicated he is going to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take a direct review of the judge’s ruling. Highly unusual!

The process involves as a first step an appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Assuming a continued adverse ruling by the Circuit Court, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is then proper. If the Supreme Court accepts the case. They accept few.

Time involved, 1-2 years.

Screws up Trump’s plan to deport 800,000 who should not be deported. Would irritate Trump no end. He probably would then tweet that the Supreme Court needs to be examined, outdated, have too much power, many of the justices too old, etc.

On this day in 1961, Eisenhower delivered his Farewell Address. He warned of the “military-industrial complex.” We did not listen.

Enjoy your day!

CATHERINE, THE SAINT, AND TROPIC CINEMA

Another good night in Key West!

Remaining in and early to bed New Year’s Eve lost me nothing. As I reported New Years Day, every evening in Key West is New Year’s Eve.

Started early yesterday. Four thirty. My companion Catherine.

Falling is common with seniors. Especially me. At 82, I seem to have it under control. I watch every step I take. Pay attention to how I am moving. There will be times though when it will happen again.

Catherine is ten years younger than me. She uses a cane. Wobbly on her feet. Walks carefully. Hers not a balance problem. She had hip replacement surgery in October. Still recovering.

She toppled last week at Berlin’s. Not at all last night.

We have a problem when we are together should she fall. I cannot help her up. My heart. I lift nothing. Additionally, when I bend down, I get dizzy and go completely down.

Catherine tends to drop things. Retrieval her headache. She understands.

We are a dangerous couple together.

The game plan was Happy Hour at the Saint and then across the street to the Tropic Cinema to see the Churchill film Darkest Hour.

Food and atmosphere at the Saint excellent.

Then to the movies.

I was anxious to see the Darkest Hour. Love World War II stories. The film is good, not excellent. Worth seeing. Gary Oldman may win an Academy Award for his performance.

I was taken with the woman who played Churchill’s wife. A difficult role. Perhaps a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

Our evening was over at 8:30 when I returned Catherine home. Still early. Decided to stop at the Chart Room.

Ollie there. We have not seen each other in months. An environmental genius. Takes nature seriously.

Ollie just returned from a two week vacation. Drove Key West to Washington, DC and back. Except for Washington, stayed a day or two in small communities. Enjoyed the trip tremendously.

The Chart Room was quiet. Shaun bartending. All of a sudden, Jean Thornton showed up. She and Joe had dinner at Berlin’s. Joe was tired. Went home to sleep. The evening still early. Jean stopped in.

We had a very good time. Jean, Ollie, Shaun and Louis. Lots of laughs.

Wounded Warriors Day yesterday in Key West. The Wounded Warrior Project is nationwide. Veterans bike long distances for 3-4 days. Yesterday, they came down from Boca Chica to Key West.

Cheering groups along the way greeted the veterans.

A couple of hours before the bikers arrived was tie a yellow ribbon time. Recalls the popular song of the mid 1970’s.

Local veterans tied 180 yellow ribbons and small American flags on palm trees on North Roosevelt Boulevard and elsewhere. A proud time for watchers and the riders themselves.

The weather still cold. In the 50’s last night. Supposed to hit 70 during the day. Then down to 64 during the evening. Tomorrow or the next day, the daytime temperature will rise to 75-76 degrees. Not for long. Another cold front is coming in Saturday or Sunday and it will be Key West cold for a week.

Syracuse disaster yesterday! My team lost to Notre Dame 51-49. I missed the game. My concern growing.

Attorney General Sessions a man of the past. Nineteen fiftyish. He advised this week that his attorneys would be pursuing marijuana use where States had already made its recreational use legal. There is a Federal law in conflict with State law. The Federal law makes marijuana use illegal.

A waste of time and money. If Sessions wants to pursue drug suppliers and users, he should make war on the opioid epidemic engulfing the U.S. More than 100 persons a day dying from opioid use.

Gallup and Pew are respected pollsters. Each came out with a poll this week showing more than 60 percent of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. Those not in favor primarily older citizens.

A subsequent article described those opposed as Neanderthals and self-righteous Evangelicals.

Trump made a big speech two months ago. Opioids an emergency situation. One problem, however. Trump did not put the money where his mouth was. He passed the buck to the States to make the war.

French President Macron accused the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia of desiring war with Iran. Claimed the three nations had a deliberate strategy to push war.

I agree. Look at who the U.S. has for partners. Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both great friends of Donald Trump. The old story that birds of a feather flock together.

I get the feeling Irma and Me is selling. People stop me to say they bought the book or ask me questions about it. People e-mail me to advise they ordered the book.

God bless!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

STAY OUT OF PEOPLE’S BEDROOMS

The federal government is at it again! Sticking its nose into my bedroom, your bedroom, my sex life, your sex life.

I refer to the new rule announced. One that takes effect immediately. That quick. The government is concerned.

The issue contraception. A danger. Prevents pregnancy.

Attorney General Sessions advised the new rule yesterday. Employers do not have to cover contraception costs in employee health programs if the employer has a religious or moral objection..

The rule is based on two thoughts.

The first is that birth control could involve fertilized eggs being expelled from the uterus. In effect, an abortion.

There is no scientific backing for the preceding.

The second is that it is immoral for a woman to have sex without accepting the possibility of pregnancy.

Both reasons have the Church and government getting into my bed and yours. Together, no less. It is wrong to impose a personal theology on Americans who do not share it.

Fifty five million women will be affected.

Abortion was in the news this past week, also.

Congressman Tim Murphy is a Pennsylvania Republican. Openly opposed to abortion. A long time leader amongst anti-abortionists.

The House of Representatives this past week passed a bill banning late term abortions. Murphy a co-sponsor of the bill.

Married, Murphy also has a girl friend. She advised him she was pregnant. He e-mailed her that she should have an abortion. She reacted by responding how could he even suggest an abortion after his long time stand on abortion.

The world knew within a short period of time Murphy’s position re the pregnancy. Murphy in an even shorter period of time announced he is resigning from Congress.

I want to tie the two together. Contraception and abortion. Think about what I am about to write: Contraception prevents unwanted pregnancies, abortion never becomes an issue.

Which now brings me to Newt Gingrich. An immoral man from my perspective.

Gingrich has been married three times. He asked his second wife for a divorce so he could marry his present wife while she was in the hospital battling cancer. He also wanted her to agree to an open marriage.

Gingrich was Speaker when Clinton was charged with impeachment. Yelled and screamed for Clinton’s impeachment. Gingrich viewed Clinton’s sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval office immorality of the highest degree.

Lewinsky was a federal intern at the time.

There is a prohibition against using federal property for sex purposes. Especially when both participants are federally employed in some capacity.

While Gingrich was after Clinton for engaging with Lewinsky in the Oval office, he was having sexual relations with his then girl friend Callista Bisek. Bisek was a Congressional aide at the time. The sex took place in Gingrich’s offices.

Bisek is the woman Gingrich wanted to marry when he asked his second wife Marianne for a divorce while she was in a hospital bed fighting cancer.

Bisek is now Callista Gingrich.

All thus far background for what is to follow.

Callista Gingrich has been nominated by Trump to be Ambassador to the Vatican. She has already received approval on the first necessary vote. It is expected she will easily be finally approved.

Newt Gingrich will be an influence to some degree in the Vatican. Even though he is merely husband to the Ambassador.

Judge not lest ye be judged. I am judging. I can’t help it. Gingrich is the last person I want wandering the halls of the Vatican as husband to the U.S. Ambassador. He will gain influence and express positions I am confident I would not be comfortable with.

Yesterday, a busy one.

Another doctor visit, haircut with Lori, manicure with Tammy, and several other matters.

Dinner at 7 with new friend Brenda at Antonia’s. We sat at the bar. Good company.

Bria Ansara came in and sat at the bar, also. Always good to see Bria. She told us Berlin’s was open last night for the first time. A lot of damage. Restaurant windows blown out.

She was not singing last night. Berlin’s thought there would be few customers.

I stopped at Don’s Place on the way home. Chatted with Herschel, Stan and John.

Herschel and Stan are brothers. Herschel lived in Key West for several years. Now resides somewhere out west.

Herschel a good guy. Helps people in need. He spent a week in Houston helping a friend who had damage as a result of Harvey. He has been helping out a former Navy friend in Big Pine since Irma. Stan is also.

The gentleman they are helping was their superior when in the Navy. They have remained friends.

I apologize for not recalling his name. He was at one time Commander of the VFW in Key West.

Stan went to Big Pine following his usual Key West job yesterday afternoon. He found their Navy friend dead.

The cleanup probably too much for him.

I mentioned a few days ago the 1,300 sunk boats that have to be removed from off shore Keys’ waters. Turns out buoys a problem, also. Most blown away. Those that can be recovered will be. The Civil Air Patrol has become involved in identifying them.

Then there are those which will never be located or seen again.

The buoys have to be replaced. A necessity in navigation. Miss a buoy and you are lost. Panic lost in the big wide sea with no land in sight.

Enjoy your day!

MOONLIGHT…..I SLEPT

Enjoyed a good meal and good company last night. I have little recollection of the movie we saw after dinner.

Dinner was at Jim and Donna’s with my MTV neighbor Andrew. Jim’s son Joey joined us for dinner. Donna cooked a unique meal. Good chatter accompanied the feast.

The game plan was to see Moonlight afterwards at Tropic Cinema. We did. I do not recall much. Ten minutes at best.

I fell asleep. Have not done it at the movies in years. Donna was sitting next to me. She said she bent over several times to see if I was breathing.

I am not ashamed. Andrew fell asleep towards the end of the movie.

My opinion as to the movie? I did not see enough to tell. Did the first 10 minutes boredom put me to sleep? I do not know.

Will I see the movie again? Probably not based on the comments of my friends.

Spent some time working on Growing Up Italian. It had been a couple of weeks. Reworked and tweaked the chapter having to do with making wine. My grandfather did every two years. A family event. He had a huge press in the cellar.

The thing that sticks most in my mind was the crushing of the grapes. First, the press. Then, the women. Finally, the children. My turn. Our feet were washed and we were allowed to jump in and around. Enrico Caruso singing in the background.

Did two Go Live segments on Facebook. Go Live with Key West Lou. One had to do with my impression as to how Trump did in his Address to Congress. The other female genital mutilation.

Sessions doing well so far. Has issued several orders undoing years of civil rights successes. The man a bigot.

Now the question arises as to whether he met with a Russian two times re the election.

The thought occurred when I heard the scenario this morning: Russian ties, Russian lies.

My poetic tendency finally revealed!

The stock market is in ascendancy. Like a rocket to the moon. Trump claiming credit.

I am old enough to have seen/experienced several market failures. All I know is that which goes up, comes down. Regarding the stock market, the fall is swifter and more dramatic than the rise.

Bocce tonight. I go to watch my team play, provide support. I miss playing the game.

Enjoy your day!

 

MARTIN FELT…..KEY WEST 1974

This blog is read primarily in the United states. It also has followers world wide. From Australia, Brazil, China, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Africa, and Thailand for example.

I received an e-mail this morning from Martin Felt. Martin has lived the past 30 years in Tuscany.

Martin lived in Key West for one year in 1974. Lived for a while on Poorhouse Lane. Poorhouse is a street running perpendicular off the cemetery.

Martin mentioned that he spent time walking in  the cemetery. He also recalled taking and pumping water from a well. The well thing especially caught my interest. Comments were received a couple of days ago re Key West wells near the Casa Marina. I think from Patrick. I was not aware of well water availability in Key West up to that time.

Martin is presently involved in writing a book about his 1974 Key West experiences. Should be interesting. A different world back then.

My yesterday began with an early visit to my heart doctor, Dr. McIvor. I swear by him! A routine test. Will get the results monday. I am not concerned.

Last night was the start of the bocce season. I missed it. Too tired. I was up at 5 in the morning to get the blog out before the doctor visit. By 5 in the afternoon, I was falling asleep watching television. I was in bed and asleep at 9 for the evening.

Spoke with David this morning. Don’s Place is off to a flying start. Won all three games last night.

Heavy date(s) tonight! With lesbian wives Donna and Terri. They are taking me out to dinner. Donna is a concierge. She has a ton of Hogfish free cards.

Go Live with Key West Lou on Facebook. Off to a flying start. Three weeks so far. A learning and adjusting activity. My viewers already exceed my beloved blog dramatically. By 300-400 percent. Amazing! Mostly a different group. Interesting.

A new play opens next week at the Key West Theater. 129 Miles From Walmart. The purpose of the title is to state unequivocally there is no Walmart for 129 miles. Suggesting Key West is a different place. It is. Like nowhere else.

Sessions now Attorney General. Not even  two weeks. Doing damage already.

The transgenders one issue.

Private prisons another.

The Obama administration ordered private prisons to be phased out. Maltreated prisoners, costly, no dollar savings, etc. Yesterday, Sessions ordained private prisons would continue. His reason, the federal government would need additional jail space in the future. For what? Immigration detainees?

Interestingly, an increase in jail population occurred beginning with Reagan. Population up 78 percent under Reagan. Fifty six percent under Clinton. Thirty two percent under Bush 2.

Finally dropped under Obama. Increase limited to 5 percent.

Staying with reversals under the Trump administration, the CIA was ordered this week to halt support for anti-Assad rebels in Syria. Does this mean we are on our way to joining with Putin in support of Assad?

CPAC interesting yesterday. Bannon in the forefront. Openly expressed his view that it was not establishment change in the U.S. alone he sought, it was world wide. The guy is dangerous!

Back in November in the New York Times, Bannon was compared to Lenin. Lenin sought the overthrow of existing government. Took a while. However, his philosophy finally succeeded. Bannon wants to accomplish the same thing.

I read somewhere that Cheney was Mother Teresa compared to Bannon.

Trump is on TV speaking before CPAC as I write. He is with his own. They are cheering his every thought. He is glowing in the adulation.

Enjoy your day!