PERHAPS UNFAMILIAR IRISH LORE

We do not want these people. They are poor, disease ridden, will take jobs from Americans, strain welfare budgets. They are criminals and rapists. Practice a strange religion. They send us their worst.

Sounds like Trump talking about the Mexicans coming over the border and Muslims seeking entry to the United States.

Not Trump.

The way Americans were talking about the Irish who began immigrating to the United States around 1845.

The Irish were not liked. Feared to an extent.

The Irish did not come here to be free. They came to eat.

Disease had killed off the potato fields. Potatoes the mainstay of the Irish diet. Lunch and dinner. Sometimes, even breakfast. Estimated Irish men consumed 14 pounds of potatoes a day.

They brought with them Catholicism. Feared by Americans. The Papacy considered evil. Conspiracy theories rampant. The Irish would capture women. Hold them in convents. Priests rape the women. Babies born will be strangled.

You can’t make it up.

The cry became America for Americans! Return America to what it was. Which meant get rid of the Irish.

One hundred seventy years later. The Irish are assimilated. Admired. Respected. They have succeeded in every area of society. Thirty two million strong. Ten percent of the population.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone celebrates. Everyone Irish.

The world knows St. Patrick’s story. Not all, however. I share with you an episode not well known.

St. Patrick was a child of the Fifth Century. He died this date in 461 A.D.

He had returned to Ireland. A bishop, he did all the things history attributes to him. His aim to Christianize the pagan Irish.

He was successful. Success brought with it many who were jealous of the elevated position he had achieved in Irish society. His own fellow Christians.

Women were attracted to him. He Christianized many. Some were wives of kings and others of influence. A number of the ladies left their husbands to enter the nunnery. Such not appreciated by the husbands.

Wealthy women gave him expensive gifts.

He baptized many. In the thousands. Charged a fee to perform the baptisms. Similarly for ordinations. Many became priests. He charged for the ordination of each.

St. Patrick ingratiated himself with kings and judges. A gift here, a gift there.

Sounds like a religious politico. The Christians who forced his trial thought so. They also believed he sought his bishopric with personal gain in mind.

The decision of the trial not specifically known. History rarely recorded in those days. However, St. Patrick himself in Declaration or Confessio spelled out what was required to be done by him to satisfy those against him.

St. Patrick agreed to return gifts which wealthy women had given him, stop accepting payment for baptisms, stop accepting payment for ordinations, and stop giving gifts to kings and judges.

He did. Then returned to his calling Christianizing the Irish.

Enjoy your day! Drink not too much green beer!

 

REPUBLICAN SELL OUT

I fell this morning. Again. Was not paying attention. Two steps. Forgot. Thought one. Went flying. Nothing broke. Hurt all over. A couple of bruises already. Blood thinner.

I have been an admirer of Paul Ryan for many years. Straight forward. Tells it the way it is. Till yesterday.

I am disappointed. He was on television explaining the House’s bills re repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. He was bullshitting viewers.

Some things not mentioned, others glossed over.

The first that there would be many uncovered that are covered now. Something like 15 million.

Cost of the new law unknown. We’ll get to the figures later. He expects the public to buy a pig in the poke.

No time to wait for the COB report which would set out numbers like uncovered and cost. Why the hurry? Because the COB’s numbers will show the large number of uncovered who are covered now and the high cost in many instances.

The proposed bill a boon to insurance companies.

Political chicanery at its worst. Trust us…..We’ll take care of you. Bullshit. The proposed bill is written for the rich and is a detriment to middle and lower income peoples.

Roger C. Kostmayer is a Key Wester who speaks his mind. Generally, his thoughts correct. Writes many Letters to the Editor.

In one published recently in KONK Life, he reminded readers of Paul Revere’s…..Beware, the British are coming! He transposed the saying to today’s events…..Beware, the Russians are coming! Additional thrust to his letter was that Russia’s cyber activity is a declaration of war. A new type war. We have to prepare to retaliate.

Enjoyed a manicure with Tammy yesterday. She asked if I had seen Jenna recently. Told her Jenna and I were having dinner Saturday night.

Happy Hour at Martin’s. The best happy hour in town! I enjoyed a couple of drinks, 3 small lamb chops and a chunk of warmed brie.

Did happy hour with Diana Millikan. We are exploring doing a book together. Something about Key West.

A Tom Favette joined us. A friend of Diana. A retired cigar maker. From the way he talked, apparently a big time one. An interesting man.

Left. Hurried over to bocce. When Diana finished her conversation with Tom Favette, she intended to go to San Carlos to hear a talk by Fidel Castro’s daughter.

Bocce fun. Team won 2 out of 3. Tough. Won the first two 16-15. Lost the third 16-5.

Seems like most people I know are sick or getting sick. A lot of cancer. One of my bocce lady friends came by to say hello. Always a hug and kiss. She appeared thinner.

She had cancer several years ago. Had a double mastectomy two weeks ago as a precautionary measure. The ladies rebuilt during the surgery.

A strong person. God bless her!

Did two Go Live videos yesterday on Facebook. One I referred to as the Silent Coup. Politics. Interesting. The other the Divided States of America. No question we are divided.

Trump wants to vet immigrants thoroughly. Hope he vets them better than General Flynn who he brought on as National Security Adviser.

Flynn lobbied from August to November last year on behalf of certain Turkish elements. His lobbying a secret. Recall, Flynn also spoke at the Republican Convention.

Flynn recently was identified by the FBI as a foreign agent doing work for a company that could aid the Turkish government. Two days later, Flynn filed with the appropriate agency that he was such a foreign agent. For his foreign agent work from August to November, he was paid $530,000.

Dinner tonight with my lesbian wives, Donna and Terri. Donna cooking. A guaranteed outstanding meal!

Enjoy your day!

EVERYTHING GREEN TODAY

St. Patrick’s Day again! Everyone Irish!

This is Spring Break time in Key West. Will add to today’s revelry.

The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade occurred in New York City. Irish soldiers serving in the British Army in 1762 decided to celebrate their homeland.

I marched twice in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parades. I was in Manhattan College’s Air Force ROTC. Still recall the sharp eyes right each time we passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Another recollection is the partying. Big! The best day of the year!

Visited the dentist yesterday. Check-up time. Even implants get checked.

The dental assistant doing the checking irritated me. She kept treating me like an old man. Late twenties lady. When she mentioned how sad it was that I was unable to get out evenings and party, I said…..Lady, I party more than you and have more fun than you!

Started the evening at Don’s Place. Don, Stan and Clare. Great conversation. The conversations should be recorded and placed on You Tube.

Don and I were to eat together. Don decided he was not eating. I had to eat. Skipped lunch. I was famished.

I went to Outback. Thought I might not be able to get a seat. Outback is crowded during season same as Duval restaurants.

The place was empty. Only about 1/3 full. Four persons at the bar, including me.

One of the best evenings I have enjoyed chatting with those round me.

To my right, a couple. We started with the NCAA tournament. Then the Hungarian revolution, Hungary today, Flora, Albania, and cursive writing.

Never got their names. He was 80, she 43. He the best 80 I have ever seen. Still working. At Publix. A butcher. She originally from Hungary. Has been in Key West three years.

They were celebrating their two year anniversary. I congratulated them. Two years married or partnered? No. Two years living together? No, we live separate. We met two years ago.

Typical Key West. Any reason to celebrate.

We got into handwriting. I mentioned my column re the issue. She knew kids are not being taught to write today. He did not.

A waitress overheard the conversation. She came over and joined in. Knew everything about cursive writing. Was unhappy her children were not being taught handwriting.

The fellow several seats to my left joined in. Then came over. He was really into the failure to teach cursive writing in most schools today.

My KONK Life column was Goodbye Handwriting.. Of all the issues I have written about over the years, this garnered the most comment. In writing and on the street. I was amazed! I feared people might be bored with the subject.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board met with County Commissioners last night. The Board is pushing for a new building. $4.2 million. It would require raising taxes 10, 15 and 14 percent respectively over the next three years. The group insisted taxes had to be raised immediately.

The Mosquito Control group is an entity unto themselves. They do an excellent job. Ergo, no one bothers them. They generally ask and receive. High ranking staff are paid excessive salaries. Extremely so.

I say lets hold up a moment. The group has brass testicles asking for an immediate tax increase to pay for a building not yet even approved by the County Commission. Some Commission members heard the $4.2 million figure for the first time.

My immediate concern with the Mosquito Control Board is its intention to test GMO mosquitoes. The Mosquito Control Board wants to test them for the British Company Oxitec. The test would take place on the island where I live. Key Haven. Key Haven  is small. You could put it in your back pocket.

I am opposed to the testing. I do not believe my neighbors, our island and I should be used as guinea pigs.

After six years, the FDA came out last week with its determination re the use of GMO mosquitoes.. The FDA said the process was effective and safe. I questioned it then and now.

There is a lot of preaching going around that the use of GMO mosquitoes should not be held up in view of the safe and effective declaration by the FDA.

Sometimes people do not know. Many not properly informed.

The FDA regulates the genetic material introduced into the mosquito. The genetic material is safe and effective for mosquitoes. No federal determination has ever been made with regard to its safety as regards humans.

My message simple. Do not be mislead when told the FDA ruled safe and effective.

Fantasy Fest is back in the news. Some City Commissioners want the City to stop making its contribution to Fantasy Fest. The group who run the event are unfunded this year. The several year contract with the City ran out. Fantasy Fest is six months away.

There is no rush in arriving at a determination apparently. The vote to extend the contract one year while matters are further looked into has been adjourned one month.

Typical of governmental mentality in the Keys. Determinations are made too fast or too slow.

Enjoy your day!

HEMINGWAY’S SPAIN

It is impossible to think of Key West and not Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway spent ten years in Key West. During that time, he did all the things people do when on the island. Drank, partied and fished. He also completed writing A Farewell To Arms.

Hemingway’s grandson Michael Hemingway was in Valencia, Spain yesterday. He met one of his grandfather’s closest friends, Francisco “Canito” Cana. Cana was a bullfight photographer during his Hemingway days.

Cana shared many stories with Michael. Especially, the “…..feasts and binges.” He told him of Pamplona and the running of the bulls. How he and Hemingway would eat a huge dinner the night before with much wine. The next day, they would watch the running of the bulls. Followed by coffee in the Plaza Castillo.

Cana added that Hemingway loved Spain, their drinking sprees, the wine they guzzled, and the flask of vodka he always carried.

First it was Syracuse, my Syracuse. Today it is Manhattan, my Manhattan. My poor Jaspers!

Not a basketball year for me.

Manhattan lost in the first game of the NCAA tournament. Manhattan had to play its way in. Had they won, the prize was playing Kentucky next.

Manhattan lost to Hampton College 74-64. Surprising since Manhattan was an 8.5 point favorite. Also, Manhattan’s record was 19-13. Whereas, Hampton’s 16-17.

Such is life! There is always next year!

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. A part of Duval Street was closed off. The area jam packed. Most wearing green and drinking glass after glass of green beer. Everyone on a Duval crawl!

An interesting factual correction re  St. Patrick. He did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. Ireland was too cold for snakes. St. Patrick did drive the idol worshiping Druid religion out as part of his Christianizing most of Ireland. Over the years, the Druids being driven out has transformed into the snake story.

Netanyahu won. Surprising. You cannot always trust the polls. Query: How will this affect Iran’s thoughts re a nuclear agreement? Iran may now fear Israel and use that reason for not entering into a deal with the United States. It is assumed Israel has nuclear bombs.

My blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spent half the show discussing Tom Cotton. The new kid on the block as I described him. A far right tea party type. Also, a neocon. Backed by big money and powerful people. Beware was my message. The man is being groomed for a Presidential run at some point.

This week’s KONK Life publishes today. My column is the Making of a Star. The Tom Cotton story. Read it. A guaranteed eye opener.

I am sick and tired hearing about Hillary’s e-mails. A red herring going nowhere. When are these idiots going to start discussing things like jobs and income inequality?

Nancy Robinson is a Key West icon. A lady. Known to everyone in Key West. Mother of Martha Robinson.

Nancy has been sick. She is still sick. In and out of the hospital. Now home. Definitely not well. Say a prayer for her.

Enjoy your day!

 

SAVE OUR PINES DAY

Blog late this Sunday morning. Sorry. I spent most of yesterday working on this week’s KONK Life column. There was more to do. It took from 6-10 this morning.

The title is Making A Star. The Tom Cotton story. He is the U.S. Senator who penned the Iranian letter that 46 Republican Senators signed. The column an eye opener.

Some 15 years ago give or take, the State of Florida decided the Australian pines at Fort Zach Taylor Beach had to go. The pines were purportedly dangerous to the rest of the foliage enviroment, etc.

A group of Key Westers got together and fought the removal of the pines. It was not easy. However, after much grief, joy, and BS from the State, the group won. The pines still stand tall at the Fort Zach Taylor Beach.

The pines are perfect. If the sun gets too much, one can sit anywhere under them. Very cool.

Key West Mayor Cates announced that today is Save Our Pines Day. An annual pot luck picnic will take place at the Beach under the pines. Open to the public.

St. Patrick’s Day coming. Green beer day! The bars will do a booming business. Tourists will enjoy. Streets will be closed off for partying.

Enjoy your Sunday!