ORIGIN OF UNCLE SAM

The United States has a nickname. We all know it. Uncle Sam.

Where did it come from? How did it originate? Who is responsible for the nickname?

We have to go back to the War of 1812 for the answer.

Samuel Wilson was a Troy, N.Y. meat packer who supplied beef to the U.S. Army. Beef was transported in barrels.

On this day in 1813, Wilson began stamping the barrels with “U.S.” Purpose to inform everyone who was in contact with the barrels that the contents came from the United States.

Soldiers began referring to the beef they were eating as “Uncle Sam’s.”

A local newspaper picked up on the story. In due course, Uncle Sam gained widespread acceptance as the nick name for the U.S. federal government.

Recognition of Wilson’s contribution took a long time to acknowledge. However in September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Wilson as “the progenitor (father of) America’s symbol of Uncle Sam.”

My yesterday began with a haircut. Enjoy the time I spend with Lori. She has now been cutting my hair for 18 years. Looks as young today as she did back then.

Then to Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. I like the place. They know me and I know them. Always a friendly welcome. No need to order. They know I eat the same thing each time. Automatically bring it to me.

A car problem developing. Could be the battery. Not sure. Turns over slowly. Strange, however. If the car has been sitting for a half hour or more, it starts slowly. If sitting 5 minutes or so, starts normally.

Hopefully, I will find out today. Every time I returned to the car yesterday, I was not certain it would start. Not a welcome feeling.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. Steve and Cindy at the bar. Enjoyed their company.

Met Colin and Carli from Sarasota. Have been vacationing for a week. Staying at the Pier House. They married on Smathers Beach several years ago. Return to Key West often.

Colin originally from Northern England. They return there also to visit.

Both are employed by the same company, different departments. Computer soft ware programming.

Drove to Blue Macaw for a bite. Enjoyed ribs and a drink.

Ran into Donna, Terri, Joe and Andrea. Stayed a while. Stopped by Mary and Doug to share a few words.

Close to 10 when I left. Stopped at Publix on the way home. Desperately in need of food. Swiftly up and down the aisles to beat closing time. Good exercise.

Prior to the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, I considered Judge Kavanaugh not to be the best of choices. Too far to the right. Rigid. Not fair.

I listened to him being questioned 2 days ago. I was very impressed. The man has one of the best legal minds I have been exposed to. Brilliant.

Such does not necessarily mean he would make a good Supreme Court Justice. The law is not black and white. It is gray. His legal genius would be able to twist things to his far right way of thinking and bring us back to the middle ages.

Ergo, an excellent legal thinker whose ideas are not in the best interests of most U.S. citizens.

I spelled this position out in my Key West Love Live video on Facebook yesterday.

Then, I watched parts of yesterday’s proceedings. Cause me to suspect the good Judge is a liar. A skillful one. Prone to avoid, I don’t recall, lie.

I now find him to be not only an improper candidate for the Supreme Court bench, but also the Circuit Court he sits on.

The Republicans have been playing games with records. It became obvious yesterday why. Kavanaugh has a track record. What he has written or done in the past does not always coincide with his testimony this week.

Two Democratic Senators need to be applauded. Both fought the Chair. Broke some Senate rules in so doing. The only way to out the truth, however.

New Jersey’s Senator Corey Booker and Hawaii’s Senator Mazie Hirono each being described as Spartacus. They were! At one point, Booker told the Chair if you want to bring me up on charges, go for it! The gauntlet was thrown.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

USE IT OR LOSE IT

Use it or lose it applies in various circumstances. The one referenced today involves saying what you want and having it read by thousands of persons.

I refer specifically to the Citizens’ Voice portion of the Key West Citizen. Page 2, left hand column. There every day. I would assume one of the most popular sections of the paper.

The Citizens’ Voice allows persons to express themselves/vent freely on any issue.

The newspaper prints comments received. Even in those instances where the paper’s policy might disagree.

There was no Citizens’ Voice in this morning’s edition. Instead the Key West Citizen advised there were not enough comments to run in today’s newspaper. Further advising that “hopefully” the section could resume being printed in the Weekend Edition.

I know very few Key West residents who do not have an opinion on something. Complaining commonplace in the Keys. Get back on your soap boxes and let the world know what you think!

Participate in the Citizens’ Voice.

Use it or lose it.

The turtles are hatching. Babies waddling to the ocean. An exciting yearly event.

Not without danger, however.

Take Smathers Beach for example. Many turtle nests. The babies hatch generally at night. Their immediate goal the ocean. They are attracted to the ocean by the light of the moon. They travel towards the moonlight eventually finding their way to water.

A problem arose several years ago at Smathers Beach. On the other side of the road from the beach are condominiums and hotels. The turtles were being confused by the lights of the buildings. They were more confused by the street lights. Assumed it was moonlight. Headed towards the lights. Many were being run over by cars as they crossed the highway.

Key West did the right thing. It always does for its friends from the sea. They ordered the street lights on South Roosevelt Boulevard to be turned off at night during the hatching season. That alone significantly helped the situation. Baby turtle deaths reduced to almost nothing.

There is a Key West Sea Turtle Club. I believe recently formed. They have been out this hatching season marking nests and otherwise being concerned for the safety of the baby turtles.

Big party tonight! Celebration of what would have been Captain Tony’s 102nd birthday. Captain Tony’s at 8 o’clock. Going to be a blast!

It is almost a year since Irma hit. The havoc wrought still being experienced. This morning’s Key West Citizen in a major front page article re the need for affordable housing mentioned that 4,000 homes in the Keys were destroyed by Irma.

Many still without proper accommodations. The housing need existed before Irma. However with Irma, it has become significantly more pronounced.

The Keys need affordable housing!

One admonition. Make sure it is “affordable.”

My yesterday began with an 11:30 haircut appointment with Lori. Seventeen years she has been cutting my hair.

I had a difficult time getting to her place of business on the corner of White and Virginia. There had been an accident 15 minutes before. One of the vehicles plowed into the building where Lori’s salon is.

Lori said the building shook.

Then to Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down for lunch. The Sandy’s Federal court dispute has been resolved. The details of the resolution not public. Why, I do not know.

The Chart Room last night. A locals’ evening. Steve and Cindy, Sheila, David, Jean Thornton,  and Cori Convertino. A good time was had by all.

I was hungry. Decided on Blue Macaw. Love the place! Food and drinks cheap. Atmosphere terrific. People friendly. And they have parking!

Did wings. Could only enjoy 6 of the 9 presented. I was easily full. My long term diet responsible. I eat significantly less now.

I was up to 257 pounds. My doctors got on my ass. Lose weight! I did and I didn’t. Cut back on eating and drinking for a few months. Dropped to 245. Then my fourth heart catheterization. The Miami doctor looked at me sternly and said lose 40-50 pounds more.

I did not like his attitude. But, I listened.

I began serious dieting November 27th last year. Today, I am 202 pounds. Still going! Intend to break 200.

Amazing!

Blue Macaw’s Happy Hour menu has helped in recent weeks. I order wings or ribs. That’s dinner!

Met Tim at the Blue Macaw bar. Tim is the plumber at Ocean Key House. Nice guy. We talked of many things.

The lights went out while at the bar. Everything black. Someone yelled out the power was down from Marathon to Key West.

A power failure has its disadvantages. The bartenders cannot run credit cards. Pay by cash or wait til the power comes back on. Fortunately, I had cash. A rarity for me these days. I have gotten to using my credit card for everything. Even small purchases.

Hypocrisy an eye opener. Gives us the opportunity to recognize people who fudge or speak out of both sides of their mouth.

Trump a major hypocrite.

His in-laws the most recent example. Melania’s parents.

They became U.S. citizens yesterday. Good for them! Congratulations! Happy they could join us.

The problem is how they became citizens. Trump has severely criticized persons who become citizens because they are sponsored by a family member. He refers to it as “chain migration.”

Trump wants the law repealed. Claims it is harmful to the U.S. Permits “everyone” to come in.

Melania is a naturalized citizen. She sponsored her parents.

No comment by Trump.

I would not be here today if immigration laws were not loose and chain migration in some form had not existed back when.

My grandfather came over around the turn of the century (1900). I do not know how. He was 12 and never knew his parents. He was a bastard.

My grandmother came over a couple of years later. I do not know under what authority. My grandparents did not meet nor know of each other till they were in the U.S.

My mother came over via a chain migration situation. She was born in Italy. Her father came a few years earlier. She, her mother and brothers, followed as his dependents.

Immigration obviously simpler back then.

I often think of my ancestry and smile. Running through my  mind each time is the thought that had my people not immigrated, I would probably ended up a sheep herder in a field outside Naples.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOUIS

 

Today is my birthday. Eighty three years. Wow!

Time moves fast. Everything just yesterday. High school, college, law school, marriage, children, grandchildren, court cases, successful practice, mistakes made, lessons learned, etc.

I feel good for my age. The body breaks down as we go along. Mine started around 60. You go to the doctor and hope they can fix whatever it is. Generally can. As you get older however, you become concerned about the day something many not be able to be fixed.

Mentally, I am still 35. Amazing! The issue of mental age comes up in conversations among the elderly. Everyone is between 25-45. Interesting.

My poor Mother. Several times she reminded me of my birth. Mid summer 1935. Hot. Humid. No air  conditioning. Not invented yet. The hospital sweltering!!!

Took 26 hours of labor for me to make my entrance.

I was born in Utica’s General Hospital. A welfare type hospital for the poor. Amazing how this country provides the opportunity to live a better more affluent life.

I look forward to 84. Hopefully many more years following. My Dad made it to 98, his father 94, his sister 102. One condition. I would want to be in good shape physically and mentally.

Midnight was the beginning of a dark day for global trade. Trump permitted his threatened tariffs re China to go into effect. China waited hoping Trump would back off. When he did not, China imposed retaliatory tariffs.

China described what occurred as the beginning of the “largest trade war in history.” An economist described the event as “typical trade bullying.”

The first salvo has been fired. America will be the first casualty. Trump does not understand. An example the soybean farmers who will not be able to sell their product. The U.S. supplies China with 60 percent of its soybean imports.

Take a walk back in time. Herbert Hoover elected President. It is 1928. The stock market booming. At an all time high. Hoover a protectionist. Believed in tariffs. Could not leave well enough alone. Imposed tariffs. One year later, the Great Depression.

Trump was in Montana last night at a rally. His audience a mere 6,500. Down dramatically from the many thousands who previously attended. A smaller audience, seated closer together, to make the place look more full.

Trump’s mouth his worst enemy. Among other sad/improper things uttered last night included knocking Bush I and John McCain. Both war heroes. Bush shot down twice during World War II. McCain spent six years in a Vietnamese concentration camp, tortured non stop.

Trump was a draft dodger.

The man knocks everyone and everything. Lies consistently. Thinks he knows everything. He is leading us to a doom.

Chart Room last night. As always, a good and interesting time.

Steve and Cindy back. I have been looking to their return. They lived in Key West in the early and mid 1970’s when things were different. On the wild side! I take notes rapidly. Add a bit of research, each becomes a story to be written.

Dorothy in for a few days. Her dentist husband died two years ago. It was good to see her again. An author who achieved success. Dorothy has a sharp mind. It was evident when a new friend, Ray from Dublin, told us a great joke. Dorothy had an instantaneous  follow up that fit.

Met a most interesting couple. One Ray already mentioned and his wife Augusta. World travelers of sorts. Ray has been in the oil business over the years in one capacity or another. Retired now, invests primarily in oil stocks and other types he believes are going to move. Apparently successful.

Enjoyed their company. Ray and I disagree on one point. He has traveled the world living and working. He believes Trump will be viewed as the greatest U.S. President since Reagan.

Bothersome. Worries me.

Trump overwhelms the news. As a result, we fail to get sufficient information re what is going on in the rest of the world. Nicaragua, for example.

A horrendous conflict once again. The government killing people randomly. The war relatively new. Three weeks. A full blown civil war in the making.

The conflict includes the Catholic Church which is opposed to what is going on. Involved are President Daniel Ortega. He was President many years ago. And his wife Rosario Murillo. She, Vice-President.

The Vice-President wife recently said God favors repression against priests and people. Trump not the only one who is sick.

Bad days in Nicaragua that will only get worse. People will flee the country. U.S. borders will be closed to them.

BOB begged off again this morning. Still tired from the fireworks. The trial result and what followed left to tomorrow. Hopefully.

One thing I learned last night was that Bum Farto was involved in more than drugs. Prostitution. He drove El Jefe around dropping off prostitutes and picking them up when their work was done.

Enjoy your day!

ANDREWS INN…..IRMA AND ME BOOK SIGNING NEXT TUESDAY

Irma and Me my second book. My first book signing. Next tuesday from noon to 3 at Andrews Inn.

I have a degree of fear and trepidation. Will anyone talk with me? Will anyone buy the book?

Three more experienced authors are participating also.

I visited Andrews Inn yesterday. First time. A quaint small complex where you would expect to find nothing.

I gave directions yesterday. I was wrong. Let me give them again.

Andrews Inn is located at Zero Whalton Lane. Finding Whalton Lane a mystery. It is located off Duval. Across the street from Viva Cafe. A half block off Truman going towards the Gulf.

Drive straight in.

Michael and Albena Dana proprietors. Bought the place 8 months ago. Put it in idyllic shape.

I met Albena. A young beautiful women from one of the southern European countries. She is all excited about the book signing. Their first. Told me food and drink would be available.

Albena an interesting name. My grandmother on my father’s side was named Albina. Excited Albena. My grandmother arrived from Italy. Met my grandfather in Stamford, Connecticut. They fell in love, married and moved to Utica.

If time permits, drop by the book signing. Sounds like a party in the making.

Besides the Andrew Inn visit, my yesterday busy. A haircut with Lori, lunch with Catherine at Sandy’s Cafe, and a manicure with Tammy. My afternoon.

Last night, the Chart Room first. Glad I made it. Interesting people and conversation.

I was chatting with John, Steve and Cindy at the bar. Got into my earlier blog concerning Key West homosexuality the winter of 1979-80.

Steve jumped right in. He and Cindy settled in Key West in 1975. Steve knew exactly what I had written about. A bad time for gays, a bad time for Tennessee Williams.

He described it as  a war initiated by a religious faction who wanted gays out of Key West.

I was chatting with David at the round table when Debbie and Eric came by. From Rochester, NY. Ninety miles from my home town Utica.

Debbie is a grammar school cafeteria administrator. Eric runs a liquor store.

Parents of two, grandparents of two.

Debbie and Eric visit Key West once a year. This trip they were staying at the Pier House.

Two guys came in. From Tampa. Visiting for a few days. One originally from Rochester.

It was a Rochester night.

The Rochester visitor a die hard Syracuse fan. We were in all our glory talking about Big Orange basketball and football.

John told me Morgan was stopping by. I wanted to see her again. My stomach said no. I was hungry.

It was off to Tavern ‘n Town for my diet prime rib. I am stuck at 32 pounds. Should have lost a couple more by now. I cannot complain, however.

Trump is destroying our country. Wake up America!

This tariff thing a disaster waiting to happen. Recall Herbert Hoover. The US was sliding into economic problems in 1929. Hoover knew he had to curtail it. He thought a tariff program similar to Trump’s would do the trick.

It did. But not the way he anticipated. The tariffs led the US into the Great Depression.

Trump is the Herbert Hoover of 2018.

Fifty years from now, Trump will be remembered as the person who destroyed the US economy, brought the US to its knees.

Unless he is stopped.

I meet the world in the Chart Room. Over the years, I have met three soybean farmers who own homes also in Key West. The soybean market has been great for them. They are luxuriating in money.

I can’t wait to see them again. All three told me China was their best customer. With the Trump tariff problem, China will no longer be their best customer. Not even their customer for that matter!

Trump cannot see the reality before him. He hit China with $50 billion in tariffs. China came back immediately and hit the US with $50 billion in tariffs.

Trump is not to be screwed with. He just announced he is considering another $100 billion in tariffs re China.

Trump’s head is in his ass. China does not scare. They are a major power. Probably the second in the world. Soon to take the US’s place as number one

Trump also forgets China is the US’ banker. The US borrows money easily as needed from China. The US presently owes China $1.3 trillion. China the US’ second largest creditor.

Suppose China gets pissed off. They could call in US notes, refuse to loan any further monies to the US, etc.

Then what?

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox was on Morning Joe earlier today. He took Trump apart.

Recall in January, Fox told Trump: “Your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world.” This was after Trump referred to African countries as “shitholes.”

This morning Fox referred to Trump as a liar, said NAFTA was working for Mexico that was experiencing full employment, was not aware of the horrible rapes by immigrants in Mexico that Trump has been talking about the past few days.

Money. Everything comes down to money. Fox said Mexico buys $40 billion a year of corn from the US. Because of the tariffs levied, Mexico was looking to Argentina and other South American nations with whom to do corn business.

As to drugs, Fox says the cartel problem exists in the US. He admitted drugs move through Mexico to the US. However, it was the American cartels running the show since the drugs were primarily sold in the US. He could not understand why the US never approached eradicating the drug problem by declaring war on the American cartels.

Fox added that Mexico was opposed to the military deployment along the border that Trump was pursuing in recent days. Not needed, he said

His position basically was that Trump is crazy, does not know what he is doing. Mexico will not be stepped on. He mentioned as evidence that the Mexican Senate very recently passed a resolution calling for suspension of Mexican cooperation with the US re immigration and drug trafficking. Retaliatory to Trump’s moves re tariffs.

Enjoy your day!