IRAN AND AMERICAN INDIANS HAVE MUCH IN COMMON

Trump got his way yesterday. He withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear agreement with Iran. Chaos will result. Problems arise. Hopefully Iran and the remaining nations to the anti-nuclear pact can keep things on the straight and narrow.

Iran and the American Indians have much in common. The U.S. could not maintain agreements with either. Deals were made to be broken. Agreements kept only as long as it served the U.S.’s interest.

Honor becomes meaningless under the circumstances. A nation’s word, a person’s word, has to have meaning….. You can stand by me, I keep my word.

Trump’s walking away from the deal could also be part of a march to war with Iran. Some Republican Congressmen favor it. Saudi Arabia and Israel definitely. Both nations have sucked up to Trump big time since he became President.

I was beginning to feel sorry for Michael Cohen. Did I make a mistake! He is not merely the poor lackey of Donald Trump. Not when he is sitting on $4.4 million plus.

The question now is did he get to keep most of it? Or did it move into other hands?

Religion and government are like oil and water. They do not mix. The recent House/Speaker Ryan situation with House Chaplain Father Conroy a perfect example.

Washington Post opinion writer E. J. Dionne, Jr. wrote on May 5 concerning the event. Dionne commented, “The House Republican leadership was more inclined to push out a chaplain than to impose accountability on a President who is a proven liar and trashes the rule of law for his own selfish purposes day after day.”

Jennifer Rubin wrote in an opinion on December 15, 2017 that the religious right was not doing much for religion. Re evangelicals, she wrote that the group has become a politicized clergy who have made the word evangelical “toxic and divisive.”

American history took a back seat yesterday. A proud historic day forgotten. Buried beneath Trump tripe.

I refer to V-E Day. Yes, yesterday was Victory in Europe. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945.

Such days must be remembered and celebrated. Otherwise, we forget who we are. Or should it be “who we were?”

Poor Venezuela. I have been following Venezuela closely since Maduro became President some five years ago.

The country is economically depressed. Inflation rampant. Paper money worthless. Food worse than scarce. People starving. They ate their pets long ago.

Maduro survives because he has the army and Venezuela’s congress behind him. All on the take. All benefiting while babies do not have milk.

Things have become so desperate that bartering has replaced currency. Things are swapped.

A haircut costs 5 bananas and 2 eggs. A cab ride a carton of cigarettes. A restaurant meal several packages of paper napkins. A spot in a parking lot a freshly baked baguette.

Medicine for humans hard to come by. Many are being treated with dog medicine.

Diapers are equivalent to a bar of gold. Pirates bring them in from Trinidad to trade.

While such is occurring, Venezuela continues to have the largest oil reserves in the world. Somehow Maduro has never been able to make the oil work to the benefit of his people.

Last night, my podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

It was a fast moving half hour. From V-E Day to Iran and Stormy Daniels.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

GROSS DISAPPOINTMENT

I waited for 60 Minutes all week. Finally, last night. Stormy Daniels being interviewed live. Her attorney had kept us on edge for two weeks. Revelations to be made! Facts exposed!

I would describe her appearance as gross disappointment. Her attorney had promised too much and delivered too little.

As a result, my sense is that Daniels’ California civil suit is not strong. Her attorney is trying to force a settlement before depositions.

On the other hand, there is the question as to whether the $130,000 paid was a political contribution. Could involve a violation of the Election Law.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Never fails.

Saturday’s March For Our Lives an outstanding success. I thought it difficult for the NRA and gun supporters to counter. I should have known better. NRA supporters came out with a retort yesterday: “Saturday’s student-led March For Our Lives event was nothing more than a globalist-funded communist campaign in which the marchers themselves partook in trampling not only their own constitutional rights but the constitutional rights of their fellow countrymen in an outright push to further ban, suppress, and limit the Second Amendment…..”

Communist supported…..trampling on constitutional rights…..globalist funded.  Strong language. The Titanic going down and its short wave radio not working.

Some of the high schoolers will vote this year. Many more in 2020. All thereafter. The end of the NRA’s influence. Amazing! Brought down by a bunch of kids!

Everyone knows the students were assisted organizationally and with funding. What we saw saturday not possible without both. Why the NRA would complain, I do not understand. They have been taking in mega bucks for years from gun manufacturers and using it to dupe the American public.

Financial supporters of the March included George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Lyft, Women’s March Organizers, and Gabby Gifford’s Courage to Fight Gun Violence. There was a benefit concert Every Town for Gun Safety. A GoFund Me account raised $3.5 million.

Final Four next. Loyola-Chicago, Kansas, Michigan and Villanova. Big time! Exciting!

I was fortunate to attend four Final Fours. Three when Syracuse played, one just for the pleasure of it. Each an experience, each fun.

In March 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald published his first novel. This Side of Paradise.

He and his wife ran off to Paris thereafter. Fitzgerald became close friends with Ernest Hemingway. They drank their way through the bars of Paris. Still worked, however. While in Paris, Fitzgerald finished The Great Gatsby.

Something I never knew. Fitzgerald was named after his ancestor Francis Scott Key who wrote The Star Spangled Banner.

March 1953 a significant time also. I was a senior in high school. Polio aka infantile paralysis was a dreaded disease. Afflicted many, killed many yearly. Of major concern.

I recall a female high school friend who came down with polio.

She was sent to a special sanatorium high in the Adirondacks for two years till recovered.

Our President at the time Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been struck down with polio in 1921. It left him partially paralyzed the rest of his life.

Fear of the disease came to an end in March 1953 when a Dr. Jonas Salk announced he had discovered a polio/infantile paralysis vaccine. Salk’s vaccine saved thousands from the dreaded disease. To the extent, polio/infantile paralysis is rarely mentioned these days.

Several times over the past few years, I have written and spoke of Afghanistan. Not so much the war itself. Rather the successful and ever growing opium poppy fields which produce heroin. Ninety percent of which ends up on the streets of the U.S.

Rachel Blevins published an article March 25, 2018 concerning the why and where with alls of the problem. She claims the war has made poppy growth possible and imposed on our streets the worst heroin epidemic ever in U.S. history.

It seems the war has contributed to the success of heroin sales. At the time of the 2001 invasion, there were 189,000 heroin users in the U.S. In 2016, the number had increased to 4.5 million.

Heroin deaths are up 533 percent from 2016 alone.

Since 2016, Afghanistan areas under opium poppy cultivation have increased by 63 percent.

Bottom line. The war is protecting and encouraging the poppy growers. When is the last time you heard of a poppy field or poppy growers having been bombed? In a country that has been bombed to hell.

Something is amiss. Money has to be changing hands. In the meantime, we are experiencing the worst opioid epidemic in the history of the U.S.

Dueling Bartenders tonight at Aqua. Love Dueling Bartenders. An opportunity to have a couple of drinks, listen to great music, and sing along when the mood hits me.

Enjoy your day!

TRUMP IMPOTENT

Trump is impotent in three regards: (1) Putin, (2) guns, and (3) respect for women.

Think about it.

Information is leaking out re Nickolas Cruz the Parkland High School murderer.

ABC News reported Cruz told authorities he heard voices in his head to carry out the massacre. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law claims Cruz was affiliated with a white nationalistic militia and that he received paramilitary training with them.

I couldn’t wait to get to the Chart Room last night. Enjoy the banter that fills the room. Spent some time chatting with bartender friend John and several customers.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. I was back on the diet after one day of cheating. I am on Atkins. High protein, low carb. Enjoyed a rack of lamb. Just lamb. No vegetables, nothing.

Met an interesting woman at the bar. Yvonnie Ametin. She has resided in Key West 20 years, has three children, a home on Olivia Street, and is involved with social media.

We got into social media a bit. She helps people market via the internet. I found her very knowledgeable.

Interestingly, Yvonnie’s children go to the same Montessori as Robert and Ally. Her oldest daughter and Ally are probably in the same class.

The Side Door at Aqua will be fun tonight. The Sons and Daughters of Italy are having a fundraiser. The monies raised to go for scholarships for locals moving on to college.

There will be a silent auction. Also, a drawing. Tickets have been sold the past few months to add monies to the scholarship fund. The winner to receive an Italian dinner for 8 at his/her home. Everything provided, including dishes, silverware, clean up, etc.

Food free. A cash bar.

The event begins at 5:30.

Chopin was a sick man when he played his last concert in Paris this day in 1848. He would die of tuberculosis 18 months later at age 39.

Chopin is one of the musical greats. Both as composer and concert pianist.

Words describing his piano talent sensitive and descriptive. One wrote that his piano playing was “…..like the sighings of a flower, the whisper of the clouds…..the murmur of the stars.” Another, “…..the  slyph of the piano…..attached to this mortal world by the merest touch of a finger and nourished by a dream from on high.”

Sad days followed by notable ones. The Bataan Death Marched is ever seared in the minds of Americans and Filipinos. In 1942, the Japanese captured Bataan. The U.S.’s last stronghold in the Philippines.

Americans and Filipinos were force marched 55 miles. Along the way, 600 Americans and 5,000 Filipinos died. From the extreme brutality of the Japanese. They were starved, beaten, kicked, and bayoneted.

Americans and Filipinos recaptured Bataan three years later on this day in 1945.

No death march for the Japanese captured. American and Filipino values different from that of the enemy.

The $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels may turn into a problem for Trump and Michael Cohen. Cohen was Trump’s attorney and claims he paid the $130,000 settlement monies to Stormy Daniels out of his own pocket.

Hard to believe. Does not make sense. Lawyers don’t do that.

The Federal Election Commission is looking into the matter. The issue as to whether the $130,000 payment constituted an in kind political contribution.

If anything should come of this, it would be like Al Capone going to jail for tax evasion instead of the more popular criminal activity he may have been engaged in.

My Syracuse. Having difficulty winning this season. Needs to win all or one less than all of its remaining games to make the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse plays Miami tomorrow at noon.

Enjoy your day!

 

CHILDREN DIE

Another school shooting. Yesterday, Parkland High School. Located in Broward County Florida. The 19th school shooting  this year in the United States. Today, only February 15. Means 19 school shootings in 46 days. Seventeen killed yesterday. More injured.

The blame lies primarily with the NRA and our elected politicians. The politicos are owned by the NRA.

Children die because politicians are interested in keeping their seats.

Sick!

The extremist NRA lobbies. Elected officials are subservient to them because of the power and money the NRA has. Both of which could be used to defeat them if they dared to oppose the NRA.

Our elected representatives today reflect man at his worst. Money being more important than lives.

The past year saw politicians with a new line following a mass shooting. A line I would guarantee has to have been formulated by the NRA. When asked what the politician thought, what could be done, etc.,  the response always is not the time to talk about it.

If not immediately following a mass shooting, when?

Appreciate the amount of NRA money being spent on Congressional people alone. The New York Times set forth such information on October 4, 2017. I take from the article the top three US Senators who received the most in contributions from the NRA.

John Mc Cain #1. $7,700,000. Richard Burr #2. $6,900,000. Ray Blunt #3. $4,500,000.

The numbers say it all. The truth lies within them.

Big night yesterday. Actually started in the afternoon.

The Custom House first for the St. Valentine’s Day mass kiss-in. My date was Catherine. The kiss-in scheduled precisely for 6pm. One thousand expected. Five hundred couples kissing.

We got there at 4:30. The crowd still small. We knew we could not stay till 6 because of another event. We sat on the steps and chatted till 5:15.

Free rum beginning at 5. We did not get any. By 5, the line was long. The Spectrelles singing. Couples kissing when ever they wanted. The woman slung over on the man’s arm.

We left, but not without kissing. Our first. Immediately turned into 3 or 4. Led to more kissing later in the evening. Made me wonder why we had not done this on previous dates.

Then to the Sons and Daughters of Italy St. Valentine’s day dinner and meeting.

The dinner outstanding. Lasagna! Followed by a huge heart shaped chocolate cake covered deep in frosting.

I cheated. Only the third time since November 27. The night before, I craved cake. Any kind. I am on a low carb diet. The craving was satisfied last night. The lasagna an added bonus.

A night cap was in order. We were off to the Chart Room. John bartending.

Lovely Nikki cried out…..Key West Lou! We had never met before. Nikki is from Atlanta. Reads this blog every day. Thank you, Nikki!

Nikki and her husband Russ are from Atlanta. Vacationing. Have been doing so in Key West annually for many years. They were married on Smathers Beach in 2007.

Nikki is a paralegal. Husband Russ, a marina manager.

They were enjoying Key West with Atlanta friends Tatiana and Doug.

Permit an observation. Both Nikki and Tatiana extremely beautiful women.

I found Tatiana’s name different. Special. She explained she was Brazilian. Tatiana however not Brazilian. Tatiana was born sometime around the 1980 Winter Olympics. There was a Russian skater named Tatiana that impressed her mother. Ergo, the name Tatiana.

Tatiana is a nurse practitioner. Proud of her work and the responsibility that goes with it.

Doug into transportation logistics.

Four wonderful people! Hope I run into them again.

There is a new musical in Key West. Undying Love. Tickets hard to come by.

Described as an off beat musical. It is the story of Key West’s Count Carl von Cosel whose love Elena Milagro de Hoyos had died. He stole her body from her grave. Kept Elena with him for several years till discovered. In his bed. Preserved with wax.

Sick!

Made into a musical, however. And from all I hear, a tremendous success.

The Battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor this day in 1898. Two hundred sixty American sailors killed. Led to the Spanish American War.

Key West has two connections to the tragedy.

The first involves many of the sailors who died. They are interred in the Key West Cemetery. Duly honored every year.

The other is the location of the formal hearing to determine the cause of the explosion. The US Court of Naval Inquiry met at what is today’s Custom House. Then a newly constructed federal building.

The stock market crashed last week. I predicted it. Though not an economist, being 82 I have lived through several and could sense this one coming.

I am going to stick my neck out. The crash is not yet complete. There will be another this year, worse.

Enjoy your day!

 

PUCKER UP…..KEY WEST LOVES LOVE

Today, St. Valentine’s Day. Lovers’ day.

The most personal expression of that love is the kiss.

There will be a mass kiss-in tonight at 6 in front of the Custom House. The second year for the event. A success last year in its first attempt. More than 250 couples participated. More than 500 expected this year.

The purpose of the event is to spread a message to the world. One of peace and love.

The Custom House invites everyone to pucker up at 6 tonight! No charge. Kissing free.

Last night was podcast time for me. I had to rework the program at the last minute. To accommodate the revelations that came out of the Senate Committee hearing involving the heads of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Everything disturbed me. The one the most was the fact that all those testifying agreed that Russia had hacked into the 2016 election, that they were prepared to do it again in 2018 and 2020, and that our government was doing nothing to prevent the anticipated 2018 and 2020 hackings.

Makes sense. Trump denies Russia did anything. God forbid he say anything negative about Putin. There is no leadership concerning the issue.

The 2018 elections around the corner. Looks like Russia will get away with meddling in the mid term elections. And no one seems to care enough to do something about it.

Hard to  understand.

Pads And Tampons And the Problem With Periods. The title of a bill before the Arizona Legislature. Up for a vote. One legislator sent it to committee. The legislative committee an all male one. Just the make up to deal with a female issue.

The problem arose because female prisoners were receiving only 12 thin pads a month to deal with menstruation. Apparently not enough. Especially for heavy flowers. Thicker pads and the addition of tampons required.

The cost measured at $80,000 a year. The bill introduced by a female legislator.

Women knocked the doors down to testify. Former inmates and not.

Their testimony fell on deaf ears. The bill died in committee.

The legislator who sent it to committee is receiving pads and tampons mailed to him at his home and office.

Interestingly, the Federal Bureau of Prisons was faced with the same problem last year. They dealt with it. A memo was issued compelling wardens to issue tampons, pads and panty liners at no cost to inmates.

Trump a deceptive person. Those around him become deceptive after a while. An example being Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen of many years and his handling of stripper Stormy Daniels claim of sexual harassment by Trump.

They allegedly had an affair of sorts several years before Trump’s election. She was going to go public with the information just before the election.

Daniels was paid $130,000 in settlement of any claims she might have had.

The question arises as to who paid Daniel’s the $130,000. Whose pocket did it come out of?

Cohen says he personally paid the money, not Trump. Daniels is silent. She is bound by a non-disclosure clause in the agreement evidencing the payment. If she speaks in any way, she has to return the $130,000.

It appears Cohen is covering Trump’s ass. In the meantime, he may have gotten his ass in a jam. One involving a violation of Campaign Finance Laws. Cohen’s payment could be considered an excess-in kind contribution.

Theodore Roosevelt is recognized as having been a tough guy. No wonder. Life molded him that way.

One of the formative events involved his wife and mother. Both died the same day. This day in 1884. His wife of a kidney ailment. His mother, typhoid fever.

Netanyahu and Trump are birds of a feather. Both thugs and bullies.

I have reported re Netanyahu’s possible arrest the past several months. Police recently advised they are recommending a corruption indictment against Netanyahu, including bribery. The claim is Israeli’s government has turned into a culture of corruption.

Not the Israel of yesteryear. Nor is Trump’s United States the same as before his election.

Enjoy your day! Kiss your wife, woman, partner!