STANDING ROCK…..TROJAN HORSE

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!

It was announced last night that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had put a hold on the Standing Rock problem. The Corps was going to review the permits and that at this time there was no easement for the pipeline company to proceed.

Sounds like a victory for the Native Americans. The Native Americans 2,000 strong and U.S. military veterans were prepared to confront the Corps and pipeline people in events planned by the Corps for today.

The confrontation avoided.

What happens when the Corps changes its mind or completes this review with a favorable pipeline ruling? The Native Americans will have left the site. The veterans will have gone home.  It will probably be too late to stop the pipeline construction.

I worry the Native American victory is a hollow one. Trump has already indicated he favors the pipeline.

It has been reported that Trump owns stock in the pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners. If so, will the stock be sold prior to his taking office? Will Trump enter into a blind trust as his modern predecessors have?

The Key West City Commission is doing it again! Screwing things up! The move is underway to increase public parking by $1 an hour. Raise an additional $1 million plus a year.

The real reason given is to help relieve the parking problem. It is thought the $1 increase will discourage people from driving their vehicles downtown.

I park in the public lot behind Antonia’s. At least 4 days a week, I am in town twice a day. Once in morning and then again in the evening. I live 2.5 miles outside Key West. About 7 miles from downtown Key West.

Without getting into the numbers, accept that it will cost me a minimum of $54 a week to park. The charge $3 per hour. When I am downtown, I spend money in Key West establishments. Mucho dinero. Most of the restaurants I favor are on the high end. I am a good Key West customer.

Some might say if you can afford to enjoy Key West in some what of a spendthrift fashion, you should not complain. I do complain. I do not like being had.

This $1 parking raise will be finally determined by the same City Commission that is presently considering the reduction of South Roosevelt Boulevard from 4 to 2 lanes. The reason to reduce vehicular traffic, plan for additional parking, give the bikers space, etc. Not the solution. In fact, a plan for change where change not required.

Big week fun wise! December always a month with fun things to do.

Three biggies. One wednesday evening. The Lighted Bike Ride. A couple of thousand people dressed Xmas style riding on bikes similarly attired.

Also, Joyce Stahl’s Nutcracker. Now a Key West tradition. Runs one week beginning saturday December 10.

Saturday evening will also find boats lite up like Christmas trees. On Gulf waters opposite Schooner Wharf. The Lighted Boat Parade.

Today a significant one in American history. Prohibition repealed in 1933.

Prohibition did not succeed. Obviously. It brought increased drinking, packed jails, and increased crime. Similar to the drug situation in the U.S. today.

History has taught us nothing. Yes, several states have legalized marijuana use for recreational or medical use. Not enough. Lets take the bull by the horns and blanketly correct the situation.

Syracuse/Connecticut tomorrow night. Two former Big East foes meeting in Madison Square Garden.

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi defeated in a referendum yesterday. He resigns today.

My friend Anna is politically knowledgeable. Her former husband, now deceased, was a federal senator for years. Then served in the Prime Minister’s cabinet for two terms. Responsible for transportation.

Renzi was only elected last year. From day one, Anna was writing telling me what a disaster he was and would be. She was correct. I received an e-mail from Anna this morning. She wrote: “We won!!!” Renzi the “Obama friend is going to pack and going home!!!”

Renzi’s opposition received 60 percent of the vote.

Renzi was in the U.S. a few months ago. He received a State dinner. Anna was incensed. Felt he did not deserve it, Obama did not know what he was doing.

Dinner tonight with Herschel and Erika. Don’s wife Stephanie is out of town. Don is joining us.

Enjoy your day!

LIMELIGHT FOR SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

It happens. Periodically the quiet of campus life becomes a national news item. Syracuse experiences two this weekend.

Syracuse played football against Connecticut yesterday. Won! 31-24.

For Syracuse, it is a new team and new coach. Both are doing well, but not there yet. The coach appears great. Throwing the ball. Syracuse’s quarterback excellent. He has two rather than one top notch receivers.

The problem as I see it is the team’s lacks consistency. They were 14-o at the end of the first quarter. Halftime it was 17-14. Last week, Syracuse was 17-0 at the end of the first quarter. Lost decisively.

The key is to play hard 60 minutes. Hard to do. Must be done however if Syracuse is to be a top team.

Syracuse now 2-2.

That was the good. Now for the bad.

Kenneth Kavajecz is Dean of the School of Management. Big job! Was paid $496,449 last year.

Today, he is on administrative leave.

Last week he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. A 3rd degree misdemeanor. No big deal for most. The lowest level crime. Many would be allowed to plead to an infraction and walk away.

The Sheriff’s Department was operating a sting. The Dean got caught.

I feel sorry for the Dean. I know what he did is legally wrong. Note however we live in a time when most of the campus is screwing each other, some members of the faculty playing around. Society itself is sexually free. Sex is all over the place. TV and the movies.

I feel sorry for the Dean. He even went to a suburban town Salina rather than seek a prostitute in Syracuse. Syracuse is a metropolitan community. There are enough hookers in Syracuse that he did not have to travel.

I recently wrote that within 10 years, prostitution will be legal in the United States. I stand by that prediction. The reason is that the government will be able to tax the sex industry. Big dollars involved. Germany has been doing it for years and making a bundle.

Sloan stopped over in the afternoon. We had a few minor glitches in something new I am working on. Close to being resolved.

Sloan leaves for a two week European trip thursday. Backpacking. Alone. Ireland, England and Scotland. She is going to have a ball!

I had a sneezing jag yesterday afternoon. For an hour. One sneeze after another. Thought I was coming down with a head cold. I cannot recall the last time I had a cold.

After one hour, it stopped as swiftly as it had begun. No cold. Must have been something I was temporarily allergic to in the house.

I rarely read a book when published. Do not know why. Orange Is The New Black was published 2010. I started reading it yesterday afternoon.

Pro football watching this afternoon at Don’s Place. It will be the first time for me this season.

Enjoy your Sunday!

A CHARMING DINNER COMPANION

I made a new friend a couple of weeks ago. Lizabeth Moody. We had dinner together for the first time last night. The bar at Berlin’s.

Liz is an exceptional person. At 82, mentally sharp.

Liz’s life is one of dedication and success in the field of law.  A Yale Law honor graduate, person to score highest on her bar examination, Dean of two law schools, Cleveland State and Stetson, a good friend of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, active in the highest levels of the American Bar Association, first woman President of the Cleveland Bar Association, and on and on.

A lover of Key West, also. She and her husband purchased their Key West home in 1981. Her husband now gone.

Liz was President and CEO of the LSAT operation. The organization that runs the examination that dictates whether you are qualified to be accepted in law school. During her time with LSAT, she worked arm in arm with Craig Christensen. Craig was Dean at Syracuse Law when I was Chairman of the Board.

Intellectually superior. When studying several weeks taking a cram course for the bar examination, she and a girl friend slept late, played 18 holes of golf and attended a 4 hour lecture in the evening. Every day. Liz scored the highest of all taking the bar examination. A feat!

I contrast her bar exam cram course experience with mine. Did the same 4 hour lecture in the evening. Out at midnight. Studied till 2. Up at 7. Studied all day. For six weeks. Only one day off. The Fourth of July.

I was happy to pass. Liz was happy to be first.

Liz Moody, a star in the legal profession.

We chatted and laughed over  a few drinks. Each of us had a 2 pound Maine lobster.

A great evening!

Yesterday, a manicure with Tammy, the Key West Aloe Store for after shave gel (Men: I have been using it 20 years. Absolutely the best.), and stopped to look at the former Sq.1 now the Ocean Grill & Bar.

The Charlotte videos confuse me. There is something we are not being shown.

Early yesterday morning, I saw a video on TV of a police officer wearing a red shirt bend over and drop a gun on the road. In the same place in an earlier video where the gun did not appear.

The video has never been shown again. All day yesterday into this morning.

We seem to have a negative impression of protestors who cause property damage. Destruction of property appears to make a protest illegitimate.

Recall the 1773 Boston Tea Party. Property damage big time. I guess one’s conclusion is based on which side he or she is on.

As with the Boston Tea Party, you must admit it got the Brits to pay attention. Not enough, however. A war was still required.

The blacks want to be heard. The problem ended. The protestors are doing whatever it takes to get the nation’s attention riveted to the problem.

The Civil War ended 150 years ago. The problem still exists.

Trump talks about building a wall. Not a new concept. I am not referring to the Great Chinese Wall.

France and Great Britain are experiencing the immigration problem big time. Black Muslims are coming out of Africa into France. From France, the route for many is to Great Britain.

All kinds of issues. One, whether the immigrants be searched/vetted in France or Great Britain?

France and Great Britain got together. Decided to build a wall at the Port of Calais. Sixteen feet high. Coils of razor wire running along the top. Cost was $29 million. The two countries split it.

Great Britain out foxed France in one respect. The immigrants would be searched/vetted on the French side by the French. Turned out to be cumbersome and costly. Britain has agreed to pay France $20 million a year to do the job.

I suspect I have gotten Diane Millikan involved in my William Hackley comments. Diane has begun digging behind what is written. Good show!

Her present search involves the Kate mentioned in today’s diary. Hackley paid William Randolph $8 for her services. Diane suspects Kate was a black slave owned by Randolph and rented to Hackley.

Lets see what she comes up with.

Syracuse/Connecticut at 1. Connecticut a 3 point favorite. Just maybe Syracuse will win this one.

Enjoy your day!

NATHAN HALE

Nathan Hale. An American Revolutionary War hero.

Hale was 21. A Yale graduate. Then school teacher. Joined the Connecticut regiment to fight in the War. Appointed a captain.

New York City was occupied by the British. The colonists needed a spy to enter New York City ascertain British troop size and location. Hale volunteered.

He spent several days in New York carrying out his responsibility. The British were not stupid. They knew there was a spy in their midst. They were closing in on Hale. Finally, captured him.

British General Howe himself said to Hale that he would be hung in the morning. No trial. Not that one would have helped much.

As Hale was being led to the gallows, it is claimed he uttered the famous words…..”I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Historians question whether Hale uttered the words. Written documentation lacking.

Another reason is that there is an early 1700’s poem containing similar wording.

Whatever, it is good for us to believe Hale so spoke.

Harpoon Harry’s for lunch yesterday. My usual. Ham and eggs and fries. Then a walk along the waterfront.

A mid afternoon visit to the dentist. Dr. George Linder. Nothing wrong. A routine yearly visit to check my implants. A thorough examination of the entire mouth. Well worth the visit.

Last night for cocktails at Aqua’s Back Door. Mark Watson bartending. He bartends every wednesday night. That is why I go.

I was there quite a while. A number of people I knew came in. Good company all! Donna and Terri. Zoey. Zoey’s real name is Zorica. She is a native of Macedonia. Manages Aqua’s liquor and cigarette store attached to Aqua.

Jimmy Olson and Jimmy back from New Hampshire.

A lady named Lisa.

Big day for Donna! A bit tired also. First day at work. She can be found three days a week at the Butterfly Conservatory.

The cosmetic stores on Duval continue to be involved in fraud and chicanery. I do not understand why the City/Codes does not close them down.

The most recent incident involves a 70 year old tourist. She purchased a few items. Not much. When she received her credit card statement in the mail, the charge was in excess of $5,000. The matter has been reported and the police are investigating.

Citizen activity is growing in Key West. A vigilante approach in some instances.

Re the cosmetic shops, The Key West Rip Off Response Team. They have picketed some of these establishments in the past. They too are looking into the $5,000 over billing.

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice tells the story of a Georgia free range chicken farm where bald eagles are eating up the profits.

Some 15 years ago, I was sitting outside the old Paradise Cafe enjoying Cuban toast and coffee. A mother hen with 5 little chicks were walking by. The chicks in an orderly line.

All of a sudden, I heard a loud swoosh. I looked up. There were two hawks carrying off two of the chicks. The mother hen and three remaining chicks moved on as if nothing happened.

I do not know the difference between a bald eagle or hawk or any similar bird. The two I saw might very well have been bald eagles.

Homeschooling is big in Florida. The Key West Art & Historical Society has announced a new program to support homeschoolers. Two hours a month. To add/supplement to what  is being taught at home.

If anyone is interested, the Custom House’s Director of Education Adele Williams should be contacted.

Syracuse/Connecticut saturday. Connecticut a 5 point favorite. Time to win another one!

Enjoy your day!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Happy Thanksgiving one and all! May God’s blessings fall upon each of you.

Love thanksgiving! Love the meal! Love the family time!

Last year, I was dieting. Did not partake of much that covered the table. This year, not dieting. I plan on pigging out.

What I am about to share will blow your mind.

The Pilgrims and Indians did get together for three days in 1621. Did they dine or fight? Historians not sure.

What is sure is that following the first years of Plymouth settlement, the settlers and Indians were at each other’s throats. More the settlers than the Indians. They did not get along. Money initially the problem. Who owned the land? The settlers thought it was theirs. The Indians disagreed.

Massacres became common place. The settlers massacring the Indians. In large numbers. In 1637 near Groton, Connecticut, the settlers massacred 700 Pequot tribe members. Men, women and children. In one morning. Clubbed and shot them to death. Few Pequots escaped.

As a side note, the Pequot tribe today owns Foxland Casino and Hotel in Connecticut. Larger than the Pentagon, the facility generates from gambling alone billions a year.

Settlers/colonists continued raiding Indian villages and killing the occupants for well over a hundred years. Slavery was in vogue. Women and children over 14 were herded into slave boats carrying 500 and transported to the West Indies where they were sold.

At one time, Indians were captured and beheaded. Shades of ISIS. Our predecessors did it! In a Stamford massacre, the heads were kicked up and down streets as if soccer balls.

In 1779, George Washington as head of the Colonial forces ordered a General Sullivan to eradicate the Iroquois Nation. The Iroquois had supported the British. They were a thorn in Washington’s side. Eradicate meant kill. Thousands were. The Colonial troops scalped the dead bodies. The scalps were later sold for profit.

Following every Indian massacre, the settlers/colonists would party. The party was one of Thanksgiving because they had won. Such Thanksgivings were common  place.

When Washington became President, he thought there were too many Thanksgivings. Such did not reflect well on the new country. Ergo, Washington declared there would be one Thanksgiving Day a year. The excuse given was to celebrate the new Constitution. In reality, to cut back dramatically on the number of Thanksgivings being celebrated because of the Indian genocide.

Syracuse playing basketball in the Bahamas tournament. Beat Charlotte yesterday 83-70. Syracuse looked good most of the game. They faltered on occasion in the second half which made the game closer than it actuality was.

Today, Syracuse plays Connecticut. A former Big East opponent. Syracuse’s first test of the new season. Game at 3:30 this afternoon on ESPN.

Key West pisses money away. The City Commission authorizes all kinds of mucho expensive studies and generally pays more than expected for everything they do.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reports the City will be spending $754,000 on furniture. New furniture for the new City Hall. A disgrace! A waste! None of the old furniture to be used, Regardless of condition. The $754,000 figure excessive. The sellers have to be making big commissions and profit.

When will the City Commission begin spending taxpayer dollars as if such were their own money?

Eat much! Enjoy the day!