NO POKER RUN ANGERS MERCHANTS

This past weekend was Poker Run. Along the Keys. Racing down U.S. 1. Ending some 25 miles north of Key West at Boondocks Restaurant.

Key West no longer a part of Poker Run.

Poker Run a charity fundraising event. Bikers from all over come to Key West. Most ship their bikes to Miami and then ride them down the Keys. Good people most. Actually doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs on a fun weekend. Many with their ladies perched behind them. Everyone attired Marlon Brando style.

Last year a problem arose. Two for real biker gangs came to town for the event. Bad guys. Each gang here to make claim to Key West as their turf. They came looking for trouble. A bloody fight ensued between them at a Greene Street bar.

Key West City fathers became concerned as a result. Set conditions for the Poker Run sponsor to meet. Conditions that would have obligated him personally for injuries and damages. He of course declined.

Marked the end of Poker Run in Key West.

Key West prepared for the onslaught of bikers in the event its refusal to have them was not recognized. Barricades and signs were placed the length of Duval where the bikers normally parked.

Now comes the anger. The Duval merchants. Clamoring over the loss of business. September slow. Some still hurting from Irma. Employees could use the extra money.

I do not condone the for real biker gangs. The bikers other than them were normal tourists, except for attire and mode of transportation.

Key West is changing, however. I am not sure I agree with the changes. Key West has its own flavors. Now, no nudity at Fantasy Fest, no Poker Run. We might very well be contributing to killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Sloan spent a couple of hours with me yesterday. Resolved the computer problem about 80 percent. Problems reoccurred last night, though to a lesser degree.

Orchid Bar my first stop last night. Victor bartending. Knew Kevin would be there.

Two couples from North Carolina seated next to us. They got out of Dodge. Escaped Florence. Glad they did. Their community flooded. No way to return. They will wait out the time in Key West enjoying themselves till it is safe to return.

A smart move. Reminded me of Irma and Birmingham.

Then to the Rum Bar. Friend Lauri bartending. Art and George at the bar. No Donna and Terri. Both home recovering from bronchitis and colds.

A problem. Everyone lip kisses Terri. Cannot be permitted. Donna and Terri agree. They are returning to Terri banging elbows with people.

Bocce season has returned. Teams competing three weeks already. Don’s Place tied for 5th place with a 6-3 record. Not bad.

I miss playing.

Ever hear of Herkimer, N.Y.? A little town 12 miles from my home town Utica. The scene of Revolutionary War battles.

Back then, Herkimer was known as German Flats.

It was this day 1778. The fight for freedom raging. Local Iroquois and Mohawk Indians were fighting on the side of the British. Mohawk Indian Chief and British loyalist leader Joseph Bryant led  a surprise attack on German Flats. He led a force of 150 Iroquois Indians and 300 British loyalists in the attack.

Fortunately, the settlers became aware just before the attack that it was coming. They escaped to safety at nearby forts.

The Indians and British loyalists set fire to German Flats. Destroyed 63 homes, 57 barns, 3 grist mills, and 1 saw mill.

The Herkimer of today is much like Key West. Except for the Duval/tourist section. People pleasant. Conservative. Smaller in population. The County seat. I tried many cases in Herkimer County Supreme Court.

I worry about U.S. involvement in Syria. I mentioned certain of my concerns yesterday. I continue today.

Iran is a testing ground re U.S./ Russia relations. Both nations are bumping heads. Putin on the side of Assad, together with Iran. Trump on the side of the rebels, being encouraged by Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The area of conflict known as Ibid. The last al-Qaeda stronghold in Syria. The rebels al-Qaeda.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard a Democrat from Hawaii. An Iraqi war veteran and a current Army reserve officer.

9/11 was last week. Two days following 9/11, the Congresswoman spoke on the floor of Congress. She called on Congress to condemn the Trump administration’s protection of the al-Qaeda in Ibid. She believes Trump’s policies are “a betrayal of the American people. Especially victims of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack.”

The Congresswoman wants military withdrawal and non-intervention in Syria. She claims Trump is seeking regime change.

Her position succinctly stated: Get out of Syria! Not our headache!

Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination hitting a few bumps in the road. The most recent the allegation of a Professor Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh tried to attack her sexually when they were high school students. Kavanaugh adamantly denies the charge.

I assume Ford will get her day before the Committee this week.

If true, an isolated incident? Are there more sex abuse situations during Kavanaugh’s life? My experience indicates if there are more, now is the time they will come out of the wood work.

Even if no others appear, consider if Ford is believed. Such makes Kavanaugh a liar. Combine that lie with others it appears he made during his hearings. A liar on the Supreme Court?

An interesting week ahead.

Dueling Bartenders tonight. Kevin will probably meet me. Holly is out of state visiting her mother.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

SYRACUSE BURIES FLORIDA STATE 30-7

My orange blood boiled yesterday. From excitement! Syracuse beat Florida State. Handily, 30-7.

Mighty Casey did not strike out!

Florida State had won the previous 11 encounters between the schools.

Was Syracuse that good or was Florida State that bad? A combination, I suspect. The test comes in future games. Next week Connecticut. A Syracuse victory. The following week, Clemson. Who knows. A real test.

Star quarterback Eric Dungey got hurt again. Second quarter. Freshman Tom DeVito went in. What a game DeVito played!

It is exciting that well played football is returning to Syracuse. It has been a long time. If my recollection is correct, the late 1990’s was the last time the team experienced golden years. Duncan McNabb’s time.

Spent my Saturday night at Blue Macaw. Enjoyed!

Met Jean Paul. A Hatian by birth. Came to the U.S. at 19. Now 61. Entertained last night. Played and sang.

Jean Paul multi-talented. A musician and artist. Showed me some of his paintings. Magnificent! Paints his homeland in vibrant colors. He has an outdoor gallery on Duval across the street from Hard Rock Cafe.

The story is told that when Jean Paul came to the U.S. at 19, the family settled in a flat in Brooklyn. Cold! Colder than that apparently. Jean Paul was accustomed to Haitian heat.

We talked long. I like Jean Paul. Sense we will be friends.

Andrea and Joe were at the bar. We sat together. Good people!

Paul was there again with his sister Laura and brother in law Dennis. They escaped Florence. They are from Myrtle Beach.

Laura a former first grade school teacher. Dennis retired from the Post Office.

Larry Baeder played later in the evening. I learned Larry is quite a giving man. Generous of his time. He works gratis teaching the young children at the Community Center music and how to play musical instruments.

I did a Publix stop on the way home. It was 9:50. Publix closes at 10. I moved my ass around fast enough to spend $70 and be out the door at 9:59. The third time I have done late late night shopping recently.

Florence ain’t going away! More and worse flooding for several days yet. Those who failed to leave now being rescued by first responders.

I hope everything works out as Trump projected. The number of people requiring assistance grows by day. I question whether there will be sufficient shelter, water and food. I question preparations for Florence’s arrival. There was sufficient time to be ready.

Trump enjoys twittering. As of this coming thursday, he will have a new toy. Referred to as the Presidential Alert System.

A law was authorized in 2015 establishing an Emergency Alert System. Using cell phones. Provides for immediate contact by the President warning of disasters.

The system is for Presidential use. The subject matter must relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, other man made disasters, or a threat to public safety.

A good idea. My concern is whether Trump will abuse the new system. Use it as he uses Twitter. Probably.

FEMA will test the new system next Thursday for the first time.

There are good people in the world. We do not hear of them enough. I came across one this morning while glancing through John Reinke’s Jasper Jottings.

Dennis Frandsen is a mid west successful banker.  His bank has 35 branches in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Luck Public School is located in Wisconsin. This year’s graduating class will number 34. Frandsen has guaranteed each graduate a free college education. He will pay tuition for at least 2 years at a technical college.

The U.S. and Russia are pushing at each other in Syria. Let me share one person’s thoughts.

Ian Welsh is a Canadian blogger I follow. He recently wrote Syria could be straining the already strained U.S./Russia relationship. Russia together with Iran support Assad. The U.S. supports the rebels.

Saber rattling going on. Rumors afloat that Assad plans to use chemical weapons against the rebels. Trump has clearly said the U.S. will retaliate if he does. Russia is pushing Assad.

Welsh thinks the U.S. could lose in a fighting conflict with Russia. The basis for his belief is that the U.S. has fallen behind re missiles and missile defense technology. I believe him correct that the U.S. is behind missile wise.

Welsh describes Trump’s position as follows: He is against getting into a war with Russia “but he seems to have become deranged about Syria’s Iran ties…..U.S. foreign policy…..is doing what Saudi Arabia and Israel want, not what is good for the U.S.”

Sloan coming at noon. A busy afternoon ahead.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEMA…..ARE YOU THERE?……ARE YOU DOING THE JOB?

I worry. Are we going to fall on our face once again when it comes to helping our own? Katrina a Bush failure. Puerto Rico Trump’s.

Florence here. Trump assured us he was ready. FEMA was ready. Both had enough time to get ready. We knew Florence was coming for days. We knew it was going to be a big one.

I am concerned that Trump fails to understand the magnitude of the Florence assistance required. We will know in a week.

FEMA puts out reports constantly. Bureaucratic bullshit. The official FEMA report published at 7 am September 14 spelled out in detail what was being done and would be done. The report was titled the Hurricane Florence Lifeline.

I hope everyone involved read it and are prepared to take on one of the largest natural disaster recoveries in U.S. history.

Last night the Chart Room. Quiet. John bartending. I wanted to say bon voyage and wish him well. He leaves sunday morning for a 10 day Jamaican vacation.

Mary was seated at the bar. I normally see her at Blue Macaw. Spent some time chatting with her. An intelligent woman.

Mary is a tour guide at The Little White House. I consider myself extremely knowledgeable re Harry Truman. Mary has me beat. I learned several new Truman things from her.

I left Mary at the Chart Room and headed over to Blue Macaw. Packed! No room at the bar! So I left.

It was Sandy’s Cafe for dinner. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee. The bill $5.03. Can’t beat it.

Home in bed before 9. A good boy was I.

The Tropic Cinema is Key West. Conceived, constructed and operated by locals. A life like statue of Marilyn Monroe sits in front of the theater. Her skirt blowing upwards from a subway vent beneath her feet.

Monroe laughing.

On this day in 1954, the “skirt” scene was filmed. The Tropic Cinema did well in capturing that moment for Key West.

The VIP Gentlemen’s Club is at the quiet far end of Duval. 1221 Duval. There has been some sort of “club’ there for years. Young ladies siting on the front porch enticing men as they walk by. Young ladies inside.

It appears to be a house of ill repute. I do not think so. More of a rip off place. Men pay a fee to get inside. Once heard $300. Any service by the girls extra. Paid for. Not provided. The ladies do not engage in that sort of thing.

Credit car bills occasionally have a 0 or 2 added on.

The police rarely get involved. They view the problems as contractual/civil rather than criminal.

The place should have been closed years ago. It is a taint on Duval and Key West. No better than the hustlers at the other end of Duval ripping off customers in perfume shops.

Yesterday, the police did get involved. Not for the normal problems, however. Ashley Barrett, age 26, is a “stripper” at the club. She apparently got drunk during the day. Threatened her coworkers first with a knife. Later in the day with an iron.

She was arrested.

Paul Manafort buried Trump yesterday with his plea. He flipped. All the way. Caused Humpty Dumpty to fall off the wall. Ended up with Manafort’s heel on Trump’s throat.

Donald Jr and Jared next. Then, the big one! Deservedly so. He has brought America to the brink of disaster in many ways. Possible shooting wars, the tariff wars, etc.

A pleasurable afternoon awaits. Syracuse/Florida State at noon. Florida State a 2 1/2 point favorite. Syracuse’s first real competition this season. I am excited. Hope Syracuse wins!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HEARTLESS

Normally, I begin with Key West activities and matters of interest. Then move on to political observations, etc.

This morning a couple of things are sufficiently bothering me that I am opening with them. Key West matters follow.

The law is the law. Sounds absolute. It is and is not. There are exceptions to every law. I know. I practiced law for 46 years.

A present day example involves blacks killed by police officers. In most instances appears to be murder. However indictment of police officers extremely rare. There is an exception to a murder charge where the police officer is the perpetrator. If the police officer believes he is in danger of death, he can shot  and kill with no legal liability.

A national disgrace occurred yesterday morning at the Orlando Airport. Alejandra Juarez was deported to Mexico. Alejandra is 39. Illegally entered the U.S. 20 years ago. Married Temo. Temo became a naturalized citizen before his first deployment to Iraq. He deployed 3 times to Iraq as a Marine.

They have 2 daughters. Pamela 16 and Estela 9.

Alejandra has no criminal record.

She duly reported to immigration each year. Never a problem. Permitted to remain. Till now.

As part of Trump’s zero tolerance program, she was deported. Leaving behind her husband and daughters.

Immigration laws are not absolute. Not all here illegally need be deported. There are exceptions. One is “parole in place.” It is discretionary. Permits the authorities to allow an illegal to remain. It is generally applied where the person is a spouse of one who has served in the military.

Alejandra applied 4 times for the parole in place exception. Four times denied.

Alejandra’s Congressman, together with several other Congresspersons, wrote a letter to the President asking that she be allowed to remain. No response.

Temo wrote a personal letter to the Trump explaining he had fought for his country 3 times in Iraq and asking that his wife be permitted to remain. To no avail.

Temo’s job requires traveling. Sixteen year old Pamela is remaining home to live with her father. Nine year old Estela will soon be following her mother to Mexico, however. She needs a mother’s attention. With Temo’s work schedule, such is not possible.

A shame. The story sick.

The dark side of the immigration crisis.

Trump proclaimed “zero tolerance.” Means to me all illegals return to where ever they came from. Not the case in practice.

Syracuse University on July 24 analyzed deportations under the zero tolerance policy. Concern existed especially because of the number of parents and children being separated.

The government is playing games.

In April, 8,298 illegals were apprehended. Zero tolerance came into being. In May, the  number jumped to 40,338. Thirty two percent of the 40,338 were prosecuted.

Here is where the chicanery comes into play. Prosecutorial discretion applies. The government selects those to be brought before a court and deported. Parents with children were singled out for prosecution. Understand clearly, parents with children to be deported swiftly. Illegals without children generally not referred for prosecution.

My point. The government practiced a policy whereby parents with children were selected for deportation. The administration wanted to show how tough it was and children made no difference.

The Trump administration succeeded. However now selective prosecution rears its head. Similar to no records re the children’s whereabouts. What more will we learn as time goes on?

A blot on the character of the United States. Disgraceful.

Is this who we are? What we have become?

One more story involving immigration.

Two male employees at Arizona Migrant Children Centers have been charged with sexual abuse. The facilities operated by Southwest Key Programs. Southwest Key has received $995 million since 2015 in federal contracts to provide shelter services to children in federal custody.

Two separate facilities involved in the sexual abuse matters.

At one, a male employee was discovered kissing and fondling a 14 year old girl. At another, an HIV positive worker was discovered to have gropped 6 teen age boys and having performed oral sex on 2 others.

Whether Alejandra’s story, zero tolerance pin pointing parents with children, or pedophilia situations being discovered, a new swamp has been created. A more dangerous one. To be drained or permitted to go on?

Last night a change of pace for me. Decided to go down to the waterfront. Schooner Wharf and Waterfront Brewery.

Schooner Wharf always fun. Packed with tourists last night. Spoke with an English couple. Both work with Parliament. First time in Key West.

Walked over to the Waterfront Brewery for a bite to eat. Sat at the bar and watched a replay of yesterday’s PGA tournament. Tiger Woods up there. Could win. I pull for the guy. He has paid his dues for any wrongdoing. He deserves a couple more times in the limelight as a winner.

I eat at the Brewery rarely. When I do, I order fish and chips. The fish outstanding. Large, crispy, and juicy.

Donna and Terri’s tonight for dinner. Donna cooking. She called this morning to ask if I liked scallops. Of course! Whatever she is preparing will include scallops.

Bear is 8 months old. In 10 days, he is scheduled to be neutered. Disgusting!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

WILKES-BARRE UNMENTIONABLES

Trump did another rally last night. In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Before rigid loyal supporters.

The media last night and this morning covered his rantings. The usual. In addition to media reports, I watched his entire talk during the late night when rerun on the internet.

Three important things omitted from the media coverage. The three items stuck out like a sore thumb when I watched Trump’s delivery in its entirety. Each cause for concern.

One had to do with children. Trump has been getting heaped upon for his separation policy re immigrants and their children. Last night, I saw a first. I suspect to portray to the nation Trump’s concern for children and their support of him.

In the group sitting immediately behind Trump as he talked were kids. Many. Interspersed throughout. Obviously there. Some sitting quietly, others waving signs. The cameras zeroing in on them.

A phony demonstration. However, one which puts the fear of God in me. Trump is authoritarian. Would like to be President forever. A dictator. Recall the Hitler Youth. Hitler started the organization in 1926. It grew more rapidly beginning in the mid 1930’s. Existed till 1945.

Is this a beginning? Is this part of an overall plan to get ’em while they’re young?

Sounds crazy. However with Trump, you never know.

The second item that struck me was his reference to NATO and his belief it only exists to protect Europe. A like…..who needs it thing. The suggestion being we are going to get out of NATO, European wars not our concern.

Reminded me of America First and the tenor of some in the late 1930’s in the U.S. The desire by many to have the U.S. stay out of European alliances and wars. The further desire the U.S. should remain an isolationist nation.

My sense of Trump was that he was telling us the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans would protect us. The same crazy talk pre World War II.

The oceans are meaningless protectors today. Kim and North Korea the most recent example. Our military experts advise North Korea has or soon will have missiles with nuclear warheads that can reach the U.S.

Russian submarines carrying missiles with nuclear warheads a similar problem. China has developed the capacity to fire missiles capable of reaching U.S. shores from the new islands it has created in Asian waters.

The third item involved Trump’s threat to shutdown the government if he does not get his wall funding. The question he raised was whether to shutdown before or after the midterms.

He bragged he was not afraid of politics. He might shutdown before.

He mentioned Russ Limbaugh and Sean Hannity supporting him in this regard.

God help us!

Last night, a Blue Macaw evening for me. Diane Millikan my guest. Diane helps me occasionally with research. She is a terrific researcher.

We were joined by Donna and Terri. They brought Elle, short for Eleanor. I never met Elle before. A lovely 37 year old from Argentina. Has been in Key West 10 years. Worked several of those years at Burrito with my friend Grant. Now works at the new sandwich shop in the small shopping center at the corner of Duval and Truman.

Different strokes for different folks. Each country has its own ways. Elle had long armpit hair. Uncovered and obvious. We discussed it. Her custom. The fashion in Argentina.

A little history. On this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus departed from Palos, Spain with the Santa Maria, Pinta and Nina. Nine weeks later on October 12, he and the ships would land in the Bahamas. Columbus thought China. Though unaware and more importantly, he had discovered the New World.

A new study supportive of those who drink alcohol. In moderation, of course. The study claims people who do not drink any alcohol are more likely to develop dementia by early old age. Teetotaling not recommended for the middle aged.

Moderation. What is moderation? One and a half bottles of wine per week.

That’s all? Fortunately, I do not drink wine.

Enjoy your day!

 

MR. PRESIDENT…..WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

I refer today for the first time to Trump as Mr. President. Not because he has achieved that recognition in my mind. Because for the first time he may be leaning that way.

My concern Syria.

The President has challenged Putin for the first time. Especially this morning. Recognizes Russia as a partner with the bad guys in Syria and bearing responsibility for the gasings.

The President said he was going to do something re the chemical attack. That was over the weekend. All recognized time was of the essence. If there was to be retaliation, it had to be immediate. Don’t give Putin and others time to move their war machinery around, get ready for a military hit, etc.

The President screwed up. It is now wednesday. The too long a time has passed. Putin however kept it alive with his tweet that he and his friends had the where with all to knock down any missiles the US might shoot.

An added concern is that the US has at least 2 Naval vessels in the area that are subject to retaliatory missiles.

I believe we have no choice but to go for it. Destroy something big time in Syria. Take the gamble with Putin. He has thrown down the gauntlet. The US cannot do what Obama did. Nothing.

Note that Russia is in bad shape. Their economy is way down. The ruble fell again last week. Putin cannot afford an all out war.

I further believe if Putin sees the US is serious, he will back off on the rhetoric and find a way to quiet the confrontation. He has done such in the past.

I criticize the time it has taken with no reaction yet by the US. Where is our planning? Where have the CIA and military been? Plans should have already been prepared and held in abeyance till needed.

An obvious failure in Washington in protecting the US. This fault may include the Obama administration.

Yesterday, my first book signing. Sold ten books in 3 hours. Not disappointed. Did not think prior to the signing I would sell one.

More experienced authors Reef Perkins and Robert Coburn participated also. I doubt they sold more than 10 books each.

The problem was no one came. We were alone for 3 hours in the hot boiling Key West summer sun.

Ross Pipkin was part of the program. Ross does voice overs for books. He did a reading. Interesting and humorous.

I thank good friends Kate Miano and Lynda Frechette for attending. A Jane who I never met before.

Towards the end of the 3 hours, Bob and Stevie from the Chicago area arrived. We had never met before. They came especially to buy my book. Bob and Stevie are loyal readers of this blog.

They leave today for home. Hopefully, we will meet next year when they return. We agreed on the Chart Room.

My favorite female bartender Nicolle showed up with her partner Dara. Nicolle works at Antonia’s. She did not buy a book. Did not have to. She had already purchased a copy through Amazon. She brought the book in for signing. My pleasure!

The book signing was at the Andrews Inn. Michael and Albena new owners. Eight months. Albena from Belgium. The Inn was run down when purchased. They have fixed the place up. Irma interrupted and added to the renovations.

The Inn is lovely. Tiny adding to its quaintness.

Michael noticed the crowd was sparse. Actually, non-existent at one point. He showed ingenuity. Went out on the street and dragged about 20 tourists in. Induced them with the free food and drink. A smart guy. The Inn cannot fail.

The book signing was a charity fund raiser. Titled the Bow-Wow Meow Book Signing. A fundraiser for the SPCA. Help the dogs and cats.

Not much help yesterday. I feel guilty. I plan on sending a check.

I enjoyed doing my podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A mix of topics. Key West, Anchorage, and a little Trump. I try to include topics about what is going on involving persons other than Trump. He is available enough on the media.

The weather continues to be hot. Summer definitely here. Eighty six yesterday. And humid! Will be the same today.

Very likable and talented artist Jon “Tosh” McIntosh died last month. A memorial service will be held this saturday at 3:30 at St. Paul’s Church.

Sons and Daughters of Italy meeting tonight.

I was doing a Key West Lou Live video every day til about 2 months ago. Louis ranting and raving about some issue for a few minutes.

Renewed the show this morning. It is revived! Look for it daily on Facebook.

Enjoy your day!

 

KEY WEST AREA BORDELLOS BACK WHEN

The Key West area had its share of houses of prostitution back in the late 1940’s into the 1950’s. Going back 300 years, also. And since the 1950’s.

An age old business. Its roots traced to Biblical times. However, my house of ill repute comments are limited to the late 1940’s, early 1950’s time frame.

Today, a significant one in local prostitution history. On this day in 1953, Mom’s Tea Room on Stock Island was closed. A popular place. Open 11 years.

A forced closing.

The US Navy was upset its men were big time customers of Mom’s. Not that anything bad happened to them while they were enjoying Mom’s ladies. The Navy merely felt it was morally improper and leaned on local officials to close Mom’s down.

Mom’s was a local example of white slavery in operation. Mom was from Georgia. Her husband would travel to Georgia and abduct young Georgian ladies. Returned them to Mom’s to become working girls.

Mom and her husband felt this was not abuse since they made sure the girls were at least 17 years old.

There was another brothel on Stock Island at the time. Big Anne’s. However, I know nothing more about it than it existed.

Key West itself had many whore houses. Two on Petronia Street.

The Square Roof. White ladies available.

Another whose name I have not been able to determine. It provided primarily black women.

Sex was cheap in those days. Generally, $2. Not shocking when you consider a loaf of bread cost 2 cents and a gallon of gas 15 cents.

Between getting the blog out and working 3 hours with Sloan yesterday, I was wiped out. Decided to stay home. Never made it to Hot Dog Church or the Gardens.

Laid around watching the Masters.  Outstanding! Several could have won. One did. The leader for most of the day, Patrick Reed. He hung on to win by one stroke. A “dogfight” as he described it afterwards.

Big event later today. From 4-7. At the Grand Vin at 1107 Duval. A fundraiser for Commission candidate Mary Lou Hoover.

My candidate. A deserving person who based on prior performance will do much to help Key West.

The event is a Best BBQ Chef competition. Donation $20 and eat all the barbecue you can consume!

Trump and California Gov. Jerry Brown have been engaged in an ongoing battle re sanctuary cities. Brown recently used his Governor powers to pardon 5 convicts facing deportation because of their illegal status.

Well done, Jerry Brown! Trump had to be disturbed.

This day again one of significance. Sad historical significance. On this day in 1942, the US surrendered Bataan to Japan. Twelve thousand Americans and 66,000 Filipinos. Followed immediately by the Bataan Death March where many died.

We are engaged in another type war today with Japan. A tariff war. Tariff wars can lead to fighting wars. Recall that the primary reason the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor was the oil embargo imposed on Japan by the Roosevelt administration.

Roosevelt’s message to Japan was simple. Get out of China and we will withdraw the oil embargo.

China was not to be insulted by such terms. The result was Pearl Harbor.

War is all around us. Assad it is claimed chemically attacked his people again. A little town called Douma outside Damascus. Films of the event sickening. Gas bombing has been a no no for all nations since World War I.

Assad does not care. He has done it several times. Russia and Iran who support Assad do not seem to care. In fact, Putin does not believe it occurred. He wants proof.

TV film not enough for him. It can be rigged.

Trump said yesterday that Assad would have a “big price to pay.” He has drawn a line in the sand. He must do something. Otherwise Russia, Iran and North Korea will not believe we will do anything to them at any time regardless of what they do.

There cannot be another Obama situation. Recall after an Assad gas bombing, he “drew a line in the sand.” The next time it happened, Obama failed to follow up. He did nothing.

Trump should immediately get a few other nations on board. France has already indicated it will cooperate. Such must be done this week.

The retaliation must not be equal to, but rather even more harsh than merely gassing a population. What, I do not know. Outside my pay grade. But again must be severe. Like taking out every Syrian industrial area, bomb Assad’s quarters, etc.

I doubt Putin would get involved. At this point, he is all mouth. His military forces are old and lacking. He does have nuclear bombs, however.

Whatever, Putin cannot go to war with anyone with out China as a partner. China is not stupid. It is not in China’s best interest to engage in a fighting war with the US at this time. China believes it can beat us economically.

Tomorrow, a big day for Louis and Irma and Me. Our first book signing. From noon to 3. At Andrews Inn at Zero Whalton Lane. Come visit. My sense is it will be fun.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

JOHN HERSEY…..TALES OF KEY WEST

Noted writer John Hersey spent his winters in Key West and summers in Martha’s Vineyard.

He was born in Tientsin, China. His parents Protestant ministers. Hershey spoke Chinese before English. He died in Key West March 23, 1993.

Hersey’s notable works include A Bell for Adano, Hiroshima, and Tales of Key West. It is Tales of Key West I wish to momentarily dwell on.

Tales was written in Hersey’s later years. He had seen and lived Key West first hand. Notable Tales include those of a man dying of AIDS trying to maintain his respectability, fake crime reports, and John James Audubon shooting staggering numbers of birds for the fun of it.

The item re the birds surprised me.

Summer is sneaking in. The seasons change dramatically in Key West. No slow slide. One or two days and the next season is here.

Key West springs always short. The temperatures the past few days indicative of summer’s arrival. Today, the high 83 and the low 76.

It is not the temperature so much. It is the humidity. I have felt it the past two days. Things get sticky. Your body warmer than it has been. Clothes uncomfortable. You’re sweating once again.

Publix at 9 yesterday morning. The cupboard bare again. Needed food desperately. No dinner the night before.

Saturday at 9 am a good time to shop Publix. No one there. Spent $100 and hurried home. Food getting more and more expensive. I do not know how families do it.

I had to complete yesterday’s blog. Researched the material before leaving for Publix. Did the actual writing upon returning.

I was Catherine’s guest for Happy Hour at Martin’s. A charming time. A few drinks. Followed by lamb chops and baked brie.

First part of today busy. Sloan at noon. I have to get back into a more disciplined work schedule. Completing Growing Up Italian on the agenda. Next week, I will begin writing the Key West Lou Commentary once a week for KONK Life. I have let Key West Lou Live slide. Have to get it back in the game.

Not difficult if my time is properly organized. We shall see.

Later this afternoon, I plan on spending some time at Kate Miano’s Gardens. Always a pleasant way to finish the weekend.

There was a fire yesterday on the 50th floor of Trump Towers. One dead, six firefighters injured.

The President’s personal home and offices are higher up on the top two floors.

This is the second fire this year in Trump Towers.

No sprinkler system! Can you imagine living or buying an apartment that high without a sprinkler system!

Sprinkler systems were not part of the New York City Building Code in 1984 when Trump Towers was built. The sprinkler system requirement did not become mandatory in new construction till sometime in the late 1990’s. Trump opposed it.

Scary living. Especially after having seen Towering Inferno a couple of nights ago for probably the 20th time.

Scott Pruitt is part of the swamp Trump promised to eliminate if elected. Instead he brought the likes of Pruitt and other scum to Washington.

For Pruitt’s misdeeds to date, he should be fired. Trump is not firing him. Instead, he praised him yesterday.

There has to be a reason why.

I suspect it is because Pruitt is an attorney and former Attorney General of Oklahoma.

Trump would like to get rid of Mueller. Sessions cannot do it because he recused himself. Rothstein does not appear willing to do it. Firing two Justice Department heads in one day would not look good.

I see the battle plan as follows. Trump fires Sessions. Replaces him with Pruitt. Since Pruitt has already been approved by the Senate for a cabinet position (EPA head), he does not need Senate approval to be Attorney General for seven months. He can serve on an interim appointment. In that time, he would fire Mueller.

Brilliant! Lousy! The stench will be overwhelming.

I am sick and tired of hearing Trump say ISIS has been defeated in Syria. Trump said he wanted to get out. Now his words are that ISIS is almost defeated and we’ll get out in several months.

ISIS is not defeated! They are hiding in their homes, mountains and caves waiting for the US to leave. Then, ISIS will return. The American lives lost for naught.

Another Syria problem is the US is there basically in opposition to Russia and Iran. In a friendly sort of way. Even Trump does not agree with the Russia-Iran position. However he avoids direct confrontation.

The US will be in Syria for years. You invade a country, you send troops in to help, you have bought the country for years.

The worst. Syria chemically attacked its people again yesterday. View the videos on TV. Men, women and children, alive or dying, foaming from their noses and mouths.

Syria is turning into another Vietnam time wise. As have several other Middle East countries. Afghanistan one. Quagmires. We get stuck in these places.

We go in, but never know how to get out.

Tuesday coming. My first book signing. Irma and Me. Andrews Inn at Zero Whalton Lane. Noon to 3. Three other authors signing, also. Someone doing a reading. Refreshments. Should be fun.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK

Tombstones tell wonderful stories. History imprinted forever. Especially on Key West head stones.

The one that has always intrigued me, interested me the most, says…..I Told You I Was Sick.

This saturday, the Key West Cemetery is providing 3 guided tours. Ninety minutes each. Do yourself a favor, go. Reservations required.

Spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon working on Growing Up Italian.

Last night, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Friends galore.

Don and Chris in from Syracuse. They are getting married saturday at the Hyatt. Celebration time! I am invited. I am honored. Only 45 people. Three from Korea. His business partners.

Chris radiant. Always. This time a little more so.

Tom and Fran Dixon in from Buffalo. Only for 3 days. Leave wednesday morning.

Fran mothers me. Takes good care of me. Normally, she brings frozen containers of sauce with meatballs, sausage and pork. This time not frozen. Three canning jars full. No meatballs. She is aware I am on Atkins and did not want to submit me to bread crumbs.

The two couples Syracuse fans. We text each other during games. The object of our conversations last night Syracuse’s success thus far in the NCAA tournament. Exciting!

Lovely Liz at the bar. Met a family from somewhere. Two were Hamilton College grads. Actually, one Hamilton and one Kirkland. Kirkland the ladies part.

Nice people. A couple of interesting Hamilton exchanges.

Key West has been knocked down, destroyed, etc. many times over the years. Hurricanes a problem. In the early years, fires. Building codes either non existent or not as good as today.

On this day in 1923, an unoccupied cigar factory on the corner of White and Newton burned down. The fire spread. Forty three homes were destroyed. Forty families left homeless.

Show of shows tonight! My podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick and exciting half hour. Join me as I share my opinionated thoughts. About everything from a Key West problem to our national problem Donald Trump. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I consider New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Presidential timber. I am impressed how he has run New York State. Free tuition at 4 year State colleges, legalized same sex marriage, enacted gun control legislation. He balanced the budget on time during his first year for the first time in many years. Every area of the State has experienced significant development.

A negative is one of his aides was recently convicted of taking a $300,000 kickback. Cuomo was not involved.

It was announced this week Cuomo has primary opposition in his race for reelection.

Recall the movie Sex and the City. One of the four ladies was Cynthia Nixon. She is running a primary against Cuomo. One of her platform items corruption in his administration. I question the validity of the charge as it may personally involves him in any respect.

She has a list of other items. All sound good. Nixon has been active in New York City politics for years. Her other items appear to be New York City needs.

Not enough. There is upstate New York, also. The forgotten relative. Most Governors pay little attention to upstate New York. Cuomo has not. He is responsible for massive development upstate.

If Nixon wishes to succeed, she will have to come out with a for real program for the upstaters.

Trump on a high. Reminds me of a dog after he has done his business. Joyfully bounds around.

Why? He fired Andrew McCabe. News reports suggest he has become emboldened as a result. Accomplished a big thing from his perspective. Can do anything. Knows how to do everything. Does not need the advice of others.

His legal team a spot where he is spreading his wings. Apparently paying less attention to them. He has brought on another attorney. Joseph diGenova.

diGenova many years ago a U.S. Attorney. Today, a Washington attorney who frequently appears on FOX. He has been a part of the FOX group going back 20 or more years.

As does Trump, knows everything. Labeled Comey the “dirtiest cop in America.” Claims Comey destroyed the FBI’s reputation. Believes the Justice Department and Mueller are trying to frame Trump.

Washington attorneys describe him as a “wild card.” A qualification to represent Trump. They are birds of a feather.

Trump has brought  diGenova on board I assume based on diGenova’s appearances and statements made on FOX. Such do not qualify diGenova as the man for Trump. He does not need a TV star. He requires the very best attorney qualified in the areas Mueller is investigating.

My other area of concern is that Trump is apparently now running the legal show. He is not aware of one of the first axioms learned in law school: A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. I adjust it a bit to read…..A person who represents himself is a fool.

A person under investigation lives or dies by his attorney’s judgments, not his own.

Enjoy your day!

TONIGHT…..KATE MIANO FOR MAYOR KICKOFF CAMPAIGN PARTY

The day has arrived. Kate Miano candidate for Key West Mayor. Her campaign kickoff party. Six tonight at The Gardens. Friends, music, food and drink. Everyone come!

People are asking why I support her. Simple. I know her, her character, her business acumen, her concern for others. She is the best of the best. Key West has long been waiting for the type of political leader Kate would make.

See you at the Gardens tonight!

Busy day yesterday. Haircut and manicure. Lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee.

Last night, the Chart Room and Tavern ‘n Town.

Kevin was there as I had anticipated. I have not seen him in a few months. Kevin had the misfortune of a scooter accident. All kinds of bad injuries. Twenty four days in intensive care.

He is on the mend. Still a way to go.

Looked good. Lost a lot of weight. One shoulder lower and smaller than the other. His face shiny from the several plastic surgery operations. Several pins in various parts of his body. Appeared a bit tired. Anxious to be on the move, however. He was planning an afternoon bocce party for several of us.

His wife Holly sitting next to him. His pillar, his strength. A strong woman.

Hunger befell me. Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. My protein meal. A prime rib. Nothing else. No veggies, etc. Sounds strange, but has been working. Twenty pounds lost so far.

We are experiencing a cold spell. When cold up north, cold in Key West. Sixty one degrees last night.

My air conditioning/heating unit went on the blink yesterday. Going to be completely replaced inside and out. New unit not available till wednesday.

I froze last night. Even under a thick quilt. Will be cold tonight also. The day and evening in the 60’s. Kate’s party will be cold. Long pants and a leather jacket for me.

School attacks always occur somewhere else. You rarely think of them happening at a place you know or where you are.

My home town is Utica. In the heart of central New York. Home of Utica College. Utica College the home of two terroristic threats. One monday, one tuesday. No shooting or bombing. Telephone threats. Violence threatened. Taken by administration and police as “a real credible threat.” Everyone asked to shelter in place.

The perpetrator arrested the second day. A senior student. Twenty three year old Fahriedin Omerovic. He will do time, a long time.

Omerovic used a cell phone app that prevented his identity being discovered. The police a step smarter. They used something that was able to determine who was making the calls.

Trump spoke at a rally on December 1, 2016 in Cincinnati. His words: “We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks. Our goal is stability, not chaos…..”

Trump’s Budget Funding Request for 2019 has been submitted. He seeks Congressional funding for a 60,000 man army to defeat ISIS in Syria.

Strange. Trump claims the U.S. has defeated ISIS in Syria. He tells us every other day. Considers it one of his major accomplishments.

Experts say the money is not being requested to defeat ISIS. They are already beat. It is to overthrow Assad.

That my friends is regime change. Something he said he would not do. It is also going to pit us head to head against Russia who has been supporting Assad.

I sometimes think Trump wants to be a war President.

Robots should have been a part of the steel conversation. Never mentioned. Trump’s concern for those who lost their jobs because of foreign competition. The unfair balance of trade.

Not quite correct. The two  not really related.

Thirty years ago, the steel industry employed 188,000. Today, 86,000.

One problem, however. No one seems to look at realities. A significant one: The United States produces as much steel today as it did 30 years ago. And does it with less than half the employees of 30 years ago “primarily because of technological advances – or, to oversimplify, robots.” So wrote Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell recently. She further wrote: “Don’t blame China and bad trade deals, Mr. President – blame the robots.”

Remember, The Gardens tonight for Kate’s party!

Enjoy your day!