ESPRESSO MARTINI

Espresso Martinis were popular in the Key West of the late 1990’s. Locals and tourists alike imbibing. Even me.

Not consumed as much these days. I hear the drink rarely ordered. Till last night.

I was at Berlin’s waiting for Jean Thornton to join me for dinner. Two couples came in. They were a party of 20, early, having a drink at the bar while waiting for the rest of their group.

The ladies exceptionally lovely. Hair and make up perfection. Dresses obviously from the world’s finest stores. Jewelry like you would not believe. The real stuff. I have not seen that much expensive jewelry on a woman in years.

The ladies were polite, but demanding. They knew exactly what they wanted. Both espresso martinis. Directed Shaun how to prepare them. Each drinking a slightly different variation. An espresso martini is generally prepared with vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso coffee.

The group must have been off one of the 165 foot yachts being seen more frequently in our harbor.

As usual, a pleasant evening at Berlin’s. Jean the best of company. Bria singing. Shaun and Gage to chat with. Janyne arrived. Waiting for friends for dinner in the restaurant itself. Joined us for a drink. A charming woman. She has been operating the Pier House Beach Bar for 17 years.

After the two couples left the bar area, I asked Shaun and Gage who had discovered/invented the espresso martini and where. My impression was Key West in the late 1990’s. Gage checked with someone in the kitchen. He said New York City in 1977.

I checked it out on the internet this morning. Wikipedia says Dick Bradsell in the late 1980’s at the Brasserie in the Soho section of London.

Jean and I stopped at the Chart Room after dinner for a nightcap. Business slow. John bartending. Jean left. I was getting ready to pay the bill when a lady came in and sat next to me. The bar seats were all empty.

She said, “Hello, Louis” I smiled and said hello in return. She said, “You don’t remember me, do you?” I politely said no. She said, “The Chart House last year.”

“Oh, I said.” Truth be known, I still did not recall her.

We made small talk and I left after paying for her drink.

BOB time.

Military evacuation when a hurricane is approaching. Primarily Navy. In the 1990’s, the Navy had a huge contingency in Key West and the Boca Chica Naval Base 10 miles up Route 1.

Military personnel and their families were taken to secure shelters or flown to points north on Navy planes. Free of charge, of course. A plan already in place. Each military person had a number and directions for he and his family.

BOB did not approve. The military were getting a free ride at taxpayer expense. A convenient ride. Whereas poor civilians had to gas up and slowly drive north under adverse conditions.

Amy Bondurant and husband David Dunn for real Key Westers. They moved to Key West more than a year ago and call it home. In their other lives, Amy was an Ambassador under Bush 2, David a prominent Washington attorney.

They still maintain a Paris home dating back to Amy’s ambassador days. Amy e-mailed me from Paris. They intend soon to bicycle through Denmark.

Amy sent as part of the e-mail an article which she thought sobering and wanted to bring to my attention. The article was written by Benn Steil and appeared in the 6/12/18 edition of Foreign Policy. Titled: The World Will Die So Trump Can.

The thrust of the article was the United States as we know it was in decline and responsible was Donald Trump.

He attributed such to the recent failure of the G-7 summit, Trump’s negative remarks re Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Trump’s glowing misunderstanding/non-understanding of tariffs, Trump’s sucking up to authoritarian leaders while making enemies of our friends of 50 years.

Steil’s concern was that Trump has/will become the “new normal.” The U.S.we knew gone. Perhaps never to be again.

This blog goes out over a dozen sites. Some have comment sections. Yesterday’s blog title was Sessions’ Improper Use Of Bible. A reader and frequent commentator is I’mNotLou.

I don’t make the names up!

I’mNotLou’s comment: “Sessions is more a religious forger than a person of faith. He is like too many ‘religious’ folk these days – a student of pick and choose for what suits your taste or your bigotry.”

Trump is dragging the U.S. into a tariff war with China, amongst others. China is the biggest importer of soybeans grown in the U.S. Soybeans a huge part of the economy of several states. Most of which supported Trump in the election.

China will not take this tariff increase sitting down. Trump is picking on the wrong nation to abuse. Beside intending to meet the tariffs dollar for dollar, China has already advised it is looking to the soybean fields of South America for future purchases. Argentina, for example.

Mexico also imports U.S. soybeans. Mexico says it will be looking to South America.

U.S. farmers growing soybeans not happy campers.

Enjoy your day!

 

SESSIONS’ IMPROPER USE OF BIBLE

Thousands of immigrant children taken from their parents. Placed in fenced-in areas inside abandoned Walmart buildings. A tent city being planned.

They are the concentration children of America. I am not proud. I am ashamed. Ashamed that something like this could happen in the United States. Many are likewise ashamed. A large number not, however.

Attorney General Sessions can claim major credit. He tells us he is enforcing a law that has not been enforced recently. Incorrect. What he is doing is using a new philosophy to justify his handling of the children. There is no law permitting what is being done.

Sessions considers himself a God-like man. He even quoted the Bible in a speech yesterday in Fort Wayne to support his wrongdoing. The New Testament Book of Romans Chapter 13 wherein St. Paul commanded that the laws of the government be obeyed because God had ordained the government for his purposes.

One problem, however. Sessions misused the Biblical quote. He failed to read the entire passage. The balance would have made him aware of Chapter 13’s true meaning.

The same quote Sessions used was relied upon by others in the past.

Southerners used the quote to justify southern slavery in the 1840’s and 1850’s. South Africa invoked it during apartheid. Hitler to justify his authoritarian rule in the 1930’s.

Even Nero got in the act. He was anti-Christian. Enemies of the state, he said. Killed them. Necessary to quell dissent. He relied on the quote when ordering Christians dipped in oil and set on fire. To light his gardens at night.

Sessions should read Matthew 25:35…..I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

There is nothing in the Bible saying children should be separated from parents.

America, wake up! We are turning into a bad people! Silent acceptance of improper deeds builds up. To a point where Trump could become the Pied Piper. The masses blindly following him.

Sessions did do something good recently. His Department of Justice announced the successful conclusion by a task force of a 3 month operation called Broken Heart. The goal of the task force the identification and arrest of suspected child predators. The crime, child sex trafficking.

The task force consisted of federal, state, local and tribal officers/agents working in unison. The group totaled 4,500.

A successful effort. Two thousand three hundred arrested.

The media has failed to report or comment.

BOB reflected on the cry to evacuate when a hurricane threatens. Only one way out. Drive. The government says gas up and drive to the mainland 150 miles away.

BOB considers the government direction to be ill conceived. There is not enough gas in Key West to fill everyone’s tank.

I must compliment Gov. Scott. He had it right for Irma. He knew gasoline would be a problem. He used one lane or a shoulder of a highway to get the gas filled tankers to the Keys.

I direct your attention to this morning’s Key West Citizen. The weather report section on page 2. Whoever writes it has a sense of humor. Today’s forecast is “Clouds, sun, a t-storm.” The writer’s comment in small print below: “Nature confused.”

Dinner tonight with Jean Thornton at Berlin’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

A JACKASS CAN KICK DOWN A BARN…..

Sam Rayburn was Speaker of the House of Representatives back when. A smart fox. Understood people. Trumanesque in the way he described things.

A quote that has followed him through the ages comes to mind today: “A jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one.”

This is an if the shoe fits, wear it situation. I view Trump as a jackass. A man who lacks the political talents to build on the good of his predecessors in making America greater.

Trump continually destroys American programs developed over the years which have made lives better. He favors corporations to the detriment of people.

Trump also is destroying relationships developed since World War II which have inured to the benefit of the U.S. and its friends. He seems to want to sleep with what heretofore has been considered the enemy. He forgets if you go to bed with a dog who has fleas, you wake up with fleas.

Our world everyday becomes more and more like world of the late 1930’s and 1940. Hitler the bully. The free world attempting to avoid war. McMillan and his “peace in our lifetime” tirade ever in our memories.

Trump may be leading us to war. Look at what he has accomplished in only 1.5 years. With 2.5 years remaining in his term, who knows what will occur.

Trump fails to understand the world will only be defecated upon so long. Then don’t tread on me will come into play. War perhaps to follow.

Trump has surrounded himself with a limited number of advisers, most of whom can only be described as scum. Larry Kudlow the most recent. I heard him earlier this morning lambasting Canada’s Trudeau. It was sickening. I find it inconceivable the U.S. could have any significant problems with Canada. But, it is happening.

Yesterday afternoon a joy! I watched Robert play in a tennis competition. The last time I saw Robert with a racquet in his hand was 5 years ago when he first took up the sport.

He has come a long way. I was impressed with him yesterday. He beat his opponent 6-2 and 6-0.

Off to Forest Hills a few years from now?

It was hot watching the match. Sitting in the sun. The humidity heavy. I was exhausted at the end. As if I had played. I returned home and went to bed. Slept for 3 hours. Which means I never got to writing this week’s KONK Life column. I begged off with the publisher. Must get it done today.

I had no plan to go out. Donna called. Come over for dinner. I went.

Oh, what a cook she is! Chicken prepared in a non fat oil and greens. Soft rolls. Perfect for dunking in the oil.

Bear loves me. Does not leave me alone. He is growing. Six months old today.

Fresh water always a problem in the Keys. Makes sense. Dig down and soon hit sea water.

The Key West Citizen in its Keys History section reported fresh water was a problem for Key West resident S.O. Johnson in 1909. He contracted to have a well dug to 1,000 feet in hopes of finding fresh water. He found none.

Trump is pushing the U.S. into isolationism. Screw everyone! We need no one! We are the strongest nation in the world!

His friends other authoritarian figures. Like Putin and Duterte. Bad guys. He is rapidly walking away from our friends of more than 50 years.

President Eisenhower in a speech he gave this day in 1953 rejected calls for U.S. “isolationism.” Some political leaders were pushing such an agenda.

Eisenhower said all free nations should stand together.

He also suggested Communism should be battled worldwide.

Trump should take heed. Probably won’t. He is not a student of history. Especially, U.S. history.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

HUGGING ROBOTS

Robots are taking over the world. With a shocking quickness. Silently, however. Sneaking up on us.

Robots are working assembly lines, in warehouses, cleaning homes, even making love.

Now comes the hugging robot. Five years in development. The goal to design robots to give hugs humans will love.

Makes sense. People love to give and receive hugs.

Success almost here. Hugging robots being fine tuned at this stage.

Yesterday busy. Especially during the day. Many errands to run.

Squeezed in lunch at Sandy’s Cafe.

Last night, the Chart Room.

Packed. Surprising. Key West is into off season.

Jean Thornton’s birthday was being celebrated. Many celebrating with her.

Barb, whoever you are, where were you? You wrote and asked to meet me and if I would sign your copy of Irma and Me. I replied ok. Chart Room wednesday at 6. I was there. Apparently you were not. I asked several women if they were Barb. No Barbs. Bartender John was asked to look out for you also.

What happened?

On the way home, remembered I had not eaten. Stopped at Five Guys. Two cheeseburgers lettuce wrapped. No fries. A diet meal.

Another doctor visit this afternoon. Part of getting ready for my Cleveland Clinic visit. Following the doctor visit, I will be stopping by Liz’s for a drink and some interesting conversation.

My KONK Life column a couple of weeks ago concerned Black Caesar the Keys Pirate. Today Port Royal, a Caribbean pirate haven.

Port Royal was a small island off Jamaica. Six thousand five hundred residents. All one way or another involved with piracy.

The island headquarters not only for piracy, but also smuggling and debauchery. It has been described as the “most wicked and sinful city in the world…..one of the lewdest in the Christian world.” In other words, a fun place.

On this day in 1692, 3 powerful quakes hit Port Royal. A large tsunami, also. At one point, half the island was under 40 feet of water.

Port Royal’s population 6,500. Three thousand died that day. Thousands more in the days following the quakes.

Port Royal could not be rebuilt. People thought it was built on coral like Key West. Turned out not to be. Strictly dirt. The mud remaining prohibited rebuilding.

Undaunted, the pirates moved operations to Jamaica itself. Built a new city. Called it Kingston. Today, Jamaica’s largest city.

Trump is a historian of note. Written with tongue in cheek, of course.

Yesterday, he did it again. While he and Trudeau were having a heated telephone conference re the tariff issue, Trudeau asked how Canada could be a security threat to the United States. Trump’s reply was to the effect that Canada had burned down the White House.

Canada did not put the White House to the torch. It was the British. During the War of 1812. At a time when Canada was not even a nation. It did not become one till 1867. During the War of 1812, it was a British colony.

A year earlier, the U.S. had invaded Canada and burned down York. York today Toronto. The British were burning down the White House in retaliation for the Americans having burned the British colony of York.

The interesting and generally unmentioned story of the White House and its burning involves Dolley Madison. Dolley was the wife of then President James Madison. The White House had been evacuated. Dolley remained with a handful of workers.

Her concern was the portrait of George Washington. She did not want it to fall into the hands of the British.

The painting was screwed into the wall. The screws would not come out. Dolley ordered the frame broken and the canvas removed.

It was only then that she swiftly departed to avoid capture.

When word got out of her courage and the saving of Washington’s painting, Dolley became a national heroine.

A hundred years later, some historians claimed Dolley was not the person who saved the painting. She had long fled. It was some house slaves led by a Frenchman overseer type.

The Dolley Madison heroine story is considered more reputable.

Before I receive a ton of e-mails, Dolley is spelled correctly. The “e” is part of her name.

I sometimes wonder what Trump studied in college. It is obvious he did not read history books.

Enjoy your day!