SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL

Key West is in the middle of this year’s Songwriters Festival. The event began May 9 and ends May 13. Five days and nights of live music. The faces, voices and stories behind the songs.

Two hundred plus performers and fifty plus shows. To be seen and heard on parts of Duval and its side streets and in many bars and restaurants along the way.

Key West will be over run with music lovers from all over the world.

A post Irma report has just come out re tourism revenue. In the eight months since Irma, tourist revenue is down 11-24 percent depending on the month.

The ad agency representing Key West has recommended that more money be spent in advertising to attract the number of tourists lost.

I disagree. Key West is over touristed. The island is sinking beneath the added weight of too many visitors. Traffic is heavy, bicyclists a danger, pedestrians crossing streets without looking, etc.

Greed is killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Key West cannot continue to receive more and more visitors each year. There is a breaking point. We are reaching it.

Some things cannot be questioned. One, man needs water to survive.

As far back as Aristotle, water was a concern. Being the genius he was, Aristotle shared his thoughts and solutions for his time: “Salt water, when it turns into vapour, becomes sweet and the vapour does not form salt water again when it condenses.”

Aristotle also noticed that a fine wax vessel would hold potable water after being submerged long enough in seawater, having acted as a membrane to filter the salt.

Ocean going ships over the centuries had a desperate need for fresh water. Ways to desalinate were improved for vessels.

Thomas Jefferson came up with a better method to desalinate on ships. Decals with his instructions were prepared and placed on the back of all shipping permits.

Desalinization improved following World War II. So good that optimization became the goal.

Which brings me to the why I have spent this time on desalinization.

The Florida Keys need water. Especially, Key West. We pipe our water in from the mainland 150 miles away. Scarcity periodically a problem.

On this day in 1967, a $3.3 million desalting plant was constructed to assist Key West and its immediate surroundings. The new plant capable of producing 2.62 million gallons of fresh water a day.

The plant ended a critical water shortage at the time.

Trump and his staff show little respect for John McCain. McCain has brain cancer and is reaching the end of his days.

McCain qualifies as a torture expert.

One day after he announced opposition to Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel, a White House staff meeting was being held. Trump was not present.

It is claimed that during the meeting, Special Assistant Kelly Sadler while discussing the torture issue and McCain’s position said, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”

Her comment has been perceived as mocking McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis. Sadler says she meant it as a joke. However it was not received as such. It has been reported there was a dead silence in the room following the statement having been made.

Sadler apologized to one of McCain’s daughters following the incident.

A Pandora’s box has been opened. The $4.4 million Michael Cohen received following Trump’s election. The question arises: Where did the money go after leaving Cohen’s hands? Any of it to the President?

I mentioned yesterday how the new US ambassador to Germany on tuesday advised the Germans they should stop doing business with Iran. The Germans laughed at him.

Other European nations are reacting. France’s Finance Minster said yesterday that Europe is not a US vassal, not the world’s economic policeman.

I have followed Venezuela more than 5 years. Ever since Nicolas Maduro became President. Maduro is doing a lousy job. I cannot understand why the people have not revolted.

Starvation exists. Everyday. Little relief. The pets were eaten three years ago. Babies fed every other day with some sort of powder concoction. On it goes.

Several months ago, Maduro said something nasty about Trump. I do not recall what. The next day Trump said the US was considering invading Venezuela to relieve the poverty that had befallen its people.

On monday, it was announced that the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Venezuela. On 3 Venezuelans personally and 20 Venezuelan companies. The justification claimed was narcotics trading tied to Maduro.

Almost simultaneously, Pence appeared before the Organization of American States and told the audience that there was a need to take greater steps to isolate Maduro. The drug issue the justification again.

Something wrong here. How do you sanction a nation whose people are already starving? Who ate family pets? Whose babies get fed every second day?

The narcotics claim is disturbing. Venezuela is the other end of the Earth from the US. The real drug problem affecting the US is Afghanistan. Afghanistan produces 95 percent of the world’s heroin. Most of it ends up on our streets. Our people dying big time daily from its effects.

The US has been fighting a war in Afghanistan for 17 years. In that time, the poppy fields have grown, heroin exports increased dramatically. Little done by the US to stop it.

Something stinks and has stunk in Afghanistan re drugs since the US became involved with the country.

Enjoy your day!

FUCK YOU NOT KEY WEST

Trump’s recent Key West visit gives me concern.

The Miami New Times videoed the Trump caravan as it passed City Hall and made the turn onto United. Short and shocking.

First, shouts of Love Trump’s Hate. Then boos and hisses. Followed by FUCK YOU! Loud. Several times. Topped off with a woman giving the President the finger.

Fuck You! is not Key West. I cannot believe Key Westers would utter such a profanity to a President of the United States.

Many lack respect for the President. Properly so. A man who does not give respect cannot expect it in return. FUCK YOU! goes beyond a mere lack of respect. It shows disrespect. The dis important. It requires affirmative action regarding the respect issue.

Key West would not disrespect.

I have been a part of the Key West community one way or another for 30 years. A homeowner 20. A resident 12. I know my friends, I know the people of Key West.

Contrary to thought, Key West is a conservative community. Take away several blocks of Duval and what is left is small town America. A blend of conservative and liberal values.

I read somewhere last week that organizers from outside our community were coming to Key West to organize an anti-Trump protest. I have to believe it was the outsiders who were dirty mouthing and fingering the President.

If correct, then we have to be careful in the future who we listen to with regard to protests.

I personally am anti-Trump. From day one. His record before and since President reflect him to be inept, corrupt, immoral, a racist, and homophobic. My hope is we survive his Presidency.

I spent the better part of an hour yesterday watching the Barbara Bush service. Touching. Moving. I cried.

What the world needs are more Barbara Bushes.

The Chart Room first to meet Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixson last night. Great people! Good friends!

Fran brought me 4 jars of sauce and pork. A couple loaves of low carb bread. And some other goodies.

Fran and Tom just returned from 2 weeks in Sicily and southern Italy. Fran, Sicilian. My former wife and her mother were Sicilian.

Sicilians tough people. I some time wonder how I survived my wife and mother in law.

From the Chart Room to the A&B Lobster House for dinner. Outstanding!

We did not have a reservation. Lucked out. Sloan’s daughter Shaina hosting. We were seated immediately. Great conversation, drinks and food. We chatted the evening away.

I have a long day ahead of me. This week’s KONK Life column due today. I have delayed to the last minute. Several topics in mind. Not sure which one yet.

Today is Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970. Always celebrated April 22.

The purpose of an Earth Day was to increase awareness of the world’s environmental problems. Such has constantly been accomplished since 1970.

Interestingly, 1970 also found the EPA being established. Its purpose to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation.

The United States a healthier and safer place to live and work because of the EPA. The same EPA today being torn apart by Trump. Years of safety regulations killed by the stroke of a pen. For the sole purpose of helping corporate America make more profit.

Corporate America generally comes out on top. Today’s example Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo was fined by the Trump administration $1 billion for predatory mortgage practices.

No big deal for Wells Fargo. The company will be pocketing more than $3 billion this year as a result of Trump’s new tax law.

The World Bank is an international friend to business and countries.

The draft of its annual World Development Report came out this week. It recommends that countries eliminate minimum wage requirements, dismantle wrongful dismissal rules, and repeal laws providing contractual protections for workers.

More wealth and advantage for the rich based on the ashes of the working class.

The World Bank explains its decision. These drastic moves are required to discourage employers from rushing into robots and automation which would eliminate many human jobs.

A non-sensical excuse. The World Bank must think people are stupid.

Enjoy your Sunday!

CONGRESS TO BLAME FOR POST OFFICE DEBT

After a two year absence, I am returning to write a weekly column for KONK Life. My first article hits the stands wednesday. A timely topic. The Post Office’s debt. Titled: Congress To Blame For Post Office Debt.

Sloan came over around noon yesterday. I could not structure the article on my computer. She got me set up.

I wrote a detailed column concerning the issue. The bottom line is Trump should get off Amazon’s back. Congress the blame. Congress saw a cash cow in 2006 and legislated the scenario leading almost immediately to Post Office insolvency.

Prior to Congress getting greedy, the Post Office was solvent. One year before the legislation in 2005, the Post Office was debt free.

You will enjoy the article. Informative.

My sunday got screwed up. I wanted to do Hot Dog Church, the Chorale and the Gardens. Due to time constraints because of writing the Post Office column, I thought I might only make the Gardens.

I made none.

The Gardens was still an option when I received a call from Donna. Terri was to sing at the Gardens. Terri told me the Gardens was cancelling. A rainstorm coming in at 6.

The rain did not arrive till 7. Heavy, Even at that time would have had a couple hundred people scurrying for cover.

So, I took a nap around 4.

My big evening was James Comey’s interview.

One of the points he drove home was that Trump is not morally fit to be President. I agree. Especially now that “pee sex” is becoming part of the national debate.

How low can political discourse get? Trump brings us to a new level with everything he does.

I discussed the pee sex/morality issue during my Key West Lou Live video on Facebook this morning.

The Cow Key Bridge Race was yesterday. One thousand strong participating. Most costumed.

A new record established for the 300 foot event: 22.2 seconds. The previous was 23.1 seconds.

The athletes guzzled pints of beer the night before preparing for the race.

This morning busy. A business meeting at 10. A doctor visit at 11:15. First meeting preparatory to setting up a colonoscopy and endoscopy. The tests I mind not. It is the prep for the colonoscopy which is bothersome.

Jean Thornton’s trip of trips continues.

Yesterday, she and Joe still in Barcelona. The day began at 7 with a delicious breakfast. Then a brisk morning walk around the ship’s decks watching Barcelona wake up.

At 9:30, a tour of Barcelona with Julio.

Seven mountains surround Barcelona. The bus took them all the way up one. Jean reports the view of Barcelona below amazing!.

Following the bus tour, Jean and Joe took a walk around the old Gothic quarter. Discovered an old Cathedral and Roman ruins. Then discovered the famous Las Rambla Boulevard.

They lucked out. Ran into a political demonstration. Hundreds marching and chanting in support of Catalan independence. Flags, yellow attire.

Lunch time. Stopped at a tapas restaurant. Standing outside waiting for a table.

Jean and Joe must look like rich Americans or stupid tourists. A woman tried to pickpocket Joe. His turn.

He felt someone bump him. Felt a hand go into his back pocket. Fortunately, his money was in a pouch on his stomach.

Joe turned. Saw a nicely dressed woman. She immediately pointed forward. Joe looked ahead. When he turned back, she was gone. Lost in the crowd.

The story gets more interesting.

Immediately, a young nervous man was upon Jean and Joe. Flashed a badge quickly. Started asking about the confrontation. He was going to report the incident.

Jean and Joe wary by this tine. When the man asked Joe for ID, he said bring me a uniformed police officer. With that the man went one way and Jean and Joe the other.

The found another restaurant down a pedestrian walkway. After being assured there were no pickpockets, they were seated. Enjoyed tapas and wine.

On the walk back to the ship detoured onto a side street. A street that once housed Paul Guell’s private residence. The house was one of architect Gaudi’s famous works. Jean described the house as amazing.

Then back to the ship. A safety drill. Following which they set sail for Cartagena.

Between jet lag and a lot of walking, the Thorntons were dead. It was early to bed for the both of them.

The Trump administration announced yesterday additional sanctions on Russia. Sanctions on Russian companies and persons who were involved in making or helping with the chemical gas dropped on Syria.

I don’t know if I approve. We hit Syria with over a 100 missiles. Now chastise Russia with these sanctions?

I see John Bolton’s influence. Hit, hit, hit.

Russia is only a second or third rate nation military wise. However, Russia has a ton of nuclear weapons. The situation should not be aggravated more than it is. The U.S. made its point with the missile attack.

Sanctions can lead to war. Any war between the U.S. and Russia would be fought on U.S. soil also and affect our 300 million plus citizens very personally.

On this day in 1917, Vladimir Lenin returned from exile to Russia. He was the head of the Red Bolshevik Party. He returned home to take rein of the Russian Revolution. The Revolution up to that point was led by Alexander Kerensky and the White Bolshevik Party who were doing an ineffective job.

Lenin took over. Kerensky’s life as in danger. He fled Russia.

Many years later, I was a student in college taking courses in Russian history from Kerensky. It was exciting to hear first hand the happenings and intricacies of 1917.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

CHIRPING BIRDS

I do not wish to mislead. I am not a bird watcher. I know next to nothing about birds. However, I know what I hear.

Birds chirping!

This is the time of the year. The spring. Migratory birds are returning. Traveling north. A long trip. Key West a rest area.

The past several mornings, bird singing everywhere. I open my deck doors and the crescendo hits. Lovely! Magnificent!

In another week or two, they will be gone. I enjoy while I can.

My only stop outside the house yesterday was the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. And newspaper reading, of course.

The rest of the day spent home fine tuning last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

The show was primarily an expression of my fears and thoughts as to what is going on in the Trump Administration. Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee, son in law Jared, and coal.

Another item of interest which also took time to explore was middle class white deaths. On the rise. Described as death from despair. Caused by lack of jobs, insufficient funds, and a lack of education.

Tippecanoe and Tyler too. John Tyler became President when William Harrison died. Tyler was Harrison’s Vice-President. Fifteen years later, he became a member of the Confederate Congress.

Tyler’s wife Letita died in 1842. Tyler was a widower President. Two years later, Tyler then 54 fell in love with 24 year old Julia Gardiner. A thirty year difference. They married. Tyler lacked not in virility. They had seven children.

My Facebook Key West Lou video today will concern infrastructure financing under Trump. He proposes privatization. Italy privatized. The video will explore my experiences and knowledge re how things have worked out in Italy.

Enjoy your day!