KICK ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE DOWN…..THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

The U.S. and Turkey are supposedly friends. Both led by authoritarian figures. Trump and Turkey’s President Erdogan. Birds of a feather.

Turkey has always been considered a key American ally. The U.S. has a large military base there. There is also a NATO base.

Friends no more. A pissing match instead. Trump is irritated Erdogan will not release an American minister it has held prisoner since 2016. Trump suggested an exchange. Some Turkish citizen the U.S. has been holding.

Erdogan said no. No one says no to Trump. Especially another authoritarian figure. As far as Trump is concerned, it is his way or the highway as far as Turkey is concerned.

Turkey has been hurting economically. Its currency fell to a record low this morning. Inflation 17.75 percent. The country is on the verge of an economic meltdown.

Turkey’s crisis has made the American dollar strong when pitted against Turkish currency.

Friday Trump delivered a major blow to Turkey. All because Turkey continued to refuse his demand that the minister prisoner be released. Trump doubled the tariffs already imposed on Turkey as part of the tariff wars. Aluminum rose to 20 percent and steel 50 percent.

Trump tweeted friday with the news: “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

European and Asian stock markets have reacted to the tariff increases. The feud perhaps the start of a world wide recession similar to 2008. Though not considered imminent at this time. Turkey’s economy ranks only 17th world wide.

My concern is it only takes a spark to start a forest fire. One of the major California fires still burning a perfect example.

Trump is kicking a “friend” while the friend is down. Not what friends are for!

Now to my yesterday.

Brunch 10 to 12 at Hard Rock Cafe. Terri White was singing with Larry Baeder. A WOW! Great show! Performances outstanding! Be certain to go next week. Terri and Larry will regularly appear at brunch time every sunday.

For a blind woman, my girl does terrific!

Terri has another gig tonight. She is singing with Dueling Bartenders Tom Luna and Rick Dery at Aqua.

Go girl, go!

Spent the afternoon watching the PGA. Excellent golf. Brook Koepka won. By 2 strokes over Tiger Woods.

Brook has won 3 of the last 6 majors. Only 28. He has only one other win. A tour win. Unusual for someone who has won three big ones.

Tiger gets better every week. He is due back as a winner soon. And then a consistent one.

Tiger shot a 64 yesterday. His putting not yet what it was. Had a few dropped, he would have won.

On one of the last holes, he hit a 40 foot plus putt. It hung on the lip of the cup. Everyone holding their breaths waiting for it to drop. It did not.

Jean Thornton and I partied together last night. Began at the Orchid Bar. Victor bartending.

I meet a lot of interesting people. A couple I met at the Orchid Bar last night, one of the most interesting.

Dan and Pam. Now hail from Largo, Florida.

Dan is retired from the New York City Carpenter’s Union. Pam still working. Bookkeeper for general contractors.

Dan described two jobs he was especially proud of. One was the scaffolding when the Statue of Liberty was being shaped up. The other involved something to do with a major job at the UN where he had 80 men working under him.

Then to the Rum Bar. Jean and I not traveling together. Jean rides her bicycle all over town.

The Rum Bar will be a regular sunday stop for me. My friend Lauri the bartender there sunday evenings. Left Aqua after 17 years to work the Rum Bar.

With Lauri running the show, the Rum Bar is quickly becoming a new locals place. Donna and Terri, Sally, Ingrid, Art and George there when Jean and I arrived.

Jean and I decided on Antonia’s for dinner. Closed. Must be shut down for the slow days of August and September.

No problem. We went across the street to La Trattoria.

We had a terrific time! Jean a wonderful companion.

Tiffany bartending. She mentioned we have known each other for 25 years. True!

Dinner done. I was tired. Jean still raring to go. I went home. Jean peddled her bike to Vino’s.

The white nationals/supremacists were holding a major rally in Washington yesterday. Publicized Unite The Right 2. Turned out to be a flop. Only a small contingency of the group appeared.

Why?

These are bad people. Fascists, Neo-Nazis, and KKK members. They believe there is only one race. The white race.

They became empowered by Trump’s statement following Charlottesville last year. The President supported them. Seemed to legitimize them.

I think they realized though the President supported them, most of the people did not. The vermin disappeared back into the woodwork instead of participating in the rally.

This does not mean they will not return to raise havoc another day. They will. They are mostly young whites. Some are your neighbors, though you are not aware of their political leanings.

Be on your guard.

For the past several years, I have written and spoken re Afghanistan and its opium fields. Ninety percent of the heroin on American streets comes from the poppy seeds grown in Afghanistan.

How so if the U.S. has been engaged in a war in Afghanistan for 16 years? The poppy fields neither attacked or destroyed. Poppy farming goes on. Heroin a thriving business.

I have consistently suggested someone has to be on the take.  More than one. Too much drug money involved for it not to be so.

A recent government report indicates that as the Afghanistan war progressed, opium production increased. Even though the U.S., separate from war dollars, has spent $8.62 billion between 2002 and 2017 in an effort to eradicate the opium problem.

The attempt to eradicate an absolute failure. As the report stated: “Afghanistan remains the world’s largest opium producer, and opium poppy is the country’s largest cash crop.”

Enjoy your day!

CONSISTENCY LACKING

My yesterday afternoon was spent watching the PGA and Tiger Woods. I frequently hit the remote to see what was going on in Charlottesville.

Tiger was terrific everywhere, except on the greens. His putter failed him. Yet, he is only 4 behind going into the final round today.

Charlottesville not what I expected. The opposition to the white nationals was not organized. There were few protesters also. The media described them in the hundreds rather than the thousands.

What I saw on TV was a strong police presence. The authorities ready for whatever was going to happen. A tight ship was run. No permits were allowed for anything.

Many of the protesters were University of Virginia students. Their cry…..Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand!

Internet photos indicate few blacks protesting. Most of the students white.

Fortunately, the event was largely devoid of conflict.

It also failed to make a clear response in opposition to white nationalism.

If groups are going to oppose what I view as a growing cancer, they must plan better their rallies and protests so the message will be clear. Yes, cops are a problem. Decidedly. However lets not confuse the message. One issue at a time.

I have a feeling the demonstration in Washington today will be much different. The white supremacists will be out in force. It is their rally. I expect those in opposition who failed to show in Charlottesville will be there in large number also.

Chart Room first last night. Met a couple from Fort Lauderdale. His 14th year visiting Key West. Comes down for Lobsterfest each year. His companion a former Miss Norway. Looked just as I would have expected a Miss Norway to look. Beautiful. Light skinned, blond hair. Great smile.

A point to be made. Several months ago, Trump said in effect immigrants should come from Norway. That all white look! Similar to Hitler’s desire for an Aryan race. Light skinned blond men.

Left the Chart Room and headed for Duval. Walked a few blocks through Lobsterfest. Lobsters being cooked every which way. The smells delicious.

I was hungry. Did not buy a lobster, however. I don’t like Florida lobsters. Guess I am a snob. Prefer Maine lobster. The taste is different.

Drove to Hogfish for dinner. Packed as if it were season. Luckily found a seat at the bar.

Nothing dramatic occurred. I talked to no one. No one seemed to want to talk with me. I enjoyed my fish and people watched.

I was home in bed before 9:30.

I missed Captain Tony’s birthday party Friday night. Of his 13 children, I only know daughter Toni. A kind person. She e-mailed me yesterday forgiving me in effect for not showing up. Closed her message with “Next year!!!”

Terri sings this morning at Hard Rock Cafe. During brunch. From 10-12. I have to hustle to get there on time.

Tonight, Jean Thornton.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

USE IT OR LOSE IT

Use it or lose it applies in various circumstances. The one referenced today involves saying what you want and having it read by thousands of persons.

I refer specifically to the Citizens’ Voice portion of the Key West Citizen. Page 2, left hand column. There every day. I would assume one of the most popular sections of the paper.

The Citizens’ Voice allows persons to express themselves/vent freely on any issue.

The newspaper prints comments received. Even in those instances where the paper’s policy might disagree.

There was no Citizens’ Voice in this morning’s edition. Instead the Key West Citizen advised there were not enough comments to run in today’s newspaper. Further advising that “hopefully” the section could resume being printed in the Weekend Edition.

I know very few Key West residents who do not have an opinion on something. Complaining commonplace in the Keys. Get back on your soap boxes and let the world know what you think!

Participate in the Citizens’ Voice.

Use it or lose it.

The turtles are hatching. Babies waddling to the ocean. An exciting yearly event.

Not without danger, however.

Take Smathers Beach for example. Many turtle nests. The babies hatch generally at night. Their immediate goal the ocean. They are attracted to the ocean by the light of the moon. They travel towards the moonlight eventually finding their way to water.

A problem arose several years ago at Smathers Beach. On the other side of the road from the beach are condominiums and hotels. The turtles were being confused by the lights of the buildings. They were more confused by the street lights. Assumed it was moonlight. Headed towards the lights. Many were being run over by cars as they crossed the highway.

Key West did the right thing. It always does for its friends from the sea. They ordered the street lights on South Roosevelt Boulevard to be turned off at night during the hatching season. That alone significantly helped the situation. Baby turtle deaths reduced to almost nothing.

There is a Key West Sea Turtle Club. I believe recently formed. They have been out this hatching season marking nests and otherwise being concerned for the safety of the baby turtles.

Big party tonight! Celebration of what would have been Captain Tony’s 102nd birthday. Captain Tony’s at 8 o’clock. Going to be a blast!

It is almost a year since Irma hit. The havoc wrought still being experienced. This morning’s Key West Citizen in a major front page article re the need for affordable housing mentioned that 4,000 homes in the Keys were destroyed by Irma.

Many still without proper accommodations. The housing need existed before Irma. However with Irma, it has become significantly more pronounced.

The Keys need affordable housing!

One admonition. Make sure it is “affordable.”

My yesterday began with an 11:30 haircut appointment with Lori. Seventeen years she has been cutting my hair.

I had a difficult time getting to her place of business on the corner of White and Virginia. There had been an accident 15 minutes before. One of the vehicles plowed into the building where Lori’s salon is.

Lori said the building shook.

Then to Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down for lunch. The Sandy’s Federal court dispute has been resolved. The details of the resolution not public. Why, I do not know.

The Chart Room last night. A locals’ evening. Steve and Cindy, Sheila, David, Jean Thornton,  and Cori Convertino. A good time was had by all.

I was hungry. Decided on Blue Macaw. Love the place! Food and drinks cheap. Atmosphere terrific. People friendly. And they have parking!

Did wings. Could only enjoy 6 of the 9 presented. I was easily full. My long term diet responsible. I eat significantly less now.

I was up to 257 pounds. My doctors got on my ass. Lose weight! I did and I didn’t. Cut back on eating and drinking for a few months. Dropped to 245. Then my fourth heart catheterization. The Miami doctor looked at me sternly and said lose 40-50 pounds more.

I did not like his attitude. But, I listened.

I began serious dieting November 27th last year. Today, I am 202 pounds. Still going! Intend to break 200.

Amazing!

Blue Macaw’s Happy Hour menu has helped in recent weeks. I order wings or ribs. That’s dinner!

Met Tim at the Blue Macaw bar. Tim is the plumber at Ocean Key House. Nice guy. We talked of many things.

The lights went out while at the bar. Everything black. Someone yelled out the power was down from Marathon to Key West.

A power failure has its disadvantages. The bartenders cannot run credit cards. Pay by cash or wait til the power comes back on. Fortunately, I had cash. A rarity for me these days. I have gotten to using my credit card for everything. Even small purchases.

Hypocrisy an eye opener. Gives us the opportunity to recognize people who fudge or speak out of both sides of their mouth.

Trump a major hypocrite.

His in-laws the most recent example. Melania’s parents.

They became U.S. citizens yesterday. Good for them! Congratulations! Happy they could join us.

The problem is how they became citizens. Trump has severely criticized persons who become citizens because they are sponsored by a family member. He refers to it as “chain migration.”

Trump wants the law repealed. Claims it is harmful to the U.S. Permits “everyone” to come in.

Melania is a naturalized citizen. She sponsored her parents.

No comment by Trump.

I would not be here today if immigration laws were not loose and chain migration in some form had not existed back when.

My grandfather came over around the turn of the century (1900). I do not know how. He was 12 and never knew his parents. He was a bastard.

My grandmother came over a couple of years later. I do not know under what authority. My grandparents did not meet nor know of each other till they were in the U.S.

My mother came over via a chain migration situation. She was born in Italy. Her father came a few years earlier. She, her mother and brothers, followed as his dependents.

Immigration obviously simpler back then.

I often think of my ancestry and smile. Running through my  mind each time is the thought that had my people not immigrated, I would probably ended up a sheep herder in a field outside Naples.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

KEY WEST…..WE’RE COOKING

 

It’s hot! No question about it. The hottest July ever. August will probably be hotter. Followed by historically the hottest of the hot…..September.

Yesterday, the weatherman said relief would be available. It was going to be breezy. It was. Learned something. Hot and no breeze,  hot. Hot with breeze, still hot. Perhaps worse.

As I was walking yesterday with the hot air blowing in my face, I was reminded of the 1940’s when our house was heated by a coal furnace. My job to keep the coal fire burning. Replace the burned out coal.

Every time I opened the furnace door, a blast of hot air hit me in the face. Yesterday, the same sensation.

Spent part of the afternoon reading. Still with Madeleine Albright’s Fascism. The primary fascists of almost a 100 years ago were Mussolini and Hitler. Trump so much like them.

Aqua for Dueling Bartenders at 6. Tom Luna and Rick Dery doing the entertaining.

Tom has not been present for 3 weeks. He was diagnosed with diverticulitis. Treated for it. Not diverticulitis. Kidney stones. Had surgery for the kidney stones a few days ago.

Liz and Josefina at the bar when I arrived. Liz looked lovely. She was happy to be there.

Jean Thornton came in. We sat together. She looked good and smelled good. Told her so. Love the lady!

Jean complained about the heat. Said she has begun staying in during the day to avoid it. Sounded familiar.

Normally, Jean and I would have had dinner together. I had to beg off. My podcast is tonight and I had to work on the show last night.

Join me at 9 tonight for the podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. A fast moving, interesting, and eye opening account of how I see things. You do not have to agree with me. It is good however to hear what might be a different set of thoughts. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I am a poor sleeper. Leave the TV in the bedroom on all night so I can watch something during the hours sleep escapes me. The bedroom TV went kaput about 2 monday morning.

I called Comcast. Had to wait 30 minutes for a live person. We had a communication problem. I could not understand her. Probably from east Istanbul.

After another hour of her directing me to do this and that, TV still not working. Comcast needs to send a repair person over. No one available till thursday morning.

Can’t win!

The battle between the 2 Sandy Cafes has been resolved. Settled. Details of the settlement unavailable.

A significant election in Ohio today. A special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional district. Takes in Columbus and a wide suburban swath surrounding it.

Republican country. Thirty five years since a Democrat has held the seat. Trump won the district by 11 points.

Today’s election has become a testing ground for November. The Democratic candidate was far behind at the beginning. Today, a dead heat. Trump was in the area over the weekend campaigning for the Republican candidate.

Politicos believe suburban wives will decide the election. Most are Republicans. However, most are upset with Trump’s child separation policy.

If the Democrat wins, it foretells a blue November. If the Democrat loses by 3 points or less, the same.

We will know tonight.

A new national poll indicates Trump’s largest bloc of supporters are white persons without college degrees. Fifty four percent.

I believe the group supports Trump because they feel the country has left them behind. They believe they need governmental programs that will help them. Most are middle aged and older. They are disappointed with how life has treated them. There has been no American dream.

Dorothy Downs is an interesting woman. Among other things, an author. An expert regarding certain Indian tribes. She and her husband lived in Miami and had a second home in Key West. He has passed on.

Dorothy continues to inhabit the homes in both locales. A frequent Key West visitor.

Dorothy has a political streak in her. She is supporting Gwen Graham in the Democratic primary for Governor. Personal friends for years.

She recently wrote and asked how the race looked in Key West. I replied I did not know who was running, except for a fellow by the name of Green. His TV ads were excellent.

Dorothy made me feel ashamed that I was not paying attention and did not know of her friend.

Let me share with you what I have learned about Gwen Graham.

She is way ahead in the polls. Burying her opponents. Her father is former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. A distinguished statesman of the old school. Knew how to negotiate with the opposition and was not afraid to do so.

Dorothy wrote, “Being a public servant is born in Gwen’s DNA.”

Gwen is an attorney, was a stay at home Mom for 13 years, a PTA president, a school administrator, and a one term Congresswoman.

I will be paying close attention to Gwen. The primary is August 28.

They say this is the Year of the Woman. Probably so. I for one would like to see all women elected to every post. Men have done enough damage.

I close with a recent Trump tweet.

California is being devastated with fires. Trump indicated that the fires were ongoing due to a shortage of water. He claimed water that could be used to fight fires was “foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”

No one understands the statement. Water supply has been sufficient. No one has complained of a lack of water causing the fires to spread, etc.

Many believe climate change is the cause of more severe and destructive fires. This has been the hottest summer across the U.S.

Perhaps Trump does not wish to acknowledge climate change. He has consistently been on the side of those who deny it.

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!

 

 

 

CASABLANCA AND TEARS

Tears. Crying. Normal to cry. Especially women. Last night the tears flowed.

Irma caused several of us to escape. We evacuated to Birmingham, Alabama. Guests of Jean and Joe Thornton for 12 days. A wonderful experience! Jean and Joe great hosts.

We kept busy. From 5 in the afternoon to 3-4 in the morning every day. Fun time. All kinds of experiences.

One was watching Casablanca. The great love story starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. I had seen it several times before as had the others.

During the showing, I noticed the ladies knew every line. They were whispering them before even spoken on the screen. The ladies also cried. Big time!

I was surprised.

Casablanca touched their very souls. The love scenes torture for them.

Some of us evacuees enjoyed a reunion last night. At the Key West Theater. A free showing of Casablanca. Besides Louis, Jean Thornton herself, Hayward, Joanne and Ann.

I was not disappointed. The ladies cried. The tears flowed. Jean the first to break down. Their eyes red at the end of the film.

Tender ladies!

Jean and I met for dinner before the movie. The Saint. We enjoyed a great duck meal.

Following the movie, Hayward and Joanne left the group. Jean, Ann and I went over to the Chart Room. A good crowd. Happy people on vacation in Key West.

A big guy came over to say hello. He introduced himself as Pittsburgh John. Said we had met last year and I wrote a column about him. I apologized for not recalling. We sat a while and chatted.

He brought up on his cell phone the Key West Lou column from February 18, 2017 titled Pittsburgh John. He was correct. I had written about him. Still could not recall the evening, however.

No problem.

A nice guy. He visits Key West religiously three times a year. Obviously lives in Pittsburgh. A big time concrete salesman. Travels several States.

John’s claim to fame and something he is most proud of is that at 16 he was the bat boy for the visiting Pittsburgh baseball team. He met baseball luminaries like Dwight Gordon, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Schmidt.

He was also proud of his relationship with Rocco Clemente. They occasionally shot hoops on a neighborhood court together.

Chatted with two charming and vivacious women. Donna and Jane. Friends since elementary school. Vacationing together. First time in Key West.

Donna is from The Woodlands, Texas. Divorced. An office manager for an oil and gas company.

Jane from Houston. Single. Lovely. Her professional career involves supply chain work.

The ladies plan to rip up the town while they are here.

I repeatedly say the Chart Room is the cross roads of the world. I meet people from everywhere. Last night, South Africa.

Matt and Lisa. Presently located in Washington, D.C. They work together in their own business. Described to me as assisting people to communicate with each other.

I met Matt and Lisa as I was paying my bill. Tired. Spent too little time with them. Hopefully, I will run into them again before they leave.

Why was I tired? It was after 11. I am in bed by 9 most evenings.

I normally wake at 6 and begin this blog. I did not wake till 10 this morning. Reason why the blog is being published late today.

Hemingway one of the greats who spent a number of years residing in Key West. Wrote To Have And Have Not and The Snows of Kilimanjaro while living here.

Every now and then, one of his undiscovered stories pops up. One of the most recent A Room On The Garden Side. A World War II fiction piece. Described as typical Hemingway. A debate in a hotel between two men concerning “the dirty trade of war.”

The story has been authenticated as a Hemingway work.

It appears in Strand Magazine. Strand is a quarterly publication. The Hemingway piece in its Summer Edition which was published this week.

BOB tired today. If BOB is tired, I am tired. Better stated, I am tired. Therefore, BOB is tired. The next chapter in his book hopefully tomorrow.

Today, a significant one in American history. On this day in 1776, members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration had been approved in resolution form one month earlier on July 2. The written Declaration was adopted two days later on July 4. However not signed till almost a month later. Traveling times slow, not enough States yet committed.

Marijuana delegalization is ongoing. Done in various ways. An example is Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Vance announced yesterday a “decline to prosecute” policy.

Beginning yesterday, no charges would be filed for marijuana possession and use. Two exceptions. If an individual possesses for purpose of sale or if a possession demonstrates a threat to public safety.

Trump was in Tampa for a rally two days ago.  We have all heard his error re the need to have an ID with photo thereon in order to buy groceries. The President has obviously never been to a grocery store.

Another one has filtered through the news. Another tax break for the rich. Trump must think the people demand  such. He is blinded by his wealth and that of others.

Trump advised a new plan for the rich. One that does not require Congressional approval. He wants to change the way capital gains are handled. Such would provide an enormous tax savings to those having big stock portfolios.

Seth Meyers the late night TV comedian suggested Trump would probably be relentless in having the tax law changed. He said Trump and his people “won’t be happy till this country is just 10 trillionaires and 300 million people fighting over one Go-Gurt.”

Trump says Putin is his friend. He better watch out. A person who goes to bed with a dog that has fleas wakes up with fleas.

Putin is recognized as a killer. As most dictators/despots have been.

Alexander Rastorguev is a Russian critic of Putin. Rastorguev was in the Central Africa Republic filming a documentary exposing the activities of a company called Wagner. Wagner is a private Russian military firm. Wagner is suspected of clandestine military operations in Syria and East Ukraine based on orders from the Kremlin.

Rastorguev, his camera man, and a reporter were ambushed and killed while riding in a car by persons unknown.

Putin involved?

Diana Millikan is in town. She is researching a book I would like to write on The History of Key West Prostitution. We’ve been at it two years. Not much recorded information on whore houses, etc.

Diana and I will be at the Blue Macaw tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

WHO CREATED THE FIRST KEY LIME PIE?

An important item. Especially for Key Westers. Who created the first key lime pie! Where was it originated? Is Key West really its birth place?

This morning’s Key West Citizen ran a front page article on the issue. An excellent piece.

A Stella Parks wrote a cookbook in 2017 wherein she claimed the first key lime pie was created in 1931 on Madison Avenue in New York City. Borden’s Milk Company was involved.

Key West’s David Sloan knows everything there is to know about Key Lime pies. The world authority. He says Parks is wrong. There is an ongoing feud.

Sloan claims the key lime pie was born in the late 1860’s in Key West. At Curry Mansion. The cook, Aunt Sally. Her real name Sarah Jane Lowe Curry.

Key lime pie was served in two Key West restaurants in 1926, well before the purported discovery by Borden’s in 1931. One of the restaurants was the Green Lantern Inn. Its menu featured “lime pie,” ten cents per piece.

Sloan has assembled all kinds of documentation. Parks has nothing.

I was up and working early yesterday morning. Around 5:30. By 1 in the afternoon I had completed yesterday’s blog and final preparations for last night’s podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I had the afternoon off! A quiet luncheon at Sandy’s Cafe. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and Cuban coffee. Sat a while and read the newspapers.

Then home for some book reading.Peter Schweizer’s Secret Empires. His book revealing. I am learning the Washington swamp is more corrupt than thought. Good governmental officials cashing in on their positions through their children. Not prohibited by any law. Stinks, however.

Tuesday Talk went well. Goes well every week. Love doing the show. My numbers increase weekly. Apparently many love listening to my half hour of ranting and raving.

Strange weather this morning. Actually, not strange. Has been the same every day forever. Pouring rain and thunder. The difference today was it began at 5 in the morning. Strong wind and heavy rain. Could easily hear it from my bed. Sounded like a hurricane rolling over.

Historic day today. John Kennedy a Navy lieutenant in command of PT-109 in the Pacific. It was August 1, 1943. His boat split in half by a Japanese destroyer. Two killed. eleven survived. Everyone is familiar with the story. Cliff Robertson played Kennedy in the movie PT-109.

A connection exists between the lower Keys and the Kennedy movie. It was filmed on Munson Island. Munson Island is located in the Atlantic just south of Big Pine. Today, Munson Island is the world famous resort Little Palm Island.

What Russia did re our elections in 2016 constituted a war. Not a gun one. A cyber war. Not just a little invasion. An all out attack. Leaves the legitimacy of the 2016 election in question.

We are 98 days away from the mid-term elections. Till a few days ago, Trump had done nothing to defend against another cyber attack. A few days ago, he conducted a one hour meeting with staff. It has only been recently that Trump has acknowledged Russia was the perpetrator.

We are not defensively ready for the November mid-term. Can we get ready in time? I do not know. I am not a computer guru, etc.

I fear Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are going to have a field day playing around with our mid-terms.

Realize that with a few computer keys pressed, any nation can entirely turn off our electrical grid system. No power/electricity. Planes unable to take off. Defensive systems curtailed. Etc. Everything down.

And we are not ready to defend against any such chicanery!

Our elections are not secure. At this time, there is no coordination among federal agencies as to how to deal with the problem.

Modern authoritarian figures all have attacked the media. Silence the media and no one left to point out the wrong doing of dictators. Silence not even required. Merely diminish respect for the media.

As Trump has consistently been doing since even before his election. He has chosen the path of Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Putin, and Kim.

Trump appeared at a rally in Tampa last night. His supporters made up the audience. Trump demeaned the press. Fake press! The audience joined him. Turned to the reporters and gave them the finger. The middle finger. The bird. While shouting, “Fuck the press!”

Anti-media hostility is growing. Violence is going to occur. Trump will smile.

Trump spoke last night of protecting our voting system. Wrong people are voting, he claims. Though there is no proof of such. He keeps peddling that the Democrats want unqualified/non-citizens to vote. An absurdity in itself.

His solution is to require each person voting to have an ID card with his/her photo on it. As Trump claimed, such an ID card is required to even buy groceries.

The man does not know that which he talks about. I would like to know the last time he was in a supermarket or grocery store purchasing groceries.

A big night tonight! A reunion of those who escaped Irma and stayed with Jean and Joe Thornton in Birmingham for 12 days. Our second reunion.

While at their home, we watched Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. I was shocked and surprised. The ladies knew every line of the movie. They were speaking them before the actors. And they cried! Tears throughout. I could not believe. A woman’s movie definitely.

The Tropic Cinema is showing Casablanca tonight. Free. Reservations made weeks ago. We are going as a group. Guaranteed the ladies will be whispering the lines and shedding tears.

Love it!

Enjoy your day!

 

MARRIAGE OF CHURCH AND STATE

Never made it to Dueling Bartenders last night. Felt a bit under the weather. Disappointed because I was anxious to hear Laura Richardson sing again.

Oil and water do not mix. Nor do Church and State. Never the less, the Trump administration keeps pushing government support for religion. The primary reason to suck up to its strong Evangelical base.

Attorney General Sessions made what can only be described as a scary announcement yesterday. He announced the establishment of a Religious Liberty Task Force. A separate distinct unit within the Department of Justice.

Its purpose to help fully implement the religious liberty “guidance” issued last year under Trump’s direction.

Sessions claims the freedom to practice religion is “under attack.” He added “a dangerous movement…..real…..now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom.”

Examples offered included nuns being forced to purchase contraceptives (that’s how he put it), U.S. Senators asking judicial and executive branch nominees about dogma, and the Colorado baker who refused to make a special wedding cake for a same sex couple.

Sessions said the Trump administration in “seeking actually to accommodate people of faith.” Which faith? Whose faith?

Political pundits view the move twofold. First, to protect religious zealots who attack LGBT rights. Second, to push the marriage of Church and State on the altar of Christianity.

The new unit a victory for Trump. A victory for Evangelicals. A defeat for freedom and right to choose.

The U.S. is step by  step becoming a nation where government enforcers have been put in place to enforce unAmerican actions. ICE and this new religious unit examples.

Insufficient justice re the stolen Mel Fisher gold bar. The two men who stole the gold bar valued almost at $500,000 have been brought to justice after many years. The two were sentenced yesterday in federal court. One received 63 months in jail, the other 4o.

I suggest justice insufficient in this instance because the bar no longer exists. The thieves hacked it into small pieces to sell for pennies on the dollar. Only small fragments were recovered.

Another reason is Mel Fisher’s insurance recovery. Around $100,000. The insurance company only paid melt value as opposed to market value.

It has been raining! Big time! Major showers! Every day!

Going to rain again today and this evening. Re the daily shower, the weatherman says, “Get used to it.” As to this evening’s shower, there is “always tomorrow.”

Suicides have always been a problem in Monroe County. The Keys a part thereof.

Suicides in the Keys have averaged 21 per year the past 5 years. By July of this year, 20. Indicating suicides in the Keys are on track to double this year.

The reason is attributed to Irma and the pains and problems she left behind. Sad. We have not yet as a society learned how to adequately prepare for natural disasters. Not meant as a blame. Merely a statement of fact.

Where is Bum Farto? Where is Jimmy Hoffa? Birds of a feather in that they disappeared and have not been seen since. Their disappearances in the same year, 1975. Only 5 weeks apart. Hoffa on July 31, Farto on September 9.

Have they both been sitting on an idyllic Mediterranean beach since 1975, or are both part of foundations for major highways?

I was skipping around the internet yesterday looking for some interesting bit of information to share with you. Came up with Queer Politics being taught at the University of Massachusetts. An actual course. Taught one semester a year.

Described as Queer Political Theory. The course description includes “…..denaturalize (hetero)sexuality and (hetero)gender categories, identities and expression.” Asks “what is queer politics and how, in what way, or to what degree is sexuality political.”

The course fulfills a mandatory diversity requirement.

My curiosity was piqued. Were similar courses taught at other colleges/universities? Was I surprised!

Not only taught, but offered as a major or minor. Described generally as LGBT studies.

I came across a listing of 20 such colleges and universities. The first 5 in order of listing: Cornell University, University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, Brown University, and Towson University.

I graduated from college 61 years ago. No such courses taught. Homosexuality here and there in a psychology course. Buried in the closet for all intents and purposes. Transgenderism unheard of. The major was titled “Psychology.” The generality. Nothing more.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou this evening. A podcast. Nine my time. Join me. Guaranteed interesting. A quick half hour of provocative meanderings. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

THE EVIL THAT MEN DO…..

Another immigration story. Involving a child. A 15 year old Honduran girl separated from her parents. She most recently has been kept at the Homestead Shelter for Unaccompanied Children. A detention center.

She escaped.

She ran down the streets of Homestead crying. Finally into a large auto shop. She cowered in a corner. Would not stop crying.

The owner was sympathetic. Everyone was sympathetic.

The girl was scared. Begged not to be sent back.

The police were called who in turn called Shelter officials. The girl was returned to the Shelter.

Ever to be seen again? To be treated well although she ran away? Will she disappear into the bureaucratic morass? Someone should track her existence to make sure no harm comes to her.

I cannot explain why, however I worry whether we are entering into a scenario similar to a returned escaped black in the South or a returned German concentration camp escapee. May sound crazy. However a lot of strange things have been occurring with regard to immigrants and their children in recent months. Nothing would surprise me.

I had planned to remain in last night. A restful evening in bed watching TV. Was not to be. Donna telephoned and said Terri would be singing with Larry Baeder at Blue Macaw.

Spent 3 hours at Blue Macaw with Donna and Terri. Terri her usual spectacular self. Larry Baeder always good.

It rained while we were sitting at the bar. Rain does not describe it. It poured! Then a strong wind. We were protected from the rain by the bar roof. The wind however began blowing the rain in sideways. Got slightly wet.

Key West weather was strange yesterday. The rain last night. The only rain of the day. At noon however, there was thunder. For about a half hour. The sun was shining. The thunder louder than normal. Real loud! One bang after another.

One of Key West’s most popular charity fundraisers is Schooner Wharf Bar’s Battle of the Bars. Next Sunday, the 25th anniversary of the event.

Key West bars participate. All kinds of fun and games whose purpose is to raise monies this year for the Southernmost Boys and Girls Club and the Sister Season Fund.

BOB’s next report concerns Bob Smith going “spiritual.”

Bob was kayaking in the back country. He was sitting on a beach eating lunch. The beach a part of a small uninhabited key.

I used to boat with Bob back when. He would take me out on his small sailboat. Always brought food. We would stop at some uninhabited key and lunch on the beach.

Bob saw a stone sticking up out of the sand. Square. Not small. A tablet. Later discovered to weigh 300 pounds.

There was writing chiseled on it.

Took Bob quite a while to dig it out. Then on the kayak to be brought to Key West. The 300 pound tablet almost sunk or tipped the kayak several times.

The tablet created quite a stir when it arrived in Key West. Bob glamorized it. Referred to the tablet as the “…..first of the new commandments…..Thou Shalt Not Start a Process Thou Cannot Reverse.”

Imagine the implications. Christian Churches were up in arms. Scientists wanted to test the stone.

Bob said no to testing. Shrugged his shoulders as to Church concern. He knew exactly what to do with the tablet. He wanted to place it over the bar at the West Indies Lounge. Nadine the owner would have not of it. She said no.

Bob thought Nadine did not see the value in exhibiting the tablet over the bar. Increased patronage would result. A bit of an upscale crowd. The wine list could be changed to show the better and more expensive stuff. Wine goblets purchased.

I don’t know what happened next. The story ends there.

Israel under Netanyahu has become too big for its britches. Netanyahu himself has turned into an authoritarian figure. One example is that Israel today is the world leader in assassinations.

Mossad is Israel’s secret police. Mossad generally does the assassinations. Since the end of World War II, Israel has been responsible for more deaths by assassination than any other country. Murders committed with more frequency in the past 10 years. Eight hundred during those 10 years.

The Jews suffered greatly at the hands of another authoritarian figure. Adolph Hitler. It seems Israel is adopting some of his methods.

Hot Dog Church at 4 at Aqua. I cannot make it. However, I plan to be at the Orchid Bar at 6 where Arthur will be bartending. Then  to the Rum Barrel where Lauri will be bartending.

Enjoy your Sunday!

CHEATING DOESN’T PAY…..CAN BE COSTLY

Our laws are derived from English law. Going hundreds of years back. Referred to as the Common Law.

One of the laws from days of old was referred to as alienation of affection. A lawsuit brought by a deserted spouse against a third party who is blamed for the failure of the marriage. In short, one spouse cheats and the cheating spouse falls in love with that person. He/she leaves her spouse for the other.

Alienation lawsuits don’t seem to fit into thinking in the U.S. the past 100 years. People want to play and not pay.

As a result, most States threw out alienation of affection as a ground to recover money damages. Only 7 States permit such lawsuits today: Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

A recent North Carolina case evidenced the danger in stealing another man’s wife where the law permits a dollar recovery. The man who cheated with the husband’s wife had a judgment returned against him for $8.8 million.

An expensive piece of ass!

Good time at the Chart Room last night. John bartending. Kevin, Holly and David at the bar.

Larry Smith and wife Christine showed up. I have never seen either in the Chart Room. They were entertaining visiting family and friends from Pennsylvania.

The Pier House’s Wine Galley was Larry’s room. He entertained there for more than 10 years. Music and drink. The room generally filled. The Wine Galley several years ago was turned into a restaurant. Sad. Larry gave the Wine Galley a magic touch. Difficult to replace.

The Blue Macaw afterwards for chicken wings and a drink. Paul and Ron at the bar. Good food and good company.

The Key West weatherman is at it again. Hot today with widely separated thunder showers. He advises, “Pick your favorite storm.”

Tomorrow night will be partly cloudy with a thunder shower. He said, “Plants drink free.”

The Federal Reserve is concerned about inflation. They have suggested interest rates might be raised slightly.

Trump is concerned with inflation also. He does not want interest rates raised. He claims the economy is good and he wants to keep it good full throttle.

The danger with a rising economy is inflation. Interest rates are raised to cool the economy a bit.

The inflation of concern to the Federal Reserve is minimal. Not everywhere, however. Venezuela inflation rose 60,000 percent this past year. A cup of cafe con leche costs over 1 million bolivar.

Things are tough in Venezuela!

Yesterday, Trump announced the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) had risen to 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018. Admirable! Trump to be congratulated. The highest the GDP has been since 2014.

I find it difficult to accept the 4.1 percent GDP. The GDP is a composition of figures/numbers. Not saying the Trump people would do this, but numbers are easily manipulated to produce a desired result. A fudged result. A form of lying.

Even if valid, where will the GDP be in 6-9 months when the impact of the tariff wars hit? Not even close to a 4!

Trump also advised yesterday that 3.7 million new jobs were created. The highest ever. Not correct.

In the 19 months beginning December 2016 and ending June 2018, 3.7 million new jobs were added. Compare that figure to the 4.3 million jobs that were added in the 19 months before Trump’s election.

I fear for the economy. I have been predicting a recession next year. The market is overinflated. The impact of the tariff wars not yet experienced. Corporations are not pouring their tax savings into employee pockets. They are instead buying up the company’s stock.

Madeleine Albright’s Fascism brings to a reader’s attention a reason why authoritarian figures rise: “Men and women who had despaired of political change suddenly felt in touch with the answers they had been seeking…..rallies, where they discovered kindred souls keen to restore greatness to the nation.”

We continue to live in a society where the rich get richer while the poor poorer. The economy is going to be the major issue in November.

Trump has surrounded himself with the rich.

One example is Education Secretary Betsy De Vos. It was reported her $40 million 163 foot yacht was set adrift by vandals at a Northern Ohio Marina. A pic ran with the article. The yacht is 3 stories high.

The Secretary’s husband is former CEO of Amway. Their combined net worth estimated at $1.3 billion.

The Secretary’s brother is Eric Prince. Prince of Blackwater fame. He provides contract soldiers (mercenaries) to our government. For a fee, of course. He presently has another company doing the same work. If I recall correctly, a Prince company helped provide shelters and care for the immigration children taken from their parents.

The Secretary’s father a person of affluence also.

Forbes listed Dad’s family (father, daughter Betsy, son Eric, etc.) as the 88th richest family in America. Their net worth estimated at $5.4 billion.

BOB tired. He said writing yesterday’s article on Fantasy Fest Nudity took a lot out of him. He needs to rest.

Enjoy your day!