GOOMBAY NINE DAYS AWAY

 

Ho ho ho! Fantasy Fest around the corner. Nine days away. Goombay the start. Begins friday October 20. The Fantasy Fest Parade October 28.

Hope Irma does not keep tourists away. Except for debris on some side streets, the town will be ready. Bars and restaurants waiting.

Spent 1.5 hours at the hospital yesterday. The first of many tests I am scheduled for. Tomorrow another one.

One of the topics discussed last night on my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou was Puerto Rico and solar power.

Telsa’s Elon Musk met a few days ago with Governor Ricardo Rossello. They discussed solarizing the whole island rather than rebuilding the electrical system. Musk claims solar power cheaper and quicker to install.

Musk has already solarized the entire of American Samoa and a part of Hawaii.

The United States is lagging behind in the development of solar power. Blame the electrical companies, their well paid lobbyists, and federal and state legislators who dance to their tune.

China is the U.S.’s major competitor in anything economic. Beating the hell out of us. Solar power an example.

China’s solarization is twice the capacity of the United States. China also manufactures solar panels, etc. for export. China exports 99 percent of the panels it manufactures. Jobs a plenty.

Brilliant! Certain of our leaders have told us over the years that solar panels would be a new industry employing many. The U.S. should be the world leader. The words never turned into deeds. Politics, again.

Stone carbs! My favorite food!

The stone crab season begins October 15. This sunday. I can’t wait.

Irma behind us, Key West boards and commissions are back in business. One is the Tree Commission. For years, their business appears to have been ordering the removal of trees. Too many. To the abhorrence of Key West citizens.

Irma took down many trees. Removal should not be part of the Tree Commission’s agenda any further. Key West needs trees! Many kinds! All kinds!

The order of the day for the Tree Commission is to preserve the trees remaining and add to them.

Jenna Stauffer. My Jenna. Loveliest of the lovely. This 82 year old man loves taking 30 year old Jenna to dinner. We have been friends for 9 years.

Jenna just received her real estate license. Her shingle hangs with the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services team.

Everyone affected by Irma. Even baby turtles. Might never become  baby turtles. Most nesting beaches washed away by Irma.

An unnamed  group has joined together. Concerned. They are working at the preservation and restoration of the nesting beaches.

What follows not a Key West problem. Yet.

Reptiles are being found in toilets world wide.

A lizard was found in a Florida toilet. Probably an iguana.

Malaysian toilets are the squat type. Squat over an opening in the floor. A big lizard resting in the toilet.

The best in Pretoria, South Africa. A five foot snake. The commode the style we are accustomed to. A sit on toilet. The police could not get the snake out with poles and hoops. Finally, one officer grabbed the snake by its head and pulled it out.

Can you imagine sitting on a toilet, looking between your legs, and seeing an iguana or snake cuddled in the bowl? You might never go again!

Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this date in 2002. Carter achieved more in his post Presidency years than while President. The award much deserved.

I am pleased to announce the publisher has agreed to go forward with Irma and Me. The body of the book, the meat, is complete. It is that which surrounds it that I have to complete in the next few days.

Enjoy your day!

 

RUSSIA COPYING U.S. METHODS

Russia was always the bad guy. Made to look bad even when not so. No more. Russia has learned. Primarily due to Putin. With skill. Making the U.S. look bad occasionally. More frequently it seems.

Russia has a Federal Drug Control Service. A recent report blames the U.S. with the increase in opium production in Afghanistan. the increase has caused more than one million to die world wide. It also has caused a transnational increase in crime from drug sales.

The thrust of the report is that Afghan opium production is 40 times higher since the U.S. led NATO invasion in 2001. Remember, Operation Enduring Freedom.

I still do not know why we are in Afghanistan or why we remain. Recall the Afghans took down Russia in the 1980s. No one seems to win against the Afghans. The battles rage year after year with the end never in sight.

I wrote two major articles for KONK Life in the past several years re Afghanistan and opium. The last two years ago.

The point in each concerned the Afghan poppy fields which turned into heroin on American streets.

An interesting observation in each was that in a war that has resulted in huge damage and thousands of lives lost, not one poppy field has been bombed. Nor one poppy farmer killed. Nor has one war lord owning the fields ever complained about damage.

The fields are protected.

I have suggested graft exists. On our side. Militarily and otherwise. If not, why do the poppy fields grow without interference and heroin reaches our shores to continue killing and addicting our people?

Russia does not say what I have directly. It merely says opium production 40 times higher today than 16 years ago when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to save the nation.

We were going to bring democracy to a country that never sought it. We failed. In the meantime, contributed greatly to its destruction.

The Russians are using truth against us as concerns Afghanistan. Amazing! They have learned.

Great evening last night. My friend Ted Kane from Wampsville, NY is in Key West on a fishing trip. He enjoys flat fishing this time of the year. Visits Key West several times a year.

Wampsville sits in Madison County in the middle of New York State. It is next door to what was my home county, Oneida.

Ted a lawyer, also. Finished his legal career with a long stretch as Court Clerk. Actually, the confidential clerk to two Judges.

Clerks are a Judge’s brains. Clerks generally research and write the opinions which the Judge then signs.

I never knew Ted back when. How we failed to trip over each other, I do not know. I met Ted 3 years ago at the Chart Room. We have become good friends.

We had dinner together at Hot Tin Roof, followed by a drink at the Chart Room.

I returned home after my pleasant evening out to discover the upstairs air conditioning was not working. It was Hell! I could not get comfortable downstairs. Ended up sleeping in my bed upstairs with the fan over me going full blast.

This morning’s Citizens’ Comment carried an interesting observation. It takes forever to build any public building or edifice these days. The writer asked…..Why? Flagler built the Seven Mile Bridge in less than a year. At a time when construction equipment was no where as sophisticated as today’s.

Two big things on the agenda this morning. The Senate’s proposed health plan and a visit to my heart doctor. Both can be painful. I will do better with my heart than the American people are going to do with the health plan.

Enjoy your day!

 

LOUIS PETRONE SAYS….ON THE WAY

The streaming show I have been working on is scheduled to debut this Thursday December 15. On You Tube. Short hits on different topics several times a day. One hit per segment. Subject matter whatever tickles my fancy at the moment.

The show will archive.

Title, Louis Petrone Says….Could not use Key West as my Tuesday podcast show has in its title Key West Lou. The show is archived on You Tube. Confusion would result. Both shows would be archiving together in a combined fashion.

I hope we are ready by Thursday. I am working towards a Thursday opening. Sloan and I worked on the show yesterday afternoon. We have been working on it. So much to pay attention to.

First stop last night was Tavern ‘n Town. Liz at the bar with lady friends. Glad to see her.

No room. Not a seat available at the bar. Gave Liz a peck on the cheek and left.

Headed for Berlin’s. At 6:30, the bar is generally empty. It was. Not for long, however.

I felt arms around my shoulders. It was Jean Thornton. Alone, also. My dinner companion for the evening. A while since we have been together.

The lovely Bria arrived. With an equally lovely lady. Her mother, Barb. Visiting from New Hampshire. Jean and I chatted with her a while.

Two fellows sat to the right of me. They noticed I was making notes. Asked why. Started a conversation.

Loren and Matthew. Key Westers. Loren a graphic designer. Matthew involved with entertainment. Does the bookings for Sloppy Joe’s. Also, a music composer. His music company M. G. Bell.

They took their drinks back to listen to Bria. Invited me for a drink. I said I would stop by. Jean and I were waiting for our dinners.

By the time I was free to join them, they had left.

Enjoyed a 2 pound Maine lobster again last night.

Weather screwy this morning. Earlier, there was a fog over the ocean. Then a bit of sunlight. Now gray and raining. The water moving fast.

Marathon also rescheduled to Wednesday evening their Lighted Boat Parade scheduled for last night.

Pythons a growing problem in the Florida keys. Literally. I wrote a lengthy column on the python problem three years ago in KONK Life. One of the points stressed was that pythons could not be eradicated. Hopefully, managed.

The number astronomical. Pythons enjoy sex. The python population grows significantly each year.

The fear in the lower keys was that the pythons would reach here. Not yet in significant numbers. My recollection is only three. One lying on the side of a runway at the Key West Airport.

A new study has come out re the python problem. It reported a June 3, 2013 incident.

A 15.6 foot female python was captured. Euthanized. Autopsy discovered the python had gulped down three white tailed deer. One doe and two fawns. Referred to by the scientists as a gustatory feat. Three deer in the gut of one python.

On this day in 1898, a ceremony was held dedicating a large plot area for burial of U.S. sailors killed when the Battleship Maine was sunk. Ten thousand were present for the ceremony. An impressive figure.

Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. An Axis agreement existed between Japan and Germany. Such did not mean the U.S. was automatically at war with Germany. Such would only have occurred had the U.S. attacked Japan.

Hitler had been unhappy with the U.S. A U.S. vessel had attacked a German submarine. The U.S. was engaged in Lend Lease with England. Hitler was aware American emotions were with the English. Roosevelt had been speaking ill of Nazi ideology.

Hitler wanted war with the United States.

On this day in 1941, Hitler addressed the Reichstag. He had declared war on the United States.

He felt it necessary to defend the declaration. He wanted the support of the Reichstag.

Hitler blamed the U.S.’s anti-Nazism on the New Deal. Claimed it was the real cause of the war. The New Deal had failed.  The fault of Roosevelt, his plutocratic friends and the Jews. Roosevelt’s less than actual war actions were to cover up the collapse of his economic agenda.

Hitler said, ” First he incites war, then falsifies the causes, then obviously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy and slowly but surely leads mankind to war.”

The Reichstag leaped to their feet in thunderous applause.

The format sound familiar?

Syracuse looked good yesterday. Beat Boston University 99-77. Syracuse’s offense outstanding. About time! Hope it keeps up.

My neighbor Andrew who owns the MTV house just called. He has returned briefly from his home in Sweden. We are having dinner together tonight.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

FIRST THANKSGIVING MEAL

The first Thanksgiving meal was not as it is today. There was neither turkey, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes nor pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving dinner has evolved!

The date of the event questionable. By a year. Some say 1621, the first year the Pilgrims were on Plymouth soil. Others say 1622, one year later.

The Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians joined together for the party. Not one meal. Actually, a three day feast.

Turkeys were plentiful in the area. Not generally eaten by the Pilgrims. A “fowling party” was sent out to capture the birds to be consumed. Birds regularly eaten by the Pilgrims. Ducks, geese and swans.

Bread stuffing. No way. Herbs, onions or nuts added to the bird for extra flavor purposes.

There was meat. The Indians contributed five deer.

Cranberries were plentiful. Still fifty years away from being used for eating purposes. Sauces or relishes with the meal consisted of sugar which remained from the long Mayflower voyage. The sugar in minimal supply, however.

Fifty years later people started boiling cranberries with sugar. The cranberry sauce first being used as an accompaniment to meats.

Mussels part of the meal. Mussels plentiful in the area. Clung to rocks along the sea shore.

No potatoes. Neither white nor sweet.

Potatoes originally from South America. The Spaniards brought them to Spain. Potatoes were still foreign to England at the time the Mayflower left.

No pumpkin pie. Pumpkins plentiful. Butter and wheat flour required for the crust not available. Nor were there any ovens for baking.

It is possible some pumpkins were hollowed out. Then filled with milk, honey and spices. Following which the gourds were roasted whole in hot ashes.

So much for the first Thanksgiving dinner. Habit of course, but I prefer turkey, cranberries, potatoes, and stuffing buried in gravy. Dessert, pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving, not a day to diet!

More from my blog/Facebook friend Jim Brown who lives on the island of Crete in Greece. Following is a further part of his detailed e-mail response to my inquiry as to why Obama was protested during his recent visit.

Some history required.

The U.S. and Greece were allies during World War II. The Greeks fought shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. in Korea. Greece was a part of NATO.

A military dictatorship took control of Greece in 1967. Unpopular. Remained in power, however. The junta was still in power in November 1973.

Athens Polytechnic is an Athens based university. On November 14, the students went on strike against the military dictatorship. By the next day, November 15, the strike had turned into a revolt.

The students occupied the Polytechnic campus during those days. The demonstrations increased in intensity from the 15th to the 17th.

The military government finally had it. They sent the tanks in on November 17. It was the end of the revolution. Many students died.

The Greeks take the events of those November days seriously. The 17th is a national holiday. There is a memorial stone on the campus. It contains the names of Polytechnic students who fought and were killed during the Greek resistance to Germany during World War II. The monument also contains the names of the students killed on November 17.

A commemoration event takes place each year on campus. The day the students decided to revolt. Two days after the commemoration event, demonstrators march the streets to the United States Embassy.

Why the U.S. Embassy?

Greeks have memories like elephants. They never forget. To this day, the Greeks are upset the U.S. did not support them in the November 1973 uprising. We were allies and friends at the time.

The U.S. and Russia were engaged in the Cold War. The U.S. thought it advantageous to support the military junta against the students. The U.S. felt it was the right move for them re the Cold War.

Once the U.S. broke faith with the Greeks, other reasons developed.

The U.S. was a significant part of NATO. NATO ended the Yugoslavia War in 1999 by bombing Serbia. Serbia was Greece’s orthodox ally.

The U.S. supports the European Union. The Union has been killing Greece with austerity programs. Another reason to be anti-U.S.

The U.S. supports the International Monetary Fund. The Greeks consider the Fund anti-Greece.

The annual parade on November 17 is to pay tribute to the students who died and secondarily, to express Greece’s continued displeasure with the U.S.’s position.

The last President to visit Greece prior to Obama’s visit was Bill Clinton. He formally apologized to the Greeks. He openly admitted the U.S. allowed its interests in prosecuting the Cold War to prevail over its obligation to support democracy.

Now comes Obama’s visit. On November 15. Not the 17th when the parade/demonstration was scheduled. Why waste a parade/demonstration? The event was moved up two days to coincide with Obama’s arrival.

Eight thousand protested. Anarchists and leftists.

The Greeks consider the U.S. a friend. In spite of the reasons given why not. Obama should not have been included in the demonstration. However, Greeks are Greeks. Such is their nature.

Recognize also that those protesting are only a portion of the Greek population.

Again, I must skip a day of Key West history based on a Rotary history. The blog today, though interesting,

already too long. Tomorrow, the Key West Rotary World War II and the immediate years following.

There will be more from Jim Brown, also.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Be grateful for whatever you have. Bountiful or limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GREED

Some people are stupidly greedy. Pennies in their pockets today leading to less money in the future.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reports front page that three exotic dancers at Bare Assets are suing Bare Assets. Exotic dancers is a nice way of referring to strippers as such. Perhaps more.

The three want to be employees, thereby entitling them to overtime or a minimum wage for time worked over 40 hours. Heretofore the ladies have been considered independent contractors, not entitled to employee benefits.

Exotic dancers make a ton of money. More a year than struggling fathers. Some into the six figures. The ladies are money driven. Whether a $1 bill, $20 bill or $100 or more dollars, their hands are always out. Pushing for money. They are like sharks. Always need to be fed.

They should be well compensated. They dance naked. Mingle with customers scantily attired. Subject to having their personal parts groped. Performing lap dances where the bodies are not permitted to touch, but sometime do. And more.

Some are of the opinion that the exotic dancers of today were the prostitutes of yesterday.

Beware of that which you seek! Today, a minimum wage. Tomorrow, health benefits. Then a pension plan. All provided by law. The law then takes the position that the ladies’ incomes should be taxed. To be taxed, the work performed has to be legal. No problem, it is legalized. The tax dollars are huge.

Eventually the government is involved big time. Minimum wage, health benefits are out the window. Forget pensions. More ladies get into the business. Competition lowers the price to be charged. The ladies earn less than before.

I wrote an article touching on some aspects of the situation two years ago for KONK Life. Titled: Berlin The Sex Capital of the World. Read it. Go to my Key West Lou website. .keywestlou.com. The bar at the top of the page has a KONK Wife Column heading. Click on it and scroll down till you find the column.

Yesterday, a bit busy.

Stopped at the Marriott Beachside for the newspapers.

Then to the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. Cuban cheese toast and a large cold Cuban coffee. Sat quite a while reading the newspapers.

I read somewhere recently that Cuban Coffee Queen ice cubes are made of coffee. I checked them out in my drink. Correct! They were dark brown!

Did Martin’s for Happy Hour at the bar. Still early when I was done. Went over to Louie’s Backyard for a couple of drinks. It had been overcast all day. A bit humid. The breeze off the ocean comforting.

Home early to bed. Sleep soon followed.

We all have heard of the Cold War. Those of us older recall vividly the 40 years of Cold War between the U.S. and Russia.

An admonishment first. Better a cold war than a hot one!

I always assumed some President early on described the conflict as a Cold War. I was wrong. It was Bernard Baruch on this day in 1947. Baruch was an adviser to several Presidents. He was addressing the South Carolina House of Representatives at the time.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS III

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. A lovely name! Brings to memory visions of a Southern gentleman of old. Defender of Southern traditions. A person whose present day thinking is that of his Civil War forefathers.

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is the real name of U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions. A 20 year Republican from Alabama. If I had his legitimate name, I probably would want to be known as Jeff, also. Makes him sound like one of the guys.

Sessions and I are diametrically opposed on most issues. He an ultra conservative. I, a liberal. I tolerate him. I respect his position, though not the man personally.

I write about Beauregard this morning because of an article I came across. A small group of U.S. Senators met recently. They oppose the continued legalization of marijuana. Their meeting was described as an anti-pot circus.

Beauregard was quoted as saying “…..good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

I make jest of Sessions not because of his position re the marijuana issue. Rather his standard in arriving at his conclusion: Good people.

I spent yesterday afternoon researching this week’s KONK column. Four hours and I came up with nothing that turned me on. Which means more digging later this afternoon and evening. It is this way every week.

Great time at the Chart Room last night. Three hours of interesting conversation.

My stomach was growling on the way home. I wanted just a sandwich. nothing more. I stopped at the new submarine store in the Sears Shopping Center. Sweet Fire Chipotle. Never had one of their subs.

Ordered a Chicken Alfredo on whole wheat. Intended to bring it home to eat. When I got outside, I saw they had two tables and chairs. I decided to eat there.

I did not take napkins since I had intended to eat at home. Left my bagged sandwich and drink on the table. Went inside for some napkins. The effort took all of 20 seconds.

When I came out, I saw a man starting to pick up my dinner. I calmly said it’s mine. He looked at me with a frightened expression. He was haggard and weather beaten. His clothes slovenly.

He said, “I’m hungry.”

He was obviously a homeless person. I handed my sandwich and drink to him and said, “Enjoy.” He nodded a thank you and hurriedly left. I would have enjoyed talking with him, but we never got that far.

I walked back into the store and duplicated my first order. Remained outside to enjoy the sub. Read the newspapers.

The Chicken Alfredo was excellent!

I erred in yesterday’s blog. I reported the Cow Key Bridge Run was today. It is not. The Run is tomorrow.

Today is the Seven Mile Bridge Race.

We have all come to know William Hackley via the Key West Citizen. The Citizen obtained the diary of William Hackley. Hackley was a Key West adult in the 1850s.

His diary entry each day contains an early morning walk to the salt ponds. Most times,  he indicates following the walk that he bathe.

I assumed he was cleaning up in the salt ponds. Today’s entry indicates otherwise. Apparently there was a well at the salt ponds. He bathe at the well.

On this day in 1942, American and Filipino troops surrendered at Bataan. Twelve thousand Americans and sixty thousand Filipinos. The Bataan death march followed. Thousands died in the march and then the compounds they were confined in for more than three years.

To a minimal degree, justice triumphed. The Japanese commander of the Philippine invasion was tried in 1946 for the deaths and maltreatment caused by the death march. The death march was considered a war crime. He was convicted and executed before a firing squad.

I play bocce at noon. Ran into someone who bought a set of bocce balls and never played. I am to teach him. We will probably last 20 minutes. The sun will be a killer. Lunch at Salute’s afterwards..

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BUBBA SYSTEM AT WORK

Key West politicians take care of their own. Meaning Key Westers. In Key West called the Bubba System. What these politicos forget is that those they are protecting against generally are locals also.

The Uber handling thus far a disgrace. Shades of Duck tours.

It is easy to understand what occurred. When local cab companies and cab drivers became aware Uber was coming, they complained to City Commission members. The City Commission took care of their own. They passed an ordinance making it illegal for Uber to operate.

There are only 72 permits available for cabs in  Key West. Four cab companies the owners. Permits hard to get. There has not been a permit available for 26 years.

The new ordinance made it a crime in effect for drivers to operate under Uber auspices (though Uber was not mentioned specifically in the ordinance), subjected drivers to arrest and jail upon conviction, and worst of all provided that no jury trial would be available. The lack of right to a jury trial specific evidence of the intent of the City Commission to stand solidly behind locals to the detriment of others.

A we’ll get them attitude. The same attitude that cost Key West taxpayers $8 million in the Duck Tours case.

I am motivated to write about Uber once more because this morning’s Key West Citizen tells the story of a local who drove under Uber. He recently had lost a $900 a month management job. Uber was his God send. A way to make up the money. And not at $10-12 an hour. He was arrested yesterday by two undercover police officers. Sounds like a major drug bust!

The City Commission forgets Key West has many outside companies that provide jobs for locals and provide a specific service to residents. Think about it. Gap, Banana Republic, McDonald’s, Sears, Outback. Even hotels. The Pier House, La Concha, and the Southernmost Complex.

My yesterday was the anti-gravity treadmill, my dentist Dr. George Lindner, and researching for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Topics include how the U.S. has lost its way, Iran, the French Revolution, a Greece update, El Salvador refusing to use Monsanto herbicides, China not sitting on its ass, and more.

Join me at 9 o’clock for a fast moving interesting show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Th U.S./Iran deal announced this morning. I am fearful. I do not trust middle east nations. Iran and Saudi Arabia two examples. What they promise and what they ultimately do two different things. The U.S. is fortunate Israel is not buying in. Israel will bomb the hell out of Iran if their suspicions turn into realities.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..” Opening words of Charles Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities. A story of the French Revolution. Today is the anniversary of the event. On this day in 1789, the French people went to the streets, stormed the Bastille, etc.

Enjoy your day!