TRIP AROUND THE WORLD

No blog yesterday. I was not sick. Comcast was. No wi-fi or TV from 8 to 2:30. When Comcast returned, it was too late to do the blog. By the time I finished, it would have been at least 4. Many would have missed reading it.

A senior plague is falling. Do I know! Donna fell last night. Broke her left shoulder.

Donna was dining at Mangoes with Terri and friends. Stood up from the table. Took two steps and dropped. Appears she went straight down. Terri believes Donna passed out. Ended up with the fractured shoulder and a bloody nose.

Wednesday night was quiet. Dinner at Berlin’s and early to bed. Last night, quieter. Early to bed.

Things moving rapidly world wide. I want to share a few that may not have come to your attention.

The Koch Brothers. Richer than rich.  Part of the one percent.

It is reported the Koch Brothers spent $20 million supporting passage of the new tax law. A pittance compared to the $1 billion to $1.5 billion they will save in taxes alone.

A worthwhile investment.

The day after the House passed the tax bill in December, the Koch network made a $500,000 contribution to one of Speaker Ryan’s campaign accounts.

Another good investment.

There is a robot revolution. I have been talking about it for at least two years. Many are. Is Washington listening?

Robots and artificial intelligence are transforming the United States. Are we ready? Jobs are everything. The future is automated. Every job at risk.

I disagree with Trump when he says jobs are coming back. Companies, yes. Jobs not necessarily. Most large companies now situated in Europe that might return are automated. Rely big time on robots.

Our government does not seem to be doing enough, if anything, to prepare for the robotic way of production. There is neither discussion nor action.

Mubarak was a great Egyptian leader. Our friend. A friend of Israel. The U.S. deserted him when the revolution came. The new government jailed him.

The present Egyptian regime is authoritarian. On the verge of totalitarian. A recent experience may foretell what might occur in the United States.

Keep in mind Trump is authoritarian.

Egypt has a Presidential election in March. Don’t think because an election is scheduled that a country is democratic. Putin is facing one in Russia in a few months.

Egypt’s present President had his top opponent and thirty of his staff arrested tuesday. Some family members, also. Most jailed in unknown places.

Justification…..The arrests were part of Egypt’s wide ranging war on terrorism.

Most agree that Russia influenced the U.S.’s most recent Presidential election via the internet. The use of social media.

Our close friend Israel is now doing the same thing. Just as Russia did. Israel’s goal to flood the internet with comments favorable to candidates Israel would like to see elected. Israel’s purpose to promote desired content on social media and search engines, including Google, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Netanyahu is becoming a despot. I have not looked favorably upon him since he came to the U.S. to speak to a joint session of Congress. Invited by the Republicans. Not invited by Obama. The custom having been to be invited for a visit by the U.S. President.

Presently, Netanyahu a friend of Trump. Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that the U.S. embassy would be moving there.

China drifting further and further away from the U.S.

China has become best friends with Russia. China has built and continues to build islands in the South China Seas. Islands where none existed before. To be used as military airfields. In the last six years, the number of Chinese Navy vessels has increased dramatically. New up to date war machines.

Now, China is working on creating a superhuman army. A top secret till recently.

During the last three years, 86 Chinese citizens underwent surgery to dramatically alter their genes. Chinese doctors selectively edited DNA cells in the patient bodies and replaced them with stronger genetics.

The U.S government is aware and concerned.

The Chinese have been involved in cloning. The Chinese recently announced two healthy monkeys “born” of cloning. Considered a step closer to cloning a human. Probable. Monkeys are primates. Primates include monkeys, apes, and humans.

Trump in Davos. Scheduled to speak today.

The African nations are upset with Trump’s recent “shithole countries” comment.

The word is the African nations will walk out when Trump speaks.

Trump met with the head of the African Union yesterday.  Their talk amiable. Trump did not apologize.

Whether a walk out occurs will be interesting.

Enjoy your day!

BRIA ANSARA…..FRIENDLY AND ACCESSIBLE DIVA

Two years ago, I insulted Bria Ansara in this blog. What possessed me I know not. It took six months before Bria would forgive me. We are now friends. She was the lady at a time when I was not the gentleman.

Bria is recognized today by the Key West Citizen. As one of Key West’s “Familiar Faces.” Front page photo recognition and article. Familiar Faces writes of people who contribute in some fashion to the island.

She is an outstanding performer. Sings, acts, etc. I generally dine friday or saturday at Berlin’s where she entertains weekends. Yes, the food is good. I go because of Bria. She is better. The best.

Friendly fits Bria. The Citizen describes her as friendly and accessible. Correctly so.

Bria has another life besides that of an entertainer. She teaches art. To students at Montessori. She teaches my Robert and Ally.

The Alabama/Georgia game destroyed me last night. I remained  awake to watch it. I had remained up late sunday evening also.

Fell asleep with 5 minutes to go. Missed the most interesting parts. The final minutes and overtime.

From the reruns this morning, I missed the best parts of the game. Whatever. Congrats to both teams. Especially to Alabama freshman Tagovailoa who went into the game in the second half and played a hell of a game.

Earlier in the day, I worked on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Tons of hot issues out there. I have assembled a dozen interesting topics to share, excite and perhaps even open your eyes.

Join me at 9. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Guaranteed you will enjoy. Even if you disagree with me.

I was in Aqua at 5. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Heather-May.

The best deal in town. Great singing. Off the wall good. Costs nothing, except for a drink or two.

Met Rob and James at Dueling Bartenders. They recently bought a home in Key West. Their primary residence Boca Raton.

Pleasant guys. Rob’s other life had him  involved in real estate and with IBM. Most recently, a math teacher at the Lower Keys Community College. James, an operations manager for a large insurance company.

Wanted to get home for the game. Stopped at Publix for a few things. I am on Atkins. It requires constant food replenishing. Expensive. I don’t know if I shared with you the scale showed a 2 pound loss three days ago. The loss has remained. Makes a total of 12 pounds.

Slow.

There is a new webcam in Key West. At Conch Republic. Operates 24 hours. Shows Key West Historic Seaport. Take a look. KeyWestHistoricSeaport.com.

Last week, Trump cut off Pakistan from financial aid the U.S. has been providing for years. Trump claimed it was because Pakistan was not controlling terrorists in its country.

Strange. There are other countries the U.S. provides aid that are not controlling terrorists within their borders.

There is a story behind the one Washington suggests.

Pakistan has become friendly with China. It permitted China to build a naval base last year in Djibouti. The ribbon cutting ceremony was July 1, 2017.

Last week, Pakistan announced that China would build a second naval base at Gwadar.

Both bases primarily intended to provide China with military outposts.

Trump is in the process of cutting off Pakistan because of the Chinese bases, not the terrorism issue.

Pakistan is not a nation to be defecated upon. The day after Trump’s announcement, Pakistan announced it was moving from the American dollar to the Chinese yuan for certain monetary transactions.

Venezuela did the same thing several months ago when Trump suggested the U.S. might have to invade Venezuela because Maduro was not taking care of his people.

Moving to the yuan weakens the American dollar. Should this trend continue, the dollar will be debased tremendously. Significant economic problems the result.

Trump continues to shot from the hip without thinking, without carefully examining the ramifications of his moves.

Trump further said the money saved by cutting Pakistan off would be used to build roads and bridges in the United States.

Sometimes the President reminds me of tonic salesmen of old.

Consider purchasing Irma and Me. Humor and sadness combined. Easy reading. Available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Kobobooks.com.

Enjoy your day!

 

CATHERINE, THE SAINT, AND TROPIC CINEMA

Another good night in Key West!

Remaining in and early to bed New Year’s Eve lost me nothing. As I reported New Years Day, every evening in Key West is New Year’s Eve.

Started early yesterday. Four thirty. My companion Catherine.

Falling is common with seniors. Especially me. At 82, I seem to have it under control. I watch every step I take. Pay attention to how I am moving. There will be times though when it will happen again.

Catherine is ten years younger than me. She uses a cane. Wobbly on her feet. Walks carefully. Hers not a balance problem. She had hip replacement surgery in October. Still recovering.

She toppled last week at Berlin’s. Not at all last night.

We have a problem when we are together should she fall. I cannot help her up. My heart. I lift nothing. Additionally, when I bend down, I get dizzy and go completely down.

Catherine tends to drop things. Retrieval her headache. She understands.

We are a dangerous couple together.

The game plan was Happy Hour at the Saint and then across the street to the Tropic Cinema to see the Churchill film Darkest Hour.

Food and atmosphere at the Saint excellent.

Then to the movies.

I was anxious to see the Darkest Hour. Love World War II stories. The film is good, not excellent. Worth seeing. Gary Oldman may win an Academy Award for his performance.

I was taken with the woman who played Churchill’s wife. A difficult role. Perhaps a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

Our evening was over at 8:30 when I returned Catherine home. Still early. Decided to stop at the Chart Room.

Ollie there. We have not seen each other in months. An environmental genius. Takes nature seriously.

Ollie just returned from a two week vacation. Drove Key West to Washington, DC and back. Except for Washington, stayed a day or two in small communities. Enjoyed the trip tremendously.

The Chart Room was quiet. Shaun bartending. All of a sudden, Jean Thornton showed up. She and Joe had dinner at Berlin’s. Joe was tired. Went home to sleep. The evening still early. Jean stopped in.

We had a very good time. Jean, Ollie, Shaun and Louis. Lots of laughs.

Wounded Warriors Day yesterday in Key West. The Wounded Warrior Project is nationwide. Veterans bike long distances for 3-4 days. Yesterday, they came down from Boca Chica to Key West.

Cheering groups along the way greeted the veterans.

A couple of hours before the bikers arrived was tie a yellow ribbon time. Recalls the popular song of the mid 1970’s.

Local veterans tied 180 yellow ribbons and small American flags on palm trees on North Roosevelt Boulevard and elsewhere. A proud time for watchers and the riders themselves.

The weather still cold. In the 50’s last night. Supposed to hit 70 during the day. Then down to 64 during the evening. Tomorrow or the next day, the daytime temperature will rise to 75-76 degrees. Not for long. Another cold front is coming in Saturday or Sunday and it will be Key West cold for a week.

Syracuse disaster yesterday! My team lost to Notre Dame 51-49. I missed the game. My concern growing.

Attorney General Sessions a man of the past. Nineteen fiftyish. He advised this week that his attorneys would be pursuing marijuana use where States had already made its recreational use legal. There is a Federal law in conflict with State law. The Federal law makes marijuana use illegal.

A waste of time and money. If Sessions wants to pursue drug suppliers and users, he should make war on the opioid epidemic engulfing the U.S. More than 100 persons a day dying from opioid use.

Gallup and Pew are respected pollsters. Each came out with a poll this week showing more than 60 percent of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. Those not in favor primarily older citizens.

A subsequent article described those opposed as Neanderthals and self-righteous Evangelicals.

Trump made a big speech two months ago. Opioids an emergency situation. One problem, however. Trump did not put the money where his mouth was. He passed the buck to the States to make the war.

French President Macron accused the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia of desiring war with Iran. Claimed the three nations had a deliberate strategy to push war.

I agree. Look at who the U.S. has for partners. Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both great friends of Donald Trump. The old story that birds of a feather flock together.

I get the feeling Irma and Me is selling. People stop me to say they bought the book or ask me questions about it. People e-mail me to advise they ordered the book.

God bless!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

United States Being Destroyed By Its Own

Trump the Pied Piper again. Leading his followers in an attempt to demean and demolish Justice in the United States.

His attack directed at the Department of Justice, FBI, and the Judicial System. His wrongdoing monumental in comparison to Nixon’s wrongdoing.

This is the most dangerous time in the history of our country.

We are being destroyed by our own!

Yesterday, friday. It was different for me. Normally, I am out and about on a friday evening. Not last night.

I worked once again in the afternoon on my next novel. Growing Up Italian. The words were flowing well. I ended up working till 11 in the evening.

I have been at the Italian book four years. Irma’s acceptance has motivated me to get the book to the publisher’s desk.

Irma and Me continues to be available on the internet at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

The “bad guys” are back. Oxitec. The issue 2-3 years ago re testing a purported mosquito killer on Key Haven was killed by the people in a general election. At the time, the Florida was involved in oversight.

Oxitec has reapplied to test in the lower keys. The application this time to the EPA. Scares me. Trump’s EPA is not concerned about you and me. Only corporations.

Oxitec seeks permission to test without specifying where.

Ollie, get your team back together. The fight continues!

Syracuse/Georgetown today at 12:30. Georgetown a 5 point favorite.

Two foes of yesteryear. While both were members of the Big East. Every game to the death!

Coaches Jim Boeheim and John Thompson actually disliking each other. No friendship till a couple of years after Thompson retired. Boeheim and Thompson ran into each other. Thompson extended his hand. Saying something in effect to Boeheim that he really had not liked him.

The coaching giants friends today!

Big day in American history. On this date in 1771, the Boston Tea Party. An act of rebellion if there ever was one. Great for the colonists’ cause.

Rebellion happens. A people who think they are getting screwed will react in such fashion. It could happen again.

It was bound to happen! Sexual harassment in reverse. A male reported having been harassed by a female several years ago. In the political arena, no less.

Andrea Ramsey had announced she was a Democratic candidate for Congress. The Congressional District in Kansas. She dropped out of the race this week.

A male subordinate claimed she sexually harassed him in 2005. He claimed she fired him for refusing her advances.

Works both ways. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander. What is good for the gander, is good for the goose.

A new word in the Oxford Dictionary. Youthquake. Defined as “a significant, cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.”

The word the result of the wakening of millennials seeking change during the past 12 months.

Will the birth control issue ever leave us?

Trump issued a new rule re birth control. One which could significantly reduce women’s access to free birth control. He expanded religious exemptions to include non-religious entities.

In two instances. One to include publicly traded corporations. The other permitting denial on moral grounds (an extension of religious grounds).

A Federal District Court Judge temporarily blocked the new Trump rules.

Enjoy your day!

U.S. IS CHANGING DIRECTION

Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama Senate race yesterday tied with the Democratic sweep in Virginia several months ago indicates the United States has changed direction. The momentum is there. Except for that solid 30-35 percent of Trump voters, politically, mentally, socially, etc., America has seen the error of its ways.

Perhaps it had to be. The election of a Donald Trump. It has shaken things up. Not for the better in most instances.

Roy Moore is a sick man. How can a person who hates gays, blacks and Jews, yet loves 13-14 year olds, be elected to the Senate? I admit I was concerned. A crazy election. I thought “Albamians would stick to the script and elect a Republican, regardless of his propensities for the unsatisfactory and sick.

Glad I was wrong.

Then there is Trump in recent days. He cannot stop vilifying women. The most recent New York’s Senator Karen Gillibrand. Said she “would do anything for campaign contributions.” Inferring she was a whore.

Bad guy!

The election a stunning upset. Especially since Trump went all out for Moore. I cannot refer to Trump and Moore as birds of a feather. One likes only adult women whereas the other young girls.

The victory is being attributed to the exceptionally huge black turn out, suburban Republican wives, and college students.

I hope the Democrats are learning. One of the reasons Trump became President was because of Democratic failings.

I was impressed with the ground game on Jones’ behalf. Trust the Democrats will be able to keep it up in other States as 2018 approaches.

Saw the eye doctor and optician again yesterday morning. Turns out my prescription was way off. Waiting now for new lenses.

I was supposed to be at Guy de Boer’s home last night for a party. Around noon, I got tired. Exhausted. Called Guy around six and begged off.

This exhaustion is a pain! I was so tired, I did not go down stairs for something to eat at dinner time. I did not want to climb the stairs on the return trip.

I had planned on completing and fine tuning my podcast show scheduled for last night during the afternoon. No way! I was beat!

Winged it! Thought the show went smoothly. Listened to it this morning. Like every other show. Not obvious I was winging it.

Banks are thieves. So too, pharmaceutical houses.

The drug houses raise prices at will. Price gouging, in effect. Screw the public! Proper governmental controls and oversight lacking.

Avondale Pharmaceuticals the most recent example.

The gouging system simple. The company buys the rights to a drug that has little or no competition. Then massively inflate the price.

Two examples are Niacor and SSKI.

Niacor is a niacin/vitamin B pill. One hundred per bottle. Sold for $32.46 per bottle. Price raised to $295. An 800 percent increase.

SSKI’s increase 2,500 percent. Cost of a 30ml bottle went from $11.48 to $295.

I have been writing and reporting for two years re the Department of Defense’s inability to account for billions of dollars. Last week the Department announced it was preparing to audit the military. An inventory. Planes, guns, etc. First time.

Two days ago, the Department announced it had lost 44,000 military. Did not know where they were. The tracking system failed.

The were going to try to find them via the audit.

Yesterday, a third announcement by the Department and also the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money part I had been complaining about.

It was announced that between 1998 and 2015, the two Departments had lost a combined $21 trillion. Taxpayer funds. Not accountable. No receipts, vouchers, etc.

To make matters even worse, it was reported that the Departments were “plugging” the figures. Making up numbers to make any accounting balance.

Twenty one trillion dollars is more than the national debt. It equates to $65,000 per man, woman and child in the United States.

Party time again tonight. A fundraiser.

Mary Lou Hoover is one of the most able and active women in Key West. She has decided to enter politics. She is running for the Key West City Commission.

The fundraiser is scheduled for this evening from 5:30 to 8:00 at Kate Miano’s new home on Free School Lane.

Jean Thornton and I will be attending together and then walking down the street to Marquesa for dinner.

Iguanas have been a problem for close to 20 years. Never in Key West, all of a sudden they appeared. In droves. All sizes. The community grew.

Iguanas are prolific. They multiply rapidly. The problem in the Keys overall is out of control. As with pythons.

The State has finally decided to do something about it. A program involving self-help will be instituted throughout the Keys. Purpose, to eradicate or control.

As with the pythons, never to be controlled in my opinion. Too late. Hopefully, contained.

Why are iguanas a problem? They eat flowers and foliage. You spend money for a lovely garden. They devour it. Their defecation a problem, also. They shit in our pools! Don’t laugh. The pool has to be drained and refilled.

Irma and Me selling well. I am impressed! The only story of Hurricane Irma on the book shelves. Buy a copy to enjoy yourself or give as a Christmas gift. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

IRMA EVACUEE REUNION

First stop last night was Tammy. My manicurist.

The woman a charm. A mere 34 years old. Born Vietnam. In the U.S. 14 years. Already a proud U.S. citizen. She and husband Rick owners of a thriving nail business.

Always enjoy my half hour with her. We talk of many things.

Then to the main event. Irma evacuee reunion. Those of us who fled the hurricane and ended up spending 12 days as the “guests” of Jean and Joe Thornton at their Birmingham, Alabama home.

Five of us and three dogs.

We bonded.

Only one failed to make the reunion. Dan. Ann, Haywood, Joanne and her friend Tim, me, and the Thorntons at Alonzo’s.

We drank, ate and overall had a good time. Just as it was in Birmingham those 12 days when we were hiding from Irma.

I wrote Irma and Me based on the evacuee situation. Publisher still has not got it out. Thought it would be available for sale three weeks ago. Still waiting.

Most of us ended up at the Chart Room following Alonzo’s. Packed. Streets empty. The Chart Room overflowing. Tourists. I suspect our group were the only locals.

A stimulating evening for me.

Met Jenni and Spence from West Memphis, Arkansas. A great couple!

Jenni a former history teacher. I liked her right away. Now, a high school librarian. Charming and beautiful. Husband Spence a farmer. Soybeans and rice. The farm 5,500 acres. A corporation. Employs 10.

No strangers to Key West. Visit frequently.

Celebrating Spence’s 38th birthday.

I spent most of the evening talking with Spence. An education! Spence is knee deep in the farm situation, Monsanto, pending tax litigation. All tied together. He and an uncle own the farm. They work hard to keep it in their hands and not have to sell to another entity.

A constant battle. Though not hurting financially, the battle one for survival.

Spence opened my eyes to many things.

An interesting announcement in this morning’s Key West Citizen. KWAHS and the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit are merging. The Williams portion will continue operation at 513 Truman Ave.

Tennessee Williams lived 40 plus years of his life on Duncan Street. He authored The Rose Tattoo. During this week in 1954, Hollywood began filming The Rose Tattoo two doors up from Tennessee Williams’ home. Bert Lancaster and Anna Mangani starred. Mangani received the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance.

My daughter Lisa and family live one block in the other direction on Duncan from the Williams home.

I continue to live and learn. A commandant of the U.S. Marines was born in Key West. General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. Born November 3, 1913. Served as the 24th Commandant of the Marines, 1968-1972.

Ran into Bill from Boston again a couple of nights ago. Would like to run into him again. An interesting person.

We talked college football the first night. I a Syracuse grad. He, Boston college.

The other night he mentioned as we passed a Boston College glory year. Not sure whether 1920 or 1922. Both glory years for Boston!

In 1920, Boston college beat Holy Cross in the season’s final game. Boston went 8-0 that year.

Nineteen twenty two another big Boston College year. Beat Holy Cross 17-13 before a crowd of 54,000. A record for attendance at the time.

Syracuse/Florida State today. Florida State a 6 point favorite. Syracuse could win.

I continue to believe the economic recovery is built on sand. The high market numbers artificially inflated by global central banks. The rich getting richer. the poor, poorer.

A recent study indicated 78 percent of Americans live pay check to pay check. Also, 71 percent are in debt.

Trump left for Asia yesterday. An 11 day trip. He will visit 5 countries.

One is China. Trump is out of his class when it comes to China’s President Xi Jinping.

Trade will be a big issue. China in a much better position than the U.S. as regards trade. If Trump achieves anything, it will be minimal.

An under current in the discussions will be oil and the petrodollar. Way back when, an agreement was entered into where most of the oil trading countries would sell oil using American dollars. A boon for the U.S. Helps keep the value of the American dollar high.

A month ago, Trump thought he was screwing Venezuela’s President Maduro. He sanctioned the hell out of Venezuela. Basically forcing American banks and business persons to stop doing business with Venezuela.

Unfortunately, Trump cannot see beyond his nose. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. Maduro announced that henceforth Venezuela would not sell its oil based on the American petrodollar. It would sell based on the Chinese petro-yuan.

The first major oil producer to break the age long pact that the American dollar was to be used. China happy. Russia, also. Other countries may follow. The result will be the devaluation of the American dollar.

Such will take place over a number of years.

Good job, Mr. President! As you claim, you are one smart man!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

POEMS ARE MADE BY FOOLS LIKE ME, BUT ONLY EMALYN MERCER CAN SAVE A TREE

Change a couple of words and Joyce Kilmer’s famous lines from Trees becomes a well deserved tribute to Key West’s Emalyn Mercer. She saved two huge tongue trees.

It was early morning. Emalyn still in her pajamas. She heard the buzzsaws. Buzzsaws cutting down trees on her block. The trees in front of her mother’s home at 701 Catherine Street appeared in line to be cut down.

Emily ran out and tried to climb the tree. Her husband brought a ladder. Up she went. A sign appeared…..Save the Trees.

Emalyn perched on the tree for two hours. The buzzsaws went away. Probably to return.

Emalyn, a hero.

Key West has a Tree Commission that orders trees native to Key West to be cut down and replaced with a tree not native to the area. It appears the goal of the Tree Commission is to have similar trees throughout Key West. The approach not Key West nor consistent with a community that has represented within its borders every type person. Diversity called for. Not what the Tree Commission is doing.

Harry Truman is another Key West hero, though his exploits occurred elsewhere.

Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman loved Key West. He vacationed here a total of 175 days covering 11 separate trips.

Yesterday marked the day in 1948 when Truman won election to the Presidency over Thomas Dewey. An unexpected result.

The media was convinced Dewey would trounce Truman. Truman was not a popular President.

It appeared the nation was against him.

Truman opted to do a whistle stop campaign across the country. He stopped at communities big and small. He spoke to those gathered from the back platform of the last car.

I recall his stop in Utica. I was in the eighth grade. Two of my buddies and I rode our bicycles to the railroad station to hear the President. He had already started his talk.

The place was packed. People all over the tracks, etc. listening. We could neither see nor hear the President from the back of the crowd.

We did the necessary. We rolled our bikes right up in front of the platform from which Truman was speaking. There was about five feet separating the President’s car and crowd.

Truman’s talk was the same at each stop. The country was having problems because of a do nothing Congress. Do nothing Congress his verbiage.

We had the best seats in town! We were excited to be there and proud to have been able to be that close to a President of the United States.

Truman had all kinds of insulting occurrences during the campaign. He was not getting Presidential respect from many. One example his whistle stop train traveling somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The train stopped. The conductor told Truman the train would go no further till his bill with the railroad company was paid. It was grossly in default.

Truman dug into his pockets and went around asking others to do so also. Some wrote big checks. The bill was paid and Truman was able to continue.

An insult! As Rodney Dangerfield was wont to say…..Truman was getting no respect.

The nation went to bed election night believing Dewey had won. It took longer in those days to count ballots.

The Chicago Tribune had a late night edition on the streets. Its headline…..Dewey Defeats Truman.

H. V. Kaltenborn was a famous American radio commentator. He went on the air advising that Dewey had defeated Truman.

Both media types wrong. When the nation woke the next morning, Truman had won by more than 2 million votes.

That same morning at a press conference, Truman was asked what he was going to do next. His response…..I’m going to Key West on vacation!

I frequently complain about the tourist operation of bicycles and scooters on Key West streets. A danger to the operators and to others. Car drivers and pedestrians.

Yesterday, another accident involving a tourist driving his scooter in an improper manner.

A 41 year old Louisiana visitor was operating a scooter at the intersection of White and Union. He was passing cars on the right. Went into the intersection and struck a broadside a car making a left turn. The tourist died.

He would not have had he stayed in line with the vehicles to the front of him. Scooter and bicycle operators are required to follow the same laws. One being no passing on the right.

Enjoy your day!

AMERICA’S HORNIEST PRESIDENT

America’s horniest President? Not John Kennedy. Not Bill Clinton.

Warren G. Harding. Considered also our worst President. Referred to as “useless.” His administration blanketed in corruption.

Harding was a lover.

One of his great loves involved Nan Britton.

They met when she was 14 and he 45. The relationship got going in a New York City hotel room when Nan was 18 and the President 49. Everything short of actual consummation. Nan wanted to preserve her virginity.

Two years later when Nan was 20 and the President 51, Nan relented and gave Harding a woman’s most prized possession.

The relationship continued into the White House. Nan had the run of the place. The two were careful as to their sexual escapades. they enjoyed sex in a small closet in the ante-room to the Oval Office. The closet five foot square.

Nan gave birth to a baby girl. He supported her and the child with monthly payments. The Republican National Party did likewise.

Harding and Trump have much in common. In addition to sexcapades, opposition to immigration. Harding enacted racist immigration laws.

Harding referred to Nan as his “sweetheart incompatible.”

He referred to his penis as “Jerry.”

Another of his loves was Carrie Fulton Phillips. Considered Harding’s lifetime mistress.

In 2014, the Library of Congress released Harding’s love letters to Carrie.

In one, he write: “I love your poise / Of perfect thighs / When they hold me in paradise…..”

In another: “Jerry came and will not go, says he loves you….. / He is so utterly devoted that he only exists to give you all.”

Why this story today? Harding was born on this date in 1865.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending.

Chris and Don there! My Syracuse area friends. Love them both!

they are to be married in March. At the Hyatt. they were to be married on the dock. No dock. Irma. Hyatt assured them there would be one in place by March.

Chris is putting the wedding together. A monumental job. In addition to her work as a top executive with a major company.

They relieved me as to what I am to wear to the wedding. I mentioned I had to purchase a sport jacket, slacks and shoes for the event. I only have shorts, shirts and sandals. Don said, “Absolutely not.” The wedding an informal one attire wise. He is wearing shorts and a sport shirt.

A gent and his wife were seated on the other side of me. He a Boston College grad. An attorney. We talked Boston College sports. Especially, football. Doug Flutie, of course.

Then to Hot Tin Roof alone for dinner. Sat at the bar.

They had stone crabs! My meal! Eight dollars per stone crab. small ones. I had six. Equated to one pound. Absolutely delicious!

As good as the small ones at Pier One. More expensive however. Pier One $26 a pound compared to the $48 a pound I paid at Hot Tin Roof.

Turned out to be a good food and good time evening.

A lady two seats over at the bar asked if I were Louis. I was. we had met 5 1/2 years ago at the Chart Room. She recalled i had mentioned her in the blog the next day.

Lesley her name.

Lesley left Key West at some point thereafter. To Nashville. In the process of returning. actually arrived the day before after fleeing Irma for a few days. she has a position as bartender at the new Duval Central soon to open. The former Gecko’s. She already is settled in. Apartment, etc.

Enjoyed her company. Will stop into Duval Central when it opens to visit her.

Duval Central cannot miss. It is between Sloppy Joe’s and Irish Kevin’s. The word is Gecko closed down because the landlord doubled the rent. It happens in Key West.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast carried a slew of photos by Bill Klipp of the Fantasy Fest Parade. Great pics!

There has been no public announcement as to the crowd for the parade. Normally, 80,000. Eighty thousand translates into very crowded sidewalks. Hard to move.

the photos showed much fewer spectators. A marathon could be run on the siewalks.

Guess that is why there has been no announcement as to number of watchers.

I was totally into baseball in my early years. Dies not tuen me on in my old age. as eveidenced by the fact that I watched not one inning of the World Series.

Noted this morning that the Houston /astros won the series in seven games. Over th Los Angeles Dodgers. Congratulations to the Astros

Nevember is National Novel Writing Month. My publisher advised it woud be out by the end of the week. tomorrow is friday. hope it on the stands!

Whatever, Irma and Me will be born during National Novel Writing Month. Unintentionally.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

FANTASY FEST PARADE A SUCCESS

I am assuming the Fantasy fest Parade last night was a success. Assume because I did not see it.

I stopped watching the parade ten years ago.

Parking always a problem. I got towed two successive years. Cost $250 each time to get my car back.

Parking always many blocks from Duval. A long walk to and back from the parade.

Too many people. The streets jammed with viewers.

Seen one, seen them all.

Normally, the Sunday edition of the Key West Citizen would run pictures of the parade and police estimates as to the size of the crowd. Unfortunately, we no longer have a Sunday edition of the Citizen.

I was able to find some news about the parade in a Miami paper on the internet. However, the news portion only ran up to the beginning of the parade. There were a few photos and a video of portions of the parade itself. Unfortunately, neither could provide a sense of the size of the crowd.

So definitive information not available to share till tomorrow morning.

Another reason for not attending last night was topical storm Phillipe. Phillipe is the 93L storm I mentioned yesterday. Got upgraded to a tropical storm. Pouring rain was expected.

From what I have been able to ascertain, Key West lucked out as it did with Irma. At the last minute, Phillipe shifted and the parade did not get poured on. Merely a few drops.

Some ask why the Parade so soon after Irma. Perhaps it would have been better to adjourn it a month to get Key West in better shape.

Simple, my friends. Money.

A proper reason this year at this time. Key West’s labor force primarily consists of waiters, waitresses, bartenders and kitchen help. They all took a beating because of Irma. Closed for the storm. Most did not reopen right away. Some still not open. Damage too extensive. The workers without income.

Rent became due. Most scraped to meet the rent. Very expensive to rent in Key West. Extremely. some landlords got piggish immediately. Rose their rents $300-700 a month. Levels many would not be able to meet. Many of the waiters, etc. have left Key West since Irma. They simply could no longer afford to live here.

Therein lies the reason Fantasy Fest was pushed. Workers for the hotels, restaurants, and bars were in need of the cash infusion.

Two things have been eating at me the past few days. I did a Facebook live video on one the other day.

The first is Trump and his opioid emergency announcement.  Means nothing unless it is funded. Congress has to authorize the money. Congress is not even talking about it.

A typical Trump move. Make a major announcement. Toss the responsibility/next step to Congress. If Congress fails, Trump cannot be blamed.

Keep in mind also we do not have a Secretary of Health, etc. nor a Drug Czar at the present time. Who is going to run the program?

The other involves Puerto Rico and its power grid. Seventy five percent of Puerto Rico is still without electric power. Some six weeks post Irma.

Three hundred million dollars has been appropriated to get work going to restore electricity.

The contract has been given to Whitefish Energy Holdings. The company two years old.  Two employees, the principals. Located in Whiteface, Montana.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is from Whiteface, Montana.

Something smalls here. As it should. We have a President and his family who are engaged in business dealings world wide. Refusing transparency. Business as usual.

As the saying goes…..What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

I many times reference a happening as “only in Key West.” I have an only in Mississippi one to share.

A young African-American mother was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in Pearl, Mississippi. Her 4 month old baby was with her.

The police checked identities and found the driver and mother had unanswered misdemeanor warrants pending. They were taken into custody.

The baby’s grandmother arrived within minutes at the scene. The police would not turn the  baby over to her. They deemed the baby “abandoned” under the law. the baby became a public charge and was place in a public facility.

The misdemeanor charges were resolved. The mother asked for the return of her child. Judge John Shirley of the Pearl Youth Court said no.

There were pending court costs. Until the court costs were paid, the mother was prohibited any contact with the baby. The baby in the meantime was placed in the custody of the grandmother.

Note, no contact. Even visiting not permitted.

A not for profit got involved. The Solenge MacArthur Justice Center. Went to bat for the mother big time. Publicized what they viewed as a gross miscarriage of justice.

Took 14 months. Mother and child finally reunited. Judge Shirley was forced to resign and the Youth Court was disbanded.

I have a home party to attend at 4. Following which I hope to stop at Kate Miano’s Gardens.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

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!