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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

TOGA PARTY…..WHAT TOGA PARTY?

I was sorely disappointed last night. Toga Party. What Toga Party? Hard to find.

I have been a fan of Toga Party since the mid 1980’s. Merely as a voyeur. For me, fun. Last night, there was little to be voyeured. Very little.

The reasons why two-fold from my perspective.

Irma obviously a contributing factor. Who would want to pay $700-$1,000 a night for a hotel room if Key West was still recovering from Irma?

The other is the leadership of the event. New leadership this year. The former head ran the show for many years. Complaints grew in recent years by certain locals that there was too much nudity, perversion, etc.

The squeaky wheel was heard by the new leadership. Advertising for this year’s event was not to the usual sources. Sexually inclined persons and groups.

Fantasy Fest an adult party. Always has been. People want to show off their bodies, play, etc. Hurts no one. The new leadership better study closely the reasons why this year’s event failed. And not be reluctant to accept responsibility where warranted.

I walked Duval in the usual Toga Party area last night. Sloppy Joe’s, inside and out. I would estimate the crowd no more than one-third of its usual number. Sloppy’s not crowded. Could walk the streets without problem. Duval not closed off. Cars driving through.

I saw no more than 10 persons in toga attire.

The failure of Toga Party probably a combination of Irma and the new leadership looking in the wrong places for attendees.

The Parade is saturday night. Normally 60,000 to 80,000 spectators. Terrific! Not this year. It will be significantly less.

Several years ago, there was another Irma/storm. Fantasy Fest was delayed into early December so Key West would be ready. This year greed dictated otherwise. There was a rush to get ready and hold the event timely. Hotels, bars, merchants, etc. needed the business.

The goose that lays the golden egg seriously hurt this year.Let’s hope it does not die not next.

I saw three sets of bare breasts last night. One at the Chart Room. Bugs Bunny. She and her husband from Kentucky. Breasts spray painted.

The other two on the street in front of Sloppy’s. One young, the other middle aged. Both spray painted.

In previous years, there would be hundreds in various degrees of undress. All having a good time. Even voyeurs like me. I sincerely hope the tradition does not end.

Enjoyed stone crabs again last night at Pier One. I was the only customer. Hovi the bartender. From Romania. Has been in Key West 5 years.

The Chart Room had about 15 minutes of activity. Otherwise, few customers.

Met Larry and Cindy. We are neighbors! They live on the golf course, also.

We chatted quite a while. Canadians. Sarnie, Ontario. Sounded like they have a family business. Mechanical contracting. Cindy serves as bookkeeper for the business.

Proud parents of two children and two grandchildren.

Liked them both. Hope to develop a relationship with them.

Problems developing post Irma. To be expected. Not everything works perfectly following a disaster like Irma.

The Monroe County School System announced that 320 students are homeless as a result of Irma. Many would not be had the City fathers and FEMA decided that the Irma homeless could no longer stay in local hotels paid by FEMA following last sunday. It was Fantasy Fest time. Time to make real money! Which I suspect will not be the case when the numbers are released.

If the kids are homeless, the parents also. Where are they living? In cars, trucks, mangroves and under the bridges.

Shame on us all!

Monroe County has requested 9,200 trailers. FEMA provides them. As of yesterday, 10 had arrived.

FEMA advises it only has 1,000 trailers allocated for the entire State of Florida.

How will the problem be solved? Will it be solved?

Enjoy your day!

IRMA ON ITS WAY

Irma is coming. Will it hit Key West? Looks like it. Only God and two weather fronts can prevent the blow.

I hope my prognostication is wrong. I hope the fronts bend Irma northeast and back into the Atlantic.

Yesterday a first. Irma if it hits not due till saturday. Saw people putting up hurricane shutters yesterday. Normally, a last minute thing in Key West.

What will Louis do? Not certain yet.

I was supposed to drive Terri to Aqua at 5 last night. She was to perform as part of Dueling Bartenders. Got a call at 4. Forget me. Not feeling well.

Ended up meeting the Chart Room’s John for a dinner and drinks. We tried 2 cents on Applerouth. That’s its name! 2 cents.

Happy Hour dinner menu. Half price.

Dinner less than ok. Staff bouncy happy. Always a smile. Service excellent. Atmosphere cozy.

John and I stopped at Dueling Bartenders afterwards. Caught the last half hour. Tom Luna and Rick Dery performing.

Great entertainment!

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting goings on. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include DACA, three different hurricanes, Megan Kelly a climber, facial recognition replacing credit cards, killer robots around the corner, Netanyahu facing possible indictment, the biggest gold discovery in history, and more.

Trump advises his position on DACA today. Rumor has it he will extend six months and leave the final decision up to Congress. Called passing the buck!

Sad part is Congress hasn’t decided anything important in six months in years.

Venezuela’s President Maduro has requested he be permitted to appear before the UN’s Human Rights Council that begins with three weeks of meetings September 11. He has been granted permission and will appear early in the meetings.

Expect a denunciation of the United States. Perhaps even the UN. Maduro will be calling wolf.

I recall a few years ago when Hugo Chavez spoke before the General Assembly. Bush 2 had spoken immediately before or within 2 or 3 speakers of Chavez.

Things were strained between the U.S. and Venezuela at the time. When Chavez reached the podium, he announced the smell of sulfur was overwhelming. He was referring to Bush’s time behind the podium and how Bush in reality was the Devil.

A step back in history. Geronimo.

Geronimo was a great Indian chief.When the white man wanted Indian lands, he led the fight against them. Over 20 plus years, he was responsible for the killing of many U.S. Army soldiers and settlers.

Geronimo became a public enemy #1. Pursued relentlessly.

Geronimo finally surrendered in September 1886. The U.S. deported him from his homeland in the west. Initially sent him to two different camps in southern States. Finally, resettled him in Oklahoma.

Geronimo saw the handwriting on the wall. He became the good Indian. A successful farmer and convert to Christianity.

America accepted him. Its former enemy. Geronimo marched in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade in 1905.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

A PARTY!

A delightful birthday party last night! David Wolkowsky’s 98th. A small intimate gathering of 20. One hour. Dom Perignon served.

Mr. Key West looked terrific! Smiling. Greeting everyone warmly.

A man for the ages. His mark left here and in Philadelphia.

Afterwards, the Chart Room.

Business strange. The placed packed and then deserted. Not a soul, except for John and me.

David came in. Love David. I was ready to leave when he arrived. I overstayed my time by two drinks.

Harvey. What a wallop! A 4! Terrible! Going to hang around a few days. Even worse.

Due to Harvey’s intensity, still do not know damage or deaths. Damage for certain. I hope none or few deaths.

Trump and Venezuela. I have followed Venezuela since Maduro became President more than 4 years ago. I got turned on to Venezuela when the country ran out of toilet paper 4 years ago. Toilet paper still limited in supply.

Trump has imposed certain sanctions on Venezuela. Trump says he does not like the way the people are being treated nor the government’s corruption.

Venezuela is none of our business! Two reasons.

First, Venezuela does not represent a threat to the United States. In no fashion!

Second, it is a civil problem that eventually will result in a civil war. Again, none of our business.

Trump could be laying the basis for U.S. intervention in the country. I say, not one American life should be sacrificed for a conflict that has nothing to do with us.

The real reason Trump is interested in Venezuela is its oil supply. Venezuela has the largest petroleum reserve in the world.

He wants to gain control of the oil.

Recall, Trump has recently suggested the U.S. should have stayed in Iraq and taken control of Iraq’s oil. He has also recently mentioned North Korea’s large mineral deposits, suggesting they would be beneficial to the U.S.

We are not that type people. The U.S. does not wage war to gain valuable natural deposits.

This Christopher Columbus thing is boiling over. I was one day ahead of the deluge.

New York City Mayor William de Blasio is reviewing “symbols of hate” in New York City. For removal, of course. It is said one of the statues under consideration is Columbus’ statue on Columbus Square. The one that stands more than 70 feet high.

I have come full round on the issue. Back to my original position. Leave the statues alone! They are part of our history. Good, bad or indifferent.

The nation is being rabble roused by a small group. A minority. We gave in to their demands re Confederate statues/monuments. Now, the demand goes further. Hundred of years earlier. Wrong! It is the squeaky wheel being greased. Politicians the first to hear and abide by the demands.

Lets step back, take a deep breath, and think the issue with all its ramifications.

Further, let no one say I am a racist.

Enjoy your day!

SIMPLY STATED…..

Simply stated…..Yesterday relatively quiet.

Laid around at home in the afternoon watching the PGA.

First stop in the evening was the Bottle Cap. A fundraiser for Sisters. I was there at the specific request of Donna and Terri.

Never heard of Sisters before. A big hearted and welcomed organization for those in need. Specifically, sick persons. Very sick.

Most Key Westers live paycheck to paycheck. No money set aside for emergencies. Now comes cancer. Can’t work. Can’t pay ordinary bills like the rent.

Sisters steps in. Pays certain everyday expenses such as rent for a brief period. A bridge for the afflicted and unable to work.

Terri was a beneficiary of such relief when she was first diagnosed.

Terri sang last night as part of the program. Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Touched everyone.

Mostly women in attendance. I noticed they were hugging and kissing at different times. More so than normal. I could understand why. Many had been stricken and survived. They were hugging some who helped them get through the early days economically.

Carmelo one of Bottle Cap’s owners. His birthday yesterday. I ran into him at the event. I was pleased to be able to shake Carmelo’s hand and wish him a Happy Birthday.

Then to dinner at Duffy’s with Donna and Terri. Terri all excited. In a few weeks she will be back in Tampa for further tests and word whether her body is prepared to receive some drastic life saving activities.

Today, Robert and Ally day. Sure I have it correct this time!

Lunch and then a visit to a new place. Key West Room Escape.

I look forward to my time with them.

Tonight, more fun! A party at Giorgio’s home. Giorgio President of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. Summertime. No meetings. Giorgio and Sharon having a social evening at their home for club members.

Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixon have joined. Fran is of Italian extraction. This will be their first meet with the group.

Trump said yesterday Venezuela should watch out. Indicated he was considering military intervention.

The guy is nut! He’d consider bombing Little Bo Peep!

Venezuela’s problem is four years old. A smoldering civil war in the making. However until the past two months, the people have failed to fight. They protested in numbers. no violence, however.

Now, they fight a bit. Not enough. Some killed. Not a significant number.

Two reasons we do not belong in Venezuela.

First, it is a civil war. None of our business. Second, if the people will not fight in sufficient numbers and force the overthrow of Maduro, why should the U.S. intervene? God helps those who help themselves first.

Enjoy your day!

SECRET SERVICE ON STREET OVER RENT DISPUTE WITH TRUMP ORGANIZATION

Trump Tower is listed as the President’s personal residence. His home.

The President is required to have Secret Service protection at all times and at all venues. Even when he might be sleeping elsewhere on a particular night.

The Secret Service utilized the apartment immediately below Trump’s in Trump Tower.

Trump Organization operates the building. Trump Organization and the Secret Service could not agree on rent. In early July, the Secret Service was asked to move. Booted out in the vernacular of the street.

The Secret Service has moved into a trailer which sits on the sidewalk in front of Trump Tower while searching for another place.

The rent demanded had to be astronomical. The Pentagon required space near the President in Trump Towers. The White House Military Office recently agreed to $130,000 a month.

It was revealed last night that Mueller had seated a Grand Jury in Washington several weeks ago. The formal beginning of the end for Trump and his associates from my perspective. It will take time. As much as 1-2 years.

A flavor of Key West was lost on August 3, 1995 never to return. The Copa Nightclub burned down. Totally destroyed. It was rebuilt. However never achieved the prominence it held prior to the fire.

The Copa was a premier gay entertainment palace.

I visited once. My deviate side took over. A Black Mass was scheduled for midnight. Thought it would be interesting.

I was standing enjoying a drink waiting for the show to start. Two guys dressed as nuns walked over and asked if they could hold my balls.

I was out the door as fast as my legs could carry me. Never got to see the show.

Twenty two years ago. Today, I would stand my ground and laugh. I have become acclimated. No one would touch anything. Probably not even ask.

Up early yesterday morning. Took Terri to chemotherapy at 9.

Key West High School has a unique program. I do not recall a similar program when my children were in high school in Utica. Prepares students to produce television and film programs.

One of the most respected such programs in the United States.

I have had experience with some of the students via Jenna Stauffer. She has been involved in utilizing the students for years. I participated in three shows. I was impressed beyond description.

Two of the students have produced the film Paradise. It is being shown locally sunday at 11 at the Tropic cinema. From there it goes to New York City. Producers and film. Paradise has been selected for screening in Times Square by the prestigious American High School Film Festival.

Congratulations to the young people who put Paradise together.

The Palm Avenue bridge is finally going to be repaired. All of it! The roadway, pilings and everything else. Has needed the do over for years.

The bridge is the  short cut to the Gulf side of town. Like where the Chart Room is located.

The only negative is it will take six months to complete the work.

The weekend is here. I am to have dinner with Jenna tonight or tomorrow night. I cannot remember which. The beginnings of Alzheimers. Serious when I cannot recall what evening I am to be with Jenna.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

CASA ANTIGUA / KEY WEST ROOM ESCAPE

The Casa Antigua is an integral part of Key West history.

One of Key West’s first built hotels. In 1919. By Benjamin Trevor and George Morris. Constructed with bricks from Fort Zachary Taylor and a building torn down at the time across the street. The Casa Antigua located at the corner of Simonton Street and Rose Lane.

The facility was named the Trev-Mor Hotel. On the first floor was a Ford distributorship also called the Trev-Mor.

Ernest Hemingway is primarily responsible for the building’s historical notoriety.  He and wife Pauline arrived from Paris. they were on their way to New York. Intended to drive. Pauline’s uncle had bought them a new Ford which they were to pick up at the Trev-Mor distributorship.

The car was not waiting for the Hemingways. Late in arriving. They were told it would be there in two days. Ernest and Pauline put into the Trev-Mor Hotel to await its arrival.

Two days turned into ten before the car arrived. In those ten days, Hemingway discovered Key West. He fell in love with Key West. Remained ten years.

During the time, he wrote A Farewell to Arms.

There are other stories concerning the Casa Antigua. They remain for another day to tell. Except for the most recent one.

A new Key West attraction opened two weeks ago on the first floor. The Key West Room Escape. Sound’s like a fun place!

Sort of a search and find items of Key West historical significance.

Teams of up to eight customers are locked in a room. The room filled with all kinds of objects. The team has sixty minutes to find a hidden item. Like the missing page of a manuscript.

Clues are given. An announcer behind a window gives hot and cold clues.

The cost is $35 for an adult and $25 for 16 and under.

Sounds like a fun place. My game plan is to take Robert and Ally.

Did a late Hot Dog Church yesterday afternoon. The Back Door empty, except for Donna, Terri and Laurie. Spent a couple of humorous hours before returning home.

I continue to run tired. Kept to home basically the past few days. See the heart doctor at 5 today for the results of last week’s tests.

The semblance of a storm forming in the Gulf 50 miles off Tampa. Not a hurricane. Right now a tropical depression. Result of low pressure. Not expected to become a big deal.

There will be big time rain today and tomorrow however as a result. Winds will not be of consequence.

Appears hurricane season as a practical matter is around the corner.

East Martello Fort is going to get a $2 million repair job. Money coming from grants.

East Martello is a Civil War Fort. Built by the Union to help in warding off Confederacy ships. The Confederacy ships never arrived.

One hundred fifty five years old. Time again for a touch up.

Two strange events of a similar nature occurred in 1975.

On this date, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. On September 9, Key West Fire Chief and convicted drug dealer Bum Farto disappeared. Both swiftly swept off by third parties never to be seen again.

Farto’s disappearance left Key West with a famous saying. On tee shirts, in the media and conversation: Bum Farto Where Are You?

Multi-talented Terri White coming over later to change a shower fixture and put together a new desk chair for me. The benefits of having a lesbian wife.

Enjoy your day!

 

VENEZUELA’S DESCENT INTO HELL

Nicolas Maduro has been President of Venezuela for four years. His Presidency a steady decline to the gates of Hell. First no toilet paper. Then no food. Finally, pets and zoo animals eaten. Along the way, people disappearing or killed.

Today, Venezuela stands at those gates. It is election day. A special election day. Maduro wants to replace Venezuela’s National Assembly and adopt a new Constitution. The new National Assembly will be composed of persons nominated by Maduro. The new Constitution will give him the powers of a dictator.

I have written about Venezuela the four years Maduro has been President. I was intrigued when the nation ran out of toilet paper.

It has bothered me the people never revolted. They protest in huge numbers. In recent weeks, a handful have clashed with Maduro supporters.

Turns out Cuba is behind it all. Yes, our tiny neighbor 90 miles to the south. Cuba is responsible for everything that has been happening in Venezuela.

Cuba is the power. It controls the levers of power. The government and those who support it.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote an excellent opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal’s July 17, 2017 edition. Titled: How Cuba Runs Venezuela.

Cuba has been trying for 50 years to sow its ideological revolution in South America. Concerning Venezuela, it has succeeded.

Cuba needs Venezuela to transport Colombian cocaine to the United States and to Africa to supply Europe. It also relies heavily on cut-rate Venezuelan oil.

Cuba has established a Soviet type hold on Venezuela. Working in Venezuela are 50 high ranking Cuban military officers, 4,500 Cuban soldiers, and 34,000 doctors and health professionals who are there to defend Cuba’s tyranny with arms if necessary.

Thousands of other Cubans hold high level Venezuelan government positions.

The Cubans have toilet paper and eat well.

Similar to Soviet oversight, each Venezuelan military commander has a civilian minder. A person who watches every turn and reports to higher ups any deviation from expected conduct.

I find it amazing how relatively silent the American media has been over the years re Cuba’s influence.

Today’s election is most important. I fear Maduro and his followers will win. Nothing good can come from the victory for the Venezuelan people and the rest of the world.

Last week when Trump lifted our new relationship with Cuba, I thought he was succumbing to that small group of Cubans who had to flee Cuba fifty and more years ago and now reside in Miami. A poor reason I thought.

Now, I wonder if Trump was motivated to show the world he stood against the evils imposed by Cuba upon Venezuela.

Regardless, the Monroe Doctrine has been forgotten.

Yesterday was Saturday. It became my Sunday. My lazy day.

I never left the house. Read, wrote, napped and watched TV.

Hackley’s journal has suggested, at least to me, that Hackley used slaves. Not as an owner. He rented them.

Further indication of Hackley as a lessee is found in his entry of this date in 1856. Hackley speaks of his cook Black Matilda. It was yellow fever time. He wrote she had “some fever and pains in the head.”

Hackley got Black Matilda out of the house immediately. Delivered her to someone else to worry about.

Some generally unaware history concerning Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West to this day loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. He did so at the Truman Library in Independence. Truman was still alive and attended.

Why the Truman Library and in Truman’s presence?

Truman was the first President to propose national health insurance. Congress opposed. He could never get it passed.

Johnson further paid tribute to Truman by enrolling Truman as Medicare’s first beneficiary.

Enjoy your Sunday!

MURDERERS, ASSASSINS, INFILTRATORS…..JAPAN OVERREACTS

Fire ants are part of our Key West existence. You cannot be here any length of time without being bitten.

For Japan, it is a new experience. Nary a fire ant till May 20 of this year. They came in on a cargo ship hidden away in cargo boxes. Shortly thereafter, more arrived in a different vessel. Now fire ants immigrate to Japan with frequency and reproduce once there.

The Japanese are not handling the fire ant invasion well.

A Japanese newspaper reported early on that a fire ant epidemic in the United States killed 100. Obviously erroneous. Corrected, but the damage had been done. The Japanese people are convinced fire ants are murderers, assassins, and infiltrators.

An over reaction big time.

Additional sanctions have been levied by the U.S. against 13 high ranking Venezuelans.

Stupid!

Maduro and his government may be bad people. However, it is for the Venezuelan people to change the government. Not the U.S.

Thousands protest. The streets are jammed. In the hundreds of thousands. However, the people stop there. They do not go to the next step and take up arms to depose Maduro.

It is their problem, not ours. Especially when the Venezuelan people are not willing to fight for themselves.

When will we learn to keep our noses out of another country’s business?

McCain showed his independence and courage last night with his no vote. I take back any negative statements I made a few days ago re his failure to stand up when the first vote was taken.

Where did this Anthony Scaramucci come from? He is an embarrassment to our government and to the people of the United States.

I am personally embarrassed. The man is Italian-American as I am. He is a throwback to the 1920-1930’s.

Now for my yesterday.

Dropped the car off to be detailed. Needed a thorough cleaning.

Walked over to Lori’s at the other end of the block for a haircut.

Needed to kill an hour after the haircut while the car was being finished. Stopped into the Sunshine Grill for lunch. Where Mattheson’s was formerly located. On White Street, across from Fausto’s.

Great food! Go!

Diner type food. Wholesome.

I enjoyed a Reuben. One of the best I have ever eaten.

Checked the menu out. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Very reasonably priced. My next visit will be for dinner some evening soon.

Met Karen. The front house manager. Charming and lovely.

The bill carried a comment on the bottom: Eat here or we both go hungry.

Made sense.

Picked up the car. Seven years old. Looked new inside and out.

Dinner was with Donna and Terri last night. Terri had to work late. I stopped at their home and enjoyed a drink and political chatter with Terri. Yesterday was definitely a Trump day!

Terri is more than a vocalist. She understands. Everything. Our conversation ran deep.

Donna finally arrived. Her ass dragging. It had been a 12 hour day.

We had dinner at the New York Pasta Garden. Donna and Teri enjoy the place. Last time I was there was 20 years ago with three of my grandchildren. I thought the food was terrible. Never returned! Last night’s meal was excellent.

I had egg plant parmigiana and pasta. The parmigiana with my Mother in mind. She used to make it frequently.

John owns the Pasta Garden. He also owns the Ocean Grill across the way. Word on the street is he is in the process of buying Camille’s.

Enjoy your day!