CAPTAIN TONY…..I BEAT THE MAFIA

Captain Tony Tarracino an icon. Part and parcel of Key West. Died at 92. His 102nd birthday being celebrated friday night at 8 at Captain Tony’s.

A crowd guaranteed. Family and friends. Tourists.

A unique personality. Tony is remembered as a salon keeper, boat captain, rum runner, gun runner, politician, gambler, Key West mayor, and a story teller.

Married several times. Actual number not certain. Perhaps 4. Married to his last wife 38 years. Fathered 13 children.

Jimmy Buffett a good friend. Ran one of Tony’s mayoral campaigns. When Tony died, Buffett wrote a song commemorating him: Last Mango In Paris. The song’s opening line…..”I went down to Captain Tony’s / To get out of the heat / Heard a voice call out to me / ‘Son come have a seat’.”

Tony’s father was a bootlegger. Tony dropped out of school at 9 to sell liquor. Illegal at the time.

Tony was lucky to get to Key West.

He got involved with the New Jersey Mafia. Screwed them on some horse races. Became persona non grata. The Mafia thought they killed him in retribution. Dumped his body somewhere in New Jersey. He was not dead. Got out of Dodge. Escaped to Key West.

I only know one of Tony’s children. A daughter nick-named Tony who is a concierge at the Marriott Beachside. Warm and charming. Look forward to seeing her friday night at the birthday party.

Key West a money maker for investors! Developers have faith Key West prosperity will continue. It was announced yesterday that a San Francisco group KHP Capital Partners had purchased six Key West guest houses. A package deal. One hundred nine million dollars. Two hundred twenty two guest rooms.

The Key West City Commission gave formal approval to the proposed “pocket park” at the Atlantic end of Duval. A group will rent the last block from the City. Perhaps the pier. I am not sure.

Tables and chairs will be set in the street. Nine parking places to be removed. Food will be served from the Southernmost Beach Cafe and the Southernmost Guest House. A food truck will be located on the Guest House property.

I do not approve. The Bubba system at its worst. The street and its view should be left as is. Nature already perfect. Does not require upgrading.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending. A friend from last year at the bar. Gordon Anderson from Tombstone, Arizona.

Gordon runs the Larian Motel in Tombstone. Two blocks from O.K. Corral.

A year changed nothing re our political views. Gordon remains firm in his conviction that Trump is the right guy to be President. He has faith in him. Believes in him. Has hope for Trump’s Presidency.

Gordon appears to be one of the 89 percent Republicans who remain supportive of the President.

The give and take was excellent. Just as it was last year.

Then to the Blue Macaw for ribs and a drink. Met Doug. Ten years a Key Wester. Works at the Hemingway House as a guide. Loves the job.

Doug is from the Boston area. We chatted re Boston, Hemingway, his wives, his girl friend who eventually moved to Key West, etc.

A nice guy. Enjoyable conversation.

The weather man’s advice in simple terms for today: Nice day, nice night.

Thank you.

Trump was going to clean the swamp. Good luck! It is worse than ever. A culture of corruption pervades. From the White House down. A fish rots from the head.

The most recent alleged wrongdoer is upstate New York Congressman Chris Collins. A Republican. Represents the Buffalo and Rochester areas.

He was arrested for insider trading. His son and son’s fiance’s father, also.

Collins was the first Congressperson to support Trump. He seconded Trump’s nomination at the convention. Served on Trump’s Transition Team.

We may not know the winner of the Ohio Congressional race for a while. The Republican candidate is ahead by 1,504 votes. However more than 8,000 provisional and absentee ballots remain to be counted. They are required by law to be tabulated by August 24.

I close with my thoughts re Federal District Court Judge Thomas Selby Ellis. He is hearing the Manafort case.

Ellis has been a Judge 31 years.

He is obviously cantankerous on the bench. Disrespectful to attorneys. Involves himself in questioning too much. Etc. He is aware of how he conducts himself. He once said, “I am a Caesar in my own Rome.”

He should be off the bench. I wrote and spoke re judges who sit too long two weeks ago. At that time re the Supreme Court where Justices sit for life. Thirty plus years not uncommon. Justices in their 80’s common.

Too old to serve. Judges do not get better with age. They get cantankerous, mean, disrespectful. Know everything. Tempers short.

I advised at the time that the reason our Founding Fathers did not set an age limit for federal judges was the length of life back then. The average life of a white male was 35 years.

All Federal judges sit for life.

Judges are like everyone else. People think because they wear black robes they are supposedly fair and without human shortcomings. Judges are just like everyone else. If they have a bad night or morning with their wives, the lawyers feel it in the courtroom. Some are prejudiced. Dislike persons of color, certain ethnics, etc. They don’t know it. I have never met a bigot who knew he was a bigot.

And so on.

Ellis is to old for the job. It is time that thought be given to a Constitutional amendment setting a fixed number of year for the job. Justice will fail to be served in all instnaces otherwise.

I missed doing the blog and Key West Lou Live show yesterday. A new pill. Reacted adversely with my other medications. I was in rough shape yesterday morning. Kept feeling I was going to pass out.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

KEY WEST…..WE’RE COOKING

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can’t win!

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will know tonight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I close with a recent Trump tweet.

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

 

WHO CREATED THE FIRST KEY LIME PIE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love it!

Enjoy your day!

 

MARRIAGE OF CHURCH AND STATE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The course fulfills a mandatory diversity requirement.

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

 

THE EVIL THAT MEN DO…..

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

She escaped.

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

The owner was sympathetic. Everyone was sympathetic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There was writing chiseled on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your Sunday!

CHEATING DOESN’T PAY…..CAN BE COSTLY

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

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

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

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

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

An expensive piece of ass!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things are tough in Venezuela!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump has surrounded himself with the rich.

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

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

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

The Secretary’s father a person of affluence also.

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

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

Enjoy your day!

 

 

FANTASY FEST NUDITY

BOB’s observations, thoughts and opinions re Fantasy Fest nudity.

Every year at Fantasy Fest time, a group of religious and/or concerned citizens form a Christian Coalition or some other group to  protest what they perceive as a sinful event.

Nudity the primary concern. Personal parts being exhibited. At the time Bob Smith wrote BOB in the mid 1990’s, body painting to cover breasts and genitals had become popular. Total nudity was illegal. Flamingos, palm trees, and flowers became works of art. A woman’s breast the canvas.

Kiosks appeared on Duval. Body painting took place in public. Everyone could view the woman’s nude breasts being covered.

The religious/civic groups were opposed to the public display of breasts during their painting. The issue was resolved. A compromise. Body painting prohibited in public places. Body painting went indoors. Various Duval Street businesses made room for the art work to be done. Everyone made money off the paintings.

BOB considered the resolution folly. The whole issue stupid. Two interesting BOB quotes.

Bob Smith told BOB, “Man cannot live without whim alone.” BOB wrote, “I am appalled…..how we have gotten into this mess.”

Bob Smith said, “Now is the time for all good men to come and get laid in the country.”

Let me bring you up to date on the nudity situation.

Given a person an inch and he/she will take a foot. So it went.

Body painting developed. A woman’s whole body. From the hairline on her head to her toes. No clothing, no pasties. Body all one color. Breasts/nipples painted over. Even a woman’s privates. The time had not yet arrived when women were shaving their pubic hair. The painter merely painted over the pubic hair. The ladies so “covered” walked around.

The religious coalition got back into the act. Full body painting not proper. Nipples and genitalia still could be seen.

Several years of negotiating and the resolution was to cover the nipples with pasties and the female genitalia and buttocks with fully opaque clothing. A bikini bottom would suffice.

Full body painting died out. Why go through all the trouble if a pair of pasties and a small bottom resolved the situation.

The thong came into vogue. The bikini bottom gave way to the thong. A woman’s buttocks in clear view. Not legal, though remains overlooked at the present time.

Some women continue to merely have their breasts and/or chests painted with a tropical bird, etc. The art work lovely. Lasts about 5 days. Women can shower without fear of it washing off.

Give me an inch and I’ll take a foot continued to prevail, however. A few years ago, swingers discovered Fantasy Fest. They came to town and changed the adult flavor of Fantasy Fest. Advanced it to their level of adult fun. Glaring nudity. Occasions of public sex.

Interestingly, at this point the community came together in opposition to the swinger modifications to the event. Those who previously disagreed with the religious coalitions, now agreed. It was a step too far. The swinger aspect lasted only one Fantasy Fest. Everything back to normal thereafter. Whatever that may be.

Male genitalia exposure a problem. Few men do it. Some however enjoy showing off their manhood. Some cover the area with a small piece of cloth which when a step is taken that which was covered peeks out.

If I were to list present day rules, they would be no showing of genitals, no exposed female nipples, no exposed public hair, no public sex. Plus, no fun. The last sentence added by me as a joke.

My yesterday began with a haircut. Lori back from a 2 week Maine vacation. Then lunch at Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down.

My book reading is sporadic. I do so much researching on the internet, I have little time left to read. I seem to be back into reading of late.

I read 2 or 3 books at a time. Move back and forth as the mood strikes me. Two at the moment. Madeleine Albright’s Fascism and Peter Schweizer’s Secret Empires.

Spent the afternoon reading both.

The Chart Room first last night. Met a very interesting couple. Chris and Carrie from Pennsville, New Jersey. First time in Key West. Love it.

Chris is an engineer. Carrie, a nurse. They have 3 children. Nineteen, ten and four.

Chris and Carrie are unique in a certain respect. Each obtained their college degrees later than normal. Chris at 30. Carrie even later.

I enjoyed their company.

Sheila and David arrived. Not together. I have not seen them in ages.

Even Ollie showed up.

David, Ollie and I had a pleasant conversation. Flashes of wisdom make an appearance when you hear David and Ollie express themselves on a subject.

Stopped at the Blue Macaw for a bite to eat. Great Happy Hour! From 4-9. I like that it runs late. I enjoyed ribs at 8.

Ron and Paul at the other end of the bar. They bought me a drink. I was not aware till after they left and I went to pay my bill. Thank you Paul and Ron.

A very attractive woman sitting next to me at the bar. From Maine. We talked about the tariff impact on Maine’s lobster industry. Bad!

She was not aware that the lobster industry exists in the Keys also. Not as large as Maine’s. Significant, however. Spiny lobsters are a multi-million dollar business in the Keys. Largest customers China and Japan. Our lobster fishermen will be taking a hit, also.

Donna and Terri live across the street from the Blue Macaw. They love the area. Terri says it reminds her of the Village in the 1970’s. I stopped and visited my ladies for a while.

Terri was stretched out on the couch. Not feeling well. Donna tired. Worked 10 hours. Bear happy to see me.

Donna is a concierge. On the side, she makes jewelry. Has been doing it for years. She had a showing earlier in the evening. Sold some pieces.

I forgot. Never made it. The first thing she asked when I arrived: Where were you? Embarrassing.

Yesterday hot! Hot hot! Ninety five degrees. Fortunately, very little humidity.

Enjoy your day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERNEST HEMINGWAY

July 21, 1899. Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. A great day for literature, a great day for Key West.

Hemingway is part and parcel of the fabric of Key West. Visible in many ways 365 days a year. At the moment, Hemingway Days. Today, the famous Running With The Bulls. Get down to Sloppy Joe’s around one. Watch the Hemingway Look a Likes assemble and then run with the bulls.

Dinner last night at Donna and Terri’s. Good drink, fantastic meal and their special company as always.

I learned last night I too have to adjust to Terri’s blindness. There are occasions where two persons can communicate merely by looking at each other. Realized I cannot do it any longer with Terri. She can’t see me. I must speak to engage her.

How awful it must be for Terri.

Terri is not permitting the problem to keep her down. She sings tonight at Blue Heaven. From 6:30-9:30. Jean Thornton and I are having dinner tonight at Blue Heaven. Specifically to enjoy Terri.

The present Key West Cemetery has been in existence since 1847. Many of the graves are unmarked. The Cemetery is attempting to identify the occupant of each grave. A tedious almost impossible function.

When identification is complete, the Cemetery will establish a search engine on the City’s website.

Give a helping hand to the Cemetery. If you know someone who is buried in an unmarked grave, contact the Cemetery and let them know.

The Key West Citizen’s weather person continues to amuse me. Today, partly sunny and mild. Described as “…..nice day to hit the beach.” Tomorrow’s verbiage the winner. Partly cloudy and humid. Described as “…..think Saturday with a little sweat.”

Two quotes have caught my attention.

A Mark Twain one in the Comment section to this blog: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

The other, I cannot recall where I came upon it. Wrote it down to share with you, however: “The House and Senate are ostriches burying their heads in the sand.”

Both quotes related to Trump in some fashion.

I did my Key West Lou Live show on Facebook earlier this morning. Titled: God Is A Republican?” Religion and politics. The harm religion can cause when involved with government. The Evangelical influence today.

Take a look. You might enjoy. You also might not agree with me.

Rome burned this month in 64 AD. Much of Rome destroyed. Nero rebuilt it.

Some claim Nero started the fire because he wanted a new and more modern Rome. Most historians disagree. Though Nero did want a new modern Rome.

A false story also exists that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. He did not. The fiddle had not yet been invented in 64 AD. Nero was 35 miles away at the time of the fire.

Nero did use the fire to his advantage, however. He disliked Christians. Considered them a danger. He used the fire as an excuse to arrest, torture and execute hundreds of Christians. Most were fed to the lions or burned to death.

Nero used as an excuse that the Christians had caused the fire.

BOB still tired. Working, however. Fantasy Fest next.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LYNDA FRECHETTE

Happy Birthday Lynda Frechette! Twenty nine and still going strong. Key West is never the same when you are gone.

Two other noteworthy items for today.

Mel Fisher found the Atocha mother lode! This day in 1985. Four hundred million dollars. He had a dream. Stuck with it. Bore fruit 15 years later.

Neil Armstrong walked on the moon! First man to do so. This day 1969.

I recall watching the event on TV. It was 11 at night. My children all asleep. All grammar school age. Woke them up and brought them to the family room to watch the event.

I considered Armstrong’s descent onto the moon’s surface to be sufficiently important for them to see. They would remember it for years.

They were tired. Could not understand why I was all excited, etc.

None of them remember.

My day yesterday began with doing the Key West Lou Live video on Facebook. I spent a few minutes chatting about being a senior citizen. A change of pace show. Finished today’s show before I started the blog this morning. Topic: Putin’s White House Invitation. Would you believe!

Visited Tammy at 1 for a manicure. Always good company.

Then to Sandy’s Cafe for a late lunch.

The Chart Room first last night. Had new friend Casey meet me there. He’s the fellow I met three weeks ago at Hogfish. The one with the 77 foot catamaran. Casey lives on the boat. I offered to pick him up. No, he wanted to dingy in.

Neal and Connie at the bar. Met Neal the night before. Connie, last night. Nice people.

My love Jean Thornton arrived. She has been in Key West a week. First time we have seen each other. A big hug and kiss. Jean, Casey and I chatted a while. Jean and I are having dinner together saturday evening at Blue Heaven. Terri is singing.

Speaking of Terri, I am having dinner with Donna and Terri tonight at their new condo. Donna cooking. Always a treat! Enjoying a Donna prepared meal is like listening to Terri sing.

A fireman and his wife from outside Chicago were also at the bar. I failed to get their names. They had an interesting story.

They lived in Homestead in 1998 when Andrew hit. Evacuated. When they returned 3 days after Andrew, pure carnage. It looked like Hiroshima after the atom bomb fell. Everything flat. Nothing left standing. Andrew was a 5.

The destruction was so bad they could not locate their home. Nothing defined. A flat level mess.

Stopped at Blue McCaw for a bite to eat on the way home. Ran into Paul and Ron again. Real nice guys. Enjoyed chicken wings and their company over a couple of drinks.

Blue McCaw a winner! Happy Hour 4-9. A fun place! I recommend it.

The Key West Citizen’s weather person an excellent writer. Comes up with little tidbits to describe the weather.

Today the temperature will be 92. A morning thunder shower predicted. Wrong, thus far. 10:30, sun shining bright. No sign of rain. Means nothing, however. Rain comes to Key West in a split second without prior warning.

The excellent writing has to do with the fine print under the rain warning. It read: “Sun, what sun?”

The weather report may be wrong. The sun reference however reads well with or without the rain.

Key West still into Hemingway Days. The Running of the Bulls tomorrow. Go down to Sloppy Joe’s around 1 to watch the Look a Likes get ready. The race itself probably at 2.

Enjoy your day!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIZ MOODY

Liz Moody. A spectacular woman. Accomplished. Recognized before her time.

Liz is 84 today. Happy birthday, Liz!

Unfortunate we met only two years ago. I enjoy her company. Our backgrounds similar.

Liz and I are members of the legal profession. Liz smarter than me, however. She was Dean of two law schools. Ended her career as CEO of the Law School Admission Test Corporation. A big deal!

We knew many of the same people in the profession. Judges, practitioners, and educators. Our conversations went on and on.

Age has not diminished Liz’s beauty. Nor her mind. Her body taking a bit of a beating, however. The past few years involving several hip operations. To no avail. She has difficulty walking. Sugar a problem. She was discharged yesterday from the hospital after two weeks and one day where they worked on stabilizing her sugar.

Liz originally from Cleveland. She and her husband purchased a lovely home on Southard in the early 1980’s. Her husband was a prominent Cleveland attorney. He passed away many years ago.

I shall enjoy celebrating Liz’s birthday with her this evening, as will her many Key West friends who will be celebrating with her. A catered event.

Less I forget, dinner with Liz a joy. Dinners she prepared. A gourmet cook. Her choice of wines equal to her culinary talent.

My podcast show last night. Tuesday talk with Key West Lou. As always, loved doing it!

I was happy to share Trip Advisor’s recent ratings re Key West. Number one in three categories.

Discussed China and North Korea a bit. Trump screwing up big time in our relations with the two countries. Already obvious the Kim meeting a failure. Trump was taken advantage of. The tariff war with China begins as a disaster. Chinese, Asian and European markets falling this morning. The U.S. markets will at some point.

If the tariff war continues, I predict a world wide depression a year from now. Hoover became President when the market was at an all time high. Everyone making money. He thought tariffs were warranted. Did not make sense. However, he went ahead anyway. One year later, the Great Depression.

History repeats itself. Trump not aware since he does not read nor is he a student of history.

Hemingway Days are coming! In one week. Begin July 17 and run through July 22.  A fun time. A family event.

As usual, there will be a Hemingway Look a Like contest. One hundred twenty five men from all over the world participating. All a bit chunky, all with white hair and beards, all dressed in white with a red waist band and a red cap.

The Running of the Bulls another event. My favorite.

Additionally, a street fair, arm wrestling contest, 5K run/walk, and a paddle board race.

The most interesting thing from my perspective is that where ever you go that week, Look a Likes will be there. Restaurants, bars.

The Key West Citizen weather reporter continues to be a humorist. Today’s report: A t-storm in spots; tell spot to go home. Tonight: Partly cloudy, as t-shower; birds happy.

Trump as President sets the tone for the country. As have all previous Presidents. If something is ok for a President to do, it is all right for the citizenry.

Trump engages in prejudice and bigotry.

Trump is down on Mexico for a number of reasons. Speaks badly of them all the time. The inevitable had to occur.

Rodolfo Rodriguez is a 91 year old Mexican citizen. He legally visits family in Willowbrook, California twice a year. A few days ago while visiting, he took his daily walk after lunch.

A woman and four men came up to him. The woman shouted: “Go back to Mexico!” The woman then hit him with a concrete block. The four men followed up kicking and beating him.

Rodriguez ended up with a broken jaw, broken cheek bone, 2 fractured ribs, and bruises all over.

The story bad enough so far. Another startling fact, however. The woman was black. She who has probably been subject to prejudice and bigotry her whole life subjected another to that treatment.

Another “Go back to Mexico” situation. A store. Mother and small children shopping. A 40ish man did not like the way the children were behaving. He told the mother, “Go back to Mexico.” A young man came to the woman’s defense.

Then there is the Cook County woman at a public park with her family. Enjoying a cook-out. She was wearing a T-shirt of the Puerto Rican flag.

A man came up to her and began berating her because she was wearing the T-shirt: “You should not be wearing that in the United States.” The woman retorted I am an American citizen. He responded she should then wear a T-shirt of the American flag.

The tirade went on 35 minutes. A park police officer was nearby watching. She told him she was becoming “uncomfortable.” He did nothing. Finally other police officers appeared and broke up the confrontation.

Mexico…..Puerto Rico…..Who began dumping on them thereby encouraging others to do so?

Enjoy your day!