YESTERDAYS FEW KNOW

Originally posted June 2017

 

I have gotten old. Eighty two in less than a week. Some recent experiences brought the fact clearly to mind.

I stopped into Verizon to learn how to wi-fi through my cell phone. The young lady working was also babysitting her two children. Six and eight. Summertime.  The Verizon store their day camp that day.

The kids were playing with their cell phones. I mentioned how smart kids are today. Laptops, cell phones, etc.

Mom agreed. She said she remembered when all she had was a flip phone. I would say she was in her late 20’s.

I immediately thought…..If she only knew!

I was born in 1935.

In the late 1930’s into the first part of the 1940’s, our phone was the corner grocer. No one had telephones, except business people. the grocer took calls for the block.

If a call came for my father, the grocer (his name was Frank) would go out on the street and yell…..Tell John he has a call! Someone would transfer the message to my Dad or to another neighbor to relate.

Then we got a telephone. A four party line. Meant four homes had the same line. If you picked up and heard talking, you hung up till the line was free.

We graduated to a two party line. Then the time came when the only line was ours. We had a private line.

A big deal!

Cell phones did not make an appearance till my mid law practice years. Big and bulky.

The phones got smaller. I recall the flip top.

I am absolutely amazed that my cell phone today is in effect a computer. I can do everything with it.

Only took eighty two years!

When I am gone, will anyone remember?

I was surprised to read recently that typewriters are making a come back. People join together with their vintage machines and have Type-Ins.

I took a typewriting course in high school. My parents bought me a new portable for college. A Smith-Corona. Part of the Super 5 Series. Portable.

Used it all the time in college. Term papers!

Ribbons to change. Always ended up with dirty fingers. Carbon paper for copies. Dirty fingers again. A mistake had to be corrected. A bit of erasing and whiting over.

Now, vintage typing parties!

Even writing came into play this week. Cursive writing. Handwriting.

I write. I can write my name and everything else.

No big deal for me. I learned in the first grade. It was called Palmer Method.

I mentioned earlier this week that at Dueling Bartenders monday night two young ladies sat next to me. At best in their late 20s.

They saw me making notes about our conversation. They said/asked…..You can cursive write?

They could not. They could not even write their names. Both had college degrees. Into well paying jobs. However, Bush 2’s no child left behind made them computer genius. But, not hand writers.

They were impressed I could write!

I have a lot more for today. However, I shall save it for another time.

Enjoy your day!

 

HUMP DAY AND LOUIS

Originally Posted May 2017

 

People think that the older a person is the wiser they are. In most instances, yes. There are times however you surprise yourself and others with what you do/did not know.

I never heard the term hump day till I lived in Key West. Maybe I was the blind in this instance who could not see.

I noticed several yeas ago how many times hump day would appear in writings on wednesday. Recognizing Key West was a little of the wall, I assumed the term had to do with sex.

I wrote that everyone should enjoy the sex that hump day denoted.

Next day, I was buried with comments. Hump day had nothing to do with sex. It was a a term given to the middle of the work week. Half over.

I was disappointed. I would have preferred it had to do with sex.

My podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Enjoyed commenting on matters that I thought required discussion/analysis.

First, money. The continued plight of the middle class and the inability of millennials to purchase a home because of a lack of funds.

Then, Trump. He ate up a lot of my show time. Required. The story grows with each passing day.

I covered Trump’s trip, the Russia investigation, Trump and Jared Kushner, and finally Trump, Kushner and Blackstone. The last item revealing.

One of the great poets of all time was born this date in 1819. Walt Whitman. His best known works “Leaves of Grass” and “O Captain, My Captain.”

I consider “O Captain, My Captain” his best work. Concerned Abraham Lincoln’s death. Set forth Whitman’s deep sorrow.

I was a history major. Especially loved the Civil war. Could not learn enough about it.

In an English literature course in my junior year, the professor spent much time analyzing “O Captain, My Captain.” I paid special attention and absorbed everything I could learn about the work.

Fortunately. The poem was a major question on the final examination.

Let me share a bit of this special work.

“O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done. The ship weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won. The port is near, the bells the people all exalting…..O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dark…..rise up and hear the bells; Rise for you the flag is flung – for you the bugle trills.”

Capitalizations, spelling and punctuation as set forth in the original of the poem as published.

Trump continues to screw up. News this morning reports Trump is using an unsecured cell phone to speak with world leaders. He was giving leaders he met on his recent trip the number and telling them to call him directly.

This by the man who severely criticized Hillary for using a private mail server.

Trump does not think. Actually, the problem is he does not know. And refuses to learn!

Enjoy your day!

YESTERDAYS FEW KNOW

Originally posted June 2017

 

I have gotten old. Eighty two in less than a week. Some recent experiences brought the fact clearly to mind.

I stopped into Verizon to learn how to wi-fi through my cell phone. The young lady working was also babysitting her two children. Six and eight. Summertime.  The Verizon store their day camp that day.

The kids were playing with their cell phones. I mentioned how smart kids are today. Laptops, cell phones, etc.

Mom agreed. She said she remembered when all she had was a flip phone. I would say she was in her late 20’s.

I immediately thought…..If she only knew!

I was born in 1935.

In the late 1930’s into the first part of the 1940’s, our phone was the corner grocer. No one had telephones, except business people. the grocer took calls for the block.

If a call came for my father, the grocer (his name was Frank) would go out on the street and yell…..Tell John he has a call! Someone would transfer the message to my Dad or to another neighbor to relate.

Then we got a telephone. A four party line. Meant four homes had the same line. If you picked up and heard talking, you hung up till the line was free.

We graduated to a two party line. Then the time came when the only line was ours. We had a private line.

A big deal!

Cell phones did not make an appearance till my mid law practice years. Big and bulky.

The phones got smaller. I recall the flip top.

I am absolutely amazed that my cell phone today is in effect a computer. I can do everything with it.

Only took eighty two years!

When I am gone, will anyone remember?

I was surprised to read recently that typewriters are making a come back. People join together with their vintage machines and have Type-Ins.

I took a typewriting course in high school. My parents bought me a new portable for college. A Smith-Corona. Part of the Super 5 Series. Portable.

Used it all the time in college. Term papers!

Ribbons to change. Always ended up with dirty fingers. Carbon paper for copies. Dirty fingers again. A mistake had to be corrected. A bit of erasing and whiting over.

Now, vintage typing parties!

Even writing came into play this week. Cursive writing. Handwriting.

I write. I can write my name and everything else.

No big deal for me. I learned in the first grade. It was called Palmer Method.

I mentioned earlier this week that at Dueling Bartenders monday night two young ladies sat next to me. At best in their late 20s.

They saw me making notes about our conversation. They said/asked…..You can cursive write?

They could not. They could not even write their names. Both had college degrees. Into well paying jobs. However, Bush 2’s no child left behind made them computer genius. But, not hand writers.

They were impressed I could write!

I have a lot more for today. However, I shall save it for another time.

Enjoy your day!

 

BUBBA BUSTS

Key West Bubbas

Originally posted May 2018

 

Bubbas are native born Key Westers. Also referred to as Conchs. A distinction. Those so born are proud of their heritage. Bubbas are also those who though not born in Key West have been residents a very long time and are deeply entwined in the business of the community.

On this day in 1985, the jury returned in a federal court criminal case involving 14 Bubbas. Twelve were found guilty. Involved were drugs.

The 1985 bust was not the only Bubba bust. There was one 10 years earlier in 1975 and another 10 years later in 1995. The feds would swoop down and make arrests.

The federal authorities in 1995 were concerned local authorities would reveal the investigation. The feds never advised local authorities of the investigation till arrests had actually been made.

The 1975 Bubba bust is best remembered.

James “Bum” Farto was Fire Chief. He was arrested and convicted of drug dealing. Following conviction, he disappeared on a trip to Miami. His car was found in a Latino neighborhood.

Bum Farto has never been found. A famous saying has developed over the years: Bum Farto Where are You? On tee shirts, etc. Farto has gained more notoriety in disappearing than if he had lived a calm routine life as Key West Fire Chief.

Tuesdays always quiet for me. I remain at home and fine tune my podcast to be delivered at 9 in the evening. The Show: Tuesday Talk with key West Lou.

Show went well last night. Love doing it! I sit back and vent. Share my feelings with everyone.

My numbers are increasing. I have national advertisers. Who would have believed!

Yesterday’s Rosanne Barr incident. ABC and Disney did the right thing. Costly, also. Not only for ABC and Disney. The many minions who worked the show, also. The little people. A hit show and their jobs lost.

Roseanne has a big mouth. Always has. Even 20 years ago. Would she have been as racist in her comments yesterday were it not for Donald Trump?

A President sets the moral tone for the country. The standard. Trump is a racist. Ergo, everyone else is entitled to be. He gives license to the Roseanne Barrs to be more vocal than they might have been.

This week’s KONK Life hits the stands at 5 this evening. My column this week: The FBI of Today The Jews of Yesterday. One of the best columns I have written. Read it, if possible.

In May 1937, the Volkswagen was born. Hitler wanted a state owned automobile company that could produce a cheap car. An affordable vehicle for the masses.

Hitler achieved his goal. The Volkswagen. Cost under 1,000 Reich marks. $140 American money.

The German term for Volkswagen means “The people’s Car Company.”

Hitler’s concept got its start in 1937. The company produced few or no cars. Hitler needed tanks. The plant was converted to a tank making facility.

The U.S. is in a time of diminishing influence world wide. For this we have Donald Trump to thank.

An example being the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear pact. There was and is money to be made in and with Iran. China recognized this fact immediately. It was recently announced a Chinese investment firm is going to invest $2 billion in an oil refining plant in Iran.

China and Russia are looking for ways to invest in Iran.

On this day in 1431, Joan of Arc was martyred. She was burned at the stake. By decision of the Catholic Church.

Burning at the stake. A religious inspired death. Concerned and caring.

Not one of the Church’s finest moments.

Church and government do not mix. Like oil and water.

We have a problem today with religion. Evangelicals have become politicized. They support Trump regardless of his many wrongdoings. The Catholic Church also on occasion.

Not a healthy scenario.

Have to hustle. I have a late morning heart doctor appointment with Dr. McIvor. Routine.

Frequent doctoring a scourge for the elderly. Tiring. A pain in itself. Necessary, however. I am glad I am able to do it.

Enjoy your day!

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MASTURBATION

Originally posted May 2019

 

Masturbation…..A more interesting topic than Trump.

I have reached the point where I am totally frustrated. Not with Trump, Congress, society in general. I am frustrated with the LAW. I am qualified to speak. The law was my life for 46 years.

The law is not working. Courts are being packed, the FBI investigated, a President who constantly disregards the law, no one doing what they should do, infrequent performance by government late.

The legal system is antiquated and requires upgrading.

Which brings me to the more interesting topic of masturbation.

Ann Landers was a nationally recognized advice columnist in the previous generation.

In May 1993, she discussed masturbation in her column. AIDS and unwanted pregnancies rampant at the time. Landers endorsed masturbation as a safe and realistic solution to people’s needs.

Landers noted, “Masturbation is a cheap and easy way to do it.” She also noted that her masturbation advice would not have flown 10 or 20 years earlier. The public was not ready to hear it.

I recall a fourth grade masturbation experience. Not doing it. My body had not revealed the possibility to me yet.

I attended a Catholic school. I was 8 years old, as were my class mates.

On the last day of school before summer vacation, a priest came to our classroom to talk to the boys. The girls could not remain.

He talked about masturbation. How it was self abuse, a sin, could make hair grow on our hands, render us blind. For real, that was the thrust of the talk.

We looked at each other strangely. Most if not all of us did not know what he was talking about. In fact so beyond us was the topic that we did not even discuss his talk after school.

Another more interesting topic than Trump involves a girl born in December in a San Diego Hospital. She was a preemie.

The child is believed to be the world’s tiniest surviving micro-preemie. Weighed 8.6 ounces. Not even one pound!

She has been described as the size of an apple when born.

A normal pregnancy is 39-40 weeks. The baby had been in her mother’s womb only 23 weeks 3 days.

This month she went home. Five months later. A healthy infant weighing 5 pounds.

To Mueller’s talk. The facts are all over the media. You have heard them already. I am not going to bore you with a recitation.

What bothers me is that everyone keeps passing the buck. Mueller should have called a spade a spade. I don’t buy FBI “policy” that a President cannot be indicted for a federal crime while in office. It is merely a policy. Not law. Congress never passed it. A President never signed such a bill. Even the validity of its source is questionable.

Mueller should have gone for it!

I ask, what if a President was secretly carrying a gun. Someone on federal property pissed him off. An unarmed person. The President shot and killed the individual.

Is Mueller telling us under such a fact pattern the President could not be indicted? No way. No one, even a President, is above the law.

My other unhappiness factor is based on the law increasingly not working. Whether in Washington or on the streets of America where an unarmed person is shot by the police and the police go free.

What Mueller has done is guarantee that our country will be in a state of chaos till the 2020 election. If Trump wins again in 2020, God help us! The United States will never be the same.

John McCain is a real American hero. A warship was named after his grandfather and father, both who were Admirals in the U.S. Navy. McCain’s name has been added to the vessel.

The warship is in Japanese waters. Within Trump’s view while he would be in Japan.

It has been reported the White House wanted the USS John McCain hidden. A 5/15 email between U.S. Navy and Air Force officials: “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight.”

I am not aware if Trump knew what was going on. I suspect not. However high level officials apparently did not want to upset Trump.

Trump should never have gotten into a tariff war with China. His….tariff wars are easy, I win tariff wars…..is not working. Ask the farmers in the midwest.

The Chinese People’s Daily is considered the government’s newspaper. It reported yesterday re the tariff war and the U.S.: “Don’t say we didn’t warn you!”

That terminology has only been used twice before. In 1962 before China’s border war with India. Then before the 1979 China-Vietnam War.

I will be out of the house at noon today. A haircut. Need one badly. Will shave before. I need a shave badly also.

Hopefully tonight I will go out for a while.

Enjoy your day!

DON’T SCREW WITH HISTORY

Originally posted November 2021

 

History is history! What was was! Leave it alone! Don’t play with it! Don’t Change it! Don’t screw with it!

We learn from history. If so, keep it honest. Otherwise that “learned” will be false.

Two recent examples of “history change” which infuriate me.

Theodore Roosevelt has proudly sat astride a horse for more than 80 years in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The statue will soon be removed and relocated to North Dakota.

The reason why involves the two persons standing aside the statue. One on each side. On one an African man. The other, a Native American man.

The claim leading to its soon to be removal is that the statue glorifies colonialism and racism.

A statue of Thomas Jefferson has sat in the New York City Hall for 187 years. It was moved Monday. The reason being Jefferson owned slaves.

My advice why stop there. Remove Jefferson’s majestic statue in the Jefferson Memorial also.

What about George Washington? A slave owner big time. Lets remove Washington’s name from Washington, D.C. and the Washington Memorial.

Not correct to pick and choose. All or none.

Beware! The ongoing COVID problem could call for extreme government action. Action to be required because many people refuse to follow the rules.

Australia the perfect example.

Australia has begun forcibly moving residents from certain areas to quarantine camps. Those moved are positive cases and close contacts.

An Australian government official said, “Yes, these are strong measures, but THE THREAT TO LIVES IS EXTREME.”

Area persons primarily being sent to camps are from the northern portions of Australia. Primarily indigenous persons. The Australian army moves them by truck.

The Waukesha Christmas Parade SUV deaths total 8 dead and 40 injured. One of the dead is an 8 year old who died following brain surgery.

Eighteen children were injured and taken to Children’s Wisconsin Milwaukee Hospital. The hospital has advised it has insufficient staffing.

The reason claimed has to do with the COVID vaccination mandate. Certain nurses and staff have refused to be vaccinated. The national mandate for vaccines became effective November 15.

The hospital presently has 200 open positions.

Seventy percent of the nursing/medical staff who claimed a religious exemption were denied. Most have already begun looking for other jobs.

Things are so desperate in the hospital that even its CEO is working the emergency room floor.

Police advise the SUV driver drove his vehicle into the parade in a “zig zag pattern” in order to “hit as many people as possible.”

Corporate profits hit a record high in the third quarter. $3,139.1 billion. Two percent higher than the second quarter.

Long term rise dramatic. From one year ago, 28.2 percent. From the fourth quarter of 2019 – before any impact from the pandemic, 37.7 percent.

Such being the case, why is the Senate nickel diming the social infrastructure bill? Also arguing against any raise in corporate taxes?

For shame!

I wrote about Allyn Walker in my 11/15/21 blog. The transgender professor at Old Dominion University. The female who became a male. He called for the stigma towards pedohiles to be removed.

He claimed pedophilia was merely another form of sexual attraction and should be tolerated.

Old Dominion has “fired” Walker. His termination will begin May 22, 2022 when “her contract expired.”

Seventy professors signed a letter in support of Walker saying “not everyone who is attracted to children abuses the children.”

I wonder how many of the 70 are pedophiles themselves.

On this day in 1890, Key West was the largest city in Florida. Population 18,786.

Key West only about 28,000 today. Key West remained basically the same size while the rest of Florida flourished.

On this day in 1962, President John Kennedy was in Key West on official business. He was here to review the military installations and troops that had been part of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Enjoy your day!

CAPTAIN BLIGH A GOOD GUY

Setting the record straight

Originally posted May 2016

 

Hollywood has a tendency to play with the truth.

Hollywood has made several Mutiny on the Bounty movies over the years. All depicting William Bligh as a despicable mean naval captain.

Typical of the industry, Bligh was misrepresented. He was not the Charles Laughton of the 1935 movie, nor the Trevor Howard of the 1962 movie, nor the Anthony Hopkins of the 1984 movie. Bligh was a competent caring ship captain.

Fletcher Christian as portrayed by Clark Gable, Marlon Brando, and Mel Gibson respectively not quite the nice guy reflected in the films. Though not bad per se. I think in the end his penis got in the way of his judgment.

Bligh’s notoriety comes from his Bounty experiences. The Bounty was not his only court martial trial, however. Two more followed the Bounty episode.

The Bounty mutiny occurred in 1789. The second was the Spithead Mutiny in 1797. The third and last, the Rum Rebellion in 1808.

Bligh was exonerated/found not guilty in all three court martial trials. He was returned to duty in each instance.

He was a Lieutenant at the time of the Bounty mutiny. He thereafter captained eight major vessels rising in rank from Commodore to Admiral. Followed by appointment as Governor of New South Wales.

Not reflective of Hollywood’s Charles Laughton, Trevor Howard or Anthony Hopkins.

The Bounty was a small ship. Not even referred to as a ship. It was a cutlass. Had on board only one officer. A lieutenant. Bligh was the lieutenant. No Marine contingency. Marines were placed on ships to maintain security.

Fletcher Christian was on board the Bounty. He and Bligh had met in the early 1800s and became close friends. Fletcher a younger man. Fletcher was eager to learn navigation. Bligh took him under his wing.

The Bounty was headed for Tahiti. The purpose of the voyage was to obtain breadfruit which grew on Tahiti. Then return the breadfruit to slave islands in the Caribbean. The British government was hopeful the cheap breadfruit would suffice in feeding the slaves.

Bligh’s intent was to take the Bounty around South America’s Cape Horn and then onto Tahiti. Bad weather confronted the Bounty. Bligh could not get it around Cape Horn. He was required to change direction to South Africa and around its tip.

The change in course screwed up the Bounty’s time table. Involved was the breadfruit growing season. The Bounty arrived in Tahiti not at the end of a growing season. Relatively close to the beginning of the season. The Bounty was required to remain in Tahiti five months waiting for the breadfruit to reach harvesting time.

Fletcher was a Master’s Mate. Bligh gave him the added responsibility of being in charge of one of the three watches. In effect making Christian a sort of number 2 in authority.

The crew had nothing to do during the five months of wait. Tahiti was beautiful. A care free attitude existed among the natives. Love making was a constant activity. Sexual license pervasive.

The crew became accustomed to the hedonistic pace.

When the time came to leave Tahiti, the men were reluctant. They had found heaven on earth.

During the trip to Tahiti, Bligh might be described as a kinder captain that most in the British Navy. He punished sparingly. Never hung. Whipped where other captains would hang. Maintained a good diet for the men and strict sanitation on the ship.

He could not be labeled as cruel.

His one negative was that he could be abrupt and insulting.

Bligh’s nature and disposition had nothing to do with the mutiny. Most of the crew was reluctant to leave the idyllic life they were enjoying on Tahiti.

The Bounty did depart Tahiti. It did not get too far. In the middle of the night, Fletcher led the rebellion. Fletcher and some mutineers entered Bligh’s cabin, woke him, tied him and brought him upon deck.

Bligh chastised his friend Fletcher. Fletcher’s response was short…..I am in hell.

Bligh and most of the crew not supporting the mutiny were placed in a 23 foot launch. Too many bodies for such a small boat. They were given four cutlasses, food and water for a week, a quadrant, and a compass. No charts.

The Fletcher led mutineers returned to Tahiti. History tells us they lived the exotic life a while till Fletcher told them they had to leave to avoid discovery and arrest. Fletcher and the crew took their native loves and sailed off. History knows not where they went.

Bligh was a sailor of the first class. He was determined to get himself and his men home.

The nearest island with European settlers was Timor. 4,164 miles away. Bligh got the cutlass and men there. Only one died on the way. The trip took 47 days. Bligh and the crew survived on 1/12 pounds of bread per day. Bligh navigated the whole way. To this day considered a marvelous accomplishment.

The court martial honorably acquitted Bligh. Note was made that had there been more officers and a Marine detachment, the mutiny would never have occurred.

A small number of crewmen were found guilty. Only three hung. Found guilty not of mutiny, but barratry. Barratry was defined as the misappropriation by those entrusted with the care of a ship to the detriment of the owner (British Crown).

Bligh was returned to duty as a captain of a larger vessel.

Bligh was to stand court martial a second time in a mutiny situation in 1797. Bligh was captain of the HMS Director. Several other ships were involved in the mutiny. The mutiny referred to as the Spithead Mutiny.

The mutiny had nothing to do with Bligh personally. The crews mutinied for more pay and an end to brutality.

Bligh was found not guilty and returned to sea duty as captain of an even larger vessel.

Bligh’s competency and leadership were recognized by the British government in 1805 when he was appointed as Governor of New South Wales. New south Wales was near or a part of Australia.

New South Wales had a high society consisting of colonists and senior officers of the New South Wales Corp.

They were stealing the island and British government blind.

Bligh was confrontational. Actually pissed off. He ordered them to cease and desist.

No one heard him. No one wanted to hear him. Those he was chastising were making huge profits from illegal private trading. The trading primarily in rum. The incident is referred to as the Rum Rebellion.

Four hundred soldiers revolted. Took over. Found Bligh hiding under his bed. Arrested him. Kept him prisoner for two years till a court martial trial was held.

Bligh again was acquitted. The rebel leader was found guilty and dismissed from the military service with loss of pension. Meant nothing to him. He returned to New South Wales and enjoyed the balance of his life living off his ill gotten gains from the rum trade.

Bligh was obviously a competent leader. Good to his crews in comparison to other naval captains of the time. A straight arrow, however.

He faced trial three times. Was exonerated three times. Continued in service after each acquittal.

Why do I write this piece re Bligh? Simple. I think Hollywood has given him a bad deal. Hollywood has portrayed him as a villain in the Bounty movies. I wanted to set the record straight. Showing also that Bligh walked with a black cloud over his head. Three times subjected to court martial trial.

400-500 B.C. TO MODERN KEY WEST…..A HISTORY OF COCKFIGHTING

Some fun history today!

Originally posted October 2020

I am sick of politics! The political junkie has had it. Felt the need for a day off.

The sole topic today will be a history of cockfighting. A bit like politics. Both roosters going at each others throats to bloody the other.

Cockfighting is the sport of ancients, Presidents and common man. Though illegal, it is still considered a sport.

Roosters are trained to be killers, to hate other roosters. Their natural spurs are altered by adding on razor shop metal ones. The roosters are then ready to fight to the death.

Cockfighting is referred to as a blood sport because of the preceding.

Cockfighting had it’s beginnings sometime around 400-500 B.C. It was considered a sport.

The Chinese, Persians and Greeks were the first. Rooster owners were considered sportsmen and trainers. Much like horse owners and their trainers of today.

Spectators involved. They paid an entry fee to watch the fight and gamble on its outcome.

Three Presidents participated in and enjoyed the sport. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

Over the centuries, the sport became illegal. Primarily in the 20th century. All States ban cockfighting.

In 2007, George W. Bush signed a federal law banning cockfighting.

Both State and Federal law carry severe jail time.

Two reasons are put forth as to why cockfighting is philosophically  illegal. First, it is gambling. Second, animal cruelty.

Key West and the lower Keys historically have been a home to the sport.

Roosters and chickens today walk around freely.

During the 1800’s, chickens became big business in Cuba. Breeders purchased varieties of Filipino Fowl from Spain. The Cubans created their own breed called Cubalayo. Their size and aggressiveness made them perfect for cockfighting.

In 1860, the Ten Years’ War began in Cuba. Cuba’s fight for freedom. Many Cubans moved to the United States. They brought their love of cockfighting with them.

Then came the cigar industry. Its success in Key West brought more Cubans and cockfighting chickens.

When Cubans migrated to Key West, an insufficient food supply existed. There was no U.S. 1 or railroad. Ergo, the Cubans also brought chickens for human consumption.

The chickens provided eggs and meat. They reproduced easily. Roosters and chickens are very prolific. The gestation period 29 days.

As Key West became more connected with the rest of the world and with the advent of local markets and supermarkets carrying chicken products, there was no need to raise chickens for food.

Most people stopped raising chickens. They freed them to wander wherever.

The chickens learned quickly how to survive on their own. They ate native insects, lizards, scorpions and worms.

Many believe the roaming chickens have also provided a benefit to the community. It is claimed they have minimized Key West’s cockroach population.

Key West outlawed cockfighting in the 1970’s. Cubalayo chickens were no longer of value. Most owners put the Cubalayos on the street to fend for themselves.

Roosters and chickens roamed freely. Nature took its course. Sex abounded. A chicken’s gestation time is 29 days. It did not take long for Key West to have chickens galore.

The marriage of the food chickens with Cubalayp ones resulted in what today are known as Gypsy chickens. The Gypsys are the ones running around Key West today.

Gypsys are a protected species.

The outlawing of cockfights has not eliminated the sport. Merely minimized it. There are still those who like to breed and train. Others who enjoy making money sponsoring cockfights. And those who enjoy watching and gambling as to the outcome of a fight.

Cockfights therefore do exist. Generally outside of Key West. In mangroves and other isolated places.

In 2017, a drug raid in Ramrod Key discovered 250 cockfighting chickens and fighting paraphernalia. The owners/operators of the cocks and fighting paraphernalia were arrested.

For some reason, present day cockfighting appears to be moving out of the Keys to mid Florida. In 2019, a raid took place in Summerland, Florida. Summerland being in Marian County. Fifty roosters were discovered.

The only place in Key West that I am aware of that had regular cock fights was the Gato House at 1209 Virginia Street. I could not ascertain the time frame. I doubt it could have been when the Gato family was residing there.

Gato moved out. Donated the house for a hospital. He had one condition. The hospital had to be named after his wife Mercedes. The Mercedes Hospital came into being.

The Mercedes Hospital closed down around 1942. It was vacant for a while. Then it was purchased and turned into a guest house. Today an apartment building.

The Gato House is the place where Key West’s most famous ghost resides. The hospital’s matron Maria Valdez de Gutsens. It is claimed she still walks the rooms and hallways of the Gato House.

The Gato House has a backyard. It was also constructed in such fashion as to have a center court. The cockfights probably occurred after the hospital closed. During the years the building was run down and overgrown with weeds.

Hope you enjoyed.

Have a nice day!

FISH FOR YOUR DINNER…..IT’LL BE A LOT CHEAPER

Even worse today!

Originally posted May 2021

Groceries have consistently risen the past several years. I have made the observation during the last four.

Michael Snyder is a blogger. I have previously mentioned him. His blog yesterday alarming. It’s title: “What Will You Do When Inflation Forces U.S. Households To Spend 40 Percent Of Their Income On Food?”

Snyder starts with corn. He reports the price of corn has gone up 142 percent in the last 12 months. My advise: Stop eating corn!

However people can’t merely stop eating. Sustenance is required to survive.

The cost of food typically used to be 10 percent of disposable income. The 10 percent of course did not apply to the poorest. They are required to spend more than the middle class or richest.

The USDA recently wrote that in 2019, income for the poor remained static as the price of food rose. The USDA claims the poorest have been required to spend 36 percent of their disposable income on food.

What about the average American family? Some economists believe that eventually the percentage of disposable personal income for the average American family will each 40 percent. Sooner than later.

Which means the poorest will spend more than 50 percent of their disposable income on food.

The theory behind the percentage of disposable income is simple to understand. The salary of the poor remains constant at a time when the price of food is increasing. The rich on the other hand do not feel the increase cost of groceries since their disposable income is so high that the increase is never experienced.

Inflation is moving up. The largest increase month to month in 9 years.

Government spending comes into play. The government this year hopes to spend a whopping $11 trillion. The government does not have $11 trillion. If Biden’s tax plan does not work, the money will have to be borrowed.

Note I believe Biden did the right thing with the stimulus spending. It was the only way to prevent a deep recession, the only way to be sure most Americans had some money to spend on necessities or anything else.

The American people loved receiving the stimulus checks. However if a cart of groceries will cost $400, nothing will help. Forget any more stimulus checks. The money in any fashion is just not there.

Snyder predicts a major national crisis. As smart as he is, he is not always correct. I hope he is wrong in this instance.

Gun shootings. Will they ever stop?

The most recent occurred yesterday at the Rigby Middle School in Rigby, Idaho. Sixth grade. A female 6th grader yet unnamed came into class with a gun in her bag pack. She pulled the gun out, shot 3 persons in the limbs. Two students and a custodian. Her teacher was finally able to take the gun from her.

No further details are available at this time.

Texans are on a roll. I am not referring to the voter restriction package being worked on at this time.

There is another bill of consequence moving  legislatively. It passed the Texas Senate yesterday. A “Constitutional Carry” bill allowing handguns to be carried without a permit.

Republicans do not believe a permit should be required in order for a person to “carry.” They believe other gun laws passed by Texas in recent years contain sufficient restrictions on gun control.

Facebook’s monopolistic problems continue to grow. Could reach a point where government interference will be required. To break Facebook into several smaller companies with no connection one to the other.

Reminds me of the telephone company of old. I thought the break up stupid at the time. I obviously was wrong. My problem was the government was punishing a company for becoming too good at what it was doing.

The break up of the Bell System occurred on January 8, 1982. The Department of Justice had filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Bell in 1974.

The break up was resolved by Bell and the U.S. entering into a Consent Decree providing, among other things, that the AT&T Corporation would relinquish control of the Bell Operating Companies that had provided local telephone service in the U.S. and Canada up to the date of the Consent Decree. AT&T would retain the long distance part of the business and its Western Electric subsidiary which provided most of the telephone parts in the U.S.

A monopoly split. Life went on.

If the U.S. goes after Facebook to split it up into smaller companies, it will not happen overnight. It will take years for the litigation to be resolved. Note that the telephone company break up took 8 years before the lawsuit was finally resolved.

Schadenfreude. A big word.

Read it for the first time yesterday. Had to look it up. The word means to derive pleasure from the misfortune of another person.

Fits Trump.

All a lawyer has is his reputation. Not only as a skillful practitioner, but also as an honest person.

William Barr was not a man of ethics when he served as Attorney General under Trump. His reputation as an issue arose in a federal case being presided over by Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

She wrote in a decision handed down this week that Barr was a fixer and corrupter of justice. The rule of law went out the window when he decided matters.

More is to be revealed in a further decision to be handed down in the next two weeks.

Barr now walks with a “sullied reputation.” His series of wrongdoings many.

Little Palm Island has for years maintained a world wide reputation as one of the finest resorts in the world. Irma blew it away. Took 3 yeas to rebuild.

Little Palm Island in located 30 miles north of me on Little Torch Key. A boat ride off U.S. 1.

Conde Nest announced its Hot List this week. Hot List referring to the finest resorts in the world. Little Palm Island is on the list. Conde Nest says it offers “a fresh take on tropical chic” and redefines “the exotic castaway fantasy.”

Twenty years ago, my former wife and I enjoyed dinner one night at the Island. Out of sight food and service! At the time, the resort had something like 11 cottages. The wife wanted to check them out.

When she returned, she told me the cost was $1,100 a night and not worth it.

A portion of the article I read included price per night. TripAdvisor advised the lowest cost is $3,890 a night. Ridiculous money. No way would I spend it.

My 412 days of self-quarantine continues to affect me. I stayed in again last night. No problem. I was comfortable remaining in with my books and old movies.

I find my problem is a common one. Psychologists are writing about it. People are talking about it.

I know I will get out tomorrow night. Dinner with Donna and Terri. I have not seen them in over a year.

I told Donna I have one requirement. We have to eat outside. She laughed. She and Terri have already has been eating inside.

Enjoy your day!

THE SHOOTING GALLERY CALLED AMERICA

Originally posted August 2019

 

America has become a shooting gallery. Citizens shooting citizens. Who would have believed 50 years ago it could happen.

I am motivated to write re the gun issue this morning because of the El Paso and Dayton shootings which occurred in the past 24 hours.

Why has the U.S. become a maniacal society when it comes to citizens killing each other? The reasons many. Cause and effect unending.

I share my thoughts.

  • Gun manufacturers.
  • The NRA.
  • The Republican Party. Elected and party officials having neither the desire nor guts to stand up to gun manufacturers and the NRA. They have been bought body and soul.
  • Lobbyists. Those hired by gun manufacturers and the NRA. Powerful. Loaded with money. Threaten Republican legislators easily with…..If you don’t cooperate/dance to our tune, you will be primaried in the next election.
  • A conservative Supreme Court for many years. Even worse in coming years. Two bad decisions. The right to bear arms and corporations having the right to give unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns.
  • An NRA that has bought “experts” to tell the American people that the gun problem is primarily caused by persons having mental difficulties. Repeated so much over the years that many believe the lie today.
  • The rise of nationalism.
  • A President who stands with those who want to bear arms in a manner and degree not before seen in any President.

All contributing to the carnage.

When a person plays with dynamite, such person should be careful. Could blow up in one’s face.

I refer now to the tariff wars being experienced. The brain child of Donald Trump. A game that could quickly end in a world war.

One of China’s largest companies is Huawei. Employs 320,000 people.

Huawei big in i-phones and electronic equipment world wide.

Huawei needs Android updates for its phones. Out of business without. One of the tariff war’s fallouts is that Google is prohibited by the U.S. from doing business with China.

Trump and China President Xi discussed the matter several months ago while negotiating the tariff situation as a whole. To evidence the cooperative spirit of the U.S., Trump granted a temporary ban on the no Google sales to Huawei. A reprieve. The reprieve expires later this month.

Could literally put Huawei out of business. At the very least hurt it dramatically, along with China’s economy.

I read this morning a comment by Trump to the effect he does not care.

What will China’s next step be? Could very well be the start of World War III.

Turn things around. Suppose China took steps to hurt Amazon big time. Place Amazon in a position where it might have to go out of business. Note that Amazon employs 556.000.

The U.S. could not, would not, stand for it. So it may be with China.

Time is of the essence. The end of the month is around the corner.

Going to be interesting how this works out, if it does.

Henry David Thoreau. His time at Walden Pond. Most Americans read Walden in high school or college.

It was on this day in 1854 that Thoreau published Walden.

The book was a recounting of Thoreau’s time at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. He lived there 2 years and 2 months. Simply. In a home 10′ x 15′ which he built himself. He grew his food in his garden.

The home was located on a 62 acre pond.

Thoreau’s closest neighbor was Ralph Waldo Emerson who lived one mile away.

Thoreau’s intent was to explore mentally his views on nature, politics and philosophy.

The book’s first publishing was 5,000 volumes. Sold only 300 the first year. Took 5 years to sell the whole 5,000.

Today continues as it has for many years as a best seller. One reason being it is required reading in many American class rooms today.

We all know the story of Custer and the Sioux Indians when Custer and his 200 plus men were wiped out by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse led Sioux. The time the Indians won. There was a time 3 years earlier when Custer defeated the Sioux, however. At a time when the Sioux were led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.

It was August 4, 1873. Custer and the 7th Army were protecting a railroad survey party. A relatively easy task. No one bothered anyone. Neither soldiers nor Indians.

Custer was taking an afternoon nap. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse for whatever reason attacked Custer’s camp. Custer woke and mounted an effective defense. The skirmish was brief. The Indians withdrew. Only 1 soldier and 1 Indian killed.

Three years later, the Battle of Little Big Horn. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse on one side. Custer on the other.

We have learned several variations as to why Custer lost the battle. The true one little known.

Custer’s greatest fear was the Indians would turn and run before he could attack and defeat them as had occurred 3 years earlier. Custer wanted a victory over the Indians. So he rushed into the battle without proper reconnaissance. One item knowing the size of the Indian force. Thousands.

Custer and his 200 plus men were annihilated.

Key West loves dogs! Seems like every other household has a pet dog. Dogs permitted everywhere in Key West. All bars and most restaurants. Even super markets and retail stores.

There is a national organization called Better Citizens for Pets. Made up of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Marc Pet Care.

Recently, Key West received the group’s “Small City” award. A $10,000 grant. The purpose of the grant “to keep furrys off the streets and out of shelters by offering pet wellness services for free or at a reduced cost for income-qualified pet owners.”

Key West dog owners be proud!

Enjoy your Sunday!