Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa?

Inappropriate, immoral, improper sex has occurred in the lives of many modern day Presidents. Presidents of old not so much. They apparently were very virtuous or the press failed to investigate and reveal their sexual escapades. The latter true. Sexual play by Presidents of old were considered off base.

A sex scandal is claimed to have occurred the first time Grover Cleveland ran for President. One involving rape and violence. The year 1884.

Cleveland was named Stephen Grover Cleveland by his Presbyterian minister father. His upbringing religious.

Cleveland’s political career prior to running for President was distinguished. Sheriff of Erie County, Mayor of Buffalo, and Governor of New York.

He was known for his honesty, self reliance, integrity, courage, independence and common sense. A political reformer. He was referred to as “Grover the Good.”

Cleveland was running against James Blaine of Maine. A distinguished political leader. He had served in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. He was Speaker of the House. His career also included two terms as Secretary of State under three different Presidents.

The election a close one. Cleveland narrowly won.

It was reported during the campaign that Cleveland had fathered an illegitimate child ten years earlier. Mr. Clean suddenly dirty.

Those supporting Blaine came up with a political ditty. One which caught hold immediately.

Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?

Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!

A Buffalo newspaper broke the story. Either the Evening Telegraph or the Buffalo Evening Standard. The exact one difficult to identify. Whatever, the newspaper revealing the story was considered in those days a rag.

Cleveland’s political aides went crazy. How to cover/contain the story? Cleveland told them simply, “Whatever you say, tell the truth.”

The “Cleveland truth”  was Cleveland had had an affair with a Maria Halpin ten years earlier. Cleveland was a lawyer at the time. His law partner was Oscar Folsom. Many were having  an affair with Maria at the same time. Cleveland’s law partner Folsom as well as several of Cleveland’s political crony friends.

All those allegedly having sexual escapades at the time were married. Cleveland the only bachelor.

Maria was a 36 year old widow. Employed by the dry goods store Flint & Kent. A hard worker, she soon rose to head the cloak department. She spoke French. Known as a pleasant, soft spoken woman. A church goer.

She also was a slut based on the story told. Cleveland said he claimed to be the father to protect his married friends. He claimed to have supported the child for a year and then stopped. He stopped because paternity was questionable. He did not believe he was the father.

Maria claimed her life prior to the “Cleveland truth” was pure and spotless. There was no doubt in her mind as to paternity. The child was fathered by Cleveland, not the others. The incident described by Maria would today be considered date rape.

There was a court proceeding. A paternity suit. Maria’s position was Cleveland had sexually and violently assaulted her. The incident took took place in her room at a boarding house. Cleveland had earlier run into her while she was on her way home from work. He suggested dinner. They enjoyed a pleasant dinner at the Ocean Dining Hall & Oyster House.

Maria threatened to notify the authorities. Cleveland allegedly said he would destroy her, even if it cost him $10,000. He did not care. He would risk hanging by the neck to stop her.

She ordered him out of her room. He left.

Six weeks later, Maria realized she was pregnant.

Permit a momentary digression.

The “Cleveland truth” was printed in several newspapers at the time. Books were written thereafter that paid little attention to Maria’s claim of innocence.

The first novel supporting Maria’s position was published by Charles Lachman in 2011. The book took three years to research and write. A Secret Life: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland.

Lachman suggests Cleveland was a nasty man. Truth to Cleveland was what ever protected his political career. Same as today.

Lachman writes Cleveland was the only one who had sex with Maria at the time. His law partner Oscar Folsom and others lied to protect Cleveland. In those days, there was no blood test to determine paternity. The defense in a paternity case was to show several men had intercourse with the woman during a particular time ,period.. It was therefore difficult to determine who was the father. By inference, the woman was labeled a slut who would have sex with anyone.

It is difficult to determine if the paternity case resulted in a court decision. What is known is that Cleveland gave Maria $500 and told her to go elsewhere and start over.

The baby was a boy. He was born at a hospital for unwed mothers. Interestingly, the birth certificate names Oscar Folsom as the father. Cleveland arranged for Folsom’s name on the birth certificate. Not Maria. The baby was soon forcibly taken from Maria. Kidnapped. The child was placed in the Buffalo Orphan Asylum. Maria was thrown into the Providence Lunatic Asylum.

Big stuff.

The son was soon adopted by a respected western New York couple. He eventually became a well known New York City doctor. A gynecologist. His name, Dr. James E. King, Jr.

Maria never saw her child again. She never knew where he was initially placed, who adopted him, etc.

Maria was examined by the medical director of the Lunatic Asylum. He released Maria soon after examining her. He concluded she was not insane and her incarceration was the result of an abuse of political power.

What is the true story?

Difficult to ascertain. It appears Lachman dug into the matter more deeply than previous writers. He is a distinguished and reputable writer. He was acclaimed for an earlier work involving the Lincolns.

Lachman’s book was a best seller. Sold over one million copies.

What do I think?

I am inclined to believe the truth lies with Lachman’s version. Cleveland was the sole male who had sex with Maria. His friends lied for him. Remember, Cleveland was an active candidate for President of the United States. Grover the Good would not be so considered if Maria’s version was believed. Mr. Clean had dirtied himself. He had to bury Maria or his Presidential aspirations were buried. One or the other.

I suspect more books will follow. Others will analyze Lachman’s work ad infinitum, as well as the authors who came before him.

Presidential candidates and Presidents themselves have difficulty keeping their pants on or zippers up at the very least. What Cleveland covered up would not be possible in today’s media crazy world. In the end, everything hangs out.

Three earlier happenings in Cleveland’s life affect my judgement. I would be remiss if I did not mention them. Two definitely go to the character of the man, the third perhaps.

Cleveland did not fight in the Civil War. He was practicing law at the time. He was called to serve. He did not want to get into the fighting.

The Conscription Act became law in 1863. It permitted an individual called to serve to pay someone to fight in his place. Cleveland paid a Polish immigrant.

Another involves certain of Cleveland’s actions while Sheriff.

Erie County was without a hang man. A vacancy existed. No one had applied for the job. Three murderers sentenced to death awaited hanging. Sheriff Cleveland told the people of Erie County not to worry. He would do the job.

He pulled the lever opening the trap doors dropping  the men to their deaths.

The final involves Cleveland’s marriage. Soon after Cleveland election, he married Oscar Folsom’s daughter. Cleveland was 48, Frances Folsom 21.


Only in Key West.

Most communities have local laws prohibiting the keeping of certain animals. Pigs, for example. Apparently, Key West does not.

A Key West resident keeps a pig as a pet. A neighbor complained re the stench. Codes sent an investigator three times. No stench.

A Key West Code Magistrate ruled the woman could keep the pig as a pet.

A late morning visit to the bank yesterday. Then lunch at the Waterfront Restaurant. A winner! Food continues to be good. A fantastic view.

My only concern is whether the place can make it. The rent has to be astronomical! Key West high!

A pleasant evening at Tavern ‘n Town. June and I had dinner with the Greenbergs. Linda and Fred. Great conversation! We chatted so long we were one of the last tables to leave.

The Greenbergs have or soon will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. To be respected. Congratulations!

Trump stuck his foot in his mouth last night. Chris Matthews got him good on the question whether the woman in an abortion should be punished. Trump’s TV response to the effect such a woman should be punished.

Not surprising. Trump continues to exhibit his lack of respect for the female gender.

Trump sent two messages out after the viewing. He backed off the statement. His final position was the doctor and others performing the abortion should be punished. Not the woman.

Claire Bernish’s article on Blacklisted News yesterday concerning the military industrial complex pointed. Speaks truths. Beware of corporate interests, especially as regards the military. The article states war is a racket. Exists for corporate interests. Are waged for profit. The U.S. today the war merchant of the world.

Recall Eisenhower’s words…..Beware of the military industrial complex.

I read somewhere yesterday that there are four million adult websites on the internet. The adult websites get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

This week’s KONK Life on the stands. Check out my column Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa? Dirty politics in the 1884 Presidential campaign between Grover Cleveland and James Blaine.

Enjoy your day!




My stress test was yesterday morning at 11:30. I gave up on the treadmill for the test years ago. Too much work. Went to the nuclear test. Easy. The last two have been dobutamine.

For the dobutamine test, I am lying down. Hooked up to everything. The dobutamine dripping into my arm.

The test took unusually long. The dobutamine is supposed to get my heart rate up to 120. Started at 60. Stayed at 60 a long time. I could sense a concern that it was not going up. They gave me a shot of something else. Still no progress.

I kept hearing from those working on me that my heart was still sleeping. Another way of saying I was not moving much off the 60.

A doctor was called in. Now, I was concerned! I could hear the discussion. Do we stop and have him return another time? Do not want to give him more of whatever?

My heart must have heard the discussion. It woke. Started moving.

Rest of test normal.

The after effect, a first. I was exhausted! Dead tired! Wow! Made it to home and bed. Slept for three hours. Felt better afterwards.

I will be informed of the test findings tomorrow.

The test was the result of my having chest pains two weeks ago and on the same day. I took nitroglycerin each time. The pain went away each time. Not a good sign. If pain disappears, means you are probably experiencing a heart problem.

I slept through the time I was supposed to be rewriting and refining the material for my blog talk radio show in the evening. I winged it. The show went the same as if I had spent that extra hour working the material over.

Enjoyed a light dinner at Roostica.

The Presidential primary races suck. Need issues and not personal clashes.

Our country has had similar campaign wars in years past. Today is nothing new. Except may be exaggerated more.

I spoke last night about the Presidential election of 1832. Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay. Hot! They ended up hating each other. Jackson won. Clay returned to the U.S. Senate.

The Senate was investigating some matter. They wanted documents in Jackson’s possession turned over to the Senate. Jackson refused.

Clay figured he had Jackson! He got the Senate to censure Jackson. The Senate did not have the power. Jackson  ignored the censure.

Jackson was a proud man. He took the censure attack personally. When Jackson left office, he said his only regret was he had not shot Clay.

Last summer, I met Frances Watson Clark at the Chart Room. We spent a long time chatting. She wanted to write a book about Key West. She wrote it and recently sent me a copy. Title: Images of Modern America – Key West.

The book is a series of photos taken over the years. Not in sequence. Each with a brief history beneath the photo. Her work in actuality a novel. Not merely a bunch of pictures. The wording below each photo a piece of Key West’s yesterday.

I recommend the book.

The book has the usual Acknowledgements section. Frances mentioned me in the Acknowledgements. A first for me. She wrote, “A chance encounter at the Chart Room granted me the fortune of meeting Joe Petrone, a columnist for KONK Life and blogger extraordinaire…..”

I know. She got my first name wrong. Nevertheless, I appreciate the mention.

Joe Liszka died in October. I wrote about him at the time. A Key West luminary.

At 5 o’clock today, a Celebration of Life will be held at Tennessee Williams. The theatre was needed because of the anticipated crowd. In addition to all his accomplishments, Joe Liszka was loved.

Today is hump day and screw off day. Hump day we know. Screw off is because today is my friday. I work through the weekend. The weekend being my busiest time. Wednesday, thursday and friday are mine. Nothing to do, except write this/my blog.

Screw off has already begun. I remained in bed till after 7.

Enjoy your day!


On the move yesterday. A lot of it fun.

My morning trip was bland. The bank and Walgreens.

The afternoon picked up. I researched for tonight’s blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I enjoy researching.

I will open with the Syracuse victory. Worthy of recognition and mention. Followed by Andrew Jackson’s censure spearheaded by Henry Clay, sexual atrocities by police officers, those vying to buy the Presidency, Hawaii seriously considering decriminalizing all drugs.

Followed by Bernie Sanders three big State wins, $15 an hour now law in California, Smell Dating, a strange result in the legal system, this week’s KONK Life column Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa?, and California’s lead problem.

Then a nap. I was tired after researching.

Last night, I was truly out on the street.

First, Aqua. Monday from 5-7, the bartenders sing. Last night it was Tom Luna and Rick. Luna was the star of Producers that I saw saturday night. Rick’s stage name is Goddess. Goddess is a drag star.

Tom and Rick sang Unforgettable reworded. Substituted Homosexual for Unforgettable. Funny.

David showed up. Always glad to see David. He was into the singing. Sort of a group karaoke situation. David knew all the old songs. I knew very few. I stumbled through some, however.

Michael and Kathy showed up. Michael was a bocce partner several years ago. He also owned Peppers with Tom Luna. Michael and Kathy left Key West. They now live in San Antonio del Mar, Mexico. On Baha beach.

I was out for the evening with June. Her friend Candy Cane came over. The girls chatted away.

Mary took care of my Key West home for five years. A jack of all trades. She was at the bar. I had not seen her in years. It was her 50th birthday. She still looks 21. Enjoyed being with her again.

It was time to eat. Antonia’s at the bar. Yes, I am back.

A change in the menu. A big one. Antonia’s of old featured northern Italian cooking. Means oil, not sauce. I enjoyed a linguine dish. Sauce, not oil. Antonia’s has switched to southern Italian cooking.

The night was not yet over. It was on to the Little Room Jazz Club to hear Larry Smith. Pepe on the drums. Alex on the horn. Melody Cooper singing.

Larry is one of Key West’s premier entertainers. Catch his show. Time spent with Larry always pleasurable.

As we were leaving, one of th spectators asked for my blog address. I apologize that I have forgotten his name. If he is reading today’s blog, I ask he e-mail his address. He is in Key West for two months. I would like to get to know him better.

An interesting article in this morning’s Key West Citizen. A public private group will receive $75 million in State money next year. They have received money in the past. Big dollars.

The group’s function is to boost tourism in the Florida keys. They are doing well. Claim 100 million visitors in 2015.

A good chunk of the money is to provide paid trips to Chinese and other foreign journalists. They also have what has been described as secret contracts with celebrities.

Though tax dollars are involved, the organization is not audited and its agreements with celebrities secret. Scrutiny required. None exists.

Later this morning, a stress test scheduled. I am nervous. I always get nervous when I have to take a stress test.

Enjoy your day!




God is good.

Syracuse defeated Virginia last night for the right to go to the Final Four.

One of the best Syracuse games ever. Syracuse won 68-62 after being down big time.

Syracuse distinguished itself with defensive play in the last two minutes of the Gonzaga game, also.

Boeheim once again exhibited his basketball genius when he went into a full court press last night. I thought it would not work. It did!

The team consists of players who would not give up. Defeat not part of their mind set.

Gbinije was interviewed following the Gonzaga game. He was asked how did Syracuse start playing as it did. Gbinije responded something to the effect…..They told us we did not belong.

I was a skeptic. I said several times we were lucky to have made the tournament…..Syracuse did not belong. Note that I have refused to set forth any comments during the tournament that Syracuse would win a particular game.

I should be ashamed.

I am happy for Boeheim and the team. Especially, Boeheim. He deserves what is happening after the beating the NCAA gave him.

Screw them all, Jim! Go for it! Only two games remaining!


An early morning greeting this Easter holiday. Happy Easter!

A religious day. We forget. More than the Easter bunny and baskets.

This day one of additional significance. The Elite Eight. Winners today go on to the Final Four.

Syracuse plays Virginia at tonight. Big game! Virginia a #1 seed. Syracuse a #10. Virginia an 8.5 point favorite.

We shall see. I make no predictions. I am thrilled for Coach Boeheim and the team.

Go ‘Cuse!

Got out yesterday afternoon to pick up some Easter gifts for Robert and Ally. I have to be at Lisa’s at 9 this morning for an Easter egg hunt.

Spent the afternoon completing research for this week’s KONK Life column Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa? I will write the article this afternoon.

Last night a late one! Well after midnight. Two nights in a row I have been up that late.

Started the evening with an early dinner at Hot Tin Roof. I was not hungry. Desired something different. It was. Lobster mac and cheese.

Then to the Waterfront Playhouse for the final night of Producers. The finest theatrical production seen by me in all my years in Key West. Outstanding! Perfection! The show pure joy.

An after show party at Bunny Smith’s.

I have to move my butt to get to Lisa’s on time.

A final thought first. Will there continue to be joy in Mudville?

Enjoy the Easter holiday!



March Madness! What excitement! Great basketball!

Syracuse, the team that should not have been in the NCAA Tournament. Even I said it. A bad year. Syracuse did not deserve to make it.

We made it! Was I wrong! Syracuse has distinguished itself throughout the tournament.

Last night, Syracuse defeated Gonzaga 63-60. The final seconds wild. Syracuse made three outstanding defensive moves. Two succeeded.

Tomorrow, Syracuse the #10 seed plays Virginia the #1 seed for the right to go to the Final Four.

Syracuse today in the Elite Eight! Who would have thought? Who would have believed? Perhaps only the players.

There is joy in Mudville.

Lunched yesterday at Harpoon Harry’s. Ham, eggs and hash browns. As I consistently mention, Harpoon Harry’s has the best eggs. It’s the taste/flavor, perhaps preparation, that makes them so good!

An early dinner last night in order to be home to watch the Syracuse game at 9:40. Decided on the outside bar at La Te Da. Always an empty seat around 6. Turned out I was not hungry. Ordered the crab dip with crackers. Have enjoyed it before. An appetizer. Terrific! Try it. It was just enough.

During half time of the game, I treated myself to a bowl of chocolate and coconut gelato. And I wonder why I have gained weight!

Big research day ahead. I will continue researching this week’s KONK Life column Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa? The story of President Grover Cleveland and his purported illegitimate son. A tale of misused political power.

I write the column tomorrow.

At some point, I have to get Robert and Ally something for Easter. We start the day tomorrow at 9 with an egg hunt in their back yard. Even Jake has a couple of things hidden.

Tonight, busy. An early dinner at Hot Tin Roof. Then the Producers. The last performance. The show reported to be the biggest and best the Waterfront Theater has ever presented. Following the Producers, a closing night party at a friend’s home.

I will have been up late two nights in a row. Syracuse last night and the Producers tonight. Unusual for me.

Many of us are alive and well today and able to walk because of Dr. Jonas Salk. On this day in 1953, Dr. Salk announced a new vaccine for use against polio (infantile paralysis). I was a college student at the time. I had friends who were afflicted. Fortunately, none died.

In 1952, the year before the vaccine was available, there were 58,000 new cases in the United States. Three thousand died.

Polio is the disease that afflicted Franklin Delano Roosevelt at age 39. It left him in a wheel chair the rest of his life.

Enjoy your day!



My first stop last night was a first.

Jimmy Olson entertains thursday evenings at the Gardens. Inside. Sits at a baby grand, plays and sings. Impressive. His singing and the ambiance. I recommend the evening to you.

Guy de Boer made an appearance. Shooting pictures for KONK Life.

Kate Miano holding court outside. A lovely and pleasant woman always. Her company a pleasant experience.

There was a political gathering in the gardens around the pool. Met Andrew Korge. Husband, father, civic leader and now the Democrat candidate for State Senator. Korge hails from Miami. Involved in real estate.

Korge and I talked a bit. He espouses Democratic values. Something I like.

One admonition to Korge, don’t forget us in Key West because we are a small island far from the mainland. Some representatives have.

Dinner was at the bar at Michael’s. First time in a long time. I do not know why I do not go to Michael’s often. The place is first class in every regard.

Suzette bartending. Have known her for years. She never changes. Always lovely.

Big game tonight. Syracuse/Gonzaga. Sweet Sixteen. The game is at 9:40. Gonzaga a four point favorite.

I hope for two things. Syracuse wins. I stay awake to see the whole game.

Canastota is the onion  capital of the world. It is a small village lying between Utica and Syracuse. Four thousand residents.

Besides being the onion  capital, it has two other distinctions. It is the home of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and was the home of Carmen Basilio.

Basilio at one time was the welterweight and middleweight world boxing champion. He beat Sugar Ray Robinson for the middleweight championship. Robinson regained the championship in  a 15 round decision fight this day in 1958.

Basilio was the pride of central New York during his fighting years and thereafter.

Robinson’s mother lived in the Bronx. Around 232nd Street and Broadway. Robinson visited her often. His pink Cadillac convertible parked in front of her home.

I attended Manhattan College. Located at 242nd Street. Often on a walk, my friends and I would see Robinson’s car. A few times the Champion himself. Always a wave and smile and a hello guys.

How did the United States come to acquire Key West as its own? On this day in 1822, a Lt. Matthew Perry of the U.S.Navy planted an American flag on Key West. The action formally made Key West a property of the United States.

It is the little things in life that aggravate. Yesterday around noon, I received a telephone call from the Fraud Protection Bureau. Someone was using one of my cards. The card was automatically canceled.

I had to go to the bank to get a temporary card. While there, I was advised there appeared to be other improper charges.

Such is his life.

Enjoy your day!





Cat on a Hot Tin Roof…..One of Tennessee Williams most famous plays. The play opened in New York City this date in 1955.

Tennessee Williams is an integral part of Key West history. Key West was his residence for some 40 odd years. His home on Duncan Street. A block from Lisa’s present home.

The play’s opening was two days before Williams 44th birthday. Amazing! Such talent at an early age. Williams began receiving literary awards when he was 35.

Got a head start on next week’s KONK Life column yesterday afternoon. Began researching…..Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa? The story of President Grover Cleveland’s race for the Presidency. During the campaign, it was revealed Cleveland may have fathered an illegitimate child. The column involves who did what when the event became public knowledge.

Not a nice story.

Stopped at a cocktail party last night in Sugarloaf. Dinner afterwards at Square Grouper. An excellent restaurant.

Historic ships available for viewing today through sunday at the Bight. The event sponsored by the Historic Ships in Key West organization.

I initially thought it was tall ships similar to those I had viewed in Boston Harbor some years ago. It is not. Nevertheless, interesting.

Three vessels are available for viewing and touring. One a replica of the Spanish galleon El Galen Andalucio.

This week’s KONK Life column hit the stands yesterday. Linked to my Key West Lou website this morning. Titled: “Women, You Have To Treat Them Like Shit.” Donald Trump’s words.

I was amazed to learn how extensive sea turtle poaching is. A black market world wide. Poachers galore. Big money.

Sea turtles in the U.S. are listed as endangered or threatened. Most U.S. turtles can be found in waters along southern states. Florida obviously home to many, The Keys especially.

Turtles are poached and resold for their shells, parts, and human consumption. All expensive for  illegal purchasers. U.S. laws prohibit the buying, selling or importing of sea turtle products.

Additional laws to protect sea turtles are being adopted. An ongoing effort. Florida involved in the effort.

Enjoy your day!



“Women, you have to treat them like shit.”

Not my words. Donald Trump’s. In a 1992 New York Magazine interview, Trump was asked how he felt about women. His response as set forth.

Whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, male or female, keep in mind that we all have grandmothers, mothers, wives, daughters, and granddaughters. Do we want a President who says they should be treated as “shit?”

This column is similar to one I did several months ago. Sharing things generally not known.

Credit card debt recently received short rift in the news. The U.S. is approaching $1 trillion in credit card debt. The highest ever.

It appears that the American people have not learned a lesson from the 2008 recession. Running up debt a mistake.

Credit card debt has increased with stunning speed. The last quarter of 2015 added more to credit card debt than the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined. The average balance per family $15,700.

One reason for the dramatic increase is wages have been static for too many years. People are more and more forced to live off credit cards.

China is going to end up owning the U.S. The government keeps borrowing. The U.S. presently owes China $1.3 trillion.

China is quietly buying up America. China’s Anbang Insurance Group significantly involved.

Earlier this year, the Chinese Insurance Group paid $6.5 billion for the well known Hotel del Coronado near San Diego, the Fairmont Scottsdale in Arizona, and several other hotels, including a Westin, Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons.

Two weeks ago, the Chinese Insurance Group bought Starwood Hotels (Sheraton and Westins) for $13 billion. The sale being represented as the largest hotel deal ever.

Last year, the Chinese Insurance Group bought New York’s Waldorf Astoria for $1.95 billion.

One reason the Group is buying up lucrative U.S. hotels is China’s aging population. The insurance company has policy liabilities to many of the aged.

Putin is a man of many faces. He and Trump would probably get along well together. They are birds of a feather.

Putin is always full of surprises. The latest is his announcement ten days ago that

Russia was beginning to pull its military forces out of Syria. He claims the pull out was part of his exit strategy when he went into Syria.

Russia he claims has achieved its purpose.  Flew 9,000 sorties in five months. His objective was to free 400 populated areas. Such was accomplished. Time to get out.

The U.S. never seems to have an exit strategy. Recall how long we got stuck or are still stuck in Korea, Vietnam, Bush 2’s Iraqi War, Afghanistan and Syria. Why don’t we ever have an exit strategy?

The Lower Keys Mosquito Control wants to test the use of GMO mosquitoes in the lower keys. Resident of the area will serve as guinea pigs for a hopefully new way to eradicate mosquitoes causing Zika.

It is claimed the GMO approach has been tested in several other areas world wide. I know of only one. A certain area of Brazil. Since last October, 4,000 babies have been born with deformed heads and malformed brains in that area. For real. It has not yet been established that the GMO mosquitoes caused the problem.

My concern is that we have been told the hold up re testing in the keys was FDA approval. The FDA had been studying the safeness of the GMO chemicals.

Roughly three weeks ago, the FDA reported its decision. The FDA gave approval stating the genetic materials were safe and effective.

Beware! Things sometimes are not as they appear. The FDA was not testing to determine human safety. Its result was directed at the genetic material introduced into the mosquitoes. Such was safe and effective for mosquitoes. Humans had nothing to do with FDA’s four year study.

One of FDA’s responsibilities is to protect animals. Mosquitoes are animals within FDA definitions.

I am unaware of any study/testing determining GMO mosquitoes are safe for humans.

Some ISIS activities suggest its leaders are smarter than those of most other war mongering groups. I refer specifically to banking and sex/birth control.

ISIS has evidenced a knowledge as how to make money. It has banks within its structure. Money making important to ISIS. ISIS pays its fighters. Something not common among other groups.

It is common knowledge ISIS captures women and young girls by the hundreds. The ladies are used to keep ISIS fighters happy. Specifically, to provide them with sexual pleasure and relief.

The young girls are as young as 9. A permissible age for sexual relations in the Muslim world.

ISIS does not want the ladies to get pregnant. If pregnant, they cannot provide the sex pleasures required. Additionally, babies cost money to support and take up the mother’s time.

Birth control solves the problem. Birth control pills and injectable contraception are used. Urine tests to confirm pregnancy has not occurred.

ISIS goes a step further. There are certain ISIS members that daily watch the women and young girls take their birth control pills. The shots also when rendered. The urine tests are under watch. The women pee into the cup or on a devise in the presence of a male.

The system works.

The women and girls if lucky are forced to marry or live with one fighter. The great majority are not so lucky. They live and work in what might be described as a brothel atmosphere.

They function as sex objects/slaves during the evening hours. A bed in a small room. A bathroom at the end of a hall. Twenty plus men an evening accommodated. The fighters are not gentle. Remember, women are not respected in the Muslim world. The women and girls are literally raped each time they have sex.

Proof that the birth control system works is evident from a recent report by a UN backed clinic in the area. Seven hundred girls escaped. The clinic found that only 5 percent had gotten pregnant. Five percent equates to 35 out of the 700.

Flint has brought lead poisoning to everyone’s attention. The problem is greater than Flint, however. Few talk about it.

Excessive and harmful leaks of lead exist all over the U.S. Not just a Flint crisis. It is a national crisis.

Lead contaminated water is presently supplied/used by 6 million Americans. Three hundred fifty lead contaminated water systems provide drinking water to schools and day cares. One hundred eighty water systems failed to notify consumers that their water contained high levels of lead. Federal law requires such notice.

Further examples include a Maine elementary school where the lead content in the water is 42 times higher than the EPA limit. A Pennsylvania pre school has levels 14 times higher. An elementary school in Ithaca, New York had levels so high that the number reached the thresh hold for hazardous waste.

The Ithaca school has been supplied with bottled water since last year.

Again, not solely a Flint problem. A national one.

Congress conducted hearings last week re the Flint problem. Congress beat up witnesses who testified. Blamed most. Heaped abuse on them.

The joke is Congress is responsible first and foremost. Water pipes are part of infrastructure,. Congress for years, whether Democrat or Republican, have failed to provide money to correct the problem. Many other infrastructure problems such as roads, bridges and schools, also. Congress is responsible for providing money.. It has failed to correct lead problems for at least 50 years.

Oreo cookies! America loves Oreos! It appears Oreos does not love America as much.

Oreos has four plants in the U.S. The main plant is in Chicago. Been there for 100 years turning out Oreos.

Nabisco owns Oreos. The corporate conglomerate owning Nabisco is called Mondelez.

Nabisco recently announced that Oreo was moving 600 jobs from the Chicago plant to a new one in Mexico. Some jobs would remain in Chicago.

Reasons given include it would be cheaper to build a new plant in Mexico than remodel the Chicago plant at a cost of $130 million. The other reason is taxes. Corporate taxes are too high in the U.S.

The tax argument fails.

Although the corporate tax rate is 35 percent, Mondolez paid only 13.5 percent in 2014. 2013 was even better. They only paid 2.5 percent.

Six hundred men and women will be out of jobs. The corporation bullshits the public with the tax issue. No one challenges the corporation. The 1 percent wins again.

Venezuela. Why the people have not revolted against the Maduro government is beyond me. First, it was Venezuela was out of toilet paper four years ago. Still out of toilet paper. Followed by fewer and fewer groceries. Hundreds lining up in front of stores for entry. Only to find nothing on the shelves when they gain entry. Farmers no longer grow food products because the costs exceed any monies to be payed. A vicious cycle.

Last week, it was announced that the country was shutting down for a week. No electricity. Ergo, no work. A drought has cut the power generated at hydroelectric dams, Other reasons include poor maintenance and planning.

The preceding nothing. Last week, it was announced Venezuela was taking its last bars of gold and sending them to Switzerland and France. Banks have come up with a novel method for countries to meet their debt obligations. Called a gold swap.

Venezuela is going through a gold swap with its last bars of gold to pay interest on its debts. Debts primarily owed to banks.

Economists predict that Venezuela will not be able to meet its debt obligations in the fall and will default. A financial crisis getting worse. Inflation is predicted to be 720 percent by year end.

What I do not understand is why Venezuela is giving up its last bars of gold (estimated in the billions) to pay creditors. Screw them! Use the gold to feed and help the people. Buy some toilet paper along the way, also

The Republican Party is in a mess these days. One of the reasons is it has taken into its arms every social issue out there. And those that support such causes. Many of whom quite frankly are nuts.

Now comes a new social issue. One that is becoming increasingly popular among religious lawmakers.

The cry is pornography is a public health crisis. Porn is being likened to infectious diseases such as flu, cholera, diphtheria and polio. So say Utah legislators who recently passed a bill in both houses stating pornography is a public health crisis. The governor is expected to sign it.

The Utah legislators claim they do not want to ban porn. Their goal is to control it like tobacco. Put out evidence showing its harm.

This issue reminds me of when I was a fourth grader in a Catholic grammar school. A priest came into talk to the boys. About the evils of masturbation. Most of us did not even know what masturbation was. The priest told us if we did it, we would get hair on our hands and our brains would become defective.

The Supreme Court ruled years ago that pornography is entitled to First Amendment protection. Freedom of expression.

When does this type stuff stop. There are more important things for the national and state governments to concern themselves with. Like lead in the water, bad roads. poor bridges, jobs, the economy, etc.

I am sure I have offended some by the thoughts herein. My purpose was not to offend. It was to provide an awareness of what is going on in the world. Matters we do not hear much about.