I have never seen Duval as crowded as it was at 2 yesterday afternoon. Good luck to the police having everyone off the streets by 10:30 tonight.

I was downtown because of a doctor visit. Thought I’d take a look at Duval. What a look! Nothing but people.

Traffic bumper to bumper going both ways. Creeping. Took forever to travel 2 blocks. I got off as soon as I could. Went to Whitehead to get out of Dodge.

Let me share what I observed. Note I took into consideration it was raining. Still the biggest crowd I have seen, rain or no rain.

People waiting to get into the Clam Shack went all the way down to Antonia’s. It was the same the 2 blocks I traversed. Everyone waiting in the rain in long lines to get into sandwich shops for lunch.

No social distancing. Little mask wearing. About one third.

Lots of families.

It was reported last week that the hotels were at 93 percent capacity when the curfew was announced. A few days later, it was reported 50 percent had cancelled. Then yesterday it was reported the hotels were 80 percent occupied. Not bad. Still making money. Ninety three percent meant about 50,000 tourists in for the weekend. Eighty percent drops the number by 10 percent. Forty thousand people still a lot.

Hemingway House. The line was around the corner almost down to Duval.

The Southernmost Point. The line was down to Duval.

In all instances described, it was raining heavy and light all the time. People not concerned. Joking, laughing, enjoying themselves.

The Key West police will have their hands full tonight. Duval will be extremely crowded. Probably will not look any different than previous years. Local police will need the help of the Sheriff’s Department and smaller police forces from up the road communities.

The mass ain’t going to move easily.

January 6 I fear will be a day that will go down in history. Could be remembered as Pearl Harbor is.

It is the day Congress convenes to certify the Electoral College vote.

Usually routine. Actually a ministerial act. Not this year, however.

To call for discussion requires one member of the House and one member from the Senate to protest. They have committed. There will be a contenuous floor debate. To no avail. The Rubicon has been crossed. The die set.

The one Senator required to initiate a floor debate is Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri. Well thought of. Not one of the wild ones.

Then why is he the “spoiler?” McConnell has even given up. Biden has been duly elected. He wanted all the Republicans to vote in a perfunctory manner. Lost Hawley.

Hawley wants to run for President in 2024. Some think he made this move to ingratiate himself with Trump and Trump’s supporters.

Hawley’s position is elections should be investigated by Congress. Pray tell, where in the Constitution is it so stated? Appears to me Hawley is making his move with Giuliani providing the legal basis.

This bullshit should have stopped long ago. We are as close to stepping over and becoming a third world country as can be. A next step could result in open conflict.

There have been 60 lawsuits re the election issue. Trump won only one. He had good lawyers! What a joke! More than 90 federal and state judges heard the cases and found no fraud.

Trump the major rabble rouser. He tweeted asking his supporters to come to Washington on January 6 to protest. He said, “See you in DC!”

Proud Boys are coming. Trump supporters. Far right, near fascist, limited to male membership only.

They carry guns and knives. Several people were knifed at the last protest Proud Boys attended. They are thriving on the legitimacy Trump has given them over the past several months.

I have a concern. Trump’s people protesting could lead to some sort of riot. I can visualize Proud Boys and other Trump supporters invading the halls of Congress and the Chamber itself.

My friends, we are that close to tyranny of such a nature. Be not blinded. Democracy is on the line.

Violence could also occur on the floor of the 2 houses of Congress, the combatants being elected legislators physically attacking each other.

Don’t say no. It has occurred more than 90 times already in the history of our country.

Things wee so bad in the 19th century that Congressional persons went to work carrying pistols and bowie knives. And sometimes used them on colleagues.

Some examples.

The best known fight took place on the Senate floor on May 22, 1856. House member Preston Brooks entered the Senate chamber. He was a pro slavery Southerner.

He walked over to Senator Sumner and hit him on the head with a cane. He then proceeded to beat the anti-slavery Senator into unconsciousness. Brooks walked out of the Senate with no one stopping him.

The fight was one of the many tensions within the country over the issue of slavery.

In 1838, one Congressman killed another in a duel which arose because of politics. In 1838, an insult to a Congressman was considered an insult to his political Party.

Serious business. A matter of honor.

Two congressmen, one a Whig and the other a Democrat, who had no personal disagreement or dislike for each other, were designated to represent their respective parties.

The duel took place on February 24, 1838. Rifles were used. Neither man a good shot.

They missed each other in rounds 1 and 2. In the third round, Congressman Graves was shot and killed.

At 2 in the morning in 1858, the House was still in session. A “full fledged sectional fight” took place on the floor.

A southern Representative grabbed a northern Representative by the throat. The northern Representative was black. While choking the northern Representative, the southern one said he would teach the  “black representative puppy” a lesson.

An all out brawl developed. Fists utilized. About 30 Representatives involved.

Lets move into the 20th century.

A debate was taking place on the Senate floor involving Philadelphia Island. Senators Benjamin Tillman and Senator John McLaurin were both Democrats and represented South Carolina.

Tillman accused McLaurin of “treachery” for voting with the Republicans re the Philadelphia Island annexation. Tillman said McLaurin did so because he was promised governmental patronage for South Carolina.

Words flew. Tillman attacked McLaurin. Other Senators not involved were hit by the combatants during the fray.

Both were later censured by the Senate.

An almost “today” event. March 4, 1955. House of Representatives.  Democratic representatives Thomas Downey and Dornan involved.

Vietnam was long over. Dornan called Downey a “draft dodging wimp” because he had a medical deferment during the war.

Words continued to be exchanged. An additional personal issue came into play which had occurred 2 years earlier.

While meeting on the House floor and during the “wimp” issue, they began tie grabbing and choking each other. Dire threats were made.

Immediately following the dispute, Downey complained to Speaker Tip O’Neill. Many considered Downey so doing as childish.

The next day, O’Neill condemned the behavior of both saying: “You can settle this on the street, but don’t settle it on the House floor.”

Can any of these type activities happen today? Absolutely! The two parties hate each other. Half the country believes Trump almost as their cult leader. Trump is encouraging physical engagement as he continues to cry ballot box cheating.

Could happen January 6. Hopefully not.

Enjoy your day! An early Happy and Prosperous New Year to each of you!


Late tuesday, Federal Judge King decided the legal challenge to Key West’s New Year’s curfew.

The Key West law stands. Constitutional challenge by Andrew Day for temporary restraining order was denied.

Judge King decided the case on its merits. I thought he would throw it out on technical issues like “standing” and/or “no damages.”

Instead the Judge immediately went to the heart of the matter.

Judge King ruled Key West has a “substantial government interest in preserving and protecting the public health of its citizens.” Further indicating the prohibition is not indefinite. Merely New Year’s eve weekend for a total of 24 hours.

In an early morning article yesterday, the Miami Herald identified Day as a bartender. The Miami Herald in its late afternoon news release identified Day’s wife as a bartender also.

Day’s claim was that he lost his job due to the coronavirus pandemic.

I compliment the Mayor and City Commission in taking a position they believed correct and standing by it. In previous conflicts with bar owners, the Commission would rule and then back off or water down its original order. This time the Mayor and City Commission stood tall.

Some things are hard to believe. Gallup does an annual survey to determine the “Most Admired Man in America.” This year’s winner Donald Trump.


Obama had previously been the Most Admired for 12 consecutive years.

There is a “Most Admired Woman in America” category also. Michelle Obama was the winner for a third consecutive year.

Does anyone tell the truth? We know Donald does not.

Two prominent nations and their leaders have joined the liars group. China and Russia.

A China CDC study revealed Wuhan’s coronavirus infections were ten percent higher than reported.

Russia admitted its coronavirus death totals were three times higher than reported.

Trump’s friends Xi and Putin must be upset by the revelations. As Trump has in the past. Florida Governor DeSantis joins the pack. He tried to fudge the number of cases. Wanted a lower the number reported. The  civil servant told to do the dirty deed was terminated or quit when she refused. The matter went public.

Today’s blog is shorter than normal. I have a doctor’s appointment this morning.

I am beginning to think that between doctor visits and hospital testing I support the Key West medical community. Not directly. Actually Medicare and my supplemental carrier.

Enjoy your day!


I have some concerns regarding the lawsuit brought by an Andrew Day against Key West re the New Year’s Eve curfew. Federal Judge King will be hearing the matter this morning at 10.

You will recall from yesterday’s blog, I could find no one who knew Day as a Key West bar owner. He never claimed to be one in his Complaint. However, he was going through a lot of expense just to be a good citizen.

I could not find anyone either who knew Day personally.

How did the man get involved in the lawsuit? Bothered me. Something was amiss. He had gone a “far stretch” for a “concerned citizen.”

Day is either a concerned citizen or fronting for someone or some group. Nothing wrong if he is. Except people have a right to know.

Day has no pecuniary interest in the bars remaining open. Bar and/or restaurant owners do.

Legally, a question arises as to “standing” and “damages” if Day is to succeed.

Standing involves being a recognizable person under the law to bring a lawsuit. One man alone is not sufficient to bring the type of lawsuit here. If he were a bar owner (s), perhaps so. As an individual citizen standing alone, not.

Generally a person must have sustained some damage to bring a lawsuit. What damage has Day sustained? Other than not being able to bar hop at midnight New Year’s eve.

Day fails in both the standing and damage positions required to maintain a lawsuit. Merely an observation. I could be wrong. I have been wrong on other occasions in my lifetime.

By this time tomorrow, we should know.

Philip Esformes was considered the King of Medicare Fraud. He was convicted last year of Medicare fraud. To the tune of $1.3 billion. He was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Trump commuted his sentence this past week.

Chabad-Lubavitch is a Jewish orthodox movement. Adelph Institute is some sort of affiliate of Chabad-Lubavitch. Both are favorites of Jared Kushner.

Esformes’s family donated $65,000 to Adelph Institute in the several years following his indictment. A number of others donated to Adelph Institute purportedly with Esformes in mind.

Esformes had an excellent lifestyle. He used the money fraudulently  obtained to pay escorts, purchase a $1.6 million Ferrari, purchase a $360 million Swiss watch, and pay a bribe to get his son admitted to the University of Pennsylvania.

The PPP program was part of the CARES Act. The government provided x number of dollars to a business. The purpose of the loan was to permit the business to meet payroll. Keep its employees employed.

If the business used the money for its intended purpose, there was no obligation to repay the government. If it failed to do so, the monies had to be repaid plus 1 percent interest. A cheap loan.

Omni Hotels and Resorts International received $76 million in PPP loans. Paid not one penny to its employees. In fact, laid many off.

Omni has said it will return to the government what it owes plus the interest. A cheap loan by any standard.

A Swedish group has been studying the affect of human medications on Keys bone fish. The pharmaceutical drugs generally going into the toilet via human excretions, then through wastewater treatment, finally being released and/or leached into nearby waters.

Bone fish from Key  Largo to Key West part of the study.

The study consisted of only only six bone fish. Study findings were the bone fish that had been exposed to human anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications had changed their behavior. The bone fish were more active, fed and migrated faster, engaged in more risk taking behaviors, and were less sociable.

It was also discovered the dosages found in the bone fish were high enough to affect humans.

I was involved in the second largest environmental case in 1981. The only one previously larger was Love Canal.

I represented 2 corporations that had contributed to hazardous substances which end up in a garbage dump that was now leaching substances. My clients had paid several million dollars to commence the clean up. The remediation was on going and would cost millions more.

I sued 603 potentially responsible parties on behalf of my two corporations in order to get my clients reimbursed for the monies they had already paid and were obligated to further pay.

Note the lawsuit was 40 years ago.

It was a known fact that home used pharmaceutical drugs contained hazardous substances. No one up to that time had given serious consideration to those same hazardous substances ending up in a landfill. Working with our scientists, it was determined that most people disposing of unused drugs would merely throw them in the garbage. They ended up in the landfill and contributed to the landfill’s contamination.

The knowledge a big deal back then. Today, common place.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9 my time. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me for a fast moving half hour. Guaranteed you will enjoy my ranting and raving.

Enjoy your day!



















We have become an extremely litigious society.

Key West finally understand the responsibility theirs was re the spread of coronavirus. The Commission passed weak laws and then failed to enforce even them. The bar and restaurant owners were running the City. The City Commission quaked every time the bar and restaurant owners complained.

The City Commission has another responsibility besides accommodating bar and restaurant owners. The health of its people. Key West has the highest number of COVID-19 cases than any other Keys community. No other City even close.

Key West was facing a 50,000 person tourist onslaught for New Year’s weekend. Hotel reservations were at 93 percent.

The tourist have been coming weekends to party because their home communities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties will not permit them to do so as they could in Key West.

Key West had become the Dodge City of Florida.

The 10-6 nightly curfew was passed. Bars and restaurants closed at 10. People off the streets by 10:30.

Almost immediately, the hotels experienced something like a 50 percent cancellation.

Key West bar or restaurant owner Andrew T. Day decided he was not going to take the curfew sitting down. I do not know the name of his establishment. I could find no one who did know. I am not suggesting he is not such an owner. Rather that I am ignorant as to the name of the business he runs.

The lawsuit was filed thursday or friday in federal court against the City of Key West, Mayor Johnston, and City Manager Veliz. A high powered Miami lawyer is representing Day.

Day claims the New Year’s emergency curfew order violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. The Complaint alleges Day’s “rights are being taken away from the plaintiff for 8 hours per day for three consecutive nights.” He seeks a temporary restraining order for the New Year’s weekend.

I have not seen the City’s responsive papers yet. I assume it will claim the City has an obligation and a right to protect it citizens from coronavirus.

Today is monday. Thursday, New Year’s Eve. The Judge will have to decide the case via a temporary restraining order between now and then. Day seeks an order till trial that his rights have been violated, he can remain open, disregard the curfew, etc.

Similar cases have been brought throughout the United States the past few months. Decisions have come down on both sides of the issue.

Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the criminal element seeking to bring in marijuana to U.S. shores did so via planes and boats. The marijuana bales became known as “square groupers.”

The game is on again!

In addition to marijuana, cocaine.

Last wednesday, a fisherman came upon a 75 pound bale of cocaine 15 miles south of Sugarloaf Key. Street value $850,000.

The fisherman turned the cocaine over to the Sheriff’s Department who in turn transferred it to the U.S. Border Patrol. The Border Patrol has responsibility for the cocaine catch.

In 1989, the Joint Interagency Task Force South was established. It is headquartered at the Naval Air Station in Truman Annex. Its major responsibility is illicit drug trafficking. Its roster includes the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and the FBI.

The Coast Guard fills the top leadership position. A Coast Guard Admiral is presently in charge of the Interagency Task Force.

Is drug trafficking returning to the Keys in the same volume it was 30-40 years ago? I doubt it. However the government must be vigilant to make sure it does not.

I appreciate one bale of cocaine does not make for a resurgence of the problem. However there have been several other episodes in recent months.

Bales of marijuana were found in August and September washed up on Keys shores. In July, 50 pounds of cocaine washed up near Grassy Key. Early in July, 29 bales of cocaine were discovered in waters off Marathon. In October, 30 pounds of marijuana were discovered in waters off the Keys.

Paul Waldman of The American Project recently wrote what 2020 revealed to us. The title of the article: What A Miserable 2020 Revealed About America.

The thrust of his article can be summed up in one sentence from it: “It exposed an impotent political system, a deadly mythology of rugged individualism, and a Republican Party without shame.”

It appears 63 year old Anthony Quinn Walker was responsible for the Nashville Christmas Day bombing.

Walker a self employed computer guru.

It appears the explosion was Walker’s way of committing suicide.

Except for Walker himself, no one was injured or killed. The property devastation extensive covering several blocks. As if the area had been bombed by planes in war time.

The 8 police officers who roused residents that there was to be an explosion are heroes. Unquestionably. Make note, it is good to have an incident of consequence where the police did their job, were on top of the problem, and saved many lives. No blacks shot in the head or chocked to death.

The 8 officers consisted of 6 whites, 1 black, and a female.

They are heroes because they knew they only had 15 minutes or less to get everyone out of the buildings. They had to move their asses and make each resident immediately understand to move or die.

A job well done!

Enjoy your day!






Trump’s most recent exhibit of callousness and non caring is his failure to sign the stimulus bill. The unemployment program portion expired yesterday. Twelve million people affected. The other stimulus matters will die in the next few days or if Trump opts to veto the bill.

The government closes down monday if the bill is not signed. Certain federal civil servants will be out of work.

The man neither cares for nor understands anyone. He is blind to consequences.

Then there are Trump’s recent comments re Melania.

His former model wife has yet to appear on the cover of a fashion magazine since becoming first lady. Trump claims as a model Melania is the “greatest of all time.”

Both husband and wife appear unhappy that women of color have appeared and Melania never.

Michelle Obama was frequently featured.

Then there is Beyonce. She was Vogue’s September 2018 cover. Upset the Trump’s.

Beyonce a Haitian and woman of color. The photographer for the shoot was a young black photographer. His first time shoot for a major publication.

Trump’s recent comments made at a time when the American people are in deep financial distress and the coronavirus is the worst yet. Trump’s head was into Melania and a fashion magazine cover spot.

Melania is a beauty. Carries herself well. Standing on those virtues alone, she should have been on several covers. What Trump fails to understand is a substantial number of Americans neither like nor respect him. That is why Melania was not on Vogue nor any other fashion cover while Trump was/is in the White House.

Melania also does not have the sweetest of dispositions. Although fewer than her husband’s, Melania has made some tasteless comments not expected from a first lady.

For both, how does the saying go? Ye reap what you sow.

I pondered for comment purposes what President was worse than Trump. Turns out none! My conclusion. Many considered others.

I did a little research into the “others.” George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant and Herbert Hoover. Each had been labeled by one person or another as the “worst.”

I decided no President has been worse than Trump. Most angels in comparison.

I came down on one equally as bad as Trump, however. Herbert Hoover.

Hoover’s track record leading up to the Presidency was outstanding. His White House tenure the opposite.

Hoover was recognized and respected. A famed humanitarian. He fed Belgium and northern France during their occupation in World war I. He kept food flowing to Europe even after the U.S. joined the War. He is recognized as having saved 9 million lives. Though a strong anti Bolshevik, he helped feed 18,000 Russians.

In the early 1920s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said Hoover would make a great President. Less than 10 years later when Roosevelt was running against Hoover, Roosevelt labeled Hoover as “the man who doesn’t care.”

Roosevelt considered Hoover heartless, failed to see the misery all around him, and unequal to the task of rescuing the U.S. from the Great Depression.

Hoover was callous.

An example his sending the Army to violently disperse World War I veterans camping out in Washington and demanding their bonus payments.

Hoover was paranoid.

He was always railing about conspiracy theories. He pushed the Senate to investigate Wall Street firms for intentionally driving down the stock market in an effort to hurt him politically.

Hoover was willfully blind.

He refused to believe his own experts about the scale of economic devastation.

Hoover didn’t care.

He didn’t care about the ravages of the Depression and ordinary Americans.

By 1932, everything came to a head. Hoover recognized his failings. Roosevelt was shouting them from the rooftops every day. Hoover offered some corrective policies. However, it was too little too late.

It reached the point where the “country was convinced that Hoover…..was a cold hearted man, indifferent to suffering. A man who everyday proved he cared only about himself.

Hoover lost the election. To this day some 88 years later, the country still views him as it did  back then. He was so bad that even history could not redeem him.

As it will be with Trump.

The Hoover-Trump comparison understandable. Hoover’s short comings similar to Trump’s. Birds of a feather. Two men the U.S. could have done without.

Enjoy your Sunday!









It’s raining iguanas. The cold spell affects them. They are falling off trees.

Iguanas are cold blooded reptiles. Their bodies go dormant when the weather gets too cold. Sluggish when the temperature drops below 50 degrees. Cold below 40 degrees. Cold stuns them and they drop to the ground.

Not dead. Always alive. Merely out of it till the weather becomes warm again.

I am not fond of iguanas. I am aware of no one who lives in the Keys who is. They are a destructive reptile. Eat landscaping. Devour expensive flowers.

Another habit is they enjoy defecating in pools. Not cheap to drain, replenish the water and bury the water in chemicals.

Iguanas are far from man’s best friend.

On the other hand, considered good food in certain countries. Many in Central and South America eat iguanas on a weekly basis. The taste is comparable to chickens.

The State of Florida finally decided this year that iguanas had become a problem. One that had to be dealt with. Too many. Easily reproductive.

The story is comparable to Florida’s Burmese python problem. The State decided too late there were too many. Florida admitted several years ago that the pythons could not be totally eradicated.

I view the iguana problem comparable. Already too many. The State has decided too late to do something. In the next few years, the State will admit it can only mange iguanas and not eradicate them.

COVID-19 has dramatically affected Key West’s tourism business. As it has throughout the country.

I have several concierge friends. One called yesterday to wish me a Merry Christmas. She had worked the day at her concierge post in the hotel. The same one she worked at last year.

She was discouraged. Her numbers discouraging. Where last Christmas day she took in $4,500, yesterday only $130.

I always say, “Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.”

Truman made 11 trips to Key West when President. Total days 175. Key West was his vacation spot of choice.

The 33rd President of the United States died this day in 1972. He was 88 yeas old.

Key West will never forget one of our country’s greatest Presidents.

I attended a Catholic college. Took a 2 semester course on the New Testament. Since, I have always thought I knew well the New Testament.

Learned last night I was wrong.

We are all familiar with Isaiah’s sentence: “For unto us a child is born.” I thought that was it. Not. Only the introductory portion of a much longer sentence.

Isaiah 9:69. “For unto us a child is born; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Certain of the appellations sound modern day. Titles some rulers give themselves, or their people give them.

Senator Rand Paul is a horse’s ass. Not sometime. All the time. He knows everything.

The Senator is well educated. A Duke University medical degree.

He always seems contrary.

He was recently interviewed on a Breitbart news show. His Breitbart appearance makes sense. Breitbart is also off base on most things.

The Senator made it clear he was anti-mask, social distancing and washing hands. He views such restrictions as “submissions.” Anti-Constitutional.

His position none are helpful in controlling coronavirus, vaccine is the only help.

He noted that incidents of the virus went up exponentially after the mandates were suggested/imposed. He noted people are dying in increasing numbers.

One comment was that clothe masks are useless. The N95 is the only one that works. The interviewer of course agreed with him. Thought a clothe face mask was no better that cutting up one’s underwear and wearing it as a face mask.

One of the Senator’s most striking statements was “They want you to submit to their will.”

Who is “they?”

The Key West Citizen’s Editorial page cartoons continue to get better. This morning’s gives evidence of how the world changes.

Two persons in the cartoon. Both wearing what appear to be t-shirts with writing on each. The first cartoon is labeled Pre-Covid. The wording: “HUGS NOT DRUGS.” The second labeled Present Day. The wording: “DRUGS NOT HUGS.”

How the world changes. In this instance in less than a year.

I read this morning that U.S. billionaires increased their wealth by $1 trillion since lockdowns.

I am curious whether they will pay any taxes for 2020.

Enjoy your day!



Yesterday was my 324th day of self-quarantine.

Christmas is not a time to be alone.

I began my evening early. Cocktails with Cathy in Seattle. We made a great combination. Me with my ribs and she with her back. Cathy indulged, I a small glass of wine.

We finished our Christmas Eve at 8:30 my time. I immediately went to bed and fell asleep. Woke at 11:30. Christmas a half hour away so decided to stay up.

Something was required to celebrate. Christmas cookies and tea. Cathy had mailed me a huge container of home made Christmas cookies.

I pigged out on them. About 10. Delicious, but filling.

TV sucked. Very few Christmas shows as such at midnight. Other than a mass from the Vatican, all regular reruns.

Returned to bed and sleep at 2. Woke at 5.

I have always enjoyed Christmas cookies. My former wife made them big time. Each one a delight!

She began baking December 1. Stored them in one of our refrigerators. Ended up with the whole refrigerator full.

My problem early on was I would grab a few each day as they were done. Then really pig out Christmas Eve.

The few turned into too many. Not healthy. Not comfortable.

I devised a plan that I followed for well over 30 years. I would select one day before Christmas and it became my cookie day. Somewhere around December 20. That day all day enjoyed my wife’s cookies. I would not touch one before that day nor one afterward. Not even Christmas eve and day.

My Christmas cookie collection is not what it was. Fortunately, Cathy blessed me with a big sized container. Lisa just called. She is on her way over with her cookies.  Guaranteed to be good. She makes them as her mother did.

One thing I could never understand. My wife made so many cookies because she had to deliver bags of them to her lady friends. They exchanged. She received in return from her friends bags of the same type cookies.

I thought the whole thing was an Italian custom. I did a little research last night. The practice of women exchanging cookies goes back to the 1800s. There were “cookie exchanges.” A large place/hall where women went and exchanged cookies with other women. The big exchange is now a home visit.

Today’s blog is somewhat like a Morning Stew.

A few news items that attracted my attention this morning.

Headline of one article: Trump’s Gift to the American People Chaos.

Trump yesterday issued a warning to Republicans who did not back his election fraud claims: “I will never forget!”

Cold this morning. Temperature will be going down today. Mid afternoon temperature will be 63 degrees.

There was a Christmas Eve concert last night at Notre Dame in Paris. Still very much damaged, though under repair. The musicians and choir wore hard hats.

We enjoy many Christmas traditions. They have evolved over the years. I am going to touch on Christmas trees and mistletoe.

Keep in mind that many of today’s traditions had their beginnings centuries ago and were part of pagan festivals. Yes, the Christmas tree and mistletoe are pagan derived.

The Christmas tree tradition began with the Romans. So many years back.

There was a Roman holiday known as Saturnalia It was around the same time that Christmas is celebrated today. Wild. Involved feasting, drinking, sex and exchanging gifts.

The Romans began hanging small ornaments on trees outside their homes. Each represented a god. Either Saturn or a family’s patron saint.

During the 16th century, the Romans began bringing Christmas trees into their homes. They decorated them with ornaments similar to those already described.

Credit for lights on a tree goes first to Martin Luther. He added lighted candles.

Understand that the decoration of the trees and moving them inside did not give the trees a Christian or good status. Jeremiah 10: 1-5. Recall the Christmas tree was born of a pagan event.

From candles to electric lights took place in 1882. Edward H. Johnson was Thomas Edison’s friend and partner in Edison’s Illumination Company. He hand worked 80 red, white and blue light bulbs and wound them around a Christmas tree.

It worked!

The next year electric Christmas tree lights were in most New York City homes!

The mistletoe. A lovely modern day Christmas experience. Anyone standing beneath a mistletoe receives a kiss from another.

The mistletoe is a symbol of fertility and life. In winter when all trees are bare, the mistletoe stays green. Continuing to happily grow on bare tree branches.

It is a parasitic plant. Grows only on trees. Not in the ground or in a pot. While growing on a branch, it sucks the nourishment out of the tree that it requires to live.

The mistletoe and romance of a sort go back to the Celtic Druids in first century AD. The mistletoe then and now is primarily grown on branches of willow, apple and oak trees.

The Druids were not interested in kissing. Their goal sex!

In wintertime, the men would chase the ladies around the trees bare of leaves. The only thing growing were mistletoes. It was a game. The men wanted to catch the ladies and the ladies wanted to be caught.

Recall because the mistletoe was a symbol of fertility and life. Under the mistletoe was a proper place to engage in frivolous sexual activity.

The mistletoe itself was considered to have an erotic quality. White berries grew from the bottom of a mistletoe. The whole berries represented testicles. Oozy white juice fell from the berries. Came to be referred to as “oak sperm.”

The sexual nature of the mistletoe was engrained in society. The act of cutting a mistletoe down was considered by the Celtic Druids as “symbolic castration.”

A quaint reflection today is that the custom of kissing beneath a mistletoe carries with it an echo of Pagan penis worship.

By 1784, the English were beginning to kiss beneath a mistletoe. Kissing can be found in the first book of “A Christmas Carol” published in 1843.

Kissing had become the game of the day.

The word mistletoe is derived from 2 Anglo-Saxon words. “Mistel” which means dung and “tan” which means a twig or stick. Together they translate into “poo on a stick.” Not very romantic.

Enjoy Christmas Day!


The food situation is bad. Gets worse by day.

One that can only be understood if it is you who is experiencing it.

The anti-hunger group Feeding America came out with a recent study: Fifty four million, of which 18 million are children, lack access to sufficient food. Primarily in poorer communities. Malnourishment flourishes.

The cause the deadly increase in coronavirus infections.

Between March and October 2020, there was a 60 percent increase in food bank users.

Four out of ten users of food banks were first timers.

Food banks are running out of sufficient food.

Thanksgiving week 5.6 million households struggled to put food on the table.

Food insecurity is slamming 2 groups the hardest. The Black and Latino communities and seniors and people with chronic diseases.

Food insecurity existed before the virus reached American shores. Coronavirus accelerated the problem. Today 37 million people, 11 million of them children, live in homes where insecurity exists.

Food scarcity today the highest in 4 States. Between 22 and 24 percent. Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana. One in five residents in these states suffer food insecurity. Which means these families lack the money or resources necessary to put food on the table. One in four children face hunger.

Children are missing meals throughout the U.S. Lisa Davis is the Sr. Vice-President of No Kid Hungry. She recently said that where children miss meals “it affects their physical health, how they perform in school or don’t perform, their graduation rates, and even their lifetime earnings, so the cost of doing nothing is very high. I worry a lot we are looking at a lost generation of American kids.”

That last sentence scares me.

Widespread hunger across the U.S. will continue to grow. Reflecting the vulnerability already faced by huge segments of American society.

The vaccine solution is not immediate. Six months to one year away before a sufficient number of persons are vaccinated and an impact experienced.

Vaccinations have only recently commenced. Projected numbers of those that were to be inoculated by this date substantially lower than expected.

Doubt it should be a matter of concern. The vaccines are new and unanticipated problems arise which fortunately can and will be dealt with. We’ll get there, except it is going to take a bit longer than initially projected.

In the meantime, a workable system has to be devised to feed the increasing number of hungry persons and those soon to be hungry.

Enjoy Christmas Eve day!


The stimulus bill is on the President’s desk for signing. He does not like it. Wants the $600 per person payment to be raised to $2,000.

I doubt he is serious. He is merely playing to the crowd. Wants people to think what a good guy he is.

The stimulus bill 5,600 pages long. A lot of pages for a small stimulus package. Something not right. Consider also the stimulus bill is for only $900 billion.

Turns out a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill has been attached to the stimulus bill.

Joe Concha wrote a 12/22 Opinion piece for The Hill. An eye opener!

He refers to the combined bills as the “essence of a swamp…..pork relief.” He writes, it is “more than a $900 billion stimulus bill.”

Concha writes, “What could be expected from a “dysfunctional tone-deaf Congress: A pork-filled cluster filled with anything and everything that has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic or relief.”

The $600 per person one time payment comes into play. Christmas this week and many will not sit down to a table filled with holiday goodies. Families will suffer. Not enough money to keep them out of poverty.

The $1.4 trillion bothers me. A significant portion of the money will never see the hands of those intended to receive it. Along the way, many pocket a piece of the money. The named recipient never ends up with the whole package.

A good portion of the $1.4 trillion is set aside for entities nowhere near important as a hungry American citizen. Or, for any human being for that matter.

One portion provides assistance for Pakistan. Not less than $15 billion for “democracy” and not less than $10 billion for “gender progress.”

Note the “not less than.” Consider also what is more important. Food for Americans or gender progress for Pakistanis. What is this democracy thing that costs $15 billion plus?

This one is a beauty. Funds for a “Resource Study of the Springfield (Illinois) Race Riot.” The riot occurred in 1908.

Another beauty. Funds for a “Study of Policy Regarding the Successes or Reincarnation of the Dali Lama.” I have to believe the Dali Lama would rather the funds go to assist Americans in its time of need rather than writing a study about him.

This one does not require monies for a study. Common sense tells everyone what is right and wrong. The funds are to be spent for a commission tasked with educating “consumers about the dangers associated with using or storing portable fuel containers near an open flame.”

Forty million dollars for necessary expenses for the operation, maintenance and security of The Kennedy Center. The Kennedy center received $25 million in the first stimulus bill also.

A quirk. I am all for keeping The Kennedy Center in proper condition and protecting the property. However why allocate monies to the Center when it has been closed for a lengthy period and will continue to be closed in future months.

Due to the COVID pandemic, the Center closed its doors in May 2020. The time frame has been extended to April 25, 2021. The Center will only reopen when it is safe to do so. If matters are not under control by April, it will remain in shut down for a further extended period.

Then there is the pocket change. Assistance to Cambodia $86, Nepal $130 million, Burma $135 million, Ukraine $43 million, Sudan $700 million.

Money for the following could be delayed one year with no problem to anyone. The bill creates a Women’s History Museum and an American Latino Museum as part of the Smithsonian. One billion dollars.

Keep in mind money allocated for one purpose can be transferred to another. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, except here from one account to another. Consider the number of times Trump has done it in his 4 years.

Of course, the monies allocated under the omnibus portion of the bill did not have to be. Some of those monies should have been part of the stimulus portion of the bill.

Americans must first take care of themselves. This is not the same as Trump’s America First cry. It simply means if monies are needed to feed the children, that is where it should go. America’s usual generosity to other causes can wait a year.

Concha makes an interesting observation. The stimulus bill is supported by the American people by reason of its title alone: COVID Relief For Those Struggling Due To The Pandemic.

A fraud. No mention of the omnibus portion of the bill.

The $900 billion stimulus bill added every pet project possible by combing it with an omnibus spending bill.

The entire situation from start to finish a disgusting one.

Enjoy your day!


IT IS OKAY: A poem of validation for the year 2020

The year 2020 not easy. A difficult time.

Cleo Wade is a poet, best selling author, and artist.

She asked herself, “How do we reflect on a year like 2020? How do we even begin to wrap our heads around what we have lived through during this year that has not been like any other?”

Cleo’s response to her question: A long poem that in simple practical terms said it’s okay if your not okay.

The poem impressed me. No question, a reflection of 2020. I would like to share the entire poem with you. However, it is too long for that purpose. So I shall share a few sentences to provide a taste of her writing.

The entire poem was published in Vanity Fair 12/21/20.

Title: It Is Okay (a poem of validation for 2020).

“It is okay to leave this year behind / It is okay if you haven’t found a silver lining since February….. / It is okay if you didn’t become an expert chef and your banana bread never came out quite right / It is okay if you gained the weight you promised yourself you’d lose….. / It is okay to stop everything for five minutes, put on your favorite song, and dance with your family or by your damn self…..It is okay to rest / And it is okay if you are not okay at all / and what you really need to hear is….. / It will be okay / somehow, somehow, someday / It will be okay.”

My nurse friend Barbara in Oswego, N.Y. telephoned me today to say she was receiving her COVID-19 vaccine shot this morning. Moderna. She would be one of the first. An emergency room nurse. She also told me she had already been given her appointment for the second shot. January 19 at 11:30.

Such is organization.

Oswego has a population of 18,000. Key West 28,000. A small hospital in each community. Oswego’s coronavirus cases like Key West’s. Six or seven generally. The more serious cases shipped by Oswego to Syracuse. Key West’s to Miami.

Barbara deals with the virus patients on a daily basis. The vaccine became available yesterday.

Oswego is rural. Farm country. Fifty years behind the times. Its population steady. Does not have events as Key West does that can bring 50,000 in for a weekend or a season.

I share Barbara and Oswego with you for a particular reason.

In one of my doctor visits last week, I asked when the virus would be available in Key West. He said perhaps February or March. He further explained Key West was a small community and therein lie the reason.

Hell, Key West is a third bigger than Oswego. Why does Key West have to wait?

An interesting side story to Oswego.

Oswego sits on Lake Ontario. A 45 minute drive from Utica. Winter driving longer. The storms off the Lake make winter driving difficult.

It was in the early to mid 1980’s. I had not had much work in Oswego till then. I was much impressed with the office buildings and courtrooms. The outside of the buildings were Civil War era. Antiquated big time. Once inside, a different world. Everything modern and up to date. Even the bathrooms were magnificent!

There problem was a small case as environmental cases went those days. Don’t laugh. A mere $33 million. The EPA was chasing the County to pay for a landfill that had been misrepaired 30 years earlier and was know emitting all kinds of hazard substances into the water table, etc.

It was necessary to discuss money. The County Executive was called in. I told them the case would take 5 years to resolve and I thought I could get them out for 50 cents on the dollar. Like $15 million. Other responsible parties that I would sue would be made to pay the difference.

My fee next on the agenda. $5 million paid out over the 5 year period.

No one blinked an eye. I asked the County how it was going to pay the $15 million as well as my fee.

Recall, I earlier had mentioned how impressed I was with the  interior of the public buildings.

When I asked from whence the monies would come, the County Attorney walked me to a set of windows in his office which faced Lake Ontario. He said, “That’s how.”

The Lake 1/2 to 1 mile from the building I was in. On the lake shore stood 3 nuclear reactors. The County Attorney advised they paid for everything. The massive remodeling to the buildings, etc. Also, the rent cash flow from the reactors was so plentiful that no one paid real estate taxes.


The case resolved itself faster than anticipated. The County paid only $1.4 million. The companies I sued the rest. The case was over in 1.5 years because of the settlement. Rather than $5 million, my fee was $1.5 million.

Everyone was happy, except for the companies that had to pay the other $32 million.

Hopefully, the vaccine will be a world saving one.

We forget after a few years how many other vaccines have eliminated or cut back diseases dramatically. Smallpox, rabies, polio, and the flu.

Smallpox was a big time killer in Key West in much earlier days. Now eradicated throughout the world.

The flu still a problem. However, the number of cases dramatically reduced because of the flu vaccine.

The bully continues to screw around with government agencies. He has slowed the transition down dramatically. He threatens a 30 day reign of destruction. He is President till January 20 and will continue to have all the powers of a President.

CNN in a news report this morning described Trump as “vengeful, delusional.” CNN went on to add that Trump’s “wild anti-domestic instincts are being encouraged by fringe political opportunists.”

Woke in the middle of the night. Cold! Temperature had dropped to 64. The high today 73.

Th heat went on.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me if you can. I rant and rave for a half our.

Enjoy your day!