Still battling today…
Originally published June 2021
First a personal reflection. It is Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to me and all you Dads out there.
The telephone call came early. Lisa and family. All talking at once. Even Jake getting into the act.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
Now for a difficult topic. Abortion. Abortion has been more prominently reported these days by the media. The reason involves the Catholic Church, the U.S. Conference of Bishops and President Biden.
I begin with “Let Him Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone.” John 8:7.
The Biblical reference will play into the theme of today’s blog as it develops.
The U.S. Conference of Bishops. There is a need to know who and what they are. A conglomeration of Catholic bishops in the United States. Its organization comparable to our Congress in that its members cannot agree. Most items a close vote.
The group is made up far right thinkers. Very few middle of the road liberals. The Bishops’ group dislikes Pope Francis I. They constantly work in the background trying to come up with a winning procedure to dump him.
The Vatican is a state and operates with the same scabs and boils as any other government.
Two lay confidants are Steve Bannon and Newt Gingrich. Their affiliation with the Bishops though informal says it all.
A certain group of the Bishops should have been politicians rather than clerics. They are deeply involved in U.S. politics.
Political influence began building in the Catholic Church in the 1960s. Along the way the Bishop Conference came into play. At some point, the Bishops Conference and far right Republicans married.
The Catholic Church is buried in the abortion issue. As is the Bishops Conference.
A very important meeting of the Bishops Conference was held friday. The world was aware before hand that abortion and President Biden would be the prime topic.
Biden, though Catholic, supports the right of a woman to choose. The Bishops group do not. The Group decided to go after Biden and embarrass him with his position. In a down and dirty manner.
The world was aware the Conference wanted to put forth a preliminary document, whose intent would be to rebuke Biden and other Catholic lawmakers from receiving Communion while supporting abortion.
The U.S. has only had two Catholic Presidents. Kennedy and Biden. Though abortion an issue in Kennedy’s time, it was not so much in the forefront as it has been the past 40 years.
Respectfully and with no intention of negating Kennedy in any fashion, Biden is not only the most Catholic person to be President, he wears his religion on his sleeve. Mass and Communion each week. What he does in private is for him alone to know.
The Bishops intended to submit a “draft” of a “teaching document” for approval. If in its final analysis it passes, technically it would prevent Biden from receiving Communion.
Note I earlier advised not everyone supports the Bishops position. The Bishop of Washington several weeks ago in no uncertain terms said no one was going to prevent Biden from receiving Communion in his Washington Diocese.
Francis I had a strong sent to the Bishops to cease and desist. Everyone thought that would end the problem. As you can see, it did not.
The Bishops group is like our present Congress. Most of the Republican Congress do not respect Biden. Most of the Bishops group do not support the Pope.
The vote approved the “draft.”
The cry by those not supporting the group’s position is “stop the partisan politics.” One prominent cleric described it as a “right wing hit job.”
We are at the let him without sin cast the first stone portion of this blog.
The Catholic Church has not been the most moral of organizations for centuries. The Church has either sinned all over the place or put its nose where it did not belong.
A wrong is the Church’s active efforts to influence political decisions. Centuries ago, it was wrong in promoting the Crusades. A sin as grave as the one to embarrass Biden.
Something rarely discussed is the Catholic Church’s involvement in the 20th century with nationalist states. Then there is financial corruption seemingly in an ongoing basis with the Vatican Bank.
In yesteryear, many bishops and archbishops in addition to being clerics were feudal lords equivalent to counts and dukes. They lived in opulence. treated their serfs badly.
The French Revolution was a direct shot at the Catholic Church. Louis XIV was not the prime reason the French government was overthrown. It was the Church philosophy that “monarchs rule by God’s will.”
In modern times, the Church in many instances supported or remained quiet when an autocratic leader took over a government. Pope Pius XII provided little assistance to the German people, those suffering at the hands of the Nazis in other countries, and Jews.
Spain’s Franco enjoyed the support of the Catholic Church.
The Church’s misdeeds in relative times involves the abuse of children (primarily young boys) and an issue receiving public attention since 2019: Nuns having sex with priests, becoming pregnant and then an abortion.
Priests have been forcing themselves on nuns for centuries. Or, enjoying consensual sex with nuns. Either way a no no.
An Irish saint whose name escapes me performed abortions on nuns by taking a cross and pushing the cross down with force on the nun’s stomach until the fetus evacuated the nun’s body.
“#metoo caused many nuns to go public. The nuns even have their own hashtag “#nunstoocarespeaking out.”
Francis I came forth also in 2019. He issued the First Remake on Sexual Abuse of Nuns by Priests.
Many nuns have spoken out, formed societies whose sole purpose is to reveal sex by priests with nuns. One of the nun leaders claims priests felt free to do what they wanted with nuns because their power was extremely strong when compared to the power a nun had. She said, “It was abuse of power, they climbed up a career staircase of evil.”
Enjoy your Sunday!
More history today!
Originally posted May 2015
This is the story of Proctor & Gamble and one of the Company’s best sellers, Ivory Soap. An interesting tale.
The United States in 1837 was in the middle of a gigantic financial crisis. Panic everywhere.
Alexander Norris was a midwestern businessman. He had two daughters. Both married. Norris’ son in laws were experiencing financial difficulties. One made candles and the other soap. Raw materials for both consisted of animal fats.
The brothers in law did not like each other. Norris convinced them that if they were to survive the economic crisis, they had to join together. Animal fats would be decidedly cheaper because of the volume they would be purchasing.
Father in law knew best. They finally listened to him. They each invested $3,596.47 in 1837 dollars. The sum each invested equivalent to roughly to $75,000 today.
The brother in laws’ small business made them a fortune. The Company today sells roughly three hundred products world wide. The son in laws last names obviously were Proctor & Gamble. The name the Company carries to this day.
Now comes Ivory soap. It Floats! and 99 44/100 % Pure became slogans/advertising that made Ivory sell even more.Two stories persist as to It Floats!
One is that a workman left his machine running when he went to lunch. The machine whipped more air into the composition of the soap. It was soon discovered that the addition of the extra air caused the soap to float.
The other story is that James N. Gamble, son of one of the founders, was a chemist. He is given credit in some circles for making the soap float.
The 99 44/100 % Pure is credited to Harley Proctor, son of the other Company founder.
At the time, castile soaps were claimed to be the purest soap available. Castile soap was made with olive oil. Harley Proctor disagreed. Ivory was the purest. He hired a laboratory to make a comparison. The lab’s report stated that Ivory was 99 44/100 % pure. From that point forward, everyone recognized Ivory as pure. Mothers for generations bought Ivory soap believing it was pure.
An attractive model/actress became the Ivory girl, in effect. Her picture was on everything Ivory holding a baby. Mother and child. Purity. Ivory’s sales increased. Her name Marilyn Chambers.
For some reason, Chambers left Ivory and the baby to become a porn actress. In 1972, she starred in Behind the Green Door. One of the first feature length hard core films. Preceded only by Deep Throat. Behind the Green Door was an adult film shown in movie houses across the country. Next door in the same theater to Sound of Music and the like.
An instantaneous success! Grossed $50 million.
Chambers was no longer pure and neither was Ivory due to the association with Chambers. Ivory was tainted by her pornographic success. Chambers went on to get rich doing such films. Proctor and Gamble hurried to get Chambers’ picture off their advertising and products. The Company went so far as to recall any product on a store’s shelf that had Chambers’ picture on it.
In 1992, skin irritability became a problem for soap manufacturers. Each claimed their soap did not irritate. Proctor & Gamble included. Ivory went back to the lab. A new soap with a number of different ingredients was developed.
A problem, however. The new product did not float. Floatability had to come out of its advertising. Also, calling the product soap. Due to the ingredients in the new bar, soap was not a correct description of the product being sold. Soap disappeared from Proctor & Gamble’s labeling.
No more floatability, no more designation as soap.
The problem did not hurt Ivory in any fashion. Its loyal supporters continued to use it and over the years since 1992, Ivory sales have increased.
My columns generally cover heavy thought provoking material. Every now and then I like a week off from such writing. I believe that you my readers enjoy a break also. The Ivory story represents such a break.
Some fun Key West History!
Originally published 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!
Originally published May 2017
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! Happy Mother’s Day to my mother!
My mother has been gone some thirty-odd years. I still think of her every day.
I have a large painting of my mother that sits over my desk. I see her constantly. I even talk to her on occasion. I vent.
We had a good relationship. She was retired. I would stop by to see her almost every day on my way home after work. Not for long. Fifteen minutes to a half-hour. A bottle of Beefeaters and a glass of ice are on the kitchen table. My mother did not drink. The Beefeaters were for me.
We talked about this and that. Rarely important. Just mother/son chit-chat.
I miss her.
Hurricane season is around the corner. Begins June 1.
The prediction is the season will be slightly below average. Six hurricanes are anticipated. Two which will be major ones.
We have been lucky in recent years. Hurricanes, yes. But they always bent at the last minute and missed us. May that continue to be the case!
Key West Songwriters Festival this weekend. Musicians come from all over. They play just about every bar and location in town.
I walked Duval and the side streets yesterday listening. Occasionally, stopping. I stayed a while to hear the group playing on Duval in front of Sloppy Joe’s. Then to Smokin’ Tuna. Finally, Margaritaville.
The walk, crowds and heat did me in. I had anticipated it would. Knew dinner would be at home for me.
I took out one of Fran’s containers of frozen pork sauce in the morning. Left it on the counter to thaw. Last night, I enjoyed stove pipes buried in Fran’s thick red pork sauce. Covered generously with Parmesan cheese.
Ate too much. I did not care. Good was good.
Fran and husband Tom are in Paris for ten days. I e-mailed Fran and told her how great her sauce was.
Some things I do not understand. Like why a toll on US 1. The only road in and out of Key West.
An Islamorada councilman named Mike Forster went to Washington last week to discuss a toll. He favors it. He is pushing it. Why, I do not understand.
US 1 is generally a narrow two lane road for 140 miles. Key West at the southern end. When I go to Hogfish, Roostica, Geiger Key, Square Grouper, Mangrove Mama’s or to visit my Sugarloaf friends, US 1 is involved at some point.
I have to pay to travel 1/2 mile to 20 miles?
Forster is speaking to the issue tomorrow evening at 5:30 at the VFW on the Boulevard. I plan on attending.
This will be a big week for me. Thursday night the Key West Art & Historical Society is sponsoring a talk at Tropic Cinema. An Arlo Haskell speaking. His topic: The former Jewish underground involving Key West and Cuba. 1918-1939.
Charles Krauthammer is a noted columnist for the Washington Post. A conservative.
He wrote in a recent column re the Trump/Comey situation: “The king asked whether no one would rid him of this troublesome priest, and got so impatient he did it himself.” Henry VIII had Thomas More beheaded.
Comey’s firing no different.
History may speak of it as the beginning of the end of Trump’s Presidency.
Reap the Wild Wind was published by Thelma Strabel in 1940. A story of Key West and wreckers. The Saturday Evening Post immediately serialized it.
Strabel used the Saturday Evening Post money she received to build a home in Key West. In 1940, she obtained a building permit to construct a house at 400 South Street.
At the time, she claimed it was the most southern point in the United States.
The home was later demolished and a larger one built on the site. Strabel was long gone from Key West by that time.
Enjoy your Mother’s Day! Enjoy your Sunday!
More on the Supreme Court…
Originally published January 2022
Let’s begin with the premise that all branches of government lie. No question the Executive and Congress do. What would exclude the Judiciary, especially the Supreme Court?
Men in black robes have sexually abused thousands of children world wide. The black robes worn by Supreme Court members does not shield them from lying.
On 1/19, I read early morning the NPR article that things were not kumbaya on the Supreme Court. Mask wearing was the initial thrust of the column. The article was written by Nina Totenberg. Totenberg has been with NPR since 1975. She writes on the courts and legal matters. Very well respected.
I searched to see if anyone else was on the story. I could only find one small media outlet.
You may not be aware that over the years I have run “a breaking news story” 1 to 2 days before the major media outlets do. I have not mentioned this before, though I will admit I have been impressed with my research prowess.
I went with the story. I had no reason to consider it false. Titled it: The Supreme Court…..Tempers Ready To Explode.
After the furor that has risen nationally (with the topic, not my blog), I am not sure. At this point, it makes no difference however.
I have diligently followed the Supreme Court and Judiciary religiously over the years. In more recent years, I have been highly critical of the Supreme Court. Recall the number of times I have recommended that changes in the structure, rules, etc. had to be made.
Everything hit the fan on 1/20, the next day. Beginning with Chief Justice Roberts’ brief statement that Totenberg’s article was not correct. Backed up by Gorsuch and Sotomayor’s brief joint comment to the same effect.
The next day was 1/21. Southern Lady is a reader of my blog. She commented that I should check the facts, there was no truth to the story about the mask and the Supreme Court.
Southern Lady appears to have written the comment after she became aware of Roberts’. In effect, she took the word of the Chief Justice over mine. No problem.
It was later the same day and the next (which would be today) that the national media picked up on the story and went with it.
Turns out the furor is over one word. The word “asked.” Totenberg was not sure whether Roberts “asked” Gorsuch to wear a mask or made his position known to Gorsuch in a more subtle way. So she referred to it “in some form.”
The one word issue in a matter of hours turned into a monumental item with all kinds of ramifications.
I have not written as I have to absolve myself from sin. I do not consider I am guilty of any wrongdoing. In the slightest.
The purpose of today’s blog is to remind people that men and women lie, regardless of the position they maintain. Today the higher the position, the more the individual lies. Trump being the perfect example.
The Supreme Court is in trouble for many reasons. I repeat I have written so for several years. The Court has lost its way.
Lets start with Trump’s 3 nominations Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett. All testified under oath before the Senate Committee questioning them that they would respect precedent. The questions in this regard were especially concerned with Roe v. Wade. They all lied. The most recent abortion case involving Roe has been argued and will be decided in the next few months. I worry whether Roe will survive.
When Barrett was nominated, I wrote a blog spelling out my concerns about her. Her background. Which in my opinion made her selection highly questionable and should be denied.
The shame of her becoming a Justice is today reflected in talk that she will be the next Chief Justice were Roberts to leave. Woe beget the Court! Woe beget the American people!
Today’s Justices do not conduct themselves as those of yesteryear. The Republican Justices attend far right events. Weekend gatherings at a resort. They mingle with their own. Within the last 2 weeks, McConnell had such a gathering. The three I mention attended.
Such things were ethically prohibited when I was in law school in the 1950’s. Things have changed without anyone or entity saying it was against the rules.
The great Scalia who I respected for his legal minds but not his conclusions, used to attend many of these events.
Justice Thomas should never have been approved. His wife his problem. Even before he was approved, she was a far right member of the Republican Party. Still is. Considered MAGA. The many issues she is against, her husband is likewise opposed.
Justice Alito has been a problem for Roberts since he failed to be appointed Chief Justice by Bush. The man cannot forget Bush opted to choose another.
And on and on.
I apologize for no blog yesterday. I started working on it at 5:30 in the morning. At 8, I Only had 2 small topics competed. I was moving extremely slow. Doubted it was either COVID or the flu. My symptoms were not those. In fact, I had no symptoms. I was just plain tired and could not function mentally.
I closed down the computer and went to bed. Around 2 in the afternoon, I felt better. I have no idea what was wrong.
Couldn’t be more true today.
originally posted October 7, 2021
The Supreme Court has represented the ultimate in the law. Revered. Respected. Till now. Its shortcomings have become overwhelming. People are losing faith in the institution.
The powers to be who “make” Supreme Court Justices are primarily at fault. They have spent more than 50 years working to change the composition of the Court. They stuck to their game plan.
The Court now unquestionably 6-3 conservative. Actually, far right conservative. Rigid in its interpretation of the law. Its decisions heavily favoring corporations, the wealthy, and white America.
Nothing is forever. The 50 year plus subterfuge that brought the Court to this point is becoming increasingly evident.
The pendulum always swings back. The trip has begun. It may take 20 years, but it will occur.
The very recent Texas Federal District Court decision re the new Texas abortion law represents nothing short of an open rebuke to the Court. It formally made evident what has been known for a long time. Something was wrong at the highest levels of the law in the U.S.
The Supreme Court has always been protected by a wall of it could do no wrong. It was omnipotent. Even if you disagreed with a decision, it must be the correct one. The Court in its divine wisdom never erred.
Cracks have been appearing ever so slightly in the past 10-15 years in that wall. So slight they were difficult to see. Now distinct and clear.
There is dissension on the Court. Not healthy. However in this instance welcome. The Court is and has been sick. Time to make it healthy again and return it to its proper place in the governmental hierarchy.
Evidence that things are not kumbaya within the Court are the three recent appearances by far right Justices explaining nothing was wrong with the Court, their decisions were by the book, etc. In the past two weeks, Justices Alito, Thomas and Coney have separately made such appearances.
The U.S. government at every level needs a housecleaning. What is happening now is the beginning.
Enjoy your day!
You can’t make this stuff up!
Originally posted April 30,2015
It had to be expected after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. Remember the decision. Corporations are people too. Poor decisions open the door to bad law. Law School 101.
Several lawsuits have been brought in New york State in recent months to have chimpanzees declared “persons.” Once a chimp is a person, it has the inalienable rights of life and liberty.
Do not think such a result impossible. The Dred Scott decision in 1857 said Negroes were slaves. Neither person nor people. There was a time in history when women and children were considered property. Then, the Citizen United decision.
Leading the fight is Stephen J. Wise, an attorney and animal rights advocate. He has been at it for 30 years. Only recently has he minimally tasted a degree of success.
Chimpanzees are part of the Great Ape family. Part of the biological family Hominidae. The Great Ape family consists of humans, bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. Note humans are included. All have two similar characteristics. They are intelligent and autonomous.
Though not part of the Great Ape grouping, elephants, whales, and dolphins are also considered intelligent and autonomous.
I suspect Attorney Wise has proceeded thus far only on behalf of chimpanzees because such “clients” were readily available. Success with chimpanzees would eventually lead those others named being considered persons also. One animal/fish at a time, of course.
Four chimpanzees and three lawsuits thus far.
The first involved Tommy. A 26 year old chimpanzee. He resides in Gloversville, N.Y. in a small shack owned by a man who sells and rentsreindeers. Tommy’s room is a small concrete cage in the shack. The shed is located on an old trailer lot.
Tommy’s owner says he is well cared for. Tommy has a colored television set.
Then came Kiko. A former Hollywood performer. He was known theatrically as “The Karate Chimp.” Kiko is owned by a New York couple and lives in a cage.
Now the real stars of the three litigations. Hercules and Leo. They are locked up at the New York University at Stony Brook. Hercules and Leo are used for locomotion research.
The New York Courts in the Tommy and Kiko cases came to the same result, differently arrived at. One Judge said in effect not my headache, let the appellate court deal with it. The other said chimpanzees could not be persons because they did not have the mental capacity to make decisions involving conformity to the law.
Both cases are on appeal.
Attorney Wise’s argument in the lack of mental capacity case is what about humans in society who cannot choose to conform to the law. Those who lack capacity. People such as infants, coma patients, those with profound disabilities, severe brain damage cases, and dementia.
Attorney Wise sought a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Hercules and Leo. A writ of habeas corpus requires a person to be released from unlawful imprisonment. The key word is “person.”
A Manhattan Supreme Court Justice signed an order for habeas corpus. “Person” was a part of the language in the order signed by the Judge. The case was set down for a May 27 hearing. Soon thereafter, the Judge signed an amended order striking out the words writ of habeas corpus. The hearing still will be held, however.
One hundred fifty years ago, Darwin said the difference between man and other animals is one of degree, and not of kind. “Other animals” and “degree”
being significant verbiage in Darwin’s statement.
The issue is not local. It has already been dealt with in some fashion worldwide.
Switzerland in 1992 amended its Constitution to describe animals as “beings” and not “things.” New Zealand in 1995 granted basic rights to the members of the Great Ape species and forbade the use of animals in research and teaching. Germany in 2000 amended its Constitution so as to guarantee rights to animals.
Balearic Island, a province of Spain, in 2007 granted “personhood” to Great Apes. Spain’s Parliament in 2008 passed a resolution saying Great Apes have a right to
life and freedom.
Finally in 2010, the European Union on behalf of its 28 member nations banned the testing of Great Apes.
A new and not new ball game. New in the United States. Blame the chimpanzee cases presently in the courts on Citizens United. Attorney Wise relies strongly on if corporations can be people, then so too chimps.
Two thoughts. The first is there is as much humanity in a chimpanzee as there is in a corporation. Perhaps more. Second, what a waste of time and expense.