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

Even worse today!

Originally posted May 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gun shootings. Will they ever stop?

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

No further details are available at this time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A monopoly split. Life went on.

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

Schadenfreude. A big word.

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

Fits Trump.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

THE SHOOTING GALLERY CALLED AMERICA

Originally posted August 2019

 

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

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

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

I share my thoughts.

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

All contributing to the carnage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The home was located on a 62 acre pond.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Custer and his 200 plus men were annihilated.

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

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

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

Key West dog owners be proud!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

MONEY CORRUPTS

In light of the Supreme Court decision yesterday…

Originally published April 2015
We live is a present day society where big business/corporate America controls. No longer are we a government of the people, by the people, for the people. We have been transformed into a government by the rich, for the rich.
How did we get into this situation? What has caused power to be shifted to the rich?
The answer is three-fold. It begins with the Federalist Society, moves then to Citizens United, and ends with New Jersey’s Senator Menendez.
I attended law school in the late 1950s. We were taught that the Constitution was a wondrous document because it accommodated itself to the times. It was pliable enough to meet current day needs and problems. Without altering the Constitution’s written words.
A group of conservative Republicans recognized that change had to take place. The Supreme Court’s interpretations were liberal from their perspective. Conservatism had a limited place in decisions.
The time, 1982. A group of unknown conservatives came together whose purpose was to change Supreme Court rulings. These men were backed by corporate America and the rich who felt they were not getting a square deal.
They were unknown in 1982. Today, they are recognized as giants in the conservative movement. Men such as Edwin Meese, Robert Bork, and Steven Calabresi. Soon thereafter to be joined by conservative stalwarts such as Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, John Ashcroft, Orrin Hatch, and Kenneth Starr.
The movement began at three high-ranking law schools. Harvard, Yale and Chicago. Antonin Scalia was one of the original faculty advisers when the Federalist Society was being formed.
The Federalist Society was a group of conservatives and libertarians who sought to reform the American legal system. It was to be done by interpreting the Constitution differently than it had for over 200 years. Interpretation was to be a textualist/originalists one.
States rights were to receive precedence over national rights. Since the end of the Civil War, the Constitution had been interpreted as giving power to the federal government as opposed to the states. The Federalist Society advocated moving power to the States. By doing so, conservative views would come to the forefront in cases involving the Second Amendment, campaign finance regulation, state sovereignty, and commerce clause issues.
In some 20 years, the Federalist Society has accomplished its goals. It did so by first encouraging law students to become members and think as Federalists. Then by moving Federalists up the political and government ladders rapidly.
The Federalist Society has changed the brand of the Supreme Court to conservative. It has enabled corporations and the rich to control Congress and influence the Court. It has encouraged the means whereby corporations and the rich can contribute millions of dollars to a campaign.
Money has become the influence in all chambers of government. No longer is it right over might.
During the time the Federalist Society was growing in influence and power, the Supreme Court evolved into a conservative body. The ratio generally being 5-4.
The Supreme Court decided Citizens United v. FEC in 2010. A revolutionary decision. The Court ruled corporations were people and that laws should not be passed limiting their right to make contributions. The Court reasoned that everyone had a right to free speech. Just because corporations had more money was no reason to inhibit their right to participate in the democratic process via financial giving.
Citizens United involved political expenditures by non profit corporations. It subsequently was extended to include for profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations.
Interestingly, the case involved a video critical of Hillary Clinton.
The Court in Citizens United felt limitations on corporate contributions banned free speech. That corporations and organizations had the right to use their treasury funds for advocacy purposes.
The Court was of the opinion that such contributions would not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. What a joke! The Court was effectively saying that multi million dollar contributions by one corporation or rich person would not influence the decision of the person receiving it. Respectfully, a crock! Human nature unfortunately does not work that way. Money talks!
The 2012 Presidential race began the expose of the folly of the Court’s thinking. Newt Gingrich had a friend/supporter in Sheldon Adelson. The same Sheldon Adelson I mentioned in my Tom Cotton article two weeks ago. Adelson contributed $15 million to Gingrich’s primary race. Wyoming financier Foster Fries donated just under $2 million to former Senator Santorum’s Super PACs.
Neither Gingrich nor Santorum would have been able to stay in the primary race as long as they did without such big dollar support.
Senator Mitch McConnell is Majority Leader in the Senate. In 2010 when he was Minority leader, he said that Citizens United struck a blow for the First Amendment. I thought the decision struck a blow against the First Amendment. McConnell is almost as old as I am. I do not know what law school he went to. Apparently one that taught the rich should have power over the poor.
Citizens United immediately increased the number of Washington lobbyists. They are the people who tell Congress persons how to vote and draft legislation. .
Many said at the time of the Citizens United decision that it opened the door to political bribery and corruption in future elections.
One of the few Republicans who saw through the smoke was John McCain. He said he was disappointed by the decision which lifted limits on corporate and union contributions. He further indicated that over time there would be a severe backlash to the decision.
Permit me to portray the evil which can develop. A lobbyist suggests to a Congressman that if he votes wrong, corporations and the rich will spend unlimited amounts in the next election to beat that Congressman.
Another major evil of Citizens United is the secrecy involved with donations. Money goes through two sets of hands before it is put to use on behalf of a candidate. It is in a sense legitimate money laundering. Voters never get to know who donated what and in how much to a candidate.
Now comes Senator Robert Menendez. A Democrat who has represented the State of New Jersey since 2006. A man of influence. He chaired the Foreign Relations Committee for two years.
Menendez ran for reelection in 2012. He won.
Menendez had a doctor friend in Florida. Let me put It another way, the Senator claims the doctor was his friend. The doctor was under investigation for $9 million of Medicare over billings. He contributed $600,000 to Menendez’s campaign through a PAC. In addition, the doctor provided Menendez with a private jet for the Senator’s world wide trips and paid for his vacations at island getaways.
Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges on April 1, 2015. The doctor was also indicted.
Menendez claims he was only doing favors for a friend, that the $600 thousand, private jets, and island vacations did not influence him.
I am compelled to return to the Citizens United decision. Therein the Court said that bought influence and paid for access were not corruption standing alone. The Court’s words, not mine.
What do you think?
A final observation. Citizens United is going to be with us for at least 20 years. Subsequent decisions may eat away at it. None will totally eliminate the decision. A liberal court is needed to overcome Citizens United. That means a Democratic President till the turnabout takes place. I suspect a Democratic President will be required in 2016. Otherwise, complain not when it hits you that our government has slid into the hands of corporations and the rich.
The government claims Menendez exerted influence on behalf of the doctor re the $9 million of Medicare over billings at the time the $600 thousand in contributions were made. It is claimed also the doctor had girl friends in other countries and that he leaned on Menendez to help him obtain visas for them.
One has to be blind not to see the error in the Citizen United decision. The basic freedom to select your elected representatives is at stake. Not a Republican or Democratic thing. A basic American one.

ABORTION, CATHOLIC CHURCH, U.S. CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS, AND PRESIDENT BIDEN

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!

Love it!

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!

99 44/100 % Pure

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.

BUBBA BUSTS

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!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

Reminiscing…

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!

EXECUTIVE BRANCH LIES, CONGRESS LIES, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THE SUPREME COURT WOULDN’T LIE?

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.

SUPREME COURT WALLS CRACKING FOR FIRST TIME

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.

Properly so.

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.

They succeeded!

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!

 

CHIMPANZEES ARE PEOPLE TOO

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.