O. J. SIMPSON DIED

O. J. Simpson died. Seventy six years old. From cancer.

His life strange. Marked with success and failure.

His criminal trial for allegedly killing his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her boy friend Ronald Goldman was exciting to observe. Captured world wide attention. 

I was living at 1800 Atlantic on a yearly lease at the time.  I watched the trial every day for months. Since it was being tried in California, it began around noon or in early afternoon in Key West. I used to wake in the morning. Walk first along the ocean to the airport and back. Then a dip in the pool. Followed by a short nap on a lounge by the pool.

Then to the barcalounger and TV in the living room and the “show” of the season. For the lawyer in me, the trial was exciting.

Simpson had a multitude of top attorneys. His key attorney was Johnnie Cochran. A brilliant lawyer. His best move was the glove: “If it don’t fit, you can’t convict.” The cross examination of the liar police officer Mark Fuhrman outstanding. Barry Scheck’s DNA questioning innovative and spectacular. 

Simpson’s acquittal exciting. If there were sins he had to pay for, he did in the subsequent civil trial and later an unelated criminal case in Nevada which resulted in his spending several years in jail.

School districts confronting a major problem nationwide. One they are doing little to deal with. Involves normal photos of middle and high school clothe girls being transformed with A.I. apps into nudes showing breasts and genitalia.

A.I. is artificial intelligence. Relatively new. Male students take normal pictures of female classmates dressed appropriately and then apply the A.I. intelligence to the photos to expose bare breasts and pubic areas.

The problem a national one. Parents complaining. Most school districts slow to respond.

After the boys take photos of their female counterparts dressed, they then apply A.I. apps to “nudify” the photos. The exposed breasts and genitalia pics are then placed on walls in lunch rooms, in school buses, and group chats on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. These digitally altered images are known as “deepfakes” and “deepnudes.”

The photos have a tendency to harass, humiliate and bully young women. They harm their mental health, reputations and physical safety. 

The transformations are done by the boys without the knowledge, permission or consent of the girls involved.

The FBI has warned distributing such photos is illegal. 

The use of A.I. apps in schools is so new that most districts claim they are not prepared to deal effectively with the problem. Many school districts do not even report the situation to the police.

There can be no question but taking a normal clothed photo of a female student and then using A.I. apps to expose breasts and genitalia is wrong. What I find difficult to understand is why school districts are being so slow in correcting an obvious wrong. School districts that have been acting immediately and forthwith to ban a book if one parent considered one word or thought to be sexually explicit. Values are misplaced. The “denuded photo” is more harmful to a female student than one sexual  word or thought.

Is it because banning a book is less personal than punishing a today student? Is it because the shame of it all falls on a live student and his parents rather than another who wrote something years ago?

A disgusting situation that needs immediate and prompt correction.

If one of my daughters were so involved, I would have raised holy hell. Some parents are doing so today. The problem is correction/solution is slow, minimal or non-existent.

Fred Klein writes a weekly blog which publishes on friday. This week’s is titled The Chart Room.

As with me, Fred discovered the Chart Room many years ago. He refers to The Chart Rom as close to The Twilight Zone: “The center of the universe.”

He is correct. Or was so. Our group is the last to have experienced the Chart Room as it was for so many years. Now changed. Few of “our group,” if any, still go. Unfortunate.

My day yesterday a slow one. A smoothie at Date and Thyme. Followed by a haircut with Lori. Then a couple of hours on the beach.

Enjoy your day!

ONE SHOT AT POLICE RECEIVES 96 POLICE BULLETS IN 41 SECONDS IN RETURN

Another crazy black shooting by police. Chicago police.

The police stopped 26 year old black Dexter Reed for driving without wearing a seat belt. Reed refused to unlock his car door and not to roll up his window.

Police claim Reed shot first. One bullet hitting one officer. Police returned the one shot with 96 bullets in 41 seconds killing Reed.

The matter is under intensive investigation.

It should be!

General Christopher Cavoli oversees military operations in Europe. He testified last week before a Congressional Committee that the war in Ukraine has reached its decisive moment. He said “within weeks” Russia will hold a 10-1 advantage on military shells if the U.S. fails to approve military aid for Ukraine.

He stated simply, “The side that cannot shot back loses.”

Congressional Republicans continue to refuse to hold a vote to pass the already Senate approved monies.

Dumb! Wrong! Sick!

Chechnya is a Russian republic. It has banned “music” that is too fast or too slow. It has ruled that all music shall “correspond to a tempo of 80 to 116 beats per minute.” Which means all western rave and other type music would be banned.

Amazing!

Peter Maass is a columnist and book author. Wars are one of his specialties. 

He wrote an Opinion piece which was published in yesterday’s Washington Post: “I’m Jewish, and I’ve Covered wars. I Know War Crimes When I See Them.”

The thrust of his piece is summed up in this sentence: “Israel, a nation created in the wake of the Holocaust, has no right to commit war crimes in self-defense.”

Periodically the issue arises again re taking down statues and other items of recognition of Americans who owned slaves.

Thus far it has been a pick and chose. Some American notables guilty thereof not so chastised.

Twelve American Presidents owned slaves. Not all mentioned for chastisement. The twelve are George Washington (who owned 3,000 plus slaves), Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses Grant.

The Conch Republic Independence Celebration begins tomorrow. It will last longer than a week. The highlight is the Great Sea Battle at 7 pm friday April 26. Not to be missed! One of Key West’s most exciting events!

Yesterday was April 10. My Father’s birthday. He would have been 110 years old. He died at age 98.

He was in relatively good shape till the end. Mind great. Body falling apart the last couple of years.

Longevity runs on my Father’s side. His Dad lasted till 94. His sister Mary till 102.

I keep my fingers crossed.

My Father had the same aortic valve problem I did and for which I was recently operated on. My father’s could not be operated on because his tear was too large and he was too old when they wanted to do his. Medicine has improved significantly in the few years since his death making it possible for me to have the surgery.

My day outside the house yesterday began with a manicure and pedicure with Tammy. Poor Tammy. Poor her grandmother. Tammy returns to Vietnam for three weeks sunday. A 40 plus hour trip. Several planes involved. Her grandmother is in a bad way. The family is getting together. 

Great weather the past few days. Hot yesterday. Beach time. I went to Higgs Beach again. Set up my chair and took in the view. The water, bikini clad ladies, very young kids running around. Reminded me of the summers at the Jersey shore with my four children.

Afterwards, I stopped on the way home and got a small chocolate ice cream cone. The perfect way to end a perfect afternoon.

Another pleasant time ahead. A haircut at noon with Lori. We have become friends. She has been cutting my hair for 25 years.

Enjoy your day!

 

MARTY LESHAW DIED

I received a telephone call from Jean Thornton last night. She called to tell me Marty Leshaw had died. 

Very sad news.

Jean and I had been very tight friends with Marty for years. Part of the Chart Room crowd during our time. Included Che Cohen, English Peter Bamberger, Sheila Cullens, David Hecht, Valerie Chelley, and Steve and Cindy Thompson. Several others whose names now escape me. For years, we met every evening at the Chart Room. Between 5 and 6. Some evenings to be spent at the Chart Room till late. Others a few drinks and then some of us would wander off to have dinner somewhere.

I dined most evenings with Marty. It was rare when we did not. Our favorite haunts were La Trattoria, Antonia’s, Hot Tin Roof, Pier House, and La Te Da. Some evenings Jean and/or Che would join us.

My time with Marty began many many years ago. Before Trump was even a popular political figure. Marty was an arch conservative. He would have been a Trump supporter these days. 

I learned early on to avoid political discussions with him. He was one tough guy to have a political discussion with. He and Che used to have frequent political arguments at the Chart Room Bar itself. Two hard asses going at it.

Marty made his living as a court stenographer. Began his career in January 1963. His primary residence was a lovely spacious home in Fort Lauderdale on the intercoastal. He ran a steno business in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami areas as well as in Key West. The entire time I knew him, he maintained a second residence in Key West. It seemed like he was in Key West more than his northern quarters.

His last Key West residence was upstairs above the Woman’s Club on Duval Street.

He was married to Donna. He lucked out and found a lovely French woman to be his bride. The two were blessed with many children and grandchildren. Marty was proud of them all.

Marty left Key West many years ago. Gave up his residence here. I only would see him when he came down to do an occasional stenographic job.

Our relationship died a slow death. I suspect it was my fault. Marty invited me many times to visit he and his wife in Fort Lauderdale and at his home on stilts somewhere on a sand bar in the Atlantic Ocean. For no reason at all, I neve made the trip. I suspect Maty became insulted and stopped even telephoning after a while.

Two weeks ago, I received a telephone call from Marty. I had neither seen nor heard from him in more than 10 years. I thought he was calling to ask about my health. My recent heart surgeries I had reported on in my blog. Not the case. In fact, he did not know I had the surgeries and told me he stopped reading my blog years ago.

Why then the call? He had no reason. Just made the call. We chatted for an hour. About the old days and the Chart Room. Told me he had sold the big house on the intercoastal and he and the wife had moved into smaller quarters. No new invitation to visit was made.

After Jean called last night, I wondered if Marty knew he was dying and called for that reason. I may never know. He was a good guy. The type hard to replace. If the Lord is a liberal, Marty is going to have a hard time bargaining his way into Heaven. He’ll make it though. God knows good people when he sees them. Marty was a good person.

I wish I had visited him.

Enjoy your day!

PUBLIX A POLITICAL THERMOMETER

I shopped at the Key West Publix located at Key Plaza 4 times last week. Not to buy a ton of groceries. Spent in the area of $30 each time. Rather to prove to myself the wonderous result of the aortic heart valve replacement surgery I underwent last month. Three years ago, I had to strop shopping on my own. Even using the cane, I could only walk one aisle one way and then rest for at least 10 minutes before I could make the return trip to the front of the store. My body physically could not physically walk one aisle back and forth. Forget doing the whole store!

So for 3 years, I have been ordering my groceries over the internet and delivered to my home.

Now I can walk the whole store, without a cane, and experience no problem in doing so.

Wonder of wonders! 

On my saturday trip, I stopped at the canned fruit section. Two middle aged men were discussing how expensive food had become. We all know! One was extremely upset. Pissed best describes his attitude. He said sternly, “I voted for the good guy the last time. Not this time. I already know who I am going to vote for.”

A Trump vote obviously.

Biden has done an excellent job as President. He has not solved all the problems, however. Two which affect and impact the everyday person: The cost of groceries and gasoline. Groceries are a tough issue. So many things involved. I doubt he can deal with it between now and the election. The cost of gasoline can be handled. The price went down dramatically. Now rising again. About 60 cents a gallon. He should be able to deal with the gasoline issue by election time.

My fellow voters, you can’t have everything. Overall, Biden has done an excellent job. Trump not a valid alternative. If Trump were to be elected, the U.S. would become as Hitler’s Germany was. Grocery costs non-consequential in comparison.

Trump said this past week it would be a “great honor to be jailed for violating a court order.” He dared Judge Merchan to throw him i jail.

Is this the type person we want leading our country? No way!

In the same speech where he dared the Judge to jail him, he compared himself to Nelson Mandela. Recall Mandela was a black political prisoner who became the first President of post-apartheid South Africa.

Mandela spent 28 years in prison, the first 18 primarily in solitary. Thereafter, South Africa elected him President.

Let Trump do 28 years in prison before becoming President. Let him “earn” the position as Mandela did. Then his comparison to Mandela might be valid.

Trump lies again. Big time! At a rally in New Hampshire last week he said, “While Joe Biden is pushing the largest tax hike in American history – you know, he wants to quadruple your taxes.”

The lie: Biden has not proposed quadrupling taxes. In fact, he has vowed not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr, is downplaying the January 6 attack. He claims there is “little evidence of a true insurrection” and falsely claimed no weapons were brought by rioters. He later backed off on the no weapons representation. 

We saw the insurrection on TV. What else was it? I pained to see my Capitol/your Capitol defiled and disgraced. Apparently it did not bother nor seem that way to RFK Jr. Shocking a Kennedy could be so blind to the truth of the incident.

Another good month employment wise. A gigantic plus for Biden!

Employers added 303,000 jobs in March. The number soared past expectations.

The unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.8 percent. The 3.8 percent extended the longest stretch of unemployment below 4 percent to 50 years.

The NCAA Ladies Championship Basketball Game played yesterday. South Carolina defeated Iowa 87-75. I thought Iowa would win. South Carolina was unquestionably the better team, however. The victory allowed South Carolina to finish the season undefeated. Their record 34-0.

Tonight the NCAA Men’s Championship Game. Purdue and Connecticut. Two great teams.

The eclipse today. Be careful. Do not foolishly danger your eyes. Not worth it. 

Otherwise, enjoy your day!

WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN…..A NEW MODEL FOR DISASTER RELIEF

I am compelled to admit I knew little about World Central Kitchen (WCK) till last week when Israel attacked three cars in Gaza killing several WCK personnel who were in Gaza helping to feed the starving.

What I have learned since.

WCK is a new model for disaster relief. It is the first to frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate and community crises. When disaster strikes, WCK’s relief team mobilizes to the frontlines with an immediate type urgency and begins cooking to provide meals for people who hunger and are in need of food.

WCK partners with organizations on the ground and activates a network of local restaurants, food trucks, or emergency kitchens. WCK serves comforting meals to survivors of disasters quickly and efficiently. Its belief being that good food provides not only nourishment, but also comfort and hope. Especially in times of crisis.

The organization has provided more than 350 million fresh, nourishing meals for communities around the world.

WCK survives and is able to provide based on donations. Many give to WCK I discovered. Silently and without fanfare. WCK does not sell bibles or sneaks. I also became aware this past week that several persons I know donate to WCK. WCK is worthy of more donations. A true and helpful charity. One providing immediate results when and where needed.

WCK is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization. Founded in 2010. It has provided quickly and generously meals following the Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Harvey in Houston, the 2018 Puna eruption, the 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquakes, Ukraine, and the ongoing Gaza humanitarian crisis.

It has suffered 8 casualties. Deaths. One in the Ukraine and most recently the seven workers during the Israeli invasion of the Gaza strip.

WCK has also provided food assistance in the United States itself. Strange though it may sound. However there have been occasions when such was needed and WCK stood tall with help. Examples include January 2019 when WCK opened a restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., to feed federal workers furloughed during the government shutdown, in March 2020 when it transformed 8 New York City and Washington, D.C. restaurants into soup kitchens to support persons affected by the COVID-19 crisis, in March 2020 in the San Francisco Bay Area when it collaborated with Frontline Foods to deliver meals from local restaurants to local hospital staff affected by COVID-19, in April 2020 when it partnered with the Washington Nationals to use the team’s stadium in Washington, D.C., as a kitchen and distribution facility for free meals.

WCK lost 7 workers last week in Gaza. WCK claims the Israeli killings were “intentional” and “systematic.” The U.N. and the world is upset. Good people doing good things were eliminated. WCK claims Israel knew WCK persons were in the cars. 

The incident has inflamed nations world wide. Involves Biden also. He has openly taken Netanyahu to task. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the U.S. to support Israel when Netanyahu continues to lead Israel in such an abusive manner. Israel today is not the Israel the U.S. has firmly stood by since its inception in the late 1940’s. Netanyahu is not only defecating on Gaza, but also Biden, the U.S. and the U.N. Netanyahu’s time is measured as a result. He cannot continue his abusive conduct of Gaza and not be taken down.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

THE EARTH MOVED

The earth moved, the ground shook. Yesterday morning. Centered in Lebanon, N.J., 45 miles west of New York City. New York City experienced the magnitude of the quake as did communities many miles away. The quake a 4.8.

My home town Utica, 240 miles north of New York City, felt the tremors. Residents said they lasted about one minute.

A 4.0 aftershock was felt 6 hours later.

No damage has been reported re the quake itself or the aftershock.

The earthquake brings hurricanes to mind. A very busy hurricane season has been predicted for Florida this year. Reason: The warm Atlantic Ocean waters that fuel hurricane storms.

Biden visited Baltimore yesterday and the  Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. He promised federal support “every step of the way.” Earlier he  asked Congress to refund the rebuilding of the 1.6 mile bridge. Costs will run over $1 billion.

Lets see if Congress cooperates.

Biden said, “We’re going to move heaven and earth to rebuild this bridge as rapidly as possible.” And “we will do so with union labor and American steel.”

Trump is “weaponizing religion.” The man uses every means to succeed in whatever he does. This time around, this election, it involves the Almighty. He, Trump, projecting himself God like. His rallies have acquired a 15 minute add on reflecting the religious aspect. The add ons are symbolic of “religious revival meetings.”

God may be in His Heaven. He is not with Donald at the rallies!

Another example of “more God in government.” Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene says the New York City earthquake and Monday eclipse are warnings from God.

Trump “swindles” his followers again. How long will people continue to buy into his fraudulent money making schemes?

Trump Media went public last week. Hit a peak of $79.38 a share. One week later, the stock dropped. On April 1 (April Fool’s Day), it was a mere $45.26 a share. A 43 percent loss in only 3 trading days.

An example of Trump playing his supporters for suckers.

The drop came after Trump Media reported that it lost $58.2 million in 2023 on sales of just $4.1 million. Suggests Trump Media is practically worthless.

Where was this information last  week before the stock went public? Was the loss reported in the public papers supporting the stock introduction?

The Ladies Final Four began last night. Iowa squeaked by Connecticut 71-69. South Carolina destroyed North Carolina State 78-59.

The Championship Game will be a wild one!

Did you ever notice that fight attendants sit on their hands during takeoff and landing? It’s all about safety. 

If an emergency were to occur on takeoff or landing, their head, hands and arms are already in a slight brace position. The position an automatic rigid one which prepares them to act efficiently and immediately in case of emergency.

It was Higgs Beach again for a couple of hours yesterday.

People come over and talk to me. Tourists. Some ask if I am Key West Lou. Others just to pass the time of day.

I find it strange. I sit quietly in my chair. A cap covering my eyes. Generally looking down. Mind my own business. All of a sudden, a voice speaks.

Enjoy your day!

BIG SUR IN DANGER

California contains one of the most beautiful ocean fronts in the world. A portion of Highway 1. Known world wide as Big Sur.

Magnificent is the only way to describe Big Sur. I was so taken by it the first time I drove over it years ago. I was alone. Unfortunate to drive Big Sur alone, I thought. The drive should be made with someone you love. Such was the atmosphere and flavor of the drive.

The highway hugs the side of cliffs running along the Pacific Ocean.

This past week a portion of Highway 1, near Big Sur, fell into the ocean. People living in the area have been warned to evacuate. Portions of the highway have already been shut down.

A horror in the making. Comparable to the destruction wrought in the Florida Keys when a Category 3-5 hurricane strikes.

No Labels, no Presidential candidate.

No Labels is an American political organization. Founded in 2010, its purpose to support criticism and bipartisanship through what it calls the “common sense majority.”

This year, No Labels has been anti-Biden and anti-Trump.

No Labels announced it will not put forth a Third Party Presidential Ticket. Reason: They could not find a candidate to place on a unity ticket for the 2024 Presidential election.

I have respected Frank Bruni’s writings for years. Rarely disagreeing with his positions.

His article yesterday re Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was right on. Correct in every respect. Its title: “Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Inflated Sense of His Own Fitness To Lead Isn’t Just Delusional. It’s Dangerous.”

Bruni claims Kennedy’s primary fault is he believes he knows everything. Omnipotent when it comes to smartness. Another “strength” Kennedy asserts is he has been around government and studying government his whole life. Never involved in government itself, however. His statement in this regard alone is non-qualifying. His experience level is zip when it comes to government involvement.

The man is a non-entity. Even certain of his siblings and other close relatives say he is not qualified to be President.

Trump was a non-qualified disaster. Let’s not have another one.

Trump has added a new game in his pursuit of the White House. His God-like image. Christ reincarnated.

His rallies are now ending in a churchlike fashion. A 15 minute scenario where Trump casts his prosecutions as persecutions. His rally closings are being described as “evangelical altar calls.” Many in his audiences are raising their palms to the air and murmur as if in prayer.

God he is not, nor ever will be. The attempt sick!

The joining of two nations occurred in 1614 via a marriage. The nations an Indian tribe in Virginia and England.

Pocahontas, daughter of the Virginia colony’s Chief of the Powhatan Confederacy, married England’s John Rolfe. He brought her to England where she turned out to be a major success with the English gentry.

Today’s Key West weather a dramatic change from yesterday’s. Today, and through the weekend, will be sunny and pleasant. High 70’s.

Want an elephant? Botswana has 130,000. Too many says Botswana’s President Masisi. He has suggested sending 20,000 to Germany.

Enjoy your day!

BIDEN’S AGE

Biden’s age continues to be an issue. Can’t understand it. Trump is only 3 years younger.. Both are “too old” if age is a significant criteria.

Frank Bruni hit the issue correctly. The Presidency is not a one person job. It is a general manager/ captain/ coach position. The President assembles a team and comes up with a plan.

That is how the Presidency works.

Biden put together a great cabinet and others quickly 3 years ago. Seven and one half years ago, Trump put together a band of conniving performers.

Says it all!

The Palestinian, Gaza, Hamas problem must be resolved. It is harming even the good. Biden is taking a beating. Americans have stood with Israel since its birth. Biden’s loyalty must have an ending point.

Netanyahu is carrying  “retribution” too far. I believe for personal selfish reasons. He probably will lose office when the war ends. He will also face criminal charges and tried for matters not related to the Hamas induced problem.

The war against Hamas cannot be won by the mass killing of innocents nor starvation. Netanyahu has added starvation to his bombing onslaught. Humanity will not tolerate a massacre by starvation. There is an increasing concern by world citizens. The concern will in due course take its toll on Netanyahu’s extreme method.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supporters are divided between Biden and Trump. How can voters like Kennedy? He is a first class nut. His positions worse even than those of Trump.

People who like Kennedy are mostly being attracted by his name and his father. Junior is neither a Kennedy at heart nor his father in any fashion. 

Yesterday was a beautiful one weather wise. So much so that I spent a couple of hours at Higgs Beach. Mid-80’s, sun beating down. There was a wind. A strong one. Caused waves and blowing sun umbrellas. The wind was sufficiently strong that the umbrellas eventually could not be used.

Today is different. The temperature is in the low 70’s. It feels cool. The wind stronger than yesterday. Sky totally covered with gray clouds. What a difference a day makes!

Enjoy your day!

YOGI BERRA WISDOM

Words of wisdom sometimes come from the strangest source. Occasionally, touched with humor.

One of the best were statements uttered by Yogi Berra. For example: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Or: “You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”

The best of the best: “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

Another DeSantis act of stupidity: Removal of books from classrooms and school libraries. Anathema. Especially where the removal is via the complaint of one parent and generally immediate.

Arizona nuttiness continues. Arizona Republicans voted YES for a bill that would make it legal to kill migrants suspected of trespassing. Great article by Bess Levin in the 4/1 edition of Vanity Fair. If such becomes law, it will give a “green light to more extrajudicial killings” in Arizona.

Step on my front lawn and you’re dead! Sick!!!

Today’s podcast some six years old. Based on a Biblical term: “I was hungry and you fed me.” Reflective of Key West’s big heart.

 

 

Trump found a California billionaire to finance his $175 million bond. Don Hanley who made his fortune offering high interest auto loans to persons with poor credit.

Trump lies again. At a campaign rally tuesday in Michigan, he denounced “Biden’s border bloodbath.” He zeroed in on the case of a young woman killed by a person or persons who entered the U.S. illegally. The victim was 25 year old Ruby Garcia.

Trump said, “I spoke to some of her family.

Garcia’s sister, acting as a family spokeswoman, said it never happened. Trump never talked to any family member. She rebuked Trump’s effort to lie and make the case a political one.

Religion and politics do not mix. Like oil and water. The Oklahoma Supreme Court is considering approving the nation’s first religious charter school. Direct funding by the State of religious education.

Religion in the U.S. and world wide historically has been a disastrous move. It has no place in government.

Will we ever learn?

The Columbine High School shooting occurred in 1999. Since then, more than 360,000 students have experienced school gun violence. The figure represents the number of students who were exposed in 394 separate shootings.

It goes on. There appears to be no cessation.  It is time for government to be more effective than it has been since 1999. The NRA is at its weakest at the moment. The government should jump on the issue and not let up till success has been achieved.

Enjoy your day!

KEY WEST EMPTYING OUT

Tourism fluctuates in Key West. The population moves up and down depending on the time of the year. 

The “season” ends Easter Sunday. When I first began visiting Key West in the early 1990’s, half the visitors left Easter Sunday. The other half one week later. Within one week of Easter Sunday, Key West was “dead” again. Remained so till Fantasy Fest at the end of October. The purpose of Fantasy Fest was to attract tourists again to Key West.

There was a saying back in those days that soon after Easter Sunday, you could throw a bowling ball down Duval Street and hit not one person. The street was deserted. Not so any longer. The “season” is now 12 months. However, the number of visitors fluctuates. We have a summer crowd for example. The town is not dead after Easter, though less in number.

I have been out yesterday and today. Two days post Easter. My estimate depending on the place, at least a 50 percent reduction in visitors. For some businesses, a dramatic down turn.

I have been visiting Higgs Beach this past week. Packed last week. Yesterday, the number of people cut in half. I visit Date and Thyme 6 days a week for my Monkey Smoothie. Cannot do it for seven. The place is closed sundays.

Last week, it was next to impossible to get a seat. Yesterday and today, no sweat. A dramatic drop in business. Considerably more than 50 percent.

My friend and landlord Steve Thompson left Key West last week. He is in Orlando. Did testing at the Veterans Hospital there. At 6 am tomorrow, he undergoes a hernia operation. I wish him well. He is still a youngster at 77.

Actually, I worry about him. I am 88 and went through five weeks of hell at Miami Mount Sinai recently re my heart. Three heart surgeries. Fortunately, worked out well. Though I did not think it was while I was undergoing the procedures.  Knowing Steve well, his mind is running in similar channels. Fear not my friend. God is with you. Cindy, too. And your army of friends.

Spoke with Steve this morning. The surgery will be performed robotically. Amazing! Just like my new aortic heart valve. A pig’s ass. Modern medicine!

The Florida spiny lobster season ended yesterday. Mediocre at best. Described as “less than stellar” and merely “average.” Only 4.8 million recovered and sold.

Fishermen suffered a poor season economically. The average selling price was only $5 to $6 a pound. On occasion, hit $10.

Costs to catch increased also. One example, the wood traps. Five years ago, $40 each. This year, close to $80.

China is Florida’s major customer. This season, China purchased less. Two reasons. Increased tariffs by the U.S. government and China’s shaky economy.

The new season opens August 6.

The cost of property insurance in Florida continues to rise dramatically. An economic calamity that could be even worse if a major hurricane hits.

Today’s yesteryear podcast some 7 years old. Concerns Trump’s Presidency and test kits when coronavirus hit the U.S. Recall Donald thought the virus was no big deal initially. He and Pence failed the American people at every step of the virus.

 

 

Israel has to stop its attacks on Gaza. Enough is enough. Netanyahu is literally killing the Palestinians. Israel’s retribution far exceeds the ferocity of the attack upon Israel.

Wisconsin has a significant sized Latino population. Constitutes 7.6 percent of the Wisconsin population. I was watching CBS news this morning and the head of the Wisconsin Latino group was interviewed. Her group is anti-Biden. Her reasons were two fold. One the suffering of Palestinians. I cannot recall the second. It was a “foreign” issue also.

My concern is the woman should be speaking out re ill treatment, if any, of Wisconsin Latinos. Not foreign issues. The Wisconsin Latinos game plan is to cost Biden 20,000 votes in his election against Trump. Such could deliver Wisconsin to Trump.

Makes me think the Latino organization, which was formed last year, is a Republican conceived and created group. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said over the weekend that Biden was a bigger threat to democracy than Trump. Kennedy is and has been anti-vaccine. He has repeatedly knocked Biden over the coronavirus vaccine and others. He believes the Biden position is far worse than the games Trump has been playing with the Presidential election itself.

RJK Jr. is not his father. I have said and written this repeatedly. Even some of Jr.’s sisters and brothers have spoken out against him.

Now he has found a female billionaire to be his running mate. He claims she will bring business experience to government. Bullshit! She will bring money to his campaign!

We have had enough of a business person being a major government figure. Especially President and in line for the job. Trump’s “experience” screwed up our government in many instances and continues to do so.

Black South Carolina students are coming out anti-Biden. Students and young people nationally likewise. Blind they must be! The Democratic Party before Biden and with Biden have done more to help students and the young than Republicans.

I cannot understand.

Enjoy your day!