Three especially interesting topics this morning. Anyone of which could be number one. I could not decide so I lumped them together in the title.

I begin with China. The U.S.’ competitor/enemy. Working hard in recent years to be regarded by all as the #1 nation in the world.

Director Chulekying of the Chinese Foreign Ministry on July 7 made a comment re the Surfside building collapse. He issued a statement on Twitter. Not of sorrow or sympathy. Rather competitive in nature: “More than 100 people are missing in the condo collapse in Florida. Heartbreaking! A natural disaster or man made tragedy? Unthinkable in China.”

The last sentence the most interesting: “Unthinkable in China.”

The Director’s comment appeared in Twitter less than a week ago. Well, if it’s going to happen it will. A hotel and 1/3 of an adjoining building collapsed. On monday, the hotel structure itself went down as Surfside did.

The hotel is located in the eastern part of China in the city of Suzhou.

Six hundred are presently engaged in the search for survivors.

The 3 story building next to the hotel initially had 23 missing. Fourteen bodies have been located. Eight of them no longer alive.

No numbers yet re the hotel. The Director wrote, “Rescue very difficult.”

Another first story involves Tennessee and vaccinations.

Tennessee is one of the states whose people do not believe in the COVID-19 vaccine. Proof simple. Only 38 percent of residents have received their first shots.

Tennessee has had for a number of years a reminder it sends out to parents advising  vaccines required for school and in general. Tennessee calls it outreaching. Tennessee outreaches also directly to adolescents 14-17.

The reminders covered such problems as second dose reminder for coronavirus vaccine, HPV reminders, kindergarten reminders, flu vaccines, and infant immunizations.

Now the controversy. Republican politicians became aware the 14-17 year olds were also being notified. They had for a number of years already for various other vaccines.

Tennessee parents are generally opposed to the coronavirus vaccine and all other vaccines. The issue became a public one.

Note parental consent was not required for the 14-17 year old group to receive information re COVID-19 shots.

The Tennessee Health Department issues the information re vaccinations. The Health Department has been told it cannot issue any letters, information, etc. concerning vaccinations to anyone of any age unless the agency logo is first removed from the letter head.

Nor can any notices be sent to minors re public meetings involving vaccinations, only to parents.

The State Medical Director is Dr. Michelle Fiscis. One of her responsibilities is to advise vaccines available for “preventable diseases and immunizations.”

When told to cease and desist as indicated herein, she insisted it was her responsibility. She lost her job.

Three health policy experts recently wrote in the Journal of American Medical Association’s JAMA publication that those 14-17 should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to be vaccinated. It was their opinion that adolescents 14-17 had the capacity to understand and reason more than parents in some instances.

One wrote that in the case of vaccinations, some older minors “may possess a more accurate understanding of the virus and benefits of a vaccine than their hesitant guardians.”

The final interesting story involves Jeff Flake. Flake the former Republican U.S. Senator from Arizona. Served only one term.

Flake opposed Trump early on re a couple of issues. Pissed Trump off!

So Trump went to work on Flake. Other Republicans did likewise. It became evident  Flake would have difficulty winning his next election. Would even be lucky if he first got the Republican nomination.

The handwriting was on the wall. No way could he win a primary. Forget the election itself. Flake did not run.

He has been a soul lost in Limbo since.

Biden has resurrected Flake. It was announced yesterday that Biden had nominated Flake to be the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey.

I am confident Flake will represent U.S. interests well.

The task will not be easy.Turkey’s President is Recep Tayyip Erogan. An authoritarian figure the likes of Putin and Trump.

A new Trump expose book is scheduled to come out next week. Seems lately there is at least one a day.

The one to come out next week indicates that Trump is not happy with his 3 Supreme Court  picks. And reserves “particular bile” for Brett Kavanaugh.

As to Kavanaugh, Trump feels he stood up for him during the Senate advice and consent process and Kavanaugh should be doing a better job for him. Trump claims he received much heat during the  process to dump Kavanaugh, but stood by him.

Trump’s problem is when he makes a special appointment, he believes he owns that appointee. Especially a Supreme Curt Justice whose appointment is for life. Trump expects such appointees to dance to his tune.

Some believe Pope Francis’ recent diverticular stenosis surgery is the beginning of the end of the Pope’ time in office. His failing health the concern. It is anticipated he has 5-6 good years left.

Francis’ surgery was July 4. He remains in the hospital recovering.

When the time comes that Francis leaves the Pope position, it could be the end of the Catholic Church as we know it. As with U.S. politics, there is a far right and a liberal side within the Church. The far right are a tough crowd with which to deal.

The rights want a new Church. Actually, they want the power to run the Church. They are the same group that wants Biden prohibited from receiving Communion because he believes in freedom of choice.

The radical far right are influenced and to an extent lead by the U.S. Conference of Bishops. Who in turn are influenced by the likes of Steve Bannon and Newt Gingrich.

Steve and Cindy Thompson have been Key West residents since the 1970’s. They have seen it all!

Cindy has had an interesting career. For some 30 years, she was Jimmy Buffett’s associate, administrative person, secretary, confidant, etc. What a trip that must have been!

Cindy is still young. Her 75th birthday is today.

There will be a gathering at 5 at the Chart Room to help her celebrate. Join in if you have the chance.

Enjoy your day!



  1. It is amazing how the Republican party itself and all of their flunkies (libertarians & blog artists) are actively and openly trying to discourage and prevent people from getting Covid vaccinated, yet at the same time gloating and celebrating about how PRESIDENT Joe Biden has failed to reach his goal of vaccinating goal of 70% by July 4th.

    Does their hypocrisy know no bounds?

    Do the not know we can see them doing this?

  2. Josef Biden promised to have 70% of Americans vaccinated for covid 19 by the Fourth of July.

    Less than half the people are vaccinated today. He failed miserably. It’s on him, not us, because he promised something and failed to deliver on it. He failed because he never bothered to ask a simple question:

    Why don’t people want to get vaccinated?

    • I think Don S. is the perfect example of Republicans today. Not interested in America or it’s people, and only interested in keeping Democrats from doing anything good. Somebody whose willing to do what ever it takes,cheating if necessary, to win.

  3. Don, you miserable troll, people ARE getting vaccinated, except for mostly republicans in the Red States like West Virginia, where you live. The reasons Republicans are not getting vaccinated, like the rest of the country is because their leadership and people like yourself are telling them it is too dangerous, because testing was rushed through too quickly.

    While out of the other side of your corrupt mouth you are praising Trump for his efforts to actually push everything through at what he labeled “warp speed” even though that actually turned out to be exactly what the experts said it would be – one year, not anything sooner.

    Surber you fool, why can’t you tell the truth, even once and a while.

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