HE DIED BROKE

Several years ago, I visited Washington, DC as a tourist. Previously, only as a lawyer who never had the time to visit our national monuments.

I was especially interested in the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln majestically seated.

It was the Jefferson Memorial that affected me the most, however. A bronze Thomas Jefferson standing 19 feet tall. Atop a large granite block. Impressive! Overwhelming!

Jefferson’s public career was outstanding. Few political leaders have achieved the successes he did. Abraham Lincoln referred to Jefferson as “…..the most distinguished politician in our history.”

Some of Jefferson’s accomplishments included being a Founding Father of our Nation, the author of the Declaration of Independence, President of the United States, Vice President before, a spokesperson for democracy, a member of the Continental Congress, Governor of Virginia, Minister to France, first Secretary of State, the Louisiana purchase, opposition to slavery (though he owned over 200 slaves), signed the law banning the importation of slaves to the United States, founded the University of Virginia, spoke five languages, designed the mansion at his 5,000 acre plantation Monticello, and authorized the funding and construction of West Point.

A special person. A special President. His image sits on Mount Rushmore.

Unfortunately, Jefferson died broke. Not a penny available for his family. His beloved Monticello sold to pay debts.

Jefferson was born to wealth. His was a wealthy slave owning family. Wealth back then could be measured by the number of slaves one owned. Slaves were property and had a value.

Jefferson had everything going for him from an economic perspective. His problem was he could not manage money. There was not a time when he did not have cash flow problems. He had difficulty balancing his check book. He always spent more than he took in.

At the time of his death, Jefferson owed more than $1 million in today’s money. His final days before his death were not spent in fond remembrances of the past. He was sickly and bed ridden. He spent most of his waking hours going over his finances and debts.

In the end, there was no estate to pass on to heirs. His estate, possessions and slaves were sold at public auctions. His daughter was forced to sell Monticello.

His final services did not befit a man of his stature. By choice. Jefferson had directed that no one be invited. His wishes were honored. The services were simple and quiet. His remains were carried by servants, family and friends to his Monticello grave site.

Jefferson was distrustful of banks his entire life. Living on the edge of economic disaster, he developed what can only be described as a hatred for banks. He viewed banks in a fashion similar to how they are looked upon today.

Regarding banks, Jefferson wrote the following. His prophecy relatively correct: “If the American people ever allow banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless…..I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.”

Jefferson’s was a sad ending to a brilliant career. Though of his own making, he was poorly treated in his later years.

The Upper Keys have installed AED’s. Emergency cardiac arrest boxes.

Key West should do so.

I have a heart condition. I put my money where my mouth is. I wear a Medical Alert System. Hangs around my neck. I press a button and within minutes the world is around me to help. Ambulance, emergency assistance, fire engine and police. The System costs $54.95 a month. Only needed it once in the 3 years I have had it. Fell down the stairs, fractured 2 vertebras. Couldn’t get up. Two in the morning. Glad I had it!

I can afford it. Not everyone can. Everyone should have some sort of protection. The AED boxes are a partial assistance to the second biggest killer in the U.S. Heart attacks.

Key West pisses a lot of money away. AED is not a waste of tax dollars. It is a protection available all.

The Front page of today’s KeysNews carries an excellent article concerning the AED’s.

The La Concha Hotel is almost 100 years old. Opened to the public this date in 1925. The formal grand opening took place January 22, 1926.

What follows are excerpts from page 2 of the Executive Summary to the January 6 Committee Report. The page overall testimony by certain insurrectionists. These persons openly acknowledging they had betrayed their country.

Remier: “And I’m sorry to the people of this country for threatening the democracy that makes this country so great.”

Pert: “I know the peaceful transition of power is to ensure the common good for our nation and that it is critical in protecting our country’s security needs.”

Markofski: “My actions put me on the other side of the line from my brothers in the Army. The wrong side. Had I lived in the area, I would have been called upon to defend the Capitol and restore order…..My actions brough dishonor to my beloved U.S. Army National Guard.”

Witcher: “Every member – every male member of my family has served in the military, in the Marine Corps, and most have saw combat. And I cast a shadow and cast embarrassment upon my family name and that legacy.”

Today a big one for Syracuse. We play in a bowl game for the first time in years. Against Minnesota in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Two pm.

Busy day for me. A haircut with Lori. Then rush home to catch the game.

Enjoy your day!

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