Originally posted July 2019


The simplicity of it all.

I am not computer literate. Nor mechanically inclined. A generational thing.

I had computer problems yesterday. My mouse was not working properly. Off and on. Mostly off.

I operate with a big screen attached to my lap top. Easier to see in my old age.

Telephoned computer guru Tim Reynolds this morning. He now lives in the Tampa area. Change the battery, he said. I did. It works. I did not know the mouse operated on a battery.

Oh, well.

Now to today.

Another Harry Truman story. One not well known. Like the shot of Old Grand I wrote about recently. This one involves Truman and a donkey. It also involves things that could happen to a President in Truman’s days, but would not today.

For credibility purposes, be advised that this story is one told by Truman’s grandson Clifton Truman Daniel.

Truman was on one of his Key  West trips. He liked to swim. Tried to every day. Generally in the late afternoon. Prior to his nap.

In those days, there was no natural beach near the Little White House. To accommodate the President, Navy engineers had sand trucked in. A small beach was made. A little cabana constructed, also. A place where Truman could change into his trunks.

One morning, Truman walked out with his trunks and towel over his arm. Threw open the door to the cabana and got the shock of his life. Standing in the Presidential changing room was a donkey. Adding insult to injury, the donkey was braying at Truman. A further insult. The donkey had answered the call of nature so the atmosphere in the cabana was less than pleasing.

Truman stood stunned for a few seconds, then burst out laughing. Recall he had grown up a farmer so he did not feel threatened.

The base commander was not amused. He initiated a search for those responsible. Turned out to be a couple of reporters who had gotten a little tipsy in town the night before. Came upon the donkey. Bought it. Smuggled it onto the base in the back of a taxi.

Never could happen today. Presidential security back then not as it is today. Secret Service and Navy personnel would have ascertained what the reporters were up to at the gate Most certainly before arriving at the cabana.

Truman was the President. Certain safety measures were taken. The donkey was x-rayed, given the once over by bomb sniffing dogs, and then sent to an underground holding facility in the Rockies. No one remains today who knows what happened to the donkey afterwards.

Truman’s reaction to the prank says a lot about him and Key West. They were ideally suited to each other. Unpretentious and possessed with a sense of humor.

Key West ws the one and only place grandson Clifton reported where “Grandpa could be himself, let his hair down, wear a loud Hawaiian shirt or even grow a beard (which he started but but never finished).” He had “found the perfect haven from the pressures and posturing of a hectic world.”

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou last night. Precisely in the middle of the Democratic debate. I caught the beginning and the end. My favorite tale concerned Ernest Hemingway and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Hemingway wrote a short story The Snows of Kilimanjaro which won him a Pulitzer Prize. Though familiar with Africa from prior visits, he had neither seen nor climbed Kilimanjaro.

His second African trip interesting though almost a disaster. It was 1952. Travel sometimes by local plane. A 4 seater or the like.

Hemingway and his wife were on such a flight. The plane crashed. Hemingway suffered some burns and cracked ribs. Never one to sit, he opted to take another plane the next day. This one exploded on take off. Hemingway hurt big time.

His wife was able to get out of the burning plane through a window. Hemingway was not. He butted his head against the door and it opened and he was out. His injuries significant, however. A fractured skull, severe burns, a dislocated shoulder, 2 cracked discs, a ruptured liver, and ruptures to both kidneys.

A tough guy. Lived to hunt, fish, and write another day.

Watched what I could of the debate last night. Better than the first. Excellent questions. Little if any gotcha moments attempted. They all looked good in varying degrees. I suspect only Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will survive last night’s group.

Tonight the balance of the debate. Interested in how Joe Biden will come over.

On this day in 1975, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. Never seen again. Many suspect he is buried beneath the concrete of a New Jersey highway.

Several months later, Key West Fire Chief Bum Farto disappeared. He had been convicted of narcotic dealing and was awaiting sentencing.

Farto’s disappearance a Key West “happening” to this date. A money maker for some. Tee shirts for sale bearing…..Where are you Bum Farto?

Trump will go down as the worst President in history. Unquestionably.

He does little if anything correctly.

He has us in a tariff war with China. One that never should have been. I recall his words during the campaign: “I know tariff wars!…..Tariff Wars are good!…..I win tariff wars!”

He has done a masterful job with China. As with Iran, he is in one that he does not know how to get out. The Chinese outfox him at every turn. They refuse to submit to his bullying.

U.S. representatives have been meeting in Shanghai for 2 days. Talks over. No resolution. Further talks scheduled for September.

Before the meeting had concluded, Trump announced the talks were going well, there would be an agreement. The agreement could only come if it was one Trump wanted and he was confident it would be his way.

The talks failed. Trump now says such the worst outcome for China. China should stop stalling. Claims China started the trade war.

The President is an ass. He knows not what he does. China is an equal to the U.S. in every regard. Militarily, financially, etc. China is also the U.S.’s bank. We owe China $1.3 trillion. Borrow from China on a frequent basis. Never pay back.

What happens if China really gets pissed and cuts off the loans? Even worse, suppose China starts dumping its U.S. Treasuries on the market?

An economic crisis without proportion. U. S. would go bust. Then most of the world.

A bad situation. China will not give in. Not the Asian way.

No one wins a trade war. China will go to a starvation diet and drinking water out of the streets before it succumbs. China will break the U.S.’s back as its is being broken.

Enjoy your day!

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