I have never seen Duval as crowded as it was at 2 yesterday afternoon. Good luck to the police having everyone off the streets by 10:30 tonight.

I was downtown because of a doctor visit. Thought I’d take a look at Duval. What a look! Nothing but people.

Traffic bumper to bumper going both ways. Creeping. Took forever to travel 2 blocks. I got off as soon as I could. Went to Whitehead to get out of Dodge.

Let me share what I observed. Note I took into consideration it was raining. Still the biggest crowd I have seen, rain or no rain.

People waiting to get into the Clam Shack went all the way down to Antonia’s. It was the same the 2 blocks I traversed. Everyone waiting in the rain in long lines to get into sandwich shops for lunch.

No social distancing. Little mask wearing. About one third.

Lots of families.

It was reported last week that the hotels were at 93 percent capacity when the curfew was announced. A few days later, it was reported 50 percent had cancelled. Then yesterday it was reported the hotels were 80 percent occupied. Not bad. Still making money. Ninety three percent meant about 50,000 tourists in for the weekend. Eighty percent drops the number by 10 percent. Forty thousand people still a lot.

Hemingway House. The line was around the corner almost down to Duval.

The Southernmost Point. The line was down to Duval.

In all instances described, it was raining heavy and light all the time. People not concerned. Joking, laughing, enjoying themselves.

The Key West police will have their hands full tonight. Duval will be extremely crowded. Probably will not look any different than previous years. Local police will need the help of the Sheriff’s Department and smaller police forces from up the road communities.

The mass ain’t going to move easily.

January 6 I fear will be a day that will go down in history. Could be remembered as Pearl Harbor is.

It is the day Congress convenes to certify the Electoral College vote.

Usually routine. Actually a ministerial act. Not this year, however.

To call for discussion requires one member of the House and one member from the Senate to protest. They have committed. There will be a contenuous floor debate. To no avail. The Rubicon has been crossed. The die set.

The one Senator required to initiate a floor debate is Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri. Well thought of. Not one of the wild ones.

Then why is he the “spoiler?” McConnell has even given up. Biden has been duly elected. He wanted all the Republicans to vote in a perfunctory manner. Lost Hawley.

Hawley wants to run for President in 2024. Some think he made this move to ingratiate himself with Trump and Trump’s supporters.

Hawley’s position is elections should be investigated by Congress. Pray tell, where in the Constitution is it so stated? Appears to me Hawley is making his move with Giuliani providing the legal basis.

This bullshit should have stopped long ago. We are as close to stepping over and becoming a third world country as can be. A next step could result in open conflict.

There have been 60 lawsuits re the election issue. Trump won only one. He had good lawyers! What a joke! More than 90 federal and state judges heard the cases and found no fraud.

Trump the major rabble rouser. He tweeted asking his supporters to come to Washington on January 6 to protest. He said, “See you in DC!”

Proud Boys are coming. Trump supporters. Far right, near fascist, limited to male membership only.

They carry guns and knives. Several people were knifed at the last protest Proud Boys attended. They are thriving on the legitimacy Trump has given them over the past several months.

I have a concern. Trump’s people protesting could lead to some sort of riot. I can visualize Proud Boys and other Trump supporters invading the halls of Congress and the Chamber itself.

My friends, we are that close to tyranny of such a nature. Be not blinded. Democracy is on the line.

Violence could also occur on the floor of the 2 houses of Congress, the combatants being elected legislators physically attacking each other.

Don’t say no. It has occurred more than 90 times already in the history of our country.

Things wee so bad in the 19th century that Congressional persons went to work carrying pistols and bowie knives. And sometimes used them on colleagues.

Some examples.

The best known fight took place on the Senate floor on May 22, 1856. House member Preston Brooks entered the Senate chamber. He was a pro slavery Southerner.

He walked over to Senator Sumner and hit him on the head with a cane. He then proceeded to beat the anti-slavery Senator into unconsciousness. Brooks walked out of the Senate with no one stopping him.

The fight was one of the many tensions within the country over the issue of slavery.

In 1838, one Congressman killed another in a duel which arose because of politics. In 1838, an insult to a Congressman was considered an insult to his political Party.

Serious business. A matter of honor.

Two congressmen, one a Whig and the other a Democrat, who had no personal disagreement or dislike for each other, were designated to represent their respective parties.

The duel took place on February 24, 1838. Rifles were used. Neither man a good shot.

They missed each other in rounds 1 and 2. In the third round, Congressman Graves was shot and killed.

At 2 in the morning in 1858, the House was still in session. A “full fledged sectional fight” took place on the floor.

A southern Representative grabbed a northern Representative by the throat. The northern Representative was black. While choking the northern Representative, the southern one said he would teach the  “black representative puppy” a lesson.

An all out brawl developed. Fists utilized. About 30 Representatives involved.

Lets move into the 20th century.

A debate was taking place on the Senate floor involving Philadelphia Island. Senators Benjamin Tillman and Senator John McLaurin were both Democrats and represented South Carolina.

Tillman accused McLaurin of “treachery” for voting with the Republicans re the Philadelphia Island annexation. Tillman said McLaurin did so because he was promised governmental patronage for South Carolina.

Words flew. Tillman attacked McLaurin. Other Senators not involved were hit by the combatants during the fray.

Both were later censured by the Senate.

An almost “today” event. March 4, 1955. House of Representatives.  Democratic representatives Thomas Downey and Dornan involved.

Vietnam was long over. Dornan called Downey a “draft dodging wimp” because he had a medical deferment during the war.

Words continued to be exchanged. An additional personal issue came into play which had occurred 2 years earlier.

While meeting on the House floor and during the “wimp” issue, they began tie grabbing and choking each other. Dire threats were made.

Immediately following the dispute, Downey complained to Speaker Tip O’Neill. Many considered Downey so doing as childish.

The next day, O’Neill condemned the behavior of both saying: “You can settle this on the street, but don’t settle it on the House floor.”

Can any of these type activities happen today? Absolutely! The two parties hate each other. Half the country believes Trump almost as their cult leader. Trump is encouraging physical engagement as he continues to cry ballot box cheating.

Could happen January 6. Hopefully not.

Enjoy your day! An early Happy and Prosperous New Year to each of you!


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