Ayn Rand considered absolutely brilliant by some. Crazy by others. Some initially overwhelmed by her only to later become disillusioned.

I am in the later group. First, amazed. Considered her thoughts brilliant.  Then realized the nut she was.

Ayn Rand’s birthday was yesterday. She was born February 2, 1905. Died March 6, 1982.

To many, she was and is considered a philosopher. To others, a writer.

Two of her novels initially captured my thought process. I was a young attorney when I first read The Fountainhead. What a book! Its message that individual rights were the ultimate. Societal collectivism be damned.


Rand’s message was that society had forgotten “I” and replaced it with “we.” She fictionalized a society where totalitarian collectivism had triumphed. Her hero, an individual true and true who fought the onslaught.

Many questions were left unanswered in my mind after reading The Fountainhead. They were answered when I read her second successful novel, Atlas Shrugged.

Rand believed in laissez-faire capitalism. An economic system in which transactions between private parties are free from government intervention such as regulation, privilege, tariffs, and subsidies.

The true Republican/Conservative in thought. And in action. She supported Barry Goldwater for President in 1964.

Her individualistic philosophy is best typified by her own words: An individual should “exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.”

None of this is mentally imposing. Easy to comprehend. I must concede a movie helped. Atlas shrugged starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. Their unusual love affair formed the basis for what Rand perceived as the individual vs. collective society war.

Rand thought much of herself. She claimed her greatest influence was Aristotle. Followed by Thomas Aquinas. She said if a history of philosophy were written, the three top philosophers would be Aristotle, Aquinas, and Rand. Signifying how high she held her own thought process.

My disillusionment came two years after reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I became aware that Rand was publishing a weekly newspaper in New York City. I subscribed to it.

The woman was absolutely mad! Her columns represnted her thought process carried to the ultimate. No frills. The woman was not stable. Wacky an excellent description. Dangerous, another.

Such was the end of my acceptance of Rand’s philosophy.

In spite of my change in thinking, I still recommend The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged for reading. An experience!

Spent last night at the Chart Room. Quiet. John bartending. Chatted with Christina.

Second time I met Christina. Sheila introduced her to me a month ago at the Chart Room. Christina is on the staff at the Custom House. She and Sheila worked together at the Custom House one time.

The conversation pleasant. The evening pleasant.

This afternoon Syracuse/Virginia. Virginia #2 in the country. Syracuse will probably lose. On the other hand, Syracuse is in for a good game. Overdue. You never know. Hope springs eternal.

The Republican “memo” a dud. Its anticipation full of sound and fury. In the end, signified nothing.

The Republican Congress worries me. They serve the Party rather than the people.

Partially responsible is Trump’s magnetic personality. He is a Pied Piper. Most Republicans blindly follow him.

Yesterday morning, the employment numbers were announced. Two hundred thousand more jobs. Big!

It was also announced interest rates would be going up.

By the end of the day, the market closed 665 points down. The sixth largest one day decline in history.

A crack in the dyke? A tiny one, I suspect. The market will be up monday. Money to be made by buying the stocks that went down. I ask however if there is a message in the 665 point drop. An indication of that which is to come.

Justice is confusing these days. Trump responsible for a good share of the confusion.

California legalized marijuana. Now, California is moving through the court system to vacate thousands of felony and misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975.

At the same time that Attorney General Sessions’ Justice Department is gearing up to seek more marijuana prosecutions.

Both actions amazing!

I close with a bit of Florida Keys information.

I never knew how many Keys there were. Merely assumed a lot. In case you have an interest, there are over 1,700 islands. Few populated. Most small. Only 43 connected by bridges.

Enjoy your day!



I spent yesterday lying around.  Taking things slow. Concerned about my health. Probably not that bad. In my head. But, that’s me.

As a result of a do nothing sunday, I have no Key West goodies to share. Today, a political blog.

The Presidential campaign makes me ask whether this is my country? Your country? Our country? It is so different. Destructive. Sick.

Is democracy so fragile? I would not have believed it. Disagree, yes. Threaten violence and move to violence, no.

Gabriel Schoenfeld shared some thoughts re Trump this weekend in the New York Daily News.

He referred to Trump as a moronic Pied Piper. Hard to argue with. Many are blindly following Trump.

Schoenfeld stated our democracy is fragile.

Further and most scary, as Trump’s campaign flails, the violence and threads of violence multiply by the day. Bloodshed possible/probable.

Bloodshed, a heavy word.

Saturday night, a local Republican headquarters in Hillsborough, North Carolina was firebombed. The headquarters was also spray painted with a swastika and the words: Nazi Republicans leave town or else.

Trump responded to the event with a tweet stating the event was perpetrated by…..Animals supporting Clinton.

I find it hard to believe the event was Democrat caused. Hillsborough and the county it is a part of is 3-1 Democratic registration.I sense a set up by Republican supporters creating a situation to blame the Democrats for.

I could be wrong. It is a gut feeling.

Trump tweeted re Saturday Night Live yesterday morning. He is now anti SNL. He has lost his sense of humor.

He referred to SNL as a “hit job.” Said it was “time to retire the show.” Finally, Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him “stinks.”

Sensitive! He can hand it out, but cannot take it.

That is all for this morning. Enjoy your day!



In yesterday’s blog, I advised I was going to start getting ready for Erika. Buy some things needed when shut up in your home. Without electric power,.

I never did it.

Two hours after publishing the blog, TV reported  Erika would probably dissipate after Hispaniola. The mountains of Hispaniola would break up an already weak hurricane.

This morning, the weather channel says such probably is the case. However. the weakened Erika might gain power from warm air in the Caribbean and turn into a powerful hurricane aimed directly at Key West and Florida. Or, Erika might go left into the Gulf and avoid the Keys.

Whatever, I know we are going to get a lot of rain. Which is much needed.

Am I going to get ready? I don’t know, have not made up my mind.

Did the anti-gravity treadmill in the morning. I am steadily increasing the speed. Lots of sweat.

Rain is strange in the Keys. It did not rain all afternoon in Key Haven. When I went out last night, everything bone dry for 1.5 miles. When I reached the golf course on US 1, it was obvious it had rained. Big time! The golf course is again only 1.5 miles away. Rain storms amazing in the Keys!

Lunched at Roostica. I have been going frequently for lunch. Why, easy. Quality food at a cheap price. Plus, the air conditioning. It is too humid to eat outside.

Yesterday, it was fried eggplant with tomato, prosciutto and mozzarella. Covered in a red sauce. Outstanding! The eggplant similar to how my grandmother prepared it. Salad, besides. $9.95.

The Chart Room first last night. Wanted to check on Emily. She had been out of work two weeks with an eye problem. She is on the mend.

Then to Hot Tin Roof. Jenna to meet me.

We enjoyed a great meal and equally great conversation. Love the girl! Wish I was 50 years younger!

Trump. I am getting sick of Trump. Are you? He is blocking out the other candidates and issue discussion. The man is a mental case. A successful economic one.

What bothers me is the people who support him. Most everyone! Even those whose intelligence I respect. He has captured the minds of many Americans.

Thomas Friedman in a recent column described Trump as a Pied Piper. I agree. Most following him. To an inevitable destruction if the march continues.

Friedman says Trump leads by dividing and frightening. He has a point.

What really hits home is Friedman’s observation that Trump spews up a Joe McCarthy. Correct, again. I recall McCarthy and the eventual harm he caused till stopped.

There is a little town on the Italian Riviera between Camogli and Portofino called St. Margarita. Anna just telephoned me from the beach there. She said the Camogli beaches are crowded so she went to St. Margarita’s tiny and less congested cove to swim and sun bathe. A two euro train ride.

Enjoy your day!