There is a well intentioned group in Key West that reminds me of the vigilantes  and lynch mobs of old. Sometimes the wrong person got hung.

Key West’s modern day group is known as the Key West Rip-Off Rapid Response Team. The bad guys the “rip off cosmetic shops on Duval.”

The ripoffs directed at older persons walking along Duval. Generally, tourists. Outside certain cosmetic shops stand good looking young men and/or women.

They work for the cosmetic shop. With smile and kind words, entice the elderly into their shops. Youth regenerated skin one of the pitches. Who would not want to look younger?

The “customers” are oversold. Enticed. Purchase too many items. Some credit card slips have an extra “0” added after the customer leaves. A hundred dollar purchase turned into a thousand dollar one.

The tourist returns home. Realizes in one fashion or another he or she have been ripped off. Generally contact the Key West police for assistance. Only to be told the problem is a”civil” one, not criminal. The customer will have to pursue the matter civilly, probably will need an attorney.

The police are wrong in my opinion. The scenario stinks of fraud. It is a police matter to handle.

The problem was becoming pronounced. The Rip-Off Rapid Response Team was formed. Good hearted locals. Mostly elderly. Well intentioned. Made up signs and began protesting by walking back and forth in front of cosmetic shops. Not good for the cosmetic shop business.

The Rapid Response Team v. the cosmetic shops has been ongoing for more than a year.

One of the cosmetic shops is “Oh La La.” The Rip Off team has had some degree of success against it in the past.

It is claimed part of a previous solution was that the owner of the store/building who rented to Oh La La would evict Oh La La at the end of the year. The owner Michael Halpern. A respected Key West business man.

Whether the representation was actually made, I do not know.

In any event, Halpern also owns the Southernmost House at the Atlantic end of Duval. Saturday evening the Mayor’s Ball was held at the Southernmost House. A charitable fund raiser. Many local luminaries in attendance.

The Rip-Off Team decided to bring Halpern’s purported failure to evict Oh La La to the event. They apparently had a don’t screw with us attitude. A disgraceful display by the group occurred. Embarrassing to all.

The Rip Off team has announced it will contribute $1,000 to each of the charities involved and an apology to the Southernmost House, Halpern and those who sponsored the Mayor’s Ball.

My admonition to the Rip-Off Team, knock it off. You are wrong. The responsibility to act belongs with the City and Police. Harass them. Get things worked out. Attention is most often paid to the squeaky wheel.

Cold!!!!!!Last night and today!!!!!!!

When I left home last night, it was 67 degrees. Today’s high projected at 65. Tonight, 54.

The heat is on.

My first stop last night was Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Rick Dery and the fabulous Terri White performing. Great singing!

Terri’s birthday is thursday. Drop her a Happy Birthday! I am sure she will be pleased to receive it.

Donna was already there when I arrived. Donna is Terri’s wife.

Also at the bar were “my dear friend” Stephanie Kaple and her parents Marilyn and Ben. Visiting. Love Marilyn! She is an avid reader of my blog.

Skaneateles Dan and Lisa came in. Syracuse fans! They are into sort of a semi retirement. Sold their restaurant outside Syracuse in November. Leading the leisurely life at the moment.

With Dan and Lisa were their friends David and Judy. I had met them in previous years. They reside in Orlando.

I left early. I was cold. Did not dress properly. I did not realize how cold it was when I left the house.

Stopped at Antonia’s for dinner. Sat at “my seat” in the corner of the bar.

Nicolle bartending. The nicest of the nice. One reason was my one and only Irma and Me book signing.

Initially, it was only me and a pile of books. No one was coming. Then appeared Nicolle and her friend. My first customer! I will never forget.

Nicolle is slimming down. Dieting. She was on the heavy side. No more. Has proudly lost 31 pounds. Working on the next 30. Looks terrific!

Enjoyed conversation with a gentleman who sat next to me. From Aspen. Is building a home on Von Phister and Walton.

Trump’s impeachment trial begins today. A sorry event to unfold. Not the impeachment itself. Trump deserves to be impeached.

Rather it is the method by which the Republican Senate plans on conducting the trial. I will not even go into the sordid details. They are all over the news.

My concern is the Republicans are behaving like a bunch of kids. Unreasonable in the rules they have formulated. They forget they are supposedly statesmen and not juveniles. The best thing that could happen to our country is if there was a way to throw them all out. Democrats and Republicans alike.

Then start all over!

In the meantime, our “esteemed” President is in Switzerland at the world wide Davos economic meeting. He spoke early this morning. I watched on TV.

Finally gave up after 10 minutes. All he was doing was telling everyone the glorious things he was accomplishing in the U.S. Some factual, most bullshit.

Tomorrow night, Syracuse/Notre Dame. Hope Syracuse continues its recent winning ways.

The past several years, Tibetan monks have visited the Keys. An annual January event. This year’s visit begins saturday. I know no other details at the moment.

Some 1,600 of the world’s leading CEO’s were recently interviewed as part of a survey. The survey issue whether an economic slowdown in growth was expected in 2020. The survey was done in preparation for the Davos meeting.

Fifty three percent expected an economic slow down. The number was contrasted with last year’s similar survey for 2019. At that time, 57 percent expressed optimism for record levels.

The numbers have turned. If there is validity to this year’s response, the world wide recession which has been expected will occur.

Two reasons were claimed for the adverse turn around. Political unrest and uncertainty of the China-U.S. deal.

A man who left his marked imprint on history died this date 1924. Vladimir Lenin. He was 54. A brain hemorrhage caused his death.

Whether one agrees with his politics, Lenin is an historical figure of note. The architect of Bolshevism and the first leader of the Soviet Union.

January 21, 2008 was not a good one in American history. Referred to as “Black Monday” and the “Panic of 2008.”

The stock market crashed. The second biggest market failure in U.S. history. Topped only by the recession which began in 1929.

Banking abuses were the cause. The government had to bail the banks out. Not the millions of home owners who lost their homes, however.

Another crash is coming. I thought it would occur last year. It is inevitable. The government is already supporting and coming to the aid of banks and hedge funds with their “repo” actions.

Tonight is the night! Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. Interesting topics! Our nation and the world is crazy!

Enjoy your day!

13 comments on “VIGILANTES…..LYNCH MOB

  1. With all due respect Lou, I’m not sure you realize how bad the problem on lower Duval really is. We were in Key West three years ago and the “cosmetics” issue was a big deal even back then, everybody talking about it. We were a group of about thirty five people, there for an anniversary party. We were warned about it before we came down and just about every one of us experienced some sort of haras*ment while we were there. This isn’t a problem for just the past year Lou. It was so bad that nearly all of us wouldn’t go down Duval any more. Most of the people in our group vowed they’d never come back. If it takes a few well healed local blue bloods to getting embarra*sed to do something about this, I’d say that’s not such a bad thing.

  2. Mitch McConnell and his Republican co-conspirators have made a mockery of the constitutional impeachment process.

    Congress and the Democrats have successfully put the Senate on trial and they look VERY guilty. We the public need to find them guilty and punish them out of office. This is truly shameful.

  3. Louis, ten minutes, a half dozen or so attempts deconstructing one paragraph and using an asterisk to replace a “s” just to get my comment above to post. WTF?

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