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Thursday, June 29, 2017

FIGHTING FOR HEALTH CARE And, Our Country

     Republicans continue to be hellbent on derailing the Affordable Care Act. After the July Fourth recess, they'll be begging their members to make America sick again. "Sick" saves money, less healthcare means the rich get richer. 
     If you are a fat cat with no heart it is hard to argue with that.

   But most Americans have hearts, they care about each other. That's why we, the majority, fight the Dark Side and the bright orange Cheetohead who leads them.  

   Yesterday we rallied in front of Senator Rubio's office in Miami.  He continues to be 45's lackey in the efforts to dump the ACA and to make health care worse.


    The numbers are out, under Trump's latest plan
(which he himself calls "mean")  22 million will lose health care benefits. 


    Don't stop now.  Resist!

___________________________


JUSTO WAS ONE OF US

  With The Orange Loser running the country there is so much to  resist. My heart goes out to our immigrants who's families he continues to belittle and tear apart.  In Miami they are everywhere.  Many do the most menial jobs, the one's most of us try to avoid. 

   Most Miamians avoid the hot sun and yard work. Lawn service trucks are everywhere.

   Justo Delgado came here years ago from Peru and quickly found work mowing lawns. Over the years he developed a successful family landscaping business that maintains most of the yards on my street.

    While I do my own yard work, I asked Justo for help three years ago. I needed someone to climb a tall tree and to lope off a thick rotten limb. It was much too high for me to tackle. I figured he'd ask one of his sons to do it but with no hesitation, Justo -ten years younger than me- did it himself.  He was happy to crawl out on the limb with a chain saw dangling from his side.

    Yesterday, he was doing similar work work for a neighbor down the block. Justo climbed a tall ladder with a pole saw in hand. As he cut through a hard-to-reach branch his pole hit a power line.  Justo was electrocuted and fell to the ground. Efforts to revive him failed. 

    Our whole neighborhood is shaken by his death.  He was one of us. So are his children, who, are back on our street this morning working.  When a neighbor approached a son to express her condolences he thanked he and added, "We're working today to honor our father".

     Justo was also one of millions of hard-working immigrants who we should honor, not vilify.  We're in this together. All of us deserve understanding, respect, and back to where this conversation started, health care.  
            ______________________________


Sunday, June 25, 2017

RESIST

"There are many things that concern me about the Trump presidency — in fact, few don’t — but the frivolous blurring of truth and untruth, fact and falsehood, is the most grave. Liberty depends on facts. When the distinction between truth and lies disappears there is no basis for the rational discourse on which the organization of a free society, governed by laws, depends. Disorientation propagates itself — and disoriented people are more inclined to accept a despot as sole font of truth."
                        -NY Times editorial, 6-23-17 



 
 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

PAUL'S PLACE A HIT!











    There was so much happening in Belfast,Maine, last weekend it seemed like the center of the universe. Paul Naron -the former owner of Shell Lumber-

Paul, Chef Salika, and the Grove guy 

 finally opened his farmers market to rave reviews.
 
   Dozens of happy vendors were hawking everything from pizza to pea tendrils. 
 
 Julie and Francesca met a local
who has his own cheese cave!


  A block away the Shriners were putting on a bizarre parade.  For almost hour fez-topped white coats
 



led a troupe of scary clowns, miniature tow trucks, and hot-roding go-carts.

   I guess it's their King Mango Strut.

I’ll be devoting an entire blog the Fez Boyz soon.

  

      There was more- 1700 bicyclists were participating in the state’s annual Trek Across Maine.  With 800 miles of winding coast line, this 180-mile journey could have ended anywhere but, for some reason, it ended in front of Paul's house. The fastest riders crossed the finish line while we at pancakes. Most riders passed by during our crab cake lunch and by late afternoon cocktails the bikers my age finally saw blue water in this mountains to the sea event.

    



  An hour later the Belfast Yacht Club kicked off its  BYOBB (“beer and beef’) barbecue.  Joining was as easy as paying the $2 membership fee. Francesca and I are now members of this exclusive enclave.

    The next morning, I wandered down to the town’s marina where members of the Belfast Boating Club invited me to join them. We climbed into these 32' Cornish gigs and rowed out to sea.

      It was mesmerizing to be gliding through the fog, pulling oars to the coxswain's cadence.

     After all the Belfast excitement we were ready for the quiet life. We fled to this beautiful cottage on Lake Damariscotta.

   (It is listed on Airbnb at  www.airbnb.com/rooms/16630159 .  For the price of a cheap motel room in Miami you can bunk you and your six kids here for a week or more)



 Coconut Grove's Villano family has the cabin next door. They invited us over for lobster and a  tour of their beautiful lake.
     Afterwards we gathered around a quiet shoreline fire. A mink paddled by as an eagle flew overhead. Poor Maineiacs. They have to put up with all that.
            ___________________


End of the day, Lake Demariscotta (The sharpie was built at the Barnacle by South Miami HS students and park volunteers)
      

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

THE HOUSE THAT TIME FORGOT



      Sitting in  ancient Adirondack chairs facing a cool ocean  breeze, what a way to start a summer. 
 You can do that at Captain Henry’s House in Round Pond, Maine. It was our first stop on a brief trip  north.  

    The 1850's farm house belongs to a Coconut Grove couple who rent it out through Airbnb (to see ”The Captain’s House”  at  www.airbnb.com/rooms/11041490 ).  Heading back in time is a easy at this place. You fly to Portland then drive north an hour to the tranquil fishing village.







    The 150-year-old house sits on 4 1/2 acres rolling down to the harbor. The former owner, "Captain Henry", got his rank serving as a physician in WW II.
After the war he'd sneak away from his Harvard teaching job to spend summers in Round Pond.     Above, Henry as a   young man, 1922.

 
    

    It's easy to see why Hank and his family loved this place. It's on the ocean but off the beaten path. It's fully furnished but if you want to go out, seaside dining is just a three-minute walk away.  Along the path you'll marvel at lupine shooting up like colorful rockets.
               
    

   Every Maine restaurant will be happy to sell you a "lobster roll" which is basically a $20 hot dog. 

   
   The farmhouse got real plumbing a century ago but the "old plumbing" is still there.  
    Next to the master bathroom is a wash stand and a chamber pot.


  Connected to the kitchen below is an out house that is in the house. 
   I wanted to try it but encountered stiff opposition from my better half.
   
    When the house was sold to friends two years ago the captain's family chose to sell it “as is”, which, in this case, as it was in 1926. Back then there were no televisions.  People watched each other and
occasionally conversed.

  They also read books (the house has hundreds), 

 
sang songs around the Steinway (there's one), 














or listened to them on the Victrola. We did all of these things gleefully at our Round Pond abode. 

 

Detail, front entrance












            Detail, Barn wall

     There was a small TV but we never considered turning it on. There were too many better things to do… seaside hiking,

  kayaking,
and examining very old hatboxes. 

  Inside each were like-new treasures from the 1890’s ready for the next Easter parade.  


 
   
     

We had a wonderful time living in the past but there were more places to visit.    Two days ago we carefully placed the hats back in their boxes and pushed off for our next Pine State adventure.
                                 
                ____________________
     

    
    

Thursday, June 15, 2017

TRUMP DOES WYNWOOD

  
     



When the President heard about Wednesday’s “Artist March” in Wynwood, he knew he had to go.  “I’m an an artist myself”, he lied adding, “I wrote 'The Art of the Deal' " (another lie, someone else wrote it).



       Anyway, the fool leading our country put down his golf clubs long enough to promote himself in yesterday's Miami art
district protest parade. Upon arrival he learned there were no golf carts available, everyone was walking in the pedestrian event.


      “Walking? what’s that?”, he joked.  When the Haitian ra-ra band started stepping out he followed for a few blocks.  Our President waved signs suggesting that we should trust both him and Vladimir Putin. 

 
    


     When the artists around him began chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go!”, he took the hint and high-tailed it back to Mar-o-lago. 
    Good riddance.


    Cheetohead is threatening to come to Miami again on Friday to announce his new Cuba policy.  Sources say it will ban trading all products with Cuba that do not carry the Trump brand.

       
                _____________________ 

 

Friday, June 9, 2017

KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE- Kitty's Good News





     Every month Kitty Roedel, a member of our Progressive Miami resistance group, compiles the “good news” from the previous four weeks and she reads it at our monthly meetings.


There are many smiles and much applause after each item is read. 
We need all the good news we can get.

I thought I’d share Kitty's latest list with you.

                      
   
               Kitty’s Good News – May-June, 2017


America’s Eagle Scout, Jim Comey calls Trump a liar five times in congressional testimony (June 8th)


Progressives won a big victory in Great Britain. The right wing no longer controls Parliament (June 8th).


Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel on Trump/Russia connection.

Jared Kushner is under investigation for Russian ties, along with Flynn and campaign manager Paul Manafort.



Investigators discovered Eric Trump took $1.2 million from a  charity golf tournament that helps kids with cancer, to rent his family's golf course after claiming that he was donating the course for free.

Republican Rep. Chaffetz calls for Justice Dept. Inspector General to probe 45’s firing of James Comey.

Congress' temporary funding bill includes zero dollars for Mexican wall and keeps funding for Planned Parenthood and

other programs.

The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land (Call your congressman today to keep it that way!).

45’s second nomination for Army Secretary, Mark Green, drops out.

Dozens of students and families walk out during Pence graduation speech at Notre Dame (in the state where he

was once the governor).

Nearly 100 eighth grade students refuse to take class picture with Paul Ryan.

Betsy Devos is booed at historically black Bethune-Cookman University graduation ceremony.

James Runcie, Chief Executive Officer at Dept. of Education, in charge of trillion-dollar student loan program,
resigns in protest of Secretary Devos’ appointment.

Miami billionaire Mike Fernandez starts a legal fund to help immigrants.


Appeals court refuses to reinstate 45’s revised Muslim travel ban.


DNC creates commission to protect American democracy from Trump administration’s efforts at voter

suppression.

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo and other Republicans say the words ”impeachment for obstruction of justice" for the first time.
Rep. Al Green makes a speech on House floor calling for 45’s impeachment.

Hillary Clinton joins the resistance and forms new group, Onward Together, with money from her leftover
campaign funds.



The world rallies around Paris Accord after 45 withdraws.

Many U.S. cities and states respond to 45's failure to fight climate change by pledging to combat the horrific problem themselves.


Polling reports that 59% of Americans oppose pulling out of Paris Accord.

  In the aftermath of the London tragedy, the world rallies around London, and it's mayor, after the fool in the White House called him a weak loser.


    Mike Bloomberg, as UN Climate Change Special Envoy, pledged to honor our Paris Accord agreement andto provide the $15 million that was lost from Washington.



Republican Senators McCain, Graham, and Collins vote against removing Obama regulations for oil and gas 
drilling
on federal lands and capture of methane.



US Supreme Court upholds a lower court decision striking down district lines as illegal racial gerrymanders.



Alabama Governor signs law giving thousands of felons their voting rights back.



Campus gun law bill defeated again in Florida.




New York Artist Robin Bell projects “Pay Trump bribes here” on side of Trump’s Washington DC hotel and a KKK image of Jeff 
Sessions on Dept. of Justice building. 



  Art leads the way!
                   ____________________________________________________