EXIT of the DAY:
I-95n Exit 26 in FL To: I-595 , FL 736, Davie Blvd
After graduating from Yale and Harvard Law School, self proclaimed "Man of the people" and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis served as a Navy officer and attorney in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. Yes, Judge Advocate General stands for JAG, and JAG is the subject of the popular CBS TV series now in syndication. But a JAG officer’s life is not half as exciting as shown on TV. While the original TV series was pitched in 1995 as “Top Gun” meets “A Few Good Men” actual JAG work is legal work by attorneys — albeit lawyers in spotless Navy uniforms.
At age 41, DeSantis is today the youngest governor of any state. While being a a vocal supporter of President Trump, he has supported locally enlightened policies. An apt snapshot for Ron DeSantis’ policies is his hosting a Python Super Bowl. Hunters were invited to the Everglades to hunt the invasive Burmese Python species which are wiping out local wildlife on an unprecedented level. In doing so, he appeals to conservative hunters as well as aligns himself with left leaning conservation groups. The Governor posed for photographs in front of a huge snake. He hoisted a python skin football.
Following his inauguration, DeSantis increased bipartisanship with State Democrats. In stark contrast to Trump policy, he even started progressive reforms to environment and drug policies. DeSantis allocated $2.5 billion for water resource projects including $360 million for the Everglades National Park. He also supported legislation to support marijuana legalization not to mention, appointed several Democrats to positions in his cabinet — moves that drew praise from liberal pundits. DeSantis casually told the Tampa Bay Times that he was "basically doing what I said I was going to do.”
Still DeSantis usually defers to President Trump’s base. DeSantis attacked Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia’s support in the 2016 election. He urged Trump to shut down the investigation. This keeps him tops in the Trump sphere even while he creates a workable environment to do horse trading on a local level.
Never one to be easily pigeonholed, back in 2007, DeSantis was assigned to SEAL Team One and deployed to Iraq .
Did that mean he was a SEAL?… Well not Really but…
During the so-called Surge, according to the Miami Herald, DeSantis served as a senior legal advisor to the SEAL Commander of Special Operations in Task Force-West in Fallujah. DeSantis helped ensure that the missions of both Navy SEALs as well as Army Special Forces were planned according to the rule of law. At the time, a lot of prisoners were picked up and transferred to Iraqi Authorities. Lawyer DeSantis was responsible for overseeing that this process was done legally.
Given his role, it is quite — well — interesting why he later touted photographs of himself tricked out in combat gear and hoisting serious firepower — when he really was dressed far more often as a Navy orderly who did paper work. In other words, Governor DeSantis was a paper pusher not a soldier. DeSantis later made his association with SEALS a pillar of his campaign. Mailers featuring that one photo of him in uniform and holding a gun were sent statewide.
According to the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs, there are more than 1.5 million veterans living in Florida. Clerk or SEAL, every Veteran counts. That said, we are not sure how many paralegals live in Florida. Governor De Santis has not touted images of him working behind piles of books — even if it was his actual role in the military.
Lawyer or soldier it may not matter much since hopefully, today he now wears a uniform with snake boots.
#RonDeSantis #GovernorRonDeSantis #FloridaGovernor #SEAL #JAG #SURGE #BurmesePythons #PythonSuperBowl
In World War 1, a young front line healthcare worker from a Chicago Suburb survived his wounds and went on to become a world famous author. Two years before America got involved in the conflict, Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway volunteered to drive ambulances for the Italian Army. In Hospital, the young volunteer fell in love with a nurse. His experiences there ultimately were fictionalized into one of his most famous Novels, A FAREWELL TO ARMS.
EXIT of the DAY: Exit 1a on I-95n to Key Biscayne Causeway, in Miami, Florida
About 120 miles southwest of this first northbound EXIT on Interstate 95 is the funky enclave of Key West. Key West is connected by culture and history to many, many cultures.
Back in 1939, just before the Nazis invaded Poland to start World War Two, the Spanish Civil War ended and for many American volunteers it was a sad day since Fascism defeated Democracy. One American sympathizer for the defeated side was the famous author Ernest Hemingway.
Papa Hemingway had been a long time lover of all things Spanish. He annually would travel to Spain to follow the Bullfight circuit, he often went to Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls, and he vacationed often in Spain’s Pyrenee Mountains fly fishing for trout. Papa also owned homes on either side of the Gulf Stream in both Key West, Florida and in Havana, Cuba. There he immersed himself in writing, marlin fishing, and hanging out at the birthplace of the daiquiri, Bar Floridita, La Habana, cuna del Daiquirí, with his Cuban amigos speaking Spanish fluently.
So when Spanish General, Francisco Franco sought to overthrow the left-leaning popularly elected government in Madrid, Hemingway took the threat to democracy personally. He got involved the best way he knew how.
As per Hemingway Historian and University of Idaho Professor Dale Graden :
"This brutal war lasted for nearly three years (July 1936-March 1939), claiming at least one-half million lives and sending another one-half million refugees into exile. For Ernest Hemingway, the fight against General Francisco Franco became a cause of utmost importance. In March 1937, he traveled to Madrid to observe conditions firsthand. Reporting on the war for the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), Hemingway penned 31 dispatches from Spain. "
"He also helped to produce a pro-Republican film, "The Spanish Earth." His experiences during the civil war provided the material for what many consider to be Hemingway’s most famous novel, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1940).
After Franco's victory, Spain became a dictatorship until 1975 whereupon, with the help of the Spanish Royal Family, Spain became a true democracy again. But it was one of the last Western European countries to throw off the chains of a dictator.
Whether it be encroaching autocracy or a world at war, it is good to appreciate the artistry of a First Responder from an earlier era — and era not too distant nor too different from our own.
#ErnestHemingway #Suicide #SpanishCivilWar #Cuba #GeneralFranco #KeyWest #EXITOFTHEDAY #UniversityofIdaho #ForWhomtheBellTolls
#PapaHemingway #LaFloridita #LifeMagazine #firstresponder #NobelLaureate