Russia was always the bad guy. Made to look bad even when not so. No more. Russia has learned. Primarily due to Putin. With skill. Making the U.S. look bad occasionally. More frequently it seems.

Russia has a Federal Drug Control Service. A recent report blames the U.S. with the increase in opium production in Afghanistan. the increase has caused more than one million to die world wide. It also has caused a transnational increase in crime from drug sales.

The thrust of the report is that Afghan opium production is 40 times higher since the U.S. led NATO invasion in 2001. Remember, Operation Enduring Freedom.

I still do not know why we are in Afghanistan or why we remain. Recall the Afghans took down Russia in the 1980s. No one seems to win against the Afghans. The battles rage year after year with the end never in sight.

I wrote two major articles for KONK Life in the past several years re Afghanistan and opium. The last two years ago.

The point in each concerned the Afghan poppy fields which turned into heroin on American streets.

An interesting observation in each was that in a war that has resulted in huge damage and thousands of lives lost, not one poppy field has been bombed. Nor one poppy farmer killed. Nor has one war lord owning the fields ever complained about damage.

The fields are protected.

I have suggested graft exists. On our side. Militarily and otherwise. If not, why do the poppy fields grow without interference and heroin reaches our shores to continue killing and addicting our people?

Russia does not say what I have directly. It merely says opium production 40 times higher today than 16 years ago when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to save the nation.

We were going to bring democracy to a country that never sought it. We failed. In the meantime, contributed greatly to its destruction.

The Russians are using truth against us as concerns Afghanistan. Amazing! They have learned.

Great evening last night. My friend Ted Kane from Wampsville, NY is in Key West on a fishing trip. He enjoys flat fishing this time of the year. Visits Key West several times a year.

Wampsville sits in Madison County in the middle of New York State. It is next door to what was my home county, Oneida.

Ted a lawyer, also. Finished his legal career with a long stretch as Court Clerk. Actually, the confidential clerk to two Judges.

Clerks are a Judge’s brains. Clerks generally research and write the opinions which the Judge then signs.

I never knew Ted back when. How we failed to trip over each other, I do not know. I met Ted 3 years ago at the Chart Room. We have become good friends.

We had dinner together at Hot Tin Roof, followed by a drink at the Chart Room.

I returned home after my pleasant evening out to discover the upstairs air conditioning was not working. It was Hell! I could not get comfortable downstairs. Ended up sleeping in my bed upstairs with the fan over me going full blast.

This morning’s Citizens’ Comment carried an interesting observation. It takes forever to build any public building or edifice these days. The writer asked…..Why? Flagler built the Seven Mile Bridge in less than a year. At a time when construction equipment was no where as sophisticated as today’s.

Two big things on the agenda this morning. The Senate’s proposed health plan and a visit to my heart doctor. Both can be painful. I will do better with my heart than the American people are going to do with the health plan.

Enjoy your day!



Great day yesterday! I finally got out of the house. Reborn.

My first stop was Tammy for a manicure. Always a pleasant experience. We talk about everything.

Yesterday, the Key West Hospital. Tammy told me the first bill received for her son’s emergency appendectomy a month ago was $40,000. They received a new one this week. $69,000. With indication it might not be the end.

Tammy and her husband have no insurance. Their mistake, their problem. Does not mean the hospital bill should be an ever spiraling thing. The son was only in the hospital one night. Nothing unusual about the surgery.

Then Walgreens. I hate pharmaceutical companies. They are rip offs.

I have needed Nexium for several years. Two pills a day. Stomach acid. A couple of weeks ago, the bill went from $36 for a one month 60 pill supply to $174. I switched to the generic. Same supply cost me $40. More than Nexium itself.

I went to pick up my second month supply of the generic. The one I paid $40 for last month. $83 this month.

No one to complain to. The insurance company said it is the manufacturer that sets the price. I have talked with manufacturers in the past. Was told it is their right to price as they see fit

F–k ’em all! They have to be brought down.

Don’s Place lat night for David’s retirement party. David is 66. A highway construction expert. Packing it in.

Lots of good company. David, Don, Boomer, Angus, Michael, Nancy, several of David’s personal friends, Keith, Jennifer, and me. July 4th food. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and salads.

It was a hot summer day in Don’s Place. Hotter than outside. The air conditioning was down. Monday. Still not fixed as of last night.

Don has a contract with the air conditioner company. Includes 3 month visits to clean and check the units. Been a customer five years.

Owner on vacation. Don says some kid running the business. Don was calling since Monday. Air conditioning people came over yesterday for first time. Claim to have found and corrected the problem.

Don went on the roof to check the fixed unit at 6 last night. Parts of the unit was covered in ice. He called the kid. No satisfaction. Should be working. Holiday vacation had started. Could not return till Tuesday.

Don is more patient than me. I would have gotten a new company last Monday night.

Anyhow, it was hot!!!

I only had two drinks. A good boy was I.

The Old Seven Mile Bridge closes down July 5 for four years. Repairs. The bridge about 45 miles up US 1. It is part of the old Flagler Railroad. The hurricane of 1935 wiped out the railroad. Portions the Seven Mile Bridge remain standing. About half.

Has turned into a place to walk. An enjoyable exciting experience. The wood bridge always crowded. I visit every two years. Generally with the grandkids. We walk and walk and walk. They then walk some more while I wait for them.

Then to Boondocks or No Name Pub.

A great day!

Many of Florida’s beaches and rivers clogged with ugly smelly green algae. Not Key West. Hopefully it will miss us.

The cause has to do with fresh lake waters getting into the rivers and ocean. Something bad in the fresh water.

People aroused. Can’t blame them. Thousands showed at one beach to protest the algae.

The Army corps has become involved.

William Hackley’s life in 1855 has become a source of knowledge.

We are into breast feeding. His wife had a baby. Her breast milk was drying up. Hackley borrowed someone’s goat. The goat was dry. Hackley wrote today that he might have to go to Havana for a goat.

On the corner of Duval and Front Streets in Key West stands a majestic brick building. Today, it harbors a clothing store.

Constructtion of the bank building occurred in 1897. $14,380.35.

The movie Top Gun made Tom Cruise an international star. The female lead was Key West’s own Kelley McGillis. Owner at the time or soon thereafter of Kelley’s Restaurant on Whitehead.

I mention Cruise this morning because I discovered he was born in Syracuse. Fifty miles from my home town Utica, the home of Syracuse University where I went to law school, and a city where I tried many cases.

He was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. Sounds like he was born to money. He was not. His family was very poor.

A success story.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Monsanto, GMOs…..The cross society is being forced to bear.

The latest development regarding Monsanto’s super duper pesticide Roundup was in the news this past week. A Dr. Patrick Moore was appearing on a French talk show. Moore is pro-GMOs and anti-global warming. In many quarters, he is considered a spin doctor and truth bender for big oil, pesticides and GMO agribusinesses.

Dr. Moore said re Roundup, “You can drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you.” The interviewer had a bottle of Roundup with him. Twice he offered  Dr. Moore a drink. Twice Dr. Moore refused. Dr. Moore prematurely concluded the interview with “I am not crazy” and “You are a complete jerk.” Following which Dr. Moore upped and walked out.

The American media continues failing to report negative GMO happenings. Newsweek and Huffington Post reported the interview. Plus, some ultra liberal publications. My question is where were other major media organizations? I have written and discussed this problem before. TV and the written media avoid knocking Monsanto and GMOs. A fact I attribute to corporate America controlling/owning both.

Socrates drank the hemlock with full knowledge of its dangerous composition. Dr. Moore refused to drink his hemlock.

There is a video of the interview floating around on the internet. Easy to find. Interesting to watch.

Crazy weather beginning yesterday afternoon. The day’s high was 86 degrees. Around supper time, the wind picked up, the shy darkened, thundering occurred, and the deluge was upon us. It remained so all night.

The temperature this morning is 67 degrees. The high will be 74. A 12 point drop from yesterday. Cold this morning and expected to be cold all day.

Most winds come from the north. The northwest to be precise. About six times a year, the wind comes from the south. The south wind is a sure sign a storm is on the way. Yesterday afternoon, the wind started coming in heavy from the south.

I can tell which way the wind is driving by how my palm trees bend.

The upstairs air conditioner required fixing. It had leaked big time the night before. It took Sub-Zero six hours to correct the problem. This is while the temperature was still 86 degrees. The upstairs was hot! I felt sorry for the Sub-Zero person.

Saw the doctor and had x-rays of my left hip. No fracture to either the hip or pelvis. Aleve and heat recommended. If it still hurts tuesday, return.

It still hurts. However, much less. I could not lie in bed last night. Spent the evening sleeping in the recliner lounge in my bedroom.

Amanda Knox is finally free free. The highest Italian court determined she and her boy friend were not guilty. The reason for the decision was not included. Under Italian law, the court has 90 days to deliver its written decision.

I remained home last night. The hip and I in the recliner from early evening. A good evening, however. Man of La Mancha on Turner and NCAA basketball on CBS. I was flipping back and forth between the channels. A most enjoyable time!

Enjoy your day!