I attended a Drinking Liberally meeting last night. Met my expectations, failed to meet my expectations.

Drinking Liberally is a political and social organization were self-identified liberals and progressives gather in bars to socialize and talk politics. It is national. Hundreds of local organizations.

I never knew of the group’s existence till last week. Saw a small notice in the Key West Citizen advising its next meeting. Did some quick research. Decided to attend.

The meeting was last night at VFW on Northern Boulevard. Five to 6:15.

I was disappointed in the drinking portion. Conservative rather than liberal. More water drinkers than alcohol.

I was impressed with the meeting itself. Grass roots. Most attendees senior citizens. With one exception. A young man about 25.

Topics covered many issues. Too many. The organization is still seeking its way. It will get there.

I was impressed with the ladies. Participated to the fullest. Greater than the men in attendance. No bashful women in the room.

The group meets the first thursday of every month at the VFW at 5. I plan on continuing. The comments were revealing.

Then to the Chart Room. John bartending. David came in. Always enjoy David’s company.

Paul showed up with a friend. Paul was merely showing the room to his friend.

Met Elaine and Ken. Elaine an exquisite beauty. Involved deeply in charitable work. Especially, the American Cancer Society.

Ken a semi-retired oncologist.

Elaine and Ken married 57 years. Award winning! Two children, 4 grandchildren.

Periodic visitors to Key West. Usually stay at Marquesa.

Ken shared an interesting experience. He was a senior at Northwestern Medical School. Senior students were sent to the homes of the poor to provide services. One was baby deliveries.

Deliveries performed right at the home. Stirrups required. Two coke bottles for each foot covered with a shower curtain. To insure a germ free environment , newspapers were laid under and over the mother to be.

Elaine and Ken leave today. Hope to run into them the next time they visit Key West.

Devin came in. I did not recognize him at first. We met several months ago in the Chart Room. I wrote about him at the time.

Devin is 40ish. From Illinois. He and his brother own and operate a large farm. They know what they are doing. Get their product grown and sold. They work with the major food corporations. Did not fight them as the food cycle changed.

Devin has a Key West condo. He is back for several months. I am sure we will run into each other again.

Tom and Fran Dixon arrived last night. we get together sunday. They left their home in cold and snowy Buffalo for the heat of Key West. In for a surprise. A cold front coming in. Monday, tuesday and wednesday. Monday evening a low of 57. Cold!!!

The Key West Citizen reported this morning of a bull shark problem in the Key West Bight. Three have frequently been seen. Divers and boaters concerned. Scared. Especially divers who clean boat bottoms.

One female, two males. The female 8-9 feet long. Weight estimated at 500 pounds.

The female was some how hooked and netted. Dragged 6 miles out and released. It is assumed the two males will leave the area. They apparently were enjoying the comforts of the female. They will leave seeking female companionship elsewhere.

Robots/artificial intelligence. Not discussed enough. A danger already arrived and anticipated to spread big time over the next five years.

I have spoken and written about robots taking over human jobs for a year. Few seemed concerned. I was beginning to think I was a voice in the wilderness. I was extremely disappointed the issue was not discussed during the Presidential campaign.

Recently, a word here and there in the media. Finally.

I shall speak to the issue the next several days. A few words.

A recent study by economists at major universities concerning middle class jobs interesting. Bottom line: Where robots take routine middle class jobs, those workers drop out of the work force. They leave the job market entirely or are pushed into low paying employment.

The study links unemployment with automation.

An interesting study observation: Robots don’t just co-occur with unemployment, they cause it.

As I have previously commented, robots and artificial intelligence already quietly replacing human jobs. Some auto assembly lines no longer use humans. Work done by huge robots. McDonald’s testing automated kiosks to take orders. Anticipated that in 18 months, the McDonald drive in window will have a robot handing you your order and change.

Tractor trailers being tested for driverless operation. Uber testing driverless cars in two states.

Foxconn is the major manufacturer  of the Apple I Phone. One million two hundred thousand employees. One million of which work at factories in China. Already let go 60,000 employees at one plant. Replaced by robots. Working towards all plants going robot by 2020.

Query: Where will robot unemployed humans find work? Requires attention.

Enjoy your day!




It was August 22, 1992. Hurricane Andrew blowing over the Bahamas as a #4. Two days later, it would be over South Florida. Florida City, Homestead and Kendall. Still a #4. some say a #5. Winds reported at 140 miles per hour.

Ninety percent of the communities were destroyed. A U.S. Air Base wiped out.

On my way to Key West three weeks later, drove through Homestead. I had never seen devastation like this. As far as the eye could see in any direction, not a building left standing. Occasionally, one wall.

The scene reminded me of Berlin at the end of World War II.

Hurricanes are part of life in the Keys. I have experienced several. More will come. May we never experience one as bad as Andrew.

Yesterday was column writing time. Every Sunday. Took the afternoon. Researching done the day before.

Title: Teach To The Test Fails. Bush 2’s No child Left Behind Act causing significant problems. Questionable if anything positive resulted therefrom. Examples of the down side will shock you.

The column publishes wednesday.

Last night at the Chart Room was the most valuable I have ever experienced. I learned a lot.

Met Devin. A farmer from Illinois. He owns two properties in Key West. An upscale condominium and a rental property.

Devin and his brother own and operate the farm. Their father before them. Before their father, their grandfather.

I got into Monsanto with him. I have always been under the impression that it was difficult to survive with Monsanto in the picture. He showed me at length how wrong I was. He is happy operating with Monsanto involved.

One of Devin’s crops is soybeans. Soybeans and other things grown find their way to the Far East for ultimate sale.

I live and learn. Forget sometimes there are two sides to a story.

Larry Smith tonight at the Little Room Jazz Club.

The Key West City Commission is seriously considering acquiring the old electric property in Bahama village. Whether to do so is on the ballot for a recommendation vote in November.

Three buildings. Abandoned for 50 years. There are environmental problems. Some resolved, others not. The nots generally not known nor discovered at this time.

Keys Energy will give the property to Key west for nothing. A kicker. Key West has to agree to relieve Keys Energy from any future environmental cleanup. Present numbers set the cleanup of problems known at around $2 million on the high side.

The property is adjacent to Truman Waterfront.

Why Key West is even going to the trouble of a referendum, I do not understand. The building and land are contaminated. As soon as remodeling work begins, further environmental problems will be discovered. Under federal law, the City as owner at the time of cleanup will be responsible. Guaranteed there will be additional environmental problems and they will be in the mullions. It’s the nature of the beast. A former electric company.

The contamination underground could run to the Truman waterfront property.

Nothing for nothing is the saying. The City will be accepting a pig in the poke if it takes title. Beware of those bearing gifts. All that glitters is not gold.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has provided a letter saying no further cleanup required. The City should not buy it. Once a new problem is discovered, cleanup becomes the order of the day.

Only in Key West. A Sheriff’s deputy who works as a correction officer at the county jail has been arrested.

An inmate has been incarcerated since 2013 on cocaine related charges. The deputy offered to help him escape for $400,000. The deal was made. $150,000 to be paid up front. The balance when the guy was out of jail.

The inmate and his lawyer told the authorities. The deputy was set up. When he was paid the $150,000 in the CVS parking lot in Big Pine, he was arrested. Undercover police officers paid him the money.

Enjoy the day!






Key West empty last night. Hemingway Days ended. Everyone heading out of town. Sad that Hemingway Days had come to an end. From my perspective, one of the most enjoyable Key West events.

One hundred twenty two participants in the Hemingway Look Alike Contest. Charlie Boice from Palm Beach Gardens won. He had been trying for 15 years. There were winners in the Hemingway Days Arm Wrestling Contest at Sloppy Joe’s. Males and females participating.

I was out and about yesterday. That is why I knew the Hemingway people were moving out or already gone.

It was Martin’s for brunch. Dee was supposed to meet me at noon. She never showed. I telephoned her. She had forgotten. An indicator of how much she thinks of me. I enjoyed eggs benedict alone.

Spent the afternoon writing this week’s KONK Life column. Harry Truman’s Mother In Law. Did he have a mother in law! A cross he silently bore. You will find the article interesting.

Schooner Wharf to start the evening. Unusually quiet. About a third of the bar occupied. Again, the Hemingways had departed. I enjoyed a couple of drinks. Missy from Don’s Place bartending. Met Devin who is in charge of maintenance at Sunset Key. He is maintenance! We talked about L’Atitudes.

Then to Pepi’s for dinner. Very few customers, also. Ate at the bar. Kelley bartending. My usual. Barbecued chicken and mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes buried in brown gravy.

Pepi’s had an historical listing on the back of the menu. Pepi’s was founded in 1909. The menu listed other historical events which occurred in 1909. One was the granting of the first patent for a gasoline electric hybrid auto. Took a long time to become a reality!

Randy Roberts is one of the great Key West entertainers. He has starred at La Te Da for 17 years. As Cher, Judy Garland, etc. He is Cher and Judy Garland. Outstanding drag performances!

Randy will appear tomorrow night on America’s Got Talent. Eight o’clock on NBC. Watch! Hope he wins!

Lobster Mini Season wednesday and thursday this week. The enthusiasts have already begun arriving. There were a bunch who apparently rented the house next door to me. Around 11 last night the noise began. Big time! Till 2 in the morning. Music to deafen by!

Thirty thousand visitors expected for the two day mini season.

I have been critical of recent court decisions. Too far out. People are losing respect for the judicial system.

An example is a federal appellate decision involving a Texas case. The police pulled a car over. The reason being they thought the occupants were engaged in criminal activity. Bullshit items were the alleged justification for pulling the car over. The court held that air fresheners, rosaries and pro police stickers could be construed as indicators of criminal activity.

Would you believe!

We are edging closer and closer to becoming a police state.

Ignition key works. My back does not. Sciatica. Wow! No anti-gravity treadmill this morning. They say that today 80 is 60. I never had sciatica at 60!

Enjoy your day!