RUSSIA COPYING U.S. METHODS

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!

 

I WANT TO GO TO JAIL

I want to go to jail.

I was having a conversation yesterday with one of those who make this island the place it is.

He started by telling me…..I want to go to jail. Only for 30 days. I need a vacation.

He saw I was looking at him strangely. He said…..I’ve been there before. It’s not bad.

He continued…..I’ll get healthy. No smoking, no drinking. Food not bad. Rooms air conditioned. There are work out areas. I can get in shape. Plus, free medical. I will go to the infirmary, say I have chest pains, and get a free physical.

He was serious. His problem is figuring out what crime to commit. He did not want to hurt anyone. He did not want any bills to pay for whatever he did. days.He did not want a sentence longer than 30 days.

Only in Key West!

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Increased speed a bit. Not time. Crawling before walking.

I am a creature of habit. It was back to Cuban Coffee Queen for cheese toast and cold Cuban coffee. Read the newspapers.

Today was to be haircut day. I still am carrying scabs on my head for what was cut off. Rescheduled the haircut for next thursday.

It was humid. Stopped into Bank of America. Great air conditioning! Sat and browsed some local newspapers.

Don’s Place first last night. Busy. Busier than I have seen in a while.

Chatted with Don and David. David excited. He was wearing a hearing aid for the first time. He could hear!

Don’s wife Stephanie came in. Toni said hello. Her arm finally ok. She had shoulder replacement surgery. A long recovery. I am happy it is all behind her.

John and Billy, too.

It was over to La Te Da for dinner. Wednesday night Tonto is at the outside bar. A terrific lady!

There was  a show upstairs at 8. Ergo, downstairs was packed.

Bobby came in. He was going to the show.

I first met Bobby 20 plus years ago. My then wife and I went to La Te Da  for the Sunday Tea Dance. First time.

We looked a bit strange. Only gay men in those days. Bobby came up and asked why we were there. He explained and we left.

Bocce tonight. Last night of the season. Even though I am not playing, I remain a member.  Stop by to encourage the team. I have become a cheerleader in my old age. Without the skirt.

Many teams tied at the top. Our team one of the them. Based on tonight’s results, the team could end up in third place or sixth. Playing the number one team. Played them under a similar experience last season. They were number one and we number three. we beat them. We ended up in second, they in third.

The Country Commission approved the $12.5 million Peary Court purchase last night. A disgrace!

Three weeks ago, my KONK Life column wa Afghanistan and America’s Heroin Addiction. This week a follow up. Heroin Will Survive New Drug Bill. The new article is available today. Both columns revealing and of current importance.

What goes around, comes around. So true!

On this date in 1536, Anne Boleyn lost her head.

Anne’s move in ousting Catherine of Aragon ultimately resulted in Anne’s beheading.

Henry VIII’s first wife Catherine of Aragon luckier. She kept her head. However, the balance of her life was desolate.

She lived in a castle. One small room. Left the room only for mass. Fasted continuously. Wore the hair shirt of the Order of St. Francis.

Enjoy your day!

 

SYRACUSE KIM

Last night was exciting and fun filled. All at Tavern ‘n Town.

Sitting next to me at the bar were Kim and Cecil.

Kim is originally from Syracuse. Made us instantaneous friends. Utica is 50 miles from Syracuse. I went to law school in Syracuse. Tried many cases in Syracuse.

Kim of Italian extraction, also. We talked of Utica’s restaurants. Purported to have the best Italian restaurants outside of Italy.

Cecil, her husband. Not from Syracuse. It blocked him out of the conversation on occasion.

Kim is a waitress at Michael’s. Cecil a sales representative for BREAKTHRU Beverage, a liquor distributor.

Nice people.

I was reading the newspaper when I heard behind me…..You’re sitting at a reserved seat. A seat at the bar? It was Tom. I did not recognize his voice at first.

Tom was with his lovely wife Nancy. Nancy always charming. Tom a former bocce team mate.

With them were Dan, Betty and their daughter.

Dan and Betty only visit Key West. They are here so often one forgets they are visitors. Their home is in Tampa or Fort Myers. They keep running down to Key West for fun times with the many friends they have made here over the years.

I joined the group at their table after I finished dinner. Enjoyed a couple of drinks with them. A lot of political talk. No one seemed to like Trump. Amazing! Very few like him. Nevertheless, he constantly wins.

Another part of the discussion involved Dan’s heart. He recently had three stents placed. God bless him! Should be good for another 15-20 years.

I was up at 5 this morning working.

My KONK Life column this week very interesting. Involves Afghanistan and heroin. The title Afghanistan and America’s Heroin Addiction. An eye opener.

I researched about five hours yesterday. Not enough. That is why the five o’clock starting time this morning. Took another three hours to complete the research. I will begin writing the column at one this afternoon.

My day is an all writing one. I hope to get out tonight. Absolutely out of food! Have to eat and shop for groceries.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

FISH ARE FEWER

Fishing is important to Key West and the rest of the Florida keys. To the whole world actually. For food and sport.

A recent study reveals marine population is diminishing. Since 1970, marine life has fallen 49 percent. Two causes. Over fishing and climate change.

Re over fishing, fish are being caught faster than they can reproduce.

As to climate change, carbon dioxide is blamed. The carbon dioxide is being absorbed into the oceans. Such makes the waters more acidic. Unhealthy for all marine species.

Wednesday is my day! Screw off time. I spend friday through tuesday researching and writing. Time deadlines involved. Sunday for the KONK Life column. Tuesday for the blog talk radio show. Like a full time job. Love it!

I spent a bit of time yesterday fine tuning last night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

The show went well. I decided before hand not to mention politics, Trump, or Hillary. I have had it up to here! I am smiling as I write that. Though true, I still cannot wait to watch the debates tonight.

An issue garnering interest last night involved Afghanistan. Specifically, Afghanistan’s opium and heroin trade.

The U.S. military first entered Afghanistan in 2001. Since that time, opium production has doubled. Heroin, tripled. How can this happen if Afghanistan is and has been a bloody battlefield? One from which people seek to escape.

The reason is simple. The opium fields and its workers are not touched by the war. There is no spill over of the war into the poppy growing farm lands. Off limit terrain.

Note the heroin production finds its way to the streets of America. The American people are the largest consumer of Afghan heroin.

Someone has to be on the take. Probably many. Could extend to some of our people over there.

The whole scenario amazing!

Roostica for dinner. Generally where I eat show nights. Close to home.

Fran from Buffalo, my Italian canning friend, suggested I try the Sicilian pizza at Roostica. A deep dish pizza. I do not particularly enjoy pizza. Rarely order it. However based on Fran’s recommendation, I did last night.

Wow! Absolutely delicious! Too much for one meal for me. Half sits in the refrigerator. Probably my lunch today. It will taste even better cold.

I am a political junkie. Yet the primary campaigns are turning me off. I am sick of the political pundits. Yet as mentioned earlier, I will be watching the debates tonight.

I was flipping through a high end magazine. Came across an ad for Piguet watches.

Some thirty years ago, I was in New York City on business. Had some free time. Walked a portion of Fifth Ave. I had always wanted an expensive watch. In front of me was an expensive watch store. Nothing but high priced watches for sale.

The store was crowded. Christmas time.

I looked through the show cases in the center of the store. Decided on a $25,000 Piguet. I was making money. I could afford it. I wanted to be good to Louis.

To get a sales person was impossible. One had to stand in line quite a while until the counter was reached. There were many lines.

I stood in line and finally got to a sales person. I told her the watch I was interested in. She pulled a box off the shelf and said $25,000 or whatever the specific number was.

I said I would like to see the watch and try it on. I might not like it and if so would select another brand or style.

The sales lady was not happy with me. She said there is no time. You either want it or don’t. There are other people waiting.

Of course, I did not buy the watch. I turned around and left the store.

Twenty five thousand dollars was a lot of money back then and still is today. A little fuss and attention were not unreasonable to expect.

The sad thing is I never bought an expensive watch. Never got around to it. It was never a priority. Merely a nice thing to have done for myself.

Rained during the night. Big time thunder and lightning. The white flashes into the bedroom once again. Lightning is different over the ocean.

Pouring right now. Looks like a rain day ahead.

Enjoy your day!