The issue of paying a bribe to obtain the release of Americans captured by ISIS has become an open item of discussion in recent weeks. ISIS beheaded several Americans.

We are aware that citizens of other countries have been captured by ISIS. Most countries or friends paid the asked bribe to obtain their release and save their lives. $2.5 million generally being the asking price.

The position of the United States has remained adamant. We do not pay bribes, tribute or ransom.

The first time the United States as a nation was confronted with this problem was 1785. The Barbary pirates, working out of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, were raiding U.S. merchant ships in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

On this day in 1785, the United States paid Algiers and Tunis $800,000 and a frigate to cease and desist. Of course, the pirates did not. They continued to capture American vessels for the goods being carried. Also for the sailors and others on board who were held for ransom.

Two Barbary Wars resulted in the early 1800s as a result. Thomas Jefferson and James Madisn were active in opposing the pirates during their terms in office.

Terminology developed at the time which is still with us today.

The Federalist Party’s cry was “…..millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.”

The other verbiage involves words contained in the Marine Hymn: “To the shores of Tripoli…..”

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious! Lisa outdid herself. I over ate. Returned home and went into an early sleep on a full stomach. Oh, well. I was off my diet yesterday.

Jake did not look good. He is supposedly better. Thin, however. At least I thought so. I was the only one. He is off table food. No more begging. He seems to know it. Did not come around as he normally did while we were eating. The vet has Jake on a bland diet.

Cold last night! Hit 57 degrees. I succumbed. I turned the heat on. The high today is projected at 66. Still cold. Tonight’s low in the mid 60s. In a couple of days, it will be warm again. Day and night. Comfortable warm.

Enjoy your day!


Love Thanksgiving dinner! I overate. Nothing new. I had an edge this time. Recently lost 16 pounds so there was a lot of room to do damage. The scale this morning said I only gained one pound.

Lisa cooked a magnificent meal. A typical one. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy and salad. Pumpkin pie for desert.

Ally helped her mother. She was kneeling on a chair by the kitchen cupboard. She made the salad. She mashed the potatoes. The potatoes were a first time for her. She kept asking if she they were finished yet.

Robert was quiet when I arrived. What’s the matter, I asked. His brother Cameron was home from college. Robert had taken over Cameron’s bedroom. Robert could not sleep in what he now considered his bedroom the night before. He could have slept in the room he previously shared with his sister Ally. There are bunk beds in the room. However, he thought he was beyond the bunk bed and sharing the sleeping with Ally. He slept on the couch instead. He then spoke like an adult. He told me the couch was uncomfortable and he did not sleep all night.

Jake had a field day. He was not to be table fed. However, he was there looking up constantly with those sad eyes. Jake ended up having a full meal.

Dinner was at one. I hurried home afterwards. Did not even stay for pumpkin pie. My TV/internet show this morning was not ready. Not even close as it turned out. It took me five straight hours to get it together.

Yesterday was a long pants day. First time in several months. Today the weather is back to warm. Shorts!

Many are telling me they are ordering my recently published book The World Upside Down for Xmas presents or stocking stuffers. A good idea. If you are so inclined, the book can be found on and

I am off to do The Key West Lou Legal hour. If you miss show and want to see it, go to You Tube. Enter Key West Lou and the date of the show. The show is every Friday. The show will appear at the top of the You Tube list. The show is live Friday. It is not You Tubed till Tuesday, however.

Enjoy your day!



Happy thanksgiving!

I love family holidays. The warmth of the company, the terrific food. I am prepared to pig out at 1 when I sit down with Lisa and family.

I have a ton of comments this morning.

When I was young and into my early years of law practice, there were something called Blue Laws. These laws prohibited retail selling on Sunday. Stores were closed. It gave people a day certain for rest and an opportunity to keep holy the Sabbath.

Only a few areas today have blue Laws. I am beginning to think there should be a return of them. For Sundays and legal holidays. It bothers me the many stores that will be open today to get a jump on Black Friday. Most, if not all, should be able to kick back and enjoy a holiday.

The weather outside…..It was 60 degrees this morning. Our first really cold day. In the high 50s during the night. The high today will be 75, however. The next week in the low 80s by day and low 70s in the evening. I have come to enjoy these occasional cold days. A break from the usual.

I wrote yesterday morning about Greece and some of the poor intentionally injecting themselves with the HIV virus to obtain a government pension of 700 euros a month. The sad story of what has been going on in Greece. Turns out I was wrong. The story was false.

The scenario. In late September, the World Health Organization issued a report that a significant number of Greeks were self inflicting themselves with the HIV virus. In order to qualify for a 700 euro a month pension which they would use in turn to feed their families. Greater love hath no man…..desperate people do desperate things.

I came across the report in an article in early October. I learned long ago that you cannot believe everything on the internet. I looked for some verification/support for the story. I could find none. Ergo, I placed the tale in tha back of my mind for another day. There was uncertainty as to validity on my part.

This past Monday, the story hit the internet and media big time. Liberals and conservatists alike were reporting the story. Even Russ Limbaugh and Matt Drudge. Ugh! All of a sudden for no particular reason, the story had legs.

I reported the situation in yesterday’s blog. Even talked about it on my blog talk radio show Tuesday evening. It fit into the Greece I have come to know.

I decided to do next week’s KONK Life column about the apparent very sad situation. Around noon yesterday, I went back on the internet to verify the facts, see if anything more had developed, etc. prior to writing the column.

Shock of shocks! I discovered the story was not true. There was as much coverage as the Monday revelation.

The World Health Organization is part of the United Nations. A well respected organization. It has done much good over the years. Also known as WHO. WHO retracted their September report. The organization said it had misspoken. Instead of self inflict, the verbiage should have been inject. The increase in prostitutes from East Europe was the cause/problem. Not self infliction, though WHO admitted their were some anecdotal cases reported.  The anecdotal bothers me, however for another day perhaps.

WHO claimed an editorial error. Their error became mine and everyone else’s. Sorry.

I started last night at Don’s Place. A good crowd. Chatted with Don, Hershel, and Stan a while. Mikey was in. Mikey used to hang out at Don’s Place. An excellent golfer, we played together several times. Though I was in a totally different league. Mikey moved to Lexington, Kentucky three years ago to a new job. Likes the job and doing well in it. Mikey is in Key West for the holiday. It was good to see him again.

Toni was sitting at the bar watching Kentucky play. She is a die hard Kentucky fan. She was jumping off the stool every time Kentucky did something right. Especially when they stole the ball.

Then to the Chart Room. Chatted with Sheila, Peter, and Emily. Met Dale. He is from the Jersey shore. Sails his sailboat down every winter for a six month Key West stay. An interesting guy.

Syracuse was playing Baylor in the finals of the Maui Classic at 10. I went home to watch the game. I saw only three minutes of it. I fell asleep. I see from this morning’s news that Syracuse won 74-67. A good victory since Baylor was a ranked team. Next week, Indiana.

I wrote a couple of days ago how I could not understand why the cost of gasoline in Key West went from $3.51 a gallon to $3.69 in two weeks. This morning I read on the internet that the cost off gasoline has gone down. The average yesterday across the U.S. was $3.29 a gallon. Why then $3.69 in Key West? I will never understand. Don’t write and tell me it is the cost of driving the gasoline from Miami to Key West. Not 40 cents a gallon worth!

Tomorrow morning my TV/internet show. The Key West Lou Legal Hour. Lots of good stuff to talk about. Not including the Greece/HIV story obviously. Join me for an interesting fast moving hour.

Via television from Key West through Boca Raton on Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19. Via the internet world wide.

I finally got a copy of my book yesterday. The World Upside Down. I got to see it and hold it. Exciting! If you are interested, the book is available on and both as an ebook and a paperback.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!



St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Duval  has existed almost since the beginnings of Key West. A much loved institution. Till recently. Dissension has arisen.

Joe Lowe has been organist at St. Paul’s for forty years. Besides playing during religious  services, Lowe has also for many years played either the organ or piano or both at noon each week day. Many the day when I would be walking Duval, I would stop in for a few minutes to listen to Lowe’s rendition of classical and Broadway show tunes. Yes, Broadway show tunes in the House of God. A perfect setting. Many tourists enjoyed Lowe’s noon time endeavors, also.

St. Paul’s recently opted to let Lowe go. He will no longer be the musical mainstay at the Church. Some parishioners were not pleased. One was Mary Deasy. Mary had sung in the choir for years and, if I recall correctly, may also have been a member of the Church’s board at one time.

Mary picketed St. Paul’s. Two signs. Each in support of Lowe and in opposition to the Church’s position. Apparently Mary felt strongly about Lowe’s dismissal.

What a weird wind this morning! Strong! Coming in from the north east. More from the east. Off the Atlantic. Palm tree bending wind. Never the less, the weather will be in the low 80s today. It will continue in the low 80s till Thanksgiving Day. Then it will drop to the low 70s. Cold for us locals! A storm up north that will hit the eastern seaboard Wednesday will be the cause of the drop in temperature. When the weather up north is bad, it is bad here. Bad as we understand it.

I spent a good six hours yesterday writing this week’s KONK Life column. Walmart’s Shame. It has to do with the reasons behind Walmart low balling its employees pay wise and Walmart’s reluctance to do its fair share charity wise. Interesting stuff. Read the article, if you can.

The World Upside Down. My first published work. I will receive my copy of the book today. The bound covered one. I am excited. The book is apparently being well received in Europe. gives it five stars.

Enjoy your day!





Happy  Thanksgiving!

This morning the turkeys are in the oven, pies cooling, the children watching the Macy Thanksgiving Parade, families getting together. A good day! A thank you God day.

A quick  history of Thanksgiving.

The gathering of Pilgrims and Indians in 1621 is considered the first Thanksgiving. It was not. It was called a “gathering.”

There were no more thanksgivings/gatherings till 1776. George Washington called for a day of thanksgiving. The first time the word was actually used. The Revolution was in full swing. The colonies had separated from Great Britain.

The day was enjoyed. Washington wanted to continue it every year. The politicians of the day said no. Even Thomas Jefferson. It had to do with Pilgrims, Puritans, and satanic beliefs. A hot potato.

There was not another thanksgiving till 1864. Abraham Lincoln was happy with the way the Civil war was going. He had a new general by the name of Ulysses Grant who had won several battles, The Emancipation Proclamation was law. Lincoln decreed the fourth thursday of November was hence forth to be celebrated as a day of thanksgiving.

It so continued till 1941. It became a legal holiday at that time. Thanks to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

That’s the story.

Lunch yesterday was at Goldman’s Deli with Robert and Ally. Business appeared to be half of what it normally was. I attribute it to the competition of the nearby new Five Guys and the boulevard construction.

The grandkids and I talked about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Had Santa Claus telephoned me yet this year? No, not yet. He’s busy. Soon, however.

Oh, how they believe!

Before going out last night, I had to deliver the turkey from my refrigerator to Lisa. It was heavy! Robert and Ally were excitedly waiting for me. They took the turkey from me to carry inside.

My evening out was Don’s Place. A good  crowd. Including Don, David, Herschel, Stan, Erika, Toni, Bebe, Rob, and others. The holiday spirit was in the air.

I read an article this morning that the second biggest drinking night in the U.S. is Thanksgiving Eve. The first of course is New Year’s Eve.

I stopped at Publix for a few things on the way home. The new one. The place was crowded. I was surprised. Apparently most people had waited till the last minute to shop.

Two Thanksgiving dinners for me today! With Lisa and family at 1. With friends at 6. A heavy day!

Donna emailed me yesterday. She forwarded a You Tube video of Terri made in Dusseldorf,  Germany. Terri recently appeared with the Symphony there.

The video is less than six minutes. Well done. I recommend you take a look at it.

Tomorrow is friday. Friday is The Key West Lou Legal Hour. Please watch. Ten o’clock in the morning my time. Available on TV throughout the Keys and Miami-Dade County. Comcast Channel 87 and U-Verse Channel 19. Available world wide via internet.

You will enjoy!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, also!




The Chart Room again last night. Peter and Che at the bar. A good crowd otherwise.

Sheila came in after a while. Lovely Sheila. The trolley train lady. A friend to all. Loved by every one.

Sheila had a bag full of small cranberry nut bread loafs. In aluminum pans. Still warm.

This is for you, Louis. Happy Thanksgiving! She handed me one of the loaves.

How nice! How thoughtful!

When I left the Chart Room, I was headed out to dinner. Not sure where. As I got in the car, I said to myself…..go home… the warm cranberry nut bread. That is what I did. Made some tea and covered the still warm bread with butter. My dinner! The best!

Thank you, Sheila.

While I was at the Chart Room, Sheila introduced me to Cori. Same pronunciation as son in law Corey’s name, except spelled differently.

Cori just received her doctorate from Exeter in England. Her PhD is in Maritime History.

She works at the Custom House as Curator of History. Knows my Corey well. Knows Lisa, also.

Yesterday morning after finishing the day’s blog, I received a telephone call from Jenna. Could we do my TV/Internet show at 4 today instead of friday? Krystal wanted to take a long weekend to spend the holiday with her folks. Ok, I said.

Only one problem. I prepare the show during the week a bit at a time each day. Ergo, I was not ready to do the show at 4. I could get ready, but would have to work diligently till 4. I did.

The show was recorded and will be shown at 10 friday morning as usual.

The topics are interesting. Let me share a few with you.

Thanksgiving. I did a history of the holiday. The pilgrims and Indians did not give us Thanksgiving. Abraham Lincoln did.

Since the show has many viewers from foreign lands who are unaware of Thanksgiving, I explained from a practical perspective what happens on Thanksgiving Day. The Macey parade, a glutonous meal, and falling asleep in front of the TV while watching college football after dinner.

The Hostess failure bothers me. A particular union is one of the problems. Another and greater problem however is the sugar industry. By virtue of a 1934 law, heavy tariffs are placed on sugar imported. As a result, no one ships sugar into the U.S. The U.S. sugar industry has a monopoly. So…..sugar costs twice as much in the U.S. as elsewhere in the world. Hostess obviously used sugar big time.

The sugar law is a form of corporate welfare. Similar to the subsidy paid oil companies. The sugar lobby in Washington is strong. They make sure the tariff program continues. There is more to this story.

A secession follow up. This whole thing is a joke. For real. Not real.

Took a walk back in history with Enrico Caruso, Casablanca, war time rationing, and Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary pass.

Three interesting stories where today’s cell phone was instrumental in catching wrongdoers.

The aforementioned are some of the topics discussed. I will share more with you tomorrow.

Needed a gas fill up yesterday. Stopped at the Citgo station on the boulevard. The boulevard of construction. I chatted with the woman running the place. I noticed there was a sign saying free coffee. I asked why. She told me business was down 60 per cent and they were trying to induce business. She further told me that the nearby MacDonald’s was down 61 per cent and was considering closing.

I find the MacDonald thing hard to believe. The Key West MacDonald’s is one the highest volume MacDonald’s in Florida. I hope the lady was wrong.

The boulevard construction is a rip off. Two years to complete. I can understand why. Very few people working the job. Some days no one. The highest number I have counted for one day is 7. I drive past the site at least two times a day.

Tomorrow the bird! I am excited. I was excited as a kid and continue to be excited as an adult. I love holidays!

I suspect the reason holidays excited me back when was because my family was of modest means. Not on holidays, however. The table was full of goodies!

Enjoy your day!