Happy Sunday!

I watched the Masters’ opening drives Thursday. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. They looked a bit aged. Palmer and Nicklaus definitely. Player could pass for a younger man. Palmer is 85. Nicklaus, 75. Player, 79.

It dawned on me! They are my contemporaries! I literally grew up with them. From early adulthood on. I am 79.

For the first time, I realized how I look. When it is your own face in the mirror and one you have seen daily for years, the aging process appears slow. It does not hit you as dramatically as it did watching the three golf greats. I do not look as young as I thought!

My day was spent doing further reasearch on this week’s KONK Life column. I will write it today. It concerns Iceland and Iceland’s treatment of bankers following 2008. Iceland did not let bankers push them around. Iceland went for the jugular.

My first stop last night was Louie’s Backyard. It had been quite a while since I was last there. The deck bar is one of Key West’s most beautiful locations.

I met Dan and Mitzie. They have been together five years. Dan has spent time in the keys about as long as I have. He is a retired Michigan marine owner.

We talked of many things. Especially, aging. We have comparable experiences. Like forgetting. The discussion was ultra humorous. I wish it could have been recorded.

Then it was to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. The season is definitely over! The bar empty. I enjoyed some good food and Bobby Nesbitt. Judy was her usual lovely self.

I was supposed to have dinner with Donna and Terri. They backed out at the last moment.

Walgreens in the news! Walgreens plans to close 200 stores this year. Not sure where yet. Walgreens recently merged with a European drug retailer.

Walgreens is the largest U.S. drug chain. Were you aware? I was not.

Tom Cotton in  the news again. He is on a roll since his Iran letter. He was on a TV talk show yesterday. One of his brilliant comments was to the effect we should bomb Iran now and destroy its nuclear danger once and for all. He failed to see value in the negotiation process.

Cotton is 37. He speaks like a 20 year old. He worries me. Especially since he is being groomed as Presidential timber.

I am reading Elizabeth Warren’s most recent book. A Fighting Chance. I am about two-thirds through it. Great reading!

Warren is one smart woman. Comes from a humble background. Never intended to be where she is. Her efforts over the years and her ability to get things done continue to be recognized. No question in my mind, she will be a serious candidate after Hillary is done.

Enjoy your Sunday!





I want to introduce you to the real Tom Cotton. You met him ten days ago. He is the U.S. Senator who wrote the letter to Iran. The letter signed by 46 other Republican Senators. The letter sent in an attempt to dissuade the Iranians from entering into a nuclear agreement with the United States.
My initial reaction was…..Who the hell was this guy? Thirty seven years old, a Senator only 61 days. Was he being used as a front by more experienced Republican Senators? Was he looking for 15 seconds of notoriety?
He may be the new kid on the block Senate wise. Otherwise, he is a person on track by Republican conservatives to someday be President. He is unabashedly a neoconservative Republican with a tea party attitude. Groomed by the big guys and money men to lead.
One of my initial thoughts was that Cotton was an opportunist (in the ilk of his fellow Congress persons) who could be bought with contributions and perks. Anything to enhance his career. Not so. Cotton’s danger is he believes everything he says.
His background says it all.
From Arkansas, he is 37, married and has two children. Harvard undergrad and Harvard law school. Served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two tours at the front. He volunteered the second time.
He was elected to Congress in 2012. Served one term. In 2014, elected to the Senate. In a short time, he has become the most powerful man in Washington. Notice, not one of. Rather, THE. And we didn’t know!
His Harvard senior thesis discussed our Founding Fathers and the Constitution. He claimed the Founding Fathers were wise not to put much faith in democracy because people are inherently selfish, narrow minded, and impulsive.
He defended the premise that the new country should be led by a class of intellectually superior office holders. Those whose ambitions set them apart from other men. He admitted his position might be elitist. Anyone who thought he was being an elitist was mushy headed and naive.
While at Harvard, Cotton became impressed with one of his teachers. Professor Harvey Claflin Mansfield greatly influenced him.
William Kristol was another Harvard student impressed by the Professor’s teachings. The William Kristol now Editor of the Standard Weekly and a frequent political commentator.
Kristol was a student of the Professor years before Cotton. Somewhere along the way, Kristol and Cotton met and bonded. The glue being that they thought the same way. Kristol became Cotton’s advisor/mentor.
During his one term as Congressman, Cotton introduced a bill whose language would over turn the Constitution’s  prohibition of attainder. Article I, sections 9 & 10, prohibit any legislature from declaring a person or group of persons guilty of a crime and punishing them without a judicial trial.
Kristol formed an Emergency Committee for Israel which was financially supported by those who opposed an Iran deal. The Committee gave Cotton close to $1 million in the closing weeks of his Senate campaign.
Another benefactor is Sheldon Gary Adelson.  A neoconservative opposed to any Iranian agreement. Adelson is the eighth richest man in the world,. His fortune estimated at $36.4 billion. A business magnate, he also owns the daily newspaper Israel Ha Yam.
Cotton is also supported by Floyd Abrams. Abrams is the leading American attorney with regard to issues involving First Amendment rights. A supporter of Citizens United. He interprets the Constitution being in favor of a government by the rich.
When the Hurricane Sandy relief bill was before Congress, Cotton voted against it. He said, “I don’t think Arkansas needs to bail out the Northeast.”
Cotton’s penning the Iran letter was his coming out party. A conservative superstar introduced to the world.
The frosting on the cake is that Cotton is a neocon. A neocon meteor. A uber hawk. It has been said he loves war a little too much.
Such thinking would make him a child of the military industrial complex. The rich, again. The corporations that need wars to sell their products.
Cotton bothers me. The reason he bothers me is because he believes what he says. He is not the typical politician who speaks out of both sides of his mouth, rarely takes a stand. His beliefs are so far to the right, I worry. Cotton has the blessing and support of the oligarchy. With the money of the rich and his belief in the superiority of them, he can/will go a long way.
The political mood of the country is changing. Far to the right conservatives are being elected in larger numbers. Which says to me people must want what these candidates think and preach. I fear government for the people is slipping away.



It is impossible to think of Key West and not Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway spent ten years in Key West. During that time, he did all the things people do when on the island. Drank, partied and fished. He also completed writing A Farewell To Arms.

Hemingway’s grandson Michael Hemingway was in Valencia, Spain yesterday. He met one of his grandfather’s closest friends, Francisco “Canito” Cana. Cana was a bullfight photographer during his Hemingway days.

Cana shared many stories with Michael. Especially, the “…..feasts and binges.” He told him of Pamplona and the running of the bulls. How he and Hemingway would eat a huge dinner the night before with much wine. The next day, they would watch the running of the bulls. Followed by coffee in the Plaza Castillo.

Cana added that Hemingway loved Spain, their drinking sprees, the wine they guzzled, and the flask of vodka he always carried.

First it was Syracuse, my Syracuse. Today it is Manhattan, my Manhattan. My poor Jaspers!

Not a basketball year for me.

Manhattan lost in the first game of the NCAA tournament. Manhattan had to play its way in. Had they won, the prize was playing Kentucky next.

Manhattan lost to Hampton College 74-64. Surprising since Manhattan was an 8.5 point favorite. Also, Manhattan’s record was 19-13. Whereas, Hampton’s 16-17.

Such is life! There is always next year!

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. A part of Duval Street was closed off. The area jam packed. Most wearing green and drinking glass after glass of green beer. Everyone on a Duval crawl!

An interesting factual correction re  St. Patrick. He did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. Ireland was too cold for snakes. St. Patrick did drive the idol worshiping Druid religion out as part of his Christianizing most of Ireland. Over the years, the Druids being driven out has transformed into the snake story.

Netanyahu won. Surprising. You cannot always trust the polls. Query: How will this affect Iran’s thoughts re a nuclear agreement? Iran may now fear Israel and use that reason for not entering into a deal with the United States. It is assumed Israel has nuclear bombs.

My blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spent half the show discussing Tom Cotton. The new kid on the block as I described him. A far right tea party type. Also, a neocon. Backed by big money and powerful people. Beware was my message. The man is being groomed for a Presidential run at some point.

This week’s KONK Life publishes today. My column is the Making of a Star. The Tom Cotton story. Read it. A guaranteed eye opener.

I am sick and tired hearing about Hillary’s e-mails. A red herring going nowhere. When are these idiots going to start discussing things like jobs and income inequality?

Nancy Robinson is a Key West icon. A lady. Known to everyone in Key West. Mother of Martha Robinson.

Nancy has been sick. She is still sick. In and out of the hospital. Now home. Definitely not well. Say a prayer for her.

Enjoy your day!


Syracuse No, Manhattan Yes

Yesterday was Sunday. I spent the first four hours finishing this week’s KONK Life column. Making of a Star. Re Tom Cotton. The young U.S. Senator who wrote the letter to Iran signed by 46 Republican Senators. The public should be aware of the nature of the man. A protegé of the conservative far right, he is being groomed for the Presidency. I consider him dangerous.

I was surprised at a comment by Mika Brezinski this morning. She referred to the Senators who signed the letter as “toddlers at play.” Not really. I doubt she is aware of Cotton’s background..

A guest on Good Morning Joe referred to the Congressman chairing the subcommittee looking into Hillary’s e-mails as “Gomer Pyle.”

Respect is fading in today’s society. We see it in our elected representatives. We are entitled to better from media news pundits.

After completing the column, I did yesterday’s blog.

A full morning of writing!

I took the afternoon off. I was tired from all the writing. Decided on Salute’s. Took the book I have been reading. Operation Sea Lion by Leo McKinstry. The story of England 1941 anticipating a German invasion. I finished the book while at Salute’s.

I found a table outside by the main door. Sat looking out onto the beach. Between pages, enjoyed the young ladies I felt guilty looking at the other day.

Operation Sea Lion is one of the best books I have read on World War II. I recommend it to you. The summer and fall of 1941 were very dangerous for the English. The bravery and confidence of the English people and Churchill are highly commendable. It made me wonder if we would handle a threatened invasion in the same fashion.

Last night was watching the NCAA seeds. I have no Syracuse to pull for. However, my undergraduate school made it. Manhattan College. A small Catholic college at the north end of New York near the Yonkers border.

Manhattan has a tough roll. They must play their way in. They first must beat Hampton. Their reward for winning is Kentucky. Number 1 and number 16 facing each other.

Manhattan’s coach is Steve Masiello. Played college ball for Louisville as a walk on. Got to two Final Fours, one won. Thereafter, he was an assistant coach to Rick Pitino at Louisville for six years.

Go ‘Cuse now becomes Go Jaspers!

Tonight is the Friends of the Key West Library Lecture Series. The speaker Les Staniford. He recently wrote a book about certain Revolutionary participants. Like John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Patrick Henry. I am a history freak. His talk should be interesting.

Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard have spent the past year in the Florida keys filming a new TV show. Bloodline. Thirteen episodes start this friday evening via Netflix. The show’s action takes place primarily in Islamorada and Key Largo.

Harry Truman. Key West loves Harry Truman! Truman loved Key West! On this date in 1950, he arrived for a three week vacation. One of the eleven trips he made to Key West, all of which totaled 175 days.

Enjoy your day!



Blog late this Sunday morning. Sorry. I spent most of yesterday working on this week’s KONK Life column. There was more to do. It took from 6-10 this morning.

The title is Making A Star. The Tom Cotton story. He is the U.S. Senator who penned the Iranian letter that 46 Republican Senators signed. The column an eye opener.

Some 15 years ago give or take, the State of Florida decided the Australian pines at Fort Zach Taylor Beach had to go. The pines were purportedly dangerous to the rest of the foliage enviroment, etc.

A group of Key Westers got together and fought the removal of the pines. It was not easy. However, after much grief, joy, and BS from the State, the group won. The pines still stand tall at the Fort Zach Taylor Beach.

The pines are perfect. If the sun gets too much, one can sit anywhere under them. Very cool.

Key West Mayor Cates announced that today is Save Our Pines Day. An annual pot luck picnic will take place at the Beach under the pines. Open to the public.

St. Patrick’s Day coming. Green beer day! The bars will do a booming business. Tourists will enjoy. Streets will be closed off for partying.

Enjoy your Sunday!