12 CDs for the Price of 1!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

When does dysfunction stop being funny?

Item #1: Okay, let me start with good news. Please don't say, "You ended affirmative action, Jeb", or "You raised tuition", or "Most of the poor in Florida happen to be White and Florida leads the nation both in our overall drop out rate and WHITE drop out rate" or... I need to feel good about Florida for a second and when you read the REST of the post you will see why I am struggling. But first let us praise Jeb and his PR people-

"'Bush urges increases to encourage minorities' Associated Press, Posted on Wed, Jan. 11, 2006: Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday recommended sharp budget increases to boost minority enrollments in Florida's universities and colleges. The governor wants state lawmakers to spend an additional $52.4 million in the 2006-07 budget to provide more scholarships and need-based financial aid. The largest chunk, $35.8 million, would be for those faced with the most severe financial barriers."

Note: When I mention money grubbing and shady doings at the Imagine Miami, Public Health Trust, Camillus House, and many other of our area institutions that are supposed to be doing public good it hurts me tremendously. I chose work that I thought would make me helpful to society but I found that in Miami it just put me face to face with the most corrupt, insular and unenlightened group of public lechers I have ever encountered. I have stepped in more times than I care to remember to try to make something bad a little better. It has damaged some of the business that I do. I have had to shift professions. I’m not a martyr here. I have let things go that I shouldn’t have. Miami’s corruption and vileness are heart breaking. I may never live in Miami permanently because of it, and I find myself spending less and less time there. Corruption exists everywhere but it is a way of life here that causes poverty and desperation among the most vulnerable.

Upcoming: I have an article coming up about UM, FIU’s Public Health Program and Camillus House and this article and this. It also has to do with this. I happen to be privy to the gory details from friends and old contract management work. I have to be careful I don’t hurt some folks I know so I will re-edit. That asshole Paul Ahr that replaced the asshole Dale Simpson is proof that the culture of cover up and tolerance for vileness and corruption in the Catholic Church goes beyond what they do with banking and little boys. When I do release the story expect a sordid tale of theft of donations, clothes, homeless prostitution rings and slavery, abuse of the mentally ill and fraud. As the stories I referenced mention, expect human guniea pig trials on the homeless and mentally ill/mentally retarded. It's so friggin' depressing...

Item #2: Police Chief Timoney may have accomplished relatively little in reducing violent crime in a city that leads the nation in this area (at a time when big cities are reporting record decreases) but he is cracking down on code enforcement, lending a hand to our NET enforcement folks. Who is he targeting? Homes with junk cars, strewn garbage, broken fences, jam packed animal kennels for back yards, etc; businesses with gambling machines and illegal alcohol sales, etc. Too bad they cannot outlaw mullet hair cuts, spike heels and jeans, excessive and out of scale lawn statuary, Jesus Saves bumper stickers, excessive car ornamentation, shiny clothes, bad perfume, unreasonable dye jobs, and the use of the word "classy"...

A major focus for Manny Diaz has been code enforcement of illegal (unsightly and dangerous) add-ons, unzoned rentals, parking lots and high traffic business in residential buildings for over three years.

The biggest crackdown has been one that I am ambivalent about. As any Miamian knows we have “cafeterias” throughout our city that offer whores, gambling, drugs and parking lot violence. These little shops are like a vice fest! And they sell food too if you want to add gluttony to the mix. There is part of Miamista that could see himself as the proprietor of such an establishment, (which I would call Big Daddy’s). We would have the requisite pool tables and booths and bookies and numbers runners would drop by, giving me a cut of the action. I know these places are horrible and have multiple ill effects. But who doesn’t want to be a mini vice lord?

Mayor Diaz, who I have repeatedly disparaged, with good cause, has imagined that Rudy Giuliani like focus on “quality of life” will be his lasting legacy. He is good at addressing, verbally, his failings (while always assigning them to someone else) and he is also good at the slight gesture. For instance Diaz addressed the loss of our urban canopy by replacing palms with live oaks (which once graced many of our thoroughfares). At the same time he was destroying park space, and limiting impact fees that would pay for parks and public landscaping. Manny Boy has even made comments about the educational system (outside of his purview) which may be the worse in the nation.

Still this is a failure of a mayor- a failure on poverty, a failure on historic preservation, a failure on parks, a failure on affordable housing, a failure on race relations, a failure on traffic abatement, a failure on violent crime, a failure on administration (impact fees, timely of implementation of zoning laws, hiring of qualified personnel, transparent contracting). If he turned it around now he would be half a failure. Not too long ago I was in a debate with someone at the Herald who strongly supported the mayor. His defense of the mayor was, in end and full, that it was better than the Mayor Loco days when we were a laughing stock of the world. Someone with us pointed out to him several recent reports stating that Miami the city leads the nation in every major type of fraud (except securities)- mortgage, property insurance, auto insurance, Medicaid, worker’s compensation, money laundering and public works. The Herald writer believed that it was the Herald’s responsibility to portray the city in the best possible light to make up for the negative press that the city has garnered in the recent past. I am not sure that the writer understood just what a failure he was as a journalist.

Item #3: have we found the latest escapee with the long violent crime wrap sheet? I mean this isn't really an item, I just don't want to look at anymore disturbing news or disturbingly bad reporting.

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