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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Miamista Retuning to Port Soon: Part 1

1. Apologies- first I was in Morocco (I will post pictures soon) then back to NYC where I have been busy as hell. I have been writing a bit during this time but not for Miamista. I author or contribute to a number of blogs and journals dealing with various topics and I rarely cross reference any of them especially with Miamista. Miamista exists in a non-partisan, circumscribed world. (As many of you know, I also don't post 99% of comments. Sorry, it's the time thing but I do want to create a forum at some point.) The other writing deals with New York, Los Angeles, college admissions and financial aid, economics and politics, marketing and demographics, architecture, literature… Since a good deal of my business involves writing, research and editing you can imagine that I sometimes get tired of writing though I can normally put out a newspapers worth a day. I am afraid Miamista in its full fledged form has not manifested because half the writers have moved from Miami, and our advertising guy has said that I have just about pissed off any potential advertiser. He also notes that there are only a dozen or so real blogs in metro Miami anyway because virtually no one reads and even fewer read blogs and online journals. (Note that in NY there are over 200 full fledged blogs under a single registry WHO USE MY SUBWAY STOP.)

2. Rebecca Wakefield has come through last week in her article on the adolescent Miami’s potential for growing up. I apologize for calling her the significantly more attractive Defede. Defede has never written so well. I think that what keeps her and some other folk in Miami is the sun, palm trees, beaches, sky, space, cheap liquor and parties. (Okay, that’s what keeps me in Miami.) For all the sleaze, banana republic shenanigans, the specter of good old fashioned, hectic American competition is removed. The spectacle and zoo of Miami politics, business offers the opportunity to play social critic and gadfly with the genuine belief that things will get better, you know that “be part of the solution” bit. I wonder… (I however am a little young for permanent summer slacking so I’ll be in NYC for the rest of this week.)

3. Public Campaign financing- Anyone notice that Bruno “Hitman of Syndicate” Barreiro has pushed through legislation that makes it virtually impossible for the average person to qualify for public campaign funds? (Link may be expired.) Commissioner Barreiro got this little beauty out in front of the syndicate, I mean the commission a month ago by claiming he was trying to prevent abuses. The vast majority of abuse of public campaign financing has been of course among people who would qualify for public money under his legislation so I don’t know what the Hell he is talking about.

4. Miami has a new doctor- With Dr. John “Here’s the bill” Clarkson retiring (ahem) we have a hot shot Duke fellow coming in to make UM medical one of the the top cutting shops/homeless abusers in the nation. The interesting backstories here are that Dr. John Clarkson had become an administrative hack, good at fleecing the county out of money. (UM runs the operations of Miami’s public hospital system, including Jackson Memorial under contract.) The good doctor from Duke also had his own high profile problems with the unfortunate mixing up of blood types during a surgery at Duke Medical Center. It seems that the hospital under his command never developed the sort of routine protocol that prevents these sort of mishaps. Nonetheless, he is a highly respected administrator who will likely boost UM’s research, recruiting and reputation barring any more ugly incidents. (Note to new head doctor- Take down those billboards saying “UM Does Cancer”. It can really be confusing/disturbing.)

5. Free Black History Month bus tours are being given. In Miami where deliberately blanking out history that exists before your very eyes is a way of life this little bus ride might help. A better tour might be to go through Coconut Grove and Coral Gables where even now the vast portion of the housing stock was designed and built by Black Bahamians who were known to be master carpenters and home builders, even as they were forced to constantly move out of their neighborhoods to make way for expanding population of Whites (sound familiar) and had to use scrap lumber and precious little spare time to build their own homes. Today, when prefab McMansions rule the day, we should long for some for some of those old builders. Wait a minute, they are still here. They just aren’t hired BECAUSE THEY ARE BLACK.

6. Poor accounting, back room deals, payoffs, unlawful behavior swept under the rug... the big deal here is that it is such a big deal. Why? Because it shouldn't be with Mayor Dickhead and his ever so smug asshole mini-me Arriola taking every opportunity to fuck over the poor and middle class, glibby lie, give variances and erase fees for campaign contributing developers, threaten citizens, tell citizens to fuck off, fire people for doing their job, manipulate and steal elections... This is just something else illustrating an obvious fact.

7. Miami attorney to the cocaine trafficking stars gets into a sticky situation. Miami is a funny place. If you have the right connections you can strike it rich as an attorney for traffickers. Or you can strike it rich as an attorney working for other asshole criminals if again, you have the right connections. If you don’t, you can find yourself doing a couple of months in county and looking for a new line of work.

8. It is the second drug arrest since 2000 for a former chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Here is another example of the hazards that one faces in a city where a kilo of powder is amazingly cheap and accessible. Add this name to a number of promising folks who have got the monkey on their backs. Usually you don't get names but this was political payback.

9. Funny how Black folks get their house razed and their names in the paper while the Key Biscayne, Coral Gables Anglo and Latino crowd that buys the junk gets a date in court for possession with intention to use (read a stern warning). Great reporting Luisa "If I only had a brain" Yanez. Anyway, at lunch at the Golden Carrot not too long ago I witnessed a waiter tooting in the bathroom. Damn, is that what happens to my tips?

10. Narcotics Trafficking-Puppies used as mules for drug smuggling DEA agents in Colombia find bags of liquid heroin packed into the sliced-and-sewn bellies of young Labrador retrievers to get the drugs to the U.S.BY JAY WEAVER They've used hollowed-out concrete posts, heavy-duty chain links, even fake plantains to conceal illegal drugs. And now, cute little puppies…

11. Pusher Man, beware the Ides of March too- Friday 13 drug sweep (the link to the South Miami paper may have expired). Predictable because of headline possibilities. "Friday the 13th proves unlucky for local drug dealers..." Line up the Pulitzers. I mean any dope dealer with half a brain should have known that Friday the 13th is always bad luck.


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