Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Taxpayers: keep your fingers crossed that State Senate Joe Negron can cut a deal on acquiring Big Sugar lands this legislative session ... by gimleteye

Yesterday low politics prevailed at the Miami Dade County Commission, as stagecraft by Big Sugar stepped in to block the county commission from affirming what it has already done: advocate for purchase of Big Sugar lands by the state to advance restoration of the dying Everglades.

Senate President Joe Negron, whose district encompasses estuaries and rivers that have been devastated by Lake Okeechobee toxic releases, has made land acquisition of at least 60,000 acres one of his highest priorities in this legislative session.

That means: Senator Negron is trying to cut a deal with the principals: the Fanjul billionaires and US Sugar Corporation right now. To jog your memory, US Sugar contracted with the state, led by then-Gov. Charlie Crist, in 2008 to sell its sugar lands. At that point, the Fanjuls stepped in; funding Marco Rubio to run against Crist for US Senate. The rest is history. For predictable reasons (money!) Rubio has opposed acquisition ever since.

More than 200 scientists and tens of thousands of Floridians have signed the Now Or Neverglades Declaration urging the addition of significant additional storage to solve, eventually, the problem of too much polluted water in Lake Okeechobee and not enough clean water in Florida's rivers, in the Everglades, and Florida Bay.

Big Sugar -- through the Rick Scott administration -- is making the realization of taxpayer dreams as difficult as possible in order to ratchet up the value of its land.

If there are secret negotiations going on right now between Negron and Big Sugar, yesterday's tactic at the Miami-Dade County Commission -- that saw a majority of commissioners rejecting the clear interest of millions of South Floridians in favor of low politics and arm-twisting -- could not have helped.

Big Sugar is pulling out all the stops to put as much negative pressure on the negotiation process as possible: enlisting fake news, fake arguments, and slick political pressure campaigns to push back against Negron and his constituents who lagoons and waterways have turned to shit. ("Who Owns Sunshine State News?", July 2015)

How many voters understand that Miami-Dade's county commissioners care more about making America's wealthiest farmers even richer than them, or, that they stepped right into the ploy of using "poor farmer workers" as Big Sugar pawns again?

2016 12 02 Miami Dade Monestime IDS by Alan Farago on Scribd



USACE Capp Letter 26 July 16 (003) by Alan Farago on Scribd



Doc 120516 by Alan Farago on Scribd


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

County Commissioners: TODAY - Vote for Xavier Suarez as Chair. By Geniusofdespair

Vote for balanced government -- for the people, do it for us.

1pm THE NEW CHAIR IS STEVE BOVO.  Xavier Suarez got 5, himself ,Pepe Diaz, Joe Martinez, Daniella Levine and Barbara Jordan.  Audrey Edmonson got the Vice Chair  and she and Dennis Moss and Sally Heyman voted against the interest of their districts -- yeah do you really think that North South corridor is on Steve's horizon? And especially Sally Heyman voted wrong on this one. Oops forgot Bruno Barreiro same goes for him.

What is with these commissioners....major promises from the Mayor I think. Big loss for the County people, Steve Bovo is a big win for the Mayor.

EVERGLADES ACTION ALERT FOR READERS: TODAY ... by Alan Farago

Rick Scott's top water manager sent a letter to Miami-Dade Commissioners trying to defeat a resolution by Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava to buy sugar land to store and clean water for the Everglades. The vote is THIS MORNING, so call and email commissioners now.

1) Call these commissioners now:

Commissioner Bruno Barriero  305–643–8525 or 305–673–7743

Commissioner Rebeca Sosa  305–375–5696 or 305–267–6377

Commissioner Dennis Moss  305–375–4832 or 305–234–4938 or 305–245–4420

2) Send just one email to all Miami-Dade commissioners and staff at this address: bocc-ccs@miamidade.gov with the following message or similar:

Subject: Please support Everglades Reservoir reso: 11(A)(16)

Dear Commissioner,

Please vote for Commissioner Daniella Levine-Cava's Resolution 11(A)(16) supporting a reservoir in the Everglades Agricultural Area to restore the River of Grass and protect Florida's coasts. The people of Miami-Dade County must have a healthy, functioning Everglades and passing this resolution is essential to reaching that goal.

Sincerely,

[your name, address and phone number]

3) Come to the County Commission and sign up by 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday Dec. 5 to speak in favor of reso., Stephen P Clark Government Center, 111 NW First Street, Suite 1034. Miami, FL 33128

Here is the text of the letter I sent to the BCC:

Dear County Commissioners,

Please vote for Commissioner Daniella Levine-Cava's Resolution 11(A)(16) supporting a reservoir in the Everglades Agricultural Area to restore the River of Grass and protect Florida's coasts. The people of Miami-Dade County must have a healthy, functioning Everglades and passing this resolution is essential to reaching that goal.

In the past, the Miami-Dade County Commission has taken important steps to advocate for additional water storage to protect our badly damaged Everglades, incorporating lands within Miami-Dade County borders.

Without significant additional water storage, Everglades restoration will remain a distant dream. Moreover, as sea levels rise and pressure our own drinking water supplies, the only cost-effective hedge for taxpayers is to ensure that copious amounts of clean, fresh water continue to be available from the region below Lake Okeechobee.

The best solution to our water infrastructure problems has ALWAYS been to significantly increase water storage in the EAA. It is also the case that better, and higher-paying jobs will be available to local, affected communities once the economic infrastructure is organized to take advantage of tourism-related, small businesses that can regenerate some of the poorest communities in Florida.

Lastly, the money for land purchase is available. The state legislature is now taking up the proposal by Senate president Joe Negron to buy lands now in sugar production with Amendment 1 moneys. Your affirmative vote today will send a clear message of support for a win-win for Floridians.

Let’s get moving now.

Sincerely,

Alan Farago, Conservation Chair
Friends of the Everglades

Monday, December 05, 2016

Philip Levine: Imperial Mayorship ... by gimleteye



No argument here, on Miami's 10 worst environmental scandals of 2016. I'm still shocked, living in Coral Gables, how few birds and insects there are after aerial bombardment for Zika.

When I ventured that observation to a Miami Beach native, I got a story back; on a recent morning when Miami Beach was being sprayed, the story-teller was in a TSA pre-approved line at MIA. Suddenly there was a flurry of activity and everyone made to aside by beefy security guards for a VIP.

Who was it? The Sheik of Abu Dhabi? Jay Z and Beyonce? No. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine was leaving town.

On the same day I heard that story, I saw Mayor Levine at the opening of Art Basel in the main fair. He was surrounded by a retinue fit for a prince; two burly bodyguards, earpieces, plus attendant staff who looked dazed or bored.

Why does a mayor of Miami Beach need a security and staff team at Art Basel? His physical safety hardly seemed at risk. Still, the image of a local Medici popped into mind, or at least, a Manny Diaz.

What gives with so many Red State Mooching on Blue States? By Geniusofdespair

New York Times Dec. 4th
We have the States that always vote red and always vote blue. The purple ones, can go either way - swing States. The 50 States are in order of donor States that get the least -- to taker States that get the most. So you could say the first 25 are being short-changed and the second 25 are getting the windfall (18 of the 25 takers are red States).

Isn't this SOCIALISM? I think this is Socialism. I think The Tweeter in Chief should get the States keep all the money they collect and do away with Federal taxes. Much too much SOCIALISM involved with this system. We sure ain't paying for educating these red banana brains. I like to go to Oklahoma as an example. That has to be he dumbest State of all. Fracking and the underground wastewater disposal has helped it become the most prone to earthquakes in the country. In fact if you add up all the earthquakes combined in the continental US Oklahoma tops that number.  Oklahoma recorded 857 quakes in 2015.  That leaves the other 48 U.S. states with a combined total of 729 (excluding Alaska).

Hey, don't we do wastewater disposal in Florida? Don't we want to put nuclear waste from the FPL plant into the Boulder zone (proved to NOT be confining)? We might be as stupid as Oklahoma soon: But for now OKLAHOMA THE DUMBEST STATE IN THE UNION for voting against their own interest and their environment.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Forget Tweeter in Chief and Get to My Pet Peeve FAKE Service Dogs. By Geniusofdespair

Forget your future president for a minute and focus on my pet peeve: FAKE service dogs. Many People are going on line for  a $100+ fee and getting their dog designated a service dog. A REAL service dog has training specific to the person's disability.

Basic kit for Service Dog, $79, Complete kit for emotional dog $159 and Deluxe kit for therapy dog is $199. The first two get free passage on airlines. Emotional Dog doesn't do a task. Therapy dog goes to hospitals and nursing homes to comfort people

I see all these poodle type dogs in every establishment. They are ALL not service dogs. You don't need your friggin' dog at the grocery store for your emotional support. And most of you smell bad enough on the plane. I don't want to sit next to your smelly mutt and have it under my feet too unless it is a REAL service dog. We are all depressed and have anxiety,  but we don't all drag around a dog. Get a teddy bear or talk to some human people (they are lonely too) and you won't be so in need of rover every minute of every day. And do not be a faker just so you can take your dog on a plane for free or get your dog in a pet free condo (emotional support dog). Here is all it takes to get your dog designated for Emotional Support:

Yes in 3 minutes you can qualify for an emotional support dog.
I can't find the link where I got this but I thought it explained the FAKE Service Dog better than me:
"Faking makes lots of people angry for valid reasons. And now, in Florida, you can be convicted of a misdemeanor for pretending your pet is a service dog. Yep, you can even do jail time for it under Bill CS.HB 71! The bill states: " ...provides penalty for knowing & willful misrepresentation with respect to use or training of service animal."

The bill passed unanimously. Bipartisan agreement in this day and age is rare but the idea of fakers wandering about pretending their pets are service dogs is universally despised.
Why?
Because every time egocentrists (folks who don't understand any perspective other than their own) pretend a pet is a service dog, they endanger some of those long-sought and deserved protections for disabled people. It creates an atmosphere in which business people have to bend over backwards to accommodate fakers.
A. Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability. 

Are emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals considered service animals under the ADA?

According to Florida Law only Service Dogs are allowed in public places:

CS/HB 71 Service Animals - Apparently both parties can agree on something -- The Vote: Senate 38-0; House 112-0

Prepared by: Commerce and Tourism Committee (CM)

The bill amends Florida’s law related to service animals and aligns it with similar provisions in the American with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. The bill redefines “service animal,” and for the purposes of public accommodation, limits the term to a dog or miniature horse. The bill amends the definition of public accommodation to include a timeshare that is a transient public lodging establishment, and exempts air carriers covered by the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986.

The bill requires a business to modify its policies to accommodate the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability. Although a business may not ask about the nature of an individual’s disability, it may ask if the service animal is required because of a disability and what tasks the service animal is trained to perform. A service animal must be on a leash or harness unless it would interfere with the service animal’s ability to perform the tasks it is trained to do, and it must be under the handler’s control. If an animal is not under the handler’s control, is not housebroken, or poses a threat, the business may request its removal. In addition to the criminal penalties in current law, the bill requires a business unlawfully denying or interfering with an individual’s right to use or train a service animal to perform 30 hours of community service with an organization that serves individuals with disabilities.

The bill creates a second-degree misdemeanor for a person who knowingly and willfully misrepresents that he or she is qualified to use a service animal or is a trainer of service animals. In addition to the criminal penalty, an individual in violation of this provision must also perform 30 hours of community service with an organization that serves individuals with disabilities.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 112-0

On Facebook people are angry with me over this. Mainly because they don't acknowledge that FAKE is so bad.

To U.S. Allies and Friends: don't throw out your liberal democracies because of our national spasm ... by gimleteye

Miami International Airport will be filled the next few days with international travelers returning home, after gauging the cultural temperature here. A few parting thoughts.

Culture is the biggest export of the US economy. Even our enemies emulate the ways in which we express liberty and freedom of expression.

The election of Donald Trump to be our next president was far from a landslide or a mandate for right-wing extremism. Trump won the electoral college with a slender margin -- less than 100,000 votes spread across a few states. If not for that slender margin, if not for a Democratic party that lost its way, and if not for a right-wing media juggernaut -- organized around the axis of Fox News -- that vilified Hillary Clinton for decades, we would be having a completely different conversation.

Of course, we have to address the fact before us: Donald Trump will soon be inaugurated as the next president of the United States. The next few years will not be easy ones here, but remember: the force of American culture is bigger than any single influence.

The United States is a liberal, constitutional democracy.

The correct way to address our shared challenges is through cooperation, recognizing the interdependence and complexities of post-industrial economies. Our common enemy is fear and the idea, contained within the idea of Trump, that authoritarianism uninformed by history and fact can enforce peace and stability.

The refugee crisis, terrorism, and economic dislocation are significant problems facing citizens in democracies. The answer is not to lump these together, bound by irrational fears.

The disinformation of the recent campaign cycle and post-fact world took us by surprise. Reversing that aberration must remain in focus.

The instabilities facing democracies around the world -- compounded by war, economic dislocation, financial bubbles, and climate change -- are real. What is not real, and what must be steadfastly opposed, is the embrace of post-fact by our politics. That embrace is immoral, unethical, and antithetical to a future that is prosperous and hopeful.

There is no question that democracy has stumbled in the United States. Our friends can help point America back to a true magnetic compass for democracy. You must.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Texas requires burial of male ejaculate in addition to fetal remains ... by gimleteye

Texas approved new rules this week requiring health care facilities that perform abortions to bury the fetal remains instead of disposing of them in a sanitary landfill like other forms of biological medical waste. Buried in the legislation, a provision that also includes new requirements for interment of male ejaculate.

The little known provision of the rule, which goes into effect on Dec. 19, mandates that ejaculate must be buried, no matter how old, like aborted fetal tissue regardless of how long it has been gestating. The rule state male ejaculate can either be buried directly after emanation or incinerated.

The rule was quietly proposed in July at the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott, according to The Texas Tribune, shortly after the Supreme Court struck down parts of a Texas law that could have sharply cut the number of abortion clinics in the state, particularly those outside large urban areas.

The Tribune reported in July that Mr. Abbott, a Republican, cited the proposal in a fund-raising email as evidence of his commitment to protect the “rights of the unborn” and “turn the tides” against rampant masturbatory practices in the state. There was no mention of male ejaculate burial, but later Mr. Abbott said, “We needed to bring the men into the field of view."

The provision for male ejaculate prohibits disposal, concealment, or flushing.

“I believe it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life,” he said in the email, which The Tribune published in full. “This is why Texas will require clinics and hospitals to bury or cremate human, fetal remains, and ejaculate.”

He explained that it was not necessary to require women to bury feminine hygiene products because they would be paying a high enough price should they risk insemination without a plan to carry the fetus to term.

“I don’t believe human and fetal remains should be treated like medical waste and disposed of in landfills,” Mr. Abbott added. “In Texas the long standing practice of indiscriminate ejaculation and concealment within tissues and other fabrics will now be halted."

According to the rules, aborted fetal tissue and male ejaculate must be handled like a deceased person and treated “using the process of cremation, entombment, burial, or placement in a niche or by using the process of cremation followed by placement of the ashes in a niche, grave, or scattering of ashes as authorized by law.”

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services held two public comment hearings on the proposal and reviewed about 35,000 comments since it was introduced, said Don Williams, a department spokeswoman. He said people’s comments and concerns were taken into consideration as the rules were finalized. When asked why little media attention had been paid to the male ejaculate provision, Williams said, “Beats me."

Friday, December 02, 2016

Wheels Off Climate Change Wagon. "Never mind", Trump says, "we'll take my jet" ... by gimleteye

Climate Changer Deniers...Here is more for you to think about. By Geniusofdespair

Speaking of the Arctic Ice:

For those who happen to be standing, please sit down to handle a knuckle sandwich:

“It is polar night in the Arctic—a darkness that lasts from early October to early March. Temperatures rarely escape freezing in that darkness, averaging -30° F until the light begins to return in spring. Right now, however, temperatures across much of the Arctic are 36 degrees F above normal. Large areas are well above freezing. And instead of rapidly expanding, sea ice extent is in decline. Taken together, this is not unusual. It’s unheard of.”

(Source: Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Global Warming in the Arctic: A Sensitive Climate Gone Off the Rails, Union of Concerned Scientists, November 21, 2016).


____________________

20 degrees Celsius is 68 degrees Fahrenheit (so 68 degrees milder than normal)


From the Siberian Times 11/21:

The Arctic district of Verkhoyansk, one of the coldest inhabited places in the world, recorded a temperature of 19.2C on 18 November, some 19C above average.

The district is in Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic, and in parts of the Arctic north of this region temperatures are even more surprising.

In the village of Olenek on the same day weathermen recorded minus 5.1C, a record warm. In the remote port of Tiksi, it was only minus 3C.

In Chukotka, on the Arctic shore, a November record was registered of a remarkable 4C, with a daily average of 20C milder than usual.

Verkhoyansk on Google Maps

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Democrat State Rep Nick Duran is a big disappointment because Lobbyists Rule. By Geniusofdespair

Nick Duran, I mean Mike Abrams.
My problem with Democrats,  in a new trend, has a bevy of candidates who are Lobbyist's Spawns (i.e. State Senator Lauren Book, Andrew Korge - who was vying for State Senate) or Relatives.

Nick Duran,  Newly elected State Rep. is Son-in-Law to longtime Lobbyist Mike Abrams who is a partner in Ballard Partners (a disgusting lobbying firm in my view). Duran has as his State Rep. Secretary Yolanda Abrams. Wow, if related - that is one for the books. The Yolanda on your Facebook page looks like a teenager.

Nick Duran was supported by evil entities such as Fla Chamber and AIF, FPL (through Florida Standing United PC), TECO, a number of sugar growers, and U.S. Sugar through its affiliate Southern Gardens Grove Corp., which he identifies as being a "garden services" company on his filing.

So lets see how lobbyist connected Nick Duran is doing:

For the first time in eons, Democrats control the majority of the Miami-Dade Delegation in the Florida Legislature.

Democratic Senator José Javier Rodríguez was running against Republican Jose Felix Diaz to Chair the delegation.

Republican Diaz was elected Chair. Democrats Campbell, Hardemon, Duran and Geller voted for Diaz. Truth is Republicans still dominate in Tallahassee and hold all the Committee Chairmanships. Kionne McGhee was elected Vice Chair and Daphne Campbell was elected Secretary.

So, our great State Rep. Nick Duran in his first vote -- held back the Democrats in a win they could have used. I wrote him a love letter:

Nick Duran:
Thanks for screwing my State Senator, Jose Javier Rodriguez. Why did I vote for you, to vote with Daphne Campbell? I think not. Better get it together... really! Very disappointed in you.


I thought it rather nice considering what I am feeling towards him. Geller and Hardemon are assholes as well but they are not my Representative. And, Daphne, well she is a Republican cloaked as a Democrat --- thank you Michael Gongora for giving us Daphne Campbell. You idiot.

And Nick, no relatives in your office --- PLEASE!

Mike Abrams Nick Duran and Wife Abrams