"After telling wildlife officers and reporters in late February that he brawled with a Florida Black Bear that slammed him to the ground by his pants, [36-year-old Lake County resident Joshua Hennessy] then wrote a sworn statement that was much less dramatic…. 'I was sitting in my chair outside … drinking a beer and I saw a bear run by the house and for no good reason at all, I jumped up and started chasing it … and tripped over a speed bump and fell.' That's what Hennessy wrote in a statement to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He will not face charges, authorities said, [...]
Homer Simpson descends gracelessly from the sky like an oblong, plastic mold of a mascot, his cowardly scream echoing in the dumpster towards which he plummets. “Ew, this is the worst place yet,” he says, crawling out. He begins to walk along a city block, one of our city blocks, a real not-cartoon city block, in what looks to be urban sprawl LA, cowardly mumbling to himself. The humans stare at him: he closely resembles a golden, obese claymation figure with a particularly misshapen head, three times too large and not unlike the bottom of a bowling pin. If he were to abide by the laws of physics, he would [...]
Privatized prison operator GEO Group has withdrawn its foundation's proposed $6-million gift to Florida Atlantic University. Students apparently did not feel comfortable with the naming rights attached to the gift, which would have put GEO's name on their sports arena. GEO has been desperately trying to keep its Wikipedia entry clean of a rehash of all the deaths and charges of abuse that took place in its prisons, but unfortunately for them, Wikipedia knows how to resist such things and also, if there's one thing college students know how to do, it's "read Wikipedia."
GEO Group's stock was up 12 cents this morning, reaching its highest prices since [...]
Before I begin the next episode of the Mr. Wrong column, which is on Vacation, topicwise, and simultaneously "on vacation," I want to remind all you Gentle Readers that this is a column. According to the Collins English Dictionary, which was the first thing I found on the Internet when I Googled "History of the word column" at it, a column is—in the number five (b) slot of meanings of the word "column"—supposed to be: 5. journalism a. any of two or more vertical sections of type on a printed page, esp on a newspaper page b. a regular article or feature in a paper: the fashion column [...]
"A Southwest Florida woman accused of kicking people's genitals has been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer after punching him in the face, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. The deputy responded about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday to a dispatch call of a 'female in the street kicking people in genitals and running around,' according to a police report."
The head of the CIA and former commander of the war in Afghanistan has fallen in a tawdry scandal involving marital infidelity, leaked national security secrets, weird FBI agents and a whole network of high-level grifters in Florida. What can we learn from this huge, bizarre conspiracy at the very top of the national security state? Watch out for that crafty "send" button on the email program! Especially if you're 60 years old, like David Petraeus. According to the important morning program The Today Show, older people must constantly watch out for the young people's Hotmail.
There’s a valuable lesson everyone can learn from the scandal involving CIA Director [...]
Frightening news for Miami's aging right-wing Cuban population: the county is considering going FULL-FIDEL. One lone City Commissioner/communist is putting forward an ordinance that will force all employers to let their employees accrue sick time. This is worse than Obamacare! Nearly half of all workers in the county currently do not get sick time, according to "some random dude from a union," whose pockets are lined with money stolen from little children.
Local Miami commenters respond to the Herald's shocking report:
• "why should they even have to work!!! ill just send them money."
• "What I don't understand is that if the liberals want this, why don't [...]
"Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has apologized for postponing an execution scheduled for Tuesday to accommodate a campaign fundraiser."
"Darden Restaurants (DRI) has been struggling to make its brands relevant again as diners increasingly head to chains like Chipotle and Panera, where they feel they're getting restaurant-quality food without paying as much. As it looks for ways to catch up to shifting trends, Red Lobster this week started testing a 'pay-at-the-counter' concept at two locations near its headquarters." —The great divide between people who like to occasionally eat at a restaurant with table service and the food-obsessed coastal elite snobs grew a little wider this week, as mall chain stalwart Red Lobster began selling its Krab Dinners at the counter, McDonaldland-style.
Photo by Daniel Oines.
If you are interested in real estate or fashion or entrepreneurship, this history of the Bal Harbour mall is pretty fascinating. The Shops at Bal Harbour, if you don't know, just north of Miami Beach, holds last year's record for retail dollars made per square foot in the U.S. It is full of trees and turtles and koi and ashtrays and crazy-rich people. And its original success is based on low base rents with a percentage of store revenue for the landlord—as well as a pretty crazy geographical noncompete, which has since been greatly eroded. The percentage rent thing is smart, when Bulgari and Graff and Van Cleef are [...]
"The mayor’s chief ally on the commission is Bob Welsh, known as Bicycle Bob because he spent years pedaling around town on a girls’ blue coaster bike handing out political flyers and railing against “big money interests.” During the Mariel boatlift, he met newly arrived refugees and handed them Spanish-language joke books that he had written. Bicycle Bob was elected this past February, beating Armando Oliveros, a former commissioner whose time on the dais was interrupted by a prison sentence for money laundering." —"South Miami: a city where weird things are always happening."
With 11 complicated ballot measures—all of them state constitutional amendments, all of them far-reaching and bizarre—the ballot for election day in Florida runs to ten pages. Already several days before election day, lines are running long at voting places in Miami Beach—so long that candidates for local office can work the voting lines, reports a local spy, because the voters lined up are well over 100 feet from the actual polling place. Among other measures, the ballot gives voters the opportunity to amend the constitution to:
• Not use public funds for abortion
The winner of a Florida roach-eating contest collapsed and died immediately after downing piles of filthy roaches and worms. Why did the man do this? To win the grand prize! (The grand prize was "a python.") This is what happens when an entire generation of Americans grows up believing the key to success (in the absence of hard work or talent) is doing something disgusting for media attention. Thanks, Survivor!
I graduated high school in 1997 and I went to work at the Winn Dixie deli counter, which totally sucked. I was still living at home and that fall I enrolled at Tallahassee Community College. I was more unsure of my future than at any other point in my life before or since.
A friend from high school had recently been hired at Blockbuster, and he got me a job there too that fall. Blockbuster was a step up. Not only did we not have to handle foodstuffs, but we also got free video rentals—although we didn’t get health care, or vacation, or sick days.
But I cannot overstate the [...]
Jeb Bush, education reformer (AKA charter school profiteer and destroyer of public schools), is finally getting into some hot water. How hot is "school choice" down in Jebland? Well, Pitbull is opening a charter school this week. The "I Know You Want Me" auteur has partnered with Academica and the school will focus on sports management. (I don't know?) Academica is essentially a tax-free real estate conglomerate whose clients are schools. It's brilliant really—and they make money, while 25% of other charter schools go out of business. Jeb Bush as well has been doing nicely, but finally he's coming out on the downside—though only "optically." (Barf.) But [...]
Florida's Lieutenant Governor Quits Over Minor Scandal Involving Illegal Gambling, Racketeering, and $250 Million In Money Laundering
"Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll has resigned because a firm she once consulted for has been linked to a racketeering case, the Miami Herald reported …. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement scheduled an afternoon news conference in Orlando to discuss a racketeering investigation involving Allied Veterans of the World, a nonprofit organization that runs Internet cafes." —Governor Rick Scott has lost his anti-gay Romney-supporting number two in a scandal involving illegal gambling software and Internet cafes. And apparently there is racketeering and money laundering going on in Florida!
In the nights before the promised Mayan Apocalypse, mysterious configurations of bright lights hovered over Brooklyn and San Francisco's Mission District. The first commenter here made the reasonable assumption that it was all some kind of viral marketing aimed at overpaid young urbanites.
But the product of such clever, vague and expensive advertising has yet to appear. And the silent, terrifying craft are now being seen over far less desirable urban areas including Detroit, Indianapolis and the Gulf Coast of Florida. What could it mean? Is Detroit poised for a comeback? And why are they also appearing in Poughkeepsie?
Alleged 2016 GOP hopeful Marco Rubio was interviewed by his favorite magazine, GQ. And now Twitter is all abuzz because the Republican senator from Florida claimed that the Earth's age is one of the Great Mysteries. In the Q&A, Rubio says: "Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries."
The scientific elite scorn such talk, because of course they have used "science instruments" to figure out that the Earth is 4.54 billion years old—when the rest of our solar system took shape. But this semi-precise [...]