On Marco Island: Independent Reporting, Documenting Government Abuses, Exposing the Syndicate, Historical Records of Crimes Against the Environment

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Win-Win Proposition

The city manager has decided to keep the city council election on March 11. While such a dictum in any other city in America would draw howls of criticism by elected official due to the clear usurping of democratic principles and due to unnecessary spending, we need not concern ourselves with such nonsense here.

What we can do is offer the city manager a deal that is good for him and good for the citizenry of Marco Island.

We all know that the very first act of the next city council will be to summarily fire the city manager. So by the city manager keeping the election in March, the city manager is going against Collier County and the state of Florida (what else is new, right?), forcing the city to needlessly spend approximately $40,000, but most importantly, he will be hanging onto his job for another two months.

So let’s run the numbers. The city manager makes approximately $200,000 per year (including benefits), or approximately $16,500 per month. Hence, for the two months that the city manager is buying, he will earn approximately $33,000.

Here’s the win-win.

Win for the city manager: Let’s have the election in early January and in doing so we save $40,000 – which we immediately give to the city manager as soon as he is fired. The city manger is way ahead, earning an additional $7,000 plus he can get another job right away in a city far far away and in essence double his salary for those two month! A Win for the city manager!

Win for the city: In the meantime, the city will loose a little (out the $40,000), make a little (save $16,500/month until another city manager is hired) but … earn/recover a real fortune! How? Since the second act of the new city council will be to stop the STRP and since the third act of the new city council will be to recover the $1,000,000 in cleanup costs from “Quality” Enterprises, the city will be way way ahead of the game financially! A Win for the City!

And to consider the suggestion of some people that we all can’t be creative in this mess the present governance has gotten us into!

But let’s cover all sides (or all bets as they say in Vegas). The city manager is probably considering that the Hate Slate candidates will be elected and hence he will keep his job. Uhm …

In the immortal words of Inspector Harry Callahan, “… you’ve got to ask yourself the question ‘Do I feel lucky?’. Well do ya ____?”.


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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Great News for Marco Island

We are entreated to the wonderful news that a man of character, honesty, and unwavering convictions has decided to run for city council in the next election. For those of us aghast at the present governance’s gaucheness, we anxiously await the opportunity to vote.

Citizen Joe Batte has declared his candidacy. Mr. Batte is the man of impeccable character, honesty and unwavering convictions that this island’s governing bodies sorely need. With his integrity, leadership and the desire to do what is right for the community, Mr. Batte is a godsend whose efforts can’t come soon enough.

We salute Mr. Batte for wanting to help our community and thereby for being willing to inherit a modicum of good that has been prostituted by a regime permeated with a pronounced degree of hate, immorality and pseudo-intellectualism.

Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra wrote for the ever righteous Don Quixote de la Mancha, "Neither fraud, nor deceit, nor malice had yet interfered with truth and plain dealing". Such will be the approach by Councilman Batte.

We know that he will take on this awesome challenge with great intrepidity. And therefore greatly appreciate, applaud and support his quest.


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Friday, May 25, 2007

Sheriff's Office Defers to EPA Criminal

Note: This posting was originally made on 5-22-2007. The feedblitz service notified us that they didn't broadcast it hence we had to delete/re-added it. The link to the letter however was never removed so subscribers never lost access to it. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Note #2: There are other letters from the Sheriff's office but since they confirm aspects of an ongoing investigation that they are conducting, these letters will not be made public at this time.

Sheriff investigation defers the asbestos-component of their investigation to the criminal unit of the EPA. CLICK HERE for the letter.


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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Emails Searched For ...

This blog has provided to investigators and ordinary citizens alike a tool to readily search the emails provided by the city pursuant to a freedom of information request.

The use of this tool has been quite widespread!

Of interest are the most popular search terms. The findings noted below are for the most statistically significantly used terms. The terms noted below encompass their semantic equivalents – for example, searching on “JOHN XYZ”, “mr. XYZ”, “xyz” and on just “XYZ” are semantically equivalent.

Bill Moss 31.05%
John Arceri 16.32%
Ted Forcht 13.16%
Jon Igleheart 11.58%
Anchoring 11.05%
Chuck Kiester 10.53%
Sal Schiarrino 6.32%

Many other search terms were queried, but the above seven are the most "popular". Naturally, "popular" in this context may not be something altogether positive given who has been searching.

Interesting, isn’t it?


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Monday, May 21, 2007

City's Rush for Retribution Backfires

The city's rush to retaliate against CARES ignored one major consideration - the law.

While the city manager is above the law, and the majority of the council merely follow the tune, the city attorney du jour should have exercised professional discretion and stopped the vendetta.

As can be read in the legal brief (CLICK HERE FOR THE BRIEF) filed by CARES, the city erred. It erred due to transparent motives - retaliation against citizens that pursue their constitutional right of redress.

Vengeance by governmental bodies are illegal. The city attorney du jour should have known better. The city should have received competent legal advice.

If the city attorney du jour raised an objection and was bullied by the city manager, then that's par for the course.

And as citizens, we are all once again paying for yet another transgression by the present city governance.

We hope that the new city council seeks recompense from the present governance for these illegal acts that unnecessarily costs us taxpayers.


  • The Marco Island City Manager may have gone too far this time.

    Earlier this year the city manager, not the city council, decided to put an end to CARES by asking the court to award them attorney fees and expenses on a couple of temporary restraining orders (TRO). We filed the TRO's last summer in an attempt to correct some design flaws in an existing lift station and to prevent my septic tank from being destroyed by the installation of a lift station in an easement on my property. Both TRO's resulted in the city making changes to their plans. Therefore, it was very doubtful that the motion to obtain legal fees and expenses would have prevailed. However, the city manager ordered the city's attorneys to file the motion anyway. When the council found out about this motion it voted to make the city manager withdraw it. The city attorneys then filed a motion to withdraw the earlier motion.

    A few weeks after all of this CARES found out about a contract between the city and QE related to the cleanup of asbestos on Veterans Park. We objected to the funding terms in the contract. It appeared to us that the taxpayers were once again paying for a mess that a QE created which we felt were contrary to the settlement we had with the city and QE. So, we filed a motion to have a judge decide the question mainly because, we could see no way to make our argument with the City Manager because he loathes CARES.

    The action we took on this unrelated clean up contract triggered a firestorm of anger and hatred from both the City Manager and the City Council. When Liam Dillon of the Naples Daily News informed the City Manager of our action he immediately responded by saying that the city will reinstate its motion for fees and expenses.

    At the very next council meeting the City Manager had an item on the agenda to reinstate attorney fees and expenses. After some harsh and borderline vindictive comments against CARES the item passed. The city attorneys then filed a motion to reinstate with the court. This is the point where the city may have gone too far.

    According to Florida case law:
    The defendants' notice of withdrawal of their motion for attorney's fees is tantamount to a voluntary dismissal of their claim. A voluntary dismissal terminates a pending action instantaneously.
    See McKelvey, 430 So.2d at 922; Henry P. Trawick, Jr., Florida Practice and Procedure § 21-4 (1992).

    Although a voluntary dismissal is without prejudice to the bringing of a new action, it does preclude revival of the original action.
    McKelvey, 430 So.2d at 922. The defendants' withdrawal of their claim for attorney's fees terminated the pending action for fees and there was nothing to "revive." Thus, the defendants' "renewed" motion for attorney's fees did not renew anything and was a nullity.

    CARES has filed a motion to have to city's motion to reinstate thrown out of court. The court could also see the city's action as a frivolous law suit and award CARES fess and expenses in addition to sanctions for filing a frivolous law suit.

    Doug Enman

    By Anonymous Doug Enman, at Wednesday, May 23, 2007 10:56:00 AM  

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Integrity in the Face of Iniquity

We wish to offer a strong and heartfelt appreciation to Councilman Kiester for courageously speaking the truth and thereby confronting the vacuous majority.

Consider these words from Robert Kennedy: “Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.”

You are dead-on: an ill-conceived, ill-managed, ill-designed project is now being accelerated for no other purpose than to make it a fait accompli. The result of the acceleration is to shield the instigators of this white elephant by the effects of time with the intended consequence of inflicting maximum damage to this community.

You are a man of integrity, virtue, honesty and unwavering in your beliefs. Hence you realized the tact and called it what it is.

Expect the fusty character assassinations by the Hate Slate and the city’s tentacles in the media. But when it comes, wear it like a badge of honor.

While at times it seems as if you are drowning in the propaganda put forth by those around you, we understand. Don’t let our silence fool you like it has fooled the fools around you.

Don’t worry Mr. Kiester, for unbeknownst to the rest of the council and the city management, the cavalry is coming in many forms, and its coming real soon.

So hang in there!

Thank you!


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why We Should Boycott the Sham Election

First, there is nothing but utter respect and admiration for those few of us fighting daily for our rights. In this we all agree and forever shall remain allies and supporters.

But as with all allies and supporters, and persons of faith and respect, we at times disagree on the means. The end remains the same - the present morally and intellectual corrupt governance on the island must go and their illicit deeds must be negated.

One of the means that we disagree on is on how to deal with the fraud of the if not Plan A then Plan B election.

It is true that if those of us with principles boycott the election, then those that sold out for a few dollars and the city puppets will carry the election.

It is also true that Plan A is a disaster. But by voting against Plan A do you get a chance to vote for or against Plan B - which is also a disaster?

Obviously not and therein lies the fraud. So do you want to participate in a sham? Do you want to be part of the fraud? Worse, do you want to be a willing instrument of cynical disdain that the present city governance has for its citizens?

Don't you see that you are no longer part of a representative democracy? How is it that you've missed that the present city governance has lost its mandate to govern? Convince yourself that by being an instrument of a fraud, you perpetuate the fraud.

Some believe that the referendum is unconstitutional. Great - then challenge it in the courts. If you dare not, then boycott it.

Besides, do we really think that we can have the clout to convince those of no principles to vote against the perception that they will benefit financially from Plan A? Of course not.

Irrespective of which plan passes, the new council will invalidate it. So what difference will this ersatz election make?

The difference is that by voting you take part in the scam.

You have been given a "choice" - you can vote to sit at the back of the bus, but if you vote no, then you must use the specially marked water fountains.

So why are you deliberately choosing either of these options?


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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hate Slate Attacks Ad Nausea

The Hate Slate, a band of five remnants from the now-defunct local neo-nazi hate group, serves their daily dose of hate. It is truly nauseating. Here is their history and their latest targets.

The now-defunct local neo-nazi hate group was formulated as an unregistered PC (Political Committee, or more commonly known as a Political Action Committee) under the misnomer of celebrating Marco Island. It quickly became apparent that they were nothing more than puppets of certain puppeteers that sit at the city council and makeup certain big business organs on the island. Their purpose was nothing more than to denigrate and to personally attack anyone that disagreed with the city, or anyone that the city just did not like. In this offensive behavior, they truly celebrated.

Their kick-off rally was a classic. Caught on video, it is as if we were in 1939 Germany. They verbally denigrated a citizen for civilly and respectfully exercising his constitutional rights. The vociferously advocated the shooting of those that they didn’t agree with. They shouted hoary racial tropes at a person of a different culture. The city manager applauded approvingly. Later, they even went as far as to hire a “minister” to slander an activist.

With this instant infamy, their true purpose was exposed. So rather than do the intelligent and ethical thing, their puppeteers merely allowed the group to fade into their rightful oblivion.

But five denizens of this clan persist. These five make up the Hate Slate of candidates vying to perpetuate the present city governance’s practice of denigration, character assassinations, besmirching, civil rights violations, harassment, and outright despicable behavior.

With their sordid history to haunt them into perpetuity (or prison), they continue their intellectually and morally void diatribes in the local paper. Usually anonymously, or at times using their wives to feign popularity, their hate is unmistakable.

Their goal is simple, their purpose clear: No one can have opinions that are different that theirs. And if so, disparage the person, pillory that man or woman, deride the human being. They employ puerile acronyms to further their offending rants.

The Hate Slate are ethically-challenged people offering nothing in the public arena of problem solving. They have summarily refused to be part of moderated debates on any and all issues. They are the henchmen of the present city governance that do nothing more than attack those that dare speak out or act in any way that is in disagreement with the city. Just like their handlers in the present city governance, discussing the issues is not an option – vilify those that dare ask is the way.

Yet through their hate they are pathetic. They use a plethora of silly user names to their spiteful postings so as to make it appear that there are many comprising the Hate Slate. But in their zeal to attack and attack, it never occurred to them that technology shows us that it’s the same five using assorted posting names to promulgate their hate.

And they never give up. Some time ago they attempted to have Ed Bania, local political reporter for the local paper fired. Why? Because he was writing the truth – which of course they did not like. Thankfully, the reporter’s managers knew their obligation as the fourth branch of government and told the Hate Slate to take a hike.

But guess what? The same circus troupe is trying it again. Just this week the same Hate Slate contacted the paper again and accused the same reporter of ethical misconduct!

You really can’t make this stuff up. Can anyone believe that the Hate Slate, run and directed by the present city governance, is accusing anyone of ethical misconduct? Really? Such accusations by this crew have the same moral equivalence as Stalin accusing you of verbally reprimanding your dog.

But yes, it’s true. The ethical misconduct the Hate Slate is accusing the reporter of is that he socialized with some of the people that he covered in past stories. The fact that this reporter’s stories are fair and balanced, and always has all sides quoted and portrayed is inconsequential to the Hate Slate. We trust that this fact does not escape the reporter’s managers and that the allegation is viewed for what it really is: another false and meaningless accusation in a long line of character assassinations by the Hate Slate.

Fortunately it is just a matter of time before these throwbacks to the old south completely disappear. Once their handlers in the present city governance have been voted out of office, recalled, or indicted, then and only then will Marco Island be free of the divisiveness.


  • Yes, here is One

    Ok Lolala, lets just take a look at your experienced and
    knowledgeable leaders. A little research will tell you that Mr.
    Neylon is nothing more then a Master electrician and not an engineer
    in the field of wastewater treatment plants. Godfrey Davies was a
    former Marco Island police officer that couldn't hack it. Ed Foster
    himself has said that he has no experience in the wastewater
    industry, he preaches what he reads and preaches it as if it were the
    gospel. Dough Enman is a Real Estate salesperson and Roger Hall is
    nothing more then a frustrated troublemaker with expeirence in
    nothing. Now, compare your leaders with city staff. Get a life dummy!!

    As to the recall, what recall? Are you speaking of the court cases
    that the city keeps swatting away like fly's because they have no
    merit and the environmental violations you speak of are only in your
    little minds, show me one finding against the city. As to the FBI
    investigation, I hear its a fizzle.

    Tell me pray tell, just where are all these experienced and
    knowledgeable citizens you say are capable of making these decisions.

    You and your group of malcontents are nothing more then sheep
    following people you know nothing about.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, May 14, 2007 7:58:00 AM  

  • Yes, here even a city appointed person.

    Ed�coward� Foster,

    Hiding under his desk,

    Willemstad, Curacao

    You and your friend Uwe are nothing but a couple of low-life racist cowards... The emblem Uwe chose to end his email is below contempt; but coming from you and your friend, I am not surprised at all�

    Hey Uwe; you are now living in the United States of America and NOT in the Bundesrepublik! Take that emblem and stick it where the sun don�t shine. We proudly salute one flag in this country and it has the stars and stripes on it! Many a brave men and women died for that flag and your disrespect is pitiful at best and disgusting at worst!

    Hey Ed �coward� Foster; you arethe worst kind of a coward even as cowards go! You ran away as all cowards do, afteryou have been beaten at your own game several times. You are now hiding underyour desk in a foreign country and continuing to send taunting emails. If youhave any doubts about my being a �man�; I dare you to meet me face to face. Any time; anywhere� Then call me names, to my face� Can you do that coward Ed? We can just stand there and compare�notes� about who is a �man� and who is a �coward�.My �notes�against your �notes��How about that coward Ed?

    You twist facts; you falsely accuse innocent people; you file frivolous law suits; you went from sewers to asbestos to recall to sunshine violations. You questioned many honorable public servants� integrity. Hell, you even questioned the integrity of your own lawyer? What kind of a low-life are you anyway, coward Ed?

    It must really take a lot of�manly� courage to throw punches sitting behind your computer in Curacao! Is Bania there with you, taking notes?

    I am pleased to hear that you have finally found a septic heaven; a suitable place where you can stay close to the effluent that constantly seeps from your mouth. Drink that water coward Ed;drink that water!

    Coward Ed; you have an inordinate fascination with yourself! You must derive some sort of demented, erotic gratification from admiration of your own mental attributes� You are a very sick person coward Ed! Get some immediate medical help.

    I always sign my letters despite your silly allegations. Do you?

    Tarik N Ayasun

    Ps. Since you chose to send your cowardly email to all your friends, I am now giving them the opportunity of a lifetime to read my response� Those of you who want to be taken off Ed Coward Foster�s list; please contact him and not me. I will not take anyone off the list!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, May 14, 2007 8:08:00 AM  

  • Voters of Marco This Tarik Character is one of the Cities HENCHMEN. Be warned, what chance do you think you have to voice your opinion if you had a problem with the city?
    Please look at people like Tarik Assylum, John Aceri, Glenn Tucker. etc..(theres about 30 of them)
    This is a network of Power and Special interests, you'll get your say next election.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, May 14, 2007 9:17:00 AM  

  • Yes, I agree - there is more like 30 that comprise the core of the Hate Slate. I was able to positively identify 5 repeat offenders in the denigrating and disgusting postings as the same ones with different user names repeating their attacks over and over.

    But you are correct - in total more like 30.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Monday, May 14, 2007 10:35:00 AM  

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hurricane Information

NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) provides two excellent services for keeping residents informed as to hurricanes and tropical disturbances.

You can receive email alerts and view near-real-time satellite images.

One great service is their email alerts. Forecasts, predictions and emergencies are sent out automatically via email. You can subscribe to this service by going to http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/signup.shtml.

Another great service is the satellite imaging. You can actually watch the satellite view of the storms. Additionally, you can select overlays so that direction, wind speed, pressure, storm surge and even predictions are "laid over" the storm for easy understanding. You can view this satellite service at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/satellite.shtml.

These services are the fastest and most direct means available for providing information on storms.


    This is an example of an email alert!!!!

    WTNT21 KNHC 091444
    1500 UTC WED MAY 09 2007




    34 KT.......100NE 100SE 60SW 60NW.
    12 FT SEAS..120NE 90SE 0SW 120NW.

    REPEAT...CENTER LOCATED NEAR 30.8N 79.3W AT 09/1500Z
    AT 09/1200Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 30.8N 79.1W

    FORECAST VALID 10/0000Z 30.6N 79.9W
    MAX WIND 40 KT...GUSTS 50 KT.
    34 KT...100NE 100SE 60SW 60NW.

    FORECAST VALID 10/1200Z 30.2N 80.6W
    MAX WIND 35 KT...GUSTS 45 KT.
    34 KT...100NE 100SE 40SW 60NW.

    FORECAST VALID 11/0000Z 29.8N 81.0W
    MAX WIND 35 KT...GUSTS 45 KT.
    34 KT...100NE 100SE 0SW 60NW.

    FORECAST VALID 11/1200Z 29.6N 81.0W
    MAX WIND 30 KT...GUSTS 40 KT.

    FORECAST VALID 12/1200Z 29.5N 81.0W
    MAX WIND 25 KT...GUSTS 35 KT.


    OUTLOOK VALID 13/1200Z 29.5N 81.0W...DISSIPATING
    MAX WIND 25 KT...GUSTS 35 KT.





    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Wednesday, May 09, 2007 12:10:00 PM  

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Non-Residents: Can You Vote in the Plan A/B Referendum?

The better question is do you want to? And if so, are you willing to work for it?

Despite what the city has led you to believe, you can vote. See the below “Factoids”.

Additionally, there is presently a class-action lawsuit that is seeking tax relief for non-residents. Click here for the lawsuit/details. While this lawsuit does not directly address the question of voting, it does address the issue of disparate taxation for resident and non-resident property owners. Again, for those wanting to actually doing something about taxation without representation on Marco Island, this lawsuit gives you the blueprint of what to do.

If you chose to do nothing (writing letters to the present governance is doing nothing), then you have nothing to complain about when you are assessed more taxes without having voted.

Factoids: Factoids: Factoids:

Fs. 97.041 Qualifications to register or vote.--
(1)(a) A person may become a registered voter only if that person:
1. Is at least 18 years of age;
2. Is a citizen of the United States;
3. Is a legal resident of the State of Florida;
4. Is a legal resident of the county in which that person seeks to be registered; and
5. Registers pursuant to the Florida Election Code.

Fs. 97.041
(5)(a) A voter registration application is complete if it contains the following information necessary to establish the applicant's eligibility pursuant to s. 97.041, including:
1. The applicant's name.
2. The applicant's legal residence address.
3. The applicant's date of birth.
4. A mark in the checkbox affirming that the applicant is a citizen of the United States.
5.a. The applicant's current and valid Florida driver's license number or the identification number from a Florida identification card issued under s. 322.051, or
b. If the applicant has not been issued a current and valid Florida driver's license or a Florida identification card, the last four digits of the applicant's social security number.

FS. 196.012
(17) "Permanent resident" means a person who has established a permanent residence as defined in subsection (18).
(18) "Permanent residence" means that place where a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment to which, whenever absent, he or she has the intention of returning. A person may have only one permanent residence at a time; and, once a permanent residence is established in a foreign state or country, it is presumed to continue until the person shows that a change has occurred.

Legal Opinion
"Legal residence" refers to a person's permanent domicile, as distinguished from a temporary residence. “Domicile” is defined as that place where a person has his or her fixed, permanently place of abode, to which the person intends to return despite temporary residences elsewhere or temporary absences.

Another Legal Opinion
Not all retirees who own homes in New York and Florida are eligible to elect Florida as their domicile. Domicile is characterized in the New York tax regulations as the place that an individual intends to be his permanent home and the place to which he intends to return whenever he may be absent. The regulations provide that, once established, a domicile continues until the person moves to a new location with the bona fide intention of making his fixed and permanent home there. A person’s declarations are given due weight, but they will not be conclusive if they are contradicted by conduct. For example, the regulations state that registering and voting in one place is important but not necessarily conclusive. Likewise, the length of time customarily spent at each location is important but not conclusive.
A person can have only one domicile. If an individual has two or more homes, the domicile is the one regarded and used as the permanent home.

Another Legal Opinion:
Everybody that is a non-homesteader for at least one month can VOTE IN FLORIDA. NO RESTRICTIONS. So get out their and register. Then vote against the politicians that are voting against us!!!!!!!!!!


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Saturday, May 05, 2007


There is a resident on Marco Island that appears to have succumbed to a severe case of dementia. This part-time resident who we shall call Bob needs our help and understanding.

Bob, the good citizen that he is, came across the sham referendum proposed by the present city governance and read it quite carefully.

Bob became incensed when he learned that he will not be able to vote on the “Plan B if not Plan A” hoax being perpetrated on the taxpayers of Marco Island. He claimed discrimination! He wrote “Only those owners in the STRP and registered voters are allow [sic] to vote. This is totally unfair”.

Well, well, well. So far, nothing new here. For those of us that have been residents of Marco Island for more than a week, finding out that the present governance has disenfranchised yet another segment of the community and has insulted them in the process is an old and tired tale.

But the story gets better. And here is where poor ol’ Bob’s dementia took him into outer space and the rest of us into convulsions derived from hysterical laughter.

Bob then goes on to say, and we are not making this up, “I am a supporter of the city and its current council and manager, but this is not fair at all.

It has to be a severe case of dementia for no one can be that obtuse and be sane at the same time.

Where have you been Bob? You are a supporter of the city and its current council AND MANAGER? Really? And how did you arrive at that support, by watching the Cartoon Channel?

Because if you have been watching your city council and city manager for longer than a day you would have seen a plethora of examples where they disregard the rule of law, violate civil rights, impugn the reputation of its citizens, seek retaliation and retribution, sue, threaten, make false accusations, use hoary racial tropes and just outright ignore the citizens. Is this the governance you support?

So obviously Bob, since you must be genuine in your statement that you support the present city council and its manager, you must have seen all of these things. And since you witnessed these things Bob, for after all you are a concerned and well informed citizen, then the only explanation for making such an dull statement other than being patronizing is that you suffer from severe dementia.

We can only hope for Bob’s sake that his dementia worsens this way he will never realize that he gave up his right to vote by “supporting” those that deny the citizens that very right to vote.


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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thwarting the Hijackers

The quaint and seemingly all but forgotten tenet of this great government as penned by Lincoln nearly a century and half ago appears to have been relegated to the sole purview of history students. “… that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” may be on the verge of doing just that – perishing from this earth.

This threat is long in coming. It didn’t start with 9/11, or even from the usual suspects of enemy states such as the former Soviet Union. The danger has been evident for quite some time. The patient is perishing, and no one can say that we have not been repeatedly warned.

President Hayes wrote “This is a government of the people, by the people and for the people no longer. It is a government by the corporations, of the corporations, and for the corporations.” President Eisenhower’s admonition to guard against the “military- industrial complex” was a stark wakeup call to the people that they best be careful lest they loose all honorable influence in their government. And more recently is the formulation of the “iron triangle” used to symbolize the impenetrable nefarious relationship between the legislature, the bureaucracy and special interest groups.

These warnings have proven to be prophetic. Irrespective of who or what is in power – there is no difference between republicans or democrats in this regard – big business commands the legislature and the courts. Corporations have near total influence at all levels of government. They write the laws, set policies and feed them to their financial beneficiaries (the politicos) so that the avalanche of capitalism sloshes unimpeded. The American public is part co-conspirators, part victims, and all along for the ride.

Our rights have been hijacked and therefore been relegated to well behind those of big business.

Since many argue that corporations work in our interests (they don’t, they work in their interests) then the general consensus is “so what?” But by citizens accepting the hijacking of their rights, they have opened the door to other hijackers not as seemingly benevolent. Corporations may be nice “neighbors”, but others not so ostensibly nice are following the model and taking our rights.

These new hijackers make no pretense of what they think of the common citizen. At least the corporations ran the ruse that what they did was for our own good (you know, like sugar-free sweetener because sugar is somehow bad for you, except that the sugar-free sweetener contains sugar, just in a quantity that by law does not require “sugar” to be printed on the label because the regulation that requires printing the content on the label was written by the same corporations that came up with the wile that sugar was bad for you). Those good ol’ days of being entertained by the farcical corporate rip-offs are now something we all wish for in dark contrast to the new hijackers.

These new hijackers feign no act to hide their contempt for you and me. They openly ridicule the citizens they don’t like. They publicly besmirch you, your reputation, your character, your beliefs and even your family. And worse, they will use the very same power of government that you have entrusted to them to punish you into capitulation, oblivion or prison.

These new hijackers are those that run our government.

Take the case of a city desirous in “selling” a landmark to a condo developer. A preservation group raised a ruckus and exercised their constitutional right to seek a redress. And the city’s response? A threat to sue the citizens! Sound familiar? You would think it’s the present governance on Marco Island reacting like they always react to someone that disagrees with them. But this time it’s from Natchez, Mississippi. Consider:

The city has reacted by threatening to file a countersuit against the citizens. The move is mostly a scare tactic, but alarming for its potential impact on citizens’ rights.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens’ right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Despite the 25-cent words that may seems foreign to our ears, that phrase is generally interpreted to mean that citizens have a right to take the government to court to settle a difference of opinion.

But the First Amendment doesn’t have a footnote that says, “but the big, bad government can sue you back.” Sadly, in Natchez the First Amendment seems to have grown that footnote. (Source: http://www.natchezdemocrat.com

As those of us that dare to point out the transgressions of the present governance on Marco Island have learned, there is such a footnote to the U.S. Constitution. Read the just released transcripts of the secret City of Marco Island council meetings (links on this blog) if you have any doubts.

Yes, American history has some notable cases of government bodies going amok and persecuting their own citizens. But those were clearly exceptions, aberrations of the political landscape that in time ran their course. They were by no means emblematic of how a democratic society was run. They were not the de facto form of government and they did not boast of their abusive powers lest they be exposed.

They are now the norm. Today they are the abusive organs that have hijacked a government of the people by loathing the very people that they purportedly represent. Propagating fear and contempt is both popular and popularized. They are tightly knit groups acting tyrannically for self-serving reasons irrespective of the common good. Unalienable rights, federal and state laws are routinely subjugated under the cynical auspices of “home rule.”

Hence, we now have a government of the despots, by the despots and for the despots.

These potentate forms of government are far more insidious than the Americapitalism we have been subjected to for the past several decades. Though we have lost most of our influence in our representative bodies due to corporate power, at least Americapitalism has given us the technology and advances in many areas that have made our lives arguably better than those of our grandparents. There is no such upside to a government of the despots.

The good news is that we are all empowered to stop the nascent formal government of the despots. We have always had this power despite the never ending assaults on the citizenry. The problem has been and continues to be that the overwhelming majority of citizens have abdicated their responsibilities as citizens.

Stop giving up your rights. Ignore the despots and their venues – don’t worry about being left out – they’ll affect you soon enough. Petitioning a government of the despots is a humiliatingly futile masochistic undertaking. Highlighting the despots’ transgressions to the despots emboldens them and is complimentary to their ears while it’s a Sisyphusian exercise to your psyche. Seek a redress with outside agencies and branches of government. And when you are ignored or turned down or run into the bureaucratic morass of big government empowered by big business, decry the state of affairs and try again. Help those who have been wronged for it’s only a matter of time before despotism nails you. If you are ethical then you know that compromising one’s principles is no virtue. Seek justice at every turn lest you be denied same. Pearl Buck said it best: “When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail.

Like big business before them, the despots are working the system every day, every minute, every moment as you wait for someone else to do something about it. If you don’t act now to thwart the hijackers of our basic rights, you will witness the government of the people, by the people and for the people perish from this earth right before your very eyes.


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