Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The DiSciullo Gambit
With the pretense fooling no one, the honest citizenry quickly realized that the present governance had put the city through yet another violation of the government in the sunshine laws.
As the cries of abuse and arrogance reverberated through the emailsphere and blogsphere, the only person who voted for the delay with a conscience realized she had been duped.
We can only surmise that Mrs. Terri DiSciullo did not want to be once again suffused into the undertow of the present governance and therefore went public with the scam. She wrote letter and lobbied the honest citizens of the island.
The response from the city manager and his denizens was predictable. Attack, accuse, intimidate, and threaten. An old story.
But the still evolving ordeal has left the honest citizenry in an utterly indecisive quandary: Is Mrs. DiSciullo simply acting in an attempt to rehabilitate her image as a precursor to running for re-election? Or is she genuinely indignant?
We tend to believe the latter but there is one sure way to find out.
We tend to believe the latter because if you recall, the last obvious criminal endeavor by the present governance (Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act violations due to threatening voters) was quickly submerged in the avalanche of backpedaling from an emergency city council meeting that was hastily called by the then council chairperson … Mrs. DiSciullo.
The sure way to find out is for Mrs. DiSciullo to simply answer the following: If she is truly offended and believe to have been violated by what has transpired, contact Sgt. D. A. White of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-774-4434 (email Dwhite2@sao.cjis20.org) and inform him of the details in this matter. Sgt. White is the detective presently undertaking the investigation of the previous violations of the Sunshine Law by the present governance of Marco Island.
There is clearly a moral and ethical obligation to report the details of such a sham.
We will see what Mrs. DiSciullo does, and we pray, irrespective of her political intentions, that she doe the moral and ethical thing.
What is It?
Friday, June 22, 2007
The Council Follies
The city staff (a.k.a. the city manager) privately orchestrates a plan to delay the election until November. As soon as the plan is pegged for what it really is - a violation of the state's Sunshine Law - Graucho, Harpo, Zeppo, Gummo and Chico commence the by now well rehearsed routine of he-said-she-said and its-all-a-big-misunderstanding and lets-rehabilitate-our-image-by-pleading-our-spin-to-the-usual-citizens.
What is truly amazing is why the council should undertake yet another boorish performance of making yet another crime look as if it never happened. Surely, it’s not as if Inspector Clueso of the Collier County Sheriff's Department, the languid laggard that is mentally masturbating the plethora of Sunshine Law violations by the present governance is going to do anything more than write denial letters to the citizens that are doing his job.
Nearly four years of Monkey Business now moves to A Night at the Opera. Keep watching because soon it will be A Day at the Races.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Is She Referring to Some in our Government?
"Second-rate liberals who went to mediocre schools and married mediocre women are burning with jealousy from their nondescript, mediocre jobs. So they use their government jobs to attack their betters and sneer about the players."
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Holding Onto Power ...
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Democracy in Abeyance in Marco Island
The city manager continues to perform excellently as a political hack. The city attorney is the primordial sellout to those that buy the “service”. The media is an accomplice as they merely parrot what they heard. Those beholden to the illicit rulers are along for the ride. The law enforcement agencies endorse the criminal behavior for after all they too are part of the triangle.
But as always with the best of this great country, it is the people that eventually do the heavy lifting. The honest citizens of Marco Island will take this affront as yet another impetus to continue the struggle to bring back honesty, integrity, character, morality and democracy to this city. It will be the honest citizens that will eventually govern through a legitimate mandate. And it will be then that those that intentionally harm the well being of this community and deliberately thwart the will of the people will face a long and arduous justice.
Caution: the following video is democratically rated "D" for disgusting.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The Moribund Free Press
In these seemingly distant places the press is literally dying to stay independent and free. Their decline are due to despotic governments facilitating their demise through forceful restrictions on their independence and freedom.
In our country the free press is also in decline. But on our soil the approach to extinction is precipitated predominantly through self-inflicted wounds.
To mask why readership has declined over the past 20 years, the press naturally blames factors that have nothing to do with them. False reasons abound. Its the internet. Its 24 hour cable news coverage. Its the bloggers. People don't have the time to read anymore, don't have the attention span to read beyond a mystical number of 200 words, or are just too stupid to read.
The internet may have hastened the decline but as soon as the media moguls realized that they too could join the virtual fray, they quickly jumped on the bandwagon with the hope of rescuing their waning art - to no avail. The 24 hour cable news coverage is mostly about promoting ideologues masked as personalities. People can still read - especially those that are able and willing to buy newspapers.
True enough - the bloggers have drawn an audience. Though the exceptional bloggers are few in numbers, they are for the most part filling the ever increasing unbiased intellectual informational void being created by the press' abdication of the principles of a free press. As but one example, it was a blogger that exposed the CBS/Dan Rather forged documents on the president.
Clearly, the decline of our free press started with poor quality, questionable practices and non-existing ethics rather than by the pretexts previously described. The suicide began when our free press started selling it's interests to the highest bidder. The bidding came from the usual suspects, i.e., big business, but also from the nodes of the iron triangle that fed them what they needed so as to fill their rapidly expanding intellectual and moral vacuum. Afraid to offend a revenue stream or risk governmental sources drying up, the stories that should be exposed are replaced with gaudy advertisements. They would rather run an ad that peddles an FDA-approved pharmaceutical drug, than print the reports proving that same drug is killing people - until the bodies start stacking up of course at which time they simply join the bandwagon.
In yet another example (as if we need any more), that is exactly what happened to the New York Times (again). In their zeal to protect their sources, they compromised whatever journalist integrity they had left. Such is the case of Valerie Plame Wilson, where reporters went to great lengths to protect their sources. And guess what? Their sources were wrong, but the story, driven by their hatred of the president, would not go away quietly and more importantly would not go away honestly. In a Time May 31, 2007 article entitled "How Libby's Trial Hurt the Press" Time's former editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine comments "It was a telling example of her willingness to breach journalistic ethics in order to coddle close sources". The "her" in this quote refers to the imprisoned New York Times reporter Judith Miller. Ipso facto, "journalistic ethics" is now an oxymoron.
Whether the press succumbs to market pressures from within or from without is of no consequence to the base that has supported the free press for centuries. A sell out is a sell out irrespective of how the money god has been placated. They could have predicted it given that once you sell your principles, the principled that supported you flee to honest venues.
For it is that very fourth branch of government that we so desperately need. It is its missing influence and oversight that has placed this great experiment in dire straights. We as a free people, whose freedoms are eroding, need the factual debate presenting the side we agree with, but more importantly, the aspect that we disagree with.
It is as if we got our information from Pravda or Granma. How objective, how educated, and how reasonable could we be if forever presented with the same side, the same slanted side day after day, or of with no side at all? Well, that is pretty much what we have in this country, except that the press is not peddling anti-imperialist propaganda as Pravda did and Granma does; it is peddling what makes us feel good interspersed with biased political rhetoric suffused with neutered suppositions of municipal corruption spun as "he-said she-said" and peppered with the commercialization mania that drives this country.
It is unclear who is influencing whom. The influence however is obvious to the point of absurdity - akin to the cynically comical exchange when Captain Renault is announcing the shutting down of Rick's because he is shocked, shocked to find gambling as a croupier hands over a stack of cash and says "Your winnings, sir". The press is influenced by their own organizations lest the wrong group gets offended by an honest article and an ad revenue stream dries up. The press is influenced by self-proclaimed "community leaders" whenever their community does not fare well in print (you know, like when asbestos is dumped and the city manager blames the citizens as the contractor that dumped the toxic stuff gets paid to remove it and then members of the Hate Slate demand the firing of the reporter that dared write articles about the whole mess). The press does not want to upset the corners of the triangle lest a source of propaganda stops feeding it propaganda.
And it is in this last influencing scenario that is the most challenging to understand. The press does not want to do the right and honest and fair thing if that "thing" goes against city hall because they will be locked out of information. This author was told just that! Which was obvious anyway given the lack of meaningful, serious, professional coverage of the present governance's illegal and illicit transgressions.
We can and should excuse the community paper for after all it's a community newspaper. And in that it does quite well, and goes out of its way to cover a modicum of the local shenanigans honestly and objectively.
And yet there is a component of the other ("near local") press that has no such fortune of intellect. It hosts a character (literally) that merely regurgitates whatever undemocratic anti-citizen Tuckerisms occurs to him in between reminiscing about days at the network and ... well days at the network that was second (only to CBS) to compromise its neutrality. The classic was when this Village Idiot attacked the citizens of Marco Island for exercising their constitutional rights because it would cause the city money - despite the fact that it was the city that chose to unnecessarily spend the money to thwart what a federalism does. Don't expect any vitriol from the Village Idiot on how one of the richest communities in Florida is nearly bankrupt, has a toxic dump, and pumps fetid water onto the streets - all courtesy of his mentors on the city council - since such would offend the feeding node of the local triangle.
It was not so long ago that we could count on two very strong forces to keep the iron triangle in check. One was the citizenry itself. Every now and then the citizenry take a stand and thwarts the corrupting effects of the triangle. Recent national victories, such as the temporary defeat of the illegal alien amnesty legislation, and recent local victories, such as the defeat of the city of Marco Island's illegal mandate to hook up to the sewer system in 90 days, are testaments to how the will of the people can prevail. The other counterbalancing force to the iron triangle was the free press. As Alexis de Tocqueville said, “The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people”.
But the press' influence for anything other than political purposes has waned and has for the most part embraced the triangle as a needed source for what keeps it on life support. Hence we can still sort of count on one good force, the other we can discount.
In other countries, the free and independent press has to be forcefully shut down to prevent them from documenting the transgressions of government, some worse than others. In the U.S., the free press migrated to the auto-censorship mode so as to chase the almighty dollar and grease the propaganda feeding trough.
On Marco Island we are sort of sputtering with some good on-island local coverage. But the near local coverage mostly resembles the best of Das Reich. What we don't have is that spirited investigative journalism that would flourish given the Captain Renault-style abuses by the present Marco Island governance.
If the near local press had been contacted by Deep Throat, it would have called Richard for a comment, printed that comment verbatim as the concluding remark to an article covering a petty burglary by some crazy Cubans, dropped the entire story and had a Village Idiot besmirch Frank Wills for reporting the open door.
In other lands, the press is literally dying to stay free and independent. In this great country, the free and independent press is simply just dying.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
ANOTHER ... Compromising on Principle is No Virtue
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Consider a scenario where a person is asked to support one crime or support another. Both are crimes, both will hurt other people. Is there then some religious or moral reason to justify hurting one group over the other?
During WWII the allies were presented with a haunting dilemma. Very early in the war everyone that cared to know knew that the Nazi’s were running extermination camps. Jews, gypsies, Catholics and basically anyone else that the Nazis did not like were being brutally slaughtered with the efficiency only the Nazis could deliver. Beyond the slaughters, as if anything could be worse, tortures and grotesque experiments were being conducted.
So someone can up with the idea – bomb the concentration camps. Destroy them, along with the related infrastructure (e.g., the rail lines), and at least for a long time, and possibly forever, the camps and the brutality would be no more.
But clearly there was a serious moral problem. By destroying the camps, innocent prisoners were being killed. But the moral relativists argued that an instant death resulting from a saturation bombing raid would be far better that the pain and suffering derived from being tortured and gassed to death.
Succinctly, kill some innocents now or let the holocaust continue. How and why was the latter chosen?
The decision was rather straightforward: the allied commanders involved in this decision opted to not intentionally take the life innocent people.
Translation: no one of moral conscience would intentionally do anything to hurt someone else.
This tragic time in history revealed how the alternative of more innocents dying a cruel death was not even an option for the commanders. The commanders knew that the innocents that would perish by not bombing the camps would die not by their hands, but by the hands of the Nazis. It was the Nazis that were doing the killing, a fact that did not magically disappear (except to the moral relativists) just because honorable people refused to take innocent lives.
Moral relativism has become an epidemic in modern culture and has long prostituted the legal and political mechanisms of this democracy.
The illegal alien debate is but one issue that has the moral relativists working overtime and in overdrive with the net effect of doing nothing more that confusing those so predisposed, and worse – giving cover to the overwhelming majority our morally depleted elected representatives. The effluvium has made it to the citizenry.
Here on Marco Island we have our own share of moral relativism.
The moral dilemma du jour is as related to the sham referendum.
The Marco Island version of moral relativism on this issue goes something like this: “if you don’t vote, someone else will be making a decision for you so vote for the lesser of the two evils.”
And the lesser of the two scams is which one? And is someone else really making a decision for me?
Let’s take the latter first.
The decision was already made by the present city governance. That “decision” was dictated irrespective of the honest citizens of Marco Island. It was taken in a vacuum in order to support an illicitly conceived, ill planned, Ponzi-financed, unneeded exceedingly costly and polluting project the sole purpose of which is to feed the commercialization gods.
If the voters were to really make a decision on this matter, then the entire STRP should have come up for a vote.
Here’s an analogy – it’s like someone bulldozing your house without permission, then asking you to select how to pay for the cleanup – and by the way, you only get one choice of cleanup plans because if you vote NO for that one and only plan, you will get (WITHOUT A CHOICE) another plan.
So the choice was already made for you the moment your house was leveled – and by not voting for the a posteriori cleanup does not negate or validate the a priori fact.
This leads to the former issue … and the lesser of the two scams is which one?
And what exactly is the moral relativists’ question here – is it something like should we rob the gas station by coming in through the roof or should we rob the gas station by coming in through the front door?
Uhm … let’s think about this one for a while. The option of not robbing the gas station apparently does not cross the intellectual or moral consciousness of the moral relativists.
For you see there is the freedom that is overlooked by many when there is the perception of an economic or political gain. It is simply the freedom to not choose at all. And it is that very freedom, our freedom, which is abdicated every time we are slapped with yet another farcical decision based on contrasting the bad against the very bad. Freedom is an idea, an idea that can not be manifest when its realization is made more and scarcer by the insouciant compromise between the immoral and the illegal. And every time the electorate chooses not to exercise their freedom, the less we have of it – and then we wonder why such utterly outrageous decisions are made against the overwhelming will of the people. As Immanuel Kant elucidated in his seminal work On the Critique of Pure Reason “… and how wide the chasm may be between the idea and its realization, no one can or ought to determine, because it is this very freedom that may be able to transcend any limits hitherto assigned to it”.
When we are free to act, we then should freely act for what is right, lest we loose that choice and forever be bared from the opportunity.
We all think of ourselves as virtuous – regardless if one opts for economic reasons or political expediency for what is perceived to be the lesser of two evils, or if one exercises their freedom and opts not to vote at all. But in this vain perhaps Nietzsche was right when he said “… for virtue is the will to downfall, and an arrow to longing”. Though one wonders where we go from here when our freedoms are based in certain inalienable rights that can only be manifest through the common virtues of a just and moral society.
So perhaps the local moral relativists could learn something from history by considering the decision tree used by the allied commanders. When others are committing the crime, making a choice on moral and ethical grounds is the right and only thing to do.
The real irony here on Marco Island is that there is a choice – exercise your freedom by not choosing one of the two deceptions, let the consequences of that fraud lie with those that imposed the decision for you, and thereby deny the present governance a legitimacy to govern. And in the process, preserve your decency and integrity.
The allied commanders did just that. And they won the war.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Partial Victory for Now
Leave no doubt – it was the class action suit that forced the present governance to even consider changing their unlawful fiat on this issue. Despite having been warned and being asked repeatedly to explain the dichotomy between their 90-days mandate and the state’s 365 requirement, all of which were summarily ignored, the present governance did nothing hoping they could get away with it. Irrespective of what occurs or fails to occur at the next council meeting, the present governance is on its way to not getting away with it.
However, for the moment, this is a partial victory. We proclaim loud and clear – finally, a victory for the rule of law, a victory for people that make this republic, a victory for all of those noble efforts that have failed to halt the abuses of government.
A victory that we can rejoice in only partially and perhaps temporarily.
Under the “let’s see what else we can get away with” model, the proposed ordinance being considered at the next council meeting will allow hookup to the sewer system in 365 days but … guess what? You have to pay some charge now! And who knows what else in 90 days – because of course it all depends on the “Plan B if Not Plan A” referendum.
Assuming that the city council goes along with this latest scheme from the city manager, then this is but a victory for now, and thereby moving onto the next phase of the class action lawsuit ensues.
But perhaps we can all hope and pray for the best.
We all know what is driving every decision related to the STRP – money. The hookup/pay in 90 days was but one element in the STRP financial Ponzi scheme needed to pay for something that is not needed nor can be afforded.
But perhaps we can all hope that the city council will consider that the rule of law and the requirements of its citizens – the citizens that have granted them the right to govern us – clearly and unequivocally trump financial considerations. Especially one so ill conceived.
On behalf of those brave 159 citizens, and on behalf of all residents that respect the laws and bounty that this great country has provided to each and every one of us, a public appeal to the city council to make the hookup and the charges both in 365 days.
And this way all of us – citizens, council members alike – can all claim a permanent victory.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Fetid Liquid Pumped Into Swales
The septic tanks have not put one iota of anything in the canals or into the land beyond what they have been designed to do. The STRP program - to replace the non-polluting septic tanks - pollutes the environment as can be seen here.Your government at work!
(there is a video of the refuse being pumped onto our environment in the video library).
(click any image to enlarge)