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Tuesday March 18, 2008

What's up with a Florida primary?

It was decided yesterday that there will not be a re-vote for Florida’s Democratic primary. The story so far (skip to next graff if you’ve been following the news): Last year, the Florida legislature decided to move our primary up to January 29th in this primary season. The Democratic National Party had previously decided that no state, except four that have historically had early primaries, could have a primary before February 5th (Super Tuesday), and threatened to not seat Florida’s delegates at the convention, i.e. to not count our votes. The conventional wisdom at the time was that since most candidates are determined on Super Tuesday, Florida’s primary would count where it mattered — by giving a candidate “momentum” — and that actual delegate votes at conventions haven’t decided a nominee in decades. Except that the subsequent primaries have been very close, and there now appears the very real chance that Florida could have been the deciding vote, leading everyone to look for a way to fix the mess.

The response that you hear often to this is, “well, Florida knew the rules when it made the decision to have an early primary.” It’s shocking how often statement to this effect are repeated without being questioned. “Florida” is not a sentient being. The decision was made by one group (Florida state legislature) and impacts another group (Florida voters). To say that our elected officials disenfranchised us and that’s all there is to it reeks. So what now? Well, counting the vote goes against the rules that were established at the beginning of the process (= not democratic). Not counting the vote disenfranchises Florida voters (= not democratic). And re-voting has been determined to be unfeasible, not to mention an affront to those that voted on January 29th (so also = also not democratic).

So what’s the solution? Well, there is none; not for this election. The whole thing is dominated by realpolitik self-interest (e.g. I’m a Barack Obama supporter, so I should be happy that Florida isn’t being counted, as it was won by Hillary Clinton). There are lessons to be learned, however, starting with the fact that the whole primary system is an anti-democratic catastrophe in need of overhaul. Other then “because it was always so,” why should Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina have a more influential voice in selecting the president then any other state? Why do some states hold “caucuses,” some “elections,” and some (I smell Texas) such convoluted combinations that nobody even tries to explain them? And what’s up with “super-delegates,” anyway?

This, my friends, is no way to elect a president. The whole system is screwed (you can tell, in part, by looking at the men it has elected for the last 40 years or so). There are lots of ways to have an election, all with their valid criticisms, but all better then this. (Interjection: And what about Ralph Nader? What’s up with him??) Let’s pick a system and go with it. Do I think that’s going to happen? No, not yet. It’s going to take a few more disasters like this first. But it’s on the way.

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Friday December 15, 2006

An Art Basel flickr photoset, dominated by pictures of the Friends With You parade. Great!

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Friday September 9, 2005

Killer bees invade Miami!

Ok, people, it’s legit: We’re all going to die. Katrina swept killer bees across the ocean and into our fair city. Firefighters killed the hive, but not before the queen got a chance to escape. Beekeeper Adrian Valero, on the scene, said that where the queen goes the hive follows. Yikes!

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Monday November 20, 2006

It's not that easy . . .

No, it’s not that easy. I think they got these signs out of the Kinkos when they realized that. But the fact that they ever got produced is some sort of achievement . . .

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Tuesday February 14, 2006

Oh another Tuesday

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Wednesday May 24, 2006

Henry e-mailed the Herald about the new blogs. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a response.

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Wednesday July 19, 2006

It’s official: Miami Performing Arts Center is now the Carnival Performing Arts Center. They transfered their name from the concert hall and ponied up an additional $10 million (for a total of 20 mill) for the name. Knight Foundation kicked in another $10 million and now we have the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall. Not bad for a day’s work. Update: Hey look, there’s a new web site.

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Saturday August 20, 2005

A Prairie Home Companion

We’re guessing most Critical Miami readers have never heard of A Prairie Home Companion, which might be the quintesentially unhip NPR show. To be sure, it’s an aquired taste. But since WLRN generously plays it twice a week (6 pm on Saturdays and noon on Sundays), it’s an easy taste to aquire. The show broadcast from Miami is a pretty good place to jump in, and you can catch a repeat of it this very weekend. It’s radio for old people that non-old people should get hip to.

Real Audio of the entire show is available here (another older episode from Miami here).

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Monday July 30, 2007

Seagulls. And this is at 22mm, so I was really up on those fuckers.

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Monday May 21, 2007


Saturday’s storm.

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Friday October 5, 2007

Miami Carnival weekend

carnival

“Miami Carnival” is not the same thing as “Carnival,” but it’s something. See Sunday. Also, I believe there’s still time to register for the Spencer Tunick nakedness on Monday.

Tonight

Saturday

Sunday

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Tuesday March 13, 2007

Is this the bottom?

Wow! A UF study just found that Florida’s residential housing market may be bottoming out. Before we get all exited, let’s keep in mind that this is state-wide, not specific to Miami, and that the condo market is still in mid-tank. However, Housing Tracker for Miami confirms an increase in median home sale price for the last month (+0.8%), the first positive bump in over two years. By my reading, though, the accumulation of housing inventory is accelerating in the same time period, so keep your champagne corked for the moment. Update: Sorry, the link works now. Read BB’s comment, and venture a guess — if this report is BS, then when do you think the housing market will bottom out? (Critical Miami’s prediction: another 12  –15 months.)

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Tuesday August 22, 2006

Let’s not get too comfortable, kids: Atlantic hurricanes could rev up any time. Take ‘ol Andrew, back in 1992. That was the first hurricane of hurricane in that year, and it hit on August 24th. The peak of hurricane season is about the three weeks before and after September 10th. “There’s absolutely nothing that I know of that is unfavorable (to hurricane development) in the eastern Atlantic,” said Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center.

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Tuesday January 9, 2007

BarCamp

Barcamp Miami

Cool! BarCamp is happening in Miami. Very exiting. That’s a link to a blog, which has preliminary information and links; link to the wiki page. For some idea of what this is like, see Rules of BarCamp. More here.

Update: Still confused? Wikipedia to the rescue.

Update: BarCamp Google group.

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Saturday May 6, 2006

The report draft Omar wrote up — about the Miami Civilian Investigative Panel’s report on the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas Summit — has been covered in the Herald. Better yet, here’s a pdf of the report itself.

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Monday March 24, 2008

Miami city commissioner Tomás Regalado appears to be on a mission to sink Miami 21. He sneakily canceled a meeting of the commission to consider the zoning codes, and has promised not to give the consultants on the project another dime of funding, all the while calling for “more input,” “more clarification.”

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Friday April 21, 2006

You may not even need to click the link, but yes, a man was caught coming into MIA with a suitcase of dead birds. The suitcase was confiscated, and the man was allowed to go on his way. Good times.

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Thursday July 21, 2005

No XXX Spam for You!

The Lincoln Road based BangBus.com, New Times Miami’s Best-of Miami Best Website from last year, has just been given the big wet Federal Trade Commission smackdown, to the tune of $650,000, for sending pornographic spam. Ha! Right? Well . . .

On a related note, Critical Miami has received at least one hostile response to a recent e-mail we sent to some people we thought were our friends. It read, in part:

Federal guidelines indicate that you must have an unsubscribe link in the spam you send. Your email is in violation of this federal guideline. Please cease and desist from distributing unsolicited emails .

The response was cc’d to Spamcop, and, you guessed it: the Federal Trade Commission. In case the Feds are reading, let us just say that

  1. Unlike the Bang Brothers, we are not making money from this site.
  2. Our e-mail contained a picture of downtown Miami construction, not amateur girls giving slow, nut-busting cum-crazy blowjobs.
  3. Even still, we are very, very sorry. We apologize without reservation. Can you find it in your heart to forgive us?

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Friday February 29, 2008

A number of people gave me shit for not posting today. Ahh, the love.

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Friday October 20, 2006

Rick is absolutely right: many anti-child-molester actions the government takes are completely idiotic. If you want to prevent child sex-abuse, there are experts that can tell you what to do. And they’ll all tell you that crap like this is a waste of money that could be used to do stuff that actually helps. Previously.

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Monday October 29, 2007

Miami from the Venetian Causeway.

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Friday January 19, 2007

“A department director eager to keep his job would be mindful of which bidder was favored by a less-than-ethical mayor.” Michael Putney on the strong mayor proposal. That quote is the strongest reason to vote for the proposal, though you need to read his piece to get the full perspective. He does a really good job of looking at the issue from all sides, and finds fault with the commission, the mayor, and even the Herald’s handling of the issue. Best case scenario: reject the strong-mayor proposal, and form a panel to do an independent charter review and make a comprehensive set of recommendations, as Commissioner Katy Sorenson has called for. Update: Michael Lewis hammers pretty much the same point.

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Friday September 7, 2012

DWNTWN Art Days weekend

ugly type

So, Downtown Art Days. Let’s take a quick look at how badly these asshats have set this up. This is the retardedly named DWNTWN’s big event weekend-long signature event. (DWNTWN = Downtown Miami’s cultural website, created by the Miami development authority.) Check out their website’s homepage. There it is: “Save the Date/Art Days/Sept 7-8.” Awlright, click there! Hmm… you can’t click that(!!). Ok, click the link right underneath, “See More Events>”. That takes you to this page, on which there is NOTHING about the downtown art days. You can “filter by month” at the bottom, but clicking on “SEP” does NOTHING. Note that all the events on the page have passed. Clicking “CALENDAR” at the top takes you to the same page you’re already on.

AHA! — there’s a link for DWNTWN ART DAYS up there. Hallelujah. Click it. That takes you to this page, which at this point it should not shock you has NO INFORMATION on it. (Remember: this event is so central to this organization that their URL is named after it!) There is a link to a PDF “calendar and map,” and this is where I really start to get mad. Anyway, here’s the PDF. Check it:

Are these people deliberately making this hard because they for some reason want a bad turnout? This is not snark or sarcasm. I am not genuinely wondering. (Please do not tell me that they don’t have the money to do better, because I’m looking at this website, and they have MONEY for DESIGN.) Also, I’ve wasted all my time, so the rest of this guide is going to be abbreviated. I guess you’ll just have to head downtown, find a copy of whatever this PDF looks like when it’s printed, and hope it’s worth your while.

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

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Saturday December 2, 2006

Things you CAN’T do when you’re NOT in a pool. Have a nice weekend, y’all.

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Thursday August 24, 2006

Holy moly! Someone got good service at Gables Diner! (The food was a different matter, but then you can’t have everything, now can you?) Update: btw, how do you spell “moly”?? I’m getting 448,000 google hits for ‘holy moly’, 100,000 for ‘holy moley’, and only 986 for ‘holy molly’. Update: Definition of “moly”: “a mythical herb with a black root, white blossoms, and magical powers.” So that sounds right.

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Tuesday May 8, 2007

A thought: if today’s high is 78° and the water restrictions make it illegal to set your thermostat any lower then 78,° does that mean that no air conditioner in Miami will even kick on today??

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Tuesday February 5, 2008

Larry Lebowitz on the Metrorail expansion’s serious problems: The US DoT is lowering its “rating” on the North corridor expansion and yanking is $700 million for the project, throwing the whole system into turmoil: “[T]he Federal Transit Administration will be lowering the rating because of the county’s inability to maintain and modernize the entire system after 2015. If the county can’t afford to pay for the transit system after the $1.3 billion North opens, why would it be able to do so for the $2.2 billion East-West?”

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Wednesday September 26, 2007

The sad result of speeding in Miami — a boy on a bicycle hit by a speeding driver, as witnessed and reported by Asawaa. This is old, but I’ve been staring at it in my browser for over a month and it’s oddly compelling. Asawaa’s photostream is worth investigating, too. He has images that are stitched together from hundreds of smaller photos.

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Monday March 24, 2008

The West Palm Beach sheriff’s department sent in 100 deputies to break up a fight at the Sunshine Flea Market yesterday. That’s how you do it, folks: nothing beats a small army.

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Friday September 28, 2012

Dragonboat weekend

Tonight

Saturday

Sunday

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