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More Florida Follies, JFK, Keith Richards and John Updike Redux: The Live Wire, Nov. 22

| November 22, 2010

Tuwaiq Mountains, Central Saudi Arabia's version of Monument Valley (© Tariq M Almutlaq)

Tuwaiq Mountains, Central Saudi Arabia's version of Monument Valley (© Tariq M Almutlaq)

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Feed Flagler Update XII: $880

It was a good weekend after all: we almost doubled what we raised for Feed Flagler, to $880, which means we have just $120 left to find to meet out goal. Remember: every penny is going to either the Grace Tabernacle food pantry, behind Flagler Palm Coast High School, which is serving close to 1,000 families per month, or to the Bunnell’s First United Methodist Church’s food pantry.

Feed Flagler is designed to raise thousands of dollars and thousands of pounds of food for Flagler County’s food pantries and to pay for the Nov. 24 Thanksgiving meal for some 2,000 people in the second annual Feed Flagler celebration. The effort is also designed to stock families’ and food pantries’ shelves well beyond Thanksgiving, which is what makes this necessary and particularly worthy.

Please do your part. We’re doing ours. We started our own fund-raising through FlaglerLive, seeding it with an initial contribution of $100 and further contributions from the following:

  • Hollingsworth Gallery’s JJ Graham
  • David Millonig in Pensacola
  • Nancy Nally in Palm Coast
  • Darrell Smith in Flagler Beach
  • Palm Coast Bible Church ($100)
  • Inna & John Hardison
  • Anthony Mike Kales
  • Kendall Clark
  • Jim Guines
  • Lynn Snyder
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Ann DeLucia (thank you for pushing us over the half-way mark)
  • Anonymous ($100)
  • Phyllis Jenkins
  • Sharon Hennessey Pinard
  • Charlie Ericksen
  • Mario diGirolamo
  • Neal Ecker
  • Timothy McCue

If you’d like to donate but would prefer to remain anonymous, just send us a note here and we’ll leave your name out of it. Thank you all. Keep it coming.

Here’s the list of monetary donors through the county’s efforts:

  • Bug Guard Services, Inc. ($1,000)
  • Acme Trophies
  • Biblical Truth Ministries ($505)
  • Phyllis Carmel
  • First Coast Community Credit Union
  • Grace Tabernacle Ministries
  • Prosperity Bank
  • Temple Beth Shalom
  • University Women of Flagler, Inc.
  • Jean MacAllister
  • New Beginnings Church, Inc.
  • Cornelius & Ruth Van De Weert
  • P. Hassid
  • Flagler County’s three Rotary groups
  • Tax Collector Suzanne Johnston
  • John’s Auto Parts of Bunnell ($1,000)
  • Adella Latus
  • Michael and Patricia Danforth
  • Rev. Elizabeth & Charles Gardner
  • Helio Creative
  • Hijackers Restaurant
  • Johnson Orthodontics
  • Microhose
  • Palm Coast Lions Charities
  • Pepsi Co.
  • Philippine American Association
  • Rocky’s Pizza (Flagler Beach)
  • Rotary Club of Flagler County Foundation ($500)
  • Rotary Meeting (Single-Meeting Donation, $425)
  • Cornelius & Ruth Van De Weert
  • N.D. Walsh
  • Waste Pro ($500)
  • Winn Dixie
  • FlaglerLive

Here are the members of Team Flagler’s Food Drive Challenge, coordinated by the county’s Joe Mayer and Christie Mayer (313-4094):

  • Flagler County Board of County Commissioners
  • Flagler County Tax Collector
  • Flagler County Property Appraiser
  • Flagler County Schools
  • Flagler County Health Department
  • Flagler County Clerk of Court
  • Flagler County Sheriff’s Department
  • Flagler County Supervisor of Elections
  • City of Bunnell
  • City of Flagler Beach
  • City of Palm Coast
  • Chicks With Cans
  • Waste Pro
  • Hammock Dunes Club
  • Pop-a-Lock

See Also:

Florida Chief Justice: Open Those Foreclosure Hearings

The chief justice of the Supreme Court of Florida last week issued a directive to the chief judges of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits instructing them to ensure that the judges they supervise and the staff that reports to those judges, as well as bailiffs and employees of the clerks of court, keep all foreclosure court proceedings in the state open to the public.

The directive was issued after the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida and a coalition of journalistic and First Amendment organizations earlier this week sent letters to Chief Justice Charles P. Canady of the Supreme Court of Florida and Chief Judge Donald R. Moran of Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit highlighting a number of reports from around the state pointing to a troubling pattern of foreclosure courts operating behind closed doors rather than openly as mandated by Florida law. Along with the ACLU, other organizations that signed the letters include the Florida Press Association, the Florida Association of Broadcasters, the Florida Society of News Editors, the Florida Times-Union newspaper and the First Amendment Foundation. Public access to foreclosure court proceedings is especially important given recent media reports in Florida and around the country revealing rampant error and fraud in the foreclosure process.

Earlier last week and also in response to the letters, Chief Judge Moran issued a memo to the judges in the state’s Fourth Judicial Circuit directing that starting next week foreclosure court proceedings will be held in traditional courtrooms in order to facilitate open public access.

In his memo to Florida’s chief judges, Chief Justice Canady wrote, “As the chief administrative officer of the Florida judicial branch, I am directing all chief judges to examine the current practices within their respective judicial circuits to ensure that those practices are entirely consistent with the constitutional, statutory, procedural rule, and case law requirements of this state regarding the presumption that state court proceedings are open to the public.”

See Also:

Florida’s New Regime: Let’s Dirty Up the State’s Waters

florida pollutionIt has begun. From a St. Pete Times Editorial: “Rick Scott, Pam Bondi and the rest of Florida’s newly elected Republican leadership teamed up the other day for a shameful cause — dirtier streams, lakes and drinking water. The pair joined a host of incoming Republican officeholders to blast the new clean water rules announced this month by the Environmental Protection Agency. These leaders need to get their facts — and their priorities — straight. Polluted water endangers public health, threatens the golden geese of property values and tourism and destroys the very environment that attracts residents here. The state should welcome the new standards and work with polluters to clean up the public’s waterways.

The new rules are hardly an example of an activist federal government overstepping its authority. […] These rules were put into motion under the administration of President George W. Bush, after the EPA had worked for a decade with two Republican governors of Florida to write tighter pollution standards. And the standards are not near as draconian or as costly as industrial polluters have claimed. […] Business groups have done a good job camouflaging the issue as a jobs bill and confusing the point: The public’s waterways should no longer be a cheap dumping ground for fertilizer, chemicals, livestock manure, stormwater runoff and septic tanks. Nutrient pollution causes harmful algae blooms, which can kill fish, cause infections, rashes and respiratory problems among swimmers and beach­goers and cause huge financial losses in tourism and property values. […] Florida’s political and business leaders need to heed their own call for science, not politics, to drive this process. This is the water that Floridians drink.” The full editorial.

See Also:

Florida’s AIDS Denial

Florida has the second-highest incidence of AIDS of any state after Maryland. You wouldn’t know it if you were to go by the Legislature’s topmost (or even middlemost) concerns. You wouldn’t know it watching your local television news: AIDS isn’t the right kind of bleeding for it to lead. You wouldn’t know it reading the press, either, which seems to have gotten bored of the story a long time ago. Here’s the picture from the Kaiser Family Foundation:

aids florida rate

See Also:

  • A “Deciding Moment” for AIDS After 30 Years

Do Corporations Have Personal Privacy Rights?

Reach out and block someone

Steven Aftergood in Secrecy News: “The Supreme Court will decide next year whether corporations are entitled to “personal privacy” and whether they may prevent the release of records under the Freedom of Information Act on that basis. FOIA advocates say that assigning personal privacy rights to corporations could deal a crippling blow to the Act. The case before the Court — known as FCC v. AT&T — arose from a FOIA request to the Federal Communications Commission for records of an investigation of a government contract held by AT&T. The FCC found that the requested records were subject to release under FOIA. But AT&T challenged that decision and won an appeals court ruling that the documents were law enforcement records that were exempt from disclosure because their release would constitute “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” — namely, the “personal privacy” of AT&T.

“The appeals court noted that the word “person” is defined in the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) to include corporations, and it went on to infer from this that the FOIA exemption for “personal privacy” in law enforcement records must logically extend to corporations as well. But “that analysis does not withstand scrutiny,” the government argued in its petition (pdf) to the Supreme Court for review of the case. Personal privacy can only apply to individual human beings, it said, and not to other entities. “The court of appeals’ novel construction would erroneously create a new and amorphous ‘privacy’ right not only for corporations but also for local, state, and foreign governments [which also fall under the APA definition of ‘person’].””

Care to guess which way this court will go on this one? 5-4 odds it’ll grant corporations those privacy rights.

See Also:

JFK Inaugural Rewind

November 22 is a big date. On Nov. 22, 1963, John Kennedy was assassinated. A couple of decades earlier or thereabout, Lebanon allegedly won its independence, an independence never really lived up to in the true sense of the word. Rather than run the same old reel from Dallas in 1963, imprinted as it is in the national consciousness all that it needs to be, let’s rewind to JFK’s inaugural: the full speech (‘the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans…”). And maybe something different from Lebanon below that. First, JFK. In full color. Pay attention, Barack.

JFK Part II:

Lebanon’s Independence Day

Speaking of something completely different: Lebanon is a nation that specializes in fucking itself up and inviting others, its immediate neighbors especially–Israel and Syria in particular–to do the dishonors when the Lebanese themselves need a break. Here’s a strangely put together video of images of Lebanon’s endless wars, set to a couple of songs that seem jazzily ironic (the title of the song, “Ya Beyrout,” is an homage to the capital city). And yet one’s heart bleeds: what nation, what people deserve this? For all its insanities, it is impossible not to love Lebanon, insanely and impossibly. Stick with the video to the end and you’ll see the place rebuilt. For now, anyway: an Israeli demolition job is always a short flight and spit away. Happy Independence Day.

See Also:

A History of US Military Intelligence

american military secrecy and historyThe document is almost quaint: it dates from 1973. It’s a U.S. Army history of military intelligence from “the beginnings” to 1973, the beginnings being somewhere in the 19th century. And it’s just been declassified. Curiously (as in all things military) the history itself was compiled of unclassified material. But the end result was classified for the longest time because–well, because it’s a compulsion of governments and military organizations to put secrecy above godliness. We have the complete history.

Here’s how the authors describe their work: “This history cannot claim, in any way, to be a complete record of American military intelligence. There are two reasons for this. First, the information for this paper is drawn from unclassified data, whose authors, as the present ones, had no access to the related classified materials, or chose purposefully to ignore them. It should be recognized, therefore, that the facts, or their interpretation, might suffer revision when compared with official, and still classified, materials. Secondly, this history is not complete because this is a field ripe for investigation. Much additional information is available in unclassified sources and far more in classified materials. This history, moreover, is not an official one and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Army Intelligence Center and School or those of the Department of the Army.”

Read the full history.

Against Dumb

Yes, it’s a commercial, but as commercials go, it’s dead on. And the product itself is never advertised, though that one is dead-on, too. See below the video.

See Also:

Updike Redux: An Unpublished Interview

Lila Azam Zanganeh, a contributor to Le Monde and author of a coming book on Nabokov, has a previously unpublished interview with John Updike in the November issue of Guernica. Updike died ridiculously prematurely, as good writers tend to, on January 27 last year. From Gernica: “John Updike and Vladimir Nabokov never met, but admired each other’s work. Updike the critic, but also the fiction writer, was interested in politics as backdrop, but not moral judgments. In an introduction to his Rabbit Angstrom novels, he writes, “Unlike such estimable elders as Vonnegut, Vidal, and Mailer, I have little reformist tendency and instinct for social criticism.” As such, Updike also seemed to be one of the few Americans who “got” what Nabokov was really after in his work. So author Lila Azam Zanganeh thought when she approached Updike for an interview four years ago.

“Updike was the only person in the American cultural context,” Azam Zanganeh believed, who understood this celebration of happiness within Nabokov. In 1964, Updike summarized Nabokov thus: “Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written: ecstatically.” Hoping to unpack some of Updike’s criticism on Nabokov, Azam Zanganeh elicited a rare and lucid interview from Updike by phone in late 2006, between Updike’s Massachusetts home and Azam Zanganeh’s home in New York. But beyond Nabokov and his rare approval of Updike’s work (he and Salinger were among few writers who got an A+ for their stories), the conversation sprawled freely into politics (Democrats had just retaken both houses of Congress in midterm elections), Updike’s writing and reading habits, his first publications, his daily routine, his love of golf, and why he wrote a book from the point of view of a terrorist.

Author of countless novels, plays, volumes of poetry, and the recipient of numerous awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes for his fiction, Updike has been described as “American literature’s greatest short story writer” (Lorrie Moore). This interview has never appeared in English. Updike would die of cancer a little more than two years after it was conducted.” Read the full interview.

See Also:

Keith Richards on Mick Jagger

Stan Drescher’s Latest: Flagler Beach Water Tower Lyricism

Stan Drescher (© FlaglerLive)

Stan Drescher, Flagler Beach’s poet laureate, is at it again: “Now that FLAGLER BEACH appears on the water tower,” he writes, “many people have asked, ‘What keeps the birds away?’ So I have written a poem and thought the public would find it interesting.”

What Keeps the Birds Away

Made from a special formula
The paint repels all birds
And will prevent all droppings
Or more descriptive words

Birds enrolled in Aerie School
Must learn observation
Then they’re taught to navigate
To shun deprivation

Bird droppings are avoided
By chemicals infused
They smell the acrid odor
And easily confused

(© FlaglerLive)

Some birds brave the great unknown
Then don’t know when to stop
They reach the point of no return
And with no choice they drop

New signage is inviting
But danger dares to know
To challenge is their downfall
And they succumb below

Some birds venture closer
Then smell paint to prevent
Avoiding what they have been taught
Beaks easily get bent

The paint must pass exhaustive tests
’til proven most effective
And won’t go on ’til ascertained
No bird is a detective

The mixture is unknown to all
A company creation
Made if birds should chip at it
They’ll suffer constipation

Passersby have questioned why
All birds avoid the tank
But it’s because they cannot read
And what they see is blank

Letters are alluring
For a nest to be built
But the appeal proves fatal
And none will share the guilt

When the appeal seems so strong
it beckons to their fate
But curiosity takes its toll
It’s not their heaven’s gate

Attracted by a new found shine
They see their own reflection
But since they’ve never seen themselves
They perish from rejection

A hawk once became brazen
And ventured much too close
Too late alas he changed his mind
What happened is too gross

Indigenous birds know danger
Others are not rebuffed
So to ignore the warning signs
It’s your guess who’ll get stuffed

See Also:

Video: Sarah Palin’s Alaska Retouched

The spoof that got Bayonne, New Jersey, all in a tizzy. Seriously: this is the best publicity that father-son-and-holy-spirit forsaken town has ever had, yet its mayor is upset that Bayonne’s best assets, and asses (Bayonne’s hookers) got all the attention: “Jon Stewart’s unfortunate and inaccurate depiction of Bayonne on the Daily Show earlier this week represents a lame attempt at humor at the expense of a rock solid, all-American community,” Smith said. Oh please. “Stop complaining. Bayonne is on the map!,” went one comment. “Yeah,” went another, “the map of Superfund clean-up sites.” The piece:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Jason Jones’ Bayonne
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

See Also:

A Few Good Links

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