Friday, November 18, 2022
Devious destructive developers dominate Florida, just like coal companies dominate West Virginia. Black and white photos of developer projects even adorn the halls of the Florida State Senate building.
After the Civil War, St. Augustine was "discovered" by the brains behind John Davison Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust monopoly, Henry Morrison Flagler. Flagler saved much of St. Augustine's Colonial history.
Flagler brought rich tourists here to his fancy-bears hotels, and he founded Florida East Coast Railway, long headquartered here, where Flagler opened the first of his hotels, inventing Florida tourism.
Henry Demarest Lloyd famously said the Standard Oil Trust did everything to the Pennsylvania legislature, "except refine it." Henry Flagler's frontman founded the St. Augustine Record in 1895.
The Flagler frontman's grandson, PIERRE THOMPSON, had a bald eagle nest tree on Fish Island cut down on October 8, 2001, violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, after two ladies informed him there were bald eagles living in the only tree he had cut down. In PIEERRE THOMPSON's mean spirit of corrupt Henry Flagler and his frontman's grandson, corrupt cynical cat's paws get elected to local offices here, a veritable aviary of odd birds.
My late mentor, United States Department of Labor Chief Administrative Law Judge Nahum Litt (1979-1995), former Chief Judge of the Civil Aeronautics Board (1977-1979), once published a satirical judicial aviary in the Judge's Journal, combining his love of birdwatching with his witty insights into judicial temperament. Footnote: Judge Litt retired to New Smyrna Beach and enjoyed skewering local political corruption, helping to run off several city managers, while exposing it all in his blog, nsbshadow.com. Judge Litt once won an Open Records lawsuit requiring the city to disclose telephone numbers called in personal telephone calls made from government cellular telephones.)
In Judge Litt's spirit, consider the varieties of political animals in our part of Florida these days, originally published on this blog on August 20, 2022:
The Devious Developer Mouthpiece: Like a honky-tonk medley of Snidely Whiplash, Better Call Saul and Tom Hagan in The Godfather, the Devious Developer Mouthpiece uses their legal legerdemain to help sketchy corporations and dodgy developers kill entire forests, destroy entire ecosystems, wipe out endangered species and laugh all the way to the bank with their co-felons. (As the old lawyer joke asked, Q: "Why does a hearse horse laugh when she carries a corporate lawyer to their grave?" A: "Because they can't take it with them."
The Common Feral Kleptocrat: Developer doormart, the lackey doth protest too much that he's not a "rubberstamp" and believes in "smart growth." This smarmy smart aleck takes undeserved government and corporate handouts, seeks special favors for business partners and law clients, denies government documents or routine honors or recognitions to people he doesn't like.
The Koo Koo Klan Cowboy: "All hat and no cattle," wears cowboy drag for show, avoids talking about arrest while driving great big 'ole pickup truck with horse trailer, hauling signs for himself and a knuckle-dragging vicious avowed racist homophobic Bible-thumper running for School Board.
The Boy Governor: Unhappy Harvard lawyer, overcaffeinated oaf, self-aggrandizing narissist who once claimed to have been a Navy SEAL, an alien implant from Koch Industries. Haughty hobbledehoy moves to Ponte Vedra, gets elected to Congress, runs his mouth on faux Fox News, gets elected Governor based on racist dog whistles delivered with adenoidal anger, running for President as Trump Lite.
The Sinister State Senator: Orotund fetid feculent self-serving public serpent, slithering to and from Tallahassee in search of corporate special interests to service, polluters to please, local governments to harass, and constitutional rights to violate -- a mafia-like bloviator with a committee chairmanship and a chip on his shoulder, a mendacious ruthless retromingent fellow, whose mere presence lowers the level of decency and civil discourse in Tallahasseee. Belongs in a Godfather movie for his attacks on democracy, including targeted attack on Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
The Dingbat Stepford Wife: Undereducated, little experience, gets named for an elected job by the Boy Governor and Sinister State Senator, votes to support killing rabbits, possums, deer, owls, gopher tortoises and other critters at the behest of the Sinister State Senator.
The Bribe-taking Baptist PK: Baptist megachurch preacher's son. Betrays his faith by taking campaign contributions intended as bribes in his first political campaign? Blessed by unanimous lockstep vote of ill-advised, incurious Commissioners who make him County Administrator, without considering anyone else in the world for the job. Prays in government meetings (even on Zoom). Reliable developer cat's paw, unsophisticated and uctuous, unadorned by critical thinking skills. Thinks up silly slogans (like "200 Years of Excellence" for County Bicentennial), eschewing diversity and public participation in the appallingly exclusionary process. Reckon that these peculiar bipeds have done everything to St. Augustine and St. Johns County "except refine it?" (As Henry Demarest Lloyd said of Standard Oil Trust)