Scott's Blog

Darwin with a tan: The descent of Charlie Crist


Darwin has been vindicated by a former foe.

You intelligent designers or unintelligent designers - as the case may be - no longer have a friend in the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee. Charlie Crist proved again Monday that Darwin was correct 150 years ago when he put forth his theory of natural selection, or at least as it pertains to political evolution. Crist clearly has an innate sense of the political peacock with the most ornate poll numbers. That’s why the Governor couldn’t stop himself from jumping on his Flying Beagle and heading down to Fort Myers. As Fox News ran the clip of Gov. Crist introducing President Obama – the groans emanating from Men’s Grills in country clubs from Palma Ceia to Naples were palpable: “Say it ain’t so, Charlie.”

Charlie has ditched the Jebfords (think male Stepfords - identical bad jokes, argyle socks and oversized Rolexes) for the Lehigh Acres foreclosure crowd. But why? Because Crist’s political DNA knows if he doesn’t make this move his political future may end up deader than the future of Northwest Florida State College.

So did the Governor believe all the stuff he said as a state senator in the 1990’s? It is remembered by many Floridians as the Chain Gang Charlie Era. It’s not Charlie’s choice to make. He’s part of Darwin’s natural selection plan. And currently the political peacock with the best tail feathers is Barack Obama.

Gasparilla Parade Hysteria

For the past few days we have been bombarded by reports in local print and tv media about the terrible conduct at this past Gasparilla Day Parade. Don't believe the hype.  The latest numbers available estimate that 350,000 people attended the day parade on the afternoon of February 7.  Local Police agencies report that 141 arrests were made in connection with the parade.  That's not a lot when you consider over a quarter of a million people were jammed into the 3 mile parade route.  As to the the local residents who spent their Saturday videotaping various examples of debauchery in their neighborhood - assuming they are not videotaping for their own prurient pursuits - their claims are valid.  The City of Tampa and the event organizer could easily limit much of the"perceived" bad behavior with a few changes to the parade.  The number of restrooms need to increased by a factor of 10.  It's hard to find fault with parade goers who end up doing their business on the live oaks that populate the yards of Hyde Park.  There just aren't enough bathrooms available to accomodate the crowd.  Second, either the parade route needs to extended or the corporate tent city needs to be downsized.  The massive expansion of corporate tents over the past 10 years as reduced the amount of space available for the throngs of "regular" parade goers along the route.  The result - people roaming the streets of Hyde Park. These simple changes to the parade should go a long way to improving the parade experience for parade visitors and residents, alike.  As for how to clean up this weekend's upcoming Knight Parade in Ybor -- I have no idea --  Your guess is as good as mine.

Held Hostage by My Cable Company

If you are in the Information business like I am, then there is no worse feeling than being kicked off the lanes of the Information Super Highway.  It happened to me the other day.  First I had o internet service.  Ok I mistakenly thought, I'll just turn on the TV and get my show prep from the numerous news outlets that populate the cable universe.  Not so fast.  Click on my TV and static noise fills the room.  Sadly I threw out my rabbit ears in 1985.  Better call the cable company - I picked up the home phone -- No dial tone - it's dead -- Holy cow I'm back in the 70's.    I curse the Brighthouse Rep who conned me into the all encompassing Multmedia Pack -- Did I really need the caller id feature that crosses my 42" flat screen when my rarely used home phones rings?

Finally a hurried sprint across the house - Please don't let my cell phone be out of charge.  Whew - its works.  - Finally back safely on the Tamiami Trail portion of Information Highway - Yes - I have T-Mobile web browsing -- where the web doesn't exactly move at a Superhighway pace -- Maybe newspapers do have a future...


DC Dispatch - Hope Meets Trepidation
Hope and trepidation meet head on in a chilly DC. From the Cab driver from Ethiopia to the African American family attending their first inaugural -- there is a sense that if Lincoln's "better angels" exist -- they better come to help the incoming 44th President. The burdens are heavy for #44 -- but the hope is high. Miracles would be great... But most here understand that there is much heavy lifting to do to get the country back on track.

The city now resemblles Berlin - with concrete barriers common place on just about every sidewalk throughout Pennsylvania Ave. But in all this mess of cops, barricades and stars -- the greatest enjoyment is witnessing African Americans in their 60's and 70's, coming to grips with the reality that in 40 short years since this same capital city barred them from using restrooms and drinking fountains -- they will witness what 99.9% of them deemed impossible - a black man taking the oath for the highest office in the land. As an elderly African American women said to me in the coffee shop yesterday -- "Tuesday will confirm that all Americans are created equal."

Hope and trepidation are alive in DC.

Lights on Tampa Gives Downtown Tampa a Badly Needed Buzz

Saturday night's kickoff of Lights on Tampa provided downtown Tampa with a buzz it rarely sees, and sorely needs.  I discovered that it's downright fun to walk streets in Tampa that on a normal night most would compare to Snake Plissken's Escape from New York.  I managed to walk from the Ft. Brooke Garage Garage down the River Walk (and yes, the lights were on this time) past the newly completed Florida History Center and the Florida Aquarium to Kennedy Avenue.  For those who don't believe you can walk Channelside Drive to Kennedy -- I proved it's possible. 

Did almost witness one fatality, as an unfamiliar vistor to the Convention Center crosswalk at Platt was nearly killed by a late modeled Ford. (yes American cars are still in use) Credit goes to a member of Tampa's finest -- who did his best to yell and get her attention to move her backside, or risk a lifetime of traction or worse. 

The unleased commercial space on the ground floor of many of the Channelside Condo projects was a perfect medium to display many of the Lights on Tampa Installations.  Let's hope the additional exposure of areas almost never walked, nor seen at night, will spur someone to open cafes and galleries in Channelside.  Congrats to those behind the Lights on Tampa Event on a job well done! 

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