Florida: political cesspit

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by pseudobrit, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #1
    I just returned today from a visit to Florida in the Orlando and Gainesville areas.

    I've never seen so much public political jockeying going on in public in my life.

    Billboards screamed "Help Fight Terrorism: Get the US out of the UN," "Heartbeat at 3 Weeks, Brain waves at 6 weeks: Life begins at conception," a picture of a revolver with its barrel tied in a knot claiming "The real UN agenda." These billboards were interspersed with ads for the Cafe Risque shouting "WE BARE ALL" and fireworks (which are quite powerful in Fla., especially for a Penna kid like me where everything but sparklers are technically banned).

    The radio dial held two full-time right-wing political FM stations broadcasting the usual suspects of hate radio.

    I also had the distinction of being in the state during the Schiavo controversy as I flew in the day her feeding tube was removed. At Mass Sunday (Roman Catholic) during the Intercession, the priest invoked the name of Schiavo and I think I know what he was getting at.

    I met a few college students who had opinions on the case but either way didn't appear to know any of the key facts. I imagine the folks (idiots) who were trying to take glasses of water to Schiavo didn't either, because they would have drowned her with them.

    For me, political advertising is totally alien. Unless there's an election afoot, you see no signs of anyone's political persuasion save an expired bumper sticker here and there. Right-wing radio is confined to AM. Pennsylvania -- even my little conservative county of Lancaster -- overall appears more tempered and moderate. Political themes are kept to the election season and are kept fairly low-key.

    Why this all-out battle for the hearts and minds of Florida's population?
     
  2. pseudobrit thread starter macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #2
    And one more personal note on Fla.:

    Weather was nice enough. But the whole place is annoyingly flat and monotonous, swampy with friggin' wild alligators. I imagine flying cockroaches were out of season. So were hurricanes, though I was present for a tornado watch.

    I'll gladly take Pennsylvania snow and chilly spring weather with my hills and river valleys and occasional black fly swarm.
     
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #3
    Moving here from Philly and living here for over 7 years makes it even worse.

    The government is controlled by industry and the Christians.

    People kill children with cars and are not charged with a crime.

    The only good thing is the weather and last year, it wasn't so good.

    Housing is cheaper than Philly but groceries are more expensive.

    I'd rather be in Philly or New Jersey.
     
  4. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #4
    With due respect to Floridians on this forum, I despise Florida. It is the last state (of the 50) that I would ever live in.

    This position is based on the scenery, the impressions of people I have met there and the weather, which I admit are all subjective personal opinion and not meant to be indicative of everywhere and everyone in the state.

    I did not know about the political advertising PB, which just reinforces my resolve. I have never seen anything like that in another state that I can remember outside of Election time, even Texas.

    Chilling.
     
  5. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

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    #5
    What do you expect, there's a Bush in office. Stupid Fockers.
     
  6. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

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    #6
    Yeah, all the lame heated BS comes out of there.

    Here's my idea: Take everyone from the midwest, and everyone from the mideast, put them all in Florida, and fence it off. They can have Florida.

    Lee Tom
     
  7. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #7
    My wife keeps talking about moving to Florida some day. Unfortunately, between what you guys are telling me, the 2000 election, the Shiavo case and other insanities, you're not helping her make her case.

    For my part, I want nothing to do with any part of this country that is overrun by right-wing dittoheads. Hell, I'm not even comfortable living in the state (Ohio) that won the election for Bush. But at least I'm in the Cleveland area. If I lived in uptight Cincinnati, I think I'd shoot myself.
     
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    So Carl Hiaasen is being pretty generous, then?
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #10
    I got out of the Army in 1958 and moved in briefly with my mother who then was working in Panama City, Florida. I went off to FSU for a year, and then off to Gatorland. Got married, there; my in-laws lived in Hollywood before moving to the Keys and later to Lake Placid. So I've been all over the state at one time or another, and over a long period of years. I remarried in 1989; my wife's home is Thomasville, GA, which is practically a suburb of Tallahassee.

    So: Any corruption due to Jeb Bush's doings is rather mild compared to the historical record. John D. McDonald made a good living from writing about some of the stuff, as does Carl Hiiasen, today.

    Back 40+ years ago when Leroy Collins was governor, it was said that, "His momma wanted to name him Lee; his daddy wanted to name him Roy. They compromised on Leroy and his life has been a compromise ever since." All manner of crooked shenanigans were going on back in those days, just as before Collins, later on, and now. Hell's bells, it's local entertainment!

    As far as living in Florida? Gulf coast humidity is a problem if you don't like humidity. Otherwise, there are some neat places; some are expensive, others are not. The housing bubble is affecting prices there as well as elsewhere. I happen to prefer the Panhandle area to the rest of the state, given my enjoyment of hunting and fishing.

    "No matter where you go, there you are." If you're happy where you are, you can be happy most anywhere, since you can't outrun your shadow. You can always find good people in any state, and it's people that make a place good or bad--and I've yet to see anyplace where people are all bad.

    'Rat
     
  11. pseudobrit thread starter macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #11
    Please don't think I'm blaming any of Florida's unappealing nature on the Bushes. I just didn't dig the place.

    As far as weather and such, I very much enjoyed the heat, humidity and landscape of the New Orleans area in the summer, which I like better than the depressingly dry climate of Southern California. I do like my cold weather though.
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    Anybody who thinks the climate in Southern California is "depressingly dry" wasn't here this winter. I half expect to find banana slugs on our oak trees. Climate is what you expect -- weather is what you get.
     
  13. pseudobrit thread starter macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #13
    True. I forgot about your rainfall records. In my neck of the woods, we'd call that spring. ;)

    We don't see nearly as much snow as we used to. This year I don't think we had a single snowfall exceed a foot, and I like getting a nice 2-3' dumping every now and again, which we still get occasionally. It used to be a yearly thing though.
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
    Oh I don't know about that... I grew up in the Northeast, where the average annual rainfall was about the same as what we got in Southern California this year in the space of about ten weeks -- over 44 inches in my rain gauge. Getting used to the concept of seasonal rainfall was the most difficult adjustment I needed to make when I moved here. Bone dry for months at a time, followed by rainfalls of Biblical proportions. It's an odd climate.
     
  15. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #15
    You guys got our winter weather patterns this year. Here in Oregon, we had the warmest, sunniest and driest winter anyone can remember. It was really quite nice.

    Unfortunately, there is always a price to pay. The ski industry already has been paying theirs - as they were barely able to open this year due to lack of snow. The rest of the state will pay come summer when our unusually-dry state bursts into flames and/or when astronomical power bills come in due to our reliance on hydroelectric power, which is a little "underfunded" this year.

    I will be in Texas by then anyway. There I am used to brown grass summers and rain of biblical proportions in the fall/winter, not to mention giant roaches...
     
  16. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #16
    Isn't part of the political and religious pandering going on in FL due to the ever increasing population of retirees? The true "old school" crowd? My parent are officially part of the "geriatric pilgrimage" now, so my wife and I go to visit them in their little community, where invariably I get into discussions (and sometimes disagreements) about politics and religious. Not everyone in their little community is (IMO) close minded. But I am always appalled at how people think. Sometimes, it's just plain outdated.
     
  17. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #17
    Orlando isn't as bad as most of Floriduh--there are a lot of democrats here but it's still bible country. Certainly, 40 miles out of the metro area, it's frightening. However, you'd probably only interact with most people on the periphery. A lot of people keep to themselves.

    I was really surprised about Ohio, but I guess it's just that it had been so long since I lived there--west of Dayton. Things seem to have changed a lot in the whole state--I don't think I would return to live there.
     
  18. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #18
    And you can have it back any time you like, thank you very much! Actually this is our "normal" winter weather pattern, increased by an order of magnitude. I've been through many rainy seasons featuring twice our 15 inch average rainfall, but nobody living today has seen anything like this winter. We had 100% of our normal accumulation fall in four days in January -- half of that in one day!
     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #19
    Shoulda ratified Kyoto. You ain't seen nothing yet...
     
  20. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #20
    Well, election controversy-wise, Ohio is unfortunately the new Florida. The state's been in a skid for a long time. The Republican governor (Taft) is disliked even in his own party, and the legislature has been heavily Republican for quite a while now. The Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell, is itching to become the next Karen Hughes. Overall it's still a "swing" state, going one way one election, the other way the next election...but the Democratic party is weak and disorganized here, which is making it easier for the Republicans to push their candidates.

    Demographically, the state is moderately liberal to the north (Cleveland), pretty conservative to the south (Cincinnati), and mixed in the middle (Columbus). (Columbus is always ambivalent, even about the Browns and the Bengals.) But Cincinnati, don't forget, is where they had the Mapplethorpe protests, and where white cops shooting black suspects is enough to stir up lots of racial tensions.

    Politically, you could still find a comfort zone here in the northern half of the state...as long as you weren't looking for a job or something. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #21
    yellow, there was a time when St. Petersburg was known as "the home of the newlyweds and the nearly-deads".

    I'm old enough to tell this: What's forty feet long and smells like urine? A line dance at an Old Folks' home.

    Sure, lots of hide-bound Old Farts. But you also have some who can startle you: At a Corps of Engineers' public hearing about a proposed project, a member of those opposed stood up and, waving some papers, claimed that the benefit/cost ratio numbers didn't work. The USCE Colonel asked the man just what qualified him to assess the numbers. The reply was, "I just retired as CEO of Westinghouse, and..."

    Not trying to one-up you, IJ, but the long-term average rainfall in Terlingua is around seven to nine inches per year. In 2004 we logged forty! We had four floods on Terlingua Creek, last September, and I'm in the throes of rebuilding and regravelling my roads. I'm getting tired of Tonka Toys and gravel-hauling!

    I've noticed that passengers in my old Toyota 4WD PU get sorta saucer-eyed when the headlights go under water. It's amazing how dark it gets!

    :), 'Rat
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    Aw shucks this is just an el nino year. Not that bad really, although I have to admit it's pretty nice to be seeing the sun this weekend. The ground on the ranch here hasn't stopped weeping water down the hillsides for months now. The weed-control cows can't even keep up with the speed that things are growing. Normally they rotate the herd through 3 different fields, but so far they've spent a couple months on one and haven't managed to clear it yet! Although in about 4 to 6 weeks we'll be the Golden State again and everyone will be asking when it's gonna cool down...

    This still doesn't hold a candle to a couple of the winters we went through in the '80s in Santa Cruz. At that time I saw cars floating down streets, and houses all over the county were sliding down hillsides.
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #23
    There wasn't any significant influence on our weather from an El Niño effect this year. The extreme rains were caused by a southerly shift in the subtropical jet stream. This happens most winters, but it usually doesn't stay that way for such a long time and isn't always accompanied by the right atmospheric conditions to make for prolonged heavy rains. We really had just two "perfect storms" this season -- and that was plenty!

    I'm guessing the hills will stay green in most places well into June, barring any unusual spring heat waves. Of course we've had plenty of them this past year too...
     
  24. cleo macrumors 65816

    cleo

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    #24
    Now you understand why I don't leave the house much.

    Just kidding. Sort of.

    In all fairness, Florida does has its charms. I'm speaking as a native, of course, but whenever I'm driving home from an out-of-state trip, there's this one point on I-75 where the landscape flattens out and the evergreens of south Georgia give way to palms and sawgrass... and it's just... I don't know. Home, I guess.

    I do have to agree with the political cesspit part, although again, north Florida might as well be south Georgia (especially the Jacksonville area). The area I live in (Pinellas county, which is across the bay from Tampa -- I live smack between St. Pete and Clearwater, about 10 minutes from a certain hospice) is remarkably liberal. Downtown St. Pete is experiencing a grassroots renaissance of small businesses, galleries, fine arts, and exceptional food. Certain pockets are veritable LGBT neighborhoods (and in one case - Gulfport - we've taken over the whole town). I actually really love the part of the state I live in, but you can see why after high school and college (I attended a small liberal arts college in St. Pete) all of my friends fled. I think you have to grow up here to tolerate/"get" it.

    Give us another try, but next time check out the Bay Area and Sarasota... I think you'll see a whole other side of Florida.
     
  25. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #25
    cleo, I ran around the Sarasota area when there was little on Lido Key but a few motels and the old casino, and about all there was on Longboat Key was the never-finished skeleton of the Ringling Hotel. Caught lots of sheepshead with fiddler crabs for bait. :)

    I've always liked the little out-of-the-way spots. Around Appalachicola used to be neat, and Cedar Key. The Orange Lake area, SE of Gainesville...Hard to find the "Old Florida", anymore. "Pannymaw" City just ain't quite the same, now, with the beaches being solid condos...

    'Rat
     

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