Monday, December 31, 2007

Casting out Comcast

Nothing short of an exorcism will rid me of my Comcast curse. Earlier this month I signed up for their advertised triple play (internet/phone/tv) offering of $163.00/month for a year. In doing so I authorized them to take my current phone with AT&T for the new phone line. God forgive me once you have sold your soul there is no way to get it back.


Of course when the installer came out he indicated it would be extra $$$ for this, extra $$$ for that, and no, there was only one cable box. So I canceled the non existent bargain before it was even installed, pointing out Comcast advertising was fraudulent and I wanted my number back. Customer Service assured me they were not going to do anything funky with my phone line since installation was "declined". I still was spooked after reading consumer after consumer complaint of strange Comcast encounters, wishing I had checked them out before hand but nothing happened after that. At least nothing for two weeks.

Nothing until today that is when a Comcast installer showed up to "run my lines", showing me an order on his electronic work pad. He even refused to leave saying he had a legal right to access the property even though we pointed out the public easement was not on our property. It took a big dog (no, not the Chihuahua) in the backyard and police presence for him to leave. I have no doubt he will be back in an effort to install an unauthorized, canceled cable phone line at some future point.

Of course Comcast insists they know nothing about any line being run, and could only advise me to calm down and stop swearing, of which I chose to do neither. I did file a complaint with the Florida Public Service Commission for slamming, which is the official term for stealing phone services a la Comcast style.

But for any foolhardy individuals who think they can bargain with the devil, here is my special Comcast link, just like I promised Louis & Dorothy, & a few other moronic totally useless customer service reps so plaguing Florida these can find the devil himself at Telefraudcast. Please tell them I sent you. Just be careful they don't give you their triple special too.

So beware fellow Americans with satellite & slow DSL....there is something out there far worse. You know what they say about the devil, best never to invite him in. But it is too late, and now I find myself in need of an exorcist. Anyone knowing how to get rid of the Comcast curse please contact me. I will gladly pay for any chickens or goats we might need.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Finding Jesus

Looking for God in all the wrong places? Technology has stepped in to make the ancient search for Jesus a sure thing.


In Bal Harbour (one of the wealthiest areas of Miami if you didn't already know, definitely home to the best Neimans) baby Jesus took off for parts unknown from the Nativity display in the Bal Harbour's Founders Circle. A $500. reward was posted for his safe return and local radio stations along with the Bal Harbour police urged his return. But nobody stepped forward.

Thanks not to the Three Wise Men tracking a star in the east, but to the efforts of a Jewish lawyer, a new baby Jesus was found, one that is now equipped with a GPS tracking device. In addition Jesus comes with a plexiglass shield (is it bulletproof too one might wonder) that makes it harder to reach into the manager and kidnap him.

Merry Christmas South Florida, for helping bring the meaning to the season as only you could. God Bless each and every one, even the crazies. Now I will go and make some eggnog with way too much rum. If there is such a thing.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Death by Mall, South Florida Style

I love my malls...and I have my favorites. I used to love the Mall at Macys in Plantation which was beautiful but went under for reasons never understood (by me). I love the Galleria Mall in east Sunrise but it means putting up with traffic on Sunrise Boulevard. Aventura is a great mall but it's so far for me in North Miami Beach. I never liked the Sawgrass Mall which smells like some kind of bologna and where the tourists run like wild buffalo. Those who know better go to Sawgrass only for what they need and leave as fast as they can. Broward Mall is still there, which is about all you can say about it. Pembroke Mall gets the most crowded award with parking during holidays an absolute horror show. There is a new Mall coming to Davie, The Commons, but it will be some time down the road, especially since Weston is fighting its coming as if it were the Antichrist. Ah Weston, you can be so compulsively anal about anything that is not masterly planned for at least fifty years...

So you can imagine how happy I was to discover the Boca Town Mall this year which I described to a friend as absolutely mind blowing. What bad choice of words....for that is exactly what happened to poor Nancy Bochicchio and her seven year old daughter Joey just last week in the mall's parking lot. And before that was a woman and her two year old who had been kidnapped at the same mall and eventually released unharmed in August. And before that was poor Randi Gorenberg who was last seen leaving the mall, only to be found shot and thrown from her mercedes this past March. Coincidence? Just now Boca residents are questioning why no news coverage was given to these earlier incidents, and the security services at the Boca Town Mall never made customers even aware. The suspect's sketch is the most information Boca residents have received thus far.

Wondering if your favorite shopping spot is safe? Check the list of malls around the country that indicate the crime rate for their area. Here are some of the top ten with Aventura taking first place in the country! Congrats Miami!

Rapes, armed robbery, car theft, car break ins, child abductions, pick pocketing....these are only a few of the more garden variety of crimes at your local shopping outlet. I won't even begin to talk about the crazy sniper shootings that recently made the news. But when I checked back even my old Malls had quite a history. A security guard was shot at the Broward Mall by someone trying to shoplift, a woman was raped in the Galleria Mall shopping lot, a man robbed the Polo outlet at Sawgrass and ran shooting through the Cheesecake Factory. Sawgrass Mills was sued & paid out a $325,000 settlement a few years back for negligence in failing to provide adequate security after a woman was assaulted in the parking lot and evidence in the case revealed that the Sawgrass Mall, which is one the largest malls in the country as well as Florida's largest retail & entertainment center and a major tourist attraction, had non-functioning security cameras, minimal security protection for their parking lots and inadequate lighting, all of which created a dangerous lure for criminal activity in its parking lot.

In case you thought the Mall you loved actually loved you back. Never mind wearing comfortable shoes, better to pack a bullet proof vest the next time you hit Dillard's after Christmas sale.

It won't stop me shopping. But it sure has me wondering what kind of damage the NRA has done to this country by making sure every criminal out there is well armed. Why have our legislators let this lobby monster grow unchallenged? When do we stand and say stop to another holiday killing, another school shooting, another needless death courtesy of the NRA?

Nancy Bochicchio and her beautiful daughter Joey are paying the price along with the rest of us. Guns do not make us free, they are making us prisoners in our own country.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Seminole Winds

It's a long way from chickee huts to 5 billion a year. As Cyndi Lauper used to scream, Money Changes Everything...indeed. No one knows this better than the Leaders of the Seminole Tribe of Florida who have spent millions from their casino income on themselves and favored relatives. In case you did not know there are approximately 3500 members of the tribe who receive 120,000 annually in mostly casino profits.

Yes, yes, I know you feel some Seminole blood bubbling through your veins. But it gets better. Should you be among the more select Tribal Council family members you would have been able to help spend more than 280 million (yes 280 million) on luxury homes & cars, basketball courts, plastic surgery & travel expenses. This doesn't quite jive with the Gaming Act which contends tribe profits must be used accordingly to support government services and the general welfare of the whole tribe. So it is really to no one's surprise that federal auditors are visiting the Seminoles this week, and it's not for love of alligator wrestling or to learn how to make homes out of palmetto and cypress.

No, those days are long gone for the original Florida natives whose Hard Rock International Hotel and restaurant chain purchase cost them a recent 1 billion. Just a few weeks ago the state of Florida came to an agreement with the Seminoles in a 25 year compact to allow Class III Las Vegas style slot machines, banked card gaming at Tribal facilities and on Tribal lands...that would be the 7 Tribe casinos throughout the state. See for yourself Tribe Rep Max Osceola Hr. beaming with our Governor Crist as he promises the revenue (95%) will be used for Florida education.

The Tribe should have taken their cue from OJ Simpson who is a whiz at keeping his dollars in off shore accounts....I'm surprised they didn't just load up the canoes and paddle deep into Big Cypress where the feds don't go. Maybe it's not to late to get out the old paddles (or customized Cigarettes). That or get ready to go back to the gator pens and intricate bead working.

And you were wondering why this is called HavanaBananaLand....

Monday, December 10, 2007

Speak Out for Burma Day

A reminder to all that the genocide in Burma continues on this 59th anniversary of International Human Rights. Please help by clicking on this link for the U.S. Campaign for Burma which will tell you what you can do. Of course it will take more, much more than sanctions and embargoes, but no country especially ours wants to piss off China by marching through their back door. Other factors include Burma being one of the strongest heroin producers for the east (makes them very popular).

Personally I recommend emailing the White House just to remind George that when he's done chasing down terrorists and buried nukes, Burma is dying a slow death.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Guns in the Sun

Ever give any thought to pulling out your 357 magnum in the express checkout line when the idiot in front of you unloaded more than the 7 item limit? Well, you are not alone....Miramar City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman pulled out his big gun (45 caliber) on a fellow shopper the day before Thanksgiving while waiting in line at Winn-Dixie . After arguing with fellow shopper Lazavius Hudson over his choice of the regular check-out lane instead of the express lane at the Winn-Dixie about 10 p.m., Salesman pulled out his gun to make his point.

Poor Hudson who is only eighteen years old, had gone in to buy eight cases of soda when he got into it with Commissioner Salesman, who in turned whipped out a gun and threatened the student, causing him to wisely take off. When police arrived, Salesman showed them his gun permit, but after police saw store video surveillance the commissioner was arrested on a charge of improper exhibition of a firearm which has people wondering. Say what? Point your gun at someone and nothing happens? After a few news editorials the charges are being reviewed and may be upgraded to a felony.

If I wasn't such a gun control advocate, I would actually say hats off to Salesman for actually dislodging an illegal express lane shopper....but Salesman is a perfect example of why I would never own a gun... it would be too tempting to use it on my fellow Floridians. I know a lot of people who believe guns keep them safe and keep Americans free, but I think it keeps them stupid.

Stupid enough to shoot guns in the air, with bullets that come down killing four year olds. Stupid enough to shoot drunkingly out a car window and paralyze a teenager for the rest of her life. Stupid enough to kill your wife and then yourself when she asks for a divorce. Stupid enough to pull a gun out in an express line at Winn Dixie. So much for the dated argument only criminals have guns. Not that they don't, Florida criminals usually have the more expensive automatic weapons....which is why we have lost how many police officers this year alone in Florida? I stopped counting at the fifth death in Miami & Broward alone.

Yet Florida proudly remains a gun toting, good old boy redneck state where anyone can buy a gun and carry it, legally or not. Somehow in a land of South Beach bars, international investors, models, and mansions, the Tallahassee force behind the sunshine state still wear their racoon hats and pack a pistol...and city commissioners threatening to shoot our high school students and are not charged with anything more than a misdemeanor. Boys will be boys mentality has become our state motto.

Here I must waggle my finger. Tut tut...City of Miramar, your police force is sleeping with your city commissioners, a rather nauseating scenario so don't visualize too hard, but at least have the decency to change the damn sheets. Charge the son of a gun (truly he is now isn't he?), baker act his drunken thoughly commissioned ass & get that gun permit yanked.
State Attorney's office....I guess you'll just have to patiently wait, as you seem to do so well, for when he blows away the ten year old kid down the block for egging his house next Halloween.

Florida, hang your head in shame.