John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Monday, November 08, 2004
Counting Cubans, Conspiracies, and Crazies v1.0

...the good old days
Before I moved down to Florida, the only political weirdness in the sunshine state of which I was aware was the widely-known 2000 chad counting controversy.  In retrospect, some might look back on the 2000 election and call that time in Florida politics the good old days.  From comments made by political commentators in the national media that Ohio was supposed to be this election year's Florida, I may have been lulled into my state of Zen Apathy prematurely.  Looking closer at the 2004 election myself, I find I am counting cubans, conspiracies, and crazies.

First, just so you don't think I'm being some ranting, angry white man from America's red state south -- because this is your first visit to Thunderstorms, you see my face in the header image, and instantly assume I must be making a racist or xenophobic comment -- everyone seems to counting cubans.  I just wanted to state that upfront because I know from past experience that people read my entries weeks and months after a topic is fresh in people's minds from some obscure word phrase hit on internet search engines.  To be perfectly honest, I used that phrase simply because I am apparently becoming a big fan of using alliteration in my blog entry titles.

Nonetheless, people are counting cubans in Florida.  One cuban, Mel Martinez, is now Florida's first cuban Senator.  If you think the Bush and Kerry campaign advertisements on television were negative and nasty, let me tell you that the Senate race between Betty Castor and Mel Martinez aired some television ads that were also particularly vicious and extremely ugly.  Whether those ads made a difference in the election of Mel Martinez to the U.S. Senate, I leave for others to analyze.

Personally, it's going to take a lot of legislative wisdom from Martinez to erase the initial feeling I have that he may just be yet another Republican Lackey and Bush Buttboy, based upon the campaign he ran.  His campaign staff may have just been star-struck from the attention their little sunshine state race received from the architect, Karl Rove, and the producer, Stuart Stevens.

So, let's count cubans.  On Google, the headline is "Hispanic vote vaulted Martinez into Senate".  Less enthusiatic is the headline in the actual story to which that Google assertion is linked -- the Palm Beach Post.  If you happen to be a Hispanic voter living there, you're only given credit for having "probably propelled" the good Senator into his new job.  However, if you live in Daytona Beach, you'd be sold the same story and minimized further with "Conservative vote aids Martinez's narrow win".

Hey, I don't mean to be too Chomsky-esque about all this, but if I were a cuban living anywhere, I would be a little pissed.  As a mattter of fact, I might even ban the U.S. dollar in my native Cuba.  If you thought a few Florida newspapers manufactured consent, how would you like to stand in this line to convert your horded emergency cash into Cuban monopoly money?

Why that would be like voting in the 2004 election and not having it count, or something.  I will leave us counting conspiracies and crazies for tomorrow.  Probably I will have to file those things under the "Conspiracy Theories in the Imajica" and "You can't make this shit up" (YCMTSU) categories.

As a sidenote: I think the big conspiracy is the president staying out of the news and chilling while the media forgets about the election in its ADHD manner only to blast your soft malleable brain cells this week with Operation Phantom Fury in Falluja, Iraq.  Public statements by Bush will undoubtedly stress the grand autonomy of the Iraqi PM Allawi and how he and 'commanders on the ground' made the decision on the timing of going into Falluja.  Plausible Deniability.

When it comes to shaping reality, remember Neo -- There is no spoon.

For now, though, I would like to draw your attention to 5.82 MBs of audio goodness that you can download.  You get a free MP3 download without the pesky RIAA lawsuits.  I wanted to do something cool for this MP3, but I'll just give it to you without fanfare for reading this far.  It's my reaction to the 2004 election.

When you listen and think about Evil Stevie, imagine a mix between South Park's Timmy and Stephen Hawking with a Taxi Driver mohawk haircut -- watching a streaming pirated copy of Sid and Nancy, scootering frantically back and forth in his electric wheelchair, and plotting the next big hack.  If you don't understand any of those pop-culture references, google them yourself.  I can't do all the work for you.


[Headphones] :: Evil Stevie: Activate! - JfZ

Posted at 03:16 pm by John Furie Zacharias

November 8, 2004   10:49 PM PST
The other conspiracy is ghost-President #1 Karl Rove managing to stay under the radar through all this, with just one little blurb on Friday in the Washington Post.
November 9, 2004   12:24 AM PST
I live in Clewiston, Florída. which is in Hendry County. We are surrounded by parasitic counties, as well. A rather behind school department, as well.

You know what OS some of the computers in my freshmen year of HS Hendry had? Windows 3.1 ( or was it 6.1 )? We were behind both academically and technologically. We are still very behind, it's a very poor school district. Do we receive help? No. Over 60% or perhaps more in Hendry fail the FCAT. I can see why on how behind the district is.
Sorry, just thought I'd share.
- Myles
J f Z
November 10, 2004   12:53 PM PST
PB(Myles), I was going to make a joke about the article I saw in the Osceola County news -- where the big announcement was that school age kids over 14 can now go on a free field trip -- to the county's solid waste treatment facility.

But after spending a few minutes reading info on this guy's news site, I'm just very scared to visit your area of FL anytime soon.
July 8, 2005   05:14 AM PDT
I'v never been to Florida=(

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