Finally. It’s that time of year. Going outside at mid-day is no longer a life threatening event. Very invigorating it is, breathing air that doesn’t feel liquid or blast furnace hot There’s blue, blue sky, not that pale insipid blue from the heat haze. No, real blue, endless blue, and the clouds seem lit from within.
But the best part about this time of year is watching the birds migrating or arriving for their winter stay. The eagle pairs have started their courtship flights. They float together in unison, gliding higher and higher on the thermals until they disappear. The fist pair was having a lovely dual soar when I went to the car. When the eagles soar on a day like that it fells as if your spirit might just pop right out of your body and catch a ride with ’em.
And earlier in the day there was one of those cool osprey vs. eagle aerial battles for territory and fishing rights. I was just sitting on my bed slack jawed at the news on TV, cursing quietly and wondering which presidential candidate is the craziest when something flashed past with its big feets hanging–something the eagles do more often than the osprey. Sure enough, I dashed to the sun room and watched, nose pressed to the glass, as they performed the most amazing aerobatics chasing each other down the river until they were out of sight.
Another sign of the changing migratory season is that the first cars with foreign license tags, i.e. New York, New Jersey, etc. have been spotted wobbling through area traffic. (As a native South Floridian I consider anyone born farther north than Orlando to be foreigners.) When you start seeing large cars that appear to have no driver–they’re actually teensy little elderly folk whose heads don’t stick up above the seat back–in the left hand lane, left blinker flashing for miles, zipping along at 15 to 20 mph below the speed limit, you know summer is over.
But those diminutive folks aren’t the only invaders. We get other foreigners too. They get preferential treatment and privileges residents don’t. There’s an area I know of, on an estuary, that was zoned for conservation. Lots of wildlife, water everywhere. I even thought about buying some land there. Made extensive inquiries about the future land use plan and was assured that it was secured for non-development in perpetuity–no businesses allowed, strict limits on low density residential dwellings nearby. It was set in stone. No trailers allowed either. So of course when some East Germans did whatever one does to make a Florida local government toss the rules overboard, their plan to put a trailer park on the conservation zoned area was rubber stamped by the County planners and ratified toute de suite by the County Commission. I was in the area and even went to a couple of County Commission meetings. They were about like a guys’ weekly poker night–had the same professional demeanor.
The commies, as some neighbors refer to them, have further endeared themselves in that neighborhood of rural Kentucky transplants by hiring a tiny enclave’s convicted sex offender. (That’s according to the neighbors. I didn’t have the heart to look it up.) Someone not on that list might have liked to have the job but, nope, the commies went with the pervert. Yeah, people just love that. I was over there recently and rode by. He’d been busy as a bee, clearing land for his masters, without a permit. While chatting with some of the neighbors, one wondered aloud if those employers minded the patch of pot plants the kiddie rapist is supposedly growing on their land. Some of those neighbors, who don’t really approve of statutory rape or pedophilia, are reportedly planning to raid his pot patch, but they’re waiting until it’s ready for harvest. I guess they figure they’ll make him put forth the maximum effort before they destroy it. That’s the local variant of vigilante justice. No violence, no expensive law enforcement time put into it, no wasting of court assets. The perp’ll just go out there one day and his little patch of heaven will be bare. I’m not sure what they have planned for the pot plants but they don’t seem like the pot smoking type. They’re all Baptists.
Now I’ve mentioned before that faux Floridians, i.e. transplants from elsewhere, just can’t seem to behave. Back on the east coast in Palm Beach County–proudly known by residents as Corruption County–the local newspaper had a story recently about some TSA screeners getting busted as part of a drug trafficking ring. Somehow CNN never mentioned that a day or two ago when they talked about the TSA screeners in Hawaii getting fired for not screening. Yep, at Palm Beach International Airport, TSA screeners were letting illegal drugs pass through security. Feel safer now? Actually, you probably should. I have a lot more confidence that Palm Beach County drug dealers will protect their cargo, which is far more valuable than human lives, at least to them, than TSA screeners who demonstrably don’t always do their jobs. (Heck, they’re not flying, why should they care?)
Think I’m exaggerating about the general lawlessness of Corruption County? One small community there is on the hunt for a cop on the lam. He was the Officer of the Year in 2010. Why’s he in trouble? Trafficking methamphetamine. Yeah. Officer of the Year and meth dealer. He’s no immediate threat though. He’s scooted back to his native Brazil. His mom’s been arrested for helping him get away.
Iconic con man, Bernie Madoff had a home there. Of course. Felt right at home. As did most of the 9/11 bombers. Their leader, Mohammed Atta, devout Muslim that he was, got into a bit of a dustup in a Palm Beach restaurant shortly before the horrendous twin towers bombings. He was outraged that the staff wouldn’t let him stiff them for all the champagne he’d been swilling. Then they got all up in his face just because he wanted to pay with a stolen credit card. Can’t a guy just get a drink? With a stolen credit card?
Did I mention the former head of the Florida Republican Party, Jim Greer? He’s under indictment after being arrested last year for fraud and money laundering. Since when is money laundering a crime in Florida? I thought it was an economic sector.
Those nitpicking reporters at the St. Pete Times, Adam Smith and Michael Bender just this month (in the September 5 edition) insisted on detailing not only Greer’s doings but also how bag men the Florida State Senate President, the Florida House Speaker and a former state party chairman paid Greer $124,000 to “resign and keep his mouth shut”. Cheeso, piso, Smith and Bender, where are you from? Don’t ya know these are not considered ethical or criminal lapses among pols here in Sunny Florida? (Tea Party darling, Marco Rubio is also mentioned among the possibles to be targeted by Greer when he really starts to hold forth on the spending abuses of party apparatchiks–my term not the newspaper’s.) Get out the popcorn, his testimony should be entertaining.
…”They just destroyed my life for no reason,” a tearful Greer said of the legislative leaders last week on WTSP-Ch. 10…the 9/5/11 St. Pet Times piece reported. Yeah. For no reason. Fraud and money laundering, that’s no reason. Poor guy, what’d he do to deserve that? In South Florida where lots of people think that it’s not really against the law to break the law.