They say that Los Angeles is where you go when you want to be somebody, New York is where you go when you are somebody, and Miami is where you go when you want to be somebody else.
That last part applies to the entire state of Florida.
As author Edna Buchanan wont to point out, most of the fugitives on America’s Most Wanted are eventually caught somewhere in the state. To put it simply, Florida is the end of the line.
Because of our transient population and lack of institutional memory, we’re overly permissive with strangers and doomed to repeat our mistakes. As long as the champagne is flowing and the checks are clearing, nobody asks any questions.
Both of Florida’s flagship state universities were terrorized by notorious serial killers (Ted Bundy at Florida State University and Danny Rolling at University of Florida), three of the most devastating Ponzi schemers in American history hunted for prey here (Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, and Scott Rothstein), and two of the 9/11 hijackers went to aviation school in Miami, while several others enjoyed raw bars, a strip club, and even a Gold’s Gym membership in Central and South Florida.
And now, Florida welcomes our newest resident: “Long Island Ho-lita,” Amy Fisher. A porn star and convicted felon famous for shooting a lady in the face will feel right at home down here.
Welcome to This Week in Florida.
- Florida Governor Rick Scott appears determined to start the next civil war. First, his voter purge exercise has us entangled in litigation with the Justice Department and Homeland Security, and now he’s declared that the state will not make any effort to implement the federal health care law recently upheld by the Supreme Court. Scott insists we simply cannot afford the estimated $1 to 1.9 billion cost of the Medicaid expansion. In the interest of full disclosure, it’s worth noting that before he was governor Rick was CEO of hospital company Columbia/HCA when they were forced to pay $1.7 billion in fines and restitution for committing the largest Medicare/Medicaid fraud in American history.
- For those who think Florida is some Dodge City-esque state where everybody has a gun and is encouraged to stand their ground and shoot their neighbor, this should help reinforce that theory: The state does not check national mental health records before issuing gun carry permits.
- Florida was one of the hardest hit states by the Great Recession, particularly our housing market. But, there’s been great news about a turnaround-in-progress, particularly in the downtown Miami condo market, where nearly 20,000 units were built in the decade before the crash. What is financing this shift in our fortunes? A flood of untraceable cash from South America, of course!
- Community leaders (including rapper Pitbull) urged South Floridians to celebrate the July 4 holiday without partaking in our favorite pastime: Firing guns aimlessly into the air. Unfortunately, their pleas fell upon deaf ears, as at least two people were struck by stray bullets during a Coral Gables fireworks show. Maybe next year Pitbull can write a song about it. What rhymes with Isaac Newton? ¡Dale!
- Who is the worst Floridian of the week? The Jacksonville man who returned used boxes of enemas to a CVS pharmacy on five separate occasions, or the CVS employee who accepted the returns four times before calling police?
- Small politicians love “big issues.” Instead of feeling like small politicians getting nothing done, it makes them feel like big politicians getting nothing done. Last week Miami-Dade County banned the sale of bath salts and synthetic potence. While this might be one small step for a small politician, it’s one giant leap in the battle against the Zombie Apocalypse.
- A lifeguard in the small seaside town of Hallandale was fired for leaving his “zone” to help rescue a drowning man. A few days later he was offered his job back but declined, and now community leaders are honoring him with the key to the city.
- A 17 year old in DeLand wanted to wake up from some wicked nightmares brought on by some shrooms he’d downed, so he shot himself in the forehead with a .22-caliber rifle. He’s recovering.
- Albert Roundtree, Jr. of Oakland Park hired some ass-shakin’ hos to appear in the music video for his debut hip-hop single, “Booty Pop.” The video is causing some controversy, however, because Albert is six years old.
- A Plantation police officer called a suspect four times and sent him 20 texts to alert him that a SWAT team was about to raid his home, putting fellow officers in danger. But the officer is a member of a prominent family and the suspect, who has been charged with several crimes including sexual assault and running a prostitution ring, is an FBI informant, so the cop won’t be prosecuted.
- The National Basketball Association has sent a cease and desist letter to two Miami porn stars who were planning to blow their Twitter fans on camera to honor the championship Heat team. What’s the rub? According to the note, attorneys claim the ladies are using the NBA’s intellectual property and demand they turn over the website and Twitter handle “TeamBJNBA.”
- You don’t want to get between a Floridian and his air conditioning. We will shoot you in the fucking face. A Deltona man was dissatisfied with the service he received from his air conditioning repairman and, instead of taking his complaint to Twitter like everybody else, he pulled his gun.
Previously – Beware the Man with a Tanning Bed In His Barn