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Oh Florida!

by Jackson on 05/20/11

Florida Senate fails basic biology, accidentally outlaws sex. By Southern Fried Scientist, on May 11th, 2011

Question: If your elected officials fail basic taxonomy, promote anti-science curriculum, and consistently attempt to undermine the fundamental underpinning of all biology, what happens when they start trying to legislate from this flawed view of reality?


The answer is this poorly-worded miasma of a law recently passed in Florida, which presumably was designed to prevent bestiality and promote animal welfare, but which has actually made it illegal, effective October 1, 2011, for anyone to have sex in Florida.


An act relating to sexual activities involving animals; creating s. 828.126, F.S.; providing definitions; prohibiting knowing sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal; prohibiting specified related activities; providing penalties; providing that the act does not apply to certain husbandry, conformation judging, and veterinary practices; providing an effective date.


So if you’re living in Florida on October 1, 2011 and would like to have sexual intercourse with a consenting adult, please check with your veterinarian or local livestock breeder first to make sure you abide by ”accepted animal husbandry practices, conformation judging practices, or accepted veterinary medical practices.”

First Job after Vietnam

by Jackson on 05/19/11

After I was discharged from the Army and learned I couldn’t collect unemployment because everyone was hiring, I went to see the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court because I had worked there before the Army drafted me on Valentine’s Day, 1966.

He said I looked liked a fine young man, i.e., my hair was short, and he was required by law to rehire me. He assigned me a 1963 Studebaker that burned 2 quarts of oil every hundred miles and sent me off to work.

Every business day I drove to a small motel and picked up an elderly gentleman who was a crony of the Democratic boss in the state. Most mornings he was still in bed drunk so I had to help him get dressed and put him in the car. One morning I walked in and found an ugly prostitute next to him, condom on the floor (no Viagra back then).

And off we would go a court twenty miles away where I would plunk him in his chair in the courtroom and he would “clerk” the court. This is when my second task often would kick in. If court wasn’t over by the luncheon recess I was tasked with making sure he didn’t get drunk during the lunch hour. I succeed most of the time. When I failed, I took over his duties and clerked the court. That how I learned the job.

I knew from this first “major” assignment this was going to be an interesting career. 

Another Campaign Promise Down the Drain.

by Jackson on 05/18/11

Despite the governor's campaign promise to focus on job creation, Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Florida legislature have focused their attention on other matters.

In the legislative session that ended Saturday, lawmakers passed no job creation bills for Scott to sign. But they did pass five bills restricting abortion rights and a state budget that cuts nearly 4,500 public sector jobs.

The five bills, which Scott is expected to sign, force women to undergo ultrasounds prior to having an abortion, prohibit private insurance coverage of abortion care in the new state health-insurance exchange, require young women to prove the medical necessity of their abortions before a judge in order to bypass parental permission, establish state-sanctioned license plates that funnel money to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" and changes the state constitution to prohibit the government funding of abortion.

Florida Republicans filed a total of 18 anti-abortion bills during the session, the third most in the country, according to the ACLU, and twice the number of anti-choice laws introduced last year in the state, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The focus on abortion rights has caused some lawmakers -- including some fellow Republicans -- to question how they got so far off-track.

"I came up here to help put food on the table," said state Sen. Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach) during debate on the ultrasound bill. "I came up here to get people jobs. I came up here to protect people from the kinds of safety issues that fire and police take care of. I came up here to protect education."

"I will vote no on every abortion bill," she added. "It is the wrong thing for us to be discussing."

FEMA Florida Keys vs. Louisiana

by Jackson on 05/16/11

For the last decade or more FEMA and our county government in the Florida Keys have been locked in a battle. Many stilt homes in the Keys have livable downstairs’ enclosures most often rented to workforce folks that cannot afford their own abode. Until recently the county has looked the other way on this issue. Now FEMA demands that all livable downstairs enclosures be destroyed or they will take away FEMA flood insurance for all. The irony of FEMA’s demand is they don’t cover insurance at the ground level. DUH!

Now let’s look at Louisiana. As the floodwaters roll down the mighty Mississippi, we are opening flood spillways that will destroy thousands of rural acres to save urban areas. Folks that lived in these areas knew about the potential to open these gates and destroy what they own, but do they have FEMA flood insurance? Who will reimburse them for their loss? Was flood insurance a requirement for the Louisiana folks who had mortgages? The farmers are also facing the issue of crop insurance. At the present time it appears the government’s position is: if no flood insurance, sorry.

Just because it will ultimately be a government decision to flood one area in order to save Baton Rouge and New Orleans from extensive damages does not mean flooded homes without FEMA flood insurance will be covered. Is it a natural disaster or a manmade one?

Under federal law, only homeowners with federally backed mortgages and living in high-risk areas (1 percent chance of flooding every year and 26 percent chance during the life of a 30-year mortgage) are required to buy flood insurance. People in moderate to low-risk areas are not.

There is presently legislation in Congress to tighten the FEMA flood insurance program. But, there is an upcoming election. Stay tuned.

Florida plans on doing something right for a change

by Jackson on 03/31/11

Florida plans to switch from paper textbooks to digital readers for all students from K-12 by 2015. The payoff includes course content that can be easily updated and interactive between students and educators. Internet capable readers provide students with a massive resource.