Tag Archives: Florida

In Florida, You Can’t Use Your Own Solar Panels in a Crisis, by Michael Krieger

There is something wrong when people who have solar panels can’t use them when regular power is down. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

When it comes to the U.S. economy, the “con” part offers the best description of the current relationship between business, government and the preyed upon consumer. The way things work in early 21st century America is large businesses bribe politicians in a variety of ways at both the local and federal level, and the end result is laws that are designed to increase corporate profits at the expense of the wellbeing and freedom of the American public. Politicians end up with financial war chests to run their next campaign, while bureaucrats see a lucrative opportunity to swing through the ever spinning revolving door should they play ball with lobbyists and their patrons. Yes, there’s always some degree of corruption within any society of humans, but there are peaks and valleys in such cycles. I’d argue we are somewhere in the peak corruption phase.

Today’s article focuses on one of the most highly regulated industries in the country, electric utilities. It’s one of the most boring businesses in America. I know this because it fell under the umbrella of my responsibilities during my last Wall Street job, and I could barely read a utilities research report without immediately falling asleep. Nevertheless, as you’ll see in today’s piece, the industry still finds a way to generate large profits while simultaneously harming the people it’s supposed to service.

When I think about solar panels, it’s not just the use of a renewable resource I find appealing, but also the potential to take energy generation into your own hands; something that can prove quite useful in a major global crisis, or even something more minor like Hurricane Irma’s impact on Florida. The latter could’ve been a lifesaver for some Florida residents recently, but a local electric utility has done everything in its power to deny its customers such freedom.

To continue reading: In Florida, You Can’t Use Your Own Solar Panels in a Crisis

Swamp Fever, by James Howard Kunstler

The second big natural disaster in three weeks threatens America’s financial system and what remains of its social cohesion. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Further proof, as if more were needed, that God is rather cross with the world’s number one exceptional nation: Hurricane Irma is tracking for a direct hit on Disney World. In the immortal words of the Talking Heads: This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around.

Houston is still soggy and punch-drunk, with a fantastic explosion of breeding mosquitoes, and otherwise it’s not even in the news anymore. This week, the cable networks had their scant crews of reporters scuttling around Florida, asking the people here and there about their feelings. “What’s gonna happen is gonna happen….” I think I heard that one about sixty times, and there’s actually no disputing the truth of it.

For the moment, though (Friday morning), it’s a little hard to calculate the effect of a complete scrape-off, wash, and rinse of the state of Florida vis-à-vis the ongoing viability of the US economy. There’s going to be a big hole with dollars rushing into it and that will likely prompt the combined powers of the US Treasury, congress, and the Federal Reserve to materialize tens of billions of new dollars. Overnight the DXY plunged to a new low for the year.

Am I the only observer wondering if Irma may be a fatal blow to the banking system? The mind reels at the insurance implications of what’s about to happen. Urgent obligations triggered by an event of this scale can’t possibly be serviced. Look for it to snap the chain of counterparty leverage that has been propping up the banks, insurers, and pension funds on mere promises for years on end. Finance, both private and public, has been feeding off unreality since well before the tremor of 2008. The destruction of Florida (and whatever else stands in the way up the line) will be as real as it gets.

To continue reading: Swamp Fever

 

Florida’s Government Built a Train — And It Didn’t Go Well, by Tho Bishop

As California ramps up construction of its bullet train boondoggles, whatever sane people are left in that state might want to consider Florida’s bullet train boondoggle. From Tho Bishop at mises.org:

The state of Florida is well known for many things: beautiful beaches, outrageous headlines, and being the setting for the wacky antics of the Golden Girls. In Florida’s fascinating history, perhaps no figure stands taller than the great Walt Disney, who transformed unwanted swampland into Disney World, forever changing central Florida from swamp and farmland into one of the premier vacation destinations in the world. Disney’s example is an incredible demonstration of what a man can accomplish with vision, work-ethic, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Unfortunately too many politicians have all sorts of great visions, but think government power is a fine substitute for the other personal qualities Disney possessed. Just like mosquitos, sinkholes, and under-performing sports franchises, Florida has too many such politicians for its own good.

A great example is SunRail, a train so bad that it actually loses money issuing tickets.

How so?

The story begins decades ago, when the idea of a train connecting Orlando to cities like Tampa and Miami was dreamt by government officials throughout the state. Be it bureaucrats in Tallahassee or politicians at a federal, state, or local level, countless state workers wished upon a star for their own version of a Disney World monorail to play with.

In 2000, Florida politicians were able to convince enough voters that someone else would pay for the train, securing a Constitutional amendment requiring the construction of a high-speed rail line connecting Florida’s largest cities. As more details emerged on the projects costs however, voters repealed the amendment in 2004.

The dream didn’t have to sit dormant for long though as county officials in Orange, Volusia, Osceola, and Seminole counties joined forces with then-Governor Charlie Crist to move forward with a less ambitious project, a simple commuter train connecting the largest towns that make up metro Orlando.

To continue reading: Florida’s Government Built a Train — And It Didn’t Go Well

Florida Elections Worker: “I Was Fired For Witnessing Possible Absentee Ballot Fraud”, by Tyler Durden

It’s a good bet we’ll be hearing a lot about election fraud over the next days and weeks. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Broward County, Florida, home of the now infamous “hanging chad” fiasco during the 2000 showdown between George Bush and Al Gore, may be on the verge of yet another controversial election cycle. Historically a democrat stronghold, Broward County always comes under extra scrutiny during presidential elections as it can single-highhandedly swing the entire state of Florida in one direction or another.

Per a new report from NewsMax, the 2016 election cycle may be among the most controversial yet as a temporary worker for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office has been fired after reporting what she thought to be “election fraud.” In a sworn affidavit presented to the Florida State Attorney General, this temporary worker claims that she witnessed “four Supervisor of Elections employees sitting at the same table actively filling out election ballots.” Further, according to the affidavit, each of the four workers “had a stack of blank ballots to the right of them … and a stack of completed ballots to their left.”

A temporary worker for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office in Florida has alleged in a sworn affidavit obtained by Newsmax that she was fired this week after witnessing possible absentee ballot fraud by office workers.

Nichols is general counsel for the Broward Republican Executive Committee, which learned of the allegations on Thursday. He interviewed the former employee and reported the matter that day to the state attorney.

“Our goal is to assure that all of the election rules are properly followed,” he told Newsmax. “We want a fair election for everyone.”

According to the affidavit, the former employee alleged that on Monday about 8:30 p.m. she had been told to take a stack of absentee ballot forms to what is known as the Pitney-Bowes Room at the Supervisor of Elections (SOE) office in Lauderhill, Fla.

Through the locked door’s window, she saw four workers sitting at a table in the room with “stacks of documents and writing something,” according to the affidavit.

“I could see the four SOE employees sitting at the same table actively filling out election ballots,” she said in the affidavit. Each worker “had a stack of blank ballots to the right of them … and a stack of completed ballots to their left.”

Every completed stack contained “perhaps a dozen” ballots, she claimed.

The four workers also were “using the same black pens … that the SOE supplies to voters at polling places.

“I was then told to leave the room by one of the employees at the table,” she said in the affidavit.

The former employee said that she did not initially report what she had seen “to anyone at the SOE because of fear of retaliation.”

Of course, as usual, we’re supposed to believe that there is absolutely nothing unusual about a group of poll workers, in a heavily democratic county, sitting in a back room filling out blank ballots. No, apparently this is just another attempt to “criminalize behavior that is normal,” as Donna Brazile would say.

According to Brenda Snipes, the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, what this terminated employee witnessed was workers simply transcribing faxed paper ballots from the men and women of our armed forces from overseas. According to Snipes, those faxed ballots are a different size than regular ballots and thus have to be converted to the official forms in order to be counted.

To continue reading: Florida Elections Worker: “I Was Fired For Witnessing Possible Absentee Ballot Fraud”