Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Huffington Fantasy

Leave it to Arriana Huffington to publish a story that is so ridiculous and nonsensical that only someone without a brain could possibly be conned into believing it.

Here is an extract of the document written by Jim Lampley

"At 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Election Day, I checked the sportsbook odds in Las Vegas and via the offshore bookmakers to see the odds as of that moment on the Presidential election. John Kerry was a two-to-one favorite. You can look it up.
People who have lived in the sports world as I have, bettors in particular, have a feel for what I am about to say about this: these people are extremely scientific in their assessments. These people understand which information to trust and which indicators to consult in determining where to place a dividing line to influence bets, and they are not in the business of being completely wrong. Oddsmakers consulted exit polling and knew what it meant and acknowledged in their oddsmaking at that moment that John Kerry was winning the election.
And he most certainly was, at least if the votes had been fairly and legally counted. What happened instead was the biggest crime in the history of the nation, and the collective media silence which has followed is the greatest fourth-estate failure ever on our soil."

My first thought was to wonder why anyone would publish a story like this only a few days after the sports bookmakers were completely wrong on the Kentucky Derby. Lampley's logic could be used to "prove" that Bellamy Road actually won the Derby and it was only due to blind track judges and a compliant media that Giacomo was declared the winner. After all, only once in the history of the Derby had a horse with greater than 50-1 odds won the race and that was so long time ago that it was probably not even true.

Of course, in the six months since the election, the exit pollsters have been busy trying to fix their sampling and reporting procedures so that their figures better reflect the actual poll results in the future. Of course, Lampley would prefer to throw out the election results themselves since he apparently doesn't agree with them.

It is even more ridiculous to suggest that the media were somehow complicit in covering up a theft of the election. The media were so pro-Kerry that Dan Rather's use of blantantly forged documents to disparage the President was widely publicized; much more so than the facts that had to be forced out by the blogsphere. Rather's willingness to donate whatever reputation for integrity he had to the Kerry cause is but one example of how committed the mainstream media were for a Kerry victory.

I'm sure there are a lot of us out here who have voted Republican only to be disappointed in many respects. A lot of us are looking for some credible alternatives. John Kerry was not one.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Perhaps Texas will replace Florida as a national laughingstock. Certainly this action by one house of the Texas legislature, to restrict "overtly sexually suggestive" cheerleading will go a long way.

no grace at all

I have seen the Nancy Grace show a couple of times on CNN and was always taken aback by what a strongly opinionated yet ignorant person she is. I've never stayed tuned in for long because the show is simply too offensive to take in more than small does.

Ms. Grace does not come across as anyone likely to have any kind of substantive background so it was a bit of a surprise to see that she had previously held a position as a prosecutor. What was perhaps less surprising was to see here where she has been cited numerous times for ethical violations.

Television is a wonderful thing for some people. Dr. Phil, for example, gets to practice pychology (and get paid a huge amount of money) without having to bother with the indignities of a license and being responsible for what he says (thanks to the show's disclaimers). It looks like Nancy Grace is similar; she gets to act like a lawyer and not to worry about any ethics. I'm not sure if Grace gets the same kind of big bucks that Dr. Phil gets; she seems to be too offensive to be able to get a good audience but then there is Michael Savage...

punishing the victims

Recent legislation passed by the Florida legislature and signed by Governor Jeb Bush ups penalties for individuals found guilty of molesting young children. It is hard to know at this point if the legislation is good or bad -- the media-induced frenzy to pass another law after two recent cases of previously-convicted individuals killing young girls was enough to eliminate any possibility of reasoned debate and the published media summaries of the bill contained few details.

But count on Jeb Bush to mete out punishment to even the victims of abuse if they happen to survive. The hand of Bush is evident in the recent effort by the Gestapo-like Department Against Children and Families (DCF) to require the victim of a statutory rape remain an ongoing victim by carrying the resultant pregnancy to term. Fortunately, the Florida courts have thwarted the DCF effort to deny this crime victim her rights under the state Constitution.

This is the second occasion in the last few months that the courts have had to stop the Governor, acting through the DCF, from eliminating the rights of vulnerable individuals. The first time was, of course, the Terri Schiavo case where the governor attempted to step in to deprive Terri of her right to stop the futile intervention that had kept her existing in a persistent vegetative state for over 19 years.

In the Schiavo case, the DCF had argued that it needed to take Terri into custody (and deny her her rights) while it investigated over 50 anonymous claims of abuse. Some time after Terri's death, the DCF was forced to reveal that it had found the abuse claims to be completely without merit. In the instant case, DCF had apparently argued that its authority gave it more control over the affected minor than her parents would have had and that its Gestapo-like powers overrode the girl's constitutional rights.

The DCF is a frightening operation that has been found again and again to be working against the interests of Florida citizens. Governor Bush, howver, has found it a useful tool as he attempts to impose his personal views on any Florida resident who acts in ways contrary to the governor's beliefs.