Archive for November, 2006

Miami = Third World country?


A Congressman from Colorado, Republican Tom Tancredo, has taken aim at President Bush for his immigration policies–saying Bush is too liberal (?!?) and lax on his patrol of U.S. borders. He lamented the over-abundance of immigrants, saying America is losing it’s identity–and used Miami as an example.

“Look at what has happened to Miami. It has become a Third World country,” he said. “You just pick it up and take it and move it someplace. You would never know you’re in the United States of America. You would certainly say you’re in a Third World country.”

(link here)

The rest of his speech was absolutely ridiculous, filled with fear-mongering and paranoia about the evils of de-Americanization that exists only in the minds of himself and Ann Coulter. Although he does have a point about Miami–even though it’s not for the racist reasons he probably meant.

The definition of a Third World country is where people live either in (a) great wealth, or (b) at subsistence level or in poverty. In other words, there’s no “middle class,” you’re either rich or you’re poor. And it goes without saying that Miami’s middle class is shrinking–skyrocketing taxes and insurance rates are making this city unaffordable, except to rich people who use it as a second home. Couple that with the uncountable numbers of illegal workers employed all over the city–who are probably not getting paid fair wages, and they’re definitely not paying taxes–and yep, that’s Third World status.

I swear, I was at Costco last week, and there were chickens running around the parking lot. No one even gave them a second look. CHICKENS. IN THE PARKING LOT.

The truth hurts, and the city should take a good look at the facts. It shouldn’t take a lunatic politician from a land far, far away to expose the truth. It’s not because the residents here were born in other countries; it’s what happens when they’re here.

Miami Empire – Buenos Aires


I’m in Buenos Aires today, for meetings on my other web projects. I snapped this shot this morning while rollerblading up 9 de Julio. BA is rocking – well worth the 9 hour flight to get down here – and a great place to do business as well.

To understand Miami well, it is necessary to travel around Latin America – to see what makes it click.

Three Weeks


It’s getting closer . The top scene of the year – Art Basel Miami Beach!

Photo – Courtesy MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel/Zurich) AGĀ».

Straight outta…. the Charthouse?

Well, I’m home visiting my family from my adopted city and my darling family and I decide we’re less interested in cleaning up cooking aftermath than we are eating the product of cooking. So out to dinner we go, and we hear the Charthouse has a good buffet spread. Apparently Ice T heard the same thing, since he was in front of me in line.

Mind you, when they tell Joe Blow that they’re out of cranberry sauce they say “we’ll have some more out in a few minutes.” When Ice T asks a minute later, they find him a pitcher of the stuff to replenish the bowl immediately. Wonder why they felt so motivated?

Warning – DUI Checkpoint

For those of you out celebrating tonight – get a designated driver. And for FYI on DUI Checkpoints are often announced in advance.

Miami Empire – El Salvador


I spent Wednesday and Thursday in El Salvador. Only 2 and a half hours from Miami – and you are on the shores of the tropical Pacific. There’s great surfing and fishing – and a rapidly improving economy thanks to CAFTA. Crime – from very powerful gangs like MS-13 – overwhelms much of the countryside – requiring a pervasive military presence.

Vegan Thanksgiving in Miami

130-fauxTurkey.gifSo you ask, ‘How does a vegan survive Thanksgiving?” I answer, “Very carefully.” As the only vegan in your family you have to sit by and watch people eat turkey and ham without judgement. All you can do is educate them and hope one of these days they will see the light. Lead by example is the motto for this month.

They do make a different stuffing for me and I eat all the vegetables that were not cooked in anything animal based, but it is difficult to smell the food. Here are a few events happening in Miami that might interest the vegan community and the veg-curious.

Saturday, November 18th- Turkey Free Thanksgiving Pot Luck

This year we are celebrating our Thanksgiving meal together by having all guests bring a dish to share with others. This is the season to acknowledge the abundance of food that we are fortunate to have. What better way to acknowledge this concept than to prepare a meal for each other by all contributing a portion of the feast. In the true spirit of those first Thanksgivings, we will celebrate life and the life saving plant-based food choices.

Saturday, December 16th-Member’s Celebration at Oleta State Park

This event is to celebrate our members and thank them for their support. Oleta State Park is Miami’s largest urban park and offers canoeing, cycling, swimming and trail-walking. The details of this event will be announced at our future potlucks, through email, and on our voicemail, 305. 228.1116 in late November.

I just can’t help thinking about the poor animals that don’t get a Thanksgiving. Who is going to speak up for them? As the years go by more and more people are realizing the effects of eating animals on our environmental and physical health. This Thanksgiving, try to leave the poor turkeys at the supermarket and pick up a Tofurky. There are many great recipes to convert your “traditional” dishes into “veg-concious” alternatives without sacrificing taste. Your taste buds will change in a short amount of time and you might not even notice the difference.

Check out:

Sorry for the rant but I just wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t say something about it. It’s said with love of course.. ;-)

Miami Empire – Honduras


This week I’ve been in Honduras and El Salvador – regions I like to think of as part of the “Miami Empire”. By Empire I mean a zone of economic and cultural influence , places where a large part of the population has moved to Miami. This would generally be a ring around the Caribbean, northern South America and down to Peru and even to a lesser extent – the Southern Cone. People here look to Miami for leadership – not Washington or New York. I’m here on an Enterprise Florida Trade Mission. Honduras is quite poor , but with CAFTA things should improve.

Miami Book Fair 2006

The mission of Miami Book Fair International
is to promote reading, encourage writing, and heighten
an awareness of literacy and the literary arts
in our multi-ethnic community.

Check out the author schedule here:

You can also volunteer for the event here:

As an aspiring writer myself, I would not want to miss this event. You can meet editors, other authors, attend workshops and network with well-known players in the industry.

Vote !

Everyone get out and vote tomorrow ,if you haven’t already! Remember – if you don’t vote you shouldn’t complain later ! We don’t formally endorse candidates here, but Charlie Crist will be a lot better for Miami than that other guy.

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