Thursday, April 30, 2009


Undertow will be havin a fabulous Kentucky Derby party this Saturday, May 2nd at 5pm!
(call for details...772-770-0977)

It's just so hard to believe that's it's been a whole year since we
started this silly bloggin at the Beach House, so we have (a legitimate) reason to celebrate!

If y'all have been payin attention (and we hope y'all have)



Wednesday, April 29, 2009


LDouglas Drops

It's Tuesday afternoon, figuratively and literally. This is the last week of Florida's Legislative Session- providing they passed a budget by the time you read this. Hard to believe 60 days have come and gone already. It's the first time I really tried to pay attention to what they were doing and I must say, it was no easy task.

The craziness of it kind of muddles the mind. Bills have to go to committees where amendments can be added. It has to be read three times before being put up for a vote, unless it gets attached to another bill. So you just never know what's going to happen until it does. It'll take a little time I suppose to sort things out.

(The Press Journal highlighted how fast things change there in their editorial today):

When I said we're facing hard times and politicians don't always tend to do what's right during hard times, I was hoping I would be wrong but alas, no such luck.

I've already gone over loosening growth and environmental regulations while we're swamped with homes for sale and face water shortages so won't go over that again.

But some other examples of the other madness I see is cutting funding by 15% for Florida Virtual School which means less classes can be offered while the demand for classes is on the rise. That one class being cut costing $510 online could be the difference of a kid keeping up or graduating or being held back for an extra year at a cost of $7,000.

Attaching funding for Florida Forever to the offshore drilling bill is another. The House passed the drilling bill (as close as a mile- which both Reps. Mayfield and Poppell voted yea) when tourism is such a big part of our economy and we'll be doing it when we won't even be getting a premium for it. (But at least as of now the Senate says they won't pass it. Do you think our Reps are sorry they voted yea now?)

Then there's the budget cuts to the criminal justice system which has them saying they'll have to release all sorts of prisoners early, yet they refused to hear the "Second Chance Act for Children in Prison". That would have given children 15 and under at the time of their crime, who received long adult sentences consideration for release after eight years, under strict conditions. Like if they were an accessory to a crime committed by an adult, rather than playing a major role, among other things.

I could go on but there's really no point.

Would you like a recession proof job? Become a lobbyist. Lobbying is a $200 million-a-year business and they outnumber Florida’s 160 legislators by 12-to-1. According to a Brevard County lobbyist, not one of his clients have scaled back due to the economy. And we wonder why our voices aren't heard.

Moving on.

"When it comes to dwindling resources, petroleum may get all the press, but many experts believe that water is the bigger story." A link to the rest of the article and a nice list of tips for conserving water:

An interesting article in Scientific American "Top 10 Myths about Sustainability". If you look at Myth #9 he talks about population and its importance, but unfortunately takes a defeatist attitude on it. I believe we can reverse the trend with education and the tools necessary for family planning without taking away a woman's right to plan her family size as she sees fit.

Is there sustainability without a sustainable population?

"The biggest threat to global stability is the potential for food crises in poor countries to cause government collapse". Another more serious but very interesting article in Scientific American: "Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?

Lester Brown, the writer of that article and author of several books is the president of the Earth Policy Institute which is "dedicated to building an environmentally sustainable economy- an eco-economy".

Can we have a sustainable economy without a sustainable population? Lester doesn't think so and neither do I.

Want to pass something valuable on to your children and grandchildren? Pass the knowledge of making compost, growing and preserving food. A basic knowledge of natural remedies IMO, would also be valuable.

For those who didn't like my immigration blogs, you may like my second favorite magazine: "Yes! Magazine, supporting you in creating a more just, sustainable and compassionate world"

Yes, I veer sharply from their immigration stance because there is no justice for those who don't have access to basic necessities- food and water. As there is no sustainability (for long) without a sustainable population, no matter how good we get at the three R’s or conservation. And compassion is one thing but it doesn't provide necessities. If the United States goes broke, there will be no room for compassion for others.

When are you gonna come down, When are you going to land?


You can't plant me in your penthouse, I'm going back to my plow,

Back to the howling old owl...

TTFN, LDouglas

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


So there I was Saturday, seated at the singles table of my friend's wedding. I was the only one over nine years old. Miss Vero couldn't find me on Friday, because after the bachelorette party Thursday and the rehearsal dinner Friday night and the wedding on Saturday, the whole thing turned into one big blurry nightmare, with occasional bouts of reality.

My friend Darcy, of course, was the typical bridezilla and she's a Southern Belle, so that made her a bridezilla with an entourage. Thank Gawd I didn't have to wear one of those hideous dresses. You know the ridiculous bridemaid's dress everyone lies about, when they say you can wear it again? HA.

As I sat at the kids table, my head pounding from the 24 Goldschlagger shots the night before and the best man giving his stupid "I love this guy" speech, it hit me. Nope, not the hangover.

I'm done. Finished. Kaput. Yeah, that's right, Miss Vivienne Von Voot is through with the dating scene. It doesn't matter if I'm here in Vero, visit Cairo or move to Timbuktu, I'm done.

I mean, what's the point? Welcome to Vero Beach - great for the newly wed or nearly dead! I'm young and having a great time and this dating scene only leads to one thing...marriage!

Like my Uncle Reggie used to say, "marriage is an institution and who the heck wants to be in an institution?"

So I'm hanging it up and working on my career, heck, if Miss Vero can be a professional partyer, I might just hang around and learn out how to do that. So, until I figure it out, it's been real, it's been fun and I suppose you know the rest.

Love and hugs,


Monday, April 27, 2009



Max Newport

Last week, the United States Supreme Court, issued what appeared to be a landmark ruling regarding the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure by police after a criminal traffic stop. Whenever the Supreme Court speaks, lesser courts throughout the nation must say “stop, hey, what’s that sound” and make sure that their ruling is applied as dictated by the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court in Arizona v. Gant ended a 28 year warrantless search exception, under certain circumstances, that will most likely be hailed as a great advancement for those who are arrested but don’t want their vehicle searched but in essence will have little, if any, effect.

A few weeks ago I wrote about my big run in with Johnny Law over my Florida Gator license plate frame that partially obscured my Florida Gator license plate. Obscuring a license plate is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine or both. I did immediately remove the Gator frame so that my Gator plate could be viewed by all in its intended unfettered “Gator Nation” glory. The officer gave me a verbal warning since the law was relatively new. If he had stopped me the next day, I suspect I would have been arrested if I had not removed the frame that was obscuring the tag. (On a side note, each day on my short commute to work, I see dozens of tags that are partially obscured due to similar frames and yes, I am concerned that I may become some kind of compulsive nut job who likes to count things.)

Based upon the prevailing search and seizure law a few weeks ago, I would have been cuffed and the officer could have searched my vehicle based upon New York v. Belton, which allowed the search of the passenger compartment and all containers within based upon the arrest of any occupant. So if I had been running shine from the hills of Caroline or illegal cigarettes from the Seminole Nation, I would be facing some serious additional charges. Gant does not overrule Belton, per se, but does limit such a search to evidence that would be relevant to the charge for which I was arrested. On my charge of having an obscured tag, which I admitted to putting on the frame that so obscured, there is nothing the officer would be able to find in my car that would make his case any stronger. So if my car was searched and the hooch and the cigs were found, they would not be admissible against me under the new Supreme Court decision.

Gant involved a person arrested for driving with a suspended license. During a search of the vehicle incident to the arrest, the officers found cocaine. At the time Mr. Rodney Gant was handcuffed and in the back seat of the patrol car so he posed no threat to the officers. The Court also stated that there would be nothing in the car that could be used as evidence on his suspended license charge. I have to disagree with the mighty Supremes on that issue based upon my own sordid past. During my college days, I accumulated enough parking tickets to have my license suspended (until I paid them off). If I had been stopped, the opened envelope advising me that my license was suspended until I paid off the tickets was in the visor just a foot or so above my steering wheel. This would certainly be valid evidence if I gave my usual response to such accusations made of me at that age which was “Huh?” On that point, I disagree with the Supreme Court, since a search of the vehicle after a suspended license arrest could reveal evidence pertaining to that charge.

As I wrote in an earlier post, many drug arrests are based upon a search incident to arrest based upon facts similar to those in Gant. Since the ruling will affect all cases that are now pending in courts throughout the country, it is likely that some evidence will be suppressed and some guilty folks will go free. Since the Belton ruling has been the law for 28 years, it is older than many of the officers out there patrolling the streets. The police will have to make some slight adjustments and use other exceptions to the search warrant requirement if they desire to search the interior of the vehicle.

They can always ask for consent to search from the person they just arrested. Since the standard for the validity of a consent search is a knowing and voluntary waiver that is not based on police coercion, this might be tough since the person being asked for consent is under arrest and in handcuffs, and more likely than not, in the back of a squad car.

Officers can always call out the drug sniffing dogs and if the dogs signal the presence of contraband, that is probable cause for a search (ask our old buddy Ron White). If the officers suspect drugs the canine sniff is an option. A sniff is not considered a search for Fourth Amendment purposes. Any vehicle in a place where the public has access can be subject to a sniff.

The third weakness in the Gant decision is one that is evident in almost every case involving an arrest and a vehicle. The vehicle can be towed for impound and the officers can procedurally do what is called an inventory search to document every item in the vehicle in case there is any later discrepancy. If drugs or any other type of contraband is found during this exception to the search warrant requirement, it is admissible in a criminal case. Usually the drugs were found at the scene of the arrest based upon the search of the vehicle incident to the arrest. This new decision simply postpones the inevitable.

I cannot totally disrespect the Supreme Court’s decision, because I can understand their desire to prevent an arrest on a traffic charge from turning into a full scale fishing expedition for illegal materials. On the other hand, how far will this case be expanded beyond the charge mentioned in Gant to other arrests where evidence of that crime would not be contained within the vehicle (a felony arrest warrant for a worthless check as an example). It will be confusing for awhile and I can almost guarantee you that virtually every vehicle involved in a traffic arrest will now be towed and impounded for a procedural inventory search other than given to a friend or relative to drive to the defendant’s home (after a clean search), which was often done by police on misdemeanor traffic charges.

Max seldom gives out financial advice, but now will be a good time to invest in towing.

If you are not totally bored out of your mind by now, here is the case to make sure that you are:

You would think that if the Supreme Court had something to say, they wouldn’t leave so many loopholes, but they are they as I am me as you are you and we are all together. Have a good week, and in spite of this case, keep the outlaw hooch and hookers out of your car.


Saturday, April 25, 2009


Well, let Miss Vero apologize to y'all for not being around. Seems little Miss Viv is missin too, but that's another story...

We were driving yesterday through the two foot high hills of North Florida, when our car broke down somewhere around Podunkville. We pulled into a garage, where Bubba-thing one and Bubba-thing two come a runnin out to help, Diagnosis? "Y'all's alternator ain't alternatin" proclaimed Bubba-thing one. "Yeee-up" confirmed Bubba-thing two.

And so it was at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon we were stuck in a place, where the gentle banjo strains of Swannee River quickly turned to the theme from Deliverance.

Good thing we speak the language.

We did finally get on our way to Tallahassee, but near our stayin place, the road was blocked for whatever reason and a nice young police officer with a yes'mam accent gave us directions for the detour we immediately forgot. By the time we made a run to the liquor store and got settled in, we collapsed into a deep sleep, only to awake in a panic at 4AM, remembering that our little Beach House blog has been seriously neglected as of late.

So here we are, writin a little somethin for y'all, because that is what we do. Of course we have to be faithful to the faithful that look for us daily (except of course on weekends) and send a little friendly instruction to those of y'all that are new Beach House guests - READ BEYOND THE FIRST PAGE.

Yes, someone extremely annoying, sent us a few silly emails yesterday complaining about our Szechuan Palace post being a waste of his time. Can some one please tell us why everyone feels that they must be instantly gratified? Well if that's the criteria, y'all have certainly come to the wrong place.

Anyhoo, what are we doing in Tallahassee y'all might ask? Certainly not getting any instant gratification that's for sure.

Have a great weekend down there in Vero, if we were there today, we'd head on over to Boppy's for a snack and check out Wabasso Beach, which has finally opened after five long years.


Thursday, April 23, 2009


Have y'all ever been to the bar upstairs at the Szechuan Palace? Maybe y'all should.

Sometimes, when the day goes by fast and appointments and commitments pile up on Miss Vero, we hid out there, it's our secret cocktail hour place.

Had to escape there all afternoon today.

Guess it's not so secret anymore...


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Today's post in the second in a series by LDouglas. We are so happy to have lively and fascinatin guests at the Beach house. We're sure this topic will bring out as much conversation as Max on Monday. We'll start -Miss Vero's comment is the addition of the photo and caption above. Anyone else?

Oh... and a Happy Earth Day y'all!

When I said last week there would be a part 2 to my blog I had planned to give you a run down of some of the costs of illegal immigration. There are scads of data out there of the costs to taxpayers and non taxpayers alike. But it occurs to me through slight of hand or by some hat trick they've changed the conversation on me. It's like they concede illegal immigrants are costing us too much financially so the premise now for pro-amnesty immigrant groups is that by making them citizens, they can be contributors rather than takers. For instance, the
Immigration Policy Center claims the economic gain of citizenship for illegal immigrants would be $66 billion dollars in new state and federal revenue. They figure that because there are many illegal immigrants working for employers who pay them cash under the table. What the study doesn't take into account is how many of those workers would not end up being taxpayers even if their employers hired them legally. Or how many would qualify for various public assistance programs. Or how many have a family in their home country that would become eligible for citizenship. Or how many children would be added to our educational system. They also do not take into account the $66 billion would not come from employers pockets but consumers pockets- ours. It's very much like double jeopardy.

Helping fund Social Security is another tactic used by pro-amnesty groups. They say we need millions of young workers to pay for the large numbers of baby boomers getting ready to collect. But low wage workers don't put as much into the system and they often get back more than they put in. Also, many could qualify for benefits right off the bat without ever contributing. It is also very much like double jeopardy. And like a really bad Ponzi scheme. That being how many more will be needed to contribute to their social security.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, our immigration rate is higher than at any other time since the early 1900's. At our current rate of legal immigration, our population increases by 1% a year which doesn't sound like much until you realize at that rate our population will double to 600 million by 2087. If the immigration rate increases through path to citizenship for illegal immigrants on top of current legal rates, we could reach 1 billion by the next century. While we won't be here then we'll certainly be subjected to the growing pains along the way.

And we'll be making no difference in why people choose to cross our borders or in the countries they leave behind. If you have 17 minutes, here's a really good video that explains it simply. If you're pressed for time, fast forward to the last third.

Immigration Gumballs:

Sunday's Press Journal had an article stating Congress will be back this week from their spring break and how over the next 5 weeks they'll be working on the big issues- bank regulation, health care, energy, and education. Aside from bank regulation, I just don't see how we'll make any headway or progress on those other issues if overnight we grow the numbers of citizens we're trying to improve those services for.

Another reason is because birthright citizenship puts us in a dilemma of what to do when a mother is illegal but her children are not. We've pretty much stopped workplace raids because they say it's inhumane to separate a mother from her children. I don't deny it's a horrible thing but yet in this country we still send women to jail or prison when they break the law. What gives one woman more rights to break the law than another?

Another part would be to require employers to use E-Verify. That would keep the employers honest while also stemming the flow of illegal immigrants. It would also make better working conditions for guestworkers and keep us from having the reaction to an injured foreign worker like we've had to the last two along the Treasure Coast.

There are a slew of immigration bills proposed. Some for, some against. You can find them here at

They're not all on one page so click “more bills” at the bottom to go to the next list.

BTW, there is one proposed that would limit citizenship at birth to persons born in the United States to mothers who are U.S. citizens or legal residents. (H.R. 126.)

Further reading on population, environment, public issues and immigration:

Same as above but to sign up to receive action alerts and send free faxes at key times:

TTFN, LDouglas


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Sometimes we drift off to far away places in our mind. There's always music playing in our head, which is why we have absolutely no need for an i-pod. Yesterday, all the Beach House kids came by to visit Miss Vero and celebrated something called 420 day. They lit beautiful incense that filled the room and calmed everyone. Through the smoke we believe we saw ole Tater Salad hisself, Ron White. Ahhh, if everyday could be so...colorful.

The Vero Beach Power plant and other fabulous Vero photos...
This year's Treasure Coast Wine Festival, funny we don't remember it being that pretty...

Wackenhut house - take a peek inside.
A look at the tea party, that y'all might not have seen...

That's odd, we're feeling rather hungry now...


Monday, April 20, 2009


Usually our dear friend Max, doesn't bother Miss Vero, with his silly conservative good ole boy ways. In fact, at any given moment we have many silly conservative good ole boys circlin and fawnin around us, which we do not mind in the least. As with small children, the proper combination of amusement and fear keeps them contained quite nicely.

Howevah, today we must just point out that Max is talking about Janeane Garofalo, a dear personal friend (since 1989) of Miss Vero and we struggled to keep our "no censorship" policy in place. It is difficult to be in the public spotlight, with folks judging you based on limited and sometimes twisted information. So in the spirit of fairness, which Miss Vero always strives to be, we will today offer a bit of a defense -not of our dear friend Janeane, but of another show business person Max speaks of (a person we do not know and do not care for his brand of entertainment) - Mr. Rush Limbaugh.

We offer this article in the hope that everyone takes a deep breath and remembers that, in show business and politics (and the containment of small children and good ole boys), smoke and mirrors are used all the time to provide amusement and feed fear.

Oh, and one thing we do agree with Max on - Charlotte Tripson is goin places. Miss Vero has a very peculiar talent and that is spotting it in other folks. We were right about Janeane some twenty years ago and we'd bet the farm on Charlotte as well.


Max Newport

It is funny to watch some of our crazy liberal friends go further off the deep end when they perceive an event that they believe to be a conservative protest. (I am not calling liberals crazy but there are a few out there that fit the bill as do a few conservatives.) Last Wednesday morning, I was trying to adjust my calendar so that I could attend the tea party at the county administration building but I could not do it without abandoning responsibilities for which I was being paid. Responsibility should not be a partisan issue. Even though I did not attend, I would have if I could. If such an event had been planned during the corporate bailout advanced by Henry Paulson and company last fall, my desire to be there would be the same as would my reason for being unable to attend. For me, asking our Congress to perform in a professional and competent fashion is not a liberal or conservative position but one of expectations akin to what the government expects from us as taxpayers and citizens. While preparing our tax forms there is a sharp realization that our government expects a great deal of responsibility from us and our pocketbooks. Should we expect less of them? Nope. I don’t believe we should.

Since I could not attend, I had to rely on our local media to fill me in. Miss Vero had the Tallahassee Tipster. Russ Lemmon had a typical assortment of drops. The best local coverage, however, was done by Charlotte Tripson from Ms. Tripson put up an 18 minute video that was well done and actually gave me the feeling of being there. Good job Charlotte.

On the national level, Janeane Garofalo, “an American Institution since she burst on the scene in 1992” (her words from her website appropriately titled wins the total nutcase award for telling MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann: "Let's be very honest about what this is about. This is not about bashing Democrats. It's not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about. They don't know their history at all. It's about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up and is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. There is no way around that."

To the best of my recollection the Boston Tea Party was an act by early patriots to protest taxation without representation. The British government, in a bail out plan of their own, passed the Tea Act in 1773 to prevent the East India Company from going bankrupt since the company was in debt to Britain in excess of a million pounds. The Tea Act allowed the company exclusive access for shipment of English tea to the colonies and imposed an export levy to be paid by the Americans then returned to the Crown to replenish the coffers of lost debt.

The tea party last week was about taxation without responsibility or accountability from our representation. We have plenty of lackluster legislators in our nation’s capitol most of whom would be fired on the spot if they shared their work ethic in the private sector. My primary complaint is the devil-may-care attitude expressed by 246 Democrat members of the House of Representatives on February 13, 2009 who approved a 787 billion dollar stimulus package contained within a 1,073 page bill that none of them had bothered to read. Maybe some of the whiz kid speed readers were able to scan the massive document that was made available to them at 10:45 P.M. the night before the vote. The House leadership had promised a minimum 48 hour period for public review of the bill before a membership vote. That turned out to be a lie as would be a statement from any representative claiming that he or she had read and understood the bill before voting for it. In addition House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it clear that there would be no recess until there was a House vote. Did she allow bathroom breaks? I can’t speak for the “bunch of teabagging rednecks” Ms. Garofalo is referring to, but my primary displeasure is with our Congress and not our President. I hope that we have not reached a point where any legitimate complaint against our government will be construed as a racial attack.

If I were a lawyer and you were my client, how would you feel if I showed up for your day in court with a 1,073 page document that contained all of the evidence in your case . . . that I had received just less than 12 hours before. Would you feel that I would be fully capable to adequately represent you in a competent and professional manner on an issue that is obviously very important to you? No. A professional would seek a continuance to properly digest the information so that you could be properly represented. If a building contractor showed up to build your house with the same level of preparation, you would feel the same. How about a surgeon? I think you get my drift. Is it acceptable to expect a lesser degree of preparation and responsibility from our government than we demand from ourselves?

There are those in the political arena that will seek to spin any activity to promote their political agenda. For many that is their job. Keep things divisive. I doubt if anyone could go any further left than Ms. Garofalo, although I’m not really sure what her job is other than being “an American Institution”. Then there is Rush Limbaugh on the right who said on his radio program (which I did not hear) that his major concern regarding the tea parties was the possible emergence of a third party.

There was a reporter from CNN who attended a tea party with a distinct agenda to paint the participants as right wing hatchet heads and it kind of blew up in her face. She lost control of the situation and herself in record time.

If I had attended our local tea party, it would have been to promote responsibility in government rather than encourage divisive party politics. Call me irresponsible for not getting involved, but don’t call me a racist or a partisan for wanting to be there. There is plenty of blame to go around for our current financial mess and there is responsibility to be shared on both sides of the aisle. Let me leave you with a quote from Barry Goldwater: “Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have.”

AuH20. Have a great week fellow Beach Housers and don’t drink the yellow tea.


Friday, April 17, 2009


It all began so innocently, a little laugh became a little blog, that transformed Miss Vero to the height of society once again. But it was all too much...

The constant attention, the alkeehaul fueled soirees, the care and cultivation of little Miss Viv...

Forty years passed and Miss Vero, now in her 128th year ("...alkeehaul preserves the body hunnies, don't be believin what them thar doctors keep telling y'all!" Miss Vero would say) and Little Miss Viv, still desperately single and residing in the Beach House, reminisce about the fateful article that caused their reclusive behavior to spiral into the place we'll call...

And so it was, Miss Vero took to her bed the day that Verobeach32963 printed their crack investigative report, scooping the Press Journal and all other local media clamoring for a glimpse of her.

Still wearing her faux Kaminski chapeau and carrying her ever-half-full martini glass, Miss Vero held back a tear, as she reread the article to little Miss Viv, who put down her scotch on the nightstand (for the first time ever) to listen intently to the expose.

"The only way I'm ever leaving the Beach House is feet first!" Miss Vero declared to little Miss Viv. "...and thank goodness the Beach House is crawlin with Drag Queens and not cats! That was one good decision we made. Call the Beach Market and have them deliver some gin, I'm parched sugar"

"But I will entertain you with my patriotic teabagging dance in the yellow room!" soothed little Miss Viv. "...and we'll go out once again, when the publicity dies down, it's only been forty years, it should all be over soon."
But was it true? Would the extraordinary interest in Miss Vero ever subside? And what will happen to poor little Miss Viv? Will she ever find a date? And how much fun was it to wear fur in Florida?

The film we've been waiting for...

An absolutely large and public "how ever can we thank y'all?" to the lovely folks at Verobeach32963 for having so many kind words for Miss Vero

In case y'all missed it - IT'S ONLINE!
Y'all know we're crazy-happy about that!

We are having so much fun and it is so fabulous to have others join in the party...

Thursday, April 16, 2009


These teabaggers! They're everywhere! or so it was yesterday, when they all came together for a local and -so we are told - grassroots demonstration. Well, before y'all think that was some kind of popular miracle, that ordinary folks all came together in one big ole popular protest, y'all might want to take a look at this interesting article:

Miss Vero was very fortunate this week to get a visit from our old friend "The Tallahassee Tipster", who was also kind enough to attend the local goins on and put together a little article for the Beach House.

Hi there, Miss Vero!

Glad I was able to pay a visit to the place they were smart enough to name after you. I'd heard there was a rally brewing, literally, in your little burg. Sure enough, politics and tea raised a crowd. Or rather, the GOP rallied the troops under the star-spangled banner "Stop government spending!" That'll get you a cheer. I mean, who's for spending by the government? Oh, all those pikers on Social Security. Them.
Still, the patriots rallied, and I took lunch hour to drift among the righteous. Here's my take of-

The Indian River Tea Party, April 15, 2009

Indian River County, Florida, is composed of two majorities – retirees and republicans. Both were in heavy attendance today at what turned out to be more a patriotic rally than political statement. It began with “God Bless America,” the Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem. This followed by a salute to veterans. Can you say Apple Pie?

“Capitalism – Yes! Socialism – No!”

Yeah, baby!

The event – attended by about 600 people – was "not related to any particular political party." The only speakers, however, were GOP, the keynote speaker was Bill Posey [ask Stephen Colbert about him]. A real “Boston Tea Party” should have been about that ole taxation without representation, but Posey’s well-guarded presence was welcomed by most. That one sign “Term limits – Change You Can Believe In!” was not visible while he spoke.

Speeches were long on "Take control of the government!" and short on specifics until the end.

Some sign makers, however, hadn't gotten the memo about "non-partisan."

“Pelosi is a Disgrace!”

“It’s all Barney’s Fault!”

"Impeach Obama!"

Local builder Toby Hill said his wife made him do it. Paul Tanner [resident of Pointe West and President of Sonshine Audio-Video of Arkansas] said they were new to the political rallying experience. [Both, however, are not new to politics and campaigns.] They spoke of their families [Tanner has 4 kids, he was proud to note] and their ties with the community, then elicited cheers about stopping government waste and deficit spending. “As debt increases,” said Tanner, “ we work harder and longer to feed a government who spends without restraint!” He rallied the crowd with a chant of “No more!” I missed the "Down with Social Security! or "Ban Medicare!" hoopla.

Wandering through the crowd, desperately dodging tea-bags, several religious groups were handing out literature – I liked the million-dollar “bill” which asked "the million dollar question," will you go to heaven or hell when you die? The criteria -- have you ever told a lie? Have you ever looked with lust? Wow, no Catholics here! They didn't mention tea-bagging. Is that a sin?? My guess is yes, but I'm no expert. Likely few at the rally would know. Send them to gawker, Miss V.

One woman was doing a crowd estimate. She put her numbers at 3 to 4,000. She may have been new to the task.

The Democrats' signs? “Health care and Education ARE Economic Issues!” and “Tea Party? Wake up and smell the Coffee!”

John Moore, a local tax attorney, made fun of the people who showed up in the Target parking lot after Hurricane Wilma [which he said "only grazed Indian River County"] looking for free ice and MREs. The masses jeered. Just more socialists on the government take!

Posey’s speech condemned the administration, and not much else. The crowd started to drift away while he gave statistics, so the organizers took the microphone back. The final rallying cry was to find “the next Jefferson,” and a plea went out for people to run for office, people like the wonderful Mr. Posey. In the end, the bags were steeping mostly republican tea.

Some of our favorite signs? "Now Deal with the Pirates in DC!!" That was seen at several rallies. "Throw Them ALL Out!" As a matter of fact, lots of the signs seemed to have been repeated all over the country. I guess the many [Many!] conservative lobbyist groups got the marketing sent out early. Not exactly grass roots, but hey, it looked good if you didn't compare rallies.

Well, back to our little Capitol, where your taxes are spent with abandon -- by the people YOU elected!
Your friend and a proud member of the Cocktail Party,
Tallahassee Tipster!

A very sincere Thank You, for a fabulous guest post!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


When Miss Vero gave me the opportunity to write for the Beach House it was with the understanding I would be writing mostly about the green side of life and she wouldn't edit or censor what I wrote. So, if you should disagree with what I'm about to say, don't blame her- she's just keeping her word.

You can't talk for long about the threats to the environment without talking about population growth. And you can't talk for long about population growth without talking about immigration, both legal and illegal. Though I believe we need a moratorium on all immigration for 5 years to give us time to come up with a sane policy that is balanced and sustainable, for today's blog I will limit it to illegal immigration.

There are limits to growth. Plain and simple. I know it's been said since Thomas Robert Malthus published his essays on the Principles of Population in the early 1800's (probably even before that time by someone else) but it's never been more apparent than it is today. I hate doom and gloom and prefer to focus on the positive side of life. But... unfortunately, optimism doesn't fuel activism and I believe we're going to need some real good activism.

The reason? Because the buzz is that President Obama will soon be taking some sort of position on granting a path to citizenship to the illegal immigrants. It may seem like no big deal making illegal immigrants living along side us citizens. Maybe it wouldn't be if we weren't in the mess we're in environmentally, socially and financially. As it is now, every year we grow by almost 4 million people. Every 4 years that's almost like adding another state of Florida that need jobs, services, education, roads, jails, water, food, energy, etc. and who create pollution through the mere act of living no matter how hard they try to be green.

70 - 90% of that growth is from immigration and offspring of recent immigrants.

Unless immigration reform changes it, the person we grant citizenship eventually could be able to bring their extended family in under our family reunification laws. That could realistically swell the 12 to 30 million number to over 100 million in a matter of years. To get an idea what growth of 100 million is like, that was how much we grew from the late 1960's to 2006.

Family reunification isn't working so well right now because we have so many immigrants trying to come legally our immigration system has a backlog of 20 years; even though the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services gets $2.6 billion dollars a year to operate. They were also given an additional $500 million in stimulus funds (over 5 years) to go from a paper filing system to a computer system because the backlog costs us $100 million a year in archiving, storage, retrieval and shipping costs. And we lose or misplace 100,000 files adding to the backlog. (BTW, this is on top of $500 million President Bush gave them 7 years ago to help clear the backlog.) That money also does not include what we pay to employ 250 attorneys and 100 others as support staff for the Office of Immigration Litigation, part of the U.S. Department of Justice. (Also in need of an increase in funding.)There are other costs but that alone gives you an idea of how expensive and time consuming it is to grant citizenship to about 1 million legal immigrants a year. How will we afford to make 12, 30, or 100 million on top of it citizens in the next few years?

We need to look beyond today and decide what the future of our country should be. We also need to look beyond individuals coming here for a better life and think about them as a whole. As a whole our immigration numbers are unsustainable. As a whole the way we're going about doing it is unbalanced. As a whole it's not helping the countries the illegal immigrants hail from. And at 305 million we're busting at the seams environmentally, socially, and financially. And we still don't know how we're going to compete in a global economy or how long or how deep our recession will be.

While campaigning, President Obama promised Hispanic groups he'd tackle illegal immigration in his first year. But things have gotten more severe since he took office and some feel for him to tackle it now would be too polarizing. They also believe it will be held off until his other priorities have been debated like energy and healthcare and the economy improves. Depending how things go, it's even possible it would be held off until or if he wins a second term when he has nothing to lose.

There are legitimate issues that need to be addressed as the system does need to be reformed. I favor allowing those who already applied but are stuck in the system to have a better path but am opposed to giving most other illegal immigrants a better path to citizenship. Of the 1 million immigrants the U.S. gives citizenship to each year, two-thirds come through family reunification. Obviously, that needs reform as it's based on nepotism and is not conducive to true diversity.

At this point there isn't much we can do but wait to see what President Obama or Congress proposes. But in the meantime, there are a few bills in Florida that relate to illegal immigration that would help us financially while we wait to see what's going to happen nationally.

Three of them any "law-abiding" illegal immigrant shouldn't have a problem with. One would make it so criminals (other than the crime of being here illegally) would be deported taking away their chance to become citizens should path to citizenship come to pass. Another is a bill against human smuggling and the third sets up a task force on human trafficking. All in everyone's best interest. The other two, not so but I'm posting them anyway.

So please take a look and then ask our Florida Representatives and Senators to pass them before the session is done for another whole year. (There's only 2 1/2 weeks left.)

HB 123/ SB 502 Human Smuggling: Provides that person commits third degree felony if he or she transports an individual into this state & knows, or should know, that individual is illegally entering US or has illegally remained in US; provides enhanced penalties if individual being transported is minor or suffers great bodily harm or death.

HB 811/ SB 168 Human Trafficking: Creates Florida Statewide Task Force on Human Trafficking....\

HB 163/ SB 352 Relating Illegal Alien in the correctional system: Requires DOC & Parole Commission to establish agreements to implement federal deportation program for certain state inmates; requires DOC to identify during reception inmates eligible for deportation; requires coordination with federal authorities; specifies that eligible inmates waive specified rights & cooperate with authorities....

HB 577/ SB 1532 Illegal Immigration: Prohibits restrictions on reporting of certain immigration status information by public employees; prohibits certain local government restrictions concerning communication or cooperation with federal officials concerning immigration law enforcement.

HB 915/ SB 1848 Enforcement of Immigration Laws: Creates "Florida Security and Immigration Compliance Act"; prohibits agencies from entering into contract for services with contractors not registered & participating in federal work authorization program by specified date;....provides penalty for knowingly & willfully making false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in affidavit attesting to citizenship or permanent legal residency.

Who to contact:

Senator Mike Haridopolos:

Representative Debbie Mayfield:

Representative Ralph Poppell:

To be continued...

TTFN, LDouglas


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Whole lotta this and that thrown in the pot today...

As y'all know by now, Miss Vero is not the sportin type, but we have a big crush on Bent Pines Golf member Kenny Perry, who just happened to win the Masters this weekend up there in little ole Augusta:

Bent Pine seems to be one lucky place. Remember that time the employees won the $65 million Florida Lottery and celebrated, at of all places, Carrabba's?

What's all this talk about TEA BAGGING?

When Miss Vero heard about (and was invited to) the big Tea Party tomorrow, well, for a moment there...

Thank y'all, but no, we will not attend, as we prefer to do our tea bagging in private.

Speaking of gatherings and protests, here's one that y'all might have missed:

And if you're one of those types of folks that has a lot of energy (of either persuasion) and would like to do something with that pent up frustration, here's a suggestion:


...don't know who's responsible for this web page, but it has everything y'all could ever want to know about the Hibiscus Festival this weekend. Don't miss Ben Prestage, Sleepin Dogz and the '60's party!

And of course,

two of our favorite things, Tupperware and Drag Queens, will come together this week in the form of Miss Dixie's Tupperware Party at the Lyric theater in Stuart. Our own Max Newport attended a while back and had a fabulous time - which is something to say for a good ole boy like Max!:

What ever y'all decide to do, have a fabulous week!


Monday, April 13, 2009



Max Newport

You can only imagine the excitement as I removed the distinctive Netflix envelope from the mailbox on Friday knowing that the amazing action flick “Kill Zone” was safely secured inside just waiting for a quick spin on the Toshiba Hi-Def. This soon to be cinematic classic was filmed in Fellsmere and Sebastian in 2003 and finally released last month on DVD. The expectations were not high for a film directed by an 18 year old kid with a 20 thousand dollar budget. The director describes it as a “piece of shit” (sorry Miss Vero, his words not mine) on the DVD commentary track and he wasn’t too far off the mark.

We do like to support movies that were shot in our little part of this world. In the early 1980’s we were treated to “There Goes The Bride” which introduced local boy done good, John Terry, to the silver screen. We also were the home base for “The Last Plane Out”, both featuring a name cast and both box office disasters. If you can find the latter movie, Max is an extra as a Sandinista terrorist storming the Vero Beach Airport. I kind of stand out since I had long blonde hair at the time. Needless to say, John Terry had much more impact with his screen presence than did Max Newport.

I don’t think any of the folks featured in “Kill Zone” have done much in the biz since this action thriller, based upon a quick review of the Internet Movie Database. You don’t have to worry about my spoiling the plot for you since as far as I could tell, there wasn’t one. It is worth seeing only to notice the local landmarks. Some of the action occurs at the Braxton Lodge, since the name of the fictional town is Braxton. It was really the Ferndale Lodge in Sebastian, with the word Braxton pasted over Ferndale, except for a couple of times when it must have blown off.

Local radio legend, Neal Stannard has a pretty good part as an assistant to the motel clerk. It was good to see old Neal on the screen even though his character only had three or four scenes. He had a chance to act his little heart out in his death scene. I think everyone in this movie gets killed maybe because they chose to live in the kill zone. No offense Neal, but I don’t see this movie as your John Terry moment.

I think Neal is wearing the same shirt in the movie that he is wearing in his official IMDB photo. It was disappointing that they spelled Neal’s name wrong in the closing credits. Show business can be ugly. There was only one person in “Kill Zone” that seemed to be a real actor. It was the guy who played the sheriff. We are introduced to the sheriff while he and his deputy are fishing in his back yard. A strange scene simply because there was no water in the sheriff’s back yard. They must have been going for some lawn trout or some other type of land based seafood. Maybe they were going to add the water by computer later and just forgot.

An attempt at exposition is made during a scene where three of the players are sitting at a table in bright daylight explaining the events that brought them together. Inexplicably there is an unlit kerosene lamp on the table that is in front of each character as he is speaking. The globe of the lamp so distorted their mouths as they were talking that I found it hard to pay attention to what they were saying.

There is a seven minute, totally pointless scene shot at Marsh Landing. The director explains in his commentary that the owner of the restaurant gave them two hours max to shoot. It is pretty apparent that the restaurant is closed since all of the chairs are upside down on the tables, except for this one table where the one-eyed priest seems to be enjoying two bowls of soup and pointing a gun at another guy who is pointing a gun at him. They should have filmed this part in a Mexican restaurant.

For me the only reason to watch this movie, other than Neal Stannard’s over the top death scene, is that the final climactic scenes are shot in the Old Fellsmere School. I never attended the school, but have been there a few times to visit. I think the closing shot of “Kill Zone” is a nice wide view of the school before fading to black. I am not going to watch it again to be sure (for the love of God and all things sacred, please don’t ask me to watch it again). The school closed in 1964 and it is part of a historical restoration project. Going into that school will take you back in time. I always think of James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo when I walk into the auditorium, which is featured prominently in “Kill Zone”. There is also a scene where one of the players is sliding down the stairwell banister with a gun in each hand blasting away. You don’t really see who or what he is shooting at, but as far as stuntwork goes, that was it for this blockbuster.

Don’t be fooled by the poster for the movie linked above. The tallest building in the movie is the old school. As far as skyscrapers and explosions, there just aren’t any.

To sum it up, this is really a goofy movie where many things are killed, most notably the time I spent watching it (twice so I could hear the commentary track). Save yourself the agony of this stinker and use the time to check out the Old Fellsmere School instead.

Neal Stannard, by the way, is still doing the afternoon news and announcing on WTTB (where the tropics begin), 1490 on your AM dial.

Have a great week fellow Beach Housers and if you can find a review of this movie, please let me know. If you have seen it, let me hear from you. We can suffer together.