Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper


Big Shug & Rick Scott's Minions Poison Land Deal & Amendment 1

It’s tempting to take a break from the 83-car pileup that is Florida government and amuse ourselves with, say, the festival of unseemliness that is former Congressman Alan Grayson who, when he’s not accusing the Tampa Bay Times’s Political Editor of being a robot with bowel issues (I paraphrase, for which you should thank me), he’s calling his former paramour a “gold digger.”

Or perhaps the exciting news coming out of Orlando’s Valencia College that young women studying medical diagnostics were forced to undergo vaginal probes, allegedly as part of the program. According to a lawsuit filed by three of them, “A student would place a condom over the probe and then apply generous amounts of lubrication to the probe. In some cases, the student would have to sexually ‘stimulate’ plaintiffs in order to facilitate inserting the probe into plaintiffs’ vaginas.”

A metaphor, of course, for what the current regime does to the state.

But though Weird Florida Tales can be fun, they’re just a sideshow. The real action is with the freaks, harlots and Sugar Daddies hell-bent on wrecking the place.

Did you think the governor and Legislature cared about water quality just because they said so ad nauseam in their campaigns? Bless your heart. Rick Scott has just purged the St. Johns Water Management District of five key executives: the people who know what they’re doing when it comes to our most precious and endangered resource. The Orlando Sentinel quoted a water lawyer: “Scott appears to be clearing the way to push through a series of very bad water-resource decisions, and these guys were in the way.”

It’s not as if Central Florida has any water problems, golly gosh, no. Unless you count the stressed Floridan Aquifer, the clouded springs, the algae-choked lakes, salt water intrusion and one of Florida’s greatest rivers, the St. Johns, gagging from fertilizer, storm runoff and dioxins so noisome the fish sometimes change sex.

The Department of Environmental Prostitution claimed they had absolutely, positively, nothing to do with any of it. New DEP Head Weasel Jon Steverson is shocked, shocked that anyone would think he’d get heavy with SJWMD. He’s too busy making sure we monetize our state parks. Profit uber alles, people!

Scott’s DEP fired or ran off scientists and environmental experts, and hamstrung the water management districts during his first term. During his second, he’s back to finish the job. The WMDs, like DEP, regard polluters as “customers.”

And nobody is a more important customer than Big Shug. Ask the members of the South Florida Water Management District, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Rick Scott, himself a Division of Go Frack Yourself, Inc. On May 14, the SFWMD voted to reject buying land that might save the Everglades – and South Florida’s drinking water. Big Shug didn’t like the deal.

Instead of exercising the option to acquire nearly 50,000 acres of U.S. Sugar land for storing the toxic water U.S. Sugar and its ilk now send merrily down into the St, Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers, out into the Gulf and the Atlantic, poisoning everything in its path, Florida will allow Big Shug either to develop the land or extract a far more outrageous price when the option on all of U.S. Sugar’s properties comes due in 2020.

More money for Big Shug later, more money for Republican campaigns now.

The dirty by-products of U.S. Sugar and other Big Ag oligarchs will continue to wreak havoc on the ever-more-endangered ecosystem of the Everglades. It’s not just about pretty birds and fish dying: the ’glades are a vast filtration system, a way of recharging water: more and more vital as South Florida’s population grows and climate change accelerates, sending salt water into fresh water sources.

Adding insult to injury to flat-out abuse, the Legislature has refused to do what the people of Florida who voted overwhelmingly for Amendment 1 demand: buy land to save it; buy land to conserve water. The money is there. What’s the excuse?

Or do they expect us to simply lie back, brace ourselves, and hope that they use “generous amounts of lubrication” as they, once more, stick it to us?

Diane Roberts teaches at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

This piece was reprinted by the Columbia County Observer with permission or license.

Comments  (to add a comment go here) 

Meeting Calendar
No need to be confused - Find links to agendas and where your participation is welcome.

Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.