Archive for the ‘Florida’ Category


by Burt Prelutsky on Friday, April 4th, 2014

When my dog Angel and I take off on her two daily constitutionals, we merely circle the block. Under normal circumstances, it would only take me about 10 minutes. Instead, it usually requires half an hour. That’s because Angel needs to stop and sniff just about every bush, tree, wall and fire hydrant, we pass. It was driving me nuts until I realized that my email is her peemail, and God knows I spend far more time dealing with mine. I suspect in the dog world, it’s regarded as all the news that’s fit to spritz.

Also, having recently debuted my new webcast (Wednesday from 1-1:50 P.M., at, it occurred to me that as much as I hate speaking on the phone, I enjoy speaking into my mic. The difference, I’ve decided, is that I’m prepared to speak to the callers. That’s why I’m sitting there, whereas when my phone rings, it’s interrupting whatever I may be doing with its shrill and incessant demand to be answered. Furthermore, when I’m doing my show, nobody is calling trying to sell me a loan, a renovated kitchen or, worst of all, a politician.

In case you missed it, 13 is now a lucky number. At least if you’re a conservative, it is. At the risk of offending grammarians, it was in Florida’s 13th congressional district that Jolly sank Sink. In spite of Alex Sink outspending David Jolly 4-1 and in spite of Joe Biden and Bill Clinton coming down to campaign for her, Ms. Sink lost because whereas Jolly called for an end to ObamaCare, she hedged her bet and suggested it merely be mended.

On the downside, Jolly defeated Sink by less than 2%, thanks to the Libertarian candidate drawing off nearly 5% of the vote. Who are these loons? They know they have no chance of winning the election, but they prefer risking that Nancy Pelosi will be one vote closer to having a majority in the House just so they can cast a symbolic vote that really only symbolizes their stupidity. They can’t even command spoiler status because nobody actually knows which side they might have supported if they hadn’t foolishly squandered their precious votes.

In the aftermath, the head of the DNC, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, pretended the election went off as predicted because the district had been represented by a Republican for many years, ignoring the fact that things had changed in the 13th, thanks to so many liberals having moved south from New York. On top of that, Obama had twice carried the district and, what’s more, the Democrats blew a whopping $12 million in a losing cause.

Obama, in his latest awkward attempt to bribe voters to ignore ObamaCare and his various scandals, has used his pen to provide overtime pay for federal employees. At least, it’s not something that will put more money in the pocket of the laziest man who has ever sat in the Oval Office. Unlike millions of Americans who only get to work 29 hours a week because they can’t get fulltime jobs, Obama regards a 29-hour work week as a personal hardship.

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Florida woman loses her job because she brought her permitted concealed handgun into the workplace

by John Lott on Saturday, March 1st, 2014

This is article 515 of 521 in the topic Gun Rights
I can definitely understand Ivette Ros wanting to keep her gun with her at all times for safety reasons.  That said, I don’t know the case law here and I haven’t read the statute.  There is a view poll at the website.  From Channel 9 TV in Tampa, Florida:

Single mother Ivette Ros doesn’t go anywhere without her gun.But the 37-year-old lost her job as a bank manager for bringing her gun to work at a Wells Fargo branch in Oldsmar.

“When we take our course for concealed weapons licenses, they do state the bank is a place we can take your weapon to, so I never thought otherwise until I was being questioned,” she said.

Ros doesn’t know who found out she was packing or how they found out, but she says bank security questioned her about the gun she was carrying. She says she was fired three days later.

Now she and her lawyer have filed a lawsuit seeking damages.

“What she did was within her constitutional rights,” Second Amendment attorney Noel Flasterstein said. “What they did was a violation of Florida statute. Hence we have the suit, hence we’ll move forward.”

While Wells Fargo wouldn’t comment specifically on Ros’ case, spokeswoman Kathy Harrison released a written statement:

“We have a policy regarding firearms which is that employees are strictly prohibited from possessing firearms and weapons on company premises. However, Wells Fargo recognizes applicable state laws regarding guns in employer parking lots.” . . .

From reading the story, I wonder how clear the policy was to Ms. Ros and other workers.  Still, even if one disagrees with the company’s decision, there is still a benefit from letting private property owners determine what they want to do on their own property.  If enough workers feel the way Ms. Ros does, it would force the company to change its policy.

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Cops endorse legislation to stop federal gun grabbing laws and agencies

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, February 6th, 2014

This is article 504 of 521 in the topic Gun Rights

The campaign to stop federal violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment at the state and local level got two big boosts with the introduction of the Second Amendment Preservation Act in Arizona and an important police endorsement for a similar bill pending in Florida, according to press statement released on Monday by a national think-tank based in Los Angeles, Calif.

According to the Tenth Amendment Center, Florida’s HB733 picked up the endorsement of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. Sheriff Richard Mack founded CSPOA and he’s a former sheriff in Arizona.

The highly-decorated law enforcement chief said his organization supports the Florida Second Amendment Preservation Act, and he would like to see every state in the Union take the same path.

“This bill is one more needed action in the growing movement to return the powers not expressly given to the federal government back to the States and the People, according to the Constitution. We are in league with this legislation, and we encourage every state to enact similar laws,” Mack stated.

CSPOA is in the process of communicating it’s support to legislatures throughout the country, according to Rick Dalton, CSPOA legislative liaison. “Our members are on the front lines and this kind of law will aid us in standing firm in defense of the rights of the people we serve,” said he said.

Eugene Morrissey, also a retired police commander, told the Examiner that he believes this is a step in the right direction for states seeking to articulate their sovereignty. “We have finally been visibly confronted with a federal government in the throes of lawlessness. The current White House has little regard for constitutional law and even less regard for American citizens,” said Chief Morrissey.

“Obama told Americans ‘if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,’ but we discovered that was a lie. He’s also claimed he is not seeking to take Americans’ guns away, but we know he and his attorney general are chomping at the bit to grab those weapons,” Morrissey added.

CSPOA just held a conference last week in Las Vegas where all those present signed a resolution putting the federal government on notice that lawless and unconstitutional federal activities will not be tolerated where its members have jurisdiction.

In fact, a police commanding officer in New Mexico returned to his office after attending the conference in Las Vegas to find he was placed on “administrative leave” by political leaders in his jurisdiction, according to an Examiner news story.

Jemez Springs, New Mexico, Police Chief Shane Harger was arbitrarily terminated, in part, for his participation in a conference of Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) in Las Vegas one week ago, according to the Examiner.

Along with eight other sponsors, Arizona state Senator Kelli Ward introduced the Second Amendment Preservation Act in the Grand Canyon State. SB 1294 declares all federal regulations violating the Second Amendment “invalid and void in this state.” It also prohibits the state from enforcing “any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation that relates to a personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition within the limits of this state.”

“We’ve sat back and allowed the federal government to trample the Constitution long enough,” Ward said.

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Student with handgun stored in his car defends himself from an attack by two men at Eastern Florida State College

by John Lott on Monday, February 3rd, 2014

This is article 500 of 521 in the topic Gun Rights
Only recently have students with concealed handgun permits been able to store their guns in their cars on college campuses in Florida.  Well, it looks like we have a case where a student has been able to use a gun to defend himself from an attack.  From a news release by Eastern Florida State College:

One person was shot today and a second injured on the Palm Bay campus of Eastern Florida State College following a fight between a student and two men.

The incident occurred shortly before 2 p.m. in the campus parking lot when a student who was in his car was approached by two men who pulled up in another vehicle.

One of the men got out of the car and began beating the student with a pool cue. The student pulled a handgun from his car, shooting and wounding the man in the chest.
Campus Security officers were on the scene within seconds and Palm Bay Police arrived about one minute later, securing the area.

The shooting victim and injured student were taken to local hospitals for treatment. The student was later released and the shooting victim was listed in stable condition.

The student has been identified as Landrick Hamilton, 24, of Palm Bay. Hamilton has been a full time student at the college since 2013 studying chemical technology. . . .

As expected, the university overreacted to the presence of a gun on the campus, placing the school on lockdown and canceling classes for the rest of the week.  Nor does it appear that the college understands the full import of the recent state court decisions regarding guns on campuses.

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Percent of Adult Population with concealed handgun permits in Florida, with one county having about 18% of population with permits

by John Lott on Sunday, December 29th, 2013

This is article 496 of 521 in the topic Gun Rights
The number of permits issued for Florida is from November 30, 2013.  1,045,551 Floridians have concealed handgun permits, that is almost 7 percent of Florida’s adult population.  Santa Rosa is the 30th largest of Florida’s 67 counties.  It has 17.7% of adults with permits.  That makes committing a violent crime in Santa Rosa a lot more dangerous.
While I don’t put much weight on purely cross-sectional data, Santa Rosa may be somewhat more populous than the median country, but it has the third lowest violent crime rate (157.7 per 100,000).  That is much lower than the rate for the rest of the state.  The average rate across counties was 418.3 and the median was 363.8.  Indeed, its violent crime rate was very similar to the rates in the two less populous counties that that had lower violent crime rates.
WUFT has also done a study relating permit issuing rate and Stand Your Ground cases, but they can’t find a correlation between the two.

A county-by-county analysis of concealed weapons permit ownership shows no correlation between the two. When the eligible population for permit ownership is compared to the county’s population, the counties with the most dominant permit ownership are clustered in the northern part of the state.

Conversely, the counties with the most stand your ground cases are clustered in the southern part of the state.

WUFT reached a close approximation of the eligible population by calculating the population over 20 in each county (you must be 21 to obtain a permit, but neither the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services nor the Census Bureau report the over 21 population) and by subtracting each county’s inmates.

The result shows that Dixie County has the most permits with 15 percent of its eligible population owning a license, followed by Okaloosa County with 12.3 percent and Jackson County with 11.4 percent. . . .

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The Mile High Flub: Air Force to Fly Congress to Florida for Funeral

by Doug Powers on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

This is article 502 of 517 in the topic Government Spending

I have no problem with the day off to go to the funeral (any day Congress is gone is a win for America), but the extent of taxpayer involvement should be giving them directions to the nearest airport at most.

From the Washington Times:

Congress will shut down on Thursday, and leaders have told lawmakers the Defense Department will fly them to Florida for the funeral of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who died late last week.
After passing a deal to raise the debt ceiling and reopen government, the Senate went on an 11-day vacation. The House was slated to be in Tuesday evening through Thursday but will now just be in for a day and a half, with the chief business a vote on a public works legislation.

House officials told lawmakers to be ready to leave Washington from Joint Base Andrews early Thursday to make the funeral in Largo, Fla., and then plan to return late in the evening.

A Pentagon spokesman couldn’t say how much it will cost to fly the members to Florida for the funeral.

Rumor has it the security detail has code-named the plane “Douche Force One.”

I think they’re planning to take the plane Pelosi used when she was Speaker:


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Absentee ballots and vote fraud in Florida, this provides a real example of the danger of absentee ballots

by John Lott on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

This is article 360 of 368 in the topic Elections

From WSVN TV Channel 7 (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale):

A South Florida congressman’s former chief of staff received hugs and kisses from crying family members as he begins his first of 90 days behind bars.

Jeffrey Garcia surrendered himself in court, Monday, after pleading guilty to illegally requesting hundreds of absentee ballots on behalf of voters during the 2012 election. “It’s not about pure intent, it’s whether there was attempt to steal somebody’s vote, and they definitely did not do that, and there was no such intent,” said Garcia’s attorney, Henry Bell.

In all, Garcia pled guilty to one felony charge and three misdemeanors. Garcia could have faced up to eight years in prison. “He only said that he never intended and never did,” said Bell. “I think the facts show he actually didn’t manipulate anybody’s vote, interfere with anybody’s ballot. All they did was request the ballots. The way they did it was in violation of the applicable statutes, and that’s it.” . . .

Apparently this isn’t the first time that some Democrats thought that this was a good idea.    Control of the Pennsylvania state Senate actually once changed because of vote fraud involving absentee ballots.  From the New York Times in 1994:

Saying Philadelphia’s election system had collapsed under “a massive scheme” by Democrats to steal a State Senate election in November, a Federal judge today took the rare step of invalidating the vote and ordered the seat filled by the Republican candidate.

In making such a sweeping move, the judge, Clarence C. Newcomer of Federal District Court here, did for the Republicans what the election had not: enable them to regain control of the State Senate, which they lost two years ago.

Judge Newcomer ruled that the Democratic campaign of William G. Stinson had stolen the election from Bruce S. Marks in North Philadelphia’s Second Senatorial District through an elaborate fraud in which hundreds of residents were encouraged to vote by absentee ballot even though they had no legal reason — like a physical disability or a scheduled trip outside the city — to do so.

. . .  Democratic campaign workers forged absentee ballots. On many of the ballots, they used the names of people who were living in Puerto Rico or serving time in prison, and in one case, the voter had been dead for some time.

“Substantial evidence was presented establishing massive absentee ballot fraud, deception, intimidation, harassment and forgery,” Judge Newcomer wrote in a decision made public today. . . .

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Defensive gun use: “Deputies: Riverview man shot dead while beating girlfriend”

by John Lott on Sunday, August 18th, 2013

This is article 461 of 521 in the topic Gun Rights

A story regarding a case from Riverview, Florida in the Tampa Tribune (August 17, 2013).  Given that the attacker apparently had enough time to go out to the parking lot before dying, without Vickie Rock being armed, clearly the police would have arrived on the scene here after significant damage had been done.

A 56-year-old Riverview man was shot dead this morning after attacking his girlfriend outside her apartment, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

At around 6 a.m., a Vickie Rock, 50, of Riverview, was visiting a home at the Grand Oaks Apartments at 10103 Sherwood Lane in Riverview, when she heard glass breaking and screaming coming from next door, deputies said.

Rock, who was armed with a .45 caliber handgun, went outside to investigate and found a Daniel S. Robertson beating his girlfriend, Cristy Vasilakos, 40, with a metal object, deputies said.

Rock yelled at Robertson to stop, but when he turned and began attacking Rock, she fired the gun at least once, deputies said.

Deputies later arrived to discover Robertson dead in the parking lot. Vasilakos’ front window and front door were heavily damaged, apparently by the Robertson forcing his way into her apartment, deputies said. Both women sustained facial injuries.

Detectives interviewed independent witnesses who, they said, verified statements made by the two women. . . . .

Thanks Michael I. Krauss for alerting me.

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Suggested boycott of the day: Florida orange juice?

by Doug Powers on Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

orangejuiceA few days ago I ran across some people on Twitter who were asking half-jokingly, “what’s next, a boycott of Florida orange juice because of Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law?”Which brings us to this headline from CBS News: Martin Luther King III suggests Fla. orange juice boycott to protest “Stand Your Ground” law

Punish orange growers for a state law that had nothing to do with Zimmerman’s acquittal? That sounds about right.

Just to put the official seal of “dumb” on this story, Al Sharpton agrees: Boycott orange juice we much.

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Fired employee hits Zimmerman prosecutor with whistleblower lawsuit

by Doug Powers on Thursday, July 18th, 2013

This is article 261 of 319 in the topic Criminal Activity

More “overreach”?

Here’s a quick flashback to something that happened as the trial of George Zimmerman was coming to a close that kind of got lost in the mix amid the drama of the verdict:

The special prosecutor in the George Zimmerman case has fired her information technology director, who last month testified that he found evidence on Trayvon Martin’s cell phone that Zimmerman’s lawyers say the state never turned over, according to a report.

Not surprisingly, the fired IT employee will now sue Zimmerman’s prosecutors:

A former employee of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey’s office plans to file a whistleblower lawsuit against George Zimmerman’s prosecutors, his attorney told Reuters on Tuesday.

The action will put pressure on Corey, who already faces criticism from some legal experts for the unsuccessful prosecution of the case, which led to the acquittal of Zimmerman for shooting unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s defense has also called for sanctions against her and her prosecution team.

More “overreach”?

In related news, cue the tiny violins: A Zimmerman lawsuit against the Peacock Network for deceptive editing could cost NBC millions.

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