Monday, June 22, 2009

ON HIATUS

On this, the day that Neil (God) Rogers leaves the South Florida airwaves, I'm gonna make official what followers of this space have already noticed. APGG is going on hiatus. Hopefully, like Neil, I'll return. In the meantime, many thanks to those who have offered encouragement, especially Rick at the South Florida Daily Blog. You should bookmark his site and support local bloggers. And that's exactly what I'll be doing. Later.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

AMERICAN BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS



The tragedy of Dr. George Tiller's assassination stunned me to the core. Regrettably, it hasn't shocked me, nor should it shock anyone. I worked in the pro-choice movement when Dr. Tiller was shot in both arms in 1993 and when Dr. Barnett Slepian was assassinated in the kitchen of his home. The extreme-right wing in America contributes to a climate of fear, hate and intolerance that gives rise to acts of violence. Consider Exhibit A, the despicable cartoon above.

Also consider the comments of columnist Cal Thomas. Writing for Fox News, he strongly, and of course rightfully, condemns the assassination. But like many purveyors of intolerance, he just can't help himself. Less than a few hours after the assassination, he said.

There is no doubt that Tiller engaged in grisly activity - the destruction of babies in the third trimester. Thanks to advances in technology, many of those babies might have lived outside the womb at a time when they were being killed inside the womb.

And that's exactly the inflammatory language that fuels not debate, but violence. And it also overlooks the fact that for conservative pundits like Thomas, late-term abortion is a political red herring. The procedure represents approximately one percent of all abortions in the nation and is performed in most cases to preserve the health or life of the woman. Thomas, with his educational and journalistic stripes, knows better.

The late wife of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin believed that pundits and politicians fanned flames of hatred which led to the slaying of her husband at a Tel Aviv peace rally. Today, we see the results of our own right-wing opinion leaders. And they have American blood on their hands.

Monday, May 25, 2009

RUDO Y CURSI

APGW and I saw the wonderful movie, Rudo y Cursi this weekend. The film, a funny tale about brotherhood, love and the trappings of success was produced by Cha Cha Cha, the brainchild of Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu. Think Spielberg, Scorsese and Sam Mendes collaborating on something meaningful.

It's a sad commentary, however, that the film is showing at just three theaters between Miami and Jupiter. I guess its hard for independent films to break the collective chokehold that Tom Hanks, Ben Stiller and the Wayans have on theater chains across our region. Until then, we'll have to wait on killer indies like the riveting Tyson, which is playing in, eh, "selected cities." Cities with a pulse. Until then, its Dance Flick for South Floridians. NetFlix anyone?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

DOMINO THEORY

Ever since the People's Governor announced his bid to become the People's Junior Senator from Florida, I can't get the song Domino out of my head. Not the Van Morrison version. The one by KISS. It's better, trust me.

No matter. Look for dominos to fall all over the Florida political landscape. Sink for Governor? Yeah, now you're talkin'. But here comes Bill McCollum, who holds the record for seeking 1,098 different elected positions in the state. Wait, he's the Attorney General. Dave Aronberg from Palm Beach wants that job. Has since he was 12. Then who takes his seat?

The haymaker, of course, is the Crist-Rubio primary. Rubio will attempt to paint Crist to the left of Chavez and who knows what else he'll try to make stick. Rick had it right over at SFDB. It's time to ante up for some popcorn. This one will be rich.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

FINS TO THE LEFT...

So the "Stadium formerly known as Joe Robbie," will be renamed the "Stadium formerly known as Dolphins Stadium." Sad, man. Sad. Not that we never thought the naming rights would be sold to the highest bidder. But Landshark Stadium? Come on. It's as if they learned nothing from the Pro Player debacle. I'd say Landshark Lager has the shelf life of say, Bud Dry. And then what? You got it. We revert back to the "Stadium known as Dolphins Stadium Until Someone Else Comes Along and Antes Up."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

CORAL SPRINGS CHAMPIONS FOR KIDS

Coral Springs, FL. Suburbia. Known for, hmmm... They have a way cool Chik-Fil-A, right? But seriously, it's Florida's epicenter of child advocacy.

Consider Rep. Ari Porth. During a legislative session void of any discernible champion, Porth stood out. He asked two young people tied to Broward’s dependency system to serve in the messenger and page program. One of them, Ernst, is 17 years old and transitioning from foster care to independent living. The other, “Shaq,” 14, is a poster child for kinship care – he and his siblings are being raised by their Grandparents. Thanks to Ari, their experiences were notable not just for their service, but also for the attention that he gave them during their week in Tallahassee.

He even helped Ernst meet Alonzo Mourning, who was in Tallahassee advocating for a proposed kidney transplant bill. When Mourning, who himself grew up in foster care, was told of Ernst’s situation, he asked to be re-introduced to Ernst and they eventually connected again in the Governor’s office. He greeted Ernst and said, “I hear we have something in common, we both grew up in the system.” They talked for a while about their respective situations and related on a level that few people can.

And then there's Andrea Moore, the Executive Director of Coral Springs-based Florida's Children First. She's my friend, hero, mentor, confidant. OK, you get the idea. Sadly, at least for the kids, she's decided to leave her position this summer.

Her accomplishments? To say they are legion is an understatement. When she assumed the reigns of FCF four years ago, Florida's child advocates and the Department of Children and Families got along like Arlen Specter at a GOP Caucus meeting. Today, thanks to Andrea's hard work, they now partner on behalf of Florida's children. FCF is now Florida's leading voice for children and she's trained scores of young advocates to serve as articulate voices on behalf of their sisters and brothers in foster care. And that, by any measure, is the greatest legacy of all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?

The Marlins are winners on and off the field. On Friday, support the Marlins and the Humane Society of Greater Miami by attending Bark at the Park 2009. Join APGG in the bleachers. Just watch your step!