MIAMI BEACH MAYOR LEVINE AND HIS PRESS ORGAN
Insults to Intelligence
18 October 2014
By David Arthur Walters MIAMI MIRROR
Miami Beach—Philip Levine, the wealthy public relations man and real estate developer who spent well over a million dollars out of his own pocket to buy himself a mayoral seat and a majority on the commission of the City of Miami Beach, and whose campaign threatened to bring frivolous defamation suits against journalists who dared to criticize him, appears to be depending on the stupidity of the electorate to realize his ambition to become a politician, perhaps even become equal in stature to his friends Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Levine’s next purchase may be the governor’s seat, which will probably come with the $20 fan the current contenders and mainstream media have made their main bone of contention, instead of the welfare of Floridians dumb enough to vote for either candidate instead of pressing to have a NOTA (None Of The Above) option placed on future ballots in hopes of raising the intelligence and integrity of the candidates.
Levine has recently been running a series of insulting advertisements on Facebook walls: a picture of him posing with public figures, especially Bill and Hillary Clinton, along with a motto stating that the City of Miami Beach works for its people.
Many people would disagree with some of that work as well as the lack of work in some areas, but the people are not allowed to comment on the advertisements. Or delete them: his Boy Friday commissioner does allow comments on his self-serving Facebook publicity, but deletes criticism that does not express 100% appreciation of the new regime’s deeds as advertised. Facebook, after all, is for friends; therefore, all one should do is like them.
The very idea that people should like Levine because his friends are the Clintons is an insult to the intelligence of intelligent Floridians. As a matter of fact, Levine was a political nobody until Bill Clinton arrived to throw his arm around him, his wealthy Global Initiative contributor, paving the way for Hillary’s run for the presidency. That and Levine’s wealth decided the mayoral election, proving that the majority of the small minority of the electorate that votes are indeed kind of dumb. And how dumb could they be? His accomplished opponent, former Commissioner Michael Gongora, favored by the Miami Herald is a handsome Latino and flamboyant as well.
The Miami Herald, attacked by the Levine camp, has eaten crow since then, and now the rag has become the usual virtual press organ of the authoritative news sources it needs to sell papers; for example, Philip Levine, whose majority on the usually backbiting commission has made a strong mayor of him instead of the weak mayor specified by the city’s charter, at least until the honeymoon comes to an end when the truths his camp suppresses blows up in their faces.
That is not to say that “King” Levine and his servile court, the members of which have openly expressed awe and humility in the presence of the great man, has not gotten anything done with the help of their unelected super-manager, Jimmy Morales. The tennis court fisaco, which was emblematic of the stupidity of the contracting and legislative process, was finally resolved, amazingly, in favor of the highest bidder.
On the other hand, the grand convention center plan of the previous administration was scrapped in favor of a scaled down version. I do not like changes unless they are radical, so I liked the grand, world class plan, especially after I heard kids raving in the streets that it would be the greatest center in the world.
The dirty secret: we do not really need a new convention center for at least another decade, and the dumbed down version is being advanced in the most costly manner.
Flooding is another issue the Levine court deserves ample credit for, at least temporarily, until an extreme-extreme high water event occurs. Miami Beach, especially its tourist destination jewel, South Beach, floods regularly every year at the highest tides, making that skirt of Nature a damn nuisance that should be gotten rid of, especially since the sea level is rising faster than expected. Since rising sea levels is a global issue, the whole globe is watching what the little city on the sandbar is doing.
As everyone knows, we do not have Global Warming, anymore, because scientists say the globe is cooling down thanks to the (expletive-deleted) liberal’s efforts to curb emissions and the like. But we still have Climate Change. And we still have a Democratic Party. The City of Miami Beach will be saved from the Flood by the Democrats led by the Clintons, Senator Nelson, and Philip Levine.
The previous administration did not want to sink hundreds of millions of dollars into pumps that would rid the surface of a foot of water during rainy-season high tides. Some day there will be a really heavy downpour, high winds, and surges of several feet of water. What then?
Well, former Mayor Matti Bower scoffed at the big one, the Fifty Year Storm, remarking that she would be dead by then. She misunderstood the laws of statistics not to mention mathematics. The next big hurricane could make a joke out of the $400 million King Levine is having spent on installation of big pumps. Still, why be wading knee deep in water every year, suffering untold millions in damages to luxury cars and so on, while waiting for the big one to occur, nobody knows when?
The pumps are not all in, but so far the system is a success. King Tide came and went, and some of the problematic areas were relatively dry. Scientists wondered what effect all that pumped out water would have on environments elsewhere. Levine and his press organ trumpeted a complete success.
“Streets dry during tide’s peak,” declared reporter Joey Flechas (10 October 2014). “This year streets in the lowest areas were repaired and dry,” announced Levine in his editorial advertisement in the only daily paper (17 October 2014).
In other words, we have the usual 100% success stated, and anything less than 100% appreciation will be unappreciated, censored, and costly to anyone that states the fact of the matter, that hundreds of people including myself waded or drove through several blocks of flooded streets around Alton Road and MacArthur Expressway, the mouth of the main artery to the mainland.
The problem with running a city like a business, especially with a businessman instead of a politician at the helm, is that business is not a democratic process; it is more or less a dictatorship, a fascistic or right-wing one at that. City workers including cops complain, secretly, of course, that Levine looks down his nose at them, denigrates, as if they are subservient employees at his business, where he can fire and hire them at will. Some of the cops think they will get something on him.
History teaches us that fascist organizations do not last for long, even when they pretend to democracy and socialism. Mussolini was a pretty good politician, and, like Hitler, had plenty of support from big business. He built some great canals, but he forsook his political skills, would not tolerate opposition, and lost his charisma. Look where he wound up.
Levine is learning on the job. He is an amateur. His propaganda machine does not propagate the whole truth as it should. He and his commissioned sycophants do not deserve the praise they are demanding out of their own, well deserved insecurity.
A wise politician would say, in respect to the flooding, “We have had a tremendous success in controlling the flooding this year. A great deal of the usually flooded area was not flooded during high tide. We expect the same success in the rest of the area upon completion of the public works project.”
Instead, he lied, and the Miami Herald reporter followed suit. Now “lied” is a strong word, signifying intentional wrongdoing. If they did not know about the flooded area, they should have known, because they could have drove around the whole area in ten minutes, got out of their cars, and waded through the flooded area.
As for criticism and dissent, a polished politician not only tolerates it, he embraces it wholeheartedly, and encourages it by giving credit to critics for any changes made.
Levine obviously does not want to know anything less than 100% success of his programs. Neither do his amateurish sycophants. They are willingly blind, which is the worst sort of blindness. Their city manager is making improvements, yet the forces of maladministration preponderate. They are not ready for the big time. Not yet.