Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dear Europe: No, it wasn't your imagination. In the year 2013, the only current African-American member of the 100-member U.S. Senate was NOT invited to the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. It wasn't an oversight, it was intentional by the event organizers. And some African-American members of the U.S. news media are quick to say they're happy about that decision. Really! When Obama arrives in Sweden soon, if you see some of these "journalists," like DeWayne Wickham, you might want to ask them about that

Dear Europe: 

No, it wasn't your imagination. 
In the year 2013, the only current African-American member of the 100-member U.S. Senate was NOT invited to the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. 
It wasn't an oversight, it was intentional by the event organizers. 
And some African-American members of the U.S. news media are quick to say they're happy about that decision. Really! 
When Obama arrives in Sweden soon, if you see some of these "journalists," like DeWayne Wickham, you might want to ask them about that.

Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog
Where Was Senator Scott?
by David W. Almasi
August 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM
This morning, the Project 21 office received an e-mail asking for the organization’s comment on the fact that Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush would not be attending today’s event to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Obviously, the person asking for the comment assumed it a slight among the highest order of racism that neither living Republican president would be there while Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were there with the current Commander-in-Chief.
Read the rest of the post at:

Nobody is suggesting that South Carolina's junior U.S. Senator Tim Scott should've been speaking at the ceremony. 
Nobody -not even his supporters.
But why wasn't he even invited?

Here's what all honest and smart people I know inherently know, regardless of ideology.

If this had been a scene from a documentary film being directed by any number of the top dozen or so American film directors of the past 50 years, say Steven Spielberg or Sydney Pollack, they'd have figured out a way to not only shoot it on a day when it didn't rain, they'd have figured out a powerful way to end the film by showing via quick succession of shots of the assembled crowd the many elected Black leaders that make up American society, and show that it was many people, familiar and unfamiliar who benefitted from Dr. King's words.
Not just Barack Obama.
You know, inclusive, not exclusive.
Unlike the event organizers' way of doing things.

CNN Guest: Why Should ‘Appointed’ Sen. Tim Scott Have Been Invited to MLK Anniversary?
by Noah Rothman, 5:13 pm, August 28th, 2013
Video at:

Mini-History lesson for Today: Something to keep in mind as you watch this video excerpt.

In case some of you longtime readers of the blog have forgotten, or, you are one of the newer readers to the the blog who never knew in the first place, I was one of Bill Clinton's first supporters in Northern Virginia in early 1991, though to be honest, I'd been waiting since 1988 for him to run. 

1992 Bill Clinton for President buttons
1992 Bill Clinton for President buttons from my collection

(c) 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

I actually thought long-and-hard about running to be a DNC delegate to the 1992 Convention in Los Angeles from my Congressional District, then as now represented by pugnacious Jim MoranIn fact, in early 1991, I was the first person in the whole state to ask the Virginia Democratic Party down in Richmond for the information and forms I needed to file and run as a delegate. (They didn't have them yet.)

Because I'm me and have my personality, interests and background, and was blessed to have as my best friend in all of the world when I lived in the Washington, D.C. area in the 1990's, a wonderful woman was not only from the same small town in Arkansas that Bill Clinton was born in, Hope, a woman whose own mother had grown-up across the street from him before he and his mother moved him down to Hot Springs with her parents while she was out-of-state studying nursing -my friend had a framed photo of herself while in high school and then-Governor Clinton on her desk at the National Press Building two blocks from The White House, where she worked as a producer and sometimes on-air reporter and was a member of the White House press corps- there is almost nothing about Bill Clinton pre-1997 that I don't know, haven't heard and then heard repeated as well.

My "license" to talk about Arkansas, which I first saw in 1965
My "license" to talk about Arkansas -which I first saw in 1965. That is, my Arkansas key chain 'license' is courtesy of Shannon, my thoughtful, beautiful, brainy, beguiling, globe-trotting and multi-lingual friend. (And Asian foreign policy expert, too!)
So, that said, since many of you might not know it, when Clinton worked on Capitol Hill as an intern, he worked in the office of one of the most-powerful senators in the country, especially on foreign policy: Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright
(Correct, the Fullbright of the Fulbright Program.)
Another thing they had in common besides their great love of Arkansas was that like Clinton, Fulbright was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.

But whatever else he was besides being a strong voice for an American foreign policy that has a strong multi-lateral approach, Senator Fulbright, being from Arkansas and having the background he had, was also an ardent segregationist.
No, being a Rhodes Scholar didn't prevent him from voting against the 1964 Voting Rights Act, as did a powerful senator from neighboring Tennessee -Al Gore's father, Al Gore, Sr.

(Blog historical nugget: My family moved from San Antonio where I and a younger sister were born, to Memphis on Easter Weekend in 1965. We left in 1968 for Miami just months after Dr. King was assassinated there while supporting striking city sanitation workers. I was there for all the rioting. Saw the Army tanks come rolling down the street from the armory towards downtown. Not that most people appearing regularly on TV today could even tell you who Dr. King was in Memphis to see unless a show producer whispered it into their hidden earpiece. But history matters!)     

The Voting Rights Act of 1964 only passed because of the votes and influence of Northern Republicans in Congress, and among the Black Republican voters in New York who championed it was someone whom you may've heard of: Jackie Robinson.

Did you know that Jackie Robinson was a Republican?

I'm guessing not.

Yes, given the generally sorry state of political discourse today, and the embarrassing lack of knowledge about basic American history among many people who regularly appear on U.S. TV, to say nothing of the Mainstream Media's well-known bias for liberal orthodoxy and hiring policies, there are a lot of otherwise smart people who would prefer that you not learn the true history that happened, but rather the history that best supports their political narrative and view of the world.
But as we know, facts are funny.
Sometimes they get in the way.

That's why in this particular case, with smug and history-deficient USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham in the video above, it's great that he was given the opportunity to publicly show that when it comes to all sorts of common knowledge, he's someone who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground -and certainly shouldn't be lecturing anyone on anything.

He's just further proof of the powerful role of the Peter Principle in American journalism.

And see, now you know that he's a horse's ass, so that mystery is solved and the next time you see him on TV, you'll know enough to change the channel.
The worst part of all is not his embarrassing performance, and showing his ignorance, but that by CNN putting someone of his ilk on the air, it prevented someone we've never heard of with something original and insightful from appearing and sharing their insight.
I'd love to play him in Jeopardy!!!

The State (Columbia, South Carolina)
A Tim Scott-Rick Wade U.S. Senate race would be historic
Published: August 29, 2013

By Warren Bolton — Associate Editor


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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/
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North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.

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Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!


Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

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The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

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As seen in my July 31st, 2013 blog post titled, "Which European country has the most attractive citizens?" Sweden won in a landslide with almost four times as many votes as second-place France, with Spain third and Norway fourth. Yes, seeing is believing!; Norwegian.com's non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale to Oslo start in 4 months! :) http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/boredpandacom-poll-of-europeans-asked.html