The radical extremists of the building industry

May 23, 2008

(Published at Counterpunch.com) “No better time to buy a new home, no better place” reads the faux headline in The Miami Herald paid advertisement section for real estate; describing a platted subdivision in Homestead, Florida. It is a line for suckers.

And another line, comes out as a whine:  “If families who want to buy a new home wait for the media to tell them things are better, it will be too late and the deals won’t be there.” It’s pure nonsense. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hialeah or Havana? Miami, Cuba and the Presidential campaign

May 21, 2008

(Published at Counterpunch.com)  Already the shape of the presidential campaign over Cuba is forming around the tired rhetoric of the past. It reminds me of a story.

As a child, one of my contemporaries lived in a large house with his grandparents. They seemed impossibly old to me at the time. Their entire downstairs–the only part of the house where I was allowed as a visitor from the outside– was like a museum in homage to a lost world. The heavy velvet drapes closed to the outside world. The cut Victorian glasses and decanter. The photographs in silver frames of somber men, goatees and beards, tails and tophats.

The grandfather had been personal physician to a dictator in his homeland, had emigrated to the United States, yet by the time our paths crossed, theirs still clung to the order that defined the grandfather’s life until concerns of personal and family survival forced him to exile. Read the rest of this entry »


Nuclear Florida, Beachfront reactors in an age of sea level rise

May 13, 2008

(Published at Counterpunch.com)  There is a reason Miami-Dade County in Southern Florida is the first place where America’s utility industry is moving forward with new nuclear capacity in three decades.

In Miami, Florida Power & Light found public officials malleable as silly putty, willing to allow a local agreement with a wink to substitute for solid facts that the public had the right to know: where the cooling water will come from at a time of chronic drought, where the water–more than 50 million gallons per day– will go when it is evaporated, and what will its effects be on public health and the environment. Read the rest of this entry »


The social engineers: spending billions to prop up a bankrupt growth model

May 11, 2008

(Published at Counterpunch.com)  is a popular confusion that what is good for corporations is also good for the public.

They are called social engineers: that small group of corporate executives whose compensation has no correlation to the public interest, much less common shareholders or owners of mutual funds in pension plans. Read the rest of this entry »