Friday, March 23, 2012

A small kingdom for big-spending suckers

A Secret Disneyesque royal 1% in Disney in Anaheim

You almost certainly have not been inside Club 33.

Located behind a pedestrian-looking door in the theme park’s New Orleans Square, just next to the Blue Bayou Restaurant, is this incredibly exclusive, closed-to-the-public part of the Disneyland experience.  Entrance is restricted to members who, in a process reminiscent of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, announce themselves via an intercom hidden under a panel on the doorway.  A receptionist checks to make sure that the guest is indeed a member and, if so, admits the person to the club.

Once inside, members are met with an ornate elevator wrapped by a similarly ornate staircase, as seen here.  The elevator is a replica of one Walt Disney himself wished to buy from a Parisian hotel, but the owner would not sell.  The ladies’ restroom resembles a throne (or at least it did in 1998.) Upstairs are two restaurants, which by reputation are two of the best in the area.  And these restaurants — with their extensive wine lists — are also the only places in Disneyland where a guest can purchase alcohol.

Membership comes with benefits beyond club access.  Members are given free access to Disneyland, of course, and are often allowed entry before the park regularly opens.  They are entitled to up to six special Fastpasses – special, because they can be used to skip the Fastpass line itself — and are given access to other parts of the park which are typically reserved for special occasions and/or first-comers.

Want to become a member?  Sorry, you can’t.  Membership is limited to 487 people at a time, and the waiting list — which is so long, the estimated wait time (by most every account) is 14 years.  In fact, the waiting list has become so long that, rumor has it, Disney has stopped accepting applications.   (If you really want to try anyway, this unofficial information site suggests that you send a letter requesting membership information to Disneyland, Attn: Club 33, 1313 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, California 92803.)  And even if you are offered a spot, be prepared to take out a hefty loan, as memberships start at just over $3,000 a year with a $10,450 initiation fee.  Found here.

Darkness visible

When it comes to lobbying, Florida’s Sunshine law is dark

State Integrity news for Florida from SII partner WLRN | Miami Herald News:
Florida has some of the nation’s most expansive open records policies, but its Sunshine Law does not adequately regulate the sometimes shadowy role of lobbyists, according to a national report released Monday.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sarasota City of Koch Stooges: Exhibit A:

  • It's Great. I Agree With Everything This Sign Says.
     4466 (68%)
  • I Don't Agree With The Message, But It Should Stay. It Supports Free Speech.
     331 (5%)
  • The Sign Should Be Considered An Election Sign and be Removed
     1343 (20%)
  • I Hate The Sign. I Don't Agree With Anything This Sign Says.
     367 (5%)

"We are all Mike Fox" says Specifically Massive Sarasota Stooge Rich Swier 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sarasota's Flying Wingnuts

Thousands here are dealing with dementia {gnuwspaper}

Sarasota prides itself on its pretensions of being a hip, artsy, well-heeled, chic town -- totally unlike the Yahoos in the middle of the state, more laid back and stylish than the ancient rich dweebs of Naples or the crochety dorks of Tampa. A smaller, svelte place in the sun. SRQ Cheese Fests indeed.

Best place to retire.

Best beach.

Great opera, ballet, theaters, music scene, clubs.

Only when you see "cosmopolitan" Sarasotans in action, as in these comment streams, you discover they can't spell. Or think. Or put three lucid words together. You discover it's a mega-wingnut town that makes Alabama birthers look like Madison Wisconsin 60's radicals. Home of Jerry Springer. And Dick Vitale. Catering to grammar-free hard-ons full of money, shoes, and nothing going on.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pecksniff, anyone? Florida S&M in the Schools

Florida is one of 19 states, mostly in the South and Mountain West, that still allow public schools to paddle, according to the Center for Effective Discipline. Most Florida school districts have opted out of using corporal punishment, but almost every county in the state's rural North has policies that allow schools to paddle students.

Do they allow cornholing too?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Koch Bros Have Stooge in Sarasota

From Sarasota Patch: 

[Sarasota Resident Asshat Michael] Fox is providing funding for 10,000 signs to be placed in strategic locations throughout the country, in places that are highly visible, similar to the sign placement on Tamiami Trail but Fox is not providing funding for individual signs.

Willis stated that Fox is a local investor with close ties to the Koch Brothers.

Charles and David Koch, who own a conglomeration of businesses and investments through Koch Industries, have reportedly received pledges reaching a combined $100 million at a California conference to defeat Obama, according to The Huffington Post:

"A source who was in the room when the pledges were made told The Huffington Post that, specifically, Charles Koch pledged $40 million and David pledged $20 million.

The semi-annual, invitation-only meeting attracts wealthy donors, Republican politicians and conservative activists. Last year, hundreds of activists gathered outside the walled-off resort to protest the meeting. This year, however, the conference went off quietly."

ASSHAT in Residence - from Sarasota patch.

See also here.

Don't bother with the Herald Trib - nothing to see there.