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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our seventh calendar year
    PCR #328  (Vol. 7, No. 27)  This edition is for the week of July 3--9, 2006.

"Superman Returns", Other Views  by Nolan B. Canova
...And Justice for All....Tampa Bay Muse  by William Moriaty
"The Devil Wears Prada"  by Mike Smith
Creature from the Black Lagoon, Cine Gear 2006, and up coming VSDA in Vegas  by Mark Terry
Waiting For Ed's Opinion....Guess Who's Sucking Satan's Balls?...Time To Make North Korea Brink....My Favorite Films, Part 27: "Back to the Future"  by Mike Smith
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...And Justice for All

Well, the verdict is in...
...and unless it’s appealed, the verdict is final:

James Lamar McMichael, mastermind of the PhyMed Partners investment scam that I discussed in PCR issues 166, 167, 168, 282 and 302, was sentenced by the United States Federal Court in Tampa on June 8, 2006 to 87 months (approximately 7 years) incarceration followed by a Supervised Release of 3 years.

So basically this ends my own 5-year saga and ordeal on this most tragic, aggravating, frustrating, costly and time-consuming episode of my life.

I have to live with verdict, but I don’t have to like it.

As a matter of fact I don’t like it, not one damned bit!

This case just underscores a sad fact of life in this country. The words “…with liberty and justice for all” from our Pledge of Allegiance too often ring hollow and have no real substance when put to the test in real life. Any rational and reasonable American citizen would presume that the dispensation of justice should always be fair and commensurate with the degree of the crime committed, so let’s take a look at how society at large was effected by the actions of two very dissimilar people and what consequences their actions resulted in:

Case in point:
We’re going to look at what PhyMed Partners flim-flam artist J. Lamar McMichael engineered and what the consequences of his actions were versus that of 14-year-old Floridian Martin Lee Anderson who took a joy ride in his grandmother’s jeep (grand theft auto) in June 2005 while under probation.

Martin Lee Anderson:

As a result of Anderson’s misdeed, he was sent to a juvenile offender boot camp in Panama City, Florida. He died in January 2006 after overzealous camp guards at the facility beat him for over 45 minutes while the camp nurse looked on and offered no protest in order to protect and preserve the life and health of Anderson.

The Bay County Medical Examiner’s Office tried to cover up what could easily be construed as a State-sponsored lynching, which was captured on videotape, by claiming that Anderson died from bleeding to death as a result of Sickle Cell Anemia. Due to world-wide outrage over this obvious miscarriage of justice, Governor Bush ordered Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark A. Ober to investigate the case.

A second autopsy was performed on Anderson, this time by Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Vernard Adams, along with the assistance of noted pathologist Michael Baden, who afterward stated, “My opinion is that he died because of what you see on the videotape.” (Italics mine.)

Their results did not show Sickle Cell Anemia as the cause of death, but death due to asphyxiation.

As of this moment, none of the guards connected with this death have been arrested, and Mister Ober’s investigation is on-going.

Outside of the obvious attempts by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and Bay County Medical Examiner’s office to circumvent justice, the negative effect on society at large as a result of Anderson's transgressions were truly not that significant.

James Lamar McMichael:

Unlike the late Martin Lee Anderson, James Lamar McMichael is not black, poor, nor politically nor socially disenfranchised.

In 1998 McMichael created a fraudulent investment scam known as PhyMed Partners. In this world-class lie, McMichael fleeced approximately $33,000,000.00 from over 500 investors in 23 states between October 1998 and May 2003. Of the $33,000.000.00 taken, $20,000,000.00 has been lost entirely.

As early as October 2000, PhyMed Partners owed investors $11,000,000.00 but continued to sell its fraudulent promissory notes and unregistered preferred stocks until it was shut down by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation in the winter of 2003.

Amongst other things, McMichael and his wife, Nancy, paid themselves $1,200,000.00 of the ill-gotten gains to purchase luxury automobiles and beach resorts.

Independent financial consulting reports to McMichael stated that “financially, this (PhyMed Partners, Inc.) is a Ponzi scheme.”, and that McMichael’s use of offshore insurance bonds to cover the unregistered stocks in the event of their loss “smells of a scam” and will “give (prospective investors) a false sense of security.”

McMichael was finally brought to justice at United States District Court in Tampa on August 5, 2005 for his PhyMed Partners flim-flam. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a $5,000,000.00 fine.

So What Happened?
How did McMichael’s 20-year sentence get cut by two-thirds and his $5,000,000.00 fine disappear entirely?

What is most galling is that if you divide the 87-month sentence amongst the 500 people that he swindled in this scam, you’re only looking at 5.2 days of jail time!

In the case of the investment that my relatives and I made, this weak-kneed verdict sends the following message - - "If you think of ever pilfering $500,000 from anyone in a phony investment scheme, think again! You could face civil penalties and jail time of up to 5 days!"

Oh my God! Pretty terrifying to ponder - - that's a real deterrent, ain't it?

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson ended up dead at the hands of crazed boot-jacked thugs. What message did that send?

“If you ever think of taking a joy ride in your grandmother’s jeep, think again! If you’re poor, black and a troubled youth, you could end up in a State run boot camp and face death!”

Through all of these high-handed lunacy, I still believe - - maybe I still have to believe - - that the United States of America puts its best foot forward in dispensing justice in the most fair manner possible of any country on the planet. But these two examples show a deep disparity that belies that as long as you’re wealthy and politically and socially well-connected, you can get away with just about anything.

Now, be totally and utterly honest with yourself…
Which of these two people had more of a negative impact on the well-being of our society at large?

…And Justice for All
Just ask the victims of the PhyMed Partners investment scam.
…And Justice for All
Just ask the friends and relatives of Martin Lee Anderson.

Final Chapter
Once a verdict is finally handed down by the State of Florida on “Friendly Freddy”, I will complete my series on this PhyMed Partners scam and finally move on from this senseless and sad crapola.

In summary, the contempt that James Lamar McMichael must hold for his fellow man is fathomless. The $500,000.00 that he and his Registered Investment Advisor toady Friendly Freddy pilfered from my family were in entirety a large portion of the life-saving’s of my mother-in-law who died a terrible death to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2000.

She worked hard all of her life, was honest to a fault, and was a kind and Christian lady who raised two daughters that are themselves both honest and productive members of society. Fortunately, the legacy of her living years will remain pure, admirable and untarnished.

The same can never be said for James Lamar McMichael and “Friendly Freddy”, who in essence perpetrated their own form of grave robbery during their living years to add to their other crimes against humanity.

Below is a sample issue of the Tampa Bay Muse newsletter produced by Vinnie Blesi. For those who have never seen one, I think you'll agree this is a valuable resource for the Tampa Bay area arts community.   --Nolan and Will

TampaBayMuse.com July 2006 Newsletter

Promoting Art and Culture in Tampa Bay one link at a time. Support Local Art!

What’s Up with Tampa Bay Muse?
We have now added venues next to the calendar listings. Please let us know what you think. There is a survey at www.tampabaymuse.com.

Coming Soon: an archival page of local bands from the 80’s!

If you feel we are providing a needed service to the local community please consider donating.

We can now send you text email instead of html email. Email us at info@tampabaymuse.com if you want to change your email preference.

Art Events
Bad Art for Bad People presents; Christmas on the island of Misfit Art!: Friday July 14, 2006 6pm - ? Mirta's Gallery 119 S. Hyde Park Ave Tampa 813-259-0305.

The Polk Museum of Art is now on Myspace, http://www.myspace.com/polkmuseumofart. This is the last chance to see, AFTERMATH: Images from Ground Zero, Photography by Joel Meyerowitz, The exhibit closes July 9th. Their next show is Women Only! In Their Studios July 29 -October 15, 2006. TBM guarantees you will have a better time at the Polk Museum than at the Tampa Museum or tampabaymuse will buy you a comic book. 800 East Palmetto Street , Lakeland, Florida 33801-5529, 863.688.7743

The Florida Highwaymen: Even Further Down the Road, An exhibition of paintings featuring Florida's wetlands. The Highwaymen is the name given to a group of young African American artists who came together in the late 1950's in the area of Fort Pierce, Florida. They were and are painters of the Florida landscape. Identifying themselves as 'Colorists', they painted the real and the imagined landscapes of Florida with colors and forms that captured the raw energy of the land. Drawing on their own cultural heritage they abandoned the formal academic approach to representation and instead took from their own deep interior landscape a unique creative energy. They used this energy to construct a mythology of images that have the ability to touch everyone who sees them. The Studio@620, 620 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Exhibit 07/19/06 - 08/12/06 Tuesday - Saturday 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm Admission The general exhibit is open to the public at no charge. See the Program Schedule for specific event admission. Donations are greatly appreciated

Film Events
The next Tampa Film Review, presented by 1 Day Films, will be held on Friday, July 14 from 8 - 10 p.m. at International Bazaar, located at 1600 E. Eighth Ave. in the Centro Ybor Complex. Tampa Film Reviews is a monthly showcase of local independent films and is held every second Friday of the month and is free.

Ironweed Film club: The Studio@620 presents “Private“, A Palestinian family living between an Arab village and an Israeli settlement finds their house beseiged by the Israeli army. Rather than leave, the family stays confined to a few rooms, living as virtual prisoners in their own home. From beginning to end, Private, an Italian film shot in Calabria, is as tense and suspenseful as any Hollywood thriller. 07/13/06 - 8:00 pm The location is 620 First Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida.

Music Events
Some musical highlights:


LES CLAYPOOL 7/8/2006 Time: 7PM DOORS, SHOW @ 8PM Jannus Landing. Hard rocking Industrialists Ministry and their side project Revolting Cocks will be appearing July 11th at Jannus Landing in Downtown St. Pete. Joining Uncle Al on the Ministry tour this summer will be Paul Raven (Killing Joke) bass, Tommy Victor (Prong) guitar, Mike Scaccia (Rigor Mortis) guitar, and Joey Jordison on drums. The Revolting Cocks are: Al Jourgensen (Ministry) Vox, guitar Luc Van Acker (Revolting Cocks) Vox Phildo Owen (RevCo, Skatenigs, Snow Black) Vox Josh Bradford (Stayte) Vox Anna K (Drain, Hanzel und Gretyl) Bass Seven Antonopoulos (Opiate For the Masses) Drums Sin (Society 1) Guitars Clayton Worbeck (Stayte) Keyboards.

Plus tons of local music, check out our event calendar for more details.

Our friends at Baamo, http://www.myspace.com/bayareaartsmusicorg, sent this along to us, 7/15/2006 Deadline. The Artist Enhancement Grant Program is moving to a quarterly application deadline each year that will coincide with the Quarterly Assistance Grant Program. Artist Enhancement Grants are awarded in the amounts of $500, $750, or $1,000 and are used to support specific, career-building opportunities that will advance an artists work and career. Future deadlines are: 10/12/2006 and 1/12/2007.

For more information, e-mail Morgan Lewis at mblewis@dos.state.fl.us or visit http://www.florida-arts.org/grants/forindividuals.htm.

StandUp For Kids will be having a benefit concert on July 29, 2006 at the Bennigan's on Dale Mabry next to Raymond James Stadium. The concert will raise awareness to the 1.3 million homeless youth in the United States and specifically to the homeless youth living in the Tampa Bay area. The concert will feature five local bands including 5 Story, 10 Second Drop, New Season, Stalling Dawn and Sentdown.

We will be raising funds to help cover the costs of this concert. If you would like to donate please visit http://www.firstgiving.com/standupforkidstampa. If you would like more information about this event or would like to volunteer please email tampa@standupforkids.org.

"La Floridiana" is ©2006 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.