Lamberti: OK, Nobody Else Bring Your Kids to Work

Wild Vid: Charlie's back on the tube. 

-- Some of the deputies at BSO got a laugh when Sheriff Al Lamberti sent out an agencywide memo about the recent Bring Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day. 

Lamberti: OK, Nobody Else Bring Your Kids to Work
​​In the memo, the sheriff reminded his officers that they weren't to bring their children to work because of various safety concerns and the high-risk nature of their work. 

That's a no-brainer, but some of the deputies were reminded that those caveats didn't stop Lamberti from bringing his own teenaged son to work when BSO was conducting some very high-level security at the Super Bowl. 

Lamberti is currently under investigation by the State Attorney's Office for that one. 

Ah, that's light fare, so inside I thought I'd also share a testy exchange between Broward County's top curmudgeon, former Sun-Sentinel writing coach John De Groot, and Robert Watson, an ever-earnest Lynn University professor. Ironically, the subject was "Dialogues in Democracy," a rather windy event put on by the Sentinel and Lynn billed as a "community conversation on the need for civility, intelligence, and truth in our public discourse."
OK, so the exchange starts with a De Groot email to promote his blog that went out to numerous people, including this blogger, with his take on a recent Sun-Sentinel event: 

Yesterday I blogged-predicted the Sun-Sentinel's highly publicized Dialogues in Democracy would prove to be "slightly more noteworthy than the opening of a new shopping center."

I was wrong. 

It was way less!

Like an intellectual high point of last night's Dialogue saw Sun-Sentinel Editorial Page Editor Antonio Fins suggest the addition of classes in high school social studies and civics as a way to reduce the anger-fueled polarity in American society.

Then De Groot sent an email to Watson which follows along with rest of that exchange: 
From: John Degroot [] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 10:11 AM
To: Robert Watson
Dialogue In Dumocracy

To be fair, you struggled manfully to inject a degree of substance and rational thought into [former Broward County Commissioner] John Hart's hot air circle jerk...  
However, you're few intellectual bullets were no match for the tsunami of mindless bromides and sophomoric sound bites unleashed by the Talking Heads you were up against. 


From: Robert Watson 
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 12:48 PM
To: 'John Degroot'
Subject: RE: Dialogue In Dumocracy

Hello Mr. DeGroot,

Thank you for attending the event and for what is, I suppose, a compliment. I am sorry to learn that you did not feel the event was worthy and encourage you to send your ideas for how to enhance the Dialogues in Democracy to both John Hart and Tony Fins. They are smart and honorable fellows who are committed to promoting civic and civil discourse in the community, and I know they are planning to offer additional programs. As such, I would think everyone would be open to proposals and ideas. I applaud the idea of having such programs, as we really need to do all we can to promote a healthier conversation.



Robert P. Watson, Ph.D.                                  
Professor of American Studies
Coordinator of the American Studies Program
Lynn University

From: John Degroot 
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 2:36 PM
To: Robert Watson
Subject: RE: Dialogue In Dumocracy

Dr. Doc. Watson

RE: Hart and Fins as "smart and honorable fellows who are committed to promoting civic and civil discourse in the community."
Like what community?
Where community?
And how community?
Because you know damn well today is all about E Pluribus Pluris - which is a huge hunk of the problem you guys blithely avoided in last night's Dialogue in Dumocracy!
Fact is, on his best polished day, John P. Hart is a politically correct version of Professor Harold Hill - only with him , you don't get no trombones.
Also,  after The Donald,  Antonio Fins sports one of the World's Worst Comb Overs - which pretty much suggests the nature of the stem that winds his springs.
Like my dear old dead Quaker grandmother used to say, "Triumphos Ignorantia!"


From: Robert Watson
To: John Degroot 

Mr. DeGroot,

I do not know you and, to the best of my knowledge, we have never met. I wish, however, to make three quick points: (1) It is never productive to send accusatory and mocking emails (comb-over, really?), just as there are better ways of introducing oneself than through such emails; (2) Tony and John have a track record of community service and volunteer work, so I must defend your "what, where, and how" remark.  I personally have served on countless community projects with Tony and he has graciously met with and helped dozens of my students; and (3) I would like to request that you refrain from emailing all of us.  While I usually encourage civil exchanges and try to answer much of the mail I get, I have pressing emails from my students and relating to my job that take priority over rants.

 I thank you for your cooperation in this matter.


Fins got into the act too, writing to De Groot, "I'd rather be blogged about than ignored," to which De Groot responded that he's also blogged about anal bleach and Earl Maucker's mustache. 

A lot of times, it's hard not to cringe at De Groot's rantings, and I often do (cringe), but somehow it's slightly reassuring -- whether he's right or wrong -- to know that he's always out there poking sticks into the establishment's eyes.

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