When I was growing up in the 1950s the Cold War was raging, and my elementary school classmates and I were ducking under desks to protect ourselves from the imminent Soviet Union nuclear attacks.
While reporting on the militaristic Soviet activities in those days the U.S. news media often published Pravda and TASS pictures of the Soviet Union’s Politburo leaders during May Day military parades or other significant Soviet celebrations. Then a few days later the Soviet propagandists would issue the same photo with one of the prominent people conspicuously missing. Photoshop didn’t exist then and the Soviets clumsily airbrushed figures out of their pictures, making it obvious who had fallen out of favor, may have been exiled to Siberia, or worse. I witnessed as Georgii Malenkov, Viacheslav Molotov, Lavrenti Beria, Nikolai Bulganin and eventually even Nikita Khrushchev were airbrushed from Soviet history.
Today the same thing is happening in the United States as the liberals, progressives, socialists or whatever the far-left Democrats are calling themselves these days, are dictating to us who is in favor and who isn’t. These cultural crackpots are yelling that the American past is a dark place stained by nefarious white people.
Not satisfied with erasing this country’s civil war history by toppling every visible Confederate statue in the country — some of which have stood for well over 100 years — these self-appointed censors are now attacking a wide variety of American history and art they say are equally odious.
Racist charlatan and tax cheat Al Sharpton says funding for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. must be eliminated because Jefferson was a slave-owner. Dim New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, one of the latest Democrat presidential candidates, says Christopher Columbus was a murderous colonialist and his statue in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle should be removed.
Even Kate Smith is on the hit list. This is a woman who was introduced to King George VI by President Franklin Roosevelt saying: “This is Kate Smith. Miss Smith is America.” They say racially insensitive music she recorded during the Depression merits her banishment. Her statue is now covered with black cloth in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team and New York Yankees baseball team have stopped playing her rendition of “God Bless America” despite the song’s prayer for divine guidance, which is something these left wing nut-jobs desperately need.
Will the American national anthem and American flag survive the damage done by the simple-minded National Football League executives and its pandering billionaire owners and befuddled millionaire players?
The most prominent “evil” white man being demonized with the liberal’s Stalinist “non-personhood” attack is George Washington. A 1,600 square-foot mural in a San Francisco high school named after Washington has been declared “offensive”, “dehumanizing” and “insulting” to native Americans and blacks despite the fact it hasn’t raised an eyebrow in 83 years and is historically accurate. I won’t go into detail about the liberal argument because it’s too stupid to repeat.
Gary Brechin, a scholar at the Living New Deal documentary project and archive observed: “…. if they are successful in destroying the mural then no art that anyone finds offensive is safe. Are we to have a Museum of Suppressed Art to contain this pogrom of images?”
The late legendary film star, John Wayne, was has also been pummeled for a “racially insensitive” Playboy interview in 1971, almost 50 years ago. Now these morons are demanding his name be stripped from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif.
There’s a joke currently popular in Turkey that would be appropriate here if one of the comically dim Democratic presidential buffoons gets elected: A prisoner goes to the prison library hoping to a borrow a particular book. The librarian says, “We don’t have the book, but we do have its author.”
Locally, the caretakers of the statue of David Yulee, which is warming a bench in front of the Fernandina Beach downtown tourist center train station, should be vigilant as the likeness of the Confederate successionist and slave holder is surely on the liberal hit list. I’m no fan of Yulee, but he’s a significant part of this area’s history and as such deserves to be recognized for his contributions – good and bad.
Until the Democrat’s far-left base went on its “monument-bashing bender” I thought only tyrannical dictatorships such as those of Maoist China, the Soviet Union, and terrorist groups like the Taliban and ISIS were in the business of airbrushing people, memorials and art from history.
Speaking Of Liberal Fanatics: Until a local liberal acquaintance personally scolded me, I didn’t realize the degree of revulsion the local anti-development grievance-mongers hold for those that think contrary to them about the Amelia Bluff housing subdivision issue or any other environmental concerns these extremists aggressively advocate.
These are the same people who don’t understand the stupidity of the Green New Deal and how it would destroy the U.S. economy while creating a massive government bureaucracy. They think that if it isn’t initiated immediately the world will come to an end in 12 years. There’s no reasoning with this crowd that thinks dim New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an environmental scientist and an economist. They double down on stupid.
The Amelia Island branch of this group is continuing its call for legal action against the Amelia Bluff development that would cost all residents — particularly local homeowners — large sums of money in taxes. If successful in their disruptive campaign of chaos and grievances including expensive legal maneuvers, it will cost local taxpayers dearly, some say between $60-$600 per homeowner in extra taxes each year. They don’t care.
Two local activist organizations — the Amelia Tree Conservancy and Conserve Amelia Now — have joined in a legal action to overturn the City Commission’s decision to approve the project by filing a complaint with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH), saying that the City of Fernandina Beach violated state law and the city’s Comprehensive Plan by approving the Amelia Bluff residential development on Citrona Drive. It’s expected that the local Sierra Club’s foot-stompers and fist-shakers will soon add to this chaotic cacophony.
I have no idea what the tolerance level of the developers is but suspect they have had about all they can stand of this nonsense. I wouldn’t be surprised to see counter suits flying soon and when that happens it’ll be fun to watch the environmental extremists scramble into the darkness like silverfish under the refrigerator with the kitchen light is switched on.
Michael Miller, the guy heading up the recently created Conserve Amelia Now, used to sign his Facebook rants using his title of Captain in the United States Coast Guard, but stopped after it was brought to his attention that the USCG doesn’t share his mania and isn’t in the business of pitting neighbor against neighbor.
Another example of extremists supporting this frenzied crowd is my former next door neighbor, Robert “Bullet Bob” Weintraub, an unhinged far-left nutjob who took to Facebook and threatened to shoot me and my wife following the 2016 presidential election because we placed a celebratory Trump sign in our yard. The threats were serious enough to merit a visit to him by the police. Since the lame local bi-weekly News-Leader continues to publish this old fool’s blather it obviously endorses his threatening and deranged behavior and opinions.
Many of the protesting, finger-wagging radicals, including its Amelia Tree Conservancy leader, Margaret Kirkland, don’t even live in Fernandina Beach. But you’ll never read that in the News-Leader, edited by Peg Davis, a far-left liberal woman who supports the environmental extremists and all other liberal agendas, even publishing her front-page editorial endorsing the anti-developer’s ill-advised cause. These folks loath anyone who doesn’t accept terms other than theirs.
This is not a group of people you want to bring home to meet the family.
It’s more than difficult to conjure up any sympathy for this crowd. There’s nothing appealing about their program of radicalized fury, dishonesty, hysteria, and abuse, combined with their view that anyone disagreeing with them must be vilified, punished and crushed. Their shouted, snarling comments at City Hall following the City Commission’s 3-2 vote last month after rightly approving the Amelia Bluff development, went way beyond rude and disrespectful. This is not a nice crowd. The two “No” voting far left City Commissioners – Chip “Sue their pants off” Ross and California transplant and 18-month resident Mike “Left Coast” Lednovich – are no better as they enthusiastically encouraged and incited the crazed mob. The other night while downtown I ran across Commissioner Ross who was giddy with excitement as he showed me the legal documents these loons filed with the state to overturn the Commission’s vote. I asked him if the legal action was his idea and he said: “No, I respected the vote of the City Commission.” I find that shockingly refreshing and admirable.
However, Commissioner Lefty Lednovich does not respect the vote of the City Commission he sits on. He’s even contributed money to Conserve Amelia Now’s “go fund me” account for legal fees to reverse the Commission’s decision. Isn’t that that in direct violation of his oath to protect the city of Fernandina Beach and its residents?
It’s also startling to me that my environmental vigilante acquaintance, who I once considered a rational person, turned churlish so quickly, criticizing me for presenting my opinions. When I told this person that the area they currently live in experienced a similar brouhaha in 2000 the response was: “We didn’t know that, and would never have purchased a house there if we had.” Really? I suggest then they bulldoze it and plant trees. This is a person I personally like and assumed was reasonable, level-headed, and open to honest debate. I’ve even agreed with this character on certain issues and have written positive comments about those topics. Doesn’t matter, as I must concur with everything they advocate.
I’m told by this person that I’m belittling, bullying, and disrespectful to those that think other than the way I do – a spot-on description of their environmental extremist pitchfork and torch crowd. I was also told by this individual that folks that read this blog and agree with me are “suckers.” This crowd can’t handle criticism and loath anyone that disagrees with their opinions.
When you read their silly sloganeering or hear their simple-minded claptrap it becomes obvious how infantile they are in their misguided objectives. It must gall them that they’re mocked by a clear majority of Amelia Island residents. If they get their way it will be very costly to local taxpayers and residents as it will portray the community as an inhospitable place to do business, and brand its inhabitants as vociferous, irrational extremists. They don’t care. In fact, that might be their real agenda.
Things I Wish I’d Written: “Call us old-fashioned, but we don’t believe in standing by and saying nothing when women get beaten by men, even in track and field.” — The Week, National Review, March 25, 2019.
State Insurance Scams May Soon End: If you or your neighbors ever experienced property damage from a storm you’ve probably witnessed a legion of guys in suits with clipboards in hand knocking on doors. I had one such leech hound me for two days following a tornado that touched down in our neighborhood in 2013, ripping three trees out of our yard. When I told the guy to discuss his proposal with my attorney he made a hasty retreat never to be heard from again.
His pitch was that he’d handle any repairs directly with our insurance company and we’d be spared the nuisance and time it took to deal with contractors and the insurance company during this chaotic period. All I had to do was sign a contract giving him the right to deal directly with the insurance company and he’d take care of it all, even collecting any insurance checks and negotiating with and paying the contractors. Practices like this lead to inflated claims, lawsuits, etc. causing insurance rates to soar.
If you’re a fulltime resident of Florida that moved here from another state, you know that car and homeowner insurance in the Sunshine state is expensive. While homeowners hereabouts pay some of the highest rates in the U.S., drivers are hit even harder, paying a whopping 50 percent more than the national average.
Governor Ron DeSantis is taking action to bring this legal abuse to a halt and reigning in lawyers that are running amok.
DeSantis is getting ready to sign a bill curtailing these “assignment-of-benefits” (AOB) scams, which allow policy holders to grant a third party such as window repair, tree removal, or health care providers the right to bill an insurer directly on its own behalf.
This nonsense has been going on since the 1950s with AOB suits increasing from 79,000 in 2013 to 135,000 last year.
Hopefully it will end soon.
Al Kremler: I lost a good friend and neighbor this week when Al Kremler, 92, passed away in his sleep. I’ll miss chatting with Al, an outspoken, retired New York City cop, bicycle-racing champ, car dealer, World War II Navy veteran, and one of the more fascinating people I’ve ever met, who shared a home with his son, Bill, and daughter-in-law, JoAnn, across the street from us. I profiled Al in a February 2018 blog http://www.davescottblog.com/island-issues/war-crime-bikes-a-major-portion-of-life-for-91-year-old-amelia-island-resident/
Drinking, Dining & Dancing: Other than enjoying a glass or two of wine with a meal, I’m normally a beer drinker. Rarely do I have a cocktail other than the rare Bloody Mary during a Sunday brunch, but I made an exception earlier this week when Sandbar Restaurant & Kitchen proprietor and bartender Kevin Dooner suggested I try one of his recently hired Bartender Nick’s Jalapeno-Cucumber Margaritas on the rocks. I like spicy stuff so agreed and was pleasantly surprised. This is not a drink you gulp any more than you’d wolf down a handful of habaneros in a Mexican taqueria. It had a pleasant aromatic, spicy-sweet flavor that I’ll probably cough up a pricey $9.00 and order again on a special occasion. It’ll also sit in front of me three times longer than a cold beer. If you want to help light up the local skyline with fireworks this coming July 4 then you’ll have a chance to do so Thursday evening, June 13, beginning at 7 p.m. during the “Light Up Amelia” Sunset Cruise. For $50 a person you’ll enjoy pizza, beer, wine and a two-hour cruise on one of Kevin McCarthy’s Amelia River Cruises. All money raised goes toward the Independence Day fireworks display. For more information and to sign up go to www.lightupamelia.com.