“Nobody should have to work three jobs to support their kids,” said a guy named Russell Harper, president of something called the North Florida Central Labor Council, who was a warm-up speaker at a sparsely attended Amelia Island Democrat Party rally for Chris King, the party’s candidate for Florida’s Lt. Governor, last Sunday afternoon. “Can we survive? Can we retire? Can we get healthcare when we retire?” an obviously confused and anxious Mr. Harper asked the crowd.
Mr. Harper apparently doesn’t realize how far the country has come since the late Paul Robeson sang “Old Man River” in the hit “Showboat” play and film. I’ve never met a person who held three jobs at the same time and I’m betting he hasn’t either. If I did I’d write an article about him but I doubt he’d find time to sit for an interview. Heck, he’d barely have time to use the restroom with his hectic 24-hour-a-day work schedule.
But I have some very good news for Mr. Harper, who spoke to the less than 100 folks gathered on the lawn of the Kraft Athletic Club at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the United Steelworkers (USW) sponsored event.
This is also good news for José Perez, an electrician at Rayonier and a member of the IBEW, who was singing out of the same songbook as Mr. Harper, and who said to those gathered: “We have to put in the right people – people friendly to labor.”
If these two whiners want good paying jobs, health care, and retirement benefits all they need do is walk over to the West Rock Paper Mill on the North end of the island. Actually I’m shocked that these two “friends of the labor unions” are unaware of the opportunities that exist right under their noses. But they’re Democrats, so I really shouldn’t be surprised.
Large display advertisements in recent editions of the News-Leader — including the one that carried a story about the rally — said West Rock was seeking job applicants for “Maintenance Electrical/Instrument Positions.” The job requirements listed weren’t very demanding. In fact a high school degree isn’t even required, a GED will do. The ad says that folks applying should have at least five years experience in an industrial or manufacturing environment and at least two years of full-time or part-time work experience in the last four years. Other than that the rest of the ad was typical human resources blah, blah including the typical “self-motivated” and “work well with others” boiler plate stuff. That’s it.
And here’s the kicker folks. These jobs pay between $60,000 to $80,000 a year! And they include training, health, life, dental and vision insurance plans, an employee assistance program, paid holidays and vacation, a 401(K) program, and more. The job benefits listed were longer than the basic requirements for the positions.
Instead of whining that the audience didn’t have decent jobs or benefits, Mr. Harper and Mr. Perez should have demanded: “Why are you sitting here listening to this silly claptrap? Get off your butts and get down to West Rock if you are serious about getting a darn good job at a darn good salary with tons of benefits, with a darn good company.”
I don’t know of many other places where you can live in a tropical paradise, earn $80,000 a year, and a boat load of benefits with such a thin resume. Maybe even Mr. Harper could drop his other two jobs if he was hired on. And he’d no longer make any more stupid public statements like his other one last Sunday when he said: “There was a time when businesses, even mom-and-pop businesses, took care of their workers.”
And if Mr. Perez isn’t pulling down that much at the Rayonier mill or his benefits don’t match up, he may want to take his lunch hour next week and knock on West Rock’s door. I don’t think being a Democrat will hurt his chances, but I wouldn’t mention it during the interview if I was him.
More Left Wing Whining: At the same Democrat rally where the union guys were whining about the lack of jobs that exist right under their Pinocchio noses, Democrat Party candidates for office spewed even more silliness.
A local fellow with the unfortunate name of Nathcelly Rohrbach, the Democratic nominee for state representative, told the crowd he was running “to confront gun violence in our community.” His opponent is Republican incumbent Cord Byrd.
Mr. Rohrbach, who appears to be unemployed and describes his current situation as “a-stay-at-home-dad” may also want to check out the local job opportunities at West Rock, Salt Life, Publix, or elsewhere. He should do OK since there are 6.7 million job openings in the U.S. and just 6.4 million available workers to fill them, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Mr. Rohrbach, who says his first name means “I love you” in the Mayan language, said he decided to run for office after the Parkland tragedy, in which a gunman killed 17 students and staff members at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
There is probably no issue where passionate advocacy is more associated with rank ignorance than gun control. At least Mr. I Love You has no interest in banning guns — or so he says now –apparently realizing: 1- that this isn’t a district where that nonsense flies; and 2- educating his audience about the most basic of facts regarding firearms may be a smart election tactic hereabouts. He’d be wise to stay away from the Parkland issue which was an avalanche of failures, beginning with the local police and the FBI ignoring repeated explicit warnings about the shooter, and then Broward County officers hesitating to enter the building during and in the aftermath of the shooting. To add to those clueless performances was the Broward County Sheriff grandstanding on CNN.
Representative Byrd understands the fundamental point that gun ownership is an individual right, enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Mr. I Love You should study Mr. Byrd’s campaign platform for pointers.
The Democrat challenger also attacked Representative Byrd’s stance on education despite the fact that Nassau County has the best schools in the state. “Tallahassee is weakening our public schools and attacking our unions,” he said, offering no evidence of any of that and failing to recognize the area’s excellent schools. However, if Representative Byrd is attacking the unions, that effort will only strengthen the schools and is another reason to vote for him.
A recent James Madison Institute study should be enough to scare any sane thinking voter away from this progressive cast of whackos. In a nutshell the study said “there’s no sugar-coating Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum’s policy agenda, which is to increase the corporate tax rate significantly, almost double the minimum wage, sharply expand government-controlled health insurance and mandate a $50,000 starting salary for teachers. According to the report, this is something that “would adversely impact the business climate of the state through higher taxes, a sharply higher minimum wage and state mandates to expand government-controlled health insurance.”
According to a Sunshine State News analysis of the report the policy agenda Gillum proposes would require an increase in the corporate tax rate to the second highest in the United States, an increase in Florida’s sales tax to 39 percent, or the imposition of a state income tax as high as 37 percent (and a state income tax is only possible through a constitutional amendment).
The report states that Republican Candidate Ron DeSantis’ platform would maintain Florida’s status as a low tax state and a national economic leader; Andrew Gillum’s “would cost $2.6 billion in additional state taxes, not including his support for Medicare-For-All, which will raise taxes significantly more and put Florida on an economic par with some of the highest-taxed nations in Europe.”
If Gillum proposes paying for his spending proposals through Florida’s corporate income tax, the report concludes that “his corporate tax rate would have to rise to 11 percent, just above Pennsylvania’s tax rate, and even surpassing California’s rate.”
For more than 30 years, the Tallahassee-based think tank, JMI, has provided elected leaders and everyday Floridians with objective, compelling and timely information on policy issues affecting Florida’s economy. And this one should be taken very seriously.
Things I Don’t Understand: Why are plastic water, wine and beer bottles okay but plastic bags and straws not?
Hey, Jacksonville –Thanks But No Thanks: I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with an opinion piece written by News-Leader Editor Peg Davis. But Wednesday, October 3, in an editorial headlined “We’re not Duuu-val, ya’ll” she was singing my song and she hit all the high notes.
In her editorial Ms. Davis not only pooh-poohs the outlandish idea of something called JAXUSA Partnership wanting to rebrand the entire area of Northeast Florida as “Jacksonville”, she rightly blows that insane concept out of the water calling the idea a “cow pattie” and a “stinker.” I would have used stronger words.
In her comments Ms. Davis explains that the JAXUSA Partnership Regional Economic Development Forum wants countries surrounding Jacksonville to “embrace Jacksonville as the name of the region” versus “Northeast Florida.”
I have a better idea. The counties around Jacksonville should actually embrace a tagline proclaiming: “We are NOT Jacksonville.”
When I think Jacksonville, I visualize the homicide capital of Florida, the state’s dumbest and most corrupt politicians, polarized race relations, urban decay, urban planning gone berserk, awful traffic, and people who wish they lived someplace else….anyplace else. I certainly understand why the folks trying to earn a living in the mess called Jacksonville would want to pretend they are part of Nassau County or any other area.
A bit of Jacksonville arrived on Amelia Island this past weekend as the Fernandina Beach Police Department (FBPD) reported that Sunday night, October 16, “visitors” to Fernandina Beach and the unincorporated areas burglarized more than 30 cars in the area around the Parkway near 200 and on South Fletcher Avenue. In addition one car was stolen. FBPD officers recovered it in Jacksonville.
Nassau County embracing Jacksonville would be like Niagara Falls claiming it’s more like Buffalo, Windsor, Ontario pretending its Detroit, Coke wanting to be Dr. Pepper, or New England Quarterback Tom Brady saying he’d like to be Johnny Manziel or Michael Vick.
To label Nassau County as part of Jacksonville, gives the county a black eye while Jacksonville benefits from a pristine makeover of beautiful beaches, flowing traffic, green areas, parks, abundant wildlife, rivers, the state’s best schools, historic sites, low crime, happy people and dim but honest politicians. There no upside for Nassau County. For Jacksonville even the aura of the notorious speed trap, Waldo, would serve it better than its current image.
This could be the one topic even the most adversarial political groups hereabouts could agree upon.
The Jacksonville USA organization said it interviewed “all kinds of stakeholders” to come up with this more-than-stupid idea.
I wasn’t asked. And in her editorial Ms. Davis says she doesn’t know anyone who was interviewed. She asked her readers to let her know if any of them were. If so, she said she’d like to know what they said and get their opinions. So would I.
Am I all wet on this or do we want to put as much distance as possible between us and Jacksonville, other than those sad souls who have to commute there and back daily?
Too Late! I went to Starbucks the other day and told the barista that I’d like to talk about race relations but she told me that promotion had ended.
Mercedes Benz For Sale – $100: If you buy a $100 ticket you’ll have a 200-1 chance of driving home a 1975 Mercedes 450SL convertible hard top with white with red interior and only 144,000 miles on it. American Legion Post 54 is conducting a fund raising auction selling just 200 $100 tickets for a December 7 drawing. The car will be available for showing tomorrow, Saturday, November 20, during the downtown car show, and will be parked near the post office building on Centre Street. It will be available after that at the Paul Clark Ford dealership. For an auction ticket call Barb Kent at (904) 556-5700 or stop by the Legion Post at South 3rd Street and Gum.
Drinking, Dining & Dancing: The Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach will conduct its 33rd Taste of Amelia event will be held Saturday, November 3 with a culinary tasting tour of historic Downtown Fernandina Beach from 3-6 p.m. beginning at the pocket park on Centre Street, next to the Amelia Island Coffee Shop, between 3rd and 4th Streets, where people will receive a passport with a bracelet admitting them to over 25 restaurants near the downtown area. Registration opens at 2:00 p.m. Those attending will receive a small sampling from a wide variety of participating venues including everything from appetizers to desserts. Tickets are $40, plus any applicable service fees and include two drink tickets. Additional drink tickets can be purchased at the event. All proceeds will benefit the Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach’s scholarship program benefiting graduating Nassau County high-school students seeking admission to accredited colleges, universities or trade schools. Obtain tickets by going to https://www.tickettailor.com/events/rotarycluboffernandinabeachcharitablefundinc/194445. On Sunday, November 11, beginning at 3 p.m. the Chris Evans-Tony Bonic Smoke N Da Cockpit Bar-B-Que team and the Green Turtle Tavern will feature “Bar-B-Que and Brew 2018”. The live music event will raise funds for the Fernandina Beach VFW Post 4351 and features $10 pulled pork BBQ with a choice of baked beans or green beans. They will also offer a side of pork ribs for $5. Tickets are limited and can be purchased in advance at the Fernandina Beach VFW located at 96086 Wade Place, under Shave Bridge.