Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Conventions Provide Two Contrasting Views – GOP: Hope & Optimism; Dems: Gloom & Doom

The contrast between the dark, gloomy, negative atmosphere of last week’s Democrat Convention and the upbeat Republican one this week couldn’t be greater.

The RNC successfully portrayed America as a nation filled with optimism and hope and an agenda to fulfill that vision. The Democrats portrayed the country as a nation of victims, hopelessness, and misery. There was no love of country, no gratitude, nothing but a constant whine of grievances.

Republicans called for law and order, touted the development of a Covid vaccine, and restarting the country’s economic boom. The Democrats called for another nationwide lockdown and forecast fiscal malaise.

The Democrats proposed suicidal and senseless environmental policies that would cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs and bring the country’s energy independence to a screeching halt. Joe Biden announced that he will, immediately upon being sworn in, spend two trillion dollars to bring about something he calls “climate justice.”

Democrats also want to keep American kids in failing public school systems staffed by inept teachers protected by unions that contribute financially to Democrats rather than to the welfare of the children. They DON’T do it for kids! Just the opposite. They do it to shut down charter schools denying parents the right to choose a good education for their children and to rake in the union’s financial contributions.

While the DNC had a monotone Joe Biden as a virtual candidate, Donald Trump was energy in motion at the RNC, popping up every night in different settings.

The Republicans called for a payroll tax suspension that would benefit mostly modest income earners. The Democrats demanded increased deductions for state and local taxes, which would favor those with incomes of more than $650,000. They also proposed raising taxes on average Americans.

Joe Biden’s acceptance speech was declared “one of the best he’s ever given” by scores of Democrat pundits because their expectations were lower than Kamala Harris’s authenticity and integrity.

The DNC event lacked three things — vision, an agenda and honesty. Biden’s speech was consistent because it also lacked all three. It also lacked a defining message, not one public policy or even a catchy phrase stating what he stood for.

While major Democrat-run American cities are burning, the police being attacked and defunded, stores being looted and destroyed, crime skyrocketing, people being beaten and murdered in the streets, the Democrats didn’t once mention this mayhem and chaos. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Nix. Zero. Not a word! To them it’s normal — business as usual. Nothing to see here! They must figure that so long as the media, aside from Fox and talk radio, play along, nobody will notice at least until after November 3rd that the nation is under siege from homegrown terrorists.

While Iran has terrorist groups Hezbollah and The Revolutionary Guard to do its dirty work the Democrats have Antifa and Black Lives Matter. The letters B-L-M even appeared in the background during Elizabeth Warren’s speech.

The Dems also banned God from their convention. They even excluded the phrase “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. Did Biden declare the pledge saying “…indivisible, under, oh well you know the thing”?

Their entire Democrat convention consisted mostly of bashing Donald Trump. Telling their audience that President Trump is awful, terrible, the cause of everything bad from the Chinese virus pandemic to diaper rash was their platform. That was all they had.

When they weren’t berating Trump they condemned America, citing it as a source of the world’s evils, made worse by Trump at the helm. It was hard to tell what they hate the most — America or Donald Trump.

DNC speakers were a “Who’s Who” of America bashers including: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex who says she lives under a “racist president”; former First Lady Michelle Obama, who said in 2008 “…for the first time I am proud of my country”; and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, a country in which he found “much to admire.”

Compare that sad sack “blame America first” gloom and doom crowd with the upbeat group that addressed the Republicans this week.

After watching hours of Democrats bashing Trump and America the only things I could determine that the Democrat party stood for was lawlessness and disorder; open borders; free health care and lawyers for illegal aliens; that America is racist; that their party doesn’t believe in God but believes in late-term abortions; higher taxes; confiscating guns and disbanding police departments. The entire convention was comprised of a collection of liberal cancel cultural crusaders trolling for victims. Victims of industry. Of religion. Of race. Of history. Of Republicans. Of Trump.

U.S. Rep. Vernon Jones (D-GA) addresses the GOP convention on August 24.

If they really believe the country is half as bad as they painted it why don’t they pack up and flee. The Republican convention featured folks who did just that. They risked their lives to flee systematically racist nations like Cuba, China, Venezuela, Iran, etc. where the leaders are evil, and the police corrupt to find the freedom they craved in America.

A number of Democrats have done that too. They spoke at the GOP convention telling America why they fled the chaos of their bleak convention crowd to seek refuge in the upbeat Republican tent.

When Fox News guest Tammy Bruce reminded Democrat Fox contributor Donna Brazile of the Dem defections the normally calm Ms. Brazile suffered a meltdown that went beyond the edge of sanity. Host Brian Kilmeade, unable to stop the spittle-spewing wailing Ms. Brazile, finally pulled her plug. It was fun to watch.

During the upbeat RNC I could imagine the Democrats rooting for Hurricane Laura to make it to Category 4 or 5 or even higher so it could wreck death and destruction on the Gulf Coast and knock the RNC’s positive messages out of the papers or newscasts because that’s the kind of people they are. If you watched their convention they admit it.


Things I Wish I’d Said: “I’ve learned one thing—people who know the least seem to know it the loudest.” — Al Capp.


Irrational Hatred On Display: This past Wednesday, August 26, a group of some 54 local far-left weenies without a cause who are filled with radicalized fury, dishonesty, hysteria  and venomous attitudes, wasted their kale smoothie snack money to purchase a two-page ad in the local bi-weekly News Leader newspaper misleadingly attempting to disparage President Donald Trump.

The ad was probably a financial windfall for the cash hemorrhaging News Leader which just sold its downtown Ash St. building and appropriately relocated into a former “pest control” company’s site.

A number of alert area political observers took notice of the ad and commented that it did nothing to promote the Democrat cause but instead demonstrated how psychotic the left is in its hatred for President Trump, which was the theme for their recent convention. The local grievance mongers who contributed to this irrational absurdity are listed at the bottom of the infantile silliness they purchased. If you recognize a name be thankful that they don’t live anywhere near you or nervous if one does. I speak from experience as one of the contributors – Robert Weintraub – lived next door to me in 2016 and threatened on Facebook to shoot me and my wife following the 2016 election because we planted a congratulatory Trump sign in our yard. The other 53 ad contributors agreeing to have their names listed alongside the likes of Weintraub speaks volumes about their moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

Island entrepreneur, lawyer, pundit, developer, and residential and commercial property owner, Pat Keogh, was so taken aback by the two pages of nonsense that he and others quickly responded and submitted the following, which I find spot on. Here’s their take that represents a wide circle of like-minded thinkers that are proposing group and individual responses in the future that should make the News-Leader’s lefty editor’s head spin but delight its financial officer:

“We found the two-page anti President Trump ad in the August 26 News Leader very troubling.  The ad presents quotes from and the likenesses of former and current Administration officials purportedly criticizing the President. The reader is led to believe those quotes and those individuals are endorsing the message promoted in the ad that “It’s clear we still need a different kind of president. Very different from the one we have now”. Unless those who sponsored this ad have secured the support of those cited the ad is grossly misleading. We think it is particularly disingenuous for sponsors of the ad to use current federal government officials like Dr. Fauci, Fed Chairman Jay Powell and even the Justice Department’s Attorney General, William Barr, to promote this anti Trump hit job. Does anyone seriously believe that these three gentlemen would allow their names or offices to be associated with such a callous message?

As to the former Administration officials cited, for the most part, they were either fired or resigned over policy difference with the Administration. That happens with all Administrations.  That said, the message that these folks would endorse the ad’s purpose is questionable unless the individuals were specifically requested to lend their name and likeness to this highly partisan message.

Zell Miller

Many of us have criticized the President and his Administration on one policy matter or another. No matter how much you support a President after almost four years it’s natural not to agree with everything a President says or does. The late Georgia Democrat governor and senator, Zell Miller, once wrote that no one is all Democrat or all Republican. That used to be okay. To take quotes from former officials out of context implying that they support the view that “It’s clear we still need a different kind of president. Very different from the one we have now” is simply irresponsible.

Nassau County is a red county. This ad seems to be sponsored by local democrats.  They know Nassau might be key to the next election.  Let’s not let them influence the results of this election with this kind of malign ad. The best way to do that is to turn out to vote on November 3.”


Wait! What? When TV networks show video of Antifa and Black Lives Matter setting fire to buildings, beating bystanders, throwing bottles and rocks at police, and shooting explosives into crowds, etc. why do the talking heads refer to them as protesters or demonstrators? They aren’t protesters or demonstrators. They’re insurrectionary anarchists, criminals, and thugs not the “mothers and veterans” who Kamala Harris — appearing detached from reality — says they are.


Another Thing I Wish I’d Said: “Every time Joe Biden speaks he just opens his mouth to change feet.” – Mike Huckabee.


Chicago Vs. Afghanistan: Inner cities in America have become gang war zones and are getting worse daily with the cheer-leading Democrat politicians disbanding police forces and calling the chaos a “summer of love”. What’s the difference between a gang drive-by killing at a Chicago funeral, with 14 shot, and a Taliban terrorist attack in Afghanistan shooting 14 civilians. Or take Portland with explosives thrown at cops. There is no difference. These Democrat-run cities are at war, but they reject help. Is it any wonder that people who have money are fleeing in droves? As I’ve said before Democrats and the left destroy everything they touch. They are the real racists and admit it out loud every day with their actions and their rhetoric. One onlooker in Kenosha, Wisconsin screamed at anarchists who were shouting “Death to America” and “Kill the police”: “Are you trying to get Donald Trump reelected?”


What If? In a worst-case scenario if Trump loses the election what would become of CNN and MSNBC? Without having Trump to scapegoat 24/7, the whole reason for the two cable networks to exist would disappear.


Ask Your Dem Pals, Not Me: Minneapolis is asking the federal government for $55 million dollars to repair their city after the rioting, arson, and looting. I have sympathy for the owners of businesses the anarchists destroyed but as a taxpayer I don’t feel obligated to pay for that destruction. Invoice the Democrat party, it’s their surrogates that tore up your town.


Meanwhile Back At The Ranch: Jack Knocke, founding member and current ramrod of local watchdog group Common Sense continues his volunteer group’s justifiable and relentless scolding of Fernandina Beach’s City Commission and City Manager Dale Martin over their loosey-goosey budgeting process.

In an excerpt from a recent letter to local media he wrote: “Instead of Dale Martin submitting a base rollback budget and justifying any additional spending, he expects the commissioners to CUT from his bloated budget – making commissioners uncomfortable having to cut instead of having them approve items beyond the base budget.”

Mr. Knocke rightfully proclaims the process as busted saying: “It ignores major spending errors including the marina assuming that it will all be financed and will go away.”

“Many difficult budgeting decisions were avoided by just robbing the surplus”, explains Knocke. “Citizens of Fernandina Beach should be outraged that our City Manager refuses to cut spending at a time when it is required. City Commissioners must direct the city manager to present a budget that does not tap reserves as those monies will be needed for COVID related revenue shortfalls or Marina replacement funding.”

Folks who want to find out more or participate in Common Sense can call Frank Quigley at (312) 259-1741 or Jack Knocke (470) 295-4365. Or contact by: Email: ​ FaceBook: ​ Web:​http:///


The Rest Of You Suckers Are On Your Own: On June 23,1994 Senator Joe Biden boasted: “I don’t own a single stock or bond…I have no savings accounts. But I got a great pension and I got a good salary.” So, the man who wants to be president has no experience with the markets and wants to raise the top income tax rate to 39.6 percent, the same for dividends and capital gains, and increase the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. Unlike the average taxpayer he has a great pension and is anticipating another good government salary and an even fatter pension.


Speaking Of Joe Biden: “In America, anyone can become President.  It’s one of the risks we take.” — Adlai Stevenson.


Name Just ONE! As part of her campaign, Baltimore resident Kim Klacik, a black Republican woman who is running for a Congressional seat in Maryland, asks: “Name a blue city where black lives have gotten better?” Yeh, I couldn’t either.


City All Wet On Marina RFP: A wise local resident who knows more than most about such things ponders the recent city marina RFP asking: “Why would the ‘staff’ ignore the Evaluation Committee requirement in the Marina RFP? It is right there – clearly visible – and the parties involved know what the RFP required,” he says. “Why did our city attorney not step in? Our Comptroller?”

“An explanation is needed, not just a ‘I made a mistake,’” says the erudite observer. “The evaluation step was clearly stated and was simply bypassed. We need to know why.”

“The ‘staff’ can make sure that all the Exhibits and Addenda are properly completed and submitted by each bidder, but they ‘miss’ that an Evaluation Committee must review each offer? No checklist for compliance with RFP requirements?”

“Perhaps, as Mr Martin has remarked on other bids, the omission of the committee was a minor discrepancy? Hmmm.”

“Why put in an evaluation committee requirement anyway, just to ignore it? Simply say the City Manager & Chief Advisor will decide the winner. Weird.”

“It is time for the City Commission to take control, especially of a bid process that gets twisted whichever way certain people wish.  Accountability please.”


  • Comment (11)
  • Hi Dave! Back to the News Misleader ad…It was not only a gross display of misleading quotes taken out of context, the print quality was atrocious! So typical of this inept publication.
    p.s. Mick Mulvaney was ACTING Chief of Staff. The paper couldn’t even manage to get the titles right.

  • We immediately cancelled our subscription to the News Leader the moment we read the two pages of nonsense! While we are big supporters of our local businesses, we prefer not to support an organization that would chose money and publish garbage vs. factual news.

  • Dave – a few observations – your readers certainly know the Weintraub/gun story. It’s like you cut and paste that snippet every week.
    I remember when CNN was a station we turned to for news. Hopefully, it would return to reporting rather than head-hunting. I agree MSNBC would no longer have its “raison d’etre” and would wither and die by its own vitriol.
    The City Commission asked for the help of the Golf Advisory Board exactly zero times in the 5 years I was on it. The only time the FBCC took any notice was to squash us out of business (twice). One commissioner told everyone the second golf board would be hand-picked by him from among his cronies. He couldn’t find enough cronies to do it, so I served another, time-wasting stretch. In 5 years worth of monthly meetings, we had one visit from the current city manager (his first month here) and maybe 4 or 5 from commissioners – even though there was a commissioner designated with monitoring each of our meetings. FBCC never, not once, asked for our input. Maybe the financial condition of the golf course course would not be so bad had the FBCC looked for some input. Now, the FBCC ignores the Marina Evaluation Committee. It should be more focused on the $12 million bill. That is almost all ($470k from FEMA?) going to come from taxes. Who will pay for most of those? You, your next door neighbor, your neighbor’s neighbor. Yep, us. Why is there no louder outcry about this abysmal leadership, planning and execution. The City spent $6,000,000 because “it should get it back from FEMA” with no written commitments, and another $6,000,000 on what? Don’t worry though, it’s taken care of through loans and budgeting over the next several years, so it’s not our money to be used. What BS! Where are the torches and pitchforks?

  • Another bell-ringer, Mr. Scott.
    Ending the GOP convention with a U.S. Senator and his wife attacked by a left-wing mod as they walked back to their hotel just capped the scenario.

  • Dave,
    Clearly the News Leader doesn’t care about fact-checking — oh, sorry, unless someone is pro-Trump. I sent them a very gentle pro-Trump letter that responded and corrected a slew of anti-Trump vitriolic screeds that appeared in their letters section. Editor Peg Davis went back and forth with me three times trying to get me to “correct” this statement: “The House impeachment committee never attempted to subpoena the witnesses it castigates the Senate for not having called.” [The letter writer excoriated the GOP-led Senate for not calling those “witnesses,” which of course, had never been witnesses.”]

    Said Ms. Davis: “Thank you for writing to me! I see one statement that is not true that should be revised or left out.” [citing my comment, above].

    I responded: “Actually, the subpoenas were initially sent by the House Intel committee, HPSCI. The House Impeachment committee never subpoenaed Bolton, Mulvaney or anyone else *because* they didn’t want to tie it up in the courts. And HPSCI withdrew its subpoenas before litigating them, which is totally against all precedent. Look at fast and furious.

    “I appreciate the fact check. Perhaps you should have fact checked the gentleman’s claim that there were no witnesses and no evidence…..:)”

    She in turn got back with yet another objection: “Check one more time for me: there was never a vote establishing an “impeachment committee” that I can find. Send me a link if you have one.”

    This was in mid-February, well after the House hearings during the Impeachment proceeding (when the House Judiciary Committee became the Impeachment committee under a Democrat-only House resolution). It was also after the House impeachment managers failed to make their case and the Senate voted to impeach.

    And she never published the letter.

    But take good ‘ol Peg’s word for it: Bill Barr thinks Trump should go!! She and the signers wouldn’t treat Barr any better than the Antifa mob treated Rand Paul last night after the final night of the RNC, I fear.

    – Ken

  • TL;DR
    But I watched both conventions (typical registered Independent behavior) and I can sum both up in far fewer words.
    GOP: Ignore the smell and color of the last 4 years, it’s just rain.
    Dems:. If it’s yellow and smells like urine, it’s piss.

  • Hey Dave, your blog was like a well crafted sandwich, very satisfying. I wouldn’t worry too much about the Newsleader anti-Trump screed. That newspaper is gasping for life like a catfish caught in a mud puddle. Its so lacking on objectivity, its laughable. Speaking of laughable, our city government never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The financial mismanagement will continue until we replace, or better yet, eliminate them. The Marina is the perfect example. It should be a huge revenue generator, instead its an albatross. While I’m at it, if you mention Weintraub any more you’ll need to pay him royalties. Keep up the good work!

  • Take away from GOP convention: Let’s ignore the virus that has killed 180,000 of our fellow citizens and party like it’s1956.

  • A great read, thank you.

    The Democratic Convention was about nothing, the have no values, no morals, no direction but they did exhibit TDS during all 4 nights.

    My question is will Hiden Biden debate?


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