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

Cuba, Frisco Football Fiasco & Pretzelpalooza

Young sexy Oktoberfest waitress wearing a traditional Bavarian dress dirndl holding a pretzel and beer mug, and laughing happily on blue background.

So, how well have the Cuban people fared since Obama restored relations with that communist nation?

It appears that instead of getting better, human rights in that dictatorship are getting even worse than they were before Obama’s diplomatic blunder in which the United States and the poor Cubans got absolutely nothing in return.

In fact the Castro brothers are cracking down with “renewed brutality” says the Wall Street Journal. All of this while Obama flew to that island nation and heaped praise on the totalitarian regime while adding additional diplomatic initiatives.

The Cuban government controls the employment of all Cuban employees no matter where they work. The absence of an independent judiciary and arbitration, protection against arbitrary expropriation, and even arrest of foreign executives aren’t exactly incentives for investors.

The Castro brothers also ensure that communist party members running the totalitarian show there have comfortable jobs and living conditions and have an incentive to keep things just the way they are. For the rest the Cuban population any protest will still land them in jail or much worse.

Today’s Cuba

Cuba is one place where communist egalitarianism has worked. With the exception of the party elite everybody on the island is poor.

I’ve talked to people locally who have visited Cuba and plan to visit Cuba since travel there is now allowed by the U.S. government. These are the same people who slow down on the Interstate to look at a car wreck without stopping to provide assistance. Because the country offers two currencies no matter how much they spend on their “let’s go look at that mess” trip none of it benefits the long-suffering Cuban people. But don’t try to tell that to these travelers, as they think it is just wonderful that they can visit Cuba “before it changes.” I don’t know who is worse, the people committing the beatings and causing the suffering or those who pay to go watch their misery?


Frisco Football Fiasco: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem is coming back to bite not only him but the San Francisco 49ers and the National Football League.

In response to this disgusting disrespect the NFL issued a statement that said players are encouraged, but not required, to stand for the national anthem. This is the same NFL that refused to allow the Dallas Cowboys to wear a helmet decal in honor of the fallen Dallas Police officers gunned down July 7th and the same NFL that said nothing when players from the then-St. Louis Rams displayed a “hands up, don’t shoot” salute — which we all know didn’t happen. I find it interesting that the NFL has no issue disrespecting law enforcement officers but only “encourages” players to respect the symbol of our nation, the American flag, and our anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is paid $35 million a year by the owners for this?

Granted the NFL is a private organization and can make its own rules, but I believe its appeal to the public will suffer as a result of these misguided decisions.

Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality, as well as his critical words directed at officers across the nation, also have the Santa Clara police union saying its officers might stop working San Francisco 49ers home games.

American football on American old glory flag.

NBC Bay Area obtained a letter, penned by union members, to the San Francisco 49ers stating that if the organization does not take action against Kaepernick, “it could result in police officers choosing not to work at your facilities.”

Kaepernick also wore socks at practice with pictures of police with pig faces further disgracing himself.  He is a fast-fading footballer whose playing days in San Francisco are coming to an end and he’s not doing himself any favors with his dim, misguided protest, and I can’t think of another team that would want this controversy to infect its locker room. He has a right to make these idiotic statements and the public has a right to voice its opinion of his claptrap nonsense. The sooner we see the last of this doofus, the better. He can take his millions and go stage absurd protests until the cows come home, but there should be a personal foul penalty flag thrown for this moron’s actions.

USA Hockey Team’s World Cup Coach John Totorella got it right when he said: “If any of my players sit on the bench for the National Anthem, they will sit there for the rest of the game.”

As an aside a number of major media outlets I’ve read say that Kaepernick converted to Islam during the offseason and that he is engaged to Nessa Diab, a Black Lives Matter activist who promotes what she calls “authentic Islam.” The Kaepernick’s will apparently have a traditional Muslim wedding. It will be enlightening to see what Ms. Diab does when Kaepernick starts to treat her as a third class citizen because Islam encourages and demands men treat their women that way. And how does he explain away the Christian tattoos praising Jesus that cover his body to members of his Muslim faith, that consider all Christians infidels that should be either converted or killed?


Things I Don’t Get Department: Camping: Where folks spend a great deal of money to live like a homeless person.


Pretzelpalooza! Let the Amelia Island pretzel wars begin! Three popular local taverns are selling huge pretzels, a tasty treat that is made with a combination of water, dough and salt, and goes great with beer.

However, I’d rather have a sharp stick in the eye before paying eight bucks for a baked piece of  dough that’s tied into a knot, then salted, because that’s what two of the taverns — Amelia Tavern and Salty Pelican — are charging for their big, hanging-on-a-hook pretzels. South 3rd Street’s Green Turtle joined the fray last week when it started serving food once again and undercuts the other two by five bucks with its three buck pretzel offering.

Oktoberfest pin-up woman with beer and pretzel wearing german traditional dress dirndl. hand drawn vector illustration background

But it gets better for readers of this nonsense. Tiring of hearing me whine about the price, Salty Pelican General Manager Mitch Murray said that if people mention that they read it in this blog, he’d provide them a pretzel for $7.50. But you have to tell your bartender or server that you read it here to get the 50 cent discount.

However, the Green Turtle has a similar deal that will have the competition tied up in knots, offering a free draft beer with the purchase of a pretzel if you tell your bartender you read it here. I don’t know if that counts for me or knot (get it) because I could put away a few pints and big pretzels at three bucks a pop. However, It’s a get one only once deal.

And speaking of the Green Turtle, the lively little live music tavern opened its kitchen again Wednesday to Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight with the following “Pub Grub” menu. Flat bread pizza,$7.00; Howlin’ Dog, a 100% all-beef wiener, pickle relish, mustard, tomatoes, red onions, pickled banana peppers and a bag of chips, $5.00; ham & grilled cheese sandwich with chips, $5.00; tortilla chips, salsa and cheese sauce, $3.00, Cajun boiled peanuts, $3.00; sea salt and pepper dirty chips, $2.00; and the pretzel with whole grain mustard and cheese sauce for $3.00.

So go try a pretzel and a brew at all three and let me know what you think. All three taverns are on friendly terms sending customers back-and-forth to each other’s establishments so there is no animosity involved in the good-natured pretzel price competition. However, the one thing they all have in common is that they all think I’m a pretzel putz.


Speaking Of Local Eateries: In addition to the many other news-worthy items the local bi-weekly News-Leader doesn’t cover are the openings of restaurants and restaurant reviews unless you count Dickie Anderson’s incoherent annual “I want a free meal” slobbering over Baxter’s Steak House, but the paper’s newest reporter, Michael Miller, wasted little time penning a lengthy article complete with photo about the alleged troubles experienced by a downtown restaurant recently. The popular restaurant, whose name I’m not mentioning because I think they’ve been wronged,  used social media to explain in great detail its issues and how they were not of its making. The restaurant is open and I went there with a couple of friends to show support recently and discovered a large crowd enjoying their meals and drinks, and displaying encouragement for a local well-respected business. Maybe the News-Leader has conceded that everything it prints is old news and that business bashing might lift its sagging circulation numbers and appeal to the local green liberal crowd, except those folks usually don’t have two nickels to rub together, so if that’s its business plan, it appears DOA.


Koch Bros! They’re The Real Thing: I find it interesting that Koch Industries, a company that is an anathema to the Democrats instituted a policy

Closeup definition of crook or crooked person stealing or fraud

last year to “ban the box,” that eliminates the “Do you have a criminal record” category from job applications. Ironically this should be of interest to Hillary Clinton and her staff including Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, etc. when they begin job searches, after they are convicted of lying to the FBI, perjury, selling access, carelessness with state secrets, etc., jailed and eventually released back into society. That will happen, right? And speaking of Huma Abedin, why would anyone take advice from this woman, whose lousy judgment led her to wed and remain married for so long to Anthony Weiner, the vile, nasty, disgusting former New York (D) congressman who resigned in disgrace because he couldn’t keep his pants on whenever he encountered a combination of a camera and the Internet? Since Ms. Weiner finally had enough of the unfortunately named Mr. Weiner’s shenanigans I bet that Bill Clinton will really miss yukking it up at Hillary’s campaign headquarters over a couple of cold ones with his loser friend saying: “Hey Anthony, don’t you have any pictures of naked gals on your phone too?”


Insure This! When Aetna Inc. announced that it would withdraw from three-quarters of the states where it offers Obamacare (aka Affordable Care Act) exchange plans, the move wasn’t unexpected: The company signaled it had major problems early last month.

But the decision by one of the nation’s largest health insurers to withdraw from 11 of 15 state exchanges follows similar moves by United Health Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer, and Humana Inc., another large health insurer.

This string of bad news marks a tidal shift for the ACA. Where insurers, including Aetna, had planned exchange expansions next year, many are instead curtailing their coverage. Rates are going up astronomically and consumer options are shrinking, with some exchanges now offering only one insurer.

However, the insurers are as guilty as the loons that cobbled this mess together. Obama and his cronies sold this fantasy to them as one of the biggest corporate welfare schemes in history. What company wouldn’t want to be part of a ploy where the federal government forces every single American family to buy its product? As the National Review said recently; “The insurance companies thought they were getting in on a crony-capitalism gravy train. Instead they ended up under it.”

Oh, and Hillary Clinton is proposing a public-option plan which says the federal government should run the failed Obamacare program. So she’s advocating that a bunch of government bureaucrats with no insurance experience run a program that private corporations with vast experience in health insurance pricing couldn’t make work.

Maybe the same simple-minded lefties that created this debacle will propose that each American must purchase at least two hamburgers a week in order to subsidize the mom and pop and chain eateries that will suffer if the irresponsible $15 an hour minimum wage is ever passed.


Speaking Of Crony Capitalism: A Wall Street Journal editorial this week tells a tale of two for-profit colleges, one that paid Bill Clinton $17.6 million and one that did not. Guess which one was allowed to stay in business. ITT Technical Institute shut down Tuesday under government pressure while Laureate International Universities, which retained Mr. Clinton as its “honorary chancellor,” lives on. The editorial board notes that the Obama Administration’s College Scorecard shows Laureate’s five U.S. campuses have graduation rates comparable to ITT’s, but with higher student debt levels.


Things I Wish I Had Said: “Whenever I’m asked what kind of writing is the most lucrative, I have to say, a ransom note.” — Author H.N. Swanson.


  • Comment (9)
  • NFL Commish Roger Goodell is a pawn to the 32 team owners. Grossly overpaid. Highly unpopular. He laughs all the way to the bank as he lines the pockets with green $$$ for those narcissist billionaire owners.

  • It never ceases to amaze me how some pro athletes that have lost their starting jobs due to better play by team mates,go the route of this QB. He,obviously has decided rabble rousing is the answer to the situation.Wonder if his new fiancee has any influence on his behavior?His misplaced concern for black victims of police actions is typical of some of todays liberals.Wonder why he and others of his ilk don’t spend more time and energy in places like Chicago,where blacks are being slain by other blacks in record numbers.

  • There you go again, Mr. Scott. Bashing Cuba! Where are your positive recommendations like sending Bernie there to straighten things out? Bernie knows how to make socialism work and he’s younger than the Castro Bros.

  • I am surprised by your communist Cuba “human rights” remarks when you fanatically support Donald Trump and his admiration of Vladimir Putin’s totalitarian regime in Russia. Is there some kind of disconnect here? Oh, my mistake…Trump never praised Putin about being a better leader than your own American President…it’s all a liberal media conspiracy because no real American could support anyone saying such a thing. Or could they?

  • I think it is doubtful things will change overnight in Cuba just because we have established a more open relationship with them. No need to rush a visit. I do not view the Presidents move to normalize relationships with Cuba as a blunder. To the contrary. The embargo was instituted to get rid of Castro, obviously this failed. Anything that may promote freedom of communication and commerce will eventually make it harder for the Cuban Government to squelch the populace. The government may indeed feel they must reassert power if they feel too much information and ideas are flowing in. Let’s not forget that the Cuban people supported the revolution, it is up to them, not us, to change the government if that is what they want. I disagree with your thinking on the matter.
    I do not follow football, but in my book if someone doesn’t want to stand for the national anthem that is fine. I do not care. Your probably correct that he is misguided in the ways he is handling his protest of issues he is concerned about. I wouldn’t personally bring the controversy on my whole team or into a sporting event. Although I find some of what he is saying distasteful, probably no more than the things you regularly imply or rant about when it comes to Muslims or Black lives matters. Neither one of you are particularly thoughtful on how you present your views.
    Regarding camping, you know Dave I honestly can’t see you camping at all. People camp to get back in touch with the natural world. Something that you usually promote we should do away with.
    Eight dollars is a lot for a pretzel. At the Salty Pelican you can get 1/2LB of peel and eat shrimp for $9 or half a tuna nacho plate for $8.. something seems off.
    I love Pablo’s they always treat you like family and best sangria on island.
    I am not sure the Koch Brothers are evil but they are certainly out for themselves. I suppose we all are, but when you have that much money and our political system runs on donations, you find folks like them (and others) exhorting unbelievable influence on our countries policies. That said I am glad to hear from you they “banned the box” Of course you took the opportunity to make some little quip about horrible Mr. Weiner which I agree with and then took a stab at Hillary. Fair enough, I suppose you’re just salivating at having the next 4 years of bashing Hillary. Enjoy that.
    The Healthcare system is a complete mess. I agree with that. The plan that was indeed cobbled together was originally the republican healthcare plan. That is how we got it. The rise of Obama and pledge of universal healthcare for this country was never delivered to us. What we got was the republican plan. We needed the “corporations” on board. We needed the scared politicians who were afraid of the term “universal health care” so they sold this pile to everyone and we got “this is the best we can do” which it is not very good. However, it is my belief that although it was the wrong step it was in somewhat of the right direction. The ball did move forward and perhaps when Hillary is in office we can begin to cut out the middlemen, now they will just leave of their own accord… just so you know I am in favor of “the death panel”
    The simple minded lefties just think we should have a livable wage Dave. Unless you want to try and carve out a few jobs “just for teenagers” if you go to work for someone it should pay at least enough to live on without public assistance. Allowing someone like Wal-Mart to employee people full time for a couple hundred dollars a week just passes that cost on to the general public through taxation. Now they are on Medicaid and food stamps and subsidized housing and Dave ……you know how much you hate giving things to poor people.

  • Dave- I resent your remark on “people who visit Cuba”. My family and I have spent time in Cuba. Have you? Comparing people who go to Cuba as people who would not assist others is ignorant. You have no idea why I visited Cuba or what I did while I was there. Yes- I do help people in need, and maybe one day you might need my help. Don’t worry- I won’t hold this against you, because I do practice what I preach!


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