Island Issues

U.S. Refugees Fleeing To Florida; Gallbladder? I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Gallbladder

U.S. Refugees Fleeing To Florida; Gallbladder? I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Gallbladder

Florida here we come!

If you’ve noticed an assortment of cars with out-of-state license plates pulling into driveways in your neighborhood and their occupants saying things like dem, dese and dose don’t be alarmed.

They’re refugees escaping what the Democrat party’s presidential candidates are proposing: high taxes; strangling regulations on business; rising costs of energy; sanctuary cities; lousy schools; out-of-control public unions; lax law enforcement; filthy cities, among other economic and socially disastrous programs.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the IRS most of these refugees are coming from Democrat-controlled states including California, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. Those of you considering voting for one of the Democrat presidential candidates might want to consider moving to one of them. Almost all of those states already have most or all of the economically and socially crippling legislation in place that your new neighbors are escaping from and the Democrat presidential candidates are promising to enact if they win in November. All but two are completely controlled by Democrats and those two that aren’t are still cleaning up the mess the Dems left behind. So, if rampant crime, a broken K-12 education system, strong public unions, widespread homelessness, dirty crime-ridden cities, free health care and sanctuary cities for illegal aliens, and extensive opioid use appeal to you, then you’ll love living in one of the Democrat utopias that your new neighbors are abandoning.

And there’s plenty of room. Traffic headed there should be light as it’s all going the other way, and there are lots of houses up for sale and vacant apartments for rent. Sidewalk space may be hard to come by though as Democrats in those states encourage squatters on public sidewalks in more ways than one. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the IRS, people and capital are fleeing those Democrat-polluted states in record numbers

The streets of San Francisco.

because they’ve discovered that what the Democrats are saying is good for them ain’t necessarily so. These states are run by a bunch of mindless bureaucrats and elected nitwits who have only scorn for capitalism, entrepreneurship, law enforcement, the Second Amendment, and the private sector. They share wild enthusiasm for redistribution of wealth, business-strangling regulations and taxpayer funded aid for illegals, and other socialistic programs. The psychotic Democrat social warriors that run those broken-down states have nothing but contempt for anyone who has been successful on terms other than theirs. Their beleaguered populaces have become weary of their antics and are voting with their feet. Slavish Democrat party enthusiasts, however, will love those high-tax paradises, as it’ll give them a peek at what the entire country will look like if by some dreadful circumstance one of the hopefuls in the Democrat’s presidential clown car manages to get elected in November.

Here’s what happened in those Democrat heavens in 2018 according to Census Bureau and IRS data.

New York lost 7.2 percent of its population, more than any other state. Illinois lost 6.8 percent and New Jersey 5.5 percent. The tax weary folks in those states are taking their bank accounts, businesses, jobs and other assets to other states more friendly to a free market economy, law enforcement, and so much more.

Florida, our zero-income tax state, has been the greatest beneficiary of the Democrat’s bungling mismanagement. It has attracted $16.5 billion in adjusted gross income in 2019, by far the most of all other states. Arizona and Texas gained $3.5 billion each. North Carolina, $3 billion and Nevada $2.3 billion. Like Florida, Texas and Nevada don’t have state income taxes. And once the folks left in those states complete their 2019 taxes, the shock will send even more of them scrambling for the exit ramps. Between 2016 and 2018 the number of taxpayers earning between $100,000 to $200,000 rose 8 percent and 13.9 percent for those making more than $200,000 according to IRS data. California has the country’s top rate on folks making $1 million or more and its citizens are knocking each other over trying to get out, particularly since the top rate on income above $250,000 will rise there again this year. Other reasons to hit the road include the fact that housing is unaffordable, crime is skyrocketing, and their major cities are cesspools.

Last year California lost $8 billion in adjusted gross income to other states. The middle class and blue-collar workers are skedaddling along with the affluent. For the first time that state is losing more people than it’s gaining. California, New York, and Illinois are also projected to lose Congressional House seats while Florida (2), Texas (3) and Arizona (1) will gain seats. Once statistics for 2019 are compiled the numbers will be even more staggering, and the Interstates will continue to be clogged with moving vans headed our way as voters put those failed states and their elected left-wing parasites in their rear view mirrors.

Let’s just hope all those people flowing into Florida realize that their votes for Democrats caused the chaos they’re fleeing and that they didn’t pack their ideology along with their bathing suits.


Left Coast Lednovich

Speaking Of Loony Lefties From Afar: Fernandina Beach City Commissioner Mike “Left Coast” Lednovich is one of those refugees who fled California, and unfortunately ended up on our doorstep. He brought his disastrous left-wing views with him and hasn’t wasted any time wreaking havoc on our community with his disdain for property rights being the most egregious. In less than two years this far-left madman managed to worm his way onto the City Commission and has caused nothing but havoc and chaos ever since. He has contributed money to a fund to sue the city he swore to protect and serve and proposed yanking the Sheffield family’s lease on Amelia River Golf Course. His latest bit of lunacy was to propose that ordinary citizens be fined $14,000 if they down a tree on their property. I’m not making that up. No left-wing cause is too far-fetched for this irrational grievance-monger to promote. In fact, his outrageous behavior and proposals have become a form of entertainment for locals observing the Commission’s goings-on, that is until they realize this guy is actually serious and if any of his loopy proposals were ever enacted we’d be in deeper doo-doo than we already are. Unfortunately, he has more than two years left in his term and our only immediate hope is that someone will toss a net over him and take him where he can get some serious mental health therapy. Any more on the Commission like “Left Coast” and property owners and businesses hereabouts are doomed.


Things I wish I’d Said: “I checked into the Hokey Pokey Clinic and turned myself around.” — anonymous.


I Had A Lot Of Gall(bladder) But Not Anymore: When’s the last time you thought about your gall bladder? Yeh, me either.

The gallbladder isn’t an organ that you sit around the pub discussing with your pals during halftime of a football game. That period of time is reserved for talking about external body parts particularly those on women. If we ever talked about our internal organs at all it was usually one of the big four – heart, lungs, kidneys or liver. And we didn’t do that unless it involved a joke. I’ve never seen a fellow hit on a gal at a bar and say: “I bet you’ve got a gorgeous gallbladder honey.” That pickup line couldn’t get a guy armed with a fistful of pardons a date in a woman’s prison.

Why do I mention this? Because my gallbladder — like a resentful, hate-filled, crazed employee — tossed in the towel and wasn’t subtle about it. Apparently seething with hatred and bitterness by not being the center of attention, being taken for granted, and having no major role or talent suitable for future promotion, it went berserk on the job and attempted to disrupt the entire internal organ staff on its way out. It was like the film “Alien” where  Adam Schiff was trying to burst out of my gut while trying to snuff as many of the good-guy organs as possible.

The extracted Adam Schiffbladder.

Following severe abdominal pain Thursday night, January 16, Linda rushed me to the local Nassau Baptist emergency room where my condition was quickly diagnosed, and laparoscopic surgery performed. Because my Adam Schiff-like gallbladder made such an explosive mess the surgeon was unable to remove it using that procedure and had to slice a much larger opening in my belly in which to work. It took him three hours to clean up the mess the Schiff-like organ made including a serious e coli infection. But that wasn’t all. While recovering at the local hospital bile began seeping into the abdominal cavity. To put a stop to that I was transferred to Jacksonville’s Baptist Medical Center where another surgical procedure involved installing a stint to plug the leak, treat and monitor my plumbing and eliminate the infection.

After five days there I was released and arrived home Saturday, January 25 where retired kindergarten teacher turned nurse, Linda, is doing a fine job of tending to me.

So, what the heck does this pesky four-inch, pear-shaped organ even do? It’s like an office storage closet, located under the liver in the upper-right section of the abdomen where it’s supposed quietly collect bile. This liquid, made in the liver, helps digest fats and certain vitamins I’ve been told, so some dietary changes may be in order. Bile and Schiff – see the commonality there? Unlike the heart, liver, kidneys or lungs we can live comfortably without this galling Schiff-like organ.

Looking back on this entire episode I can’t express strongly enough how blessed we all are to be surrounded by such caring, talented and sincerely dedicated health care professionals that staff our local Baptist Medical Center Nassau. Despite the fact I resembled a human pinball machine, draped with wires and tubes and binging and bonging like a Vegas slot machine that just hit the house jackpot, I experienced a comforting level of confidence in every single person involved in my care and recovery. All of my questions were answered, procedures explained, assurances given, and sincere and constant attention provided. It was like I was some rock star ensconced in the penthouse suite of the local Ritz Carlton with its staff falling all over itself to please me. Except the professionals at Nassau Baptist Hospital aren’t impressed with celebrity, only in providing the best possible care for their patients no matter who they are. Where does it find such remarkable people?

Based on my experience they come from every corner of the world as well as locally sourced. I felt like I was being treated by the United Nations. My surgeons hailed from India and Cuba, attending physicians from Romania, Taiwan, and Greece, nurses, practitioners and others from Vietnam, China, Cameroon, The Philippines, South Africa, Peru, Myanmar and Jamaica.

They were all talented and caring and I hate to single out one of two for fear of offending those not mentioned. However, several of the nursing staff will remain affectionately enshrined in my memory including no-nonsense Nassau ICU nurse Bernie, who built a guitar and is now teaching herself to play it, and her ICU counterpart Tamisha; cheery and highly professional Nassau hospital nurses Claire and Anna and Jacksonville nurse Emeline, a Cameroon native who has one of the most fascinating life stories I’ve ever heard. Ray the local x-ray guy is a local fixture and one of the friendliest most efficient of his kind I’ve ever encountered. Lori Huppman, Manager of Nassau’s Cardiopulmonary Department sent one of her crack specialists, to treat me and she was able to explain in layman’s terms the necessity and objective of her procedures. As medical practitioners they can all go home after work each day with a great sense of satisfaction, knowing that they have made positive changes in a person’s life. How many of us can say that?

This nasty incident also made me appreciate my island friends who have reached out to me sincerely volunteering to provide assistance and express their concern. That has been incredibly comforting and appreciated. Is this island a great place to live or what? I hope to be back on the streets soon and express my gratitude in person.

Our Nassau Baptist Medical Center is one of the best medical facilities anywhere — like a luxurious resort without a pool or bar — and our country’s health care the best in the world. The Democrats want you to believe otherwise and if they ever regain the Senate or Presidency they have pledged to destroy it and start over. I wouldn’t want to get ill under any system those lunatics would enact.


Fat City: The Fernandina Beach City Commission is looking to build, occupy or buy more space to house our bloated and growing city government. Instead of looking for larger quarters it should be seeking ways to shrink itself. In fact, the city government should be downsized to the point that it fits into an infrequently used utility closet in the local police department or a fire station, providing it doesn’t interfere with the important work actually being carried out by the police officers, EMT guys, and firemen who work in those facilities. This comes on top of the half mill tax increase that City Manager Dale Martin calls a “levy” (e.g. tax) for “conservation” that was enacted without voter approval. The city already owns one-third of all the property within the city limits but has an insatiable appetite to buy more to take off the tax rolls.

During the past four years under City Manager Dale Martin the city has hired 40 additional employees to annoy residents and is now advertising for a deputy city manager with a salary of $149,975, providing City Manager Martin a highly-paid useless assistant pest. Apparently they need new digs to house this worthless bureaucrat and all the other new hires the city is squandering our tax money on. Despite its nonstop hiring program the city apparently doesn’t have anyone capable of looking around town for its unnecessary new digs so it’s paying $40,000 of our tax dollars to a company called Bhide & Hall Architects to evaluate sites and make recommendations. They’ll need a facility with lots of storage space to house the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of unused waterfront park plans. Oh, did I mention Mr. Martin also considered creating an entire new department called Beach Management?

The city is also advertising to hire a director of human resources to replace Robin Marley who is retiring in March after 15 years on the job. The salary range is $60,332 to $95,023. This position entails hiring even more people to annoy us and waste our tax dollars.

The city hired a consulting firm – Strategic Government Resources – to handle both recruitment efforts. How much is the city paying them to hire even more overpaid useless bureaucrats to fill its unnecessary new digs? Will this lunacy ever end?

If its hiring frenzy and throwing our tax dollars willy-nilly at consultants aren’t enough to increase your blood pressure the city is hellbent on buying millions of dollars-worth of landlocked worthless swamp property for “conservation” in an effort to appease the extreme environmentalist tree-hugging whack-jobs — many who don’t even live in the city – but are frequently seen chanting, sign-waving and fist-shaking at city hall. The city recently purchased a $39.00 appraised piece of worthless landlocked tick and mosquito sanctuary downtown for $25,000 of our money. And now they want more space to house all this cock-a-mammy nuttiness and the bureaucrats who oversee it.

As the newspaper article below indicates the citizens of Streator, Missouri were fed up with such antics and had the right idea. As you read it substitute Fernandina Beach for Streator and City Manager Dale Martin’s name for Streator City Manager Scot Wrighton and we have a solution to this mindless empire building and reckless spending. We need to eliminate positions, not add more. Let’s start at the top.


More Things I Wish I’d Said: “If you don’t know that the Nazi party was socialist and that the Communist party is socialist, and the majority, if not all, of the Democrat candidates running for president are socialist, then you are not paying attention, and you need to.” – Chuck Woolery.


tony Crawford - 02. Feb, 2020 -

Dave sorry to hear about your operation. Hope you are feeling better. You may want to do some research as to why many folks from NY and NJ are getting out of the cold. It is actually due to the tax cuts that President Trump has imposed. You see the new tax laws have actually increased many of the tax burdens that those folks now experience. They have lost much of their write offs with respect to property tax as well as State income tax thanks to the new laws. Stay well

Lucy Nadeau - 01. Feb, 2020 -

Always enjoy reading your blog. Hate to hear you were stricken with gallbladder issues. I too visited Baptist Nassau for gallbladder removal, however mine was planned surgery unlike yours. I did have to return a few days later due to a similar excruciating pain, though, due to our friend bile. Sadly, it took the specialists FOUR DAYS to figure out that it wasn’t constipation causing the stabbing, throbbing, worst pain O have ever had in my life. In fact, if it weren’t for my GP requesting a HIDA scan, no telling how long I would have writhed in pain. I too wound up with a stent, which did nothing (hole was too big), had to have open abdominal surgery, coded on the table, had to be resuscitated because my left lung collapsed, spent 2 days in ICU, one on life support, got a pelvic abscess due to the abdominal surgery, spent a total of just over three weeks in the hospital and missed almost two months of work. YES, I consulted an attorney and it was considered medical malpractice on the part of Dr. Samuel Perkins (who if he did your emergency surgery, must have been having a GOOD day, unlike with me). However, since I recovered to the point of being able to “function” again, any sort of compensation for my pain and suffering was not possible. Welcome to America. Thank God I have decent insurance and have a job with paid leave. Not once did he bother to visit me while I was admitted in the hospital, and perhaps had he shown some compassion it might have made things slightly better. Since he didn’t, I HIGHLY suggest NO ONE EVER go to him.

Katie - 31. Jan, 2020 -

Glad to see you are back to your old self. We miss you.

Mike Lednovich - 31. Jan, 2020 -

Dave: Correction #2 – you wrote that I “propose that ordinary citizens be fined $14,000 if they down a tree on their property.” I did not. I displayed a slide that showed the City of Tampa recently fined a developer $14,000 per tree that were illegally removed. There were 28 Oaks taken down. The slide also showed that the Amelia Bluff developer was being fined $1,300 per tree by the City for illegally cutting down 52 protected trees. The facts are I proposed strengthening the City Tree Ordinance for illegally cutting down trees. The proposal and the amount of fine to be levied is to be determined by the Planning Advisory Board. So the facts are that you did in fact, actually make that up.

Mike Lednovich - 31. Jan, 2020 -

Dave: once again you’ve skewed the facts to fit your narrative. The City is not “paying $40,000 of our tax dollars to a company called Bhide & Hall Architects” for advice on a new City Hall. The facts are that the City Manager will issue a Request For Qualifications from consultants to conduct a “needs assessment” to determine if a new City Hall is warranted. No tax dollars have been attached thus far to this effort. The Bhide & Associates proposal was rejected by a 5-0 vote of the City Commission.

Skeet Taylor - 31. Jan, 2020 -

God bless , Mr. Scott and get well. You’ll be wanting to take your deer sweet time recovering from that one. One thing I know is once that thing is gone, spicy food is going to mess you up real good.

Gwen - 31. Jan, 2020 -

Welcome back, glad you are on the mend. I totally agree that we need to get rid of the city manager, not hire an assistant city manager, get rid of every single “city planner,” and lower our onerous city tax bill. It seems like lot of faulty thinking “liberals” have moved here and are willing to spend any amount of our tax dollars to fund nonsense.

Coleman Langshaw - 31. Jan, 2020 -

Glad you are on the mend, Dave. My mom lost her gallbladder when she was young and lived many more good years. Now that you are back in the saddle, the old Goldfish has a question for you, since you just went through all of that: What type of insurance do you have? I just had shoulder surgery, and I had a bunch of deductibles and co-pays to pay off, not to mention what we have to pay in for the coverage in the first place, almost not worth having surgery, but what’s a guy to do these days? My brother had heart surgery, but luckily for him, he was over 65, and Medicare saved his bacon, and he had great doctors, thankfully.

David Scott - 02. Feb, 2020 -

Coleman, message me or email me your phone number and I’ll provide you the information you requested.

Janice Weaver - 31. Jan, 2020 -

Glad you are fixed now! My agreement with you on our local healthcare providers could not be stronger!

Dave Lott - 31. Jan, 2020 -

David, sorry to hear of your medical emergency but glad that you received excellent care and are well on the way to a full recovery. Take care

DON HOWARD - 31. Jan, 2020 -

WOW! You did have a lot of fun at your health insurance expense—sounds like you got your money’s worth. Who knew getting rid of that pesky gall bladder would sharpen your wit so well. This edition of your blog is inspired, I will be sure to share it with all my friends, some of whom think a turn at socialism might be fun and fair; some want to learn everything the hard way instead of just heeding the wisdom your blog offers weekly. Keep up the great work, Davey boy, and thanks to Linda for your speedy return. Very glad you’re back and at it!

Micah Ward - 31. Jan, 2020 -

Welcome back Dave. Glad you are feeling better. I too, had a recent need for the local emergency room and the staff was top notch. They stabilized my issue so that I could get to another of our local medical gems, The Mayo Clinic for further treatment. Unfortunately I don’t remember the names of the staff who treated me at the emergency room. There was a lot of pain and then amazing drugs involved, but I digress. Just this week I ran into Dr. Chip Ross at Pajama Dave’s and passed on my kudos for the ER staff, even though I was too drugged up to remember their names.

Neal Freeman - 31. Jan, 2020 -

Welcome back, Dave. You may need some of that bile. Commission meeting coming up. Vale!

Charles Mullen - 31. Jan, 2020 -

I’m glad you’re better. At least you can discuss your gallbladder. When ever I get around a bunch of other old geezers and they start telling their medical war stories the subject always changes when I mention my proctologist.

Glad you are recovering OK.

Skeeter - 31. Jan, 2020 -

WOW — You did a super job !! So glad you are all better. Fantastic BLOG entry today. Many thanks and please take care of yourself. Agree with everything you said today.

Ken Timmerman - 31. Jan, 2020 -

Well, I can see the gall bladder contributed nothing to your pith and wit. Great column this week. Get well soon– and lay off those gizzards!

PETER j EDGETTE - 31. Jan, 2020 -