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

Florida’s Most Laughable, Bungling Groups: The Democrat Party & Jacksonville’s Jaguars

Other than the Democrats in Palm Beach and Broward Counties is there an organization in Florida that is more dismal, inept, disreputable or ridiculous than the miserable Jacksonville Jaguars football team that last Sunday lost its seventh consecutive game to the NFL’s lowest scoring lineup?

This bungling Jaguars hit a new low worthy of disgraced Broward County election official Brenda Snipes and her staff when  — during its 24-21 loss to the lowly Buffalo Bills — running back Leonard Fournette came off the bench to demonstrate his offensive skills by throwing punches at an opposing player and was ejected from that game and the next one this Sunday. If the disgraced Ms. Snipes hadn’t retired from ballot-box-stuffing this year, she most certainly would have been taking notes.

The Jaguars guaranteed whatever fans they have left another non-winning season with their pitiful loss to the league’s worst scoring team with 90-yards of penalties, bad coaching calls, a quarterback who looked as jittery as an alligator in a purse factory, and the stupid juvenile behavior of Mr. Fournette.

This week’s Jaguars practice.

This dreadful football team has five games remaining in its schedule and from what fans have experienced so far there’s nothing much to look forward to other than watching to see if backup quarterback Cody Kessler can stay upright and uninjured behind an offensive line that saw Bortles sacked three times last Sunday. A demoralized and unimpressive Jaguar team faces a tough remaining schedule with the Colts of Indianapolis in their Indiana home next, then Tennessee’s Titans in Nashville, the Redskins of Washington in JAX, Miami’s Dolphins in south Florida, and the one-man football team of fierce linebacker J.J. Watt and his Houston Texans, which should delight Texas fans in Houston, to close out the team’s predicted three-maybe-four-win season.

The customary Florida Times-Union‘s overblown Monday coverage of this dreadful team even had its sports columnist, Gene Frenette, comparing the squad to a “dumpster-fire.” However, it looks more like the entire landfill is ablaze. The team is now tied for the fifth-worst NFL record along with New York’s Jets and Giants. Only Oakland and San Francisco at 2-9 are worse.

A possible Fournette solution.

The only thing left to look forward to  is who will be in the team’s management and coaching ranks next year. If I was owner Shad Kahn I’d have executive Tom Coughlin, president Mark Lamping, general manager Dave Caldwell, and coach Doug Marrone, and his staff all seeking employment opportunities elsewhere. The offensive coordinator,  Nate Hackett, was fired Monday. Quarterback Blake Bortles is now on the bench and should end up next year on another NFL bench as a 2nd or 3rd string backup. Also during each game next year someone should put a bucket of cold water on the sidelines to toss on Fournette the second things begin to heat up on the field. Possibly the only person with secure employment is Tony Kahn, the owner’s son, whose job is to repeatedly whisper in the ears of those sitting in pop’s luxury suite during games: “Oh boy! Daddy’s not gonna like this.”

A reader of the Times-Union fittingly said about the Jaguars in a Monday morning comment after Sunday’s fiasco: “After today’s performance it would be appropriate to show up next game in a clown car.”

Speaking of clown cars, Florida Democrats finally conceded in both the race for the US Senate and governor, but not before the state asked federal authorities to investigate possible election fraud conducted by the party.

The U.S. Department of Justice declined, but the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Office of Statewide Prosecution says it has opened a criminal investigation into the allegation as evidence reported to the Department of State suggests a possible effort by Democrats to have voters fix ballots after the state’s deadline in at least four counties.

The Florida Democratic Party says it’s hired its own independent investigator to look into the case. I’m sure that their Inspector Clouseau will conduct a thorough examination.

Despite Florida’s voting miseries Nassau County came out smelling like a rose with its efficient Supervisor of Elections, Vicki Cannon, completing the mandatory recount without a flaw and ahead of time.

Vicki Cannon

Even though she runs a professional and well-organized function Ms. Cannon takes none of the credit, instead praising her staff and group of election worker volunteers. My wife, Linda, is one of those and proudly showed me a letter she received from Ms. Cannon  in which Ms. Cannon thanked them for the quality of their work, attentiveness and more. In addition she asked them for their ideas on improving an already smooth running operation. We are fortunate to have dedicated and effectual public servants such as Vicki Cannon and will miss her greatly when she retires.


More Reasons Not To Visit Jacksonville: Even though the 2018 “Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report”, released Tuesday in Tallahassee, reports that crime across the state is falling, Duval County is looking at increases in the most serious crimes such as murders, rapes, larcenies, aggravated assaults and auto theft. The only crimes that experienced a decrease in the Jacksonville area were robberies (seven less than at this time last year) and burglaries (385 less than the comparable time last year). At this rate it appears that Jacksonville will continue to rank number one in the state in homicides. How do the tourist and chamber of commerce organizations handle this?


Something I Just Learned: There were no potatoes at the first Thanksgiving, in fact there were no potatoes at the first 100 such feasts as potatoes weren’t grown in the United States until 1719. And fried potatoes were unknown in the US until 1803 when Thomas Jefferson introduced them  at a White House dinner in 1802, having earlier enjoyed “pommes frites” in France, when he served as Ambassador to that country. So, if it hadn’t of been for President Jefferson employees of American fast food joints would be asking their customers: “Do you want a pumpkin with that?”    


A Binghamton, NY “hot pie.”

Sad News & Happy Memories: Sadly, I just learned from Amelia Island resident, good friend, and native of Binghamton, NY, Bruce Smyk, that an old friend, Dick Roach (79), passed away in that upstate town recently. Some 50 years ago when I joined the Gannett-owned Binghamton Sunday & Evening Press as a reporter, Dick had just opened his Ale House bar and it was during our first meeting that I learned what “hot pie” meant in those parts. On my initial visit I ordered a draft beer and Dick asked: “Do you want hot pie with that?” I thought, how strange that these people eat pie with beer. I declined but he insisted asking: “Are you sure? It’s free.” Curious, I asked him what kind of pie it was. Frustrated, he emphatically declared: “IT’S HOT PIE!” and slapped down  a pan of square cut pizza on the bar. “OH!” I said. “You mean pizza. Sure” During my time in that wretchedly cold part of the country Dick and I became good friends, playing cards, betting on horses, and drinking together. I wrote a full page Sunday feature about his basketball officiating father, Paul, and every Friday thereafter  Dick’s mother, Rose, would have a plate of  halupki waiting for me to pick up at the Ale House. Of Polish origin, halupki is a meat mixture such as ground beef, mixed with rice, onions, and spices that is then rolled in a cooked cabbage leaf. It’s topped with a tomato sauce and baked. I haven’t had one since I left Binghamton many years ago. Dick also introduced me to another Binghamton specialty –Speedies — but that’s a story and recipe for a later column as is his Ale House bar, which didn’t have a kitchen but always had a line of folks waiting to eat lunch there.


Funny Stuff Department: The Onion, an online parody, had one of the funniest headlines I’ve seen in a long time: “Depressed Mueller Wonders What It Is About Him That Makes Everyone Lie To Him?”


Taxation Without Representation: Alert reader Vince Cavallo reminded me that Fernandina Beach City Commissioner Chip Ross recently suggested a county tax on those Amelia Island and other county residents living in the unincorporated areas outside the jurisdiction of the Fernandina Beach municipality to fund beach related expenses.  Commissioner Ross recommended asking the county to create a special taxing district for the entirety of unincorporated Nassau County and to exclude the City of Fernandina Beach from collections. He said he wants to spread this out over the entire county but didn’t explain how the idea will sit with county taxpayers, who received a 25 percent property tax increase Oct. 1. Mr. Cavallo asks if  Commissioner Ross may have read about some early American colonists that resisted taxation without representation?


They’re Not Drooling Lady, They’re Laughing: The newly elected Socialist Democrat NY Congresswoman and not very bright, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, lashed out best she could at Republicans for criticizing her latest misstep, saying they need to stop “drooling” over every word that comes out of her mouth.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez , who appears very confused about many things including the structure of the government she was just elected to serve, made this Gracie Allen-like comment  last Saturday in a call with Justice Democrats, a progressive political action committee:  “If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress — uh, rather, all three chambers of government: the presidency, the Senate, and the House.”

“Maybe instead of Republicans drooling over every minute of footage of me in slow-mo, waiting to chop up word slips that I correct in real-tomd (sic), they actually step up enough to make the argument they want to make: that they don’t believe people deserve a right to healthcare,” she tweeted in response to a Republican state lawmaker wondering if the Democratic Socialist could explain a “chamber of government.” The three branches of government are executive, legislative and judicial.

This is the same woman who said the reason unemployment is so low is because “everybody has two jobs.”

It must be a stand-up act because nobody is this stupid.

And this one-person comedy act was just getting warmed up. Fresh off her congressional win in New York she chimed in on the illegal alien invasion from Central America tweeting: “We have nothing to fear from these individuals who are simply seeking asylum.” She added: “Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime. It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany. It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda. It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria. And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) disagrees with this dim bulb and said so: “The migrant caravan approaching the U.S. border and Nazi Germany don’t compare,” he told her in a tweet on Monday. To witness real suffering, he invited Ocasio-Cortez to pay a visit to the D.C. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Said Senator Graham: “I recommend she take a tour of the Holocaust Museum in DC. Might help her better understand the differences between the Holocaust and the caravan in Tijuana.

Even NBC News’ Gadi Schwartz reported that the majority of the migrant caravan invasion that is headed to the United States southern border is composed of men who are not seeking asylum, which flies in the face of the narrative that some in the media are attempting to paint that the caravan consists of mainly women and children.

“This is the inner sanctum of the shelter, so you’re going to see a lot of families here, a lot of women and children. But the truth is the majority of the people that are part of this caravan…are men,” Schwartz said while reporting live from a camp that members of the caravan set up in Tijuana, Mexico.

“From what we’ve seen, the majority are actually men, and some of these men have not articulated that need for asylum. Instead they have talked about going to the United States for a better life and to find work,” Schwartz reported.

If the people in Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s district wanted a few laughs then they got what they voted for, because this women may be the dumbest person elected to office anywhere in the United States ever.


Liberal Logic: William F. Buckley said: “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other points of view, and are then shocked and offended when they discover there are other points of view.”


Wordy Nonsense: “The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn’t work. But those who live by words will always have a soft spot in their hearts for socialism because it sounds so good.” – Thomas Sowell via Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

  • Comment (9)
  • 1. I cannot believe everyone in the country didn’t call pizza “hot pies” back then. We sure did.
    2. My Ukranian grandmother taught my daughters how to make halupki. If they make some on their Xmas visit here, I save you some.
    3. Spiedie (not “speedie”) marinade is sold at Harris-Teeter and Publix last I knew. Also. there are a ton of recipes (no two alike) for them on-line, through Google. They’re great with lamb, pork, chicken (probably the most popular), venison and just about any other meat that be cubed and served on a slice of good Italian bread, which you can’t find around here.
    4. I read that one of the first things said by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was that she couldn’t wait to get to Washington to “start signing bills”.

  • Ocasio-Cortez is a dimwit for sure, but I’m not sure her lack of knowledge surpasses the representative from Georgia, who expressed his worry that if we put any more military on Guam, the small island might just tip over!

  • Dave, as clarification, Chip Ross’s suggestion to create a Municipal Services Tax Unit (MSTU) for Nassau County property owners outside the city limits of FB in order to share the costs of beach operations and maintenance acknowledged that the MSTU could only be created by the county commissioners so the claim of “taxation without representation” doesn’t hold water. Given the huge tax increase county residents are facing due to the county’s longstanding non-actions regarding the budget, plus the additional gas tax going into effect Jan. 1, I am sure Chip realized that the chances of the county approving such an additional tax were virtually non-existent. But it raises the question of should city residents continue to pay the lion’s share of ongoing beach operational costs as well as the capital costs for rebuilding many of the dune crossovers.

  • Suggestion about the tax rip-off going on on Amelia Ialand:
    Ge the Hell out of that liberal dominated cess pool and move to the Florida panhandle where you don’t have all these problems and taxes almost never go up. Plus, the panhandle is a lot more beautiful.

  • When I moved here 20 years ago, Fernandina Beach city limits were mostly on the north end of the island, except for a very conspicuous strip of land (4 blocks wide x 5 miles long) along the Atlantic. When I asked several real estate agents what gives, they invariably told me that FB was sucking up the high value real estate in order to enhance their tax base. I’m sure that the City had other explanations, but that’s the answer I often received.

    1- Maybe the City could use some of that beachfront tax money to actually enhance the beaches.

    2- Maybe the City could give/sell/trade some of their beach access properties to the County (or the State) in return for financial aid.

    3- The truth is that we ALL pay taxes for public services that only some of us want, need or use. Everyone pays school taxes whether our children attend local schools or not. The Fernandina Library (remember when County residents paid $5 for a City Library card?) is available for everyone to use free of charge. City and County boat ramps (and parking) are available free of charge. What’s so different about the beaches? I’ll be glad to pay for beach parking if you’ll cancel my school taxes. Anyone want to trade?

  • Your analysis of Jacksonville’s woeful NFL entry is sound, Dave. Considering the team’s recent performance, it may be time for a name change. There are only so many vicious animals available to deploy as sports teams mascots. So why waste the stately and ferocious jaguar on a bunch of guys who can’t get our of their own way? (I didn’t see it myself, but I’m reliably told that the entire team recently appeared on “What’s My Line?” in uniform and no one could guess what they do.) Under the current circumstances, and until significant improvements can be made, perhaps the Jacksonville Pussycats would be closer to the mark.

  • FYI. Dave in the mid-60’s was a columnist for the Tampa Tribune covering the inaugural seasons of the Miami Dolphins training on/in a sandspur infested patch of turf across from The Happy Dolphin Inn on St. Pete Beach. I remember his columns of days gone by. Surely Dave has some stories he can and/or cannot share? I grew up on that very beach…

  • Dave L, I appreciate your insight into Ross’s thinking regarding the MSTU. I am sure the county will consider it in a similar fashion as they took the imposition of the 25% water and sewer surcharge the city pushed onto those in the unincorporated county who were unfortunate to have come along with the utility when the City decided to purchase it. The county told the city to not do that but the city thumbed its nose citing an ambiguous law which it believed covered the situation without regard to the fact the rates were set by the PUC when the utility was privately owned. So, in my view, those in the unincorporated area are already paying money into the city coffers for the unfortunate pleasure of being on the same island. If the City decides to build or care for dune cross overs protecting property within its borders, so be it, just don’t make me pay for it. I feel I am paying my share and don’t wish to get taken advantage of. If they wish to opt for parking meters, badges, stickers or license plate lotto to pay for beach parking, so be it.

  • Let’s not forget that the Beach and Historic Distric are the crown jewels of Fernandina Beach. They should be protected and preserved by The City and its Residents accordingly.


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