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

GoFundMe To Canadian Trucker Donors: “Go Screw You!”

GoFundMe created a justifiable public uproar and backlash when it was caught red-handed in a blatant attempt to outright steal from donors, deceive the public, and betray the community it says it serves.

The felonious GoFundMe corporate doofuses flat out told Canadian Freedom Convoy trucker contributors that coughed up more than $10 million that they were taking their money and giving it to causes they deemed more deserving. These twits actually said that and were intending to do it until massive publicity and threats of prosecution stopped the left-wing corrupt corporate crooks in their tracks.

Fox Business anchor and analyst, Dagen McDowell, Tuesday morning (Feb. 8) labelled GoFundMe management “idiotic”, an understatement based on the company’s recent deceptive actions involving the Canadian truckers. The truckers are protesting forced vaccine mandates being imposed on them at the U.S. Canadian border.

The firm’s well-publicized fraudulent dealings have understandably proven lousy for its business and reputation. Management there should be seeking employment elsewhere, even though their current actions appear to limit their prospects to positions within a criminal enterprise or the inept Biden administration. Maybe Hunter Biden is hiring.

The corporate crooks at GoFundMe, a for-profit company, already pocket a share of donor cash by charging a 2.9% payment-processing fee on each donation, along with 30 cents for every donation.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) summed up GoFundMe’s corporate malfeasance neatly this week when he said: “Look at what GoFundMe did, people gave $10 million to support the Freedom Convoy because they were so proud of the courage of these truck drivers, and the thieves in Silicon Valley decided ‘We don’t like your politics, so A, We will take your money and then B, we’re going to give it to people we like.’”

He continued adding: “Listen, if anyone else did that, that is called theft. And so today I sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking that the FTC open an investigation into GoFundMe, into whether they have committed deceptive trade practices because when people gave money, they gave money under the promise it would go to the Freedom Convoy, not to whatever left-wing political ideology GoFundMe and other Silicon Valley companies support,” he continued. “They are deceiving consumers and it is wrong.”

The company reluctantly relented and said it would refund the money to donors, but the damage has been done.

The fraudulent fiscal fiasco may have put a serious dent in any plans the firm may have had for an IPO and GoFundMe may soon have to create its own GoFundMe page to pay what will probably be its mounting legal bills. After this disgraceful episode its bottom line should start tanking as fleeing donors seek one of the many honest alternative fund-raising sources that will actually give the money they donate to their designated cause.

As of this past Monday Freedom Convoy contributors have flocked to the Christian crowdfunding GiveSendGo platform pouring in more than $5 million for the protesting truckers.

GoFundMe’s flagrant deception and attempted theft also attracted the attention of Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis and his Attorney General Ashely Moody. So far four other states – Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, and West Virginia – have followed Florida’s lead.

Governor DeSantis responded to GoFundMe’s unscrupulous tactics with a tweet, writing: “It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.”

Even billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk chimed in on the public shaming, posting a tweet equating GoFundMe to “professional thieves.”

The backlash has been harsh, loud, and well-deserved.

GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan has reportedly locked his Twitter account, presumably in response to all the negative comments being directed at him in particular.

It’s been reported that as of last Sunday morning, GoFundMe’s latest tweets had a combined 40,000 comments and 11,000 retweets, virtually all of them negative. Some are suggesting that those who contributed to the truckers contact their credit card companies and dispute the charge. If they have already taken money for a service and then refused to provide it couldn’t their merchant account be suspended?

GoFundMe’s corporate dimwits are as empty-headed has as the hollow corporate suits that head up Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines. This past summer their irresponsible actions chased Major League Baseball’s All-Star game out of Atlanta causing that city, where their firms are headquartered, to lose almost $100 million in projected revenue and their two companies to lose customers and heaps of goodwill.

The absurdity and corruption of GoFundMe’s position is summed up by the satirical Babylon Bee headline: “Truckers Loot Nike Stores, Burn Some Cop Cars So GoFundMe Will Reinstate Them.”

***

Overheard At PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden: “Under the Biden administration having a mask, rubber gloves, duct tape and plastic sheeting, in your car’s trunk is perfectly fine.”

***

Equity Is Not The Same As Equality

By Ed Thompson

(This is the third in a series of commentaries by Fernandina Beach resident Ed Thompson.)

Equity has a nice ring to it. It sounds a lot like equality. Many people will mistakenly use the two words interchangeably. Don’t be fooled – within the DEI framework, equity has a much more sinister objective.

The US Declaration of Independence states: We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

That foundational statement of Truth establishes that we are CREATED equal. From that equal creation, we all have God given Rights (NOT government granted rights) to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

What we are NOT granted is an equal outcome.

The focus on Equity is meant to shift the objective to ensure an equal outcome – regardless of any other factors. DEI insists on equality of outcome. It doesn’t matter how hard you’ve worked. It doesn’t matter how long you studied. It doesn’t matter that you were born into a rich family. Likewise, it doesn’t matter that you slept through school and didn’t study. It doesn’t matter that you don’t want to work very hard. It doesn’t matter that you were born in poverty. What does matter when considering Equity is that you get no less than anyone else.

It could be stated this way:

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”

Karl Marx, 1875.

Equity masquerades as an effort to seek equal pay for equal work. Supporters will cite disparities between the rich and the poor, compensation inequities between males and females, between races or ethnicities, or they will cite discrimination against minorities of every stripe. Equity never seeks to account for differences of ability or effort, only on outcome.

You’ll hear calls to reduce or eliminate “inequities.”  Tax codes are used to “level the playing field.”  Calls for “the rich” to pay “their fair share” are incessant. New calls for wealth taxes are increasing. In addition to “Equity,” the political code word for Socialism is “Social Justice.”

Make no mistake: the Equity in DEI is a proxy call for Socialism/Communism, and the destruction of Capitalism. And lest you think corporations are a bulwark against either creeping or galloping Socialism, realize that what we have in growing measure is Corporatism, where government and business cooperate in a mutually beneficial relationship where businesses funnel money to candidates and political parties in exchange for support and protection from free-and-open competition.

(Editor’s note: Ed’s commentary will continue next week with  “Inclusion Requires Exclusion)

Ed Thompson

(Ed Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems at Florida International University in Miami while also competing in men’s basketball. A true student/athlete, he completed his degree Magna Cum Laude. He completed his MBA at the University of North Carolina Greensboro while working in Information Technology at Sara Lee/Hanes Brands. He moved into Supply Chain Management Consulting with Price Waterhouse. Combining his IT and business experience, he helped lead the growth of i2 Technologies to become the leading Supply Chain software company in the early 2000s. In 2008, he founded his own consulting organization. In 2011  joined Logility as the Sr. Vice President of Global Services in 2011  Ed retired in 2020 and he and his wife Yohanna now split their time between homes in Fernandina Beach, Florida and Mijas, Spain.)

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Racial Injustice? No matter how qualified the black female candidate selected by Joe Biden to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat may be, her qualifications and opinions will always be suspect. She has no competition. All other candidates – black and white men, Asian, Hispanic, Native American men, and women, no matter how qualified, have all been blatantly discriminated against by the Biden administration since they will not be considered. Only black women need apply. Not even Harvard University could get away with this kind of flagrant inequity.

***

Sound Familiar? “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day-by-day and minute-by- minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” – George Orwell

***

New Poll: The previous poll on this site asked readers if they were satisfied or dissatisfied with the Biden administration. A whopping 93 percent (132 votes) responded saying they were unhappy with Biden while just 7 percent (10 votes) said they were pleased. This week a new poll asks readers if they are comfortable contributing money through GoFundMe.  The results will be interesting in light of the company’s dubious tactics during the current Canadian truckers protest.

***

Follow The Money: Dr. Gerald Decker, a very smart local resident who until recently served as a member of the Marine Advisory Board, sent a note to the Fernandina Beach City Commissioners asking them to explain how millage-based tax revenue (property tax) has grown by 68% since 2014 while the population has only grown by 10% in that time.

“Inflation (Consumer Price Index) accounts for 12%, leaving  a whopping 56% increase to pay for what?” he asked the apparently mathematically challenged commissioners.

It should also be noted that in two years, the city’s population has grown by just 191 new residents.

Dr. Decker went on to explain that the spending increase has all the earmarks of bloated government endorsed by a series of city commissions more interested in spending tax money than managing it.

It may also be the fact that come budget time City Manager Dale “Big Spender” Martin realizes the majority of commissioners appear as bored as a group of Amish electricians with the budgetary process and that as a result he can ramrod his big spending priorities past their glazed eyes with ease.

“Going forward we need commissioners who pay attention to their responsibility as wards of the public’s money,” explains Dr. Decker.

By the way, Dr. Decker knows more than most about numbers. His doctorate is in mathematics.

The economically astute doctor initiated his questioning asking the commissioners: “Tell me why the current $15.3 million millage revenue is inadequate, even with another pay raise? Just two years ago $12.4 million was enough. Why the $2 million jump….addition of 16 staff (huh?) and $1.8 million increase in Parks/Rec (wow!) and $600,000 more in vehicle purchases (huh again?) and $1.3 million added in public safety (why? Has crime risen or are more fires happening?) and $700K in government services.”

Dr. Decker pointed out that the city government is rife with wasteful spending.

“The personnel turn-over issue is common-place now caused by the pandemic and huge federal stimulus,” he adds. “If city pay scales are wrong, why does this just get noticed? It didn’t happen overnight.”

Solutions are right in front of them the doctor explained. “The $2 million is easy to find, just cut back the increases listed above, and keep millage revenue at this year’s level.”

He also gives the proposed $20 million bond issue a thumbs down. “I will vote ‘No.’ This commission seems too fickle, constantly changing direction, so what will happen if you have this much money to throw around? And a $20 million downtown remodel seems way, way, way too extravagant. No!”

Commissioner Bradley Bean appears to also have a head for numbers and refreshingly seems to be looking after residents’ tax money. Jack Knocke, head of local watchdog group Common Sense asked similar questions and Commissioner Bean responded saying that he’s listening and on board.

Commissioner Bean says he is very supportive of the city changing policies to request that the City Manager present a rollback rate budget FIRST. If the City Manager seeks to add anything else above the rollback rate budget, he needs to present a compelling reason to the city commissioners to vote for it. This is instead of the city manager presenting a full budget and challenging the commissioners to – “find savings in the budget on their own,” says Knocke.

I agree and Mr. Knocke rightfully says we should all be thankful for Commissioner Bean’s service on the City Commission! “I would even suggest that Bradley Bean should run for Mayor in the next cycle so that he can drive the agenda at the meetings and help us simplify, streamline, make friendly and generally get our city government more in line with what the people want,” added Knocke.

Commissioner Bean would be a heck of an improvement over the current mayor, “Marxist” Mike Lednovich, a left-wing, free-spending clueless California transplant. Hopefully he’ll be roundly defeated in the November election if a fiscal conservative files to run against him for that seat.

Can anyone hereabouts explain where Dr. Decker, Commissioner Bean or Jack Knocke are going wrong other than the usual crowd that stick fingers in their ears like children repeatedly shouting “nah, nah, nah” to avoid hearing the facts.

***

Something To Ponder: Why do we often hear people say: “I’m not good at math” but never hear them say: “I’m not good at reading”?

***

Inflation Hitting Home

It was reported Thursday, February 10, that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or inflation hit a 40-year record high of 7.5 percent, the highest since 1982. According to the Wall Street Journal this is costing the average American family $246 more each month.  As I was filling my car at the local Harris Teeter station this week the sticker, pictured below, reminded me who is responsible for these outrageous prices. Despite a generous discount provided by the gas station/grocery store chain for folks with “loyalty cards”, prices are sky high. Stickers such as these are becoming increasingly popular hereabouts as Joe Biden’s approval ratings drop faster than illegals pouring through the southern border.

  • Comment (13)
  • Every so often I am reminded why of all the residential properties (nine) we have bought and sold
    (still own one) since 1999 only one was in the city limits of Fernandina Beach.It’s because of the ever
    changing of the political guard but same old same old how it’s managed.For the life of me don’t see
    how it never seems to get much better.Maybe Mr.Bean will be the one to get it on the right track.

    • I have to say, at least Biden’s policies are equitable – they hurt both Republicans and Democrats. ??

  • ” It is Time for us to do what we have been doing and that time is everyday.” -Kamala Harris

    Her answer to NBC’s Craig Melvin’s question concerning a possible change of direction in the Biden Admin’s platform of change.

    This lady is one blood clot away from the most powerful position in the world. Does anyone believe she is aware that the Yield Curve is about to Inverse? Old Joe is bad enough. But how would a meeting with the Joints Chiefs go concerning military operations? The Nuclear Football? Lord have mercy on our souls. She makes Al ” I invented the Internet” Gore sound like a top MENSA member.

    • These people think the “yield curve” is the batter stepping back from an inside pitch.

      Meanwhile, the inference from that is a recession is on the way.

      Elon Musk said this today: “True national debt, including unfunded entitlements, is at least $60 trillion – roughly three times the size of the entire US economy. Something has got to give,” Is anyone home in DC??

      • Just goes to show, being a billionaire doesn’t equate to being the brightest bulb when it comes to economics. No doubt Musk is just regurgitating something he read or heard somewhere. And whatever source he’s quoting got their information from the government’s 2021 report on the status of Social Security, which stated that the program’s “unfunded obligation through the infinite horizon” in present-day dollars is $59.8 trillion. “Infinite horizon” being the operative phrase. Just to put things in perspective, the same government report that provides the $60 trillion number also gives us, on the same page, the cumulative projected gross domestic product for the U.S. through the infinite horizon. It’s $4,237 trillion. This means, as the report says, that $60 trillion is 1.4 percent of the U.S. GDP during the relevant time frame. IF you really want a reality check, consider that Trump promised during his 2016 campaign that he would eliminate the national debt in eight years. Instead, the national debt increased by a whopping 36% during his 4 years in office. But Trump reportedly has never been any good at math. Anywho, Biden is now President and all eyes are on him post pandemic, whenever that occurs, to do what Trump before him failed to do.

        • Well look at the positives, under Obama the debt rose 100%. So by comparison I guess Trump’s 36% is better?

          BTW, the social security debt is just one portion of the unfunded obligations of the federal government going forth. If point of fact if we keep inflating our currency the 4237 trillion may be understated. What was the projection for the Zimbabwean dollar while that country underwent rampant hyperinflation…oh, it was abolished. I don’t envy what Biden can do on the debt though. Seems the delema to stop inflation is some combination of cutting spending and raising interest rates. Neither is a political winner.

          Alas, Biden is not about doing anything beyond re-imaging what has been a total disaster to date. His party is currently trying to persuade him to take an off ramp from his pandemic approach. Unfortunately, instead he has chosen (diversion?) to put US force behind Ukraine. General Bradley long ago said it best, war there would be the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

          If he is so concerned about borders, why not put the military on our southern one?

          • Dave has opined that the Left responds with hyperbole and hysterics in response to Conservatives. While I agree to an extent, the Republicans do the same. The difference is, Republicans are far better at messaging. I’m a moderate that admittedly comes across as a Leftist, but I only appear so because I’m vehemently opposed to the extremists that have hijacked the Republican Party. But I digress…. To Dave’s point, I’m making a more concerted effort to present facts supported by sources in presenting my points. I encourage you to do the same.

          • So, because the census bureau has no accounting of the extra legal entrants into the US, we are supposed to believe those who entered in that fashion actually provided a response? Interesting that you believe two projections by our government one while denigrating Musk’s economic acumen the other citing a census number that frankly makes no sense.

            Diverting to one comment in my response is a great tactic. I believe we are headed for big financial trouble at this pace. That was the point of my first note. I don’t know or care where the blame is going to lay as both parties have been AWOL on the issue of our growing deficits. Even Parker’s Monopoly Game has a limit on how much money is available. The only thing I do know, is we cannot carry the entire world’s population nor fix every nation’s problems.

          • Why would Biden need to place the military at the southern border? While the number of migrant encounters reached record numbers in 2021 (something Biden has no control over), most were turned back. Asylum seekers do not receive a legal status that allows them to live and work in the U.S. until the claim is approved. The U.S. admitted only 11,411 refugees in fiscal year 2021, the lowest number since Congress passed the 1980 Refugee Act for those fleeing persecution in their home countries. The Census Bureau released population data for 2021 which shows that for the first time since 1937, the U.S. population grew by fewer than one million people, featuring the lowest numeric growth since at least 1900, when the Census Bureau began annual population estimates. Now, if you’re so inclined, research how this is having a serious negative effect on our economy.

  • Dave: I have been an avid reader of your weekly musings since you started them and enjoy them immensely. As the budget discussions start, it behooves me as Chairperson of the FB Golf Course Advisory Board to ask for you and your reader’s support of our “FBGC – a gem of a golf course, that needs some polishing”. The FBGC is a treasure for our citizenry and has near 40,000 rounds of golf play a year. It is a 350 acre preserve. I know you do not play golf, but this is a beautiful amenity for our island and there are many hundreds of supporters of the FBGC. Please keep this in mind as you move forward in your musings. I hope to see you at one of our local Thursday lunches. Thank you. Lee Murray, FBGC Tournament Director/Golf Course Advisory Board Chairperson

  • This November is the time to place two new commissioners on the City Commission. People who will join Commissioner Bradley Bean in protecting the interests of the working people and retirees who live here, by stopping the endless, wasteful spending advocated by Commissioner Ross and City Manager Martin. With the help of Commissioner Sturges, taxpayer’s money will be invested in services that benefit all the people, not just an elite few. Government will once again live within it’s means, not using ever rising taxes to finance hopeless causes.

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