Those of us living on Amelia Island are fortunate. We’re doubly fortunate that Amelia Island is in Florida.
Even before the COVID pandemic Florida was the go-to state for folks escaping the Democrat-run “tax-it-if-it-moves” states of New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, etc. West coast folks fleeing the miseries of California, Washington and Oregon have selected equally open and prosperous Texas as their favored destination.
Florida has always had the weather, nature, and friendly business policies. It is one of only nine states without an income tax. Those appealing features now combine with open schools, beaches, and restaurants, and no-nonsense governor, Ron DeSantis, who takes a sane approach to life, to continue making Florida a destination state despite the virus. The trend is likely to continue long after the pandemic ends.
Governor DeSantis’s rational handling of the pandemic has propelled him into a 2024 presidential candidate position.
Just six years ago Florida became the third most populous state in the country surpassing New York, trailing behind California and Texas. Last year its population growth was the highest in a decade with 387,479 new residents. This year major airlines have added extra flights to handle the large number of people headed this way.
Florida real estate is white hot. Look around your neighborhood. How many “For Sale” signs do you see? There’s only one in our neighborhood and two houses on our street recently sold before the owners could even plop signs in their yards. I’ve even seen California license plates slowly prowling the streets.
While this massive population growth has driven Florida’s economy it comes with some concerns. There’s a danger that all these escapees will bring with them the same bad habits and policies that ruined the places they are fleeing. Let your new neighbors know that while they are enjoying our state’s low-tax, low-regulation, laissez-faire structure, wokeness is not welcome. Remind them they left their over-regulated almost bankrupt, pandemic-shuttered states because of high taxes, closed schools, high crime, street rioting, police defunding, cold weather, nonsensical COVID regulations, and incompetent governance.
Florida’s schools are another reason folks are abandoning their economically sick states for the Sunshine State. According to Burbio, a website that keeps track of such things, Florida and Wyoming standout as having nearly their entire states conducting in-person learning.
It’s not just individuals and families heading our way. Businesses are abandoning New York and are moving here as well reports New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz in a Washington Examiner article last week.
“As a New Yorker it always felt like the center of gravity was in Manhattan,” she wrote. “But with shuttered businesses, no arts, and dysfunctional leadership the center of gravity is shifting to Florida in a very obvious way.”
Financial giants such as Citadel Securities, Elliott Management and Blackstone have made the move while J.P. Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank are considering it. Even the iconic New York Stock Exchange could soon become the Florida Stock Exchange says a Wednesday, February 10 Wall Street Journal opinion editorial by Stacey Cunningham, the president of the NYSE.
Like most states, Florida residents have suffered because of the pandemic, but the sane policies of Governor DeSantis have limited the suffering.
As of January 25, Florida had 118 COVID deaths per 100,000 residents while New York had 218 and its economy is in ruins.
Things are going so well in Florida that it’s driving the Biden administration nuts. According to news reports last night (Thursday, February 11) and Senator Marco Rubio, bureaucrats in the White House are threatening to take action against Florida such as preventing residents from traveling outside of the state. The administration opens our southern border to thousands of possible COVID carrying illegal aliens who will scatter across the country but is considering restricting travel of American citizens? There’s something terribly wrong with this picture folks. Biden isn’t chiding those Democrat-run states like New York , California, New Jersey, etc. that are riddled with COVID and in economic ruin but a successful Republican-run state where people are leading a near-normal life. They also want to tax us to bail out those failed dysfunctional states many of your neighbors fled. Senator Rubio promises to fight the feds and I’m sure Senator Rick Scott will as well.
“Any attempt to restrict or lockdown Florida by the federal government would be an attack on our state, done purely for political purposes,” Gov. DeSantis said in Port Charlotte Thursday morning, February 11 during a speech aimed at the Biden administration. The Governor added that “if anyone tries to harm Floridians or target us, we will respond very swiftly.”
Thank You Governor DeSantis: Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis Fernandina Beach’s economy has been saved from the municipal madness of the Beavis and Butthead duo of City Manager Dale Martin and self-appointed city spokesperson, Commissioner Chip Ross.
Governor DeSantis used executive power to prevent dysfunctional local governments like Fernandina’s from implementing unreasonable lockdowns. A September order that DeSantis renewed in November, says that: “Floridians should not be prohibited by local governments from working or operating a business” and that “restaurants, including any establishment with a food service license, may not be limited by a COVID-19 emergency order by any local government to less than 50 percent of their indoor capacity.”
Unlike New York and California, which have forced many businesses into bankruptcy, DeSantis has been cautious and diligent. It was almost like he was speaking directly to Martin and Ross when he said: “We will categorically not allow any local government to lock people down. We will not let any local government kick anybody out of their job. We will not let any local government fine individual Floridians. We will not let any local government shut down schools.”
As a result, life in Florida is good thanks to Governor DeSantis and much to the chagrin of the local Beavis and Butthead pair and the Biden White House.
Ooops! Last week I wrote that Ted Williams, the best hitter in the history of baseball in my opinion, never played in a World Series. My Tampa Plant High School classmate and American Spectator writer, Larry Thornberry, corrected me. Williams never played on a championship team Larry told me, but he did play in the 1946 World Series that the Red Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. In his email Larry pointed out that Williams was largely ineffective in that series hitting just .200 in 25 at bats. Another baseball great, the Cardinals’ Stan Musial, made the last of his four World Series appearances in ’46, also without much of an impression, hitting just .222.
Student Loan Question: If, as the Democrats say, student loans are burdensome and must be forgiven, then why don’t they pass legislation to prevent the the federal government from providing them?
Liberal Indigestion: Last Friday I related how the local “We the People” organization was told by a trio of restaurants that it was not welcome to meet at their facilities.
One of the eateries outright told the group’s founder, Deb Boelkes, that they didn’t want their restaurant associated with the conservative group’s meetings. Another jacked up their prices prohibitively and required a list of names and addresses of those who might attend. Management of the third, a popular northside site, told me they would welcome the group, and that any misunderstanding was due to their events coordinator being sidelined with COVID the past couple of weeks.
A number of people have requested the names of the other two. I haven’t provided them because I don’t feel comfortable being responsible for financially harming anyone’s business. I personally will not frequent these businesses and cancelled my Valentine’ Day reservation for four at one of them. I am now eagerly looking forward to dining with Linda and a group of our friends at Espana on South 4th Street this Sunday.
We the People’s next meeting is at at the South 3rd Street Florida House from 5-7 pm, Monday March 1, and features guest speaker Laura DiBella, Nassau County’s former Economic Development Director who now serves as executive director of the Florida Harbor pilots Association. To attend contact Deb at deb.boelkes@BWEising.com or 904/310-9602. Congressman John Rutherford is tentatively scheduled to speak to the group April 5 at Shuckers, 5-7 pm.
Stupid & Cowardly: We have two political parties governing America — one brainless and the other spineless.
Dumb & Dumber Department: Whenever I see or hear Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders I invariably think to myself: “Is that the best that Vermont has to offer – a babbling old fool, who until he was elected mayor of Burlington at 40-years-old, was a part time carpenter and before that was kicked out of a commune because he wouldn’t do his share of the work?”
Somehow he gets elected as a socialist to the US Senate from Vermont and now has a tax payer-paid staff of like-minded nitwits and union lobbyists telling him what to think and say that write the tripe he spouts.
What are they putting in that maple syrup up there?
However, addled ‘ole Bernie isn’t the dumbest senator in that chamber. Hawaii’s Senator Maize Hirono, who needs a map to find the restroom, ranks as the dimmest bulb seated there.
During the Amy Comey Barrett hearing she said the term “sexual preference” is a slur. If this pinhead’s IQ ever reaches 75 she should sell.
Speaking Of Dim Socialists: Bernie Sanders was never hesitant to run for the Democrat party nomination as an admitted socialist with hairbrained ideas such as guaranteed income, free college, free housing, banning fossil fuels, college loan forgiveness, recognition of dozens of genders for sexually befuddled folks, and free ponies.
Crazy ‘ole Bernie’s socialist tag made the Dems nervous because they thought the American public wouldn’t buy into it in the general election. So, they shoved Bernie aside and went with Joe Biden, who said he was a centrist. He lied and won because he lied.
Biden’s governing like Bernie would have. Everything that Bernie promised Biden is trying to deliver. Bernie won the argument but not the nomination.
The Wall Street Journal’s Andy Kessler wrote this past Monday that Sanders, “An avowed socialist, mittens and all, is now chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, in whose hands merit will burn while mediocrity flourishes.”
A Sappy Local Socialist: Ron “Get Off My Lawn You Little Bastards” Sapp, a former Fernandina Beach High School indoctrinator and News Leader columnist, penned an astonishing piece Wednesday, February 10, headlined: “Socialism isn’t a dirty word or a bad thing.”
It wasn’t a spoof. He meant it.
The headline accurately describes Sapp’s pathetic argument advocating socialism. However, he skipped over socialism’s historic and colossal failures such as The Cultural Revolution, collective farming, gun confiscation, wealth redistribution, property confiscation, state ownership of the means of production, communal living, nationalization of industrial assets, centralized planning, the USSR (The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Nazism (The National Socialist Party), etc.
He conveniently failed to mention socialism’s most notorious advocates and implementers such as Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Nicolas Maduro, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, and Pol Pot, among others. He plugged only the failed socialistic programs of Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Barack Obama, and those being proposed by Joe Biden.
He neglected to mention that the main difference between capitalism and socialism is this: capitalism works.
Sapp’s pitiful defense of socialism publicly displays his moral and intellectual bankruptcy. In the last sentence of his irrational diatribe, he admits who he is and what he stands for saying: “If you want to label me a socialist, that’s OK, I’ll be in great company.”
Amelia Island parents with high school aged children or grandchildren should breathe a sigh of relief that this slavering admitted socialist is no longer polluting the impressionable minds of their kids.
The X Files: I’ll never understand the left. Their words and actions to me are incomprehensible. They may as well be speaking in tongues as far as I am concerned.
I agree with educator, columnist, and radio commentator, Dennis Prager, who says: “The left destroys everything it touches.”
Why else would these people attempt to destroy the most successful, prosperous, democratic, and diverse country the world has ever witnessed?
These are people that believe that there are more than two genders, that men can have babies, and that women athletes should be compelled to compete with biological men?
How can a group that insists on diversity demand all-black dormitories in colleges? How can a sane society whose major cities are awash in black-on-black crime demand those violent community’s police departments be defunded?
Why do they think an incompetent, low IQ, albino, dwarf, cross-dressing, Latino deserves a job or admission to a university before a highly qualified white or Asian heterosexual male?
Why do they tell me my granddaughters must share restrooms and locker rooms with guys who say they are gals?
They say that white people are stupid, racist, and oppressive; that the US is racist and unfair with police murdering blacks helter-skelter. But not one of them have headed for the exits for those worker’s paradises awaiting them in China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, Somalia, Venezuela, North Korea, etc. Why not?
If , as they claim, this country is so awful, why are people, many of them black, from those countries risking their lives to come here? Where are the long lines of American leftists in front of the Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Venezuelan, and Iranian embassies in Washington DC waiting to get visas to move there?
These angry leftists proclaim terrorist groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter are agents for good and campaign to have schools named after Abraham Lincoln changed and his statues pulled down because they say: “Black lives really never mattered to Lincoln.”
The left believes that American citizens are more dangerous than foreigners – including murderous gang members, drug smugglers and sex traffickers – who have no stake in America, who don’t pay our taxes, speak our language, or respect our sovereignty?
That’s why they stopped construction on the southern border wall, dictated that ICE release detainees including hardened criminals, and imposed a 100-day moratorium on deportations.
The open border policies of the left are destroying businesses and communities along the Texas and Arizona borders that are forced to educate, provide medical care, and house the 3,000 illegals a day that are pouring across the border and released into society since Biden took office. And they are headed our way. These caravans of Central Americans headed to our southern border are not vetted or tested for COVID and are housed in hotels at tax payer expense. How’s that work for “Building America Better?”
The left wants to police the flow of ideas and speech by creating an information Regulatory Agency run by a “reality czar”, in essence a “Ministry of Truth.”
Heading the list of far-left whack jobs are the academic institutions that tout free speech but violently chase those that disagree with them off campus.
As George Orwell pointed out, “There are ideas so stupid that only an intellectual would believe them.”
Is It A Strain Of COVID? I hear the term “systemic racism” spouted repeatedly by those on the left, but nobody ever explains what it is. So what the hell is it?
Monday Morning Quarterbacking: While watching the Super Bowl at Main Beach’s Sandbar & Kitchen with a group of friends Sunday I almost choked on my beer when I saw a message during a commercial break that said: “The NFL will donate $250 million to combat systemic racism in America.”
The message that should have been on that TV screen was the one on Twitter last week from recently elected black Utah Republican Congressman and former NFL star, Burgess Owens, saying: “40 years ago I played the biggest game of my life. I remember like most players then, seeing the flag and often getting teary-eyed. We knew we were blessed. This #SuperBowl I encourage the @Buccaneers and @Chiefs when they see the flag ponder the blessings that brought you here.”
On his first day as US Congressman Owens made his patriotic feelings known saying when he was an NFL football player, he would get teary eyed standing for the flag while singing the national anthem. “Now we have guys making $50 million today who will not stand for the flag because they’ve been taught by their adults not to love our nation.”
Congressman Owens, who played 10 years for the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, also said: “No, my friends, there is no systemic racism in America. Just systemic Marxist elitism – an EVIL that uses, abuses and discards anyone for POWER.”
He was a member of the Oakland Raiders 1980 Super Bowl championship team that defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10.
ZZZZZZZ: When Joe Biden gives a speech the question I always ask myself is: “Who’ll doze off first – me or Joe Biden?”
For Sale: The following post on a university message board indicates that maybe not all academics have been fatally infected with leftist lunacy: “I’m selling my White Privilege Card. It’s over 65 years old but is in mint condition. It has never been used. Reason for selling it is that it hasn’t done a damn thing for me. No free college, no free food, no free housing, no job preference, etc. Prefer cash but would be willing to do an even trade for a Race Card, which seems far more widely accepted. Interested? Contact me on my non-Obama cell phone that I pay for every month. Serious buyers only!”
Things I wish I’d Said: “It’s not that I’m afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” – Woody Allen.
Scary Stuff: One night, a father overheard his little son saying his prayers. “God bless Mommy, Daddy and Grammy. Goodbye, Grampa.” The father thought that was odd.
It was odder still the next day when Grampa died.
About a month later, the father once again overheard his son’s prayers: “God bless Mommy and Daddy. Goodbye, Grammy.”
The next day, they got news that Grammy had gone to join Grampa.
The father began to worry but had no idea what to do about these spooky premonitions.
Two weeks later, the father heard his son say “God bless Mommy. Goodbye, Daddy.”
That almost gave the father a heart attack.
The next day, the father went to the office, expecting to be struck dead at his desk. At 5:30, he called home and told his wife he had to work late.
He sat at his desk, sweating it out until midnight. He was still alive!
He finally felt it was safe to go home. As he crawled into bed with his wife, he apologized for being so late. “I’m sorry, honey, I had a really bad day.”
“You think you had a bad day?! The mailman dropped dead on our porch this morning!”
I am reminded of what Reagan said: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help. ”
Bravo to you Dave for an excellent blog. You saved me the trouble of rebutting Ron Sapp’s Socialist diatribe. My in-laws escaped Cuba in 1961, never took a hand-out, worked their butts off, and became quite successful. My father-in-law was a true American and in 2019 was buried with American flags in each hand across his chest.
Keep up the good work.
Dave it is clear that many of your readers would like to see the restaurants named. You say you are reluctant to do so as you do not wish to cause any financial harm to them. A noble thought for sure. However I further suggest that such gestures from our side to the other side is seldom seen as a sign of co-operation but as capitulation. I think you should ID the establishments and with a very clear thought in your own mind and any others who may blame you for doing so. Any harm inflicted on their business is clearly self inflicted and they alone are responsible for their actions.
My nemesis Mr.Langshaw is at it once
more.The governor has come to the
rescue of the great state of Florida this
week when our president Biden decreed
he may restrict inter-state travel from
states outside Florida. Another in a long
line of restrictive measures he has
announced since taking office.This is
about the all-out fleeing of New York
and California citizens from oppressive
state governments.Mr.Langshaw you
should be glad to have a governor like
Desantis that has done an outstanding
job in providing superb planning on giving excellent pandemic vaccinations
to the people.Your left wing folks are not
up to the task ie Cuomo of NY and the
dude from California. The roads to these
states are wide open so have a nice trip.
…And the hypocrites keep on “hypocriting”. I love it how Conservatives/Republicans hate Big Government, and support states’ and local rights, and think things are better at the local level, only to turn about and spew out the other side of their foaming mouths, that its great that the Governor can “KEEP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FROM SCREWING THINGS UP”, and then to double down on the hypocrisy, DeSatin whines “Any attempt to restrict or lockdown Florida by the Federal government would be an attack on our state, done purely for political purposes,” Jeez, which way does he want it??? No big brother influence by the Feds, but (about face!) its ok that he can be the Big Brother over counties and cities in the state. I wish the hell someone form the Right Wing would actually pick a point of view and stick with it, as opposed to flip-flopping at each change of topic. Talk about doing things for “purely political purposes”. DeSantis is a perfect specimen and another Useless Hypocrite.
coleman – DeSantis is not double talking. He is allowed to govern the whole state, (eg, state-wide rules on covid) including prohibiting local FL governments from oppressing citizens and business owners. Preventing oppression IS less government. How do you not get that? Biden on the other hand, does NOT have the power – per the Constitution (read it) – to single out ANY state or class or people and impose random stripping of freedom. But Biden/Democrats are determined to do this to anyone who dares not drink their kool-aid. DeSantis should do more and prohibit any newcomer from WA, CA or NY from gaining residence in FL unless they are registered Republicans, or can pass a course where they learn that their woke voting, destroyed their states. Relocating Dems will ruin all the Red ‘good’ states like a plague. Hypocrite is the definition of Democrat.
There is an old saying by long time Floridians, the more South one travels in Florida the more North you are.” Seems that more are getting off the first two exits on I-95 and now are deciding to call Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island home. Just look at the license plates.
The “safety” of schools returning to in-classroom teaching is factually shown by the extremely low COVID rate being experienced in private schools that follow the standard precautions. I have the greatest respect for educators, but the teacher’s unions “protecting” their members by refusing to support a return to the classrooms clearly demonstrates they don’t have the student’s interest as a priority.
Link(s) please? Also, are you suggesting that it’s a teacher’s responsibility to place their students’ interests over their own health?
Absolutely I am. If a teacher isn’t willing to accept that risk, let them find another profession that provides the level of risk at which they are comfortable. As to links, the recent CDC urging of the reopening of schools should suffice:
I was referring to your mention of private schools when I asked for a reference. I read the article in your link. Not once was the word “private” mentioned. Or any other term used to describe schools not “public”.
Excellent comments by you, Dave, and by readers. It is imperative that we use the time ahead to defend loudly and strongly to make our objections to socialism and communism known to all everywhere. Challenge anyone who speaks in favor of either with a simple question/request for their definition of the words “socialism and communism”. I met a man at the Saturday market in Fernandina who was handing out campaign material for a female who was running for office here. I said to him that I believed her to be a socialist. His response was, “Well, if she is, I GUESS I am one, too”. Didn’t know or care ! Learn, teach.
Thanks Dave for a great and informative blog. So true. I’m very concerned about how our youth is being brainwashed in the public schools.
Please email me the names of the restaurants also.
Ron Sapp’s recent News Leader op-ed is evidence of his lack of critical thinking compounded by a nearsighted disregard of geo-political history. Socialism presents itself as the moral ideology with socialists avoiding any discussion of its history of death spiral accomplishments. The big question is why Sapp felt compelled to “out” himself now as a Socialist. Will his future News Leader submissions include a revised byline that reads, “Ron Sapp, Socialist”?
THERE IS A REASON THAT THE DEMOCRATS MASCOT IS A JACKASS !!!!
in south carolina i have never seen so many license plates from california, illinois and new york. i really don’t want them to move here, but what can we do?
Dave – you should carve out your opening salvo as a stand-alone oped. Very well done.
Every time I sit down at a restaurant or a local bar, I say, God bless Ron DeSantis!
Great post, Dave!
Please send me a personal email to let me know which Lefty restaurants are practicing political segregation. I’d hate to think I was unknowingly supporting such un-American behavior.
We are barely into this insanity.
I shudder to think of what the country will look like until 2022 and “We the People” can
begin to take some of it back.
I just hope there’s time.
Thanks for a great column Dave!
Nice going Dave. All inclusive posting about how things are going in the US. This is like traveling down the highway in the fog only to note as you come out of a cloud there is a wreck right in front of you and it is too close to avoid.
You said there were not any lefties who wanted to leave for countries like Cuba. Actually I can think of one who did: JoAnne Chesimard. Now going by the moniker Assata Shakur, she resides in Cuba. Her history was she escaped from imprisonment for assassinating a NJ State Policeman.
The bigger point to make here is revisionist history avoids mentioning the evil past of people like her while raising them up for adoration. The NYC School System for instance uses some of her quotes as examples for promoting anti racism. I have to wonder why because if they were truly trying to promote a non controversial acceptable example why not quote ML King or if looking for someone of black heritage to show black involvement in the nations establishing how about Cripis Attucks. No, they use a leader of the BLM, a murderous gang of robbers and terrorists. I guess I don’t have to wonder why a number of our youth are seen wearing T shirts with the image of Che Guevara. Could it be the socialist marxists indoctrinating our young portray him as a wonderful cuddly person rather than a blood thirsty terrorist? You be the judge.
A damn good and informative blog this week Dave. I can understand why all those folks from the northeast are heading at breakneck speed to Florida, but think they should be de-programmed before being allowed in.
Thank you Dave.
I rarely comment on anything I read, I usually prefer to keep my thoughts to myself, but I have to comment on the continued dismissal of “white privilege” and the total misunderstanding of the term, in my humble opinion. Let me first state that I am a white woman. Like most women I have had my share of troubles, no one has ever given me a handout nor have I asked for one. This is not the point. I do not attempt to represent myself as an expert; however based on what I have read, one aspect of “White Privilege” is about how many, if not most, black Americans have not enjoyed the same access to the American dream as white Americans. To further educate yourself on this I suggest reading the following article https://www.history.com/news/gi-bill-black-wwii-veterans-benefits. Racial issues in our country are complex but I do believe that “White Privilege” is often misunderstood and we would all benefit from a little education.
Dave – if anyone provides an intelligible definition of “systemic racism”, please post for us.
Evidently the NFL has quantified the cost to end racism at $250 million … sort of like Bill Gates and other billionaire elites promising to give away their money to fix social justice but few ever do. Maybe the NFL can tell us where they’re spending the money ?
C’mon man ….
Please email me the names of the restaurants involved. I want to be sure and avoid them. Thanks
I almost never agree with anything, much less everything said by an independent poster. However, you expressed my feelings completely. Thank you.