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

I’m Sorry! Except, I’m Really Not

When I was kid I led some pals of mine through a neighborhood yard trampling freshly planted flowers into mush, an incident that incited the neighbor to call my mother and complain.

My widowed working mother — a no-nonsense disciplinarian with little time or patience for stupidity or lame excuses — quickly extracted a confession and perp marched me down to the neighboring lady’s house to express my apology for wrecking her garden. I was also put on a work release program to repair the damage. The neighbor was always friendly to me after that, even sending over homemade jellies and jams, something she’d never done previously.

I remember being embarrassed by having to apologize directly to the lady and ashamed of my actions. The apology made me rethink any future stupidity and the resulting consequences. I also discovered that she was a very nice lady and I felt really bad for messing up her flower bed.

In news reports I’ve read recently apologies these days don’t seem to have any consequences or are insincere and directed at people not even involved in the incident for which the person is apologizing.

For example, a year or less ago a drunken Detroit Tigers outfielder, Delmon Young, was arrested following a fight where he yelled anti-Semitic slurs while whaling away on a guy. He later apologized to his teammates, the team owners, the entire Tigers organization, his family and Tigers fans. He left out the people called f—–g Jews and the fellow he was beating up. Apparently he wasn’t sorry for pummeling the guy while shouting ethnic slurs at him, just sorry he got caught.

Many of us recall alleged comedian Kathy Griffin’s repulsive attempt at humor when she appeared with a replica of the severed head of President Trump. Her disgusting performance – which put a whole new blush on bad taste — created an understandable backlash. She apologized saying: “I’m a comic. I crossed the line. I moved the line and then I crossed the line. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people; it wasn’t funny.”  A few months later she decided she wasn’t sorry after all and took the apology back: “I’m no longer sorry,” she told the BBC. No wonder this unfunny little weasel’s career crashed and burned.

One of my all-time favorite non apologies is the one from disgraced Hollywood cretin Harvey Weinstein, a man who looks like a wad of chewed bubblegum rolled in hair. Apologizing for numerous unlawful and disgusting sexual acts with women, he blamed his actions on the 1960s and 1970s, when he said, “Workplace rules were different then.” Really?  I worked in corporate environments in the 1960s and 1970s and would have been fired on the spot, and probably prosecuted for such despicable behavior. If anything, workplace rules then were more strict than the nonsense I read about going on in corporations today.

Apologies made by public figures caught conducting abhorrent acts or abysmal behavior are becoming more and more unconvincing and tend only to generate more ill-will. Yet that hasn’t prevented the media mob and the far left from demanding even more of this contrite pablum, that nobody really cares to hear or believes is sincere.

In some incidences an apology may be required to sooth ruffled feathers and hurt feelings. However, in other cases, instead of an apology a “congratulations” or “great job” may be in order.

For example, an apology such as “I’m sorry that you were offended by my very accurate description of your peculiar looking children” probably needs some refinement.

On the other hand, some situations don’t need apologies, just the opposite. One of the best examples for not demanding an apology, and instead offering an “attaboy”, is one reported last Christmas by Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi. Apparently the English town of St. Ives, Cambridge felt it necessary to make a public apology after a fire alarm prompted the local Santa Claus there to “burst out of his chair, rip off his beard, and scream at the children to ‘get the f— out.’”

Those parents don’t deserve an apology for an incident that gives them material for every dinner party they’ll ever attend for the rest of their lives, says Mr. Harsanyi. I agree.


A Kosher Neo-Nazi Cake Please: If the Supreme Court had not decided this past summer, 7-2,  that a Colorado bakery owner did not have to make a wedding cake for a gay couple expressing a message that violated his religious beliefs then it may have come back to haunt progressives in ways they never imagined. Even if the owners found the requests incredibly repugnant I would have been able to force a halal bakery to bake me an Israeli state anniversary celebration cake; a kosher bakery to cook up some neo-Nazi cookies; and force liberal-owned bake shops to bake me some “Make America Great” pastries? The possibilities would have been endless.


Is MLK’s Dream Being Realized Under President Trump? Last week someone handed me a small pamphlet titled “Make Black America Great Again.”

The pamphlet details how miserably the Democrat Party has failed black Americans and how its leaders hold blacks in contempt and take their votes for granted. It describes how the Republican party, under Trump, has enabled blacks to succeed in a variety of areas including education, employment and more.

Apparently the message contained in the pamphlet is being heard and clearly understood by many blacks as indicated by recent polls, which show that President Trump’s support among minorities is growing exponentially. One key reason is that blacks are actually experiencing under Trump what the Democrats promised over the years but never delivered.

A Marist poll released over the Thanksgiving weekend, which wasn’t reported by the major media (surprise, surprise), found that 33 percent of non-whites approve of the job Trump is doing, and 29 percent say they would “vote for president Trump.”

Both the Emerson and Rasmussen polls from last week show Trump’s approval rating among black Americans at 34 percent. And I’ve recently seen reports of prominent black businessmen and religious leaders strongly endorsing Trump. The lowest black unemployment numbers in history and rising wages have a lot to do with those numbers and endorsements.

Pundits on both sides are saying that the findings of the three polls are disastrous for Democrats and point to a potential Trump landslide in 2020.

Based on the polls black Americans apparently don’t need a pamphlet describing why they should vote for Trump because they’re experiencing it. The days of Democrats taking the black vote for granted and returning nothing but scorn in return may soon be coming to an end.


I Miss Beto: Despite the fact that he had zero chance of winning the Democratic nomination as reflected by his poll numbers, unemployed Texas politician Beto O’Rourke was wildly entertaining. I know it isn’t polite to laugh at or mock obviously troubled people, but I just couldn’t help myself with this guy because he took himself so seriously. In addition to his habit of frantically waving his arms in all directions and jumping up and down on tables, bars, cars, etc. like a ferret that got into the meth, the little bug-eyed fellow was knee-slapping hysterical. He wasn’t conducting a campaign as much as he was suffering a manic episode. He was entertaining because he was flat out nuts, promising to “Hell yes!” go to people’s homes and confiscate their guns and deny churches and charities their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage thereby destroying America’s most generous and effective charitable institutions. The other Democrat candidates should have all chipped in to keep this extreme fanatic in the race as he would have taken the attention away from their equally loopy platforms and driven TV ratings upward for their otherwise boring debates. Since his political career is now in ruins maybe he can apply for a position on Saturday Night Live. Next up for the Dems, entering stage left …. the hair-sniffing, finger-nibbling, shoulder-rubbing, Malarkey-bus ridding, hairy-legged, blooper-bomb, sleepy “Quid-Pro-Quo” Joe Biden!


Does It Ever End? Have you ever noticed that when walking into a bar — no matter what time of year — there’s always a basketball game on one of the TVs? Except for the final game of the NCAA Basketball Championships I don’t watch basketball. When I was hired as a sportswriter by the Tampa Tribune many years ago the editors repeatedly sent me to cover basketball games where colleges played round-robin tournaments that started in the morning and went on until late at night, even on Christmas Day…..particularly on Christmas Day. I’d rather have a sharp stick in the eye than watch another basketball game. To me it’s the most boring sport ever conceived, and its players the dimmest athletes on the planet. After-game locker room quotes were a stream of incoherent grunts peppered with profanity. I used to make up comments for the sidebar stories and no one ever complained. Why would they, I made them look good?  The late Atlanta Constitution Sports Editor, Jesse Outlar, summed up my feelings about the never-ending basketball season when he said: “If the NBA had been in charge of World War II, Germany and Japan would still be in the running.”


Speaking Of The NBA: When Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the Hong Kong protestors who have been waving American flags, singing the Star Spangled Banner, and waving pictures of President Trump, the twits that run the NBA proved they are as dumb as their players and apologized to the Chinese dictatorship for Morey’s tweet, despite the fact that China’s government is imprisoning, torturing and killing Tibetans and other minorities. Oh, but the NBA boycotted the state of North Carolina saying it was malicious because it refused men the right to use public bathroom and locker room facilities designed for women. Not only are they dim, they have no shame.


Another Voice For Deregulation: President Trump’s administration has succeeded in eliminating thousands of needless and burdensome business regulations and it’s about time says a Georgia small business advocate quoted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation recently.  “It’s one thing for Washington to impose additional mandates on big corporations. Those businesses have teams of lawyers and compliance officers to keep up with new rules and help owners stay on the right side of the law. Small businesses don’t. At a small business, there’s the owner, and many times, that’s it. The person who fills out forms and files the paperwork is the same person who works the cash register, sweeps up, and signs the checks. And make no mistake: Federal paperwork is a big problem for Georgia’s small businesses” says Nathan Humphrey, state director, National Federation of Independent Businesses. I’m sure many of Florida’s Nassau County small business owners can empathize with Mr. Humphry.


Things I Wish I’d Said: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” – Winston Churchill


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: Are they open, are they closed, or did they just move?  I was taken to task by a reader last week who claimed I misspoke about the closing of several local eateries. She said Gilberts Underground Kitchen on South 8th Street is still open and not closed as I reported. She said it is still doing special events and catering jobs. She’s wrong. The Jacksonville Business Journal even reported the closure despite the fact Gilberts still has three years remaining on its lease here. The joint is closed up tight as a drum and Kenny Gilbert has moved on to somewhere in North Carolina. She suggested I do as I traditionally suggest and “call ‘em.” I did. The phone is no longer in service, odd for a company she says is doing special events and catering. I also reported that La Favola, the corner of South 3rd Street and Centre had closed. She said it was operated by the son of the down-the-street owner of Ciao and junior had just moved down there to work with dad. OK, but the fact remains, it’s closed and the building, which successful local restaurateurs tell me is THE prime restaurant location on Amelia Island, has been purchased by Dr. Robert Hogan’s hospitality group Bubbles Enterprises LLC, that now owns half off the south Centre Street facing businesses on that block, including the Tavern, maybe more. He also owns Pogo’s and the Parkland Grill building. I have no idea what his plans are but have been invited to meet with his Chief Operating Officer next week who may shed some light on his boss’s plans including the old Centre Street Alley Cat building it owns as well. The lady was also upset that I said Diana’s Family Bakery, the corner of Atlantic and 11th Street South had closed. They have, but she wanted to let me know they were open for catering services. According to the bakery’s phone messages they said a new owner has bought in with them and they want to move operations to the Farmer’s Market, but nothing more. I also have a $100 certificate to this bakery and am wondering where I can redeem what’s left on it. This irate reader also scolded me for writing that I called the South 8th Street Sports bar and grill, Overtime, by the name Fulltime once. If I did I doubt it made a dent in their business. Anything else I should check out madam?


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