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

Listener Warning: National Public Radio Can Have Very Serious Side Effects

03-22_11NPR_Turn_Lef20110321083955 media bias(Note: This blog will take a break and resume posting January 9, 2015. Thanks for following it the past 12 months. If there are items you think I’ve overlooked or areas you think I’ve gotten wrong please don’t hesitate to tell me. I can be contacted at or you can post a comment below.)

I’ve figured out why liberal folks are so humorless, cranky, whiney and angry……because they listen to National Public Radio (NPR).

Jones Radio (90.9 FM), the “beautiful music” station we had our home and car radios tuned to and which has been broadcasting in the Jacksonville area for the past 50 years, was recently sold and now airs only religious fare, so we decided to try public radio which is paid for in large part by tax dollars, and which I thought played lots of classical tunes. It doesn’t.

Folks we’re not getting our tax money’s worth here as I listened to about all I could stand for a week and with the exception of a scant few programs I’ve never heard such a collection of partisan, pessimistic, boring, depressing, blustering, dreary and sanctimonious codswallop as that aired by NPR and its local affiliate WJCT (89.9 FM). Try it, if you don’t believe me.

For example, I listened slack-jawed recently when an academic twit continually called the looters, arsonists and thugs in Ferguson, MO “protestors” while NPR “correspondents” openly sympathized with these louts and gleefully discussed a planned merchant boycott. I didn’t hear a word about the more than 60 destroyed local businesses, many minority-owned, or their out-of work employees. Nor did I hear one word of sympathy for the cops who put their lives on the lines daily.

I also listened as an interviewer droned on-and-on, yakking with — are you ready — a professional accordion player, in what I initially thought must be one of those infamous Monty Python spoofs of a pompous talk show host. But, it was all too real, and the only benefit I could take away was that it would be a surefire cure for insomnia. Not once did this dreary chap break out in a lively polka tune or even the accordionist’s theme song, “Lady of Spain”, and I was told by the show’s hostess that that I could expect future programs to feature “all sorts of touchy topics in America, such as race, politics, the economy, old age and the oblivion that awaits us all.” Real cheery stuff.

I also listened to part of an interview with a married Broadway actor who discussed his recent awakening to bisexuality, a game show where the host joked about “dumb folks” being Republicans and a crazed leftist woman droning on-and-on about why a little girl calling another little girl “bossy” is “gender racism.” I tried to listen to an entire episode of Terry Gross’ “Fresh Air”  which features a slobbering left-wing finger-waver fawning over leftist authors, actors, etc. She’s the soft-spoken Rush Limbaugh of liberalism.

Oh, and as far as the on-the-hour news is concerned the folks at NPR will lead that off  by reading the latest Obama Administration press releases, followed by a  Jon Stewart-like series of events they think you should know about. Apparently no one in the news room or anywhere else at NPR has ever heard of MIT Economics Professor Jonathon Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, who has admitted the entire Affordable Care Act was based on deception and lies.

With some perseverance we were, however, able to find a handful of programs that we enjoyed including replays of old radio shows like “Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy” and 1960s rock and roll Doo Wop tunes, all broadcast late on Sunday and Monday evenings. Forget classical music unless you work the graveyard shift, as it is only broadcast beginning at 1 am. A few brief jazz and blues shows also air, mostly very late at night.

Prime time shows featured enlightening, heart-warming and hand-wringing sessions that included “the abuse of Florida produce workers,” American war veterans, who an obscure author says suffer from “moral injuries and dealing with the fact that their sense of right and wrong was violated,” and never-ending stories about how Florida, the US and the rest of the world will soon cease to exist due to NPR’s favorite demons of Sarah Palin, the “Religious Right,” secure borders, straight white men, fossil fuels, heterosexual marriage, the Koch brothers, profit-making corporations, charter schools, the  minimum wage, the Keystone Pipeline, discipline and prayer in public schools, and underarm deodorant spray. This stuff is all over the day-time NPR dial.

I did take notice that the one thing NPR does very well is to beg and plead constantly for its listeners to send them money despite the fact that they get a lot more than they deserve of our tax dollars, which fund 36 percent of its broadcasting. I suggest that folks that are inclined to donate, skip the middleman and send their checks directly to the Democrat National Committee.

The new Republican majority will be taking a close look at this chunk of government waste and hopefully will vote to quickly end it and let those that want to hear this claptrap pay for it and not have it subsidized by folks like me that don’t want any part of it. In fact the $445 million subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting subsidy is at the top of Congressman Paul Ryan’s hit list of  proposed budget cuts when the new Republican-led Congress convenes next year.

Folks if you’re in a happy mood that you feel you don’t deserve, tune in to NPR and your outlook will quickly take a trip south. Take a look at photos of now Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, as these are the angry, twisted faces of people who listens to NPR nonstop. And how about author Michael Moore, political pundit James Carville, activists Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, NY Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman, Fox News liberal commentator Alan Colmes, billionaire George Soros, or a grumpy and full of rage Al Gore? These are not happy faces but, they are all, in my opinion, disfigured mugs caused by a depressing and pessimistic overdose of NPR.


What’s In A Name? During a conversation with wife, Linda, the other day I happened to mention a topic that included the names of a couple of local friends and it struck me that I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a community that sports as many curious monikers as Amelia Island. My days as a corporate gypsy afforded me an opportunity to live in a variety of locations in the US and Europe and, none of them, not even Texas, where every other good ‘ole boy is named Bubba, can hold a candle to this place. We have community leaders, businessmen, volunteers and retirees named Beano, T-Ray, Flip, Bucko, Pajama Dave, Choo Choo, Scoop, and on the distaff side, Stormy. So after local parents finish reading their kids a bedtime story and are asked where the princess and her Prince Charming went to live “happily ever after”, they can tell them: “right here on Amelia Island” as a lot of these names are better than anything Mother Goose could cook up.


Winging It: Following almost a decade of working for American corporations IBM and ITT in Paris and Brussels respectively in the 1980s, I returned to the US to rediscover things I missed including baseball, barbeque, and roadside signs proclaiming “Ice Cold Beer.” But also, upon being repatriated, I was introduced to new trends that were totally alien to me with one of the most baffling being chicken wings. One of my first stops back in the States was to visit a favorite transplanted Canadian aunt and uncle in Clearwater, FL where a cousin, Colleen, insisted I go with her to visit a relatively new place on the Tampa-Clearwater causeway called “Hooters” where I was introduced to “wings” by an extremely attractive and friendly group of “waitresses” wearing clothing designed to distract their male diners from noticing they were being served the  traditional discards of chicken carcasses. Baffled, I asked Colleen what happened to the rest of the chicken during my absence and she responded saying “Buffalo wings are great and I should try them,” which I did and agreed they were very tasty. As the years passed I grew more and more fond of the spicy Buffalo style wings and learned the story of their Buffalo, NY origin of hot sauce, celery and blue cheese dressing, and found myself seeking places that served them. As their popularity spread, however,  providers began experimenting with bastardized versions including barbeque, teriyaki, Hawaiian, jerk, and so on, and I’ve tried many of them but I still prefer my wings the old fashioned way, Buffalo style, and those that do them best on the island, in my opinion, are the Crab Trap, Halftime Sports Bar & Grill, Salty Pelican, Sliders and Sandy Bottoms, with Crab Trap, my favorite, particularly on Wednesday evenings when they offer 50 cent wings and cheap beer. Sandy Bottoms’ 50 cent wings are also back on Wednesday evenings and Crab Trap has hired congenial George Morris, of Flying Fish Jet Ski Adventures, to tend its downstairs bar during his off season, adding a fun flavor to the downtown joint.


We’ve Been Grubered: The “closed door meetings” where the impact fee lawsuit was discussed and may have been settled by City Attorney Tammi Bach, City Manager Joe Geritty and the City Commissioners, could be best defined as Gruberism, as illustrated in a parody in the December 1 issue of Weekly Standard as follows: “Gruberism is the eponymous doctrine first enunciated by MIT economic professor Jonathon Gruber (1965-) that holds that the mass of people in advanced democratic societies are functionally incapable of ascertaining their own interest, and that the public good is accordingly best achieved by a process in which a credentialed elite devises the best policies and then seeks to achieve public support for them by deception and lies. Since the accepted standard of legitimacy in modern democracy rests on the view that major decisions should be undertaken in conjunction with open debate, Gruberism has been seen as challenging that system’s foundation by its political counsel to portray a ‘lack of transparency’ while publically professing the opposite.” Under Gruberism our sunshine laws are not relevant and follow the Saul Alinsky playbook.


Hands Up! Don’t Loot!  During the looting, rioting, and arson following the grand jury decisions in Ferguson, MO and New York City I began digging around to see how many conservative groups, like the Tea Party have conducted such mindless, destructive acts of violence and couldn’t come up with any. From what I’ve seen rioters, looters and other anarchists are leftist mobs encouraged by folks like Al Sharpton, the Black Panthers, hip-hop “artists”, anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan, Occupy Wall Street groups, Hollywood loons and more with none of them being condemned by President Obama but all being encouraged by left wing politicians. When have we ever seen a group of conservatives looting, burning and rioting?


They Do What? Atlanta comedian Jeff Justice opined recently “I love irony — The federal government, which has Tomahawk cruise missiles and Apache and Lakota helicopters, used the code name “Geronimo” in the attack that killed Osama bin Laden, officially objects to the name of the Washington Redskins.”


Land of the free: Which American states are the most free? Texas, South Dakota and North Dakota, according to a new report on economic freedom put out by the Fraser Institute. In fourth place was Virginia, followed by New Hampshire, Louisiana and Nebraska in fifth place, Tennessee in the ninth spot and Indiana, Georgia and Utah tied for tenth while Florida, Wyoming and Nevada tied for the 20th spot. I have no idea what this means but thought it was interesting.


Who’s Watching What? Chatting with a friend the other day he mentioned that he had recently attended a Jaguars football game and was impressed with the size and clarity of the giant video screens at either end of EverBank Stadium, commenting that they were actually a distraction to the game and that even team members could be spotted looking up to watch following a play. At this point, however, it may be that it is this hapless team that is a distraction from what’s happening on the screens.


Electric Car Sales Need A Jolt: In January 2011 President Obama called on Americans to put one million electric cars on US roads by 2015, less than one month from now. According to the Electric Sales Drive Association, which promotes these silly little plug-ins, the public needs to get busy as only 246,426 of these goofy things have been purchased so far and most of those have been bought by fleets like GE, whose CEO Jeff Immelt, a vocal Obama supporter, is said to have ordered 25,000 or 10 percent of those currently sold. At the current sales rate Obama’s one million car goal should be reached sometime in 2030 or beyond. Personally I’d rather drive a Yugo.


Dining, Dancing & Drinking: If you’re looking for the old fashioned Southern country style “meat ‘n three” then you’re probably going to  like the newly introduced Southern Soul Buffet Monday-Friday from 11-2pm at Sliders for only $9.95 that includes a drink and dessert, and from what I can tell this buffet table is loaded with collards, mac ‘n cheese, okra and stewed tomatoes, lima beans, fried chicken, meat loaf and more of all the other traditional Southern style stuff. Call ’em at 904/277-6652. Folks tell me that  the $20 prime rib and the selection of fresh local seafood keeps them coming back to the 1408 Lewis Street,  just off First Coast Highway, GG’s Bistro (formerly Gourmet Gourmet), which just experimented with a Wednesday evening bluegrass band to entertain diners, and if the demand is there, the band will be back says owner Bill Mertens. Call ’em at 904/ 261-8973. Sonny’s, on South 8th street and the only place on the island dedicated to barbeque has closed posting a sign on its marquee just last week. It was formula cooking and good local BBQ can still be had at Happy Tomato on South 3rd Street downtown but not after 5 pm and at Halftime on South 8th Street, but limited to pulled pork sandwiches. There appears to be a barbeque vacuum to be filled here.


  • Comment (10)
  • Dave – I’m a big fan of your column. Keep up the good work. Enjoy your time off. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  • We have Sirius/XM in our cars and on our PC. It offers something for everyone including classical music and the “easy listening” music of the type that used to be on 90.9 FM.

  • Dave – Pleased to read that you gave yourself the opportunity to try out NPR. I’m not surprised that you found it a bit uncomfortable at first. Exposure to actual fact-based news reporting is probably disorienting to someone who has spent so much time watching Fox News. Give it some time and you might find it enlightening. In the meantime, have a safe and pleasant holiday, and I’ll look forward to your always-entertaining posts next year.

  • Your weekly dose of reality wil be missed Dave!
    Have a great holiday and come back fully refreshed to start your New Year crusade.

  • Dave, if you are going to write about NPR, perhaps a bit of fact-finding would be beneficial, if for nothing else, to give your readers an ounce or two of the rest of the story.

    If you want to hear classical music on NPR, then tune in at 7:00pm (NOT 1:00 am), Monday through Friday, and listen to “Performance Today”. For the few of us who appreciate classical music (and I assume Dave, that you are one), you will enjoy the broadcast. Just pretend its Jones College or Fox News, and Im sure the pleasure will be immense.

    On a side note, you may find that there are also many more enjoyable, non-political programs that even the most recationary of conservatives might enjoy, such as the “The Best of Car Talk”, “Wait, wait, don’t tell me”, “Earth & Sky”, “Mountain Stage”, “Minnesota Orchestra”…and of course, “A Prairie Home Companion”.

    Just saying’ Dave, a little bit of research and sharing of the “rest of the story” wouldn’t hurt, would it?!?

    Happy New Year,
    From your whiny liberal sparring partner, the Goldfish.

  • Welcome back!
    Please take on broadcast journalists next! Listening to the reporting of the atrocities in Paris and the ensuing capture of the thugs, I was enraged!
    CNN, ABC, NBC, FOX et al continually referred to the “gentlemen” holding hostages. I wrote to those news outlets suggesting that terrorists and gentlemen have the same number of syllables, so they wouldn’t be taxed referring to them as such. I also mentioned that thugs is only one syllable. This is an ongoing reporting technique. I posted on my Face Book timeline that I was enraged; also attempted to post on FB’s Face Book page, but apparently the editors found it to be an inappropriate post!

    Took me longer to read your blog than the morning paper! Thank God I still have online access to the New York Times as well as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • Dave, really enjoy the blog! For some reason I am not receiving it at my e mail address so I get it from my wife if she remembers to forward it. Any chance you are not sending it? By the way, I was in Retiro from 79 to 83. Thanks, George Murphy.


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