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

Local Online Observer And News Leader Letter Writer Share Similar Disregard For Facts, Logic Or Any Trace Of Objectivity

If there was an award for ignoring important news, the online Fernandina Observer, edited by wannabe reporters Suanne Thamm and Susan Steger, would run away with that honor as hands down winners of journalism’s P-yew-prize.

These two “There’s nothing two see here” editors proclaim their publication is a “journal of news and opinion”. It’s not. It’s a city newsletter. City Manager Dale “Big Spender” Martin, Mayor Mike “Left Coast” Lednovich, and out-of-control city employees who are extorting local tax payers must love the Observer. It’s their public relations arm on steroids.

While the city’s Building Department and its head, Steve Beckman, are being publicly exposed by homeowners, builders, contractors, architects, and the Chamber of Commerce for what is clearly an abuse of their authority and illegal price gouging, the Observer obediently runs puff pieces about them, some even bylined by Beckman, Martin, Ross, etc. The Observer blatantly ignores stories that Nassau County and even Jacksonville media outlets are covering exposing Fernandina’s errant groups and officials. It not only ignores the fact that there is a petition, maybe two, to recall pompous gasbag and obnoxious Commissioner Chip Ross, but it provides him a forum to spread his boisterous blather.

The Observer is not a publication that “covers” what’s happening in Fernandina Beach. It’s a publication that “covers up” what’s happening to Fernandina Beach.

Ignoring the golf course’s management fiasco and the marina’s mismanagement, Martin’s FEMA blundering and massive debt, the Observer duo stumble along like the loyal city flacks they are, singing the city’s praises. They recently featured a series on golf, which I initially thought was a parody. It wasn’t. I wonder if the city pays them a retainer or by the hour.

Journalists have a black eye precisely because of the pablum produced by the Observer’s Thamm-Steger sycophant Thelma and Louise duo.


 News Bulletin: It’s been disclosed from reliable FBI sources that the whereabouts of the long-a-waited John Durham Report on government overreach and dishonesty has been discovered. It’s in the same place as Jimmy Hoffa.


Speaking Of Local Media: The bi-weekly News Leader has a regular humor contributor in chronic letter writer Stephan Leimberg.  However, Leimberg probably doesn’t realize the amount of laughs his material generates. His May 5 “Letter to the Editor” claptrap headlined “Building vs. kicking down a barn” is an example.

Leaving out facts and perpetuating long debunked myths about the disgraceful January 6 Capitol Hill intrusion by angry Trump supporters, Leimberg tosses around laughable accusations and tired left-wing allegations with no regard for the truth.

Contrary to Leimberg’s hysterical blather there was no armed insurrection. No arms of any kind were found on any of the Trump supporters. The one person shot and killed was an unarmed young woman shot dead by a yet to be identified Capitol Hill cop. The others that died were by a drug overdose, two by heart attacks and one by a stroke. That is all included in a report by the Washington DC medical examiner. Leimberg didn’t mention any of that as it didn’t fit his preconceived nonsense. However, it was all detailed by Daniel J. Brubeck in the NL letter that followed Leimberg’s fictional account of the incident.

As usual facts, sentence structure, transition and lucidity don’t slow Leimberg down. In his recent screed he also rambles on about Asians being chased and attacked without mentioning that the majority of those attacks have been by blacks. He says that when people not wearing masks are confronted “…they can throw a temper tantrum, a punch or pull out a gun.” He gives no examples of that ever happening because it hasn’t. Nor does he mention that mask mandates hereabouts have been ended by order of Governor Ron DeSantis. Common sense and facts are the common enemies of this fanatical idealogue.

I applaud the News Leader for continuing  to print Leimberg’s twaddle and allowing him to hold himself up to public ridicule. He’s certainly not taken seriously by anyone that can read above a third-grade level.

The online Observer should consider making him a regular columnist, he’d fit right in with that crowd.


Judging The Media: D.C. Circuit Court Judge Laurence Silberman went on an unprecedented written tirade several weeks ago against the press, in which he argued that the Supreme Court should revisit the landmark 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan ruling that granted the media broad First Amendment protections from being sued by public officials.

His remarks came in his dissent of a 2-1 decision in a defamation case. In the case, a lawsuit filed by two former Liberian officials against environmental group Global Witness was dismissed.

“New considerations have arisen over the last 50 years that make the New York Times decision a threat to American Democracy,” he writes. “It must go.”

“The increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions,” said Silberman.

“Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), The New York Times and The Washington Post, are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets. And the news section of The Wall Street Journal leans in the same direction. The orientation of these three papers is followed by The Associated Press and most large papers across the country (such as the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe). Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet. Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along.”

The judge accused Silicon Valley of filtering news “in ways favorable to the Democratic Party” and fueling censorship, citing the suppression of the New York Post’s bombshell reporting on Hunter Biden in the final weeks of the 2020 presidential election.

“It is well-accepted that viewpoint discrimination raises the specter that the Government may effectively drive certain ideas or viewpoints from the marketplace,'” Silberman said. “But ideological homogeneity in the media—or in the channels of information distribution—risks repressing certain ideas from the public consciousness just as surely as if access were restricted by the government.”

Silberman also sounded the alarm about the “serious efforts to muzzle” outlets like Fox News that aren’t under “Democratic Party ideological control.”

“It should be borne in mind that the first step taken by any potential authoritarian or dictatorial regime is to gain control of communications, particularly the delivery of news. It is fair to conclude, therefore, that one-party control of the press and media is a threat to a viable democracy,” the judge continued. “It may even give rise to countervailing extremism.

“The First Amendment guarantees a free press to foster a vibrant trade in ideas. But a biased press can distort the marketplace. And when the media has proven its willingness—if not eagerness—to so distort, it is a profound mistake to stand by unjustified legal rules that serve only to enhance the press’ power.”


Civil War Silliness: A lot of folks are posting stuff online about another Civil War. I doubt it will ever happen but if it does it would be a bit lopsided. One side knows how to shoot, the other side is terrified by the very sight of a firearm and appears to be confused about which bathroom to use. How does anyone expect that conflict to end?


Woka-Cola Backwash: West Coast columnist Burt Prelutsky quotes Coca-Cola’s CEO James Quincey as saying: “A boycott by a few right-winged nuts won’t affect our bottom line.”

Burt suggests that perhaps if a few million people share the quote, it might get Quincey’s attention.  It’s worth a try. Sometimes things go better with a quote.

I wonder how many bartenders are hearing their regulars saying: ”No rum and Woke for me, make it a Pepsi.”


College Follies: How twisted are the minds of these white privilege thinkers? Brooklyn College Professor of Math Education, Laurie Rubel, argued a few weeks ago on Twitter that the mathematical equation 2+2=4 “reeks of white supremacist patriarchy.” Rubel’s tweet was retweeted and promoted by several academics at universities and colleges around the nation.

According to a report by Campus Reform, Brooklyn College, Professor Rubel, who teaches math education, tried to make the case that basic math is “white supremacist.” I’m not making any of this up.

Folks of all colors may want to think twice before having their high school kids apply to one of these lunatic asylums of backward thinking.


Tinkerbell Tough: Somewhere I read that someone came up with a perfect name for those college campus snowflakes who want to be shielded from dissenting opinions and never have their own infantile beliefs questioned: “Peter Pansies.”


The Left Coast: A meme is circulating with an aerial photograph of the earth with the caption: “Did you know there’s a garbage patch on the Pacific so big that it’s visible from thousands of miles away?  For more information, search ‘California’ on Google.”


Now Hiring: If you can’t find a job in Nassau County you’re not looking. It’s a rare shop, bar, restaurant, convenience store or any other brick and mortar business hereabouts that doesn’t have a “Now Hiring” or “Help Wanted” sign plastered on a window. Some are taking display ads out in the News Leader seeking employees.

Many local restaurant owners are shortening their work week because they can’t find workers. “People come in for interviews and then don’t show up or quit after one day,” one frustrated restauranteur told me. He’s now closing his eatery two days a week because he and his slim crew are exhausted from working extra long shifts.

A sign spotted in front of a business on Amelia Island recently said: “Closed due to lack of help.”

Human nature dictates that when folks are getting more money for doing nothing than they do for working, they’ll do nothing, despite what Joe Biden says. Biden has been living off the tax payer’s dime for 50 years and has never held a real job so he has no idea how the economy operates. He’s doing everything he can to wreck what COVID hasn’t.

Biden said, “Since the time we took office, we’ve created more than 1.5 million jobs in the country.”  No he hasn’t. He and his inept administration haven’t created anything but chaos and exactly zero jobs. Businesses have created those jobs in spite of the government paying people to stay home. And because of Biden those businesses can’t fill the vacancies.


Things I Wish I’d Said: “Every family has one weird relative. If you don’t know who it is, it’s probably you.” – anonymous.


Confused Consultants: I always thought that international Consulting firm Bain and Company was a serious place where serious people sat around consulting with their clients about serious stuff. I was wrong. Bain decided to use the word “womxn” to describe people who aren’t men to celebrate something called International Women’s Day. It didn’t turn out well. Instead, it became a “Bain in the butt” as the move was slammed by everybody including the mysterious cult of womxn. When “womxn” trended on Twitter it united both the trans community and conservatives in mutual hatred for the term. The Bain folks should stick to whatever it is they consult on. However, if I was a Bain customer I’d be seriously questioning the value of the company’s advice on anything.


Real Estate Frenzy: The national Association of Realtors reports that housing sales are up 10 percent nationally over the same period last year.  In Florida it probably much higher as folks from the heavily taxed and poorly governed blue northeastern states flock to the Sunshine state to snap up homes. In my neighborhood alone three houses sold within hours of going on the market, one before the owner could put up a “for sale” sign. A friend of mine who is moving further south to the Ft. Myers area, put his house on the market and had 30 offers in less than two days, 10 of them for cash and five above the asking price. The down side to this housing bonanza is if you are tempted to sell, where will you go?


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: The Sandbar & Kitchen at Main Beach will be bulging with local talent this weekend with the Decades Band tonight, Friday, May 14, 6-10 pm featuring Vic Deacon, who many think is the best guitarist in Northeast Florida.  Sean McCarthy and his full five-piece band including incredibly talented slide guitarist Hot Shot Carter will perform there Saturday, 6-10 pm. Sandbar Proprietor Kevin Dooner says he definitely has the largest inventory of whiskey of any other bar/eatery in Florida with more than 1,000 different brands. Whiskey lovers can join the Sandbar’s Whiskey Club for a fee of $39 giving them a 25 percent discount on one-and-one-half shots priced from five bucks to $1,100. Take home bottles are available.

  • Comment (14)
  • What’s hilarious is watching you and your ilk contort themselves into pretzels while spinning the Jan 6th insurrection into a peaceful protest. No arms? I guess the 100+ police officers who suffered injuries, including shattered spinal disks, cracked ribs, and gouged eyes should probably learn how to shake hands better. Or do you only profess to be pro-law enforcement as long as they kowtow to the Big Lie? Or perhaps you narrowly define “arms” as firearms? Tell that to the next person who’s on the receiving end of a pummeling from a fire extinguisher. On the other hand, I suppose you are allowed to pontificate about honest journalism because your blog is anything but a trove of “FACTS, LOGIC OR ANY TRACE OF OBJECTIVITY”.

    • Richard Norman:

      The medical examiner has exposed the fire extinguisher hoax. He found that Brian Sicknick died of natural causes, specifically a stroke. The FBI has testified that there were no firearms found among the rioters. As reprehensible as the events of 1.6.21 were you should not make it worse with fake news.

      • Who said anything about Sicknick? And who said anything about firearms found at the riot? It would help if you simply read my words as written without embellishment. Then again, it gives you cover for interjecting the played-out “fake news” mantra, so I suspect you’ll just carry on.

    • Sources or it’s a lie. A BIG lie… I guess if the Jan 6th “insurrection” is true, then the Summer of Love was a Civil War! What a load of Liberal claptrap! What else should we expect from the male version of a Karen?

      • Clearly you’re content stumbling around in the dark because the sources you request are evident with a cursory Google search. Dave doesn’t allow links to be posted in replies so I’ll just direct you the justice . gov site where all current charges, including assaults with a dangerous weapon, are detailed on over 400 defendants. I suppose your subsequent reply, should you choose to offer one, will include the words lies, conspiracy, and deep state.

  • It seems all of our local media suppliers are highly biased….no objectivity anywhere,
    And how did “pompous gasbag and obnoxious Commissioner Chip Ross” get re-elected,
    or perhaps the adjectives are overblown just a tad……objectivity has died on AI.

  • This should be required reading nationwide.

    Scott skewers the pompous as no one else I know.

  • According to CNBC, Biden’s unemployment subsidies translate to approximately $22/hr for folks to sit home (or in a bar) – why work ? And his claim he “created jobs” isn’t true – people came back to work at those companies that had closed due to the pandemic … NEW jobs were not created – ask those who lost their jobs on the pipeline he closed, one of his 50+ executive orders since assuming the throne.

  • The events of January 6th were illegal, and those participating should be rightfully punished. However, this country spent the last year subjected to ongoing riots perpetrated by BLM and Antifa activists, with active cheerleading from some on the Democrat side. Indeed, those riots persist to this day on a nightly basis in places like Portland with nary a peep from people who were “deeply concerned” about January 6th. Shouldn’t both sides be held to the same accountability?

    This is an ongoing problem – the selective application of rules, laws, and justice. What message does it send when the party in power announces that it will not enforce codified laws because they don’t agree with them? Why do we see more and more Executive Orders that override either the last party’s Executive Orders, or laws that exist on the books? This is a problem for both sides. Republicans suspend parts of Obamacare they don’t like, but fail to craft and pass legislation to deal with it because they can’t muster the support needed to pass those laws. Democrats suspend immigration laws because they don’t like them, but fail to pass any legislation to “fix” what they see as “problems”. Instead, politicians work around the system while Congress fails to legislate, the Executive branch fails to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and both look to the Supreme Court to do their jobs for them.

    How about we get back to the equal and just Rule of Law and expect and demand that our elected representatives do the jobs we elected them to perform?

  • I wish someone would help me understand why the FB Building Dept. the Idiot Mayor, City Manager, and Chip Ross have not been investigated by FDLE. If everything is true that has been reported on this blog there is the possibility of crimson activity. The person who has the facts should at least turn the information over to FDLE for review of the facts. If not true then the parties are just mad and should be quiet.

  • Anyone who thinks what happened on Jan. 6 was an “armed insurrection” has no knowledge of history. Real insurrections (think of the Bolsheviks, or the Paris Commune, or the 1789 revolution in France) involve serious planning and extensive weaponry.

    Insurrections also invariably have a cause. What was the goal of the Jan. 6 riotors? If they had any goal at all, it was to smear President Trump. HIS goal was to encourage Congress to debate the legitimacy of the electoral votes of several states. The riotors’ goal, if they had one, was to disrupt that count. By the way, the Democrats shared that goal.

    Were the people who led the violent assault on the Capitol organized? I don’t think we know the answer to that yet. That would be a good subject for a bi-partisan 9/11-style commission to investigate.

    • Not correct. Check Mirriam-Webster for definitions. The Donald & Co. explicitely wanted Congress (Republicans) to override the Electoral College–invalidate the election and declare him the winner. If you want to believe that was a just cause, fine. The “debate” excuse came once the damage was done.

    • Nobody arrested in the DC protest has been charged with “insurrection”.

      Only person killed was a Trump supporter … by someone on the Capitol Police force, but we’ve never been told who.


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