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

News-Leader Columnist Condemns America As Racist Country While Its Editor Tells The Readers How Great The Paper Is

After reading side-by-side News Leader columns by Editor Tracy Dishman and columnist Mark Tomes Wednesday, March 8, I concur with journalist Jimmy Breslin when he declared, “Media, the plural of mediocrity.”

“Dear Mother Jones if you have any editorial openings…..”

Editor Dishman rambled on like a giddy schoolgirl about how much her friends, colleagues and family enjoy the newspaper she edits. She gleefully relates how some readers start at the back and read to the front while others start reading in the middle, others begin with the sports section, etc. ad nauseum. According to her everybody she knows gushes over her paper. They told her so she says in her “Editor’s Note” column headlined “The experience of reading a newspaper.”

However, Ms. Dishman’s glowing self-appraisal took a severe pounding in the column adjacent to hers, headlined: “A brief history of racism” by Mr. Tomes. After reading Tomes rubbish it’s clear Ms. Dishman doesn’t have the slightest interest in the editing portion of her job description.

It’s difficult to know where to begin with Tomes’ piece as it’s chock a block full of biased nonsense and irrational and unsubstantiated claptrap and hatred of his fellow citizens and America. He takes great pleasure in painting the darkest possible picture of the United States, its history, beliefs and citizens.

His twisted logic uses the killing of a black teenager by four black policemen in Memphis as the pretext to tell readers that “…the killing is a good example of the systemic racism in our country.”

“And I’ve got even more to say next week you ignorant racist *&^%$?”s!

It gets even more perverse as his grousing continues: “…we find ourselves battling bigotry, deep prejudices, and racist attitudes and actions in every corner. How did we get here?” he asks. The entire piece is filled with this kind of codswallop including: “We can see why the individual officers that took part in the killing of Tyre Nichols could be racist, but their actions probably had more to do with problem of racism being historically built into our society “ He then warns readers, “More on this later.”

I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the good ‘ole days of the NL’s admitted socialist columnist Ron “Get Off My Lawn You Little Bastards” Sapp. I didn’t agree with Sapp on anything. However, I don’t recall him ever spewing this kind of senseless and vile left-wing hatred or America bashing claptrap.

However, it’s what the obviously miserable Tomes didn’t say that stands out. I defy him to name one place on the planet where those of African descent have fared better than the United States. This is the country where people celebrated Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Joe louis, and Jesse Owens way before its courts became deeply committed to racial equality. We are a people who made Barack Obama our president and Oprah Winfrey one of the richest women on earth, and black athletes and entertainers too numerous to mention our most popular citizens. We have black members of the U.S. Supreme Court, in the U.S. Senate, in the  House of Representatives, as mayors, and police chiefs of major cities, in the President’s cabinet, and heading the U.S. military. They are practicing law, editing national periodicals, leading major corporations, producing films, music, paintings and books, and educating our children, performing surgical and dental procedures, delivering our babies, and more. Their numbers in these fields are far greater than the mere 12 percent of the population they represent. Name another country as diverse and equal. There isn’t one.

Instead of pointing out the positives the angry finger-wagging Tomes paints the darkest possible picture of our country. His indignant tirade is typical of leftist grievance mongers that display an irrational hatred for America’s traditions and values while ignoring the positive aspects. His livid leftist screed has no boundaries. He comes across like a guy with a severe anger management issue.

Robert Woodson, a black American civil rights activist, author and founder of the Woodson Center sums up the kind of rhetoric spewed by Tomes saying: “The search to find bigotry in everything is making our race relations worse, not better. When you equate today’s frivolous accusations of racism to what went on even two generations ago, you trivialize everything we accomplished in the Civil Rights movement.

“Those who cry racism are very likely making racism worse.” says Woodson.

It appears Ms. Dishman has relinquished her editing pencil and is happy to let writers skip that annoying and time-consuming procedure. For example, the paper’s Page 1 second lead story was a submitted puff piece glowingly describing a downtown book store, the Book Loft. It appeared to be a press release submitted by a PR person and belonged in the feature section if even there.

Ms. Dishman obviously didn’t notice. She’s deliriously happy swaddled in her delusional nostrums about what a terrific product she produces twice a week with puffery on page 1 and demented anti-American radicalism screaming from the editorial pages. What’s next Ms. Dishman a regular atheist columnist on the religion page to help balance things out?

Columnist Steve Nicklas and Howard Pines are the lone sane and reasonable editorial voices left at that paper. With the News Leader turning into a massive angry and silly word jumble featuring rabid and confused columnists and the online Fernandina Observer, acting as Fernandina Beach’s PR agency thank goodness we have the Florida Citizens Daily, a treasure trove of news, opinions, and local happenings. You can find it and subscribe at


Things I Wish I’d Said: “At a time when anti-black racism has never been less of a factor, most blacks demand reparations, properly described as payments from those who were never slaveowners to be given to those who were never slaves. Schools promote concepts like critical race theory that characterize whites as oppressors and blacks as victims. Some blacks complain about ‘microaggressions.’ If in response to ‘Black Lives Matter,’ a white person says, ‘All Lives Matter,’ all hell breaks loose.” – syndicated black columnist Larry Elder


For a Good Chuckle: Former mayor and failed Commission candidate Mike “Left Coast” Lednovich penned a sour grapes piece about his newly elected replacement, Mayor Bradley Bean, in the sight-impaired city’s PR agency, the Fernandina Observer, chiding the popular Mr. Bean. He criticized the Mayor for suggesting passing on a pricy search firm that would save taxpayers up to $50,000 in fees to find a new city manager candidate.

The new Commission, sans Lednovich, canned his City Manager pal Dale Martin a couple of weeks ago and is seeking a replacement.  The citizens of Fernandina have about had about enough of California transplant Lednovich and his pompous gasbag pal and outlier Commissioner Chip Ross. A handful of their lefty pals that read the Observer, still screech like toddlers demanding predinner cookies but the citizens of Fernandina are fed up with these two losers. They’re no longer in a position to do any harm. It makes sense to look hereabouts for qualified local candidates. If one doesn’t surface then hire an agency.


Blogger Bill Doesn’t Have Gov’s Support: Governor Ron DeSantis flattened rumors and false media reports this past Tuesday that he supports a Florida Senate bill that sought to force bloggers to register with the state, declaring that it was “not anything” he’s “ever supported.”

NBC News tweeted a story reporting on the bill with Governor DeSantis’ face on it, falsely intimating he was behind Republican State Sen. Jason Brodeur’s proposal. The state legislature never even took up the legislation. It would have required “any blogger writing about government officials to register with the Florida Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics. “Every person in the legislature can file bills said Governor DeSantis at a Tuesday press conference in Tallahassee.

“I see these people filing bills and there are these articles with my face on the article, saying ‘bloggers are going to have to register with the state,’ attributing it to me,” DeSantis noted. “That’s not anything I’ve ever supported, I don’t support.”


“I put it all on ESG!”

Feel Good Investments Provide Poor Returns: It’s presumed that most folks selecting investment firms for their retirement plans base their decisions on an asset manager’s record of past positive returns.

However, there are some folks that would rather roll the dice and bet their savings based on an institution’s feel-good climate-change initiatives, diversity and other liberal woke blather.

These are the people, who in their retirement years, will be living in junior’s basement, while he and his wife are upstairs asking themselves: “I wonder what happened to pop’s 401K and IRA investments?”

There is little sympathy for folks that knowingly park their money in such schemes. They’ll read  then weep over their blind stupidity when they receive future statements. It’s the people that never consented to such nonsense and unknowingly have their money tied up in these liberal sinkholes called environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) garbage that deserve sympathy, guidance, and protection.

For example, the Senate recently voted, 50-46, and the House, 216-204, to overturn a new Biden administration regulation that would allow retirement-plan managers to consider the ESG rubbish in their investment decisions. Biden boasts he’ll veto it, a decision that won’t be appreciated by retirement age voters who prefer making their own investment decisions, not having liberal government officials do it for them.

When handing over your cash to firms such as Black Rock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, claxons should sound a loud fiduciary warning asking: “Do their advisors follow a liberal agenda?” They’ve admitted that their ESG investments haven’t lived up to their promises, says the Wall Street Journal but continue to preach it’s still “a good idea in theory” as they rake in the suckers’ cash.

Really? Tell that to the old guy and his wife trying to get by only on social security because their investment fund is as worthless as a solar panel in the Artic or a windmill in Death Valley. They’d have been better off going to the track and betting their retirement wad on a 100-1 longshot or handing it over the fat-curly haired fraudster at FTX.

ESG fund managers shun oil and gas stocks which last year gained more than 60% while their tech stock darlings fell by more than 30% says the WSJ. If watching your portfolio tumble because you’ve been talked into investing in companies that are compliant with the Paris Agreement’s net-zero gas emissions makes you feel environmentally responsible, then by all means, go for it. You’ll probably also enjoy sadomasochism and I have some stuff in my attic that you may want to buy.

Doesn’t an investment fund have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize their customers’ returns, not satisfy their own moral beliefs? Investing a client’s money in ESG when they don’t want it is morally wrong and professionally unethical. It should be a crime not a government dictated ruling.

Our confidence in Vanguard years ago has paid off  handsomely. The decision to select that firm based on its past performance was confirmed recently when Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley announced that he has pulled his company out of the $59 trillion Net Zero Asset Managers initiative. Vanguard is the largest or second largest asset manager in the world. It got that big because it’s run by smart financial people with a history of solid returns.

Al Gore’s condemnation of CEO Buckley’s decision to pull out of the net-zero initiative by calling it “irresponsible and short-sighted” should be enough to convince potential investors to flock to Vanguard.

I’m no expert on investing. I’ve made some financial mistakes, but shoveling cash into a liberal environmental furnace is not one of them. I rely on financial and investment experts to guide me, not frenzied former vice presidents, crazed environmental activists and politicians influenced by lobbyists and donors.

I’m even more confident about Vanguard after hearing Mr. Buckley confirm, following the decision to withdraw from the Net Zero Asset nonsense, that “betting his clients’ money on politicians and regulators doing the ‘right’ thing is irresponsible.”

If the climate change fraudsters were really serious about reducing carbon footprints they’d condemn China and India and stop investing in those countries, the world’s two largest polluters, whose emissions are three times higher than the U.S.

(Editor’s note: An abridged version of this item currently appears in the national Biz Pac Review site at )


What If? If you were in charge of staffing a new company and human resources sent you the resumes of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Karine Jean-Pierre and Alejandro Mayorkas, what jobs would you give them? Yeh, I couldn’t think of any either.


My, Oh, My What A Woke Day! Disney has axed the catchy and popular song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” from its daily park parade performances – because it’s tied to the 1946 film “Song of the South.”

Amid a woke makeover at the amusement park, Disneyland visitors will no longer hear the iconic song during its popular twice-daily Magic Happens parade.

“Song of the South,” which is set on a Georgia plantation, has been panned over the years for having racial undertones and offering a romanticized view of the South during Reconstruction.

But how the heck is the song – complete with the upbeat lyrics “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay. My, oh, my, what a wonderful day” – racist?

Good grief,  the Mouse people need some urgent psychiatric care.


Meet Local Authors: Four local authors who have achieved national prominence and were inspired by their military or law enforcement backgrounds, will populate a panel Friday, March 31, 4-6 pm at the Amelia Museum of history, 233 South 3rd Street. They are Bill Craun, U.S. Army Airborne Ranger and a 15-year veteran military contractor, author of “Working the Kill Zone”; Jerry Hester retired Miami-Dade FBI agent , author of the soon to be released  “Unraveled, the FBI Paesan Blues Investigation”; Bill Leonardi, U.S. Navy, author of “Dancing Through the Maze”; and Leah Ward-Lee. U.S. Army, author of $1,000 start-ups: 60 Businesses for Micro-Entrepreneurs.” Admission is free and beer and wine will be available following the panel discussion for a small donation. Books will be available for purchase. Those interested can RSVP to Lee Ann Shobe at


  • Comment (14)
  • You are spot on with your assessment of black achievement in the US. There are many success stories such as those you highlighted.

    • Yes, Micah, there are millions of such people and more stories about them are needed to offset the bad press.

      • However that doesn’t fit with the narrative. It’s important we keep black folk thinking they are dumb. Poor, and helpless victims…god forbid they have independent thought and stop voting for us democrats. We need to make sure we own them…ehem…I mean their vote!

  • Regarding your comments on the blogger registration story… One important fact that the MSM ignores is that the proposed legislation did not require all bloggers to register, only those bloggers who are PAID to write stories about LEGISLATORS would be required to register.

    It would put paid bloggers in the same category as paid lobbyists, requiring them to report who is paying them to influence legislators and how much they are paid.

    An interesting idea for sure, but I don’t see how it could be implemented and enforced.

  • As a proud African American I declare this country too careful and over-PC when it comes to supposed bigotry. Good column Dave!

  • Great blog, Dave. Your observations are salient and expressed with confidence and good humor. For the record, I think Mayor Bradley Bean is a breath of fresh air in City Hall. He’s both capable and sensible. Mr. Lednovich and Ross are toothless old lions who have overstayed their welcome. The screed you mention in the Newsleader is just that. Left wing, liberal nonsense designed to inflame other liberals to some sort of action, make their views somehow relevant in our society, when anyone with an eye to history can demonstrate the tremendous progress made in race relations in the last 75 years. Our black citizens have gone from plantations to the office of the President of the United States, the trajectory is clear. Their only hindrances to progress seem to be coming from the democrats themselves who don’t think they are smart enough to get an ID card to vote. What’s worse, if they DO vote, but for the “wrong” i.e. Republican, candidate, “They ain’t black”. Quite a conundrum. As for Disney, no real need to go, since we already live in fantasyland surrounded by Mickey Mouse types. Oh Boy! Keep up the great work, Dave.

  • Any person considering a position as a City Manager knows one thing. You are “hired to one day be fired.” Applicants will all look good on paper but may have this blemish (or more) on past assignments. Such was the case here 6-7 years back. I know this for a fact but cannot elaborate as one of the (final) candidates was my former student in the ’70’s and a close personal friend. He actually stayed at my home during the process. Thanks Mayor Bean for appointing an Interim City Manager that was/is a career steward to the community holding other professional responsibilities. Who knows? This person may permanently fill the void and saving taxpayers $50,000 in consultant fees.

  • Dave:
    Tomes has a virulent case of white guilt. He’s like all his fellow woke liberals. They start with their conclusion which, in his case, is “America is systemically racist” and then he fills in his tortured rationale including that four black cops killing a black man is just the latest conclusive evidence. As is usually the left’s purpose, it was all intended to lay guilt at the feet of all those right wing racists of which we presume Tomes ain’t one. That said, I had a bizarre sense of anticipation from his article. I thought it was so inane I look forward to his threatened sequel.

  • You hit it out of the park 2 weeks in a row, Dave.

    Tracy Dishman is in a tough position, taking the helm of a traditionally leftwing paper and trying to make it more relevant. I don’t have a problem with them running varied opinions, but they do seem heavily weighted to the left side, which is the proximate cause of Citizens Journal Florida. At Citizens Journal, opinion articles submitted to us are almost all on the Conservative side. But if we received and ran such anti-American politically correct nonsense, we would at least include an editor’s note and make sure we had a balancing piece.

    ESG investing is not only financially stupid, it is illegal redirection of private funding to promote insane politically-driven objectives.

    Yes, racism had become than it has ever been in America in my lifetime. We did lose a little ground due to Obama and Biden agenda, along with the anti-American agitators Communist run BLM and ANTIFA. Instead of healing the country, they pick at the scabs and inflict new cuts, negating much of the work of good-hearted people.

    I saw what that the HB 991 authors wanted to accomplish, but this is not the way to do it and would backfire spectacularly. Basically, it’s what Big Tech is doing, but with the full power of “gummint” to back it up- scary.

  • What is wrong with people. Isn’t it so so easy to criticize? How about you stand out as an individual and say what’s right with America. The list could fill a book.

  • I woke up this morning unsure of my sexual orientation so I asked my wife, Bruce, what he/she thought.

    We couldn’t decide.

    So I reverted to white, male, Capitalist conservative and lived happily ever after.

  • Dave,
    Poor Br’er Rabbit, after years of out smarting Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear children will no longer get to see him avoid disaster after disaster. No more briar patch,no more zip-pity-do-da. Who’s next, Willy Coyote and the road runner? Vanilla is the flavor of the day, no wait that’s also no longer PC. Better the kids play video games where the object is is to shoot action figures and get them ready for real street fighting.
    Getting old I guess.


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