Move over Dickie Anderson. Your “From the Porch” column is no longer the most incoherent and amateurish regularly scheduled piece of babble printed in the local bi-weekly News-Leader. With a single swat Joe Palmer’s Friday, November 27 “Cup of Joe” outburst smacked you off that pedestal.
While Ms. Anderson’s self-indulgent and high-schoolish column is an incomprehensible and harmless word jumble, Palmer’s virulent rant reads like an urgent plea for admission to anger management rehab or an alert that he’s gone off his meds.
A few words into Palmer’s November 27 “The same old road to perdition” I thought I was reading one of the Amelia Island News-Wrecker parodies, but soon realized that this guy, who in a column a few weeks ago actually described himself as a “southern humorist,” was dead serious.
Joe Palmer: “Knock, knock.”
Respondent: “Who’s there?”
Joe Palmer: “#@(*&^%$!*, ya’ll.”
Let’s take a look at this alleged “southern humorist’s” November 27 “Cup of Joe” column.
Let me make it clear that I am not condemning Palmer’s opinion nor am I agreeing with it. My issue is the malicious, shallow and tasteless way he expressed himself. His topic was the relocation of 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. He disagrees with those who oppose their relocation here as vehemently as a militant, street-corner preacher shouting about hellfire and damnation. However, even the most crazed religious fanatic argues in more calm and reasoned tones than Palmer’s demented reaction to the anti-refugee crowd.
And he didn’t waste any time blasting those he opposes. In his first paragraph he attacked folks who object to the U.S. relocation of Syrians as “…demagogues, racists, fear mongers, and crazed nativists screaming bloody murder for Lady Liberty to give the finger to foreign refugees fleeing death, etc…..” You can almost see the wild look in his eyes and the spittle coming from his mouth.
But if you think that was harsh, you ain’t read nothing yet. Because of Donald Trump’s comments on immigration he referred to Trump as “a liar, con man, a racist and above all else, a thoroughly despicable human being” and then added: “Many of his churlish disciples are violent people.”And in case his readers might think he was being a little too easy on The Donald, he said that Trump: “…..is not the legitimate face of America but its filthy opposite end.” WOW! I haven’t witnessed an intellectual debate this deep since my first grade friend Jimmy B. had his mouth washed out with soap for calling a classmate “pooh-pooh head.”
But wait, there’s more, much more. If you think Palmer dislikes Donald Trump, just wait till he gets to Sean Hannity, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, the governor of Texas, west coast farmers, Breitbart, and Mother Goose. OK, he didn’t actually mention Mother Goose, but I’m sure that’s only because he ran out of space.
The unhinged “humorist” compares folks that oppose the relocation of the refugees to the U.S. to those who placed Japanese-Americans in internment camps following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, ironically adding: “Malice grows more belligerent each day.” He made that comment just before he asked: “How long before we start rounding up our doctors, lawyers, school-teachers, shopkeepers and neighbors and putting them in concentration camps too?” Concentration camps? Shopkeepers? Doctors? Hey? What? Huh? I’m totally lost here. Maybe News-Leader Publisher Foy Maloy can explain. What’s your humorist talking about Foy? I think I missed the punch line.
Oh, and following his criticism of the Texas governor’s comments involving refugees, he asks “Do you see a pattern here? You’re stupid if you don’t.” It’s not often I read editorials where a writer calls his newspaper’s readers “stupid.” In fact, until this one, I’ve never, ever read a column where the writer called his newspaper’s readers “stupid.” But, maybe I just don’t understand southern humor. You must be wetting yourself with laughter Foy, particularly after your “humorist” wrote: “Let’s just establish the Fourth Reich and get on with it.” Yep, this guy’s a laugh a minute.
I don’t know about any others who may have read this thing, but by the time I reached the end of it, the News-Leader’s self-proclaimed “southern humorist” hadn’t produced a single yuk from me. I didn’t say to my wife, Linda: “Honey, you’ve got to read this…it’s hilarious.” Nope, that didn’t happen.
Near the end of this catechism of hated Palmer challenged his “stupid” readers saying: “Call me a liberal, a pacifist, a hippie, whatever. I honestly don’t care.” Joe, I don’t know if you are any of those things, but I do know what you are not, and that’s a humorist, southern or otherwise.
Because I’ve owned property on Amelia Island since 2002 I subscribed to the News-Leader when I lived in Atlanta so I could keep up with what was happening with taxes, zoning, etc. Before moving here about five years ago, and while in Atlanta I read a Palmer column I disagreed with and emailed him jokingly saying: “Your recent commentary is an example of why you shouldn’t drink before you write your column.” The man does not take criticism well. He responded to me with a barrage of obscenities and let me know that he doesn’t drink, and made it very clear that he failed to find anything humorous in my comments.
By the way Foy, do you or your editor at the News-Leader ever bother reading this stuff before it’s printed? Just wondering, as I can’t imagine your subscribers clipping it and mailing it to others, and urging them to sign on, or advertisers clamoring for space anywhere near Palmer’s honey wagon.
Foy, you and your southern “humorist” might want to take a look at Florida Times-Union columnist Mark Woods’ comments (Refugees haven’t been the problem, T-U, Sunday, November 29) on the exact same topic that appeared just two days later. Woods agrees with Palmer’s viewpoint, but does so with reason and logic. He makes a lucid argument, cites attributable sources as well as verifiable statistics, and displays respect for his readers as well as those who disagree with his analysis.
Whether I agree or not with either of these guys on the Syrian refugee issue isn’t my point. If a writer wants to persuade me to consider his or her position on a topic, they’ll have a better chance of doing so with a well thought out, reasoned argument, and showing me respect, rather than producing a disjointed, venom-spewing piece where hate is the coin of the realm, and the author says I’m “stupid” if I don’t agree with his view. And that’s no laughing matter.
Speaking Of Persuasive Arguments: If you haven’t already done so then I suggest you read the comment in last week’s blog from Mr. Don Howard who applauds the Veterans Administration hospitals for their efforts. Don, who served as a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps, knows what he’s talking about as he is a disabled vet who has experienced firsthand treatment by those employed at the Veterans Administration. I was critical of the VA last week, calling it corrupt and inept. Don, who I have known since he was Vice President of Human Resources at National Data Corporation in Atlanta, disagrees with my view and what he says makes a lot of sense. Here’s part of it: “I Applaud the comments re ex-cons life prospects after incarceration, not so much the sweeping indictment that the VA is ‘inept and corrupt.’ It’s the government, what do you expect? (Here it comes) HOWEVER my experience and that of the vet’s I drive from Sarasota to Bay Pines (St. Pete) as a volunteer a couple of times a month (for the past 12 years) is quite different. My patients are happy with their docs and the treatment they receive from them and the staff, and the many volunteers like me who donate their time to help their fellow vets. Of course there are whiners and hard to please folks here just like everywhere, and certainly the quality of care is not as good as a well run private sector health care delivery. In my experience though the genuine caring shown by paid staff and volunteers, most of whom have served in the military themselves, far exceeds what you may find in many if not most civilian operations.” Don goes on to provide examples of the VA’s professionalism, staff, research and overall care. It’s worth a read and has certainly given me pause to reflect and reconsider my position.
Speaking Of Poor News Judgment: This past Sunday I had to wade through four pages of the Florida Times-Union sports page crap about the Jacksonville Jaguars, one of the worst teams in the NFL, before I found a story describing Florida State University’s 27-2 victory over the University of Florida Saturday evening, a game that everybody in the state was talking about before and after it was played—well, everybody that is except the clueless folks employed in the Times-Union sports department. And the wretched Jaguar’s football team hadn’t even played the game they would eventually lose to an even worse San Diego Chargers team. Geez Louise, if the Florida Times-Union Jaguar acolytes aren’t paid by the word or employed by Jaguar team owner Shad Kahn, then why else would they continue this mindless nonsense? But wait, since this is the same newspaper that Joe Palmer said he once worked for things are starting to come together…..
Pajama Life Is Also A Caring Life: Add “caring and generous citizen” to the long list of complimentary adjectives used to describe local entrepreneur, boat captain, and town character PajamaDave Voorhees. Dave and his pretty blonde fiancé Zan Maddox headed up last Friday’s downtown Fernandina Beach Black Friday activities by blocking off the section of South 2nd Street in front of their Pajama Life shop and paying out of their own pockets for: bands, stage rental, setting up a miniature golf course, providing free cup cakes, cotton candy and hot chocolate as well as organizing and judging the downtown Pajama competition that saw close to 50 entries. Oh, and speaking of contests, the Downtown Holiday Window Decor competition that is part of the Dickens on Centre starts today with folks asked to vote online by going to ameliaislandchristmas.com. PJDave’s South 2nd Street window is an innovative miniature town that appears to be experiencing what appears to be a blizzard with swirling snow, a Santa and his reindeer flying across the sky and more. He gets my vote. So the next time you see these two pat ’em on the back, tell ’em thanks and buy ’em a beer.
“Old” Friends: Once a month I meet for lunch with good friends Cal Atwood and Joe Murphy at a different Amelia Island restaurant where we sample the fare of local chefs and discuss anything we feel like talking about, and we have lots to discuss as our collective ages number 246 years, so there’s a deep well of information, experience, opinions and BS to draw from. This past Wednesday we decided on Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro and I consider it one of our best choices so far. If you like macaroni and cheese, lobster, and shrimp, then get over to Joe’s as owner and chef Ricky Pigg has created an innovative three-cheese penne pasta combination of all of these, but bring a friend because this is a real “Pigg Out” special that’s heavy on the shrimp and lobster and is only $13.00. Joe selected the chicken and Andouille wontons ($8.00) while Call ordered the shaved prime rib sandwich ($14.00) with horseradish sauce, melted Swiss cheese, and a side of fries, and both said they were more than pleased with their choices. This cozy, white linen table cloth bistro also offers a wide selection of beers and wines and has a liquor license for those who want to get in the spirits of the season. It’s also only one of four downtown restaurants where — if you sit on the upstairs balcony — you can enjoy views of the harbor. Between bites I asked these two guys, who are only modest when asked about themselves, how their respective charitable organizations did during recent fund raising events. Joe Murphy told me that the local charity he works with, the 5th Annual Navy Seal Foundation Charity Golf event sponsored by the Amelia Island Charity Group and the Amelia Island Club held November 7, exceeded its $100,000 goal and raised more than $130,000 for support and assistance to the Navy Special Warfare community and its families, while Cal said the 14th Annual Marine Corps League Golf Tournament played October 24 pulled in $80,000. It is now the “Calvin ‘Cal’ Atwood Marine Corps Tournament,” having the World War II Iwo Jima veteran’s name added this year to honor the 92-year-old Amelia Island icon for his efforts in raising money for the event the past many years. All money raised is used by the Marine Corps League of Nassau County to assist area families in need and one generous island resident, who requests anonymity, donated an 18-wheeler full of new toys estimated at some $50,000 that included 130 brand new bicycles. Having lunch with these two guys is not only fun, but an honor.
Drinking, Dining & Dancing: In the “I told you so department” chain pizzeria Papa John’s, next to the closed 14th Street movie theater has apparently shuttered as former employees have announced on social media sites that they are getting no response from the eatery owner for their final paychecks….a situation that does not make for a very happy Christmas. Why would anyone frequent one of these formula chains when we have home grown pizzerias like Tony’s, Townies, Arte’s, Ops and Moon River? Want to run a restaurant and bar? Well, Beef O’Brady’s, at the corner of South 14th Street and Sadler in the Publix Island Walk shopping center is for sale for $295,000, an established 2,700 square-foot eatery that has been on the scene for the past 15 years. It hasn’t closed so you can come in a take a look at how it’s doing and try their 12-ounce $1.00 happy hour beer from 5-6 p.m. then a $1.99 pint till 7. Ok folks, the best wine tasting event of the year in my opinion takes place this evening as Steve and Donna Raszkin of A Taste of Wine By Steve conduct an inside and outside Champagne and sparkling wine event with some 11 vineyards featured for just a $5.00 tasting fee at their 4924 First Coast Highway location. And the popular holiday Holly Nog is back at $11.95 a bottle. Call ’em at 904/557-1506. Local restaurant and food critic Karen Miller was kind enough to choose me as her dining companion for a taste of Townies menu selection earlier this week and, of all the items we were offered at the T.J. Courson Road location, I was most surprised with the wings, particularly the spicy ones with a rub that are slow cooked in the oven so there is a noticeable lack of grease. Ms. Miller’s column, “The Eating Scene“, appears in the monthly Amelia Islander Magazine and Townies will be featured in next month’s issue which will appear the first week of January. Both Tony’s, next to Publix in the Island Walk Shopping Center, and Townies, tell me that they deliver more wings than pizza on college and NFL football weekends, with their pizzas running a close second. I’ve eaten at both locations and give ’em both a thumbs up for their flappers and hot pies. Want to get into the holiday spirits? Then try Slider’s featured seasonal cocktail — “The Grinch” — with dark rum, peach schnapps, blue Curacao, Sprite, orange juice, and sour mix.
Dave, You column is the next best thing to being there in person. Keep ’em coming.” Gary
Boy oh boy . . . I am just a high school drop out who grew up in a socialist country, lived in four countries under political systems ranging from from communism to totalitarian regime and even the chaos of the Congo in the 80s. So . . . please excuse my simple and faulty English.
As a naturalized citizen (with a real birth certificate, and a social security that was not recycled from a dead person) I don’t want these Muslims in the US. They don’t come to embrace our culture, they come as invaders. I know because I have experienced it first-hand in France where I grew up until I was 21.
The two biggest issues we have in this country are Islam and liberals.
I am soooo voting for Trump!
Thank you Dave for your awesome columns. I stopped advertising in the News Leader early this year.
As Palmer is concerned . . . complete waste of time to even try to have an intelligent debate with someone like that. Too emotional, irrational and closed minded.
Thank God his kind is on the decline.
Take care and God Bless.
Dave, I feel like I have wasted my education. I thought my dissertation on discovering a third distinct mode of dissociative recombination on a sub-molecular particle was well reasoned and worthy of my Ph.D. However, in disagreeing with Joe Palmer’s conclusion’s, I discover that I am truly stupid. All I have left is to wait for the bus to the concentration camp ( plus cancel my subscription to our local paper).
Dumb as I apparently am, I can still comprehend why your blog’s following is growing while the newspaper’s circulation is, no doubt, in decline. You are quite “readable”, as well informative on the local scene; the newspaper, not so much. I think I have discovered why I have a headache after reading the newspaper – the illogic and sophism are mind-boggling.
Anyway, I’m late for my lobotomy, so must go.
Dittos on Joe’s column.In the past his writing has been on target and very identifiable to the average southerner. Although, now he seems to be in another phase.Ranting ,raving and finger pointing at those who would disagree. Maybe the man is in the throes of a mid-life crisis or just had a very bad experience with life.
Hi, Dave! I just wanted to thank you for the free publicity you gave Cup of Joe in your blog this week. I’ve picked up quite a few new fans and readers who came over to see my column as a result. Can’t buy this kind of advertising! Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas, my friend and the Happiest of New Years!
As upsetting as it is for me, I must agree with you one one point. No writer should call or imply their readership are stupid. It would be parallel to telling your wife to lose some weight and then asking her to put on your favorite nightgown before bedtime. Joe was passionate about what he wrote no doubt. You mentioned you do not agree or disagree, that in itself is interesting for those of us who follow your written word as if it was gospel. With respect to Joe’s malicious , shallow and tasteless way he expresses himself, I am sure he would accept coaching from you on the art of tactful and respectful journalism.
The real point here, all kidding aside, as in any article, no matter how tastefully it is composed is simple. Is it truthful? Is Trump a lair, a con man, a racist and dangerous? Being called despicable, well that’s a judgment call. The others are more fact based. Have many of the others jumped on Trump’s back to try to be as tough as he talks, just look at the records. Are many being scared to death by the fear that is being spread by Trump and company? Is Trump entertaining ID cards for a religious group? Is he entertaining putting houses of worship under surveillance because of the religion they practice? Has Trump promised to round up 11 million humans and deport them? I know, your saying” why did he say humans and not illegal Mexicans? The reason is simple, yes they broke the law, yes they are illegal, and yes they are humans with families. lives, children, and jobs.
I believe Joe was trying to point out how fear has motivated us to institute, as a Nation, some of the most inhumane policies, which we have been forever ashamed of, such as internment camps. He has pointed out how leaders of a Country, through fear, salesmanship and manipulation can change the course of history. Hitler may a good example. We loosely use the term “never forget.” It is a term we should all remember when speaking of Trump and the potential devastation he could cause. This is what I believe Joe was referring to. Which message is truly more important to get out, Don’t call your readers stupid, or, lets all take a deep breath and look at what is happening at this point in history?
Beef O Brady’s is for sale !!! That’s major news as I go there several times a week……. Who else will serve $1 beers 7 days a week.. sigh
Joe Palmer’s Friday, November 27 “Cup of Joe”
“If a writer wants to persuade me to consider his or her position on a topic, they’ll have a better chance of doing so with a well thought out, reasoned argument, and showing me respect, rather than producing a disjointed, venom-spewing piece where hate is the coin of the realm…”
Dave, remember, “when you point a finger, there are three pointing back at you”.
You started your essay by announcing that Dickie Anderson (“From the Porch” column) “is no longer the most incoherent and amateurish regularly scheduled piece of babble printed in the local bi-weekly News-Leader”. You called her column “self-indulgent and high-schoolish”….“an incomprehensible and harmless word jumble”. Does this demonstrate respect? I saw no examples of supporting evidence that provided a “well-reasoned” analysis supporting your criticism of her writings.
Turning your attention to Mr. Palmer you wrote:
“Palmer’s virulent rant reads like an urgent plea for admission to anger management rehab or an alert that he’s gone off his meds.”
“You can almost see the wild look in his eyes and the spittle coming from his mouth.”
“… even the most crazed religious fanatic argues in more calm and reasoned tones than Palmer’s demented reaction to the anti-refugee crowd.” (Really? I don’t think so. But, if you can find an example, I’d love to see it.)
“Your recent commentary is an example of why you shouldn’t drink before you write your column.” (your “jokingly” reply to Palmer re: a column he wrote with which you disagreed.) Joking? OUCH!
If the above excerpts demonstrate respect, I fail to see it. I can see the venom however.
As to your comment, “In his first paragraph he attacked folks who object to the U.S. relocation of Syrians as “…demagogues, racists, fear mongers, and crazed nativists screaming bloody murder for Lady Liberty to give the finger to foreign refugees fleeing death, etc…”. Well, if the shoe fits. Too bad he did not add ignorance to their common bond.
“How long before we start rounding up our doctors, lawyers, school-teachers, shopkeepers and neighbors and putting them in concentration camps too?” Concentration camps? Shopkeepers? Doctors? Hey? What? Huh? I’m totally lost here.” Yes, I believe you are. Ever read, IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE, by Sinclair Lewis? How about Martin Neimoller?
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
As for Mother Goose, I’ll trust that he did not mention or disparage her. Need I verify?
Hay Dave, Just read your Diatribe against Joe Palmer. Which you started with “My issue is the Malicious,Shallow and Tasteless way he expressed himself” I had to chuckle, do you ever proof read your articles? Malicious, Shallow and Tasteless is your “Stock in Tread” Do you seriously believe the people you single out are not offended by your literary pock in the eye? Your column is predicated on Tasteless. It’s Ironic you’d call out Joe for doing exactly what you so eloquently do. As for a Southern Humorist, Mark Twain, Will Rogers come to mind. Not Joe Palmer or Dave Scott.
Dave — Enjoyed your column, as always. Regarding the pizza chains v. local non-chain establishments, I don’t entirely agree. I won’t tell you which I would exclude from your list (that would be rude and unnecessary), but I will express my opinion that the Domino’s on Sadler Road bakes a great pizza with a very nice crust, with quick and courteous delivery. The Hawaiian is my favorite. Domino’s pizza has greatly improved. I’ve heard their wings are great, too, but I’m not a big wing eater (hope that doesn’t make me a communist!). Actually, I’m a true capitalist who goes where the best pizza, best price, and best service are combined. My list would include several of your non-chain picks plus Domino’s. Cheers!
Dave, thanks for mentioning that Beef O’ Brady’s is for sale. We are hoping to find a local to purchase it to “keep it local”, so we appreciate you spreading the word.
If anyone is interested in viewing the restaurant and going over the books , I can be reached at 557-5119.
Joe Parrish, Realtor
Mr Palmers tasteless rant is not his first one and I assume not the last. For example In the June 20, 2008 News Leader he authored a piece entitled “Pig Slop To Cover our Beaches” in which he insulted our Congressman Ander Crenshaw and the US Corps of Engineers for their role in the Fernandina Beach renourishment project.
About the news Leader after the ” letters to the editor” the next best is the “arrest recordings”.
Dave – Thanks for your comments on Mr. Palmer’s column. You very effectively made a point I’ve tried to make with you before. You are absolutely right – a good writer does not achieve his or her objective simply by calling those with opposing views “stupid” or (to use a couple of your favorites) “moronic” or even “loony”. Yes, there is a difference between satire and name-calling. I hope you’ll keep a copy of this week’s blog pinned near your keyboard for reference when you are editing your first drafts. It might give you “pause to reflect”.
Dave……As always, a fun read……. did not know about your monthly lunch with Cal and Murph. I know them both and they are two of the best. If, on one day, you want to push the 246 years over 300 (316) let me know and I would love to join you. Based on all the good Cal and Joe have done I would be happy to pick up the tab. I will pay for you too as I figure how much can some beer and wings cost me?
Great column. Joe Palmer’s ramblings are getting difficult to stomach. I find no humor or amusement in his writings.
Dave I hate you missed the opportunity to remind people to vote on Tuesday! See you at the polls.
Another Classic Column, David. Congratulations.
Please keep us informed of Mr. Palmer’s response. I’m expecting a real side-splitter.