Island Issues

Reader Reactions Mixed On “Liberal” Women’s March Commentary

All of the 32 comments posted thus far on last week’s blog were about the “Liberal Women’s March” that was intentionally and erroneously labeled by its organizers a “Women’s March.”

One of the comments was neutral, 14 disagreed with my remarks with two of them resorting to name-calling, while 17 agreed, a number I find interesting as most folks who agree with a topic rarely comment. On the other hand folks that do disagree are more inclined to express their discontent and, with the exception of a couple, all were polite, humorous, and offered facts and reasons for their adversarial stance.

Another thing I found unusual about the comments is that only those who agreed with me mentioned my observations on the plight of children born to unwed mothers as an issue worth pursuing. All of the disagreeing readers ignored it despite the fact that single motherhood may be the most important and unreported social problem in America, eclipsing crime, drugs, poverty, education, homelessness and welfare because it drives all of those ills.

Only one letter writer, J. Effingham Bellweather, (an alias perhaps?) did articulately comment on the Pro-Life march that followed the “Women’s March” in D.C. concluding his remarks by saying: “Attendees don’t march against something as much as they march as an affirmation and celebration of the basic truth that a child’s birth is always a triumph,” a statement I can’t argue with as long as that child is raised in a two-person household. Mr. Bellweather went on to question the reason women were marching at all in the so-called Women’s March saying: “…. what on earth was that mob of crazies in D.C. so angry about? Women hold 60% of personal wealth, 51% of stocks in the U.S, and live longer. And, they own most of the shoes.” If you haven’t done so read last week’s comments as they are entertaining and in many cases informative on both sides.

Despite what the national and local lady organizers claim, the “liberal” marchers didn’t speak for women across the country. Instead they spoke for liberal anti-Trump women across the country and the march was by no means inclusive as the marchers actively discounted pro-life feminists among others.

The “liberal women marchers” believe it is very important to have a “choice” when it comes to killing babies but not so important when it comes to what you think of global warming because you are supposed to be 100 percent in the tank with them on that topic.

At the D.C. Women’s March Michael Moore encouraged attendees to join Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro Choice America, or a climate change organization —hardly an ideologically diverse set of groups.

In fact march organizers gave a public heave-ho to the anti-abortion group, New Wave Feminists, telling that organization it was not welcome. Well, I guess that makes sense when abortion mill Planned Parenthood is one of the chief sponsors of their event.

But why weren’t prominent non-liberal women who were also outspoken against Trump invited to speak, such as S.E. Cupp, Ana Navarro, Condoleezza Rice, or Mindy Finn? Why was there only room for individuals of one political persuasion like Moore, Elizabeth Warren, Van Jones, Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards, Madonna and Ashley Judd who all displayed their visceral loathing, fear and incomprehension when talking about the Trump Administration?

The Hollywood celebrities that appeared don’t know any facts, but are perfectly content to speak out on a national stage because they know they’ll never be challenged. And as Ashley Judd and Madonna demonstrated, you can be literally insane, but because they’re celebrities their fawning liberal audience and the media declare them geniuses. The profane tone and general nastiness of the speakers made it appear as though this was a march of unhinged liberal women.

And if it was an inclusive march as the organizers claim where were the conservative or moderate voices on same-sex marriage, abortion, tax rates, gun issues, college funding, among others? I think that even the most conservative gal would agree that Trump’s vile comments about women are objectionable but I doubt they would have expressed that disagreement by wearing vulgar pink knit hats, clutching X-rated signs and spouting crude, nutty comments uttered by their liberal sisters.

It should be noted that the some 700-800 Fernandina Beach marchers were well behaved, orderly and refrained from the scatological rhetoric of their D.C. counterparts. But I didn’t see or hear any conservative messages from that group of ladies either. Were they excluded, not invited or just didn’t show up?

A liberal anti-Trump march is fine. But it should have been advertised as such, not labeled an all inclusive women’s event that it clearly was not. The march turned out to be a form of collective grief counseling and group therapy for women who voted for Hillary Clinton. Many of the women in D.C. flew there because they had already purchased airline tickets to what they were convinced was going to be a Hillary Clinton inauguration.

The Cato Institute’s Emily Ekins wrote in The Federalist that she would have liked to attend the Women’s March in Washington, but didn’t feel welcome because of the march’s overarching political agenda. “The organizers were not inclusive and sought to only include women who share their economic, cultural, and social policy views,” she said.

The Wall Street Journal’s Cori O’Connor wrote “These are not women’s marches. They are progressive marches. They are anti-Trump marches. But no group could represent the diversity of 50% of the population (53% of white women voted for Donald Trump, for crying out loud), and the organizers are wrong to claim to speak for Double X Americans, and the media is irresponsible in going along with the conceit.”

As a straight white guy am I the only demographic that doesn’t have some organization marching on my behalf? Oh well, I guess I don’t need no stinkin’ marchers.


Pulling Public Radio’s Financial Plug: The National Endowment for the Arts, which includes National Public Radio (NPR) is one of the targets of President Donald Trump who is aiming to slash government spending across the board, with numerous public services in the crosshairs including the Democrat Party’s tax payer funded propaganda arm, NPR.

The departments of Justice, State, Energy, Transportation, EPA, and Commerce are others targeted for massive budget cuts, with some programs under their jurisdiction slated entirely for elimination. Certain projects overseen by the Commerce and Energy agencies would also be transferred to other bureaus.

Meanwhile, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting—which funds, among other things, National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)—would be privatized at long last. The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.

And speaking of NPR I was listening with amusement the other day to Jacksonville’s WJCT (89.9 FM) as an All Things Considered interviewer (interrogator) frustrated with the answers provided by the Iowa attorney general worked herself into a tizzy and emphatically demanded to know when he would follow the lead of the Washington State DA and file suit against the Trump administration for its temporary ban on immigrants. Since Trump was elected NPR “news” broadcasters — convinced that Hillary Clinton should now be in the White House — have dropped all pretense of being objective and have shifted full throttle into a constant state of outrage that reverts to a Monty Python sketch when a guest cites actual facts that don’t fit their agenda.

I’m enjoying their misery but won’t miss this group of whiners, so if others want to listen to or watch that piffle, don’t ask me to help pay for it.


Things I Didn’t Know: Steven Vogel, a longtime professor of biology at Duke University who passed away in 2015, wrote some fascinating books and I would have enjoyed auditing any of his classes. He educated with interesting topics that included the following facts: To offset evaporation losses an ordinary corn plant pumps a gallon of water a day up from the soil; the human muscle compares favorably with combustion engines converting about 20-30% of the energy they consume into useful work; and a draft horse on level ground can pull a 4,000 pound wagon load, but on a grade of just 6% that capacity falls to just 90 pounds. Want to know why? Then check out the late professor’s book, Why the Wheel is Round. I would have enjoyed high school and college biology a lot more if I had instructors as entertaining as Professor Vogel.


Modern Day Luddites: Irrational and emotional environmental radicals who attack fossil fuel extracting technologies with the same crazed lunacy that the 19th century Luddites destroyed machinery in the cotton and wool industries are beside themselves with anger and frustration as President Trump embraces our country’s energy abundance making it a priority. Imagine if these modern day Luddites had convinced the Clinton administration to ignore or abandon the Internet revolution with the same demented fury they attack fracking.


Semper Fi Department: If you’ve got 12 bucks and a couple of hours to spare then mark February 21 on your calendar as you’ll get an earful of first-hand history and meet one of the most fascinating people to ever occupy space on this island. Calvin (Cal) Atwood, U.S. Marine, educator, poet and raconteur is the featured speaker at the European-American Business Club’s Tuesday, February 21 meeting at the Amelia River Gold Club (4477 Buccaneer Trail). The 6-8 p.m. session includes hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar and is open to the public. I wrote about Cal in this blog May 9, 2014 following lunch and a couple of beers at the Florida House’s Leddy’s Porch and have been friends with this gentleman ever since. Cal is a witty and entertaining 91-year-old, who doesn’t need glasses, sports a head-full of white hair, and was a 20-year-old Marine Corps Corporal in February and March 1945 when he fought on Iwo Jima and saw the flag raised on Mt. Suribachi before being wounded and evacuated after experiencing the loss – dead or wounded – of 95 percent of his company. Following the war, the high school dropout pursued an education with an intensity that earned him an undergraduate degree from Lawrence University and a masters from Columbia prior to taking teaching and administrative positions at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., Robert College, Istanbul, Turkey, Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Missouri, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and at Emory University in Atlanta. In addition he is an accomplished poet with works appearing The New York Times, Leatherneck Magazine, International Poetry Review, The Texas Quarterly, The Crucible, Southern Poetry Review, The Golden Horn, Tar Heel Magazine, and Pembroke Magazine. He has also served as President of the North Carolina Poetry Society and the Georgia State Poetry Society. RSVP for this fascinating talk by this fascinating man by going to


Speaking Of Speakers: I suffered a stroke in August 2013 and as a result I joined a group that meets monthly at the island’s Baptist Medical Center featuring a variety of guest speakers. The informational sessions headed up by Dr. Barbara Browning, are open to anyone interested in seeking information on how to prevent stroke to gaining advice from each other. Next Thursday’s meeting should be of interest to anyone as Dr. Ricardo Hanel MD, PhD, Director of the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Surgery at the Baptist Neurological Institute, will speak and be available for questions. The session will be held in the ground floor meeting room of BMC beginning at 1 p.m.


Drinking Dining & Dancing: If you’re movie fan and enjoy gourmet food and great wines too, then mark Sunday, February 26 on your calendar as the local Rendezvous Film Festival folks will host the 2017 Oscars at Luca’s (614 Centre Street) starting at 6:30 p.m. This is more than just an evening of watching the Oscar presentations as you and your friends will be treated to a three course meal, Champagne, door prizes, and have access to a cash bar. Proceeds go to this year’s Rendezvous Film Festival, Sept 21-23rd. Cost of the $75 per person, $125 for couples event entitles guests to a three-course dinner that includes a starter of antipasto medley, thin-crust Maghertia pizza, or house salad; a main course selection of one of the following: steak frites (12oz grilled rib-eye, rosemary fries, and mixed greens); Mediterranean seared salmon served with arugula and white bean pesto salad; shrimp Diavolo sautéed in spicy white wine and tomato sauce with fettuccine; chicken Marsala, tender chicken breasts and mushrooms in a fragrant wine sauce; or Thai coconut shrimp with yellow curry, rice, raisins, coconut, and scallions. Deserts selections are Nutella chocolate mousse; key lime pie; or baby cannoli. The dress is semi-formal. If your ‘e interested go to If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a quick meal and sip a cheap beer on Tuesdays, check out Halftime Sports Bar & Grill where you’ll get two buck drafts and domestic bottles, eight dollar pitchers and $10 buckets. Last Tuesday’s special was two chicken or beef quesadillas with a side for just eight bucks. It’s worth it and even though there a sports drought until baseball season, you can watch some obscure golf tournament, bicycle racing, bass fishing or mumbley-peg on one of their 15 large screen TVs.





George de Tarnowsky - 06. Feb, 2017 -

The Economist magazine referred to the Democrat’s progressive wing’s attempt to duplicate the tactics of the GOP’s Tea Party and a doomed effort because of their PC based ideology, reflected in the Women’s March on Washington, by calling them the “Herbal Tea Party”.

J. Effingham Bellweather - 03. Feb, 2017 -

Well stated Dave. Although they don’t shout as loudly, there are women all over the country who don’t share the personal outrage of the liberal left. I was proud to discover a particularly moving letter from one of them here. But far away from the histrionics of the marching pink hats, there is a group of women dedicated to providing the most selfless care and love to strangers’ at the most heartbreaking time. Meet the “Arlington Ladies.” According to their website: The Arlington Ladies are a group of volunteers who attend funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery to ensure that no Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Coast Guardsman is buried alone.

The Arlington Ladies began in 1948 with the Air Force. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Hoyt Vandenberg, and his wife, Gladys, routinely attended funeral services at the cemetery and noticed that some services only had a military chaplain present. The Vandenbergs believed that a member of the Air Force family should also attend and Mrs. Vandenberg asked her friends to start attending services. Over time she formed a group from the Officer’s Wives Club. In 1973, General Creighton Abrams’ wife, Julia, founded the Army’s version of the group. In 1985, the Navy also followed suit by creating a group of their own, and in 2006, the Coast Guard started a group as well. The Marines do not officially have a group as they send a representative of the Marine Commandant to every funeral. Today, the Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard all have Arlington Ladies who perform similar volunteer duties, attending funeral services for active duty service members and veterans. The criteria to become an Arlington Lady is different for each military service, but each has some connection to their respective service, generally as a current or former military member or a spouse of a military member. The ladies are an official part of the funeral service, representing the military service’s chief of staff or equivalent. The ladies present cards of condolence to the next of kin from the military service chief and spouse on behalf of the service family, and from the Arlington Lady herself. Wow. Just wow. So wonderful to know the bedrock of American patriotism, character and commitment is still solid in our nation.

Margo Story - 03. Feb, 2017 -

Let’s all get over these sad events & try to work with President Trump…….let’s” Make America Great Again”!!

John Hornsby - 03. Feb, 2017 -

Boo towels are half priced for self proclaimed Liberals at Walmart for the next 4 years. Pacifiers are buy one get one free……on the same aisle for your convenience.

George Clements - 03. Feb, 2017 -

Eliminate half of your over-the-top adjectives, Dave, and you will be far more effective in drawing people to your way of looking at issues.

Your old editor

Patrick J. Keogh - 03. Feb, 2017 -

Another good issue Dave. I listen to NPR but less since it took its strong post election bias. Never did understand why it should be government funded. I’d rather listen to Coke ads than those obnoxious fund raising diatribes.

Coleman LANGSHAW - 03. Feb, 2017 -

Hey Dave, I think your estimate of the women’s (and men’s) march in Fernandina is way too low… were you using Trump’s inauguration pictures for a head count? BTW, are Alt Facts = Alt Right? or is it the other way around? And lastly, to the “get over it” and “move on” movement…Obama is no longer President, so everyone who has been (BMW) Bitching, Whining and Moaning about the last eight years, and keep harping back to the former President, in a feeble effort to somehow justify the present and apparent future, should just “get over it, and move on” . What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

Judy Bock - 03. Feb, 2017 -

I feel I have been cheated with the election. But I fail to understand the feelings of 48% of the people of the USA. I have now learned that the slogan :” make America great again” is such a motivating factor for so many. There are so many factor involved in this statement. What does it really mean to that 48%. Does it mean rescinding the Johnson Amendment, Dodd Frank act, Roe V Wade, stop any gun control bill, LGBT rights bill? To name a few! Foreign affairs-isolationist? You renamed the march to liberal women’s march. OK There were many progressive men and young people marching. For such a red area, explain the huge turn out? It is scary to see things change in our world and we have no control. So we go back to a safe place or a safe time. I have lived a long time and have seen may events. There is more then the eye sees! Please look beyond the emotion and educate yourself about what is going on!

Rick Fine - 03. Feb, 2017 -

Dave, your only real appeal in this blog is your insightful commentary on Amelia Island events and happenings. For those articles you should be commended and applauded. You have a great talent. But your alt-right political opinions and sour wit could probably use a rest. Think about it and try to be more inclusive in your local coverage.

Micah Ward - 03. Feb, 2017 -

And now to a different kind of march. There is no sports drought Dave, we still have March Madness to come! And Sliders now has IPA selections on tap. Life is good on the island.

Teressa Keeling - 03. Feb, 2017 -

Well written. We can’t all agree on everything but now is the time for America to come together and stop being a bunch of sore losers. It is our duty as Americans to stand behind our president no matter who won!

Joe - 03. Feb, 2017 -

Great message Dave. Your like the “homey badger” got to get the honey even though you may receive a bite or to. As to our spoiled mass entertainers, peripheral,” Oh I went to the parade,” all we see is a group of BMW’s ( Bitchers, Moaners and Whiners ) It is amazing that with the female population in a majority of countries they have no voice, no champion and in a majority of said countries have economically nada. Where is the feminist outrage ? Where is the outreach, charitable support for these victims. They also exist in our own home towns, USA and usually have to beg for funds to survive their existence. Where are the rallies and marches for these folks.

Sheila - 03. Feb, 2017 -

Hi Dave. Just a note, I didn’t respond to your blog last week because I didn’t feel it deserved a response.

And just so your accounts are factual, from someone who was actually involved in the process, I’ll share this.

As an organizer, all were welcomed. And encouraged to attend. The official count, from photo and video ranged from 1300-1400 and that was under the number of this who planned attendance.

If you have any further questions about facts, I’m happy to share them with you.