It’s Disenfranchisement If The Republicans Do It In Majority Republican Counties. But The Democrats Also Do It In Majority Democrat Counties.

On the Editorial Page of today’s Fernandina News-Leader was this Letter-to-the-Editor by Carla Voisard, Chairperson of Democratic Executive Committee (emphasis & notes mine):

“The final straw

Well, I just got the numbers, and over 2,000 Democrats and No Party Affiliates have registered Republican in Nassau County [see note 1]. They will vote in the Republican primary.  I guess this fall under the final straw.

Many were tired of efforts to disenfranchise their right to vote. When one party has someone run as either a write-in candidate [see note 2] (no one ever sees their name) or has a Republican reregister as a Libertarian (about 180 in the county) to keep the Democratic and nonaffiliated voters from voting, it becomes unacceptable. [see note 3]

This year they [Republicans?] went too far (the final straw). The [voter registration?] book closed last Monday for the primary. You are [registered?] for the primary what you were [registered?] that day. So to all who did this, I say, go vote, and vote the entire [Republicans?] ballot. Once your vote is cast, take the final stand and reregister as you were. The moment you turn in your ballot, fill out the paperwork to return to your prior status. You can do this at the Supervisor of Elections office or at the Democratic headquarters. You do not have to wait until after the primary. The day after the primary, the supervisor will flip the switch and you will be home. The point will have been made quite clear. Stop trying to rig elections and disenfranchising voters!

Carla Voisard Yulee

Voter registration, as of June 30th 2016:

COUNTY               REPUBLICAN   DEMOCRAT     MINOR                 NONE               TOTAL

CLAY 77,209 31,372 3,822 29,389 141,792
DUVAL 211,817 230,401 16,526 102,635 561,379
NASSAU 33,565 13,823 1,957 9,919 59,264

Nassau as of 8/10/16: Republican:34,653,  Democrat:13,427,  Other:11,746, Total:  59,826

Note 1:  Carla, your premise is that they have changed parties in order to have a say in races that Republicans have no Democratic opposition in the State/Local Primary and have a write-in candidate to keep that race from being open to all voters (Universal Primary Contest).

Isn’t it also possible that some are simply Bernie supporters who can’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary R. Clinton?

Note 2:  For the uninitiated the write-in conspiracy is detailed below, both Republican & Democrats use it. and  the courts have upheld it:

Floridians in 1998 approved a constitutional amendment opening primaries to all voters if all of the candidates are from a single political party. Two years later, then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris issued an opinion that said the existence of a write-in candidate was enough to cause a primary to be closed. It has been used as a campaign tool ever since.

Critics of this practice have sued various times to open primaries when the presence of a write-in caused them to be closed but have lost repeatedly, most recently in a February Florida Supreme Court ruling.

Last week, three Republicans filed paperwork to become candidates for state attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida that includes Duval, Clay and Nassau counties. My colleague Larry Hannan reported that incumbent Angela Corey’s campaign manager also helped a fourth person qualify as a write-in, therefore limiting the primary to just Republican voters.

As a result, Hannan wrote, “about 440,000 registered voters in Duval, Nassau and Clay counties will not be allowed to cast ballots in the Aug. 30 primary because they are Democrats or have no party affiliation.” Write-in candidates also closed the primaries in the public defender’s race, where Matt Shirk is trying to keep his job.

Note 3:  Florida is a closed primary state, you only vote the ticket of your registration, Universal Primary Contest and Nonpartisan, so if you register:

  •  No Party Affiliation, you can only vote this ballot,
  • Libertarian, you can only vote this ballot,
  • Republican, you can only vote this ballot,
  • And if Democratic, you can only vote this ballot.

A write-in qualifies for the primary election, but their name won’t be on the ballot, they will either have to file paperwork at different times leading up to the primary election or pay fines for failure to file.  But the fines are based on the amount of money raised, and most don’t raise any money.  In state wide contest here are 35 write-in this election cycle.

The write-in loophole is used by both parties, in Palm Beach County, which has a 120,000 Democratic majority, the House race between Democrats Skidmore & Slosberg was closed by Mary Kathryn Johnson, of St. Petersburg, a 150 miles from the district.

This situation was created by a 1998 constitutional amendment passed by voters.

On the upcoming Republican primary ballot we have the following races, in Nassau County, which are no Universal Primary Contest because of either a Libertarian Party of Florida, Write In,  or No Party Affiliation:

  1. State Attorney – Daniel K. Leigh WRI w/no financial activity
  2. Public Defender – Roland Falcon WRI w/no financial activity
  3. State Representative (Dist 11) – Walter E. Haynes WRI w/no financial activity
  4. Tax Collector – John L. McDowell WRI w/no financial activity
  5. Superintendent of Schools – Cheryl R. James LPF w/financial activity
  6. County Commissioner (Dist 5) – Don Tanner WRI w/no financial activity

Voter Registration by month from Florida Division of Elections


A Clearinghouse for Volunteers

At the recent Amelia Island Genealogy Society‘s board meeting Gloria Toomey introduced us to JustServe, a clearinghouse for volunteers (organizations needing volunteers/individual wanting to volunteer).  They have an Android & I-phone app in addition to the web site

Their about page:

“JustServe matches faith, nonprofit, community and governmental organizations that need volunteers with volunteers willing to help. links you to service opportunities in your community so you can make a difference wherever you are and however you want to serve.

Once we know what the needs are, we tell you about them here on JustServe then you can go and help get the job done. We make it easy to sign-up and show-up, on your time and in your way. is provided as a service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following the Biblical admonition to “love thy neighbor as thyself,” JustServe provides opportunities to relieve suffering, assist those in need of a helping hand, and enhance the quality of life in the community. JustServe is not for proselytizing or publicity–simply a service to help link community volunteer needs with volunteers.”

Currently there is only one project listed for “Fernandina Beach” Keep Nassau Beautiful’s Adopt-a-Mile project which needs volunteers to “Meet at the corner of North 14th Street and Franklin Street and park in the Baptist Church parking lot at 8:00 a.m. on the designated Saturday.” and work on cleaning North 14th St for Atlantic Ave to Bosque Bello Cemetery.

This appears to be a service that the volunteer driven organizations in Nassau County need to join.

Would a $275.00 Evacuation Hood Have Saved Chris Steven’s Life?

I have been in high rise buildings where there is a smoke hood in every office.  Wikipedia points out the website recommends them.

Preparedness lists, such as those presented by Ready.Gov, often recommend smoke hoods, although some lists use alternate names such as “fume hoods,” “respirator hoods,” or “self-rescue hoods.” As most modern construction contains materials that produce toxic smoke or fumes when burned, smoke hoods can allow people to make a safe escape from buildings when it might not otherwise be possible.

Why weren’t smoke hood available at the Benghazi diplomatic compound, as part of their emergency preparedness?

Are smote hoods part of the State Department’s current preparedness plans?

  • Maybe, this CBS news report shows State Department rescue training where the victim is wearing a smoke hood (time code 0.51 – 0.55).



10 Million Job Loss in Civilian Work Force During Obama Administration

In my opinion the best measure of economic recovery is the Bureau of Labor Statistics Civilian Labor Force Level which looks like this for January 1948 through July 2016.


The vertical axis in Number in thousands of  16 years and over workers in the Civilian Workforce.  The data is tabulated monthly.  I have overlaid a conservative trend line (red) from 1962 to 2016.  The red arrows indicate recessions documented in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia tells us there have been 10 recessions, red arrows above, since 1949. They cite the following definition of a recession:

The unofficial beginning and ending dates of recessions in the United States have been defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an American private nonprofit research organization. The NBER defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than two quarters which is 6 months, normally visible in real gross domestic product (GDP), real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.

Following the end of World War II and the large adjustment as the economy adjusted from wartime to peacetime in 1945, the collection of many economic indicators, such as unemployment and GDP, became standardized. Recessions after World War II may be compared to each other much more easily than previous recessions because of these available data. The listed dates and durations are from the official chronology of the National Bureau of Economic Research.  GDP data are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, unemployment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (after 1948). Note that the unemployment rate often reaches a peak associated with a recession after the recession has officially ended.


The recession of the Early 1980s is the closest to our most recent (2009) in peak unemployment (-2.7 vice -4.3) and length (1 yr 4 mo vice 1 yr 6 mo).  But if we examine the impact on civilian labor force we see a different story.

Looking at impact on the civilian labor force we see an impact in the 1960 – 1961 recession where there was a significant plateau in the growth of the civilian labor force.  Followed by a resumption of the growth rate with a net 2 M loss of civilian jobs.


We see this again in the recession of the early 1990s.  The plateau, followed by a reduce growth rate and a net loss of 2 M civilian jobs.


We don’t see this in the recession of the early 2000’s, if anything there is a spike in the civilian labor force in December 1999.   Likewise there is no significant plateau with the 2007 – 2009 Great Recession. F5

A plateau does occur post the great recession in 2009, which plateaued for 6 years (orange), before renewing an upward trend (blue), with a net loss of 10 million job.  The job loss is increasing because of the reduce rate of growth beginning in 2014 (blue).


Some Favorite Reads

Books about/by Richard Feynman

  • Surely Your’e Joking, Mr. Feynman
  • What Do You Care What Other People Think
  • Tuva or Bust!

Tom Robbins Books

  • Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
  • Another Roadside Attraction
  • Still Life With Woodpeckers
  • Skinny Legs And All

Carl Hiaasen Books

  • Too many to list see his website
    • You may need to be a Florida native or long time resident to appreciate Carl.

Michael Connelly Books

  • Lincoln Lawyer Series
  • Harry Bosch Series
    • The Black Echo (1992)
    • The Black Ice (1993)
      The Concrete Blonde (1994)
    • The Last Coyote (1995)
    • Trunk Music (1997)
    • Angels Flight (1999)
    • A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
    • City Of Bones (2002)
    • Lost Light (2003)
    • The Narrows (2004)
      The Closers (2005)
    • Echo Park (2006)
    • The Overlook (2007)
    • The Brass Verdict (2008)
      Nine Dragons (2009)
    • The Reversal (2010)
    • The Drop (2011)
    • The Black Box (2012)
    • The Burning Room (2014)
    • The Crossing (2015)
    • The Wrong Side Of Goodbye (Coming November 2016)


Growing up in Fernandina

People frequently ask me what it was like growing up in Fernandina.

Some of my stock answers are:

  • Then – Living on the beach everyone had a dog, there were no fences and if you needed a leash you found a piece of rope.
    • Now – You will be fined if caught with your dog off leash on the beach.
      • Some unnamed people do break the law, Konna & Poppy on the beach video.
  • Then – Above the average high water mark was private property, therefore I was able to drive dad’s war surplus jeep on the beach when I was 10 years old.  From the north end of the island to the south end of the island because I was on private property.
    • Now – If, and only if, you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, and are a county resident you can “drive/park” on about a 100 yards of the beach at Saddler Road, drive on limited stretches at Peter’s Point and the South End for free, otherwise you must obtain a Permit.
  • Then – Dad would land his Luscombe (airplane) on the beach in winter and park it in the garage.
    • Now – If you can’t drive on the beach I can’t imagine what would happen if you landed on the beach.
  • Then – If I was going to town and didn’t want to ride my bike or walk, I would stand on the corner of Fletcher and Atlantic and hitch-hike a ride.  To get home I would stand under the oak at 8th and Atlantic and hitch a ride home.
    • Now – No parent in their right mind would allow a child to hitch-hike.
  • Then – A Coke, out of the machine at Moore’s Grocery cost $0.05 cents, if you took it out of the store you paid Stella $0.02 deposit on the bottle.  I remember when the price went to $0.06.
    • Now – I recently paid $1.89 for a medium Coke at one of the fast food joints on 8th street.
  • Then – There were two stop lights on the island, and 5 or 6 restaurants.  Remember the Blue Seas, 5-J’s and the Sandbar?
    • Now – 4 stop lights on Fletcher Ave. and more Restaurants than you can count.  Why isn’t there a Cajun restaurant?
  • Then – We would sneak into Fort Clinch, to play, and eventually Mr. Decker would see us and yell at us.
    • Now – There are reenactors playing at the Fort.


Photo – Corner of 3rd and Atlantic (now Centre) looking southwest.  Hardee’s is now Fantastic Fudge ice cream shop.

Photo Credit: Holland, Karl E., 1919-1993. Fernandina Beach street scene – Fernandina Beach, Florida. 1972. Black & white photoprint, 3 x 3 in. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. <;, accessed 9 August 2016.





Hillary’s Handling of Classified Documents.


  • Special Access Programs SAPs
    • SAPs must be established and maintained only when absolutely necessary to protect the Nation’s most sensitive capabilities; information; technologies; operations; and research, development, test and evaluation; or when required by statute pursuant to Reference (b). Establishment must be consistent with Executive Order (E.O.) 13526.
    • SAPs must be protected at all times consistent with their classification and sensitivity.
    • employees who meet personnel access or prerequisite eligibility criteria and have assigned legal, fiscal, audit, investigative, operational, or statutory oversight or regulatory duties for DoD SAPs must be deemed to have need to know (NTK) for access and will be granted effective and sufficient access to those programs when determined necessary by an access approval authority (AAA) to meet their responsibilities.
  • Classified Information
    • Classified national security information is information created or received by an agency of the federal government or a government contractor that would damage national security if improperly released.
    • Information can only be classified if an official determination is made that its unauthorized release would damage the national security. Levels of classification correspond to levels of supposed damage. E.O. 13526 specifies that information whose release would cause “exceptionally grave damage to the national security” is classified TOP SECRET; information whose release would cause “serious damage” is classified SECRET; CONFIDENTIAL is the lowest category of classified information currently in use.
  • Portion Markings
    • Identify the classification level of each portion.
      • A portion is ordinarily defined as a paragraph, but also includes subjects, titles, graphics, tables, charts, bullet statements, sub-paragraphs, classified signature blocks, bullets and other portions within slide presentations, and the like.
      • Portion markings consist of the letters “(U)” for Unclassified, “(C)” for Confidential, “(S)” for Secret, and “(TS)” for Top Secret.
      • The two paragraphs of this sample document contain “Secret” and “Unclassified” information, respectively.
      • The abbreviations, in parentheses, are placed before the portion to which they apply. Portion mark as illustrated in this example.
    • Example –

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR From: John E. Doe, Chief Division 5

Subject: (U) Examples

1. (U) Paragraph 1 contains “Unclassified” information. Therefore, this portion will be marked with the designation “U” in parentheses preceding the portion.

• (S) If all sub-paragraphs are the same classification as the primary paragraph, then you do not need to portion mark the sub-paragraphs.

• (U) However, if the portions are not all the same classification, then all main and sub-paragraphs must be individually marked.

2. (S) Paragraph 2 contains “Secret” information. Therefore, this portion will be marked with the designation “S” in parentheses preceding the portion.

3. (TS) Paragraph 3 contains “Top Secret” information.  Therefore, this portion will be marked with the designation “TS” in parentheses preceding the portion.

FBI Findings (emphasis added)

  • From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.
  • seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails)
  • Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.

Bret Baier Interview

“Director Comey said that my answers were truthful and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people.”  HRC answer to Bret’s question about her handling of classified information.

Hillary’s Clarification

NBC’s Kristen Welker asked Clinton about the “debunked” claim that she made during two separate interviews, noting that Comey actually contradicted many of her statements about her email. “Are you mischaracterizing Director Comey’s testimony, and is this not undercutting your efforts to rebuild trust with the American people?”

“Kristin, I appreciate your asking that, because I was pointing out in both of those instances that the Director Comey had said that my answers in my FBI interview were truthful. That’s really the bottom line here,” said Clinton.

Video of interview is here, where she continues to explain that she “short-circuited”

I guess that “short-circuited” is Clinton Speak for Lied!

Evidently what she intended to  say was “Director Comey said that my answers, to the FBI,  were truthful and what I’ve said, to the FBI, was  inconsistent with what I have told the American people.”