Sunday, May 05, 2024

Don't Be Discouraged by Yul Nivver, Spouting "You'll Never" -- American History Teaches That Yul Nivver is Nearly Always Wrong!

Updated May 5, 2024:
As Jacksonville's Democratic Mayor Donna Deegan said in her May 4, 2024 FSU Commencement address: “When you walk out of here tonight, carry love with you. Fear is a liar meant to keep you down. And no matter what may come your way, instead of judging it, just stay curious. The unconquered spirit will light your path.”  Yes we can!

Updated January 27, 2024:  
Developer puppets, unjust stewards and corporate cat's paws voted 3-2 against stopping deforestation, though dozens of sincere citizens spoke October 17, 2023, against deforestation and in favor of Commissioner Krista Keating Joseph's proposed tree ordinance at the St. Johns County Commission on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, County Auditorium, 500 Sebastian View.  Nevertheless she persisted, voting against SilverLeaf and Gate Petroleum's massive expansion of its Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.
Commissioners were angry.  Millionaires and. billionaires were livid.

Our Republican developer-controlled Commission voted 4-1 on December 5, 2023 to denounce Commissioner Joseph for her Commissioner comments on overdevelopment and the 2024 election, based on Commissioner Herny Dean's misleading citations to Florida law.  On the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Commission hired the new law firm of a recently retired Florida Supreme Court Justice to opine.  The January 8, 2024 opinion by a former DeSANTIS Deputy General Counsel is superficial and ignores settled authority.  Commissioner Joseph filed for a declaratory judgment on January 10, 2024 in a federal court lawsuit naming Commissioners and the State's Attorney. Three cheers!

From November 23, 2024: 

Our all-Republican Commissioners on November 21, 2023 rejected Ponte Vedra environmentalist Ms. Nicole Crosby's application for a seat on the Land Acquisition Management Plan (LAMP) Advisory Board.  

Ms. Crosby angrily audibly responded, "That's bullshit!" She fled from the room. 
She should have stayed for the entire meeting. 

That same day, the controlling oligarchy and its burghers voted for ROY ALYRE ALAIMO, JR. to be the new Vice Chair, over Commissioner Krista Keating-Joseph, violating the legislative norm of rotation, comity and courtesy.  Developers are annoyed at Ms. Joseph for purposing controls on deforestation.  Their Republican money talks. 

In response to the three votes, Nicole Crosby has selected three (3) Republicans to run for County Commissioner.  Not clear why she feels she should substitute her judgment for that of the people, consider herself "the Decider," or to issue fatwas that no Democrats need apply.  

Democrats have won numerous countywide races for Mosquito Control and other elected positions.  Donna Deegan and Alvin Curry were elected Mayor of Jacksonville.  

Be not afraid. 

We don't have to accept second-rate candidates, or second-rate logic, or shallow, mendacious Madison Avenue slogans or shibboleths.  

Misguided people talking down to us and telling us that we "have to" vote Republican and that "you'll never" elect a Democrat are mistaken  on both counts.  History teaches that Americans have never accepted such excuses for inaction and status quo thinking.  We never would have defeated slavery, defeated Jim Crow segregation, or defeated the Axis in WWII if we accepted "you'll never" tropes.  We will reform our County.  

It's an ancient equitable maxim that "Justice delights to do justice and not by halves." Yes we can!

As our heroic Democratic four-term liberal Democratic U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, referring to his own crippling disability with poliomyelitis, speaking to this generals and admirals, as shown in the movie, "Pearl Harbor," "Do not tell me it can't be done." (2:52 on clip).

See also Commissioner Krista Keating-Joseph's original July 18, 2023 presentation on ending deforestation. Now.

As JFK said at American University June 10, 1963 in his "peace speech":  " in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."  

"This blogger" agrees with JFK and renounces Dull Republican flummery, Trumpery, dupery and nincompoopery.   As JFK would say, "Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

From my July 1, 2023 and prior blog posts in 2007 and 2014:  The soft bigotry of low expectations and self-fulfilling prophecies about politics have led to one-party rule by corporate oligarchs in St. Johns County, Florida, resulting in corruption, overdevelopment, clearcutting destruction of entire ecosystems, destruction of wetlands, tens of thousands of deaths of wildlife, badly overcrowded schools with hundreds of insecure portable classrooms, clogged roads, and a dysfunctional system of zoning planning that fails to preserve and protect our nature and history here in the place we love. (Updated July 1, 2023, Donna Deegan's Inauguration Day as Jacksonville Mayor. Three cheers!~

Don't Be Discouraged by Yul Nivver, Spouting "You'll Never" -- American History Teaches That Yul Nivver is Nearly Always Wrong! 

Don't Be Discouraged by Yul Nivver, Spouting "You'll Never" -- American History Teaches That Yul Nivver is Nearly Always Wrong!
(reprinted, adapted and updated from September 2, 2007 and September 18, 2014

Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR.: less than 40% of the vote in primary -- 60.4% voted against him.  His law license was suspended in 2023 for unethical conduct concerning senior citizen wills.  He has resigned as President of the Council on Aging.. 

City Manager WILLIAM BRUCE HARRISS was overthrown by "We, The People" after years of environmental and historic devastation under his maladministration, 1998-2010.

"The only thing we have to fear is, fear itself."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, March 4, 1933

"We The People" have won more than 75 progressive victories in St. Augustine and St. Johns County since 2005.
Optimists are winning and pessimists are losing.
St. Augustine elected a reform mayor, who served for 1550 days, 2014-2019.
Local corruption has been exposed by Folio Weekly, The New York Times, PBS Frontline, NBC News Dateline, ABC News Good Morning America, and soon CNN, Anderson Cooper and Nancy Grace. The Michelle O'Connell case, like the no-bid mosquito control helicopter before it, shows how corrupt St. Johns County has become under one-party Republican misrule.
Our American Founders originated the idea of "future preference": as expressed by our Georgetown University School of Foreign History Professor Carroll Quigley (whom Bill Clinton quoted in his 1992 acceptance speech). Americans believe that we can make a better future for future generations. Ours was the first nation in world history to have this idea, which distinguishes Americans from all of history's rotten, corrupt monarchies.
But Americans' core beliefs, including "future preference," were shaken and challenged by a wrecking crew approach to the Constitution, Bill of Rights, limited government and the rule of law. FDR taught us to oppose "organized money" as much as an "organized mob."
Organized money hires lobbyists to engage in sneak attacks on all of America's great progressive victories, including President Theodore Roosevelt's legacy of antitrust laws and his Square Deal as well as the New Deal, Fair Deal and Great Society. The intentional wrongs and grievous errors of this wrecking crew are as innumerable as the molecules of water in the oceans.
Unlike our Founders, Big Money defenders like disgraced ex-Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. just don't like average people.
They never met a big corporation or a wealthy person they didn't cater to and serve amiably. They share the view of Hobbes and other "nattering nabobs of negativism" -- a misanthropic hatred of humankind.
From City Hall to the County Commission Taj Mahal to Tallahassee skyscraper to the U.S. Capitol, t hey steep the Nation in their pessimism, and fight all things progressive. Like the National Association of Manufacturers, they fight every decent legislative proposal every offered.
"Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me" said Jesus Christ.
There are who exploit and cause misery, like City former City Manager WILLIAM B. HARRISS, who put the contents of the old city dump into our Old City Reservoir, kicked the artists and entertainers off of St. George Street, empowered tree-killing, wetland-killing speculators like ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD. HARRISS smirked at reformers, thinking he would always have five Commissioners' votes in his hip pocket and the names of 300 Republicans who he would call anytime things don't go HARRISS' way.
Those days are over.
HARRISS' one-time hey-boy, John Patrick Regan, P.E is now City Manager, and has reformed some, but not enough. His last day is June 2, 2023. Salud!
HARRISS' hand-picked City Attorney, RONALD WAYNE BROWN, retired, replaced by his acolyte, ISABELLE CHRISTIAN WHITEHURST.
HARRISS' other hey-boy, Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR., was retired by the voters in 2014, replaced by Nancy Shaver, who served honorably for 1550 days until her stroke in 2019.
We defeated sock puppets for the Establishment, including political tourist WILLIAM ANTHONY McCLURE, a non-resident with a rental apartment, and KRIS PHILLIPS, the late owner of a Rush Limbaugh Hate Radio station.
Instead of working for a Living Wage and other measures to grow the economy and solve poverty, some cynics in our Nation's Oldest (European-founded) City seek to cadge votes the old-fashioned way - - by marginalizing poor people here in St. Augustine. As President Bill Clinton once said, "they're themming us to death." The notion of marginalizing homeless poor people -- and calling them "bums" -- is akin to the fascist political tactics that led to the concentration camps in Germany and the killing fields in Cambodia.
The owners and controllers are constantly struggling to divert our attention from their crimes.
The discouragers have their own vocabulary to keep people passive, starting at an early age. They tell children, "you can't fight City Hall," even though our American Founders disagreed with such hierarchical concepts.
They also frequently discourage people with the negative construct "You'll Never!"
"You'll Never" is the doom-and-gloom killer of dreams, the discourager of reforms and the denier of truth.
Imagine this "You'll Never" construct with human form and a name -- let's call him or her "Yul Nivver" (perhaps he looks a bit like the late Yul Brynner, who played the angry absolute monarch of Siam in the play and movie of "The King and I.:\").
Like the King of Siam played so well by Yul Brynner, Yul Nivver is a "cognitive miser."
Yul Nivver "knows not that he knows not that he knows not."
Yul Nivver is the sour- apple teacher who says to a high schooler, "you'll never" get into a first-rate college or become a musician -- he's the misogynist who discourages women students from pursuing their dreams, and subjects St. Johns County girl students to discriminatory dress codes, violating Title IX and resulting in a 2023 investigation by U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.
Yul Nivver is the cynic who says to grownups, "you'll never" overthrow a corrupt political regime, whether at home or abroad.
Yul Nivver is the gnome who said to Americans, "you'll never" reform health care -- though every other Western nation has followed the example of Bismarck's Germany (in the 1880s) and provided decent health care for all citizens.
Yul Nivver is a know-it-all who sews unhappiness.
Yul Nivver is an anti-literate energumen who wants to bring everyone down to his level of fear and gloominess.
Perhaps Yul Nivver is clinically depressed and wants everyone else to be depressed with him.
Yul Nivver doesn't think very much. That's because Yul Nivver doesn't read too much. Mostly, Yul Nivver watches FOX News. Yul Nivver emotes, always with negative emotions.
In short, Yul Nivver is no fun to be around.
Invoking a line from George Bernard Shaw, Senator Robert Kennedy said, "some [people] see things as they are and say why. I see things that never were and say, 'why not?'" 
Deep down, Yul Nivver likes things as they are, because he always and everywhere discourages reform, disparages reformers, and prattles on about what is "politically do-able," as if his termagant's tunnel-vision must limit everyone else's imagination, forever.
Yul Nivver tells people they will never elect a Democrat in St. Johns County again, the Establishment having rigged the system with redistricting. 
Yul Nivver is a killjoy and a mocker and a meddler. Yul Nivver is against Gay rights, hates Gay marriage and wants everyone to be miserable, like him.  The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled for LGBTQ rights, most recently by 6-3 vote.
Too many politicians these days are of the Yul Nivver variety -- people who supported Bush and Idaho Senator Larry Craig and now support ex-Congressmann and Governor RONALD DION DeSANtTIS, Senator and ex-Governor RICHARD LYNN SCOTT and disgraced Mayor JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr.
In 2022, We, the People elected Krista Keating-Joseph, defeating developer puppet JEREMIAH RAY BLOCKER for County Commission seat 1 (Ponte Vedra) by 175 votes.
in 2022, We, the People defeated a proposed 15% sales tax with some 62% of the vote. This is the sixth time St. Johns County voters have defeated regressive "penny" sales tax increases.
Developers still control our local governments, but opponents of overdevelopment have gained ground.
In 2023, the people of Jacksonville elected Democratic women as Mayor (former tv reporter Donna Deagan) and Property Appraiser (Joyce Morgan, an African-American woman).
Remember what Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1790: "The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches. We must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time and eternally press forward for what is yet to get. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.” 
In his spirit in 2024, let us elect people of goodwill to public office.  Let's send some more satraps to well-deserved retirement.
If anyone had ever heeded Yul Nivver, Americans would never have declared independence, abolished slavery, ended racial segregation or liberated women and Gays. .
If Yul Nivver were taken seriously, Americans would never have defeated Nazism and Communism and Apartheid.
If Yul Nivver were taken seriously, there would be no autos with safety glass, seatbelts or airbags.
If Yul Nivver were taken seriously, there would still be major coal mine disasters killing hundreds of miners at a time.
If Yul Nivver were taken seriously, Americans would not have stopped tobacco companies from marketing their products to children, for generations raised watching Bette Davis and other move stars smoke, part of the corrupt Hollywood system of "product placements" dismantled by the tobacco settlement. (Tobacco killed the actor Yul Brynner, who filmed a TV commercial before he died).
If Americans heeded Yul Nivver, we wouldn't have abolished child labor, sweatshops and Yellow Dog contracts; there would be no National Labor Relations Act, no minimum wage laws, no eight hour day, no laws protecting workers safety, no free democratic trade unions and no laws against discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and education. On this Memorial Day, we remember Yul Nivver and know that we've defeated him, again and again -- it's part of our civilization that progressives unite and defeat tyrants all the time.
If Yul Nivver were in control, there would be no environmental laws and no Foreign Corrupt Practices Act making it a crime for American corporations to bribe foreign officials.
In 1981, I was editor of a small weekly newspaper in East Tennessee, the Appalachian Observer. Local residents had seven generations of ancestors. Time had tormented their beautiful mountains, with stripmining, political corruption and environmental pollution from Oak Ridge nuclear weapons plants. Cynicism abounded.
Yul Nivver was there. Yul Nivver said we'd never eject a crooked school superintendent, imprison a crooked Sheriff, or expose the pollution by the Department of Energy and Union Carbide in Oak Ridge.
Yul Nivver was wrong on all three counts.
Sheriff DENNIS OWEN TROTTER went to federal prison: some fifteen (15) ethical deputies helped the FBI and U.S. Attorney put him there.
It takes a village,
We did it. Working together, our newspaper and local activists transformed the place. A referendum was passed for election of the school superintendent, sending 13-year veteran school dictator PAUL EUGENE BOSTIC, SR. to well- deserved retirement. Activists encouraged Sheriff's deputies to blow the whistle to the FBI and U.S. Attorney, helping send corrupt Sheriff DENNIS O. TROTTER to federal prison (entrenched TROTTER was twice Tennessee Sheriff of the Year). Activists helped win declassification of long-secret pollution, exposing the largest mercury pollution event in world history -- bigger than Minimata in Japan -- helping spur cleanup of U.S. nuclear weapons plants everywhere.
Again, Yul Nivver was wrong on all three counts.
In 2005, our City of St. Augustine City Commissioners voted 3-2 to reject Rainbow flags on our Bridge of Lions -- kicking Gays and Lesbians in the teeth for the third time -- though every other local group was allowed to fly their flags to promote and commemorate history. After the City's May 23, 2005 vote, Yul Nivver made his inevitable appearance: "You'll never" lost. We got a federal court to overturn the City's decision, despite what loutish louche yahoo Yul Nivver and the City of St. Augustine and its henchmen said to federal court.
On June 7, 2005, two weeks to the day later, U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. ordered the Rainbow flags to fly. The Rainbow flags flew from June 8-13, 2005, proving Yul Nivver wrong, once again.
In 2006, our Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St. Johns County voted to spend $1.8 million on a no-bid luxury Textron Bell Jet helicopter incapable of killing a single skeeter.  We, the People objected to this corrupt deal and in 2007, after nine months of work, AMCD cancelled the illegal no-bid contract and got a full refund of its 10% deposit.  Thanks to the leadership of AMCD members Jeanne Jackson Moeller and John Sundemann, we won the other AMCD Commissioners over.
As Commissioner Sundeman would say, "That's why pencils have erasers."
Yul Nivver was wrong again. 
Yes we can!
Foreign-funded real estate speculators are ruining our beautiful seaside community. I've drafted a proposed St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Highway . Maurine Boles, Andrew Young and ex-Sheriff David Shoar all loved the idea.
Inevitably, Yul Nivver has already weighed in.
Though his own mother Maureen Boles supported the idea, crabbed St. Augustine expMayor JOSEPH LEROY BOLES, JR. once said he doesn't want to "federalize" historic preservation. A member of the federal St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission, BOLES has never joined his mother, Andrew Young and Sheriff David Shoar in supporting the park.
BOLES' no-bid lease business partner, ex-Mayor CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. likewise is standing in the schoolhouse door, standing in the way of a National Historical Park and National Seashore.
WEEKS was apparently driving the bus, speaking for BOLES when Folio Weekly called about their $2-3 million profit from a no-bid lease of 81 St. George Street.
BOLES and WEEKS sawthe 450th as a way to make money for themselves and their cronies, not to elevate history teaching and preservation of our history and nature.
What short-sighted selfish people.
Misguided local Tea Party people told County Commission November 1, 2011 to reject support for the National Park and Seashore, comparing me to Hitler, Stalin and Goebbels, calling National Park supporters Communists and Nazis.
Those Tea Party partisans influenced our former Congressman, RONALD DION DeSANTIS, to do nothing to support the National Park and Seashore -- not as our Congressman, not as our Governor,.
Yul Nivver has said there will be no national park, seashore and scenic highway like those elsewhere in our land, inflicting a too-modest vision for the 500th anniversary of Florida (2013) and the 450th birthday of St. Augustine (2015).
Let them squirt wine on each other, as in one disgusting celebration BOLES sponsored in our Plaza de la Constitucion. 
Let them eat cupcakes.
BOLES never met a developer he was not willing to kiss up to -- BOLES won less than 40% of the vote in the August 26, 2014 primary election. BOLES' opponent in the 2014 general election is the real deal -- an elegant lady who knows management skills and listens to the people.
She won the general election by 119 votes.
She was re-elected in 2016 and 2018 by wide margins, defeating lesser candidates weak on ethics and short on ideas.
Nancy Shaver was is a great campaigner, and BOLES was left quaking in his Gucci loafers.
Nancy Shaver was like Churchill said about FDR: "meeting him was like opening your first bottle of champagne; knowing him was like drinking it.
In 1944, my mother heard FDR speak at Franklin Field in Philadelphia: as FDR said, "I'm an old campaigner, and I love a good fight."
Yul Nivver doesn't have a chance, folks, because hope and history are on our side.
2024 is the time to fight corruption, not by half-measures or by being mealy-mouthed, but by talking sense to the people of our city, county, state and nation.
Hapless cronies like JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, Jr. have been thrown out of office, on their uncaring ears.
We will help melt Yul Nivver's heart, just like the King of Siam yielded at the end of "The King and I," on his deathbed signalling his son that absolutism doesn't work. Show Yul Nivver the way and the wave of the future.
As Robert Kennedy said in South Africa, "it is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal or stands up for the rights of others, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples create a current that can wipe out the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
I still believe in a place called Hope. 
It is up to us. What do you reckon?


Comment on 2014 edition of this column, by the late great Warren Celli, prevailing plaintiff in the $23,500 jury verdict in Celli v. City of St. Augustine, a landmark First Amendment victory.  Our friends in St. Johns County need to review that case the next time they muck with our fundamental rights.


Warren Celli said...
Things That Will Never Happen... "Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances. --Dr. Lee DeForest, "Father of Radio & Grandfather of Television." "The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives." --Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project "There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." --Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923 "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." --Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949 "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." --Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943 "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." --The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957 "But what .. is it good for?" commenting on the microchip. --Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968 "640K ought to be enough for anybody." --Bill Gates, 1981 "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us," --Western Union internal memo, 1876.


K Edwards said...

I reckon this is an excellent account of StAug history. It’s long and some may consider it irreverent in places but what I’ve observed from BOCC’s lack ofinteraction with constituents and heard from other long-time residents, I believe there’s truth in every statement. Worth reading again and again.

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything about Pill Mill Bill McClure in there. Gotta lotta names in there and political tourist Pill Mill Bill isn't one of them. Also Ernesto "I wanna divorce not before or during but after the booze" Torres... what is the status of the ethics complaint?

Ed Slavin said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I wanna live in a county and state with a government. This is not it. Government here is a side gig to these people, a side hustle, a semi-part time hobby. They only represent the rich by being empty suits, non-feasant, stepping out of the way so that the charlatans, exploiters, and confidence men can operate with impunity.

Anonymous said...

deforestation presentation authored by Nicole Crosby and read by Commissioner Joseph? shall we trade developer controlled commissioners for Nicole Crosby controlled commissioners? Now we know the 3 candidates we should NOT vote for next year!

Anonymous said...

Keep VOTING for DEVELOPERS County Commission mer PUPPETS

Anonymous said...

So sad to see how the once much-respected environmentalist Nicole Crosby has lost her grip on reality and is now attacking anyone who dares to question her chosen candidates. She even now denies storming out of the commissioner meeting when she was not appointed to the LAMP Board. Everyone in attendance that day saw it - yet she insists it didn't happen. Poor thing. And pity the well-intended candidates who believed her when she said she could get them elected and are now having their reputations tarnished by her disgusting smear tactics. Very sad to see how far she has fallen and that she is dragging good people down with her.