What happened on Tuesday at the Palm Coast City Council is indefensible and dangerous. But it’s nothing new. We’ve simply not been paying attention to a perilous degradation of public discourse and behavior. We’re no longer witnessing just fiery opposition, which is the DNA of any vibrant democracy. The opposition is now routinely aggressive, threatening, irresponsible. The gap between that and violence is vanishing.
Tuesday’s council meeting was one example. There’s been many others. Even on Tuesday, the disturbing thing wasn’t just the meeting’s interruption by the aggressive way Mark Phillips, an audience member, marched toward Mayor Milissa Holland after a vote he didn’t like and got in her face for god knows what purpose, before a sheriff’s deputy stepped between him and the mayor and eventually got him out of the room. That was just a culmination. By the time Phillips hawked his belligerence the room was already a hothouse of tension.
Several speakers had been rebuked either by the mayor or the city attorney for not following procedures during public comment, making veiled threats or leveling outright insults at council members or staffers. One man called a staffer a “clown,” and when he was rebuked, started lecturing the mayor about being a taxpayer, as if that absolved him of courtesy. When another speaker was upset for being deemed off topic–he was seeking a reprimand for one of the council members–he vaguely threatened something about not giving council members an inch.
Phillips had himself earlier addressed the council, politely, though he’s become known to council members and many others as the type to get in one’s face with his cell phone brandished like a weapon. You know the kind: using video as intimidation and hoping to entrap the subject in a slip-up that can then be spliced into a Facebook clip for a public stoning. He did it to Matt Morton, the city manager, just two weeks earlier, right after Council member Victor Barbosa’s own goonery that night, when he slandered the manager, and Holland had to be escorted to her car for her safety. So Holland had every reason to be startled and then angry at the interruption as fellow council members sat on their hands. Lucky for them the city attorney found a way to channel Cicero at the right moment and calm the room as Phillips was shown out and trespassed. But it shouldn’t have come to this.
Council meetings have become routinely unpredictable since November as they never had before. I’ve known meetings to be dull, even tense at times, but only because of the dynamics on the council, because of conflicts between the manager and council members. There’s been displeasure and anger from the floor on many occasions in the past 10 years. There’s never been outright threats. There’s never been a sense that the meeting could go off the rails at any moment, and there was never a need for added security, for metal detectors, for thinking twice whether one wants to be in the room at all. Now there is.
Something has changed in local government. We’ve seen these disruptions and belligerence at the county commission and in Flagler Beach over masks, we’ve seen it at the school board over masks and transgender students, and now we’re seeing it in Palm Coast over anything under the sun, because affronting elected officials is becoming an end in itself. There’s no goal other than to disrupt, to insult, to intimidate and to provoke. This is the sort of tactics that normalize aggression and precede violence. It isn’t Mark Phillips anyone should be worried about. He’s a poseur with a cell phone. His antics won’t go beyond the theatrical. But if he’s the measure of the rational from that world, imagine the irrational’s trigger. The chances of violence are low. But they are no longer zero. And that’s the difference.
The unaccountable, irresponsible language of social media is spilling into the communal sphere. We are slowly becoming a crueler community debased by primitive instincts, because no one in charge, or too few people in charge, are standing up and saying enough. Too many people in charge–our own elected officials among them–are instigating the aggression with bigotry and outright lust for violence. If they’re not instigating it, they’re apologizing for it and enabling it when they’re not wasting time fetishizing the very Constitution they’re implicitly trampling.
The aggressive bile frequently spilling during public comment segments, though elected officials haven’t been innocent: there was the Ed Danko-Eddie Branquinho duel in November. There was Council member Victor Barbosa’s slander of City Manager Matt Morton a month ago. There was County Commissioner’s public insult of two fellow-commissioners in September, which two fellow-commissioners shamelessly excused rather than censured, greenlighting goonery. Janet McDonald on the school board has been more subtle, couching her hostility for truth and government institutions, her own included, in retweets and magnificent passive-aggression that has nevertheless had the desired effect of encouraging more public enmity at board meetings.
None of this is alien to the tenor of a more radicalized extreme right in the wake of the Trump years, which normalized degradation, and his loss, which intensified it, not when his supporters claim that ““The decent know that they must become ruthless. They must become the stuff of nightmares,” as Jack Kerwick wrote in the Trump organ American Greatness. “Fear and violence are the butter to the bread of our politics.” This is the Jacobin language of terror, not the Republican–let alone republican–language of democracy.
And no, none of this is simply a difference of opinions. The language of ruthlessness, the language of threats, isn’t opinion. It isn’t another point of view, as a conservative Supreme Court ruled in 2003 in the cross-burning case. It’s threatening conduct, the kind of conduct that seeks to end opinions and points of view, and it’s the kind of conduct we now routinely see locally. We saw it Tuesday. We’ve been seeing it for months at meetings or online, the difference between the two having also vanished.
Almost no one is doing anything about it–not the Republican party, from whose extremist ranks much of this degradation originates, not most elected officials, some of whom are guilty of aggression themselves, not local media, some of which feeds at the troth of those same instigators.
It doesn’t take that much for a community–or a nation–to keep its bearings. It takes men and women of good will to step in and take the reins, to say enough. We’ve heard it at times. Most members of the Flagler Beach City Commission have spoken up, especially Ken Bryan and Eric Cooley, the School Board’s Colleen Conklin spoke up, Palm Coast council members spoke up at the end of Tuesday’s meeting, if more timidly than their manager, who put the case more bluntly: “27 years I’ve not seen this level of intentional intimidation, and intentional intent to just bully. And it’s quite disgusting,” he said. His own code enforcement staff has been threatened with shootings. “It’s time to have enough of this. Enough.”
But it isn’t enough to speak outrage from silos. Without some collective action, whether in the form of joint statements or joint condemnations, even without unanimity—let the craven’s silence speak for itself—it’s a matter of time before the distance between threats and violence vanishes entirely. The fear Holland and her colleagues experienced Tuesday is not imaginary.
Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.
Intelligence is so refreshing! Thank you!
Pissed in PC says
This will continue to happen as long as there are promoters of the “Big Lie”. It’s bad enough that we have active members of the city, county and school board that continue to believe in the lies perpetuated by Mullins, Danko, Barbosa and any supporting Trumpism, insurrection and hatred for any person of a different color or nationality. It’s time they be held responsible for their actions and words of incitement. We cannot wait for 2022 election to get rid of Trumpism, we must do it now. If the 3 I mentioned don’t resign then maybe getting legal charges will stop their actions. The citizens will not tolerate these 3 authoritarians remaining in office. We also won’t tolerate the cowards who look the other way and allow this to continue.
Heavy words you draft here. Very heavy. To what “charges” are you referring? How to “get rid” of Trumpism?
Pissed in PC says
Legal charges when someone threatens any member of the council. It’s time we start fighting Trumpism by demanding resignations, petitions, peaceful protests outside of council meetings. When Mullins threatened one of the other members then he should have been charged.
What else is normalized among the many behaviors you stated are that these buffoons are predictable and IMO most are Bullies who would when push came to shove disappear ala Mullins 1/6 at the Capital. Any closing of the gap to violence would be from an outsider within the Group. The fact that it is Premeditated Petty Pathetic Sophomoric and Immature practice by alleged Adults, as a Member of an Elected Body in a Public Forum and on Record is an embarrassment to FPC and themselves and their Families. Individuals with this degree of lack of empathy aren’t smart enough to realize ones Legacy. If you are that unhappy or miserable Resign and let someone take over. Nothing is getting done .,Sure enough are wading into the sludge of the GQP mire Meeting by meeting. The stench of responsibility is on the hands of all of you for letting the atmosphere swerve of the road of reason for so long. Including FCSO. Normal(ization) my backside. These Anti Everything Groupies have no shame. Most are not Intelligent enough to emote that. It’s all about them what they believe and no deviation. Public Self Gratification by making an Idiot of yourself trying to gain Favor of a bigger Jackass . Bravo You make your Mentors so Proud. Grade School playground mentality.lol. Basically and eventually trying to takeover and well from what I see run it into the ground. They will if the Electorate let’s them. Good Luck Vote Accordingly
As long as people will bow and cower to troublemakers , bullies and viscious ignorants, this will continue and those people will be empowered to be even worse.
We’ve gotten the point now where are voting rights are being made more difficult, and in some cases, actual voter suppression of certain groups of people or districts. It hasn’t dawned on anyone yet that this could possibly be the beginning of our slowly losing some freedoms down the road. A lot of our government leaders past and present are acting like dictators. Many many people now think the insurrection wasn’t really bad, and that Trump really won the election and is some kind of victim. Someday folks will be asking “how did we get to this point”. It’s because voters and gov’t leaders allowed it, and didn’t have the courage to stand up for what’s right and let the bullies run us over. We now have a bunch of sniveling politicians who have sold their sole for their own personal agenda and gain. Even Flagler County has some county commissioners and some city councilmen acting like bullies and dictators who are only interested in what benefits them. Wake up people–it’s us the people who should decide what we want for leaders not only in our own county and state, but for the USA as a whole. Do you want Democracy or Dictatorship? Do you want to continue living with all the hatred and divisiveness and fighting, or do you want a more peaceful and less chaotic lifestyle. Nothing is perfect but it sure was better than this 6 or 7 years ago.
I don’t think when citizens do address some council members as clowns that is warranted, but in this case it was warranted. I watched a lot of the pickle ball meeting. The Pro side of it brought in their usual endorsees, the USTA was a face time like endorsement, then there was the father of the player that the facility renaming is going to become. And considering that nobody on the council had a study on what current costs, how fresh was the estimate on cost. This is like buying a car without doing the due diligence to find a better deal ? Maybe there needed to be a better explaining of Covid funding that may apply, but it’s the council’s job to relay that to the public to gain a 5-0 approval rather than a 3-2 approval with the usual majority making their stand of solidarity among themselves. Let’s go back and see examples, there were the Sheriff Office building purchases, taxpayer ate those moldy losses. We have splash pads in a park. That the jury is out on as to whether the justifications that benefit > costs. I mean we have a ribbon cutting and the usual new purchase glow that has to wear off ?
I read the stories that the Fire department needs $ 1/2 million dollar new trucks, that could be handled with these funds instead, especially when there is a neglected facility over by the European Village that is ready to be retrofitted. I mean leave the Tennis Center as a tennis center and convert the European Village facility to solely pickle ball ? If pickle ball is the new future of sports, the test of time would be the European Village Center area as a stand alone ? The European Village facility is no more or less convenient than where the Tennis center currently is for anyone either way, if anything it’s actually more centralized at the end of Palm Coast Parkway. That entire land area could become a Petanque/Bocce ball courts with Pickle Ball courts. So yes our leaders were clowns that night if what the realtor said about a pre-emptive, proactive approach for the 50,000 increase in population from 100K to 150K by 2030 or whatever is real.
Is there a real effort to make FL 100 area become the focus of development ? I think the county is doing this on several fronts, Matanzas Woods Parkway near Belle Terre is one area. Colbert land near Boston Whaler, the airport & Town Center areas another. But they should not solely focus on those areas for economic development. Do they have another idea for the European Village property development ? And if that’s the case share the vision with those they expect are to buy in. This spend and surprise us with the end results lacks planning. Which BTW, Palm Coast is seeking a City Planner for an employment opportunity.
Anyway, we as citizens are concerned for the way development is handled & funded. And if the development plan isn’t transparent, we don’t want to see that in our tax bills. Flagler county to me is starting to feel a traffic crisis at this point. This place is a swamp and the canals make N, S, E & W roads from end to end very few. Colbert goes 1/2 way. Anything that ties FL 100 to Matanzas Woods Parkway is Old Kings Road, I-95, Belle Terre & US 1. We’ve all heard the old saying trying to put 5 lbs of poop in a 3 lb bag. The planning and growth might be too ambitiously fragmented for a quality of life to be improved. Nobody wants maintained, but maintained is better than decreased quality of life.
The lack of accountability by Flagler County Council members in the behavior and incitement issues of Joe Mullins and others has created an environment of permission for depraved and indifferent louts to run our county! Sad!
Our children are fighting and getting in trouble because the leaders of our city are fighting and getting in trouble. The children look up to our leaders and see chaos and that’s when you get brawls on playgrounds and killings. Our leaders are tearing this community apart
Pissed in PC says
No the children are fighting and acting out because parents don’t parent. They continue to support their kids bad behavior. No my child wouldn’t do that, be that way while these same parents are screaming my rights, my guns.
Mary Fusco says
Mark, are you kidding? Do you think the children of PC know any of the leaders? Their parents are teaching them to tear this community apart. Their parents are teaching them to have no responsibility for their behavior nor to respect anyone in authority. Their parents are responsible for them PERIOD.
If you believe parents raise a child past the age of 12 you are mistaken. You teach your children what you can until they of an age to go into the world and figure it out. A child in middle school is no longer being raised at home by parents but being conditioned by their community and peers for what to expect in the world. At this point parents take a back seat while the child grows into and adult hopefully taking in everything you taught them as a child. Our community absolutely teaches our kid what a social norm is. Like Name calling and lies at school board meeting and threats by councilors. Do you really think the kids don’t knw what’s going on in the community? Open your eyes , teach these kids as a community. No one parent does this on their own.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Wake up folks. YOU elected them! Phony promises barbecues millions of signs and phony smiles prevailed!
Suburban White Guy says
Agorism/Anarchism are the only true paths to freedom.
Suburban White Guy says
Those who participate in the broken two party system are to blame for the degradation of society.
It simply does not work! We have become the Divided States of America.
Those who oppose anarchism do not understand the true meaning of anarchy (or freedom).
Most of you will incorrectly associate anarchy with chaos, when in truth there is nothing more chaotic than our two party system.
So start a Third Party and run for Office or have another Insurrection Event at the Capital. So if you dont participate in the Two Party System why would you care and post here and if you do your to blame as well. Hmmmm
Bill C says
The “degradation of society” begins when people think that wearing a mask in the middle of a pandemic is an imposition on their FREEDOM. What a cheap definition! Look at truly repressed societies around the world who are tortured and killed by the state, or those who live on a dollar a day, as opposed to the namby-pambies here who complain about trifles like mask wearing or restrictions on going to the beach or a bar.
Bill C says
PS I think the proper word is not “degradation” but “degeneration”. Brother could you spare a bond? I haven’t had a perk all week.
Ray W. says
Where is Mikhail Bakunin when you need him?
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”
Your mouth is moving says
So you run red lights? Don’t wear a seat belt so you become a missile after getting hit, you’ve never had Any vaccinations, you don’t believe in paying taxes for public schools, or paying taxes so our Sheriffs dept and deputies get paid, and on and in. All are limiting your freedom in some way but for the greater good. Reflect, think critically, remember how you’ve been hoodwinked by a conman. Try and be a decent person. If you can.
It all comes down to the voters, period. Nothing more and nothing less. The blame of failed Govt be it local , state or Fed lies with the voters. You got what you wanted.
The Democratic Party and their support of violent protests by BLM and others, set the tone for the country last year. This seems to be the new American way of disagreeing. They have chased God out of America. Politicians, both parties actively have supported violence protests. Get used to it, I’m sure there’s much more to come. America has lost is morals, killing babies, supporting criminal groups, criminal politicians, my way or else, politicians the lie and cheat about everything and are only concerned about themselves, not America. They demand history be destroyed, cartoons offend, while unbelievable violent computer games and killing millions of babies is fine. America has truly lost is way. I miss the America I grew up in.
Not a Unicorn says
Dude, thanks for proving the point in this editorial.
Pissed in PC says
It’s been proven that infiltrators of Proud Boys and 3%ers were the ones causing the destruction and damage during peaceful protests of the deaths of black men at the hands of racist cops. But I’m sure with your Fox fake news mentality you believe Trump supporters trying to overthrow congress with the intention of killing them was perfectly normal in your mind. You are a major problem! I’m sure if your picture was posted your white hood fell off too.
Mike Cocchiola says
Dennis… I assume you grew up in maybe 1900. America has moved a bit forward since then. We accept all religions or no religion. We accept freedom of choice for women (remember Roe v Wade?) but we don’t kill babies. There are legal boundaries. We support the removal of symbols that glorify the contemptuous. Yes, we accept offensive video games just as we accept offensive books, social media, news media, and individual beliefs. Again, there are legal boundaries, but this is the price of free speech. No, we don’t accept violent protests, or criminal groups, or criminal politicians. We are a nation of laws. If laws are broken, there are consequences.
So, Dennis, sleep well. We have confronted big intractable problems and frightening changes throughout our history. We’re still here and continually moving forward.
Well if we don’t accept violent protests and protesters can you explain why Biden and Harris helped bail them out of jail so they could return to the streets?
Pissed in PC says
Once again our point is proven since you seem to only post right wing biased sites. Maybe fact checker yourself before you comment https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Townhall
I believe it all began with Hillary Clinton labeling all those who didn’t agree with her proposed agenda as “deplorables”. That opened the door to uncivility and disdain for opinions at odds with one’s own.
It wasn’t those who didn’t follow her agenda. Just the one’s who did follow Trump’s agenda. There is a big difference there. As you see now their very own republican party would suggest the same of Trump followers. This isn’t a debate people. If you believe in the ideology of Trump, you are an enemy to the United States. Period
What is Trump’s ideology?
Pissed in PC says
Actually it started when Trump with his rude and crude words. Hillary was right, every trumper was deplorable as it brought out the racists, hatred and azzhole white privilege.
Lol.. it’s ok my way but not your way.. great ideology
I thought it started with the Orangeblowhard calling people Human Scum for not seeing it his way.
You’re whining says
For the love of God, still at it with the Hillary bs. After being told over 30,000 lies by the Cheeto you’re still bringing up H ‘s emails. What a joke. Let it go dude. Nobody’s done more morally wrong things than trump. Go back to your cult of the terminally brainwashed. So dumb.
Ray W. says
Thank you, can’tfoolme, for starting your comment with the phrase “I believe.”
One idea prompted by can’tfoolme’s comment is that the terms “disdain” and “incivility” have been with us far longer that Hillary’s comment about “deplorables” in 2016, suggesting that the unhealthy political conditions you ascribe to her have been around for a long time. If so, the idea that Hillary was the one who opened the door to incivility and disdain seems more that just a bit shortsighted, particularly in light of “swiftboating” in 2004 directed at Kerry and, to me, the truly huge lie about McGovern when Republican tricksters spread the false claim of his being a coward, despite McGovern having completed 35 missions as a lead B-24 pilot in the 455th Bomb Group (Heavy) (Italy) over Europe during WWII. My father, the youngest of three brothers, was a B-24 nose gunner in the 449th Bomb Group (Heavy) (Italy), with his war ending at 16 missions, including one with two engines shot out during a bomb run on a refinery in Hungary and his pilot crashlanding on an airstrip near Split on the Dalmation coast of the Adriatic Sea (Googlemaps shows the airstrip beside a bay). He then trained in Texas to become a top turret gunner in a B-29, but he mustered out when the war with Japan ended. His oldest brother flew 137 missions in the Pacific, starting out with a P-40 and shifting to a P-38 when they were issued to his squadron; he also flew a P-61 outfitted with night radar and a P-39, depending on the mission. The middle brother flew 90 missions in P-47’s out of England and then France as airbases were captured by Allied forces. Two of his aircraft were declared no longer airworthy, both heavily shot up by AA, with one taking over 200 hits, including a 20mm cannon hit on his canopy, during repeated strafing runs over a railroad marshalling yard in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. Wing cameras recorded bomb hits on a turntable and damage to fuel storage tanks and an ammunition dump. He was one of 10 fighter pilots invited by the French government to attend ceremonies held when Reagan visited Normandy on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. He was recently buried with full military honors at Arlington. The idea that extraordinary and courageous men such as McGovern can be declared cowards by political operatives has long astounded me, but Hillary uttering “deplorable” was and is nowhere near as low as Republican political activists can and do go. My father often laughed loudly when he told fellow lawyers the story of a local citizen who opposed my father’s winning run for State Attorney in the early 60’s, after the News-Journal endorsed my father. The man repeatedly parked his pink Cadillac convertible, top down, in front of the old Orange Avenue News-Journal building to display a sign: “The News-Journal supported Castro, too.” To the Cadillac owner, my father was a communist because he supported civil rights for Black citizens when he was a city commissioner in the early 50’s. Imagine my father, one of three brothers who flew a combined 243 combat missions, being accused of being a communist because he supported a Constitution for all. Being labeled a “communist” in those days was far worse than being “deplorable” today. When in law school in DeLand in the late ’40’s, my father learned that Charles Bailey, a Tuskegee airman, lived nearby. My father introduced himself to thank Mr. Bailey and they became life-long friends. I heard of the “red tails” long before they became popular in movies and documentaries, as my father often said Black fighter pilots (red tails) were the only bomber escorts who flew level with the bombers through flak barrages. Other fighter pilots would rise far above the bombers during flak and be out of position when German fighters came in. I once heard my father angrily snort that he didn’t crawl into a nose turret to kill Germans only to have a Nazi government here. Can’tfoolme seems a bit myopic in limiting blame to 2016 onward but we are all allowed to wander through life fooling ourselves.
Our founding father’s were well aware of political discord among the citizenry. Many believed Aristotle positing that civil society could be no larger than 50,000 citizens. Others accepted Montesquieu’s theory that 100,000 citizens was the largest possible stable society. Madison, so important to the writing of the Constitution, believed that checks and balances between the legislative, the executive and the judicial branches of the federal government, as well as between states and the federal government, between states and their own municipal governments, between states and other states and, finally, between citizens and all forms of government, could enable a much larger stable federal government. Madison did not believe that any one person would be able to form a large enough base to destroy the overall society, as other power interests would check any individual’s abuse of power. Thus far, it seems that Madison’s ideal has prevailed, if only barely, but the concern that a society could fail if it becomes too large has long been with us.
Several years ago, Putin stated to a Financial Times reporter that “liberalism” had become “obsolete” and that it had “outlived its purpose”. He reasoning? He went on to say that liberalism conflicted with the “interests of the overwhelming majority of the population.” He went on to equate the issue of the civil rights movement and the LBGT community as one of happiness, stating that happiness “must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.” Then-EU President Tusk countered by stating: “Whoever claims that liberal democracy is obsolete also claims that freedoms are obsolete, that the rule of law is obsolete and that human rights are obsolete.” I remain unconvinced that January 6th insurrectionists were patriots, despite any argument they raise otherwise.
Many commenters on this site base their beliefs on their assertion that the “core population”, as Putin put it, believes as they do. Does the so-called moral majority come to mind here? A legitimate argument exists that the moral majority was neither moral nor the majority at any time the phrase was ever used to suppress the happiness of our fellow citizens. Thankfully, our founding fathers rejected the proposed phrase “pursuit of property” and chose “pursuit of happiness” to follow “life” and “liberty” as inalienable rights.
I repeat my favorite point on the issue of political divisiveness, which is set out in a letter by Melancton Smith, published during the ratification debates before adoption of the Constitution. His letter now forms a part of what are called the “Anti-Federalist Papers.” Among several arguments against the proposed Constitution raised by Smith, one seems particularly prescient. He argued that a flaw in the wording of the Constitution would permit a tyrant to take control of our government. He argued that working class citizens could not easily form associations, unlike members of the commercial class, the political class, the military class or the wealthy class, who easily formed associations with their peers. Smith theorized that there was a chance that an individual who was a member of either the commercial, the political, the military, or the wealthy classes could, possibly, disguise himself to the working class to appear as if he was one of them and thereby bind working class members to him, allowing him to take over the government. To Smith, such a person would most probably come from the wealthy class, but he would likely be a “demagogue” and “destitute of character.” Was Melancton Smith right?
I don’t understand why the Sheriff Deputy allowed that guy to get that far.
They should be more alert…aren’t we paying them to keep the meetings orderly according to law???????????
The sheriff deputy allowed the man to go that far because because our head of law enforcement is sympathetic to him, his group and their lies, as far as giving them safety advise while they were preparing for the DC Capitol on the 6th protest/riot/sedition trip funded by commissioner Mullins were this guy can be seeing at the start. See video next. Since when we pay the sheriff to advise extremist protesters based on the lie to reject our national elections results and shamefully Sgt Lutz derogatory of any expected behavior of the potential Capitol defenders or Democrats that could be found there. Sgt Lutz among a bunch of bullies with derogatory jokes. I am wondering if all those were among the aggressive and destructive rioters : https://videos.files.wordpress.com/Q1OBTgKb/jan-2021-sheriff-briefing_mp4_hd.mp4
Our sheriff instead needs to use our taxes to:
A) patrol, stop, and fine the speeders in our residential narrow roads endangering our lives day in and day out Cimarron, FPD, Whiteview etc. etc. Palm Coast looks like the Daytona speedway and no traffic units seeing like we saw them before elections.
B) seriously investigate animal cruelty cases in PC and specially in the county as these good old boys are holding dog fights and throw away to die innocent dogs used for bait like Grace lately (her case yet not resolved). Dog cruelty in this county is going without punishment…we need the right investigator in charge that sent many to jail for it as reported till 2020 and is detective Conrad. Why isn’t she doing her excellent tracing of these criminals? Animal cruelty is also a crime.
C) Enforce the overnight parking on road or right of ways/swales as is the city ordinance because is left to some deputies (eye of the beholder) as not obstructing the traffic and refuse to leave a violation notice after we call past midnight…are they joking?
D) Enforce the current litter ordinance and fine the ones caught doing it as Mayor Holland asked you in 2020 but you replied to her “you didn’t have deputies as litter patrol” then. No just now because a Trumper councilman Danko asked you for the same, then you agreed for the first time and yes litter is outrageous. Its time to leave the politics out of law enforcement that is what we pay you for. We voted you in twice for your good crime fighting, but also to treat us all equally and receive the services we need in traffic and litter as well. You will be appreciated in advance.
I said long ago a good LEO but disliked Staleys Politics from the NRA, Mullins , Trump, Desantis Mullins etc… He is supposed to be Impartial objective and unbiased and His Office is not. Vote him out as well. He is part of the problem.
If you can’t conduct yourself like a civil human, you should be treated as a dangerous animal………i never go looking for trouble, but do not try to walk on me and keep your distance. Invade my space, all bets are off. If you don’t like something I am doing or not doing, go find someone else to talk to about it, I’m not your counselor. I don’t care where you fall on any political, sexual, or religious spectrum, it is simply immaterial. If you come at me the wrong way I will deal with you, I got no choice, I am physically unable to run away, I have to stand and fight.
Ray W. says
“Invade my space, all bets are off.”
Agkistrodon presents himself in a manner eerily similar to an elderly man now serving a prison sentence after he repeatedly fired on a travelling meat salesman. That now-inmate was in his yard when the salesman parked his meat truck across the street. The salesman’s employee testified that his boss, in business uniform, crossed the street to engage in what some describe as a “cold call” sales effort. The now-inmate, seeing the salesman stride onto his property, opened his vehicle’s passenger door and pulled a pistol out of the glove box. After the salesmen fell from the first shot, the now-inmate stood over him and fired again, despite the salesman’s upraised hands and imploring question: Why? The now-inmate told police that it was a stand your ground moment. He told the judge it was a stand your ground moment in the pre-trial hearing on his motion for immunity from prosecution. He told the jury it was a stand your ground moment during trial. I suspect he is now and will go to his grave telling every inmate and corrections officer who will listen it was a stand your ground moment. Sometimes, people will simply refuse to give up their interpretation of a law, no matter what happens to them, nor how wrong the interpretation. Legal decisions are made by judges. Juries decide facts. Citizens always have the right to argue ideas, but never decide as final a legal decision. Before I entered law school, my father passed on something one of his first law professors taught him in the late ’40’s: “The law is what a judge says it is on the day he [or she] says it, and don’t ever forget it.”
After reading dozens of stand your ground cases, I know that human nature requires many among us to interpret statutes in unique and not necessarily accurate ways, and that the Stand Your Ground Act should have been more accurately titled the Legislatively Sanctioned Premeditated Murder Act, as people will interpret it to fit their own circumstances and perceived needs.
In another Stand Your Ground case, a man engaged in a bar fight with another man. He and his buddies got into a car in the parking lot. The other fighter ultimately left the bar. Supposedly, the other fighter approached the car as its driver drove out of the lot and reached through a rear driver’s side window to continue the argument, but the bar lacked surveillance video of the lot. The man, seated in the front passenger seat, shot and killed his assailant. Without the dead man’s side of the story, the appellate court was forced to uphold the grant of immunity from prosecution. The moral? Under the Stand Your Ground Act, you must decide in advance to kill your opponent, lest jurors hear his tale. Wounding your opponent just will not do. Gives the old phrase “dead men tell no tales” new life, don’t you think (bad pun intended)?
An early Stand Your Ground case involved a shooting in a high crime area. An officer performing paperwork heard a gunfight break out a few blocks away. Arriving on scene, he spotted a dying man laying in the street. As he collected his first aid kit and called for other first responders, a small crowd emerged from a local bar to surround the dying man, refusing to allow anyone to provide aid. When he breathed his last gasp, the crowd melted away. Police found over 20 fresh shell casings from four different guns. The appellate court emphasized that the deceased drove in from outside the alleged shooter’s community and theorized that evidence suggested that he had entered the community to collect a drug debt, but the law being what it was, the appellate court’s comment (dicta) that the old law would and should have required a jury to determine whether this was a drug-related collection effort gone bad meant little, as the new law required that the alleged shooter receive immunity. If shooters from high crimes areas could so easily figure out the need to kill so soon after the law’s passage and that their friends could so easily know enough to deny aid to the shooter’s enemies in order to prevent the telling of tales, shooters can now kill their assailants with immunity (bad pun intended).
After more than 30 years as a prosecutor and defense attorney, I have come to accept the idea that a significant number of our fellow citizens use some part of each day fantasizing about how they can and will harm or kill their neighbors, associates or strangers, if only the right opportunity as they fantasize it would just present itself.
Some such fantasizers get elected to local governments and talk about the necessity of beheading political opposites. Other such fantasizers traveled to D.C. to attack law enforcement officers in the name of law and order while chanting hopes to kill Mike Pence, after sharing terms such as patriot and citizen in pre-attack social media postings with their fellow insurgents. Several such fantasizers even lived in D.C. at the time and lied to the mob to incite the insurrection for personal financial and political gain in the guise of freedom. As Wittgenstein so aptly put it, one of the most difficult things in life is to not fool oneself.
Where in my comment did you see anywhere where I stated anything about a firearm. YOU jump to the gun, not me. Being totally disabled and unable to retreat, I have to protect myself. And I assure you I don’t need a firearm to handle business. Perhaps you do. Perhaps you just jump to conclusions. Facts are there are crazy people out there, you want to take an ass beating, go right ahead. I have seen to many ass whooping become killings. I will defend myself.
Ray W. says
You missed the entire point. I said it was eerily similar. Nice try, though.
Ray W. says
The theme of the article is aggression during public meetings by those who seem to have worked themselves into a state of incivility such that public officials feel the need for law enforcement escort to their vehicles. There seems little doubt that some audience members think through their actions long before the threatening event occurs, i.e., they fantasize about what they will do if certain statements or events occur.
Your theme is the public announcement that you have already thought through your response should that you are so alarmed at the possibility when public incivility happen to you, because you are extremely alarmed at the possibility, however remote, of contact with a “crazy” person. i.e., they better watch out.
My theme, as stated in an earlier posting, is that a neuropsychologist presenting at a death penalty conference spoke of people from different cultures who experience auditory hallucinations report hearing different things. In India, the largest category of reported auditory hallucinations involves a voice telling the listener to clean his or her home. In a southwest African country, Namibia as I recall, the most commonly reported voice informs the listener that he or she is God or a prophet of God who must help other people. In America, the most commonly reported listener hears a voice telling them to harm or kill themselves or others. The idea that we are experiencing a wave of violence in this country is not hard to defend. Many of our fellow citizens hear voices based on concocted events telling them that violent insurrection is necessary right now. Some commenters on this site allude to civil war on the very close horizon.
I am concerned that a culture of violence can include far more healthy-minded citizens who spend a significant part of their day fantasizing about the harm about to befall them, if only the right circumstances occur, at which time they have decided in advance that they intend to harm or kill whoever it is that crosses their path, i.e., we all need to watch out. The Stand Your Ground Act simply provides a legal outlet for that type of fantasy. However, if the object of the fantasy survives and tells a story that differs from the fantasizer’s version, a jury decides the outcome of the disputed facts. If the object of the fantasy is dead, no one can contradict any fact pattern, concocted or not, provided by the fantasizer, and a judge is required by law to dismiss the charges.
William Moya says
Sadly, we’re beyond men and women of good will to say enough, what we are seeing in our community and throughout the country, it’s but the new normal. The result of America’s veneer peeling away only to find out it was a mirage, system that involved and benefited a few of a certain group. I am a democrat, and as such turning America into a democracy, if we are to stop this rapid decline is imperative. Here are some suggestions, do away with judicial review, public financing of election, abolish the Senate, abolish the electoral college. So, let’s have a vigorous discussion that includes everyone, and then have a democratic election.
An excellent overview of our current “dangerous” culture, Pierre.
This “extremist bullying” is most certainly a result of the combination of 20+ years of FOX brainwashing and indoctrinating possibly as many as 30% of our citizens into a non-thinking cult of “fear and hate”. Mixed with the gradual decay of our moral and ethical values, the decline of trust in religious leaders, and the lack of respect for educators. . . to the extreme of reviling education and those who are educated.
Throw in the fact that there are now more guns in public circulation that there are citizens in our country, and what we have brewing is a perfectly deadly storm of fanatic Fascism! While the rise of trump and his crazed followers did not start this mindless, soulless march to hate driven anarchy, he most certainly accelerated it .
Our political /civic leaders at all levels must be on guard and protect themselves. We are relying on our sheriff and police to make sure that the, now armed, extremists obey all the laws AND decorum in these kinds of meetings.
We can each do our part to bring back peace and civility by refusing to allow those that represent these extremists to take our constitutional rights away. Speak Out! Support FACTS! Love Your Neighbors! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
No. The bullying is most certainly a result of the combination of CNN and MSNBC propaganda and lies.
THE GQP Party and their support of 1/6 enough said SMH
Trump is the origal mamas boy bully
Dont forget send money Stop the Steal LMAO
Support facts? How about supporting your statment that there are more guns than citizens.
Pissed in PC says
As of May 7,2021 there are 121 guns per every 100 citizens in the US. I can clearly see you are another of those too lazy to even bother checking facts since it doesn’t fit your mentality.
Is it not extremism when democrats label people who disagree with them. Isn’t it extremism when people March in New York and chant what do we want. Dead cops. Isn’t it a form of extremism when Antifa can burn our cities and declare an autonomous zone. Isn’t it extremism when a Black man who is a conservative is called an Oreo by the media. I can go on and on and on
Isnt it Extremism when the former President incites an Insurrection at the Capital to intervene on Votes of the Electoral College Talley to attempt to overturn the largest most secure Election in History.
Wow , PALMCOASTER ‘s video shows that guy Phillips helping the police in their briefing . Enough said !!! Good job PALMCOASTER .
All of those Constitutional rights, like number 2. Shall not be infringed!
Mike Cocchiola says
Flagler County – the County, not the cities within – is leaderless. The BOCC (Board of County Cowards), all Republicans, is deathly afraid of its own base. Note the constitutional oath nonsense was driven by Joe Mullins and his Trump Club. Greg Hansen co-signed it because he, like Mullins, is up for election in 2022. Both are unpopular. To have even the slightest chance they must genuflect to their trump-addled uber-conservative base.
The Republican Party is too frightened and divided to stand up to its own bullies. Those of us who reject The Big Lie must do it. We have to set an example and demand that our political and law enforcement leaders do the same. It’s our county, too.
Peopla like “Trump haters “are the problem.
Whats not to dislike. Near the most offensive person in Politics ever. I was 15 growing up in CT. and WE ALL knew he was a Con and Fraud then. Ignorance is bliss. Twice Impeached and then 1/6 and still the “Steal” B.S. OMFG.I could go on but your incorrigible so………
Does Mark Phillips even live in Palm Coast? And, if he doesn’t, why is he even present in a Palm Coast City Council meeting? I would hope that we would reserve government time for constructive purposes–not to stage a partisan circus of anyone’s choosing.
Karyn Vetter says
My husband and I relocated to Palm Coast from Palm Beach county almost 5 years ago. We’ve owned a residential lot in the Hammock for quite awhile, and have been dreaming of building a modest home. The Hammock is becoming “gentrified”, as I read in a recent real estate listing, i.e. for the rich. A large new housing community sprouting on Jungle Hut Road will certainly not enhance the Old Florida vibe of The Hammock, but rather add to its decline, but oh my, the tax revenue. And don’t get me started on the impact to nature. I also read about the shenanigans taking place regularly in Palm Coast government. The good ole southern boys mentality is alive and flourishing here. Government here is sadly lacking in leadership and the tenets of democracy. Time to look elsewhere for the quality of life that we, a middle aged couple of essential worker modest means, seek.
As a former newspaper employee, I am thankful to Flaglerlive for informing the public on the goings-on in Flagler county.
Celia Pugliese says
Unfortunately Karen you described very well the reality in this county. I agree also about the good work that Flagler Live does to inform us, otherwise we will be unaware of many things taking place. Lately the current toxic environment including racism reaches to some of us when we come out in the open in our government meetings speaking our 3 minutes on behalf of preserving our quality of life. We become targets for cyberbullying and or derogatory intimidation like happened to me… but will not deter me. The source was a professional county department director who’s my taxes pay his 150 to 170,000 annual salary plus benefits, that had the cowardly derogatory act to email me privately thru you tube, were the city council meeting is posted, questioning my support for the mask and distance mandate by Mayor Holland inside the meetings after publicly called me a parrot. He saw me and heard my accent speaking https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un6QkncdhwU&t=3996s and he emailed me this:
celia pugliese you are a prime example of our poorly run immigration system. You don’t hold American values and want to make our country more like the sh!thole that you came from. I will gladly help pay for you to go back”.
I can’t imagine how many more speaker residents may he be cyber bullying. I was a sworn American citizen when this individual was just 9 years old! Does the county condone this behavior? Does he know that anyone with an accent speaks more than one language, how many does he speak? What gives him the right? Maybe he needs to watch: https://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/lawrence-history-shows-this-land-was-not-made-for-you-and-me-109002309919 and get educated and maybe have respect for the elderly myself 77 y/o and all others that attend long meetings as well that get the courage to attend and speak their 3 minutes in government meetings pleading to receive answer to concerns or preserve their values and/or beautiful towns following the government guidelines. Please all those determined residents speaking in government meetings always observing Robert Rules of Order do not ever be deter or intimidated by bullyism.
Ok boomer says
All we have to do is wait for the boomers to become extinct and this too shall pass. They have been an absolute cancer upon the world. Hell will be filled to the brim once that most useless, selfish, and bigoted of generations has left us.
Thank you for posting the factual data about the proliferation of guns in the USA, Pissed in PC. You are certainly correct, the FOX/trump cult unfortunately lives in an “alternate reality” devoid of credible facts and there appears to be very little effort in the search for verifiable truth. As they say “I saw it on TV”. . . most likely FOX. . . . and, that is all they need to know.
@GR. . . you may be interested in this analysis/fact checking of different major media outlets. . . try PBS, BBC or the Associated Press “IF” you desire credible facts:
Been There says
We should conduct elections like they do in some other countries; you aren’t ALLOWED to fund raise, so ANYONE can run. You aren’t ALLOWED to put up election signs, people have to come out and hear you speak.
The common denominator here is the class of elected official we have right now and by that I mean; money but NO class. Get rid of the pacs. Get rid of Holland and her self serving “get mine and my friends’ pockets fat” policies. Get rid of Mullins and all his cohorts. His behavior and the Commission’s acceptance of it (he is just a distraction to front their dirty agenda) has opened the door for every bottom feeder with the same m.o.
Too bad this fellow got all up into Hollands face, and for what? Was it imagined voices prompting him?… Or did he finally realize that his property taxes had gone up each year for the past ten years? As they carted him away under the Baker Act was he screaming that his neighbors’ talking dog “instructed” him to lash out at Holland in an act of civil disobedience?… Or was he murmuring something about his ever increasing water bill? Or any of a number of other possibilities?
I should make it clear that I don’t agree with his actions, but might understand some of his frustrations… if based on reason.
Honestly, there really should be a more effective way of expressing ones dissatisfaction with our elected officials… like voting them out of office… but as the last election seems to have borne out, we have no real alternatives here. It’s tough not being liked, but there’s no law that says anyone has to like you… nor that you have to run for elected office.
@ Been There. . . you are ceratinly right about the need to get $$$ out of politics. Check out the group and effort to over turn the “Citizens United” decision: