Cocoa Beach: “Nothing Historical About” Surf Restaurant?

So there we were, sitting peacefully on a cloudy Friday doing work and getting ready for the weekend with the wife and kids when the text came in:

“CBV is blowing up.”

“CBV” is the Facebook page “Cocoa Beach Votes,” a page that is devoted strictly to issues in Cocoa Beach. We had mentioned them before. Of course, “blowing up” is a term for “there’s lots of activity on that site / page.”

We grabbed some popcorn, a Dr Pepper, and headed over to the site.

The owner of the page had written an post that was two pronged. The overall post was about a post by Cocoa Beach Mayor Ben Malik on the Surf restaurant and its demolition. The owner of Cocoa Beach Vote took exception to Malik’s post not mentioning the history of the restaurant, its significance to the area, and only looking at the restaurant (and now vacant property) as a piece of real estate to sell.

(One can question whether the Mayor of a city should be advertising a property for sale and giving the name of the agent and phone number. While Malik has the right to do that, even to us that is a bit unseemly.)

Enter into the fray one “Ed Dosado.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We normally don’t use names of regular citizens here and refer to people as “citizens” or “residents.” Since people can see the man’s name on the posts he makes, we are going to bend that rule. However, since Google and other sites track names of people for their search engines, we aren’t going to use his last name when discussing his posts and responses. We’re just going to call him “Ed.”

Ed’s first comment out of the gate is telling:

That was a post on FB group not an article for ‘I Love Cocoa Beach’ and the CBNN is not affiliated with ‘I Love Cocoa Beach’. CBNN is maintained by the City. ‘I Love Cocoa Beach’ is run by a misguided citizen, much like this page.

According to ICANN, the website “I Love Cocoa Beach Florida” is registered to a Bryan Bruce who runs a company out of Orlando. According to the company’s home page, they are:

…a hospitality social media development company based in Orlando, Florida. We work with some of the top hospitality brands in America. We have a reputation for quality and excellence which is demonstrated with our selective and strategic client base. We have a holistic view of internet and social media foundation marketing and actively look for opportunities where our resources, experience and passion can build value by driving businesses to be the best on the internet.

In other words, the company that owns the domain and its registration is a company that promotes hoteliers and other businesses within the “hospitality” world.

As the content of the original Facebook post agreed with the point of view of “I Love Cocoa Beach,” either Bruce or the actual owner of the site (the person paying Bruce) copied the post whole cloth.

There’s a term for that in the world: “theft of intellectual property” or “copyright infringement.”

Our point is that apparently someone who supports the hoteliers and hospitality industry has no compunctions or reservations about stealing content from people. (Other posts from the site are copied and stolen in their entirety as well. They are clearly outside any “fair use.”)

But back to Ed’s comment.

‘I Love Cocoa Beach’ is run by a misguided citizen, much like this page.

Without ever disputing or arguing against the ideas that CBV was putting out, he calls the person “misguided.”

Right out of the gate, Ed resorts to an ad hominem attack.

It has been our experience that if attacking the person instead of what they say is the argument you want to lead with – your best argument – you have already lost the discussion.

Ed then makes this gem of a comment:

[The Surf] was an old broken down condemned building. Nothing historical about it.

Ignorance can be cured:

COCOA BEACH -— The building that once was home to The Surf, an iconic restaurant that became a well-known gathering place for astronauts, media figures and other celebrities during the heyday of the space race, is slated for demolition.

COCOA BEACH — It was the place to run into astronauts. Or maybe your future spouse.

It’s where generations of families went to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and other memorable occasions. But it was also the local neighborhood hangout that was packed to the gills for Friday happy hours.

From a 2015 FloridaToday article:

COCOA BEACH — The Surf, the long-closed iconic restaurant that in the early days of the space race hosted astronauts and celebrities, may again become a draw for downtown Cocoa Beach.


Bernard Fischer opened the landmark eatery in 1948 as Bernard’s Surf, and his family operated the dining venue for decades. Fischer’s nephew, Rusty Fischer, started in 1965 at age 22. When his uncle died in 1965, he decided to keep it. Fischer sold the restaurant in 2006 to two new owners. They unexpectedly closed their doors in October 2010, facing nearly $300,000 in state and federal tax liens. It has remained closed since then.

But Fischer’s history in Brevard predates even that landmark.

Call us crazy, but we think that when you start referring to a business as “iconic” and a “landmark,” you’ve crossed into the realm of “historic.”

After being told his comment on the lack of historical value of The Surf was called “the dumbest post ever,” Ed responds:

You win the prize for dumbest page ever. If you’re so dissatisfied with your local Government then how did they get voted in? You should probably stop hiding behind this page and reposting Hocakes [sic] articles and just move.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Pardon us Ed, but the site name is “Raised on Hoecakes,” not “Raised on Hocakes.” One is a tasty pancake and the other, a “Ho” is …. well, …..never mind.)

Once again, you see the depth (or lack thereof) of Ed’s arguments.

In Ed’s world, there should not be anonymous political speech. Throughout the history of this country, anonymous political speech has been used to generate discussions and debate – both of which are healthy for society. Does Ed not know that “Common Sense” and “The American Crisis” were written anonymously by Thomas Paine? Does he not realize that what we now call “The Federalist Papers” were anonymous letters and discussions by newspapers? Does he not realize that many of the writings on the Civil Rights movements were done anonymously? Does he not realize that people seek anonymity for any number of reasons such as retaliation from those they are criticizing?

We don’t require names here on Raised on Hoecakes comments because we would rather deal with ideas rather than making ad hominem attacks. That’s really the only reason to know the name of someone making a comment or a post or whatever. You cannot deal with their arguments and positions and so you attack them personally. Without their name, you can’t make that attack and so you are left grasping for straws.

Ed then goes after the idea that seems to be near and dear to Cocoa Beach Votes: height and density.

Ed tries to make the argument that nothing has changed with the codified height and density yet fails to think that attacks on that part of the Charter by Council members and members of the Charter Review Committee have targeted the height and density portion of the Charter. Ed apparently believes that it is better for people to wait and see what happens rather than get involved and organize now if they are against any change to height and density.

But perhaps the weirdest thing is that Ed says that perhaps the writer of the post should “just move.” Then when he is called out on his lack of knowledge on The Surf, he says:

Oh I get it, I wasn’t “born and raised” here so my opinion doesn’t count either?

Notice that Ed wants people who disagree with him to move, but his opinion matters.

By the time the exchange was over, we had finished our popcorn and down to our last sip of Dr Pepper.

To us, the exchange highlighted several things. There are people who cannot argue facts, so they move right for the attack on the person. To accomplish that goal, they demand the abolition of the First Amendment at the most or at the least, show an ignorance of the history of speech in this country. When those arguments fail (as they should,) people move on to “if you don’t like it, get out” and yet believe that standard should not apply to them.

We don’t know Ed and we suspect that is agreeable to us and him. However, if you look at the post, you’ll see that Ed got schooled by CBV to the point he was flailing around looking for any mud to throw that would stick because he was unable to make a cognitive argument.

There is an old saying in discussions that “if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.”

One Response to “Cocoa Beach: “Nothing Historical About” Surf Restaurant?”

  1. Sandy says:

    Malik’s and Dosado’s comments are equally appalling. And just like Dosado, Mayor Ben Malik is always dictating at commission meetings what we should believe, think, read, etc.

    I wonder if Malik knew Dosado was off the chain? He’s been trying pretty hard to keep this Charter Review committee’s intentions out of the public eye. He was already in damage control mode at the last commission meeting. Malik came out trying to discredit a social media site who brought to light questions by committee member, Susan Christman, asking the city attorney about whether the whole section on height and density could be removed. Malik didn’t mention the name of the social media site but I suspect it might also be Cocoa Beach Vote since they had posted about it. Most of the other groups on Facebook are for the realtors and developers, etc., that want to get rid of the building height limits. Malik wants to put height and density back on the referendum as he stated at an earlier meeting this year.

    So, who ya gonna believe? Big Brother Ben Malik, or your own lying ears and eyes?