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Showing posts from February 28, 2010

Wistful about a time and place I never knew.

Florida became a State within these United States on 3rd March 1845.  From my perspective that date is just over 99 years before I was born!  We are a young State.


Nonetheless Florida does have a history, albeit brief. Thanks to the excellent Library system in Sarasota County I am reading about it. It is sad, bad, and glad!  

I have just read a charming book with the title “Ybor City Chronicles”.  It was published in 1994 by the University Press of Florida. The author is Ferdie Pacheco. 


“Ybor City” is the local name for a district in Tampa, FL. It was for many years was home to many people from Spain, Cuba and Italy, and was famous for its many cigar factories. 

Amongst the heroes of Ybor City none is greater than Jose Marti – the author of Cuban independence from the colonial power – Spain.
See http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Jose_Marti

Ferdie Pacheco’s memoir is about his life in Ybor City as he moved from childhood into young adulthood, 1935 – 1945. 


He tells of the fabled Col…

Nopology

Nopologyis a word I coined today to describe the public apologies which are frequent in these United States and in the United Kingdom.

They are written in that well known but esoteric language known as “bureaucratese”. In the world of nopologies the word “wrong” is never used.

Here are two examples from the United Kingdom.

1. A spokesman for WH Smith said: “Customer safety is of paramount importance to us. 
“To that end we insist our staff complete regular training updates to remind them of their obligations both legally and in accordance with our own policies. 
“On this occasion a staff member may have been a little overzealous in their interpretation of that training and we apologise for any inconvenience or embarrassment that may have been caused.” 

That nopology referred to the actions of a W.H.Smith  “staff member”  [in the old days known as a shop assistant (U.K.) or a shop clerk (U.S.A.)]. 

A mother and her three year old daughter took a pair of children’s plastic scissors from the…

Tea Party (3) The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,

The United States of America is going through another of its periods of national navel gazing. (This is a generalization, I know!) We are indeed a very young nation, in our early youth compared with ancient nations such as Egypt, China or Persia (Iran), and as such, filled with the insecurity and self-doubt of adolescence.

At this time we are an angry people.

For some that anger is rooted in an understanding that all the old landmarks have disappeared. Gay-rights, women’s rights, the rights of ethnic minorities, the recognition that we are a multi-faith nation etc, etc, have begotten an America which is vastly changed from the one of their memory.


The election of a black President (unthinkable just a few years ago) has signaled that “the times they are a-changin’”.

For others, there is an anger based on a sense that the governmental response to 9/11 has led to a fearsome reduction of our civil liberties. Or that government is no longer responsive to the average Joe or Jane, but that i…

No Tea Party stuff tonight

I've had a good and tiring day.

At Resurrection House for the Prayer service this morning.

At All Angels Church on Longboat Key for their Lent program this afternoon.

At St. Boniface Church on Siesta Key to preside and preach at the 5:30 p.m. Eucharist, then to attend the supper and evening programme.

So it's off to bed, and I'll write my final article about the Tea Party movement tomorrow.

Tea Party (2) Have you no sense of shame?

The election of Barack Obama as President of these United States brought to the surface those currents of populism which had been swirling for many a year
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Populists of the right had no truck with the Republican Party or with President George W. Bush but they held their fire. They believed that if they attacked the G.O.P. and the President too soon, their own critique would lead to the election of a Democratic Party President.



Nonetheless, Barack Obama was elected.  That election signaled populists with the message “big Government is back”.  If there is one thing that unites all populists it is a hatred of “Big Government” – identified by the popular media as the province of the Democratic Party.


Anti big-government populists were joined by others such as the so-called “birthers” – those who believe that Obama is not a born citizen, and probably by some racists who were flying under the radar.


These disparate groups coalesced into what is called the “Tea Party” movement.  One of the Tea P…

Words about the "Tea Party" (1)

Leadership

Here are two statements, followed by a question.


Statement 1. "Some folks are too good/nice/ethical/caring etc  to be effective agents of change".

Statement 2."Leadership for change requires passion and ruthlessness, as well as truth"


Question. "Do the above statements give you any clue as to how I regard President Obama?"

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Of course I would vote again for him in a heartbeat!