Time out – waiting for election

Staff Columnist

Things are changing in Florida governance, and in Florida Politics.

Politicians have learned , at their peril, that they must protect every citizen’s right to vote.  So we have developed early voting, absentee voting, proof of citizenship, etc.  These are probably all good, but they do stretch out the process.  Election Day is no longer a special and defined Day.  It is many days over several weeks.  My point here – we’re not yet ready to present our presentations, our arguments to the voters.

Our Editor plans to do this next week – for maximum effect.

I’m taking this opportunity to present two shorter columns I had been holding off.

The first of these:


Notable  &  Quotable: Franklin on the Germans

From Jason Riley’s column at  WSJ,com,  Feb. 6, 2018

“In the 1750s, Benjamin Franklin was already complaining about the use of bilingual signposts in Pennsylvania to accommodate the swarthy hordes of German migrants.  ‘Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens,’  wrote Franklin, ‘who wrote Franklin, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of us  Anglifying  them, and will never adopt our Language and Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion?’

In the antebellum period, Samuel Morse , the inventor of the telegraph and a leader of the Know Nothing movement , called for banning Irish Catholics, whom he accused of subverting America’s values and ideals.

Talk of the ‘Yellow Peril’ came next  In a famous political cartoon from 1881, Lady Liberty is depicted as a Chinese coolie gripping an opium pipe.  Italians, Jews, Poles and others shortly thereafter would experience similar treatment.

In recent decades, the boisterous conversation surrounding immigrants from Latin America has addressed similar themes.  Are they stealing jobs and depressing wages?  Are they driving up crime rates and stretching our social services?  Are they assimilating?  How much unskilled foreign labor can our modern economy absorb.?

These questions are complicated by the fact that there is no typical immigrant.  They aren’t all gang members, and they aren’t all microbiologists.  Most are economic migrants in search of an opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their loved ones.  Most are simply looking for a higher return on their human capital ….”

Riley finishes:  “Franklin wasn’t  being paranoid.  Germans in colonial America had a reputation for sticking to themselves in German-speaking communities.  During the Civil War, there were all-German units in the Union Army with commands given in German.  Germans have left giant cultural footprints on the country as well; they introduced America to kindergarten and marching bands and Christmas trees.  And German  immigrants ultimately did overtake the English in numbers.

Today Americans of German ancestry outnumber any other ethnic group”



My Naval Submariner Son, and Nuke, sends me this piece of news of some interest:

The Peoples Daily, China reports that:  USS Carl Vinson will make a 4-day port visit to DaNang, Vietnam, on March 5, the first port call by a US Aircraft carrier since the end of the Vietnam War, Vietnamese media reported on Monday (2/26/18).

Your correspondent served ashore in I Corps, Vietnam and principally Da Nang in 1967 and 1968.

Times they are a’changing.

Peter O’Connor

USN, Retired

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