The dateline in the New York Times was from China, and the sub-headline read: "Fueled with money from Wall Street and local officials, [Chinese] automakers are building a huge production lead. They plan to build 8 million electric cars a year by 2028, more than Europe and America combined." We Westerners are so accustomed to thinking of ourselves as threatened and so willing to engage in rivalry that my first reaction was "we are losing this game." Detroit, which began mass production of automobiles, is going down the tubes, and a nation that depended on water buffalo until recently is outpacing us. Read More
Doris writes a weekly column for LaGaceta, the nation's only trilingual newspaper, which has pages in English, Spanish, and Italian. Begun in 1922 for Tampa's immigrant community, it continues to thrive more than a century later. Her column is titled "In Context," as it aims to put contemporary issues in the context of the past.
I'm sorry, but my mind can't help picturing Republican consultants slapping their knees and howling with laughter as they witness the continual gullibility of their target audience. You probably have seen that their latest game is convincing naïve folks in Arizona that thousands of ballots for Biden were flown in from Southeast Asia and can be identified by bamboo fragments in the paper. Guys in MAGA hats have stirred up Phoenix's election office, making a mess as they examine ballots for bamboo. Some state Republicans regret that they authorized this "audit" -- but consultants make money from such nativity and nonsense. I'm sure they laugh all the way to the bank. Read More
The more time passes, the more I am impressed by the enormity of January 6th. It will be a day that will live in greater infamy than December 7, 1941, when Japan attacked our Hawaii Territory. January 6, 2021, however, was our own citizens attacking our own Capitol -- and threatening to kill officials who were elected by a majority of their constituents. Many commentators pointed out that this was the first invasion of the capital since the War of 1812 -- but that attack also was by another nation, not by our own citizens. Nothing ever has been comparable to last January. Read More
The New York Times comes in my mailbox every day on the same day that people in New York buy it from their newsstands. It has become a model of efficiency that other papers, especially the Tampa Bay Times, should emulate. The New Yorkers send it electronically to Lakeland, where it is printed, and it gets to my mailbox that same day. I read it thoroughly -- even though the lack of comics and good news often makes me depressed. Read More
Publisher Patrick announced the passing of our mutual friend Jeff Carnes in the last edition of LaGaceta, and I want to add to that. Jeff – and his longtime companion, Edith Stewart, the retired lobbyist for Hillsborough County – have been wonderful longtime friends. Hubby first met him when both participated in the labor movement, Jeff as a unionized firefighter and Hubby as an activist with United Faculty of Florida. (Yes, Hubby did have a Harvard doctorate in philosophy, but his favorite pastime was playing poker with blue-collar guys.) Read More
At least briefly, as long as I can force my brain to coordinate with my fingers. I want to thank the many of who called, e-mailed, and sent cards and flowers during this difficult time. Everything is greatly appreciated, and I hope that sometime soon, I shall be able to send personal thanks. I especially want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to La Gaceta for keeping me on the payroll during the six weeks that I didn't write.
The November election and its aftermath consumed whole pulpwood forests and many tankers of ink and trillions of electronic pixels, but there's still one thing that needs to be noted. Wondrously enough, it is good news – and I guess it also is good news that we have the luxury of overlooking our cultural progress. Read More
It's over, and I am glad. Being a historian is comforting: most historians can predict what most of us will write in the future, and now we can ease up on fretting about the present. Let me say here and now, though, that I am very confident that Donald Trump -- the only president to have been impeached twice by hundreds of members of the US House -- will rank at the bottom of every list of esteemed presidents. Read More
I agonized for days about watching the Super Bowl, feeling ambivalent because of my lost Hubby. He would have been so excited! When I did decide to watch, it was hard to look at his empty chair. He lived long enough to know about Tom Brady and greatly admired this ancient athlete. Beyond that, the game was in Tampa! And the February weather was exactly what the Chamber of Commerce ordered. He would have been happy, but it made me sad that he wasn't here to enjoy it. Moreover, it was on Sunday the 7th and wouldn't have interfered with our 55th anniversary on the 8th. Yes, the Super Bowl began the year we married, 1966. Read More
To modify William Wordsworth's poem a bit, for just my singular usage. Almost every day, I feel that the modern world is too much. No, I don't want to go back to the 1950s, when a long-distance call was a big deal – but it seems to me that creation of academic departments of communication in fact has lessened communication. Or something. Most of the young people I encounter on the phone are polite and sound sincere, but they seem to be largely incompetent. That is if you can get a human, after passing through countless menus, messages about COVID, privacy, and a bunch other things that are not the reason for your call. Read More