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Today on Context Florida: Thanksgiving & refugees, testing the American experiment and distracted driving

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida:

Thanksgiving is America’s holiday season, when we are supposed to give thanks for our blessings, gather around tables laden with festive food, and commemorate a bedraggled boatload of refugees who just showed up one day needing a decent meal and a safe place to crash. Diane Roberts says Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rick Scott take a radically different view. They want to slam the door on everyone, especially Syrians fleeing the horrors of ISIS.

As Stephen Kurlander sees it, sensationalized attacks by ISIS terrorist in Paris and the allegations that one or more had entered Europe as  “Syrian refugees” suddenly awoke shaken (and clueless) Americans to an enormous, ongoing humanitarian disaster that’s changing the world as we know it. Because of the lack of a coherent American foreign policy, and the continued wrongful adaptation and integration of failed internationalism policies that now defines U.S. reaction to this crisis, Kurlander says the basic tenet of the American experiment, which has allowed countless generations of immigrants to become Americans, also now stands tested.

Florence Snyder notes that distracted driving is as old as driving. A Tin Lizzie could turn deathtrap in an instant if the driver shifted his peripheral vision from the road ahead to the map on his lap or the pal in the passenger seat. For many decades, we all played radio roulette with pretty much the same pre-set buttons. Now, there are so many ways to be audio-visually distracted that researchers rank them on a five-category scale like the one used at the National Hurricane Center. Good luck finding a 100 percent error-free system, Snyder says.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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