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Category archives for: Commentary

Florida State University’s Rape Problem: Football First, Morals Later

| April 19, 2014

The Jameis Winston revelations are one more reminder of just how far universities and their apologists are willing to go to protect the multibillion-dollar enterprise that we call “college sports.” What is the cost to the women at Florida State—and the parents who send them there–who surely can have no illusions about what will happen if they dare to cry rape?

Palm Coast Voters Lose Again: The City Of Low Turnout Gets a Spoiled Election

| April 11, 2014

Even if Palm Coast and Supervisor of Elections Weeks work out their differences, as it now looks like they have, voters have already lost as this months-long manufactured controversy will become election campaign fodder for candidates who don’t have anything more substantial to offer.

Corruption Theorem: Money as Speech and the Supreme Court’s Death Blow to Democracy

| April 7, 2014

We’ve come a long way from the days of Lawton Chiles, who won his election for governor despite limiting contributions to $10 a pop. There is no longer any bidding limit on the vast auction block American politics has become since, writes Martin Dyckman.

Altered Space: When the Mall
Is a Refuge From Virtual Reality

| April 5, 2014

With America’s slouch toward the virtual at the expense of the real and the human, it is entirely possible that we will become nostalgic for malls as lost relics of interpersonal relations, alongside the courthouse square, the barber shop and the neighborhood bar.

Farewell To Bookstores:
Why I Won’t Miss Books-A-Million

| March 30, 2014

The closure of Books-A-Million is not as bad as it sounds: the chain bookstore was not living up to its billing as a cultural hub, and bookstores these days are becoming irrelevant thanks to Amazon, audio books and Google, which make the world’s libraries immediately accessible at a click.

Chris Christie’s Hormonal Problem

| March 29, 2014

Would someone please call Chris Christie and tell him that if he thinks he could be President of the United States, he doesn’t have a prayer. By insinuating that the lane closings were the handiwork of a woman suffering from a romantic setback, Christie’s lawyers have ensured that he will be scorned by every woman who has had to endure the canard that women are ruled by their hormones and their feelings.

The Problem With “Step Up for Students,” Florida’s Voucher Jockey

| March 24, 2014

Step Up For Children CEO Doug Tuthill is shameless about the way his organization–the administrative agent for Florida’s school voucher program–spends lavishly on political races, which may explain why a Senate proposal to vastly expand the voucher program this year foundered.

After the Attack: A Pit Bull Owner Speaks In Defense of Second Chance Rescue

| March 18, 2014

In the wake of a pit bull’s–or a pit bull mix’s–attack on two young children at Second Hand Rescue last week, a dog owner who took possession of a pit bull that had been rescued and rehabilitated by Second Hand Rescue writes in defense of the Bunnell animal shelter.

If It’s Economic Growth You Want, Raising the Minimum Wage Crushes Wall Street Bonuses Every Time

| March 15, 2014

If the $26.7 billion Wall Streeters pulled in on their bonuses last year had instead gone to minimum wage workers, our economy would be expected to grow by about $32.3 billion — more than triple the $10.4 billion boost expected from the Wall Street bonuses.

Flagler Kills Together:
Bill O’Reilly’s Re-Assassination of JFK

| March 14, 2014

Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Kennedy,” this year’s choice for the annual Flagler Reads Together event, is not the usual O’Reilly polemic and provides in parts a fair summary of Kennedy’s presidency and the assassination, but it also has many flaws, writes Pierre Tristam.

Sheriff Jim Manfre: How To Restore Common Sense to Stand Your Ground

| March 13, 2014

The public’s valid concern over the vigilante-style actions of certain people who have watched too many Western movies should be dealt with through legislative action, argues Sheriff Jim Manfre, starting with a definition of self-defense that doesn;t leave its determination in the perpetrator’s hands.

Marco Rubio Flirts With Immigration Reform Then Capitulates to the Lunatic Fringe

| March 11, 2014

Rubio placed a dismal seventh at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in a straw poll of likely GOP presidential hopefuls, where his kind of immigration talk doesn’t sit well with the GOP fringe, political or lunatic, writes Andrew Skerritt.

Palm Coast’s Red-Light Cameras: How the City Council Locked In a Fraud on Taxpayers Through 2019

| March 7, 2014

Palm Coast’s red-light cameras siphon off more than $2.5 million out of the local economy every year, in the share that goes to the state and to ATS, the company that runs the scheme, yet the city council quietly approved the deal through 2019, long past the terms of every one of the council members and some of their successors.

Angel’s Diner in Palatka: Radiant Relay

| March 4, 2014

Angel’s Diner in Palatka is reported to be the oldest diner in Florida, across the street from the stately Larimer Arts Center and a toast’s throw from the St. Johns River. It’s also proving to be the ideal relay on the way to a nuking.

Denying Service to Gays and Lesbians: Right of Conscience Vigilantism Meets Stand Your Ground

| February 28, 2014

Bills in four states that would let businesses deny service to gays and lesbians on religious-freedom grounds are based on the same faulty justification of Stand Your Ground laws on self-defense grounds. In both cases, the 1st and 2nd Amendments are perverted into defenses of vigilantism rather than protection of rights.

A Matanzas High Teacher Reveals Her Evaluation Scores, and the Absurdity of Florida’s “VAM” Scam

| February 26, 2014

What do my almighty “VAM” scores reveal about me, my students, the quality of my instruction or what goes on in my classroom? Absolutely nothing, writes JoAnn Nahirny, who deconstructs Florida’s new teacher-evaluation scores, hers among them, and shows why they have little basis in reality, though they may well define a teacher’s fate.

Politicians’ Pot Dilemma: Whether To Inhale Florida’s Medical Marijuana Joint

| February 25, 2014

The elevation of medical marijuana to a theological level is not unique to Florida. Many legislators from Georgia to Kentucky to Iowa have invoked conversations with God as they came to embrace medical pot.

Global Warning Olympics: Closing Ceremonies for Winter

| February 23, 2014

Watching the Olympics requires too much of a suspension of disbelief to make the effort worth the time or the self-deception. There was an added and quite massive invention to these games: faking winter in a warming world, though in that regard we’re all self-deluded Russians.

When a Senator Turns Anti-Union Goon: A Labor Defeat Reverberates Across the South

| February 22, 2014

In light of the failed vote to unionize a VW plant in Tennessee, why should we care about the travails of labor unions in our country? Because, with no one in Washington able to effectively represent workers nationwide, unions are the only ones left to fight for a living wage.

Memo to Florida Legislature: Quit Bashing Public-Employee Pensions

| February 20, 2014

A determined cohort of elected officials in our Legislature is trying to turn working and retired people against each other, to better the odds of a dangerous bill becoming destructive law. If ever there were a legislative wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing of “fiscal responsibility,” this would be that perpetually hungry beast, argues Daniel Tilson.

Neither Marx Nor Hannity: Pope Francis’s Cool Embrace of Simplicity

| February 15, 2014

Even for a pope as refreshingly humble and open-minded as Francis, it’s too much to expect that he will remake the worldwide Catholic Church into one big hippie commune, argues Cary McMullen. Those on the political left may eventually be just as disappointed in him as those on the political right.

A Heartfelt Thank You To Brian McMillan and Flagler County

| February 14, 2014

Palm Coast Observer Editor Brian McMillan surprised FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam with a moving, supportive column this week, illustrating the contrast between the two competitors, and the true meaning of community.

Stand Your Ground: Florida is Not My Castle. And It’s Not Yours, Either.

| February 11, 2014

The right to stand one’s ground against aggression in one’s home is unquestioned, but, argues Julie Delegal, in public, spaces must be shared, peacefully. The castle doctrine cannot be extended to cover the entire state, as Florida’s Stand Your Ground law does.

How Obamacare’s Enemies Turned a Victory For Workers’ Freedom Into a “Job Killer”

| February 9, 2014

The prediction that Obamacare will lead to the equivalent of 2.5 million fewer jobs has nothing to do with businesses cutting the workforce and everything to do with workers being finally free of job-lock, now that they don;t need to stay in a job to have health insurance. That’s a good, and very American, thing, not the job-killing catastrophe Obamacare’s enemies make it out to be.

Russian Roulette: Gun Owners and Their Temperament

| February 7, 2014

The decision to keep a gun handy makes you a bad risk—not only for insurance companies, but for those of us who feel we have a right to go to the movies, the mall, or sit in our own backyard without having to worry about a gun owner whose bursitis is acting up or who is simply having a bad day.

The Diagnosis

| February 5, 2014

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam learned he had cancer over the holidays. He describes the experience and his travels since, mostly down and up the abyss that becomes a premier tourist spot for many of those coming to grips with the diagnosis, even though death row appears, in his case, a very long way off.

Arrested For Felony Child Abuse and Pot Possession: The Mother’s Account

| February 5, 2014

Sophia Zhudro is the 30-year-old resident of Palm Coast’s B-Section who was arrested on Jan. 24 for marijuana possession as she was parked with her 15-month-old on the side of a residential street in her neighborhood. She tells her side of the story, taking issue with the way the incident was related by police.

Judge J. Michael Traynor’s Alarming Equivalence Between an Attempted Murderer and His Victim

| February 2, 2014

When Judge J. Michael Traynor sentenced Nathaniel Juratovac to four years in prison for the attempted murder of Flagler County firefighter Jared Parkey last week, the judge managed to blame both men for the violent incident that led them to the courtroom, a stunning and immoral leveling of blame in a state that too easily excuses gun violence.

Magpul Gun Company Mutes Its Connection To Sandy Hook, and Media Comply

| February 1, 2014

After rushing to every microphone in Colorado during a battle against gun control, Magpul had nothing to say to reporters about its connection to the Newtown shooting, even when photos of its magazines, used by the shooter, were released in December.

Death Penalty’s Latest Mutation:
Experimenting on Human Beings

| January 28, 2014

The decision to seek the death penalty simply can’t be justified either by society’s or individuals’ desire for revenge, argues Steve Robinson. Were that the case, we could issue baseball bats to family members and let them beat the convict to death in the town square.

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