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Category archives for: Commentary

SLAPP This: Florida Scores a Big Free Speech Victory Against Intimidation Lawsuits

| August 27, 2015

It was a rare success in the last Florida Legislative session: a new law protecting the public from frivolous corporate or otherwise intimidating lawsuits intended to silence public expression in government issues.

Capitalism Doesn’t Cause Poverty. Its Absence Does.

| August 24, 2015

The world’s poorest countries are not characterized by naive trust in capitalism, but by utter distrust, which leads to heavy government intervention and regulation of business. Under such conditions, capitalism does not thrive and economies remain poor.

Before Going Neolithic on Unwed Moms, Bush Could Bone Up on Economic Reality

| August 17, 2015

Here’s what conservatives like Jeb Bush don’t want to acknowledge: Marriage rates are inextricably linked to America’s economy.

The Population Bomb Reloads: How Humans Cause Mass Extinctions

| August 14, 2015

The world’s expanding human population is in competition with the populations of most other animals. Our population bomb has already claimed its first casualties. They will not be the last, argue Paul and Anne Ehrlich.

Raise the Gas Tax Already

| August 11, 2015

The federal gas tax has been stuck at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993, lowest among advanced countries. Yet Congress just adopted a three-month stopgap measure, kicking the gas can down the road for the 35th time since 2009.

In Defense of Megyn Kelly

| August 10, 2015

Megyn Kelly deserves conservatives’ admiration, not their disdain, for leveling the sort of tough questions at Donald Trump and other candidates that should be asked of any presidential hopefuls, argues Nancy Smith.

Jailhouse Porn
Fort Apache: Flagler

| August 8, 2015

There’s nothing to be proud of in the pornography of incarceration: Flagler had no reason to triple the size of its jail other than to amplify an indefensible architecture of disproportionate punishment.

Sea Ray Issues Open Letter to Flagler Beach Ahead of Thursday’s Special Meeting

| August 5, 2015

The Flagler Beach City Commission meets in special session Thursday to consider taking its opposition to a Sea Ray plan for a parking lot to the state. Sea Ray offers its side.

Clowns on the Campaign Trail and the
Revolt Against Professional Politicians

| August 4, 2015

Donald Trump is part of a wider phenomenon of disaffected voters turning away from mainstream political parties and following populists and political entertainers, or clowns if you like, argues Ian Buruma.

Why the Florida Solar Initiative Is Losing

| August 3, 2015

The problem isn’t with the popularity of solar power, but the poor choice of words written by the people who have the best-ever name for their group: Floridians for Solar Choice.

Iran Nukes Deal Will Protect Against Saudi and Israeli Threats

| August 1, 2015

Iran hasn’t launched a single war in 50 years. Israel has launched eight, Saudi Arabia has kept funding America’s worst enemies–ISIS, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Who are the real threats to Mideast peace?

Genesis Was Wrong: Man’s Dominion Over Animals Is Stewardship, Not Ownership

| July 28, 2015

Pope Francis has now rejected mainstream Christian view, insisting that being created in God’s image doesn’t mean dominion over the earth or absolute domination over other creatures.

Barack Obama Stands Up to the Warmongers

| July 26, 2015

The US is not a partisan in the Shia-Sunni struggle. If anything, the US confronts mainly Sunni terrorism, funded from Saudi Arabia, not Shia terrorism backed by Iran.

Reporter Kicked Out: When Public Officials Abuse Florida’s Sunshine Law, With Lawmakers’ Blessing

| July 22, 2015

A “health district” run by public officials closes a public meeting under a bogus exemption to the Sunshine law, and gets a blank check to secretly talk about whatever it wishes, though it affects public policy.

The Iranian Nukes Deal and the
Horseman of the Jewish Apocalypse

| July 21, 2015

Netanyahu is an ideologue of Jewish catastrophe. By this logic, risks and challenges cannot be approached with a view toward resolution, yielding instead to paranoia and antagonism, writes Shlomo Ben-Ami.

Service Specter: Rick Scott’s Job-Growth Puffery Masks Florida’s Low-Wage Future

| July 20, 2015

About two of three of those new jobs is a low-paying service-sector one, mirroring years of Florida job growth in low-pay, no-benefits, dead-end jobs in Team Scott’s tourism-driven economy.

Donald Trump Isn’t the Exception.
He’s the Republican Prototype.

| July 17, 2015

Donald Trump isn’t an exception or an offense to the GOP brand. He’s he’s almost indistinguishable from the other 14 Republican crackpots running for president, starting with Jeb Bush, the alleged “moderate” of the bunch. Bush’s Florida record proves it.

Reclaiming Islam’s Enlightenment From Its Fundamentalist Hijackers

| July 15, 2015

Granting that more than a few Muslims back the hijackers’ extremism, what is needed is cultural exchanges instead of armed, panicky overreactions,

Good and Bad of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Caution and Selective Cooperation Ahead

| July 14, 2015

The prospect that the agreement could keep Iran without nuclear weapons for 15 years is its main attraction. Sanctions alone could not have accomplished this, and using military force would have entailed considerable risk with uncertain results.

Memo to GOP Candidates: Why Conservatives Should Embrace Gay Marriage Decision

| July 10, 2015

As a conservative who has always supported gay marriage, it’s difficult for Nancy Smith to understand why so many people of her generation — the ones who grew up witnessing some of the worst discrimination of the 20th century — could consistently rage against it.

Jews Then, Muslims Now: How Imprudent Judgments Desecrate Western Values

| July 9, 2015

To assume that all Muslims think alike because of their religious background, that they have “a mind” rather than individual thoughts, is as big a mistake as to assume to know the minds of Jews, Christians, or anyone else.

In Donald Trump, Democrats Have a “Very Useful Idiot”

| July 7, 2015

Republicans have an image problem. And it gets worse when somebody like Trump exacerbates the problem when he called Mexicans rapists.

I Identify As American

| July 4, 2015

Political independence is easy. The unalienable right to choose who and what we want to be down to our most basic identity, including one’s race, religion, sex and culture, has been harder to secure.

Disney’s CEO Makes $248 a Minute as Some of His Employees Go Homeless on $8.03 an Hour

| July 1, 2015

Even after a raise to $10 an hour, Disney employees can only expect to take home about $20,000 over the course of a year, not enough to live decently in Orlando. A $15-an-hour wage is more critical, argues Scott Klinger.

Backdoor Snooping: Why the U.S. Is Wrong to Oppose Full Encryption of Your iPhone

| June 29, 2015

The U.S. argues that the country will be less safe if the proper authorities have no “backdoor” – a piece of code that lets them in. Software engineers call backdoors “vulnerabilities,” deliberate efforts to weaken security.

The Confederate Flag:
A Swastika Cross-Dressing as Heritage

| June 26, 2015

Removing the Confederate flag from public places isn’t a denial of first amendment rights. It corrects an offensive version of false history and opposes black honor to white supremacy.

The Climate Pope’s Message: Reversing Global Warming is Humanity’s Responsibility

| June 23, 2015

If we do not change our behavior quickly, we may well lose the environmental stability upon which our planet – and our lives – depends. This is the main message of the pope’s encyclical.

That Other American Exceptionalism:
Right-Wing Terrorism

| June 19, 2015

For all the wasted blood spilled on ISIS and al-Qaeda, the real terrorist threat is neither far away nor foreign. It speaks English. It’s white. It’s American. And it’s sanctified by the NRA’s liturgy of guns today, guns tomorrow, guns forever.

Florida’s Nature Conservancy Gets It:
It’s About Land Management

| June 18, 2015

Most Florida environmental groups this special session made a lot of noise and spent a lot of money, but came away empty-handed and unhappy. Not The Nature Conservancy.

Quit Turning Your Backs on Desperate Migrants. Help Them Instead.

| June 17, 2015

Like Americans’ ancestors, migrants are fleeing poverty, war, or oppression, or are searching for a better life in a new land. Blocking that flow, argues Kofi Anann, is bound to fail, with disastrous consequences for human lives.

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