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Category archives for: Guest Columns

Visit Florida: Ferguson’s Seethe Is a Matter of Time for the Sunshine State

| August 21, 2014

Rose-colored Florida is a cynical myth, the stuff of marketing brochures, a developers’ conspiracy of enticing fiction to make their cash registers ring. The real Florida is a bitter, brooding reality beyond sugarcoating, argues Stephen Goldstein.

Lessons for Florida from A California Pot Tourist

| August 18, 2014

If Florida’s voters approve Amendment 2, our state will have an opportunity to implement a marijuana law that avoids heading down California’s cynical path, argues Karen Cyphers. It will be a challenge, but the reward of fostering an honest, quality health-care system is well worth the effort.

Every Town a Ferguson:
Reflections of a Scary Black Kid from Brooklyn

| August 16, 2014

Next time you feel intimidated by a black man, try to understand that it’s not about you, writes Jon Hardison, as much as it reflects remnants of a fear of what the average black American grew up with.

Manatees No Longer Endangered? Not So Fast.

| August 15, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering downlisting manatees from endangered to threatened, reducing their protective status. Save the Manatee Club’s Katie Tripp argues the proposal rests on too scanty data.

Rick Scott Wants to Believe He’s Born-Again Green. The Record Is Dirtier.

| August 12, 2014

Rick Scott wants Floridians to believe that he had a Road to Damascus moment, suddenly realizing that allegiance to Mammon makes for a dirty Florida and an unhappy electorate, but his 11th hour eco-enlightenment is as hard to swallow as a cup of algae from the Indian River Lagoon, argues Diane Roberts.

Kimberle Weeks Calls County’s Campaign Sign Rules “Interference”; Administrator Craig Coffey Responds

| August 12, 2014

Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks says the county’s political-sign rules “may create an unpleasant and dangerous environment” for voters and campaigners at the public library. County Administrator Craig Coffey disagrees.

How the NRA Treats Gun Owners Like Children

| August 9, 2014

The statistical risk of dying by gunshot increases dramatically when you possess a gun in your home. So does your spouse’s and child’s risk. It’s a health risk like unprotected sex. Doctors can ask about unprotected sex. Why not ask about guns?

Those Double-Digit Health Insurance Rate Hikes in Florida? Blame State GOP.

| August 7, 2014

Sen. Bill Nelson, once Florida’s insurance commissioner, reminds residents that it was the Republican state Legislature that stripped the office of insurance regulation of the authority to approve, modify or reject rate hikes by health insurance companies, thus leading to current, unacceptable rate hikes.

Gambling Is For Losers: We Should Ban It in Florida

| July 31, 2014

We need a state constitutional amendment to ban all wagering in Florida, argues Stephen Goldtsein. Oddly, raising taxes is considered a cardinal sin, but gambling is supposedly a blessing — especially since the state began pimping it through the Florida Lottery.

The Revealing Arrogance Behind Rick Scott Re-Election Campaign’s Leaked Memo

| July 29, 2014

As usual with Scott and Company, argues Daniel Tilson, you learn at least as much about their mindset and strategy from what they don’t say, as from what they do.

It’s Not Benghazi: Hillary Clinton’s Real Scandal Is Honduras.

| July 26, 2014

Desperate Honduran children are seeking refuge from a human rights nightmare that would cast a dark cloud over Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid right now if the media were paying any attention.

If You Think Businessmen Have Any Business Running Government, Think Again

| July 25, 2014

Government is about essential services; business is about profit.  Essential services must be improved, not cut. Government is designed to protect the common good, and has never and will never be successfully run as a business, argues Marc Yacht.

The 10 Counties Likeliest to Swing the Scott-Crist Race for Governor

| July 23, 2014

There is no question this is a toss-up race. Those confidently predicting a winner, one way or the other, are likely smoking the substance that is the subject of a ballot amendment this fall. Here are the 10 swing counties.

Charter School Grades Should Alarm Every Floridian as Drag On Districts Continues

| July 22, 2014

The idea that charter school operators should make a profit by providing children a better educational experience should offend no one. The fact that the numbers say they’re not doing a better job, while they’re draining away precious public resources, should alarm everyone.

Illegal Campaign Stop? Rick Scott Owes an Apology To the Cops He Duped.

| July 10, 2014

At a re-election campaign appearance in Tampa Monday, Scott burnished his law enforcement record with a cadre of uniformed cops. The cops expressed shock to the Tampa Tribune that they’d been used for a campaign stop.

Blame Democrats for the Court that
Birthed the Hobby Lobby Decision

| July 9, 2014

On the other hand, Democrats appear to have been clueless — and (some even) complicit, writes Stephen Goldstein. Year after year, they approved the radical majority of justices who now make up the “Roberts Court,” even when they knew their extreme agenda.

America’s Sad New Motto: No We Can’t

| July 8, 2014

Once a nation of doers who could find no obstacle too great to conquer, we always seem to be finding a way to say something can’t be done – health care, education, environment, gay people in the military. Now, writes Mark O’Brien, it’s every, man, woman and child for himself, and instead of America pulling together, it’s American pulling apart.

Corporate Religious Liberty: The Supreme Court’s Misguided Decision

| June 30, 2014

When companies have clear policies on religious discrimination, their employees are less likely to be looking for a new job. The Hobby Lobby decision may undercut such successes when companies opt to follow its dictates, writes Joyce S. Dubensky.

My Child Can Beat Your Child: How To Make Competitive Parents Shut Up

| June 25, 2014

The next time a competitive parent approaches you with a story about their overachiever who has done so much, and wants to compare your children’s intellect, athletic ability and grade point average, just smile at the mom or dad and say, What have YOU done lately?

Don’t Buy The Flagler Beach Fire Department’s Deceptions: City Doesn’t Need New Aerial Fire Truck

| June 21, 2014

The Flagler Beach Fire Department is veiling its unwise request for a new $600,000 fire truck under the guise of “fire safety equipment,” a deception–and a purchase, with money the city cannot afford–residents should reject, argues Rick Blehumeur.

Shout Shows: Internet Vitriol Makes Me Reluctant To Share My Views Online

| June 19, 2014

Any post that has even a hint of “for or against” Obama or any Washington political actions provokes vitriolic responses, writes Ed H. Moore. I lament the angry replies because they hamper the ability to have an instant town-hall of sorts on issues facing our country.

The People’s Guide to Defeating the Koch Brothers

| June 18, 2014

People are more powerful than all of Sheldon Adelson’s and the Koch Brothers’ money combined, argues Stephen Goldstein, so if enough voters see through the barrage of lies and deceptions that engulf them in elections, people-power can neutralize the money peddlers.

Bright Spot in Florida’s Budget:
A Forward-Looking Agenda on Alzheimer’s

| June 9, 2014

Alzheimer’s is the most costly disease to Medicare and Medicaid — and for a state like Florida with high ratios of older residents, this spells an impending crisis for state budgets. Gov. Rick Scott signed a record-sized state budget that included record-sized wins for the Alzheimer’s community.

With Marco Rubio’s Walmart Mentality, Republicans ‘Discover’ How to End the Poverty They Created

| June 4, 2014

The Tea Party GOP has declared Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” a failure. And with the 2014 elections looming, Rubio-Republicans are trying to remake themselves as sympathetic and empathetic, instead of apathetic, to the plight of the poor and the middle class, writes Stephen L. Goldstein.

Sunshine Lows: Cities and Counties Do a Lousy Job of Sharing Information With Citizens

| June 3, 2014

When the First Amendment Foundation publicized its transparency scorecard last month, it found that on average, cities and counties in Florida had lots of room for improvement in sharing the workings of government with the governed.

An Uncomfortable Question: Are Your Death Papers in Order?

| May 29, 2014

In the wake of Rebekah McCloud learning of the death of a friend of 30 years, her friend’s family called a number of times to ask if she knew where she kept her “papers”–life insurance policies, will, deed to the house, bank-account information, etc., which made McCloud think about her own papers. They were not in the order they should be in.

On the Road to Marriage Equality, Florida Slams Against the Worst of Homophobia

| May 22, 2014

Florida is nearing what could be a major step forward on marriage equality. But with awmakers like Charles Van Zant, we have some ugly reminders that the ignorance, prejudice and downright stupidity that plagued us in a dark past, are still alive and unwell today, writes Daniel Tilson.

Florida’s Deepest Pockets: The Best Legislature Money Can Buy

| May 20, 2014

From blocking debate on equal pay for equal work for women, to a head-in-the-sand approach to protecting our environment, the list of issues ignored by this legislature is as long as it is indefensible, argues Mark Ferrulo.

Charlie Crist on Ending the Cuba Embargo: Not Flip-Flopping, But Facing Reality

| May 19, 2014

Crist wants to lift the 53-year-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. He hasn’t flipped soft on the Cuban government, which he calls “oppressive,” “totalitarian,” and “wrong.” He just says that the embargo hasn’t worked and that it’s insanity to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, argues Stephen L. Goldstein.

Sheriff Manfre on Medical Marijuana: “I Am Receptive to the Arguments Favoring the Amendment’s Passage”

| May 9, 2014

“For me,” Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre writes, “it comes down to whether medical marijuana has a medically beneficial effect and if it could help my Mom or any of our loved ones from the debilitating side effects of radiation treatments or the other diseases it claims to affect.”

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