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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Martin Luther King’s Nightmare: The Inequality Behind Forbes’ Richest 400

| January 19, 2014

The net worth of just 400 billionaires is on par with the collective wealth of our more than 14 million African- American households. Both groups possess some $2 trillion, about three percent of our national net worth, an economic injustice Martin Luther King would have decried, argues Bob Lord.

The Slow-Motion Lynching Of President Barack Obama

| January 10, 2014

If this country will lynch a brilliant, civil, kind, humble, compassionate, moderate, articulate, black intellectual we’re lucky enough to have in the White House, argues Frank Schaeffer, we’ll lynch anyone. What chance does an anonymous black man pulled over in a traffic stop have of fair treatment when the former editor of the Harvard Law Review is being lynched?

Florida Hospital Flagler CEO: State Must Extend Medicaid to Working Poor

| January 4, 2014

The Florida Legislature still has the opportunity this year to draw down $51 billion in federal dollars already sent to Washington to help pay the cost of health insurance for those who cannot afford it, argues Floridfa Hospital Flagler CEO Ken Mattison.

Solar Panel Users as Freeloaders: ALEC Network’s State Lobbyists Attack Homeowner and Business Subsidies

| December 28, 2013

According to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative network better known as ALEC, our solar panels make us “free riders.” What? Yes, according to ALEC, an organization that specializes in getting the right-wing agenda written into state laws, people like me who invest in energy-efficiency and shrinking our carbon footprints ought to be penalized, writes Isaiah J. Poole.

In Defense of Net Neutrality: How To Keep Biggest Internet Providers From Running Amok

| December 17, 2013

Without net neutrality, the Web would look a lot like cable, with the most popular content available only on certain tiers or with certain providers: Imagine AT&T as the exclusive home of Netflix and Comcast as the sole source of YouTube.

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
Forgive, But Don’t Forget

| December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela, one of the towering figures of the 20th century and the liberator of South Africa from apartheid, died today–Dec. 5–at 8:50 p.m. in Johannesburg. He was 95. Here are exts from his own pen, which speak more eloquently than obituaries about his vision for a world of equality, human rights and dignity unobscured by illusions.

Don’t Slash Government Spending. Increase It.

| December 1, 2013

One of the biggest common misunderstandings is that governments are like households, which need to tighten their spending when times are tough. Actually, governments and households work in opposite ways. Governments can and should spend more when times are tough.

Obama’s Free Press Problem: Why Reporters in the U.S. Now Need Protection

| November 29, 2013

The Obama administration has made the most concerted effort since the Nixon years to intimidate officials from talking to a reporter. Paul Steiger, Paul Steiger recipient of this year’s the Burton Benjamin Memorial award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, argues for a response.

Why Florida Should Embrace Common Core: A Conservative Perspective

| November 26, 2013

“I believe in Common Core State Standards, believed in them decades before they existed, and desperately want them for my grandchildren, their children and the future of this great nation,” writes Nancy Smith, the conservative editor of Sunshine State News. “If I’d been an educator, I might have invented them.”

The Trouble With Veterans Day

| November 11, 2013

It’s hard to see how, if a war is unjust, it can be heroic to wage it. So it’s flat-out preposterous to claim that everyone who has ever been in the U.S. military is a hero, argues Arnold Oliver, a Vietnam veteran who finds it troubling that Veterans Day has devolved into a hyper-nationalistic worship service of militarism.

A Modest Crime-Prevention Proposal: If You Want to Raise a Child, First, Get a License

| November 4, 2013

Jim McClellan has an idea that will reduce all types of crime and violence without explicitly infringing on the Constitution in the process. What I propose are some tough new restrictions on people in this country who want to have and rear kids.

Marco Rubio’s Slimy Flip-Flop Against Judge William Thomas

| October 30, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio is blocking President Barack Obama’s nomination of Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge William Thomas to a seat on the federal bench for the Southern District of Florida, even though Rubio himself recommended Thomas to Obama previously.

Disabled But Employed, Or Employable: What Businesses Can Do To Break Down Barriers

| October 17, 2013

Stewart Marchman Act’s Enrichment Program’s 150 participants in Palm Coast and Daytona Beach are a reminder that Americans with disabilities are an underutilized reservoir of ambition, talent and skill ready to make great contributions in the workplace, writes Chet Bell.

Forget Common Core: Here’s a Citizenship Test to Determine Who Can Survive In Florida

| October 16, 2013

Florida citizenship will be granted to all who live through the experience, don’t kill anyone else while doing it and swear to never, ever try to ride a manatee under any circumstances, writes Jim McLellan.

When Pets Are the Overlooked Victims of Domestic-Violence Cases

| October 14, 2013

One of the common features of domestic violence is isolation; often the very circumstances that enable such violence to reach a point where a woman needs shelter are the same that mean there is nowhere for her pets to go.

A Republican Abandons Rick Scott: Paula Dockery and Florida’s Fraying GOP

| September 28, 2013

Democrats now look like a party united compared to the Republicans, Cary McMullen argues, as Paula Docker, one of Florida’s increasingly endangered moderate Republicans, announces her desertion of Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign for re-election.

Should Jacksonville’s Nathan Bedford Forrest High Be Named for KKK’s Grand Wizard?

| September 24, 2013

Never apologize for what? Secession? Slavery? How about white supremacy and the KKK? The fight to rename Jacksonville’s Nathan Bedford Forrest High School raises the question, argues Julie Delegal.

The Trouble With American Exceptionalism

| September 21, 2013

Do we have moral authority as a nation, asks Cary McMullen. Do we have the humility Obama spoke of, namely that we are acting not in self-interest but in the interest of justice? Are we exceptional not just in our history but in our standing among nations as an exemplar of righteous ideals?

Where Fast Food Workers Make Twice the US Minimum Wage, and Have Benefits

| September 18, 2013

Critics say a living wage of around $15 an hour would drive fast-food restaurants and other retail firms out of business — and millions of their employees out of work. Australia’s experience, where workers make $15 an hour, shows why that argument is bunk, argues Salvatore Babones.

High Times Ahead: The Political Side Effects of Tolerating Legal Pot

| September 5, 2013

A nascent civil war is brewing between the social conservative and the libertarian wings of the Republican party, with legalized pot now another issue that could add to the divisions, and Attorney general Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute marijuana possession in much of the nation lighting new fuses, argues Sanho Tree.

A Feral Cats Plea to Palm Coast: Time to Adopt Trap, Neuter and Return Rather than Kill

| August 31, 2013

As Palm Coast continues to trap and kill feral cats, Jacksonville, Deland, Port Orange and Flagler Beach are among the growing list of cities and towns that have adopted trap, neuter and return programs. Cities are turning to the protocol not only because it is humane, but because it is cost effective.

No PALs Allowed: A Mom’s Struggle With Flagler Schools’ Latest Dress-Code Absurdities

| August 30, 2013

Though her children could wear PAL jersey shirts on Spirit Fridays last year, Michelle Taylor was ordered to Bunnell Elementary School Friday morning to replace her two sons’ PAL shirts as the 1st and 2nd grade boys were pulled from class and made to sit in the office “as if they’d committed a crime,” Taylor says.

Not So Fast Missy: How a Protester Exposed an Undercover Cop

| August 21, 2013

When the author first met her four years ago, she couldn’t have known that the small-framed woman with spiky brown hair and intense eyes was anything but a fellow activist showing up for a protest in Washington, D.C. She turned out to be an undercover cop ordered to secretly spy on peaceful protesters, violate their freedom of speech and assembly, and disregard their right to privacy.

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