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Brazil 3, Croatia 1: An Undeserved Gift To the Host Nation | World Cup 2014

| June 12, 2014

As an opening match Brazil-Croatia didn’t lack entertainment or tension, two of the absolute requisites of any football game, but it lacked skill and spontaneity, it absolutely lacked poetry and justice.

George Will’s Sex Assault Chauvinism

| June 10, 2014

The oft-reported number of sex assault in college is likely too inflated, but when columnist George Will insisted that women who say they have been raped assume a “coveted status” on campus, it was as nasty a remark as Steve Robinson imagines has ever made it past Will’s editors. A counterpoint.

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.

In Memory of D-Day:
Walking Omaha Beach

| June 6, 2014

Let me tell you about a very lucky trip I had a chance to take with my wife and child about a year ago, to Omaha Beach in Normandy. I’d been wanting to go there for 30 years. I consider it part of my transformation, as an immigrant, into an American, like traveling the 50 states and being a Yankee fan.

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.

Maya Angelou, On the Pulse of Mourning

| May 28, 2014

Starting with ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,’ Maya Angelou’s seven-part autobiography redefined the art of memoir writing while giving voice to a form of literary jazz and blues that trace the liberation and triumphs of a black woman in a culture that, as a result, bears her mark.

Europe’s Tea Party Moment

| May 27, 2014

Voting for the European Parliament in 24 European countries this weekend resulted in near-shocking gains for far-right, neo-Nazi and nativist parties that seek the disbanding of the European Union. The populist surge is part of the same wave of fear and resentment that gave rise to America’s tea parties a few years ago.

Hiding Behind Barricades of Indifference as Income Disparities Corrode the Social Contract

| May 25, 2014

The very rich, who are already less and less in touch with the lives of ordinary Americans, will further barricade themselves to avoid having to witness the decline of a country that is no longer about ensuring a decent standard of living for the greatest number of people.

Double-Killing in Ormond Beach:
Not Murder-Suicide, But Mercy and Heroism

| May 23, 2014

Shortly after midnight today John Poucher, 89, shot his wife Barbara, 86, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s, then shot himself. The killings will be logged inaccurately as a murder-suicide. The crime is that we live in a society still too barbaric to give assisted suicide and mercy killing its due.

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.

PERT: Why Flagler Students Are Forced to Take the Stupidest Test You’ve Never Heard Of

| May 14, 2014

Why are a slew of high achievers at Matanzas High School and FPC who have already succeeded in various courses having to take the so-called Post Secondary Educational Readiness Test on top of all other tests? How many unnecessary, time-consuming tests are we going to continue to subject our students to?

Reflecting on Saturday’s Fatal Wreck on A1A: Untold Stories of Lost Lives

| May 13, 2014

Journalists have long used accidents as a convenient device to study how lives can suddenly and terribly intertwine. “It’s been a long time since I had to ponder those questions professionally,” writes Steve Robinson, “but old habits are hard to break.”

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.”

Voucher Scams: Floridians Should Be Fighting the Privatization of Public Schools

| May 6, 2014

We’re decades into a war waged by shadowy business interests and religious groups, working through “cooperative” legislators and governors to gradually undermine most of the state’s public schools and ultimately privatize them, argues Daniel Tilson.

Turned Down for a Job Outside the Classroom, a Teacher Rediscovers Her Mission

| May 4, 2014

It’s a sad notion that administrators, school boards, human resources offices and so-called reformists have unfortunately inculcated in teachers over the years, this idea that if you want to be successful or be taken seriously, or make any sort of impact, that you must stop teaching to do so.

How Donald Sterling’s Apologists Give Private Bigotries a Pass

| May 4, 2014

If racism and intolerance are learned, it is the Donald Trumps of the world who are the teachers. Our country can only move beyond its present ugly divisions when people who have attained power and influence actively work to promote tolerance. Doing nothing is no longer acceptable.

“Growing Up Fisher” Is Perpetuating Stereotypes About Blind People

| April 28, 2014

“It’s hard for me not to cringe,” writes Kathi Wolfe, a legally blind writer, when the main character on Growing Up Fisher “does things that most blind people in real life would rarely, if ever, do. He hits cars in crosswalks with his white cane, checks his guide dog into a restaurant cloakroom, chops down trees with a chainsaw, and takes his clients’ cars for rides.”

Progress Florida Launches Executive Accountability Project as Culture of Secrecy Pervades Scott Administration

| April 23, 2014

The culture of self-serving deal-making that grips many of our state capitals has operated essentially in secret, relying on tactics to avoid Government in the Sunshine laws and a lack of public attention. The Executive Accountability Project will focus on providing the public a never-before-seen look at the inner workings of how their elected officials are conducting “the people’s” business behind closed doors.

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.

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