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Category archives for: Commentary

Gateway Drug Bunk: No, Smoking Pot Doesn’t Lead to Harder Drugs

| April 8, 2016

Smoke pot and be merry. Cops’ and politicians’ claims that pot is a gateway drug is baseless fear-mongering intended to stop the legalization of marijuana. But it’s time to dispense with the lie once and for all.

Flagler County Royalty:
The Trouble With Uncontested Elections

| March 31, 2016

Property Appraiser Jay Gardner and Tax Collector Suzanne Johnston have no competition, Tom Bexley for clerk of court barely does: Good as they are at their jobs, it’s not good for Flagler or for the offices they represent.

Behind Florida’s Deceptively Low Unemployment Rate

| March 29, 2016

The labor force participation rate should always be taken into account when determining the overall state of the job market and the economy, and that rate has fallen significantly since the Great Recession, argues Dominic Calabro.

America on Xanax: The Disunited State of the Union

| March 24, 2016

An election season defined by popular fury aimed at Wall Street, Muslims, trade deals, Washington, police shootings, President Barack Obama, Republicans, immigrants, and other targets.

Garlanded: Smart Republicans Need To Find Their Inner Brain

| March 22, 2016

The Republican Senate’s submission to Mitch McConnell and the right-wing lobbies over the blocked Garland nomination is reason enough for voters to elect a Democratic majority, argues Martin Dyckman.

Obama in Cuba:
The Limits of “Engagement”

| March 21, 2016

Indeed, if engagement is supposed to result in political change, US engagement with Cuba is most likely doomed to fail, writes Jorge G. Castañeda. After all, trade and investment have done nothing to bring about a democratic opening in Vietnam over the last 20 years.

Flagler Reads Together:
In Search of Wilderness
Along the Appalachian Trail

| March 19, 2016

The Appalachian Trail reveals the limits and deceptions, but also the joys, of wilderness in urban America: An essay to accompany Flagler Reads Together’s focus on “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk.”

The Closing of the Academic Mind

| March 16, 2016

Any denial of academic freedom is a blow struck against the meaning of a university. The irony today is that some of the most worrying attacks on academic freedom have been coming from inside university.

How the Florida Legislature Turned Police Radios Into $7 Million in Rotten Sausages

| March 14, 2016

In a case with echoes in Flagler, experience pokes a hole in the Florida House speaker’s argument that first responders on the state system “need” radios, even though they didn’t ask for them.

I’m For Bernie

| March 13, 2016

Flawed as she is, Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination and crush any Republican opponent. That doesn’t make her the best candidate. The more reason for Bernie Sanders’s candidacy, regardless of outcome.

Worse Than Trump: Gov. Scott Refuses to Disavow Claim that “Islam Hates Us”

| March 10, 2016

In an appearance on Joe Scarborough’s MSNBC show Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott refused to denounce Donald Trump’s claim the day before that “Islam hates us.” The smear on Florida is the latest of many lows in a lurid election season.

Donald Trump’s Pledge of Allegiance to 1933 Germany

| March 8, 2016

Asking supporters to raise their right arms and pledge allegiance to himself embodies Trump’s megalomania perfectly, argues Chris Goodfellow, but time may run out before voters realize their mistake.

Republicans On Crack

| March 5, 2016

The crack-up is upon us. The locks have popped. The insane asylums have emptied. The loons are casting ballots. And Mitt Romney’s string quartet is arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

“Spotlight,” the Oscars’ Best-Picture Upset Winner, Gets Investigative Journalism Right

| February 29, 2016

Unlike many films about reporters, “Spotlight,” about the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sex abuse by priests, accurately depicts the frustrations and joys of breaking a big story, from the drudgery of spreadsheets to the electric thrill of revelatory interviews.

Flagler’s Aveo Pandering: The Artful Way To Do a Groundbreaking, and the Bogus Way

| February 26, 2016

It was rank manipulation when Aveo Engineering, county government and Rick Scott pretended to break ground on a factory at the Flagler County airport three years ago. It was never built.

Too Many Questions Beg The Answer: End the Death Penalty in Florida

| February 24, 2016

Rick Scott shouldn’t plan on signing any more death warrants soon, if ever, argues Martin Dyckman, even as the Florida House “cured” what the U.S. Supreme Court specifically found wrong with Florida’s death penalty.

The Agony of Hillary Clinton

| February 23, 2016

This impressive, remarkably intelligent woman just doesn’t have the feel for politics that is demanded at the highest levels. For one thing, she’s simply not a very good politician.

Why Is International Law Failing to Protect Sharks?

| February 18, 2016

A key meeting this month on migratory sharks represent an important opportunity for advancing regulations to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of endangered shark species.

Yes, We Still Need Black History Month

| February 13, 2016

Black history is American history, and we shouldn’t relegate its teaching to one month a year. But that isn’t the point of Black History Month, argues Marc Morial.

Hillary Clinton’s $675,000 Paean to Marie Antoinette, and Goldman Sachs

| February 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s instinct for secrecy keeps getting her in trouble, while the sense of entitlement that she projects through her tone-deaf explanations betrays a lack of connection with the very people she claims to represent most.

Legislature Tells Florida’s Horse Farmers to Find a New Business

| February 10, 2016

Florida horsemen are screwed, argues Nancy Smith: Only a miracle can save the $1.2 billion Florida horse racing industry they represent. Their bane: the Florida Legislature.  

E Pluribus Un-American:
The Judeo-Christian Smear of Islam

| February 5, 2016

President Obama’s trip to a mosque to reassure American Muslims of their importance should have been unnecessary. It reveals how deep-seated prejudice remains, especially that of conservative Christians who claim to preach acceptance.

Terrorism Isn’t the Biggest Threat Facing America. It’s Barely a Threat at All.

| February 4, 2016

Ignorance, misplaced fear, irresponsible media and blustering presidential candidates have made more of terrorism than it deserves while sidelining the one weapon at America’s disposal in the fight: smarts.

Low Gas Prices Are Great For You and Me. For World Security? Not So Much.

| February 3, 2016

Banditry, corruption and tyranny from Saudi Arabia to Iraq to Russia depends on high oil prices. As prices fall, the bandits in charge will quarrel more among themselves – and with their neighbors.

My Sobering, Rewarding Job at an Abortion Clinic

| February 2, 2016

Catherine Durkin Robinson’s duties involved helping patients through their abortion procedures. They’d already met with the doctor and nurse. Her job was to assist them emotionally.

The Future Is Here: Florida Wants Welfare For the Rich While Punishing the Poor

| January 29, 2016

Four years ago Chris Timmons, now a columnist and fellow at a Florida think tank, lost his job and needed food stamps. “It did not make me feel like a moocher,” he writes. Yet Florida makes welfare recipients feel just that.

Diplomatic Bores in the Age of Blowhards

| January 28, 2016

Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have strange and dangerous plans to stand tall against enemies, especially when they reach for their Ronald Reagan. Their version of history is mostly fiction.

Did Goebbels Win? Nazis Are Gone (Mostly), But Deadly Propaganda Is Thriving

| January 28, 2016

It’s not just ISIS: the increasingly sophisticated use of hate speech directed against minorities and migrants has been a worrisome trend in Europe and the United States. Bombs and bullets alone cannot defeat political poison.

Florida Lawmakers Drilling the Way for Fracking Even as Need Is Questioned

| January 19, 2016

The assault on Florida’s environment continues as a Senate committee last week approved a bill that would make it easier for companies to use fracking technology to drill for oil and gas in the state.

Palm Coast’s $9 Million Scam at Taxpayers’ Expense

| January 15, 2016

Since 2008, Palm Coast government has wasted over $9 million in taxpayer money to subsidize its privately run, money-losing golf and tennis operations, which serve a small group of people. It’s been a colossal scam perpetrated on taxpayers.

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