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Category archives for: Florida & Beyond, and All Opinions

Gruesome Buddies: ISIS Beheadings
And the American Death Penalty

| September 19, 2014

ISIS beheadings have provoked instinctive revulsion, justly so. Too bad the same reaction doesn’t follow Florida’s and other American state’s equally barbaric continuation of the death penalty, a habit other civilized nations have abandoned.

Florida Virtual School v. K12 Inc.: Supreme Court Clears Way For Legal Fight

| September 18, 2014

Justices unanimously rejected arguments that Florida Virtual School could not sue the private K12 Inc. over copyright infringement. K12 provides online-education services in Florida and has used the names Florida Virtual Academy and Florida Virtual Program.

Joan Rivers Enters Heaven, Runs Into God, Jesus and Robin Williams: A Live Report

| September 18, 2014

Joan Rivers makes it into heaven and has a few choice words with God before discovering that Robin Williams got in despite Catholic prohibitions of heaven for suicides: God made an exception.

Insurers’ Latest Ploy: Shifting Costs to the Sick By Making Them Pay More For Drugs

| September 18, 2014

The Affordable Care Act is designed to forbid it, but health insurers are finding a new way to extract money from policy holders with pre-existing conditions–by steering them to more expensive drugs.

Big Sugar Turns to Mass Development, Potentially Affecting Everglades Restoreation Efforts

| September 17, 2014

Environmental groups around the state are alarmed at U.S. Sugar’s plans to change its business model and potentially develop huge tracts of land it owns in South Florida, which might affect Everglades restoration efforts.

Can This Guy Help Save Florida Oranges? State Unveils $1 Million Captain Citrus

| September 17, 2014

The muscled-up Captain Citrus, intended to help boost Florida citrus sales while fighting evil, has undergone a $1 million head-to-toe makeover with the help of comic-book giant Marvel Entertainment. He was unveiled Tuesday by the Department of Citrus at a comic-book store in Tampa.

Judge Raul Zambrano Sentences Kentrell Johnson to Death For FSU Student Vincent Binder’s Murder

| September 16, 2014

Vincent Binder’s mutilated body was found in a St. Augustine field in April 2010, weeks after he was murdered by three convicts escaped from a Louisiana prison. Two were sentenced to death, one to life in prison.

Thrasher Almost Walks Out As He Is Heckled and Grilled By FSU Students and Staff

| September 16, 2014

During on-campus forums that are part of the presidential selection process, students and faculty often expressed a lack of trust in Thrasher, long considered the front runner for the FSU presidency.

Republican Optimism Grows as Scott Closes Gap with Crist

| September 15, 2014

More Republicans than Democrats cast ballots in last month’s primary elections, and Scott — facing a couple of token opponents — only fell about 6,000 votes short of matching the combined total votes for Crist and another Democratic candidate, former Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich.

Assault Weapons Don’t Kill People.
Handguns Kill People.

| September 15, 2014

It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do. Yet Democrats and anti-gun advocates keep focusing on renewing the defunct assault-weapons ban.

For or Against Medical Marijuana, Seven Ex-Supreme Court Justices Explain Why They Oppose Amendment 2

| September 14, 2014

Amendment 2, promoted as a compassionate effort to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, should be rejected – regardless of one’s position on the issue of medical marijuana, seven ex-Florida Supreme Court justices argue.

Continuing Brutality in Florida Prisons: 11 Guards Arrested Following Inmate Abuse

| September 13, 2014

On Wednesday, five prison guards were arrested for allegedly stomping on a handcuffed and shackled inmate at the Northwest Florida Reception Center last month. A sixth — a captain — was also charged with taking part in the attack and lying about it.

Blame The Victim, Sports Fans: It’s Going To Be An Exciting Season for Misogyny

| September 11, 2014

Following video showing Ray Rice slugging his then-fiancee, there were scores of comments along the lines of “She slapped him! He had every right to hit her,” and the bizarre “Don’t start a fight you don’t intend to finish!” Diane Roberts isn’t taking it.

Amendment 1: GOP Raising Objections to Sensitive Lands Conservation Funding Measure

| September 11, 2014

The proposed “Water and Land Conservation” amendment would earmark 33 percent of the state’s documentary-stamp tax revenues — fees paid when real estate is sold — for 20 years. The money would go to buy conservation lands, protect areas vital to the water supply and restore natural systems that have been degraded, such as the Everglades.

Family Insurance Premiums Rise Modestly For 3rd Year, But Still Approach $17,000

| September 11, 2014

While both critics and supporters of the Affordable Care Act are likely to find fodder for their positions, the report portrays 2014 as a relatively stable year for employer coverage, with little change in the type of plans offered or their costs.

Obama’s Poisonous ISIS Moment and
The Snare of Remote-Controlled War

| September 10, 2014

It’s not enough to be fighting a losing war in Afghanistan and another against “terror” in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and wherever else Obama wants to play centurion to the world. Expanding the war to Syria is a grave error whose unintended consequences will add to 13 years’ worth of American setbacks in the Middle East.

Fish and Wildlife Proposing to Allow Silencers on Hunting Rifles and Pistols

| September 10, 2014

While critics said muzzling rifle shots could increase the risk of people being struck by wayward bullets or cause people to wander unaware into hunting areas, backers of the proposal said such concerns are unfounded.

Tin Man Veto: Gov. Rick Scott’s 4-Year War on Legal Aid for the Poor

| September 9, 2014

Owing to Scott, Florida is one of only four states that don’t spare a penny either from appropriations or earmarked court fees for legal aid. New York provides $56.8 million. Even in Texas there’s $6.26 for every estimated person in need.

John Thrasher Among Final Four in Run For Florida State Presidency, and Only Floridian

| September 9, 2014

While Thrasher vowed during his interview Tuesday to make the school “proud” if he gets hired, a number of students and faculty members implored the committee to focus on candidates with strong academic backgrounds.

Americans Don’t Learn: Step Up the Bombing; Common Core Myths, Fox’s Ray Rice Shame, Clinton and Bush Rejoined

| September 9, 2014

Americans want more bombing in Iraq and Syria, more common core myths are exploded, the pity of Gaza, the largest greenhouse gas increases in 30 years, and remembering Sam Kinison and Pablo Neruda.

Far From Over, Florida’s Redistricting Wrangles Now Focus on State Senate Boundaries

| September 8, 2014

The case on redistricting State Senate boundaries is continuing, and could eventually lead to new districts for the 40-member upper chamber, which, like the state House, is currently dominated by Republicans.

In Florida, Police Can Use Deadly Force Without Fearing Prosecution

| September 8, 2014

“In the past 20 years, not a single officer in Florida has been charged with using deadly force,” The New York Times reported last week, a startling prevalence of de-facto immunity in a state where police violence is not rare.

Lillian Gobitas Klose, Who Defied Mandatory Pledge of Allegiance, Is Dead at 90

| September 7, 2014

Lillian Gobitas Klose was 12 when she was expelled from school for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Eight years later, in the midst of World War II, the U.S. Supreme Court vindicated her decision.

Bowing to Criticism, Florida Health Regulators Agree to Delay Legal Pot Distribution Rule

| September 7, 2014

Health regulators will almost certainly delay a rule that will eventually create the framework for the state’s new medical marijuana industry after an outcry from a legislative panel saying the proposed regulation went too far.

Students and Faculty Don’t Want Him, But Sen. John Thrasher Makes FSU Presidency’s Short List

| September 5, 2014

The committee voted 18-8 against a motion to exclude Thrasher from the interview phase. He is one of 11 candidates on the shortlist, from 38. Supreme Court Justice Ricky Polston and Tallahassee Democrat Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda didn’t make it.

Flagler Beach’s Dishonorable Ploy: Don’t Remove Gamble Rogers’ Name From Rec Area

| September 5, 2014

Flagler Beach is terribly misguided and short-sighted in its attempt to remove Gamble Rogers from the state recreation area’s name, a reflection of the tourism industry’s faddish obsession with “branding” at the expense of fostering more substantive cultural attractions.

Tepid Jobs Report Leaves Unemployment at 6.1% With Lowest Job Creation Since January

| September 5, 2014

The economy created just 142,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department reported this morning, the lowest total since January, when 129,000 jobs were created. The unemployment rate dropped by just a decimal point, to 6.1 percent.

Legislative Panel Joins Critics of Strict Proposals to Limit Legal Pot Access in Florida

| September 4, 2014

A 19-page letter from the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee to the Department of Health’s general counsel questions nearly every aspect of the proposed rule, beginning with who would be allowed to apply for one of five licenses to grow, manufacture and distribute a type of cannabis approved during this year’s legislative session.

Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach: The Lure of the Modest

| September 3, 2014

Gamble Rogers State Park is a 145 acre expanse on the barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal in Flagler Beach, named for the Florida folk singer who drowned there in 1991 while trying to save another swimmer in distress.

Ex-Florida County Judge Candidate Wants U.S. Supremes to Overturn Ban on Campaign Cash

| September 3, 2014

Lanell Williams-Yulee had thought personal contributions when she ran for county judge in Hillsborough. Now she could spur the U.S. Supreme Court to wade into a First Amendment debate about whether it is constitutional for Florida and other states to bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

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