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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.

Warts and All, Obamacare Saved Me From Bankruptcy

| August 10, 2014

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam exposes his health care bills before and after Obamacare, and before and after cancer, to show how without the Affordable Care Act, he and his family would have face ruin.

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.

Florida’s “Docs vs. Glocks” Bill Wins Federal Appeals Court Approval in 2-1 Ruling

| July 25, 2014

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state Legislature had the right to pass the NRA-backed law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.

Florida Ban on Gay Marriage Is Declared Unconstitutional, But Miami-Dade Judge Stays Decision Until Appeals

| July 25, 2014

Eight days after a Monroe County judge declared a ban on same-sex marriage illegal, a Miami-Dade circuit court judge late today struck down the ban in Florida on behalf of six gay couples, but stayed her decision until the results of an appeal.

Hobby Lobby and Religion’s
Assassination of Common Sense

| July 11, 2014

The Supreme Court’s decision granting some companies authority to deny contraception to employees is a reminder that women-hating, science-bashing and religiously-based bigotry veiled as “faith” are alive and well in America.

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.

Can Felons, Barred From Carrying Weapons, Still Claim Stand Your Ground? Court Will Decide.

| July 3, 2014

The Florida Supreme Court will consider whether convicted felons have the right to claim immunity under the state’s controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law, even if they are barred from possessing guns in the first place.

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.

Obama’s Mistake in Iraq: Getting Sucked Back Into a Religious War Already Lost

| June 22, 2014

The United States had no business invading and occupying Iraq in 2003, it has no business now arbitrating a religious war between Sunnis and Shiites. The mayhem unleashed by the Bush administration is being made worse by further American meddling.

Room For Debate:
Should The Washington Redskins Change Name?

| June 22, 2014

The U.S. Patent Office’s decision to block trademarks for the Washington Redskins has renewed debate on the NFL team’s name, which Indians find offensive and the team owner and NFL commissioner defend as traditional and respectful. The debate is outlined.

John Ruthell Henry Is Executed, 18th Inmate Put to Death on Rick Scott’s Watch

| June 19, 2014

No other first-term governor has signed the execution warrants of so many inmates since Florida re-instituted the death penalty in 1976. Since then, the state has executed 87 inmates. One in five of those has been executed on Scott’s watch, in less than four years.

Florida Supreme Court Upholds “Timely Justice” Law Fast-Tracking Executions

| June 12, 2014

In a concurring opinion of the unanimous decision, Justice Barbara Pariente emphasized that the law would not affect the Supreme Court’s “solemn responsibility” to block executions if needed to ensure that defendants’ rights have been protected.

U.S. Supreme Court Declares Florida’s Death Penalty Too Rigid in Low I.Q. Cases

| May 27, 2014

The court, in a 5-4 decision, said Florida’s use of an IQ score of 70 “creates an unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disability will be executed, and thus is unconstitutional.” “Intellectual disability is a condition, not a number,” wrote Justice Kennedy for the majority.

Florida Prisons Want To Slash Kosher Offerings; Justice Department Says It Would Be Illegal

| May 22, 2014

In a brief filed Monday, lawyers for the Department of Corrections argued that the law allows Florida to scrap the kosher meals because of the financial burden placed on the “cash-strapped agency.” The state has spent more than $200,000 on the lawsuit so far.

Democrats Push to Restart CDC Funding for Gun Violence Research; NRA Calls It “Unethical”

| May 21, 2014

Since 1996, when a small CDC-funded study on the risks of owning a firearm ignited opposition from Republicans, the CDC’s budget for research on firearms injuries has shrunk to zero. Two Congressional Democrats are unveiling legislation Wednesday that would restart such research, for $10 million.

Satanic Temple, Come On Down: Florida Eases Holiday Display Bids at State Capitol

| May 14, 2014

Rather than institute a new policy that would limit displays as some expected, the state Department of Management Services is trying to make the application process easier for groups seeking to put up temporary displays in the Capitol complex. The Satanic Temple will give Florida another chance after being blocked from putting up a holiday display last year.

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.

As Florida House Opens Schools to Guns, Lawmaker Declares Gun-Free Zones “The Most Dangerous Places in America”

| April 28, 2014

In a debate that showed sharp divisions about how best to protect children and teachers, the Florida House on Monday approved a bill, 71-44, that could lead to some public-school employees or volunteers carrying guns on campus.

In Clearest Pro-Immigrant Shift Yet, Gov. Scott Demands a Senate Vote on In-State Tuition for Undocumented

| April 23, 2014

The governor, who originally came to office threatening to crack down on undocumented immigrants, said Tuesday that his opinion on the issue was shaped by stories he’s heard from students who grew up in Florida and would benefit from being able to pay the cheaper, in-state tuition rates.

Dream Act’s Florida Push Dies as Senate Panel Kills Proposal to Give In-State Tuition to Undocumented Immigrants

| April 18, 2014

Supporters of the bill seemed taken aback by the news, which came less than a week after Sen. Jack Latvala, the Clearwater Republican who sponsored the bill, announced that half the Senate had agreed to join him in sponsoring the measure. Latvala and Negron are locked in a battle over the Senate presidency for the session beginning after the 2016 elections.

Abortion Restrictions May Tighten in Florida as “Viability” Bill Diminishing Women’s Rights Moves Forward

| April 8, 2014

Under current law, third-trimester abortions are allowed if they are necessary to save a pregnant woman’s life or preserve her health, The proposals would make that standard more restrictive, and would exclude a woman’s psychological health as a reason to perform an abortion.

NRA-Backed Measure to Let Armed Vets and Ex-Cops In Schools Triggers Controversy

| March 11, 2014

Under the bill, opposed by the state School Board Association, principals and school superintendents could appoint staff members or volunteers who are military veterans with honorable discharges, active military or retired law enforcement officials as gun-toting “designees.”

Denying Service to Gays and Lesbians: Right of Conscience Vigilantism Meets Stand Your Ground

| February 28, 2014

Bills in four states that would let businesses deny service to gays and lesbians on religious-freedom grounds are based on the same faulty justification of Stand Your Ground laws on self-defense grounds. In both cases, the 1st and 2nd Amendments are perverted into defenses of vigilantism rather than protection of rights.

Clarence Thomas as a White Playwright: “Race” Inflames City Rep’s Stage, With Sequins

| February 22, 2014

David Mamet’s “Race” turns the table on an old American convention: the white rapist of a black woman. This time getting away is not an option in a thrill-ride of a play that turns the tables on stereotypes and prejudices. No one is immune. It is the Palm Coast City Repertory Theatre’s big event of the year, under the direction of John Sbordone.

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.

Russian Roulette: Gun Owners and Their Temperament

| February 7, 2014

The decision to keep a gun handy makes you a bad risk—not only for insurance companies, but for those of us who feel we have a right to go to the movies, the mall, or sit in our own backyard without having to worry about a gun owner whose bursitis is acting up or who is simply having a bad day.

NRA-Backed Bill Would End Zero-Tolerance Punishment of Students Play-Acting Guns at School

| February 6, 2014

The NRA-backed measure by Florida House Judiciary Chairman Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, would prevent children from being disciplined for simulating a gun while playing or wearing clothes that depict firearms.

Florida Lawmakers Would Stiffen Penalties On Insurers Discriminating Against Gun Owners

| February 5, 2014

Insurance companies could face tougher penalties if they impose higher rates, refuse to issue or cancel auto or homeowner policies due to gun ownership, under a measure backed by a House committee Tuesday.

Coke Ad’s Un-American Response, Biometrics in Florida Schools, Michael Dunn’s Trial: The Live Wire

| February 3, 2014

Coke’s Super Bowl commercial gets the monolingual un-Americans angry, Michael Dunn goes on trial in another goon-with-gun case in Jacksonville, a woman’s hair is forcibly sheared while she’s in a jail’s restraining chair, New York’s plea to Sean Hanity, why read Bernard Malamud, farewell to Philip Seymour Hoffman and rediscovering Wim Statius Muller.

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