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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.

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?

Askari Muhammad Is Executed After 38 Years on Death Row and Numerous Legal Bungles

| January 8, 2014

Muhammad was sentenced to death in 1975 for the murder in July 1974 of Sydney and Lillian Gans near Miami, and, after that sentencing was thrown out, sentenced to death for the murder of prison guard James Burke in 1980. He is the 13th individual executed on Gov. Rick Scott’s watch since 2011.

Phil Robertson’s Edited America

| December 29, 2013

Phil Robertson’s comments about gays, cloaked in religious dogma, touched off an immediate firestorm, but his observations about blacks in the Jim Crow South prompted an oddly muted response, though those comments reveal a man still living in a fantasy only white prejudice can construct.

Lt. Gen. Mikhail T. Kalashnikov and the AK-47: Half an Obituary

| December 23, 2013

Lt. Gen. Mikhail T. Kalashnikov, the designer of the AK-47, the world’s most popular machine gun among soldiers, mercenaries and militiamen, died on Dec. 23. A brief history of the AK-47.

Before Florida Made an Ass of Christmas, Philadelphia Gave Us a Founding Nativity Scene

| December 20, 2013

The Rick Scott administration’s illiterate interpretation of the Bible and the first amendment turned the Florida Capitol rotunda into a comedy of absurd Christmas displays and discrimination, all of which could have been avoided with a reason and respect–for the holidays and the Constitution.

Deemed “Grossly Offensive,” Satanic Display Is Barred from Florida Capitol’s Christmas Gallery

| December 19, 2013

The state Department of Management Services on Wednesday denied an attempt by “Satanists” to put up a display in the Florida Capitol, which currently showcases a Nativity scene, a Festivus pole made of beer cans, posters from atheists, and a crudely-made Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Court Strikes Down University of North Florida Ban on Guns in Vehicles Parked on Campus

| December 11, 2013

Alexandria Lainez, a business student at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, is celebrating. On Tuesday, the District Court of Appeal for the First District in Tallahassee upheld her challenge of a UNF rule banning firearms on campus. The full court voted 12-3 to overturn a Duvall Circuit Court decision that had upheld the university’s ban.

Satanists Now Want to Join Beer Pole and Nativity Scene at Florida Capitol

| December 10, 2013

The state Department of Management Services has received three more applications, including two from atheist groups and one from satanists, to put up displays after approving a banner for the Freedom From Religion Foundation and an aluminum pole — made of empty beer cans– – to mark the parody festival Festivus.

Nativity Scene in Florida Capitol Will Share Space With Beer-Can Pole Celebrating Festivus

| December 9, 2013

A nearly 6-foot-tall pole made from emptied Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans, marking the Festivus holiday once parodied on Seinfeld, will be put up in the Florida Capitol this week as a not-so-subtle protest to the recent placement of a Christian nativity scene by the Florida Prayer Network.

Proposed Monument Honoring Union Soldiers at Florida’s Olustee Battlefield Sparks Outrage

| December 3, 2013

The bid to add a Union monument to the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park near Lake City, site of the Civil War’s largest battle in Florida, turned a public hearing into a three-hour bout of recriminations that re-enacted some of the Civil War’s deepest passions.

Darius Kimbrough, 19 Years on Death Row for Murder of Denise Collins, Is Executed This Evening

| November 12, 2013

Darius Kimbrough, who raped, beat and murdered 28-year-old Denise Collins in her Orlando apartment in 1991, is being executed by lethal injection at Florida’s Starke prison at 6 p.m. Tuesday, after 19 years on death row. He is being killed on his mother’s birthday. He becomes the fifth inmate executed in Florida this year.

1963′s Familiar Bloodstains: Far Right Politics from JFK to Barack Obama

| November 3, 2013

John F. Kennedy was called treasonous and was the target of a relentless far-right campaign to vilify and demolish his presidency by demagogues and media barons whose ideological descendants have unleashed the same tactics on Barack Obama, writes Steve Robinson.

Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch Acquitted in Ideology-Fraught Gun Case

| October 31, 2013

The criminal charges and suspension came after a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation concluded that the sheriff released a local man, Floyd Eugene Parrish, who had been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and that Finch destroyed or altered records of the arrest.

Congressman Ron DeSantis: A Tea Party Fanatic Who’s Earned His Walking Papers

| October 20, 2013

Ron DeSantis, who represents Flagler County, is not interested in governance. A standard-issue tea party reactionary, he’s a saboteur. He derails, with self-righteous bombast and distortions. He is part of the suicidal extremists willing to plunge the country in default over Obamacare, rather than fight to amend it legislatively. He should pay the price of his recklessness.

Florida GOP Rep. Dennis Baxley Compares Gay Parents to Drunks and Drug Abusers

| October 11, 2013

Florida’s Dennis Baxley, a Republican member of the Florida House representing the Ocala region, made the startling comparison of lesbian moms to abusers and dysfunctional parents during a House subcommittee meeting on middle school reforms this week.

Why Malala Yousafzai Should Have Won The Nobel Peace Prize

| October 10, 2013

Malala Yousafzai is the 16-year-old Pakistani girl and activist for girls’ education who a year ago was shot in the head by a shaking, demented terrorist whose allegiance to the Taliban tells us all we need to know about the lethality of religious fundamentalism. Any kind of fundamentalism, really.

Shutdown Geezers: The Medicare
Generation’s Immoral War on Obamacare

| October 4, 2013

Opponents of Obamacare think that by doubling down on hurting Americans through a shut-down, they might stun them into submission. They must be stupider than they let on. The Affordable Care Act has its issues. Lacking for moral high ground isn’t among them.

The GOP’s Shutdown Zealotry: What John Boehner and Yasser Arafat Have In Common

| October 3, 2013

Republicans’ reincarnation of Know-Nothings have let their tea party zealots control them at the expense of the nation’s welfare, and of their own party, argues Steve Robinson, consigning themselves to the dustbin of political hacks.

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.

Glory Glory Hallelujah: Another Mass Shooting, and the NRA Marches On

| September 19, 2013

To propose reasonable, sane gun laws amid the gun lobby’s arsenal of lies, distortions and demagoguery has become pointless, argues Steve Robinson, as the nation picks up the wreckage of Aaron Alexis and the Navy Yard shooting.

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