Letters to the editor & Op-Ed
Feb. 10, 2016 06:45 am | Op-Ed
OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE – They call us the Sunshine
State, but Florida’s government prefers to
operate in the shadows. Like vampire bats,
cockroaches and mold spores. If you can’t see
what the government is doing, you can’t fight
Feb. 8, 2016 09:59 am | Op-Ed
Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that students didn’t
have to say the Pledge of Allegiance if they
brought in a signed letter from their parents.
Not everyone is aware of the law and misguided
teachers still occasionally force students to
stand and say the Pledge.
Feb. 4, 2016 06:10 am | Op-Ed
Who will stop Republican lawmakers before they
pass any more disastrous, unconstitutional,
litigation-inducing laws? The 2016 legislative
elections, based on new, court-ordered maps,
can’t come soon enough.
Feb. 2, 2016 09:59 am | Op-Ed
I felt faint. It was my first day on the job. I
was a college student and part-time counselor at
a woman’s health clinic. I was told most of the
patients would want me in the room with them to
hold their hands and provide support.
Feb. 1, 2016 08:50 am | Part III of III
asked which death row inmates could be affected
by the U.S. Supreme Court’s
January 12 ruling, Hurst v. Florida,
Jacksonville criminal defense attorney Gray
Thomas says, theoretically, “all of them.”
Jan. 28, 2016 10:10 pm |
Part II of III
staff attorney Adam Tebrugge and Jacksonville
criminal defense attorney D. Gray Thomas say that
Florida law destroys the jury-deliberations process
in the penalty phase of first-degree murder trials.
Jan. 27, 2016 08:05 am | Part I of III
find someone guilty of a crime — any crime
–jurors have to agree unanimously. Not so to
impose the death penalty. Not here in Florida.
And that’s why Florida’s death penalty
sentencing procedure is in constitutional hot
Posted Jan. 22, 2016 09:58 am | Op-Ed
Nothing says let’s celebrate the life of Martin Luther
King, Jr. like some dunderhead flying a crop duster over
the capitol, dragging a giant Confederate battle flag.
At least it didn’t happen on Monday — MLK Day. The rebel
banner went airborne 24 hours later, on Tuesday —
birthday of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Jan. 15, 2016 04:00 am | Op-Ed
OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE – David Bowie is dead, Rick
Scott is alive, and the whole idiocracy is back
in town, hell-bent on pimping for polluters,
arming students, and destroying Florida’s
7, 2016 10:30 pm | Letter to the Editor
I fail to see how any part of this looming
chicken factory operation doesn't fall under the
jurisdiction of Columbia County. I don't think
the county is doing the right thing. I think
there must be more you ALL can and should do to
January 6, 2016 02:10 am | Op-Ed
In America guns now
as many people as cars. The facts behind this
trend offer an opportunity for cooperation
between gun rights factions and gun safety
January 1, 2016 11:30 am | Op-Ed
Four faithful seasons equal a year,
one revolution of the heavenly sphere...
Dec. 31, 2015 10:10 am | Op-Ed
Florida had been a state for less than a century
when it came time to honor famous citizens with
two statues at the U.S. Capitol, and there were
few plausible candidates... But from today’s
perspective, Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith
is a head-scratcher.
Dec. 29, 2015 06:55 am | Op-Ed
is not “authentic.” He’s not “genuine.” His
discourse is not some valiant attack on
“political correctness.” It’s crude, rude and
Dec. 23, 2015 04:45 am | Op-Ed
I’m choosing to focus on the positives: history
lessons, rum and eggnog, kissing under the
mistletoe, and an increase in charitable giving.
Nonbelievers like me can find the good in a
great many things this holiday season.
Dec. 17, 2015 05:10 am | Op-Ed
After careful study of the latest
debate-cum-Beauty-Pageant-in-Hell, I have
finally figured out what’s wrong with the
Republican Party. They think real life is just
like a movie.
Posted Dec. 11, 2015 06:58 am | Op-Ed
will run the risk of earning the wrath of
unhinged liberals and atheists by quoting from a
piece by Emma Green, managing editor of the The
Atlantic’s online site. Commenting on the
obscene backlash against prayers for the
victims, she wrote:
Dec. 7, 2015 10:10 am | Op-Ed
The free exercise of religion obviously does not
include the right to kill in God’s name. Yet
there are people who believe God has granted
them permission to carry out a holy war.
Dec. 4, 2015 10:55 am | Op-Ed
“Another day in
the United States of America. Another day of
gunfire, panic and fear. This time in the city
of San Bernardino in California, where a civic
building was apparently under attack.”
Dec. 3, 2015 06:45 am | Op-Ed
is a demagogue. He demonizes minority targets. He
relishes personal insults. He revels in baseless
insinuations, as in persistently questioning
President Obama’s citizenship. He invents his own
November 26, 2015 05:20 am | Op-Ed
Abraham Lincoln wrote all of his Thanksgiving
Proclamations, it was during a time of war. Most
of us know the Civil War, maybe not all its ins
and outs, but the gist of the deal.
Nov. 25, 2015 07:45 am | Op-Ed
America’s holiday season, when we’re supposed to
give thanks for our blessings, when we gather
around tables laden with festive food,
commemorating a bedraggled boatload of refugees
who just showed up one day on our shores,
needing a decent meal and a safe place to crash.
Nov. 23, 2015 06:15 am | Op-Ed
form of religious discrimination is an insult to
the American flag. No one who stands for that
sort of vetting deserves to sit on a soil and
water conservation board, let alone in the Oval
Nov. 18, 2015 06:55 am | Op-Ed | (1
Death happens to the best of us, and also to the
worst. We saw that again last week in Paris, and in Beirut,
where hundreds of people going about the business of
daily living had the bad fortune to cross paths with
fanatics armed with weapons of war and hearts full of
Nov. 06, 2015 04:20 am | Op-Ed
was doing research about Florida’s astonishingly
efficient bear hunt and I came across an equally
astonishing analogy. The chairman of the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wrote
this about hunting: “Think of it as nature’s
Nov. 02, 2015 04:55 am | Op-Ed
Scott’s war on hospitals just adds to
bureaucratic sludge and demonstrates that his
steely conservative armor is losing its luster.
Florida’s health care industry should do the
opposite of Scott’s proposals and adopt the
Direct Primary Care approach.
Oct. 30, 2015 09:40 am | Op-Ed
declared the War on Poverty; the GOP waged a War
on Women; the state of Florida has never ceased
its War on Nature. The latest front: Bears!
Oct. 28, 2015 08:30 am | Op-Ed
development scenario playing out in Palm Beach
County is bad news for proponents of local
control statewide. It’s almost unbelievable: new
developments with thousands of homes in preserve
areas that now provide drinking water for cities
and water for a wild and scenic river.
Oct. 22, 2015 07:50 am | Op-Ed
TALLAHASSEE – Another Special Session! Why,
it’s just like Christmas – minus the joy.
Minus the presents, too. While the members
of the Florida Legislature rake in lobbyist
largesse during committee weeks and every
other hour that God sends, trawling for
dollars during a Session is verboten.
Posted Oct. 22, 2015 06:55 am | Op-Ed
Thousands of trophy hunters will descend on
Florida’s wilderness to kill an estimated
320 Florida black bears, a unique subspecies
of the American black bear that’s found
nowhere else on Earth. The state is holding
this hunt starting Saturday despite most
Floridians’ opposition to it. Nearly 3,000
hunting permits have been sold.
Oct. 19, 2015 11:15 am | Op-Ed
those guaranteed by the constitution, are never
absolute. Free speech rights don’t protect us
from committing libel or slander, for example.
They don’t protect us from yelling “fire” in a
crowded theater. But so far, no one is
challenging the NRA for its abuse of the First
Amendment: spreading misinformation about guns
October 14, 2015 10:55 am | Op-Ed
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have found that
poor children benefited from the academic boost that the
state Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) gave them. But the benefit didn’t last when they moved through
Oct. 12, 2015 10:30 am | Op-Ed
Florida was the
first state to officially sanction greyhound
racing in 1931 and for almost 85 years it’s been
an enjoyable source of entertainment for
Floridians as well as visitors to our state.
Oct. 9, 2015 06:50 am | Op-Ed
coming across like a Gold Medal winner at the
Jerk Olympics. He’s a gaffe-o-rama on the
campaign trail, insisting we don’t need to spend
$500 million on women’s health, and that a
“multicultural society” is somehow “unAmerican.”
Oct. 6, 2015 11:45 am | Op-Ed
his discussion the day after the Oregon
shooting, Jeb wasn’t “exploiting.” But he was
pandering – and doing it in a singularly clumsy
manner. It isn’t the news media that fail to put
Jeb’s comments into context. It’s Jeb who fails
to put Jeb’s comments into context.
October 5, 2015 11:20 am | Op-Ed
Politicians like Sanders are rare, a truly
decent man who doesn’t want to get elected so
bad that he’ll lie, bullshit, or capitulate to
corporations, their mouthpieces in office, or
the followers who want blood so bad they can
almost taste it...
October 2, 2015 06:25 pm | Op-Ed
procession of pasty white congressweasels met to
verbally beat up on Planned Parenthood head
Cecile Richards, calling her a “criminal,”
accusing PP of trafficking in “baby parts.”
Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, went after Richards on
her annual compensation. Because how dare some
chick make a six-figure salary as CEO of
700-plus clinics serving 3 million people
Sept. 25, 2015 07:59 am |Op-Ed
My heart doesn’t bleed for murderers. But my
opposition to the death penalty has nothing to
do with fighting for the lives of convicted
Sept. 17, 2015 04:15 am | Op-Ed
are more than 600,000 homeless people in the
U.S. on any given night, the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development says. Most have
shelter or some sort of transitional housing.
More than a third live in cars, under bridges,
in alleys, the woods, or in some other way
Sept. 16, 2015 07:30 am
Imagine for a moment your life without
professional truck drivers…no food, fuel, mail,
trash pickup, health supplies. Although you
haven’t known how much of Florida’s freight
(your stuff) moves by truck—83 percent—you have
known that your daily life would grind to a halt
in a hurry if not for truckers.
Sept. 15, 2015 06:45 am | Op-Ed
Rick Scott went around in 2014 claiming to be an
environmentalist? Yeah, that was hilarious. If
you find the rape and pillage of Florida
amusing. Some of our fellow citizens actually
fell for it, too, just enough to get him
re-elected. Flori-duh, indeed.
Sept. 14, 2015 05:45 am | Op-Ed
it appears there is – or shortly could be – a
practice that could be described as hurricane
gerrymandering. If this strangeness comes about,
blame the late, not-so-great “Hurricane” Erika.
Sept. 9, 2015 10:25 am | Op-Ed
The story of the Port St. Lucie Crosstown
Parkway Bridge tells how we lose Florida’s
natural beauty, resources, and ecosystems,
even if they exist in our Preserve State
Parks. It’s the story of a battle that must
be fought if we are to save any of them.
Sept. 8, 2015 07:25 am | Op-Ed
Because his union rescued him, Brady and family
will not find themselves penniless and on the
August 31, 2015 01:45 am | Op-Ed
Mostly though, he’s been lying low and
collecting money, most recently 400 grand from
the Florida Chamber of Commerce for, as
POLITICO’s Matt Dixon put it, “some future
political ambition he has yet to acknowledge.”
August 28, 2015 08:45 am | Op-Ed
Poverty’s narrow definition relates to income and
consumption but a much broader meaning is necessary to
understand America’s poor. Federal guidelines qualify
individuals and families by addressing income, but don’t
provide an accurate depiction of needy families and
their living conditions.
August 26, 2015 09:30 am | Op-Ed
"...They’re stuck in generational poverty — the
persistent, year after year oppression and
hopelessness that starts with grandparents, is
passed on to parents and continues to their
August 25, 2015 03:35 am | Op-Ed
A SLAPP suit purports to right a wrong, but
actually is brought to silence critics, often
residents who speak out at public meetings or
write letters to newspaper editors. It also can
hamper movies, TV, radio and newspapers.
August 24, 2015 05:55 am | Op-Ed
Hillary says the email scandal will pass.
Remember, in 1998 she said the Lewinsky
allegation “will slowly dissipate over time
under the weight of its own insubstantiality.”
August 21, 2015 09:30 am | Op-Ed
To appreciate one reason why Donald Trump is thumping
Jeb! in the polls, substitute a question mark for the
exclamation point. Jeb? isn’t doing so well at persuading people that
what they think they heard isn’t what he meant to say.
August 19, 2015 07:59 am | Op-Ed
As former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush abandons his
Paleolithic diet by eating a fried Snickers bar in Iowa,
feminists everywhere wish he’d abandon his stone-age
ideology, too. Bush wants to “publicly shame” mothers
who give birth out of wedlock, arguing that the lack of
stigma is what causes illegitimate births.
August 18, 2015 08:55 am | Op-Ed
Florida needs an independent redistricting
commission. It’s idiotic to let people who
aspire to those congressional seats – draw those
seats.That would demand that the House and
Senate grow up and behave as if they give a damn
about democracy. Don’t hold your breath.
August 17, 2015 12:29 am | Op-Ed
Often called “Faux News” for its biased reporting and
loud opinion machine, the Fox News organization could
have used the boost. It certainly needs greater appeal
and to go beyond its reputation as a conservative
August 14, 2015 02:00 am | Op-Ed
Our next president may well owe the office to
arrogant billionaires or be one himself.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that fewer
than 400 families account for nearly half the
$388-million already invested in that election
still more than a year away.
August 11, 2015 11:25 pm | Op-Ed
Conservatives spend way too much time being
interested in other people’s lady parts.
Contraception? Keep your legs together. What’s
up in that uterus? If it’s a baby, it’s sacred –
till it’s born. Then you’re on your own, you
August 10, 2015 05:55 am | Op-Ed
Nothing about the human condition prepares you
for the death of someone you love, no matter the
August 6, 2015 11:50 am | Op-Ed
Planned Parenthood has been an essential
health-care provider in Florida and across the
country for nearly a century. It provides
life-saving cancer screenings, testing and
treatment for HIV and other STDs, well woman
exams and contraception, as well as abortion
August 5, 2015 05:05 am | Op-Ed
proponents continue their efforts at fever
pitch. Their success continues to chip away laws
designed to protect the right of choice. The
battle typically sets religious conservatives
against women’s rights advocates.
August 4, 2015 11:50 am | Op-Ed
the prize for combining stupidity with
brass-faced political opportunism goes to our
governor. The absurd creature is demanding an
investigation of Planned Parenthood in Florida,
child-murdering harpies raking in millions from
trading in hunks of tender baby flesh.
August 3, 2015
06:59 am | Op-Ed
FL lawmakers appropriated $44 million to tie
teacher bonuses to SAT or ACT scores: their own,
to tests the teachers took themselves — when
they were schoolchildren.
July 28, 2015 07:20 am | Op-Ed
The time to end Big Sugar’s implicit subsidies
that enrich a few at the expense of many, that
weaken environmental laws and protections that
protect Floridians and future generations, is
July 27, 2015 08:47 am | Op-Ed
Florida’s nine national parks are suffering,
needing about $190 million in crucial
maintenance. Our national parks are a national
treasure. With $11.5 billion in deferred
maintenance, how much longer will Congress wait
before it properly funds our National Park
July 24, 2015 01:25 am
The Florida Supreme Court has the final say in
all things concerning the Florida Constitution.
When it comes to redistricting, they have
assumed the lead role in the process. No one,
other than a fellow justice, has the clout to
tell them they might be exceeding their
July 23, 2015 07:05 am | Op-Ed
My dream for the past 30 years has been that our
schools would help give our students what they
needed to rise out of poverty.
July 22, 2015 02:00 am | Op-Ed
None of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices has
ever had the gut-wrenching experience of looking
another person in the face to say, “I sentence
you to die.” They have passed on or passed up
hundreds of capital appeals, but that’s far
removed from having to impose a death sentence
21, 2015 07:55 am | Op-Ed
Epstein is the
fabulously wealthy Palm Beacher whose
connections included Bill Clinton and Prince
Andrew. Epstein in 2008 pleaded guilty to
charges stemming from allegations that he paid
underage girls for “massages” at his Palm Beach
mansion. Epstein did not end up in federal
prison. How in the world did Epstein, who
allegedly abused dozens of girls, get such a
July 17, 2015 09:45 am | Op-Ed
Whether or not one agrees about the presence of
climate change, or the cause of it, there is
some agreement in the area of energy
diversification. For example, liberals and
conservatives routinely join forces to promote
the benefits of solar energy.
July 16, 2015 06:59 am | Op-Ed
It makes no sense to say that having a compact
district is better than having districts where
minorities are properly represented. To me, that
is “fair districting.”
July 15, 2015 06:50 am | Op-Ed
nothin’ more powerful than the odor of
mendacity. You can smell it,” Williams wrote.
“It smells like death.”
July 13, 2015 08:58 am | Op-Ed
When is a
“good” job growth report bad news? When it’s
about Florida, and serves both to burnish Gov.
Rick Scott’s ginned-up “job creator” status, and
further the creation of a new socioeconomic
order in the state.
July 10, 2015 04:55 am | Op-Ed
When I taught high school, several students
believed the Confederate flag to be a symbol of
Southern pride. They wore it on t-shirts, belt
buckles, or flew it from the back of their
July 09, 2015 08:05 am | Op-Ed
Discussions on racism in America these days tend
to much more visceral than intellectual in
nature. Framing the debate solely in terms of
words and symbols does nothing but continue to
flame passions and make things worse. That’s
very destructive, and counterproductive in terms
of combating bigotry.
July 08, 2015 10:35 am | Op-Ed
Conservatives are so accustomed to winning at the
court that they have forgotten how to lose, much
less lose gracefully.
July 7, 2015 07:05 am | Op-Ed
doubt you’re wondering what new ways Florida’s
alleged leaders have found to squander taxpayer
money ... and further foul Florida’s
environment. Well, prepare to be impressed. The
Rick Scott administration is suing the feds for
trying to protect rivers and wetlands. I mean,
why should water get special rights: Does water
think it’s gay or something?
July 03, 2015 07:55 am | Op-Ed
I see such flags flying on properties and
displayed on vehicles. What is the mentality of
those who would exhibit such a flag
representing, slavery, oppression, and bigotry?
Unfurling the flag is not about Confederate
dead, the meaning is much darker.
July 1, 2015 10:15 pm | Op-Ed
Those who flaunt the Confederate flag insist
that it symbolizes “heritage,” not hate. Call it
what they will, but that heritage is a heritage
June 29, 2015 09:20 am | Op-Ed
Let there be no doubt: The individual
responsible for murdering a church pastor and
eight parishioners in Charleston, S.C., is a
June 27, 2015 00:05 am | Op-Ed
am the descendant of at least 10 Confederate
soldiers. A few owned slaves; most did not. The
Confederate battle flag is toxic. It celebrates
an armed insurrection against the United States.
It endorses slavery.
June 25, 2015 05:15 am Op-Ed
Florida would be most affected in terms of the
number of people losing subsidies (1.3 million)
and the total monthly value of those subsidies
($389 million) according to a Kaiser Family
Foundation analysis of the new federal data.
June 24, 2015 06:59 am | Op-Ed
Pope Francis’s encyclical on saving the world — “our
common home” — from what we are doing to it is a
powerful appeal to everyone, not just to those who
belong to the church he leads.
June 26, 2015 07:55 am | Op-Ed
Hippie. Welfare scrounger. Now his namesake
wants us to stop buying so much stuff and
trashing the planet. What next: peace, love and
June 22, 2015 07:45 am | Op-Ed
In 1998 when a newly elected Governor Bush and a
compliant Legislature started Florida’s
education “revolution,” our graduation rate was
among the lowest in the nation. After Jeb’s two
terms in office, Florida’s graduation rate was
dead last and remains near the bottom.
June 19, 2015 05:55 am
You, the one who didn’t vote in
2014. If you gag when you see
your electric bill, wonder why
the Sunshine State barely uses
solar power, or frown at the
idea of unidentified toxic
chemicals being pumped into the
ground under you…
June 18, 2015 04:58 am | Op-Ed
We stand alone from wealthy nations that have
successfully provided universal health coverage
for decades. Those nations surpass us in the
overall health and well-being within their
June 17, 2015 06:59 am | Op-Ed
But as we turn our backs on people who need a
hand up, we need to face the irony: The same
people whose ideological intransigence has them
scoffing at the workers who fix their cars, or
cook their dinners, or change their sheets in
Tallahassee hotel rooms have no problem
accepting taxpayer-subsidized health care.
June 15, 2015 04:15 am | Op-Ed
His proposal to raise the full retirement age in
stages to 70, which has become a signal issue
for him, sounds heedless of what it’s like to
labor in construction or in a warehouse or on
one’s feet all day as a public school teacher or
a hospital nurse.
June 12, 2015 12:15 pm
There is no way to sugar coat it. The
relationship and level of trust between urban
African-American communities and police is at
its lowest point in decades.
June 11, 2015 04:50 am | Op-Ed
I taught high school for eight years, and I’ve
been raising two boys for a decade and a half. I
still value personal freedom and expression, but
I know those virtues have little to do with how
students dress during the school day.
June 10, 2015 04:40 am | Op-Ed
I am an unabashed fan of the work being done by
Lauren Book and her organization, Lauren’s Kids.
As a policy wonk, I really like what they are
doing to educate people on spotting, preventing
and reporting child sexual abuse. But as the
father of the most beautiful little girl
June 9, 2015 05:50 am | Op-Ed
More than three months ago President Barack
Obama nominated Mary Barzee Flores, a former
Miami judge with an illustrious career, to serve
as a federal judge in the Southern District of
Florida. Rubio’s explanation for delaying the
nomination makes no sense.
June 8, 2015 04:30 am | Op-Ed
More than 850,000 Floridians will go without
health insurance because – If God liked
poor people, they wouldn’t be poor, right?
Meanwhile, Marco Rubio is wrapping his little
arms around the “Drill, Baby, Drill” agenda.
June 6, 2015 09:05 am | Op-Ed
A few weeks ago, I underwent genetic testing for
cancer. The news wasn’t great. One of my important
cancer-fighting genes is like Caitlyn Jenner’s IUD: just
for show and utterly useless.
June 3, 2015 06:15 am | Op-Ed
This week’s “Economic Growth Summit” hosted by
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is all about the
politics of make-believe –anything goes. At
least they had the good instincts to stage their
propaganda party at Disney World, where magical
thinking never goes out of style.
June 1, 2015 04:45 am | Op-Ed
The Florida Legislature reconvenes today in a
special session to do its only real job – pass a
budget. The impasse, between Republicans in the
House and Republicans in the Senate over
expanding healthcare for uninsured Floridians,
prompted House members to pick up their ball and
leave the playground three days before the
regular session’s scheduled end. At issue: a $4 billion difference
between the two chambers.
May 29, 2015 09:40 am | Op-Ed
Learning about our place in ecology is a piece
to finding our identification with the larger
system. Our connection to coral reefs may seem
as distant as Mars is to Earth. However, these
May 28, 2015 06:59 am | Op-Ed
Florida’s elected “leaders” (using that term
loosely) insist Florida’s a “conservative”
state, keen on low taxes, unfettered capitalism
and guns, unenthusiastic about unions,
government programs and tree-hugging.
May 26, 2015 06:55 am | Op-Ed
On June 24 the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission will vote on a proposal
to open a trophy hunt on Florida’s unique
subspecies of black bears. They were removed
from the list of threatened species just three
years ago. The commission does not have enough
information to make this decision.
May 25, 2015 05:55 am | Op-Ed
Of all the differences between the major
parties, one is particularly confounding. Why
should Republicans appear to be nearly twice as
bloodthirsty as Democrats?
May 22, 2015 10:35 am | Op-Ed
AA genetic predisposition to breast cancer is not
good news. Everyone has an opinion about my
breasts. I almost started a Twitter conversation
to keep it all straight: shouldtheystayorgonow.
For the first time in over 26 years together, my
husband fixed himself a drink.
May 21, 2015 06:59 am | Op-Ed
Though Weird Florida Tales can be fun, they’re
just a sideshow. The real action is with the
freaks, harlots and Sugar Daddies hell-bent on
wrecking the place.
Posted May 20, 2015 06:55 am
Simplicity is always in season for some
politicians. Cherry-picking what information to
share with the public is part and parcel of how
some of our most powerful elected officials –
Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli
and House Budget Chair Richard Corcoran, to name
a few – do government business.
May 18, 2015 07:40 am | Op-Ed
No Floridian likes to breathe dirty, unhealthy
air, but one type of air pollution – ozone – is
especially dangerous to our children, the
elderly, those with diseases like asthma and
May 17, 2015 05:35 am | Op-Ed
President Lyndon Johnson publicly declared “War
On Poverty” in 1964. In 2011, Rick Scott took
office as Florida governor and began waging
secretive, undeclared war on Florida’s poor.
May 12, 2015 06:59 am | Op-Ed
No fewer than four of the 2016 Republican
candidates for president claim domicile in
Florida. Five, if you count Donald Trump – and
the head pelt-sporting Birther would hate not to
be counted, even if he’s not really running,
just promoting his new book. First, there's Jeb
Posted May 7, 2015 01:50 pm | Op-Ed
OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE –
Which is worse: stupid and evil or smart and evil? t’s a
thought experiment: you can apply it to, say, George W.
and Jeb Bush, Rick Scott and Adam Putnam, the Florida
House and – Jesus, those idiots don’t deserve to be in
the same paragraph as the word “thought.”
May 5, 2015 07:55 am | Op-Ed
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Ft. Walton Beach, isn’t the
only Tallahassee twerp to publicly disrespect
his elders and betters, but he’s the first in
memory to be called to account in the court of
public opinion. Gaetz, 31, got his law license
all of seven years ago and doesn’t have much to
show in the way of legislative achievements for
his five years in the House.
May 4, 2015 05:45 am | Op-Ed
Just as House lawmakers were putting together their
annual “trains” – cramming multiple, tangentially
related bills into hundreds of pages of amendments so
they could pass them all at the eleventh hour – a funny
thing happened. They upped and quit.
May 01, 2015 007:20 am | Op-Ed
Rick Scott continues to build a record that no
successor should be allowed to emulate. None
should even want to. But you never know.
Twenty-one times now, Scott has rejected lawyers
recommended by the Florida Bar for seats on some
of Florida’s 26 judicial nominating commissions.
The latest such act was on April 16, when he
refused the three people proposed for a vacancy
on the nominating commission for the First
District Court of Appeal.
29, 2015 03:55 am | Op-Ed
Once again, Florida leads the nation in a
sobering statistic. At least 42 of its people
have gone to prison, including one who was
executed and as many as nine who remain on death
row, after trials in which FBI “experts” gave
testimony that the agency concedes to have been
April 28, 2015 06:40 am | Op-Ed
The onshore oil and gas industry has been under
heavy scrutiny during the 2015 legislative
session, as Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, and
Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, have filed
legislation to provide regulatory certainty to
the state of Florida that will ensure this
industry is appropriately regulated.
April 27, 2015 06:40 am |Op-Ed
The possibility that a medical marijuana
amendment could impact the 2016 president
election should be enough to motivate the
Republican-led Legislature to pass a medical
marijuana bill. If they do not, the chances of
Republicans winning back the White House may go
up in smoke.
April 24, 2015 11:45 am | Op-Ed
Case in point, the “mandatory abortion delay”
bill. If this bill becomes law, even when a
woman has already received state-mandated
counseling and made a deliberate and fully
informed decision, she will still be forced to
wait 24 hours. This serves only to further a
political agenda at the expense of women’s
April 23, 2015 07:45 am
the governor called in Republican senators one
by one to threaten a veto of anything
approaching ACA-driven healthcare expansion.
April 21, 2015 08:59 am | Op-Ed
OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE – The annual Harlot Show
and Prostitution Expo – commonly called the
Florida legislative session – has been such a
wowsa so far, we’ve neglected to pay sufficient
attention to the mack daddy in the Mansion.
Posted April 20, 2015 08:35 am | Op-Ed
Two years ago, Gov. Rick Scott announced his
support for expanding access to healthcare in
Florida saying he couldn’t, “in good conscience,
deny the uninsured access to care.” Fast forward
to 2015 and he is opposed to a plan to close
Florida’s coverage gap.
April 19, 2015 07:55 am | Op-Ed
Dog-whistle politicians understand that most
people don’t want to think they are racist.
April 16, 2015 05:55 am | Op-Ed
The Florida Legislature has passed, and Gov. Rick
Scott has signed, an education reform bill that is
dishonest – and politically cowardly – at its core.
April 14, 2015 06:35 am | Op-Ed
Frat boys and football players raping young
women and young men is not a popular topic in a
town where the money-making machinery revolves
around Greeks and jocks.
April 13, 2015 05:45 am | Op-Ed
OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE – The poor? The hell with them.
Education? Don’t make me laugh. The environment? Screw
Posted April 10, 2015 05:55 am | Op-Ed
In May of 1957,
people across the nation were anxious over a
decision that Florida Gov. LeRoy Collins was
about to make. It concerned an extradition
request for a fugitive couple from
Massachusetts. The charge was kidnapping, but
the real issue, as Collins came to see it, was
whether a child has “the right to be loved.”
April 9, 2015 06:25 am | Op-Ed
The original Religious Freedom Restoration Act
was intended to protect faith-based practices
from unnecessary government interference. That’s
the opposite of trying to use it to justify
faith-based discrimination against others. But
of course irony and hypocrisy are hardly
strangers to politics.
March 6, 2015 06:10 am | Op-Ed
What had become the “year of the environment” for the
2015 legislative session has become a year of
disappointment for some environmentalists.
April 3, 2015 07:25 am | Op-Ed
Florida drew national media attention in 2008
when 2-year-old Caylee Marie Anthony of Orlando
was reported missing. Every time I heard the
news stories about protesters marching and
carrying signs I was puzzled and angered. if
these people were so passionate about protecting
children, why weren’t they advocating for the
many living children facing peril every day?
March 31, 2015 08:15 am | Op-Ed
The late Johnny
Cash sang, “Don’t take your guns to town, son.
Leave your guns at home….”. Guns on campus
are on the Florida legislative fast tract.
Florida Senate Bill 176 and House Bill 4005
allow students with concealed weapons permits to
carry. Who is against?
March 27, 2015 009:15 am | Op-Ed
The Florida Legislature is deciding, with
certain restrictions, whether to allow guns on
Florida college campuses. Carrying the day in
the Legislature is not the argument about
what might happen, but taking a look at what
has already happened and trying to prevent a
March 23, 2015 05:50 am |Op-Ed
Funny thing about the “will of the people." Even
when expressed via an overwhelming majority
“Yes” vote on a constitutional amendment, the
Legislature can and does subvert it.
March 19 2015 08:55 am | Op-Ed
Some governors are slow learners. Gov. Rick
Scott is beyond slow. He doesn’t learn. He
doesn’t appear to care about public access to
records, meetings and information traditionally
available to Floridians.
March 18, 2015 08:25 am | Op-Ed
OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE – When the Death Mermaid
shows up, pay attention. Back in 1881, she
appeared to Hamilton Disston, warning him
against trying to drain the Everglades.
March 16, 2015 06:50 am | Op-Ed
Here is the
State of the State that Governor Rick Scott
ought to deliver and, more importantly, that
Floridians deserve to hear: Thank you Mr.
March 12, 2015 08:15 am | Op-Ed
End-of-life issues are among our most
emotionally and religiously charged community
concerns. Patients should have choice for this
request. Such an option would allow more humane
patient medical management. Careful monitoring
will thwart abuse.
March 10, 2015
06:30 am | Op-Ed
TALLAHASSEE – You think you live in a
representative democracy. You don’t. You live on
a sugar plantation. You call it “Florida.” And
while you may reside far from the muck farms and
wouldn’t know a cane field from a pawpaw patch,
it doesn’t matter. Your state government works
for Big Sugar.
Posted March 5, 2015 09:15 am | Op-Ed
And you thought
the Obamacare web rollout had problems. Computer
malfunctions, brand new curriculum standards and
unparalleled stress have characterized the debut
of the new Florida Standards Assessments. But
could Florida’s testing debacle be alleviated by
a stroke of the governor’s pen?
March 4, 2015 06:15 am | Op-Ed
Rick Scott owes George Orwell a debt of
gratitude. Without the classic novel “1984” and
its primer on political doublespeak, the
governor’s State of the State speech this week
would have been way more…let’s say transparent,
since that’s a word repeatedly and ridiculously
run through Scott’s Orwellian propaganda grinder
March 3, 2015 08:35 am | Op-Ed
legislators swarm, careening madly down our
narrow, pretty streets like palmetto bugs lit up
with a big dose of Raid. They land first at the
Motherhive on Adams Street: that is to say, the
Associated Industries pre-session cocktail
party, where lobbyists keep the nectar flowing,
then settle in the capitol the next day to build
their nests, venom sacs full of poisonous bills.
March 2, 2015 05:15 am | Op-Ed
I’m fed up with ambitious elected ideologues and
wannabes talking tough about protecting
individual liberty and personal freedom – except
for the freedom and liberty of the women in our
lives. I believe you call that
hypocrisy; blatant hypocrisy, to be more
Feb 25, 2015 08:15 am | Op-Ed
For decades, Everglades advocates financed by
Wall Street billionaires like Paul Tudor
Jones waged war with the sugar farmers and rural
communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee. The
battlefields ranged from the EPA in Washington,
the Legislature in Tallahassee.
Feb. 20, 2015 10:00 am
The slimy lack of transparency in the FDLE case
is the tip of an iceberg tearing a hole in the
Titanic that is our Florida government. Rarely
has the “rearranging the deck chairs” line been
more appropriate than in describing the lame
efforts of Scott, the Cabinet and the Republican
Party of Florida to clean up the mess.
Feb. 19, 2015 07:33 am | Op-Ed
and government must understand they need each
other to improve the labor market. Our political
leaders must provide an accurate employment
report. Without correctly acknowledging the
problem, solutions will be elusive.
Feb. 18, 2015 04:45 am | Op-Ed
Whenever a politician is caught with his pants
down, the wife is always a curious spectacle, so
many in the media putting her under a
microscope. Remember Huma Abedin, Anthony
Weiner’s accomplished wife and most ardent
Feb. 17, 2015 08:15 am | Op-Ed
It’s not every day that a divorce lawyer reports her
own client to the state’s child abuse hotline. But
that’s what John Jonchuck’s lawyer did on January 7,
when Jonchuck showed up at the firm’s office dressed in
pajamas and toting his five-year-old daughter Phoebe,
along with a Bible which he incorrectly believed to be
written in Swedish. Jonchuck’s lawyer told
the Hotline that her client was “out of his mind
delusional,” and that Phoebe was in danger.
Feb. 16, 2015 06:25 am | Op-Ed
There is something inherently foul in a system
that gives life to the co-defendant who cops a
plea and death to the one who might be less
guilty. Once upon a time, Florida governors
commuted sentences to prevent comparative
injustice. The last to do so was Bob Graham, in
1983. There has been no commutation for any
reason since then.
Feb. 10, 2015 10:15 am | Op-Ed
a Florida Supreme Court justice for 41 years,
kept a thick file with such titles as “God, the
Original Segregationist,” “The Bible Answers the
Race Question,” and “God Gave the Law of
Segregation (as well as the 10 Commandments) to
Moses on Mount Sinai.” Upon voting to keep a
black man out of the University of Florida law
school, in explicit defiance of the U.S. Supreme
Court, Terrell wrote this:
Posted February 6, 2015 04:30 am | Op-Ed
Our water resources must be protected and
conserved. This includes protecting sources of
water from degradation and contamination. A
request has been made to the county to oppose
fracking. This topic boils down to a question of
appropriate priorities for the county to pursue.
With other pressing issues needing the County
Commission's time and the taxpayer's money,
consideration of these blanket ordinances or
resolutions is an inappropriate use of each.
Feb. 04, 2015 07:05 am | Op-Ed
In 2009, we lost our 18-year-old daughter to
bacterial meningitis. Lawson went from a
vibrant, full-of-life, extremely healthy young
woman to life support and death within 36 hours.
Her situation started out with a headache. She
had experienced migraines in the past, so we
were not overly concerned... Within hours she
was suffering a life-threatening health crisis.
Doctors put her on life support.
Feb. 03, 2015 07:35 am | Op-Ed
I’m all for parental choice, and moms everywhere
are entitled to act insane – as long as it
doesn’t harm anyone else. But when you decide to
follow junk science and opt-out of the
immunization schedule recommended by
pediatricians, you put other children and adults
at risk. And that’s not OK.
February 2, 2015 07:45 am | Op-Ed
a lot about over-testing and high-stakes testing
in our public schools. Even if you are
sympathetic to the problem, unless you are very
plugged into the details, you have only a
general idea of what it all means. Let me give
you some of those details.
Jan. 30, 2015 011:43 am | Op-Ed
As the first and only non-educator chosen to
lead Okaloosa Schools, I freely admit I wouldn’t
make the cut in any professional application
process. I was a business guy, who knew
something about running a large multisite
organization. I was an activist parent troubled
by the stagnation of my children’s schools. That
I was elected at all is testament to our
Jan. 29, 2015 08:35 am | Op-Ed
Is the Florida Cabinet worth its keep, or is it
simply worthless? In the aftermath of his
“resignation” as commissioner of the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement, the Cabinet –
Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial
Officer Jeff Atwater and Ag. Commissioner Adam
Putnam – resembled to a remarkable degree the
three monkeys who see, speak and hear no evil.
Jan. 27, 2015 08:35 am | Op-Ed
“Work it out.”
When was the last time you said that to a child?
Growing up, I heard it all the time. It was my
mom’s go-to response for any host of problems:
Jan. 26, 2015 09:25 am | Op-Ed
As chairman of the Florida Senate’s Rules
Committee and one of the state’s most powerful
Republicans, he bucked his entire party in 2011
to kill a bill that would have let Floridians
carry guns openly on school campuses. Does
Thrasher still have the juice to face off with a
conservative legislative majority and beat them
at their own game?
Posted January 23, 2015 08:35 am
How much longer will the people of Columbia County
sit back and allow the County 5 to make laws that spend
our money and make us tow a line on things we know
nothing about? There is something strange. I have never
seen, nor heard, nor belonged to a group that was in
total, 100 percent agreement on almost every issue.
Jan. 23, 2015 07:29 am | Op-Ed
Bondi has been almost like a modern-day Anita
Bryant. Last she implied that same-sex families
were not stable. The issue of marriage equality
is a prime example of the vital role our courts
play in the lives of all Americans. A fully
functioning and impartial judicial system is
necessary to continue holding the forces of
intolerance in check.
January 16, 2015 09:05 am | Op-Ed
But I knew I needed to go to the Dachau
concentration camp. I didn’t want to tour the
camp, particularly, because I also knew it would
be painful to stand in that space where so many
were tortured and murdered, to see the
courtyard, the barracks, the electric fences,
and, God, the crematorium.
Posted January 14, 2015 09:35 am
The new Legislature has been sworn in. At their
swearing-in, members took an oath of office,
placed their hands on a Bible and promised to
uphold the Florida Constitution. This new
Legislature must do the right thing when
implementing Amendment 1, the Florida Water and
Land Conservation Amendment.
Posted January 13, 2015 04:00 am
“Can’t we all just get along?” The immortal words of
police brutality survivor Rodney King might make for
great TV, but they’re a lousy statement on education
Posted January 9, 2015 05:15 am | Op-Ed
If you need to go to court, do you want the judge
wondering, as a politician might, why your lawyer didn’t
contribute to her campaign? Or didn’t give enough? That’s the crux of a Florida case to be argued at the
U.S. Supreme Court on January 20.
January 6, 2015 03:05 pm | Op-Ed
Yes, PT Barnum was right: There’s a sucker born
every minute. But you don’t have to be one! As
the circus winds its way through Florida, here
are some cruelty-free alternatives:
5, 2015 07:35 am | Op-Ed
They should be
recruiting a new generation of leaders, people
who can learn from the many Clinton and Bush
mistakes, and cherry-pick the wisdom both have
to offer. That’s the best way for Clinton and
Bush to serve the country now.