Commentary

COMMENTARY

Trump isn’t serious about delaying the election. He’s deadly serious about destroying its legitimacy

BY: - August 2, 2020

Abe Lincoln didn’t do it. And he was busy trying to hold the Union together. FDR didn’t do it. And he was leading the nation through the most violent days of the second World War. But Donald Trump, self-styled “wartime president,” Florida resident, and long-time absentee voter, waded into territory that two of the nation’s […]

COMMENTARY

FL’s homely gopher tortoises: ‘It’s kind of questionable how long they can persist,’ biologist says

BY: - July 30, 2020

Gopher tortoises are homely creatures. They have a face that only another gopher could love. I saw one once that gave me the most baleful glare, like an old man about to launch into a rant about kids these days. Then he peed all over the equipment that a photographer had set up to capture […]

COMMENTARY
high school classroom, school, education

Amid a public health crisis called COVID-19, our schoolchildren will be left behind

BY: - July 29, 2020

In the days of “No Child Left Behind,” part of the George W. Bush-era effort to improve America’s public schools, particularly for low-income and minority students, a lot of people complained about and criticized NCLB’s regimen of state testing and tough deadlines for bringing kids up to par academically. The criticism was so intense that […]

COMMENTARY

Oh, for a return to the days when the Grand Old Party was actually grand

BY: - July 27, 2020

Younger readers may find it impossible to believe, but many Republicans used to be perfectly reasonable people. Some of them were even what you might now call “progressive,” deep believers in racial equality, women’s rights, and environmental stewardship. Without Nathaniel Reed of Jupiter Island, every inch of South Florida would have been paved during the […]

COMMENTARY

Is a big phosphate company using legal tactics to scare FL environmentalists?

BY: - July 23, 2020

I want to be clear about one thing, right up front. This is all perfectly legal. In an area of Florida where water use has been sharply restricted for 28 years, state officials have been allowing the nation’s largest phosphate company to pump millions of gallons of water out of the ground every day., One […]

COMMENTARY

This Crisis Won’t Wait, So Neither Should Congress

BY: - July 21, 2020

There are now nearly 370,000 COVID-19 cases in Florida. These are uncertain times, particularly for families with low income and few resources, as the health and economic crisis has disrupted every facet of daily life in the Sunshine State. On May 15 the U.S. House passed the (HEROES) Act, which would help states preserve crucial […]

COMMENTARY

Bush v. Gore and 36 days of sheer chaos in 2000: Could it happen again in swing state Florida in 2020?

BY: - July 20, 2020

In the 55 years I have spent witnessing and writing about news in Florida, there is one scene that stands out more than any other: It was early November of the year 2000. There was a Japanese television crew setting up a tent on the front lawn at the Florida Supreme Court. Across the street […]

COMMENTARY

The thought of going without those sweet and salty Apalachicola oysters for five years is hard to swallow

BY: - July 16, 2020

One thing that makes Florida such a special place is our food. The divine Key lime pie served in the Keys, the savory croquetas made in Miami, the delicioso Cuban sandwich that Tampa claims as its own invention, the tupelo honey produced in Wewahitchka – all these offer a taste unique to our state. But […]

COMMENTARY

Trump has dragged America back to full-on Lost Cause craziness

BY: - July 13, 2020

The surrender at Appomattox was Fake News. The white South was just playing possum, lying low till another John C. Calhoun (who called slavery “a positive good”) or Nathan Bedford Forrest (slave-trader, Klan founder: What’s not to like?) arose to lead the light-complected to the pale Promised Land, and lo! when Donald Trump took the […]

COMMENTARY

‘Continuing to build in vulnerable areas does not make sense’

BY: - July 9, 2020

Six months ago, back when we could still safely leave the house, I drove down to Key West to give a talk about books. On the way back, I stopped off in Key Largo to look at the 215-home Stillwright Point neighborhood. Outwardly, there is nothing remarkable about Stillwright Point. It looks like most other […]

COMMENTARY

Can our children survive toxic chemicals, climate change, assault weapons, COVID-19, and idiots?

BY: - July 8, 2020

You would think that Americans don’t love their children by the way we treat them. We turn a blind eye to the companies that discharge chemicals into the water and air that harm our babies and young children. We ignore the need to cut our carbon emissions even as the planet grows hotter and the […]

COMMENTARY

Racial disparities in Florida’s criminal justice system are shameful

BY: - July 7, 2020

The U.S. Census Bureau states that 17 percent of Florida citizens are Black, while the Florida Department of Corrections reports that 47 percent of men and women in state prison are Black. In all 50 states, less than 14 percent of the population is Black but the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics notes that 33 […]