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Columns, Perspective

  1. Perspective: The world is not falling apart

    Perspective

    It's a good time to be a pessimist. ISIS, Charlie Hebdo, Crimea, Donetsk, Gaza, Burma, Ebola, school shootings, campus rapes, wife-beating athletes, lethal cops — who can avoid the feeling that things fall apart, the center cannot hold? As troubling as the recent headlines have been, these lamentations need …

    [ CAMERON COTTRILL | Times ]
  2. Ruth column: Don't be shocked by my campaign platform

    Columns

    Since I announced my intention to brood, meditate, mull and otherwise noodle around a potential, possible, maybe, sorta run for the Republican presidential nomination, the response from you, gentle readers, has been overwhelming, encouraging me to think, ponder and otherwise dawdle to the point of paralyzing inertia …

  3. About Sen. Joni Ernst and those bread bags (w/video)

    Perspective

    To give the Republican rebuttal to President Barack Obama's State of the Union last week, Republicans put forward freshman Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. Her response started with a childhood memory that got people talking.

    Sen. Joni Ernst spoke about wearing bread bags on her feet. Iowans can relate.
  4. Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: An early fog, a broken link

    Perspective

    Editor's note: The three members of the second Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition are filing weekly dispatches of their 1,000-mile, 10-week journey to highlight the value of keeping an open pathway through the state for wildlife. Here is the story of the second week.

    Joe Guthrie explores the headspring of the Chassahowitzka River before the team followed the river’s 5-mile journey downstream to the Gulf of Mexico. In 2013, Swiftmud led a restoration of the headspring that pumped out truckloads of sediment and sand. Nearly 4 tons of nitrogen were removed. Though the headspring is clear, the river is still plagued by toxic algae fed by polluted runoff.
  5. Column: You can't dance around topic of radical Islam (w/video)

    Columns

    I've never been a fan of global conferences to solve problems, but when I read that the Obama administration is organizing a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism for Feb. 18, in response to the Paris killings, I had a visceral reaction: Is there a box on my tax returns that I can check so my tax dollars won't go to …

    An Iranian demonstrator in Tehran last week holds a satirical poster cover mocking the French weekly Charlie Hebdo that shows the Paris rally but adds a portrait of the Islamic State group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, among the world leaders.
  6. Column: What's really in those McDonald's fries (w/video)

    Columns

    At this point the best McDonald's ad campaign might be no ad campaign at all.

    There are potatoes, plus 18 other things.
  7. Perspective: Essays after 80

    Perspective

    In 2001, Donald Hall, just 70 and yet to be named the nation's poet laureate or to receive the National Medal of Arts, published a poem titled Affirmation in the New Yorker. It began: "To grow old is to lose everything."

    At 86, the poet and author Donald Hall in unflinching in dealing with and writing of old age.
  8. Perspective: White privilege, heroin and a diploma

    Perspective

    I was a senior at Cornell University when I was arrested for heroin possession. As an addict — a condition that began during a deep depression — I was muddling my way through classes and doing many things I would come to regret, including selling drugs to pay for my own habit.

    Keri Blakinger is shown receiving her diploma from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., in December 2014. She was allowed to return to school after being released from prison for heroin possession.
  9. Wi-Fi at 35,000 feet: We're being ripped off

    Columns

    I'm at 35,000 feet, somewhere over the Midwest, and I've finally found something on commercial flights that's worse than airplane food: the Wi-Fi. It's so slow and unreliable that it shouldn't be allowed to call itself "Wi-Fi." Renaming it Airplane Dial-Up would be unfair to dial-up.

    New York Times
  10. Forget Miami, Tampa would be perfect home for Cuban embassy

    Columns

    Greetings to the Cuban government: Hola, you all come on up now, you hear?

  11. Hooper: MaryEllen Elia ouster was decided on Nov. 4

    Columns

    The Hillsborough County School Board taught a civics lesson with its dismissal of superintendent MaryEllen Elia.

    [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
Hillsborough County school superintendent MaryEllen Elia listens to a supporter at the meeting Tuesday, Jan. 20. The board voted to fire Elia.
  12. Column: Turning back clock on public health progress

    Columns

    If you want to quantify the alarming impact of the antivaccine movement, this chart is a good place to start. It plots the cumulative number of new measles cases by month, for each year from 2001 to 2014.

  13. Column: Scott can't keep hiding from FDLE scandal

    Columns

    If all had gone as planned, the ouster of Gerald Bailey as commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would have been a quiet one. It would have looked like a typical resignation. After all, Gov. Rick Scott had just been re-elected and he was making many new appointments to begin his second term.

  14. Ruth: Pitch for St. Petersburg pier must defeat public apathy

    Columns

    Poor Kristin Brett. She is about to undertake an enterprise about the same as if the Tampa Bay Bucs attempted to pass off quarterback Josh McCown in a trade to the New England Patriots for Tom Brady.

  15. Pasco Sheriff's Office, code enforcement team on quality-of-life issues

    Columns

    Pasco County citizens have cited quality-of-life issues as one of their main priorities for county government to preserve and improve. The county's ordinances that govern many quality-of-life matters, such as vehicle parking and refuse disposal, must be enforced daily.

  16. Ruth: Scott's Cabinet starts to grow a spine

    Columns

    For this week's lesson in Tallahassee science, let us consider this question: How long does it take for a member of the Florida Cabinet to grow a spine?

  17. Column: A detainee's diary

    Columns

    Last week, several Republican senators, including John McCain, called on President Barack Obama to stop releasing detainees from the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Their argument was that after the terror attacks in Paris, the 122 prisoners still in Guantánamo should be made to stay right where they are, …

  18. Column: How to tell if a politician is serious about helping the middle class

    Columns

    America's political leaders might be finally getting serious about righting what's gone wrong for the middle class. It's only taken them a decade or so.

  19. Column: Support our students

    Columns

    All college commencements are happy, but community college commencements are the happiest of all. Many of the graduates are the first in their extended family to have earned degrees. When their name is read, big cheering sections erupt with horns and roars from the stands. Many students are older; you'll see 50- or …

  20. Chipotle does the right thing (for now)

    Columns

    Chipotle has stopped serving pork at a third of its restaurants, or some 600 establishments countrywide, citing a standards violation by one of its suppliers. It marks the first time the burrito slinger has been forced to pull a topping from its menu. But if Chipotle continues to expand as it has in recent years, it's …

    Chipotle needs a lot of pork for its burritos.