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Columns, Perspective

  1. Another voice: When law enforcement, immigration intersect


    The recent killing of Kathryn Steinle as she walked arm in arm with her father along San Francisco's Embarcadero was horrific, even if the details remain murky. That Steinle's alleged killer had seven previous felony convictions and had been deported five times only makes the incident more complicated and politically …

  2. Column: Waiting for the next one


    Such troubled young men.

    This is what we call them instead of nuts with guns, and they are a dreaded modern American cliche. Every time there's a news flash about another mass shooting, we now expect the culprit to be revealed as a "troubled young man."

  3. Column: Zombies against Medicare


    Medicare turns 50 this week, and it has been a very good half-century. Before the program went into effect, Ronald Reagan warned that it would destroy American freedom; it didn't, as far as anyone can tell. What it did do was provide a huge improvement in financial security for seniors and their families, and in many …

  4. I'm terrified of taking my child literally anywhere. What if my bad parenting choices go viral?


    Last week, all of your friends' Facebooks exploded over a mini-melee at Marcy's Diner, a tiny restaurant in Portland, Maine. Accounts differ as to what exactly transpired during what shall henceforth be known as Brunchgazi, but all parties agree: A toddler became unruly in a restaurant during a long wait for pancakes, …

  5. Ruth: Legislature's failures drive effort to change elections


    Do you ever get the feeling that the price to pay for participating in democracy is being forced to sign up with either Ralph Kramden at the Raccoon Lodge or Laurel and Hardy at the Sons of the Desert? That's not a choice. It's a constitutional hazing.

  6. Column: Israeli support for Iran deal


    Israeli officials are orchestrating a campaign to have Congress scuttle the Iran nuclear deal by voting it down and overriding a promised presidential veto. Republican presidential hopefuls have jumped on the bandwagon, denouncing the deal as if it heralded the end of the world.

  7. Column: Poll finds divisions on race


    Seven years ago, in the afterglow of a stirring election night in Chicago, commentators dared ask whether the United States had finally begun to heal its divisions over race and atone for the original sin of slavery by electing its first black president. It has not. Not even close. A New York Times/CBS News poll …

  8. Perspective: Hello, universe, is anyone out there?


    “The universe is apparently bulging at the seams with the ingredients of biology," says Geoffrey Marcy, an astronomer at the University of California at Berkeley and a participant in Stephen Hawking's $100 million search for alien life, which was announced last week.

    Welcome to Kepler 452b, our “close cousin” This artist’s concept depicts one possible appearance of the planet Kepler 452b, the first near-Earth-size world to be found in the habitable zone of a star that is similar to our sun. The habitable zone is a region around a star where temperatures are right for water — an essential ingredient for life as we know it — to pool on the surface. Scientists do not know if Kepler 452b can support life or not. What is known about the planet is that it is about 60 percent larger than Earth, placing it in a class of planets dubbed “super-Earths.” While its mass and composition are not yet determined, previous research suggests that planets the size of Kepler 452b have a better than even chance of being rocky. Kepler 452b orbits its star every 385 days. The planet’s star is about 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. It is a G2-type star like our sun, with nearly the same temperature and mass. This star is 6 billion years old, 1.5 billion years older than our sun. As stars age, they grow in size and give out more energy, warming up their planets over time.
  9. Perspective: A climate scientist's alarm at sea level rise


    In what may prove to be a turning point for political action on climate change, a breathtaking new study casts extreme doubt about the near-term stability of global sea levels.

    Top climate scientist and former NASA official James Hansen is known for being alarmist and right.
  10. PunditFact: Was Donald Trump a 'draft dodger'?


    With his signature flair for controversy, billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump challenged the Vietnam War service credentials of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

    Donald Trump greets supporters, tourists and the curious after taping an interview at a Trump-owned building in mid-town Manhattan last week.
  11. Perspective: Hackers took over his Jeep


    It was a driver's worst nightmare.

    Andy Greenberg was speeding along a busy interstate in St. Louis recently when he suddenly lost control of his vehicle. The accelerator abruptly stopped working. The car crawled to a stop. As 18-wheelers whizzed by his stalled vehicle, Greenberg began to panic.

    His car had …

    Jeeps, shown on an assembly line, are among vehicles that can be hacked, leading Friday to a recall of 1.4 million Fiat Chrysler cars. Good-guy hackers exploited a weakness in an Internet feature to send control commands remotely.
  12. Perspective: The dead I don't delete



    My digital address book lists 2,743 contacts. This is not because I'm popular or extroverted; I'm neither.

  13. Column: Governor, lay off our state parks


    I have a message for Gov. Rick Scott on behalf of the millions of Floridians and tourists who enjoy our award-winning state parks: Lay off them. They are neither for profit nor plunder.

  14. Column: Four questions on the Iran nuclear deal


    No work that Congress undertakes is more serious or important than the review of a nuclear arms agreement.

    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran would not change its policy toward the “arrogant” U.S. government.
  15. One's looks don't always tell the story


    "Look at that guy's beard," the man ahead of me in line at a restaurant muttered to himself, though loud enough that anyone around him could hear.

    Headshot of Tampa Bay Times staffer Josh Solomon.
  16. Ruth: From hospital bed to campaign trail


    There in the antiseptic stillness of the coronary care unit I slowly come to after hours in the operating room. Wires and tubes. Monitors that bleep, tweet and hum. Quintuple bypass surgery was no fun. Neither was the heart attack leading up to it.

    As the columnist recovers from quintuple bypass surgery, Donald Trump provides a reason to live.
  17. Column: Backing up our Iran bet


    From the minute Iran detected that the United States was unwilling to use its overwhelming military force to curtail Tehran's nuclear program — and that dates back to the George W. Bush administration, which would neither accept Iran's right to a nuclear fuel cycle nor structure a military or diplomatic option to …

  18. Column: Florida should step up against discrimination


    With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage for gay couples, Florida leaders have an important decision to make when it comes to our national and international reputation. Will we be a state that embraces equality and fairness? Or will we be seen as a state that resists progress and shuns diversity?

  19. Column: After baby, men get fatter


    Is there any way to put this delicately? Men, when they have children, get fatter. We've known this for a while, and now the first nationally representative sample confirms it.

    In the years after having a child, the typical man gained an average of 4.4 pounds.
  20. Column: Hi-ho, Lone Ranger



    In the midst of Iran mania, the president got tossed a question about Bill Cosby.

    In last week’s news conference, President Barack Obama unleashed on Bill Cosby and shot down a grandstanding reporter by saying, “That’s nonsense.”