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Columns, Perspective

  1. Column: The next few days will transform Greece and Europe


    As it turns out, the Greek crisis ends not with a bang, but with a referendum.

    Greeks line up at an ATM in Thessaloniki on Monday, the first day of a 60-euro daily withdrawal limit.
  2. Column: Heroes on the bench


    As time passes, we will see the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage as the moment when we started to embrace the court as a leader in social progress, not as an institution to be feared because of the backlashes its more progressive decisions could supposedly generate.

  3. Nickens: Sunshine Law case brings positive change to Florida government


    About 8:25 a.m. Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott's office emailed to reporters his daily schedule, which is a public record.

    Gov. Rick Scott’s official Twitter account, @FLGovScott, tweeted this picture Tuesday morning of him signing the state budget. He did it in private.
  4. Ruth: Hunting bears for no reason


    Somehow it is fitting that one of the leading voices in support of declaring open season on bears is Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission chairman Richard Corbett, who happens to be a shopping mall developer.

  5. Column: The gun owners' argument


    In the aftermath of Charleston, as we all wring our hands over gun laws or the lack thereof, I've been watching a series of videos by a guy named Colion Noir.

    Colion Noir — real name, Collins Idehen — is the star of an Internet lifestyle channel that aims to make guns hip beyond the white, male, rural set.
  6. Day: Wider roads are not the answer for traffic-clogged Tampa


    A nearly 20-year-old plan to further expand Interstate 275 through historic Tampa Heights is the source of great upset for many Tampa residents.

    Highway expansion plans would likely obliterate this church-turned-community center in Tampa Heights. The DOT has shown little compassion as it has bulldozed through neighborhoods.
  7. Ask the nearest hippie? Not here


    Justice Antonin Scalia has revealed himself as a square, that arch-nemesis of the hippie. In his dissent to Friday's 5-4 decision overturning state bans on gay marriage, Scalia included what is probably the most prominent Supreme Court mention of "hippies" ever.

    In his dissent Justice Scalia told people to ask the nearest hippie about freedom of intimacy.
  8. Perspective: When Jeb took down the Confederate flag in 2001

    State Roundup

    In 2001, after he had the Confederate flag removed from the state Capitol, then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was besieged with criticism. In angry email after email, critics called the decision a cave-in to political correctness and an affront to Southern pride and history.

    A version of the Confederate flag — the “Stainless Banner” — flew outside the Florida Capitol in 1996.
  9. Perspective: The work still before us all


    In 1965, the City College of New York student government received a telegram from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — one of many he sent to allies around the country — urging that if they shared his vision and commitment to equality and racial justice, they join him in Alabama for a "peaceful, nonviolent march …

    This monument, erected in Haneyville, Ala., to honor slain rights activist Viola Liuzzo, was defaced several times. After one incident in 1997, activists gathered to pray but let the offending graffiti remain as a reminder of racism.
  10. Perspective: Flags furled, guns remain


    It was only a few days ago that the world saw white supremacist Dylann Roof posing stone-faced with Confederate flags and license plates. Sometime after the pictures were taken, Roof allegedly shot dead nine parishioners at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., using a legally acquired .45-caliber Glock …

    Confederate battle flag in one hand and gun in the other, Dylann Roof posed for this undated image, which appeared on, a website the FBI is now investigating.
  11. Perspective: The Confederate flag's complicated history


    Too little of the conversation about the Confederate battle flag takes into account its complicated history, according to Matthew Guterl, a professor of Africana and American studies at Brown University who studies race in the aftermath of the Civil War. Given his research, which has touched frequently on the use of the …

  12. Perspective: Putting a period in the Declaration


    For all that we talk about "original" founding documents, when it comes to the Declaration of Independence at least, we've had multiple versions since the earliest days of the revolution. The most important difference among these versions appears in the sentence about self-evident truths.

    On July 6, Philadelphia printer Benjamin Towne — who had obtained a copy of the Declaration we know not how — printed an unauthorized version with punctuation that began centuries of confusion.
  13. PunditFact: A startling sex stat that checks out


    Aziz Ansari departs from the usual comedian slapstick in his first book, Modern Romance, teaming up with a sociologist and traveling overseas to examine the science of how people date in the Internet-at-your-fingertips age.

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12:  Comedian Aziz Ansari attends the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
  14. Column: Chief justice takes a pragmatic path


    I find myself idly wondering if King vs. Burwell, the hugely anticipated challenge to the Affordable Care Act, was ever as big a deal as we all believed it to be.

  15. Column: The Roberts court leans left


    The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has been a conservative court. But even conservative courts have liberal terms — and the current term is leaning left as it enters its final days, which was true even before Thursday's decision supporting the Affordable Care Act.

  16. Ruth: Confederate group flies the flag of stupidity


    It always has been a supreme irony that the First Amendment free speech protections that allow the flying of a ridiculously massive Confederate flag over the intersection of I-75 and I-4 upon approaching Tampa benefits its sponsor, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, whose seditious forbearers attacked the United …

  17. Hooper: Don't feed on religion click bait


    A team of volunteers gathered in my neighbor's yard one recent Saturday and took on the arduous task of removing a dying oak tree.

    As a widow, she needed the help.

  18. Daniel Ruth: Courtney Campbell Trail a boon for those who like to sweat


    Oh happy day. Or whatever.

    Earlier this week, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos formally unveiled the completed section of the Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail. And thus sweat aficionados are now able to cycle, jog or skate across nearly 10 miles of pathway running parallel to the causeway across upper Tampa Bay, …

  19. Ruth: It's raining rats, but please stay calm


    Ahem, if you are a patient at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa and you see rat-atouille on the menu, play it safe and head for the vending machine.

    Workers at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa reported at least three dead rats falling from the kitchen ceiling during repair work.
  20. The next transit revolution: City-wide cycling networks


    Pity the driver who dared attempt a cross-country road trip in the early 20th century. An engineer for the primitive Lincoln Highway suggested motorists bring a shovel, an ax, a four-foot hardwood plank, 50 feet of rope, 16 feet of cable and a pistol.