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Columns, Perspective

  1. Column: For many, no recovery

    Columns

    Take a look at these charts. They show everything you need to know about why Americans are still so down on the economy.

  2. Column: The mental virtues

    Columns

    We all know what makes for good character in soldiers. We've seen the movies about heroes who display courage, loyalty and coolness under fire. But what about somebody who sits in front of a keyboard all day? Is it possible to display and cultivate character if you are just an information age office jockey, alone with a …

    Is it possible to display and cultivate character if you are just an information age office jockey, alone with a memo or your computer? Sure.
  3. Nickens: Greenlight needs a push

    Columns

    My crystal ball on Greenlight Pinellas is cloudy.

    A rendering from Greenlight Pinellas shows a conceptual view of a light rail line running down the median of Roosevelt Boulevard where the road crosses U.S. 19 in Clearwater.
  4. This is why I love and hate football

    Perspective

    We are living in the end times of football.

    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) is tackled by St. Louis Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar (58) on a four-yard gain during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in San Francisco. Smith had a concussion from the play. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Paul Kitagaki Jr.) MAGS OUT; LOCAL TV OUT (KCRA3, KXTV10, KOVR13, KUVS19, KMAZ31, KTXL40); MANDATORY CREDIT.
  5. Ruth: Strap on the mudflaps

    Columns

    Let the lame begin. For we who are about to sigh refute you.

  6. A Little Perspective

    Perspective

    Tweeting to tweak an adversary

    Amidst a serious potential escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with evidence emerging that Russian troops are engaged in combat in the country, the good folks at the Canadian NATO delegation decided to go on the snark offensive, firing off this tweet (above left). …

    Highly magnified view of Enterococcus faecalis, a bacterium that lives in the human gut.
  7. Tear gas illegal in warfare but not for police

    Perspective

    Law enforcement officers in Ferguson, Mo., used tear gas extensively in the wake of the police-shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American. The conflict in Ferguson led one PolitiFact reader to ask us to check the accuracy of a social-media meme now circulating that addresses the legality of …

    Police often used tear gas in the Ferguson, Mo., protests. Though treaties ban its use on the front lines — in part because it’s hard to distinguish one gas from another in the fog of war — it is allowed for domestic police use.
  8. Column: Medicare not such a budget-buster anymore

    Columns

    You're looking at the biggest story involving the federal budget and a crucial one for the future of the U.S. economy. Every year for the last six years in a row, the Congressional Budget Office has reduced its estimate for how much the federal government will need to spend on Medicare in coming years. The latest …

  9. Column: Why I let my children walk to the corner store

    Columns

    Of all the adventures my lucky children had this summer — swimming in two oceans, hanging out on their bearded uncle's commercial salmon fishing boat, endless popsicles — the biggest one, they told me, was just 495 feet away in their own Washington, D.C., neighborhood.

  10. Column: Deny Islamic State a safe haven

    Columns

    In 2002, my aircraft carrier battle group was conducting retaliatory strikes against Afghanistan when I was directed to move into the Persian Gulf and begin precursor combat operations against Iraq. While meeting with the fleet commander, I told him we were ready to go. But when asked my opinion of the impeding war, I …

  11. Ruth: Florida environment needs more Roger Stewarts

    Columns

    In his time as a civil servant, Roger Stewart's business card may well have indicated his official position as the director of Hillsborough County's Environmental Protection Commission. In reality, he was actually the community's professional (and quite effective, too) pain-in-the-tuches.

  12. Ruth: Duke Energy gives nod to solar, so why can't Gov. Rick Scott?

    Columns

    You might remember the scene a few days ago when Florida Gov. Rick Scott grudgingly relented and sat down with a group of scientists for a briefing on the effects of climate change, mankind's role in the looming environmental crisis and what might be done to help the state avoid being turned into a giant flume ride in …

  13. Column: Learning doesn't end with school days

    Columns

    Local schools are back in session, and perhaps it's a good time to contemplate the actual process of learning. I hope we can all agree that regurgitating facts and figures on a standardized test is not proof of true learning. So what exactly is learning?

  14. Ruth: Government on a need-to-know basis

    Columns

    Surely there must be an underling, an apparatchik, perhaps a factotum or two within the Get Smart labyrinth of Rick Scott's inner sanctum who could gently remind him he is the governor of Florida and not the high commissar of SMERSH.

  15. Column: The drinker's manifesto

    Columns

    Across my desk recently came a reissue of the 1964 classic The Drinking Man's Diet, a cute little volume that maintains that if you drink a bit you'll lose weight. Counterintuitive, because one of the things we think we know about alcohol is that it provides truly empty calories, which generally speaking cause weight …

    We drink because we want to, not because it’s good for us. And it’s clear that alcohol can bring both joy and pain.
  16. Column: Sardines have more room

    Columns

    As a society, over the past thousand-odd years, we have progressed a great deal. We no longer use medieval torture implements to punish heretics, confining them in small spaces and prodding them in the vital regions and pressing them with weights until their organs give way.

  17. Column: America, the can't-do nation

    Columns

    More and more I'm convinced that America right now isn't a country dealing with a mere dip in its mood and might. It's a country surrendering to a new identity and era, in which optimism is quaint and the frontier anything but endless.

    Omayra Hernadez protests outside the South Florida offices of Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
  18. Column: Social segregation

    Columns

    "All my black friends have a bunch of white friends. And all my white friends have one black friend."

  19. Conference calls: Breaking the code of silence

    Columns

    Everything you have always suspected about conference calls is true. The Harvard Business Review has a survey to prove it.

    Thinkstock
  20. Column: Dash of salt not bad; extremes are the enemy

    Columns

    For years, we have known that diets high in salt can be bad for people with high blood pressure. A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed this fact. It monitored more than 100,000 people in 18 countries and found that people who consumed more sodium generally had significantly …