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Daniel Ruth, Times Columnist

Daniel Ruth

Daniel Ruth has been scribbling away for four decades as a reporter, film critic, television critic and columnist for the Tampa Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Tampa Bay Times. He also has worked as a radio talk show host as well as an adjunct professor for the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and Columbia College in Chicago. Daniel is a Peter Lisagor Award recipient for his columns in Chicago and has been honored by the Pinellas County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union with the Irene Miller Vigilance In Journalism Award.

Email: druth@tampabay.com

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  1. Review: Millard's 'Hero of the Empire' a thrilling tale of Churchill's youth

    Books

    Hear the name Winston Churchill and it is likely you conjure up an image of an elderly, portly, balding, cigar-chomping former prime minister of Great Britain. And that's fair. By any measure Churchill was one of the 20th century's greatest statesmen, who led his nation through the darkest days of World War II with undaunted courage, stirring oratory and a single-minded passion to defeat the Nazi menace looming across the English Channel....

  2. Ruth: Hillsborough ride-sharing battle resolved

    Columns

    After all the back and forth, the bickering, the caterwauling and the duplicity of the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission executive director playing footsie-wootsie with the taxi industry to plot against its competitors, the community's controversial ridesharing feud has been settled - almost exactly how everyone thought it would end.

    Days ago the PTC voted 4-3 to legalize the operations of the ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft. The deal calls for "enhanced" background checks for drivers, insurance requirements and vehicle inspections. In return, Uber will pay the PTC $250,000-a-year, while Lyft will cough up $125,000 to the agency. ...

    Tampa Bay Lightning mascot Thunderbug gets into a UBER car as the Lightning announced their partnership with the rideshare giant in October.
  3. Ruth: Real reform from new Florida House speaker

    Columns

    By Richard Corcoran's reckoning, the Florida House is about to morph from a master class school for scoundrels into the Knights of the Round Table.

    Good luck and Godspeed, Mr. Speaker. You're going to need it.

    Newbie House Speaker Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, has figuratively nailed on the door of the House a long list of reforms he wants to impose during his two-year reign. Think of Corcoran as the Martin Luther of Apalachee Parkway....

    Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O’Lakes, has already announced his manifesto for reforming House business.
  4. Ruth: The long-term impact of sewage spills

    Columns

    Citizens! There is nothing to fear! Remain calm! Pay no attention to that 50-foot grouper that just ate Gulfport! It was only a snack! Nothing to see here!

    And yes, we're going to need an industrial size barrel of tartar sauce.

    Just when you thought the ramifications of massive overflows of partially and not so partially treated sewage discharges spilling into Pinellas County waterways following Hurricane Hermine and several other massive storms couldn't get any worse, it just got even more ooey-gooey....

  5. Ruth: Trump is still our president

    Columns

    This was not the charge up San Juan Hill, or parachuting behind enemy lines on D-day, or braving antiaircraft fire during 30 seconds over Tokyo. But the battle of cocktails in Amsterdam will have to do.

    In 1982, I was a 32-year-old vice president of public relations for a subsidiary of Westinghouse Broadcasting, Group W Satellite Communications, which was creating programming networks for the emerging cable television industry....

    President Jimmy Carter, left, and Republican candidate Ronald Reagan debate on Oct. 28, 1980.
I didn’t vote for Reagan, but I defended him and my country in an Amsterdam bar in 1982.
  6. Daniel Ruth: The search for cash for a new Rays stadium

    Columns

    All those sugar plum fairies were very nice while they lasted. Now it's time to cue the bean counter ballet.

    For many months, we've been witness to the great Tampa Bay Rays stadium saga. Should they stay in St. Petersburg? Or should they go eastward? On both sides of Tampa Bay, the hotsy-tots of St. Petersburg and Tampa have ruminated and chin-rubbed and pondered over potential sites for a new home for the Rays....

  7. Ruth: Trump won fair and square

    Columns

    Welcome to the brand new Grand Old Pouty. And it is not to be taken lightly. Just ask President Hillary Clinton.

    There is no question the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States marks an extraordinary, historic moment in our national life. It is true Trump enters the Oval Office as the first president to have never held elective office, nor served in the military, nor worked in government. But he is the first game show host to win the top political prize, which is probably fueling Pat Sajak's ambitions. And if you are going to someday eventually break that glass ceiling, what's wrong with Vanna White?...

    Democrats need to acknowledge that not all white voters venting their grievances about economic opportunity are racists.
  8. Ruth: Election won't mix well with turkey and dressing

    Columns

    No doubt Tuesday will be a very trying day for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

    But that's not the day that should be the most worrisome for many Americans.

    That's Thanksgiving, when millions of Republicans and Democrats sit around the family dinner together and pretend they like each other. This could get real ugly, real fast.

    There will be great gloating. And glowering. And can you please pass the dressing, you horrible, vile piece of carrion?...

  9. Ruth: Temple Terrace copes with bigotry

    Columns

    And a creep grows in Temple Terrace.

    Perhaps what this pathetic story tells us is that no race for office, no matter how modest, is free from the darker forces of human cruelty and stupidity raising their ugly heads — even in Temple Terrace, which has been properly regarded as a lovely, quiet bedroom community.

    That is until a boneheaded racist decided to intrude upon the city's local elections....

  10. Daniel Ruth: Drip, drip, drip goes St. Petersburg's sewer mess

    Columns

    When you get right down to it, the job description for the mayor of any city is pretty easily defined.

    There are three basic things the mayor has to do: A) maintain the roads and street lights, B) keep criminal mayhem to a minimum and C) when it rains make sure icky poo-poo water doesn't flood the city.

    Everything else — fancy museums, iconic piers, parades, ribbon cuttings, inspiring speeches and stadiums — are all very nice. But they begin to take on less importance if the citizenry finds itself scraping off …, well you know, from their shoes whenever it rains and the byways turn into the Ganges River. Too nuanced?...

  11. Ruth: So many scandals and only one vote

    Columns

    This is simply outrageous. That's it. I'm done with Hillary Clinton. Whatta crook.

    Crook? What did she do?

    Beats me, but Donald Trump, that titan of integrity, says all those emails on Huma Abedin's computer clearly prove dastardliness is afoot, so it must be true.

    Wow! What do they say?

    I have no idea, but like Trump says, it if it looks like a Hillary and talks like a Hillary, it must be an indictment-in-waiting. That's why I'm all-in for Donald J. Trump....

  12. District 18 Florida Senate candidate Young goes into hiding after smear campaign against opponent Buesing

    Columns

    Well, fellow Hillsboroughians, it is safe to say we have reached that moment in the campaign season otherwise known as "chintzy time" — when the innuendo and gutlessness among certain candidates has reached a full crescendo.

    And that brings us rather deftly to District 18 Republican Florida Senate candidate Dana Young, who has decided to go into full witness protection/Bermuda Triangle seclusion on the stump rather than find herself having to account for the ongoing, less than dignified unethical attacks on her Democratic opponent, Tampa lawyer Bob Buesing....

  13. Ruth: Avoiding the Twitter universe

    Columns

    For the past few months or so, I've been in recovery as a chronic smart aleck.

    It's been a personality disorder I've struggled with dating back to childhood, resulting in many hours in solitary confinement in the principal's office for making inopportune remarks in the general direction of humorless nuns.

    In this work of scribbling columns, occasionally irate readers respond with emails raising questions (you might want to take a breath here) regarding my patriotism, my sexuality, my ignorance, the legitimacy of my birth, my ties to the Marxist/Communist/Trotskyite/United Nations international conspiracy to rule the world (we're quite chummy), my hair, my athletic skills, my cowardice and my complete lack of ethics — all because I simply took note of Donald Trump as a flaming, boorish silly person....

  14. Daniel Ruth: Rays stadium in Oldsmar is not so off-the-wall

    Columns

    Might itty-bitty Oldsmar be the little town that could?

    Recently Mayor Doug Bevis floated the notion his fair hamlet just might be the prime location for a new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays to call home. And no doubt the idea likely created great guffaws and sneers from all manner of swells. How dare such a modest community of about 14,000 residents have the impertinence to include itself in the cross Tampa Bay competition to become the host of a Major League Baseball franchise?...

  15. Ruth: The folly of using taxi workers in an Uber sting

    Columns

    Just a small word of advice to Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission Executive Director Kyle Cockream. You are not the Eliot Ness of ridesharing.

    And yet there was Cockream a few months ago colluding with officials associated with taxi and limousine companies to lure competing Uber and Lyft drivers into a sting operation.

    One can only imagine the strategy session between Cockream and his mercenary army from Yellow Cab and Kings Executive Limo and Car Service. "They bring a Prius, you pull a Lincoln Town Car. They send yours to Ybor City with a GPS, you send one of his to the impound lot! That's the Tampa way!"...