Opinions to go Online

The unique perspective and provocative opinions of Joe O’Neill

Just What The Doctor Ordered For Downtown

It has the trappings of a pitch-perfect storm–where synergy and enlightened self-interest intersect. Where the right people at the right time with the right missions fortuitously converge. No, we’re obviously not talking about baseball-stadium scenarios for downtown. We’re talking about something more important and more doable: a downtown USF medical school. First things first. The [...]

Conventional Wisdom And Bonus

We’re probably “one and done” when it comes to national political conventions. Something about summer-weather paranoia, terrorist-tantalizing CentCom proximity and logistically-challenging bays and channels. But we pulled it off in 2012. No incidents occurred, even if downtown lockdown was the tradeoff. It was worth 9 figures of direct regional spending. And it underscored that we’re [...]

Distractions In Tallahassee

Yo, Noles. Florida State’s plan to divert attention from the ongoing disgrace that is quarterback Jameis Winston: Appoint John Thrasher president.

Scary Scenario At The White House

There have been times–and you don’t have to be a cheap-shotting GOPster to feel this way–when the Obama White House has had an “amateur hour” aura to it. Let’s not count the ways right now. On balance, it’s been disappointing, but let’s not forget that a dysfunctional Congress has been beyond obstructionist. But what happened [...]

Early Voting Variables

Some early/absentee voting is by necessity, some by convenience. Here’s hoping that convenience isn’t, in effect, a tradeoff for what would become irrelevant gubernatorial debates for a significant number of voters. After the onslaught of slick, context-contorting campaign ads, voters just may, ironically, want to take advantage of the only opportunity to see the candidates [...]

Registry Progress

Here’s the good news: Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously approved moving forward with a domestic partnership registry. Here’s what would constitute even better news: When we get to the point–and this is a necessary step in the process–that making an important move for equality is simply done for the right reason. Not just because it’s good [...]

Bay Area Education Updates

* Amid the education noise about charters, vouchers, Florida Standards and Bright Futures scholarships, it was refreshingly old school to learn that Hillsborough County leads the state in the number of National Merit Scholar semifinalists. It still resonates. According to the school district, this county had 67 semifinalists, with King High School having the most [...]

Foreign Fodder

* For once, seeing headlines referencing U.S. troops and a foreign assignment didn’t yield a sense of foreboding and geopolitical hand-wringing. Knowing that President Barack Obama will be sending the military and medical supplies to Ebola-ravaged West Africa is a reminder that America’s capacity to help and do good is alive and, well, necessary. * [...]


* “Not only is it not necessary, we don’t want them. We won’t allow them. Full stop.”–Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, in ruling out the stationing of troops from America or other nations in Iraq. * “They (ISIS) will only be defeated or destroyed once they’re rejected by the populations in which they hide. … [...]

Police Diversity: Good Recruiting, Good Luck

Not that we needed Ferguson, Mo., to remind us, but it more than matters if a police force identifies with those it’s sworn to protect. The obvious corollary: It also matters mightily if the citizenry can identify with its police force. Is it “us” or is it “them”? It’s an all too familiar refrain. The [...]