Opinions to go Online

The unique perspective and provocative opinions of Joe O’Neill

Gay Marriage Reality: Culture, Law, Economy

The headlines captured our attention because of the historic, societal implications. Gay couples may be legally marrying in Florida in 2015. It seems likely that Florida will follow a legal trend that now includes 35 states plus Washington, D.C. After the 11th U.S. Circuit Court in Atlanta ruled that a stay in this state’s gay-marriage [...]

Stadium Status: Quo No Longer

Heads up, Hillsborough. Via a negotiated agreement between the Rays and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, the Rays have until Dec. 21, 2017 to settle on a new regional stadium site, if city council signs off. But here’s the reality that assuredly hasn’t changed: a bad, incumbent business model. It’s long been a given that [...]

Contested Case

The inherent issue with felony murder. Punishment the same whether you kill or not. In this case, there was a plea deal declined. Ironic. Def would have been out by now. Also speaks volumes that it was offered. Says something about a prosecutor’s case. Bondi leads way. Too much emotional input from victim’s family that [...]

Museum Piece

Two words come readily to mind when taking in the latest exhibit–”Operation Drumbeat”–over at the Tampa Bay History Center: sobering and claustrophobic. We’ve known, if not in explicit detail, that during World War II German U-boats prowled around the Florida and Gulf coasts–in 1942-43–looking to disrupt shipping and plant some “over here” panic. Actually, seven [...]

Gunshine Holidays

Nothing says the holidays in Florida more than ever-booming gun interest. According to the Department of Law Enforcement, some 23,000 requests for background checks related to gun purchases were processed Thanksgiving week. A normal week averages about 14,000. In fact, Black Friday set a new record–8,300 requests–which was the third-busiest day ever. In other Gunshine [...]

Media Matters

* Interesting announcement, to be sure, by Duke Energy–given all those customer-gouging PR hits it’s been taking. But, no, it wasn’t announcing that it was refunding those billions it had collected for failed nuclear projects or that it was rethinking its position on renewable energy or apologizing for self-serving billing cycles. Nor was the investor-owned [...]

Foreign Fodder

* Does Rick Scott have an evil twin? That was my first thought upon hearing that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is calling for mandatory testing of journalists in his war against the “drug mafia.” So, yeah, it could be worse.

Sports Shorts

* Wisconsin plays Auburn in this year’s Outback Bowl. The Badgers will do so with Barry Alvarez, the Wisconsin Athletic Director and former coach, filling in for departed head coach Gary Andersen, who surprisingly left to take the job at Oregon State. One of the reasons, according to Alvarez: Wisconsin’s admission standards. It’s a reminder [...]

Quoteworthy

* “Never in history have we had such modern weapons as we are getting as a result of this deal.”–Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, on the recent purchase of long-range missiles from the U.S. * “(The militants) are developing an unsustainable economy. … ISIL cannot float government bonds like nations can. They can collect taxes, [...]

Dirty Dancing To Sordid Injustice

Two opposable thumbs up for the “Dirty Dancing” performance at the Straz. Pure fun, especially for someone who grew up in doo-wop Philly and still remembers the lyrics to “Duke Of Earl,” “Love Is Strange,” “In The Still Of The Night” and “Do You Love Me?” Speaking of: “You broke my heart, ’cause I couldn’t [...]