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Tom O’Hara

Today on Context Florida: Political prognostication, confidential applicants and tedious year-end lists

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Today on Context Florida: Political prognostication is not an exact science despite what forecasters and pundits would have readers believe. Many fall somewhere between the obvious and the inane, and often take a familiar and non-threatening shape. Bold predictions are more than just simple guesswork; they are to be conversation (and argument) starters. Real analysts do not restate the obvious, like some academics, but provide a reasonable outlook on the future, as well as a fresh take on the political landscape.…

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Today on Context Florida: Crispr gene-editing tool, fantasy sports and Camp Murphy WWII memories

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Today on Context Florida: If you pay attention to the news, you’d think Florida, the nation and the world are doomed. But cheer up, says Tom O’Hara. The big story of 2015 is Crispr/Cas9, and it’s very good news. For laymen, the scientists are calling this a “gene-editing tool.” With Crispr (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), scientists have discovered a cheap and efficient way to cut DNA so they can disrupt bad genes and insert good ones. They compare the…

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Today on Context Florida: Another day in America, “God isn’t fixing this” and Trump enablers

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Today on Context Florida: Just another day in the United States of America: “Another day of gunfire, panic and fear. This time in the city of San Bernardino in California, where a civic building was apparently under attack.” That, says Martin Dyckman, was the voice, tinged with sorrow and shock, of a BBC reporter describing yet another day in America. Just another year in America, whose homicide rate of 5 per 100,000 is the third highest among the 36 member nations…

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Today on Context Florida: Political elephants, MegaNanny Lottery and “Spotlight”

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Today on Context Florida: Underneath the candidate smears that are so much a part of local and national politics, Marc Yacht says there are a number of critical issues that leave both Republicans and Democrats too far apart. Party posturing aside there is substance to both sides of each concern but an inability for friendly if not effective bipartisan discussion. The elephants in the room include the military, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and welfare. Money and debt…

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Today on Context Florida: Refugees past and present, Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and IT buzzwords

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Today on Context Florida: With the news of Jeb Bush and other politicians calling for discrimination against Muslims in admitting Syrian refugees to the United States, Martin Dyckman is reminded of a parallel in history – American opposition to admitting Jewish refugees in the 1930s. Then, the pretext was that the Jews might include German spies. Never mind that the U.S. abounded with native-born, German-speaking Nazi sympathizers. Any form of religious discrimination is an insult to the American flag, Dyckman says.…

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Today on Context Florida: Death awaits, sobering answers to ISIS threat and full college graduation

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Today on Context Florida: Death happens to the best of us, and also to the worst. Florence Snyder says that the Grim Reaper is waiting, we just don’t when or where. This Thanksgiving, she suggests to skip the competition for Smartest Guy in the Room and Prettiest Presentation of Green Bean Casserole and focus — really focus — on learning something we didn’t know about someone who shares our holiday table. That’s as close as we can come to cheating death.…

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Today on Context Florida: Veterans & disability, lying pollsters and ex-offenders returning to the workforce

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Today on Context Florida: It’s Veterans Day Wednesday, and Tom O’Hara is more excited than usual. In researching this column, he learned that as a Vietnam veteran O’Hara might be eligible to collect VA disability benefits due to his diabetes – even though I’m sure a tedious year at Phu Cat Air Force Base has nothing to do with my blood-sugar levels today. It’s a great time to be a veteran, O’Hara says. Jac VerSteeg believes polling accuracy might be worse…

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