Today on Context Florida: Black disadvantage, no football, Florida punishment and Jeb Bush

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Today on Context Florida:

When it comes to health disparities, the burden is obvious, says Vanessa Lopez-Littleton, as a myriad of social and individual risk factors combine to form a disadvantage for blacks. Blacks in the United States have a greater risk of illness, injury, disease and death than other racial and ethnic groups. Black infants born in the United States are more than twice as likely to die before reaching the age of 1 than infants in other racial and ethnic groups.

It is not always easy saying no to her kids, writes Catherine Durkin Robinson, but that is exactly what she told her son when he wanted to play football. He has too many gifts that would be jeopardized by a blow to the head. “I can’t allow this,” she said. “You are ultimately just too important to risk losing.”

It is time for Florida to look at crime and punishment from a different angle, writes Dan McCarthy, former director of the TaxWatch Center for Smart Justice. Incarcerate those who are dangerous and commit violent offenses, but let us rethink prison sentences for the least severe third degree felonies in Florida law.

Even before the official tally of all just-cast votes, Stephen Goldstein notes that pundits are predicting who will run for president — among them, Jeb Bush, of course. But, since Americans have the historical perspective of fruit flies, it’s time to take a walk down memory lane and remind ourselves that where there’s a Bush, there’s a debacle — too often with Florida at the center of it and the rest of the nation wondering what’s wrong with us.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.