Today on Context Florida: Education money, Jeb Bush, grand juries and sugar taxes

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Today on Context Florida:

Martin Dyckman reports on a dodgy for-profit Florida trade college, where strippers were listed as “admissions representatives” hired to recruit students. Eventually, the FBI put it out of business. Wherever the government puts sacks of money on the table — as in defense, Medicare, and now education — it will attract people looking for easy plunder.

Are you up for more war – a really, really lot of it? It is A-OK by Jeb Bush, says Stephen Goldstein. As early as June 1997, Jeb Bush signed “The Statement of Principles” of the Project for the New American Century. The goal of the Project was “to promote American global leadership” (aka world domination) through a Ronald Reagan-inspired military supremacy and manifest destiny on steroids spiked with “American exceptionalism.”

Recent grand jury cases examining the deaths of African-Americans Michael Brown and Eric Garner exonerated the police officers who killed them, and resulted in civil rights leaders alleging ingrained racism in our criminal justice system. Steve Kurlander points out that the discussion should focus on how these two cases demonstrate that our nation’s grand jury system fails to satisfy the central concern for fairness and rationality, particularly when police officers are involved.

Peter Ubel and Avni Shah say evidence suggests that while calorie information requirements are too hands-off to affect behavior, and courts conclude that soda bans are too hands-on to be legal, anti-obesity experts are pushing for a more moderate policy intervention. Therefore, fat and sugar taxes may soon be coming to your local restaurant.

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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.