Today on Context Florida: Gwen Graham, Jeb Bush, Florida coastline and the impossibility of peace

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Today on Context Florida:

Gwen Graham, who took a victory lap in the Panhandle this past week, could serve as a blueprint if the Democratic Party wants to grow into a functioning opposition party. James Call says Florida needs a functioning opposition party. A small-government pro-capital conglomerate has governed the state for nearly two decades.

If Jeb Bush runs for president, Martin Dyckman says that one of his signature issues, education, will get him hammered from both sides. The Republican Party’s tea bag wing is unforgiving – so far – over his embrace of the Common Core standards even though the federal government has had almost nothing to do with them.

The health of Florida’s environment and economy is inextricably linked to the health and well-being of our coastline, says Mark Ferrulo. Those that would reap financial profit from exploiting Florida’s coastline and marine waters claim that offshore drilling is a safe, clean process that causes no harm to the environment. This is a fallacy, and one only needs to look at recent news for proof.

This weekend David Swanson participated in an interesting exercise. A group of activists staged a debate in which some of us argued that peace and environmental and economic justice are possible, while another group argued against us. The latter group professed to not believe its own statements, to be dirtying itself with bad arguments for the sake of the exercise – in order to help us refine our arguments. But the case they made for the impossibility of peace or justice was one I hear often from people who at least partially believe it.

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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.