Today on Context Florida: U.S. Oligarchy, answers, Barneys and national security

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Today on Context Florida:

Marin Dyckman says there is disturbing new evidence that the U.S. is an oligarchy, which the dictionary defines as “government by the few…in which a small group exercises control.” We still have the trappings of democracy, such as freedom of speech and regular elections. But the value of the vote in those elections is being degraded by shrewd and cynical gerrymandering; blatant barriers to voting by the poor, the elderly and minorities; and the billions of special interest dollars that determine not only who wins office — and their conduct in office — but who are able to seek it.

Answering questions is as unspeakable to Rick Scott as eating pork is to someone who keeps kosher, writes Stephen Goldstein. The governor treats talking with the press and public as trayf (Yiddish for tainted food), as though he would be putting himself at risk for the political equivalent of trichinosis.

Rubble. Fife. The Dinosaur. Bishop. What these Barneys have in common, asks Ben Pollara, is that none of them live in reality. Barney Bishop’s most recent hyperventilation published on Context Florida about Amendment 2 — which would allow medical marijuana in Florida — both repeated some of his previous made-up contentions and introduced some new ones.

Without a doubt, the American people are war weary, says Thomas Rooney and President Barack Obama’s reluctance to commit troops to the fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is understandable. However, he has a duty to deliver a plan that will protect our national security. He has an obligation to rally public support for the worthy cause of defeating the Islamic State.

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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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.