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Today on Context Florida: Public services, Alan Grayson & MSNBC and flakka

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Today on Context Florida:

We expect state government to provide public goods and services, says Dale Brill. Elected officials bear the burden of deciding which services are offered and setting the tax rates and fees necessary to fund them. A look at Florida’s fragile revenue structure demonstrates the state will struggle to sustain the quality and scope of its current offerings. As the old business saying goes, “You can have your services good, fast or cheap. Pick any two.”

Peter Schorsch says the problem with both Fox News and MSNBC is that they provide an ongoing – and false – sense of security to partisans. Guests, especially those in line with the partisan philosophy of the station or host, get to swing at easy pitches and, to mix my sports metaphors, it’s like they are always on the court facing the Washington Generals. Is that what we are now seeing from MSNBC darling, Alan Grayson?

According Jac Wilder VerSteeg, the tough question facing Florida – and particularly South Florida – is: How can we combat flakka? But first, a more basic question: Why should Florida bother to combat flakka? To protect society and out of compassion for the drug’s abusers. And, unlike alcohol, there is no safe way to use it. In that sense, it is more similar to tobacco. Florida’s experience with tobacco probably points to the most effective counter measure to flakka: public opinion.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

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.

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