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Today on Context Florida: Six degrees, Jeb Bush, Alberto Iber and community college & STEM

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Today on Context Florida:

Gary Stein notes that for years, people have been playing games like “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” to prove the fact that anything is eventually connected to everything. The budget process in Tallahassee is like a game, too. In fact, it is like several games rolled into one. It is one part poker, one part fencing, one part chess and one part big sliding puzzle.

Martin Dyckman says to hear Jeb Bush talk about Social Security is not simply to wonder whether he ever did a hard day’s work in his life, but also to doubt whether he cares that there are millions of people who must.

“He did nothing wrong. He was afraid for his life. I commend him for his actions.” Those words, posted words online on a Miami Herald comment page, were essentially Miami high school Principal Alberto Iber’s resignation letter. He was defending the actions last week of the white cop in McKinney, Texas, who drew his pistol on black kids at a pool party gone wild and then wrestled a 15-year-old bikini-clad black girl to the ground and knelt on her. Jac Wilder VerSteeg says Iber has proven himself inept at social media technology and out of step with mainstream America’s opinion on the Texas outrage. Neither of those should be a firing offense. He didn’t deserve to be demoted.

Teresa Barber calls for leaders need to stop snickering about community college and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills and get serious. STEM must be championed beyond the single corporate investment and philanthropic program, she says, and into systemic reforms across our districts and systems.

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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