Real leaders cultivate hope, not fear.

September 16, 2020 Here’s my response, as published in today’s Florida Times Union, to Rep. Jason Fischer’s race-baiting, fearmongering editorial, to which I will not provide a link. Column: Fischer unfairly linked protesters with rioters In his Sunday guest column, Rep. Jason Fischer’s writes “Pandering to the woke will not protect you”—just the kind ofContinue reading “Real leaders cultivate hope, not fear.”

Nineteen years later, we still don’t know.

A reflection on what the autism community and the rest of humanity might have lost on that bright Tuesday morning. September 11, 2020 On that Florida blue-sky morning nineteen years ago, I was researching autism online when my mother-in-law called me with the unthinkable news. Switching websites, I saw the still photos of the smoking,Continue reading “Nineteen years later, we still don’t know.”

Florida: The Magical Thinking Kingdom

August 18, 2020 Most of us are familiar with the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. I’m here to write about the Mickey Mouse regime in Tallahassee. Late in July, the Florida Department of Education sent a letter to Duval County Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene denying the district’s request to suspend active shooter drills during the COVID-19Continue reading “Florida: The Magical Thinking Kingdom”

From Morning to Mourning in America

My “Dear John” Letter to Reaganism August 11, 2020 I almost lost a friend. In these contentious times—when protests, a global pandemic, and an economic depression have us all on edge—the last thing anyone needs is a Twitter blowout. I became guilty of something I charge my children with: over-relying on forms of communication thatContinue reading “From Morning to Mourning in America”

Florida’s Year of Magical Thinking

August 7, 2020 After her husband died, Joan Didion wrote a critically acclaimed book about her mourning experience entitled, The Year of Magical Thinking. The title refers to a characteristic practice of grievers: denial. Ms. Didion wrote, among other things, about her inability to give away her husband’s shoes; surely he would need them, sheContinue reading “Florida’s Year of Magical Thinking”

Slip Slidin’ Away

Tuesday, June 2, 2020 It seems important to write this down—this barely noticed, largely unquestioned power grab that occurred in our city Sunday evening. As local activist and state house candidate Ben Marcus says: “Totalitarianism rarely shows up overnight. It’s a slow drip that eventually drills a hole through basic human rights like speech andContinue reading “Slip Slidin’ Away”

Justice Cedes its Ground

May 18, 2020 I wish my father were still alive. I’d like to talk to him about Ahmaud Arbery’s killing. Dad was a homicide detective who taught me the value of due process of law. He also carried a concealed weapon every time he left the house. He’s not here to see the ugly intersectionContinue reading “Justice Cedes its Ground”

Ode to a Fallen Comrade

The death of yet one more print publication is a heartbreak grieved amid much larger, overarching tragedies. Folio Weekly, however—Jacksonville’s alternative weekly magazine—was more than just any publication. She was the written repository of progressive souls in an ostensibly conservative, Southern city.  To her progressive-minded readers, writers, and workers, the loss of Folio Weekly isContinue reading “Ode to a Fallen Comrade”

Hello, Again.

For those of you who have read my pieces in Folio Weekly, The Florida Times Union, Jacksonville Magazine, Florida Politics Online, or any other publication syndicating my work, I’ve missed you. More than ten years ago, Folio Weekly’s then-editor Anne Schindler gave me my first shot at professional free-lance journalism. A significant portion of myContinue reading “Hello, Again.”