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Opinion

  • A recent guesstimate of the number of civilian employees working for the federal government is around 2.6 million.      It’s not unreasonable to assume more than two and a half million employees should be able to keep track of how trillions of federal dollars are being spent.

  • Now that the “trial of the century” (another one) is over, we can look back and see how the verdict evolved. From my view, this was a botched prosecution from the start.

    Consider how it began, with numerous witnesses who were friends and acquaintances of Casey Anthony and workers from nightclubs, including “shot girls.”

  • There are a lot of people who like to go to the movies. We can see the advantage of having a theater downtown in Ocala, where people can participate in the activities on and around the square and take in a show.

    The Marion Theater has a group that is trying to revitalize it, and they’re working hard to get it done.

  • Downtown was a mess last Friday afternoon. There was a big “Cars 2” event planned for Magnolia Avenue, in front of the Marion Theater, starting at 4 p.m.

    About 3:45, a monsoon hit the area. Trees bent, winds howled, rain pelted down, for a good half hour. I sat in my car about a block away from the activities and waited for the storm to pass.

  • Does it matter that Representative Anthony Weiner resigned his Congressional seat? Not really. The frequency of Washington sex scandals tells us the voters of 9th District of New York should be able to find another politician just like Weiner, dedicated to their needs, while secretly pandering to his eccentric behaviors – until he gets caught.

  • The Florida House and Senate redistricting committees on Monday begin hosting the first round of joint public meetings. The Florida Legislature redraws state and congressional districts every 10 years following the publication of the U.S. Census.

    Members of the public will have several opportunities to make their vision for redistricting known to committee members.

  • This seems to come up every year, and, frankly, I don’t understand why it is such a problem. When you leave your car in your driveway or carport overnight, make sure you lock the car.

  • “Job” has many definitions – work, occupation, profession, employment, and others. When a headline reads “Obama says he will focus on job creation,” we know we’re being jobbed.

  • Many people, including those who cover politics for a living, feel that some politicians must go to political school and take a course called “avoiding the question.”

    Last week, as he spoke to the State Road 200 Coalition, State Sen. Charlie Dean from Citrus County showed that he was very adept at that part of being an elected official.

  • Time sure flies when you’re having fun. I didn’t realize the calendar had changed to another year so quickly.

    Monday night in between innings of the Mets game, I went around the dials to get the latest news and landed on CNN. There, for everyone to see, were several Republican candidates for president.

    Never mind that the election is still 17 months away. There they were, universally criticizing President Obama and emphasizing how good they were going to be as president. It was billed as a debate, but the few minutes I saw were nothing close to that.

  • Our view of the recently passed Florida voting law is influenced by the patriotic example of my foreign-born grandparents. They worked hard and waited patiently to become U.S. citizens. Thereafter they never missed an opportunity to exercise their privilege and obligation to vote.

    They were working class people without high school educations. They never owned a home, an automobile, or a television. They died broke and left only their good character.

  • This Sunday is the annual celebration of Father’s Day, the third Sunday in June, in which we honor dads with their special day.

    Father’s Day was slow to catch on, although it was first celebrated in the early 1900s to honor the fathers who died in a mining disaster in West Virginia.

    It was informally kicked around but gained momentum and national observances during the next 50 years or so.

  • The weather around the country is getting crazier, or so it seems. After a wild winter, the spring has turned violent, and now other things are happening.

    My cousin in St. Louis felt an earthquake Tuesday morning, which also happened to be her birthday.

    Now when I think of St. Louis, an area I am very familiar with from my childhood visits to my grandparents and aunt and uncle, I think of two weather items … hot and cold.

  • A recent column in USA Today was titled “Don’t believe the hype about our national debt.” They gist of the article was that Washington spends too little, not too much.

    The author of the hype alert was Sally Kohn, founder of Movement Vision Lab, a think tank dedicated to making the world safe for radical ideas - as if it weren’t already. Ms. Kohn appears on many TV and radio talk shows.

  • Next Tuesday, which coincidentally happens to be Flag Day, the next Ocala Honor Flight will take place.

    World War II veterans will be flown, free to them, to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II Memorial and other attractions.

    It’s a great program to honor World War II veterans from around the country. It has taken hold here with a number of vets taking advantage of the trip.

  • This is a yearly column, updated with latest information.

    This is a big month for many young people in Marion County, as they leave high school and move on to the next phase of their lives.

    Graduation ceremonies are scheduled or have already been held for local high schools, a landmark day for a few hundred young adults who are ready to venture out into the world.

  • Ever wonder what two million federal employees do with their work time? Thousands of them are writing rules and regulations intended to promote our general welfare, as suggested in the Constitution. Their work output is so voluminous it’s often referred to in pounds rather than pages.

    Federal rules and regulation writers are very thorough, as if they’re being paid by the word. For instance, as to food packaging they specify the height and width of the letters on various kinds of containers.

  • It seems that the longer the economy struggles, the more the scammers go to work.

    A gentleman named Bob Murphy came into our office the other day and followed up with this letter.

    “We received a phone call yesterday from a blocked phone, with a man stating something about us winning a so-called lottery and/or $35,000 cash.

    “I immediately questioned this since we had not entered any contests of this nature. He mentioned Publishing Clearing House and Reader's Digest and if we shopped at Walmart.

  • The oversized post card came in the mail a few weeks ago with those two dreaded words on the outside: “Jury summons.”

    I was summoned for May 23, this past Monday, at 8 a.m. at the Marion County Justice Center. There was a whole list of items that I could use to get out of serving, but none of them applied to me. I really didn’t mind, so I got up Monday morning, actually later than usual, and went downtown.

  • Political discourse gets confusing when liberal left-wing loonies refer to themselves as progressives and rigid right-wing radicals masquerade as conservatives.

    A recent article in the SF Weekly illustrates the confusion: “San Francisco’s progressive Board of Supervisors is now more moderate.” Progressive? Moderate? San Francisco is the do-goody home town of liberal looniness. Lately they’re considering cell phone radiation rules, and they’ve decided it’s OK to be naked but not drunk in the Bay to Breakers annual run.