Jim Stillman

Jim Stillman

Retired from Florida Department of Revenue after 25 years.and retired New York attorney. I am a liberal with regard to social responsibility and, likely, a Libertarian otherwise.
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Contributor since
9/9/2006

Education/Experience

AB (Boston University, 1956), LL.B. (Columbia University, 1959)

Motto

ALWAYS POSITIVE, SOMETIMES RIGHT !
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  • Mediterranean Cuisine Delights
    Fresh Bites in Tampa’s Westchase area serves humongous portions of delicious and healthy Lebanese dishes, with organic produce and all-natural beef, lamb and chicken.
  • First Person: At 78, I'm Not Ready to Call it Quits
    Working after retirement is always one option but one that suits me fine. Even without the welcome income, the mental stimulation is priceless. After 40 years of working, inactivity is not acceptable.
  • Twelve Thousand Days Under a Dome
    A geodesic dome home is ideal for the unconventional, young-spirited, sensible and frugal. Having enjoyed our Florida Dome for over 30 years, we are continuing to find more benefits and excitement.
  • Politics: Not for Wimps
    Joseph Cummings’ fascinating and entertaining book, “Anything for a Vote" is a wonderful romp through the American electoral experience and demonstrates that sleaze is the norm and not the exception
  • Happy 100th Anniversary, IRS
    Ah, the Ides of (now) April and the tax man cometh. When you file your return, be sure and wish him a happy birthday.
  • Stefano's is a Welcome Treat
    Stefano’s restaurant in Temple Terrace, Florida, provides extraordinary Greek and Italian dishes all at a very reasonable cost. The mousaka, seafood pescatore and salads are outstanding.
  • A Night to Remember
    Over 50 years ago, we had a memorable dinner at a now-closed French restaurant in New York. The tastes remain vivid as do the memory of the circumstances that brought a young lawyer to Le Café Chambord, a monument to extravagance.
  • The Immutable, Enduring and Indestructible Wafer
    From a digestive aid to a candy, the NECCO wafer has had a long history. Carried by soldiers and going to the North Pole, these indestructible candies are a part of our culture.
  • OBFUSCATION
    The purpose of language is to communicate to others but there are times when the speaker intentionally chooses not to communicate but to hide, to escape consequences or embarrassment.
  • Sloppy Use of Words, Man, Is, Like, Totally Wrong!
    How one speaks is different from what is spoken. Some common phases grate on the ear and add nothing to the message and distract attention from the main point.
  • A Florida Archaic Law Has Unforeseen Consequences
    Two Florida statues prohibiting cohabitation by unmarried couples have unexpected consequences, including increased taxation, limits on child custody and employment.
  • A Fortuitous Windfall Can Ease Retirement
    There are many good people in the world, some of whom want nothing more than helping out. Alas, there are crooks out there.
  • HO, HO, HO. Conflict and Disappointment at Work
    During the holiday season and throughout the year, questions arise over making an employee work on a holiday and what effects do such work have on salary, overtime or other accommodations.
  • “Will You Be My POSSLQ?”
    More and more couples are deciding to live together prior to or as a substitute to marriage. Many of the conventional wisdom arguments against cohabitation can be countered by mature planning.
  • How to Send Sensitive Files Over the Internet
    Sending files in an absolutely secure environment is of the greatest concern to many businesses and professions; medical files and mortgage applications and even school records must be kept safe. There is a free way to accomplish this.
  • Hot Rod's BBQ is an Experience to Be Enjoyed
    From the outside Hot Rod's looks like an old general store. Inside is a combination of southern attic and a hoarder's storage shed. But the food is a treat.
  • A Loan Where the Borrower Gets a Monthly Check
    A “Reverse Mortgage” loan may be an ideal way for seniors to use their home equity to improve their lifestyle. The loan under some circumstances, need not be repaid. There are some hazards in obtaining the loan that should not be overlooked.
  • First Person: President Obama's Re-Election is Vital for Seniors
    This election is of particular concern to seniors. Governor Romney and the far right fringe, whose viewpoint he has adopted, would destroy Medicare. Our children and grandchildren have other concerns that are not met by the Republicans.
  • GOP Years for the Good Old Days..
    Florida's Governor Scott and GOP legislature have again rejected Federal funding for essential services; hatred of President Obama and political dogma and slogans are more important than our children.
  • True Courage
    John F. Kennedy won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1955 book about eight U. S. Senators who exhibited political courage. True courage is an individual or group ignoring limitations expected by others.
  • Guns Available to Children: Don't Ask, Don't Tell
    Just when I become convinced that the Florida Legislature could not act even more stupid, dangerous and venal, willing if not anxious to sell its soul to some powerful and affluent lobby, it proves me hopelessly na¯ve. They can and have.
  • Direct to Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals
    Only the United States and New Zealand permit pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to consumers. These advertisements are harmful to patient and doctor and a burden on taxpayers.
  • Florida Voters: Mark Calendars: November 4, 2014
    There are many reasons why polls show Governor Scott to be unpopular, with an approval rate at 29% and a disapproval rate of 57%. Social media sites promote Recall, a remedy not available in Florida. There is one way to rid ourselves of this disaster.
  • An Award Winning Chef and Restaurant
    A weekly changing menu, locally grown produce and innovative dishes explain this Tampa restaurant's awards and reputation.
  • The Essence of Liberalism
    The other day, my 15 year old grandson announced that he is a Republican. I accept that, as long as he understands the priniciples of liberalism, too. It's hard work to go beyond bumper stickers and slogans.
  • Birthers and the End of the World
    Many sincerely and fervently believed the world would end on May 21st, and acted accordingly. The faced the same dilemma as Birthers. Each group has resolved the conflict in the same way.
  • The Two Sides of Tort Reform (II)
    Although suits for damages allocate loss, encourage optimal behavior and punish intentional or reckless lack of care, abuses are a drain on society and the economy. We are a very litigious country!
  • The Two Sides of Tort Reform (I)
    Despite abuses, and there are some, suits for damages allocate loss and encourage optimal behavior and punish intentional or reckless lack of care.
  • Untrue Things that Many "know"
    Belief in legends and false ""facts" is used to manipulate voters to act contrary to their own interests. It's not easy to be informed; it takes work.
  • Another Reason for Outrage
    Oil companies enjoy record profits and we are paying $4 per gallon driving to find any employment. Why are we accepting this?
  • Where is the Outrage?
    At a time when unemployment is rampant and companies are shedding rank and file employees, the CEOs of the companies who have laid off the most employees have been rewarded with millions in bonuses and overall compnsation.
  • Why the Public Union Protests
    Republican attempts to weaken public sector collectively has nothing to do with fiscal policy, has nothing to do with employee benefits and has nothing to do with state budget shortfalls! It has everything to do with the 2012 election.
  • The Right Needs to Defend the First Amendment, Too
    Financial chaos in the states and local governments has given some GOP politicians an excuse to cynically promote policies that would hurt ordinary people while rewarding those who are responsible for the crisis.
  • The Living Constitution
    The Right condemns the Affordable Care Act; similar proposals have been drafted by past Republicans. They and activist judges claim the Constitution was written to protect states from a strong national government. They are wrong.
  • Repeal of the Health Care Law Would Be Foolhardy
    The Republican efforts to repeal the new health care reform legislation is irresponsible. Which benefits now enjoyed by Americans would they eliminate?
  • Get the Old "protest" Signs from the Attic
    In the 60's, people successfully mobilized to protest the war in Vietnam. It's time to do it again.
  • Wiki-leaks, Facebook and Friends
    Recent embarrassments that threaten our foreign policy caused by American diplomats are related to confusion about the nature of friendship and an uncontrollable urge to talk. Sometimes, we all need to shut up.
  • Sometimes a Person Needs a Second Chance
    Conviction of a certain crimes, especially by the young, need not ruin a person's life forever. In many cases, the law provides a way to start afresh.
  • Cock-a-doodle -- .Oh, Shut Up!
    Our neighborhood is invaded by noisy, dirty roosters. They utter their raucous cry, day and night, disturbing the peace, preventing sleep.
  • A Trip with "the Boss Man"
    The Man" is a very attractive, sharp young couple building a franchised business and are the sort of people that both parties agree to be the source of jobs as the business grows. They are recipients of bad information.
  • Anyone Ready to Govern? or Will There Be Perpetual Campaigning?
    Skip the slogans and vague silliness. They are not helpful; worse they are inconsistent with true governing. It's time for Republicans to announce what specific programs are to be cut or disband.
  • Guns, Politics and Irresponsiblity Are a Dangerous Mix
    The Second Amendment does not authorize guns to influence election debate. The GOP/Tea Party disagrees.
  • Perhaps BP is Not to "blame" in the Gulf Disaster
    BP acted in its corporate interests and we, through our representatives, allowed the damage. The remedy is a revised view of governmental responsibility and activism.
  • Tea Party Goers Have Our Attention
    Many of those in the Tea Party movement are simply against something but have no idea of what should be done by those they elect to office.
  • Has the GOP Learned Anything?
    The stubborn insistence by the Republican leadership will result in a backlash among voters and among its corporate financial contributors.
  • A Better Guide to the President's Demeanor?
    Being the first (black, Catholic, Jew -- pick your category) entails responsibilities to many, or there may not be a second.
  • The Political Courage of President Obama
    In steadfastly continuing to seek health care reform, in the face of GOP-induced public confusion or even opposition, the President is following the traditions of past presidents and the Founding Fathers.
  • Barack Obama and the Pharoah's Lean Years
    The President and his Party have the misfortune to rise to power at a most difficult time. He, and they, cannot falter or hesitate.
  • Wherein I Acknowledge the Errors of My Ways
    Perhaps the Federal government is over-reaching and dangerous, maybe we should all be armed, maybe the Right has been correct all along.
  • When and Why the Legislative System Fails
    If America fails to get comprehensive health care reform, it will be due in large part to the political and financial power of the insurance industry and the weakness of Joe Lieberman.
  • The Torch is Passed. .
    Thanksgiving has passed and I remain satiated from the food and love devoured yesterday; but are the attendant duties best past to the children?
  • Honey's Classic Sandwich
    Most regional foods do not travel well. Southern fried green tomatoes are not common in the north. A notable except6ion is Honey's beef on weck sandwich, sloppy, messy and unbelievably tasty,
  • A Choice Between Two Incompatible Necessary Rights
    We have been detaining non-terrorists, not-enemy combatants, non-threats to the United States or our allies for seven years. The U.S. Supreme Court, next year, will decide which principle of law will prevail; meanwhile the captivity continues.
  • Right's Danger of Self-destruction
    While many Tea Party protesters may have understandable and rational fears and concerns, the protest movement is being captured and marginalized.
  • Highway Stimulus Signs Cost Too Much
    While some objections to the highway stimulus signs are partisan, many believe that they are simply too expensive.
  • Take a Conservative to Lunch
    The heroes and spokesmen of the far Right have, in their desperation to find fault with Barack Obama, "jumped the shark"; they have demonstrated to all that they are buffoons at best and racist at worst.
  • Discussions with the Far Right is Impossible
    The fringe GOP bas lives in a parallel universe. Its power comes from distracting the rest of the American people from acting in our own best interests.
  • David Letterman Got it Right, and Unbelievably Wrong
    Dave Letterman's up-front admission of one or more affairs with subordinates was the correct move. The affairs were incredibly stupid!
  • Breakfast the Way it Should Be
    The Riviera restaurant in the Carrollwood area of Tampa serves abundant and extravagant breakfasts and is definitely worth a visit. Be warned however, best be hungry!
  • Hoax or Reality: Letter to the Newpaper Stirs Comment and Concern
    An email purportedly from a Florida high school student is either a hoax or a condemnation of an inadequate and shameful school system.
  • Is the Federal Government a Tax Dependent?
    Maybe we could collectively claim the Federal government as a tax dependent and . . . A bit of whimsy brought on by study.
  • Czars in the 21st Century
    The newest accusation against the president is that he is appointing "czars" to rule us. Sounds scary and foreign and that's the purpose.
  • Debit or Credit Card? Mistakes Will Cost Dearly
    Banks look upon allowed overcharges as a major revenue stream. Their practices are predatory and unjust.
  • Democrats Risk Loss of Soul
    President Obama and Congressional Democrats, by not demanding reforms that Americans want and need, risk their souls and mandate.
  • We Are, Each and Every One, "socialists"
    Those who decry it don't realize those "socialist" principles that we enjoy and wouldn't surrender. The real issues are too complex to be put on a sign!
  • Proposal to Ban All Abortions in Florida
    A proposed Constitutional amendment would bar birth control pills, IUD's and all abortions,with no exceptions for health or even life of the pregnant woman, rape, incest, fetal abnormality or viability, or any other reason.
  • President Obama Cannot Satisfy Some on the Right
    Some have a hatred so virulent any action by the president cannot be acceptable. If he were to walk on water, that would show a flaw: the inability to swim.
  • The President's Health Care Address and the GOP Reaction
    Last Wednesday, President Obama, Socialist-Fascist-Kenyan-tool of Marxists everywhere, addressed Congress and the nation on health care reform. The GOP responded with boorish and revolting behavior.
  • Afghanistan and Iraq and Terrorists- Déjà Vu, All Over Again? (Part I)
    Why we have to leave Iraq and Afghanistan to its own devices, allowing us to better combat terrorism and meet our needs at home.
  • Afghanistan and Iraq and Terrorists- Déjà Vu, All Over Again? (Part II)
    Second part of an essay urging the withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan and Iraq and Terrorists- Déjà Vu, All Over Again? (Part III)
    The United States needs to extricate itself from Iraq and Afghanistan, now, and address its own basic interests.
  • Objections to President Obama's Talk to Students
    The hysterical reaction to President Obama's telling children about the value of study, dedication and hard work shows a need for mental health care expansion.
  • Americans Choose to Fear and Hate
    Respect and compassion give way to blind irrational hate toward our fellow citizens. A plea to recover the values we once held dear.
  • New Jersey Wiener Wars
    Two fierce competitors vie for the honor of best hot dog on the New Jersey shore and, perhaps, in the world.
  • Sometimes the Law Isn't "an Ass" -Concluded
    The story of Troy Davis, Georgia death row inmate, who may be innocent and may, just may, be vindicated before he is executed.
  • President Obama Has Kept His Promises
    The president campaigned and won on a platform of change, progressive ideas and hope. In return, the opposition has slipped into irrationality choosing fantasy over reality.
  • Sometimes the Law Isn't "an Ass"
    The U.S. Supreme Court has given a death row inmate an opportunity to establish total innocence. Two Justices would prefer to expedite the execution of the wrong person.
  • Best Food at Tampa Airport
    There are many choices for the hungry and thirsty traveler at Tampa International Airport, ranging from the most casual to the most elegant venues.
  • President Obama's New Aggressiveness Welcomed
    The president's failure to specify details of health care reform has created anxiety, rumors and threatens the hope for reform. He appears to understand that, now.
  • Cooperation Will Not Come from the Rabid Right
    President Obama insists on reaching out to Republicans for a bi-partisan solution of health-care crises. It's not going to happen,
  • Racism, Bullies and the Denial of Free Speech
    We shouldn't question the ability of the right and their spokespersons to combine racism, bully tactics and outright lies to prevent any rational discussion on the merits.of the president's program.
  • Another View of the Gates-Crowley Matter
    Far too much has been written about the confrontation between Harvard's Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police. In all of the discussion, an important Constitutional issue is being totally ignored.
  • Birthers: Another Manifestation of the Manipulation of the Right
    Spokesmen of the Rabid Right have created controversies out of whole cloth in order to energize the GOP base or to increase ratings and income for themselves.
  • Summer Reading: No Politics, Lessons or Studying - Just Read for Fun
    Suggestions for summer escapist reading: Books to be read on the beach, gin and tonic in hand.
  • More Reasons to Investigate Mr. Cheney
    Mr. Chaney's attempts to have the military assume domestic police duties were part of a pattern to deprive American citizens of their civil liberties. He simply didn't care.
  • Seasonal Employees and Unemployment Compensation Benefits
    There is a class of employees that may be unaware of unemployment compensation benefits to which they may be entitled; at the least, it is to be explored.
  • My Problem with Barack Obama
    The President has a mandate to be creative and innovative. He must push his agenda regardless of GOP inclinations.
  • Tea Parties in Wonderland
    The modern Tea Party falls far short of the patriots who tossed the tea into Boston harbor. At least the 18th century group knew what they wanted.
  • The Bush-Chaney Administration Must Be Held Accountable for Its Actions
    Over the eight years of Bush-Chaney, the United States surrendered its moral superiority, trashed Constitutional rights of its citizens, violated statutes and treaties and, then, lied to the people and their representatives.
  • Closing Public Schools on Religious Holidays
    Muslims request school closings on two holy days a year. New York City and Hillsborough County, Florida, react differently.
  • Marketing of Drugs to the Public
    Advertising prescription drugs directly to consumers has the potential of harm and increases the cost of medicine. Any positive gains are greatly outweighed by the potential harm.
  • An Exchange of Views Between S.L. Bradish and Me
    An attempt to debate, in a civil manner. It was only partially successful!
  • Continuing the Debate on Abortion
    This is an exchange of ideas and viewpoints between S. L. Bradih and me.
  • An Exchange of Views - Conclusion
    A former writer on AC and an active engage in a (sort of) civil exchange of opinions.
  • Familiarity with a Restaurant Increases Respect
    Tex-Mex restaurant has charm, fun and fresh good food, all at a reasonable price.
  • An Old Man's Addiction
    There's something about Nintendo's Wii Bowling that has me hooked.
  • The Glory of the Hamburger
    The is an ode, a measure of appreciation for the joy that hamburgers have brought to my life.
  • GOP Stands for the Grand Obstructionist Party
    Republicans have made the cynical choice to avoid making any specific alternatives to the President's proposal.
  • Fried Chicken - Comfort Food, Indeed!
    Visits to three local fried chicken shops, with an open mind and a empty belly. At the end, mind is hazy and belly is stuffed!
  • The Brunchery: Fantastic Brunch in Tampa
    The Brunchery turns breakfast into a treat, serving up omelets, quiches and crepes in an infinite number of delicious variations.
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