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Informed Personalities from Across the State, Across the Spectrum
Tom O'Hara's picture
In July Tom returned to the United States after working in the United Arab Emirates for two years. He worked at a government-owned English-language newspaper there and learned a great deal the Arab and Muslim worlds. He now lives in West Virginia and works part-time editing for Florida Voices and selling lift tickets at Snowshoe Ski Resort, where he is honing his snowboarding skills.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 — Tom O'Hara

MEMORANDUM

FROM: A newspaper dinosaur

TO: Florida citizens

The traditional newspaper is dying. Large cities – New Orleans, Syracuse, Harrisburg – no longer have papers delivered to...

Monday, September 24, 2012 — Tom O'Hara

Let me save you some time and emotional wear and tear: Barack Obama is going to be re-elected and the world is not going to end.

I want to let all you Floridians know early so you can turn off the TV and get outside and golf and garden now that the temperature is starting to drop.

Like me, you retirees have...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 — Tom O'Hara

Apparently America has been taken by surprise by the anger in the Muslim World sparked by a 14-minute video that mocks the Prophet Mohammed.

Since riots erupted last week in Egypt and Libya, TV broadcasters have been rounding up Middle East experts and asking them why would those Libyans and Egyptians treat the U.S. so badly.

...

Friday, September 14, 2012 — Tom O'Hara

MEMORANDUM

TO: Lance Armstrong, testicular cancer survivor

FROM: Tom O’Hara, testicular cancer survivor

RE: Your annoying behavior

...

Sunday, September 09, 2012 — Tom O'Hara

I considered watching Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention last Wednesday night, but Tony Romo and Tomas Berdych wouldn't let me.

As you know, the NFL season started last week with the Cowboys-Giants game. And the U.S. Open tennis tournament was down to the quarterfinals. I thought I could operate the TV remote skillfully enough to watch most of the Big Dawg's speech, but...

Thursday, September 06, 2012 — Tom O'Hara

Chin up, America.

I know election season is always depressing. Too much CNN, too much Fox News, too much MSNBC.

Charges and counter-charges. Gaffes and lies. Complex issues boiled down to simplistic talking points. And, of course, a U.S. Senate candidate talking about “legitimate rape.”...

Thursday, August 16, 2012 — Tom O'Hara

I read in the New York Times recently that the U.S. is facing a terrible shortage of doctors, partly because people like me are getting old and sick.

"We end up spending about a third of our overall health care resources in the last year of life," Dr. Jonathan Bergman of the University of California in Los Angeles told Reuters news service in 2010.

...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012 — Tom O'Hara

Kudos to Rep. Larry Metz for this gem on his 2012 financial disclosure form under the gifts category: “My neighbor mowed my grass.” Estimated value: $200.
 
The executive director of Integrity Florida praised the Republican from Lake County last week for disclosing that kind of detail.
 
But Dan Krassner’s government watchdog group says that kind of candor is rare among state officials, partly because Florida requires so little...

Thursday, July 19, 2012 — Tom O'Hara

I recently returned home to the United States after working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for two years. When I headed to the Middle East, I thought I would be seeing lots of camels and struggling to find some booze.

Instead, I often felt like I was in Florida. First, it’s hot and has lots of beaches. I played more golf in Abu Dhabi, where I lived, than I ever played in the U.S. Even though it’s a...

Monday, July 09, 2012 — Tom O'Hara

Unlike Florida, the United Arab Emirates is not trying to lure old people to massive condo communities with security gates and huge clubhouses. In fact, the Emiratis have thrown me out of the country because I turn 65 on July 15.

I wasn’t upset by the decision. In fact, my employer, The National newspaper, gives retirees a nice financial bonus not given to people who just resign. Besides, I’m excited...