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Daniel Ruth, Times Columnist

Daniel Ruth

Daniel Ruth has been scribbling away for four decades as a reporter, film critic, television critic and columnist for the Tampa Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Tampa Bay Times. He also has worked as a radio talk show host as well as an adjunct professor for the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and Columbia College in Chicago. Daniel is a Peter Lisagor Award recipient for his columns in Chicago and has been honored by the Pinellas County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union with the Irene Miller Vigilance In Journalism Award.

Email: druth@tampabay.com

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  1. Ruth: Tourism chief Corrada finally comes clean about spending — on him

    Columns

    Talk about a tempest in a sangria bowl!

    For weeks now, Visit Tampa Bay CEO Santiago Corrada has been acting as if financial documents related to his agency were more top-top-top secret than the nuclear codes. Why, to divulge the inner monetary workings of Visit Tampa Bay would result in a catastrophic crisis of proprietary information being handed over to competitors in the hospitality industry....

    Times Columnist Dan Ruth. {Times file]
  2. Ruth: The value of American freedoms

    Columns

    Over four decades of scribbling, lampooning political figures, offering snarky observations on the ineptitude of government and poking fun at the self-important, bloviating big shots of society, it never occurred to me that I had anything to fear for my ramblings. It is the United States after all, where free expression, free speech and a free press are treasured freedoms, liberties I all too blithely took for granted....

    Times Columnist Dan Ruth. {Times file]
  3. Ruth: All protesters want is for Sen. Marco Rubio to listen

    Columns

    This is such a fool's errand. All those lovely, naive people schlepping around in front of Sen. Marco Rubio's Tampa office, deluded in the charming notion that a public servant might actually have an interest in communing with his constituents.

    How sweet.

    What these very frustrated citizens need to know is that they will likely never get any face time with the Sammy Glick of Florida politics. Think of it this way. Rubio, R-Boo! is Joseph Heller's real-life incarnation of his Catch-22 Major Major of the U.S. Senate. You can only see him when he's not in the office....

    Rubio’s office in Tampa: locked doors, unanswered phone calls.
  4. Ruth: The truth about Trump's false claims

    Columns

    This is the inevitable result when you have a president who seems to get most of his news and information from his tip-top political adviser, Kellyanne Conway, the Stepford Wife of the West Wing.

    It was Conway who recently unleashed a full bigly against the journalism community for its rank incompetence in failing to cover the horrific "Bowling Green massacre," which claimed untold numbers of the aide-de-scamp's brain cells....

    Times Columnist Dan Ruth. {Times file]
  5. Ruth: Cursing emerges as official language of Hillsborough's fading PTC

    Columns

    Perhaps the best way to think of the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission is to liken the sludge-filled backwater agency to the ne'erdowell, out of work brother-in-law who moves into your house, drinks all your liquor, never flushes the loo, complains about the food and then insults your spouse at every opportunity.

    And that brings us to the PTC's embattled recent ex-executive director Kyle Cockream, who could write a textbook on how to turn a cushy $150,000-a-year job essentially requiring little more than a pulse to draw a paycheck into a self-inflicted maze of scandals, law enforcement investigations and seedy good ol' boy conspiracies....

    Times Columnist Dan Ruth. {Times file]
  6. Ruth: Allowing guns everywhere won't make Floridians safer

    Columns

    It was Mark Twain who famously — and accurately — ruminated that "no man's life or property are safe when the legislature is in session." You might want to add additional at-risk elements such as common sense, brain function, scruples, independence, work ethics, intellectual curiosity and public service.

    The Florida Legislature is preparing to begin its 2017 session next month, which is really another way of saying we're in for 60 days of pure Tallahassee stupid....

  7. Ruth: A failure at understanding grading system

    Columns

    Missed it by that much — a mere 55 years or so.

    And yes, by cracky, I'm about to have an old fogy moment.

    It seems the Pinellas County School District recently implemented an entirely revamped grading system to ensure that if you know the color of an orange you are pretty much guaranteed a Phi Beta Kappa key.

    According to the new rules, if a budding scholar receives between a 66 and 100 on U.S. history and/or U.S. history honors "common exams," that's good enough for a grade of A. Then the district really toughens up for subjects like biology, where students must score no worse than a 70 to capture that coveted A. Oh, the Hogwarts School intellectual rigor of it all. Do all these 66 percenters get a trophy and a piece of pizza too?...

  8. Ruth: Don't expect much from $6 billion in planned Tampa-area road work

    Columns

    By the time the $6 billion plan by the Florida Department of Transportation to add 90 miles of toll lanes to Interstates 75, 275 and 4 and expand a new Howard Frankland Bridge to eight free lanes, plus two express, pay-to-drive lanes, is completed, on this much we can probably all agree.

    We will all be such burnt, fried and scorched toast.

    Here's what we'll likely wind up with for $6 billion — even more flickering rear brake lights spread out across eight lanes, and counting. Such a deal....

    Expansion of Interstate 275, as well as I-4 and , could cost $6 billion and might offer little or no congestion relief. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  9. Ruth: Election won't mix well with turkey and dressing

    Columns

    No doubt Tuesday will be a very trying day for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

    But that's not the day that should be the most worrisome for many Americans.

    That's Thanksgiving, when millions of Republicans and Democrats sit around the family dinner together and pretend they like each other. This could get real ugly, real fast.

    There will be great gloating. And glowering. And can you please pass the dressing, you horrible, vile piece of carrion?...

  10. Ruth: Temple Terrace copes with bigotry

    Columns

    And a creep grows in Temple Terrace.

    Perhaps what this pathetic story tells us is that no race for office, no matter how modest, is free from the darker forces of human cruelty and stupidity raising their ugly heads — even in Temple Terrace, which has been properly regarded as a lovely, quiet bedroom community.

    That is until a boneheaded racist decided to intrude upon the city's local elections....

  11. Daniel Ruth: Drip, drip, drip goes St. Petersburg's sewer mess

    Columns

    When you get right down to it, the job description for the mayor of any city is pretty easily defined.

    There are three basic things the mayor has to do: A) maintain the roads and street lights, B) keep criminal mayhem to a minimum and C) when it rains make sure icky poo-poo water doesn't flood the city.

    Everything else — fancy museums, iconic piers, parades, ribbon cuttings, inspiring speeches and stadiums — are all very nice. But they begin to take on less importance if the citizenry finds itself scraping off …, well you know, from their shoes whenever it rains and the byways turn into the Ganges River. Too nuanced?...

  12. Ruth: So many scandals and only one vote

    Columns

    This is simply outrageous. That's it. I'm done with Hillary Clinton. Whatta crook.

    Crook? What did she do?

    Beats me, but Donald Trump, that titan of integrity, says all those emails on Huma Abedin's computer clearly prove dastardliness is afoot, so it must be true.

    Wow! What do they say?

    I have no idea, but like Trump says, it if it looks like a Hillary and talks like a Hillary, it must be an indictment-in-waiting. That's why I'm all-in for Donald J. Trump....

  13. District 18 Florida Senate candidate Young goes into hiding after smear campaign against opponent Buesing

    Columns

    Well, fellow Hillsboroughians, it is safe to say we have reached that moment in the campaign season otherwise known as "chintzy time" — when the innuendo and gutlessness among certain candidates has reached a full crescendo.

    And that brings us rather deftly to District 18 Republican Florida Senate candidate Dana Young, who has decided to go into full witness protection/Bermuda Triangle seclusion on the stump rather than find herself having to account for the ongoing, less than dignified unethical attacks on her Democratic opponent, Tampa lawyer Bob Buesing....

  14. Ruth: Avoiding the Twitter universe

    Columns

    For the past few months or so, I've been in recovery as a chronic smart aleck.

    It's been a personality disorder I've struggled with dating back to childhood, resulting in many hours in solitary confinement in the principal's office for making inopportune remarks in the general direction of humorless nuns.

    In this work of scribbling columns, occasionally irate readers respond with emails raising questions (you might want to take a breath here) regarding my patriotism, my sexuality, my ignorance, the legitimacy of my birth, my ties to the Marxist/Communist/Trotskyite/United Nations international conspiracy to rule the world (we're quite chummy), my hair, my athletic skills, my cowardice and my complete lack of ethics — all because I simply took note of Donald Trump as a flaming, boorish silly person....

  15. Daniel Ruth: Rays stadium in Oldsmar is not so off-the-wall

    Columns

    Might itty-bitty Oldsmar be the little town that could?

    Recently Mayor Doug Bevis floated the notion his fair hamlet just might be the prime location for a new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays to call home. And no doubt the idea likely created great guffaws and sneers from all manner of swells. How dare such a modest community of about 14,000 residents have the impertinence to include itself in the cross Tampa Bay competition to become the host of a Major League Baseball franchise?...