From the publisher… A rant… Sorry, not sorry

by Joe Courter

Like many of you I am not feeling so sunny about the state of politics in the world. We see the growing power of authoritarian leaders, using the combined power of repression, corrupted electoral processes, and false narratives enabled by social media and/or corporate money. 

There are wars and conflicts supplied by weapons industries which have bottomless access to funds, a blank check, when other funds to help the poor and needy are denied. Where have the ideals of diplomacy and cooperation gone? Where has the leadership of outside nations gone – to step in and facilitate negotiations, to help oversee elections, create cease-fires? Wouldn’t that be cheaper and better? 

The ideals of the UN and its brilliant Declaration of Human Rights seem to be shelved. As Spock might say… “Illogical.” Here we are, climate change staring us in the face, a world refugee crisis right here and now, and the astounding potential of the internet being perverted into a tool for propaganda and a means to gain or retain power by those who do not value truth, or even more crassly, just to make gobs of money and create ego-tripping projects.    

Here our state of Florida has been very intentionally taken control of by the Republican Party through gerrymandering, and exploiting the incompetent state Democratic party. We can hardly begin to address the horrors this super majority Republican legislature is ramming through. As it looks now, there is no stopping them. We are numb in the face of it all. For now…

There are many fighting back in Gainesville. Organizations like the Alachua County Labor Coalition working on a number of fronts, there are food justice and environmental education efforts, people fighting off the Tallahassee power grab of our utility company, GRU. There’s direct aid to the poor and disadvantaged. People defending immigrant rights, and even old oak trees!

What’s going on here is laudable, and thank you to all who step up, but dammit, we humans are making a worldwide mess! 

A decade of Publisher’s Notes: April 2012–March 2023

In 2012, Iguana editors Jessica Newman, Beth Grobman, and I sat down outside Boca Fiesta to plan the future of the Iguana

Both Jess and Beth were leaving town, but we thought we could continue with them working remotely. They said they could continue as editors, but suggested my title should be listed as publisher, and I should write a Publisher’s Note every issue. 

That began with the April 2012 edition. And that is how we have proceeded.

It has been 10 years’ worth of Iguanas since then, and we are putting out a collection of all those columns, paired with an article from each issue, a sort of time travel from mid-Obama, the 2016 campaigns and election, Trump, the 2020 election, Covid, and everything in between.  

Would you be interested in getting one? You want to reserve one? Think it’s a good idea? Over 80 pages, with a base price of $12 to cover printing costs. 

It has been a pleasure and honor to write them. Your feedback will tell us how many to print. Send your response to

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