Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rick Scott - Florida Nightmare

Rick Scott is Florida's Nightmare

Be sure to vote for Charlie Crist on Nov. 4!

[Our thanks to Ybor City Stogie for this poster]

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hamas vs. Israel - a Guest Post by John Poris

Gaza City - "Concentration Camp?"
So, You're Against Israel's "War of Aggression" Against Hamas
SInce 2007, Hamas and its proxies have fired over 12,000 (now more than 13,000) rockets and mortars into Israel.  Israel carried out precision bombing and shelling of command centers, weapons caches, weapons manufacturing sites, and other targets, and now, has inserted ground troops into Gaza to root out tunnels used for smuggling and terror attacks on Israeli civilians.
There is a lot of attention in the media and around the world to the lopsided "body count", although that is easily understood, considering Israel's investment in civilian defenses, including shelters, warning systems, Iron Dome, etc.
I'm frequently astounded at the number of people who protest, holding signs saying things like "We are Hamas", "Zionism is Nazism", etc.
So, let's recap a little, shall we? If you're rooting for Hamas, here's what you're rooting for
1. Israel does selective targeting, warns inhabitants by phone, leaflet, and roof knockin:g. Hamas fires rockets and mortars indiscriminately at civilians, aiming for the most populated civilian areas in Israel. They do this from among the civilian population of Gaza, including in and by schools, mosques, homes, hospitals, etc., thereby committing a double war crime (which even the EU, miraculously, has commented on).
2. Israel, while having the capability to flatten Gaza, has chosen to go house to house, street by street, incurring many more dead and wounded than "carpet bombing" would cause them, in order to avoid civilian casualties. You can argue that it's because they're going after the tunnels, but realistically, Israel has the capability to bomb large areas with delayed fuses and crush tunnels all day long. Hamas, on the other hand, puts its civilians on the roofs to try to avoid airstrikes, and forces their civilians NOT to evacuate when Israel warns them ahead of time. War crime, again - Hamas.
3. Hamas has dug a multitude of tunnels, first for smuggling, later for terror attacks against, you guessed it, Israeli civilians. Tunnels that go under dining halls, peoples' homes, etc. so they can pop out, kill and kidnap people, and run home. They also popped out of a tunnel, dressed as Israeli soldiers (also illegal, no?), to attack Israeli soldiers. Another war crime? Yup. Maybe more than one.
4. Israel has basic laws protecting ALL citizens (including the Arab minority that is now violently supporting Hamas), protecting those of different religions, ethnicities, colors, sexual orientation, etc. Hamas, on the other hand, kills Gays, kills anyone remotely suspected of being an "informer" for Israel (and sometimes drags their bodies around the streets behind motorbikes), suppresses public displays of song and dance, forces women to wear the Hijab (and beats those who don't), and generally has removed all vestiges of human and civil rights in Gaza.
5. Israel has a robust, albeit fractured political system, with open and honest elections (that happen all too often due to coalition failures). It includes political parties representing both Jews and non-Jews (witness the Balad party of Zahalka and Zoabi - rabid supporters of Hamas). There is an orderly transition of government when it changes over. Hamas, on the other side, won an election in 2006, then, in 2007, proceeded to throw their Fatah rivals off roofs, "kneecap" them, kill them, imprison and torture them, and expel those lucky enough to be expelled. There have been no more elections since then, and there will not be in the foreseeable future.
The bottom line is that Hamas is a criminal, terrorist organization, dedicated to the spread of virulent Islamism and the destruction of Israel. They do not want, nor are they willing to accept a Palestinian state next to an Israeli state, no matter what the borders are.
When you attack Israel one-sidedly, and in a vacuum, you ARE supporting Hamas. When you support Hamas, think about what you are supporting. Is that what you want to be associated with?

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Please check out John's blog here for more informative articles.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Religion and Ignorance

A recent survey has determined which states of the United States are the most "religious."  I'm not sure exactly how those involved came to such a conclusion, but they would appear, at first glance, to be correct.

Here are the ten most religious states.

1.  Mississippi
2.  Utah
3.  Alabama
4.  Louisiana
5.  Arkansas
6.  South Carolina
7.  Tennessee
8.  North Carolina
9.  Georgia
10.  Oklahoma

All of the above are from the deep South with the exception of Utah and Oklahoma.  Utah, of course, is dominated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, aka Mormonism, so that explains their 2nd place ranking. 

Oklahoma, if you've ever been there, is, except for the eastern part of the state, pretty much a wasteland.  It consists of miles and miles of sand all of which is hotter than hell (in the summertime), and lately I've been reading it is a place most likely to experience earthquakes!  There isn't a lot to do in Oklahoma other than raise cattle and chase chickens.  And go to church.

Now consider the eight left - all from the south:  These are old Confederate states, many of which contain large pluralities who remain unhappy to this day that they lost the Civil War or, as they prefer to call it, the War Between the States." 

I've known folks from these states who in the 21st century still argue that the Civil War had little to do with slavery but was all about "states' rights."   They believe that their state's rights trump the rights of the Federal Government even though the Constitution and history proves they're wrong.

Not only so, but these states, collectively, have the worst educational systems in the nation.  They rank on or near the bottom in almost every scale of educational excellence.

Which may be one reason they publicly defy the "church/state separation" clause in our Constitution.  These are the states where, in defiance of the Constitution, they fight to offer Christian prayer as part of the school day; where they believe that their god will love them more if they post copies of the Decalogue on courthouse walls; where LBGT folks remain pretty much unwelcome; where a genteel southern drawl can mask an inordinate hatred for anyone different than a white person, born and bred in the South. 

These born and bred southerners may be religious and while most of them may lay claim to Christianity, their religion is a far cry from the teachings and beliefs of the man from Galilee as presented in the Gospel stories - the man who sought out the outcasts, the sick, the poor, those marginalized by society; the man who had absolutely nothing good to say about rich folks or wealth; who saw money not as something to be sought but as something dangerous and to be avoided for it could easily destroy the soul.  The Jesus of the Gospels is on record as saying clearly that if a you did not care for the poor, the sick and those in prison the deity would cast you into an eternal hellfire.  (It's easy to see why that passage is not a desirable topic for a Sunday sermon!)

Nor did this Jesus call on his followers to upset the political applecart.  He did not counsel making the government religious.  Rather he said those who would follow him should pay their taxes and concern themselves primarily about caring for their fellow human beings.

In summary, the most religious states in our country provide the worst educational opportunities for their citizens and religion is used to justify their ignorance and their hatred for people who are different than they are. 

Now, obviously not everyone in these states is ignorant nor hateful.  Millions are good people; law-abiding citizens who believe in and fight to maintain our Constitution.  Unfortunately, there are not enough such people which means the bad guys continue to win and rule.

If you don't believe this, take a look at the governors of these states, their legislatures and the people they elect to serve in the United States Congress.  Most of them would be much more at home in the 19th century and some, such as the clown Jindal in Louisiana, would probably find the days of the Inquisition to be the cat's meow.

* Pat Robertson (pictured above) does not live in one of the aforementioned states, but he's a born and bred southerner who would be comfy in any one of the ten.