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Freedom Of Speech vs. Freedom of Religion

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Religious

Oh, boy. It seems when you use the US Bill of Rights to defend one extremist position, you might discover yourself trampling on another. And so we find the case in the Michigan City of  Warren, with their Mayor, Jim Fouts.

From THE RAW STORY:

A Michigan mayor who says that he believes in freedom of religion has refused to allow atheists to set up a so-called “Reason Station” inside City Hall, saying it could upset Christians visiting the nearby “Prayer Station.”

Yes, you read that correctly. 'A Prayer Station'' for Christians, good. A 'Reason Station' for Atheists, bad.

As an individual or an organization, you can preach and promote a belief, but you cannot preach or promote logic and reason. That, it seems, is unconstitutional and violates the Bill of Rights.

“I emphasize one thing,” he (Mayor Fouts) added. “The government cannot restrict an individual’s freedom of speech, but an individual cannot restrict the government’s freedom of speech.”

Yet that's exactly what the Mayor did. He restricted freedom of speech. What Fouts seems to have overlooked is what happens when the government restricts an individual's rights to the same freedoms it grants.

Religious Freedom may mean freedom from religion. At least expounding that belief does. But evidently that's not so in the City of Warren, Michigan.

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GOP woos the Jews: The Awkward Moments

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GOP woos the jews chris christie Sheldon Adelson Jeb Bush

Potential Republican 2016 presidential contenders went out of their way to woo the Jews yesterday, specifically billionaire Sheldon Adleson. The elitest of the elite (read: wealthiest) GOP donors showed up in Las Vegas at a Very Special Event. Members of the Republican Jewish Coalition were holding auditions, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush were strutting their cringe-worthy stuff in one way or another.

Citizens United does it again: How to win buy friends politicians and influence people elections.

Being one of many Jews who would never open my wallet for any of those possible candidates, I tend to find humor in situations like these. And this time I found it courtesy of an article in the Los Angeles Times that included some of the more awkward moments.

Let's begin with how Gov. "Heartbroken" tried to shake off his Bridgegate scandal and how determined he was to rescue his damaged career by kissing Adeleson's ass bank account:

For Christie, Saturday's tryout showed the potential for missteps when governors wade into foreign policy at this early stage. During an otherwise warmly received speech, Christie's mention of a helicopter flight over "occupied territories" — terminology used by Israel's critics — during his trip to Israel sent murmurs and whispers of surprise through the conservative audience.

Oops, "murmurs and whispers of surprise" couldn't have done much to salvage his image. So much for Gov. "Who Moi?" and his efforts to restore some of the credibility he never had.

Scott Walker's anemic overtures to Jews whom he couldn't believably relate to at all went this way:

The candidates' attempts to connect with the audience appeared awkward at times. Walker emphasized that he decorates his house during the holidays with Christmas lights as well as a menorah candle. He also noted that his son's name, Matthew, means "gift from god" in Hebrew.

Via onamatopoeia.wordpress.com

You've heard of Christian Mingle? This "What Happens in Vegas Pays in Vegas Moment" was a little like Jewish Mingle. A speed dating version of courting a roomful of donors. John Kasich's version of flirtation was trying to ingratiate himself by flaunting his first-name basis palsy-walsitude with Sheldon:

Kasich, who had been sitting next to Adelson at the Saturday luncheon, addressed him by name repeatedly throughout his post-meal remarks, as if the conversation was one-on-one.

Allow me to address these opportunists by name: Chris, Scotty, John, Jeb, can we talk? Don't pretend you're BFF with obscenely wealthy Jews when you're not; don't try to impress Jews with embarrassing references to your trip to Israel; and pleaseohplease don't attempt to convince Jews that you, an Evangelical Christian, are "one of them" because your Christian kid's name happens to have a Hebrew origin or meaning.

Seriously, don't.

What next, asking Adelson if he's a Scorpio?

More here.

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"The Jews Are The Problem, All The Problems Of The World"

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Lt. Gen. Jerry-Boykin

Gotta hand it to Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (retired), the executive vice president of the conservative Family Research Council. He doesn't mince his words, or even parse them with any sense of thinking. Or maybe he does -- and Anti-Semitism and subliminal messages from Obama to Al Qaeda are his actual beliefs.

Seems the good General had just finished speaking and didn't realize his mic was still live and everything he said was being recorded. Remind you of Romney and his 47% statements? Funny what people reveal about themselves when they don't realize they're being recorded.

The Raw Story carried this:

Boykin’s remarks were captured after an online broadcast of a panel at the National Security Action Summit. The SPLC reported that the event is held as a counter to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and features speakers who, like Boykin, have not been allowed to participate there.

So the lowest of the low, or as they prefer, the most right-leaning of the rightwing zealots, host their own convention of hate and bigotry. In observing CPAC, it's hard to believe there is anyone more rightwing  conservative than they are but, I was wrong.

Before he got to his hatred of the Jews comment, the General and spokesman for the group found time to expound on his theory that President Barack Obama is using “subliminal messages” to signal support for al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. How interesting. I just knew that Black Kenyan usurper to the throne was up to no good.

This clip was posted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Friday.

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Michele Bachmann - Jewish Icon Or Jewish I-Con't?

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Jewish Michele Bachmann

Well, to hear the representative from Minnesota's sixth congressional district, she's fighting the battle for Jews all over the world -- almost single-handedly.  HuffPo:

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has very strong feelings about Israel, and she's disappointed that American Jews don't have the same feelings she does.

In a Monday interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Bachmann chastised American Jewish organizations for backing off stronger sanctions against Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

As a person of the Jewish faith, I have to say how reassuring it is that Bachmann's got my back. Here's a yenta of staunch beliefs and she's going to see to it that the Jewish state of Israel is protected in accordance with her wishes. And what's tops on her kvetch list? Get the US into a war with Iran.

How do I know? Well, for starters she's tackling the same people she pretends to be protecting. This shiksa thinks she knows better than the luntsmen and their yiddisher kops (Jewish thinking).  She criticizes the people who support Obama -- which statistically happen to include an overwhelming majority of Jewish voters. Obama, in 2012 received over 70% of the Jewish vote -- that's a big shtetl (community). Though Israel's importance to us is huge military and symbolic, not so much so for the political ramifications of their politics here. Hawk Bibi Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel is working from a damaged reputation and is seen as a has-been, not the will-be.

Facts are facts. If you're a progressive Jew, you're a Democrat. If you're a wealthy Jew, you're a Republican party member who behind the voting booth curtain votes Democratic.  And if you're a poor Jew, you lie and tell everyone you're really a rich Jew, just waiting for a check to come in.

J Street, a pro-peace lobbying group, commissioned a poll last year which found that just 10 percent of Jewish American voters identified Israel as one of their top voting issue priorities. Jobs, immigration, unemployment, education, women's reproductive rights, race relations, the economy and  healthcare all rank higher.

"What has been shocking has been seeing and observing Jewish organizations who it appears have made it their priority to support the political priority and the political ambitions of the President over the best interests of Israel," Bachmann added. "So in some respects, they sold out Israel."

The Jewish community she refers to, voted for Obama because they value world peace higher than Bachmann's need to start or promote a war. If that's selling out, count me in. She's a neo-con like Lindsay Graham and John McCain -- never having seen a war that she didn't like. She may be through as a representative after the elections in November, but it won't be soon enough for those of us who look for peaceful solutions to difficult situations.

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Surprise: Newest American Saboteurs are Democratic Senators

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aipac

When you hear names like Charlie Schumer, Mark Warner, Cory Booker, Kay Hagen, Mary Landrieu, Bob Casey and Richard Blumenthal, you usually hear that some Democratically sponsored bill has their support. And usually you're right, give or take one of the above.

Yet recently, led by Senator Bob Menendez, these US elected officials to the upper house have been sold a bill of goods. And it's not a jobs or education bill. Nor is it some health plan or civil rights issue. It's war.

Real war. A potential nuclear war.

Why these guys? This isn't the Republican Party war stalwarts, Lindsay Graham and John McCain. These are normal people -- at least as normal as it gets in the senate.

The truth is these new Hawk senators are on the dole. Not necessarily news there -- all elected officials are influenced by lobbyists. But this time, and I'm going to take heat for this, it's the Jewish Mafia. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It's the most influential Jewish lobby group in the US. And historically they have backed candidates who fight for justice and equality in social issues, and political ones when it comes to Israel.

Now Israel has a special place in my heart. Not just because it's the Jewish homeland and I was born a Jew, but my wife is a Sabra, a native born Israeli. And once you have that in your blood, you're generally a dyed-in -the-wool supporter of anything the Israeli Knesset (parliament) proposes.

This brings us to war and peace. For nearly 30 years we've been in a cold war with Iran. We've had no formal diplomatic talks with them and we've been the world leader in getting other nations to impose austere economic sanctions against them. That was until about four months ago. There was a breakthrough. John Kerry reported back to the US that talks on stopping or at least tightening nuclear safeguards with Iran were possible. But like all negotiations, there's a bit of 'give a little' to 'get a little.' The price for us was to hold off on further economic sanctions while negotiations would take place (a six months moratorium). The price to the Iranians is to allow open international monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program -- full inspections.

This was a great tit for tat -- especially as pressure was building for war between our two countries.  That would ultimately would result in a nuclear conflagration. There's no way around that. Yet here's a potentially peaceful solution at hand. The only ones unhappy in that region are Saudi Arabia (remember where the 911 trainees spent much of their pre-attack time) and Israel -- the other nuclear armed country in the region who doesn't want any competition in weapons superiority. And I can understand that.

Obviously those in the pocket of the neo-cons -- the entire GOP party hierarchy -- were against this. But the Democrats? How could they be against peace -- especially one their President is working so hard to accomplish? And if you're looking at public opinion, over 60% favor a peaceful solution with Iran over war. So how could 16 Democrats come out and favor new sanctions which would lead to Iran pulling away from the negotiating table?

Obama was told in no uncertain words that new sanctions  against Iran would be a line in the sand by the their President. Secretary of State Kerry was told the talks would be DEAD if Congress passed new sanctions by the Iranian Foreign Minister. So until we find a reason not to, why not give peace a chance?

The Republicans want war and they've been able, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. to stir the pot and brainwash the Jewish senate members (or those gentile members who aren't totally anti-semitic) by selling a bill of goods that peace negotiations can't be trusted. Netanyahu along via the dangerous and borderline deranged John McCain (who's totally bonkers) contacted his influential PAC, the AIPAC, and forced them to exert pressure on the weak and vulnerable among the Democratic senators. Face it, backbone is not a prerequisite for being a Democrat.

But don't take my word for it. Here's Chris Hayes:

Finally, some sense of sanity. Obama spoke to the Democratic Senate Caucus last night and evidently they've seen the light of their wayward ways.

UPDATE: Since this airing, according to WAPO:

But editorial boards and commentators have harshly condemned the push for a vote. Many Senate Democrats have continued to remain silent, which could well be a sign of an unwillingness to sign on to the bill. A couple Dem senators have come out against it in the last couple of days, joining 10 Dem committee chairs who have already done the same. At last whip count, this bill will not get past Harry Reid and is now considered dead.

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Video WTF? Of The Day- "Christmas easier to spell than Hanukkah" posted on church sign

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Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, Florida-

You just gotta wonder why there was no one there to stop them. Just incredibly boneheaded.

NORTH PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A holiday joke or offensive message? A North Palm Beach pastor didn't think anything was wrong with the message; however, others didn't agree.

"It was not really offensive, just poor taste," said Rabbi Alon Levkovitz with Temple Beth Am.

(snip)

Humor lost on those who called the church demanding the sign be taken down. "I heard someone say, 'Christmas is easier to spell than Hanukkah'. It made me smile," said Butzberger.

"I think it's the wrong message to send to their members, but, as a Jew, I am not offended," said Levkovitz.

He says it is merely the comparison of faiths that is offensive. "If the church tries to celebrate one of the most important holidays by putting down another faith, it's definitely not the spirit of Hanukkah or Christmas."

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Jeb Bush Got It Wrong -- Again

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Obama closes Vatican embassy

The Bush family of blunderers is at it again. First it was GHW  'no new taxes' Bush,  then the ever-challenged scion GW 'Iraq is my game' Bush, and now older brother, Jeb 'Lost in the' Bush. Can a family really be that misinformed collectively? Two Presidents and a governor and not a penny of common sense among them?

Well, seems the Bushes could easily be a sketch on SNL once again -- "Meet The Foot-in-Mouth Family."

According to HuffPo reports,

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called out President Barack Obama for closing the U.S. embassy to the Vatican, questioning whether the decision was political "retribution" for Catholic opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Here's the actual tweet: (from @JebBush on Twitter)

Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.

There's just one small problem. The Vatican Embassy isn't actually closing. It's moving. A bit of a difference there, but subtly has never been a Bush family trait.

For cost saving purposes, some $1.4 million per year, the current standalone embassy will relocate to a larger compound shared with the U.S. Embassy in Italy, as well as the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. New address. Same embassy.

Okay, it's possible Jeb the dunce missed this, but then to accuse Obama's decision as being a political "retribution" for Catholic opposition to the Affordable Care Act. That takes some balls. And Jeb doesn't have them.

Apply this logic and see where it takes you. Obama is closing (or moving) the US facility to the Vatican, Pope Francis's home, because of fear over the the Catholic Church's take on healthcare? That's what Jeb's saying. But it's also not true. The Church is absolutely for the Affordable Care Act.

It was just a few days ago that the Pope, the Holy See, came out publicly and nailed the US Republicans to the holy cross for their discarding the poor in favor of the almighty dollar?

Doesn't Jeb have a TV or radio? Is he too ignorant to know how to turn it on? You can't have missed the Pontiff's speech. Even Fox News covered its contents, before labeling Francis a heretic.

Pope Francis, in his first apostolic exhortation has condemned the trickle down economics, the mainstay of the Reagan-GHW Bush fiscal plan. Pope Francis also denounces tax evasion and economic inequality, and he exhorts governments to ponder a saying that “not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood.”

That condemnation, my dear readers, is of the Republican Party platform and programs. It is though, what the the church says is categorically "unchristian."

So letting logic dictate, if anyone wanted to shut the Vatican Embassy down, it would be Bush's GOP party. Fortunately, no such move is planned. A cost cutting effort to bring our budget under control is being exercised by Obama. It's called fiscal prudence, not political retribution. That's the Tea Party's game, not Obama's or the Democrats.

Jeb, you're the acorn that didn't fall far from the Bush-- but the fallow one that never took root. Time to abort.

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