“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What kind of depraved society would not allow millions of captive people to receive proper medicines? ISRAEL, the choice of the GOP

Gaza: Shortage of Medicines as Israeli Blockade Grinds On

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has announced that the crisis of shortage in medicines and medical disposables has been critically aggravated because of the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than eight years [which has lowered incomes and made imported medicines expensive – JC].
Director General of Pharmacy, Ashraf Abu Mahady, said that the Ministry is now totally lacking 118 kinds of medicines (25%) and 334 kind of medical disposals (37%), according to a report by Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency.
He pointed to the significant lack of medical disposables for cardiac catheterization and open heart surgeries, which has reached 80% , and which will lead to the increase of cases needing medical treatment and transfers abroad.
He explained that there are several services affected by the shortage of medicines, mainly the complete lack of 32% of primary care drugs, in addition to 54% of the immunological drugs and 30% of oncology drugs, which will have grave impact on chronic conditions suffered by patients in the region.
Mahadi warned of the continued lack of medicines in ministry stores, which will further aggravate the crisis in the Strip, in case that it lasts for more time.
He urged concerned bodies, along with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization to exert pressure on the Israeli government to lift the blockade and to open the crossings.
Related video added by Juan Cole:


  1. I am so pleased Rand Paul stands with Israel, and all that it stands for.

    1. What kind of depraved society would not allow millions of captive people to receive proper medicines?

      1. Egypt shares a large border with Gaza. Nothing, absolutely nothing that Hamas wants to import, short of a tank or a thermal nuclear weapon has problems going in and out of Gaza via Rafah.

      2. Israel allows for tens of thousands of TONS of food, medicine and fuel to be imported into the Strip, Also concrete, which is diverted and sold on the black market to rebuild the terror tunnels is brought in.

      3. Your headline implies that MILLIONS of Gazans are suffering from medical shortages which is nonsense.Hamas's grip on the strip and using the BILLIONS it receives to rebuild tunnels and missiles and torturing undercutting fellow arabs is the problem no Israel.

      True atrocities are being committed against the "palestinians", not in Gaza but in Syria to which Assad has starved to DEATH over 200 and more than 10,000 have died, but selective outrage is your specialty.

      Gazans made a choice to elect the Hamas, they supported it in helping them fire 10,000 rockets into Israel and giving Hamas thousands and thousand of it's children to train as martyrs in suicide summer camps... They as a people sacrificed their kids to the tunnels and the Hamas execution squads for those kids and you remain silent

      If you love the Palestinians so much why are you silent about the apartheid conditions the arabs impose on they in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria?

      If you love the palestinians so much, why exaggerate and lie about the real villains in the story?

      Israel has allowed THOUSANDS of Palestinians to get MEDICAL Treatment in Israel, including the sister of the Head of Hamas!

      Why do you not tell us about the military bunkers that sit under the major hospitals IN GAZA that Hamas's tunnels connect with?

      Deuce, you are sinking into a pit of lies and distortions..

      I pity you

    2. Deuce ☂Tue Apr 21, 06:51:00 PM EDT

      I am so pleased Rand Paul stands with Israel, and all that it stands for.


      Excellent !

      Glad to hear you say that.

      I put up a link to Rand's site concerning Israel yesterday.

      It is easy to join. I did. All you have to do is fill in your e-mail address.

      They will be getting back to you.

      Glad to have you aboard !!

  2. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a hawk on pro-Israel issues,

    ... declared his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential candidacy.

    Rubio, 43, made a formal announcement Monday evening in Miami. He spoke that day with donors, according to media reports, and said his campaign would emphasize his biography as a child of refugees from the Cuban dictatorship who made good in America.
    Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida and a one-time mentor to Rubio, also is exploring a presidential run, which would split the state’s influential Republican Jewish community between two viable candidates. Bush has said he will make a decision before the summer.
    Rubio already has the backing of one of the state’s most important Jewish GOP funders, Norman Braman, a car dealership magnate who owned the Philadelphia Eagles for nearly a decade before moving to Florida.
    A senator since 2011, Rubio has blamed President Barack Obama for the recent tensions between the Israeli and U.S. governments.
    Rubio has proposed legislation that would require Iran to recognize Israel as part of a final nuclear deal.

  3. “It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease,”

    “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings.
    Have they forgotten how to converse?”

    - Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel

    1. What no link?

      Oh yeah, you don't NEED no stinking links when you CUT and PASTE out of context...

    2. President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday mourned Israel’s fallen soldiers, but urged their grieving families to consider what the sacrifice of their loved ones had meant.

      Speaking at the torch-lighting ceremony at the Western Wall as Israel began its observance of Remembrance Day to honor 23,320 fallen soldiers and civilian victims of wars and terrorism, Rivlin told of his travels during the summer to the homes of bereaved families of soldiers who fell during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

      “I learned to know them too late, when they were already gone,” Rivlin said, explaining that those who perished came from all sectors of Israeli society.

      “This summer I learned how real the loss is, that there is no longing that matches it,” Rivlin said.

      However, we cannot stand above their graves and mourn their loss if we do not consider the meaning of their sacrifice, the president added.

      “We are not people of war. We did not go to war bloodthirsty, neither this summer nor ever,” he said. “We were forced to fight, and our children have been fated to do the same to defend our home.”

      Defend OUR HOME....

      Defend our Home...

      Sorry Jack, you're just not up to the Reuven Rivlin pay grade.....

  4. DUBAI (Reuters) -
    Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday it was ending a month-long campaign of air strikes against the Houthi rebels who seized large areas of Yemen and said it would back a political solution to bring peace to its war-ravaged neighbor.

  5. New Hamas import tax leaves Gaza merchants fumingIslamic movement says funds will be used to pay some 40,000 civil servants who haven’t received regular salaries in over a year

    A new import tax imposed by Hamas on commodities entering the Gaza Strip has left local merchants fuming, with some threatening to stop importing food products into the Hamas-controlled Strip altogether.

    On Saturday, members of Hamas’s parliamentary bloc Change and Reform approved the National Solidarity Tax law, imposing a new levy on “non-basic” commodities such as meat, fruits and vegetables, clothing, and electronics. Flour and medicine will be exempt from the new tax, Hamas parliament member Ahmad Abu Halbiya told Turkey’s Anadolu news agency.

    “The purpose of the law is to ease the suffering of the poor in the Gaza Strip,” Abu Halbiya said, explaining that the percentage of the tax will be raised gradually, eventually reaching 10% in some cases. “Residents will not feel it,” he asserted.

    Israel, for its part, has dramatically increased the number of trucks allowed to enter Gaza with foodstuffs, reporting a projected threefold increase in 2015 compared to 2014. Some 3,000 Gaza merchants currently receive permits to enter Israel for trade.

    1. Israel, for its part, has dramatically increased the number of trucks allowed to enter Gaza with foodstuffs, reporting a projected threefold increase in 2015 compared to 2014. Some 3,000 Gaza merchants currently receive permits to enter Israel for trade.

      How delightfully magnanimous of the Zionist Massas. Let’s all cheer and sing a round of “Old Black Joe”.

  6. From tunnels to R-160s, a primer on Hamas and its deadly capabilitiesThe full story of the subterranean passages, thousands of foot soldiers, and large supplies of rockets and bombs, that turned Hamas into a sophisticated enemy

    Where did all these weapons come from?

    Most of Hamas’s weapons were smuggled in from Egypt via tunnels running underground from the Sinai Peninsula. Since Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, the Israeli Shin Bet security service has reported, Hamas has invested much energy in developing smuggling networks in Sinai and importing weapons from Libya, Sudan and Iran. In March, the IDF intercepted the Klos-C, an arms ship originating in Iran and headed for Sudan, its cargo intended for Gaza. The ship was carrying several dozen advanced Syrian M-302 missiles with a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) and a payload of up to 170 kilograms (375 pounds).

    Hmm sounds like Hamas can import anything...

  7. Here is a suggestion.

    Maybe Hamas would renounce it's goal for the genocide of ALL Jews?

    Maybe they would use the billions given to them to rebuild homes instead of preparing for the next round of war?

    Maybe if you and other's CARED about the millions in the Strip you'd advocate elections instead of keeping Hamas in power by the power of the gun?

  8. What kind of depraved society would not allow millions of captive people to receive proper medicines? ISRAEL

    What kind of people would enslave their own people, execute children to keep their tunnel's locations secret, use hospital and schools as military bases, divert billion in international aid to dig terror tunnels for the express purpose of kidnapping both civilians and soldiers?

    What kind of people's national charter calls for the genocide of the Jewish people all over the globe?

    What kind of people hide missiles in civilian apartment's shadows?

    What kind of situation do the people of Gaza have that is their own making?

    There is no difference between ISIS and Hamas.

    their people suffer the same...

  9. 180,000 Palestinians Treated in Israeli Hospitals This Year


  10. Hamas Rebuilding War Machine as Gaza Deteriorates

    The Hamas leadership in Gaza has been unable to rebuild any of the homes destroyed in last summer's war with Israel, but the terrorist group has had little trouble using heavy machinery to restore its vast tunnel networks that can be used in future attacks.

    Reconstruction of Gaza has "barely begun," the Associated Press reports. At least the above-ground kind.

    Underground, small bulldozers are busy restoring damaged tunnels, using "whatever cement [Hamas] can get its hands on," the Times of Israel reports.

    Hamas has been diverting cement and construction material intended for civilian rebuilding efforts.

    Israeli security officials confirmed that the terrorist group was digging tunnels at a rapid pace and trying to produce many short-range rockets in an effort to minimize interception by the Iron Dome defense system and cause maximum destruction against Israeli communities.

    Iran sent Hamas tens of millions of dollars to help reconstitute the group's terrorist infrastructure, the Telegraph reported earlier this month. As news of a framework deal concerning Iran's nuclear program emerged, the Islamic Republic reportedlyincreased arms shipments to its terrorist proxies Hamas and Hizballah.

    1. Hamas rebuilding a “war machine” is no different from Washington rebuilding his army after disastrous defeats from the British.

      Hamas exists because of Zionism invasion, expansion and the setting up of an expanding Jewish colony in Palestine. Blaming the victims in the ghetto for retaliating against their racist and fascist tormenters is par for the course in apartheid states.

  11. Alabama Woman Joins Islamic State, Urges Americans to Follow Her
    Muslim community leaders in Hoover, Ala. confirm that a 20-year-old woman left her family in November to join the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization in Syria, confirming a BuzzFeed report.

    The woman, identified only as Hoda, agreed to a series of interviews with BuzzFeed from Raqqa, Syria – the de facto Islamic State capital. Her father, a Yemeni native identified as Mohammed said that his daughter was "brainwashed" by IS.

    A series of Tweets from Hoda's Twitter account call for other Americans to join the Islamic State and commit terrorist attacks in the United States.

    On March 19 she tweeted: "Americans wake up! Men and women altogether. You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades..go on drive by's + spill all of their blood or rent a big truck n drive all over them. Kill them."

    Even though Hoda had always practiced Islam, she grew more religious over the 18 months before her departure to Syria. She attributed her radicalization in part to scholars and Islamic interpretations that she found on the Internet, including lectures about Islam on YouTube.

    "I started getting interested in my deen [religious life] around 2012," Hoda told BuzzFeed. "I felt like my life was so bland without it. Life has much more meaning when u know why ur here."

    Her father said he was proud of Hoda's increased devotion to Islam, but claims that he "didn't know she's going to go that far" and join IS.

    Hoda said she started planning to move to Syria around November 2013.

    "I dressed and behaved more modestly…It helped me with my temper and made me a better person overall. They [her parents] liked the change until they saw me getting 'jihadi,'" said Hoda.

    In a phone call, Hoda told her father she left for Syria because she believed every true Muslim had to travel to the Islamic State if they wanted to reach heaven, and she encouraged her parents to join her.

    News of an American making it to the Islamic State's base comes amid a series of arrests by federal authorities involving people trying to join IS or plotting IS-inspired terror attacks.

    Six Somali-American men from Minnesota were charged Monday with conspiring to provide support for IS and planning to join the terrorist organization. U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said that the men devoted significant efforts in the past year to reach Syria.

    "These were not confused young men, they were not easily influenced," Luger said. "These were focused young men who were intent on joining a terrorist organization."

  12. Syria: Yarmouk under siege - a horror story of war crimes, starvation and death

    A new report by Amnesty International reveals that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been carried out on Palestinian and Syrian civilians in Yarmouk, on the outskirts of Damascus, which is under brutal siege by Syrian government forces.

    The report, Squeezing the life out of Yarmouk: War crimes against besieged civilians, published ahead of the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria, highlights the deaths of nearly 200 individuals since the siege was tightened in July 2013 and access to crucial food and medical supplies was cut off. According to Amnesty International’s research, 128 of those who have died starved to death in the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that has emerged.

    “Life in Yarmouk has grown increasingly unbearable for desperate civilians who find themselves starving and trapped in a downward cycle of suffering with no means of escape,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

    “Civilians of Yarmouk are being treated like pawns in a deadly game in which they have no control.”

    The report highlights that government forces and their allies have repeatedly carried out attacks, including air raids and shelling with heavy weapons, on civilian buildings such as schools, hospitals and a mosque in Yarmouk. Some of the areas attacked had served as shelters for people who have been internally displaced by the conflict. Doctors and medical staff have also been targeted.

    “Launching indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas, leading to deaths and injuries, is a war crime. To repeatedly strike a heavily populated area, where the civilians have no means of escape, demonstrates a ruthless attitude and a callous disregard for the most basic principles of international humanitarian law,” said Philip Luther.

    At least 60 per cent of those remaining in Yarmouk are said to be suffering from malnutrition. Residents told Amnesty International they had not eaten fruit or vegetables for many months. Prices have skyrocketed with a kilo of rice costing up to US$100.

    “Syrian forces are committing war crimes by using starvation of civilians as a weapon of war. The harrowing accounts of families having to resort to eating cats and dogs, and civilians attacked by snipers as they forage for food, have become all too familiar details of the horror story that has materialized in Yarmouk,” said Philip Luther.

    The camp has also had its electricity power supply cut since April 2013.

    1. Despite the intermittent delivery of limited food supplies by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) during January and February 2014 – the aid that has arrived is still woefully inadequate to meet basic needs. Aid workers have compared the efforts so far to a mere “drop in the ocean”. Renewed shelling of the area has resumed in recent days cutting off deliveries once more.

      “Deaths are mounting in Yarmouk and the situation is dire. It is extremely distressing to think that in many cases, lives could have been saved had proper medical care been available,” said Philip Luther.

      Reports have emerged of women dying in childbirth. Children and the elderly have suffered the most. Eighteen children including babies have died. Complications have also arisen from residents eating inedible or poisonous plants and dog meat.

      Hospitals have run out of even the most basic medical supplies. Most have been forced to shut down. Residents told Amnesty International that in some cases armed opposition groups had looted medical supplies and stolen ambulances from the hospitals.

      Medical workers have also been repeatedly harassed. At least 12 have been arrested during the siege, often at checkpoints. Six disappeared after being seized by Syrian government forces. At least one doctor is believed to have died as a result of being tortured in custody.

      “Targeting doctors or medical workers who are trying to assist the sick and wounded is a war crime. All sides must refrain from attacks on medical and other humanitarian workers,” said Philip Luther.

      At least 150 people from Yarmouk have been arrested since April 2011, with more than 80 still in detention as of late February 2014. Amnesty International is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all those who have been detained solely for their political opinions or identity.

      “The siege of Yarmouk amounts to collective punishment of the civilian population. The Syrian government must end its siege immediately and allow humanitarian agencies unfettered access to assist suffering civilians,” said Philip Luther.

      A UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for all parties to the conflict to immediately lift sieges of populated areas, unhindered access for humanitarian agencies and an end to violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, was agreed last month. But this has yet to lead to a tangible improvement in the situation of besieged civilians.

      “The siege of Yarmouk is the deadliest of a series of armed blockades of other civilian areas, imposed by Syrian armed forces or armed opposition groups on a quarter of a million people across the country. These sieges are causing immeasurable human suffering and all of them must end immediately.”

      Amnesty International is calling for anyone suspected of committing or ordering war crimes or crimes against humanity to be brought to justice, including through referral of the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). According to the Rome Statute of the ICC, certain acts, including murder, torture and enforced disappearances, amount to crimes against humanity if directed against a civilian population as part of a widespread or systematic attack.

    2. Without Israeli invasions, theft of land, displacement of refugees and continuous warfare, killing and destruction in Gaza and Palestine, there would be no “Yarmouk”. Yarmouk was made in Israel. It is zionist coinage.

  13. I really don't know who this Juan Cole character is but he seems a very poor source to me.

    He, and Pat Buchanan, are referenced here a lot.

    Pat's an arse.

    What I know about Cole is he doesn't practice objective journalism.

    1. The Noble Gazans should hire some Iranian doctors. They get missiles from Iran. Why not doctors ?

      Israel has every right to blockade Gaza for as long as the weapons smuggling is going on. Basically this means forever, as the Noble Savages of Hamas have it in their Charter to kill all the Jews.

      Let them take care of their own sniffles. They got plenty of aid money to do so.

      And, they could have gone into the tomato growing business. The Israelis left lot of state of the art greenhouses for them.

      What did they do with them ?

      Tore them down, of course.

      It was at that point that I totally gave up on the fucking Gazans.

      Let them stew in their own juice.

    2. My Aunt used to say:

      "Only fools destroy things"

    3. .

      What I know about Cole is he doesn't practice objective journalism.

      Unlike FOX, American Thinker, and Jihad Watch,



  14. Back to Hillary for a moment - she is dodging the Press, who are shouting questions to her about what she gave for the money she got from all those shady characters and countries.

    She doesn't seem to want to be forthcoming, for some odd reason.

    1. BREAKING !

      Fox is reporting Team Hillary is claiming Hillary helped kill Osama bin Laden, and has personally fought terrorists.

      Hillary is not available for interview, however.

  15. Clinton also ducked giving support to President Obama’s push to fast-track authority to negotiate new trade deals.

    “Any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security. We have to do our part in making sure we have the capabilities and the skills to be competitive,” Clinton said.

    Clinton heads to New York on Thursday to appear at a star-studded women’s conference hosted by Tina Brown. She will be in New York and D.C. for her first campaign fund-raisers next week.

  16. Israelis fearing the truth

    Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin have declined a request to meet former Democratic President Jimmy Carter when he is due to visit Israel in the next few weeks.

    Jerusalem officials confirmed that Israel’s Foreign Ministry and National Security Council discussed the matter and decided it would be best that Carter’s request be declined. A senior official told Israel’s Channel 10 News that Carter is a “disaster for Israel,” and all Israeli leaders should follow suit and refuse to meet with the former Democratic Party leader.

    During last summer’s war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, Carter advocated for the removal of the jihadi group from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. Carter said during the war that there was “no justification in the world for what Israel is doing,” even as Hamas was firing rockets indiscriminately at Israel’s population centers and using its women and children as human shields.

    Because of Carter’s radical viewpoint on Israeli-Arab relations, the Foreign Ministry recommended to the Israeli officials that the 39th president’s request be declined due to his “anti-Israel stance.”

  17. Carter is an old southern anti-semite and basic Christian fundie and a fool.

    I'm surprised they even let that arse in their country.

    Carter is responsible for the rise of the mullahs in Iran, among other disasters.

    He is an idiot and ought to go sit in his rocking chair somewhere and be quiet and read his Bible.

    1. I recall that in one of his last Presidential debates he was asked some foreign policy question and began his answer by saying he had discussed the matter with Amy (his seven or something year old daughter) and then suddenly realized what an idiotic thing he had just said and got a world class shit eating look on his silly face.

      Another Democratic Party moron.

  18. The Israeli right wing is a party of racists thugs and it is telling that the Republican birds of a feather, stand with the loathsome of the Likud.

    1. I'll be polite and just say you are so wrong.

      You have said Iran is "fighting for civilization".

      Good Grief man !

  19. The Republicans

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bill Tuesday night to extend through 2020 a controversial surveillance authority under the Patriot Act.

    The move comes as a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both chambers is preparing legislation to scale back the government’s spying powers under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

    It puts McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the bill’s co-sponsor, squarely on the side of advocates of the National Security Agency’s continued ability to collect millions of Americans’ phone records each day in the hunt for clues of terrorist activity.

    That NSA program was revealed publicly almost two years ago by a former agency contractor, Edward Snowden. The disclosure touched off a global debate over the proper scope of surveillance by U.S. spy agencies and led President Obama to call for an end to the NSA’s collection of the records.

    In filing the bill, McConnell and Burr invoked a Senate rule that enabled them to bypass the traditional committee vetting process and take the bill straight to the floor. No date has been set for such consideration.

    The move provoked a swift response from Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, who has been working with other panel members on legislation to end the government’s mass collection of phone and other records for national security purposes.

    “Despite overwhelming consensus that the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act must end, Senate Republican leaders are proposing to extend that authority without change,” he said in a statement Tuesday night. “This tone deaf attempt to pave the way for five and a half more years of unchecked surveillance will not succeed. I will oppose any reauthorization of Section 215 that does not contain meaningful reforms.”

  20. Aspirants to the White House, both Democratic and Republican, have, as we all know, begun “announcing,” thus initiating, from a rationalist’s point of view, a media carnival featuring, on both sides, an array of supposedly God-fearing clowns and faith-mongering nitwits groveling before Evangelicals and nattering on about their belief in the Almighty and their certainty that if we just looked, we could find answers to many of our ills in the Good Book.

    The candidates will cloak their true agendas – serving the Lords of Wall Street far more zealously than Our Father who art (or really, art not) in heaven – in pious patter about “values,” about the need to “restore America” and return us to the state of divinely granted exceptionalism President Obama has so gravely squandered. This Season of Unreason will end with the elections of November 2016, but its consequences – validation of the idea that belief without evidence is a virtue, that religion, and especially Christianity, deserves a place in our politics, our Constitutionally enshrined secularism notwithstanding – will live on and damage the progressive cause.

    But it does not have to be this way.

    There will almost certainly be no (declared) atheist or even agnostic among the candidates. This is scandalous, given the electorate’s gradual, relentless ditching of religion. A survey just out shows that 7.5 million Americans have abandoned their faith since 2012, the year of the Pew Research Center poll that established that one out of five have no religious affiliation. Nonbelief is trending, and among a sizable, growing demographic.

    Professing belief in a fictitious celestial deity says a lot about the content of a person’s character, and what sort of policies he or she would likely favor. So, we should take a look at those who have announced so far, and what sort of religious views they hold. Let’s start with the Republicans. Rand Paul, the eye-surgeon senator from Kentucky, is officially a “devout” Christian, but he has subtly hinted that he really does not believe. He finds it tough to see “God’s hand” in the suffering he encounters as a doctor, citing an example any New Atheist could have chosen to dispel the notion that a benevolent deity watches over humanity: “small children dying from brain tumors.” This gives Paul to wonder if one needs to be “saved more than once,” which implies his faith has failed him at times. Nevertheless, he says, he always does “come back” to Jesus. He closed his announcement speech asking for “God’s help” in getting elected. Whether he meant it, we don’t really know.

    1. With the dapper Florida Sen. Marco Rubio we move into the more disturbing category of Republicans we might charitably diagnose as “faith-deranged” – in other words, as likely to do fine among the unwashed “crazies” in the red-state primaries, but whose religious beliefs would (or should) render them unfit for civilized company anywhere else.

      Among the faith-deranged, Rubio stands out. He briefly dumped one magic book for another, converting from Roman Catholicism to Mormonism and then back again. (Reporters take note: This is faith-fueled flip-flopping, which surely indicates a damning character flaw to be investigated. Flip-flopping of a different sort helped sink John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid.) Yet even as a re-minted Catholic, Rubio cheats on the Pope with a megachurch in Miami called Christ Fellowship. As religion and politics blogger Bruce Wilson points out, Christ Fellowship is a hotbed of “demonology and exorcism, Young Earth creationism, and denial of evolution,” and is so intolerant it demands its prospective employees certify they are not “practicing homosexuals” and don’t cheat on their spouses. (Check out its manifesto under “About Us – What We Believe.”) As regards evolution, Rubio confesses that he’s “not a scientist” and so cannot presume to judge the fact of evolution on its merits, and holds that creationism should be taught in schools as just one of many “multiple theories” about our origins.

      Though he magnanimously acknowledges that atheists “have a right to not believe in God,” Rubio has called the Almighty the “source of all we have,” and, worse, stated that “our national motto is ‘In God We Trust,’” which reminds us that “faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.” According to this logic, atheists are not fully “American.” Rubio also believes “You cannot do anything without God,” which he terms “a profound and elemental truth.” Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist known for, among other things, his far more profound and elemental accomplishments in melding the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, and, most recently, for publicly declaring his atheism, would beg to differ. It’s a safe bet, in fact, that most scientists have a better grasp on the vital verities than anyone rummaging around in Rubio’s beloved “sacred” tome of far-fetched fiction and foolish figments.

    2. Yet of the Republicans, the most flagrant irrationalist is clearly Texas junior Sen. Ted Cruz.

      For starters, Cruz pandered fulsomely to the faith-deranged by choosing to announce at Liberty University, that bastion of darkness located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Once administered by the late Jerry Falwell, Liberty promises a “World Class Christian education” and boasts that it has been “training champions for Christ since 1971” – grounds enough, in my view, to revoke the institution’s charter and subject it to immediate quarantine until sanity breaks out.

      Allow me a brief yet significant digression. One wonders, in Cruz’s case, if the malady of faith isn’t acquired, but transmitted genetically. In 2013, his father, Rafael, an Evangelical pastor, spoke at a Second Amendment advocacy meeting in Oklahoma. He declared atheism amounts to a lack of moral absolutes. Hence, “If there’s no god,” then no moral absolutes can exist, “and you can change the rules.” This “leads us to sexual immorality, leads us to sexual abuse, leads us to perversion, and of course, no hope!” At least one of Ted Cruz’s own direr musings — that gays are waging a ”jihad . . . in Indiana and Arkansas, and going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman” — prompt the question: if Cruz is elected, will he classify homosexuality as terrorism and dispatch gay “jihadis” to Guantanamo?

      During his 31-minute announcement address, Cruz recounts how his once-truant dad found Jesus and returned home. Otherwise, peppering his talk with references to God, Cruz informs us he will restore a United States brought low under Obama’s maleficent rein by uniting “millions of courageous conservatives” who will rise up “together to say in unison ‘we demand our liberty!’” From whom, exactly? He doesn’t say.

    3. ...Atheists can dream. They can dream of a candidate (and future president) who will, one day, say “I do not believe in God. I do not believe in a hereafter. I believe we have one life on our precious planet, which floats amid a cosmic void of unfathomable dimensions governed by the unyielding laws of physics.

      I will follow reason and promote consensus-based policies that will do the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people. I will work to build up Jefferson’s wall of separation between church and state. Secularism and reason offer us the only way out of our dilemmas. We have to grow up and realize that, barring interference from forces of nature beyond our control, everything we humans achieve, or fail to achieve, depends on us. There is no hope, save in ourselves.”

      We need a president who will acknowledge that. And we should settle for nothing less.

      Jeffrey Tayler is a contributing editor at the Atlantic. His seventh book, "Topless Jihadis -- Inside Femen, the World's Most Provocative Activist Group," is out now as an Atlantic e-book. Follow @JeffreyTayler1 on Twitter.


    5. .

      What a truly bizarre article. What a truly bizarre little man, this Jeffrey Tayler. He sounds as though he is speedballing.

      I do agree that both Cruz and Rubio play the 'god' card a lot but they are pols and they are playing to their base. For as many as buy their message there are probably as many on the other side that are turned off by it. In fact, I heard one of Rubio's speeches at a Christian university a year or two back and it was one of the things that turned me off of him.

      However, one needs to read the entire article in order to see what a truly strange man Mr. Taylor is lest in reading just the sections Deuce has put up you think that he is just a self-pitying atheist who wants Stephen Hawkings to run for president. However, reading the article you see that it really is just another format for espousing atheism and attacking religion. This is best illustrated by the questions he suggests asking the candidates when in fact there is only one overriding question that encapsulates the things he is interested in,

      Will you uphold and protect the Constitution and its Amendments and enforce the legitimate laws passed by Congress?

      and will you swear the following,

      I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

      Easy peasy.


    6. The regression continues, the road back, the devolution, stepping down down the spiral staircase of life, back through the years, the decades, the experiences, we are back in college now, sophomore year, we are heading for high school, where we knew we knew concerning that of which we spoke.....there is only one step left on the long road down the spiral staircase now, just one. one more......the vote for Hillary.....