Rev. O'Neal Dozier's ouster from the Judicial Nominating Commission proves one thing: In Bush World, you can sling all the slurs and prejudices at gays that you want, but when you start messing with Muslims, watch out.
Dozier has been bashing gays for years. He openly preaches that AIDS is God's revenge on homosexuals (which should end any credibility he has in the black community, which has been inordinately slammed by the disease). He calls it vile, nasty, disgusting -- so awful that, as he loves to say, it makes God want to vomit.
He brought his religious beliefs to the JNC, where he asked candidates whether they were "God-fearing" and raised the ire of some gay candidates who felt passed over by the openly anti-gay pastor. But Gov. Jeb Bush not only kept him on the JNC but reappointed him.
Then came the Steve Kane Show on Friday morning, when Dozier said, point-blank, "We are at war with Islam." He called the religion a cult and said that its members were bent on decapatitating us all. I know because I was on the show at the time, sitting in the studio with guest host Elgin Jones, asking the reverend questions when I could. I reported it in this space right after the show (hey, the Pulp breaks news -- it's another reason why you need to bookmark this baby). Then the Miami Herald's Darran Simon picked it up and ran with it. The Sun-Sentinel was late to the game, but Gregory Lewis did report Dozier's forced resignation today (yet failed to mention the Kane show by name). The pastor's most incendiary comments still haven't been reported in either newspaper.
Here's the lesson: Jeb doesn't mind being linked to a gay basher, but he can't afford to be tied to a Muslim masher. Why? Because he's going to run for president, and when he does, he doesn't want the Dozier question being asked during a nationally televised debate: "Why did you support an appointee who said we are at war with all of Islam?" etc etc etc. Jebbie will take the question about gays, since it fires up his base. But he doesn't want to alienate the Muslim voting bloc and, probably of more importance, he can't risk losing credibility in the so-called War on Terror on a national and world stage.
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So it was off with Dozier's head.
More Of What This Place Needs The Palm Beach Post's Tania Valdemoro has a wonderful story today about Vald Svekis, a character as colorful as his name. After a five-year hiatus, Svekis is set to reopen his book store, formerly Liberties Fine Books & Music, in Mizner Park. From Valdemoro's story:
The new store — still without name — will have a writers workshop, about 2,000 square feet set aside for writers to rent cubicles beside one another. For inspiration, all they'll have to do is step inside a Plexiglas "bubble" nearby. The room will be like a jukebox, except instead of a song, people will buy an experience. Writing a desert story? Choose the "desert" setting. One may hear the sound of the wind blowing through the sand dunes and feel the heat of the sun.
"If we can merge the sounds with the lighting and cooling, it will work like a charm," Svekis said.
Cubicles for writers and a virtual world in a plastic bubble for inspiration and details. I don't know if it's going to work or not, but it's great to have him back.