Saturday, November 11, 2023

America’s veterans didn’t sign up for privatized health care

For years, the push to privatize veteran healthcare has been a longstanding and persistent mission among certain politicians. In their most recent attempt, bills like the recently introduced Veterans’ HEALTH Act of 2023  are framed as a measure to enhance choice for veterans and improve access. 

However, these proposals mask a concerning reality — they actually endorse the expansion of private, for-profit healthcare, which is a costlier approach that diminishes access to specialized care for our nation’s heroes.

Ron DeSantis says $25B school choice plan could be ‘revolutionary’ for American students

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to flesh out how he would expand Florida’s school choice model nationally, if he becomes President.....Read More

Nearly half of Gaza home have been destroyed, damaged by Israel

Nearly half of the homes in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the United Nations reported.....Read More

Friday, November 10, 2023

What Stogie Had For Lunch

Steak Salad
NY, NY Pizza - Ybor City

Ybor City Vibrant Nightlife

Ybor Paparazzi


Matt Gaetz's Snide Comment Gets THROWN BACK In His Face

Anti-Palestinian Columbia suspends Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace

Columbia University suspended two student organizations that have led protests calling for a cease-fire in Israel’s war on Hamas militants in Gaza, which has killed thousands of civilians, the university announced Friday.

University Vice President Gerald Rosberg cited campus safety in announcing that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) will be suspended through the end of the fall semester.

Another government shutdown looms: Would it impact Social Security, VA benefits?

We are again just days away from a possible government shutdown, which may leave you worried about how it could impact you.....Read More

Ybor Paparazzi

Laura and Tom

Biden expands veterans’ health care coverage

The White House on Friday announced the expansion of health care coverage for the nation’s veterans, creating a no-cost system for World War II veterans seeking care and accelerating enrollment for all veterans applying for benefits after exposure to toxins.....Read More

Sarah Silverman shreds Ron DeSantis, says he doesn’t ‘know how to smile’

Desi Lydic and Dulcé Sloan join Sarah Silverman to recap Trump's rally, and the latest GOP debate, including Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy's on-stage feud, the candidates' shared love of warmongering, and Tim Scott's girlfriend reveal.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Florida Supreme Court skeptical of state’s bid to block recreational marijuana proposal

The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday regarding a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana. During the hearing, justices questioned the state’s claim that the ballot summary is misleading due to its failure to highlight marijuana’s illegal federal status.
The amendment, sponsored by Smart & Safe Florida and funded by Trulieve, would allow adults 21+ to use marijuana recreationally. The state argues the wording could confuse voters about the legality and potentially imply favoritism toward Trulieve.....Read More

Wednesday, November 8, 2023


 Hello fellow Stogie readers,

I apologize for my delayed post on this blog. It has been too long, and I promise I will make this nice and controversial.

I have spoken and written about this issue before. I have been called a self hating Jew and something akin to an apartheid sympathizer in the past when I addressed the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Needless to say, my opinions were not well received by hardliners on either side of this contentious, emotional, and historically sensitive situation. As I inch closer to running for higher offices, and move further into adulthood, I have striven to the standard of civility and disagreement without being disagreeable. I know this is all serious and controversial. I have love for all of the innocent and decent people dying and suffering in the Holy Land — it is a catastrophe, and I will not downplay the atrocity of it all.

Hamas firing rockets to kill my kin, and kidnap civilians, some of them children, is evil and will absolutely inspire more extreme Israeli sentiment for violence against Palestinians. As it has and will.

The Likud controlled Israeli government firing rockets into Gaza, obliterating infrastructure and bulldozing the scale of civilian casualties is evil and will absolutely inspire more extreme Palestinian sentiment to join or support Hamas, thus commit violence against Israelis. As it has and will.

I want to complement my friends who have called for peace, full stop, such as Lika Torikashvili.

Both Israelis and Palestinians have a longstanding claim and connection to their West Asian coast. To say that either of those peoples are morally unwelcome to the region or should exist in diaspora is a massive problem. It is problematic to suggest that the descendants of Jewish diaspora from Israel simply colonized their homeland after they faced genocide in Europe. It is problematic to suggest the Palestinians now should live indefinitely in diaspora after being forced from their homeland, in some cases with their own homes being occupied.

The Palestinian side must recognize the Jewish community’s right to live and operate in the region; the Israeli side must recognize how many Palestinians were uprooted and deserve some legitimate form of compensation for their respective lost property. Israel and the United States must formally recognize Palestinian statehood, and Israel must take actions to allow the return and integration of Palestinians abroad from diaspora.

Israel should retain control of the Golan Heights. Syria, being a battered nation ruled by an immoral dictator, should not have the land. Israeli must exist as a safe haven for the Jewish people and as the only Jewish nation on Earth. It must be empowered to defend itself from missile strikes, invasions, and other forms of malicious harm. That is to say, I am deeply troubled by the blockade of Gaza, near complete Israeli control of their water supply (etc), and that such a strike by Hamas — with kidnappings — was able to happen with Israel’s capacity for military defense, intelligence agency, and determination. It does not sit well with me.

For all of Ariel Sharon’s faults, at least he began to move in the direction of genuine disengagement from Gaza. Before him, Yitzhak Rabin strive to make peace before he was shot dead by an Israeli hardliner in Tel Aviv… I saw where he was assassinated. I went on my birthright to Israel.

Israel needs to call a ceasefire now. Netanyahu and his entire coalition need to be voted out, and a leftist, peace oriented government needs to take over the Knesset. They must keep Israeli security in mind while balancing a difficult tight rope; the real road to peace will come with a lot more terrorism, and a response succumbing to the same old “bomb and air strike” will set the peace clock back. It will be one of the most difficult challenges in modern human history if it is embarked upon.

Israel needs to recall its settlements in Palestine, or allow for Palestinians to coexist and have settlements in Israel.

Bring the egalitarian kibbutzim back into full swing and include Palestinians.

Maybe Israel and Egypt need to come together for a variety of geopolitical reasons I will save for another time. Maybe Egypt could help with the long term situation in Gaza.

The United States must step up and demand Israel change course. I import Joe Biden to do so, because this deteriorating disaster can only keep going for so long before it gets really, really, really bad. That will require tactful, hardball decisions.

The Palestinians are facing genocide, and are just as righteous in their grief as the Israeli. Muslims and Jews used to get along, back when corrupted Christian Europe oppressed and fought each side.

Does BDS work? Has it had the intended impact of freeing Palestine and the like? No. I support the right of people to free speech, assembly, and back BDS, thus I oppose our Congressional efforts to silence the movement. My fellow leftists, please evaluate and consider an alternative nonviolent approach in advocating for Palestinians facing apartheid genocide, and diaspora.

And my fellow Jews, please evaluate the consider our peoples precious, fragile future. This deteriorating situation could be the downfall and utter detriment of our people, of our cultural icon, and I DO NOT want that for my kin. Think about what Olmert (I know, jail time) is saying here.

The word of the year should be nuance. This is all incredibly complicated, and emotionally spiking in a way that many folks see this issue as black and white, absolutes. I will bring up some genuinely paraphrased Star Wars references: Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the dark side, and a wise Jedi remarked that those clouded by the dark side (overly intense yet JUSTIFIED emotional pressure, or elitist media, or political propaganda) only see in absolutes.

If anything I said here is a trigger or offends, please understand I do want peace. A two state solution, probably. A future where Israel, Palestine, and their neighbors lead the world in innovation, science, culture, prosperity, and most of all, compassion. I am no expert and only have what some would consider a remedial understanding of this issue. If you have constructive, non emotional testimony to add, I would appreciate it and take it well into account. If you’re a friend and want to dive deeper into this rabbit hole (or others) with me, know that we should be at least rather close before I divulge to such astronomical depths.




Ybor Paparazzi


Top 25 Things to Do In St Pete

What Stogie Had For Lunch

NY, NY Pizza - Ybor City

Tampa's first affordable housing suburb for African Americans remains strong after 60 years

Tampa Hoods: Ybor City

7th Ave

Everytown’s program infiltrates politics, bringing gun legislation to forefront

Democrats and Republicans in the Florida House reject a resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war; supporters of a cease-fire are accused of anti-Semitism

In an extraordinary scene that included dozens of lawmakers turning their backs on the proposal’s sponsor, the Florida House on Tuesday rejected a resolution that would have called for an “immediate de-escalation and cease-fire” in the war between Israel and Hamas.....Read More

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

What Stogie Had For Lunch

Stewed Chicken
With Rice and Platanos

$6.49 Lunch Special 

Hines Caribbean Cuisine
3313 N. Nebraska Ave, Ybor Heights

Tampa's Best Jamaican Food!

Tampa mayor discusses proposed Brightline station

Ybor Paparazzi

Carrie and Mark

Where did the Ybor City Chickens Come From?

Florida teacher loses job for gender-neutral title, report says

A Florida teacher claims to have lost their job for using a gender-neutral title, Mx., according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel.....Read More

Ybor Life

7th Ave

Florida Experiencing Mass Exodus As DeSantis Lets State Descend Into Hell

Cuban delegates visit Ybor City to learn about area's emerging art scene

Seven delegates from Cuba’s Ministry of Culture visited Kress Contemporary in Ybor City to learn about Tampa’s emerging art scene and how Cuban culture ties into it.....Read More