August 4, 2004
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Read the BuzzFlash FAQ for info on submitting to the Mailbag.
Subject: Dictators and Propaganda
Republicans rely on propaganda to elect their "creed of greed" candidates. Their agenda is not for the average American, but for the rich and powerful. Their propaganda is aimed at those easily brainwashed and gullible, to appear as something they are not, and they do not hesitate to use dirty tactics.
In his book Worse Than Watergate, John Dean in the beginning of the first chapter, "Surprisingly Nixonian," starts off saying "Nothing about George W. Bush struck me as secretive, dangerous, or the slightest bit Nixonian when he first ambled onto the national political scene." He went on to say, "He presented himself in the early 2000 presidential primaries as a nice guy, not deep, not too bright, and not terribly serious." He goes on to say that his first impression was altered slightly during South Carolina's presidential primary in February 2000, when the Bush folks went after Arizona senator John McCain. Molly Ivins, the Texas columnist who has followed Bush for years, later called it Karl Rove's "East Texas special," a barrage of false rumors that chased McCain like storm troopers around the state. First it was rumored that McCain was gay, then that he was a tomcat who cheated on his first wife. (Inconsistency is not a problem for political gossipmongers and mudslingers.) Next came a pamphlet claiming that McCain's wife, Cindy, was "a drug addict." When cruelly exploiting Cindy's brief addiction to prescription painkillers didn't work, they said McCain was crazy -- too long at the Hanoi Hilton as a POW. But that was a tough sell, so finally they played the race card. Since some South Carolinians still salute the Stars and Bars, a picture of McCain's adopted daughter, a beautiful dark-skinned girl born in Bangladesh, was circulated to sons and daughters of the Confederacy in rural areas. Rove's "East Texas special" worked and Bush knocked off his only real Republican rival.... Dirty political tactics, even when done in a way that provides deniability of that candidate, in fact always have the blessing of that candidate; anyone who thinks otherwise is not merely naive but uninformed.
Negative campaigns are synonymous with Republicans, usually using lies and half-truths, but always negative, because they have no agenda for the majority of citizens. Even their Medicare prescription plan was nothing but a poorly disguised privatization scheme benefiting pharmaceutical companies. Now, they will pull out every dirty tactic in their repertoire against John Kerry. But it may backfire on them this time around, because the terrible damage that the Bush administration has perpetrated in less than four years will surely go down in history as the worst ever in this country.
Their only tactic left is to play the terrorist card, which also is of doubtful value, because of the Bush administration's failure to heed warnings from the Clinton administration that terrorism would be their number one priority, and the 2-1/2 year bipartisan Hart-Rudman report that was turned over to Bush when he took office warning of imminent 9/11 type of terrorist threats against this country. The evident lack of priority to take action by this administration leading up to the 9/11 attacks and the lack of sufficient action to protect our borders and high value targets since then surely take away much value regarding any action they attempt to use in this campaign to show they are on top of the issue.
Subject: George Walker Bush: Conman-In-ChiefFor a long time, it was hard to figure out just what our unelected government in Washington was up to. They seemed to come up with a new outrage daily. And each one was certain to be repulsive to large percentages, if not majorities, of the American public.
Then it dawned on me: what better way to keep people off balance from previous outrages* than by merely tossing out new ones, even more outrageous than the ones previous. Just keep that up, with new outrageous proposals in such proliferation that it would eventually become virtually impossible for anyone to do much of anything about any of them or, at least, very few of them. It would become a self-perpetuating diversion machine.
It may sound a little bit harsh to some, but Bush's tendencies are very much like those of well-practiced con artists: fast-talking over the specifics with fancy words and phrases which, on the surface, sound lovely and nice ("No Child Left Behind," "Clear Skies Act," "Compassionate Conservatism," being a "Uniter, not a divider," etc.); then diverting our attention whenever the truth begins to catch up.
Bush did not win the most votes in 2000 and so, to many, he never legitimately earned the use of titles such as "President" or "Commander-In-Chief."
Based on his performance since Jan. 20, 2001, however, there's at least one title that he has clearly earned above all others. What's that title? It's simple. You can just call him "George Walker Bush: Conman-In-Chief."
A partial list of some of the worst Bush regime's outrages:
Walter Dean (BuzzFlash Reader)
I click on your coinky-dink link today and read the yahoo article. Did you notice, "The threat potential remains through the Nov. 2 elections, Ridge said."
Did the captured documentation also indicate that all threats are off after the elections? How convenient! Thanks for being there.
DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT QUESTION HELEN THOMAS WAS TRYING TO ASK BUSH AS HE IGNORED HER?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush's terror speech
Here we go again! I'm sitting here watching a "news alert" which is a farce!
This slimy, pencil neck, beady-eyed, smirk faced retard is touting how quickly they're going with the recommendations of the 9/11 commission. Why? Bush didn't give a rats ass about the PDB's and went on vacation when in fact the PDB's gave specifics on terrorists wanting to use airplanes to crash them into tall buildings, now he stands in front of the American people, and saying how he made the right decision by going into Iraq, and feeding the American people bullshit and asking them to keep drinking the kool-aid on his lies on Iraq.
Then he has the nerve to snub Helen Thomas on camera, as he knows she's the only one to ask the hard to handle questions that need to be answered What a rude SOB...Just another ploy to stay in office. I hate this administration!
A Loyal Buzz Fan Forever!
After the last two "terror warnings," even Republicans were bitching and moaning that the warnings were too vague and offered no specifics. Polls showed clearly that the public was tuning them out, less than 30 percent showed concern. The certifiable paranoids among us.
So today, alas, a new warning with some added zing! First a warning that an attack is coming any time now in New York. An hour later it was New York AND Washington, D.C. An hour later it was New York and Washington, D.C. AND Newark. Wow!First it was reported as attacks against public and government buildings. Later it was the financial district in New York City. Later it was specific as to particular buildings and cities.
Wow! A list was published (even in New Zealand, for crying out loud). Of course, it's always good to let the terrorists know which buildings are the most vulnerable and then assign a list of such targets for worldwide distribution. How helpful can you be, after all?First it was based on a single source. Later it was reported to come from multiple sources. Wow! (They work fast, don't they?)
But -- no, I mean BUT -- there is no time specified, just vague indications between right this minute and November 2nd. Huh? All this specific information, really specific stuff, but no time frame? Double huh.
First it was a possible car or truck bomb, but reports were filtering in that ventilation shafts, utility rooms, et cetera, were being canvassed. Possible bio-chem attacks were mentioned. (Break out those gas masks you've now packed away, and don't forget where you put that duct tape.) Then more car-truck bombs. Even a possible dirty bomb. No, whoa, wait, let's get back to a possible truck or car bomb, or bombs, as in multiple. Okay, we'll settle for multiples of truck and car bombs. They're more plausible because we hear reports about them being used in Iraq and Afghanistan almost on a daily basis, and the public is more likely to buy into that type of report. Right.
This alert was issued by Tom Ridge, not John Ashcroft. I guess they realized that anytime Ashcroft popped up the public became quite suspicious. Ah, duh. I can't imagine why, can you?
Well, considering that Kerry-Edwards is drawing much larger crowds to their campaign rallies than Bush, in some towns almost double in size, it appears the Bush campaign needed some extra oomph. Voila, instant terror alert.Now I hope this is all hype. I honestly suspect that it is at least mostly hype, and I sincerely hope that it is ALL HYPE. 'Cuz even my cat can adapt when I scold her for bad behavior, you know. And I tend to be extremely skeptical because I have tracked all the cities that the HSD and the FBI have visited over the past month to just drop in and let them know they're a target -- including that little town of 55,000 out in the middle of bum-jump, Illiniois, where the most credible target in town is the local grain silo. Yep, now they go town to town and tell them all "you're a target." Oh, and by the way, sleep tight.
And then there is K-E going around and telling their supporters at campaign rallies that the recommendations made by the 9/11 commission mostly amount to a commonsense approach and most of the items on the list should have been accomplished a couple of years ago. That kind of public scolding does tend to put a great deal of pressure on ol' Dubya, kind of tarnishes his shining armor, don't you know.But what simply mystifies me is if we've been soooo concerned about terrorists getting into this country, then why did Homeland Security issue an order that stopped border patrol along the U.S.-Mexican border from arresting any illegal aliens crossing over for more than two months? They were ordered to let them cross and make NO EFFORT to apprehend them. I'm not making this up; it actually happened, as a result of an intra-agency dispute. Even Lou Dobbs did some reporting on this craziness on his show. He included some harumphs, tsk,-tsk's, and actual frowns in his report and in his interviews with clueless bureaucrats. A lot of good it did.
I guess this is a long, round-about way of saying that I think I know why Dubya's eyes are brown, and it ain't got a thing to do with genetics. Ahem. So if one of these cities does get hit, then the U.S. public really ought to get together and do a "Bobbitt" on ol Dubya's pecker. Know what I mean, Vern?
[BuzzFlash Note: That's metaphorically speaking, right?]Just one more observation, please. If this is a bona fide, honest-to-God, real, gen-u-wine terror alert, then Dubya better stop campaigning and get his sorry ass back to the White House and tend to business. To do otherwise is dereliction of duty. It would be especially unseemly if an attack happens while he is mid-speech somewhere out in the twolies.
Subject: 'Protestors Gather to Greet President Bush' (Fox 17 WXMI.com)I, along with my friend Andrew, painted the "I'm George W. Bush And I Approved this Mess" sign featured in the first photo. This sign received substantial coverage on Fox's local nightly news: it was displayed in a freeze-frame in the corner of the screen above the title "Protesting the President." Surprisingly, Fox's local affiliates offered the most substantial coverage of the protests of any of the local news outlets in Grand Rapids. The bitter irony.
If you read that article, you will notice a mention of "some who made note of Bush's National Guard record." They were referring to the 9-by-5 foot "AWOL 1972-1973" my friends Andy and Neil and I made, which they also highlighted in the nightly news, available at http://www.mindcraftstudios.com/protest.jpg And yes, the "No One Died" poster is our work too, and yes, I am shamelessly bragging about it - we spent all f!$%ing week making them :)
I would estimate between 250 and 300 protestors turned out, but no single photograph represents the true number because groups were scattered throughout the downtown area simultaneously. I know because we drove by scores of protestors before parking and joining with another group located in a different location.
The Grand Rapids Police were excellent. Though barricades were enforced keeping protestors out of the immediate vicinity of the Ford Fieldhouse where the failure-in-chief spoke, we were given free reign to march all over downtown on the busiest streets. Passing motorists honked their horns, waved, and gestured peace signs and thumbs up as the crowd roared back in response. Others gave different gestures. It was awesome. The only time the police confined us was several minutes before Bush's motorcade drove by.
In case you're curious, I'm 19 and this was the first major protest I've participated in - and hopefully the last after Kerry wins in November.
[BuzzFlash Note: Great signs and thanks for the report. You should be bragging!]
Subject: Which Message Will He Pick This Week?
Hi Gang! And yet still more ever increasing flip-flops from the Shrub: "I'm the 'War President.'" "I want to be the 'Peace President.'" "We are more safe, more secure." "We are a nation in danger." Will this moron ever decide on an issue?
Hello to everyone at BuzzFlash,
I am so bummed. Having played hostess to some real high-maintenance houseguests Tuesday through Saturday, I missed most of the Democratic Convention, Air America Radio and way too much of my beloved BuzzFlash. But thank the gods I've got you back again and thank you BuzzFlash and all the fine folks who contribute to the mailbag for bringing me up to date on the convention. Your articles and letters were truly inspiring with their informative content and vivid descriptions. WOW! It sounds like I missed a barnburner. It also sounds like the television media has completely crossed over to the dark side, although that should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who is even a little bit informed. Is anyone taking bets as to how many liberals will be talking heads at the republican convention?
Fortunately, I did manage to catch Bill Maher's show. I've really missed him and it was such a treat to see Bill, Michael Moore and former Canadian Prime Minister, Kim Campbell, pummel that pompous republican ass, David Dreier (r) California. Dreier usually dominates the debate on the various television talk shows by interrupting and shouting over his liberal opponents. And he lies a lot, too, just like a true-blue republican. But Bill, Mike and Kim didn't allow him to get away with anything. And the more he tried to outwit them, the more he looked like an even bigger ass. They did a pretty good job on Ralph Nader as well. It was great. Even Bill Owens, who I'm ashamed to admit is my governor, couldn't convince anyone but the most rabid wing-nut that Bush's behavior on the morning of 9/11 in the elementary school was courageous, much less acceptable. Oh lord, how we need more shows like Bill Maher's. It's one of the few places left on television where they don't shy away from the truth.Kerry's numbers are up, Bush's are down, and, as expected, it was time to raise the terror alert to really, really scary orange. Jeez Louise, when are the American people going to get wise to the games the Bushies play? And that was just nauseating how the media avoided giving credit due to The New Republic. The media whores were happy enough to cover it when the NR disclosed that the Bushies were pressuring Pakistan to capture a high valued terrorist during the Democratic Convention. But when it happened, just as the NR article reported, they didn't have the cajones to give them any credit for calling it well in advance.
Now I feel like I'm sort of caught up on the news. Ya'll let me know if there's anything really important that I've missed. You're the best.
Subject: Negative Nabobs
Anyone watching the Democratic Convention on C-Span, was for the most part, treated to many electrifying moments. I was absolutely blown away at how the rival networks were reporting the facts. The ones that were showing just one hour reported a lack of interest, perhaps, due to their lack of interest. I watched a Democratic audience whipped into an exuberant frenzy at some of the speeches. I switched channels to get their take and at the precise moments of the exuberance, they reported how boring the Convention continued to be. There can be no doubt, if one listens to the Conservative rhetoric on any given day, it becomes obvious they are all given the same talking points. They all then fall in line to report those scripted talking points with the same trained zeal of any loyal lap dog. Their talking points were SET IN STONE long before one word was uttered at the Democratic Convention
I cannot help but think of the prophetic words of another Republican, the discredited Vice-President, Spiro Agnew. He called the press, "THE NATTERING NABOBS OF NEGATIVITY." These words were not meant for his party, but it certainly fits the "Conservative nabobs" who control the major portion of what gets reported in America today.
Subject: I sent this to Meet The Press
Karin Dicker composed a great list of questions for the media, and we should all make use of it. Send this list to the ombudsman and editors of your local newspaper, to the major newspapers elsewhere in the country, to the TV networks, to individual news shows, to radio talk shows. Add to it as you find issues that the media is ignoring. Bombard them with the fact that they're not doing their jobs. And demand to know why. Interestingly, a section on just this subject has been started in the forums on John Kerry's website. Called "Questions For The Media," people are posting what they would like to know and want the media to ask. Go there for more ideas for your letters. To Karin's list, I would add: Is someone going to ask why bush, on the campaign trail, is saying how safe we are, yet today after the alerts in NYC he says we're in great danger? Is someone going to ask why we still don't know what bush was doing in the Guard service? Is someone going to report on the rape of minors at Abu Ghraib? Is someone going to ask why the republicans are so opposed to measures that would insure a fair and honest election?
Subject: Media coverage of the DNC conventionPardon my paranoia, but has anyone considered the remote possibility that the limited and biased coverage of the Democratic Convention by ABC, CBS, NBC and to some lesser extent, CNN was planned?. Consider this: The networks knew that their limited coverage would result in complaints and outrage, especially from the those on the Left such as myself. Then, in August, they will announce that in response to the complaints, they are going to give greater coverage to the Republican Convention.
I certainly hope that I am wrong about this, but with the absolute distrust of our media, perhaps I have gone beyond paranoia and have become delusional.
Subject: To The Millions of BuzzFlash Readers
After the watching the convention I find it impossible to reconcile what I saw with what the news media is "reporting" to us. That they have been threatened by their owners and the Republicans is obvious. That they have allowed themselves to be completely corrupted is also obvious. They are totally lacking in either integrity or courage. It is for this reason that I think the most important thing we can do no matter who wins the election is to petition congress and DEMAND a return of the Fairness Doctrine which Reagan rendered impotent. We must also petition for totally public-funded elections - no private money whatsoever. I really feel this is the only way that we can save what is left of our democracy. We can't and shouldn't tolerate fraudulent elections or secretive laws that hurt us the taxpayers. (Congress, with no discussion, today gave ungodly tax breaks to owners of professional sports teams!) Buzzers should really try to get together in order to have a voice again to combat this horrible corruption that has taken hold of the media and government. The pubic air waves and the government BELONG TO US! On a completely different subject: if you want to understand what is leading us, I urge BuzzFlash readers and contributors to try to get "Bush On The Couch." The psychiatrist who wrote it used the method of applied psychoanalysis such as the CIA uses to profile world leaders by watching their appearances, reading their speeches, investigating their past and watching their body language. I recently saw him on TV and promptly ordered the book. Just scratching the surface, some of the things he mentioned were an unnaturally high level of anxiety, symptomatic of being raised by a cold, indifferent mother and a father who was never there; dyslexia, an inability to process thoughts and words; a contempt for words; an inability to acknowledge mistakes or make apologies; and a sadistic streak that allows him to take pleasure from the suffering of others. If that doesn't curl your hair, I don't know what will. But it is important to understand this man before the election that will put him in a lame duck position, a prospect we should all find frightening. Thanks to all of you for the support of the past few years of knowing that I'm not alone in the wilderness.
Subject: Veto OK but "voting no" is treason?
Bush is using Kerry's vote against him but never mentions this.
Subject: Ashcroft at the Fleet Center?
I've been reading through the letters received after the DNC and agree with everyone regarding the national media coverage of the event. It was a disgrace that media outlets gave the GOP access to the audience that was tuning in to hear the democrats' message, wasn't it? I mean, let's control our message and not let anything get in the way of that.
The above paragraph doesn't reflect my views, but it is a distillation of some things I've heard from people since the convention ended. Let's keep the "others" from speaking. Kind of like Morning in Ashcroft's America, no? Something I haven't seen anywhere is condemnation for the removal of Al Jazeera's banner from its skybox at the Fleet Center. Probably just a mistake, right?
After all, I don't think the democrats are so afraid of the GOP thugs that they'd permit someone to remove a legitimate banner identifying a legitimate news service for fear of being identified with, God forbid, Arabs! After all, this news service is more legitimate than all of our news services put together. This is the news service that was literally targeted by American tanks during the opening days of the criminal war in Iraq, losing members of its staff in the attack. This attack was carried out by American armored troops whose commanders knew that al Jazeera was housed in the hotel because the people running al Jazeera had been asked to provide its coordinates so that there wouldn't be any unfortunate accidents, you know, like the Chinese embassy targeting a few years back. Democrats should be condemning any infringement of freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of expression. I know how pissed off I get when my ISP prevents me, at least twice a week, from receiving news alerts from BuzzFlash. We should speak out against this sort of behavior no matter who is responsible for it.
It would be nice if someone from Kerry's camp made a formal apology to the brave folks at al Jazeera for the Ashcroft-like actions of some aide who probably wet his or her pants when the banner was first observed and then, when confronted with the action, refused to replace it. Shame on us if this is what we allow to occur; it makes us no better than those we seek to replace.
Subject: nomenclaturePromises to avenge deaths of civilian contractors unfulfilled (AP)
Civilian contractors? Don't you think we need to call hired soldiers hired soldiers or mercenaries? Part of the Bush machine's effectiveness is in the name game.
Subject: Intelligence Czar
How apropos! Dumbya wants an "Intelligence Czar" to serve him! For once he's honest about his largest shortcoming and seeks to have it resolved!!! Does this mean we spent all of this time and money on a 9-11 Committee investigation that only told us something we already know? Bush is dumb?!
Nancy Lynn Nagy
Subject: DEMAND DEBATES!
I wish to encourage all your readers to write letters to the editors of their local publications DEMANDING a series of debates between the president and Senator Kerry. The leadership of the USA is too important to be decided on the basis of sound bites and 30-60 second TV commercials.
I do not think that twice monthly debates are too much to ask for in the short three months remaining before the election. The president has shattered all previous records for the number of vacation days taken while in office, so I should think that finding two days a month to debate Senator Kerry should be no problem. It is important that such debates be open forums with real questions posed by the press, rather than the scripted softballs the white house has so far successfully demanded of the press.
I have seen GW unable to use complete sentences with a scripted and rehearsed speech. His performance, or lack thereof, in an open forum debate should reveal the real GW to the public. If he is confident of his abilities and his policy positions, that should not be a problem for him.
The ease of emailing a letter to the editor should make this the single most effective task that your readers can do for a positive change. DEMAND DEBATES WITH REAL QUESTIONS! Thank you.David Honish
Subject: Turned a corner?
Dear friends at BuzzFlash,
So the pResident thinks we've "turned a corner?" He really is following in the footsteps of Herbert Hoover, isn't he? If the Shrub would read a little history, once the Great Depression hit, he'd realize that Hoover said that prosperity was "just around the corner." I guess the facts would make him choke on his pretzels again.
Subject: Trent Lott - Neshoba County Fair (Response of article's author to emails)
I wrote a note to the author of the article on Trent Lott's rant regarding John Kerry's "qualifications" to be President while at the Neshoba County Fair. This was his response:
Appears your posting of the article has created quite a commotion in your readers. Just thought you would like to know.
Lott throws barbs at Kerry during Neshoba fair stump speech (Clarion-Ledger)Mark Fischer
Subject: Re: Your Afternoon Buzz
The news tonight dealt only with the terrorist threat on financial centers and how the regime plans on dealing with it. Doesn't anyone realize that they are setting up the election the same as they did in 2002 with the Washington snipers?. They intend to squeeze all of the attention away from Kerry. Somehow the public must be informed what they are up to.
Subject: Goon Squads
If you look at what happened in Milwaukee today, it's a portent of what John Kerry can look forward to. The Bush minions are sending out goon squads to Kerry rallies to shout down Kerry. What the Senator can do, I think, to turn this around is to emphasize these thugs, point them out, and ascribe to their crude tactics the bully-boy tactics of their godfather, Karl Rove, and his boss.
Remember the Republican brownshirts in Florida in 2000, intimidating the vote counters? We can expect to see much, much more of these roughhouse tactics from the Republicans this year. Kerry needs to simply point out to his supporters in the crowd that Bush and his people are doing everything to drown out the Democratic message, but you cannot suppress the truth. Let the American people see firsthand the mentality of people whose idea of political discourse is to try to shout down the opponent. This is the mentality we're dealing with, but we clearly can turn it right back on them and use it to our benefit.
Donald P. Russo
P.S. As we all know, had these thugs tried to shout down Bush, they would have been promptly arrested and handcuffed.
the pro life people would support charles manson for president if they thought he would appoint judges that would overturn r-v wade.
Subject: Why Kerry? Corinna's short answer
Why Kerry? Why not Nader or Bush? Because to achieve real security on today's high-stakes world playground, we need both brain and brawn. Not a geeked-out brain (Nader) or a brawn-mouthed bully (Bush).
your faithful reader,
Subject: Question about manufacturing "growth"
Saw this on Yahoo news:
Back in February there was talk about including fast food workers as part of the manufacturing sector.
Building Blue-Collar … Burgers? (CBS News)
Is there anyone who can confirm whether this ostensibly good news has included fast food workers in its numbers? I posed the question on the Yahoo message boards (My handle is "vote_out_the_errorists_in_2004"), and except for several indignant "of course nots " and a bit of name calling, no one there has been able to provide proof that the girl who takes my order is part of this so-called "growth".
If not, then good news, of course. If not, then it's more of the same old Bush&Co . doublespeak.
Would appreciate any assistance.
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