The BuzzFlash Mailbag
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Subject: Iraq-like propaganda on Social Security
Remember all the stuff Bush said in the lead-up to the Iraq
war? How much was true? That's right, none of what Bush said
was true (for a real shock, watch Bush's 2003 State of the Union
This latest Social Security propaganda blitz by Bush is exactly
like the Iraq war propaganda blitz, in that none of it is true.
Everything Bush says is a purposeful distortion.
Just like the embarrassment of the Iraq war fiasco, the press
should be ashamed of themselves for their lazy handling of the
Social Security issue.
In my opinion, the blood of 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians is
not only on Bush's head, it is on the head of an incredibly
lazy news media in the United States. The media's lazy handling
of the buildup to the Iraq war was a deadly disgusting affair.
I don't know how some of you can look yourself in the mirror.
Do your job on the Social Security issue. Believe it or not,
an incredible amount of stuff can be discovered by a few clicks
of your mouse on the Internet.
Don't drop the ball on Social Security. Earn your fat paychecks.
Subject: Election fraud coverage
I love my country and am deeply ashamed that the 2004 election
was so marred by irregularities and what appears to be outright
fraud. Even in San Diego where our write-in candidate for mayor
clearly won the voter's majority, we have not been able to get
her in offfice. Please cover all of the election irregularities
and the new hearings fully. Not just Ukrainians and Iraqis deserve
We need a new revote with publicly hand counted paper ballots
in each state if we are to believe that this is a democracy.
Subject: Now that Ashcroft's gone
Have they removed the curtain from the statue of justice yet?
And if not, why not?
Subject: The Official Inaugural Announcement
THE ROYAL CORONATION
FOR THE UN-ELECTED KING
OF NORTH AMERICA!
KNIGHTS, NOBLES, AND LORDS.
PEASANTS AND THE COMMON FOLK
ARE NOT ALLOWED.
BY INVITATION ONLY
ON THE 20TH DAY OF JANUARY
UP CLOSE AND FRONT ROW
SEATS ARE AVAILABLE
FOR A PRINCELY SUM OF 13 BAGS OF GOLD.
SECURITY WILL BE PROVIDED
BY THE ROYAL STANDING ARMY AND
A LORD HIGH COMMISSIONER
IS IN CHARGE.
A SPLENDID TIME
IS GUARANTEED FOR ALL.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: My son, a soldier, voted for Kerry
Hi, I'm just responding to the article about the demoralization
of the soldiers and the flippant remark in the headline that they
deserve it because they voted for Bush.
My son, who just got back from a one-year tour in Iraq, voted for
Kerry. I got him the absentee ballot and he voted as soon as he
could. I just made a call the other day to an organization with
regard to business matters and ended up getting into a conversation
with the employee on the other end of the phone--a woman whose son
is also in Iraq and also voted for Kerry. There is an organization
of military families against the war and Bush on the web that contacts
I wonder if anyone has any evidence that the soldiers voted for
Bush. I would think that if this were true, the Rethugs would be
trumpeting it. After all, we are getting tons of reports on how
women voted, men voted, hispanics voted and so on. Where is the
report on how the military voted?
Thanks for your attention,
Subject: Bush Pronounced "Fit" for Duty
The news that Bush's physicians have asserted that he is physically
fit to be president just shows that they're still examining the
wrong end of his tailpipe. The real question has always been:
is he mentally fit to be president? Bush coyly admits that he
may have had a few too many donuts while on the campaign trail.
So that makes him a slightly overweight turkey, basted in coke
syrup and stuffed with Krispy Kremes. Perhaps that explains some
of the symbolism behind his coronation menu. Some kind of sick
sacrament (at $250 thousand dollars a tongue). I won't even ask
about the "sockeye salmon" -- as it's obviously just another contemptuous
middle finger towards those who would protect endangered species.
Whether his doctors choose to acknowledge it or not, this is
one sick puppy. It's not hard to imagine this brainless bozo challenging
an armless veteran at Walter Reed to an arm wrestling contest.
He could get away with it -- make no mistake about it. It strikes
me as in the poorest of taste to exclaim after his excellent health
when so many real veterans are suffering from grievous physical
and psychological injuries directly resulting from his 'first
this, then that' justifications for a war that has killed and
maimed thousands of innocent people, military and civilian.
I wonder if his handlers aren't having some misgivings about
further appearances by the "Cheerleader-in-Chief" in front of
troops bound for Iraq? He may look trim and fit in a Qaddafi jacket,
but is that enough to preclude an awkward "Rummy" moment? An unsolicited
question from a soldier with regard to his/her own physical well-being?
Should that happen, what does he say? After all, the pathetic
lament, "I'm just an old man," has already been spoken for. Maybe
he could try "I'm just a retarded monkey," or "I'm just a turkey
basted in coke syrup and stuffed with Krispy Kreme donuts." (Anyway,
that was all Saddam's fault, or was it Bill Clinton's? Certainly
no blame attaches to the spiffily lapeled CIC/presidential seal,
George Bush). The body of bush, the blood of bush. The donut hole
Subject: Re Tom Wieliczka's 12/16 mailbag suggestion for "Person
of the Week"
Thought Mr. Wieliczka's suggestion was excellent. Maybe you should
have a new feature "Political Hero and Zero of the Week."
The way it stands now the Republicans will be in charge for a
very long time, because they control everything. For the Dems.
to say that we have to make our message clearer is dreaming. The
Dems' message is clear. In 2006 if the Dems don't learn some of
these dirty tricks that the Republicans are pulling they will
not get back in power.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: CITIZEN ASSESSMENT: bin Laden winning "War on Terra"
I read yesterday that the Iraq War is going to cost another 100
billion bucks and it got me to thinking; You know, Osama is kicking
George Bush's ass all over this planet. Hell, he is even winning
the PR war. I would be willing to bet that if Zogby or Pew did
an International poll in which the question was, "Who is
the most despised man on the planet?" the Preznit would win
by a landslide.
Didn't I read somewhere that it cost bin Laden about a million
to hit the U.S.? How much has (and will) this ill-conceived boondoggle
called the "war on terra" cost us? over 200 Billion,
and counting. Damn! Talk about kicking ass!
According to Bush, Osama and company hate us for our freedoms.
Of course we know that that is pretty much hogwash, but that is
his story and he's sticking to it. By that measure, Osama has
the winning ticket again. We are now much less free than we were
before 9/11, and that has not cost Osama anything. He did not
even have to invade and codify the Sharia (or whatever). Bushco
has been more than happy to aid him in this cause and a right
wing and/or "terrified- by-Anthrax" Congress has allowed
Old "Wanted-Dead or Alive" is still making appearances
on TV and sending audio tapes for broadcast. The war in Iraq has
made him an Arab hero of mythical proportions. Georgie remains
the most universally despised man since Adolph Hitler.
How could anyone vote for this fool based on his performance as
a War Preznit? By every conceivable measure, He is losing one
battle after another. Just like every other thing he has touched
in his life, our country is a train wreck.
(All of the above is true as long as we suspend all suspicions...not
to mention common sense...and say that Osama did manage to hit
America without inside help, and that he is alive and broadcasting)
I guess that is another thing Bush has managed to lose for many
Americans; any willingness they ever had to trust government.
Keep up the good work,
Subject: expenditure accountability
how about creating a site that shows how taxpayers' money is being
spent every week in layman's' terms? i would like to know the
expenditures on a weekly basis. thanks. hope you can.
I think that this whole Kerik debacle is a setup to destroy Giuliani.
I think that the Bushies have it in for Rudy, seeing as he's Catholic
and moderate and openly had affairs AND he accepted the Newsweek
Person of the Year award for 2001 (that SHOULD have gone to the
Lord, I mean W). I think it was all a setup to make it look like
Rudy is corrupt and has mob associations, and to ruin any chance
of him running for prez in '08. That's reserved for Jeb. I think
it was all just another Rove Orchestration from the beginning.
A BuzzFlash Reader
After watching "Fahrenheit 9/11" again, I was struck
by the effort of the Congressional Black caucus to contest the
Florida electoral vote. They were unsuccessful because they needed
at least one Senator to sign on with them, and no senator would
step forward. This time around, it's looking like Congressman
Conyers is going forward to contest at least the Ohio vote. Can
BuzzFlash readers contact their senators and urge them to join
with Mr. Conyers? Just getting one senator would get this baby
in motion, but what about getting several? I've seen Barbara Boxer's
name mentioned, but what about Senator Robert Byrd? Barbara Mikulski?
Tom Harkin? Fritz Hollings? John Edwards? John Kerry? (These last
two especially! You would think they'd want to put up more of
a fight. No Ukrainian blood in them!) Isn't the electoral college
vote on January 6, BEFORE any new senators are sworn in? How about
getting all those Democrats who got voted out of office, or are
retiring to take a final stand, a last chance to redeem themselves
and maybe salvage some of our right to vote and be counted? If
enough pressure was put on ALL the Democratic senators, maybe
some of them will remember what party they're in and do the right
(and brave) thing.
Subject: Ethical Biscuits?
To be very blunt, I am proposing a letter writing campaign directed
towards the major professions in America to take a very public
stance against the Bush Administration in regard to its ongoing
policy of torture, as well as, the participation of professionals
themselves in this, whether actively or tacitly by their silence.
To date, the evidence is simply overwhelming that Abu Ghraib was
not an "aberration," but a direct result of calculated
and sanctioned torture instituted at Guantanamo Bay. Appalling
is the fact that highly educated people from all professions and
their subordinates have participated in and facilitated this in
direct violation of each profession’s self-established ethical
guidelines and principles.
I, myself, am a physician, a child psychiatrist specifically,
and I find particularly offensive and unconscionable the participation
of psychiatrists, psychologists, and physicians in the so-called
"biscuit teams." It becomes the ultimate in hypocrisy
when one examines the long honored and well established research
ethics and practice guidelines of these professions which have
been refined and established over time to protect individuals
from the very abuses that the "biscuit teams" facilitate.
Also, to have a lawyer, in the person of Mr. Gonzales, seemingly
create new law, which flies in the face of thousands of years
of the evolution of civilization and our legal system, at the
beck and call of Mr. Bush, is downright frightening. While doctors
and lawyers notoriously do not get along very well, I must compliment
the ABA for at least trying to speak out in the media about this.
The response from the AMA as well as both APA's leaves much to
In these Orwellian times that we live in, it becomes very easy
to forgive individuals, including highly educated people who should
know better, for their rigidity, fear, and denial in trying to
maintain the status quo, and succumbing to various forms of intimidation.
Doctors and lawyers and psychologists are ultimately only human,
and to some extent should be forgiven this as well. However, the
time when professionals could legitimately claim ignorance, and
maintain an active strategy to remain ignorant, has long passed.
As physicians, we have all been trained and apprised as to the
importance of what we refer to as "the doorknob comment."
Put simply, this is generally the last little remark that a patient
might offer to their doctor on the way out the door after a visit.
It is well-established that this is often the time that a patient
will very honestly disclose the pressing complaint or symptom
of which they are the most concerned or fearful and avoidant,
and most physicians have been trained to listen very closely.
If you truly feel that you have received good care, and have no
other pressing concerns at your next doctor or psychologist visit,
why not utilize "the doorknob comment" to express your
concerns in regards to this issue and awaken whatever professional
you are dealing with. Be prepared, for there will likely be a
gamut of responses from them, from sympathy to disbelief to outright
I have to believe that the majority of physicians, no matter their
party politics, should honestly listen to and discuss this with
you. Unfortunately, I tend to believe that the closing comment
from many professionals would be something along the lines of
a condescending, "It’s just not that simple." I would
submit to you that the converse is actually true, and it is "just
that simple." Torture is inexcusable, and passive or active
participation is unconscionable. This is not a "moral value,"
but a "moral and developmental tenet" easily recognizable
by a child at age 5 and ever afterward, but unfortunately, subject
to political or philosophical hijacking. As well, it should not
be subject to medical, psychological, or legal interpretation,
qualification, or quantification. It is that simple.
Physicians and other professionals are dependent upon their patients
and clients as much, or more so than their patients or clients
depend upon them. Therefore, I feel that your complaints to these
professions through their organizations will carry more weight
than complaints from their own members.
I have pulled together below the electronic contacts for the ethics
committees of the AMA, both APA’s, and the ABA. Please take the
time to click upon each and send them an email expressing your
opinion about torture being done in the name of America. Feel
free to forward this piece as an Email to friends and family and
encourage them to do the same.
No matter your political party, Republican, Democrat, or other,
torture has been and continues to be committed and sanctioned
in your name. No matter the behavior of "the enemy,"
no one deserves to be tortured.
While I strongly advocate sending your own thoughts and feelings
in your Email, I realize for convenience sake that many might
want an outline, or general idea of what to write, or indeed have
something prewritten and ready to send. If this is the case with
you, might I suggest something simple and brief? Feel free to
copy and paste the following if you like:
I am angered by the recent news of torture of individuals
at the hands of and in the name of America. I am further appalled
by willing and active participation in this by members of the
profession represented by your organization in violation of
its own ethics guidelines. Please make a public statement immediately
condemning these acts, participation in them by members of this
profession, as well as the policies sanctioning such behavior
from the Bush Administration.
I feel that this is the only possibility of restoring credibility
to the profession that you represent.
This is the Email access page for the AMA’s Council on Ethical
and Judicial Affairs:
This is the Email address for the Ethics office of the APA or
"American Psychological Association":
This is the Email address for the APA or the “American Psychiatric
Association”. While they do have an Ethics board, it does not
appear that they have a specific Email address.
Very hard one to find without a lot of digging, but this is the
closest equivalent to an Ethics general contact Email at the ABA,
or “American Bar Association”. CPR stands for the “Center for
My preferred outcome for this would be a joint press conference
with representatives of all four associations present, in which
they openly condemn the Bush Administration for this behavior,
restate their ethical principles, condemn as well those of their
respective professions who have participated, and demand an immediate
and honest response as well as an open dialog from the Bush Administration.
Thank you in anticipation of your support,
A Concerned Child Psychiatrist
Subject: Mr. Falwell; Have you no shame lying about the Founding
Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified
12/15/1791. Note Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress
The committee which received Rev. Allison's petition then submitted
it to Congress on Sept. 11, 1777. The report stated: "The
use of the Bible is so universal and in importance so great,
that your Committee refer the above to the consideration of
Congress… After successful print runs of this Bible, in 1781,
Mr. Aitken petitioned Congress to aid in the printing of the
entire King James Bible.
You then go on to make this claim:
Through their lies, they are effectively spitting in the faces
of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and
numerous other Founders who took great pains to ensure that
religion had a prominent place in American life.
I would suggest that YOU read the Constitution and check the
dates. It would appear that in 1791, the Founding Fathers had
a change of heart regarding their support for Religion. It is
you and your followers who are spitting in the faces of the Founding
Fathers, and you are spiting in the face of God by cloaking your
lies under the guise of Religion.
And your other example from 1803 falls apart under scrutiny.
...most of the Catholic Priests who received money during that
time period for the purpose of converting Indians, were in fact,
employed by the government as Indian Agents.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Evil (or ignorance)
Evil (or ignorance) is like a shadow -- it has no real substance
of its own, it is simply a lack of light. You cannot cause a shadow
to disappear by trying to fight it, stomp on it, by railing against
it, or any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In
order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: religious right: christmas
Once again, the religious right wing is shocked, I say - SHOCKED
- to discover that there are people in the United States of America
who are not Christians and think they have as much right to exercise
their religions as Christians do. HORRORS!!!! What is this country
So now they're boycotting stores for recognizing that not everybody
celebrates Christmas. This is in addition to their attempts to
drag organized prayer (Christian, of course) back into public
schools, and remove the teaching of evolution. Their kids might
learn to THINK. What next?
I begin to suspect something: Do the self-professed "born-again"
types want the schools teaching religion because they can't be
bothered to get out of bed on Sunday and take the kids to church?
After all, George Bush is born again, and he doesn't go to church
(thank you, BuzzFlash, for letting me in on that little bit of
information). I am a product of the public school system. We did
not pray in school. We were taught about evolution in science
class. We were taught that the universe is several billion --
not 6,000 -- years old. And yet I am a Christian believer. My
parents took us to church on Sunday, where we learned to read
the Bible, pray, and believe in Jesus as our Savior. I have no
children, but if I did, I wouldn't want the schools teaching them
religion (except for information, such as in comparative-religion
classes). That's the church's job, and it is much better equipped
to do it than the public schools.
The schools' job is to make informed citizens, and that means
kids have to learn that there are more religions than one in the
world, and that science is about observing how the universe runs,
and that they are capable of reading and writing and thinking
and being creative. But maybe that's what the religious right
is afraid of -- people thinking.
Subject: review voting machine software
There has been much talk about the unreliability in the electronic
voting machines. Why is it that no one mentions the fact that
computer programs can be decompiled and reviewed in the form of
its original pseudo-code? This of course assumes that the machine
has not been violated since the election results have been tallied.
It also assumes that the courts would allow someone to extract
the eprom from the machine and upload the machine code so that
it may be reviewed.
Subject: Is this true?!
Has this really happened?
With an obscure provision smuggled without any hearings or public
notice into the gargantuan budget bill -- 3,000 pages of pork
and chicanery approved, unread, by Bush's rubber-stamp Republicans
and that wiggly bit of protoplasm known laughingly as the "Democratic
opposition" -- Bush stripped the nation's wild horses of
long-standing legal protections against being sold off, slaughtered
and shipped overseas for meat. The Bush plan, spearheaded by Montana
Senator Conrad Burns -- longtime bagman for Big Cattle interests
-- sets a production goal of up to 20,000 wild horse corpses in
the coming year, The Associated Press reports.
America is truly, certifiably insane. Its government is engaged
Subject: Real Men Don't Dye Their Hair
With all the trivial matters surrounding the war and who’s going
to be the next Color-Coded Warrior in charge of Homeland Security,
I think it’s important to note that gwb’s hair color seems to
change a lot. Today, when he was poorly rendering his cliché
filled speech, written by others, I could not help but notice
that his hair seemed to have a lot less gray than other recent
pictures. Tell me that my Commander-in-Chief isn’t some sort of
girlie-man who dyes his hair. He’s supposed to be a macho, brush-clearing,
horse avoiding cowboy, not some pansy who goes to the beauty parlor.
I want my CIC to be bold, steadfast, decisive and deceptive, not
some light-in-the-loafers caricature. I’ll bet the liberal media
can’t wait to trash him for re-inventing himself.
Subject: How much our prez. honors duty
I am a regular reader, but this is the first time I have written.
I spoke to my daughter this morning and she was very upset. Her
husband is an agent for the federal government [I don't want to
say what dept., I am somewhat paranoid] that has been to Iraq
twice this past year for 4 months each time. As part of his assignment,
he was due to receive hazardous duty pay to amount to $30,000
above and beyond his normal pay. This was stated prior to his
accepting the assignment. They were told yesterday that his dept.
had over spent its budget and his HDP would be reduced to $9,000.
They had planned to pay off student loans with this pay. It was
a reason that he took the assignment. Thank you George, you and
your tax cut friends have screwed another good American that risked
his life for country. Why don't you give out a couple of more
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: A Full House of Jokers
It's unfortunate that Dubya didn't go ahead and add both Condi
and Rummy to the list and present them with the Medal of Freedom
along with Tenet, Bremer and Franks. He would then be holding
a hand which would be unbeatable for laughs -- a full house of
Subject: Progressive News
With the "retirement" of Bill Moyers, Dan Rather and
Tom Brokow, and the window to any kind of balanced coverage on
the television networks quickly closing, maybe we have an opportunity
for something new.
Wouldn't it be great if George Soros and other people of means,
along with broad-based popular networks, could organize the launch
of a new network news channel that would be a bit more open-minded
about reporting? Maybe Moyers, Rather and Brokow would join a
team that doesn't have to tow the company line, a team that could
really investigate and report the news from a more progressive
perspective. Air America and Democracy Now! are trying to offer
a breath of fresh air on the radio and internet. Why not try to
do something similar for the television airwaves?
The fourth leg of the balance of power in this country needs revival.
Maybe an opportunity has presented itself. Is there any way we
can help get the ball rolling?
Subject: High Pensions:
Bush has suggested cutting Social Security benefits by a third.
Boy money's tight and times are tough. Maybe in the spirit of
solidarity Bush will cut his and Congress' pensions in half.
Let's start asking them right now!
R. David Goldberg
Subject: Black and White, or shades of gray?
Exposing mythology as a lie is sort of like playing chess --it
is a black and white issue and the white has to win to get at
I remember a time when the truth versus a lie was a very simple
process of "black versus white," and not what it has
become as the media and our politicians strive to see who can
present the "most convincing shade of gray."
The following link is just a reminder that even after "they"
say it, always check later to see if the truth finally showed
up. Much of what Bush, and even the Dems in Congress, have said
has been shown later to be a lie and it is those lies that are
killing this nation and our liberties.
Our government has no institutional memory and over time it is
as if their myopia has affected the rest of this nation.
They lie all the time, the trick in getting "checkmate"
is in making sure they get nailed in their moves and eventually
the truth is known for anyone that will take the time to see.
Karl W. B. Schwarz
Subject: CBS coverage of the "social security news"...
There should be no need for an old Idaho hillbilly to have to
remind you of the commonly accepted meaning of "fair and
balanced" reporting of issues of national importance. Neither
is there any doubt that an organization as powerful as CBS does
indeed have access to most if not all the facts pertinent to the
true state of affairs concerning this subject.
It is most appropriate for CBS to take the lead in telling the
truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth concerning this
Subject: Veto Gonzales
Please, please do whatever you can to forestall, impede, or overturn
the nomination of Alberto R. Gonzales as Attorney General. This
guy is dangerous and could be a disaster for civil liberties in
He's even more lethal than Clarence Thomas, because he's probably
more intelligent (although that's not saying much). Remember,
he's the guy who was feeding George W. Bush all of the legal opinions
that allowed Bush to kill more prisoners than any other governor
in modern American history (and all of that, with an average of
15 minutes to read the briefs of each condemned person). You don't
have to be an opponent of the death penalty to know that that
is seriously screwed-up.
Then, Gonzales becomes counsel to the President and tells him
that the Geneva Convention is "quaint" and that he should
have the power as commander-in-chief to torture (according to
his own, very strained interpretations of what "torture"
actually is) anybody who is deemed an "enemy" (and,
of course, anybody who opposes George W. Bush's war policies is,
ipso facto, an enemy). Quite tautological. And also quite un-American
(in my opinion). See Guantanamo and Abu-Ghraib for examples of
George Orwell probably couldn't have imagined a Donald Rumsfeld
(too unique and bizarrely American), but he definitely pictured
the Alberto Gonzaleses of the future -- the factotums of totalitarianism.
The servants of power, only too glad to oblige their masters with
reasons for their actions. Please help put an end to at least
one threat to American democracy. Please work to veto Alberto
Gonzales. Thank you.
Subject: AARP vs. Big Drugs: Too Little and Too Late
here's a piece i wrote this week after receiving a letter from
AARP requesting that i sign petitions and make a donation for
their "grassroots" campaign to lower drug prices. you're
welcome to post it if you want to...
Bernard Kerik’s mistresses and mob ties were never questioned
by an administration that promised to restore Washington’s moral
values. But the Kerik affair is far from the only hypocrisy
in the capital these days.
Almost as stunning is the hypocrisy of the AARP, whose 35 million
members, all age 50 and older, make it the nation’s largest
It was the AARP whose support proved decisive last year to pass
President Bush’s pathetic excuse for a Medicare prescription
drug law, one that did far more for HMOs and pharmaceutical
companies than for the vast majority of 40 million older and
disabled Medicare recipients.
One of the law’s worst provisions forbids Medicare from negotiating
lower drug prices with drug companies -- a power the Veterans
Administration and some state Medicaid programs have had for
years. Even the administration’s top health official, Health
and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, expressed disappointment
that this power had not been given to Medicare (although he
waited a year till his resignation announcement to say so).
AARP endorsed the bill, regardless. So I was stunned the other
day to receive a letter from the organization, telling me and
other members that because "Americans pay more for your
prescription drugs than people in any other country in the world,"
AARP "is taking this fight to the drug companies themselves,"
proposing "to deluge the offices of America’s largest pharmaceutical
corporations with petitions" from AARP members demanding
lower drug prices.
Enclosed with the letter were four petitions for me to sign.
They were addressed to the four biggest pharmaceutical companies:
Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Each demanded that the company "Endorse giving the government
the authority to negotiate lower drug prices on consumers' behalf,"
among other things.
Along with the petitions was a request that I contribute anywhere
from $15 to $500 or more to "HELP AARP GRASSROOTS ADVOCATES
PUT DRUG COMPANIES ON NOTICE."
If AARP thinks government power to negotiate drug prices is
an urgent necessity -- and I certainly agree that it is -- why
didn't AARP insist on its inclusion in the bill as the price
of its support? Or, after the bill became law in December 2003,
why didn't AARP urge its 35 million members to pressure congressional
candidates to promise new legislation giving Medicare that authority?
Either would have maximized the organization's clout, a commodity
in much shorter supply post-election.
I doubt that big drug companies have much to fear from a pile
of petitions from senior citizens that arrive two years before
the next election. Not that the industry couldn't afford to
cut prescription drug prices. It's the nation's most profitable
business sector. The earnings of its top ten companies totaled
$35.9 billion in 2002, according to the consumer advocate group
Public Citizen, more than half the profits (once losses were
deducted) of all Fortune 500 companies.
The industry's chief lobby, the Pharmaceutical Research and
Manufacturers of America, has just named a new president. He
is retiring Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), a principal author of
the Medicare prescription drug bill that became law in December
2003. Tauzin’s appointment caused a critic, Rep. Henry Waxman
(D-Ca.), to point out that "A chief architect of the Medicare
prescription drug legislation is now going to represent the
chief beneficiary of the bill."
With Tauzin directing the trade group’s dozens of lobbyists,
and its millions in campaign contributions, the AARP petition
campaign will be a lot more one-sided, and a lot more predictable,
than "the David vs. Goliath battle" that AARP says
it expects. It's a classic case of too little and too late.
At least 45,000 AARP members have quit the organization to protest
its support for the Medicare drug law. After receiving word
of the new "grassroots" campaign for petition signings
and donations, my wife and I have joined them by cutting up
our AARP membership renewal cards and mailing them, along with
a nasty letter, to AARP's chief executive officer, William D.
Novelli, at his home in Bethesda, Maryland.
We hope that if it'’s mailed to his house instead of his office,
there's a better chance he'll read it. The last line of the
letter reads: "You ought to be ashamed of yourself."
Subject: There needs to be a Liberal Flag
Something we can identify with. Do you have any ideas??
Subject: The Politics of Victimization (Response to article that
It has been my contention for years that people who oppose reproductive
rights are abusers, regardless of whether they are male or female.
If you follow the list of escalation that domestic abusers follow
in order to control their partners, it is the same -- isolation,
intimidation and misinformation, making the victim feel guilt
and fear, physical restraint (blocking clinic doors), and finally,
when those tactics don’t succeed, violence -- only the violence
is generally aimed at the "other man" (the doctor) who
is attacked and often killed. Killing the pregnant woman would
go against their "pro-life" position because she’s carrying
a fetus, but killing a physician doesn’t seem to betray their
There are two major models of governing. The "feminist"
model places power in the governed, which calls for con census
of the group with the power flowing up to the top. This is the
ideal our democracy is based on. On the other hand, the "macho"
model gives power to the person at the top of the pyramid and
power trickles down (the military, corporations, public education).
Whenever the "macho" model of governing is used (i.e.
Bush and Company), the only possible way it can end is in violence
because the leaders never admit to being wrong. In order to prove
their "manhood" (that they are right at all costs),
these people keep escalating their methods of control until ultimately
they paint themselves into a corner. They are left with no alternative
but the use of violence. In microcosm, you can see it when a macho
male is trying to repair something. He doesn’t take the time to
reason it out. He thinks that if he hits an inanimate object long
enough and hard enough, it will eventually bend to his will! Unfortunately,
he applies this philosophy to other human beings, too!
This is just off the top of my head and not fully processed at
this point. If you have comments, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No curse words, please! Thanks.
Politics of Victimization (matthewgross.com/blog)
Subject: Man of the Year
When I saw Bush as Time magazine's Man of the Year Award Sunday
morning, I felt I needed to get an email off to the publication.
Even though Editor, Mr. Kelly, described the criteria for their
choice (see below) I wanted to add more to his definition of Bush...but
guess what... at 10:30 a.m. eastern standard time, Times email
contact was unavailable. Imagine that! Do you suppose that editors
knew in advance that there would be emails of outrage, thus shutting
down their email site? Or do you think that their email box became
overwhelmed? Do you think the Pope is Catholic?
My email correspondence to "Time Letters to the Editor:"
In reference to Time Man of the Year Award: The magazine's
editors tapped Bush "for sharpening the debate until the
choices bled, for reframing reality to match his design, for
gambling his fortunes-and ours-on his faith in the power of
Just a little reminder, Mr. Kelly:
Seems you forgot to include FASCIST/DICTATOR in your Bush description
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Wow, it has gotten this bad
The Bush criminal gang continues to insist that there is no such
thing as global warming, just like Tony Soprano would insist that
the gentleman lying in his trunk is merely sleeping. Both have
equal credibility but at least Tony keeps his criminality in the
family. The Bush mob's actions affect every family. The evidence
continues to mount that corporations are doing perhaps irreversible
damage to our planet, by pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
unabatedly and paying their shills in the Republican Party good
money to continue to be able to legally do this. The article linked
below provides yet another bit of proof that the climate is changing
before our very eyes as a result.
Once upon a time, for oh all of recorded history, it was dark
in the Arctic during the winter. Now, because of global warming,
there is a strange light enveloping the landscape in the dead
of winter. The Arctic, folks, is the bellwether area of the planet.
Global warming effects will be seen there first and radical changes
like these have shown up there with a vengeance in the last few
years. It is evident that process of global warming is picking
The question has become therefore whether we are willing to demand
right now that action be taken to radically reduce carbon dioxide
production before the process is completely out of control. Forget
Bush and his band of corporate thugs and christofascists who run
the federal government. They could care less if the world is ending
because they believe that is what Jesus wants, never mind that
I think He may have a contrarian viewpoint on the subject of the
deliberate despoilment and ruination of His father's planet. It
is high time to push other government entities to act and reduce
emissions on a state by state basis and mount a sustained boycott
of the corporations who are poisoning this planet and endangering
lights blamed on climate change (The Independent)
Never separate the lives that you lead from the words that
you speak. -- Paul Wellstone
Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary
act. -- George Orwell
Subject: My Comments regarding Bush and his War
Your article on the soldier who has condemned the war in iraq
and is hoping to stop this war by means of demonstrations, is
worth the battle. We need to stop this greedy war for oil. We
are not going to train our future generation to think like the
barbarians. Bush has a sure agenda. By creating 9/11, he could
change the constitution (excuse, terrorism), play with the tax
system or social security, create a police state (maybe Kerik
refused his post, probably he knows the danger and doesn't approve
of Bush's dangerous policies), restrict freedom of speech, etc.
I hate when I hear the words "war on terrorism" from
the white house speaker. I wish he could say, who are the real
My gut feeling is that this country will face lawlessness and
we see that clearly in stolen elections, the lies regarding WMD,
and invading countries and killing their people in the name of
democracy. I think that Kuwait and S. Arabia were targeted in
the 90's by Saddam and for sure U.S. was behind it. I hope Saddam
and his cronies will confess everything so we know the real truth
about U.S. involvement in the Iran/Iraq war and other weapons
programs established in Iraq. I do think Kuwait and S. Arabia
could be supporting and financing the expenses on the ground where
soldiers are concerned. They were paranoid because of the past
war with Saddam. What if Bush is eating our millions of tax dollars
in the name of the present war? Where is the accountability? How
do we know where the funds are actually spent? Why is he cutting
the taxes from the rich one percent of the Americans when there
is a war going on? Is it that he would like to protect his own
finances while he is in the white house? "Don't give a dime.
Let the middle class pay the expenses."
Only God protect each one of us.
Subject: Frist's MD and Senate Qualifications?
To Former and/or current patients of Bill Frist:
After having watched your "doctor" stammer around on
George Stephanopoulos' ABC program last Sunday, I've got to ask
If he (Frist), as an M.D., doesn't know how AIDS or HIV can be
transmitted, how in the hell did he ever "treat" patients
safely? I mean if he doesn't know the basics that even my 10 year
old granddaughter does about AIDS, where does the AMA get off
licensing this quack?
Further: if he is so ignorant about medicine (his chosen field;
that he presumably spent at least one year in basic biology) how
can he justify representing the people of Tennessee let alone
the U.S. in the Senate?
Although there's probably no data, I wonder how many "patients"
of his were misdiagnosed, mal-treated and possibly died because
he "can't say for certain" something that elementary
school children already know?
One thing's for certain, though. He has no compunction about sending
someone else's relatives to their deaths in Iraq even when he
didn't have all the facts; or rather, all the facts available
at the time! I thought doctors did exhaustive testing before they
euthanised patients. Makes you wonder if he has the wherewithal
or just plain intelligence to handle a job in the Senate.
I feel bad for the people he "misdiagnosed" by sending
them to Iraq. I guess it's like the FDA programs run by the Republican
majority the last 8 years. They want the drug companies (and military)
to get the big bucks from the sheep in America without safe testing
(just like the equipment for the Troops in Iraq).
I wonder how he can live with both positions of incompetence?
But I guess it's ok, if his wealthy friends get wealthier and
he has his own personal feeling of power.
Too bad Senators can't be sued for malpractice in government!
Maybe he mistook his Hypocratic oath for a "hypocritic"
one. And he's concerned about people! Yeah! Right!
Subject: My note to Nancy Pelosi re: Cynthia McKinney
Dear Congresswoman Pelosi,
What better antidote to the ongoing diet of Rice lies, sure to
escalate when she assumes Colin Powell's irreparably torn cape,
than to restore Cynthia McKinney's seniority? She asked the questions
about 9/11 all of us out here in the huskings, and many of you
in Congress were reluctant to ask. Watching McKinney grill Ms.
Rice about "nobody ever imagined they would use airplanes
as missiles," amongst other jaw-dropping obfuscations, is
a pleasure I'm looking forward to with the enthusiasm I recently
had for getting John Kerry elected. Please, don't deprive me of
this small consolation. Do the right thing by the courageous lady
from Georgia. Restore her seniority.
C. Robert Holloway, Senior, Veteran
West Hollywood, CA
Subject: To the Christian Right
To Christians out there who have accepted Bush as their savior
and put their faith in him, I tell you that God tells us not to
put other Gods before him. Also, I tell you that there are more
moral values out there than you are paying attention to. If you
want to follow Christ, then bring us national health care. Jesus
practiced socialized medicine regularly when he healed the sick.
Subject: christmas morning tip:
If your kids appear disappointed as they open their gifts you
can curtly tell them, "we go into christmas morning with
the gifts we have, not the gifts we wish we had!!!" that
will make things OK.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Republiscum not only steal elections. . .
they steal lives and futures and sanity. But at least Halliburton
is getting its billions, billions more are being wasted on "Star
Wars" for the benefit of defense contractors owned by Carlyle
Group and others, the treasury is all but depleted, and the Bushies
couldn't be happier. Scumbag of the year.
on the Cheap (Bob Herbert/NY Times)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Pounding Some Ailes
After watching Roger Ailes on C-Span's new show "Q &
A" last night, it leaves little wonder why FOX is a right
wing propaganda machine. Ailes...has a long history of close ties
with many political administrations starting with Richard Nixon,
the king of covert control freaks.
When asked about the difference between a Brit Hume and Bill O'Reilly
in the "news" that they report, Ailes' weird response
commented about how Crossfire interviews folks about aliens? He
also took a swipe at Lou Dobbs, a true conservative, saying that
he "was running for something" because of what he reports?
The remark further shows that Ailes is a Republican hack willing
to denigrate anyone who reports bad news about the current administration.
Another outrageous statement by Ailes made the claim that some
people hate FOX because the station loves America. When asked
why FOX has such a following his response said it all -- FOX viewers
believe that they are getting a balanced reporting of the news.
Apparently perception is becoming reality.