February 3, 2005
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Read the BuzzFlash FAQ for info on submitting to the Mailbag.
I'm a 51 yr. old woman. I have never missed a vote in my life. I voted for President Bush twice.
Tonight I realize what a big mistake that was!
Subject: War Priorities
Miguel Lanigan said it just right. Isn't it too convenient and way too tragic that only the very young get to die for Iraqi "Freedom?" As it has been in all wars, the older and more powerful members of the society fight their battles with other older more powerful members of another society, with the blood of the young and innocent. Can you imagine Rummy or Wolffy or Chainy or the Big W out there toting a heavy backpack, rifle in hand and under fire from a sniper or at the wrong end of an RPG? There must be a greater justice than I can conceive of in this insanity called WAR...God damn these warmongers.
Subject: Et Tu Harry?
Democrats really showed the nation what they were made of in their initial reaction to the nomination of Alberto Gonzales as Bush's Attorney General. "He's a nice guy." "He's not as bad as Ashcroft." Confirmation is guaranteed.
After weeks of struggle by activists, concerned citizens and journalists who, unlike our Senators, had done their homework, the stunning unsuitability of Alberto Gonzales was revealed. Democrats began to stir. Speeches were given. The sins of Gonzales were aired publicly. Spines appeared.
Gonzales is a scofflaw. His incontrovertible link to the Bush administration's widespread use of torture was highlighted. His chilling performance as Bush advisor regarding prisoner executions and his questionable behavior as a member of the Texas Supreme Court were discussed. It was pointed out that other than a position with Vinson and Elkins advising other scofflaws Halliburton and possibly Enron, Gonzales owes his meteoric rise entirely to the House of Bush. Newspapers responded. A Vote for Gonzales is the Ratification of Torture. The New York Times pointed out he was the wrong candidate for the job. A number of Senators withdrew support.
In addition to occupying Bush's breast pocket, it has been pointed out that Gonzales as AG is a "get out jail free card" for Bush and administration biggies in case the country finally awakens to the emergence of even more stomach-turning evidence of how the Bush administration does business. In case the House is shamed into starting an investigation by public outcry, Bush knows he can rely on Alberto to bury any evidence of criminality. It has been pointed out that he has performed this service before. It may even be an explanation for the famous Bush smirk.
Today the minority leader of the Senate, Harry Reid let the cat out of the bag. Democrats have no intention of blocking his nomination. They will not filibuster. They just wanted to have a discussion. How special.
Not all that long ago Democrats were willing to filibuster the nomination of Miguel Estrada as a judge because of his extremist views. The number of lives impacted by Estrada's judgeship are miniscule compared to those that "author of torture" Gonzales as Attorney General will touch.
As if any more evidence were necessary to sink this nomination, today Gonzales's name has been added to the war crimes investigation opened in Germany that led to Donald Rumsfeld canceling a recent meeting taking place in Germany.
The Senate Democrats under Reid seem to have adopted a peculiar, low energy response to pressure from the White House. They have decided that during the next four years they will only work to defeat one of the numerous outrages being unleashed on the public by the Bush administration.
They have chosen their issue, Social Security and the rest be damned. Simply put, the Democrat's position seems to be that an Attorney General who is linked to war crimes and who will be in a position to make decisions regarding the quality of justice in America is considered unworthy of the effort it takes to read a repair manual or phone directory in Congress until Bush relents and finds someone else.
I wonder if anyone has asked the honorable Senator and his fellow Democrats what good they think our Social Security will be if we are locked up by Bush and Company or if we are unable in our golden years to see the world because we have been made pariahs by our own government? Will we be collecting our old age annuity and mourning the loss of a son, grandson or daughter in another of Bush's bloody corporate wars?
Will we be spending our twilight years caring for a family member with a spinal cord injury from an improvised explosive device? Perhaps we'll die before we can collect very much because we can't afford or obtain the medical attention we need.
I wonder if the good people of Nevada who sent Harry Reid to Washington meant him to ignore or support the extremist policies and nominees put forth by the Bush White House? If they favored these policies, why didn't they vote Republican? Just maybe they wanted him to go to Washington to fight for them with both hands. It could be they want him to dust off his parliamentary expertise, his filibuster and his point of order and do something. Maybe the good people of Nevada are disgusted and frightened by the fact that our government is torturing other human beings who may be guilty of absolutely nothing, since there has been no process to determine their guilt or innocence. Maybe they don't want Reid and the Democrats to ratify torture. Maybe they want him to say no, mean no and make no happen.
As minority leader, Reid is responsible for establishing the Democratic position on issues. Do the more than 55,000,000 voters that cast their ballots against Bush's policies want the Democrats to let this slide?
Do they want an attorney general that doesn't believe all people have a right to due process; that the government at the behest of one man can incarcerate you indefinitely and if they decide you are a terrorist, torture you with impunity? Do the 80% of Bush supporters who voted for him without understanding his positions or policies want this man for their Attorney General?
There is one more caveat that Reid and all Senators should consider before turning a blind eye to outrage.
The community of nations, including the United States, have spoken regarding torture. They have banned it completely and forever. Current law states that torture is always wrong everywhere and by everybody. Torture committed in one nation can be prosecuted in and by another. The most severe penalties apply, even death. Condoning torture is a crime as well as conducting or ordering torture. Reid and those that refuse to oppose this nominee could well find themselves on the wrong side of the law themselves in the not too distant future.
GONZALES ADDED TO WAR CRIMES COMPLAINT IN GERMANY; NEW EVIDENCE SHOWS FAY REPORT ON ABU GHRAIB PROTECTED OFFICIALS (Center for Constitutional Rights/CCR)
Subject: Social Security
There are those that would destroy all social programs. Dave
Stockman wrote of this. The Reagan ideologues hoped to create
such deficits that social programs could not be maintained. Paul
O'Neill in interviews with the Financial Times in 2001 as much
as said that SS should be eliminated and old people could work
longer and save more. And one can argue that privatization is
a gift to Wall Street political contributors.
Subject: Alberto Gonzales
I have a very simple reply to anyone who supports the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales. Real Americans Don't Torture - Period.
Subject: How To Help Social Security
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: We'll leave it to others to support/dispute the math...but the concept is interesting.]
Subject: Jeff Gannon's past
A Google search revealed Jeff Gannon's name connected to a website called "The Conservative Guy." The website is only a header now. I checked the Internet Archive and found cached pages going back to 2002 and ending in January of '04. Looking at the picture of The Conservative Guy, I noticed the pictures looked just like Mr. Gannon. And lo and behold, the GOPUSA logo appears on the cached pages. The links are below.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Hillary on "common ground"
Hillary has a point about pro- and anti-choice people finding common ground. But I don't think it's going to happen. If the goal really were to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S., the two sides could get together. But alas, I fear that isn't the goal. The real purpose of the antis is to score political points off their opponents. I don't think they really care much about how common abortion is, except as a subject for a stump speech.
It apparently has not occurred to them that to outlaw abortion wouldn't make it go away, but merely drive it underground. Meaning that mothers as well as fetuses would be lost. But women's lives don't mean much to the antis. A lot of the anti-abortion folks are also opposed to contraception, which means really that they are opposed to women having any choice about their lives. The antis don't care much about children either; otherwise, how could they stand for the government's efforts to make it harder for kids to get medical care?
Anti-choice people are hypocrites, and it's about time we said so. They are not pro-life. They are pro-birth. Pro-birth, no matter what. Pro-birth, even if you are pregnant as a result of rape. Pro-birth, even if carrying the pregnancy to term results in your own death.
Making overtures in the direction of "common ground" might be good for the Democrats (and other pro-choicers). The antis will not respond to such overtures, and then their hypocrisy will be out in the open for all to see.
Subject: Social Security Private Accounts, the only way it will work.
President Bush wants Private Accounts for Social Security, his
reason for them in my opinion is dubious. I believe it is just
smoke and mirrors to hide the fact that Bush's fiscal policies
have put the US government in an untenable position in regard
to being able to honor the obligation of the Bonds Social Security
will be redeeming to pay the checks of the Retiring Baby Boomers.
Had Bush not ignored the wisdom of the previous Administration
and Congress to establish an annual US Budget surplus that would
have serviced the Bond obligation, the US would not be facing
this crisis. With that said...
Subject: Depleted Uranium
Did you run an article on this recently? If 11,000 are dead from Iraq War 1, how many will die from Iraq War 2, given the length of time they are in Iraq?
Subject: American troops kill inmates in election day riot
The following is from the Independent in London. Is it just me or do you wonder why we have not seen this story given prime time coverage?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Orrin Hatch and Alberto Gonzales
I just called the Capitol and spoke with an aide to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). I said I am appalled that we are now nominating people to serve as Attorney General of the US based on his immigrant family-of-origin history. I said that Senator Hatch should be ashamed of trying to use the "race-culture" card when many Hispanic-based organizations are themselves condemning the nomination.
I said that this man's history of belittling international law, disregarding the humanity of prisoners, demonstrating contempt for Congress and the Judiciary Committee all should keep him from even being considered. I stated that I know of many other people who come from poor and immigrant families who are more honest, and demonstrate a higher regard for the people of this nation and our Constitution. I asked why they aren't being nominated.
I also said that Judge Gonzales represents people who will do anything the "boss" says to get ahead, and that is not who I want for my Attorney General. I said that I deserve better than Alberto Gonzales, and so does my country.
You can call Senator Hatch's office, or any other senator or congress man/woman by calling this toll free number...1-888-508-2974. Save it and use it often.
Subject: Op-Ed Piece in Today's SF Chronicle by Torture Memo
Subject: Either dance or quit the ballroom! (An old Greek Proverb)
Howard Dean has come to dance and will teach the Democrats some new steps if he is their DNC Chairman! Howard Dean has what is needed to succeed! Without Governor Dean we would not have had the interest or the turnout in the last election. The Democrats seem to be without fresh ideas. Their lack of backbone in refusal to sign on to the voting challenge and their “aye” vote to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State was disillusioning to many loyal Democrats. Eloquence without action is useless!
Dr. Dean has more than enough backbone and has the frankness to speak the truth along with the backbone to support his words! In front of our eyes, Howard Dean invigorated and assembled a grassroots organization with fresh ideas and efficiency! In his position of Governor he had proven budgetary command and organizational abilities.
Governor Dean is a force the Bush-Rove political machine won’t easily decipher as there is no precedent for his actions. Unlike the tepid, “ride the fence” Democrats, Dean will be quite a handful for the Republicans. When the past has not worked to our advantage, we should be able to give up our loyalty to it and those that represent the “old” way of thinking! The time has come where the need for change has been forced on us. Howard Dean has been tested and he has both the capacity and fortitude needed to change the tide. He will show us he has the confidence to try new directions and will not be afraid to go against the common trends.
Martin Luther King said, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus!” Howard Dean represents that kind of leader! By the way, I LOVED THE SCREAM!
China & India are poised to become the world's newest members of the "global gas guzzlers" club, as their economies continue to grow and expand, and their thirst for energy grows in tandem. This is in part why the oil wars have been raging so fiercely for 2 + years now. Neither China nor India wants to be at the mercy of those who control this oil. So why don't they both begin to take a new and mammoth lead in the development and expansion of renewable energies, in order to avoid this? If China and India could do this, or at least put in a sincere effort towards achieving some sort of energy independence from OPEC et al., maybe their commitments to this effort could take some of the heat off the world.
Just a thought. Anyone who knows any senior members of either govt., please pass this idea along. Money talks.
Thank you to Judy Maclean for informing us about A Million Roses for Barbara Boxer. It is such a fantastic idea. I've already made my pledge. Please everyone who can, do so. Maybe she will receive so many, that - well, I may be dreaming here - but perhaps the media will be forced to cover it. I'm going to forward it to every activist website and person I know. It's a great message and gesture for not so much money. In case you missed the post - the number is 1-888-501-ROSE. It's $10.00 for 3 roses delivered to her with a message of gratitude. Let's get 2 million! Thanks for posting it Buzz.
Barbara in NYC
Subject: RE: Liberal Bias (as sent to columnist Howard Kurtz)
Today you Wrote: "And, of course, there's still the liberal
media, liberal academia and liberal Hollywood to get the juices
Subject: Iraq elections
Go to truthout . There William Rivers Pitt quotes a reporter writing for Inter Press Service " Many Iraqis expressed fears that their monthly food rations would be cut if they didn't vote. They said they had to sign voter registration forms in order to pick up their food supplies". I felt sick when I read that...
A Devoted Reader
Subject: Who exactly is Bush kidding?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush's State of Union
I took notes on Bush's state of the Union. Seems like there's
a lot of doublespeak and not actually saying things but getting
the meaning across. For example, he first said that the government
shouldn't mess with moral affairs and then he proposed a constitutional
amendment on the "Sanctity of Marriage." He did get his point
across that we should privatize Social Security and invade Iran
though he didn't say those things directly. Overall Bush said
freedom 15 times and in his concluding passage he said it 4 times!
It looked like Bush had kissed Lieberman at the end on the cheek!
Was he? What was that wire I saw running down Bush's suit?
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 OF THE FEBRUARY 3, 2005 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG.
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