February 4, 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.
Subject: The word "Liberal" is
not a dirty word
Subject: The Good Old Dark Ages
Subject: CATO Lying About Thereisnocrisis.com
Here's what the poll they cited says:
Subject: Easy ways to help
1. Take the $10 per month pledge to support Buzz.
2. Use the outgoing message on your telephone answering device to help our cause.
For instance, mine currently cites this line from Bush at the GridIron Dinner in April 2001: You can fool some of the people..... When enough people have heard it, I'll change it.
Buzz, I'd love to have a CD containing some of the really dumb things that W and Condi, in particular, have said; e.g. 'Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction' or 'No one ever thought of driving planes into a building.' I'd give them all a turn on my OGM. Wouldn't it be awesome if this practice was taken up by the masses?
Subject: "Nader Again: Go away already"
I'm sorry that BuzzFlash reports a speech by Ralph Nader under the headline "Nader again. Oh, go away already." Is BuzzFlash so impressed with the Democrats these days?
Where's the great John Kerry -- why isn't he travelling the US mobilizing people against Bush's agenda? Or is he inhibited by the potential criticism that he's a sore loser? Well, thank god Nader isn't. Barbara Boxer, just reelected to a six year term, found her voice for a few minutes to ask Rice a few cogent questions. Teddy Kennedy, in the twilight of his long career, speaks up once again, telling some important truths. Robert Byrd, another twilight type, speaks up too. But these three are hardly typical of the Democrats.
Let's face it, the Democrats have been initmidated into silence by their election loss. They've decided that the 59,000,000 who voted for Kerry (often while holding their noses) aren't going to have a voice in Washington that in any way reflects their huge numbers and strong passion for democracy and peace.
So that leaves people like Nader and Patti Smith, the peace movement, and other "outsiders" to take up the challenge of keeping some blood flowing in the veins of American dmocracy. It's too bad that when they do so, to an overflowing audience of young Americans, BuzzFlash adopts the tone of a cynical inside the Beltway Democrat and tells them to f**k off.
Subject: Social Security has a crisis the way Iraq had WMD.
Subject: A Follow-up
The other day I posted a letter about how disturbingly empty the latest reports of American deaths in Iraq seemed, now that the insurgents were no longer killing them to "disrupt the upcoming elections." You can't just leave the "why" space blank, of course, because if the insurgents don't have any vile, freedom-hating reason for killing, it will begin to be imagined out in the hinterlands that our kids don't have any noble, freedom-loving reason for dying. A real quandary for the reporter who wants to cooperate in keeping this conflict as presentable as possible.
However, I believe reporters of all stripes (Green Zone, Embedded, and Owned Outright) are now experimenting with stopgaps, two of which I've found in today's reports of American deaths. The insurgency, I'm told in one article, killed these latest Americans "despite its failure to stop last week's vote"--which suggests that the motive is an unwillingness to confront one's own failures, or perhaps a lack of imagination.
Another source, possibly recognizing how feeble those sound as rationales, tells me insurgents are killing Americans "in vengeance for last week's election." Perhaps the "vengeance" thing will tide our beleaguered reporters over until some new piece of spin comes along from the Ministry of Thought Regulation. Perhaps they can string it along until it's time to report the insurgents are killing to "prevent ratification of the new Constitution" or something.
But for now, anything to avoid admitting that some insurgents may be killing Americans because they don't want us in their country--because then it might occur to the Great Unwashed that their kids are dying in Iraq for no greater cause than our continued presence there. Anything to avoid the idea that the insurgents are in this for the long haul, and the election didn't mean diddly-squat to them one way or the other.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bye-Bye Joe Lieberman
Our family has had it with Lieberman!! He doesn't even deserve the title of "Senator" anymore. And if Howard Dean reads this, please answer our prayers at the end of the letter.
Subject: United States of Torture
I cannot believe that my so-called Democrat senator voted to confirm Gonzales. There are a lot of Redumblicans here in Nebraska, with "values" skewed v. far from my own - no surprise there. But of all the Bush lovers, the hyper-vigilant pro-lifers, all the dumbass homophobes I've come across here- I don't think any of them have displayed a penchant for torture. So really, why do any of these senators, especially the democrats, think this is the right thing to do? We're becoming the things we hate...and I'm beginning to hate us. Anyway, I'm not going to write to my Senator to complain. He already knows I'm not going to vote for him ever again - I told him I wouldn't when he didn't stand up about the votes in Ohio. Anyway, thanks for letting me rant.
Buzzin' in Nebraska
Subject: SOCIAL SECURITY
BUSH WANTS TO TURN SOCIAL SECURITY INTO LOTTO.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Wake up America!!!!!
Either we live in a Free coountry, or we don't. Either we have a Constitution that is Active and alive or we don't. Either our rights and freedoms are protected or they aren't. Everything I've seen for the past ten years strongly suggests the latter. Which great Native American Chief made that famous statement, "The white man made us a lot of promises but they only kept one.They promised to take all our land and they did."
Bush is promising to change social security and so he will. My personal belief is that the end result will be disastrous as everything else he has put his hand to. I grieve for our country today. Our founding fathers MUST be rolling in their graves.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Shiite victory in Iraq
Doesn't anyone have a memory? Have we forgotten that the U.S. government gave Saddam weapons and poison gas so he could kill a lot of Shiites in Iran? Have we forgotten that Saddam, by Bush the elder, was left in place to keep the situation in Iraq stable? Now, here we are, promoting an election which has been boycotted by Sunnis, thus establishing a perfect scenario for an incipient civil war. Ironically, we are also gearing up for some type of half-baked action against Iran, a nation of Shiites.
Sit back and watch the action. It won't be long before the "insurgents" (don't you love that word?) go into serious action again. This will mean many more American deaths, not to mention the poor Iraqis. We are moving steadily down the slippery slope, and our government is in the hands of individuals who may well promote the world's destruction sooner rather than later.
Subject: Turn off the media
For those who are just starting to turn off the radio, TV, or stopped reading the newspaper, it's about time. I silenced the radio ,in 1993, when the republicans really started to go after President Clinton. Still don't read the newspaper, and I hear the TV news only as I pass the room it's in because someone else has it on. I would silence that, too if I could. (Blood pressure, can't take the lies.)
Read a lot of books, for information. My news was, and always will be BUZZFLASH. Now after so many years, my radio has a voice. It's WONDERFUL AIR AMERICA. Of course, my favorite is RANDI RHODES. Don't get me wrong, I love all of them, but Randi, is music to my ears. Thanks to all of you, who had the courage to give us a voice, when the biased media silenced us.
I'm sorry, I wasn't happy with Ralphie during the election, but
your title did not give a fair substance to what Nader actually
said. He was supporting the activism against Bush, and certainly
pointed out many problems in the political minefield of the past
year. His comments were right on the money as far as I'm concerned
and you were unfair to title them as above. You need to be more
Subject: My email to Senator Bill Nelson
I had to write to Senator Nelson following his appalling endorsement of Gonzales. Right after he supported Rice!! I am no longer a Democrat, but a disappointed American trying to hold on to some hope. Just wanted to share my message to Senator Nelson with Buzzflash readers.
Subject: Lou Dobbs
One of the places in mainstream media that you can get some good
honest reporting is Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN (7pm eastern). Also,
for those of us in the outback who have the Dish Network satellite
dish, there's Free Speech TV, Link TV and UCTV. These are great
resources for the progressive viewpoint and for true history.
All three have web sites for those of you stuck with ordinary
Subject: The End of Social Security
Subject: susan jacoby book "Freethinkers:..."
I love this website; I must send you some money to keep going; thanks for promoting Susan Jacoby's book; I have it and it is so good; I am an atheist (a much maligned minority.) Have heard her speak at my atheist convention in Madison, Wisconsin; thanks again for all you do.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: #12 STEALTH REVOLUTION
I ask you to consider a revolutionary measure to drastically reduce the sources of many injustices and social ills-- the obscene excess in self-indulgence of the super rich and the undue influence of giant corporations that promote materialism, class division, and corruption of government, justice, and business. I propose to limit how much corporations can spend on lobbying and/or contribute to political candidates and/or parties; and to limit how much the rich can frivolously and whimsically spend on themselves, requiring them to invest and/or donate to charity the rest of their wealth.
The limit on personal spending is based on something with cosmic, world-wide appeal-- the number twelve. We have lived by the number twelve for many centuries-- by twelve-hour clocks in our daily lives and twelve months in a year. I propose limiting personal spending to twelve times the minimum wage for adults, which would provide an incentive for the rich to support a fair minimum wage. Twelve times the minimum wage is a generous amount that will reward the best and brightest with a very luxurious life, and most of the people that previously got ego gratification from ostentatious displays of self-indulgence will learn to get it from making charitable donations that get their name on plaques and/or buildings, monuments, et cetera.
The "stealth" part of this revolution refers to the initial, primary means for the spread of support for it-- anonymous expression of support. I'm not asking you to do anything I won't -- openly endorse or advocate this radical proposal, which could result in very negative consequences for many people. But everyone can support it anonymously-- online by creating a secret mail account to anonymously send this to individuals, publications, message boards, etc., and/or in the "brick and mortar" world by printing copies to discreetly leave/post in public places. In this way, support will stealthily grow until it reaches the level of open discussion and enactment.
For centuries, few challenged the belief that absolute monarchs ruled by "divine right," ordained by God, or even revered as a god. Limiting personal spending will be as revolutionary as rejecting the absolute rule of monarchs and enacting democratic government.
It could happen soon, despite the fact that the U.S. is on the verge of a step backwards-- to abolish the inheritance tax on the rich and allow unlimited amounts of wealth to be given to children who didn't earn it, even if they are incompetent morons, which stinks of monarchy.
The world can no longer afford astronomical disparity in the distribution of wealth, with the wealthy as free as absolute monarchs to wisely invest or donate to charity most of their wealth, or to blow it on frivolous self-indulgence.
For more resources, go to http://hometown.aol.com/tompaine2
Tom Paine (not really)
Subject: Remember the New Deal?
Subject: A New Pledge of Allegiance
I pledge allegiance to the King of the divided states of America; And to the Republicans, who take the stand: One nation, under a specified God, Unrecognizable, with restriction and injustice for all (except the elite). And now for a moment of messianic meditation...
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The Democrats!
My dad was a Democrat and so was my mother. All their 3 children also were Democrats and they never question why their parents were Democrats. My father is deceased and my mother is still alive and still Democrat and so are her 3 adult children. I am one of those 3 children, I have two brothers and I am the only girl, of course. I don't know about my brothers right about now, because they don't discuss politics any more especially with the two stolen elections that have taken place.
Me--I have DENOUNCED being a Democrat (I am in NO POLITICAL PARTY). I am FED-UP, because the Democrats have no backbone anymore and most important is they want to keep their day jobs instead of getting down dirty and doing the right thing that should have been done in the 2000 election (IMPEACHMENT of BUSH). Bribery seems to be what our Democrats want so they can live better lives, but the rest of the million of people have to sit back and take this crap that is shoved in our face day after day.
I hope you print this in your MAILBAG, I do think others feel the same way I do--DISGUSTED with the DEMOCRATS! They sit back and approved a scummy liar like Condi (rice bowl is what I call her) and now they have approved that torture guy and all we see on TV is about BUSH who is not legal to be pResident in our Nation's Capital!
I am praying for our Country and the World that we get back on the right track before it's everlasting too late for any of us on this earth!
Subject: Purple Finger Haze
I'm an evangelical christian from Australia, and I want to tell you that, the way people who are called or call themselves evangelical over there carry on, has nothing to do with being christian or evangelical. I read your page regularly (like everyday!) and I think it is an invaluable source of information. When I read the stuff that my (supposedly) brothers and sisters do, I feel sick. But knowing that God is in control, I know that sometime these guys will get their comeuppance. Please don't think we're all the same, and please don't let Jesus be discredited by the behaviour of these people. Keep up the good work.
Subject: Quaint Geneva Conventions
I had read somewhere that it was illegal to hold an election in a country while under occupation according to the Geneva Conventions. I thought it made sense since it would seem to be coercive.
Well, I researched and found this site (I am Canadian so trusted our justice and law site).
While I did not find exactly what I was searching for, I certainly found many other violations that have occurred during the Iraqi war, particularly those dealing with the treatment of civilians. Did you know that under the Conventions, it is illegal for the occupying forces to separate civilian family members (it happened during the bombing of Fallujah)? There are many other (and I mean many) gross violations beyond that, including allowing the dead to be removed for burial, the right to medical services which means NOT shutting down hospitals, etc. Go read them!
The Conventions are far from being quaint and represent the best thinking in terms of human rights at times of war. If everyone treated people everywhere with this kind of respect, we would have a far better and more just world (not realistic but it would be nice).
While I was at my research, my Women and the Law instructor told the class that in the United States, while the Bill of Rights does entrench the right of women to vote (amendment XIX) it does not entrench equal rights for women. I looked it up, and sure enough, your Bill of Rights does not. Thank goodness that our Charter of Rights does, because it gives us Canadian women the protection against having any of our rights revoked because they are not mere privileges but assured rights.
I am not knocking the American democratic system, but it would appear to us who are not citizens that the privileges are being taken away and your entrenched rights are being eroded (amendment I). I, too, would be fighting tooth and nail as you who read alternative media sources do! Keep up the good fight and regain your democratic country.
Respectfully to those who battle the Bush administration.
Subject: All I am saying... is give Dems a chance
Sometimes (no, a lot of times) being a Democrat can be really frustrating. When we are true to our natures as open-minded, liberal thinkers, we are labeled as wimps and freaks. Some Democrats who crave power over principles, hedge towards the center and even to the right wing to avoid these kinds of labels. These Democrats get and deserve our anger for betraying the principles of our greatest Democratic leaders. We wonder why the Democrats can't vote unanimously against Rice and Gonzales, or why more Democratic senators did not challenge the election results.
What we might not realize, is that the Democrats' seemingly small timid protests are actually quite earthshaking by historical standards. The official challenge to Ohio's electors (Thank you Barbara Boxer!) was the first official electoral challenge by congress in over one hundred years! Rice's confirmation vote of 85/13 for Secretary of State was the lowest level of support for a secretary of State in over one hundred years! Bush is one of the worst Presidents in history, and despite the media's lack of attention to this fact, the Democrats have taken some actions that may look small, but are actually without precedent in modern times.
Admittedly, these actions are only taking place because of the pressure that we brought to bear on our representatives. I think that our reaction to the Rice committee vote directly resulted in the Gonzales committee vote, where he received support only from the Republicans on the committee with zero votes from Democrats. (Of course, Gonzales contributed to this with his embarassingly weak and hostile defense of his horrific record.)
Our criticisms and pressure can have an effect, and when it is appropriate, our encouragements can also be very effective.
Howard Dean is someone that has been highly critical of the Democrats, and yet also extremely supportive. His voice will join ours as we continue to offer our criticisms and our support.
While some of us may wish that it were not true, this is still a two-party system and will be for a very, very long time. I still believe that we can prod, push, pull, berate, and when appropriate, support the Democratic Party so that it becomes the voice of the people that we all deserve.
We have such a long way to go, but we are making progress.
Remember, the Democrats have actually been "winning" all of the recent elections. If it wasn't for some truly un-American vote fixing, all anyone would be talking about was how badly the Republicans need to change their tune to become competitive again.
Where there is life, there is hope. We shall overcome. History and the world are on our side! Thanks.
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2 OF THE FEBRUARY 4, 2005 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG.
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