March 10, 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.
THIS IS PART 2 OF THE MARCH 10, 2005 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
Subject: Cheney and Halliburton
Dick Cheney continues to collect $150,000
a year, and holds 433,333 shares of
stock from a company doing business
with a country that breeds terrorists,
threatens our allies, and is right now
doing business with Russia to possibly
create the very same "Mushroom Cloud"
that Bush used to lie his way into a
war with Iraq.
Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO
of Texas-based Halliburton from 1995-2000.
In addition to providing a massive salary
and bonus for only eight months of work
in 2000, Halliburton's board of directors
voted to give Dick Cheney a $20 million
retirement package when he resigned.
Subject: Jeff Who??
Michael Jackson being on trial for molestation
Martha Stewart getting out of prison.
The break up of Brad and Jen
Prince Charles remarrying.
Kobe Bryant's rape case
Meanwhile, Bush is set on destroying Social Security and one way or another attacking Syria. People are still being killed in Iraq. Iran and North Korea may one day, if not already, have nuclear weapons.
Jeff Gannon is becoming a name only uttered on the Internet. Walt Whitman's poem, "I sit and look out," describes the Democrats in office.
The Democrats in office have been silent
for far too long. I hope all of my fellow
Buzzers remember their silence come
Subject: Giuliana Sgrena
Wouldn't you shoot the driver if you felt threatened by an approaching vehicle? Was Sgrena riding in the back seat or front seat? Were there other vehicles traveling with Sgrena's? Was her vehicle the first in the convoy? Were other vehicles fired upon?
Dave in WV
Subject: Re: Editorial: Social Security/Misleadership from Bush (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
It would appear that Bush's main concern is the fiscal mess he has gotten this country into. Democrats were attempting to balance the budget so that money would be available for Social Security and Medicare in the future. Now that the country faces record deficits far into the future because of his fiscal irresponsibility, he is attempting to alleviate the problem by private accounts with risky, small return at best and likely destroy Social Security.
A much more endangered Medicare has been morally wounded by his irresponsible senior prescription plan which will have to be drastically changed to even survive. It will be touch and go even then, with the likelihood that it will become basically only an HMO type of pill pusher.
Subject: Mental Health Services For Kids
Government's Restrictions on Medicaid Mental Health Funds Affect
Children's Services, Sen. Collins, Rep. Waxman Say (Medical
Subject: Tomorrow's NY Times Headline Today
Subject: Clinton And Bush
How could he have anything wrong with a heart so giving? The Bushes and Co. (and some so-called democrats) look at only one distorted view, the love of money (evil) and a false sense of power. I am wondering if elder Bush is seeing the fallacy of the lifelong chase that causes an end that offers nothing. It would be Hell to see the good you could have done from your position, know it should have been done and you no longer have the power.
Worst of all your namesake is wreaking havoc, is ten times worse
than you ever were and does not listen to you. We may not all live
to see it, but the joke will be on the Roves of this world.
Subject: NY Times
(BuzzFlash Editorial) -- "Free Reign"?
Yes, The Times no doubt gives the Brookses and Bumillers a long leash -- not that they need a leash; they never leave the yard. But what of the former group of commentators?
Well, according to Mark Crispin Miller (in "Cruel and Unusual:
Bush's New World Order"), when Paul Krugman appended the word
Fascist to Bush, Krugman's editor at the Times leaped for his blue
pencil. By contrast, when Roger Cohen declares the notion of Bush-as-Fascist
to be "over the top," the Times permits Cohen to signal
to readers that the accusation against Bush exists. The paper allows
him "free reign," because unlike Krugman, Cohen promotes
the "right" opinion of the charge of Bushist Fascism:
Subject: Gannon/Guckert Investigation
Another possibility (more probable) was that the Secret Service did request an FBI background check. They discovered G/G's on-line prostitution activity, but someone high-up in the Bush White House stopped it from going any further. A G/G day pass continued to be issued day after day after day, while a hard pass wasn't ever issued. In this way, the SS and FBI could claim no background check had ever been conducted into G/G ... even though it had been done. Deniability. Suppression. And G/G, in essence, kept receiving a daily free pass into the press conferences. And everything was going along fine until someone exposed G/G's online gay sex ring. Then the deniability kicked into high gear.
So the FBI, and its inspector general, Glenn A. Fine, needs to be hit with FOA after FOA until the truth emerges. I think Glenn A. Fine is an honorable person. You just have to ask him the right question.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: To the Editor of the Times
Todd S. Purdom says in an article something silly about Bush not crowing over whatever successes he has had in bringing democracy to the Middle East. What a joke! Why should Bush crow over policies that have made America more hated and more insecure than it has ever been? Yesterday many decapitated bodies and bodies riddled with bullets were discovered in Iraq. Bush has brought hell to that country. As far as I know, there is not a single bona fide democracy in the Middle East, and especially not one that is living in peace without day to day violence. They were better off before his illegal incursion.
None of us will probably ever see these lands converted to what we might wish. Christ said we would have wars and rumors of wars but He did not say it had to be that way. The New York Times does not help matters by trying to be on both sides of these issues. And it does not help America for its best and most historic newspaper to try to placate and get in bed with the most wicked presidency this country has ever known--the only one to invade a country pre-emptively--which is not conducive to the welfare of either country.
Do you feel safer? Today the government is expressing alarm at its fears of future attacks against us. Nothing has been accomplished in the Middle East by Bush and his neo-con cabal.
Subject: We should thank columnists whose work appears on BuzzFlash
After sending my latest "thank you" to Miriam Marquez of the Orlando Sentinel for her column "Veterans aren't going down without a fight," it occurred to me that it sure wouldn't hurt for your readers do do the same. I've done this many times in the past giving credit to the site bringing the subject matter to my attention. I think mentioning BuzzFlash and/or the responsible site to the authors could also bring further attention to the site.
Further, we tend to forget the work and dedication of writers such as Marquez. Let them know we do appreciate it. Following is my latest thank you msg, in this case to Marquez and her editor(s):
And to BuzzFlash, thanks and keep up the good work.
Subject: Bad Idea - Good Idea
Good Idea: Not taking a portion of your Social Security money,
closing the loopholes in Social Security that allows Government
to borrow from it, increase benefits in tandem with the changes
in the cost of living, and encourage retirement accounts built from
money not taken from Social Security. This is what Democrats have
been trying to do with your money since Clinton was first elected.
Now, are you sufficiently outraged enough?
Subject: Repair U.S. Election Procedures Or Forget All Other "Issues"
My View Now: I think it should be very obvious that there is one, and only one, really significant political issue: voting. It has become absolutely obvious to me that there will be no freedom, dignity or sanity in this country until we restore the political process. I just read that the final cost of the 2004 presidential election came to 4 billion dollars! Again, the question: why can't we afford to count 2-cent paper ballots like the rest of the world?
Here is what we need:
(+) 0.1% of the U.S. GDP must be taxed and spent solely on vouchers that are distributed equally to all U.S. residents, which can legally be used only for the legitimate promotion of political campaigns for individuals.
(+) No politicians, such as secretaries of state, should be allowed to administer any election procedures. Rather, all election decisions should be decided by the majority vote of special, self-managed, election juries that are chosen at complete random.
(+) All elections should utilize only hand-marked, hand-returned, paper ballots.
(+) The paper ballots should be returned via strong steel containers that are individually marked, and bear a heft (weight) of at least 100 lbs when empty. Each container should hold no more than 1,000 to 10,000 ballots.
(+) there should be twice as many ballots and boxes as would be needed if every resident, whether actually registered or not, were to vote. Furthermore, I favor multiple consecutive runoff election methods and approval voting (BUT NOT "IRV," since there is an endless number of ways of counting "IRVs" graded votes).
IF WE DON'T GET REFORMS LIKE THESE, THEN WE REALLY SHOULD STOP
WASTING OUR TIME WORRYING ABOUT ALL OTHER POLITICAL ISSUES.
Subject: Dan Rather's Long Goodbye
I admire your ongoing fusillade against the mainstream-corporate media who lack investigative incisiveness and are generally meek in questioning the meta-narratives fed to us by the seats of power in our world. As anchor for the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather has been a major part of that media culture; however, his record of attempting to speak truth to power has been better than most journalists/reporters.
Nevertheless, his departure is further evidence of the complicity of the mainstream media in simply bobbing along on top of the waves of misinformation, spin, and hype that make up the content of talk radio, Guy Gannett-like publications, and the major TV/cable networks' "news" coverage. We have watched as they've mentioned the "dark mark" on Dan's record of him accepting those bogus documents last fall that allegedly indicated George W. Bush went AWOL from his unit in a time of war.
The heat (Rather's mistake), not the light (Bush's absence) became
the story, yet the latter has never been refuted and was an important
story considering Bush's attempt to get re-elected while bashing
Kerry's honorable service in uniform. To me it was clear evidence
of the reflexive, overwrought, and anti-intellectual nature of the
Subject: Giuliana Sgrena
Continuing the dot connections, the strategy is to discredit Sgrena.
That is because she will do a full published report on the attack
or write a book, possibly both. And the last dot: Who would bother
to read a contrived Exposé written by a fully discredited
Subject: Letters to NYTimes re Richard Clarke stories
Here are the letters I wrote to the NYTimes about a year ago on its inadequate and misleading coverage of the 60 Minutes interview with Richard Clarke, March 21, 2004. Needless to say, neither my letter to the editor nor any other was published, if I remember correctly. Nor did I ever get any sort of response from Okrent. He did not address the issue in any of his columns. It's interesting that the reporter was Judith Miller. But that does not absolve the Times of its editorial responsibility to make sure the story was complete and accurate and to place it prominently, as it was a big story.
Subject: The Fox in the Henhouse
Herewith a link to an article in the Washington Post wherein Mr. Gonzales defends the process of "extraordinary rendition" (i.e., avoidance of due process under U.S. law, violation of ratified treaties, and express violation of the War Crimes Act of 1996).
Gonzales Defends Transfer of Detainees (washingtonpost.com)
When the chief law enforcement officer of the nation defends such criminality, how is one to halt the erosion of the Constitution or hold one's head up as a member of a moral society?
If this fox in the henhouse cannot be stopped from eating the chickens, which was clearly the expectation when he was nominated, he needs to be removed. Since present law and the existing Constitution of the United States do not seem to be adequate, you might try new law, or at least be a voice for balance, as planned by our Founders.
The proper action is for a number of enablers of criminal actions to not only be removed from office, but prosecuted and convicted under the War Crimes Act of 1996. Although in principle opposed to the death penalty, since we have it and it is called for by the law, it could be applied to give pause to continuing abuses.
John F. Williford
Subject: Media Has Nothing About The Bankruptcy Vote
FYI... March 9, 2005, Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson raises troubling questions about Halliburton in his article "The Spoils of War" on VanityFair.com this week.
Shnayerson examines how Halliburton subsidiary KBR got $12 billion worth of exclusive contracts for work in Iraq and how KBR spent some of the money.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: They're Not "personal" Accounts, they're "private"
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Good point. We slipped up.]
Subject: The Pot Calling The Kettle Black-again!
There are many in the world that would use those same phrases to describe Bush! Bush loudly maintaining message discipline and repeating his opinions does not necessarily make his message true! Every day Bush has taken it upon himself to speak for the people in other countries! There were 500,000 Lebanese on the street yesterday that disagreed with him and called him names like “tyrant” and “dictator” and are revolting against any foreign interference! Today they are protesting again. The people of Iraq voiced their opinion and the Bush front man came in THIRD!
Using Rovian and media catch phrases like “Hezbollah-led” or “A
Communist newspaper,” in the matter of the Italian shooting DOES
NOT change the fact that much of the world does not agree or go
along with the Bush perception or his distortions in world matters!
Mistakes, and large ones, have been made and it is not always the
fault of others. Accountability, especially for the higher-ups in
the Bush Administration, has always been missing! Ask Paul O’Neill,
if officials disagree with this regime, they suddenly are asked
to spend more time with their families. There are many unanswered
questions and the usual cover-ups by this Administration are the
rule, not the exception, to this dishonest Administration. All the
retired military that CYA for him, or the media protection for Bush,
cannot change the facts!
Says Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction (wokr13tv.news)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Robin Williams with Katie Couric.
[BuzzFlash Note: Here you go ... ROBIN REVEALS BANNED OSCARS SONG.]
Subject: Sorry You Are Leaving, Thanks Dan!
Dan Rather someday will be vindicated! Bush will go DOWN eventually in a scandal no matter how the media tries to protect the Bush image! There have been too many deceptions running rampant in Bush’s deficit of honesty. Too many lies about too many things, too much Bush-bending of the facts, too many distortions about elections and how things really are in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a plethora of questions that have not been answered sufficiently or truthfully will get exposed and the truth will eventually come out!
You may be going as anchor, Dan, but we appreciated your efforts
in trying to expose the truth!
Subject: Joe Biden
Why is Biden such a big fan? Those less cynical than us might argue that, well, MBNA does employ a lot of people in Delaware. True -- but could it also be because MBNA is Biden's biggest contributor -- by a good margin.
According to Opensecrets.org, Biden raised some $147,700 in contributions from MBNA employees from 1999-2004, his biggest source of campaign cash. Who is that in second? A law firm named Pachulski Stang Ziehl Young Jones & Weintraub, which gave $127,625 over the same period. And who are they, might one ask?
Pachulski Stang is the nation's largest bankruptcy law firm with
one of the most highly regarded bankruptcy practices in the country.
The firm's client list includes some of the biggest names in the
entertainment industry as well as many of the most well-known businesses
in the world.
Subject: Strong Coverage
Subject: On Brothers As Cannon Fodder
I really enjoy reading Tony Peyser's Verse-Case Scenario poems, and was inspired to write one myself in regard to the report that Army enlistment is down amongst African-Americans. Being African-American myself, and also former USAF, I've often felt very grateful at least to NOT have to serve under Bush, who according to his own records, should be serving time, instead of as CiC. So, I humbly share my own "verse" with you here:
Subject: Social Security Propaganda Rant
To accuse the AARP of using “scare tactics” is the Bush administration’s typical modus operandi: accuse the opposition of using the precise strategy you yourself are using. Karl Rove and the Bush administration wrote the technical manual on scare tactics: “WMDs! Imminent threat! “Nucular” weapons! Saddam Hussein responsible for 9/11! Vote for Kerry and the terrorists will attack for sure! Social Security going bankrupt in five years!”
Honestly, I don’t see how anyone could believe anything that flies out of the mouths of this administration and their propaganda sharks. Of particular irony is Bush’s claim that he’s a “uniter” while he blatantly accuses older Americans of being selfish toward younger workers. Just another of his many wedge issues to divide one citizen against the other.
If Bush was truly concerned about taking care of Social Security for future generations, he would have gone about it in a much more reasonable and intelligent way. For example, he could have created a bipartisan commission like Reagan did in 1983, to study the challenges, and develop various solutions. Instead he and his right wing extremists who can’t stand the idea of a “socialistic” insurance program, in which funds are pooled for the benefit of all, slam their idea of privatization down our throats. Like a two-year-old child, Bush cannot tolerate opposition.
So the wingnuts set out to destroy, smear, obfuscate, scare, and
misinform. From the bully pulpit our fearless leader stomps his
presidential foot and cries: “I want my way!” Then sends his minions
across the land in a propaganda blitz (financed by our tax dollars)
to make sure he “wins.”
Subject: the real elite media
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: It Started With DOMA
The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into Federal law by Bill Clinton. Essentially, this opened the door to establishing sexual minorities as second-class citizens in perpetuity. For who needs defending, and who are the threats?
DOMA proclaims that no state of this nation is obliged to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in any other state. So we are essentially saying that heteros need to be defended against homosexuals! Just as Hitler in his early years of tyranny, declared homosexuals (and other marginalized groups) a poison on the German culture, now, we are declared a poison on hetero Amerikan family values. All boils down to the same thing: Holocaust II.
But the tables will turn in favor of LGBTs and their allies, after approx. 2-1/2 years of global holocaust ... targeting queers first to make society more vulnerable (as even the good liberal heteros continue to ignore our plight). Look to gay rights for the key to world peace. Look to gay marriage (not domestic partner, civil union, or any other phrase minus the word "gay" and the word "marriage"). Roll up your sleeves and fight alongside your gay brothers and sisters: for the only way to victory in the name of all that's good and righteous, is through the LGBT platform. Strike down homophobia wherever it may arise. For only then can the seeds of peace be planted, by providing soil free of harmful ideological bacteria, especially violent machismo. Make gay bashing and all other anti-gay bigotry inexcusable and punishable by law, and you also make a strong case against promoting the "real man = gay basher" syndrome.
It is my conclusion after years of being a most thoughtful and
dedicated gay activist, that resolving homophobia on this planet
for once and for all, is the cornerstone to genuine world peace
and individual freedom. It is a psychic virus that has crippled
the human race ever since Cain slew Abel. It is time to rid our
species of any negative notion (not just violence) one may have
towards another, simply for not being heterosexual.
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