March 17, 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: Who gains, Who loses under
Subject: Thank You To Decent Companies
Thank you! to the companies that chose March 15, 2005 to back out of the Social Security Privatization Plan, as mentioned in the Los Angeles Times. And I for one will consider doing business with these companies, above their competitors.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Wizards Of Money #12: The
Imperial Budget And The Mythical Lock-box
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: What's In a Name? . . .
Subject: "president " Bush May Have A New Title
Which of these descriptions from the Merriam-Webster dictionary describes Bush?
A. one ruling absolutely and often oppressively (Only Bush supporters are allowed to attend his town hall meetings)
B. one that dictates. (He tries to dictate to the rest of the world... "You're with us or against us.")
C. An elected official having the position of chief of state but usually only minimal political powers in a republic having a parliamentary government.
If you chose A, or B, that's the definition of a dictator. If you
chose C, it's the definition of a President. Perhaps it's time for
us to start calling Bush what he is...a Dictator.
Subject: Coming To Terms With China
A principle of martial arts is to turn an opponent's strength back
upon them. We worship and extol the majesty of the dollar as we
enjoin the rest of the world to follow our newly revealed religion.
Stepping back, diminishing the thrust, returning the force to bring
the opponent down. So it is that our greed has enabled China.
Subject: Social Security Scam
This morning on a Chicago news radio station (WBBM - AM) I heard Republican Congressmen are planning to bring a 1935 auto to the steps of the Capitol and compare Social Security to this car. They will mention its age, its being out of date, it is a dinosaur compared to today's cars. It was reported that they will then talk about how important it is to update Social Security and make it "relevant" to the present.
I called my senators' offices to suggest that the Democrats drive a Hummer and park it alongside the 1935 classic. Talk about how classics last, and the Hummer cannot withstand 6 months in Iraq. That our present day cars are dangerous, are gas guzzlers, pollute the air we breathe, cost more than anyone can comfortably afford, have indebted us to the rest of the world due to our gas consumption, and kill more people than ever.
If you like this idea (my senators' aides did, and so did Senator H. Reid's), please call your senators and make similar suggestions - or better ones.
The Republicans are sooo good at scamming the public. We need to
fight this scam. They cannot cheat our elders or our children -
or us!! Thank you
Subject: Bush News Conference
My southern sister called challenging me to watch Bush today, so
that I could get the REAL NEWS RIGHT FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH. Really!
I couldn't watch the whole show. This man is our president! I could
only shake my head. Questions submitted 3 days in advance by preselected
"journalists," most likely an ear-piece feeding him answers.
I thought, if this were a classroom the students would be asleep
by now. I was not impressed by Bush today. A republican said to
my husband recently "I know our president is ignorant, but
he's got balls." GOD SAVE AMERICA FROM THE REDS!!!
Subject: Regarding "Freepress"
(You guys were doing a good job of that urging everyone to buy
radio airtime to make issue points!) Again, thanks for all you do!
Subject: Respect For Women
Subject: Arctic Refuge Turncoats
Subject: Outsourcing Torture
John F. Williford
Subject: New Terminology
Subject: Question Number 3
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Ken Lay
What is happening with Ken Lay these days? Has he missed out being prosecuted by his buddy, "W"?
[BuzzFlash Note: "60 Minutes" talked to him this week: Enron's Ken Lay: I Was Fooled. He is supposed to go to trial on fraud charges in January.]
Subject: Osama Bin Laden Transcript
Transcript: Osama Bin Laden's Address, Nov 15, 2004
Subject: The State Of The Union
The common thread? These all are people who have shown a commitment
to Bush's ideological mission which supercedes the principles (like
respect for the law, for human rights, and for cooperation with
our allies) that should be inviolable. I think the word I'm seeking
Subject: Bush press conference
Subject: Slogans: Good. Policy: Bad.
As my daddy always said, “No matter how many ducky feathers you glue to a tank, you’re still not going to get invited to swim in many inflated pools.”
It’ll be interesting to see what measures Ms. Hughes takes when she finds out the problem isn’t so much our lousy public relations but our lousy foreign policies. You want to improve America’s image, I’ll tell you how to improve America’s image. Put a leash on Rumsfeld and stop treating the rest of the world like it smells funny and made a doo doo on the shag rug in front of Mother Teresa’s holier sister on Easter.
I got to say, creating the position of Spinmeister General does
makes sense; at least we’re playing to our strengths. As a country
we have always excelled at selling the sizzle over the steak. Just
last fall, this nation’s veterans chose a borderline deserter over
a decorated war hero. And the responsibility for that feat can be
laid directly at the altar of advertising. There you go: enlist
the Swift Boat Veterans to launch an international campaign finally
revealing the truth about Osama’s chronic bed wetting.
• When Democracy Reigns, It Pours.
• America: Just a Big Red White and Blue Teddy Bear With a Whole Lot of Guns.
• Snap. Crackle. Pow. Thud.
• Be All We Think You Should Be.
• Tastes Great. Less Torture.
• They Don’t Call Us The GREAT Satan For Nothing.
• America 2.0. Now With Improved Press Suppression.
• What’s So Bad About Bread And Circuses Anyway?
• John Wayne: Not Just an Actor. A Way Of Life.
• Don’t Like Us? Get in line.
• I’d Walk A Mile For A Camel.
• The US: The Ultimate Lying Machine.
• Wouldn’t You Really Rather Have A Republic?
• Badges, We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges.
• Friendly Fire ‘R Us.
• Democracy: Just Do It.
• You’re In Good Hands With Our State.
• You Keep the Sand, We’ll Take the Oil.
• Sometimes You Feel Like a Crazed Tyrannical Despot, Sometimes You Don’t.
• Freedom: Breakfast of Champions.
• We’re Everywhere You Want To Be. Deal With It.
• The New Improved Low-Carb, Atkins-Friendly America.
• Got Grenades?
• Don’t Leave Home Without It. No, Really. Stay in Your Homes.
• I Can’t Believe I Invaded The Whole Peninsula.
• Autonomy: Its the Real Thing.
• The Best Part Of Waking Up Is No Dead Bodies On Your Doorstep.
• Aren’t You Glad You Use a Free Market Economy? Don’t You Wish Everybody Did?
• Better Living Through Sovereignty.
• Nobody Doesn’t Like Britney Spears. Political Comic Will Durst
knew this already, but apparently he is nobody.
Subject: USAID Contract For Freedom House
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: It's more ... it's another step toward Fascism ... why
did the Germans keep silent?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Social Security
Subject: Stuff me in a steamer and gag me with a spoon
Subject: My emails to my Senators re: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Why isn’t it a big deal when Bush and all of his henchmen tell huge lies and make huge blunders? Lies that have cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Do I have to list all the lies and blunders to remind all ye of short attention span and short memory? No WMDs, (they gave up looking) no Al Qaeda connection, Iraq can pay for its own reconstruction, no tons of chemical weapons, no nuclear weapons, troops sent into battle not fully equipped, ammo dumps not guarded, prisoner abuse, no threat whatsoever to America.
These are some pretty serious mistakes don’t you think? I’m sure they would be if Bill Clinton had made them. But not for Bush. Why? Because he was unlucky enough (or lucky enough, depending on your point of view) to be the president on 9/11? Is that why 59 million voters decided to give him a pass as far as mistakes and lies go?
Is there no lie or mistake big enough? You’re bound and determined to follow blindly like good obedient sheep. Not me, I’m not going to be a sheep. Not for Bill Clinton, certainly not for a lying hypocrite like Bush.
Is it just revenge? You want someone to pay, just about anyone will do. Someone must be bombed and Bush is the one for the job. Does 100,000 civilians dead satisfy your revenge? That’s a good Christian attitude.
Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, they weren’t total lies, just mistakes. Still, the incompetence is blinding. They (Franks, Bremmer, Tenet) got medals for their incompetence. Bush won by less than 100,000 votes in Ohio. That is not a huge mandate to do whatever he wants.
I ask you Republicans to ask yourselves some serious questions as to why lies no longer matter. Do you think they are the only ones who can protect the country? John Kerry couldn’t possibility have done it? Bush’s incompetent helpers have proven they can’t. Surely you realize you have a greater chance of being struck by lightening than being killed by terrorist. The threat is very small. The American people cannot possibility be that cowardly.
Nuclear weapons, we know exactly where the weapons are, Iraq can
pay for its own reconstruction. All lies. I really would like an
answer as to why lies no longer matter to you highly moral, upstanding
conservatives and republicans.
Subject: Bush VS Social Security
There are those who harbor a degree of respect for Mr. DeLay simply because he wields such power, despicable though some of his tactics may be. But power is not an end in itself except for those who would abuse it. Changing the composition of the Ethics Committee to add members who favor DeLay and altering its rules to protect him renders the word ethics meaningless and brings shame and discredit to the Congress as a whole. That’s ‘the big thing’ -- the moral disintegration of a major arm of our government.
Likewise, it isn’t only that the production of fake news by the White House and other executive agencies is a deplorable practice. What is equally appalling is the White House refusal to accept the assessment of the Government Accountability Office that had, on three separate occasions last year, “…held that government-made news segments may constitute improper 'covert propaganda' even if their origin is made clear to the television stations.” And just last month, the GAO went further saying federal agencies may not produce prepackaged news reports “that conceal or do not clearly identify … the source of those materials.” (The New York Times, 3/13/05)
However, the Justice Department and the Office of Management and Budget have since instructed “all executive branch agencies to ignore the GAO findings … because the GAO failed to distinguish between covert propaganda and “purely informational” news segments made by the government.” (NY Times, 3/13/05) Again our government has made its view of things the only acceptable one, despite GAO Comptroller General David Walker’s view that a serious ethics issue is in play.
Finally, what is most distressing these days is that everything comes with a spin. “… More than 20 agencies … created fake news clips” and “the Bush Administration spent $254 million in its first four years on contracts with public relations firms …” (NY Times, 3/16/05), taxpayer dollars of course. It is hard enough to keep track of solid news without being bombarded by phony items. And it is exhausting trying to keep up with all the administration’s non sequiturs -- support the troops but cut veterans’ benefits; spread democracy abroad but stifle dissent at home; lower taxes for the rich but curtail programs for the needy; proclaim the rule of law but allow for the extended incarceration of anyone the administration defines as a terrorist threat; keep lobbying to make the temporary tax cuts permanent but disregard the fact that greater numbers of people in the middle and upper-middle income tax brackets are being swept into the pool of alternate-minimum-tax payers, a category intended to bring the very rich into the taxpaying fold. Ignoring this unintended consequence and allowing it to continue is government’s way of avoiding the nasty truth that, without this artificial windfall, the national debt would rise to astronomic levels.
In every instance these disturbing realities call into question the very foundations of our government. One is reminded of the Army-McCarthy hearings back in the fifties. After his numerous red-baiting accusations and intrusions into the lives of so many, McCarthy went one step too far, accusing a young lawyer and associate of Army Counsel Joseph Welch, of having been a member of a Communist front organization. At that point Welch said to McCarthy, in a burst of indignation, “Have you no sense of decency, sir at long last, have you no sense of decency?” (article here)
Somewhere along the line many of our leaders have lost a sense of decency. They should be reminded that the American people are growing impatient with the absence of ethical standards and the failure of government to deal honestly with them.
Subject: Outright mean-spiritedness
Subject: Desperate Army Recruiter says: "might as well get
shot [in Iraq] for freedom"
Subject: Please don't give him the misnomer of "clueless"
Subject: Alaska Oil
Subject: Harry Reid
[BuzzFlash Note: No. Weren't we right in trying to keep him on his toes?]
Subject: When Opinion Is Subject To Coercion!
The General Accounting Office has recently concluded that using these videos amounted to illegal covert propaganda! Though past Administrations may have done the same on a smaller scale, the Bush-Rove political machine has pushed it to new heights! That’s our taxpayer money we are talking about, folks! Added to Bush’s Deficit of Dishonesty are paid political pundits, and the “reporter?” Jeff Gannon/Guckert! This is the Administration that pushes “moral values!”
Knowledge has been known to open doors if it is honest, but paid for, and coerced opinions are a violation of public trust! It’s a pretty sad statement of truth and morality, when the Bush Administration buys opinions like we would buy milk at the store! It is also a betrayal of public trust! Even Confucius admitted, “When the multitude detests a man, inquiry is necessary; when the multitude likes a man, inquiry is equally necessary!”
Either way, many questions are unanswered or omitted, and many events have proven we would be smart to make many more inquiries about George W. Bush!
The New York Times finally shows the truth!
Bush Administration Deceives Public with Fake News (Center for American Progress)
It is about time for George W. Bush, his cohorts, and
the public media specialists he hires to be held accountable for
either sugar-coating the truth, when it serves their purposes, or
misrepresenting covering-up or omitting the truth when it's inconvenient!
Subject: Greenspan's Antidemocratic Fantasy
This is what Greenspan has believed all his life. He was one of the core members of the bizarre Ayn Rand cult. He helped with Atlas Shrugged. He got his PhD (NYU) with articles he wrote in support of this stuff. He invited Rand to his swearing in when he got a job from Ford. He has never changed his opposition to consumer protection, antitrust, or any other type of democratic controls on economic power. Throughout his career at the Fed he has lied or 'pretended not to know' about the economy at key times in order to help advance republican agenda and candidates. This is why he fits in so well with the Bush Administration today, one of the most antidemocratic and dishonest in US history. Even Herbert Hoover would have thought these people are nuts.
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