March 30, 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 30, 2005 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
Subject: Gutless Cowards: George
W. And Laura Bush
Something caught my eye the other day that for some reason pissed me off to no end. Probably because I didn't see any of the news media pick up on it. It was a small but significant story, I thought. Laura Bush takes off on a secret trip to Afghanistan on Tuesday, out of the blue, with no warning, based on some pretense about her interest in the plight of women in Afghanistan. While en route, she fields a few softball questions from reporters about her love for Afghanistan and then, responding to a question regarding her husband's signing of a quasi-legal piece of legislation last week regarding the Terri Schiavo debacle, she says, "I just feel like the federal government has to be involved. It is a life issue that really does require government to be involved."
Are you kidding me? They're trying to have their cake and eat it, too, and nobody else sees through this scam? Think about it. Obviously the White House would love to have George say those words himself to appease their right-wing Christian base of support in the wake of the Terri Schiavo fiasco. But George can't say it himself with the 80% negative poll numbers. So the coward has his wife say it instead. This lets George play both sides of the fence: To those who argue against government intrusion he will say, "I never said I thought government should be involved in private family medical decisions." And to the religious-right groups, whose support the Republicans desperately need, he will say, "You heard what my wife, Laura, said on the matter last March. We both feel the same way."
While this is clearly a Karl Rove maneuver, the greater odor emanates directly from the Oval Office. Instead of publicly taking a position on the matter and suffering whatever consequences might ensue, he chooses instead to be a gutless coward and hide behind his wife's skirts. This is a man with no values whatsoever. I'm really starting to have my doubts. We deserve better than this.
Subject: Falwell Critical
"You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money! Well, it doesn't, Mr. Potter! In the ... In the whole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider!" [from "It's a Wonderful Life"]
Pardon me if I don't weep and
Subject: Rev. Falwell's Hospitalization
Does anyone besides myself find it ironic that Rev. Falwell was taken to Lynchburg General, a "secular" hospital, to be put on a respirator, when Virginia Baptist Hospital is just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away? You can see from my sense of irony that I'm a pathetic sinner. I will add him to my prayers, if God listens to such as moi.
Preacher Falwell In Hospital (365gay.com)
Subject: Past Arguments Don't Square With Current Iran Policy
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Jerry Falwell
Now Falwell is back in the hospital. In intensive care and on a ventilator. Do I smell a rat? Is it a ploy? Is it a distraction? Will he be cured with a miracle? Will he praise the Lord that once again nobody pulled the plug? Well just in case the Rev. Falwell is really ill, I'm going to send him a SpongeBob get well card, a PowerPuff Girls mylar balloon and a large Tinky Winky Teletubby to sit on his bed.
Subject: New memo indicates Gen. Sanchez signed off on numerous Abu Ghraib abuses, perjured himself before Congress
I wanted to write you as soon as I discovered this, as it appears
that nobody else has made the connection.
Obtains September 2003 Memo Central to Abu Ghraib Story (ACLU)
However, according to the newly released memo, signed and authorized
by Sanchez, he did approve the use of guard dogs, excessive noise,
and inducing fear as an interrogation method, as well as acts that
certainly fit the physical -- if not legal -- description of sleep
Sanchez' sworn testimony before the Congressional committee is available here:
[BuzzFlash Note: Other than the ACLU, we could not reach the sites given in the urls above and have not confirmed the information.]
Subject: Thoughts on the "new face" of President Bush
But, wait a minute, this must be one of those phony paid news pieces not an honest-to-goodness take on a president who finds the darndest things amusing -- like his light-hearted search for WMD under tables at a press dinner two years ago, mocking Carla Faye Tucker as she went to her execution in Texas, or taking a cheap shot at Democratic strategist, Bob Shrum, during this year's Gridiron dinner.
I guess opinions differ as to what brings a twinkle to the eye, especially during wartime. The article suggests that his relaxed manner may be due to his awareness that he will "never, ever have to run for office again" something for which many of us are profoundly grateful. Somehow, though, the old Mr. Bush or the 'new' one always seems more like a troll than an imp.
Bush's New Public Face: Confident and 'Impishly Fun' (NY
Subject: Irony Is Not Dead
Just when you thought irony was dead, the neocons serve it up in big, steamy dishes. Some food for thought....
"The president is saddened by the Schiavo case. When there is a complex case such as this, where serious questions and doubts have been raised, the president believes we ought to err on the side of life."
"Bush budget proposal would cut Medicaid by $45 billion over the next 10 years."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended the United States' sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. "Pakistan has come a long way, it's on a better trajectory than it's ever been, or that it's been in many, many years."
Pew Research reveals that Osama bin Laden is regarded favorably by 65% of Pakistanis
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Lockheed Martin Corp. has said it needs new orders for the jet before this fall, or it will have to take action to close the production line there that employs about 5,000 workers. Richard Aboulafia, an aircraft analyst, called the sale of two dozen fighter planes to Pakistan "a happy juxtaposition of the wants and needs" of an ally in the war on terrorism and Lockheed's troubled F-16 line. The analyst added that "the prospect of India and Pakistan both buying F-16s is a positive. Two countries that have F-16s have never fought a war."
“Moreover, unless US military aid is resumed, Pakistan’s ability to deliver nuclear weapons with F-16s will erode over time.” [NSC report to Congress, 1993]
MANAUS, Brazil -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has criticized
Venezuela's efforts to purchase 100,000 rifles from Russia, saying
that Venezuela's possession of so many weapons would threaten the
Subject: Another hearing? Okay, I give up, let the woman stay like
she is forever, but give the same treatment to all.
[BuzzFlash Note: Fifteen hours later the court rejected the Schindlers' request: Schiavo Appeal Rejected Again in Atlanta (AP/Yahoo).]
Subject: I am so glad, I wanted to know what Laura felt on this
Subject: US Soldier Says Killing Injured Iraqi "honorable"
Subject: "Dogma: A Hard Substance Which Forms In A Soft Brain!" -- Elbert Hubbard
Are we ready to sacrifice principles for changing circumstances? Are we ready to let the proponents of religious dogma or political extremism govern our country? As they promote their cause, we have been subjected to their proselytizing in every form of the media, whether we want to listen or not, there they are!
Many participants in the Schiavo circus have shown us that their intent and their fanaticism is geared to go beyond Terri’s welfare to their own agendas! The other patients at the hospice have a right to privacy! Children had to be transferred temporarily from one school to another to avoid the sideshow! New death threats are reported again! Any sensible person would not want these pretenders to morals to have a say-so in our lives and our government! WORST OF ALL human malice has reared its ugly head in bomb threats, threats to life and limb and a disruption of many lives.
Principles have always framed our Democracy and have guided us through many problems. The right to privacy grants us freedom from government intrusion and is one of our most cherished rights; though under George Bush some of that protection has been greatly diluted! Bush and his Administration wears the cloak of religion on one hand, but at the same time intrudes in our very lives using another cloak called “security!” There are many versions of religion!
In our past history we have proclaimed men free to believe as they want to or not to believe, and our country promoted tolerance! Many of us who regard the separation of the Church and State sacrosanct have been INUNDATED in overwhelming numbers with faith-based initiatives, faith-based causes and the Talking Heads of the Religious Right and the Moral Police! If we turn on the television, or read a newspaper that’s all we hear lately. Their fanaticism looks like it is leading us down a road we don’t want to travel, the dangerous road to persecution and a government that is acting more like a theocracy!
STRIKE UP THE CIRCUS BAND because under the heading of “I THOUGHT I HEARD IT ALL”: A group is actually offering to sell an old video of Terri Schiavo for a $100 dollar donation, they claim Bob Schindler signed the request. Profiteering is at its worst, as the claim also stated, “Then people could see for themselves” what state Terri is in. Wouldn’t all of us like videos of our tragedy being sold, especially if we never wanted to live in a persistent vegetative state to begin with!
Now all the knowledgeable laymen out there can play doctor! How do you spell vulgar “OPPORTUNISTS!” All you donors, who have contributed to a fund for Terri, can now look forward to being contacted by numerous organizations since a donor list has been sold to a Direct Marketing firm! Now everyone, let’s pray for the Profiteers!
Today the court will hear yet another plea and the news will await
yet another answer! Michael Schiavo has agreed to an autopsy and
stays out of the public eye! Politicians have jumped on the religion
bandwagon and have used the Schiavo case to forward their “ONE PARTY
CONTROL” and their own political agenda. The author, Karl Popper,
had a message for those who promote ethics but are unethical themselves.
He said, “What we need …. is to moralize politics, and NOT to politicize
The above-captioned headline about Virginia's Democratic candidate,
Tim Kaine, was puerile and offensive. You are turning into a bunch
of prigs. Please grow up. Isn't there any room in the Democratic
Party for Harvard educated lawyers who happen to be devout in any
religion? There's no hope for the Democratic Party if it doesn't
make room for people of faith.
[BuzzFlash Note: Here's another perspective on Kaine: Raising Kaine (American Prospect).]
Subject: Social Security Reform
The problem is it has been used to pay other federal expenses, leaving IOUs, which has resulted in what the administration refers to as the so-called "crisis" due in large part to the irresponsible fiscal leadership in the form of record deficits far into the future.
The Bush administration wants to default in the government's responsibility to repay what is owed to the Social Security fund by privatizing Social Security by vague promises of more money for younger generations with a small percentage of investments in the stock market. The result would undoubtedly be less retirement money for everyone, more national debt, and more risk involved -- except for the government.
The Bush administration wants us to pick up the tab for expected default by the federal government through private investment accounts in the stock market. Like everything else, this murky proposition only insures a lot more money for Wall Street. They are really slick, and it takes a very devious mind to come up with a scheme that takes working men's life savings, spends it and doesn't repay it, and have other working people gamble their savings to repay it. That is nothing but one helluva shell game. We can't let them off the hook by getting away with another scheme which will destroy Social Security and create more national debt.
Subject: Numbers of US military wounded
[BuzzFlash Note: We welcome suggestions for sources for this.]
Subject: As The Religious Right Fights For One...Where Were They
In Fighting for Thousands of Lives? NOWHERE!
They blessed this administration to end lives, yet they will fight for one. Their smaller demonstrations are being paid more attention to than the ones we took part in to say NO to war, where ours were in the millions.
Do not get me wrong, my heart breaks for Terri and my prayers are
with her. Will her frail body be able to take any surgical procedure
should that tube go back in? Should this tube go back in, I say
to the religious right, do not abandon Terri and hunt down your
next cause celeb, but you take care of ALL her medical needs by
paying for it. The reason I say that is that Medicaid and Medicare
funds are being depleted and they are needed to help millions more.
Subject: "Overzealous Bush Supporters"
It's astonishing that Knight-Ridder and others should--as you put it--swallow the White House spin that overzealous local Bush supporters are responsible for shutting out possible dissenters at taxpayer-funded presidential appearances. Had this happened on one or two occasions over the past few years--and had Mr. Bush put himself out to correct the errant "supporters"--that might be a valid take on the situation. But in fact, this kind of exclusion has been a given at virtually every Bush appearance, in every venue from sea to shining sea--and overseas as well, for that matter--since the man took office.
Was it overzealous Bush supporters who scrapped the scheduled Town Hall meeting in Germany, substituting a stroke session with hand-picked young conservatives instead? Is it overzealous Bush supporters who empty the streets for blocks in all directions wherever he goes, just in case he might have to experience some disapproval? It's just another example of Mr. Bush starting every day with a nice clean slate in the American media, as if there were no history by which to judge him. Every time some vile corruption or disgrace is unearthed, we're flooded with articles about how this new information "raises questions" about the administration's integrity, as if nothing had occurred to raise those questions before--when in fact, hardly a week goes by without some tale of sleaze oozing from this mighty Fountainhead of Fraud. Every time Mr. Bush is caught in a lie, we wallow in pundit pieces to the effect that suddenly, his credibility might be at stake--when in fact, to anyone who bothers to keep informed and has a functional attention span, Mr. Bush has had no credibility since a few weeks after he took office.
Every time he clings to some simple-minded objective regardless of the disastrous consequences for the rest of us, we're reminded by the media what a steadfast man he is--when in fact, a record of unacknowledged flip-flops and poll-driven course corrections stretches back to the very beginning of his presidency.
There's an old joke about Alzheimer's disease that goes, "Well, at least you keep meeting new people!" Something along those lines seems to be at work here, as our national media greets a shiny new president every morning, with no apparent awareness that he's the same guy who was ripping us off yesterday and the day before that.
It wasn't always so. Remember? This is the same media that focused on Monica's blue dress every night for a year, not so very long ago. Unless they recover something like an adult attention span in the times to come, we're in for a long, hard ride here.
critics blocked from presidential events (Knight Ridder/Yahoo)
Subject: Religious Reich
Some weeks ago, I was involved in a Mailbag discussion on what to call the Religious Right. "Christian" is a huge misnomer, and "Pharisee" seemed cumbersome, since one has to have some knowledge to get hold of that term (I had some, but not as much as I thought - thanks to you who corrected me). Tammy Day from Richmond has, it seems to me, solved the problem very neatly, referring to the hypocrites and grand standers as the "Religious Reich." That's what I'm going to call them from now on.
I only take issue with Tammy on one point: I'm not sure the pharmacists who object to filling prescriptions for contraceptives really object to women having sex (after all, if we don't, how are MEN going to get their jollies?). They just don't want us having too much fun or escaping the consequences. They're the Barefoot-and-Pregnant crowd, and they say allowing women to make their own decisions means we're not under anybody's control. HORRORS!!!!!!
The real problem is that the men who are so anxious to control
women can't control themselves.
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