April 25, 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: Bush's New "FBI"
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Frist Sunday Telecast
This is against God's teachings. Christ said to feed the hungry, heal the sick and help the poor. This administration is going against all of these teachings by cutting programs for the poor, not insuring that ALL American have affordable health coverage and livable wages.
There are no laws that can be passed to stop gays from living together or keeping women from having abortion. Laws haven't stopped murder, rape, abuse, robbery, illegal drug trafficking, and a number of things that do affect society. Sure, we can make abortion illegal, but then women would go back to having back street abortions, putting their lives at risk. Is this what we really want?
The radical right wing, who claims to value life, have so incited people that they bomb abortion clinics and murder drs. who perform abortions. And are now threatening judges who don't do their bidding. Is that really putting a value on life? Is this what God intended? Is this really a Christian act?
As far as the gay life style, we haven't walked in their shoes and should not judge. We don't have to have gay marriages or civil unions to let gays have the right to make decisions or inherit. A lawyer can draw up their directives. But let us not judge or indulge in hate speak when it comes to another human being. We are all children of God and God does forgive us our sins. While dying on the cross, did Jesus not say "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." Who are we as humans to not forgive and to not tolerate the short comings of our fellow man? That is the real Christian way.
I don't believe that religion should enter politics at all. But since
this administration chose to do just that, then we need to fight back
with the true teachings of Christ. Those of us who do not go along with
the policies of the Bush administration should not be called people
without faith. Or against people of faith. That is an insult.
Subject: Religious Intolerance
What happened after Edison's remark 'religion is bunk?' He had the
right idea. Instead of attacking religion as a group of fairy tales
to ease the fear of dying, you folks turned it into a constitutional
issue of separation of church and state. They (the theists) don't use
kid gloves when they attack us. It's time we took the gloves off and
told them that they are all hooked on fiction and they must face the
fact that death is the real end to all things. Let's go back to Edison's
approach. Your polite philosophical and legal exchange has gotten you
nowhere. This fuss about the election of a new pope is a perfect example:
A few hundred old men, who never had any real life experiences, who
lived a cloistered existence in an unreal world, decided that one of
these misfits should be the leader of millions of misguided souls who
must live their lives with strict adherence to a set of ancient idiotic
rules. All of it based on a series of fictional tales told word of mouth
for hundreds of years, and each time embellished for audience appeal,
before being set to print. Of course they will react angrily; we will
be making them face reality. But, if we are to accomplish some impact
in this world, we must be willing to accept the criticism and the heat.
Subject: Crashing Airplanes into Buildings
Subject: Cock of the Walk or Just Another Cockamamie ...
Below, is an article that was in the paper in October 2, 2002, maybe State Rep. Altman doesn't read newspapers.
Actually, this should be no surprise to people and a reminder that George Bush found fun in blowing up frogs and now he is in charge of blowing up people.
Then come the "Real Facts," and if anyone should understand these facts and act upon them ... it's our State and Federal Representatives in Government.
And, if that isn't enough about abuse on women, on the NOW site,
it says that victims are being denied insurance in some states because
they are considered to have a "preexisting condition."
I heard Tom Friedman on the radio today euphorically extolling the many and manifold benefits that Globalization had to offer our weary world, and it got me to thinking. His point, if I didn't miss it, seemed to be that Globalization might, indeed, result in a general diminution in the standard of living experienced by most Americans, but, at the same time, it will also usher in a significant amelioration in the standard of living experienced by the rest of the world. Now, if this argument just happened to hold any water, would it not enhance the plausibility of the case put forward by the Globalization advocates? Wouldn't this constitute a positive trade off? If Globalization could deliver on such a promise, then maybe it would make sense to admonish American workers - ( as Globalization promoters are often wont to do ) - to stop their incessant complaining, suck it up, and get down to the business of "retraining" so as to meet the challenges presented by this brave new world order.
But, alas and alack, this great "promise" is, once again, really nothing more than one more grand canard which allows the powerful moneyed elites to divert attention off of themselves by laying this ever so heavy guilt trip upon the shoulders of American workers. The problem, they would have us believe, is with the American worker. It doesn't have anything to do with their own insane greed. No. American workers are to blame. American workers are losing their competitive edge! They have become fat and indolent (unlike us)! In summation, American workers should just shut-up, get off the self-pity pot, and do what is necessary to get back in the game; i.e., "retrain."
This analysis might make sense if the crucial factor in the equation were "retraining." But the crucial factor in the equation is not "retraining." The crucial factor in this equation is the pernicious greed of a small moneyed elite of corporate managers and their proxies. "Retraining," in and of itself, will not get American workers "their" jobs back. Whether or not American workers, in the final analysis, will get "their" jobs back hinges on the point of whether or not they will do the work for less money than their counterparts in other countries. If they are willing to sustain such a cut in their wages and standard of living, then they will get "their" jobs back. But, then, in order to get "their" jobs back, these counterparts in other countries would be forced to do the work for less than the American workers. And then, in turn, American workers, once again, would be forced to do the same work for even less, if they wanted to get "their" jobs back.
Thus, what we see devolving before our eyes is a continuous downward spiral of wages and standard of living for workers worldwide. In other words, there is no true amelioration, in the long run, for any worker - but only exploitation. At the same time, the concentration of wealth in the hands of the aforementioned "elite" is augmented. So, unless and until we are willing to meaningfully address this issue of the pathological greed of the ruling class, we will not solve the problem of the deteriorating standard of living experienced by the majority of Americans, nor will we solve the problem of abject poverty suffered by the vast majority of the world's peoples. "Retraining" American workers, by itself, just won't get it done. What exactly does Friedman's maudlin gibberish about a "flat earth" really mean? Everyone making 50 cents a day - except for him and his corporate sponsors?
G. Will Hunter
Subject: Beware the Greedy Bastards
That same precious document states that when ANY form of government becomes DESTRUCTIVE of these ends, it is the RIGHT and DUTY of the people to alter or ABOLISH THAT PARTICULAR DESTRUCTIVE FORM OF GOVERNMENT. People the time has come for another TEA PARTY. STOP PAYING YOUR WAR TAX to start with since they aren't listening to the letters everybody is sending to them, and they are HAVING PEOPLE ARRESTED at peaceful protests. Since they are calling those who practice civil disobedience and dissidents "enemy combatants" or whatever else their greed entrenched brains can conjure up. START SENDNG MESSAGES THAT THEY CANNOT IGNORE. SHUT DOWN THEIR FUNDING. have tried three separate times to write you this past week but every time I sat down to the keyboard my mind would go blank with cold fury.
As far as Time Magazine goes, try suggesting to Time that instead
of that smug, self-righteous, arrogant, opinionated, overbearing
completely OFFENSIVE Ann Coulter we would probably all like to see
a front page cover (with full story) picture of the TRULY COMPASSIONATE
female AMERICAN activist who was killed in Iraq last week trying
to help the innocent IRAQI civilians who the equally arrogant opinionated
smug self-righteous ass Tommy Franks bragged they "Don't do
body counts" about. Marla Ruzicka demonstrated true and genuine
human bravery and compassion trying simply to get help and compensation
for innocent victims bombed out of lives, homes, and families. She
didn't go around screaming about what WAS supposedly Christian or
wasn't or Muslim, or anything else for that matter. She didn't make
a complete ass out of herself by yelling at the top of her lung
that we need to "create a culture of life." This gutsy
blond did moon Bush on one occasion but when she was abroad she
simply reached out, to those who were suffering and any and all
who could help. You won't find any of those wackos in the white
house or congress putting their lives on the line like that. To
all who cancelled their subscriptions to Time in protest, I thank
you again and again. We've got a looong road ahead of us, folks,
but we are many and they are few and their day IS COMING!!!!!!!!!
Subject: Reader Swick's call for collective action
Subject: Bush GOP Morality Unable to Judge DeLay's Violent Threats
The Republicans spout their morality, their Christianity, their
progressiveness and all we Americans have to show for all of the
GOP talk is death and destruction around the world and here at home.
Subject: And Just Who Was in Charge of Counting the Ballots for
Subject: Acting as Patriots
It's the "English" that's getting him in trouble. "English,"
as we all know, is a pool term that describes how to put spin on
the ball to make it do fancy things on the table. Ah-No's "English"
has caused his balls to shoot off of the table more than once in
recent days, and who knows how round they are any more. And, it
ain't called "English" for no reason; the Angaloids know
how to do a lot of screwy things. Afghanistan and Iraq are only
two of the places they've screwed up. Maybe Ah-No should try 'Merican
for a change and try to speak the language of the country in which
Subject: Rove says press is "oppositional"
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Anybody out there remember Spiro Agnew's rants against the liberal press? And, later, his leaving office in shame?]
HOW IS IT THAT CONGRESS THINKS IT'S PERFECTLY OK TO HAVE OUR YOUNG
MEN AND WOMEN MURDERED, SLAUGHTERED, AND MASSACRED FOR GREED, OUR
IINTERNATIONAL REPUTATION TRASHED WORLDWIDE, A DEFENSELESS COUNTRY
WHO NEVER ATTACKED US PREEMPTIVELY DECIMATED, WITH OUR MONEY WHILE
AT THE SAME TIME GIVING AWAY OUR JOBS TO THE LOWEST BIDDER, AND
LEAVING OUR PEOPLE IN THE STREETS? WHILE AT THE SAME TIME GIVING
THEMSELVES A RAISE YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR? George Bush has NEVER
had to worry about making the rent, this idiot has NEVER had to
sit in a county Emergency Room with a small child fighting a high
temperature for 11 and 12 hours hoping he'll get a decent doctor.
George Bush has NEVER been homeless, cold, or hungry ... EVER. HE
HAS NO CLUE
Subject: "Pharmacists For Life"
Subject: Bush's Book on the Nightstand...
Karl Rove must have been referring to the only book Bush knows of: The "Bible." Even then, there's no proof that Bush reads it himself. He probably has Rove read choice passages (the bloody bits, I'm sure) for him, just like he has his advisors read him choice passages (again: the bloody bits) from newspapers ...
A BuzzFlash Reader
I'm a political dissident and member of BuzzFlash. As someone that
leans to the left I often hear much about how "democrats"
and the "left" are essentially whiners. I disagree, however
I think content could be written in a less sarcastic manner - more
straight to the point. When reading Chomsky it hits home. When adding
slapstick like ".. is Like a Prostitute Claiming to be a Virgin"
I believe it may take away from the serious aspect of the topic.
This, in my opinion, is why Michael Moore is so criticized and disregarded.
He lays out fact and then concludes with sarcastic rhetoric which
sucks the life out of the preceding points. If the matters that
BuzzFlash covers, which I'm generally in agreement with, are meant
to be taken seriously perhaps it would be wise to be more serious
about them. Let the comedians do comedy; inspire the intellectuals.
It's the only way to take back our country. My $0.02 Thank you for
the opportunity to pontificate.
In the April 19th mailbag, a BuzzFlash reader wrote about Sen. Ben Nelson being in the pocket of the GOP and then made the statement that surely there are some progressive Democrats in Nebraska. I am not a native Nebraskan but have lived in Nebraska some 20 years and let me tell you, I do not know where the progressives Democrats are. At least in the established Democratic Party. There really is little difference between the GOP and Dems in this state. They are both conservative. In fact most of the Dems here are Republican lite. Most progressive people leave the state or some of us struggle to find each other in alternative parties. As long as most Nebraskans have their Big Red football team they are happy! Where else would a district elect the former football coach, Tom Osborne, when he doesn't really live in the district? Sure, he has a summer home in Ogalla, Nebraska, (third district) but really lives in Lincoln. Coach can do no wrong.
Don't trust Chuck Hagel either. He will scrutinize some of Bush's policies but he always falls back in line with the GHP. He was a talk show host and then the chairman of ES & S ( a company similar to Diebold--voting machines). Many of us at BuzzFlash lament that the Dems are doing little and urge BuzzFlash to organize us. Some of you won't like this suggestion: it is time to turn to the other parties---and perhaps unite all the third parties. These parties--Libertarians, Socialists, Greens, Reformed, Constitutional and yes, Nader, all have state organizations or affiliations already set up. It is a freeing experience to walk away from the two status-quo parties. Besides, it could scare the bejeebers out of them. Come on over!
Subject: Blatant Family Research Council Hypocrisy
Anyway, now Conlee is coming out for ending the judicial filibuster. In the news item the FRC proudly released today announcing Conlee's addition to the anti-filibuster lineup, Conlee is quoted as saying that he is: "Pleased to be a small part of an event with hopes to educate people of faith and others in the country, about the importance of a judiciary which upholds the constitution instead of legislating from the bench. I think it's another key part of the battle to strengthen the family in America!" Wow. The FRC not only welcomes the opinion of a music star (and I say "music" in the loosest sense- I mean, modern country is bad) but they also print it on their website and invite him to their self-indulgent Republican orgy. That's really funny, because this October 2004 essay by FRC director Tony Perkins says this about musicians weighing in on politics: "Some celebrities believe that, because they had a top ten song or won an Emmy, they are qualified to speak on issues ranging from stem cell research to the environment."
Moral of the story--musicians speaking on politics is OK if they
have extreme right-wing opinions. The hypocrisy of the Family Research
Council is truly astounding.
Subject: Social Security
In 1978 congressional candidate George W Bush predicted Social Security would go broke in 10 years if it weren’t privatized. He was wrong then and he is wrong now.
As president he has spent every dollar of SS trust fund money to pay regular budget bills which include tax cuts and the war in Iraq. He has left IOU’s.
Annual life of the SS trust fund into the 21st century with no change in benefits would require additional revenues equal to only .54% of GDP. That’s less than we are spending in Iraq, and it’s only 1/4th the revenue lost each year due to Bush’s tax cuts, roughly equal to the fraction of the cuts that goes to people with incomes over $500,000.
Transition costs to privatize SS are 2 to 5 trillion dollars, which must be borrowed and paid back with interest.
Even the president has admitted that privatization will not make SS solvent and benefits will be cut.
A presidential commission determined privatizing our system would cost about 10 times as much as current SS administrative costs.
Other countries have tried privatization and have found it lacking:
Philosophical architects of this move to “save” SS by destroying it (The Cato Institute, and Grover Norquist) want to eliminate the last vestiges of the New Deal. This push to change SS is motivated by politics and fueled by Wall Street opportunism.
Privatizing is a gamble:
Please call Rep. Charles Taylor 828-251-1988, Senator Elizabeth Dole 202-224-6342 and Senator Richard Burr 202-224-3154 and urge them to vote against privatization masquerading as personal accounts.
This bites, but then again, his reasons speak to the problem with the commission in the first place ... it was set up as Potemkin Village and nothing more ...
Chairman of Voting Reform Panel Resigns (AP/myway.com)
Election Assistance Commission: http://www.eac.gov/
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: RE: Judges + Filibuster (as sent to "Hardball")
Subject: Another Great Story from Broward County
A BuzzFlash Reader
And, furthermore ... this nonsense about Hillary Clinton ... is not gonna do any good. If anyone knows how to kick the ball back, it is Hillary. Just think, she is the only one who can run ... who is experienced at this ... she lived through it ... and likely knows exactly what to do ... to infuriate them all! Now, let's consider the sources and the opposing team's candidates:
1. Newt Gingrich (wife trader) has personal problems,I would be glad to shout it from the roof!
2. Bill Frist is what seems to be ... a little over dramatic, and had many problems in the Nashville area when he was head of Columbia HCA Med Center. My daughter filled me in on him ... before he was anyone ... just a crook with a medical degree. (She, my daughter, was with that medical center for a while ... then was moved to Vanderbilt as a patient!)
3. It is laughable to think that they would try to run Rudy Guiliani ... He actually took his girlfriend to live in Gracie Mansion while he was still married to Donna ... and a judge put a restraining order on him to not do this while the children were in the house ... would you think that an adult might see that first? Oh, and how they slimed Bill Clinton ... the thought!
4. Cheney has a heart that might not make it to 2008!
5. Condi ... has baggage ... she is Bush's Sec. of State. Huh ... that is not enough? She said she did not want the 'Smoking Gun to be a mushroom cloud' ... if that is not enough ... hell with it! Of course ... you must remember that the Sean Hannnitys of the world would give up their bias toward women and blacks ... to keep Hillary out!! Are those enough possibilities? If not, I am sure they will come up with more, it's gonna be a circus ... watching the rightwingnuts ... scramble!! I wonder what state is gonna be bought this time !!
Senator Bill Frist is a bad choice to succeed Trent Lott (2002/consumerwatchdog.org)
Subject: NY Times coverage of Bolton nomination
Former Ambassador Letter Opposing John Bolton Nomination (Friends Committee on National Legislation)
Here are two letters I sent to The New York Times yesterday and today: Yesterday's letter:
The Times today hinted that one of the only people opposed to this man becoming our representative to the U.N. objects to him because of some personal "hurt feelings" by his boss Colin Powell. The article mentions a letter of support not signed by Mr. Powell that had only five signatories, yet the letter that was signed by 59 career diplomats opposing Bolton was not mentioned. This important letter was referred to by Senator Biden in the committee meeting, yet The New York Times only made mention of it once several weeks ago as a news feed from the Associated Press.
Does the New York Times have an agenda here? Just wondering. ... that bastion of the "liberal media," The New York Times, in its news coverage at least, is neither liberal nor fair.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Pope Goldfinger
My mother wrote for the Catholic Newspaper in Tennessee and she made us aware of choices and also movies we should not see. She also taught me free will. I have always tended towards free will. When I achieved bicycle age, I also discovered I had more choices. Goldfinger was one of the first movies that I had a choice to see. The Catholic church banned this movie. So I snuck into the old Crosstown Theater in mid-town Memphis with my friend Steven. He went home and confessed and got his ass kicked.
I think Ratfinger had his ass kicked a lot as well. Now he is
the Pope. Steven is only a damaged child who has become an adult.
I do not remember all the words to "Goldfinger." But I
do remember the gold encased starlet. She had a much greater influence
on my normal development than any teachings from the church. To
quote one of the few enlightened nuns who taught me what Christ
truly can mean in your life. “When Will They Ever Learn. When Will
They Ever Learn” Be Well, Michael Hanrahan.
Subject: Lincoln Chafee
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: You recall his vote as the lone Republican correctly: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote...]
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