June 3, 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: Deep Throat
My Republican neighbor just told me she was called on the phone today and asked, "Do you think Mr. Felt, the FBI agent identified as Deep Throat, is a hero?" She was asked several other questions. I use this to illustrate how organized the Republicans are. This story just broke today [Wednesday] and already the Republicans are contacting their base. What in the hell is wrong with the Democrats? I never get a call. Do any of you? They know I am a Democrat, I am on all the sites daily and give money. I am registered. I guess the DNC just does not plan to win again!
Subject: My Letter To C-span
I don't know who threatened C-Span with being taken off the air, but it is obvious to the entire country that someone did. Look at the choices we have this weekend: Armstrong Williams, Byron York, Bob Dole - and some lunatic who wants to abolish the Supreme Court gets a full hour. C-Span was for years our last best hope for democracy. Now you are part of the problem instead of a hope for a solution. The two most important programs you have aired recently - Bill Moyers speech at the Conference for Media Reform and David Ray Griffin's testament to what really happened to America on September 11th have been banished to deep archives and cannot even be found. Over this past week you have dismissed all questions relating to the Downing Street verbatim transcript which clearly reveals an impeachable offense. Yet rather than break the media silence and give a needed voice to an outraged public, you mock the callers who inquire about it. C-Span has, regrettably, joined the the rest of the right-wing media in selling out our democracy.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The Governance of the US
Dear President Bush,
Where can I start? The year 2000 where you were selected by a runaway Supreme Court. At this time you started to put into effect PNAC - contrary to your campaign promises as a "uniter not a divider." Such lying rubbish.
Your second, and thank God Your final shot at the destruction of America, started with wrangling over the Election details,n such as counts and jiggery pokery with the computers. You quite happily stole this election and claimed a mandate. Also lying rubbish.
You went along determined to destroy the social fabric of this great country using God as your CEO. You succored the rich and suckered the middle class with your tax refund policy. You are determined to obliterate Social Security.
You have cowed the press and other media into a propaganda machine. (You've yet to find a Goebbels - Karen Hughes perhaps?)
Now to the piece de resistance of your ghastly Presidency. The Iraq War-your crowning achievement in a terrible, terrible term of office. A war started with lies and which appears to be continuing. Endless war with spectacular opportunities for you, your friends and fellow fascists to make money. All the time men and women are dying. You sir are a liar and a lowlife who should be impeached NOW.
I am,sir, not your obedient servant.
A. Leslie Palmer
Subject: It Is Happening Here
Dear BuzzFlash Readers/Supporters:
Greetings from ye olde Christian Progressive Liberal. Wish I really could be as jovial as I sound, LOL. Been thinking about ... too much, really. I've got a migraine that won't quit, probably due to stressing out at the antics of the Government these days. But the following was on my heart and I needed to vent.
The following may sound like a plug of a BuzzFlash Premium Book. Which it probably is, LOL. But I want to urge people to read it because the book holds many signs and warnings that an ever vigilant public needs to be aware of, if you value the very concept of democracy. I hope I've done my part by writing the following essay. Stay focused, stay vigilant, be encouraged and may God bless you.
Sinclair Lewis is considered a very good satirical writer. But could he have been trying to warn Americans about the delicate balance of democracy, and how easily a nation can slip into a dictatorship almost without it being realized until it's too late to stop it? Was he warning us to start paying attention to the signs, and learn how to take action should it start to happen?
Consider that Sinclair Lewis wrote "It Can't Happen Here" in 1935. Seventy years ago, Lewis warns America, through satire, about how precious democracy is, and how to not take it for granted that we would always have it. How valuable democracy is, to the point that we should always be ready to fight for and defend it. For those of you who didn't get this book as assigned reading in high school, it's an absolute necessity now (you can purchase it as a premium on BuzzFlash). It is the story of how a candidate for President of the United States, seemingly a "man of the people" was elected to the highest office in the land on the basis of slickly packaged snake oil that hoodwinked the masses, while appealing to the basest instincts of personal needs and avarice. Once elected, he proceeds to reverse every law under the Constitution, kill or imprison any dissidents and remove those who had jobs, homes and businesses and place them into mass slavery, while further facilitating mass poverty when the people didn't get the money they were promised (think "a chicken in every pot" here). There were no more states, but regional territories with Commissioners and Militia Troops; private institutions were eliminated and state schools became institutions for the dictatorship propaganda. Media was government controlled; any signs of dissent and the media outlet was shut down, and publishers either swore a loyalty oath or got thrown in jail after trial in a Kangaroo Court.
Could Sinclair Lewis really have known just how fragile democracy is? Was "It Can't Happen Here" a warning for all of us in this country to be alert and vigilant to such insidious coup d'etat?
It is easy to take for granted something or someone you always believe and trust will be around. But what happens when that person, place or thing is gone? If the person dies? If the place is decimated? If the thing is destroyed? You begin thinking "If I get it back, I will never act so foolishly or rashly ever again." If we get a second chance, some of us are wise to be ever cognizant of what was nearly lost; we remember how foolish we were and are too scared to be that foolish again. The rest of us, well, sometimes, we don't make good use of second chances and then what we value, or say we value, is completely and irrevocably taken from us, and we are totally devastated. Especially when the opportunities for another chance are dried up.
We have taken democracy for granted; that the concept and practice will always be here. But with a government that stifles dissent; ignores any event or news report that paints them in an unfavorable light; creates additional hardships for those who can't take any more; promised to keep us safe while continually exposing us to the danger of terrorists - willfully dismisses what is the truth while dressing up lies and telling us that the lie is the truth - we, as Americans, have taken democracy for granted, and it totters on the brink of mass destruction. It has taken five years of the Bush Administration to wake up the rest of America to the fact that our democracy crawls on spider's legs and can be eliminated with one legislative act.
Throughout history, it has been reported how devastating fascist governments and dictatorships were to entire populations and their effects on a global scale. As we read about them in history books; Russia, China, Italy, Germany, South Africa - the rise of charismatic leaders like Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Benito Mussolini; their atrocities recorded in the evisceration of entire races of people, or dissidents being imprisoned or executed - those of us in America felt like we had bragging rights as we claimed to be the heralds of democracy and gleeful in our desire to spread what we had in America to countries abroad. We looked in fascinated horror at the atrocities committed in the name of leadership by the leaders of foreign lands. We shook our heads, while thinking, always thinking, "It Can't Happen Here."
Fast forward to 2005 - where we have an Administration that essentially forced a national publication to retract a factual report because it painted the Administration in an unfavorable light regarding the abuse of Iraqi and Afghani war prisoners. We don't get to find out what has really happened in the prisons in Gitmo or Abu Ghraib, because the sources are always discredited. We can't tell the President how we really feel about the attempts to privatize Social Security, or wrecking Medicare, because the Secret Service has orders to throw protesters in jail and deny them due process of the law. The news that anyone receives is information that is running through the spin and rinse cycles of Fox News, Hannity & Colmes, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. How dare you say you don't support the war in Iraq - why, "that's being un-American and unpatriotic," you are told! This, from despots who belong in what Kos refers to as the "101st Fighting Keyboardists" - and used any and all excuses to avoid going to fight in Vietnam. This, from the same group of infidels that slimed Sen. John Kerry, a man who could have used the same excuses to defer serving in Vietnam, but went and fought for his country. Thank you, Swift Boat Liars, for the trashing of Kerry's war record - talk about the truth being turned into a lie for a good sound bite and the purpose of confusing people when election time came.
Just when you think our democracy's safe, along comes Bill Frist with his "nuclear option" to eliminate the last constitutional option to facilitate debate and engage in lawful dissent, and he has the President, James Dobson and Pat Robertson as cheerleaders; egging him on to blow up the last element that keeps our fragile democracy in place ... the filibuster. While the band of 14 Senators who brokered a deal to sustain the filibuster (for now) recognized that this faction of democracy needed to be protected, just how well does their brokered agreement do that? Three of the worst jurists ever will still get consideration; one (Priscilla Owen) has actually been confirmed. The attempt to turn the Federal Courts into Kangaroo Courts didn't just happen; it's been in the making since 1984. It is being manifested 20 years later. Send the Gipper a "thank You" card, why don't you?
While all of these attacks to eliminate democracy are going on, some poor soul, working at Wal-Mart on a minimum wage job while applying for welfare to ensure his family's survival and supplement that check, is still believing that the elimination of democracy can't happen in America. Corruption, in today's Congress, is the norm and not the exception - so much so that the House of Representatives passed a rule to stack the ethics committee with supporters of the Bug Man to give him a free pass. It also allowed for retaliatory investigations of House Members who have issues with the Bug Man, or punish those in the GOP who discovered they have a spine and a conscience when they vote against the shill he's pushing.
We really want to believe that the horror that is America, as described by Sinclair Lewis in 1935, couldn't possibly happen here. It is really too frightening to contemplate, and it makes my head hurt, not to mention my heart. We can't continue to think that "It Can't Happen Here" when the reality is, it's already "Happening" Here as I write this.
Our democracy is valuable, and we must fight to preserve it with everything within us. Otherwise, what Sinclair Lewis perceived satirically; It Will Happen Here.
Subject: More Passages from a True Patriot
Ever since George Galloway blasted the Senate with the pure simple truth I have notice an ever so subtle shift in other media outlets and people of high profiles slowly following suit and hesitantly calling for hard answers, and truth daring to speak their minds and voice the opinions of sooo many who have been silenced for so long. I wanted to cheer when George Galloway courageously confronted his accusers and TOLD THE TRUTH. For the first time since Bush stole the first election I felt I could breathe deeply.
Afterwards I found myself thinking of the late Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall who also was from Scotland. Peter Marshall was a man who loved his God, people, and had a deep love for his adopted country after becoming a citizen. He was enjoying pastoring a rich, vibrant, thriving congregation in Washington when much to his surprise he was nominated to become Senate Chaplain by what was then a Republican majority. HE was startled by the nomination and more than a little humbled. When his term was up he was later elected to be senate chaplain by a Democratic Majority. He was fond of saying God was neither Democrat nor Republican but just loved PEOPLE ... of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Peter Marshall was affectionately called Twittering Birds Marshall by his pastor friends and colleagues for his effective speaking ability (he abhorred stuffiness or sanctimonious tones). But his nick-name was also due to the eloquence of his sermons and their often poetic imagery, invoking deep feeling.
Although all of his sermons were beautiful, hard hitting and thought provoking I think his sermon "The American Dream" could speak just as much to the world today as it did in his day back in the forties. SO if you'll permit me,although the whole sermon was very long, here are just a few more passages. Towards the end of his sermon he said:
BuzzFlash, I'm sure Peter Marshall would be as horrified as many of us are about this latest administration. But ohh what a shot in the arm he would give to our senators!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: All hat, no cattle
Is this a way for Dick Cheney to show respect for these young Air Force Academy graduates who are about to be sent “into harm’s way”? He is not a cowboy. He is only playing dress-up:
Of course, Cheney has a problem knowing which hat to wear and when it should be worn:
"Disillusioned C-Span Junkie in Arkansas writes that he/she has noticed a change in the way hosts are reacting to callers on Washington Journal. I just wish to say that I, too, have noticed and am most upset about it. C-Span's other programming is noticeably different as well. Lots more favoring the right wing -- American Heritage panels, etc. Author talks are either right-wing or dull as hell. I always looked forward to coverage of gatherings of those out-of-power, and that's all but disappeared. Definitely a sea change. Guess the bastards put the screws to Brian Lamb. Practically all that's left is the Internet, and how much longer before they get their filthy hands on that?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: i need an op ed written about what are we teaching our children??
what is happening to the children of the now generation? they are learning that lies don't matter, even if they kill people. that there need be no responsibility or accountability for anything, just make excuses and blame the messenger. they see news media lie, the administration and congress lie, get caught and deny the lies. they see people promoted who lied (george tenet, the cpa guy, chalabi, etc). they see zealots who are supposed to be in big positions of religion, clamp their mouths shut about torture, abuse, murder and an illegal war. they see propaganda and manipulation of facts - and reality. there will be an epidemic of pathological liars and sociopaths. mark my words. who is a good role model in the public eye??? oh yes, they will also learn it is okay to be sneaky and secretive. even if their parents tell them otherwise, what they see as successful people are the liars and cheats and bullies and torturers. tom delay, rumsfeld, wolfowitz, bush, cheney lie right into the camera ... that's what kids see.
Subject: Amnesty International's challenge to Cheney
Please Circulate Widely. Thank you.
... in response to Vice President Dick Cheney's comment that he wasn't putting much weight on Amnesty's criticism of U.S. treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
Read in full at: http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/30/cheney.amnestyintl/index.html
A BuzzFlash Reader
|back to top|