November 16, 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: A Church State
Allowing even the hint of church in government is a really bad idea for the majority of people - The last time we had church and state working hand in hand we had over 800 years of The Inquisition - We are talking Torture, Murder, Punishment, etc. for those who don't think in step with any piece of BS the leaders can come up with - or anytime another person doesn't like you and decides to make up stories about your attitude - or for no particular good reason at all.
This is NOT about religion - it is NOT about God - it is about ABSOLUTE control over your every thought - Do you REALLY want twisted fun-dement-alists to have ABSOLUTE control over your life, over the lives of anyone who is meaningful to you? To shake off the Church-State combination the last time around required centuries of dangerous effort on the part of our ancestors - and here we have wishful non-thinkers going, "Well, maybe it will just go away." - Yeah, Right! In your dreams!
Are you ready for the likes of Pat Robertson (and clones) having life and death control of your life - even by proxy? Do you think you are immune - even if you go along?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The Sacking of Robert Scheer
Certainly his column was an oasis in the desert that is the L.A. Times but how much this is going to hurt the progressive cause is problematic for the simple reason that most newspaper readers look upon the opinion page as merely individual and editorial fluff; interesting, perhaps, but definitely not what's actually going on in the world. For that readers look to the news section (the front page headlines especially), somehow trusting that what's written on these pages is the real stuff, not fluff; which is a big mistake, of course, because the information reported in the news section is actually nothing but opinion passed off as news and, sadly, it's this fake news that tends to shape a reader's viewpoint. So the loss of Scheer's column won't significantly alter the balance of "power" in newspapers and the rest of the MSM. They will continue to tilt decisively to the far right. What would move it leftward? Substituting BuzzFlash's headlines for the ones used by the LA Times on its front page stories. Has to do with the truth freeing us all and how much exposure the truth gets.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bill O'Reilly show, Mon 11/14
This is regarding O'Reilly's show about naming names of people out to get him fired for his stupid remarks about San Francisco's 2 recent ballot initiatives. I think we all should send an e mail to Fox News/O'Reilly to proudly add our names to his list. I've sent mine already.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Sliced Bread (Medicare Drug Plan)
I work in a hospital. Yesterday I attended a meeting for hospital staff intended to explain, and define the changes in the new Medicare "benefits." So far, so good. I arrived about 10 minutes into the presentation. The "keynote speaker" was wearing a military uniform!!! He spoke in clipped cadence, with a lilt to his voice that bespoke his enthusiasm for this program. I suppose he thought it would be infectious. (It wasn't.) At one point, he said, "I can't believe it's already been a year," since this program was voted on, and "we are beginning tomorrow!!"
I had to put my absolute horror on the shelf in order to listen to the content of his "talk," so that I might be able to help the patients that I serve (and my 90 year old mother, and other senior family members). But the message was clear: "The military are in charge here, and don't protest." During his pep talk, ("I'm not from Illinois, so I can't actually talk about what is available in your state ... There are over 90 plans to choose from nationwide!!" smile, smile, smile ...) I could see people shaking their heads, and becoming visibly annoyed. (I was not alone.) When he showed a cartoon about someone trying to grab for his medications as they were being held just out of his reach (next slide, please), he said, "Bush wants our seniors to be able to have their medications without any difficulty," I had to leave - or throw something at him.
I remember watching C-SPAN when they held the voting open for over 4 hours while the Republicans twisted more arms than they wanted to admit, in order to pass this abominable reform bill. The bill passed around 4 in the morning - or was it 5? Does the name Nick Smith from Michigan ring a bell? He's the congressman who was threatened by DeLay and Hastert to vote in favor of this reform. It was the beginning of the end for our seniors and our disabled.
I have had numerous questions today asking for explanations. I can't explain this mess. I think it will take years for people to understand all of this. I do know that this government is a monster. They are willing to fine people more than 100% of the cost of their premiums (these are the people who aren't automatically enrolled) for the rest of their lives, if people don't select a new plan. This is the height of corruption and greed. I am appalled and aghast. I cancelled my AARP membership when this "reform" was passed with the support of the leadership of AARP. So did all my family members at my encouragement. Every time I receive an invitation to rejoin AARP, I send it back to them with a reminder of why I severed my connection with them in the first place. This time I plan to send them every bit of printed information about the "over 90 plans!!!" in their postage paid envelope along with my repeated refusal.
I an enraged that Social Security would send out the militia to enforce this "new and improved Medicare." I just hope that by May, 2006, the Loyal Reader who wrote, "Sliced Bread (Medicare Drug Plan)" will have been able to make sense out of this horror. I also hope we can all outlive this mess and have real reform so that we can all go back to a simpler time when programs made sense to the people who need and use them and not $$ and cents to the big Pharma and Insurance companies who profit from them.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The Tax and Safety Net Cuts
How long will these continue? Until there's no pay and benefit differential between workers in America and workers in China. That's the bad news. The good news is that when this happens there'll be no incentive to transfer any more of our manufacturing base, services and R & D to Asia. The only problem is that when said "equality" in pay and benefits is reached, there won't be any manufacturing base left in America to transfer out and no R & D either. What are our options? Do nothing and suffer the above consequences or change the world.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: George "Don't-Blame-Me" Bush
Regardless of what any Democrat said about Iraq, Saddam, WMD etc., The American PEOPLE Listened to bush, and now the American PEOPLE say bush LIED.
Most people have NO IDEA who these senators even are or even heard what they said on the Sunday news shows or talk tv to begin with.
It was bush the American People were LISTENING TO and no one else. end of story.
Subject: This Is the Real America & the Busheviks Are Failing It All
Perhaps we should email each Congress person with these excerpts from Jefferson's (the ultimate Republican) 1801 Inaugural Address:
"...About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration."
"...Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none"
"...the support of the State governments in all their rights...the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies"
"...the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor"
"...a jealous care of the right of election by the people"
"...a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them;"
"...the supremacy of the civil over the military authority;"
"...economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burdened"
"...the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith"
"...the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason"
"...freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected."
"These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Please Remember the Atmosphere Then ...
Do you remember?
Shortly after 9/11 Bill Clinton was on a NY city sidewalk. A reporter questioned him about the tragedy, and he responded to the question. Politely I might add, as Mr. Clinton always did. The clip was aired. Real quick, Ms. Hughes got air time telling Mr. Clinton to be quiet as he was making Georgie Boy look bad. And Mr. Clinton did comply.
In fact everyone tried to comply. We were told over and over that not complying is unpatriotic. And in the mood of the hour, even if we did not believe, we knew it was in our best interest to remain quiet about our discontent. Can anyone ever forget Ari's warning to "Watch what you say"?
So, for Mr. Bush now to claim that the Dems were with him at the time of his Iraq attack decision is a big stretch.
Is anyone talking about this aspect of the runup to war?
Subject: Bob Woodward Lost in Stockholm
It's either Stockholm Syndrome or some pow'ful kool-aid they run through those White House bubblers (drinking fountain to those outside Wisconsin).
Bob Woodward loves this administration. I don't know why, but I suspect it's because he's been given what he thinks is total access to it. Imagine that if Nixon had invited young Bob and Carl in for a cuppa' in front of the fireplace and told them about a silly little frat house prank pulled off by his pal G. and some buddies dressed like plumbers -- there'd never have been a Watergate scandal. (As an aside, what suffix would we have given every scandal in the last thirty years had that happened? Whitewater-teapot-dome? Lewinsky-tammanyhall?)
For the last few years Woodward has been poo-poohing the investigation into the Plame affair. Now it turns out he is in the thick of it. Because he is such a turncoat to democracy, I hope that history remembers him for this scandal, and not the earlier one he exposed. Benedict Arnold would have been remembered as an American hero, had he not become a traitor, but no one remembers him that way.
Subject: In Praise of Mediocrity
The bunch of fools down at the corner bar say they want the president to be just like them. A good ol boy. The kind of a guy you could sit down with, chew the fat, and have a beer. Some pretty low qualifications there, don’t you think?
Honestly, do you really want someone like your pal, Millertime, running the country? Back in my drinking days the kind of folks I met down at the corner bar were considered well read if they could read cartoon captions without moving their lips. Again, not very high expectations.
As our Mediocre President has often complained, being the president is hard work. Doesn’t leave much time for sittin on a bar stool and holding forth on everything floating around in your little alcohol-fogged brain. I seem to remember that loud mouths of that type usually attacked, at least verbally, anyone who dared disagree with them. Sound familiar?
Read once that a composer said he wrote five or six hit songs; then sobered up and couldn’t remember any of them. Most drinkers have the same problem. Deep in a six-pack there are all kinds of answers to the problems of the world, morning after, not so much. Maybe Bush has many good ideas, he just can’t remember them in the light of day.
Being loyal to your pals and wanting your kind of people around you may be comfortable, but it might be a good idea to look for something a tad better-quality when you’re voting for the LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD!
Mediocrity is just fine for you, me and Millertime. It just isn’t good enough in the White House. Or it shouldn’t be.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Italian "Chemical Weapon" Story
I am a twenty year military veteran. I retired in May of 2000. In all my years of training, phosphorous munitions were NEVER referred to, classified as, or called "chemical weapons." These ignorant media representatives would probably also call napalm a "chemical weapon," which it is not.
Nerve agents (Sarun, VX, etc.), blister agents, mustard gas, phosgene, lewisite, etc. are all true "chemical agents."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: White Phosphorous Article Is False
White Phosphorous is not a banned chemical and is a very common round used in the US Artillery. It is not used to illuminate, and any statement saying such is false. And anyone who would believe that it is used to illuminate doesn't know enough to be writing professionally about it. White phos, WP, or willie pete is used to obscure objectives because it is a great smoking agent. The only light produced from the WP round is the quick burst of the WP hitting the air upon impact and then it smokes. But the headline you have for the BBC article is an exaggeration of a falsehood that it is a banned chemical weapon.
A BuzzFlash Reader
PS This is coming from someone who has actually used the rounds, fired them, and seen them fired.
[BuzzFlash Note: If other readers choose to weigh in on this, please provide a linked source so we all can understand the issue better. The Guardian article did say, "White phosphorus is not listed in the schedules of the Chemical Weapons Convention," but also, "A chemical weapon can be 'any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm.'" The Independent article included this description: "'They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud,' he said. He had seen 'pieces of these bombs explode into large fires that continued to burn on the skin even after people dumped water on the burns.'" So, WP creates smoke, not light, and burns flesh relentlessly? But it isn't banned?]
Subject: Fallujah Chemical Usage
Why are none of the mainstream media outlets reporting on the possible use of chemical weapons against insurgents in Fallujah? Are people scared to know the truth, afraid it would make us look bad, or already believing the BS spin that the DOD has released? Is this another free ride for Rummy and friends...?
Subject: Arafat Story
I love your site and consider myself a very liberal Democrat... but I'm also Jewish, and when you post anti-Israel pro-Arafat stories from the U.K. Guardian (a rabidly anti-Israel paper) right at the top, well... it's a little disheartening.
I know there is a huge segment of liberal America that is highly critical of Israel, which is fine. But reinventing that terrorist Arafat as some sort of saint is way beyond the political scope of BuzzFlash.
Please watch it next time, or you will offend a large segment of your readership; maybe permanently.
Subject: Cultural Comment, i.e. Blue State Jukebox
I appreciate very much popular culture coverage like Blue State Jukebox. Unfortunately, I can admit having seen my United States in equally precarious moral circumstances, having endured, from this side of the ocean, the turmoil of the Viet Nam era. I believe that a significant part of what assisted our society to adopt more progressive positions was the popular cultural component evident from the late '60s onward. And a number of periodicals published articles about musicians, writers, filmmakers whose political speech increased understanding and support for progressive stances.
Just as we now know that different people have different learning styles, I believe there are many different ways to try to reach a person to help them think about a topic. In this multimedia age, you have highlighted many good films. But we can't watch films while we're driving, or at work, or out for a walk, or volunteering for a deserving organization. We often need progressive songs to help lighten our loads and our steps. (And some of the best are "just" parodies and satires.) Thanks for all you do.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Democrats Prepare Yourselves
In the past few weeks we have seen what may be an indication that the “wheels” are coming off the great Bush Administration political machine. The Bush poll numbers are on a continuous downward slide, Cheney has lost his credibility, and the Special Prosecutor still has Karl Rove under investigation keeping him from carrying out his dirty tricks. The Democrats need to stand up and act like a leader. This is not a time to cover your political ass, if you stand up and speak up and show some leadership you will get support. We, in the Democratic Party, and maybe some in the Republican Party, are looking for someone to UNITE THIS COUNTRY!!!!
Subject: Death By a Thousand Cuts
It seems the neocons want to destroy our government from within by infecting every institution with their cancerous corruption and funding cuts. Their stunning incompetence only masks their agenda, and often the end result is to their benefit (see Katrina). We the people must be as relentless as they are. We must constantly expose and protest against these criminals in every public forum and in every street. Wherever they go, we need to be there. Our weapons are truth, the law, and human decency. The neocon agenda will meet its death from a thousand (or million) cuts, so let's keep the pressure on. Every action helps.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Why Didn't They Know? We Did!
Did you notice the theme in the last mailbag letters? BuzzFlash readers are mystified by Congress and MSM claims that they were not given all the facts before the Iraq War, and can not be blamed for not questioning Mr. Bush's reasons for war.
We knew, and we didn't have access to classified information or privileged conversations with White House insiders. It would do members of Congress and members of MSM a world of good if they were to sit down to a computer and click on BuzzFlash and take a look at the "big picture" from our point of view!!
Just wanted to comment on how many of us were on the same wave length this week--Why didn't they know? We did! Thanks
Raging In Alabama
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