January 6, 2006
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. More reader opinion is at "Contributors." You can write to Mailbag at http://www.BuzzFlash.com/contact/mail.html. Guidelines for submissions are at BuzzFlash FAQ #18.
THIS IS PART 2 OF THE JANUARY 6, 2006 BuzzFlash MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
Subject: That Safe Feeling
Bush says, “They hate us for our freedoms.”
He acts as if he wants us to believe that the sooner we give up those freedoms, the sooner we’ll be safe.
Of course, we’ll no longer be able to feel very proud of the answer to the question:
“O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
But at least we’ll be… safe.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Love Letter To BuzzFlash
Every day I get up, get my coffee and hurry to read BuzzFlash. I wait impatiently in the afternoon for the newest mailbag, not just to see if my letter has been included but to read what everyone else has to say.
I love that BuzzFlash has kept its mailbag free from the ugly fights that abound on most other sites. I will never understand why conservatives find it necessary to invade places where no one agrees with what they think, no one cares what they think, and no one respects what they think if they think at all.
We are grateful to BuzzFlash for giving us a space where we can converse with like-minded people. Each day brings information showing an informed and aware community.
I look forward to letters from Susan Carr of Tucson, Arizona who always has something interesting and informative to say. I feel like I know Susan.
I love reading letters from Tom Wieliczka of Windsor Locks, Connecticut and find him insightful, informative and a joy to read. Keep them coming Tom.
I was particularly struck with a letter from Lucille Gould of Alfred, North Dakota, and formerly, St. Paul, Minnesota. She just sounded so sad. I feel that way very often and her letter made me feel a little less alone and a little less sad. Hang in there Lucille, we will get our country back.
The letter from Donna Wade of Crestline California, thanking me for information that I had posted made my whole day. I have been unemployed for over a year and that tends to make you feel useless somehow. Donna made me stand a little straighter because I felt that I was still contributing in some small way.
And I always love reading letters from my pal Barbara Lee Blazyk of Athens, Georgia. She usually writes with smoke coming out of both ears and with a sense of outrage that should invigorate all of us.
There are dozens of others. Many write as “A BuzzFlash Reader” and that’s fine too. However and whoever we have become a community. From all over this country we speak together. It’s a beautiful thing. Thank You BuzzFlash.
Marjorie L. Swanson (Marj)
[BuzzFlash Note: As you have made clear, BuzzFlash is our readers.]
Subject: Bush and Former Cabinet Members Discuss Topic No. 1: Iraq (NY Times)
But if it was a bipartisan consultation, as advertised by the White House, it was a brief one. Mr. Bush allowed 5 to 10 minutes this morning for interchange with the group - which included three veterans of another difficult war, the one in Vietnam: Robert S. McNamara, Melvin R. Laird and James R. Schlesinger. Then the entire group was herded to the Oval Office for what he called a "family picture."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: 2200 killed in Iraq coming up very soon
2187 is the official count as of this morning on CNN, but the 7 killed yesterday and 4 killed today are not included. 2198. Just call me pessimistic, but I think that by before the election in November the number will be well past 2500 and there will be Civil War in Iraq, but I am no expert on the Middle East nor am I a psychic. Dubya turns 60 on July 6, 2006 and it is possible he will have been responsible for the deaths of 2500 US soldiers by that time. Speak up or they assume you agree!!! ABB
Subject: scary to me
well if bush's brother jeb runs for president and gw bush wire taps anyone and all who may run against jeb or be a part of a campaign against jeb, how would anyone know? and if someone did tell, they would be leaking classified info and could go to prison. bush feels it is completely his prerogative to decide who he spies on. so he can spy on anyone he wants to help himself and his party to stay in power and always fall back on he is doing what he has to do to protect us. this sounds really scary to me!
Subject: News Flash!
Hey, guess what? THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS DEAD!!!!!! How many times do they have to prove they are Republican Lite? We have a one-party system pretending to be in some sort of opposition to each other.
Hey, guess what? The US government was permanently overthrown in 2000!
Hey, guess what? Between the PNAC and the profound lies in the official 9/11 story, to say nothing of the complete refusal to investigate that horrendous crime in any honest manner, any intelligent citizen has to wonder if it was an inside job!
Hey guess what? The US is a Fascist military police state and only a revolution will change that but the citizens are too stupid and selfish-rotten to care!
Turn out the lights, game over. Your daily news reporting means absolutely nothing.
Subject: Where Are the Fighting Dems?
Okay Democratic party if you aren’t willing to get in the fight now then sit down, shut up and quit masquerading as an opposition party. The time is here, the time is now. Step up to that plate and take a swing. If you don’t connect, if you don’t get a hit, or if you strike out how will you be any worse off than you are now?
For those who may be worried about losing their seat in Washington why would you want to sit there and look like a totally useless mannequin? You do understand that when people vote for you and send you off to Washington they expect you to do something, don’t you?
Do you intend to allow the Republicans to inflict Samuel Alito onto this country? Do not allow a creature who believes it is alright for a 10 year old female child to be strip searched to sit on the highest court in the land. Do not vote to confirm a person who believes in an imperial presidency. He may be qualified, he is not the best America can do.
Do you intend to allow the Republicans to tar you with their brush? Granted that Abramoff spread his mudmoney around but the vast majority went to Republicans. His and his wife’s personal money only went to Republicans. He was a Bush Pioneer for crying out loud. If you too are guilty, then we want you out too.
Do you intend to sit on your fat…laurels and allow this criminal administration to turn the world’s greatest democracy into just another dictatorship? You may not win, but for the sake of America, at least pretend to be in the fight.
We are out here watching. We have been watching and we are not amused. Like the old saying, “Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.” We’ll see to it that you do get out of the way. We call it voting.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Lonnie Latham
He is a familiar face around here, as he not only spoke out against homosexuality and against abortion, but he was vehemently against Oklahoma having a lottery, as he deemed it "sinful."
You could not have picked a more perfect hypocrite of the week. Congratulations! You've done good!!!
Subject: God Told Me
GOD told me that since I am just as godly, perhaps more so, than Pat Robertson, that I should share these pronouncements with the world:
1. The flooding in California is in retribution for Ahnold being a sexual predator and for even running for Governor.
2. The wildfires in Texas are GOD's retribution for the entire existence of the Bush Family, especially Li'l Boy George.
3. Pat Robertson is a fruitcake. If you don't like what GOD told me, take it up with her.
Subject: From Backslapper to Back Stabber
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Hmmm. "Alito." "Scalito." Both rhyme with "Defeat-oh."
Dear Buzzers --
Another rant coming on, I'm afraid. But after reading Friday's morning headlines, the thought of Alito on the Supreme Court (because all of us know what that will mean in terms of women's rights to abortion -- or, for that matter, contraception -- as well as workers' rights (I'm sure you're all familiar with, and disgusted by, the coal mine disaster in West VA -- and, even though the "misinformation" was tragic and unforgivable -- I'm referring to the hundreds of violations that mine had committed and been cited for [these are on record] prior to the "accident."
So the Dems are thinking of letting (Sc)Alito slip through onto the Supreme Court? To me, that means they're not thinking AT ALL. And I refuse to vote for anyone who refuses to THINK. If we're about to (re)elect -- either way -- a bunch of rubber stamps for the neocon bunch of Constitution shredders currently in charge (and, if (Sc)Alito is installed onto the bench -- why don't we just BUY a bunch of rubber stamps -- one for each cowardly Democrat (hey, the real rubber stamps are a lot cheaper than the ones we pay big salaries to) and hand them over to the Repukes? It would save a lot of time -- and, even more important, a lot of money that could be used to help the victims of Katrina, students who deserve to go to college but can't afford to, people who have to choose between medical care and food...and now, between food and heat as well. Think of how many now homeless/displaced people could be saved if we just bought a big box of rubber stamps and directed the rubber-stamp Democrats' salaries to reversing the damage done by the current assministration?
Come to think of it, we could buy rubber stamps for all the Repukelicans too. Why do we need a Congress? Why do we even need a Supreme Court? Or any court at all? If the outcome is predetermined by "Executive Privilege," why don't we simply shut down the other branches of government? It would make at least a modest dent in the damage done by permanent tax cuts to the rich.
This is a FINANCIAL suggestion. I won't address domestic spying in this letter. (We Buzzers can all discuss it later in the tin shipping crate we'll call "home" in Gitmo.)
Barbara Lee (Barb) Blazyk
P.S. The Democrats (with a few notable exceptions) think that "keeping their powder dry" will keep them safe, they'd better reconsider. Know what happens to dry powder in an ill wind? It blows away and is lost forever.
Subject: The President's Meeting On Iraq with Former Defense secretaries and Secretaries of State
So I was thinking about this meeting the President had with about 20 or 25 people, including his own people, Rice and Rumsfeld, and Secretaries of Defense and Secretaries of State from previous administrations such as Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton, and I'm thinking, "Wow. They're going to discuss Iraq. He's going to ask what they think, what suggestions they have, what their opinions are. All those brains, all that intelligence, in one room, being first briefed on the status in Iraq, and then being grilled for opinions and suggestions. Wow. That meeting will last for hours!!!"
But last night I listened to Jim Lehrer's NewsHour on the radio and he was talking to Madeleine Albright and James Schlesinger about the meeting. Turns out the meeting lasted 35 minutes, with the briefers taking up most of the time!!!
Once again, Bush doesn't really want to hear, he just wants to give the appearance of listening. Obviously, the meeting was just a photo opportunity, to be used in yet another spin at some point.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Them's fightin' words!!
After sending this notice to several lists about how proud we are in Okie land that yet another one of our own has made it to the Hypocrite of the Week page of BuzzFlash; I received an e-mail suggesting that Oklahoma and Kansas have a lock on the hypocrite category, but the e-mailer suggested that there is Texas.
He joins a long list of Okies who have been so honored; Brownie, Inhoffe, Coburn and oh so many others. Aren't we proud?
Indeed there is Texas and I spent the first 30 years of my life in Houston, so I know crazy hypocrites when I see them.
Texas is more than 3 times the size of Oklahoma and Kansas combined. The population of Harris County alone is 3,400,578.
Even if the entire population of Oklahoma and Kansas were loonies, which I know Oklahoma isn't because I and at least 10% of Oklahomans aren't as crazy as Rev. Phelps, Texas would still have more nut-cases.
Latham isn't as crazy as Phelps, but I feel certain the good people at South Tulsa Baptist will be hearing from Phelps. Phelps isn't even a hypocrite; as far as I know he hasn't offered oral sex to any OKC or other police officer.
A state that has produced by birth or residence most of the Bush Administration nut-cases has no room to brag; ie, all Bushes, including Jeb, Cheney was living there until 2000, Rove, Delay, Card, Phil Gramm, Cornyn, Lay and most of the ENRON crooks, and all of the other idiots.
Texas has at least as many nuts as the entire populations of Kansas and Oklahoma.
Subject: Rep Murtha and Rep Moran Pack Town Hall Meeting
In case you missed it, Rep Murtha and Rep Moran had a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday. They packed the Hall and over 500 were turned away.
After Downing Street's website has audio of the the meeting.
Why can't ALL DEMOCRATS have this amount of BACKBONE?
Listen to the meeting and look at the pics. You will ask yourself the same question!
136 Events Like This One All Over Country on Saturday: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/event
Subject: Re: Editorial: The importance of regulation; Corporations that put profit ahead of the safety of their workers are no different than drivers who drink or travel at excessive speeds putting the lives of their passengers and other motorists at risk. 1/6
Thanks for being there, folks, you rock! While I agree with the bulk of this article, your pull quote set me off. This is where my inner libertarian splits from the general liberal orthodoxy.
In reality, there are huge differences between a rapine corporation and a drunk driver. The first and most obvious is the corporation that is making dangerous products or operating a toxic work environment is actually hurting people, whereas the drunk driver or speeder is potentially hurting people. A fast driver that makes it home without incident (and that is the majority of speeders) has risked harm but unless he's piled the car, everyone is OK. It's a gamble, not a good one, but damage is not a sure thing.
Workplaces are quite often very dangerous. We've been reminded of that by the Sago Mine disaster this week. The explosion that killed 12 ... is the equivalent of the drunk plowing into an oncoming car but the poor ventilation and the resulting buildup of toxic, flammable gasses and coal dust were already killing those guys slowly.
Sneaker manufacturers glue their shoes with volatile solvent-based glues. As you can imagine, they are very toxic to the (mostly) young women that make the shoes, ventilation systems cost money to install and more money to maintain and in places like Indonesia and VietNam, companies are not required to have them, so they don't. Those workers are being killed off by their employer just as surely as the miners were, just slower and more widespread throughout the factory. (Sago employs hundreds of workers, 13 were involved in this accident, a Nike plant hires thousands and most of them are exposed to the solvents.)
Reckless corporations are immune to effective punishment. If I beat someone up, I could go to jail for a year, in that time I'd lose my job, miss mortgage or rent payments, et cetera. If I killed someone, I could be locked up forever or executed. When a corporation violates safety regulations and cheats on inspections resulting in harm to workers or environmental damage, harming the surrounding community, that company continues to do business. They may get fined but the fines are rarely felt in the boardroom.
When a corporation makes a cost/benefit analysis that says the loss of life (@$186000 per person) is less expensive than an $8 increase on a gas tank, that company is committing premeditated murder. And that company should face the Corporate Death Penalty, the executives that made the fatal decisions jailed and the assets liquidated to compensate the victims. Yes, it means the loss of jobs for the employees of that company, so the workers have a stake (on top of their own safety) in keeping the company from operating dangerously.
A partisan Supreme Court clerk, in summarizing the Santa Fe decision, inserted language that conferred the rights of human citizens to corporations. This "corporate personhood" has created a situation where corporations influence elections and legislation, have all the rights of people, but not the responsibilities.
If we are to form a more perfect union, we will need to clarify the position that corporations hold in America. Corporations are not people. They do not have the rights of people. Corporations are made up of people and they have responsibilities to society, the corporation has liability as do its officers. Peace.
Subject: Solvency of Social Security
As my mother and grandmother from the south would put it, "Since you can't believe a word that comes out of the mouths of those lying crooked congressmen or the leaders of the country, you'd better start trying to get your social security dollars in LAND EQUIVALENT. Cause otherwise, there is nothing left nailed down that these scoundrels won't sell off to the highest bidders. Since there's no one in Washington who can say one way or the other as to what's actually in social security, tell em' to give you your social security account and all of its interest until your retirement age in LAND. OPEN ALL PUBLIC LAND AND DISBURSE IT TO THE PEOPLE, OR ELSE THEY WILL SELL THAT RIGHT FROM UNDER THE REPUBLIC AND WE'LL ALL BE UP S**TS CREEK WITHOUT A PADDLE."
Subject: Bush Removal Ended Guam Investigation!
I was just curious why this information has not been brought to light with all the other scandals which have been exposed by the Abramoff investigation.
It seems Bu$h removed the US attorney, Frederick A. Black, for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, when he was conducting an investigation of Jack Abramoff almost two years ago.
Mr. Black was getting too close for comfort and got the Powers That Be all in a lather. Someone made a quick phone call to set these events in motion. Who made the call? Rove, DeLay, Abramoff? So, Bu$h says he never meet Abramoff yet felt the need to help out one of his pals!
I found this information highly disturbing and thought that maybe the readers of the BuzzFlash mailbag would be interested.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Campaign for the Supreme Court - The Politics of the Nomination of Samuel A. Alito
With an endorsement from Falwell the Dems in the Senate should break out the cots, telephone books and cite the words of the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, and the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, in their works about government and religion.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Your Senate Dems Article
Thank you for your article about the Dems keeping their powder dry.
I've heard that pathetic Diane "I'm really a Republican" Feinstein use that term.
The Democratic Party is dead and has been dead since 2000, and many Liberals will defend them no matter what they don't do or don't stand for. I've heard Liberals say, "They're all we have so we have to support them," (referring to the Democratic Party). To which I respond: To hell with that nonsense. No, you don't even have them. You just want to believe you do.
They should officially dissolve what's left of the party and most of them should re-register as Republicans, since that's what they are.
I despise cowards. The supine pro-war Democratic Party is beneath contempt. I'm done with them. May they rot in hell.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: W's Language Requirements
I snipped this from Google News this morning:
I'm thinking he ought consider tacking on an amendment requiring that all Presidential candidates pass English fluency tests as well. I believe it is absolutely a stated requirement for all white-collar positions. That he's been allowed to get away nearly unscathed with the communicative skills he possessed when he took the office is a travesty.
I suppose we should send a note home to Mummy Dearest and Poppy extolling the communicative improvements W has made during his tenure at 1600 Penna.
Subject: Bees and Illegal Aliens
If you don’t want to attract bees, keep the lid on the honey jar. Professor Bill Hing, in his January 2, 2006 editorial in the Chicago Tribune linked to by Buzzflash, states "If anti-immigrant forces in Congress had their way, illegal immigration would be a crime punishable by death."
An immigrant's death trap (Op-Ed, Chiago Tribune)
This is a harsh statement about a body that has so far shown no real guts for actually stopping or controlling the flow of illegal aliens that cross our southern border. The bill he refers to sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), that was passed in the House will be watered down in the Senate - as usual - to make ineffective the so-called increased enforcement against employers who hire undocumented workers - and there is the real problem.
Professor Hing blames "anti-immigration laws" for causing the deaths of people trying to enter this country illegally because "their entry choices were shifted to treacherous terrain--the deserts and mountains."
He goes on to site numbers that seemly back his argument; "In 1994, fewer than 30 migrants died along the border; by 1998, the number was 147; in 2001, 387 deaths were counted; and in the last fiscal year, 451 died." What he leaves out of these numbers is the corresponding increase in the number of people illegally crossing the southern border since 1994.
He says of the people who cross the border illegally "In a sense, they do not have a choice." This is his prelude to the often heard jobs-are-going-begging argument.
He says "... jobs are plentiful here [in the US] because a variety of industries rely on low-wage migrant workers." At this point, I would ask Professor Hing to first get his nomenclature straight; we are not talking about "migrant workers." A migrant is someone with legal standing. What we are talking about is "illegal aliens"; people who have openly broken the law to gain entry into our country and now resides here illegally.
Secondly, industries in the United States who have become addicted to exploiting the labor of illegal aliens paying low wages and furnishing poor and dangerous work conditions should not be rewarded by giving these industries greater access to a larger work force ripe for exploitation. These industries should be made to answer to the letter of the law. It is illegal to hire illegal aliens in this country. Any company found guilty of doing so should be heavily fined and the executive officers should face prison time.
Professor Hing and others may argue that if some industries had to bring up working conditions and wages to attract American workers, they would go out of business. My response to that is, "Too bad."
If I am a merchant in this country selling any type of merchandise and I find that I can no longer make a profit by buying my product wholesale, adding value and then reselling it, I have some choices to make. I can a.) go out of business; b.) change my business to increase efficiency; c.) take my business to another country; d.) pass the increased cost to the consumer, or, finally; e.) I can charge it off against the bottom-line. Traditionally, with the exception of "c", American companies have chosen a combination of all the above.
What they don't do is smuggle in raw product across the border from another country to keep up the bottom-line. Other producers of the same product would cry “foul” and there are numerous laws in place with harsh penalties to prevent such unfair advantages.
Recently, Delphi CEO Steve Miller callously pointed out that labor is just another raw material. Every working person in this country is a merchant of that material. Why should we stand by while our stock-in-trade is cheapened by goods smuggled into this country illegally?
Yes, I recognize that the world is just one huge market place now but I also recognize that the world is not one huge level playing field. If it were, the United States would have universal health care like all other major industrialized nations, Chinese currency wouldn't be pegged to the US Dollar to insure that the trade deficit remains in their favor and US farmers wouldn’t be getting farm subsidies, 80% of which go to three corporations, so they can undercut prices on the world market and force local farmers out of business – including Mexican farmers - since the signing of NAFTA. Now these farmers swell the ranks of Mexico's unemployed because they can no longer compete with our giant government-subsidized farming industries.
So, Professor Hing, if you really want to stop the deaths of people who have chosen of their own freewill to break our laws and cross into our country illegally, put the lid on the honey jar and the bees will stay away. Stiffen the penalties and fines for hiring illegal aliens until it becomes unprofitable. It is already illegal, immoral and just plain un-American.
Oh, and if you really need something to [complain] about, consider starting with NAFTA.
[BuzzFlash Note: Mr. Hing's article had a tone of humanitarian compassion for poverty-level workers. Your assessment, interestingly, frames the issue in economic terms, with government's role being to alter the profit point. Today's Chicago Tribune reported on another angle: Immigrants unite to keep dreams alive--and in Mexico.]
Subject: Interesting Books I've Learned about from Your Site
Happy New Year, and thanks for the inspiring message you sent us faithful readers!
I just wanted to write about a couple of interesting books I learned about from your website. I have to admit that I ended up checking these books out from the library. (Are they scouring my lists of checked-out books as we speak???)
At any rate, the first book was "Into the Buzzsaw," by Kristina Borjesson, in which the myth of a free press is explored. This book contains articles by different journalists, who discuss their own personal challenges in attempting to publish whistleblower-type journalism which go against the powers-that-be. For those of you who are frustrated by MSM toeing the line, this book unveils the difficulties for the brave and ethical few who do attempt to bring honesty back to journalism. Their rewards are few; they face persecution, loss of jobs and income, and, in some cases, huge debts incurred by fighting lawsuits. In the end, their messages are usually lost in the "buzz." Reading this book really helped me to understand what the situation is like today for honest journalists.
This book lead me to another book by Gary Webb called "Dark Alliance," which is a Must-read for those who want to understand the corrupt power structure that exists in this country today. Webb details a very concrete relationship between the CIA and the crack cocaine epidemic that exploded in L.A. in the 1980's and which continues to this day. Unfortunately, it involved not only the CIA, but also the DEA, the Justice dept., and the State Dept. The very sad reality is that, after the publication of this book and before the publication of his next book, Gary Webb was found dead of multiple gunshots to his head. His death was ruled a SUICIDE, and he was quickly cremated.
Please justify the work he gave up his life for by reading about it. Much of it is available on the internet. Buy the book from this site, or, if money is tight, check it out of your library. In order to understand the power structure that we're up against, we have to educate ourselves to the realities of what we're up against. It's more than just Bush and his slimy administration. He had to have a much bigger network in place to put him in office in the first place. It's going to require every single decent American standing up and demanding, Cindy Sheehan-like, that our laws and our democracy be enforced.
Thanks to you, Buzz, for giving these authors exposure so that the Buzzsaw machinery gets circumvented.
|back to top|