January 24, 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 24, 2006 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
Subject: Long Overdue
I've been reading BuzzFlash every day since our 2000 "selection." You have helped me hang on to sanity during the madness and tragedy of the past five years. I simply cannot get through a day without visiting you and getting my daily fix of real news, tinged with your special insight wit, and wisdom.
I have just read a commentary by one of your readers who mentions how badly he felt about not contributing after many years of being a guest of your wonderful sanctuary. Well, I appear to fall into that same category, so last night I sent you a check for $50.00. It's all we can manage for the moment, but more will be coming. It was long overdue, but every little bit helps.
A world without BuzzFlash would be unthinkable...you give us all hope.
Keep The Faith
Subject: Old Pix of W
While "photo albums" are searched for Bush/Abramoff photos, why not also look for Bush/kENRON Lay photos? The first time I knew W was lying to the TV camera was when he said Ann Richards introduced him to kEnron. And Mr. Bush looked really comfortable telling it.
[BuzzFlash Note: Here's one link: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.rotten.com...]
Subject: 4th Amendment
Pardon me if I am repeating recent posts, but the above is almost the whole amendment. Could that be more clear?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: W & Public Speaking
Babs and Poppy must be SO PROUD. According to CNN Headline News, little Georgie is now capable of fielding unscreened questions from the audience. And only 5 years into the presidency! Just imagine what he'll be up to by the time he's done.
Which reminds me, Laura: 8 years is NOT enough. Rather, it is TOO much. Way too much.
Subject: 2006 Strategy
Dump Stabenow, Byrd, Conrad, Nelson and Nelson running in 2006 who all voted for bush's bankruptcy bill.
Also dump Cantwell running in 2006 who voted for CAFTA.
And dump Kennedy who is partners with McCain really bush on citizenship for illegal aliens which will make the US the best military of the third world countries.
And republican Lieberman does have challenger, right? And already said republican Nelson of Nebraska. So that leaves republican Hillary to dump. And can't say that is because of Molly for long time before that calling Hillary republican, enabler, put her daughter though it, White Water, last clinton in oval office put in NAFTA. Not time for woman to run. With her legal background cannot claim ignorance.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Comment on Current Conditions
This quote squarely applies to current conditions:
Bill R. Jones
Subject: NSA Wiretaps
Watching Bush and his toadies trying to justify his illegal NSA wiretaps and other violations of the Constitution he swore to uphold and defend reminds me of another point in history with similar events.
An excerpt from The Night of the Long Knives (June 30, 1934) (History Place):
Isn’t this the same usurpation of power that Bush is claiming? That he is above the law?
This should be a warning to the rabid right-wing Christ-o-Fascists who are blind to the crimes of Bush. I have no doubt Bush will turn on them when they become “inconvenient.”
Remember: The very people that Hitler butchered on June 30, 1934 were the leadership of the SA (the brown shirts). These were the rabid followers of Hitler who put him in power in the first place.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Dems and No Spines
Are they all being blackmailed because of all the wiretapping done on them?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush Abramoff Photos
SHOW US THE PHOTOS PLEASE!
Subject: The only logical reasons why they sidestepped the FISA court
So, the AG is using the excuse of "operational constraints" as the reason why the !*#&$ in the WH sidestepped the FISA court and started illegally wiretapping Americans without going to the FISA court for warrants?
Logically, there are only a couple of reasons why they would do this.
1) They know that they could never adequately explain to the FISA court the number of warrants needed to cover all of the American citizens they are spying on, Americans whom the government can't provide one shred of evidence linking them to terrorism. It would be immediately obvious what was really going on.
2) They know that if the IDENTITY of many of the targets of the spying were known, the courts would immediately see that the spying is being done for political reasons, not for national security, and would want to see the evidence which we know the executive couldn't produce.
All democrats and moderate republicans should assume they're being spied upon.
3) Also, the WH can't go to the FISA court with specific requests if they're RAMDOMLY targeting innocent Americans with no ties to terrorism, going on fishing expeditions with the NSA's data mining capability which allows the agency to simultaneously record and analyze a sizable percentage of all electronic communication WITHIN the borders.
These are the "operational constraints" that the AG danced around without explanation.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Jamie Foxx Special
JAMIE FOXX MUSIC SPECIAL WILL BROADCAST WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25TH @ 9:00PM Eastern Time on NBC. PLEASE MAKE IT A POINT WATCH! There will be surprise special guests.
(NBC is dead as far as I'm concerned - I wonder if I can get them surgically removed from my TV)
So NBC objects to someone only wanting black people on their musical special - perhaps this special is one that highlights African American music and artists. Now, do you often see NBC objecting to shows that do not include black people? I DON'T THINK SO. This is an outrage as far as I'm concerned. They sink lower and lower.
My, times have changed since The Cosby Show. I wonder if they'd even let that air now - well I guess they would as long as there was a sufficient "quota" of white people. As a matter of fact, you don't see too many shows anymore, like the Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, etc. It just keeps getting whiter and whiter. And by the way, I can't wait to see who these controversial guest stars, that do not fit the "NBC profile" are. And what exactly is the "NBC Profile?" Oh, silly me, white, male, republican, and most likely fat and stupid.
Everyone watch. Bring those ratings up. Perhaps we can give them another "Brokeback Mountain" lesson.
Barbara in NYC
Subject: Media Already Has Alito Confirmed
I no longer believe most Democrats won't filibuster against Alito because they are clueless about the real stakes; I now believe they are so in league with the Republicans through Bill Clinton's Democratic Leadership Council "triangulation" that they have more of a greed incentive to not fight strongly. Kerry caved easily after the suspicious Ohio vote discrepancies in Nov. 2004, for example, and both before and since then, most Dems. have gone along with Repubs. with not much more than token words of disagreement. But when it comes to acting, most Dems. show us where they REALLY stand by what they do and fail to do.
Both major parties, with very few individual exceptions, long ago sold out to corporate power over true respect and support for democracy. As Gore Vidal knew long ago, the U.S. has one party, the business [corporate] party, with Republican and Democratic wings.
It's up to us, together but without corrupt politicians, to try to salvage any last vestiges of democracy here, as global warming, war with Iran, and the collapse of our economy all loom.
Subject: MORE bad news from the Red States
Dear Buzzers --
Just read an article at www.truthout.org that originally appeared in the LA Times on Sunday (1/22). It's called "States Step Up Fight on Abortion."...
As I've written previously, I KNOW what back alley abortions are like. No, I didn't HAVE one -- but because I was a squeaky clean straight-A (well, there were a couple of exceptions; when I got really bored, I skipped class. But mostly) student, this person's friends thought my room would be the safest place to hide her after the back alley job. She almost bled to death in my room. I still have nightmares about it, and I wasn't the one who had the botched abortion.
Do we REALLY want to go back to that? Do you BELIEVE these...people (I'm being kind here) when they blather on about how much they value human life? They care about an embryo, but don't give a flying BLEEP about what happens to kids after they're born. It's all part of their hypocrisy when it comes down to democracy. Abortions will continue -- in the same unsanitary, unsafe manner I just described. (That experience -- the person who almost bled to death on my mattress; I slept on the floor -- still haunts me, recurring often in nightmares.) Even if they (the current honchos) crack down on back-alley hack jobs -- after, of course, after Alito is appointed to the Supreme Court -- abortions will continue. They've probably been around since Cleopatra's time. Only now we'll be back to the days where women used coat hangers to do the job. Sorry about the graphics, but if you'd seen what I saw -- i.e., someone almost bleeding to death in my dorm room (I was 18; she must have been 19 or 20 at most), you'd know how much is at stake. Georgia, of course (where, unfortunately, I live at the moment), has an anti-abortion bill on the fast track. And so do several neighboring states. And NON-neighboring states.
Please read the article for yourselves.
And think about it: people who care more about an embryo consisting of a few cells, advocate the elimination not only of abortion rights but of the "morning after" pill and, eventually, all methods of contraception -- all methods of promoting "Abstinence Only," which anyone with more than half a brain knows doesn't work -- but then, after forcing women to give birth (even if they've been raped or are 14 years old ... you get the picture) is out to put non-rich women (RICH women can always fly to Europe for THEIR abortions) in our places. It's the perfect way to congeal the alliance between the neocons and the religious right evangelical troops -- presided over by their chosen idiot (hint: our *ssh*le-in-Chief).
Sorry for the long (as usual) rant here. And I KNOW I'm preaching to the choir. But the frame is closing in on us -- and if WE don't fight, who WILL?
Barbara Lee (Barb) Blazyk
Subject: Sect. 802. Definition of Domestic Terrorism
Find your copy of the Patriot Act and check out Section 802. Pay particular attention to (5) (A) & (B). See if you might find what I find in those sections. Imagine using terror alerts known to be false to win an election or start a war or justify domestic spying. Or even knowingly giving false information in, say, the State of the Union Address. An address before the UN. Remember that the results of the 2002 elections were swayed by the threat that Saddam Hussein and his Iraq were [an imminent threat] to us. Remember that the 2004 election was won by using Terrorism and the associated threats to us to sway an election. Think what justification the Administration is now feeding us. Fear that we will be attacked again by terrorists if we don't submit and allow them to take more of our Constitutional rights away; and who could now not include Karl the "Trustee of Terror" Rove's speech the other day that says the main plan to win the elections of 2006 is the war on terror. I would say that all of the above are meant to influence and coerce as quoted here from the Patriot Act Section 802:
This is only an excerpt from section 802, but it is about one third of the entire section. I urge you to read the entire section, to keep it in full context as to what the above amendments replace. As for the Democrats that are now beginning to show that they may be flexible to and may even want to help the Administration change things to suit them; I think I can pretty safely say that when the White House took only the gang of eight into its confidence and violated the 1947 Foreign Surveillance Act, it was "(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.
You were told that you could not tell anyone, because you would violate national security. How can you violate National Security when you are witness to a criminal act? The 1947 FSA, the 1978 FISA, and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution itself. I would say that under the Patriot Act this Administration is guilty of using terror threats to influence and coerce you into joining them in the crime.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Why is this being allowed to happen?
Subject: Re: The Power of One (1/24 Buzz editorial)
I just don't GET it. I mean, if people like us (OK, I'm sure you're not ALL hovering on the age of powerlessness with your very own FBI files as I am, but compared to the Democrats in the Senate, and yes, that DOES include Hillary, Kerry, Biden, and Feinstein, you're probably lower down on the wealthy/filthy lucre scale than THEY are. (Apologies to any Buzz millionaires/billionaires out there.)
So what the BLEEP are they AFRAID of?? If they lost their "jobs" by taking a principled stand, they'd hardly be likely to end up living under a bridge or eating at a soup kitchen. (In fact, the book deals would probably come pouring in, since Democrats who actually put themselves on the line to defend our Constitution -- and thereby our democracy -- are about as rare as dodo birds these days.)
We Buzzers are also much more likely to have our emails and phone calls monitored, even though I'd bet the farm (if I had one) that we're not emailing or chatting on the phone with terrorists. That is just pure...well...Bushit.
If we (comparatively speaking) "little people" -- I'm talking in terms of relative wealth and power -- are willing to speak out on progressive websites like The Buzz, even though we're obviously being scrutinized and likely to become an endangered species, why the hell can't the Democrats put THEIR butts on the line? They might be surprised by the positive results. Or, if they continue to hem and haw and hedge, by the NEGATIVE ones.
Barbara Lee (Barb) Blazyk
Subject: Give Bush a Crown
The Rove Blitzkrieg on framing the debate about whether Bush is a King into a trivial procedural issue has brought out the Big Guns, even HW. I say give Bush a Crown and exile him and Rove to an island populated by chimps. They'll be happy, and if the chimps get upset we can rotate them every few years.
Subject: How the Democrats Can Win
Democrats have a perfect line to deliver, and the policy will be self evident. Karl Rove continues riding the TERRORISM horse from election to election, and hoping that FEAR will trump all other issues like the economy or health care, on which the Bush Administration have proven a disaster.
The problem with Rove's "it's the terrorism, stupid" plan for WINNING: The GOP's record on fighting terrorism is TERRIBLE. 9/11 happened on THEIR watch, and while they did NOTHING AT ALL to try to prevent it.
A Democrat, running for ANY office, including president, should take THIS as their platform. It is a WINNING strategy, and it has the advantage of being HONEST, ACHEIVEABLE, and TRUE to our ideals as Americans and Democrats:
"OUR ... and MY ... number one priority is to GET BIN LADEN." Elaborating, they can say, "We will seek him out, relentlessly, wherever he is. Will will capture or kill him, and everyone associated WITH him. Our search will carry us across the world, to pockets of terrorists who wish us harm. We will capture or kill THEM, too. Once we GET Bin Laden, we will continue until we have dealt with all his allies and compatriots we know of or have heard hints about. We won't stop until the job is done.
"Our anti-terrorism campaign will do something at which this Administration has utterly failed: Attacking Terrorists. GW Bush says he "doesn't think about Bin Laden much." GW Bush is focused, not on terrorism, but on installing a new government in Iraq. Iraq had NOTHING to do with terrorism, yet Bush decided he would abandon the issue of terrorism and commence Nation Building. This abandonment has made America much LESS safe.
"We will have to rethink our military capability. GW Bush has them fighting the "last war," a ground campaign on conventional terms. We are now in a virtual meat grinder, with no end in sight. We are not seeking out terrorists who are a danger to America.
"Terrorists are not a nation. Terrorists are not an army. Terrorists are scattered cells of fanatics who plot and execute their plans all over the world. We need to recognize that this problem cannot be addressed by a ground war in Iraq ... not even close.
"Our military needs to engage as a series of surgical strikes to eliminate terrorists. For this, we will want the cooperation of nations Bush has alienated by his wrongheaded and fraudulently based war on Iraq. Once we state our righteous goal, the world will be with us again, if we fight terrorists instead of invading oil-rich nations for occupation's sake.
"America needs to SUCCEED where GW Bush has FAILED. We need to RE-focus on defeating terrorism, and begin seeking terrorists out wherever they hide. This is not JUST in IRAQ, in fact, this is in over 60 nations (according to CIA estimates), and includes America.
"We can uncover terrorist plots, WHILE FOLLOWING OUR LAWS. We will do the extra work of following the Constitution, because it's vitally important to do so, to respect rights and our democracy, and to restore checks and balances to a now imperial presidency. We do not have to abandon our FREEDOMS to do a great job of defense; in truth, if we are made to give up our freedoms and rights, the terrorists have struck a blow to the heart of America.
"A proper leader cannot allow the terrorists to win, and they DO win if we are reduced to saying we cannot defend ourselves and still follow our Constitution. We CAN, and we MUST. It's not even that hard, it's just a little more work. GW Bush has told us a dictatorship makes the job easier. We aren't interested in the EASY and unaccountable path that GW Bush has chosen. We are interested in stopping terrorists. We are interested in pursuing terrorists wherever they hide, not just in Nation Building where there really WERE no terrorists.
"We are adamant about adhering to the Constitution, even though it is 'harder' to do so. It's worth it.
"And mostly, we are interested in AMERICA, and returning us to the greatness which has been curtailed by an Administration that prefers the "EASY" path which is both ineffective and unnecessarily oppressive to our people. Our people who deserve to be TRULY FREE, and our leader needs to PROTECT rather than bypass that goal.
"Terrorism is a REAL problem, and this Administration has given in, surrendered what makes America great, and has failed utterly in recognizing and actually pursuing the problem. They instead fight the LAST war, one where we got mired in another nation's Civil War. This does not fight terrorism."
"We need a REAL and EFFECTIVE war on terrorism, wherever it breeds and plots. We do NOT need distractions into Nation Building, which saps our resources and pins us down geographically. Our present course is wrongheaded and ineffective. We need a leader who THINKS about Bin Laden. Democrats do, every day, and we will GET him, where Bush has FAILED."
Subject: NO to cloture on Alito Confirmation Debate
I urge that you oppose cloture on the debate regarding confirmation of Judge Alito as a new Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. It is somewhat disturbing that a straight party line vote has moved his nomination to the full Senate.
Considering Judge Alito's established position on Executive Powers, diminished strength for the legislative branch, and abridgement of individual rights and protections of Americans, I would hope that the full Senate, with votes from Republican senators, would refuse to consent to his appointment to our highest court.
Should it become apparent that Republican principals are unequal to the protection of the Constitutional separation of powers and rights of Americans to due process, then I urge you to continue to oppose cloture and require a 60% vote of the Senate to do so.
I am reminded of the old joke about the woman who found a half-frozen rattlesnake caught out of his hole during an unseasonable frost. Having taken it home, warmed it by the fire and given it milk to drink, it bit her. Upon being asked why, the snake replied, "You knew I was a snake when you picked me up."
Mr. Bush won the 2004 election's popular vote by as strong a margin as Mr. Gore did in 2000. Everyone knew his positions affecting the choice of new Supreme Court judges.
A case can be made that the result we now face is reflective of who we are as a people; driven by fear as Esau was by hunger, willing to give up our birthright for a mess of pottage.
I'm asking you hold to a higher standard, and to hold fast to your oath to "Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
John F. Williford
Subject: Terrorist surveillance program?
If this bush administration were killing all the little puppies and kittens in this country they would call it THE HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAM FOR KIDS, meaning that those kittens and puppies might grow up and attack the kids. :):):)
Subject: Bush and the Constitution
I used to think that maybe, just maybe, the Iraq invasion and the War Against Terror were pretexts for a resource grab in the Middle East. But following the Bob Gardner rule for sensible paranoia promulgated during Watergate -- "Whatever you can imagine them doing, they're doing something worse" -- I'm beginning to wonder if this whole thing is a pretext for a "wartime president" to reduce the Republic to a fascist dictatorship.
Isn't that what's happening? Look around, people!
Subject: No Ethics Anywhere in Sight
ABC news is reporting that Justice Antonin Scalia is once again taking free trips. He took a fancy vacation paid for by the Federalist Society. He took it on the weekend that Chief Justice Roberts was sworn in. Shabby.
He took that well publicized duck hunting trip with Cheney aboard Air Force II and thought that was fine and dandy. The man has the ethics of a gangster, but, hey folks, he’s intelligent and well qualified. Move on, no problems here.
Other Justices on the Supreme Court take gifts and it seems Justice Clarence Thomas even got a nice set of tires for his car. Seeing that Justices make a salary of about $199,200.00, wouldn’t you think they could afford their own tires?
What is more apparent every day is that there is no part of the government that is not for sale. The president of the United States, Senators, Members of Congress, Judges, etc. etc. all receive something, even if nothing but campaign contributions. Are we to think that all these gifts and money are given just out of generosity? Are we that stupid? And isn’t it vulgar that people in their position are so willing to sell themselves? Although no one else seems to have reached the degree of tawdriness as Congressman Duke Cunningham, who apparently sold out in part by being paid off in antique toilets.
These folks have a tendency to whine that they could make a lot more money if they went to work in the private sector. So go. But wait, doesn’t this whiny little bunch of money grubbers leave public service only to show up in the private sector using the clout and/or expertise they gained in government service? Not Supreme Court Justices of course, they just sit on the court and get free tires. Can’t afford their own, making a salary that most of the citizens of this country would find munificent.
Taking a good look, an honest look at our government, is depressing. We want to believe that we are the most wonderful, free, decent and honorable country on the planet. Instead it appears clearer all the time that we have a system that is seriously corrupted. We are expecting the corrupted to fix the system. Good luck with that.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: For BuzzFlash, My Letter to Arlen Specter
Dear Senator Arlen Specter and Staff,
Hello. I'm a white guy in Philadelphia who makes 32k per year working at a University. I rent an apartment with my girlfriend. I have this morning off from work. I'm doing laundry right now and reading the news. I was a registered Independent years ago, but I registered as a Democrat for the 2004 election. This is a real letter and not an automatically generated form.
I respect the Republican Party somewhat out of fear. I'm almost afraid to write to you. The only reason I've broken my silence this morning is because of the Sam Alito nomination. I've read some editorials that suggest that Sam Alito might enable the Executive Branch to invent new powers. What defense do you have against this argument?
I took the time to watch footage from the hearings. I think that Sam Alito is a grown man who is still trying to impress authority. Unfortunately, he's so far up in our society that he's running-out of people to impress. I think he looks to the president and corporations to accept him, and god knows who else. We all crave structure in our lives, but Alito worries me. It's not just the "Concerned Alumni" issue, where he joined the wrong group to pad his resume; that's almost understandable. What concerns me is that he seems to trace the lines of authority to solve problems ... "I would have to refer to ..." " I would need to know more about ..." (paraphrased, caveats galore in his answers). I just don't think that Alito is following the path of justice in his head; I'm under the impression that he is following the path to impress his perceived superiors.
I think that Samuel Alito would make a damn fine corporate lawyer, but he doesn't have the spine of a judge.
Subject: Good News
Have you nothing but depressing and demoralizing news? I am a dedicated BuzzFlash reader and am tired of reading nothing but negative horrible articles. We need something positive once in a while. I feel that we are losing every issue and are about to become automatons in Bushworld. Is there no hope? It feels that way.
Russell P. Davis
[BuzzFlash Note: Hey - you must have selective memory. What about all the upbeat letters/articles related to Al Gore's uplifting speech last week? What about the fact that we're no longer talking to ourselves about corruption in the GOP -- it is headline stories and indictments? What about Google standing up to the government's request for data on a week's worth of Google searches? What about Cindy Sheehan's ongoing heroism? Cast off your depression and embrace hope! (and activism)]
[PS: This just in: Jan. 24 called worst day of the year: British psychologist calculates ‘most depressing day’.]
Subject: Franklin Quote
Subject: Does Anyone Do the Reading These Days?
Once again we find that newsmakers and those who cover them have failed to do the required reading. Osama urged us all to read one of William Blum's books -- the one that argues that US policy has created enemies around the world. Blum is, of course, not the first to argue that. Indeed, some might assert that we don't need an entire book to figure that one out.
But in one of his earlier books on CIA malpractice around the world (unfortunately I've mislaid the book), he writes an entire chapter on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in which he discusses the reasons for the Soviet invasion of that country (that Amin, the Communist president at the time, was giving communism a bad name, and that the CIA was supporting the mullah/warlord opposition) and, if not approving the Soviet invasion, at least recognizing that the people we were supporting (yes, Osama, you're included here) were thoroughly unsupportable.
You'd think the press would have paid enough attention to pick up this neat little point!
Subject: Gore For President
I just read your BuzzFlash Editorial, "The Power of One." I do not want any of the "44" to run for President.
How do we convince Al Gore to run for President? Can we please begin a movement for Gore for President?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Chicken Little the Sky Ain't Falling
I used to enjoy reading BuzzFlash. A couple of days ago you started posting that our democracy was over and that the Democrats have triangulated themselves to go along with this takeover. I don't buy scare tactics whether it's from left or the right.
Did it ever occur to you that most Americans are sick to death of fear? Try saying what Roosevelt said while fighting a World War on 2 fronts: 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Until you can put the news into its proper perspective. I will watch reruns of All In The Family.
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Fair enough. We don't like fear mongering, and we routinely call it out. But it is also our job to defend democracy when it is threatened.]
Subject: The Power of One
Those senators who vote to filibuster, ipso-facto and ergo, will have earned the support of those of us now ready, able and willing to answer the BuzzFlash call to change the world. The vote on Alito will go down as a defining moment for us, of the where were you on December 11, 1941 or on the day that Kennedy was assassinated variety. There'll be this trivia question: "What was the name of the man whose election to the Supreme Court is said to have changed the world."
A BuzzFlash Reader
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