February 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 FEBRUARY 6, 2006 BUZZFLASH MAILBAG. CLICK HERE FOR PART 1
Subject: Who will protect our civil liberties?
To Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Time Magazine reports that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will testify before you Monday regarding the administration’s clearly illegal warrantless wiretapping. In the article is this statement: "[T]he Attorney General plans to leave open the possibility that President Bush will ask the court to give blanket approval to the program, a step that some lawmakers and even some Administration officials contend would put it on more solid legal footing."
I don’t understand how courts can give blanket approval for this activity. The Fourth Amendment clearly states that we citizens have a “RIGHT” to be secure in our “persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” and that government must obtain a specific warrant based on specific, sworn information to violate that security. The Constitution clearly does not give the Executive the power to go on fishing expeditions, which is what their activities have been.
I don't understand how Congress can exempt the Executive from a requirement clearly prescribed in the Constitution, and I don't understand how the judiciary can do it, either.
President Bush and his minions keep telling us that his first duty is to protect us from terrorists. That allegation is ridiculous on its face, since the administration did nothing to protect us from the 9/11 attacks, despite many solid warnings. But not only is it ridiculous, it isn’t true. BUSH’S FIRST DUTY IS TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION! That’s what he swore to do. And so did you.
According to the Time article, Gonzales believes the press reports on wiretapping are “misinformed, confused, or wrong.” I believe that it is Gonzales and his boss who are misinformed, confused, AND wrong.
We the people know we cannot count on Republicans to stand up against this lawless administration. We pray that we can count on you to protect our civil liberties.
Contact the Judiciary Committee members yourself:
Philosophical question: If a Bush commits a crime and no one hears about it, has a crime really been committed?
Subject: Maryland Alert
The same Rovian tactics used in Ohio to gut election fraud reform ...
... are being used in Maryland by Del. Pat McDonough. Following is the letter he wrote printed in the "North County News." Ironically, even the example of Ellen Saurebrey is absurd. Republicans as well as Democrats called her charges of voter fraud baseless in 1994. Please help expose this deceitful, despicable campaign by Republicans to gut true reform and enlighten people about the non-partisan group, TrueVote.
Subject: Hillary Won't Run for President
The Administration through its media whores have attempted to influence the Democrats so that they will nominate Hillary for President. Chris Matthews and the other pundits have made it look like it has already been decided that Hillary will be the Democrat's candidate.
Of course, the Republicans would like nothing better. Between Hillary and Bill they have so much negative baggage that it wouldn't fit into sixteen, sixteen wheelers. Once Hillary got the nomination, Monica Lewinsky would be brought back to life.
But you can say one thing, the Clintons are not stupid and have political smarts. They see the hand writing on the wall, and therefore Hillary will not run but will be content with her Senate seat. Perhaps Kerry should also look in the mirror.
Subject: Your Headline on Chavez
I am a faithful reader who usually shares your views on almost everything. I was surprised and distressed, therefore, to see you refer to Hugo Chavez as "dippy." Chavez is certainly strongly anti-American, but surely a Latin Am. leader who suspects that a US government is likely to try to overthrow him is not dippy but merely accurate. (Think Guatemala and Chile; think of the coup that the Bushies tried to mount against Chavez himself.) Chavez, Morales, and the newly elected Pres of Chile are a part of a long-overdue Latin Declaration of Independence against American colonialism south of the border. Progressive people in the US should be wildly enthusiastic about this development; BuzzFlash of all places should not be contributing to the jingoistic blather about Chavez that can be heard everywhere else in the echo-chamber that is the American MSM. We need you as a unique and independent voice. Please don't go over to the other side, even on an issue as distant from American concerns as Venezuela. (Your headline SHOULD HAVE SAID: "Rumsfeld the fascist insults Venezuela by comparing Chavez to Hitler. Are we surprised that Chavez thinks there's an American plot against him?"
Subject: Iraq hostage standoff continues - and US suddenly releases detainees
Not that one thing has to do with the other.... and not that the US media notices.
Iraq hostage standoff continues
US military frees more Iraqis
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Killing the Golden Goose, Bush vs America
Bush says he is for Americans. His words say one thing, his actions say another! The Bush administration said Thursday it will ask Congress for $120 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. To get this money for the Iraqis, where does Bush get the money from? Americans. Specifically from our children's future and the disenfranchised Americans who can least afford it.
Bush is cutting Student loans by $11.9 Billion, so much for his education initiative. And the rest will come from Medicaid and Medicare to become a grand total of $39 Billion, so much for compassion. The Deficit is expected to rise to $1.3 TRILLION a YEAR by 2010. So much for fiscal conservatism. Yet Bush wants to keep the tax cuts to the richest because they will create 15 million jobs, at least that is what Bush said. That would break down to just under 2 million a year. The reality is Bush has only added 400,000 new jobs a year. Here is an interesting point, at 400,000 jobs a year, in 8 years Bush's tax cuts will have added 3,200,000 new jobs. The total cuts to the US Budget for Bush's tax cuts are... 2001-2008, with sunsets: $1.7 trillion
2001-2008, without sunsets: $2.19 trillion
So if the tax cuts are made permanent each new job Bush created will cost $684,375 each. Did this sink in?
It would be cheaper to pay 15 million people $120,000 each.
A $1.3 Trillion dollar deficit our children will inherit, for job creation at a cost of $684,375 each.
Does this make sense to anyone?
Count on Bush doing the wrong thing at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.
Nixon 1973: "I am not a crook!"
Clinton 1998 wagging finger: "I did not have sex with that woman!"
Bush 2005 wagging finger: "I did nothing illegal!"
Subject: MSNBC, et al.
George Stephanopoulos this morning had both conservatives Cokie Roberts and George Will on against Sam Donaldson. Typical. Every night and day on TV, several conservatives against solitary (polite, meek, unequipped, almost always verbally inept, or uninformed) liberal. Old strategy still working after all these years of "conservative media." Ron Reagan pointed this out every single night on MSNBC before and during the 2004 election, before they sent him packing, with his daytime TV show, which they had paired him with strident Monica Crowley (i.e. lover of Nixon, Watergate Revisionist, family loyalist, and daily cheerleader for long dead Nixon, and decades old "Watergate was nothing" lie.
It's daily that liberals are pitted against loud, interrupting, time-consuming conservatives, everywhere!!! It's is daily that neo-cons are given time alone to spout their doctrine. It is rare that liberals/progressives are given a whole hour, except Washington Journal, where, most recently they've given Amy Goodman, Katrina van den Heuvel and Molly Ivins a whole hour! (All strong, outspoken women, by the way.)
We all need to write back to each station more and more with our thanks, and our opposition.
MSNBC (201) 583-5000 (ask for viewer hotline)*
I often do this after 7:00 in the evening on my cell phone to avoid long distance charges; just leave short, polite opinion message. I don't care; I often call daily with a short brief, nice, concise comment, regarding neo-con positions, and outright lies on their cable station.
Subject: Correction on the Pilgrim Fathers
It is a popular myth that the Pilgrim Fathers escaped persecution in England and arrived on Plymouth Rock, ultimately to found a free state there; but it's all wrong.
The Pilgrim Fathers did originate in England, where they were persecuted. They fled from there to Holland, which had Freedom of Conscience in its Constitution. However, once there, they wanted to persecute those who weren't Puritans, like themselves, and that wasn't allowed, and that's why they left, to found the ideal Puritan state in the British Colonies. They established their Puritan society, and within fifty years, were burning people at the stake. Which is why, again some fifty years later, a bunch of Liberals and Deists wrote the Constitution and the First Amendment, so that the Puritans and other religious nut cases couldn't ever again use government to enforce their religion on others.
Until Bush came, that is.
Subject: Coretta King/alternative Treatment Clinic
I was saddened to see the BuzzFlash link to the New York Daily News article concerning the closing of the Santa Monica Health Institute. I have two family members who have received treatment there and I can say that the article presented a distorted picture of clinic.
This is not surprising, considering that the article relied on information provided by quackwatch.org. Anyone interested in having health choices, free of hegemonic control by pharmaceutical companies, would do well to investigate this organization. They have a decided financial interest in attacking alternative treatments.
Here is one place to start: http://www.quackpotwatch.org/
Subject: Greed Will Kill the Greedy
The attempt by corporations to manipulate and control people, in the name of profit and global power, is doomed to fail in the long run. Corporations, by definition profit-driven machines, are out of touch with what really creates growth, progress, and wealth. Seeing people as mindless consumers to be herded and force-fed, they miss the deeper reality that consumerism is a by-product of human innovation in a free society, not a behavior that can be endlessly maintained and enhanced on its own. When freedom and fairness are taken away, creativity and self-expression are stifled and progress and productivity decline. Corporations will be left holding the bag as people find other ways to evolve and prosper.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Danish Cartoon Controversy
What we have here is the most profound example yet of how theocracy of any kind is incompatible with free speech. The relevance of this to the United States seems pretty clear -- at least to liberals. Yet here we have a supposedly fearless liberal website completely ignoring the issue.
Why is BuzzFlash cowering?
Wake up, dudes -- your credibility is disappearing faster than the ozone layer.
What the media's not telling you about the Muslim cartoon controversy: The Saudi Connection. Bush's Buds are the Major Wahabi Disseminator of Fundamentalist Islamic Diatribes that Motivate Terrorism. But They are Bush's Oil Buds, Remember? 2/6
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: NSA Spying
Just listened [Sunday] to Prof. Jonathon Turley's interview on CNN. His impassioned attack on Bush for violating federal law and spying on Americans without a warrant was awesome. I hope any Democrat who reads this will raise holy hell with any Dem. senator (or any senator for that matter) who wimps out regarding the domestic spying controversy. Our Constitution is at stake. In the best tradition of Louis IV our president has now declared, "I am the state." If that's not worth fighting against, what is? It's pitiful but to preserve what's left of our democracy in our beloved country we the Dems and progressives MUST hold our senators' feet to the fire on this one. WE ABSOLUTELY MUST!!!!
A BuzzFlash Reader
I hope the Dems will not allow G.Bush and D. Cheney to get away with this issue. G.Bush broke the law and Congress should hold him accountable.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Government Agencies
Is there no one agency watching this monster in the WHITE HOUSE? I mean Vigilant Guardian aka 9/11, the oil war for PNAC, the massacre of our youth in the national guard. Is there no agency that is taking all this information down and keeping guard of our Constitutional Rights for We the American People? Why isn't there someone who can arrest this monster for killing our children, robbing us blind, and bankrupting our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren? Is there no one watching? An agency that isn't full of political appointees. We the American People need an organization that is above or outside all these areas that protects and defends our rights and freedoms and isn't beholden to anyone in supposedly separate three branches of government.
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: There is. It's the people. We just have to become aware of what's happening, and care. On a smaller scale, groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) try to fight to preserve our rights under the Constitution.]
Subject: Quality of Life in Iraq
We are all aware of the quality of life in Iraq since the Invasion of Iraq nearly 3 years ago to this day. After 3 years there is still substandard undrinkable water, sparse electricity, and Iraqis have substandard medical care as doctors are encountering problems on all fronts due to the occupation and insurgents causing instability that keeps them from doing their jobs which they try valiantly to do. It is very frustrating to say the least, and these doctors, as well as the Iraqi people's lives, are at grave risk. This has been going on for nearly three years now, and Iraq is no closer, it seems, to having even a semblance to a decent quality of life.
By now these problems should be somewhat fixed and the nation of Iraq able to run its own affairs with more independence with the lessening of American help. Iraq is not any safer and it is taking its toll physically on the Iraqi people, not only just them but Americans as well. This is what Bush and Co. have done to us all.
On CNN there was an account Friday morning concerning these problems. The account told about the instability and how it was affecting the people. A very young Iraqi man already has high blood pressure because everything around him is so uncertain every day, difficult and unsafe. The doctor, instead of chastising the young man like some American doctors are prone to do, or to be demanded to 'change their lifestyle' (this is crammed down the American public's throats at least a hundred times a day or more by Big Medicine, Big Business and Big Government, who pretend that they really care about us.), but the doctor is compassionate, nonjudgmental, says it is due to the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the conditions, and tells him to keep taking the blood pressure medicine, to not skip taking it.
One does not know if this young man is able to keep taking it regularly. It may not be readily available and he may not be able to afford it. This is what Bush has done to Iraq.
How can he or anyone say that it has become a safer, better, or freer Iraq? IT IS THE BIG BUSH LIE, and it must continue no further. Yet Bush continues to ask for even more billions more of our tax dollars so we can be further burdened, our quality of life can go more downwards and our Iraqi brothers and sisters can continue to suffer more due to our continued presence, which should have been cut off by increments over time.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: A National Shame
The attention and energy we devote to a mere game (super though it may be) while the martyrdom of twelve of our best and brightest in Iraq last week goes hardly noticed ... What does that say? Merely that we really don't give a damn, whether our troops live or die. We say we do, but if we really did care, how come we're not all in mourning? Maybe it's because we're so into living vicariously in the make-believe world (entertainment, celebrity, video games, etc.) that we've got nothing left for facing up to what really counts. For us to do that we'd have to to let go of the America, right or wrong, and instead look at the world the way it really is.
How can one get started on this path? Perhaps through reading the Defense Department's weekly list of American military personnel killed in Afghanistan and Iraq; their names, rank, home town, how and where each was killed. Then think about how much said martyrs have been short-changed in life, and what it would feel like to be among their nearest of kin. One should keep focusing on this stuff until it seems like one is hearing the sound of a doorbell ringing, opens the door and is actually handed the "We regret to inform you" by a military officer assigned to deliver these killed-in-the-line-of-duty notifications. After a while, if one perseveres in such thoughts (despite the mind's desire to spare itself suffering), the time will come when one can conjure up, "Who's that at the door? It isn't, it can't be, oh my God, don't let it be!" One is to repeat the above exercise weekly. When, with each reading, one's anger and resentment over all these killings builds up to the point where one is thinking, "That's enough, I can't take it any more, got to do something about it; that's the signal that reality has set in. What then?
We the people change the world. Afterwards, no national shame, only wonder, fulfillment and enjoy.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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