February 8, 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.
Subject: The Muslim Cartoons Controversy
There are many religions and beliefs in this world. People are attached to them based only, solely, on blind faith. So it is futile and counter-productive and unwise to try to argue or criticize any religion.
The sensible and wise thing to do is to tolerate and coexist with other people's beliefs and way of life, as long as they do not try to impose their beliefs or way of life on the rest of the population and they are not harming anybody.
The cartoons categorized the Muslim religion and ALL Muslims as terrorists, which is absolutely not true. Moslem terrorists are numbered a few thousands out of more than one billion Muslims. So, accordingly, freedom of speech is not a freedom to insult and mock other peoples' religion. To do so is unwise, unwarranted, and irresponsible, and it will not serve any useful purpose.
I think the whole thing was planned by certain elements in the European Union to inflame the feelings of Europeans and to drive Moslem Turkey away and not accept it in the European Union.
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Of course, religious tolerance makes sense to us, too. On the political question, it usually helps to ask "who benefits?" when trying to understand who has caused or allowed something to occur. There may be multiple answers. Okay, So Here's the Deal on the Danish Cartoons. They Were Posted Last Fall. No One Cared. But, Once Again, Poor Saudi Planning Resulted in the Deaths of Scores of People During the Mecca Pilgrimage. So the Saudi Government Had the Saudi Papers Divert Attention by Attacking a Cartoon that Was Months Old that Killed One. Now, the Crackhead Leader of Iran Blames Israel for the Whole Thing. The Guy is Psychotic. 2/8 ]
Subject: Gonzales, Judiciary Committee, BuzzFlash Editorial etc.
Personally, I'm not convinced a Democratic walkout on the Judiciary Committee hearings on the NSA domestic spying over the refusal of Senator Specter to have Atty Gen Gonzales testify under oath would have had any tangible benefits. (And yes I just read the interview with Thom Hartmann and agree with him wholeheartedly. Thanks Buzz!) What if the whole hearing had been scuttled? Then we'd never have been able to watch Gonzales get lectured by Republican and Democratic Senators alike and to listen to him refuse to answer straightforward questions and get himself tangled up in his inconsistent arguments that 1. The president didn't break the law. 2. And if he broke the law you have no right to inquire about it. 3. The president isn't really bound by the law anyway.
The likelihood that Gonzales would ever be charged with perjury is vanishingly small, and I believe it's never legally permissible to lie to Congress anyway. (Knowledgeable lawyers should comment here, please.)
As for the general timidity of Democratic politicians, that is a problem. The press reinforces it, of course with articles headlined "The Democrats: Balancing Act by Democrats at Hearing," NYTimes, Feb 7, which in the 3rd paragraph repeats this Rovian spin "...Democrats...could pay a large [political] price if they do not strike the right tone...."
The comparable political minefield for Republicans comes several paragraphs down.
And this from the Des Moines Register about Gov. Tom Vilsack, a presidential hopeful for 2008.
I sent the following letter to the paper.
HELLO to Gov. Vilsack - there's no way that the Democrats "can reassure people they are going to keep them safe" if they can't show anybody they have the courage of their convictions and stand up for what's right!
Subject: Editorial Feb 7....
In the BuzzFlash editorial today you state...
"For many years, and most recently in several editorials, BuzzFlash has lamented that the Dems don't understand that these hearings are soap operas...."
Do you really think that these professional politicians who have been in Washington for many years do not understand that these hearings are soap operas for the benefit of the viewing audience?
Are you that naive? Do you think the Democrats are? After all that has transpired over the last six or seven years, do you think the Democrats represent anything or anyone other than their own self-interests?
Not much separates the two major parties...and the Dems are NOT our saviors. They are more than happy to take a back seat as long as they continue to get our votes and our money.
Dems...Repugs - they look the same to me...Either the Dems are the most inept, spineless group of politicians ever gathered in one political party or they are in the back pocket of the Repugs....
Subject: Calling all Democratic senators
I started at 10 this morning....e-mailing every democratic senator...and told them what I thought of their not demanding that the witness be sworn in.....I told them all that they should just walk out, and that we, their backers, expect that...it would at least stop the hearings....and Specter, of course, would call them babies, and whiners, sooooo....that is what they always do...call people names. I have heard back, or gotten acknowledgements from 4...all out of my district. From Russ Carnahan....I got a real letter through the mail...but, it was not about these hearings. I am concerned with the senate....and I have told them all that I am a democrat, always have been...but, I am for the first time in my life...thinking of becoming Independent....I see no reason to hang on to a dream...that we might get someone in the party with a Spine... I am totally sick of it...and all we do is gripe and whine... I have no idea what else to do.
I got up to the 'S's" and I will do the rest tonight. Thanks Buzz.
Subject: oh for christ sake! (sent to MSCM)
re: barack not kissing mccain's ass
mccain kissed bush's ass after bush and his people tried to convince us mccain and his wife were both crazy, he had a black baby and his wife was a drug addict.....that was ok with mccain, just politics. but, hey, we sure can't have a democrat decide to stand with his own party instead of bowing to his highness mccain! mccain should be ashamed! I FOR ONE AM DAMNED GLAD TO SEE A DEMOCRAT DOING HIS JOB FOR A CHANGE!
liz, renee and renee
Subject: McCain, the Good Boy
Today I read that McCain has written a letter complaining to the newest star of American politics about partisanship.
In the letter ...
... McCain postures about how victimized he is by Obama's rebuff to HIS PROPOSAL for 'GOP lobbying reform.'
Aside from the typical GOP (victimization) politics, McCain's reassurances that Obama would certainly have backed HIS version of reform over any other is not convincing.
Any bill that McCain may propose, has yet to be finalized, and will very likely be ALTERED in another Secret Midnight GOP Rewrite.
And he wants Obama to put his name behind it?
Knowing full well that Obama will suffer from being associated with the GOP? As many times as he has been burned by his own party, how can McCain expect someone with a future in public service to go along with another GOP scheme?
Is this McCain's way of swift-boating Obama? By diverting attention from his own partisanship by claiming Obama is partisan?
Is McCain saying he is Obama's rival? That somehow McCain's reputation hasn't been sullied despite his affiliation/capitulation to the GOP for a New American Empire? And that with this allegedly sterling reputation he is as promising as Obama? Jealous much, McCain?
Whose idea was it to equate McCain, a man who sold his soul to the GOP, with Obama, a man for America's future?
Oh, wait a minute...
It seems that McCain has some new advisors.
This tactic of attacking the strengths of your opponent to avoid discussing your own weaknesses is reminiscent of Karl Rove.
Too bad for McCain, he has again been duped by his GOP overlords.
He is so willing to do whatever they ask, as long as they promise not to hurt him too much.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Rove Blacklisting GOP Members
So, Mr. Rove is putting pressure on GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to make sure none of them vote against the Prez.
Here's the reward promised for those who stay loyal to the cabal:
GOP members who stay in Rove's good graces may want to consider very carefully the recent example of failed Virgina gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore. The assistance Kilgore got from Mr. Bush helped propel his Democratic opponent, Tim Kaine, right into the governor's seat.
From an article (in the moonie times, no less!) entitled "Bush sank GOP"
Wouldn't it be delicious to watch a GOP fraidy cat who decides to "see no evil," find that precisely because of his decision, he loses in November!
Shannon in Lexington
Subject: Maureen Farrell
I love BuzzFlash and send money whenever I can. But I am so glad Maureen Farrell is back. She is wonderful. And to you at BuzzFlash, keep up the good work and courage it takes to continue to try and save the country.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: No More "Bush Beat"
What do you think?
The merger between The Village Voice and the New Times chain puts more "alternative" newspaper in corporate hands.
Will there be any alternative new outlets left when the last facade of democratic government is gone? They ARE the last facade of democratic government, so that giant green pod you found under your bed this morning wasn't a hallucination after all.
Merger Mania (San Francisco Bay Guardian)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Carter snubs Shrub
I saw on MSNBC, briefly, Chris Matthews talking about how Jimmy Carter did not shake W's hand at the Coretta Scott King funeral today. I got the impression he shook everyone else's, on the dais, but skipped the Shrub.
If true, good for you, Jimmy! Shows a good Dem standing up to the tyrant Bush.
Subject: i find it interesting........... (to MSCM)
i find it interesting how the media has been commenting on how well bush held up at the king funeral, what a grand gentleman he was. :):)
what in the world did they expect from the president of the united states? :):)
did they think he was not warned to watch the smirking, don't roll your eyes and don't try to be funny, follow your script. that is what he did, any ten year old could have done it. :):):)
by the way, maybe john mccain should take some anger management classes or count to ten before sending his letters. :):):)
Subject: An Open Letter to Pat Robertson
Right now you sure are taking a lot of hits for your remarks on assassinating Chavez and that God is punishing Israel for withdrawing from the West Bank.
I know one thing you could do that would really raise your image with folks all over the nation.
You know that other minister, Rev. Fred Phelps, who is sending his church members and families to protest at military funerals?
Denounce him. On the air, in print. Tell him he is wrong to do this. That it hurts grieving families.
You're a minister, it's much more effective if one minister denounces another. And you know, as we all do, that what he is doing is not God's will.
Can you imagine how grateful the families of our brave servicemen who have died would be to you? Or the veterans, or all those people with SUPPORT OUR TROOPS stickers on their cars?
Come on, you're mighty quick to let us know what you think God wants.
Do it now. And maybe some of us will believe you have that faith you always talk about. All of us who believe you have strayed from the path.
Remember, the Apostle Paul said that the road to Damascas starts with a single step.
Take that step.
Group plans to picket soldier's funeral service (Hutchinson News)
Subject: Yes, Indeed!
This is the moment. Either we the people change the world or it's count-down to "Will the last one to leave please turn out the lights?" It's true, we didn't ask for this, but since there are no other options, we'd best change the world and STAT. Fortunately, with our presence on the internet, we have a window of opportunity, but, if we don't take advantage of it right away, the powers that be are sure to slam it shut. As a matter of fact they've already begun doing that very thing, because they see the Internet as the last obstacle in the way of their taking over the world. Surprise! We're going to beat them to the punch. How's that for a purpose in life? . . .
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Explain yourself, Senator
I take issue with your tie-breaking vote against requiring Attorney General Gonzales to testify at the wiretap hearing under oath. What is the point of your attempt at holding the Bush Administration accountable for illegally wiretapping without retroactive warrants, when you won't allow for the Attorney General to be legally liable by taking an oath? How do you explain the mixed message you have sent to me and millions of other Americans? To me it appears as though you are attempting to give the Republicans the guise of holding the Administration's feet to the fire, while actually letting them get away with little to no accountability.
Explain yourself, Senator.
Subject: Swift Boating Coretta
"The white men and women leading the Republican party are now Swift Boating Coretta Scott King's funeral. Coretta's crime? America's top civil rights activist actually had people speaking at her funeral about - eg gads! - civil rights! The horror, the horror. The party that has ZERO African-American members of Congress feels it has to do whatever it can to destroy Coretta and MLK's legacy. Just very sad. 2/8"
DAMN STRAIGHT! The rightwingers are imploding behind their smirks...oh, and another chance to badmouth Paul Wellstone.
give 'em hell, BuzzFlash!!! Stick it to them!!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: 22nd Amendment
I would like to know if anyone has ever heard of any politicians trying to repeal the 22nd amendment.
[BuzzFlash Note: According to Wikipedia: "Former U.S. president Bill Clinton (in 2003) voiced his opinion in favor of modifications to the 22nd Amendment. According to President Clinton, former presidents who have already served two terms should be allowed to run for the office again, after some interim period has passed. He reasoned the country may wish to trust leadership onto an already tried and proven candidate in times of great need. Sherman Adams quotes Dwight Eisenhower expressing in a press conference his strong opposition to term limits: 'The United States ought to be able to choose for its President anybody it wants, regardless of the number of terms he has served' ('First Hand Report,' 1961, p. 296). After leaving office, Ronald Reagan also publicly supported repealing the amendment. Clinton, Eisenhower, and Reagan were affected by the 22nd Amendment, as they all served two terms. Frequent attempts have been made, in recent years one or more per session of Congress, to modify or repeal the 22nd Amendment; none have yet been successful."]
Subject: Whoever Writes the Script
BuzzFlash points out that the democrats in Congress are bit players in a script written by the White House and that it's time for the democrats to take charge of script writing. And if they're too cowardly to do so, what then? We the people write the script for them, that's what. Not only write it, but stage it, with everyone a key player and nobody left out, which just happens to be what changing the world is truly about.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Using Their Own Tricks Against Them: It’s Time for All Good People of Conscience to “Strap on a Pair”
Whether it is “gird on the loins,” testicles or a WWF belt that makes each reader out there feel resolved, strap it on. Whatever will make you feel indomitable, persevering and resolved is what you need to put on right now.
It is time for all Americans to stand up and put an end to the evil insanity of this administration before we make war on Iran. We have to stop that war at all costs. If we don’t, I can guaran-damn-tee you that there will be Russian and Chinese tanks parked on our front lawns.
By the end of this piece, I hope that you come to see that not only must we do this, but we can do this. Individuals make a difference, if they only have the resolve. Cindy Sheehan proved that fact.
Our forebears came from people who immigrated to escape the bad government follies. They had tired of the lies, corruption, nepotism and embarrassing ignorance and pettiness of the powerful in their native countries and looked to America for its freedom. It is time for us to reflect the bravery of our forebears. Even though they fought the Revolutionary War, they did other things that had more impact. Things that are simple and much easier than fighting in the woods. We can borrow from their tactics and use them to devastating effect.
You and I can force this Administration and their handmaidens and handgentlemen of Congress and the Senate to capitulate to our will instead of that of huge corporations. In case you did not know it, the reason that the neocons are getting such consistent behavior from their party, here’s the reason.
The Republican Party today is run much like it was in the early days of the country. Campaign donations are given to the Party directly. They parcel them out to those Party members who have voted as instructed. The Party also instructs members to delay or bottle up legislation in committee for industries and lobbyists that don’t play it their way. It never takes long to get everybody back on track. (Read more about these practices in: Off Center: The Republican Revolution & the Erosion of American Democracy by Jacob S Hacker & Paul Pierson.) Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?
It is simple. If we apply their methods in reverse, I know that they would be very helpful. What if we need to stop buying things from a key patron like Wal-Mart? Not only could we avoid the terrible dangers that genetically modified vegetables, grains and livestock pose to us, it lets us use our power to benefit suppliers that are not taking our money and giving it to our representatives NOT TO DO WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR COUNTRY AND ITS CITIZENS.
Everybody thinks that it is so difficult to do some of these things, but it is not. In fact, lots of suppliers will deliver to your door. Sure, you have to plan ahead, but so what? What’s more preferable: the convenience of a store full of dangerous foods and won’t let consumers choose what they want AND support crooked politicians, or buying what is more healthful and keeping money out of the hands of the weasels in Washington?
Do you know what brought King George down in the American revolution? It was tea smugglers. They made clandestine runs to and from France and other sources into the United States. English tea barons were extremely angry and the King lost his method for paying for troops based in the colonies. Eventually, the cost of the soldiers and then the Revolutionary War made it too expensive to hang on to the colonies. Consumer power via economic channels works.
Look at Denmark. There are all kinds of companies raising hell because they’ve lost lucrative markets in Islamic countries because of those cartoons. Wait and see what happens. I’ll bet that there is a retraction sometime soon.
Think about what would happen if Americans called their cable companies and said, “I don’t want CBS, NBC, ABC or MSNBC because they don’t report accurately what the administration is doing AND they don’t give me free CSPAN. Think about what would happen if thousands of Americans told their bank that they were moving their accounts because Diebold’s ATMs can’t be trusted any more than their voting machines. The stock would fall, there would be even more shareholder lawsuits demanding that Diebold either get out of that business or prove that its machines work.
Each of those lost customers represents a lot of money in a very few months to a bank or a cable company. What kind of numbers would make a difference? Well, there was a strike by the 17,000 employees of Southwestern Bell when they planned to outsource operator services to India. All 17,000 workers cut their phone service in the same week and switched to a competitor. The strike lasted two weeks.
I could go on, but the point is a simple one. Don’t accept the status quo.
Stand up with me and let’s say, "No more sales of our freedoms to lobbyists. No more hires of relatives. No more sweet deals with Halliburton (which is ILLEGAL). No more Attorneys General who don’t obey the laws. No more wars for private gain (also illegal). No more giant corporations running our country!"
Then, let’s vote with our money!
A BuzzFlash Reader
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