April 3, 2006
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I saw this in your Mailbag.
I understand that there is a debate about whether Dec. 21, 2012 marks the end of the world or just the end of a cycle, but I was writing about end times beliefs, and the truth is, many believe that Dec. 21, 2012 is the day the world will end. Books have actually been written on the subject and the Internet is teeming with people who are saying just that. It seemed worth a one-line blurb, but not much else, which is why I wrote this:
They do. Just Google it and see. But, in the interest of clarity and fairness, it's also safe to say that other followers of the Maya prophecy often say the world will not end, but the world as we know it will.
Former Philadelphia Philly Darren Daulton recently offered an explanation that sounds suspiciously like the Rapture. From the 2/17/06 edition of the Philadelphia Daily News:
Is that more accurate? Doesn't it seem silly to even ask?
Personally, I will be very surprised if anything happens on that date, but my piece was about the weird things people believe, and the idea that the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012 is but one of them.
Subject: Thom Hartmann's Article
... is perfectly said, and exactly what I think. Thank you Thom for saying it so perfectly.
Subject: Immigration Reform
Wow! What an incredible article by Thom Hartmann.
What he wrote is what I feel about what is going on in our country right now. Of course Bush tossed this little chestnut out there to take away the bright glare from the fiery brands that are burning, the Plame Affair, Abramoff, sinking polls, etc. etc. etc etc.
This IS an issue that the Democrats HAVE to address. The American people are FURIOUS over this issue. While there are those on the right and the left who are for the illegals staying here and "taking those jobs Americans don't want" (in the good old days people who would undercut jobs others wouldn't work for rotten pay were called "scabs"). But the vast majority (based on the newsgroups, message boards and blogs I've been reading) are angry at the shrinking of the middle class and the unemployment of the working class. If the Democrats either do not address this issue or remain politically correct about it, the American people will vote for the Republicans (who, as we are well aware of, KNOW HOW TO LIE).
The best thing we can do for the Mexican people is to help run the corporate whores out of office (include their rigged voting machines too, please) and put in place PUBLIC SERVANTS (remember when politicians were known as that?) who will not only help America return to the great nation she once was (before Reagan, and yes, I will go back that far) and who will encourage the Mexican people to work towards a true democracy and a middle class WITHIN MEXICO.
Americans fought long and hard to make a middle class. Mexicans will have to do the same. But it would be better for them to return to Mexico and fight and possibly die for better living conditions in the land of their birth than to die in the deserts of America trying to come here and undercut the American workers' wages to better themselves. By doing that it not only weakens us with a shell game and pyramid scheme that only profits the ones at the top, but in the long run they will be setting us all up for continued decreases in wages. Americans and Mexicans CAN work together for better wages and conditions for our families in both of our countries. But NOT by being willing to work for lower wages, not by being willing to break our laws and undermine the lives of our citizens by coming here illegally.
Subject: Immigration Dilemma
If the readers of this post think that the Bush & Co. Republicans are bad news for American working people they need to look at the Fox & Co. oligarchs and their counterparts in Central America. They export their failed economic policies to us via an influx of human misery. What does it tell you that entering the Republican controlled economy where real wages are going down is like entering the promised land? Our Bush & Co. corporate elites use this as an unending source of low paid wage slaves to fatten their bottom lines at the expense of working Americans. Notice that the laws concerning border security and the hiring of illegal immigrants are completely ignored and not enforced.
Don’t for a minute fall for that “they only take the jobs we don’t want” crap. An environment has been created where 15 million undocumented wage slaves are willing to put up with burger flipper wages for hard physical labor, service industry and manufacturing jobs. These jobs used to pay a decent wage. These jobs used to have benefits. Now the system has an underclass that can’t complain. An underclass that can be and is exploited. An underclass that competes directly with the Americans that have the least and are the least represented. It’s no wonder that wages and benefits are depressed on the low end. If we started protecting our working poor from this onslaught of cheap labor maybe they wouldn’t be so damn poor. Therein lies the rub. To lift the boats of poor Americans who have been victimized by lax immigration policies, poor undocumented workers would be victimized. It is a Hobson’s choice.
The sentiment of the American people is very much anti illegal immigration. After aiding and abetting this problem for years, Republicans are jumping on the anti illegal bandwagon. This is just a vote getting/scandal dodging ploy. They don’t give two damns or a big rat’s ass about working Americans. Draconian legislation that would turn this economic underclass into criminals is reprehensible, hypocritical, self-serving and, well, Republican. The enforcement of laws prohibiting the employment of undocumented aliens is certainly appropriate. The enforcement of current immigration policies is justifiable. This would not be without the suffering of those employees and others targeted by this approach. These employees are for the most part good people, not criminals. They’re just not (legal) citizens. If these measures were effectively put into place severe dislocations and personal suffering would result. Mitigating these sufferings would require a separate set of policies.
Competition is proclaimed by Conservatives as being good for the economy. That is, when it helps business and the wealthy. What happens when business has to compete for qualified employees? They have to offer a better product, that product is wages and benefits. Imagine more working Americans getting health insurance. Imagine rising wages for all Americans not just the top 10%. Imagine the millions of Americans who now aren’t even counted in the unemployment statistics getting decent jobs. Imagine this extra money being spent here with American businesses not sent abroad to prop up Fox & Co. Imagine a decreasing demand for Social Services from a decreasing number of poor Americans. This scenario is a prescription for real growth, not the borrowed Supply Side myth.
Progressives need to think this through and not simply characterize it as “racial/ethnic demagoguing.” Democrats who demagogue for the undocumented should be scrutinized. Is it a ploy to get the votes of those sympathetic to the undocumented? If citizenship is bestowed, a ploy for those votes also? What does that say about their sensitivity toward the working poor? We’ve granted amnesty before with no positive effects, how smart is it to repeat a failed policy? Wouldn’t granting “earned citizenship” just reward unscrupulous businesses that have broken the law? Wouldn’t the system of substandard wages be perpetuated? Legislation that would reward people who have circumvented the law, stepped in front of those who haven’t, are no more deserving than those who do not have the advantage of a close proximity to our borders is reprehensible, hypocritical, self-serving and, well, Democratic.
Anyone who is genuinely concerned about the plight of these illegal immigrants should take the fight to Mexico and the other countries that are screwing their own people. Anyone who is concerned about the influx of desperate people should examine our trade policies that make it profitable to exploit foreign workers. Illegal immigration is a symptom, the disease is the regressive policies of corrupt politicians both foreign and domestic.
Subject: Subject: Message to the Democratic Party Concerning the 2008 Election
I want to go on record now and make myself position perfectly clear because I want the upper echelon of the Democratic Party to hear what I am saying while they still has time to react. Give me a Presidential Ticket I can vote for.
Give me a Presidential Ticket with the likes of Gen. Wesley Clark and Dr. Howard Dean and on Election Day I will vote a straight Democratic Ticket.
BUT LET ME WARN YOU NOW, if you attempt to foist off the likes of Hillary, save the flag burn the Constitution, Clinton or John, the Skull and Crossbones Trojan horse, Kerry I WILL STAY AT HOME ON ELECTION DAY!!!!!!
Subject: Gee Dubya
Hope for the future. A very staunch Republican friend of mine engaged in a conversation on Bush today. We have steered away from politics, but she went into a tirade on Bush. Admitted she voted for the wet brain (her words) twice. Now she thinks he was high on cocaine when he supposedly choked on a pretzel. She can't stand to listen to him or see him on tv, turns it off. She literally can't stand him. Some of my Repub friends are still behind Bush 110%. But I think more and more are seeing the light. Thank God!
Excellent reader contribution!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Antonin Scalia as Hypocrite of the Century
For one who consistently champions the myth of state’s rights, Scalia’s speculative 12-12-2000 presupposition that “the counting of votes that are of questionable legality … threaten(s) irreparable harm” to Bush has destroyed our democracy so far. He has not only historically condemned his Scalegal fiction of "president" Bush to permanent illegitimacy in the minds of half the country, but has also gone a long way in mutating America into a plutocracy.
Hopefully the American people will once and for all vomit the Republican position that flawed counting rules, not open to state judicial interpretation, transcend the truth of an election.
Macrocosmically, Scalia has expediently pitted law against truth which has successfully puffed the long history of American jurisprudence into smoke.
Microcosmically, his "pious," "reverent" Sicilian "Waffenculo" gesture to his critics before the press last Sunday while attending the religious, nay, sacred service of the Catholic Mass should dispel any hesitancy in installing him as Hypocrite of the Century because his nomination might contain something of a--well--presupposition.
[BuzzFlash Note: Meanwhile, here's our Scalia GOPHOTW from February, 2004.]
Subject: George and Condi Play the Blame Game: Troops' Fault?
Everyone has been writing a lot about this statement from Condi, but I think they have misread what she is actually saying (via WaPo, 'Tactical Errors' Made In Iraq, Rice Concedes): "I know we've made tactical errors, thousands of them I'm sure," Rice said. "But when you look back in history, what will be judged is, did you make the right strategic decisions."
BushCo has repeatedly claimed that commanders on the ground are responsible for the tactical decisions. Rice may be blaming tactical errors on the commanders and troops on the ground because they planned and carried out the tactical decisions.
Disgusted in St. Louis
Subject: The Mainstream Is Polluted
Why anyone in politics, the media, or popular culture today would prefer to be part of the "mainstream" is baffling. It is a mere fabrication of the corporate power structure. The monetary rewards for being mainstream are lucrative, but the real price for membership is high. In exchange for promoting, concealing or ignoring lies and corruption, you give up your own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
Happiness doesn't come from temporary survival and prosperity as a result of fear-based conformity. Lasting happiness comes from being at peace with yourself, and that peace comes from aligning yourself with the truth. So, mainstream America, it's okay to jump into the reality-based pool you hear often described as "unhinged" or "looney." You will be welcome, you will be free, and maybe we can all work together for true happiness and lasting peace.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: USDA Won't Let Cows Be Tested for Mad Cow
Due to yet another confirmed case of Mad Cow disease in the U.S., foreign buyers remain skeptical about the safety of conventional, non-organic U.S. beef. The USDA has refused to stop allowing the feeding of blood and slaughterhouse waste to cows and to require universal testing for the fatal disease, as required in the EU and Japan, causing overseas sales of U.S. beef products to plummet. While 100% of cows in Japan, aged 24 months and older, are tested for the disease, only 1% of the 35 million cattle slaughtered annually in the U.S. are tested (and the USDA has announced it will be scaling back this level of testing).
As a result, a Kansas-based meat packing company, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, announced last week that it will voluntarily test all of the beef it processes, in order to meet the demands of some of its foreign buyers. In response, the USDA has filed a notice against Creekstone, saying the company is not allowed to test its meat for the brain-wasting disease. Creekstone believes it has a right to test its meat and is suing the USDA.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Impeachment - Vermont Style
An article in the timesargus.com is reporting that Vermont is using a little-known provision in the U. S. House rules to petition for Bush’s impeachment. A supplement to Congressional Rules written by Thomas Jefferson, and known as “Jefferson’s Manual,” is a book of procedures that can be used to start the impeachment process. The one being considered by Vermont is the provision that allows states to begin impeachment proceedings "by charges transmitted FROM THE LEGISLATURE OF A STATE."
Seven of the 14 Vermont counties have passed resolutions that call for the impeachment of George W. Bush and the state party’s executive director, Jon Copans, states that “It’s bubbling up from the grass roots.” That’s We the People!
Cities and districts all over the United States are passing impeachment resolutions to show their displeasure with the Bush administration.
The “media” simply ignores them or dismisses them as an empty gesture; however, if all those cities bombard their state legislatures with these resolutions and demand impeachment procedures BY THE STATE, perhaps a “grass roots” movement just might gather enough momentum to bypass the same Republican Congress that demanded President Clinton’s impeachment for adultery but sees nothing wrong with Bush telling them lies, editing Congressional Legislation, “warrantless wiretapping,” and blatantly telling us he is above The Law of the Land.
The Vermont impeachment transmittal is not a certainty in spite of the “grass roots” support. Although the Vermont Legislature is controlled by Democrats, it seems they are timid about impeaching Bush. Speaker of the Vermont House, Gaye Symington said she “...continued to believe that the state Legislature needs to stay focused on where we can have the most direct impact on the quality of Vermonters’ lives”... and should “concentrate on affordable health care, a safe reliable energy future and a strong rural economy.”
I don’t think The Speaker quite gets it. The same things she mentions as important to all those “grass roots” Vermonters demanding Bush’s impeachment are the same things Bush is ignoring on a national level. If it’s important for Vermont; it’s important for the rest of the country.
We are constantly searching for ways to stop the Bush Madness; perhaps we should focus on this one. It would be much easier to demand state legislatures send impeachment charges to the Congress and force them to take some action. Congressman Conyers' Bill of Impeachment is lost in the “Congressional shuffle” and getting nowhere. A push from state legislatures couldn’t do any harm and might do enough good to get Bush under the same microscope that Congress used on President Clinton.
What do you think? Think we can get a wildfire started from those “grass roots”?
State Dems may push resolution to impeach president (Times Argus)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: GOP: God's Own Party
After reading Kevin Phillips' story headed God's Own Party I am compelled to share this with you.
On August 2, 2005, election day, for the race between Jean Schmidt and Paul Hackett, for Ohio's Second Congressional District, my wife, Sandy, and I had put in 6 to 7 hours of door to door get out the vote effort on the behalf of Paul Hackett. We are from across the Ohio River in Kentucky. It was a blisteringly hot day, 95 degrees. After running up and down steep stairways and steps in the hilliest part of Portsmouth, Ohio, in that heat, this attached photo is what greeted Sandy and me in the parking lot after that hard day. The vehicle was parked right in front of us.
Needless to say, GOP has never been the same for me ever after. It made me recall the motto on the Wehrmacht's enlisted man's belt buckle, that I saw in my father's WWII souvenir collection from the war ... "Gott Mitt Uns" ... God's with us. Just saying so don't make it so.
Now THAT is what I call supporting the troops!!
Subject: Preacher DeLay
Did anyone besides me see the most disgusting thing recently on c-span? I know they have to give time to everyone, but, to give Tom DeLay a half hour with his canned audience, to preach the word of God? He talked about how he was the only one who brought these certain members to the house, and they knelt down to pray. He talked of nothing else ... I never figured out why ... why? Are we supposed to think that because he says he is a christian, that all is well in his soul?
Where is religion going in this country with all the lying ... all the killing? This is a crook...certainly as much as Cheney Bush and Rummy. I watched, also, for a half hour on Meet the Press, Gen. Zinni ... an opponent of the war ... and so many people have talked about this ... and dear God, they cannot all be wrong ... so many people who know. He has also just finished a book with Tom Clancy, "Battle Ready," with his own book questioning the war. He thinks Rumsfeld should resign ... I tend to agree with him ... but, I think all who lied in the run-up to this war ... should be out!
Shirley .... St. Louis
Subject: My, My. Now He's Scared To Go to the Pseudo "Ranch"??
Dear Buzzers --
Our peerless (thank goodness; the country couldn't stand more than ONE of him, though Cheney, Rummy, Frist, Condi, et al., are still lurking in the wings), fearless "leader" (well, OK -- he IS leading us...into endless wars, bankruptcy, a police state, robbing the poor to make the rich even richer, destroying our environment...etc., etc.) Pity those poor florists who used to plant new "brush" each weekend so photo ops of our fearless, peerless leader could be photographed cutting it down. I hope they can collect unemployment insurance!
In a way, this makes me sad: I'd gotten used to those stories about choking on pretzels, falling off bikes/scooters, etc. I'll miss them -- though I'm sure he'll find other excuses elsewhere for his irresponsible behavior. You don't really expect THAT to end, DO you?? I mean, look what he's doing in Iraq...and plans to do, shortly, in Iran.
Imagine, though. Cindy Sheehan, obviously not the most powerful (except in a moral/ethical sense) in the political system and her supporters (I'm one of them, though I can't afford to travel or board my cats) have frightened the self-styled Emperor not only out of his clothes but off his "ranch." Heh heh. I LOVE it! I hope this becomes an even bigger story than it already is.
Thanks, Buzz, for publishing this. It's made my morning!
Barbara Lee (Barb) Blazyk
Subject: Good for the Goose
It is intriguing to watch when someone who constantly cries foul when their side of an issue is unfairly treated finds it “good riddance” when someone else is treated in the same way.
The actions of the Republican Party in Washington over the past 5 years have been loathsome. They have ignored, insulted, and generally walked all over the minority party that has, after all, been elected by the people to their positions.
However when it is reported that the same thing is happening to Republican Legislators in the Maryland Senate, that is perceived as a good thing. Do we want a real two-party system only if we are in the driver’s seat?
As a Moderate, Liberal, Independent I am no happier with the Looney Lefties than I am with the Repulsive Rightists. Both fringes send Moderates running for cover. 34% of the country now describes themselves as Independents due to distrust and disgust with BOTH other parties. Alienating Independents seems a foolish thing to do.
While Russ Feingold is heroically trying to Censure a President who refuses to obey the laws of this land his party is saying that it is perfectly all right for millions of illegal aliens to disobey the immigration laws of this country. Then, be sure to call anyone who disagrees with the idea of amnesty for those who break the law, racists. This alienates the Moderates that the Democrats will need with them to overthrow the Majority Republicans.
I don’t want to see illegal immigrants criminalized nor do I want to see a priest jailed for providing humanitarian aid. I want the employers of illegal immigrants prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and then find another law to prosecute them some more. I want secure borders that do not allow hordes of illegal immigrants to enter our country be they Mexican, Asian or Norwegians. Illegal is illegal, folks.
Independents don’t expect much common sense or honesty to come out of Washington. With a few exceptions those who are supposed to serve the people who elected them serve only their re-election funds and the corporate mobsters who buy and sell elected officials like so many hot dogs at a baseball game.
What all people and all Parties should insist upon is that the laws are fair and are enforced for everyone. Stopping the insulting rhetoric might even gain some support for Progressive issues. Calling everyone who doesn’t agree with you names is just so Jane Fonda-ish and so Sixties.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: Town's Eye View of Immigration Article in Wa. Post
Even though my view may not agree with the established DLC view, here goes. The Washington post article stated that in Gainesville, Ga. the chicken processing plant managers say they can not get American citizens who want to work there. That is a lie! In 1995, my husband and I were in Greenwood, South Carolina visiting relatives. The morning newspaper reported that 300 (mostly African Americans) had reported to work at Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing plant and found themselves locked out! The company had hired illegal workers. A lawsuit was to be filed by the workers. I do not know the outcome but I can guess, after all, big business usually gets whatever it wants. When is someone going to call Bush on the big lie?
[BuzzFlash Note: For the record, we don't have confirmation about the possible lock out in 1995.]
Subject: McCain vs Zinni
One amazing hour on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
On the one hand, we have Senator John McCain spouting gobbledygook, retractions, and denial of reality, not saying much at all, followed by (Ret.) General Anthony Zinni, speaking plain, straightforward English, whose words reeked of truth.
The transcript is well worth reading for an "insider's" analysis of what really was going on behind the scenes and the machinations of the Insane Clown Posse and the Head Clown, GDubya.
Here's the link (to watch the show):
Subject: The Wounded
While we must all applaud the Los Angeles Times for FINALLY, at long-last showing the real price for the GOP's adventure in Iraq.
Just as the GOP invaded Iraq to cheat the military to benefit Halliburton, one must wonder, how the GOP will exploit the wounded.
Wasn't Walter Reed Hospital, the preeminent hospital for treating wounded soldiers, recently selected by the Pentagon to be shut down?
And wasn't there some new facility being built in Texas to treat wounded soldiers?
To make sure I understand this correctly: a publicly-funded facility is being closed so that a privately-funded facility can take over.
In other words, a facility funded with taxpayers' monies, that can be held up to public scrutiny and oversight, is being replaced by a facility whose operations will be--and can be--kept secret because it is being run by a private contractor.
Just like Halliburton is doing in Iraq?
Is this right? Am I reading this wrong?
Take Care of the Vets (military.com)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Barbara and NY
First, WELCOME BACK, BARBARA!!!!!! I was going into withdrawal. More, please - more, more, more!!
On another subject: I completely sympathize with the New Yorkers who objected to trailers for "Flight 93." I also went to see "Inside Man" last weekend, and found the "Flight 93" trailer very disturbing. When the SECOND trailer for the same movie came up on the screen, I decided to take a bathroom break. It was too much. And I live in KANSAS, and knew NOBODY who died in the Twin Towers. I can only imagine what it must be like for the people of New York City, who had to live through that day, and who still live with the residual from it. "Too soon," indeed.
Having said that, though, I must add that I know New York will be all right. You New Yorkers are strong, you are heroic, you are survivors. My hat is off to you.
Subject: Jill Carroll
The way the right wing is attacking Jill Carroll for surviving her ordeal is nothing short of outrageous. I was wondering if anyone had any "quotes" from other victims of incarcerations, perhaps anything Sen. John McCain might have been forced to say while being a prisoner of war.
Subject: Stockholm Syndrome
The GOPmedia have been frothing on about Jill Carroll's release from captivity.
Once again, the GOP break out their Magical Diagnosing Video Camera. This time, the GOP diagnose Jill Carroll with Stockholm Syndrome.
Perhaps--but, not likely.
Carroll has explained exactly what she was doing, and WHY she did it. She seems to have all the characteristics GOPers claim to have but don't, "I want to be judged as a journalist, not as a hostage."
Jill Carroll Statement (Christian Science Monitor)
So much for GOPer's ability to diagnose.
But what about this 'Stockholm Syndrome' stuff?
Perhaps it would behoove the GOP to point their Magical Diagnosing Video Camera at their favorite unqualified future dictatorial candidate: Condoleezza Rice.
Like some hostages, she has become loyal to her captors. Unlike people who have suffered from SS, her loyalty formed PRIOR to drinking the kool-aid.
Also, unlike SS-sufferers, Rice could leave at any time she wanted.
Hell, she could've left on an oil tanker if she wanted to.
The only people who have SS are the ones with no health insurance after having lost their family business to their new minimum-wage employer: Wal-Mart.
In addition they happily send their kids off to the Middle East--and can't wait to vote GOP in the next election.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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