April 24, 2006
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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: Pravda by the Potomac?
I'd like to point you to a particularly good article in today's Daily Howler:
Bob slams the Washington Post for whitewashing Bush and President Hu's abysmal antics yesterday. Here's a sample:
Then Somerby moves to Richard Cohen's flip-flopping views of Al Gore, and demands that Cohen produce a mea culpa if we are to believe he's a changed man.
Somerby's analysis of Al Gore's prospects for a 2008 presidential run is something all Dems and progressives need to understand. I really hope you link to this article.
Thanks for your time, and keep up the great work.
Subject: It's All About the Frogs [thanks to GOOGLE]
Subject: A Campaign Al Gore Can't Lose 4/21
Wonderful article ... the country is so accustomed to dumbing down ... I fear no one can understand a smart, peaceful campaign. I am looking forward to seeing the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" ... so it's boring ... at least it is smart. This country is in so much trouble ... even on call-in shows everyone is cheating ... they have been taught well. The Democrats call on the Republican line ... because the Democratic lines are always full. Here's hoping that 8 years will not completely wreck the country ... but all we can do is hope!
Shirley ... St. Louis
Can someone please explain why we allow US companies, getting oil out of the ground in the US (and off our shores), to sell said oil back to Americans for the same price we pay for middle eastern oil?
Subject: The Decider
Great commentary about Bush, the self-proclaimed "decider," by Jon Carroll, who may have been the first person ever to call him "Our first sock puppet president, way back in 2000:
Subject: Heels dug in - baltimoresun.com
So, after hearing Rummy say he has “tendered his resignation twice to the President” and it was not accepted...I am confused. Is it a felony to actually quit even if your resignation is NOT “accepted”?!? Will you be sent to Gitmo if you suddenly stop showing up to work, even though your boss did not sign your resignation and file it properly?
We’d all be better off either way if Rumsfeld would just stop showing up at the office. Rumsfeld is fond of repeating that he “serves at the pleasure of the President.” It would be our pleasure entirely if Mr. Rumsfeld chose not to “serve” him, or us, anymore.
John L. Johnson
Subject : CIA Agent Fired for Leak
I guess the hypocrisy just never stops in the Bush administration. I just read that the CIA has fired an agent for leaking classified information, and the Justice Department is considering criminal charges. I guess leaking is against the law for everyone but old Dubya and his crew. Not really surprising.
CIA Fires Analyst for Alleged Press Leak (AP/Bismarck Tribune)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Re: Gun Laws
"A BuzzFlash Reader" wrote in on April 20th that "I am a proud progressive, bordering on Libertarian. You either believe that Americans have a Constitutional right to bear arms, or you don't. I happen to believe that we do. Every time guns laws are made stricter BuzzFlash appears gleeful in response."
Now I am a Canadian and even I know that the 2nd Amendment states that: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." (Okay, I pasted that from a website but I knew it referred to a militia for the security of a free state.) Every time I hear people on TV, radio, etc. claim it is their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, I scream at the TV, radio, etc. about the fact it refers to a militia (much to the annoyance of my girlfriend).
Now don't get me wrong. I come from a family who hunts. I have hunted ducks and geese and shot skeet since I was young. We use shotguns which are designed for just that purpose. What is the purpose of a handgun or semi-automatic rifle? Killing people. They have no place in a civilian's hands.
Subject: Another Cheerleader For War
Our West Virginia governor, Joe Manchin, recently took a PENTAGON sponsored trip to Iraq. In a photo op he wrote this on a couple of rockets: "A LITTLE BIT OF HELL FROM ALMOST HEAVEN'. What is he thinking? It's WWII and we are about to bomb Tokyo.
I'm glad you posted Bob Somersby's article re: Richard Cohen's flattering article on Al Gore. The whole time I was reading Cohen's article, I was saying wait a minute … I seem to remember … ? Cohen was so on that bandwagon I can't even believe he could seriously write an article like this and not expect more than a few people to jump on him. Yeah, he would love it if Al ran again. What fun he could have. Do these people realize we have memories?
And I don't need Richard Cohen to tell me that Gore was right!!!
Barbara in NYC
"I'm a Unitah Not a Dividah No, forget all that I'm the Decidah."
Subject: Instability to Insolvency
I'm tired of hearing people say that Bush went into Iraq to get the oil. That's ridiculous. He never had any intention of getting the oil. Besides, we buy the bulk of our oil from unstable regions like Canada and Mexico. The Bush Administration's goal with Iraq was to create an unstable Middle East, which provokes so much fear amongst investors that it drives the oil prices sky high.
The instability caused in Iraq by the Bush Administration, combined with the reckless abandon at which he spends taxpayer money to fund it, could very well be the straw that breaks our backs in America.
The Iraq war has, as we all know now, not a damn thing to do with 9/11. But the ramnifications of the war create a surplus of wealth for Bush friends: Saudi Arabi, particularly Saudi Bin Laden; Halliburton; The United Arab Emirates; and of course, U.S. energy and exploration companies.
Bush's bravado, stupidity, ignorance, greed, & criminality - along with those of his associates - will ultimately conspire to fulfull one of his campaign pledges and programs, The No Child Left Behind act. Because after all the bombs, they'll be dead.
Subject: A Spy Speaks Out
Hi BuzzFlash Readers,
[On] 60 Minutes this weekend ... Ed Bradley interviews a former CIA Agent, Tyler Drumheller, about Iraq and the fact that they were telling Bush Inc that there were no WMD.
Subject: U.S. better cast wary eye north (Published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Suppose for a moment the Canadians decided to invade the United States on the premise that we have weapons of mass destruction (which we really do) and that they suspect President Bush is ready to nuke Iran for refining nuclear fuel. Further, they want to bring democracy to what they perceive to be an ever-evolving fascist American oligarchy.
To further justify their invasion, the Canadians want to control our oil reserves in Alaska, which they believe to be part of Canada anyway. Oh, and the Canadians also believe they are justified because we started an unjust war, invaded another country without provocation (remember Kuwait), and have imprisoned and tortured others without a trial in violation of international laws and the Geneva Conventions.
Now using the same false logic, stupidity and arrogance Bush used to invade Iraq and is going to use to nuke Iran, the Canadians have every right to invade us, don't they?
Robert M. Thacker
Subject: What a Child Has to Look Forward to Depends ...
A child in Vietnam can look forward to having a leg blown off while working in a rice field, and/or to developing an agent orange induced cancer. If, that is, said child makes it through the first few years of life in a land where the average income is a dollar a day, jobs are scarce and health care and education are for the haves only, have-nots keep out!
A child in Haiti can look forward to being poor, hungry and malnourished, to life in a slum made out of cardboard boxes and tin cans, and to that nation's never ending struggle for freedom and independece
At the same time in America, a child can look forward to all the chickens coming home to roost.
Unless, of course, we the people change the world.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Leter Sent to WaPo: Krauthammer's Ironic Warnings re: "Generals' Revolt"
Charles Krauthammer in his latest column (The Generals’ Dangerous Whispers. April 21, 2006)) attempts to cast the recent denunciations of Bush’s war in Iraq by several retired generals as a "banana republic"-style military coup. Several salient details, however, strain this analogy beyond the breaking point. Most notably, the fact that these officers are RETIRED, and that they waited until they were RETIRED before voicing their objections publically. Furthermore, despite the many belabored historical and cinematic analogies presented in the column as ominous evidence that these former officers represent a threat of usurpation, I fail to find in Krauthammer’s list or in my own library any scenario in which a cabal of generals (active-duty or retired) hijacks its nation’s government in the interests of CURTAILING military engagement. Success in such an endeavor - particularly in a democracy - would self-destructively undermine the strongest source of power of an aspiring junta.
Now I would be the first to agree that active military personnel - due to the profound psychological conditioning they undergo during training; the wholly undemocratic nature of the command structure within which they exist; and their collective access to overwhelming arsenals of weaponry - should not play any role whatsoever in the setting of public policy. But it is preposterous and un-American to assert that this entirely appropriate subjugation of one’s political and intellectual will should persist beyond one’s term of enlistment or commission in the armed forces. Krauthammer argues, essentially, that voiceless second-class citizenship should be accepted as the lot of all retired military personnel...unless, of course, you agree with him - then every one of your words is a gem.
It is apparently not a "dangerous precedent" for other similarly-retired generals to voice unconditional support for this warlike administration; despite the diplomatic and economic damage its bizarre policies have clearly wrought on our nation. Krauthammer lays down the opinions of two such former officers as if these unequivocally and irrevocably trump certain criticisms from the maligned, "rebellious" half-dozen. But all these men are now private citizens - private citizens with professional experiences relevant to the issues under consideration - and they have every right to express their opinions in public. Why does Krauthammer insist on shouting one perspective down?
Subject: "Why Mommy Is a Democrat"
I have just two words for you- come on. While I agree that "Help! Mom! There are Liberals under my bed" is a horrible idea and, most likely, a horrible book, endorsing "Why Mommy is a Democrat" doesn't help anything. Look at yourselves! You're endorsing a book that brings party politics to children's books! Doesn't that seem wrong to you? Shouldn't our children be having fun instead of worrying about liberals or neo-cons? It just makes me feel ill, and gives me the impression that you want us (the loyal reader) to indoctrinate our children to become hardcore democrats- effectivly USING our children for political gains.
Since I respect you so much BuzzFlash, I can only reccomend this - stop endorsing "Why Mommy is a Democrat," and write a blistering article blasting the repugnant mutants (on both the right and left) who try to force political ideas onto children through bedtime stories.
Oh well, keep up the great work BuzzFlash. Aside from the above issue, I always look forward to reading your publication.
Subject: Bush at Stanford - I live on Stanford campus
Bush was at Stanford University on Friday at 4PM, and then at Cisco, hosted by its CEO, who apparently has no problem welcoming the world's foremost mass-murderering terrorist, liar, coward and thief.
I live on Stanford Campus, a sprawling physically beautiful spot ringed by Campus Drive. The main one mile drive from downtown Palo Alto and the Caltrain station into campus, Palm Drive, is lined by Canary Island palm trees and leads into the main quad. Directly to the east is Hoover Institute, a phallic landmark that shoots out of the ground like a missle. This was Bush's destination.
His helicopter landed on the West side of campus on Stockfarm Road during rush-hour and the weekend of visits for prospective students and their parents. The campus was in virtual lockdown for his visit, with traffic closed on the main roads, thus snarling commute time on other roads throughout Palo Alto.
I walked through the center where the event was staged. There were long lines of police presence and numbers of official plain white vans led by the California Highway Patrol, the Palo Alto Police, other local agencies, and the Stanford Sherriff flashing red and blue lights.
I was surprised that there were about 1,000 protestors with all the security. Bush came onto a patriarchal right-leaning campus, with a student body not given to protests, with an enormous police presence everywhere, and yet protestors forced the world's most hated terrorist to sneak in and out, and abort his plans.
When JFK visted places like Rice and Amherst his appearances were held in stadiums overflowing with enthusiastic masses.
I didn't see the Weasel-in-Chief but would have liked to ask him "How does it feel for an ex-college cheerleader to be the most hated man on Earth? How does it feel to have destroyed America and caused the death of over 100,000 innocent people for your lies? How does it feel to be one of history's most vile lying cowards who paved the road to hell for countless millions? How does it feel to be such a jerk?"
Subject: Yet Another "White House Knew There Were No WMD" Article
I suppose there's some grim satisfaction in seeing this endless parade of "Bush knew there were no WMD in Iraq..." articles, but why does everyone ignore the big one? Newsweek published this stuff WELL BEFORE the invasion in an article entitled "The Defector's Secrets," published on 2/24/2003.
Subject: Agreement on a New Iraqi Premier
Shades of Vietnam. How many puppet premiers did we go through there before the Vietnamese people kicked us out? While this latest change of puppets in Iraq may be a big deal to our mainstream media, embedded as it is with the powers that be, as far as the Iraqi people are concerned, a puppet is a puppet is puppet; no more, nothing less. So now, just when matters seem settled, what can we expect? A "Battle of Algiers" type uprising with video clips of the last helicopter out of Hanoi, er, make that Baghdad, that's what.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush Recognizes Global Warming?
Today Bush was talking about hydrogen fuels. He specifically said that one of the benefits of hydrogen fuels is they "produce no greeenhouse gasses." What???? Why would Bush say that if he does not believe global warming is real? I could not believe it. The guy who refuses to acknowledge global warming is a concern to our planet, uses the no-greenhouse-gasses arguement to position himself as a proponent of hydrogen fuels. I read this as a conflict. He believes we should not produce greenhouse gasses when he positions himself as a thought leader on energy, but he does not recognize the legitimacy of global warming because of the impact on business. So what does he really believe?
Bush = Waffler-in-Chief
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: It's a Shame
As a neighbour and all round piece of this absolutely tiny bit of an infinite concept, I would like to say that I have met and worked with friends in the USA that are sheepish about discussing what the USA "looks" like it is doing.
They ask, "Does everyone in Canada hate or fear us? I say, not at all, in fact, the ones I deal with would make out like bandits up here - especially in Montreal. Besides, we can wup you most of the time in everything we do compared to you."
Again, from my perspective, there is a very bad business plan being followed. As most of us in the small business race know, business plans are alive and match the initiators' roll-out. What is so surprising is that when I meet my own politicians whom I regularly spill against, their three dimensional carriage doesn't give me the same anger. In other words, it's easier to spit than to write or shake a hand with a smile.
I think that the business plan and management are not paying attention to the shareholders that really make the difference - the owners of the vote; they call it a franchise up here.
We're not any better believe me. The little travelling I've done recently indicates a tippy-toe world. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was in Manchester, UK a couple years ago. " If you don't like what I'm saying, you don't have to listen - piss off."
I get the sense the USA is not listening or saying enough. My friends are talking, though, and I/we are listening.
All the best, you have a cycle of bad apples in the crush, time is what friends have and give. I wish the country would become what my friends are instead of what we see.
We just lost 4 today. No thanks will they ever hear.
On your side, don't take it for granted,
Subject: Gas Price Gouging
"I'm concerned about higher gasoline prices," Bush says. "The government has the responsibility to make sure that we watch very carefully and investigate possible price-gouging, and we will do just that."
Do I believe that? I still remember how he said he was going to investigate the leaks related to the outing of the CIA agent. Bush called for a criminal investigation to "get to the bottom" of it just to find out that he was the one behind it.
They can pretend that the high price of gas is because of "world demand" and "political uncertainty" and "converting to ethanol," but when I see the president of Exxon getting a retirement bonus of close to half a BILLION dollars it's pretty clear that it's greedy oil companies raping the public again. These are the guys who met in secret with vice president Cheney to create the energy policies that make them rich and us poor. When the oil companies are showing record profits it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if they made a little less then we would be paying less at the pumps. The quickest way to bring down gas prices is to impeach Bush and Cheney.
I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!
Subject: London Times on Republicans telling Bush to dump Cheney/Rumsfeld
And the improvement is putting Rice in to replace Cheney? Geeze, she was ineffective Provost at Stanford ... intensely disliked for being a do nothing who just kissed political ass. So put her in the VP slot ... yeah, major improvement. Trying to pick up the slack on New Orleans.
Any woman who is for the mass murder of innocent people over lies, and can get behind a psychotic idea like "Shock and Awe," is just as bad as Cheney ... just a matter of degrees, give her time.
And as far as him being 'gone,' the only way he will be gone is if he's in a 6 ft. cell or 6 ft under, he's going to bleed this puppy til it's truly over and done.
Greg Palast found a State Dept. memo about 170 pages in length that clearly states the idea was to occupy Iraq and then produce as little oil as possible in order to drive up prices. It was a Guardian story awhile back.
Bush Didn't Bungle Iraq, You Fools: THE MISSION WAS INDEED ACCOMPLISHED (countercurrents)
Iraq's oil and the Saudi welfare state (Energy Bulletin)
Subject: Hillary Clinton on Immigration
Somebody --- Please shut her up. If the Republicans want to "write off" the Latino vote --- Fine.
The Democrats cannot afford to do that.
Ms. Clinton's remarks, quoted in the NY Daily News, will only alienate Latinos.
Somebody please tell her to just shut up.
Hil has a holy cow over immigrant bill (NY Daily News)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: They're at It Again...
Why was it necessary to mention, TWICE, in the article about the CIA person recently fired for leaking information to a reporter, that she donated money to John Kerry's presidential campaign? I don't see it similarly emphasized in articles about Republicans hauled off to jail that they contributed to Bush's campaign. Is this a subtle way to create the impression, in the mind of the public, that Democrats are traitors?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: How many more smoking guns?
It doesn't seem to matter--we have one smoking gun after another that gets played a few days in the press, then disappears and it's business as usual. People keep asking, "What does it take?"
I have an idea what the answer is. One day Bush stumbles out to the podium to speak, drunk and disoriented or a TV camera catches him spouting obscenities and declaring he doesn't give a DAMN about what the American people think, he's the president and he can damn well do what he pleases. It gets played over and over and over again in the media. That, my dear friends, is what it would take.
Goodbye, George, it's all over. Impeachment time.
Subject: Kerry would beat Bush in new election IF votes counted
I like the article on BuzzFlash about Kerry and how he would beat Bush if the election were held today. He did beat Bush and so did Gore, and everyone knows deep down that this man in the White House was never elected. Nevertheless, we will never have a Democrat in the White House or in any new Senate or House seats until the consciousness is raised about the fact that votes are stolen. I bet Katherine Harris "beats" Bill Nelson in Florida with the help of the voting machines, even though she is being wolloped in the polls. No way in Hades that Elizabeth Dole won that Senate seat fair and square if you talk to people from her state. There are many strange things. Mickey Cleland was defeated by Chambliss by fraud, too. No way that Chambliss won fair and square. It will happen again if Dems let it. I will vote Democratic no matter what, but will my vote count? For now, with Arizona's systems, it will. If we get a Republican governor and they change the voting machines, it will not. Delaware has some German machines (and a Democratic governor who refused Diebold). The German machines have a papertrail and they are well made. I would prefer most things be made in the USA but NOT voting machines. It is too likely that the CEO of the company will be Republican. Forget it. Our votes are not going to count if that happens.
Subject: Bob Schieffer--CBS
I watched Bob this morning on "Face the Nation" and his ending commentary was good (despite the lack of time to combat Pat Buchanan's BS) when he declared that a Democracy deserves leaks when 'secret prisons' are revealed. Enough.
Subject: Defense Tech: "A Mushroom Cloud Over Las Vegas"
This article is in reference to the upcoming Nevada test site test to determine the efficacy of their nuclear bunker-busting bombs to be used against Iran.
"By the way – a "strake" is "a straightedge used for leveling a bed of sand " !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"John Fleck, from the Albuquerque Journal, has the answer to whether Divine Strake is nuke-related. "A Pentagon budget request is explicit about its purpose: to "improve the warfighter's confidence in selecting the smallest nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage." Meanwhile, Globalsecurity.org decodes the media gobbledygook surrounding the Divine Strake test.
UPDATE 04/03/06 5:15 PM: "In response to an email earlier today, a DTRA spokesperson confirmed that Divine Strake is the same event that is described in DTRA budget documents as being a low-yield nuclear weapons shock simulation," the FAS Strategic Security Blog notes."
"Here is an excellent detailed analysis by a member of the FAS. The US already has over 1000 of these nuclear bunker busters, with 400 of them in active service:
While Iran stands accused of pursuing nuclear weapons, the US is overtly developing the next generation of nukes. The above article shows a Chinese airbase with underground facilities, one potential target for U.S. warlovers.
[Senate Minority Leader] Reid assured 'Divine Strake' will be safe
This event seems highly ignored given all the propaganda aimed at Iran's nuclear enrichment program. There is no way to deliver a 700 ton ANFO bomb, much less deliver it 36 feet below ground to target underground facilities. It will take 4 to 5 days of trucks running around the clock to deliver the 700 tons of ANFO slurry to the site (page 24):
This Washington Post article states "The blast is not likely to be felt or heard outside the 1,375-square-mile test site":
This statement is absolute garbage: the budget.state.nv.us document (pages 74-75) states that North Las Vegas can expect up to a 126 decibel sound level from the blast 67 miles away--louder than a commercial jet taking off, almost as loud as a civil defense siren (page 38). The table 4.2-2 at the top of page 74 states that while home walls and plaster may experience cracking at 7 miles away, a footnote indicates that certain atmospheric conditions may increase this distance by 7 times, or 49 miles away (another study cited on page 101 indicates that atmospheric conditions may increase damage and environmental impact by up to ten times the distances given). Similarly, while one cracked window per 1000 person population can be expected at 7 miles away, certain atmospheric conditions may increase this to 49 miles away. Wildlife within 1.4 miles will experience permanent hearing damage at 163 decibels (louder than a large caliber handgun, e.g. .357 magnum), and under certain atmospheric conditions this range may extend as far as 10 miles; wildlife within 13.6 miles and 95 miles will experience painful levels of noise from the blast at 140 decibels (military jet takeoff) depending on atmospheric conditions (table 4.2-1, page 73, see footnotes, also see page 103). All wildlife within the NTS boundary will experience painful noise levels of 140 decibels. A sound like thunder may be heard between 25 and 175 miles away, depending on atmospheric conditions. The document deceptively calls this "no significant impact."
This AP article states:
"The test, named 'Divine Strake,' will involve nearly 40 times the amount of commercial ammonium nitrate and fuel oil explosive set off in the largest open-air, non-nuclear blast at the site to date. In 2002, 18 tons of explosives were set off at the Nevada Test Site." While technically true, it is a fairly misleading statement. Pages 15-16 list 10 different ANFO detonations at a different site--the White Sands Missile Base in New Mexico--varying from 24 tons to 4744 tons, between 1977 and 1991. This June 2 test is occurring on Western Shoshone lands, and is in violation of a recent decision by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD):
Subject: Happy Earth Day 2006 pResidential style
When I saw this photo, I thought about the absolute paradox of the pResident having his bicycle being loaded onto AirForce1 (the training wheels are already on board) so that he could be flown hundreds of miles (using who knows how much petrol) to be seen biking in celebration of Earth Day 2006. Thus setting up the picture of the pResident being mindful of our current gas crisis and the need to conserve.
Have I said lately how much I want these b*****ds to be impeached and then imprisoned in order to be tried for crimes against humanity?
Subject: Bush screws Arnold - Again!
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger strongly criticized Bush Saturday because he refused to declare a federal disaster for California's fragile levees. And Arnold is surprised by this? In 2004 Arnold could have fixed the levee problem and most all other California problems by opposing Bush for president so that the "dicider" wouldn't continue to ruin America. But instead Arnold made a last minute run to Ohio to help put Bush over the top. Had Arnold declared Bush to be the worst president ever then, Bush would have lost and Arnold would get his levee money from a new president.
Now it's election year for Arnold, and his karma has returned to haunt him. He put politics ahead of the people. It was more important to be loyal to Republicans than to act for the good of the people. So if there is any silver lining to this it is a lesson for people in both parties that if you don't put the people first, then you will suffer the consequences. Unfortunately the people have to suffer the consequences, too.
I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!
Subject: The Power of One
As I approached a 4-way intersection in a neighborhood near my home I kept hearing car horns going off. I couldn't figure out why til I got to the intersection. There on the corner was ONE GUY waving a "No Iran War" sign. The cacophony of agreement was louder than I've ever heard before, and all it took was one guy and a sign! Ah, the sounds of America waking up! Let's get out there and keep the momentum going!
A BuzzFlash Reader
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