May 11, 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.
Here is the fundamental difference between the Left and the Right.
We on the Left all have our Causes. We fight for Justice on many different fronts, be it environmental, social etc. We as individuals seem to concentrate our energies on our specific Cause, sometime forgetting to integrate it within the Greater Cause. This sometimes brings us to tune out other opinions, making it harder for different groups to work together. An example would be Catholics who are against abortion but otherwise have strong Progressive instincts to fight for Justice in other areas. These people might be marginalized by many Progressive groups because of that stand. Or Vegans who think all those who eat meat are the enemy. There are many other examples.
The Right on the other hand has but one Cause. Accumulation of Power. They care not how they get it, nor how much death and destruction they sow to reap it. Principles mean nothing to them. Only Power.
This is the dilemma we on the Left face. How to effectively combine the energies from all the disparate groups to fight this Evil that confronts us. Let's put aside our petty differences and fight for the Greater Cause. Embrace those who don't agree with us 100 PERCENT!
[BuzzFlash Note: The problem of single-issue advocacy among liberals is addressed, too, by Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga in Crashing the Gate.]
Subject: Iraq War
I keep hearing about progress being made in the Iraq War. There's much talk about the elections. Recently Colin Powell stated that he had been in favor of sending many more troops to Iraq. The retired General and former Secretary of State never once questioned the legality or morality of the bombing, invasion and occupation of a country that never posed a threat to the the security of our country. Hardly anyone is raising those issues.
In your review you mention several similarities between Christian fundamentalism and Islam (or, more correctly, Islamic fundamentalism). You then comment that the main difference is the god they worship.
This kind of comment is frequently found in American writings, but it is incorrect. The god is the same. Both are monotheistic religions and worship "The One God." Even a cursory study of Islam quickly shows that they address themselves to exactly the same God as found in Judaism and Christianity. What is different is the way the groups approach God.
In Christian Sunday School classes the Christian God is always presented as the same God of Moses and other Old Testament prophets, with the difference that Christianity provided a new view/understanding of how to relate to Him (Her?). This is exactly the same that happens some 600 years later with Islam: Same God, new structure. Islam considers itself built on the foundations of the other two religions and indeed considers Jesus a messenger of God.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Anti-religious tyranny bumper stickers
Cool site, URL: http://rageonapage.com/
A BuzzFlash Reader
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The NSA Is Secretly Collecting the Telephone Records on Tens of Millions of Americans
Is there anyone still clinging to the belief that America hasn't gone fascist? Hopefully not, but if there are such folks, won't make a bit of difference, being that we the people are about to change the world. Why? Because there is no alternative. None, that is, that's worth much in terms of the length of time that'll be left before it's "Will the last one out please turn off the lights?" We've no time to waste, either, what with these perpetual wars, a failing health care system, our pension funds drying up and the polar ice caps rapidly melting away. How do we change the world? We see to it, that's how, with everyone playing a role, nobody left out.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: "Brezhnev Would be Proud of Bush"
Don't Insult Brezhnev......
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: How true ... in fact, Putin is now calling out the Bush/Cheney hypocrisy.]
Subject: Comment on Going to see 'United 93' is a civic duty By George F. Will,
(letter sent to George WIll/Washington Post)
I have not yet seen the film "United 93," but when I do, I doubt that it will leave me with the same message that it apparently conveyed to George F. Will. The story of this hijacked airliner, as we all know, is a harrowing tale containing acts of desperate personal courage. But to promote this tragedy as an allegory on which America should model its "war on terrorism" - as Will does - is the height of misguided demagoguery. Will summarizes this cynical use of the Flight 93 narrative by his use of a passenger’s quote:
No, Mr. Will: these words express only the truncated options available to people trapped in an airplane that has been commandeered by suicidal terrorists. Your expansion on the quote may reflect the arch-conservative’s "bootstraps" ethic combined with the rigid heartlessness of Free-Market Fundamentalism; but in a "free society" people would have the social contract’s assurance that they are not, in fact, all on their own - not to mention a system of laws that would provide a means to settle disputes short of a totally destructive crash-landing.
No; if there is a geopolitical allegory to be gleaned from the "United 93" tragedy it is that America has been trapped by its leadership in what may be a no-win situation of artificial isolation in which hatred holds the upper hand, and in which our most heroic and altruistic efforts may sadly be of no avail.
Subject: Flag Desecration Amendment
It was Duke Cunningham who introduced H.J. Res. 10 on January 25, 2005, a proposed amendment to the Constitution, granting Congress the power to prohibit physical desecration of the American flag. This is the same Duke Cunningham who pled guilty to corruption charges. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
Ellis L. Bert
Subject: Hayden's Future
Gen. Hayden seems to have very little command experience, judging from a glance through his military biography. In view of this, his hard-to-explain rapid ascent on the rank-ladder suggests that he has friends in high places. These factors point to a precarious grasp of the qualities it takes to run a large organization such as the CIA.
I am reminded of those Politburo members we used to see lined up behind the parapet of Lenin's tomb for the May Day parades in Red Square. They would appear for a year or two, and then disappear with no announcement.
Subject: Am I Paranoid or Are They Really Out To Get Me?
Fellow Buzzers, have any of you noticed anything funky with your home phones? For about two weeks callers to my home told me there was an annoying echo on my line (regardless of which phone I used, both land line and cordless). Then it was gone. Were 'they' listening?
So now I wonder, should I put on my tinfoil hat? If they were listening in on my phone, I would like to say to them: I am sorry I am so dull. If you decide to monitor me in the future, please let me know in advance so I can spice up my conversations with some salacious gab. Of course the lady who makes the appointments at the pediatrician's office (the person I seem to talk to the most, besides mom) will wonder why I am talking in my husky bedroom voice to her, but hey-for God and Country!
Part of me has the same attitude as my right-wing brethren: I have nothing to hide, listen in if you will. But then I read the Progressive Beacon this morning that excerpted our Declaration of Independence:
Our ingenious forefathers knew our sheeplike propensity for going along to get along. They tried to warn us. How easy to be lulled into complacency.
Anyway, if other Buzzers have noticed strange things with their phones, maybe you could write in and mention it. If many of us remark on the same phenomenon maybe it is true. If not, maybe my local service is just crappy. That is a very definite possibility, too.
[BuzzFlash Note: Paranoia isn't productive, and we don't want to fill the Mailbag with descriptions of crappy phones, as you say ... but complaining to elected officials, the FCC, and partners in crime AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth might be worth doing. Or how about a class action suit?]
Subject: Make a Difference With Your Groovy Mind
there's only one way to make a difference in the world (build allies, promote peace, level the playing field in developing nations so we are not the enemy) and it has nothing to do with our famously corrupt government or greedy corporate approach to capitalism. it means supporting environmental sustainability, social and economic justice by making purchasing decisions based on how it affects the world around us. each one of us can make a difference if we think before we spend because in this country money is power and the people can take back the power if they support organic, Fair Trade and eco-friendly movements. that's why we launched our business last year because we were FED up with our inability to change the political landscape through conventional means and decided that if we had to practice what we preach.
[BuzzFlash Note: That's the feeling behind our "Fair Trade" premiums at BuzzFlash, though we don't think the power of the purchase is the only useful strategy.]
I saw Mary Cheney on Larry King last night, what a snarly person. Anyway she said she did not feel anyone had been tortured, she said they are people who want to kill us and they were just being interrogated.
Does she know how many prisoners have been interrogated to death? Did she see the photos of the one who was interrogated until he defecated and urinated all over himself? Did she see the photo of the German shepard interrogating the man's naked penis while diarrhea was running down his legs? Real sweet girl, like father like daughter. By the way, she also said she does not think Colbert was funny.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Farewell America
Farewell to you, my friends
Your freedoms were an honour
And as the dollar stains Old Glory
Goodbye, my friend America,
They’ve taken a dream of tomorrow
John Byrne 11th May 2006
John D. Byrne
Subject: Drive straight down the middle
More unwanted, and unsolicited advice.
On Rove’s strategy to paint a Democratically controlled congress as an unspeakable horror, I hope he does have the audacity to try. Democrats need to respond just one way ... in fact the commercial has already been written ... Democrats just need to get permission from Bill Maher to run it.
Clear, concise ... paints a picture ...
Of course you are saying to yourself that we are above such tactics ... that’s what Rove and the Republicans are counting on.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Tell the Truth & Reduce Ignorance
Some of the people I know find me a bore when it comes to politics. They get annoyed when they repeat some sound bite from the 10-15 minutes a day they watch the news and I point out to them the error of their remarks. Ignorance of what is really going on in this country should not be allowed to pass unchallenged. How often have you wanted to scream as some pinhead spouted facts that absolutely were not truth but a distorted view of events? Or worse yet some flight of fantasy they heard from Rush or Hannity.
You want fantasy? Watch the Disney Channel. Just don’t talk dishonestly around me and expect me to sit silent. Dishonesty must be confronted immediately or it flourishes. It is our job as informed citizens to tell the truth. Just try and keep to facts not your point of view. If some people don’t like us for doing that, so be it.
We need to suspend the almost overwhelming desire to bash some folks over the head with the nearest blunt object no matter how gratifying that would be. Take deep breaths and explain, gently, kindly, what the facts really are. Please do not say “Listen stupid, you got it all wrong, You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.” You may well be right but that is not the best way to get someone into the progressive fold. Remember, some of these people have been part of the Bush cult and need to be deprogrammed.
Everyone gets one vote. (Legally anyway and in a perfect world.) Fools get one vote just like intelligent people like you and me.
The political makeup of this country is about 35% Republican, 33% Democrat and the rest, something around 32% Independents & such. Now it should be evident to anyone who can add that neither party can win an election without all those folks who haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid from either party's pitcher.
That would be the Independents, the Greens etc. So if you really are interested in winning in November, because without that all else is pointless, then make nice with whoever comes in range. Don’t rant, don’t rave and don’t call names. Plant a seed of truth in a barren mind and maybe, just maybe, something will grow. Maybe not, but what is there to lose? Except maybe our country.
ax•i•om: A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument; a postulate
I was prompted to write this when I received an email about illegal immigration from one of my friends. The email was just one of many that I regularly receive from friends and family that can instantly be pegged for what it is by a skeptical reader but for most people the author's goal of eliciting a visceral response is usually attained, which incidentally causes the reader to immediately forward it on to me. If you listen closely you can hear the "ooohhh's," "ahhhh's" and "oh my god's" of people all around you who are opening email just like the one I received.
The problems is that the "facts" found in these emails are much like "facts" found in a Bush State of the Union address. They're dangerous and they can get people hurt especially when the author cobbles together cherry picked pseudo-facts that sound incontrovertible. Undiscerning readers fall into this perception trap because they have yet to learn that sometimes the words they read are written by people whose goal it is to manipulate them. The danger with this delivery of information is that it plays on the reader's "conventional wisdom" in such a way that they start to base their realities on these materially false axioms.
co-de•pen•dent: Of or relating to a relationship in which one person is psychologically dependent in an unhealthy way on someone who is addicted to a drug or self-destructive behavior
It is because of this that I have struggled for quite some time with the thought of writing an article that utterly destroys the fundamental underpinnings of the popular conservative movement that is so prevalently destroying America and indicative of a much greater problem. The problem that I keep coming up against in writing this piece is that I can't seem to find a way around the obstinacy with which most people hold on to their perception of reality. I would literally have to destroy so many things that so many people hold dear and which have been indoctrinated in them by their parents, their family and their friends that they just wouldn't accept it and they certainly wouldn't accept me telling them. They would condemn me as a "radical" for destroying their precious worldview that has been cultivated over a lifetime without any attempt at objectively analyzing reality but by forming their perceptions through codependent relationships. They wouldn't believe me because reality is so contrary to their conventional wisdom that it would literally blow their minds. The main reason why I haven't written such an article is a line from the movie "The Matrix" that continues to ring in my ear like a Robert Schumann A-note,
As disturbing, as evil, as devoid of compassion and humanity as their worldview is, "they will fight to protect it" and many will fight to the death. It may come as no surprise to many of you reading this that it doesn't matter how many facts you use or how tight your arguments are, they won't believe you. In fact, some of them are so smart that they can literally justify through logical rationalization, the wholesale destruction of other people's lives for their own gain.
Make no mistake about it, the only difference separating you from them is that you have taken the proverbial red pill. Never, ever, think that you are in some way better than they are. You may not have reached the end of the rabbit hole yet but you are aware that the way in which you perceive reality may not be how it actually is. You may also be aware that at times your ego directs your logic to convince you of what you want to be convinced of. The degree of separation between you and them is miniscule and can be defined simply as self-awareness. But be warned "there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."
The Indy Voice
Subject: Enemies' List of 10s of Millions
10s of Millions? I had no idea this Moron-in-Thief pResident had so many enemies! Makes Richard Nixon not only completely de minimus, but beloved by his people--even at 31%!
Subject: Ok, Ok -- Impeach ...
I've been sitting and watching Bush talk about not trolling through my phone calls ... and yours, too. He never, ever said outright that what the NSA was doing was wrong.
Notice he started out with "After Sept. 11th ..."
I wonder what the families of those people killed on Sept. 11th feel about Bush using 9/11 over and over and over again as a reason for something?
I'm neither Democrat nor Republican. I've been both. I'm sick of this crap.
Congress ... get off your ass and start the impeachment hearings now.
For the love of America .... Please!!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Morning Buzz - Beyond Impeachment
It’s time to delete the Executive Branch of government. The founding fathers’ experiment in setting up a government of checks and balances has failed. It’s time for the United States to institute a parliamentary system of government.
The concept of a unitary executive negates all checks and balances. The powers the current executive have amassed will not be relinquished by any subsequent president.
Bring government back to the people. Laws and bills are to be debated in the house of congress and the senate. There has to be accountability. The leader of party becomes the leader of the country, if his party wins the most seats. Long boring debates will preclude hasty pre-emptive strikes on other nations.
It could be a long drawn process. It’s tough to make changes when your current voting system isn’t even secure or guaranteed. How many voters have been disenfranchised? How many constituencies have been gerrymandered?
Hey, Nepal just got rid of their King, maybe there is some hope?
Oh yeah, don’t get too smug about the current 30% approval rating. There is a tight knit group of 30% of the voting public that can flip-flop at the drop of a hat or a bomb.
Subject: Obstruction of Justice by Justice Dept
I see by an AP news item that the Justice Department has dropped the investigation of illegal wiretapping, which appears to be a violation of the FISA and fundamental rights accorded to U.S. citizens in the Constitution.
NSA Stymies Justice Dept. Spying Probe (AP/New York Times)
The excuse is that Justice Department lawyers lack clearance to examine classified material, and such approval will not be granted to them.
It is my understanding that existing United States Code contains a provision making use of the classification system to conceal criminal acts a felony, thereby compounding criminality.
How many crimes are necessary before officials are removed from office?
The Constitution requires the Administrative Branch of the federal government to "faithfully execute the laws of the United States."
Federal officials who claim the authority to ignore or violate these laws with impunity, and who illegally use the classification of information to obstruct justice, need to be removed.
In ordinary times and circumstances, the Justice Department would enforce, rather than ignore and degrade, the laws of our land.
It is time to remove a number of people from office through impeachment. Once these obstructionists are out of the way, we need to prove our adherence to the rule of law by sending many of them to jail for their crimes.
John F. Williford
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