May 16, 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.
BuzzFlash Note: Mailbag readers might want to see What You Can Do - A BuzzFlash Perspective. We created this 7-point "action outline" in response to comments from readers anxious to help promote the pro-democracy agenda.
Subject: False framing of NSA story
The legality of the NSA snooping story is being falsely framed by its defenders, and that false frame is being repeated to bury the obvious illegality of the program. Look here:
This theme creates the false debate about whether congress has or has not been adequately "briefed" when the legal problem is that the executive branch is bypassing the constitutional requirement that probable cause be shown to the judicial branch in order to obtain a warrant. "Briefing congress" is not a substitute for judicial review or an effective means by which to usurp the authority of the judicial branch of government.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: It's the Precedents, Stupid!
If you let your dog s**t on the carpet, he'll do it again. And the next dog will smell it and also s**t on the carpet.
Think of the s**t on the carpet of our great and free land. Pre-emptive war. Torture. Rampant cronyism. Creative bookkeeping. Domestic spying. Blatant disregard for treaties, human decency, and world conditions at all levels. And all with barely a whimper from Congress.
These dogs need their noses rubbed in it. NOW! They need to be held to account for crimes against humanity and the nation.
To the 29 percent of backwash who sincerely believe the Bush administration is good, just, and benevolent, I ask, what happens with the next administration? Or the one after that? The s**t we allow Bush, et al., to get away with greenlights those who come after him.
Subject: Letter WaPo and Brookings Re: Hayden and NSA
Mr. Falkenrath’s hasty defense of General Hayden in regard to the emerging story of the NSA’s ominous domestic phone record database ignores the numerous red flags surrounding this issue that should give all Americans grave concern. Most importantly, this administration’s sorry performance record gives us absolutely no reason to trust their competence, honesty, or motives. This past January General Hayden argued emphatically, resolutely, and erroneously in a televised press conference that the Fourth Amendment contains no admonition regarding "probable cause"; instead he repeatedly asserted that a "reasonableness" standard was all that was demanded in the amendment. This is an unforgivable lapse, and one far too typical of this administration to be automatically attributed to mere ignorance. Any such highly placed intelligence official should have perfect familiarity with the portion of the Constitution that protects the persons, homes, and belongings of all American citizens from unwarranted intrusions by their government. General Hayden himself ironically affirmed this view in the same press conference: "If there is any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the NSA are familiar with, it’s the fourth." These people are trying to fundamentally change the relationship between government and the people, and in a way not to the benefit of the latter.
Mr. Falkenrath took great pains to identify the commandeered records as being "anonymized." This curious adjective obviously refers to the undifferentiated state of each of these confiscated records as they mill about in the government’s illicit data-base like so many stolen cattle awaiting their dispensation from the rustlers’ corral. But what possible benefit could such "anonymization" represent to the fight against global terrorism? The answer is "none whatsoever," and for this reason Falkenrath’s insistence that our personal data are not threatened by this program is a disingenuous ruse. Falkenrath points this out himself as he verbally diagrams the "Seven Degrees of Osama bin Laden" game that serves as the official cover for this disturbing project.
At some point during the government's analysis, the location, associations, etc. of any target exposed by patterns in the data matrix ceases to be merely "A", "B" or "C", and must be explicitly accessible to the NSA analysts in order for this program to make any sense whatsoever. Falkenrath may be correct that such information is not paper-clipped to each phone record as it is secreted away by our government, but logic demands that it must be inevitably accessible, or the entire construct must be admitted to be a massive waste of time and resources. Furthermore, experience insists that we not be overly credulous regarding the administration's insistence that their use of such a resource follows legal procedure, or is beneficial to society in general.
Subject: Past Impeachments
There is an interesting article in a local newspaper, Independent, on the web at www.indyweek.com. Daniel Pollitt writes about past impeachment trials dating back to 1797 on up to the trial of Bill Clinton. From reading the article it is obvious that crimes much less serious than any of the ones of our present pResident were considered important enough for impeachment proceedings to take place. This local, weekly paper is a haven for those of us in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina to read both articles and editorials that tend to the liberal viewpoint. I thought that you might be interested in this particular article.
A BuzzFlash Reader
It is possible someone has already pointed this out, but, as for me, whenever I look at a photo of Gen. Michael Hayden, the phrase "Bug the Wabbit" keeps entering my mind which continues to introduce a degree of unwanted levity into a situation I do not think is at all funny. Clearly another effort by the Bush administration to distract us from events. Will they stop at nothing? Now they're corrupting our childhood icons.
Subject: Bush's Presidential Library
Thanks for printing Cindy's letter (Mailbag 5/12/06) with the link to Bush's Presidential Library. And thanks, Cindy, for sharing this with the rest of us. One book I'm sure will be in the library is "My Pet Goat." Perhaps it will be accompanied by an explanation as to how it managed to be baby bush's favorite book from his childhood, yet wasn't published until about the time he graduated from high school. If you want more humor about baby bush and his favorite book, Google "My Pet Goat."
R. M. Johnson
Subject: Many Holocaust Survivors Live Below the Poverty Line (Israel Insider)
Thank you fro bringing this information to your readers.
People may be interested to know that when the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, INC. cut their deals after WWII, they sold out and abandoned some 250,000 Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe who fled into the Soviet Union during the early days of the German occupation; these are people who ran for their lives lest they were to fall into the hands of the murderous Germans and their collaborators.
These refugees were mostly common people without any meaningful resources. Inside Russia, many died of hardship and starvation; many committed suicide. Some, like my parents, were arrested by the NKVD and enslaved in the frozen north where they were set to hard labor. (Stalin was under the belief that th Jews would form a fifth column in Russia and aid the Germans!)
When they were "freed", they were deported to collective farms in Kazakhstan and elsewhere where they toiled for subsistence rations.
Yet, these survivors, people who lost their families and homes and went through living hell are not considered Nazi victims because their victimization and suffering did not take place under German occupation! Simply put, their losses and trauma, their broken lives and lifelong pain do not merit recognition -- according to the Conference on Jewish material Claims Against Germany, INC.
German (and other) soldiers, concentration camp guards, professional murderers and the SS all receive generous pensions while thousands of their victims receive nothing.
Due to a recent settlement with the Swiss, enormous sums have come into the control of the lawyers and bureaucrats who operate and manage the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, INC. Instead of distributing some of these funds to the aged and needy survivors who saved their lives by fleeing to Russia, these lawyers have despicably and astonishingly penciled themselves in for millions of these blood-money dollars for their professional fees!
Their greed and shamelessness is beneath contempt.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Telephone Spying on Americans
Certainly collection of a huge data base consisting of whom we are calling, who's calling us and how often, etc. is outrageous and must be resisted. However, too many of us are willing to give up that privacy "if it will protect us from an attack." When confined to those terms, security vs. privacy, an equally important concern is left out. That is that this humongous data base will add to the power of the party in power to stay in power. The Republicans have already used electronic voting without paper trails, jamming phone lines, etc. Now they will mine data precinct by precinct that indicates voting tendency. And if the intelligence establishment falls into the hands of the Democrats, does anybody really think they could resist the temptation to leak the info to their political operatives? So it's vitally important to stop government phone data bank collecting, not only to protect us from phony security claims, but also to protect our electoral system.
Subject: Doug's Apology
Sorry, but I don't buy this crap. It's a start, but --
"Well Said and Documented"?
Hardly. Yes, it's 'nice' that Doug McIntyre apologizes for voting Bush in 2000 and recognizes that the guy he elected led us down s**t creek. And that's a good laundry list of Bush Administration errors he put together. But let's put this into perspective: this isn't a deep thinker.
You're perpetuating myths and disinformation here. Doug says, '...I was sick of all the Clinton shenanigans....' Come on, BuzzFlash, what shenanigans are those? The tens of millions spent by the GOP to support Ken Starr's investigations? Please, BuzzFlash, I trust you; tell me about the Clinton shenanigans.
Doug tells us that there was Powell telling us and the UN about the Iraqi WMD but those of us paying attention, regularly clicking on links on BuzzFlash, KNEW that Powell was spreading BS like he was fertilizing a new crop.
Then McIntyre presents this whopper further down: 'Unfortunately, I don’t know if President Gore would have gone into Afghanistan. And that’s one of the many problems with the Democrats.'
Why would President Gore need to go into Afghanistan? He wouldn't have had to go if he'd paid attention to the information his predecessor's administration present, especially that PDB titled 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike'.
And while McIntyre is apologizing, he's quick to point out that how the Democrats are failing 'the two party system' and contributing to our malaise but where is his critique of the Republican Congress and how they're failing to live up to Constitutional checks and balances? Bush didn't pass those tax cuts alone, and he didn't 'lie to his own party' alone. Bush is not Tom DeLay, Dennis Hastert, Frist, or Robertson, employing strong arm tactics during votes and keeping information from our Democratic and Independent congressional representatives. Yes, the Democratic Senators and Representatives are hugely politically driven and spineless, but to hear Doug, there's nothing wrong with Republicans, just that darn Bush, and it's the Democrats' fault because they're not offering alternatives.
Thanks for the apology, Doug, but I think you need to think a great deal more.
As for you, BuzzFlash, don't bend over to welcome an apologist with open arms without applying some critical thinking about what's being said. We don't want to perpetuate myths and disinformation. That's how we got into this mess.
[BuzzFlash Note: We're not endorsing McIntyre but want to let readers know how one partisan Republican now sees things: "So, accept my apology for allowing partisanship to blind me to an obvious truth; our President is incapable of the tasks he is charged with."]
Subject: A strong message to telecoms
With the legitimate rage against telecoms for assisting out government in domestic spying, there are TWO most effective solutions:
The billion dollar class action lawsuits. Yeah! Hope they cause these companies to go broke.
Quit patronizing them! Use Vonage, Working Assets, and pay in advance (cash) non-traceable cell phones.
Yes, it's a little bit of a hassle, but anything to quite feeding the giants.
Subject: Hillary Clinton
I attended Wellesley College at the same time as Hillary Clinton. She began as a leader of college republicans in the 60's, and then made a dramatic shift to the left, giving a valedictory address to that effect. Look at her now. Perhaps she is returning to her republican roots.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Help with pre-war intelligence
It may be astounding, but I STILL see some people claim that the CIA is to blame for the WMD debacle, that the White House did not cherry pick intelligence, and that W is as much a victim as the rest of us in this Intel failure.
I recall a recent takedown of this meme, full of specific quotes and sources that utterly demolishes this argument -- but I cannot seem find it now. Does anyone recall a page (or pages) that thoroughly debunks the notion that the CIA is responsible for this (versus the White House)?
Many thanks in advance ...
Subject: Satisfying the Christian Right--
Says the Republican party has to do more for them or they stay home this fall--could it be that they know the Republicans are in big trouble this fall so they are looking for a way to take credit for the Republicans loss in Nov?
As for various of your comments that we should vote all Republicans out this fall, I agree. We should also vote out all but about 10% (you know who they are) of the Democrats. If ever this country needed a clean sweep with a big broom--it is now.
Edith M. Conrad
Subject: Astroturf: Don't Regulate the Net
Another site carrying the bogus grassroots "don't regulate" message is Taegan Goddard's Political Wire. I expected better.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Wire Taps
An Open Letter to All Americans:
A recent poll by the Washington Post concludes that 63% of Americans do not have a problem with the illegal wiretaps on innocent American citizens. Shame on that 63%. I am proud to say that I am in the 37% of Americans who DO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY PHONE BEING TAPPED ILLEGALLY!!!
My service is with Qwest which purportedly has not consented to the Bush attack on our privacy (Bravo Qwest!!!) so maybe I could just complacently sit back and say they aren't doing anything to me, so I don't need to be concerned. That would be completely wrong. In case you haven't noticed folks, our privacy and the United States Constitution are under attack by the Bush administration, the neo-con Republicans and spineless Democrats who accede to Bush's policies.
The wiretaps are sold to us as being necessary to fight terrorism. The reports about the wiretaps claim that they have been conducted since 2001. My questions to the 63%ers are:
How many terrorists have been captured with these wiretaps? Answer: None.
How many American citizens OUTSIDE the White House have been investigated for their connections to al Qaeda or the bin Ladens? Answer: None.
How many American citizens INSIDE the White House have connections to the bin Ladens? Answer: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz to name a few.
As an American citizen concerned about terrorism, I demand to see the phone records, emails, correspondence of any kind between the Bush administration from 1999 to the present.
Bush wants to monitor all innocent American citizens, but has said that he doesn't want his emails read by anyone else. I wonder why.
American citizens heed this: If you don't stand up and cause your Congressional representatives to stand up, you are selling your country out.
Subject: NSA Data Mining
Now we are being told that in order to stop terrorists in this country it is necessary for the NSA to obtain the records of calls made, where the calls are made from and to, patterns of traffic, and this is going to help catch terrorists.
Are we really supposed to believe this line of crap reasoning? I remember a few years ago, prior to 9-11, there were plenty of reports from FBI Field Agents to higher-ups reporting suspicious activity that were not followed up. There were reports of foreigners taking flying lessons but only wanting to learn certain aspects of flying. There was also the infamous PDB with the flashing neon titled "Al-Qaeda Determined to Strike in the US" that Condi dismissed as being "historical" and that Li'l George dismissed.
With all of these warning signs the Bushistas were unable to get it right, so now we're supposed to buy that if they just analyze millions of phone records they will find the terrorists that would do us harm?
Obviously, their great plan isn't working. Terrorist attacks worldwide have increased. The daily body count of civilians in Iraq and deaths of American sons and daughters keeps going up.
These morons could not connect the dots if they are in numerical order on huge flashing neon signs 10 feet high.
America, WAKE UP! We are much worse off now than we were Before Bush.
Subject: Why I Believe in a Draft Lottery
It is my contention that the Vietnam War began to end when the Draft Lottery of 1969/70 came into being. What it did was eliminate deferments given to kids in college and made everyone eligible to be drafted. Then, for the first time, mommies and daddies of the upper/upper-middle class families saw that their sons could risk their lives the same as blacks and poor whites who were drafted from the ghettos, farms, and factories. Little Johnny Well-to-do was no longer shown preferential treatment just because his parents had the money to send him to college, or use their contacts to get him into the “Texas Air National Guard”.
Soon, these mommies and daddies were calling their congressional representatives as the Draft Lottery began to induct their fair haired prodigy. Congress quickly saw the writing on the wall. These were no rag tag hippie protestors calling, these were upper class, well connected lawyers, doctors, and professionals who were up in arms about the possibility their children could come home in a body-bag as a result of an ill-advised war.
Today, we are faced with a similar war of insurgency, but we are now fighting it with a “professional-volunteer” army. Americans, as in the Vietnam War, have not yet faced with the reality that thousands of their fair-haired sons and daughters could be at risk. And this is precisely why I believe in a Draft Lottery. I believe if our congress decides to go to war, then their sons and daughters as well as their privileged constituents should have an equal chance of seeing their child’s heads, arms, legs, and bodies blown to bits. Perhaps this fact would give them pause and they would think twice about fighting a contrived war based on lies and subterfuge.
For my part, I am sick and tired of a hypocritical political leadership which sends other people to war while risking nothing. I am sick and tired of seeing under-privileged and under-employed youth fighting an unjustified war for BIG OIL while congressional representatives’, the President’s, and Vice-President’s families are immune from serving. I believe, as do most “patriotic” Americans, that if we are to fight a war, and that war is justified, then we should all share in that risk and endeavor. After all, this is what being an American is all about, right?
Robert M. Thacker
Subject: Our Porous Border
We need to close the border with Mexico and stop illegal immigration before we talk about changes in who gets to stand in line for citizenship. We don't need more laws. We need the will to stop it. We need severe penalties for employers who hire illegals--heavy fines and jail time. Illegal immigration undermines the American worker and strains our medical, social and educational resources. So long as the Congress is bought and paid for by big business they will not deal with the problem. Unfortunately business interests want the cheap labor to undermine worker wage scales and lower the US to the status of a third world country. Putting the National Guard on the border is useless if they don't have police power to arrest and detain.
Arthur G Broadhurst
Subject: WAPO/ABC News NSA Poll conducted by Telecom Research Co. TNS
The source of the WAPO/ABC News NSA Poll is which they claim "Phone-Records Surveillance Is Broadly Acceptable to Public", "63%" say it's "justified" - is a company from Pennsylvania called TNS Telecoms a unit of UK-based market research heavyweight Taylor Nelson Sofres, provides market data and research reports to clients in the telecommunications industry. The company's primary clients are telecommunications service providers seeking insight on a variety of topics including local, long distance, Internet, broadband, wireless, and satellite/cable TV.
Phone-Records Surveillance Is Broadly Acceptable to Public
Link to poll http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=1953464
At the bottom of the page there is a link that says "For complete results, click here" - it will take you to this link - a PDF file -
- at the bottom of the PDF file - page 4 - is the source of the company who did the polling - TNS http://www.tnstelecoms.com/.
Further information can be found here: www.tns-global.com and here
(their page's top headline reads "Combined AT&T/BellSouth Will Control 22% of Consumer Telecom Spending")
(found at bottom of same page) About TNS Telecoms TNS Telecoms, the specialist telecoms division of TNS, is a global provider of strategic and tactical market information and analysis for telecom service providers and the entire telecommunications industry. Its range of syndicated research solutions and custom capabilities allows TNS Telecoms to meet the changing market information challenges of telecom-related businesses. For more information please go to
About TNS TNS is a market information group:
Hope this information can get out soon to counter the misinformation. Thank you for truthfully informing millions,
John Paul Rice
Subject: Corporate internet scams & the net neutrality act
Read your editorial on the Net Neutrality Act this AM. The following covers the same material but hopefully emphasizes the "every person" aspect a bit more. Feel free to use or discard as you see fit.
Subject: National Guard
The Guard is already spread thin by putting them in Iraq to be shot at, without the same benefits as the regular military and now instead of using them as the last line against terrorists, they want to use them to make sure migrant workers are kept at bay. What the hell are they thinking? Not that being line up on the Texas border is safer and less deadly than Iraq, but what a waste. These people have jobs. Instead of training one weekend a month or a couple of weeks in the summer, they will just send them to make sure only college students are allowed to pick oranges on the Texas border. I guess the next thing to do is to use the guard to force college bound students to do the work the illegals were doing. There will be guardsman doing what they did a few years back when they shot and killed an armed goat-herder who wasn't an illegal. Shoot first, make up a story later. You can't shoot everyone who looks Hispanic in Texas.
Speak up or they assume you agree!!! ABB
Subject: Privacy Concerns
Does anyone else find it curious that the Bushistas claim it is necessary to track millions of phone call records, but refuse, at the same time, to ignore appropriate Congressional requests for information (for oversight purposes), or to refuse to release proceedings of its internal affairs, such as Cheney's energy policy meetings?
Since we are the ones paying the bills, we have a right to know what went on, who recommended policies that are beneficial to the industries involved, and which lobbyists were involved in writing legislation that is friendly to the industries.
Since this administration is worshipping at the feel of the God of Mammon, we should demand to know what price Mammon extracts from us.
Subject: Arkansas Is Practicing for Mid Term Elections. Republican style.
Districts that rely on paper ballots only (paper trails) have "NO PAPER BALLOTS" and primary voters were turned away in early voting sessions. Electronic voting machines are not functioning properly and votes are not being tallied correctly or not at all. These violations and incompetence are being reported by newspapers across the state. Are they going to set up road blocks and close precinct doors next? Or will they just dis-enfranchise as many non-republicans as they can?
Are these signs of what's to come this November all across America?
Also a personal note to Scott of Fayetteville. Same thing happened to me with the "Morning News." I called, e-mailed them and raised holy hell and they printed my anti Bush contribution on the next Sunday opinion page. As it turned out a close relative with same last name had threatened to withdraw his business advertisements from their paper if they continued to print my opinions. I realized then just how far fascists will go in suppressing opposing opinions.
Subject: The Only Response Needed
Now that the GOP has finalized their talking points regarding GOP WEDGE ISSUE v11-06, they will drag their boy out tonight to read them aloud to the nation.
No matter what he says, all we have to say in response is to throw their own words at them:
"We don't need any new laws, enforce the ones already on the books."
Don't the GOP cultists always say that about every reasonable regulation on their Enron-wanna-bes?
"We don't need any new laws, enforce the ones already on the books."
Repeat it to them, don't say anything else, don't let them change the subject.
"We don't need any new laws, enforce the ones already on the books."
Hell, it even works with every crime they are involved in right now.
"We don't need any new laws, enforce the ones already on the books."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush's View of the Constitution as Reported in "The Rant"
Please report on Doug Thompson's piece on Bush 12/09/05 where Bush said "the Constitution is just a "God-damned piece of paper."
Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper' (Capitol Hill Blue)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush's Nazi Grandfather, Prescott Bush
I came across this article a while ago and have been trying to find out more but I'm having trouble doing so. If anyone knows more and can give out the info please let Buzz know.
Bush - Nazi Link Confirmed By by John Buchanan
Subject: Organized Marches
This is in response to the 5/15/06 post by Norm Farwell.
I read your post in the 5/15/06 BuzzFlash Mailbag. I am not entirely sure that you were completely serious about organizing and marching on city halls and state capitals, or DC, but if you were, and are willing to take that first giant leap at open and organized rebellion, then rest assured that I will be with you stride for stride. This may be the only thing that these treacherous,fascistic, republicans, and these spineless, cowardly, democrats will understand. Perhaps, if we can hear from more patriotic, like-minded Americans who are willing to lend themselves to this effort, we might be instrumental in helping turn our country around. I am requesting BuzzFlash to forward my e-mail address, along with this message, to you. And yes, I know, this e-mail is probably being monitored.
Subject: Web site
Subject: Don't Fall for the Immigration Distraction
George Bush's approval ratings are under 30%. Many Americans seems to be catching on to the 40 year Republican ruse. The Republican party has become the party that puts corporations and terrorists ahead of American national security. The Republican party is the party of fiscal destruction that raises middle class taxes while giving out trillions in welfare to a select few. The Republican party is the party that has a social agenda which mirrors that of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, although these conservatives disgrace Christianity by calling it "Christian." The Republican party is the party that doesn't mind seeing thousands of its citizens die if corporations or special interests can profit from these tragedies. The Republican party is the party responsible for destroying average American lives by raising interest rates 17 times, increasing health care costs more than 65%, increasing student loans, and simply destroying America's economic fabric.
Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman, and the GOP elitists know that if the American people actually voted on the real issues, then today's conservative Taliban that controls the Republican party would be an irrelevant 4th party movement. I don't think they even get 20% of the votes if they campaigned on what they actually do.
So why does my article have immigration in the title? Answer -- Immigration is the latest distraction wedge issue from the playbook of gay marriage and Willie Horton. Americans are facing hundreds of issues far more important than immigrants from Mexico. But since Bush has exposed himself to be a weak national security leader and a terrible domestic president, the GOP is hoping that the race baiting will rally their base and target white suburban voters to join them in this smear campaign.
I have no problem having an honest discussion about immigration reform and I may be willing to support in some form some of the suggestions being touted by Republicans. But I know this is an attempt by the desperate GOP to play to my fears and if Americans realize that all this talk about immigration is overblown fear tactics, they won't fall for it.
Hopefully the Democratic leaders will put their jellyfish backbones in the closet and come out and strongly denounce the motives behind this latest GOP scare tactic. Our Founding Fathers would expect nothing less.
Subject: What's the Diff Between Advertising and Premiums?
So you don't accept advertising. And you're only reader supported. And you've never accepted a fee for choosing a premium. Can I ask what a "premium" is? Is it a holier than me way of saying "advertising?" Or is Thai Rice and Frutos a new kind of editorial statement that we should be told about?
I have as many concerns about corporate media as you claim to. Best of intentions, I dare say, but I just don't think adopting the same weasel wordage is any way to address those concerns. So you've also got concerns about editorial messages being hijacked by clever corporate advertising? Well, gosh. You've got two options I guess. Take out an account at a weblog site provider like Blogger (gasp!) which actually lets you block out advertisers you don't like! (general hubbub) Or you can regard such advertising as something viewed by mostly discerning, mature adults who might even like being exposed to alternate viewpoints. You know, kind of like freedom of speech (general pandemonium, overturning of chairs) or something like that. Geez, guys.
[BuzzFlash Note: There is an enormous difference between advertising and selling premiums. The mainstream media is proof of that.
When an advertisement that is intentionally deceptive and promotes a law that would eliminate the Internet as we know it appears on the sites of most of the progressive major blogs, it's kind of like the NAACP allowing an ad for the Ku Klux Klan on its website. There are also honest and dishonest ads. The ad in question is totally deceptive about the legislation in question, making government regulation to save the Internet sound like government regulation to ruin the Internet as it is.
As for one of the big bloggers arguing that no one reads the ads anyway, that is ludicrous. Corporations are not plowing billions of dollars into Internet ads that aren't read or effective; there is a very purposeful reason that handsoff.org posted these ads on the top progressive Internet sites, with their approval, according to your analysis.
For blogs that promote "net neutrality" to, according to you, approve and accept an ad that promotes the end of democracy on the Internet through misrepresentation and fraudulent claims is suicidal for the blogs. It is also an indication of reliance on the massive advertising funds the Telecom companies poured into this disingenuous ad that aims to undermine the very openness and freedom of the Internet.
Premiums are picked and chosen by us. We receive no money from anyone to sell a premium. We pick ones that we think are worthy of being disseminated and deserve financial support to keep progressive publishing and entertainment viable. We are not reliant on any revenue stream other than what our readers purchase or contribute. We will not be economically enticed to post an ad that will lead to the conversion of the Internet into a corporatized profit center, like Cable TV. That is for certain.
That's the difference, my friend, and the blogs that continue to post this devious ad are doing a disservice to their readers and the future of the Internet. All for a few hundred or thousand bucks. Buzz]
Subject: CIA Monitoring ABC Reporters' Calls
What is truly alarming is the User Comments at the end of the story. Shocking how many people that this is okay with. They want big brother to protect us. I just can't believe this.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Non Denial Denial and Legal Escape-Aid
Just a note to consider: In the comments, ensuing from Bush's statements about (not) snooping on "millions" of Americans, there is a further point which warrants a comment. From a legal perspective, not spying on millions of Americans, as a position, while implying one thing, legally can mean the opposite. In other words, if they are not spying on millions of innocent or ordinary Americans, they can still be spying on a couple hundred million 'other' Americans and the statement is legally accurate. It is all in the definition of "innocent" and whether the "millions" refers ONLY to those who are NOT being spied upon, leaving everyone else in the category of being spied upon. It's a tricky manipulation of language that promotes an untruth and provides a legal out.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Laura Bush - What a Hoot!
Isn't it kind of Stepford-Wife-Creepy to see Laura perform? She has no choice but to serve the kool aid and talk about how delicious it is, but it still makes me feel weird.
Subject: Bush/Illegal Wiretapping
I, too, have been wondering how, if we have the technology to wiretap everyone ... and spy on everyone from satellite ... why has this administration not yet found OSAMA?
... I think we can all figure THAT one out.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: "An Inconvenient Truth"
Any of us who recall James Watt's remarks (Sec. of the Interior during Reagan's term) are not surprised what this film brings up.
Anyone besides me recall being disgusted by Mr. Watt's remarks, (here, in essence) where he remarked that, 'Who cares, Jesus Christ is coming soon'....to those who were trying to bring up global warming, and the destruction of the planet by overuse, and dumping toxic waste.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Public Access TV Under Attack
FREEDOMJOURNAL.TV MEDIA SERVICES
May 16, 2006
FreedomJournal.TV has been providing quality community service TV programming at NO COST to the public since 2002. Many of you receiving this letter have been guests on our programming. Now we are forced to come to you and ask for your help.
Time Warner and the City of Akron have been working together for years to yank the plug on public access TV. On 3/7/05, Bill Jasso at Time Warner Cable (northeastern Ohio) notified local TV producers of changes being made to the public access channel, effective 4/1/05. These changes included charging producers to air programming on Time Warner channel 15 and restrictions that all programming must be 100% local content. Popular shows such as USTV and Democracy Now, could no longer be aired.
These changes were approved by the Akron Mayor and Council President without public hearings, or any discussion with City Council. Although these changes affected residents of Cuyahoga Falls, Barberton, Munroe Falls, Mogadore, Canton and Youngstown; government officials of these communities were never contacted.
As a result of these changes, very little community programming has aired on channel 15 in the past year. Currently, six shows air in Akron between 1 am Monday and 9:30 am Saturday. The rest of the airtime consists of Music Choice.com, a promotion for a paid digital service.
By Federal law the channel is to be non-commercial. Time Warner is required by law to provide community service channels to residents. Time Warner is also required by law to provide the equipment and training for residents to produce public access programming. Time Warner has been violating the law for nearly 20 years.
Local producers say that the fee adds too much financial burden in addition to costs for equipment, training and regular transportation to Canton. On 5/9/05 a Federal Judge Dowd ruled to dismiss our lawsuit. Time Warner argued that the taxpayers do not have the authority to enforce the law. We must appeal this decision ASAP. Please help us TODAY with the fight to keep public airwaves open.
Subject: All Alone
With both parties in the pockets of the Corporations Americans are pretty much on their own.
What if an enraged Citizenry did vote out the lying, thieving, bunch of crooks in Washington? The corporations will simply switch their donations, contributions, trips and other incentives to the other party. To think that somehow Democrats are basically more honest than Republicans is silly.
Suddenly Bush realizes that he has to do something about illegal immigration. Democrats can honestly say that they wanted 2000 more Border Guards per year until the number we have now was doubled. Bush gave them 271. See when you do try to do the right thing it makes for one hell of a talking point.
Most Americans want the border secure. Both parties seem to be coming to the conclusion that they need to do that. Not because they particularly care but because it’s an issue that gets the voters riled up. So they will posture, pontificate and pretend to secure the border.
Our southern border is 3000 miles long. Bush is sending 6000 National Guard Personnel. That would be a National Guardsman every ½ mile. Not very effective. But wait, no they aren’t going to be patrolling the border. They are going to rotate in every 2-3 weeks as support. Support what?
Are we really this stupid? This is a Republican P.R. stunt. The Democratic Party is all about supporting Illegal Immigration in order to pander to the Hispanic vote so they are mildly supportive of this b.s. After all, the rest of the President’s plan, all those guest workers and the path to citizenship is what the Democratic Party wants.
American workers? Oh well, many of us don’t vote anyway. Or we just mindlessly vote for our particular party. Or they think that we will all vote for anyone who not a Republican. Could be they’re wrong.
All I am sure of is that the leaders of both parties care nothing for the people they pretend to represent. We’re on our own folks.
Marjorie L. Swanson
Subject: George's New Favorite Song
New Song: The Electronic eyes of Texas are upon you-- all the live long day (and night). The electronic eyes of Texas are upon you just to pass to the CIA. Can't you hear the whistleblowers as their calls are being tapped? The electronic eyes of Texas are upon you and Cheney will mow you down (to the melody of "I've been working on the Railroad").
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Behead the Beloved
Bush's press handlers and supervisors can claim he's "beloved." The same claim was made about Louis XVI.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: On Bush Sending National Guard Troops to the Mexican Border
I am fully in favor of it. Send the Army, too.
Just make sure they're the troops currently stationed in Iraq. Pull them all out and bring them home to guard the border.
They'll be safer, and they can even see family on the weekends.
Heck, some can work from home!
Subject: What Did Bush Mean by "Beyond the Protection of Our Laws?"
Last night in his address Bush stated that illegal aliens "are a part of American life, but they are beyond the reach and protection of American law."
I find this statement to be disturbing. The first clause is merely irrelevant: essentially everyone is "beyond the reach" of our laws until they are not. A fugitive is a fugitive until he is caught. It’s the part about being "beyond the protection" of our legal system that strikes me as ominous. Firstly: it is untrue. Constitutional law explicitly extends the Bill of Rights to all "persons", not just citizens, on American soil. Now some could argue that the president was merely identifying the fact that the cryptic lives led out of necessity by illegal aliens facilitate their abuse and exploitation, and this position would have some merit. But I assert that the content and context of the president's address represent not only an acknowledgment but a subtle endorsement of this situation.
This speech was nothing but a promise to the Republican party's ultimate base - the core of the 30% "backwash" (tip of the hat to Mr. Colbert) - that the president shares their concerns. His plummeting poll numbers made a move of this sort inevitable. The introduction to the address describes illegal aliens that "sneak across our borders", "live in the shadows", and "bring crime to our communities". Furthermore, he also within the first few minutes explicitly identifies an exonerates the employers of illegals as victims of these lurking conspirators:
"Many use forged documents to get jobs, and that makes it difficult for employers to verify that the workers they hire are legal."
The entire effect is to underwrite the xenophobic scapegoating of illegal immigrants that has been a durable touchstone of the Republican base.
In this demagogic context the president's statement that illegal immigrants are "beyond the protection of our laws" takes on a chilling aspect. Is this a wink-and-nod to the bands of agitated "minutemen" that the gloves can finally come off? Is he telling employers that they can from here on out take a more sanguine approach to the management of this particular labor pool than the government has previously allowed? Well, I don't know; but I'm watching the administration and their media organs for this particular phrase to show up as an echoed talking point.
Subject: Does Bush Know How To Do Math About Border Security?
Seeing that we have troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan - many on their 2nd, 3rd or 4th tours of duty, how on earth does Bush expect to get 6,000 troops to guard - without a gun - the southern border?
With Bush getting ready to send troops into IRAN along with HURRICANE SEASON approaching before you know it, where on earth are we going to get the troops?
We're only talking about 2,000 MILES of southern borders that these 6,000 TROOPS will have to guard.
Do the math Bush! Oh, that right - you flunked!
2,000 MILES equals 10,560,000 FEET.
10,560,000 FEET divided by 6,000 TROOPS equals ONE TROOP guarding every 1,760 FEET of Border. And that’s on a "good coffee day" when ONE TROOP can guard his post for 24 STRAIGHT HOURS!!
Since even the best soldier needs some sleep, that expands the number of FEET that a single troop will be guarding - without a gun - to an even greater length.
Sure hope these troops use to be on various College Track and Football Teams as "Tackles or Blockers", so they can all do their running back and forth and knock down the people they are suppose to catch.
Oh well, at least the troops will only be down at the border until the November Elections are over. Write it down.
What a joke your "falling poll speech" was Bush. You were great with your "Rove Words" to "calm your base" but you did not think the problem all the way through, as if I should be even slightly astonished!
Do these clowns in The White House have even the slightest sign of a single brainwave?
FOR NSA USE ONLY:
Subject: Karl Rove Poem: "The Rovester"
Dear BuzzFlash Familia:
Reading an article about Karl Rove hustling the hustings in a last hurrah for the Bush Disadministration before the Rovester departs, despired me to compose a sort of poem. You've heard of Haiku? Well this is a Roveku, as we await with abated breath his indictment.
A BuzzFlash Reader
I have read Neil Postman's book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, and I strongly recommend it. It explains very clearly why one hundred percent of the American people are not outraged by the mammoth abuses of power and evisceration of the Constitution committed by this wretched neototalitarian administration. These are Postman's words from the forward to the book written in 1985. It would appear with the rise of our country's corporate driven news obsession over utterly meaningless inanities with no bearing on people's lives like the exploits of J-Lo, Tom Cruise, Survivor, American Idol et al. ad nauseum, Huxley's nightmare vision has been realized, at least for the present.
And so it has come to pass.
The challenge facing us is whether we can break through the corporate media's desire to divert our attention from the felonious crimes being committed by this administration in plain view each and every day and focus our nation's attention on the matters of dire urgency that directly affect our lives and our individual futures. Make no mistake, the very survival of our democracy and constitution depends on whether we can break through that blanket of hypnosis that has been carefully woven to keep us meek and obedient and focused on trivialities as our basic human rights are being taken one by one by an administration bent on creating nothing less than a full blown American dictatorship.
Subject: Our Mismanaged National Security
George Bush and The Republican Party have mismanaged OUR National Security through The Folly of Iraq. They have squandered the lives of over 2,400 American heroes, spent 250 Billion Dollars ( and counting), created an Iraq that is more unstable and more brutal, inspired the enemy, left our borders unprotected, our ports vulnerable, and outed a CIA operative who was watching rogue nations like Iran in their acquisition of raw materials to build WMDs.
On September 11th, 2001, 3 things happened. First we were attacked by some radical mad man whose philosophical disagreements with the United States were so psychotic that he orchestrated the brutal murders of 3,000 (+) civilians. Second, not all of those murdered that day were American citizens and as a result the world grieved with us and supported our efforts to bring justice. Third, on that day we were truly a nation united, as all those faded bumper stickers say, "United We Stand."
George Bush promised to capture or kill those that attacked us that day. Nearly all of us supported the President that day. His words represented all of us.
Then things changed. The President lost interest in our known enemy and he told us so, "I don’t think about him very much." The President and his staff began a concerted effort to morph the tragedy of 9/11 and those responsible into reasons to invade Iraq. Suddenly Osama became Saddam. George Bush fear-mongered his way to a re-election victory. Anyone who disagreed was victimized and in some cases, such as Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent was outed, all to win an election. There was such an urgency with an election looming that we sent our soldiers off to war ill equipped with little body armor and unarmored Humvees. The unity we felt as a nation was squandered and the support from the world community was wasted as we turned away from a philosophy of American ideals and instead were misled into the Folly of Iraq, GITMO, Abu Ghraib, and legalized torture. The chance to turn adversity into opportunity was lost.
We are learning more each day as to just how much George Bush and the Republican Party have failed us. The recent revelations of the NSA domestic spying program should more than anything lead us to question our leaders as to how miserably they failed to protect us if their first reaction was to begin an illegal program of tracking all of our phone calls. Do they know that their failures run so deep that their only answer is not to track the known suspects but that they need to track all of us because they simply don’t know who the bad guys are any more? Therefore by definition we all become suspects? Those are not the policies of a democracy.
Why, one might ask, would we NOT have made tangible efforts to secure our ports and our borders and debated sensible immigration policy changes in the immediate aftermath of 9/11? What fraction of OUR money that has been wasted in the Folly of Iraq would it have taken to implement measures that would have in fact made us safer? How many of the lives lost would have been spared if we had chosen to simply pursue those that attacked us that day? Did the mismanagement of our National Security result in the life of Osama Bin Laden being spared, only to live another day to plot future attacks?
One can only imagine what we may have been able to do if our resources weren’t wasted and if our leadership did not exploit our fears for personal political gain. The people of Darfur may have been given hope, and our opportunity to build upon the world support from the tragedy would have not been wasted. We may have had a culture of trust in each other. "United We Stand" could have led us into new and wonderful directions in Washington. And what if that "Mission Accomplished" banner was the moment the President announced the capture of Osama Bin Laden?
Come November, I truly hope the "We Will Never Forget" bumper stickers find a renewed purpose.
We need to bring good judgment and common sense back to Washington.
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