May 18, 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: More Anti-Republican Than Pro-Democrat
In your headline link to the Washington Post article on record-low GOP approval ratings, you editorialized that, regardless of the GOP's unpopularity, "Dems need to be careful - the mood is still far more anti-Republican than pro-Democrat."
ABC/Washington Post poll: People hate Bush. They're not loving the Republicans in Congress too much either. But Dems need to be careful - the mood is still far more anti-Republican than pro-Democrat. 5/17
True--but the reason for that, of course, is that the Democrats have resolutely refused to clarify and push for a platform that anyone could be "pro-Democrat" about. To date, their most dramatic appeal is that they represent the only plausible escape for this nation from the cold, slimy grip of the Republican Party. But escape to what? We have no idea.
It seems to me that we have no idea what the Democratic Party stands for because they continue to triangulate, waffle, and aim for the middle rather than standing up on their hind legs and offering a vision--so much so that I've heard suspicions from more than one quarter that the Dems are actually "in on" a power grab of historic proportions, in which Party labels are a mere distraction.
In that sense, then, it would seem that throwing caution to the winds might be the better plan.
One caution they WOULD do well to observe, of course, is the avoidance of triumphant gloating over their upcoming victory in November--I've read a fair amount to this effect, with the media helping out by using terms such as "seize power" in describing the Democrats' possible gains in the midterms. I'd bet that if you could get right down to it, a major cause for the decline in the Republicans' fortunes is that very triumphalism. We're a country that likes at least the appearance of good sportsmanship and values that supersede party and politics--and the Republicans have been like a fighter who wins a bout with a low blow that never gets called, and then brags about it.
The Democrats need a clear message, and a serious, determined, relentless approach to conveying that message. Trumpeting the impending triumph of a non-agenda won't achieve either end, and will damage the public perception of both.
Subject: Choice Point
Having had an encounter with choice point a short time ago, I think that someone should run a background check on George W. Bush & Dick Cheney!! I would like to see the outcome. Of course, the records have been cleansed or expunged completely.
A BuzzFlash Reader
I have been watching bush on TV talking about signing this big tax relief bill he is signing today. He says our economy is the envy of the world. Don't we have the largest deficit in the history of this country? Didn't bush come into office with the largest surplus in history? As for the envy of the world, hasn't bush borrowed more money from other countries including China than all the presidents we have had put together? Just asking.
Matt A. in Miami FL
Subject: 2008 Elections
What if the reason that THEY are collecting phone records and getting people angry about immigration is so that THEY can eliminate thousands to millions of latino votes by claiming that those latinos are illegal?
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Kind of like the purging of African-American "felons" in Florida in 2000, you mean?]
Subject: Internet Neutrality
In your editorial of May 17, you indicate that the internet belongs to the USA. The creation of the web was not restricted to the USA and should be brought to the front for any argument for neutrality.
The addresses are preceded with "WWW" for a reason. It stands for "World Wide Web," not USA only.
Just because your king thinks nothing of crapping on international agreements, doesn't mean that you should fall into the same egotistical trap.
Just, perhaps, you should also bring the rest of the international community into the equation.
I am sure that a large number of we Canadians, are behind you 100%.
[BuzzFlash Note: Sorry about our provincialism.]
Subject: Shameless Snow
As a 2 yr breast cancer survivor, I feel I can comment on Tony Snow's "brave" little show. I cried plenty with family and friends and sure, everyone's entitled to feel emotional about cancer when it has struck them and or a loved one. It's damn scary and hits you deep in your being. But by golly Mr. Snow, your first press conference hardly seems the place to have your pity fest, it screamed contrived. It screamed Rove Suggested It, And Be Sure To Wear The Yellow Bracelet.
I'm not only suspicious, I'm annoyed. You'd think they'd realize that to the world, it'd be better to cry those official tears not for oneself but for all those kids who've died and lost limbs for a lie. And isn't he fortunate to have had that excellent health care we all deserve? A BIG THUMBS DOWN TO SNOW.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Net Neutrality and Ostensibly "Liberal" Web Sites
I just checked out "Eschaton" and saw the childish animated anti-net-neutrality add they still feature on their sidebar declaring "Keep the Government's hands off the internet."
I entered their discussion forum to try and alert people there to this issue and was not received well - it’s a weird little in-group on that chat circuit; disturbingly similar to that which used to exist on Horowitz's "FrontPageMagazine" hate-site before their heads all exploded.
I was directed to an earlier post by Atrios that was basically a capitalist disclaimer that profit was its own excuse, and that his acceptance of payment to propagate propaganda did not necessarily reflect his position...yada yada.
It's also interesting that Cingular is listed as a major sponsor or Eschaton - and they are also listed as members of the cartel that produced the anti-net neutrality ad on the group's website.
Hmmmm. I wonder which "lefty" website will be the one popping up on your browsers when cyberspace is fully subdivided between the telecom giants?
Subject: A Good Job
I want to congratulate you for providing true information about the real and false sites about the internet. Your site seems to be the only one that has been aware of this and then written about it. Some of the liberal blogs I enjoy the most seem to have that ad shown, and I must admit that it does slightly change the way I feel about them. So again.. thank for providing true information.
Subject: Gay Rating Schools
Concerned Women For America, under the guise of "protecting Children In School," want to wipe out all mention of gays and deprive all kids (not just theirs) the realities of life. In doing so, they are violating these kids' constitutional right to freedom of information and freedom from oppression. In their zeal to "protect" kids from "selected" topics and facts, they are depriving my kid the freedom of a public education and information that deal with realities and facts, not fiction or protected ignorance. Phyllis Schlafly is right at the top of the list, and she has a son who is gay. What is she thinking?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: New TV Show
There is a new TV show coming to all the news channels. It's called "Fantasy Pentagon."
It opens with a little person pointing at the sky and saying "Da Plane, Da Plane."
The next shot shows him saying "What Plane, What Plane?"
Next, the little person points to a map and says, "WMDs WMDs."
The next shot shows him saying, "What WMDs What WMDs?"
This is a show that has enough material for 50 seasons.
Subject: Mary Cheney
Mary Cheney is on CNN with Wolfie right now. The few conclusions I can make out of her interview are: 1. Her dad has her brainwashed too. 2. She's one of the ignorant 29% that that still support the administration. 3. She's only out there to sell her book. 4. She can't possibly believe the crap she spews on the successes of the Dick and George show. 5. Mommy and Daddy must have dropped her on her head when she was a baby. (more than once)
Subject: Vernacular Incompetence, or Something More?
Anyone hear Bush's speech? Given the fact that he seems to have a genuine "nuc-lar" impediment, I'd say it was about par with the above quote!!
Subject: Iraq Casualties
This morning I checked on the Iraq casualties site to find out that as of this morning there were 2450 deaths of US military in Iraq (I know this number is low as well as misleading, but that is not the point.)
The point is that on today’s front page of the Chicago Tribune (Wed. May 17) they had a story - with pictures - of the fly fishing school they have in Baghdad for our military!
The people in Iraq don’t even have effing running water and electricity and the military is out fishing and having their photos taken holding their “catch” for the front page of the newspaper. I would bet my life that there isn’t a casualty count anywhere in the Tribune.
I am so angry. First I pointed this out to the gentleman who was holding the paper (I won’t buy the Trib). Then, after getting to work, I sent an email to Bruce Dold, the editor of the paper. I hope I’m not the only one who did.
Subject: We Were Going to Put This in Our Lighter Side Section, Until We Realized It's True: "Pentagon launches Guantanamo PR campaign." Who's Being Subcontracted for the Campaign: Lucifer and Associates? 5/17
How is it that our military gets to engage in politics? Here they are trying to influence a public that they're supposed to serve, not bully. Where's the leash on them that's called for in the Constitution? Oh, I forgot. The Constitution's a quaint old document that's no longer operable. Enough of this run amok military. Time to put them back on a leash.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Treating Women as Pre Pregnant
I have been reading BuzzFlash since shortly after the selection and this is the first time you have ever mislabeled a story, IMHO.
As a retired nurse and a long time feminist and grandmother, I was astounded at the commitment to women's overall health reflected in this initiative. It is a cost effective way to address several screaming lapses in women's healthcare to produce better outcomes for women of childbearing age and any children they might conceive.
As I read the story, I got the impression that some sly sister had slipped through a woman friendly policy by packaging it as a pregnancy friendly policy. Read the whole thing, please. There is nothing coercive about it, except forcing physicians to address several real concerns that they otherwise do not.
If this is promoted, we will all have healthier wives, daughters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers...and children!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Save the Internet
This whole deal of 'high level progressive bloggers' giving the net neutrality battle the big ho-hum is deja vu all over again. Remember all the liberals who voted for Nader in 2000? The ones who never believed Bush could get in the White House and even if he did, there was 'no difference' between him and Gore?
There are a lot of intelligent people in the world who are not cut out for leadership. And a lot of people who are good sheep, but not very good followers. Followers evaluate their leaders and make a choice, usually informed, to follow them. Sheep are herded from behind. Most of us are not capable or inclined to lead - but that does not imply that we should not make an effort to improve our followership skills.
"High level" progressive blogs are limited by the skills of their head bloggers. That's what I like about BuzzFlash - I can generally find two or three different takes on a major issue or story, and then link to other sources from those.
Thanks, Buzz! You've allowed me to become a better follower, and even a little bit of a leader, on a number of issues.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Gen. Michael Hayden Hearing
Watching this man on CNN this morning, I began to see him as "Chucky" incarnate! He seems to have no real feeling for constitutional rights and gives the impression no one should dare question anything he or the Bush administration does. Like Chucky, he is scary.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Hands Off
Thanks for the heads-up about Hands Off. Their nifty little animation was quite convincing. If it weren't for your usual dogged pursuit of the truth, I'd have gone for it.
And thanks for the redirect to Save the Internet.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Does Pat Robertson Need Hearing Aids?
Well it seems America's most notorious religious ZealNut, Pat Robertson, is at it again.
Speaking on his daily TV show, the 700 Club, Pat Robertson made the following statement, "If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms.,"
Did this guy actually say "If I heard the lord right"? Does Pat need hearing aids or is heaven having trouble with its telecommunication system again?
Surely the people who watch this charlatan's daily psycho-babble are beginning to hear between the lines and understand that this guy is a class kook who spends every waking moment trying to figure out how to prune their money tree.
It's time for the people who financially support this man to turn off the money faucet and watch this pathetic little specimen dry up and blow away.
I'm pretty sure if God was really in the business of directly communicating with people that would be his/her advice to the 700 Club audience.
Carolyn in Tennessee
Subject: Josh Marshall and "Hands Off the Internet"
My response to today's editorial on BuzzFlash:
I really hope a lot of BuzzFlash readers will pose the question to Mr. Marshall - trying to get the truth out there is hard enough without having our own side working against us!
Subject: Our Nation Changing
Our Nation is about to fundamentally change. To a very, very few people this change is good. These are the globalists who have been working for many years, most recently through both Bushes. However, for virtually every American this change is a complete disaster.
Let's note the changes that the Bush family is currently orchestrating. You, the reader, will feel this impact - you will try to endure this permanent change. And, you are the single object of this change that is almost upon you. Don't be flattered; it's not to benefit you.
First, our ability to manufacture products of any kind is almost gone. This is because the globalists, such as the Bush family, want the USA to embrace least-cost manufacturing and sourcing of products and services. Least-cost means least labor costs. Least labor costs mean low living standards. Our USA living standards are too high for the globalists/Bushes. However, this will change very soon and for many of American citizens this has been changing for the past two decades. Very soon the USA will be among the 2nd tier community. Very soon - as the Bush family wants - our Nation will become a least-cost manufacturing and service location and this will mean that we will look and live like those workers in India, Mexico, and Indonesia.
Second, what is allowing the Bush family to succeed is the fundamental change in our culture - to be part of the global community. Globalists like the Bushes believe that it would be best if the USA became more like the 3rd world. Their motivation is entirely financial: least-cost labor provides maximum profit for the companies they and their globalist friends control. In this regard and because of Mexican proximity, Mexico has become the primary Bush family ally. The recent immigration policy is a Bush success that will enable the USA to quickly move into the 2nd tier community. Further, in another few years their ultimate goal will have been realized: to make the USA a least-cost producer as a 3rd world community member.
Oh, there are other examples, but the two examples above are the most obvious and understandable. These two examples are the engine used by the globalists to change our Nation into a low wage manufacturing and service center, which is good for them as owners because they benefit from cheaper labor costs.
Is this rapid decay of our Nation into a least-cost labor nation with far lower living standards irreversible?
The Bush family and the other USA globalists have almost succeeded.
Here is how the USA can remain a prosperous self-sufficient nation. And, interestingly - it's really very simple.
First, we need a leader who is focused entirely upon this issue and will fight for all of us to pull our Nation back from this almost inevitable slide. This leader must be angry and mentally strong. He will have only a few people in his control to work quickly to save every one of us American citizens. He must lead by mandate and sheer strength.
Truthfully, this leader has only two primary objectives. First, all goods and services imported into our Nation must be tariffed to such a large extent that our remaining manufacturers and entrepreneurs will see a profit in re-hiring our aging (and our men are quickly aging) skilled machinists, manufacturing engineers and cadre of mechanical and electrical engineers. In other words, the USA must be focused on returning to the manufacturing roots that gave us our high standard of living.
Second, and to be done at the same time, our borders must be absolutely closed and by any means including a physical barrier. We can later determine what to do with the illegal aliens that have criminally entered our Nation.
Are there any detriments to our Nation in such a leader's agenda? Not a single one.
Subject: BuzzFlash Right To Confront Top Liberal Bloggers Running Bogus Ads
I think you guys are absolutely write to point out that some of the top liberal bloggers, many of whom inform the talking points of the entire liberal blogosphere, Air America and beyond every day, are running adds that conflict with their editorial stance on the same issue: specially when it comes to net neutrality.
Net neutrality is something so utterly important, and so at the core of what these blogs focus on in exposing the critical faults of major media, that it is surely by some degree of hubris that theses bloggers have responded to your articles and direct emails on the subject -- with distant and detached, blanket rationalizations that defend their ad policies.
It is mysterious, but mostly sad that the big "boys" run deceptive ads ... though not quite as "mysterious" and utterly oxymoronic as the Air America in "my market" running lots of ads by The National Guard and airing CBS f'ing "News" at the hour.
What's up with that?
My biggest concern with major bloggers running these bogus internet ads is that it proves, in an of itself, that they aren't the cutting edge of investigative journalism. Instead they take from it, repackage it, and capitalize on it.
If these sites were truly making those in positions of power uncomfortable, they wouldn't advertise on their site.
The presence of these ads strongly suggests that there are places these blogs won't go, and extents they won't go to.
And you can find this dangerous (in these critical times) hesitation and spirit of caution in the content of these blogs, too -- just compare them to a site like Democracy Now, over the long haul, in terms of many truly discomforting stories they run. A reader of Eschaton, TPM, etc. may not even know about the Church Commission and long history of domestic spying in our country, or the record number of protestors arrested at the RNC convention in DC, or exactly where Venezuela fits into the US economy's desperate dependence on petrodollars. And if they did... would these sites garner such ads, and such prominence in/on the media landscape at this time?
Real journalism is so, so desperately needed in the overly sponsored, and strangled thereby, current media climate -- these blogs *can't* and despite their assurances and dismissals *don't* have it both ways.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Net Neutrality
Why doesn't Google use some of its front page real estate to promote Net Neutrality?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: so what can you do?
all of us were wondering on lunch break today.................. what does a country do if the people in charge of the country are doing things against the law? if they say they are not breaking law it seems there is really nothing anyone can do at that point. it is not like you can call the police. and if the president classifies things that are against the law, the odds of us even knowing are pretty slim. also, now with reporters' phones being tapped, they will be scared to even talk to anyone. so what do you do?
massey and co-workers in south carolina
[BuzzFlash Note: We prod the courts, the congress, and the media - the checks and balances of our democracy. We also try to make the next election one of change.]
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