June 13, 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.
Congratulations on your two Project Censored Awards! I just re-read the Maureen Farrell piece, and thought it was top-notch.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: A Modest Proposal
Time was, addicted New Yorker that I am, when I'd rush to soak up the world's significant effusions through the medium of record, the sainted NEW YORK TIMES. Like many others, I know better now and approach its presentations with the skepticism it rightly deserves - think Judith Miller, the little drummer girl who helped drum us into Iraq; think a warrantless wiretapping story held a year until the TIMES realized it was about to be scooped, ironically by one of its own. Now, my first plunge of the day is into BUZZFLASH. One-sided news and opinion source? Damn right it is, in intelligent recognition of the ongoing attack against democracy and the planet itself by right-wing troglodytes ranging from religious fundamentalists to simply greedy velociraptors, full of teeth and vile intentions. Indeed, with apologies to Jonathan Swift of 18th Century fame, I modestly propose a simple PR Ploy to add to the reputation of our simian smirker from Texas, our very own leader. Instead of displaying that large photograph, tackily framed, of a presumed dead Al-Zarqawi, why not balance the sparkly little flag in Bush's left lapel with a human ear pinned to his right lapel. And if this is too yucky even for our numerous war-lovers and their fellow-travelers, then I propose a miniature plastic ear, one that could be replicated for all the regime's supporters to wear. Being a patriot of the non-flag-referencing sort, I don't intend to copyright this idea and give permission for all to use the concept in any way they see fit....
Right, on, BuzzFlash! Damn the darts, full speed ahead!
Subject: Diebold and elections (again)
For those BuzzFlashers in Texas (and anyone else interested), take a look at some of the reported flaws in Diebold's voting systems. This is serious, folks. How about somebody tracking if these flaws are being addressed or corrected, and if not, let's publicize it and give 'em hell. Let 'em know we KNOW. (Another way to "do something" by becoming educated about specifics and following up on little-known reports most of the public never sees or hears about.) Let's not leave it just to Bev and Brad's Blog. Let's EVERYONE start getting involved!
Diebold's voting system analyzed:
See especially where they discuss serious flaws:
Thanks for posting this, BuzzFlash.
Subject: Letter Sent To WaPo Regarding Their Reporters Rewriting Zarqawi's History That Their Own Stories Recorded in the First Place
By Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus Washington Post Staff Writers Saturday, June 10, 2006; A15
DeYoung and Pincus wrote:
Wrong. It was disclosed ad nauseam; it was just not true. Beginning with President Bush’s October, 2002 speech in Cincinnati, and then Colin Powell’s notorious presentation to the UN in January, 2003, the administration consistently told the tale of Zarqawi spending two months in 2002 in a Baghdad hospital having his leg amputated. This intelligence was used to draw what we were told was a significant connection between Al Qaeda and the regime of Saddam Hussein, and as such was a prime component of the US casus belli. Until May of 2004, anyway, when a widely circulated video showed American journeyman Nick Berg being brutally murdered by a masked, two-legged figure identified to the public as Abu Musab al Zarqawi.
It took the mainstream news outlets about a month to caress the administration’s embarrassment out of this inconsistency. In late June, 2004 it was widely reported that captured Al Qaeda personnel had in April, 2004 told their German interrogators that Zarqawi’s leg had not, in fact, been amputated; but merely treated. It seems strangely convenient that one month after the surprise on the Berg video it was revealed that the surprise had been uncovered by western intelligence one month prior to the actual surprise. You’d almost think that somebody was doing something right after all!
And now we are told by the president that Zarqawi is dead, and that "distinctive scars" (minus one leg-stump, I suppose) have been used to positively identify his corpse. The same reporters that first told us of the fictional amputation; its significance to an Iraq/9-11 connection; and its eventual disputation by German intelligence now pretend (see quote above) as if that entire narrative detour never occurred. Just how deep is the Memory Hole over at the Washington Post?
Subject: An Idea
Did you get as bombarded as I recently by appeals from various political organizations for "even if it's only $25"? It may be only a pittance to them, but a pittance doled out to everyone who asks for it can turn quickly into something you can't afford, unless you exercise discretion. But how do you decide which cause is more worthy of your hard earned dollars than another?
Except for the appeal from the DCCC, (that one was fun...bet their phone bank was really abuzz after that call...and I didn't even swear!) I was hard pressed to decide...say yes to NOW and other pro-choice groups? What about the Human Rights Campaign? Environmental groups fighting the administration's giveaway of my back yard (national forest) to loggers? Worse still is the guilt of not being able to send them all "only $25", and being tempted to send it anyway and hope you can figure out how to make it up later. And then you think of BuzzFlash, or Alternet, or DailyKos, and all the great sites we read each day...and you want to send something there, too...they are, after all, our progressive media and we can't beat the Bushistas without them.
I decided we need a Plan B to start funneling contributions year-round to the progressive media and organizations. And I think we utilize and support progressive small businesses to make that happen. I also think it's a win-win situation.
George Soros probably spends my yearly income on a quiet night on the town. But I do own a small business. I'm a graphic designer, copywriter, and full-color printer. I have a website. People need my services, but sometimes it's tough to be found among a zillion websites.
Here's the deal. I propose we start the Progressive/Liberal Alliance of Netroots Businesses (PLAN B). The only requirements for membership are that you be a progressive business person, have a website, and agree to make a donation to the organization of the purchaser's choice in both your names when someone buys something from your site. (We can develop a list of suggested organizations to streamline the process -- or whatever members decide.)
Progressives can buy the stuff they need from people who share their general political philosophy and help finance our cash-strapped media and organizations.
Let's say Xena needs business cards. She goes to the Plan B website and sees my listing that indicates I will donate $20 of every hundred she spends to the progressive organization of her choice. She orders $100 worth of business cards and designates BuzzFlash. When I receive her order and payment through PayPal, I immediately send BuzzFlash $20 as a donation from the purchaser and my business.
I get a sale from someone who shares my "values", she gets a great product and the satisfaction of making a contribution to her favorite news site, and Buzz gets a quick "just $20", hopefully from multiple sources.
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this idea, especially from other small business owners.
Donna J. Wade
Subject: Help Raise the Minimum Wage in Colorado!!
Dear Fellow Progressives,
Colorado Progressive Coalition is playing a key role in the campaign to raise Colorado's minimum wage.
We have begun a 100,000 signature petition drive to place the minimum wage increase on Colorado's November ballot. We only have until early August - about six more weeks - to collect all signatures and CPC has committed the largest number of signatures of any group to make this happen.
We need you to join us in this important effort. Help us raise wages for Colorado's lowest paid workers.... Help us inspire more people to vote this November.... Help us collect signatures in your community to allow Colorado voters to raise the minimum wage!
This campaign will raise Colorado's minimum wage to $6.85 per hour. The extra $1.70 per hour over the current minimum wage will help Colorado's lowest wage workers earn up to an additional $3,500 per year to pay the bills, support local businesses, and improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.
Sign up today to raise Colorado's minimum wage!
(And if you happen to know a bunch of other socially responsible political types, please post or pass on our information.)
With Warm Regards,
Subject: New World Order
There have been many pieces to a puzzle that have been flying around. Far too many to list; however, I will name a few: denying Net Neutrality, more and more money allotted to the war in Iraq, the almost guaranteed bombing of Iran, the stolen presidency of 2004, and all of it together, adds up to THE NEW WORLD ORDER BY AND FOR BUSH AND BLAIR! The United States and Britain.
When do we start talking seriously about this?
When we start really looking at some of these problems, like the "immigration bill," it seems that it is too much of a coincidence that Bush will need an extended military force to further fight his battles! Why not increase the number of illegal by offering amnesty to possibly 15 million Mexicans and others south of our border?
We are in unprecedented danger. Bush and his bunch have shredded the Constitution, stacked the Supreme Court, the consigliere Gonzales has determined anything Bush wants to do is legal!
So I say, "Good morning America...how the F*** are you?" and ask "Where is my country?"
I am not near as smart as some of the people out there. It just seems to me that if it looks like a Duck, sounds like a Duck and walks like a Duck, it's most likely a Duck!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Who Are Carville and Greenberg To Tell Us What To Think?
Tragically, it appears, almost no one who stays in or connected with "The Beltway" can see as clearly those of us who are NOT there and don't get our news from the MSM.
Mr. Carville, as have many others before him, is using his 1990's reputation and connection with the beltway as the basis for believing whatever he now says is "The Word" from the Oracle.
I once admired his down-to-earth sense and what he could accomplish, but from here it sounds like he's made the transition to whoredom, paid to promote ideas rooted in Washington's persistent fog-clouded view.
WE, as critically thinking people, don't need anyone like Carville or Greenberg who are paid to tell us what to think; we only have to look at what criminal actions the present administration has done in our names (with the Democrats' enabling), while dividing us along political, regional, ethnic and religious lines on every issue.
The late Al Zarqawi may have learned those divisive methods from our present-day "leaders"; unfortunately for him, and good for us, he didn't have the military might to carry out his warped and divisive missions forever, as our present "leaders" have.
Our only rational conclusion can be: we need to support the clear and independent thinkers who don't follow any party line, who have the ability to speak the truth to us while acting consistently with those truths.
We can see one truth very clearly from here: OUR Country is on the wrong path, and those who will tell the truth and act in moral and honest ways are the only ones who can help us change that!
Subject: Message to James Carville
Why does he still love her??? Sorry but you got that backwards. Should be why does she still love him? It is obvious. He becomes more like her every day. So the real question is, WHY DO DEMOCRATS STILL PAY ANY ATTENTION TO WHAT JC SAYS?
Edith M. Conrad
Subject: Matt Lauer
I have to object to your making Matt Lauer "Hypocrite of the Week." I think he pushed back on Coulter and exposed her for the lying, exploitive media whore she is.
And I believe there was a large dose of irony in his closing statement that it's "always fun" to talk to her.
The Today Show has a huge audience. Hopefully her approval rating went down.
A BuzzFlash Reader
I just found out that voter registration from abroad is HANDLED BY DOD!!!!!
I asked democratsabroad and was told that "in the olden days, only military personnel could vote from abroad, therefore..."
The universe forbid! that I trust my records to rummy, but I don´t want to explain to a Colorado Elections Commission employee that there is a world outside the US either. I may not exist by the time the primaries roll around...
M. L. Coombs
Subject: American Wedgie
The Bush "base" has been thrown their red meat to get them to turn their fear of terrorists and hurricanes to fear of gays and immigrants for the upcoming elections. They will probably march dutifully to the polls to assuage that fear, bowing their heads in thanks for George W. Bush as their jobs, their medical insurance, and their gas-guzzling SUV's get wedged further up their butts, soon to disappear. They will sing his praises, and in a locker-room somewhere a frat-boy will giggle.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The "Head on a Pike" Image
From today's BuzzFlash mailing...
Much as I dislike Bush and his filthy war, this sort of thing is not unique to his administration.
I am old enough to remember the capture and murder of Che Guevara in Bolivia in 1967 when he was wounded and captured by the Bolivian military forces and then murdered by a CIA man in attendance. Same thing, wholly different administration (LBJ's, in fact). Same sort of picture, same sort of head on a pike psychology (Johnson went about braying about hanging coonskins on the wall, I think), same sort of demoralization attempt. It worked in Bolivia because Guevara's was a tiny movement with little popular support. I doubt the same thing will happen in Iraq.
Subject: Asymmetric Reasoning
Let me see if I have this straight:
Frustrated and desperate U.S. warriors dropped not one but two 500 lb. bombs on a single individual, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, in order to kill him. More or less simultaneously, three frustrated and desperate Islamic inmates held incommunicado for years at Guantanamo killed themselves by hanging from nooses constructed from their own underwear. And, THE U.S. MILITARY COMPLAINS TO THE REST OF THE WORLD THAT THE LATTER WAS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF “ASYMMETRIC WARFARE”!
Come on, America, what’s wrong with this picture?
It's my opinion that Zarqawi never was. He's always been a rabbit in the hat pulled out now with Haditha; a slight of hand practice of this administration. A personification of distraction.
How many 500 pound bombs will drop until the lies fragment? The knowledge is being tethered and scoundrels, like rats, are desperately gnawing for an escape; insulting every common sense thought.
We will be in a police state, if we are not already to protect an elite racketeering.
We should be very worried.
Subject: Israel and the "beach Bombing."
Funny, isn't it? Israel cries for cease fires. They cry for peace. They cry for understanding.
Then when they finally get "something," like a cease fire with HAMAS for a solid and promising amount of time they take it upon themselves to kill innocent families enjoying a picnic on a beach. Way to go Israel! Yay, team! That's the way to show the world how serious you really are about peace. What's next? Perhaps you can drop a small nuke in Palestine... After all, I assume you put that huge wall around them to limit the radioactive fallout from the bomb you intend to drop on those that you consider less than human, right? Now you just need an excuse.
What Israel did is disgusting. It is in fact far more contemptible than any suicide bomber because what Israel did was a government/military sanctioned pre-emptive attack on beach sand and children. I don't get it. What's worse is that Israel has the whole world on edge right now and even I am afraid to put my name to this letter for fear of being accused of "Jew Bashing." (Someone said that's what I'm doing, but I'm REALLY not!) I am bashing "The STATE of Israel." So too should more of us. They deserve it for this horrible act.
Finally, for those that accuse people like me of being an anti semite... Please do me a favour and look up what a "semite" is and what nations it encompasses it encompasses. I haven't got enough air in my lungs or time in my life to hate anyone. I just want to be able to tell it like it is without being insulted by anyone or without being frightened of repercussions for speaking my mind.
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Horrible act, yes. Israel has expressed regret at the death of "innocents" and now is suggesting it may have been a terrorist act: 'Beach blast may be terror attack' (gulfnews.com) or the result of a Palestinian-placed mine Israel: Palestinian explosives caused beach deaths (CNN). Hard to know.]
Subject: Ann "Mad Dog" Coulter
I've said for many years now, that with ass holes like Coulter (Sean Hannity, O'Reilly, Savage-Wiener, Limbaugh) there is no such thing as "civil discourse." You have to directly attack these people after stupid or disgusting statements they often make. For instance, has Coulter ever been married? If not, why not (I have my own thoughts on this). These people are evil, nasty and we must quit trying to talk civil and turn the other cheek when dealing with them. All Liberal/Progressives must blast these ass holes immediately whenever they make these outrageous statements. If we have to have our "own" nasties to rebut so be it, but we must start doing it now.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: "Don't Let the Door Hit You..."
This is the heading of an article on the Opinion page...St. Louis Post Dispatch, 6/11/06. It is maybe the best synopsis of the entire DeLay reign and bring down!
... The last paragraph about this "great man" was: "In the end, Tom DeLay, the former pest exterminator from Houston, himself became a human cockroach, scuttling under the door when the lights were turned on! Good riddance!"
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: A Killing the NRA Would Defend
Friday of this week, a 70 year old man, quite well to do, in an upscale part of our city...apparently....took his gun and killed both himself and his estranged wife. Friday morning, the police found them both dead, he 70 and she 64. The only particulars that have been published so far, is that he had declared himself the "Mayor" of a certain street, very close to my son in the city...and had gotten to the point where he was on someone's bad side all the time...barking orders to everyone...about their behavior or about the way he wanted things to be done in his city...where he was MAYOR. This behavior had sent his wife of many, many years packing...he had been kicked out of a business in the neighborhood very close to us, and told to never come back.
He was, obviously, mentally unbalanced to such a degree that he was alone. The wife came back to help him out this past week because he had broken a foot (likely kicking someone's car...or worse)...and Friday they were both found dead. From the information in interviewing neighbors...the man was a mental case...very much! This is something that happens every day...and no one ever thinks that people who have mental problems should be checked before owning a gun.
My grandson grew up 2 blocks from him...my family lives two blocks from him, and have since they married....It could very easily have been any child he got mad at! Would Ted Nugent take care of checking all these people before they were granted a permit? I have a question...is he a hunter...living in a town of almost 4 hundred thousand? I grew up in a tiny town...where every farmer and father had a rifle for hunting...I don't remember this happening...so I have always been tolerant of HUNTING RIFLE OWNERS! And that is where my tolerance for guns ends! It will keep happening so long as the Ted Nugents of the world...glorify guns.
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: Hate to distract you but this is about mad cow
i wrote the reporter about my uncle dying of mad cow and the other case i know about here in arizona, but i am sure i will never hear back. who cares if a few hundred die each year? after all bush cut the funding for the fda as one of his first actions as prez.
just sue oprah since she was the one who said she might not eat beef again. well, i have not eaten beef for years. but please do not tell the people that there is any risk by eating beef for god's sake. got to protect more of bush's buddies. oil and gas and beef. remember when he said he ate beef all the time-oh, could we be so lucky? guess not, he is already mad. read the Mad Cowboy the book written by the former texas cattle rancher who is now a vegetarian.
Subject: Dead Muslims Don’t Count
Just when you think you've heard everything, you hear something so stupid and self-serving that you wonder if the person speaking can hear what they’re saying. Is there some kind of disconnect between their mouth and their ears?
Colleen Graffy, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy, told the BBC World Service the suicides of 3 prisoners at Guantanamo were a "good PR move to draw attention." Well at least it’s a ploy they won’t be able to do more than once, isn't it Ms. Graffy-Moron? It couldn’t have anything to do with despair at being locked up for years with no charges and no trial? That would have nothing to do with a person committing suicide, huh? Then you read that Graffy coordinates efforts with Karen Hughes and that tells you all you need to know about this pinhead.
The commander of Guantanamo, Navy Rear Admiral Harry Harris, says that the suicides were an attempt to spark international outrage against the US. “I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us.” Okay Admiral, but “scuse” me if I wonder if it was a desperate act of asymmetric warfare against folks who locked them up and pretty much threw the key away. Like some kind of a tropical gulag.
That’s not to say these were not bad guys. Who knows, to quote our arrogantly disconnected Secretary of Defense. The question then must be, if they were bad guys why not bring them to trial? Isn’t the whole purpose of courts and trials to argue guilt or innocence?
There is one thing you can pretty much count on if you give it any thought. If the people at Guantanamo did not hate the US and want to do us harm before they were incarcerated they surely do now. If the families of these three dead men did not hate us before, they surely do now. Our incompetent government just can’t seem to help adding to the number of the people in the world who hate us and want to do us harm. Good work folks. At least the people who work in the munitions factories can count on job security.
Many perils at Guantánamo - for Bush, too (csmonitor)
Marjorie L. Swanson
Dear BuzzFlash, Elliot Cohen, and Maureen Farrell,
Congratulations on your Project Censored award! Peter Phillips, the Director of the program, oversees 250 students and volunteers who pore over 700 stories a year. Over 100 volunteers read and rate the stories, from which the top 25 are chosen. Then a panel of national judges including luminaries like Cynthia McKinney, Mark Crispin Miller, Norman Solomon and Michael Parenti choose the winners.
I'm looking forward to the award ceremony this year, Buzz, so that hopefully I can meet you, Maureen and Elliot and thank you personally for the great work you have done for the past six years (Sonoma State is just a few miles from my town).
Buzzflash has truly been a beacon of hope in the long, dark nightmare of the Bush misadministration, and you've been a consistent leader in using the internet as a tool to take back our country.
Congratulations to all of you, and thank you for your wonderful work.
elaine in petaluma
Subject: Ann Coulter
That crackpot, Ann Coulter, may be wrong, but she has the right to sing her song. I think she is a vicious nut job without a soul. But the more she talks, the more damage she will do to herself and Bush. Let her keep talking about how horrible liberals are and how great Bush is. All she is doing is hurting support for Bush. Give her enough rope and she'll hang herself and, hopefully, Bush, too.
It just drives me up the wall that they are saying that the suicides at Guantanamo are "asymmetrical acts of war". These guys have been detained for years, not allowed to speak to anyone except those who question and torture them and they call it asymmetrical! I would say that the prisoners certainly felt warred upon, and perhaps they have been driven insane by the methods used to get the alleged information out of them. I hope they rest in peace and I hope the prison is razed to the ground and the earth restored.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject:"Living With War" (A BuzzFlash Premium)
I finally had the time to buy Neil Young's latest CD "Living with War." It is classic and vintage Neil Young, and quite honestly, takes me back in time to the 60s, Woodstock, and my hippie/flower child days.
All weekend long, the tunes of "After the Garden" and "Let's Impeach the President" have been running through my mind.
I would love to see a groundswell of grassroots support, akin to the 60s demonstrations against Vietnam, take root and people taking to the streets.
However, it doesn't seem likely to happen because Bush's alleged "war" isn't encompassing all "draft" age young people. I'm not an advocate of doing this, but, I think it's safe to say that if our younger generations were being subjected to a draft, the people would be spurred into hitting the streets and protesting against this useless, chickenhawk administration.
You can bet that as soon as the young "college republicans" were subject to having a fight in a war they profess to support, but don't have the guts to fight in, it would be a different story.
Instead, our "volunteer military" is having to shoulder all the stress, emotional and psychological damage, and premature deaths for something that we still haven't gotten a straight answer for from Bush et al.
John Conyers had it right when he proposed the draft be reinstituted. I'm sure this unlawful debacle would have been over very quickly. For some reason, I just can't picture Jenna or Barbara making it through any type of military basic training.
Subject: Mary Cheney Getting Her Just Dues
OH BuzzFlash, I so enjoyed your headline: Mary Cheney, the Lesbian Who Betrays Lesbians and Gays, Bombs with Her Book. Only 6,000 Sold, and They Were Probably All Bought by Halliburton Employees and the Saudi Embassy.
Mary Cheney let her Rosa Parks moment slip right through her fingers then expects gays and lesbians to buy her book? Obviously she must have because what self-respecting, gay hating, republican religious zealot would spend their money on the abomination that is Mary Cheney?
Usually I would feel compassion for someone like Mary Cheney who is obviously a self-loathing lesbian, but not in this circumstance. I see her as a woman who had a once in a lifetime opportunity to positively affect social change for gays and lesbians and squandered it on political self-righteousness.
Mary is not only a pariah in the conservative straight world she has become a pariah in all of the gay world.
I hope her money and her connections are something she can cuddle up to in her declining years because by then that's all she'll have left.
Carolyn in Tennessee
Subject: Suicidal Hanging as an Act of War?
I thought it pretty strange that El Comandante of Guantanamo says the three inmates hanging themselves is an act of war against the USA. I'll have to admit killing yourself is less detrimental to the enemy. I got news for this guy. The USA and his excellency do not need help making the USA look bad, but I think being locked up without a lawyer, charges or any contact with your family for years could make a person suicidal.
Speak up or they assume you agree!!! ABB
Subject: Media Distortion: Attack the Source, for God's Sake!
An Open Letter to the Public: Taking Back Our Media
We in this country are faced with many important, divisive issues. Our national direction should ideally be thought out and discussed with intelligence, honesty, and real substance. Unfortunately, there is an all-powerful, largely hidden force which not only prevents this, but actively fosters the opposite.
In the last quarter century honest public information and, it follows, opinion and ultimately direction, have been subverted.
In George Orwell's classic novel "1984", a government writer of Newspeak (a language developed to keep people happy and docile) states, "Don't you see that the whole aim...is to narrow the range of thought?" "The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconscious."
From programs with Newspeak headings such as Hands Off the Internet, Healthy Forest Initiative, Americans for Tax Reform, Project on Social Security Choice, Right to Work, and others (whose titles falsely imply concern for public interests) to relentless attack of opposition to outright lies and deception, it can seem impossible to make informed decisions on matters.
Only through self-motivation can we begin to inform ourselves; the question is, at what point do we get interested or angry enough to want to learn? Bill Moyers, a long-time author and commentator respected for his efforts to present truthful, balanced insight, recently said: "That's the way the big guys want to keep it -- the giant media companies, the lobbyists, the politicians. They know where they want to take us; they just don't want us to know it until we get there and it's too late for us to do anything about it."
If we do not recognize the truth in this, we are deceived, disinterested, or gullible.
Recognize the conservative attack press for what it really is. Without exposure, public discourse and opinion remain within a narrowly-defined scope, the boundaries of which are set by powerful, self-serving interests in our culture. As David Domke correctly writes, "Democracy is a fiction if a free press functions like one beholden to elites, because to dominate news discourse is to control public opinion". As Moyers states, "One reason we get such pale and unquestioning journalism in America is that skepticism and irreverence toward the prerogatives of power and privilege are exactly what corporate media moguls don't want from the journalists who work for them."
Understand the machine for what it is; the talk-radio; the television networks; the newspapers who are owned by the all-powerful media moguls whose only truths in life are greater profits, power, and control.
Demystify the myths of "balanced," "unbiased," and "liberal media." From Moyers again: "What we have instead is a very narrow range of political debate usually between partisans of two parties both deeply corrupted by their complicity with the media and their dependence on big money."
For an excellent overview of the problem, I recommend Bill Moyers' keynote speech, "He's Back: Moyers, not Tomlinson" dated May 26 on www.PBS.org/ombudsman. Read such authors as Bill Moyers (Moyers on America); David Brock (Blinded by the Right, The Republican Noise Machine); David Domke (God Willing?); Barbara Ehrenreich (The Snarling Citizen); Al Franken (Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, The Truth); it is all there. These are liberal-to-moderate authors, to be sure, but that is the nature of the struggle; we will not get this information from conservatives. It is they, after all, who methodically constructed and energized the apparatus.
Learn how the machine came about; what its goals are; the forces (political, religious, corporate) behind its creation;the absolute subservience of our political system to its will.
Learn to recognize how we have been misled, deceived, and manipulated.
There is no clearer method of identifying the smear and deception for what it is; of acquiring the tools so direly needed to cut through the propaganda; to begin again to think clearly.
We need a simple tutorial, a primer for learning to think again; one that teaches, from the beginning, the ABC's of separating fact from fiction, truth from lies. One so simply recognizable as the elementary-school lessons of "See Spot Run! Run, Spot, Run!" This course can be found in the books.
When we see the blueprints, history, and goals of the attack structure, we will learn, and easily. This exposure will let us see, once and for all, the propagation of fear and intimidation that has driven us to where we find ourselves today.
I compare this to the mythological Hydra; slashing at the serpents (discussing issues of their choosing and on their terms) is futile; the head itself must be cut off.
This enlightening will change the very nature of national debate. It will cut through the fog of deception and corruption like a powerful searchlight. It is the discourse without which all other issues are merely window dressing.
The problem is the confluence of unbridled capitalism, self-righteous demagoguery, and pursuit of unlimited power by those at the top.
The goal is one nation under obedience, with liberty and justice for a few.
The means of achievement are appeasement, placation, and distraction of the masses, through control of the media.
The solution is self-education and involvement.
The time is not later. It will be too late.
The time is now!
Bill Moyers' keynote speech "He"s Back: Moyers, not Tomlinson" (www.PBS.org/ombudsman)
"A Tangled Web" (transcript of June 2 PBS-Now program (www.PBS.org/now) ( 2 segments of note here: the pending privatization of the Internet, and spying by the FBI on citizens' library records)
David Brock (Blinded by the Right; The Republican Noise Machine)...from an ex-conservative attack journalist (a history of the cons' and neocons' ascension; the building of the machine; the construction of "news" from think tanks to rumor-mill magazines and talk-radio to "hot-button national news" exposure")
David Domke (God Willing?)...contains scientific-method analysis (with charts and graphs as well) documenting media endorsement of Republican and conservative propaganda, and the hyping of fear to maintain blind obedience
Barbara Ehrenreich (The Snarling Citizen, Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch)
Al Franken (Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, The Truth)...insight into talk-radio pundits and the smear campaigns they conduct
also of note: www.savetheinternet.com; www.mediamatters.com; www.talkleft.com; www.unity08.com; www.pbs.org/newshour/video (June 1: unity08)
Subject: Bush Crimes
Dreams of Justice (J'Accuse)
I assert that war without cause is murder. Further, I understand that according to US Code, murder complicated by torture is not punishable by imprisonment, but only by the death penalty.
Title 18, section 1001 makes it a felony to lie to Congress.
Abolishing any part of the Bill of Rights or any treaty obligation by executive fiat is treason. Treaty obligations are as much the law of the land as the Bill of Rights, notably the Geneva Conventions. Laws are enacted by the full Congress of all the states acting in concert, not by any one individual.
I propose a citizen's arrest be executed on the entire administration, including the current Attorney General, holding them personally responsible for their conduct; that they be held according to their own devices, incommunicado, without bond, as enemy combatants, at Guantanamo Bay, and held responsible for each death at the WTC, in Iraq, and wherever else their policies have caused the loss of human life. While our laws exempt officeholders from some penalties stemming from acts of war, deaths resulting from fraud and deceit cannot be tolerated.
I will overlook, for now, violation of the Christian Ideals these miscreants so ardently espouse.
If the Senate is to remain a viable law-making entity, they have no choice but to enforce the laws. Shirking their responsibility is, itself, a crime.
Although I believe any cursory investigation would find them complicit in the Enron and Halliburton scandals involving theft of billions from the American People, these are merely monetary crimes, to be prosecuted after charges of murder, torture, and treason have been adjudicated upon.
The testimony of firefighters present in the WTC on 9/11 must also be brought into public view to determine the veracity of their reports of pre-positioned explosives in the buildings. Chemical tests on the WTC debris should reveal explosive residue.
Any course of action exempting this administration from their violations of law is injurious, perhaps fatally so, to the republic. If their example is followed as a successful paradigm, we will become a nation of private armies and privatized resources-- a collection of feudal fiefdoms that is unable to act as an integral unit. It will mean the end of this country as a viable entity in international affairs, the end of the United States as a democratic nation. Two hundred years of progress toward humanity's highest ideals cannot be allowed to be stolen by a pack of murderers intent only on personal financial gain. Crisis, conflict and catastrophe cannot be allowed to continue as a profit-making proposition.
Not Impeachment, but Indictment.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: What To Do?
Everyday I sit for hours on my computer reading the news on BuzzFlash and many other antiBush websites and I swear I am about ready to scream, to lose my mind.
I am from the first generation to grow up with the threat of a nuclear war hanging over my head. I remember, as a child, practicing duck-and-cover in school. I remember, as a child, being walked in lines into the hall and being made to sit down in a crouch to protect ourselves from nuclear weapons.
I remember growing up when bomb shelters were big news and families all over were building them in the hope of surviving a nuclear war.
Often, I have asked people older than I - What was it like to live in a world without nuclear weapons?
But in my heart I have ALWAYS felt that I would die in a nuclear war. Yet, when the Cold War ended, I foolishly breathed a sigh, saying to myself: Well, kid, you were wrong. Now the threat is over and for the first time in my life, I breathed easily.
But no more! I am more terrified now than I can ever remember being in my entire life. On every website I go on people talk about stopping the creatures running this country but no one seems to have a clue how to do this. The creatures listen to no one, care nothing for public opinion. They care only for their agenda, to bring about Armageddon and destroy the world in the name of their idiotic ideas of a religion, to impoverish us all, to make all of us into slaves and residents of concentration camps. They are worse than the WORST of the fundamentalists.
And though I do everything I can think of - writing letters, demonstrating, donating, picketing - it does no good. Before the war started there were 12 MILLION of us on the streets of the world's cities. And it did no good.
People talk about the Democrats winning the next election, all the time forgetting that the GOP controls the voting machines. So, what good will it do to vote?
And always I ask, what can we do? How do we stop these creatures? Sometimes people talk about "revolution." And I ask, HOW? WHERE? But no one ever has an answer.
I am one small very insignificant unimportant powerless very-far-from-wealthy person who is utterly scared to death and has no idea how to stop them.
So, everyday I wake up and ask, is today the day? When the creatures attack Iran with nuclear weapons, I have no doubt we will learn about it after the fact. And it won't surprise me in the least when someone retaliates with their own nuclear weapons.
And then this very terrified person will die cursing the name of BushCo and their lousy rotten gang straight down to hell - if, that is, such a place exists.
As far as I am concerned, there is NO DIFFERENCE between Hitler and BushCo.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Walter Trout's New CD Full Circle
A great buy for anyone who likes blues and freedom is Walter Trout's newest cd titled Full Circle. This is a collaboration with several big name friends in the blues world.
Track four is my favorite and is a number with Coco Montoya called Who's Listenin' In. A very timely tune which speaks of the government spying on our phone calls.
Support artists who support our freedoms.
This cd is due for release on June 20, 2006.
I'm so sick and tired of repugs changing the name democrats to liberals. Ok, I also know the democrats' leaders are just too nice to say it but I will. From now on I won't say republican. It's "THE CONS" THE CONS, THE CONS THE CONS AND YOU KNOW THERE IS A LOT OF TRUTH TO IT.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Who Is Godless, Ann?
Who is not “Godly” Ann?
Ann Coulter your book called "Godless" is another situation that the Fascists have created that does not exist. The last one was that someone was trying to get rid of Christmas. The liberals are evil, godless, and immoral is your message. This message is wrong since 90% of the country believes in God. That might include all party members Ann. They don't all go to church or believe in organized religion. Fact is only about 25% go every week. Do you? When one sees what religious leaders are up to many members have left the church. They choose democracy over theocracy.
It is the RW warring/hating/bigoted church and the RWers who are "godless" Ann. Did you ever learn in Sunday school "Judge not least ye be judged"? There's a lot of judging go on here Ann. God would be very angry at you. So one might say, Ann, you are the godless creature who uses God for your own political agenda. Your message is...if you don't agree with me you are liberal and godless. Seems to me that liberals are more "godly" Ann. Are you on drugs Ann? You certainly aren't high on God.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: i hope you picked up on this - bush said today the terrorists in iraq "have no message of hope"
uh, has anyone noticed...we have lots of messages of hope...we don't deliver hope. filth and sewage in the streets of iraq, more deaths every year, no security, our reconstruction money has gone to hire contractors to secure places, so we are leaving iraq with less oil production, less infrastructure, less everything. less electricity than when saddam was in charge.
we talk a good game, and we just send death and more death everywhere we go in iraq. do perhaps an article or a message about how bush says the "insurgents" whomever they are - in iraq give no message of hope...funny, how do we give them hope? what about gitmo? what is our message of hope to those poor souls?
Subject: To My Fellow Citizens Of Earth
To my fellow citizens of Earth. We need to stop all this needless violence and killing of our fellow humans for the sake of any god or the greed of a few hundred power hungry ignorant and foolish lazy fat bald men who think they are in control. Peace has no flag, race, sex or religion. It is a one size fits all garment. It doesn't care if you are tall or short and weak or strong.
Peace welcomes all to it's table and the menu is in all languages. Only peace can heal the wounds of war. Only peace can prevent war, not a preemptive strike. Peace allows all people to openly communicate their thoughts and desires, their hopes and dreams among each other and among nations. This goes beyond any and all tribal beliefs and customs. Peace ends the ignorant fear and distrust of each other, it opens the doors of mutual understanding and respect. It allows for the free exchange of ideas. It ends the class system put on nations. Also peace doesn't have a political party a favorite sports team, hair styles or uniforms, no makeup is required.
Peace is a bargain when you compare it to the cost of a war, and no one gets killed too. What a deal, all you have to do is sit down and talk about it and come to a compromise that everyone can work with. All have to give something to the process, no one can put limitations or any restrictions on the process and or the participants of it, except all parties have to stop fighting and killing.
Peace is not a good corporate business deal, because everyone profits the same from it. Everyone comes out a winner. Big global corporations can't have that, they have to be the only ones profiting from it or they wage war to profit off our pain and misery. The Bush administration is like a suicide car bomber except his car is a monster SUV and the bomb is nuclear, yes a 2000 pound nuclear bomb will fit in a Navigator or an Escalade and still leave room for the wife and the twins.
The nation's energy policy was written by the ones who own the oil and now control over 70% of the world's oil supply with the help of our military forces. We need to charge them a million dollars per hour for each of our military members fighting to control the oil for them. These corporations control the supply of oil and the technology that has been developed to replace oil, which they promptly shelve until the patent rights expire. Then when someone comes up with a "new idea" to replace oil or cut the use of it down, they do the dog and pony show of the new stuff on national news and they buy up all the new patents and we wait another 10 years, for research and development, they always say, nothing is really done with the new stuff except to lock it up to never be used. The best way to stay in business is to own the competition. Just ask Ma Bell and AT&T, or any of the major TV networks they are owned by the military industrial complex, so they show what their owners want to see, not their viewers.
This medium the Internet is a threat to their control of the news and information we see. They want to control it as they do the TV. By limiting the content and the providers of it. TV already tells you what to wear, eat and drive, what to sleep on and what pills you need to take, it even goes as far as to say when you are in the mood for sex, and what pill you need to take for that too.
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