June 15, 2006
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The BuzzFlash Mailbag
The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. More reader opinion is at "Contributors." You can write to Mailbag at http://www.BuzzFlash.com/contact/mail.html. Guidelines for submissions are at BuzzFlash FAQ #18.
Subject: A New "Greatest Generation?"
I love the study of history. In my short time as an elementary teacher, it was what I most tried to impart to my students (sadly with little success I fear). What gives history its relevancy to us today is that “human nature” is the constant. There are “X” factors that are different in each era, but human nature does not change, hence we can learn much from a study of our past.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be amazed, frustrated, and angered by the lack of awareness of many American citizens with the state of our country today, but I am. Do they know that high administration officials are on record (before they came to power) as saying they needed “a new Pearl Harbor” to galvanize the country in order to support their neo-conservative agenda? It is a matter of record the number of countries who told us, months ahead of time, that we would be attacked by planes. This administration did nothing to protect us!
I’ve ranted, and ranted, and ranted in this and other public forums, listing the abuses supposedly allowable now because we were attacked that black day. History has abundant precedent of nations who lost their greatness because they forgot what it takes to be great.
I love this country. I love our history. I believe that we can still change this horrible course Bush has taken us on, but my fellow citizens, our democracy needs a new “Greatest Generation.”
Daniel Patrick Schamle
Subject WSJ: Questions Mount Over Failure to Hit Zarqawi's Camp
Forgive me if someone has already mentioned this to you, but do you remember this WSJ article in 2004? The president acts as if it's a big win to have finally gotten Zarqawi. But let's not forget how long it took him to do this. How many murders occurred since 2002 because of earlier presidential mistakes?
Subject: Greg Palast [BuzzFlash Interview] Is Correct
... but so what? To me that's old news. The simple fact that the worse things go over in Iraq the better for the moneyed powers that wanted the war in the first place was obvious from the get go.
The idea that the Iraqis would greet us as liberators was bunk, and anyone with half a brain knew it. That's why when we invaded the Iraqis were allowed to ransack a munitions dump while the army was told to guard the oil. That's what happens when you privatize the logistic side (food/gas/supplies) of the army operation to KBR. The longer the war drags on for, the more money they make. Every time an American soldier dies in Iraq, KBR gets paid. Every time a convoy of supplies goes from one base to another, KBR gets paid, whether the convoy arrives at the next base or not. It's called war profiteering, and it's a clear conflict of interest.
The simple fact that a similar set of rules would apply to big oil is just a matter of common sense. In this case there doesn't have to be an interruption of the supply of oil, just the threat of interruption. Zarqawi being dead must really piss off the fat cats at Exxon, things were going so well for a while there. But they shouldn't worry, Skelator should be back to his old tricks again soon.
Subject: Bipartisan suicide with new nuclear weapons
Here's a link to an item in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, dealing with the competition between National Labs to design a new nuclear weapon. This is described as a defense program approved by Congress in 2006 on a "bipartisan" basis.
Labs compete to make new nuclear bomb (Seattle Post Intelligencer)
This activity adds to a long line of actions by the U.S. which seem designed to abort the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Apparently, the retention of 6,000 nuclear weapons in reliably functioning condition is more important than actually stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons. With proliferation, the availability of transportable weapons for clandestine delivery to U.S. cities will eventually reach a critical mass. Major cities can and will be destroyed without a clear path to retaliation.
Terrorists such as Mr. Bin Laden do not in fact care whether we have six, six hundred or six thousand nuclear weapons. They are useless against his type of warfare.
I keep writing letters on this issue, which is literally a life and death one for all of us, but very little gets published or discussed.
We need to begin to take our own obligations under this ratified treaty (Supreme Law under the U.S. Constitution) seriously.
I realize that we are confronted with an outlaw regime that categorically takes exception to laws passed by Congress, and ignores ratified treaties.
Please ask your Senators and Representatives to stop enablement of witless and illegal behavior by providing funding.
Calling a halt to new weapons development and ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) would be useful steps.
We cannot afford to waste another international session to perfect the NPT, as we did in 2005, nor can we afford to wait for another opportunity in 2010. A special session to move forward to achieve effective inhibition of nuclear weapons proliferation is really essential.
If we fail to change our path, an extraordinary number of American civilians will be dead.
John F. Williford
Subject: Net Neutrality, Revelations B-14
I knew it! I tried to tell people about it. No one listened. No one seemed interested.
And now there it is, publicly stated, and I still don't hear anyone, except me, screaming about it! Has this been common knowledge all along and people just shrugged their shoulders and said "Oh, well. It's business."
An amendment, H.R. 5252, to the COPE bill in the House of Representatives at least proves that I wasn't crazy in what I was trying to tell people. That amendment attempted to prevent the telephone companies from being given a free ticket to a monopoly of the internet. Yes, there are guidelines and rules to supposedly prevent such a scenario. And we are to pretend that a company brainstorming meeting will not be convened to find ways around those guidelines and rules. I guess that is the difference between your world and mine.
Reading this exciting document, H.R. 5252, I no sooner got to section (b) line 14 when I lost it! There, in black and white, was the exact wording I had been missing in trying to alert people to what was happening with Internet Service Providers.
All that is needed of this amendment is the following:
Eureka! Let that sink in for a moment.
"block, impair, degrade."
Block. Impair. Degrade.
If it were not possible for internet service providers to do these things, and probably have done such deeds in the past, there would be no reason for including those words, would there? No reason at all!
So, they DO block, impair and degrade service, but not just broadband. The main targets would be dial-up service. Do you remember working on your computer with pre-Windows DOS? Then, remember how your first attempt to surf the Internet on your first brand-spanking-new computer was an amazing experience? And do you remember how frustrated you used to get when, after awhile of enjoying the internet, it started taking longer and longer to download a page from the internet or you lost your connection to the internet altogether? And we all just sat there and cussed the monitor. IT ISN'T THE MONITOR! IT ISN'T YOUR COMPUTER! IT'S YOUR INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER! Do you remember your Internet Service Provider sending you an email about how they were going to institute "improvements" to their services to make your experience even more enjoyable? Do you remember receiving that notice shortly before your dial-up went down the toilet? They "improved" your service to the point of making you now consider switching to a faster and more secure (not to mention more expensive) connection to the internet. DSL! or Broadband! Duuhh.
Can I prove it? No. Then I'm wrong, aren't I? No. I've experienced it, with more than one ISP, but since it isn't something I expect every internet user to complain about in a mass movement, I move on to another provider. Isn't that what they say about television? If you don't like what you see on your tv, change the channel. And if you don't want to see it again at some other time, just quit watching that channel. And if they advertise on other channels, quit watching television. And if they advertise on/in radio, billboards, movies, newspapers, etc., you can just close your eyes to everything going on around you, can't you?
Common sense tells you that if your dial-up connection to the internet is degraded sufficiently you might switch to DSL or broadband or some other, more expensive, service. And the odds of your staying with the provider you have is probably greater than the odds of going to a lot of trouble to change providers. It's a percentages game.
Your dial-up service can be just as good and fast as the DSL service, and it usually is, in the beginning. Mine was, with two different providers. But to promote the faster, more expensive service, and get that bottom-line higher, to attend meetings wherein you are charged with that duty, to brainstorm ideas to get that bottom-line up, one obvious solution is that dial-up can be "degraded." YOU have got to experience worse service in order to appreciate better service. This is not rocket science or identifying DNA. It's business, on a grand scale.
But you will only see complaints about the degraded service on newsgroups or groups that stick to one particular subject. Ever visited one of those? Complaints abound and the responses are "work-arounds." No one ever seeks or reveals the actual source. Where are the telephone company moles that will bring this out into the open and let the public know how they have been duped into 'upgrading' the ISP's bottom line?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: POTUS Trip to Iraq - Two Quick Comments
Why has nobody in the media reported that President Bush -- a national leader -- flew to another nation's capital city both unannounced and uninvited? How would he feel if Vladimir Putin or Zhu Rongji just "dropped by" for a chat sometime? Isn't there some diplomatic courtesy or protocol governing such travels between sovereign nation?
Also interesting is that an overnight stay in Baghdad was "out of the question" according to the WH due to the security situation inside the Green Zone. What does that say about our success in Iraq if three-plus years after going into the country, our President imitates Santa Claus this week -- he showed up, ate some cookies, drank some milk, left some good cheer, and then vanished just as quickly as he came because the enemy remains so active in Iraq. That speaks volumes, doesn't it?
We're making progress, all right. Progress going nowhere, fast.
Subject: Kerry Deserves No Second Chance
John Kerry has recently taken every opportunity to apologize for his 2002 Senate vote enabling the illegal and preposterously rationalized invasion of Iraq. It is clear that this shell of a moral being is merely reacting to the profound swing of public opinion into the anti-war camp, and the American left should give him no credence. Let's be frank: any informed person who professed support for the Bush administration’s crusade at any point in its history was either bloodthirsty or intentionally disingenuous -and it's clear that Senator Kerry falls into the latter category.
The same information that set me firmly against the war prior to its first shots continues to convince me today, and I can’t imagine a United States senator missing these same points. Nothing has changed but the amount of inevitable bad news coming from the front lines.
Let’s choose our candidate from the ranks of those who based their stated position on the war on facts, morality, and law; and send the self-interested flip-floppers packing!
[BuzzFlash Note: 23 Senators voted against the Iraq war resolution; only one of them, Russ Feingold, seems to be thinking of running for president.]:
Subject: Karl Rove
I wonder what the burden of proof is for treason. Rove should be tried for treason, not perjury. Rove and his co-conspirators disclosed a CIA covert operative in time of war. Indeed, this operative's specialty was directly related to the war effort, as Bush stated in his run up to war State of the Union speech. Disclosing state secrets in time of war is treason!
What hasn't been made public is the damage that this treason resulted in. Sure we hear of Valerie Plame's issues re her career essentially ending at the CIA, but what about the damage to our national security? How many associates of Plame's in other countries were arrested, tortured, and perhaps killed? What happened to the employees at the front company where Plame worked? How does this affect all of our ambassadors and their spouses when dealing with foreign countries?
This treason was much more than just damaging one diplomat and one covert CIA agent. Yet not one reporter has explored this in depth. Perhaps, when Fitzgerald finishes his prosecutions for perjury, someone will let the full damage of this treasonous act be known.
Subject: News Media
I can't thank you enough for the service you provide to the people of the U.S.A. You are the food that nourishes liberal discourse across America and the glue that knits it together. It is impossible to conceive of life without BuzzFlash and BushWatch.
Here is an idea I've had rolling around since I read an article on your site two or three years ago. In Spain, I believe, citizens get out in the streets and stalk the lying state-sponsored propagandist journalists and hold up signs pointing out their lies. Today I read on BuzzFlash the piece about anti-war people protesting Hillary. Maybe it would be more productive to protest Wolf Blitzer, Tim Russert, et al. wherever they go and maybe that would evoke some change in their daily lying.
What do you think, BuzzFlash? Can we get their schedule and organize daily protests against their irrelevant and dishonest reporting in the CNN or MSNBC parking lots as they leave to home in the evening or exit their cars in the morning? Or, maybe outside their favorite chic restaurants in NYC, D.C., Atlanta? Or how about just everywhere they go? Do you think that could eventually make a difference?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: School apologizes for yearbook quotes, but the kids are smarter than the school
Considering how aptly these quotes describe what our leaders are doing - and saying - the reaction should question where we are going and who we are, and not whether the kids should be punished. The quotes are apt and describe only what these kids experience in their daily lives. (They just shouldna said who they were from, and the quotes would have been admired by all Republicans.)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: The Democrats Can't Win By Default
The Demos will surely win and by default. Bush has poisoned the well. At this moment in time, we need the "loyal opposition" to stand up- not by default- and rescue our Nation from the catastrophic continuing traffic of illegal aliens. We need to have a nation of Americans and the word "immigration" must again mean something special.
It would be wonderful if the Dem candidate embraced the actual welfare of our Nation. This person would sweep into office. A default candidate will win regardless. But, wouldn't it be wonderful that if for the first time in decades we had a president who actually loved our Nation, understood our history and embraced what has kept us independent, prosperous and unified?
What we don't need would be a second Clinton who reigns for her own interests and those of the globalists who are rapidly sending us down the rat hole into 2nd world status.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Right-Wingers Trash Cancer Cure (AmericasDemocrats)
To all compassionate readers:
Please give the following some thought and remember as you read this that I consider myself the luckiest person alive to be the recipient of a new experimental cancer vaccine for MELANOMA being evaluated at the National Cancer Institute / National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD. My original diagnosis before the vaccine was Metastatic Melanoma, Stage III (March, 2004).
Why are right-wing religious organizations wanting to stop the use of a new cancer vaccine to protect women from cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer killer among women in America, striking nearly 14,000 each year.
While 'abstinence' is a great ideal, we cannot expect compliance by 100% of our teenagers and young adults. Do we just sentence the 'unlucky' to DEATH?
What good does it do to fight the anti-science Taliban overseas when we have the same kind of anti-intellectual religious fanatics running amok here in the U.S.?
If I were a teenager or young adult, I would organize protest and be in the streets demanding that this vaccine be made available!
Since HPV is transmitted skin to skin, not just through intercourse, condoms aren't wholly effective against it. Is the Religious Right suggesting that our young people show no love or compassion for their peers by not touching, hugging, or dancing (heaven forbid!)?
Good news on cancer? Not for everyone (religiousconsultation.org)
Subject: Bush Visits "Iraq"
So little is being made in the MSM of the thundering irony that after almost 4 years Bush’s “visit to Iraq” could only be, in fact, a 5 hour unannounced visit to “Greenzonia,” the isolated high-security epcot he created to house the largely despised and powerless “Iraqi” government.
Bush did not visit the real Iraq, the lawless, ungoverned, and unsecured nightmare he has also created. It was also fascinating to watch the face of Prime Minister Maliki as Bush spoke. He looked like the unhappiest man in Baghdad, probably because he appreciated that as the second most unpopular man in Iraq, it could only damage his image to be so publicly linked with the one man less popular than he.
George Bush got on a plane and went to Baghdad. He stayed a few hours and delivered an emotional word of encouragement to the troops. I even saw his lower lip tremble as he thanked them for their efforts. As I saw that lower lip quiver, I had this fleeting thought--"Sweet virgin mother of Birkenstock Christ, maybe this guy believes this swill."
But no, this was just another g**d*** publicity stunt. Go before the troops, show some emotion, glycerine tears. Show them you're engaged. Fly back home, look at increasing poll numbers. Feel good. Group hug.
This administration is a full blown mind f***. And now they're playing the heartstrings, the very last card you pull out of the deck when even the Wal-Mart 29.95 DVD player, Cheetos-eating crowd starts to ditch you. "Look, can't you see we're weeping? Can't you see our leader staining one of his $3,000 Saville Row suits for you with his crocodile tears? And you say we're not sacrificing? You say we don't care. Why do you hate America so much?"
This is the near ultimate case of chutzpah. Chutzpah is when you've murdered both your parents with a dull meat cleaver, sliced them into tenderloin strips, marinated them, barbequed them, and invited a few friends over to serve it all up with beer, chips, beans and potato salad. Then, at your trial, you plead for the mercy of the court because you're an orphan.
This is the spot Bush and his crew find themselves in now. They lied about the reasons for war and didn't care whether they equipped the troops properly or protected them. Because of the neglect, nearly 2,500 are dead, at least 10,000 more seriously maimed or injured. Still thousands more are without jobs once they get back because companies won't hold positions for someone who's been ordered to a third or fourth tour.
And here comes junior on his private jet, his arms soaked shoulder deep in blood, gore and entrails, the stench of guilt on his breath. He stands before the men and women whose lives he's altered forever based on a complete lie, and cries and says "thank you for the sacrifice you've made."
But after watching this man for six years, watching his ever expanding messianic psychosis steer this nation into the gutter, we now know what's really going on. The not so subliminal message is, "Yes, I know I've committed all this horror in the name of my twisted vision. I know that your lives and the lives of many of your families lie in ruin because of my actions. But please forgive me and have mercy and understand that right now my poll numbers are so low, so very low. I'm suffering and sacrificing, too, can't you just see that? I've also paid a price."
Our nation stands mute.
Subject: Worse Than Ann Coulter
I can't believe that no one seems to have picked up on this. When defending "her" on Larry King, David Horowitz slandered half the country as well as, incidentally, his own party.
David Horowitz laughed off of Larry King... (Crooks and Liars)
“Conservatives...see half the country ABANDONING OUR TROOPS IN THE FIELD (emphasis added). You can’t support the troops and not support the war.” Evidently he isn’t aware of the Republicans claiming during the action in Kosovo that they could support the troops and not support the war, or the Commander-in-Chief.
Subject: Democrats Can't Win By Default
About your “Democrats can’t win by default” article, consider my normal response:
I don’t know why anyone is surprised when the democrats respond with anything but mild protests (if even that) to Bush/republican policies because they are all owned by the same military-industrial corporations that own the republicans, and soon will own our country at the ever growing expense of the American people.
Subject: Bush's extralegal "recess" appointments
George W. Bush is using his time as president to reduce the Constitutional role of Congress and inflate the role of the Executive, all of which is contrary to the intent of the Framers in creating our form of government and writing our Constitution.
The United States Constitution does not give Bush authority to fill vacancies by making recess appointments of people who have been REJECTED by the senate.
Here is what the Constitution says: "The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session." "Happen" means "come to pass," "come into being," "come about," "take place," "turn up," "occur."
When the Framers created this clause, they understood emergencies could occur during the long periods when the senate was not in session and the government could not function properly unless certain vacant positions -- positions that became vacant during the recess period -- were filled.
They never intended that after the senate declined or refused to let a certain nominee fill a certain position, the president would slip that person into the office while their backs were turned.
Bush has made many of these extralegal "recess" appointments; the odious John Bolton as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN was one such act.
On just one day last January, Bush made 17 "recess" appointments. We can only assume he knew the senate would not approve any of these appointments -- so he ignored the Constitutional role of Congress and assumed extralegal powers to himself.
An Executive branch without a co-equal Legislative Branch is a dictatorship, not a republic or a democracy.
Extralegal means "Not permitted or governed by law."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Flag Amendment
Remember - from the ashes of a burned flag, a new one can and will arise. From the ashes of free speech - only silence.
The flag is only a symbol. We really need to protect free speech.
Subject: Why Are the Taxpayers Still Footing the Bill for All Those Thieving Corrupt Bushitters?
There is big daddy and big mama living at the white house. There are those partying wild gals living at the white house. Didn't we pay for their college degrees? Why don't they get out and get a job? NO, they believe they should live off the taxpayers. Let alone with the older bushes receiving dividends after they were sent back down to Texas (damn carpetbaggers). I had the word "hate" deleted from my vocabulary, but this nasty bunch made it reappear again. That's it.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bombing of Zarqawi "Secret" Place
Like most everyone else, upon seeing the bombed-out building where Zarqawi was (supposed to be) located - when you really look at the site, something wasn't right.
When the building was shown with debris strewn about, if you notice, several palm trees are standing around the debris. In fact, the trees looked like they are no more than six to ten feet away, if that - as if they surrounded the building. No damage was shown to the palm trees. To me, they looked fine.
Now, at my present house, near the street, are two trees about the same height of the palm trees at the Zarqawi "secret" place. If two bombs the size of which was mentioned, I would think they had to be very powerful, and it seems to me there would have been a lot of damage to the trees. In fact, it doesn't seem as if they should be standing.
When our previous house was hit by a tornado in 1990, the six maple trees that surrounded our house (they were 25 years old) looked like splinters. One tree was down with the entire bottom of the roots showing. And palm trees have a shallow root system. They don't go very far into the ground. Something is weird.
Then again, what's new?!
Dolores M. Dryden
Subject: House "Debate" - Boehner reveals GOP strategy: Exploit 9/11, attack Dems (americablog)
The House debate on their "Iraq resolution" has nothing to do with an Iraq policy. It's only about politics. Big hat tip to Think Progress. They got Boehner's memo and it's posted on their site. TP also summarized the key points:
1. Exploit 9/11. The two page memo mentions 9/11 seven times. It describes debating Iraq in the context of 9/11 as imperative.
2. Attack opponents ad hominem. The memo describes those who oppose President Bush's policies in Iraq as sheepish, weak, and prone to waver endlessly.
3. Create a false choice. The memo says the decision is between supporting President Bush's policies and hoping terrorist threats will fade away on their own.
So folks, regarding Boehner's memo, I am sending him and others the 9/11 questions which are contained in the link below. There's a lot of them, as you all know. I think they should be bombarded with these questions if they insist on continuing to exploit 9/11 to get elected. Let them know these questions will continue to be asked louder and louder.
ASK, ASK, ASK!
I hate them - I hate them - I hate them! But love you, Buzz.
Barbara in NYC
Subject: "Mad Minute"
Or, Everything You Wanted to Know about Iraq to Be Crammed in Sixty Seconds”
Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, indicated that they might “spend the day, maybe more than a day, talking about the principles of what we’ve done and why we’ve gone into Iraq, and the goals and views of fighting against terrorism.”
Whoopee. Thousand of lives lost, tens of thousands of lives ruined with physical and mental wounds, decades of good will wasted, billions of dollars plundered, maybe a trillion wasted, not to mention atrocities and torture, deliberate lies and misdirection, gross incompetence, constitutional crisis and, yet, the Republicans are only willing to devote maybe a day or so on the subject.
Compare that to all the House time spent on a brain dead woman, on gay bashing, on foreigner bashing, on semen staining a blue dress and on the exceedingly rare flag burning, none of which have relatively much power to adversely affect us in the same way as a War.
A day?? Eight short hours or so to debate a subject so massive as to demand weeks or months, not to mention an impeachment or three?
Keep in mind, the Republican proposal gives the 435 individuals eligible to speak a whole MINUTE, maybe a minute and a half, to discuss what is needed. And, that’s assuming no time off for lunch, collecting bribes, moving to the microphone and assuming no partisan game playing by the Speaker.
Don’t those in charge ever get embarrassed about anything? Would you remind everyone of how utterly ridiculous those restrictions on debate are? Would you remind everyone how ridiculous it makes the entire country seem?
Subject: Bush Administration Is Like Vermin Under A Rock
There appear to be no limits to the Bush administration’s pernicious assault on our democracy. As I’m writing this there is breaking news from reliable mainstream sources that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has expelled reporters from Guantanamo Naval Base. The reporters arrived there at the invitation of the admiral in charge of the prison to cover the recent suicides of three detainees Just at the time when the administration should forthrightly address the deaths, they’re hiding behind a wall of secrecy and avoiding accountability. It’s reasonable to ask “What are they hiding?” The press crackdown is this administration's latest betrayal of fundamental American values. Like vermin under a rock the Bush administration thrives in darkness and fears the purifying sunlight of a free press.
From the 6/12 Mailbag: "However, I do think it's unfair to give Matt Lauer that dubious honor [GOPHOTW] this time. Your rationale is that he gave conservative blowhard Ann Coulter 'a platform' to state her beliefs. By that rationale, you also need to give Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, a favorite of yours and mine, GOPHOTW as well, since he has had such figures as Bill O'Reilly, Bill Kristol, Bill Bennett, Rick Santorum, and others on his show. Jon gave them a platform to state their beliefs, so where is his GOP Hypocrite of the Week award?"
Not a fair comparison at all. Jon Stewart engages these people in a real political discourse. They state their beliefs, and then Jon challenges them and does not play games. And he wins too, not by yelling and screaming, but by his wit and intelligence alone. He does not have a multi-billion dollar defense contractor (GE) looking over his shoulder and does not answer to corporate America. He turned down an offer from ABC precisely because he is NOT a hypocrite. There is no way you can compare a Jon Stewart interview with a Matt Lauer interview.
I watched Stewart take Bill Bennett apart piece by piece over gay marriage the other night and it was music to my ears. I have seen Bill Kristol, Zell Miller, Bill O'Reilly, etc. on The Daily Show. Just having them on the show does not make Jon a hypocrite. He debates them enthusiastically and always wins (because he's right!). All I could ask myself is why the only person with the nerve to do this is a comedian. Oh no, Matt is no Jon Stewart. (I would be very mad if BuzzFlash made Jon a GOPHOTW). But I don't think they would.
Barbara in NYC
Subject: Correspondence from Senator Allard
The "MILE HIGH" state of Colorado has the privilege of having one of the 5 worst Senators. Below should give people a clue to why this is.
I'm sure it has to be the high altitude.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: A Great Society vs the Evil Empire
Wasn't that saying from Pogo, "We have met the enemy and they are us."? I was reminded today of it when, before the movie, A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, began, my wife and I were treated to a trailer from THE ROAD TO GUANTANAMO, a study of the Tipton Three.
Speak of contrasts! PRAIRIE (don't miss) offered various simple, yet strange and complex elements, that represented for us some of the best and most lovable elements of what we call "America" - rather flinty, down-to-earth, healthy, often zany people able to laugh at themselves and authority, and above all fundamentally decent. GUANTANAMO, or at least the few seconds we saw, lingered even after PRAIRIE, an amusing and bitter-sweet hymn to much of the good in us, ended.
I used to be so very proud of this nation, or certainly its seeming potential and movement, even though sometimes stumbling, toward a society to which the word "good" might be honestly applied. A kind of deep patriotism, I suppose, and not because I had served a while in the military or was a sucker for propagandistic mantras. Sure, we had our faults, present and past, some great ones, including slavery and the crimes we committed in the name of Manifest Destiny. But yet, even with all our smugness and frequent displays of ignorance and other flaws, there was a sense that we were somehow moving toward a better, fairer society.
But today that sense is all gone, and I take no pride whatsoever in identifying myself as an American; indeed, the opposite. A nation with a major growth industry of prisons; a nation sponsoring a place like Guantanamo where prisoners are held without charge indefinitely and commit suicide; a nation wherein supposedly educated and intelligent people seriously debate the acceptability of torture; a nation that invades another nation, a very weak one at that, using lies as a pretext to kill a lot of people, including not a small number of our own, in pursuit of greed, wealth and corporatism (fascism's prologue), to establish our sovereignty over a region.
All this and so much more as our highly suspect commander-in-chief and his handler, mignons and assorted thugs convert that remarkable document, our Constitution, and its historic precedents into toilet paper. The much loved and admired Ronald Reagan, whose administration did so very much to move us toward this sorry state of affairs, used to speak most disparagingly of the "Evil Empire," at that time of course the Soviet Union. Unfortunately its collapse has apparently not meant the end of Evil Empires. "We met the enemy ..." and guess who?
For what it's worth, I've started, along with a few zillions others, a blog site, My Barbaric Yawp, largely consisting so far of the one-act plays I write to exorcise comedically some of the despair I feel in between bouts of doing positive things like supporting non-Republican Democrats and some real progressives. You might, for what it's worth, want to take a look at it at http://mybarbaricyawp.net/.
Subject: Mailbag...and Articles 6/14/06
Buzz....congratulations on winning the two awards....no one deserves it more...
As to the skinny, mouthy, crazy one appearing on The Tonight Show...Jay Leno is not this brilliant, but wouldn't it be a jolt ... if he asked the Dixie Chicks to perform? Oh, well...she likely would not take advantage of them in that way...you see, the Chicks are all pretty great looking girls...and might make skinny Annie a bit uncomfortable. And if she dared to say anything ...and she will of course, the fur might fly. I do hope that George Carlin stands up to her...and he, being the comedic type...might get the better of her. Here is hoping...I am a glutton for punishment...so I will volunteer to watch it...
The article...Sheila's..."Support the Troops" was so good...it fits everything I feel when some dopey, chickens**t (oops...sorry) right-wing nut says that the democrats are not behind this war, anyway...they hate Bush and they hate the troops...and it is always on a radio...or television show, a billion miles away...and you cannot ask them anything.
You would be amazed at how many idiots I have run off chat rooms, asking that very question ... when they utter those hateful words...I ask them if they have been to Iraq (first)...and they always say no...then I ask them why...they are either too old or have a family. Then, I asked them why that is an issue...many, many men have volunteered with kids...and I know of two men called back to service at the age of 50...
I once asked my son in law what he would do if they called him back...and he said, without taking a breath..."I'd sue them." But, no person on a chat line or calling in has to worry about anyone disavowing them...they are free...can leave and not face anyone.
Sheeeeesh....I hope she gets sued for plagiarism.
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: 2006 I'm Just a Realist Not a Defeatist
I can smell the faint odor of defeat whiffing in the air again. The democrats are doing it again. The republicans have held out their heads on a silver platter but the democrats have refused to accept them. The democrats are as divided as the republicans are pretending to be if not more so.
There are "too many republicans in the Democratic Party" for one and then there is Diebold, the illegal alien issue, and the unleashing yesterday of attack dog Karl Rove who will maul the opposition well before November. The democrats will be damned lucky just to hold onto what they have! We simply have too many people working against us including a good many in our own ranks.
It's being bantered about also that the majority of Americans do not really care about the Iraqi war as they did Vietnam. There is a really simple answer as to why they do not give a damn. "FOOLS, THERE IS NO F**KING DRAFT" Most Americans have no dog in George Bush's fight. This fact has a good possibility of changing after November, though.
Subject: A Letter to My Southern Ohio Republican Congressman Re:
I understand that the House of Representatives is scheduled to debate aspects of the Iraq War on Thursday. Additionally, I have just read a copy of the inter-party memo sent out by House Majority Leader Boehner regarding a unified Republican strategy for this debate.
The emphasis on the events of 9/11 in Mr. Boehner's recommended approach to the debate over Iraq was disturbing, to say the least. The president himself has admitted that the regime of Saddam Hussein played no role whatsoever in the attacks on New York and Washington, DC., and yet Mr. Boehner's memo clearly represents a Republican initiative to promulgate the myth that our 2003 invasion was a response to Iraqi aggression. Does the Majority Leader actually believe that so much has changed in this "post-9/11 world" that Americans no longer care if our increasingly frequent wars have no valid casus belli?
As your constituent I recommend that you confront Mr. Boehner with some forceful questions and sharp criticisms in regard to the positions stated in his memo. The strategy he advocates (i.e., promoting a vapid focus on comic-book villains as existential threats to our society; the delusion that conditions of any category are improving in Iraq; the emphasis on fear as the dominant American condition following 9/11; the hysterical defensiveness with which clearly relevant questions and criticisms regarding the war are confronted) is one grown stale from exposure. This persistent brand of symbolic demagoguery stands out like a sore thumb (CSPAN is a marvel) when contrasted with the simple, real-world logic that constitutes the most salient and urgent critiques of the war:
- President Bush's doctrine of “pre-emptive” military action equates explicitly with "aggression," indistinguishable from the supreme international crime repudiated at the Nuremberg trials;
- The official rationale for the invasion has changed a number of times, calling into legitimate question the urgency of the current excuse.
- The entire history of our leadership's execution of the war reflects the methodical pursuit and promotion of chaos, rather than a rational effort on their part to achieve their stated objectives (e.g., the profound damage to vital Iraqi infrastructure via "Shock and Awe"; too small an invasion force to secure conquered territory; the entire Iraqi Army disbanded, with their weapons; the failure to plan for the protection of Saddam's ammunition dumps and arsenals from post-invasion looting; the abrupt replacement of Jay Garner as the civilian authority promising a rapid reconstruction - he was proposing Iraqi elections by June, 2003 and the subsequent retraction of American soldiers from Iraqi cities - with corporate provocateur Paul Bremer; the abrupt elimination by decree of Iraq's social and political bureaucracy - plus the alienation of the Sunni minority - via stringent "de-Baathification" measures; the universal rejection of Iraqi firms in awarding reconstruction contracts, and the resolute failure of the occupation authority to provide employment for the Iraqi people; the alienation of the Shi'ite majority by arbitrarily closing the newspaper of Moqtada al Sadr - setting into motion the short chain of events leading to the destruction of Fallujah, a city of 500,000; the failure until April of 2006 to graduate a single Iraqi special forces recruit).
Please bear these thoughts in mind as you frame your objections to Representative Boehner’s positions. Thank you for your consideration.
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