June 26, 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: Treasury Secretary Snow's Justification of Financial Spying Without Warrants
“SNOWED UNDER” Or, The Bush Administration says “Trust Me” Once Again*
When the revelation was uncovered that the Republican Administration had been secretly conducting warrantless spying on apparently billions of financial transactions, Treasury Secretary Snow attempted June 23 to justify it by saying, “If people are sending money to help al-Qaida, we want to know about it.”
Substitute the words “Democrats” or “protestors” or “the ACLU” or anyone else hated by Republicans for the perennial boogeyman “al-Qaida.” Now re-read the same sentence? Does the phrase still sound as comforting?
If those in charge can use that or any other tool for the one purpose, what is to prevent them from using it to accomplish other Republican goals? Given that many Republicans already periodically refer to Democrats, protestors and the ACLU as “traitors” aiding the “enemy” by merely existing, given that the Administration has already diverted funds from the search for Osama bin Laden to pursue instead purely political goals, and given that Republicans still argue even torture is an acceptable means to accomplish their ends, what possible restraint is there to keep them from utilizing the same allegedly useful financial data-mining technique to insure they stay in office in perpetuity?
That would be a mighty small leap for them. After all, does anyone need to be reminded which political party leader paid for “plumbers” to burglarize the other party’s campaign headquarters and investigate “leaks.” How many times does history have to repeat itself before people listen?
The point is that no one, not Democrats, not even sainted Mother Teresa, should have such incredible powers without judicial and Congressional oversight and without providing the minuscule amount of evidence needed to establish probable cause first.
(more lawyer commentary at resistence-is-possible.blogspot.com)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: It's Now or Never, After November They Won't Listen
As we learned from the outcry over the Dubai Port deal/scandal, Congress and the Senate actually will listen if the outcry is massive and continuous. Having a Congressman or Senator to take up the cause is always ideal and the way to do that is to make the outcry loud and long!!! After all, they'll jump on the bandwagon knowing they have the full support and interest of the people.
This is a win-win situation for us and the politicians: We get their attention and get them to take a public stand and use their power and position to push issues WE find important, and they get the free publicity and the increased standing with constituents. Great! Of course we know that our opinions will only matter up until the elections, but hey, that's the way it is.
So instead of being mad at the phoniness and expedience of politics, let's make use of the game and get our points across NOW!! All of us can type out E-mails and send 5 copies a day to 2 or 3 Congressmen and Senators. Just write out your E-mails and address them and each day. Just hit the 'SEND NOW' button. Not just the Washington politicians but your favorite political news programs and talk shows, too.
Once your letter is written and you take the time to type in the multiple E-mail addresses, you just have to hit 'SEND' once a day till the elections! Even the laziest, most jaded friends you have can do that. If you can't, don't call yourself a Progressive.
For example, no one platform did more for the downfall of the Dubai Ports scam than the nightly outcry on the Lou Dobbs Tonight program. Don't be too quick to write someone off because of one or two issues you might disagree with (I'm talking about Lou here, say what you will, that man has given a voice to the middle class American that never existed before). Just remember that we need to get the word out on the MSM as well as to the pols.
I repeat: If the outcry is LOUD and LONG, the pols will respond and take up the cause, just like the Dubai deal.
Subject: It Should Be Clear
... that Democratic and Republican senators who talk about "Iraqis taking charge of their own country" mean no such thing. Both sides are covering up the fact that Paul Bremer, under orders from Cheney and Bush, gave away ALL of Iraq's wealth to foreign interests (mostly U.S. corporations) and created permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq. The only control of Iraq that the U.S. wants to turn over to the Iraqis is the job of policing, which basically means terrorizing Iraqi citizens into submission.
Imagine for a moment if the situation were reversed and that a foreign power had invaded the U.S., given away all of its wealth, established permanent military bases on U.S. soil and then turned over the job of policing the U.S. to brutal thugs who did double duty in ethnic and religious militias. How happy would you be about that? How happy would you be about a debate in that foreign power's capitol about "turning over America to the Americans" when it meant no such thing?
Interesting article but why leave out the totally obvious reason for what the insurance companies are doing--they are trying to protect themselves from the effects of global warming. Sound like true believers to me. More severe hurricanes, the oceans rising 15 feet--makes a country considerably smaller, does it not? This is the most frightening thing I have heard yet--looks like they are expecting big disaster--soon!
Now since the insurance executives are busy proclaiming "no such thing as global warming," I would propose we use that good old measure "Watch what they do, not what they say."
Proof enough for me!
Edith M. Conrad
Subject: Dan Rather
Now that Dan Rather has finally left CBS, I have been thinking about the Bush National Guard story that expedited his departure from the Evening News and the network itself. I have one question with regard to this "controversy". Has anyone every proven that the story was inaccurate? I recall that investigative panels criticized CBS' authentication process, but the substance of the story has never been proven inaccurate. I could be completely wrong. However, I am deeply disturbed that the media allowed a veteran newsman to have his career pretty much destroyed under the pressure from Washington. The fact remains that Bush and his supporters cannot prove that he served. How is this possible? I bet we could find the records from an average American serving at the same time and prior to Bush's alleged service. Now, I don't know what this really proves except for the fact that we have a warmonger President too cowardly and lazy to serve even when he was given a cush assignment in the National Guard. It seems to be consistent with this administration's tactics of lies, secrecy and mean-spirited attacks on dissenters. But, then again, this isn't a surprise. This administration abhors the concept that America is "of the People, for the People and by the People." Seems to me that their version of America is "of a few, for a few and by a few." For reference: see Rather, Dan.
Thanks for letting me vent.
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: The CBS report indicated that Bush missed a required physical and didn't show up for months of drills. Here's more from CBS: "The piece also featured four documents purported to be memos written by one of Mr. Bush's Guard commanders, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. The purported memos appeared to answer longstanding questions about a period of Mr. Bush's service in 1972 ... The questioned documents indicated that Mr. Bush had disobeyed a direct order to appear for his physical, and that friends of the Bush family tried to "sugar coat" any probe of the young lieutenant's lapses. ... The source of the documents, Burkett, admitted this weekend to CBS that he lied about obtaining the documents from another former National Guard member, the network said. CBS hasn't been able to conclusively tell how he got them or even definitely tell whether they're fakes. But the network has given up trying to defend them. ... Burkett had earlier claimed that as a Guard official, he had in 1997 seen allies of then-Gov. Bush discuss destroying military files that might embarrass the governor, who was mulling a presidential run. The allegation has never been proved. Burkett, in an interview with Rather aired on the CBS Evening News, said he was pressured by CBS to reveal his source for the documents, and 'I simply threw out a name that was basically, I guess, to get a little pressure off for the moment.' He said he did not fake or forge any documents."
Subject: Wrong Slogan
The Republicans say that pulling our troops out of Iraq is, 'Cut and Run.' It should be called, 'Cut Our Losses.' Or, as Kenny Rogers would say, 'Know When To Hold Them, And Know When To Fold Them.' Rep. Murtha is a combat veteran who is respected as a military mind, and who is in contact with the generals in Iraq. Why shouldn't we listen to him instead of the jack offs whose only military experience is collecting money from defence contractors?
Each day I worship at the altar of Buzz then proceed to read all the incredibly well informed and well written letters from others who do the same thing. The downside, of course, is that I often leave the site with a feeling of complete despair.
Here is what I have done to restore peace in my heart, my mind and my soul -- I planted a peace/zen garden (complete with a statue of Buddha) as an entry to my home. I then purchased one of those wonderful old blue peace flags with the white peace symbol and hung it directly above my garden.
There is another motive behind my actions. I live in a small, conservative retirement community and while walking through the area I see many American flags hanging 24/7 which, to me, denotes the childish, uber-patriotism of so many Americans these days despite the truth that is finally available and unavoidable. My garden and my flag serve as lovely counterpoint to the Stars and Stripes because all my neighbors see it as they walk or drive by my haven of sanity and, also, I am now at rest when I enter my home.
Be creative my friends in spirit. Peace begins at home! And you don't have to say a thing.
Actions speak louder than words ...
Subject: Lewis Lapham In Canada
I just happened across Lewis Lapham's address to an audience at the "Canada 2020" conference in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. It was broadcast in Canada on C-PAC. Needless to say I was fascinated by the man whose magazine (Harpers) has just been removed from the shelves of Chapters and Indigo Book stores. (The two largest book chains in Canada---both owned by one neo-con, borderline nazi named Heather Reisman. She also removed that "stellar piece of Hitler literature," Mein Kampf, from her shelves last year. Understand me when I say that Hitler's book is a piece of trash, but it still deserved a place in a book store so that people like me could read it and decide for themselves what tripe it actually is.)
Heather Reisman, "the evil queen of everything" as she is known in Canada, decided that a Harpers issue which discussed the Islamic cartoons published in Denmark was in fact racist. I wish someone would call her on this. It's as close to book burning as I've ever seen! She claimed publicly that she removed Harpers because she "wanted to protect the patrons" of her book stores. If that's the case then she should ban Ann Coulter's books? Coulter's work is far more divisive and outright racist than anything Harpers has ever published.
As for Lapham and his address at the conference ... he mentioned that the hansard from the US congress debate prior to America's failed invasion of Canada in 1812 reads very much like the "speak" that the Bush administration used for support in the Iraq invasion. Lapham even says in his address, that Jefferson is quoted as saying that the US troops would be greeted in Canada "with flowers" and as "liberators."
Now, I'm not too sure what could have been said way back in 1812, and I don't know where I could find the debates leading up to the failed invasion, but if BuzzFlash could somehow offer up a copy of the words spoken by Congress at that time for comparison with what the Bush administration used as spin I certainly would love to read it. I have a very strange feeling that it'll all seem far to coincidental.
See what you can do.
Subject: Sears Tower Plot
Damn. And I thought we were fighting them in Baghdad so that we wouldn't have to fight them here. And now we're fighting them here. I guess, then, that fighting them in Baghdad didn't do any good and now we're fighting them in both Baghdad and Chicago.
Well, we'd better bring the army home so we'll have something with which to fight. If the homeland is directly endangered, shouldn't that be our priority? Shouldn't we now let the Iraqis worry about Iraqi security and we concern ourselves with our own security?
Now we have a clear choice with our defense dollars: protect Iraqis, or protect Americans. I hope we can do a better job with the latter than we've done with the former.
However, the guys they've fingered don't look motivated enough to even put a good bar fight together. I'm not particularly impressed by this plot, yet.
I can hear the conversation now: "Yeah, let's bomb the FBI and the Sears Tower. They're all a bunch of bastards. Let's go out and get some beer."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Searching Financial Records
So the government wants to search financial records without subpoenas for evidence of terrorist activity? They should start with all the "put" options on the airlines just prior to 9/11 (activity more than 10 times normal on 9/10). You would think they might find some good leads there.
Subject: You're Losing Your Touch, Karl (sent Friday)
The timing of this latest "terrorists catch" has Karl Rove written all over it!
Yet the media plays along with it again, Hook-Line-and-Sinker!
Like Larry Johnson said to Ed Schultz, if you told these guys to park three cars in a row and two of them were already lined up for them, they wouldn't know where to drive the third car. They had no weapons like the people arrested in Toronto recently.
Let's stop and think of what has been happening this week.
Republicans and Traitor-Joe all vote to keep our troops in Iraq with no plan of their own, other than to speak their "carefully scripted slogans."
Hillary and the other female Senators are all on Larry King on Wednesday. They know that FBI Director Robert Mueller would be on Thursday's show and ask Larry to ask Mueller why they cut funding to New York and Washington DC.
Mueller was on King WHILE the "terrorists" were being arrested. He didn't bother to tell King that he had "more important" things to do and would have to reschedule his interview. After all, who knows if more cells were out there, tied to this group or there waiting to attack/organize?
Now Mueller could show why NY and DC are not the only big targets. Yes, that always has been true. That is why the Homeland INsecurity dollars should NOT have been cut by Bush.
The arrest also got the brutal beheadings of two soldiers and the other loss of life in Iraq off the television news for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
How much news have you read in the papers or on the Internet about Iraq since the arrests? Not much and what you do read/see is buried.
Yup, Rove, "Mission Accomplished" for your followers and the inept news media corpSE.
Fortunately, Rove, I and many other people can see right through your "handiwork" and know that you've lost your "tricky touch"!
The Romans had it down 2,000 years ago: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" In other words, "OK, so who is going to guard these guards?"
So who is going to search the guys from the Bureau of Prisons?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Saddam Hussein
No one has ever answered this question. How come after all these years, and kidnappings, no one has ever asked for Saddam's release? It doesn't make sense if he was going hand in hand with terrorists before we invaded!
Rick R. Gordon
Subject: Terrorists? Or Big Move To Discredit The Dems!
"No Imminent Threat" "Terrorist" Arrests in Miami Means It's Time to Undercut the Democratic Party Move to Get Us Out of Iraqmire Through Scare Tactics Again. Rove Knows How to Orchestrate This By Heart Now. 6/23
And how many Halliburton/KBR prison camps are now ready to receive neocon-republican guests before the November elections?
A BuzzFlash Reader
I grew up learning to hate the Nazis and the Japs then it was the gooks and the commies. So I am confused when I see my President holding hands with some "Camel Jockey" that looks just like the enemy I am supposed to hate at this point in time. I mean he didn't look much different then the much hated Bin Laden, and now, to totally confuse, me Saddam Hussein appears in court like a GQ model. I will be so glad when hatred is directed against Mexicans so I can once again be a good American and hate properly.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Democrats and the War
It seems to me the way to shut Karl Rove up and derail his "democrats are ready to cut and run" freight train heading straight for the election is for the Democrats to endorse the one thing the Bushies ARE UNWILLING TO DO, i.e., RAISE the troop strength in Iraq so we can win the damn war instead of just prolonging it till some undefined victory down the road. To be perfectly cynical about it, the Dems don't even have to specify what they'd do with the troops or even send them, because the election would be won at that point, i.e., both houses of Congress would be in the Democrat's control, and Karl Rove would be on a slow boat to obscurity.
Subject: Bush is above the law
I was in the courtroom today in San Francisco watching the Bush Administration argue in front of the court that Bush was above the law. They stated that the Electronic Frontier Foundation cannot sue AT&T for tapping our phones without a warrant. I sat there in amazement as they actually told the judge that if Congress passed a law prohibiting what they are doing, that Bush would refuse to obey it and it would create a constitutional crisis. It was like I was a witness to the death of freedom.
I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!
P.S. I really was there and they really did say that!
Subject: Another Standard Democrat
With a long form letter, my senator, Hillary Clinton, recently replied to my request that she heed Feingold/Kerry/Boxer's attempt to end America's occupation of Iraq by setting a timetable for our troops to leave. Her letter offered the usual platitudinous, political response, prompting me to write her back as follows, my letter no doubt to be read by some assistant to a deputy intern, if at all:
Subject: Florida "Terrorists"
All these articles on these FL guys miss the real point: The Bush Administration's suppression of free speech, any dialogue, and justice in the U.S. and its actions of lies, deceit, torture, murder and terror and injustice throughout the world, ARE creating terrorists throughout the world on a daily basis. These new terrorists are people from all walks of life that 6 years ago would have been proud to be Americans.
The Bush-inspired creation of "terrorists" IS the crime!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: My Letter to Senator Biden on Net Neutrality
Dear Mr. Biden,
I believe that an open and free internet is probably one of the greatest advances for democracy and the free exchange of ideas. I find it hard to believe that any self-respecting Democrat wouldn't support net neutrality.
In 2003 the FCC sold Americans down the drain by allowing corporate giants to buy up more stations and to control the national debate. Now with net neutrality on the table, big corporations could decide once again who will be heard and who won't.
Should you vote with the Republicans on this issue, you will be doing a major disservice to every Democrat in America, and I am sure this will come back to bite you in the butt should you have any aspirations to seek re-election to the Senate or seek higher office. Look what is happening to Joe Lieberman. I implore you, Senator, to stand with free speech and net neutrality...It's what is best for the country.
Please help us on this issue. PLEASE!!!
Thanks for your time.
Subject: Estate Tax
I live in California and am one of the 83% who cannot get on the housing ladder due to insufficient income. I have above average income and am of course paying some taxes at a 40% rate. I work hard. However there is a group of whiners who may never have done a days hard work in their lives who already could, as individuals, inherit TAX FREE between 5 and 10 homes. Indeed, one day I may even rent one of these homes! The current real Estate Tax is far too low and the current taxes on income are correspondingly too high. If the Estate Tax were higher, there would be forced sales and real estate prices would fall as money would be taken out of the market. I would like to be released from my servitude. Let me suggest the following. I will pay no taxes during my lifetime and Uncle Sam can have everything when I go.
Subject: Set Up!
Well I am now starting to think our government was watching these five or six guys in Miami who were not real sharp and never would have done anything, but our government wanted something so they could use it in their argument for the patriot act and to blunt the news in the New York Times about the money monitoring. I think the FBI informant was the only one that wanted to have anything to do with terrorism and knew these poor black men were easily influenced. I think our government set them up! You can't believe anything this white house or fox news (white house propaganda station) says anymore. If their lips are moving they are lying!
Shorty in Memphis
Subject: Free America
As a Brit (co-author of 2 albums "War Games- The Battle for America and its futuristic sequel, "In the Name of the State) I want to applaud your coverage of both the Neocon crazy antics of Bush and the lapdog support provided by our own "Act-or", Mr Tony Blair. However, the show they have put on to a reluctant "audience" is not musical but an everyday tale of misbegotten policies.
Your continuous exposes of this duality of doom is a lone light in the dark. Keep the flame of freedom burning there, OK?
As I said, your coverage and contributor stores are magnificent! Thanks again
Subject: Everyone's Bank Records
The secret spy plan sure looks like a large sweep of looking for money to steal. And the "Rich" think they are safe from this bunch? With their track record? Yeah, Right! Everyone's phone, bank, credit card records - all these idiots have is lame excuses, and a lifelong record of theft, immoral and illegal behavior. And we put up with these thugs why?
Subject: Dumb and Vicious
I just saw the bestseller list, and Coulter's book is at the top of it. She is one of the most VILE human beings (term is used loosely) I've ever seen/heard.
It is so upsetting that so many people would buy the crap that she spews. And, I wonder -- why are people so willing to listen to ignorant morons like her and Limbaugh and the rest of the conservative hate mongers? What are the credentials of this group of "pundits?"
It's frustrating and infuriating.
Thanks for letting me vent.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Mainstream Media Lets White House Determine What Is News
You're wrong. The MSM doesn't ill-serve the American public. They betray it. They prostitute, nay, rape, the 1st Amendment. As a "fourth estate" they have traditionally held a public trust that separates them from democratic government and its three branches. That separation is supposed to act as an additional check independent of all government influence. Consequently, they have been knighted with the title of "mainstream" which connotes a level of credibility in the minds of that public above political taint.
However, since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, their conspiratorial censorship, black-out, cover-up, and obscuring of the truth and reality of the news, along with their ratification of government spin, has defrauded and deceived that American faith in its broadcast/print media to the extent that "news" and "truth" can only be found on selected, unregulated internet sites like BuzzFlash or on comedy programs like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report.
This is a 1st Amendment crime of mammoth dimension. Symptoms include the abuse of "newsworthiness. It's the providing a stream of continual, regular forums for innumerable hate mongers from Coulter to Limbaugh to Hannity to Savage to Beck -- all intent on destroying the democratic political dialectic. And the elimination or disbursement of Moyers, Scheer, Rather, Donahue, and Keillor. What is worse: the crimes of the current fascist dictatorship which the "MSM" daily brown noses? Or the generational loss of media credibility that will long outlast and outlive any ultimately fleeting Administration?
If anyone deserves beheading, it's the publishers and, particularly, the owners, of these "mainstream" propaganda machines--the likes of Murdoch, Ailes, Isaacson, Scaife, Johnson and Moon.
Subject: Bird Flu Mutation
Your link title [says] that the dreaded H5N1 mutation has happened. This is not what all the talk about the mutation indicates. The significance of this particular mutation is that it enables confirmation that human-to-human transmission occurred by allowing researchers to compare viral samples and trace the path of the virus; it allows them to rule out that contact with infected birds led to the infection of 7 family members in the cluster. This mutation did not have any significance on the ability for the virus to spread more easily. It is important to make this distinction, and it is certainly illuminating that no other infection cases occurred in remaining relatives and contacts.
Subject: Was It Worth It?
Assuming that America went to Iraq for the purpose of "liberating" the Iraqi people. Or maybe it was for making America safer. Was it worth it? Sure W is the willing architect, never mind what his intentions are. He seems to enjoy the support of one-third of the country. It may be reasonable to assume that a significant percentage of them are evangelical Christians, I wonder what Jesus would say about torture. I wonder what he would say about letting a city drown as the fat cats (politicians) ate cake. What would he say about the innocents killed in the war, about the starving children in Africa, about torture in Gitmo, about folks here unable to support themselves as they work for minimum wage...the list of questions is endless.
For those who are not evangelicals and support him, in fact anybody who supports Bush and/or this war, can they answer Dostoevsky? Or are they so trapped in bizzaro world that the word "truth" has no meaning anymore.
Subject: Merchant Marine
In your headline, you claimed that a Merchant Marine hugged Bush, which is kind of impossible. "Merchant Marine" describes the ships that fly a country's flag. Although the King's Point graduate is a large person, he is not a collection of ships. He is a Merchant Mariner.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: News Story from the Future
(AP) Several newspapers today broke the story that the Bush Administration has been behind a secret government program to obtain house keys to all US citizens' homes and look under their beds for terrorists.
Democrats on the Hill responded that the actions "violate Constitutional rights" and that several of them were "contemplating forming a committee to look into the legality of the program."
Republican Bill Frist stated "As usual, the Democrats are trying to make an issue out of normal governmental security procedures."
Arlen Specter appeared outraged but ten minutes later agreed with the administration.
In a related story, the Bush administration said there was no truth to the rumor that a similar program existed to check the name tags on citizens' underwear while they were still wearing them, as well as one to intercept citizen mail at the mailbox and confiscate it.
Subject: Re: Jon Stewart, Enemy of Democracy?
Instead of “poisoning democracy” Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are one of the few signs that it is alive at all in Amerika. Actions, not age or title, earn respect. If politicians act like fools, they deserve nothing more than to be treated as fools. The MSM are a far greater threat to democracy when they cloak in seriousness such self-serving nonsense as the congressional “debate” over whether the US should set an “arbitrary” [i.e., set by chance, whim or impulse] exit date from Iraq. Stewart, Colbert and their fabulous writers are our Menckens.
Subject: McLibel - The Documentary
I just finished watching Mc Libel...
Oh my goodness! What an incredible, enlightening and frightening documentary. It is a MUST SEE for everyone.
I never knew just what the fast food industry was doing, although I did think about it in the deep recesses of my mind. It is vastly disturbing when you see it, factually and frankly.
This will make me think twice while in a rush and in need of a meal. It will make me think about every meal I consume, and the future consequences of the food I eat on my overall long term health.
If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you do as soon as possible. It is not just about fast food, it is about the impact of marketing, the impact on the environment, people and their health, personal finances and above all that newly endangered commodity - Free Speech!
You certainly will never see this program on the networks - ever!
Subject: Different Versions, Same Story
Here's a primer on how a certain news story can be relayed to the world at large.
The actual story: A small number of religious zealots in Miami were discovered with a few crude drawings indicating the possibility of a terrorist attack, possibly the Sears Tower in Chicago. After revealing that the group had no money and was basically engaged in wishful thinking, most people wrote this "threat" off as mere posturing.
Headline News broke this story the day after the bust was announced, stating that the threat wasn't that great, and talked to neighbors who adamantly denied that this group would participate in this kind of scheme. Hooray for CNN for once for not biting the bait on this one.
Any of the "Big Three: "Federal agents have discovered a terrorist plot from our own country that included plans to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. The group, based in Miami, was uncovered by agents, who reported finding pages with drawings of the Sears Tower and revealed the group was part of a religious sect called the "Sea Of David." Are we threatened by such capable domestic terrorism? With more, here's Joe Blow ...
And here's FOX, complete with instructions from the White House and Cheney, don't you know: "The US Government unearthed plans by a terrorist organization from Miami to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. The brave agents stymied what could have been a devastating attack by a well-organized diabolical domestic terrorist network. White House officials described the suspects as 'insidiously brilliant, enemies of democracy and freedom, and haters of America.' They went on to praise the investigators, saying that their efforts were 'cutting edge' and that the Homeland Security program is working great, protecting all of us from such dangerous and horrible criminals."
Don't you feel safer now?
Subject: Talking to Republicans
Present-day Republican voters are very simple-minded people. They don't like having to think for themselves ... or even think at all. They like being told what to think and what to believe. Facts annoy them, much as facts annoy Bush whenever those facts do not agree with what his gut tells him. Slogans and sound bites work well with Republican voters, because it spares them the need to do any independent thinking or research. They are the classic "Don't bother me with the facts; my mind is made up" voters.
So, I'm offering here a few ways to think about talking to your Republican-voting friends and family: When they say Democrats want to "cut and run" in Iraq, snap back at them with: Bush's plan is for our military to "stay and die." Stay and die.
When your Republican-voting friends and family tell you they agree with Bush's mantra to "stay the course" in Iraq, you have two options: You can ask them exactly WHAT Bush's COURSE is ... what is Bush's plan? Or, you can simply say it's time to "change the course," since we're going nowhere in Iraq right now. Change the course.
On another note, Bush flew all the way to Iraq in the jet-fuel-guzzling Air Force One so he could look into the eye of Iraq's new Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. After staring into Maliki's eyes for a minute or two, Bush pronounced his newest best friend a good guy.
Bush had no sooner left Iraqi air space than Maliki announced HIS new plan, which was for America to create a TIMETABLE for LEAVING Iraq (don't let the door hit you on your way out) and, at the same time, Maliki advanced a plan to grant AMNESTY to any Iraqi who had killed other Iraqis or killed any AMERICANS. So much for Bush's ability to look people in the eye and determine their eagerness to be his puppet friend.
"Stay and die."
"Change the course."
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Let's Not And Say We Did
Often, when you have a group of people trying to decide what to do together, someone will make an outrageous suggestion, and another will say, "Let's not, and say we did."
It occurs to me that "Let's not, and say we did," could be the guiding principle of this administration. For instance:
Let's secure our ports against terrorist attack. (Let's not, and say we did.)
Let's protect the environment - pick your issue: coal, mercury, arsenic, over-logging of forests, etc. (Let's not, and say we did.)
Let's enforce mine safety regulations. (LNASWD)
Let's go to war only if there's an urgent and credible threat. (LNASWD)
Let's protect everyone's civil liberties. (LNASWD)
Let's have honest and fair elections. (LNASWD)
Let's carry on foreign policy through honest diplomacy. (LNASWD)
This is only what occurs to me off the top of my head; I'm sure every other Buzzer could add volumes to this list. But Bush's response is always the same: If any action would benefit the majority of Americans, or the world at large, he will reply, "Let's not, and say we did."
Subject: How To Counter Cheney's Assertions
This is just one way to go about it. On Friday 06/23/2006, Cheney went back to his old game of fear and terrorize. Making the assertion that if the people don't reelect the GOP this fall, that the recent bust of a group planning to bomb the Sears Tower, would not have been stopped if the Democrats were in charge.
What needs to be said loudly and clearly on television and radio by our Democratic leaders is this:
The assertions made by Vice President Cheney on Friday are an ABSOLUTE INSULT to the FBI. Basically what the Vice President is saying is that the FBI would stop doing its job of tracking and catching terrorists if Democrats were elected. This is an outrageous insult to the FBI, that they are not capable of doing their job if Democrats were elected.
This needs to be said loudly and often!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: How Can You Teach What You Do Not Know?
Among the varied and vast array of reasons George W. Bush has given to us for invading Iraq; the last one, he says, is to bring freedom to the Iraqi people. A noble mission; if it is true.
But how can you teach others what freedom is if you do not recognize it?
We are a nation built upon a foundation of freedom laid down by our ancestors back in 1776. They built their government on the idea of basic human rights that they believed were unalienable. They put them in writing, they ratified a constitution stipulating that above all else, these rights were not to be abridged.
So how do you teach the Iraqis Human Rights when you violate our Constitution by imprisoning Our citizens and refusing them due process of Our Laws? (Amendment V) How do you show them democratic ways when you are depriving your own citizens of liberty and refusing to allow a speedy and public trial, or by denying these citizens their unalienable right to the assistance of counsel and the Right to confront the witnesses against them? (Amendment VI)
How can you teach what freedom of speech and peaceful assembly are when you silence that speech and disband assembly by denying them access, removal by force, or detention, or arrests? How can you get across the idea of a free press when you censure or punish that press when you do not approve of what they say? How can you teach a religiously divided Iraq tolerance when you give government preference to your own religious ideology rather than uphold the rights of the citizens to have separation of Church and State? (Amendment I)
Or how can you give the Iraqi people a sense of the importance of being secure in their homes, their effects, their papers, safe from unreasonable searches and seizures; and protected by the emphatic “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation” when Amendment IV is violated daily, hourly, by undulating mechanical tentacles worming their way through your e-mails, your phone calls, you homes, your bank accounts, your lives?
And how can you teach a people who have never known any government other than kings and dictators, the absolute beauty and Power of these words: “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends (unalienable rights), it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government ...” (Declaration of Independence)
So how do you teach democracy, to a country like Iraq, when you do not believe in the democratic principles that your country was founded upon? How can you violate your oath of office to “protect and defend” the Constitution and then ignore the Laws of the Constitution that limits your executive power? (Article II)
When you flaunt your disobedience and assume dictatorial powers that violate that very Constitution you are bound by and inflict rampages of illegalities upon the citizens of this country; in manners ranging from the declaration of war to the heavy handed invasion of The People’s privacy; you have no right to presume you can teach anyone anything about our Democracy.
A Democracy is not born from the barrel of a gun. It is born when taught by example. And at this sad point in our history, the example of Democracy we are setting is a poor one. We are not the country, and George W. Bush is not the person, to teach it to Iraq.
Subject: A small correction
Warren Buffett is not a foe of the estate tax. He is in fact one of the signators of letter before Congress defending the estate tax, along with Bill Gates senior and others. They have also formed an organization of billionaires to defend the estate tax.
Subject: Buffet Is Not a Foe of the Estate Tax!
Your headline "Warren Buffett, foe of the estate tax, is giving away his billions, mostly to the Gates Foundation 6/26" is flat WRONG: Buffet is a supporter of the tax, and a foe of its REPEAL.
Just a small example:
Subject: Warren Buffett, "Foe of the Estate Tax ..."
For being the second richest man on Earth, Warren Buffett happens to be more progressive than one might realize. His comments regarding raising property taxes in California resulted in him getting booted from a counsel of advisers that the Governor Gropinator set up for his first run. He is in fact against the repeal of the Estate Tax and has stated so in the press.
Common Dreams has an article regarding this. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0214-01.htm
Maybe you intended to say, "Foe of the repeal of the Estate Tax."
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: We seem to be victims of rushed headline writing. Thanks for setting the record straight.]
Subject: Basic Ignorance
Re the sentence in your story in "Rove Reactivates the Fear Machine," you say Tommy Thompson used to roll out the color-coded alerts. Presumably, such educated and "progressive" folks such as yourselves would know that it was Tom Ridge, as head of Homeland Security, was responsible for that.
Your credibility takes a big hit when you can't even get the basics right.
A BuzzFlash Reader
[BuzzFlash Note: Of course, you're right. Correction made. Thanks.]
Subject: The War Is in Iraq, The Agenda Is In the US
Dear Buzz and Friends,
Ever wonder if we're not watching our own future being played out in Iraq? How much different is george bush from say, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran? Both are ideologues posing as "average joes" - "men of the people." Both have extremists agendas maintain their positions of power through fear, intimidation and skillful lying. The religious right here in America are remarkably similar to their counterparts in the middle east. They have no lofty ideals beyond gallingly transparent pretense. Neither gives a tinker's damn about lives lost in their relentless pursuit of power. Both have an unhealthy fascination with nuclear weapons and are actively seeking some or more of the same. Both are surrounded by loyal zealots ready to do whatever it takes to aggregate power behind their pseudo religious front men. Put a beard on dick "w" cheney and presto you've got Ayatollah Khomeini.
Even after six long years I'm still reeling from the fact that we have a moral imbecile for president - a dumb one at that. Shortly after two GI's were tortured and dismembered in a manner so horrific as to be almost beyond imagination - bush was quoted as saying "the funny thing about the war in Iraq ...". The Great Decider has a way of twisting the knife in a wound that makes one wonder whether he wouldn't be entirely comfortable watching or even participating in the kind of gruesome acts of violence that have become the trade mark of the Iraq war - which is after all Bush's war - he wanted it and by hook and crook he got it. How many Americans believe that Bush's trashing of the Geneva Conventions and our own newly acquired reputation for use of torture did not contribute to the awful fate of the two young marines in Iraq? (Where are you John McCain?)
As a people we have rejected two good men, both of whom would have made good or excellent presidents in favor of this evil little dumb s**t from Texas. It's deeply ironic that if we hadn't given money to the Kerry campaign he wouldn't have been able to hire the expensive political advisors who served him so badly that he would likely otherwise have been elected. I hope and believe that Al Gore is the kind of patriot who will not stand on the sidelines when his country needs him desperately. Gore/Edwards? Gore/Boxer? Gore/Clark? Gore/Feingold? Anybody but Biden or HRC.
Subject: What Do They Care About?
I’m sure there are lots of other taxpayers and voters out there who have to be asking themselves this same question. What DO they care about?
The public opinion polls indicate that a majority of Americans are deeply concerned about the effects of the War on Iraq on this country in terms of lives lost – American, Iraqi, and others – and the amount of money that the Bush Cabal has spent on this so-called war under the guise of calling it part of the war on terror. To call our invasion and occupation of Iraq part of the War on Iraq is ludicrous on its face. Even worse, are the administration’s attempts to compare Iraq to World War II. There is simply no comparing the two, and to use a metaphor – it’s like comparing apples and oranges.
The facts have been made public and we know that the only faulty intelligence is that of Bush and his co-war criminals – which includes, in no particular order – Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle. Some of these names are no longer affiliated with the administration – in accordance with the Peter Principle – they have been promoted to higher levels of incompetence.
American citizens are concerned with the lawlessness of the Bush Cabal, the ruin of the reputation of our country as a beacon of light in the world, and Bush is considered a terrorist by some, and, at the least, a war criminal by many. Bush and many of his neocon cohorts say they don’t care about the public opinion polls.
I have to ask: If they don’t care about what we, the taxpayers, think, then what DO they care about? One need only review who or what has truly benefited from the years of the Bush Cabal to see what is important: Oil, money, oil, money, oil, money for the business ventures they are or have been associated with in the past. Halliburton, for example, has racked up TONS of money because of no-bid contracts to rebuild Iraq and provide logistical support for our troops. They have failed miserably according to the GAO, yet they receive bonuses for the work they have “done.” Why? How many of us are rewarded with bonuses if we don’t do our job according to what our employer expects?
Hurricanes devastated the Gulf Coast less than a year ago – and much of the debris is still on the ground not having been cleaned up yet. This is precisely what the National Guard could have and should have been used for. But, they were deployed to the Middle East to fight the “War on Iraq.” They have been told to leave their equipment there.
We are building an embassy in Baghdad that rivals the size of the Vatican – which is a country. Military bases are on the drawing board for Iraq. Why? That indicates a permanent presence in Iraq. Yet, military bases are being closed here in America.
To quote Bob Dylan: “The times they are a changing.” Our Congress and this administration cares more, and certainly spends more, on Iraq, than they do about We, the People. Yet, they try to make a leader who DOES care about improving the lot of the common people appear like a hemispheric threat to us – Hugo Chavez. Within the last year, President Chavez has offered low-cost heating assistance to poor people in our country. It was recently announced that President Chavez and the Venezuelan government have offered to help the City of Milwaukee not only with heating assistance but with funds for poor people to obtain needed cataract surgery that they can’t afford – due to lack of funds or health care. What does it say about our government’s commitment to take care of its own when they keep cutting programs, but a foreign leader makes commitments to help?
The policies and priorities of our government are seriously out of whack. If they don’t care about us, what DO they care about?
[BuzzFlash Note: As you note -- oil, money, Halliburton ... See also George Lakoff's commentary, Bush Is Not Incompetent, arguing that the administration hasn't "failed," but has successfully implemented a conservative agenda. "Conservatism itself is the villain that is harming our people, destroying our environment, and weakening our nation. Conservatives are undermining American values through legislation almost every day."]
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