July 11, 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.
The story of the 14 or 15-year-old Iraqi woman (child) who was apparently raped and murdered by several of our soldiers has been haunting me. She lived such a short time. Fourteen years, and we can be sure that the last three have been terrifying and filled with much grief. The last days or weeks of her life she had told her mother she was afraid of the soldiers who were flirting with her and her mother planned to send her to relatives for her safety. But too late. So the thing most feared for the child, her mother and family came to pass. Soldiers breaking in, in their frightening uniforms and helmets and brandishing their powerful weapons. Rape--by how many? Terror, her mother's anguish as she could not stop it, perhaps shielding the 7-year-old in the room. Then death for all of them.
I am so burdened, as I know many BuzzFlash readers are, by the suffering we have caused and continue to cause, and none of it necessary. We did not, for any genuine reason, need to go into that child's homeland. We could have worked with the international community to try to improve and safeguard the lives of its civilians. But instead, George W. Bush continued on his life of entitlement, and decided that he was entitled to make war on Iraq's civilians and land and history, using America's soldiers and treasury. A lifetime of entitlement at no cost to himself, a lifetime of detachment from the results of his actions on other people, an apparent near-total inability to empathize with others' suffering--and the cost has been to us and to the Iraqi people.
His use of massive, unnecessary "preemptive" force has set an example for the world, and now Japan is talking of "preempting" North Korea with a strike on its missile sites. Truly dangerous nations are stirring. And what we have in office is the group whose focus on entitlement and personal ideology and massive incompetence has led to such disaster in Iraq, a country that was not dangerous at all.
So the Bush administration's proven incompetence and ideological obsession now, more than ever, poses a great danger to the United States. We have scant reason to believe that Congress will seek or be able to complete impeachment proceedings. But worse, any such proceedings will take far too long for our safety. I believe that the only solution is for a grassroots drive to replace Bush and Cheney with responsible and trustworthy leadership as soon as possible, for the safety and welfare of the United States. Kevin Phillips wrote recently on Huffington Post that in case of resignation or impeachment, the person chosen as Speaker of the House to fulfill the term of office does not need to be a member of Congress. He could, Phillips wrote, even be Bill Clinton. I believe he should be Al Gore.
It has become clear to me that it is completely irresponsible for us, the American people, to allow an untrustworthy president to continue running this country and much of the world for another two and a half years. We have an obligation to ourselves and to the world. If we focused beyond "mere" impeachment, to a vision of a change that would start repairing damage instead of leading us further and further into darkness, I believe the support that already exists for change would become more focused and ready to help. Even if such a direct action movement could not by itself force replacement, a clear statement of majority will could force Congress to impeach quickly and choose a Speaker named by the people.
I know that the immediate reaction to such an idea is "it can't be done." But that is not only untrue, it is self-indulgent to accept it. Just as we would never knowingly continue to leave one of our children with a caretaker who was harming or endangering the child, but would find a way to get the child out of the person's clutches no matter what--so we must recognize that "impossible" is not an acceptable answer. This administration's policies of greed, corruption and death are too dangerous to our country to be allowed to continue. It is our responsibility to change it.
Subject: The Iraq War a "Single Issue"? Not So Fast, Beinart/Davis Et Al.
(a letter sent to The New Republic, the Lieberman campaign, and others)
There is troubling new talking point out there - currently centering on the Lieberman/Lamont contest and coming primarily from "centrist" or right-wing Democrats. I heard it twice just yesterday; from Lanny Davis of the Lieberman campaign (on CSPAN's Washington Journal), and from Peter Beinart of The New Republic. It goes like this: "Left-wing Democrats focusing on the Iraq war are engaging in single-issue politics."
Davis used it to argue that Lieberman was in fact a progressive Democrat in all ways that really count, and that objections from his constituents regarding his support for the President’s war were making a mountain out of a mole-hill. Beinart’s spin was particularly interesting, as he declared on ABC’s "This Week" that left-wing bloggers were "modeling Karl Rove" by attempting to get the Democratic Party into myopic "lockstep" on the issue of the Iraq war. Both of these perspectives ignore completely the complexity of the issue at hand, and try to shrink the disaster of the Iraq war into a tiny little straw man with which to make their opponents appear dogmatic or pedantic.
Quite to the contrary, the Iraq war is the most salient and pervasive event of our times - it is not just a single issue, but the manifestation of every serious question and problem facing our society today. Opposition to the war takes many forms, and occurs on multiple fronts. There is the antiwar movement’s core of moral/religious pacifists, who reject the entire idea of war as a means to settle disputes; there are traditional militarists who abhor the blatant failure of our apparently clueless administration to plan and execute the invasion according to its stated goals; there are traditional liberals, who decry the absence of international consensus in regard to the invasion; there are traditional conservatives, who chafe at the vast, unaccountable expense of the war with nothing but lofty rhetoric as an objective; there are the Fair Trade activists, who oppose the war as globalization by state violence; there are advocates of economic and social justice, who see the war as a windfall for the rich at the expense of the disadvantaged; there are concerned constitutionalists who object to unprecedented executive power as both a means and an end of the administration’s prosecution of the war ...
All these classes of protest come from widely diverse segments of society, and are fundamental components of principle for their various advocates. But they all today converge on a single focal point - the war in Iraq.
Now I realize that a single point on some political strategist’s planning chart may take up very little space, but it would be a dire mistake to allow that simplistic optical illusion to characterize one's position in regard to that crucial point. To rhetorically shrink this issue into a dot on a polar graph is to admit defeat in the arena of rational debate and to retreat into public-relations chicanery as your final, unprincipled stand. Watch out; you might find yourself on the wrong side of just about everything.
Subject: Don't Blame Gore
As someone who spent 15 years volunteering on election campaigns when I lived in Florida, I must strongly object to Ron Klain's false attack on Al Gore in the article "Don't take the high road." (Washington Post). Al Gore did all he could short of starting a civil war to save democracy in America in 2000. The Gore campaign followed Florida election law to the letter. There never should've been a dispute because Florida law clearly required that the uncounted votes be counted.
It was Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris who deliberately violated Florida law and invented a dispute. It's long overdue for Senate democrats and the DNC to be held accountable for their abandoning Al Gore and doing nothing to stop Bush's theft of the 2000 election. I'll long remember DNC chair Ed Rendell publically urging Al Gore to end his fight to save democracy in America. Blaming Al Gore for Bush's theft of the 2000 election is like blaming a rape victim for the rapist's attack.
Subject: Patience Is Not Always a Virtue
Our Lying Leader is cautioning Americans that diplomacy takes time and that we must be patient. We will use patience with North Korea who really does have nuclear weapons that we didn’t bother to use when we invaded Iraq who didn’t.
Patience? In Iraq as well? Has President Pinhead been taught a new buzz word? Do we need to be patient while this bunch of buffoons figures out what the hell they’re doing?
While we wait, how many people will die? Men, women and children who just want the violence to stop? Who just want the invaders to leave their country? Who just want to be able to go to the store and get a loaf of bread without risking their lives?
Patience is something the Pinhead in the White House should have shown in the run-up to invading Iraq. Patience to let the inspectors do their job. Now he discovers patience. Or maybe someone drew him a picture and showed him that, when you have wasted the nation’s military might and the nation’s wealth on a despot who didn’t have any WMD, you let another despot grow in strength. And yoo-hoo, President Pinhead, this guy really does have WMD.
Don’t you just feel so screwed sometimes?
Subject: What You Can Expect Until November
Please visit millsriverliberal.blogspot to read this piece. Also check out the daily Bin Laden Watch.
The Mills River Progressive
Subject: Fort Apache, Baghdad
Perhaps, incidentally, you could post to the dishonorable mention lists that it's the unconscionable resumption of our colonial conquest of native peoples, first across this continent and now, despicably endeavoring to cross the world; and for the second time in a generation, with many of the same depraved characters, it's being conducted on our watch!
Subject: Sunday's Meeting with Ned Lamont in West Hartford, CT
There were well over 100 citizens at Sunday’s meeting in West Hartford, CT. Ned Lamont covered a wide range of topics and countries and he proved that he is not just a "One-Issue Candidate,” as stated by the Lieberman campaign.
The claim by Lieberman that young “wackos” on the Internet are the sole supporters of Ned Lamont is way off the mark.
Sunday’s meeting was comprised of concerned, adult citizens who are worried about the direction our country is heading. They ranged from their late teens to their eighties; with a majority of the crowd that came to see Mr. Lamont ranging anywhere from their thirties to their seventies. Two of us made the effort in our wheelchairs to get to the gathering.
Sorry, Joe, but I wouldn’t classify the adults I saw there as “wackos”! Ned Lamont first talked to the citizens. Then he answered a broad spectrum of questions. Q & A at the gathering covered the United States, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea, Japan, China, Russia and Mexico. The topics discussed by Ned Lamont and the questions/answers covered:
· The Iraq War · The North Korea Missiles Threat · The Middle Class and their Lost Jobs through Trade Agreements · The Environment and the Kyoto Accord · Our Lack of Energy Independence via the secret Cheney Energy Task Force and our missed opportunity after 9/11 · Keeping Social Security as it is and not privatizing it · Medicare Rx with competitive drug pricing · Basic Health Care for all especially the young · Our Education system which would be Ned Lamont’s key subject in the Senate · Allowing Emergency Contraception for all Rape Victims · Bi-Lingual voting and getting everybody to speak English through a better school system.
So clearly, Ned Lamont is not a "One Country, One Topic" candidate.
It’s time for any uncommitted voters to come hear Ned Lamont and join the Ned Lamont Campaign. All of us 20-80 year-old “wackos” would welcome you.
Subject: "Black Bush"... Chappelle [comedy]
Subject: Tim McGhie ... and Phil, Vermont
"Is Lay Dead"?...all I know is that a Houstonian reporter tried to get in to the memorial service and was turned away by security...hummmmm!!!
I agree with Phil of Vermont...Bush has never worried his head about the lies, etc. That is why he has not aged...stayed the same way as when he was crowned...They are devious, the right wingers, they know just how to cover up and by the time they get through blaming someone else...you are so confused...those of us who are a little brighter....you don't even wonder anymore! And all the convicted soldiers, caught in rape and killing innocent Iraqi women, kids and even men...will be pardoned by the chimp.
Shirley ... St. Louis
I am writing about personal experience getting information about Medicare. I talked to numerous people in several social security offices and was given incomplete and inaccurate information many times. This also happened to several friends. When I met with a counselor in the social security office I was given advice that would have cost me a great deal of money and probably would have bankrupted me had I followed it. Upon questioning the person she acknowledged that the people in her office really didn't understand the program very well. I believe a great many people will be unhappily surprised when they find that the program isn't what it is advertised to be.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bumper Sticker
Just want to share our original bumper sticker with you. We are having it made this week!
Ain't The Bush Economy A REAL GAS?$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Subject: Reich-Wings in the Courts
Why the Bushevik Hack Judges Appointed to the Courts are So Important to the GOP Incremental March Toward Tyranny. 1982 Reagan Appointee Approves the FBI's Right to Have a Field Day Acting Like the Secret Police Against Members of Congress.
In your article about the ... courts being packed and stacked with GOP yes men I notice several troubling items, but one strikes me as really troubling:
Future raids? Most likely only those that don't support the Nazis in command.
Also in the article it was mentioned that Congressmen are held to the same laws as "ordinary citizens," but neglected to specify if the p-Resident and the whole executive branch are or are not held to any laws or accountability.
That really makes it easy to sleep at night.
The Bush regime requires that the chaos in Iraq get worse. From the beginning they were told by their own experts that occupation would lead to fracturing the country into 3 parts. That is a big part of why they invaded. They want it to occur. This is the same policy that Britain adopted regarding fomenting divisions between the Muslims and Hindus so that their exit would disempower the Indians. It is the same policy the US adopted toward Israel and Palestine in the 1960-70s (no war, no peace) so that instability would continue in the Arab world allowing US favored dictators and reactionaries to remain in power. It is a gambit: talk about instituting and appear to be working for democracy and promoting a multinational government while working to undermine that same government. But it is a trick that has a proven effective track record, while the alternative is what happened in Vietnam, total defeat.
Subject: Taking it back
One of the many things that grates me whenever I hear an interview by a "lawmaker" is when they use the phrase "that was 'wrong' ... or he was 'wrong' ..."
Why can't we use the correct terminology:
This or that or he or she has acted either LEGALLY or ILLEGALLY.
In a free state nobody is "right" or "wrong," you either act "legally" or "illegally"!!
Can we get something done with this language problem?
I believe it was started by Joe Leiberman.
It is one of the earlier things about him that has always grated me.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: FBI Raids on Congress
I like you guys, but please tell me you're not supporting Rep Jefferson and his 100,000 bags of money he hid in his freezer............
This is why the Dems will never retake the Congress if you support thieves, adulterers and people who hate the military.
[BuzzFlash Note: Whoa! We support a balance of powers and the rule of law, and we think who rules from the bench and why is relevant to that. What is the precedent here, if the executive branch can raid Congress selectively (the FBI saw no need to raid Tom DeLay's or Duke Cunningham's offices)? Didn't the FBI already have pretty persuasive evidence (the freezer money, for starters) without raiding congressional files? Here are our related headlines: Papers from Jefferson raid are in limbo, under 45-day freeze order 7/10; Judge: Jefferson Raid Legal; "Congress' capacity to function effectively is not threatened by permitting congressional offices to be searched pursuant to validly issued search warrants" 7/11; Why the Bushevik Hack Judges Appointed to the Courts are So Important to the GOP Incremental March Toward Tyranny. 1982 Reagan Appointee Approves the FBI's Right to Have a Field Day Acting Like the Secret Police Against Members of Congress.]
Subject: Mr. William Jefferson and the Law
I am well known to you and to our community. You sup at my table and I, gratefully, at yours ...
Your headline of 7/10/06, one of many such headlines that in the last six years of absolute frustration, you have over-hyped, was way off base…Over the top and beneath you at the same time… Hard to do...
Why the Bushevik Hack Judges Appointed to the Courts are So Important to the GOP Incremental March Toward Tyranny. 1982 Reagan Appointee Approves the FBI's Right to Have a Field Day Acting Like the Secret Police Against Members of Congress
With all due respect, you missed the point of the ruling…CONGRESS IS NOT ABOVE THE LAW, and neither is the President, as the ruling regarding the detainment of “enemy combatants” also showed… While I agree with the premise, the conclusion is not warranted.
I love you guys, we are birds of a feather, kindred souls and brothers in arms... But your tendency to overreach speaks to your credibility, just as the opposition’s tendency to exaggerate and obfuscate speaks to their’s…
Reference a quick googlin’…
And US vs. Cooper, 1800….I think Justice Marshall was on the Court…
Lots of reasons to get excited... But Mr. Jefferson, who is a criminal and happens to be a Democrat, is not one of them.
His actions, although not yet proven in a Court of Law, were and are probable cause for a search warrant, for any place that can be described with accuracy.
My only question is, “Why did they wait a year to do this?” This is where the nasty politics of this bit of selective “law enforcement” lie ...
Not in enforcing the law ... This man is a scumbag and no Democrat! His felonies are as bold faced as Cunningham’s, and should have been dealt with at the same time. Not now, in the midst of an election when the Republicans desire to paint the Lobby Scandal as “bi-partisan” ...
Horse***t…! Bi-partisan, my ...
If it was “bi-partisan,” it would be one of the few things in Congress that is “bi-partisan” and not rammed down our throats ...
But hey … speak to our intelligence and wisdom, you do very good and needed work, but propaganda is what Republicans do ... We do reality and the reality in this case is that it is an outrage, but very legal, very old legal ...
I am, of course, an admitted partisan, a Democrat, and you remain one of my commitments, along with Howard, the DNC and the DCCC, the check is in the mail. Really!
Subject: A Response to Dave Zirin's "Zidane Jersey" Column
To the editor:
I'd like to respond to Dave Zirin's "Why Today I Wear My Zidane Jersey" column on BuzzFlash.
Racism is evil and it should be condemned wherever it occurs in the world.
But as bad a racism is today in Europe, it's important to note that it's NOTHING compared to the horrific, widespread, institutionalized racism that plagues all aspects of American society, from our legal system to our "justice" system to our health care system. I mean, some idiots in the soccer stands making monkey sounds and throwing bananas on the pitch is an idiotic thing to do. But it pales into insignificance compared to the sort of extreme, deadly racism to be found in the U.S. Remember, this is a country where only 8 years ago, three white supremacists chained a black man to the back of a pickup and dragged him to death, in Jasper, Texas.
America is a nation where racist, out-of-control cops routinely kill UNARMED young black men. The case in New York City a few years ago where cops shot and killed a young unarmed black man with 41 bullets drew big headlines. But in fact, there's been a large number of such cases over the years in the U.S. as Michael Moore once pointed out on his "The Awful Truth" series.
Where, exactly, are incidents like this happening in Europe?
Of course, racism also pervades America's prison system, where a very high percentage of the 2.5 million we incarcerate are black men. Incidentally, Europe's prison population is tiny compared to ours. And while we in America routinely execute prisoners, (a high percentage of which are black men), the death penalty was long ago abolished in Europe.
Even the recent French riots, for all the headlines they generated, left only one person dead (compare that to the 50+ who died in the Rodney King riots in L.A.).
I always cringe when I hear U.S. commentators blast other nations. It seems to me that our society, with its biggest-in-the-world prison population, its rotten-to-the-core political system and its Third World education system has enough to keep Americans occupied for centuries before we'd even have the time to point out other nations' woes.
Subject: Gay Marriage Vote in MA July 12
On July 12th the State Legislature in MA is voting on whether to allow the people of MA to vote on a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage in the state. As someone who witnessed the joy and celebration the night the first marriage certificates were handed out to same sex couples in Cambridge, I am intent on seeing this Amendment fail.
The organization Mass Equality is asking people to come to the State House and Boston Common on July 12th anytime between 7am-5pm to show their support for gay marriage.
For more information please see their website http://www.massequality.org. Even if you only have an hour please come out and show your support for equal rights. Don't let bigots destroy our state's progress and taint the memories of that beautiful May night in Cambridge. Thank You.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Attack on NYT
No one seems to have taken notice that the Bush attack on the corporate media should prove to the corporate media that it is not possible to brown nose enough to be safe from attack by our fascist government. Did no one ever tell our corporate media that the best defense, sometimes the only defense, is a good offense? The lower the corporate media bows down, the sooner they get a good kick in the ass. Ask the Judith Miller-loving NYT.
Edith M. Conrad
Subject: Perhaps a Title Change?
What Changed on 9/11? A Radical, Extremist Cabal CREATED a Terrorist Attack for the Dismantling of Democracy.
Great article as usual but I thought the title needed just a little adjustment. And remember that that old conspiracy theory is not a theory anymore.
[BuzzFlash Note: No, we're sticking with our word choice, as you surely will with yours.]
Too Late - the re-thug-licans have already committed the crime. conforming to law now does not erase past crimes against humanity - but then again we have heard so many lies from these idiots - why would we believe their actions will match their words
I strongly DISAGREE regarding Bree's use of the term "incompetence." I believe Bush & Co. consider all of these "failures" to be "successes" because they are the deliberate results of their REAL GOALS!!! They wish to destroy democracy – here as well as abroad. AND ARE DOING ONE HELL OF A TERRIFIC JOB OF IT!
For my money, this is the most competent regime this country has ever seen. What we seem to have are a small group of fundamentalist (real or play-acting for their supporter base who they themselves call "the wacko vote") extremists stymieing the majority by strategically using FEAR, THREATS, AND NAME-CALLING to transform our democracy into their idea of a totalitarian, Fascist republic.
Not all, but some of our Democratic elected officials at the federal level appear to be so afraid of being called "unpatriotic" that they are willing to give over our country to those who really seem to be. Think about it.
Then think about this: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.
THEY CAN – IF YOU LET THEM!!! Remember. It's a choice!
Subject: Bush Pilot (with English Subtitles)....pretty Damned Funny
Subject: Hung Up On Me, Re Chuck Schumer
I called the above's office just now and before I was finished the guy who answered my call hung up on me. He said "Schumer was supporting Lieberman only in the Primaries so I said I don't want him to do that either, then he hung up on me.
Guys at BF....I'm SO GLAD I am an Independent NOW - was always a lifelong Democrat until I saw how the speechless Democrats are operating recently. Ralph Nader was 300% RIGHT when he said the DEMS and Republicans are ONE party now. We are screwed big time - the EU is much more prosperous than the USA and their populace work much less hrs., it's disgraceful. One world government is rapidly approaching.
Subject: Don't Use Voting Machines With No Paper Record
Regardless of the fact that absentee ballots can be lost, they are better than the probability that the voting machines can be controlled. People might send their vote by registered mail and keep a copy. The Post Office will ensure delivery. Why people in a community that uses the vulnerable machines don't raise hell with their local government passes all understanding because they really have the power to get rid of negligent public servants.
I truly believe that the local republicans would support the correct counting of votes. I believe the the rot comes down from the top rather than up the other way. If the criminal acts performed by people responsible were exposed, I am sure all would agree that those acts must be stopped and those responsible tried, convicted and adequately punished for destroying the system that has made us great. Unless we stop these people, our country will fall.
John A. Samuelson
Subject: Your Editorial Today
Excellent Editorial today... I want you to know I sent it to both my senators along with a demand for their acknowledgment. I also sent it to my representative at the (ugh) house. Believe me, the senate and the house (and the courts and the executive branch too) do not deserve to be capitalized these days.)
I also make sure everyone I know reads it.
I don't know how to thank you enough for your wonderful work. This excellent editorial is another example of how BuzzFlash makes it easy for me to share important national concepts with everyone I know ... and don't know as well.
Keep up the good work, and, when I can, I will keep up my support.
A BuzzFlash Reader
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