July 14, 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: Immigration, July 12 Mailbag
A BuzzFlash reader asks, "I would like to question why you guys apparently are supporting the current massive wave of immigration from Mexico."
As another BuzzFlash reader I'd like to offer a few thoughts that might be relevant to the current immigration debate.
1. At the most general level, it is part of the history of our species to move and migrate. Archaeology and anthropology have established that we evolved in Africa and spread out from there, gradually inhabiting every continent, even in recent years establishing research stations in Antarctica. No one has figured out how or why Australia was settled so early (30-40,000 years ago according to Jared Diamond, "Guns, Germs and Steel"), as it is thought that it was never in sight from any other land or island. But settled it was. Moving around must be deep in our genome.
2. In more recent times we know the Americas were first settled by migrants from Siberia and much later by migrants from Europe and others imported from Africa.
3. Another form of human migration, and one that has intensified greatly in the past few decades, is from rural and farming regions to cities and now huge metropolitan aggregations. This kind of migration, even within a country, is often seen as disruptive and governments sometimes try to slow it down, without much success.
4. Currently, all over the world people are moving from poorer and more repressive countries to other countries that are politically freer and offer more economic opportunity. During the Cold War we thought it was fine, for a few people, anyway, to "escape" from behind the Iron Curtain. We might consider that East Germany's efforts to wall in its population in Berlin was not any more effective than ours will be to "wall" out Mexicans.
In Europe, for example, Africans are crossing the Mediterranean, often after having crossed much of the continent of Africa overland, to find jobs and freedom in Italy and Spain and points further north and east in Europe. Spain and other countries have not figured out how to stop these migrants. And European countries already have a variety of residents of non-European origin -- North African Arabs in France, South Asians in Britain, Turks in Germany (at first recruited to fill factory jobs to make up for the loss of working age men in particular during WW II) and so forth.
Here in the US we have streams of migrants from Mexico and points south. The reasons people come are myriad. BuzzFlash Reader is correct that corporations and industrial agriculture thrive on waves of cheap labor, and even like that many of their workers are "illegal," the better to pay them poorly, overwork them, and ignore their human and labor rights. At the same time no one is forcing people to migrate into the US. They come because they want to, even knowingly risking their lives to do so.
Migration is a very complex issue. How to protect American workers who are at least 2nd generation citizens? How to be a welcoming haven for the poor and dispossessed of the world?
The fact is that there is no way to keep migrants out, short of militarizing our borders completely (at GREAT expense) and being willing to shoot anyone who tries to get in.
My own view is that it is both futile and inhuman to try to prevent human beings from moving freely around the world. But if that seems like too radical and outrageous an idea, it is essential to be very smart, creative, and thoughtful about what the realistic alternatives are. How can we really control migration? How much will it cost? Who will win what and who will lose what? Are jobs for working class Americans better protected if corporations export jobs instead of importing labor?
These are not questions to be readily dealt with by any kind of liberal v conservative or right wing v left wing or ..... v ..... dichotomies, and certainly not by this or that bill in Congress.
Are these questions appropriate for further discussion on BuzzFlash?
Subject: Go Valerie Go!!
Our hearts are with you Mrs. Wilson.
Bring those liars down!!!!!!
Subject: Suzanne, July 13 Mailbag
It's not very often that I expect people to respect what I have to say. At the best of times I'm controversial and at the worst--- an absolute prick.
But Suzanne from San Fran really caught me unexpectedly in the June 13th Mailbag. She wrote in response to yet another one of my scathing and bitter assaults on the Bush government and America in general. Her response made me sad. I don't get sad---ever.
The tone of her letter as it was addressed to me was that of a "broken soul." Maybe I'm seeing something there that doesn't exist but when I read and re-read her response it left me with nothing but a blank. Seeing one woman write about her shame for her country while at the same time moderately saluting my verbal assault on it, put me on "tilt."
Is it that easy for Americans to give up? Have you all become like Suzanne and been brought to shame for simply being born an American? If there's already one Suzanne, how many more like her are going to abandon their country for safer shores like those of France, Canada, Germany and even Mexico? (God--if there is one--bless her for getting out by the way.)
I don't fault any American for what your government dictates. As I said in my own letter -- "You've pissed your nation away for the sake of the hayseed, the churchgoer and the bigot." But you've only done it through complacency. Those that should want to change your "American Scene" are sitting at home reading blogs and websites that feed you the news; and when it's all said and done -- by the time you're through reading all the filth, you become so tired or so angry that all you can do is wander down to the pharmacy and refill yet another prescription for America's answer for everything, Paxil.
I'm in Canada ... I can say what I want. Most Americans wouldn't care, but you know who would be saying something were he alive today? I'll give you a list ...
Benjamin Franklin would say: "Protest."
Remember something my American neighbours; As John Raulston Saul once said (and I'm paraphrasing ...)
"The most dangerous people in the world are heroes."
Just look at history and see who the heroes are. Hitler was a hero in Germany. Mussolini in Italy. Mao in China. Stalin and Lenin in the Soviet Union. Kim Jong Il. Caesar. Nero. Bush, Jr. Heroism breeds fanaticism.
What America really needs now is a fanatical approach to peaceful protest. It has to happen every day, at any place where there's a TV camera. It has to happen outside Faux News, Halliburton's head office, on the docks, at an airport, at Gitmo--- anyplace! Like it was in the 1960's--- If no civilian American is willing to get his head caved by a cop or a soldier, then that person isn't willing to fight for his country.
Remember everyone ... you have nothing left. Your country is gone. It's been taken away through a carefully orchestrated plan. It's not coming back to you unless you take it back with your rights and constitution in hand.
Bush wanted to make America safer. He wants to protect you from gay marriage, flag burning and all that fun stuff, but what we see across the board is this:
"We're tapping your phones. Now shut up."
"We're checking your bank records. Now shut up."
"We're incarcerating you because we want to. Now shut up."
"We're going to war. Now shut up."
I believe Martin Luther King said: "Rioting is the voice of the voiceless."
Name me one person on your street or in your building or at your office who has a voice, but show me ten thousand voices and I'll know them all by name. There will be Truth, Justice, Liberty, Honour, Pride, Shame, Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter, Sensibility, Equality, Medicare, Anger, Pride ... These are just a few names of people that I'm sure I would recognize at your protests.
Sometimes freedom comes only through revolution. As Americans you honour your revolution. Perhaps it's time to start a new one. A different one. A softer, weapons-free revolution.
My word ... Just do something! Stop sitting there.
And Suzanne ... You can't leave your country now. More than ever, true Americans need true Americans.
Boy I wish I could cross the border to raise hell, but this is America's fight. We as Canadians are busy protecting ourselves from not just your government but also our own neo con nightmare.
Subject: Can't Always Judge The Book By The Cover
While out on a short drive this past Sunday in Northwest Arkansas, which is typically pro-Republican in the north, and more Democratic as you go closer to the Arkansas River Valley, I stopped at a convenience store for a soda in a tiny mountain town. I saw two "good ol' boys" gassing up their trucks and figured they were probably gun-toting flag-waving Republicans, poor as dirt but not quite bright enough to figure out why they were Republican. (You'd be surprised how many of those types are out there.) When I got within hearing distance, though, they were raking George Bush over the coals. They were sick of the war, sick of the price of gas and sick of him. One fellow said "Bush is the worst thing that has ever happened to this country." I couldn't help but enter the conversation briefly, saying that if Bush had his way, we'd be in jail just for criticizing him. The other fellows laughed and said that they'd be in jail, then.
So, Democrats, there's a message you can use. The price of gas will go up and up and up, as will every consumer good along the way. The Republicans don't want to raise the minimum wage, want to make it harder to claim legitimate bankruptcy, and keep gouging the middle class.
Use the war as a catalyst for gas prices. After all, it is the main reason gas will near $3.50 soon in most states.
Tell the country how our soldiers are dying for a lost cause, how Bush has ruined the economy and is making the cost of living more expensive than ever.
If there's one thing that voters will respond to, it's the impact on their pocketbooks. It's sad to say there's not near enough people outraged by the abuse of the Constitution to force the Republicans out. Chalk it up to selfishness. So go where the issue is, Democrats. Surprise us for once by not screwing up a situation you should be able to kick Bush's ass with.
Subject: Ambassador Joseph Wilson
Something has continued to puzzle me throughout the controversy surrounding the Plame scandal, and I have to wonder if anyone has addressed it before now (if they have, I haven't seen it).
It is clear that the Bush administration, and Vice President Cheney in particular, decided quite early to try and discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson's exposure of the complete fiction the Bush administration was pushing that Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger. These attempts to discredit Wilson began even BEFORE he went public with the findings from his investigative trip to Niger at the request of the CIA (an investigation, ironically, ordered by the office of the Vice President). It is also clear that Cheney et. al believed Wilson would be thoroughly discredited if they could claim his wife, a covert CIA operative specializing in WMD proliferation, was responsible for arranging the trip. Even now, despite the documented fact that Valerie Plame was NOT responsible for sending her husband to Niger, nor held the authority to arrange such a mission, Cheney and his minions continue to push the meme that Wilson's mission was a frivolous case of nepotism.
The facts are in. They have been in for some time. The Cheney "scenario" of Wilson's trip is complete nonsense. Quite literally - the argument makes no sense. Who sent Wilson is totally irrelevant. But for the sake of argument, let's pretend for a moment that Valerie Plame did arrange for her husband to go to Niger.
SO. . . FRIGGIN. . . WHAT?
How exactly is that supposed to discredit Wilson's findings? Was Plame otherwise qualified to be involved in the CIA investigation of the yellowcake claims? She was a veteran CIA WMD proliferation specialist - of COURSE she was qualified.
Was Ambassador Joseph Wilson qualified to investigate an alleged transaction between Niger and Iraq? Let's take a look. Wilson was a member of the US Diplomatic Service for 22 years. His very first assignment was to the mission in Niger. Following assignments included the U.S. missions in Togo, South Africa, Burundi, and the Congo as well as the State Dept Bureau of African Affairs. He was appointed Ambassador to Gabon and to Sao Tome and Principe. He also held the positions of Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council where he was responsible for the coordination of U.S. policy to 48 sub-Saharan African countries. And finally, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad - and became acting Ambassador during Desert Shield.
Joseph Wilson had first-hand knowledge of who the main players were in both Niger and Iraq. He had direct knowledge of who would have to be involved on both sides in a transaction such as that being claimed by the Bush Administration. He possessed expert knowledge of who to talk to to get to the truth - who was reliable and who wasn't - who's information was good and who's was suspect. And, in fact, his expertise DID uncover the truth - that the Niger documents were forgeries and that the entire episode was a work of fiction.
If there were anyone MORE qualified to conduct the CIA's investigation, I don't know who they could possibly be.
So again, even if, just for shitz-n-giggles, we were to accept Cheney's fantasy that Wilson's well-qualified wife was responsible for sending her outrageously-qualified husband on this investigation, how does that in any way bring any of Wilson's perfectly-qualified conclusions into doubt?
Obvious answer: It doesn't.
Karl M Evans
[BuzzFlash Note: Of course. And let's not lose sight of the fact that Cheney's office requested the trip to Niger. It seems to us, the entire problem is that Cheney expected the CIA to help him "fix the facts" to fit his policy -- that's the language used in the Downing Street Memo for this phenomenon. Joe Wilson and some principled intelligence professionals in the CIA didn't go along with that. Their lack of complicity would, understandably, piss Cheney off and get the ball rolling for a campaign to discredit Wilson and his wife, and the entire CIA by extension. Wilson's Op-Ed in The New York Times presented the first clear evidence that lies sent us to war, and the Downing Street Memo later gave more evidence. Of course, the White House spin that came later (once no WMDs were found) was "bad intelligence" from the CIA. So the administration first tried to shape, cherry pick, and suppress intelligence to fit their goals, dismissing Ambassador Wilson's findings, at the very least. Later, in an about face, they accused the intelligence community of giving them "bad intelligence" indicating Saddam had a WMD program that could threaten us.]
Subject: Ann Coulter Clone
Ever notice how Ann Coulter and a late 70's Todd Rundgren look exactly alike? At least one has talent and washes his hair.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Controversial "South Park" Episode Rescheduled
Subject: DOJ Tells Congress - "The President Is Always Right"
We have arrived at full dictatorship. As Marjorie from Kenosha, WI aptly pointed out, you can't trust a liar to ever tell the truth again. In a court of law, witnesses are discredited when they are revealed to be liars. This pathological lying is actually illegal. It is so stated in the Constitution.
Our Beloved Leader is not right when he called the Constitution "that goddamned piece of paper." He is not right when he invades a sovereign nation to curtail their oil production to aid and abet criminal corporations by exponentially increasing their profits. He is not right, nor are his subhuman lawyers, when he says that he can authorize torture of 'insurgents' and 'evildoers.' He is not right in his attempt to demonize The New York Times when they publicized yet another of his illegal spying programs.
Department of Justice and White House lawyers are on notice. They will be held to account along with Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld when they are tried for War Crimes and Treason against the United States of America.
Worst president ever. Worst political party ever. Worst deception ever. The president is not always right. This president is wrong. So wrong.
Subject: War and Other Horrors
I hate to do it, but I just have to watch the news ... and folks, it ain't good! It seems to me like the entire middle east is bombing the hell out of the rest! Could someone tell me why it was so easy to impeach Bill Clinton ... over a blue dress ... and George Bush cannot be impeached over murder ... lies ... (about weapons ... not a dress) ... if nothing else ... the little dead babies in Iraq ... one of the saddest things I have ever seen? You know ... they are pretty little kids.... and they are dying all the time ... and what we hear is not good ... can you imagine what we do not hear?
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: Recent Republican Outcry Over a Democratic Ad
I really hope the Democrats don’t back down from their recent ad showing the mess in Iraq. The Republicans came out recently upset over a shot of coffins draped with American flags.
I would like to see the Democrats' response to go something like this:
Let’s get this straight -- According to Republicans:
1) Republicans: An ad showing a candidate morphed into Osama Bin Laden: Acceptable
The American people will no longer tolerate the existing Congress and their phony indignation as they try to wrap themselves in the American flag. It’s time to stand in front of it!
The Republicans are running scared. They know that their current policies of Deceit, Corruption and Payoffs are about to be replaced this November with Truth, Justice and The American Way!
Subject: Flag Burning
It seems to me that the Republicans are trying to use their Flag Burning to avoid scrutiny of the Bush administration desecration of the Constitution of the United States.
Suzanne H Lynch
Subject: Oil Prices
I have a question that I would like you to research. Who really drives the price of oil and other commodities, both up & down and makes millions?? I feel the oil companies do not control the price but are just happily going along with it. Right or wrong????
Is it not the big power brokers who actually control events like Bush and the Iraq invasion, etc.? Would they then not know that the Iraq war would drive up the price of oil? Since they then can invest a relatively small amount of money on a sure thing, they can quickly become very rich. Is that not true?? Why then have we not heard anything of this? I would be extremely interested to know how much Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld etc. have invested in oil commodities?? How can we find out? Also there is the latest Israeli invasion which also drives up the oil prices even more. Are the leaders in Israel also making a killing? This latest episode has got to have more meaning than just one soldier who has not even been killed yet. Would you recognize my email and think about my subject a little bit and respond to it. I would be interested in your comments.
Subject: Phelps Sued
I hear that Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church have been sued. I haven't seen any news reports on this, only a letter to the editor of our local paper - from a military veteran who thinks it's about time (so do I).
Evidently the relatives of a Marine killed in Iraq are suing Phelps and his band of merry wackos for disrupting the funeral. The family's from Pennsylvania, I believe. I hope they take Phelps for everything he's got.
Does anyone else know any more?
[BuzzFlash Note: Here's the scoop: Homophobe Fred Told To Pay Up (365Gay.com). They've been billed for security at a funeral where they planned a protest and then were no-shows. They might be sued for non-payment of the security costs.]
Subject: Karl, Karl, Karl
Earlier this week, Nutty Novak actually named Cheney, Rove and Libby as sources, but not his primary source. Who could his primary source be that is soooooooo secret? That really doesn't leave too many others in the Bush administration, other than Dubya, or did Tenet tell him, himself? Is this deep throat someone running for office or someone that would really embarrass Novak, like his gay lover or something? I guess he could've been sleeping with Laura Bush or some minister or his wife.
Anyway, after Novak's declaration, the Wilsons filed suit, and now Rove, who has already sort of come clean to the grand jury, if saying the guy with the iron-trap memory on every issue under-the-sun inadvertently attacked a critic is coming clean, says all of it is baseless. Have you even seen a more arrogant, amoral, above the law, example of garbage? For a short time, when it looked like he was going to be indicted, he showed a couple of moments of human characteristics, like worry, but no more because the special investigator left him off the hook as a purely political move or Rove has the goods on Fitzpatrick and isn't squeamish about using them. I hope the Wilsons barbeque all their backsides, including Bush's, who if he wasn't Novak's primary, obviously knew about it and ordered the outing. His wife is safe, the only thing Laura could be accused of is being the woman who will stand by her man no matter how many GIs he gets killed or how many wars he starts, how many reasons for war he provokes or invents or how many poor people he hangs out to dry, both here and abroad. The woman is either as bland, excuse me blind as a bat, or as amoral as the worst of them. She is bland, as well.
Subject: Emailing: Wilsonsupport.org
I generally don't send crap asking for donations. But after donating a small amount myself, I felt very satisfied - as though I was getting a small amount of payback.
I decided that it would be selfish of me to keep this to myself. This is about the outing of CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame by the Whitehouse. And the reason that I felt so pleased is this: There will be no official charges against the main authors of this crime. Even if another flunky like Scooter gets charged - they will never serve any sentence for this crime. Can anyone ever doubt that there is a pardon waiting in the wings for these thugs? They may never pay for their crimes against humanity, or for allowing their wealthy cronies to loot the treasury etc. But it may be possible to tie these criminals up in court for the rest of their greedy, miserable lives. And it must be clear to almost anyone that these people need a reversal in their fortunes, hmm? If enough people donated to this cause, it may be viewed as the official "no confidence " vote.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Just A Thanks
I have been a reader as well as a user of many of your premiums for years. I just want to thank your staff for being such an important part of my news day. Also, as part of my retirement, I like writing Lefty Limericks and find inspiration in the headlines and news you provide.
Subject: Pete Coors
I'm probably more to the Left than you are but your website always seems so shrill to me. For instance, what is the point of your screed about Pete Coors' DUI, as if it is a Republican trait, when Patrick Kennedy got popped for the same thing. I mean, some times you guys get as juvenile as Ann Coulter. (And, by the way, I can't stand Pete Coors.)
Is Alcoholism and Drunk Driving Genetic in Right Wing Wackos? Beer-brewing magnate and former right wing GOP U.S. Senate candidate Peter Coors was arrested in May for drunk driving, the chairman of the Coors Brewing Company said on Thursday
Subject: Our Bad Guys vs Their Bad Guys
Dear Buzz and Friends,
Ever wonder why no attacks since 9/11? We've already heard repugs citing it as "no accident" . It's a point they want to use against dems this election cycle.
Consider this: Osama's best interest and the busheviks have always been exactly congruent. Osama wanted fear and uncertainty in America, bush desperately needed fear and uncertainty in America. Osama wants to destroy our democracy, bush *is* destroying both our government and our democracy. Osama wants to weaken our military. We don't have to fight them here so our elite forces can be picked off at leisure. "Stay the course" - a euphemism for toss a few more pfc's on the fire and allow expensive equipment to grind itself into the desert sand. Why would Osama want to attack America again? He has an Al Qaeda cell in the White House, running the government.
If you want to be scared imagine this: the war does come here. It's our bad guys vs their bad guys. What me worry? Pat Robertson will defend us - he talks to God doesn't he?. And then there's our tough guy, Rush Limpbough, he's not going to let a little blister on his backside stop him from getting off junk and slaughtering a few thousand jihadists, is he? And anyway Karl "Leaky" Rove will have a super duper top secret, "eyes only" clever plan to save us all - that's a given - no way they'll ever get their hands on that.
Here is the "bush plan" as far as I can see it: Deceive, divide, conquer. Those with the most money, power, and blood on their hands will be "lifted up" from a conflagration they create to handily hasten a JIT reappearance of Christ. The rest of us are "left behind" and consumed in flames. What a good and fair plan it is - see Revelations for detailed information.
Osama hates our freedom. 9/11. Enter bushco stage right. Mission Accomplished.
Subject: Joe & Valerie Wilson Lawsuit
Man, what GREAT timing! I am referring, of course, to the timing of the filing of the lawsuit by the Wilsons against Cheney, Libby, Rove, John Does et al.
What makes it GREAT? First of all, it is encouraging to see someone holding these a**holes in the administration accountable for their lack of responsible actions and words. Second of all, it is just in time to be a "thorn in the side" of the Republican Party during the run-up to the 2006 election.
Anyone who has ever been involved in any type of legal actions knows it can and does take time to get through the legal system. Hopefully, this lawsuit will plague the BushCabal until the end of Bush's term.
I, for one, am delighted that the Wilsons have done this and I will be praying that the people in the administration responsible for this betrayal of national security are taken to the cleaners both personally and politically.
John Dean appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night and discussed it. Dean said they filed a "Bivens" action and that it appears to be a strong case.
If I recall correctly, Olbermann also said Mr. Wilson will be on his show this coming Monday.
Let's see if there is still reason to believe in truth, justice and rule of law in this country.
Subject: The US Invasion of Syria Is Coming Soon
Israel is destroying the eastern supply lines and escape routes to/from Damascus in preparation for a US invasion of Syria. It is no secret that Cheney has had a decades long dream of building a pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Now that the neo-con's favorite butt-boy, Ahmed Chalabi, has used his position as Iraq's Minister of Oil, along with his moonlighting job as an Iranian covert operative, to secure the eastern half of the project for Halliburton, Syria is the only thing that stands in Cheney's way.
Notice how Bush and Rice have been stepping up the anti-Syrian rhetoric while smoothing over differences with Iran lately? Look for a lot more of that soon.
Subject: Bush's Reaction to Crises Not Always as Simple as Dereliction
Given Israel’s risky, over-the-top reactions to both the recent Gaza insurrections—which Israel seemed determined itself to provoke—and Hezbollah’s border incursions, there has been a lot of criticism of the Bush Administration for its apparent lack of engagement. Make no mistake, however. Unlike the Katrina fiasco, this time George W. Bush is not guilty of simple dereliction. Rather, this president, for whatever reason, from the very beginning of his tenure hitched the fate of all Americans to the dictum that whatever is good for Israel must necessarily be good for America. Thus, Bush is not inadvertently absent from the unfolding Middle East drama. Rather, having long ago subjugated American Middle East interests to the will of leaders from the nation of Israel, the president now sits deliberately on the sidelines--waiting, apparently, for his partners’ instructions.
Subject: Re the Conn. Primary: Lamont Vs Who?
As suggested, I called the DSCC and spoke to the finance man. I asked whom would the dscc support, would it be Lamont or ? The response was there has been no decision yet. I asked: what decision has to be made if a democrat wins the primary? The answer was no decision has been made yet. I said why does the issue of a decision arise if the winner is a democrat? I received no answer. So I gave my answer without hesitation. I would not contribute funds if the dscc does not support the winner of the primary in Connecticut.
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