The BuzzFlash Mailbag
November 30, 2001
Note: The BuzzFlash Mailbag is updated on an ongoing basis, with the newest material and comments on top. Again, we can only post a small percentage of what is sent to us. Thanks again for your email and your patience.
The President and Mrs. Bush are going to be interviewed on 20/20 soon. ABC has asked people to submit questions for the first couple. Here are some I submitted. I hope you will consider these questions and think about submitting some of your own. The web address for submissions is:
First question: There has been so much attention paid to middle-eastern terrorists but almost none to domestic terrorists. Why aren't you going after the "Army of God" who send anthrax threats laced with suspicious-looking powder to family planning doctors the way you are going after people of Arabic appearance?
Second question: How can you support in-vitro fertilization and not support stem cell research and cloned pre-embryo research? The logic of your position is very hard to comprehend.
question: Is it really OK for a conservative to go so far outside the
Constitution to go after possible terrorists with secret trials, make-them-up-as-you-go
rules of evidence, secret sentences, and secret executions? I know we
think we are at risk, but weren't the Germans at risk in the 1930s? Do
we really think we can dismiss the Constitution and its safeguards and
still retain claim to the world's moral compass?
idea that you don't critically evaluate people in high positions during
a crisis is nonsense." -- Senate Select Intelligence Vice Chairman
Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) October 9, 2001
are QUOTED two posters from web message board regarding BUSH's &
1. The WWII tribunals were authorized by Congress. (Dubya's are not.)
2. There was a Declaration of War ratified by Congress for WWII. (None yet today.)
3. Secret military tribunals would be a direct violation of the Geneva Conventions and Article 10 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (Since the latter wasn't ratified until 1948 -- three years after FDR's death -- FDR was not bound by them. But Dubya is.)
usual, more conservative lies.
. . . . those tried by FDR's tribunal were saboteurs who were actually members of the armed forces of a country with whom we were at war. Even if Dubya were not bound by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, that would be an important distinction.
need to catch whatever wave we can to fight, defeat, and overcome the
Tomorrow a nationwide Stop Esso protest will picket over 300 Esso petrol stations across the country. Organised by Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, thousands will be out on the forecourts intent on inflicting lasting damage on Esso's brand image. Esso is the ugliest oil bully, most vigorous in undermining the Kyoto agreement, and the fiercest advocate of keeping the US out of it.
As the biggest oil donor to George Bush's election campaign, its $11m annual lobbying budget has purchased vast "scientific evidence" to deny that climate change is caused by fossil fuel burning. At the intergovernmental panel on climate change meeting last month, Esso was the only company in the world lobbying for the removal of any reference to the human causes of global warming.
If Esso can be made to feel the heat, the Stop Esso protesters hope that other oil companies will also take fright. Wiser companies are starting to redefine themselves not as oil companies, but as energy companies. But unlike the others, Esso last year made the biggest profit in history - $17.7bn - yet it spent not one cent on renewable energy. The aim of the protesters is to punish the Esso brand, as Nestlé or Nike have been made to suffer: protesters hope that motorists directed away from Esso to the nearest alternative station will stay away from Esso indefinitely.
This week's collapse of Enron, another mighty fossil fuel bully, with its shares freefalling from $90 to zero, acts as a good reminder to investors that socially bad companies often go to the bad financially, too.
There is no better time to apply pressure on the government to invest heavily in renewables. Downing Street has called for a review of long-term energy policy, which will report before Christmas. The spade work has been done, and facts assembled, and it is in the final process of redrafting: this is where politics enter. The factual findings are already published and lead to one ineluctable conclusion: converting as fast as possible to renewable energy is essential.
I spoke to several committee members and one said: "The facts show that all roads lead to Rome. The danger is that the treasury, the department of trade and industry and Downing Street may be in the process of moving Rome."
Currently Britain has 2.5% renewable electricity, with a commitment to reach 10% by 2010. The report ought - unless heavily doctored - to recommend reaching 20% by 2020 and 30% by 2030, (and 100% by 2050, if they were brave). Firm future targets would encourage long-term investment now in a legal certainty. This kind of energy shift has been made before: in 1950, 90% of power stations were coal-fired, and most are now gas-fired.
The report's other crunch question is the future of nuclear energy: currently it supplies 25% of our energy, so as old Magnox reactors are decommissioned, will they be replaced? It looks as if the nuclear option is ending - but Brian Wilson, the energy minister with a couple of reactors in his constituency, is suspected of lobbying hard for more nuclear as a "clean" energy source.
Nuclear claims were severely weakened by the announcement this week that BNFL, the state-owned company, is to split into two: the colossal losses of the past, and the £35bn for keeping old nuclear waste safe for 30,000 years, has been left to the tax payer, while a few small potentially profitable remnants of the industry form a separate company for possible privatisation. What may signal the death knell of the industry is that the two great projects destined to make money, the Mox and Thorp reprocessing plants at Sellafield, have been placed into the wastebin of deficit liabilities, as expensive no-hopers. Plutonium recycling has proved a costly chimera, not a money-spinner.
committee's remit has included energy security. This originally meant
protecting national supplies so easily cut off by a handful of hauliers
blockading refineries last year: the government was shocked by the vulnerability
of our just-in-time society. After September 11, the security question
leapt to the top of the committee's agenda,
energy security means more than physical safety or reliable supplies.
As Dan Plesch of the Royal United Services Institutes wrote in these pages,
the west's dependency on unstable oil-producing countries now imperils
all its foreign policy as never before. How
War protesters see the US intervention in Afghanistan as oil-driven, despite the murderous provocation and a pressing need to root out the al-Qaida threat. Oil dependency not only warps US foreign policy and its perception, it is corrupting US democracy with oil money buying a presidential election and oil interests commanding a government in which half the cabinet are oil men. An America - and a Europe - less oil-driven would be free from a corrosive addiction.
There is some sign that even this US government is beginning to perceive the danger: renewables - wind, solar and biofuels - are safe from foreign or domestic disruption, offering a far cheaper freedom from external threat than NMD.
But as oil prices are low, grotesque consumption continues. British cars now average 35mpg, while US cars average 20mpg: sports utility vehicle four-wheel-drive monsters do just 9mpg. President Bush stays firmly out of the Kyoto agreement, promising to do something which will amount to little more than planting a few fragile forests in Brazil. The hope is that once profitable trading in carbon emissions begins in earnest in a couple of years, with countries selling their unused Kyoto quotas, the US will want to join in.
The political, economic and climate argument now for renewables is overwhelming. The urgent need is for new planning laws to stop local Nimbys preventing wind power development, and the ministry of defence's absurd objections to off-shore wind turbines interfering with low flying pilot practice. The real costs of nuclear power have always been underestimated: Sizewell B's power came in at three times the cost promised, without counting waste disposal.
This is the right time to demonstrate against oil and for renewables, the right time to let the nuclear era pass away. And Esso is a good symbol of all that has to change.
In regard to the tax rebate plan of Bush Inc. reimbursing major corporations billions of dollars (is it $45 billion?) for the last 15 years, doesn't anyone remember all of Bush's pledges about the income tax? He said, "The refunds belong to those who paid it and it should go back to them." Well, I paid it, so where is mine? In his plan I will receive zippo while these corporations gain billions and it is my tax dollars they are receiving. There is something wrong here. Where are the class actions suits when we need it. I paid my taxes to run the government. I did not pay my taxes for it to be given out in the form of grants and gifts to his corporate buddies and his donors. Did he actually lie to us and make us believe that we, the people, might get some tax money returned......
Nader, and the DLC
Some critics claim the Democratic Party lurched far to the right over the past 30 years. One consumer activist even claimed they "sold their soul to the devil" in order to win elections. Because of that, it's claimed, the Democrats have no ability to do anything. I say these critics are wrong across the board. And I can prove it.
First, the ability to achieve progress depends on winning elections. I find any analysis that claims winning is bad and losing is good suspect at best. Second, Al Gore was the most progressive candidate with a chance to win since Hubert Humphrey in 1968. More progressive than Carter or Clinton, and more progressive than Dukakis on many issues. That refutes the "Democrats are GOP Lite" claim, but there's more.
Have the Democrats lurched to the right over the past 30 years? In 1971, many Democrats still supported the Vietnam War. This was pre-Watergate, and Southern right wingers like Phil Gramm were still Democrats. Since the early 1970s, the GOP lurched to the right, and most right wing Dixiecrats joined them. But did Democrats follow?
Since 1971, the top of the Democratic ticket has been liberal in a few cycles, and moderate in the others. The Democratic ticket of 1972 lurched far to left with McGovern, and lost nearly every state. Mondale was not as liberal, but also floundered.
McGovern (72) and Mondale (84) were very liberal candidates. They combined to carry DC (twice), Mass., and Minnesota. The two worst electoral landslides in history. Carter (76-80), Dukakis (88), Clinton (92-96) and Gore (00) were all more or less moderate. During the years in question, the Democrats have won or run well when they nominated moderates for President (except 1980), but lost badly with liberals.
The 1972 ticket was the most liberal, and Gore was less liberal. I guess you might say that means the Democratic Party lurched far to the right since 1971. But I believe that's an inaccurate yard stick. The top of the ticket is not the whole party or the whole picture, so it's not accurate to judge Democrats by that, and this "trend" is unclear at best.
Judging the whole party shows a much clearer picture. In Congress and elsewhere, the Democratic party actually drifted left as conservatives left the Democrats and joined the GOP. The net effect left the two main parties more different from each other than any time in decades. I know that's not the conventional wisdom, but there it is. The two main parties are more different from each other today than any time in decades.
As for the DLC, they're not perfect. I disagree with their claim that Al Gore ran as too much of a populist in 2000. But they're just a bunch of people who voice their opinions and make their case same as anyone else. People can agree with them or not, but I don't appreciate all the screaming and hysteria about them. Their power in the Democratic Party is overrated, in my opinion.
That said, the DLC is very positive in some regards. They helped the left/center coalition beat the far right in three consecutive Presidential elections. This after three straight right wing wins. To me that's a good thing. I don't agree with all their views, but they don't deserve blame for "selling their souls" or the other overcharged rhetoric I've read. So why all the rabid anti-DLC fervor?
I've learned that Republican plants rile up Naderites against the DLC. One GOP agent laughed about how easy it is to tip Greens "over the edge." Go to the DLC site, look at their actual positions. Some are sensible, and some are not, but please ignore the garbage GOP plants, Nader and others shriek about the DLC.
That brings me to the Greens, I see them as a mixed bag. Many are sincere and caring people. Most of them saw through Nader's lies, and voted for Al Gore -- who I think is more progressive than Nader on a wide range of issues. Not that Nader didn't talk a good game.
I used to fall for Nader's self promotion and his "talk the talk pitch," but I learned he doesn't "walk the walk." He is a union buster, public housing opposer, injustice ignorer, Boeing, Enron and Monsanto investor, "gonadal politics" mocker and Clinton impeachment demander.
Nader cooperates with a who's who of the right wing. Worst of all, his deafening silence after the stolen election, and his Wall St. Journal OP-ED praise of Bush sealed my opinion. Although he never bothered to join the party, Nader typifies what I call "mean greens." That's the loud minority of Greens who called Al Gore "a whore," lied shamelessly about his record, and even attacked him and his mother for the stock she inherited from Al Gore, Sr.
Mean Greens show blatant disdain for the needs of women, gays, minorities, labor and the poor. They strike me as spoiled yuppies who want their own areas clean, and want nice places to camp and hike. They can't be bothered with gay rights, gun safety, choice, civil rights, and a number of other critically important progressive issues.
Mean Greens actually attack Democrats--especially the DLC--even more than they attack corporations, theocrats, and right wingers. Their hero Nader actually cooperates with right wingers, and has for some time. That shows me Mean Greens are either misled or misleaders, and real the Greens should kick them out.
Bottom line. Mean Greens offer a false choice, based on Nader's falsehoods and false accusations. Nader's claims are dishonest, and his analysis makes no sense. The DLC is not a bunch on monsters. The Democrats have flaws, but they haven't lurched to the right or sold their souls. Nader and the Greens who follow him have sold out and helped the right wing seize power in 2000. Al Gore remains a fine choice for President, the most promising progressive in decades.
SUBJ: Worth a Re-Read
GENE LYONS: To put it in perspective, just imagine if almost any of the
actions that were taken against Clinton were taken against Bush today.
Let's imagine that somebody with a whole bunch of money hired a journalist
to go down to Texas and use paid sources to dig up dirt on George Bush's
intimate life. Just as it happened in the Troopergate story. Let's say
they found some Houston "barfly," to use the term Barbara Olson
say Daschle BETTER start an investigation into Enron's near-bankruptcy.
Enron, so cozy with Bush, and (as I understand it) a major backer of Bush's
running/stealing of the Presidency. Enron was also a major pain to the
State of California, and to our Democratic Governor (remember all the
way back to the beginning of the summer and California's rolling blackouts
-- seems like a different lifetime). Remember how Bush said way back then
to let the energy chips fall where they may -- Californians could use
his tax rebate to
Was watching MSNBC yesterday and Congressman Gerald Nadler (D) from the State of New York, actually had the nerve to call President Bush a liar. I almost fell over -- a Democrat actually had the courage to speak the truth and not roll over like they always do. I mean this is a very rare thing to witness.
I have supported the Democratic party my entire life. Washington now seems to be a place where Republicans and cowering Democrats rule - I feel disgust and contempt for the Democrats because they have become weak kneed enablers.
I realize Corporate America controls our Country, the media, newspapers, however somehow, someway the Democrats we have voted for, must attempt to get the truth out to the hard working people of America. These are the people who have made America great and these are the very same people who will be most hurt by the Democrats lack of courage and responsibility. Just when will it be too late?
What is happening to our Country, beginning with the witch hunt of President Clinton during his entire Presidency, the November 2000 election is appalling & the dissemination of our Country continues on a daily basis. I can count on one hand the Democrats who have actually stood up and shown true courage and fight against the many wrongs taking place. These Democrats are far and few between. I mean, why does it take a pundit like Bill Press to blast the Republican Party? How often do we see one of our leaders really let them have it. When a Democrat does actually appear on TV, we get Joe Liberman and Diane Feinstein telling the whole world what a wonderful job George Bush is doing.
The Democratic Party is weak, disorganized, lazy and perhaps much the same as the opposing party. I'm beginning to honestly believe they all drink from the same Corporate well and I'm tired of excusing them and waiting for them to wake up and start showing true concern for the dangerous path our Country is walking.
I recently received my little note from the DNC asking for a contribution and I told them exactly how I feel -- needless to say, no contribution. I honestly believe they have let our Country down and until I see a change, I don't really care who wins future elections. Why should I? Is one party really different from the other? It makes me sick that I feel the way I do about the Democrats but one disappointment after another has simply taken it's toll.
I pray some miraculous change will happen - at which point I will gladly support the Democratic Party but until then I just may join the ranks of the 50% of Americans who don't seem to care enough to even exercise their right to vote. Maybe they truly are the smartest of all.
we are constantly barraged with faux news about what a disney type perfect
nation we live in, and how we are rounding up people for our protection,
there are actually heros out there no one is taking notice of. One of
those is Police Chief Kroeker of Portland, OR, who has refused to go along
with the racial profiling so vehemently being described by our
Faithful to Buzz
The city of Buffalo, NY is laying off hundreds of teachers due to lack of funding, while Cheney and the GOP right lobby against for recovery funds for New York. Apparently Governor Bushes "We will leave no child behind" bluster was just lip service.
Love your site
*********************** 29 November 2001
WHOSE "national security"?
The explanation we are being given for all these new secret measures being taken by the Bush administration is "national security". And we are further being told that these measure are needed because we are "at war".
Let's try to shed a little healing light on these premises by examining the real definitions of the terms:
War: Most dictionaries define war as an armed conflict between two nations. Surely what is happening today does not fit this dictionary definition. Afghanistan is not at war with the United States. They have the misfortune of having as a resident a man who (if not the architect of the terrorism) is at least openly rejoicing at the havoc that was wreaked. If he were hiding out somewhere in Great Britain or France or Germany, would the United States be bombing these countries?? We would surely have Scotland Yard and Interpol and the CIA hunting him down and bringing him to justice in a World Court. And if he were hiding in his native land of Saudi Arabia, would we be bombing that country??? Certainly NOT, despite the fact that we already know that at least 15 of the suicide terrorists were Saudis. If the September attacks had been conducted by Mafiosi who were hiding out in Sicily, would we be bombing that beautiful island? Hardly!!
National: pertaining to a nation. But We the People ARE the nation! We are being told by a man who has usurped the power of the presidency that he is abrogating the rights guaranteed us by our Constitution in order to "protect" us!! We will not be permitted to examine the presidential papers of the Reagan and Bush presidencies (nor will we see the records of George W. Bush's governorship in Texas). And this too, in the name of "national security"!! Is anyone asking WHY???
Security: This is the most diabolical claim of all. Just how secure can we feel when our freedoms are being kidnapped one by one in the name of security.....and when we are being stripped of our constitutional rights?
And now we are hearing veiled threats of plans to start bombing Iraq. We had been told that the "war" against Afghanistan would be long and difficult, but it appears that this "war" may not be lasting long enough.......How to prolong it? Simple.....Iraq had better let us get back in there to make sure they're not producing weapons of mass destruction. And if they don't, then what? Bush's answer: "They'll find out!!" Of course it's just possible that Iraq may say, "Come ahead....have a look". What then can this administration think up to protect our "national security"? Surely there must be some other countries that are hiding the "evil doers." And so it goes......
But the word from Washington is "Laugh and Play, America......fly those flags....sing 'God Bless America'.....do your Christmas shopping......Trust us", we are being told, "What you don't know won't hurt you.....everything we do is to protect your security in time of war". As Hamlet said....."The time is out of joint"!!! And who will put it right? The media, for the most part, has not been of much help (although we're beginning to see some glimmers of hope)....Our Democratic representatives are, again for the most part, less courageous than we would hope. But it's We the People who will have to stand and answer for our failure to make our voices heard. History will not judge us kindly if we allow this dangerous situation to continue.
So before things get completely beyond repair, we will have to find a way to unite and to make our voices loudly heard. We cannot wait for some "tooth fairy" to come to our rescue. It's OUR national security that is in the balance.
I am not accusing anyone, but does anybody else see anything unusual in the Bin Laden family being allowed to leave this country while many other Arabs and middle eastern people have been detained? Just a question. Could it be ties to powerful people? Could it be friends in high places? Just wondering.
the Clinton administration?
Flight 93, the plane that crashed outside of Pittsburgh, the whole "Let's Roll" deal, I'm sure was shot down. Have you seen the recent articles about how the relatives of the victims want the FBI to release the cockpit voice recorder tapes to no avail?
I wrote to Harley Sorenson of a prominent San Francisco paper....he was one of the few, maybe only, columnists to question the "Patriotically Correct" daze that the entire nation is under, in general and specifically regarding this crash. You can probably find his article in the papers archives.
Here is my email to him....the Navy guy I reference is on the up and up. The easy dismissal is to claim "conspiracy nut", but the whole thing just is too much too swallow. At least for me. Even this Harley doesn't want to go beyond the "could be" stage. I don't know, maybe I'm just goofy.
have a friend who is high up in the Navy who told me the plane was
Harley Sorensen wrote:
This was on NBC news tonight. It was enough to make a person sick. I gather these women are the suffragettes of today. What a laugh. None of them has ever lobbied for women in the US let alone Afghanistan. Did Laura Bush even know where Afghanistan was 6 months ago?
if there were never any women before in previous administrations, Condi
can overrule the big boys. Well just a few months ago they were saying
she was ignored by the big boys. Karen Hughes is lauded for her coming
out and telling everyone not to worry, she is in control....oops that
was Al Haig.
Mary Matalin is spending her nights with Dick Cheney......does her husband
I gather NBC had not one other news story they could have run instead of this sappy piece.
such a staunch, right-wing anti-constitutionalist as William Safire begins
warning us about the threat that the Bush Administration's recent executive
orders pose to the Constitution and to our domestic freedoms, perhaps
we ought to listen to what he has to say.
Enron one of the chief backers of Bush, esp in primaries when he went
over campaign limits and poured in a ton of dough to defeat McCain? And
wasn't one of
Just read the article on the "Press vs. Gore", and I am drawn to the remarks by Margaret Carlson "entertaining sport to villify Gore". These journalists are the same ones who have so vehemently criticized the School shootings in our country and who wonder why teens commit such horrific acts-I say the teens are only emulating the actions of supposedly "acceptable" society. Anyone who would find it entertaining sport to ruin the reputation of a reputable, honest, hard working public servant is reprehensible. Mainstream press, especially the Washington Press Corps have become the biggest bullies in America, truth, honesty, and justice are no longer the driving force behind any journalistic effort they make. Scandal, out right lies, and injustice are the principles they follow. These are the same people who have deemed it OK that Bush and Co. were allowed and aided by the SCOTUS to steal an election. Democracy is losing in America today. Money as the bottom line is becoming their most important ethic, just watch some of the television media and see how these people are all cozy and nice with Bush and the Repuglican administration, and how they play "hardball" with the Democrats. Read the final determination of the News Agencies who sponsored the consortium for the recount in Fl. and see how skewed the final report was in favor of Bush when it is clear that if the law had prevailed Gore would be the President of the United States as he had more votes not only nation wide but in Fl. as well. The polls these people quote so often are also in question-most people I talk to are not favoring the Bush administrations policies, so I'm sure the poll results are as cooked up as most of the reporting. We can be thankful for Buzz Flash as a beacon of truth, and hope their are more like us out there preparing for the next elections.
PS It's so disheartening to watch our country and the values we once represented being abused.
thought provoking collection of articles and especially your progressive
homespun headlines often make my day in these bleak times. Just when I
think that the Democrats are down and out for the last count your site
tends to cheer me up and make me believe that maybe the fight isn't completely
lost. Keep up the good work!
otherwise noted, all original