The BuzzFlash Mailbag
March 27, 2002
I fervently believe that if we don't turn the media around, we could run as our candidate in 2004 a person who combined all the best characteristics of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt and George Washington, and that candidate would NOT have a prayer of winning.
The media control the message, the media control how people HEAR the message, the media control how people PERCEIVE the message.
There are many, many issues right night that have us rightfully exploding with rage. But, if we can elect a Democratic Congress in 2002 and a Democratic president in 2004, at least half of those issues will resolve themselves because OUR team will be in charge.
On the other hand, if we do NOT get to the media; if we do NOT win the election in 2002 and seize the majority in both Houses of Congress; and if we don't win the presidency in 2004, it will NOT matter what we want – we won't get it.
So, please believe along with me that our most important work must be to turn the media – whomever we can, wherever we can, whenever we can.
Let's dedicate ourselves to doing that.
A BuzzFlash Reader
In an article in the Washington Post by Charles Lane, he writes:
Now that the law has been verified by the Supreem Lot, do you suppose that this will in any way, shape, or form impact my most UNfavorite Florida resident, whose daughter recently was arrested for illegal drug use. Will he be evicted from the the Governor's Mansion? Sounds like an open and shut case to me.
Now if we can only find that one of those Lincoln bedroom guests had left marijuana ashes in an ash tray ........ We can only hope.
Subj: Heads-Up: It's "Democratic"!
A few of the "wars" we are fighting these days are the War on Drugs; The "War" Against "evil"; the War Against Dissent; the War Against Free Speech.
But one "war" that goes unremarked today is the Vocabulary War. And it's a war the rabid right-wingers are winning. Well, they're winning it, so far, because normally the people who start wars win them in the early days of those wars.
This is a serious war, and one we ought to fight.
For instance: The Right calls the Estate Tax the "Death Tax," which of course it is not; it is the Inheritance Tax. The people who did not earn -- but have inherited -- the money pay the tax. Get it?
Okay. The next war I think we need to be cognizant of is the use of the word "Democrat" when the proper word is "Democratic." "Why?" you ask, is that so darned important.
I'll tell you why.
The name of the political party is the Democratic Party, not the Democrat Party. A person in the Democratic Party is a Democrat. "Democrat" is a noun, not a modifier.
A few years back, some very clever right-wingers decided to rename a political party that was not theirs to rename. They liked, I guess, the sound of the last syllable: "rat." They even used that syllable to great subliminal effect in a commercial in the last presidential campaign. Remember "rat" scrolling across the screen?
I think it sets right-wingers to hyperventilating when they hear of "Democratic" bills being referred to, when they would much prefer to hear them referred to as "Democrat" bills. The correct usage of "Democratic" sounds like an endorsement to them, I guess. They would much prefer the effect on the mind when the last syllable is "rat"; that conveys their contempt for those who sit to the left of the center aisle better than the word "Democratic" does.
Eek, they shriek as they run from the word "Democratic" -- much as vampires shriek, "eek" when they see the sunlight. It hurts their sensibilities.
So, let's not play their game; let's use the correct word: "Democratic"!
Properly speaking, this is how it should go:
or she is a Democrat, BUT all else is:
Which reminds me: How about a Democratic president in 2004? Let's have a Democratic president, a president who believes in (small "d") democratic principles?
go team, and let's not let the rabid right-wingers win this war to rename
a distinguished political party. It is the proud Democratic Party, and
let's never forget it.
Re "real Conservatism hijacked by the r-w Jihad...." I am saddened, disgusted, and appalled by the political ascendancy of the radical right. The radical right has mastered the old Nazi tactics of NOT debating the issues on level ground, but instead resorting to images, and personal attacks. Thus, as in Hitler's Germany, ANYONE who resists or questions the r-w agenda (as put forth by the White House) is suspect, and may be accused of "lacking patriotism" or outright "enabling our enemies."
David Brock's new book, "Blinded By The Right" is a case in point. I have read quite a few articles and reviews on Mr. Brock's inside-the-right-wing revelations, including the reviews at the Washington Post and New York Times. Funny thing: NONE of the criticisms of Mr. Brock's book contest or disapprove of ANY of the allegations, facts, or points of Mr. Brock's book. (They all criticize his goals, his change of heart, his motives, or his alleged search for a new niche.)
I am slowly and laboriously reading Mr. Brock's book, and haven't even finished yet ... so I am no authority on all the incidents that Mr. Brock divulges. But I do know that his recollection of history and events past is precise, insightful ... and accurate.
As proof, I enclose the below paragraphs which I transcribed from page 45. IF you at the National Review can find anything factually in error about the below quotes, I hope you will inform me of your findings. BUT, in as much as Mr. Brock's writing merely captures what any sentient being already knows, then it becomes apparent that the agenda of the radical-right is one lie piled atop another, and that if the radical-right actually ran for office on these (actual) themes and agendas, they would be laughed of the national stage.
Here's looking forward to your response.
P.S.: I am DELIGHTED that Mr. Brock points out Mr. Buckley's grotesque, arrogant slouch (seen WHENEVER Mr. Buckley is on TV or video). Of course Mr. Brock's account is humorous and deprecating, in that he admits to copying Mr. Buckley's recline, and even admits to almost falling out of his chair during his first televised interview. But WHENEVER I hear the title to Mr. Robert Bork's book "Slouching Towards Gomorra," I always think of Mr. Buckley's disgraceful slouch.
The government of the United States was created for the people, by the people, and of the people. It says so in the Constitution of the United States of America. If this is so, why do so many politicians and beaurocrats forget that? And more importantly, why do the American people themselves forget that? It is simply because they have forgotten that revolutionary notion, that the government was created for and is there for them...the people.
The average American citizen feels they don't have the money or influence to affect the government's decisions and policies. I don't blame them, the average American citizen doesn't have the money or power to affect their government's policies and decisions. Why is that, and when did their power get taken away? The answer to the former is simple...money, of course. The answer to the latter is also simple, the average citizen's power was taken away when elected officials began taking bribes disguised as campaign contributions from wealthy businessmen and corporations.
The only way to bring the power back to the people is to pass radical campaign finance reform legislation. But certain people say that would violate freedom of speech, as protected by the First Amendment. Yes, everyone has the fundamental right to freedom of speech, but nowhere does it say that one man (or even a corporation) has a right of more freedom of speech than another less-wealthier man. Republicans (and some so-called Democrats) would have the average American citizen believe that people like Ken Lay have more freedom, and power, of speech than them. I wonder how much influence Kenny-boy, and others like him, would have if he could only contribute $5000 to a candidate like everyone else instead of $213,800 or $101,350 or $28,900.
One doesn't have to think very hard about why politicians listen to these wealthy people instead of the average American citizen. The average American citizen can't pay the politicians large sums of money, but those wealthy individuals can and that is all most politicians care about. Something must be done, the United States of America must be brought back to the people. Speech comes from the mouth, not the pocket.
Brian W. Lapinsky, an average American citizen.
I say that this strict rule SHOULD apply to the Bushes, if it will be forced upon the many disabled and senior citizens public-housing residents who will now be homeless because of situations totally beyond their control.
What do you think?
BuzzFlash reader Cindy
I'm glad David Brock has come around to the truth and written Blinded by the Right, however, I wish he would donate his profits from the book to a good liberal cause.
Thanks BuzzFlash for keeping us informed and in touch.
Anne Grady, Natick, MA
Subj: Supreme Court Decision regarding "One-Strike" Policy
I knew things were going to be bad under the President Select. But today's Supreme Court ruling more openly than ever declares that it's a crime to be poor in our country.
Dubya's daughters break the law, yet he lives in the most public housing of all. Jeb's daughter breaks the law, yet he continues to live in public housing.
More than ever, if you're rich, there are no rules. If you're poor, you're grist for the mill.
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Hi Dear BuzzFlash,
An excellent article appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine concerning "The Future of the Global Tobacco Treaty Negotiations." Since this is not available online, I have abstracted some items of interest. Rep. Henry Waxman is definitely one of the few leaders we have today who is attempting to staunch the horror of the conservative right.
Incidentally, this article appeared about a month after an article on the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (Feb 14 issue of N Engl J Med) which was not very optimistic about our ability to help people quit once they have started.
B.J. Corden MD
Direct quotes from this article:
The tobacco business is fundamentally a global enterprise.
By the year 2020 an estimated 8.4 million people will die annually from tobacco-related diseases, more than two thirds of them in developing countries.
In 1995 the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization inquired into the feasibility of an international treaty on tobacco control.
In 1999, the World Health Assembly authorized the start of negotiations, and representatives from more than 160 countries have subsequently met three times to negotiate the treaty, which is call the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
...the United States ...exports more cigarettes than any other nation in the world...representing billions of dollars in revenue for U.S. tobacco companies.
At the first negotiating session, in October 2000, the U.S. delegation supported many strong tobacco control positions.
At the second session, in May 2001, the U.S. Delegation appointed by the new administration reversed a number of previously held positions. In comments to the delegation, the largest U.S. Tobacco company, Philip Morris, urged that 11 provisions be deleted from the treaty. U.S. negotiators proposed or supported 10 of these deletions.
...in October 2000, the U.S. Delegation supported the requirement that all countries signing the FCTC impose taxes on tobacco products and take steps to prevent the erosion of the value of taxes over time. In May 2001, however, U.S. Negotiators supported making all tobacco taxes optional under the treaty, a proposal that would render the tax provisions unenforceable.
October 2000, the U.S. Negotiators proposed a ban on any tobacco advertising
or promotion that "appeals to children.....In May 2001, however,
the U.S. Delegation supported a ban only on advertisements with "special
appeal" to children. In November 2001, the U.S. proposal was even
narrower, applying only to marketing efforts "targeted" at persons
under the age of 18 years. ...this proposal would permit the return of
In October 2000, the United States proposed that the FCTC require countries to adopt measures that combat passive smoking, including smoking bans on public transportation, in bars and restaurants, and at enclosed public events. Yet in May 2001, the U.S. Negotiators sought to make all passive smoking provisions optional under the treaty. Moreover, the United States proposed the deletion of any mention of smoking restrictions on public transportation and in workplaces.
countries have proposed that the FCTC follow the approach of the World
Trade Organization in its recently concluded agreement on patents of pharmaceuticals
which recognizes the principle that public health concerns can take priority
over trade rules. In November 2001, the U.S. Delegation opposed this proposal,
insisting that trade principles (such as "nondiscrimination"
between domestic and imported products) trump public
to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, in the 2000 campaign,
U.S. Tobacco companies contributed $7.0 million to George W. Bush, Republican
congressional candidates, and Republican party organizations and $1.4
million to Democratic candidates and organizations. Since the election,
the industry has contributed another $2.3 million to
With about one year to go before the FCTC is finalized, the prognosis for the treaty remains unclear. Without improvements in the U.S. position, a unique opportunity to control the enormous worldwide toll of tobacco consumption may be . . .
otherwise noted, all original