The BuzzFlash Mailbag
June 17, 2002
So Bush wants to create a new federal department pulling together and coordinating several executive branch agencies (except, curiously, the FBI and CIA)? Funny, I used to think that is what a President is for.
Perhaps someone should provide Mr. Bush a job description.
(And to elaborate on an earlier post: If, as Bush himself reportedly has said, he saw on TV the fist tower on fire (not "hit", necessarily; that could just be his mix up) while waiting to sit down with 2nd graders, how can he be forgiven for just walking away from that hideous scene where obviously hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent people were perishing inside America's number one terror target??? No normal person would have just walked away from that scene. No normal person would have turned off their TVs. No normal President would have said "keep me posted while I read with these children". It's staggering. And then after the 2nd tower, it's still 20 or so minutes more of reading "The Hungry Caterpillar".)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Thanks for your continuing work.
A word on the "Polls" and the supposedly high "approval" ratings for the shrub. As much of everything else in the media, these "polls" are completely controlled and do not in any way represent the real thoughts of 285 million people. The standard procedure is to submit specifically worded questions to specifically chosen groups from 75-1000 participants. The most useful results for the pollsters purposes are then touted as some kind of definitive data on how the country feels. 90% of the "media" that produce these "polls" are in the hands of 4 corporations. These "polls" are about power and control, they have very little to do with the actual reporting of how the general population feels about anything.
From the work of Michael Moore and other independents, my best guess is that the actual approval of bush on his various stances is no more than 20-25% which is mostly the conservative republican stronghold of this country that actually voted for this man. The corporate/political machine that funded and placed bush is the same group that owns the media and "creates" these poll figures.
There is no 70% approval rate for bush in this country. There is only the constant manipulation of this wholly corporate owned media that will use any and all propaganda tools available for them to keep the people from realizing how badly this military/industrial cartel is sliding this country towards depression and fascism.
Thanks again for your much needed work.
W.L. Milo, Austin, Texas
you have posted a link " As ABM expires, U.S. plans missile defense tests 6/13"
The ABM didn't expire... Bush's own set 6 month deadline expired. The media/press/news etc fell for this Bush bullshit (aka BUSHIT) the plan was to make everyone think since the ABM expired... it was alright to end it. Bush is the biggest scam/con artist of all time.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Rumsfeld "What our country and what other countries have to think of is, what's your priority today?"
May I suggest that today's priority should be stopping the two shipments of a mixture of Plutonium and enriched Uranium from traveling the oceans from Japan to the U.K. and back. The Quantity of materials involved is sufficient to make an estimated 17 full sized nuclear bombs.
Priority two: defusing the Pakistan - India conflict.
Priority three: progress in the Middle East
Priority Four: addressing global warming
Priority Five: war on terrorism
Was this slide show made on a White House computer? Because if so, that's a clear violation of election law -- much clearer than Al Gore making out of state fundraising calls on his personal cell phone from the White House.
No matter though: the Repuglicans won't be prosecuted anyway.
Nukes coming to your town?
The following URL allows you to quickly see how close to your backyard the proposed routes for transporting nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain would come:
A BuzzFlash Reader
I enjoy your site. Read it regularly. I'm a liberal democrat and I cannot abide the Bush administration. Worse thing that has happened to this country since, well..., the other Bush administration.
But you're missing the point about Ralph Nader's visit to Grover Norquist's group. Nader views each party as two different heads on the same corporate monster (and he's got a point).
He is trying to build a viable third party and he's reaching out to the disaffected from both parties. Where else is he going to find new members? The number of disaffected liberal Democrats who are completely fed up with the "DLC" Democratic Party is limited, and he has run out of bodies from the left. So he's looking to the right.
He understands that the political spectrum is like the rainbow: it is circular, not linear. The Greens and the many of the rabid right have a lot more in common than they might appear, i.e. they are disaffected with, and increasingly alienated from, their own mainstream parties; and they are suspicious of centralized power. Therefore, they are in many ways closer together on a circular political spectrum than either of them are to the great middle.
Nader is only a threat to Democrats when he is pulling voters exclusively from the Democratic Party. If Nader can attract as many disaffected Republicans as Democrats, he gets his 5%, but gets neutralized in the process because it's a wash. He would no longer be a threat to the Democratic Party, and (if the last election is prelude) we ultimately win. It is therefore in our interest to encourage him to continuing pulling voters from the right. We might even get lucky if he pulls more voters from the right than the left, in which case Norquist would be supplying the rope with which to hang Bush.
Of course, I could be wrong.
I live in Florida now but am originally from Missouri. I lived up there during Ashcroft's reign as governor and now I'm down here under the rule of Jeb Bush. (bad luck follows me, apparently)
Those of us who have experienced Ashcroft the governor are not surprised by his total disdain for the US Constitution. While governor of Missouri he signed what was derisively called the "seizure law". Basically, if you were found with illegal drugs (a marijuana roach was more than enough to qualify) in your vehicle, then the state could seize your vehicle because you were allegedly using it to transport drugs. This happened in numerous cases and the perpetrators (re:victims) were forced to purchase their vehicles back from the state. Even if no charges were filed or convictions won. Whatever happened to the line in the fifth amendment that says "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law"? Oh, I know. Ashcroft uses the constitution for toilet paper.
A BuzzFlash Reader
RE: What else can explain a Bush approval rating still in the 70s? What else can explain a populace that seems hunky-dory that eight years of progress, peace and happiness have been converted into two years of recession, war and fear?
In my younger days (1980s) I worked as a phone interviewer for several years at a firm that did all the political polls for the Democratic party in California and for various major media outlets. Since then I have never believed any poll results I've heard. The industry is completely crooked. I sat in briefings where famous political campaign managers would coach interviewers on the correct tone of voice to assume when asking questions. I've seen surveys stop after the first day of interviews because they were not getting the answers they wanted. They would then rewrite the questions and start over, tweaking the questions until they got the answers that they wanted. The sample sizes are completely bogus. Can a sample size of 501 or 1001 people as most of the polls are now days really reflect the views of millions of people? I don't think so.
Then there is the matter of the people who agree to do surveys. The average person really doesn't like to do surveys. The majority of those who do agree to participate in a survey are cranks, and lonely shut-ins. Are their views really representative of the populous? I don't feel that they were after doing surveys for about eight years. Most evenings you would encounter several people who could or would not answer to the scale of Agree, Agree Somewhat, Disagree Somewhat, or Disagree. Interviewers routinely would check off items on the scale even if the people being interviewed did not answer on the scale. To actually take the time to make people answer on the scale takes a lot more time which costs the polling company money. The polling company makes more money if it can complete the survey quickly. They are usually paid a fixed fee to complete a survey. If it takes 5000 calls to do the survey accurately instead of the 3000 calls to do a half-assed job that represents a lot more money in phone calls and wages, which all cuts into the polling companies profits. Where is the motivation for a polling company to do a good job?
Additionally, the people doing the interviews are a usually young and poor and could give a damn about the results. They usually hate their jobs, have no medical insurance, and hate the management of the polling companies. Interviewers and supervisors routinely fudge the answers to achieve quotas or just plain outright change the answers that people say to reflect their own political viewpoints, or to get out of work early. The management of the firm I worked at would monitor calls, but interviewers soon where able to sense when they were being monitored by slight differences in phone line volumes or by simply checking if the person who was monitoring the calls was on the phone or was writing down the answers to the questions. If they don't write down the responses they have no way of knowing if the answers really reflect what the person on the phone said.
I remember reading the results of the surveys that we did in the newspaper or seeing them on TV. Often the questions that were asked on the phone did not match what was being reported that the question was. There were often leading statements such as "In light of the fine job so and so is doing on this or that, how likely would you be to vote for him in the next election?" The leading part of the question would not be reported, only the answer. Additionally they would often ask a bunch of leading questions about a politician before asking the who would you vote for question. Such as "Did you known that so and so lowered taxes the last two years?" or "In light of the fact that so and so was arrested for drunk driving are you more likely to voted Democratic?". The ten questions asked before the bread and butter question set the tone of the survey and can put the respondents in a frame of mind where they are more likely to respond in a certain way. I can go on and on, but you get the idea. NEVER BELIEVE A POLL.
You will no doubt have heard about the disgraceful actions of the White House and the administration of Ohio State University in suppressing peaceful dissent at Mr. Bush's visit there today, June 14.
It seems to me that there should be an official hearing into this matter -- whether it was legal to remove those quietly turning their backs on Mr. Bush, the extent to which OSU's threats were dictated by the White House, and so on.
I am sure you will give this matter your full consideration. Thank you.
Could you clarify this AP report on Today's event?
"But immediately before class members filed into the giant football stadium, an announcer instructed the crowd that all the university's speakers deserve to be treated with respect and that anyone demonstrating or heckling would be subject to expulsion and arrest. The announcer urged that Bush be greeted with a "thunderous" ovation."
When is it proper for a University to threaten arrest and expulsion of people asserting their 1st amendment right? While I would agree with hecklers being taken from the crowd, I find your threat on silent protesters who turn their back a bit troubling. Without dissent there is no democracy. Today's actions would have our forefathers rolling over in their graves and are a disgrace to all Americans who fought for our great country. To have this anti-democratic action to take place on FLAG DAY of all days is even more shameful.
President Clinton when speaking at your fine University on 10/29/96 didn't have an announcer threaten dissenters before he spoke, in fact when confronted with hecklers who booed and chanted Dole-Kemp, he actually recognized their right to dissent and said the following about their chants:
THE PRESIDENT: Wait, wait. Wait a minute, wait a minute. Just listen to them. Wait a minute. Why are they screaming like that? We heard you. Now, how about the First Amendment. We heard your message, now you listen to ours. (Applause.) This is a university. This is a university and we have respected their free speech.
HE ALSO SAID:
"I welcome anyone to these rallies, and I welcome you to theirs. I hope you will never go to theirs and stop them from speaking. I believe in free speech at every university in America."
THIS STANDS IN STARK CONTRAST TO WHAT WAS DONE TODAY TO STIFLE FREE SPEECH AT OSU. Will you offer a public explanation, apology, or clarification on today's troubling event?
Maybe someone has pointed this out, but the OSU gag on free speech is a good time to mention it again.
President Clinton was called every name in the book, he was criticized, lambasted, falsely accused. He endured it, all of it, because he believes in Democracy and our right to free speech. Its obvious by this outrageous action that the people who subverted our government are determined to destroy our democracy. It is bad enough that this quasi-government is holding an American citizen without charging him, and will hold him indefinitely because of an extremely tenuous association with terrorists. What next overt action against the Bill of Rights? When are all of these zombies going to realize that when one person's freedom of speech or one person's right of habeas corpus is threatened, or in this case, stomped into the ground, all of us face the same threat?
Because of certain personal circumstances, I have come to realize that the people who are doing this chose their time carefully. The generation who saw the common man's dream in America come to pass are old and dying. The Boomers are taking care of elderly parents and teenage children. Who in the hell has time to think about what's happening in Washington DC? By the time we do have time to think about it, its going to be too late.
Today was Flag Day ....
And early on after 9/11 I made sure that my flag was out early in the morning to wave in the breeze, to signal to all that Freedom is what this country stands for. Today it stayed inside. I have come to the point where I can't even put my flag out. The media refuses to ask any questions of substance of our selected Shrub. I honestly don't know where we are headed, and quite frankly, I'm afraid to know the answer. We may all wake up someday soon and find that we have no freedoms left. The OSU mandate to censor and arrest someone looking east instead of west was the final straw. Will anyone lead us out of this?
Thanks for providing the links to the Bush video. It is truly bizarre to see the reaction of the president to the attacks, especially in hindsight. I mean, is this guy running the country or what? Sometimes the conspiracy side of my brain gets the best of me and this whole horrible tragedy feels like an orchestrated drama for Bush Inc. The video really makes you think.
I love BuzzFlash!
I was amazed -- though not surprised -- at the report on the events at the osu graduation ceremonies. I got on the osu web site and got the fax number for the president of osu and faxed him the following memo:
A BuzzFlash Reader
Reuters Account of Ohio State Speech:
Nothing about the threats to arrest and expel protesters. But, there was this interesting passage:
"We've fully discussed all these ... issues."
Read that to mean he was "briefed."
Subj: More Evidence That Racial Profiling is Dumb
Let's see...a White kid from Marin county [John Walker Lindh], a Puerto Rican American from Chicago [Jose Padilla], and three Chinese nationals.
Hmmm.....yup. Those all fit the profile of Middle-Eastern Islamic men.
otherwise noted, all original