The BuzzFlash Mailbag
July 1, 2002
(Time-wise, this occurred just before noon CST, 6-28-02.)
My daughter was zooming through the channels a few minutes ago and came across the Cartoon Network showing a Porky the Pig cartoon. Poor Porky! He was grumbling because he had to memorize the Pledge of Allegiance!!! He fell asleep muttering, and who should show up in spirit? Uncle Sam!! Uncle Sam proceeded to show the sleeping Porky some of the history of the U.S., starting with the colonies and ending with Abe Lincoln. Little Porky woke up, and proceeded to take off his little cap and say The Pledge of Allegiance WITHOUT "under god" !!!!!
It seems that all of a sudden, the Intelligence Committee calls off the investigation, and it just goes away!!!! Considering the mountains of evidence pointing to the Bush Admin. complicity in the attacks, I can't believe we suddenly don't hear a word about it! Like bin Laden& Enron -- the whole topic just vanished!! How are they able to do this disappearing act on these vastly important issues?
Here's a quiz for BuzzFlash readers. Who wrote:
". . . but once a prince always a prince-that is to say, an imitation god, and neither hard fortune nor an infamous character nor an addled brain nor the speech of an ass can undeify him."
Mark Twain, writing about the Bush family, its connections, and the presidency of George W. Bush? Or Mark Twain's observations of the behavior and attitudes of the royalty attending the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany, in 1891?
Can we put the Pledge of Allegiance into a little perspective. I grew up in a small town in southeastern Kansas at the beginning of the Bible Belt. When I was in second grade every morning we said the Pledge of Allegiance, the Lord's Prayer and sang the National Anthem. When they added "under God" people had a fit. There was a massive letter writing campaign throughout Kansas, the teachers wrote the letter and the kids had to sign it. People didn't care the words were "under God" they were having a fit because the Pledge of Allegiance was being changed, they considered it blasphemy. The picture of all those grown men standing on the steps of the nation's capitol was the most immature, ridiculous, knee jerk reaction I've seen since 1954.
This isn't a religious nation, that's why the Constitution specifically says "separation of church and state." This country does a lot of things that I wouldn't think God would be too proud of and wouldn't want his name attached. Take it out, it never fit anyway. What is the matter with people? It's alright to dismantle our civil liberties but don't mess with the pledge. Unbelievable.
Subj: America the Delusional - A Nation Under Siege
The sight of the American Congress gathered amass to defiantly recite the Pledge of Allegiance brought tears to my eyes. But perhaps not for the reasons you may think.
This safe, NON-issue, surely to be dealt with predictably by the SCOTUS, is somewhere around #950 on the list of our 1000 most important issues today. How brave of our representatives to gather together, risking their all, to support an issue which probably has 99.9% support in this country. Way to go out on a limb, people. I am so proud of them all.
Americans meanwhile, are being interviewed all over the place, reacting so predictably, with emotion instead of thought. I get chills when I see them with their flag bathing suits, flag hats, and baking their flag cakes, but not the kind of chills you may think. I see them in their cars and trucks, with their faded and now torn flags high, riding proudly down the highways as they toss their trash out their windows.
Meanwhile, Americans citizens are being locked up with no charges and no constitutional rights, pensions are being plundered, the truth of corruption being hidden. Actually, if I have to keep listing things that more important, then you're one of the people I'm bitching about anyway.
So fight for your child's right to say the Pledge - in a school now falling apart from lack of funding. Let them say it from memory, as their school becomes incapable of teaching them to read. Let them recite it hungry, as this government steals their food money. Let them say it ill, as this government assures you can't afford their medicine. Let them say it afraid, as they never know when someone they love will be taken away in the night.
Look, personally, I have no problem with this whole 'Under God' thing. But somebody else may. And in case anyone has forgotten, that's the point. The whole purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the first place is to protect the INDIVIDUAL against the masses. And if you scrutinize the pledge objectively (which seems impossible for most) you cannot conclude anything other than it's unconstitutionality. First Amendment. Give it a read sometime. And please, show the same enthusiasm for the real problems we have today.
Subj: One Nation, Under Siege
Oh the sad, sorry spectacle of Republicans and Democrats alike, falling all over themselves in the rush to condemn the Ninth Circuit Court. It's like a convention of Eddie Haskells. Meanwhile, Americans, who constitute only 5% of the world's population, blithely go about their business consuming 30% of the world's resources. Onward Christian soldiers!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Ann Coulter sounds like Bush's speech therapist (quoted on CNN's Crossfire): http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/06/28/cf.crossfire/index.html
You may have resolved this already, but some time ago you were calling Bush Boy George, and fans of the real Boy George were complaining that it was an undeserved indignity to him to use his name when referring to the moron in the White House. The answer to your problem is in today's mailbag in the letter from Michelle Miller. She called Bush "dim son." It's short, it's true, it's appropriate -- it's perfect.
A BuzzFlash Reader
I agree with P. Kallash(msp) It is time for William Jefferson Clinton to resume his role as president! Of course, it will never happen. With the jealousy of this man, He would be crucified now! Now that most people with a brain bigger than a pea, know what is going to happen in the future. I am more than a little afraid. Republicans, backers of Bush, are those people who would never, ever under any circumstance, admit that they might have been wrong. That has always been the trouble with repugs. Recently, when they were trying to pass the security on airlines, a republican I know, argued(unknowingly) that "why should we not have the same protection the politicians had, why should we be put in harms way..if they do not have to be harmed?!" Without the right information, he thought, this was of course, a democratic idea, to guard Dulles but no one else in the country. I said" I totally agree with you, that is what the democratic congress is trying to do!" He fell silent, didn't say anything until a few days later....then dropped the subject completely and has never brought it up again. REPUGS..should always know of what they speak! So long as Bush is president, the right wingnuts will always bash WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON..." They must..they can never take a chance again on a good democrat getting in. No one in the world would take as much as the Clintons did and not kill someone! It is amazing to me how, after the Bush girls were outed for being drunks, they, (the rag magazines who have a stake in the Bush regime) started picking on Chelsea. I've kept, cut out, a darling picture of Chelsea at a fashion show in Italy, with her boyfriend...she's 23, remember? In this, a simple photo of her with a new hairdo, and he hand resting lightly on the fellows knee, the caption read, "taking a lesson from her Father, Chelsea can't keep her hands off her boyfriend." Sounds like it was written by Ann (the nasty) Coulter. On second thought, that would be much to nice for Ann. Her comment would be much more disgusting. I once heard Rush Limpbag doing his famous impression of Clinton. It was so disgusting, I had to turn it (sometimes the radio is left there by mistake because I listen to a good morning show there) anyway, this day I got stuck with his dimwittedness, curious I listened. He was imitating the President, while he was in South America, when he went into a shop to buy bathing suits for his wife and daughter.. As Rush rambled on, it started to border on the sick, incestuous talk that only a republican can get into their sick minds..especially, Rush. You must listen to him sometime when you have an especially strong stomach. Of course, He is on loan from God! Now, he has a choir sort of like the Morman Tabernacle Choir, introduce him...this lying peice of s***, From what I gather, here in Missouri, he didn't have a hearing problem, just some nip and tuck and lard removal! Such a wonderful person, is Rush! I was a little disappointed that his hearing wasn't really going..I thought, for a change, God had likely struck him...no such luck! A faithful reader, I will never forget you for sending the Buzz t-shirt...I wear it with Pride! Thank you
PS: Everyone take note of the Zogby poll in the mailbag...it is a truer one than the ones the Bush Followers are touting. I knew all along that this could never be..his poll ratings in the 70's??They wish..only on Fox Network will you hear these kind of numbers..and they are contrived and we should all tell everyone we know!!!
A BuzzFlash Reader
When is the public and the media going to demand the same honesty in accounting from the White House that Dumbya is spouting about regarding corporate practices. He could start by "restating" the effect on the deficit that his tax cut for the wealthy produced.
The vision of the Thief suggesting that corporate executives shouldn't "fudge the numbers" was about as laughable as it was sad. The guy's shamelessness is breathtaking.
Subj: Frank Bruni is an Ann Coulter Groupie!
She even thanks him in her book.
Buzz, It's amazing that "in a time of war," Bush and Cheney have time to do all of this fundraising. They use this so-called "war" to their advantage, when it's convenient. So far, they've raised 100 million and you know it's mostly from corporate America. The other night the lobbyists from the drug companies were very generous at a fundraiser and they got rewarded today with the House passing that pathetic prescription drug plan for seniors.
Anyway, the main purpose of my writing was Cheney's comments about pre-emptive strikes could come at anytime to those who would do us harm. Today I had C-Span on and Sen. Byrd made a very long speech about the arrogance of this administration. To think that they could declare war without the approval of Congress is preposterous. For one thing said Sen. Byrd, they have to consider who controls the purse strings because nothing happens without money. As you know, Sen. Byrd is Senate Majority leader of the Appropriation's Committee. That is, without a doubt, the most powerful person on Capitol Hill. He also said that he had served 11 Presidents, and not since Nixon had he seen an administration as arrogant as this one. These are sad times for this country and it will get worse. We have 2 1/2 more years of destruction from this trainwreck called the Bush Presidency.
Alcohol abuse (even off the grounds of the public housing) is one of the violations which will get your family evicted from public house under HUD's "one strike and you're out" rule which was recently upheld by the Rehnquist gang.
Here's a FAQ from HUD's web site:
Here's a piece about the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the eviction of poor people who got evicted for not being able to control their family members 24 hours a day:
Maybe it's time we took another look at the USS Greeneville nuclear submarine that sank a Japanese fishing boat in Feb. 2001. Sixteen civilians were on the submarine; some were even at the controls at the time of the accident.
Of the 16 civilians on board, 12 had connections to oil and gas industries. Of those 12, eight resided in Texas.
One of the civilians on board was Jay Brehmer. He was the company director of Aquila Energy.
Aquila was one of the companies meeting with White House officials on the administration's energy policy in early 2001, the same time as the submarine accident.
PS keep up the good work. Links below.
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Where are you guys on Bush's insider trading a few years ago? Isn't it time to remind people he committed a "Martha Stewart"? Didn't he pocket something like $300,000 at Spectrum 7/Harkin Oil on inside knowledge? Sounds like time to remind people.
Saw baby bush on television announcing his upcoming colonoscopy and saying that everyone should get checkups. He obviously doesn't care that millions of people in this country can't afford medical care when they're ill, let alone get checkups. Making a statement like that is like spitting in their faces!
Following is the text of the letter I sent to the Editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune regarding the resignation of Rosemary Armao. Janet Weaver, another editor there, wrote a column explaining why she thought Ms. Armao's email to her reader was inappropriate. Her column contained all that stuff about how newspapers must be 'balanced,' which has come to mean publishing equal amounts of dishonest and honest information....
Subj: Who is Steven Hatfill?
Considering the targets of the assassination attempts, Daschle, Leahy, and the publishers of National Enquirer who had published unfavorable Bush family stories, is it surprising that Hatfill should seem to be an extreme right winger and have associations with Insight, Wash. Times, and the special ops of our government?
The FBI profiles, at least the ones published, have omitted the political aspect.
This might explain the hesitancy to solve the case.
Anyone involved with the So. African biowarfare research which had covert connections to the US and Israel might know a lot of dangerous secrets.
Subj: With Strategists Like This . . .
Down toward the end of the Dana Milbank column which is your banner headline, it states: "Democratic strategist Tad Devine said that Americans' support for the way Bush is doing his job is really a reflection of his personal integrity in contrast to former president Bill Clinton's, not his policies." Are you s****ing me? A so-called Democratic strategist thinks the thief in the White House has more personal integrity than President Bill Clinton. Are people like Devine really the best the Democratic Party can do for strategy? Wow, what a game plan. Praise Bush and bash Clinton. No wonder Bush is in the White House even though Gore won the election. With people like Devine in charge of Democratic campaigning, Bush will surely be president for life, and Congress will just be canceled entirely, not that it would matter a lot.
A BuzzFlash Reader
I just read, in the Moonie-owned Washington Times article, "Press angered over isolation at summit" [at http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020628-491282.htm] the scariest line about the media I have seen lately:
Let's go over that last part again: " the U.S. Media, whose job it is to deliver to the American people the policies of their own government."
Whoa there, dearie, that was never MY understanding of what the U.S. media's role is supposed to be; I thought the media were supposed to interest themselves in reporting the truth, and/or the facts. And that their role and/or responsibility was to ask tough questions of the administration. I even naively thought the media saw their role as representing the best interests of the American people.
I did NOT think the media's job was to tell us what the administration's policies are. That is the function of the press officers of the various government entities. If all the media people are supposed to do is tell us what the government's policies are, why do we need them at all? The government officials can just go on TV every night and tell us what they want us to know. End of story, end of media mission.
I guess now we have confirmation that what we have suspected all along is all too true: The present-day White House press corps see themselves as nothing more than stenographers for the Bush administration. They should all retire now and save their bosses their bloated salaries.
You may publish this if you would like to. I really appreciate BuzzFlash and support it financially (and encourage others to do the same) when I can because although I disagree with some content, it is a necessary and preciously rare forum for free speech. Thanks for being there. I am a Christian who disagrees with vouchers. I volunteer in the inner city schools and you should see how dedicated the teachers are! It is not that I disagree with religious schools. It is just that I think they should not be afforded public money. Vouchers were only approved to wipe out the last existing unions, the teachers' unions, and bring more people into poverty and desperation to serve the few and the wealthy (not a value championed by Jesus). That is what the Greedy Old Party wants to do. First let me quote Matthew 22:21 Jesus was saying "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Maybe I am missing something, but I thought that meant separation of church and state, which, incidentally has been traditionally supported by Baptists, (see the audio book by Billy Graham, "Just as I Am" ). Another scripture that proves that you should not defer to the wealthy as the Greedy Old Party does is the entire second chapter of the book of James in the New Testament. There is another set of scripture that proves how wrong it is to defer to the rich where Jesus speaks in Luke 16:19 - 25 as follows: "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented."
Bush Says Wants to Restore Faith in Business
Maybe this is what he needed to establish in the White House, "The Office of Faith Based Corporations"
Just sent this to the RNC. I know it won't be read there but sometimes you just need to let them know that you can't fool all the people all the time. Also I think we should maybe throw the Bible back in their face with the whole quotations which of course change the whole meanings most of the time. On the subject of the Pledge. How can you take God out of anything if you believe God made all? If, as Bush said the other day, His God is a loving God, than where did all the evil he speaks of so much, come from if a loving God made all. A real President would have stood tall and stated that two words taken out would not remove the power of God if he truly believes that and wanted to state it. It appears that division is the result hoped for by the statements made. As in "A house divided cannot stand" or "Divide and conquer."
Are we listening?
----- Original Message -----
Hello, I just read that you have raised unprecedented amounts of money from the captains of big business and as we all know now, and many have all but known for a long time, this money is ill gotten profit or stolen money or gotten by means very unethical. I hope we will be hearing soon that you feel an ethical and moral responsibility to return this money to the small investors and regular working people in these firms that have lost their shirts so to speak. I am sure we will see you loudly and surely making sure that the Congress and Mr. Bush go back twenty years and reinstate the laws that insured the companies would follow ethical rules rather than depend on the honesty of man. The quotation so much misstated is "The LOVE of money is the root of ALL EVIL."
Subj: Ridge: The New J. Edgar Hoover?
The Bush Gang wants to use the "Department of Homeland Security" for union-busting and political repression.
According to CounterPunch, Tom Ridge called the West Coast Longshoremen's Union this past week and warned them not to go on strike this coming week. The union represents dockworkers on West Coast ports.
Well, well, well. One would expect Republicans in Congress to behave like nothing more than a herd of bloviating, lockstepping martinets. But the Democrats?
Here's a little heads up to all you Democrats who've been grandstanding on the Pledge of Allegiance: you're on the wrong side. You are looking, walking, and talking like a pack of fools on this one. "Under God" was not in the original pledge, and you know, good and well, that it only got stuck in there when the ultra right McCarthyites managed to lynch the Constitution back in the '50s.
For Christ's sake--literally--the Pledge was written by a devout Baptist minister, whose erudite understanding of the greatness of this country and of his own faith enabled him to give eloquent voice to the separation of church and state. Years later, even his granddaughter exclaimed that he would have objected to the words "under God" being allowed to compromise the intent of the Pledge.
Now, simply because we have allowed this piece of right wing coercion to remain in place for nearly fifty years, you support it? Guess what? Democrats like me, people who embrace the Constitution and have defended it with their lives, object. Many of us, in fact, omit those words when we recite the Pledge. And many, many more of us object to their insertion in the first place.
Stand with us for the removal of "under God" and you stand for that which has allowed this nation to welcome and defend the rights of the most diverse population in the world. Americans, whether Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Christian, any other stripe of religious believer, atheist, or agnostic, are entitled to recite a Pledge that does not exclude them based on their beliefs. Stand for them.
Stand for us all or you stand for none of us.
Here is a story you might want to publish:
So what's the impact of PSLRA?
According to one of the nation's leading securities authorities, Columbia Law School professor John Coffee, PSLRA laid the groundwork for financial debacles such as Enron. Testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee on Dec. 18, 2001, Coffee said that the diminished legal threat caused by the PSLRA and SLUSA -- combined with the increasingly lucrative consulting contracts that induce auditors to acquiesce in questionable accounting practices -- created a climate in which an Enron collapse could happen.
The evidence proves his point: since the passage of PSLRA and SLUSA, corporate fraud has spiked dramatically. Arthur Andersen reported recently that the number of ''restatements of earnings'' by publicly held companies -- a frequent portent of financial impropriety -- has risen by 47 percent in the last four years.
As Coffee testified: "Congress should . . . not view Enron as an exceptional case. It is different only in that it is larger."
As corporate high jinks increase, who is protecting the rights of shareholders and the rights of employees who hold company stock in retirement and 401(k) plans?
OK.... let's get a grip about this "Pledge of Allegiance" nonsense. I for one want the entire House and Senate to vote unanimously to approve the reciting of the silly thing in perpetuity. Face it, to some of the tinier minds in this country, the drivel that is the "pledge" is every bit as iconographic as "mom, baseball and apple pie." And I can't think of any one holding elected office who would want to go on the record as voting AGAINST those.
Yes, in a technical sense "under God" DOES violate the spirit of separation of church and state ... but the bigger question is ... WHY SHOULD WE CARE? Or at least, why should we care RIGHT NOW?
Look at the news this tempest in a teapot has blown off the front pages-- Worldcom collapsed and Xerox collapsing; the US pulling out of the world court (making us even more new enemies); the Supreme Court decision allowing school vouchers; the raising of the deficit ... and the list goes on! And that's just THIS week!
We need to remain focused on demanding blue ribbon investigations of September 11th, Enron, and the Anthrax mailer. Heck, we can't even get the NAMES of those who met with the vice-president concerning the energy policy!!! Perhaps in less desperate times we can debate the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance and the constitutionality of requiring its recitation, but for now, let's stay with the really BIG issues.
Don't let this latest misdirection from the masters of misdirection pull our eyes from what are the REAL issues. And if all of our elected representatives want to make a "feel good" vote on something that will please the less nuanced members of the electorate, then so be it. Meanwhile, let's work on getting a Democratic majority in the House and Senate so that some REAL investigations can start and when we have reclaimed our democracy THEN we can debate the constitutionality of "The Pledge of Allegiance."
Mention the word "God," and many Americans jump to their feet. Our politicians jump on the bandwagon, for that is an issue, which can make political hay.
I wish we were a "nation under God"! I have my doubts.
Look at the CEOs of the big corporations who cheat to get richer. They worship not God but mammon!
Our elected politicians, who are supposed to look after the affairs of the common people, are only to eager to get some of that mammon. They gratefully do what the corporations want them to do in return.
We discriminate on the basis of race, creed, gender, and nationality (just ask Arabs, Asians, gays and lesbians), but forget that we all are "God's children."
We kill (capital punishment), but profess to follow the commandment "Thou shalt not kill!"
We want to get richer and richer but leave 40 million Americans without health insurance!
The Republicans raise $100 million in a jiffy, but have no money to get the homeless into decent housing.
We support dictators (Pinochet) or the Taliban, when it suits us.
We want to get Afghan women more rights, but forget the women of Saudi Arabia.
If we were a nation under God, we would follow His commands!
Sorry, but I think: we are not a nation under God!
Gustav A. Pohlig
A contribution from me is coming your way soon, but I wanted to pass this along:
The PBS 2-hour Front Line documentary which aired this week showed in stark detail the determined and persistent efforts of President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright to achieve Mideast peace. This program, which hopefully will be repeated on PBS, demonstrated the tragic contrast which exists. The Clinton on-the scene involvement in this crisis, compared most unfavorably with the months-long detachment of George Bush, and now the amazing hubris of Bush's demand for the ouster of Arafat.
The world is aware which of these two men, Bush/Arafat, can claim legitimacy as an elected leader.
L. Parsons, Honolulu
Ed McGaa is the hapless shill the Republican-backed Green Party has put up for Senate in Minnesota to siphon off votes from Wellstone. Have you gone to McGaa's website and read it? The guy's pathetic. Here's how the front page starts out:
Other than this meaningless mysticism, the rest of the site is all about how bad Wellstone is, even though "It will be a shame if the Republicans get in."
BTW, have you noticed that the Green party won't forgive Wellstone for breaking his pledge to serve only two terms, yet they don't mind in the least that Nader broke his 2000 pledge to stop campaigning if he was threatening Gore's chances?
If the Republicans are going to screw us just by making sure there's a Green candidate on every ballot, why don't we put a George W.(allace)-type Segregationist on every ballot as well? Someone who vows to repeal Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Can you name a single district in Red America where that candidate wouldn't draw conservative votes?
Instead of a Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, Why don't we have a Pledge of Allegiance to the Constitution?
May I propose the following as a New Pledge of Allegiance? Do you think any members of the Grand Hypocrisy Party would utter this from their lips? I was tempted to use the phrase "A FREE REPUBLIC," but I didn't want to taint my proposal. What would you and you readers think?
So President Bush had a colonoscopy and transferred executive power temporarily to Vice President Cheney for the duration of the procedure.
The White House has made much ado about this transfer of power which was invoked for only the second time in history (in accordance with the 25th amendment). But seems to me that all of the publicity is nothing more than a cynical ploy designed to keep Bush at the forefront of the headlines and remind us all of how important he is. Considering that the screening procedure he underwent is approximately as dangerous as having a wart removed (the procedure required all of 20 minutes, and according to media reports, he played with his dogs afterwards and worked out at the gym), the motivation for invoking the 25th amendment and publicizing this non-event is obviously political.
And given who is the real power behind the throne, doesn't formally transferring power to Cheney seem, well ... completely superfluous?
The willingness of this administration to lead and manipulate the media for political purposes appears to know no bounds.
otherwise noted, all original