The BuzzFlash Mailbag
August 16, 2002
Thanks for publishing Hillary R. Clinton's commentary that appeared in USA Today! How is she doing politically? How is she faring with her constituents......I know that right-wingers hate her just for existing. I really admire her intelligence, courage and fortitude.
Seems jr.'s amigo is pretty pissed off--and rightly so. These clowns (jr. and his successor, perry) have ignored, at least three times, international law that requires a foreign national accused of a crime be permitted to contact his embassy/consulate. This is HUGE news amongst the Hispanic community here--it dominated the Spanish networks' news programs.
What does this do to the vaunted Hispanic vote the repugs are so desperately pursuing?
Well, I guess it's time to create another terror alert...or maybe bomb Iraq? Hey, they DID bomb an Iraqi installation last night.
Wag the dog, anyone?????
I just read the article about Gore and the Press. Pissed me off. I am tired of being smarter than the President of the United States. I am tired of having more compassion. I am tired about caring more about the environment. I am tired of worrying about America bullying its way in to a world wide conflict.
I am going to vote for Al Gore if he runs because Al Gore was cheated. He is capable. He is smarter than me. I believe that I owe him my loyalty. I know being loyal isn't cool.
I am sure that the Press if going to find someone they like better. I think if Gore wins after what he has been through, he will become one of the greatest Presidents ever. He has been humiliated by the legal system. I believe that he will be more connected to the common man. He is truly humble.
I also believe that the Press will love the rematch angle to a Gore/Bush rematch. This is going to work in Gore's favor. Bush has many more skeletons in his closet. The press is eventually going to find it irresistible not to go after him. His lock step friends and so called business associates that he partied with all those years are going to begin to talk. If America votes for Bush next time, then America isn't America anymore.
I am going to write in Gore's name even if he doesn't win the nomination. I think this childish Gore bashing will become an issue and they will go after real character flaws in the next election. You know, flaws like cheating in business, cheating in college, cheating in the Air Force, laziness, disregard for the environment, disregard for the welfare of planet, war mongering hatefulness, true arrogance. Bush really sucks.
You're link to the abcnews.com story re: the resignation of an FBI official is interesting, but even more fascinating is the story about the FISA statute that follows. Here's a message I sent to abcnews:
A BuzzFlash Reader.
Thanks for including an op ed piece re: Sen Kerry..I think he is the ONLY dem who can challenge GW and win..even Al Gore, as much as I like him has so darn much "press" baggage..I see now the "gas bags" have already begun to attack Kerry..oh well..that's my take..thanks for the great site.. sincerely,
If you want to talk about class warfare ...
I realize that it's easy to poke at the VA at the national level, and take a few jabs at the current administration for lack of funding for VA health services.
But, it's important to keep in mind that horror stories about VA hospitals may be local in nature, and may be due to lack of adequate oversight.
In this regard, I am reminded of a story told to me a couple of years ago by an acquaintance in my state, New Mexico.
This fellow, faced with deteriorating health, no bowel movements, and increasing abdominal rigidity, was admitted to an Albuquerque HMO hospital for observation. His physician said he had an inflamed appendix and recommended an immediate appendectomy.
He submitted to the surgery. The surgeon removed his appendix, which was quite pink and healthy, and then decided to do a laparoscopy of his small intestine, simply because she was in the vicinity.
In the days following his surgery, he was in great pain, and had little help from the nursing staff. His remark on the hospital service? "I could barely move. Food was delivered daily which I could not reach. I couldn't feed myself. If my wife weren't visiting daily, I would have starved--there was no one available to help me eat, and no one seemed to care."
After a few days' recovery, he went home. He was still in pain, and the pain was getting worse. His surgeon said, "it's just post-operative pain, live with it." Another week went by, and the pain had grown and had traveled from his abdomen to his back.
He decided to go the local VA hospital. He was examined, and a doctor said to him, quite plainly, "we don't know what's wrong with you, but we'll find out." Three days later, he was told that he had a massive staph infection which had moved from his lower bowel to his lower back, probably a result of his recent surgery. The infection had eroded two vertebrae and one disc. Because of that damage, he was no longer able to work as a mechanic, the trade by which he'd earned his living for almost thirty years. But, the local VA hospital had found his problem, stopped the infection and saved his life.
Later, he learned that his surgeon had already been sued once for surgery with dirty instruments (the laparoscope), and that a patient had died as a result.
What had he to say about the care he received at the VA hospital? "They were great. The nurses were amazing. There were all these old vets, cranky, ill-tempered, didn't want to be in treatment, and the nurses treated them all like they were taking care of their own grandpa. And, they saved me from a terrible infection ignored by the commercial health care system. And, they diagnosed my original problem. Know what it was? Constipation."
There are some really bad VA hospitals out there, yes. They deserve more oversight and a change of management. But, speaking as another veteran, the system requires more money and a lot more respect than it has gotten in the last twenty years or so. It's easy for the public to forget its obligations to those who serve on their behalf, and the public needs to be reminded of those obligations occasionally.
The money to fund first-class VA hospitals is pitifully small in comparison to even small portions of the current defense budget. But, without a President and a Congress willing to provide the best of health care to the nation's veterans who cannot afford equivalent care in the private sector, that care will be haphazard in the VA system, and veterans will suffer for the lack of state-of-the-art care, just as do the poor and dispossessed in our nation.
We have always had the choice to provide the best of care to all, including our veterans. Government has chosen not to fund that effort consistently. In the case of VA hospitals, though, it's important to identify the lapses in care which have resulted from poor management, and to differentiate those problems from the exemplary efforts of some VA staff to serve veterans well, even in the face of insufficient funding.
Dedication is valuable, and should be acknowledged, but it cannot stave off the effects of inadequate funding, nor can it be considered as a substitute for adequate funding. Our veterans, and those who care for them, deserve our respect, and deserve our support for a budget which supports veterans' health needs in those years after their sacrifices, sacrifices which were made for our benefit.
In simpler terms, there are those of us who stood in the place of others. Our current vice-president, Richard Cheney, said that he had "better things to do" than be in the Viet Nam war. Perhaps the man who took his place in that war now suffers from the effects of Agent Orange, or requires constant care as a quadriplegic. Those in power who, by dint of grace or fortune or connections, managed to escape service and the consequences of service should be more than willing to help their surrogates, and yet, they are not. In the great effort to reduce the taxes of corporations, there's just not enough money to spare for the sick veteran, or the hospitals which care for him or her.
Eric Harrison's quote, "show me a black man who isn't angry, and I'll show you a fool or a corpse" -- our sentiments of the African Americans, exactly.
One example, we know how the stolen election affected us, we'll never get over it. We don't know how the African Americans (this is another blow to them) can stand being anywhere near bush/cheney, let alone being republicans. Miss Rice and Mr. Powell are prime examples. They look like fools in king george's court! Why can't they see that??? Maybe their reasons are something we can't understand. (Eric Harrison as a cartoonist is one of the best.)
Senior BuzzFlash readers.
"Firefighters vote to boycott Bush Sept. 11 tribute".... Ohhh, this is going to be sooo good! I had not planned on watching but now I guess I'll tune in! There is nothing I'd like to see more than an embarrassed, flustered Bush!
And you really have to hand it to Daschle! He's got the Coward In Chief by the you know what's this time! I guess the Repugs were right when they said Daschle speaks softly but carries a big stick!
Daschle is good...really good! And this Nation's Firefighters truly are HEROES!
Nancy Lynn Nagy
I can't believe there is so little public outrage or indignation about all this war rhetoric. This morning on NPR, Condi Rice was quoted as saying that "we have no choice but to get rid of Saddam Hussein." NO CHOICE! There are lots of options before going to war. Saddam Hussein may be as evil as Hitler but I personally need more data. What worries me now is the ambiguity. We hear talk of war, then we hear that there are no plans. We here Dick Armey publicly oppose war, then we have Condi Rice with her spiel. I have decided this ambiguity is deliberate to keep us guessing and to prevent any groundswell of opposition. I remember that several months ago Tony Blankley said there will be talk of re-instituting the draft by the end of 2002. I remember too what it was like in college in 1969 when young men feared the draft. I don't ever want to have that again.
JA in LA
It seems to me that in the same way this administration has turned a decade of prosperity into dust it has similarly squandered the goodwill of our closest friends abroad. Goodwill that was at an all-time high during Clinton's tenure.
I have to wonder if a reincarnation of the draft would have any effect on the way people regard the action in Afghanistan and the impending attack on Iraq. Seems that changing to a draft lottery was one of the ways they kept the war going on in Vietnam. Maybe if our children and grandchildren faced the possibility of being drafted and put in harm's way, the parents and grandparents would be insistent on knowing what's REALLY going on, and why. Of course, Rummy, Ashy, Bushy, and Cheney probably have reinstatement of the draft slated for after they've done away with freedom of speech entirely.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Better Watch Out America!
Why are all these things happening just at this point in time?? Think!! People!! ThinK!!!!!! After we go to war with Iraq and the elections come up in 2004 Bush is going to declare martial law-get rid of the senate and congress and take over the country and use a war with Saudi Arabia or Iran as an excuse to stay in power and take all our rights away-if this gov. has limited our representatives so they can't express their thoughts on air and it's so apparent this guy is just so outwardly corrupt the next time we have an election he's just going to give all us nay sayers the finger. Let's see what happens -this man is not an American he's an independent Carlyle associate trying to take over the oil fields of the world for world domination and they're going to use our military to do it- the 9/11 events were just the start of the plan that was obviously allowed to happen-so think ahead and what do you see and what do you get-this guy is not losing another election-you watch and beware America we are under attack and I mean now-as soon as they go to war with Iraq they can declare martial law and put us all in prison for protesting-PLEASE!!!! WHAT CAN WE DO????
Anthony M. Arias
Gen. Scowcroft is one of the most respected foreign policy and intelligence advisors in the Republican party. If he sees Armageddon, then we should be paying attention.
Many of the advisors to President Bush, people such as Wolfowitz, Perle, and Feith (sp) seem to be following a scenario devised by Sharon. A scenario that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. That's being discussed openly in the Israeli press (Ha'aretz). Also being discussed is the expulsion of all Palestinians from Israel and the occupied territories.
Frankly it scares me that we have a President who is a fundamentalist and who has religious advisors who are fundamentalists. Some of them look forward to Armageddon.
This administration has already made threats to Congress and the media in attempts to stifle dissent. On every front it is refusing to acknowledge any Congressional right to request information. They don't even answer many of the requests with a no.
They are at this very minute planning to open camps to imprison American citizens they deem "enemy combatants." They have even appointed a panel to oversee the selection of prisoners. Unnamed individuals deciding the fate of American citizens, and holding them without recourse to the judicial system.
Its time to start putting together a Bill of Impeachment. Before its too late.
But first, lets stop this insane desire to go to war.
Please have a look at what they are doing in presenting the incredible media bias against Al Gore during 1999 & 2000. I would love to see you link to these articles. People, even Democrats, have got to understand that the media totally trashed Gore & he still won!! That, I think is the part they are still having a problem with - Al won the popular vote.
All current polls indicate that Al is miles ahead of any other potential candidate. He will be our 2004 candidate if he chooses to run.
I am so sick of the media saying that the American people didn't like Al. Excuse me?? He won. He got more votes than Bush, he got more votes than any other Democratic nominee - ever. We have got to start now to beat up the "liberal" media so they don't continue this ridiculous nonsense against Al.
I am amazed at the garbage coming out of them over his Op Ed regarding Populism. Al was right - everything he said would happen has or is now occurring. He was right. They were wrong. Honestly, I think the media are jealous of Al. Al Gore was a reporter & look how far he got. He had humble beginnings - sure his Dad was a Senator, but they were poor farmers first. He served his country both in Viet Nam & in public service & he's smart. Oh how I wish we had someone smart in the White House right now! We would not be where we are today if the Supreme Court had not interfered with counting the votes.
By the way, I'm still not over "it".
I'll never get over "it".
IN AMERICA, WE SUPPORT BRAVERY AND HONOR OUR HEROES.
George W. Bush and Fireman's Fund Do Not Think So
by Mary MacElveen
Four days after the horrific attack upon the World Trade Towers, George W. Bush came to Ground Zero and stood shoulder to shoulder with the real heroes that helped to save many lives. Those heroes are the New York City firefighters. He was met at this hallow site by the New York Governor, George Pataki, and former New York City Mayor, Rudi Guiliani who were both sporting baseball caps that said NYFD. He came on that day, stood on top of what really was a grave site of two thousand plus Americans including New York's bravest, and shouted into bullhorn, "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked down these buildings will hear all of us soon." While some will say those words are that of bravery, the real bravery goes to those fireman who came to the aid of many Americans and non Americans when they were needed most. This also goes for all firefighters around our country on a day to day basis.
We must remember, that September 11th is not about George W. Bush. It is about the many who died on that horrific day. Such as hundreds of New York City firefighters and policemen. Those firemen and policemen left behind deserve our respect and honor as well as those who perished. We must with our collective voices support them.
On that horrific day, many fireman kissed their wives and children good bye as they normally do, never foreseeing that they would not make it back that day. When that attack happened, many of these brave men rushed to the scene to help save lives. They did so along with New York's finest as well as EMTs. Now on this day, where was George W. Bush? Reading to a classroom in Florida. As we all know the months prior to this attack, he was briefed of terrorist warnings. This man who some say is a hero and has inflated poll numbers to prove so, dropped the ball. On August 6th, 2001 he received a warning in the morning at his ranch in Crawford, Texas while on a month long vacation and went fishing in the afternoon. Had he done something with these warnings, it is possible that these attacks would not have happened. Many of these fireman and policeman perished on that day leaving their children behind as George W. Bush did by not doing something with these warnings.
Now as we are coming up on the first anniversary of these attacks I am appalled at some stories that have hit the news in regards to not only New York's fireman, but those around our country as well. I am outraged at a country that supports its heroes that things of this nature can be allowed to happen.
According to Reuters, "The International Association of Fire Fighters voted unanimously on Wednesday to boycott a national tribute to firefighters who died on Sept. 11, in an angry response to U.S. President George Bush's rejection of a bill that included $340 million to fund fire departments.
Bush is expected to speak at the Oct. 6 ceremony in Washington D.C., where the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation is hosting its annual tribute to those who died in the line of duty during the prior year."
My suggestion to our brave firemen is that they uphold this vote in solidarity to those that lost their lives on September 11th, 2001, while Mr. Bush was heard to say, "I mean, I just wanted to get out of harms way". Disgusting! Another reason to do so is, he allowed his party to sell pictures of him dealing with that day as a GOP fundraising tactic for $150 dollars. These funds should have gone to those families who lost their loved ones, instead of filling the GOP coffers. By this action, he proved he does not stand shoulder to shoulder with these brave men, but shows only greed.
I am sure that Mr. Bush can find these funds somewhere in our already debt laden budget. Such as the defense contractors funding his war on terrorism or the impending Iraqi war? Mr. Bush by this action, the rest of the world can surely hear you. They are hearing a man not willing to put our money where his mouth is.
If that does not beat all according to an MSNBC article, "Fireman's Fund to drop NYC firefighter union The insurance company for New York City's firefighters' union has decided not to renew its policy."
Here we have as Mr. Bush likes to call them, "first responders" who put their lives on the line on a day to day basis, and did so on September 11th, 2001. Do they deserve this? Most certainly not. It is about time that corporate America steps up to the plate in this greed oriented era, and support these brave men as they have done so for us as a nation.
I have since written both Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Chuck Schumer to help in rectifying this matter. I have also taken time to write Fireman's Fund with an angry letter. It is my hope that Fireman's Fund reverses this decision.
In these very troubling times, America looks to it's heroes for security. It is about time that the Bush administration and Fireman's Fund steps up to the plate and looks out for our American heroes.
Vote to Boycott Bush Sept. 11 Tribute http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2
Fireman's Fund to Drop New York City Firefighters Policy. http://www.msnbc.com/modules/exports/ct_infobeat.asp?/news/794458.asp
"The president believes that those who served our country deserve excellent health care and the president has a strong record on behalf of America's veterans," Buchan said.
Hmmmm, and the rest of the Citizens of the USA do not deserve the same "excellent health care?" Insurance premiums are becoming unaffordable even for the elite!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Wow! I'm so happy for Jonathan Turley that he was able to turn his life around and give up his sad pursuit of President Clinton's penis long enough to see what his republican friends are doing to this country. Maybe there's even hope for Ken Starr.
A BuzzFlash Reader
As might be expected, all ya'll picked up on Richard Cohen's totally splendid piece on Coulter, Blaming of the Shrew, but really -- let's not focus on a sentence using the word "termagant," no matter how juicy it might be: let's give some exposure to the REALLY huge line in the whole piece:
"Being conservative is like being criminally insane: You can't be held accountable."
So sue me...
George W. Bush campaigned on the idea that he was a "compassionate conservative." When one first hears it, it sounds like he's a compassionate type of guy. A synonym for compassionate is sympathetic. One of the definitions of conservative is "of or constituting a political party professing the principles of conservatism". As we all know now, George W. certainly isn't compassionate or sympathetic towards anyone in this country except the top 5%. So, what his campaign slogan really meant was that he was sympathetically aligned with the Right-wing of the Republican party. He's proved it over and over in every action of this administration. Remember this the next time someone mentions how "compassionate" he is.
Subj: How do you spell "complicite"
I finally put my finger on it. Thanks, Jerry Falwell.
There he was again, representing his parody of Christianity, and he was again being asked to pontificate on this or that. And I realized I had never heard anyone ask him a real question. One that would really challenge his assertion that he represents morality.
Any online search of the New Testament will find many references to the poor and the rich. Here's the summary: rich Bad, helping Good. The rich don't get into heaven, and the poor receive the Gospel.
It's simple, you cannot worship God and the Golden Calf at the same time. You can call yourself a Christian if you have the poor first in your concerns and actions. Otherwise, you might like Christ, you might wish you were a Christian, but you are "lukewarm," which is not Good.
So why isn't Falwell and his ilk ever called out on this? Do they believe in the security of money or do they believe in following Christ--which is it? Surely, "both" is the impossible answer. But Falwell is not questioned like this. No one in power is.
Think about the broader picture. You might see, say, your representative on C-Span, and if you're lucky get 90 seconds, in stage fright, to clarify a point. Which can then be ignored or deflected, with no chance to ask again.
But there's a whole slew of people who never ever face hard questions from the public. Government leaders, Agency and Bureau heads, media owners, editors, "religious" figures, business leaders, all are absent from even the slightest open questioning by average citizens. Even the most basic of our concerns go entirely unaddressed. And forget about an intelligent follow-up question or two! I must have missed that law being passed wherein, I deduce, common sense was banned in public affairs. Strange the TV didn't mention it.
The "leadership" is hiding out on us in plain sight, and it's the media that's providing the cover. Can we change this?
Subj: Maybe Pat Robertson should read Axis of Medieval
I am sickened by the article which indicates that Bush denies health care to women in the third world and that a 14 year old has to be rendered incontinent after her birth of a stillborn baby due to Bush taking away the midwives and prenatal care. I am also sickened that a young woman has to nurse her dying child because Bush took away that medical care. He is doing a good job of hiding every evil he does because one of his supporters told me she "just wished the people of that country could find some way to prevent having so many babies" and it shows that she is ignorant of what Bush did to dismantle all of the rights of healthcare to women of the third world. Bush also turns a deaf ear to many conservative Christians who want sex trafficking in these third world countries to stop.
With all of this, why is Pat Robertson telling us Christians to vote Republican? Does he want us to support forced third world prostitution under Bush? Does he secretly wish third world women would just die or be maimed in childbirth? Does he secretly wish their babies would die? In the bible in the 23rd chapter of Matthew, Jesus tells the pharisees, (the right wing intolerant church leaders of that day), "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness," Matt 23:27-28.
Concerning greed (like some of the GOP), Jesus tells those same right wing intolerant church leaders of his day, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Additionally, in some manuscripts, it appears that Jesus says "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour! widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Therefore you will be punished more severely," Matt: 23:14.
If you are a blind Bush supporter and you are reading this, and if the shoe fits and it bothers you, just know that I didn't say these things. Jesus did.
a Buzzflash reader
Quote of the Day:
I no fan of Krauthammer, but unlike Tucker Carlson and the right-wing talk show press, at least he acknowledges there is a real danger in allowing the government to decide any citizen picked up in the US is an "enemy combatant":
A BuzzFlash Reader
To view the entire article, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24447-2002Aug15.html
Subj: Judge Releases Documents in Case Involving Egyptian Student Detained in Terror Probe
According to a transcript of a hearing on March 18, the judge said the court "is of the preliminary view that it was apparently seriously misled on two occasions in connection with the detention of Mr. Higazy." Both occasions centered on prosecutors' descriptions of a confession obtained from Higazy that was later shown to be false, according to the documents.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: The Firing of Lynn Samuels
One of the few voices of interest, wit and reason (and a helluva NYC accent!) has been fired by News/Talk Radio 77 WABC here in NYC. Information about this unfortunate event is posted on her website, http://www.lynnsamuels.bigstep.com/.
Despite the station cutting her down to one day, Saturdays 4 - 9pm, her ratings were solid and her fan base loyal, but management cried "budget concerns" and thought that putting two syndicated programs in her place was a better financial decision!! Personally, since hers was a voice that espoused liberal progressivism with a strong anti-Bush (and the facts to back her up) message, I am inclined to believe that this is just an attempt to silence her.
Although her program is a local one here in NYC, Lynn does have a national internet following. The program director is Phil Boyce and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
otherwise noted, all original