The BuzzFlash Mailbag
November 4, 2002
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
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Subj: Bush: Cheerleader for violent rhetoric
I have read that the right-wing media slimeballs have been out in force, trashing the Wellstone sons for honoring their father!!! I can't believe I live on the same planet with these creeps. I don't watch the TV ghouls anymore so don't know how they have played it, but I can guess. Actually, that's not entirely true. When I am switching from station to station in my desperate hunt for intelligent discourse, or even fair-play in reporting the news, I have come upon a few of the slimy ones ranting and raving. I click past those channels as swiftly as I can, because it makes me ill to think too deeply about the fact that such vicious people not only inhabit this earth but that they have control of the airwaves in America. It is more than I can bear sometimes.
And I blame Bush for ALL of the violent rhetoric and all the renewed violence in the world. He has set the tone: you're either with him or against him, no shades of grey. So, violent people all over the globe are ramping up their anger and hatred, and cutting loose with guns blazing. NO one speaks of Conciliation anymore; it has become another right-winger's dirty word, like Peace and Liberal. I can't bear it all.
A BuzzFlash Reader
We have nothing to fear from Jerry Falwell, this rot who milks little old ladies out of their retirement money.
VOTE STRAIGHT DEMOCRAT, MOSTLY FOR PAUL WELLSTONE, BUT ALSO BECAUSE JERRY FALWELL DOESN'T WANT YOU TO!
(And we wouldn't want to do anything that would please the twisted Mr. Falwell!)
So my vote will be AGAINST Falwell, and FOR PAUL WELLSTONE'S DEMOCRATS!
A daily BuzzFlash reader.
You were right. Bowling for Columbine was a great movie. The audience here in Phoenix applauded and this was just the first night the movie was shown. I think Harkins Theater is the only one that is showing it here. I think we should refuse to go to any other theater unless they will show Bowling for Columbine. In fact people in any city should call movie theaters and demand that they show that movie. That is the only way to get this message out about gun violence since the media won't do anything other than suck up to Bush. These other movie theaters are only interested in doing entertainment and putting junk out there and making money. Maybe we should vote with our pocketbooks. I think we should show AMC movie theaters that we don't want their junk. We want truth for a change. Good for Harkins, agreeing to show that movie and stick its neck out in a Republican area like Phoenix. The theater was packed. Most of all, it was fun to hear people laugh at Bush in that movie.
To Monica and Dan:
Monica and Dan, you all hit everything right on the head!! I was SO angry, so FURIOUS when I watched TV and saw the ex-wrestler storming out of the Memorial Service! I think that Dan was right on target when he said that it scared the Republicans to death to see us FINALLY united, talking about fighting for Paul Wellstone whom I'm quite sure they all despised. He wasn't afraid of them as I've watched MY senator and many other Democrats be. I've been SO ashamed of how most of them have acted ever since Bush was appointed. It was like they all were jellyfish with NO backbone!! I guess with almost all of the government stacked on one side and the Senate the only stronghold left, yet hanging by a thread, that most of them became disheartened and distraught and just sort of "gave up" in a collective clinical depressive episode. But, finally, while mourning for one of the bravest men to ever serve in our government, they finally seemed to get it back! To finally realize that they were ONE party - ONE family and that they could stop this insanity.
I haven't felt much hope since the Appointed One took over. Not much hope at all! As I have watched our Democratic leaders crouching down as if terrified and voting for anything and everything that the Bush/Ashcroft team demanded - not even whispering a single word as they TOOK most of the things and powers that they wanted without even ASKING Congress! I watched in horror as they calmly sat and watched John Ashcroft, one of the most arrogant men I have ever seen in my entire life, stare at the Congress with his nose in the air and inform them that he would no longer be answering any of their questions and would only answer to Bush!! They all just SAT there! And, I didn't hear a single peep when Ashcroft announced that if anyone wanted to continue to question Bush's involvement in 9-11, they could be arrested!!!! WHAT?
So, for the first time in a LONG time, I finally felt some hope tonight as I read my daily BuzzFlash, the only news I trust anymore. I read the articles and then I read the editorials that both of you wrote and I just can't thank you enough for showing me that hope really does spring eternal after all. I think that maybe Paul Wellstone was orchestrating that entire memorial service from on high, determined that his death would not be in vain. I still can not believe that they DARED to criticize us for mourning our fallen soldier any damn way we pleased!! They absolutely do have the gall to do absolutely anything, I guess. I've never seen anything like it! It is so offensive to me that I have a very hard time finding anything nice to say about ANY of them!!
And demanding equal time????? I just about DIED when I heard that ridiculous plea!! And, knowing how they have most of the media in their back pockets, they'll probably have something just like that! I guess Chris Matthews will dedicate an entire program or 2 - like maybe his Monday and Tuesday programs? - to any and all Republicans who are running for office against a Democrat who might be slipping up on them. It's totally ridiculous! I found myself yelling, "YES!" so many times as I read both of your pieces. Dan handled this "equal time" question in a great way and had me almost laughing if it hadn't been so true. I wish we could get equal time for all of those far right TV shows - all of the times that there have been 4 pundits, 3 Republicans and 1 Democrat - or 1 Independent!!
Well, I guess I could go on and on all night, but I wanted to thank the 2 of you for finally giving me what I feel will be one of the best nights of sleep that I've had in a long time!! I finally see that there really could be - dare I dream? - a light at the end of that tunnel!! I had gotten to the point that I couldn't see anything but darkness anymore. I was so afraid that we'd lose the Senate, too, and then there we would be - the rest of OUR natural lives anyway - stuck with Bushies and all of the far right judges whom Bush would appoint who would be interpreting our Constitution through their own warped senses of values. I could see Jeb Bush president in 2008 or - even worse - I used to have nightmares that John Ashcroft became president somehow!! Can you imagine what kind of a democracy we'd have then? I was convinced that Bush was going to start WWIII and be happy about it! He was going to make everyone in the entire world hate us more than they already do and we were going to be toppled as a world power by the very germs that we sent to Iraq during the Reagan years!! I am STILL afraid of this scenario after they handed him a blank check last week! I had just written Sen. Wellstone a note, thanking him for voting for America and what was right, instead of giving in to small, rich groups who continue to have 3/4 or MORE of everything handed to them on a far-right silver platter!! I was painting a very black picture, indeed, km
But now, thanks to that rousing memorial service for Senator Wellstone and reading ya'll's articles in BuzzFlash, I finally am starting to feel better again - to believe that maybe we really might have some oversight powers and maybe could control and curtail all of their anti-democratic actions!
I hope that both of ya'll will continue to send in articles forever!! You sure made MY night!!
I would like for you to do one more thing for me sometime, though, when you decide to write another editorial. I wish that you'd explain to me why the Bushies get by with any and everything that they want to, but that President Clinton still is attacked to this DAY for some of the most ridiculous, silly, asinine things I've ever heard of and not ONE person seems to give a rat's tutu!! So, as far as I'm concerned, that's your next assignment! :)
Subj: Palms, Thugs and Disharmony
Just wanted you to know I use your site as a window to the world. Your link to the Miami Herald Story about PAC's providing poll watchers sent a chill down my spine. I Emailed the author which you will find below. But what really needs to be done is to organize a boycott targeted at Disney and Universal if the voting irregularities continue to occur in the setting Sunshine state. I personally will never again set foot in Florida, after spending several thousands of my vacation dollars over the years, if there is a repeat performance. I will contact the thousand or so people I have as Clients, all my friends and relatives and ask them also to send a message. The only way to stop this kind of intimidation is to stand up and put your money where your mouth is. Watch it stop if Disney or Universal feels an economic pinch.
Maybe if a couple of thousand democrats Email the Newspapers in Florida before the election they might get the message.
Below is the letter I sent the Herald:
As a former member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Election here in Cleveland, Ohio, let me tell you I am dismayed by your story in todays Herald. We have always allowed candidates and those representing them to pass out literature and greet voters as long as they stayed within the boundaries set by the Ohio Revised Code. We also let each party have a person inside the polling location as a watcher. Inviting more people than that inside the polling place will just add to confusion and congestion. I feel this is a recipe for disaster. Never mind the sad and terrible sight of the thugs who stormed the Board of Elections as they set to count the ballots last time. I still cant believe these people have not suffered any consequence for there brutish behavior. When I served on the Board I know we never would have tolerated this type of behavior and would have had the County Sheriff there in an instant. I wouldnt care who was responsible at that point. I fear for our democracy if we have to endure a repeat of the brutality displayed in the last 2000 Florida Election. I really feel like driving down to act as an escort to anyone who feels in the least bit intimidated. Are voting place in Florida going to be like Womens Clinics where we have to provide escorts? Shades of Jim Crow.
By the way, I have spent a considerable amount of time and money in Florida over the years and I can tell you if there is a repeat performance I will never again step foot inside your state unless it is to serve as an escort for those wishing to vote. I am going to pass my feelings and this story on to all my friends, clients and relatives. About a thousand like minded Northern Folks who just might decide to vacation somewhere else.
Subj: Falwell and the Wellstone memorial
I wish I could say how shocking I found Fallwell's Halloween message to be, but I can't. With all the bile and hatred this "man of God" has been spewing forth for decades, all I could think was "Well, that's par for the course!"
My favorite line in the whole thing? The closing line, which he quotes Noah Webster:
"When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country."
To Mr. Falwell, I address the remainder of my email-
So Jerry, you sanctimonious hypocrite, if you believe it is the case, that "When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country", why do you urge people to vote for the lying, drunken deserting Bush; the lying, philandering likes of Hutchinson, Gingrich, and Hyde; the lying and cheating likes of Gramm and DeLay?
Why did YOU lie when you helped produce videotapes with a known con man accusing President Clinton of complicity in murder?
Why did you sit back and do nothing when your "religious" right cronies tarred and lied about a man of honor like John McCain back in 2000 during the primaries? Why did you do nothing when your followers made thinly veiled racist references about Senator McCain's family?
I'll tell you why-
It's because, to quote a very public figure, of "the seek-and-destroy political 'values'" for "the raw and callous quest for political power."
And again, to quote that same very public figure, "...it [is] an ugly thing to behold."
Mr. Falwell (I refuse to address you as "Reverend", because there is nothing deserving of reverence about you), may I suggest that you look to the words of Jesus Christ the next time your urge to act out upon your "raw and callous quest for political power".
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7)
"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." (Matt. 7:5)
Subj: Background Checks and Fingerprinting
It is interesting to me that background checks and fingerprinting are required for school teachers because they will be interfacing with kids. For gun owners, however, who seem to be interfacing with many children lately, there are no background checks or fingerprinting. Background checks are required for cashiers, for crying out loud. Is cash more important than a human life? Is that the reason. Gee, we wouldn't want someone to take cash out of the register of a corporation, so we have to have background checks on all cashiers, but we can't have background checks for gun owners, because all they are threatening to snuff out is your child's life, not the pocketbook of a precious CEO. Is that why we have no background checks required for gun owners? I finally figured it out! How sick the NRA is!!! This is another reason to see Bowling for Columbine.
Subj: Heston, The Gun Sicko
I knew Chuck Heston was sick when I saw his deranged look in his eyes every time he would do an NRA ad on television. Before the 2000 election, he had infomercial after infomercial about the NRA. Right after the 2000 election, he suddenly comes on with an infomercial about an audio-bible with his own voice narrating it. I was outraged when, just the other day, as Arizonans were grieving a massive shooting at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Heston showed up right after the shooting and did an NRA rally right there in Tucson. I thought it was odd, but when I saw Bowling for Columbine, I realized that Heston showed up to do an NRA rally after Columbine AND showed up to do an NRA rally after the little six year old girl was shot by a six year old boy (whose mother could not be home with him because she has to do this outrageous welfare to work program for 70 hours a week. She still did not make enough money to make ends meet. The "family values" Republicans, who want the welfare mothers to leave their children to slave away for the rich have blood on their hands for that last one!!) My point is that Heston is a sick individual to rub people's faces in their grief by showing up at a gun rally after every shooting tragedy. Then he has the nerve to narrate a bible. I am a Christian, who reads the bible, and this is a message to anyone who distributes any material written or spoken by Heston. Don't sell his stuff. Get it out of there. The man is ill. Shame on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) for having Heston on their shows! Personally I have never sent a penny to TBN because I know what their owners are. They are money grubbing hypocrites who do not practice what they preach. If you watch them, and you have ever sent them money, stop it now. Show them you will not help Chuck Heston to continue with his deranged massive celebrations of child shootings. STOP THAT MAN!
Subj: Ben Franklin and the Chickenhawks
It is remarkable that soldiers by profession, men truly and unquestionably brave, seldom advise war but in cases of extreme necessity. While mere rhetoricians, tongue-pads and scribes, timid by nature, or from their little bodily exercise deficient in those spirits that give real courage, are ever bawling for war on the most trifling occasions, and seem the most bloodthirsty of mankind.
Subj: The Wellstone Celebration
My wife and I were at Williams Arena last Tuesday for the Paul Wellstone celebration, and it was the most joyous celebration of a lost life that I have ever attended. My wife predicted immediately afterwards that Republicans would demand "equal time." As usual I was slower to predict how Republicans would react. Good for me, because my failure to predict what did occur means that I _learned_ something. Here, tentatively, is what I have learned.
The demand for "equal time" may appear to many as a cynical abuse of our celebration; the upset feelings of some Republicans may appear faked. I do not come to that conclusion. To me, the evidence suggests that Republicans who have condemned the celebration and demanded "equal time" are operating from premises that render their upset and their demand entirely rational.
Most telling evidence is the conspiracy theory, which I first heard promulgated by Minnesota Republican commentator Sarah Janecek, that the celebration was a _scripted_ political rally. Of course the event was nothing of the sort. I am not active in DFL politics and neither is my wife. We are Minnesota citizens who loved Paul Wellstone and went to celebrate Paul's life and legacy. Presumably we were typical of attendees, whether they attended as individuals or in groups: we went because we wished to appreciate and celebrate Paul Wellstone. The "script" was just live closed captioning. We cheered because we were celebrating -- including our celebration of Walter Mondale both as Walter Mondale and as a symbol that Paul Wellstone's work need not end just because Paul is no longer with us.
The contemporary Republican experience, however, is an experience of staged events and faked popularity, designed to produce "positive" media output. Sarah Janecek probably honestly believed that the Wellstone celebration was staged and scripted for similar designs. The alternative, that Paul Wellstone is loved and celebrated at this level and that his goals are this inspiring to ordinary citizens, is outside of her experience of contemporary Republican inspiration and Republican goals. Furthermore, even if this alternative occurs to her, it may be too frightening to take seriously.
Special attention has focused on Rick Kahn's eulogy. All that needed to be said about Rick Kahn's eulogy was said by George Latimer at the time, who made light of its "cross-partisan" appeals. Such is life, that occasionally we needlessly embarrass another person. That this happened is not, in my opinion, why some Republicans are so upset, but merely a convenient focus for their reactions. Surely more deeply upsetting is that Tom Harkin could stand with his chin held high, declare Paul Wellstone a "liberal" without sneering, and have thousands and thousands of ordinary citizens roar their approval. Surely more deeply upsetting is the simple fact that we did not come to bury and weep for the _last_ unabashed liberal, but to celebrate the _first_ unabashed liberal of a new era and begin where he left off. This prospect must genuinely frighten and hurt some Republicans. It contradicts their premises that the enormous popularity of liberals is bought through payoffs to "special interests" and is feigned or manipulated, so it is natural and predictable that these Republicans should deny that our celebration was genuine. It is natural and predictable that they should demand "equal time" for some staged event of their own.
To someone who sees the death of Paul Wellstone as the last gasp of a bygone era, it would be shocking and perverse to see Paul Wellstone celebrated as the beginning of an era. This happening would have to be explained away: it must have been phony, it must have been a conspiracy to manipulate the media.
Fortunately, the Wellstone celebration was not phony and was not crafted to manipulate the media. It was crafted out of love.
Subj: About those Pugs upset over the Wellstone Memorial...Get a good look at this!
Is that Trent Lott laughing it up at the Wellstone memorial? Why yes! I believe it is?
Is that Bill "The Big Dog" Clinton he's touching with affection while laughing? Why yes! I believe it is!
Isn't this from the memorial where the Pugs are complaining that people were "too happy"? Why yes! I believe it is!
Original pic and story at:
Here's a copy of a letter that I just sent to the Chicago Sun-Times. Feel free to use it for today's Mailbag. Just have it signed, "Rick" and you can also put in my hometown of Griffith, IN.
Your website is a godsend. Keep the faith and keep buzzin', people.
Subj: The Grieving Process for Democrats and Republicans
The untimely death of Senator Paul Wellstone offered the public a rare chance to view the true nature and character of the two political parties.
The Democrats held a rousing, beautiful memorial service where the words, views and deeds of Senator Wellstone served as a comfort and an inspiration for them. They resolved to take Senator Wellstone's principles of economic and social justice into this year's election and to keep his views alive in American politics.
On the other hand, the Republicans' reaction to Senator Wellstone's death was to mouth some patronizing bromides about the man, complain that the memorial service was too partisan and, then, to run as fast as they could to the Minnesota courts to try to invalidate any absentee ballots cast for Wellstone and, thus, prevent them from being counted as votes for Wellstone's replacement, Vice-President Walter Mondale. This behavior is more evidence of the new Republican trend to take office by way of legal challenges and successful lawsuits rather than that silly, pesky technicality of ballot-counting. Apparently, Republicans place more faith in the philosophy of their political friends and cronies on the judiciary rather than the judgment and intent of the average voter.
The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that new absentee ballots in Vice-president Mondale's name would have to be requested by each absentee voter, mailed out to them, and returned on time. So, in the weekend before the election, the Democrats are now faced with the herculean task of informing all Minnesota absentee voters that they have to request and send back a new ballot in order for their vote to be counted. The Republicans, on the other hand, have succeeded in their attempt to politically benefit from Senator Wellstone's death by wreaking havoc on the absentee balloting process in a cheap attempt to try to fix the results in this Tuesday's Senate election in Minnesota. Obviously, the Republicans fear that they will lose the Minnesota Senate race if the Wellstone absentee ballots are counted for Mondale.
An interesting contrast in the grieving process, wouldn't you say?
I sent this to a friend who forwarded me some trite GOP email crying about some perceived slight at the Wellstone Memorial:
The Repuglicans are so f**king hypocritical. They booed Hillary at the 9-11 memorial and they have the audacity and the gaul to complain about a no getting a break at a memorial service for a man who believed nothing that the Republicans believed and who was consistently derided and attacked for believing, according to the GOP, incredibly heinous ideas like health insurance for everyone and a minimum wage that people could actually live on. And let's not forget that it was a memorial service for the man the Bush administration claimed was their No. 1 target for elimination because he was their strongest opposition.
F**k Trent Lott and every sniveling Republican who thought this memorial service was about them. It had nothing to do with them. And unlike Cheney -- who was UNinvited -- they should be lucky they got to have face time at an event for a man with more heart in his finger in one second than the entire GOP had in the last ten years.
As Matthew Miller wrote in the StarTribune this week: "Paul Wellstone wasn't "embarrassingly liberal," as the attacks against him charged. It's that the rest of country has become "shamefully conservative."
Republicans stand for three things: Exclusion, greed and hypocrisy. Isn't it ironic that they consider themselves the party of God?
This stuff makes me boil. And it's the BEST they can come up with -- half-baked stories about how they might have been wronged. Grow up. If they ever had to rely on facts -- instead of lies, half-truths and emotional jargoneering -- they'd be run out of town faster than a snake oil salesman. I swear, they're the biggest bunch of whining pieces of crap I've ever seen. Wellstone's death has really shown them for what they are -- a bunch of slimy, greedy, pissant, small-minded selfish pricks.
The next time someone sends you crap like this (and you feel up to parrying with them), send them this:
Let them answer that. In two years that idiot in the White House has totally screwed up the country and the GOP still thinks the guy walks on water. Has their entire party gone delusional?
One last thing about the memorial service. The day before, the Wellstone family had a very private funeral. It wasn't televised, it wasn't an event. It was private. I read about it online.
The memorial service, on the other hand, was put together by Wellstone's sons as a CELEBRATION of his life, which just happened to be about PROGRESSIVE, human-centered issues. They were celebrating the life of a man who believed in the power of our government to HELP people lead better lives, something which Republicans and their "bootstraps for everyone but me" mentality wouldn't know about if they tripped over it in the street.
This is the exact kind of crap that needs to be completely wiped out on November 5th.
The country is turning Democratic. This is the last and dying gasp of the Republicans and their "greed is good" mentality. And they are desperate. Very desperate. They may even win in Florida, because Jeb and Katherine have not fixed any of the problems that caused the fiasco (and theft) of the 2000 election.
But mark my words, every single important issue to people in this country -- healthcare, education, poverty, daycare, social security, medication, and on and on -- falls smack on the side of the progressive movement and, if the Democrats can stay focused long enough, into Democratic and Green electoral victories from Tuesday throughout the next generation.
People are tired of greed. People are tired of a select few making millions off the backs of everyone else. People are tired of not having adequate healthcare. People are tired of the degradation of our schools. People are tired of our government spending trillions of dollars on weapons and nothing on prescriptions drugs. People are tired of CEOs and CEO Presidents and Vice-Presidents who make out like bandits while the rest of us cobble together enough to pay our rent and rent a videotape for the big weekend entertainment.
Things are changing. Slowly, but they are changing.
This is the last wheezing gasp of George, Dick, Trent, Newt, Falwell and everyone of the closed-minded racist rich white guys that do what they want with our country.
Beginning Nov. 5th, we're taking it back and giving it away to the people that need it.
- Joey Martin, Chicago
There were six arrests at the peace event in Louisville Friday evening.
Below are news articles and my letter in response to the report from The Courier-Journal. The violent police actions came after instructions from guys in business suits who looked like Secret Service. Police were nervous and frightened in general, which was odd because they were nearly as numerous as the protesters.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
MY LETTER TO THE REPORTER
Dear Mr. Lindenberger,
Thank you for reporting the protests against Mr. Bush in Louisville on Friday. I attended the "Regime Change Begins at Home" rally and witnessed the police attack against peaceful protesters which occurred outside the convention center.
I am pleased to see your account of the events published. It is a welcome change from the disturbing trend against reporting dissent which had become a hallmark of American journalism since the appointment of Mr. Bush as president. I hope reports like yours are indicative of an increasing tolerance for the opinions at odds with establishment policies and decisions.
My impression of the events in Louisville on Friday differ from your report in one important aspect. Your otherwise fair and thoughtful article begs the question: What prompted the police to order peaceful, legal protesters at an anti-war gathering to disperse? The police only attacked and corralled Antiwar protesters, not the flag-waving pro-Bush, pro-war contingent your article mentions. Bush supporters had full freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. They faced no restriction on the locations from which to voice their opinions.
The Louisville Police seemed to be enforcing a policy of targeted enforcement of "security" policies based not on the law, but on political expediencies. What I witnessed in Louisville looked like another Federalist-mandated step towards the criminalization of political dissent.
I appreciate your report of the events outside the convention center. I hope you will continue to give voice those of us who are barred for political reasons from access to the halls of power, as you did in Louisville on Friday.
It looks like what the GOP pressed for was a little too early in the election season. You could call it "premature iraqulation".
Re: A Defining Moment
I am in awe of Rebecca Knight. She is able to so clearly articulate what is facing us. In this week's Arkansas Times editorials, at the end of their recommendations of candidates, is a quote from Tony Kushner that would be an excellent posting to accompany Ms. Knight's article. It concerns what you are really doing when you fail to vote. I don't have the exact site, but if you go to Arktimes.com and click on editorials, then scroll down past the listing of candidates, you will find it.
A BuzzFlash Reader
This is a letter I sent to CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC news:
I am writing to protest your coverage of Bush on the campaign trail. This is not news. It is campaigning! So, unless the Republican Party is paying for the airtime, you need to give equal time to opposing candidates. At the very least, if you are going to show all the flag wavers behind Bush, you also need to give equal coverage to all the protests going on outside of these events. Anything less is pure propaganda... no better than the former Soviet TASS news agency. America deserves better.
Subj: Bush lacks dignity, decency, and anything close to manners.
Aren't we at war or something? Aren't we getting ready to invade Iraq or something?
And, yet, where is our president? Out on a non-stop political campaign trip to help Republicans get elected.
Wow, what a wonderful, committed, industrious, patriotic president we have. NOT!!
And haven't we been told by CIA Director George Tenet that we are in "gravest danger" from another 9/11-type terrorist attack?
And where are our president and vice president? Both are out on the campaign trail.
Would you say they don't give a hoot if we are protected from terrorist threat or if our military is intelligently pursuing the war in Afghanistan? Yeah, haven't heard much from Afghanistan lately, have we? That's because, little by little, the Taliban and unfriendly Afghan war-lords are taking back all of Afghanistan except for the capitol city of Kabul. But as long as we hold on to Kabul, Bush can fool the American people into thinking we actually have that country under control. We don't.
But, back to the election campaign. It seems GWBush has NO sense of decency (as I suspected) and went to campaign in Minnesota for the Republican senatorial candidate (and against the legacy of Paul Wellstone).
But, and here's the good part: it isn't doing the Republican candidates any good, and may actually be having the effect of mobilizing Democrats to protest Bush, or to get out and help the Democrats, or to donate their money.
<<"I've never done this before," said Greg Calcutt, a retiree from Rochester [Minnesota] who showed up to protest Bush's push for war against Iraq. "I just read in the paper that he was coming and decided I had to say something.">>
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"President's visits don't provide big boost" Sat, Nov. 02, 2002
<<MINNESOTA Like presidents before him, George W. Bush is campaigning across the country to help his party's candidates win close congressional elections. And like presidents before him, he is probably wasting his time.>>
Read the whole article at: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/politics/4424905.htm
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I happen to think the president's storming in to Minnesota to carry on campaigning so soon after such a tragedy lacks dignity, decency, and anything close to manners.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: The forces of pure, unadulterated evil
What we are up against in this election is nothing less than the forces of pure, unadulterated evil -- in the persons of George W. Bush and his team members, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and, especially, Karl Rove. Make no mistake, they will kill to win; winning is all, and they do NOT care who falls in their lust for power. And just what is it these Bushites plan to do with all that power once they get it? Number One, get and keep the nation's wealth for themselves and their "friends." Number Two. destroy any opposing forces that might get in their way, and Number Three, conquer the world and control the oil, water and natural resources, so that they will be free to Rule The World like nothing that has ever been seen on this planet before.
The Germans, in the 1930s and 1940s, knew what it was to live under the boot heel of a cruel and uncaring dictator; we may be about to find out. If there is anyone on this planet who still believes the Bushites give a rat's a_s for the well-being of anyone who is not a campaign contributor, that person is demented.
I believe people should vote for MORE than their own self-interest, but anyone who does not AT LEAST vote in his or her own self-interest is beyond my feeble help. Do not think for one minute that George W. Bush or his handlers have any interest in improving the lives of the 99 percent of Americans who are not their "pals." Only if you are among the ONE percent of Americans who will profit from Bush's having iron control of our government and our treasury should you support ANY Republican in this election. (Nor should anyone pull the lever for any Green candidates, since the Green candidates are aiding the cause of the Republicans by draining votes from the ONLY other Party that can possibly win -- the Democrats!)
Send a message to the country and to the Bushites that we don't like THEIR kind in America. They are not Americans as we know Americans to be: open, honest, hard-working, empathetic, willing to give another person an even break, and willing to give a struggling person a helping hand.
The Bushites represent the forces of Greed, Avarice, Selfishness, Prejudice, Cruelty, Dishonesty, Mean-spiritedness and Criminality.
That's not what I think America is all about, and I suspect you don't either.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: A Tribute to Paul Wellstone
There are those who object to Paul Wellstone's memorial. I do not! We came together to celebrate his life's work, which was political. There are a number of Far Right pundits who are saying very nasty things about those of us who honored Paul Wellstone at his memorial.
These pundits have no problems with those who put forth death wishes for this brave senator prior to his death by plane crash. They are silent about those who sent post cards depicting a tomb stone and Wellstone, to every household in Minnesota the weekend following his death. They are mute about web sites telling fellow Republicans that to honor this man "is sleeping with the enemy" (Sentry, 10/31/02). These people celebrate Wellstone's death; they have no right to tell anyone how to conduct a memorial service.
We are the ones who grieve. And we have the right to grieve our loss in our own way.
I am devastated by the loss of Paul Wellstone, his voice, his words, his being. Paul Wellstone's legacy is that he was a truth-teller. He fought for the little guy who had no real voice in Washington. He fought for women's rights, for union rights, and against the corporate take-over of our government.
We are the ones who honored his life and we did it in our own way. We spoke from our collective conscience that evening; just as Paul Wellstone always spoke from his conscience before his life was cut short by a plane crash.
Senator Wellstone was a dangerous force in Washington! He spoke for the people and the people resonated to the man and his message. And that is the real reason why Republican operatives want to ridicule both his life's work and those who celebrate his life.`
Will other Senators step forward to carry on Paul's voice and his work? That is the challenge facing the Senate today. Who will dare to take his place? Who will be our next voice of courage and conviction in the Senate and Congress?
If that person steps forward, he or she will be heard. The people resonate to truth as they resonated to Paul Wellstone. Please do not make his journey be in vain.
Subject: Another Jeb "devious plan"
Dear Buzz and mailbaggers,
The following is part of an article I read in Mediawhores about more illegal bullying of the voters in Florida by the Jeb Bush thugs:
"In an alarming development at ground-zero of the 2000 GOP election theft, Jeb Bush and the Republican Party have hit upon a devious sneak attack plan to pack Miami/Dade County polling places with hundreds of their supporters, posing as "poll watchers," against the stated intention of state election law.
With a last-minute rule change, the parties are now permitted to have many more than the one poll watcher each stated by law to help oversee proper and impartial conduct of the elections.
Republicans -- specifically an beneath-the-radar operation calling itself the Emergency Committee To Stop Bill McBride -- were tipped off to the changes well ahead of time, but the Democrats were not told a thing.
As a result, the Republicans will be packing the Miami-Dade polls by the hundreds next Tuesday, with the clear purpose of suppressing, by any means necessary, the minority Democratic vote. GOP poll watchers will outnumber the Democrats by roughly 3 to 1, thanks to the GOP's dirty tactics."
Along with all the other great advice from mailbaggers on how to act and what to watch out for while you're voting I'd like to suggest that all of you who have camcorders and cameras take them and use them if you see anything suspicious. At the very least it'll be evidence for any possible future indictments of Republicans (like Jeb Bush).
Grateful to all of you,
Ok, after reading a great editorial to BuzzFlash "What's at Stake if the GOP takes the Senate..." this listing is tragically kinda energizing in a sad way, but let's go with some more, by all of us..c'mon, write in....
11. Mandatory daily morning prayer only "in Jesus' name" in all public schools will be instituted in all states, nationwide (with the blessing of the Heritage Foundation and Manhattan Institute, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ashcroft, fanatic Karen Hughes, et.al)
12. Adoption of children will only be legal by 2 person families (i.e. married heterosexual Christian/religious couples only; no gay women, for example, and... no singles period ... I don't care if you're a 50 yr old single heterosexual female school Principal who wants to adopt a child who's been in foster care a very long time with Sp.Ed/behavioral problems who nobody else wants, or a 36 yr old Vet who' d like to adopt a sibling group of little children who's been neglected all their life and is now free for adoption only if they can "all" stay together....and you can provide for them. "all" to stay together in a loving home..well, just skip it, no way, because it will become against the law now in America for you to have children, because you are not "married."
13. New categories of "Terrorists" will be announced by Ashcroft, such as "Domestic Terrorists" (like Sierra Club and other environmentalists), and also "Sexual Terrorists" (such as all gay and lesbians).
14. Abolition of the Income Tax in favor of a Flat tax, which only benefits the wealthy and hurts the middle class and poor and elderly.
15. Privatization of Social Security...need we go there?
16. Making Bush's crazy tax cuts Permanent.... which is crazy.
17. "Terrorist Internment Camps" to be built on some military facilities across the USA in very obscure places in the US to "keep American safe."
18. Jeb Bush is Appointed Ambassador to the United Nations (LIKE his DAD, HWBush) in an attempt to dupe the American people that they have any regard at all for the UN... Ha Ha.
Ok, maybe its not really 1984, but it's sure felt like it for several years now down here in Texas first in the mid-90's (1995 etc), then in 2000 the rest of America started learning the truth slowly, thanks to the corporate media BLACKOUT of the truth here!!! (i.e. I'm an Education Governor, Let No Child...etc. Etc. etc. Ha Ha Ha)
Oh Well, anyone have any more ideas about "What's at Stake if the GOP takes the Senate?" How about the Supreme Court?
Subj: Another Endorsement for Bowling for Columbine
Why isn't this movie being played throughout the country? Why are we given "limited availability only" excuses when we call our theaters? Keep calling your movie theaters! The entertainment industry has also played a role in creating a culture of violence that keeps the war industry in power over our foreign policy.
I think the Senator reads BuzzFlash!
Nancy Lynn Nagy (TN)
Subj: I am sick of Jeb and Bush pics
Jeb's plan for improving education for kids is "Stack em deep n teach em cheap!" I am getting a stomach full of constant Bush faces on every network and media source. How has Bush got the nerve to say he is supporting his bro Jeb, because Jeb somehow has the best deal for education when Jeb said he had "devious plans" to subvert the voters will and get class size down lower than 40 students per class? How can the Greedy Old Party (GOP) say they are education advocates when they insist on class sizes that are unmanageable and unsafe for kids? Are they trying to say that the teachers just need to teacher faster, and cheaper? Are they saying of kids and education "Stack em deep and teach m cheap?
Subj: Killing Women to Pander to Conservatives
Thanks to BuzzFlash for reporting the latest in a string of witlessly arrogant Bush administration actions.
Below is a link to a full article in the Mercury News on the recent disavowal of U.S. support for an international understanding on family planning, including maternal and child health issues:
During a U.N. meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, a State Department official said the United States would not reaffirm its support for the 1994 ``program of action'' adopted in Cairo, Egypt, by 179 nations. Louise Oliver, a special assistant in the State Department's population office, also said the Bush administration objected to such terms as ``reproductive services'' and ``reproductive health care'' because they imply a right to abortion, according to a senior U.N. official who attended the session.
The administration also is pushing for a new international campaign promoting sexual abstinence, particularly among adolescents, the U.N. Official said.
I spent ten years of my life in the international family planning field, working out of a National Laboratory with primary support from the U.S. Agency for International Development in the U.S. State Department. I have seen grinding poverty, suffering and death, and know how the self-righteous posturing of the Right on family planning plays out in blood.
The action of the U.S. under G.W. Bush, following the withdrawal of funds from the United Nations FPA earlier in the year, is tantamount to being an accessory to murder of hundreds of thousands of women.
The current Conservative Right position is morally, geopolitically and pragmatically wrong. How persons generally perceived as intelligent, such as Secretary Powell, can preside over such stupidity and evil action is beyond my understanding.
I realize that international issues in general hardly rise onto the public's radar screen, and that defense of the lives of foreign women lie even lower. But, I ask our legislators to show the courage and backbone to stand up to the Conservatives and do the right thing. Ditto the media -- where is the mainstream print and broadcast media on this story?
I found this on a TwinCities message board. There is no link but I thought you might find it interesting:
Subj: Truth in Advertising
This afternoon, my phone rang and I checked the caller i.d. I have seen some strange telephone numbers before, but this was a real oddity: "000-000-0000". Things all became clear when the answering machine picked up and the call turned out to be election-related. An automated message played: "This is resident george w. bush..."
Yes, the "Big Zero" has a vanity telephone number!
And we thought the repugs couldn't be honest!
Subj: Republicans are stooping to phone soliciting
What's next? Campaigning via the Home Shopping Network?
Or maybe the National Enquirer. It is, after all, all about one's target market.
Here in "Colorful Colorado" where we're embroiled in a bitter neck-in-neck Senate race and an equally hot congressional race, the ads have been nasty, focusing more on attacks than on issues.
But tonight, we received a recorded phone call from none other than Laura Bush herself. Or, at least, a facsimile of her voice.
"Hi," the message said, "This is Laura Bush. I'd like to encourage you to get out and vote on Tuesday."
My husband slammed the phone down, almost frothing at the mouth with frustration.
First of all, we're both registered Democrats, both of us fairly progressive. While we realize that this is becoming an anomaly in Colorado, we are staunch in our beliefs.
Second, we've listed all our numbers on the Colorado No-Call List which says, in effect, that we cannot receive phone solicitations from anyone.
Does that stop the Grand Old Party? Heck no.
While it's "Grand" that Mrs. Bush wants to encourage us all to exercise our democratic right to vote (note, please, the proper adjective used in the previous phrase), it is an invasion of privacy to get a phone solicitation from the GOP, the vinyl siding salesman or anyone else of this ilk.
Sad to say, but I'd bet a pocket of Roosevelt dimes that at least one or two of my more delusional neighbors are now convinced that they received a personal phone call from either the White House or Crawford, Texas. Or, perhaps, an undisclosed location.
BuzzFlash is not joking. See Bowling for Columbine. Take your friends to see it. Tell everyone you know about it.
a BuzzFlash reader
Subj: The commentary "If you don't want your children or grandchildren....
I read that story, and in some ways the commentary was wrong, factually. I am one of those nameless millions of young men who was conscripted to serve in the Vietnam War. Disgusted at the recent chest-pounding of the Bush administration and well aware of the number of Chickenhawks in his administration, I wrote Mr. Richard S. Flahavan, Chief of Governmental Affairs at the SSS, about "loopholes."
In particular, I asked "would Phil Gramm, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, etc. all be forced into the armed forces with your new rules? Who would be drafted?" [It was a long letter, but I followed with more questions like that, since I am a father of two draft-aged kids]. Specifically, I questioned who will and will not serve.
In reply he stated the following in his letter of January 4, 2002:
"...No individual classify himself (sic). Rather Local Boards across the Nation, composed of civilian volunteers, made these judgmental decisions based upon Agency policies and the facts of each case."
I guess that is the closest answer we are going to get about who will and who will not be drafted. It is comforting to know that a new generation of chickenhawks (people like Limbaugh, Gramm, Gingrich, Lott, etc.) will "only" have to deal with "Local Boards" to decide. I am sure that no influence will exerted upon the "civilian volunteers" at all by the rich and powerful. That, apparently, is the state of deferments in the future....
Keep up the pressure on the cowards and hypocrites. You are doing a great job.
Subj: The Bush Harken Fiasco
Where is the outrage over the deal Bush made to sell Harken and then not be investigated thoroughly for insider trading? Had this been either Clinton the Congress would have been after them long ago. But not this Bush. What control does he have over the so called "liberal press". Is the media too wimpish to even suggest there was anything wrong with Bush selling before the stock tanked, or the investigation that didn't consider all the documents relative to the sale, or that a very pertinent document wasn't discovered until after the SEC's decision was made. Where is the outrage?
Jerry, Tucson, AZ
Subj: "Voting Machine errors" etc
Your link to "Voting Machine errors"
A suggestion - if anyone spots "problems" with their voting:
Let those around you know. Ask questions, get answers
Have your "Voters' Bill of Rights" with you - know your legal voting rights
Arrive with 5 (helps to have witnesses)
Report details (who, what, when, where, why) to:
1. Your Secretary of State
2. The affected political party
3. Any reporter or editor who will listen
4. The police, if it is illegal activity - demand the arrest of those involved. demand names and affiliations
5. CALL the lawyers at the PFAW voter hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE if you have any questions or problems voting! (1-866-687-8683)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Web Site for Instant Reporting of Voting Problems
VoteWatch.US is a new web site allowing voters to register concerns about their vote immediately -- important, because by the time anybody catches most election errors, deadlines lapse. http://www.VoteWatch.US (not dot-com, not dot-org -- it's dot-US) now provides a central repository for voting glitches of all kinds -- access to polls, intimidation, strange vote-counting (as in Dallas, where votes for one candidate registered for the opposite candidate) and discrepancies in tabulation. Another Internet firm, Talion.com, has a database of over 450,000 editors, will monitor the complaints at VoteWatch.US and immediately notify the media when problems or patterns deserve more attention.
Indications are that election problems will be widespread -- at least a dozen states have elections that may hinge on less than 500 votes -- and it is the close elections where vote integrity matters most More: 31 News Reports of Major Election Errors: http://www.talion.com/election-mistakes.html -- VoteWatch.US: http://www.votewatch.us.
[Note: please report any indication of hacking for either site immediately, to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.]
A BuzzFlash Reader
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otherwise noted, all original