The BuzzFlash Mailbag
December 4, 2002
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
Important Note: Because we can't always determine your intentions, we need to ask a favor of you when you send us email. If you DO NOT WANT YOUR EMAIL PUBLISHED in the Mailbag or in the Contributors section, please write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the Subject line or at the top of your email. That way we'll know it's just a comment to BuzzFlash. Additionally, if you submit a mailbag item and DO NOT WANT YOUR NAME associated with your submission, sign your email, "A BuzzFlash Reader." If you send email unsigned, we will post your name with your submission, or, if that's not available, your email name (not the full address, just what's on the left side of the email address). Please try and keep your word count under 500. Thank you.
The BuzzFlash Mailbag is updated on an ongoing basis, with the newest material and comments on top. Again, we can only post a small percentage of what is sent to us. The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are the not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. Thanks again for your email and your patience.
Here is a letter I sent to NPR. I hope if people are supporting NPR, they will reconsider and send their donations to BuzzFlash instead.
Dear Mr. J. Connelly:
I would like to tell you that as a financial supporter of my local NPR stations, I am disgusted. I cannot believe your station would bring Senator Hatch to the Diane Rehm show and screen out callers who were critics. All the show did is worship him for the entire time he was there as he was allowed to lie about the Clinton economy. He blamed Clinton for the recession. That, of course, is in the true lying hypocritical spirit of the GOP. Hatch also says we should invade Iraq even if no violations are found. Then, why are we having inspections? Does this have anything to do with oil? After all, North Korea told us they had nuclear and biological weapons. Why aren't we going there? Only two questions were allowed to be posed to Hatch and everyone had to treat him with kid gloves. On another show with Neil Conen, Senator Hutchison got on their and used her psychological manipulative stance to say the Congress would not be "hard right" but rather "mainstream conservative". She was again treated with kid gloves, as was Hatch during another time slot. Yet another GOP personality came on during the Conen hour and lied about the GOP desire to let the working person keep more money in his or her pocket. He argued that deficits were fine and that a permanent tax cut had to be in place. He implied that priorities were important and yet he never mentioned unemployment benefits for those who have served their employers with loyalty for 25 years or so. NPR gave him such supremely gentle treatment. I wanted to throw up. I have supported NPR because it is the only unbiased coverage left. I am withdrawing my support and I will send it to some more responsible news sources that yours. If you want my contributions to resume, then please do something about the biased coverage that NPR is doing in favor of the GOP. NPR has become nothing more than a Rush Limbaugh surrogate.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: E-bay item for Bush, Rumsfeld et al
Anyone want to put in a bid on a vintage poster being offered on Ebay? It shows a hunting dog barking at a skunk on a tree stump with a caption reading "Ignorance makes us bold; Wisdom bids us Pause and Consider." Perhaps we can all chip in & send it to Bush & Rumsfeld as an Xmas present...
Oh for Christ sake! Tell me I did not hear that woman on CNN say "coming up...how much did John Kerry pay for his hair cut?"
All the things getting by under the media wire and you want to talk about how much Kerry pays for a hair cut? Good god o'mighty!!!
A copy of the letter I sent to Jim Ruttenberg of the NY Times regarding his article "Fewer Media Owners, More Media Choices"
* * *
Jeff Chester is correct when he talks about the "narrow definition of diversity". The argument that there is a multitude of media choices is patently ridiculous and misses the point. It should be a matter of quality, not quantity. No one would deny that there are legions of media outlets. To make the point that this myriad of media venues make it impossible for any corporation to exert undue influence over consumers is kind of ludicrous when one considers that all of these "choices" are consolidated under the ownership of a handful of corporations beholden to the Bush administration. The third paragraph of your article actually points to what the problem is - although I dont believe you consider it a problem - "Now the typical American can watch Britain's BBC News, Al Jazeera based in Qatar, The Times of India based in New Delhi". Yes, how true. Now isnt it pathetic that truly curious Americans have to search through outlets like this in order to get any real, factual news about their own country? Why were we just ranked 17th in press freedom if we have the diverse media choices that are being touted? Why was the media so overzealous during the Clinton administration and why did they change their ways? Also, would someone please point out to me some of the many "choices" of unbiased radio shows on the airwaves, because I seem to have a problem locating them. We certainly are NOT hearing diverse voices - I dont care how many TV stations there are. Any attempts to whitewash the mainstream media won't work. No sir, the fear of corporate media domination has not become obsolete. It has only just begun.
Barbara in NYC
Subj: There's a Huge Story For Someone
...who can detail why John J. DiIulio Jr. changed his story.
In addition to threats and bullying, they may have simply offered him a six- or seven-figure inducement.
I'd sure like to know,
Subj: Are they all criminals?
Is there anyone running this government that isn't a crook or hasn't been accused of being one? More and more I keep reading about the scary pasts of this Bush administration. I can't even keep track of all the crimes and allegations of each of them. Do we have a score card of crimes committed, crimes accused? If so, can I have a link?
Subj: Elliot Abrams' family ties
I'm sure you know this already - but maybe some of your readers don't.
Elliot Abrams is the son-in-law of Midge Decter and Norman Podhoretz. A lovely family!!
Subj: The devastation of DU ordnance
I just saw Paul Rokke, Ph.D. Former U.S. Army DU (depleted uranium) project director on the Pirate Channel (77) talking to a Seattle church group about the consequences of the military's use of DU ordnance in the '91 Gulf War. He said that our shells caused environmental havoc so extreme that US personnel have been severely affected ever since. He said that the official number of US casualties at the time of conflict was 483. Since then, 159,000 have been put on permanent disability due to cancer and other illness, and 8,000 have died from exposure to radiation. According to his figures, the total number of US personnel injured, disabled, or deceased as a direct result of that action is 250,000. He also said that current protective suits are inadequate to the task. This man needs far more exposure than he's getting. He's currently a professor of physics at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. Someone needs to bring attention to him through the media. Anyone have any ideas?
Subj: they want to be little bush clones!
I will tell you what is wrong with the democrats! They don't have any balls! Perfect example---Max Cleland! If he had been a republican attacked like that by the democrats the republicans would have had them all running for the hills with their tails between their legs! They can put the democrats in the fetal position over a man who was AWOL for Christ sake! The dems can't even defend a man who lost three limbs for this country! The media does it too, they do what they are told by the people who write their checks, the same people who own this administration! I have never voted for a republican in my life! Now I'm ashamed to vote for a democrat! The party of cowards! They all wanted to be george's bud, only to see him turn on them like the scorpion on the frog, and they still don't get it which makes them stupid as well as cowards! Excuse me while I barf!
Subj: A Clear and Present Danger
As an attorney who took an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, and someone who works with the Bill of Rights on a daily basis, I cannot emphasize enough how truly dangerous the precedent that this administration seeks to set with this case is. What the author of this article states is, in my legal opinion, not hyperbole, but a very unpleasant truth.
The precedent that this administration seeks to set by repealing Miranda would endanger each and every citizen. Miranda makes crystal clear that if a detained individual asserts his or her right to consult with an attorney, questioning MUST cease at that point and an attorney must be provided. That is the specific holding of that case. If Miranda is repealed and the Supreme Court states that there is no constitutional right to be free of coercive police interrogation, this would completely destroy the fifth amendment.
Then, ANY CITIZEN could be picked up and held indefinitely by the police and subjected to horrible methods of interrogation and that person would have no recourse against his tormentors or, most importantly, no right to stop the interrogation. We see in this case how the individual who had been shot through the eye was still subjected to barbaric interrogation despite his explicit request for the interrogation to cease and the entreaties of the treating medics. That individual's fate is a fate which could befall each and every one of us if the extreme neofascist legal viewpoint espoused by Olson and Ashcroft is made the law of the land. At that point we will have officially ceased to be a free country and we will be a country in which human rights abuses will not be the subject of state condemnation but they will be, instead, an oft used tool of official state policy. We can then at that point pronounce the grand experiment of our founding fathers over, as the Bill of Rights and our democracy will be both be dead. God help us all if that day comes to pass, because the court system will certainly not be able to.
Subj: Does George W. Laugh?
You know, I was very moved by the piece about Mark Crispin Miller's comments about George W. Bush's inability to speak straight about things he cares nothing about. But, does he laugh?
I was married to a nasty man for only a few years who never laughed. I know. I just got done watching the Science Channel's episode on laughter; they showed a scene will Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton both doubled over in laughter. Then, I had to wonder, does Dubya ever laugh? For that matter, did Hitler laugh? I don't know.
We do know about the dark humor trifecta "joke" that he tells his Republican constituents (do they really find that funny?), but has there ever been an example of a true, heartfelt Guffaw, as we saw in the Yeltsin-Clinton clip? I don't know.
BuzzFlash - You can chose to put this in your responses category or on the main page to see if you can elicit an answer. I hope you choose the answer category - I honestly want an answer. And there are people out there who know the answer. Give it a shot.
Re: Elliot Abrams Gets a Promotion!
You guys are great and perhaps the only hope of saving us from some very scary stuff!!! Where is the outrage? Have we all been drugged? It's just amazing to me - I'm even beginning to feel beaten down and ready to give in - what's the use of fighting the lies, plots, crimes when the media refuses to report them? We can't we use the despicable tactics the Repubs have used b/c the media won't go play! Isn't there anyone out there besides BuzzFlash and Democrats.com who are fighting for us? What needs to happen to wake everyone up?
Subj: to win in 2004, this Tripod must be the foundation of the Agenda:
I live in Switz. but am from NJ/Colorado/NH (only for a law degree!). Working for an Agency of the UN for four years now.
And while accused of being a 'knee-jerk' liberal by my Rep. brother, I have a mixed voting record. Not any more though.
While reading this linked story at BuzzFlash.com:
It dawns on me that there is a tripod-like foundation that ought to stimulate a more fair fight, and lead to better Dem results in 2004.
YOU could promote this!
1 First: ACLU (or ?) has to have a SuperBowl commercial, and it has to be paid for by TWO MILLION Americans paying ONE dollar each (that will scare the BFEE Machine). Now that should be adjusted to account for whatever the actual one minute fee is these days. American flags, moms and sons and fathers, daughters etc: Sunrise, waves of grain, and then the HAMMER: 'NOT in our name' type of confident voice (Robert Redford would be good...) describing how the American Way is still viable, for tomorrow's children, etc. ...
Think how AWESOME that would be, in the second quarter?
2 Second leg of the tripod: corporations must feel the HEAT of rejection for their sinister machinations with the Mayberry Machiavellian Administration, an effort to show which fund the most legislation/breaks (the Lilly story seems to be a good example? HA!) is needed.
3 Third: Not Democrats, but AMERICANS, who despise the loss of Constitutional freedoms, should activate a boycott network that LEAPFROGS over the mass media hysteria-response-slant now very much rightward: i.e.: another publicity (or the ACLU idea above) that states 49 Million Americans did NOT VOTE to destroy the Constitution, and will not support ANY corporation that is in favor or sustains the Republican Movement.
And then hurt them where they take notice, in their wallets.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I think you can guess how to help it happen, thanks for making America less dismal.
A BuzzFlash reader
Subj: Bush/Iraq and a Whole Lot of Etc.
I'm really concerned about reports that Russia has drug resistant Smallpox as a biological weapon -- did I hear that Russia provided Iraq with this?
It seems like there SHOULD BE a STRAW that breaks the camel's back, already! Bush, Jr. and his creepy cartel are putting our Nation at such risk! I mean, there should be a move to impeach Bush, Jr., Et Al and put a STOP to what they are trying to get away with -- so, on this coming Sunday or shortly thereafter, Bush will make a pre-emptive strike - it seems as, he says that he doesn't need to consult the U.N. -- he seems to think that he can do whatever he wants no matter what the risks are to people here or in other countries. Isn't there anything that can be done to put a stop to this?
I really love your titles and especially this one: "Bush to Saddam: List your weapons of mass destruction, and we bomb you for having them. If you don't list any, we will bomb you for lying. Such a deal!" -- This is exactly what is going on.
Thanks for all your great research and postings! I have advised about fifty people to read your BuzzFlash page and listen to Ray's show. And, I also forward them items that I think they need to know about soon.
p.s. Thanks for posting the material re: Court Says No to Oil Wells off California Coast. The trouble is, that the what the Court said was that Bush needs to seek approval from the California Coastal Commission. There are developer interests who are probably Bush allies on the Commission. Hopefully, the environmental commissioners won't get out-numbered. We really need Sara Wan to remain as Chair -- she is a strong, environmental leader. The matter of who will be Chair is going to come up on or around Dec. 13th at their meeting in S.F. That is also the time when Peter Douglas' protest of the importation of water from two rivers in northern CA -- transported via bags to San Diego. You can read about this at their web site: http://www.coastal.ca.gov go to current meetings and scroll down to Dec. 13 - Northern California Items. You will note that the hearing of two citizen appeals - one fr. Half Moon Bay and the other Fr. our Mid-Coast which is unincorporated San Mateo County have been postponed. These appeals have been made because what the local Water Board (CCWD) has proposed goes totally against both Local Coastal Plans. CCWD has proposed what amounts to a growth inducing over-expansion of our water transmission pipeline. CCWD and County "officials" have based their assumptions on outdated, over-estimated lcp buildout numbers -- the Coastal Commission has taken issue with this, Thank Goodness! /Barb
Cash bonuses for political appointees at the Justice Department? Geez, if only they had been doing their job properly, perhaps 9/11 would have never happened in the first place.
By the way, why DOES Condoleeza Rice still have a job? (Or George Bush for that matter.)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: Gov't Pay Cut?
Bush blames 9/11 for freezing scheduled pay hikes for federal workers. If the Democrats did this, for any reason, the GOP would call it a pay cut.
I urge everyone out there reading this to start pointing out this hypocrisy and use the GOP language against them.
For example, I wrote a hardline GOP federal employee friend of mine the following; "Sorry to hear about Bush cutting your pay! Especially during the holidays!" He squirmed and quickly tried to change the subject, at which point I inserted; "Hey, but with the Bush tax cut, you should break about even, right?......" The silence and look on his face was priceless...I doubt he will be up for some debating for a while. Everyone start doing the same.
Keep on Buzzing
Kyle in Kobe
Bush has an administration full of retreads from Bush 1 and Iran-contra criminals. And this is the administration that was going to "bring integrity back to the White House"!!! I'll take a president that had a little consensual extra-marital sexual affair on the side any day of the week, as compared to this gang of thugs and thieves.
Subj: Ultimately, The Liberals Always Win....
Ultimately the liberals always win, even while the right wingers make all the noise.
It is true that we owe virtually all of our social and economic progress to the liberal contingent within society. And it is also true that ideas once considered intolerably radical--abolition of slavery; women's suffrage; free public education for all children; social security;the five-day work week; the eight-hour work day--are now accepted, if grudgingly, by even the staunchest conservatives. After all, even Dick Armey wouldn't stand up in Congress today and propose the repeal of suffrage. Or the outlawing of birth control. Or the return of African-Americans to the back of the bus and the bottom of the labor pool. Yet there was a time when women's rights, civil rights and personal sexual liberty were the public whipping posts of every proclaimed conservative in America.
Yet every new idea brings the same howling from conservatives that our entire "way of life" is hanging in the balance! Suffrage, many stern editorials of the early twentieth century warned us, would "destroy the American home" as thousands of women abandoned their tykes' bassinets and fled to the polls! (I only wish.) Every time the minimum wage is bumped even a pathetically meager amount, the hue and cry is raised that it will "cause unemployment to rise"---which, in seventy years, has never happened. The preposterous idea of giving poor children "ideas above their station", and the hope that they might amount to something in life besides voiceless menial labor, was also considered socially perilous in many cushy quarters.
I couldn't help chuckling this election season when I saw George W Bush, probably the most right wing president the country has had in fifty years, campaigning for Senate hopeful Elizabeth Dole. Whatever happened to "a woman's place is in the home"? Wasn't that a major conservative mantra even as recently as twenty years ago? It is amusing that putative "conservatives" continue to rack up election victories, even after their most cherished ideas are quietly dumped, one after the other, as hopelessly anachronistic and irrelevant. It is also amusing to point out that Clarence Thomas, probably the most right wing justice on the Supreme Court, would have outraged his conservative forbears by his marriage to a white woman. Remember when THAT was "against God's law", too?
The next frontier of liberalism---full gay civil rights and gay marriage--are just around the corner. This week the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the Texas sodomy law--a turn of events which has got to have every right winger in the country a bit nervous. Whatever the High Court ultimately says about the matter, it will matter little as Darrow's loss of the Scopes Trial did little to halt the progress of scientific enlightenment in education. An idea whose time has come is like a freight train--it can't be stopped.
And like all liberals, I say, thank goodness for that!
* * *
otherwise noted, all original