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Monday, 30 October 2006 08:44

BuzzFlash Mailbag for October 30, 2006

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BUZZFLASH MAILBAG

Subject: Rush Limbaugh

So Rush Hudson Limbaugh the third has decided to comment on Michael J.Fox after Mr. Fox made a T. V. spot for a democratic candidate. Fox made the endorsement because the the candidate supports using stem cells in research and face it, like it or not, the stem cells would be thrown out (or killed if you please) if they weren't used, so why not put them to a good use and try to help some people who are suffering?

But that's not what I want to point out today; what I want to point out is that in Mr. Limbaugh's rantings, he happened to say that the democrats are using victims to try to further legislation and gain support.

I just couldn't help myself and choked on my soda because of what the republicans have been doing to pass so many of their feel-good legislative grant giving, re-elect me please, get their name in the papers laws. Do the names Adam Walsh, Megan Kanka, Alexandra Zapp, Dru Sjodin, Jetseta Gage, Jimmy Ryce or Jessica Lunsford ring any bells? They are all "victims" whose names have been used by republicans just to push through laws that are still being challenged in court because of the added punishment they place on convicted people after serving their sentences, just so republicans like Mark Foley can stay in office and create a web of grants that is massive in size and scope.

So Mr. Limbaugh, maybe you should start by looking into your party before casting that overdeveloped tongue at someone trying to help himself and millions of others.

Ray
Cocoa /FL

[BuzzFlash Note: We thought you were about to mention the Republicans' most famous "victim" - Terri Schiavo! Talk about exploitation!]


Subject: Someone cut Michael Feldman on NPR today

Ted Riley, Karen Holp, I have no idea if it was done nationally or locally, but at 11:09 am in Oklahoma City KOSU and KGOU went silent for a few seconds. It was rather strange because Michael Feldman was doing some really great political humor stuff about the Bush Administration and others and then just silence. When it came back on they said they were doing a re-broadcast of an earlier show of Michael's and it wasn't the same one. What happened, because NPR on KOSU and KGOU has the only progressive stuff in Oklahoma and it isn't like Pacifica and others, but it sounded like someone was censuring even comedy referring to this administration.

What next? I am sick and tired of TV and Radio Stations bowing down to this administration. There used to be free speech in the USA. I want to know why the show was replaced.

Karen Webb
Moore, OK


Subject: Jerry Falwell

Supposedly the reason the GOP did so well in 2004 was because of the "values" voters, and now Jerry Falwell is urging this base to get out the vote again. My question is how can these voters not see they have been taken for a ride? After all the Republican majority has had ample opportunity to push through the morality agenda, but instead has chosen to squander their power on the conservative agenda, protecting the most wealthy and fleecing from the rest of us the right of due process. How can Jerry Falwell send this email without apologizing to these voters and not promising them it will be better this time? Because he thinks these people are as stupid as Karl Rove thinks he is!

A BuzzFlash Reader


Subject: Dick "no-brainer" Cheney

Dear Buzz and Friends,

This latest "in-your-face" episode with Cheney is enough to make any intelligent person's head explode. Speaking to a conservative radio audience he tells them exactly what they want to hear, with absolutely no possibility that his exact meaning is not fully understood. But that doesn't prevent him from turning around and telling the American people at large that he meant something entirely different.

If water-boarding is a no-brainer for Cheney, then what form of torture does require a thought process before it meets with his approval? Here is a man who has yet to be right about anything at all. A man so concerned with his own well being that he has a little red ambulance on a string - at taxpayer expense - wherever he goes, checking himself into first one hospital and then another because he thought he might have felt something. Perhaps in the long-long-ago he might have recognized pangs of conscience and a stiff belt of whiskey would have sufficed. Now he has to be hooked up to a battery of sophisticated machines and have a battery of specialists examine him just to confirm that his battery still has a charge.

It is questionable whether his cerebral cortex is even still wired - it's certainly not required - for the low form of cunning that passes for intelligence for him and everyone else within the WH alternate reality bubble. But even with this "rather serious" defect he can still serve as a sort of moral compass for the nation because whatever he says is always pointing 180 degrees from what is right and true. Why even bother going through what has become a litany of supporting evidence to prove a fact that is now clearly, patently, obvious to anyone with more fingers than brain cells: this man is a lying SOB with the morals of a snake. His supporters are about as American as Al Qaeda - the enemy we're supposedly fighting - you know, the ones who hate our freedoms and are trying to take them away. This calls into question whether 2+2 still equals 4.

Disassembling WH dissembling has become has become a national pass time for nearly half the population - and yet the lies still keep coming. Is it a wonder that productivity is down? How can anybody get on with their lives when the nation's capitol is so busy plotting and scheming to harm us? To garner as much wealth and power as they can while the getting is still good?

The quagmire is in Washington DC - not Iraq. The place has become a cesspool of Texas bull**it. At least Clinton's stain was confined to a blue dress and not spread all over the whole GD world. We need to flush the toilet that has so backed up in Washington DC and send Bush, Cheney and all their criminal cohorts water-boarding down the Potomac and out into the Atlantic ocean.

Tim Mooring
San Francisco


Subject: NBC and Dixie Chicks

NBC -- "No Balls Corporation". Go Chicks!

A BuzzFlash Reader


Subject: Clinton more Conservative than Bush?

Is Clinton more conservative than Bush? When Clinton was president he made government smaller. Bush made it bigger. Clinton cut taxes on the middle class and had the biggest surplus in history. Bush increased taxes on the middle class and we have the biggest deficit in history. Clinton believed in pay as you go. Bush spends like there is no tomorrow.
Clinton was a highly respected leader. Bush is an embarrassment. When Clinton was president we won the wars in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Under Bush we lost the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon. When Clinton was president the price of gas was only a dollar. Clinton didn't have the NSA tapping your phones and Clinton didn't have a network of secret torture camps. The difference between Clinton and Bush isn't Liberal vs. Conservative. The difference is success vs. failure.

I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!

Marc Perkel
San Bruno, CA.


Subject: Upcoming Vote

Two elections have been stolen and we're about to sit back and watch the third go down without a whimper.

Could the Democratic leadership, which has the considerable weight of a likely victory to swing, make it loudly and publicly clear that any functionary who participates in any way in the manipulation of voting results, or the suppression of legal vote-casting, will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for a felony? Nancy Pelosi is certainly quite capable of putting out the information, as is Harry Reid.

No jive, just "We're going to take this election, and when we do we're going after anyone who compromised the process."

Guaranteed news coverage, surge in Democratic enthusiasm, and a significant vote pickup as the hired help who have to put the fix in think twice.

Could somebody address the issue with anger and threat? Is it worth it?

Larry Kearney
Larkspur, CA


Subject: The Saints Are Coming

Have you seen the U2/Green Day video for the cover, the Saints are Coming? Please post it.

[Featuring New Orleans/Katrina footage] http://www.u2.com/highlights/?hid=311

Angela Kadian
Bayonne, NJ

Subject: Re: "Remembering Tillman's message on election day"

To BuzzFlash:

Re:  Kevin Tillman's poignant letter: "After Pat's Birthday" ... 95 percent of persuasion success depends upon the credibility of the person attempting the persuasion.  Kevin Tillman has major league credibility.

I'd like to suggest that people make at least a hundred copies of this outstanding letter and pass them out to people who they suspect are thinking about voting for a Republican in this election.

This outstanding letter can be found on line by doing a news.googlesearch for: "After Pat's Birthday."  It can also be found at:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/200601019_after_pats_birthday/

If this letter doesn't make them change their minds--nothing will.
Kirk Muse
Mesa, AZ

PS:  If this letter could be read on TV by Kevin Tillman, the outcome of the election would not be in doubt.


Subject: Federal Judge Orders Abbott To Explain X-ray Evidence Seizure (DallasNews.com)

Another corrupt Texas Republican.

Helen
Dutzow


Subject: Bad, Mad, Sad World (youtube)

ODE TO THE BAD GUYS (video)

Brendan O'Maidian
New York, New York


Subject: Rock the Vote

... and while you're at it, videotape it, as well. 

Well, folks, it's come to this. We obviously no longer have oversight in our electoral process and it's up to VideotheVote.org to document the abuses to it that are sure to happen on November 7th.

VideotheVote is looking for ordinary people like you and me to videotape what they see at the polls on election night. Infractions of the rules, suddenly disappeared machines, intimidation by police and Republican challengers, long lines, in short, all the bull**it that we saw in Ohio just two years ago, it'll all be recorded.

But only if you guys pitch in to document it. Go to their website for details but I can tell you right now if you just submit your video to them, they'll make sure it gets up on YouTube and, hopefully, Google Video, as well.

It's just a damned shame that it's come to this. But we're Americans and this is what we do when push comes to shove. When government fails us, we roll up our shirtsleeves, spit on our hands and get to work picking up the slack and correcting old and neglected wrongs. This November 7th will be a vivid illustration of that as mainstream America will get out its Halloween broom and sweep the ghouls and goblins from Congress. 

We saw this willingness to pick up the slack on 9/11. We saw it again in the wake of Katrina. And we'll see it again on November 7th with your help.

Ron


Subject: Isn’t it time Bush went AWOL again?

Remember the 60’s and 70’s? A time when we protested the Vietnam War, a time when we sang about love and vocalist Edwin Starr asked the question, “War, what is it good for?” and then answered the question, “Absolutely nothing!” Or when we simply escaped via drugs, mj, booze or headed off to a commune.

Well, isn’t it time that George W. Bush hit the Alabama campaign trail again, this time in his “ranch pickup”, with his buddies jack and crack and escaped the pressures of Vietnam-- well, actually it’s Iraq this time, but same scenario--all over again!

You can see in his face, you can see it in his actions and you can hear it in his voice. Yep, it’s time!

AWOL on the campaign trail with jack ‘n crack; does it get any better for W?

Al Ainsworth
Portland, Oregon


Subject: Halloween fun! Scary Witch Lynne Cheney on CNN

I watched the video of Lynne Cheney eviscerating Wolf Blitzer for not delivering BushCo Talking Points to her satisfaction. She did EXACTLY what O'Reilly did on Friday night with David Letterman, continually asked BushCo's new propaganda question, "Do you want us to win?" Ooohhh, BOO!

Six years of A Nightmare on Main Street USA and the question is Do you want us to win?" Main Streeters were winning six years ago. The scary question needs to be reframed: "Do you want to keep on losing, America?"

Suzanne
San Francisco


Subject: We can't even we Baghdad

After occupying Iraq for 3 years we can't even win control of Baghdad. Every day we lose ground. The sad part is that 2800 of our troops and 650,000 Iraqis have died for nothing. Bush even failed to steal their oil. Maybe it's time to put Saddam Hussein back in power. As bad as it was then, it's actually worse now. We can't win because to win means we have to defeat the people who we are trying to liberate. The people there hate us and they want us to leave. When America goes to war for all the wrong reasons we should expect to lose. One thing for sure is that Bush and the Republicans who got us into this mess aren't going to be the ones who get us out.

I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!

Marc Perkel
San Bruno, CA


Subject: Dumbing It Down

So since many Americans are still stuck on stupid, here's an idea to make things easier for them. If you want to pay the RICH to run your government vote REPUBLICAN. If you want to pay for a DEMOCRACY vote DEMOCRATIC. Deal or no deal?

A BuzzFlash Reader


Subject: October 10 Attack on Forward Base Falcon, Iraq

I have been reading about the suppression by American military of the seriousness of this attack. We all saw it briefly and then the MSM stopped any stories about it. The DOD says there were NO CASUALTIES. Witnesses say that nine large transport planes took dead and injured to Al-Habbaniyah hospital. I'm not good at doing links. All one has to do is google Forward Base Falcon and also the hospital to see the videos and true accounts. Also, there is some fear/speculation that low level nukes were being stored there. From the mushroom clouds I saw in the video, it certainly is a possibility. This MUST COME TO AMERICA'S ATTENTION BEFORE THE MID-TERMS. Please, people, do something to get this out there in the American (not free) Press.

Iraq: Media coverup of the Camp Falcon Explosion? 10/28

A BuzzFlash Reader


Subject: Nation's accountant-in-chief says U.S. is headed for bankruptcy: "We the people have to rise up to make sure things get changed." 10/30

This--and not another outed GOP hypocrite politician from Florida--should be the "October surprise" and you'd think, after all, the "corporate media" [and let's start calling it that instead of "mainstream..."] would jump on as it has in decades past. Alas, can't be sexed up enough.

In 1993, Clinton was able to pass a rise in taxes for the wealthiest Americans (e.g. single > $110,000] by ONE vote and then lost both houses for good. Yet he presided over the greatest economic expansion in modern American History and gave the Bush administration a $230 billion surplus in 2000. {What good use would we make with the surplus, everyone was asking back then--remember?)

As with the worldwide goodwill he held in 2001, Bush squandered it forthwith reaching an all time record FY 2004 deficit of $412 billion and a slightly better $368 deficit in FY 2005.

These deficits are not domestically held. 1/3 of the debt is held by Japan and a potentially potent enemy, China, either of whom could pull the plug at any time. And you thought turning over the management of our ports to Dubai was alarming!

Annual deficit projections are estimated in the $500 billion and above for the rest of this decade and beyond as baby-boomers retire. Yet instead of acting like a corporate CEO as he claimed his mantra to be during his first year and fixing the budget, our Chimpenfueher and his Rethug Reichstag Congress spend their time (and a Potomac full of red ink) losing wars, destroying the environment, eliminating our civil liberties, abolishing habeas corpus and staying the course to the next vacation!

Terrorism won't destroy America. Preemptive wars won't destroy America. Even loss of our liberties won't physically destroy America. But bankruptcy SURE WILL!

Will Wyche
Palm Springs, CA


Subject: Comment

"Personally at BuzzFlash, we believe that God is in men and women -- and that we are all responsible for acting with divine grace and care in regards to each other."

.....The most spiritually intelligent thing I've heard on the political web in a while. If you wish to start citing intelligent religious authorities with a similar view, start following Matthew Fox and Jim Wallis. Matthew Fox recently nailed a new 95 theses on the door at Whittenburg. For intellect and grit, he could be the 21st century's Martin Luther. Jim Wallis is clearly the conscience of true Christianity, and he shows that the Christian Right is neither Christian nor right. Follow them both!

Thanks!

A BuzzFlash Reader


Subject: No Iraq...not Now...not Until 11/6

No, absolutely, no talk of Iraq. Let's, instead, slam Stem Cell research. I have been watching the Dixie Chicks this week...they have a new DVD documentary...and I hope you will carry this...because, it sounds good...and at last they are being allowed to even be on television. I can believe what they went through, because I have been through a little of it...no one has threatened my life..but, when you have 9 family members against you (even if you know they do not ever read a paper, or watch any news on television) it is hard.

Thank God, this week I have been distracted from all the bad news by the glory of a World Series win...anyone who has ever been through that...knows what I am talking about. You Chicagoans surely know...after last year!!! And, on Friday...not being able to work at the campaign offices for Claire, I took food to the workers...it is sort of nice to see 21-25 year olds, sort of grabbing the food out of your hands before you can even set it down! If you do nothing but take food for them...it is a grand donation, believe me. I felt that I had done my part! I will do it again next week..before the elections.

Jim Talent must be taking lying lessons from Bush, Cheney, and Rummy. We all counted with Keith the 30 times Bush used the phrase, "Stay the course"...after saying that he maybe used it 8 TIMES!!!!! Well, we know how honest they are anyway. But Talent says there is an opening and a likelihood that they will CLONE????? Jeeeebus do they think we are nuts! Is it not enough that your main man on radio makes fun of the poor man writhing in the chair? He (M.Fox) was on with G. Stephanopoulos Sunday morning and explained why embryonic cells are so much better...they are new...they are not used, they are more powerful for healing. Yes, we have the right to use adult stem cells, but they do not work as well as the embryonic ones do...so that is why this bill is important. If I have not told you the story before...my dental tech...told me she had a son who had been diagnosed with cancer...he took the chemo treatments...and the radiation...it was serious. After not being able to give them a clear diagnosis, they transplanted his own stem cell in his body...and he seems to be improving. Are we so hard now that we resent anyone being able to be saved by stem cells...I would certainly hope not! Incidentally, if you read the entire bill, it plainly says...anyone caught trying to clone any cell...can be put in jail for 15 years...and/ or...250,000 fine... Let's get real...they just want to please all that right-wing conservative money they get...then laugh and make fun of them behind their backs...we all know it now!!!

From what I see in the papers this week, only a point or two separates the candidates...and that is scary to me. Even though the winning point might be on the Dem.side...it is still too close to call. However...the governors' races in each state, that are being replaced...the democratic governor candidates look very promising. I do hope this keeps up...and I hope by a week from now...they will understand that the Dem. just might be better than not voting. The thing that scares me is the way they call in to Washington Journal and say that there is no difference...in some instances, I say they are right. All the dems who voted for the war in Iraq...should be replaced. But, not with a dimwit who would vote the same way or worse!

Shirley ... St. Louis
(St. Louis Cardinals)


Subject: Saddam Verdict Will Be Announced the Day Before the U.S. Elections

Bob Harris, This Modern World, October 28, 2006

http://thismodernworld.com/3277

The news cycle for Monday, Nov. 6th, the day before election day, will include the following: The delivery of the verdict in Saddam Hussein’s trial, originally set for October 16th, has been postponed… until the Sunday before the vote on Tuesday, November 7th.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200610260010

Which means the news cycle on Monday, November 6th, the day before the elections, will be filled with reports about the conviction of Saddam Hussein. Of course, this can be dismissed as a complete coincidence. If you are a complete idiot. The day before the nation goes to vote, the TV news reports are already baked in: Saddam found guilty! Which of course brings up the talking point: Hail Bush, vanquisher of evildoers! Because, y’know, we have such a free, independent, liberal media and all. Not sure if it’s gonna have all that much effect, given that Iraq isn’t quite the winning issue it used to be. But still, seeing the “news” being manipulated like this so far in advance — wouldn’t you think that would be the story, and not just the results of the manipulation? I mean, the American media ain’t the greatest adversarial force on the planet, but it’s still the the 53rd-most free press in the world, right there with Tonga, Croatia, and Botswana. Somebody at CNN must own a calendar. We can do this.

Jim


Subject: Two anti-Bush films open before election 10/30

Whoa, Buzz.

Neither is anti-Bush. Shut Up and Sing is 1st Amendment freedom of speech, and the other, Death of a President, a fictional assassination of Bush: the last thing we need just before the elections and hardly "anti-Bush."

No, Bush must be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity before any sentence is passed or punishment inflicted. I would rather love to see a docu-drama of Bush and his cabal captured and hauled off to the International Criminal Court of Justice and put on trial in The Hague -- behind bullet-proof plexiglas accused and made to defend themselves for their crimes: 3,000 young American soldiers and 650,000 Iraqi dead because of a preemptive war based on lies; the destruction of our Bill of Rights, elimination of habeas corpus, torture of suspects against which there is no evidence or right to trial.

And, after the lines of accusers and the survivors of his murdered dead dramatically tell their stories as dramatized by the scriptwriter, have each of them -- Rummy, Chimpenfueher, Darth Cheney and Wolfowitz sentenced to a period of water-boarding and being beaten [before Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter and Robertson] so that they can tell the audience how it feels! It's a "no-brainer."

Will Wyche
Palm Springs, CA


Subject: The Liberal Media

Hi Buzz and Friends,

I've already sworn off watching Faux News and the ambulance chasers at CNN and I'm nearly ready to give up watching the Sunday news shows. There's something distinctly sick about This Week's back-to-back "In Memoriam" and "Funnies" segments. To hear "this week the pentagon announced the deaths of 27 soldiers" followed by some comedian asking "How about that war in Iraq?" It's as though they don't want their audience to dwell on grim news and feel obliged to leaven it with silliness from overpaid bozos.

Humor is a commodity that can be sold and the networks, even the news divisions, exist only to make money. The round-table is always made up of the same old tired faces, including George "Lord Blackwell" Will. Their punditry has become little more than a transparent effort to clothe a naked emperor. Last week Stephanopoulos, while interviewing gwb, asked him what he had gotten out of the last book that he purportedly had read. When bush mumbled and stumbled with the answer Stephanopoulos was quick to "fill in the blank" for him by answering his own question. We can't have the emperor looking blank and stupid on national TV can we?

My guess is that bush is still struggling to finish "My Pet Goat." Any lie that can't be proved to be a lie is not a lie - a trick the republicans learned from the master, Ronald Reagan. Commenting on the RNC's playboy ad against Harold Ford in TN, Stephanopoulos opines that he doesn't find the ad racist - only ineffective. Well, that might be true if the ad were playing in NY or LA - but in TN? This minor distinction may be lost on Stephanopoulos ( I doubt it) but it's certainly not lost on Karl Rove.

As much as I admire Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, I grow weary of their humor. I question whether their shows aren't just another waste of time. I'm definitely sick of the adoring audiences. Isn't this just another fad like young people wearing their pants buckled around their knees, conversations peppered with witticisms like "that's hella-something-or-the-other," all derived from TV shows. It's a sad form of vicarious cleverness, that while it may pass as actual cleverness here, only serves to make Americans appear lame and stupid elsewhere in the world. I prefer the real Jon Stewart tearing into the hosts of CNN's CrossFire, eyes aflame and every bit serious. But there's no market for that, thus the necessity for The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. It's another addiction like high fructose corn syrup. We can blame everything on the manipulators like Karl Rove and MSM, but we, the manipulated, must eventually acknowledge our own responsibility for being so easily manipulated.

While I'm guardedly hopeful about the midterms, the cynic within me asks whether democrats can win, whatever the polls say. Republicans know how to yank America's chain. Bringing up gay marriage, abortion and the fear factor may yet again suffice to put them over the top. It doesn't seem to matter how illogical it all is. The elephant in the room may be the gullibility and diminishing IQ of the American people. Why bother learning anything when it suffices to just act cool and pretend you know everything? If it's not funny I don't want to hear about it. Got my iPod - where's my cell? "hey dog - where you at?"

Tim Mooring
San Francisco


Subject: Red State-Blue State Paradigm Is Divisive and Obsolete

Dear BuzzFlash,

Blackbox Voting, GNN, the Harry Hursti analysis and report; Princeton Computer Scientist report, Rolling Stone, the Washington Post Poll on Ethnic voting patterns in 2004 and 2005 have demonstrated that in many states----particularly those considered RED and under the control of GOP partisans---the VOTE WAS STOLEN. STOLEN! Period. This means that dividing states into RED and BLUE has little validity, because certain states have very uncertain voting outcomes...which you would know if you had actually spoken to people other than a few rednecks who are not primary examples of any state.

You make blatant generalizations like Red States are "RURAL" and Blue states are mostly URBAN and that is not actually true. Nor is it true that being "RURAL" guarantees that someone will vote GOP. The video that you are hawking: "Talking to Red States" is outdated and is not really representative of what is going on in any states right now. I am frankly offended and think that the timing is really suspect.

You're selling this crap right before the elections? Whose side are you on? While both parties are equally corrupted by the same masters, at least the Democrats are not led by a completely insane person. We all need to pull together to stop what is obviously happening and to vote all incumbents whether democratic or republican out. It should be clear that most of the democrats are cooperating with much of this agenda. I don't know if they are coerced, extorted or paid off and frankly, it does not matter, what does matter is that Cheney and Bush are going to take this country into a dictatorship.

Please stop dividing the country with this perspective.

Gina de Miranda
Hondo, TX


Subject: NBC Will Not Air the Commercial for the Dixie Chicks Movie, We Are Boycotting. This Is Our Letter to Local and National NBC outlets

To Whom it May Concern,

My family has been a loyal follower of NBC, be it the Today Show, countless sitcoms and dramas or our local NBC news in Tampa, Florida. We have always enjoyed our local news anchors and staff of our News Channel Eight team.

Our loyalty has ended and it is your fault. Your refusal to air ads for the Dixie Chicks documentary that is coming out shows your total lack of respect for our right to free speech. I don't know who in the upper echelons of your company is in the pocket of the Bush Administration, but it is obvious this is a politically motivated move. You should be ashamed to call yourself an American company. You have a responsibility to be objective and fair minded. If you are not, your license (granted by the FCC) should be revoked.

First Amendment rights are not subject to the whims of the corporate moguls at NBC. They are a sacred trust between the American government and the American public. When you at NBC decide to exercise an illusionary right to censorship, you have crossed the line and violated the public's trust. Why should we even believe that NBC believes in free speech anymore?

The founding fathers of this country established their authority by questioning the establishment and the rules and laws of Great Britain, and the monarchy that imposed those rules. By censoring the right to free speech in your choice of advertisements, you have flaunted the very ideals upon which this great country was founded.

America, as we know it, would not exist if monolithic organizations like NBC existed at that time. It is time for all Americans and American corporations to open their minds to the idea that opposing viewpoints are valid and have worth. NBC had decided that there is no such thing as free and open discussion of ideas and views that do not agree with their corporate world view. It is with these thoughts in mind that our family has decided to no longer watch the local and national newscasts by NBC.

We will not be told what to think, what to watch and what to believe. In spite of your efforts to censor free and open political dialogue, we are still Americans. And we believe in the First Amendment. We now exercise our right to change the channel.

Dawn & Michael Galuska
Lutz, FL


Subject: Thought Police In The Lecture Hall (Washington Post)

“Universities are the bulwark of democratic societies -- places where individuals with diverse viewpoints come together to learn and to produce new knowledge for addressing social concerns, free of ideological interference.”

Ah, were it only so. I’m afraid that idea of a university, the real sort that Mr. Siddique begins to sketch, died in this country after the Second World War. The vast majority of the collections of buildings that now call themselves “universities” in America are not, and never have been, loci for disinterested scholarship, free expression and the exploration of ideas for their own sake. The “scholars” at “Liberty University” wouldn’t know intellectual diversity if it bit them on the leg. And I wouldn’t claim much for, say, Northwestern State University at Natchitoches, Louisiana, or its thousands of brethren.

But there are a handful of universities left, and I share Mr. Siddique’s worry that:

“… these centers of freedom are under attack from people who want to inject partisan politics into our classrooms.”

Princeton, and other real universities, aren’t really “centers of freedom” any more. What more needs to be said than that a bill curtailing academic and intellectual freedom was passed by Princeton students themselves? But such places are the last, best hope for preventing “university” from becoming an utterly meaningless designation in America.

For almost any idea there is someone, somewhere, it will offend or disturb. So what? Perhaps there are even ideas that are offensive or disturbing to most people. Again, so what? This is only a “problem” if, like David Horowitz, you assume an offensively narrow-minded view of the intellectual capabilities and resiliency of students. You must assume that students’ capacity for critical inquiry and analysis must be defective, thus rendering them unable to rationally determine which ideas to accept or reject. I see no reason to make this assumption.

Students of Princeton (and your fellows elsewhere): What are you so afraid of? If you were so intellectually pliable that 50 minutes of exposure 3 times a week to someone with ideas unlike your own could “convert” you, you’d all be in Dental School like your mother wanted.

You earn the right to hold your opinions by being able to rationally defend them, not by sedulously avoiding able defenders of divergent views. The development of genuine intellectual freedom requires honest toil. You get it by exercising your skeptical and critical faculties on any idea that comes your way, not by letting someone else vet the ideas you will be exposed to.

Toughen up. Intellectual freedom isn’t free.

Albert Clark
NY


Subject: The Case for Impeachment

I'm trying to get my head around the near pathologic fear of impeachment expressed by many neocon bloggers and their complete out-of-hand dismissal of any kind of legitimacy behind impeachment claims. Seven books have been published describing the case for impeachment. The staff of Rep. Conyers, the likely next chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has published a 350+ page roadmap to impeachment.

(http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/iraqrept2/webfullreport.htm)

I'm no lawyer but hell, doesn't everyone know that a federal court has found that the NSA's warrantless wiretaps are a violation of the FISA laws and the 4th Amendment? I know it's being appealed to the Supremes but for now the courts have spoken. It's illegal. And the Supremes found against the administration with the Hamdan decision. Yes, the Bush cabal rammed thru the new laws terminating habeas corpus, the rights of accused to hear evidence, and torture not as defined by Geneva but as causing organ failure, essentially providing retrospective "get out of jail free" cards for the Bush/Cheney henchmen. But the Supremes will act on this new law, too, and it sure seems unlikely to stand up to Constitutional or Geneva muster. And about Iraq, everyone knows we were lied into an undeclared war (fixing the intel to fit the policy as per Downing St.) in violation of international treaties and UN Charters. A war on terror is like a war on greenhouse gases (let's send out the military to combat global warming and grant the prez permanent war powers). The illegal outing of Plame was pretty clearly a conspiracy at the highest levels of the WH. The Supremes will eventually rule against Bush's overly aggressive use of signing statements just like they did against line item vetoes. The Conyers report cites 28 laws that have been broken. Probably some of the claims hold little water but the total body of work establishing a unitary executive unbound by the Constitution, domestic/international laws, legislative/judicial oversight, etc. probably adds up to the greatest violation and threat to our Constitutional gov't the country has ever faced.

I'm still shaking my head over those on the left who claim that we don't "have the time" to pursue an impeachment, that there are too many "constructive" things we need our legislature to be working on merrily hand-in-hand with the suddenly cooperative WH. I do understand where Pelosi's coming from. It's politically savvy of her to avoid risking the alienation of independent and crossover voters and jeopardizing this election. Further, any aggressive saber rattling by Pelosi about a Bush/Cheney impeachment agenda would seem blatantly self-serving since, ta-da, running Bush-Cheney out of office would land her in the WH. She has to at least appear to be conciliatory and cooperative but, with a Dem majority in the House, she won't have "unitary executive" control over the Dem agenda. There WILL be oversight investigations and hearings with subpoena power to compel testimony from heretofore stonewalling administration Repugs. They just won't be called impeachment hearings, at least for awhile.

But the thing is, I'm convinced there will be gridlock rather than a constructive bipartisan agenda addressing tax reform, health care, immigration reform, (and hello, anyone for talking foreign policy?) if the Dems take the House rendering Bush a lame duck but trying to play nice with Repugs. Bush was asked at his most recent press conference about whether he'd be able to work collaboratively and constructively with a Dem majority House. His answer was an illuminating non-answer. He just kept insisting that he was convinced that the polls were wrong and that Repugs would retain both houses of Congress. To me, the extrapolation of what he's saying is that, no, he isn't going to work or deal or compromise with Pelosi or a Dem-controlled Congress. He's the decider and whatever Dems slap on his desk will be nullified with signing statements. He's not accountable to anyone, certainly not the cut and run crowd.

There's a malignant disease at the highest levels of our gov't. I may not be a lawyer but I am a doctor. In my line of work the first priority in assessing/combatting a cancer is to determine the extent of disease and whether it's curable by surgical resection. Even when it's not completely respectable, most patients' survival odds increase drastically with a "debulking" surgical procedure to excise as much cancer as possible before hitting it with chemo/radiation therapy. Then you change the milieu which allowed the cancer to develop in the first place (stop smoking, cut out high fat diets, etc), and try to create a healthy lifestyle (nutrition, exercise, spiritual health) that would allow the patient to restore health.

Bush and his cabal are enemies of the state, a cancer in our gov't, and must be removed before we can restore the health, prosperity, and productivity we have lost. If the previous Congress "had the time" to pursue an agenda of gay marriage, flag burning, abortions, tax cuts for the rich, corporate welfare, etc., this coming Congress can make the time to try to cure our cancer with hearings leading to impeachment.

Christopher James
Denver, CO


Subject: Barack Obama in Hoboken Thursday!

I know I've been remiss in the rantings lately (birthdays, rock shows, etc.) Not to worry, there will be one this week about the state of Our Union, why I'm saying vote Democrat straight down the board and how if you said that to me in 2000, I would have had one hell of an argument for ya.

But for right now, I just wanted to tell you that Barack Obama is coming to Hoboken this Thursday at 5:30PM. He'll be down by the train station at 14 Hudson Place, sort of a whistle stop thing for Senator Menendez. I've been reading his new book "The Audacity of Hope" at the new public library (AKA Barnes & Noble's cafe). He really is something, this guy. Smart. Positive. Hopeful.

Just thought I'd let you know.

Peace.

Dave


Subject: Guns, Dogs, Votes & Hunting

"Have you got a million dollars in the bank? No? Half a million? NO? Then you're not a capitalist. You don't have a dog in the hunt. You're a worker.

Do you get richer when oil prices go up and trade deals are signed making it easier for foreigners to take American jobs? No? Then you haven't got a dog in the hunt. You're a worker."

"When the Republican Party comes after your social security checks and your Mom's Medicare benefits, trust me, you're in that hunt, only it looks like you're the hunted not the hunter."

Craig


Subject: Religion Out of Control

Dear BuzzFlash:

First of all, let's remember one thing: religion and spirituality are NOT the same thing. Religion is a set of rules, rituals, mandates and government that crosses political and geographical lines. It, including all three Levant religions, and Hinduism and Buddhism, is truly a world government of enormous power and influence.

Spirituality is of the individual and his or her outlook toward the health and maturing of their souls. It can be and usually ends up being corrupted by religion. This is why we suffer from the hatred of zealots of every kind. Evangelical Christianity is every bit as dangerous as any other religion, including Islam or Judaism. Mouthpieces like Robertson, Falwell, pastors of the mega churches in so many cities, etc., are spreading the word of hate and war and hiding behind the Bible to do it.

It's so simple to sway a person susceptible to religious dogma. As the vast majority of people are "followers," a doctrine all made up and packaged is so convenient. Threaten all who disagree or even hate them, and be fearless in your spreading of intolerance toward any philosophy that contradicts yours. It's galling to think how many misguided Christians out there think they're God's press secretary and totally qualified to do His bidding according to their twisted ideologies.

The reason hatemongers like Limbaugh can attack people like Michael J. Fox is because the listeners to that program will swallow anything and are as filled with hate as the host. Ditto Sean Hannity, who is James Dobson's media lapdog. Never mind that Jesus did not preach about hating those who differ from you, but taught love and tolerance, and addressed reincarnation, which the Vatican took out in a hurry. After all, a preacher full of intolerance and hate can pick any Old Testament war text and use that to back up his hate campaign.

From personal experience I can affirm that the more zealous the person is with their Christianity in my workplace and community, the worse the worker they are, the more racist they are, the most unreliable they are, and just plain meaner they are. And, as suggested on your web site, they become apoplectic when criticized.

If modern religion doesn't resemble anything less than the world's most successful cult, I'd like to know what does. Kool-Aid, anyone?

Scott
Fayetteville, AR


Subject: Democrats Keep Their Powder Dry

Dear Buzz and Friends,

Democratic campaign tactics are again following the all too familiar pattern of failure that they have used in every election cycle since 2000. They collect loads of money from loyal democrats and waste it hiring inept consultants that read nothing but polling data. They'd be better off hiring a good seeing-eye dog. Sure they change there "tactics" on the ground, but their strategy remains essentially the same. To say "stay the course" here may seem trite, but it is in fact analogous to their stubborn insistence on relying entirely on polling data, in this case the perceived unpopularity of bush. Americans are very sensitive to language, when they hear democrats say embryos are "discarded" they don't equate that to being "destroyed." Why be so mealy-mouthed? To hear democrats advocate bringing the troops home - Americans hear "cut-and-run." Even I don't advocate bringing the troops home. I advocate getting them out of Iraq, but keeping them in the region - with Kuwait being the obvious place to put them. I advocated this nearly a year before I heard John Murtha say the same thing. It's the right thing. Get them out of populated areas first and then gradually move them out of the country entirely. It's not that I believe the BS about a blood bath being inevitable if our troops are withdrawn. It's simply a matter of perception - not here - but there. Nobody over there gives a damn what Americans think. Their impression is that Americans don't think at all. In other words their impression of us is much more accurate than our impression of them.

Look at a map of the region. Where is the violence? The violence is in occupied territories. People like John Murtha and Wesley Clark know the military best. We simply need to acknowledge their expertise and follow their advice. Watching Kerry bungle the '04 election was one of the most painful experiences that I've ever had. He kept his powder dry throughout the election - never firing a single shot. Only after the election did he find use for the ammo that he had all along. Of what use is that? When someone shoots at you, shoot back. Not next week or next year but immediately with as much force as you can muster. The man has even hoarded 13 million dollars of money contributed by loyal democrats. If you're not willing to fight, give the ammo to someone else who's willing to use it.

Tim Mooring
San Francisco

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