The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. More reader opinion is at "Contributors." You can write to Mailbag at http://www.BuzzFlash.com/contact/mail.html. Guidelines for submissions are at BuzzFlash FAQ #18.
This is Part 2 of the July 31, 2006 BuzzFlash Mailbag. Click here for Part 1.
Subject: Tempest in a Teaspoon
Noticed this story on the Drudge Report. One thing to remember is that several years ago the National Hurricane Center calibrated the data on numerous Pacific typhoons from the 1930's and 40's. Seems there was some kind of problem with the measuring devices and/or data collecting methods. In virtually every case I saw, the storm winds were determined to be far less powerful than originally recorded. These types of changes in weather records are not made without a great deal of research and peer review. The article Drudge is pushing doesn't ask if the scientists are using the pre-calibrated data. It appears they are. Besides, it's still the storm surge that takes the most lives and causes the most damage. Some scientists are talking about the creation of a Category Six for hurricanes, but the rapidly rising sea levels will soon necessitate a new rating system for storms with Cat. One winds and Cat. Two or Three storm surge.
Global Warming's Effect on Hurricane Strength Disputed in New report (AP/South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
Subject: Bush Won't Meet His New Neighbor
Someone asked whatever happened to old fashion southern hospitality. Bush is neither a southerner nor a gentleman. He was born in Connecticut and although he grew up in Texas, he never acquired the those refined southern qualities.
Surya-Patricia Lane Hood
Subject: nytimes fox wannabee
hey buzz...i slid over to the nytimes site, i wanted to check out their slant...seems like it's sloping down to the right some more, running parallel to that of fox....check out this headline..
most fence-sitters just read the headlines...you don't get the story 'til wade thru a couple of paragraphs...how about wading into the fact that they're misleading their readership...where's the ethics, where's the journalism?....no chance of msm fed populace learning what's going on....they have to get the buzz.
kaslo bc canada
Subject: Manage the Calm?
President said in his "press conference" that in the Middle East there had only been "managed calm" but all this anger was seething underneath and it had to be quelled. Every time he opens his mouth I wonder why we discuss or listen to someone with some obvious mental limitations if not downright insane.
"Managed Calm" is called "peace" by many. If I cannot stand my neighbor, I don't take a gun and shoot him, I work to promote peace for the sake of the neighborhood. Not in GWB's world, by golly, a person does just take a gun and shoot those pesky critters down. Now that's real peace in George's neck of the woods and the recesses of his troubled mind.
Subject: Thank You Bush and Fox News!
Good god! My husband has been a republican his whole life (he never was real sharp on politics):):):) I never thought I would see this day! He finally has admitted this bunch of people in the White House now is just plain stupid, inept or evil -- possibly all of the above! He also finally admitted Fox News is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the evil morons! My thanks to the Bush people and Fox News! Now that he has come to his senses, I will finally let my husband back in the bedroom! :):):):):):)
Subject: Depleted Uranium
I read this recent story.
'Definitive answer' on depleted uranium sought for troops (AP/news-journalonline)
I recall interviewing VietNam vets about Agent Orange back in the 1980's and this is so familiar.
I also believe that any legislator or scientist that says that depleted uranium is harmless should be forced to have a briefcase full of the stuff handcuffed to their wrist for a six month period.
After all, it's harmless, right?
Subject: Nothing New with Gibson Revelations
I gleefully laughed when I heard of Mel Gibson's DUI arrest over the weekend. Now, I don't think alcoholism is funny, nor should those with any kind of substance abuse problems be ridiculed rather than treated, but this episode is so typically Republican - hypocritical and disgusting. I would say embarrassed, but I don't think you can embarrass a hard-core Republican.
We were force-fed Gibson's religious movie a few years back, with James Dobson slobbering all over Gibson, pushing the flick as hard as possible. So now we hear that Gibson, the professed super religious Catholic (no detriment to Catholics) who was all over conservative radio and television, was exceedingly profane to the deputies who arrested him and bad mouthed Jews, which was reported early on and then quickly left off subsequent reports. He also lamented his faltering movie career.
Okay, Mel apologizes. One hopes he can treat his disease of alcoholism. But what of the painkiller addict Limbaugh? How about gay bashers Mehlman and Rove, who both are reputedly gay? Or war hawks like Cheney and lots of people I know who never served and never will, but talk the talk well enough ala Toby Keith or that other fruitcake Ted Nugent, who bragged about beating the draft and now supports the war, since his sorry ass isn't in any direct danger of fighting. Why don't you take your bow and arrow over there, Ted? If that doesn't work, play some of your music. That'll piss 'em off in the name of good taste alone.
The point is, millions of gullible idiots continue to worship at the feet of these lying untrustworthy creeps and are apparently incapable of seeing the irony of the stance vs. the reality of their favorite right wing wacko. Wrap yourself in the flag, claim God as your right hand man, (like God needs YOU as a press secretary), and keep your message very simple (criticize Bush and you're a traitor and atheist), and millions will follow you around like a kitten behind a leaky cow. Who says humans can't be herded?
Subject: Bombing and Bombing and Bombing
If Hezbollah is cozying up to innocent civilians in order to protect themselves from Israeli bombs, then Hezbollah is holding the civilians as hostages....
And if Israel is bombing and killing those innocent civilians anyway, then Israel is killing hostages.
And of course, they are also killing each other.
And the Bushites, for some strange reason, think that all this is a swell idea...the very best way to bring peace, democracy and prosperity to the middle East.
Subject: Mel Gibson's Anti-Semitism
Alas, once again goes to show that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Might not have turned out this way, however, if both men weren't members of a Catholic cult (as if all religions aren't cults) which longs for the good old days of the Inquisition (not for the Crusades, however, since those are being reenacted right now by the USA and its partner, Israel).
Is there any way for Mr. Gibson to clear his name of racism? Actually there is. He can become a born-again secular humanist who advocates relativism and individualism. What's he got to lose? Jesus ain't saving him from the booze.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Bush Submits New Terror Detainee Bill
28 Jul 2006 -- U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill.
A 32-page draft measure is intended to authorize the Pentagon's tribunal system, established shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks to detain and prosecute detainees captured in the war on terror. The tribunal system was thrown out last month by the Supreme Court.
Administration officials, who declined to comment on the draft, said the proposal was still under discussion and no final decisions had been made.
Senior officials are expected to discuss a final proposal before the Senate Armed Services Committee next Wednesday. [more]
Bush Submits New Terror Detainee Bill (AP/Forbes)
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Straight talk dynamic in a megachurch
Enjoyed your link to the NYT story on some straight talk to the congregation by the megachurch's founder and charismatic preacher.
Disowning Conservative Politics, Evangelical Pastor Rattles Flock (Yahoo/NY Times)
But, your headline falls into the common pitfall of giving prominence to the offended flock members who expressed their sanctimonious outrage by departing the congregation. 1,000 of them, in fact. Out of 5,000. 20%.
Shouldn't the news be that 80% of an evangelical, conservative congregation stayed with their pastor in the face of his forthright rejection of bible-thumping distortions of Christian teachings by the Republican Neocons?
If this is any sampling, there is a large reservoir of sensible understanding of the separation of religion and politics, and if there is a story here, it is more probably the hopeful one about the loyal and sensible 80%.
The American public may be ill-informed and misled on many issues of fact, but on this matter, I think the majority of religious persons can tell the difference between respect and pandering, or belief and cynical manipulation for political advantage.
Having said that, it is regrettably true that to paraphrase Mr. Lincoln, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and in close elections, that's enough."
John F. Williford
Subject: How Now Mad Cow?
I remember how, when AIDS first surfaced, the Reagan/Daddy Bush administration completely ignored it because they didn't want to alienate the far right, who said it was a "sin disease." Here was a disease that had no cure and was spreading, and they took no action. I've always felt that, if they had acted as they should and had the CDC and every other appropriate agency do what they could to find out all they could about the disease and had taken steps to tell the public how to prevent it, AIDS would not be the world-wide threat it is today.
Now "mad cow" disease has come to the forefront---another disease that has no cure and baby bush, together with his Congressional "yes men," has cut spending for testing cows by 90 percent! This in light of the discovered instances where the new feeding guidelines have been ignored. Do you doubt that he's afraid of alienating the cattlemen? In the future, will we find that mad cow has spread silently to unbelievable proportions? If so, it will be another failure we can attribute to baby bush. Like Reagan and Daddy Bush, baby bush has put citizen's health on the back burner while he panders to his base.
R. M. Johnson
Subject: More Republican Shenanigans
Contrary to what Republicans, and politicians in general seem to believe there are a lot of people who pay attention to what congress is doing. We don’t go to some Mega-Church Hootenanny for our political information and we don’t go to Political Meetings for our Religion.
8 in 10 Americans think we should raise the minimum wage. It hasn’t been raised since 1997 and in that time Congress has managed to give itself multiple raises. Do they think we don’t see the hypocrisy in that?
The House of Representatives, in its fear of midterm elections at long last passed a bill to raise the minimum wage from the Federal level of $5.15 to $7.25. Of course there had to be a fly in the ointment. Politicians would not, simply could not, just do something for the people struggling the hardest to make ends meet.
The House of Representatives, who by the way is set to accept another $3,300.00 pay raise for themselves, just couldn’t do the right thing, the decent thing. They had to tie a hike in the minimum wage to the Paris Hilton Tax. Throw the poor folks a tiny bone and throw the Paris Hilton parasites a big wet kiss. Who will take care of multimillionaires if they don't? Say thank you to the 34 Democrats that went along with this atrocity. They proved once again that no matter how important an issue is to the people of this country their loyalties are all for their corporate masters.
See your Democratic Representative below? I have a nice consistent Republican Representative (Paul Ryan of Wisconsin) so I never have to bother to look for him. If there is a bill that will benefit business he’s all for it. If there is a bill to help the people who actually need help, he will speechify, saying exactly nothing, in an effort to convince you that what he did was all for your own good. I do pay attention to what’s going on so his fabrications don’t convince me. For those who are too busy watching American Idol to know what’s going on in their country, good luck, suckers.
34 Traitorous Democrats:
Neil Abercrombie /Hawaii
John Barrow / Georgia
Melissa Bean / Illinois
Shelley Berkley / Nevada
Robert Marion Berry / Arkansas
Daniel David Boren / Oklahoma
Leonard L. Boswell / Iowa
Frederick C. Boucher / Virginia
F. Allen Boyd Jr. / Florida
Sherrod Brown / Ohio
Ed Case / Hawaii
A. B. (Ben) Chandler / Kentucky
Robert E. (Bud) Cramer Jr. / Alabama
Henry Cuellar / Texas
Lincoln Davis / Tennessee
Thomas Chester (Chet) Edwards / Texas
Harold Ford Jr. / Tennessee
Barton Jennings Gordon / Tennessee
Stephanie Herseth / South Dakota
William Jennings Jefferson / Louisiana
Jim Marshall / Georgia
James David (Jim) Matheson / Utah
Mike McIntyre / North Carolina
Charles J. Melancon / Louisiana
Alan Bowlby Mollohan / West Virginia
Dennis Moore / Kansas
Collin Clark Peterson / Minnesota
Nick Joe Rahall II / West Virginia
Michael Avery Ross / Arkansas
Bobby L. Rush / Illinois
Ted Strickland / Ohio
John S. Tanner / Tennessee
Edolphus Towns / New York
David Wu / Oregon
U.S. Constitution: First Amendment (caselaw.lp.findlaw.com)
Subject: Head Exploding Relief
If, like me, sometimes you think that your head is going to explode from rage, I have my own relief.
I tune into Air America daily but simply can not stomach Jerry Springer. So I found a progressive radio station in our state capital. (I live in Wisconsin.) I couldn’t get the station down here in the southeastern part of the state so I stream it online.
I discovered a national treasure. It’s the Stephanie Miller show. She is a comedienne and daughter of former Republican U.S. Representative William Miller, Barry Goldwater's running mate in the 1964 Presidential election. Not to worry this is not some right-wing nut-bag. This show will lift your spirits when you feel you just can’t take anymore gloom and doom. It is funny and informational. She is on between 8 and 11 a.m. CST so check it out. I wish someone had told me about it a long time ago.
Subject: Bush's Freudian slip today
I'm listening to our Prez speaking at the port in Florida today. What he meant to say was that we (our govmit) wants to leave money in people's hands (he was speaking about tax cuts).
What he ACTUALLY said sounded like, "We wanna have hands in their money ... uh ... money in their hands."
Hands in their money. What an image. That's about as disturbing as his being introduced by brother Jeb as "our great leader."
Wake me when this is over.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Possible DirecTV Censorship?
Over the past few weeks my wife and I have noticed many instances of the loss of sound while watching DirecTV. These losses have occurred during documentaries and news programs but never during 'normal' commercial tv programs. The losses also seem to occur just as the sound track is beginning to discuss a topic that criticizes the US administration in some way. The loss usually lasts from 10 to as much as 60 seconds. During this time, the video portion continues uninterrupted.
Am I the only person who suspects some form of censorship?
Are we being trained to accept media censorship in the form of 'temporary technical difficulties'?
Has anyone else observed this? If so, please share your experiences.
Creed Ballow ... It seems that some of your friends...must be mine. I have gotten e-mails from friends, or what I thought was friends...and they will send me forwards about "bed wetting liberals" or the "liberal media" not ever backing the fighting men and women in these wars. I once told one, a cousin ... (she said she was dubious about sending me one) that a good flag ... was if the forward even mentioned the word "Liberal ," don't send, 'cause right away...it is not something I want to read. I am a Liberal in comparison to them, but a Conservative Democrat in some other ways...but, I could also call all republicans,"Right wing neo con nuts" if I chose ... and up to then I had not. They do drive me crazy...but, they are in the minority now...or so it seems...wishful thinking I fear!
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: Butcher of Qana
How is condi going to wash that awful blood from her hands, the US alone thwarted an earlier ceasefire in lebanon, the blood of 56 dead in Qana won't wash away. Bush, Rice and their twisted cohorts didn't want to slow down their war by proxy against Iran. The US ignored a worldwide call for a humanitarian ceasefire to allow civilians to leave and aid workers to deliver medical supplies, food and water. The 56 in Qana would still be alive, george. You are responsible, george. george, you say "may god bless those who lost their lives." I hope your god has another little chat with you, georgie boy, and fills you in on the evils of your ways.
Kaslo, BC, Canada
Subject: Bloggers are today's "pamphleteers"
As I read about history in general and our founding period in particular, it strikes me that today's bloggers are performing the same role as yesteryear's pamphleteers.
Political tracts and pamphlets were often incendiary, often in opposition to the government, often written under pseudonyms, and were often criticized -- especially by the targets of their fire.
Well, I say hail to the bloggers and to all of those who work diligently on the internet to inform, stir and energize the American public. They are today's heroes, just as Thomas Paine and others were heroes in their day.
Of course many of the overpaid mainstream TV pundits hate bloggers; bloggers are doing what the mainstream media people are supposedly being paid to do but have little interest in doing -- informing the public.
The bloggers out there expose the TV phonies of today for the blow-dried, puffed-up charlatans they are.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Number of Troops Fighting in Iraq
I've read several articles and quite a few blog posts in the recent past that all detail the sacrifice of the roughly 135,000 troops fighting in Iraq.
For example, even in Frank Rich's latest article, The Peculiar Disappearance of the War in Iraq, where he laments at the media's abandoning coverage of Iraq, he mentions 135,000 troops.
"The specter of defeat is not the only reason Americans have switched off Iraq. The larger issue is that we don’t know what we — or, more specifically, 135,000 brave and vulnerable American troops — are fighting for."
This number is way off by a factor of nearly 10. The number of troops that have served the bungling Bush and his neocon ideologies in Iraq is well over 1,000,000. We must not forgot this number, as it represents the total number of young Americans Bush and his cronies have put at risk under his misleadership.
[BuzzFlash Note: Good point that the cumulative number of Americans who have served in Iraq is much higher than the number serving at any one time. We don't know your source for that figure of 1,000,000, but we have left a voice mail message with the Pentagon asking if they can confirm it.]
Subject: Boobs Not Toys!
Hey, Breast feeding is not an invasion of the privacy of any other person in the room! It is a natural act that should not cause any stir at all. It is your problem, not the Mom's or the baby's!!!! I was discreetly breast feeding my infant in a restaurant many years ago, when someone came up to me and suggested I go to the restroom and feed my baby. My reply, "Why don't you go eat in the restroom? I think for the same reason me and my baby don't!"
A Long Time BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Tell Us Another Fairy-Tale
Karl you are sooooo transparent.... You and your Bush cronies have built a bad political bridge which is shorter then the river under it and your nation is drowning!
THEY ARE FOOLING NO ONE !!!Yet They go on and on......
Bush and the Republicans have been fooling no one since they have been in power. They have forged ahead without strategic vision at home and abroad! Then they backtrack making a shallow puny effort to cover their imperfect, deceptive results. Afghanistan, Iraq, Katrina, global warming and now with their assigned puppets Israel and Great Britain in Lebanon! They have done untold damage to our nation, and our world respect, have killed without necessity and have made an intolerable mess out of foreign diplomacy! Even Napoleon warned us "In the eyes of Empire Builders men are not men but instruments!"
No. Hollywood, California