This is Part 2 of the August 4, 2006 BuzzFlash Mailbag. Click here for Part 1.
Subject: A Mistake
Like the corporate media, you incorrectly refer to Joe Lieberman as a centrist. Ned Lamont is a centrist, Joe Lieberman is further to the right of most Americans.
I define Fidel Castro as far left, Cynthia McKinney as on the left, Bernie Sanders as center-left, Ted Kennedy as a centrist/moderate, Hillary Clinton as center-right, Joe Lieberman as right wing, and George Bush as extreme right wing.
Notice how I eviscerate the corporate media's false framing which tries to paint right-wing conservatives as mainstream. You should follow my lead on this one.
Big Dave from Queens
Subject: I Expect Better
As a loyal reader and supporter for many years, I was stunned by your ignorant headline comparing Fidel and Raul Castro to the Bush brothers.
Have you ever visited the island? You can, you know. Cuba won't stop you, the U.S. will. Have you visited Angola or Zimbabwe or Venezuela or Ecuador and talked with the thousands of people who have been helped by Cuban doctors, agronomists and educators? Have you spoken with people in Cuba, a people who's literacy rate is far greater than ours? Dictators and oppressors want an ignorant public, not an educated one. Visit the island and you can travel freely, speak with anyone, examine society. The fact is that millions of others do just that: Latin Americans, Spaniards, Europeans, Africans, Australians, Asians.
It's only Americans who accept the official lies that come out of Miami and Washington, DC and then repeat them like obedient sheep. I expect that from the right, after all, truth or inquisitiveness never gets in the way of their preconceived bullsh*t. But from BuzzFlash? Shame.
Subject: Why I Am Angry, Sad and Sickened
The most enlightened men of the 18th century fled King George III to create America with enlightened, humanistic values.
Now, we are controlled by hellaciously armed, dumb and greedy crazies who’ve set the world aflame for their profit. Bush sat and read My Pet Goat to schoolchildren while he knew America was under attack. He mugged for cameras at photo-ops and played the air-guitar for three days while New Orleans washed away. He goofs-it-up with the American Idol contestants while the Middle East burns. He’s never attended one funeral for the nearly 2,700 troops who’ve died for the phony Halliburton-Carlyle Group-Exxon war.
Can ANYONE imagine Teddy Roosevelt, Lincoln, FDR, Eisenhower, or John Kennedy acting in this way?
There are 500,000 refugees in Lebanon, most of them innocent women and children who are being shredded with our Daisy Cutters. There are 500,000 innocent Israelis living in shelters. There are over 100,000 innocent dead Iraqis, with their cradle of civilization decimated by the Neo-Con Nuts who are screaming for More! More! More!
Who do they work for? Oil’s $75.00 a barrel -- profits have never been higher. The more they fight, the more the potentates in Tehran, Riyadh, and Houston stuff their pockets with billions. Why do you think Reagan-Bush I armed both sides of the Iraq-Iran War? Who won the Gulf War? Try Enron and Halliburton.
The few media barons who own ALL the mainstream media certainly aren’t going to tell the truth. G.E. owns major media AND manufactures bombs. The only hope is an activist American population and they’re all reading PEOPLE Magazine. Oooh, Britney says we should all, “Trust our president.” The mainstream press has spoken people.
So teenage recruits are blown to bits, and the Arab world unites behind Hezbollah and Hamas. While mothers have their children's heads blown off in their arms, and bloated fat cats rush delivery on their latest luxury jet. Gotta be able to get down to the Cayman Islands for the weekend, and just look at the added new feature of the perfect cigar lighter! Now if it could just put your condoms on for you. Ahhhahahahaha!
Major General Smedley Butler, one of only two Marines in history to receive two Medals of Honor, wrote “War is a Racket.” The oldest, most profitable, most vicious, international racket known only to the few to further enrich them, at the expense of the billions. Our military receives 50.5 percent of federal tax money, education receives 8 percent, those percentages state just how smart the Wall Street-WDC plutocracy wants the majority to be.
We're watching the government of Jefferson and Lincoln being turned into the KGB: Rigged elections, illegal spying on citizens, illegal detentions, extraordinary rendition, torture, illegal wars, WMDs used on civilians like white phosphorous, depleted uranium. An unlivable $5.15 minimum wage while trillions go to tax cuts and oil company subsidies and boondoggle billion-dollar no-bid contracts for the very rich. Bush’s illegal signing statements to reverse 750 laws passed by Congress. Production of phony news stories. Obstructing investigators on 911, retribution against whistleblowers as in the treasonous outing of the CIA agent who built her unit and downlinks into foremost specialist on tracking movement of WMDs. Their covers all blown by the West Wing.
Ultimately, the Iraq invasion and occupation will cost $500 billion, a fraction of which could alleviate so much of the world’s despair that fuels frustrations. We're building the biggest Embassy in the history of the world in the Green Zone, while we turn the rest of that sovereign nation funeral black. At the same time we’ve turned the greatest surplus in world history, into the largest deficits ever, and the most powerful military in existence hasn't in three years won against rag-tag locals flinging homemade bombs at us from donkey carts. We’ve been there longer than the US was involved in WWII. And, remember when a 17-year-old inexperienced girl, Joan of Arc, turned around The 100 War in just four days. Talk about GIRLIE MEN. Chickenhawks that had never had a brave moment in their entire lives, and who can’t win anything despite resources that exceed anything that has existed IN ALL OF HUMAN CREATION AT THEIR DISPOSAL. Gee, it’s almost as if they don’t want to win, as if they just want to keep creating profits out of the world’s misery. And what’s this? Dick Cheney has all of HIS MONEY invested in EUROs??
They want their shell game Doctrine of Chaos. The eyes of the world are looking over there, while they’re cleaning out the coffers over here.
Bush CLOSED the CIA unit searching for his family’s old business bud, Osama bin Forgotten. Can you imagine Clinton doing that? But Homeland Security did compile a list of 77,069 potential terrorist targets: 250 Kangaroos in the North Georgia Hills. An Amish popcorn factory with 5 employees. The Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tennessee. But The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, and Times Square? Not on the list. Minor oversight, I’m sure.
The entire world is being cheated We spent $72 million to investigate stains on a blue dress. But Bush Inc. fought spending more than $3 million to investigate 911. He and Cheney refused to testify unless they could go together, not take an oath, and vet the questions beforehand. That’s democracy? $1,000 to investigate each of those innocent victims murdered on 9-11, and over $10 million for every inch of Clinton’s dick?
It makes me REALLY angry. And REALLY sad. And REALLY sick.
Subject: Minimum Wage and Tips
Hey buzz…great page today…paul krugman’s article, your analysis and the report on the tipping and minimum wage imbroglio. It’s too bad the struggling small business owners and struggling workers don’t realise that the republicans don’t give a sh*t about them. (hey george can say sh*t). According to krugman only 135 small business owners would have benefited from the estate tax and soon waiters and waitresses will have to pay to get their jobs, as the tips they supposedly receive should cover their employer’s responsibility to pay them a minimum wage.
It would be more just if congressmen had to pay for the privilege of holding office. Their tips far exceed whatever taxpayers are paying to employ them. If duke cunningham had had to pay taxes on his “tips” perhaps all his graft would have been above board.
The small business owners who vote republican live in a dream world, they believe they are part of the republican club. Bush and company haven’t honoured the deal where they are supposed to buy a certain percentage of their goods or services from small businesses. It’s a closed club fellas, check out the no-bid contracts.
These poor suckers who control the swing vote still believe in the capitalist American dream and think they’re eventually going to get aboard the gravy train. Meanwhile they’re living in an imposed state of fear and think georgie boy is taking care of the terrorists. With a steady diet of fox news and blurbs from the stenographers in the mainstream press they are not going to learn what is really going on.
Buzz, you’re doing a heck of a job (sorry, it ain’t a georgism, it’s from the heart) but these misled souls don’t read progressive journalism. Buzzies are going to have to try and inform the uninformed over lunch or around the water cooler in the workplace, otherwise they just aren’t going to get it.
Kaslo, BC, Canada
Subject: An Administration Unbalanced at the Top
It may just be that on forums like C-Span’s Washington Journal an attempt is made to give all comers a voice so that one hears Republican callers say that President Bush, Secretary Rumsfeld et al. are doing a great job. Evidence to support those opinions may be non-existent; nevertheless administration critics are dismissed simply as Bush bashers or, worse, traitors. And the never-ending rhetorical question posed in response to anyone who questions current national policy and the war in Iraq is ‘have you forgotten 9/11?’
Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that there were in fact WMD in Iraq and let’s agree that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator. What did either claim have to do with 9/11? The hijackers were predominantly Saudis -- a few were from Yemen and elsewhere, but none were Iraqis and their mission was accomplished with box cutters and by using our own aircraft as missiles. Still, some continue to suggest that hijacker Mohammed Atta was an Iraqi stooge and that he met with an operative at a café in Poland or some such place. Such a meeting has never been verified and, to the contrary, Atta is believed to have been in the U.S. at the time of the alleged contact.
So what exactly is our government’s position? What seems most likely is that we are meant to accept a premise for invading Iraq that had no basis in reality and had absolutely nothing to do with our being attacked on 9/11. And while there are endless bromides about liberating a country, protecting our shores and spreading democracy throughout the world, a cursory glance at the day’s events, every day’s events, should by now have alerted the American people to the fact that we are being led by people who may be delusional but whose agenda is most assuredly something quite apart from what we have previously been led to believe.
Calls for Secretary Rumsfeld to resign seem beside the point because, although he may be a bumbler and an ineffectual leader of our military, the administration he serves is similarly bumbling and incompetent. In fact Rumsfeld is a living, breathing metaphor for a failed presidency and policies based on the wishful thinking of neo-cons. When asked recently if Iraq were in the midst of a civil war, he replied in a kind of, ‘hmmm let’s give that a look-see’, by saying “I thought about that last night.” Rumsfeld’s distracted public ramblings provide an insight into the haphazard manner in which this country’s foreign decisions are made. Trouble brewing in Afghanistan with a resurgent Taliban? - - well, Rumsfeld observes, violence increases in the more moderate seasons and abates in winter, as if that country’s growing disorder were something akin to the up-tic of summertime violence in our cities when more young people are on the streets.
And when there’s trouble in whatever part of the world, but most particularly now in Lebanon, the administration fails once again to act as an honest broker instead of just a weapons broker. Who is sent to Israel to look into things, why Elliott Abrams of course - - what a choice. Are we to believe that the triumvirate of Perle, Abrams and Netanyahu will add to the prospect of conflict resolution when they have always been much more adept at conflict enhancement? With the growing disorder in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon are we about to be drawn into an even larger conflict and greater danger from terrorist groups who are gaining prestige in the region? Who speaks for this country, and where are our leaders such as they are? Do they have any understanding of what foreign policy and diplomacy have in common or is that an absurd concept to them?
People like Richard Perle keep trying to float the notion that if we are not aggressive we will suffer England’s fate when Neville Chamberlain tried to appease Hitler before WWII. Neo-cons and this administration always resort to the scariest of scenarios to convince detractors that only they have the answers that will bring us safety and success. Yet their way has led to untold misery and loss of life in Iraq and an inflammation in the Middle East that shows little sign of abating and hardly serves the interests of the United States.
Adding to our disturbing and bankrupt policies is a growing suspicion that the president who presumes to lead us is disturbingly unbalanced. It may have been thought at first that he was simply ignorant and uninformed -- observations that were certainly valid. But lately the president’s behavior has become harder to dismiss as laughable and has taken on an aura of disoriented, obsessive quirkiness. It isn’t reassuring to have a leader with so little control over his words and actions that his public demeanor is an embarrassment and leaves people wondering if he is quite sane.
His response to reporter Sam Donaldson’s question at a press briefing that Donaldson is a “has-been” and ‘the president doesn’t have to answer questions from a has-been’ was a stunning example of someone not in control, whose dignity and that of the country is seriously at risk.
In fact, the president and his people are a bunch of has-beens. They just don’t know it yet
Finding a Voice
Subject: "These Are the Terrorists.""
I point to those ignorant bastards that neither understand history nor have any compassion in their small black hearts and say, you did this:
Hundreds of thousands of Shiites chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" marched through the streets of Baghdad's biggest Shiite district Friday in a show of support for Hezbollah militants battling Israeli troops in Lebanon.
Demonstrators, wearing white burial shrouds symbolizing their willingness to die for Hezbollah ...
Protesters set fire to American and Israeli flags, as well as effigies of President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, showing the men with Dracula teeth.
"Saddam and Bush, Two Faces of One Coin" was scrawled on Bush's effigy.
Alongside the painted [U.S. and Israeli] flags was written:
"These are the terrorists."
Have you seen the images of destruction in Iraq and Lebanon? Have you seen the death tolls? Do you fully understand the extent of human misery and suffering taking place there? As a human being can you blame them for their anger and hatred of the U.S. and Israel when our bombs are dropping on their heads unabated? It is not a statement of an apologist to say that when acts of imperialism are perpetrated on any group of people, bloodshed, chaos and acts of retribution are not only logical but certain.
The cowardly warmongers who have personally risked nothing have brought this on our country. The world outside our borders sees our actions not as a form of self-defense but of a country of blissfully ignorant and violent fools. Is it any surprise that the world no longer trusts us and views US as the most destabilizing force? Now we no longer even have the facade of righteousness. This is where we have been led and it will take many decades to dig out from under the effects of our actions. Before you go ranting on about "terrorists" in other lands, you may first want to look at your own actions and ask yourself,
Who are the real terrorists?
The Indy Voice
Wake Forest, NC
Subject: Editorial on Krugman column
The sentiments expressed in the Krugman column "Centrism is for Suckers" and the BuzzFlash editorial on the subject, match what I have been saying for years to Elizabeth Gehl, the national political director of one of my organizations, the Business and Professional Women.
Year after year, I have screamed bloody murder when they have endorsed the likes of Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Lincoln Chafee, as well as numerous Republican candidates for the House. When I objected to these endorsements, the response was, "They support legislation that we support." I pointed out that this legislation would never get to the floor for a vote as long as the Republicans held a majority in the House and Senate, to which I never get a reply. I also pointed out that the Senate Republicans whom BPW were endorsing voted for the confirmation of each and every right-wing Neanderthal partisan hack extremist judicial nominee for LIFETIME appointments to the federal judiciary and Supreme Court, and that BPW, along with every other major women's organization, had fought those confirmations, so why were they endorsing those Republicans? Again, no response.
I sent her the Krugman column today, and told her to substitute "BPW" for the Sierra Club and Naral.
Subject: Mick is Paranoid
I read BuzzFlash every day and I am very thankful for having this source of truth - thankful enough to purchase a premium now and then as my pension allows. I have seen a few misconceptions that surface on a regular basis. These are honest misconceptions that merely serve to prove Buzz's faith in the USA. But I'm going to tell you true.
First of all, let us look at the misconception that the media is not doing "its job." The purpose of the media in a democracy is to bring useful information to people that allows them to make intelligent decisions at the polls...BINGO! Yes, that is the job of the media in a democracy. In a plutocratic oligarchy (fascism) it is the job of the media to generate consensus. Many of these media outlets are owned by the same parent corporations that own the armament manufacturers. What better way to advertise than to create "threats" that need to be eliminated by the military? Can you think of a better way to instill fear in the people? Perhaps enough fear can be generated to convince the people that they would be safer if only they would forfeit their liberties.
Now let's look at the idea that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice are incompetent. They have unleashed the dogs of war all over the globe; hundreds of thousands of innocent people will die. Why would anybody believe that this is anything but ineptitude? Unless, perhaps, you own stock in General Dynamics, General Electric, The Carlyle Group, Halliburton etc. This is not "incompetence". It is a matter of values and priorities. What does it matter to the likes of wealthy individuals such as Bush, Cheney and company when thousands of our soldiers are killed, maimed and stranded without adequate armor and supplies in the hell of war? These soldiers are from the lower classes of our society, why would they care? Who benefits? Are the dividends rolling in?
Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilian men, women and children are slaughtered, tortured, raped and rendered homeless. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice damn the world and roar! Have the oil reserves been secured for Halliburton and Exxon? Is it just a happy coincidence that government contracts for Lockheed Martin are up $94+billion, Kellogg Brown & Root are up $11+billion and ExxonMobil up by $9.9+billion? Oh, yeah; here's another happy coincidence. ExxonMobil contributed over $3 million to Bush and the RNC. Lockheed Martin contributed over $7 million and KBR contributed over $2million. This is incompetence?
The "incompetence" of Bush, Cheney et al. has also succeeded where Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo and Stalin failed, by establishing an ideological tyranny over our United States of America. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are held in contempt by the aristocratic and autocratic George W. Bush, who referred to these unique and powerful documents as a "goddamn piece of paper." The corporate media dutifully refused to report this fact. The Constitution and Bill of Rights have been all but shredded. They were printed on paper made from hemp, after all.
This brings me to the final point that I intend to establish. There is much excitement over the prospects of the "opposition party" in the coming '06 elections, as one might expect. Our optimism is allowing us to believe that the Democrats will be voted into office, the past eight years of rigged elections notwithstanding. People, these republican "leaders" have been routinely perpetrating crimes against working people, against the Constitution, against the environment and against humanity. Does anybody really believe that these arrogant criminals will voluntarily step down from their positions of power and be subjected to answer for their deeds? Is it any wonder that King George is lobbying for an expansion of military tribunals? Have we already forgotten that King George was considering the cancellation of the '04 elections "because of the danger of terrorism?" Did you think he was kidding when he said, "A dictatorship would be a lot easier, as long as I'm the dictator."
And why has Kellogg Brown and Root built 800 detention facilities across the USA? One out of every seventy-five adult males are already in the corporate "prison-for-profit" system. What will a few million more matter?
I realize that I will be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist and I hope to the depths of my paranoid soul that I am way out of line and just plain wrong. I would not relish saying, "I told you so."
The Evil Michael J Fowler