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Monday, 27 November 2006 08:25

BuzzFlash Mailbag for November 27, 2006

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Subject: Thanksgiving Meditation in Troubled Times

“… because if they are seen to support us, they will have their head cut off tomorrow.” -- U.S. Army Major in Fallujah, Anbar Province, Iraq

Iraq has now become a paradox, wrapped in a conundrum, bathed in tragic irony. The U.S. has gone from being viewed as liberator to despised foreign occupier by the great majority of Iraq’s population, except perhaps in the north where the Kurds have accomplished de-facto autonomy. Military “victory” is now universally accepted as an unattainable goal. The country has devolved into a medium-grade civil war with almost 4000 Iraqis having died in the past month alone. Attacks on American forces are in the thousands per month. Snipers rule the rooftops and each morning brings a fresh harvest of tortured and murdered corpses, including now women. Our unsubstantiated invasion has created an unmitigated disaster for Iraq’s people, and millions have fled for their very lives to neighboring countries. Our national treasures of money, military troops and international good will have been squandered in this appropriately named “fiasco.” We have unwittingly adopted our own Palestine, riven with internal division, full of burning hatred and unfulfilled vengeance killing --fractured to its core. Like in LBJ’s “Vitnam,” we have pegged our hopes on a weak and faltering central government viewed by many of its people as a mere puppet of U.S. interests.

The road to salvation for Iraq and us begins with an unequivocal pledge by the United States to leave no permanent military bases on their sovereign territory. Otherwise, we both lose.

John R. Bomar

Subject: The Media’s Candidate

As John McCain gears up for another run at the presidency he starts off with the same advantage he had the last time. He has the Media as cheerleaders and stenographers. Why, is a mystery. His “heroism” may be one facet but doesn’t seem like enough. Whatever the reason, when McCain speaks the media genuflects and treats him as if his words come from on high.

They seldom do. Actually the war-mongering old hypocrite wants to be president so much that there is little he will not do or say to further his cause. This alone proves him unfit. We must always preference every remark about McCain with something about valuing his service as if he and he alone served his country or suffered for that service.

John Kerry also served and has been disrespected not only by the press but by his old pal, John McCain. That must have seemed the unkindest cut of all to John Kerry. But that is the “real” John McCain. If this disingenuous old gasbag makes it through the Republican Primary season, can we count on the media to really dish the dirt on their favorite candidate? Will they print stories about his horrible temper or his lies, distortions and flip-flops? They haven’t done so up to this point, and it is doubtful they will turn over a new leaf.

The Democratic candidate, whoever that may be, can expect the press to come after them with all guns blazing. Liberal press? Liberal bias in the press? Hardly. John McCain is their favorite son and can expect to be treated as such. Hopefully there will be enough “honest” reporting to let the country know that John McCain is not all that he has been advertised to be. In fact, sigh, he is just another lying politician with friendlier press coverage. America can certainly do better. Hell, even the Republicans can do better.

Marjorie Swanson
Kenosha, WI

Subject: Stop No Child Left Behind

To: U.S. Congress

We, the educators, parents, and concerned citizens whose names appear below, reject the misnamed No Child Left Behind Act and call for legislators to vote against its reauthorization. We do so not because we resist accountability, but because the law's simplistic approach to education reform wastes student potential, undermines public education, and threatens the future of our democracy.

Below, briefly stated, are some of the reasons we consider the law too destructive to salvage. In its place we call for formal, state-level dialogues led by working educators rather than by politicians, ideology-bound "think tank" members, or leaders of business and industry who have little or no direct experience in the field of education. THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT:

1. Misdiagnoses the causes of poor educational development, blaming teachers and students for problems over which they have no control.

2. Assumes that competition is the primary motivator of human behavior and that market forces can cure all educational ills.

3. Mandates data driven instruction based on gamesmanship to undermine public confidence in our schools.

4. Uses pseudo science and media manipulation to justify pro-corporate policies and programs, including diverting taxes away from communities and into corporate coffers.

5. Ignores the proven inadequacies, inefficiencies, and problems associated with centralized, "top-down" control.

6. Places control of what is taught in corporate hands many times removed from students, teachers, parents, local school boards, and communities.

7. Requires the use of materials and procedures more likely to produce a passive, compliant workforce than creative, resilient, inquiring, critical, compassionate, engaged members of our democracy.

8. Reflects and perpetuates massive distrust of the skill and professionalism of educators.

9. Allows life-changing, institution-shaping decisions to hinge on single measures of performance.

10. Emphasizes minimum content standards rather than maximum development of human potential.

11. Neglects the teaching of higher order thinking skills which cannot be evaluated by machines.

12. Applies standards to discrete subjects rather than to larger goals such as insightful children, vibrant communities, and a healthy democracy.

13. Forces schools to adhere to a testing regime, with no provision for innovating, adapting to social change, encouraging creativity, or respecting student and community individuality, nuance, and difference.

14. Drives art, music, foreign language, career and technical education, physical education, geography, history, civics and other non-tested subjects out of the curriculum, especially in low-income neighborhoods.

15. Produces multiple, unintended consequences for students, teachers, and communities, including undermining neighborhood schools and blurring the line between church and state.

16. Rates and ranks public schools using procedures that will gradually label them all "failures," so when they fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress, as all schools eventually will, they can be “saved” by vouchers, charters, or privatization.

While any one of these issues is serious enough to warrant discarding No Child Left Behind, the law suffers from all of them. The number of signatures on this petition should be a clear indicator to state and national policy makers that it is time to move beyond this harmful, highly restrictive law.


David Gabbard
Greenville, NC

Hi Buzz.....

Have I got this right ????? If Bush and Cheney are impeached then Nancy Pelosi would become president?....If so.... she couldn't do any worse than the Idiots in charge now....BUT on the other hand...If Cheney steps down and McCain becomes Vice President...what happens if Bush is then impeached....hmmmm...McCain becomes the prez right?.............Hmmmm..... Nancy you better forget being shy and bashful and get those impeachment demands BACK ON THE TABLE. Boy KKKarl just never quits.... does he.


Subject: Pentagon Propaganda

Latest news on the Centcom homepage:

Violence in Iraq Drops in Weeks after Ramadan http://www.centcom.mil/sites/uscentcom1/FrontPage...

Nov. 20, 2006
As expected, violence in Iraq has dropped following the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a coalition spokesman said in Baghdad today.Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said civilian and Iraqi security force casualties were at the lowest levels since the government was formed in May.

So far this month, the civilian casualty count is well below the casualty count in October and below the six-month average. The security force casualties reduced 21 percent over the past four weeks, and are at the lowest level in 25 weeks, he said.

Pentagon News: Is it Propaganda?

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Re: John McCain is BuzzFlash.com's GOP Hypocrite of the Week

Prepping for Watergate four-step:

Once investigations get going, first VP resigns. Second, pResident nominates a now-politically-cleansed McCain for VP job. Third, pResident resigns. Fourth, new successor pResident McCain obsequiously pardons both.

Do the last five years prove that the 2001 Federal education bill bombed, or what? It failed to require strict annual testing of all elected and appointed government officials: specifically, logic and reason for the judiciary, budgetary math and ethics for the legislature, speech, remedial English, and the meaning of the rule of law for the executive; and, nonfiction and accountability for think tanks and the media. Oh, and comprehensive contemporary political history for all voters.

Will Wyche
Palm Springs, CA

Subject: The Draft

You know, back when the War in Iraq first started, there was a billboard sign in our city, that said, "the only bill that has been introduced in the congress,for the draft, is by a democrat." And I read shortly that Rangel had introduced a bill about the draft...and it had the stipulations that NO ONE...NOT A SOUL could get deferred, except for health reasons or Religious reasons. Well, now he is starting it again..and believe it or not...I agree. I think everyone should have to go. Just think during the run up to the Iraq war....no one who voted for it....had ever worn the military uniform certainly not combat. Rush limbaugh could not get out because of a boil on his ass....no college deferments....those hearing troubles that they implied that they had, silly stuff....and even if you are poor...if your mommy won't have it...and throws a fit...and her sons happen to have pregnant wives...they can get out ,too. Of course, the wives have to do it, go to the recruitment offices...and demean themselves to do it...but, the men still do not have to go. I brought one man to his knees reminding him when Clinton was so scathed for not going...that this man had done worse....he was not in Oxford U....the most prestigious University in the world maybe. But, Rangel has the right idea....if this administration is going to continue to send men to Iraq to get killed....they need to have a draft so that all the senators and congressmen will have to send theirs....just like the poor people who cannot go to college. College is getting out of reach for all middle income people now...

Shirley ... St. Louis

Subject: James Carville's bizarre attack on Howard Dean exposed an explosive battle for control between Clintonistas-in-waiting and advocates of renewal. This is a good fight to have, now. And May the Best Man Win -- And It Ain't Carville.11/25

I think I wrote you in 2003 that the 2004 election wasn't a battle about the presidency so much as it was a battle for the heart and soul of the democratic party. We need to make Howard Dean bullet proof.


Subject: Misleading Headline Is Dishonest

The Headline BuzzFlash used for the story about how ONE family in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin initiated a movement to get a book removed from the high school curriculum is misleading. Wisconsinites in general are not against Maya Angelou’s Autobiography. ONE family had a problem with it. Now that there has been a little publicity other self-righteous morons have jumped on the bandwagon. Doubtful that any of them had any idea who Maya Angelou is or that she was a past Poet Laureate of the United States. Their usual reading material is more than likely the Star, the Bible and the TV Guide. Now they have themselves a nice little controversy to get involved with and that will just make their rigid, narrow, self-righteous little day.

All parts of the country have narrow-minded fools as residents. No need to tar a whole state every time some pinhead causes a fuss. I live in Wisconsin and I loved "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." I really resent your painting Wisconsinites as some kind of mindless, right-wing people. We already have Bill O’Reilly painting our state as some demon worshipping place. From him it is to be expected. I really thought better of you.


Marjorie L. Swanson

Subject: Cheney in Saudi Arabia

Is it not ironic: Cheney and Co start a war, which, as was obvious, became a disaster. Now they want help from the Arabs, who, remember, blew up the Twin Towers! Why did he not go to Baghdad, take a rifle, and fight himself, for a change? Maybe he would be greeted by flower-bearing Iraqis! It gets crazier every day!

Gus Pohlig
Waterloo NY

Subject: Who is the enemy in Iraq?

That’s the question BuzzFlash is asking its readers. Well, the first enemy was definitely the Bush administration, its cohorts and followers. We were ignored from the insignificant little people like me sitting in my wheelchair in front of the computer sending out warnings to the much more influential and knowledgeable, deserving a fair hearing, to the millions protesting at home and across the world. The predicted results ensued.

Bush policies of rendition, torture, indiscriminate use of weapons improper among civilian populations, profiteering, and poor planning wrapped up in a refusal to admit any mistakes have made them the enemy of the US, Iraq and the people of the region if the instability spreads. Not only have they become the best recruiting tool for Al Qaeda and like-minded groups but they have also set up a wonderful training ground of authentic war experience against their most reviled enemy; us.

Al Qaeda is responsible for their share of the violence but it’s a relatively small percentage of the overall violence. Because of this I was also tempted to say that the Iraqi people are also their own worst enemy, but that’s not really the case. The families are surrounded by such incredible terror, so many times worse than what we entertain ourselves with, from a myriad of evil beings, with blood and gore in our theaters for the thrill of being safely shocked.

The second great enemy is the power lust of the few, along with the hate driven desire for revenge carrying fear and ignorance as its allies. Hate is truly evil. To be able to look into the eyes of another human being, a child perhaps, and be able to place an electric drill through their skin or eyes is truly evil. Yes, the second great enemy in Iraq is the hate fueled power lust of the few and the insecurity it fosters for generations to come.

The leaders of the various factions must be dealt with politically at the table of peace and compromise. Archbishop Desmond Tutu had great success dealing with the results of the hate such conflicts generated. He should be listened to now and his methods seriously investigated, otherwise I fear the violence will continue for generations to come.

This is ultimately the greatest challenge of Iraq and sadly around the globe and within each of us.

Ken Wells

Subject: To Seize the Moment One First Must Recognize It

By making sure that Congress passes the Kucinich bill to cut off all funding for the Iraq war, that is.

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Carafano is a Heritage Foundation Mountebank AND A FOOL

Congrats on calling Carafano from the Heritage Foundation a mountebank, but that would be a compliment, because he is a fool. I am referring to the 11/25 BuzzFlash headline and links:

Follow the recommendations of the 9/11 commission? I think we already did that, says Heritage Foundation mountebank. 11/26

Carafano is a fool, because at an Autumn 2006 forum regarding ending the war in Iraq Carafano couldn't do basic arithmetic when trying to counter Senator McGovern and Mr. Polk's plan to reduce the US military presence. The audience shouted out to him that his math supporting his rebuttal was off by a factor of nearly 1/10 in his debunking of their plan, and he ignored them to spout his inanities.

His critique of the McGovern-Polk Pullout Plan said that there would only be something like 150 U.S. soldiers on duty in Iraq for security when it was more like 2100. And that was with accepting Carafano's assumption that for each soldier on duty you need six others in support roles, since the McGovern-Polk plan calls for 15,000 troops helping with policing and border protection. Basically, Carafano had trouble dividing 15,000 by 7.

In addition, he could or would offer no plan of his own for the US to get out of Iraq.

In fact, he was usually grinning or combative with the show host, Bryan Lehrer, who is a very fair guy, while Carafano was often being flippant, sarcastic, and evasive. Here is a link to that Harper's & WNYC event at NYC's Town Hall:


After the event, it took several minutes in a private conversation for me to correct him on his math, which didn't seem to concern him. When a friend of mine told him that his arithmetic errors matter because they affect policy-making, Carafano said repeatedly that it didn't matter. My friend stated that his support for the war and its planning does matter because it is killing people. At which point Carafano told my friend 'fuck you!' and had security kick my friend out of the venue!

That Carafano is 'the Senior Fellow' in charge of National and Homeland Security when he cannot do math or develop his own policies beyond being a shill for the military industrial complex is frightening. It surprisingly makes one long for the Heritage Foundation days of the 1980s when at least they offered intellectual, ideological, and reason based policies. Guys like Carafano are giving conservativism and Republicans a really bad reputation, and their opportunism and nihilism are putting our nation in jeopardy.

If Carafano wants to help in Iraq, he should enlist as a grunt and clean out latrines or help build a school by lifting cinder blocks. I cannot understand how Carafano got in or graduated from USMC West Point. Maybe he was a good athlete recruited in a sport that they wanted to improve the year that he applied.


Enzo Titolo
New York, NY

Subject: the problem with "bobby" is it's not about rfk

... it's about some 22 people/couples at the ambassador hotel that day. kid you not. and, at the end, you get to hear an rfk speech. hopefully though it will do well and at least some in this generation will hear rfk speak, probably for first time.

mcmanus/los angeles

Subject: Even BuzzFlash is wrong about Iraq

The simple truth is this: the government is wrong, the media is wrong; heck, even BuzzFlash is wrong about Iraq. The government skirts the issue of whether Iraq is in a civil war. The media spends hours discussing minute issues as they pontificate on whether Iraq is in a civil war. BuzzFlash is sure that Iraq is in a civil war.

Sorry - everyone missed it entirely. At some point after the so-called president declared "Mission Accomplished," there may have been a civil war in Iraq. What is happening to those poor people now - and I include all of the members of the invading forces as "poor people" - is nothing but Chaos.

We, the invaders, have reduced a once-great nation to rubble. A nation that had a vibrant culture when most of the world was hardly out of the Stone Age. We, the invaders, have destroyed our military and seen to it that it will take decades for us to regain the world's regard as civilized nations. We, the invaders, have guaranteed an unending supply of terrorists, both from the nations we have invaded, and from sympathetic zealots from all over the world.

And we, the citizens of the invading powers, allowed the Congress and the Parliament to allow the liars at the top to cause this Chaos. This Chaos that will reap a harvest of victims that will be among the worst slaughters ever perpetrated. To the dead, to the wounded, to the homeless; to the victims of the terrorism we have bred around the world, it will not matter what the conflict is named. But to be honest with ourselves, for a change, do not glorify this unholy mess as War Something Number Something. Do not distinguish it with the designation Civil War. Do not call it anything but that which happens when humanity is at its worst: Chaos.

Chris Christianson
Fargo, ND

Subject: The Enemy

Walt Kelly said in his Pogo strip: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Leith Elder

Subject: Retired Republican congressman Boehlert of NY heads for think tank land 11/26

Think tank. Example: Wingnut Joshua Muravchik of the American Enterprise Institute "think tank" recently interviewed by phone on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! across from George McGovern and Dennis Kucinich. The subject was troop levels in Iraq. McGovern and Kucinich spoke first reasoning for withdrawal and to cut off appropriation funding for the war. When Goodman then called on Muravchik to respond, he failed to keep on subject by immediately attacked each personally for "hating" America. And he continued to similarly interrupt them throughout the interview. And when he finally addressed the issue and stated that troop strength in Iraq should be increased, he couldn't even support a figure when asked. This exchange clearly demonstrated that "think tank" is media doublespeak for propaganda agenda outlets. Thinking entails an open paradigm, not ethos defamation. Consequently, emphasis is better placed on the word "tank" as in hopelessly corrupted or defunct as Muravchik patently is (assuming Muravchik knows what the meaning of "is" is).

Will Wyche
Palm Springs, CA

Subject: Muqtada al-Sadr forms Fox News in Baghdad?

This Saturday, militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took over Iraqi state-run television to denounce the Iraqi government, label the political opposition Sunnis 'terrorists' and then issue what appeared to many viewers to be a call to arms. Oh, so it looks like nutty religious conservative, Muqtada al-Sadr, just formed his own, personal Sadr City based version of The Fox News Channel in Baghdad. Call him the new Rupert "Muqtada" Murdoch living just outside the walls of the U.S. Green Zone and the Dark Age heir to the rich, cultivated soil of right-wing, media mogul Rupert Murdoch's Fox News pundit plowed Fertile Crescent of radical Shiite hitting the fan.


J. Scott Taylor

Subject: Fast fast relief

Back in the late 1950's, there was a commercial for an aspirin brand [Anacin]. When you had a headache, if you took their product, you would get "fast fast relief!" The commercial worked, as people remembered the phrase and the product sold quite well.

If the Democrats are wondering how to make sure they stand a chance in 2008, they need to remember that commercial. There's a lot of talk about new ideas and programs, and straightening out some of the Bush policies and real change in Iraq. But right now all it can be is talk, until the new members take over. When they take over Congress January 20, by the date of January 31, there needs to be some visible changes in legislation, the way the nation is run, some legal handcuffs on Bush, and at least ONE of our troops coming home for good. Otherwise, most people will see the last election as "Welcome to the new boss, same as the old boss." Including me.

Mike Curtis
Greenbrier, Ark.

Subject: No More Human Sacrifices for Bush

Monday, November 27, 2006: The USA has reached two benchmarks today. We already know that we have been in Iraq longer than U.S. involvement in WWII. As I check the American troop death site, I find that 2880 American GIs have died since Bush's war began. Twenty more American deaths will equal the lives lost on 9/11. How ironic. Soon, 6000 American lives will have been lost because of the nut-job in the White House. And the cost of human life in Iraq is an extreme cause for alarm.

We should not permit one more human sacrifice for Bush's insane war. Bring our youngsters home NOW!

Captain Jessie
Cincinnati, Ohio

Subject: Should Bush Be Impeached?

Friends, Americans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

I ask we impeach Bush, not praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
That evil is oft interred with our bones;
So it is with Bush.
The ignoble Rove Hath told us Bush was ambitious;
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Iraq answer'd it.
Here, under leave of the Patriot Act,
With the propaganda machine of lies,
I say So are they all, all dishonorable men,
Come I speak for Bush's impeachment.
He is not our friend, faithful only to the corporations.
But Rove says Bush was ambitious;
But Rove is a dishonorable man.
Bush hath brought many captives by rendition
With war that did drain the coffers dry:
Did this in Bush seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried,
Bush hath cut their funding
Ambition is hard work sayeth Bush.
Yet Rove says he is not a liar;
And Rove no longer can prove thus.
You all did see on the media
Bush thrice presented Medals of Honor
To those who helped his lies, Was this ambition?
Yet Rove sayeth Bush does not lie.
But surely That is a lie.
I speak not to disprove what Rove spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
We have all reviled him once, not without cause:
Our cause is to mourn for the number that grows daily
O judgment, thou art fled behind spin and stonewalls,
And men have lost their reason.
Bear with us, Our hearts are in the coffins there with his lies.
There is no cause that will bring them back to us.

Donn R Witherspoon
Eureka, California

Subject: How Amusing!!!

The Huffington Post reports say George W. Bush needs $500 million dollars for “his legacy.” Pray tell, what would that be??? Georgie has never accepted the consequences of his own action, especially in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan and Palestine as well. His judgment has proven faulty in war, along with his appointments. If one judges his competence by those surrounding him, he would fail there as well!

Bush has not conquered, but has certainly divided our government. His lies and cover-ups have shown he has a tendency to be divorced from all ethics. Bush has not met the needs of our nation and along with his party has belittled our Constitution and has tried to maintain a monopoly while laughing at checks and balances. The curtain has been brought down on “oversight” under his watch.

That brings me back to my first question, WHAT LEGACY????

Susan Carr
No. Hollywood, California

Subject: Even If F-16 Was Shot Down The U S Will Lie And Say It Was Mechanical Problems

Al Jazeera English - Middle East US F-16 goes down in Iraq

A US F-16 fighter aircraft has gone down near the city of Fallujah in western Iraq. The US air force said the plane's pilot was missing and an investigation into the cause of the incident had been launched. However, and Iraqi journalist said local residents had reported seeing the F-16 being shot down. Muthana Shakir, an Iraqi journalist in Baghdad told Al Jazeera: "We got credible news saying at 2pm on Monday a US F-16 warplane was downed in al-Garma neighbourhood near the western Iraqi city of Falluja." "The warplane was downed over arable lands. Witnesses confirmed that the plane was fired on by gunmen's rockets when it was flying on low altitude." William Caldwell, a US military spokesman, said he would be surprised if the jet was shot down as the F-16's fly very fast and have not encountered any weapons capable of taking them down in Iraq. A spokesman said that the aircraft was lost while it was flying in support of ground operations taking place in Fallujah. US troops are reported to have surrounded the crash-site.

A BuzzFlash Reader