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Thursday, 28 September 2006 06:44

BuzzFlash Mailbag for September 28, 2006

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Subject: Oh, That Keith Olbermann

I will only speak for myself, but Keith Olbermann keeps knocking it out of the ballpark with his special commentaries, and just his show in general.

I was horrified to read yesterday about the "fake" anthrax threat sent to Mr. Olbermann at his personal residence.

Even more appalling, however, was the "hit piece" and cheap shot leveled at him by Rupert Murdoch's NY Post.

What can we who appreciate Mr. Olbermann's incisive and straight forward commentaries do to more fully show not only him, but MSNBC and the media at large our appreciation for Mr. Olbermann's bravery in speaking truth to courage, and standing up for truth, honesty, and the principles upon which this country was founded?

The MSM and the neocons need to know there are a lot more of us out here who appreciate intelligence, courage, and personal integrity.

Lisa Johnson
Milwaukee, WI

Subject: A Letter sent to NY Post

New York Post;


Your Page 6 discussion of the non-lethal terrorist attack on Keith Olbermann was disgraceful, sophomoric, and irresponsible. The author took extreme editorial pains to dismiss and minimize the event; an appalling breech of journalistic obligations in the aftermath of 9/11 and the yet unsolved anthrax attacks in Washington (by the way: where was your reporter's discussion of the Bush administration's failure to catch - or apparently even chase - the 2001/2002 Anthrax Killers; a story that would have been of logical relevance to the Olbermann story?). Your gutless hack actually ridiculed Mr. Olbermann's methodical safety measures in the aftermath of the attack on his home!

I am aware that no one working on your paper is permitted to express or entertain opinions deviating even slightly from the madly vacillating dogma of the far right wing, but this explicit disposition does not excuse your treating those with different views as enemies or second-class citizens. Olbermann, who you label as "caustic" and "a loudmouth", would never stoop to make a vicious joke out of such a threat made to the home and family of an ideological opponent. Your paper and its goons are a menace to our republic.

Ken Duerksen
Oxford, Ohio

Subject: Olbermann Owns the Ratings

Just FYI after reading the anthrax scare sent to Keith Olbermann's home and the nasty comments guy the NY Post (and gee, what a surprise) I checked out highest rated videos on You Tube...and the great Keith's commentary was both the most viewed and the highest rated by far.

I'm very sorry to hear that Mr. Olbermann had that terrible experience and am glad it was a false alarm. Obviously the wing nuts want him to be good and scared and esp. before Nov. They can't have the truth being told about King George.

What an unbelievable liar.

San Francisco

Subject: Willie Nelson's Greens

Heard this on radio this morning:

Willie Nelson's public statement regarding being caught with a bag of Marijuana:

"It's a good thing I had a bag of Marijuana instead of a bag of spinach. I'd be dead by now."

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: What Happens Around Election Time

Isn't it interesting that a couple of months before the mid-term elections gas prices are plummeting? Of course some of us who suspect that this might be an attempt to influence the elections need not worry. No, this is just the natural market forces at work. We know that the rich and powerful never try to influence these forces but always just allow them to run their natural course, unconcerned with how this might affect their interests.

That lower gas prices can only help to benefit the Republicans is just of course a coincidence! You know, just like two plus two adding up to four is a coincidence. Just like gas prices skyrocketing again after the elections will be a coincidence. Yes those that think any differently are just wacko conspiracy theorists with no understanding how the real world works. And please, please vote Republican because they really, really do have the best interests of working people, our military, our security, the environment, elderly, children and disadvantaged at heart. Just ask them, isn't that right Linus?

Jaffrey Harp

Subject: Newsweek

Let's back off a minute on this Newsweek thing. People are getting hot and bothered about the fact that the cover story in this week's international edition is different from the one in the domestic magazine. So what? It's really not uncommon for Newsweek to do that (I subscribe to Newsweek and have for years).

If Newsweek had substituted the photographer story for the Afghanistan story (which is what all the flap led me to believe before my copy arrived), that would be worth getting riled about. But they didn't. Afghanistan is right there in this week's domestic edition. It's just not on the cover. I say again, who cares? The information is still available, and the information is what's important.

Let's save our energy for real excesses -- the real tyranny of the Republicans and their enablers.

Jane Hawes
Emporia, KS (red-going-to-purple-state Democrat)

Subject: BuzzFlash headline on the Tokyo Rose Suspect

"Ex-'Tokyo Rose' Suspect Dies at 90. No Doubt, Karl Rove Will Deliver the Eulogy to One of Her Mentors. 9/28"

My God! Did you read this article? What happened to this woman is illustrates the kind of corrosive, destructive effect that scapegoating and government manipulation of public sentiment can cause. You should be holding this woman up as a warning to all Americans not to be bamboozled. Her story has incredible parallels to that of many Americans being oppressed by the Bush administration today.

Mike Grello
West Columbia SC

Subject: Behold, The Stupidity of Republican Voters

A Republican voter from Ohio named Margaret Jenson said that GOP troubles are "unfortunate" but quickly added, "We are die-hard Republicans. We'll never go over to the other side, no matter what."

There you have it in a few short sentences; the idiocy of Republican voters. That's in Ohio where the Republican scandals just keep on a rolling on. Honesty and integrity seems to have been seriously misplaced among Republican office holders and this twit says she "will never go over to the other side." What side is that Margaret, honesty, decency, and morality? You don't favor those things? You'd rather vote for a Republican crook than an Honest Democrat? Good grief woman with reasoning powers like that I hope they don't allow you out without a keeper.

But Margaret Jenson, voter and citizen of Ohio speaks as so many Republicans speak. The real enemy isn't the Terrorist, Taliban or al Qaeda. The real enemy is them damn Democrats.

Marjorie L. Swanson
Kenosha, Wisconsin

Subject: Democrats, Remember This!

When rank and file Democrats communicate with one another and with the general public, it's important we remind our fellow citizens of the Bush administration's unprecedented, distinct dark nature and its potential for damaging this country. Some perceive the Bush administration as mere typical politicians, no more sinister or potentially damaging to democracy than the everyday scoundrels who have slithered through capitol back rooms since the first political bribe changed hands.

We need to point out the distinction between the Bush administration and ordinary political scamps. For example, the Bush administration has repeatedly shown they see the American people as pawns in their war-making game. Bush recently referred to the Iraq war as a mere "comma," and Condoleezza Rice has said the deaths and other agonies of the Iraq war are simply the birth pains of democracy. Here's the rub, and a point we might consider repeating often: The agonizing birth pains aren't touching Bush's or Rice's nerve endings. This is other people's pain.

Showing the same emotional disconnect they did in their response to victims of Hurricane Katrina, Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and other pampered war-makers sit in their cushy enclaves, sending other folks' loved ones into the bloody, grinding jaws of the Iraq war. We might also frequently remind the public and our legislators that the Iraq misadventure is sucking the life out of the national budget and driving the national deficit into the trillions. The cost in terms of human life is staggering, and the diversion of resources from such things as improved American health care and real security for this country is criminal.

All thinking people now know the many shifting rationales for the Iraq war were untrue, though the mainstream media fail to consistently report the Bush administration deceived the country into invading Iraq. In addition, the Downing Street Memo confirmed the Bush administration cherry-picked intelligence and cooked the intelligence books to justify invading Iraq. This is another factual reality the mainstream media have yet to fully acknowledge and report consistently, and it's one we might remind Democratic leaders to reference.

It might be useful for Democrats to bring up these points frequently both before the November elections and after. Reality, and public morality, are not on the Bush administration's side.

Carla Binion

Subject: Feats of Irony, Lies, and Failed Policy

Irony is the use of words to express the opposite of what one means or when the results of your actions don't seemingly make sense. It strikes me as ironic that our nation founded upon ideals and ideas has devolved into one in which our leaders are not elected based upon either their ideals or their ideas but upon the amount of money that they can spend. We no longer hear rousing debates on the basis of principle or greatness but rather smear and fear. What we need is leadership and what we have is fear mongering and lies and smear. As November elections approach I think we should all consider the irony of our politicians and how we as Americans will participate in this great democracy and of the basis on which it was founded. Benjamin Franklin said, " Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty or Safety".

The words of George Bush and the Republican Party are fraught with irony and if we further examine our position as a nation and the results of our actions we are confronted with the dangers of irony. They contend for example that in order for us to be safe we must be afraid, we must be very afraid. They contend that an obtuse war in Iraq is the way to peace. George Bush has denounced torture and yet he advocates for its legalization. George Bush has redefined torture so that those that committed acts of torture could not be tried under US law. They use evidence gathered using techniques that we have tried men for in the past and have defined as torture as the reasoning we need such approval, and yet the men who were directly involved in these actions have come forward to denounce them. George Bush claims acts of torture have made us safer.

All of which is ironic when you look at the results. How can we as a nation be safer when our own ports and borders have been left unprotected? How can we as a nation be safer when they have sparred the life of our known enemy Osama Bin Laden to pursue personal political ideologies in the invasion of Iraq? How can we as a nation be safer when a large and growing portion of the world distrusts the United States? How do bungled decisions and mismanaged national security and myopic fiscal policies make us safer? How does outing a CIA covert agent add to the safety? And in a nation based upon ideas, how does the suppression of debate and ideas make us safer? How is it that 5 years after September 11th our first responders still can't communicate, and that makes us safer? The answer is of course it doesn't. That is what makes George Bush and the Republican Party position ironic and that is what threatens our future. We have witnessed two great tragedies under the eyes of George Bush and the Republican Party, September 11th and Hurricane Katrina and while they are from radically different causes, the common thread is that in each case George Bush and The Republican Party had intelligence that would have saved lives and they failed to act. Safer? It is ironic, given how our treasury has been drained that we are not.

It is ironic that as a nation that spends more on our military than ALL OF THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED that our politicians feel compelled to fear monger their way to an election. The United States spends over 500 Billion Dollars a year on our military, China ranks second at a bit over 60 Billion. If anything smacks of mismanagement it is our military spending. The issue is not whether we should spend the money, but what are we getting for our buck. Bush and Rumsfeld are the Ford Edsel of national defense.

If we examine our domestic security, irony raises its ugly head. In The United States we imprison a higher percentage of our population than any other nation on the planet; we are number one. We account for 4.6% of the world's population and 22% of the worlds prison population. There are over 2,135,000 American citizens in our prisons. Here's where irony comes into play. One might then expect with such a great number of our citizens incarcerated that we would have perhaps one of the lowest murder rates in the world right? WRONG. Out of a study of 40 nations, we ranked number 35, being beaten out only by Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and South Africa. Over 16,500 Americans are murdered each year. Thank Goodness we don't call that Terrorism or a great number of Americans would never leave their homes, we would be forced to walk through one ineffective security device after another, we would imprison more people, and advocate torture against those that may be plotting to kill us. It is further irony that the party that portends that their mismanagement of this nation and their claims of safety under their watch is the same party that placed assault weapons back on the streets despite the will of nearly 70% of the people and the objections of our police force.

It is ironic that as the richest nation on the planet, 18,000 of our fellow citizens die each year because they have no healthcare. As a nation we spend 2 trillion dollars a year on healthcare ($6,200 per person) and 46 MILLION AMERICANS are without healthcare, that is ironic. We spend a higher percentage of our GDP (16%) than any other industrialized nation (averaging about 10%), and yet they offer healthcare to all of their citizens. Do we live longer? Lower Infant Mortality rates? No and No is the answer. George Bush and The Republican Party passed changes to our Medicare and Medicaid legislation, they did so under nefarious circumstances, they lied about the cost, they placed fictitious ads on television news programs with Karen Ryan reporting, and they provided no provisions for price negotiations. Grandma and Grandpa are international felons as they smuggle their prescription drugs out of Canada or Mexico and into The United States.

It is ironic that under the economic theories of George Bush and of virtually all Republican Presidents since President Johnson declared war on poverty in 1964 that the percentage of our population living in poverty has grown under their watch and household income has been stagnant or has shrunk. The ironic part (or perhaps the insane part) is that their trickle down policies were proven to be wrong 25 years ago under Reagan and yet they try and try again. The Poverty Population grew under Nixon, held steady under Carter (average household income grew by 10%), swelled under Reagan, Swelled under Bush Sr., dramatically shrank under Clinton, and have swelled again under Bush Jr. and the Republican party. This data is available for all to review at the United States Census Bureau. Providing opportunities for those in need and promoting the great ideas of the common man work, tax cuts for the wealthy and blind eye corporate give-aways don't. Simple or simply ironic. Since 1964 we have spent 7 trillion dollars in the war on poverty, the good work of the Democrats has been continually undone by the Republicans. In a 2005 study by UNICEF of what they considered the world's wealthy nations The United States was second to last in the number of our children living in poverty. The country that was worse? Mexico. Nearly 1/5 of our children live in poverty.

It is ironic that our politicians continually rail about our taxes, when as a nation we have some of the lowest taxes on the planet. We are 10 to 20% lower than most industrialized nations. It is ironic that they divide us over the very idea of taxation and seemingly do very little to alter or change or improve the services provided. I would suggest that if you are making political support decisions on the basis of taxation you have fallen into an abyss. What we as a nation should be demanding is better management of our revenue to provide for the general welfare. What we must do is bring forward those great ideas of merit and not rely on mind numbing television ads or the powers of persuasion to convince us that one person or another is evil, but who amongst us has the best ideas. It is ironic that we complain about taxes and do nothing to demand changes in how our money is spent.

It is ironic that the Republican Party that was touting values and principles just years ago is fraught with corruption. It is ironic that the party that has suppressed ideas and debate now have candidates that call themselves "Independents". Absolute power corrupts absolutely, an axiom that has proven itself to be true once again. It is ironic that a man can have symbols of oppression hanging in his office, call another man "macaca" and claim to have been rebellious as a youth, no wait... I think George Allen is just lying. It is ironic that our media, which played such an important role in the founding of this nation has become more compliant than it should and has approached the kind of government approved reporting that our Founding Fathers revolted against. The mere fact that Fox News and Bill O'Reilly have become sounding boards for the Bush administration and Cheney Butt Puppets should make us all cringe. There needs to be a change in November. Democrats must take control of Congress. Our Founding Fathers envisioned in the 3 branches of government, balance, and that is lost. James Madison said in Federalist 47, "The accumulation of all powers legislative, executive, and judiciary in the same hands whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective may be justly pronounced as the very definition of tyranny". We have lost our way. In November please vote.

Jim Ridout
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Subject: How About A Provisional Government

Like what the PRD just set up in Mexico so as to press its demand for a recount of those ballots from last July's presidential election where there was a discrepancy between exit polls and the official vote count, as in our last two presidential elections. Why now this provisional government? Because with the November election only 40 days away and since it's we win, we change the world, we best get ready.

Huntington Beach, CA
A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Letter to Dan Abrams re: Keith Olbermann

Mr. Abrams,

If Fox has found a home among a rather small but very vocal right-wing base, why is there no real alternative? I have often stated that those silver-haired "peaceniks" from the 60's are now HOMELESS in terms of news they feel comfortable with. We are old enough to have our BS antennae well developed, and most of us don't believe a word out of this lying administration.

OLD PEOPLE HAVE LOTS OF MONEY! Until the government finds a way to kill Social Security and drive the pension providing companies out of business, this is your big block of viewers with both time to watch 24/7 and the funds to support your sponsors. The heavily mortgaged 30-somethings you court so ardently have very little disposable income -- their credit is overextended. You need to court the people with the money!

Please don't tell me that MSNBC viewers have to choose between FOX and CNN. It's almost as bad as Tweedle Dum(b) and Tweedle Dee. In spite of the "liberal media" crap that right-wingers spout; there is no TRULY liberal media out there that is available on the same basis as FOX and CNN. Sure, there are some individual programs, but no consistency and no availability 24/7.

I'm sure Keith Olbermann's ratings are soaring. He may just be the man Diogenes was seeking. It is rare that someone is allowed to speak truth to power, and I thank you for giving him the freedom to do this. However, if he is cancelled, you will have lost the news war forever. We're sick and tired of hearing nothing but administration positions mouthed by talking heads who are said to be "guests" -- give me a break! They are administration mouthpieces, repeating identical talking points provided daily by the Republican machine! Those on the left are usually way outnumbered (minimally 2-1) and not as well known as those bombastic defenders of the lies, who obviously have learned the lesson that if you shout out a lie often enough, it will be believed.

Think about it -- I keep giving you the ticket to success -- and you keep ignoring me. Ignore the silver-hairs at your own peril. You might just fail.


Sue in Hendersonville NC

Subject: Baghdad Burning

Does anyone know what has happened to Riverbend who writes the wonderful and heartbreaking blog, Baghdad Burning?

As the months have progressed her posts have become less frequent; just a couple posts per month.

Right now she hasn't posted in almost TWO months. Her last entry of August 3rd begins like this:

"Summer of Goodbyes..."

Residents of Baghdad are systematically being pushed out of the city. Some families are waking up to find a Kalashnikov bullet and a letter in an envelope with the words "Leave your area or else."

I took a chance and sent her an email, but have received no response. I do not know her but, like many of you, I have followed Riverbend's blog since the "war" began.

I am worried for her and her family. Any news would be helpful. Thanks, Buzzers!

Esmerelda of the Desert
Mojave Desert, California