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Monday, 25 September 2006 07:18

BuzzFlash Mailbag for September 25, 2006

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Subject: Who Cares About bin Laden?

"I don't know where bin Laden is.
I have no idea and really don't care.
It's not that important. It's not our priority." I am truly not that concerned about him." - G.W. Bush, 3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)

If I had just snuck into the most powerful nation on earth and flown airplanes into buildings, I'd have a few things on my mind. First of all, what about money for future attacks? That nation is powerful enough to get my funding cut off. Also, my crime is so heinous, how will I find allies? Thirdly, war unifies a nation. What if their leader makes a sincere case to his people that I should be stopped at any price?

Well, luckily, that leader and I enjoy the same funding source. My relatives have funded his oil projects since the 1970s. He's not going to uncover that hornet's nest. And lucky for me, after my attack, he invaded a nation that had nothing to do with me, creating such anger that it now functions as my training ground. What's more, he maintains a prison island full of people who also had nothing to do with me, except we share the same religion. I got worried in 2001 when he made that speech, "The terrorists didn't just hijack airplanes, they hijacked the true meaning of Islam." But these days, he doesn't praise Muslims. He buries them. Which is why I'm more popular than ever.

According to the New York Times, I quietly slipped back into Afghanistan in early 2006. The only Americans I saw were private contractors building oil infrastructure, and a few US servicemen functioning as their private militia. No wonder Condi Rice got an oil tanker named after her.

So I'm getting cozy and settling in. After all, President Bush said I'm no longer his concern. And to think I thought a planning a second 9/11 was going to be hard.

Joyce Calloway

Subject: Shame Shame Shame

Senators McCain, Graham, and Warner are either the kind of real weaklings that Karl Rove et al like to scare voters into thinking the Democrats are or they are the worst kind of cynical hypocrites playing a game to make it look like they're standing up to Bush when they had no intention of following through.

Either way it's a disgusting show.

It's frightening that torture will now be openly and officially approved and anyone who falls into the net of our secret prisons will never have any proper legal recourse. The bodies will just disappear - dead or alive. And who will protect our soldiers from the application of a horribly revised version of the golden rule - "Do unto others as they are doing unto you?"

Will all this really persuade enough voters that Bush is a serious protector of their safety to keep the Republicans in power?

When will the elected Democrats - all of them - get outraged and horrified and start shouting from the rooftops?

Colleen Clark
Cambridge, MA

Subject: "Damn Radicals Are At It Again!"

In regards to Hugo Chavez making comments about our fearless leader while standing on the soil of the motherland, I propose 2 new international laws. The 1st law requires that those people who would seriously respond to someone speaking facetiously be removed from our planet and made to colonize the moon so that they can no longer waste our precious oxygen. There they can converse with people who don't joke with one another, where every word uttered is in complete seriousness and no tongue is ever in-cheek.

The 2nd proposed international law states that if you are a world leader and another government targets you for removal by sponsoring a coup in your country, you hereby have the right to say "bad" things about the head of that government.

Now you can call me a radical if you'd like but I think that if I was Hugo Chavez and senior members of the Bush administration supported a coup against my democratically elected government, I could quite possibly find myself publicly calling George Bush some naughty names (see "Venezuela coup linked to Bush team").

Or if I was the President of a country that in the not-to-distant past had their democratically elected President removed by another country to install a King who was friendly to private oil interests, I think I still might harbor some ill feelings about the whole thing (see U.S. & British sponsored coup in overthrowing Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh to install Shah in Iran).

I know it would be tough but my dream is to get a 3rd international law that requires the public flogging with a wet noodle of people who incite tensions further by regurgitating information that is just plain wrong. When President Ahmadinejad allegedly said that "Israel must be wiped off the map" his words were misinterpreted according to Juan Cole, University of Michigan Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History (Informed Comment).

Simply put, Iranians don't use the phrase "wiped off the map," just like you'll never hear a Ukrainian utter the phrase "let's play ball." The President of Iran was attempting to say that the Israeli regime occupying Palestinian land cannot and should not be legally recognized by the state of Iran. WHAT AN EXTREMIST!

As for his statement that the "holocaust" is a "myth" Ahmadinejad was pretty clear. It may be a semantical distinction but is it anti-Semitic to point out that 23 million Russians died in World War II at the hands of the Nazis but yet the word "holocaust" refers solely to the murder of 3 million Jews? Most people see a distinction between war and genocide but I think the idea of the "holocaust" as being a Jewish phenomenon lends support and sympathies in this country for the continued occupation of Palestinian land by Israeli forces.

And what is most unfortunate is that this continued regurgitation of incorrect information (i.e. Chavez is a dictator) has the effect of instilling in Americans that "we" are in some way fundamentally better than "them" which if you cut past the rhetorical bullshit is almost exactly what Ahmadinejad and Chavez are trying to point out, after all they have been literally on the "cutting edge" of our foreign policy formulated out of this hubris.

Damn radicals!

The Indy Voice
Wake Forest, NC

Subject: Astroturfing

Remember the media propaganda blitz that the Republican administration planned to use in Iraq to gain approval of their policies by the Iraqis? What if they have implemented a similar strategy to promote their agenda here at home? I know we've all heard of how they paid journalists to promote certain issues, but I believe they are involved in a sneakier campaign of letter writing by hired "guns" to write letters to newspapers posing as ordinary citizens expressing opinions. Such a letter appeared in my hometown newspaper under the name "Ron Goodden". My son googled his name, and the result was very interesting. This name is either a pseudonym for such an organization, or he has an extraordinary amount of time to write letters to publication all over the world. Try it yourself! The question is how many others names are representative of such a front, in how many publications are they appearing, and are we taxpayers paying for this. I do believe this needs follow-up examination.

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: It's About Damned Time

I looked forward with great anticipation to President Clinton's interview with Chris Wallace on Fox. Normally, I don't even watch any Fox News Shows but I made an exception for this one.

BRAVO, President Clinton. It's about damned time that someone strap on a pair of gonads and let these shrill liars and enablers have it with both barrels loaded.

This is precisely WHAT the Democratic leadership should do to win elections in the future. Tell the unvarnished truth. They need to stress what President Clinton wanted to do implement anti-terrorism measures in this country that the neo-cons refused to do for the GOOD of this country.

It's about damned time that these lying, cheating, scamming neocons are exposed for the vermin that they are. I don't trust the sudden changes of mind that so many of them are mouthing now simply because the tide of public opinion has turned against them.

Not only did the Bushistas abdicate their responsibilities to prevent 9-11, but we also need to remember that if Bush hadn't been so twisted in his thinking and visions the whole war in Afghanistan might not have been necessary. The Taliban AGREED to turn OBL over to the US at least twice before the "coalition of the willing" began military operations in Afghanistan. The only thing the Taliban asked was to SEE the evidence, but Bush refused to show it to them, or, as far as I know the United Nations.

I've often thought that this was odd, and the only logical reason Bush refused is because there WAS no evidence. As it turns out, there is merit to that line of thinking. If you check out the FBI's "most-wanted" list of terrorists, 9-11 is not even listed as one of the "charges" against OBL. According to reports I have read the reason is because the FBI can't establish proof of OBL's complicity that would stand up in a court of law.

Now there are reports from major intelligence agencies stating that Bush's "War on Terror" has only made terrorism worse.

When will our esteemed leaders wake up to reality, and not their version of reality?

Lisa Johnson
Milwaukee, WI

Subject: Muslims, Mexicans, Bush, Rice

Why is there no discussion of the linkage between Bush and Rice with Muslims and Mexicans? All terrorists are Muslims and Mexicans are illegally entering our nation by the millions. Our Nation is on the edge of falling into decline and Buzzflash readers appear to not see this and Buzzflash appears uninterested or bought- to not expose the obvious: Bush and his pals are destroying our Nation through alliance with their good friends the Saudis and Mexicans.

Doris Patrick
Santa Barbara, CA

Subject: Issues Not Insults

The closer we get to the mid-term elections the more the rhetoric is heating up. The Rovian Republicans have their "fear and smear" talking points all ready and any and all Democrats are in their sights.

We will hear precious little about any issues. It will be all slime all the time. This tactic so turns off some voters that they don't even bother to vote any more. "Why bother", they gripe, "They're all alike. They all suck!" Hard as it may be to argue that many politicians do suck, are you helping to solve the problem by opting out?

I honestly believe that the Rovian Republicans want to keep voters so disillusioned and disgusted that many decent people will just stay home on Election Day. And those are the very people who are needed to get this country out of the muck and slime and back into the decency and honesty we as citizens want our country to represent.

The United States is not perfect and should not try to pretend that it is. Our country has made mistakes. Still we have always tried to do better and have gotten better.

We've slipped backwards badly in the last 6 years. My God, Americans are actually discussing torture. Discussing it as if is ever right. If you don't want to vote out those who have brought us to this then your excuse about voting is a lie you tell yourself to excuse you from your civic duty.

Marjorie L. Swanson
Kenosha, Wisconsin

Subject: John McCain Sets Us Straight - Yeah, Right

"Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) named three measures that he said would no longer be allowed under a provision barring techniques that cause serious mental or physical suffering by U.S. detainees: extreme sleep deprivation, forced hypothermia and 'waterboarding,' which simulates drowning. He also said other 'extreme measures' would be banned."

"It's clear we have to have the high moral ground," said McCain. Absolutely, that's why his kind of straight talk is so important: everyone knows exactly what unacceptable "extreme" sleep deprivation is, as opposed to "aggressive" but acceptable "ordinary" sleep deprivation. And, of course, "forced" hypothermia is outrageous and un-American compared to unforced. And he's surely right that "other extreme measures" would be banned, but he leaves out: "if the legislation were written differently." In truth, McCain mentions only practices already named in the rewritten army field manual. Strictly speaking, he has not named a single practice banned by the new legislation he supports.

Albert Clark

Subject: Living In A State of Fear

What we've been trying to escape from since way, way back when. Unfortunately, we've failed miserably, being that we're past fear and panic now and into the realm of perpetual terror.

Which could change in November depending upon who wins the election. Should the war-makers win then things get worse, whereas, we the people win and, presto, we're no longer living in a state of fear, and what a blessing this will be.

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: McWaterboard Is Not el Diablo

I must respectfully disagree with Chavez and those who say President Farty McWaterboard is the Devil. He does almost perfectly qualify as the Anti-Prince of Peace.

I'm no expert on the theology of Hell, but that might make him the Son of the Devil or something. He just isn't competent enough to be the Devil, though, and he sure doesn't represent the Second Coming.

As his new nickname, Farty McWaterboard, indicates, he is really more of an evil demented clown than an emissary from Hell. However, all of these considerations are as nothing against the need to stop Farty and all his cohorts (like his sidekick Sneery "The Shotgun" Halliburton) before they do more damage.

Douglas Miller
Lawrence, KS

Subject: Jaw-Dropping Hypocrisy About Torture and the Geneva Conventions

"We got what we wanted, and that is the preservation of the Geneva Conventions," McCain, an Arizona Republican, said on NBC's "Today" show. "There will be no more torture. There will be no more mistreatment of prisoners that would violate standards of conduct we would expect of people who work for the United States of America."

Really? You decide if McCain and Co. deserve our thanks or condemnation. >From the language of the proposed new legislation:

Geneva Conventions:

"As provided by the Constitution and by this section, the President has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions?."

"No person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto in any habeas or civil action or proceeding to which the United States, or a current or former officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States, is a party as a source of rights, in any court of the United States or its States or territories."


"The act of a person who commits, or conspires or attempts to commit, an act specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control for the purpose of obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation, coercion, or any reason based on discrimination of any kind."

"The term 'serious physical pain or suffering' means bodily injury that involves--
(1) a substantial risk of death;
(2) extreme physical pain;
(3) a burn or physical disfigurement of a serious nature, not to include cuts, abrasions, or bruises; or
(4) significant loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty."

Keeping (1)-(4) in mind, if, for example, you are repeatedly Tasered [i.e., given a 50,000-volt shock which involuntarily contracts all your muscles] are you "tortured" under this definition? Will you be "tortured" if you are beaten on the soles of the feet? Hung from your arms or feet for hours? Burned, but not so as to produce a disfigurement of a "serious nature?" deprived of sleep? Repeatedly struck (e.g., with a sand-filled plastic hose) in a way that leaves only "cuts, abrasions and bruises?" have pins driven under you nails? (Is the pain really "extreme"?) Are handcuffed for days? Are left in a dark cell for days, weeks or months? Have your face covered with a gas mask, or a hand placed over your mouth and nose, to induce temporary asphyxia? The list may be enlarged indefinitely. Human cruelty has shown endless inventiveness, and it is certainly inventive enough to evade these restrictions.

If I don't "specifically intend" (1)-(4), but, say, only specifically intend that you should suffer a "marginal" risk of death, "non-extreme" pain, a burn not "seriously" disfiguring, or only a "temporary" or partial "impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty," then I am home free. But how are you doing? Not too good? If you feel your Geneva Convention Article 3 rights were violated, tough luck, every court in the land is closed to you. Sue me in France.

Albert Clark

Subject: Which Is Worse?

Dear Buzz,

What Colin Powell said at the UN on Feb. 5, 2003, was far worse than what either President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or President Hugo Chavez said last week.

Mr. Powell gave a presentation in which he lied to the UN members (and the American public) about Iraq's non-existent WMDs and gave his nod of approval to an unnecessary war that has cost more American lives than were lost in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Powell's deceptions at the UN have also led to causing the Iraqi people more pain and loss of life than they endured in any similar three-year period under Saddam Hussein.

There is a childhood saying that "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me ".

A little name-calling will never be as bad as lying to start a war.

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Why Democrats Can't Get Elected

Dear Buzzflash:

Is it any wonder why the Democratic candidates can't get elected? Below are some suggestions from memos written by "several top strategists" - Democratic campaign consultants - cited in the article:

"Welcome the national security debate and engage in it." This is where Democrats try to be more draconian than the craziest Republican. We all know how well that's been working for them so far.

"Stress the seriousness of the threat and Democrats' determination to address it, using statements such as, "We need stronger tools to monitor, hunt down and kill terrorists." The administration openly supports the use of torture on detainees. Rather than challenge the GOP and the nation to consider returning to the implementation of "due process", here Democratic candidates are advised to ratchet up the level of "machismo" by advocating extrajudicial murder. This is what comes of trying to be more Republican than the Republicans. I'd like to think that any candidate who repeated this statement would be laughed off the stage. Unfortunately, someone is bound to be humorless enough to think this is really a good idea.

"Accuse Bush of mismanaging the war in Iraq." Not a new suggestion. It hasn't worked yet. Wouldn't continuing to follow this suggestion fit the definition of insanity? (Doing the same thing repeatedly, expecting different results.)

The last suggestion is identified in the AP article as being on a memo issued by Democracy Corps. I looked them up, its James Carville's campaign consulting firm. "Stress that Democrats offer a 'better way to fight terrorism'. Example: call for inspections of all cargo containers entering the country.'" Sounds good, doesn't it? On C-SPAN yesterday, I heard the figure of $10 billion thrown around as an estimated cost. Other considerations are the suitability and reliability of the technology and the number of containers that can be examined in a day with a minimal impact on port traffic. This is especially important for time-sensitive shipments such as imported produce. (I live near the Port of Los Angeles, said to be the busiest in the nation.)

All of these suggestions make the same mistake. They instruct Democrats to fight Republicans on Republican turf. They're all "responses" to Republican talking points. None of them are original Democratic policy positions. Using these statements, no Democrat will be able to effectively counter a Republican opponent. Democratic candidates need to force their opponents out of their comfort zone(s). They could do this either by presenting new answers to existing problems, or better yet, by shifting the focus to other unique challenges facing our nation.

Thank you for your time.


Alicia Siegel
Long Beach, CA

Subject: Schwarzenegger's Health Care Veto

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a universal health care bill Friday, saying it would create a "vast new bureaucracy."

So Schwarzenegger wants "to see something that addresses affordability, shared responsibility and the promotion of healthy living."

What a jerk. And what a bunch of frickin' baloney he is spewing here.

Stunning how politicians, whose health care needs are well provided for (with our tax money), glibly deny access to the same medical care to the rest of us, under their pathetically dishonest and overblown concerns about creating a "bureaucracy."

Bureaucracy shmureaucracy. As if the current American exploitative and misnamed "health care" system was not bureaucratic. Why not be truthful and say directly that the interests of big insurance and pharmaceutical companies are what dictates Schwarzenegger and his ilk's refusal to implement universal health coverage for the US citizens?

Politicians are particularly ill-equipped to judge the woeful state of our health care mess since they are out of touch with common people's lives.

They should walk a day or two in the shoes of millions of regular folks who, despite working hard, oftentimes juggling two or more jobs, cannot afford a physical, much less appropriate treatments for illnesses that inevitably will strike them during their lifetime. No matter how much you promote "healthy living," almost all of us, sooner or later, become ill and require medical assistance.

And, by the way, how does one go about acquiring "healthy living" when struggling to keep two jobs, neither of which pays enough to afford decent nutrition or time to attend to one's physical and emotional needs?

Ahnold should give that speech on shared responsibility and healthy living to the American working poor and see how well it is received. Perhaps before he opens his big mouth on the subject, the Gropinator can re-acquaint himself with reality of people's lives ruined by either a lack of access to appropriate medical services or obscene medical bills accrued as a result of an illness.

Either that, or stick to groping and pumping iron, as this is something which at least he knows.



Subject: Democrat Hypocrite of the Week

Well, still no mention at BuzzFlash about the chicken s#@t Dems defending "THE DEVIL"?

Can't bring yourself to criticize the idiot Dems? They have been given so much ammo to go after this filthy administration but all they can ever manage to do is shoot themselves in the foot. Rove must be laughing himself sick. Be fair - you need a Democrat Hypocrite of the Week - Robert Byrd would have won when he refused to support the filibuster of Alito. It goes on and on.

Any member of Congress who does not walk out right now - who actually legitimizes the "debate" on the authorization of torture (say it again - "TORTURE!!!") by continuing to participate in this show belongs in the war crimes dock along with Dickie, Donnie, Condi and duhduh?. And the only reason traitor Colin Powell spoke up was in hopes of keeping his own ass out of the dock.

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Turning Back The Armada

The one that's readying now (aircraft carrier and all) to make war upon Iran. Turn it back how? On the sixth of November, when we the people take back Congress,that's how.

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Talking to Charlie Rangel

I just sent this to Charles Rangel.

First you have to use his zip code to even get in the e-mail door.

What the hell are you talking about? Even though Bush has lead the entire world down the road to destruction on made up reasons, no one who can't vote for him gets to criticize? I live in Oklahoma, but every damn thing you and the rest of congress does affect me, but I don't get to complain to you so I put a fake zip code.

When you guys stop doing things that affect people outside your district then you can say stupid stuff like, if you can't vote for me you can't complain?

Bush is a thug of at least the magnitude of Chaves and maybe more. Personally I think if there is an anti-Christ, Bush is it. He fits the biblical description to a tee.

Karen Webb
Moore, Oklahoma.

Subject: Hugo Chavez at the UN

Let's see, Bush and company have encouraged and assisted those who would like to see Chavez ousted by any means; Pat Robertson several months ago called for Chavez's assassination; and Chavez doesn't play along with the big oil interests of the USA as so many other South American leaders have in the past; plus, Chavez is for helping the poorest people in Venezuela.

That Cheney and Bush loathe Chavez is a no-brainer. Bush has long played loose with terminology when referring to leaders who do not play footsy with him. So, it should come as no shock when Chavez calls it like he sees it!


Creed Ballew