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Monday, 14 December 2009 03:38

BuzzFlash Mailbag for December 14, 2009

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Subject: GOP Reindeer Song


You know Prancer and Wide-Stancer And Balder and Dash's fine vixen; But do you recall The Grandest Old Party of them all?

GOP Far Righties have a very lengthy nose, And if you ever saw it You would even say it grows.

Now all of the other reindeer Laugh and call them names. They never let poor Righties Play in any money games.

Then one foggy Christmas eve Santa came to say: GO Pees with your voice so loud, Won't you leave behind your cloud?

Then how the people loved them Shouting out with glee: GO Pees with hypocrisy, Please go back to history.

On Turgid and Gaudy! On Dunderhead and Haughty! To the bottom in a great Fall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

DP (With apologies to ad exec Robert May)

Newark, DE

Subject: WWJS??

Hi, Buzz!!

Bill Berkowitz asks "What would Jesus say" about the "CHRIST-mas tree" - that newest of all attempts to cash in on religious rightwingnuttery.

What comes to my mind (that Jesus might say) is this: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven." There's the little matter of walking the walk, which involves loving the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Or doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or not worrying about "paying tithes on mint and dill and cumin" while neglecting the more important things, such as justice and mercy. Justice and mercy are more important than what kind of Christmas tree you have. Justice and mercy are more important than whether you say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." Justice and mercy are FAR MORE IMPORTANT than obsessing over a "war on Christmas" that doesn't exist.

I repeat: THERE IS NO WAR ON CHRISTMAS. It's just another attempt by the Reich to keep us from having a good time. They might as well come out and say, "Bah, humbug."

So, everyone have the happiest of Hanukkahs, the greatest of Kwanzas, and the merriest of Christmases!

Jane Hawes
Edmond, OK (red-state Democrat)

Subject: The stock market is no indicator

We have 14% of Arizonans on food stamps. Sure, the stock market is doing well. Companies are profiting because they are laying people off. I don't think Obama and Bernacke are seeing the facts when they say we are in recovery.

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Higher Education By Merit

Private institutions are likely never to accept such a proposition - at least not to any significant extent - nor should they have to. But public colleges and universities should not also become accessible only to the privileged and wealthy. I have persistently advocated for establishment satellite campuses staffed and maintained by advanced students and assistant professors connected to main campuses by high internet connections. It's an excellent way to provide higher education to many thousands of more students while helping to pay the large salaries of the faculty and staff at the central campuses. Rising tuition costs are becoming a real barrier to higher education for students from lower or even middle class families. This is especially true here in California, where tuitions have recently been increased by a whopping thirty-two percent resulting in large demonstrations and campus sit-ins all across the state.

There's more at stake here than just the privations of individual students - this is a societal problem with broad ramifications at many different levels, from employers that cannot obtained the skilled workers that they need, to police and social services who have to deal with joining gangs and becoming involved with criminal activities such as selling drugs and petty theft. At some level everyone is affected - even the rich. There's another aspect to this that I don't believe has gotten nearly the attention that it deserves. When young people graduate from school with a heavy debt load, finding and keeping a job becomes a real necessity, making them an easier target for exploitation by unethical employers, longer hours, bullying - even coercing them into compromising positions or illegal activity where they would take the fall and be held accountable in the event of an enforcement action by regulators or the police.

A merit based system by contrast is good for society as a whole. The young latino man mowing a rich person's lawn, or a young black woman from the inner city facing the bleak prospect of a life of poverty or even prostitution would have every reason to exercise their God given talents and apply themselves diligently to a course of study at a state college or university allowing them to become tomorrow's scientist, engineer, teacher, doctor, designer, artist - or in whatever field their talents and ambitions propel them. Contrast that with the lay-about sons or daughters of the rich who are already fixed for life and are satisfied to virtually purchase an advanced degree with little inclination to give back to a society that has provided them with so much. Before Ronald Reagan was elected governor our state colleges and universities were tuition free and California was an entirely different place. The contraction of wealth and opportunity since that time has brought this great state to the point of economic and social collapse. We simply have to reverse this. Technology affords us that opportunity - but we're not taking advantage of it.

This is actually quite surprising given the election of President Obama and the very apparent dissatisfaction and manifest desire for change expressed by the majority of voters that enabled his ascension to the highest office in the land. Will his legacy be only clippings of flowery speech left to wilt in a porcelain vase or will he at some point stop acting like a senator and actually be the President that he was elected to be? Personally I believe that much depends on whether people on the left - and especially so-called progressives - will get their act together, stop propelling the career of people like SP - by keeping her name at the forefront of public discourse - stop toothlessly advocating for the punishment of yesteryear's shrubbery and instead apply themselves to actually achieving at least some of the lofty goals that candidate Obama outlined for us so clearly and eloquently during the election last year.

If people were to devote more of their writing and discourse to advocacy for specific goals that they feel strongly about, whether it's education or something else, then we could wrest our future out of the hands of our corrupted syndicate of a senate and their clientele of wealthy special interest groups and greedy corporations and make real progress towards realizing the hopes and dreams that seemed so real - almost touchable when President Obama took the oath of office. It is clear to me now that he is not himself the answer to all of our problems. I also refuse to believe that he is not a good hearted person with good intentions. He is a man with a talent for expressing succinctly the aspirations that we all have - those of people all over the world. But he is just a part, albeit an important part, of what it will take to move our country forward towards the brighter future that all of us want. Unfortunately that means that we're going to have to drag these GD republicans and "blue dog" democrats along with us. They are heavy, but they're still our brothers and sisters and we're going to have to tote their weight regardless of their kicking and screaming every step of the way.

The very things that republicans say we can't "afford" to do are the things that we can't afford not to do. When your only objective is to make money, you see things differently than when your objective is to make progress. Prosperity is a side-effect of making progress - not the other way around. The fact that their axle became wobbly over the eight long years of their majority tenure in government should be all the proof that we need that they are the party of moral and economic bankruptcy. Democrats are the big tent party, but if we don't want that tent to collapse on our heads then everyone has to help prop up the poles that support. I've submitted quite a few articles to the mailbag, but I've written many more to my representatives in congress, the DOT, DOE and other officials and entities of local, state and federal government. Still I know that I've not done my share. I've expressed more anger than I should have - largely out of disappointment that things have not been getting better and that official and corporate corruption seems to have us in an unbreakable grip. That's why I have come to like the grim faced Obama best. When he's reading the riot act to Wall Street I feel hope resurgent. There was an old hymnal that we sang in church when I was young, "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel and Push Along". That was my favorite.

Tim Mooring
San Francisco, CA

Subject: What did Nader say?

We need to stop blaming third parties. Ralph Nader said this health care bill was going to be nothing more than an insurance industry bailout and he is turning out to be right, as usual. (I voted for Cynthia McKinney, not Nader, by the way). The link below is showing (if you scroll down) a Democrat who believe we would have change. I knew that we would not.

A BuzzFlash Reader

Subject: Cognitive Dissonance On The Right And Moral Hazard On The Left Are What's Doing Us In

With right-winger cognitive dissonance (anxiety) a consequence of the contradiction between simultaneously held contradictory beliefs, such as America can do no wrong and America the world's troublemaker, whereas, moral hazard on the Left occurs when a left-winger gets rewarded, not punished (ie. praised rather than criticized), for engaging in electoral politics &/or other other status quo endeavors, which not only are futile* but ultimately self-destructive. Self-destructive in that said pursuits distract the public from the only action that can prevent doomsday**, namely, rising up en masse and changing the world. The remedy for the right-wingers' cognitive dissonance is is for them to work through the anxiety which, at the slightest hint that America is less than perfect, tends to discomfort and discombobulate them. The cure for the left-wingers' moral hazard is for them to be open to the possibility that their adherence to what's easy and familiar in politics is a deterrent to progress.

*not just futile but perhaps insane, based on the definition which holds that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and each time expecting a different outcome

**doomsday = perpetual war + global warming + economic collapse + time running out

A BuzzFlash Reader

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