The opinions expressed in the Mailbag are not necessarily those of BuzzFlash. More reader opinion is in our Contributor section. You can write to the Mailbag at the Mailbag Contact form. Guidelines for submissions are at BuzzFlash FAQ #18.
[BuzzFlash Note: Your editor regrets there was a delay in posting these letters. We ran into a glitch. The July 20, 2006 Mailbag is here.]
Subject: Again Bush Thinks He Is Above the Rule of Law!
ONCE AGAIN Bush thinks he is above the rule of law and he has his supposed 'legal spokesperson' A. Gonzales (Torquemada) tell us that ONCE AGAIN Bush is the ONE and ONLY Decider on this subject of electronic monitoring and the same excuse all the time is "national security." Since when does Gonzales have to go out and speak out for Bush again, can't he be man enough to do it on his own?
This absolutely INFURIATES ME TO NO END! He has not only overstepped his authority before but now he blatantly steps over the feet of all Americans by blocking the court's power to make a fair decision on this manner. He (Bush) has misused his executive powers to the maximum and he must be brought down and held accountable by Congress, the Supreme Court, and the people of the United States who are the only ones who can stop this blatant abuse of power!
In one and a half years (since he began his second term) Bush has gone up this far on the ladder of power. Think of what has yet to happen if Congress, the Supreme Court and the People continue to let him to do what he is doing (two and a half more years of his term left, or more if he suddenly decides he is going to be the leader for more time).
People, we must stop this from continuing any further.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Give the Folks a Hand
Some days the death and destruction around the world, and the dishonesty and stupidity in our country depresses me so much I want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and give up.
Our leaders don’t lead. Many of our religions preach hate and violence. Citizens don’t give a damn about the sacrifices it took to give them the rights and freedoms they so carelessly throw away.
Then I read the letters in the BuzzFlash Mailbag. They're written with passion and intelligence. The writers know what’s going on in the world. They don’t go to church to listen to politics or go to a political rally to have someone preach to them about “Christianity.”
I read letters from people like Jackie Tierney of Rutland, Iowa and Shirley in St. Louis and I feel better. These ladies aren’t about to be fooled or foolish when it comes time to vote. Proud to meet you!
Letters from Big Dave in Queens NY and Amicusbriefs from the USA. People with wit and wisdom who don’t need to pound their chests, wrap themselves in a flag and tell us they’re patriots. Their words tell us. Their words tell us that there are still good, decent, Americans who are willing to stand up and be counted. You, too, Mark Pederson from Reno, Nevada. Proud to meet all of you!
I know that Brian from Toronto sometimes finds the sheer stupidity of some Americans beyond belief. So do we, Brian. Just use our country as a good example of what you will have to fight in your own. They will come for you just as they came for us. We weren’t paying attention. We didn’t understand. Maybe we should have, but we didn’t. You will not have that excuse.
I know I left out a lot of people whose letters I read and look forward to every day. You people are all great! I am proud to be a part of your community. I wish we could all sit down with a cup of coffee and talk until the sun came up.
As for the problems of the world? Don’t look to Washington for solutions. Look everywhere from New Jersey to Nevada from Oklahoma to Wisconsin, from coast to coast and border to border. That’s where the smart folks live. And a whole lot of fools. I still believe that we outnumber them.
Subject: Sh!t! He said sh!t!
I say sh!t all the time. And [email protected] and f*ck. Can't fault the idiot for the words. But the shallow and superficial thought he expressed is truly frightening. Did Babs teach that clod any table manners? Yuck! He made we want to barf.
Kathy Gustafson city-st:
Subject: Mailbag 7/18
So far as the bi**hing about Joe and Pro life, it is just a fact...that no one can honestly be Pro life....and Pro war...just my thoughts.
A suit has been filed in the City of St. Louis against the republican leaders (we once never had REPUBLICAN leaders) about the ID photos they have said we all must have in order to vote this year. It is not bad enough...that they are bringing in those diebold machines. Now, if you know, most elderly women...do not have a driver's license....and I have heard that they have to have their original birth certificate, a proof of residence....and a couple of other things! Everyone knows, that the folks who are coming out in great numbers in this town are going to be the elderly, and most of them are democrats. This town is getting as bad as the country...they will steal an election any way they can!
I have been on chat rooms enough...to know that sub-intellectual persons....are really on to this fundamentalist christian thing...and really think that Bush is going to bring on the "rapture?" When I was a kid in downstate Missouri, I was taught that the world was ending in fire....and the only ones who will escape that...would be the people who were so good, they would go into a place of purgatory...where who in the world knows what would happen. But, not the chatterers...they just think that Bush is God...and I happen to think he is uhhhhh...the anti Christ? Sorry..that is really what I think. In the past days, seeing him in St. Petersburg....eating like he hadn't eaten in a week...and using nasty language. I would gladly look for the number 6 6 6 !! Blair did look uncomfortable, I wonder if he ever thinks about what in the hell this man is!
Shirley ... St. Louis
Subject: To Shirley in St Louis
Thanks, Shirley,we will be hopefully waiting and watching together... And to you Buzz... I went to your link in your email from John Boly from Wis..."Wikipedia" and I think it is something that every one of your readers should read ...What's more is that I totally agree with all that I read there ... I once saw them do a demolition of one of the famous Nevada nightclubs (the name of which escapes me right now) and believe me that is just what the falling of towers looked like on 9/11; and to Carol Hagner of Mo ... From the definitions that you observed in the dictionary about "false"and "stability" ... wouldn't putting the two together be considered an oxymoron? So much for Condi's EXTENSIVE resume and claimed education. One more thing ... about Bushie's "PIG OUT"....wasn't he ever taught to not talk with his mouth full?
Maybe it's a "silver spoon" thing.
Subject: To the Honorable Chancellor Angela Dorothea Merkel
On behalf of a civilized America, I want to apologize to you for the condescending way that George W. Bush treated you as I have seen the pictures of him giving you a back massage. That is no way to treat a head of state as you discuss issues of global interests. In this week where he discussed pigs, as the Middle East lights up due to our aggression as well as Israel’s, to his use of expletives, and seeing the way he treated you, I hang my head in shame as an American for his despicable behavior. As a person of German heritage, we are honorable people, and respectful ones at that. When I looked at those pictures that are finding their way around the Internet, the only thing I could do was to cringe in embarrassment. Please do not think that all Americans are that way, Chancellor Merkel, because we are not. Lastly, as we do see the Middle East light up with Bush’s support of the bloodshed that continues, once again I must congratulate Germany for its non-support of our illegal invasion of Iraq. When your country refused to aid George W. Bush, that is when I puffed my chest out in pride of my German heritage.
PS: Please send your own by going to this link: http://www.bundesregierung.de/Webs/Breg/EN/Service/Email/email.html__nnn=true
I was thinking that a catchy campaign phrase for the Dems would be:
"Cancel the Contract"
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Israel's Share of the Blame
I don’t know if you’ve linked to any other stories about this Israeli kidnapping the day before the obsessively reported Palestinian retaliation:
KIDNAPPED BY ISRAEL (medialens)
Both British and American media turned a blind eye to Israel’s actions, presumably because it doesn’t fit the all-purpose middle east storyline: plucky underdog Israel (who’s the overdog?) “defends” itself.
This is an interesting overview of Israel’s Palestinian policy for the last few decades and its phenomenal lack of success:
U.S. Policy in Lebanon (noquarter)
[BuzzFlash Note: The hostilities between Israel and its neighbors gravely concern us all. BuzzFlash's editorial position is spelled out in: While Civilians on Both Sides Perish in ME, Bush Goes from Pig Talk to Shi*! -- A BuzzFlash Editorial; and in Under Six Years of Failed Bush Policies, The Middle East Crisis Has Intensified -- A BuzzFlash News Analysis. We encourage our readers to read both articles. In the Mailbag, we will post varied viewpoints and observations reflecting our readers' understanding, not just our own editorial position. We urge readers to help provide context and analysis.]
Subject: Letter sent to George Will and WaPo: Comment on “Transformation’s Toll”
I am writing to extend uncharacteristic kudos to George F. Will for his recent harsh criticism of the neoconservative movement in the Washington Post as well as on ABC’s "This Week" opinion forum. This criticism is perhaps overdue on the part of Will and other traditional American conservatives, but in such a case; better late than never. Will’s shock regarding the magical single-mindedness with which PNAC signatories and their whelps view the frequent and unaccountable use of the American military, however, appears to be at a loss in regard to a coherent explanation for this position on the part of the neocons.
The answer is simple: they like war.
The more wacky neocons, such as David Horowitz (who disdains the label, but embraces the ideology) will come out and say that war is the natural state of mankind, and that it is counterproductive - or even evil - to oppose its continual manifestation. Those more urbane pundits closer to the movement’s Straussian roots may or may not share the extremity of Horowitz’s opinion (they are perhaps too cagey to utter such unpalatable beliefs), but they obviously see the wielding of our military might as a desirable end in itself. If one looks at the arguments of the neoconservatives over the past five years, it is clear that they consider a particular geopolitical problem to be solved as soon as open hostilities break out. In many cases the original "problem" they perceive appears to be the absence of open hostilities in the first place. The obvious objective of this sort of militarism is not the welfare of the nation, but rather is illustrated by the truism laid down by Socrates, Machiavelli, and Goering: warfare tends to centralize civic power. For this reason and no other the neocons make themselves willing servants of the overly energetic executive.
People like Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan, Newt Gingrich, and Charles Krauthammer have been writing furiously in the past few weeks in advocacy of attacks on Iran and Syria - but unless pressed in televised debate forums they will not currently utter a word regarding the disaster their ideas have wrought in Iraq. According to their warped ethos; that problem has been solved, and it's time to work on another.
Just a couple of quick observations about "What's He Smokin" Joe and the Connecticut Senate race.
1) Joe says he's filing as an independent candidate in the general election even though he still considers himself a Democrat and plans to continue caucusing with the Democrats upon re-election. So to put it another way, he's going to run as an independent without actually being one - just like he's been running for the last 18 years as a Democrat without actually being one. Well, at least he's consistent. In a twisted, demented (Joe-Mented?) kind of way.
2) The name Joe has decided upon for his new "party that isn't really" is "Connecticut for Lieberman." Let that sink in. I know the Buzzflash editors caught the message there as soon as he announced this little tidbit.
NOT "Lieberman for Connecticut" but "Connecticut for Lieberman."
Which once again proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Lieberman believes the voters of Connecticut are there for HIS benefit instead of the other way around. Joe said the other day that he has higher allegiances than to the Democratic Party. (shades of Bush's "higher Father?" Can Joe go two minutes without ripping off someone else's lines?) You may feel free to assume Joe was counting himself as one of those higher allegiances there. Because, as always, when it comes right down to it, it's always all about Joe.
Karl M Evans
Subject: Drunk or Stoned?
You have slandered drunks and drug abusers everywhere.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: Real Men Go To Tehran
so, help me get this straight. the sleeping dragon awakes on 9/11 and soon takes a hard right into iraq where 3 yrs. later it morphs into a paper tiger because world opinion (there are still a few independent news desks-who knew?) keeps it from calling up the big guns. enter mini-me (israel - stage right of course) to demonstrate some full spectrum dominance to provoke a reaction the paper tiger needs to turn back into the dragon. if an israeli air strike kills a leftover american in lebanon do the dragon's stealth bombers pulverize iran and/or syria?
Subject: Greg Palast
I note that Mr. Palast has earned your "Wings of Justice" award. When is someone going to call him on his misguided nonsense concerning peak oil?
Subject: This Is Genius
This quote: "Elections are the radical tool of the working class -- the great leveler of the powerless against the too-powerful. But the candidates themselves, both Republican and Democrat, tend to come from the privileged and pampered class. Votes are just the surfboards on which their ambitions ride."
Thank you and bless you, BUZZ, for providing a forum for America's finest, hell, ONLY, investigative reporter!
Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: Profiles in Corruption: Kyl's Watergate Moment
[Note to BuzzFlash readers: Senators Jon Kyl and Lindsay Graham concocted a fictional discussion that never took place on the floor of Congress. They included this embellished version of the Congressional Record into the amicus brief they submitted to the Supreme Court in support of the Bush administration's case in Hamdan Vs. Rumsfeld. It was a blatant scam attempt to deceive the Supreme Court and sway their decision. See John Dean's Findlaw article for the full backstory - http://writ.lp.findlaw.com/dean/20060705.html]
July 11, 2006 letter to Howard Dean
Dear Mr. Dean -
Today I received a request to sign a petition demanding that Sen. Jon Kyl apologize for his shameful behavior in inserting a manufactured discussion into the Congressional record.
Can't Democrats do better than just whining about it when the Republicans are caught red-handed breaking the law? If Democrats don't start standing up for law and order we will be looking at another 4 to 8 years of Republican malfeasance.
Imagine... an armed bank robber bursts in to rob your bank... what do you do?
A. Tell him he should knock first?
B. Point out it's rude to take things that aren't his?
C. Arrest the bank robber.
D. Try A. and B. first and try C if he hasn't shot you dead by then?
Instead of circulating petitions asking Kyl to apologize, how about circulating something more meaningful? A friend of mine who is an attorney shared the following comments with me. How about it? Why don't you circulate this and see if you folks can't come up with something stronger?
By falsifying the Congressional Record, an official document of the United States, and then using this falsification to try to bring about a favorable resolution in a Supreme Court case is a matter which should be criminally investigated. Below is just one of several possible grounds to ask for his indictment. The petitions should be going to Paul Charlton, the US Attorney in phoenix, demanding that a grand jury be convened to investigate this matter.
TITLE 18--CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE PART I--CRIMES CHAPTER 47--FRAUD AND FALSE STATEMENTS Sec. 1001. Statements or entries generally(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully--(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party's counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to--(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 749; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 104-292, Sec. 2, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3459.)
While I've got your attention, please see Thom Hartmann's latest article at http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/071106G.shtml
Democrats need to reframe the national security question by asking WHY IS GEORGE BUSH SPYING ON DEMOCRATS??
You're right Brian. Can't tell you how many times I've thought of begging my Canadian friends in Victoria and Saskatoon to take me in because, in frustration and despair, I stopped counting the amount of "protests" I attended in Reno and San Francisco which accomplished absolutely nothing. I also stopped counting the number of emails I've sent and phone calls I've made to my senators and representatives which also accomplished absolutely nothing. I WAS protesting! Millions of us were but, you see, we have a one party system here and until that becomes perfectly clear to every liberal in this land nothing will change.
I have also experienced that "death of a soul" of which you so eloquently spoke to Suzanne and this is what I have done in order to restore mine:
1. When I moved from Nevada to California I changed my voter registration to Green. I wrote to my Democratic Senator in Nevada and told him why and to my Democratic Senators in California to tell them why, as well -- I will NOT vote for a Democrat who, in any way, shape or form, supports the illegal, immoral, horrifying war in Iraq or who, in any way, shape or form supports any pathetic Republican agenda. Period.
2. I moved into a remote, conservative retirement community where there are no fewer than 10 American flags waving in the breeze 24/7/365 -- which, to me, means at least half of the denizens here approve of Bush and America and are happy to let any passerby know it so, in "protest", I very quietly set about creating a Peace Garden in my front yard above which I proudly fly the Peace Flag. Not a soul has mentioned it to me.
3. I have completely stopped watching TV with the exception of a few decent programs. I buy my gas from Citgo. I research a corporation's policies before I make any major purchase from them. I educate myself and I educate those around me.
My point is this: we must plant the seeds of PEACE wherever we are. We must make it obvious to the jackals around us that we are of PEACE. It really does seem like an insignificant maneuver, I realize that, but what if all across this once great land those old blue peace flags began appearing in window after window? There's a powerful, non-violent message in that. What if all the liberals who access progressive websites like BuzzFlash changed their party affiliation from Democrat to whatever else suits them most? Huh (or, eh)? What if? I did! And I feel a helluva lot better for it. Do you think the Democratic Party would begin to wonder what was happening to it's base if it's base began to jump ship in huge numbers? Protest! Change your party affiliation.
I continue to protest however and whenever I can. I never shut up, I never let a neocon get the best of me, and I never stop praying for an end to this nightmare. The reason Bush has been successful is that his evildoers have been remarkably adept at crushing the life from those of us who believe in peaceful coexistence.
Don't stop Suzanne. You live in a haven of progressive thought, unlike most of us, which must afford you some comfort and, quite simply, we need conscious people like you more than ever now.
Ghandi achieved, through peaceful protest, a rather stunning success against a government that's right up there with the modern Israelis in terms of heartless, brutish suppression. If he could do it so can we. It simply takes the courage of one's convictions and mine is...
I liked your review of Hannah Arendt's THE ORGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM and mention of her book titled EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM: A STUDY IN THE BANALITY OF EVIL. I reviewed both books for Amazon.com, and I have been impressed with Arendt's work ever since I read her ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM in the late 1960s while in graduate school. Your review is well written and thoughtful. I hate to admit it, but yours was better than mine.
I was also impressed and pleased that someone revived Arendt's book which I thought was going to be consigned to the Orwellian Memory Hole. Readers should be grateful that you resurrected Arendt's books in your "Mailbag." While THE ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM requires close reading and careful attention, your comments that it is worth the effort is so very true. You should write an extended review of Arendt's EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM mentioned above.
Again, I am impressed and pleased with your efforts.
THE BUZZFLASH MAILBAG