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Guest Commentary (4672)


By George Lakoff

It’s always satisfying for a scientist to see his or her predictions proved right experimentally (which happens often) and actually discussed in the press (which happens rarely). As a cognitive scientist and linguist, it’s been a good couple of weeks for me and my colleagues, especially in the NY Times.  Experiments are hard to do and I celebrate all the experimenters cited.  Experiments are also hard to report on, and I praise the journalists at the Times for a fine job.

Metaphor and Embodiment

Back in 1980, Mark Johnson and I, in Metaphors We Live By, demonstrated the existence of metaphorical thought and argued that metaphor and other aspects of mind were embodied. That book, and our 1987 books, my Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things and Mark’s The Body in the Mind, helped to start a cottage industry in the study of embodied cognition.


By Dee Evans

Hey Dems…would you wake up already? 

I’m really getting tired of seeing you looking like the slower, weaker version of the Tri-Lambs from Revenge of the Nerds.
Now, I’m no scholar, so someone is going to have to help me with the longer history of why the Republicans have always been seen as the ‘stronger’ party and the Democrats have always been seen as the ‘weaker’.
But I must say that right now, I’m seeing it pretty well.  All I see on the news (o


By Arthur Plum

If someone flew an airplane into a building full of people to protest the Afghan war, it would be called a terrorist incident. However, when Mr. Joe Stack flew his plane into an IRS building and killed people, the news media calls it. “the accident,” and “the incident.” The local Texas prosecutor and even the White House claimed specifically that Mr. Stack was not a terrorist.

But what should you call it when a man pens a manifesto proclaiming, “violence is the only answer,” then kills people because they work for the government? Mr. Stack’s wife apologized on the news to “everyone affected by the incident,” but was careful not to use the term “victim,” when referring to the people her husband murdered.


By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

That famous definition of a cynic as someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing has come to define this present moment of American politics.

No wonder people have lost faith in politicians, parties and in our leadership. The power of money drives cynicism deep into the heart of every level of government.

This is the second installment of a project that is likely to extend over a two-year-period from January, 2010.  It is the serialization of a book entitled "The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022."  Under the pseudonym Jonathan Westminster, it is purportedly published in the year 2048 on the 25th Anniversary of the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy in the Re-United States. It was actually published in 1996 by the Thomas Jefferson Press, located in Port Jefferson, NY. The copyright is held by the Press.  Herein you will find Chapter 1.

Section I:  Setting the Stage

Chapter One

The United States in 1995:  Setting the Stage for Fascism

Author's Note

              The story of fascism in the old United States in my view begins with the accession to the Presidency of Carnathon Pine, The Last Re­pub­li­can, in the year 2001.  And thus the drama as we will see it in some detail begins in earnest in the next Chap­ter, constructed around that personage's Inau­gu­ral Address.  However, before dramas can pro­ceed, the stage must be set.

Thursday, 18 February 2010 02:36

A Personal Stake in Sanity

by Robert C. Koehler

When we write about mass slaughter, even the good kind, which we call “war,” the waging of it should be on trial in every sentence. Anything less than that is propaganda, the chief characteristic of which is moral opacity.

Sadly, this is how our news is delivered to us. Reading it makes me feel homeless.

Thus when civilians die by our hand — such as the 12 people killed when an errant NATO missile took out a house last weekend (on Valentine’s Day), as we launched our offensive on the Afghan city of Marjah — the incident becomes “regrettable.” That was Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s word, as deep as a frowny face. Would our own loved ones’ deaths by missile blunder be so easily dismissible? Afghan lives aren’t quite so valuable. No wonder it’s so easy to kill them.


by Richard A. Stitt

On February 17 the New York Times ran an editorial on campaign finance titled "A Welcome, if Partial, Fix."
Yes, it's a fix, meaning that campaign finance has been totally emasculated by the U. S. Supreme Court 5-4 ruling in the case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The New York Times editorial is the same-old-same old story. Fixing campaign donations and limits are dead for the foreseeable future and everyone knows it. The McCain-Feingold legislation was a joke and so is the so-called limit on soft donations and tax-exempt status of political action committees.
In short, the Supreme Court handed the Republicans a huge victory when they opened up the spigot for corporate millions to flow into their coffers, unfettered by any reform or election laws.

In a crowded universe of conservative mandates, declarations, and statements, two more, ‘The Mount Vernon Statement,’ which aims to unify the three legs of the conservative movement, and the ‘Contract From America,’ which wants nothing to do with social or national defense issues, may end up dividing the conservative movement.
By Bill Berkowitz
If it seems that mandates, declarations, and statements are flying out of the offices of conservative movement leaders faster than participants in short track skating at the

Thursday, 18 February 2010 01:59

Stop Glenn Beck


by Sue Wilson

What started as a Twitter campaign by a lone law school student in Madison Wisconsin has morphed into Glenn Beck's worst nightmare: advertisers are dropping him like flies, his show in the UK does not have even one advertiser. Still, thanks to the power of News Corporation, the show goes on.

It started on July 2, 2009, when Angelo Carusone began a campaign called StopBeck.com , Tweeting his followers to pressure companies to stop advertising on Beck's FOX News TV program. It was a maverick journey, but not for long: on July 28, 2009, Beck told his legion of viewers, Obama "has a deep seated hatred of white people." That's when Color of Change, the largest African American online political organization in the country used its muscle to target Beck with its own campaign. To date, 285,000 people have signed onto the CC campaign's petition to call on advertisers to drop Beck.

Within three months, Fox News' Glenn Beck Show had lost 80 advertisers; that number has now grown to 116. The only advertisers remaining on Fox News in the US are purveyors of gold, Rupert Murdoch owned organizations like the Wall Street Journal, the State of Utah, and ironically, Murdoch's Direct TV competitor, Dish TV.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010 01:36

Obama's Atomic Blunder


by Harvey Wasserman

As Vermont seethes with radioactive contamination and the Democratic Party crumbles, Barack Obama has plunged into the atomic abyss.

In the face of fierce green opposition and withering scorn from both liberal and conservative budget hawks, Obama has done what George W. Bush could not---pledge billions of taxpayer dollars for a relapse of the 20th Century’s most expensive technological failure.

Obama has announced some $8.3 billion in loan guarantees for two new reactors planned for Georgia. Their Westinghouse AP-1000 designs have been rejected by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as being unable to withstand natural cataclysms like hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

The Vogtle site was to originally host four reactors at a total cost of $600 million; it wound up with two at $9 billion.

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