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Tuesday, 14 August 2007 07:31

George Lakoff: No Center, No Centrists

by George Lakoff

"Centrism" is the creation of an inaccurate self-serving metaphor, and it is time to bury it.

There is no left-to-right linear spectrum in the American political life. There are two systems of values and modes of thought -- call them progressive and conservative (or nurturant and strict, as I have). There are total progressives, who use a progressive mode of thought on all issues. And total conservatives. And there are lots of folks who are what I've called "biconceptuals": progressive on certain issue areas and conservative on others. But they don't form a linear scale. They are all over the place: progressive on domestic policy, conservative on foreign policy; conservative on economic policy, progressive on foreign policy and social issues; conservative on religion, but progressive on social issues and foreign policy. No linear scale. No single set of values defining a "center." Indeed many of such folks are not moderate in their views; they can be quite passionate about both their progressive and conservative views.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007 05:52

BuzzFlash Mailbag for August 14, 2007


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Subject: Blood on his hands

by Michael Winship

Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Karl Rove?

Not bloody likely. If you think otherwise, you've got greater faith in the power of wolf's bane, garlic, and wooden stakes than I have.


"The GAO said weapons distribution was haphazard and rushed and failed to follow established procedures, particularly from 2004 to 2005. During this period, security training was led by Gen David Petraeus, who now commands all US forces in Iraq. The GAO reached the estimate - 111,000 missing AK-47s and 80,000 missing pistols - by comparing the property records of the Multi-National Security Transition Command for Iraq against records maintained by Gen Petraeus of the arms and equipment he ordered." And then there's this: "Near his body was a note addressed to his commanders, Petraeus and Fil. [Redacted name]- ‘You are only interested in your career and provide no support to your staff-no msn [mission] support and you don't care. I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human right abuses and liars. I am sullied-no more. I didn't volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored.'"

With those hugs & tears they had to choke back
Jeez! The whole thing was just so "Brokeback."

edited by Gloria Lalumia

The World Energy Watch presents recent news and analysis highlighting the activities of the players involved in the power struggle for the world's remaining energy resources

Tuesday, 14 August 2007 02:15

Glenn W. Smith: The Trouble with the DLC

by Glenn W. Smith

Why are Harold Ford and others from the more paternalistic and condescending quarters of the Democratic Party so keen on discrediting the rising progressive movement? What have been the consequences of their obsession with "the middle"? Most importantly, how have the Tory Democrats managed to bury the expression of deep progressive values, and what should the progressive movement do about it?

Ever since it began, the discussion of how and when to end the U.S. intervention in Iraq has been shaped by the Georgites: either the U.S. stays until "victory [undefined] is achieved" (that is, indefinitely) or the U.S. leaves precipitously, which will surely lead to a bloodbath of enormous magnitude. Unfortunately, many on the side of withdrawal have spoken as if there were only the two alternatives: stay forever or leave (reasonably) precipitously.

Monday, 13 August 2007 12:16

Candid Candidates


We got to see the Democratic "hopefuls" last week in Chicago. We, too, are hopefuls, in the sense that we do believe one of them will wrestle the White House away from the Current Occupant. (We thank Garrison Keillor for that apt Bush label, by the way).

by Richard A. Stitt

We read almost every day that air strikes are killing more and more civilians in Iraq. Of course, retired general Tommy Franks once said "We don't do body counts" but that was while it was presumed that Bush's boast of "Major hostilities have ended in Iraq" on May 1, 2003 aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln was the final punctuation mark to celebrate Bush's victory as the "great war president."

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