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Monday, 02 April 2007 00:40

Irwin Wingo: A Plea to Iran

by Irwin Wingo

Let us hope Iran has the wisdom and compassion to return the 15 British sailors safe and sound to their comrades. Further, let us hope the returned sailors and their comrades are all conveyed posthaste from this troubled part of the Earth and returned to their homes and loved ones.


The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook
by Joseph Sugarman, reviewed by Thom Hartmann

Want to use the written word -- from a blog to email to articles to op-eds to pretty much any written format you can imagine -- to change the world? Joe Sugarman will teach you how.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that I owe much of the quality of the life I currently have to Joe Sugarman.

Back in the mid-1970s, he was one of America's most famous advertising copywriters and I was a twenty-something partner in a small Michigan advertising agency. I attended a workshop that Joe taught, and it quite literally changed my life. Joe gave me my first real keys to the kingdom of communication, and I've made a living using them ever since.

While the passage of 30-some years since that time has dimmed my memory of when and where I was listening to Joe, I remember well many of his lessons. One of the first was to understand that good advertising copy is one of the most elegant forms of communication. It's designed to produce a change in a person's thinking and, most importantly, an immediate change in their behavior.

The same is true of the most effective political writing, whether it be that of Karl Marx, Barry Goldwater, or conservative strategist Richard Viguerie (who was also a student of Joe's).

I remember Joe telling us that the most common mistake of writers of all stripes (particularly advertising copywriters) is thinking that they're writing to an audience. He said that when writing copy, one should imagine a person you know, who you like, and who would be interested in the topic (product) of your writing. And then write it as a letter, even if you have to insert a personal preamble that you later delete.

I've used (and advocated) his technique for years, writing everything from advertising copy for some of America's largest corporations, to strategic communications, to hundreds of published articles and 19 books currently in print.

You can find the essence of Joe's advice about writing in a personal way in Chapter 15 of his book The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook. But that's just the beginning. And even though Joe's book is entirely about marketing and advertising copy, the lessons are important -- crucial -- for political activists.

Political persuasion is simply a variation on commercial persuasion (assuming that historically the latter preceded the former). The tools that make you a good marketer are the tools that work in politics as well.

In that context, The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook is one of the most valuable tools political activists will ever encounter.

In doing research and show-prep for my daily talk radio show, I encounter lousy political communication at least a half-dozen to a dozen times a day. Activists who don't know how to condense what they're saying into an easily-understood form. Activists who bury the lede. Activists who try to "sell" the details of policies rather than their benefits.

If you want to know how to be an effective communicator in print -- from writing letters to members of Congress to writing posters for the upcoming march to writing your blog -- Joe Sugarman is the man to teach you. Just mentally transform his "sales and marketing" examples into political examples -- it's surprisingly easy -- and you'll be brilliant.

As odd and offbeat as it may seem, Joe Sugarman's AdWeek Copywriting Handbook should be in the library of every political activist (and already is in those of many conservatives, starting with Viguerie). Learn what they know -- buy it now!



Words like judicial activism and judicial restraint have absolutely no meaning. If I have a liberal court, I want to see judicial activism. I want to see them go out and do things. If there’s a conservative court, I want to see judicial restraint, so they can’t do too much damage. The language that the Rehnquist Court and the conservatives have used over the last decades accusing the Warren Court of being too judicially active, and that they’re restrainers, is nonsense. The Rehnquist Court struck down more federal legislation than any other Court before it.


Today the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a formal request to former White House aide Susan Ralston to appear for a deposition on April 5. The deposition is part of the Committee's investigation, begun last spring, into lobbying contacts between lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the White House.


Less than two years ago, President Bush struck a nerve with many Americans by frolicking around in a forest with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. Their open holding of hands provoked laughter and questions about the cordial relationship between Saudi Arabia and the Bush family.

How things have changed.

by Dave Lindorff

It's time to quit being a Democrat, and start being a democrat!

I've always been a registered Democrat. I think it has something to do with my having reached voting age in 1967, when there were actually some serious anti-war candidates challenging the party leadership, and being able to vote in the primaries really mattered, and because in 1972, there was a genuine choice between an honest peace candidate and a truly wretched war-monger, who was working to destroy the Constitution.

Friday, 30 March 2007 07:44

Cindy Sheehan: Camp Casey Peace Awards

by Cindy Sheehan

The Camp Casey Peace Institute is pleased to announce the recipients of the First Annual Camp Casey Peace Awards.

The individuals/or groups that are receiving the honor have made significant contributions to the success of Camp Casey, Crawford, TX AND to the peace and justice movements in general.



The Washington Post referring to Bush as a "wartime Commander in Chief," must just thrill Bush plum to death. We Americans understand that Iraq was not a war until Bush and his cohorts in crime used the US military to invade that country. Based on their lies that Saddam's Iraq posed a threat, which still was not a valid reason to attack another country. The US was not attacked by Iraq. Iraq had nothing to do with 911. However, Bush's friends, the bin Laden family and Saudi Arabia, had much to do with 911 as most of the men were from there. Is that the commander in chief of a war or a crime against humanity? Bush should be judged by his peers except they are all in it together.

Senate OKs war bill with Iraq timeline - Yahoo! News

And another thing about that "none binding" slippery slope. Shouldn't that apply to the Democrats as well? What if the Democrats decide to start ending Bush's invasion/war before the next 120 days? None binding can work both ways can it not? Bush will try to blame the carnage on the Democrats no matter what they do until they stick the debt, death, and destruction firming on all of those who should be made accountable.

Any escalation of the violence by the Iraqis will be nothing more than defiance against the occupation by the US and anyone connected to the US. Nothing will change that until the US is gone from Iraq. It would be an advantage to the Bush GOP administration if Americans were as stupid as their (Bush GOP) actions seem to demonstrate, but, it takes time for people to get used to their power and what it can do. Bush knows this. The GOP knows this . . . Congress and the American people are beginning to find out. Another goonish, goober Goliath throwback figure (Bush GOP) will be put down again, and this time, loopholes and all should be closed for good. Accountability is what will protect the future generations from the rise of any more US Goliaths.

Just a thought,

Thanks BuzzFlash,

Shirley Smith 



It has crossed my mind before, why haven't the Bush GOP closed Guantanamo since their unlawful, systematic abuse there has been exposed? If the Bush GOP close that fun camp of theirs, will they ship the prisoners off to other "known" secret prisons? The US government (Democratic Congress) needs to know all of the names and records of these prisoners and should demand to know about all of the other secret prisons, who their prisoners are, and if there are no charges, ship these people home, for gawdsake.

Friday, 30 March 2007 04:57

BuzzFlash Mailbag for March 30, 2007


Want to join the conversation? Share your thoughts with other Mailbag readers by clicking here.

Subject: Senate Republicans and Joe Lieberman Vote To Not Fund the Troops

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