Recent comments

  • Politics is obscene. Why can't we relegate Statism to the dustbin of history?   1 day 2 hours ago

    So move to Afghanistan -- it's the sort of tribal society you're advocating. If you really want to devolve then that's just the ticket for you.

    And, BTW, your notion of libertarianism is the fiction. Modern libertarianism (a la Ron Paul) was invented by right-wing corporate marketeers:

    The True History of the Libertarian Party -- Thom Hartmann

    People like you are only stooges for the interests of the Robber Baron class whether you intend to be or not. If you think you can distinguish yourself from prototypical kooky libertarians with your right-wing anarchist label then you're even kookier than ordinary libertarians. Your notion is predicated on the idea that, sans government, we'll all be cordial, reasonable and respectful to each other. That's about as realistic a prospect as unicorn races and I suggest you seek help regarding your propensity toward being delusional. Just because some recent iteration of libertarianism has tried to distance itself from the historical roots of modern libertarianism to deflect the criticism about what it really is and where it came from doesn't mean that I don't understand it. Douglaslee is correct, distilled shit is still just shit.

    I realize that you're fanaticism over this new fangled ideology you think you've stumbled upon has led you to perceive yourself as being more politically savvy than the rest of us and, ergo, more insightful but your condescension is entirely misplaced puppy.

  • Demystifying the "Global Economy" Trope   1 day 2 hours ago

    Very good, Grasshopper. (Same for "Service Economy".)

    Roland

  • The US is HATED around the WORLD????   1 day 3 hours ago

    You have just seen the tip of the iceberg. American ignomy during the past hundred and sixty years is unequaled. It is no surprise the US is known as the Great Satan and the Evil Empire and that people the world over hate Amerika passionately.

    Roland

  • The Clinton Doctrine   1 day 3 hours ago

    Qaddafi was going to finance it with his independent pan-African bank plan. The Globalist Banksters has to have him killed and Libya "freed" because of that. Look up ELLEN BROWN: LIBYA: ALL ABOUT OIL, OR ALL ABOUT BANKING?

    http://ellenbrown.com/2011/04/16/libya-all-about-oil-or-all-about-banking/

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/libya-ten-things-about-gaddafi-they-dont-wa...

    "...1. In Libya a home is considered a natural human right

    In Gaddafi’s Green Book it states: ”The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others”. Gaddafi’s Green Book is the formal leader’s political philosophy, it was first published in 1975 and was intended reading for all Libyans even being included in the national curriculum.

    2. Education and medical treatment were all free

    Under Gaddafi, Libya could boast one of the best healthcare services in the Middle East and Africa. Also if a Libyan citizen could not access the desired educational course or correct medical treatment in Libya they were funded to go abroad.

    3. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project

    The largest irrigation system in the world also known as the great manmade river was designed to make water readily available to all Libyan’s across the entire country. It was funded by the Gaddafi government and it said that Gaddafi himself called it ”the eighth wonder of the world”.

    4. It was free to start a farming business

    If any Libyan wanted to start a farm they were given a house, farm land and live stock and seeds all free of charge.

    5. A bursary was given to mothers with newborn babies

    When a Libyan woman gave birth she was given 5000 (US dollars) for herself and the child.

    6. Electricity was free

    Electricity was free in Libya meaning absolutely no electric bills!

    7. Cheap petrol

    During Gaddafi’s reign the price of petrol in Libya was as low as 0.14 (US dollars) per litre.

    8. Gaddafi raised the level of education

    Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. This figure was brought up to 87% with 25% earning university degrees.

    9. Libya had It’s own state bank

    Libya had its own State bank, which provided loans to citizens at zero percent interest by law and they had no external debt.

    10. The gold dinar

    Before the fall of Tripoli and his untimely demise, Gaddafi was trying to introduce a single African currency linked to gold. Following in the foot steps of the late great pioneer Marcus Garvey who first coined the term ”United States of Africa”. Gaddafi wanted to introduce and only trade in the African gold Dinar – a move which would have thrown the world economy into chaos.

    The Dinar was widely opposed by the ‘elite’ of today’s society and who could blame them. African nations would have finally had the power to bring itself out of debt and poverty and only trade in this precious commodity. They would have been able to finally say ‘no’ to external exploitation and charge whatever they felt suitable for precious resources. It has been said that the gold Dinar was the real reason for the NATO led rebellion, in a bid to oust the outspoken leader....."

  • America The Failure: A long list of failures   1 day 3 hours ago

    This is a reply to all of your posts, and thanks for hiliting* them- my advice is get the hell out .

    *Hilite™

  • Thom, would you tell Abraham Lincoln to "get over" his whiteness?   1 day 3 hours ago

    Sorry, RS, the institution of slavery was safe in the US until well into the war. The universal applicability of the Fugitive Slave Act had just been upheld by the Supreme Court. To deny that the war was about tariffs is to deny any real knowledge of the Civil War. I do not think anyone is suggesting that many slaves were happy with their lot, nor that the institution was not an abomination. But it was more ubiquitous in parts of the North than the South. You should read some of the philosophers of "political economy" arguing that wage slavery was more cost effective than chattel slavery for industry.

    Facts are not an enemy; understanding their complexity helps one understand the complexity of our current situation. But cherishing false myths never comes to any good.

    A lot of the current issues have become known merely because cell phone cameras are commonplace. These same things, and worse, have been going on regularly for the past fifty years. (Longer, I know, but this spell is about fifty years old.) And while blacks are more likely to be victims, they are hardly alone.

    It is more helpful to note that the zero-sum game of our ailing economy and Nixon's Culture War are major causes of our current disharmony.

    Roland

  • Basic income   1 day 3 hours ago

    Yes a guaranteed income or negative income tax is going to be a necessity as automation replaces more & more of the human workforce. Productivity of the American worker has increased drastically during the past decade, unfortunately the wealth generated has all ended up in the pockets of super-rich parasites who produce nothing. Theft on a massive scale.

    Our entire debt money system is founded on giving private banks the right to create our money supply. This is the greatest case of "free money" ever, in fact the most incredible welfare in all of human history. End the privately owned Federal Reserve, replace it with a public central bank, where new money is issued debt free, so it will stimulate local (i.e. not foreign) industry, and create demand for local, not foreign, goods & services. A guaranteed income is a very good component of that strategy. Right now the Fed creates vast amounts of money that end up in the pockets of the super-rich, who use it to increase their wealth of property, business & resources. About the least efficient way possible to increase jobs and wealth for the 99%.

    A good description of the difference between our current private debt money system and a rational, debt-free monetary system, which could easily incorporate a guaranteed income:

    http://positivemoney.org/our-proposals/quantitative-easing-vs-sovereign-...

    Another solution, public banking - has worked incredibly well in North Dakota, the one state with a public bank:

    http://publicbankinginstitute.org/

  • Why am I the first and only one to post on this?   1 day 3 hours ago

    No, it's summer and no nightfall, maybe sleep deprived.

    rs, thanks, I remember moms mabley. There was an asshole on the site commenting so not only does everyone have one but I guess every site has one, I dunno*.

    *Twain used dunno, so hat tip for a useful tool.

  • NO CHANCE IN HELL FOR REPUB PRES IN 2016 !!! Here's why:   1 day 3 hours ago

    It is dangerous to underestimate the stupidity of the American public.

    Roland

  • CHANGE THE RULE - Open the Presidential Debates to Independent Voices   1 day 4 hours ago

    edited

  • No Chance in Hell for Bernie...   1 day 4 hours ago

    Alberto: What is the minimum wage in Mexico where you live?

  • My Prostate Cancer/Medical Marijuana Treatment Blog   1 day 4 hours ago

    July 2, 2015 – I have run into the first, but probably not the last, of the obstacles that western medicine can throw up in front of anyone who refuses to sit down, shut up, and take their medicine.

    I was so pissed off about it that I had to set the issue aside for a few days just so that I could think about it, and write about it, objectively.

    Late last week, in the run up to my 60th day on my modified Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) protocol, I sent an e-mail to Dr. Chen, my Kaiser Permanente Urologist, asking him to order a follow-up physical examination with digital rectal exam, and a follow-up ultrasound.

    It seemed like a reasonable request to me. I am 2/3rds of the way through my 90 day experiment in alternative medicine, and I want to know if what I was doing was working. I have gotten over the bad news that I got last month, after 30 days on the oils, when blood work showed that my PSA had gone up 7.38 to 8.41, but it would be great to get some good, positive, news.

    I didn’t expect to hear back from Dr. Chen right away, so I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t hear back before the weekend. But, when I got into the office on Monday morning, and saw an e-mail from Dr. Chen saying that he had tried to call me, but had a wrong number, asking me to send him the correct number so that he could call me, I knew that it wasn't going to be good news. As I have said before - "When the doctor wants to speak to you personally, it is hardly ever good news."

    Dr. Chen’s call didn't come unto after hours, about 5:30 p.m. I took the call in my car.

    Dr. Chen starts out by saying, “Steve, first of all I want you to know that I respect your right to pursue alternative remedies . . .” “Oh shit,” I say to myself, “this is going to be worse than I thought.”

    “I am afraid I cannot order the repeat ultrasound” Dr. Chen continues. “I believe that I am ethically prohibited from ordering the test for you, because I do not think it will provide you with any helpful medical information, and I am afraid that you might misinterpret that information, and use it to make harmful treatment decisions.”

    Let me translate that for you, from medical/legal into English. Dr. Chen – my doctor! - thinks that if he orders the ultrasound for me, and I see signs that my cancer is in remission – you know, like the fact that the cancerous nodule on my prostate has decreased in size - that I may be "confused" into thinking that I am actually being cured (silly me), and I might not get the surgery or radiation that he thinks is best for me.

    Chen went so far as to say "Even even if the ultrasound showed that your mass was gone, completely, that would not mean that you are cancer free, and I would still be recommending that you undergo radiation."

    What a load of paternalistic B.S.!

    I am not a poorly educated person who needs to be protected from himself. I am a lawyer, with a significant base of medical knowledge built over 27 years of practice as a personal injury attorney. I am fully capable of understanding both the medical, and the alternative medical, facts in my case, and then deciding, for myself, what treatment options to pursue.

    By refusing to order the additional diagnostic testing that I have requested, Dr. Chen, and Dr. Samson Shen are denying me access to the medical information that I need in order to make an informed decision as to what course of treatment, or non-treatment, to pursue.

    Dr. Shen is a robotic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente. I had a surgical consultation scheduled with him for today. I wanted to hear what he, as a surgeon, had to offer me as I start to put a "Plan B" into place, in case the cannabis therapy was not effective.

    After getting stiff-armed by Dr. Chen, I called Dr. Shen's office and asked if he was going to refuse to order the ultrasound on ethical grounds, as well. (I figured that Shen would have to do a DRE as part of his physical exam, but I wanted to be sure that he was going to order the ultrasound, as well. When I got the call back from Dr. Shen's nurse, telling me that Dr. Shen did not think a repeat ultrasound was clinically indicated, and that he would not order one for me, I canceled my appointment.

    I have filed a formal complaint with Kaiser Permanente, Member Services (A “tip of the hat” to Marlene Lilly, a member at the Phoenix Tears Cannabis Oil Advice FB page for suggesting that I do so) asking that, either, Dr. Chen be directed to order the additional testing that I believe I need in order to make informed medical decisions; or, that my case be assigned to a different Kaiser Urologist who doesn’t feel ethically constrained from ordering the additional diagnostic testing that I want, and need.

    Member Services responded with a form e-mail advising me that “a Senior Case Resolution Specialist will be assigned to investigate this concern on [my] behalf and respond to [me] in writing as quickly as possible, but no later than 30 calendar days” – Great. How timely. They should have an answer for me just in time for me to complete my first 90 day course of Phoenix Tears!

    This whole thing reminds me, so much, of the line of corporatist crap that big businesses use when they oppose reasonable laws and regulations.

    “Trust us,” Monsanto says. “We know better than you. GMOs in our foods are perfectly safe, but, if you require us to identify our products that have GMOs in them, people might misinterpret that information and decide not to buy our products.”

    “Trust us,” Encana Oil & Gas says. “We know better than you. Fracking is perfectly safe, but if you require us to tell you what chemicals are in our fracking fluid, people might misinterpret that information and try to prevent us from pumping the fracking waste water under their homes and parks and schools.”

    “Trust us," says the Doctor, and the health insurance industry . . . "Trust us."

  • America The Failure: A long list of failures   1 day 4 hours ago
  • Politics is obscene. Why can't we relegate Statism to the dustbin of history?   1 day 4 hours ago
    Quote Dr. Econ:

    We have argued all this before, and you lost.

    Don't you remember you were a statist once, and then something changed your mind?

    Why are you unable to learn anything since?

    How about you respond to what I wrote? I remember debating with you and I recall you trying to defend a number of untenable positions. Regardless of your perception that you "won" the last round, I'd like you to respond to the central issue of "consent" which any rulers must possess for their rule to be legitimate, which States by their nature can never attain.

    I'd also like you to respond to the five questions Larken Rose asks of Statists. You really ought to think about these issues and come up with some sort of reasonable response or justification for your beliefs.

  • No Chance in Hell for Bernie...   1 day 4 hours ago
    Quote rs allen:it's time for a revolution beyond a mere minium wage increase.

    Workers of the world unite!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Workers_of_the_World

    Right, rs allen, on both counts. There needs to be a rebirth of unions, unions strong enough and determined enough to effectively battle Wall Street and to cashier corrupt politicians.

    Here's another example of how businesses can and do cope with increases in the minimum wage at the expense of workers:

    J.B. owns a small 20 room hotel, He employs 5 maids on minimum wage to clean them, each maid responsible for cleaning 4 rooms. The minimum wage goes up, Margaret is fired, the remaining four now must clean 5 rooms each. They might quit? Hell, that's no problem for J.B. Every other hotel owner has done the same resulting in a glut of maids who walk the streets willing to do most anything just to have an income. "Five rooms? Hell, I can do that. Great news, honey! I got a job!"

    What is Bernie's position on unions? The other aspirants to the office?

  • Why am I the first and only one to post on this?   1 day 4 hours ago
    Quote rs allen:

    enjoy or cry as the case may be:

    Thank you, rs allen. Both, as you can imagine. So many gone, no replacements - yet.

  • President Uncle Tom F**ks Up again.   1 day 4 hours ago
  • Re-emergence of Klu Klux Klan Ideology as Republican Right-Wing Libertarianism   1 day 4 hours ago

    I think Thom came up with the best description of the Republican Party and its love affair with the KKK--a Death Cult. It explains almost everything they represent.

  • NeoCons, Republicans, Misogyny, and Sadomasochism   1 day 4 hours ago
  • Why am I the first and only one to post on this?   1 day 4 hours ago
    Quote douglaslee:

    mavibobo, wtf? have you no decency? the dixiecrats are now yours , FUCKING OWN THEM

    You seem a bit upset. Late spring in Sweden or are you still snowbound?

  • "Cops Gone Wild"   1 day 4 hours ago
  • Politics is obscene. Why can't we relegate Statism to the dustbin of history?   1 day 4 hours ago
    Quote mdhess:

    Good luck with this drivel. I only wish you libertarian cranks would stop calling yourselves anarchists -- it's unseemly and gives anarchy a bad name. Anarchy is the belief that one's rights are derived from one's humanity, not from property and to co-opt the term "anarchist" is an abhorrent aberration. If you'd prefer to be subjugated by the United States of Exxon Mobil that's your own idiotic business but please don't conflate your perverse vision for the World with anarchism.

    "Anarchy is the belief that one's rights are derived from one's humanity". While I agree with this statement, that is not an accurate definition of the word "anarchist". What you just stated is a definition of Natural Rights though. Anarchy is the rejection of unjustified political authority. An anarchist is one who opposes the State. There indeed can be left wing anarchists, but the term most appropriately describes the individualist anarchists of the late 19th century who believed in the market economy and private property but opposed the existence of State rule.

    With that said, your conception of libertarianism is confused at best. The idea of libertarians as pro-corporatists has always been incorrect. Libertarians understand that corporations owe much of their wealth to unjustified land theft and/or legal priviledge granted to them by State coercion. Without the artificial priviledge the market process will dissolve unjustified wealth and transfer it to more deserving hands.

    Read Sheldon Richman and Gary Chartier for a better conception of what libertarianism is. Chartier describes it as "Free Market Anti-Capitalism", the view in individualism and private property as providing the best means of undercutting the wealth and power of the capitalists. Liberal ends ought to be pursued using liberal means. Liberal means include the free market, individual rights, freedom of contract and a sound currency.

    19th century liberals understood that the State was a tool of the ruling class and what the working class and poor needed more than anything was market reforms which allowed the organized poor and middle class to out compete the rich.

  • NeoCons, Republicans, Misogyny, and Sadomasochism   1 day 4 hours ago
    GOP's misogyny hall of shame

    [excerpts...]

    Rick Santorum

    Santorum has said he opposes abortion under all circumstances, including rape and incest, and has called contraception “not OK” because it supposedly gives people “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” Those “things” would seem to include having sex outside of marriage and becoming pregnant, which — gasp! — is more likely to happen without access to birth control and — second gasp! — is more likely, without access to abortion, to result in the birth of a child.

    Still, as Santorum explained in 1994, women who do have children out of wedlock are to blame for “the ruination of this country”; he also had a special proposal for deterring them:

    “We are seeing it. We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it’s falling apart because of single moms … What we have is moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals.”

    “What we say is that in order for Mom to be able to go on welfare if she has a child out of wedlock, you have to tell us who the father is … If you don’t tell us who the father is, you’re not eligible for any welfare benefits, none, not even medical care. You tell us who the father is or you don’t receive benefits.”

    “If Mom knows that she isn’t gonna receive welfare if she doesn’t tell us who Dad is, y’know maybe she’ll be a little more careful, maybe … Or maybe she gives us a list, say ‘Well it could be one of five,’ I mean, y’know, I don’t know what she’s gonna do, but at some point we’re gonna see her cooperate.”

    Rick Perry

    You might recall the time the former Texas governor attempted to humiliate then-State Sen. Wendy Davis for being raised by a single mother and then becoming a teen mom herself, which he pegged to the lawmaker’s epic filibuster of a draconian antiabortion measure he later signed. Here’s what Perry said, just in case you forgot:

    “In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”

    Later, in an effort to pretend he wasn’t totally slut-shaming Davis, Perry added:

    “Actually, those comments were meant to be a compliment to her for what she had accomplished in her life, and you think about where she came from, what she’s accomplished. And as a matter of fact, I would think that she’s very proud of that as well. My point was that saving a life and letting that life come to its fulfillment and all the good things that happened.”

    Rand Paul

    Paul, a doctor, does not believe women should not have access to legal abortion, but he does believe that fertilized eggs should receive full personhood and constitutional rights. He does not believe contraceptive coverage (or any comprehensive health benefits) should necessarily be available to employees, but he does believe single women should stop having so many babies. In fact, last year, Paul opined that even though it will be “tough” to tell unwed mothers not to keep getting pregnant, there needs to be a way to “get that message through”:

    “Maybe we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount’… I don’t know how you do all that because then it’s tough to tell a woman with four kids that she’s got a fifth kid we’re not going to give her any more money,” he continued. “But we have to figure out how to get that message through because that is part of the answer. Some of that’s not coming from government. It needs to come from ministers and people in the community and parents and grandparents to convince our kids to do something different.”

    Mike Huckabee

    Huckabee, who might well be tied with Santorum for the title of King of Condemnation, has singled out a few unwed mothers in his day — whether to defend them, in the case of Bristol Palin, or to half commend/half shame them, as he did with Jamie Lynn Spears. But the Huckster really made his feelings on single motherhood clear when he called out actress Natalie Portman for getting pregnant before getting married and “glamorizing” her protruding belly and lack of a wedding ring:

    “One of the things that is troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.’ But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. … Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.”

    He put his foot a little further in his mouth when he responded to backlash over his first comments:

    “My comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death. That’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that society often glorifies and glamorizes the idea of having children out of wedlock.”

    Jeb Bush

    How could this list be complete without including Bush’s whopper of disdain for unwed mothers, as illustrated in his 1995 book, “Profiles in Character.” In a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame,” the former Florida governor advocated the use of public humiliation as a way of deterring out-of-wedlock births, which seems to be in line with the “Scarlet Letter” law he signed in 2001, which required any unmarried woman putting a child up for adoption to publish her name, age and the names of her sexual partner(s) in the newspaper. Let’s just have a look at what Bush had to say about handling the “problem” of single motherhood (not “parenthood” — motherhood!):

    “One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.”

    Bush has since claimed his views on the subject have “evolved,” which seems to mean he has stopped openly advocating public shaming while still decrying the prevalence of out-of-wedlock births:

    “My views have evolved over time, but my views about the importance of dads being involved in the lives of children hasn’t changed at all. In fact, since 1995 … this book was a book about cultural indicators [and] the country has moved in the wrong direction. We have a 40-plus percent out-of-wedlock birth rate.”

  • Basic income   1 day 5 hours ago
    Quote Aliceinwonderland:

    A basic minimum guaranteed income for everyone would be immensely empowering. It would greatly reduce the power of the business class over the lives and circumstances of the working poor, who could tell them to "take this job and shove it" without having to worry about the rent or keeping food on the table.

    How much free money per month do you feel entitled to receive?

    Should this be taxable?

    Where is the government going to get the money they dispense to you each month?

  • NO CHANCE IN HELL FOR REPUB PRES IN 2016 !!! Here's why:   1 day 6 hours ago

    Agreed Legend.

    Good thing we're there to remind them!!!

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Community Archive

Bernie Sanders Could be the Next FDR

Tuesday night, I appeared on the Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell to talk about Elizabeth Warren, the rise of progressives within the Democratic Party, and what this means for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

At one point in our discussion, the conversation turned to whether Bernie represents the closest thing to an Elizabeth Warren candidacy.