Recent comments

  • AMERICA one F^<KED UP country   1 day 10 hours ago

    Trump has been looking at the wrong end of a Bull to long he full of it.

  • Daily Topics - Friday July 22nd, 2016   1 day 10 hours ago

    Seriously, how come nobody is talking about the absence of Ronald Reagan's ghost at this past weeks GOP convention? In past years, this was an absolute prerequisite for any GOP politician wanting to speak during the convention. It's right up there with defending the right for EVERY person livng in American being able to carry an AR-15 onto a crowded shopping mall, in terms of being a means to fire up the base.

    Frankly, I believe Democrats need to seize this opportunity and remind SANE Republicans that the GOP is no longer the party of Reagan. Hillary is MUCH closer to Reagan than ANY of these reactionary kooksticks who spoke this past week at the GOP convention.

  • Did Trump's RNC speech get him MORE votes or LESS votes?   1 day 10 hours ago

    The rules that determine whether a con is working or not are in evidence. Trump plays, with extremely simple language, the fears of much of the unprepared and uneducated toward his candidacy. There is no hiding from this. HRC has this election to lose by her choices. If you try to combat DJT with wonky facts you will see the DJT supporters dig in and just yell their insults louder, We have completely underestimated him.

  • Ted Cruz is a true American hero.   1 day 10 hours ago

    It may have been "stupid" for Cruz's career, but it was not stupid for the future of his children, YOUR children, or his fellow Americans. Believe me when I say that very few people living in America today have the courage to do what Cruz did the other night.

    Crux voluntarily ended his political career for the greater good of our society. The odds of ANY politician - of EITHER party, ever doing that again are at minimum a million to one. Can you give me an example of where that has ever happened before in THIS country?

    From a political standpoint, what Cruz did was about as "stupid" as the men who invaded Normandy during WWII. If you believe sacrificing your life for the benefit of others, for the greater good of humanity is stupid, then yeah, I guess you are right.

  • Ted Cruz is a true American hero.   1 day 11 hours ago
    Quote Toddedyer:

    is anyone else wondering if trumps nato remarks is the reason why the market did a down turn today???

    if so will we have huge swings on trump rants??? says something stupid dow loses ahundred points!! lol???

    Trump does say a lot of stupid things, but what he said about NATO is not an example of that. It is really not too far from Bernie Sanders position on NATO.

  • According to CNN the murderer of the police was on meds for PTSD   1 day 11 hours ago

    America with 5% of the worlds population consumes 75% of the worlds prescription drugs. in addidtion the reason Mexico is now birtually lawless is Americans are a country of drug addicts and Mexico is their number one source for illegal drugs.

    America is one totally f^<ked up country. Donald TRUMP for President is proof of that.

  • Ted Cruz is a true American hero.   1 day 11 hours ago

    My question on Cruz is why did he just not stay away from the Convention? Maybe he should have gotten together with Bush, Romney etc for a drink and a laugh. But going to "Trumps" Convention was stupid.

  • Dead Police Officers in Baton Rouge: Anglo Cognitive Dissonance (ACD) VI and A Message to Thom Hartmann   1 day 11 hours ago

    QueenBee, excellent comments, all. Thank you very much. Your comments are so poignant I want to actually do the next installment of this series and quote you with your permission to do so.


  • Trump Out-Flanks Dems on Trade and Economic Populism   1 day 11 hours ago

    Watching the corporate media reation is eye-opening. HuffPo is completely ignoring the trade talk and just has a bunch of scary headlines.

  • The world is in trouble, why aren't more people feeling the urgency?   1 day 11 hours ago

    That's the essence of what I was trying to say in my post #35, citizen. I think you are raising some good points to work at.

    Quote citizen1956:

    Yet we witness corporate sponsered "denier" proganda all around us, to seed confusion and doubt in the minds of our representitves(Koch Bro. Pledge) and the general public.

    Many of the people around us look for a "reason" to keep the status quo and what they believe is the life their entitled to.

    The crux of that -- the elephant in the room so to speak -- is this issue of what we can think and do as individuals, and the system we have to do it all in. That's a whole huge body of subject matter to work with all its own. And if we haven't been over it together so we can understand its structure and substance, we will undoubtedly find ourselves speaking in contradicting sound bites. Or maybe just attacking each other for our individual inadequacies, of which there will inevitably be many among us. After all the deck is not stacked in the individual's favor (unless you're in the upper one percent like Donald Trump).

    Our choices as individuals seldom bear on the management sector of our society. Most of that management sector resides in private tyrannies, as Chomsky likes to call them, and the vast majority of us get a vote for a representative sector in what we sometimes call "our" government, and sometimes call the oligarch's. I think Sheldon Wolin describes the latter as well as anyone has: Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. For anyone who hasn't run across it yet -- and is interested -- note Chris Hedges' linked 8 part interview with Sheldon Wolin now included in that link. You'll get the essence of Wolin's argument and a whole lot more in that interview.

    The overall view from the average individual's perspective is one of helplessness in the face of these gigantic institutional forces. A perspective that may have a variety of responses, from rebellion to head in the sand acceptance.

    In his conclusion of the 24 page blog essay with another 9 pages of references that he links in the OP, amilosh tries to begin a discussion about what we can do, starting with ourselves and and our actual immediate circumstances within this institutional dilemma in which we find ourselves inextricably entwined (see the bottom of page 22 of his essay for his "beginning" so to speak). Any suggestions? That's a conversation that, I believe, he really wants to provoke.

  • Survival of the fittest   1 day 11 hours ago

    In the O.P., Hod raised the issue of "programs like unemployment, food stamps, welfare, etc. are breeding stupid people."

    Programs do not determine a person's intelligence. Rather, it is the result of genetics and health (chemical additives and pollutants in the food of the mother and child can influence intelligence). But maybe the words "breed stupid people" were not well chosen. Maybe you meant "produce ignorant people". In that case I submit that ignorance is more often reduced with advancing time as people learn more about areas in which they have been ignorant.

    Regarding specifics, --and speaking for myself, --I am a retired software developer who developed business systems for corporations. And at times in my life when I was the victim of business downgrades and bankruptcies I relied on unemployment compensation to keep me and my family in our house, fed, and keep bills paid (savings and other sources helped as U.C. , alone, was insufficient). Afterward I was still sufficiently smart enough for another company to hire me, so I don't think U.C. caused me to become ignorant.

    Regarding food stamps ("SNAP program") and welfare, while unemployed I once also qualified for food stamps. But one anecdote doesn't comprise a generalized proof, so let me add that it is fairly ignorant in my estimation to believe that these programs cause people to grow ingorant. Many or possibly most (I haven't done the research to know) people who are on these programs want to get out of them. The single mother who is on welfare looks forward to the day when the child is old enough to go to public school or benefits will cover child care so that she can get a job and become self-sufficient. Most people have more self-respect and dignity than to just rest in these programs complacently.

    And yes there are a tiny few, like the man next door to me 7 years ago who collected workers' comp for a "back injury" while he stayed home doing work around his house digging holes and trenches to put in a drainage system to keep rain out of his house, and who is teaching his 20-year old son how to bleed the system as he has. But I don't believe he or his son is becoming more and more ignorant as time passes.

  • Wednesday 20 July '16 show notes   1 day 11 hours ago

    The guy in Argentina you're trying to remember was Peron.

    Listening to Thump takes me back to my NLP training so many years ago. He uses 'nominalizations' ad infinitum. Shiny words without content! Remember, 'business' is nothing like the process of governance. The President doesn't pay the people working in government, the Congress does!

  • Pervert Roger Ailes Leaves Fox News After 20 Women Accuse Him of Sexual Harassment   1 day 11 hours ago

    Probably has the record for brainwashing people. Does Guiness have a record for that?

  • Monday 18 July '16 show notes   1 day 11 hours ago

    HI gailruth - the prerecorded breaks are on our youtube channel or

  • Atheism Is Not A Religion Redux x 99   1 day 12 hours ago
    Your point is not that far from a similar point made by a chemist in his 1950 book: Science is a Sacred Cow.

    As I've researched this more online since joining this thread, I've discovered many, many people who see things from my perspective. Science/Atheism/Humanism are religions. Yes, most of these other people seem to be Christians who see themselves as pushing back against the intrusion of these other religions into their daily lives. Once someone starts to complain about a nativity scene on public grounds, for example, it opens the door for others to complain about any statue of anything on public grounds, based on their opposition to what that statue represents.

    Seems to me if we allow ourselves to trivialize Science (with the capital S) as simply a belief system, we risk resetting the clock to a time previous to the rise of the scientific method, from which then followed a body of anti-interdictive questioning of authority, with all its openness to doubt and reexamination of what we think we know.

    The stated value there is that old things=bad, new things=good. I suppose that's why it's called "Progessive", right?

    This also implies that humans are capable of understanding everything, if they just try hard enough and ask enough questions.

    The value, in science/atheism/humanism, is placed on human understanding and universiality. That sounds good to most people. But to force that on everyone is no different than forcing any other belief system.

    Is that really what you want?

    What I want is for atheists/humanists/scientists/Progressives to see their own arrogance and close-mindedness. Particularly when they use their beliefs to push public policy; something they love to accuse the Religious Right of doing.

  • Did Trump's RNC speech get him MORE votes or LESS votes?   1 day 12 hours ago

    Unfortunately, often things don't get better and people don't learn untii things have truly hit bottom for them. I sadly don't think we have hit bottom and question whether we can pull back from hitting bottom. If Democrats do not find a way of stealing Trump's thunder in the media and Twitter worlds with their own brand of populace rhetoric, most if not every day between Labor Day and Election Day, Trump will likely win this election. An interesting read about human nature is a section in Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazof called "The Grand Inquisitor".

    Check it out at

    As this site summarizes in introduction to this chapter:

    ".... The idea is that Christ revisits earth, coming to Spain at the period of the Inquisition, and is at once arrested as a heretic by the Grand Inquisitor. One of the three brothers of the story, Ivan, a rank materialist and an atheist of the new school, is supposed to throw this conception into the form of a poem, which he describes to Alyosha--the youngest of the brothers, a young Christian mystic brought up by a "saint" in a monastery..."

  • Pervert Roger Ailes Leaves Fox News After 20 Women Accuse Him of Sexual Harassment   1 day 12 hours ago
    Quote Legend:

    Ailes rides off into the sunset with a smile on his face and his saddle bags full of cash.

    He could re-use W's mission accomplished banner. He got one president impeached, kept one elected president from being sworn in, assured the unelected shill would remain unchallenged by at least one TV station, [and it was a news channel (hahahaha), the same way a turd with a bow on it is birthday present]. It also made sure the debasing of Hillary never ceased from the time she was the First Lady. He told his audience from the beginning she couldn't be trusted, but she got re-elected in the senate, got the SS spot, and almost won the nomination in 2008. See, that's where Sarah would've been good, to counter Hillary. So the debates should have been woman on woman (Ailes likes the idea of girl on girl), Sarah vs Hillary, and the fox base would swear Sarah won. I can hear the comments "I'm not a scientist and Sarah was talking over my head, but she made sense and represents the real people. She has my vote".

    Ailes made sure his base or 23% of the country, really believed Sarah was qualified enough to be president. 20% of fox fans think outlawing slavery was wrong after fox deified Cliven Bundy. Roger made millions destroying the middle class, the same class their fan base considered their own.

  • The Big Picture & The Thom Hartmann Program "On Air" Questions or Comments for Thom?   1 day 12 hours ago

    Suggestion: We can begin speaking of "Trump and his Trumpettes".

    -Dave Odet

  • The Big Picture & The Thom Hartmann Program "On Air" Questions or Comments for Thom?   1 day 12 hours ago

    Trump's speech was heavy in two particular areas: law and order, and serving the people and their needs.

    Didn't Hitler come to power declaring his dedication to "the people" and falsely name his movement "national socialism" while promoting the notion of "law and order"?

    -Dave Odet

  • Al Franken for VP?   1 day 12 hours ago

    Does he still feel the same about that vote? Mr. Franken can grow and change, not the same day like Mr. Trump. But It's something I could....would tolerate in my politicians - real growth.

  • The Big Picture & The Thom Hartmann Program "On Air" Questions or Comments for Thom?   1 day 12 hours ago


    As someone who grew up in Lansing Michigan 1958 - 1983, and whose father worked at Lansing Die Sinking from the early 50's - 1977 I can most assuredly tell everyone that almost all my friends still in Lansing are vehemently anti-Trump. Now down in SC where I have lived since 1983, well, it's quite a different story.

  • Daily Topics - Thursday July 21st, 2016   1 day 12 hours ago

    Thom Hartmann,

    When you make predictions, I am still looking for Republican Candidate Scott Walker. Also, waiting for the crash of 2016. Enjoy your show and agree with almost everything you say but your predictions are not very accurate. Keep that in mind when worrying about a Trump Pesidency.


  • Atheism Is Not A Religion Redux x 99   1 day 12 hours ago
    Quote ChicagoMatt:

    I've listened to Thom enough to know that he blames Reagan for everything. Still, do you honestly expect the country to change back to the way things were before Reagan? Think about how things were before you were born. Do you think the country can go back to that? It is what it is now, for whatever reason, and year after year, the people with memories of "the way things used to be" die off, replaced by people like me, who have never known a non-polarized electorate.

    The other countries you mentioned have some advantages: small, homogenous demographics, and small military budgets, for example.

    Before you were born, and before reagan, Americans were adopting and implementing civil rights gains achieved in the '60s.

    A Conservative would argue that it was those social changes in the 60s and 70s that led to the unintended consequences that we see in the world today. I know, Progressives blame Reagan and Conservativism for all of today's social ills. But weren't they just a -very predictable- response to the changes that came before them?

    You've probably listened to Thom more than I have. I listened to Thom after I moved out of West Oakland to the boon docks here in SW Washington State back in late 2003. He was "broadcasting" out of his home in Vermont and I was able to get recorded broadcasts off the Internet. Then I came and started posting at his board in early 2004 and that replaced my regular listening. That's all an irrelevant aside, but suggestive, just as your mentioning to doug what you hear Thom saying about Reagan is irrelevant, but suggestive.

    I know douglaslee from early in my days of posting here at Thom, and I know him well enough to say you've suggestively mischaracterized his understanding of why a change was marked with the Reagan presidency. He's well aware of the Powell Memo, sometimes called the Powell Manifesto. Was it a reaction to the changes that a soon to be Supreme Court Justice was seeing taking place, and put into a memo to his pal, Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr., Chairman of the Education Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? I think an arguable answer would be 'yes'.

    Did the Powell Memo (and other strategic outlines of that kind) influence the reorganizaton of the private corporate sector through the rest of the decade that led to the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980? It's a more complex and implicational argument to make, but I have argued it has. The oligarchic forces were already there, but the Ayn Rand brand of reaction of the "heroic" (Trumpian?) elites to the daring efforts of the common people to gain some equal measure of respect, who the elites traditionally assume need them more than the other way around, was a pressure that only needed a good plan to be released. The Powell Memo is one such strategic plan.

    The Powell Memo did not become available to the public until long after his confirmation to the Court. It was leaked to Jack Anderson, a liberal syndicated columnist, who stirred interest in the document when he cited it as reason to doubt Powell’s legal objectivity. Anderson cautioned that Powell “might use his position on the Supreme Court to put his ideas into practice…in behalf of business interests.”

    Though Powell’s memo was not the sole influence, the Chamber and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration’s “hands-off business” philosophy.

    Most notable about these institutions was their focus on education, shifting values, and movement-building — a focus we share, though often with sharply contrasting goals.* (See our endnote for more on this.)

    From the endnotes:

    *One of our great frustrations is that foundations and funders who prefer a democratic republic to corporate domination have failed to learn from the success of these corporate institutions. They decline to invest in long-term education and culture-shifting that we and a small number of allied organizations work to achieve. Instead, they overwhelmingly focus on damage control and short-term goals. This approach stands no chance of yielding the systemic change needed to reverse the trend of growing corporate dominance.

    Patient nurturing of movement-building work remains the exception to the rule among foundations that purport to strengthen democracy and citizen engagement. The growing movement to revoke corporate personhood is supported almost entirely from contributions by individual (real) people like you. Please consider supporting the work of groups like Move to Amend, Free Speech for People and Reclaim Democracy! that devote themselves to this essential movement-building work, rather than short-term projects and results demanded by most foundations.


    • Washington and Lee University has created this archive (pdf) of significant follow-up communications to the Powell Memo.
    • On the occasion of the memo’s 40th anniversary, Bill Moyers’ website posted useful background and commentary.

    I guess that could be argued to be a predictable response. Of course the question of from exactly whom is raised.

  • Is Anybody Else Watching This "Make America Gag Again" Spectacle?   1 day 12 hours ago
    Quote Coalage1:For Zenzoe - I repeat, GW may be of huge importance to you. But for the vast majority of Americans, it doesn't even make a blip on the radar screen. It therefore will receive very little attention other than lip service once in a while.By the way, how does "science" propose to fix GW?

    Look, Coalage, I get that you’re a conservative, so you have a difficult time comprehending anything I write. So, I’ll make it simple: I called global warming the most important issue. That was my opinion. And it’s an opinion backed up by 90%+ climate scientists. That DT’s minions don’t want to hear about it doesn’t change the fact that the reality should be brought before them in a convention to nominate a would-be president. The fact that it’s never mentioned, says a tremendous amount about the Party and the man— they’re clueless.

    And you?
    Quote Coalage1:Oh, I see you broke out the inevitable Hitler reference. Congrats on being the first but most definitely not the last.
    Here’s a spirited writer who pretty much covers the points I might have made to you, were I in the mood to count the ways Trump’s speech went Hitlerian: Donald Trump’s creepy fascist infomercial. Let that suffice.

    But suggestions arise, pointing to the possibility he has studied Hitler’s speeches:

    “Trump’s first wife, Ivana, famously claimed that Trump kept a copy of Adolf Hitler’s collected speeches, “My New Order,” in a cabinet beside his bed.”

    Trump's fiery convention speech carries too many echoes of the past to ignore...

    ...Donald Trump had just delivered a bilious speech that flashed warning lights for liberal America. Yes, the danger is real. This is a crossroads. History could take a dark and dangerous turn.

    Comparisons with Hitler and Mussolini have been made so often and so glibly that they tend to obscure rather than clarify. Yet Trump’s ability to play the crowd, switching its anger on and off like a tap, carries too many echoes of the past century to easily ignore.

    Anyway, my peeps and I were texting again, while watching his speech in real time. Here are some highlights, especially by “N” who teaches political science at a major university:

    N: He is a fucking fascist toddler. And his sneering tone is insufferable -- Fear anger orgy and retaliatory promises when a country feels vulnerable. It's how all tyrants do it. -- This man is so dangerous. I hate him as well. Just keep in mind that this is the crazy ass base and the goal is to spin them into a frenzy. But it is also something very scary. -- "I am your voice." His tone was so foreboding. -- My friend just posted "I can nazi anymore of this." --

    Me: It does seem to be straight out of the Hitler playbook. Remember that ghostwriter report, how Trump had one book at bedside-- Hitler's speeches

    N: It absolutely is. He is yelling like Hitler, stirring up the drooling mob. -- That was so chilling. He is an absolute maniac. -- He's a balls-out fascist, I'm starting to believe. (Tiny balls, but still.) -- So so scary. Obama is the one who has divided Americans by race and failed the inner city. So insanely manipulative. Textbook projection and narcissistic reversals. Forty five minutes of der fuhrer.

  • Atheism Is Not A Religion Redux x 99   1 day 12 hours ago

    Conservatives hated the progress the 14th amendment and reconstruction brought, so they ended it for over a 100 years. Voting rights did come a 100 years later, then due to reagan, the scotus ended voting rights and the redneck states began denying blacks their voting rights by many different means. Most often it was closing 75% of the polling places in the minority districts, but not in the rich districts. They hated seeing blacks in congress in 1875, they still hate seeing blacks in any position whites have been in, like POTUS. 1994 marks the first anti-lynching law, but it wasn't allowed to say lynching in the bill or it would not pass. The south wants lynching, it's tradition, and heritage, and all the other euphemisms they find for bald faced racism.

    Once again, science does not require belief to exist, sky fairies do. 2+2=4 whether I believe it or not. Sky fairies only exist because of belief or superstition, and will cease to exist when people quit believing because they only exist in people's minds, like schizophrenia and bi-polar, although those latter are both real, they are only in the afflicted's brain and when the afflicted dies, their affliction dies with them, just like their fantasy of an afterlife.

    Another definition of something that exists in only a believer's mind is a cult. Charlie Manson was like a god to his disciples. Heaven's Gate had guys castrating themselves to prepare for their journey on the Hale Bop comet that they wanted to board. The only way to board the comet was by donning Nikes, placing 5 quarters in your pocket, then drinking arsenic and apple juice before slipping a plastic bag over your head. They believed that nonsense, but the only place it was real was in their heads. Believing it did not make it real. Science is real, no matter who believes it. The church didn't believe Galileo, but he was right. The church was wrong but their actions forced Descartes to reword his own discoveries about conscience and reality. When he saw his friend locked up, Rene put a gimme or two in his beliefs. Anything not real in his calculation must be due to demonic powers, but god will protect us from demons and since Rene's reality had not changed, the devil was tamed, and that means god exists. This was after the Catholics locked up his friend for telling the truth. God's job was to fight the devil, and since the devil did not dispprove Descartes' thesis, god must be doing his job, and therefore exists.

    One thing about Descartes' mathematization of everything is that it produced some anomalies. like math proves boiling water freezes faster than cold water. The thing is, that IS true, and we proved it in chemistry class. The difference is that when water is boiling some of it turns to steam and is not there to participate in the heat transfer necessary to freeze the water. Really, a smaller volume will always freeze faster than a larger volume. So you have ice cubes faster, but they're smaller.

    physics/General/hot_water explains other reasons.

Community Archive

What happens in a musician's brain when they play a song?

Let's get geeky on music. Ever wonder what's happening in a musician's brain when they're actually playing a song?

What about when a musician starts improvising - starts playing music directly "off the cuff"?