What topics would you like to see on The Big Picture? What would you like to see more of or less of? Thoughts? Rants? from Abroad - post here...
"Renaissance Thinking About the Issues of Our Day"
What topics would you like to see on The Big Picture? What would you like to see more of or less of? Thoughts? Rants? from Abroad - post here...
Hi, please address some of the issues talked about in the documentary "Thrive" by Foster and Kimberley Gamble. They have done an amazing job of covering nearly every aspect of the big picture and seem to have an extremely accurate account of whats really going on in the world.
There are plently more documentaries that you all need to start watching which are massive eye openers to us all incl. "The Secret Of Oz" and "Food Matters" being the most watched on our site.
VERY important people i want to see on your show:
Common Law (Freeman info): Dean C. Clifford, Raymond St. Clair, Robert Arthur Menard, John Harris
Banking: Bill Still, Simon Dixon, Mike Montagne
Free Energy: Nassim Haramein, Marko Rodin, John Searl, Jason Verbelli
Great show, keep up the good work, from all of us here in Ireland :)
From UK View on Guns
Im sure glad we dont have people walking around with guns like in the States. I really dont see the reason for people to have the right to own single use instruments of death. If i come up against criminals, id much prefer they didnt have guns like most of them in England.
Stocks and CEO Bonuses
I have been a fan of your radio show since the beginning of the first Bush regime, and I have been watching your TV show “The Big Picture” for last few months.
I am currently living in Brazil (I am a Brazilian-American dual national) and occasionally I send some of your clips to by Brazilian friends who receive your unconventional point of view with great enthusiasm. Nothing in Brazilian media comes close to the level of detail and analysis your show provides.
Before I lose myself in introductions, the reason I am posting this message to you today is as follows:
During an interview with David Cay Johnson, on your show of the 5th of April, you touched on a subject of particular interest in my professional circle. I am referring to the scandal in the company Hostess, where the CEOs essentially payed-out their own bonuses to the death of their company.
This a common cycle in the world of business; administrators, and not necessarily at the level of CEOs, mask and shuffle numbers around just in time to receive their bonuses, only to inevitably lead to a decline in their company's economic health. In Brazil, and I believe this is true for companies in the US as well, many administrators time their exit from a company and entry into another, to periods just before the “financial time bomb” explodes. This detachment of the interests of the administrators to that of their company is troubling to us in a company's lower echelons and to society as a whole.
In a recent water-cooler battle, I suggested that we petition our congresses for a law which would force companies to pay all performance-based bonuses in the form of company stock. I believed at the time, that this would have the “attachment effect” that we so miss from our administrators. With rules against inside trading, it would be much more difficult for CEOs to time their actions to avoid the time bomb they planted.
I believe that in the show you alluded that this form of stock-based payment has harmful effects. I would be very curious if you could elaborate on this point on a future show.
Please keep up the excellent work.
Hello Ms. Hartmann and friends
I just posted an idea for your show hope this helps
I have watched The Big Picture for several weeks and congratulate you on a clear statement of many important issues. A NZ cartoonist has also helped us understand the US primaries, see, "The Republican Primaries Explained" at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/news-cartoons/news/article.cfm?c_id=500814&obj...
Although I consider myself a "conservative" voter, I fear the extreme positions taken by the Republican Party. They reminds me more and more of the excesses of 18C France. I am now waiting for the new Romney Campaign Slogan. My pick is that it will be "Let them eat cake".
I am trying to make sense of this recent NYT article on RT (below). Does that mean that Thom is also IN BED with the Kremlin? Does that make me, a viewer, also IN BED with the Kremlin? This is so outrageous. Can there be an open discussion about this very subject (like a whole special Big Picture deconstruction of such a statement), a way of discussing with all of us (producers and viewers) how this might (repeat might) be perceived (or even be) straight propaganda coming from the East? Again, how trying to make sense of what's happening to our democracy, our economy, our politics, our next generation be considered treason? Is it?
The situation is almost hysterical since the way I got access to RT was courtesy of Uncle Sam: the change of technology that brought down the antenna and made us slaves to that little $40 box, reserved for the poor (those who cannot afford cable) and those who want straight/any access to intellectually stimulating shows.
Your take? Thom's take?
Of course, practically speaking, Mr. Assange is in bed with the Kremlin, but on Tuesday’s show he didn’t put out.
I'm Dil from Singapore and I've been watching The Big Picture for several weeks now.
Watching the GOP debates, from an outside point of view is almost comical. Most Republicans only want to focus on foreign affairs and have no real answers for the situation America is in now other than simply discrediting every idea from the Obama camp. It appears that Obama can't get anything done because the Republicans are blocking everything just so he fails.
I think it all goes down to the political system in America. Is the American political system in need for major reforms? Could America be better off with the systems of Australia, Canada or some European nations?
Cropped from existence...
No matter how brilliant my question, a little New Zealand flag won't ever appear on your map because my entire country has been sadly cropped from existence. :(
Yet again... http://www.moviemistakes.com/picture18990
However, I'll make an attempt to ask a serious question anyway:
Previously-censored NASA scientist, James Hansen, recently proposed a carbon tax strategy (see link) that would rapidly move the US to a clean energy future. His solution: a gradually-growing carbon tax that would go directly to the people themselves, not the government. It has genius in its simplicity, and would be effective in all the right places, however...
It underlines my greater frustration of how a government, whose role it is to represent their population, will never use the very best ideas that come out of that same population- like Jame's Hansen's carbon tax idea. Instead they make often secretive decisions on the population's behalf, and both the press and the population themselves are left to retro-engineer from the outcomes what those original decisions were- like the Iraq war, etc.
Am I seeing this system all wrong? And if I'm not, then does this not frustrate you also?
Thank you for your great work.
Auckland, New Zealand.
I am Jean-Marc from France, and there are many things I do not understand about US politics.
Among them, I heard and read numerous times that the poor do not vote in your country. If that is true, could you please explain why?? I really do not get this.
Another thing I don't get is why is it that you guys vote on tuesdays and not on week-ends? Don't you want a maximum of people voting?
I could go on and on with things I find bizarre in your politics, like why is 51 out of 100 not considered a majority in the senate, why is the current economy labeled the "Obama economy", as "explained" by the pundits, when congress won't let him implement any economic policy, etc...
Congratulations for your show,
Jean-Marc, from Trets (Small town in the south of France).
Hi I'm from Scotland
Just wanted to draw your attention to the Justice For Andrew Messina Facebook page.
A 16yr old American boy with ADHD brutally shot by POLICE in his own home.
A very distressing story and worthy of a look by Thom or yourself.
Hello from British Columbia, Canada... I have been listening to your show on RT for the past while. But, tonight, (19 June 2012) you mentioned something that I really had to comment on. You mentioned about a talk show host using the "monkey" phrase to refer to Pres. Obama. That is WAY out of line. Many other announcers have lost jobs for racial slurs, why not this person? Is there no respect remaining for the Office of the President of the United States? Whether you agree or disagree with the President, it is most inappropriate to refer to him in that way. If the office is based on looks, make running for President the same as running for Miss America. Bathing suit, evening wear, and the skill testing question. And everybody can text their vote.
Well, that is my rant for the night... Thanks for the place to write it....
Hi from the UK would be great to see you bring on Dr Webster Tarpley and other member of the UFAA United Front against Austerity to discuss austerity as thom recently put up the video on Austerity.
Dr Tarpley recent speech at the UFAA meeting in New York
My name is Gus, I am a Brazilian / American dual national and I've been a loyal fan of your radio show for over 10 years and I have been following your RT-TV show, “The Big Picture,” since I found it on youtube about a year ago.
Now that the US presidential elections are over, and thank God, Mit Romney has been given the proverbial foot-out-of-the-door by the American people, I am finally comfortable asking for a favor as a progressive Brazilian.
There is a news topic making head lines in Brazil, which I believe would be of interest for you TV show. I am speaking of course of the corruption trials, dubbed “The Big Monthly,” which are concluding this week in the Brazilian supreme court. In summary, the case involves a number of president Lula's former top aides, including his former chief of staff José Dirceu, who are accused of a running a cash for votes scheme in the government's house of representatives. The name “Big monthly” refers to alleged large monthly payments made to members of parliament for votes favoring the government coalition.
The trials are making headlines internationally, mainly because for the first time, top government officials are actually being found guilty in Brazilian high courts. The Brazilian upper class is mostly jubilant about the decisions, the national media is having a field day; The largest TV network in Brazil Rede Globo is televising the trial as if it were a reality show. And, so far the international media seems to be unanimously praising the Brazilian court for taking a tough stance against a previously “untouchable” class.
However, even the most casual observer will notice a number of unsettling issues surrounding the case: First the trials were timed to coincide with the Brazilian mid-term elections. Although, the tactic did not work, the Brazilian people, as the American people, gave the media the proverbial middle finger and voted for Lula's party in record numbers. Second, very tough and unprecedented convictions are apparently being handed-out based on nothing but hearsay and circumstantial evidence; Dirceu himself was convicted yesterday of a 10 year prison sentence without (to my knowledge) any real documented evidence.
It is tough to have a clear vision of what is going on. Brazil's legal system is overly complex and archane, so this may just be a signal of good reforms to come. It may also be a repeat of recent history where a short-lived democratic government is overthrown by a conservative elite once the progressive leaders cannot be defeated at the polls.
We need the foreign press on this case, Thom. The corrupt and ultra-conservative Brazilian media is useless here, and the progressives in Brazil are too polluted by strong feelings of sympathy towards Lula's aides to give us unbiased information. As a concerned citizen, I am desperate to find out how much of this is actual reform of a byzantine judicial system and how much of this is foreplay to a repeat of the “constitutional” coup-d'etat we saw recently in the Honduras and Paraguay.
If you are interested, as a first step, I would suggest you to contact Professor Matthew Taylor, in the American University in Washington. He is an expert in the Brazilian judicial system.
Also, I believe I can get you in touch with some progressive bloggers in Brazil who may be able to connect you to interesting people in Brazil, perhaps even Dirceu himself (if he is not under gag-order already).
Thank you very much Thom.
On The Big Picture Show yesterday, Thom interviewed Neil McCabe, editor of Guns & Patriots.
In that interview Neil pointed out that no license is required to ride a horse so why should we need one to drive a car?
Thom made the completely false reply that not so many people were killed by horse transport as are today with motor vehicles. The statistics aren't available but it is probable that a lot more people were killed by horses.
My grandfather, who lived half his life without ever seeing a motor vehicle, constantly commented on how much safer motor vehicles are than horses! People every hour of every day everywhere were routinely killed by horses kicking them in the stables or street, or throwing riders, or by being spooked and stampeding through the streets towing heavy carts behind them. But nobody thought it was strange or avoidable since, after all, horses are only stupid, tricky and dangerous animals.
Notes for Thom hartmann:
(please excuse my language and grammar - I'm from Denmark)
Hi Thom - i've recently turned to RT for my international news (and especially US news). I used to also follow Alonya and Capital Account. But now i have to settle with The Big Picture and Breaking the set .
I think you are doing a great job in informing both the US and the rest of the world to the politics, economics, etc. in the US.
I am however sometimes wondering about ....
How is it possible that you never discuss e.g. the Scandinavian Model ?-
- Everybody pays taxes (at least compared to the rest of the world)
- In every study made these countries are the happiest in the world
- Social mobility is highest in these countries (i.e. the American dream "some day i'll be a millionaire"), this is in fact the most probable countries, where you would move from poor to rich.
- Social benefits works relatively well (pension and unemployment)
- There is universal health coverage
* This one i especially don't get !!
* In Denmark it is fundamentally understood that the state should pay if people get sick. Our whole health system is basically nationalized, and everybody agrees that this is the best way to do it.
* As i understand it in US more than 50% of the health costs goes to lawyers !!! .... Can't you see this is fundamentally wrong !!!!
You somehow get alternatives to the plutocracy/oligarchical capitalism completely wrong.
I consider myself a hybrid between a liberal and a socialist democrat
Some notes to existing legal concepts in the US:
- Anything is legalized in the pursuit of profit/greed
* Murder, Pollution, Buying elections
* More rights to corporations than individual human beings
The Industrial Military complex
- Send young people into death, while US military contractors are jerking of in their trousers to the profit they make.
The corporate owned media
- Keep the ordinary citizen completely 'clueless'
- Nothing is reported that doesn't benefit the Corporation
"Blackwater", Private military/police and Private penal system
- US is not a democratic country with individual rights and freedom
I guess that you're close to a fascist plutocracy
The 'FED' and 'Fiat' Money
- How are you allowing a private company to print the money ?????
* I guess the reserve act from 1913 is a conspiracy fact now
- It states "We the people" in the constitution
So the state should be people serving the people
- YOU should not allow the FED to further abuse a defect money system:
* Fractional reserve banking establishes an unstable money system (research a bit about dynamic modelling)
* Interest on money establishes a system where the outstanding debt requires an exponential growth in the money supply, so the system will eventually require hyperinflation and crash
The education system
- As i understand it the next generation will be less educated than the previous one.
- This is the first time in history that has happened !!
- Nobody has the money to pay for the education
- Hmm... Shouldn't the state be in charge of education
- This basically falls in line with the Corporations motive to keep the people clueless.
The horrific situation regarding the extreme fundamenlistic religious 'right'
- No scientific education in the education system
* Creationists vs. Evolution
- Religion is just story-telling (US is basically celebrating a 'myth' just like Nordic gods, greek gods or santa claus for that matter)
§ I'm not against 'faith' per se, but against organized religion used to control the masses and extracting the last money from them, since they have no other hope.
* Using that myth to create a polarized country that thinks elections is about religion and abortion
I think US should be put under UN supervision, until some kind of civilized society is restored :-)
In the Scandinavian countries people have decided that functions such as: Health, Education, Infrastructure, Police, Military, etc. is issues to important to have greed-egoism and profit decide for the people. (BTW: Evolution tells us that the most effective systems are based on cooperation and not egotism)
.... Rant over ....
From the Netherlands
Subject: Gun in schools in the USA
I watched the recent episode (9 july) and it's discussion about guns in schools. And I missed one, I think critical, argument from your side. Which in my opinion setles this debate. Let's say this thing is being implemented in schools. One day teacher X is standing in front of a third grade class, with a sidearm on his/her hip. One child askes: "Why do you wear a gun?". Teacher replies: "To protect us from bad people.". Child goes home, sees his older brother steal money from his mothers waller. Child knows this is a 'bad' thing, gets dad's gun and shoots his brother. I know this is not a realistic scenario. But the point is, children copy the behavior of their elders in a community. If the see guns on/with people they see most of their day during the week, who knows how children will react. But one thing is sure. They can not comprihant the seriousness and carefullness needed to interact with firearms, directly or indirectly. It is an accident waiting to happen. And I think the affect on the children is the main subject to look at in this issue. So I hope that maybe in future debates, maybe you can use this argument to bring back some sanity in the minds of the people of the USA and their views on firearms and security.
With kind regards,
The gun culture will never change in the states. Your firearm crimes in the Netherlands are similar to ours in Sweden. We had a hand gun homicide in 2010 and 2 in 2011 so according to nra our gun control doesn't work because our handgun homicide rate went up by 100% in 1 year.
There is so much profit in guns, death is just a cost to be absorbed in the states, a cost the market is happy to bear. USPL is the country's real moniker, United States of Profit & Loss
Bottom-up no trickle-down theory
Yes, I am an international viewer from Romania. And I would like to share a piece of legislation in my country which Thom might like.
He often says that by helping the working class weather the economic crisis it would help the consumption and fuel the recovery because the poor spend most of their money. It is a fuel injection from bottom-up into the economy, as opposed to the trickle-down economics where you provide tax cuts from which mostly the upper income benefits and after they are satisfied, some benefits may leak to the less wealthy. As Thom points out in many occasions, that is not true, given the tax loopholes and the safe heaven storage of the excess cash.
In Romania, member of EU, there is a center-left government that just came out with this proposal of bottom-up bailout, instead of the top-down bailout that happened in the US. I regard this as a small innovation and let me explain the details, a bit.
We have a growing rate of nonperforming loans, late than 90 days. It is a combined effect of poor job growth and depreciation of the national currency accumulated over the last 4 years of economic crisis.
This is a new proposal that is currently under debate and aims to help the poor as following:
1) Everyone with income below the national average income and with loans that are late but NOT later than 90 days will get a principal reduction from the monthly rate of 50%. Say that you have a monthly rate of 400, 100 being the bank's interest and 300 being the principal payment, your newly monthly rate will be 150+100.
2) This reduction is applicable only for 2 years and it is optional for the banks. The discount in the principal for these 2 years accumulates as a fiscal credit for the indebted. After these two years, during which the citizen accumulated a deficit in principal loan repayment to the bank, amounting to those 50% reduction, the national IRS will reduce the income tax of this citizen such that the excess of money left on hand could be used to repay some of the principal that was unpaid during the past two years.
There are about 1 mil people to which this action could be applied, aiming to keep the consumption and stimulate the economy, while also keeping the banks afloat. With more loans exceeding 90 days, the banks make provisions that erode capital and keep them from crediting the economy.
I'm not sure how this scheme will work. It was criticized by the heads of Chambers of Commerce. Normally, I would say, they favor trickle-down economics to give them the power to decide what to do with the money. But I would agree that it is a bit complicated and this might be its Achilles' heel.
But I like the scheme because the poor working class really circulates money in the economy. They don't travel or invest money abroad or save too much. They spend money in most cases directly to the grocery store next door or in the local agricultural markets, increasing the velocity of the money throughout the economy.