- Markets crashing around the world.
- Martin Luther King day.
- Guest: Alex Epstein, Ayn Rand Institute. Little medical clinics.
- Economics rant.
- Dr. Jonathan Kaplan. "Housing Discrimination as a Basis for Black Reparations".
- Guest: Terry O'Sullivan, Laborers' International Union of North America.
Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.
- Thom is back from his business / 35th wedding anniversary / using up expiring air miles trip to London. Carbon Offsets.
- Markets crashing around the world. The American markets are closed for Martin Luther King day.
- Article: Making Money in Medicine Is Moral, Ayn Rand Institute.
- Guest: Alex Epstein, Ayn Rand Institute. Are little medical clinics in CVS drug stores or Safeways going to be the salvage of for profit medical health care in America? The Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so he can't comment on political candidates. "Making Money in Medicine Is Moral".
- Bumper Music: Tonsils in Taiwan, Jim Terr, Blue Canyon Productions.
- Hillary won the Nevada caucuses, so why did Obama get more delegates? The system is weighted towards rural areas.
- Article: Just one more year! Good riddance to George W Bush: But what kind of mess will the next president inherit.
"Is he the worst President in US history? Mr Bush faces stiff competition from the likes of James Buchanan, who watched as America slipped towards civil war, or Warren Harding with his corrupt administration, or Herbert Hoover, who failed to halt the slide into the Great Depression, or, more recently, Richard Nixon, the only President to be forced to resign. But in terms of dogmatism, incompetence, ignorance and divisiveness, Mr Bush surely compares with any of the above...
In Greek mythology, Hercules washed away that mess by re-routing the rivers Alpheus and Peneus. Whoever takes the oath of office next 20 January will face a similar task in repairing America, both at home and in the eyes of the world."
There was also a chart on the next page, not on the web site; How the candidates would change America:
Hillary Clinton: Has proposed a $70bn (£35bn) emergency stimulus package, aimed at lower income groups. Thereafter would repeal Bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 or more.
Barack Obama: Wants immediate tax cuts for workers, home owners and retirees. Would extend jobless benefits. In office, would scrap Bush tax cuts for the rich and raise capital gains tax sharply.
John Edwards: Would beef up federal aid to the states and bolster investment in "clean energy". Would repeal Bush tax cuts and raise capital gains tax from 15 per cent to a maximum 28 per cent.
John McCain: Like most Republicans he hasn't got into the specifics of an anti-recession package. Like them, he would make Bush's tax cuts permanent, instead of letting them expire in 2010.
Mike Huckabee: Peddles a weird conservative populism. Harangues the bosses, but wants to eliminate income and payroll taxes and replace them with a sales tax that would hit the "little guy" hardest.
Mitt Romney: Promises a stimulus package, but no detail so far. Says he will restore lost manufacturing jobs by massive hi-tech spending, especially on energy. Would abolish estate tax (death duties).
Barack Obama: Proposals less comprehensive than those of Clinton and Edwards. Wants competing private plans and an expansion of Medicare, the programme for the elderly, and Medicaid, for the poor.
John Edwards: The first to propose a detailed plan for universal coverage. His and Clinton's plans are similar and would be paid for by making the system more efficient and repealing tax cuts for the rich.
Hillary Clinton: Healthcare reform was her nemesis in 1994. Now proposes a plan requiring everybody to get insurance through employers. Low earners and small firms would get subsidies or tax credits.
Mike Huckabee: Would make healthcare costs tax-deductible. Emphasizes prevention, and would make coverage automatically transferable from job to job. But insists on "free market" system.
Mitt Romney: Insists healthcare coverage should be a matter of choice, with the cost tax-deductible. But as Massachusetts governor, he pushed a plan virtually the same as those of Clinton and Edwards.
Mitt Romney: Turned super-right-wing on immigration. Opposes any path to legalization and would cut funding of cities that will not, or cannot, enforce existing immigration laws. Supports the fence.
A graph (also not on the web site) shows McCain beating all the Democrats.
- Thom's plane was the last plane to land at Heathrow before the air crash.
- Bumper Music: Attitude, the Kinks.
- Article: Safeway plans to offer hearty premiums to healthy workers.
- Article: Drug demand threatens vital medicinal plants.
- Nationalization coming back in the UK, New Zealand has nationalized their airline, Russia has nationalized their oil, gas, natural resources. A variety of countries have nationalized their banks. American banks and investment banks are being nationalized by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, China and Dubai.
- The French health system is best, and USA does not look at it. Michael Moore explained it well.
- Bumper Music: 5 O’clock World, The Vogues.
- The Nevada caucuses.
- Economics rant. Stocks crashing. They resurrected Greenspan. It's his fault. He is in Ayn Rand's cult. Spending money on bombs etc. rather than infrastructure. World War Two prolonged the damage to the USA. History of wars, borrowing, paying for them. Thom's dad was working 3 jobs in the 50s. 60s boom. Vietnam. 70s bill for Vietnam. Iraq war. Reagan and the presidents who followed him were gung ho on throwing borders open to transnationals. Reagan amnesty to illegals. Recession. Not spending on core stuff. Bush stopped publishing M3.
- Bumper Music: There’s No Business Like Oil Business, Smell the Hooey !
- What will happen when the stock market opens tomorrow? Will the oil stocks drop? Exxon Mobil, Canadian companies. gold? Gold has dropped, down 30 dollars or so. Recession or depression? Minerals will hold their own in a recession, gold may stay about 850, could go a lot higher.
- Article: German politicians ditch their Nokias.
- Bumper Music: Livin' Thing, ELO.
- 364 days 10 hours... before George Bush leaves office.
- Missing White House emails.
" The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. "Ye shall know the truth," says Jesus, "and the truth shall set you free." Now, I've chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam because I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.
The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing, as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we're always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on. Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony. But we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for in all our history there has never been such a monumental dissent during a war, by the American people.
Polls reveal that almost fifteen million Americans explicitly oppose the war in Vietnam. Additional millions cannot bring themselves around to support it. And even those millions who do support the war [are] half-hearted, confused, and doubt-ridden. This reveals that millions have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism, to the high grounds of firm dissent, based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history."
Martin Luther King, "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam". April 30, 1967, Riverside Church, New York (audio).
- How many of the corporate media will be playing clips from THAT speech? On the day he was assassinated he was speaking about the right to strike, to janitors. He took the moral high ground on a variety of issues. Republican denial.
- Bumper Music: Hello, NSA, Roy Zimmerman.
- Thom used up some expiring miles for a wedding anniversary/business trip to the UK. The UK is the most observed society, cameras everywhere. Yet unlike at American airports, you don't have to take off your shoes or take computers or liquids out.
- Article: Historians Fear MLK’s Legacy Being Lost.
- In '83, Thom and Louise moved from New Hampshire to Atlanta for 13 years. They looked at houses. The real estate agent asked Louise if she wanted to see mixed or white-only neighborhoods. Thom was not asked. The wealth (not income) gap huge, on average $121,000 for whites, $19,000 net for blacks. Most net worth is in homes.
- Article: Housing Discrimination as a Basis for Black Reparations, Jonathan Kaplan and Andrew Valls.
"Recent arguments in favor of reparations for Black Americans have been based primarily on the unpaid labor performed by African-American slaves before the Civil War. These arguments have come under attack on several grounds, perhaps most importantly that the harms done by slavery were done too long ago for monetary reparations to make sense, as it is too difficult to trace the effects of the harms of slavery to particular contemporary individuals. However, such a response ignores the effects of the continued discrimination suffered by Black Americans in U.S. In this paper, we argue that a case can be made for Black reparations based not on the historical legacy of slavery, but rather on relatively recent – and in many cases still on-going – housing and mortgage discrimination in the U.S. Insofar as much of the contemporary “wealth gap” between Black and White Americans is the result of different patterns of home ownership and real-estate appreciation, the fundamentally unjust practices that resulted in these different patterns stand in need of redress. While this redress could take many different forms, all would seem to demand a substantial financial investment."
- Guest: Dr. Jonathan Kaplan who specializes in the Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Science and Political Philosophy at Oregon State University. "Housing Discrimination as a Basis for Black Reparations". The government subsidized wealth growth for whites. so should help blacks build wealth.
- Bumper Music: The Way Life's Meant to Be, ELO.
- Guest: Terry O'Sullivan, Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) General President. He sent Thom a note earlier about job losses. In December 49,000 construction workers lost their jobs, 195,000 in 2007. Infrastructure produces a 6 to 1 return on investment. Build infrastructure not bombs. Unemployment 5% in December. Short term stimulus packages won't do much.
- Bumper Music: Turn It Up, The Alan Parsons Project.
- Article: Police: Grandmother Arrested At McDonald's Drive-Thru For Not Pulling Car Forward.
- Article: Mobile phone radiation wrecks your sleep.
- Voter candy like Hillary's 90 day holiday for foreclosures. Fifth amendment requires just compensation for taking property. Rockefeller got good publicity for handing out dimes. Edwards to act as kingmaker?
- Bumper Music: We Carry On, Tim McGraw.