May 02 2008 show notes

  • "Brunch with Bernie" with Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont.
  • Guest: Ravi Batra, professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Are we still in a recession?
  • "Anything goes" Friday.
  • Overview of public corporate charter history, which Thom wrote a whole book about, Unequal Protection.

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Friday 02 May '08 show

  • Article: OPEC president sees $200 oil possible: report.
    "The prices are high due to the fact of the recession in the United States and the economic crisis which has touched several countries, a situation which has an effect on the devaluation of the dollar, and therefore each time the dollar falls one percent, the price of the barrel rises by $4, and of course vice versa." OPEC President Chakib Khelil.
  • "Brunch with Bernie" with Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont. People need to hear ideas outside the corporate mainstream media. Gas prices. Effect on people getting to work or their doctor, and on truckers, the impact on food, tourism. Oil companies' record profits. He wants a windfall profits tax, it has some support. How will old people heat their homes next winter? We need to move away from fossil fuel. Potential of renewable energy, energy efficiency. Some progress, very long way to go. Four strategies. We have to deal with speculation, unregulated hedge funds, OPEC which is a Cartel - hardly free trade yet the Bush administration, strategic petroleum reserve nearly full, stop putting some in. Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, wrote to Bush saying it is not a production problem. OPEC President Chakib Khelil said each time the dollar falls in value by 1%, the price of oil goes up by four dollars.

    Sign up for Bernie's letter, and join Thom's message board. Medics don't have supplies for Iraq. Loss of manufacturing jobs and the offices. What can Congress do? Moratorium on trade agreements, rewrite existing ones. The future of GE seen in China, Jack Welch of GE started outsourcing. Finance. Foreclosure. It is highly unlikely that anyone other than McCain, Clinton or Obama will become president. We need a Democratic super majority in the Senate. Filibusters. 05/05/2008oes the new carrier group going to the Gulf mean the US is going to bomb Iran? Bernie does town halls on the show, and all over Vermont. He thinks it is important to cut through the corporate media nonsense and talk to real people. He takes unscreened, unscripted calls unlike the big name politicians that Thom won't have on the show because they insist on scripts. Bernie's a statesman. New economic numbers. How can the unemployment rate be dropping with so much happening? Inaccurate measure. It excludes discouraged workers and those forced to take part time work. Is Hillary running out of money or superdelegates? Bernie keeps out of it, he would support either. The negativity annoys him.

  • Bumper Music: Have You Had Enough?, Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher.
  • Bumper Music: Do America, Mark Knopfler.
  • Bumper Music: Bubbly, Colbie Caillat (video).
  • Guest: Ravi Batra, professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Author of "Greenspan's Fraud: How Two Decades of His Policies Have Undermined the Global Economy" and "The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos", "The Myth of Free Trade: The Pooring of America". Example of headlines from Drudge Report:

    Article: Bush says economy is going to 'come on'...
    Article: GLOOM LIFTING? Sense of Optimism Begins to Ease Onto Wall St...
    Article: Dow crosses 13,000; Dollar UP...
    Article: GUSHER: CHEVRON profit rises 9.5%....

    Gold is down, oil is softening. Is all going to be wonderful? They have pumped so much money into the economy since September. More job losses. We are working fewer hours. prices are up 4% over a year, wages 2-3%. We've bought 2-3 months, the stimulus checks are going out, but we have not dealt with the fundamental problems. More debt, and debt got us into it. Negative growth rate if you take the right inflation rate. Changing definition of recession. It's not demand driving the oil price, forecast oil would keep rising. He's not conservative or liberal, but common sense. Supply and demand are both important. Supply is more important mostly in underdeveloped economies, with insufficient manufacturing, and in America demand is most important. The main source of supply is productivity, and of supply is wages. Productivity is rising, wages dropping. So they are creating debt, but cannot make any more as all the equity is used up.

    Are other commodities undergoing a bubble? Wheat, oil. It's all part of cycle described in "the Golden Age". List. Money is not going in increased wages, it's going to CEOs, speculation, hedge funds. The Fed dropped the rate so people will borrow more. Gold has fallen by about 11 dollars, it's a buying opportunity. Buy gold companies then immediately sell options in case it goes down, otherwise it is risky. He has done it. If can't afford to invest, hold your cash; get out of debt only if you are secure, otherwise you will likely need the cash within a year. The head of OPEC said that oil could hit $200 soon. Glass Steagall Act. Relationship of the Fed dropping rates and consumer loan rates? The Fed does not insist that rates drop. We need usury laws. Raising stock market margins? Extreme. Speculation is in derivatives and commodities where there are no margin requirements. He would break up oil companies. Owning foreign currency - what form? ETFs, for example FXE, then sell call options. Euro ones are safer. Convert any IRA to a bank IRA if it is not already, so it is protected. Deficit. In his book he says we are going from the age of greed to the age of warriors, a golden age. How does this reconcile with police cruelty, mercenaries? How can they be the new heroes? He means the return of discipline. It's a metaphor for a mentality, for example professional athletes will be elected. The courage to challenge the status quo, like Obama who was nowhere when the book was written. Inflation, cash decreasing in value. Keeping cash is a survival strategy for those with nothing to invest.

  • Bumper Music: We'll Be Watching You, Dave, The Power Hour.
  • screwed we the people
  • Bumper Music: Send It, ELO.
  • Quote:
    "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
    14th Amendment, Section 1.
  • Overview of public corporate charter history, which Thom wrote a whole book about, Unequal Protection. Public charters have not been for the public good since the 1890s, so we cannot threaten to revoke their charters. The founders were very worried about the corporate form. The Boston Tea Party was a revolt against the East India Company getting a huge tax cut in 1773. So the constitution does not authorize the creation of a corporation. That power was given to the states, and was done by the Secretaries of State and until the late 1800s state laws said that corporations cannot live longer than a human working life span (20 to 40 years), then had to be dissolved, although it could start again the same day, but everything would be taxed so there would not be a landed gentry accumulating wealth indefinitely. There were no millionaires, those that already existed left during the revolution, and there are no dynasties from before the 1880s. The first millionaire in todays dollars was in 1790. A corporation couldn't own stock in other corporations. Corporations had to specify in their charters the single purpose for which they were incorporated, and they could not do anything else. The first sentence in the corporate charter had to say it was created for the purpose of serving the public good; profit came second. Every Secretary of State was required to annually examine the behavior of corporations and dissolve them if they were not serving the public good. Corporate personhood. The head note on the "Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad" case, 1886. 14th amendment. Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Rockefeller. The charter mongering era. Robber barons.
    unequal protection
  • Article: Geraldo: ‘Once you go black, you don’t go back.’.
  • Thom's book Walking Your Blues Away.
  • Book: The Ethical Brain, Michael S. Gazzaniga.
  • Book: "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image", Leonard Shlain.
  • Article: How the Brain Learns to Read Can Depend on the Language.
  • Book: "The Energy Non Crisis", Lindsey Williams.
  • Quote:
    "Under the Republican Administration, as our country has prospered, so have its people. This is as it should be, for as President Eisenhower said: "Labor is the United States. The men and women, who with their minds, their hearts and hands, create the wealth that is shared in this country—they are America."

    The Eisenhower Administration has brought to our people the highest employment, the highest wages and the highest standard of living ever enjoyed by any nation. Today there are nearly 67 million men and women at work in the United States, 4 million more than in 1952. Wages have increased substantially over the past 3 1/2 years; but, more important, the American wage earner today can buy more than ever before for himself and his family because his pay check has not been eaten away by rising taxes and soaring prices.

    The record of performance of the Republican Administration on behalf of our working men and women goes still further. The Federal minimum wage has been raised for more than 2 million workers. Social Security has been extended to an additional 10 million workers and the benefits raised for 6 1/2 million. The protection of unemployment insurance has been brought to 4 million additional workers. There have been increased workmen's compensation benefits for longshoremen and harbor workers, increased retirement benefits for railroad employees, and wage increases and improved welfare and pension plans for federal employees.

    In addition, the Eisenhower Administration has enforced more vigorously and effectively than ever before, the laws which protect the working standards of our people.

    Workers have benefited by the progress which has been made in carrying out the programs and principles set forth in the 1952 Republican platform. All workers have gained and unions have grown in strength and responsibility, and have increased their membership by 2 millions.

    Furthermore, the process of free collective bargaining has been strengthened by the insistence of this Administration that labor and management settle their differences at the bargaining table without the intervention of the Government. This policy has brought to our country an unprecedented period of labor-management peace and understanding...

    Republican action created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as the first new Federal department in 40 years, to raise the continuing consideration of these problems for the first time to the highest council of Government, the President's Cabinet.... We have supported the distribution of free vaccine to protect millions of children against dreaded polio.

    Republican leadership has enlarged Federal assistance for construction of hospitals, emphasizing low-cost care of chronic diseases and the special problems of older persons, and increased Federal aid for medical care of the needy.

    We have asked the largest increase in research funds ever sought in one year to intensify attacks on cancer, mental illness, heart disease and other dread diseases.

    Republican Party Platform of 1956.
  • Article: Republicans - Please Take Back Your Party. Thom, October 24, 2003.
  • Bumper Music: What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong. Thanks.
  • Quote: "Now, I want to say something very important to you about this issue of morality in government. ... I think it is just as immoral for the Congress to enact special tax favors into law as it is for a tax official to connive in a crooked tax return. It is just as immoral to use the lawmaking power of: the Government to enrich the few at the expense of the many, as it is to steal money from the public treasury. That is stealing money from the public treasury. ... Legislation that favored the greed of monopoly and the trickery of Wall Street was a form of corruption that did the country four times as much harm as Teapot Dome ever did. ... I don't think the "black is white" campaign of the Republican Party is going to succeed. I think the voters are going to see through this holier-than-thou disguise that our Republican friends are putting on. All the tricks of Republican propaganda cannot make the people forget that the Democratic Party has been working for their welfare."
    Harry S Truman, March 29, 1952 "Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner" speech (mp3 ftp)
  • Article: List of Suicides by whistle blowers or those that knew things.
  • "We have tried to be very, very transparent and clear -- everyone from the President to the President's senior economic advisors, like Ed Lazear and Hank Paulson and Keith Hennessey. And from the podium, the way we talk about the economy, we want to be very transparent and clear about exactly what we're seeing. If it's doing better, we'll tell you that we think it's doing better. And if it's softening, we've told you that we see softening, and that we see numbers that are not as strong as we'd like to see. And we hope to, as the year progresses, and as we expect the economy to do better, we want to be able to tell you that. And so the language is important from our perspective as to how we talk about it, but other people out there, they'll say what they want to say. "
    Press Gaggle by Tony Fratto, May 2, 2008, talking about recession.
  • Victoria Jones of Talk Radio News. All are talking about the DC madam's death, and who will be the next superdelegate to jump. Suspicious whistle blower suicides. Next week Larisa Alexandrova will be on the show about break ins. Read at about them at Raw Story. Tony Fratto talking about recession. Bush sent a bill for money for Iraq, including $1.7bn for infrastructure etc.

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From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"In an age rife with media-inspired confusion and political cowardice, we yearn for a decent, caring, deeply human soul whose grasp of the problems confronting us provides a light by which we can make our way through the quagmire of lies, distortions, pandering, and hollow self-puffery that strips the American Dream of its promise. How lucky we are, then, to have access to the wit, wisdom, and willingness of Thom Hartmann, who shares with us here that very light, grown out of his own life experience."
Mike Farrell, actor, political activist, and author of Just Call Me Mike and Of Mule and Man
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine