May 05 2008 show notes
- How polarized people are becoming. The need to heal.
- The gas tax holiday proposal.
- Guest: David Horowitz, author, "Party of Defeat: How Democrats and Radicals Undermined America's War on Terror Before and After 9-11".
- Guest: Larisa Alexandrova, Raw Story. Updates on Siegelman and Minor. Multiple burglaries, arson against people involved in cases.
- Guest: Nora Ferm, International Labor Rights Forum. Flower workers' rights. Ask for Fair Trade flowers.
Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.
- Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, noncommitted super delegate, remarked to Thom at the weekend how polarized people are becoming. Returning from a Democratic fundraiser, Thom listened to various right wing radio shows which were all devoting a lot of time either being for Hillary or against Obama.
- Giving a talk at the fundraiser, Thom related the following story which he also told at a previous lecture.
The story that older cultures tell themselves about this is that there is no sin and there is no punishment, but instead what there is, is balance and imbalance, harmony and disharmony.
I got this lesson right in my face about six or seven years ago. I was in Arizona on an Apache reservation, hanging out with a group of Apache men. There were five or six of us sitting around one evening, basically telling stories and being guys. They were telling jokes at the expense of the Hopi who live 600 miles up the road – the Hopi tell Apache jokes and the Apache tell Hopi jokes – it’s all pretty good natured.
I didn’t know any Hopi to make fun of, so I did what we in our culture do, which is called a put-down joke. If you turn on any TV sitcom, within three minutes you will see one; it’s when you make a sarcastic remark about someone in your circle. I made a joke at the expense of the man opposite me around this fire. There was a sudden silence. It was as if I had loudly farted. Stunned silence.
After a long minute or two, the oldest man in the circle roused himself, and said, “I remember when I was young and didn’t know very much and I said something that really deeply hurt a good friend of mine and embarrassed him in front of everybody”. Then he went on to tell the story of what he did to make it right. When he was done, the next guy in the circle says, “Yeah I remember just a few years ago, I made a remark.....”, and each one of them had a story to tell about a time when they had hurt or embarrassed someone in public.
By the time they had gotten to the third one, I had figured out that I had some business to take care of with this fellow afterward when we were alone, and I knew exactly what I had to do because I had heard the stories. But never had any of them, either by tonality or by words implied I had done anything sinful, or bad, or evil, or wrong. What had happened was I had thrown the circle out of balance, and the job of the community was to restore balance. I had created disharmony, so they all had to take on the task of telling me how to reinstall or reinstate harmony.
- Bumper Music: Shout Out Loud, Amos Lee.
- They told Thom how to make it right. There is destructive stuff in the race between Hillary and Obama. Communities to survive have to heal.
"I will tell you this, if Senator Obama is the nominee, I will work my heart out for him." Hillary Clinton.
[Chris Wallace]: "And let me ask you — and obviously, it's always about the millions of people who watch these shows — looking back, do you think it was a mistake for the Democratic Party to boycott Fox debates and all the other programs during the last year, and thereby boycott getting your message out to the millions of people who watch?"
[Howard dean]: "No, I think it was the right thing to do, because there are some things in the news department that have really been shockingly biased, and I think that's wrong."
Howard Dean on 'FOX News Sunday', May 04, 2008.
- Ron Paul has not dropped out of the race yet, and he has millions of dollars in his war chest and is still raising millions, and there has been a virtual media blackout on it.
[Wolf Blitzer]: "But don't you want to see a Republican in the White House?"
[Ron Paul]: "Well, that's secondary to wanting the Constitution defended and wanting the country to go in the right direction, bringing peace around the world, having sound money and balanced budgets. All the things the Republicans, you know, traditionally have stood for. That's more important than just having a Republican. We have to know what we believe in."
[Wolf Blitzer]: "What's your biggest problem with Senator McCain?"
[Ron Paul]: "I would say it was the issue that motivated me probably a year and a half ago to get involved. And that has to do with our foreign policy and the war in the Middle East, because I see it's so damaging to us around the world, as well as something we can't afford. And now we're facing a financial crisis.
And -- but I can't get that many allies in Washington. I mean, they are continuing to spend on war and welfare like there's no economic problem. I mean, any time a problem pops up, the Congress just appropriates more money and the Fed prints more money, and nobody seems to want to slow up."
The Situation Room, May 2, 2008.
"Also, our present emergency and a common sense of decency make it imperative that no new group of war millionaires shall come into being in this nation as a result of the struggles abroad. The American people will not relish the idea of any American citizen growing rich and fat in an emergency of blood and slaughter and human suffering."
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat. May 26th, 1940. Speaking about World War II.
- Book: "What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America", Thomas Frank.
- Article: So I took a break from the internets and decided to go door-to-door in Indiana.
- The gas tax holiday. 75% goes to building roads. 300,000 people would have to be laid off. The money has to come from somewhere.
"But there is an added technique for weakening a nation at its very roots, for disrupting the entire pattern of life of a people. It is important that we understand it.
The method is simple. It is, first, a dissemination of discord. A group—not too large- a group that may be sectional or racial or political—is encouraged to exploit its prejudices through false slogans and emotional appeals. The aim of those who deliberately egg on these groups is to create confusion of counsel, public indecision, political paralysis and, eventually, a state of panic.
Sound national policies come to be viewed with a new and unreasoning skepticism, not through the wholesome political debates of honest and free men, but through the clever schemes of foreign agents.
As a result of these new techniques, armament programs may be dangerously delayed. Singleness of national purpose may be undermined. Men can lose confidence in each other, and therefore lose confidence in the efficacy of their own united action. Faith and courage can yield to doubt and fear. The unity of the State can be so sapped that its strength is destroyed.
All this is no idle dream. It has happened time after time, in nation after nation, during the last two years. Fortunately, American men and women are not easy dupes. Campaigns of group hatred or class struggle have never made much headway among us, and are not making headway now. But new forces are being unleashed, deliberately planned propagandas to divide and weaken us in the face of danger as other nations have been weakened before.
These dividing forces are undiluted poison. They must not be allowed to spread in the New World as they have in the Old. Our morale and our mental defenses must be raised as never before against those who would cast a smoke screen across our vision."
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat. May 26th, 1940.
- "Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations,"
Presidential Letter to House and Senate, March 19, 2003.
"We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the 11 September attacks" George Bush, September 2003.
"But in the Middle Ages people were convinced there were witches. They looked for them and they certainly found them. This is a bit risky. I think we were more judicious, saying we want to have real evidence." Hans Blix on 'BBC Radio 4's Today programme', 18 September, 2003.
- Guest: David Horowitz, author, "Party of Defeat: How Democrats and Radicals Undermined America's War on Terror Before and After 9-11". Why is he using the demagogic language of the McCarthy & Stalin against people who love this country? Unity was destroyed by Democratic attacks, Al Gore accused Bush of betraying the country. Thom said he did. He said that the claim that Bush lied, people died is worst, Democrats in Congress had the report. The letter Bush had to write saying there was an association between 9/11 and Saddam. The clip in which Bush admits there was no evidence. The head of MI5's comments. 16 words about Niger. Colin Powell, Richard Armitage. The Butler commission said Joe Wilson liar. But we never found the uranium. Hans Blix. Mohammed al Baradi. He said that Saddam pulled the UN inspectors out, but Bush did. Iraqi Liberation Act. Afghanistan.
He quotes Al Gore in his book. Thom said, "you, sir, no offense, are dividing America". He said it was an attack on, response to those dividing America, that he only called those who leaked government secrets of treason - protected by the New York Times. In his book he describes the American Party as anti American, defeatist, they have lost their patriotism, cowards, they neglect America, betrayal. Bush's UAVS turn out to be balsa wood toys. Bush had a chance to bring us all together, he divided us. Horowitz wants constructive criticism. Iran is an enemy, he wants support for confrontation.
- Bumper Music: Harry Truman Chicago.
"We know that the greatest threat to us does not come from the Communists in this country, where they are a noisy but small and universally despised group. The greatest threat comes from Communist imperialism abroad, where the center of its military and economic strength lies. The real danger is that communism might overrun other free nations and thus strengthen itself for an ultimate attack against us...
That is the way this administration is fighting communism. That is the way it is going to continue to fight communism. Now I am going to tell you how we are not going to fight communism. We are not going to transform our fine FBI into a Gestapo secret police. That is what some people would like to do. We are not going to try to control what our people read and say and think. We are not going to turn the United States into a right-wing totalitarian country in order to deal with a left-wing totalitarian threat."
Harry Truman. Address at a Dinner of the Federal Bar Association, April 24, 1950.
"First, some ask why Iraq is different from other countries or regimes that also have terrible weapons. While there are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone -- because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place...
If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today -- and we do -- does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons? ...
This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas...
We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States..." President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002.
- Bumper Music: Cold as ice, Foreigner.
"Your fate will depend on your actions. Do not destroy oil wells." President Says Saddam Hussein Must Leave Iraq Within 48 Hours, March 17, 2003.
"In some quarters, with this rude awakening has come fear, bordering on panic. It is said that we are defenseless. It is whispered by some that only by abandoning our freedom, our ideals, our way of life, can we build our defenses adequately, can we match the strength of the aggressors. I did not share those illusions. I do not share these fears. Today we are now more realistic. But let us not be calamity howlers and discount our strength. Let us have done with both fears and illusions."
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat. May 26th, 1940.
"My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East. That will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East."
McCain Speaks on Middle East Oil Tied to War. May 02, 2008.
"Iraq sits on top of 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves, very significant reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia." Vice President Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, September 14, 2003.
- Now let's bomb, bomb Iran, which has the third largest reserves?
- Asked how he maintained his patience with Horowitz, Thom pointed to the fact that he grew up in a Republican family; his father died a Republican. He has learned over the years that it is possible to disagree with somebody and still love them, or at least acknowledge their humanity. The reason he models that so frequently on his program is that he believes that if we need to start doing that again in this country, like people on the right like William F. Buckley on "Firing Line" used to do. It's important to have the conversation and to hear what the other side is saying, and to model how to talk back to them without there being blood on the floor.
- Rather than divide the world, Bush should have done after 9/11 what Bill Clinton did after the Oklahoma City Bombing and treat the perpetrators as criminals.
- Bumper Music: Magic, Pilot.
"Fortunately, American men and women are not easy dupes. Campaigns of group hatred or class struggle have never made much headway among us, and are not making headway now."
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat. May 26th, 1940.
- Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
- Article: Obama Proposes Gas-bag Holiday. "You're either with us or against us; you're either evil or you're good."
George W Bush, February 11, 2002.
- The guest David Horowitz is not the consumer advocate David Horowitz.
- Article: Break-ins plague targets of US Attorneys, Larisa Alexandrovna, Muriel Kane and Lindsay Beyerstein.
"In two states where US attorneys are already under fire for serious allegations of political prosecutions, seven people associated with three federal cases have experienced 10 suspicious incidents including break-ins and arson.
These crimes raise serious questions about possible use of deliberate intimidation tactics not only because of who the victims are and the already wide criticism of the prosecutions to begin with, but also because of the suspicious nature of each incident individually as well as the pattern collectively. Typically burglars do not break-into an office or private residence only to rummage through documents, for example, as is the case with most of the burglaries in these two federal cases.
In Alabama, for instance, the home of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman was burglarized twice during the period of his first indictment. Nothing of value was taken, however, and according to the Siegelman family, the only items of interest to the burglars were the files in Siegelman's home office.
Siegelman's attorney experienced the same type of break-in at her office."
- Guest: Larisa Alexandrova, Raw Story. Updates on Siegelman and Minor. Thom's recent Don Siegelman interview; he's gong to be on again this week. Break-ins that targeted papers, arson, false allegations, files confiscated in two states; Alabama and Mississippi. One person was driven off the road. Donald Segretti put together the "plumbers union", he was Rove's mentor, they burglarized and committed other crimes. Paul Minor, in prison, experienced an office burglary where the only thing taken was his accounting and personal finance computer. Very disturbing.
- Bumper Music: Say What You Need To Say, John Mayer (video).
- Guest: Nora Ferm, International Labor Rights Forum. Mother's day. Fair Trade, rights of workers, particularly in Colombia. Right to organized labor, started in 2003. Flowers, pesticides, women workers. They are pushing for less toxic, even organic production. Harassment by male supervisors. Colombia is a very macho society. Pregnant women may be fired. They have to show a pregnancy test. It is not good to be there if there are pesticides. Employers threaten to fire anyone joining a union. Colombia has the highest rate of murders of union organizers, though none in the flowers business. Ownership by American company. Ask for Fair Trade flowers at florists so they know there is a demand and will supply them.
- Bumper Music: Talk to me, Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac.
- Bumper Music: I'm A Nazi, Rush Limbaugh / WNNX-FM (Atlanta, GA).
- Article: Limbaugh on Hispanic mayor of LA: I thought he was either a ’shoe shine guy or a Secret Service agent.’.
"Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
First Inaugural Address March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Bumper Music: Belief, John Mayer.
- Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. She's in Dubai. Halliburton is in Abu Dhabi, another emirate; she is going there in a few hours. Gas prices. Today the president said there is no quick fix. Two White House briefings. This afternoon they were asked about drilling off Florida, has said no because of Jeb Bush. They said if they had been drilling in ANWR they would have had the oil by now. Obama about a gas tax holiday. The ACLU is putting out a call, they think the Democrats will cave on FISA. Jay Rockefeller in bed with the Bushies, nobody can understand why. Thom will invite him on the show, but usually only Bernie will come on without making conditions, and Thom won't do suck up interviews. Intellectual property, Conyers. War package, food aid. China announced another big increase in defense spending. The USA's is much bigger, bigger than the rest of the world combined, and it has less than a quarter of the population of China and less than 5% of the world. Mrs Bush in 5 minutes will speak about Myanmar, crisis and politics; a rare occasion. Thom was there 7 years ago where Karen were fleeing. Senate Wednesday hearing on politics interfering with science at the EPA.