May 08 2008 show notes

  • Hillary Clinton's appeal.
  • Slavery rant.
  • Upcoming Event: May 16, Darien, Chicago, Il. 7pm. Talk and booksigning at Frugal Muse bookstore.
  • Upcoming Event: May 17, Chicago, Il. Chicago Green Festival. Talk at 1pm. WCPT Booth from 11am.
  • Racism, classism, other isms.
  • Guest: Former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. Another hour long interview including an update on the situation and listeners' calls. Transcript.
  • US Income Distribution, "The L-Curve".
  • Guest: Christy Harvey, Center for American Progress, "News Under the Radar".
  • Guest: Dr. Mark Espinoza, Central Dental Care, Phoenix, who advertises on 1480 KPHX.

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

Thursday 08 May '08 show

  • Article: Clinton makes case for wide appeal.
    "Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed Wednesday to continue her quest for the Democratic nomination, arguing she would be the stronger nominee because she appeals to a wider coalition of voters — including whites who have not supported Barack Obama in recent contests. "I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

    "There's a pattern emerging here," she said.

    Clinton's blunt remarks about race came a day after primaries in Indiana and North Carolina dealt symbolic and mathematical blows to her White House ambitions.

  • Article: Clinton: But whites like me! .
  • Slavery rant. The following notes and quotes are from a similar rant Thom did earlier.
  • Thomas Jefferson and slavery. He first said "all men are born free" in defense of a black man in April 1770. Jefferson inherited slaves and responsibility for his mother and other family members. He ended primogeniture in Virginia. Jefferson's efforts to end slavery. The best biography is Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History by Fawn McKay Brodie. Jefferson's first legal case, Howell vs. Netherland, defending a slave. In 1769 he wrote a bill, his first, to abolish slavery; he was heavily punished for that by two laws being passed that made it harder for people to free their slaves, including one that said that slaves who were freed and stayed in the state may be "hung, burned at the stake, dismembered, castrated and branded as well as the ordinary punishment of whipping". Another law said that any children of a white slave owner by a slave would be handed over to the church wardens for 2 years hard Christian labor and then sold, and could not be bought by the father or his family. In 1774 he wrote a booklet called a "Summary view of the rights of British Americans" attacking George III for forcing slavery on the colonies. He repeated it in the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, but it was deleted to get South Carolina and Georgia to sign. He unsuccessfully attempted to amend the Virginia constitution several times, and nationally. The Missouri compromise. It's easy for us to look back and deplore Jefferson, but many of the things we buy are made by people in slavery or appalling conditions. Are we ready to give up our slaves? Are we all becoming the slaves of the multinationals?
  • Book: Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History by Fawn McKay Brodie.
  • Quote:
    "Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will."
    Thomas Jefferson, Howell vs. Netherland, April 1770.
  • Quote:
    "I thank you, dear sir, for the copy you have been so kind as to send me of the letter to your constituents on the Missouri question. It is a perfect justification to them. I had for a long time ceased to read newspapers, or pay any attention to public affairs, confident they were in good hands, and content to be a passenger in our bark to the shore from which I am not distant. But this momentous question, like a firebell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. It is hushed, indeed, for the moment. But this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper. I can say, with conscious truth, that there is not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would to relieve us from this heavy reproach, in any practicable way."

    The cession of that kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle which would not cost me a second thought, if, in that way, a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected; and gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be. But as it is, we have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other. Of one thing I am certain, that as the passage of slaves from one state to another would not make a slave of a single human being who would not be so without it, so their diffusion over a greater surface would make them individually happier, and proportionally facilitate the accomplishment of their emancipation, by dividing the burden on a greater number of coadjutors. An abstinence too, from this act of power, would remove the jealousy excited by the undertaking of Congress to regulate the condition of the different descriptions of men composing a state. This certainly is the exclusive right of every state, which nothing in the Constitution has taken from them and given to the general government. Could Congress, for example, say that the non-freemen of Connecticut shall be freemen, or that they shall not emigrate into any other state?

    I regret that I am now to die in the belief that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire self-government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be that I live not to weep over it. If they would but dispassionately weigh the blessings they will throw away against an abstract principle more likely to be effected by union than by scission, they would pause before they would perpetrate this act of suicide on themselves, and of treason against the hopes of the world. To yourself, as the faithful advocate of the Union, I tender the offering of my high esteem and respect.
    Letter to John Holmes, Thomas Jefferson, April 22, 1820.

  • Quote: "There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy or his self love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But generally it is not sufficient. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to the worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious pecularities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances."
    Notes on Virginia, Thomas Jefferson.
  • "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight." Article. I, Section. 9, Clause 1 of the Constitution.
  • Quote:
    "It's easy for us, in this day and age, to look back two hundred years ago and criticize Jefferson for all of this. He used the cheap labor resource of his slaves to maintain his lifestyle, and the consequence of the failure of his efforts to abolish slavery was a bloody Civil War followed by a hundred years of legal apartheid.

    Although he rationalized his slaveholding by keeping them in a style that exceeded that of most poor whites of the day (both were grim by today's standards), it was, nevertheless, a rationalization of slavery. Jefferson's lifestyle was made possible by slave labor, and there is no other way to say it. Recognizing that fact, many Americans are righteously indignant and quick to judge him harshly.

    Yet how many of us would willingly free our slaves?

    I’m typing these words on a computer containing many parts made in countries where laborers are held with less freedom and in conditions worse than those of Jefferson’s slaves. My rationalization is that no companies in America or any other developed nation make many of those parts any longer, and without parts from China and Malaysia I would have no computer. But it’s just a rationalization, and no less hypocritical than Jefferson’s.

    Sitting here at my keyboard, I notice that the shirt I'm wearing was made by modern-day slaves, and that the lamp that is lighting my room (the sun is just beginning to rise) was manufactured in China, where workers who try to organize are imprisoned. Since Levi Strauss just closed their last American jeans factory this year, odds are the pants I'm wearing were made in a slaveholding nation as well.

    I can rationalize all the products of distant slaves that I use - after all, I don’t have to look into their faces as Jefferson did (which may account for why biographer Fawn Brodie notes that whenever Jefferson returned to Monticello from any trip he brought gifts for his slaves, and his household ledgers show evidence that he smuggled significant sums to Sally Hemmings over the years) - but it's still just a rationalization.

    The stark reality is that we didn’t "end" slavery. We simply exported it.

    And it’s so much more comfortable for us to criticize Jefferson for agonizing over - but still using - slave labor two hundred years ago when we don’t have to look into the faces of today's slaves who are toiling and dying at this very moment to sustain our lifestyles.

    Thom Hartmann, "What Would Jefferson do?".
  • Bumper Music: That's What I Like About You, the Kinks.
  • Bumper Music: Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd.
  • Upcoming Event: May 16, Darien, Chicago, Il. 7pm. Talk and booksigning at Frugal Muse bookstore.
  • Upcoming Event: May 17, Chicago, Il. Chicago Green Festival. He'll be at the WCPT Booth from 11am - 1pm and speaks to the crowd at 1pm. He'll sign his new book directly after.
  • Christopher Columbus.
  • Whites must realize we are in the same boat. "The man" is now the likes of GE. African Americans in the United States don't have the multi-generational (cultural) wealth that serves as the launching pad into the middle and upper class that whites have. So when the economy gets soft and decent jobs are moved abroad, and unions are busted, African Americans get hurt first. It is shifting from a race to a class issue, all races.
  • Bumper Music: Mr. Blue Sky, ELO.
  • Quote:
    "No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee."
    John Donne, Meditation XVII From Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1623).
  • Denial of a person's individuality, humanness, human rights. Iraqism. The first part is, my first priority is my family. my second is my community, after that the rest of the world. This is a normal healthy human instinct. For Whom the Bell Tolls. It goes bad when they bring in -isms, 'all the rest are not as human as me. The it becomes toxic, sick. Same with classism. That's when it becomes destructive. It's a twisting of the impulse, often used by others to divide us, like Nixon's southern strategy.
  • It's not about race, gender, it's mostly about cheap labor. Women staying at home are cheap labor. There are lots of ads for union busting companies - classism.
  • Guest: Former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. Hour long interview including an update on the situation and listeners' calls. Transcript.
  • Bumper Music: Fire It Up, Modest Mouse.
  • Bumper Music: Say (All I Need), Onerepublic. (video)
  • The issues are being obscured by the race, for example 'who will be VP?'
  • Article: Washington's Great "No Inflation" Hoax.
  • Distribution of wealth. New gilded age. Campaign funding sources. McCain's $7 million fundraiser last night, his 8 mansions around the world.
  • Tour of the US Income Distribution, "The L-Curve".
  • The Republican Party represents the people in the last inch. Tom Delay is introduced as a GOP elder, not as a convicted felon. Dickens' England.
  • Bumper Music: Play With Fire, Rolling Stones.
  • Crossovers, Rush calling for a riot. Somebody who loves this country would not call for riots, interfere with democracy. Rush and the right wing hate what America stands for.
  • Barack stayed on the high road, we must too. Thom should not rant about Rush hating America?
  • Bumper Music: Big Brother, Sheldon Allman.
  • Clip:
    "You've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops and I am for the President — chase them all over the world, if it takes ten years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord."
    Jerry Falwell, CNN Late Edition, 24 October 2004.
  • Article: Evangelical leaders say their faith is too politicized.
  • Guest: Christy Harvey, Director of Strategic Communications at the Center for American Progress, "News Under the Radar". Waxman was finally going to confront the EPA's Stephen Johnson today, but 2 days ago he said his back hurt. Last time, facing Boxer, he said he was going to Australia for a couple of weeks. Indiana: Tony Zirkle, the Republican who campaigned at a Nazi rally, lost. Kicker: he still got 16% of the vote. There's a photo in Thom's studio of a guy in SS uniform, but with Cheney' face. June 26 Addington testimony. Addington was involved in the military tribunal system, John Yoo memos, Plame leak, warrantless wiretapping, signing statements. He usually does not speak, low key and under cover. E. J. Dionne Jr.'s book "Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right". Evangelicals have been reliable good buddies of the hard right wing, for example Jerry "blow them all away in the name of the Lord" Falwell. Evangelicals are re-evaluating their association with the right. The death of the religious right. Yesterday a coalition of more than 70 evangelical leaders created a manifesto, not associating with one party, more issues than abortions. Bush was responsible for speaking to them during his father's campaign. Married-with-3-kids Congressman Vito Fossella's DUI last week and consequent discovery that he has a child with a mistress.
  • Victoria Jones of Talk Radio News. Bush is going to Crawford for his daughter's marriage. The gaggle talked of the marriage and Myanmar aid. A couple of UN flights got into Myanmar. The Democratic primary is all they are talking about. Myanmar, BBC calls it Burma. People are asking how much harm has Hillary done to the party, not how much good has been done getting people registering in droves. Nobody is talking about anything else.
  • Guest: Dr. Mark Espinoza, Central Dental Care, Phoenix, who advertises on 1480 KPHX.

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