May 13 2008 show notes

  • Does this generation have a rendezvous with destiny? The Millennials. The Fourth Turning.
  • Guest: Marc Morano, communications director for Senator James Inhofe. Is God punishing him by killing Oklahomans?
  • Guest: Arthur C. Brooks. Author, " Gross National Happiness". Are conservatives really happier than liberals?

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

Tuesday 13 May '08 show

  • Does this generation have a rendezvous with destiny? The issue of generational change.
  • Article: Young, evangelical ... for Obama?
  • Article: Here Come the Millennials, Bob Herbert.
    "An important aspect of the presidential race so far has been the generational divide, with Barack Obama doing very well with younger voters and Hillary Clinton drawing strong support from those who are older. A similar split can be expected in a general election race between Senator Obama and John McCain.

    Go to Columnist Page » However the election ultimately turns out, the Obama campaign has tapped into a constituency that holds powerful implications for the future of American politics. The youngest of these voters, those ranging in age from roughly the late teens to the early 30s, are part of the so-called millennial generation.

    This is a generation that is in danger of being left out of the American dream — the first American generation to do less well economically than their parents. And that economic uncertainty appears to have played a big role in shaping their views of government and politics.

    A number of studies, including new ones by the Center for American Progress in Washington and by Demos, a progressive think tank in New York, have shown that Americans in this age group are faced with a variety of challenges that are tougher than those faced by young adults over the past few decades. Among the challenges are worsening job prospects, lower rates of health insurance coverage and higher levels of debt.

    We know that the generation immediately preceding the Millennials is struggling. Men who are now in their 30s, the prime age for raising a family, earn less money than members of their fathers’ generation did at the same age. In 1974, the median income for men in their 30s (using today’s inflation-adjusted dollars) was about $40,000. The figure for men in their 30s now is $35,000.

  • Clip:
    "There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny."
    Franklin D. Roosevelt 27 June 1936, "A Rendezvous With Destiny" Speech to the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Book: The Fourth Turning: an American Prophecy by William Strauss and Neil Howe, published in 1997, which was Thom's "Independent Thinker" Book of the Month a while ago.
    "The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium. Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation, and empire. Yet this time of trouble will bring seeds of social rebirth. Americans will share a regret about recent mistakes -- and a resolute new consensus about what to do. The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.

    "The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and efforts -- in other words, a total war.


    "America’s post-Crisis answers will be as organically interconnected as today’s pre-Crisis questions seem hopelessly tangled. By the 2020s, America could become a society that is good, by today’s standards, and also one that works.

    "Thus might the next Fourth Turning end in apocalypse -- or glory. The nation could be ruined, its democracy destroyed, and millions of people scattered or killed. Or America could enter a new golden age, triumphantly applying shared values to improve the human condition. The rhythms of history do not reveal the outcome of the coming Crisis; all they suggest is the timing and dimension.

  • Thom was talking to Bernie off air last week, and he said we liberals may be making a mistake being against the tax holiday if it is paid for, because lots of people don't have time to understand the details and depths, but they know they can't plan a vacation or going to the doctor or in some cases even food. These people need relief right now.
  • Bumper Music: Attitude, the Kinks.
  • Bumper Music: Ghost Chickens in the Sky, Sean Morey.
  • Article: Scientists map the genetic makeup of the platypus.
  • Drudge articles about people going around doors for Obama experiencing vicious racism.
  • How do we bring along the gen x, gen y or those boomers and Millennials still in racist mode?
  • We need short term solutions as well as long term, make it all happen together.
  • Bumper Music: I take My Chances, Mary Chapin Carpenter.
  • Clip:
    "A generation is composed of people whose common location in history lends them a collective persona. The span of one generation is roughly the length of a phase of life. Generations come in four archetypes, always in the same order, whose phase-of-life positions comprise a constellation.

    The Prophet archetype is born in a High, enters young adulthood in an Awakening, midlife in an Unraveling, and elderhood in a Crisis.

    The Nomad archetype is born in an Awakening, enters young adulthood in an Unraveling, midlife in a Crisis, and elderhood in a High.

    The Hero archetype is born in an Unraveling, enters young adulthood in a Crisis, midlife in a High, and elderhood in an Awakening.

    The Artist archetype is born in a Crisis, enters young adulthood in a High, midlife in an Awakening, and elderhood in an Unraveling. During a Fourth Turning, the constellation contains all four archetypes born in the current saeculum. During the first three turnings, the constellation includes one or more archetypes born in the prior saeculum.

    From the Arthurian Generation through today’s Millennial Generation children, there have been 24 generations in the Anglo-American lineage. The first six were purely English. The next four were colonial, yet still heavily influenced by English society and politics. The eleventh (Awakeners, born 1701-1723) became the first distinctively American generation—the first whose name, birthyears, and persona diverge significantly from peers in the United Kingdom. The Awakeners were also the first generation to be comprised mostly of native-born Americans and—late in life—the first to know the U.S. nation and flag. So although today’s Millennial children are the 24th in our full lineage of post-medieval generations, they are 14th in the American line.

    The Fourth Turning.
  • Generations in History, The Fourth Turning. The Millennials were born in 1982 or later.
  • Quote:
    "I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished."
    Franklin D. Roosevelt, "One Third of a Nation": FDR’s Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1937.
  • Bumper Music: Blow Smoke In Your Eyes, Dave, The Power Hour.
  • Clip:
    "I appear before the Congressional Committee, the highest representation of the American people, under subpoena to tell what I knew of activities which I believe might lead to an attempt to set up a fascist dictatorship.

    The plan as outlined to me was to form an organization of veterans to use as a bluff, or as a club at least, to intimidate the government and break down our democratic institutions. The upshot of the whole thing was that I was supposed to lead an organization of 500,000 men which would be able to take over the functions of Government. I felt it was my duty to tell all I knew of such activities to this committee.

    My main interest in all this is to preserve our democratic institutions. I want to retain the right to vote and the right to speak freely and the right to write. If we maintain these basic principals, our democracy is safe.

    General Smedley Butler, 1934 (video).
  • Article: Carbon Dioxide, Methane Rise Sharply in 2007.
  • Article: Civilization's last chance.
    "If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm", James Hansen, NASA's chief climatologist.
    Hansen's six tipping points.
  • Article: Wind ($23.37) v. Gas (25 Cents). A look at what our energy subsidy dollars are buying now.
  • Article: ‘Decade break’ in global warming, Nature.
  • Guest: Climate skeptic Marc Morano, communications director for Senator James Inhofe, minority leader of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Is God punishing Marc Morano by killing Oklahomans? He says Al Gore wrong, tornadoes appear to be up because we can detect more. He's not familiar with what Hagee said so "no comment". James Hansen's warning. He said (1) technology will move on, (2) attempts to solve the situation will make people poorer, mean more government, will fail. Energy subsidies. He said Hansen is out on limb, he is with Al Gore. Thom pointed out that Al Gore got a Nobel Prize, Hansen is NASA's chief climatologist, and Al Gore's position is that of the UN's scientific body. Marc called Hansen a political activist. NOAA web site today confirming CO2 rise. He said Ken Livingston failed to get re-elected as mayor of London, England because of the global warming backlash. He says there is no crisis. Nature said global warming may take 2 decade break. McCain is out there saying there is a crisis. It's crazy to import so much oil. He thinks Thom is conflating the 2 issues, global warming and energy.
  • Bumper Music: You Razzle Dazzled 'Em, Bill Jacobs.
  • Upcoming Event: May 16, Darien, Chicago, Il. 7pm. Talk and book signing 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.
  • Article: McCain’s Corporate Tax Cut Would Save Energy & Utility Companies Over $2.8 Billion.
  • Clip: "Too much and for too long we seem to have surrendered personal excellence and community value in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product now is over 800 billion dollars a year, but that gross national product, if we judge the United States of America by that, that gross national product counts air pollution, and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic squall. It counts Napalm, and it counts nuclear warheads, and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our city. It counts Whitman's rifles and Speck's Knifes and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet, the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play; it does not include the beauty of our poetry of the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate for the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country it measures everything in short except that which makes life worth while. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."
    Remarks of Robert F. Kennedy at the University of Kansas, March 18, 1968.
  • Clip: Economists Must Learn to Subtract, Adbusters. "For years, economists have defined the economic health of a country by its Gross Domestic Product. Trouble is, every time a forest falls, the GDP goes up. With every oil spill, the GDP goes up. Every time a cancer patient is diagnosed, the GDP goes up. Is this how we measure economic progress? Economists … must learn to subtract."
  • Bumper Music: Citizen of the Planet, Simon & Garfunkel.
  • Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
  • "In order to “counter the Democratic push for change,” House Republicans have adopted a new message: “The Change You Deserve.” But “the change you deserve” is also the advertising slogan of Effexor XR, a drug used to treat depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in adults."
    ThinkFast: May 13, 2008.
  • Competition. Before the last segment of the show, go to and post a comment in response to today's "On the Program" entry. The winner gets a signed copy of screwed.
    The winner was shirlstars for:
    Defining happiness is as individual as we each are. It is not a question that can actually be answered in the broad spectrum. For myself, the more I simplify my life the happier or more joyful I feel.

    I have found over my many years slogging along here that very often when we are conversing with each other we are holding very different meanings in the words we use. Certainly we have a broad and vague understanding of the meanings but each of us have different colorings of words. And most certainly we have some hyper sensitive trigger points in the use of certain words that connect us to our own personal experiences that may have no actual bearing on the way the user of the word is thinking.

    Sometimes I laughingly wonder how it is we manage to understand each other at all.

    I'm a far Left, bleeding heart, Liberal Socialist and I am absolutely Joyful. Yes, I see things that need changing and I see others having a very difficult time. But we are going to make those changes and I continue to believe in the basic good of humans in all walks of life. Together we can BE the change that we want.


  • "The climate change statement issued in June 2005 by 11 science academies, including the National Academy of Sciences, stated that despite remaining unanswered questions, the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking cost-effective steps that will contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions. Because carbon dioxide and some other greenhouse gases can remain in the atmosphere for many decades and major parts of the climate system respond slowly to changes in greenhouse gas concentrations, climate change impacts will likely continue throughout the 21st century and beyond. Failure to implement significant reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions now will make the job much harder in the future—both in terms of stabilizing their atmospheric abundances and in terms of experiencing more significant impacts."
    Ralph J. Cicerone, Ph.D. President, National Academy of Sciences, July 20, 2005.
  • Bumper Music: Do You Believe in Magic?, Aly & AJ.
  • Callers spoke of the changes they have noticed in flora and fauna.
  • Alan called about Cheney's One Percent Doctrine, which Ron Suskind describes as: "Even if there's just a 1 percent chance of the unimaginable coming due, act as if it is a certainty", and asked, "shouldn't he apply that to global warming?"
  • Article: High School Project on Genocide Was a Portent of Real-Life Events. Teacher, Congressman Tim Walz.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Myanmar: reading between the lines at the UN, they are trying to cover up crimes against humanity? Then schoolteacher Congressman Tim Walz's class predicted Rwanda genocide, with Burma next. Maybe Myanmar is hiding a genocide? There certainly have been some killings. House and Senate are considering whether to suspend deliveries to the strategic petroleum reserve. Bush would veto. Retail sales dropped. Median prices for single family homes dropped. 7.7% drop in house prices in the past year. 60% of Americans have a net worth of zero or less. GI bill part of a 3-part defense bill - the Defense Department is saying that if it is too generous, they might have a problem keeping people in the military.
  • Who is happier?
  • Article: Conservatives Happier Than Liberals.
    ""Our research suggests that inequality takes a greater psychological toll on liberals than on conservatives," the researchers write in the June issue of the journal Psychological Science, "apparently because liberals lack ideological rationalizations that would help them frame inequality in a positive (or at least neutral) light." Jaime Napier and John Jost of New York University.
  • Article: More suicides under Conservative rule, 18 September, 2002.
  • Article: University of Leicester Produces the first ever World Map of Happiness. Denmark is number 1, USA is number 23.
  • Guest: Arthur C. Brooks. Author, " Gross National Happiness". Are conservatives really happier than liberals? Pew study, the happiest people are those who have reasonable income, traditional value (Republican) churchgoers. World view, how fair you think the world is. How optimistic you are. Conservatives think that hard work and perseverance have a bigger payoff than liberals. No corroboration? Burke versus Paine. Inequality takes a greater toll on liberals. Rob Kall said to Thom yesterday, 'cannibals are happy after a meal; does that make it right?' The founding fathers were not happy. Why are conservatives more comfortable with inequality? "More suicides under Conservative rule". Denmark is the happiest country. The happiest tended to have the most liberal governments. Another study, in his book, disagreed.
  • Bumper Music: No Earthly Good, Johnny Cash.
  • Article: Are We Happy Yet?
    "Of course, there's a more obvious explanation for the Republicans' happiness edge. Republicans tend to have more money than Democrats, and -- as we've already discovered -- people who have more money tend to be happier."
  • Are you happy? Content? Pleased with the way things are? Republicans happier because they have more money? Criteria? Safety net. Happy with the direction the country is going? The national debt. In many societies, what people do all day on is make safety and security, for example national health care. How much money does it take for somebody in the USA to feel safe and secure? from the 1940s to 80s safety and security could be acquired by having a good job. Not anymore. Or should we all just become church-going Republicans? We'll all aspire to be Scrooge. Thom:
    But there are always going to be those among us who are discontented and who are saying, 'no, wait a minute, wait a minute, we can have a better country'. See, that's what this country was founded on; the malcontents, as they used to point out in the Apple ads. You know, the radical thinkers, the liberals who were saying, 'wait a minute, we can make a better world, let's do it, let's do it, let's make a better nation, let's make a better country, let's make a better world. Let's make a world where safety and security are a given. And then we can work on building the quality of our relationships and spiritual enlightenment and understanding and invention and transforming the world in positive and productive ways". How do we define happiness, after all?
  • Bumper Music: Radio, Hackensaw Boys (video).
  • Article: Man cuts up car in clamp protest.
  • Article: Police: Drunk Tuxedo-clad Man Took Mower For Ride.
  • Article: Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty Jokes His Wife Won't Have Sex With Him.
  • "It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object. Were the plan of the convention adverse to the public happiness, my voice would be, Reject the plan. Were the Union itself inconsistent with the public happiness, it would be, Abolish the Union. In like manner, as far as the sovereignty of the States cannot be reconciled to the happiness of the people, the voice of every good citizen must be, Let the former be sacrificed to the latter. How far the sacrifice is necessary, has been shown. How far the unsacrificed residue will be endangered, is the question before us."
    James Madison, The Federalist No. 45.
  • Article: Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing, Robert Wolff, who spoke to Thom of the tyranny of choice.
  • People become more progressive as they learn more about equality and become unhappy about it?
  • "Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed, which give happiness.". Thomas Jefferson.
  • "We never enjoy perfect happiness; our most fortunate successes are mingled with sadness; some anxieties always perplex the reality of our satisfaction.". William James, or Pierre Corneille?
  • Bumper Music: It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine), REM.

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