Tuesday 14 April '09 show

  • Article: Johann Hari: You are being lied to about pirates: Some are clearly just gangsters. But others are trying to stop illegal dumping and trawling.
    "In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas. Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

    Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: "Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention."

    At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won't be much fish left in our coastal waters."

    This is the context in which the "pirates" have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a "tax" on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent "strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence".

    No, this doesn't make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters – especially those who have held up World Food Programme supplies. But in a telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali: "We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas."

  • Guest: Walid Shoebat. How the pirates think, similar to how he used to think. Under Sharia law people are entitled to tribute, so Ships in Somalia law should pay tribute. Terrorists have made Somalia a breeding ground. He committed the unthinkable thing for a Muslim: His wife converted him to Christianity. If you have been redeemed, how do we redeem others? Everything should be on the table, including reaching out to convert them to Christianity. Thom pointed out that most Muslims are not terrorists, why not reformation within Islam?
  • Bumper Music: Don't Come Around Here No More, Tom Petty.
  • Article: The Bush Six to Be Indicted.
    "Spanish prosecutors will seek criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales and five high-ranking Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture at Guantánamo."
  • Hot Air exclusive: Senator John Ensign. How the Republican Party is trying to win people back. Tea parties, astroturf number 1. Thom suggested showing up at them with signs, as the right and the left share a populist outrage, but those promoting the tea parties are not populists but represent the richest people and corporations who want to cut taxes on the rich. 95% of Americans are getting a tax cut tomorrow, and we're supposed to go out on the streets and protest rising taxes? They want to make rolling back Clinton or Reagan tax cuts unthinkable. For the working class tax cuts lead to corresponding pay cuts; it is the rich who actually benefit from tax cuts.
  • Bumper Music: Disarm, The Smashing Pumpkins (video).
  • Don't blame everything on Islam. Injustice. They pirate Saudi (Muslim) ships too. Christianity was toxic until the end of the Crusades. Martin Luther, reformation, Henry VII, Catholicism had to reform. Islam has not been through such a reformation? Christians, Jews have lived in peace in Muslim nations.
  • Article: Debt is Not Money – and Must Be Regulated, Thom Hartmann.
  • Guest: Craig Shirley. President & CEO, Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, which he founded in 1984. The firm is internationally recognized among public opinion leaders and the national media as a leading marketer of right of center thought. His firm books many of Thom's guests. Author of "Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All", which detailed Ronald Reagan’s pivotal 1976 presidential campaign, and "Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America ". Reagan policy, deficits. Debt. Economy. Thom's op ed yesterday, "Debt is Not Money".
  • Bumper Music: Shake It Up, The Cars.
  • Article: GOP On Coleman's Court Defeat: Silence.
  • Article: Steele Attacks Obama's 'Bitter' Gaffe, One Year Later.
  • Republicans take back your party. Stand for something.
  • "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER" and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God."
    The Crisis, Thomas Paine.
  • Pamphlets. Maximum wage laws. Glenn Beck, Thomas Paine.
  • Go to thomhartmann.com for free live stream, chat, or to leave a message on today's blog.
  • Article: President Obama Delivers Remarks at Georgetown University.
    "Now, there's a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells the story of two men.

    The first built his house on a pile of sand, and it was soon destroyed when a storm hit. But the second is known as the wise man, for when "the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." "It was founded upon a rock."

    We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity: a foundation that will move us from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest; where we consume less at home and send more exports abroad.

    It's a foundation built upon five pillars that will grow our economy and make this new century another American century.

    Number one, new rules for Wall Street that will reward drive and innovation, not reckless risk-taking.

    Number two...

    Number two, new investments in education that will make our workforce more skilled and competitive.

    Number three, new investments in renewable energy and technology that will create new jobs and new industries.

    Number four, new investments in health care that will cut costs for families and businesses.

    And, number five, new savings in our federal budget that will bring down the debt for future generations.

    Now, that...

    ... that's the new foundation we must build. That's our house built upon a rock. That must be our future -- and my administration's policies are designed to achieve that future.

  • Obama speech this morning. Is he starting to get it, though he still embraces banks. Parable of house on sand. 5 pillars. A new American century. The Chinese say that the 21st century will be theirs. New rules for Wall Street. Thom prefers boring. Education. Renewable investment, but we are buying foreign equipment, for example windmills by a Danish company, Chinese solar power. Obama needs to change trade laws, repudiate NAFTA, but that is unlikely, Obama is new Democrat, DLC. Health care. Budget savings.
  • Debt is Not Money rant.
  • Article: The Bush Six to Be Indicted, Scott Horton.
    "Spanish prosecutors will seek criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales and five high-ranking Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture at Guantánamo."
  • Guest: Scott Horton, Harper’s Magazine. Bush 6 will be indicted by Spanish Court - Is Obama supporting this? The Spanish prosecutors have adopted a criminal complaint about former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, University of California law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff David Addington, and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith. Guantanamo, Spanish prisoners said they were tortured. Unitary executive. Federalist Society. What about Bush? Spaniard says that raises the head of state question, and they are not going to go there. Spain is a kingdom. Obama was a constitutional law professor. DoJ. They want to move on. More documents to be released Thursday.
  • Bumper Music: Piggies, George Harrison, Beatles (video).
  • AP Exxon Mobil Corporation annual profit $23.9 million. 10% raise. Rex Tellerson. Roll back Reagan tax cuts. Bank panics. Lobbyists. Manufacturing.
  • The "The Edison Gene". Going solar, Chinese components. Biodiesel, incentive, a lot of it is being sold abroad.
  • Bumper Music: Kryptonite, 3 Doors Down.
  • Article: Thousands of dolphins block Somali pirates.
  • Tax day April 15, April 16 is national backrub day.
  • Bumper Music: Hey Mr. President, Warren Brothers.
  • Member of the day is KMH for posting:

    "I am planning to show up at our tea party and pass out flyers with a copy of what is at http://www.lcurve.org/

    The US population is represented along the length of the football field, arranged in order of income.

    Median US family income (the family at the 50 yard line) is ~$40,000 (a stack of $100 bills 1.6 inches high.)

    –The family on the 95 yard line earns about $100,000 per year, a stack of $100 bills about 4 inches high.

    –At the 99 yard line the income is about $300,000, a stack of $100 bills about a foot high.

    –The curve reaches $1 million (a 40 inch high stack of $100 bills) one foot from the goal line.

    –From there it keeps going up…it goes up 50 km (~30 miles) on this scale!"

  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. The president's speech at Georgetown, AIG bailout, auto bailout, financial bailout, spending. TARP was poorly administered. Deficit. The problem is not new. At the briefing Gibbs was asked about enforcement, Mexico, assault weapons ban. Drugs go South to North, weapons North to South. Direct lending. Lobbyists. Save money over the years by getting the bank middlemen out of the equation. Bob Ney has his own radio show, time will change. He has converted, Rachel does not realize.


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