Monday 27 April '09 show

  • Guest: Dr. Arthur Caplan. Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and the Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; author or editor of twenty-five books including "The Penn Center Guide to Bioethics" as well as over 500 papers in refereed journals of medicine, science, philosophy, bioethics and health policy. e was in Geneva. The swine flu from Mexico is a pig/avian combination, unusual, there is less preparation for such combination, less stockpiled. It does not seem to be as lethal as some. The real challenge is to work out why there have been deaths in Mexico, but not elsewhere. It may not have been detected for a while, too late to quarantine.

    A Mexican pig farm at La Gloria is being blamed by the Mexican press, but not the US press.

    Back in 2006 he wrote, "The message from scientists and public health agencies the world over is clear: A pandemic of avian flu is going to circle the globe, killing millions, and in an age of air travel there will be little advance notice of its impending arrival. It is a time when Americans must believe that their health and safety is in the hands of those whom they can trust. But they don't.". This is not that pandemic, it is not as vicious. Evolution in action in the viruses. The age of those who died. The New York group affected is young. Take personal protections. If you are sick do not go to work. Wash hands. Wipes.

  • Article: "Fatwa" Issued Against Mikey Weinstein and Barry Lynn.
    "Everyone's favorite ex-Navy chaplain, Gordon (M-U-S-T---P-R-A-Y---I-N---J-E-S-U-S'---N-A-M-E) Klingenschmitt, is at it again. You remember Klingenschmitt, right? The "martyr" who deliberately got himself court martialed so he could be a martyr. The guy who staged a hunger strike publicity stunt for Jesus. The guy who claims to have been kicked out of the Navy for praying in Jesus' name, when in reality he was court martialed for disobeying a direct order not to appear in uniform at a political rally. The guy who tried to extort money from the Navy to keep his trap shut, and, when that didn't work, went on every TV show that would have him, spewing that his ouster from the Navy cost him a million dollars, so churches needed to hire him to come and speak to their congregations. The guy whose sham of a cause was taken up by FAUX News and all the other Christian broadcasters who sanctimoniously parroted this disgrace of a military chaplain's lies. ...


    “Let us pray. Almighty God, today we pray imprecatory prayers from Psalm 109 against the enemies of religious liberty, including Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein, who issued press releases this week attacking me personally. God, do not remain silent, for wicked men surround us and tell lies about us. We bless them, but they curse us. Therefore find them guilty, not me. Let their days be few, and replace them with Godly people. Plunder their fields, and seize their assets. Cut off their descendants, and remember their sins, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

  • Article: Jesus killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military, Jeff Sharlet.
  • Guest: Mikey Weinstein, leader of the national movement to restore the obliterated wall separating church and state in the U.S. Military; author of “With God On Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military”. Gordon Klingenschmitt's fatwa (clip) against him is way over the line. They turned it over to the authorities. May Harpers article by Jeff Sharlet. "Excerpts from a Pet's Diary

    8:00 am - Dog food! My favourite thing!
    9:30 am - A car ride! My favourite thing!
    9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favourite thing!
    10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favourite thing!
    12:00 pm - Lunch! My favourite thing!
    1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favourite thing!
    5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favourite thing!
    7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favourite thing!
    8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favourite thing!
    11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favourite thing!

    Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards! There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage. Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow - but at the top of the stairs. I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...

  • We tried to drop a swine flu on Cuba. Where did this flu come from?
  • Article: GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness, John Nichols.
  • Lionel Barber, editor of the "Financial Times", in conversation with Charlie Rose.
    "I think the most important point is that unfettered market capitalism doesn’t work".
  • Article: Brussels wants cap on bank bonuses.
    "Bankers’ bonuses and golden parachutes would be capped in all European Union countries under a draft policy circulating in Brussels that amounts to one of the broadest responses yet to concerns about executive pay.

    Under the European Commission recommendations, a copy of which has been seen by the Financial Times, the 27 EU countries would be asked to bring in tougher remuneration rules for financial institutions with an office within their borders, covering all staff whose activities affect the firm’s risk profile. The rules would also apply to subsidiaries of EU-based parents, including those in offshore centres.

    Directors’ termination payments would be limited to no more than two years of their fixed remuneration and they would also face a minimum three-year vesting period for share options.

    Financial companies would be able to withhold bonuses entirely or partly when performance criteria were not met and a major part of bonuses should be deferred, the policy says.

    Calls for a tougher approach to remuneration policies have been widespread in the wake of the financial crisis, most recently at the G20 summit of world leaders in London, as resentment over perceived “rewards for failure” has mounted.

    The commission also proposes running an annual “scorecard” to show how member states are performing in terms of implementing EU guidelines.

  • Article: Faster Cuts and More Loans Are Key to G.M. Survival Plan.
    "General Motors said Monday that it needed $11.6 billion more in government loans and that it planned to file for bankruptcy protection if a debt exchange with its bondholders was unsuccessful, The New York Times’s Nick Bunkley reports. ...

    In addition, the company said it would give bondholders 225 shares, worth $414 as of Friday, for every $1,000 that they hold.

    It urged the bondholders, who hold more than $27 billion in G.M. debt, to accept the deal to allow a faster out-of-court restructuring and said their bonds could be worth less or nothing in a bankruptcy filing.

    G.M. said the holders of at least 90 percent of its outstanding bonds must agree to the swap by May 26 for the company to avoid bankruptcy.

    “We do not intend to seek relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code if the exchange offers are consummated,” G.M. said in a regulatory filing.

    By exchanging stock for its bonds and by converting its debt to the Treasury Department and to a retiree health care fund for the United Automobile Workers union, G.M. said it can eliminate $44 billion in debt. The Treasury and the U.A.W. would own up to 89 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, while bondholders would hold no more than 10 percent and current shareholders would hold 1 percent.

    The Treasury would own more than half of G.M. on its own and therefore have control over the election of its board and other matters requiring the approval of shareholders.

  • Article: GM offers bondholders equity swap US government may take majority stake.
  • Converting bank bonds to stock not being done because bondholders are rich, powerful.
  • The torture debate has turned to whether it works. Whether it does or not it is wrong and bad for America's standing in the world.
  • Indonesians going for secular Moslem politics - the US is not camped out their, they do not feel under siege like countries that are going more religious.
  • Quote: "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people", Howard Zinn.
  • Armed insurrections don't work, like Indonesia, Philippines, etc.? Peaceful insurrections work, like the Ukraine? Sudan armed and it worked, but the price was terrible and could still fail. Acheh. Thom had a friend killed in East Timor. If everyone is unarmed, then what?
  • In the navy in WW2, everyone had to go for prayers, then those who were not Christians were told to leave. Death with dignity.
  • The torturer diminishes their own capacity for empathy. The same is true for societies with capital punishment.
  • Article: New FAS-FAX Shows (More) Steep Circulation Losses.
  • Guest: Dan Gainor, the T. Boone Pickens Fellow and the Vice President of the Business & Media Institute. “Breaking News!” Should the failing newspaper industry get a bailout next? He testified before Congress about the newspaper industry. Political, cultural diversity avoidance. National journalism agenda. They don't want Congress involved. Nor does Thom with one exception. Baltimore Examiner. Steep circulation losses. Locally owned newspapers are doing fine. Once they have been bought out, they have to pay off the debt used to buy them. Thom says regulate the ownership, not the content, for example local ownership.
  • Bumper Music: Please Dont Tell Me Bout The News, Yardbirds (James McCarty).
  • Article: Do Newspapers Need Govt Protection Against Web?.
  • Newspapers want to get bigger, Thom wants them smaller. They saw the movie "State Of Play" over the weekend, great entertainment, newspaper bought out by investor. Most stories can be reported in different ways, e.g. "UK raising top income tax to 50%". Unlike Santelli, Bill Blain, a bond broker at KNG in London said, “We do have a major crisis. Taxes do need to rise. People in that bracket do need to pay.”
  • Bumper Music: Workin' For A Livin', Huey Lewis and the News (video).
  • 1984. The value of an armed populace is deterrent, not insurrection. Tyrants disarm them. Kristallnacht was not just looting and burning, but seizing Jewish-owned firearms.
  • Newspaper income used to come from classified ads, but this has been taken over by Craig's List? Newspapers have moved theirs to the web too.
  • Hitler disarming the people was one of the last things he did. Afghanistan. Hitler took rights away first, we need to restore Habeas Corpus, Posse Comitatus, FISA.
  • Movie: Zeitgeist., Zeitgeist: Addendum. The Venus Project.
  • Article: We Could Have Done This the Right Way: How Ali Soufan, an FBI agent, got Abu Zubaydah to talk without torture, Michael Isikoff.
  • Book: "The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by Book", Michael Ratner.
  • Book: "Guantanamo: What the World Should Know (Politics of the Living)", Michael Ratner.
  • Guest: human rights attorney Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of “The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution by Book” and "Guantanamo: What the World Should Know (Politics of the Living)". Big victory in Supreme Court. What is the state of law now? What are they working on? They are still trying to get clients out of Guantánamo. Torture. They want criminal inquiry, others want commission, others want to forget it. It is not clear what Obama is doing, he has said different things. Gang of four on intelligence committee, two Democrats were informed, Harman quietly objected, then Pelosi, what else could they have done? They could have objected more strenuously. War council, lawyers, and principals, Cheney, Rice, etc. Elizabeth de la Vega saying if we had a special prosecutor now there would be a grand jury, so people would have to shut up. We want transparency, but have to have prosecution. This is a hot political moment to act, it won't shut down because of Freedom Of Information requests, senate hearings, articles like Newsweek will continue.
  • Bumper Music: Work It Out, Jurassic 5 (video).
  • Guest: Stewart Acuff from the AFL-CIO drops by with an update. Workers have got president's support, huge support in Congress, but how to beat Republican filibuster? Some Democrats are backing out of the Employee Free Choice Act, waffling, but if get Republicans to get to 60 it will be ok with Democrats. Contact all your senators.
  • Bumper Music: Wonderful, Everclear.
  • Bumper Music: Simply The Best, Tina Turner (video).
  • Article: Five Congressmen Arrested At Darfur Protest.
    "MSNBC is reporting that five congressional representatives have been arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy after heading a Darfur protest. Those arrested were: Donna Edwards (D-MD), James McGovern (D-MA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN) and John Lewis (D-GA). They were bound with zip-tie handcuffs and driven away in a large white van."
  • How much started some time ago that we are feeling now?
  • Article: Will Bunch: Tearing Down The Reagan 'Myth'.
  • Everyone who tortured should get a military psychiatric examination.
  • Financial crisis. Call Congress, we need the Employee Free Choice Act.
  • The conservatives asking what did the Democrats know about torture and when, is an admission something was wrong.
  • Bumper Music: Learning to Fly, Pink Floyd (video).
  • Member of the day and winner of a signed book was kpominville who posted a video:

    This is video I took at the tea bag party in my town last week.

    The first woman was holding a sign that read "Honk if you support the constitution". So I stopped and asked her what exactly she thought was threatening the constitution. Then I asked her if she had been protesting for the constitution over the last 8 years.

    The second woman was holding a sign that said "Brew the liberals", so I asked her what exactly her sign meant.

    I wish I had more time because these people were not unique. I could have spent all day there and come away with enough craziness for a feature length movie.

  • "Next, we are restoring science to its rightful place. On March 9th, I signed an executive memorandum with a clear message. Under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over.

    Our progress as a nation and our values as a nation are rooted in free and open inquiry. To undermine scientific integrity is to undermine our democracy. It is contrary to our way of life.

    That’s why I’ve charged John Holdren and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy with leading a new effort to ensure that federal policies are based on the best and most unbiased scientific information. I want to be sure that facts are driving scientific decisions, not the other way around.

    President Obama’s Remarks at the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Victoria Jones of Talk Radio News. Obama on science. Conference with Dodd, etc., bipartisan, reconciliation senate procedure. Debbie Stabenow. Abusive spouse. Tell your senators you have their back. Middle East peace, complete freeze on Jewish settlements is a prerequisite. King Hussein on TV over the weekend.


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