April 9th 2009

Topic: Whistleblower Iris Mack is with Thom today - Harvard Derivatives Whiz Fired For Emailing Larry Summers About "Frightening" Trades

Topic: "Mexican Drug War + More Gun Control = Solution?"  Thom debates Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America www.gunowners.org

Topic: "News Under the Radar" Christy Harvey of the Center for American Progress joins Thom www.americanprogress.orggun-images


B Roll (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago


Barack Obama defended his vote for the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 by saying that it brought the wire tapping back under the supervision of the FISA court after the Bush Administration had broken away from that supervision. That's what Randi Rhodes said, in defending Obama on that vote, although she said she disagreed with him (as I recall).

That would indicate that his view was that under that act, eavesdropping would require warrants from the FISA court. I don't know what the Obama Administration is actually doing now.

I was out of the room where the radio was playing when a caller said something about Obama and Hillary Clinton going to a Bildeburgers, and after that meeting they changed their position on FISA. I didn't catch when the meeting was. However, I do know that Obama voted "Yea" on FISA Amendments Act of 2008, but Hillary Clinton voted "Nay".

In another bit of cheerful news, there was an article on Yahoo! Tech on Monday, April 6, that said that the UK just began a one year program of archiving every email. Apparently there was European Union directive to do so.

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/136610 Here's the first paragraph:

"In a move that even the most nonchalant of privacy advocates is crying foul over, the UK has put into effect a European Union directive which mandates the archival of information regarding virtually all internet traffic for the next 12 months."

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago


Did you imply that Easter eggs don't come from cows. Then how do you explain the Easter Heifer? I guess you've been living on your houseboat so long you've forgot about them. Cows don't like swimming aren't built for boating.

As far as you vegetarians, we members of the Vegetable Liberation League think you're deplorable hypocrites. A chicken can run or fly away, a duck can swim away and a cow has many ways of escaping, except by swimming or by boat. But poor vegetables are stuck in the ground. How can you justify cutting off the head of a lettuce or a cabbage and then eating it?

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago

Greetings from the future.

Yes, I arrived here in Thursday, April 9, one day before the rest of you. We think there's a bug in the software for Thom's new website that caused a tear in the time/space continuum. We've been working on the problem, and think we've come up with a solution, which I'll try at the very moment that yesterday turns into today.

Here's the plan. At the precise moment that your today (my yesterday) is turning into my today (your tomorrow), I will jump into the air. If my timing is perfect, I will jump today and land today. Since my feet won't be touching the ground when at the moment the day changes, I will hopefully land in the right day. (This is why basketball games and track and field events like the long jump, high jump and the pole vault are scheduled to end before midnight. People who are in the right day could end up a day behind if they unfortunately jump at the right time.

No need to wish me luck. By the time you read this I'll either be back in the present or I might be smashed like a bug against the windshield of yesterday.

Thom, if I don't make it, I want you to know I take back every nice thing I ever said about you. Hope you understand.

KMH (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago

Good point of agreement with the gun owner. I often worry about having my rights taken away. Both left and right could work together to model a step diagram with levels of concern and recommended action. I have been in the wilderness surrounded by homes that are meth labs and thankful to G-d my host had an array of guns. Ultimately, our need for protection from those who would use the legal system to strip our civilization of its rights begins with the human psyche and is a cultural issue. For every gun, there ought to be a conflict resolution, basic safety nets including education and voluntary counseling services made available. We should join with the Republicans and fight the very rich control freaks rather than each other.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago

When quoting Rick Santorum, failure to refer to:




is a crime against man and the god of your choice.

Kai Wen (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago

The math that killed Wall Street.
Here is a link to an article in Wired Magazine that explains the math behind credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations. It explains how it works and what the problems with it are, in a way that is easy to understand.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago

re: Iris Mack

I wonder if the following facts had anything to do with the firing of Iris Mack after she questioned certain practices and investments of the Harvard Management Company while Lawrence Summers was the president of Harvard University:

1. Mack questioned policies Summers approved of.
2. Mack is a woman.
3. Mack is relatively young.
4. Mack is black.
5. Mack is beautiful. (I know Thom, we're not supposed to notice.)
6. Mack smells good. (I know Thom, we're not supposed to notice.)

People who attain the kinds of successes and positions of power that Summers has usually don't appreciate being questioned by underlings. They also tend to be protective of their authority and reputation.

We already know that Summers expressed (in the past) his belief that females possessed less of an aptitude for math and science than males. We also know people tend to hold clusters of conservative or liberal beliefs. For example, people who hold backwards views on women often also hold backwards views on race. People who support gender equality also tend to support racial equality. These are general statements not absolute.

I don't like unsupported speculation, but I can imagine a scenario in which Summers was angered to have economic decisions he supported being questioned. His judgment and reputation were being questioned. And I can imagine that his anger increased when he discovered that the person who questioned these decisions was a brilliant young black woman who also happened to look and smell great.

It's just my speculation and it may be that Mack's firing may be totally due to her questioning of the several practices of the Harvard Management and nothing to do with the other factors. It may be that anyone might have been treated the same way.

Still, with the proper disclaimers, I think we should consider racial, gender and generational factors that we tend to either overlook or assert without much thought. The question of race is particularly neglected on progressive radio. When it is dealt with, it’s generally done poorly.

How do I know that Iris Mack is beautiful? I’ve seen pictures of her. How do I know she smells good? Come on! And unlike Thom Hartmann who beat his breast on the radio after spontaneously complimenting Arianna Huffington for her perfume, I understand that people (men as well as women) scent their bodies for their own enjoyment and for others to notice.

nora (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago

Cyber-bullying topic:

I agree with Thom that there are ALREADY laws on the books to cover the actions of these bullies.

I especially agree that teaching kids the reality of the bullying world by showing them how spot bullies and deal with them on the Internet too. We do need to teach everybody how to spot these people and REPORT them and work to contain their bullying behavior.

BULLIES need rehabilitation, that's for sure. We make Drunk Drivers take education classes when they are first snagged. Isn't it time to do the same for BULLIES??? We need a way to lasso the bullies and give them a chance to reform and be members of the real human race! If they can't be reformed, then maybe stronger remedies are needed.

ESPECIALLY we need to take away the bullies' computers if they refuse to stop cyber-bullying! (Just like Drunk Drivers are not allowed to drive.)

Jared Allaway (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago

B Roll wrote about vegetarians. I am a vegan. I don't put animal products in my mouth, I don't wear animal products, and I don't buy products from companies that do animal testing. I love Thom Hartmann. I'm sorry B Roll felt the need to write a tired old joke that has been told by people who don't understand vegetarians for years.

For the record: jokes that suggest meat eaters are doing a noble thing by "saving defenseless vegetables" are old and are a great way to show the world you haven't done any research on vegetarianism.

nora (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago

Caller Haley's comment -- that the digital age needs laws of its own somehow to cover things like cyber-bullying -- is pretty bizarre! A law is a law. Libel, defamation, slander, blackmail and so on don't need to be recast to address the world with computers!

I got the feeling from the caller's insistence that something NEW needed to be created to address cyber-bullying was call for something FASTER, even instantaneous -- LIKE THE KEYPAD DELETE BUTTON!

This is frightening to me. Computers give us a lot of that sensation of INSTANTANEOUS GRATIFICATION, but law and justice do not work like that. Evidence, discovery, deposition, judgement, peer review, precedent -- all these things have a place in our attempt to gain JUSTICE. We can't just CENSOR, DELETE, and BAN those we don't like or find irritable, etc.!

I find that call VERY scary if it reflects how most young people think about this.

KMH (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago

Must repair an earlier post comparing population densities between USA and Western Europe:

European Union : population: 491,582,852 (July 2009 est.) total: 4,324,782 sq km
United States: population: 307,212,123 (July 2009 est.) total: 9,826,630 sq km note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia; slightly larger than China; more than twice the size of the European Union

CIA Fact book: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 51 weeks ago

Holy mackerel there Jared Allaway,

Thank you for responding to one of the least significant messages I’ve posted on this board. Although the last thing I expected to find when I checked back on this board was to find an angry response to a simple joke that wasn’t aimed at anyone, vegetarian or not.

I have to say that I’m disappointed that you flew off in a huff over that joke, so I’d like to offer a little advice about huffs. They can be very hard to pilot because they tend to be over-powered for the payloads they carry. And they make so much noise that the pilots, usually hunched over the yoke, can’t hear when people try to warn them that their about to crash. So before flying off in a huff, it’s a good idea to carefully go through your checklist. Taking special care that you have sufficient fuel and visibility is very important.

To address the points in your post:

I didn’t write about vegetarians. I made a joke. My main joke was about the “Easter Heifer”. Then I added the joke about the “Vegetable Liberation League”. That joke dates back to a video I thought of making back when fast food restaurants started offering veggie burgers. It never was about any animus towards vegetarians on my part. In fact, I have criticized a local talk show host for disparaging vegans and vegetarians, and this is a person who had Thom Hartmann on his show as an honored guest several times.

I guess the following line is what pulled the prop on your huff. “As far as you vegetarians, we members of the Vegetable Liberation League think you’re deplorable hypocrites.” Dude, there is no Vegetable Liberation League. To adapt a line from Sigmund Freud, “Sometimes a joke is just a joke.”

I think your overreaction to my little joke is an indication of oversensitivity on your part. That’s very common among people who feel very strongly about their issues. I’m going to guess that cruelty to animals is a very big part of that for you. Nevertheless, your response was over the top and oversensitive.

There was nothing in my post that suggested that “meat eaters are doing a noble thing”. You saying that indicates that your emotions got the best of your logic. Hey, I eat vegetable every day. I cut them, cook them and do all sorts of things that they wouldn’t think well of, if they thought at all.

Another indication of how you’ve overreacted is your comment that my joke showed the world that I haven’t done any research on vegetarianism. What world? How many people to you think read this blog? And your comment about how much research I’ve done on vegetarianism only makes sense if you think the joke was a criticism of vegetarianism, which it wasn’t.

For our information, I’m familiar with the basic arguments for vegetarianism. The health and environmental arguments are the most compelling to me, and have informed my eating habits, though I do eat and enjoy some meat. And I’ve known about vegetarianism since I was a child, because I had an uncle who was a vegetarian. He and his family lived very close to my family and I spent a lot of time at their house.

You say jokes about defenseless vegetable are old. So what! That statement shows that you don’t know much about jokes and humor. Last year there was a news story about research on the oldest jokes on record. The very oldest joke dates back around to 1900 BC and comes from ancient Sumer. It was a fart joke. In 2009, Stephanie Miller, one of the top rated “progressive” talkers has a promo running about the role of fart jokes on her show. In fact, articles about the oldest jokes noted that just like today, relationships, toilet humor and sex jokes were staples of ancient humor. I imagine that there were people who were offended by some of those jokes way back then.

Now completely out of the blue, you said, “I love Thom Hartmann.” Maybe that’s the source of part of your anger, because if you read this blog regularly, you may have noticed that I’m very critical of Thom.

Well, I have some major differences with Thom and I’m going to express them. I hope some of my comments help Thom expand his view. It’s hard to judge whether they do or not. Thom, like all of us has his comfort zone and a certain amount of rigidity in his opinions. Personally, I believe some of his ideas are just plain whack.

I saw your post about atheism. You seem to be an atheist. Thom believes in a spiritual dimension to the universe and if you listen to him over a long period of time, you may be amazed at how omnipresent Thom seems to believe this spiritual dimension is. But his spiritual views are only one area in which I disagree with him. There are also a lot of areas I do agree with him.

Well, this was a long response to a short post. I don’t know whether it will help you understand why I think you overreacted, but I don’t know if you’ll even see it.

My advice to you is to just chill. Me, I’m gonna veg out for a while.

evul_muzik's picture
evul_muzik 12 years 44 weeks ago

Sorry, I didn't realize you actually think vegetarianism is a good thing. Thank you.

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