• Are we at the brink of a new depression?
  • Banks have another way to finance exec pay and benefits - using life insurance that pay the bank when employee dies. They are addicted to bubble profits.
  • Article: U.S. May Strip SEC of Powers in Regulatory Overhaul.
    "The Obama administration may call for stripping the Securities and Exchange Commission of some of its powers under a regulatory reorganization that could be unveiled as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter said.

    The proposal, still being drafted, is likely to give the Federal Reserve more authority to supervise financial firms deemed too big to fail. The Fed may inherit some SEC functions, with others going to other agencies, the people said. On the table: giving oversight of mutual funds to a bank regulator or a new agency to police consumer-finance products, two people said.

    The 75-year-old SEC, chartered to oversee Wall Street and safeguard investors, has seen its reputation tarnished as some lawmakers blamed it for missing the incipient financial crisis and failing to detect Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme. Any move to rein in the agency is likely to provoke a battle in Congress, which would need to approve the changes, and draw the ire of union pension funds and other advocates for shareholders.

    "
  • Article: Revealed: Top GOP aide yanks post linking same-sex marriage, child rape.
    "Senator praised staff last week, saying their positions were ‘in harmony’ with GOP.

    The chief Republican counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee penned a blog post last month linking same sex marriage to pedophilia — and subsequently yanked it when it drew attention.

    William Smith, who was installed as Judiciary chief counsel last week by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL, above right), wrote a seething blog post last month responding to a speech advocating that the party embrace same sex marriage.

    Smith was responding to a speech given by a McCain consultant and former Bush aide Steve Schmidt to the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay Republican lobbying group. In his post, Smith linked same sex marriage to child rape, bestiality and pedophilia.

    "
  • Article: Having Daughters Rather Than Sons Makes You More Liberal: Study.
  • Article: American Academy of Environmental Medicine Calls for Immediate Moratorium on All Genetically Modified Foods.
  • Article: Sat nav system could break down within a year.
  • Article: "Missing Link" Found: New Fossil Links Humans, Lemurs?
  • Article: Patti Blagojevich joins 'I'm a Celebrity ...'. In Costa Rica.
  • Clip:
    "If people are -- if terrorists are released in the United States, part of what we don’t want is them be put in prisons in the United States. We don’t want them around the United States."
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Holds News Conference. He's been terrorized?
  • Understand how fiction works. Robert Reed screenwriting course. The hero is defined by the anti-hero.
  • Article: Terrorists in Prison: is there anything the Right doesn't fear? Glenn Greenwald.
  • Article: US Can Hold Gitmo Detainees Indefinitely, Judge Says.
  • Article: Time To Get Out The Wheelbarrows? Another Look At The Weimar Hyperinflation, Ellen Brown.
  • Quote:
    "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense."
    Amendment VI of the Constitution.
  • Quote:
    "In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."
    Amendment VII of the Constitution.
  • Quote:
    "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
    Amendment V of the Constitution.
  • Quote: “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”. Franklin D Roosevelt.
  • Article: Investors rebel over executive pay at Shell.
  • Speculators killed the Weimar currency and it was private companies issuing it. Hitler issued notes and fixed it.
  • Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
  • Article: Billy the goat retires from 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh.
  • Upcoming Event: May 21 1080 KUDO, Anchorage, Alaska presents an evening with Thom Hartmann, Hosted by Eddie P at the Anchorage Aviation Heritage Museum. Doors open at 6:30, dinner at 7. Catered by: Blues Central. Tickets $25 in advance $30 at the door.
  • Upcoming Event: May 21 - 22 Show live from 1080 KUDO, Anchorage, Alaska. May 22 Thom will speak at the IBEW annual Progress Meeting (Western States) at the Hotel Captain Cook on Friday from 10 - 11 am (ADT).
  • Article: Reeducating Osama Bin Laden's Disciples: 60 Minutes: Saudi Government Tries To Rehabilitate Former Guantanamo Prisoners, Jihadists.
  • Saudis bringing former detainees back into the community. Tribal culture. They have no police and no prisons. They treat crime as an aberration, and bring them back to heal them.
  • Article: The happiest taxes on earth: Commentary: More people are satisfied in heavily tariffed nations. Thomas Kostigen.
  • Article: Will Obama Move Supreme Court Rightward? Jeff Cohen.
  • Taxi to the Dark Side.
  • Article: The Truth About Online Gambling: Why It Is not the Wild West, Michelle Minton.
    "On Christmas morning 1869, in the dust bowl town of Towash, Texas, the patrons of Jackie’s Saloon heard the ringing of spurs against the wooden entrance steps and turned to see a tall man with a boyish face casually slide through the swinging doors. John Wesley Hardin, the 16-year-old son of a Confederate preacher, raised his gun with the grace of a portrait artist and painted the back wall of the bar with the blood of James Bradley — over a game of cards.

    In the old West, this may have been a common way to ensure honesty at cards. Yet, as alien as that world seems to us today, some pundits and members of Congress suggest that things have not changed much since those gun-slinging days.

    Today, gambling is legal in some form in all but two states and an over whelming majority of Americans enjoy gambling — or have at least gambled once — and they do so in ever increasing numbers on the Internet. Dozens, if not hundreds, of websites let Americans place legal bets on everything from the spin of a virtual roulette wheel to the outcome of a horse race.

    As the popularity of online gambling has grown, so too has the urge among some politicians and regulators who see it as a problem to “do something” about it. Fears about online gambling range from under age and problem gamblers accessing gaming sites to money laundering and threats to financial privacy.

    "
  • The best writing Thom has seen for a long time. The Wall Street Journal used to be evocative, decades ago.
  • Article: Plasma endorphin levels in pathological gambling, Alex P. Blaszczynski1, Simon W. Winter1 and Neil McConaghy1.
  • Guest: Michelle Minton, Policy Analyst in the Research Department, Competitive Enterprise Institute. Not a conservative think tank but free market think tank. Gambling should be legal. The government has no part in regulating Internet gambling. Gambling behavior. "Plasma endorphin levels in pathological gambling". Freebase tobacco.
  • Bumper Music: Tumbling Dice, Rolling Stones (video).
  • They were having a debate in the studio about how do you define addictive potential. Thom wrote about TV being addictive in The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight. Serious addictions like coke, heroin, smoking. The % of people who can chip a drug. The higher the percentage, the lower the addiction potential. Rant. We are not preparing kids, not supporting people but encouraging them (for profit) or punishing them.
  • Bumper Music: Because I Got High, Afroman.
  • Article: http://www.thestar.com/article/636701.
  • TV mind-altering, brainwaves. Chemical laced tobacco. Lamar. Kennedy was killed because the CIA was aligned. It would have been more scary if they had just blown up the WTC.
  • Book: The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives by Zbigniew Brzezinski.
  • Addition. Food high in fructose corn syrup. Sugar. Violence in families goes up when the economy goes down. If the economy is good or there is a good safety net, suicides, violence, etc. are down.
  • Article: Airman spots aircraft fuel leak at 35,000 feet .
  • Gambling is already legal - it is called the stock market.
  • Addiction has two categories. Those addicted to accumulating wealth are OCD on wealth. It's not the same as addiction? Both are neurological differences.
  • Coffee addiction. Addiction to being noble. Thom was hard core vegan.
  • Article: White House Czar Calls for End to 'War on Drugs': Kerlikowske Says Analogy Is Counterproductive; Shift Aligns With Administration Preference for Treatment Over Incarceration.
  • Article: Ending the War on Drugs: The Moment is Now, Arianna Huffington.
  • Guest: Everything you know is wrong: Former drug smuggler Brian O'Dea. Former drug smuggler Brian O'Dea reasons that legal drugs would have put him out of business. He was in a DC6 that put down in the ocean off America with pot abroad, its third crash. They swam to safety. He is for drug legalization, decriminalization is a half measure. The same for other drugs, tobacco, alcohol. We won't all become heroin addicts. Portugal decriminalized, 100% increase in addicts looking for help, and fewer addicts. Thom's school friend Jerry (not the NYC one) changed after 2 years in prison for drugs; it destroyed him. A bank robber told O'Dea to switch to raiding banks, it attracts lower sentences. He had friends who got 75 years for first offence marijuana. Others are making a fortune growing pot for medical marijuana. Obama's drug czar called for an end to war on drugs. Eric Holder said the Federal government would no longer raid medical marijuana, but a week later they did. Obama's budget excludes needle exchange. Arianna Huffington article. War against the weakest, the most in need of help. Richard Bandler: "If you always do what you did, you'll always get what you got".
  • Article: Fla. Police Say Men Called 911 After Bad Drug Deal: Florida Police Say Men Called 911 After They Were Robbed While Trying To Buy Marijuana.
  • Article: Iowa man arrested after police said he tried to eat a bag of marijuana to avoid charges.
  • Article: Thief Eats His Way To Arrest.
    "A man who robbed his local takeaway pizza shop forgot one important element of a hold up - leaving the scene of the crime.

    Ante Baranovic's attempt to hold up the shop was foiled by his favourite food.

    After he ordered the staff at the shop in Croatia to hand over half a dozen pizzas, he pulled out a knife and robbed them.

    But the lure of the pizzas proved too much for Baranovic, who promptly sat down and started eating his way through them.

    The Austrian Times reports Baranovic told detectives: "I know I should have run but those pizzas are good."

    "
  • Mike, an online poker player, called. It is a game of skill and strategy, only a little luck.
  • HG, an addictions counselor, called. All addictions are a combination. Neurochemicals and habituation factor. Gambling is almost pure adrenalin.
  • Bumper Music: Trouble me, 10000 Maniacs (video).
  • Dan called, he makes a quarter of his income from gambling on the web at poker. Most players start with slot machines, win a bit and lose a bit. Poker players start out losing, they don't get a fix. There's no fun just pulling the lever at poker. Book: "Harrington on Hold 'em: Strategic Play v. 1: Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments", Dan Harrington.
  • Methamphetamines, nasty drugs, and it is Adderall.
  • Governments profiting from gambling, no oversight. State lotteries are run by a handful of people, the winner can be anonymous.
  • Are the Dick Cheneys of the world addicted to fear? Addiction to war, killing, adrenaline, excitement, Baghdad shock and awe? Rumsfeld turned it to religion for Bush, with briefings with religious quotes. Bush killed over 120 in Texas.
  • Bumper Music: Democracy is coming to the USA, Leonard Cohen.
  • Member of day was what now toons who won a copy of a DVD of 11th Hour Banner in which Thom appears, for saying in the chat room,

    did someone say cartoon? Cheney is the biggest cartoon villain I've seen in a long time, and he's for real!

  • Article: Why Pelosi Should Step Down, Newt Gingrich.
    "The case against Nancy Pelosi remaining Speaker of the House is as simple as it is devastating:

    The person who is No. 2 in line to be commander in chief can’t have contempt for the men and women who protect our nation. America can’t afford it.

    To test how much damage Speaker Pelosi has done to the defense of our nation, ask yourself this: If you were a young man or woman just starting out today, would you put on a uniform or become an intelligence officer to defend America, knowing that tomorrow a politician like Nancy Pelosi could decide you were a criminal?

    "
  • Jay Tamboli, Talk Radio News. He's covering the White House today. Thom got an email from Newt Gingrich, renewingamericanleadership.com, saying Pelosi must step down. Why is anybody paying any attention to him? Most of the questioning focused on Guantánamo Bay, and the Senators not giving funding for closing it, they want more information. The president will be giving a major policy address tomorrow which will cover the issue. The Uighurs in Guantánamo. We have no reason to hold them, but are afraid of them. Turning them into terrorists or anti-heroes.
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