May 22 2009 - Friday

bernie-sanders-imageTopic: "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joins Thom for his weekly nationwide town hall meeting www.sanders.senate.gov

Comments

Freedomnow (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#1

The young woman who advocates for online gambling to be legal without much regulation must have an financial interest in some kind of web site.
Her reasons for legalizing it has no basis in reality of the problems that it invites. Apparently, she thinks gamblers are self regulators. She is either grossly immature and ignorant of the problems that unregulated gambling creates or she has a financial interest in a company providing online gambling.

Mark (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#2

In regard to Dick Cheney's shenanigans on Thursday, if it is true that Cheney’s poll numbers are going up, that’s merely proof that fear still trumps hope for many people. Cheney is clearly worried about how history will judge him. He may believe that inventing facts or twisting facts may allow him to be viewed favorably by those still see America surrounded by dark-skinned enemies, as Richard Slotkyn’s “Regeneration Through Violence” argued. But most thinking people ought to see through the pose; Cheney’s claim that “a hundred thousand lives have been saved” thanks to the Bush/Cheney civil rights destroying policies, and that the Obama administration is “hiding” the evidence that “many” terrorists plots have been foiled is mere demagoguery. Just like all those WMDs and mass graves that were never found, wouldn’t the administration have touted its “successes” with a bit more specificity? Or were the only “successes” worth mentioning the Miami 7 and Jose Padilla fiascos? Facts are facts, and they are not on Cheney’s side, and history will judge him on that criteria rather than on his fantasias.

Mark (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#3

To continue Thom's discussion with a caller on Thursday on the term "Nazi," the Encyclopedia Britannica’s article on fascism lists a dozen or so characteristics of that political system. Opposition to Marxism; opposition to parliamentary democracy; opposition to political and cultural liberalism; totalitarian ambitions; conservative economic programs; corporatism; alleged equality of social status; imperialism; military values; extreme nationalism; scapegoating; populism; antiurbanism; “racial unity” and a few others.
It doesn’t take much reflection to note that to some degree all of these characteristics are implied in Republican politics. A concern country turning “communist” under Obama has been expressed by lesser lights on the right. Congress as a check on executive power—or rather Republican power—we have seen in action for length of the Bush administration. We don’t need to tarry with the right-wing opposition to anything smacking of liberalism. Totalitarianism is tough prove, although Nixon did say that the president was above the law, and Bush/Cheney did trample on the Bill of Rights. Conservative economic programs and corporatism goes without saying. Alleged equality of social status—when Alex Castellano recently stated on CNN that Republicans were a “bottom-up” party, Donna Brazile told him to “stop your lies.” And so on and so forth.
Some of these characteristics, like scapegoating and “racial unity” were taken to their “logical” extreme by the Nazis. It can be detected in this country as well. Frankly, if someone regards a certain demographic in this country in terms of vermin and pests—and Thom knows what demographic I’m talking about—much as the Nazis portrayed the Jews in the propaganda film “The Eternal Jew,” then that person is little to be differentiated from the Nazi who espoused such a view. And those who remain silent in the face of it do, as Thomas More said, betoken their consent—which why when Pat Buchanan declared on the McLaughlin Group that “Hispanics are out to destroy America” the total silence of his co-hosts in response to this racist fulmination was more eloquent than what that bigoted, anti-Semitic fulminator actually said.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#4

Beth Noveck, the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, was on c-span's "Washington Journal" this a.m. She was talking about recent (within the last 24 hours) additions to the White House website.

www.Whitehouse.gov/open was just made available to encourage people to offer suggestions to make the government more transparent and open. Noveck said that the administration is looking for ideas to improve specific areas of government that could benefit from new technologies, systems, etc. They also want feedback to make the site better.

A weblog for scientists and technology people went up yesterday. Members of the administration want to brainstorm via comments on the weblog with citizens for a limit of ONE WEEK. Then, the next phase of the process will begin. After that, another phase will begin, and so on.

Other sites include: www.data.gov, www.ostp.gov, www.whitehouse.gov/open/innovations

I think this sounds promising --- and interesting! 'Just wanted to pass it along.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#5

Obama: Prolonged Detention

Last night, Rachel Maddow talked about a new, radical, unconstitutional proposal that was included in Obama's speech yesterday. It is very disturbing:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#30877514

brian a. hayes (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#6

senater sanders there has been many times our nation has used terorism against people of other nation and within our nation . i feel we must bring this up in the public debate and face our past action, to make us a more perfect union. what do you think?

Manik (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#7

Thom, while you are in Anchorage, please look into the MORE environmental pipeline proposed for years by Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority (ANGDA), chaired by Scott Heyworth. The big three oil companies have been running the biggest scam re running their 3400 mile pipeline.

"Running a gas pipeline thru Denali National Park" for no real reason when an alternative environmental already disturbed corridor (along side TAPS.......and buried!) exists.

If I can get him to call in will you speak with him?

brian a. hayes (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#8

nichren daishonin described what he called the mystic law of cause and efect. based it on the proof ones see in it. nam myho renge kyo . man creates causes by thought word and action.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#9

ralph waldo emeron observe that all sucessful people agree on one thing that is the law of causality.

Mugsy (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#10

Thom, quick observation.
Obama isn't doing anything he didn't tell us he would do for two years on the campaign trail, and yet, when Cheney was asked about running for President, he said he was looking forward to retirement.

Now Obama is President, the election is over, and Cheney is going around telling us President Obama is making the country less safe.

Well, why didn't he run for President then? It's not like we didn't know what Obama's plans were. Cheney simply didn't want to be humiliated in a race he had no chance of winning. He was a coward during Vietnam, and he's a coward now.

PS: Is it just me, or did Cheney confess to breaking the law "only three times" (waterboarding) on National television?

brian a. hayes (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#11

budhism is also based on science tom not only a mysticism. buddhism talks about the oneness of man and his enviroment. the oneness of the mind and body. the ten worlds hell hunger , animality anger humanity heaven learning relization bodhisatva and buddhahood. these ten worlds are inherited in ones life. man has whats called the buddha nature .

Maggie (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#12

With regard to your discussion on religion ---
Any religion is safe and pure regardless of which one -- until government and greed for power gets involved....then it goes all wrong. I think that's why our founders put in a separation of church and state, as well as the history of Englands state church....

brian a. hayes (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#13

all things have a buddha nature even a tree the daishonin wrote a letter entitle the enlightenment of plants

B Roll (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#14

Thom,

Did it ever occur to you that your cats follow you guys around because they're social animals that require social interaction rather than they might worship you? Leave the worship to your many fans.

I'm sure that you've been in settings where people are walking around with their dogs on leashes. What happens when two people with their dogs on leashes walk toward each other? The two dogs strain at their leashes to try to check each other out. They're so desperate to interact with their own kind. And I recall some woman wrote a book about how, if given a choice, dogs almost always choose the company of other dogs over the company of humans. And apparently, dogs don't have the problem accepting the dognity of dogs that are different from them as humans have accepting the humanity of other humans who are different from us.

So, as to the question of whether you cat worships you, I'd guess that not having the option of associating with other cats, Higgins is willing to hang with you dawg.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#15

Maybe I'm just a stick in the mud. I realize that this is the internet and all, but I assume that people who post stuff here would like to at least appear intelligent. Is it too much to ask, then, that we take a moment to read the stuff we've written, at last once, before hitting "POST"?

I'm no English teacher, but I do at least attempt to check my spelling, grammar and sentence structure before posting anything. Even the best ideas can appear pretty stupid if presented poorly.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#16

Beth Noveck, the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, was on c-span’s “Washington Journal” this a.m. She was talking about recent (within the last 24 hours) additions to the White House website.

http://www.Whitehouse.gov/open was just made available to encourage people to offer suggestions to make the government more transparent and open. Noveck said that the administration is looking for ideas to improve specific areas of government that could benefit from new technologies, systems, etc. They also want feedback to make the site better.

A weblog for scientists and technology people went up yesterday. Members of the administration want to brainstorm via comments on the weblog with citizens for a limit of ONE WEEK. Then, the next phase of the process will begin. After that, another phase will begin, and so on.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#17

OK ... busted! Caught a typo in my post above that I missed on my proofread.

In the last line of the first paragraph, the word "last" should be "least".

OOPS!

Quark (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#18

Another gov't. website will contain data from all areas of the government. So far, a minimum of 60 agencies have contributed to it:

http://www.data.gov

jonk (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#19

A few short comments about the debate with Christopher Hitchens (he's not the best person to advocate his side -- he's just driven, he has said, because of 9/11.)

There are several books discussing the idea that religious/spiritual impulses may have been selected for, as sedentary culture and the ability to pass on memes with some fidelity arose, through evolutionary processes operating on the combined meme and gene space. It's possible that the human response to mystery and a sense of awe itself preceded the development of responses to those feelings as a survival benefit of its own. I can't say, it's a new field of thought still being researched and explored. But it's intriguing.

Regarding the question more broadly and Thom's comment about the very existence of supernatural forces or objects, that's just our ignorance. When we understand the details, we call it facts or knowledge. When we don't, but want to personify or make manifest the object of our ignorance, we then ascribe what we feel we observe but cannot explain as "supernatural" in some way. But it's nothing more than just saying, "we don't know." That's all. But it feels nice to "put it in a box" somehow and talk about it as though it were a thing.

Sadly, we will always be ignorant about things in the world around us. We will never understand everything. So there will always be a need to put that ignorance in a nice, tidy box to talk about and think about and worry over. We have a love for and capacity for a sense of awe and mystery. I wouldn't want to take that away from anyone. It helps to know what it is, though -- just our ignorance personified.

On a final matter, which Thom addressed. We each have our internal belief systems. We probably couldn't survive long without them. The problems come in when we assign to our internal beliefs an external 'Truth Value' and then, on the basis of that presumption, further decide that others must be forced to embrace or otherwise accept them and/or behave accordingly.

Then we've all got a problem.

Politics is about finding common values and elevating them. And where our differences remain, finding those compromises we can each live with -- without resorting to violent coercion. Ultimately, politics and the legal system are about peace and tranquility among peoples of very diverse attitudes and beliefs. If we are to seriously engage in a political life that has any chance at long term survival as people's attitudes evolve and science and technology changes, we need to be mature enough to realize that politics is NOT a place for religious dogma.

Not because religious dogma is inherently wrong. Some of it is more than fine. But because it is unyielding to objective evidence. We need to be able to engage in a debate over issues and this means we need to be able to bring forth arguments based on something where the other side can actually "see" some element there. That doesn't mean they agree with the implications, but at least they can see the same evidence.

When we assign external Truth Value to our internally held beliefs, sufficient sometimes even to jail or justify the organized murder (death penalty) of others, it tears apart the very fabric of successful politics. We need to have evidence to consider in politics and law. Not unshown, internal beliefs with no possibility of debate because they are held "True no matter what." That simply shuts down political dialog.

And this leads us to why the separation of church and state in the US is so important.

Jon

brian a. hayes (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#20

conservatives without conscience i s a great book to understand dick cheney and the right.

DRichards (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#21
B Roll (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#22

THE GAY REAPERS

The call for the reversal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been growing lately, and Rachel Maddow has been raising the banner for this cause. It also has much support on the left, as most gay rights issues do.

Rachel has recently interviewed two American “warriors” who are being forced out of the military because they are gay; U.S. Army First Lieutenant Daniel Choi and U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fehrenbach, both wish to be able to return to the field of combat in Iraq or Afghanistan to carry on the military policies of the Bush and Obama administrations. I may not agree with the reason they aren’t being allowed to serve there, but I’m not terribly distressed that they can’t.

(I will say that the case of Daniel Choi is more difficult, because his fluency in Arabic might actually help save lives by facilitating communication between our troops and the people in those countries. Still, I don’t want American forces occupying those countries.)

All our citizens should have equal rights to seek employment, both in the private and public sectors and we certainly have a long way to go before we reach that goal. However, I’m far more concerned that we change our foreign policy than I am about returning these people I call the Gay Reapers, to the field of battle so they can kill people in the name of American military and economic interests. How much Iraqi and/or Afghan blood do they have on their hands?

But judging by the trends in our society (and others), gays will have the right to serve openly in the military fairly soon. This is an overall trend in our societies throughout the world. As we become more aware of the gays among us, and as younger generations grow into adulthood, what we refer to as homophobia will diminish.

From a practical point of view, the military/political complex may eventually see the necessity of allowing open gays into the military. When the American government saw the need to allow blacks to serve in order to win the Civil War, they allowed them to, possibly saving the “union”. Truman did the same when he desegregated the military. Fighting almost broke out in the United States between segregated black and white units during WWII.

The history of the desegregation of the American military didn’t happen as quickly as many think. Black units were first led by white officers. I had the opportunity to meet one of the first African Americans to reach the rank of Lieutenant in the U.S. military. Of course, he was only allowed to lead other black soldiers. He also was one of the first black firefighters in Los Angeles.

My guess is that gays will be openly serving in the U.S. military well before U.S. foreign policy will be more than in the service of corporate interests.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#23

i was able to find bob altemeyers' books title enemys of the nation, the authoritarian spector at the chicago public libary

B Roll (not verified) 10 years 28 weeks ago
#24

For a moment I was confused, because the Blue dog/red fleas comment was from a while ago. Then I remembered that today is a "best of" show.

Well, I've move on. Now I aske, "If the Democratic Party is a big tent, do the Blue Dogs stay in a pup tent?"

alandoland's picture
alandoland 9 years 27 weeks ago
#25

From a practical point of view, the military/political complex may eventually see the necessity of allowing open gays into the military. When the American government saw the need to allow blacks to serve in order mcsa to win the Civil War, they allowed them to, possibly saving the “union”. Truman did the same when he desegregated the military. Fighting almost broke out in the United States between segregated black and white units during WWII.

Part 1 - Is Economic Disaster About to Hit & Are You Prepared?

Thom plus logo Right now the United States and the world are facing four massive trends that, in combination, we haven't faced since the 1920s. We are seeing the rise of a new and brutal form of governance with extraordinary industrial capacity and power in China, much as Nazi Germany rose in Europe.

Latest Headlines

Who rejected United States-North Korea peace talks?

There were conflicting reports on Sunday regarding a recent proposal for United States-North Korea peace talks which was allegedly made before North Korea"s recent nuclear test

U.K. Pound Falls As Markets Get Brexit Jitters

Bloomberg said on Monday the pound had sustained its biggest fall against the dollar in 11 months

Clinton: I'll defend Israel but push for 'two-state solution

Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz "missed the mark" with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict
From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine
From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."