May 4th 2009 - Monday


hate-crimes-imagesTopic: "What is up with Republicans these days?"  Thom mixes it up with conservative activist/columnist/commentator Princella Smith

Topic: "Climate the right covering up the real news?" Thom confronts Stephen Hayward of the Pacific Research Institute

Topic: "Thought crimes bill damages religious freedom in America...what?!" Thom challenges Congressman Steve King (R-IA) about hate crimes legislation


michael183 (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Dear Thom,

I enjoyed listening to you while you were on Air America. I learned a lot from you.

I agree with just about everything you say except on the issue of global warming, or, now called climate change. After months of research and listening to both sides, I believe the changes we are seeing in our climate is natural. The earth is constantly going through changes and the most likely culprit is the sun. Sun fluctuates in intensity and it affects the earth. Myself, along with nearly 32,000 scientist (please see here believe GW is a natural process. The sun is causing the changes, not man. That explains why other planets in our solar system are going through the same warming process. Plus, CO2 only makes up .038% of all greenhouse gases. Of that only .013% is man-made. The whole GW hoax is another money making scheme. Nothing more. Also, please watch the movie, "The Great Global Warming Swindle." Far more scientific and credible than Al Gore's, "Inconvenient Truth."

Anna (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Dear Thom,
I'm very disappointed in you. You totally talked over Princilla. You were asking her if you were going to get a chance to speak, but you were talking over her. You're better than that. She was only on for 10 minutes (if that) and you barely let your audience hear her. I don't agree with what she was saying, but then I only heard about a third of what she said. Again, you're better than that. Don't do to your guests what Bill O'Reilly does to his. Thanks.

Michael Stubbs (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

What's up with the Republican party? The same thing that's been wrong with them for 35 years, they stopped listening to everyone. They are more interested in telling you what your opinion should be than listening to what your opinion is. Everything is about what is incorrect about your viewpoint and not about what merits a particular viewpoint may have versus others.

Paul Jenkins (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Talking with Princela Smith is like talking to a butcher about not eating meat, what good for Princella as to be good for everyone, talkinfg taxes cuts make her money and she'll talk about anything as long as it makes her money.
As Thom sugested, watch the BBC The Trap (television documentary series) by Adam Curtis. The series consists of three one-hour programmes which explore the concept and definition of freedom, specifically, "how a simplistic model of human beings as self-seeking, almost robotic, creatures led to today's idea of freedom. Google it and watch Google video-F*k you buddy (11 March 2007)- "The Lonely Robot" (18 March 2007) and "We Will Force You To Be Free" (25 March 2007).
This video series helps one understand how their brains work (or doesn't work).

Paul Jenkins (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Here we go again, talking to Stephen Hayward is like asking a car salesman what the best car is, it's what he is selling that day. He has figured out what he thinks pays the best for his talent (limited), no one else will pay him so much for so little knowledge or education. Waste of my time, crap is crap.

Sean (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Dateline did an investigative report on electronic waste being sent to China from the U.S.A..They tracked the waste to the place it was being dumped. The guest was either ignorant or lying. This is a moral issue and must not be left to to be left to bottom line economics.

Robert Miller (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Hey Thom it was Waterford, MI. the little dog ended up it the woods across I75 from where it was blown away from.

cbreiding (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

S. Carolina's defiintion of "lynching" is indeed very broad: (from Alternet) Under South Carolina law, the crime of lynching is defined solely as an act of violence by two or more persons against another, no matter the race of the victim.

Paul Jenkins (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Hate crimes- Doesn't the 'terror' an employer puts on any employees that try to form a union- Isn't that act of 'terror', a hate crime on a group of people- the working people?

Mark Shoenfelt (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

I attended a town hall meeting by Arlen Specter while he was still a Republican. Being in the same room with him solidified my opinion that the man cannot be trusted. He told us that he came to Washington to collect the $5000 bonus that the government had promised his father. I say, instead of electing him to the Senate as a Democrat, we take up a collection to raise the $5000 - even adjusted to today's dollars and with interest, and send him back to Philadelphia.

John Boettner (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago


I don't care how you classify the victims...a hate crime, is a hate crime, is a hate crime...plain and simple! To discern what victim class is worthy of protection is just another reich wing attempt to draw the focus away from the source of the problem...BIGOTRY!

Rastaman (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

IN RESPONSE TO THE REPUBLICAN'S CHARGE OF "Empathetic" Justices Threatening Our Freedom....

“In my work with the defendants (at the Nuremberg Trails 1945-1949)
I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the
defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men.

Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.”

Quotation: Captain G. M. Gilbert, the Army psychologist assigned to
watching the defendants at the Nuremberg trails

John Boettner (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago


could you distinguish between single-payer versus not-for-profit healthcare systems? Given today's political reality, would not-for-profit healthcare be a more acceptable legislative compromise to seek?

Martin Jackson (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Hey Thom I just wanted to point out that the dog story you did earlier happened in Michigan (Waterford, MI) and not the U.K

Mark (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

In regard to Reagan, I was in the Army in 1984 when he ran for re-election. I was one of the few I knew who supported Mondale, since most soldiers supported Reagan if for no other reason than he raised the pay rate. But what I remember most at that time was the question in some people’s mind if Reagan was “all there.” Before his debate with Mondale, I wasn’t alone in thinking that “If Reagan can string one coherent sentence together, he’s won the election.” Reagan obviously managed to memorize his lines one last time, and that head-shake thing he used to do when he spoke kept the brain cells awake. I knew he would win the election as soon as that first complete sentence came out of his mouth. His handlers would take care of the rest. It seems likely, in retrospect, that Reagan’s eventual slide into Alzheimer’s Disease had already taken effect in his first term.

Mark (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Last week Thom accused non-developed world countries of bearing the principle fault in depleting resources due to over-population. My reply to this is that it’s difficult to get one’s mind around the notion that a farmer or hunter in the Congo existing on the bare essentials of life is to blame when that country’s wealth of natural resources is being used-up by the insatiable demand of the West, China and Japan. 74 percent of Japan’s land mass is wooded; yet it imports all of its wood products while North American and Amazon forests are being clear-cut. It also should be noted that one shouldn’t allow conservatives to escape notice from another one of their beliefs, enunciated by former Interior Secretary James Watt: that Armageddon was just around the corner, so let’s use-up the Earth’s bounty while we can.

Mark (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Thom spoke to someone today who is against hate crime legislation (for Thom, that against gays is uppermost on his mind), because “regular laws” work. Well, those laws didn’t work for the Latino immigrant who was murdered in Shenandoah, PA by a group of white thugs, who happened be “heroes” on the high school football team. In a town where anti-Latino hate runs high and is exacerbated by local officials, the murderers were recently acquittedby an all-white jury—just as whites in the pre-civil rights South were almost always acquitted of murdering blacks, and Latinos in the Southwest. The prosecution badly bungled the case—perhaps deliberately—by giving “leniency” to the 18-year-old who witnesses said delivered the fatal kick, in exchange for his “testimony” against two juveniles.

John Boettner (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Thanks for the book Thom!

And the book is one of yours I don't have...what a great way to start a week!

louise (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Please don't post personal contact info - for the winners - we have contact info. Best, Louise

Mark (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Pennsylvania has been described as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia—with Alabama in the middle. Thus communities like Shenandoah, where an all-white jury expiated its own collective sins, cannot escape collective guilt from the eyes of those aware its deliberately fostered atmosphere of hate. Yet no one, save lonely voices like that of the Southern Poverty Law Center, wants to force Americans to come face-to-face with its national fascism.
I mention this because last Friday, Thom—whose Euro-centrism is only to be differentiated from Pat Buchanan’s “Hispanics are out to destroy America” shibboleth in tone, prevented a caller from forcing him to come to grips with the reality of anti-Latino hatred. Alone among the “progressive” personalities I listen to from morning to night on the local radio station, Thom stirs at the very least resentments against “gypsies, tramps and thieves,” which is basically what the non-Latino attitude can be boiled down to.
Instead of allowing the female caller to go on her anti-Latino rant, he steered her quickly ranting “illegal” employers, because he doesn’t want his show to be taken as proof of what the Splcenter said of media complicity. Of course she claimed not to be racist, because nobody is racist in this country, right? If you have a visceral reaction to a particular group of people that is negative, and you assume negative stereotypes, I’m sorry, but you are a racist. Despite the fact that, according to the Pew Foundation, nearly a quarter of all illegal immigrants are from nations outside of Latin America—often taking high-wage jobs—“Mexicans” have been the sole focus of paranoia and scapegoating. Face it: you just hate “Mexicans.” Illegal immigration is just the shield behind which you throw your brickbats.
And don’t think that those other nations that supply non-Latino illegal immigrants don’t appreciate U.S. “thoughtfulness.” In fact, they take the U.S.’ lead in treating “Mexicans” like a walking pestilence, as one can see in this swine flu panic; as in the U.S. ,it diverts attention from other issues—like deliberately putting dangerous chemicals in toys and toddler formulas, as China does.
Note that Thom never has a minority guest on his show, especially not to offer an alternative reality. The reason for this, admittedly, has less to do with Euro-centrism but simply that what Thom prefers to discuss has little relevance in the reality of life for the typical African-American or Latino. Latinos especially are persona non grata, especially if they want to talk about the atmosphere of, well, “resentment” that Thom does in impart. For fun, I check-out the business section in the Seattle Times, to see who is “moving up.” Needless-to-say, it’s a whites only province. Meanwhile, black unemployment far higher than the official rate; whites answer to that is to blame the Mexicans. The reality is that they just want them to fight over the crumbs they throw them.
While there seems to be an inordinate amount of energy expended on gays, gay issues and (white) women, minority issues seem to receive little but lip service. Barack Obama’s election isn’t “proof” that racism no longer exists—Obama wasn’t living in your neighborhood, after all. Wherever minorities exist in large numbers, the greater the racism. It took till the 1960s to enforce black (and Latino) suffrage in many parts of this country that was allegedly enshrined in the Constitution in the 1860s. We have seen Supreme Court decisions recently that essentially say that only whites are allowed “choice” in schools, and there is a case before the Court that is challenging oversight over changes in voting rules, which if overturned would essentially allow the resumption minority voting disenfranchisement; shockingly, this has received zero attention from the “progressive” media, to the detriment of the "progressive" cause, since minorities are its most faithful voting block.

Textynnn (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

A hate crime is a promise for more violence to people of a community or place who do not fit a guideline being enforced by the perpetrator. That is the communication intended by the perpetrator of a hate crime. It is the ultimate act of civil disobedience in the face of a community. It sends the message that certain types of people will be executed if they continue to work and live in that place or community.

That's why when that high school student put a noose in the tree in front of his school in south Florida violence broke out. The noose hanger quickly plead the black student hit first. But the black student knew this was a hate crime, a declaration of someone lurking to get you when you back is turned. If you have ever been hurt in this way you will learn waiting for the first act of violence before you get help or react in any way will only leave you vulnerable and maybe dead or disabled for life.

This hate crime involving Matthew Shepard was a full sledge crucifixion. If that's not a wake up call for a whole community to treat this as a special crime I don't know what is.

I am 50 years old and went through the civil rights movement as a child during the great busing desegregation of the schools in Little Rock Ar and was witness to the civil rights drama in person. I know about these kinds of declarations and their real real bad and need to be addressed in a much bigger way than just an assault or murder of passion etc.

D Zent (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Dear Thom (also referred to as "Voice Crying Out In The Wilderness"),
You are without doubt the most enlightening guy on the airwaves. Thanks for remembering the greater good.

I listened with great interest your perspective on the harm Ronald Reagan did the country, and it is definitely news to the average person, who is subjected to a daily diet of "St. Reagan". And that is precisely how neocons want things.

The idea seems to be to create not a political role model, but a religious figure on the order of Christ, the Dalai Lama, or perhaps even Rev. Moon (ha). However, as Jesus said, by their fruits you will know them, and the nation is now reaping the fruits of its own ignorance about this wolf in sheep's clothing.

I also want to thank you for reminding the audience of some of the sane and sound thinking from important Americans whose exposure to the horrors of war and the Masters of the Financial Universe (TM) led them to issue warnings - guys like Eisenhower, Roosevelt (both of 'em), even George Washington (treat prisoners well).

How we lost our way is debatable, I suppose, but the prescription to return to the ideals of America (of real humainity!) is not. Thank you for espousing those ideals in a way that even the most ignorant can understand, even if they won't admit it. I get the feeling that your seeds are not sown in vain, and that if you are given a wider audience, you will become a national hero (you're already a national treasure - you're just sorta...well, the vast corporate media wasteland.

I predict this will change in a big way for you, and I know the Creator, who does not look at our bank balances when judging worthiness to serve, is at your back giving you speed. And to Louise, whom you so obviously love and admire (comes through the radio in spades!) we wish the best of all good things for being so closely involved in making Thom's busy life so productive. Our heartfelt thanks, Louise.

My dad ran two television stations in conservative Bakersfield CA (Dick Cheney's favorite donor base) after being a radio personality in L.A. and I grew up around a lot of famous people. I'd trade any and all of them for you. Thanks for the inspiration.

Thom Hartmann (not verified) 14 years 3 weeks ago

Thanks so much to everybody for your comments here, and to all the folks who have made contributions to the Salem Children's Village in my mom's name (Jean Hartmann). I read this front page blog every day and really appreciate the feedback...


Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann seeks out interesting subjects from such disparate outposts of curiosity that you have to wonder whether or not he uncovered them or they selected him."
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, producer, and environmental activist
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."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a literary descendent of Ben Franklin and Tom Paine. His unflinching observations and deep passion inspire us to explore contemporary culture, politics, and economics; challenge us to face the facts of the societies we are creating; and empower us to demand a better world for our children and grandchildren."
John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestselling book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man