July 15th 2009 - Wednesday
After David Duke lost his bid for Louisiana governor in 1991—despite having won a sizable majority of the white vote—LSU professor and NPR commentator Andrei Condrescu wondered aloud just which of any white person he saw on the street could have done what was unthinkable to him: vote for a man who openly preached race hate, denied the Holocaust, had been a Ku Klux Klan member since he was 17, and was infamous for wearing Nazi uniforms while a college student. But vote for him they did. Why also would Alabama voters send to the U.S. Senate a man like Jeff Sessions, whose nomination by Reagan for a federal judgeship did not even reach the Senate floor for a vote because he was too stupid to keep his bigoted mouth shut. Sessions, besides his unabashed racial intolerance, has also “earned” a zero rating for his voting record on the environment, and supported exempting the CIA from bans on torture. It is just incomprehensible to believe that there actually are such people whose minds are so narrow that they can conceive of having this man represent them. But the South has always existed in an alternate universe, or maybe just a very large fishbowl. I can’t explain it; maybe someone else can.
Thus hearing those drawls critical of any hint of racial “preference” or “pride” from Sonia Sotomayor can only be but nauseating hypocrisy. But such hypocrisy isn’t just the prevue of Southern bigots—the "mainstream" media has lent a “helping” hand. For example, nearly all the coverage that allegedly progressive newspaper the Seattle Times gives to Latinos has something to do with illegal immigration, ICE raids, violence, drugs and murder; at least African-Americans get some “positive” coverage on the sports page. Not that the Times has any “choice”; most of what else there is to cover (other than the Sotomayor nomination) is racism, discrimination and prejudice; since the media (like the Times) actively colludes in poisoning people’s minds (in the name of "newsworthiness"), they have no incentive to expose themselves and society. Media coverage does have a rotting effect on people’s minds; reader comments on the Times’ webpage on any story that has anything to do with Latinos is full of ignorance, stereotypes and hatred in general. In this kind of atmosphere, what is it that people expect to happen?
ISRAELI SOLDIERS EXPOSE THEIR OWN GAZAN WAR CRIMES
JERUSALEM — The Israeli military used reckless force during the fighting in Gaza earlier this year, resulting in needless deaths and damage, a group of former Israeli soldiers charged in a report Wednesday.
In testimonies collected by Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israeli army reservists, 26 soldiers who participated in the three weeks of Gaza fighting describe demolishing homes and using firepower beyond what was necessary given the relatively light resistance they encountered.
In one of the new testimonies, a soldier said his unit used Palestinian civilians as human shields – a practice outlawed by Israel's Supreme Court – forcing them to enter buildings suspected of housing militants and to break down walls using sledgehammers.
"Sometimes the force would enter while placing rifle barrels on a civilian's shoulder, advancing into a house and using him as a human shield. Commanders said these were the instructions and we had to do it," the soldier said.
THIS IS THE ZIONIST AGENDA AND PALESTINIAN EXTERMINATION PLOT THAT THOM HARTMANN SUPPORTS AND DEFENDS.....ANY ADVOCACY FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE, PEACE, HUMAN RIGHTS IS NOW NULL AND VOID BY THIS SHADOWY BLOODLUSTING KKKRISTIAN CULT MEMBER.
silence is acceptance......SPEAK LOUDLY (remember?)
Here's what the powers behind Jeff Sessions expect - and, IMHO, want - by Tom Gilroy, from HuffPo yesterday -
Much of the progressive blogosphere is aghast at the embarrassing Republican strategy of putting Senator Jeff Sessions, a man with a history of racially insensitive statements, as the central interlocutor of a Hispanic woman. Could they really be that stupid -- again?
Stupid? No. More like strategic. There is a subterranean agenda here has nothing to do with the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice, and subterranean agendas are what the GOP is always about.
Just as torture was not about getting information but about intimidating our foes and exacting false confessions to justify an Iraq-al Qaida link, just as attacking ACORN was not about investigating voter fraud but about intimidating people from going to the polls, and just as questioning science was not about embracing Creationism but about discrediting climate change so polluting corporations could continue their global plunder, Sessions going after Sotomayer's non-existent "bias" is not about vetting a potential Supreme Court justice.
It's about making you afraid.
It's about making the media afraid.
And it's about making the Obama government afraid.
The point of putting a "racially insensitive" white man up to question a Latina has nothing to do with bad GOP planning and everything to do with intimidation. Republicans know she's getting confirmed; what they really want to do is intimidate the White House, the media, and me and you from embracing progressive views.
So, if you're going to embrace affirmative action, feminism, equal rights, economic fairness, civil rights, -- Jesus, even empathy -- you stand warned you will be attacked. It has nothing to do with defeating Sotomayer and everything to do with discrediting what most Americans believe and intimidating us from expressing it. It's also a signal to their dwindling base -- disenfranchised, uneducated whites -- that the GOP is still the party of the cluelessly and inarticulately disgruntled.
Hence economic fairness is "a special interest," universal healthcare is "socialism," and believing in a right to privacy is "judicial activism;" all of it bullshit, but all of it useful.
That's the goal here; keeping ignorance alive so you can cajole it to the ballot box, the streets, in front of David Letterman's studio, at the local Board of Ed meeting or the commencement at Notre Dame.
Or outside Dr George Tiller's women's health clinic or the Holocaust Museum -- carrying a gun.
Hey, Gainor, you elitist bastard -
I live in New York, my family income is WELL under $200K, and we're QUITE comfortable, thank you very much!
Thom - I've been a listener since the IE America days. I appreciate and admire what you're attempting to do by confronting right wing guests, but sometimes it gets to be too much. They make me too angry knowing that they are spending every second of their lives working towards ends that make my life, the lives of my family and of those in my community harder. Everything they advocate equals either myself or someone I care about having to struggle more or work harder just to survive.
So it gets to a point where I have to turn you off during these segments. I can't listen to them anymore, it makes me too angry.
let me make $200,000 a year and i pay my share in taxes for a public health-care plan. health-care should be a pat of the commons
senator sessions by him becoming a senator with his racist background shows the background of the people that voted for him.
Thanks for the French news story, Thom. If we can't import French farmers to head our resistence groups, at least we can hear about French workers standing up for their rights!
Yes Virgina, "evil" does exist.
As surely as "good" exists, as long as there are people doing bad things for nefarious reasons, we will always have "evil".
"Good" and "Evil" are two sides of the same coin. How would you define "Up" if "Down" didn't exist? How would you define "Left" if "Right" didn't exist?
If you don't have "evil", you can't have "good". If "good" exists, then "evil" exists every bit as much.
to my white middle class and poor brothers and sisters that are republicans ,the republican party does nothing but play on your fears. the gop is nothing but a tool for corporations. they don't give a shit about the middle class and poor.
And George Orwell said, "there are some men more evil than others...."
I define "evil" and "sin" as anything one does to DELIBERATELY HURT another human being.
If people only HELPED other human beings we wouldn't need the word "good" in this context.
I also define "evil" as Dick Cheney. LOL
It is commonly understood among economists that jobs are usually among the LAST indicators of economic conditions. This means that significant decreases in the unemployment numbers simply CANNOT be expected until MUCH LATER ON in the recovery cycle.
This is also true in a downturn - job losses don't start to become a major social issue until most of the other indicators are already in the toilet.
Another thing we NEVER hear from the "Obama's stimulus plan just ain't a-workin' " crowd is that only about 10% of the federal stimulus money has been distributed to date. Much of the money that has been distributed went to State Governments, who were supposed to use it for Medicaid payments and for those famous "Shovel-Ready" Infrastructure projects. However, many Red-State and Blue-Dog Governors have, instead, used the money to cancel outstanding state debt. Infrastructure projects DO create jobs - paying off old debts isn't necesarily a bad thing, but they don't create a single job!
You comment reminded me of an email I sent to Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" this a.m.:
'Many months ago, celebrated SMU economist Ravi Batra said the worst of this economic pain could be avoided by giving workers a liveable wage. (Consumer spending is the DEMAND in a demand economy!) Considering that increases in workers' wages have been deliberately replaced by a planned system of DEBT (devised by Greenspan and others 30 years ago), the DEMAND part of this economy is TAPPED OUT, with no meaningful adjustment or help in sight. Culprits also include (among others) Ronald Reagan, Ayn Rand, the national chamber of commerce and trickle-down right-wing Republicans who support the rule by oligarchs-only principle of government. It is undemocratic and anathema to the original vision of our founding fathers, who did NOT want to create a country ruled by "economic royalists." '
Two bumper stickers I would like to see that relate to several of your topics:
"DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST ON BOARD"
"TAX HERE, TAX NOW!"
We need to take back the term. You know, "I was socialist before socialist was cool."
Keep it up!
Maybe Thom could sell bumper stickers on his website:
"Tag --- You're it!"
... and I'm sure that Scarborough's reaction to that went something like -
"Ummmm - whut?"
Re: … and I’m sure that Scarborough’s reaction to that went something like -
“Ummmm - whut?”
Well, I sent the message around the time of a commercial break on the show. I noticed that, after the break, Joe and Mika seemed a little less hubristic. But that could just have been wishful thinking...LOL
on 60 minutes they had a segment about this organization of doctors dentist eye doctor that go around the nation giving free health care.. in this segment was in a rural area. some the people had to be turn away. the people where poor whites. i just want the poor white class to understand that by holding racist ideas and embracing the republicans will do nothing but hurt you. as a nation it is not a problem of race but class
Gotta disagree with Thom! We all do everything in our own self-interest all the time... even if it doesn't look like it. We do a "good deed" because it makes us feel good about ourselves. Parents take care of their children, make sacrifices for them even, because it gives them self-esteem about themselves and within society. We do things that we don't want to do because we know -- we've learned from experience -- that when they're done we'll feel good about it.
In response to the husband of the wife who had her hip replacement surgery done in ten days, I want to say that there is nothing new about surgeons who want to move quickly on surgeries that may not be needed. Her surgery may very well have been justified, but speedy surgeries don’t necessarily mean better care is being provided. It may have been irresponsible for the surgeon to provide a hip replacement so quickly.
I had a yoga/massage practice and I saved one of my clients from hip replacement surgery that Docs wanted to move on very quickly. I discovered her pain was coming not from her hip but from low back issues that was referring pain to her hip from unbalanced musculature. By helping her to strengthen and stretch pelvic and low back muscles, she didn’t need a hip replacement, but that took a bit of time to do. A speedy hip replacement would have prevented her from finding the real source of their pain.
Of course the caller's wife's surgery was probably helpful, but depending on insurance companies, surgeons often are indeed knife-happy. I was constantly having to say "Wait don’t let him talk you into surgery before you go and see this very good physical therapist, or until you try these exercises first." Surgeons make so much more money from procedures, rather than healing care at times. My client’s treatment cost the insurance company $200 rather than $20,000, although she had to be very disciplined about doing home care.
Reducing costs means more preventative care that might hopefully include more quality instruction in self-care from very good PT's, not just the knife-happy surgeons and the glorified gym operations that we see in many physical therapist's offices today.
In Portland, Oregon, Stewart Stark and Julie Gudmestead are two very gifted PTs who have genius knowledge of kinesiology and how tiny problems in muscle balance affect joints. They use their hands, not just machines to heal you! Stewart Stark is a respected expert on hip issues, too!
Reagan's war on education focused on Humanities, like Classical Economics and History and Government and Rhetoric and Argumentation and the other Social Sciences.
Of course, the average American has no farging idea what in South Dakota (spelled H-E-double hockey-sticks) SOCIALISM is.
brian a. hayes,
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was just starting to point out that what we really have in this country is class discrimination. This was his "message" 41 years ago when he went to Memphis, TN to march in favor of the sanitation workers. Certain political elements in America couldn't deal with that. We're STILL dealing with that.
"Certain political elements in America couldn’t deal with that. We’re STILL dealing with that." (Too vague.)
I should have said , "We're STILL trying to bring the truth out."
What is evil?
This is evil:
what is evil ?is evil an individual that does not have the wisdom to perceive his own life an individual that can not see the interconnection of all life .is evil greed anger and folly.
Evil is basically selfish action taken when the person has an obligation to act for someone else's benefit. And because members of government are always supposed to act (at their jobs) on behalf of their constituents, the possibilties for evil are constant. Which brings me to an idea I had a while ago. The book Freakonomics says the way to get people to behave appropriately is to set up just the right incentives. There is a law that requires former members of Congress to wait at least a year before they become lobbyists. This got 4-term senator Trent Lott to resign before the law went into effect. But what if the waiting period were proportional to the time served in Congress? That would give incentive for the more-selfish legislators to quit as soon as possible, whereas now there's no rush, because the waiting period isn't getting any longer for people already in Congress.
I have to admit that I was as concerned about the 2009 tax cut as one of the callers—would I actually end-up owing more taxes instead? As an individual I am supposed to receive a cut of $500 for the year, I would have much preferred receiving a lump sum and paying my previous tax load; what can you do with an extra $15 every two weeks? Go to a movie? The caller's claim that the “dirty little secret” of the tax cut was that the money that you saved would be taxed as income. I thought about this for awhile and decided that it was possible he had a point. Is the extra $15 you are receiving is being taxed? At 15 percent that is $2.25 that you might not otherwise be paying. If true, this is mitigated somewhat by the fact that the standard deduction is supposed to increase by $500. That sounds right, I think.
George w bush was a inerrant small person. way over his head, Carl rove and Cheney i will say where evil he would do anything to reach their goals
i tack that back bush was evil thanks thom
Buddhism talks about the interconnection of all life
Evil defined: Rampant Recessivism, see Republicanism.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull was EVIL
countries are made up of all different people. no country is evil
In retrospect, the Jimmy Carter audio clip regarding the dangers of importing and relying on foreign oil sounds like Carter is throwing down the gauntlet to "big oil." They picked it up, accepted the challenge, and here we are.
In an universe, split between communal/social and individualistic . . . Evil is the other side.
I'm trying to understand what you mean by Recessivism. Could you please explain a little more?
I'm glad that talk of socialism is still comming up so I can weigh in. [ I've never done this.] First, it's a mistake to think that we have to choose between socialism and capitalism. They're both just mechanical devices. Capitalism is the game of Monopoly on a very large scale. What we've had in our memorable past are too many people eliminated from the table. [ Now it's nearly game over!] The more capital becomes divided, [more capital in fewer hands] the more elements of socialism we need. Things like SSA, single payer healthcare, taxes etc. are what I call elements of socialism. We have to implement these to restore balance.
Regarding the segment on socialism and that people are not actually BEST motivated by "rewards" as the Pubs like to claim (e.g. "if we don't pay CEO Mr. GREED 10 bizillion $$ he won't perform") , but instead actually perform best when they are intrinsically motivated to learn and to do well. There is a great body of work out there that supports this done by Alfie Kohn. His work really focuses on children/ schools but also applies to the workplace, parenting, etc. One of my favorite books of his that explains this well is "Punished by Rewards" - http://www.alfiekohn.org/index.html.
Congressman Bill Shuster from the conservative (cheap) ninth district of Pennsylvania sent an email with this poll in it. He obviously made the poll to get the results he wants to cite when he votes against a reasonable health care bill. I found out that it is possible to vote as many times as you want to vote. I think he would be puzzled if enough people voted to reverse the results that he wants.
On another progressive radio program I heard the host exclaim that Nancy Pelosi was “vindicated” after recent revelations that the CIA—apparently on the orders of Dick Cheney—had either engaged in or considered covert actions that were never reported to Congress. I don’t quite agree with this assessment. It is one thing not to have been informed; it is quite another to have been informed and do nothing. This is the case concerning the so-called torture briefing, when several Democratic colleagues who listened to the same thing Pelosi heard were keen enough of mind to recognize what was going, and denounce them publicly. Pelosi said nothing at the time, and even after the Democrats gained control of Congress she opposed even calling hearings. We can only conjecture that she was more concerned about maintaining her position and not rocking any boats. Even now, with the suddenly camera-shy Dick Cheney hiding under a rock somewhere after the demons he called out for came looking for him instead, Pelosi is shy about hauling him and his pals before an investigatory committee, in chains if need be.