Tuesday - July 21 2009

nuclear-peace-time-imagesHour One: “What is the nature of the debate about peace in the Middle East through the eyes of Israel” Thom with David Horovitz, Editor in Chief of the Jerusalem Post www.jpost.com

Hour Two: What if your child is stuck in a fundamentalist church by your ex and you think it's wrong? Thom talks to Danny Postel, new Humanist. www.alternet.org

Hour Three: "Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle" Thom speaks with author/columnist Chris Hedges of The Nation about his new book www.thenation.com


B Roll (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


Richard Bong State Recreation Area sounds pretty impressive. We used to go to Stoner Park which was only a few miles away from where we lived.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

I'd like to point out to Thom that I attended a Catholic school for seven years, obliged to sit/stand/kneel in a pew six mornings a week--and it didn't turn me into a religious fundamentalist. One thing I noted that seemed out-of-order was that every month at confession time, you always felt pressure to confess to something because you would feel the odd-fish out if you were the only person who sat in the back. For me, it was the same thing every month: I lied three times, swore to my parents twice, and took the Lord's name in vain once. I was a sinner against the world, even if I didn't alaways know why. I learned to be a liberal in Catholic school.

moonbat666 (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

The Israeli government is acting like the same thugs America had in the white house for 8 yrs. This government is nothing more than a bully. Bullies are always cowards! Tear down that wall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

@ DRichards,

As Hebrew whose ancestors spilled out onto Texan soil when we came to this country AND then blew outta that heck-hole . . . I am offended beyond all belief by the idea of . . . WAIT! You are correct! Then Israel would have an oil-bearing nation.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

My position on the Indigo Children comes from the Black Forest " Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Catsrule (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Holding something sacred doesn't mean it's religious per se, but that you hold something dear, with much respect and reverence.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Thom, maybe as a white man who is quite successful, you have an idea of what is "toxic" is whatever gets in the way of that success or anything threatens the availability of material comforts. But for minorities, racism continues to be the most "toxic" variable in their life. Last January The Economist printed a story concerning a study on various forms of prejudice; one thing it found after conducting experiments on interracial encounters, was that people were generally acted more racist than they realized.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


I respect Henry Louis (Skip) Gates, but your description of what happened doesn't match any of the descriptions I've heard. The version you told lacks most of the details. Here's are the details from the fullest version I read.

I think that Gates was returning from a trip out of town. He was driven by a professional driver. When he got home, he found that is front door was jammed. He and the driver went around and entered through a back door and then were trying to unjam the front door. The police say they got a call from a neighbor who reported seeing two men (she might have said two black men) breaking into Gates home.

What happened when the police arrived is in dispute. The driver had left, so the police only found Gates there. The police claim he refused show identification and became abusive. Gates claims that they refused to accept his ID as proof that he was in his home.

My inclination is to believe Gates based on what I know of him and the fact that I've never had any bad run-ins with him, whereas I've had a few unpleasant experiences with the police. But I wasn't there.

However, the reality is certainly more complex than your description of the incident which sounded like the police went to Gates home and arrested him for being inside his own home. Another detail is that I read the he doesn't own the home, it's provided for him by the Harvard University, where he works.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


Thom's comment that a celebrity society is more toxic than a racist society struck me as strange too. My first thought was, that he can say that because he's white. I think it's the kind of thing people say before they really think about it. Still, to even say that at all shows a level of cluelessness about racism that you often hear from white folks.

Loretta Long (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Thom, you could post the blue dog bad guys on your twitter one at a time with links to their contact page.

JPenley (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

The origins of the modern word "Amen" to an ancient monotheistic god is highly unlikely.

First, the Ancient Egyptian language was not semitic. This creates a phonetic problem. In the semitic languages would the "A" sound be an Aleph/Alif or an Ayin? The three-letter word "A-M-N" with an Ayin in the semitic languages would mean people (Ammon, a biblical tribe that settled where Jordan's current capital is; Am means nation). A-M-N with an aleph/alif in semitic languages means to concur (and faithfulness).

When these languages, both semitic and ancient Egyptian, are comprised mostly of words that have three-letter roots, there is a good chance that unrelated words will eventually overlap phonetically.

Second, the ancient Hebrews, a mix between the semitic and Egyptian world were quite familiar of the Egyptian god, Amen (or any of its several other phonetically-overlapping spellings in English). The Egyptian gods are often associated with an animal. Amen was associated with a ram. The Hebrews slaughtered male lambs (rams) and smeared the animals' blood on their door posts before the exodus from Egypt--a huge act of faith for a slave to slaughter the animal associated with one of their mightiest gods.

Also, Jeremiah 46:25 records, "Says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will punish Amon of Noh, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, and its gods, and its kings, and Pharaoh, and all who rely on him." Noh is Thebes, the city of the Luxor temple with many statues of rams. (There are a couple of Jewish interpretations that Noh is Alexandria and Amon was the mayor of the city.) The Jews were aware of this Egyptian god.

In conclusion, the ancient Hebrews would not have attacked the god Amen at the risk of death and then use Amen's name for "I believe!" to the words of their God. It was just a phonetic fluke.

How? How did Bethlehem/Beit-Lechem go from House of Bread in Hebrew to House of Meat in Arabic? I don't know. They're both even semitic languages!

nora (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Yhom put the cart before the horse there. It's the other way around--

The USA and Germany seem similar not because Germany is like America, but because a huge number of Germans immigrated to the USA!

Also the German culture (with large quantities of capital from Germany) has (rather under the radar perhaps) sculpted a number of other nations as well, most noteably Argentina and other Latin American countries and Israel (via the huge influx of German Zionists).

I love all Thom does, and I learn so much from him; but on rare occassion he telescopes history or makes a boo-boo that makes me realize it's a big deal to get history straight even for winners like Thom.

Annie (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

I am disappointed that Thom Hartmann lets stand all the comments of his israeli apologist, ethnic-cleansing advocating.

He says nothing about ONGOING theft of land, water and every other resource that rightfully belongs to the indigenous Palestinian people and the destruction of their mosques and historic property.

Annie (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

I am disappointed that Thom Hartmann lets stand all the comments of his israeli apologist, ethnic-cleansing advocating. GUEST

He says nothing about ONGOING theft of land, water and every other resource that rightfully belongs to the indigenous Palestinian people and the destruction of their mosques and historic property.

SORRY, re-posting because first post didn't make sense.

nora (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

My neighor got a ROBO CALL from AARP telling her to go to the AARP website for the latest on the jealthcare reform legislation debate.


News from the Insurance industry.

nora (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

It's about money, too.

By now, the Palestinians have very little.

An unfair match. And those who set up an unfair match and take advantage of one cannot be trusted.

The Israelis fit the bill and have become exploiters by choice.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


You wrote:

Quark July 21st, 2009, 10:05 am

B Roll,

You don’t miss a thing!

Well, Quark the irony of ironies is that I missed that comment until I came here to see if there were any new comments and to leave you a post I assume you'll check in here later this evening or tomorrow morning.

I don't know if that proves that I do miss things or that if I miss them at first, I eventually find them. But the truth is that I often miss things during the show while I'm writing comments or looking things up.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 35 weeks ago


I’m impressed you went though most of the ancient history section of the library as a kid. I was mainly into playing sports. I can only remember reading three books as a kid.

I don’t know if your comment about Akhenaten was just sharing of information or if it was in reference to my comment about Thom saying that Tim (the caller) had studied comparative religion, whereas I said it was more likely that got his information from Afrocentrism.

I probably learned about Akhenaten at a later age than you did. However, I believe that his religious beliefs are often misunderstood and that Tim was incorrect in repeating that misunderstanding.

Akhenaten didn’t invent monotheism and wasn’t a monotheist. Monotheism is the belief in one god and the denial of the existence of any other gods. Akhenaten didn’t deny the existence of other gods. He minimized the importance of the other Egyptian gods and elevated Aten to being the most important god, and he worshipped and glorified Aten.

It’s a somewhat complex story that can be viewed many ways. But to claim that Akhenaten invented monotheism (which I’ve challenged above) doesn’t take into account that his religious views were abandoned after his death and Egypt returned to it’s more polytheistic practices. It’s unlikely that Jewish monotheism grew from Akhenatens religious beliefs. After his death, his name and image were removed from most places. He remained unknown for several thousand years.

Egyptology is really complicated and takes study and concentration to understand. Part of the difficulty is that a particular person or god can be known by several different names and that there often are different versions of the same name.

For instance, Akhenaten was Amenhotep IV before he decided that Aten should be the main god. Then he changed his name to Akhenaten. Amenhotep means Amun is satisfied and Akhenaten means Effective spirit of Aten. (Obviously I looked these up.) So his name change indicates a change of favorite god.

This brings up something that may be nothing. It depends on whether I heard and understood Thom correctly.

I thought that Thom said to Tim that Akhenaten worshiped the sun god Amen and that’s related to the fact that Christians and Jews say “Amen” at the end of a prayer. I’m not sure that Thom said that, but it would fit in with context of the conversation. It’s true that Akhenaten worshipped the sun god, but that was Aten, that’s why he changed his name to Akhenaten. Amun was the god of air and breath. JPenley challenges the Amen (Egyptian god) to amen (as an affirmation) at the end of a prayer connection on a linguistic basis in a post above.

I had an interesting thought while writing this post. The first commandment is essentially, “I am the Lord your God… you shall have no other gods before me.” “No other gods”; I wonder if that’s an indication that early Jews didn’t deny the existence of other gods, but like Akhenaten elevated their favorite god (whose name can’t be spelled or pronounced) above the others. The Exodus story does have the Jews worshipping a golden bull when Moses was up on Mount Sinai. When ancient nations warred, it was often assumed that the god of the winning side was more powerful than the god of the losing side.

I didn’t mean to spend so much space on that part, but thoughts were flowing.

Here’s why I wrote that I thought it was more likely that Tim’s opinions were informed by Afrocentrism than by the study of comparative religion. A deep study of comparative religion is fairly rare among any group, but a casual or deep study of Afrocentrism is very common among African-Americans of certain generations and is probably growing more popular over time.

The African origins of humankind and the view that Ancient Egypt, which they most popularly refer to as Kemet, as a black African nation from which all modern knowledge, i.e., philosophy, religion, mathematics, science, developed and was spread around the world are basic tenets of Afrocentrism. So when I hear an African-American man call the show and mention the African origins of the human race and Egypt, I assume he’s familiar with Afrocentrism.

Thom, on the other hand, who has devoted a lot of time to the study of religion and spirituality, assumes the caller has studied comparative religion.

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty confident that if we knew Tim’s reading list or where he got his information from, I’d be proven right.

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