Wednesday August 12 2009


Quote: "Peace is a civil right which makes other human rights possible. Peace is a precondition for our existence. Peace permits our continued existence." --  Dennis  Kucinich (U.S. Congressman, D-OH 10th district)

Hour One - "Is America experiencing terrorism at the hands of 'Cluster Fox' and their dupes?" Dan Gainor

Hour Two - Why is the right promoting lies that in the Turner Diaries led to a race war? Scott Wheeler

Hour Three "Everything You Know is Wrong" How goes the progess of the Right's efforts to trash our Founders' vision of a secular Republic and replace our Constitution with the Bible? Stephen C. Meyer


Mark (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

I read a story recently concerning a gigantic floating debris field in the Pacific Ocean, made-up of mostly nonbiodegradable garbage like plastics. Much of this debris cannot be seen but by close observation, since it has been broken down by interaction with sunlight and floats just beneath the surface. This debris has a toxic effect on the production of plankton and fish that inadvertently feed on it. While larger objects can be cleaned-up, it is almost impossible for the more dangerous tiny pieces.

Some of this garbage is produced by maritime activity, but most of it is land-born. It is interesting to note that while some municipalities mandate recycling, most do not, and people who wish to voluntarily recycle usually must travel long distances out of their way to recycling pick-up points, so for some it doesn't seem worth the effort (the disposal of hazardous waste, like petroleum-based paint and the bi-products of do-it-yourself auto mechanics, is another can of worms). There has not been a serious national effort to mandate recycling in a long time, and unseen catastrophes in the making will eventually have very seen consequences.

sebillah (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

I listened to Thom on Joyce Riley's show yesterday. It was amazing to listen to as it highlighted some common causes that we share with folks on the right (Ron Paul types). You can listen to his interview here:

Thom - Could you cover the H1N1 vaccination issue on your show? Meryl Nass has been blogging about this issue and I see her as a fairly trusted source since she figured prominently in Glenn Greenwald's reporting of the Bruce Ivins case. (Link to her blog: When I saw that she had picked up this issue of squalene and the vaccines, I took notice. Is this an issue or not? While I do not prescribe to a depopulation conspiracy theory, I do think that the corporations involved in the production of these vaccines are not 100% trustworthy and I question the "testing" process. But most of all, I see the MSM getting ready to portray vaccine resistors in the same vein as the Deathers and the Birthers when I think there is possibly a real issue here. Here's what I want to know:

1. Is squalene going to be used and in which populations?
2. Are vaccines going to be mandatory? (So far, I have not heard that they will be, but Joyce Riley mentioned that they will be mandatory. Is this true?)
3. Is it true that under emergency provisions set up after 2001, under Bush, that the vaccine makers will not be liable if there are complications and deaths as there were in 1976.

Please do a show on this soon. It is getting close to the beginning of school and decisions will need to be made soon (mandatory or not).

By the way, I am not an anti-vaccine person. My kids have actually had all their other shots, but it sounds like this one in particular is different due to the rushed production, the use of attenuated virus, and the use of adjuvants such as squalene.

heathkit (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

So, I have this theory relating to executive compensation. I think, by and large, there's not a fantastic difference in how productive people can be, given how we're all pretty much equally constrained by biology. Someone may be 5 times more productive than the average person, perhaps even 10 times, but I don't think it's possible for someone to be 1000 times more productive. Thus, excess executive pay indicates that there isn't a healthy market for their labor - they're not really competing, or they're competing on something other than productivity, such as connections or family ties.

To put this in perspective, Thom often cites the fact that Bill McGuire, the former CEO of United Health, retired with $1.7 billion in retirement benefits. Thom sometimes asks what a person could possibly do that's worth this much in compensation.

The average person excretes 200 grams worth of waste matter a day. With gold at $917 an ounce, if Bill McGuire were literally shitting gold bricks, he would have only produced $2.4 million in his last year of employment. In fact, even had he been shitting gold bricks his entire life, he never would have produced enough gold to pay for his retirement package.

It's something to think about.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

In Seattle there is a small publication called “Real Change,” which advocates for the homeless population. Yesterday I parted with a dollar to read the latest issue, which contained a few stories on (guess what) housing issues. There was a story of one homeless couple taken in by a scam where agents promised to do the “leg-work” in finding affordable housing, but after taking a $250 fee they suddenly forgot what they had promised. The proprietor couldn’t produce the name of a single renter or rentee who had “benefited” from the service; not surprisingly, there were so many complaints that her business has received an “F” from the BBB. Yet this company is still in “business,” continuing to steal money from those who can least afford it.

Then there was a story about how University of Washington president Mark Emmert declined to allow an oft-moved Nickelsville tent city briefly on university property, an idea being promoted by social work students. Emmert seems to have been persuaded by a small cadre of fear-mongering students protesting the crime and sexual predation surely to follow—even though police reported that there was no increase, but rather a decrease, in crime in locations that the tent city previously occupied. Obviously the real problem was the usual suspects: class, race, paranoia, narcissism, so on and so forth.

This is yet another example what that Ayn Rand fellow Alex Epstein would call “volunteerism at work.”

Bret Thiele, a human rights lawyer based in Switzerland, contributed an article stating that the U.S. is virtually alone among the nations of the world that has not ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Admittedly this sounds like a mouthful and a royal pain to enforce, but one of its principles that ought to be supported is that everyone has a right to adequate housing. If a government cannot or will not provide adequate housing for everyone, then they (and the police) are constrained not to obstruct efforts by the homeless to find their own “adequate” shelter. Forced evictions through no fault of the renter or homeowner is also condemned. But in the U.S., if you fall on hard times, and wind-up on the street unable to find work because you have no address, you are strictly on your own—unless, of course, Alex Epstein “volunteers” to help.

In Gregory Nava’s film “El Norte,” new arrivals Enrique and Rosa were amazed that their rat and roach-infested motel room/home has an electric light and flush toilet; there are millions of people in this country who would consider this a room at the Waldorf.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Terror is designed to inflict control through fear upon society through acts of violence a subjective group.

Propaganda is designed to inflict control through fear upon society through deliberately encoded jingoistic messaging typically of a misleading nature.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

The next guest up is Scott Wheeler, representing the National Republican Trust. One of his blog posts at is entitled "Special Election in New York, Why Obama Lost", about the close race for the Congressional seat vacated by Kirsten Gillibrand when she took over Hillary Clinton's Senate seat.

This election WAS very close (it wasn't decided until after the absentee ballots were counted), - but in a VERY conservative region of upstate NY, the Democrat, Scott Murphy, WON! So how, exactly, was this a loss for Obama?

Wishful thinking?

Clueless (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago


The Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

THX for the site- my mom forwarded me the infamous '500 pages' wacko email. It even contained a link to soil it green! You should have seen the comments various persons would make as they passed it on from person to person.

Thankfully, had the exact same email and had it already rebutted in bright red ink and so all I had to do was copy and paste that right back along with some links to other legitimate sites.

Mike Huffington recommended this one for example and Rachel Maddows story about who is behind these

And of course AM1090 and the Thom Hartmann show!

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Re: How goes the progess of the Right’s efforts to trash our Founders’ vision of a secular Republic and replace our Constitution with the Bible?

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) Issues Challenge For Debate To Prove We're A Judeo-Christian Nation
On January 28, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, introduced H. Con.=2 0Res. 34, a resolution "Calling upon the Capitol Preservation Commission and the Office of the Architect of the Capitol to place the Lincoln-Obama Bible on permanent display upon the Lincoln table at the Capitol Visitor Center for the benefit of all its visitors to fully understand and appreciate America's history and Godly heritage."
Now, I have no objection whatsoever to this Bible being displayed in the Capitol Visitors Center. It is an historical fact that this was the Bible that Abraham Lincoln used at his second inauguration, and an historical fact that Barack Obama chose to use this same Bible at his inauguration, so displaying it on the table used to hold it at Lincoln's inauguration, which is already in the exhibit, and adding a sign saying that Obama also used it, is absolutely appropriate. I don't think anyone could reasonably disagree that the symbolism of our first black president incorporating in his inauguration this connection to the president who freed the slaves is something that should be seen by future generations visiting the Capitol, and putting the Bible on the table used to hold it at Lincoln's inauguration would add to the accuracy of the exhibit's recreation of that event.
What I do object to in H. Con. Res. 34 are some of the reasons given by Forbes for displaying the Bible, in both the resolution's title and its "Whereas" clauses, the most objectionable of which is:
"Whereas the Holy Bible is God's Word"
This is nothing20but a sneaky way of getting the Congress of the United States to declare that the Christian Bible is the word of God, which, of course, for many Americans, it is not. This "Whereas" should be struck from the resolution entirely.
That whole "Separation of Church and State" clause really is soooo hard to grasp, isn't it? Rodda has since introduced HR 397 affirming our "rich spiritual and religious history" and designating the first week of May as "America’s Spiritual Heritage Week". He also issued a challenge to Obama or any takers to debate when we stopped being a Judeo-Christian nation:
"I challenge the president or anyone else -- come up, either debate me on this issue or simply tell me where that single moment in time was when you can say we crossed the threshold -- we ceased being a Judeo-Christian nation -- and you can't do it."
Oh ye of too much faith and too little information. Your challenge has been accepted by Chris Rodda of Talk To Action and she's ready to rumble:
Mr. Forbes, just name the time and place -- your turf, my turf (up here in NJ-6), DC, or anywhere else -- and let's debate your resolution clause by clause and see how well that very impressive looking list of footnotes you keep boasting about stands up to scrutiny.
I'll be sending a registered, return receipt letter to Mr. Forbes's office formally accepting his challenge to make sure he knows that I, as an "anyone else," have stepped up to accept it.
For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Forbes's "spiritual heritage" resolution, it's a re-introduction of H. Res. 888, the "religious heritage" resolution he introduced in the last congress. In a series of pieces last year, I debunked the dozens of instances of historical fiction in that resolution, and thanks to the efforts of a few organizations and a whole bunch of bloggers who joined in the fight, H. Res. 888 never made it to the floor. But, a few months ago, outraged over President Obama's statement in Turkey that America is not a Christian nation, Mr. Forbes reintroduced the same resolution as H. Res. 397. It currently has 74 co-sponsors.
I recently re-posted my debunking of H. Res. 888, as soon as I saw that Mr. Forbes had re-introduced it as H. Res. 397, so, if anyone wants more details about the resolution, or to see why I'm thrilled that he h as issued a challenge for someone to debate him on it, you can find it here.
You can contact Forbes here to encourage him to schedule the debate.

To my knowledge Mr. Forbes has not accepted Chris Rodda's challenge.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago


How are you doing? Are you OK?

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

One wonders what color the sky might be on the planet Scott Wheeler came from.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Re; The government can't afford health care. Can the government afford war? Can the government afford bank bailouts? Can the government afford tax breaks for the rich?

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago


I know you're a good decent caring person, so I'm puzzled when you tell stories like the one about the about a TV host in Brazil commissioning murders to boost ratings as if that’s a funny story. Where’s the humor? Would it be funny if it happened in Portland, Oregon or San Francisco, California.

I believe I've heard you tell similar stories about bizarre violence as if they were funny. I don't get the disconnect.

mathboy (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

First, I wouldn't have Scott Wheeler on again if he's going to say things like "Nutsy Pelosi". But in response to the "Obama Enemy List" hallucination, Obama has asked people to report criticisms, not the people that make those criticisms. Another hallucination is the "death panel". I heard someone on the radio last night expressing distress over a bill's stipulation that a health care professional "shall [not may] address the issue" of end-of-life questions. (Oh, my God! They're addressing issues. Run for your lives!) Somehow people interpret this as Blofeld showing up and threatening, "How would you like to die, Mister Bond?"

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago


You're not a socialist until you're ready to watch Olberman and Maddow on your government made TV and walk around in your government made shoes.

I don't see how you can even imagine that you're a socialist when you frequently claim that socialism can't work in societies over 150 people.

You're a small businessman who supports capitalism with a strong social safety net and public ownership and/or supervision of what you consider the commons. One of things you don't believe is the economy.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

By the way, the newsletter is a great resource, probably the best recent innovation from your show.

HunterGump (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Was Steve Carell in the crowd at Claire McCaskill's town meeting?

Maybe it was my imagination, but I would SWEAR I heard the voice of Evan Baxter (from Bruce Almighty) screeching: "I do the cha-cha like a sissy girl" and "My tiny little nipples ran off to France."

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago


Next time you need a fill-in host, maybe you could ask Jeff Santos or some other person of color. It seems your substitutes are always white folks.

The Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Even the Pope said its okay to believe evolution. We can see evolution at work when we give birth and our children physiology contains our genetic material.

We engineer our food with these basic principles of evolution including animal husbandry- give it up fella.

Darwin's work and religion are a non-sequiter.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

The case for creationism requires zero proof and therefore is NOT science. It is faith-based and just as likely to be pulled out someone’s backside as being divine intervention.

mathboy (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Stephen C. Meyer claims the premise that information always comes from a mind. He uses this to reach the conclusion that a mind (in this case a god) created life, since DNA contains information. However, that makes the premise depend on the conclusion, making this a circular argument. Besides, information is made out of raw experience. Light reaching your eyes is not information, but the processes of the retina and the optic nerve turn it into information before it even reaches the brain. Frankly, a signal counts as information because of its value as input, not as output.

The Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Brilliant post Steven, yes - this is how they get out of the argument altogether by not dealing with it.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

The right is always trying to confound the left by giving them an either/or proposition on the Iraq war. There is a simple response beyond comparisons of before-and-after death totals. Amidst the sectarian strife in India, Gandhi told British authorities that yes, we have our problems, but they are OUR problems.

Yes, lfe WAS bad in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, but sectarian violence continues unabated in Iraq. And when literal genocide was happening in Cambodia, Rawanda and to a lesser extent now in Darfur, where were we then? Why didn't we intervene in those countries? Because they didn't have something we wanted--like oil?

Support for war enjoys wide support when it has a multi-national dimension, and a clear moral objective, such as World War II. But unilateral wars without clear moral objectives, like the Mexican-American and Spanish-American wars, saw widespread opposition; Abraham Lincoln and Ulyses S. Grant both opposed the former, and Mark Twain was especially strident in his opposition to the latter. In Vietnam, and now in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have not listened to the aphorism quoted by Lord Palmerston in not choosing to recognize the South's claim of independence in the American Civil War: "They who in quarrels interpose, will often get a bloody nose."

mk (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Regarding the Health Care issue...
Why don't they post the bill in progress on the White house web site! or publish it in the papers to clear up all the miss information?

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Mark - Darfur DOES have oil - China contracted with the Jinjawee (sp?) for it, and China is arming the Jinjawee so they can implement their genocide. The US is staying out of it so China does not decide to call in our debt.

mk - because there isn't A bill in progress - there are FIVE bills in progress - 3 in the House, two in the Senate. On the surface, one may think this is terribly confusing, but it actually does make one thing CRYSTAL CLEAR - anyone who makes reference to THE health care bill is either (a) grossly misinformed, or (2) LYING!

Quark (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

B Roll,

Thanks for asking about me. I was so upset with Mark's remarks yesterday that I turned Thom's show off, along with my computer, until now. ( I am terrible when it comes to confrontations. It probably is an after-effect of my childhood extreme fear of punishment.)

I am about to get much more involved with healthcare reform advocacy here in MN. There is a wonderful coalition of groups which advocate for healthcare reform, clean water and environmental concerns, and social justice issues, of which I am a member:

I met today with another member of the group and am going to attend more community meetings, planning committee meetings, etc. I may decide to lobby for the group at the state legislature. They are also involved in candidate forums (shouldn't that be "fora?") and will be sponsoring a number of public meetings through the fall and into next year, with the goal being to have more leverage and input into the Dem. agendas, campaigns and endorsements.

Anyway, as I said, it's a wonderful group --- and very energizing!

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Good on ya, Quark!

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

The nutcases are sure coming to the surface these days. Wow! Maybe we're going through a national cleansing--forgive the unappetizing analogy--but in order to purge the toxins from our national system they have to come loud and clear to the surface and make us feel a bit sick!

President Obama is very brave and I don't blame him a bit for not going farther left. That's our job and I did not do a very good job this last week of convincing those who are against a government run option that it is a moral no-brainer.

Conversation #1 entailed speaking with a woman who owns a small business and is very worried about government regulations on health care "destroying the good health insurance" she has right now. She also feels free enterprise is essential to creating high-quality care, top of the line equipment, and research that has cured so many different kinds of cancer. She gave a personal example of health care in Canada where she thought the conditions were unsanitary. She is afraid that giving the government more control will reduce her care.

Conversation #2 was with the wife of a doctor who is worried that doctors will receive lower payments and the government will limit the procedures and tests doctors can offer their patients.

Conversation #3 was with a man who believes there will be "death panel". Good lord!

Most of my friends agree that a public option is the only way we can fight the unfair practices of the insurance industry but those who are against it are very difficult to convince otherwise.

The way we won the presidential election was not by convincing those who didn't agree with us to change their minds, but by getting those who do want changes to simply realize their vote would actually make a difference. We simply helped counter the apathy that so many years of Reaganomics created, apathy that hid the fact that we were by far the majority of voters.

The only way we will win the health care debate is to fight in the same ways that we fought during the Presidential election. The nutcases are trying to look as if they are in the majority and we must doorbell and search for those voters a bit on the fence or too apathetic to speak up and let legislators know. We need to convince EVERYONE who agrees with us to let their legislators know they will not be re-elected unless they give us a decent public option.

If we literally or figuratively come across a "c" door, someone who completely disagrees with us, we must move on quickly and find someone who does agree with us but feels their voice will not make a difference. We have to once again re-empower the disenfranchised, re-empower those who have been weakened and often nearly killed by the unfair healthcare system we have today.

The only way we can win is by finding ALL of the people who support a public plan and getting them to speak up loud and clear. We can't waste time any longer on trying to change the minds of those who can't see the light and are too selfish to believe that everyone has the god-given right to see a doctor whether they can pay for it or not!

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

Hi Quark!

That sounds terrific! I think we were posting at the same time because I just saw your post. I so agree.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago


I just saw ur post and I'm about to log off and hit the road. You know I'm a bit of an amateur psychologist and when you disappear from the board after your last post to Mark, I figured that's exactly what happened. I didn't want to ask too soon, but I had a feeling you were upset by that exchange.

Glad you're back and in full force. I do have to admit that it's a little frightening to think of you being even more energized than you already were. Look out corporate America!

By the way, I hope you read Mark's second post on today's blog. It's the one that begins

In Seattle there is a small publication called “Real Change,”

It's Mark at his eloquent best. It seems that there are two Marks One is eloquent and insightful, the other is angry.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

B Roll, mstaggerlee, and Loretta,

Thanks so much for your encouraging posts. I really appreciate it!


I went through the some similar-sounding door-knocking exercises in a Wellstone Action workshop. I thought it was very helpful.

I forgot to mention that the ultimate goal of HCAN is the eventual adoption of single-payer healthcare. They are trying to reach that goal through achievable steps, which they identify and rerewrite as needed.

B Roll, regarding Mark's second post:

Well, I should just keep trying to remember that I shouldn't make assumptions about people. (Just one of life's lessons that I have to keep learning.)

Quark (not verified) 13 years 33 weeks ago

rerewrite? 'typing too fast again...

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 Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
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."
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
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