Monday - September 21 2009

racism ducks imagesHour Two: "Is President Carter right...racism is alive and well in America?" Thom debates conservative Lurita Doan who says no

Hour Two: "Dispelling the right wing's health care reform myths" Thom confronts Dr. John Lott

Hour Three: Why Our Health Matters Andrew Weil

plus...."Labor Segment" Stewart Acuff, President of the AFL-CIO


Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Let me say that President Carter is right. Racism is alive and sick when it comes to President Obama.

Dear Thom,

I am writing you an open letter for you and your fans. You have numerous fans.

I know that you are an optimist. Optimism is acceptable but there comes a time to accept what is painful to an optimist. Thom, the fascists in our country, have won. It is their duty to enslave the 90% of Americans who have no power and voice. I am sharing with you and your fans an article.

I believe that upon reading the article you will have to conclude that the fascists have won and the Nazi Party is in total control over the 90% of us who are now enslaved to exist as slaves in our fascist-Nazi country.

Thank you for the good fight to alert us and to set us free but the fight is over and we have lost.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Here is the last paragraph of the above article.

Obama's footnote in history will be significant if not extensive. He will be chiefly remembered for leading the political suicide of the Democratic Party, and paving the final approach for Corporate, Right Wing, fascism. Even after Bush succeeded in breaking the nation's economic back, McCain, who would have cheerfully continued and even exacerbated the same folly, did not suffer a crushing defeat as he should have. Fox, Beck, Limbaugh and all the other Right Wing droolers will continue destroying Obama, and Obama will roll onto his back, kick his legs, and lap the nearest republican ass that presents itself. Obama's legacy is already written, and it will live as one of the most shameful in all of American Presidential history. “Yesterday upon the stair, Obama met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today, Oh how Obama wishes he'd go away” ".. From the Poem by William Hughes Mearns.

Thom, it is truly over and the fascists have won.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

The most bizarre aspect of the Obama-as-Hilter analogy made by Limbaugh, Beck, Savage, tea-baggers and assorted right-wing mobs is the question of what do neo-Nazis--for whom Hitler is their idol and ideological master--think of Obama being their bosom pal? Tom Metzger of the White Aryan Resistance, for one, disapproves, and has called for a meeting of the minds among right-wingnuts to come-up with a different concept than besmirching the image of the beloved Fuhrer by comparing him "favorably" to a black man. Metzger, however, confesses that since he can’t afford health insurance for the members of his organization, universal health care for “pure white Christians” is fine with him. At least one of his followers agrees, saying that after fighting Latinos in a parking lot, he received a owie that required medical attention, but he wasn’t able to see a doctor because WAR couldn’t afford to offer him medical.

Of course, tea-baggers will claim that they are not “racist” because of “differences” in opinion in regard to Hitler as opposed to neo-Nazis and assorted hate outfits. This has not stopped neo-Nazis, such as the ones who strategize together on the Storm Front website, to tell us how they have infiltrated various town halls, tea-bag get-togethers and other examples of right-wing mob rallies in order to promote the White-Way cause; by the looks of it, they have had some considerable success. Claims to the contrary by tea-baggers fall on their fundaments when one considers that the beliefs of these people who consider Limbaugh and Beck messiahs of the right differ little or not at all with hate groups. The only other defense that they have is complete and irredeemable ignorance.

Meanwhile, Pat Buchanan earlier this month repeated his shibboleth on the 70th anniversary of the beginning of World War II that Hitler didn’t want war; he may not have wished war with Britain, but war he without a shadow of a doubt sought. Buchanan should re-read Mein Kampf and Hitler’s speeches. Hitler wanted to increase ‘living space” for the “master race,” mainly in the East. That Buchanan actually believes that Hitler expected to achieve this through anything but war indicates that his “secret” hero-worship of Hitler—doubtless along racial lines—runs especially deep, to the point of ignoring the facts and Hitler’s own words. Hitler was a militarist; he was a self-styled military “genius;” who idolized Napoleon and sought to emulate him. Hitler wanted war in 1938, but Goering “thwarted” his plans by initiating the Munich agreement. The eventual invasion of Russia had been plainly spelled out in Mein Kampf and in his pre-war strategizing; Stalin himself expected the invasion to occur, but not so soon. Frankly, the very idea that a thinly-disguised racist, and someone who has the audacity to praise Hitler, is on mainstream television news is more than a little disconcerting—and disgusting.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Text of William Hughes Mearns' Poem

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away...

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Thom has said on many occasions that Obama is functioning as a senator and not as a president. I believe Obama is his worst enemy.

President Obama, you sought the presidency. Being president is not an easy task. You must have the courage to what is right even though it may be unpopular.

War is outmoded, creating more problems than resolving them. We must leave the war and start to rebuild a country from the chaos we have created in Afghanistan.

Or, is Obama the little man who is not there? These problems will not go away. You must make the difficult decisions. Today, I see you as the little man who is not there. I see you lacking in courage and leadership skills. Are we to face the next three plus years with a president who is not there?

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Actually, we must leave Afghanistan and Iraq!!!

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Are we, as Americans, too stupid to ever learn?

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Here are the last several sntences of the above article.

And today, the US Empire is on the fast track of its demise. A recent article by Tom Englehardt provides us more key indicators of this:

In 2002 there were 5,200 US soldiers in Afghanistan. By December of this year, there will be 68,000.
Compared to the same period in 2008, Taliban attacks on coalition forces using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) has risen 114 percent.
Compared to the same period in 2008, coalition deaths from IED attacks have increased sixfold.
Overall Taliban attacks on coalition forces in the first five months of 2009, compared to the same period last year, have increased 59 percent.
Genghis Khan could not hold onto Afghanistan.

Neither will the United States, particularly when in its desperation to continue its illegal occupation, it tosses aside international law, along with its own Constitution.

The evil ways of the United States will destroy our country. - Gerald Socha

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

H.G Wells' Birthday Today (1866 - 1946)

Orson Wells meets H.G. Wells (audio):

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


In Hitler's Zweites Buch (literally, "second book"), Hitler talks about the long-term threat posed by the U.S. I wonder how Pat Buchanan would justify that.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Gerald Socha,

So much of what is wrong with the U.S. I place at the feet of the big corporations. Until we can get them under control (if ever, tho comments by Justice Sotomayor* give me some hope), I think we will continue our ruthless downhill slide to oblivion and ignominy.

*Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission:

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Court Strikes Down Regulations Limiting Nonprofits' Campaign Funds

A federal appeals court overturned hard-fought campaign finance reform regulations in a ruling on Friday that will make it easier for independent political groups to raise and spend money to influence elections.
The three-judge panel struck down regulations intended to blunt the power of such organizations, including the controversial Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and, which drew heavy criticism for spending tens of millions of dollars on aggressive advertisements during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Gerald Socha,

After rereading your posts, I see that my response is much less artful than your original words.

I did want to mention, though, that I have a very small investment with an investment company which just had a shareholder election. Most of the questions on the ballot were proposed by the board of directors and involved taking more power and decisions AWAY from shareholders, including the ability to make those decisions without holding "costly, time-consuming shareholder meetings."

It was appalling to see the blatant bid for more power and control by the board.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

There's no denying Obama's race plays a role in protests

rewinn (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

"Silver Blaze" is the Sherlock Holmes short story in which the dog didn't bark.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

So this is what America has come to.

A former President of this nation speaks from his heart and his mind, and is therefore characterized as "irresponsible".

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


You told Lurita Doan that it was good "talking with" her. That was NOT talking with. That was you being TALKED AT, and very boring. She never answered your questions and barely let you speak. That was insulting.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

I guess Irish, Italian, Jewish, Asian, and Latino immigrations to the United States are supposed to be proof that there was no bigotry against people from those groups in this country.

Lurita Doan apparently doesn’t understand what the term “economic necessity” means to your average poor immigrant and what they’ll be willing to suffer in their struggles to survive.

Warre Jaycox (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

I have a question. I am very much for the Single Payer option (despite knowing that it's not going to happen and having to settle for the Public Option), so I am far from a righty. Wuith that said, I'm curious as to why no one seems to be talking about something the Republicans keep going to over and over (including right after the Presidents barrage of Sunday morning interviews). If competition is a problem, why not allow insurance companies in other states to offer plans to those outside their state? I agree with Thom that health insurance companies should be non-profit, but why haven't the Dem's answered this question?

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

I agree with the points made by many here today that a conventional war in Afghanistan is unwinnable. I'm NOT so sure that I agree that this means that the US should simply leave.

The simple fact is that we COULD HAVE "won" in Afghanistan shortly after the Soviets turned tail and left. If we'd taken about HALF (probably less) of the funds that were diverted to help arm the Afghan rebels, and used it to build schools, hospitals, and other humanitarian infrastructure, the whole region would be more stable today.

If we want to see anything that resembles victory in Afghanistan, we need to wage PEACE, not war. Greg Mortensen has been winning Afghani hearts and minds for the better part of a decade. I believe rthat his methods are the only path to peace in the region.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

@ Warre Jaycox -

The so-called "insurance co-op" is EXACTLY what you are suggesting! The allegedly mainstream media, however, feels that its masters are MUCH better served by continuing to obfuscate on the issue, so you're NOT gonna hear that morsel of truth on your TV.

Warre Jaycox (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

I wasn't really suggesting anything. Since I can't afford and don't have health insurance, I was unaware insurance companies don't / can't compete over state lines. Why is this and why is suggesting allowing them to do so suggesting a co-op? I'm fuzzy on the co-op issue since, again, I am very much for the public option.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Warre Jaycox,

Buying insurance "across state lines" may also have the effect of reducing insurance to the lowest common denominator, or a race to the bottom (worst, cheapest, etc.), in other words.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Warre Jaycox,

Insurance is regulated by the states.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


Three Cups of Tea doesn't work when your objective is to exploit the country for economic and geopolitical purposes. That's the difference between Greg Mortenson and the government of this country.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Re: racism in the United States.

In my experience black people do not get the same quality of legal representation as white people do. Perhaps it's largely an issue of economics. Three years ago a very good friend of mine went to prison for a year. He thought that he was making a "citizens arrest" regarding a trespasser on his property. My friend was charged with kidnapping. I assume he got a light sentence because this was his first offense, as he hadn't had even a speeding ticket in his 60 plus years of life. My friend is black, married to a white person, and lives in rural North Carolina. I was told that the man who was trespassing was the Sheriff's hunting buddy, in a county where my friend's wife says the Clan still rides horseback.

Had my friend been white, I don't think he would have been charged with a felony.

BTW, My friend "kidnapped" the man's guns, and told him to stay put while he called the sheriff.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

@ B Roll -

If simple exploitation is our goal, then we are well and truly doomed - and likely damned in the bargain.

If, however, the goal is to establish a stable and reasonably friendly nation as opposed to the failing state thart currently exists there, the Mortenson plan is the best hope.

Adam eran (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Things Only a Republican Could Believe:

Parents who don't want their children to pray in school are Anti-American
zealots -- parents who don't want their children to listen to a speech by
the President of the United States telling them to work hard and get good
grades are noble patriots.

Peacefully demonstrating against the country starting an international war
is treason -- showing up with automatic weapons to protest healthcare reform
is democracy at its finest.

Any government official with a desk job should have every action scrutinized
-- any government official with a badge and a gun should never be questioned
or disrespected. At all. Ever.

Questioning the legitimacy of an election because the "winner" was selected
by the Supreme Court is sour grapes -- questioning the legitimacy of an
election because the winner (by the largest number of votes in American
history) is really a Kenyan born Muslim despite all evidence to the contrary
is being a vigilant American.

Lying about a blowjob is an impeachable offense -- lying about a war is no
big deal, really.

Investigating a shady land deal involving the First Lady is a matter of
National Identity -- investigating the use of torture at the direction of
the Executive Branch is a partisan witch hunt.

Executing Japanese officers for waterboarding prisoners during WWII shows
that we have the moral high-ground on human rights -- waterboarding
prisoners of our shows that we have the moral high-ground on human rights.

Sitting two rows in front of Jane Fonda in a 1970 anti-war rally is an
OUTRAGE! Shaking Saddam's hand in 1983...meh, not so much.

Anyone who questions the president during a time of war is giving aide and
comfort to the enemy and should be deported...unless the president in
question has a (D) next to their name in which case you should undermine
them at every turn even if you have to routinely make shit up to do it.

Socialism, Marxism, Communism and Fascism are all interchangeable words that
mean pretty much the same thing.

Anyone who abuses drugs should be locked up indefinitely...unless they are a
popular Republican radio host in which case they need your prayers as they
recover from the illness of addiction.

Health Insurance companies have your best interests in mind and anyone who
thinks otherwise is trying to turn America into the Godless heathen nation
of Sweden where EVERYONE in the country dies (eventually).

Obama is an atheist communist muslim who attended a radical christian

Believing that human activity could impact the global environment is crazy
talk -- believing that an invisible man in the sky personally told George
Bush to invade Iraq to fulfill Biblical prophecy is logically sound.

The verdict is still out on evolution -- but Jesus Christ returning in our
lifetimes is a pretty much a given.

The media are unquestionably biased against Republicans -- Talk Radio, The
Washington Times, The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, Rightwing
Blogs, Fox News and NewsCorp are not part of the media.

The government should have no part in regulating multi-national corporations
as they make decisions that impact the lives of millions of people --
government should regulate individuals by determining who they can marry,
what kind of intercourse they can have, what they can smoke, how to manage
their pregnancy and how to proceed with end of life decisions.

Communicating with hostile nations is a stab in the back to our great nation
-- Reagan communicating with the USSR during the Cold War was Political

Iran is a mortal threat to our nation and anyone who attempts to talk to
them is traitorous scum -- selling weapons to Iran and then funneling the
money to start wars in South America is clearly in our National interest.

George Bush kept the nation safe after 9-11 (NOTE: the Anthrax attacks, the
DC Sniper and Hurricane Katrina don't count. Also, the fact that 9-11
happened on his watch despite receiving a security briefing specifically
warning of the attack doesn't count either.)

Social Security, Meidcare, public schooling, public libraries, fire
departments, police departments and the US Military are as American as Apple
Pie -- universal healthcare is ZOMGDEATHPANELSOCIALISM!!

George W Bush is a regular 'ole Texas rancher just like you and me despite
the fact that he was born in Connecticut, attended two Ivy League schools,
bought the Crawford ranch just before running for president, sold it
immediate after leaving office and is terrified of horses.

The two guys at the center of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals are
trustworthy voices in discussions of current national policy and should be
taken at face-value.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

@DRichards -

"Kidnapped" guns??!! Fascinating!

I'd like to read the statute that gives a tresspasser's firearm more rights than the owner of the tresspassed property.

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Did everyone get this link to pass far and wide. President Obama's website is well-organized, with links to the numbers of each states' senators. Apparently, ts Dday or Dweek for phone calls to the Senate.

I know many of us disagree about whether to support this first plan, but even though it isn't what we fought for, its better than the alternative, so I will support it.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


If you look at the history of U.S foreign policy, I think you'll find that it is based on exploitation and geopolitical advantage for the purpose of advancing the economic interests of U.S. corporations. We've overthrown dictatorships and democracies alike if they impeded the interests of our elite economic and political classes. I wish it was different, but it isn't.

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Here's a better link to send out because you can get right to typing in your zip code to find senators' phone numbers.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

It is obvious that although this Dr. Lott claims to be an economist, he seems to lack a basic knowledge of the relationship between production and price. In an article I quoted from Business Week a couple of weeks ago, 50 percent of the price inflation that adds to the cost of health care that patients are charged is from new infrastructure, new equipment (much of it of questionable worth), and training. This has to be paid for, and it is being paid for (eventually) by patients in a prorated fashion. This is true of all products and services purchased by consumers. If anyone is engaging in false numbers, it is Lott and the Fox News crowd.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


My friend was convicted of kidnapping the trespasser. He took the man's hunting guns and told him to stay put while he called the sheriff. The man ran to the neighbors and called the sheriff as well, saying that he had been kidnapped and escaped. The sheriff came and arrested the property owner.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

@ B Roll -

Call me a Pollyanna, then, but I thought that, just maybe, that was the kind of change that the Obama campaign was talking about.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Interesting blog (with music clips). I recommend skipping the first story,though (with parasite video.) UGH!

"Suburban Guerrilla
Keeping a jaundiced eye on the corporate media."

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


I hope you don't mind but I like you just fine as mstaggerlee. I'd like to be more hopeful too, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between the foreign policies of the Obama administration and previous administrations.


VP Biden was in Iraq last week telling their government we want them to not have a referendum on whether the U.S. should withdraw its troops one year earlier than agreed and to offer more incentives to foreign companies to invest in Iraq (i.e., better deals for foreign oil companies).

The U.S has expanded it's war in Afghanistan. A recent report says that 90% of the funding in that effort is for military.

The U.S. just negotiated for 5 military bases in Colombia against the wishes of the other countries in the region.

The U.S. continues to try to expand its military presence in Africa.

The Obama administration has decided to maintain the embargo against Cuba.

etc, etc etc

So as wish I'll call you Pollyanna just this one time.

Hey Pollyanna, what up!!!

mathboy (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

I must have accidentally posted this on the wrong day's post the first time.

It goes primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary. I don't know of any terms past those.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Woman dies at 99, leaves behind 1,400 descendents
One of Jerusalemite Rachel Krishevsky's grandchildren says with pride, 'Grandma knew all of her descendents'
Nissan Shtrauchler
Published: 09.17.09, 12:24 / Israel News
The commandment to "be fruitful and multiply" the Krishevsky family follows quite closely. Last Saturday, the great grandmother, Rachel Krishevsky passed away at the age of 99, leaving behind no less than 1,400 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren...,7340,L-3778275,00.html

Gazmik (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

John Lott mentioned that the health care costs to the citizens in Canada that Thom was talking about ignored the taxes that they paid that helped cover the costs. He doesn't have much room to talk.

In 2002 in Canada, The Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada did a report on what changes were needed in the Canadian health care system. Some of their findings are interesting:

"While most wealthy countries rely heavily on public funding for health care, private insurance plays a significant role in funding health care in the United States. Private insurance in the United States is supported by tax breaks known as 'tax expenditure subsidies.' These subsidies exist, but to a much lesser extent, in all the comparison countries. Since these subsidies are not generally included when public health care expenditures are tallied, they are difficult to trace and are therefore referred to as 'covert' expenditures (Mossialos and Dixon 2002). In fact, tax subsidies play an enormous role in providing health care coverage in the United States. When these tax breaks are taken into account, the public share of health care spending in the United States increases to nearly 60% of its total health care spending (Woolhandler and Himmelstein 2002). This changes the common perception that the United States has a predominantly private system of health care.

"Even without including tax subsidies, the extraordinarily high level of total health care spending in the United States translates into far more spending per capita than in Canada and the other OECD countries. This has been described as tantamount to paying for national health insurance and, in return, getting a fragmented system with significant gaps in coverage – the worst of both worlds. While the United States’ 'health care system is usually portrayed as largely private,' a more apt description is '[p]ublic money, private control' (Woolhandler and Himmelstein 2002, 22). Indeed, the larger the public share of health care financing beyond tax expenditure subsidies, the more total health expenditures are capable of being controlled. In contrast, the larger the private share of health care financing, the more difficult it is to control health care expenditures (Majnoni d’Intignano 2001)." -- Page 27, HCC Final Report

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


Thanks for that last post. I'm going to send that info. to my congressmen plus others.

Gazmik (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

"On the cost-efficiency side, private insurance has very high administrative costs related to billing, contracting, reviewing utilization, and marketing because of the large infrastructure required to assess risk, set premiums, design complex benefit packages, review claims, and pay (or deny) individual claims. Moreover, the tax subsidies used to encourage coverage through private insurance and the use of tax revenue to cover the poorest (and generally sickest) people in society are both inefficient and highly regressive (Mossialos and Dixon 2002).

"A single-payer system is more efficient because it is administered by a single agent that is either the government or a body delegated by the government. This means that substantial resources are not wasted in processing insurance claim forms from multiple companies. It also means that providers – particularly physicians and their employees – avoid the overhead required to collect bills from their patients.

"Over a decade ago, Woolhandler and Himmelstein (1991) estimated that Canadians spent two-thirds less than Americans on health care administration. Their analysis was largely confirmed by the U.S. General Accounting Office (1991) and the Congressional Budget Office (1991). Their most recent work (Woolhandler et al. 2002) concludes that each Canadian pays $325 per year (out of a total health administration bill of almost $10 billion) compared to $1,151 paid by each American per year (out of a total health administration bill of $320 billion)." -- Page 61, HCC Final Report

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


there are corporations that rule over some countries. In the US we have fascism. Corporations and our government are working together to take control over our lives.

Thom, I have three comments to make. I want to commend you for your show on racism. Racism in the US is alive and sick.

Even though we will never have a single payer health care plan, please keep stressing single payer health care.

It is my understanding that more troops will be sent to Afghanistan to prop up a corrupt government. More American soldiers will be killed.


I would want to be more positive about America's future but the amount of racism, hatred, corruption, and lies are just overwhelming me. I have this endless gagging feeling in my throat.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Gerald Socha,

I am not optimistic, either. I keep looking for the "cracks" in our system that I could work on to make a little larger, 'til it breaks (to be replaced with something much better.)

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

- - - - from Healing the Soul of America, by Marianne Williamson, 1998

America's first principles are inscribed not only in the Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution but also in Lincoln's Gettysburg address. President Lincoln declared at Gettysburg that "this nation....shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." What a radical concept that is - a government of the people, by the people, for the people. It means, of course, that not only will the government consist of our citizens, elected by our citizens, but that its mission shall be to serve our citizens.

We should take a good look at that sentence - especially that part that reads "for the people" - and ask ourselves if we have decided to be the generation to repudiate Lincoln's words. President Rutherford B. Hayes once lamented that we were becoming a government "of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations." So what's new?

If ours were a government for the People, wouldn't our children receive the best education in the world? If ours were a government for the people, wouldn't we have universal health insurance? If ours were a government for the people, wouldn't we have massively committed to clean energy sources by now?

America's most fundamental problem is a crisis of our democratic process. We are being asked, as we were asked over two hundred years ago, to decide for ourselves and our children what it is worth to us to govern ourselves. While it appears that we have problems very different from those faced by earlier generations, in fact it is not the complexity of our current problems but rather the simple drama behind them all that should be garnering our attention. What we call the issues are not the issue. The issue is the disengagement of the average American's heart and mind from the democratic process. We have stopped participating in droves, and in our absence, forces not always in favor of the greatest good for the greatest number have exercised their own rights, often leaving the average American at a distinct disadvantage in our own country.

In 1864 Abraham Lincoln wrote these words:

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

The great issue of our time is not taxes, a balanced budget, social security or medicare. Those are all rather elaborate red herrings. The great issue that confronts us, as it confronted Jefferson's generation and Lincoln's generation and every generation to some degree, is this: Is America to be ruled by all of us and for all of us - or has the American government in fact become a government of, by and for a relative few?

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Gerald Socha,

Beautiful. More great info. for me to forward to others!

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


Let us hope that we can make it better!!!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

----from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Gerald Socha,

What a blessing... Thanks for the inspiring words.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago


I have known about Marianne Williamson for the past several years but for some reason I forgot her name until today. Here are some of her quotes.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 36 weeks ago

Gerald Socha,

Thank you for introducing me to her work. To my knowledge, I've never read anything she's written until now.

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.

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From Screwed:
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Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously