Thursday - September 16th 2009

geek imagesHour One: China has eaten our lunch - are they now working on dessert? do we stop them? Clyde Prestowitz, Jr

Hour Two: Healthcare....

Plus Geeky Science - Are we in the "Age if Stupid" on Global Warming?

Hour Three: Ted Kennedy, Jr. on his father's final book, True Compass


Loretta (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Randy and Dday, Wow, thank you so very very much for your interesting discussion yesterday regarding how to play verbal chess while speaking about health care. I copied your posts and put them in a file on my computer so that I can re-read them several times. This community is amazing, and I am more than grateful.

I really loved the discussion about whether or not to add the bible to discussions. That was really fascinating. I recently reconnected with a wonderful special friend who is an atheist and now he sends me atheist jokes with every email, but awhile back I became enchanted with Jesus stories, even though I am not religious. For social activists, stories about Jesus are healing ambrosia in some ways, even if we're not sure about God. Although I sure feel a spiritual force out there effecting my life.

The bible is so damn full of contradictions, along with many ridiculously sexist comments. I don't feel it is a good book for me to use to defend any arguments because I am not well-versed:-) enough. But I very much admire people like Thom and Randy who jump right into the fray and start arguing in defense of what Jesus truly symbolized.

Even though I love Jesus stories, I will have to take the same path Dday takes, for now, by separating church and politics. Dday, it seems you know plenty about the bible to argue, but get tired of the irrationality it tends to bring out of people. I'll have to avoid the bible because I don't know enough about it to play chess with the other pieces it puts on the board.

Again, thank you very much for the discussion yesterday. It will be fun to share my progress here if I become skilled enough to join the speaker's bureau. I'm making it a goal, and I will ask many more questions along the way.

Loretta (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Mark I do not feel that Thom is guilty of what you are accusing him in your post, but I am seriously disgusted by the way President Obama and many supposedly progressive legislators have been backed into a corner over immigration policies under the guise of health care reform.

I feel these are two issues we cannot debate in our country at the same time. We need to get health care reform taken care of and then we need to focus the same amount of hard work and attention on making sure immigrants receive benefits for the tremendous work they are doing in our country, benefits they have worked hard for and rightfully earned through paying taxes whether they are "legal" or not.

I wish you would run for congress Mark. You are an eloquent, brilliant writer. I wish you would give Thom a break, however,- because he must present a three-hour talk show every day of the week, and he is a human being, after all, even though we often treat him more like a saint.

But I completely agree with your outrage over the disgusting dehumanization of immigrants that is taking place right now. It's embarrassing, horrifying, and unbearably sad, and your words are both powerful and true.

DDay (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Regarding strategy in debate techniques and the efficacy of using religion:

Thank you for your generosity. I failed to mention that if someone I'm trying to persuade brings up scripture, I am grateful because it provides a moral framework upon which to build consensus. If, however, the person I am engaged in debate with is not persuadable but only wants to argue, I usually walk away if possible. Why waste time? I almost never let them interject religion except when there is an audience and I'm feeling the need to make an example of them. This is fraught with danger because you risk being made the fool unless you know your stuff. Humor and being unflappable are essential in de-fanging a blow-hard publicly. It unnerves them when you can keep smiling and seem to find most of their words humorous. This is only for the most egregious idiots and bullies. Knowing facts and being able to recite them is your best tool for respectful discussions. I believe that bringing religion into a civil discussion is not good manners in most instances. I'm old fashioned perhaps. In formal debate and logic it would be called "muddying the waters". Loretta, I hope you share your experience with the speakers bureau in the future. I'll read it with great interest. I would read with great interest other's views concerning the mixing of religion into political discourse.

DDay (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

One of the best things I learned in college was that no matter how smart you think you are, there usually are several people in the room who are smarter. This "room" reminds me of that lesson.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


Frank Schaeffer (wrote the book Crazy for God and now writes for The Huffington Post) grew up in the far right. He and his father helped found the religious right movement and now wants to end it. He has very powerful, no-holds-barred words to say about how this group of crazies is ruining our country. Schaeffer starts at minute 6:23 of this video:

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


Re: "One of the best things I learned in college was that no matter how smart you think you are, there usually are several people in the room who are smarter. This “room” reminds me of that lesson."

That is the neverending, true, abiding lesson of my life...

Food Fascist (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


Another victory unreported:
For years, PETA has held meetings with top chemical companies, and through one of these meetings we learned that an absolutely massive animal testing program in Europe was going to cause even more animal suffering as a result of duplicative screening testing. PETA therefore coordinated a joint letter to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which oversees the program, asking that it intervene. Now, in a huge victory for animals, ECHA has announced a process that will spare as many as 4,410,000 animals from these cruel tests!
The joint letter from PETA, PETA Europe, and European animal protection groups sent to ECHA last month raised serious concerns about the likelihood that companies would conduct duplicative animal tests for some types of toxicity when registering their chemicals under REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) and explained how the duplication could be avoided. On Tuesday, ECHA responded by instructing chemical companies not to conduct initial toxicity screens if they were proposing to conduct more comprehensive tests during later stages of the program.

Thanks to your support, more than 4 million animals will be spared the agony of being force-fed toxic chemicals over and over again via a tube inserted through their mouths and into their stomachs, a terrifying and painful procedure.

Thank you for all that you do to help us help animals.

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Food Fascist (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


THX for your post today! I was just freaking out because I could not remember the name of that guest. I had been trying to listen to that podcast again on the White Rose Society but did not have enough info to do so.

Food Fascist (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Hi Thom,

Our school is celebrating Constitution Day Today as well and so the school gave all the teachers quick tutorials!

DDay (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

One of the few Heroes emerging from this health care debate/debacle is Sen. Jay Rockefeller, (D.,) W.V. He said he will not vote to pass Max's lousy bill out of the Finance Committee. He said that his criteria was: "Do the right thing." He went on to say that a strong public option was essential to meeting that criteria. On the other hand, the creep Sen. Kent Conrad, turncoat Dem from N.D. was extolling the virtues of the bill. He lauds the great accomplishments of fixing the problem of preexisting conditions etc. Of course these are moral abominations which should have been solved decades ago and everyone knew they were coming. These blue dogs and their Republican masters plan to hang their hats on these minimal results. It's not enough for me and shouldn't be for Thom either. I heard Thom falter and waver yesterday about his requirements for support of the reform bill. Thom indicated that maybe the few positive scraps included might merit his support. That is not what you said previously Thom. You stated forcefully and emphatically that your support required at the very least a STRONG PUBLIC OPTION. Play the tapes. Please don't water down your position or move the goal posts. While we are at it, when do we get your determination on CHECKERS or CHESS? I love you Thom but I do pay attention to detail.

Food Fascist (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Brilliant caller says - Until these protestors protest Wal-Mart, they are racists.

Food Fascist (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

What a treat, True Compass discussion with Ted Kennedy Jr. Thom does really well with high profile politicians, as he did with former President Jimmy Carter.
Really, our side has such glorious examples of humanity. THX Thom Hartmann Show.

Food Fascist (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

I was wondering how holocaust survivors were feeling about these boneheads their little misspelled signs. Seattle resident who docked the teabagger with Hitler sign deserves some leniency, compassion.

Randy Winn (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Loretta and DDay - Thanks for the kind words and great discussion.

Let me state that I don't believe the historical Jesus was any more supernatural than you or I (...take THAT as you will...) and I hope you will consider reading "Jesus for the Non-Religious" by Bishop Shelby Spong.

Quark - As a kid, I used to think that it was pretty cool that I could score in the top 1% of intelligence tests, until I realized that, in every billion people, there must be 10 million who did better than me!

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Good news: Orly Taitz lost . . . and Judge Clay Land reamed her case:

Loretta (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

I am so glad that post was removed. Why are we getting so mad at the strongest people on our team? It's a symptom of our feeling so utterly helpless. Compassionate boundaries are in order in such circumstances, and probably unconsciously desired when things get a bit our of control? The issues we are now confronting are ripping us in two, but civility must be enforced.

This doesn't apply to this situation, but I I love what the Dalai Lama says about good and not so good. When there is 5% good and 95 % very very not so good, always praise and give energy to the good while avoiding giving any energy at all to the not so good and the good will grow.

But now we have to be stronger, unyielding warriors, demanding civility, or we are going to lose lives. We can no longer succumb to our personal rage. We have to stay focused and rational to keep people alive in so very many ways.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

I want to thank you too, Thom, for your interview with Ted Kennedy, Jr. The late Senator Kennedy continues to give us hope, not only with his legacy of personal acts and public legislation, but in such powerful words in this self-examined life --- his book.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Here is a real and a serious problem as part of the American psyche.

DDay (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Randy Winn,
As a former Episcopalian, I have long admired Shelby Spong. He is one of the most admirable theologians of our time. I'll have to check out his book. Thanks for the tip.

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