Daily Topics - Wednesday December 30th 2009

new year resolution imagesWarm Welcome to our newest radio station KWAI 1080 AM in Honolulu, HI (where it's expected to be 82 degrees today!!)

Hour One - Are we asking the wrong question about how to stop terrorism?

Plus -  What makes someone like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab become a terrorist? Nasir El Rufai, former Nigerian VP and current opposition leader www.hks.harvard.edu/about/giving/masonat50/profiles/el-rufai

Hour Two - Why are you and I still supporting slavery and dictatorships?

Hour Three - New Year's Resolutions - Liberal vs. Conservative Dan Gainor www.businessandmedia.org


margaret m walsh (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

"Who cares," cried Van, "who cares about all those stale myths, what does it matter - Jove or Jehovah, spire or cupola, mosques in Moscow, or bronzes and bonzes, and clerics, and relics, and deserts with bleached camel ribs?" They are merely the dust and mirages of the communal mind."
"How did this idiotic conversation start in the first place?" Ada wished to be told, cocking her head at the partly ornamented dackel or taksik.
pg 97 Copyright 1969 McGraw-Hill International

always all days holy days -- mm

Mark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

I was listening to female fill-in host for “Doctor” Savage (and I thought he was just a Weiner), tell minorities that if you don’t want to be racially-profiled, then don’t get on a plane (or a bus, train or automobile). Of course, Savage has whined himself about being “profiled” as an extremist threat by the British government, and has pathetically begged his listeners to give him money for his “defense” fund, as if he doesn’t have any money of his own. The fill-in went on to sarcastically dispute notions of racial profiling of minorities that suggested we feel sorry for “terrorists”—as if all minorities were “terrorists,” demonstrating the insensitive stupidity of right-wing talk radio. Funny how white people never want to be "profiled" in the same way; we’re not all Timothy McVeigh’s, and how dare you suspect “us.” McVeigh had his white supremacist helpers, but no one wanted to suggest anything other than he was a lone nut. Whites get the CSI treatment to offend as few as possible; a wide net is thrown over minorities to offend and accuse as many possible before someone who may or may not be guilty is eventually trawled in.

Mark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

I read an article by some right-winger warning people not to be overly fascinated by scenes of Iranian protestors. It will all flame out, he stated emphatically; everyone will eventually go home and nothing will change. All of this, somehow, was the fault of Obama, no doubt because he “really” was a Muslim in league with Iran’s cartoonish president. That was back in June, and it appears that far from going home, Iranians have taken to the streets in even greater numbers, going toe-to-toe with state security forces. Proof that events have not “flamed out” is the apparent assassination of the nephew of the de facto leader of the protests, Mir-Hussein Moussavi, and the willingness of security forces to fire on protestors during a holy period when acts of violence are studiously avoided. Apparently, this willingness to violence by Iran’s leaders has angered even religious conservatives. How will this all turn out? Given the regime’s unwillingness to compromise, many more people may die in order to maintain its theocratic authority. The more these protests are violently suppressed, the there is the possibility that the seeds of a counter-revolution may be planted.

DRichards (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

A recommended read for those interested in the why of terrorism

A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam (Hardcover)
~ Wafa Sultan

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Stop our overseas wars, stop our drug war?!??!?!

Thom your talking logically, sensibly.... that's ridiculous. Where's the fear and race baiting?

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Speaking of airline safety... I've always wondered why is it that every vessel that puts to sea has to have life boats to cover its passenger/crew load, but airplanes are not required to carry parachutes?

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

I suppose its logical that Neo-cons like Dimented are using this as an excuse to attack organized labor because to them nothing is lower than a terrorist except for a card carrying Union member.

Tim (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

The second questions would be why hasn't Obama made a recess appointment for the head of the TSA? Bush never hesitated to make recess appointments. AKA John Bolton?

Quark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

11 hours ago:

Sen. Jim DeMint an airline terrorist's best friend?

A press release issued this afternoon by the South Carolina Democrats says DeMint's delay tactic "quite possibly threatens the lives of millions of American travelers" and leaves TSA "without a leader at the very time skilled leadership is needed most."


Quark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Sen. Jim DeMint's voice mailbox is full. Other contact info:


Quark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago


I called the White House re: your idea for Obama to make recess appointments. The staffer said that sounded like a very good idea and she would make sure the president gets this suggestion today.


Tim (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

I hope I wasn't out in front of the Whitehouse on a recess appt. I mean I would hope they would have thought of it before now. I bet Rahm Emmanuel never forgot about an "appointment" with people from the drug industry to set up a deal with them.

Marty (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Someone please correct me if I am incorrect, but wasn't the EU getting ready to ease up on their airport security? I seem to recall either reading or hearing something about that. Then, this guy comes through and screws up trying to blow up an airliner, then gets captured and gets to claim he's affiliated with 'Al Queda'? From 'V For Vendetta' "...the true genius of the plan was the fear." Who is behind this fear campaign? I do not know, but the first thing to pop into my mind was "Manchurian Candidate." Hopefully, I'm not alone here.

West (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

If we are going to start profiling, maybe we shouldn't stop at Muslims. It seems to me that a high percentage of Insurance CEOs and Banksters are old, white men. Perhaps we should investigate ALL old, white men since they have a higher propensity for GRAND LARCENY!
Keep getting the word out.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago


Yes, I hope the idea of recess appointments isn't a revelation to the W.H. --- I'm sure it isn't. However, with a little "push" maybe the idea will seem that much sweeter...

One could say so much regarding Rahm Emanuel. He's experiencing a little hot water lately:

"Rahm Emanuel, Corporatist for Hire: Part of the Revolving Door Between D.C. and Millions in Financial World"


Marty (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Also, I must point out that these 'rules' for airline flights have already been eased. Apparently, now it will be up to the flight crew to decide whether to implement them: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2815452620091229

Tim (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

But West, I am an old white man (kind of). Come to think of it so are most of our law makers. We can't have that.

gerald (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

If Gore were President.... would 9-11 have even happened?

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Of course Republicans love terrorists more than Democrats. Heck the terrorists have done so much more at helping the Republicans further their agenda.

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

I thought the Spanish-American War was done under the Republicans.

gerald (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

re: nude bikers: Two bikers got arrested for no helmets...I guess they were anteaters.

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Bring the manufacturers back home!

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Kicking and screaming if we have to.

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

@Thom: I know this is off topic, but will you be having Robbie Batra on anytime soon?

One of my fav's.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago


Re: "If Gore were President…. would 9-11 have even happened?"

What a great question!

Quark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Nels Nelsen,

Re: Your Ravi Batra question:

Listen to the show tomorrow:


Hour Three: Economics Guru Dr. Ravi Batra joins Thom to talk about what’s ahead for the economy in 2010 www.ravibatra.com"

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Aw, Ravi will be on tomorrow, shoot, I have the day off, so its unlikely I'll have the time to sit and listen to the show.... oh well maybe next time.

thebinxster (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

obama shares lots of blame for not adequately making certain republicans don't escape blame for this almost-terrorist incident.
i've listened to both statements he's given on the subject, and unless i missed something, he did not mention the fact that demint is holding up the tsa head honcho nomination, at all. not one word about it.
i was incredulous!
not one word about the fact that the agency did not have a head administrator because republicans were playing politics with the nomination!
this was t-ball, not even hardball.
if obama will not take this easy occasion to point out simple facts and make certain that republicans pay a price for their extreme tactics, why should other dems?
it doesn't take any imagination to conjure up an image of bush lambasting dems if they had tried to do something similar.
but then, dems never would try something of that sort because they know republicans would force them to pay a steep political price for such a move.
the reason that republicans feel free to act as extreme obstructionists is because they know that dems NEVER make them pay ANY price when they act in that fashion.
imho, this is an extremely weak response and one of the reasons obama continues to get pummelled.

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Maybe the Democrats get more money from Wall St because it takes more bribing to get them to give up their principles. Also perhaps its also because there are more Democrats in both the Congress and Senate.

trevor (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Some things that confuses me about the Christmas day attempted bombing - was it an act of war or a terrorist attack? are they terrorists or enemy combatants? they can't be both... What if they are preemptively attacking a nation they feel threatened by? is that terrorism or military? Can it be war if it is not 2 military's fighting? Can the Taliban use a drone to preemptively attack a congressmen? or is that terrorism?

I just get so confused between what we say and what we do...

Quark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago


Thanks for your conversation with Dan Gainor today. I am truly glad to hear that he and I do agree on some things, few though they may be. I would never have guessed it! (Now if we could only get a little closer on the life and death things.)

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

No they wont have people fly naked... they'll just pump in a gas into the passenger compartment to put everyone to sleep before takeoff.

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Terrorists don't call themselves terrorists. They identify themselves as: Freedom Fighter, Holy Warriors, Heads of State, etc...

AZAFVET (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Regarding the Green Bay Packers, the community does own the team. In other cities the community only owns the debt on the bonds they floated to build the stadium for the privately owned team.

trevor (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

emerging business in the next decade - clothing rental businesses at airports.... order online and pick it up in a suitcase from the baggage carousel at your destination... then you don't even have to check bags...

gerald (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Hey trevor..just skip the clothing rental business and go to the next step..spray-on clothes.

trevor (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

silly Gerald, you can't fly with aerosols - and it would take more liquid than TSA allows for the pump version...

lore (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

The Democrats can't be doing too bad a job of protecting the US - CHENEY is no longer hiding in his bunker! Although I don't know where he lives, since he is so available to FOX he must be out and about!
President Obama needs to start an online 'TV' showing what the Democratic party is up to and how they plan to help America. Since there is no way to get Democrats on corporate TV. They can always replay too. Have selections and offer to the public - just like the whitehouse.gov website.
Set up a group that develops content and gets democratic faces in the public.

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Wake up people, all these terrorist attacks are obviously being coordinated by the old Ocean Liner companies, they want to make a come back.

gerald (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Trevor, you're right...how about finger-painting?

trevor (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Plaid would be back - 4oz bottles of different colors...

lore (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

when I was younger ..... at a dancing bar ..... really cute blond haired, blue eyed guy at bar - I decided to ask him to dance ---- he was middle eastern!
when I was buying boots at a western named boot store, the manager and another customer started talking. Turns out both were middle eastern but could 'pass' as Italian or Spanish. Hmmmm
So racial profiling might turn up obvious looks but not necessarily obvious terrorists!
Brain dead does not protect us! Stupid doesn't give us a future!

Mark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

The problem with Thom's small-minded crack about Mexico isn't just that it is typical of the prejudicial, xenophobic and bigoted ideas being foisted on small minds, but that what does it say about the U.S. if he wants to compare it to Saudi Arabia? After all, most of the 9-11 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia, so it doesn't say very much about the U.S., does it?

lore (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Mark - not sure what you are talking about. However, I am generally sensitive to remarks about women, about democrats, about .... you get it. Not the same thing pushes others buttons. Did he really mean something bad or is that YOUR emphasis?
I often get my cousins mad by comments I make because they are right wingers.
Once, when my mother was shopping, she tried to get help from the sales clerk who was curt and abrubt. There was a meeting coming up in their department and the sales people were upset. A few minutes later a black woman received the same treatment. She thought the sales person was being racist. Wasn't so. It was a matter of perspective. The sales person was upset about her own issues. Nothing to do with my mother or the black woman.
Sometimes you put your own perspective on things that are not correct.
Don't second guess. Ask.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago


The quick and enormously inadequate comparison I would make between Saudia Arabia and Mexico is that greedy, self-important white men (starting in Europe and migrating to America) exploit and piss off people all around the globe, according to other nations' wealth/resources they (the greedy white men) covet.

What's WRONG with them?! They are all rejects in any humane culture.

livnletlv (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

Today's topic made me want to join Thom's blogsite. I don't have time to call the show due to work, but wanted to put in my two cents on the new, stricter TSA rules currently being discussed.

Peter DeFazio, although I generally tend to agree with him on issues, now wants to push for the 'Virtual Strip Machine". Hmm, wasn't it Peter who just about one year ago was so incensed at his airport treatment at Sea-Tac, that the rest of us have had to endure (thanks in large part to his legislation) that he threw a fit and was detained?!

I recall reading his quoted response in the Oregonian, to the security guards as something akin to, "Hey, guys, don't you know who I am? I'm one of the people who helped design these screening rules...". So, my question is, has Mr. DeFazio found a way to bypass these annoying hoops (including the new machine that captures the nude body through clothing--any thoughts on how this could be misused, anyone) on his future flights? Just wondering.

Thanks so much for the show Thom~you are the best!

livnletlv (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

One last thought about airport screenings. I recall just 15 short years ago, running through an airport in Hawaii to catch a last minute flight back home. There were no lines, no guards and the stewardesses were cheering me on as I ran, wishing me well. If I tried that now, I'd probably find myself on the floor, hogtied with four rifles pointed at my head...

Last year as I was leaving through the same airport, I felt like a domestic farm animal (or a Jew in line to a Nazi camp) being shuttled through line after line, all holding our jackets and shoes, with sweaty, nervous people packed in all around and armed guards looking us over.

This is one of the reasons we have to constantly pour tax-payer funds into the airline industry...who wants to fly anymore?

Mark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago


Maybe you didn't hear Thom's quip. In response to a caller, he suggested that Yemen is to Saudi Arabia as Mexico is to the U.S. Obviously Thom was making the kind of a belittling comment about Mexico that we often hear. What I am saying is that if he is going to compare Saudi Arabia to the U.S. in this scenario, then what does that say about the U.S. if Saudi Arabia supplies the world with terrorists-- 9-11 for example? Is the U.S. supplying the world with terrorists too? His comparison makes no sense unless it was meant to be purposefully demeaning of our neighbor to the south.

Mark (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago


You have no idea what it is like to be in my shoes. None whatever. Just this morning I was going into my storage unit in Kent, WA where I was followed by a couple of the town's "finest." They refused to accept my knowledge of the key code, my unit number or even an offer to use my key open the lock as proof that I had a unit there. They wanted to see "written proof" that I had a unit there. Why was I having this problem? Because "Mexicans" are criminals, and the only possible reason why I was there was because I was going to break into something and steal someone's property. This kind of thing has happened to me countless times. I am not a human being in the eyes of the police and a great many other people. The only reason I got out of this harrassing situation was because the manager showed up earlier and was curious about what was going on. And your post suggests to me that somewhere deep inside some dark place, you share these stereotypes and prejudices.

onit2day (not verified) 10 years 39 weeks ago

The terrorists don't care if the plane blows up or not...they don't say look at what we did to America but rather "Look at what we made America do to herself".

No one will be saying hey let's bring back the Bushies...so quit threatening repyuub wins if dems don't get it done...they are the only choice we have at present to keep from driving America over a clifrf.

This is the point of a corporatocracy vs a democracy ruling America...our last chance and this HC issue has exposed our government for what it really is...and exposed the members for what they really are..

Necessity has forced Americans to get involved.. Voters will not be outraged at dems...they will be outraged at repubs at blocking the very agenda the majority voted for.

Trump Goes Full Authoritarian Dictator

Thom plus logo What we saw last night was the dictator's playbook.

Tell violent white supremacist racists to "stand by" and encourage them to show up at polling places to intimidate voters.

Bully, bluster and threaten like Mussolini did, promoting your brand as "tough guy" when in fact you're a lazy coward.
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"With the ever-growing influence of corporate CEOs and their right-wing allies in all aspects of American life, Hartmann’s work is more relevant than ever. Throughout his career, Hartmann has spoken compellingly about the value of people-centered democracy and the challenges that millions of ordinary Americans face today as a result of a dogma dedicated to putting profit above all else. This collection is a rousing call for Americans to work together and put people first again."
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine