Daily Topics - Wednesday December 9th 2009

greenhouse gas imagesQuote: "Because of the complexity of the problem, environmental skepticism was once tenable. No longer. It is time to flip from skepticism to activism." -- Michael Sherme,  Scientific American: The Flipping Point

Hour One - Until Americans are working again, should there be a moratorium on legal immigration? Bay Buchanan  www.theamericancause.org

Hour Two - Demand creates jobs...how to we create demand? Dan Gainor www.businessandmedia.org

Hour Three - Why do conservatives want to defy the Supreme Court and stop the government from protecting us from dangerous pollutants? Myron Ebell www.cei.org

Plus....Is it time for civil disobedience on climate change? Kumi Naidoo, Exec. Dir. of Greenpeace International www.greenpeace.org

Comments

Mark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#1

The blanket media coverage of the Lakewood police officers was starting to make me ill, but the news below the cutline is virtually guaranteed to continue the deaths of tens of thousands of people every year, and nobody gives a damn, at least not in the U.S. Senate. Overcoming the "last hurdle," Harry Reid, that gutless wonder with apparently no ability to push needed reform, agreed to cutting out a public option altogether. Apparently the public option is to be "replaced" by a "non-profit" private insurance package, and the age limit for medicare is to be reduced to 55. Given the track record of so-called non-profits like Blue Cross and Blue Shield, this is not "reform," it is a cheap bandaid that will not lower costs or increase coverage.

This means there is no mechanism to force insurance companies to behave honestly in the public interest. This also means that the CBO report on the Senate bill needs to be amended, for this will certainly mean than millions more people will be unable to afford health insurance—and still with the threat of fines (and the possibility of jail) if people refuse to be eaten by the insurance industry barracudas. This is obviously a win-win for the insurance industry; even if they cannot deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, they can still charge whatever they want, for whatever they wish to cover.

Mark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#2

Since I wasn’t able to respond to Zero G in time yesterday, I want to reiterate what I stated in another post. Mussolini was obviously not a "democrat" but a dictator; he betrayed the ideals of the syndicalist-as-corporatism-movement just as Communism betrayed Marxism. I asked you folks if representative government through leaders of various labor groups from various industries--which syndicalists/corporatists originally intended--is more democratic and representative than the current model. I didn’t seem to ascertain a response to that in your post.

Quark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#3

Mark,

I think your question is a moot point. A true leader of a labor group (who has the welfare of the people in mind and wants to represent them fairly) would have a hard time being elected in today's system. There would be no huge corporate backers to fund such a candidate's campaign.

Mark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#4

Also, that sucking sound I hear is not American jobs being sucked into Mexico, but the number of people who are sucked into that notion—especially since 19 million more Mexicans live in poverty since NAFTA, mainly because of the duty-free exception to NAFTA: protectionism that benefits U.S. farmers. Most “experts” on the economic impact of NAFTA have concluded that job losses have for the most part been made-up in job gains (or jobs retained) by increased exports to Canada and Mexico, which is far more in line with imports than the U.S. has with most of its trading “partners.” The U.S. was losing jobs to Asia, for example, long before NAFTA; I remember the 1971 Raiders’ hit “Indian Reservation”: “And all the beads we made by hand—are nowadays made in Japan.” China, in fact, received “most favored nation” trade status in 1980, long before NAFTA, and we are paying the price for it. If the U.S. rescinded most favored nation status for China now, import duties on Chinese goods would skyrocket, making similar U.S.-made goods more competitive. But every year MFN status is reinstated for China, mostly with little comment. The result is jobs being sucked there, because of an import/export trade imbalance of 5 to 1. In fact every country that the U.S. has bestowed “most favored nation” status on—long before NAFTA—has been the occasion for job loss in the U.S. I’m just tired of the hypocrisy and the scapegoating.

Given the greater negative effect NAFTA has had on Mexico than the U.S., it is not surprising to note that illegal immigration has increased from 3 million before NAFTA to its current level. This year, unemployment in Mexico is at record levels, but it is “officially” much lower than U.S. unemployment; however, it is just a “guesstament.” Over a quarter of the Mexican labor force works “under the table,” that is, in the “informal” economy which the government is unable to regulate or collect taxes from; businesses as well as people can form this “informal” economy, and apparently this sector of the economy is also having problems.

Quark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#5

Mark,

Not only that, I think many idealists who worked for Obama are relegated to the cynical majority of the electorate now.

Quark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#6

Mark,

The jobs that provided the ORIGINAL "sucking sound" (in Mexico) have moved on to countries that are even more amenable to the evils of the transnationals...

They STILL suck...(the jobs...)

Mark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#7

Quark:

Maybe what you mean is that everything (or most everything) we are talking about here is moot.

Quark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#8

Mark,

It's not moot, but there isn't much we can do...

Quark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#9

Mark,

Or, maybe that's what "moot" is (and I don't really want to believe it...)

Mark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#10

Quark:

Facts are facts: We had very little trade with Mexico before NAFTA, but cheap imported cars and electronics from Asia were big in this country well before then. Our exports to Mexico grew nearly as much as our imports from there since, while our trade deficit elsewhere continued to bulge. All I'm hearing is low-level xenophobia.

DRichards (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#11

Death as we know it...

Posted: December 8, 2009 04:06 PM
Does Death Exist? New Theory Says 'No'

Many of us fear death. We believe in death because we have been told we will die. We associate ourselves with the body, and we know that bodies die. But a new scientific theory suggests that death is not the terminal event we think.

One well-known aspect of quantum physics is that certain observations cannot be predicted absolutely. Instead, there is a range of possible observations each with a different probability. One mainstream explanation, the "many-worlds" interpretation, states that each of these possible observations corresponds to a different universe (the 'multiverse'). A new scientific theory - called biocentrism - refines these ideas. There are an infinite number of universes, and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death does not exist in any real sense in these scenarios. All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them. Although individual bodies are destined to self-destruct, the alive feeling - the 'Who am I?'- is just a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. But this energy doesn't go away at death. One of the surest axioms of science is that energy never dies; it can neither be created nor destroyed. But does this energy transcend from one world to the other?

Consider an experiment that was recently published in the journal Science showing that scientists could retroactively change something that had happened in the past. Particles had to decide how to behave when they hit a beam splitter. Later on, the experimenter could turn a second switch on or off. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle did in the past. Regardless of the choice you, the observer, make, it is you who will experience the outcomes that will result. The linkages between these various histories and universes transcend our ordinary classical ideas of space and time. Think of the 20-watts of energy as simply holo-projecting either this or that result onto a screen. Whether you turn the second beam splitter on or off, it's still the same battery or agent responsible for the projection.

According to Biocentrism, space and time are not the hard objects we think. Wave your hand through the air - if you take everything away, what's left? Nothing. The same thing applies for time. You can't see anything through the bone that surrounds your brain. Everything you see and experience right now is a whirl of information occurring in your mind. Space and time are simply the tools for putting everything together.

Death does not exist in a timeless, spaceless world. In the end, even Einstein admitted, "Now Besso" (an old friend) "has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us...know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." Immortality doesn't mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether...

Robert Lanza, MD is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is the author of "Biocentrism," a book that lays out his theory of everything.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-lanza/does-death-exist-new-theo_b_3...

Zero G. (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#12

Mark,

I will agree that NAFTA has become a code phrase which denotes more than the specific trade agreement referenced by the acronym.

"In October, 1922, the Black Shirts marched on Rome. The army stood aside and the armed party-militia held the city in its grip. At Mussolini's demand, he was made prime minister, and the parliament meekly voted his government full powers for a year." - from History of Civilization - Modern and Contemporary By Hutton Webster http://books.google.com/books?id=K5CQiKs2GX4C&pg=PA446&sig=rMBvdJbHj4gBS...

Hardly an auspicious start for labor...

Zero G. (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#13

DRichards,

Does the universe bifurcate everytime the "state vector" collapses into a measurable quantity? aka the Everitt Wheeler Graham model.

Hell, I don't know - but maybe then in an alternative universe Gary Webb still lives:

Why Journalist Gary Webb Died
By Robert Parry (A Special Report)
December 9, 2009

Five years ago, a tragedy occurred in American journalism: Investigative reporter Gary Webb – who had been ostracized by his own colleagues for forcing a spotlight back onto an ugly government scandal they wanted to ignore – was driven to commit suicide. But the tragedy had a deeper meaning. from: http://consortiumnews.com/2009/120909.html

Zero G. (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#14

This was reprinted today on Common Dreams, maybe it will be of some interest:

Liberals, I Do Despise
by Adolph Reed
First Published in The Village Voice, Nov. 12, 1996
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/12/09-7

Zero G. (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#15

I just imagined Erwin Schrödinger trying to get Hiqqens into the box...

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#16

Dan Gainor, again . . . My soul lies whimpering. I am not in the mood for idiots who believe that opposite day is for really-reals every farging day.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#17

I do have to agree with Gainor . . . Obama does not care about jobs . . . He is all about shielding and pumping up corporate profit.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#18

@ZeroG: I agree . . . Higgins woulda stuffed Schrödinger into the box and we'd be speculating whether or not he was killed by the radioactive isotope.

Edward Capo Beach (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#19

the insurance companies are behind this new medicare plan and the republicans and the fiscal corporate republicans and dems will love it. they will make medicare more costly on purpose because of a smaller pool of policy payers. then they will jack rates again like they have already done on my parents 60%. then the rest of the people are mandated to buy private crap insurance and even if they are required to use 90% of the money for care there will be a loophole some place as well as the fact that they will just jack rates. if you have a health related issue aka: a condition they will charge so much money for the coverage that only the very wealthy will be able to buy the coverage. everything comes down to class and the ruling class loves it. wall street to k street to capital hill. sorry but i have zero faith in a govt that is corrupted and justified. as far as jobs.....hello nafta, cafta, wto not in the discussions. the to big to fail...banks are out of control and what will change their? not sure but doubtful that there will be much.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#20

I am serious and sincere in asking for help and input. There are some issues that I can understand and discuss with some knowledge and understanding. There are some issues that require your help and input.

Thom has frequently stated that his listeners and callers are some of the sharpest people he knows. If a person needs help, he or she will seek their help.

I am not overjoyed in sharing with you a fact. I am not the sharpest tool in the toolbox and so I seek your help and input. Please try to help me!

Here is where I need help. I have heard that fifty-seven percent of Americans favor wars, especially the Afghanistan war. In wars human beings will be killed. This is a fact. The conservatives or neocons and many progressives oppose the killing of human life inside the woman’s womb. I, too, oppose such killings. Yet, when it comes to the killing outside the woman’s womb, fifty-seven percent of Americans favor wars and with wars come the killing of human beings.

Please try to share with me your thoughts and ideas why the killing of human life is opposed inside the woman’s womb but the killing of human life outside the woman’s womb is acceptable.

If you can shed light on this form of thinking, I may be able to go from a dull tool to somewhat of a less than a dull tool inside the toolbox.

Your comments in clarifying these issues will be deeply appreciated by me.

As a side note, Thom has had a discussion on health care and how Medicare for someone 55 years and older will create and help small businesses. Why have the conservatives or neocons and many conservative Democrats been opposing health care reform? These are politicians who are supposed to be pro-life.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#21

I am sharing with you some information that I have recently heard. If you have heard the same information, please let us know.

Karzai (sp), Afghanistan’s president, has said that he wants the U. S. troops to be in Afghanistan for twenty more years until the year 2029. The projected cost for such an operation is $150 billion per year or $3 trillion for twenty years. This figure is the upfront cost of our occupation. The hidden costs in caring for our maimed soldiers with the VA’s help and the reconstruction of Afghanistan for another twenty years to the year 2049 may be another $3 trillion.

Maybe by the year 2050 we will be able to rebuild our country. But, there is a serious problem. By 2050 we will have a deficit of $40 trillion and that is the low end of the deficit. What our government may do is to create a depression and not pay off the deficit and start with a clean slate. To move out of this depression may take another forty years and so by 2090 we may be able to start our reconstruction.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#22

we need to push for campaign finance reform. end the bribery in Washington. when corporation give politicians money it is nothing but bribery.

Zero G. (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#23

Gerald, you might wish to check out Chris Hedges' book, "War is a Force Which Gives Us Meaning."

Quark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#24

DRichards,

I am very open to the idea of some form of existence after death. I have had a number of death-related and near-death experiences and "memories" (too long to go into here.) The matter-energy relationship (and quantum physics) is what I "hang my hat on." I just wonder if our freed energy/matter could have any sense of "self." I have doubts about this, though, again, I am open...

Zero G. (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#25

Brian, it appears though that trying to fix campaign finance reform through Congress is asking cancer to heal itself.

Zero G. (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#26

At a particle level, Feynmann diagrams are equally valid with the time arrow in either direction. Perhaps it is only conciousiness which is dependant on undirectional time.

Zero G. (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#27

DRichards and Quark,

Dan Brown's latest novel includes an experiment to determine if a soul has a measurable weight.

Quark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#28

Zero G.,

Are you talking about Dan Brown's book, The Lost Symbol?

Zero G. (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#29

Yep.

ps I thought the plot was really weak, but I'm a sucker for the subject...

Quark (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#30

Zero G.,

Me, too. :)

Gerald Socha (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#31

Zero G, thank you for the information!

I wish to share with you, posters, some information. On George Noory's show, "Coast to Coast," he discussed the psychiatrist from Fort Hood who killed thirteen people. The FBI was trying to train him to be a double agent. I do not know how true this information is. But, there is a lot going on that we do not know.

My son and I watched from a disc, "The Killing Room." This was a location where American agents trained persons to kill another person and enjoy the killing experience.

Tonight, we will be watching, "War Inc." I cannot say much about it at this time. I will leave it at that for now. There is a lot of covert operations going on in our country. Be alert and do not believe everything our government says!

Gerald Socha (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#32

Zero G, I have placed Chris Hedges' speech at UC Santa Barbara on my favorites column list. I will hear when I have some time.

Ray Mathis (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#33

I have absolutely nothing against someone coming to this country, even illegally, simply to want to make a better life for themselves and their family. That's human nature. It's the employers we should be nailing. That said, we often heard in the past that illegal immigrants were doing jobs no one else wanted to. So does anyone think that's true when there's double digit unemployment? Wouldn't many Americans be glad to do some jobs now that they might now have considered before. But they can't because there's millions of people here illegally doing those jobs. Most notably, have you driven by any road crews doing the infrastructure work under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.? Typically, all the workers are Hispanic, and I'm guessing many are here illegally, and only the crew bosses, and some heavy equipment operators are not. So who's getting any of the jobs that are being created?

Ray Mathis (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#34

RE: Global warming. I think people need to start to open their eyes to what the promotion of Sarah Palin is really all about. It's her views on energy and global warming that are the reasons she's the next Manchurian Candidate. We all laugh at the idea of her being President, with good reason. But we should not underestimate the ability of those behind the scenes promoting her to sell the American public on her. They sold the country on Bush twice. She represents for them the chance to stall action on global warming for four, or maybe even eight years more as Bush did. People need to start seeing what they're really up to, what the hidden agenda behind her promotion is really about. It's a repeat of the 2000 election except this time Obama is the big threat instead of Gore.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#35

War Inc. is a satire movie on how discombobulated life is in the Middle East. If living in the Middle East wasn't so frightening, you could have a few laughs watching this movie. The movie was not what I thought it would be.

Zero G. (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#36

Listening to Barak Obama mentioning Ghandi and MLK Jr. and then championing the state's right and rightness to use force to enforce the peace.

Remember, MLK's words:

"My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years -- especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. "

Obama'a speech validates the use of force, and a governments ability to claim a rightness of cause. He also claims that the use of American force has been a counter to a force of evil in the world, rather than an instrument to open unwilling markets and foreign lands to extraction of resources. He claims a false history, one that denies Mossedegh, Allende, Lumumba and many more. He denies, "War is a Racket" as told by Smedley Butler.

Now, I am not quite so naive as to argue that Ghandi's non-violence would have defeated the Nazis. But as Nietzche observed:
Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.

One might be reminded of Tom Lerher's reaction when Henry the K won the Nobel Peace prize.

It's enough to make one's head spin. And as the Grateful Dead once observed, "The faster you go, the rounder you get!"

Mike (not verified) 9 years 40 weeks ago
#37

Great opening segment with Bay Buchanan in hour 1. I loved hearing Thom mention H-1B, albeit briefly, in hour 2. Now that Lou Dobbs has left CNN, I think Thom's the only person with a national podium even discussing H-1B.

I'd like to underline the point mad by the RN who called into the show, except for Engineers and Scientists. There is no shortage of technical workers, although there may be a shortage of technical workers who can be deported by their employers.

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