Daily Topics - January 19th 2010

banster 1 imagesQuote:  Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. -- Frederick Douglass

Hour One - Doesn't Haiti demonstrate the failure of objectivism and libertarianism? Alex Epstein www.aynrand.org

Hour Two - Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize winning American Economist www.motherjones.com Moral Bankruptcy...why are we letting the banksters off so easily?

Hour Three -  Raj Patel rajpatel.org  What is the "Value of Nothing?


rewinn (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane" --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Alex Epstein paraphrased:

Blah, blah . . . Humans bad. Blah, blah . . . Property good. Blah, blah . . . Humans bad. Objectivism is keeps us safe by allowing folk to kill themselves the way they want to. Hoo-ray!!! Humans bad. Hoo-ray!!! Property good.

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

"Facts are not a substitute for an objective analysis" OMG!

Port-au-Prince had no building codes: no government interference at all! It's a libertarian paradise!

San Francisco had no building codes before it's earthquake. And let us not forget the Great Seattle Fire - building codes were instituted AFTER the fire to prevent a prior disaster.

(Wait, is that libertarian guest arguing that Hong Kong and Singapore are NOT dictatorships? Well, let us not let FACTS get in the way with ideology! )

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Horse-hockey . . . Self-actualization requires other needs to be met first . . .

Death and destruction of society is NOT more freedom. It is preventive of life which means zero freedom from everything save being worm food.

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

The objectivist guest is using the "No True Scotsman" fallacy....As I learned it:

Uncle Angus was shocked to learn that a man in Mercia was caught buggering a sheep. "No Scotsman would do such a thing".

"But Angus, they caught a sheep-buggering man in Glasgow."

"Nay, lad, that were no true Scotsman."

"But Angus, they caught a sheep-buggering ring in Edinburg."

Nay, lad, they were no True Scotsmen."

"But Angus, we caught ye're very neighbor buggering a sheep."

"Lad, are ye daft? That were no Scotsman, for No TRUE Scotsman would bugger a sheep. Begone with ye!"


No True Libertarian economy would fail therefore Every counterexample is Not True Libertarianism!

DDay (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Today the chickens come home to roost. You will find them at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. No one did more to lift President Obama into the White House than Sen. Ted Kennedy. Today the good Senator's life long dream of health care reform will die once again and his former seat in government will be occupied by a charlatan intent on eliminating his predecessor's legacy. The White House staffers are calling it Shakespearean. That is the first time I agree with them in some time.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

No. I could never be a Tea-bagger . . . I can read and have an education.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


I think you are absolutely right --- we ARE on the cusp of a revolution in this country. People I talk to everywhere sense that "something" is going to happen.

I have a friend who was an FBI agent (profiler.) She says people in government (in Washington, D.C.) are scared (of MANY things.) They are paralyzed and can't act. They can't focus (my opinion.)

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Oh Richard,

I have to bite my tongue so I don't "jump in" to your perfect set-up! LOL

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


I agree. Yesterday, I sent this email to Obama:

You have only yourself, Rahm Emanuel and your corporatist policies and appointments to blame for the Massachusetts U.S. senate upset. You abandoned your progressive base (as Emanuel said so sarcastically, "where else will they go?!")

Believe me, Democrats ALL OVER the country are really pissed off with your half-hearted Republican/corporatist Democrat compromises.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@ Richard

I couldn't help but notice that you didn't rule out being a tea-baggee. It takes two to tango after all! :-)

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


I guess I wasn't very clear in my previous email. I wholeheartedly agree with you!

DDay (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@ Quark

Amen. Hey Barack!, how's that bi-partisan project workin for ya?

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


Ayn Rand "true believers" like Alex Epstein are members of a CULT!!! They need to be deprogrammed.

Mark K (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

As I mentioned at the end of the day yesterday, I posted a thought on how MLK’s words are sometimes twisted by the right to mean something entirely different from what he meant, at almost the exact same moment some other guy who only identified himself as Mark, whining about how he couldn’t get through on the phone line, also posted. Who is this guy, thought I. I guess I was just a little miffed that somebody might think he was the one who spent hours on the weekend in between work (I work 11 hour a day Saturday and Sunday at the airport) researching and composing that post on Haiti.

Anyways, after listening to Glenn Beck’s interview with Sarah Palin last week, I couldn’t help but observe that these two make the perfect comic duo. Beck’s straight man efforts to drag-out some semblance of independent and rationale thought from Palin’s brain were continuously thwarted, and even the most basic elements of American history seemed to escape her entirely. Beck had at least the self-awareness to acknowledge that listeners must have believed that they were the two dumbest people on the television during that period of time, although Beck may have been intimating his dumbness for conversing with someone he couldn’t even begin to hold an intelligent conversation with, even on his admittedly minimal level.

I also have been fascinated recently by television ads for drugs for various ailments that seem to do more harm than good, or least that is the impression one gets from the laundry list of “side-effects.” A drug might aid in reducing some heart issue like cholesterol or promoting some aid against ED. But you should consult a doctor first, for this medication may cause liver, heart and bladder disease, or death. It might lead to insanity, psychopathic tendencies, suicidal thoughts, drowning one’s children in a bathtub, or death. Do not take this medication if you have tendencies to narcolepsy, epilepsy, hypnolepsy, or death. This medication may cause cirrhosis, acidosis, tuberculosis, or death. The question one must ask is if pharmaceutical companies put out such products more for profit than usefulness; one rather thinks the former.

trevorinla (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

is it possible that Obama let the Coakley campaign fail so he could continue to serve his corporate master and blame it all on Republican obstructionism?

DRichards (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Women are "increasingly better-educated than their husbands and have emerged as the dominant income-provider in one of five marriages," according to a new Pew Research Center study. "What's radically changed is that marriage now is a better deal for men," said report co-author Richard Fry. These trends have been reinforced by the recession, which has "hurt employment of men more than that of women."

AVATAR (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Tear gas was also used. Of all places, I saw this clip on the Alice Cooper page site by trying to get away from the news for awhile. I just tried to find it again on his site but cannot find it. Surely it is on you tube somewhere, but I have not the time to look for it now. But there was a clip of our military men riding on trucks making sure there was no rush for the food. But indeed, the man did say the Haitian government was the one to spray the tear gas.

firewolfe (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Someone needs to remind the "Objectivists" that Ayn Rand wrote fiction. "Atlas Shrugged" is a novel. Using fiction to illustrate a political, social, or economic theory is an old and well established form of expression; basing theory on such fiction, especially when you ignore non-fiction reality, strikes me as a really bad idea.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@ trevorinia

You give too much credit to Obama & Company. We have no evidence of their having such Machivellian prowess. They would prefer to blame the Ides of January and the cruel winds of fate for their bumbling.

DRichards (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Disillusion among Liberal Supporters: Obama's Foreign / Military Policy
by Jack A. Smith

...Barack Obama was the candidate of change, but the reality in international endeavors is small change indeed. Social commentator Glenn Greenwald remarked on this general point during an interview on Democracy Now in early January:
"It's ironic, given that the campaign was all based on changing the nature of how Washington works ‹ [but] the central attribute of the Obama Administration is to accommodate and keep in place the same power factions that have run Washington forever, and as a result, the same mindset, the same dynamic that governs Washington in virtually every area."
Unless we Americans take a public stance against war and hegemony, and associate ourselves with the antiwar and social movements struggling for substantial change, there will be no change at all. It'll just be war after war. Maybe if Albert Einstein said this it would be more convincing. Well, he did:

"We must not conceal from ourselves that no improvement in the present depressing situation is possible without a severe struggle; for the handful of those who are really determined to do something is minute in comparison with the mass of the lukewarm and the misguided. And those who have an interest in keeping the machinery of war going are a very powerful body; they will stop at nothing to make public opinion subservient to their murderous ends."


kathi (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Let the REAL Boston tea party begin today, not some phony corporate-sponsored teabagger movement.It's time for a real revolt by the people of America who are paying for government of, by and for the trans-national corporations.

Ryan A (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

I'm a college student and designed a poster to put up around campus that says this:

Students: Love "Free Markets?" Tired of government interfering in the marketplace?
Then join me for the First Annual Libertarian Football Game! No sidelines, no referees, no rules! Finally a free game that gives everyone an equal chance!*

*Defending champions, the "Banksters" are currently $700 Billion to 0

thanks for the inspiration Thom!

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


Just as I was about to make a decision to drop out of politics altogether (after working for decades for progressive politics), I was "drafted" to be the precinct chair at the upcoming DFL caucuses. It must be fate...go figure.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Something Jay Leno said on the Bill Maher show last year haunts me. He said that the American people get the Government they deserve. I am afraid that he is correct.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


It would be nice to have an honest fourth estate in this country (and less right-wing propaganda.)

DDay (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Dear Quark,

I understand your toying with dropping out of politics. I have the same ideas frequently. Instead of dropping out I withdraw and recharge. It helps. Actually, you are not the Precinct chair unless you already were. You are the Caucus chair or conveiner or caucus chair. One of your first duties will be to elect a precinct chair. I'm glad you were roped in. The Dems need good people like you. When you grow weary...rest!...but...never give up the good fight until they lay you down. You are a true patriot, not a sunshine patriot.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

If I hear one more "news"-caster say that "The Democratic Super-Majority in the the Senate is at stake" in today's MA election I'm just gonna puke!

WAKE UP & smell the coffee, dammit! WE only had 60 Democratic votes if you count Joe LIE-berman as a Democrat - which he decidedly is NOT! He's a double-agent, claiming to caucus with the Democrats, while voting straight Red! It seems that lies and more lies is all we can expect from our media these days.

PS to Mark - Are Beck & Palin the new George Burns & Gracie Allen??!!

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


LOL! OK, yes, you are right! I guess I got it wrong because I have never held the job 'til now (I always have done the phoning, door-to-door, bookkeeping, etc. "background" work, except for being a delegate to the state convention...

Thanks for the cx! :-)

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@DDay: Jay Leno worked to give KALEEFORNIA to the Schwarzenegger . . .

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


Every time I say "I'm done (with politics)" to my husband, he says, "great --- we don't have to live our lives around it anymore. You get too upset because of it."

I always seem to come back. I can't seem to do otherwise. It's not satisfying, though. I need some honest choices that help "the people."

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@Mstaggerle: We, the People, only have 46-53 Senators who vote DEM on any one issue . . . Being a DINO is NOT being a DEM. The Corporate Media meme is happy horse-hockey chips.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Some advice from the "Peanut Gallery":

Mr. President, clear the boards and focus on what needs to be done NOW. You blew your first project. Get over it and learn! Forget bi-partisanship until your opponents come to the table on their own. Focus on the economy and jobs. Do the things left undone. Do the things Professor Stiglitz detailed. Start serving the people rather than entrenched special interests, banks, Wall St. etc. Spend another stimulus predominantly on infra-structure, especially green energy, and the rest on providing re-education of our work force. Finally, in order to pave the way for another run at health care reform, reform our campaign finance and election system. What you did to win last time should never be allowed again. A billion dollars plus to elect our President is a disgrace and a perversion of our democracy. That's change we can believe in.

Mugsy (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


I just read an interesting story online about average Internet connection speeds around the world... not "technologically" speaking, but in terms of what people can afford to buy.

While the prevalence of broadband around the world is going up (Japan tops the list with their top speed nearly twice the speed as the fastest U.S. connection), broadband use "DECLINED by 2.4%" as people downgraded their service to save money.

Rhetorical question: Why are the people in other countries also affected by the recession able to afford faster internet connections at this time why we are all downgrading?

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@Richard L. Adlof - Exactly ... so where's this alleged SUPERMAJORITY I keep hearing about??!!

It's nothing more than a convenient lie for the FAUX newsies to use so they can follow it up with - "SEE??!! Even when those Democrat dipsh_ts hold all the cards, they STILL can't govern!"

DDay (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@ Richard

That may be true but that in no way negates the truth of his admonition about us getting the government we deserve. By the way, it must have been some other snarky, smart alleck who posed that question about being a tea-bagee. I'm the true DDay! :-)

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@DDay - Do you really believe that the economy can be "fixed" in any substantive way WITHOUT addressing the 1/6th of it that is dominated by the Health Care sector?

harry ashburn (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


"PS to Mark – Are Beck & Palin the new George Burns & Gracie Allen??!
How many people on this chat list know who George and Gracie are? Maybe you and me.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Hmmm - first a faux Mark, now a fake DDAY ... have we got an identity-stealing troll in here?

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@harry ashburn - Nah - thre's LOTSA old farts like you & me hereabouts. :)

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

WellWhile boys will be boys . . . I have always hung with folk who had girl parts . . . I even took every “Woman’s Study” course in Junior College (Mostly to get laid but then I’m a hussy . . ).

When I was young and beautiful . . . I grew up with young guys in the mid 1980s who used crow about “woo-hoo” aspects of their sexual exploits.

Then came the gamers in the early part of this century sullied the good name of a perfectly fine sex act.

Then came the astro-turfed idiots ridiculed by the FAUX Noise and their friends at the Corporate News Network and Squint and Meat-Puppet on the Morning Joe et al . . .


mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@Mugsy - That may have something to do with increased use of Wireless-G equipment by US consumers, which peaks at 5.4 Mbps.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

re: Filial Protestations over Politics
My spouse says much the same as yours about "our" involvement in politics. What do they know? They are off there with their respective heads in the clouds, having fun. Your hubby doing art and my wife burfin babies. They have it easy! and are privileged to have mates, strong enough... and brave enough... and brain-dead enough... to keep going out there, beating their heads against the walls of injustice and ignorance in service to their beloved country!
(cue up: the phony John Dean Rebel Yell....EEEEEEEEYAAA!

...sorry...I blew up.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Part of the reason healthcare is 1/6th of the economy is that the rest of the economy has withered beyond vestigial due to the success of the Recessivist Movement and the copious shortfalls of cannibalistic capitalism.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Herbicidal Maniac Alert!

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Harry Reid has never met a chance to fold he hasn’t just jumped at . . .

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

harry ashburn,

Say goodnight, Gracie! LOL!

Quark (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago


The funny thing is that Mike's dad was the president of any organization he joined and "Mr. Democrat." (My mother, ditto, only "Ms. Republican."As children of very "visible" community politicians, etc., both he (my husband) and I are shy... He's just more shy than I...

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

@ Quark - G'nite, Gracie.


The coolest thing about that show? George could watch what was goin' on over at the neighbor's place on his TeeVee! :D

AVATAR (not verified) 10 years 29 weeks ago

Ha! We have the term to replace BOYCOTT ! Small 'd' democracy. or Triple Bottom line also works well, too.

Will Enough Americans Show Up to Stop Trump From Using the Dictator's Playbook?

Thom plus logo The single most consistent defining characteristic of an emerging dictatorship in a country that started as a democracy is that the dictator regularly holds elections and always wins, because he uses the instruments of government to make sure he wins.

Trump has now done this with the Justice Department, the Post Office, the Department of Homeland Security, The Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Reserve, and our intelligence agencies.
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
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Never one to shy away from the truth, Thom Hartmann’s collected works are inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."
Van Jones, cofounder of RebuildTheDream.com and author of The Green Collar Economy
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current