Daily Topics - Monday January 11th 2009

china imagesHour One - Has America become a third world country?

Hour Two: ”Sonic Boom: Globalization at Mach Speed”Thom challenges Gregg Easterbrook, Senior Editor of The New Republic  www.greggeasterbrook.com

Hour Three: Blackwater…murder for hire? Thom speaks with independent investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill www.rebelreports.com


Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

"Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Would these right wingers call the Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. a racist? They called him a Commie, but a racist?

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Thank you Helen Thomas:

[At a recent White House briefing Helen Thomas asked] why Abdulmutallab did what he did.

Thomas: “And what is the motivation? We never hear what you find out on why.”

Brennan: “Al Qaeda is an organization that is dedicated to murder and wanton slaughter of innocents… They attract individuals like Mr. Abdulmutallab and use them for these types of attacks. He was motivated by a sense of religious sort of drive. Unfortunately, al Qaeda has perverted Islam, and has corrupted the concept of Islam, so that he’s (sic) able to attract these individuals. But al Qaeda has the agenda of destruction and death.”

Thomas: “And you’re saying it’s because of religion?”

Brennan: “I’m saying it’s because of an al Qaeda organization that used the banner of religion in a very perverse and corrupt way.”

Thomas: “Why?”

Brennan: “I think this is a — long issue, but al Qaeda is just determined to carry out attacks here against the homeland.”

Thomas: “But you haven’t explained why.”

Steve Pipenger (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago


I'm surprised that you refer to this country as "America." You're too good to be that arrogant. America is an awfully large continent that includes plenty of people NOT citizens of the United States. "America," as you know, is not a country.

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Answering Helen Thomas on Why
By Ray McGovern
January 8, 2010

Nels (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

What are the Republicans all about?

That's simple, they're all about themselves and people they perceive are just like them.

As selfish and mature as your average 4 year old.

Nels (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Re: Harry Reid: It seems to me that talking about race is like walking through a mine field... it doesn't really matter how carefully you navigate, chances are likely you're going to stick your foot in it and then BOOM!

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

So what are the Democrats doing about it Thom? Most of them seem to be all about empowering the Republicans.

Feeding from the same corporate trough? That's some kind of change? This mandate to purchase corporate health insurance?

From today's Democracy Now! - http://www.democracynow.org/2010/1/11/headlines#12
UBS Whistleblower Begins Jail Sentence
A former banker for the Swiss giant UBS who blew the whistle on the biggest tax evasion scheme in US history has begun serving a forty-month jail sentence. In 2007, Bradley Birkenfeld came forward to US authorities and began providing inside information on how UBS was helping thousands of Americans hide assets in secret Swiss accounts. On Friday, Birkenfeld spoke to reporters before reporting to prison.

Bradley Birkenfeld: “I’d like to say how proud I am to be courageous enough to come forward. I do what I did to expose the largest tax fraud in the world. And the Bush Department of Justice didn’t expose this. I did. But I’ll tell you what the Bush Department of Justice did do. What they did do was give the kingpin, Martin Liechti, immunity after he pled the Fifth in front of the United States Senate and let him go back to Switzerland uncharged. Additionally, they gave international clients amnesty so they wouldn’t be charged. They also gave the largest bank in the world, UBS, they rewarded them with a deferred prosecution, and they are still withholding 15,000 client names from our government. The American taxpayers should be outraged."

Bradley Birkenfeld’s lawyer Stephen Kohn criticized the Justice Department for prosecuting his client after he blew the whistle.

Stephen Kohn: “To take the whistleblower who is responsible for the single largest recovery ever for the American taxpayer, who has already saved and recovered for the taxpayers at least two to three to four billion—it will be much more—and to put him in jail is a travesty of justice. It is a miscarriage of justice. It is grotesque. But worse, it is sending a chilling effect. And maybe it’s fitting that we are here in the snow and in the cold, because this is the type of chilling effect it will have on the willingness of other bankers to step forward and do the right thing.”


So what is Eric Holder's Justice Dept. doing to restore any form of justice? On any meaningful issue? Wiretapping? Torture? Rendition? Banking fraud? Xe? ANYTHING?

KMH (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

lol What timing! I am still working away on that article....I spoke about last week and just as Thom mentioned his book had inspired Leonardo Di Caprio's Eleventh Hour - wa la! my eyes were on that line of text and so I inserted the inspiration part right into the paragraph to revise it to..

Leonardo Di Caprio suggests in his Eleventh Hour, (2007), that we might learn from nature’s superior models and bounty. Trees transport water with no electricity or even gravity feed for example. Could our engineers learn to build skyscrapers that mimick the efficiency of the xylem tissues of a giant Redwood? Thom Hartmann whose book The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight inspired this documentary, believes this is possible by integrating such values and possibilities into our cultural awareness.

Scott (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Thom keeps insisting that progressives and the tea party folks have more in common than they think, at least on economic issues. As I have said before, I believe this to be untrue.

First the Tea Party folks are upset because the Republican Party isn't far enough to the right. You have to ask yourself, what kind of person would think this?

The answer is Authoritarians. They have highly compartmentalized thinking among other things:

"The studies explain so much about these people. Yes, the research shows they are very aggressive, but why are they so hostile? Yes, experiments show they are almost totally uninfluenced by reasoning and evidence, but why are they so dogmatic? Yes, studies show the Religious Right has more than its fair share of hypocrites, from top to bottom; but why are they two-faced, and how come one face never notices the other? Yes, their leaders can give the flimsiest of excuses and even outright lies about things they’ve done wrong, but why do the rank-and-file believe them? What happens when authoritarian followers find the authoritarian leaders they crave and start marching together?"


I really would like to see Thom have John Dean on to talk with him about the Tea Party movement for a couple of reasons. He is a conservative and he wrote "Conservatives Without Conscience" which is about the authoritarians.

I think it would be enlightening.

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Sure the elite that Easterbrook represents are better off. The rest of us have seen our real wages decline, property rates decline, debt increase.

Nels (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Since the '92 campaign the world is a better place, standard of living is better? Am I missing something or is Mr Easterbrook severely deluded?

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Peaceful?! Are you even looking at the news?!!!! Children poisoned, killed, raped; women humiliated (in every sense of the word): cultures annhailated every few DAYS, HOURS!!!!!; 200 species going extinct A DAY!!!!!!!!!
Sir, you are blind to the fact that our culture of Civilization is killing the world and you have for to long listened to lies of Mother Culture. WAKE.......UP!

KMH (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

I must say, with respect to global trade issue, I do love this statement: 'live simply on the planet, so that others can simply live....' -Those of us in the USA COULD consume less. Environmental textbooks say that if the rest of the world lived at Americas standards of material wealth that we would need more than 4 planets to accomodate all of us! But is this simply being used against us by that fat cats who play us all for puppets. Naturally, we want the children dying of hunger to eat daily. But as long as the fat cats own 90% of all the resources, we need to see more from them and perhaps Ralph Nader is right - only the Super Rich can save us? Bah- localism will save us- that is what we need to do- what Gandhi did.

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

We need to show the people the truth and the way to do that is look at the whitewash, listen to the white noise, feel the numbness, of our culture and reveal the meaning of living the we as a society do.

Mena Sprague (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Hi, as I'm cleaning old emails, I found this one from my cousin in Colorado. It fits.

What happened?? Why does our Economy SUCK?

Joe Smith started the day early:
having set his alarm clock

for 6 a.m., while his coffeepot

was perking, he shaved with his electric razor

He put on a dress shirt

designer jeans

and tennis shoes

After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet

he sat down with his calculator

to see how much he could spend today.
After setting his watch

to the radio

he got in his car

filled it with gas
(from Saudi Arabia)

and continued his search
for a good paying AMERICAN JOB.

At the end of yet another discouraging
and fruitless day checking his computer
(Made In Malaysia),

Joe decided to relax for a while.
He put on his sandals

poured himself a glass of wine

and turned on his TV

and then wondered why he can't find
a good paying job

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

One way to look through the whitewash:

Check out Trevor Paglen's work @ http://www.paglen.org/index.htm

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

We live in a morass caused by shellshock. The minds and souls of the American people were/are under constant assault. We wander about in a continuing PTSD haze which keeps us from action. The continuous flow of propaganda initially designed to keep us afraid, now, only keeps us numb.

Congress does not have to change as long as they keep us beat up.

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

That's one of my few quips with Jefferson: that he encouraged Empire in America. That, I think, was one of his greatest mistakes.

KMH (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

RE Caller on Bank of N Dakota - there is a Republican banker running for Senator there with l thought I heard from Ed S himself had an 80% approval rating - is this a banker from that bank? Does anyone have time to research this? I am at work. Ed S in part took this into consideration when deciding whether he should run for Byron Dorgan (sp) seat.

KMH (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

@thomas- what? I never thought of Jefferson in that way - HE supported America having its own currency. Jackson was the traiter and sell out to the Bank of England. I am no expert here, educate me.

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

It's that he opened the doors for the genocide/ethnocide of hundreds of peoples and allowed the American people to participate in the greatest screw up in human history: Conquest.
He didn't mean to of course. He wanted the natives and Americans to live side by side in peace. But what seemed at first an exploration of science turned in to an excuse for Manifest Destiny.

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Wall Street Will Be Back For More - http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/01/11-2
by Chris Hedges

Corporations, which control the levers of power in government and finance, promote and empower the psychologically maimed. Those who lack the capacity for empathy and who embrace the goals of the corporation-personal power and wealth-as the highest good succeed. Those who possess moral autonomy and individuality do not. And these corporate heads, isolated from the mass of Americans by insular corporate structures and vast personal fortunes, are no more attuned to the misery, rage and pain they cause than were the courtiers and perfumed fops who populated Versailles on the eve of the French Revolution. They play their games of high finance as if the rest of us do not exist. And it is a game that will kill us.

lynn lloyd (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Yes we are a third world country. The same traitors and criminals who have been exploiting countries all over the world for decades have now turned on us.
Where we need to go and where the power elite have accrued, possibly, the means to keep us from going, is to a world wide (voluntary) "resource based economy." Capitalism is and always will be a failure. All we need to do is work together as a world community, sharing the world's resources while we protect the environment. We should begin by investing in techology which cjould truly provide the best environment for all of humanity. It is possible for all of us to live better than most of us in the U.S. are living now.
These ideas are those of Jaque Fresco, of the Venus Project, which works in cooperation with the Zeitgeist Movement.

Charles M (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

When are we going to wake up to the fact that Blackwater is the next Al Qaeda. We never seem to learn from our past mistakes. Xe is just another CIA front group that will eventually turn on its masters.

KMH (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

LOVE that Jeremy Scahill. I sent his ground breaking report home to my father who suspected our entire invasion of Iraq was illegal before we even did it and became an activist for the first time in his life. Jeremy's article vindicated my father, Sergeant in the Korean War and Bank Examiner.

Would not it be too cool to have the Germans rise and join with the liberal and smart conservatives to put Cheney Darth Vader on trial as the war criminal he is? And his smirky daughter and porn writing wife.

You know, these transnationals want to play in a world wide market and open it all up? Then, you watch what happens when Americans decide to unite with the heavy duty activists of Europe. Surely Europe is more appealing than Somalia.

KMH (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

I like the 'Grundy Bomber' myself.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Underwear bomber OR Package perpetrator . . .

KMH (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

@Charles - excellent title for an article! Write it!

KMH (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

poop perpetrator?

Dave (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

I am sure a lot of people have already made this conclusion...but...
If Al Gore had been president, as he was elected to be in 2000, 9/11 would not have been prevented.
And oh what a different world it would be today.

Gazmik (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Secondhand smoke kills approximately 50,000 people in the US every year.

Using that number, secondhand smoke has killed about 500,000 people in the US in the past 10 years (or slightly less than the population of the state of Wyoming) as opposed to terrorism that has killed less that 5,000 people in the US in the past 10 years.

Why hasn't the right wing called for a war on smoking and called for the torture of smokers to find out what they know about the tobacco-terrorism agenda?

If they are willing to spend approximately $1 trillion on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, why aren't they willing to spend more on health care to save many more lives?

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago


"Not have been prevented"?

Mir (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Regarding the severe winter this year - there have been suggestions from some meteorologist and weather sceitist that this could be mother nature's way of desperately trying to counter balance the rising average temperatures worldwide due to global warming .

Rastaman (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

TO CONTINUE THE PRONUNCIATION THEME (and thus give in a little more to Thom's ADHD and prefectionism)

Cindy Sheehan's name is NOT pronounced SHEE HAN.....it's sheean. (one word, fast and fluidly smooth)

Thom, your pronunciation of Cindy's name would be the same as intro'ing yourself as Thom HART MAN....please don't do it anymore.


Dave (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

oh i am sorry.. i meant "9/11 would HAVE been prevented"


at first i said "would not have happened".. but then i decided to change it.
thanks Zero.

Rastaman (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

oops....i meant to write perfectionism.

KMH (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Breaking News! Martin Luther King and Black Rights group are rascist AGAINST black people!


Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

I don't know if this is viewed by others, it shows as being moderated so:

President Obama, the CIA and the Master of the Cover-Up
Saturday 11 December 2010
by: Melvin A. Goodman, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed – http://www.truthout.org/article/president-obama-cia-and-master-cover-up?...

The Obama administration quietly announced Friday the appointment of John McLaughlin, former deputy CIA director, to head the internal investigation of the intelligence failures that led to the Christmas Day attempted bombing of a Delta airliner headed for Detroit as well as the events leading to the shootings at Fort Hood in November.
With this appointment, President Barack Obama has assured that the culture of intelligence cover-up will continue. McLaughlin has participated in and sought to cover-up many of the CIA’s most egregious failures and misdeeds of the past decade. When he left the CIA, he then served as the agency’s chief apologist.
So, who is John McLaughlin? Most of official Washington and the mainstream media view McLaughlin as the mild-mannered, professorial CIA bureaucrat, who former CIA director George Tenet called the “smartest man he had ever met.”
Few people understand, however, that McLaughlin played the most important role in making sure that the Bush administration received the intelligence that would be used and misused to justify the use of force against Iraq in 2003.


So let me get this straight, Obama appoints a Bush/CIA stooge to investigate? Whisky Tango Foxtrot!?

Who are these supposed DEMOCRATS?

Maybe we could get Paul Wellstone to mount a primary challenge to Obama. I know, I know…but a deceased REAL Democrat has more life than this group of….
sorry if this shows up twice

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Thom, thank you for today's rant. Hopefully, you will have at least on rant per week, preferably during the first hour on any day of the week you choose. Before you make rants a practice, please go to the doctor for a stress test to determine the strength of your heart and continue to do so during the course of the year from time to time.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

I need to share with you a paragraph from Bishop Thomas Gumbleton's homily on January 3, 2010. When I read his homilies in the National Catholic Reporter, some homilies strike me or parts of the homilies.

The very first document of the Vatican Council documents is called “Lumen Gentium,” which means “light of the nations.” This document is all about what the church is and should be. It’s a community of the disciples of Jesus. Jesus came to be the light of all the nations, and we who are his disciples, the community of his disciples, if we really become what he has called us to be, we will be the light of all the nations, and all peoples will be welcomed into our one human family, brothers and sisters, if we really shine forth as this light of the nations. That’s all Jesus asks us to be -- to be like he was, one who draws all people, not forcing them to follow all of our ways, but only to understand that God has entered into human history, the God who is the God of all, and that we are all members of that human family, which is God’s family; we are sons and daughters of God.

Let us not forget that as Christians who believe in Jesus Christ we are His disciples. Yes, we are Jesus' disciples. As His disciples we are called to work for the common good that includes all of His children, Christians and non-Christians.

chuckle8 (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

Even Dick Cheney? And the banksters? He did become upset with money changers?

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

chuckle8, I have a diffiicult time that Shooter (Cheney) and the banksters would become upset at the money changers. The only time they would be upset is if the money slipped away from their hands.

Jack Reich (not verified) 12 years 24 weeks ago

We have seen private 'armies' like Blackwater used to patrol streets in New Orleans as well as Najaf, with illegal action, even killings, in both. These mercenary companies operate with virtually no public oversight and little accountability. What do we do when a Bush-Cheney type executive, or the Pentagon, or even a private multinational corporation, hires them to repress legitimate dissent in our cities, silence critics, grease the skids to fascism?

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

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