Daily Topics - Monday February 1 2010
Quote: "Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, for the people and by the people, but a government for Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master...Let the bloodhounds of money who have dogged us thus far beware." -- Mary Elizabeth Lease (1890)
Hour One - Are religious cults killing democracy just like they kill people? Jeff Sharlet www.jeffsharlet.com
Hour Two - Should we all just start paying taxes to China?
Plus... "Labor Segment" Doug Cunningham www.laborradio.org
Hour Three - Steve Forbes www.forbes.com Will capitalism save us or is it destroying America?
UPCOMING EVENTS WITH THOM HARTMANN:
San Francisco, CA - Friday, February 5th from 7PM to 10:30PM - Green 960 Cruise "California Hornblower Yacht " with Thom Hartmann - Sold out! www.green960.com
Los Angeles, CA - Saturday, February 6th, 7:30pm at the Downtown Independent Theater (251 S. Main Street in L.A.) - a special screening of Robert Greenwald's powerful film "Rethink Afghanistan"...speakers include Thom Hartmann, Robert Greenwald, and Anand Gopal, Afghanistan based correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. Free tickets!! But you MUST RSVP at www.rethinkafghanistan.com/screenings
Thom fails to realize that to a guy like Ben Stien, observing an election while under the influence of non-caucasian pigments IS (or perhaps, should be) a crime.
If those two black guys standing outside a polling place were holding sticks, aren't they protected by the 2nd Amendment?
Or is the problem the reichwing has with it ... that they were NOT carrying guns?
@Mark K -
Living in New York as I do, and commuting down the Interstate Highways to work in New Jersey, I always take notice of the high percentage of Canadian-owned Tractor-Trailers on New York's Highways. I tend to think those Canadian drivers spend more of their time here in the US than they do at home. I pretty much NEVER see a Mexican-owned truck herein the Northeast, but I guess that's not terribly surprising.
Now this may sound odd coming from a guy who has never lived in the skin of a Latino, but it seems to me that you may have your "hate detector" turned up a bit too high. You are beginning to remind me of the Uncle Leo character on Jerry Seinfeld's old show, who saw anti-semitism everywhere he looked.
I, too have had the experience of unveiled prejudice. We were the first Jewish family to move into our "quiet" (I'm told that's a real-estate agent's code word for "restricted"), suburban neighborhood, and in our first year living there, a couple of neighborhood teens injured themselves while building a pipe-bomb that I was later told was targeted for our house!
It has been my experience that people tend to find what they are looking for. If you are looking for signs that people hate you because of your race, you will certainly be able to find them, in abundance. I've simply stopped looking for them, and I think I'm a happier person for it.
The big difference is Canada's economies are to scale with ours. Their regulations are similar to ours. The same cannot be said for Mexico.
China is now threatening to shut of the supply to the military components since we want to sell weapons to Taiwan.
Darn, Thom finally got to the point before I could type it.
Now would be a good time for the President to issue an executive order requiring the Pentagon to "buy American", as a matter of national security.
Partly this would be so our foreign competitors have less of a stranglehold on our military; partly it would be to get jobs back in America. It's a two-fer!
The movie about O'Keefe & Brietbarts Great Adventure could be titled:
A Bug's Life
A Long Day's Felony Into Night
Breakfast At Felony's
Dial M for Morons
Terms of Indictment
The Gang That Couldn't Wiretap Straight
To Jail a Stalkingbird
And many more at http://twitter.com/#search?q=jamesokeefemovies
Thom I have been listening to your show on 92.7FM Chicago since last July when I separated from the Army. You cover a lot of great topics except I haven't heard to many actually related to service members or veterans. A couple weeks ago there was some discussion over a female soldiers custody of her child with a deployment conflict. Anyways I would love to hear something about all the veterans who are separating from service trying to take advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you are unfamiliar with this new GI Bill it is different from the Montgomery GI Bill in that you receive a housing allowance and a stipend for books. This new GI Bill went into effect 01Aug2009, or so they say. I was registered and ready for classes by the end of June 2009 which means the VA had three months to "process" my claim. I did not receive the promised housing allowance until late October almost three months into my fall semester. It is the same story with every veteran I know around the nation. Why has no one been talking about this? Of course there are many other priorities out there but this is ridiculous! You may be wondering why I am writing about this now since this happened last fall. Well it is a new semester which apparently to the VA means they have to go over every single claim again. Spring semester 2010 for me started on 21 January and now it is 01 February. Thought it was pay day but I was wrong. Should have learned my lesson last fall and saved rations so I can live. Better yet how am I suppose to even go to school if I can't buy gas to drive there. You would think that once you got into the VA system and was continuing enrollment with the same College each semester there would be no gap in payments. On top of this I am 60% disabled from the VA for PTSD and other service connected disabilities. What a great way for me to cope with the stresses I already have from combat having to worry over how I will feed myself day by day. Please start talking about this and bring it to the attention of America.
I think I have a solution to the unemployment problem as well. Take the economic growth package funds the banks are paying back and hire enough workers just to process VA claims.
Lincoln's line about government of, by and for the people is misunderstood. We always have government of the people. What we need is government of the corporations, and government by and for the people.
P.S. Note to whomever: Today is Monday, not Wednesday.
Josh - You sound like another big government liberal.
Your point makes sense to me.
@ Josh Malda............Josh,
I would like to make a suggestion. If I am not mistaken,one of the main authors of the new GI Bill(s) was Rep. Tim Walz, D. of Minnesota's 1st District. Send a letter and email to his office asking for their clarification, etc. He is a sincere and decent fellow. Send copies to your Representative. This is crucial. Let us know if you receive nothing more than a form letter response. I have a friend in Walz's office who I will bug if you don't receive adequate concern and clarification. Constituent services are usually handled seriously by their staffs, especially during election years. The least we civilian citizens can do is support those like you, who have sacrificed for our country. If you are eligible for this government program, it is reprehensible that your school couldn't assist you not only by going to bat for you but also by finding ways to extend more assistance. Please keep us informed! Two voices are better than one. Thanks for your service Josh.
Are religious cults destroying democracy? YES! The cult of laissez-faire capitalism teaches that people should worship the gods of powerful corporations and that the evil devil of government should stay out of their profits! If we want to take back our country we need to prove that this cult is a con.
One point about Mirandizing the Crotch Bomber is that the prosecution does not, in this case, need any statements from the accused to get a conviction.
They have plenty of physical evidence plus dozens of witnesses, which should suffice to convict him.
I agree about your P.S., I'm not sure or clear about what you mean with your preceding remarks however. I must be slow today. Maybe it is Wednesday?
Regarding "space program": Seems to me that the government did the initial Moon research and that is all the corporations wanted the government to do. Now the Moon is to be the property of the corporate mining industrialists. Isn't this what sci-fi writers of Western Civilization have been putting out there for years?
DDay - If I may speak for mathboy? I think he is saying there needs to be governing of corporations.
Fear is the weapon of mass destruction that elites use to control people.Even the banksters do what they do out of fear of losing money and power. We need to honor the traditions of the American peole who have stood up to the fear-mongering, ie the civil rights, women's rights, antiwar activists of our history and our present-day human rights activists, and say NO to fear. No one can oppress you without your permission.Just say NO,we refuse to buy into your fear..
It is time for this government to do the hard work it has put off for far too long. It is no longer good enough to prop voters up with tax cuts while ripping the foundation out from under them. There is a balance between government and business that has been off-kilter for some time. Now is the time for government of, by and for the people to regain its footing.
THE MILITARIZATION OF SPACE is going full speed ahead. What else can you define the use of satellites for long range bombing decisions and the use of drones but the first step? Now, under the guise of efficient energy needs, they will take LASERS into space. There is a point where we can carry our pro-science position too far, forgetting that being pro-science should not entail being pro-Dangerous Applied Science, pro-Bad Science, pro-immoral science, pro-Corporate Science for Profit, pro-Tyrannical Science, or whatever name describes best the unnacceptable decisions the few make in developing and applying science to all of us.
I know this comment is a bit late (Monday is in full effect for me today), China seems to be stepping into the Vacuum that the USSR left. We're on a fast road to conflict with them I suppose, and it looks like they're already firing their first salvo over our bow with these threats in regards to Taiwan. As Thom has said time and time again, we've been buying a lot of our military computer components from China to the point where they are the only supplier. If America doesn't take this wake up call now, we're going to take a brutal beating (especially here on the West Coast) real soon. A lot of wars have begun with trade disputes and Empire expansion. Hope Obama realizes this now, because we can't wait for the 2012 possible turnover to react to this.
What planet has Steve Forbes been living on for the past decade??!! Does he REALLY believe that the middle class is BETTER OFF today than when Dubya took office -can ANYONE be THAT FAR out of touch (at least, anyone who's never worked for Goldman-Sachs)?
Also, Charles and DDay, Thom (as well as many others) said, "We need to get back to government of the people, by the people, for the people," as if we don't currently have government of the people. That parallel phrasing in the Gettysburg Address seems to have misled or confused some people. That's all.
Steve Forbes has no connection to real people. He does not operate in the consumer credit card economy. Because he makes his money from the corporate side of the equation, he dismisses the results of banking deregulation and promotes the same disastrous policy for healthcare.
Thanks Charles, so Mathboy meant to say governance of the Corporation rather than government of the corporation? His noun should have been a verb? In that case I can agree that it is Monday too! Thanx, I feel a little better.
The Supreme Court decision passed by the court's Gang of Five was not so much about freeing Business Corporations; I agree with Thom that these Business Corporations had plenty of unethical yet legal ways to corrupt our political system, elections and government.
I think the import of the recent corporate personhood ruling by the Supreme Court was devised to allow Chruch Corporations to insert themselves fully into our government and politics -- and finally UNDO Separation of Church and State. This is the undiscovered territory that will now be settled in any challege to churches preaching politics from the pulpits and bankrolling ballot measures like California's anti-gay marriage Proposition 8. Beware.
Or maybe Lincoln's "of" means "from", as in "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed". I guess I'm one of those confused people I mentioned.
About Stevie Forbes' claim that he can't buy a NJ insurance policy in his home state: it is simply a lie that that insurance company can't sell into his home state. The problem is, that that insurance company would have to submit its plan to regulation of his home state.
His home state's voters have decided they want various regulations on insurers in is state. That's part of "federalism" that conservatives love so much.
If Forbes hates federalism, let him come out and say it. And admit that he thinks federal government regulation of insurers is preferable to state government regulation ... if that's what he thinks.
He's a big-government conservative, I guess.
@nora, weaponization of space isn't a matter of if, its a matter of when... or more to the point a matter of pointing it out when in history did it start now. I think you can say that the first V2 rocket program (Germany WWII) was the starting point. However, if you want a more specific tie to America, then look no further then the first Spy Satellite put into orbit. Reconnaissance is the first step in a lot of air power weaponization, ie the original use of airplanes in war (WWI) was scouting, then bomb dropping, then the advent of fighters. So I'd argue, that space is already weaponized, but we're just at the infancy of it right now, so its sometimes hard to see it for what it is.
@Charles & DDay - mathboy is talking about the date at the top of this page, which reads WEDNESDAY, February 1, 2010. :)
If Steve Forbes wants that cheaper insurance in Pennsylvania, he can incorporate in PA. His corporation can then purchase insurance at the lower price.
My former employer provided insurance through BCBS of Michigan even though the division I worked for was in Dayton.
RE Nels @ 11:27 --
I thought they have claimed the Earth atmosphere accessible to manned flight is not "Space/outer space".
This could be the reason the space stations, though so insanely expensive and though proved to be NOT suitable for longterm human habitation, are so important, because they attempt to extend that perception of Earth Atmosphere.
Just my read on this.
But satellites ARE being used for military and warfare. Now with H.A.A.R.P., the satellites are part of the sonar system, too, anf that means all the undersea web of nuclear sub nuke warheads.
It's a mess. And although a few groups have stayed on top of this, the corporate media and even PBS gives them NO media time.
DOUBLE STANDARD regarding "mortgages"--
Check it out:
"Gilson is frustrated that real-estate tycoons can default on a $4.4 billion mortgage, but he's not supposed to do the same on his $31,000 loan."
I am dim and slow at times but I was able to discern that much. I was using it to make a point about confusion. Man Mondays suck! Everyone is so slow on the uptake, (myself included).
I believe Lincoln meant..... of...... to mean... consisting of. By,.... meant created by and for,.... meant for the benefit.
@nora, it sounds as though we may be in agreement. If there is going to be semantics involving what really constitutes space though then sure technically we may or may not be weaponizing space (I'm not sure how far off our highest orbiting spy satellite is). I think its a moot point though. Space, like all other places humanity goes, will be weoponized to the extent any country wishes to and is capable of weaponizing it. The only way to really prevent this from happening, or roll it back would be a strong organization (stronger than the UN) that would facilitate this. I think it might be wise for those of us who really desire peace to address the failures of the UN to act as nothing more than a titular body instead of a what it was initially envisioned of as a governing body of the world governments.
Ask Forbes what he means by competition? Is it the most money or the best product? People think open capitalism will create best products - but it doesn't. Money is the competition gauge - hense we get McDonalds burgers rather than real burgers - cheapest. Mecdonald jobs are not the 'best' jobs. That is why capitalism keeps the populous poor - so they have to buy cheap products no matter how lousey the product is. So, competition via money why capitalism doesn't work for the 'people' - it keeps us poor and using cheap products.
The way to hell is paved with good intentions. Life begins at conception through natural death. My sperm has life! Life ends with wrong and immoral wars.
Religion cults are destroying America. Religion and religious groups must be taxed. Gays, Muslims, and Jews are being attacked, blamed, and ridiculed. Soon, Catholics will be attacked, blamed, and ridiculed for the Catholic Mafia’s decisions in the Supreme Court. That is why I rant and vent against some Catholics’ stinking thinking. The Catholic Church’s position on voting is to vote with your conscience. Extreme Catholic groups will preach how Catholics should vote.
Democracy is a political system and Capitalism is an economic system. Capitalism and Free Enterprise are different. Capitalists give money to people who start businesses and payback capitalists with interest on the loans. Free Enterprise is made up of people who start up businesses through their creativity and efforts. Capitalism brought us monopolies. Capitalists send jobs and money to China for profits. Capitalists have no interest in American workers and their free enterprise efforts. We need to rollback the Reagan tax cuts in order to have a functioning America. Capitalists make money on money and labor make products and something of need for us. Labor is very important to America.
Thom, thank you for the labor section on your show! We need at least one or two labor sections per week. Labor unions may have only ten percent assets for elections in comparison to corporations’ massive wealth to fund elections.
Are we heading for a war with China? “Seeds of Fire” by Gordon Thomas writes in this book that America by 2015 will have a nuclear war against each other. What is good for the goose is good for the gander!!! War, glorious war is near with China. 2015 is just around the corner! Yes, 2015 will be a glorious year for the end time and the rapture people. It is the year that America and her culture of violence will be honored.
Society does not need rich people. Society does need labor and the Middle Class. Steve Forbes, what is true competition? True competition is what they will define for it. Health companies do not want competition of any kind. They want a monopoly over our money and to increase premiums on a yearly basis of twenty to twenty-five percent. Health insurance companies spend it time dropping people and families from health care plans. We are a banana republic.
Let us start today, February 1, 2010, to be disciples of Jesus Christ!!! Let us start asking the questions have I done all that is possible to prevent unnecessary suffering and do I fight against injustices?
Was Tim Tebow's mother in the military or his father and stationed in the Philippines? A military base is subjected to American laws??? If not, please let me know!
Here are the types of commercials I would like to see at the Super Bowl Game.
Here is another type of commercial that I would like to see at the Super Bowl Game because it reminds me of my college days.
Why is America depressed?
Another glorious war!!!
I sense that the USA is speeding up plans to commence WW III!
It is time to tell the truth! We are in a Great Depression!
Obama's inexperience and lack of leadership skills will prolong our Great Depression.
On January 30, 2010 I went to confession and discuss my anger issues regarding my country. My spiritual advisor understood that I have no influence or power to change the direction of our country. He said that I need to pray and hopefully my prayers will help.
Let us start today, February 1, 2010, to be disciples of Jesus Christ!!! Let us start asking the questions have I done all that is possible to prevent unnecessary suffering and do I fight against injustices?
I'd like to have the GAO score this tax plan. First, there would no longer be a difference between income and capital gains tax...and the categories would be as follows:
$0-$25,000 - No Federal Tax
$25,000-$50,000 - 5%
$50,000-$75,000 - 10%
$75,000-$100,000 - 15%
$100,000-$125,000 - 20%
$125,000-$150,000 - 25%
$150,000-$200,000 - 30%
$200,000-$300,000 - 35%
$300,000-$500,000 - 40%
$500,000-$750,000 - 45%
$750,000-$1,000,000 - 50%
$1,000,000-$2,000,000 - 55%
$2,000,000+ - 60%
Score Ron's tax plan!
""One nation under Wall Street..Indivisible from the fall of Rome...with liberty and justice for all WHO CAN AFFORD IT..." Jello Biafra.
"" The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.""--Adam Smith
–Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations, vol. 1, pt. xi, p.10 (at the conclusion of the chapter)(1776)
James Bovard"" Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.""
Corporate Personhood is one wolf given "special rights" to devour the other two, granted a patent on the process of digestion, and exempted from the "personal responsibility" of cleaning up his own crap.
"All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others."--"Animal Farm," George Orwell. Welcome to Corporate "government." Government for you, anarchy for them...
I’m not sure what Barack Obama’s televised chit-chat with House Republicans accomplished, other than exposing once more the fallacy of “working” with these people; any useful idea that helps working people is simply too far to the left for Republicans, and whatever “ideas” that they might have are apparently contained in a 27-page booklet that more-or-less compiles right-wing talking points over the past year; the “devil,” as they say, is in the details, and Republicans—as the president repeatedly insinuated—need to focus on details rather than talking points.
But I don’t care about that now. A couple of Fridays ago, a caller, voice quaking palpable detestation, made immigrant workers the axis of his complaint against businesses, and Tom thought his view was wonderful. I intended to comment on it the following Monday, but decided to let it slide; I have more than once wrote here about my rejection of Thom’s giving aid and comfort to xenophobes and bigots—which is what he did the last time he attended a “convention” in Washington, D.C. concerning immigration-cum-anti-“Mexican” free-for-all. But this past Thursday, during an interview with a teamsters’ representative, the issue of farming out car-hauling to cheaper, non-union transport came up. Was it a shock that the villain of first rank that came to Thom’s mind was “Mexican?” Not to me; I’ve heard too often before.
The Teamsters representative, to his credit, refused to join Thom in this bit of blatant scapegoating. He is probably aware of the fact that unlike Canadian truck drivers, Mexican truck are still not allowed to travel beyond 25 miles of the border, a bald violation the NAFTA agreement. There was a brief and limited experiment with a few Mexican companies permitting long-haul, door-to-door access in the U.S., but this was discontinued in a spending bill last year. “Safety” issues are always cited, but political expediency is the real reason. If jobs and not prejudice was the unions’ and teamsters’ sole issue, then why focus on Mexicans drivers and not Canadian? And since we’re on the issue of unions, while it would be of some benefit if everyone was a member of a union, although economies of scale make it tough row to hoe, in the global economy. On the other hand, so-called “right to work,” is often referred in disparaging terms, but not entirely deserved, since in most union settings, hiring discrimination is a matter of fact. Oh, and by the way, if only something like 10 percent of the American workforce is currently unionized, that leaves an awful lot of non-union whites to car-haul, and in all probability that they are the ones who are doing the hauling.
So if it isn’t Mexican national car-haulers, then who could Thom be talking about in such a derisive, mean-spirited manner? “Mexicans” in the generality living in the U.S.? Does he mean the 28 million Latinos in this country (of whom 17 million are of Mexican extraction) who are U.S. citizens, and the about 4 million who are currently eligible for naturalization? When people talk about “Mexicans” it is often meant as a kind of slur, and certainly meaning to box them in an “alien” setting. And this despite the fact that the entire southwestern portion of this country offers ample evidence of the very reality of its Spanish heritage. At this point, I think a recently-concocted fallacy should be “cleared-up.” The term “ethnically-based” prejudice seems to become a popular catch-phrase among whites (because it makes them seem less guilty), and by blacks who want to be “top dog,” of victimization, I suppose. But enough of such hypocritical, self-serving posturing. When people think of a “Mexican,” they are thinking of people who are either wholly or partly indigenous Indian, and these people are no more an “ethnicity” than Native Americans or Barack Obama. Skin color and non-Caucasian features is what people gut react to. Let’s call it what it is: racism. Racism, and not his “ethnicity,” was the motivating factor behind the killing of Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, PA, and a federal grand jury recently found evidence of the involvement of indicted law enforcement officers (including the Shenandoah police chief) in aiding and abetting the killers; shades of Neshoba County, Mississippi. Obama no doubt was referring to this case in his State of the Union address when he announced that the Justice Department was going to take hate crimes more seriously than the previous administration.
I would like to think that Thom’s attitude is a product of listening to his xenophobe friends who somehow see the “Mexicans” as the root cause of all their problem that cannot be directly attributed to “big government,” and not something that has always exists somewhere in dark corner of his mind that occasionally exits his mouth in the most disturbing fashion. But his reflexive scapegoating of “Mexicans” without basis of fact might suggest the latter. I wonder if Thom has ever employed a Latino, since he makes no pretense to be sensitive to the effect of the things that he says or how they are taken. I also must say I his leftist compatriots on the radio rarely share this failing of his.
Other issues seem to confound Thom; certain uncomfortable facts include: the U.S. charges on average 2 percent in tariffs on imports. In makes absolutely no sense whatever to conclude that our trade with NAFTA and CAFTA partners accounts for all of this. It is because so many countries have been given “most favored nation status” that the government only has a list of those who are not on it? Can Paul Begala be right in refuting Thom’s single-minded focus on the overweening evils of NAFTA? What does it all mean? It means that unlike the member nations of NAFTA and CAFTA, the countries that we have given MFN status have no obligation or rules to follow when it comes to allowing U.S. exports into their country. China, for example, has repeatedly violated GATT rules for the most arbitrary reasons; a recent example is charging the same high tariff rates on imported car parts as an imported car if enough imported parts are used in its manufacture. China also illegally charges high tariffs on U.S.-made auto engines, because of arbitrary size restrictions. The only country that benefits from high tariffs in NAFTA, on the other hand, is the U.S., whose farmers are protected from Mexican produce.
In regard to illegal immigration, there are intelligent ways to talk about it; you just don’t hear about it here, just as you wouldn’t on a typical right-wing station (Begala did say that Thom was sounding like a Republican). California actor-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in fact may be an illegal citizen; his legal status was an issue (briefly) during his campaign, although it was little noted by the mainstream media. It does appear that at the very least that under current statutes he would have been an illegal alien during the 1960s and 70s, when he was in the country flexing his steroid-bloated physique. But in anycase, the U.S. work visa program, which for all practical purposes discriminates against Mexican workers while allowing European and Asian “guest” workers to take high-wage jobs (funny how pundits only worry about who’s getting the low-wage jobs) is largely to blame for the illegal alien problem. There were illegal aliens here when unemployment was 4 percent, which most economists consider normal turnover. 23 million new jobs were created during the Clinton administration (compared to 3 million during the Bush administration), and there was doubtless some necessity for many employers to hire people without inquiring into their legal status. I once read of an (essentially) anti-Mexican town hall meeting somewhere in which a white man told a farmer that he had no problem traveling a 200 miles and sleeping in a car or ramshackle billeting to pick vegetables—if he was paid $30 an hour. Such rhetorical outbursts are, of course, nothing more than counterfeit blustering, and on the face of it unproductive as well as having no basis in reality. I have already told the story of how a local horse racing track had a problem finding people to work as grooms after an inexplicable failure to grant work visas to their usual Mexican guest workers, who seemed to be the only people willing to do the work. After spending $6,000 on advertising in local trade publications, only two “natives” responded to the ads, and neither wanted to do the work; luckily, after three months, the work visas were inexplicably granted to the Mexican grooms. How many businesses in the same situation can stay in business for three months without because they couldn’t find “natives” willing to do the work? If employers could count on a guest worker program that made a micron of sense, illegal workers would have a much harder time finding work here.
Thom doesn’t have to live with the effects of insensitive, dehumanizing insinuations that are often based on deliberate misinformation to advance a populist “cause,” but I do. People who are predisposed to prejudice have negative gut reactions first, and think later; I have often had this experience with police, particularly when I open my mouth and “big” words in unaccented English come out. 30 million people are not “aliens” in this country, but people who regard themselves as Americans. Instead, what we have local California politicians who are “proud” to be racists at an anti-“Mexican” rally—and the back of the hand that I often hear from Thom and some of his callers, insulting in its blanket scapegoating and dehumanization. Individuals may have faults, but applying faults to whole groups (as the “mainstream” media is want to do? Thanks to Thom, I am continuously aware that I live in a different world with a different set of priorities than his and most of his listeners, and that prejudice exists even in the “progressive” world, and that bigotry lives, and racism never dies.
I have noted many, many instances here where I have experienced behavior and actions that can only be explained by stereotyping and prejudice. I’ll add to that the fact that I have filed several complaints against bus drivers working for King County Metro, for behavior that I believe derives from an entrenched discriminatory attitude at Metro; in 17 years of riding buses I have never seen a Latino bus driver. I once heard a black bus driver angrily tell another that Latinos must think that they are “on top” because of census tabulations that put their number higher than blacks. On top of what, society’s dung heap? On one occasion, I was waiting at a stop when the driver deliberately sped past me while I waited at the designated stop point, only hitting the breaks some 40 feet further to the curb; one passenger evacuated the bus, and the door was slammed shut as soon as she stepped off. The bus immediately pulled out. Just one small problem: I had caught-up to the bus, and my arm was wedged in the door, and I was dragged a few feet. Since there were witnesses, the driver was obliged to stop and open the door, and he spent the next 10 minutes profusely apologizing after I informed him I would be filing a complaint, since this might be a firing offense. But then again, animals don’t have rights humans are bound to respect.