Daily Topics - Thursday - March 25th 2010

hate crimes imagesQuote:  “It demands great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck, and an even greater miracle of perception and charity not to teach your child to hate." -- James Arthur Baldwin

Hour One - Is the climate of hate being fostered by Tea Parties and Republicans today as dangerous as the climate of hate in the 60's that led to the assassinations John, Robert & Martin? Lamar Waldron www.legacyofsecrecy.com

Hour Two - Senator Ron Wyden wyden.senate.gov What about the mandates?

Hour Three - Why do right wingers insist that Democrats are responsible for the violence? Matthew Vadum www.capitalresearch.org


Nels (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

re: War is mass insanity; "two armies killing each other is one great army committing suicide." -Henry Barbusse

Albatross (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

This isn't really about Republicans or Democrats, or about liberals and conservatives. The people who call themselves "conservatives" now are actually "authoritarians." They worship the false idol of power. Those whom they acknowledge as authorities - the Church, the military, and conservative rulers - are to obeyed without question.

These "conservatives" oppose "liberalism." This is nothing more than tribalism. The word "liberal" has no real or literate meaning in this sense, it's simply a substitute for "not of our tribe." Anyone who espouses any philosophy EXCEPT authoritarianism is a defacto liberal.

Liberals, in the authoritarian worldview, have no legitimate claim to any authority (which is of course the right of the authoritarians.) That's why we're seeing this incredible resistance to President Obama and to Democratic leadership... EVEN by some Democrats. Because those Democrats are, also, authoritarians, and they still see power as only legitimately held by other authoritarians - in this case Republicans (or, likely, themselves individually).

The worldview of the authoritarians is that authoritarians who hold power deserve that power, have earned it by some primitive pecking-order advancement to the top, and must be unquestioningly obeyed. That's why Fox News and Republicans in general can get away with spouting absolute nonsense, and self-contradictory ideas, and they lose no support. IOKIYAR, It's OKay If You're A Republican, is really IOKIYAA, It's OKay If You're An Authoritarian. This is a PHILOSOPHICAL difference of opinion with the rest of society, not a religious one.

The WORST thing for authoritarians is for power to be held by someone not of their tribe. In that case, any and all means are justifiable to purge the now-corrupted authority system and restore the normal order of authoritarian rule. And any undertakings by non-authoritarian rulers MUST be opposed. Democracy itself is only acceptable when authoritarians are elected: that's why you're seeing the meme "America is a REPUBLIC not a DEMOCRACY" making the rounds as the authoritarians try to justify opposing the democratic porcess.

This battle is between authoritarians and small-d democrats. It's those who value power versus those who value democracy. And this fight isn't going away. As egalitarianism and democratic principles grow, authoritarians are going to become a smaller and more desperate minority, and that's where the danger is for all of us.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Someone needs to tell the "Republican balcony group" what happened to Robespierre at the end of the reign of terror. They might think twice about their actions.

Julia (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

No worries, folks. Minitru is on it, and once they get their corrections out, everything will be doubleplus good.

bravobravo (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Thom just went off on a caller who was talking about people being frustrated and that its a good thing the politicians are afraid of us. Let me ask Thom this...what if citizens tossed bricks thru empty windows of pols who sell out the taxpayers they represent to corportate interests? Can we spit on those people and call them names? Or are we supposed to lay back and enjoy the screwing we are getting? The ballot box will not change anything when both parties are nothing but corporate whores who will do anything to please their masters. 3rd party revolution? Are you kidding? Check out the laws in your state to get on the ballot and all the legal stuff required to run...the big parties have made it incredibly difficult for a 3rd party to rise to power. So what are we to do Thom? Vote for the least worst candidate? That got us where we are now...10,000,000,000,000.00 plus in debt.....havent won a war in forever....killing innocents for a globalist agenda...selling out your own workers to improve the bottom line of multi-national corporations and of course bailing out asshole bankers who gambled and lost and then the taxpayer takes the fall for the losses. I do not support the Tea Party types because of ideology, but I absolutely support their methods...because they wont listen otherwise...money talks in DC and we the people are at best a campaign prop or a punchline.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

I think the Democrats (like any animal) has found that fighting back is the only thing to do when cornered.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

To Osama B. Laden, we have a much better punishment then death in store for KSM. He'll get a TV in his cell that's get's two things, Fox News and Reality TV programming. After 10 hrs of Jersey Shore he'll be begging for a hanging.

Mark K (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Thom asks how do we stop the hate. I don’t think you can stop it, just subvert the conditions in which it thrives. For example, I have said this many, many times here on this blog that I feel that the so-called mainstream media has helped foster an atmosphere conducive to hate by portraying certain groups in strictly negative terms. There are over 30 million Latinos in this country who are U.S. citizens or legal residents. But what do we see on television? Illegal immigrants, people running through the desert, people climbing fences, people being arrested, businesses getting busted, drug violence. That’s about 95 percent of it. How can those who even claim to be free from bigotry not be effected by this? Every time a black male celebrity or sports icon is accused of a crime or some activity that offends tender sensitivities—usually something that has to do with sex—the media finds it impossible to control itself. Why? Because it’s a ratings winner. The need to stereotype and feed commonly-held beliefs is always lurking somewhere; it just needs a visual spark to ignite.

Political discourse, of course, can foster an atmosphere of hate. In the South and other Republican bastions, white politicians have always played-off working-class whites against blacks (and blacks against Latinos). They know that working class whites and minorities have more in common economically than with the social and economic elites (practically all U.S. senators, except maybe Obama when he was one, are millionaires), but race separation has been ingrained in the fabric of Southern discourse, like an ugly tattoo you can’t get rid of. In 1990, Harvey Gantt seemed poised to defeat Jesse Helms; but Helms knew his voter, and at the last minute appealed to lingering racial paranoia with his infamous ad. When Harold Ford Jr. was making Bob Corker sweat in the 2006 Tennessee senatorial race, Corker released a radio ad with jungle drums, and later the TV ad featuring Ford in the company of a blond white woman, which, not amazingly enough, was sufficient to incite the racist paranoia to put Corker over the top by a few thousand votes.

I don’t know. Even in Democratic bastions where you would think such tactics have less play, there are always other issues, like jobs and access to higher education, that excites the need to differentiate. As I said at the top, the best that can be done is to reduce the toxic emissions in the atmosphere that allow hate to thrive.

MontyPDX (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

This current infatuation with the language of violence might be considered in the context of the way American History has been taught for generations. Kids learn that the country was founded in revolution and settled by violence beginning with the Indian wars prior to the American Revolution and continuing through Afghanistan. Kids memorize the names of generals and dates of famous battles. The recurring message is that freedom exists only because people took up arms, killed and died.

Left out, or minimized, is a serious discussion of how this violence was manipulated by people in positions of economic power to divide the masses into competing factions while the elites remain safe and secure with their wealth. The issue of class conflict is derided as "communist" propaganda, and a series of "Horatio Algers" are trotted out to prove that in our "free society" anyone can succeed.

But, an increasing number of people are not successful and are looking for someone to blame. Once again the media elite are defining the problem in terms of black and white, Left and Right. The mob is being incited to take out it's wrath against the instruments of democratic power -- congress, and a black president -- rather than look deeper to see who holds the real power over an economic system that is turning the middle and working classes into modern day serfs and vassals to the corporate "nobility".

With the stupidity of the recent Texas board of Education decision about text books, we see once again that evolution towards a civil, communitarian, secular society is not going to come through education, or a different historical paradigm. The Christians long for the return of Jesus, which, can only happen through the violent upheaval of "Armageddon". The Fascists long for a society that runs under the authoritarian rules of the Corporation, effected by the totalitarian police state. For both groups, violence is essential for the ultimate plan to unfold.

Anyhow, while I think I understand the problem, I'm not sure I can see an answer so long as violence and blood bring more profit than losses to those at the top.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

@ Albatross

I agree with your general theme but believe it is much more complicated than your postulate that there are only two types of citizens the authoritarians vs, the democrats. Oh that it was so. The lives of political professionals would be so much easier. The are sores of types and subsets. Identifying the issues that bring otherwise diverse groups together to form blocks of votes is usually the key to political success. It is a lot like chemistry and forming new bonds between different elements. The combinations are almost infinite. It is a battle for the middle group, (independents), who form no lasting bonds with either side.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

correction: Make that scores of types and subsets.

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

@Nels:re: democrats..their usual tactic is to form a commission to study the issue. and Osama (were he still alive) would get a guest shot on "Dancing with the Stars", paired with Jane Fonda.

Wendy (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

That's regulation - not fascism!!

Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

There is no doubt that pols received thousands of calls over the weekend. What is not tallied is how many calls were pro and con.

Albatross (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

@DDay: thanks for your comments. I agree that the world is more complex than authoritarians vs. democrats, but how complex can I get in a comment box? I think for the purposes of political analysis this categorization scheme is useful for explaining several phenomena, like the habituation of some Democrats to seek Republican approval, the reluctance of so-called Christians to support a health care bill that promotes the Biblical calls to help the poor and sick, and the real meaning behind the words "conservative" and "liberal," which have so drifted from their literate meaning as to be nearly useless. There's nothing "conservative" about opposing the democratic process, and there's little "liberal" about Obama (IMHO), but translate that into "Authoritarian teabaggers oppose Obama's democratic policies" and suddenly it makes sense.

Gene Savory (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Remember that the quality of health care is not the same as access to health care. The USA may have the "best" health care in the world, but that's irrelevant to the argument.

Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

I almost thought I tuned into Rush by mistake. Glad the break finally came.

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Yes, Matthew, the rich go to the front of the line no matter where you go.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago


For me, your conversation with Matthew vadum was a waste of airtime and stomach bile. I wish you wouldn't give this same old crap the time that you do.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

@ Albatross

Agreed and well said. >>>God I'm starting to sound like Thom>>>>I better get outta here! :-0

Albatross (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

@bravobravo. Wrong. The way you oppose policies that you don't like in a democracy is through words, and at the ballot box. Violence to support what you consider to be "worthwhile" goals undermines democracy and will result in an authoritarian state where you will have NO input into policy at all. You'd prefer that?

The temptation to violence can be strong, but it is inevitably self-destructive. As frustrating as working within the system can be, it will in the end result in preferable outcomes for everybody than will violence. Even revolution can only be a last resort, when there truly is NO input into policy, because revolution risks introducing something much worse and much harder to remove than a representative democracy, however flawed.

Quell your frustration, redirect that energy into hard work, and bring about change patiently and persistently. To do otherwise is to attempt to put out a fire by drowning it with gasoline.

Rick in Canadia (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

As a Canadian, I apologize for this guy; his 'Fraser Institute' is our 'Heritage Foundation'..
Bull (moose) pucky, the lot.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Before I go...Hey Quark! I've missed you. Are you going to Duluth on the 23rd.?

Paul (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Rick's got it right. I've lived in Toronto all my life and have had a lot of illness in my immediate family and the wait times are over rated. Critical situations go to the front of the cue.

How is it that the DCCC or whoever has never conducted a poll of Canadians about our health care system? I guarantee you it will be in the 60-70% approval range, at a minimum.


LeMoyne (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Amendment 1 to the US Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The 1st Amendment guarantees all those on the left and the right who hold the legitimate strong disagreement with the government mandate to buy health insurance from private corporations to PEACEABLY assemble on the Capitol lawn. The 1st Amendment is no guarantee of the right to throw bricks at Congressional offices, yell hate speech at and send images of lynching to members or Congress. It is certainly not a guarantee of the right to purposeful spitting on members of Congress.

The Democrats are responsible only indirectly. By passing what is essentially a Republican plan (mandate without public option) they disheartened their progressive/liberal base. If they were voting for a strong public option there would have been more people happily partying on the Capitol Lawn than angrily spitting. The Democrats are responsible only in that they did not emphasize the obvious: all the rights in the Constitution dont amount to a bucket of spit if you're dead - the right to life is primary and a priori essential to all other rights.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago


I missed you, too! I don't think so, but my husband is. (DDay, I have had to back off due to the PTSD I have been suffering...)

DDay (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

I've forgotten what a smart group it is in large part that gathers here. WELL SAID LeMoyne!

Tim (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

So if political connections get you to the front of the line in Canada health care system why didn't the Governer of whatever he was in Canada just have his heart operation in Canada instead of coming to Florida?
The facts are he wanted a less invasive procedure that wouldn't leave a scar and they didn't see that as a viable operation in Canada so he came to Florida close to his winter home and paid for it himself.

These people make me scream.

glenn N (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

re canadian health care:

which is better:
in canada, actually seeing a doctor, being evaluated, getting immediate care if you need it, and getting placed on a waiting list if your condition is considered non- urgent (ie, triage)


is usa, being one of the 45,000 people who will die each year because they cannot even reach the first step of seeing a doctor

if the system in canada is "rationed" health care, I will take that every time over our system

DDay (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

@ Quark

I'm sorry to hear about your struggles. I've been absent here for some time until today. Sometimes life's curveballs have a way of changing itineraries. I sure would like to meet the artist. Tell him to bring you along. Duluth has some pretty good restaurants you know. Tell me how to find him, will you? What is his SD in the Second CD? (That is code that you'll understand). Be good to yourself. People care about you. You come up and I'll buy you dinner!

DDay (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago


The first time a MANDATE was ever suggested for Health care was in 1993. It was proposed by Bob Dole and Chuck Grassley, both Republicrits.

SalmonNationWoman (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Tried to call in but couldn't get through...
The lady caller that told her story of discrimination and being arrested when she called to report bad neighbors and their dogs isn't isolated.

A few years ago while disabled and on crutches, I called the police to report a neighbor that drives drunk all the time and uses his sportscar to scare and intimidate residents of our small neighborhood.

This time he nearly ran me down right outside of my house. When the officer arrived I was the one interrogated, profiled as if I was the criminal and threatened with arrest for calling in a drunk driver!

I had to defuse the situation with the officer, not the other way around. This officer was Hispanic. I thought he'd be a little more sensitive but he was as much of a sexist as the drunk neighbor trying to intimidate me. When I calmed him down by explaining that being nearly run over by a crazed drunk is very upsetting and disturbing, can't he understand why I'm angry and shaking? I further explained the drunk had been scaring other neighbors with racial hatred. He then asked about my ancestry. I answered, but I think for him to even ask that is racial profiling.

When he finally calmed down he glibly said there's nothing he can do about the drunk neighbor but possibly have a talk with him.

Why should I, the victim, be subject to such harrassment and threats while public safety is abandoned?

I've experienced many incidences of sexist discrimination from doctors, nurses and staff in both hospitals and clinics to the point I've changed my advanced directive to include I will not, under any circumstances, stay overnight in a hospital, even if it could hasten my demise.

I've been debating with my boyfriend and myself whether I should get a taser and pepper spray for self-defense. Self-defense classes are great but don't address the needs of those with physical limitations. I don't like violence but to even be considering this is justified considering all that's happened.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

The second time a mandate was brought up in the area of health care was by Mitt Romney in 2004. A Republicrit also.

Thomas Jode (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

We need hope.

SalmonNationWoman (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

We've had rationing since Nixon signed into law the establishments of HMO's. Thank you Kaiser Permanente.

BTW- Kaiser Foundation is a non-profit but the side that runs the hospitals and hires doctors, nurses and staff is a for-profit corporation that doesn't care one iota about people.

Rick in Canadia (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Glad to see this bill as at least some progress and opening the door for single payer etc.. All along I have been wondering;
After maybe the first year of things like the 85% benefits and other measures, will the insurance companies be filing lawsuits to get back their 'lost revenues'?

I'm sure your Supreme Board of Directors would rule in their favour.

SalmonNationWoman (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

I lived in Australia under their Medicare system and never felt more secure in my life. Neither my ex-husband nor I experienced anything that could be construed as a deficiency or rationing. While I was there fro only a few years, the ex lived there for decades.

California has managed to get single-payor through the state assembly twice only to be vetoes by Arnold the Pig Gropenator. I can't wait for Nov. to get Jerry Brown into office.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

@SalmonNationWoman, don't take it for granted that Brown will be our next Gov.

Rick in Canadia (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

Same here; It is the lack of that fear. I think of my parents who both needed serious care before and after retirement age. They had paid down a modest house along the way.
When one of them went into the hospital, did they have the fear of bankruptcy or losing their home? NO.

How much is that peace of mind worth, in absolute terms or even for health itself? Along with preventive care being covered (How many babies will be saved by just that? That's a number that needs to be brought up the rest of the year!) I think the US is on the way to a healthier future.

pahrumplife (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

www.pahrumplife.org writes: Although venting is to some extent healthy, because feeling good about a prideful remark can be exhilarating and produce at least a little satisfaction, to this end I can’t help wanting to say of Americans in general right now, as I quote Zora Neale Hurston, “My people! My people!” and that the greedy “powers that be” are pushing your buttons big time for profit and as such are having their way with you and, as his sponsors, with Mr. Olbermann.

I only ask that you devote as much time and energy - for positive change - into innovatively working within the system as you do for venting. For example, initiate a fool-proof no-cheating voting system, so that elections will be impossible to fix. And remember, addicts (including greed addicts) will do just about anything for a fix.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 10 years 27 weeks ago

I enjoy commenting but it is also a relaxing feeling just reading the comments of other persons.

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