Daily Topics - Tuesday March 16th 2010

evolution 3 imagesQuote:  Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. ~Edward Everett

Hour One - Are the Democrats able to stop the banksters from creating a new great depression? Tim Duncan http://businessforfinancialreform.net

Hour Two -  Is it child abuse to homeschool your children with books from Bob Jones University? with Michael J. McHugh "The Christian Educator" www.homeschools.org & Professor Jerry Coyne, PhD http://pondside.uchicago.edu/ecol-evol/people/coyne.html

Hour Three - How has capitalism been used by the new robber barron predators to destroy America's middle class? Barry C. Lynn The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction www.newamerica.net


Quark (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Just out ---

"The vanishing liberal:
How the left learned to be helpless"


The last paragraph of this very interesting piece:

"Coming to power when he did, with the political skills and the majorities he possesses, Barack Obama squandered an almost unprecedented opportunity. But it is increasingly clear that he never intended to challenge the power structure he had so skillfully penetrated. With the recent Supreme Court ruling that corporations are, once more, people, American democracy has snapped shut again—the great, forced opening of the past 130 years has ended. There is no longer any meaningful reformist impulse left in our politics. The idea of modern American liberalism has vanished among our elite, and simply voting for one man or supporting one of the two major parties will not restore it. The work will have to be done from the ground up, and it will have to be done by us."

I don't know if the link above will work if one is not a subscriber. If not, I will be glad to post the enitre article here if anyone requests it.

Mark K (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Washington’s 9th Congressional District was created after the 1990 Census, and was intended to be one of those “competitive” districts where whether you voted for a Democrat or Republican depended on what side of the bed you rolled off on. Adam Smith, a Democrat who is the principle target of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ads I’ve seen, is a “moderate,” so it is obvious why he is being targeted. I sent him my two-bit opinion, reminding him that the people who oppose the health care bill don’t want a better bill, they don’t want a bill at all. The question then is whether the country needs health care reform, and if it does, then there is no constructive alternative but to vote for the bill that eventually comes down. Only once the provisions of the bill go through the test of real world application will we know what works and what needs to be altered. Access for all has to be the primary concern, and then cost—which includes finding ways of cutting down on skyrocketing health care inflation (far in excess of any other consumer “product”), and unneeded or duplicate procedures.

Mark K (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Sometimes I wonder what the word “progressive” is supposed to mean, at least by Thom’s standard.. On Friday and again on Monday, Thom in tone disparaged former United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez, who I had the privilege to hear speak in Sacramento (along with Jerry Brown and Jesse Jackson) a few years before he died. Of course, I can’t say that I’m that not surprised that Thom would condescend a man who was then speaking on behalf of public employees whose health care benefits were under threat—if he’s a Latino, he doesn’t “count.” Point-of-fact, the reason why I started posting here almost a year ago was because I was tired of Thom’s and his callers’ anti-Latino screeds going unanswered.

For the sake of eliminating any complete dearth of knowledge that some people might have on who Cesar Chavez was, he was a native-born U.S. citizen, worked with Saul Alinsky, a noted community and labor activist in his time, organized farm workers and led strikes against various California produce industries (most notably grape producers)—famously going on a hunger strike before breaking bread with Robert Kennedy. His labor bargaining skills impressed the Teamsters Union (who like the rest of the country had little previous interest in improving the lot of farm workers)—so much so that they tried to muscle-in on his turf, creating their own competing farm workers union. After years of conflict and with the support of the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters were forced to recognize the UFW as having the sole right to organize farm workers.

It doesn’t surprise me that someone would link Chavez with terrorists, but Thom should know better than to pass on such base ignorance to listeners, even he is just a “Mexican.”

In regard to other things said yesterday, as I remarked in a post last week in the wake of the Jihad Jane arrest, white folks don’t seem to get all that worked-up over issues of privacy so long as it is only dark-skinned people being discomfited by it—it’s only when the net is expanded to include them that it causes concern. Also, in regard to “caging lists,” a court in the state of Washington has already ruled that a state law banning convicted felons who have completed their sentences from voting was unconstitutional and violated the Voting Rights Act; the question then is why nobody in Florida has taken the caging list issue to court, seeking to ban their use on the same grounds used in the Washington court ruling.

Quark (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Excellent Critique of Dodd Financial Reform Bill

Steve Pearlstein of the Washington Post gives a thoughtful assessment of the Dodd bill (video):


margaret m walsh (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago


a CURE-ALL -- hummm --

employers could hire great employees --
knowing this --
each employee comes with a life time of medical benefits --
because the employer has collected their federal income taxes --

more employees make a healthy economy --


i suggest tying it together for your lawmakers --
the lobbyist are distorting the beauty --
of the PUBLIC securing their own PUBLIC PHYSICAL + ECONOMIC HEALTH --

thank-you for your consideration --
with so many options -- MM

Gene Savory (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

A free market is free in the same sense that a reality show is real. (Stolen from a good source.)

Quark (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Mark K,

I didn't get to hear Thom's complete shows lately so I don't know what he said regarding Cesar Chavez. I am familiar with Chavez' work, though, and I have always considered him to be a hero who stood up for the rights of the so-called "little guy" that makes up the backbone of this country.

Re: Florida caging list lawsuit. "Justice" is not only blindfolded in this country, she is bound, gagged and fighting for her life as well.


Cheryl Kasson (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

I will definitely wait to hear the hour-two discussion of the topic:
"Is it child abuse to homeschool your children with books from Bob Jones University? "

As a politically progressive former homeschooling mom, current qualified evaluator of homeschooled students in the state of Colorado, holder of a Ph.D in education, and a former teacher in public and private schoolsI have a unique perspective on this topic.

I would never use material from Bob Jones University and other conservative Christian sources with my daughter or other students. However, when I interview homeschooling parents and children to do academic evaluations, I don't feel it's my place to question their religions, politics, teaching styles, philosophies of education, or the teaching materials they use. If the children are making academic progress in all academic subjects, I am fairly satisfied.

In my experience, even the most conservative, curriculum-bound homeschooling families I have interviewed offer their children rich and varied experiences in the community, as well as individual attention and opportunities for the children to learn at their own pace.

I may not agree with everything they're teaching their children about history or science, but it's not my place to judge the way they're raising their children, if they are not neglecting or abusing them. Just my opinion.

trevor (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Why is the department of homeland security not protecting us from financial terrorists?

If their job really is to make the "homeland" secure shouldn't they be pushing "protectionist" policies in order to make this country more self reliant and secure???

Gene Savory (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Just speculating; how about renaming The House of Representatives to The House of Reprehensibles?

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

YEWWW!!!! McHugh just opinion-casted all over your shoes.


Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Once a person claims the Earth is 7,000 years old, the conversation is over.

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

"People should choose the facts that they want to believe".

I choose to believe that the world is flat.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago


trevor (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

As sad as it is, fact is only fact when you believe it.... it becomes well known fact when most people believe it.

Karl Rove is proof of this...

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Bishop Ussher calculated the age of the earth to be 6000-7000 years old

mathboy (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Thom, get Michael J. McHugh on the fact that "secular" doesn't mean "atheist". Secular things don't deny religious ideas. He asked what's wrong with presenting an alternative world view. The answer is that it's a problem when it's not presented as an alternative; they present their view as fact, and in contradiction with science.

Gene Savory (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Our alleged educational system is being corrupted and bent to an authoritarian model that tries to inoculate our children with complete nonsense garnered from an ancient compendium of nomadic fairy tales.

Anjha (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Re: Child Abuse or Religious Freedom

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

When Creationists cite ancient scientists from BEFORE we knew the world was ancient, as evidence that the world is not ancient, they commit a basic logic flaw whose name I forget. It's like citing someone who doesn't speak English as an argument that English doesn't exist.

Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

I was tought that 1 day of the Lord was equal to 1000 years. If man was created on Day 6, that math does not make sense.

Mugsy (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago


The argument that the World is only 6-7000 years old is derived from the argument that when God "created the universe in 6 days", they meant 6 LITERAL days... or one 24 hour rotation of the Earth.

Now tell me, if Light wasn't created until the "sixth" day, then there was no "24 hour day" by which to apply to the preceding 5. How to you calculate a "day" before there was an Earth or a Sun?

"Day" meaning "24 hours" is a human construct. There is NO reason "day" in Genesis couldn't refer to a billion years or more.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Last night as I was trying to get to sleep, something occurred to me that I'd like to share. Often the progressive movement holds protests, but I haven't heard of the progressive movement holding rally's. I know some might say "What's the difference?" Well to me a protest organizes to address only one or very few issues, and generally in a confrontational setting. A rally I would submit, could be held to encompass as many progressive issues possible in an educational setting, like going to a trade show to learn about the latest tech. Progressive group representatives could have booths in which they can handout literature as well as discuss their views with visitors. Consider walking down an aisle where you could visit the Democratic Party booth, Green Party booth, then the Medical Reform booth, Green Tech booth, etc... on the way to the main stage area where perhaps a band is playing or a local progressive candidate is giving a stump speech.

My thought isn't trying to make these rally's super-massive, but more or less trying to get a couple of thousand people to go through it. Perhaps holding it at a college parking lot, or regional park. Think about your local metropolitan area doing these rally's biannually or quarterly. I think it would be a very positive way to get out the progressive message, while being difficult for the Corporate ran media outlets from treating it as " just a bunch of angry protesters"

Does this make sense to anyone?

Anjha (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

[Crap. Sorry bout that. Did not mean to post that blank.]

Re: Child Abuse or Religious Freedom

I believe, as a free society, parents have the right {and the responsibility} to bring up their children according to their own belief system. I also believe that parents have a responsibility to teach their children other people's points of view and belief systems.

However, there comes a line that when one crosses it, it is no longer religion it is now a cult. A cult is realized when the believer no longer accepts reality and instead creates their own.

Calling scientific fact a "different point of view" is clearly a good indicator of a cult.

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

...it's like saying "George Washington had wooden teeth, therefore wooden teeth is the best form of dentistry!"

Gene Savory (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Religious 'education' is child abuse.

Anjha (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Not only is it abusive; it is crazy making.

Think of the neurosis created when one realizes that what they have been told is real is not real at all.

Damn. Poor kids. Not only are they bringing up these children intellectually inept - they are completely unable to relate to other people (who are reality based) so their social network will be constrained to people who believe the same way.

mathboy (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Gene Savory,

I agree with everything but the nomadic part. My interpretation of Genesis Ch. 2 is that it explains the difference between farmers (Adam and Eve, because of the expulsion from Eden) and nomads (everyone else).

margaret m walsh (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

17. Principle of Evolutionary Creation. Creation is not a one time process.
The process of creation is continuous, directed and evolutionary. Creation and evolution are two sides of the same coin. The proper term that should be used is "Evolutionary Creation". from the Existence of God is Self-Evident 2006 by Master Choa Kok Sui (my teacher)

moonbat666 (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

If anyone wants to read a recommended post by Jerry Coyne, go to http//scinceblogs.com/pharyngula/ or PHARYNUGULA , This fits in perfectly with the interview.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Creationism is NOT a theory.

Mugsy (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

"Creationism is NOT a theory."

Correct. Fairy tales are not "theory", they are literature.

harry ashburn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Under the Noah's ark scenario....how did fresh-water fish survive?

harry ashburn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Maybe Noah had a big fresh-water tank in the hold of the ark?

Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

@ Harry

God must have intervened to allow them to survive. Or, maybe they evolved.

harry ashburn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Or maybe so much rain diluted the salt water?

Gene Savory (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

How does Noahx' Ark take care of hundreds of thousands of species who were not included because they weren't known by the ancients?

Cheryl Kasson (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Yes, I agree that Creationism is not a scientific theory, or indeed, science at all. However, I can't help but be troubled by the idea that progressives would do something that we hate seeing the religious right do--try to make everyone else or the whole society conform to their worldview.

We cannot force every school or homeschooler to use the same curriculum or materials without hurting ourselves as well.

mathboy (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

In chapter 1 of Genesis, God creates animals and people both male and female and tells them to be fruitful and multiply. Along with the other days of creation, one gets the impression that these animals and people were created out of nothing.

Then God rested on the 7th day.

Then, in chapter 2 of Genesis, God creates just a man, and does so from existing matter. He waits some time before making a woman, also from existing matter. They are not "fruitful" until after the expulsion from Eden.

So does it really sound like Adam and Eve were the people created in chapter 1?

(I have to correct my previous comment. I was referring to the expulsion from Eden, which is after chapter 2.)

harry ashburn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Hmm...wonder what the bible guy would say. Probably something as intelligent as "God must have intervened.."

Nels (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

@ Harry and Charles, all I want to know is what did God do to make all those angels cry for so long? What's the theory on that?

harry ashburn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

@Gene, maybe Noah also gathered DNA samples.

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

@Cheryl - certainly we should avoid imposing worldviews on other people, for reasons too many to mention.

But we need objective science standards. Let disbelievers preface every statement with "Science says, but the Bible proves wrong, that ..." if they wish; that's fine. So long as a child understands what science shows us, the child doesn't have to believe it (...does anyone REALLY believe in quantum physics???) but the child DOES have to know what the basic concepts are, in order to get a state-sponsored certification of having graduated from high school.

harry ashburn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

@Nels: he peeled onions.

Mugsy (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

"how did fresh-water fish survive?

Actually, the question would be how did SALT water fish survive? Because all that rain would have diluted the oceans to the point where it would be seriously desalinated.

Ocean mammals (dolphins, whales, etc...) would likely drown without the buoyancy of pure salt water to reach the surface.

And let's not forget about Australia. Koalas, kangaroo's... a microcosm of species not found anywhere else.

moonbat666 (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Since the universe is still expanding, one would have to conclude that god is never going to get this finished. When a theory is supported by thousands and even millions of pieces of evidence it becomes as incontrovertible a fact as any in science. Remember, that the gaps are being filled in every day. Those who believe in ID worship gaps. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/

harry ashburn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

I mean@Nels, maybe he peeled onions.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

Faith/belief, by definition, is to accept without proof or substantiation – often in spite of contradicting facts or disproof.

Science (the study of the physical and natural world and phenomena, especially by using systematic observation and experiment) is to deduce from available data and experimentation.

harry ashburn (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

@Mugsy: couldn't the aquatic mammals keep swimming around on the surface 'til they found Mt. Ararat?

Terence (not verified) 10 years 21 weeks ago

I'm reading the Dalai Lama's "Becoming Enlightened" and there's a remarkable passage that I think applies to this Creationism/Evolution discussion and that the fundies may want to consider. He's discussing what a believer should do when reason/reality contradicts his/her scripture and His Holiness says that - obviously - that scripture cannot be read literally. It can only be read symbolically or allegorically.

Thus Genesis explains the relationship between Man and God and the "why" of Man's condition. The creation myths are written as such because in 800 BC that was the best "science" of the day. If Josiah and his priests had had access to 21st century physics, etc., the story would have been literally different but the underlying message would have been the same.

America's Chief Grifter Strikes Again

Thom plus logo Trump says he is going to boost unemployment payments by $400, stop evictions, cut payroll taxes, and extend student loan relief.

In fact, these are all lies. As usual, it's a new con job, a grift from our grifter-in-chief.
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall