Daily Topics - Tuesday April 19th, 2011

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Truthout proudly presents weekly installments of Thom's bestselling book "Unequal Protection"

Hour One: Atlas Shrugged - bizarre philosophy at work

Hour Two: Was Donald Trump born in the United States? Dr. Charles Dunn, Regent University

Hour Three: Koch Tea Party & Christian Right's Unholy Alliance...selling your soul to win at any cost? Dan Gainor, Business and Media Institute


rladlof's picture
rladlof 11 years 41 weeks ago

I don’t understand why sane or sober individuals continue to insist that the single most bankrupt person in the entire history of the known universe and the dead animal strapped to his head be given free advertising for his Reality TV show on every available media outlet.

iamnow 11 years 41 weeks ago

Thom, if you are going to tell such a gruesome story about Ayn Rand and the "guy who inspired" her, please make sure to back up your statements with facts and sources. It's stunningly too gross to be believed!

rladlof's picture
rladlof 11 years 41 weeks ago

OBSERVATION: Every single person heard or mentioned in the Ayn Rand mash-up is a sociopath or displays sociopathic tendencies.

rladlof's picture
rladlof 11 years 41 weeks ago

@IAMNOW: Thom did give his sources . . . For his observations regarding Ayn Rand source of being.

WendyBluEyez's picture
WendyBluEyez 11 years 41 weeks ago

rladlof, I agree with you regarding Donald Trump. For the life of me, I do not understand why he's allowed to pretend that he's successful.

rladlof's picture
rladlof 11 years 41 weeks ago

Definition of Outlawery, see:

F. Pollock and F. W. Maitland, The History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I (1895, 2nd. ed., Cambridge, 1898, reprinted 1968).

Yellowbird7's picture
Yellowbird7 11 years 41 weeks ago

Political Ponerology, by Andrew M. Lobaczewski

I am surprised Thom brushed this book off so quickly. It is the single, most important book ever written about humanity, governments, and how they work. The nuts and bolts of sociology. A difficult read but certainly worth the effort. I highly recommend it.

Especially so I recommend it to Thom.

edmondsjh 11 years 41 weeks ago

Years ago, before I left for West Germany in 1981, I read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I thought that the struggle to build a business and succeed was interesting. I did notice, though, that there was a certain dis-compassion, failure of sympathy for the welfare of others, within the characters. I also noticed that the environment was similarly not embraced or protected. How can anyone have success when your natural environment is not protected and you don’t care about other people? But the ending was sort of happy, and I thought I’ll read the other book. (I was a very young 20-something.)

Well, Fountain Head worked like the romance novels work: different names, different places, same theme. Half way into the second chapter (or earlier), I lost interest, closed the book, and returned it to the library. As I listen to Thom Hartmann this morning, I realize that I’m glad that I didn’t read more of Fountain Head. Rape is a wretched crime, and anyone who glorifies or practices it should be water boarded for decades.

j.sea's picture
j.sea 11 years 41 weeks ago

Thom -- thanks for telling the truth
about "Ayn Rand" (not her real name)

She is a self-made media trap and has sucked in a multitude.

Everyday I meet another 18 yr old who brags that he is "Libertarian" --- and if I ask what that means, he says, "I am totally Free!" ---when I remind him (or her) that if the Libertarians win, his school grant (as we no longer have FREE schools, thanks to Raygun) will be gone, his food stamps which let him eat while he is in school racking up a $30,000 debt, his job training program will be gone -- the public park he goes to to skateboard will be locked up and sold to a macmansion complex -- and the public library he goes to for the wi-fi will be locked up as well.

Plus -- at least half or more of these young converts ALSO claim Christ as their personal savior ---so, they are shocked to learn their heroine (about which they know nothing) hated the very idea of religion....

(and took medicare)

Thank you for fighting for the Truth -- one mind at a time.........................................................

joeeddy's picture
joeeddy 11 years 41 weeks ago

The "Donald" has hair plugs from his armpits!

mathboy's picture
mathboy 11 years 41 weeks ago

Donald Trump is being allowed to get into the presidential race to make the other Republican contenders look good. People will think, "Newt Gingrich has been married only three times; he's (relatively) good at relationships. Mitt Romney occasionally created jobs, he's (relatively) good at business."

j.sea's picture
j.sea 11 years 41 weeks ago

Boehner's orange riddle solved!

After years of desperate struggle to keep the truth suppressed -- it is finally emerging....
That awful orange color is sadly the result of botched skin bleaching treatments, covered up by makeup... nothing to make light of. Tragic indeed.

Yes, his father did operate a bar -- and young Boehner did run there, charmingly underfoot... but that bar was not the Boehner boys' first home.... devotedly religious young John's dad was a missionary in Nigeria, where, following his heart -- he fell in love with a beautiful Nigerian woman. When his brave choice to cross cultural barriers was discovered, he was forced to flee, carrying the young John, born of love -- but doomed to dodge the ever-present fear of racism and ignorant misapprehensions....

Yes, young John Boehner was is ---- Nigerian.

scottgee1 11 years 41 weeks ago

Follow the money . . .

Who financed the new "Atlas Shrugged" film?

IMO, there's a coordinated plan being followed to 'sell' Rand's philosophy [sic].

Jgmdesign's picture
Jgmdesign 11 years 41 weeks ago

The saddest thing for me is that when people latch onto an ideology they tend to defend it at all costs, and reject anything that contradicts their beliefs. That's how Scientology has persisted and grown- or any other religion for that matter. When you identify with a belief you become a member of that tribe, which is a deeply seated human predisposition, and it is very difficult thing to dislodge. It takes an earth shaking even to change their minds. It took 9/11 to unseat my religious affilitation.

I fear it will take a similarly catastrophic event to knock some sense into Libertarians and Ayn Randians. Hopefully that shocking description of the horrific murder by Rands hero will suffice. I hope you repeat this daily so it reaches the widest possible audience. They should be embarrassed to hold that affiliation. Unfortunately many Republicans and Conservatives are beyond embarrassment, as they have demonstrated by their shameless behavior, and it may take something far more catastrophic to knock some sense into them.

Good for you, Tom. Keep pounding it in.

Jgmdesign's picture
Jgmdesign 11 years 41 weeks ago

Trump's hair is an antenna that feeds him conspiracy theories beamed from Zenu, and also a helmet that prevents any COMMON sense from getting in.

j.sea's picture
j.sea 11 years 41 weeks ago

Alissa Rosenbaum

Is "Ayn Rand"'s real name -- how many young neo-fascists realize they are following an atheist Jewess
(who took medicare)?

Perhaps a wonderful story teller with a tragic and tormented life -- driven to seek the protector image of a killer in her fantasy because of the fear she experienced after her very privileged life style collapsed when she was young -- but really -- has anyone in that camp thought this all the way through?

Perhaps they might better take to reading Anne Frank, and learn something about the reality that happens when any group, any any race, any religion is "hunted", is hated. Perhaps understanding that we are, in reality, ONE -- would relieve some of the fear, the sense of isolation and the sense of threat that isolation produces. There is enough to go around. Heck, if only the Koch Broths had taken all they spent on dirty political campaigns and put that money into rebuilding job-stripped communities -- what would that look like?

j.sea's picture
j.sea 11 years 41 weeks ago


j.sea's picture
j.sea 11 years 41 weeks ago

It takes enormous courage to live with compassion

-- to even experience what the word compassion means..

Cowards choose to not feel, and call themselves brave -- they are fighting off their own surrender to experience of Universal Love -- which I admit is overwhelming. But there is no way to battle it out on your own. It is against what we are, against Nature. We Are One -- to love each other provides the relief of suffering, personal and collective, and opens the path to communities that work, and that encourage the best in all of us to come together. We have fallen victim to the myth that rude is good --- and it is not. Rude is only rude.

mgsills's picture
mgsills 11 years 41 weeks ago

Vote Now! What's Wrong with Donald Trump's Hair? None of the above. It's a foreskin.

MugsysRapSheet's picture
MugsysRapSheet 11 years 41 weeks ago

Trump's own "birthright" question.

MAYBE the "Where was Trump born?" question should be pursued. It appears to have just as much basis for it as his own nutty birther machinations:

1) Birthers dismiss Barack Obama's birth certificate on the grounds that it's not the "long form" version. Trump released his own birth certificate, but only in "short-form", not the cherished "long form".

2) Despite all the evidence President Obama was born in Hawaii, including a newspaper announcement and eyewitness testimony, Birthers (including Trump) frequently cite the account of Obama's step-grandmother once saying she saw him born in Kenya. Despite evidence Trump was born in Jamaica, Queens, there are news reports of him frequently visiting and buying property "in his birthplace of South Africa".

3) President Obama only met his father briefly as a young child. We know very little about his father. Similarly, we know more about Trump's father and next to nothing about his mother.

Why is Trump any less deserving of a "Birther-frenzy"?

WendyBluEyez's picture
WendyBluEyez 11 years 41 weeks ago

Time for me to take a potty break - Dan Gainor is on. At least I won't miss anything.

Lisa K.'s picture
Lisa K. 11 years 41 weeks ago

I am wondering... We know that overpopulation is a serious problem. As a Pantheist I have always believed Gaia is often much more resilient than we think. I'm getting a creepy feeling that the Social problems which are cropping up worldwide, actually, may be a symptom of the stresses of overpopulation. Some see the problem as Objectivism, some call it Wendingo, some simply see it as greed and selfishness. Any of these phenomena can push us over the edge as surely as Lemmings.

On Donald Trump's hair, it's definitely a weasel, and it's imbedding it's mind into Trump's brain. A weasel is a weasel!

mathboy's picture
mathboy 11 years 41 weeks ago

Mgsills, how do you get to those polls? I can't figure it out.

folkdoc 11 years 41 weeks ago

Here is a great picture and discussion from Vanity Fair about the Donald's hair. Its two combovers. One from the left side and then one from the back to the front. The picture shows it pretty clearly.


You would think he could invest some money into some great looking "new" hair!

rladlof's picture
rladlof 11 years 41 weeks ago

Breitbart is an ambush propagandist and not a journalist.

ajackson652 11 years 41 weeks ago

Ann Rand’s followers have found a voice to defend and support who and what they are as human beings. We, as Progressives, should honor their voice and understand where these people are coming from. If President Obama understood the psychology of the people he is so called “negotiating” with maybe he wouldn’t be so easy to “compromise”. I put “negotiate” and “compromise” in quotes because I really question if these words exist in meaning to a sociopath. The same can be said within a debate with a sociopath, does a “contradiction” exist if two different contradicting ideals support their desired outcome. We really need to address and understand the psychology of this new conservative movement and realize that only a risk of a personal “injury” may be their only logic.

Hopefully somebody else can say this better.

whybaby's picture
whybaby 11 years 41 weeks ago

Hello Thom.

The Donald's hair is not a comb-over, comb-backward, comb-forward; nor is it hair plugs. Nor is it even a robot pigeon, twin to Ben Nelson's robot pigeon.

In fact, The Donald's hair is, in reality, a METAPHOR. It is the combining of idea and image into one Gestalt, and it represents THE APPEARANCE OF MENDACITY with the belief that one is (as one expects of the politician or self-promoter, or both) mendacious. The contemptuous and belittling expression, which all will recognize, was written with Donald Trump (for whom politican and self-promoter are one and the same) as its avatar:

"He lies like a rug".

mgsills's picture
mgsills 11 years 41 weeks ago



Scroll down to middle of page, towards the right.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 11 years 41 weeks ago

Aha! Thank you.

edmondsjh 11 years 41 weeks ago

I wish that Thom would talk about the Gulf of Mexico as a national disaster not just for u.s., but rather as an international disaster. Tuna spawn in two bodies of water: the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. What affect is the oil gush from the Gulf floor having on Mexico and the nations of the Caribbean? Being u.s.-centric doesn’t help u.s. to grow up and accept that u.s. is part of the international community. Billy Clinton forced that awareness on u.s. when he signed the NAFTA and WTO agreements. His signature on those documents guaranteed that u.s. would become a third world resource for the first world/international corporations/exploiters. The fact that so few people recognized that fact, simply points to the fact that so many of u.s. are u.s.-centric with no clue as to the real experience of being third world. No one bothered to understand that u.s. has viciously, greedily exploited the resources of the nations of the world. And now that that u.s. resources are being exploited by other first world/international corporations, everyone is squealing and complaining and deeply insulted. The u.s. style of life is NOT sustainable for the entire world, let alone for just u.s. The U.S. can continue being a leader, a co-leader, by stepping up and following the lead of Norway and Germany and others in efforts to find alternatives to shelter, energy production/use, and food production. Give huge, extended tax breaks to those alternatives. Wake up—u.s. is a member of the world—always has been and always will be.

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to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."