The Unemployed Are Screwed

The first casualties of going over the so-called “fiscal cliff” will be more than two million unemployed Americans who depend on extended emergency unemployment benefits. While most of the negative effects of going off the cliff, like the tax hikes and spending cuts, won’t be felt until further out into the future, the expiration of unemployment benefits will be an immediate shock to millions of Americans and the economy. And they are set to expire on Saturday, meaning Republicans in the House will already miss the deadline to extend them, since Speaker of the House Jon Boehner is waiting until Sunday to reconvene the House.

The unemployed in America have no lobbyists like the defense contractors, and have no interest groups like the billionaire banksters – so it’s no wonder why they will be the first casualties in the fiscal cliff showdown. The tragic irony here is these unemployed Americans, when they are receiving unemployment benefits and spending money in our economy, are the real job creators – and not rich guys like Mitt Romney who stash their money in offshore bank accounts and refuse to reinvest in the American economy.


JLC's picture
JLC 10 years 12 weeks ago

Thom - - I thought you might be interested in this article about a relationship betwwen violent shootings and other crimes and antidepressant medications.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 12 weeks ago

JLC: Wow! That is a fantastic article...and one of the things I noticed on all of the photos, I've seen before, of these lone gunmen was their zombie-like stares.

Quote the article: "What we might call the "zombie effect" seems to come up in many of these cases. Also common is that the violent behavior tends to occur when the patient is either having the dosage adjusted, or has just stopped taking the pills. "

So, it's not the guns that kill people it's the drug-induced people that use guns that kill people. And if they don't have guns they will use clubs and in the many times this has happened in China where guns are banned. Maybe instead of targeting (pardon the pun) the NRA and gun owners we should be targeting the DEA and other parts of our government that lets these pharmaceutical companies market these dangerous drugs.

Or, if you are going to try to ban least ban only those who are taking dangerous psychoactive drugs like some anti-depressants.

There could be a direct real-time communication line between those prescribing and/or selling pharmaceuticals and the regulating arm of our government so that if someone in a residence is prescribed a dangerous drug then their guns have to be turned in, or they can't purchase these weapons to begin with. Don't blanket the whole population with strict gun laws.

And, thanks to the CIA and the US Government that took part in making the drug problem what it is today, who smuggled Heroin and Cocaine into the US on a massive scale, and who gives the pass on other dangerous "legal" drugs, we have atrocities occasionally flaring up that kills masses of people. The article mentions the book "The Politics of Heroin" by Alfred W. McCoy which I haven't read but I have read "Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press" by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffery St. Clair.

With over two million unemployed losing their unemployment benefits and any means to feed and house their families, there may be a lot more people so depressed that they are likely to do anything...maybe the government will put them on anti-depressants.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 10 years 11 weeks ago

The fiscal cliff shows the fatal flaw in a bicameral legislature. If the Congress were unicameral, they could bring a bill to the floor with a deadline and amend it until the last minute. But when that deadline hits, the legislation passes as is. With a bicameral legislature, there's absolutely no way to do that. I realize that the deadline rule isn't something that's ever actually done, but I think that's because it can't work. (Nebraska's legislature is unicameral; I wonder if it's ever done anything like this.)

klentz's picture
klentz 10 years 11 weeks ago

This is the beauty and appeal to being a Conservative politician. (A) You do your job by doing nothing and (B) Your bribery benefactors have the deepest pockets.

None of those pesky responsibilities or hard decisions to run the country. And plenty of golf, booze and women.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 10 years 11 weeks ago

Next time around, we need to make sure Democrats understand the importance of elections for state legislators leading up to and just after the census. In 2018 and, in some states, 2016, elections will determine who's in the state senates at the time of redistricting. In 2020, all the elections for state legislator are important. Luckily, this coincides with a Presidential election.

Of course, we could also try to make the redistricting process more objective:

harumman 10 years 11 weeks ago

Can't get through on the phone lines but I am a Tennessee resident living in the district of Dr. Scott DeJarlais. The Congressman that was found to have pressured his girlfriend (who just happened to be his patient) to get an abortion. But he was reelected even after all this had come to light. Actually I am in Rep. Diane Black's district until the new congress begins and the redistricting beginds. Diane Black has been named the most conservative member of congres. Over all I am disgusted byt the Democratic Party on the State Level.

I was able to get through to Thom on the phone but got dropped, Thanks verizon.

When I first moved to TN I worked within a stones throw of Al Gore's home in South Carthage TN. This area has been solid Democrat many years. Al Gore's father was Senator for many years I believe as well. Not long after 1988 things started to swing. Now it is solidly entrenched Republican. Is it the corporate right wing media? Limbaugh and Faux News etc.?

I would love to get out and get involved in party politics more but being disabled it is hard to do.But I can write letters, emails and make phone calls which I have been and will be doing to my elected officials ASAP. Including Corker, Alexander and DeJarlais. When I do contact them I get canned responses writen by some corporate lobbyist it seems.

And I was wrong. Ashley Judd is in Kentucky. They are trying to recruit an oppenent to Alexander.

juicyj's picture
juicyj 10 years 11 weeks ago

On your show today, 12/28/12 you gave statistics of bills that have been passed by this congress and those that have been blocked. Your point was that in all the bills that have been passed, none of them were to create jobs--which is what Boehner had promised the congress would do. Of those that had been blocked, most were desigend to either create jobs or to protect/support the working poor. Where can I get a copy of that list / statistics? I'd like to pass it on to one of the non-believers in my family.

Thanks for your wonderful shows!

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 11 weeks ago

I think we should get ready for Phase II of the 2008 mortgage takedown now that people have less and less money.

I know more than several people who stopped paying their mortgage payments the last several years because of a company's inability to find the original loan papers.

I think this paper chase was a stall on the part of the banks, to create a lag in a massive plan to foreclose, and to do it after the election. Now the time is ripe for more and more legal action to be taken by banks. Payments are bound to be higher for those who haven't paid into escrow.

This will ball up the Administration, and as well banks will threaten that if they can't foreclose some of these loans they are going to fail.

There are no free houses in America and these years of no payments will be taken out of all our hides one way or another.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 10 years 11 weeks ago

On unemployment: The middle class made it very clear that extended periods on aid (regardless of what one calls it) drains a person of the incentive to get up and find a job. This is why it was decided that any sort of poverty relief provided to the able-bodied must be very time-limited. UI puts people at far greater risk of dependency than our former welfare aid because it iprovides a much higher income. On the argument that we don't have jobs for everyone, this was (to my knowledge) always true. But it states right within our welfare reform policies, which the middle class supports, that there is NO legitimate excuse for failing to secure employment. If we can require the most disadvantaged to find jobs, even in times like this, how could we expect less of those with all the middle class advantages? If government extends UI once, they'll be asked to do it again, and again, and we'll end up with a welfare system, putting us all in danger of UI dependency. Right?

Gary Reber's picture
Gary Reber 10 years 11 weeks ago

With further and further dependency on JOB CREATION, which is a travesty in light of tectonic shifts in the technologies of production that destroy and devalue jobs, eventually resulting in taxpayer-supported government welfare, the United States has a bleak future ahead unless our leadership, academia, and the national begin to address income inequality resulting from OWNERSHIP CONCENTRATION of the productive capital of our economy, and implement financial mechanisms ala an Economic Marshall Plan that empowers ordinary Americans that are non- or undercapitalized to acquire ownership in the FUTURE growth of our economy's business corporations.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 11 weeks ago

Well, we progressives, and Americans in general, need to be more reasonable and fair with the republicans, because the republicans have been sooo nice to us.

Here is a compromise that I think will be workable both from the progressive and the republican sides of the aisle:

The democrats will get unemployment benefits extended for one more week, and those unemployment benefits will be taxed at 85%, with the tax revenue being given to military contractors who keep America safe by going overseas and killing foreign people. Here's how it will work: if you get $100 a week in unemployment, $85 will be deducted from your unemployment check, then you will be subject to a body cavity search for weapons of mass distraction, then you will be drug tested and your DNA matched with DNA left at crime scenes all around the country to make sure you're not some sort of criminal, your home will be searched for illegal substances, you will work for free for at least 40 hours for a major corporation, and then you will receive a very generous $15 to feed your family for a week.

And here's what the republicans will get in return for being so generous with us: people who earn more than $100,000 a year will pay no tax whatsoever- no income tax, no capital gains tax, no sales tax, no property tax, no excise tax, no taxes on their cells phones, etc.. The middle class and the poor can certainly pick up the slack and pay more taxes so the rich will have nice roads to drive on, and so our military can continue to protect only the interests of the rich. And there will be nationwide redistricting resulting in democrats having no representation in congress.

Don't get me wrong, it will be tough to sell this compromise to the republicans, but in the end I think they might be willing to do it, if we throw in a few incentives, such as a 90% tax on social security benefits, a 95% tax on medicare benefits, and a $500,000 co-pay on medicaid benefits,

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 11 weeks ago

Palindromedary – After reading the article you refer to, I am appalled, yet not surprised by your comments concerning antidepressants and people committing horrific crimes against fellow human beings. Your insensitivity towards people who have a legitimate medical problem like depression and suffer from this disease on a daily basis is simply wrong. As usual you rant on about something you know little about, yet you take the freedom to compare those who take medications to treat this illness with psychotic killers. To start with, not all antidepressants are of the same class or type as the S.S.R.I. medications. And those who do take this class of medication are not prone to be madmen waiting to wreak havoc on society. With your usual bravado you link a conspiracy by the drug manufacturers and the C.I.A. and others who legalize these dangerous drugs. Again, as in the past, you read one article and come up with an all-consuming theory with very little knowledge of what you speak of. Just to set the record straight I do not use antidepressants, but I do have friends that do. And, they are far from the pyscho's you seem to link to these medications. I have seen the benefits of pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed to patients in the correct dosage for specific ailments. I do agree that these lifesaving drugs need to be monitored, as any drug needs to be, to make sure the effects are not harmful to the patient or society. One of the people I speak of is a teacher and a leader in his community. But to hear your rants, one would be led to believe that everyone taking medications for a biological problem ends up enemy no.1 on the F.B.I.'s list of criminals. I really thought there was some meaning behind your rants on several subjects, but again I see I am wrong. I not only find your comments to be thoughtless, but also highly offensive in the way you portray these highly tested drugs as have been given a "pass" by the government agencies you mention. And to compare antidepressant drugs to heroine shows just how uninformed you actually are concerning this subject.

If you want to prevent people from owning weapons who use drugs that could result in people being murdered, you will have to start with the legal and lethal drug known as Alcohol. This drug has been involved in more deaths by the hands of others than any prescribed drug. I often wonder if you make these comments to get attention or you actually believe what you rant on about. No my friend we are not more alike than different. Your comment on several subjects has shown this to be the case.

The individuals involved in these horrific crimes against humanity had psychological problems much greater than simple depression. And to assume all individuals that do have this medical problem and are treated by doctors could somehow become psychotic and present a risk to society is simply an uneducated and moronic statement to make as a generality of all the tens of millions of people who are treated for this medical problem.

And having said that, I hope you have a healthy and happy New Year.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 11 weeks ago

Abbot - Your comments are not only funny as hell, they hit the problem right on the nose. Good work. Sarcasm with a light hearted hand! Ha. A good way to end the year on this blog.

Here is wishing, A Happy and Safe New Year to All...

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 11 weeks ago

Mathboy - The voters in this state realized that going into the election. We have a Democrat Governor, a Democrat majority in the Senate and Assembly. Not too bad for a state most people like to take jabs at. We also increased the taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year for seven years and voted in a 1/4 cent tax increase on goods purchased to prevent any further down grading of our schools. We will have enough teachers in the coming years to afford the students enough teachers on student time to learn what is necessary to have a more complete education. And who would guess there has not been this great exodus out of our state by the wealthy or the business community that the Republicans said would happen! Who would have guessed!

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 11 weeks ago

I just finished watching PBS news hour and it is apparent that neither the President nor the Republicans want to avoid the program cuts or the tax increases. Obama just stated he is asking for what he has asked for from day one. Increase taxes on those making more than $25K a year with tax cuts for the middleclass. He knows damn well the Republicans have already said no to those figures. Boehner is also not willing to do anything that could cost him his Speakership in the House, which means no deal. Reid and McConnell will perhaps come up with a bill that the House will reject, so as I have stated all week there will be no bill that will prevent the fiscal cuts in spending and the tax increases for everyone. Why should the House agree on new taxes when if they do nothing they will at least get cuts in spending for Social Programs and unemployment benefits? And any Idiot who thinks the unemployed would prefer lower income so they do not have to work, probably said the same thing about welfare benefits. It is not even worth the time to address anyone with that mindset. Obama will get his tax increases on the wealthy and the Republicans will get cuts in social programs they have begged for over the years. Everyone can blame the other Party for what is happening and not take any hits politically. For God only knows the idiot voters who end up losing will never bring themselves to the point of blaming their political party and the politicians think they will skate right over this whole mess. If the American public falls for this bullshit they deserve what is coming their way from Washington. No wonder other countries laugh at our country and how Americans are so lazy they will not even stand up for their own benefit, and they are right!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago

Did somebody forget to take his meds today? I think so! It sure sounds like it.

Oh, wait a minute...of course...that's it...there's a full moon tonight!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago

Ok, I take it all back...

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esu taht elpoep decudni-gurd eht s'ti elpoep llik taht snug eht ton s'ti ,oS

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 10 years 11 weeks ago

You've heard the phrase "...he died of a thousand paper cuts". The transfer of wealth has many faces, many avenues in the thousands hiden behind laws favoring the Rich. The Republicans want to increase the Social Security Insurance threshold for retirement to age 70 as the excuse for reducing the budget deficit and SSI has nothing to do with the budgit deficit, since it is over 2 Trillion dollars to the good. The Republicans want to increase the threshold for Medicare to age 67 and Medicare has nothing to do with the deficit. We paid into these insurance programs and they are separate from the deficit. But, the Rich have had laws favoring their wealth and they are greedy and what they can't get from the "Front Door" they go to the "Back Door". The Republicans want to reduce Unemployment Insurace for the Unemployed which the workers paid for. These transfers from the insurance programs when the wealthy paid taxes on only the maximum of 15% of their earnings when the working class paid on the full dollar is an insult! The transfer of wealth is shrouded in the guise of budget deficit when they spent our way to shoot "Santa Claus"...

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago

Shocking! Just look at this and then tell me that prescription drugs are not a big factor in setting people off on killing sprees. It's not just guns, but includes swords, and knives, and clubs, and other weapons...and they are not all in the US...many abroad...and they all tie in to the use of prescription drugs. You will be shocked at how this list goes on and on and on.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago

I hear ya, George Reiter! The Republicans are the Grinch that stole America for their own selfish ends. But the Democrats let them because the Democrats don't really represent the majority of Americans either...they are part of the illusion..or is it "delusion"? And the American people let the Democrats get away with telling their lies and not holding their feet to the fire...and even re-electing the that he can do it again. The ruling elite uses both the Republican Party and the Democrat Party to keep us beguiled, bewildered and befuddled.

And by the way...Shooting Santa Claus isn't really such a bad that I mean...hell..let's do away with Christmas and all the other holidays and celebrations where the merchants cajole us into wasting our money on trashy gifts that will just end up wasting storage space. We all need to break their hold on us. We're all like puppets..they pull the strings with their contrivances and commercials to get us to want things we can all do without.

Remember right after 9/11, all Bush could say was for us all to just "go shopping"? They want us all to shop till we drop and then they totally own us. Yard or Garage sales never recoup much of what you spent in the first place. I guess we're all hopelessly enamoured of collecting junk and throwing our money away. But the worst of it is that they are controlling us and jerking us to their every whim.

Let's just shoot Santa Claus...tell our kids that he doesn't really exist right off the bat so they don't all grow up with delusions and lies that we eventually will have to set straight. But, I guess one lie begets another bigger lie that many adults refuse to admit. People need to be shaken out of their fantasy worlds so they can recognize reality in order to properly deal with it.

Maybe they wouldn't need so many psychotropic prescription drugs for their inability to cope with reality. Yes, there are those whose conditions may be from physical maladies affecting the brain but it works the other way as well. A society that panders superstitious beliefs can't but help have a big problem with mental disorders. It all starts with Santa and the Easter Bunny and other equally ridiculous casting demons out of swine...walking on water...bringing a dead man back to life...dying on a cross and arising 3 days later...born of a virgin..that the great and all-powerful Oz knows all, sees all...hell, no wonder so many people need their meds.

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 10 years 11 weeks ago

I've already paid taxes for my Social Security Insurance, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance. And, to place these bank accounts on the table for negoiations to balance the National Budget Deficit is an increase in taxes on me, the Middle Class to transfer my wealth to the Rich. This transfer of wealth is hidden in the Political Speech, or Code of the Republicans for "Balancing The Budget Deficit". The Republicans are bent on distroying the Middle Class and undoing the "New Deal". To be a Republican today, one must be Rich, Cruel, or Polictally Ignorant, and they are not mutually exclusive!

tghorne's picture
tghorne 10 years 11 weeks ago

In response to your comment on the unemployed, I feel you are right on. It seems the American condition is to look at a problem from the surface, ignoring the point of origin. There are as many unemployed off the record, either homeless on the streets or staying with family who usually can't afford the extra burden for more than 6 months, give or take a month or two. It is a demeaning system which pretends to provide incentive, but no one can really see it or feel it. We allow ourselves to be lead by the corporate sound bite. Fiscal cliff? We went over that the better part of a decade ago. We are now on the bottom scratching and climbing up, however the slopes are slippery and those who have all the resources are not sharing and never will of their own free will. Whether it be oil, corporate media, agricultural conglomerates, pharmaceuticals, ammunitions dealers[put those next to each other for the recent bloggers, I agree], or the Wall St. banksters and bullies who keep it comfy for them, we have to act. I have never seen a bully come around to being civil and a real team player without it being forced upon them by a democratic consensus, whether it be on the playground or in the big leagues. They are a few steps ahead and love to design our debate and discussions to keep us out of the real action zones. That is why I am truly grateful for entities like Democracy Now, Coomon Dreams, The Nation and other sources. We have to break up the conglomerates and mean it. They have been going for the internet and have made great strides in doing so on a global level. The only solution for the unemployed is to start getting active and not being willing to go by the established practices that keep them down, like outsourcing and union busting. Enough from me, time to get to work, self-employed, financially struggling, moving forward.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 11 weeks ago

Verizon screws its customers AND its workers.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 11 weeks ago

Don't you understand!? He's helping the poor by giving TAX CUTS to BILLIONAIRES and he's protecting the FREEDOM of the poor by cutting off their unemployment insurance benefits.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago

And the dummies are watching every thing we do. Literally! The next time you pass a department store dummy...check out their eyes....which may very well be surveillance cameras staring back at you. Better not shop lift! Well, at least they are not doing what they did decades ago...subliminal messages, really big in the 50s,right? They used to put subliminal messages in the music played at department stores...."Don't steal...go to jail"...etc. But, maybe, what they are doing now is even worse. A recent episode of "Breaking the Set" with Abby Martin talks about all of these we are being spied on by the "Security State".

Here's a free book download of "The Unauthorized Bio of the Baby Bells & Info-Scandal". You can either download the whole pdf or section by section.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 10 years 11 weeks ago

Your question is founded on many presumptions that have, at best, a shaky basis. How do you purport to speak for the middle class and if a portion of the middle class accepts certain assertions why is that?

Saul Alinsky described middle class prejudice very well when he wrote about how the success of his organizing project of impoverished stockyard workers affected those workers' thinking. Initially they were all poor, powerless, beaten down, without any self esteem remaining. They crafted a manifesto in which they declared that all men were brothers and rightfully equals, equally entitled and deserving regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, etc.. Then what happened was their project succeeded. The workers collectively gained power, won their battles, won a higher income and standard of living. The group of some 250 predominately Polish stockyard workers all bought neighboring houses in a new, middle classish development in Bridgeport, which is a neighborhood of Chicago a bit upper scale from Back of the Yards, where they were from.

No sooner had that happened than they forgot their passionately written manifesto and started complaining that they didn't want these types of people and those types of people and these other types of people moving into their nice new neighborhood.

Pat Brown, former governor of California and Jerry Brown's father, wrote in his book about Ronald Reagan that the Democratic Partyb was a victim of its own success. It moved the U.S. out of the Depression, moved the blue collar worker out of poverty and into the middle class. What happens when people start making money and bringing in higher incomes? They start buying stock and voting Republican. When I worked in newspaper circulation I knew many union truck drivers, many of whom had an income of $50,000 per year. With that money they started construction or rehab firms, towing services, bought bars, restaurants and income properties and so on. They began to employ people. Sometimes a driver/entreprenneuer would have his own workers organize or he'd have to deal with an existing union in his industry. It was amazing how the same driver who spoke so solemly and passionately of the importance of the Teamsters and of his labor union of drivers would, when talking about the organizing of his own employees and wokers, would denounce any idea of those workers' combination with equal passion. It is, in fact, a rare person who will vote against their own vested interests for the sake of abstract ethical principle.

In the case of welfare programs, there is a divisve strategy employed wittingly or not by welfare administrators and mandated by welfare legislation called "means testing". Means testing is the requiring of an applicant for welfare to prove that they are of a low enough income to qualify for the program they are applying for. Not only does it stigmatize the recipients of the program's benefits, causing them to be defined as people to disdain, but it creates what is called "middle class resentment" for the program and its recipients. Members of the middle class who don't qualify for the program, particularly those near the border line who could probably really benefit from it as they often have to choose between paying a medical bill, buying groceries or keeping tyheir electricity or heat on, acquire a resentment for trhose who do qualify for no other reason than because they are poorer and have less income than those who don't.

This contrasts with a government program whose benefit is treated as a basic human right, e.g., single payer healthcare that all are entitled to regardless of income. Because all are entitled to it there is no division and no resentment towards it or its recipients from any part of the society and the program tends to be well thought of and supported by all members of society.

Unemployment insurance is not, to my knowledge or perception, thought of negatively by the "middle class" or the blue collar part of the middle class, i.e., that part of it that consists of people who are employed by someome else. The part of the middle class and above that consists of owners of businesses may, in fact - and to my knowledge, does -have a dislike for UI.

Whether and to what extent UI and, for that matter, welfare, cause dependency is another controversy and another conversation.

PLSzymeczek's picture
PLSzymeczek 10 years 11 weeks ago

Notably missing from the list you reference is Jared Loughner, who perpetrated the massacre in Tucson. His psychosis was totally untreated, and he had never taken antidepressants. His parents knew of his mental problems, but refused to get him treatment.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago
Quote SHFabian: " If government extends UI once, they'll be asked to do it again, and again, and we'll end up with a welfare system, putting us all in danger of UI dependency. Right?"

So, are you saying that "moral hazard" is not just a bankster phenomenon? ;-\

Problem is that banksters and corporations are the biggest "welfare queens" expecting not only handouts for their reckless and feckless actions, but huge handouts that wreck economies. And they'll continue to expect these huge handouts over and over again. The big difference is that when the masses of little people get handouts they spend them for necessities to survive while the banksters (etal) just stash their booty into offshore accounts or into another Wall Street Casino roulette wheel. Spending by the little people will help the economy while it has been proven that these high roller scamsters have wrecked the economy. The workers or retirees or unemployed did not cause the multi-trillion dollar deficit. The deficit was mostly caused by the scams of the high-roller robber barons and Pentagon spending on illegal wars....and now a massive surveillance state to spy on every citizen. That's what caused the massive deficit. And now these scoundrels are trying to blame people laid off of their jobs or cheated out of their homes. The robber barons are not content with all they have they want our Social Security and Medicare. How low can you get?

JohnR's picture
JohnR 10 years 11 weeks ago

On today show, you had on someone that stated that the AR-15 Bushmaster was not used in the Newtown massacre of the 26 at Sandy Hook School but was in the truck of his car. I remember that being stated early on as the tragedy was being reported. Thom did not respond to that statement. Did I miss something, or was all the slaughter performed with only a couple of handguns. Thanks for clarification in advance.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago

PLSzymeczek: I'm not so sure that what you say about Loughner is true...there are a number of Google Search hits that indicate that he may have been taking something...Yes, schizophrenic but also that his whole mood changed abruptly. But, of course..I doubt that it is always because of these medications...sometimes it may have nothing to do with being medicated...some people are just mentally unbalanced. Some people need these medications to cope and fit in to a more normal life. But if you have actually looked at that huge list of people who murdered other people who were on, or just stopped taking, their meds and concentrate on just that one who may never have taken these meds it is only one example compared to a great deal more who did. The contraindications of these medicines usually warn of the potential side effects so it should be no surprise to anyone that if side effects such as "aggression" or "delusions" etc. are a result of taking these medicines then people like this should not have possession of dangerous weapons...assault weapons...knives...or clubs...or even their cars. Take a good long look at that huge list...what more evidence do you need here? But what I am saying is instead of an irrational, over emotional, over reaction and making the majority of good people suffer for what a few have done why don't we look at the root causes of these occasional atrocities? And if you don't look at the root causes of why so many people need these medicines in the first least keep these people from owning or accessing weapons. That mom in Connecticut should never have had these kind of weapons in their house because of her son's condition. She paid the price for her mistake. Unfortunately, so did so many others who were innocent victims. You can't just "shotgun" a problem with blanket over-emotional and irrational decisions. You'll never fix the problem that way. We need to recognize and remedy the root causes. Let's even explore what kinds of things would make people think of killing others in a school. What is it about schools that cause people to target them? What kinds of attitudes do some teachers or other children convey to these future killers when they went through school? What kinds of attitudes do parents pass on to their children who may make fun of some people in school? What kind of attitudes does our businesses and government pass on to the parents, who pass them down to the children, who make fun of other people in our schools? What kind of an example is it for a government to illegally invade and murder so many innocent civilians and then portray the lies of bravery and righteousness of these deeds on TV, in the movies, and in video games? I really don't think most people want to address the root problems...they really don't want to know...all they want to do is lash out emotionally and let themselves be herded into irrational ideas...just what some in power want...for you to be emotionally irrational so they can do with you whatever they want.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago
Quote article: "Not only may the drugs meant to cure your depression actually drive you to suicide, but these dangerous and addictive drugs may be behind the Columbine shooting—and dozens of others. Ask the FDA to warn the public that SSRIs may make people commit violence against others!"

"Julian Whitaker, MD, founder of the Whitaker Wellness Institute and a thirty-year practitioner of alternative medicine, notes that the FDA does not include violent behavior on its black box warning labels because they are “blinded by their incestuous relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.”

james90670's picture
james90670 10 years 11 weeks ago

Hola;............NO deals.......Wait for the new Congress in January 2013.................

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 11 weeks ago

Palindromedary- as always, you've made many excellent points regarding the problem of mass shootings. But I must repeat a very important point made earlier, by a fellow blogger: that those twenty Chinese kids attacked by a knife-wielding assailant ALL SURVIVED, contrary to the lies of corporatized media. Had the assailant carried a gun instead, the outcome would have been much worse. That highlights a notable weakness to the argument that violent people would only turn to other kinds of weapons in the absence of firearms. Perhaps so, but their victims would have a much better chance of survival. - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago

JohnR: I had also heard this several times in the beginning but then after that all we ever saw on TV was pictures of the AR15 Bushmaster. Looks to me like someone is really trying to play mind games with us here. Are these people showing pictures of containers of anti-depressants? No, of course not, there is no way they can elicit a fear response showing a bottle of pills compared to an AR15 Bushmaster. And even the handguns, which were most likely the only weapons actually used, are not quite as scarey as an AR15 Bushmaster. What we have is a bunch of people who are trying to ban all guns as their goals. And I believe most of those people are either unsuspecting dupes or they are pretend liberals or progressives who are really working for the people who want to totally disarm America...the ruling elite. The criminals, especially the top criminals, would really love it if no one else had any way of fighting back. It would be "shutup and do what I say...not do what I do...although you can envy all you want".

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago
Quote article: "The volatility of psychotropic drugs has not become part of the national debate. Attacking pharmaceutical companies doesn’t appear interesting enough to media outlets or government regulators. They are more interested in the political narrative than the real truth. Maybe they are in each others pockets. The government and the FDA doesn’t want to confront the common denominator to mass murder (Virginia Tech, Columbine) the past 30 years."

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland:" ...that those twenty Chinese kids attacked by a knife-wielding assailant ALL SURVIVED..."

But you are referring merely to the last attack in China...there have been many other similar knife and/or club attacks on school children in China* that had occurred previously and many of those children and teachers died. So, yes, it is easier to kill lots of people with an assault rifle than it is with a club or a knife but it is still possible to kill many with just a knife, a machette, or a club.

And the problem still remains that by banning such weapons, you are just banning them from law abiding people who may not have mental problems or who may not be taking psychotropic drugs like some SSRI anti-depressants.

You are still not getting at the roots of the problems. The roots of the problem are not the weapons..the roots of the problem are what the people will do because of their mental condition...the pills that they swallow...or need to swallow. The root of the problem is why so many people even have to take these pills to begin with...what is it about our society that stresses these people out to the extent that it creates the production of certain chemicals in the brain that makes people flip out? I believe most mental problems are created by the environment...various stresses. But there is an ever present reluctance on the part of those that cause the environment to admit to the problem. It is so much easier to put the blame on deceptive surface issues that won't actually solve the problem or even help remedy it. It is just an elusive action that will never solve the problem. But the politicians will never tire of shifting the blame to someone else, or something else, if they can get away with it. And many people are easy to look to so-called experts and news media talking heads who are all just pontificating on the regurgitated refuse handed down to them from the ruling elite. Name of the game is to keep the people confused and disarmed so that no matter how hard it gets, no matter how much they lie to us and use us as their foot stools, we will never really be able to fight them.


Quote article:"A series of uncoordinated mass stabbings, hammer attacks, and cleaver attacks in the People's Republic of China began in March 2010. The spate of attacks left at least 25 dead and some 115 injured. Analysts have blamed mental health problems caused by rapid social change for the rise in these kind of mass murder and murder-suicide incidents."

And, of course, everything else you said is true...I agree but how many more victims would there have been if instead of guns, or knives, or clubs....they used incendiary bombs...molotov cocktails...are we going to ban gasoline and bottles? Or even fertilizer? Remember OKC Federal many were killed then? Although, I don't think anti-depressants were involved..I don't know. Just what was the root of the problem there? Any guesses?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 11 weeks ago

Palindromedary- with all due respect to your well-thought-out opinions (and obviously, high level of intelligence), I doubt we will ever agree on this issue of gun control. I find it more than a little ironic how, here in the Wild, Wild West, there are more bureaucratic hurdles to deal with purchasing something like Sudafed than there are for purchasing a gun. Sorry my friend, but I've got a problem with that.

Licensing cars or ourselves as drivers doesn't deprive us of the freedom to drive; in my view it can be the same with guns. I agree, socioeconomic problems fueling these mass shootings go well beyond the guns themselves. But this does not change the fact that guns, unlike cars, are expressly for the purpose of killing. And while such laws are not going to take guns out of the hands of dangerous (or at-risk) individuals already in possession, I think we've gotta start somewhere addressing this problem. You & I can argue about this 'til we're both blue in the face; seems obvious enough, neither of us is gonna budge on our positions regarding gun control- to have or not to have.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 11 weeks ago

With all the guns in US how come no one ever seems to have one when these terrible things happen.

Back to the fiscal cliff as a Canadian I am told to mind my own business so this is just a suggestion. Raise taxes to people who make $500,000 plus 2% and lower everyone else by 2% and cut every federal deptments budget by 2%. Done. Happy New Year everyone.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 11 weeks ago

I appreciate where you are coming from, PD, and share much of your worldview. Your anti-authoritarian attitude rings my bell. I think our similarities far outweigh our differences. But when it comes to issues as complex as this one regarding guns & violence, there are so many facets and so many angles from which it can be assessed, it is possible for completely opposing views to each have a ring of truth. The same goes for that old argument we progressives keep having each election cycle, over whether or not voting the "lesser evil" is the wisest choice (which warrants a whole other debate). But getting back to my main point: we're just gonna have to cut each other some slack here & there where we can't agree. I still can respect, and even appreciate, your side of the debate where our positions diverge. - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland:" I find it more than a little ironic how, here in the Wild, Wild West, there are more bureaucratic hurdles to deal with purchasing something like Sudafed than there are for purchasing a gun. Sorry my friend, but I've got a problem with that."

Well, I certain agree with you on that one! Why do you need prescriptions from a doctor to get medicines you know you need, and had already been prescribed by doctors before anyway, for chronic diseases like asthma...or even blood pressure medicines? I don't see a problem with Sudafed either...except it is used to make illegal drugs. But our government has no righteous, holier-than-thou position on illegal drugs anyway since they have been importing them since before Vietnam. They are just protecting the real pharmaceutical racket monopolies..the real drug lords of the US.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland: "Licensing cars or ourselves as drivers doesn't deprive us of the freedom to drive; in my view it can be the same with guns. I agree, socioeconomic problems fueling these mass shootings go well beyond the guns themselves. But this does not change the fact that guns, unlike cars, are expressly for the purpose of killing. And while such laws are not going to take guns out of the hands of dangerous (or at-risk) individuals already in possession, I think we've gotta start somewhere addressing this problem."

Yes, and I think we can start by reassessing why these individuals do the things they do..what are the root causes..what can we do to tackle the root causes. The guns are not the root causes. Neither are the knives and clubs used against children in China or the 500,000-1,000,000 victims in Rwanda...mostly all done by using machettes and clubs. The Catholic Church is trying to keep a distance from any responsibility that might tend to blight religion...claiming only that the church did not authorize the genocide....

You can create more laws to ban guns and you may succeed in making it more difficult for some people to get them legally. But then they can always get the guns from their neighbors (like William Spengler)...and if not, then they can break into someone's house and steal the guns..or buy them from Mexican Drug gangs who bought them from ATF. And, let's not forget that once you manage to either ban guns or tax or heavily insure them, there are so many other ways of doing mass destruction to schools or other places of mass congregation of people...and they would cause just as much, or even greater carnage than assault rifles. How do you control what a potential arsonist with a few gallons of gasoline will do...what about fertilizer (AKC Fed Bldg)..or any number of other things...either chemical or biological?

Sure, let's solve all our problems by either banning guns or taxing them to death or having to buy expensive insurance...that way only those who have money can get whatever they want and everyone else will be at their mercy if the time of confrontation ever comes. Rich people with the latest in assault weapons will have their oppressive thumbs smashing everyone who can't afford it into the ground ..much like they do now but even more so. And you still have not solved or even made a dent in the root problems.

What is the price or value of the lives of those who have died in dollars? That's what insurance is, isn't it, lives equated to dollars? I believe that no matter how much you make something illegal, or how many laws you write, or how much insurance or taxes you impose you will never make a dent in these kinds of outbreaks until we start addressing the root of the problem..and no one wants to address that.

The root of the problem is what motivates people into doing such things. And institutionalizing people, if they are even detected in time, is such an expensive and wasteful endeavor which also does not tackle the root of the problem. It just covers it all up till someone else flips out.

Behavior modification has to start with how we are all exposed to the stresses of inequalities and exposure to arrogant treatment by those who are either richer than everyone else or who are bigger and more powerful than everyone else who, themselves, have attitude problems. It has to do with what makes people feel insecure even from early school experiences. It has to start with the realization that our society has to begin to put reigns on the excessive materialization and runaway egos that we are all exposed to throughout life. I am not preaching a religion...I am actually an atheist. So I certainly don't think a belief in God, Jesus, or Buddha, or any other mythical icon will fix things...more people have died from their disagreements on minutiae of theology than from most everything else except maybe trying to steal what others have.

Sure, there are those who may have been born with a condition...a chemical imbalance...who need to be cared for and watched...treated with drugs, perhaps. But many more cases occur from exposures to the constant stresses of a confusing and cruel world.

But, we certainly must put dampers on the excessive commercialism and stop generating the attitudes that unless you claw your way to the top of the dung heap you are nothing. And the current war being waged against the majority of the people by the uber wealthy..the arrogant ones..are largely responsible for all of the angst, stress, and feelings of dread and hopelessness, that can drive many people crazy....make people take dangerous SSRT anti-depressants...which can further drive one to do aggressive and hostile things. Certainly no one wants to talk about that...especially the Pharmaceuticals and politicians or even those who may be taking these drugs. And if these people can't get hold of guns...they'll likely use the more easily gotten weapons, like gasoline.. fertilizer...etc.... that can be even more dangerous than assault rifles. The religious group Aum Shinrikyo, in 1995, had no problem using Sarin nerve gas in Tokyo's subway system to kill a lot of people. And don't make the mistake that only dummies will do these kinds of things...most of those people in that Aum Shinrikyo group were very well educated with various doctors degrees and held important positions "Sarin is relatively simple to make from materials that are available on the open market."

Anders Breivik, although he ended up using a high powered assault weapon to kill 76 people had previously thought about murdering thousands of people using biological or chemical or even nuclear waste weapons. And then there was the Rajneeshee Cult in Oregon who put Salmonella bacteria on various Salad Bars in 1984. There have been incidents of people going into Super Markets and poisoning food...which led to the so-called tamper proof seals.

We need to stop our military industrial complex and all their Pentagon and political toadies from propagandizing us with their weapons of mass destruction...ideas of American Exceptionalism and portraying war crimes as necessary in a struggle to preserve "our way of life"...yeah..."our way of life"..not much different than what the Vikings, Romans, and other ancient plunderers believed in.

Dorothy Thompson, an American journalist and author, once said “There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth, the persistent refusal to analyze the causes of happenings.”

No one still...knows just why Aum Shinrikyo did what it is still a mystery...does anyone really know why any of those people did what they did? What caused them to act in such a manner?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 11 weeks ago

"SHFabian said: "The middle class made it very clear that extended periods on aid (regardless of what one calls it) drains a person of the incentive to get up and find a job. This is why it was decided that any sort of poverty relief provided to the able-bodied must be very time-limited..." and "If government extends Unemployment Insurance once, they'll be asked to do it again, and again, and we'll end up with a welfare system, putting us all in danger of UI dependency. Right?

Wrong, Mr. Fabian. First of all, who appointed you as Spokesman for the Middle Class? As if they all were in lockstep with their thinking, like those Teabagger ditto heads. I'm sure it would suit you just fine if they all looked down on those less fortunate than themselves. I've more than a hunch it's really just yourself you're speaking for rather than an whole class of people.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 11 weeks ago

Let's not forget, many of the unemployed & homeless were middle class once, before they lost everything. An illness, an accident, a job gone "Poof!" or outsourced... You know, the kind of stuff that happens only to lazy deadbeat losers! Right?

I wonder how many of those people screwed by junk mortgages or quack insurance, or lost jobs to outsourcing, supported so-called welfare "reform" and other such "reforms" before their own worlds came tumbling down.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 11 weeks ago

During past radio shows I've heard Thom Hartmann point out how unemployed people in other countries receive such benefits for longer periods of time, if not indefinitely. But hey, that's not the American way! Here in the good ole USA, we kick 'em when they're down. When the economy crashes & burns, and people lose their homes and their livelihoods, who cares if it's not their fault- let's just blame the victims anyway! Let 'em fend for themselves against the elements. After all, for anyone desiring to make an honest living, there's plenty of jobs around. There's no excuse for joblessness. Anyone who's unemployed and on unemployment insurance is simply a deadbeat and a loser... Right? Nope. I'm not buying it. - Aliceinwonderland

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 11 weeks ago

Palindromedary - What I find troubling in the comments you make is that there is this constant mentioning how everything is a conspiracy. It sounds like for every subject mentioned, you find a conspiracy by some governmental agency or people in general and if someone points this out to you, you come back with more theories of conspiracy. Not to sound to condemning of your reasoning, but you sound like a person suffering from a form of paranoia. And I have mentioned this to you in comments or replies to your conspiracy theories in the past. You actually believe the government brought down the Twin Towers in N.Y., as well as several other situations. In all sincerity you appear to have some type of paranoia yourself. I would recommend you look into this problem, but like many others that suffer from this mental illness, you will simply deny you have a problem. Do you always live in this state of fear that someone is conspiring to do something to you if they know your name. You recently mentioned that a person has to do everything possible to hide their identity because some entity could be out to get them. So I imagine you feel Facebook and Twitter are governmental spy agency, so the government can spy on all Americans. Do you have a habit of looking out of your windows at home to make sure no one is watching you? Do you really think that manikins might have cameras in their eyes to watch you as you pass by? I have also heard you comment that several household appliances might have concealed equipment in them to monitor your personal life. Doesn't that sound a little paranoid to you? Living in constant fear that you are being watched can lead to a mental state of paranoia. You must live in a very scary world with all the people you think are watching you. Sad...

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 11 weeks ago

Geez PD- You're tiring me out! But I remain unswayed. Have a lovely weekend. - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago

I didn't conjure up or imagine all those things you pointed out...I learned of them through news reports and what I have read on technology reports. I am very technologically aware that these things are very doable. And as for the kitchen appliances spying on us...I didn't imagine that either...I read that from a statement that a former CIA director had made..maybe he's the one that is paranoid. But at least from a technological standpoint he was right on. It would have been more difficult to do before ipv6, but not much.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 11 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland: Sorry, not my intention. And good for you...sticking by what you believe.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 11 weeks ago

I must chime in here...

I won't say that "gun control policy" is irrational, however banning guns, and clip capacity in hope of giving the "victim(s)" a better chance of survival isn't going to resolve the issues of a generation entertained by graffic violence and gratuatous sex. Add to that millions of people with mental illness who are miss diagnoised and either improperly treated or untreated and you begin to see a dangerous pattern with severe and tragic results. Six shooters, Knives, Gasoline and a match, etc. can and have been weapons of mass destruction in the hands of mentally unstable people.
I am not going to be foolish and say that mentally healthy people never "flip out" and do terrible things, but I will say when you have young children who are pumped full of meds for behaviour/mental issues and then spend hours a day interacting in simulated violent games; which are very simmilar to the combat simmulations used to train todays combat soldier, their sense of reality is warped and the results are often devistating.
When young people (age 5 to 15) - especially those with behaviour/mental health issues - spend hours each day repeatedly playing simulated violent games and then repeatedly hear and see the exploited violence happening daily around them, they become programmed for violence and their reality with coping becomes increasingly hostle and violent. In other words repeated exposure to graphic violence as entertainment can and does result in violent behaivor...Programmed Killer! Guns are not the sole problem...You must include what we exploit as entertainment, along with how we treat each other.

Before We the People give up any more of our Liberties and Rights - like we foolishly did in the wake of 9/11 - lets address the real elephant in the room...How we - a hostle society - equate vengence as absolute justice. How we - a hypacritical society - talk about peace, respect, humanity, etc. and then violate the rights and wellbeing of others for our own selfish gain.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 11 weeks ago

Holy crap Ken we agree on something. With all do respect Palindromdary I think Ken W is right on this one. Wow I can't believe I agree with something Ken Ware said. I better go see the doctor I may have a chemical imbalance or something.

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