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Recent comments

  • April 3 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    Regarding my post above.

    The fact that access to Thom's Community has little effect on me since I'm a registered member. I'm speaking out for the vast unregistered masses who shouldn't be required to give out personal information just to read discussions.

    Democracy relies on a well informed citizenry and you're supposed to be a champion of democracy and information.

  • April 3 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    Thom,

    I've notice a change on your site that I hope you aren't aware of.

    Since 'Tuesday of this week, I can't go to the message boards without signing in. When I click on the Community button, it takes me to a page that says I have to sign in and if I'm not a member, I have to register.

    Why should someone have to give their email address to merely read the message board, even if they don't intend on participating in the discussion?

    It seems to me that it's a restriction of free listening (as opposed to free speech) with the intended purpose of gathering email address for some future use, probably marketing. Or it may be a way to cut back bandwidth use by restricting access to the message boards to people who are willing to give out their email addresses.

    For all I know, it's the people who operate this board rather than you who are gathering the information.

    Please instruct the people operating this board to change things back to how they were before Tuesday. As you know, discussions on the message boards get far more views than comments, and the comments tend to be from a relatively small number of members.

    Set the information free. Isn't spreading information what you're all about?

    DOWN WITH RESTRICTIONS TO READING

  • French Workers Hold their Boss Hostage: Why Do the French have an Uppity Middle Class and We Don’t?   10 years 2 weeks ago

    There is one thing that I think is not correct in your title, "the uppity middle class." In France workers are not considered part of the middle class and indeed they are not. Their salaries, their life styles are quite different from the real middle class.
    I would venture to say that the middle class, in a large majority, disaproves of the action of occupation of the factory, as it is called., though perhaps less now that widespread anger is mounting over increasing disparities, unemployment and general sense of insecurity. This perhaps explains the increased amount of saving. in spite of the fact that there is an extremely low rate of return.
    The unions lost much of their influeence with the collapse of the communist party and outsourcing of jobs to Asia but still come to the front when there is social unrest. At any rate social change rarely occurs in France through negociation.

  • April 1 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    Was it?:

    Witnessing Whiteness: First steps toward an Anti-Racist Practice and Culture
    by Shelly Tochluk

    I'm not sure but this sounds like the one... but we might have to listen to the show recording to get it right....

  • April 2 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    THOM must have just been TIRED from his trip. That's how I explain away the way he phrased an otherwise strong stand against torture. But, since I've been against 'debating' about torture (there are NO pros and cons about heinous acts) and been against it from the beginning, I feel moved to say my piece here:

    The other day Thom said the FIRST reason to reject torture was that it doesn't work.

    I disagree.

    We must always make the first reason the fact that torture is an expression of cruel, sick, inhumane treatment of the other (whether human, animal or the natural world).

    If we pretend there are pros to torture lurking someplace that can justify it, then we are going along with the covert as well overt practices of torture carried out by our government's secretive institutions.

    The Bush brand of torture was actually institutionalized U.S. torture oozing out of the shadows.

    Just in case any youngins here think this torture stuff is new to the U.S. -- it isn't. It just is being done in a new way, less hidden and less denied.

    The Usurper's Torture Policy indicated the extent to which Bush/Cheney were in-our-face arrogant, full-of-themselves, and energized by a sociopathic/psychopathic sense of invulerability.

    Examples of how the U.S. committed torture in the shadows are the following: A Western Hemisphere TORTURE SCHOOL (under the watch of Bush I (I think he's in there somewhere) was called the "School of the Americas" which made torture a tool in the intimidation and destabilization of Central America for decades and especially during Iran-Contra period in the 1980s. Also, during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and -70s, the U.S. sponsored and mentored the torture programs in Vietnam, and American 'advisors' were always present while torture was conducted by the South Vietnamese against whomever the Americans told them it was okay to torture. And who knows the full extent of CIA torture overseas?

    Investigating and prosecuting the Bush Crimes of Torture and Treason is actually OUR BIG CHANCE to rip open the rotting insides of the U.S. intelligence-military and their overt as well as covert torture programs, and to cut out this rot from our nation! It really is a MONUMENTAL OPPORTUNITY now, and when Barack Obama turns his back on this opportunity to clean out this rot and instead continues rendition etcetera, then Obama exposes himself as being COMPLICIT to the American tradition of torture.

    I eschew the argument that "torture doesn't work" which I heard on the show. We must choose NOT to torture because torturing others is INHUMANE, HEINOUS, CRUEL, and UNCIVILIZED.

    We must learn to recognize that torture is a tool of intimidation and tyranny; and learn that the torturer tortures his victim not to get to the truth, but to get agreement and thereby subjugate not only the tortured, but all the members targetted for subjugation!

    Are we all so indoctrinated into U.S. Militarism and Imperialism that we automatically take the position that if torture were efficient, we would ACCEPT it??? The reason one rejects torture is not the inefficacy of torture! Torture is WRONG, always has been wrong, and always will be wrong.

    (Did one caller claim that he would not hesitate to torture someone who helped kidnap his wife and children? Would that guy feel a fool if the torture victim LIED to him? Would he regret the choice to torture if it meant he went on a wildgoose chase and so never got to his loved ones afterall? Does all this feel like a the twists and turns of a stinking rathole of lousy choices? We tumble down that hole when we choose an immoral action like torturing someone and proving ourselves as corrupt and low as the kidnapper/blackmailer, and simultaneously turning our backs on other more level-headed means to attempt a solution? Is it really okay to see oneself as so desperate that one can take any action without logical or moral limits? Is this the same cultural viewpoint/rationale that justified the genocide of Native Americans in the 'settling' of the American continent? Where does it stop? Can it stop?)

    Just say "no" to debating torture!

  • VIDEO OF THOM ON CNN'S "LARRY KING LIVE" 3/23/2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    ej75, you couldn't be more wrong. Right wing plant or just stupid..., or both?

  • April 2 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    Stunning! Between the lines it was implied that if Americans once again value a single, broad-based liberal arts education in America, as Mr. Hartmann put it, "as a predicate to any specializaton," it may well be important to understand how our system will, per sey, interact with the extant or historic centers of learning, like Oxford and Cambridge in Europe, to arts and intellectual schools throughout the rest of the world? Can we lead in sustainability?

  • French Workers Hold their Boss Hostage: Why Do the French have an Uppity Middle Class and We Don’t?   10 years 2 weeks ago

    Scotth -- You paint a caricature of unions. I know that the difference between the French being free to protest and the U.S. workers afraid to do the same is the strong French unions that stand up to abusive bosses and protect the workers against unfair tactics. The effect is that even non-union workers are free to protest, too.

  • April 2 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    Are you kidding me???

  • April 2 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    Thom,

    You had a caller that proposed you start a segment devoted to teach "us" how to start grassroots businesses. I don't think that's a solution for the majority of people when the economy is losing jobs at a rate of 600,000 a month. I think the solution has to be on a mass (social) scale as opposed to individual initiative.

    Your response to the caller was to say that the majority of businesses you and Louise started were during recessionary times. But you've been saying that you believe this is the beginning of the next Republican Great Depression. What may work in a recession (for two very intelligent, energetic, talented and confident people) might not work as well during a depression.

  • April 2 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    I was doing a web search on ENRON and mark to market, and found this transcript from Limbaugh's show!!!! The caller is vehemently defending ENRON and AIG

    RUSH: But I'll tell you what defending Enron today is like... Why don't you defend AIG next?

    CALLER: I do. I do defend them! I think it's great that they got those bonuses. I think that --

    RUSH: This is my kinda woman here.

    CALLER: (giggles) I --

    RUSH: You're fearless! You've got courage.

    CALLER: Well, I absolutely believe in the American businessman. I think that they are the engines of our economy, and when we start getting into really petty, stupid, class warfare-type arguments, it lowers us all, and it does nothing for our country or for ourselves and I think that's silly. And what we're seeing now... Enron was really, you know, they were a fantastic company. I love them, and I'm so sorry they're gone.

    RUSH: Did you work there? Dah, dah, dah! Did you work there?

    CALLER: I did work there. I love them, and I love my company, and I love... I just can't say bad things about it. There was no fraud or conspiracy at Enron. But of course nobody will listen to that now. And what we saw with Enron was a witch hunt. That's why Jeff Skilling is in prison and why the Broadband Three are about to go back to trial for the second time, and one of them is going to trial for the third time, and this is just ridiculous. This is a witch hunt. They did nothing wrong. They were just practicing business.

    RUSH: Well, you're going to have a tough sell on that.

    CALLER: Which part?

    RUSH: You're going to have a tough sell on the fact that Enron did nothing wrong. I think that's biting off a liiiittle bit more than you might want to chew.

    CALLER: No. No, no. I really don't think it did. There was one... Andy Fastow did steal from Enron, but he also worked for LJM. Enron was the victim, and people keep saying, "Oh, (garbled)..." Enron was the people that they were stealing from. It wasn't like Enron was, you know, out there needling people and taking money that wasn't theirs. I mean Enron was the source of the money that was stolen. It's like, you know, bringing a rape victim or something.

    RUSH: Well, I'm not sure I agree with you on all that. And what happened to Enron happened, and they end up with nothing and people that worked there end up with nothing and so forth. I understand the philosophical point that you were making, but I was taking the occasion of what you heard on the radio the other day, to be critical of Congress.

    END TRANSCRIPT

  • April 2 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    I found www.timepage.org/time.html for the cycles of 4 generations.

  • April 2 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    Hi- RE The economy, I feel you are right, that we will see a temporary rise, followed by a steep decline. The question is, how long do we have? It seems there is never enough time to prepare. The volatility of the market directly corresponds to the price of oil; as soon as the market started to improve, oil nudged up. Consequently, as the price of oil increases, the cost of goods and production increases ( as we saw before the "recession/depression"). This is a cycle that paired with the inflation of the value in the market, will inevitably lead to disaster.
    Is Obama being played for a sucker? Its either that or he's in cahoots with those who are taking all the wealth while the taking is good. I still want to believe in him as our very existence depends on a strong leader who will make all the right decisions. I hope he is who has advertised himself to be.

    I am losing faith in any government responsibility. We need to make our voices heard. ???

    RE hr 875- Do you know what is going on with that, I have read some articles by Linn Cohen Cole (get her on your show!) that have really freaked me out.

  • French Workers Hold their Boss Hostage: Why Do the French have an Uppity Middle Class and We Don’t?   10 years 2 weeks ago

    I am a veterinarian and my fiance soon to be wife is an M.D. and I can categorically say that if your doctor is only using the best techiniques and is in practice because of the potential to make more money then he should nto be a doctor. A good Dr. is one who does it becuase they care about their patient, not their pocket book. I don't presume to understand your ideas about morality, but I think it's probably safe to assume that if the best dr. in the US refuses to treat you because you can't afford his services you would think he is an amoral ass, and he would be, but that is the system we have right now. If you look at France, doctors are paid more not based on their precentages (therefore doctors don't deny patients just becuase they are higher risk) but on principles any doctor can get behind in good conscience, such as getting a higher precentage of his patients to quit smoking, or to lose weight, etc. You need honestly reevaluate your entire premise and I am sure you will discover that it is completely false.

  • French Workers Hold their Boss Hostage: Why Do the French have an Uppity Middle Class and We Don’t?   10 years 2 weeks ago

    I have been a union member for many yrs. If it were not for my union it would be very difficult for me to get med. coverage for my children or pay for there college.
    The gap between the rich and the middle class has never been so great, I make a good liveing wich is not in the interest of the corperations i work for. if they had their way I'ld be a minimum wage TOWERCRANE OPERATOR. is that what you want a person in charge of one of the most dangerous pieces of construction equiptment, who has not had the benifit of a comprehensive training program.

    Tom thank you for being an advocit for the little guy.

  • April 2 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    Good luck debating David Horowitz today, Mr. Hartmann! The odds are with you, and democracy! (Debating is a skill sorely needed by 'We The People"!)

  • March 30th 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    For people who want to legalize all drugs, what about prescription medication? Shall we just take the doctor out of the equation and let patients self medicate, or do you anticipate disaster with that scenario? Just something to think about.

  • March 30th 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    mathboy: The problem at 3MI was a valve that didn't close and instruments that didn't tell the people operating the plant that it wasn't closed. The operators were just reading their instruments responding to pressure problems the way they should have, never realizing that their instrumentation was inaccurate. Consequently they were making the problem worse. It was a human who figured out what was going on and saved the plant from complete meltdown. A good description of the events is provided by James Chiles in his book "Inviting Disaster" which I think was also made into a series on the History Channel. Good reading.

  • French Workers Hold their Boss Hostage: Why Do the French have an Uppity Middle Class and We Don’t?   10 years 2 weeks ago

    To make everything sound so simple is so easy. It is not. The one thing you are missing here, and it is the fundamental building block of society, is who is paying for all those benefits? The other peice you convieniently gloss over is no jobs, no unions, and thus no benefits. I think former Russia is a very good example of this.

    Quite frankly, I hate unions. I was born and raised in a union household. My dad is a show steward. They are die hard union supporters, but the see the folly of the union. It strangles the business. I would not be close to where I am today if my company was union.

    In my opinon, Unions are for lazy people; people that are to lazy to better themselves. Unions make everybody the same. I thought liberals think everyone was unique. Seems to me this goes against the indviduality concept of a liberal. I am not the same as the guy next to me nor do I want to be treated like the guy next to me. I am willing to stand on my own two feet to prove it. I am willing to work harder, smarter and faster to get that bigger raise. I don't want my potential capped, or anybody's else's potential, earnings or otherwise, capped because of a contract negociated by someone I don't know. The common point between a person and all their problems is the person, not everyone else.

    In the USA, we are free to go and get another job. If you don't like the job your, get another one. If you can't get another one I think it is time for some self evaluation. If you want a raise, earn it. A person does not deserve a raise just for showing up to do their job. A raise is a reward for good work. In the real world this is called the risk/reward ratio. Unions remove the risk/reward ratio and therfore reduce the desire to improve and become more efficient.

    The perfect examples of this concept are Welfare and Medicare. Welfare receipients have no desire to get long term employment. If they can get a job for a few weeks, or months, they can quit and get back on welfare. If there was no safety net, you bet your bottom they would be working somewhere to get some food. With medicare, there is no desire for a doctor to go the extra mile on any customers. They get paid the same as the next doctor for their services even though they could using 10 year old techniques and technology. Worse yet, they could be a poor doctor, but they are again treated the same as the best doctor.

    It is the reward that drives people. For some it is tangible, like money. Others, it is intangible. Either way, unions take away any and all incentive to get better. With the advent of the internet and global trade, every person is now competing with every person in the world, not just the guy across the street. Answer these questions: If your not getting better at your job, why should management keep you around? What is your value add to society and the business? If your not getting better at your job you will be out of one soon enough. Maybe that will be the incentive you need to get better at your job.

    Scotth

  • April 1 2009   10 years 2 weeks ago

    There was a woman on the show today discussing her book dealing with racism in America. What was the name of the book? I know it had the word "whiteness" in the title.

  • April 1 2009   10 years 3 weeks ago

    Thom needs to look again at the history of the Gramm Leach Bliley bill. He said the bill passed 54-44 and Clinton could have vetoed had he wanted. However, that was the initial bill. The house's corresponding bill had so many differences a committee was formed to hash them out and the final compromise bill passed a veto proof 90-8 (not that Clinton would have vetoed) It's interesting to examine the 8 votes against, most notably Dorgan and Feingold. They knew back then this bill was bad. Why isn't Obama listening to them instead of the people who were involved in passing this legislation?

  • April 1 2009   10 years 3 weeks ago

    Gee whiz!? I can't find the newsconference video about General Motors, which will be a topic on today's show, on-line at CSPAN.org!? Merely, a message box on CSPAN.org indicates "System Mainenance". So, I performed a random experiment and 'clicked on a total of fifteen' video links. The site was up and running, and I did fifteen clicks, and found one blank. I noted a percentage of fifteen per cent, blank. Overall Results: Higher, in real terms, than one out of sixteen important news conferences, or congressional hearings, etc. is withheld at the random time of the experiment. I am not admitting to any error factor, at this time. Of course clicking stamina, and computer speeds, will vary, as it is with the earthly seasons, which of course are relative to our orbit, third planet from the sun!? (p.s. I feel frustrated....and lacking the relevant facts!!)

  • March 31 2009   10 years 3 weeks ago

    Thom, The Chinese system of government sponsored capitalism sounds a lot like the American military industrial complex as is has been working under Republican rule. The Chinese just don't bother to hide their methods from their people!

  • March 31 2009   10 years 3 weeks ago

    Wow Thom! Way to go with that David Bossie guy! Loved it.

  • March 31 2009   10 years 3 weeks ago

    Thom,

    You just said that John McCain was tortured by the Vietnamese and didn't break and give up true information. I'm not sure that you know that as a fact.

    I know that he's told a story about being asked to give the names of the other pilots in his squadron and claims that he gave the names of the Green Bay Packers' defense or was it the Pittsburgh Steelers'; he's mentioned both teams in different versions of the story. And we know that he came up with a story about a Vietnamese prison guard drawing a cross in the dirt with his foot, but that story was lifted from a book by someone else.

    Now, I'm not justifying torture. I'm against it. But McCain did break and make numerous propaganda films for the Vietnamese, which was probably more important to them from their point of view than any information that he might have had.

    It's not that torture never works, it's that the information gotten through torture is unreliable because people will lie and/or make up information to stop the torture.

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