Recent comments

  • May 13th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Listening to Sean Hannity yesterday, I heard him say that it was this new administartions fault that the social security is going bankrupt. I wonder if he ever stopped to think that it was actually people in his income bracket that are the ones hurting it the most.

  • May 13th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    I would say that your car is one of your effects, and that being secure in your effects (according to the 4th Amendment) means not just that the police can't take things out without a warrant, but that they can't put things in (such as a wiretap) without a warrant. Therefore, the government shouldn't be allowed to put a tracker in your car without either a warrant or your consent.

    Unless this decision is overturned, I expect the consent will end up being included in boilerplate contracts for purchase or lease of cars and that the text will be buried pretty deeply in the contract and be quickly glossed over by the seller. "Just initial here."

    Someone will probably also figure out how to market the tracker as a convenience, just like putting an RFID chip in your child, or OnStar (which gives someone outside your car, whom you don't know, the ability to unlock your doors).

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Thom,

    You invited your new "live" listeners from Anchorage to participate in the "live" chat room and you told them that they would have to register which you explained is a way of keeping trolls out.

    I'm fine with that, but why is it necessary for people to register and log-in to merely read the Message Boards? This is the only "progressive" talker's site that requires people to log-in (which requires registration) to read. I believe that this deters participation on the message boards.

    Scenario 1: Someone wants to read the message boards. When they figure out how to get there they discover that they have to log-in to access the boards. To log-in, they have to register which requires giving personal information (email address). It’s not inconceivable that they decide it’s not worth their privacy to merely read the boards. Therefore, they never become participants.

    Scenario 2) Someone wants to read the message boards and clicks the proper links and is able to read the discussions. They see a discussion that interests them and decide they want to participate. They register, join the discussion, contribute great ideas that inspire others and America finally fulfills its potential.

    Thom, I would think you're the one who calls the shots here. I would think that you're the decider on this issue.

    Question 1: Which is the better scenario?

    Question 2: Thom, why do you hate America?

  • May 13th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Thom,
    I side with you on just about every issue, so I'm offended when you hedge on your arguments. Correct me if I'm wrong: Social Security is not progressively taxed. In other words, you take out of it based upon what you have put in. People who earn more than 100k a year do not put any additional into the system, but they also do not draw any additional. If you want to convert it to a progressively taxed program, then please be honest with yourself and your listeners, and say so.
    Secondly, you erroneously and repeatedly say that the program is "funded only by people making less than $100K". I don't think you mean it that way, but you say it that way more times than not.
    Please address BOTH issues as you present a responsible and important discussion of Social Security. Real solutions only come out of an accurate assessment of the problem.
    Thank You, and keep up the fight!

  • May 13th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Thom

    Check out the Cheney interview with Bob Scheifer last sunday (Face The Nation). They were talking about how safe we are... I forget the exact lead in, but Cheney stated " the trade towers were ' blown-up', the pentagon was 'blown-up'. Those were his words... was it a freudian slip...?

  • May 13th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Does the SS Trust have any possibility of being repaid for the money that has been taken for other government purposes?

    The Reagan double-taxing, like the idea of investing SS funds in the stock market is just another way that some are trying to destroy the program.

  • May 13th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Thom,

    I agree --- the Soc. Security problem is easily solved by eliminating the cap on incomes. However, I think it's still the shock doctrine at work here. Private interests can't get their hands on the money unless they make us think there are no other choices (except privatization.)

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Well, my above post has taught me that there are no quotes possible here.

    I was referring to the post of FrJon @9:53.

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    I want to comment on this comment:

    <>

    This indicates that the real "perversion" is the behavior that is dishonest or not honorable.

    This is great. It turns the usual arguments by the homophobes on its head!

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    I think that saving "christians" should be declared a new mission field. In talking with the Pharisees-the religiously pious people of the day, Jesus says, “How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your mint, dill, and cummin, but have neglected the more important matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness.These are the things you should have practiced, without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You filter out a gnat, yet swallow a camel!"...I love that smart ass remark. I have no doubt that mainstream "christians" today are swallowing the same camels. They boast a remarkable 51% divorce rate, while blaming fractured traditional marriages on homosexuality. It's absurd. I claim Yeshua bar Yosef, as my rabbi, and even hold the Bible in very high regard, as God inspired through the pen of men and women. When people get into a literal vs. figurative debate, they completely miss the point. So much to say, not the right forum.

    As the Bible was written from the underbelly of power and the oppressed, I tend to put much more trust in the hermeneutics of those who see through a similar lens. Desmond Tutu, has some remarkable things to say about the denial of homosexuals in the church as being the greatest heresy. He also talks about the emphasis of Rom. 1:26 as the denial of God's intended purpose (against nature). Also, look at the evolution and importance of the eunuch...from being banned from the temple to having a special place in the Kingdom of God. People love to pick and chose, w/o seeing the grand narrative. That is not only dangerous but also intellectually dishonest.

    There is some great writings coming out of the emergent church movement, particularly w/ Brian McLaren and Tony Jones.

  • Arlen Specter Checked A Card   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Hold on a second. Is card check a vote or is it not a vote? Thom's article said it was just registering to vote, and should be on the public record. But Kevin is talking voting for the union. It sounded like Thom was saying that card check only concerned those employees who wanted to create a union, not those who didn't.

    If, contrary to Thom's article, card check is actually a vote, then I'm a little confused about the whole point. Aren't votes supposed to be private, a matter of personal conscience? Isn't the private ballot box a tradition that Americans regard as their right? What's next, card check elections for president, so that all our votes are a matter of public record?

    And to address Kevin's statements about the minority's obligation to follow the will of the majority, I have just a couple of thoughts. First, generally such a rule applies to those who have already opted to join a group. Just because two robbers break into your house and then ask you to vote with them on whether they should take your TV does not mean that you need to go along with the majority vote.

    As far as communist China, I would imagine that the workers there feel quite empowered, since, because of the whole communism thing, they own the means of production. Thankfully, they don't need unions, since they don't have to negotiate with management. There IS no management.

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    I think FrJon is on the right track with Romans (1:26): in my Bible, the passage comes under the heading, "Punishment of idolaters" - if you look at the prior verse (1:23), it declares the subjects have changed God's image into that of "corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things," which describe the forms of pagan idols. Thus Paul (and I agree with Thom his writings are problematic) was deploring Roman pagan cults, some of which were characterized by gender segregation and sexual ritual, meaning that homosexual acts were practiced in the context of sacred ceremonies by the members, regardless of their individual orientation, which promoted lust devoid of romance as in a loving relationship, as a divine moral imperative. Paul goes on to decry other activities of such cults, which must have been politically active, as various forms of conspiracy (1:29-31). Notice the following portion (2:1-3) warns those who judge such people condemn themselves: "man who judges those who do such things and does the same yourself" - which seems to refer to the conspiratorial nature of activities involving "malice, avarice, envy, murder, deceit, pride, plotting evil," etc. In divorcing this passage from the context of pagan ritual, the detractors of same-sex affection are practicing deceit.

    The verse from Leviticus (18:22) used to declare male homosexuality an abomination is similar: a Dominican priest informed our class that scholars know this regarded worship of the pagan deity Baal, whose priests had as one duty personally inseminating farmers to insure the fertility of their crops (thus again, not the context of a loving relationship); the prior verse (18:21) specifically denounces consecrating one's child to the fire deity Moloch, which meant burning them to death.

    Same-sex loving relationships are reported in the Bible objectively, but the fanatical, ill-informed crowd do their best to trivialize, distort or ignore such references: these include David and Jonathan (Jonathan's father King Saul wanted to kill them both for being "ravishers of men"), Elijah and Eliseus (regarded as "twin souls" to each other), and possibly Jesus and John (the latter described himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved"). Jesus performed a long-distance cure of a centurion's slave boy, denoted with a word implying a sexual bond; it was Christ's love for Lazarus that brought him back from the dead; the arrest leading to the Crucifixion came when Judas kissed Jesus in a public place; Jesus on the Cross instills a mother-son bond between Mary and John; when the risen Christ speaks to Simon Peter of his future tasks, Peter wonders how John fits in ("What of this man?" "If I wish him to remain until I come, what is it to thee?") Anyone who claims they know about the sexuality or chastity of Jesus is simply deluded.

    The efforts of so-called Christian groups motivating our citizens and lobbying our government in refusal to recognize committed loving relationships between people of the same gender, thereby depriving them of a variety of civil rights and financial benefits enjoyed by their opposite-sex counterparts, is an act of cruelty being propagated by willful ignorance and deliberate misrepresentations. Such people harbor no guilt that their toxic falsehoods lead to tragedies such as the despair of the youngster destroying himself, or the vicious murder of an honest innocent like Matthew Shepard: they instead likely feel delight that their lies have taken hold in people's minds, oblivious to the fact that the judgment spoken of in Revelations that awaits us all will be conducted via criteria with which they have yet to contend.

  • Arlen Specter Checked A Card   10 years 14 weeks ago

    What Steve seems to want from America is a situation where those who vote in the majority get to follow the elected leader, and those who didn't vote for that leader get to do...whatever they want?

    Majority rule doesn't mean each individual gets to follow their own course. The real analogy in Steve's suggested case is, if you didn't vote for the union, but the majority did, you either live with the union (like the Dems did for eight years), or you go work somewhere in a so-called "right to work" state.

    The worker in Steve's hypothetical case, if he really expects to stay union-free despite the will of the majority, takes part in the card-check process under false pretenses. If he never intended to join the union, regardless of the vote outcome, why did he vote in the first place?

    Steve's comment, in general, seems like that of a right-wing union-basher who will "allow" unions as long as they have no real power. That's how they do it in Communist China. Wonder how the workers there feel about it? Do you think they feel "independent" or "empowered"? I'm betting no.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    In anticipation for yet another discussion on the fall of the moral standards of the U.S. government, I thought I'd post this "food for thought." I've been reading through the writings of Cuba's national hero, José Martí. In my opinion, the things he was saying about the government of colonial Spain ring poignant with our U.S. government. Here are a few of my favorite quotes he had for Spain that I think we can use for the U.S.

    Quotes from José Martí (1853-1895)

    “When countries go astray and from cowardice or indifference commit or excuse grave errors, when the last vestige of energy disappears, when the last – or perhaps the first – expression of political will remains awkwardly silent, then countries weep long, pay for their crimes, and perish, mocked, humiliated, and torn to shreds, as they themselves once mocked and humiliated and tore to shreds.

    No idea can ever justify an orgy of blood.

    No idea can ever excuse crime, and barbaric refinement in crime.”

    “They begged yesterday and are still begging today for greater freedom for themselves, and on the very same day they applaud an unconditional war to crush another’s petition for freedom.

    They did wrong.

    Spain (the United States) cannot be free while it is stained with blood…”

    “And as Cuba (the U.S. middle class) was benevolently restoring your strength, you put your arm under hers and reached for her heart, and ripped it out and tore open the arteries of morality and science.

    And when she begged some miserable alms from you as a reward for her hardships, you stretched out your hand and showed her the shapeless mass of her trampled heart and laughed and threw it in her face…

    And she felt the blood rise to her throat, and it choked her and rose to her brain and needed to burst forth, and concentrated in the strength it found in her breast, and made her whole body boil with the heat provoked by mockery and outrage. And it burst forth in the end. It burst forth because you yourselves caused it to, because your cruelty made the opening of her veins necessary, because you had crushed her heart many times and she did not want you to crush it again.

    And if this was what you wanted, then why do you find it strange?

    And if it is a matter of honor for you to continue writing your colonial history on pages such as these, why do you not temper – with justice, even – your supreme effort to affix the tattered remains of your conquistador’s cloak to Cuba forever?…”

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Thom, I just heard you state that the GM bondholders are nothing but selfish Hedge-Fund participants. That it is: only the Hedge-Fund holders who want to MAKE GM file for bankruptcy, put hundreds of thousands of workers out of work, and make a profit from this occurance.

    I disagree.

    I want to know how my investment into GM by loaning them, let's say, $20,000 of my hard earned money by buying their bonds with an agreement of repayment is evil and wrong. This investment would have been made with the expectation of a measly 3-4% rate of return over the life of the loan.

    And now the government is telling me:
    1) Take 30 cents on the dollar for your investment...and be happy to help
    That is a $14,000 loss, with no hope of recovery. In the market, when I lose a percentage, I can at least "let it ride"
    2) Let the Union take a 55% majority holding in the company for not putting ANY capital into it.
    3) Allow that 55% majority in GM the Union now has not interfere with the next Union negotiation?

    No, Thom, I don't think this is a good plan. I would hope that those who have given their money to GM as a Bondholder, and even more as a Taxpayer now, would vote against losing even more money. They are not, as individuals, going to profit by Trillions of dollars as GM declares debt-reorganizing bankruptcy as you had stated

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    I don't care what the Bible says about homosexuality. I don't have to follow it's rules, I can live my life my way. Christians can have their own values and opinions on the subject, but they should not be able to use government to force their ways on me, as a homosexual. There is no Christian nor religious requirement for FULL citizenship rights in the U.S.

    The only reason I would care what the Bible says about it is to try and educate some "Christians" that so misuse and misunderstand the Bible,or worse, cherry pick some sins and ignore others.

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Thom, I just heard you talking about these vultures who bought the Credit Default Swaps on Chrysler and are now forcing them into Bankruptcy.

    If corporations are people then Bankruptcy is their death.

    Therefore, if someone forces Chrysler into Bankruptcy (killing them) that murder.

    Where does this logic go wrong?

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    I called Sen Stabenow - my rep and on the committee - asked to put single payer on the table and at the table.

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    On the pre-presidential Obama website www.change.org which was used by Obama and his team to get ideas and opinions from supporters, two of the most frequently mentioned ideas I noticed were support for 1) single-payer health care and 2) investigation of the Bush administration, particularly the executive branch.

    I think such major support for these ideas, along The Employee Free Choice Act, shows that the American worker wants to be free!

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    terrorized -- like the guy they decided to blame for the anthrax. forced to commit suicide because there was no way no fight them. that leaves the question - will people get exonerated? found guilty by history? will the truth die with democracy as our country loses to fascism?

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Not sure where I read this but it seems appropriate:

    "What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority."

    Tom in SF

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Dear DRichard,

    Actually, this is the first I've heard of him, though I think I remember Ms. Stone referring to him. But thank you for mentioning him. I've just finished asking my library to get all 4 volumes of The Masks of God. Thom is right. He does have the smartest audience ever! Thanks again for sharing!
    Anna in Portland

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    When I finally acknowledged that I (as a liberal Christian) was cherry picking the scriptures, I left the faith. (I now consider myself a Deist).
    We all create God (& Jesus) in our own image. When ever we (in any shape or form) acknowledge the Bible to be the "Word of God", then the fundamentalist says, YES, and this is what it says...

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Man these guys are ridiculous, I am so tired of having to apologize for being Christian, but I don't see that day coming anytime soon. I wish I could ditch the whole thing, but I just think the real Jesus is so awesome.

    Jesus' message in a nut shell was this. Rules and laws are good until they get in the way of one's ability to love their neighbor, and if that's the case they've got to go. And because he challenged some of those rules that hindered love, which threatened the power structures of his day, they killed him.

    Any Christian who thinks that rules and standards an conventional morals are static are not following the way of Jesus. Today, by not accepting homosexual couples as equal with heterosexual couples, it is clear that our laws are prohibitive of the act of love, and are thus NOT reflective of the life and teachings of Jesus.

  • May 12th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Anna,
    Sounds like you have read the works of Joseph Campbell!

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