Recent comments

  • April 30th 2009 Thursday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    From V Foxx website: (excepts)
    “During this time of considerable economic uncertainty, misleading our state’s senior citizens—many living on fixed incomes—into making a donation to ‘save’ their future Social Security is not only morally abhorrent, but it also seems legally suspect,” Rep. Foxx wrote to Attorney General Cooper.
    The same group that sent the Social Security letter, Council of Seniors, was recently cited by the Indiana Attorney General for sending deceptive fundraising appeals to households in Indiana.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It would seem that Viginia is against SOME hate crimes. Still, I plan to write and chastise her for speaking so lightly of a horrendous crime (Matthew Shepherd). We have seen this and beheadings from young people who think that hate is ok!
    Virginia Foxx
    Washington, D.C. Office
    1230 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-2071 Fax: (202) 225-2995
    North Carolina District Offices
    6000 Meadowbrook Mall, Suite 3
    Clemmons, N.C. 27012
    Phone: (336) 778-0211 Fax: (336) 778-2290 Toll Free: 1(866) 677-8968
    240 Hwy 105 Extension, Suite 200
    Boone, N.C. 28607
    Phone: (828) 265-0240 Fax: (828) 265-0390

  • April 30th 2009 Thursday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Jeff, unfortunately, she's still a little too goofy (and scary) to ignore yet!

    Thom, you and your mom are often in my thoughts. (A very dear and beloved member of my family suffered with the same disease.) I have been reading interesting articles about new Alzheimer's and diabetes research and therapies. Here's one example:

    Potential New Drug Target For Diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/147259.php

    Now for something completely different:

    Louise, I listen to the show over the internet. At the end of every show, I hear a wonderful snippet of music. It's always interesting and I always wish I could hear the entire piece! (It seems like a delightful "thin mint" after Thom's huge cerebral "meal.")

  • April 30th 2009 Thursday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Regarding Michelle Bachman and the Cons:

    First we fought you, now we laugh at you, then we will ignore you, then we will win.

  • April 30th 2009 Thursday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Michele Bachmann was "installed" by the crazies in the Bush Administration, with Bush out here (in Minnesota) fund-raising for her. I don't understand how a state like MN, which used to be so well-educated and so progressive, could cough up someone like her. I do think that, because of our history, we have been on a right-wing "hit list."

    We knew, from the beginning of her run for Congress, that Bachmann was a nut. Remember the photos of her hiding in the bushes while she spied on a gay pride parade?

    BTW, the 2 schools that have been closed in MN due to the "flying pig" outbreaks are in Michele Bachmann's district! Go figure...

  • April 30th 2009 Thursday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Re: Torture

    There were anti-torture protesters in front of the White House today, wearing orange jumpsuits. They were *arrested* and they weren't doing anything wrong. They were exercising their first amendment rights.

    What's wrong with this picture? Are the "tea party" protesters the only ones allowed to protest in front of the White House?

  • Will Obama Reboot Capitalism Anew?   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Hello,

    This is my first attempt at joining the discussion. I hope I am doing it correctly. 3 things on my mind.

    Last week I was in the grocery store and struck a conversation with a woman who told me she and her husband were retired and not sure how they would survive the coming hard times especially since they were on Soc Sec and were not going to get a cost of living increase for 3 years. So I tried to do the 'win the water cooler war' thing and mentioned corporate raider and reckless betting with our retirements and tax structering etc ( I didn't have time for much but thanx to Thom I had some ideas ready to hand) She told me that people who make the top 1% and pay proportionately tiny rate of tax 'deserve it because they worked hard and earned it.' I asked her if she thought the AIG guys who got bailed out and then got the bonuses 'deserved it' and she said 'they were an extreme case and we would agree to disagree' . She had her grocery bags loaded up and left so that was the end of our mini debate. but I have been stuck on it for days. And it occurred to me the issue for her and Why someone would speak and think and work against their own interest was that maybe she thought it was some Horatio Alger sort of 'America Land of Opportunity' and that she might 'Get Lucky' and succeed BIG too.

    The other two things are some books. As Thom was speaking about world population and birth control I wanted to tell you about a very good book called

    'Fatal Misconception ;The Struggle to Control World Population' by Matthew Connolly

    And another book I just read called "The Alchemy of Air' by Thomas Hager about the Haber Bosch Process. Maybe if you haven't already done so one or both of there authors might be guests on the show.

    Thanks to Thom and all the Thom H. team, you guys are inspiring me to step up and speak out even though I have been deeply cynical about the politcal process and my place in it.

  • April 30th 2009 Thursday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    When asked about Michelle Bachman’s comments, Hoot Smalley said, “I did terrific things for the economy! And I helped people! Because I was good enough, I was smart enough, and, doggonit, the economic elites liked me!

  • April 30th 2009 Thursday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Speaking of Michelle Bachmann, she made the erroneous comment about how it was an "interesting coincidence" that the last swine flu outbreak was under a Democratic president when it was actually under Republican Gerald Ford, but the interesting coincidence is that the first incidence of the current swine flu strain in Minnesota is in her district...

  • Will Obama Reboot Capitalism Anew?   10 years 12 weeks ago

    I believe just before I got back here at work you said that you were the only person out there really challenging the hedge funds in regards to holding Chrysler hostage. I wanted to let you know that yesterday after a flu-briefing to the State of Michigan, Governor Jennifer Grandholm called out those same hedge funds and named three specifically; Oppenheimer was one of them but I cannot remember the others. After only a minute or so they cut her off (ABC local affiliate). I don't know if it was on purpose.

    I decided this morning to look into finding more info on this and see who was reporting on it. The only report I found in the short time I had was out of Italy.

    Kudos to you and Gov. Granholm - keep up the good fight - we sre out here waiting for our chance. Keep giving us the tools.

  • April 30th 2009 Thursday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    When talking about the problems hedge funds are causing for Chrysler, you're leaving out the worst part. You noted that the reason the are forcing Chrysler into bankruptcy is so they can collect on their Credit Default Swaps. But you didn't mention that the reason they *can* collect on their CDSs is that the U.S. government bailed out AIG, the irresponsible issuer of more CDSs than they had assets to back. Without the bailout, that market would have collapsed.

    So effectively, they are doing it because the taxpayers are paying them to do it!

  • April 28th 2009 Tuesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Ah! Summer camp, in the country! That was great, 'cause as a kid I/We campers learned there, that jokes and joking could and should, wonderfully express the gross, plying of the individual body, of universal human beings, in ways unknown! That is, the human body is asymmetrical, part like steel (bones), part like sponge(?), and overall it is seperable (?)into various parts, REALLY!? Ex. (said exhuberantly, to a VERY recalcitrant camper, who is swinging from a low tree branch) "Why, I'll stretch your arms sooo far, you're arms will pop off!" And ninth grade biology, in the seventies, took as its job partly, to shock students into new attitudes toward the human body, a surprisingly resilient, tough, and surviving/survivable instrument!!

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Although it certainly can get worse, at this point the swine flu “pandemic” seems to be more a function of media manipulation, international posturing and political maneuvering, with an astonishing lack of empathy for the victims in Mexico City. Stay away and let them die seems to be the unspoken mantra.
    It is interesting to note that 36,000 people die of flu or flu-like symptoms every year in this country, yet no one seems to think this is cause for alarm; it is just another way that people die of natural causes. But if there is someone to blame—like the “Mexicans”—it is unnatural, and at least for the media and those who take Lou Dobbs and Michelle Malkin and their ilk seriously, it is just the latest ploy to increase ratings and engender xenophobic fear and paranoia.
    No one at this time knows the precise source of the outbreak (a few suggest that it was someone traveling from the U.S. to Mexico who carried the swine flu bug; the pig farm where that 5-year-old lived has been declared "clean" of swine flu), but it is interesting to note some populations are more susceptible than others. In their book “After the Fact” James Davidson and Mark Lytle have a chapter on the debate concerning the precise population of Native Americans at the time of European contact; they note that contemporary accounts that indicated large populations were arbitrarily reduced by later historians for no reason other than to advance a political agenda. They also note that whole populations were wiped-out long before anyone thought to take a census; for example, they tracked the progress of a smallpox epidemic that extinguished a half-dozen Indian communities along a river route. The source? One white trader.

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Although Andrew Napolitano didn’t bring the subject up, many of his fellow Italian-Americans like to point out that their predecessors came to this country “legally.” What they don’t mention is that there was unlimited immigration from Europe until the early 20th century for the price of ship fare; Ellis Island was nothing more than a brief inconvenience to be catalogued and checked for communicable diseases. There were no checks on criminal background or economic status. It was only until it was decided that there needed to be a break on the number of morally and intellectually “ inferior races” like Mediterranean (Italian) and Eastern Europeans that quota systems were instituted, which favored Anglos and Nordics—and harmed Jews trying to escape the Nazi terror. The late Stephen J. Gould’s book “Mismeasure of Man” discusses at length how this “inferiority” was given “scientific” credence through so-called intelligence tests administered to Army recruits during World War I.
    And since we’re on the subject of “inferior races” and immigrants, we might as well talk about the people Italian-Americans like Joe Arpaio, Tom Tancredo and others of their racially self-conscious ilk have been targeting. It is interesting to note that the swine flu scare, is, naturally fodder for feast by anti-Latino immigrant fanatics like Pat Buchanan, Lou Dobbs and Michelle Malkin. The chancre sore in this latest version of their paranoid, racist mythology is that 36,000 Americans die of various forms of the flu every year, without much fanfare. But just at the mention of Mexico and Mexicans, there’s just no stopping the racist fantasies that have appeared on blogs everywhere. But while the uncertainty as to the cause of this outbreak has been the subject of many flights of fancy in some quarters, it does not entirely explain why there is an astonishing lack of empathy for the hundreds dead and thousands sickened in Mexico.
    The fact that when Americans are not fed just one version of events (which supports the racist view), that “alternative” view is often silence—and silence betokens consent, declared Thomas More at his trial charging him with refusing to accept the Act of Supremacy. The “progressive” media has been almost entirely silent in the face of anti-Latino prejudice, fearing backlash whenever the subject of illegal immigration surfaces. The proof, of course, that this is Latino-specific bigotry is the fact that no one ever mentions that one-quarter of all illegal immigrants are from outside Latin America.
    And so I look with a jaundiced eye at the “progressive” media shedding tears over the Guantanamo Bay inmates; consider this case: A developmentally-disabled teen is thought to have tried to kiss a girl at a party. He is dragged outside, stripped naked, kicked unconscious, is burned with cigarettes, has a racial slur scrawled on his chest with a knife, has a patio umbrella pole thrust into his rectum, which rips apart his internal organs, and to “hide” the evidence the perpetrators pour bleach over and inside his body. The victim was not a Guantanamo Bay inmate, he was Latino in Spring, Texas; the perpetrators were two white skinheads, who “thought” he was trying to kiss a white girl (she was Latina). The victim survived, but with permanent physical disabilities.
    I do not relate this story merely because it contrasts how Americans (unlike, say, the Germans) seem to have more empathy for victims in circumstances where there is identifiable villain that exists in some other realm (say, the Bush administration), but when the villain might exist in the dark corner of one’s own mind, the mind either closes or reacts with hypocritical defensiveness. But the media failing to connect such acts with an atmosphere of hate is even less excusable. The Seattle Times’ sole mention of the story was brief paragraph which left out all the details save the part about the girl, which made it seem as if she was the real “victim.” When I wrote a letter of complaint to a Times editor, I was informed that the paper left out details about the gruesome assault because it didn’t want to “revolt” readers.
    The failure of the media, and the “progressive” media even more inexcusably in allowing the internal forces of hate to escape censure (labor or “working people” as Thom calls them). “Working people,” inspired by the hate-filled rhetoric of local officials, murdered Latino men in Shenandoah, PA and in the Long Island recently. Last week a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center went virtually unnoticed by the media, and entirely ignored by “progressive” radio, drowned-out by all the talk about torture memos. It is entitled “Under Siege: Life for Low Income Latinos in the South” which details what it calls a “civil rights crisis.” I urge anyone who needs to expunge the existence of anti-Latino bigotry from their minds to read it, since Thom certainly has not read it, because if he did he wouldn’t hesitate to invite someone from the Center to discuss it. I will quote this from the report:
    “The belief that immigrants are disease-carrying criminals bent on destroying the United
    States economy for their own selfish purposes would have previously been written off
    as the ranting of a xenophobe who needs to be kept away from any legitimate discussion
    of immigration policy.
    Today, however, immigration myths and wild conspiracy theories are frequently repeated
    in the mainstream media and in the corridors of power from Congress to statehouses to
    town halls across the country.
    These ideas have gained currency in large part because talk radio and television news
    programs trusted by the public have provided a platform for racist extremist groups to
    spread their propaganda — fueling anger and hate against Latinos.
    This vilification has dramatic consequences for Latinos, regardless of their immigration
    status.”
    Dramatic indeed. Racist “slights” have a tendency to add-up in a big way. Whether it is being given the shriveled-up donut hidden in the back at the bakery, or by whose very appearance automatically encourages one to insure their car is locked, or being followed around a bookstore because you are obviously too ignorant to read, so you must be a thief—indignation in defense of ones own humanity builds. Some, like me, do not stand silently by. At the airport where I work, Latino males—especially if alone—are fair game for racial profiling. I myself have filed three complaints of harassment against the Port of Seattle police, and have frequently been targeted—not always subtly—by Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs, and TSA personnel for “special attention” merely because they see a “Mexican.” On the day I’m writing this, the security detail at the Federal Building saw a “Mexican” too; on my way to the IRS office, I was the only one in line waiting for clearance required to show ID, demanded of me in a condescending manner.
    In order to rationalize this almost instinctual bigotry, all types of physical or character defects are applied to the extent to which a process of dehumanization occurs, much as the Nazis dehumanized the Jews. In fact, other than their relative economic and educational status, the Nazi attitude toward Jews and Latinos in this country are strikingly similar: unwanted, stateless intruders or “illegal aliens,” parasitical, licentious, criminal, perpetrators of violence against the “native” population, vermin—scapegoated for every national ill.

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    First off, I share Thom's belief that we need to rebuild the middle-class, but I don't see starting a tariff war will achieve that end. Attacks on NAFTA and CAFTA don't make any sense, particularly if we don't want a "failed state" on our border; apparently our trade with China doesn’t have a catchy name. Our trade deficit with China alone far exceeds that with all of Latin America and Canada combined; U.S. exports to China are valued at one-fifth of imports from China. The U.S. in fact has an overall trade surplus with the CAFTA countries, just not as large as it used to be. The Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile has found that NAFTA has little to do with the trade deficit with Mexico—which, according to the CBO, would have occurred without the agreement anyway. The relative differences in economic activity between the U.S. and Mexico has had far greater impact on the trade deficit than the provisions of NAFTA. What does Thom want to do--stop all trade with Mexico and set in motion a maelstrom that will engulf both countries. This is simple shortsightedness.
    I was also wondering (since Thom spoke at length about women's rights) what Stanton's and Anthony's position was on the lynching of black men in America; after all it was done almost solely in defense of the "sanctity" of white womanhood, and it went on for a century after the 14th Amendment was passed. It's apparent that white women didn't try to stop it, since racism didn't stop with their menfolk.

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Thom, There is one thing I would like to point out since a caller just said that health cars is not a right. I submit to you the preamble of the constitution were it states that "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Wefare is the key word here the definition of Welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being. [<ME wel faren, to fare well] with that being said in the most sacred and ripped apart document in our countries history I would like others to make that known, Healthcare is a right and the government knows it has a place in it for natiobnal security reasons.

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Regarding the GM bonds, my understanding is that several large/institutional bond holders have taken out Credit Default Swaps whereby in the event that GM files bankrupsy, they will be paid 100% of the original investment. They are HOPING for a GM bankrupsy instead of taking shares of stocks worth 80% or 90% of their original investment.

    Obama sure has a mess on his hands!

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Thom - I love that 'Renaissance thinking..' . You and your cohorts do a great job keeping us informed and thinking!

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    How can there be a debate about torture? I always thought that torture was universally acknowledged to be outside the bounds of acceptable human behavior. Just to have the "debate" allows for the possibility that torture may be acceptable. We have the affirmative obligation to treat those who are under our control humanely.

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Arlen is a mixed bag. Author of the single bullet theory. Pro-Choice and (ex)Republicant. Waffles between Pro-labor and Corporatist.

    Remember that the term Moderate Republican means voting recessivist only 80% on the time instead of 97% of the time.

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    I hear that doctors are a limited profession. That the number of students per year in the US is maintained instead of increased. We have a doctor shortage and maybe the doctors should get help with their insurance costs like the insurance companies do.
    Nurses are brought in from all over. Computer people are brought in from all over. Seasonal workers are brought in. We need the rules to be rewritten on all of these. We need the rules to be written to support the US, not corporations.
    We need to ensure that records and data entry are not shipped to India or China to be stolen. I don't know that any such protections are in place.

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Thanks for the show Thom. I don't get to listen much anymore but on the occaissional Wednesday, when I work from home, I can listen via internet.

    I used to catch every single show.

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Dear Thom,

    When my friend's husband, a full MD, came here from Lebanon, the AMA required him to starts over from scratch. After over 10 years as a doctor, he had to be a student/resident again. If they're doing this for doctor, why would they just hire nurses from the Phillipines for less? Isn't nursing/doctoring one of the few fields that is not at risk for losing jobs over seas? I can't get a nurse from China to treat me over the Internet. They have to come here to treat me, and then they have to go through the AMA standards again from scratch. My friend's husband couldn't even test out of the subjects. He had to start over as though he had just finished medical school. Opinion?

    Thanks for a great show! Take care.

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    AZAFVET - I think you need to switch that! LOL!

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    On healthcare....

    My wife is an RN and for the first time in her life she's seeing cross-the-board pay cuts and empty job boards in the hospital. Health care is no longer insulated from recession.

  • April 29th 2009 Wednesday   10 years 12 weeks ago

    Speech on Women's right to vote by Susan B Anthony to court - under 3 minutes.

    http://www.learnoutloud.com/podcaststream/listen.php?url=http://www.lear...

    from 1873

    She points out that 'WE THE PEOPLE' does not exclude women; that citizen does not limit rights to white males; and, it makes you more cognizant that 'corporations' are not included!

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