Recent comments

  • April 10th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago


    3 of top 5 campaign contributers were Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Citigroup. Morgan Stanley was #8. American Bankers Assn #11.
    BofA #17. Merrill Lynch #19. That is 7 of the top 20 (vs 3 political, 3 labor, 1 other national trade organization, and 6 other corporations).

    Got to go to work.

  • April 10th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago


    Last week you mentioned Title I in a conversation about stimulus to education
    Question> Under the Equal Protection Act how is it fair that a neighbor city in CA receives enough Title I $ to keep ALL their teachers when Manhattan Beach, a more affluent city is forced to lay off ALL elementary librarians, PE teachers, computer science teachers, math and reading specialists, 100 teachers forcing elemenatry class sizes to increase from 22 to 44 ?
    How is that fair ?
    What can we do ?
    The Governor already has stripped education to the bones
    Thank you

  • April 10th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Of course you got only about 30 votes on usury. Most of the biggest contributors to the other 70 Senators were big banks that have been bailed out, merged into banks, or went bankrupt. See the campaign finanace web site. I looked at a sample - 4 of 4 SenatorsI looked at, including 1 Democrat, had 4 of their 5 biggest cotributors that were banks). Bankruptcy probably stops Lehman.

    Are any of these now prohibited from continuing to contribute to Congressional Campaigns?

    Has there been any discussion of this in congress? I don't suppose anyone thought of banning contributions by the other bailed-out banks. What a confilict of interest!

    This is going to be a major scandal. Not sure when, but it will be within the next 2 years.

  • April 10th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Does Bernie have specific location information on these community health centers? Could a web site be set up or do we just sort of crawl around our own cities and hope to find one of these- could not the White house put such a data base together for us? -

    Especially the dental care........!

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Holy mackerel there Jared Allaway,

    Thank you for responding to one of the least significant messages I’ve posted on this board. Although the last thing I expected to find when I checked back on this board was to find an angry response to a simple joke that wasn’t aimed at anyone, vegetarian or not.

    I have to say that I’m disappointed that you flew off in a huff over that joke, so I’d like to offer a little advice about huffs. They can be very hard to pilot because they tend to be over-powered for the payloads they carry. And they make so much noise that the pilots, usually hunched over the yoke, can’t hear when people try to warn them that their about to crash. So before flying off in a huff, it’s a good idea to carefully go through your checklist. Taking special care that you have sufficient fuel and visibility is very important.

    To address the points in your post:

    I didn’t write about vegetarians. I made a joke. My main joke was about the “Easter Heifer”. Then I added the joke about the “Vegetable Liberation League”. That joke dates back to a video I thought of making back when fast food restaurants started offering veggie burgers. It never was about any animus towards vegetarians on my part. In fact, I have criticized a local talk show host for disparaging vegans and vegetarians, and this is a person who had Thom Hartmann on his show as an honored guest several times.

    I guess the following line is what pulled the prop on your huff. “As far as you vegetarians, we members of the Vegetable Liberation League think you’re deplorable hypocrites.” Dude, there is no Vegetable Liberation League. To adapt a line from Sigmund Freud, “Sometimes a joke is just a joke.”

    I think your overreaction to my little joke is an indication of oversensitivity on your part. That’s very common among people who feel very strongly about their issues. I’m going to guess that cruelty to animals is a very big part of that for you. Nevertheless, your response was over the top and oversensitive.

    There was nothing in my post that suggested that “meat eaters are doing a noble thing”. You saying that indicates that your emotions got the best of your logic. Hey, I eat vegetable every day. I cut them, cook them and do all sorts of things that they wouldn’t think well of, if they thought at all.

    Another indication of how you’ve overreacted is your comment that my joke showed the world that I haven’t done any research on vegetarianism. What world? How many people to you think read this blog? And your comment about how much research I’ve done on vegetarianism only makes sense if you think the joke was a criticism of vegetarianism, which it wasn’t.

    For our information, I’m familiar with the basic arguments for vegetarianism. The health and environmental arguments are the most compelling to me, and have informed my eating habits, though I do eat and enjoy some meat. And I’ve known about vegetarianism since I was a child, because I had an uncle who was a vegetarian. He and his family lived very close to my family and I spent a lot of time at their house.

    You say jokes about defenseless vegetable are old. So what! That statement shows that you don’t know much about jokes and humor. Last year there was a news story about research on the oldest jokes on record. The very oldest joke dates back around to 1900 BC and comes from ancient Sumer. It was a fart joke. In 2009, Stephanie Miller, one of the top rated “progressive” talkers has a promo running about the role of fart jokes on her show. In fact, articles about the oldest jokes noted that just like today, relationships, toilet humor and sex jokes were staples of ancient humor. I imagine that there were people who were offended by some of those jokes way back then.

    Now completely out of the blue, you said, “I love Thom Hartmann.” Maybe that’s the source of part of your anger, because if you read this blog regularly, you may have noticed that I’m very critical of Thom.

    Well, I have some major differences with Thom and I’m going to express them. I hope some of my comments help Thom expand his view. It’s hard to judge whether they do or not. Thom, like all of us has his comfort zone and a certain amount of rigidity in his opinions. Personally, I believe some of his ideas are just plain whack.

    I saw your post about atheism. You seem to be an atheist. Thom believes in a spiritual dimension to the universe and if you listen to him over a long period of time, you may be amazed at how omnipresent Thom seems to believe this spiritual dimension is. But his spiritual views are only one area in which I disagree with him. There are also a lot of areas I do agree with him.

    Well, this was a long response to a short post. I don’t know whether it will help you understand why I think you overreacted, but I don’t know if you’ll even see it.

    My advice to you is to just chill. Me, I’m gonna veg out for a while.

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Must repair an earlier post comparing population densities between USA and Western Europe:

    European Union : population: 491,582,852 (July 2009 est.) total: 4,324,782 sq km
    United States: population: 307,212,123 (July 2009 est.) total: 9,826,630 sq km note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia; slightly larger than China; more than twice the size of the European Union

    CIA Fact book:

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Caller Haley's comment -- that the digital age needs laws of its own somehow to cover things like cyber-bullying -- is pretty bizarre! A law is a law. Libel, defamation, slander, blackmail and so on don't need to be recast to address the world with computers!

    I got the feeling from the caller's insistence that something NEW needed to be created to address cyber-bullying was call for something FASTER, even instantaneous -- LIKE THE KEYPAD DELETE BUTTON!

    This is frightening to me. Computers give us a lot of that sensation of INSTANTANEOUS GRATIFICATION, but law and justice do not work like that. Evidence, discovery, deposition, judgement, peer review, precedent -- all these things have a place in our attempt to gain JUSTICE. We can't just CENSOR, DELETE, and BAN those we don't like or find irritable, etc.!

    I find that call VERY scary if it reflects how most young people think about this.

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    B Roll wrote about vegetarians. I am a vegan. I don't put animal products in my mouth, I don't wear animal products, and I don't buy products from companies that do animal testing. I love Thom Hartmann. I'm sorry B Roll felt the need to write a tired old joke that has been told by people who don't understand vegetarians for years.

    For the record: jokes that suggest meat eaters are doing a noble thing by "saving defenseless vegetables" are old and are a great way to show the world you haven't done any research on vegetarianism.

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Cyber-bullying topic:

    I agree with Thom that there are ALREADY laws on the books to cover the actions of these bullies.

    I especially agree that teaching kids the reality of the bullying world by showing them how spot bullies and deal with them on the Internet too. We do need to teach everybody how to spot these people and REPORT them and work to contain their bullying behavior.

    BULLIES need rehabilitation, that's for sure. We make Drunk Drivers take education classes when they are first snagged. Isn't it time to do the same for BULLIES??? We need a way to lasso the bullies and give them a chance to reform and be members of the real human race! If they can't be reformed, then maybe stronger remedies are needed.

    ESPECIALLY we need to take away the bullies' computers if they refuse to stop cyber-bullying! (Just like Drunk Drivers are not allowed to drive.)

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    re: Iris Mack

    I wonder if the following facts had anything to do with the firing of Iris Mack after she questioned certain practices and investments of the Harvard Management Company while Lawrence Summers was the president of Harvard University:

    1. Mack questioned policies Summers approved of.
    2. Mack is a woman.
    3. Mack is relatively young.
    4. Mack is black.
    5. Mack is beautiful. (I know Thom, we're not supposed to notice.)
    6. Mack smells good. (I know Thom, we're not supposed to notice.)

    People who attain the kinds of successes and positions of power that Summers has usually don't appreciate being questioned by underlings. They also tend to be protective of their authority and reputation.

    We already know that Summers expressed (in the past) his belief that females possessed less of an aptitude for math and science than males. We also know people tend to hold clusters of conservative or liberal beliefs. For example, people who hold backwards views on women often also hold backwards views on race. People who support gender equality also tend to support racial equality. These are general statements not absolute.

    I don't like unsupported speculation, but I can imagine a scenario in which Summers was angered to have economic decisions he supported being questioned. His judgment and reputation were being questioned. And I can imagine that his anger increased when he discovered that the person who questioned these decisions was a brilliant young black woman who also happened to look and smell great.

    It's just my speculation and it may be that Mack's firing may be totally due to her questioning of the several practices of the Harvard Management and nothing to do with the other factors. It may be that anyone might have been treated the same way.

    Still, with the proper disclaimers, I think we should consider racial, gender and generational factors that we tend to either overlook or assert without much thought. The question of race is particularly neglected on progressive radio. When it is dealt with, it’s generally done poorly.

    How do I know that Iris Mack is beautiful? I’ve seen pictures of her. How do I know she smells good? Come on! And unlike Thom Hartmann who beat his breast on the radio after spontaneously complimenting Arianna Huffington for her perfume, I understand that people (men as well as women) scent their bodies for their own enjoyment and for others to notice.

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    The math that killed Wall Street.
    Here is a link to an article in Wired Magazine that explains the math behind credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations. It explains how it works and what the problems with it are, in a way that is easy to understand.

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    When quoting Rick Santorum, failure to refer to:


    is a crime against man and the god of your choice.

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Good point of agreement with the gun owner. I often worry about having my rights taken away. Both left and right could work together to model a step diagram with levels of concern and recommended action. I have been in the wilderness surrounded by homes that are meth labs and thankful to G-d my host had an array of guns. Ultimately, our need for protection from those who would use the legal system to strip our civilization of its rights begins with the human psyche and is a cultural issue. For every gun, there ought to be a conflict resolution, basic safety nets including education and voluntary counseling services made available. We should join with the Republicans and fight the very rich control freaks rather than each other.

  • April 8th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Of course there would be fewer outbreaks of disease if food safety were privatized. We would not have a pesky CDC to track and tell us about them! Seriously, without a central, "official" agency with the responsibility to track and, with the legal right to investigate disease, we would never hear about them.

    Another point: How do you think things will work out if the private P.R. agency of an industry is quicker at getting its message out than the private inspection agency?

  • April 6th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    News from Milwaukee about the exact thing Thom talked about on Wednesday. Sendik's is considered "the" grocery for the high-end earners.

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Greetings from the future.

    Yes, I arrived here in Thursday, April 9, one day before the rest of you. We think there's a bug in the software for Thom's new website that caused a tear in the time/space continuum. We've been working on the problem, and think we've come up with a solution, which I'll try at the very moment that yesterday turns into today.

    Here's the plan. At the precise moment that your today (my yesterday) is turning into my today (your tomorrow), I will jump into the air. If my timing is perfect, I will jump today and land today. Since my feet won't be touching the ground when at the moment the day changes, I will hopefully land in the right day. (This is why basketball games and track and field events like the long jump, high jump and the pole vault are scheduled to end before midnight. People who are in the right day could end up a day behind if they unfortunately jump at the right time.

    No need to wish me luck. By the time you read this I'll either be back in the present or I might be smashed like a bug against the windshield of yesterday.

    Thom, if I don't make it, I want you to know I take back every nice thing I ever said about you. Hope you understand.

  • April 8th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    I'm happy to hear that you tell it like it is when discussing the meat industry and the negative impact it has on the health of the planet. There's a great article that points out just how easy it can be to make a difference, just by skipping meat for one day. GO VEG!!!

  • April 8th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Some varied thoughts on Thom's food topic today:

    1. Are AynRandianLibertarians capable of CAUSE AND EFFECT thought processes? I mean, so what if there are a thousand "Consumer Report" type reviews of products in regards to product safety and effectiveness? All they will contain are analyses of harmful, toxic and poisonous products if we don't make sure products are safe BEFORE they reach the point of sale/purchase!

    2. Two things are missing in consumer protection: 1) Criminal prosecutions of producers of harmful products, and 2) Inspections to prevent tainted goods for entering the marketplace.

    3. Where is a deterrent to producers who sell TAINTED PRODUCTS!? Is there nothing to induce them to regulate themselves effectively? Unless there are laws to PROSECUTE those who FRAUDULENTLY sell products as healthful and safe when those products are actually poisonous -- the incidence of FOOD POISONING and toxic products will continue unabated. We will continue to find out about poisonous products AFTER THE FACT that they are out amongst us being consumed and used in food production.

    4. And 'accidental' contamination? Accidents only happen because noone is looking at the process. The more INSPECTIONS there are, the fewer the accidents!

    5. It was interesting to hear Thom's caller who indicated the difference between USDA inspections (of meat and farm animal husbandry and slaughtering) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food processing and drug formulation and their safety. However, the USDA has delivered no panacea either. They have inadequate numbers of inspectors; if they do find something wrong, they can write up the violation but usually little comes of it but a building record of violations! This is typical of the animal research industry where university research labs can accumulate stacks of violations and never correct the problems and if they pay a fine, the fine is so small it doesn't phase them. Another example of this inadequacy of MAD COW DISEASE (prion disease Thom mentioned): the USDA has not controlled the use of dead animal parts/waste products in feed for live animals even though it is PROVED that this is a way the prion disease infection is spread.

    6. The food producers use that same old formula: If the fine costs less than the profit I can make, I'll violate safety rules and pay the fine out of the greater profits.

    We absolutely MUST make tougher safety rules/regulations and make the fines/punishment for violations PAINFUL enough to be followed!

  • April 7th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    Thom resorted to the phantasmal tactic of defining god as a tree or as the sky. Ok, if that is how you define god than I am a believer. Thom has diluted the definition of god so much, he renders it useless. Having a sense of transcendence is not proof of god.

    Schizophrenics were once thought to be demonic and now we understand it is due to a brain disorder caused by increased dopamine activity in the mesolimbic pathway of the brain, nothing supernatural about it. And we can now alter the mind with medications, we treat schizophrenia with antipsychotic drugs and for centuries humans have been using natural drugs to alter the brain to have a “spiritual” experience. How then Thom do you attribute a feeling in your brain to the supernatural? I think (we are getting close) we will understand spiritual experiences at the level of the brain much like we are coming closer to understanding schizophrenia and drug use at the level of the brain. It is a fantasy, nothing more, get over it. Just because you are afraid of death and you want to see your dad again is not justification of belief in things unproven.

    According to wikipedia:
    Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which act in a manner similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement.

    Does this make love somehow less special? No. The fact that we evolved such a trait is astonishing, it makes it so much more amazing, the feeling is real and it has a natural cause, not some transcendent cause. When Bronze Age societies saw the sun as a magical entity and in many cases an actual god they looked at it with awe and spirituality. Now understanding that the sun is a giant nuclear reactor made up of not angels but rather hydrogen and helium and other elements, ask yourself, do you feel the sun is less awe inspiring? Does this knowledge reduce our amazement or enrich it. I prefer the latter.

    Now on to Thom’s other tactic: Calling Atheism a religion.

    This is blatantly dishonest, attacking your opponent as being the very thing they are against to shut them up doesn’t win you the debate. It is simple, Theists make a claim, i.e. god exists and an Atheist simply denies the claim. Hey Thom, free marketers make a claim, i.e. "The free market will solve everything" and you deny that claim and speak out against it regularly. Does that make your denial a religion? Aren’t you being fundamental with your disbelief? Aren’t you evangelizing? Once again you are diluting the definition of religion so much as to rendering it useless. If people explain why they do not believe, and you call that a religion, than we really have a lot more religions on our hands than we ever realized and we should be teaching those “religions” in comparative religions classes. In Thom’s world, any philosophy or argument becomes a religion.

    Definitions are important and religion is an organized approach to human spirituality which usually encompasses a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural or transcendent quality, that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to a higher power or truth.

    Atheists deny the spirit world, they deny the supernatural, they do not have practices of atheism or beliefs, it is a non belief. Raelians claim to be atheists and technically they are right as they do not believe in a supernatural god, they believe aliens made us through cloning and advanced technology. I am pointing this out to show that an atheist can believe anything, even crazy irrational things unsupported by evidence, just not in a god.

    People who deny that Bigfoot exists could be called abigfootists and believe in a load of different things just not in Bigfoot. Atheism is no different. We do not call Bigfoot deniers a religion and Thom should know better.

  • April 8th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    I hope that the citizens of the United States will one day start to realize that we are the government and that those that say that government is somehow doing a bad job they are saying the we the people are doing a bad job. Each time a agency does not perform the duties that the critics think that should be done should remember that the employee of the agencies are citizens of the United States and are doing a bad job. We have citizens of the United States who do not feel that their allegiance is to the people of the United States and should do everything they can to protect the people. The people that showed up to help the community of Fargo should be held up as an example of what the government should be, the people showing up to do what ever it takes to help protect the people.

  • April 8th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    It is not all the people that are desensitized and do not know were their food comes from. Most people are not that stupid. I am affined by radio and TV personalities who feel that the way they think things should be are somehow more informed that everyone else. The same information that they are exposed to can be acquired by others who do not have their platform to express their opinion. Maybe some million or so people will read, saw and agree with what is presented by these personalities, the fact still remains, these only represent a small faction of the people that live on this planet.

  • April 9th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago


    Did you imply that Easter eggs don't come from cows. Then how do you explain the Easter Heifer? I guess you've been living on your houseboat so long you've forgot about them. Cows don't like swimming aren't built for boating.

    As far as you vegetarians, we members of the Vegetable Liberation League think you're deplorable hypocrites. A chicken can run or fly away, a duck can swim away and a cow has many ways of escaping, except by swimming or by boat. But poor vegetables are stuck in the ground. How can you justify cutting off the head of a lettuce or a cabbage and then eating it?

  • April 8th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    I occasionally eat Fish but when I do I often eat with head on because I don't want to sanitize what I eat or where it comes from. That said, I dont eat any other animal and havene't in 36 years. I've said time and again, it would be a good thing for us to see and know exactly where our food comes from and how it is processed rather than just going into the supermarket and picking up a shrink wrapped hunk of meat in the refrigerator case. Certainly if an animal is going to give it's life for your sustanence the least you can do is confront the reality of how that animal was killed for your dinner.

  • April 8th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    The Libertarian or Objectivism positions are two things:
    1) Dependent on the assumption that people will ALL "act responsibly".
    2) A return to no civilization.

    #1 is unrealistic in the extreme. It just isn't true that everyone will act responsibly if we suspend all regulation.
    and #2 -- well, isn't one definition of civilization that we band together to do things for our own safety and advantage that are more difficult to do alone? Libertarianism is the assumption that if we take away civilization, people will still act civilized. This is completely crazy.
    Our founders wisely put "checks and balances" into our government because they knew that there are always those people who, if you don't watch them closely, will try to cut corners, to cheat. As a PREVENTIVE measure, if we all watch each other for honesty all the time, we can do it unobtrusively and without malice or paranoia. It's akin to what we in health care call "Universal Precautions": we treat ALL patients as if they have a deadly communicable disease. This takes the onus off of everyone, no one is accused of anything, and everyone is much safer.

  • April 8th 2009   10 years 23 weeks ago

    I'm a vegetarian, thanks to your book LHof theAS, but it just so happened that I was eating tomato soup when you spoke of the chef slitting the rabbit's throat. I almost lost it on the computer screen.
    Much appreciated.

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