Recent comments

  • French Workers Hold their Boss Hostage: Why Do the French have an Uppity Middle Class and We Don’t?   12 years 24 weeks ago

    BTW: Thom needs an algorithm that randomly orders comments so that the first or last comment isn't alway the first one read, so that each comment is handled with equality.

  • French Workers Hold their Boss Hostage: Why Do the French have an Uppity Middle Class and We Don’t?   12 years 24 weeks ago

    I don't want the last word to go to someone who so obviously a right wing hack spouting hateful, disrespectful words. I am sorry for him.

    It is not true that union people or the French are lazy. This person clearly doesn't understand the idea of social contract and has probably never read Rouseau. The way people live today requires a social safety net. It is only recently (within the last hundred years) in this country, that is has become impossible to exist outside of the political realm of our social contract. 100 years ago a person that wanted his freedom could go into the outlands, hunt start a farm, climb a mountain and survive on nature.

    Nature was the social safety net and it is no longer accessible. That is why the homeless crowd our cities. There are no unowned lands where they can live off of the bounty of nature. In order to be free people need to have some security and that is why it is important to have a minimal level of guaranteed support. It is the level that has always existed and has never stopped mankind from progressing.

    Almost all human beings want more from life than just be be fed and sheltered. They want respect. They want to fulfill their end of the social contract, which is to contribute to the well-being of their fellow men, brethren, countrymen.

  • April 3 2009   12 years 24 weeks ago

    Thom,

    I heard Lori Wallach the director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch on The Ron Reagan Show yesterday. She describes herself as a "recovering trade attorney".

    One thing she said really caught my ear. She said that she was reading the agreement that came out of one of the WTO rounds and found a "footnote" in it in that said that the Clinton Administration had agreed to get rid of Glass Steagall.

    You might like to have her on as a guest. I hope you take my suggestion, since we're on such good terms and all. :)

  • April 3 2009   12 years 24 weeks ago

    Chad Lupkes wrote:

    "Also, why are the form fields for name, email and website scattered among the previous few comments? That’s just weird."

    I think you're referring to the instability I mentioned on this blog recently. Sometimes the homepage formats properly but other times it doesn't it doesn't.

    It seems that there's some sort of bug in the code for this site. It's been going on for a while and I hope they get it fixed soon.

    However, it seems that when the homepage formats properly, it never finishes loading. When it formats properly, the statusbar always reads "Transfering data from www.freepress.net...." It never reads :Done".

    I've also found that when the homepage formats properly (but never finishes loading), I can't find the "Highlights" link that allows me to access past show topics and blogs. But when it doesn't format Properly, all the links are listed in a column on the left side of the page and the "Highlights" link is visible.

  • April 3 2009   12 years 24 weeks ago

    Thom,

    I can see the appeal of each state being able to design their health care system to fit the unique needs of their state, but I do have concerns about this approach.

    1) If education is the model, we have to make sure that we don't end up with the disparate results that we get in our educational system.

    2) Conservatives tend to try to undermine public services. I'm concerned that the legislatures in the more conservative (red states) might intentionally undermine the public health system to turn people away from it.

    3) I wonder how different the health needs are between the states. There may be some environmental factors and some geographic factors, but those could be compensated for through consultation between the national system and the states. It seems that the major differences may actually be between urban and rural areas.

    I'm not saying that the state based approach is wrong, but I think that there are many questions that have to be asked whatever direction we go.

  • VIDEO OF THOM ON CNN'S "LARRY KING LIVE" 3/23/2009   12 years 24 weeks ago

    I agree with Greg. Both - plant and stupid! Hartmann has done independent research. Not like those who get their research information from a cable news chanel or printed talking points.

  • April 3 2009   12 years 24 weeks ago

    Didn't George W. Bush reinstall the solar panels on the White House sometime over the last 8 years? I've read about it, but haven't heard anything about it on the radio. I don't want to give too much credit, but people who keep harping on it don't seem to know the current reality.

    Maybe instead of focusing on the White House, we should require solar panels on all Federal Government buildings, across the country. The White House is a small rooftop. Putting solar panels on all Federal Buildings would probably supply a significant percentage of the power needs of our country...

    Also, why are the form fields for name, email and website scattered among the previous few comments? That's just weird.

  • April 3 2009   12 years 24 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   12 years 24 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?   12 years 24 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   12 years 24 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   12 years 24 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   12 years 24 weeks ago

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

  • April 2 2009   12 years 24 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?   12 years 24 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   12 years 24 weeks ago

    Are you kidding me???

  • April 2 2009   12 years 24 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   12 years 24 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   12 years 24 weeks ago

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

  • April 2 2009   12 years 24 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?   12 years 24 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?   12 years 24 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   12 years 24 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   12 years 24 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   12 years 24 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.

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