Thom's blog

  • Columbus Day Celebration? Think Again...

    If you fly over the country of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola, the island on which Columbus landed, it looks like somebody took a blowtorch and burned away anything green. Even the ocean around the port capital of Port au Prince is choked for miles with the brown of human sewage and eroded topsoil. From the air, it looks like a lava flow spilling out into the sea. The history of this small island is, in many ways, a microcosm for what's happening in the whole world.

  • Who Was Right About the "Global Test"- Jefferson or Hitler?

    ...In the days since the debate, that clip and its related Bush spin has been replayed so much and so often by the media that it's likely more Americans have heard it than heard the original debate itself. And of those who heard the debate, by this time most have probably forgotten Senator Kerry's actual words, and only a few may have noticed the impeachable High Crime committed by George Bush to which they pointed.

  • Just Cut Out Their Tongues

    The CBS/Rather/Bush/Guard affair - regardless of how it ultimately turns out - has brilliantly deflected the issue of George W. Bush having strings pulled to get him into the Guard, and then not fulfilling his service requirements. Anytime the issue is raised in the future - regardless of facts or context - partisan Republicans will simply dismiss it by saying, "Those documents were forged." That four-word sound byte will be remembered long after the details of Bush's failures have dimmed from popular memory. Politically, it was a masterstroke. And not only does it hurt Bush family enemy Kerry, but also gets back at Bush family enemy Dan Rather, against whom they've nursed a 16-year grudge.

  • Bush Family Wounds America Below The Belt Line

    In 1988, the Bush campaign planted a lie in the media that Michael Dukakis had suffered from depression after losing an election for governor. According to Susan Estrich, his campaign manager, it cost Dukakis six points in the polls. A Bush family friend planted another lie that Dukakis' wife, Kitty, had once burned a flag at a demonstration - and Dukakis took another hit in the polls. The Bush family is at it again, with the now-well-documented lies told from the pulpit - er, podium - of the Republican National Convention, including lies told directly to the American people by George W. Bush himself.

  • What Would Machiavelli Do? The Big Lie Lives On

    There is nothing new about the Swift Boat ads. German filmmaker Fritz Kippler, one of Goebbels' most effective propagandists, once said that two steps were necessary to promote a Big Lie so the majority of the people in a nation would believe it. The first was to reduce an issue to a simple black-and-white choice that "even the most feebleminded could understand." The second was to repeat the oversimplification over and over. If these two steps were followed, people would always come to believe the Big Lie.

  • Ralph Nader: Let The Voter Beware

    The frauds and deceptions of the Bush administration are legion and, sadly, to be expected, based on the Bush family's past (from sweetheart business deals going back to WWII, to smearing John McCain in South Carolina in 2000, to lying to the American people just before the election of 2002 about the threats Iraq posed). But few people expected Ralph Nader - one of America's finest defenders of the public interest and the commons - to employ deception in an election.

  • The Ghost of Vice President Wallace Warns: "It Can Happen Here"

    The Republican National Committee has recently removed from their website an advertisement interspersing Hitler's face with those of John Kerry and other prominent Democrats. This little-heralded step has freed former Enron lobbyist and current RNC chairman Ed Gillespie to resume his attacks on Americans who believe some provisions of Bush's PATRIOT Act, his detention of American citizens without charges, his willingness to let corporations write legislation, and the so-called "Free Speech Zones" around his public appearances are all steps on the road to American fascism.

  • Scrooge & Marley, Inc. - The True Conservative Agenda

    There is nothing "normal" about a nation having a middle class, even though it is vital to the survival of democracy. As twenty-three years of conservative economic policies have now shown millions of un- and underemployed Americans, what's "normal" in a "free and unfettered" economy is the rapid evolution of a small but fabulously wealthy ownership class, and a large but poor working class. In the entire history of civilization, outside of a small mercantilist class and the very few skilled tradesmen who'd managed to organize in guilds (the earliest unions) like the ancient Masons, the middle class was an aberration. If a nation wants a middle class, it must define it, desire it, and work to both create and keep it.

  • The Choice This Year Is Between Empire and Democracy

    Having lived in Germany and extensively interviewed many (now elderly) former members of Hitler's Nazi Party (and one spy for him) for a book I was writing on the religion of the Nazis, I can say categorically that Hitler had (or at least his people believed he had) a Vision. It was a vision of a world at peace (for 1000 years, no less), a world purified of disruptive or "undesirable" people, a world united in what Hitler called "A New Christianity," a world where things worked smoothly and people were happy because of "strong, steady leadership" (even during times of change), a world guided by a leader who held tenaciously to a singular vision.

  • Liberal Talk Radio - Let The Water Cooler Wars Begin

    Rush Limbaugh has, at various times, claimed credit for the elections of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush - and given how narrow electoral margins have been recently, he may be right. But now, in a free-market fashion that even conservatives have to salute, the tide is turning.

  • Time To Reconsider Jefferson's Call For Universal Service

    Many of the world's mature democracies require every high-school graduate to serve a year or two of either military or nonprofit service. At first blush, this may seem like an oppression by government, but history shows it's actually one of the best ways to prevent a military from becoming its own insular and dangerous subculture, to prevent the lower ranks of the military from being overwhelmed by people trying to escape poverty, and to keep military actions of the government accountable to the people. The Founders of America extensively considered this same issue.

  • Bush Fails History...Jefferson Predicted Iraq

    Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon thought they could bomb Vietnam into accepting democracy. George W. Bush thinks he can do it with Iraq. But the first American president to consider how best to grow democracies - Thomas Jefferson - had some very different thoughts on the issue. LBJ and Bush would have done well to listen to his thoughtful words in a letter he wrote on February 14, 1815, to his old friend in France, the Marquis de Lafayette.

  • Exposing the Conservative Straw Man - "Productivity"

    Thomas Jefferson wrote in a September 28, 1821 letter, "The government of the United States, at a very early period, when establishing its tariff on foreign importations, were very much guided in their selection of objects by a desire to encourage manufactures within ourselves." Conservatives don't want you to know this, and - even more frenetically - are working to prevent any discussion of "protectionist" tariffs on labor.

  • Democracy - Not "The Free Market" - Will Save America's Middle Class

    Here are a couple of headlines for those who haven't had the time to study both economics and history:

    1. There is no such thing as a "free market."
    2. The "middle class" is the creation of government intervention in the marketplace, and won't exist without it (as millions of Americans and Europeans are discovering).
  • Gay Marriage? Blame It On Jefferson...

    "It's never been tried before." "The Bible doesn't mention it." "Civilized people have never done things this way." "No society in the 6000 years of the history of civilization since Gilgamesh has suggested such a thing." "It'll create social chaos, ultimately destroying the nation." "It's just too radical an idea for people to accept."...

Syndicate content

Latest Blog

The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018

It seems it's all racism, all the time w/the GOP...Neo-Nazi robocall hits Iowa on Molly Tibbett’s murder: “KILL THEM ALL. ” Richard Wolff drops by about the National Debt. Is it a disaster or an OK thing? Also - Trump & The National Enquirer - Is the Economy Here To Serve Us Or Are We Here to Serve the economy?