Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs

« Bill Moyers & Michael Winship: A Novel Approach to Politics | Main | Michael Winship: Cash Register Conventions »

Bill Moyers Asks: What Should The Next Administration Do About America's Troubles?

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers talked with economist Dean Baker and columnist Bob Herbert about the economy and the political conditions that have contributed to its troubles.

Bob Herbert said:

“The class war is over, and we lost... Over the past 30 years or so, Americans’ wages have remained relatively flat. But women went into the workplace, wives and mothers started working. People started putting things on their credit cards. There was a stock market bubble there for a while. We had a housing bubble. People refinanced and stuff. Now, they’re coming up against a wall. They’re not finding a way now to get some extra money to power the consumer economy.”

Dean Baker suggested that public officials deliberately failed to protect ordinary Americans:

“All the people who should have been looking out the last six, seven, eight years are all going ‘oh, well, who could have known? Who could have known?’ And they’ll put Alan Greenspan here on a pedestal, because he’s [saying that] he had no idea this was going on. You had to try not to know this was going on. Certainly, someone like Alan Greenspan, our reserve board chair, had all the data I have times a thousand. He absolutely knew what was going on. And he was doing his best to look the other way because you had a lot of big interests who were making a lot of money.”

Faced with these dire diagnoses, Bill Moyers asked:

“No matter who wins this election, the next administration will inherit the mess: $10 trillion in debt, two of these wars, stagnating paychecks, growing inequality. What’s the first thing each of you would like to see the next administration do, whether it’s McCain or Obama?”

What do you think? And, do you expect the next administration to take up any of your suggestions?


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/mt4/mt-tb.cgi/1679

Comments

Throughout our history change came about because the government allowed things to get so desparate for large portions of the population that they were forced to do something. We are at another point like that now and it is time for the government to do its job and serve their constituents. The government is supposed to get its power from the consent of the governed but it has rarely acted that way.

Bill, I watched your show last night and found it very interesting.

Surely you know that churches all across this nation have had "concerns" lists every week for years. We have. We have a "concerns and joys" list and pray and give thanks for both, and the list always includes people who may be in or not in our congregation and our community.

As for foreclosures and job losses, this country has experienced many in the last 10 - 15 years (and years before that). There was no big deal on the news until of course this ELECTION year. There may not have been as many foreclosures at one time, but I assure you that to the ones that went through it, it was just as devastating as it is to those experiencing them today. Our town has lost it's two biggest plants to other countries and is now losing a third one. The "big bad" oilfied has saved many of the displaced workers from unemployment.

Many of us, "hard working middle class" as the politicians like to call us, aren't stupid. After all the Republicans had the contract with American and it was to save us, it didn't. The Democrats were to save us in the last election, and see where we are now. I'm not sure, but I don't think President Bush could have done all of this by himself, and I don't think either of the two candidates will be able to fix this on their own. We don't need more "giveaways". We need help for some so we can help ourselves. If you don't have a stake in anything, it means nothing to you. If the government keeps "giving" to people, they then expect it to be given. Look around - some of those that claim they need help have a bluetooth in their ear, their nails done every week, have never eaten a meal at home, have lots of body art, cable tv with all the perks and high speed internet. They don't need help, they need a lesson in responsibility.

I do believe that we are going to go through what we will consider "rough times", but we'd better learn to rely on our families and neighbors for help. They're faster, more compassionate and much easier to pay back than the government.

Bill, I watched your show last night and found it very interesting.

Surely you know that churches all across this nation have had "concerns" lists every week for years. We have. We have a "concerns and joys" list and pray and give thanks for both, and the list always includes people who may be in or not in our congregation and our community.

As for foreclosures and job losses, this country has experienced many in the last 10 - 15 years (and years before that). There was no big deal on the news until of course this ELECTION year. There may not have been as many foreclosures at one time, but I assure you that to the ones that went through it, it was just as devastating as it is to those experiencing them today. Our town has lost it's two biggest plants to other countries and is now losing a third one. The "big bad" oilfied has saved many of the displaced workers from unemployment.

Many of us, "hard working middle class" as the politicians like to call us, aren't stupid. After all the Republicans had the contract with American and it was to save us, it didn't. The Democrats were to save us in the last election, and see where we are now. I'm not sure, but I don't think President Bush could have done all of this by himself, and I don't think either of the two candidates will be able to fix this on their own. We don't need more "giveaways". We need help for some so we can help ourselves. If you don't have a stake in anything, it means nothing to you. If the government keeps "giving" to people, they then expect it to be given. Look around - some of those that claim they need help have a bluetooth in their ear, their nails done every week, have never eaten a meal at home, have lots of body art, cable tv with all the perks and high speed internet. They don't need help, they need a lesson in responsibility.

I do believe that we are going to go through what we will consider "rough times", but we'd better learn to rely on our families and neighbors for help. They're faster, more compassionate and much easier to pay back than the government.

Simply work to put Americans in charge. Given the choice citizens will put people ahead of profits and move this country to a more perfect democracy.

End corporate personhood
Election Reform, including; IRV, media funded advertising, Popular vote counts, 12 step program to save US democracy
National Ballot Initiative
Civics as the core of our education curriculum

To fix this country we need several things.
1) Regulation. We need to regulate the industries critical to our daily lives: banking, investing, energy, insurance, medical, pharmaceutical. Regulations were put into place after the depression for good reason.
2) Eliminate K street and corporate lobbying. Corporate interests are not in the best interests of the people.
3) Enact strict campaign finance reform so that corporations don't get to fund and decide who the people get to vote for.
4) Enact term limits so that well connected, life time politicians don't control committees and dole out favors.
5) Reign in the military industrial complex.

Why will no one listen to the facts?

Hot, Flat, and Crowded
Why We Need a Green Revolution
And How it Can Renew America
Thomas L. Friedman

Bill, I placed my comments and ideas on Population Growth in this web log earlier. I see no reason to repeat them here but I did want to let you know I a “nobody” am joined by Mr. Thomas L. Friedman in my concern for this Earth.

He has more facts and speaks with authority so maybe you could read his book and decide if I was correct in my claim that Population Growth is the one factor that makes all other factors exceed their limits of survival.

If we do not limit immigration to the USA we will have nothing to offer the heart and soul of our people. And soon we will have nothing to offer the stomachs of those who are here.

If we do not reduce population we will not be able to get ahead of the curve of global warming and at some point nothing we do will change the disaster that will end mankind.

I believe that time is past and I understand Mr. Friedman to state the same by saying "we are already on the Titanic".

I hope you will have more discussion on your journal with people who can convince those with wealth and power to immediately change our direction from hubris and greed to sacrifice and a willingness to do what ever is necessary to save our home.

You speak of the American Dream... There is none and if we destroy our home there will be no one to dream at all about anything.

The one justice in this tradgity: If the Wealthy 1 % and their mucky mucks whom support them, i.e. the top 9% are unwilling to spend their money and do all that is possible. They will not have a life or future to spend it as they are accustom to doing.

Anonymous9

Eliminate ALL lobbying - pure and simple. Eliminate the Electoral College. Eliminate the delegate system.

Let the People choose their leaders and the leaders ONLY be accountable to the people.

Imagine the changes that would happen if the American People actually had a voice in DC.

I know - but I can dream can't I?

Hmm, so, lets see here, both sides only want 1 thing, POWER. What has the DNC done in the lasy 2 yrs nothing, what has the RNC done in the last 6, nothing!
People, wake up, stop with partisan hatemongering, both sides only care about is power, nothing but POWER!I voted Democrat in 06, thinking something was going to change across the board. Instead, its been the same, the DNC leaders are writing books about themselves, sucking in millions for their own coffers and doing NOTHING! Take away the POWER and the polticans will learn to be like real Americans, instead of ELITE NO BRAINS IDIOTS, WHO'S ONLY CONCERN IS THERE OWN BANK ACCOUNTS!!!

My comment is in response to the Bill Moyers show "Traces of the Slave Trade." After listening to the history of what the Anglo or white colored skin people did to the American Africans in the United States of America. I can only say I would not want to be in their shoes when they stand or bow before the Lord Jesus Christ. You see the murdered American Africans will be a witness against them on judgment day. The Criminal Justice system is and was created to oppress God creation of mankind. So what the Anglo Saxons did to the least of mankind they did it unto the Lord Jesus Christ. We all know that the Anglo Americans were probably confessing Christians. I have always said there are good spirits and evil spirits in every race of mankind.
America the Criminal Justice systems continue to oppress and kill the American Africans by law enforcement officers and get away with it in our American courts. So I am not trying to get over the pass until America gets our nation future right with God. That is why I say "If Senator Barack Obama is not elected President of the United States of America; it will be to America's detriment and demise as a nation." I do thank the Anglo man for writing the book "Traces of the Slave Trade" he is what I call a good spirited man of God. I also would like to thank Bill Moyers for being a good spirited man also for having a show that is focused on educating all of America's citizens about American History as a Nation. So I say to the Chief of police, Judges, FBI, CIA, Supreme Court, Senate, House of Representatives, and the foot soldiers called the police, I suggest you get your act together before you leave this time zone on earth concerning your treatment of the American African people. Otherwise you will open your eyes in Hell like the rich man in the bible. Eternity is a long time to be in Hell just because you did not treat all of God creation of Mankind with respect and love. Now I feel I need to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ to take Vengeance on the criminal justice system and the people who work and do evil things under the color of the law. As you know it is written "Vengeance is mine said the Lord." This way the American Africans do not have to retaliate by becoming insurgents. They can continue to try to live in peace where ever they live.

Thank God for His Holy Spirit that continue to lead and guide the American African people to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ in all that they do. They appear to have the "peace that pass all understanding" that God promised according to His words in the Bible.

SAD! SAD! SAD!

Nothing will change for one simple reason.
As long as the USA government spends 56+% of the people's tax money on "National Defense", weapons of death and war (cold or otherwise) there will never be the funds to do all the things that the people deserve and have a right to expect from their government.

The dullard American people have been duped for more than 60 years, non-existent enemies and annual wartime economies sucking the lifeblood of the country for not one good rational reason at all.

And the American people deserve all that happens to them. They voted and elected the GOP year after year decade after decade.....a party that has never served their interests for one minute....a party that should have enjoyed about 10% of the vote in every election everywhere in America since 1865.

Jack--
This is pretty brilliant. I especially love No. 10--no more empire!

I've been hoping that we could come together to reform the system without having a dictatorship. I AM so attached to democracy. But, especially after that abominable Rep-convention, there doesn't seem to be much hope of that ever happening until we totally crash.

I don't have a basic problem with capitalism, but these folks who are still waiting for wealth to trickle down have really been hittin' the KoolAid. Corporate greed and abuse need to be punished as crimes, just as the thugs are who stuck a gun in my son's back and stole $140 at an ATM machine. Those guys are getting life for their third offense. What do the corporate guys get for stealing billions from us the people?

I guess my point is, I'd like to propose ideas that have some chance of getting passed.

Thank you also to Walt for the medical fraud info.

and, what's beretco, please?

Walt Overfield and others: Please help formulate a specific healthcare clause for the call to reform below.
Realize there are other problems besides rising cost and access to insurance coverage in the current wasteful and maladaptive system. It has been suggested a union of providers might do a better job than a government agency, though tax money might be used for a start up initiative.

What Must Be Done

It is difficult or impossible to become or remain extremely wealthy (Moyers adds "extremely poor") in a fair and just society.

If PEOPLE POWER were to materialize I suggest no halfway measures.
1. We must demand limits on wealth disparity and the prerogatives of the wealthy class in order to restore democracy and preserve the environment. Grassroots capitalism works to a degree with small entrepreneurship but is a failure otherwise. But do not be afraid if you are involved in a local enterprise or service for you will not be adversely affected.
2.Corporate personhood must be abolished for accountability and transparency. Legislation to promote and mandate worker ownership and collective enterprise (nationalization of some vital industries and enterprises) is clearly necessary. Energy companies and utilities will be nationalized. The wealthy will be compensated with true security and respect of an egalitarian nature, but must be contented to retain capped amounts of property as per legislation. Those attempting to flee with our assets will be pursued and prosecuted, assets seized or frozen.
3.Government will be made more glasnostic by the immediate abolition of lobbying and the ability of all individual taxpayers to designate the use(s) of their contributions. Some offices may be filled by lottery until public financed campaigning can be agreed upon. Some previous illegitimate wealthy and powerful persons may be excluded from holding office.
4.Embezzlers, chislers and war criminals must face legal trials or at least hearings of reconciliation. Longstanding conspiracies and assassinations will be investigated publicly. The truth will out and we will face our national shames.
5. Education is no longer compulsory, but is free and will be reformed to societal needs by public consensus. Community instruction will be funded.
6.An environmental and energy emergency will be declared with lower speed limits, restricted traffic and ad hoc mass transit beginning ASAP.
7, A national security strategy of protected domestic production of vital commodities such as food, clothing, housing, small-scale energy and medicine will be instituted and reinforced by tariffs and incentives. In many cases shipping for import/export wastes energy by impracticability and duplication and must be closely examined. Immigrants not wanting to return to the states of origin will be treated as citizens but all borders will be closed to immigration indefinitely, or until our economic adjustments can be stabilized.
8.Legislative incentives will reward small property owners, worker and community owned enterprises for energy conservation and sustainable production.
9. People will meet to plan and appropriate local greenways so that anyone can walk or bike safely to needed destinations, local or far.
9.Predatory employments will cease and the resultant unemployed be reemployed in useful tasks. A living wage based upon costs will be enforced. The work week may be shortened to accommodate more employees.A minimum vacation and leave will be universal.
10.All overseas military deployments not sanctioned by the United Nations will cease immediately and service personnel return home. Military expenditures will be minimized and reevaluated considering our new isolationist policies. No more empire: No more adventurism. We shall serve the world by example with caring generosity as we are able, and not by force, coercion or interference.
11. We will criticize the violation of human rights wherever it may occur. Individuals may elect to volunteer as aide workers or peacekeepers, but only under the auspices and protection of the UN. Citizen committees will decide the role of any intelligence assets or agencies, such as spy satellites or electronic monitoring.

Originally Posted by: Jack Martin | August 9, 2008 4:36 PM

I would appreciate more feedback for refinement of this call for reform. Write here or to: beretco.op@gmail.com

Fix Healthcare!
Americans have overpaid for their health care by at least $1.4 trillion over the last twelve years. Health care overpayments occur when organizations that pay for health care services make payment errors, or when providers make accidental or intentional billing errors. Although there are no good statistics, intentional fraud and abuse by providers probably accounts for about half of the overpayments. A common example of fraud is billing for services that were never delivered. Billing errors include typographical errors while payment errors include paying for the same service more than once.

Overpayments are made by all payers of health care services: Medicare; Medicaid; Children’ Health Insurance Plans; Commercial Plans; Worker’s Compensation Plans; Self-Insured and Third Party Administered Plans; and anyone else who pays for health care.

There are many reasons why health care overpayments have occurred over the last twelve years. Providing quality health care tailored to the needs of each individual is an extremely complex process. Virtually every individual patient receives a unique set of health care services in different settings by different providers throughout their lifetime. To pay for these services, health care has developed extremely complex and constantly changing billing and payment rules.

Health care billing is based on trust – the payer cannot observe the services being provided and the patient often does not understand the complex billing documentation. In addition, the government does not effectively discourage fraud and abuse. Fraudulent and abusive providers possibly account for about 5% of all health care providers. A recent GAO report identified 30,000 Medicaid providers in seven states that may not be paying income taxes on their Medicaid income. Finally, the commonly accepted perception of health care inflation allows payers to pass on costs to individuals and governments.

What do health care overpayments cost America? While there is no single report that summarizes all health care overpayments, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid regularly publish an audit report of Improper Medicare Fee-for-Services. The reports consist of detailed audits of hundreds of thousands of Medicare health care claims over twelve years processed by many of America’s largest and best insurance companies. The reports identify $188 billion in Medicare overpayments over the last twelve years. If we assume that America’s best health insurance companies have applied the same claims payment expertise to Medicare that they apply to Commercial and other health insurance payments, then we could apply the annual Medicare Overpayments Rate to Total Health Care Spending. This results in $79.7 Billion in total health care overpayments in 2007 and $1.4 Trillion over the last twelve years.

What do we need to do to fix the Overpayment Problem?
• Simplify health care billing and payment processes
• Increase government audits of government supported health care;
• Increase enforcement efforts to reduce health care fraud;
• Increase government data mining capabilities to detect payment errors;
• Increase payer and consumer education on health care overpayments;
• Make cost containment a key factor in contractor selection for health care payer services.
• Encourage payers to add additional pre-payment and post-payment cost containment and recovery services.
• Increase overpayment recovery activities.
• Identify overpayments quicker before fraudulent providers disappear.

References:
• Improper Medicare Fee-for-Service Reports - https://www.cms.hhs.gov/apps/er_report/index.asp
• GAO Report on Fraudulent Medicaid Providers - http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0817.pdf
• Medicare Fraud and Abuse - http://www.dhhs.gov/asl/testify/2007/07/t20070717b.html

Fran G. Lately I've been helping Steelhearted Bob and Sacks o' Gold (pseudonyms) prep Wachovia for sale by packing off employees and shorting their benefits. At every meeting they continue to brag how income from fees is up and rising. In a dismal implosion of derivatives, carry trade, risk exchange and mortgage bundling it is the only hopeful sector. Wachovia alone has lost (disclosed) at least 30 billion of its once 200 billion in assets, and more bad news will follow as consumer credit defaults loom. I'd advise anyone to use a credit union and not do any "banking."

Taxpayers bail them out through the FED and FDIC, and are also expected to keep them afloat with unjust and manipulated fees and charges. They are milking that cow about ten times a day, and she's beginning to look pekid. (Fact: Milk comes from the bloodstream.)

Truly listening to the needs of the public and having an honest dialogue would be at least a starting point in addressing concerns which in turn may allay the fears each party has drummed up and used to divide this country. What is wrong with bipartisanship and humanistic politics?

Here's a question that maybe one of you might answer for me: For the past 8 or so years the banks, credit card companies and mortgage companies have been gouging our eyes out with interest rates and fees. (heaven help us if we're struggling paycheck-to-paycheck. If we're a nanosecond late they sock us, then punish us by raising our rate) My question is, what happened to all that money they made? Did it all go to the CEO's salaries? Why are we bailing those "poor guys" out?

I made a comment about those of us who complain about the system not offering solutions, which makes it incumbent on me to offer how I would help to make matters better--beyond voting for Sen. Obama.

Barack (I call him that with affection, not disrespect) has suggested that we will be asked (for the first time) to share the sacrifice. I welcomed this remark, because it is a sign of respect for all of us that he doesn't see us all as helpless victims. So lets look at how we might take part in rebuilding our economy. How might we take action locally?

In the first place, reports from local food banks is that the folks who show up aren't the poor anymore. They're formerly middle class folks. I look at our community, and we are really blessed with a coalition of faith groups that provide supplement to government assistance. I would like to add more community meals, hosted in neighborhood churches and fire halls, that invite all neighbors, whether they're hungry or just lonely. And I would use these meals as opportunity for neighbors to get to know one another and to find out who might be hurting. We could put them in touch with community resources. We should dialogue about how we can pull together to make life a little easier.

I would appeal to folks who are doing well to reach a little deeper into their pockets and give to food banks and to donate clothing and other goods. The folks who are in need may be your employees or neighbors.

Food stamp assistance should be extended to middle class folks who have lost jobs. If someone is trying to pay a huge mortgage on unemployment, his/her family still need to eat.

We should all stop looking down on people who are struggling. In these hard times, their circumstances are usually through no fault of their own.

We should have compassion for those whose homes are in foreclosure. Yes, some people took mortgages that were beyond their means; but i know how high-pressure real estate agents and lenders operate, and I know folks experienced in finance have fallen prey, let alone first-time home buyers. The average person is no match for their tactics.

Write to your lawmakers urging them to get started on regulating mortgage lenders and credit card companies to put a stop to usurious interest rates and other brutal practices. We can't wait for Barack; it needs to start now.

Remember the "grace period" that companies extended in case your check was lost in the mail, or something. In our society we have lost GRACE. Many businesses have started a war on the poor with their cutthroat practices. We need to stand up to them. We vote with our dollar as well as our ballot.

Good luck everyone!

OBAMA CANNOT CHANGE AMERICA ALONE ! In spite of this fact the DNC gave no space or time to new Democratic nominees for Congress. The "I will ... " rehetoric of Obama's own speech did nothing to support the Change of Congress like Newt Gingrich did to take over the government for the Republicans. The rise in McCain in the polls reflects the solidarity of the Republicans. The Democrats need a similar solidarity. Obama's ego trip was not it.

Bill Ellis

And forty years!

Correction:

It is not hyperbole to say that life for me ended in 1968. I was not a fan of Robert Kennedy, although his murder and the earlier murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a deeply imperfect but at the same time prophetic man, began forty years in the wilderness for people like me.

You know, the social critic Michael Waltzer is right to say that there is Egypt and there is the promised land. Between them is the wilderness. The only way to get from Egypt to the promised land is through the wilderness.

It is almost impossible for me to say what the nomination of Senator Obama means to me. He is tough and thoughtful and careful.

It is not an exaggeration to say that life ended in 1968. I was not a fan of Robert Kennedy. But his murder and the murder of Dr. King a deeply flawed and simultaneously prophetic man,
began forty years in the wilderness for people like me. But you know, the social critic Michael Waltzer is right to say that there is Egypt and there is the promised land. Between them is the wilderness. The only way to get from Egypt is through the wilderness. It is almost impossible for me to say what the nomination of Senator Obama means to me. He is tough and thoughtful and careful.

DOUGLAS FIELD

Idon't read posts in all caps.

Take on the Walton family and their cant about their family business not being able to afford to pay hourly workers.

Posted by: Jack Martin: If, as someone stated, "All problems are created in the mind," might not all solutions be created in the mind?

At risk of imitating Bill Clinton, it would depend upon the definition of "problem",
"solution" and "mind." Another wordy philospher, G. W. F. Hegel, exhausted the possibilities of nationalist destiny in his German idealism. Is yours a very (too) late attempt at American idealism?
How does the writer comport with Sumner's social Darwinism? (Moyers seems to embrace phenomenology.)

Do we all share one big soul as per Steinbeck (Preacher Casey) ?


*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Yes Jack,

Protagoras ~ "Man is the measure of all things" ...(at least in his mind)

We define our world by what We HUMANS think. Our problems may not be the same problems as those of or neighbor or those of an ant or a duck. What we perceive as bad for us, may be in fact good for our neighbor or an ant or a duck.

Wisdom is a most important quality to develop if one desires to live a life at peace. But before we can develop wisdom, we must be able to think rationally. All these qualities are related. Seeing things clearly is a byproduct of being at peace and developing wisdom. Applying wisdom to our actions yields peace and being at peace allows rational thought. But just applying rational thought alone does not equal wisdom or peace...and it all happens in the mind.

"A mans mind may be likened to a garden which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must and will bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless 'weed seeds' will fall therein and will continue to produce their kind." ~ James Allen

French psychotherapist Emile Coue (1857 - 1926) came up with this famous saying; "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better." He wrote "If our unconscious is the source of many of our evils - it can also bring the cure. You have in yourself this instrument of your cure." Sometimes this simple technique of Coue's, worked miracles in cases of health improvement for persons using this daily suggestion.

We are all born with a clean and sterile "garden" of a mind. Everything we plant in this garden is from our own efforts and thoughts. And as the good book said - "as yea sow - so yea reap." You many times hear a phrase thrown around in 12 step circles, "Stinkin Thinkin" which is another way of describing negative self talk. I often hear addicts beating themselves up with their own mouth continually programming themselves with many of these comments:

"I am no good"
"I'm a failure"
"Diets don't work for me"
"I can't lose weight"
"What's the use in trying"
"With my luck only bad will come out of it"
"I'm too old to try"
"I can't stand the snow"
"I can't remember anything - my brain is sh*t"
"What do you expect - I'm just a drunk?"
"I'm too fat to do it"
"I'm in a daze all the time"
"My marriage is on the rocks"
"I'm a mess"
"My house is a mess"
"I am always late"
"I'm sickly"
"There is something wrong with me"
"I'm a screw-up"
"I feel like I'm dying"
"What a pain in the ass"
"I'm always bouncing checks"
"I can't help myself"
"I always get sick this time of year"
"I always pick out an abuser"
"I'm always upset"
"I'm depressed"
"I'm stubborn"
"I feel like sh*t"
"Everything I touch turns to crap"
"I can't remember anything"
"I shop till I drop"
"I can't do any thing right"
"I'm no good with directions"
"I always hurt the one I love"
"I can't read a map"
"I can't cook anything - I burn water"
"No one likes me"
"I'm no good with names"
"I never win anything"
"I'm not very smart"
'I can't figure it out"
"It's my cross I have to bear"
"I'm not too sharp"
"I'm no good with computers"
"I'm always late with the rent"
"I can't balance my checkbook"
"I'm unlucky"
"I can never get any sleep"
"Whenever it rains I feel blue"
"I wish I was dead"
"I can't save a penny"
"I'm no good with numbers"
"I know it is good for me...but I still wont do it"
"This is a pain in the neck"
"My back is killing me"
"I can never figure women / men out"
"It's my Karma"
"My head is splitting"
"Everything I eat turns to fat"
"I don't like fruit or vegetables"
"Why doesn't anything ever go right for me?"
"I'm so stressed out"
"I'm always hungry"
'Why does (it) always happen to me?"
"I always end up offending people"
"My boss always ends up hating me"
"I'm no good at sports"
"I'm a klutz'
"I hate to exercise"
"I'm always making the wrong choices"
...and on and on.

Notice anything repetitive about these statements? Many are in absolute terms that specify always, everything, every time, never. While many of these statements can apply to some of us one time or another, few of them are hard and fast 100% rules in our lives. Yet, we are working overtime to make sure they do become us 100% at every turn. This type of thinking just programs our minds and our bodies to accomplish these tasks as we ask our subconscious to do these things. Sometimes this programing starts passively by another's offhand comment to us or even when we are kids and our parents or other adults tell us such things. Then little by little they creep into our mind and take hold.


"The universe is transformation - our lives are what our thoughts make it."

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Dave Curtis-August 21, 2008-3:25pm.
I keep a David Icke book on the shelf just to remind myself that there are some truly insane conspiracy theories out there, way beyond 9/11 truth or FED schemes.

Icke has stated that the Bushes and the Queen of England are shape shifters who can transform into dimension traveling lizards, that they perform human sacrifice and eat babies, and that besides being obsessed about money and power they are insatiable sexual athletes.
I do not doubt that these personages possess some overt peccadillos, but I think it absurd that you suggest such fantasy fiction for Moyeristas to read (Except for those who treat psychotics).
If you have this kind of time for self-indulgence it might be better spent examining some of the references Moyers and his guests have suggested. Does anything strike your fancy? As a disabled elder who rejects TV I buy plenty of books (with the money I might have spent on cable or satellite) and may have something I've finished to send you free of charge. That would be my contribution to get your mind off "sick Icke."
beretco.op@gmail.com

Dave Curtis-August 21, 2005-3:25pm.
I keep a David Icke book on the shelf just to remind myself that there are some truly insane conspiracy theories out there, way beyond 9/11 truth or FED schemes.

Icke has stated that the Bushes and the Queen of England are shape shifters who can transform into dimension traveling lizards, that they perform human sacrifice and eat babies, and that besides being obsessed about money and power they are insatiable sexual athletes.
I do not doubt that these personages possess some overt peccadillos, but I think it absurd that you suggest such fantasy fiction for Moyeristas to read (Except for those who treat psychotics).
If you have this kind of time for self-indulgence it might be better spent examining some of the references Moyers and his guests have suggested. Does anything strike your fancy? As a disabled elder who rejects TV I buy plenty of books (with the money I might have spent on cable or satellite) and may have something I've finished to send you free of charge. That would be my contribution to get your mind off "sick Icke."
beretco.op@gmail.com

If, as someone stated, "All problems are created in the mind," might not all solutions be created in the mind?

At risk of imitating Bill Clinton, it would depend upon the definition of "problem",
"solution" and "mind." Another wordy philospher, G. W. F. Hegel, exhausted the possibilities of nationalist destiny in his German idealism. Is yours a very (too) late attempt at American idealism?
How does the writer comport with Sumner's social Darwinism? (Moyers seems to embrace phenomenology.)

Do we all share one big soul as per Steinbeck (Preacher Casey) ?

Bill Moyers' question does NOT address the real problem: the fact is that both parties and all their elected and appointed members are, and HAVE BEEN FOR MANY DECADES, bought, controlled, co-opted, polluted,corrupted, bribed, seduced,and subverted by the corporate elite.

The post-WWII corporatist onslaught upon popular democracy in the USA by the elite and their governmental machinery has been accelerated exponentially during this latest administration. The power of repetition (as in repeated lies by the media), wedded to the power of officialdom's shameless manipulation and betrayal of the popular will, have left the ""public" unprotected, unrepresented, fleeced, bamboozled, cheated, and deprived of their rightful voice in a purportedly free and open democratic society.

Form is NOT substance! The procedural act of casting a "ballot" does NOT equate to genuine access to decision-making by the general "public". Corporations in the USA have made it their life mission, ever since the beginning of our Industrial Revolution, to thwart, avoid, overturn, subvert, co-opt, neutralize and otherwise render impotent ANY effort by the "people", through their elected officials, to protect themselves and their environment against the naked rapacity of corporate avarice!

Losses, risk, expenses and horrific negative social consequences of this corporate greed have been "socialized".

Profit and gain, both real and intangible, continue to be "privatized" in the coffers of the wealthy elite, ALWAYS at the expense of the "public interest".

The Journal broadcast yesterday(Aug 24)on the plight of American families should be sent to every Senator, Representative, Justice, and government official. I am sure their isolation in political ivory towers must be invaded with such realism as that. They claim to know and care about their people's plight. Yet I am sure they do NOT have the picture presented in the Journal!

Posted by: Grady Lee Howard: Peak Snakeoil: The Laughter Curve has now confirmed the prediction that Allen Wrench's wordy profligacy and restating of other's posts has now reached Peak Blather and can only diminish in its quality and output for the duration of this blog on Earth. I'll bet he burns gas the same way, blowing it out his poorly tuned tailpipe. I don't usually attack posters repeatedly, but he really annoys me, like a midget trying to shoot hoops with stretch brothers. Moyers should charge by the word like a telegram.

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Sorry Grady - I cannot help you.

The issues you mention stem from your own personal prejudices. All problems are created in the mind. These are just such issues that bother you but do not bother me and you have to come to peace with them for yourself.

If you don't believe in peak oil, fine. If my posts annoy you - don't read them.

No doubt you must be in a world of pain from living such a tragic life, so no use adding to the misery by spending time reading things that annoy you? But that is the insanity of addiction, I guess? Addicts are addicted to relieving pain, not by reducing the pain, but by adding even more pain in their lives.

May I be so bold to suggest you search your own mind for the answer Grady, instead of seeking peace in changing others into a carbon copy of yourself? With the same material one man builds a palace and another only builds a hovel. I've built my palace already and it is your turn to build your own, but I cannot do it for you Grady.

I find it is a good policy to concentrate on principles and not on personalties. It is your right to not like me. But when we try to control others, as you are predisposed to do, it is s signpost of our own dis-ease. I make no demands on you to control you Grady, you are welcome to your opinions. All I ask is you please extend the same courtesy to me.

Sure tearing others down appeals to ones ego and pride, but so did torturing insects when we were kids. When we grow up we need a different way to find self worth Grady.

I saw some paintings in a Japanese museum that illustrated this point Grady. They showed a cousin of the Buddha being of great power and to show his strength he went up to a baby elephant and pushed it down to the ground. A second painting showed the Buddha helping this baby elephant back up to his feet and the Buddha lifted the elephant high up over his head and said, "It is much better to uplift ~ than to tear down."

Whether this is a true story or not I do not know Grady. But you may be able to profit from this story and build up your self esteem by a different method than trying to tear down others.

As I told you before Grady, many of us get blinded with labels and personal prejudices. Psychologist William James once said, "A great many people believe they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." If you can stick to true, false or don't know you will do much better with not injecting your ego based prejudices into the equation. As well as not having to be annoyed by things that you do not have control of Grady.

And as I also told you before, whenever some of you get disturbed by my posts, always remember, you do not pay me to write for you. I am not obligated in any way to write what you want to hear. If you want a topic written about in a certain way, then you write it or hire a writer to write for you.

But I am under NO obligation to please you in any way with what I write.

Expectation re pre-planned resentments my friend.

And if perchance you do not wish to get better Grady, then by all means continue with the mean, little life you have created for yourself as just another one of the many 'cowards behind the keyboard' I have encountered in my online travels.


Peak Snakeoil: The Laughter Curve has now confirmed the prediction that Allen Wrench's wordy profligacy and restating of other's posts has now reached Peak Blather and can only diminish in its quality and output for the duration of this blog on Earth. I'll bet he burns gas the same way, blowing it out his poorly tuned tailpipe. I don't usually attack posters repeatedly, but he really annoys me, like a midget trying to shoot hoops with stretch brothers. Moyers should charge by the word like a telegram.

Posted by: Bill Parks

How can a nation be sovereign when it borrows all its money from the bank?

In resent shows about poverty, the economy and unethical corporations, one subject has eluded your careful scrutiny, a fundamental element in the economy, causing much of our difficulties, the ‘atomic particle’ in the economic equation: the money itself. You need to investigate the money itself

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Well, money is not what it used to be Bill. Used to be the Fed at least printed money. Now all that needs to be done to create billions is to magnetize a silicon chip...and if they need a trillion it only cost an extra micron.

Beside worry about money Bill, have you given our food supply much thought?

With the recent food shortages in the news I have to wonder as Richard Heinberg brought up "Who will be growing our food 20 years from now?"

"The average American farmer is 55 to 60 years old. The proportion of full time farmers younger than 35 years of age has dropped from 15.9% in 1982 to 5.8% in 2002. Who will be growing our food 20 years from now?" from "Peak Everything" by Richard Heinberg

"Amish farmers can't compete in conventual agriculture farming. 40 years ago 90% to 95% of the Amish were farmers. Today less than 10% are farmers." Ffrom: "How the Amish Survive" DVD

We have been worshiping the wrong God all these years. We should have been making farmers our God.

We should have been worshiping the farmer and doing everything we could to make their life a better one and kiss their asses for producing healthy and nutritious food for us.

Our food supply has degenerated unbelievably in recent years and getting worse every day that goes by. A societies well-being is based on healthy food that the farmer produces.

Just as cows go mad with poisonous, unnatural diet - so will society.

People will be headed off the deep end more and more as global warming starts to cook us, the oil and natural gas dries up and our excessive desires cannot be fulfilled any longer.

If the poison food does not drive us crazy, the salty and unnatural combinations and nutritionally bankrupt content will do the job as we get cooked from the inside with EMF and radio wave radiation for every direction.

The food being fed to us is factory made, genetically engineered, poison. But besides the greed for money, the drive for GMO food is that of necessity. We are overpopulated and our land is devoid of nutrition so they monkey with the food to try and keep pace with the insatiable demands of feeding the US.

In addition, there are not enough farmers in the US to feed us any other way than the way they do now. If the US went to organic farming with the same amount of farmers we have now - we would starve to death.

"In 1935, the number of farms in the United States peaked at 6.8 million as the population edged over 127 million citizens. There are over 285,000,000 people living in the United States. Of that population, less than 1% claim farming as an occupation."

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

If we look at the trends of farming in the US it goes in just one direction ... DOWN.

Much of the citrus groves in Fla and CA are disappearing due to skyrocketing real estate values. You know farming is tough work and many times nature deals you a blow with disease, pests and inclement weather that destroys crops.

So why would a farmer want to put up with all that when they could get $5,000,0000 or $10,000,000 for prime real estate?

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

It is really a tough life 'just finding' some decent food to eat nowadays unless you happen to live in a town with a good natural grocer and have lots of money. But money is still no guarantee. I bought some 'organic peaches' last summer at Krogers for $3 a pound...they rotted before the ripened ....went straight in the trash.

When I was a kid growing up in L.A. we could pick apricots from a tree in the alley and they had fabulous flavor even when somewhat green. What do you get now with apricots...tasteless rubber for $3 a pound.

The peaches have lost their fuzz since they are picked green, buffed and waxed with poisons and anti fungals. You can't wash it off either.

Soak a buffed peach in water and you will get a rainbow oil slick on the surface of the water composed of poison...no matter how many times you rinse it. Each summer I make it my mission to try and find a few edible peaches with the fuzz still on them...I usually fail unless I drive great distances and luck into a 'real' farmers market. (I've noticed some roadside farmers stands just buy their produce in normal channels to resell)

We will run out of natural gas, just as we deplete our crude supplies in the near future. Our population boom was fueled by synthetic fertilizers made from natural; gas. Once the natural gas dries up so does the fertilizer and a shortage of fertilizer equals a shortage of food...aka STARVATION!

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

I think we have a real food crisis brewing for the world. Not enough young farmers replacing the old, we will run low of fertilizer as the NG dries up and that food which is grown is devoid of nutrition and not healthy.

Posted by: Steven Lesh

I have yet to see tonight’s segment “Shall we drill?” However, I really hope the content goes FAR beyond the comments for that segment in the blog. I find it astonishing that nowhere in the blog or, for that matter, the public discussion of off-shore drilling are the issues of global warming and ‘peak oil’ ever mentioned.

In the US, production of oil from conventional sources peaked in 1971. Since that time, the absolute volume of oil obtained from wells within the US has declined by about 40% while demand has continued to accelerate. IF we are willing to pay enough in terms of both dollars and environmental destruction, it is possible that we can maintain high levels of production from domestic sources for years or even decades to come. However, at some point the laws of physics will take over and it will take more energy to extract ‘oil’ from, for example, tar sands and shale than can be derived from the energy so produced.

This discussion reminds one of the characterization of people who ‘know the price of everything and the value of nothing’. Over the last century we have developed a myriad of applications for oil. Some of them, for example the ‘green revolution’ powered by fossil fuel-based fertilizers and pesticides, are quite literally a matter of life and death for billions of people. Others, for example, commercial aviation – environmentally damaging as it may be – are considered necessities by many of us. But the application for which we use more than 50% of that oil, the internal combustion powered private automobile, is from a technical standpoint not necessary at all.

Some combination of electrically powered automobiles and urban mass transit could eliminate more than half the demand for oil, preserving it for other applications for which there is at present no substitute. Yet policy makers and opinion shapers focus solely on how we can continue this criminal waste while keeping down the monetary cost to current generations.

And just as future generations are unlikely to forgive us for squandering a resource produced by the earth only once in hundreds of millions of years, so too are they unlikely to forgive us rendering their world are but uninhabitable because we lacked the leadership and political will to change the way we live our lives enough to give them a chance for a tolerable, rewarding existence.

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Well spoken post Steven.

The world is in a death spiral and politicians as well as industry are pretending this problem does not exist. We can only blame ourselves, for it is just how we have built our world over the years....too many people, living outside of natures intended balance and not an infinite supply of energy to fuel all our demands.

When it comes to this subject of peak oil, we can't depend on the President to come clean with the public. All his energies are spent just trying to keep the oil flowing. He can't admit that the oil will stop in the not so distant future, no matter what we do. It is a problem beyond his as well as all of our control.

As they say in 12 Step programs - admitting you have a problem is step 1. And our country cannot admit it, after all, admitting this problem would raise hell with our retirement funds. And until we can admit it, we cannot begin on our long road to a 'semblance' of recovery.

When I question media / politicians about why they hide their head in the sand when it comes to PO most have no reply. It seems they think there is 'no upside' in this topic of peak oil since it can't be fixed.

The upside is in the preparation and a more manageable and orderly transition...less deaths.

Then again, maybe the governments upside is in the deaths and having less mouths to have to feed?

As some of you go to your temple of politics this week to worship and kiss the asses of your political deities...have any of you political knuckleheads ever wondered why the politicians can never utter the words Peak Oil?

To do so would have them shaking in their boots and wetting their pants.

Any problem that is 'too big' to talk about is one scary problem.

And we are putting all our hopes in politicians than can't even be honest with us about how many houses they own...and no I am not for Obama either.

Think PO is a hoax?

Use common sense guys. Either the crude supply is limitless or finite. If finite it is not a question of if, but of when we run out. The world uses about 31,000,000,000 barrels of crude a year, something has to give if crude is indeed finite. And where are we putting our hopes...in trying to wring the few last buckets of crude from sand and rock...

"If the public does think briefly about future oil supplies, the question usually asked is, "How long will oil last?" This is the wrong question. Oil will be extracted in some insignificant quantity perhaps 200 years from now. The critical question is: When does the peak of world oil production occur?" ~ Richard C. Duncan

As I read some of the comments I see many of you are in favor for banning the internal combustion engine.
In my own case, even when the Chevy Volt comes out it will not help me. Number one, cannot afford $30,000 to $40,000 for it. I can't afford over $21,000 for a new car. And with all the inflation and cost of living hikes maybe that number will go down to $18,000 in a couple of years.

I don't need a sports car, I live in the snow country and need an AWD or 4x4 that can carry some cargo like my Subi Forester.

Sure I will accept the worthless battery powered A/C, heater and defogger that will be in all electric vehicles. I will accept the battery will barely get me to the store in sub freezing weather to buy some rice and beans.

But without other basics I mentioned a car like the Volt is pretty useless to me.

I will have to give up my diving trips to Ginnie Springs in Fla. Can't drive 1100 miles at 30 miles per change. Chewy says it will go 40 miles per charge? So what...do we drive our gas cars until they run out? We always have to leave some reserve in. And even on a more localized theme I will have to give up my 200 mile trips to go kayaking or skiing.

But besides my concerns, what about the multitude of motels, hotels and travel dependent business along the pilgrimage route to Fla? How will these fair when we are all electric and batteries?

And can you imagine military tanks and transport that are run on batteries? Well, who knows the cornucopians hope they can run jets on algae.

Yes, many changes in store for us
Funny thing about crude oil. We say we need to 'save our crude' but If we don't use the crude, it serves no purpose.

Some theories say we need it to keep the earth balanced - but there is no proof about this.

So what good is oil in the ground? Maybe to massage our ego? Hurray we got oil in the ground.

CNBC reported that demand for gas goes right back up when gas goes to the $3 50 a gallon range.

That should be no surprise.

If gas was back to last summers $2.80 gallon level, I'd be headed for Moab for some mountain biking. And when I got back looking to buy a new jet ski...if we don't use the crude, it serves no purpose. But at $4 a gallon, I've changed my habits to fit my budget.

We need to save our crude oil...save it for what?

Maybe petrochemicals so our descendants 'can use' it up?

Maybe national security..to 'gas up' our military and their jets?

But no matter how you slice it crude oil is only good 'to use' and serves no purpose other than what we humans have deemed it worthwhile to use it for.

But I will agree that crude's importance to mankind in petrochemical use is irreplaceable.

So use it fast or use it slow...the outcome is the same. We have to account for many areas to transition to a post carbon world. Carving up a barrel of crude oil, we can see that each barrel supplies many of our necessities of life.

Out of each barrel of crude we make the following products:

42% of each barrel of crude is used for Gasoline

21% Fuel oil - Diesel

8% Jet Fuel and Kerosene

8% Petrochemicals

Such as....

Solvents Bearing Grease Vaseline Ink Floor Wax Ball-point Pens Football Cleats Upholstery Sweaters Boats Insecticides Bicycle Tires Sports Car Bodies Nail Polish Fishing lures Dresses Tires Golf Bags Perfumes Cassettes Dishwasher Tool Boxes Shoe Polish Motorcycle Helmet Caulking Petroleum Jelly Transparent Tape CD Player Faucet Washers Antiseptics Clothesline Curtains Food Preservatives Basketballs Soap Vitamin Capsules Antihistamines Purses Shoes Dashboards Cortisone Deodorant Footballs Putty Dyes Panty Hose Refrigerant Percolators Life Jackets Rubbing Alcohol Linings Skis TV Cabinets Shag Rugs Electrician's Tape Tool Racks Car Battery Cases Epoxy Paint Mops Slacks Insect Repellent Oil Filters Umbrellas Yarn Fertilizers Hair Coloring Roofing Toilet Seats Fishing Rods Lipstick Denture Adhesive Linoleum Ice Cube Trays Synthetic Rubber Speakers Plastic Wood Electric Blankets Glycerin Tennis Rackets Rubber Cement Fishing Boots Dice Nylon Rope Candles Trash Bags House Paint Water Pipes Hand Lotion Roller Skates Surf Boards Shampoo Wheels Paint Rollers Shower Curtains Guitar Strings Luggage Aspirin Safety Glasses Antifreeze Football Helmets Awnings Eyeglasses Clothes Toothbrushes Ice Chests Footballs Combs CD's Paint Brushes Detergents Vaporizers Balloons Sun Glasses Tents Heart Valves Crayons Parachutes Telephones Enamel Pillows Dishes Cameras Anesthetics Artificial Turf Artificial limbs Bandages Dentures Model Cars Folding Doors Hair Curlers Cold cream Movie film Soft Contact lenses Drinking Cups Fan Belts Car Enamel Shaving Cream Ammonia Refrigerators Golf Balls Toothpaste

6% Propane

4% Heating Oil

3% Asphalt and Road oil

2% Petroleum coke

1% Lubricants

Demand destruction is another pipe dream they throw at us. They love to use it at CNBC as they pump the Goldilocks economy hype, but when it comes to uttering the words 'Peak Oil" it is taboo. We need demand destruction and new oil finds just to stand still. We need demand destruction and new oil finds just to replace the oil wells that are being depleted.

People seem to think the old wells will keep pumping forever. The trouble is all the easy oil has been found. Now all we have is hard to get stuff or a little of high sulfur, sour crude if we are lucky...and lately we put all our hopes in wringing the lasts drops of oil out of the sand and rocks. What addicts will do to get their fix!

But the sad reality is even with demand destruction and new oil finds we will hardly be able to keep pace with the ever declining crude oil supplies. It is like pouring water from cup into a bathtub that has the drain pulled...we all know the outcome. If we used bucket to fill it - the tub is going to end up dry.

Shane (Aug. 14-11:20am)
On Suskind's uncovering of a fake letter constructed by Tenet's CIA on Bush's orders to promote the occupation of Iraq for profiteers, Shane asks,"Where is Bill Moyers?
I suspect, Shane, that Hostage Bill is on a short leash concerning funding. People voluntarily contribute about 90% of the budget while watching Princess Di and Doo-Wop oldies, but it is the tail of foundation and corporate funding that wags the dog at PBS.

213 days and counting: Are you writing your confessions like Napalm John?

How can a nation be sovereign when it borrows all its money from the bank?

In resent shows about poverty, the economy and unethical corporations, one subject has eluded your careful scrutiny, a fundamental element in the economy, causing much of our difficulties, the ‘atomic particle’ in the economic equation: the money itself. You need to investigate the money itself

Unlike what most people think, we do not use American money. The US money supply, with the exception of coins, is created by privately owned corporations – the Federal Reserve and its member bank, Money is created out of nothing, as debt, entered in bank ledgers or encrypted on their computers, extended into the economy through bonds, in the case of the government, and loans, in the private sector.

Because banks create only the principle of the loans, and no one creates the money required to pay the interest on the loans; the loan contracts, such as mortgages car loans, credit card debt, etc, when viewed as a whole, are impossible to fulfill.

For example: if the M3 money supply is $40 trillion ( the numbers have been chosen to make the math easy to follow) and the average annual interest rate is 5%, the interest due is $2trillion. When the $2 trillion is deducted from the money supply there is only $38 trillion left to pay a $40 trillion debt: the collective loan contract is impossible to fulfill. To give the illusion of stability and to keep the system from self-destructing the Federal Reserve and its member bank repeatedly create additional money, robing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak, creating an ever increasing pyramid of new debt.

The Federal Reserve and its member bank are a vast, but simple, pyramid scheme: a Ponzi Scheme. A Ponzi Scheme that is making a few people and corporations fabulously rich, while robbing ordinary people of the value of their work. A Ponzi Scheme that is reaching its mathematical limit, collapsing before our eyes, and taking the economy with it. The Federal Reserve is shifting the burden of this scam to the government and the taxpayer, while at the same time, desperately defending the system as ‘too big to fail’.

By appropriating the US governments authority to issue money, an authority confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1884, the Federal Reserve and its member bank have deprived America of her sovereignty – for how can a nation be sovereign when it is forced to borrow all its money from the bank?

There are alot of good ideas and opinions in this thread, My opinion however comes from a different angle.

It doesn't matter who is elected President or how they proceed once the administration is in place, because unfortunately they are all pawns in a much bigger operation. There are, very much more powerful organizations manipulating world leaders/events.(follow the money) These 'people' (for want of a better word) control the Financial markets, the Media, all Foreign Policy, the Oil industry etc.. They seek to Divide and Rule by manipulating both sides of everything they control. All roads lead back to the World Bank and the IMF. Who are controlled by the the same families that have ruled various parts of the world for Hundreds of years!

Maybe you've heard all of this before, maybe you've dismissed it as a Facist New World Order conspirasy? Maybe its time to check this out for real,
don't take my word for it!

David Icke has compiled alot of info on this, need names? Start with the- Rothschilds, Bilderbergs, Windsors etc..

The US and UK are ingrained with these organizations to the very core and 'they' (lets call them the 'Illuminati') have robbed the western world of everything we have ever built or indeed dreamed of. (follow the money)

I ask you all to think BIG, BIGGER than anything you can imagine, now times it by 1000 and you are at the tip of the iceberg with this, Stop squabbling over the minute detail of domestic policy and try to see the bigger picture, the World picture. It is happening in your back yard and my front garden! Be brave, throw away everything you've been taught about democracy and law and order, because we've been sold a lie. Its not just the USA, please don't take my views as unique to your country, Every nation is in a similar situation, including mine (UK).

Finally, when Gasoline soon reaches $7 a gallon (its $10 a gallon in the UK) and you still haven't done any research.. its time to get off your a** and do something!

All the best with the research :-)

Campaigns & Media,

CHAGORA (under closed beta testing - FAQ available on site) is the response to a NECESSITY for the Online enablement of legal Non-Partisan & Fluid Money-Speech in a practical way for the Average Citizen along with social Networking Capabilities along Electoral/Geographic Lines in the political arena.

These characteristics are FUNDAMENTAL requirements for proper functioning of representative governing systems above a certain scale.

(If the verbiage seems confusing - Chagora is about allowing people to throw small change at causes and candidates they believe in easily and frequently together with others... and those with some mathematical/technical understanding may have some suspicion that this could be a lot more powerful than may be apparent at first.)

This is the essential and neglected "other side" of campaign finance reform.

CHAGORA changes the paradigm from "most people never contribute to political causes or campaigns" to "most people DO!"

And even more important are the ultimate benefits on the local level... not just one damn campaign every four years for one person (as if one person could fix all the problems without addressing the underlying systemic issues!)

See www.Chagora.com (under beta testing)
blog at http://CulturalEngineer.blogspot.com
video at: www.YouTube.com/CulturalEngineer

P.S. Media: I'm not really into being a public person, but there is an interesting David/Goliath story here since I do understand how difficult it is to get across complex ideas as opposed to an emotional story. I'm seeing in a very practical way how difficult it is for minor candidates and ideas, whether local or national to get a hearing without big money or institutional support... which is exactly what CHAGORA is addressing. Of course, maybe this is a stupid idea and I'm an idiot... I'll take a chance... if you can get a story out of it with that approach... GO FOR IT!

Regards,
Tom Crowl
Civilization Systems LLC

Answers are surprisingly simple.

1) Stop the Iraq Felony War and immediately inprison for treason and crimes against humanity its promoters in Congress, the Bush Administration, and the media.
2) Put every government employee on minimum wage to make the privilege of public service an unselfish one.
3) Distribute the ill gotten war-gains of the war-business backers to the victims of the war both in Iraq and the families of the American soldiers bamboozled into thinking they were serving their country rather than the vanity and greed of the powerful.
4) Fix the income tax rate at 2% for everyone, no exceptions. Abolish any government department or project that isn't easily financed by that tax rate.
5) Phase out all "social programs" over the next five years.
6) Let the government hire the destitute to do any public service task they have the ability to do - justs see that they do it.
7) etc.

America needs to have a new war. Wait! This one is not so bad. It would be against our stealing oil and coal from future generations.


At the present time, we have a really useful Sun. It can now provide much of the energy we need.

Recent history can show us how to make the necessary change to clean power:

When the 2nd World War began, the American Automobile manufacturers and other companies immediateley stopped making cars and consumer goods. In a matter of a few months only war material was produced.

It was a huge national effort. We can do it again.

I propose that we start making solar panels for every roof in our country.
A moderate solar roof-top array would cost about 15 to 20 thousand dollars. Conveniently, that is also the cost of a new car.

We would have to stop buying internal combustion autos and we would probaly have to hold off on our cunsummerism and greed. Or maybe we could be greedy for nothing but food and solar panels.

Why roof-top solar power? The panels can last for 30 years. I believe that our animal friends would be safe with this expansion.

Wind-mills might also be ok, but they do not have a right to harm Birds.

Mentally, we need to make the shift from thinking with a human emphasis and instead, we need to
turn our attention to all life, not just us.

Animals, even insects, need their territory,so I am not sure about putting solar panels on the desert. If, however, we find that the desert panels are pro-life, then
that is another solar opprtunity.

It is wrong for us to use all oil and coal mainly for this reason: Our sun is pretty well behaved now, but in the future, it might change or even grow weaker. Maybe it won't always produce the one horspower per square meter that it does now. In that eventuallity, life might truly need fossil fuels.


Andrew Bacevitch said that the US, when attacked on 9/11/01, should have treated it as a crime, sending the FBI and organizations like it abroad to find the criminals and bring them to justice, rather than declaring a global war on terror. I don't see much difference between the two. Both assume hegemony, both are unilateral acts.
Watching him in his interview with Moyers -- his ram-rod stiff posture, clipped sentences, grim delivery -- I wondered what emotion was driving him, and then he mentioned that he did not want to mention his son, who was killed in Iraq in 2007. No wonder -- he is grieving. As we all should be.

The American citizen has been over exploited into being a good consumer instead of a 'good citizen'
To wean them off of this 'I deserve everything,no matter the cost' will be a big job for the next President.For starters he can have the IRS look into every corp/buss that has a "Hidden Treuhand".The American citizen must also accept some of the blame, when citizens of a country demand less Government and then get less Government what happened was a takeover by corporate entities which have created a Plutocratic-Total Spectrum Dominance type government, with absolutely no oversight.Even the Chinese protest against their government more, as do many so-called third world countries. If we truly wanted Democracy in our own country then we are going to have to fight for our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

Once again, the overwhelming number of comments are asking for someone to help - and rarely suggesting what WE can do to help ourselves.
The buck has stopped at our front door - on the home that is over-mortgaged in order to provide the second car, second home or worse, the only way we could send our children to college.
One commenter said "The class war is over and we have lost". He is right. When I was a child a college education was only for the wealthy.
By the time I was ready for college, it was within my means. When I sent my daughter to college I thanked the Lord for scholarships.
Now, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has realized it cannot offer scholarships to this year's graduates because the state agency that provides the scholarships got involved in Wall Street and and housing debacle and finds there is no money left for the scholarships.
How many potential doctors, teachers, and other professionals are going to become office workers and hamburger flippers to support themselves because higher education has been denied to them?
A college education is again only for the wealthy.
Home ownership had finally become a dream available to all. It is now, again, a dream only for the wealthy. The list goes on...and "Them's that got shall get, them's that not shall lose..."
The answer is, as always, in our own hands.
We have to decide what we truly need as opposed to what we want.
We have to decide if we can live with delayed gratification and save instead of spend.
And, most important, we have to teach these lessons to our children.
They will inherit this mess we have made - and they need all the tools we can provide them so they can find a way out of the debacle we have created.
Neither Obama nor McCain can "save" us. And I do not believe there is much either can do in the short term to avert the financial disaster at our doorstep.
Am I the only one who remembers the "Japanese" takeover of the 80's? It was feared we would all have to learn Japanese so we could speak to our overlords. Umm - what happened? Oh yeah, the Japanese were Americanized, and their economy is in the same hole with ours.
In the meantime, we sold our country to Chinese, the Germans, and anyone else who would buy our paper. We now have an even larger debt than in the 80's and we're all worried about a group of people living in mud huts who can't sustain daily electricity.
The Middle East is as it has always been, time immemorial. Little has changed in their attitudes toward each other or the rest of the world.
I had told my daughter, long ago, that the true test of America would come when war came to our shores - not just "over there". It was then, I told her, that our true national soul would become evident. I felt prescient after 9/11 much to my embarrassment. All I feared has come true. We have blamed others for our national failings; whether the failings of the national intelligence agencies, presidency, congress, or our individual failing to learn from our history. We allowed the true history of our involvement with Iraq and Iran to become lost in self-serving rhetoric.
It will not be in the power of a President Obama to teach us otherwise; it will be in the interest of a President McCain to maintain the fiction.
Until the lessons learned during WWII - national responsibility and sacrifice are re-learned, I fear Americans will continue to look to their elected representatives for solutions and will continue to find those representatives lacking.

I simply believe that we need to manage the salaries of CEOs. That the heads of such failed enterprises as Fannie and Freddie continue to pull in millions of personal dollars while American cannot afford health care or are being foreclosed upon is a heinous crime.

Our biggest problem is our military empire. With over 700 military installations in more than 100 countries, we waste far too much of our resources on it. The United States spends as much on its military as the rest of world combined. And the "major" party candidates want to expand the military!

Green party candidate Cynthia McKinney is the only one addressing this problem. Vote for real change.

Mr. Bacevich speaks of a government driven by our desires for more personal consumption. What strikes me most about the comments is that no one is looking at themselves. We have those who want to impress us with how clever they are -- poetry, the turn of phrase. We have those of a political bent, saying "We were right all along -- follow us!" We have droves of the very people Mr. Bacevich highlights in his message, those wanting the solution from others: "What THEY ought to do is..." Where is the thoughtful introspection, "Is he right? Am I really that focused on consuming? What should I do differently?"

America, I think he's onto something. What DO we want? What do we really NEED? Do we really value the hi-lux version so greatly that it's worth mortgaging our future to get it? I'm not sure this is a matter for the nation, so much as it's a matter for each of us as individuals, times 300 million. Think about it for a minute. Better yet, let's reread his thoughts and ponder them for awhile. They are sobering. And change begins with each of us, individually...not with "them." Most certainly we can agree that change is needed.

Sir Vertual: Your posts are often provocative and informative. What do you mean to say when you pinpoint the robbery of "the cradle of civilization"?
The premise of your post seems to be "money as debt" and how the illegitimate elite (piratizers) has used it to gain a legal grip on the public (starving the beast/hollowing out America).
What is the road to freedom, of People Power regaining governmental control? Do we subscribe to the monetary and "legal" scorecard rigged to benefit the most wealthy and powerful "owners", or can we somehow reset the scoreboard (because their gains are ill-gotten) and discard the FED and the banking/credit system altogether.
Grady Lee Howard tells us that the invisible (unregulated) portion of the investment infrastructure (derivatives, carry trade, reciprocal insurance risks, covert elite dealings and so on) is now at least 5 times larger in wealth valuation than the visible (regulated/publicly accessible portion;ie: banks, lenders,insurers, traders, brokers...)
Money seems to have suspended itself above the quotidian world in which we are all becoming serfs.
What is the difference between conquerers speculating upon archaeological rarities or importing heroin and cocaine, Arabian marble, armaments, used luxury vehicles or human sex slaves. It is all of one customary illegal piece.
Why do you think Moyers highlighted that sorry family documentary about the de Wolves getting wealthy in the Atlantic slavery trade?
Do you actually believe that our syncophantic upper middle-class will do anything other than salivate over the underground relics trade?
Maybe they will bundle their pin money for participation while sending $20 to the Smithsonian and subscribing to National Geographic (CIA tool)and Archaeology (mostly travel ads) online?
Sir Vertual, are you a radical or a conformist to the bourgeoisie fund-raising model? We wonder...La-de-da, well, la-de-da....

Just an FYI that I couldn't find anywhere else to post...but it's just another of the small (yet Gigantic) effects of the dick & jr show's antics and the devastation it's caused around the world...another example of the many, many things we wouldn't normally even think about...and even more money required to 'fix'...added to that hunred's of billions already spent...because of these incompetent idiots...'the spoiled lil' bush boy and his lil' war we let him have'...I'm really ashamed of each and every American who hasn't stood up and voiced their angst and disapproval of this adminstration's morally, legally and ethically corrupt misdoings...Shame on you...
------------------------------
Iraq Updates
Five years after the ransacking of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad in April 2003, scholars and law enforcement officials are still assessing the damage from the theft as well as the ongoing plundering of sites. AIA President C. Brian Rose recently led a roundtable discussion about the situation for Salon.com. A transcript and audio file of the roundtable, "Robbing the cradle of civilization, five years later," can be accessed on the Salon.com website here. Meanwhile, on April 27, Syrian authorities handed over more than 700 Iraqi artifacts seized from smugglers, and Iraqi officials are discussing the return of more objects seized by Jordanian authorities. A review of the current situation will appear in the July/August issue of ARCHAEOLOGY.

PBS and Mainstream media must discuss the possibility that the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack was a FALSE FLAG event as the pretext to war and empire.

There is simply too much evidence for Bill Moyers, PBS and the mainstream media to continue to deny this story.

If Moyers cannot succeed in breaking through the PBS Gatekeepers then there is no story that PBS and Moyers can reveal that will keep Americans from living a lie.

We MUST expose the 9/11 False Flag with a criminal trial and the media must start covering the story.

To Ted,
Ralph Nader? If you want to throw your vote away, could you please give it to Ron Paul? That way it would actually do some good. (It would take a vote away from McCain, not Barack.)

My hat is off to Bill Moyers for his singular efforts to revive the nearly extinct profession of journalism in the face of opposition by the corporate entertainment-propaganda complex. I may be late to the party with this comment, but there is (FINALLY!), a clear and actionable source of evidence to bring the necessary and proper impeachment charges against Mssrs. Bush and Cheney for misleading our country into war in Iraq. I refer to Ron Suskind's book, "The Way of the World." My efforts to see any coverage of Mr. Suskind on corporate media has failed completely. I have heard this discussed on several progressive outlets, even to the extent that Representative John Conyers is paying attention; but where is my hero, Bill Moyers, on this explosive and possibly revolutionary (in the redemption of our country and polity) news story?

Our New National Anthem (after Jan. 20, 2009)

Mister Trouble never hangs around,
When he hears this mighty sound.
“Here I come to save the day!”
That means that John McCain is on the way.

Yes sir, when there is a wrong to right,
John McCain will join the fight.
On the sea or on the land,
He gets the situation well in hand.

So though we are in danger, we never despair,
‘Cause we know that where there’s danger, he is there.
He is there…
On the land, on the sea, in the air.

We’re not worrying at all,
We’re just listening for his call.
“Here I come to save the day!”
That means that John McCain is on the way.

(to the tune of “The Mighty Mouse Theme,” as performed by the Sandpipers)


To keep the Supreme Court away from the nuts in the so-called Christian right, I am probably going to vote for Senator Obama, but I am not optimistic about him. He makes a good impression as long as you don't listen to him for too long.

He probably has the ability to be president and maybe be a capable one the way President Clinton proved to be.

But what do I know, I live in a state that has a senator who wears his dippers when he visits prostitutes and this nut was another Rhodes Scholar. We have a governor who earned his degree in biology from Brown and was himself a Rhodes Scholar. However, he supports the nutty ideas of the Christian right-wing.

Come to think of it, he had a leading political leader, another Rhodes Scholar, who went to prison of lying to the FBI.

I have compared Senator Obama and Senator McCain. I think that I am sill undecided. I like Mr. Nader. He talks about what concerns me. Senator Obama certainly has not paid much attention to those of us who supported and voted for Senator Clinton. He needs to sharpen his appeal to poor people like me if he wants my vote.

It was great to see Dean Baker get some significant air time. He's a smart guy we need to hear more from. I'd like to suggest that you have him back on to discuss Social Security and Medicare. We need a counterbalance to the Pete Peterson and David Walker "throw granny under a bus" types. Thanks!!!

Two simple suggestions to help the ordinary person:

1.) No more fine print; all contracts to be printed in no less than 10 point type, with restrictions, penalties, etc. printed in bold.

2.) Lenders making loans: if you make the loan, you own the loan. No more transferring the loan to a third party.

THE POLITICAL DEBATES HAVE STARTED!
“The daily audio – commentary by Ralph Nader”!

"Wht should next administration do..."?
Where do you go when the roads is ambigious..."?


http://www.votenader.org/index.html

“Break the law as citizen go to jail, break the law as Corporation go to
Washington get immunity” - “$75 billion dollars bail-out”!

The MSM is more than willing to dwell on the trivial but when out and out lies are told about drilling and availability of oil and the effect on prices, where are they???
The price of oil is going down. The dollar is stronger and consumption is down. The market is supply and demand. Basic economics.

1. Wouldn’t it be nice if just once the Bush administration came up with a policy that didn’t involve weakening environmental protection, give financial breaks to wealthy individuals and corporations, while reducing public oversight?

“We the People” need a thorough cleaning in our governmental offices: to include millionaires, corporate supporters and elected officials who are beyond working in their own best interests to represent the voters.

Our elected representatives have been seduced by the bribery of rich political donors and prostituted to servicing their own economic desires.

Do any of the elected officials remember Louis XVI? Marie Antoinette? Does Barbara Bush like cake?

Following the Constitutional Rights of Man, outline by Thomas Paine, “The decisions of representation should be based on the wishes and well being of the electorate”. Representation is being usurped by the monied elite. Corporate aristocrats have the excess money to manipulate the duly elected representatives. This will become a war of the classes resulting in the same changes that occurred during historic changes of the power structure.

2. If a CEO ran a corporation like GW Bush is running the country, would the stockholders keep him for 8 years?

The current administration has demonstrated a complete disregard for the legal system, US Constitution, established international agreements and treaties, without any meaningful supervision by the House or Senate.

The Administration has engaged in personal slander, propaganda campaigns, double-speak and unmitigated fraud for anyone in disagreement with their warped agenda.

a. The House and Senate negated their assigned duties as representatives of the electorate when they handed the Administrative Branch a carte blanch ticket to start wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

b. The House and Senate have stood idly by while the administration carried out illegal wiretaps, refused to provide testimony required to ascertain the extent of the abuses and then passed laws to protect the culpable from due process/prosecution.

c. To allow the President and Vice-president to usurp the power designated to them by the electorate, the House and the Senate can only be recognized as complacent supporters of Totalitarianism and Fascism. 

d. I urge Congress to restore court oversight of the government spying program and hold accountable the corporations that knowingly broke the law. I urge full judicial oversight of the responsible parties, removal from elected office or corporate position and, if so adjudicated, incarceration. No matter how big your flag is, it is not big enough to wrap around the bodies of innocent men, women and children killed in battle.

e. The non-sanctioned, preemptive wars against the sovereign nations of Afghanistan and Iraq were undertaken in violation of laws governing international aggression. The pretext for starting the wars was done with known deception of elected officials and the people.

f. I urge the immediate impeachment of the President, Vice-president, Secretary of State, former Secretary of Defense per the petitions that were submitted to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees by popular petitions. This has remained in committee too long already.

3. If the IRS harasses a single, working mother with a $7000 annual income, shouldn’t it audit Halliburton, who moved its corporate headquarters to Dubia to avoid U.S. taxes, and their CEO to the White House?

The Internal Revenue Service spends an undue amount of its time auditing and prosecuting the law abiding, working classes, while white collar corporate aristocrats pay little or no taxes at all. The number of IRS auditors was decreased by the administration, making it harder to audit as many accounts.

Legalized tax evasion is the stock and trade of rich corporate lawyers, who manipulate the system to maintain the life styles of the rich and famous. (See: Perfectly Legal : the covert campaign to rig our tax system to benefit the super rich—and cheat everybody else”. By David C. Johnston.

a. The citizens of the US are typically not adverse to paying their fair share of the tax burden, but to allow corporate tax cheats like Halliburton, who moved its headquarters to Dubai and take out a post office box in the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes for their former CEO, Dick Chaney, is too much. 

b. The proportion of tax burden paid by corporate America has decreased, while the tax burden on working class Americans has increased. This cannot be justified unless the government is going out of their way to establish slave labor.

c. It is setting a dangerous precedent to allow corporate executives to follow a different set of laws than those subject to less economically endowed citizens. 

d. Eliminating the so called “Death Tax” has allowed the corporate aristocracy to enhance and maintain their life style, while transferring their tax burden to the lower and middle class. 

e. IRS whistle-blowers have been vilified and ordered by their superiors to either cease or outright disregard audits, which would have retrieved tax money for the government, but would have caused political benefactors to pay their due taxes or face legal scrutiny for their fraudulent tax schemes. I personally am tired of picking up the tab! 

4. If the Vice-president issues a no-bid, contract to his former company, is it a “conflict of interest”?

The General Accounting Office has found innumerable instances of mismanagement of funds for goods and services that have either been lost, missing or not provided at all. The contracts given without bids to Halliburton in Iraq and in the US after hurricane Katrina, deserve better oversight by our elected officials. “The fox is watching the chickens.”

a. Corporations that defraud the government are free to continue business as usual. Limited reparation, limited fines, no exclusion from obtaining subsequent government contracts, and no time limits for reinstatement.

b. The US can’t just continue to print more money without some consequences. Those consequences have already affected the US dollar. The value of the dollar is at its lowest exchange rate in history. The dollar is being replaced by the Euro as the global reserve note of choice.

c. As the dollar loses value the price we pay for imported items increases. And we import way too much. We have out-sourced the manufacture of many US goods so well, that commodities formerly made in USA are no longer even made in this county. (i.e., garments and millenary, glass products, many toys, manufacturing tools, etc.). This leaves the US vulnerable to a weakness to defend ourselves and the possibility of international extortion.

d. Free trade agreements have only served to lower the standard of living in the US, by moving higher paying manufacturing jobs abroad.

e. The government has out-sourced the procurement and accounting that should have been overseen by the government to the very private concerns responsible for the goods and services. These companies are lining their pockets at taxpayer expense. 

f. The government should initiate a complete and thorough financial audit of the cost of our global militarization. Where are the goods and services that the tax payers are paying for? Were the products actually supplied?

g. The GAO has found vast discrepancies with the sale and distribution of the Iraqi oil. Where is the money from Iraqi oil? Where is the oil? Does anybody in Washington really care? Don’t the tax payers deserve an answer?

5. What part of recession/depression/runaway inflation/monetary devaluation, do the legislators not understand?

The government established by the Constitution was never meant to have to borrow money from a privatized banking institution like the Federal Reserve Bank. Maybe we should rethink this institution and go back to the old system.

6. Should the people demand a Constitutional Amendment stating “If at any time during the term of an elected official the national debt increases more that 5% more than the GNP, that legislator will no longer be eligible for reelection during the next consecutive term?”

7. Should the people demand a ballot check box for “None of the above”, at which time the office goes unfilled?

From: Anonymous9 07/22/08
To: Bill Moyers
76 Fourth Street
Garden City, NY 11530 Original Date the below Letter was sent to B.M. 06/25/01

Mr. Moyers I sent you a copy of this letter 7 years ago. In that time frame everything has gotten worse… Population, Immigration, Global Warming. I will now enter a copy of my original letter to you.

Subject: Humanity

Sir:

I watched your special on Public TV (about the problems humans are causing the earth) aired late at night…. I will never forgive PBS for burying that important show late at night selling out to sponsors who didn’t wan it shown in prime time.

With out taking a lot of your time, I want to say that cutting trees or planting trees, plowing the land or not plowing the land and all the other problems you talked with the learned about have nothing to do with solving the problem.

Sometimes the truth is too simple for intellectuals. Jean-Paul Sartre
(In the case of the greedy man, he simply does not want to hear the truth).

The governments of this world will never speak of it, the religions will not agree to it, and no philosopher will admit to it being reasonable…. I speak of the solution.

Nothing human beings have done or plan to do will save the earth and Sir; we are headed for extinction at a very high rate of speed. In the 1950’s we were 2 billion, now we are 6 billion and by 2050 we will be 12 billion or was it 16 billion and the sheer numbers will destroy us and the earth and no amount of science or reason will help solve this problem.

If it is to be solved we the people must agree to sterilize 99 or of a hundred females born until we have reduced the population to numbers which the earth can handle in the devastated shape it will be in by the time the solution becomes acceptable to reasonable people. Those numbers will be less then the 1950’s population simply because the exploding population will have used 90% of the earth’s resources by the time the solution becomes acceptable.

It will do no good to sterilize males as the need of women to bear children is so great 1 male can supply all that is needed for a hundred women to succeed while on the other hand no mater hw many males mate with on woman only one child results.

The alternative to this solution is global war or extinction of the human species.

I am surprised that you have not realized this truth, yet I still see you as the last of a dying breed of men and women capable of finding solutions and recognizing truth.

I wish you God Speed,

Ellison Hunt

PS: If this seems false to you, think about the result of Modern Medicine and talk to a statistician and have them explain the numbers to you.

The earth will recover but we could have lied as a species a lot longer had we not been so greedy… for wealth, for pleasure, and so short sighted… thinking the earth could be overrun by Billions of people and not run out of resources.

Please consider some statists.
Population Explosion 04/08/08 Hydrogen Engine Cars!

0 1800 1800 Years 1 Billion 80 Million Born Year Present
1800 1925 125 Years 2 Billion 220,000 Born Day Present
1925 1975 50 Years 4 Billion I estimate 18 Billion + by 2100
1975 2000 25 Years 6 Billion The total could be 24 Billion
2000 2010 10 Years 6 & ½ Billion +

1900 ? US Amazon River 1/5 of WFW
1950 150 Million US Amazon 1 hr = Rio Grand 1 yr
2000 300 Million US Colorado/Nile/Mekong/Yellow Drying up
2010 ? Water & Air Pollution = Poison
2020 420 Million Estimate US Man can clean up environment
2100 Billion Estimate US Man can stop having children 1

200 Thousand to 20 Million in last 50 years live on Rio Grand River

Grain demand will eliminate animals, to costly to feed them. People will eat grains until plants go out of existence or global warming eliminates plants growing.

12% of worlds land in Wetlands – now it is 6% losing ½% to development of human Habitat.

FL Kissimmee River Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades all dying from man made chemicals.

Heat too high for human and crops 100°+ days are now common

Glaciers, N. & S. Poles, Melt and Oceans Rise 2008 Urban Pop more then Rural

1950 86 cities = 1 Million Aquifers 30% of fresh water
Farming uses
2000 400 cities = 1 Million 1 & ½ feet of water a year
Rain replenishes ½ “
2020 10 yrs 600 = 1 Million Loss at present = 1/3 of total

Bangladesh size of WI = 145 million women having 6 children now reducing to 3 children.

Can you imagine every state in the US having 145 Million before women reduce # of births???
Can you imagine how many people Medical Care can keep alive and live longer???

There is no way population won’t kill the earth because of Greed .

More people have been born in the last 50 years then in the last 4 million.


Please consider the following ideas and reasons.
Overpopulation and Global Warming 08/09/07

There are two causes that prevent man from understanding Overpopulation and Global Warming.

First is Intelligence, the vast majority of mankind operates on instinct not using sufficient intelligence to reason and understand how overpopulation happens.

Second is Population grows exponentially not by simple arithmetic adding. Therefore in a short time population will not double as 4 + 4 = 8 but will grow to 2 x 2 = 4 x 2 = 8 x 2 = 16.

Global Warming results when too many people use too many resources in an ever growing shorter period of time and in addition the side effects of using more and more, changes the percentage of gasses in the atmosphere causing a change of temperature over time.

Most people cannot conceive of the amount of carbon being used or the amount of carbon dioxide being produced in order to maintain the quest for more and more of everything. The amount of heat being produced in the process would boggle the mind if it could be calculated.

Health care will help produce overpopulation because doctors want to use every resource available to keep people alive and this means not only will more babies be born but more old people will be living longer. All people will need food and this will mean we will eat all of the animals that are alive and then we will eat all of the plants that are still alive and then we will be left with unthinkable choices and when there is no animal or plant to eat, what will those choices be, self destruction.

Capitalism will guarantee the building of more and bigger in order to have greater profits until our atmosphere and water will no longer sustain life. First the oceans will rise then the atmosphere will become hot with gasses that will not sustain human life.

Lip service will be given until it is too late… capitalism-commercialism-materialism is a process that will not be reversed and the end will come upon us sooner rather then later and it will be too late to reverse the processes….

Air and water pollution can be eliminated and population can be controlled but only with drastic measures and great sacrifice. Yet it will not happen as the great cliché “not in my backyard” will prove to prevail.

When was it that the term 'liberal' became a pejoritave?

As I was growing up during FDR's administration, the term meant "caring for the people." My family was still quivering from the Hoover administration; FDR was a hero in our house. His WPA and CCC programs had saved us from starving under the uncaring eye of the conservatives, who were more worried about Wall Street than the ordinary person (just like today.)

I wear the tag of liberal proudly. What it means to me is that I do care what happens to the working man now that the unions have become passive and usury has allowed the predators to exploit those who have fallen through the cracks of our fractured society.

When will the conservatives and neo-conservative realize that it is in their enlightened self-interest to think beyond their greed and see that a society exploited is a society that is dangerous -- one that will eventually rebel or become criminal?

Where do we go when the road is ambiguous in any direction? Back to the beginning. Back to the People. What do humans need in order to gain life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? They need work, they need to earn enough to provide basic needs and some left for imagination. Health, beauty and spirit. The disenfranchised youth hanging on our streets need a challenge bigger than themselves to tackle. It's useful to read the work being done on the UN Millennium Development Goals to see what people in poor countries, who have nothing, would need in order to end poverty: food and shelter, education, equal rights for women, lower infant mortality rates, maternal health, environmental sustainability, access to affordable credit, an end to pernicious diseases like AIDS and malaria. We don't need a new constitution. The one we have is designed to protect us from greed and lust for power. Freedom to gain wealth does not include the license to exploit the populace and push people down. Freedom of speech is guaranteed to corporations. Their lobbyists should be allowed to SPEAK to our lawmakers, just as we are. But they should go to jail if they bring Dollar One into the halls of Congress. They may leave their checkbooks at home.
Because what's happening is just WRONG. And we've been so stuffed with propaganda and The Kool-Aid, we can't even see it anymore. OK, Thanks to Bill Moyers and npr, some of us actually can.

Should we drill???...

Hell No!...dependence on oil has become a major cause for alarm on many levels...Now bush is finally 'paying up' some of his debts (to the oil companies...among others)...of coure we're supposed to believe that we are the cause of the natl crisis at the pumps...using Americans as an excuse...I'm so tired of the constant spin on everything this administration does...the lies and deceit...there's literally no end to it...the bush family (and company) have raped this country and are directly responsible for well over 1 million deaths, both here and abroad...yet nobody seems to take a stance on this...as if it's OK???...Now were going to 'just accept' another crock of cooked up crap...The environmentalist (scientists) have warned us that drilling in these regions is basically an 'extermination' of an entire species of whales as this is the only place on planet earth they gather to reproduce...In closing...aside from saying (once again) how disgusted I am in this administration and 'Americans in general' for not standing up to this idiocy...(not even mentioning the morally and ethically criminal activities that have been the MO of the dick & bush company), I wish to leave a link behind of (a 'Japanese' - NOT AMERICAN) car company's newest creation that will be available to the public...It's a car that utilizes the fuel cell. I have seen the fuel cell in action, running not only the automobiles, but the entire small 'test town' which included a state of the manufacturing facility...An entire town that did not use one drop of petroleum...I've also seen the people who are using both solar power and batteries to heat-cool their homes water etc,, etc...as well as their cars, etc, etc...The technology is not only available,, but ready to be utilized and will be eagerly accepted by America and Americans...It's the oil companies and the politicians who need 'someone to stand up to their money and power...or nothing will change, except the spin put on the task to keep the money rolling in from Americans wallets...

http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/

JS Mill would argue Utilitarianism. Machiavelli argues government is supreme. Where do you go when the road is ambigious any direction?

First, we need to have those tax cuts repealed, along with the cuts in the Capital Gains
tax. We need to enact real health-care for all. We need to really give the lower end of the middle class some relief on their taxes. We need to tackle education both K-12 and make college more affordable. We need to repeal the tax breaks for big oil, and give those breaks to alternative fuels. We need more after -care centers in our neighborhoods because everyones momma's can't afford to stay home with their children. We need to bring our troops home. And more than anything we need to hold the current administration and it's cabal accountable for the treason that they have committed against the American people!

The next administration must spread the wealth regarding the economy. It's gotten way out of hand. But most of all people have to realize how they're being used. This buy, buy, buy.. 401k's...no unions...bottom line mentality is and has taken it's toll on our society. Wallstreet is playing with air. It won't work forever, and someone will have to pay. Reporters cherry pick stories and people would rather watch reality TV then news. They care more about the celebs than whose running the show. It really is time people get with it. It's almost like everyone turned their watch back 200 years. One thing for sure is this administration has been and out and out joke. I'm figuring at best their legacy everyone keeps talking about should be filled with laugh tracks.

Here are some things I want:

> Legalize the growing of industial hemp.

> Legalize marijuana. Handle it as we do our two main legel drugs, alcohol and tobacco: legal, taxed, and regulated. In particular, no sales to kids under 18.

> And while we're at it, lower the drinking age to 18. If 18 is the age of adulthood, what is the justification for delaying this one privledge for three more years?

> Decriminalize the hard drugs. Treat them as a medical problem, not a criminal problem.

> Release from prison everyone who is there solely for non-violent drug offenses. Expunge their records.

> Strict limits on the use of tasers. A roll-back of the militarization of the police.

I also want the usual items: ending the occupation, single payer health plan, reduced spending on elaborate weapons systems, increased spending on mass transit, attention to global climate change, restoration of civil liberties, outlawing torture, scraping No Child Left Behind, scraping NAFTA, CAFTA, etc.

Here are some things I want:

> Legalize the growing of industial hemp.

> Legalize marijuana. Handle it as we do our two main legel drugs, alcohol and tobacco: legal, taxed, and regulated. In particular, no sales to kids under 18.

> And while we're at it, lower the drinking age to 18. If 18 is the age of adulthood, what is the justification for delaying this one privledge for three more years?

> Decriminalize the hard drugs. Treat them as a medical problem, not a criminal problem.

> Release from prison everyone who is there solely for non-violent drug offenses. Expunge their records.

> Strict limits on the use of tasers. A roll-back of the militarization of the police.

I also want the usual items: ending the occupation, single payer health plan, reduced spending on elaborate weapons systems, increased spending on mass transit, attention to global climate change, restoration of civil liberties, outlawing torture, scraping No Child Left Behind, scraping NAFTA, CAFTA, etc.

Here are some things I want:

> Legalize the growing of industial hemp.

> Legalize marijuana. Handle it as we do our two main legel drugs, alcohol and tobacco: legal, taxed, and regulated. In particular, no sales to kids under 18.

> And while we're at it, lower the drinking age to 18. If 18 is the age of adulthood, what is the justification for delaying this one privledge for three more years?

> Decriminalize the hard drugs. Treat them as a medical problem, not a criminal problem.

> Release from prison everyone who is there solely for non-violent drug offenses. Expunge their records.

> Strict limits on the use of tasers. A roll-back of the militarization of the police.

I also want the usual items: ending the occupation, single payer health plan, reduced spending on elaborate weapons systems, increased spending on mass transit, attention to global climate change, restoration of civil liberties, outlawing torture, scraping No Child Left Behind, scraping NAFTA, CAFTA, etc.

Something for Nothing Politcal Action Club
No Political Affilation Necessary Open for anyone and everyone world wide.
Do Nothing, Spend Nothing on 11-5-2008 Purpose: To wake up Washington and Wall Street.
Please Help by doing absolutely NOTHING!!

The administration? When the government returns to "of the people, by the people and for the people," perhaps the administration and corporate America cannot be blinded by their personal goals and unending greed. Working class Americans are being pushed out of any American dream. Workng class Americans pay the taxes, die in the unnecessary wars, and cannot retire and live on Social Security and Medicare.

The next administration needs to remove the Robbing Hoods of economics and start taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Without the spending power of the poor and the middle class; the economy will collapse and the Greedy Rich's money will be worthless. It will be poetic justice. However,it will hurt millions of people.
I hope that the next administration will learn from this administrations errors but I will not be withholding my breathe or my comments.
We need to incorporate the right solutions for the problems without interference from vested interests. Citizens as sheep to the slaughter is not getting it. We have the resources to provide everyone a quality life style if we can get our distribution of wealth right. The quality of people's lives is an essential element of social organization.

Had an affair and openly lied, blablabla, another politician, another lawyer, another card carrying party member, another leader...

We all are the same! Why are folks shocked or not?

What to do first? Elect no President. Just obliterate Washington DC, last chance.

What Should The Next Administration Do About America's Troubles?
It is a system of political corruption that denies the people to “EXPRESS THEIR WILL” on ALL ISSUES!
Many suggestions - proposals have been made!
“The stamina, commitment.... to take such action” now is to AMEND the
CONSTITUTION to “empower the people to express their will on all issues”!
Impose strict rules - laws on the three branches of government!
Whatever solution, direction, laws etc. are being implemented and imposed on
the people, the people should be “EMPOWERED TO EXPRESS THEIR WILL” on
ALL ISSUES!

Scott: You described yourself as evil; I figured you must be on a guilt trip. Have you noticed the Earth is warming and that conservatism is about to fry?
In 10; 9; 8; 7; 6; 5....
Keep pulling them petals, l'il gurrl.

It's amazing. 44 years ago, Bill Moyer was largely responsible for smearing Barry Goldwater with the famous"mushroom cloud" ad. And now I receive ad hominem attacks in this blog. Nothing changes.

I loved your show. Now after Jan20, 2008 our next President should; 1 staff him or herself with some top notch economist who are not in bed with Oil and the current Utilities. 2 Re-tool our closed down factories to manufacture GREEN Autos, Low energy lightbulbs etc... 3 Build back up our standings in the International Community. 4 Appoint a decent A.G. and instruct him or her to seize every account of the CEO's that destroyed this Country And ARREST them on Treason and Murder and any other charges that apply to what has happened to the individuals who they have hurt. This should include Past Excutive members including Adolf Jr. Bush himself.

These are some of the most commendable and thoughtful postings on Moyers' Journal blog yet. Even more spectacular is the reporting from their own lives people offer as an example. david bookoven's condemnation of usury was enforced by comments like the one from bill collector Dale Wilbur who said most people are in some deep dookie long before they lose their house. Fran said older people are excluded from employment because of insurance coverage pools, and it was emphasized that Social Security is not the primary budget problem, as PatT2 reported how a medical problem can take a person to the bottom fast. Gary A. sanely blamed much of this suffering on the neocon plan to "starve the beast" (hollow out government). Marilyn, seeking hope, reported that school supplies have been off-shored, and on how much imported crap is made from oil (plastic).(Check it out girl, peas are now canned in China, so helpless we are.) Linda is watching the pseudo-owners in the house next door as the landlord sizes up their renovations. Does any mortgage holder really own anymore? Al was simply honest enough to report on his anxiety about posting. (Don't let the Bigman see you nekked on Facebook, Al.) Ken's description of the two party system as, as fixed as a Jesse Ventura wrestling match, is pretty apt. (I never thought of wrestling as the "good party" versus the "evil party" before, George Bush beat me to that one.) larry,dfh reminded us how the Democrats (I'll add Hillary) were extremely cooperative on the stricter bankruptcy bill of 2006. (Who were they thanking?!) Steven Lesh provided a terrific peak oil overview for those criticizing the addicts' cry to drill, drill, drill.
The moralists Michael J. Ahles and Ted Michael Morgan were joined by Ted Rudlow III, MA. His observation that the Olympics are a "flesh fair" (concept from Speilberg's AI) was right on, though I don't understand his sexual implications. Morgan has now embraced tariffs (as have I) and reinforces our consensus that ten times the base should be the maximum salary (a la Ben & Jerry's). Glen Jones joined the "listers" (like myself), thou his were pointedly energy oriented. Charles rivaled my laundry list, while brett had a shorter one. Some people use a "to do" list approach and others, like Burt C. and H. Young see a systemic problem. Burt's Lincoln quote caught my fancy and Young's appraisal of current law as lawless was Marxian in its implications. I doubt legislation could correct either ill, since everything is selectively enforced and fluidly interpreted by corporate minded Justices. Scott forgot that most of us involuntarily have taxes deducted biweekly from our direct deposit checks when he suggested to "quit paying." Someone else, I apologize for forgetting, said the way to punish big media is to cancel cable and satellite accounts. Do you really think the lab rats want to be in the dark? So if you don't like the government, change channels?
Maisha Sapp in Brooklyn wrote a precious essay (worth reading) about the "learned helplessness" of the underclass, and she did it without victim blaming. It was heartwarming.
Uppity Woman had the best reform list, and it was concise and short. We should try your cure, Uppity.
Dan Mockler insightfully discussed Wall Street gravity, in which the big monied players rule the game. They said almost the same thing on last night's 60 Minutes when discussing Carl Icahn's investments. You should watch that show, Dan, because it proves you right, which you are.
Finally, despite her mis-definition of yippies as hippies, I award Fran G. my personal endorsement and potential friendship. Yep, I remember them days, Fran, and I wonder if you'd do me the honor of marching on Washington with me on Inauguration Day.
Note: To find any of the posts I have suggested (or my own) use your edit button, then, find in this page, using the moniker or keywords. Moyers' search button sometimes works too. Good luck, my friends.(I'm not McCain, though I talk like him.)
contact-beretco.op@gmail.com
Warning:Scott Upton may be a social Darwinist. Check if he is a gun-toting Hummer driver, my friends.

I'm one of those "evil right-wingers" who wants the government to get out of the way. While the left has a few libertarian ideas (like the Iraq War was a mistake), in general, the left is the ideology of big government. And big government, not the marketplace, is evil.

Does anyone miss the hippies? They organized sit-ins and protests and changed our institutions. Later The People protested and boycotted investments and moved South Africa to abandon apartheid. We could do this. The hippies are boomers now (like me). If we boomers got together we could change a lot. Not that we'd have quite as much power as we had before multinationals moved offshore. But with the internet, we could encourage the exploited workers offshore to join our demands for the just society we're talking about here. We could be NEO-HIPPIES. Who wants to be our leader? I nominate Bill Moyers. When the politicians won't listen to us, we just have to go around them.

Rather then focus upon the social and economic problems of the poor; why not focus on how they are fighting back? For example some tribes through alternative energy efforts are starting their own tribal utility companies and stopping one of their huge economic leakage. If one looks at an economic analysis of tribal settings one will see that a huge percent is spent off tribal lands for goods and services. One prime example of successes among Alaska Native and Native American population is there are now over 200,000 Native owned and operated businesses besides gaming.

I watched this show with a heavy heart. Then I listened to Bob Herbert and Dean Baker and my heart and I just don't understand why is it that we are not on the streets protesting.

One thing that struck me is that we need a program like the have in Bangladesh developed by Muhammad Yunus.
It's called micro-financing and we need this in our country.

It works like this:


Bank lends about $30 million a month to 1.8 million needy borrowers. A document on microfinance, jointly published by the United Nations Population Fund and the Microcredit Summit Campaign, says the most common mechanism used by microfinance institutions is group-based lending.

From the Times of India:

"Borrowers form groups to mutually guarantee one another's loan. The groups meet weekly or biweekly to make loan repayments and to deposit savings. Loan cycles and repayment schedules are short, usually four to six months, as most small enterprises have a cash turnover on a daily and weekly basis.

The interest charged on loans is always lower than what moneylenders charge. Usually a group's savings decide how much loan it can get. For most women members, their savings represent the first-ever opportunity to accumulate money for purchasing assets or emergency use."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2171224.cms

Why on earth is this not being done here is beyond me.

The young mother of 4 would still have her car and she might even have been able to start her own business.

Thank you Bill Moyers.
You are the only news journal worth watching.

Bill Moyers, I appreciate your willingness to interview guests (Hebert and Baker) who are aware, as you are, of the role of the media, as it is currently operating, in creating and maintaining the economic inequality in the United Stares. Most journalist prefer to see their profession through rose colored glasses, never willing to bite the hands that feed them-- just as the institution itself will not risk its access to centers of power or betray its primary allegiance to corporate power and its wealthy shareholders. Such an institution operating in such a way will never be able to challenge the fundamental wrongdoings of the system, but will content itself with refereeing minor infractions and creating the illusion of objectivity and fairness. Until the media itself is forced to change it alliance to profit and power, I have little hope that the US public will get an objective picture of the country. Fortunately, the internet is allowing alternative media (albeit a hodgepodge of sources) to flourish, and may eventually allow alternative sources - as they are increasingly sought out by a public that recognizes the mainstream media's innate bias-- to take a commanding role in providing US news, displacing the major networks. Already sources such as "Democracy Now!" are becoming major players. For this reason, it is important to notice how the internet itself is treated by regulatory agencies. The ruling of the FCC against Comcast is an important development, one that I hope to see you explore in the future.

If our next President truly wants to bring about “change” he must incorporate the skills and courage found in previous great leaders of this Country. He and he alone has the platform necessary to educate and unite “We the People” by clearly explaining to us why we are in the condition we are in and who lead us to the crisis we now face. He must remind us of the many warnings given from our great leaders of the past, such as the one given by our President Lincoln when he wrote the following:


“Yes, we may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing the close, but I see in
the future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety
of my country. As a result of the war corporations have been enthroned, and an era of
corruption in high places will follow and the money power of the country will endeavor
to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until wealth is
aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more
anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before in the midst of the war.”

And again by our President Jefferson when he wrote:


“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of the moneyed corporations, which
dare already to challenge our Government to trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws
of our country.”

Our next President must bring an end to the “blame game” played by both political parties in Congress and remind us of what one of its last true statesman, Charles A Lindbergh Sr., wrote nearly one hundred years ago:


“The interests have done everything that has been possible for them to do in order to divide the people of this country into factions commonly known as political parties, because it was directly in their interest to do so. The interests can deal with the political bosses much more satisfactorily than they could with half or more of the people’s representatives. Party government is factional government and not national government. Anyone who claims that political parties are required in order that some one shall be made responsible for government is either ignorant or dishonest.”

May our LORD GOD bless this Country and our next President. May he be given the Divine wisdom and leadership required to free the toilers of this Country from the “industrial slavery” placed upon us by an elite few.

Bill,
Thank you, once again, for an outstanding program. You always inform me giving me a clearer understanding of why this nation is so much in trouble.

My wish list for the next President, as well as, Congress is sadly long.

First let me say, Americans also have a job to do. If we want change, we have the power to do it ourselves with our vote. However, most Americans continue to over and over again vote the incumbent back into office or don't vote at all. It is up to each and every one of us to vote each and every incumbent out of office in order to send Washington, D.C. a message that they do not represent us. Continuing to vote the same way over and over again gets the same results.

Secondly, all Americans need to register as an independent - the two party system represents no one anymore - they are opposite wings of the same turkey.

Thirdly, the movement for Clean Elections is on the move - publicly financed elections with no other financial contributions.

Now, the President -

As for the next President, Bush's employees are at every level and in every department it is imperative that the next President "clean house", which will take time but it needs to be done. No more corporate lobbyists representing departments - we saw what this has done to this country. Professionals in every department that represent the best and brightest of Americans wanting to serve our country.

Regulations for every department need to be put back in place to represent the best interests for the people, environment, and economy. Let's not forget renegotiating free trade deals to fair trade deals where labor standards, wages, working conditions, food safety, etc. are demanded by our government.

A nationwide energy policy is a must - to get us off foreign oil and to deal with global warming.

Have Iraqis pay for the rebuilding of their own country.

In order for us to heal as a nation and for the next administration to understand their limits of executive power, we need to hold the Bush administration accountable. While some may think it is best to put the Bush administration behind us after he leaves office, it will not serve future presidents and our national interests well.

The Bush administration has and continues to be the darkest administration in our modern history that will not go silently into the night. Bush and others need to be held accountable for the crimes they have committed - American and Iraqi murder and war crimes, their constant pursuit to represent corporate interests, and for the damage they have done to our environment and in not dealing with global warming.
Fire EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson for his incompetence.

The next President needs to return our country to a time when our nation was prosperous, middle class was actually attainable, salaries were increased representative of all employee levels.

Corporate lobbyists needs to be kicked out of Washington, D.C. and drowned out since our nation is fast becoming a fascist nation with corporations and our elected officials working hand in hand, which must cease.

Our constitution needs to be adhered to by all elected officials since it is their job description and responsibility to ensure it is adhered to.

Freedom of the press - democracy can not live without it. Mass media must be broken up and the FCC needs to return to regulating our airwaves.

Earmarks - no.
Tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations - no.
Public land oil royalties for Americans - yes.
Rebuild our infrastructure - yes.
Put Americans back to work - yes.
Education must be made affordable at the college level and every child truly can not be left behind.
Illegal immigration - heavily fine employers who hire illegals and do away with any and all benefits for illegals - re-prioritize our tax dollars to benefit our country not corporations.
Social Security and Medicare - ensure that they are solvent for future generations.
Federal deficit - bring it down to zero.

Thank you for your question and future programs.

After watching this excellent program, I am utterly stunned that neither guest said the first thing the next president must do is: INSTITUTE MAJOR REGULATORY REFORMS. These are desperately needed in so many areas, including investments, lending, safety, and the environment. Even educated consumers find it impossible to deal as equals with employers, clients, retirement account/investment managers, health care insurers/providers, auto dealers, and telephone companies. Our paychecks, retirement funds, home loans, transportation, and communication are governed by mountains of paper with unreadable fine print that can be changed for any reason, at any time, without any notice, and without recourse to the legal system. REAL REGULATION, WITH REAL ENFORCEMENT -- until we get that in this country, nothing else will matter.

As Ted Michael Morgan said, CEO, upper management, board of directors etc should make no more than 10 times the minimum wage. It was good enough for Ben & Jerry's so it should be good enough for all.

Also, if the corporation is based or incorporated in the United States of America then their base of operations must be in the United States. If more than 10 percent of the business is done offshore then the business should be taxed at 50% of gross profit. The So Called incentive is that they are an American Corporation. If they want to be a foreign corporation then they would have to apply as such to the Congress to do business in the US of A. Which would be taxed at the rate of 25% of gross profit. Manipulation of the Congress by Lobbists of businesses should be a felony a third class felony.

Wall Street and all the insider trading that goes on should be a third class felony with a minimum sentence of 30 years to life.

Resurrect the Usury laws that no more than 10% interest per year may be charged. The fine for charging more would be automatic de-corporation and nationalizing of that industry for the benefit of the American citizens.

Business should be required to recycle their products and not create throw-aways for profit. Throw-away products would have a 25% surcharge attached to each product that is not recycled. Also, business would have to be certified that any industrial wastes are environmentally sound and verifiable by independent scientists and citizens combined.

Automobiles must get 90 to 100 mpg highway and trucks must get 80 to 90 mpg highway. Or they may not sell them in this country.

Set the Speed limit in this country to 55 mph as maximum on any road. This would save us 25 to 50% of the gasoline used. Cars are at their peak efficiency at 55 mph and rapidly decline in efficiency above that.

Add an additional 50 cents per gallon tax for rebuilding our Amtrack railways with emphasis on high speed trains such as they have in the rest of the world going 300 mph which would reduce the high use of airplane fuel until they come up with an alternative fuel for airplanes.

Make the over-the-air television and radio stations provide unlimited free and I mean free air time for all of the candidates who run for an political office. No buying an election through advertising especially false advertising and deceit. Make it a felony to deliberately lie and distort facts either about themselves or their opponents. Maybe even take away their citizenship.

And that is just the beginning of the Change that we Can really believe in.

A simple tariff to add the equivalent of $16.00 an hour labor costs to all imported items would end the deficit and move jobs back home. We would simply develop a simply forumla to calculate the amount of labor involved in the production of any product manuafactured in overseas slave economies. We also might want to chage a "mist" charge on some items.

I think that President Hilton is opne to change.

Just a modest proposal or two.

I have come to believe that the range of difference between the lowest paid worker in a company and the highest paid executive should never me nore than a factor of ten. If seven dollars an hour is okay then a maxium of $70.00 an hour for a maximum of 35 hours a week ought also to be fine.

Actually, no one should be allowed to earn by any means more than ten times the minimum wage. Any earning from any source above that amount ought to be taxed at a rate of 100 percent.

We need to impeach the members of the United Supreme Coourt who stole the 2000 election. We can do that by charging them with felonious malpractice. Then we can replace those crooks with justices who support the rights of workers.

What's the point of a discussion about this?

For the last several years, I have studied recent history with a fervor bordering on OCD. I find myself lacking hope about things changing. It seems that very little has actually changed (on a national level) no matter which party you vote for. There are symbolic changes to create difference of perception between the parties, but little real difference. I do not know if a Democratic president would have gutted our personal liberties as well as George Bush, but the vast majority of Democrats in Congress went along with it and still haven't done a thing against it. Jesse Ventura said it best, (paraphasing) "National politics (with the Republicans and Democrats) is like national wrestling. The show put on is fake and everyone is friendly behind the scenes." It makes sense to me. An unspoken agreement to maintain those two parties in power. It remind me of something that a former girlfriend talked about. She was in charge of the staff for a Republican state senator. She talked about the new senators coming in with passion and ready to change the system... and how she watch that passion and resolve get beat down by the system until they were shadows of their former selves.

Perhaps (and hopefully!) my lack of hope will be proven incorrect. But I doubt it will.

Mr Moyers: Thanks so much for such an intelligent, passionate hour each week. Last night's was no exception: After your opener I screamed to the tv and my husband: "I Can't Stand Anymore of This" referring to the lying, hypocrisy and plain law-breaking of this administration. Herbert and Baker both were excellent & provocative.
What can we do? Everything must be done at ONCE as several bloggers have indicated. I agree with Bob Herbert: get the hell out of Iraq and get people back to work at meaningful, essential infrastructural rebuilding. Baker's plug for single-payer health care should come next. I concur: we must have an accounting of what the Iraq War has cost/is costing; what the repubs have given away to big oil, and why haven't we impeached these guys before now??? That could take awhile, given the depth of their dirt. (The country is still waiting for something BIG to happen to Karl Rove). With sadness & no little grief for my country, Mary

To quote (correctly) the saying that The creature in the White House managed to mangle - "Fool me once, shame on you - fool me twice, shame on me". Well, shame on us - we allowed these immoral creatures to 'fool us twice' by re-electing them. Will we prove our inate stupidity by being fooled a 3rd time?

What has happened to us that we have become such doormats and allow these low-life thugs to take a place in our once-decent society? It is truly 'time for a big change' and time for the people to tell the government how they are to run things. Too many tails are wagging the dog and we seem to accept the insanity. As for our 'democracy' - Use it or lose it. Get up, speak out and get out and vote and DEMAND change.

Bob Herbert said "the class war is over and we lost", there can be no worse opinion to hear or express. There is only one way the Class War can end: the classless society. The recent battles have not been "lost" but that one side has abandoned the field of battle. The time is now, this is our moment, "we are the ones we've been waiting for" i heard a bourgeoisie politician say not too long ago, he was right but unaware of the implications of his words. Our proletariat must embrace the class war they have been conditioned to not see and rearm with truly revolutionary ideals.
We will be strong enough, we must only recognize our strength and the war will have been won.

How scary is it that I am nervous about posting?

Whistle-blowers are getting burnt. Whistle blowers are the good-guys, but like in inner-cities, they are snuffed by those in power.

I hope Baker and Dean are allowed to continue spreading their message.

Thanks Bill Moyers for being fearless and sharing the truth.

My family has experienced all of the negatives you and David Brancaccio brought up during the August 8, 2008 broadcasts.

I was quite interested to hear Anne Korin's presentation on the OPEC cartel's manipulation of oil prices, delivered to the National Conservative Student Conference in DC and broadcast on CSPAN. She is Co-Director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, and Chair of Set America Free.
I thought she delivered a devastating explanation of why nothing we can do will change prices much unless we reduce our consumption of oil; OPEC will lower production if we raise ours. I also found it almost breathtaking that she conducted her entire examination of options - different types of ethanol, methanol from coal, etc., - with NO MENTION of global warming. How such an intelligent person could avoid the elephant in the room... But no one in the press is discussing these aspects of the behavior of our dear allies, the Saudis. I think the program should follow up on this aspect of the energy situation.

If a thug came up behind me at the ATM, put a gun in my back, and demanded cash, he'd go to jail. How is it these credit card and mortgage lenders get to extract thousands from us and just skate off? With enormous bonuses? I've compared the candidates' websites; Barack has been and vows to continue the fight against them. McCain hasn't got a clue yet. If the government must bail out Fannie and Freddie to save the U.S., so be it. But I want these fat cats to go down, one way or another.

Your Journal is always enlightening and ought to be viewed by all voters regularly. Last night, Aug. 8, 2008, on KQED, I saw Dean Baker expose the Republican hoax of bringing the gas prices down by drilling in America. He said it would take ten years to lower a gallon by only pennies; yet many Republicans "buy" this Bush/Cheney nonsense, and now many Democrats think that they must go along with this to attract the poor ignorant public's votes! Even Obama is going along with this silly ploy of McCain & Big Oil!
Rob Herbert is my favorite journalist because of his courageaous criticism of our candidates, and I am very sad to agree with him that Barck Obama is not living up to his promises. I myself fear that no one can now end feeding the termites: the military-industrial complex swallows up our taxes, and no extensions of Bush/Cheney's two wars will save the two countries we've already destroyed. And what's left of the United States?
I wish someone could persuade Obama not to follow into Bush's footstept by ordering a surge in Afghanistan. Iraq is losing hundreds of civilian lives each year and Afghanistan fares no better. Halliburton has not done any reconstruction! No water, no elecricity, ans no judicial system... Thousands of "suspects" arrested by G.I.s and Blackwater goons, and the Iraqi "government" does not even control the
resources of its country.
And who's going to save our economy?
We owe mmoney to China and Japan!
Read William Greiner's article on our now unhammpered suicidal decline in The Nation of Aug. 18/25, 2008...

This stuff was unexpectedly great. The way things were going I expected Bill would ask us which shows the new president should watch on cable/satellite. I know that would have fetched a gargantuan response. Maybe he'll ask that in November.

Of course the current administration, as well as the next are working their tails off to keep the status quo in force. There is little one can add to the first poster, Jack Martin, because he has outlined all the problems with the status quo, as well as the answers.

However, since we have not been listened to in 30 years, we need to quit waiting for 'THEIR' calendar for our protest to begin. We can really put the hurt on them by closing our wallets. Cancel each and every service you really don't need. That includes PAY TV. If we can't earn a living, neither should they.

I don't know why the American people, whose nation well remembers the Boston Tea Party, forgot the power of Boycott.

WHAT MUST BE DONE
I have argued with mistaken ideas and halfway measures on this blog from its beginning. My mantra: It is difficult or impossible to become or remain extremely wealthy (or poor adds Moyers) in a fair and just society", has been oft repeated. You comfortable ones have laughed and asked for practical reform actions to your liking.
There are none "to your liking", that can perpetuate what you've become accustomed to, or bring you material security, for your material security has become dependent on crimes. The predatory economy this Journal illustrates, the shameful exploitive jobs poster Irene tried to describe are faschistic and sadistic in nature. Strategies like these take humanity half a step forward and several steps backward each business day. All real security is socially collective.

There have been some honest analyses, by people like Ravi Batra and Kevin Phillips, but such writers don't convince us to hope. The pipe dreams of Amory Lovins and Jeremy Rifkin are evaporatibg now and Barbara Ehrenreich's accounts are increasingly hopeless.
Tomas Young lies debilitated listening to protest songs, forgotten by most of us. I wish we could all really hear Patty (and her late husband Fred's) Smith's primal rendition of
PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER for that is now our only hope. We will need peaceful civil action and a Quorum Massing.
I have admonished you to plan such a march on Washington Inauguration Day 2009 no matter who wins the elections. I plan to walk there on foot beginning Jan.1st. We collectively must bring our needs and demands for reform to instill respect in our officials.

Of PEOPLE POWER were to materialize I suggest no halfway measures.
1. We must demand limits on wealth disparity and the prerogatives of the wealthy class in order to restore democracy and preserve the environment. Grassroots capitalism works to a degree with small entrepreneurship but is a failure otherwise. But do not be afraid if you are involved in a local enterprise or service for you will not be adversely affected.
2.Corporate personhood must be abolished for accountability and transparency. Legislation to promote and mandate worker ownership and collective enterprise (nationalization of some vital industries and enterprises) is clearly necessary. Energy companies and utilities will be nationalized. The wealthy will be compensated with true security and respect of an egalitarian nature, but must be contented to retain capped amounts of property as per legislation. Those attempting to flee will be pursued and prosecuted, assets seized or frozen.
3.Government will be made more glasnostic by the immediate abolition of lobbying and the ability of all individual taxpayers to designate the use(s) of their contributions. Some offices may be filled by lottery until public financed campaigning can be agreed upon. Some previous illegitimate wealthy and powerful persons may be excluded from holding office.
4.Embezzlers, chislers and war criminals must face legal trials or at least hearings of reconciliation. Longstanding conspiracies and assassinations will be investigated publicly. The truth will out and we will face our national shames.
5. Education is no longer compulsory, but is free and will be reformed to societal needs by public consensus. Community instruction will be funded.
6.An environmental and energy emergency will be declared with lower speed limits, restricted traffic and ad hoc mass transit beginning ASAP.
7, A national security strategy of protected domestic production of vital commodities such as food, clothing, housing, small-scale energy and medicine will be instituted and reinforced by tariffs and incentives. In many cases shipping for import/export wastes energy by impracticability and duplication and must be closely examined. Immigrants not wanting to return to the states of origin will be treated as citizens but all borders will be closed to immigration indefinitely, or until our economic adjustments can be stabilized.
8.Legislative incentives will reward property owners for energy conservation and sustainable production.
9. People will meet to plan and appropriate local greenways so that anyone can walk or bike safely to needed destinations, local or far.
9.Predatory employments will cease and the resultant unemployed be reemployed in useful tasks.
10.All overseas military deployments not sanctioned by the United Nations will cease immediately and service personnel return home. Military expenditures will be minimized and reevaluated considering our new isolationist policies. No more empire: No more adventureism. We shall serve the world by example with caring generosity as we are able, and not by force, coercion or interference.
11. We will criticize the violation of human rights wherever it may occur. Individuals may elect to volunteer as aide workers or peacekeepers, but only under the auspices and protection of the UN. Citizen committees will decide the role of any intelligence assets or agencies, such as spy satellites or electronic monitoring.

This is provisional and for discussion purposes only. I welcome your comments at beretco.op@gmail.com or on this blog. As David Eddy might assert:"Nothing is set in stone." This is an attempt to initiate activist consensus.

Bob Herbert and Dean Baker's comments when combined with the predatory lending expose are the best description of systematic purposeful fascism I have ever seen. Daniel Guerin (wrote Fascism and Big Business) after WWII tried to describe what had happened to Germany and Italy as government allied with corporate business to oppress and direct the awareness and volition of the public. The resultant extractive crisis led inevitably to war as a perpetuating strategy. This Journal episode presents a clearer picture.

Bill Moyers points to the 80 Billion dollars banked by the Iraqi elite as their country fries. The free trading propagandists on this blog might say, "What do you care Moyers? It ain't your money." (I'll leave Bill to answer that one.) Even bigger is the 3 to 4 trillion bill the War on Terror will cost the American public while our elite profits. Add that to the 10 trillion+ they say we owe.

Another poignant book "The Assassination of Julius Caesar" (by Michael Parenti) outlines the internal extractive strategy of the Roman Empire, and how it led to systematic murder of dissident politicians. This simplified strategy of the classic iron age illustrates the structural vulnerabilities of our own constitutional government today. Parenti tells how land was appropriated for elite uses even while the farmers were drafted to fight overseas, which made for a food shortage.

Bob Herbert proclaims the public as having lost the class war to the elite. If so, we are well into fascism, and things will get more meager and oppressive before this dark age ends. It is the darkest age yet when one recognizes that the electronic surveillance cage in China is coming here next (Witness the consumer profiling at J.D. Byrider.), and that wage slave exploitation of the majority of our workforce by off-shore creditors (as in Saipan; remember Delay's defense of peonage-slavery last week?)is also imminent. Your children will replace Mexican immigrants in meat plants and roadpaving (tollways of course) if something isn't done. Add the arrest of sustainable energy and lifestyle and you have planetary suicide for corporate profit.

Again, I have to applaud my emotional friend Grady for berating the upper middle-class intelligentsia for their complacency on this blog recently. His insight has prompted me to recognize that many of you expect class segregation from the impending Holocaust, that you expect to be spared because of your usefulness. Maybe this would have been so before intellectual automation, but now you will be regarded as chickens and pigs, just like us poor people. Your turn will come just like the trade unionists, and the cripples, and the gypsies and so on at the ovens where soylent green is produced. Saints Bob Herbert and Dean Baker and Bill Moyers will be marching in.... IF SOMETHING ISN"T DONE!!!!!!!!!

If you visit the link I included you will see how this so called "not for profit" hospital charged the poor uninsured more which finally led to a class action law suit.
thank you for your great program. Mr Moyres you are the best journalist in the whole world.

with best regards

What to do first? Get out of Iraq to stop the US financial bloodletting and refocus on bin Laden; stateside, initiate the universal healthcare plan, and the new national energy initiative with emphasis on wind, solar and geo-thermal infrastructure along with an excess profits tax on Big Oil and the end to their tax-subsities.
Will it happen? No.

I was disappointed, Bill, that I didn't hear either economist or you say the word "moral", especially as in "moral hazard."

As any economist will tell you, a moral hazard is the government bailing you out for you immoral behavior --- well, economists seldom use moral in that context, using instead words like "imprudence" and "irresponsible."

What the economists never give as examples of the government bailing out people for "imprudence" or "irresponsibility" or in the word you and I would use, "immorality" are these moral hazards:

- legalized usury
- high pay and even bonuses with no liability for bankrupting the corporation they assume top responsibility for as CEO
- calling for repeal of Sabanes-Oxley because that makes the CEO legally liable for false statements in legal documents reporting financial status
- earning a commission for convincing a seriously ill blind woman to sign documents leading to high interest rates and the loss of her home
- earning a commission by convincing a poor person that signing a liar loan will improve their financial situation
- earning a commission for giving bonds backed by liar loans AAA ratings
- drafting/introducing the Commodities Futures Modernization Act into Congress and including it in the last minute omnibus budget bill
- calling for the implicit sale of the mineral resources, like oil, owned by We the People at low, zero, or even negative prices in order to win votes

Bill, if you get to talk to Obama, or McCain for that matter, before the election is over, ask about his position on morality, and specifically the moral hazard of legalizing or government sanctioning of the immoral acts which seem to be encoded in every faith tradition:
- greed
- usury
- lying
- theft

Taking my lead from Ben Stein, economists who wear Adam Smith ties declare corporations free of morality, which frees all agents, known as employees and officers, from any moral constraints. In fact, these economists argue that an employee that lets morality guide his actions at the expense of corporate profit is committing an economic evil of failing to place greed above all else.

Of course, Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations to describe a more moral political economy, one that included taxing the rich more than the poor, among other things. This works was in essence an expanded chapter in his agnostic work putting forth the moral guide to life and society. Thus those Adam Smith tie wearers have made an art of de-moral-izing the work of Adam Smith that they claim as their authority.

at one point, our country had decided that there was a limit on interest charges; we felt that there was a point above which, interest was really theft/abuse/immoral. that changed when states like south dakota, deleware decided that they would allow companies whose home office was in their state to charge any amount of interest. at least that's my understanding. that move along with other factors such as bank deregtulation/phil gramm legislation loopholes/incentives has assisted companies to exploit those who are already treading water; those whose each breath includes some of the h20 that's just below their nose.

how is it possible that payday loans can collect 320% interest? what legislator could comfortably say, "oh yuh. 320% is a reasonable charge; i'm good with that".

upwards of 85% of all payday loans are recurring meaning that the debtor simply continues to pay the 320% interest and never reduces the principal. if one "borrows" ~$300ish, one pays ~$75 every 2 weeks; in 2 months one has paid the amount owed but not dented the "principal". most payday loans extend much further than 2 mos.

our country is becoming/has become so apathetic; so non-empathetic; so immoral. this, in what many call the most religious nation on the planet. empathy is the engine of our species social evolution; stamping it out is to extinguish the energy source of our continued improvement. "they'll sell you the rope ... used to hang themselves" has never been more apt. this is true of democrats (joe biden et alia) and republicans.

SCLC now stands for the 'Subprime Credit Leadership Conference!'

In my previous reponse (commenting on the CAUSE OF OUR CURRENT SITUATION), I accidentally 'sidestepped' the original question -
Bill Moyers Asks: What Should The Next Administration Do About America's Troubles?...

Aside starting with a halfway decent American with some moral and ethical grounding... (our 1st previous mistake), I think it's critical to hire people who really 'want' the jobs they are being appointed to 'for the right reasons'...Regardless of the job, the right reasons are really only 'ONE REASON': 'TO WORK FOR AMERICA AND HELP MAKE THIS COUNTRY THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD'...

Being one of limited pedagogy, there are many things in this world that I don't understand or have any illusions of becoming an expert in. However, I have also had a front row seat to America's downfall in virtually every measurable area. And while I DID LEARN many years ago that you can't believe everything you read (and probably less than half) of what you see I am still amazed at the complete lack of
'actual news' that's reported. Nightly, (or rather 24 hours a day) the talking heads are
on the set 'reporting on every aspect of America's financial woes, the rise in gas and
food prices and all the other aspects of this crisis (and yes even though the number of billionaires has increased ore in the last several years than ever before, it's still a crisis)...Even though its not a natural crisis, like a hurricane or a tornado
that devastates the lives it affects, this is a crisis like no other (since the one we
know as the Great Depression) simply because it has affected soo many lives and devastated more than at any other time in history. The one aspect of the crisis (and the subsequent reporting on it) that I don't understand is the complete lack of mention regarding the 'cause of this National crisis'...It's as if we are all pretending that we don't know 'how this happened'...Yet, we do know...it's common knowledge...You can ask anyone on the street and more than likely, they'll tell you the catalyst behind our awful situation lies with one source, OUR PRESIDENT AND HIS COMPLETE INABILITY TO MANAGE THE OFFICE HE HOLDS. Although there is good argument that the reason could go somewhat deeper than that because there were quite a few people who cast a vote for this person, albeit not nearly as many as reported. I am not at all surprised this crisis has arisen from this man's presidency as it started with underhanded misdoings. As an example, the number of Florida voters that were turned away at the polls because they were
supposedly people with criminal records which was a lie..unfortunately (again) this
was only one of many lies that would become 'par for the course' and just another
ordinary day in dealing with this office...But getting back to my original intent of this
message: "WHY DOES EVERYONE PRETEND THERE'S NOT A COMMON
DENOMINATOR IN THIS SITUATION?"...The blame, the catalyst, the very reason
for the horrible shape of this country today lies squarely at the feet of the worst
president this country has ever seen...Or is surely 'ever to see again'...as we won't survive another who's inadequacy has caused such horrific despair to so many
Americans and people abroad.

...and if as I suggest we are going to start over, with a declaration of equality, then I think we should start with a new and more simple constitution too. One so simple it does not need a Supreme Court or legal system to interpret it. One that everone can understand, one that looks like this:

Ben Franklin’s Moral Precepts:

1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

=
MJA

I agree that Wall Street moguls and CEOs are raping the country. Unfortunately i think the proposed solutions are simplistic and not workable. To believe the answer is more Union control is laughable. Anyone over the age of 50 remembers when we tried this.

Featherbedding and "working to rules" simply made U.S. industry noncompetitive and drove them offshore. And that was before the rest of the world was as advanced as they are now.

Try it today and we will all be in the breadlines as China, India, etc. laugh all the way to the bank.

I'm afraid hard work and sacrifice are needed, and I hope we are willing to give it.

The US is also the most war-mongering nation on Earth. It's as if they've taken the Lord's advice, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9), and reversed it for their national motto: "Blessed are the warmakers, for they shall be called the children of God, because they stomp every nation they figure is an enemy of God."
It's really pitiful that so many American Christians support the most un-Christian thing imaginable - war - under the illusion that it's God's will and God's way. They're stuck way back in the Old Testament era, thinking that the US is a modern Israel, performing God's will in the world and smiting His enemies, when the reality is that the US is like the great heathen empires of old, smashing and burning, looting and destroying nations and people just so it can have its own way, not God's!
So many US Christians put their allegiance to the state above their loyalty and obedience to the Lord, above His Word, above reason, and certainly above justice, truth and love. They get their nationalism and their Christianity mixed up and they think that serving their country, even when it's engaged in an unjust war, is the same as serving the Lord and fighting the battles of the Lord. They engage in carnal warfare, knowing so little about the spiritual warfare or the ways of the Spirit.

Ted Rudow III,MA

The US is also the most war-mongering nation on Earth. It's as if they've taken the Lord's advice, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9), and reversed it for their national motto: "Blessed are the warmakers, for they shall be called the children of God, because they stomp every nation they figure is an enemy of God."
It's really pitiful that so many American Christians support the most un-Christian thing imaginable - war - under the illusion that it's God's will and God's way. They're stuck way back in the Old Testament era, thinking that the US is a modern Israel, performing God's will in the world and smiting His enemies, when the reality is that the US is like the great heathen empires of old, smashing and burning, looting and destroying nations and people just so it can have its own way, not God's!
So many US Christians put their allegiance to the state above their loyalty and obedience to the Lord, above His Word, above reason, and certainly above justice, truth and love. They get their nationalism and their Christianity mixed up and they think that serving their country, even when it's engaged in an unjust war, is the same as serving the Lord and fighting the battles of the Lord. They engage in carnal warfare, knowing so little about the spiritual warfare or the ways of the Spirit.

Ted Rudow III,MA

I posted my comments before the show but after seeing the show, I am more disillusioned than ever. If we are lucky enough to get Obama for president, he will be inheriting the worst economy since FDR and in a year the thugs will be calling for his head. I too am disappointed that he caved to the thugs on offshore drilling although I don't believe he will carry through on that. I do agree that our President must have the courage to level with the people as to just how bad the situation is but if Obama were to do that, they would crucify him. They are trying to box him in a corner.

This country is headed in the toilet if it has not already gotten there.

I thought this a valuable discussion, deserving to be aired again when the Olympics is over, but again our debt problems are linked not only to fiscal policy, ie, govt borrowing, but monetary policy, allowing the creation of so much debt in the first place. Both of these began in the Kennedy administration. An inflationary environment such as we have had for the better part of 50 yrs now, discourages work, savings and investment, and encourages the predatory practices you condemn. There is still a great excess of money above investment. I thought, btw, Gingrich said that the posibility of increased supply broke the back of speculation, not that it would meet all of our demand. Though I agree that it had something to do with the decline in the price of oil, most of that seems to have come from a derease in demand. In addition the dollar has been strengthened relatively by economic slowdown in Europe.

what should the next administration do, whether it is obama or mccain?

sadly it doesn't look as if it will matter whether it is obama or mccain. We need an administration that believes in being honest with the people. And of course we need a people it is safe to be honest with.

Even an honest politician has a hard job because the people are in love with their own simple minded ideas, some of them primitive tribal survival modes, and some of them just the lies that sophisticated liars have been telling them for hundreds of years, but mostly in the last 30.

though it is not especially the topic of this thread, the lie i know most about is the Big Lie about Social Security.

the truth about social security... a truth you can show with simple arithmetic and a close reading of the Trustees Report is that the Huge Big Scary Trillions Dollar Deficit... amounts to a dollar a week raise in the payroll tax starting in 2030 or so, and raised a dollar a week each year while the incomes of the tax payers are going up by ten dollars per week each year.

After 20 years the tax will have increased by about 20 dollars per week while incomes have increased by about 300 dollars per week, so at the end of the day you will have more money in your pocket and a guaranteed pension that will pay you more in real dollars than today's for a longer life span.

This is not a crisis. It is in fact rather good news. But you can always convince people that a "tax raise" is the worst thing that could ever happen to them, even in it means they are getting richer.

Medicare can be subject to a similar analysis. The costs are much higher... and they should be controlled, but once again it is a question of getting what you pay for, and of needing to pay for it (medical care) and of there being no better way to pay for it.

A new administration that makes it a high priority to deconstruct all the Big Lies that determine the "framing" that the public brings to national questions could save the country.

But don't expect it to happen.

Obama Keeping 'Friends close, but enemies closer'?
Just read an article by Matt Tiabbi on Alternet regading the Big money in both Mac & Obama's coffers.
What continued to pop up in my mind is 'when did they big donations start coming into Obama's campaign?' Are these new donations a result of Clintons connections? Hillary made no quams about favoring Mac over Obama during her campaign- Why? She still has not conceded - Why? Not dissuading anyone form having 'her' delegates counted at the convention-WHY?
Her statement that 'Obama is just a speech' was right out of the Neo Con handbook, along with the use of the Race, Sexism & assasination Fear Cards.
Mac has stated he is only running ONCE - and has proven his loyality to Hillary over Obama too.
Of Course painting Obama as a flip flopper and in the Corp pocket helps fire up the 'left' against him too.Seems the Clintons may have forced not only their donors on Obama's campaign, but also their old trusted advisors..So Who actually wins? Appears the Clinotns may have demanded Obama accept thier 'offer' or face having them also work against him- either way they can undermine his Run- from the inside (appearance) or directly form the outside.
Over the last 6 yrs this Ol' Clinton spuoorter & defender has come to see Hillary's 'Red Slip' showing.She wants the nomination in '12- no matter what she has to do to get it.

Dear Mr. Moyers,

Ask not what the future president or government must do, but rather ask what the people must do, what you and I must do,
what we the the people of the United States, a Democracy of self-rule must do. I think it's time to start over again, to begin again with simply this:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

=
MJA

Bill Moyers,

I hope you get a chance to discuss with Dean Baker in great detail the truth about Social Security (there is no crisis). You owe yourself this after listening so credulously to Peter Peterson.

Unfortunately Soc Sec "reform" is not off the table, as even the Democratic candidate for president has proposed a poorly thought out scheme to "save" it by turning it into welfare. And the Republicans continue to tell bold faced lies about it.

It it goes to the heart of the issue of the "media" just taking at face value what they hear from the "non partisan experts."

And the take over and destruction of the U.S. economy by wall street interests.

This is not the place for me to go into details. But I hope you will give Baker a chance to do that.

Bill, you didn't say what the U.S.Big Oil
companies are getting out of that surplus
of Iraq's oil deal and about where the
money is going to corrupt politicians in
Iraq as well.
About Dean Baker: I wish he'd see that single-payer is the only way out of the privatized health corruption just as much
as the tax breaks on the rich are killing
our economy.

What bothers me more than anything is the apathy, indifference, and cynicism our political culture has engendered in our citizenry. People don't know, don't care, and think it's all a big waste of time. We are cedeing our political power to corporations, business interests, and special interests who don't care a whit about the common good, only their own narrow self-interests. How did we get into a situation where government no longer acts in the public interest? Both parties--Dem.s and the GOP--are too compromised to do anything other than mouth platitudes about 'change.' Perhaps it is time for a second American Revolution. As Mr. Moyers said elsewhere, we must throw the moneylenders out of the temple.
God bless America.

I honestly feel that we as a society and a nation, must ask ourselves very poignant and serious questions about the very foundations of our money system. Not just questions about republican tax cuts, funding healthcare, retirements, tax credits, entitlements and endless beauracracy, etc... we must question the very existence of our money at all using a gov't fiat money system.

How long can we really expect to keep creating money out of thin air created solely off the backs of hard working Americans. I know of no FIAT money system that has worked in the past. Every time one of us signs a mortgage, car loan, etc.. new money is created at an alarming rate, 30:1 or higher. We could print money 24/7/365 for generations and never keep pace.

It's unconstitutional as well. Article I, Section 8, To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof.. not to create it out of thin air and certainly not to "outsource" that job to a bunch of unknown private banks like the fed. Yes, for those who may not be aware, The "Fed" is a private banking institution. We have no oversight, we do not know who the members are, we do not attend their meetings, only summary notes are submitted to congress some months later.

As long as Congress continues to relinquish the power of money creation and then borrows that money at interest, the resulting gap of available money and debt is inevitable and unstoppable. Google "Money as Debt" for a layman's overview of how our money system really works. We must create a way for money to backed by some measure of value. If gold and silver are insufficient, another asset based system can be devised. The passing of the income tax to fund the debt, although debatable as to its constitutionality, it is socially demoralizing and only accomplishes is the transfer of wealth from the lower classes to the top 5%. "I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing" Thomas Jefferson Interest will always out gain the money supply (graph 1 over 1+i). And to think, there was a time in the course of human history when the charging of interest was considered a grave sin and punishible by death.

Additionally, spending must be reeled in by vast amounts beginning with defense. Our response to 9/11 has been a $16M investigation, 2 trillion dollar wars and another multi-billion dollar intelligence bureaucracy (that makes 12 now). The USA is responsible for 46 per cent of the world total defense spending, distantly followed by the UK, France, Japan and China with 4-5 per cent each (http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/ArmsTrade/Spending.asp). This is utter madness. The day before 9/11, Donald Rumsfeld states in a news conference that the DoD cannot account for $2.3 TRILLION (emphasis added) in transactions. Let's see if we can find some of that help out taxpayers.

Again, I suggest all to watch "Money as Debt" for a layman's terms education on the current money system and some proposals on what we can do. Are they THE answers?... I can't say, but for all of our sakes, lets hope it sparks the first of many more innovative ideas.

I'm as staunch a democrat as anyone on this board. I don't, for a moment believe that drilling for offshore oil will have any material effect on the cost of gasoline in the short term and possibly ever. It seems to me, however, very unwise and shortsighted to judge the merit of securing these domestic sources of a non-renewable resource based solely on the effect it will have on current gasoline prices. Unfortunately, as with all current issues, this and the other energy issues have quickly become "left/right" issues instead of being properly treated as problems that need to be solved for the benefit of ALL AMERICANS.
The "Journal" could provide a great service to open minded and thinking viewers of both camps by devoting an hour toward educating us on the oil/energy issues. How about having Mr. Amory Lovins and T.Boone Pickens as diverse and authoritative guests to discuss and debate conditions, theories, alternatives, sources, options, and predictions on the topic of energy. Even if you don't think it is a problem now, it certainly will be down the road and solving the energy problem will create as many new jobs and businesses as solving Global Warming. In fact, solving one will probably solve at least part of the other.

Is it fair that Financial Institutions take from the poor and give to the rich?

They do it in the following ways:

1. The prices that Merchants charge include the fees incurred by customers who use Credit Cards. Since poor people cannot get credit cards, they are in effect subsidizing the rich.

2. Credit Card companies have Excess Profits and give Rebates to customers for using their Credit Card. These Excess Profits and Rebate Money either comes from inflated fees paid by the stores or by inflated interest rates paid by people who cannot afford to pay their bills in full.

There is another way that the poor are exploited and it is also legal. Its happened to the property next door to mine that is an identical house, as was a practice in the very early 1900s. Here in the midwest houses dont cost what they do elsewhere. That said, I bought my house for under 30k as a habital, cosmetic fixer. Conventional loan, fixed. I am fixed income but I was given much assistance in the purchase process and down payment by a state housing and development agency. My 250.00 per month mortgage/tax/insurance payments are great.

The twin next door had been flipped. New value 60k. To my amazement it sold for 75k. The neighborhood was stunned. While getting a permit for a property line fence, I found that the "buyers" didn't have any purchase record. It was recorded as a rental by a well known landlord/realtor with tens of local properties.

The house had been sold on "lease to own". The people entered into the contract for 75k, paying a large down and money exceeding rent. Their contract was for one year, at which time they were to have secured financing for purchase.

No one is going to give them a 75k mortgage on a 60k house. I've watched them build their back fence and level their lot and have an alarm system installed etc. They really think its their house. According to what I have read online on this set up, the people who cannot secure financing are then forced to break the contract and thus forfeit all monies paid.

Ironically, the family might have gotten one of those subprime loans and been better off. House values have remained steady, not going up or down with the tide.

I see the owner come by to collect his money and make snide comments about the work they are doing. I want to scream at him. How evil. Those people are so proud of "their" home. I have been told that the people that are cheated by this guy usually vandalize the houses when they leave.
That would effect the whole neighborhood.
Their year is up next month.

I contacted our state attny general's office. This should be illegal!
It should be criminal.

There you have it!
The internal cannibalization of our economy.

For over twenty years laws protecting our financial institutions: banking, securities and insurance have been systematically dismantled. Two outstanding examples are the repeal of usury laws and the Glass-Steagall Act, enacted to address financial abuses contributing to the 1930s depression.

There are other sectors of our economy suffering from weakened public protections including health, transportation and agriculture.

The most pressing issue our presidential candidates will avoid is the declining financial condition and prospects of most Americans.

3rd entry as this Journal was impressive! As Steven Lesh pointed out, the oil resource has been coopted for a LOT of other NEEDED things in a poor or wealthy person's life. I took kids to get school supplies. I was appalled to find they were all petroleum based, unless the plastics industry has found a new chemical source? In the case of PAPER supplies, all were made in Viet Nam or China. Do we have no factories doing the needed supplies for the NEEDED education of our FUTURE, the children? As the "baby boomlet" comes to fruition (from a stats article read recently) all the babies born this last yr. will need new buildings as well as these "foreign-made" supplies. We say we MUST do EDUCATION better! I think I'd put that as a higher priority than a few of these blog remarks have done. Oh, dear, I'm having a "hope" crisis again....

Tonight I watched your PBS special on poverty with great interest. In your free-for-all with Dean Baker and Bob Herbert, you three touched on a couple of our most pressing needs - providing health care and repairing our rotting infrastructure, all of you lamenting that we lack the financial resources to take care of even these two key problems.

Perhaps the biggest reason we don't have the resources is that we are devoting such vast and unsustainable sums on defense in this country.

While you three unanimously agreed that we needed to pull out of Iraq if we were going to be able to even begin to address health care and "infrastructure," nothing was said about our military surge in Afghanistan, one which, if current trends continue, promises to drain whatever we save from quitting Iraq.

For once I'd like to see you do a show on how much we really spend on defense in this country, for I believe it's much, much more than people realize, even well informed people like you. Most people believe that we're spending $500 - $600 billion/year. But if Hoover Institute scholar, Robert Higgs, Ph.D, is right, and I expect he is, ex-Afghanistan, ex-Iraq and ex-Homeland Security, an honest accounting of our defense outlays is ~$1 Trillion/year. Add the three “ex's” in, and it's likely we're actually spending something in the neighborhood of $1.4 or $1.5 Trillion/year. That's more than 10% percent of GDP, and it's roughly $10,000.oo for every working man/woman in the country! [see: http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1941]

If there is a problem more in need of exposure, I'll be damned if I can think of what it is.

Neocons made it clear a long time ago that the goal was to "starve the beast" - to escalate "essential" defense spending to such a degree that "the beast" of social spending would go hungry. Well, they've done such a good job of it that not only are the weak, the poor and the infirm now malnourished, even the lower and middle classes have had to tighten their belts.

Please consider addressing this crisis. For the country really needs the sort of exposure about this appalling situation that only you can provide, Mr. Moyers.

Gary A

I agree completely with this prior post:

"For the first time in memory, I am in complete disagreement with a Moyer's position. Iraq should not pay a penny toward its own reconstruction. It was the victim of a criminal war of aggression. The perpetrator, the U.S., must pay everything. The U.S. has shown again and again that if it is unaccountable, it is criminal. In addition, the U.S. must compensate the families of the 1.3 million Iraqis killed, no matter who killed them. Also, the U.S. must provide healthcare and regular care for life for all those wounded or mutilated. Then it must pay for the return of all Iraqi refugees who want to return. Finally, Iraq must be allowed to hold trials for all U.S. officials involved in the invasion, just as the U.S. did for Nazis. Bush said our justice doesn't work. At Nuremberg, aggression was the "supreme crime." The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a deliberate act of aggression. The U.S. has demonstrated in the "Cradle of Civilization" that it is far from civilized. Hammurabi was more civilized over three millennia ago than George Bush and Dick Cheney are today.

Posted by: Harold Taggart | August 9, 2008 12:12 AM"

Well, I have disagreed with Mr. Moyers in the past, but . . . .

Mr. Moyers, Thank you for the comment about the unemployed journalist teaching the required course in ethics. Bravo!

I had a big grin and then almost had tears.

Ted Morgan

How Can this happen? Why? It's so easy, it's amazing they didn't just say it outright. Most people who have enough, and especially those who have more than enough, are taught to not care about those who don't have enough.

The middle classes (I was raised upper middle class) are taught a) to fear the poor. They are the ones who rob you. b) That the poor are morally inferior so c) It's their own fault and we perhaps should lock them all up or something.

perhaps it's not like this everyone or with everyone, but when I fell from middle class into poverty because of a sudden and incurable (and expensive) disability; I learned. I became invisible. There really is no safety net, no matter what anybody teaches. Most importantly, because I no longer could consider a "Portfolio management account", I had to pay a lot more for banking, etc. etc. etc.

I've been both places. I know what it's like. It really is mean on the streets, and people who can afford to pay more for their dry-cleaning than an average "poor" person can for food, they won't look you in the eye. They'll cross the street to avoid you.

The mean truth is, once you are poor, nobody gives a tinkers ***. It makes for good news, but that doesn't help much with the rent, now, does it? And since you're comfortable, who cares? WE don't need more laws (it's laws that made this legal in the '90s with interstate banking laws)...what we need is a lot more compassion. And I just don't see that on the horizon.

let's quit blaming other people and politicians and wars and start looking in the mirror folks. If you haven't given more than 4 year old food to a food shelf (for entry into some concert) in the past year, you're likely part of the problem, at least if you have next month's rent already.

Get a heart. --Been there, done that, both sides.

here's a nightmare I have often:

China calls for our debt to be paid in full. Oh? They also want the debt paid with Euros. Oh. So what percentage of Americans could survive if our dollar becomes worthless.

So China and all the other European Countries want they share too (hey! just like our greedy leaders) and in order to keep the citizens in 'order' these Countries hire all the private armies we have here and they will pay these armies in Euros so there goes their patriotism....

If follow the money works to uncover fraud or wrong doing..why wouldn't it work to survive and provide the rational for those 'private armies' to serve another country.....it's all about survival....and speaking of surviving...anyone notice how Hollywood is turning out more 'survivor shows?'.

We got used to torture and even changed our minds about it by watching '24'....yikes! are we stupid

and I have a very vivid imagination, lol.

Their was one key question Bill Moyer’s asked Dean Baker and Bob Herbert, which I thought could have been answered more effectively by the two guest. Why do they allow this to happen? Referring to the companies that buy poor peoples debt, or target the poor for a profit; it not a simple answer to ask. How poor people respond to crises and the Market that targets poor people have both been operating for years know. A definite supply and demand situation. As a person who would be categorized as a “poor person” living in New York City, the mentality that goes along with being poor is being in a chronic -constant state of fear and crises. Fear does detrimental things to our logic and our creative thoughts. We begin to ask fewer questions, and we allow ourselves to be lead in any direction. Its starts at a very young age, just look at some of the schools in the poorest parts of the country. Children learn helplessness, from a very early age; trained to not ask questions or challenge authority in a constructive way. This is the makings of the poor. To ask the question “why do the poor operate this way? It does not seem logical, and it lacks a bit of common sense”. It will never make sense to wealthy minded people, why poor people tend to fall for the these traps. The poor in a constant state of fear, and worry. We begin to doubt ourselves and the people around us who can be our biggest advocates. The actions of a poor person are controlled by the mental state of the poor person. After a period of time you begin to operate from the rules set by the powers that be, and you act accordingly. When you break the mind you break the body, and all of the things that follow are a condition of that-including things that seem logical. That is why the wealthy /wealthy minded people have a field day taking advantage of poor people.

Why are these predators able to take advantage of the poor? Part of the poor persons responsibility is to become less ignorant. Most of our financial and economic needs are based on the supply of the wealthy…this is not an accident!! Being less ignorant requires a bit more proactiveness, teamwork, and diligence on our part.

Sincerely Yours,

A poor person living in Brooklyn New York

Step 1: Embrace the solutions Al Gore explained in the speech 3 weeks ago that the media is IGNORING so they can beat up on Bill Clinton some more and go after the 'sexgate' of the Edwards' marriage.
Step 2. Nationalize the oil companies. All that malfeasance. Seize all their assets. Give a fair pay out to stockholders. Put the managers in jail.
Step 3. Build mass transit.
and national health care simultaneously. All prior dets forgiven. No 'pre=existing conditions' --that phrase doesn't belong in a country that takes care of its citizens.
Step 4. All national news media holdings are sold locally in this manner: a 3 way ownership plan---empoloyee stock option, union, and a 10% cap on profits by a private financier. Mandatory local citizen editorial review board--particulalry helpful for airwave licensees.

Usury.

If ever there were a show in which the moral issue of usury were explicitly presented, this should have been it. I'm wondering why it wasn't.

Last time I wrote to suggest that you might have overweighted the (political) issue toward discussion of right and wrong, when the authoritarian personality might have been more explanatory. This time, although you might reasonably have spoken to the problem of regulating antisocial personalities (to call a spade a spade), I wish you had been very specific about the religious/moral element.

Usury is a concept addressed in the Abrahamic religions. People who think of themselves as governing a "Christian" nation ought to be confronted with that reality.

Regarding WalMart telling their employees to vote republican if they want to keep their jobs.

Mr. Moyers, someone forgot to mention that all the warehouse churches between Orange County, CA and Denver, CO instruct their sheep to vote republican because of their promise to load the Supreme Court with judges that will put christian racist prayer back into public schools, end abortion and hang Homosexuals like Evangelist Ted Haggard on the white house lawn.

What do those christian racist do to Evangelist that commit adultery with a woman!

I was able to see parts of your presentation tonight. I think these topics are the MOST IMPORTANT issues facing our next administration. For the past thirty years (with the exception of the Clinton administration) we have ignored the demands on our society created by the challenge of the emerging global economy coupled with our loss of competitive advantage following our loss of energy independence in 1972. One of the very interesting observations in David McCullough's "1776" is that the average British soldier who came to American to fight the colonists attempting to establish our independence was that the very lowest person on the American economic ladder enjoyed a much higher standard of living than most of the British citizens living in England then. Until 1972, we were able to compete globally because we were able to exploit an unbelievable advantage in exploiting a natural resource base in this country which had previously been untouched while Europe and the East had depleted their resource advantages centuries before. But since 1972, with the exception of the Clinton administration-and perhaps some unsuccessful mutterings by President Carter-any hard decisions and remedial steps to attempt to address our newly diminished competitive position have been unmentioned and ignored-particularly by Republican administrations-and for the benefit of an omnivorous Wall Street predator whose satisfaction of its immediate appetite for profit has driven its economic manipulation-completely contrary to our society's long term competitive interests. While I agree with your guests that among the greatest issues which must be addressed are the withdrawal from uneconomic foreign entanglements (Iraq), the creation of a stable and affordable health care program, and the refurbishing of our increasingly obsolete infrastructure such as roads, rail, air, and energy-to me, more importantly we must address the entire approach to creating an economic structure/system which promotes our abilities to compete in the new global economic competitive environment in which we no longer have a superior natural resource base (or at least the natural resources base on which we previously relied)to be our underlying economic advantage. Historic analysis often confirms that it is the dissatisfied masses (i.e., the poor) who open the gates of the city to admit the barbarians to plunder and sack the rich-in the final throes of the death of once prosperous civilizations. Thank you for your focus on this most important issue for our time-let's hope we are not too arrogant or foolish to learn from the mistakes of history!

Thirty years of collection agency experience taught me that when a person doesn't have enough income to keep their home they don't have enough money to pay anything else. The cp;;ectopn agency was hiring mortgage collectors a year before this started. There's only a finite amount of disposal income in any budget and most people have reached theirs long before their home goes. The next administration has to cure this problem not believe it didn't happen.

I checked back on the blog after my "hope" request was made. WOW! The next 3 entries GAVE me some! Can these 3 guys send these on to advisors of whichever Prexy we end up with? I do think we need a bottom-up change in making our gov't. WORK! So, don't let the bureaucrats just do their civil service mundane tasks routinely. I think we must do some writing via e-mail or "snail mail" to those in D.C. who might care. I DON'T have a list of those names. I think there are a few people you might find on C-SPAN productions if you taped it & found one in tax reform or energy policy or SEC or other regulatory parts of "inside the beltway." The ones who are good activists always say "Start Locally" but hope was lost on that. Thanks!Charles,Dan, Steven for some thoughtful words. Carol, I'd think you'd find a poor lawyer who'd do a pro-bono case for you, to get some press ink. As you recall, tobacco companies were done in by some Southern Lawyers, I think. Good luck & be WELL!

For the first time in memory, I am in complete disagreement with a Moyer's position. Iraq should not pay a penny toward its own reconstruction. It was the victim of a criminal war of aggression. The perpetrator, the U.S., must pay everything. The U.S. has shown again and again that if it is unaccountable, it is criminal. In addition, the U.S. must compensate the families of the 1.3 million Iraqis killed, no matter who killed them. Also, the U.S. must provide healthcare and regular care for life for all those wounded or mutilated. Then it must pay for the return of all Iraqi refugees who want to return. Finally, Iraq must be allowed to hold trials for all U.S. officials involved in the invasion, just as the U.S. did for Nazis. Bush said our justice doesn't work. At Nuremberg, aggression was the "supreme crime." The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a deliberate act of aggression. The U.S. has demonstrated in the "Cradle of Civilization" that it is far from civilized. Hammurabi was more civilized over three millennia ago than George Bush and Dick Cheney are today.

It seems that as progressives we're losing the war on the use of the best anectdotes. Newt Gingrich says that all we need to do is simply drill, drill, drill offshore, and the price of gasoline will come down. Our response: A long winded explanation that any drilling offshore will take ten years; that the price of gasoline will be affected by only three cents a gallon, and on we go with our long winded explanation. In the meantime Gingrich says, drill, drill, drill, and the price of gasoline will come down.

Someone needs to challenge ole Newt. Is he willing to put a substantive amount of his own money on off shore drilling, and can he give us a good estimate of when the price of gas will come down?

We need to get our country back, where the middle class doesn't have to subsidize the super-rich with our taxes. We need above all else become active in this years political decision, be participants beyond simply voting. We need to call, we need to block walk, we need to raise money.


It would have helped the conversation if the bankruptcy bill had been discussed. This was sponsored and pushed through by democrats like joe biden and tom carper, at the time when the housing bubble was going strong. Obviously the banks knew where this all was heading. And the democrats acted to protect their benefactors, and not their constituencies.
And the discussion of off-shore drilling sought to minimize the gingrich argument, rather than refute it outright: the oil ministers of both Venezuela and Iran have stated that the oil price rise is not fed by demand. That is why they have not been increasing production. Demand is down 7% (at least) in the U.S., and until this last week, prices did not reflect this at all. The 'increasing supply' argument is a total fraud, not a slightly inaccurate statement, but a total lie. They are obviously using this argument to open up the shelf to drilling, but the current demand does not support this.

This country's exponentially increasing poor are most definitely unconscionably exploited with no checks and balances whatsoever.

...And speaking of Sacred Heart Hospital...I moved to Pensacola in January of this year because I'd been accepted into Sacred Heart Hospital's and Sacred Heart Medical Group's Uncompensated Care Program. I suffer from hypogammaglobulinemia, a serious immune system disorder which requires gammaglobulin infusion every four weeks for the remainder of the patient's life. SHH's UCP approval runs from July 1st through June 30th, and when I reapplied, even though I still qualified, I was denied for no valid reason. SHH knew I might soon be approved for Social Security Disability and then Medicaid, and the SHMG family physician I'd been seeing scheduled me for a sleep study and a stress test, and I was told they were covered under the UCP and that I wouldn't have to pay. Otherwise, I would not have agreed to have those tests, as they were not emergency tests. Afterwards, I was billed and was told by the cardiology group that billed for the stress test that they would refer my account to collection and that they could bill Medicaid back one year. Two months later, the physician's office tried to schedule me for yet another unnecessary stress test, and I refused, after which they sent me a termination letter. I learned that once balances are written off to charity, they can't go back and bill Medicaid. I reported this to the Florid a Agency for Health Care Administration, and they supposedly referred it to the Office of Attorney General, but I have yet to be contacted by them. I also filed a complaint against the physician for patient abandonment and unnecessary testing, and some bureaucrat with the Dept. of Health sent me a letter stating the physician didn't do anything wrong.

The local ABC affiliate, WEAR, and the Pensacola News Journal refuse to give any bad press to Sacred Heart whatsoever. I even tried to get Pensacola Independent News to investigate, but they didn't even have the courtesy to respond.

I have filed a lawsuit, which I haven't been able to pursue as I don't have the money for the Summonses, and in the State of Florida, one of the few states in the union that still does this, the courts charge filing fees to the indigent, even when they've been approved. That is unconstitutional, as the US Constitution guarantees citizens access to the courts without sale, denial, or delay.

No attorneys will take my cases, so I am representing myself pro se, which is difficult, especially for someone with my health problems, and especially because the Clerks of Court refuse to provide me with "ministerial and procedural assistance," as is my legal right.

Nevertheless, the only recourse to citizens such as myself is to take these institutions to court, as the government agencies and elected officials who are supposed to represent us, fail to do so on every count.

I have yet to see tonight’s segment “Shall we drill?” However, I really hope the content goes FAR beyond the comments for that segment in the blog. I find it astonishing that nowhere in the blog or, for that matter, the public discussion of off-shore drilling are the issues of global warming and ‘peak oil’ ever mentioned.

In the US, production of oil from conventional sources peaked in 1971. Since that time, the absolute volume of oil obtained from wells within the US has declined by about 40% while demand has continued to accelerate. IF we are willing to pay enough in terms of both dollars and environmental destruction, it is possible that we can maintain high levels of production from domestic sources for years or even decades to come. However, at some point the laws of physics will take over and it will take more energy to extract ‘oil’ from, for example, tar sands and shale than can be derived from the energy so produced.

This discussion reminds one of the characterization of people who ‘know the price of everything and the value of nothing’. Over the last century we have developed a myriad of applications for oil. Some of them, for example the ‘green revolution’ powered by fossil fuel-based fertilizers and pesticides, are quite literally a matter of life and death for billions of people. Others, for example, commercial aviation – environmentally damaging as it may be – are considered necessities by many of us. But the application for which we use more than 50% of that oil, the internal combustion powered private automobile, is from a technical standpoint not necessary at all.

Some combination of electrically powered automobiles and urban mass transit could eliminate more than half the demand for oil, preserving it for other applications for which there is at present no substitute. Yet policy makers and opinion shapers focus solely on how we can continue this criminal waste while keeping down the monetary cost to current generations.

And just as future generations are unlikely to forgive us for squandering a resource produced by the earth only once in hundreds of millions of years, so too are they unlikely to forgive us rendering their world are but uninhabitable because we lacked the leadership and political will to change the way we live our lives enough to give them a chance for a tolerable, rewarding existence.

Bill Moyers

I caught the last part of your next Admin show. Very good but, every one seems to miss the main problem. Tonight, the problem was mentioned but not in near the detail needed. The size of the private funds has gotten so large that they can manipulate the markets.

I think that this is the only plausible explanation for the continuous sting of large market bubbles. These funds have been milking the middle class of their saving and or retirement funds.

For my entire adult life, we have been in either a market bubble or a recession from the collapse of the last bubble of choice.

It seems that, these bubbles have bled nearly all market liquidity. This money did not disappear. It went to those how got out before the bubble popped. We are being manipulated and no one seems to care.

The first step is to regulate the market and stop this uncontrolled speculation. Then go after the ones how have been manipulating the markets.

I guess we really have no one to blame but ourselves. We do seem to keep putting the same people in office over and over again even thou they do not seem to care about our best interests.

I just watched this episode of the Journal. Baker and Herbert are preaching to the choir, in my case. I disagree, however, with their choices as to which two issues are the most important and most urgent. Here are my top nine, in order:

1. Make processes and debate in government at all levels, especially the federal level, more transparent, and require this transparency to be more timely than it has ever been;

2. Restore the balance of power among the three federal branches to something approximating the balance achieved during the Eisenhower administration;

3. Get the hell out of Iraq;

4. Institute a single-payer national health care system;

5. Reform the federal tax code in five ways: 1) Restore the marginal federal individual income tax rates to Kennedy-era rates (top marginal rate of 70% and increase the income amount for 0%), adjusted for inflation; 2) Eliminate all deductions and exemptions (yes, all of them, for fairness, simplicity and manageability/enforcement); and, 3) eliminate FICA or, at least, turn it upside down by eliminating it on incomes to $45,000 and removing the ceiling on incomes, 4) tax corporations on revenues (at lower rates, obviously) and 5) eliminate the distinction for tax purposes between partnerships and corporations;

4 Stop attempting to use the tax code as an instrument to manipulate economic outcomes as this instrument is too blunt and too easily corrupted (the case for this latter point is prima facie);

5. Regulate the financial markets as rigorously as they were regulated prior to the Reagan administration and enforce regulations with the legislated inclusion of names and admissions of wrong-doing;

6. Stop subsidizing any and all commercial activity, including agriculture;

7. Protect workers rights to organize effectively by enforcing laws that are supposed to protect organizing workers and fining violators material amounts;

8. Break up the great media conglomerates (Newscorp., Tribune, NY Times, GE/NBC, Time Warner, etc.) and prevent their reforming to restore independence and some semblance of a conscience to the mainstream media and, finally;

9. Give Congress and Obama the stones to make this happen in my lifetime (I'm 59). This suggestion #9 is not facetious, by the way.

Mr. Herbert's recommendation that we "do something about jobs is too vague" and, really, Bob, it isn't a recommendation at all.

I believe that by addressing these nine recommendations successfully we have a shot at restoring the trust and confidence in ourselves as a body politic and in our institutions as representing our core beliefs as Americans. Only by restoring this trust and confidence will this nation be able to move forward toward a fair and just society for all of its members.

Ideologically as an INDEPENDENT I agree w/ Richard & Ms B above,(Ms B it's "ilk" not "ink")I'd go along w/ Maria on all suggestions as phrased. I'm deeply depressed, from whence do I find hope?


Dear Mr. Moyers,

Another great interview with Bob Herbert and Dean Baker, but there is still a need for journalists to explore the "less is more" mentality that leads "Big Oil" companies to produce less oil in a growing market (less production means higher profits). The hype about new oil leases will do nothing but keep competing oil companies from exploiting potential resources and bringing down the price of oil. If the oil companies were willing to drill, they have plenty of undeveloped leases to begin. They have no desire to produce more when the market will produce more profits for doing less.

The link below is to the Hubbert Peak Oil Report Highlights, and should help even those not trained in economics to clearly see what I'm saying:

http://www.hubbertpeak.com/us/GAO/GAOPeakOilReportHighlights.pdf

Not so long ago, the oil companies were caught sailing tankers back and forth through the Panama Canal without unloading (to inflate the price of oil). Their new strategy is less obvious, but just as contemptible.

Leo Toribio

When we're unhappy with a service we stop paying for it, the same should go with our government, particularly at this time. Perhaps we need to withhold our taxes until more honorable decisions are made - they can't arrest all of us. And even if they did we'd be in good company.

Further, we have to make better decisions with our money, where to spend it, if at all. Many companies that sponsor the problems we face should hear us by our ability to hold our money or spend it elsewhere. I love this country, or maybe the idea of this nation better yet, but can only two candidates properly represent the hundreds of million people in America. We need more voices, the likes of Ralph Nader, and better yet our own. The longer we look to government or one administration the more disappointed we will be. We need to pay attention to where are dollars go, especially if it is to companies that hinder our welfare so greatly. They won’t listen if we change the laws, but they will listen if we stop spending.

This phenomenon has amazed me ever since the Right Wing's ascension to power almost 30 years ago. Voters rush to the polls every election season to continue the Authoritarian occupation of our government yet they still haven’t received an invitation to the party !

I agreed with everything Bob Herbert said except on the order of his priorities for the next administration (first, jobs; second health care) The problem is there are very few decent jobs because health insurance is so expensive. They're canning boomers as fast as possible because our group uses a lot of health care. I was using about one sick day a year and haven't needed a doctor in years, but I've given up finding a job. My husband lost his job yesterday. He's 65, but was planning to work to 68 or more. We need a single payer health plan, and we need it NOW!

It is so sad that people will come on here and other places and state the obvious that people will vote against their own best interest but they don't care for all they know is that Republicans are the ones who are on God's side and so what if they don't work, lose homes, etc...they will be raised up to heaven. When Gingret(sp) said with straight face that drilling is the answer, with a straight face and that democrats are DENYING our rights to drill... I personally hate him for he is a multi millionaire and not hurting but willing to kill the American public for greed. I don't understand why the ones who vote for him & his ink think that they are part of that crowd. How dilusional.

I'm not happy with the Democrats in Congress either, but at least if they had a solid majority they would have less excuse. Somebody is electing all these Republicans, and many of those voters are the very people corporations hurt the most.

I was an almost staunch Democrat but I feel like my democrat representatives have dropped the ball in a major way. I haven't found a republican that I like, basically I trust no one that is in government. It's just going to get worse - no job, spent 25 + years worth of savings on healthcare and groceries, I'm just waiting to see how long it'll take to hit bottom.

First repeal the Bush Tax Cuts; stop paying exorbitant amounts to private contractors for work they are not doing; cut the Military Defense Budget of all pork and waste of which there are billions without a doubt; penalize US corporations who go offshore to skirt paying taxes; reward those that stay; raise the ceiling on social security wages; immediately start spending money on repairing our infrastructure thereby creating jobs; invest in new energy, again creating new jobs just to name a few

Step 1: repeal / let expire Bush tax cuts.

Step 2: create a separate budget account that includes ALL costs of the Iraq war -- past, present and future, as outlined in the recent book.

Step 3: impose a war tax (wasn't Iraq was the first war fought without one?) on those whose taxes were cut by Bush & Co. and made out like bandits while the deficit soared and the war was fought on credit. It should be retroactive to 2001, and continue until all the costs of war established in #2 above are repaid out of those funds only. That will prevent the illegitimate Iraq war's costs from undermining health care, infrastructure repair and all the other legitimate budget needs. And make the beneficiaries of Bushonomics pay for the corporate welfare his tax policies gave them.

Post a comment

THE MOYERS BLOG is our forum for viewers' comments intended for discussing and debating ideas and issues raised on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL. THE MOYERS BLOG invites you to share your thoughts. We are committed to keeping an open discussion; in order to preserve a civil, respectful dialogue, our editors reserve the right to remove or alter any comments that we find unacceptable, for any reason. For more information, please click here.

THE MOYERS BLOG
A Companion Blog to Bill Moyers Journal

Your Comments

Podcasts

THE JOURNAL offers a free podcast and vodcast of all weekly episodes. (help)

Click to subscribe in iTunes

Subscribe with another reader

Get the vodcast (help)

For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ