Aug 16Liked by Thom Hartmann

There is a word for what you described: RED HERRING. We must use it as often as we can. Good job Mr. Hartman. The so called "Culture wars" are a red herring. The really important issues are economic.

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This is really our number One story and has been for years.

Thanks again Thom for reminding us of the base of mostly all of our problems in this Country.

The greed of these wealthiest people is supported as you have said, by the Supreme Court six , they know who they are , they’ve encouraged this agenda for as long as they’ve

been in office.

They have been chosen by Republicans including miserly Mitch McConnell, blocked a Democratic presidents right to make his nomination to the Court.

These slippery Republicans get more slimy every time we turn around.

Its their job

To keep the country off balance.

So Trumps indictments are the current big story.

Trump has worked his satanic magic on his followers.

This has a portion of his supporters believing a lie , intended to overthrow the legitimately elected president , as proven by 60 court verdicts that repeated over and over again : no election fraud.

Its all part of this creation of power/ greed/ money.

A cycle of dominance > authoritarianism > fascism, continuing in a cycle. That is ignoring 90 % of Americans and lowering drastically our quality of life.

How interesting that this subjugated quality of life

bothers not one of these very wealthy oligarchs .

Why should it their quality of life is beyond their greediest expectations.

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Thom you are a 100% correct. I can see why the mentally ill billionaires do not want intellectuals teaching economics in high school also.

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Apologies for talking about my own experience, but this time I can't make my case without going personal, and then it is abbreviated.

I need an MRI every six months, to check if there is a regrowth of a cancerous tumor, that was excised 6 years ago

I live rural and my only medical facility is owned by Blackrock a private equity fund, The main shareholders of BlackRock are institutional investors that hold shares on behalf of their clients. As of 13 April, 23 , the institutions with most BLK holdings were The Vanguard Group, State Street and Bank of America.

They are so profit oriented that doctors, nurses, technicians are leaving in large numbers. I am on my 3rd PCP in a year. The MRI that visited us was in an 18 Wheeler, with great techs,

But Blackrock is so miserly that it has driven doctors, nurses and MRI techs (a highly skilled and desirable technician) to find employment elsewhere’s, meanwhile my semi annual MRI originally scheduled for July, was rescheduled to August, because of a lack of techs, and Blackrock wanted to reschedule it to September,, totally unsatisfactory as I have some serious concerns.

This has forced me to schedule it with another medical center (owned of course by Blackrock)

But this one is a five hour drive away (one way), total time is ten hours, not to mention the hour in the MRI.

So much for America’s great, for profit, health care. By the way I’m on Medicare, and still pay $164.90, plus over $324 for my secondary insurance., per month., that’s about $500 a month, still a lot better than paying the 20% that Medicare requires, which would have cost me about $200,000 over the almost six years since the cancer was fist recognized, removed and treated.

I do not want to even think about the hundreds of thousands or millions that die because they can’t get decent medical care because of this greed that is an addiction. What a compassionate country,

If greatness is the America of 1789, then Make America Great Again, is turning back the clock 234 years, exactly what the racist, misogynist, religious freaks and the plutocrats want.

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Amen and Hallelujah! We the people, must now aim our pitchforks directly at the rich via legislation that repeals Citizens United, makes their corporations and them personally pay taxes like everyone else, limits the pay of CEOs and other top managers, makes college and healthcare a right rather than a burden of debt, and prohibits mentally ill people from seeking careers in politics. Good luck with that last one! The great rock band Ten Years After got it right 50 years ago: "Tax the rich, feed the poor; until there are no rich no more."

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How appallingly right you are. How sadly, disgracefully true are the points you make.

The stats on illiteracy and near illiteracy are astounding for a rich country like the US. This is not an accident….a dumbed down population is easy to influence with social media misinformation, and not well enough educated to seek and analyze information for themselves.

And so progressives (usually democrats) who run on policies of better health care, better infrastructure, more social benefits and better education are smeared as socialists (or worse) and people elect republicans who will further impoverish them in favor of further enriching the mega rich because they are distracted by the culture war.🤦‍♀️

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Well, now I know why the only thing "exceptional" about the United States is the exceptional moron stupidity. Brought on by the people who need to meet the guillotine.

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The discussion around trans ideology is misidentified as a left/right issue. The feminists who complain of men in the women’s room, women’s prisons, and women’s sports were never conservative. In fact, feminists and conservatives generally don’t like each other. Those feminists still hold liberal, progressive ideas and consider themselves members of the left even though they still disagree that men with penises should enter their spaces.

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Finally, we may be making some headway here. We have an acknowledgement that we do indeed have some serious problems with our schools, and this is in direct relation to the salvaging of what is left of our democracy.

“— More than one-in-five Americans — 21 percent — are illiterate.” And, “— Our public schools are an underfunded mess…”.

Think about the implications.

As has also been noted, the divide and conquer strategy utilized by the billionaires is not a recent invention. That policy was part of the M.O. of the wealthy movers and shakers over a century-and-a-half ago with regard to schooling.

It is absolutely a fact that the Republicans, libertarians, and other reactionaries of today have no interest in public schooling or public education and have waged a campaign against teachers and their unions and have not hesitated to undermine public schools and to privatize schooling and education. Their version of democracy does not trust decision-making to ordinary citizens.

However, I remind, ONCE AGAIN, that our schools were a hot mess generations ago and had been scrutinized, heavily criticized, and declared to be failing students on a massive scale before any of us were born. Over a century ago, Dewey was not a fan, and he was not the first to attempt to initiate major reforms. Do not make me repeat this sordid history.

The topic today has everything to do with how we got here and the danger posed by billionaires and others to the democracy which we love dearly and wish to preserve and protect. Divide and conquer works well on the uneducated but it works even better on those who are mis-educated and those who mistakenly believe they are educated. May we talk about democracy for a minute?

Citizens in a democracy who are not educated cannot be trusted to optimize the wisdom of their choices for themselves or for the group. Citizens who are not aware of the current affairs, the structure of the government, the most rudimentary characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses of human behavior, or the history of democracies and other forms of government cannot “rule” effectively or elect the best representatives to make and enact laws on their behalf.

Knowledge, truth, wisdom, reliable information, honest assessments, and effective communication are all values which have consistently been prized and sought after throughout our history. Half of our population have missed the boat with regard to these things, however. Presumably, everyone here agrees on those fundamental truths and realities.

We typically equate democracy with freedom from repression by government or by some other entity. We, generally, all assume that, in a democracy, there is a guarantee of liberty for the individual of any age; justice under a set of reasonable and evenhanded laws; equality for all people regardless of their ethnic or genetic heritage, national origin, or religion; opportunity to participate in the economy without discrimination or exploitation (protected by government), and a system for free education. All that is a tall order, and much of it is still more aspirational than a daily reality for many citizens.

If those things are true, then we must have some mechanism, institution, or organizational plan for citizens to become educated, rather than for them to remain ignorant or to be indoctrinated. Education does not occur automatically or through some magical process when we merely wish for it.

Is this not why we have schools? Is this not why we have compulsory school attendance laws? And everyone said, amen, AMEN. Of course. End of story.

But wait just a cotton pickin’ minute!

We are trying to perfect a democracy.

So, why on Earth would we violate our most fundamental principle right off the bat? We the most liberty-loving, freedom-advocating, autonomy-preaching people in the history of the world have passed laws which DICTATE that all citizens MUST attend schools (with certain government approved exceptions) and that possibly the most precious human attribute, education, which parallels life itself, will be, ostensibly, imposed on them universally? One of the earliest choices in each lifetime has been deemed to be of no consequence.

Does anyone see the irony here?

Democracy is not just a form of government. Democracy is a way of life. Democracy represents independence, choice, alternatives, diverse thoughts and lifestyles and beliefs. Democracy is about the individual living in harmony with others, and everyone accepting the will of the majority as expressed through voting, or more accurately in our case, representative government.

One does not just learn about democracy through intellectual exercises. One does not understand and appreciate the principles of democracy through abstract instructions, lessons, and second-hand accounts. One does not live for twelve years in subservience or being controlled, conditioned, and programmed as a second-class citizen or as a citizen-in-training and suddenly emerge out of a confining cocoon as a free and freedom-loving socialized butterfly, ready to participate in democracy.

Where did such ludicrous and utopian ideas ever come from, anyway?

We asked a little earlier if we do not have schools and compulsory attendance laws for the purpose of educating citizens. A popular consensus developed generations ago that such was the case. This, however, is simply erroneous and foolish mythology.

Schools and especially forced attendance were established for entirely different purposes, which are and must be at cross purposes with the ideal of education. The truth is that there will be no democracy in society if democracy is not the primary feature of school, and under compulsory attendance laws, democracy in schools has traditionally been as elusive as Bigfoot in Grand Central Station.

Another popular misconception is that there was a time when schools were qualitatively better, even if rates of attendance were not quite so high, and that students learned in civics and other classes the essentials of democracy and our government (where discipline was so much better and children were more studious). Again, that is PURE BUNK.

Baby boomers did not know significantly more about these things than the students graduating in 2023, or if some did, it was not because of mandatory schooling. Do not drink any more of the SkoolAid.

Reams of literature and research show conclusively that coercion leads inexorably to a harmful, hostile, and counterproductive school climate. Attempts to circumvent or compensate for the authoritarian milieu are typically futile. Schools are underfunded, for certain. However, throwing money at them has not made an appreciable difference, a fact which only bolsters the arguments made by the mercenary privatizers.

Learning requires that the learner takes initiative and derives intrinsic rewards. Education is inhibited and knowledge is superficial and irrelevant for the student when there is a top-down bureaucracy and the curriculum is not organically derived from a degree of intimate knowledge of the student and a positive relationship between teachers and students. Auto-didactic study is much more satisfying and productive. The attendance laws are paternalistic, misanthropic, and patently unconstitutional. What more does anyone need to be persuaded that these bad and oppressive laws are not needed and never have been needed?

Americans are left with an obvious choice. We can have democracy, or we can have compulsory school attendance laws. We can have democracy, or we can continue to use coercion, humiliation, browbeating, obsessive evaluation, arbitrarily imposed “discipline” and “order”, along with excessive competition in our schools. We can have authentic education as an available and attractive choice for children and people of all ages, or we can have paternalistic control and arbitrary authority that morphs immediately into authoritarianism.

All that is not difficult to understand. It is a matter of respect for students, and parents, and teachers. It is a matter of separating school and state. It is literally a matter of choosing life or death for many. You are either stuck in the old school mode of thinking, or you have the courage to welcome a paradigm which fits the 21st century. Today is your day to choose. Choose wisely.

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Interesting ,my typing skills are pitiful.

I always worked in Human Services where recording notes is mandatory. When we went to computers, i struggled.

I was credentialed in NY State where requirements for documentation were

extreme. I never should have shrugged off keyboarding class when i was in HS

But i did. And i continue to pay for it daily.

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Thom, it's called freedom. Keep saying that, the more the better. We are suppose to be free in this country so whatever you want to be, so be it. As long as it does not impose, like violence, upon the freedom of another, go for it. Paul

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... addendum: to overcome the damages of big oil, black lungs,

and the ravages of B-Monsanto

repugs have $$ blinders on .. keep march keep marching in Florida y'all!! as in today

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recall the genuine >>eugenics movement <<of the 1920 !

not only were people of color , but the blind, the deaf, palsied , mentally ill, et al were sterilized--with no consent --not unlike what dj-t's immigration ice camp did to non-English-speaking women signing in Sens written in English only to have their uterus' removed by the


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The modus operandi remains the same, but the bad actors change over time.

I remember Newt Gingrich and the Moral Majority, now we have Trump and DeSantis. At least DeSantis stood by his wife while she battled cancer. On the other hand, Ron sucks at this and Newt was a damn expert---it was, look over here at this bright shiny object while we steal your money, opportunities, and your future. Trump? Trump is just crazy, as is his cult. The more Donald hounds anyone (the list is too long), the more they admire him. He doesn't even need the bright shiny object to work his grift.

Spot on as usual, Thom!

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This is a sad state of affairs considering the republican voters want to put Trump back in office.

This is the reason; mental health, education-sure. Or the brain washing of the same voters by Fox...

All of the above.

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Mr Farrar, I understood that - I know the phrase.

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