Your Turn

What's the Talk of YOUR Nation?

Every morning at 9 o'clock, the TOTN staff gathers 'round to take stock of the day's news. Heaven help the producer who overslept and failed to even catch the headlines... on rare occasion when this happens to me, I feel behind all day. Once we get the major stories covered, we like to dig a little deeper to see what's going on that people are truly talking about at the dinner table, in the morning carpool, and queued up at the grocery store. We have various strategies for it — our executive producer seems to host and/or attend an immeasurable number of dinner parties stocked with interesting people, which always get the gears in her brain grinding on new topics, whereas I like to go online to check out the local papers in places I used to live, and places where my friends and family still reside. We can't cover the entire country every day, however, which is where you come in. You, our loyal TOTN listeners, literally DO span the country and the globe. So we want to know: What's going on in your town? What is everyone talking about? Maybe you live in Dubuque, Iowa, where the noise levels in the city's only dog park grate on residents' nerves. Or maybe you live in Memphis, where the death of famed photographer and local legend Ernest Withers is the talk of the coffeehouse or barbershop. We want to know about these stories, and even if they seem of limited interest — geographically, demographically, whatever — if people are talking about it, there's generally a nugget in there that speaks to a broader human discussion or truth. So tell us: what's the buzz where you live? We want to turn your stories into on-air content, so if you've got links, please send them along...

Comments

 

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Midwives. I think a discussion about the disenfranchisement of these important members of the community and keepers of knowledge over the last century in the US is an important topic. After getting pregnant I realized that in order to have control over my birth i would need to search far and wide for the right doctor or just go to my local midwife. The level of care a midwife provides is impeccable as well as individual; the price is a fraction of hospital care! With the growing cost of healthcare and loss of individualized care, shouldn't we all be looking at midwives?

Sent by Anna M Watson | 2:37 PM | 10-18-2007

I would like hear more discussion of why we went into Iraq and whether the goal of lifting oppression there was a worthwhile goal and if it would be worth accomplishing, still.
Seems the criticism is more about how we're fighting the war than whether it was a valid war. Yet, there are those who did opposed the war, who do not have much to say about the pros/cons of that initial goal.
I would like to hear some clarification of these issues.

Sent by Dena Silver | 3:40 PM | 10-18-2007

I recently read an AP story about parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated. I would like to hear more about that. Are there really people that stupid? They would really withhold preventative medical care from their own children?

Sent by Harold | 4:47 PM | 10-18-2007

Teachers in schools that have reached the corrective action or restructuring phase of NCLB need to tell what is happening at their schools. I have 23 years experience and teach in a middle school that has failed to meet AYP for three years. If we do not meet AYP this year, we will be in the Restructuring I phase. Restructing I is a phase where the PED takes over and faculty is replaced. This year we added an extra math and English class for every student - an eight period day. Our paperwork has tripled. We are good teachers and trying hard. I guess it would be good to know that we are not alone.

Sent by Shelby Brandon | 10:29 AM | 10-19-2007

Here in Iowa City, the big talk is about the Nov. 6 referendum on requiring the bars to only allow entrance to those 21 and older (currently, those 19 and older can enter bars, though they can't buy alcohol). Although the issue is presented as preventing binge drinking versus allowing businesses to operate, no one is talking about why binge drinking is such a problem, and whether denying access to bars will really solve the problem.

My opinion is that binge drinking is a problem in this country because it is forbidden to those under an arbitrary age. I think we should implement a licensing system similar to the driver's license, requiring education and supervision for full privledges, and suspension or revokation for certain irresponsible or illegal actions under the influence. This kind of system would change drinking from an act of rebellion to a supervised rite of passage.

But that's just my opinion. I would love to get others' opinions on what the real problem behind binge drinking is, and how we can treat the cause, instead of battling the symptoms.

Sent by Amanda | 2:46 PM | 10-23-2007

This is not a local issue, but am I the only one sho is tired of hearing "move forward" or "take it forward" and on and on? Can you get a linguist on to talk about this? I don't think Neal is as guilty of this as are his guests. Thanks.

Sent by Peggy Steuber | 12:40 PM | 10-26-2007

I live in Southeastern Idaho, near Jackson Hole Wyoming, where I used to reside.
This is an area where most folks are interested in, and respectful of, nature and its animals and plants.
That is why there is an acrimonious controversy about the National Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently sanctioning the killing of Bison and Elk on the National Elk Refuge, a place where they have heretofore been safe, and consequently do not fear harm from humans there, making killing them there less like hunting than like "shooting fish in a barrel."
Another, related controversy concerns regulations that allow killing cougars, AKA mountain lions, using dogs, ATV's and snowmobiles to pursue them, tree them and shooting them out of the tree.
I am not against hunting, I have done it myself to put food on the table, but my opinion is that killing tame elk and bison and treed cougars disrespects the wildlife and that people who do it as well as government agencies that allow it are beneath contempt.
The wildlife management agencies say that they need to reduce the population of these animals because the ecosystem cannot support so many. The current populations, by any measure, are tiny compared to those that were here before we caucasians showed up and started slaughtering them wholesale. The ecosystem supported a much denser population of deer, elk, cougars, bears, wolves, etc. than exists today for many thousands of years before we came along, and hopefully will again after we are long gone. So no matter how they frame the argument, this wholesale killing is for the amusement and convenience of HUMANS, not for the betterment of the wildlife or the ecosystem.

Sent by William | 10:52 AM | 10-28-2007

Please talk about speculation on buying foreclosed homes

Sent by John | 2:35 PM | 10-31-2007

Please discuss the shock that people in mid-life face when they realize that they must care for both their children and their parents. No one ever told me it would be this way.

Sent by John | 2:40 PM | 10-31-2007

I"d like to see more on Fatherhood in America. It's rarely reported on at a deep level--the mainstream media mainly reports on the dads who stay at home to take care of the kids, the Daddy track, etc. Much deeper issues are glossed over (example: how dads' absences, after divorce, affect kids; the lack of black fathers in urban areas, etc. When a book called Fatherless America came out several years ago, outlining with studies and stats this huge issue, it barely got any coverage. It's time to put a spotlight on it.

Sent by Mark | 10:12 PM | 11-1-2007

Recently I hear of an opportunity for those who either have family posterity/objects/stories from a military experience that they would like to share with the nation. I am a first generation veteran who feels obligated to pass on my 'war trophies' and or photos to somebody. I experienced a very brutal and beautiful deployment in Baghdad, Iraq as a SAW 249 gunner (squad automatic weapon). I was involved in fire fights, however they were not fatal to me (obviously) and or my opponent. My memorabilia is in the form of Saddam's business cards, journal entries, mortar rounds, flags, pieces of military equipment that were destroyed in combat and video footage of cute kid's and ignorant soldiers. I ask myself if any of this will be important to others besides me; I feel that it will and that it should. I plan on having children; I have picked out there names, yet I ask myself; will they have a value other than emotion? Should they? I went AWOL to prevent a second deployment; I was surprisingly not punished for my actions. The only trouble I experienced was being blasted by my fellow soldiers for moving to France for those 6 months. I have so many opinions about this war - or as I refer to it an abortion of civil value. My fear is not the war in Iraq; my fear is the decision of powerful men who make decisions to place us into a war with Iran and or other neighboring countries. I would love to pass on my opinion and objects. I never want my opinions to go unheard. Regards, Sgt. Johnny Boyd Israelsen.

Sent by Johnny Israelsen | 9:31 PM | 11-5-2007

Hollywood and the news media are responsible for romanticizing gangster characters especially recently in American Gangster.
I thought the movie was great, but the follow-up interview of the "real" Frank Lucas by Charlie Rose elevated him to rock-star status. I really like Charlie Rose and his "grounded" approach to interviews and his inciteful questions, but this interview repulsed me. I suppose this disreputable character will attend the OSCARS, write a book, and all the pain, agony, and murders will be either be ignored or forgotten.

Sent by Pamela Wessel | 3:23 PM | 11-6-2007

In Portland Oregon we keep shedding Good Jobs to NAFTA,, McDonald's, K-Mart and Walmart do not leave.

How do Hillery and the Democrats evade addressing what they created ? They signed NAFA and the end of the Tax Base and middle class.

The lost pensions ($14,000 +) that were earned, but no vested, at JOBS.

When are Public Employees and Educators going on the NAFTA Compensation Plan ? and the New Work rules, change locations, room, and School District and U go to the bottom of compensation. (Start over)

Current NAFTA allows 18 to go get another Degree, which is MUCH different than a $60,000 wage package (low wages compared to Educators, Gov w all the fringes)

Sent by michael | 2:35 PM | 11-7-2007

Here it is November again. Time for Pheasant Season! (I waited 9 months for this, now it's finally here!!!)

The number of hunting stories is without end. (At least it's better than incessant whining about college sports.)

Although, I didn't knock anything down, it was a great opening day. Calm, sunny, friendly people (everyone on their BEST manners, because we are ALL armed to the teeth) just great time to be in Kansas!

Sent by Harold | 11:24 AM | 11-8-2007

I'm an exchange student in Sweden, and was a dedicated TOTN listener back home. Now the podcast is part of my daily routine to stay in touch with issues in America so I can discuss them with all my friends here who have questions for me nearly every day about what "Americans think" about anything and everything.

My building houses all international students, and on my floor alone there are 10 countries represented from nearly every continent. So our dinner time discussions are always lively, personal, and robust discussions about the culture, politics, and history of our homes. (The discussion gets even better with wine and when my Swiss neighbor surprises us with another wonderful box of chocolate...)

Currently my friends and neighbors want to know two things: how to use their Facebook account, and who will win the Presidential election. Most are for Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton, but I've come across some Ron Paul supporters as well. Their interest seems to be not in policy, but in the significance in the passage of one administration to the next. They just want to know who will win, and I can never really say much other than what I see on the news, the comments I hear on podcasts, and that it is too soon to tell.

If there are any others on this blog who are college students looking to have a foreign study experience, here's some crucial advice for the international friend-making process.: be well versed in politics! I There is nothing more embarrassing than a foreigner knowing more about your country's issues than you. And also, know your geography!

Sent by Becca | 6:22 PM | 11-11-2007

TON is missing an issue that is becoming the talk of the nation (Peak Oil). And the talk is also that NPR is avoiding an important issue -- Peak Oil. This is a catastrophe that is beginning now with high oil prices. Global oil production peaked in 2006; it is now on a plateau; and now production begins a terminal decline. There are no viable alternatives. This is documented with government and scientific reports at: http://www.peakoilassociates.com/POAnalysis.html

Sent by Clifford Wirth | 7:02 PM | 11-12-2007

I would love to hear a story on TOTN about the rise in popularity of the board game. Not the old 'classics' like Monopoly and Sorry and the like, but some of the newer games, mostly popular in Europe (particularly Germany) like Settlers of Catan, Carcasonne, Ticket To Ride, Wits & Wagers, Ra, Puerto Rico.

If you never heard of any of these you are missing out on some great fun with friends and family. Video games are great and all but they lack the person to person connections a good board game can make. And board games are not just for nerdy immature men, Sienna Miller, Keiira Knightly, and Sandra Oh have recently proclaimed a love for these new designer games.

It would be relevant around the winter holiday shopping season so people don't buy the 105th re-themed version of Monopoly that is the same game and start playing and just throw the board when someone doesn't win.

Sent by Christian | 1:48 AM | 11-13-2007

Here in Rochester, NY, the big local news is the redevelopment and revitalization of downtown. After years of decline, the downtown core of Rochester is finally starting to see new life being breathed into it, with new housing and businesses starting to emerge. Just a few weeks back, Paetec, a local telecommunications firm, has decided to relocate its corporate headquarters from the suburbs to downtown, which also will mean the tearing down of Midtown Plaza, a local landmark. (Midtown Plaza was one of the first indoor shopping malls in the country, but has fallen on hard times over the past 10-15 years, as has all of downtown Rochester.)

As Rochester's local corporate giants, Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch and Lomb all have downsized dramatically, the city is starting to finally evolve and adapt to a changing business climate. All of upstate New York has been hammered over the past 20 years, with the decline of the manufacturing infrastructure that was the lifeblood of many upstate cities. Some cities, such as Buffalo,(and all of Erie County for that matter.)have seen its finances taken over by the state, and so far, Rochester has been able to dodge that bullet. The biggest question facing Rochester is that of sustainability, making this recent change and growth consistent, and bringing a once vital downtown back to life, as well as an entire region of this part of upstate New York.

Sent by David Spiro | 3:50 PM | 11-14-2007

Urban science education - trying to educate children in lower economic areas of the urban setting on science in all aspects from basic "this is why you should not throw trash" to careers and everything in between. I have a friend who is working on this issue with a focus on minority groups as well. Fascinating subject because it involves so many other facits such as money, values, education etc.

Sent by Darcella | 3:45 PM | 11-15-2007

Across My Nation The Need for Affordable Dental-care-for Americans

Affordable dental care is becoming further from reality for those that are on a moderate or low income. The denturist profession offers an alternative and affordable denture care service that is offered in six states and across Canada as a safe, alternative denture care delivery system that is constantly being attacked and discredited by the ADA, the American Dental Association.

After graduating from an accredited denturist college and taking the Oregon state denturist board and licensed as a denturist; I come to Wyoming in 1992 and practiced as a denturist until I was shut down by the Wyoming Dental Board in 2006 because I was opening a satellite office in the next town of Worland, Wyoming 30 miles away.

This put a tremendous hardship on me as a single parent of eight children and remains as an unjustified and discrediting ruling by the Wyoming courts (due to the good ole boy mentality and not the language that clearly describes the definition of a dentist in the Wyoming Dental Practice Act). It has failed as a legislative issue in Wyoming and in a number of other states across the nation due to special interest lobbing by the ADA and state dental boards.

This continues to happen across the US due to the ADA's monopolistic grip on denture care keeping dentures and denture care service away from segments of society that are most in need due to economic reasons and poor accessibility. This includes the elderly, military veterans, the disabled and those living in rural areas.

Having access to affordable and available denture care is a necessary need for the wellness of ones health. Ill-fitting dentures and dentures in need of repair due to breakage and missing denture teeth are all too common place for denture wearers.

Gary W.Vollan L.D. Basin, Wyoming, www.wysda.org

Sent by Gary W. Vollan | 5:16 PM | 11-15-2007

What is the Chinese toys scandal going to do to this Christmas holiday revenue picture? Why aren't American toy companies pushing their wares with a huge "Made in America" banner? Maybe there are no more American toys. Why have we heard no stories on the economic consequences of a ruined Christmas? Has the govt asked the media not to ask that question for fear of a Depression?

Sent by jack saunders | 1:07 PM | 11-16-2007

David (and Amanda, and Johnny, and others),
Thanks for the comment, this is exactly what the talk of YOUR nation page is all about!
We have listeners and readers all over the country (and the world) and we want to hear what people are really talking about in your neighborhoods. (Hint: We're not looking for a topic that you want to hear a show about, just tell us what you're talking about with friends, at the dinner table, or around the water cooler... it doesn't have to be world peace or tax reform, if you're talking about Turkey dinners or that new series on Showtime, tell us that, too!) If I can borrow Amanda's opening line, just start by saying: "Here in (Anytown), the big talk is..." and go from there.
Obviously, we can't talk about everything on the show, but you can help us include the things you're really talking about.

Sent by Scott Cameron, TOTN | 2:27 PM | 11-16-2007

Facebook. MySpace. YouTube. The new generation of social media sites is replacing the traditional national media as the new source of entertainment and information--and "national water coolers" where the masses convene (MySpace alone has over 50 million users). I work as a Web 2.0 consultant in Silicon Valley and there's now a mad rush by corporations to get on the bandwagon, lest they get left behind. Even Baby Boomers are signing up for Facebook in droves (it's no longer just a college kids platform). The "Conversation Age" is already changing the way we connect and communicate, and it's just getting started. It would be interesting to take a look at this phenomenon--and its downside--from a higher level perspective. What does it mean for entertainment, education and the way people work, live and play? If you've already done this show--I missed it--it would be interesting to see more specifically how blogs are replacing traditional print media (NY Times, WSJ, etc) as the main news sources for millions of Americans.
Mark Ivey

Sent by Mark Ivey | 10:53 AM | 11-20-2007

Here in Detroit the big talk of the town is our branding of being the most dangerous city in America. The talk is about how fast top brass in law enforcement was able to defend it's self. Personally i am not surprised i don't think anyone here is. i wish there were more report's like this. I love the fact the challenge the status quo.

Sent by Michael John | 9:39 PM | 11-20-2007

2 points:

When I contemplated retirement several years ago, I concluded that we would have adequate income and that we wouldn't outlive it. But it's very easy to dream up worst case financial scenarios and conclude that you don't have enough wealth to cover your needs.

If you have a 7-figure income, you can't spend it, but you certainly can waste it (e.g. buy several Bentleys and a $1000 purse or pair of shoes.). You can be very rich and think of yourself as middle class (e.g. consider Warren Buffett's lifestyle). There's a big difference between not having to consider the price of anything you might enjoy and striving to make sure that you're seen spending big bucks (e.g . the Prada shoes).

Sent by Jim Phelan | 2:40 PM | 11-26-2007

As a clinical and forensic psychologist who treats victims of sexual abuse, I was disappointed to hear Neal, in the show about sexual abuse in the schools, broadly state, "Like a bad penny they (the effects of being sexually abused) never go away. They always come back."

Neil is feeding the paranoid hysteria about the damages from sexual abuse. In truth, the amount of damage suffered by sexual assault victims is very varied. The more people believe that it is a trauma from which a person can never recover, the more victims will suffer more than is necessary.

In my experience not only is the degree of damage caused by child sexual abuse very variable, but it is more effected by the parents' response and attitudes than by what actually occurred. If we care about victims, we will not universally catastrophize the experience and we will support each child's individual experience and feelings.

Sent by Dr. William Samek, Miami, FL | 3:09 PM | 11-27-2007

Last night NOVA had an interesting program.

After 9/11, president G.W. Bush, sighting the Constitution of the United States as his justification for wire taping without judicial over site, has ordered the Federal Security Agency (FSA) to violate the fourth amendment to that document. In other words, he has taken away our constitutional rights so that we can live free from terrorism.

The FSA in late 2004, following the presidential direction, concluded that terrorist were going to attack Las Vegas on New Years Eve. They warned the local authorities who spent weeks amassing tons of data on every visitor in Las Vegas at the time. No terrorist were found. However, at least one couple visiting Las Vegas to get married was caught in the net and their names have been added to the terrorist watch list for no good reason. So what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas - unless the FSA or FBI get a tip ease dropping.

Research about the terrorist threat was later found to be bogus. Like F.D.R. said, "All we have to fear is fear itself" - and a president who doesn't mind throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Sent by Sonny | 4:06 AM | 11-28-2007

As a protestant Christian who believes in the literal interpretation of the Bible as well as the generally accepted geologic age of the earth as per the greater scientific community. However, I do not agree with Teilhard's ideas about God working "through" evolution. I do believe that God created a universe with seamlessly built in age, not some homogeneous earth covered in a thin film of "reality" like a cast resin figurine. Mainstream creationists would have us think that God created a blank, boring, flat world and everything interesting about our planet developed in the past 10-20 thousand years. I simply don't believe in a God of such small intellect.
In short, I do not see a problem with believing in the literal 7 days of creation and a geologic history of billions of years. Is there anyone (of influence) in the contemporary scientific or religious communities that has expressed a similar viewpoint?

I would also like to hear some discussion on the validity and thoroughness of the body of evidence supporting evolution. The supporting evidence that leaks out to the general public is far from adequate to compel any reasonable scientist to accept the current hypotheses that describe the flow of evolution from primordial soup to present.
As a Christian I often find myself siding with the "evolutionists" over the "creationists" in debates on account of the latter's blind disregard for volumes of evidence that suggest that their time frame is grossly inaccurate. However, the claims that many creationists make against the greater scientific community such, as the questionable accuracy of geologic dating methods, seem to be worth taking seriously. What role, if any, is creation science playing in the larger scientific discussion? If none, why?

Sent by Tim Dickinson | 4:29 PM | 12-7-2007

The issue of illegal aliens (even the word immigration lends vicarious legitimacy) seems to be getting short shrift as an election issue: The candidates won't take a definitive stand, and the debate moderators seem leery as well. This country has specific policies on immigration, and we turn away legitimate applicants from all over the world. Yet there is a level of tolerance and even indifference for those who sneak across from the south. Illegal aliens are burglars, period. They are unauthorized, unlawful entrants who come for personal material gain, usurping the rights and resources of the nation. They are lawbreaking criminals who need to be held accountable under the laws of this country.
One of the recurring excuses I have heard across multiple NPR programs - and other news coverage, too - is that many aspects of the economy, and specifically agriculture, would suffer, perhaps even collapse without illegal migrant labor. We have only to look back about 150 years in the nation's history for the answer to that assertion: Southern plantation owners made the same argument about the need for slavey.

Sent by Gary Boltinghouse | 8:33 AM | 12-13-2007

I would like to hear a segment devoted to understanding and defining the Muslim faith. I often hear the terms Muslim and Islam used interchangeably, and I wonder if there is a difference. I also hear Muhammad referred to much more frequently than Allah: Why is this? Is not Allah the god of Islam/Muslims? What is the origin or genesis of Allah? Since Muhammad was the son of Ishmael, who was the son of the Old Testament's Abraham though his slave woman Hagar, is then Allah also the same as God (from the old testament)? If so, then Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all have the same God, differentiated mainly by persons and occurrences post Old Testament. Is this the case, or not? Intolerance flourishes in ignorance. Please deprive us of our ignorance!

Sent by Gary Boltinghouse | 8:53 AM | 12-13-2007

MedlinePlus (medlineplus.gov), the web site produced and supported by the National Library of Medicine, is the most up-to-date and best place for the lay public to look for accurate and timely information.

When visiting your physician(s), take a written document listing all the drugs & dosages you take, what your symptoms are, and how long you have had them. It will give your doctor the data needed to give you the best care.

Sent by Joan Zenan, Medical Librarian | 2:35 PM | 12-13-2007

Now that Baseball has been thoroughly discredited as a sport, can we please get Neal to stop devoting half his weekly airtime to it?

Sent by Sellam Ismail | 3:24 PM | 12-13-2007

In my household, and among nearly all of my friends,
the Big Issue (particularly in regard to next year's elections)
is not The War in Iraq.
All of my extended family and all of my network of friends
agree that regardless of how or why we got started in Iraq,
it is wrong and pointless to continue.
But the worst aspect of the war is that it distracts attention
(as well as divert a certain amount of the federal budget)
from domestic issues --
POVERTY, EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE, the ECONOMY
(as experienced by mainstream Americans "on the ground",
not by the high-fliers on Wall Street), JOBS, and so forth.
I hardly ever hear those issues addressed,
at least more than fleetingly,
either by the candidates or by the media.
What solutions are proposed by those on either side of the aisle
are largely driven by big business, not by the needs of real citizens.
The bogus Romney "solution" to the health-care problem
merited only a half of one segment of Science Friday.
I really would like to have NPR bring attention to bear on these issues.

Sent by Kenn Goutal | 3:25 PM | 12-14-2007

Prosperity gospel: Supporting what I've heard about community, the common good, and the middle way? And families need to be able to meet their needs or survival is all they can do. AND what about conspicuous consumption? If wealth leads more easily to conspicuous consumption and away from mindful consumption, we are also harming the planet for all human beings. Less consumption may be a positive contribution to helping the poorest in the world to live and to helping the planet survive by reducing global warming. My energy needs in 1000 square feet are a lot less than those of newer homes of 4000 square feet and on up. Aspen passed an ordinance that put the LIMIT on new construction of a private home at 15,000 square feet. Where is the stewardship of the earth as we also seek stewardship for the welfare of all living beings?
Thank you.

Sent by Maureen Lancaster | 3:41 PM | 12-20-2007

I would like to "correspond" with Catherine of California who was the last caller on todays segment on teen pregnancy. I agree with everything she said. I want to add: how can we countenance blaming teen girls for engaging in sexual intercourse when our consumer culture does everything it can to get them to reedal their boaies as sexulally appealing?

Sent by Mitsi Wagner | 3:15 PM | 12-24-2007

many years ago my little family became disenchanted with the traditional Christmas festivities. We decided to celebrate each Christmas the traditions of another country. This included menu, songs, rituals, whatever we could uncover that was specific or unique to another land. We have included Mexico, England, France, Italy, and even Iran, Afganistan and China. This year we are having a Dharma Christmas. Our focal point is not a tree but a prayer wheel, our food Indian. For us, this has been fun, eductional and inclusive of all world relgion and traditions.

Sent by Genevieve Rohan | 3:16 PM | 12-25-2007

The local story which struck me hard is that Cincinnati Metro Area's budget is $300 million for 2008. Figuring on $3 million residents, that comes to $100 per person. The Federal government blew something like $150 billion on just the Iraq War this year. Though these figures are very rounded for ease of comparison, 300 million residents in the US comes to something like $500 per person. Stop this madness, everyone!

Sent by Joe | 6:00 PM | 12-25-2007

Denturists and American People in Need vs. American Dental Association Policies

The balance of the working relationship between the dentist and denture technician has always tipped more favorably on the side of the dentist than the denture technician.

A number of denture technicians moved forward in the profession by becoming denturist because of the expectations of being the dentist's counter-part but rarely with the denture technician receiving the deserved gratitude of those expectations.

Instead we worked long hours (not by choice), didn't get paid for those long hours which usually involved remakes due to error of the dentist or assistant doing procedures.

Our jobs as denture technicians were usually held over our heads for us to jump, reach, and grab at, while the dentist decided which dental lab they would use if and when we complained or insisted that things be done differently and maybe even getting paid for the 60 or 90 day past due lab invoice.

As a denturist I enjoy my work. I enjoy the working relationship of a chosen dentist or oral surgeon for referral services for my patients.

The good fight is not with any current or past dentist. I???ve worked with some good dentist as a denture lab technician and as a denturist. A good majority of the dentist would rather spend their chairtime in restorative and cosmetic dentistry not dentures.

So what's the problem? Corporate ADA. The American Dental Association???s big money politics, waste and not being able to relate to the dental needs of the people. It???s nothing different than what denture technicians and denturist have always dealt with as the counter-part of the dental profession.

Corporate ADA has no faith in its ability to provide for the dental needs of the American public. Even as denture technicians, we have always known we we're better at being able to meet the denture needs of the American public and the American Dental Association knows it. We are a thorn in ADA???s side and they want us gone.

The American Dental Association has in place, a number of build up and award programs for dental lab technicians for good reason and then it supports outsourcing of dental prostheses. Something???s not right with this picture.

It???s one thing to pay pennies to the dental lab technician for dental prostheses but yet another thing to outsource the work away from the mom and pop dental labs across America.

More and more people are doing without dental care because of ADA's policy making. They spend 10's of thousands of dollars for meetings to establish these policies that are leaving more and more people without dental care.

The policies discriminating against the economically disadvantaged Americans are those that are directed at stopping denturist, dental health aides and independent practices for dental hygienist. The American Dental Association sends money to state dental associations with expectation that the state associations will uphold ADA's policies but in turn it's a negative reflection on the state associations because their using the money for reasons other than meeting the dental needs of the people of the state.

The American Dental Association could better serve the dental needs of the American people by giving the dental hygienists the freedom of their own boards and independent practices so they can better serve the preventive needs of the American people by serving in the area of public health.

Corporate ADA can take the necessary steps to establish boards for independent practice of the denturist profession and the dental health aides across the Nation. This would free up dentist to use their eight or more years of schooling and experience in extensive restorative dentistry and specialty areas of dentistry.

It would direct the need for more money for education for all areas of the dental profession. This would create more qualified doctors and less of the unethically inclined dentists that are in practice today due to dental school programs one size fit all level of the DDS degree.

Dental health aides or therapist would serve the same level that a physician???s assistant serves today. The American Dental Association would organize and regulate dentistry and associated professions across America to better meet the dental care needs of all people.

People need to get on the American Dental Association internet site and do a watch dog of the programs in place and see the money that???s wasted. It???s disgraceful, with the number of Americans doing without dental care. You???d think with all the money, power, and intellect the American Dental Association has it would do things differently.

Please consider this critique of corporate ADA.

Thank you---Gary W. Vollan L.D.
www.wysda.org

Sent by Gary W. Vollan | 1:41 PM | 12-29-2007

I was glad to hear that people are paying attention--more attention than the media--to the issue of anti-biotic resistant infections. I believe this is because people's own families have been affected terribly. In 2003, my sister suffered from toxic shock, and it cost her both legs and the tips of her fingers. She was in a coma for 40 days, and her life will never be what it was before. This may not make the front page until someone famous dies of it, but in the meantime, many many families are being affected.

Sent by Dennise C. Brown | 2:44 PM | 12-31-2007

Messers Shore and Conan not being able to come up with the name of mainstream media reporter who has been hammering the Bush Administration on lack of candor and the overall conduct of the Iraq War is surprising. Just look to Keith Olbermann on MSNBC - please!

Guy VanderLek
Wilmington, DE

Listening to TotN via KUAZ, Tucson web feed.

Sent by Guy VanderLek - Wilmington, DE | 3:25 PM | 12-31-2007

my recent self help listenings (on books on tape/cd):
Marianne Williamson
Wayne Dyer
Eckhart Tolle
Newest: Ken Wilbur, "Kosmic Consciousness", who has "brought together the world's far-ranging spiritual teachings, philosophies, and scientific truths into one coherent and all-embracing vision..."
My point: my search keeps leading me to deeper and deeper levels of spiritual insight in hopes of self-improvement/efficacy/growth! Actually putting into practice is another story!

Sent by Andrea Patten | 3:55 PM | 1-1-2008

A caller confused about the Iowa Caucus mechanics was asking for information on how they are run and whether they are ever broadcasted. Every major candidate has an explanation of the process on their website, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin did a nice piece that is posted the CNN website, and C-Span intends on broadcasting the real thing from 3 democratic and 3 republican caucus sites on January 3rd. The DM Register's website is also a great source for information on the Iowa Caucuses.

Sent by Chris (a caucus-going Iowan) | 2:25 PM | 1-2-2008

The talk of my nation is the distribution of goods and services...looking at events from the perspective of 'who gets what; and why?".

Yesterday, on Morning Edition, Geraldine Brooks pondered various ethnic groups historical peaceful co-existence. Without considering and factoring in the distribution of good and services we will always come to an incomplete understanding.

For example, most people understand the Crusades as a 'Holy War' for Christian Europe to reclaim the 'holy lands' for religious reason and not as an attempt to gain control over trade that passed through the area.

In fact, while wars, conflict and strife are frequently couched in moral, ethical, or religious phraseology, we are just a dog chasing its tail if we fail to consider the money, the power, the distribution of goods and services.

Woody Allen had a joke that the lamb might lie with the lion (referring to the biblical passage), but the lamb won't get much sleep.

...when in actuality the lamb will lie down with the lion when each is satified according to their need.

Wars are about money, power and who get what; and why...that is the talk of this nation.

Sent by Moe | 3:09 PM | 1-2-2008

This comment is directed to the program on forgiveness that is currently being broadcasted on Talk of the Nation, Wednesday January 2, 2008. The broadcast discusses foregiveness and the positive health affects of such a lifestyle. I would like to bring to light the fact that Alcoholic Anonymus has been around for many years and two of the foundations for the program are the concepts of gratitude and forgiveness. I think the results of AA are evidence of the power of those concepts for the addict. I am amused that your experts think they have some up with something new.

Sent by Danna Dal Porto | 3:43 PM | 1-2-2008

Hello Neil & Talk staff, Love the show. The indigineous of the world are rising up to demand the rights earlier denied to them. I understand that there's a credible action being taken against the US government involving the reclaiming of a considerable amount of land in several states. I hope that the recognition of human rights will continue to make our & others' national agendas in the coming decades; the atrocities have been unforgivable. But - but - but - does this mean I have to leave My precious home / real estate? This is a classic struggle.

Sent by Rebecca | 4:29 PM | 1-2-2008

What is the RIAA position on this situation. I own the old vinyl LP version of an album (or cassette tape). I download the mp3 version of the same album. Is that allowed?
How about gaining the "right" to a CD for manufacturing cost. Meaning. I already paid the 'royaly' fee with the 1st purchase, is there a way to get a "new technology" version of the same album without having to pay the royalty fee again?

Sent by Lewis Getschel (get-shell) | 2:46 PM | 1-3-2008

I would love a discussion on the Ethics and Effects of Eating. I'm a food writer, cooking instructor, and personal chef and it's a topic moving into the main-stream as we face more food recalls, more imported/off-season produce, a farm bill devoted to rewarding factory farming, and the roots of our nation's dietary woes.

Sent by kevin weeks | 3:48 PM | 1-3-2008

I was watching CSPAN this evening to get a look at the caucus process. What really stood out to me, coming from San Francisco, is how 'white' the population is. We really need to reconsider this position of prominence in the political decision making process that Iowa has. Yes, it is a tradition to have them kick off the folly of our Presidential Parade...but, it should not be a folly and it really seems to me that it is. They certainly do not represent the citizens of my state. My state is a lot larger than theirs. We should really reconsider

Sent by Erin Lee | 8:33 PM | 1-3-2008

What is change and what does experience have to do with change? First, if one is to identify where they are going in their change they must first identify what it is that we wish to change from? And if we can identify what we wish to change to how are we to change if we do not understand our , own personal or collective history? To change does not require experience - experience is the process of change. experience when electing a new president is unimportant and so are early promises in a primary. The single factor to effective change is to take a quantum leap from the instinct that a black man might have more experience than we as whites could know - and perhaps this marginalization and this history which Obama and Edwards both possess is the fact that they are exactly who they represent which is a great relief in these times when reality is always skewed by the media or some branding agency without morality.
I think Obama and Edwards are appealing because they have nothing to do with the past association to the very people they are representing to overcome.
I say rock and role to Obama and Edwards - and a new world order minus the old world orders tired and worn out war merchant mentality. We, the people, want change - and we the people will help make this change - that is what is so appealing about the process of Obama and Edwards - they are creative, freeing us from this horrible past which we have had to live for much longer than 911.

Sent by diane t. lincoln | 3:22 PM | 1-7-2008

I for one think that Hillary will do the best job as presdent. History ALWAYS REPEATS it's self, so we have never had a woman presdent. Everyone are saying that they don't want another Clinton in the white house. I want to be able to tell my grandkids that i tried to change history by voteing for a woman presdent instead of another man . Yes another man just a diffent color.

Sent by juanita | 1:58 AM | 1-8-2008

I suggest you review the Sibel Edmonds story especially in light of last Sunday's London Times' article. A survey of why the US media has sandbagged the Edmonds story would also make a good follow up.

Sent by tritumi | 7:21 AM | 1-9-2008

I don't understand how people can say that Hillary almost crying in public won her New Hampshire. In my opinion, as a woman in the workplace, showing emotion opens the door to several stereotypes associated with woman. This could by why a woman in her position cannot afford to relinquish herself to these stereotypes. I only hope her display was real and not a last attempt to relate to voters.

Sent by Marinda Griffin | 12:51 PM | 1-9-2008

We in Michigan are not pleased that the Democratic primary will not include Barak Obama. Why weren't Iowa and New Hampshire censurd or otherwise punished for moving their primary and caucus so far forward? Why do they alone anjoy such sway? They are both among the smaller states (population wise), so where did they gain this privilege? The primaries and caucuses should all be on the same day to avoid favoritism and precedent. Why we're at it, let's eliminate the Electoral College!

Sent by Paul | 2:43 PM | 1-9-2008

Like thousands if not millions of other homeowners, I would love to make major energy saving modifications in my home, but can't afford the cost of most, even though they would save me money later. Here is a huge unfulfilled demand at a time when we must conserve energy. The economy is dragging, especially in manufacturing. If government began a New Deal with investment to ignite energy saving technology and assist homeowners (and business?) with the cost, wouldnt that be a huge investment toward taking us into an oil-free, thriving economy?

Sent by Jenny | 2:49 PM | 1-11-2008

War surge. I heard this morning on WBUR Boston that a Pentagon spokesman stated that the current request for additional troops in Afganistan was not a surge because it was a "one-time-deal". What were Americans told about the war surge in Iraq if not that it was to be a "one-time-deal"? My only reaction to this news report was that this was the worst case of "if you are not outraged, it is only because you are not paying attention" I have heard in my lifetime, and everyone I have discussed this with agrees. If this does not deserve coverage on talk of the nation, it is only because even NPR is too collared by the oppressive current administration.

Sent by Jon Allen | 9:25 AM | 1-16-2008

EXTREMELY disappointed at your War on Drugs segment. I'll listen again to the podcast... In the meantime, while you TOUCHED on one of the biggest problems - focusing so heavily on Mj USE while the REAL drug problems of this country are Meth and prescription drug ABuse, it was wholly insufficient.

The 'war' has done little or NOTHING to address the problems of drug ABUSE in this country, while corrupting (especially rural) law enforcement, increasing violence 10-fold, INCREASING the price of 'recreational' drugs like Mj & LSD & Ecstasy while DECREASING the price of truly harmful drugs like Cocaine & particularly Meth!! It's BS, and until our policies are based in FACTS & TRUTH, we will remain here - wasting Billion$ while accomplishing little EXCEPT creating a Drug War Industry which is invested in NEVER solving the problems, else they will LOSE THEIR JOBS!!!

Sent by Larry | 3:52 PM | 1-16-2008

Paul,
Obama was not on the ballot in Michigan because he obeyed the rules set up by the democratic party, which Michigan ignored, as did Clinton. I feel as you do, that this was unfair, since it gives the impression that Clinton has a majority of support there, when many people may have simply voted for her simply because she was the only choice. I think that this looks sleazy on her record, and I hope that it gives her the dubious reputation that such an act deserves.

Sent by Jon Allen | 4:08 PM | 1-16-2008

I would like TON to consider starting "a conversation". e.g. What would it look like if you started out with "what's your idea of how we should stimulate the economy" and have it run longer than one day. You could supplement it by having an online poll for ideas of the day. I personally would like to see the money put into infrastructure to bring back jobs to the US. I'm appalled at how few jobs - read jobs that could support a single person even minimally - are available for my grand and great grandkids. I love your program but get frustrated that I a topic I'd like to get involved with is over before I can respond and have people respond back. In this way, you could get to be more in depth which would set you apart from World have your Say. One last note, did you ever do a companion piece to male circumcision? i.e. clitorectomies (sp).

Sent by Susannah Tenny | 6:20 PM | 1-23-2008

I have an important documentary about the homeless problem in this country. I'm using a very innovative way to try an get screenings organized all over the county. The film is called "Skid Row" and features Pras Michel of the Fugees, who lived as a homeless man on LA's Skid Row for nine days. You can see the trailer at http://www.skidrowthemovie.com and also you can see the contest we've started to help build demand for screenings. We're also going to create an educational/activist tool kit for people that want to screen the film and have discussions afterward. We have to start talking about this tragic situation. About 30% of these people are veterans that deserve to be taken care of, many are so mentally ill that they wander around till they die or get beaten to death. One of the biggest growing segments is single parents with children that just can't afford a place to live. I have great source material about all the major cities of this country that are totally unable to deal with this growing problem. I hope that you can be a conduit to start more conversations. I saw that in November, Sarah mentioned the film in her blog and I'm hoping that you would be interested in looking more closely at this.

Sent by Linda Nelson | 11:39 PM | 1-24-2008

I have a question: Why does that 'Publican spokesperson refer to the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Party"?

Sent by NW Carson | 2:34 PM | 1-28-2008

I think the fact that some candidates are not bothering with the states (and that also means the people) that cannot help them at this point in their campaign speaks volumes. To begin with I don???t believe that any state should be ostracized from participating in selecting our choice for the next president. Let???s not have a repeat of the last two elections that (in my opinion) the will of the people was ignored. The next President needs to be concerned with all the people, not just the ones that can further their political carrier.

Sent by Sharon | 12:18 PM | 1-30-2008

Money is needed to run for public office, but it???s the face time that wins any election.

Does anyone not find it strange that two of the larger states (Florida and Michigan) did not have any Democratic ???Face Time??? for the days/weeks/months before their disputed primary dates?

I believe the Democratic Party made a HUGE mistake by not allowing their candidates to give that face time to any of their possible nominees, and more importantly their party.

Florida decided the election in 2000 with their ???dangling chad??? debacle, and with it being such a swing state of independents or undecided voters, the Democratic Party will be hard pressed to win in November without Florida, and even more so without Michigan.

The fact of the matter is that after each party nominates it???s candidate for president, the Republicans have a huge advantage as their nominee has had significantly more face time in two critical states who???s electoral votes are more than enough to swing a national election one way or another.

I truly believe (as a Democrat) that McCain will be president because Florida and Michigan (along with the traditional Southern States) will be Red this November.

Sent by Scott | 3:36 PM | 1-30-2008

I read a disturbing AP article yesterday about Haitians living in such poverty and with such food shortages that they're eating "cookies" made of vegetable shortening and dirt. This story is making its way around my community of friends via the internet, and we have to ask: Why is this really happening? and What can we do about it? The websites I've visited tend just to ask for money, but I'm wondering if there's anything else to be done. It's particularly vexing to me as a person of faith. In what ways are we responsible for our "neighbors" since we now have the technology to be aware of them?

Sent by Katie Rankin | 8:32 AM | 1-31-2008

Campaign songs--what about "Man in the Mirror"? It's all about change and starting with the man in the mirror. Does the fact that it's a Michael Jackson track make it off limits for candidates?
At least TOTN could run it behind some campaign coverage.

Sent by nancy king | 7:14 PM | 2-4-2008

I would like to hear the opinions of experts regarding media spotlight and political success. We see much light cast on the current 4 front runners, but would things have been different if the media focused more on other candidates? This is in reference to candidates John Edwards, Ron Paul, Bill Richardson, etc.

Sent by Ya??l Ossowki | 4:59 PM | 2-5-2008

Since 1980 when I sang my first voting song outside of the Baltimore Convention Center during the Anderson/Reagan debate, I have written songs of civic responsibility. Go to votingsongs. com to hear my songs that are written to encourage all Americans to participate in the voting process.

Sent by Patrick Simpson | 8:59 AM | 2-6-2008

From Wichita,
Many of us are registered as Republicans as it is the only way to participate in primaries here in KS. The Democratic caucuses last night are the first in many years. Great to see that there really are Democrats in this state. We sometimes feel very much alone in KS politics.

Sent by Yvonne Michaud | 2:21 PM | 2-6-2008

I'm a 21 year old democrat in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Last night the turnout in my area (which is not actually on the campus) was overwhelmingly young, and the college kids were out there in the cold, like I was, to vote for Obama. Minnesota, which may have been as strongly anti-Bush and anti-war as any state in the country, had 55,000 total Democrats come out to caucus against him in 2004. Obama more than tripled that number by himself last night. This tells me that Obama is the kind of people who gets people to come out FOR him, instead of AGAINST someone else.

Sent by Mike Mullen | 2:29 PM | 2-6-2008

As a teacher of History and Government, I must observe that Super Tuesday lends legitimacy to the concept of regional primaries. Divide the nation into five regions, have a lottery during the Rose Bowl to select which region will vote first and allow only two weeks between regional primaries. This would eliminate the "front loading" which has stretched a year in advance of New Hampshire. Finally, tie the delegates to the congressional districts, let the state winning candidate have the two senatorial votes for that state. This would compact the primary season into ten weeks and make it equally meaningful for all.

Sent by Jeffrey L. Heady | 3:20 PM | 2-6-2008

As a Los Angeles pollworker who with 3 teampollworkers assisted 478 WLA voters, we did NOT know anything about that "bubble" [item #6] for nonpartisans to include to be able to make a Democratic candicate vote. I also went to the 2 hr training and NO mention was ever made of this requirement. No coordinator nor anyone knew to ask about this "requirement" only learned much too late to do any good to all those who filed that ballot.

Many voters, as I do, will feel "cheated" for- later only - being told they could vote & count and now our vote & efforts to do so are being rejected.

Q= Who do we shout at and activate to change the rules for the Registrar's mistakes? Who can correct this error for these voters by sidestepping the error/dismissal of votes instead of just belatedly announcing the mistake ?

At poll the lines never stopped all day long Tues from 7 am to 8 pm, with a long & continuous flow of intense, active voters: some were brought in wheelchairs by their caretakers, some walked slowly with wobbly canes,
one Latino man who shouted "I voted! First Time" and beamed magnificently, some demanding persistently to vote Republican when rules said not if they could not unless so registered, and some coming in actual tears at 7:58pm pleading to be allowed to do her provisional ballot and then offered to help clean up to make up for arriving [almost] late.

Impressive voters. Dedicated people. Vitally insisting on making their own decisions for the next 'change' from this current & prior adm.

And these wealthier voters were consistently courteous, personally thanking us for the 'work you do,' with eye contact, smiles, grateful connections for this event we had together. I had a great long tiring day and will do it again for the gift of all the appreciative voters who give back more than the services we give them. This is why I love living in this USA.

Sent by Maria Joy | 4:50 PM | 2-6-2008

My mother has told me most people tend to lean further to the right as they get older. She is a staunch conservative and always tells me to wait until I'm older and I'll understand why. I was wondering if you could comment on that...

Sent by chad | 2:13 PM | 2-7-2008

I dont know much about this topic but when a person votes is it really counted or is it just the Electoral vote that really matters do the electorates follow a particular states voting trends or is there ability to give there electoral vote to who ever they wish and how do you get to be an electoral voter is it just prominate people ie (With Money) or can a regular person get one of these So I guess does my vote really count?

Sent by Chad | 3:07 PM | 2-8-2008

What my family, friends, and I are--and have been--talking about(raging about, actually), for well over a year, is the Democrats' stubborn refusal to initiate impeachment hearings against Bush and Cheney. In view of the Administration's unprecedented and continuing record of furtive secrecy, illegal spying, habitual lying, and obstinately refusing to answer all questions, q\we are dismayed that our weak-kneed Congress continues to ignore the Administration's wanton, do-as-I-please behavior!

Most of the people I talk to are more than frustrated; they're deeply distressed! Most of my friends believe that this Congress, by shirking its investigative responsibility, has made an absolute mockery of the U.S. Constitution and has failed the people it claims to represent. Nearly everyone in my circle of progressive friends (mostly over 65 and in No. Calif.) has re-registered as "Decline to State," because of the Democratic Party's abandonment of them and of the noble principles that Party once stood for. We're all profoundly disappointed--each of us hurt, sad, and outraged by the Party's betrayal of us, and we believe that the Founding Fathers would be so too, were they alive today to see what's become of their dream for our once-great nation.

Every patriotic American needs to understand that Congress's present inaction sets a terrible precedent for the future by giving all Presidents yet to come-- however self-serving they may be, and whatever their personal disregard for our nation's laws and for the liberties they promise us --free rein to do whatever they please, with absolutely no accountability whatsoever. It's a tragedy, and it needn't be that way!

It's not enough to hold our collective breath, counting off the days and hoping that when a new Administration comes in next year it will fix things, will make our damaged country okay again; such serious abuses as have occurred cannot just be brushed aside; they won't just go away. They need to be addressed, investigated, and answered for -- even if after the fact.

All of us who love our country and respect its great heritage ought to be keeping vigil at the bedside of our failing Constitution. It's been deeply wounded, maybe mortally so -- by the administrative and legislative branches in turn, and its recovery is in serious doubt if Congress neglects its duty to come to its aid.

History will remember Congress's failure. It will record that as the American dream lay dying, a disloyal Congress turned its back, making a grave and terrible mistake. As the result of Congress's inaction it is likely that our beloved country, if it survives, will continue to suffer well into the 21st century if not longer.

Sent by Jeanne C Thomason | 6:47 PM | 2-8-2008

How about covering the potential VP candidates? Minnesota's Governor Pawlenty has been OWNED by the hardcore rightwing, defunded our infrastructure, and is suddently trying to reconstruct himself as an environmentalist! His policies made it possible for a major bridge to fall down, for an ethanol plant to drain groundwater and begin to drain the Minnesota River - but all we see on the news is his young-ish smiling hockey-player face - the potential #2s should get scrutiny before we're stuck again -

I find myself being asked to support Senator Obama by people who can't tell me what committees he's on, or what legislator he has sponsored: all they know is he reminds them of JFK and Jimmy Carter - the GOP offers us a war hero and a couple of cute governors - where is the investigative reporting???

Sent by Jane E. | 2:40 PM | 2-11-2008

Chad, as you begin to work hard and pay out so much of your earnings in taxes, then learn of the corruption and wasteful spending that occurs in government, you will begin to long for smaller, limited government. Individuals are responsible for themselves (those who are helpless should be cared for by family and church, with an emergency safety net for extreme cases). Conservatives want to conserve morality in the culture. Morality promotes a just, peaceful civilization. Joke I once heard: a conservative is a liberal with two teenage daughters. When you get older, you WILL understand.

Sent by Diane | 12:14 AM | 2-12-2008

I have a comment regarding our economy, and the current recession we are experiencing.
Has anyone looked for a correlation between our increased aversion to immigration, both legal and illegal and the current recession we are experiencing?
Recently my aunt wanted to come visit my mother in Miami from Colombia. She had a visitor's visa given to her many years ago, that never expired. She visited the consulate to make sure it was still good. Her visa was cancelled, and she was told she would not get a new one because she wanted to come live in the US.

She decided to visit her son in Canada instead, and that is were she is spending her hard earned money.

How many more millions of people are spending their cash in other countries? Panama is now a popular vacation spot for South Americans that are not given visas to visit the US.
Even illegal immigrants contribute to the economy by renting houses, buying food and clothing, going to restaurants, movies, etc. Never mind the regular visitors whose sole purpose is to vacation and spend their money.
In my opinion, one way to quickly stimulate the economy, is to open the gates just a bit, and let visitors come in.

Sent by Isabel Roldan | 2:03 PM | 2-12-2008

The housing market forclosure in Cleveland Ohio is on the rise. Property values our dropping weekly. If a house is empty even for a few days- thieves break in and steel the copper pipes or strip the alluminun siding.No one sees a thing.Good paying jobs are non existent.I might lose my house too, after 17 yrs.I want to cry!

Sent by Laura Trickey | 2:32 PM | 2-12-2008

I wonder if we are being to hard on our selves the irresponsible borrower and home buyer and to easy on the financial institutions in our society. Is it not worth noting that most Americans have been conditioned since children to believe that bankers are the conservative frugal types that keep the fly by night dreamers in check and if this is true and a "banker" tells you you are worthy of this loan and this property is worth what you are buying it for why would you necessarily question their wisdom. It is also worth noting that those dreamers who thought they were being let into the American dream of their own home are being woken up now.

Sent by marty | 2:49 PM | 2-12-2008

I live in St.Louis county where the Mass murders in Kirkwood took place and I feel it would be great to address racial issues and healing since once again racial issues have boiled over and has ended in blood shed. There is a REAL problem in this community many mock Kirkwood saying the city thinks it's perfect but weve been in national news over horrendous issues 3 time in the past 2 years.

Sent by Angela | 11:30 AM | 2-13-2008

This is a new blog to help the elderly stay in their homes and live in dignity. Please check it out.

http://gooddesignagewell.wordpress.com/

Sent by HD | 12:13 PM | 2-13-2008

When i read Donna Brazile respond regarding the role/or if the super delegates decide the nomination she will resign fron the DNC i made my decision not to go out and vote anymore for the democratic party and i will change my party registration from democrat. I am a black male who have always admire Donna's leadership and role in the democratic party and for her to take such a controversial negative position and verbally expressed in the public media, it tells me that the democrat party and it's leadership has tremendous problems. Donna is just showing her personnel emotions and her statement clearly tells me she is supporting Senator Obama and when i look at the vedio, she seems to have an angry personnal angenda, rather than having a leadership meaningful role in the DNC. Her comments and position should have been one that try to educate the voters, keep them on track about the real issues and also offer some healing or togetherness concept which the party badly needs. I choose not to vote for Senator Obama because i watch all of the debates leading up to the priamries and i was disappointed in his performances. I was impressed with Richardson who dropped out early. I am a registered democrat in the state of Florida and i voted for Hillary. Should the citizens of Florida VOTE COUNT TOWARDS THE Democratic nomination for president? I wonder how Donna think Floridians feel about this issue and why should i vote for Senator Obama if he becomes the nominee in the presidential election if my vote did not count in the primaries? No No No ... Florida is a key state to win the presidential election. I expected a better and a more quality leadership unbiased role from Donna as a key leader in the DNC. Thank you.

Sent by Elvis Caines | 12:39 AM | 2-14-2008

Neal,
The shootings at Northern Illinois is troubling, but do you see a pattern here? From 1998 it was middle-school students in Arkansas, we moved through Jr. and Senior High School (Columbine, etc.) and now we are seeing this same group of young people in college (VTech, LSU, etc.) right on through to grad school in N. Ill.
Could there be some link, some specific event, that this age group of young people experienced that could cause this expression of violence?

Sent by Carl McCormack | 12:01 PM | 2-15-2008

CNN recently had an article on a comparison of racism vs sexism. The article made the point the the former is taboo and the latter is tolerated. I would like to hear more discussion of the media bias against Hillary Clinton. The woman-bashing is deafening but there is no public comment against it.

Sent by Susan Mayhew | 8:46 PM | 2-15-2008

Like Anna, the subject of mid-wifery is interesting to me. I am a stay-at-home mother who birthed my only child by a mid-wive at a Savannah Hospital. The entire process was life altering for myself and my husband. Not simply the birth, but the entire pregnancy experience with the mid-wifes. As a Southern Mama any parenting, culinary, money management, and family oriented work is welcomed. My blog: http://www.christyhulsey.wordpress.com

Sent by christy in georgia | 11:26 PM | 2-15-2008

All I hear from Republicans in FL is that the strategy was: "get McCain secured", Republicans will vote now to Obama, "get rid off Hillary" then, "go after Obamas' records" and of course all Republicans will switch back to McCain and together with the Latin vote Republicans will "secure the White House again?" of course, outsmarting the Dems.. again!!!

Sent by Mia | 2:51 AM | 2-20-2008

NPR has over the past 8 years, steadily become a "VOICE" of the extreme right in this country.

Sent by kolla | 9:25 PM | 2-21-2008

I think a big issue is the situation of 20/30-somethings: balancing the incredible demands of building a "career" (education, debt, personal sacrifices, etc.) against "personal" choices like where to live, relationships, etc. I use quotation marks because I object to the distinction, which implies that "personal" aspects of life are less important or legitimate than "career" ones.

Sent by Margaret | 3:28 PM | 2-25-2008

Most people that I have been talking to here in Rochester, NY have been discussing how much we would like winter to end. We have not had a tremendous amount of snow, but it has been very cold and windy so everyone is bemoaning the fact of how high our heating costs are. Most everyone I speak to says that their heating costs have almost double since the winter of 2007. I find myself in the same boat, and it you don't pay the bill you can be immediately cut off. It is a very distressing subject.

Sent by Brian | 3:32 PM | 2-25-2008

Would like to hear a show about the constitutionality of trade treaties, such as NAFTA, CAFTA, etc. The constitution Article2 Section2 requires that treaties be approved by 2/3rds of the Senate. All have passed with only simple majorities.

Was there a constitutional amendment? Or did they pull a Clinton and decide these were "agreements" not 'treaties". Kind of like saying this was not "sex".

Sent by kerthialfad | 1:29 AM | 2-27-2008

There is considerable discussion among regarding Reagan's fiscal policy legacy. Yes, Reagan cut taxes, but increased spending, with the net result being that the nations publicly held debt increased from less than $0.6 trillion to more than $1.8 trillion by the end of his term. Of course Bush Sr was worse racking up more than $0.85 trillion in 4 years, and Jr even worse amassing in excess of $2.0 trillion through fiscal year 2007. By comparison the publicly held debt increased slightly more than $0.3 trillion during Clinton's 8 year term. Why is it that the fiscal policy starting with Reagan and adhered to by all subsequent Republican administrations that is best described as "borrow and spend" that is so admired by "fiscal conservatives" is viewed as more fiscally responsible than balancing taxes with spending as occurred during the Clinton years? Last year alone we, that is US taxpayers, paid almost $430 billion in interest on the debt. A discussion that actually examined the realities of fiscal policy and its implications for the financial health of this nation would be extremely beneficial, particularly given the disparate claims that are and will be made during this current election cycle.

Sent by David Rowley | 1:44 PM | 2-27-2008

When you ask whether voters are deciding on the basis of personality or issues, you are creating a false dichotomy. A third important factor is the question of who funds each candidate, or to whom each candidate is beholden. Many Democrats are upset with the party machine, the party that has been so averse to acting as a true opposition party. These Democrats see Obama as a much needed breath of fresh air to vitalize a tired old party establishment.

Sent by Johanna | 2:34 PM | 2-27-2008

I have recently transferred my 401K and IRA into primarily bonds and money market. I can easily switch it bsack. Is this a good idea?

Sent by Martin Pettet | 2:49 PM | 2-28-2008

So much talk revolves around how the Conservatives would rather vote for a Democrat than McCain. But how about those of us Democrats who would rather vote for a Republic than Obama should he win the Democratic primaries?

Sent by Sandy A. | 10:28 PM | 2-28-2008

Sorry I can't call, but my question has to do with a caller I just heard. Historically she saved, she's ready to spend, but she is not going to because the media just told her not to. The same with another caller ready to buy a car, but didn't. Another caller ready to put off some home remodeling and going back to school.

To me all of this says that the media is scaring people who are ready to spend into not spending. Isn't that creating a recession? These people don't actually have problems, but planning on having problems is creating the problems.

I would like to hear how the guest feels about this.

Thanks.
- Matt

Sent by Matt | 9:54 AM | 2-29-2008

On Saturday, March 8, people will gather at the site of the razed monkey house at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, to remember the ten year anniversary of the approximately 350 monkeys sold, killed, and given away by the University of Wisconsin, Madison in direct violation of three written agreements with the zoo that no monkeys from the zoo would be used in harmful experiments.

Ten years ago, when the eight years of broken promises was revealed, the story generated 200 articles in local and national press. To this day, no official has been held accountable for the hundreds of violations of the university's written pledges not to harm these animals, the Vilas Monkeys.

Sent by Rick Bogle | 8:54 AM | 3-1-2008

To the editor:

I am a 49 year old lifelong Democratic voter. I was thrilled by the 1990s economy and most of the policies. I like both of the Clintons.

What I question is this end run for a third term. We have term limits in place for a reason.

The US should not go down the path of electing the spouses of former term limited presidents, regardless of performance or party. It is a very bad precedent to set. Imagine a White House with a Mrs. Bush or a Mrs. Reagan !!

For this reason, rather than being a feather in the cap of women in general, a Clinton presidency demeans the feminist movement by suggesting that a female cannot obtain highest office without having initially been a "First Lady".

For this reason I will not support Mrs Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton, please do what is right for the country and step aside. We will all be better off: historically speaking, now, and in the long run.

Sincerely,

Christopher S. Turner
Anthropology Department
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois

Sent by Christpher S. Turner | 1:28 PM | 3-3-2008

Superdelegates voting who could beat a potential Republican challenger even though that candidate may have lost the primaries is like sending the Packers who just lost to the Giants in the NFC Championship game to the Super Bowl because it is believed they would better Challenge the New England Patriots.....

Sent by Robert P. Kunsman | 2:08 PM | 3-5-2008

NPR!!! Ms. Ferrero is not balanced. I have stopped what I was doing in order to send this. She clearly has an inherent bias. I am so disappointed.

Sent by Sharon Sexton | 2:54 PM | 3-5-2008

On your Special News Report on the Texas and Ohio primaries, geraldine Ferraro said a Rebublican she knows voted for Obama. Well, some of my family members in Texas who are Republican voted for Clinton. My sister said everyone she knows in Lubbock is voting for Clinton. The implication is that Republicans there voted for Clinton because she is the easiest to beat. I didn't hear this viewpoint on your broadcast.(I am for Obama and live in Oregon.)

Sent by Marilyn Koenitzer | 3:05 PM | 3-5-2008

Where there's a will there's a way. By electing Hill we get back Bill. No president can serve more than two terms yet history can be made, Bill could be very helpful as "first Gentleman" to start fixing the economy. He did it before and frankly the tag team of Hill & Bill fighting against Terrorism and an awful economy is strong. And we havn't even talked about the VP. Wake up Wtoming and realize this great may be once in a life time opportunity

Sent by Douglas Papp | 6:09 PM | 3-5-2008

America wants more oil and they want it cheaper. So what, who doesn't?

The other day I heard that Washington has been pressuring OPEC (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to open up the spigot a bit more with the hopes of lowering the prices at the pump and easing the pressures on the U.S. economy.

OPEC's response (which undoubtedly represents that of the oil companies as well) was there was no need to pump more oil and that the run-up in prices is due to investor's dim speculations in the market and not fundamental problems regarding supply.

That last part is certainly true. When was the last time you heard of a gasoline station running out of gas?

Nevertheless, here's what I think OPEC was saying in between the lines, "We're not going to increase the supply because the price of petrol will go down and then we can't make as much money. So, as long as you stupid Americans maintain your unquenchable thirst for gasoline, you can stick it where the sun never shines."

And since we can't control our own gluttonous consumption of oil, perhaps what this country (and more importantly OPEC and the oil companies) needs is a good little depression that results in a radical drop in the demand of petroleum. Perhaps a little anarchy will follow in a select number of places adding a bit of well-needed humility here in "The Land of the Free (only free in the distance we can ride our bicycle) and the Home of the Brave (i.e., the self-serving, greedy capitalist)."

And maybe, just maybe after all of that, we'll finally get serious about alternative energy sources like wind, solar and tidal power.

Sent by Morgan Tyree | 1:24 PM | 3-7-2008

Many people I have spoken with, as well as myself, are wondering why everyone in the media continues to refer to Hillary's "win" in Texas when it is likely (once the caucus count is official) that he will end up with three more Texas delegates than she has?

Sent by Tereza Dempster | 2:30 PM | 3-8-2008

Yesterday I wrote on my blog njks.blogspot.com about the influence that Dungeons and Dragons has had on our family since the 70s, and right up to the present day. Now 6 of us, representing 3 generations, play World of Warcraft together on a daily basis. We live in northern Michigan, South Florida, Washington, D.C., and San Diego! We are truly a family of gamers, and it all began with D&D.

Sent by Nancy Steiger | 3:09 PM | 3-10-2008

I was shocked that today's conversation concentrated on female prostitutes, while not considering male prostitutes. Women are exploited, while men, aren't even considered. Male or female it's a choice to sell one's self for sex.

Sent by Nick | 3:26 PM | 3-11-2008

The answer to the last sitting Governor to resign from NY Governor is Nelson Rockafeller.

Sent by Neil in Sutton, MA | 2:12 PM | 3-12-2008

Ferraro's comments about Obama, the same can be said of Hillary.

The only reason Hillary is where she is right now is because she is a WOMAN. And the only reason she is where she is right now, is because she happens to have a last name of "Clinton". And the only reason she is where she is right now is because she is hiding behind the skirt of "Bill".

I could go on and on about Hillary about the only reasons she is where she is right now.

By the way, I am not black and I am a woman and I wish I had joined the I Hate Hillary campaign.

Sent by Connie | 2:51 PM | 3-12-2008

I listened to yesterday's Political Junkie portion of the show, and was a irritated by the fact that Susan Estrich was the person chosen to discuss the issue of campaign surrogates in the media. Ms. Estrich has publicly endorsed Senator Clinton, and is a friend of Geraldine Ferraro. I noticed a soft defense of the Clinton campaign and Ms. Ferraro throughout the segment.

The comments that were made by Ms. Ferraro are serious and disturbing, and deserve to be talked about in a balanced way, not deflected by friends of the offender.

Sent by Chris | 10:56 AM | 3-13-2008

Winter Soldier is happening right now in Washington. What do you think about it. online at ivaw.org

Sent by susan | 2:14 PM | 3-13-2008

Once again the US government bails out the capitalist and leaves the capital-less out on the streets. If there is a credit crunch why doesn't the fed cut the prime rate, so that the capital-less get some breathing room? The capital-less make mistakes in their sub-prime borrowing speculation and the government turns the other way. The capitalists make mistakes in their sub-prime securities speculation and they get 200 billion dollars, a discount rate cut and a federal funds rate cut. Give the capital-less a break. Its time to rise up against the Queen once again. Its Reganomics all over again. Supply side greed. If a tire shop does its job incorrectly, is the government going to come and bail them out. No. We the people have forgotten what the U in USA stands for. The question is how long will it last?

Sent by Irving Cabezas | 1:28 AM | 3-18-2008

Neil,
I have 3 bi-ethnic sons. I am Mex.Am and their father is black. All thru their young lives, both of us always told them that they were NOT half and half; actually they were totally proud of being fully both ethnicities. I do not say ???mixed race??? because I believe that there is only ONE HUMAN race; but plenty of cultures and ethnicities.
Thank you and keep up the good discussions!
Gloria

Sent by Glo Acosta | 2:38 PM | 3-20-2008

i would like to hear a conversation about real race issues. i am white and understand that this is just the color of my skin. if you listen to any one voice of a race, you will eventually hear them talk of their deep inbededd hatred of another race. the issue is not black and white, it ranges in all colors of skin. what we fail to understand, all of us. is that there is no such thing as a pure race. we are a mix of races where ever we are from, no matter how small our tribe might be. the problem is, in truth, a fear of being human and living with the blood under your skin as it is. this is the race we all belong to.

Sent by sean bascom | 12:21 PM | 3-21-2008

Neal's continued use of "the 4000" brought to mind the cheesy semi animated rendition of the battle at Thermopylae. When I think of Iraq I tend to lean more toward the Pyrrhic Wars.

Sent by James M McMurtry Jr. | 5:33 PM | 3-24-2008

Your female guest is quite absurd - all the other male candidates in the Democratic lineup have already conceded and Hillary is just going nuclear! As a loyal Democrat and someone who minored in women issues, this is an absurd argument and the REAL numbers just don't add up anymore for Hllary. She and her presumption of being president and the machine she has is not facing the math. As to vice president options, get real, after scorching the earth in the next few months, NO ONE is going to want her and Bill (cus he comes along) anywhere near the white house.

Hillary has tried so many times to change the rules - it's crazy and it makes me ANGRY!!! we will eat our young us Dems and lose the general public no matter how much they want change to the R's in NOV!

Sent by Bette S | 2:36 PM | 3-26-2008

My wife states that she would never vote for Clinton saying that she wasn't strong enough to stand up to Bill during his affairs how can we count on her to stand up on global issues to other world leaders!!!

Sent by Rudy Martinez | 2:41 PM | 3-26-2008

This is with Clinton is people say THE Clinton's so in truth Obama is running against a popular ex prez and his side kick. All women do not support Clinton and as your guest junkie said typically the 2nd candidate steps down for the good of the party.
Woman of a certain feel entitled because Hillary SAID she would be the Dem winner.
AfricanAmerican's were handed to Obama because of the Clintons
BTW ~ Blacks have in the past voted for Carter, Clinton(x2), Gore, Kerry in huge numbers while women (mainlly white women of 50+) seem to not have come together until a woman runs. All these years since geraldine they could have come clout to get at least another vice president; where were these women when black women ran for president?

Sent by Daly | 2:45 PM | 3-26-2008

CAROL GOTBAUM:

Her case epitozmies the blatant avoidance of responsibilitiy that people have demonstrated for a generation. From blaming teachers for their chilrens' poor school performance to child molesters citing unhappy childhoods to holding airport police responsible for an alcoholic's errant public behavior, people are all too willing to point the finger at somneoe else for their own failings.

Gotbaum's family sure didn't exhibit any concern for her when they put her on a plane ALONE, knowing her propensity for getting out of control when she drinks, expecting her to then check herself into rehab. The "mother of three children" wasn't thinking about anyone but herself when she devcided to belly up to the bar for a few for the road, before boarding the plane where she probably would have disturnbed other paseengers and possibly even compelled the pilot to turn the plane around.

Doesn't anyone else see the absurdity of this scenario? If the Gotbaum family needed a caretaker for its hapless lush, they had no business expecting Phoenix airport security personnel or anyone but themselves to fulfill that role. Yet they abandoned that responsibility and now, actually expect the city of Phoenix to pay for THEIR absolution of responsibility. Should the family win one dime from its lawsuit, it will be a shameless miscarriage of justice. In fact, the city of Phioenix should turn around and file a countersuit for causing undue stress and wasting cops' time when they should have been securing the airport for thousands of other travelers instead of having to babysit one.

Sent by Juli Schatz | 9:50 AM | 3-27-2008

Go to the people for the answer to resolving the mortgage meltdown. For those of us who have been working on it since January, 2006, you would think we would get an opportunity to show what we have come up with. Most politicians didn't get it until 9/07 and a few bankers in 7/07. The congress never got it all and in fact when they held hearings in 2005 they didn't even know which questions to ask. Why did FNMA AND FHLMC feel they were in a position to overstate their earnings - umm. Obviously they were going to make loans that had not included in prior portfolio underwriting. Everyone was slow to catch on - the ones that should have didn't want to (the regulatories) and the others were making too much money, realtors, lenders, appraisers, attorneys, brokers, investment bankers, etc.

Sent by Joyce Cauthen | 7:59 PM | 3-27-2008

"Larry A. Silverstein, who has won nearly $4.6 billion in insurance payments to cover his losses and help him rebuild at the World Trade Center site, is seeking $12.3 billion in damages from airlines and airport security companies for the 9/11 attack."

It's almost unfathomable what depths some of our fellow US citizens can sink to.

Sent by Juli | 10:54 PM | 3-27-2008

At our house, we talk about the fact that we can barely afford to drive anywhere anymore, especially by the end of each month. Bush is so concentrated on a "free Iraq" that he seems relatively unconcerned about the fact that we are losing our freedoms in a way, through the high price of gasoline, including propane to heat our house, and mortgage forclosures. It has reached the point where it feels like the United States people are becoming stepchildren to the "free Iraq" cause. Today my son decided to ride his bicycle in relatively dangerous areas where he has heretofore driven his car, but he can no longer afford to put gas in his car. I'm now worried that he is putting himself in a high risk situation due to high gas prices. Why isn't this country's leadership showing more concern about the high price of gasoline? Thanks for listening.

Sent by Dorothy Cox | 6:21 PM | 3-28-2008

My community, Madison, Connecticut, has an Energy Committee that was very supportive of Earth Hour 2008. We teamed up with the high school environmental club and various other shoreline communities and were able to convince the town selectpersons to adopt a proclamation. Since communities like ours greatly contribute to global warming, it is heartening to know that many are willing to make sacrifices if it will slow global warming. I believe there will be an awesome turn out next year, as awareness is constantly growing, and that is the only thing that will bring about global change. Conservation needs to be discussed every day in order to make it a part of our every day lives.

Sent by Brenda Wiley | 4:30 PM | 3-31-2008

Isn't it magnanimous of Sen. Obama to grant Sen. Clinton his permission to continue her campaign?

Sent by Juli, Chicago | 10:41 PM | 3-31-2008

Dirty Rivers in Indiana - Just thought you should know some of the filth going into our rivers. We are listed 49 out of 50 for the dirtiest environmental record and do not plan to change anytime soon. Please check out this website! www.savemaumee.org
Realize, you may be angry about the $3.29 per gallon of gas, what will you do when it is $ 3.29 per gallon of water? We CAN live without cars, we can't without water.

Sent by Abigail Frost | 1:49 PM | 4-1-2008

What Obama is really saying is that voters don't vote on economic issues because they have given up believing promises made by politicians. Their frustration is grounded in this lack of belief that government will hear them, not solely in economics.

Can we not work together to change the practice of disfunctional polemic that has taken over our discourse? It's the politicians' misuse of religion and guns (and race, and immigration) as "issues" --which is why these latter two "bad" things were grouped with the "good" things -- that Obama was referring to -- not the people's love of them.

Senator Obama's comments were an attempt to get at some truth in this rapid moving campaign experience. If he can succeed, maybe this time the electorate will be empowered to vote on issues that are really going to make things better for their lives.

Maybe we will be able to tell our decision makers to pay attention to what government can and should do, instead of being diverted by trumped up "issues" relating to things that cannot be resolved by Federal action and that therefore should not monopolize campaigns.

Maybe we will no longer be herded by corporate media and those who use language to pander and to pollute our airwaves.

Maybe it will become more possible to tell the truth and to tell what is true from what isn't and to have truth be heard and acted upon.

Sent by Lynda Connor | 2:41 PM | 4-14-2008

I wish we'd take the politics out of what he said. He's the least elitist of our millionaire candidates. I think he was understanding where the blue collar worker is coming from.Let's look at the whole statement. He said these people have been neglected. He was really trying to feel what they are feeling. He wasn't looking down on anyone. That's the main point and we are bitter. Hillary keeps talking of "We" blue collar workers. There isn't any "We" she's a multi- millionaire. Its not what he said it's what's the Clintons are saying. He didn't do it, it's being twisted. I love the way the media knows what he meant and as your guest just said, "We're going to keep talking about it." Why is this just for ratings? Again, he wasn't saying anyone is uneducated. Give me a break. In reality we're going to make the candidate that most likely will help the blue collar,the middle class and our poor not to get elected.

Sent by Danielle Harrington | 2:45 PM | 4-14-2008

Like many other emailers and callers to TOTN, I too grew up working class and in small towns but the furor over Obama's statements, I believe, is a case of the shoe fitting all too well. Let's not romanticize a social class that does indeed have some warts that we as a nation refuse to come to terms with. The alternative is pandering which politicians of the past have been all too willing to do. To my mind, this situtation is an example of Obama once again making us uncomfortable because he has the audacity to TELL THE TRUTH!

Sent by Eric Miller | 2:53 PM | 4-14-2008

What's an airline's responsibility when a flight is canceled due to weather. I was recently in a situation where the last flight of the night was canceled due to weather in another part of the country and i was told all the airline had to do was put me onto any upcoming flight. The next flight they had room on was 36 hours later. Is that correct?

Sent by floyd sklaver | 2:25 PM | 4-21-2008

Reject racism: Next Monday the North Carolina Republican party will air a racially offensive ad, despite Sen. McCain's objections. Let's vote against that ad by making a donation (even ONE Dollar) to Obama's campaign ON MONDAY. I presented this idea to my ceramics class this morning (all women, all white, average age 60) and we all agreed we're going to do this. --Ardelle Cowie, New Haven CT

Sent by Ardelle Cowie | 2:16 PM | 4-24-2008

I just wish I worked in an office where people knew or cared enough to have a discussion about politics. Those of you out there arguing your cause or your candidate's case, thank you for living the dream for those of us who work in offices with workers who care more about adult cartoons than their right to choose and debate about their future leaders.

Sent by Gina | 2:49 PM | 4-24-2008

There seems to be a double standard going on. All of the children were removed from the compound because there is a suspicion that some of the mothers are underage. No one seems the least bit concerned about the many children of under-aged mothers from the inner city. What's the difference? Why does the government care about some underaged women but not others?

Sent by Catherine | 2:44 PM | 4-28-2008

About Rev Wright and Obama. As an Obama supporter, I have heard something more complex than naked racism. Many people who supported Obama or were leaning that way have been scared away by Rev Wright's comments for complex reasons. First, the comments seem to raise a fear that Obama will represent the black interest group over that of the white, when they supported him because the hoped he would bring us together without representing one group over the other. Secondly, it causes people to wonder whether he heard "hate whitey" speech for 20 years and maybe believes it. There are racists, but they were never going to vote for Obama and probably would vote Republican over Clinton. Those who have read Obama's books or know him well through other means, don't share these concerns, but voters who aren't sure they know who he is are questioning whether they can trust him.
I'm in Denver and listen on KCFR

Sent by Margie Stroock | 2:44 PM | 4-30-2008

The continued use of pesticides is the greatest threat to life on earth.

Just as the use of antibiotics on our bodies kills off the beneficial microbes that we need to survive, pesticides kill off whole food chains of species in the name of preserving one foolishly planted monocrop.

Being an electronics engineer, I am not advocating a total throw back to an earlier lifestyle without modern tech, but much of today's Bio-tech is pure Bio-hazard, and guess what new industry is getting the biggest boost from local, state and federal legislation? BIOTECH.

TELL YOUR REPS AND SENATORS TO CLOSE DOWN THE "PHARM" So we all might live to see our grandchildren.

Sent by Jon Allen | 11:21 AM | 5-1-2008

I am a 62 yr old out gay man and recently married my partner (Nov. '07) here in NJ where civil union is legal. Big Christian/Jewish/Unitarian ceremony, 232 guests, families and friends, at the reception. We went to Quebec for our honeymoon, stayed at the Fontenac and were treated like royality. At one point as were waiting for our cab to go to dinner, a group of married straight people asked my husband why he was in Quebec. When he said he had just been married and that I was his new husband, the women in the group all kissed and hugged and all of their husbands shook our hands with shouts of "Married! Married! L'amor! Honneymoon!" However, the rate of cash exchange at that time was $87 Canadian for $100 American. We were told, "We feel very sorry for you American people, but this is being done deliberately. You have got to get rid of that president and you have to stop that war. The US is really out of step with the rest of the free world." I learned that being gay and out was no big deal there, but George Bush and the war were. I wonder if there are a lot of other countires that hold these same feelings.

Sent by Tomaso Migliaccio | 4:01 PM | 5-9-2008

I live in Southwest Ohio, referred to here has the tri-state area, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. What we are talking about are gas and grocery prices. We are wondering how people on a fixed income are getting by now, and if this trend continues, how will middle-income people get by. The future seems to be uncertain.

Sent by Susan Reif | 1:41 PM | 5-12-2008

The main local newspaper in Grand Rapids, Michigan offers a negative angle and almost racist coverage of today's huge Obama event in downtown Grand Rapids. It's the first time Barack Obama will campaign in Grand Rapids...and Obama supporters are truly excited. We couldn't vote for him in the primary...so we are coming out to show our support for him tonight. The event is expected to be HUGE.

This is part of the Grand Rapids Press article:
****************
"Organizers expect to fill the 13,700 seats inside Van Andel Arena when Barack Obama comes to town tonight.
Grand Rapids officials say size of Obama crowd will be anybody's guess
"They (organizers) kind of figure maybe 15,000 will show up," Mason said, "but they really don't know."
Typically, organizers inflate estimates of a crowd size, implying their candidate or cause enjoys widespread support. When Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam organized the Million Man March on Washington, D.C., in October 1995, they estimated between 1.5 million and 2 million people jammed the Mall. The National Park Service estimated the crowd at 400,000, prompting Farrakhan to threaten a lawsuit.".......

Posted by Pat Shellenbarger | The Grand Rapids Press May 14, 2008 05:49AM
Categories: Breaking News GRAND RAPIDS -- "
**********

When I read that I think...
What exactly does Farrakhan's million man march have to do with Barack Obama's ability to draw large crowds to his presidential campaign rallies?

The national media should be aware of the bias in local reporting to this national campaign.

Sent by Sandi Booher | 1:37 PM | 5-14-2008

Wasn't Eisenhower the President that committed the US to Southeast Asia after the French collapse there?

Sent by M.A. Rodriguez | 2:30 PM | 5-14-2008

I don't understand why NPR/OPB keeps brushing over the topic of the Democratic delegations from Michigan and Florida. I keep hearing brief summaries about Clinton having more popular votes if you count MI and FA and I keep hearing that Clinton "won" MI and FA ... Wasn't Obama's name completely absent from the ballot in MI? Didn't both stop campaigning in FA once the DNC ruled? If yes, then just blithely saying things like Clinton won in MI and/or FA or Clinton would have significantly more delegates if MI or FA were counted is silliness. There's no possible way to count MI and FA using the existing primary results and call it anything like fair. While it may be unfortunate that MI and FA democrats have been disenfranchised from the primary, it was their states who chose to take that risk by defying the DNC, so it's not like they got surprised by some unexpected unfair treatment. They got exactly what they were told they were going to get, and they were told as much back when they had the ability to change their course of action to ensure they did not get disenfranchised. Again, it's all too bad, but MI and FA are a dead issue if "fairness" is going to reign.

Sent by Rich Albrecht | 6:56 PM | 5-21-2008

What went wrong with Senator Clinton is this: People in my predominantly Republican (military) state register as Democrats just so they can throw their vote in the "closed" primary to who they think will be the least formidable foe in the general election. In this case that would have been Barrack Obama. Once the pundits convince the public that Hillary is not worthy of the White House for whatever reason, be it bad pantsuits (so shallow),or the fact that she stood by her man during his sex scandal (she did take a vow...in sickness and in health and I thought that was what the conservative right were all about); then they will turn their deceptive tactics to Obama, pitting him against John McCain. And in the general election they can vote for whomever they want (they do not have to vote within the confines of their party affiliation). Unfortunately, there are people who will vote for McCain simply because they think Hillary got a raw deal...but I say we should make sure that Obama gets elected if Hillary withdraws. That'll show them not to screw with the democratic process. The sad thing is most Americans are like lost little lambs and will follow any major news anchor straight to the slaughter. Does anyone in this country employ critical thinking anymore?

Sent by Margo | 11:21 PM | 5-21-2008

I thought of this poem when Talk of the Nation was airing the story about signing the loyalty oath for public office. I began working for the California State University system in 1972 and came across this poem. I was so moved by it, that I kept it for decades and often read it. The courage and integrity that it exemplified is what touched me:
REFLECTIONS OF A MAN
WHO ONCE STOOD UP FOR FREEDOM

I'd say that gesture cost enough
but who can reckon up these things?
I'll hardly live to see the day
when I'll be justified at last
if ever that day comes. I wonder
often whether this is not
the onset of an age of darkness
covering all the earth. Could we be
quarantined against a plague
which saturates the atmosphere
we breathe and must continue breathing?
the world is indivisible
and so is freedom. Force and fraud
employed to scuttle human rights
in Spain or China, Mississippi
or Morocco, surely do
reverberate around the world.
They make the climate of our time
as certainly as when a storm
engendered in Siberia
with drifted snow can paralyze
New York and blast the orange crop
in Florida. Well, you might say
that is was my supreme misfortune
to recognize what kind of storm
was bearing down upon us. I sought
to warn the rest of you, for which
no thanks to me. The Jeremiah
role is rarely popular.
And so I got the old heave-ho
from my profession as perhaps
I should have known and after that
I found myself an outcast. Friends
quite naturally avoided me
lest my unclean touch defile them
and when I tried to find a job
all doors were closed against me. "Why,
it would be easier to place
a convict on parole than you!"
they told me at the office where
I went to seek employment. So
my son quit college and my daughter
also. She'd wanted to be a teacher
like me. she's now a secretary
while my son, embittered, drifts
from job to job. Their mother failed
to appreciate my heroism.
Quixotic was the kindest term
she found for my behavior. First
we separated. After that
divorce was natural. We'd been
so close for more than twenty years!
She couldn't understand of course
and, do you know, sometimes I can't.
I really don't know why I threw
my life away for principle.
It seems an empty thing from here
shoveling behind these cows.

John Beecher who refused to sign the loyalty oath during the McCarthy era, and lost his job as a university professor in social science.

Sent by Susan Murphy | 3:44 PM | 5-22-2008

When in San Francisco, you can make a whole day of riding historic streetcars from Milan Italy, Kansas City, Minneapolis and 82 other great cities...all for $1.50 (50 cents for kids and seniors). It was our kids' favorite thing, and my elderly parents (who remember riding streetcars years ago) loved it too.

Sent by john hogan | 2:19 PM | 5-26-2008

George W. Bush shouldn't be allowed within 100 miles of Arlington National Cemetery. He has dishonored every single man and woman who has served the U.S. by shredding the Constitution and and sending soldiers into a pointless, thinly-disguised battle to protect his and his cronies' oil interests.

Sent by JuleS | 4:55 PM | 5-26-2008

High-Profile Champions for Diseases
Pros & Cons

Working with celebrities and high profile philanthropists

One rule of thumb for nonprofits is to first identify those luminaries who have directly benefited from the services you offer and then through personal contact "ask" them how they might like to be involved in addressing the most pressing needs of your group.

A group of colleagues put together this helpful checklist that is available at no cost by emailing advocate@philanthropynow.com

"To Engage or . . . Not to Engage a Philanthropic Champion or Celebrity Supporter?" . . . That is the Question

An Action Checklist for Discovery, Recruitment & Retention

Sent by Charles Bernard Maclean, PhD | 5:00 PM | 5-27-2008

Why does NPR have a pro-Obama slant, why did you help to slander Hillary Clinton?

I want to ask you how you can continue to support Senator Obama after this latest disgraceful episode where his campaign maliciously and intentionally disseminated a vicious lie regarding Hillary's comment about RFK in order to impugn her. Why did he feel he had the right to malign her like this, and why did you, NPR, help him, and now why do you remain silent?

I think you need to do an investigation of the pro-Obama slant in your reporting, but most immediately you need to apologize to your listeners and to Hillary Clinton for repeating a lie from the Obama campaign to slander Hillary Clinton when the evidence, the video of her interview at the Argus Leader, shows the context and it is a reference to the fact that she has been pressured to drop out even though nominating fights have gone all the way to the convention with active campaigning in June.

The point about Hillary's JUNE reference, and her accurate statement that nomination fights have gone to the convention in AUGUST is that these months are close to NOVEMBER. Her point is that even if considered relatively "late" by people who want to force her out, August still leaves her time to win the general, and June has been a time of active campaigning, which is what she is doing in spite of the Obama campaign and his media enablers calling the race over.

Furthermore, by continuing to support Obama you send the signal that you condone a society where no one in a leadership position stands up for an innocent person like Hillary Clinton while she is slandered in the media by a member of her same political party. If you agree that Hillary should not have mentioned a historical fact, RFK's death, because Ted Kennedy was recently diagnosed with cancer, making Hillary uncaring, then I find your reasoning to be gravely lacking. RFK is public domain, his legacy belongs to us all: Americans and the world. Hillary was not chanting about his death at a rally, she was not gleeful about it, she was using it as a historical reference during an interview with the editors of the Argus Leader newspaper.

In addition, if you think that the word "assassination" should be taboo and no one, especially Hillary, should dare mention it during a Presidential race, then I can only say that superstition has no place in rational thought; the word "assassination" does not have magical powers. To suggest that mentioning the word "assassination" might "give people ideas" belies the reality that having the secret service detail all around the Presidential contenders is a much stronger suggestion to people than making a historical reference in an editorial board room meeting would.

What all of these attacks on Hillary's innocent comment have in common, besides the fact that they are an attempt to silence her, and that they are irrational and mean-spirited, is that the society that her attackers want us to accept, and you if you are complicit and do not stand up for her, is completely frightening. I do not think it is just to silence a person. I believe in freedom of speech. I also do not want to live in a society where historical facts are taboo and cannot be uttered because of superstition or "the spreading of ideas"--that is a Police State, it is not Liberty, it is not America. If Obama supporters want this kind of society, I will have to fight against it: I will become a Republican.

The comment Hillary made about RFK is in NO WAY offensive. You really have to bend it around to make it into something sinister. That takes effort, so that shows the bias. ALL she said was that nomination fights extend to the summer and have gone to the convention in August, and she gave a date that has historical significance: JUNE when RFK was still campaigning. Her emphasis was on the word JUNE, if you listen to her speak it, that is clear.

What this latest episode of the media piling-on Hillary actually reveals is how much the supposed objective media is in Obama's camp, so nearly all the media takes HIS perspective and every utterance by Hillary is checked to see if it is somehow an offense to Obama. The dissemination of the idea that she is a murderous monster is stunning. Please watch the full context of Hillary's comment. Learn how the Media Bias Against Hillary Clinton Works:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNd_fsTjq5k

1) Reporters REPEAT What the Obama Campaign SAY Hillary MEANT

2) The Public Easily Buys That a Woman Must be Evil (Eve) and Has Sinister Motives (sexism)

3) The Obama Campaign Fans the Flames Keeping the Story on Top: Cycle Repeats

Facts that support Hillary's point, which was that she is being asked to drop out early when nomination fights have gone all the way to the convention in August:

Woodrow Wilson was nominated on the 146 ballot and went on to become President

Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated in 1932 in a contentious convention after 4 ballots and went on to become President.

"In 1980, Kennedy came into the Democratic convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City with 1,225 delegates to President Carter's 1,981, with 122 delegates uncommitted.

Kennedy stood on principle and people admired him for fighting the good fight.

If Kennedy could take it to the convention when he trailed by 756 delegates, why can't Hillary go to the convention trailing by far less?" --Daniel A. Cirucci

Sent by LE | 5:56 PM | 5-27-2008

Scott McClellans new book:

Yes I will read it. I suspect however that this is Scott's attempt to distinguish himself from the Bush administration and ingratiate himself to the ever growing war-weary public to try and secure some sort of political future for himself. I doubt it will work though as Scott will most likely be remembered as one of the many hunch-backed, servile toadies helping to prop up a corrupt administration who was formulating the case for war against Iraq well before Bush took office. A case for war which at it's very foundation was a personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein. PBS's Frontline did an excellent piece on the case for war, I'll try to find it.

As for McClellan, he's part of the problem and will likely find very few allies among other politicos even after burning all his current bridges as the stink of the Bush administration will be nearly impossible to wash off for years to come.

Sent by Brianfriday | 8:11 PM | 5-28-2008

Housewife 49 is a great great movie about a woman over 50 - (though it does start when she is 49) available from Netflix - just watched it a few days ago - may or may not be at local chain video rental stores - don't know, yours Owen - Portland OR

Sent by Owen McPhaidin | 4:00 PM | 5-29-2008

Has everyone missed the news that the Pheonix lander found what appears to be ice almost immediately after landing and before even using its scoop? The only mention I've seen is buried on the BBC. I would like NPR and Talk of the Nation to have something to say on this, it's big news. It's been 2 days since the press conference and the news has yet to pick up on it. Does this say anything about the way we see unmanned vs. manned missions (The big debate within NASA lately).

Sent by Jens | 5:05 PM | 6-2-2008

I am a 70 yr old white female and voting for Barack Obama. All of my friends are also. We were all very turned off by Hillary Clinton's vote in favor of the Iraq War and although it would be great to have a female as President some day, we think we can't trust her to make the right decisions. Among my large circle of friends only one male was for Clinton. I very much doubt that Democrats would cut off their noses to spite their faces by voting for John McCain. I suspect the people who say that are the same ones who voted in the primaries for Clinton in the belief that she would be easier for McCain to beat. They are not really Democrats.

Sent by Elizabeth La Grua | 2:38 PM | 6-5-2008

It's a little maddening, the continous din of Obama's inexperience. I, for one, am hopeful that there is a glimmer of a chance for real change...and it won't be coming from "experienced" Washington insiders like McCain. Leadership is what we need, and Obama is, above all else, a very competent leader.

Sent by Kelly St. John | 2:43 PM | 6-5-2008

Carroll Academy is fighting for its survival. Carroll Academy is a custody prevention program funded by Tennessee Department of Children Services.

Now, DCS is claiming that the money is not available due to a shortfall in the funding. However, no one has answered questions fully. For example, why does the commissioner of Tennessee DCS live in Kentucky?
Why is the state cutting an $858, 000 program which helps children stay out of custody and actually saves taxpayer dollars? Each year it cost
taxpayers $59,000 to send a child into state custody. Last year, Carroll
Academy served 250 students. If each of those students had gone into
custody, taxpayers would have paid $14,750,000. Can some one in Nashville
not do math? Or, are some people in Nashville so obsessed with future
ambitions that they want to cut the budget no matter what is the real cost
in dollars and sense and children's lives?
Carroll Academy students are at-risk children. But, they are bright
children, athletic children, and artistic children. They have recreated
masterpieces and original artwork in its halls. The staff are dedicated -
working for much lower salaries than what could be earned in regular
schools. Carroll Academy basketball teams may not win many games, but
they win the TSSAA award each year for sportsmanship.
This story needs to be told. People need to listen. And, politicians need to know that Carroll Academy is going to continue its fight for survival. If you want to learn more, go to www.carrollacademy.com
Also, WBBJ has done three segments on us over the past week.

Sent by Tara Wade | 9:43 AM | 6-7-2008

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no
account be allowed to do the job.
~~ Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

Sent by JuleS | 8:48 AM | 6-16-2008

Read "The Real McCain" by Cliff Schecter. It's hard-hitting profile exploring the gap between the McCain myth and reality.

Schecter explores the gap between the public record of Senator John McCain and his media image. Drawing on a range of sources and adding a unique perspective and humor, Schecter guides the reader though McCain's long history of expedient flip-flops -- especially on his signature issues of national security and campaign finance reform.

Far from a straight-talking maverick (the cover picture says it all!) McCain emerges as a temperamental political chameleon who will do or say virtually anything to become president. On issue after issue -- including the invasion and occupation of Iraq, torture, abortion, and gay rights, "The Real McCain" reveals a politician who started as a Goldwater Republican, experienced a brief period of sanity after his loss to George W. Bush in 2000, and began pandering to the very groups he challenged after deciding to run again in 2008.

Sent by JuleS | 10:03 PM | 6-16-2008

I am listening to Richard Florida talk about choosing to move. I live in Cleveland, Ohio, which I have always loved. Unfortunately, Northeast Ohio is deteriorating, and I would like to live in a more peaceful country like Switzerland, where my daughter lives or Italy. I am a freelance writer and can do this anywhere. I want a charming villa amidst trees and a sea nearby. My husband, a weekly newspaper editor won't move and we have a young son with special needs. (I would settle for Seattle, Denver, San Antonio -- if there were schools and/or doctors who understand autism).

Sent by Lori Lesko | 3:23 PM | 6-19-2008

I grew up in the very nearby NYC suburbs and spent most of my adult life in Brooklyn, NY. I made a living doing law support work, which I did not love. Eventually I went to grad school (getting a PhD in Drama from U. of Toronto, in fact), but I couldn't stay in Canada for visa reasons and moved back to Brooklyn. Eight years later I went to library school, even though I knew it would mean a huge pay cut to be a librarian. I knew I wanted to be an academic subject librarian, and the perfect job turned out to be in Wichita, KS. I'm here to tell you, there is life in Wichita! No, it's not NYC, but I love that I traded in rats for bunny rabbits and pigeons for finches. On 25K less than I made in NY, I was able to buy a big condo for about the price of a garage space in Manhattan. :) My job is great and almost everything I need is here. If Trader Joe's came it'd be near perfect.

Sent by Liorah | 3:33 PM | 6-19-2008

The stats are not as bad as they were in the Seventies? Could that be because the unemploymnet and inflation stats are computed differently now?

In the Seventies, people who didn't have jobs were counted as unemployed. Now, people are not "unemployed" unless they qualify for and are drawing unemployment benefits.

In the Seventies, the CPI included the cost of things people bought. Now, energy and food are excluded from the CPI.

Sent by Randall | 2:27 PM | 6-23-2008

Organized Crime Hurts Economy:

What are the Obama and McCain strategies on organized crime?

Sent by Victor G. Jackson | 2:17 PM | 6-30-2008

the impact of the fires here in Northern California on small towns and summer recrreation is being talked about here in California, which leads to talk of climate change, which leads to talk of the presidential election at which point people go totally wild! people that have been friends for years or totally polarized on the Obama/Clinton/McCain situation. I mean people have not "moved on" or united or even decided...and the conversation all started with the lightening fires in our region! Ka-boom!

Sent by Jodi | 2:32 PM | 6-30-2008

Regarding your July 2nd segment on Black patriotism and the questions raised about Barack Obama's patriostism:

I am astonished that armchair patriots are questioning Obama's patriotism. Patrotism is NOT about waving flags or wearing lapel pins. That's nothing more than window dressing. Patriotism is activity or actions that support your country. Going to war or running for office is far more patriotic than waving a flag and saying, "yeah!". The fact that Obama is running for President surely shows how much he cares for this country and makes him far more patriotic than anybody who is flying a flag and doing nothing.

Sent by David Wright | 3:09 PM | 7-2-2008

We chose our home based upon cost, a safe neigborhood, and proximity to work and social activities. We made a choice to not move to the suburbs. Living in St. Paul, it tends to be more liberal, although we have people of different poltical and religous viewpoints in our block. I do tend to spend my time with people of similar beliefs.

Sent by marikay | 2:25 PM | 7-7-2008

I live in the deep south in Georgia and teach media at the local university. To give you an example of what information is available here...on the local talk radio station we have every day, in order: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage etc. The only "alternative" view available is broadcast for 1 hour on fridays at 6PM. Hardly the time people are listening! Sometimes the information offered by these personalities is full of untruths. When this is the main outlet for information, its hard to fit in with people who take it as gospel. The lack of EFFORT put into finding the truth...be it liberal or conservative...is disheartening.

Sent by mark Kiyak | 2:42 PM | 7-7-2008

Could you get a professional moderator for Talk of the Nation? It was a delight to hear Ted Koppel (sp?). Then Neil came back. I know he is well connected. But, let's get a knowledgeable moderator who studies the subject before he goes on air and and pro-actively question his guests.

For example, when the Savings and Loan disaster of the late 1980's was raised, he blew it off. It is relevant to today's issues. But, he did not know why. So, rather than talk about it, he ignored the parellels.

Sent by Kate | 6:32 PM | 7-14-2008

FOR TOMORROW'S SHOW RE: POLITICAL RIPOSTES

Several years ago, Ronnie Earle was the prosecuting attorney in Travis County (Austin), Texas. Texas politicians being what they are, Ronnie chased after quite a few. Though he was a Democrat, he went after 'em all. In one case, involving large sums spent to influence redistricting in Texas, he found himself going toe-to-toe with Tom DeLay. While talking to reporters, Tom, in a fit of pique that someone would DARE challenge him and his righteousness, accused Earle of 'playing politics'. To which Earle responded, "Being accused of 'playing politics' by Tom DeLay is like being called 'ugly' by a frog."

Sent by John Borrowman | 5:46 PM | 7-15-2008

A more in depth look at Columbia and the FARC is needed. The news paints a very rosy picture of the Uribe Government, and I congratulate him on his recent successes. However, the recent revelation that Columbian Military used Red Cross insignia is quite disturbing, and dangerous to Red Cross Officials across the World. Some one at the very least needs to lose their job over it. Moreover Amnesty Intl has reported increased paramilitary actions against Afro-descendant communities. The actual picture in Columbia is unfortunately a bit more complicated and dismal than what you find in the headlines. Thanks.

Sent by Roger Coupal | 2:56 PM | 7-16-2008

I'm remodeling my 35 yr. old house, including kitchen and bathrooms. when I shopped for formaldehyde-free plywood, it was 50% more than regular plywood for each sheet. when I tried for a locally produced, environmentally friendly countertop, I found one (Vetrazzo) made of 85% recycled window pane glass in resin, and locally produced. Unfortunately, they charge twice as much as imported granite, so I couldn't afford it. I was told by the retailer that the company wants to maintain a "chic, exclusive" image, so they'd rather sell less for more than actually price the product correctly so that the maximum population could afford it. Eventually, the only "green" improvement I could find that was at all affordable was no-VOC paint, which although more expensive was important to me since my son and I both have respiratory disease. I was disappointed. Now I'm shopping for a new roof, and hope I'm not blocked from getting solar cells by either the price or my homeowner's board of my planned community.

Sent by Deborah | 2:31 PM | 7-17-2008

Corporate Healthcare. How's that for an oxymoron? Blue Cross Medical was a benefit of my new job as educational administrator in 1995. I enjoyed a no-cost premium and 100% coverage for everything I claimed. Since then, I've watched human resources department personnel scramble in vain each year to find coverage affordable to all employees, only to compromise benefits and try to make them appear attractive. Thirteen years later, as HMO's, dictate what they will and will not cover, we are paying out-of-pocket for premiums and a significantly higher percentage of anything -- prescriptions, office visits, procedures.

Without any health insurance, I fell off a bicycle in Bolivia, sustained a third-degree dislocation of my shoulder, was treated surgically by a sports physician in emergency and stayed in the hospital to recover for two days. I was pre-charged two dollars. The hospital in that third world country had run out of anesthesia and the charge was to send a runner to purchase it at a nearby medical supply outlet. Four years later in the US, an out-patient shoulder arthroscopy to clean out that same shoulder cost me $1500 in out-of-pocket expenses after the Blue Cross Corporation paid their "fair" share.

The next time I'm injured, it will be more economical to travel to Bolivia round trip and be treated there.

Sent by Luigi Yannotta | 6:28 PM | 7-27-2008

What happens to the poor if the economy goes south and private companies that care for them go out of business?

Sent by Craig | 2:36 PM | 7-30-2008

Responding to the listener who talked about the political events that were not covered in Mexico City and Salt lake City - the difference is that the media chose not to cover these events but were free to do so if they chose to. In China, they are being censored and that is a major difference.

Sent by Sylvia | 3:32 PM | 7-30-2008

I would like to hear a discussion regarding the role HUD plays in discrimination complaints. It is my understanding that they investigate complaints, and that they also mediate settlements. However, they routinely recommend settlements even when the accused is innocent as a means of depriving the complainant the right to file a civil suit (risk mitigation). To me this sounds a lot like government sponsered extortion. Is it right for the government to play this role?

Further, there is a "piggy back" law that allows others to file complaints even when they are not the potential subject of discrimination. There are law firms around the country who make millions off of these piggy back complaints by inserting themselves into the complaint process and receiving settlement payments.

I understand the need for rules and laws governing discrimination, but this system subjects the recipient of a complaint to extreme pressure to simply pay off the accuser. It also provides financial incentive for opportunists to file complaints rather than work out a percieved problem.

Should the government condone and support this type of system? Is it right to allow "piggy back" complaints? Does this promote false discrimination claims?

Sent by Mark Christianson | 2:53 PM | 8-5-2008

ANTHRAX

MANY OF US HAVE KNOWN FOR YEARS that the anthrax came from the Fort Detrick strain - - how could it Possibly have taken the FBI this long to simply put the relatively few POTENTIAL people on a lie detector, YEARS AGO?????
Can you spell "BOGUS"??????

Sent by John Goeckermann | 3:50 PM | 8-7-2008

Drunk Driving: Your driving expert did not seem to familiar with drunk driving...a study in Germany a number of years ago found there were two types of drunk drivers...one is aware of the fact the are drunk...and will drive at speed limit or lower...have only a few more accidents then normal driver...
the other is not aware of when they are drunk and has the majority of drunk driver accidents...

Sent by steven n. opelc | 12:37 PM | 8-9-2008

Why are you talking about John Edwards so much? He's pretty much out of any political future anyway (go dig up dirt on Dan Quayle), just as relevent

Sent by Rich C. | 3:11 PM | 8-13-2008

I would like to see a 'critical' examination of the evidence for and against Mr. Ivins being the accused mailer of the anthrax, meaning that a former prosecutor and defense lawyer each analyze the totality of the evidence and come to a reasoned conclusion about Mr. Ivins' probable guilt or innocence. This way the public can better assess the credibility of the FBI's claims in this very spin saturated world of claims the public has no way of judging for itself for the most part. I think a balanced presentation of this issue of very important in our 'war on terrorism' and its effects on our constitutional rights.

Sent by Bob Riddle | 2:33 PM | 8-16-2008

A trial by jury:
In Japan, that tribunal system will be introduced May 21th next year.
That topic is the buzz where I live.

Sent by tomohiro sugahara | 12:47 AM | 8-18-2008

Hi. One topic I would like to hear more about: who might the presidential candidates choose for their cabinet? I think it's increasingly important (and worrisome) after the last admin. to know exactly who we're voting for. This consideration, to me, becomes as important, or moreso, than who the vp pick might be. Great show; I listen whenever I can.

Sent by Charles Houseman | 2:41 PM | 8-20-2008

Have you read the constitution of the United States? What do you think of the seperation of powers envisioned in the Constitution? Since you have served in the Senate, which in the last eight years has abdicated some if not most of its power to the Executive Branch, will you as President work toward restoration of the Balance of Powers, as envisioned in the Constitution? How? Because some of the activities of the current Administration imply criminal activity, would you grant full or partial pardon? Why? Even though we do not agree with the World Court, if that Court were to charge someone in this present Adminstration with "Crimes against Humanity", what would your reaction be? Is the Oath of Office: "...to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States." OR "... to defend and uphold the United States." Why do you think how the President sees this affects how he conducts his Adminstration.

Sent by Keith Albrecht | 1:45 PM | 8-21-2008

Talk of the Nation today was completely off base. As usual, everyone completely missed the point about Hillary Clinton supporters. It's not all about issues for women nor all about Hillary. This is another example of negative reporting and "piling" on, especially shameful since it was NPR! Just what does Hillary Clinton need to do to satisfy the media?

Sent by Rona | 4:24 PM | 8-26-2008

Joe Biden is from my hometown of Greenville, De. I'd like to hear a story about the economic impact (higher property value, etc.) of having a VP or President from one's hometown.

Sent by tita cherrier | 12:39 PM | 8-27-2008

I'm a Hillary supporter. I heard one of the super del, suggest I should get on board this morning on your show. During the process, Hillary received very disaportioned press coverage. The media did not play fair and allow the democratic process to play on a even playing field. How can I respect the Obama choice when the media, which we rely on for fair party coverage was clearly biased for Obama? Now its a choice between the DNC and the RNC. I will make my decision based on the better candidate for our nation.

Sent by patrick Munsey | 2:32 PM | 8-27-2008

I get a kick out of these loyal, holy republicans who like to stir the pot and keep asking whether Obama is ready to lead. I have two simple answers. Who in the hell knocked off the biggest political machine in the history of the world, the Clinton Machine? Second, where were all of these stupid republicans when George Bush was elected?
Talk about not being ready to lead!!!!!!!!!!!!
Georgie and Dickie are wonderful examples aren't they!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I REST MY CASE! Get ready for the twins in the Twin Cities!

Sent by Ron Opicka | 3:56 PM | 8-27-2008

riding and walking through chicago last eve i found a festive tone, almost like christmas. could it have anything to do with illinois' junior senator, aka barack obama?

Sent by jeffery mcnary | 4:24 PM | 8-28-2008

This election boils down to this: In a progressive view of how our country needs to be led: all views have room to exist, from the most conservative to the most progressive. In a conservative view of how the country needs to be led: if you are not conservative, you are wrong. Americans do not like being told they are wrong. The conservative part of the Republican party was not allowed to be in charge of the party, for good reason, for a very long time. We have eight recent years of examples why that was so, and needs to be again, and why they are not likely to win this next presidential election.

Sent by Frank Harden, Jr. | 12:20 AM | 8-29-2008

I am really angry about McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as VP. I am a women 63 years old and John McCain need not patronize me by choosing a nowhere women he has had little or no relationship with to try to buy my vote. Does he think I am an idiot?

Sarah has nothing to offer except perhaps her strong stand on pro-life issues. She isn't remarkable in any way that I think makes her any level of legitimate VP choice.

If this isn't the strw that breaks the McCain for President back, then we are a nation of fools.

Sent by Sandy Herman | 3:20 PM | 8-29-2008

I live in Alaska and am not either a Democrat or a Republican. The news media has given a brief resume of our Governor Sarah Palin. What seems to be lacking in the discussion so far is: "Is she qualified to be President?" and only one heartbeat away from a 72 year old candidate. By the way, I am also 72 years old. Mrs. Palin is a charming lady and she has done some good things. But President? I don't think so. It would be prudent to take a deeper look at her policies. She advocates teaching intelligent design along side evolution. She does not think that the polar bear is endangered. When questioned on this point she refused to make public the studies her scientists were referring to. When repeatedly pressed on this matter she claimed executive privilege. Sound familiar? Only after a freedom of information act request was it made known that she fudged on the topic. She has promised transparency in our state government, yet once in that executive position, she seems to have changed her mind. She is a very nice and down to earth lady and she is very congenial. But she does not have the caliber of the President of the United States. This is the first and most important quality a vice president candidate should have. This is serious business. Come on,America. The Presidency should not be a popularity contest.

Sent by Joan | 12:11 PM | 8-30-2008

Regarding the vaccine story: if you have ever signed the vaccination release form you would not wonder why parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children. The side effects sound terrifying.

Sent by Jim | 12:44 PM | 9-1-2008

is it possible that the father of Palin's daughters child violated the statutory rape law of Alaska?

Sent by bob | 2:57 PM | 9-2-2008

I am very excited about Sarah Palin being on John McCain's ticket. All the "things" going on in her life show how in-touch she is with the average person in the country. When I hear everyone making such a big deal about her daughter's pregnancy I become very frustrated. Who are we voting for...Sarah or her daughter? A parent can do their very best to raise their child, but each person has their own will and will make good or bad choices. Her daughter made a bad choice and has to live with the consequences for the rest of her life. How many of all the people making this such a focus have lived perfect lives? On today's show a young girl called in questioning Sarah Palin's parenting skills? What does a 20 year old know about this?! God allows troubles in our lives to strengthen us and build our character for service. When we come through the storms of life we are better able to relate to those in need of help and love. Sarah Palin's full life of family issues is a picture of a 2008 American family. Maybe it's too soon to make this analogy, but refer to the book of Ester in the Old Testament. This book shows how a young woman was raised to serve her nation. God used ordinary people to overcome impossible obstacles. Perhaps John McCain and Sarah Palin will complement each other and have been sent just now in history to serve our country "for such a time as this." We have so many issues in our country; war, economics, etc. Perhaps focusing on the family, the troubles of the families, and God's presence in the families is just right for our contry. A view into history and leaders shows that they were not part of perfect families. Take a look at King David. He was a great leader, but definitely had "family issues". The press would have "chewed him up and spit him out!" It's time for the press to focus on the issues and move on!!

Sent by Mary Beth | 3:21 PM | 9-2-2008

On TOTN today, 9/2/08, David Brooks sounds very hypocritical to me when he says the Palin family events have no bearing on election decisions, and right in the middle of this, says "Barack Obama was born out of wedlock?" This is not Brooks' first use of double standards and makes me reluctant to listn to anything else David Brooks might say, and likely to turn off any program that includes him.

Sent by dennis hannon | 4:53 PM | 9-2-2008

So Sarah Palin is Pastey McBush's VP choice. Wow! What a testament to women and the "no experience" argument. I know I'll certainly feel calm if he's elected because now we know if the old geezer croaks in office, the most powerful leader in the free world will be pretty AND ready to serve. After all, the Big Mac lists her accomplishments as: current PTA member, NRA lifelong member, former mayor, governor of our 48th most populous state, and working hockey-mom. Whew! That mayor's job of less than two years is a comfort. If we get in pothole discussions with Iran or North Korea, she's our gal. If there is a dispute over the size of business signs in Pakistan, she'll know how to resolve it. And with her experience in redrawing boundaries and annexing neighborhoods for better revenue, all our Middle East conflicts will evaporate.

Since her state legislature only meets 90 days a year, she's had time to exercise AND work on that resume. So what if she can't list all those things on Joe Biden's vita like: Harvard Law Review,longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee,constitutional law professor, author of the Violence Against Women Act (which federalized domestic violence as a crime) state senator, and is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee? Heck, she looks smart, and she's young, too. We can cross our fingers that she can do OJT.

And thank goodness she has five kids, one of whom is five months old with Down's syndrome. Can't beat that. As a 44-year-old who doesn't believe in birth control, maybe she'll even have a few more. Take her "abstinence only" stand. That sure is the way to go; just ask her 17-year-old-daughter! Mrs Palin (she'd never go by Ms) will have a big heart about making sure all our children in the USA have health care, and that all our single moms will have the benefit of a husband who can stay at home while they're working out of town. Come to think of it, she'll probably throw in a nanny tax credit for the poor. Now that's progress!

I'm also so happy that finally we have a politician that hasn't frequented prostitutes or had affairs. Between salon appointments, she's been too busy seeing that schools teach creationism, and that is just ducky. Now that we know the Earth has only been around for 6,000 years (it says so in Genesis), no child will be left behind, and their test scores will go way up because they won't have so much history to learn. Yippee!

Best of all, she's a former beauty pageant runner-up which ensures that the Miss America and Miss Universe competitions will once again get the major network Saturday nights' exposures they used to have before those damn feminists messed things up. I'm so glad Johnny Mac realized that any broad is a broad, and what their position on any issue is is irrelevant. Just think, one can vote against the major women's issues of the last two decades and still make it to runner-up Prez! As long as dames have designer glasses, good legs and a regular period, they're interchangeable. And I'll betcha a Starbuck's gift card that Palin can whip up a double light espresso with a touch of cream and cinnamon faster than you can say, "June Cleaver."

Choosing Anita Bryant, er, Sarah Palin was a stroke of genius. That'll show them damn Hillary fans that can't make up their mind. Attention everyone.... good ole maverick John McCain IS progressive and anti-Washington, and when that call comes at 3AM, he has now shown that he's not afraid to make a quick decision and take a risk.

Lord help us.

Sent by Jim in Arizona | 12:10 AM | 9-3-2008

From the golf course, 9/2/08, in Chester County, PA. "The dems pick Obama with no accomplishment and the reps pick Palin with little more experience than Obama. Both parties have gone hyper." "I do not want one party running the country - especially with two crazies (Pelosi & Reid) running congress." "What's the problem with a woman who hunts moose? If she golfed, she'd be attacked for being insensitive!" "This is goin' to be a real close election...be glad when it's over." You got that right!
older moderate voters will overlook any Palin issues to see that Obama is just not ready to be president now. Especially with his "wealth redistribution" policies. Obama is too far left for moderates.

Sent by K Dennison | 11:28 AM | 9-3-2008

Joe Lieberman is a bore in a swine's clothing. He needs to be drummed out of the Democratic Party.

Sent by jpsartre | 2:25 PM | 9-3-2008

QUESTION!

Why on earth would we Americans seek leaders who reject responsible family planning, sex education and even birth control? When most of the world's problems stem from out-of-control population growth?

I, for one, respect those intelligent leaders who, like the Clintons and the Obamas, chose to have families of one or two children when they are in their thirties.

And I really wonder at the judgment of a modern woman who would risk getting pregnant at the age of forty-four. Especially a right-to-lifer who already has four children! Especially a would-be leader who seeks to be an example for others!

Sent by John Wilson | 2:32 PM | 9-3-2008

At this point, I am beginning to wonder if McCain - really - wants to continue his working career as President of the United States.

Teresa
Phoenix, AZ

Sent by Teresa | 2:38 PM | 9-3-2008

Some complain that Sarah Palin is being subjected to a standard of parental responsibility that men are not held to. I would point out that quite a few people questioned John Edwards' decision to run in the Democratic primary given that his wife has stage IV breast cancer. The implication is that, should the cancer take her life during his term in office, he would not have the time to care for her or their younger children properly. I am one of those people who feel that neither Sarah Palin nor John Edwards meets the test of putting family before ambition.

Sent by John Bryson | 2:50 PM | 9-3-2008

The comments by "News Junkies" like Ken Rudin and others that a man would not be under the same scrutiny as Sarah Palin for the decision she made to enter the Pres. race are NOT true. I've discussed this with many friends, men and women, agreeing that a FAMILY with these kinds of issues, pregnant HS daughter, 4 mos old special needs child, other children at home dealing with the turmoil, etc., would and should have made a different choice. This family needs BOTH parents dealing with what should be their primary concern, their own family. So this is Republican family values? Look out for your own personal ambition and self interest above all else...?
Sarah Palin is a bundle of contradictions.
She's the one who is making the public display of her family and then no one is supposed to talk about it?
She says she is against earmarks but gobbles up federal money for her constituency.
She was once a supporter of the separatist movement in Alaska but feels no qualms about accepting the lower 48's tax money.
No wonder she's popular in Alaska, she's giving each person $1200.00. How about Alaska saying no to all the federal money they pocket.
There it is again- Selfish self interest. What's good for me is good for me. Who cares about everyone else...

Sent by Joan Rawce | 3:12 PM | 9-3-2008

Reference Sarah Palin's daughter's pregnancy - it is none of my business until it comes out that in an Eagle Forum questionnaire in 2006 (obviously as part of her campaign for Alaska's Governor) she stated she supported abstinence only education. Now her stand becomes germane, as does her ability to reexamine it and possibly admit to an error in judgment (i.e. abstinence only sex education pretty much fails compared to other options in non-partisan studies).

Sent by Shawn Carroll | 3:19 PM | 9-3-2008

Such gross hypocrisy: If Obama had said that he chose Hillary to join him in the race despite her daughter having an abortion (hypothetically), he would have been applauded, so why is the media acting as though Palin's daughter being pregnant should have been a deal killer for McCain?

Moreover, I hear complaints that if Palin can't manage her daughter, how can she manage the post of VP? Did anyone ask Hillary, "If you can't inspire fidelity from your husband, how can you possibly think you are fit to be the President of the United States of America?

Sent by Mark | 3:39 PM | 9-3-2008

There should be no line for the media in coverage of Sarah Palin. We do not know her as we do other likely candidates who have been vetted by the party and informally by the media. If the party did their job then they would be prepared for anything the media could toss at them. McCain was desperate and trying to look "maverick like" and that is gone with his common sense. This all reflects on him directly and the truth is that the party would rather these fact did not exist. McCain has to live with whatever is asked and the truth should be told and known.

Sent by Craig Southerington | 3:42 PM | 9-3-2008

It can said loud and clear that ANYONE can be PRESIDENT to the USA.I think this Palin story is unreal, it is like the GOP have never seen a real human who is not a millionaire or billionaire. I like her but it is like a soap opera. I think the GOP did this on purpose the abortion issue has won the GOP at least 2 elections so go for 3. There are folks who are losing their homes but will vote on the abortion issue only. the Palin family are fine dealing with many of life's fast pace. Oh my how this Palin can do no wrong belief and compare to what they said about Hillary what a phony belief.
I am a Hillary supported cool to Obama and I think it shows his bad judgment at not picking Hillary. Anyhow Palin is nice but is she Ok for the WH. however as a average person it truly can be said that ANYONE can grow up and be PRESIDENT,

Sent by tea | 3:49 PM | 9-3-2008

A reasonable bipartisan discussion on the nastiness of Rudy Guiliani's Republican National Convention speech in comparison to the generally well mannered, if pointed, attacks from their Democrat opponents. Is that really the tone the GOP wants to set?

Sent by Paul Oscar Hamilton | 11:17 PM | 9-3-2008

My dad is a retired farmer who until recently lived in Sac City, Iowa. He is 83 and most of his friends are all fervent Republicans and they are always trying to convert him. One of the ways they try to convert him is by sending him these ridiculous stories about Senator Obama being the Anti-Christ. Why does the Christian Right get to send out this trash and no one calls them out on it. Is there some secret Democratic e-mail circulating out there about McCain wanting to declare all divorces illegal or something just as silly? Anyway for a good laugh check out Dad's response to the latest attack.

Subject: Re: Obama
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 01:27:18 +0000

Wayne, as I read this I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. This is the forth time I've heard the Anti-Christ story so I suspect I should be frightened. When Senator Obama visited Sac City, Rosemary and Eileen just happened to be close to the house where the senator spoke and they went over there. Eileen said she got a distinct but slight whiff of sulphur while in the crowd and Rosemary thought she caught a glimpse of a red color in the senator's eyes, sort of a unnatural glow like those of a cat's at night. Senator Obama's wife was at Rusty's house in Perry before the nomination and Rusty is not sure but he thought he saw that lady floating in mid air just before the guests arrived. We have all seen the two girls and there is no way that any humans could be that cute: they must be fiends that work for the senator. With your permission, I want to send this letter to as many people as I can because the situatio! n is di re. I plan to spend the next several weeks in the Chapel at prayer so that we may ward off the coming catastrophe. I have already given all my money and property to the Republican party so that they will be better able to confront this creature from the nether world. Thanks for keeping me informed.

Bob

Sent by Rhonda Martin | 1:33 PM | 9-4-2008

In all of the hot air during both conventions, I didn't hear much about energy policy that was either innovative or concrete. A good way to bring our transportation system into the 21st century and take oil out of the equation, would be to automate our current road/rail system and power it with solar and wind energy. Such a system would be faster, safer, greener, more efficient, more convenient, and cheaper. For more detailed discussion of a national personal transit system, I recommend visiting npts2020.blogspot.com

Sent by carl | 3:54 PM | 9-5-2008

I would just like some follow-up on the article written by Anne K in Alaska about Sarah Palin. It was quite striking to me and I would love to hear if the letter's facts are true or distorted. Is there a reason more news organizations haven't jumped on this story to either credit or discredit it? I believe that we need to know as much as we can about Palin's record considering neither McCain nor Palin are saying much about it. It scares me how important this race for president is and i hope people are making informed decisions based on fact and records, rather than shallow ones based on "she's alot like many women in America" so that means she is qualified to be VP or even President someday?

Sent by Lynne Funk | 4:25 PM | 9-9-2008

You just said you'd be surprised if there's a Democrat in Lebanon, Ohio. My wife definately is one and I'm an independent who will not be voting for McCain/Palin. We happen to be transplants from the Baltimore area though.

Sent by Mike | 2:32 PM | 9-10-2008

I do not believe it speaks well for Palin or for women in general when our candidate for vice-president, and potential president, has to have 'special conditions 'and
'agreements not to ask anything she may not want to answer' in order to consent to interviews.
We as citizens of this country know very little about this candidate and I feel we have a right to ask her the same questions any candidate would
be asked. I cannot imagine how someone who has to be so protected from the perhaps aggressive press, can hope to cope with the unprecedented, 'uncomfortable' issues facing humanity today!

Sent by Ame' Branson | 2:47 PM | 9-10-2008

I find it interesting that Sarah Palin is still campaigning with John McCain. For all the Republicans' crying about "sexism" being practiced by the Democrats and even the media toward Palin, would this "co-campaigning" be the case if Sarah Palin were a man? The Republicans are the most sexist of all because by their actions they are showing she can't stand on her own!

Sent by Patricia McGuan | 2:49 PM | 9-10-2008

As a student in Ohio I understand that for Ohio to go Barack it is critically important for my generation to go out and vote this year unlike any year before. I am always glad when I see the college democrats doing "get out the vote" projects. But Obama cannot rely on youth alone. He needs to pick up the Hillary dems and moderates. The best way for him to do this is to continue touring and campaigning as he as done. The more he visits the state and the more people still on the fence who watch him, the better his chances to have Ohio send him to Washington.

Sent by Rahul Guha | 2:52 PM | 9-10-2008

My husband and I are former Hillary supporters turned Obama supporters. Never Republicans. The Mc Cain people have sent us each a letter thanking us for our long-time loyalty to the Republican party asking for our continued support.
What's that about?

Sent by Linda Milanese (CA) | 2:52 PM | 9-10-2008

I am a person of faith but deeply believes that our founding fathers separated Church and State for good reason. I am interested in learning more about how her religious views may influence policy and her alleged affiliations with Christian fundamentalist groups and the beliefs they embrace. Does Palin believe "Intelligent Design?" should be taught in our public schools? Does she believe the Iraq war is a mission from God? Does she believe natural disasters (hurricanes, etc) are God's punishment for sinners?

Sent by Medical Student, Philadelphia, PA | 12:22 AM | 9-11-2008

Please comment on why the subject of Cindy McCain's past drug use and abuse, and her subsequent criminal investigation is not public knowledge. Also, how was she allowed to adopt a child with this on her record?

Sent by Carolyn Ledford | 9:55 AM | 9-11-2008

I'm from a suburb of Detroit, Hockey town! I'm a white female and todays 9/11. I'm mad that today we will discuss the deals being made about a curpted mayor, history making votes for a hockey mom,a black man and/or who supports abortion or not. Hello we are at war here. We are in a recession. Our healthcare is out of control and we have childern waiting to be loved by a new family- because their natural parents failed them. We can't get along in our own country- why are we spending so much money on making other people get along. I find it funny that we are working on making history on a black man in office.Am I the only person that see's Barack is not black, he is black and white.The whole hockey mom and her hockeymom supporters scares me. I know a few that couldn't even get their kid to practice on time let alone make a meal that didn't consist of pizza. wow. I want more out of the vice president then proof she can go for the juggler if needed.We've had enough blood shed. I want america to be what was promised to me when I was saying 'the pledge' in grade school.Maybe thats why it isn't important anymore-we might be reminded of what it is to be living in the U.S.A. Wouldn't it be nice to actual have the people for the people actual put their efforts in the job that they are voted in to do. What if american citizens raised their own families.Let our teachers teach education instead of focussing on family problems. Tell your childern that even though abortion is legal it's wrong to kill someone.It's not a polical issue- it's a moral issue. What if you gave your child up for adoption- you were considered a HERO not a loser. What if
families where given the chance to raise a child from birth more often than after the problems started.That could effect the jail population and the well being as a nation. What if we as a nation focussed on LOVE more than hate.What if we worked together at getting "ours" instead of getting "mine".What if america would stand up. Stop lying down on the job.Take pride in our land. Protect our land. We need to support our troops. Take pride in our uniformed men and women.I have a dream- That the american people join together, work hard, be able to get affordable health care when needed and take responsiblity to protect our own family and our american way of life. Let freedom ring, let freedom ring.

Sent by lori | 11:02 AM | 9-11-2008

During the pre-Iraq war days, the media including my favorite NPR failed to ask "Hard, serious" questions of President Bush. Maybe the media thought that the public would think of them as being unpatriotic.
The same is happening with interviewing puppets and their candidates McCain and Palin.
McCain has long veered off course from being the straight talk express. He is speaking with forked tongue (much like a snake)...and Palin, you are once again going too soft due to pressures from Republicans...
Media, stand up for what you are...what you claim....the free media of the freest society in world, otherwise your claim to free press is all false.

Sent by Murali Aiyar | 1:27 PM | 9-12-2008

Wow! I am deeply saddened and more deeply disillusioned at the . . . (I do not have politically correct word for it) idiocy of a large number of people in this wonderful country of ours. First: John McCain choosing Sarah Palin for a running mate is like using the Chewbaca defense in the OJ trial (reference South Park for further details). This has to be one of the most "smoke and mirrors" shams pulled on the American people since current Bush convinced some Americans that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. As if this wasn't enough of a slap in the face, Senator McCain proceeds to fire up the fear mongering that was so effective for the sitting president. "Fight, fight, fight" ad nauseam. Fear mongering from the perspective that we have to "fight" something to regain, defend or achieve something lost or threatened. Absolutely pathetic that Senator McCain has the support he does. There is no way that, with these tactics, you can convince me John McCain puts this country first. McCain's approach, the republican party's approach for that matter, worked so well for Bush (I was floored that he came as close as he did to winning a second term - that he stole it does not surprise me at all) why not use it again. The 'I' and 'me' statements are also glaring testimony to the dangerous thinking that put this country in the bind it is currently in. McCain et.al. are the antithesis of what this country needs unless the intention is to completely run it in to the ground. Just another insult to those of us in America who actually do use our heads for something more than growing hair or a convenient place to put a face.

Sent by John Morton | 3:42 PM | 9-12-2008

This is the text of a letter I have been sending to friends and foes alike. I am taken aback by the media tolerance of conservative racism while obsessing about lipstick.

Dear Friends:
I know everyone on this list does not share my political leanings, preferences, perceptions. However, something ahs occurred over the weekend that, in my view crosses all boundaries of common decency. Republican vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, spoke in Carson City, NV, at the Values Voters Forum. Available for sale at this forum and widely available on multiple news sites on the internet was the single most racially offensive offering I have seen in my adult life. As it is readily available on the internet, I'll keep my description brief. They are selling Obama Waffles mix with an exaggerated caricature of Barack Obama, wide, rolling eyes, thick lips, off balance, a caricature of his wife, referencdes to Muslim allegiance. I was embarrassed for these people, ahamed on their behalf. I have waited for a media outcry, any comment on the crass, denigrating nature of this overtly racist ploy. I am naive enough to be surprised that there was none. So I am asking those of you who agree with me, that by our choices on what we allow to occur in our world, in our own sphere of influence, we can, if not actually elevate, at the least prevent a deeper slide into base behavior, to respond. Personally, Iam hand delivering an apology to my local Obama headquarters. I am hand delivering a letter to McCain/Palin/Republican headquarters asking them to denounce this kind of racism. I am going to writ several letters to the editors. Again, Republican, or Democrat, none of us can afford to slide backwards to a pre Rosa Parks position of the dignity and valoue of every human life, not just the unborn, but hose already breathing the same sweet air wih dark skin. Thank you for the time to read this. Thank you even more for taking action.
Sincerely, Sandra Willey

Sent by Sandra Willey | 11:16 AM | 9-15-2008

I am sending this along as a backup to the email that I just sent out to NPR. I am a middle-aged (53) female hitchhiker. I walk with a cane (my left foot gives me trouble) and a pack on my back. I have been doing this since 1993. My blog is "Ruthie In The Sky" which I have maintained via freenet access sites since December 2004. And the other day, yet another person who picked me up suggested that I contact you about myself. Well, okay, so consider it done. Yeehaw. I am in Utah today. And I've hitchhiked from Eastern Oregon and am heading for New York State for the second time this year. I will go back on the road and stick my thumb out later today. And no, I am not a money lady. I am a vanishing part of America.

Sent by Ruthie Rader | 1:29 PM | 9-15-2008

What role does the Federal Reserve play in all this? Are they gaining control over corporations like A.I.G.?

Sent by Shane - Oregon | 2:14 PM | 9-15-2008

My sister is a mortgage broker. She is paid exclusively on commission. I can only assume that mortgage brokers for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Bros, etc. were also paid on commission. Perhaps if these companies had paid a salary instead of commission, they'd still be solvent.

Sent by Dan Reed | 2:27 PM | 9-15-2008

This whole discussion presumes that only white men are able to make a choice based on the issues, and that women and African-Americans aren't capable of intelligent rational thought. The whole discussion of gender belittles the involvement of anyone in the political process.

Sent by Sequoia | 2:15 PM | 9-16-2008

Why is this "feminist" woman singing the praises of Palin and at the same time ignoring her qualifications?? Isn't that sexist? It's insulting to women. If she wasn't a woman and she had the exact same qualifications would you vote her into an office which is second in command to the leader of the free world?!?!?

Sent by Ann | 2:29 PM | 9-16-2008

I am an Obama supporter. However, I felt that Hillary was a competent opponent. I chose Obama because I personally found the Clinton campaign techniques morally lacking (albeit, quite common). I believe he has the intellect and judgment to excel as president and the character to help elevate our political environment.

When Palin was first announced, I was excited to see a woman's name on the ticket. To further the women's movement, I wanted her to be a strong, viable candidate. However, after hearing her speak and answer questions, I am saddened at her lack of knowledge and nervous about her as president. In addition, I am disappointed in her decision to continually stretch the truth (read-> lie). I believe in choosing a candidate with intellect and character and who supports issues that I believe in.

Sent by Janice Wagner | 2:38 PM | 9-16-2008

Sarah Palin is part of the Republican part which has brought the biggest deficit in history not to mention the problems that we are facing at Wall Street nowadays. So, to focus on her accompplishments is to distract us from the fact that her party has obliterated prior economic gains, such as the surplus of the late 1990's. I could care less about her what's important are the results of the last eight years of Republican mismanagement. If this party would be accountable to shareholders they would share Lehmans' brothers demise.

Sent by Hugo Rivera | 2:38 PM | 9-16-2008

I'd like to hear what Joe Biden has to say. As a Democrat, i like to stick to the issues. I don't watch "American Idol".

Sent by Susan Bexton | 3:35 PM | 9-16-2008

I have become numb after realizing that Sarah Palin is just George Bush in a dress, i was going to say lipstick on a ..., well you know

Sent by dennis dressler | 2:56 PM | 9-17-2008

I cannot believe that NPR is so supportive of McCain/Palin.

I finally turned TOTN off again today and do not plan to ever listen again. You are not fooling anybody with
this wholesale support of mcCain's lying, distortins and reckless behavior as evidenced by his choosing S. Palin (who?) for his running mate.

Hey stupid you- because if they win YOU and YOUR KIDS and family will have 4 more years of the crap we are up to our earlobes in too.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.
And, a , don't come looking for donations here or from anyone I know.

Sent by CCroll | 2:59 PM | 9-17-2008

Every administration seems to talk about getting "people off welfare", being responsible and accountable for your own lives. That is the American way.
It seems that we just put "Wall Street on Welfare". Any plans to hold anyone accountable? And how are we going to get Wall Street off Welfare??

Sent by Annie Wilson | 12:38 PM | 9-18-2008

Let's not forget that today, September 19th, is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Believe it or not, I actually took a scholarly look on the venerable holiday on my blog. (What can I say? I'm a high school English teacher.)

http://teachertrenches.blogspot.com

Have a great (pirate) day.

Mark

Sent by Mark Dursin | 6:30 AM | 9-19-2008

I would like to discuss more about Sarah Palin. I am simply cannot get over the fact she touts she's this holy roller and her family is so tight, yet, her 17 year old is sexually active and now is pregnant. She simply says oh they're getting married as if her daughter is 27 not 17!!!! I think she is a joke she cannot run her own home, much less a country. I have been republican but now Im a laughing stalk. I was at a family dinner noone republican but me. And I was feeling like our selection of Palin was a joke I keep hearing jokes like White Trash Woman, her husband is a red neck and totally unarticulate and uneducated. A small town White trash family Hunting, pregnant teens, and scandal. Im ashamed myself. Im totally against premarital sex and this woman stands for a lot of what conservatives are against. I think republicans are ACTING like they love Sara as the selection but I think most of us are like what the hell behind closed doors.

Sent by Angela | 10:51 AM | 9-19-2008

Dear TOTN Staff, Thanks for your hard work in bringing relevant news to our ears. However, I am curious WHY you don't give Sen Biden as much coverage as you do Sen McCain and Gov Palin? After all, he IS still the Democratic running mate of Sen Obama. I hope you haven't been co-opted by the Neo-Cons as has most of our media. Please change your ways and give Sen Biden a fair hearing. Thank you.

Sent by James O. Selland | 11:59 AM | 9-19-2008

I'm a retired stockbroker. One of the main problems that is not being discussed is the move away from building companies up through research and development, investment in capital equipment and investment in worker education that results in long term sustained growth.

Our current tax policies have eroded the incentives for businesses to take this "deferred gratification" approach. Our current policies emphasize short term profits, cost cutting measures, spin offs, work force reductions, etc.

To change things we need to completely change the focus from short term rewards to longer term, slower growth that by its nature benefits more people. This can be done by heavier tax consequences on short term gains and more tax credits or incentives for research, capital and people investments.

Sent by PJ Olander | 2:21 PM | 9-23-2008

TOTN Staff...I've been lucky enough to catch your broadcasts, out in the corn field, over the last week and a half since everything hit the proverbial fan. Everything, and everyone you've had on air have been very insightful. However, I think there needs to be more coverage about the disgust felt on 'main street' and how it relates to the motivation behind congress' miraculous discovery of the brakes on the train! They're pawing at the surface...knowing that people are very, very angry...but they haven't really scratched the surface as to why.

The average Joe Schmlow [sic] isn't really as childish as they may be made out to be in the media. i.e. "hey! If they're getting a bail out...so should I!"

I feel and sense that many people on main street, as utterly chilling as it sounds, may be mentally ready for these companies to tank.

Main Street has already been wrung through the wringers. The worries that a tanked wall street would drag the rest of the U.S. and world economies with it is an overhyped and perhaps warped conclusion. The true opportunity to fix things came and went many, many months ago when the true keepers of the economy started failing. There were plenty of red flags! Main street businesses have closed up shop...manufacturing plants have been boarded up, corporate satellite offices/branches have been cut from the budgets, millions of families have lost their homes, millions more to go...I can go on and on about the status of Main Street. But it's all pretty well known anyway. This didn't happen last week. Unfortunately it hasn't really been connected properly with the current turmoil in the markets. Wall street's collapse isn't going to bring the rest of the nation with it...the core of the nation is bringing Wall Street, kicking and screaming, down the boulevards of Main Street.

Main Street is ready to see Wall Street fall, and stands poised to support the federal government in rebuilding a sane system from the ashes!

That, or everyone I know is going to go to the polls this fall seeing the word 'incumbent' written in $700 billion ink!

Sent by P. Solverson | 12:52 AM | 9-24-2008

I don't believe that either candidate will do anything they are promising. I believe they are just saying what the people want to hear and I also believe whichever candidate gets elected president they still won't do anything but raise taxes and forget about the middle and lower class people. When I watch or listen to the morning shows on TV or the radio, they show or broadcast the candidates from some state giving a rally speech. All I hear is the candidates insulting each other most of the time, I don't hear any REAL solutions to any of the problems in this country. I know they have no idea what regular people (middle and lower class Americans) are going through in these times because I am one of these people. They have no worries of losing their homes or feeding their children. Obama and his wife complain about not being able to live on $350,000 a year(get a better accountant) and McCain's wife wears $300,000 in clothing and jewelry in one day(tell me what goodwill shop she donates to). I wish I had these problems. If my husband and I didn't rely on the public to make our living, life would be better for us to, as it was last year. I am not one of those people who took a mortgage they couldn't afford, we have lived in our home for 11 years. My problem is that the public is not spending money because of the high price of gas and food and my husband and I rely on that public to make a paycheck. What we need is a REAL solution to fix the economy and boost consumer confidence to benefit EVERYONE in this country. When people feel secure they spend money and EVERYONE wins.

Sent by Rita Viola | 9:50 AM | 9-24-2008

Comment regarding the bail out
We notice that there are polls on everything regarding the canditates and silly subjects ... why hasn't a poll been taking of the American public regarding the bail out .. how many are in favor and how many opposed?
Should the executives of the companies receive any income with the bail out package? Or should they just loose their jobs without any severance pay?

Of course the statement we continue to hear is that the details of the bail out are too complicated for the American public to understand ... it is apparent the financial executives had no understanding of the problem they were creating .. or did they?

If we bail them out ... all top executives should be let go without any pay ... they were paid enough while they were creating the problem with their greed ...

If they don't like that option... then no bail out!

I sure hope our government representatives have the strenght to just say no to the bail out package as it is today ...

Sent by Cindy Richmond | 1:19 PM | 9-24-2008

It seems to me that every person tnat sums up why we are in such fiancial dept blames it on "those people that got money for mortages they could not afford and they should have known better". These people were convienced by bank loan officers that they could afford these mortages and that is why they got them. From the realestate sales person who showed them a home they could not afford. To the loan officers and bankers that manipulated the loan through to compleation they are the responsible one's.
Nobody sits down at a bank/loan company and gets a loan without being approved by those working for that entity. So, when your banker/loan officer says "Yes" we can do this! What do you exspect people to do, turn down the loan? They should but, they were just told by experts in the business that they could afford it.
Every so called expert in the banking/ loan/investment business that played a part in this Wall Street greedy plan should pay. They should pay back every manipulated penny the stole first. This may mean selling their houses and freezing their assets while we figure out who did what.
People around my town are tired of those that use their interlectual advantage in their professional field to take advantage of those that don't have that back ground. Who can you trust?
The biggest question around my town is which fox was watching the hen house when this happened?

Sent by Sonny Walker | 11:43 PM | 9-24-2008

Bush and the Bailout:
Let's see now. The president says we approve his bailout proposal now, rightaway ... or life as we know it will end. Depression will envelope the land in a few days. However, he absolutely will not allow the bailout to proceeed IF congress attaches conditions such as limits on executive compensation or, heaven forbid, insists on oversight of anything his pals choose to do with all that money. Bush's corporate cronies will continue to get the obscene, economy-wrecking monies they've gouged from the public since Reagan ... or Mr. Bush will stop the bailout and visit more economic shock and awe upon an ungrateful land. Gee, it's like he's hell bent to enrich the richest with one more gigantic slice of America's wealth. The grand old commander will have one last great battle in the Republican war against the middle class ... and the cowardly, spineless Democrats, as usual, will capitulate.

Sent by George Richardson | 2:44 AM | 9-25-2008

We're talking about what jobs will be most desirable, should a second Great Depression occur. Midwife, goat-herder and crime boss have all come up. We also discussed the economic outlook of hording canned food.

Sent by stephan Hokanson (STEFF-en HOKE-an-sun) | 2:12 PM | 9-25-2008

If the investment banks are now regular banks, why do we need a bail-out?

Sent by gloria | 2:12 PM | 9-25-2008

I'm in Ocean city MD and most people I talk to say let it fall

Sent by John Beahm (Beam) | 2:13 PM | 9-25-2008

I was sent this today - I think it's actually a very interesting idea - not that it will ever happen, but a good indication of how "regular" people are thinking about this intractable problem, and how frustrated people are at not having more of a say in what happens.

The Birk Economic Recovery Plan

Hi Pals,
I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG. Instead, I'm in
favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a 'We Deserve It
Dividend'.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bon-a-fide
U.S. Citizens 18+. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting
every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at
adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals
$425,000.00. My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a 'We
Deserve It Dividend'. Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So let's
assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends
$25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam. But it means that every adult
18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife has
$595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.

Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads

Put away money for college - it'll be there

Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

Buy a new car - create jobs

Invest in the market - capital drives growth

Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves

Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else
Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks
who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is
cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of
trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy" ) economic incentive that
is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every
adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG - liquidate it. Sell off its parts. Let American General go
back to being American General. Sell off the real estate.

Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't. Sure it's a crazy
idea that can "never work." But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast
Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom? I trust my fellow adult Americans to
know how to use the $85 Billion 'We Deserve It Dividend' more than I
do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC. And remember, The Birk
plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned
instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,

Birk

T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

Sent by Susan Smythe | 2:13 PM | 9-25-2008

It seems that the money managers etc. needed to push the limits on what was acceptable in order to continue to grow due to competitive pressures - because that's how America functions. As a result, all the little people will be affected through savings, loans, cost of living etc. So . . . everything is intertwined too much to pin blame.
My father-in-law, who is well off and retired, thinks a bailout will destroy the country - even though I'm laid off and depending on a fixed income (right now)that comes from my IRA accounts (which have lost $150,000 value).
He loves John Malthus (feed them and they just breed). I guess that includes me?

Sent by Al Jensen | 2:16 PM | 9-25-2008

What I think is most interesting, and telling, is the lack of conversation about this enormous and historical moment among my friends, coworkers and family. I think that many Americans, and I'll include myself in this group, are so buried in juggling our work, children's schedules and dealing with aging parents that we can't focus enough on the details to truly understand the issues. And we feel helpless to make a difference anyway.

Sent by Cindy | 2:22 PM | 9-25-2008

I understand that we are knee-deep now and that the bailout may be the only recourse but how are the folks causing this; those who got into a stupid mortgage, those on wall street and those in the political fields going to learn if they never feel the pain of those mistakes? We all learn from our mistakes, why are we circumventing it?

Sent by Jeff B (Des Moines IA) | 2:27 PM | 9-25-2008

Why does your guest have access to our internet searches and how can we stop him from invading our privacy?

Sent by Maria | 2:36 PM | 9-25-2008

Like Rumsfeld did in Iraq, Paulson wants to drive warehouse pallets of money to favorite contractors.

Sent by Lloyd | 2:39 PM | 9-25-2008

I live in Texas and I disagree strongly with your guest -- as I see it this is the first culture that seems to reject the American ways -- and speaking english is a key one of those components -- kids generally learn the language but adults typically not. I am not against immigration or hispanics, but if they want to become Americans, then they, like all the other people from foreign countries throughout our history, need to do the same.

Sent by Craig | 2:59 PM | 9-25-2008

I have another question on the banking bailout. Money should not just disappear. My question is: Where did it all go? If I go to local store and buy something. I give them some money. So I had it, now he has it. On the same theme when these investment banks bought up, what are now bad loans, who did they buy them from? Can we get the money back?

Sent by Brian Schultz | 3:25 PM | 9-25-2008

To: Harry Reid, John Ensign, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Barbara Boxer

Greetings from Main Street America!

As a citizen who is making payments on the money the IRS says my husband and I owe the US Treasury, in other words, a taxpayer, I would like to suggest a
possible alternative to the 700 billion dollar bail out being proposed to prop up the follies of Wall Street wizards (we can't really call them Captains of Industry any more, can we, seeing as they seem to produce nothing but rich executives and public debt) -- to wit:

Let's take every one of these sub-prime loans that seem to be the problem. How many of them are there... I heard on the news it was less than 500,000. But, lets for the sake of argument say that there are three times that many, say there are 1.5 million bad home loans out there, and that is what is creating such havoc with the market. Some of these have already foreclosed, but most have not. My suggestion is simple - let the government pay off 50% of what is owed on each of these mortgages. Most of them will fall between $150,000. to $300,000. So, if we average it out, and there are .5 million of them, and the fed would pay an average of $100,000 per loan, well that's only 150 billion dollars. I haven't researched these figures. I'm no math whiz. Maybe I'm woefully underestimating what it would cost to turn every sub-prime loan around, but I'm pretty darn sure that it's a great deal less than the proposed bail out of seven hundred billion dollars we don't have. I most of us down here on Main Street don't for a minute believe we will see this money come back to the taxpayers. Let's call a bailout what it is -- welfare. You know the saying, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon we're talking about real money.

This would accomplish a number of good things. First, needed capital pumped back into the coffers of the lenders holding these loans. These mortgages could then be refinanced at a fixed rate, affordable to the homeowners. These same
homeowners, now facing foreclosure, would be assured a stable address, at an
affordable rate, and would actually find themselves with some equity in their homes, which would motivate them to stay and make that payment. Neighbor-hoods facing devastation would begin to recover. People would have a little extra money in their pockets each month, and would buy goods, thus stimulating the economy. The securities backed by these new mortgages would be solid once more. The taxpayers would save almost 550 billion dollars. Happy days are here again.

My husband and I have one of these sub-prime loans. As self employed people
we were able to use the low documentation format to obtain a loan for our home in Silver Springs, Nevada. At the time our home was appraised at $280,000.00, and we currently owe $205,000. on it. I don't know how familiar with Silver Springs you are it's mostly the kind of town people drive through on their way to more prosperous locales - but I can tell you that it's going to be a very chilly day in Hell before we can get anything like what we owe for our home, given that something like 20% of the town is in foreclosure or soon will be. We have never been a day late on our mortgage, but if this economy continues to go to hell the way it has, and food and gas continue to skyrocket, we may well face that possibility. We've had jobs cancel on us because our clients' portfolios are taking a hit. We don't have portfolios. Our equity line of credit was cancelled. We were kind of counting on the equity in our home to see us through tough times. That's pretty funny, isn't it? Equity. Ours vanished like a pond in the desert. These are hard times for folks like us, and last I checked, the government wasn't doing squat to help us out.

My husband says the government would never do anything like this, because it
smacks too much of welfare, of socialism. Well, what the heck do they call
700 billion dollars to the very people who have been living off the fat of the land lately? I heard (directly from someone who works at the IRS) that over 90% of corporations paid no taxes last year. This makes the thousands we're paying sting a bit, I have to tell you. There is no way our little contracting LLC made as much money as Morgan Stanley et al. I'm pretty sure that a junior trader at any of those firms took home a great deal more than we did last year.

Don't like that idea? Maybe we could put some money into a work program to
rebuild our infrastructure, ala Roosevelt's WPA. My husband is a wonderful artist -- he'd be delighted to get paid to do a mural in a post office. Or we could extend
unemployment benefits. Or underwrite some health insurance for those who can't afford it right now.

How about it, Senators? How about a bailout for the little guys? Why don't we try some trickle UP economics for a change, 'cause I can tell you, by the time the trickle down arrives here, there isn't much left. Kind of like the virga falling from the Nevada clouds in late summer - it never quite makes it to the ground.

Sincerely,

Leigh Reynolds-Mueller

Sent by Leigh Reynolds-Mueller | 10:37 PM | 9-29-2008