90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Comments Policy Change

We are changing the way that our comments section works here at the On Point website. You can still join the conversation in the comments section of each show page, but first you’ll have to register — either with an active email account or by linking to your Facebook profile. These changes are designed to bring us more in line with other news websites, and to improve the quality of the discussion.

Your participation here is an integral part of the show. We value and encourage it. Keep it coming!

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • The_Brevardian

    ONPOINT – in regards to your recent interview with the Ipsos/Reuters
    Poll: Gun Rights & Regulations representatives, it was very disturbing in
    how unprepared, uninformed, and obviously biased your guests were on the
    subject of fire arm ownership.  Not only
    were they ill prepared to respond to questions, referring back to the website,
    but they were not historically astute.  I
    know for a FACT, that if you look you will find that the Mayor of Kennesaw, GA
    had a problem with excessive crime rate, so they passed a law requiring all its
    residence to own a fire arm, the crime rate dropped by 50%. (go figure) I don’t
    live there, but I do own a fire arm that I have never fired, and if I ever have
    to point it at another individual it will be with the intent to shoot for
    personal protection. I have notice a trend for biased content lately, and find
    it very disappointing the lack of preparation of your recent programming.

  • Mike_Card

    Making sure you’re joining in the race to the bottom, I take it.

  • keltcrusader

    I don’t like linking to facebook. I had a reporter track me down and call me at home when I posted a comment on a news station website that links to facebook. Creepy!! I changed my facebook “name” so I couldn’t be tracked and contacted. My facebook page is unsearchable for a reason, this just adds to the problem. Discus also has security issues with personal information. I understand trying to take some of the anonymity out of it posting, but I don’t want to be “found” and harassed by other posters as has been done in the past.

  • majorml

    Originalists like Supreme Court Judges Scalia and Thomas must be happy with the Citizens United decision now that the Presidential campaigns are moving toward the low levels of some of the forefathers’ campaigns such as Jefferson vs. Adams.

  • jsmetz

    As a good liberal I usually enjoy Jack Beattie’s comments.  However, I was appalled to hear him characterize Harry Reid’s comments on Mitt Romney’s taxes as “McCarthy 2.0.”   Reid may have been indiscreet in accusing Romney (a multi-millionaire, tax-avoiding candidate for President) of not paying his taxes (true as far as I am concerned).  McCarthy had lists of innocent, hard-working people he claimed were communists, he showed no proof of it, and he forced them to come before congress to hear the charges read to them in public.  That’s not Harry Reid.  I think Beattie needs to re-cast his comments on this subject, and reflect for a moment on the truth (since that’s the issue in this topic) about Joe McCarthy.

  • mhamar

    Hi Tom, Just heard your recycle broadcast news from yesterday.  Did you said,”what did he (President Obama) started?” to the comment to let President Obama finishes what he started with the economy? without mentioning the obstruction (100%) from the congress (but they voted 31 times against President Obama’s health care?)  I have always know you are a Damn closet republican.  Come on out!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Conformity to what others are doing is just conformity.  Whenever someone says, “We’re doing this to bring us in line with what everyone else is doing,” I hear, “We have no imagination and are afraid to stand out.”

    • Don_B1

      To the extent that the new policy makes the site OPERATE in the same way as others makes it more user-friendly and thus not off-putting to a new commenter.

      I don’t have that big a problem with needing to be signed in to the extent that it encourages people to take a more responsible attitude in what they say.

      When people express “dissenting opinions” they need to know that they will not be subject to harassing responses that are not part of a discussion of the subject but are attempts to suppress that discussion,

      But on the other side, if someone is supporting some action that will have horrible consequences for many to all other people, there should be some way to identify that cause and its supporters; in that way the Republicans, who first argued for unlimited contributions to campaigns and that “money is speech” that would be made fair by revealing the supporters names to encourage their being responsible. But now that they have achieved that goal, while not in a clean way, they are pushing that contributors should not be identified in any way.

      This cannot be acceptable if this country is going to have open discussion of issues and know what the major proponents of each side might be hiding. This particularly applies to so-called “think tanks,” some of which are mere propaganda machines. What is really disappointing is that the large number of such “tanks” are right wing, although that should not be a big surprise when the amounts of money available for right wing causes is so large.

    • sickofthechit

       or the say “whatever”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=674497440 Matthew Page

    We have a male Chilean Rose Hair at home.  Can you talk about molting of males and the difference from females?  Is it true that the males often die or become sterile after molting just once?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000047806042 Pamela Nast

    Dear Tom … My husband had repeatedly said that he likes your program because you seem to give both sides of the political debate … lately, it seems to me,  you have changed that policy in favor of spin for the GOP.  I guess I really do have to stop listening to the radio. Darn.

    • Esmereldan

      See my reply above.  I had thought it would go in this box, but somehow, during registration, my reply was moved upwards.  Basically, I have noticed that spin to the left as well.  Better than Rush Limbaugh, though.

  • paulette michel

     test

  • Ellen Dibble

    It seems to me if someone feels they are being stalked online, as someone refers to below, they might raise this concern to the relevant division of their area district attorney’s office.  If there is no such “relevant division,” maybe a certain critical mass of complaints will lead to the creation of such somewhere among law enforcement and justice systems.  
    Plenty of things frighten me online — no one is here to raise their eyebrow at me when I go out on my many limbs — but none is as aggravating as a computer that won’t boot.  
    I do think we’ll learn to recognize when we are being foolishly jumpy and when it’s best to do the equivalent of a cyber 911 call.  Mostly, I think automatic scanners (I’m not sure whose) pick out a lot of the problematic digital activity, and our being identifiable probably assists in that.

  • Edward Roberts

    I was already registered with the older version of DISQUS(T) and in re-registering, I find I am not permitted to post with my preferred username. Wonderful enhancement to listener participation, I must say.

  • Esmereldan

    I have noticed that increase in  seemingly biased opinions that seem to favor the Democrats; however, they are one of the few news programs that give Romney a fair shake when discussing him (as opposed to a political issue).

  • Don_B1

    I would like to report that over the last couple days when refreshing an On Point webpage, there is a flash of a partly formed webpage that appears to give data on commenters. The flash has been too fast to read by eye, but someone with fancier software might be able to catch that data.

    • Mouse_2012

      It’s much easier than you think. Right now because of the way Disque works if you have webblockers that allow you to pick and choose what you want to run on a website you can see anyone’s facebook information if they used it to sign up. The odd thing was I had someone attacking me on the onpoint thread and threats of what they could do to me and little was done until I contacted the staff directly and started filling reports to the proper authorities. And the stalking occurred on a public radio site.

  • pointsusan

    Re Natalie Wood speaking Russian:

    Wood was born Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko in San Francisco to Russian
    immigrant parents Nikolai Stepanovich Zakharenko and Maria Stepanovna
    (née Zudilova; 1912–1998). As an adult, she stated, “I’m very Russian,
    you know.”[4] She spoke both Russian and English.[5] Her father was born in Vladivostok and he, his mother, and two brothers, immigrated to Montreal, Quebec, and later to San Francisco.   (Wikipedia)

  • noslack2327

    Recently OnPoint aired a show about an “October Surprise.” The show spoke to the likelihood that the Israelis would attack Iran, and how the President of the United States would be painted into a box supporting the Israelis. I would make several points in that regard.
    1. All the morons who want to drag us into an unjustified and unnecessary war with Iran should be aware there are unintended consequences of war. One of those consequences is death. Persons who want a war with Iran should raise a brigade and go themselves.
    2. What obligation do we have to the Israelis? The answer is none.•Why do persons in the media and Washington ignore the perfidy of Israel towards the Palestinians? •Why do people in the media and Washington ignore the perfidy of Israel, Jonathan Pollard and Marc Rich?  •William Kristol, Buck McKeon, all the Neocons and any other persons who place Israel’s interests above those of the United States, should move to Israel.
    3. Here’s a topic for an OnPoint broadcast… Israel has Too Much Influence in the United States. Israel Does Not Deserve Our Support.

  • J__o__h__n

    It looks like censorship is back.  Why not have people opt in to reading a filtered version (or the reverse)?  Those who value free speech can read it without censorship and the people who want what they read to be protected by someone else can read that instead? 

  • sickofthechit

    Disqus changed my name from Charles A. Bowsher to sickofthechit.  I don’t recall ever using that moniker anywhere or at anytime.  I am not trying to hide, I just need to remember to sign my posts. charles a bowsher.  My philosophy is, if I am not willing to sign my name, I should not be posting the comment.

    • JGC

      If he did not choose this name, well Disqus, who did?

  • AntiBigBus

    Hi Tom, since I’ve been listening to your show I’ve heard that Wall Street and the Banks (mortgage industry) are causes for our current recession, but I’ve never heard any condemnation of big business: Apple, Dell, HP, GE, etc. Since big business was encouraged to create jobs overseas with a tax break they took it. They laid-off millions of workers, who paid their taxes, mortgages and other bills, and consumed product. This was the perfect storm with bogus securities, including mortgages, and  big business laying off millions of workers. The Chinese and business made billions and the rest of us are sitting on the bill. Now, some of the big businesses want to relocate some of their jobs back in the States, if they are given a tax break. More of the bill to be picked up by the rest of us.
    Big Business is sitting on trillions of dollars waiting until the economy picks up before they commit to hiring. My guess is they are waiting until after the election hoping Romney is elected, to get their tax break, before they start hiring. And, if Obama is re-elected they will just as soon stay in China and where ever else they are and keep raking in their enormous profits.
    I say boycott the products and look for alternatives, after all they laid-off American workers in favor of GREED. They really hate this country.

  • derek_1

    I’m confused. I know Mitt was a leader of the church. Is his views identical to the church? How do Mitt and the church differ answering:

    What happens to adult Mormons who are gay? Can they be ‘reprogrammed’?

    What happens to straight children of gay / LGBT adults? Do they have to leave the church with the parent(s)?

    What happens to gay children of straight Mormons? Do they grow up rejected by both their parents and the faith?

  • JGD_AGAIN

    Are we better off now than four years ago?  Four years ago, 2008,  we were loosing 800,000 jobs a month; September, October, November, December and going into 2009.  The largest insurance company was going belly-up, our major financial institutions were failing, the stock market lost almost 780 points in one day andd three time in September lost over 500 points. People’s savings were halved, unemployment was surging and the car industry was within weeks of closing. Obama stopped the bleeding and started the process for recovery.

     Yes, we are better off now, although people are still hurtingand there is more to be done.

    Our we better off now politically than in September 08?  President Bush went to the House and Senate and said the countries in trouble and I need your help.  Did the Democrats say,’NO.’?  Did they say their job was to defeat him?  They said what can we do for our country and passed the legislation requested to help the country.  Now?  The sole object of the Republicans has been, their own words,  to defeat the president and win controll of the House. Scott  Brown’s sole promise was to be the vote needed to continue the fillibusters in the Senate. 

    Politically, no, we are nort better off than four years ago.

    • TinaWrites

      You describe the Republican behavior very well.  I’ve been calling it “malpractice”!  They are collecting salaries and the very best medical insurance plans and other compensation paid for by the citizens, and yet they are refusing to act.  How is that not a form of malpractice?  

      On top of all that, now, since the RNC, they have been trying to sell THEMSELVES as those who believe in the Democratic agenda!!!  AND, even when their prevarications have been corrected by fact checking organizations and websites, they continue to spew the lies forth.  Act like a steamroller, and you’re bound to get somewhere, must be their motto.  But, it is lying (sp?), over and over.  Shameless!  And, I repeat, the most shameless of them all is Eddy Haskell Ryan!  

  • TinaWrites

    I agree!  I WISH that all NPR shows had their own Comment Posting Software/webware (please substitute correct term) that would let us post just within NPR, tho I’d include PBS, too!  I do NOT trust Facebook (and anyway, they are a For-Profit corporation; an entirely different “duck” than NPR and PBS non-profits!), so I’m not going to choose that option.  Disqus has some quirks that I’m not happy with, but, IGNORANTLY, I jumped in and chose them just because I had to choose some option.  

    Mainly, once you get an email response to your post, you are given a link to that response, but only the response shows, not your own original post.  I LOVE the growing popularity of the show, but it is harder and harder to use Edit/Find to find your own posts to review just what it was that you said originally.  Sometimes I copy my own postings, but not usually; so I’m not much help to myself!  A listener/poster was kind enough to write to me when I wrote about this before, but his instructions involved using a right- and left-click mouse, and my device does not have those options.  If it does, I admit to being clueless about them.  

    My main point is that I trust NPR and PBS (in fact, I’m a member of several NPR and PBS stations — I’m a real stakeholder!), so I would trust an “internal” posting system that their stations used thruout the country.  I really don’t know if Disqus has my best interests at heart.  Facebook:  I don’t trust it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/demarcus.i.jackson Demarcus Ibdul Jackson

    What grade would I give President Obama’s foreign policy? I would grade him an “A-”.

    Overall, I believe Obama has performed very well. His administration and leadership as Commander-In-Chief allowed the finding and killing of Osama Bin Laden. As promised, Obama has brought active military involvement in Iraq to a close. And, I believe that although Afghanistan remains a complex and perlious situation, Obama is managing the various dynamic affairs in a good and pragmatic way.

    I do think the President and his advisors have been naive with regard to their handling of China and Russia. But, I think that this is largely correcting itself. Still, I think Obama recognizes the importance – economic and military importance — of both China and Russia, and I think he and his administration are ultimately doing a satisfactory job. I DON’T think Romney could or would deal with these countries in a positive and progressive way. He has been clear (as clear as Romney can be, given his extensive history of flip-flops) on both China and Russia and his statements have mirrored a school yard bully or immature juvenile. Romney is not serious and I fear that a Romney foreign policy would put America in danger. Yes, I think that the United States’ status as a “superpower” should be maintained, but there is a difference between a responsible and adult superpower and being an infant throwing tantrums and threatening everyone with military violence.

    I give Obama relatively high marks in his dealing with Iran. I do not believe America could survive another major war, economically speaking, and furthmore, I think Iran is a uniquely different environment than either Iraq or Afghanistan. Iran requires delicate pragmatism and well-reasoned problem-solving, NOT threats of war.

    Concerning Israel, I think Obama hasn’t been TOUGH ENOUGH with this nation. I think Obama is essentially following the same appeasement strategy that most other Presidents in modern history have followed and I think this needs to stop. Israel must cease its settlement building and they must engage Palestine in serious and practical peace talks. I’m sick of coddling Israel. It is time for our friendship with Israel to become “tough love”.

    Overall, I think Obama has done well and I do not think Romney would be successful in the realm of foreign policy at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jcspires51 James-Clifton Spires

    I’d like to hear some on-air comment about Zach Wahls, the young Iowa man who spoke last night at the Democrat convention Thursday night in support of gay marriage and the two women who raised him. Never has a national political part been so welcoming to all people, regardless of sexual orientation. James-Clifton Spires, Middlesboro, KY.

  • styerva

    Re: Violent reactions to perceived anti-Muslim films/comments/behaviors etc:: Please note that Muslims murder other Muslims, destroy other sects’ mosques; they burn Christian churches and malign Christianity; there is government and institutionalized (newspaper/media/schools) negative portrayal of Judaism all the time. They can do this with impunity but can not bear anything towards Islam without violence..Very hypocritical.
    It is foolish to malign others’ beliefs but everyone learns to dismiss this as ignorance and tries to educate others. Not so with Islamists— any excuse will do to act out. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001048219334 Vic Volpe

    When did being a doctor become a negative for running for public office?
     
    In the electoral race for the 25th Congressional District of California, a 1/2- page political ad appeared in the local paper (the Ventura County Star for Sunday September 23, 2012 on page 15A) where Congressman Buck McKeon had a bullet list of why his opponent, Lee Rogers, was not fit to be elected.  Some of the bullet items listed included, “lived in District less than a year”, “moved to California in 2010”, “no ties to the community”.  But at the top of the bullet list was “Podiatrist”.
    It reminded me of John F. Kennedy’s ‘Profiles In Courage’ where he tells the story of then Senator George Smathers of Florida running against an opponent (in the 1950’s) and addressing a crowd in the “backwater” of Florida, accusing his opponent (who was previously an actor and upon assuming political office gave out privileges to his family members) of being a “thespian and practicing nepotism with his sister”.
    It was only in the body of the ad that Mr. McKeon mentioned that Rogers “as a Podiatrist, refused to accept any more poor people as patients after Medi-Cal cut payments”.  Not to mention that Congressman McKeon has supported Paul Ryan’s voucher system as a way of fixing the MediCare problem.
     
    If being a podiatrist is such a negative for running for public office, I can only wonder what a helping hand a proctologist will need should one choose to run in an election.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnsonrichards Judy Richards

    Requiring a government issued picture id is a calculated effort to disenfranchise voters who support our president. No more evidence was needed that the republicans who boasted they could “deliver PA if the law passed”  Isn’t it curious that equally rigorous efforts to avoid “voter fraud” are not going after the people who have the luxury of two homes – one in the north and the other in sunny FL. What safeguards are in place to prevent this group of people from voting in person in one state and by absentee ballot in the other….

  • bluedragon1

    What do you think about the companies that develop 3 D priniting that might promote manufacturing, architecture, medical, teaching tools etc

  • Perspicaciousness

    Holy Cow!  I have often loved the moderate reasonableness of this show but I think I am now listening to (almost) to “Rush Limbaugh Lite”! Tom is merely parroting the sky-is-falling right-wing line about “spending obviously without debate must be cut now” when in fact there are lots of reasonable people who do not buy that narrative.
     
     
    Defiicts cannot be forgotten but it is just plain foolish to cut spending in hard times. I cannot believe that in addition that only two right-wing voices, tow voices that are concerned only about big money are being interviewed.
     
    Where is the moderate/center or even mild center left point of view. These are two Big Money voices? 
     
    What about the average person? What about the sociologists? The historians? THEY also (we) have a valid point of view. Why on earth on you interviewing as represetative a Wall Street Journal endorsee and a Libertarian finacial analyst?  Good grief, I am so shocked and saddened by this rightward, unquestioninng point of view. It is NOT the cetrist American view. Spending for one thing does not and should NOT be cut right now. This is merely a subversion of thge narrative byRepublicans, even if Pres Obama has endorsed some of it for political reasons.
     
    Please find a blance. if this right-ward strong bias continues I cannot listen to it.
    Middle American (midwest) Jeremy

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and our uneasy peace right now.

 
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

American companies bailing out on America. They call it inversion. Is it desertion?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

More »
Comment
 
The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

More »
Comment
 
Hillary Clinton: ‘The [Russian] Reset Worked’
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took time out of her global book tour to talk to us about Russia, the press and the global crises shaking the administration she left two years ago.

More »
3 Comments