Daily Topics Thursday January 14th, 2009

earthquake imagesHour One - Brian Concannon Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti www.ijdh.org Topic: Haiti earthquake aftermath (Bob lived in Haiti for 8 years)

Plus…Robert Greenwald www.rethinkinkafghanistan.com Topic: "Afghanistan" a special screening of "RETHINK AFGHANISTAN" plus a discussion with director, Robert Greenwald.  Tonite, 7pm at the Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., Portland... www.clintonsttheater.com ($10 tickets)

Hour Two - Amy Wilentz, Author of "The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier", Professor at UC Irvine www.amywilentz.com Topic: Haiti...politics, history, medicine and U.S. aid

Hour Three - Max Blumenthal maxblumenthal.com Topic: Haiti, Aristide and the IRI

Plus…Bill Fletcher, Executive Editor of The Black Commentator and former President of TransAfrica Forum www.blackcommentator.com

Topic: Haiti


Mark (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

I do believe Thom had Matt Taibbi on as a guest recently. Taibbi wrote the article in Rolling Stone about Obama’s Wall Street “sellout.” Maybe Thom skipped the part concerning teabaggers, who Taibbi described thus: “A vast horde of frowning, pissed-off middle-aged white people with their idiot placards in hand, ready to do cultural battle.” Teabaggers, it seems, are more notable for what they are against rather than what they are for. They are against “big government” using tax dollars to pay for the health care of dark-skinned immigrants who multiply too fast. They are against liberals. They are against people who use “big words.” They are against the stimulus package. They are against a black man with a “foreign,” slightly terrorist-sounding name. Taibbi also pointed out that these people are utterly clueless when it comes to financial regulation or even the need for it. One gets the impression that when Thom states that they care or understand anything about bank bailouts, that is nothing more or less than wishful thinking on his part. He should have taken Dan Gainor at his word: these people were drawn out by opponents of health care reform (especially since a “fascist-Communist president who was black was proposing it), not because they think about bank bailouts or bonuses.

I perfectly understand Thom’s frustration with this seeming inactivity from left-wing voters to move Obama and the Democrats in the “right” direction. But let’s not choose to see white where there is black, and black where there is white. The teabaggers are about hate and ignorance, and the left should have nothing to do with them. But it would be nice if the left imitated the so-called “energy” of these far-right fanatics (oh please with the “true conservative” moniker), but it would appear that some people would prefer to intellectualize the issues at hand rather than emulate what they see as an embarrassing mob mentality; health care reform just doesn’t seem to lend itself to simple-minded thinking—or the right or wrong approach to clear-cut issues like war or peace. One positive note was that Obama did deign to discuss health care reform with union leaders, and the anger from that front has moved Obama to press for a federal exchange rather than a state-sponsored one. It remains to be seen if this baby step to appease the left is too much for sense-challenged four in the Senate.

Nels (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Thom mentioned how the west coast has been given a reminder of the expected "Big One". As a Los Angeles resident, I'd have to say, I'd rather live where I live if a 7.0 hit then say somewhere in the Mid West or New York. I say that because our region is built for such a disaster, I shudder to think about the devastation you'd find in New York because although earthquakes are rare they do happen, and when they do, its expected to be severe.

However, I'm not saying.... "Bring it on."

Mark (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

As tragic as the effects of the earthquake in Haiti are, those effects have been exacerbated by the denuded nature of the topography. Jared Diamond's book "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" details how it occurred that in stark contrast to the Dominican Republican, which it borders, Haiti is a virtually tree-less landscape where soil erosion has left what farmland there is in a dire strait.

In the meantime, on CNN we are hearing of indiviidual Americans much less interested in helping Haitians than might be expected. Perhaps the horrific scenes are too taxing on their senses.

Mir (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

I was absolutely stunned by Pat Robinson's remarks on Haiti yesterday. Do the 'Christian' right have a heart or a soul at all?

Thomas Jode (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago


Mir (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

...sorry meant Pat Robertson

Thomas Jode (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Or was it 2004.

Nels (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

I agree with Thom, I don't really want to see Bush included in the PSA's etc... However, realistically it's probably reasonable to have him out there so at least it doesn't become a partisan issue for every right-wing wacko out there. Besides, he'll probably appeal to the far right disciples to help raise funds.

Epitomizes the term "Necessary Evil"

KMH (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Dear Friend,

As the first year of the Obama Administration concludes with the State of the Union, the White House is inviting Americans across the country to connect directly with some of the President’s senior advisors.

Through WhiteHouse.gov, these leaders will report to you on their work and answer your questions on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re heading.

Every morning this week at WhiteHouse.gov, you’ll find a guest blog post from a senior advisor talking about the progress the Administration has made in a particular area. Then, in the afternoon, that advisor will host a live video chat with the public where you can ask anything you want, or just tune in and see what’s going on.

Here’s the schedule we have planned:

• Monday, 3:30 EST: Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate, discusses the President’s push to create the new clean energy economy.

• Tuesday, 3:00 EST: Ben Rhodes of the National Security Council discusses the President’s handling of national security and foreign policy.

• Wednesday, 12:00 EST: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will talk about health reform, from how far we’ve come to how reform will benefit American families and small businesses

• Thursday, TBD: The nation’s first Federal Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, will join Norm Eisen, special counsel to the President for ethics and government reform, to talk about all the ways in which the President has changed Washington.

• Friday, 1:00 EST: Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, talks about the President’s primary focus on restoring the economy for all Americans and creating jobs for the American people.
Stop by WhiteHouse.gov to read all of the posts, join the chats, and find any updates on times. As the President likes to say, this is the “People’s House,” so we want to open it up and make sure you know what we’re doing to bring the change America needs.

Valerie Jarrett
Senior Advisor to the President

KMH (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

QUESTION-- What's up with the Dominican Republic? Are they providing assistance? Same island....any damage there?

Thomas Jode (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

He is no man of god.

Marty (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Jean-BERTRAND (not Jean-Baptiste!) Aristide...

Marty (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Regarding Robertson and other so called 'Men Of God' may I refresh the memory of Matthew 7:15 and the first part of 16: "Beware of false prophets that appear in sheep's clothing, for inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits, ye shall know them."

Tim (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

I just called CBN's prayer line and asked the counselor if she would please pray for Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh. It wasn't a very long conversation.

Stanley (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Really??? Someone here is actually surprised or "stunned" by what Pat Robertson said? THAT actually surprises (and disappoints) me! This has been a regular occurrence with him and as Thom mentioned this morning, it is not the first time he has made comments along these lines. And sadly, PR has a great deal of support.

Dave (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Pat Robertson & Rush Limbaugh....Gas bags!

I'm sure all of you Truth Seekers out there in cyber space have heard the gas emanating from two of the biggest gas bags around, Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh, regarding Haiti.

Robertson said that the earth quake in Haiti occurred because the Haitian's had a "pact to the devil"! Their "pact", helped rid colonial France from Haiti! Oooo...sinful and devilish to boot!

Well, would one not think that Rush has a "pact to the devil"? Recalling Rush's brush with indigestion, (faux heart attack) while on vacation in Hawaii, one would think that Rush would be off gassing from the grave, using the Robertson analogy!

The common thread? Robertson, Rush, (and their ilk), and fascist corporate media, all gas bags!

Stanley (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

When Thom was mentioning where his tax dollars went, he left out one of the biggest payouts of our money: Israel!

However I realize he can't really touch this topic very often. A lot of people are scared of the topic, or as Jeff Halper of ICAHD (icahd.org) says, many good people run scared of AIPAC and the U.S. involvement with Israel. They choose the easy route - to stay silent instead of engaging in the dialogue and fight. It (the Israeili lobby) is a very powerful adversary which can bring a business, show, or person down.

Zero G. (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again
By Naomi Klein - January 13th, 2010
Readers of the The Shock Doctrine know that the Heritage Foundation has been one of the leading advocates of exploiting disasters to push through their unpopular pro-corporate policies. From this document, they're at it again, not even waiting one day to use the devastating earthquake in Haiti to push for their so-called reforms. The following quote was hastily yanked by the Heritage Foundation and replaced with a more diplomatic quote, but their first instinct is revealing:

"In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haiti’s long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region."
from: http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2010/01/haiti-disaster-capitalism-ale...


We should be very clear that G. W. Bush should have no part in humanitarian relief, we need not the help of war mongers and causers of humanitarian disasters.

We should be also weary of Bill Clinton's neo-liberal b.s. forcing itself on Haiti.

Return Aristide and Democracy to Haiti!

Mir (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Colonialism was always led by the transnationals, since begining of colonialism. The only difference is - earlier the rulers (kings) used to 'own' the armies and the trans-nationals used to kiss up to them to 'borrow' the forces, now they themselves own a huge part of the 'armies' (the war industries and mercenary forces) and the rulers kiss up to them!

Stanley (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

For a great summary of what Pat Robertson said listen to this YouTube link:

Zero G. (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

A good history lesson:

Haiti and America's Historic Debt
By Robert Parry
January 13, 2010

[...]Hamilton, the first U.S. Treasury Secretary, helped L’Ouverture draft a constitution for the new nation.


But events in Paris and Washington soon conspired to undo the promise of Haiti’s new freedom.

Despite Hamilton’s sympathies, some Founders, including Thomas Jefferson who owned 180 slaves and owed his political strength to agrarian interests, looked nervously at the slave rebellion in St. Domingue. Jefferson feared that slave uprisings might spread northward.

“If something is not done, and soon done,” Jefferson wrote in 1797, “we shall be the murderers of our own children.” [...]

Just a tease....

Mir (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

What Pat Robertson said was neither surprising nor shocking - the shocking part was when he said it! The body count has not even started yet (could run close to 500,000) and Pat says that all these guys were killed / maimed / ruined because they (their forefathers) chose freedom from the French instead of colonial rule????

rewinn (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Pat Robertson Admits His Deal With Satan

Billionaire evangelist Pat Robertson admitted today that he made a deal with Satan for worldly success.

"You ask how I know that the Haitians made a deal with the devil?" he said to his radio audience, "Well it's because the Devil Himself told me. We talk every day as I report to him what I do for him.

"Didn't you ever notice I make millions from blood diamonds in Zaire, and none of my Christian flock ever objected?," he went on. "I blamed 9/11 on lesbians! The crazier the things I do and say, the more money I make. That's not how God works. Obviously I did a deal with the Other Guy."

"When I considered the Bible as the literal truth," Robertson continued. "I was sad because Jesus commanded us to give all we had to the poor. Like the young man He was speaking to, I went away sad, for I too wished to be rich.

"But then I read about Satan offering mastery of the world to Jesus if only He would do homage to the Devil, I thought 'OK, you've got a deal!'"

"So I looked again at the Bible and discovered that Satan is called the Father of Lies. All I have to do is find people who like to be lied to, and they will make me rich. I prayed to Satan, and he delivered millions of credulous fools into my hands.

"Now everyone who is listening to my words get down on all fours and bleat like sheep," he commanded, "And send me a fat check!"


Zero G. (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Mir, what could be shocking about the timing - Pat Robertson's comments are timed to maximize media attention. The more shocking, the more attention.

Zero G. (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

The news at the top of the hour just mentioned relief planes are being diverted from Port au Prince airport because of lack of room. This morning it was reported that the US military had "secured" the airport. Recognizing that this is a small facility, one can wonder about the logistical wisdom of the military footprint.

Mir (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Well military is the most efficient organization of all who are used to managing rescue and relief work on a large scale - they do excercises on a regular basis to mock similar situations (lessons from Vietnam etc) though probably not on this large scale.
Private organization who have a terrible time trying to coordinate as each would try to take the leadership to promote their name for fund raising efforts leading to increasing confusion.

Mir (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Zero G. - I understand. I guess I am still naive enough to think that everyone, no matter how evil and selfish, still have some goodness left in them.

Guess I am badly mistaken!

Solar Pam (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

I am so furious after hearing the phony Christian yesterday I was happy to hear about the efforts of Medical Team International, Portland based. This is a Christian group that sponsors Northwest doctars who do everything from dental care for the poor to disaster relief in the third world. This from a doctar from my daughter's office joining the team on the way to Haiti. "I will be gone for two weeks. We are meeting up with an orthopedic team and we have been given space in a burn unit that it still standing. We are going to convert 4 rooms into makeshift operating rooms. I am going to try to update my blog (www.powerdyme-blog.com) while I’m gone if I am able to get a connection to the outside world. If you would like to support the work that we are doing you can do so my going to www.medicalteams.org."
Seattle Times wrote about the orthopedic team this morning. Dr. Lew Zirkle, an orthopedic surgeon from Richland, WA will lead the efforts to set bones with a low tech technique which should make a big difference to hundreds of folks.

Zero G. (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Thank you Max Blumenthal!

Also, this should reinforce the notion that the DLC democrats are in bed with the republicans in the global corporate agenda.

We should cut Obama zero slack, demand the prosecution of torturers, from the Tonton Macoute to the School of the Americas and the CIA.

Mir (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

News update - Obama pledges $100 Million for Haiti, request $700 M for the war in Afghanistan.
Anyone notice the irony??

Stanley (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

What the discrepancy in $'s tells me is that Haiti is missing out by not allowing us to invade their country. Think how much better off they would be!

Zero G. (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago


No doubt that the military has its efficiencies, and also its priorities. Distribution of aid comes with it its patronage. The US military escorted Aristide out, should we allow them to determine who the power players are in the Haitian relief?

Thomas Jode (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

please do a show on education and reform on our schools. Education is innate, but schools are today more like prisons. Some one MUST address this.

Zero G. (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Also, we have reason to question the military its fiscal efficiencies.

Mir (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Zero G. - I would think that the military itself would not be able to pull something like that without the orders coming from the Pentagon or the White House or CIA.
I would say - led the UN lead the effort and give orders. The US military should just carry out those orders after confirmation from the White House.

I still have trust left in Obama (and some in his administration) and I hope (and pray) that they do not have any ulterior motives out there.

But with hundereds of thousands of lives at risk - the military would still be the most efficient to save as many lives as possible. Maybe let them do the initial work and then pull them out in 5-7 days when rest of the relief teams are organized.

Mir (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Thom very well said. If you are a believer in God, the biggest insurance payment that we expect should come in the form of God's favor and good graces bestowed on us - not the payment from an insurance company in the form of dollars!

Quark (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago


Re: "QUESTION– What’s up with the Dominican Republic? Are they providing assistance? Same island….any damage there?"

I have been wondering the same thing.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

In listening to Thom's three hour show three thoughts surfaced. One thought was that the Heritage Foundation is calling for bipartisanship. The foundation would like Obama to reach out to W. so he can be reinvented as a humanitarian. So, the Bush family can be viewed as a humanitarian family and open the door for Jeb to be the GOP candidate for president in 2012. Personally, if Jeb is the GOP candidate in 2012, he will defeat Obama.

The second thought is that if we let the filth and garbage enter our minds from listening to the Robertsons and Limbaughs hate message, we will start to spew out these messages because our brain will be contaminated with filth and garbage.

The third thought is that in grade school o remember hearing the the wood from Haiti's forests was so good that the Louisville Slugger Bat Company raped Haiti's forests so Major League baseball would be supplied with the wood for baseball bats. The bat company had no program for reforestation and Haiti's forests were barren.

Mir (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

Quark- The epicenter was very close to port au prince and very shallow....hence the damage was localized to around that city and the strong shocks did not reach Dominican Republic. The deeper the epicenter, the wider the shocks are felts (and usually the less damage there is).

Gerald Socha (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

I remember when television was in its infancy, there was a commercial about Borax and the Twenty Mule Team. Borax was either a soap or a detergent. A person used the picture of the Twenty Mule Team for a cartoon. The mules were lined in a straight row. One of the mules following the leader said, “Accept for the lead mule all the scenery looked the same.” Unless you are the lead mule, you will always be looking at someone’s behind.

Thom has recently said a rat’s behind. I have also said a rat’s behind. Today, I have tried to use a bigger visual clue. A rat’s behind is small and narrow. I use the words a horse’s behind because the horse’s behind is larger and wider. The horse’s behind stands out more.

We keep hearing the term climbing up the ladder of success. The problem with climbing the ladder of success most people will still see the leader’s behind. I say to you to stop trying to climb the ladder of success. You need to step downward from the ladder and walk away from the ladder and see new scenery and paint your own picture. The best way to start being "the new you" is to make it a habit to practice the Golden Rule in your daily life.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago


Have we ever asked ourselves what God is asking of me to do?

Steve Clevenger (not verified) 11 years 35 weeks ago

The appeal of fundamentalism is that it provides reason not to fear an indifferent universe (or deity). If bad things happen, it HAS to be for a reason, and that reason always comes from God, so Haiti MUST have deserved it. It’s circular logic that all fundamentalists seem to come to eventually.

“A man said to the universe: "Sir, I exist!" "However," replied the universe, "The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation”. --Stephen Crane

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

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