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Ponies Needed

Over Thanksgiving before I even realized what had happened I became a pony for my two nephews.  All I remember was that one moment I was kneeling on the floor and the next there was a five year old scampering up my back and I was on all fours.  As soon as I made peace with this development, his three year old brother was invited up and he began climbing across my calves trying to hoist himself up onto my butt.  The pony was forced to draw the line at one rider at a time.  After jostling them both around my father’s, my knees braving the hard wood floors, I was rewarded with carrots which they nicely washed at the pony’s request.  

With Christmas coming, I am thinking that my young riders might enjoy each enjoy a collection of ponies (and save me from becoming their pony of choice again). Ideally I’d like to make each of them a little book – different ponies in each.  If it is not too cheeky to be asking, I and my aging knees will be eternally grateful if you would consider sharing your favorite ponies for these young tykes.  If they exist high resolution versions can also be sent to sharon dot lynch at verizon dot net.  Thanks very much in advance to anyone who can help me out.

Rollingstone article – “The Spill, The Scandal and the President”…

Tim Dickinson at Rollingstone has done some fine and much needed investigative journalism.  He reveals that BP and the government anticpated a much higher volume of flow from the first:

   From the start of its operation in the Gulf, BP had found itself struggling against powerful “kicks” from gas buildup, just as MMS had warned. Now, on April 20th, the pent-up methane exploded in a fireball that incinerated 11 workers. Like a scene out of a real-life Jerry Bruckheimer film, the half-billion-dollar rig – 32,000 tons and 30 stories tall – listed over and sank to the bottom two days later, taking a mile of pipe down with it.

   Within hours, the government assembled a response team at the “war room” of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle. The scene, captured by a NOAA cameraman and briefly posted on the agency’s website, provides remarkable insight into the government’s engagement during the earliest hours of the catastrophe, and, more troubling, the role of top administration figures in downplaying its horrific scope.

short and sweet: thank you

this may be inexcusably short, but i do want to take a moment to publicly thank buhdydharma for creating docudharma. and with him I thank otb, npk, ek, and others here who made it possible.  and I thank those who continue to write here.  gawd knows we sure are going to need this place because after what i read tonight it is hard to imagine that dk will be much more than a pile of embers burning itself out before long.  so thanks, buhdy, for making docudharma happen.  and thank you for what you and others are trying to do in orange.  i appreciate all of your efforts.

Paging TheMomCat, Greg Palast needs help – Updated 1x

just received this email from yuriy at  tmc, you can tell your colleague not to worry and thank you for your efforts!

Dear Sharon,

Thank you so much for your swift reply and offer of help. Thankfully

Democracy Now’s producer who left for Haiti is taking the medicine. We

can’t thank you enough.

All the very best,



i hope it is not a problem that i posted greg palast’s article in its

entirety (will gladly edit the post if desired).  themomcat who writes

at is in haiti with msf.  she has brought greg’s

request to the attention of an admin in PoP to see if he can help.

her comment is one of the last in the essay. (i linked to the essay but if i include the link it messes up the code in a way that i can’t sort out, so you will have to take my word for it.)


TheMomCat, if you are reading greg palast has a favor to ask.  don’t know if you can help him, but i will bold the section at the beginning and the one at the end so that you won’t have to read the whole thing if you don’t have time.  

also, i don’t know if i am violating copyright by posting this whole thing.  i am going to do it and then check the faq.  if i have to edit, i will gladly, but think it reads better in its entirety so will take a chance for the moment.  palast reveals much i was not aware of both re the current disaster and the history of haiti – and the obama/gate’s failure to send help immediately.  he is scathing with the contrast with bankrupt iceland.  we have sunk to such a despicable low.

The right testicle of Hell: History of a Haitian holocaust

Blackwater before drinking water

by Greg Palast


1. Bless the President for having rescue teams in the air almost

immediately. That was President Olafur Grimsson of Iceland. On

Wednesday, the AP reported that the President of the United States

promised, “The initial contingent of 2,000 Marines could be deployed to

the quake-ravaged country within the next few days.” “In a few days,” Mr. Obama?

2. There’s no such thing as a ‘natural’ disaster. 200,000 Haitians have

been slaughtered by slum housing and IMF “austerity” plans.

3. A friend of mine called. Do I know a journalist who could get medicine

to her father? And she added, trying to hold her voice together, “My

sister, she’s under the rubble. Is anyone going who can help, anyone?”

Should I tell her, “Obama will have Marines there in ‘a few days'”?

4. China deployed rescuers with sniffer dogs within 48 hours. China, Mr. President. China: 8,000 miles distant. Miami: 700 miles close. US bases in Puerto Rico: right there.

5. Obama’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, “I don’t know how this

government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it

has.” We know Gates doesn’t know.

6. From my own work in the field, I know that FEMA has access to

ready-to-go potable water, generators, mobile medical equipment and

more for hurricane relief on the Gulf Coast. It’s all still there.

Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who served as the task force commander for

emergency response after Hurricane Katrina, told the Christian Science

Monitor, “I thought we had learned that from Katrina, take food and

water and start evacuating people.” Maybe we learned but, apparently, Gates and the Defense Department missed school that day.

7. Send in the Marines. That’s America’s response. That’s what

we’re good at. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson finally showed up

after three days. With what? It was dramatically deployed – without any emergency relief supplies. It has sidewinder missiles and 19 helicopters.

8. But don’t worry, the International Search and Rescue Team, fully

equipped and self-sufficient for up to seven days in the field,

deployed immediately with ten metric tons of tools and equipment, three

tons of water, tents, advanced communication equipment and water

purifying capability. They’re from Iceland.

9. Gates wouldn’t send in food and water because, he said, there was no

“structure … to provide security.” For Gates, appointed by Bush and

allowed to hang around by Obama, it’s security first. That was his lesson from Hurricane Katrina. Blackwater before drinking water.

10. Previous US presidents have acted far more swiftly in getting troops on

the ground on that island. Haiti is the right half of the island of

Hispaniola. It’s treated like the right testicle of Hell. The Dominican

Republic the left. In 1965, when Dominicans demanded the return of Juan

Bosch, their elected President, deposed by a junta, Lyndon Johnson

reacted to this crisis rapidly, landing 45,000 US Marines on the

beaches to prevent the return of the elected president.

11. How did Haiti end up so economically weakened, with infrastructure,

from hospitals to water systems, busted or non-existent – there are two

fire stations in the entire nation – and infrastructure so frail that

the nation was simply waiting for “nature” to finish it off?

Don’t blame Mother Nature for all this death and destruction. That

dishonor goes to Papa Doc and Baby Doc, the Duvalier dictatorship,

which looted the nation for 28 years. Papa and his Baby put an

estimated 80% of world aid into their own pockets – with the complicity

of the US government happy to have the Duvaliers and their voodoo

militia, Tonton Macoutes, as allies in the Cold War. (The war was

easily won: the Duvaliers’ death squads murdered as many as 60,000

opponents of the regime.)

12. What Papa and Baby didn’t run off with, the IMF finished off through

its “austerity” plans. An austerity plan is a form of voodoo

orchestrated by economists zomby-fied by an irrational belief that

cutting government services will somehow help a nation prosper.

13. In 1991, five years after the murderous Baby fled, Haitians elected a

priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who resisted the IMF’s austerity

diktats. Within months, the military, to the applause of Papa George HW

Bush, deposed him.

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. The farce was

George W. Bush. In 2004, after the priest Aristide was re-elected

President, he was kidnapped and removed again, to the applause of Baby


14. Haiti was once a wealthy nation, the wealthiest in the hemisphere,

worth more, wrote Voltaire in the 18th century, than that rocky, cold

colony known as New England. Haiti’s wealth was in black gold: slaves.

But then the slaves rebelled – and have been paying for it ever since.

From 1825 to 1947, France forced Haiti to pay an annual fee to

reimburse the profits lost by French slaveholders caused by their

slaves’ successful uprising. Rather than enslave individual Haitians,

France thought it more efficient to simply enslave the entire nation.

15. Secretary Gates tells us, “There are just some certain facts of life

that affect how quickly you can do some of these things.” The Navy’s

hospital boat will be there in, oh, a week or so. Heckuva job, Brownie!

16. Note just received from my friend. Her sister was found, dead; and her

other sister had to bury her. Her father needs his anti-seizure

medicines. That’s a fact of life too, Mr. President.


Through our journalism network, we are trying to get my friend’s

medicines to her father. If any reader does have someone getting into

or near Port-au-Prince, please contact [2] [email protected] immediately.

Urgently recommended reading – The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, the history of the successful slave uprising in Hispaniola by the brilliant CLR James.

SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “The Right Testicle of Hell:History of a Haitian Holocaust”, url: “” });

Article printed from Greg Palast:

URL to article:…

URLs in this post:

1] Image:[2 [email protected]: mailto:[email protected]

David Swanson’s Diary About the Coming Vote on Single Payer

NB: I don’t know if this is allowed or not, so if it is not, someone please let me know and I will delete.

David Swanson wrote an excellent diary late last night at dkos.  It disappeared with about seven comments and I think it is well worth reading so am transplanting it over here.  I doubt David will mind.  

I think there is a lot to take away from this, but I’ve highlighted what I see as the key graphs.  What really impresses me is David’s ability to strategize and see the forest through the trees.  Rather than gloom and doom, he sees an upside and possibilities (although he titled his diary “Downside to Weiner’s Deal”).  I think we can moan and groan and say that we are likely to end up with something worse than we already have or we can continue to fight.  I saw some great energy in that press conference and I was moved to tears when I heard them use the language we have been using. I got the sense that the Progressive Caucus gets it – even if they are compromised by dint of the fact they serve in Congress – and I think they get it because we have been shoving it down their throats.  

If you haven’t been calling or writing, please push like hell during August so that we drown out the other side.  I acknowledge that I can be a bit of a Pollyanna, but I think at times it comes from being engaged.  Calling Reps’ offices this week and getting into discussions with press persons made me realize how critical it is that we make the calls and create the message because we sure as hell aren’t going to get MSM coverage to do it for us.  I was happy to see each of the reps I called standing in solidarity at the press conference or at least a signator on the letter.  As David says in so many words below, we are all in this with the same goal and it is and can make a difference.  As buhdy says in so many words and so eloquently, YELL LOUDER!  So now we have to YELL EVEN LOUDER in August.

Question about DD Policy re Tocquedeville Essays

I have been meaning to write this for the past week, but with a certain overlord’s antics and another overlord’s pronouncements I’ve been a bit distracted.  My question is why do Tocquedeville’s diaries not seem to show up in the list on the right hand side of the page?  He published an excellent diary late (est time very late) the night of June 9th on globalization ( that was barely noticed by most people because by the time they awakened the next morning it had slid down the front page.  My guess is that had it been on the list on the right hand side of the page it would have been read more widely.  He has long been one of my favorite writers in orange and it’s great to know that he will be publishing here.  A review of essays published just now showed me that I have missed a good number.  Is it because I was too busy writing about ATJs and autobanning patrols and other b.s. and Tocquedeville’s essays are actually included in the list on the right, well, then I will have learned a lesson and will waste less time in other places.

If this essay makes no sense, please tell me and I will delete.

Your Letter Willl Be Hand Delivered to Eric Holder Tomorrow (Sunday) – If You Write It Now

Ijust received an email from Victoria2DC from dkos letting me know that Pam Miles who works with Don Seigelman will be meeting Eric Holder tomorrow at a civil rights event he will be attending in Alabama with Artur Davis.  She is friendly with Artur Davis and knows she will be able to get the letters to Holder. If you’d like yours to be included, you can email her at:

pammiles at bellsouth dot net

Unfortunately, she is leaving at 5 am in the morning so your letter should be emailed to her ASAP so that she has time to print it.  I apologize for the late notice but unfortunately Victoria2DC was out earlier today when Pam’s email arrived.

I am in the middle of a school project and will not be able to monitor this diary, but if you have questions, feel free to email me at sharon dot lynch at verizon dot net.

send a message to obama – giant wall in dc!

i’ve got the bug that is going around new york and have managed to stay awake long enough to see obama’s awesome victory, but for this essay can only manage a cut and paste job from an email i just received.  avaaz has a great idea for reaching out to obama – erecting a giant wall in dc with our messages on it.  sorry no pretty hyperlinks, but i am just too beat.  please, check it out, sign on and pass it on….  


Dear friends,

Obama’s win is a fresh start for US relations with the world. Let’s send a global message of hope and invitation to work together to the new President – it will be displayed on a giant wall in Washington DC.

After 8 long years of Bush – finally a fresh start!

Obama’s victory brings a chance for the US to finally join with the world community to take on pressing challenges on climate change, human rights, and peace.

After years, even decades of distrust, let’s seize this moment of unity, reconciliation and hope to send a message of warm congratulations and invitation to work together to the new President and the American people.

We’ve built a huge wall near the White House in Washington DC where the number of signatures on our message and personal messages from around the world will grow over the next several hours. We’ve also asked Obama to personally receive our petition from a group of Avaaz members. Let’s get to 1 million signers and messages to Obama! Sign on at the link below and forward this email to others:…

This is a time for celebration of democracy, but already the sharks are starting to circle – oil companies, war contractors, conservative lobbyists, and the powerful neo-con clique that brought us the war in Iraq are looking for ways to dim the prospects for change. Obama has promised national unity, and these interests will ask a high price for that unity.

Let’s act quickly to make sure the people of the world are heard as Obama makes crucial choices in the coming days on how to live up to his campaign promises to secure a strong global treaty on climate change, ban torture and close Guantanamo prison, withdraw carefully from Iraq, and double aid to make global poverty history. Rarely has a US President been more likely to listen to us.

We’ll make the point that on most of the pressing issues faced by Obama and the American people – from the financial crisis to climate change — we need to work together as one world to achieve change. Sign below and forward this message on:…

With hope,

Ricken, Brett, Alice, Iain, Paula, Paul, Graziela, Pascal, Milena, Graziela and the whole Avaaz team.

PS – Send us pictures of yourself for our wall – email it to [email protected]

PPS – Here’s a link to a report on Avaaz’s past campaigning –…

PPPS – And here’s a list of 10 of Obama’s campaign promises that concern the world – you can find his full platform here…

   * Reduce the US’s carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and play a strong positive role in negotiating a binding global treaty to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol

   * Withdraw all combat troops from Iraq within 16 months and keep no permanent bases in the country

   * Establish a clear goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons across the globe

   * Close the Guantanamo Bay detention center

   * Double US aid to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015 and accelerate the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculoses and Malaria

   * Open diplomatic talks with countries like Iran and Syria, to pursue peaceful resolution of tensions

   * De-politicize military intelligence to avoid ever repeating the kind of manipulation that led the US into Iraq

   * Launch a major diplomatic effort to stop the killings in Darfur

   * Only negotiate new trade agreements that contain labor and environmental protections

   * Invest $150 billion over ten years to support renewable energy and get 1 million plug-in electric cars on the road by 2015


ABOUT AVAAZ is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Sydney and Geneva.

Connell forced to give deposition re 2004 Ohio election on Monday

Sorry this will be a short but sweet essay, but it is too sweet not to post.  Additional details can be found at The Brad Blog, but here’s the main point:

The BRAD BLOG has learned that Mike Connell, the Republican IT guru whose company, GovTech Solutions, created Ohio’s 2004 election results computer network appeared in federal court today, as compelled, and has been ordered to appear for his deposition on Monday, November 3, just 24 hours before Election Day 2008.

Just in time to put them on notice that they can’t get away with it this election.  And if it leads to a Rove subpoena – how sweet indeed.

Happy Halloween all and good night.

The Constitution. What’s it to you?

You may have heard that NY CD-08 resident Adam Sullivan is challenging Rep. Jerry Nadler in the Democratic primary, but you may not know why.

Why would someone challenge such a well-established and well-liked progressive like Rep. Jerry Nadler?  What could possibly be gained in such an audacious move?

Until this spring, Adam Sullivan had nothing but respect for the liberal Congressman, believing he was well represented by Rep. Nadler in his progressive voting record and outspoken criticism of the Bush administration.  However, after lobbying and then meeting with Rep. Nadler on the central issue of impeachment, Sullivan concluded it was time for the Congressman to face a challenge.

Adam Sullivan is calling into question Rep. Nadler’s intransigent refusal to support Rep. Robert Wexler’s call for impeachment hearings and Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment on President Bush (H. Res. 1258) and Vice President Cheney (H. Res. 799/333).  Sullivan believes that Rep. Nadler, as the Chairman of the important Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, is in a position of influence and should be working with his Judiciary Committee colleagues Tammy Baldwin, Steve Cohen, Keith Ellison, Luis Guttierez, and Robert Wexler to move impeachment proceedings forward.

It’s NOT too late, and a wager

It’s NOT too late for impeachment, it’s an imperative.  If you think it is too late for impeachment do you also think it is too late for the Constitution?  Here in New York we think impeachment is long overdue.  New Yorkers are actively lobbying House Judiciary Committee (HJC) members Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY CD-9) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY CD-8).  

One group met with Anthony Weiner’s district director on Friday and asked him to convey their message to Weiner that he stated back in December that he would sign onto Wexler’s letter to Conyers and they are still waiting for him to make good on his promise.  They hope to hear back in a few days and will keep you posted.

Another group has come together under the banner of to lobby Nadler to support impeachment. is hosting a Town Hall Meeting/Impeachment Forum next Sunday, March 9th, from 4-6pm at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, NYC. to address the question Is Impeachment Necessary to Protect the Constitution?  The Town Hall Meeting/Impeachment Forum will feature Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, Harper’s contributor Scott Horton, and John Nirenberg, who walked 458 miles from Boston to DC to raise the question of impeachment with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, as speakers.  

Holtzman and Horton have written recently about torture under the Bush/Cheney administration, addressing how it establishes that impeachment is imperative and incumbent upon Congress.  Holtzman concludes her article Crimes in High Places about Mukasey’s refusal to ensure that criminal law is enforced with regard to torture with the pronouncement:

Updated NYC Impeachment Forum/Town Hall Meeting

Update:  Keith Ellison became the fifth Democrat on the HJC to sign onto Wexler’s letter today!  We only need two more to have a majority of the Dems.  Whose next? Weiner? Lofgren?  

A group of concerned New Yorkers have come together under the banner of to lobby Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York CD 8 to support impeachment.  We have launched a website where we are hosting a petition asking him to support Rep. Wexler’s call for impeachment hearings in the HJC.  Please go here to sign the petition. is also hosting a Town Hall Meeting/Impeachment Forum on Sunday March 9th from 4-6pm at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, NYC.  The impeachment forum will address the question Is Impeachment Necessary to Protect the Constitution?

Speakers include:

Bruce Fein, Constitutional scholar, former associate deputy attorney general, and Chairman of the American Freedom Agenda;

Elizabeth Holtzman, a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of Richard Nixon, and co-author of The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens;

Scott Horton, Contributor to Harper’s Magazine, adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, and member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice and the Council on Foreign Relations;

John Nirenberg, a retired college professor from Vermont who walked 485 miles from Boston to Washington, DC to raise the question of impeachment to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  

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