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Friday, January 15, 2010

Aid to Haiti

There's nothing like hearing slobbering idiots like Pat Robertson make a bad situation worse.

According to Pat, Haitians made a pact with the Devil and this is payback time. Wow, Pat, all the Haitians? Really? Then they weren't getting much in return, were they? It's more likely a bet that the Pope got that deal: Look at his swanky bachelor pad.

And of course Rush Limbaugh waded into the fray, claiming that the Haitians already get enough aid from us.

Crazy, huh?

Well... Despite my distaste for Rush at times, he is correct.

When will the United States learn where our boundaries lie? Our territory extends no further south than Key West.*

Well, good thing we're all so rich and have such a robust economy here, right?

Oh, wait a minute...

Obama has pledged over $100 million in aid to Haiti. How nice of him to choose to send our tax dollars elswhere, when we need it so badly here.

Is Haiti's situation pitiful? Of course it is! But is it our business to fix it? Have everybody's problems become our own, when we can not even take care of ourselves?

The USA had 3.9 million foreclosures in 2009, and they predict even more this year. Unemployment is the highest in thirty years (and some believe it is higher). The US is already a nation in extreme debt. Couldn't that $100 million help us in any of these areas?

Charity begins at home.

Jennifer Love Hewitt: Vagazzle?

OK, this is so tacky it may not be worth discussing, but Hewitt declared yesterday that she has pierced her vagina multiple times and embedded it with decorative Swarovski crystals (i.e. decorative cut glass). She says it looks like a disco ball down there.

First: Hewitt refers to her vagina as her "precious lady". How childish is that! Aren't we all grownups around here, or do men still have weewees?

Second: How can she clean herself effectively now? And how often does she remove the crystals to get out all the er...stuff that might accumulate in those crystals? Sounds pretty foul to me.

And don't they snag on everything? Sitting down must take a lot of adjustment.

Lastly, can the men really appreciate it? I'll bet they use a lot of Neosporin after a wild night.

There is a reason that even porn stars aren't... er... vagazzling. Or, are they? Perhaps this is a trend I've missed among skanks.

* That is, unless you include Puerto Rico: Another parasitic country masquerading as a US state only when it's convenient. And yet, Puerto Ricans don't pay federal income taxes to the USA. And, of course, neither does any other country on the face of the earth.

26 comments:

Ed said...

You are absolutely correct Saur. The Haiti crisis is for PRIVATE aide and not PUBLIC tax dollars. I don't mind sending in the troops but it really gets me when my tax dollars are sent to another country.

Scott said...

Ah... right.. why should we help those poor Haitians? I mean really, there are only about 50 to 100 thousand dead, their capital city has all but been destroyed, why would we want to help. I say 'we' because it is not only the USA that is helping out, there are countries from all over the world sending financial aid, medical supplies, food and other basics needed to survive.

Why are we doing this? We are doing this because we live in a civilized world one where we should care for our fellow man, especially when in a time of crisis.
Yes there are major financial issues in the US and the rest of the world economy, but not helping those in need due to no fault of their own will not make things better.

Do you know how much government aid was pledged to the USA when Katrina hit by other countries? Even Cuba offered to send state paid for Doctors to help out in the hospitals. That was what 5,000 dead, can you imagine 100,000 of your citizens dying all at once? There would be help for you too so keep that in mind.
Guess I am just a liberal do gooder.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Scott, Well, feel free to donate all your personal money! I'm not telling you not to. And Canada is healthier than the US right now, so you guys can send the lion's share for all I care. ;o)

Ed, Exactly.

daveawayfromhome said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

It's not about me giving all of my money or about what individuals do as donors, it is about the duty of wealthy nations to help those that are less fortunate and who are in poverty and who are suffering.
Let's face it, even in these tough economic times in the US $100 million is basically nothing in the big picture.
Just remember there are bodies lying in the streets that are only a couple of hours on a plane away from your door.
Canada will do its share. I think that all countries should support the massive rebuiding and life supporting effort that needs to be done.
Do you not have any belief that we are all citizens of the world and that we bear some responsibility for others as nations?

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I am not sure how I feel about the 100 million. I am sure that, as soon as I find a vehicle that I trust, I will send as much as I can afford.
As for the piercing actress, Iread a Reader's Digest article in one of my many waiting room episodes entitled "50 things your Dentist Won't Tell You" in which dentists say that oral piercings (tongue, lips etc.) have increased dental decay by fifty to eighty percent. imagine what it is doing "down there". I'm including an off topic You tube link that I thought might interest you. (If I do it right) http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/01/025329.php

Ed said...

Scott - Where does our duty to help other counties come from? From the constitution, our founding document that forms the backbone of our country? I don't think so. From your religous beliefs? Most likely so why are you enforcing your religous beliefs on everyone in the U.S. by insisting we have a duty to contribute? I have contributed to the Haiti disaster through my church but I still think that our government has no duty to contribute nor should they without constitutional authority.

Yes there are bodies laying on the streets in Haiti. So too are bodies laying in the streets of our own country. We have millions of homeless and that number is still growing everyday thanks to our current economic situation. Should we tell these CITIZENS of our own country that Haitians are better than them? Should we say that we don't care about our own citizens and can't pledge $100 million towards keeping them alive but we can towards another country? Those who are dead and lying in the streets of Haiti are just that, dead. They feel no pity and we should not pity them. The pity should be directed to those living without homes which evidently is more important than those homeless US CITIZENS, also without food, water and fuel.

Underground Logician said...

Saur:

I'm reading the posts and I must weigh in. First, stop sniping at the Pope please. You make him sound Hugh Hefner-esque taking advantage of the poor. Bad form. Catholic relief agencies worldwide have provided the vast majority of relief to the poor in this world. You are speaking from a very popular and ugly prejudice.

I'm with Scott in that we as a nation have a responsibility to the Haitians. But I have a different spin on it; the fact we divide the peoples of our world into nation/states is really an arbitrary arrangement that is about 400 years old. The Catholic Church, which has a 2000 year old perspective, sees no arbitrary divisions between peoples politically and was there when the rise of nationalism came to be the trend, with the subsequent Thirty-Years War and Hundred Years War in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Although Mr. Obama is a communist opportunist and could very well turn this into political power for himself, we still need to move as a world people and help. We need to be wary and watching Washington as we help these people...which is a bit distracting--helping the Haitians while looking over our shoulder at Big Brother.

As to your Pope remarks, do you care to retract them?

Scott said...

Ed,

I am neither religious nor am I American, my belief that nations have a responsibility to help others in times of crisis. The USA does indeed have a financial crisis on its hands and there are no doubt homeless people living on the streets. At the same time there has not been 100,000 of your citizens killed in one natural disaster in history. This assistance is not about helping build luxury homes or anything of the kind. This is about basic life saving service to fellow humans, that is all.
You don't have to be religious to know that those who have more have a duty to help others.
And let's face it. No matter how bad you may think that the things are in the US at the moment it is nothing like what most people live like every single day of their lives.
I know very little about your Constitution so I won't pretend that I do, but I would have to say that government budgets have dollars available for foreign aid. There are a lot of other crazy ways that governments spend money that add up to a lot more than the 100 million dollars.

Gary Baker said...

Scott,

Interesting that you should say this:

"You don't have to be religious to know that those who have more have a duty to help others.
And let's face it. No matter how bad you may think that the things are in the US at the moment it is nothing like what most people live like every single day of their lives."

And that's exactly why thousands of Americans were involved in missionary work before the quake. These religious people recognized that they held a duty inspired of God to teach, build, and generally assist the less fortunate. Oddly, the less religious inspired seemed completely content to let the country wallow in poverty and corruption unaided. I say this not to deny that additional aid is required, but to make that point that trying non-religious types trying to lecture Christians on their duty to the poor is a bit hypocritical. Studies show that religious people on average regularly give more than twice as much in time, blood, volunteer hours, etc., as their non-religious counterparts. Perhaps if our less religious brethern would step up to the plate with some of their own funds instead of insisting that forced charity through government was the way to go, then the needs would be less frequent and less severe.

My personal opinion is that the attitude you display, that the wealthy have a duty to give that should be forced, is responsible for much of the misery in the world. Many people reflexively answer "Let the government handle it," to every need that comes up. When that's the attitude, then personal charity and personal caring dry up. Our current president is a perfect example. Despite his talk of charity and caring for others, his record on personal charity was pathetic until it started to be examined as he went for higher public office. And part of his plan to raise government revenue is to reduce the deductability of charitable donations. That doesn't sound like someone who truly cares about the poor to me.

Gary Baker said...

Underground,

"The Catholic Church, which has a 2000 year old perspective, sees no arbitrary divisions between peoples politically and was there when the rise of nationalism came to be the trend, with the subsequent Thirty-Years War and Hundred Years War in the 16th and 17th centuries."

Which is well and good for the Catholic Church. I'm Christian called Southern Baptist myself for the moment, and I personally applaud Catholic Charities for the fine work they do. I am also proud, in I hope a Godly way, about the work that Southern Baptists specifically, and many Christian groups generally, do in the way of serving the poor.

Despite all of that, however, I still maintain that the duty that you speak of does not exist from God's perspective. People are responsible for people. National governments are responsible for their duties under legal charge, such as the Constitution. All of the money of the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Church is given voluntarily. If a person objects, they can drop support. That type of arrangement does not exist for tax dollars. Forced giving is not charity. It does not give the same good feeling from the giver. It often breeds resentment. And it does not result in lasting gratitude from the receiver. Experience has shown that it results in dependence and a sense of entitlement. We are seeing this now as many countries across the world not only expect the US to foot the bill for Haiti but for most of the rest of the problems in the world as well. There is nothing noble, Godly, or good about supporting actions that reinforce this expectation.

krok23 said...

Saur, it's posts like this one that make me wish you weren't so fucking mean because I want to sex you.
Great posts.

Scott said...

Gary,

My comments on religion were simply a response to Ed insinuating that I am religious and that my viewpoint was propped up by that.
I don't know that your statement of "Oddly, the less religious inspired seemed completely content to let the country wallow in poverty and corruptio
n unaided" holds any water at all. It seems that millions of people are donating their money to a wide variety of charities to provide assistance.
All that being said, I don't agree that the government's sole responsibility is to deal with matters pertaining to the constitution. I feel that governments have a global role as well, one to look after the global good.
But hey, that is just my opinion. I am no constitutional scholar.

Gary Baker said...

Scott,

"I don't know that your statement of "Oddly, the less religious inspired seemed completely content to let the country wallow in poverty and corruptio
n unaided" holds any water at all."

I do. Research the facts. There were roughly 43,000 Americans in Haiti prior to the quake, most involved in some kind of missionary work. Either low pay from their mission boards, or straight volunteerism. Right now there are tens of thousands of other Christian volunteers across the world doing everything from building clinics to organizing schools to providing basic services.

I'm not denying one bit of charity that is being given by anyone during this difficult time for Haiti. I applaud all of the donors. But when it comes down to it, the non-religious are far less likely to make it of life. You may believe that countries have a duty to tax their citizens for such charities as you like. And I may point out that generosity with other people's money is not generosity. It's theft, and I feel both sad and angered at how many people feel morally superior simply because they wish to steal money from someone who has earned it to use it for their own purposes.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Wow! So many responses. I can only respond to a couple at this minute but will respond to all later today.

Krok, I am NOT mean. Well... maybe just a little. ;o)

Underground Logician, My point wasn't to slam the Pope but to point out that if Haitians had made a pact with the Devil, I believe they'd be much better off than they are.

But as for the Vatican's treasures, if the Catholic Church would sell off a few to private collectors, they would have the ability to help out so many who are suffering.

I have spoken to Catholic Charity workers who are struggling because the Catholic Church does not help them in any significant way.

Instead, CC must ask for money from people who need their help such as someone I know who was adopted through CC and wants to find his birth parents. In his case, the only way he can find his birth parents is if he coughs up $500 to CC. Otherwise, he's outta luck. And... he doesn't have the money. What a racket: They adopt you out and charge your adoptive parents a fortune, then they charge you when you're grown up as well.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Wow! So many responses. I can only respond to a couple at this minute but will respond to all later today.

Krok, I am NOT mean. Well... maybe just a little. ;o)

Underground Logician, My point wasn't to slam the Pope but to point out that if Haitians had made a pact with the Devil, I believe they'd be much better off than they are.

But as for the Vatican's treasures, if the Catholic Church would sell off a few to private collectors, they would have the ability to help out so many who are suffering.

I have spoken to Catholic Charity workers who are struggling because the Catholic Church does not help them in any significant way.

Instead, CC must ask for money from people who need their help such as someone I know who was adopted through CC and wants to find his birth parents. In his case, the only way he can find his birth parents is if he coughs up $500 to CC. Otherwise, he's outta luck. And... he doesn't have the money. What a racket: They adopt you out and charge your adoptive parents a fortune, then they charge you when you're grown up as well.

Ed said...

Scott - So if you concede that I'm correct that our constitution does not state anywhere that we are required by "duty" to help Haiti and you also state that our "duty" to help does not come from a religious perspective, where then does this "duty" to help come from? Seems to me that it has to come from one place or the other.

Scott said...

Ed,

The sense of duty comes from the need to look after others in their time of need. You don't have to have religion or rules to know that when fellow citizens are dying and in the streets it is time to step up and help.

Gary,

Lots of people volunteer their time and resources to many many causes. The fact that people go on Missions where they do charitable work is noble. Keep in mind though that the bulk of that work is done in third world nations with the intent to convert individuals to the Christian faith. There is definitely an agenda there.

And your point about US foreign aid equaling theft from the people, to me, is absolutely absurd. Is the money that is used by your state department to intervene in foreign wars around the world also theft from the people of the US?

And to be clear, I don't feel morally superior at all. It is not me that makes the decision to give the money as aid, but I will say that I absolutely support it in every way. (not that you didn't know that).

Ed said...

Scott - Okay, so you changed words from duty to needs but why? Why do you feel the need to help others? Is it because it is the CHRISTIAN thing to do? It is because GOD says to help those who can't help themselves? Is it because if you don't you will have SINNED and gone to hell?

You are dancing all around it but when it comes down to brass tacks, you are telling me we should help these people for religious reasons and I ABSOLUTELY AGREE. I have contributed to Haiti through my religious affiliation. But our founding fathers were adamant about separating religion from country for very good reasons.

I am reminded of an old Boy Scout oath that includes the line, "Do your duty for God and for Country." Even they didn't give you a third choice.

Gary Baker said...

Scott,

"You don't have to have religion or rules to know that when fellow citizens are dying and in the streets it is time to step up and help."

The thing is that people are dying in the streets every day. Starvation is real all over the world. It didn't just start with this earthquake. And every day it's the Christians that are sending out people to help and the atheists that are calling for more taxes so they don't have to get personally involved.

"Keep in mind though that the bulk of that work is done in third world nations with the intent to convert individuals to the Christian faith. There is definitely an agenda there."

Incorrect. I would agree that the bulk is done with the hope that people will convert, but you can hardly say that is the intent. There are some missionaries in the field that, yes, that is their main cause. But for the others, they build, train, teach, etc., and no one is required to pledge anything, convert, read, or anything of the like. The bulk is done to help people.

But let's suppose that you are correct. Suppose that the intent was to convert people to Christianity and nothing else. If people do not convert, the working missionaries gain nothing. If the people do convert, the missionaries gain nothing. In short, the people who are visited are no poorer than they were before, but now they have either a new school, a new hospital, clean water, or whatever else the missionaries were working on, and they have hope for a future beyond that as worm-food.

I appreciate your attempt to try to imply that is something self serving or nefarious, but it doesn't wash, and it's a lot more than atheists do for them.

"And your point about US foreign aid equaling theft from the people, to me, is absolutely absurd. "

Okay, if you don't like the word theft, how do you feel about the word "slavery?" The government is taking the goods earned by others against their will and using them to support others. Sounds like slavery to me.

You don't feel morally superior? You feel that your judgment of what should be done with the goods and money earned by the sweat of their brows is so superior to what they would do with it that they should have no say where it goes but you should. That sure sounds like a morally superior attitude to me.

I think Saur hit the nail on the head early on: Give all you want of your own. I know I do.

Scott said...

Ed,

The thing is I am not a religious person at all. I would describe myself as thoroughly agnostic. So the desire, need, moral duty comes from my upbringing and values. I feel it is important to help those less fortunate than us. That comes from my upbringing, experience and 30+ years on the Earth.

Gary,

You are right. I do feel morally superior, i danced around that but yeah, I think that those who feel that governments who have the ability to help those in need and do not are not doing their job as global citizens. I feel that it should be part of any country's constitution, duty, or whatever you want to call it to help those in need.

Christian missionaries go for all kinds of reasons just as the many many secular folks who go all around the world providing aid.

And for the record. I have donated my own money for this cause on two occasions thus far. I am proud that the Canadian government is matching the donations that Canadians make dollar for dollar on top of the money that they have already committed to assist the Haitians.

Oh, and slavery.. really? Come on, I think you are better than that. You are talking about tax monies that get used for a million different purposes, I really think that foreign aid to impoverished people should be the least of your worries.

Gary Baker said...

Scott,

"Christian missionaries go for all kinds of reasons just as the many many secular folks who go all around the world providing aid."

Except that on average Christians give more than twice as much as secular people in terms of time and money. And even in the "secular" organizations, I have no doubt that you would find that a large proportion of volunteers are Christian.

"I think that those who feel that governments who have the ability to help those in need and do not are not doing their job as global citizens."

Then you might want to consider that without the wealth contributed through the American system, the world situation would already be considerably worse. The wealth generated through capitalism provides lasting employment, not short term aid, for countries all over the world. Conversely, a great deal of the money offered as "aid" to countries ends up in the hands of corrupt government officials and off-shore bank accounts.

"I have donated my own money for this cause on two occasions thus far. I am proud that the Canadian government is matching the donations that Canadians make dollar for dollar on top of the money that they have already committed to assist the Haitians."

Equally on the record, I congratulate you for your generosity. However, if I were a citizen of Canada, I might feel better about the money which is going to Haiti going to the medical system so that, for example, they could cut the wait to see a cancer specialist to under several months.

"Oh, and slavery.. really? Come on, I think you are better than that."

Right now I pay between 40 and 50 percent of all that I earn in the form of one tax or another. And this does not include the roughly 12 percent gross that my family gives to charitable contributions. So how much do I have to give to satisfy you? Give me a percentage? When does it become slavery? Right now, I am paying for medicines I will never receive, college educations that my children won't get, and all manner of other things that are not outlined as duties of the government.

Feel superior if you wish, but there's nothing noble about putting a gun to someone's head (or threatening them with prison for failing to pay taxes) to support your own causes. It's the same thing that dictators have done throughout the ages. You simply tell yourself that it's alright because your cause is good. When someone comes knocking on the door and demands from you for a cause that you think poor, you may change your mind. Not that you will have any choice by then. The type of mentality you are advocating always ends up eating its own in the end.

Saur♥Kraut said...

I was going to weigh in, but it looks like everyone is enjoying themselves immensely without my wading into the fray. ;o)

Ed said...

"So the desire, need, moral duty comes from my upbringing and values."

So to summarize Scott, you wish to exert your upbringing and value system on myself and my entire country?

The Lazy Iguana said...

$100 million is cheap compared to the cost of another Mariel style mass immigration flood into Florida from Haiti. The USCG in Miami sent some stuff to Haiti, but Sector Miami is keeping a lot of assets here in case there is a migration flood. Human smugglers will stand to make a lot of money, not to mention the negative impact bloated bodies washing up on Miami Beach will have on tourism.

People like Rush are assholes. What else do you expect him to say? But I bet his attitude would change really quick if the leaky sailboat with 300 Haitians landed on the beach behind his palace. I am sure at first he would think that his pool cleaning service is really going overboard sending that many people to remove the layer of scum his carcass leaves behind - but then he would want a massive (but EVIL) government response to remove all the unsightly and smelly people from his private beach.

And I hope he would also be willing to pay for the full cost of the effort - including assets that the US Coast Guard would launch looking for bodies before they wash up on shore. Cutters and helicopters are not cheap you know.

Same goes for all the crazy idiots like Pat Robertson and their "pact with the devil" horse crap. I hope Pat Robertson is the next person to be trapped for days under his own home after an earthquake. Of course, using the power of prayer and his magical energy juice I am sure old Pat could easily leg press all the debris and free himself.

And by the way, you need to extend the territory line past Key West. You forgot about the Dry Tortugas. And all those oil platforms in the Gulf Of Mexico.

But the bottom line is that the view that what happens "over there" has no impact here has been proven wrong time and time again. Just look at WWI and WWII for some major examples. Oh, its just Germany invading France! We are fine over here!

More recently, what happened when a few people jumped the fence of an Embassy in Havana Cuba? That had almost no impact at all in Florida!

Gary Baker said...

Lazy,

Your last message is an interesting mixture of misdirection and non-sequitor. To wit:

1. To the best of my knowledge, no one has said that help should not be given. The big debate is what should be the source.

2. Removing trespassers from private property or from a country where they have entered illegally is a proper function of government as outlined in any number of legal documents and constitutions.

3. The isolationists in WWI and WWII bear far more resemblance to modern liberals than conservatives in that their attitude was peace at any price, consistent compromise with dictators, and refusal to enforce sanctions and treaties once the dictatorships broke them. Iraq, for instance, deliberately ignored 14 UN resolutions regarding inspections and weapons control. Despite this, the UN steadfastly refused to take action other than enriching themselves through black market trade and deals with Saddam.

4. The relative size of an expenditure has no bearing on whether or not it is lawful.

5. You are correct in that cutters and helicopters are not cheap. They however are a bargain compared to increased crime, health care costs, service costs, etc., associated with illegal immigration into the states.