January 13, 2010

"Port-au-Prince is devastated, lot of deaths. SOS. SOS . . . Temporary field hospital by us at UNDP needs supplies, pain meds, bandages. Please help us."

The devastating earthquake in Haiti:
“The main issue here will probably be shaking... and this is an area that is particularly vulnerable in terms of construction practice, and with a high population density. There could be a high number of casualties.”...

“There is a blanket of dust rising from the valley south of the capital...We can hear people calling for help from every corner. The aftershocks are ongoing and making people very nervous.”

108 comments:

bagoh20 said...

The epicenter just 10 miles from Port o' Prince could not have been in a worse spot. Can you be much more unlucky then living in Haiti any day, but especially today. Tragic.

Bob_R said...

A group from our church with two pastors and a bunch of Virginia Tech students is down there on a mission trip building and extension on a school in a rural area about 35 miles from the center of the quake. Everybody in the group is OK. We got lots of emails and texts immediately after the quake. (I sometimes forget how astounding our communication technology is.)

rhhardin said...

They may not have a Katrina mentality.

If you have a disaster in a large population center, you have lots of helpers on hand.

rhhardin said...

The narrative of the media will always be to make the population passive victims.

It sells better to you know who.

rhhardin said...

The urgency is feeding the helpers, whose urgency is digging people out within the three day limit.

Treating the injured is lower priority. There's probably many more people needing digging out first.

The US press releases will probably serve to make the population passive waiters because it serves the cause of governments, which comes first.

Opus One Media said...

what in the world are you on rhhardin?

people are dead and dying. there is pain and suffering and you are saying what?

how utterly pathetic.

Scott M said...

My mother-in-law and father-in-law have been going to PaP for decades now to help out a friend (American) who moved down there to start an orphanage. They were, in fact, set to go next week, plane tickets in hand.

Not so sure not, but I'm betting without having talked to them yet, that they're going to make a beeline for PaP to help out. She's an ER doc and he's got 30 years of remodeling work under his belt.

traditionalguy said...

Is General Honore' available? He is retired now. But his skills at organising priorities for manpower during chaos is what Rh is driving at. Caring the most is a photo-op for the watchers. Digging out buried people is a contribution to lives of real people.

bagoh20 said...

I agree - the story is at the fingertips of the diggers. Giving them what they need today is what counts. It's frustrating not being able to be there to dig right now.

Scott M said...

Quick update.

I was wrong about them making a beeline. They're absolutely not going. My father-in-law, whom I talked into reading "The Road", said it would be worse than that....and that's saying something if you've read the book or seen the recent movie. I know he was just being glib to lighten the mood, but for that reformed hippie to not want to go, it's got to be really, really bad.

The biggest problem is that my father-in-law's youngest brother DID go. He was in Carrefour yesterday and is supposed to be in a jeep heading up into the mountains today, but nobody can reach him.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

While I feel very sorry for the people of Haiti and hope that they get all the help they need, for God knows they are suffering and have suffered for years.....THEY the people....not their corrupt government....

There is nothing that could ever entice me to set foot in that Hell Hole of a country.

We will send aid and maybe some of it will trickle down to the victims, but like always it will end up in the pockets of the elite rulers and dictators of the country. Welcome to the reality of third world countries and see the future of our own.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I've done some some ag development work in Haiti, and if you've never been there you'll have a difficult time understanding how bad it must be.

Haitian buildings can barely remain standing of their own accord. One entire neighborhood, built on the side of a steep ravine slumped to the bottom.

The only positive thing in the midst of this devastation is that they typically use so little re-bar in buildings (especially in the poor areas) that it may be marginally easier to rescue trapped people by hand.

Things are also probably a real mess all along the coast as far west as Léogâne.

Balfegor said...

Cor. Over the weekend, one of my juniors flew out to Haiti on holiday, to see family. Too terrible.

LarsPorsena said...

Papa Doc
Baby Doc
Disease
Anarchy
Hurricane
Earthquake

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
are the only real regular visitors to Haiti. If a land was ever cursed ,it's Haiti.

George Doe said...

I'm sure you'll figure out a way to blame Obama. In fact, what's taking so long? The wingnuts are slow today.

Kirby Olson said...

Are there still UN Peacekeepers in Haiti?

What's Aristide up to these days?

A kleptocracy like Haiti would have put nothing into things like public safety. I don't know what American companies are still there. Baseball manufacture has moved to Costa Rica.

When we invaded in 1930 we rewrote the Haitian Constitution so that foreigners could own Haitian land so most of the arable land is owned by international coffee growers. There's nothing much left for the Haitians.

What a pitiable country.

Under the French the average life-span of a slave was four years from the time they stepped off a boat.

The last big earthquake 200 years ago happened when Napoleon's brother was trying to reconquer the island after the world's only successful slave revolt.

In the early part of the last century the Haitians had a brief window of opportunity in which the US offered them the chance to become a state.

They voted to remain "free" even if their crazy laws (it takes 20 years worth of legal paper work to buy property, and most Haitians are illiterate) make the country a guaranteed mess. Oy vey.

Ironically, this earthquake at least draws attention to their situation. And it's a wake-up call to the kleptocracy -- probably even worse than that of Myanmar's.

Chip Ahoy said...

Fourteen whole posts for the word wingnuts appeas utterly hopelessly non sequitur. I'd say it's the leftist trolls that are slipping.

As to Haiti, like imagined statements attributed to wingnuts, what hasn't already been said a million times?

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

RH Hardin--the 72 hour rule does apply to crush syndrome victims--its more like 24 hours and without heavy equipment a lot of people will die.

Ironically, freeing a crush syndrome victim brings about a rapid death in the absence of very sophisticated medical care which is not available in Haiti.

The Haitian disaster should be a wake up call for regions of this country that are at risk for similar catastrophic events--Memphis. The lessons will not be learned, building codes will not be changed and god forbid the mentions of seismic activity should preclude economic development projects.

The best the the US can do is some some aircraft carriers into the region to provide help, medical care, fresh water and other assistance.

God help the poor Haitians--my heart goes out to them and now they have to deal with aftershocks.

Roger J. said...

And George Doe: you are a fucking idiot devoid of humanity and can only see things thru your warped political lenses--go fuck yourself you sorry bastard

The Crack Emcee said...

This almost made me cry today when I read about it in the paper. Poor Haiti. Poor, poor, fucking Haiti.

former law student said...

For reference, the Loma Prieta earthquake of '89 was also 7.0, but with much less loss of life. In a seeming paradox, structures close to the epicenter were much less likely to fail than ones further out, because of their unbraced construction, and the soft dirt they were built on.

The homes most likely to survive were single-story wood frame. Unreinforced brick buildings sustained the most damage. Sounds like Haitian buildings are made from unreinforced concrete.

enki said...

I think the left has a near monopoly on blaming natural disasters on political opponents. Didn't we hear that all the hurricanes in Bush's administration were caused by global warming, which Bush was singlehandedly making worse by orders of magnitude? Except for Katrina, which became a disastrous flood because Bush blew up the levees.

What's going on in Haiti made me think of this column by Thomas Sowell, which I found instructive.

Balfegor said...

I'm sure you'll figure out a way to blame Obama. In fact, what's taking so long? The wingnuts are slow today.

Okay. Neo-Canute forgot to command the earth to stop quaking. There. Happy?

Roger J. said...

FLS--good points--in the absence of building codes, wooden structures are safest--

May I suggest we dont put too much emphasis on the richter scale value--what is most significant is the modified mercalli scale which is a better measure of actual ground shaking

If you are interested in earthquakes please visit the website of my old employer, CUSEC (Central US Earthqake Consortium) at cusec.org--you can also see the shake makes of the Haitian disaster at the usgs web site--its a very good site for data

Roger J. said...

The recovery issue is this: provide food, water, and what medical help is possible--do NOT worry about dead bodies, because dead bodies are not contagious. The only reason to deal with bodies is for psychological assistance for the living--they do NOT pose a public health threat. Help the living first and then deal with the dead. we will be hearing about epidemics in the near future--fact: there have been no major epidemics following major disasters such as this--havent got time to provide a reference, but it is searchable.

Triage, treat the living, provide food and water, and shelter where possible.
restore what infrastructure you can

vbspurs said...

The epicenter just 10 miles from Port o' Prince could not have been in a worse spot.

In a place called Carrefour -- which ironically is the name of a very famous supermarket chain from France.

I am devastated for Haitians. 500,000 dead, said the President. This is a tragedy we haven't seen this earth for decades.

vbspurs said...

You know, I feel all kinds of embarrassed, sad, guilty now that I can only send a few dollars to the Catholic Relief fund (I'm off to do so immediately after posting).

Because I blew my spending limit for this week on Scott Brown...

I'm so sorry, Haiti. Had only I know. :(

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

known...

Roger J. said...

Ms Victoria--I would not put much stock in initial estimates which are always high--It IS no doubt a disaster, but will not, I suggest, approach the devastation of the Christmas Tsunami

Scott M said...

@vbspurs

See my post from 9:57. Carrefour is where my father-in-law's youngest brother was supposed to be yesterday. We still haven't heard from him. Not sure what kind of tech he was carrying, though.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I am devastated for Haitians. 500,000 dead, said the President. This is a tragedy we haven't seen this earth for decades.

Out of curiosity, is there some mathematical model that can come up with these kinds of numbers because I have to admit I am a tad skeptical of that figure.

John Lynch said...

I saw the initial report and my stomach sank.

It's horrible there, and it's going to get worse.

God help them.

vbspurs said...

See my post from 9:57. Carrefour is where my father-in-law's youngest brother was supposed to be yesterday. We still haven't heard from him. Not sure what kind of tech he was carrying, though.

Scott, I'm so sorry! I can't imagine what your f-i-l must be going through until he speaks to him again (and I'm sure he'll turn up -- you'll see).

Your family sound very caring, and involved, no matter what they decide to do in the short-term.

My prayers up your way, Scott.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Roger J wrote:

I suggest, approach the devastation of the Christmas Tsunami

Do you remember when the Twin Towers were hit, Rog? All of us immediately went, "OMG, 30,000 people just lost their lives". It was 10x less, "thankfully". As you say, first reports are always wrong. But 10x less would be 50,000 people, and all told, I think that sounds about right for a country with almost ZERO infrastructure.

vbspurs said...

Out of curiosity, is there some mathematical model that can come up with these kinds of numbers because I have to admit I am a tad skeptical of that figure.

Hoosier, it was IIRC the President René Préval himself who put it at that figure. Now, like you, I am suspicious of the figure -- and I rather think he's inflating it so that his country receives IMMEDIATE and sustained international help.

But it's hard not to fear that it could possibly be in the hundreds of thousands, given the lack of safety building code in Haiti. 2,000,000 people live there, after all. It's not Banda Acheh.

Balfegor said...

Out of curiosity, is there some mathematical model that can come up with these kinds of numbers because I have to admit I am a tad skeptical of that figure.

It seems really high for an initial figure, but you have to remember (1) they are pretty much the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and (2) the earthquake hit almost dead on in one of those gigantic third world slum metropolises. The population of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area is about 1.7 million (according to wikipedia). If you look at the 2003 Bam earthquake, in Iran, a city of almost 100,000 people had a death toll of about 26,000, or more than a quarter. The Haiti earthquake was somewhat stronger than Bam, and Haiti is poorer than Iran, has a fairly high population density, and its central government is based in the city that was just hit.

Roger J. said...

Ms Vicki--rest assured I am not trying to downplay the extent of the tragedy--my only point was (thankfully) initial estimates are always wrong--but it doesnt mean there was not a major disaster.

Having grown up in Miami myself I have great fondness for haitians--and no people, as wonderful as haitians are, should have to endure this disaster

Lets do our best to help them--as I said, the US can dispatch aircraft carriers and hospital ships who can assist--I think you and I are committed to mitigate the suffering the haitian people are now enduring.

take care and be safe

Freeman Hunt said...

This is horrible. Of all the places in the world.

Freeman Hunt said...

Let this remind our Mother Earthists that Nature is sociopathic.

Michael said...

I was in the big Loma Linda earthquake in California and this one in Hati is significantly worse. I can only imagine the terror and devastation. I heard about this last night listening to Hugh Hewitt on the way home and he immediately put in a call for aid and placed a button on his web site. Early this morning I hear Bill Bennett calling for contributions for the same. I wonder if a similar fast response has come from the liberal alternative media? If not why not.

Beth said...

If you have a disaster in a large population center, you have lots of helpers on hand.

Not sure what a "Katrina Mentality" is, but it's probably easier to have a lot of helpers on hand when you're not under 10 feet of water for several weeks. I'm very glad for Haiti that this is the case.

vbspurs said...

The DC's headline: 100,000 presumed dead. :(

wv: burys......!

Jeremy said...

one can donate here, and send a card to as many as one likes to also do the same:

https://american.redcross.org/site/Donation2?4306.donation=form1&idb=87270903&df_id=4306&JServSessionIdr004=8z2g6dn2t5.app194a

Beth said...

I wonder if a similar fast response has come from the liberal alternative media? If not why not.

Why wonder? Why not google and find out? I guess it's just easier to imply they're not, even though you know no such thing.

What a shame; it's so easy to not give a crap about Haiti. It's much more fun to throw wingnuts and whatnot at each other.

Jeremy said...

Opus One Media said..."what in the world are you on rhhardin? people are dead and dying. there is pain and suffering and you are saying what? how utterly pathetic."

i agree.

for whatever reason, this guy thinks he's some kind of mystic knower of all.

Jeremy said...

Duh Bunny - "We will send aid and maybe some of it will trickle down to the victims, but like always it will end up in the pockets of the elite rulers and dictators of the country. Welcome to the reality of third world countries and see the future of our own."

and as usual, duh bunny stops by with her standard bile.

instead of attaching your political bullshit to the situation, why not just donate to the red cross and let them do what they do best?

help.

Ricardo said...

"Let this remind our Mother Earthists that Nature is sociopathic."

I don't know if I'd go that far. We, however, have a tendency to believe the "myth" that we humans are in charge of the planet, and that everything is supposed to go according to our whims. That ain't the way it happens.

Jeremy said...

vbspurs - "Hoosier, it was IIRC the President René Préval himself who put it at that figure. Now, like you, I am suspicious of the figure -- and I rather think he's inflating it so that his country receives IMMEDIATE and sustained international help."

yeah, that's it.

he's just inflating the numbers so he can receive more "immediate" assistance?

as if the relief would otherwise be stalled or slow in coming??

pull your head out of your ass and think about what's happened and how many people will be dead by the time this is over.

Jeremy said...

Charitable organizations active in Haiti include:

Action Against Hunger
American Red Cross
American Jewish World Service
AmeriCares
Beyond Borders
CARE
Catholic Relief Services
Childcare Worldwide
Direct Relief International
Doctors Without Borders
Feed My Starving Children
Friends of WFP
Haitian Health Foundation
Hope for Haiti
International Medical Corps
International Relief Teams
Medical Teams International
Meds and Food for Kids
Mercy Corps
Operation USA
Oxfam
Partners in Health
Samaritan's Purse
Save the Children
UNICEF
World Concern
World Vision
Yele Haiti

c3 said...

Jeremy stops by to straighten us all out. Much appreciated.

vbspurs said...

Yele Haiti

Wyclef Jean was on AC360, promoting this one. When you send a text "Yele" (no quotes) to the number 501501, it'll charge your phone $5 as a donation.

I tried, but it didn't go through.

Balfegor said...

Another is Haiti Partners -- I saw it recommended recently (via Tyler Cowen) as a smaller, but reputable charity, which may be able to avoid pipeline problems larger charities would encounter. It seems to be primarily an educational charity, but it has an earthquake relief fund.

vbspurs said...

I urge anyone who posts on this thread, of all threads, to stay away from partisan name-calling and insults. Let's be human beings, and not targets of our political ire, for just one moment. I don't think it's too much to ask of reasonable persons given the sudden tragedy unfolding today.

Cheers,
Victoria

virgil xenophon said...

Following on enki@11:57, I always find it amusing when the left complains about the size of the Defense budget, yet when natural disasters occur world-wide, ONLY the forces of America's armed services have the amphibious and vertical lift capability to get to remote areas w.o. serviceable runways, as well as mobile medical and communications facilities. The airport at Port-au-Prince will be re-opened ONLY by dint of the USAF, and the ability of Haiti's govt (such as it is, fwiw) to communicate with it's people will be accomplished ONLY with communications supplied by the US armed services. NO OTHER American organization has either the assets or the trained personnel to do such things; nor do ANY OTHER of the worlds' nations' military establishments. Score another +1 for the world's prime Imperialist, Warmongering Bastards...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

instead of attaching your political bullshit to the situation, why not just donate to the red cross and let them do what they do best?


The Red Cross is a rip off organization and I wouldn't give them a penny. For National Charities, I donate to Catholic Charities, Doctor's Without Borders and Salvation Army.

At least the Catholic Charities will help with supplies and medical assistance and make sure it gets to those who need it most. The people of Haiti are going to need all the help they can get.

I just don't expect that they will get it without much of it being skimmed off by the corrupt government that they have been labouring under for generations.

If you don't like it that I say the truth....too bad.

Ricardo said...

"In an extraordinary statement during a broadcast on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcast Network on Wednesday, the American televangelist claimed that the reason for Haiti’s misfortunes was that the nation “swore a pact to the devil” two centuries ago."

Great. That's always helpful.

Arturius said...

I always find it amusing when the left complains about the size of the Defense budget, yet when natural disasters occur world-wide, ONLY the forces of America's armed services have the amphibious and vertical lift capability to get to remote areas w.o. serviceable runways, as well as mobile medical and communications facilities.

Excellent point. I recall back when the tsnumani hit and a UN official was excoriating the West and the US in particular for being 'stingy' with financial support. I thought it would have been a nice touch if the Sec of State would have sent them an itemized bill of how much the carrier task group sitting off the coast providing aid was costing per hour.

Jeremy said...

c3 said..."Jeremy stops by to straighten us all out. Much appreciated."

you're welcome, and based on some of the ridiculous comments via the regular "pack," i suggest you and others pay close attention.

Jeremy said...

Duh Bunny - "The Red Cross is a rip off organization and I wouldn't give them a penny."

you are really one uneducated, miserable piece of work.

rather sad.

Jeremy said...

"I always find it amusing when the left complains about the size of the Defense budget, yet when natural disasters occur world-wide, ONLY the forces of America's armed services have the amphibious and vertical lift capability to get to remote areas w.o. serviceable runways, as well as mobile medical and communications facilities."

i don't think the liberals (or anybody for that matter, left right or center) who direct their ire at the lack of oversight, outright theft, waste and corruption associated with military spending are complaining or concerned about "relief" work that is provided via our personnel and hardware. i've never read a single article relating to such.

can YOU provide some links or articles where anybody is complaining about anything of the kind?

posting such wing nut drivel just illustrates how uninformed, biased and ridiculous you really are.

LarsPorsena said...

Having worked disaster relief in the 80's, I second DBQ's suggestion.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It is fortunate that the United States is logistically close to Haiti so that hospital ships, supplies and heavy equipment can be sent quickly. Disease prevention and medical assistance along with uncovering people buried by rubble are the first priority.

Our church (Catholic)is holding a special Mass today and collecting donations. Two of the four doctors from our rural area who belong to the Dr's Without Borders organization flew out this morning.

@ Jeremy. Fuck off.

You donate to whom you want and I'll donate where I want. The Red Cross is a rip off organization top heavy with administration. I want my donations to go to help the victims, not to buy fancy office suites.

Scott M said...

@Jeremy

i don't think the liberals (or anybody for that matter, left right or center) who direct their ire at the lack of oversight, outright theft, waste and corruption associated with military spending are complaining or concerned about "relief" work that is provided via our personnel and hardware. i've never read a single article relating to such.

You do admit, don't you, that lack of oversight, outright theft, waste and corruption are facets of any government spending. It just so happens that we actually need defense, though, while multi-million $$ studies of what cigarettes teens use the most, or what gay guys in Brazil do, we do not.

You seem to point toward an argument for a smaller government, as any government spending is apt to the very problems you mentioned. How very conservative of you. Bravo.

Arturius said...

i don't think the liberals (or anybody for that matter, left right or center) who direct their ire at the lack of oversight, outright theft, waste and corruption associated with military spending are complaining or concerned about "relief" work that is provided via our personnel and hardware.

I still chuckle when I see bumperstickers that wish for the day the Air Force has to hold a bake sale. Fortunately for those nations which will rely on such an organization when 7.0 earthquakes occur, that day isn't today.

Jeremy said...

Duh Bunny - "You donate to whom you want and I'll donate where I want. The Red Cross is a rip off organization top heavy with administration."

gee thanks, asshole.

and please reference all of the charity organizations throughout the world that are not "top heavy" with administration.

oh, and be sure to include the catholic charities, because we all know how they aren't the least bit concerned with money or any form of "administration."

Jeremy said...

scott - "You do admit, don't you, that lack of oversight, outright theft, waste and corruption are facets of any government spending. It just so happens that we actually need defense, though, while multi-million $$ studies of what cigarettes teens use the most, or what gay guys in Brazil do, we do not."

of course i do.

the iraqi fiasco is a perfect example of a complete lack of oversight, allowing major corporations to reap billions in profits, mercenary corporations to reap billions in profits, massive amounts of money to be stolen, and the creation of a log term sinkhole of taxpayer dollars.

*And i also do not think the money we've already wasted over there, nor the money we're still spending has made us one bit safer, with the recent fuck up by the underwear idiot proving that anybody can create chaos.

as for what you also consider to be a waste of money (cigarettes & gays?), maybe it is, but it sure as hell doesn't compare to the billions we've wasted over the decades on military bullshit...do you think?? (remember what ike had to say?)

as for "small government," it all depends on which part of the government you want to downsize.

you want to spend most of the money on the military, i personally would prefer the money be more evenly divided between security and the services that make america more livable for the average citizen.

Scott M said...

you want to spend most of the money on the military, i personally would prefer the money be more evenly divided between security and the services that make america more livable for the average citizen.

I never said anything of the sort. I wonder what part of your ideology assumes that I do. Any governmental involvement in anything ramps up the waste and corruption. We can wax back and forth all day about what is appropriate military spending and get absolutely nowhere. I'm certainly libertarian enough to close every base everywhere (marine detachments at embassies don't count) and bring them all home.

"services that make america more livable" Come on. Say it. Say equality of outcome. Come on...

Synova said...

You know I shouldn't but...

How horrifically evil is it to insist that it is *wrong* and horrible to want to direct financial help to a trusted source so that it actually helps the people it is intended to help?

Yes, Jeremy should fuck off if he's going to go on a moral superiority riff just because someone else favors helping those who need it and advises sending funds to those who will actually use the money for the intended purpose.

But attacking DBQ is soooooo important, the opportunity couldn't be passed over. Could it.

Jeremy said...

scott - when you (and others here) mention "small government," does that include this?

The latest budget plan in California would:

1. Force 200,000 children off low-cost medical insurance.

2. End in-home care for 350,000 infirm and elderly citizens.

3. Slash income assistance to hundreds of thousands more.

By refusing to consider broad tax hikes, and the state is relying mostly on $8.5 billion in reduced expenditures including drastic cuts to health and social spending that provide help to the needy.

And if U.S. government contributions don't come through, the plan would trigger deeper cuts that would dismantle entire programs, including the state's welfare-to-work system, CalWorks.

Critics say many such cuts ultimately would cost the state even more money than they save, as when elderly patients forced out of adult day-care facilities end up in nursing homes.

Jeremy said...

Synova - "How horrifically evil is it to insist that it is *wrong* and horrible to want to direct financial help to a trusted source so that it actually helps the people it is intended to help?"

first of all, i never went on any kind of "moral superiority riff." i merely disagree with duh bunny's (and apparently yours) opinion that the red cross is some kind of rip off organization because it's "top heavy in administration," as if her favorite is run by magical catholic elves who aren't paid a dime.

that but that's merely yours and duh bunny's opinion.

if you want to denigrate the red cross (of all things), so be it, but to portray this as "fact" because you and others don't like the organization is bullshit.

if you don't want to send the red cross donations...don't.

i provided a long list of other options...so instead of jumping on me (to secure your place in the little minds of your fellow wing nuts), why put your money where your big mouth is and just donate?

Jeremy said...

scott - you're a republican, i'm a liberal.

get over it.

Scott M said...

We're talking federal government here, first of all. Anything the individual states do is up to the people and elected officials of that individual state. If CA wants that kind of system, bueno. Emigration figures seem to point to the fact that CA people don't, but that's another issue.

No, I'd settle for getting rid of things like the Dept of Ed, the NEA, the income tax and everything that goes along with it, etc. I would also demand, now, a balanced budget amendment. That would go a long way in and of itself.

We have a culture of people that no longer strive to be as self-sufficient as possible. A culture that doesn't foster the sense of duty to stay OFF the public dole. This is undeniable.

Whatever inertia we can create that minimizes a citizen's reliance on government in favor of self-reliance, whether singularly or cooperatively, should be pursued vigorously. That is the ONLY course to sustainability, whatever the pain it takes in the interim to get there. The other path leads to slow withering and eventual collapse.

Scott M said...

@Jeremy

scott - you're a republican, i'm a liberal.

You're an asshat with a bad memory. In previous written fencing matches with you I'm a registered Libertarian.

Further, you seem to think that republican is somehow diametrically opposed to liberal.

You should pay more attention to the world around you.

Beth said...

DBQ, I am curious about your sources re: the Red Cross' efficiency, compared with Catholic Charities and such. If you have any good data to point me to, I'd appreciate it.

I should add that both my parents worked for the Red Cross for many years. I know that they both did very good work directly in communities, on military bases and in disaster-affected areas. But the work of people out in the field and the effectiveness of the administration may be altogether two different things.

Scott M said...

d'oh (its in the dictionary now...lol)

"In previous written fencing matches with you I'm a registered Libertarian."

Should have read, "In previous written fencing matches with you, I've stated clearly that I'm a registered Libertarian."

Not stated so clearly this time, but it has been in the past. The point remains valid.

virgil xenophon said...

Jeremy@2:28

Jeremy, unless you've been living in a cave for the last 40 yrs I don't know how you've missed such attitudes. You realize, don't you, that one don't have to fly to the surface of the sun to know that it's hot? "You don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." Get real, mister, get real..

rhhardin said...

The media have gone into full entertainment mode.

``Bodies of children are stacked near schools.''

People don't realize what entertainment is, I guess.

Jeremy said...

scott - you can call yourself whatever you want, but you're beliefs and comments say: republican.

why are so many people who used to love being associated with the GOP so embarrassed to say what they really are?

never mind...i already know.

Jeremy said...

virgil xenophon said..."Jeremy, unless you've been living in a cave for the last 40 yrs I don't know how you've missed such attitudes."

gee, got a broader brush?

i've "missed such attitudes?"

like i said, provide the links and information relating to where liberals are complaining or concerned about "relief" work that is provided via our personnel and hardware. i've never read a single article relating to such.

take your time.

Jeremy said...

rhhardin said..."The media have gone into full entertainment mode. ``Bodies of children are stacked near schools.'"

or maybe they're doing their job.

would you prefer we not know?

up the dosage, dude...you're getting very strange.

Scott M said...

Jeremy,

What a completely asinine thing to say. The size of the hat on your ass is getting even bigger. How does it feel to live in a room with no colors other than black and white?

Embarrassed with the GOP? Nope. Disgusted? Yep. At their abuse of power, their expansion of government, and their acting no better than your seemingly beloved Democrats. I don't know you're a registered Dem, but from your beliefs and comments, based on what you've said, I suppose I could assume as such.

The fact that the US military can carry out gargantuan civil relief efforts is a side-effect, at best, of it's innate ability to project power. As a percentage of outlay, the US military's operation of specifically civilian platforms is extremely minimal. Thus, one could make a decent argument that arguing against the ability to project power, ie the USAF SAC or MC, is also arguing against the ability to rush to provide substantial aid in a situation like we've got now in Haiti.

Jeremy said...

since some here are bashing the red cross:

How to donate to Haiti earthquake relief
Food for the Poor Haiti Earthquake Relief

Online: www.foodforthepoor.org

Telephone: 954-427-2222


World Vision Haiti Earthquake Relief

Online: www.worldvision.org

Telephone: 866-280-6587


UNICEF Haiti Earthquake Relief

Online: www.unicefusa.org/haitiquake

Telephone: 1-800-4UNICEF


Wyclef Jean's foundation, Yele Haiti.

Online: www.yele.org

Text message: Text "Yele" to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill and go toward Hatian relief projects.

Telephone: 212-352-0552


Samaritan's Purse Haiti Earthquake Relief

Online: www.theirc.org

Telephone: 1-877-Refugee


Catholic Relief Services

Online: CRS.org

Telephone: 800-736-3467

Cedarford said...

Comments:

1. Shut up Jeremey. You are just using this as an excuse to bait and act snotty towards other posters. If you have something to add besides commenting on the commentors, do so.

2. This is a crisis that is happening with America in a new era of terrible fiscal health. Meaning it isn't a time where it is good for America to say "whatever money it takes" like in Katrina, and set about taking 200 billion out of our economy and give it to the Haitians.

***Or offer refugee status to 100s of thousands, even millions of Haitians when there are no jobs in the USA for them.***

3. Priority should be on getting communications, water, food suply restored. The US, especially it's military - is good at that.
The US is also very good at getting detailed intelligence from overflights on where the worst damage is, key infrastructure wrecked...that can help order the priorities the Haitian Gov't requests. Right now, the Haitians are saying that getting water is the most critical need - higher than medical care, rescue, or food.
4. Countries should allocate tasks if they are offering to help and coordinate with the Haitian gov't to reduce redundant resources. In the 2004 Tsunami, there was a lot of waste and overlap. Entire shiploads of unwanted "donated clothing" was dumped into the water so ships could be loaded with rice and tarps. Hugely expensive "rescuer teams" sat around in Thailand and Singapore with no one to rescue.

5. It is really good news that the Haitians (so far) have behaved better than the Katrina victims. No major looting or rioting reported so far. Perhaps we can even give them the 50,000 temp housing units that were condemned after the Katrina people damaged them beyond "repair back to Code". Give them, if they still exist, to the Haitians to fix up. They will.

6. Agree with comments about the Red Cross. They did not live up to my expectations, as a donor to them, in Katrina or the Tsunami. Catholic Charities is better. Or direct aid to a religious organization of the Protestant faith - like the ones that did more than the US government to get Katrina victims in shelter.

7. Contrary to one poster saying dead bodies can be safely ignored while "rescue" activity happens - no, they ARE disease vectors that can poison water supply.
They are also a psychological burden on the survivors. Until the stench of death is gone, personal and societal recovery will be slow.

Jeremy said...

scott - what percentage of the military budget do you suppose is dedicated to the kind of work being provided in haiti or that was sent into new orleans after katrina?

keep in mind afghanistan will cost about 60 billion...this year...or about $1,000,000 per soldier.

can you say: waste of money?

*oh, and when was the last time you voted for anything but a republican presidential candidate?

Jeremy said...

cedarford - suck my dick.

Roger J. said...

Looks like the thread has gone in thoroughly predictable ways--what is really needed are things like urban search and rescue teams, and those are in very short supply throughout the world--
then there is the immediate need for medical supplies and potable water--thats where things like aircraft carriers come in

Jeremy has provided some contact numbers so my thanks to him for that.

The US should steam hospital ships and aircraft carriers immediately into the area--as Virgil has pointed out, its what we can do with what we have available

non-profits can do some things and support those non-profits according to your own criteria

The important thing is to act and act deliberately--but alas--its always more fun to politicize human tragedy

Fucking sad

Jeremy said...

now we've got rush limbaugh complaing...because president obama is speaking out on haiti...too soon.

still complaining about him not speaking out about the underwear bomber moron for 3 days, but of course not mentioning the fact that bush waited 6 days before speaking out about the shoe bomber idiot.

and he's the leader of the gop.

Roger J. said...

C4--you did fine with your post until you got to the point about dead bodies--stick with engineering and not public health you have no idea what you are talking about. If you can point me to ANY major epidemic that has followed a natural disaster, I might take you seriously. And if you are really interested I can provide some epidemiological studies to support my assertion.

Roger J. said...

C4--you are correct in your point about the psychological consequences about dealing with dead--that is the only reason to deal with the dead--viruses in our bodies die with us--we are only contagious when we are excreting--after 24 hours we revert to biomass--non contagious biomass--which is why relief efforts need to be aimed at the living and not the dead--its simply the best use of resources to save survivors

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I'll debate politics with the best of them ... when the time is right. This is not it, and the folks doing that repeatedly on this thread have demonstrated a profound lack of class. So howse about a bit of perspective, eh?

I received the following e-mail from a contact in Cayes, 200 km SW of Port-au-Prince. The writer is an Anglican pastor, and refers to assorted buildings and projects of the Anglican church.

We have devastating news to share with you from Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake yesterday. According to reports I have received here in Les Cayes, the damage in Port au Prince and areas around it is terrible.

There is no Cathedral. The entire Holy Trinity complex is gone. The convent for the Sisters of St. Margaret is gone. The Bishop's house is gone. College St. Pierre is gone. The apartment for College St. Pierre is still standing.

In Trouin, four people were killed during a service.

In Grand Colline, the church is gone. In St Martin of Tours, the kindergarten is gone.

In St. Etienne Buteau the church, the rectory and the school are gone.

In Les Cayes, BTI is OK, but some people were injured trying to get out of the buildings during the quake. The rectory in Les Cayes is in very bad condition.

Follow-up message: Pere Sadoni and everyone at St. Vincent's school for handicapped children got through the earthquake without serious injury.

The rectory in Les Cayes was badly damaged however there were no serious injuries. Pere Colbert and his family are safe, as are others at the rectory and at St. Savieur Episcopal Church and Ste. Savieur Episcopal School in Cayes.

former law student said...

I'm surprised the commentariat is slamming the American Red Cross -- good Republican wife Liddy Dole ran it for eight years. To no effect? Or to a deleterious effect

I fear urban search and rescue will do little good till there are hospitals to treat the rescued. Cuba already had two field hospitals in Haiti, with 400 personnel combined. What can America do for our part?

Jeremy said...

Roger J. - i personally considered the election of g.w. bush to be a national disaster and was sick for 8 years.

does that count?

Jeremy said...

fls - "good Republican wife Liddy Dole ran it for eight years"

there's that "top heavy administration" coming back to bite duh bunny in her ass.

Roger J. said...

FLS--you are correct--in a disaster of this sort USAR teams can't do much--its like doing something with the dead--its done mostly for psychological reasons--and as I mentioned earlier, after 24r hours digging a crush syndrome victim out with a lot of sophisticated medical care will result in the near immediate death of the victim when the crushing detrius is removed.

The focus has to be on the living and their needs--I am sorry to say that, but triage is what is necessary, and it has nasty consequences--- and a whole lot more people will die unless basic necessities are provided.

David said...

Contribute to relief if you can.

My favorite vehicle for this is Mercy Corps. Outstanding organization.

If not them, pick your own favorite.

Roger J. said...

Jeremy--please stay with providing contact numbers for relief agencies--thats very much appreciated

this is not about Bush, Obama or American politics--this is about a destitute people, in a shithole of a nation, who have had a major disaster befall them. American politics seem to me to be quite irrelevant

David said...

And if you want immediate personal relief, just ignore Jeremy.

Please

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Beth: The volunteers and on the ground people who work for the Red Cross are wonderful people who work hard and are selfless.

My beef with the Red Cross is based on their past actions of raising money for a certain disaster(s) and then NOT using the money or 100% of those donations for the specified purpose.

Instead, they funnel the money that people gave for a specific purpose...like Haiti or 9-11 victims for things that the donors didn't intend.

Like if we go out and raise money to help the people in Haiti and then find out that the Red Cross decided to send the money to Botswana. Not that Botswana doesn't need help too. But it is a "Bait and Switch" to raise money for one purpose and then use it for something else.

If I want to donate to an organization for general purposes to use as they see fit, that is one thing. If I am solicited for a specific purpose then they'd better use the donations for that purpose. It is like raising money for a family who had their house burn down so they can replace their household goods and then find out they spent the money on a Disneyland vacation.


In addition they pay/or have paid their administrative staff much higher than other charities and their overhead is rather higher. Maybe these things have changed in the past few years with more oversight.

All in all, I'd rather go with a charity that has a better track record of honesty and frugality in administration.

Roger J. said...

There are some disaster related resources the US has available--DMATs (disaster medical assistance teams) and DMORT (Disaster Mortuary Teams); the North Carolina Health Department has trained teams to dopost disaster assessment--there are also shelter surveillance teams available; Tennessee Task Force One is a trained Urban Search and Rescue Team--We also have a civilian medical response corps in many states, but the issue will be deploying these teams into what will be an international cluster fuck.

And in all honesty we dont have enough teams to make much of a dent in a disaster the size of this.

AllenS said...

duh?

AllenS said...

duh?
duh?
duh?
duh?

AllenS said...

duh?
duh?
duh?
duh?

duh?
duh?
duh?
duh?

Balfegor said...

If you can point me to ANY major epidemic that has followed a natural disaster, I might take you seriously.

On the one hand, the UN is clearly focused on prevention of epidemics after earthquakes. A big part of that seems to be ensuring clean and uncontaminated water supplies, though. An NIH piece suggests that contamination of the water supply by rotting corpses is a problem. Other sources indicate that there's little risk of epidemics after natural disasters.

Cedarford said...

RogerJ and Balefegor -

There is still controversy about the urgency of cleaning up dead bodies.
History shows that even in ancient disasters they placed high priority on cleanup of corpses, even before "germ theory" was understood. Livestock will not drink from a water supply noticably tainted with decayed corpses, nor will most humans - even to the point where many die from dehydration..

So there is likely something to "normal" human and animal behavior on this. There are certain diseases where the dead can be breeding grounds of disease (like cholera, e coli, gastroenteric salmonella, listeria) and be a disease vector as much as survivor sewage is.

It is true as Roger J said that viruses are not generally a problem. They mostly die with the host.

The bad news is that the combination of decaying corpses and sewage putting bad micro-organisms in the water can cause mass diarrhea and death from lack of hydration, electrolyte imbalance that sometimes exceeds the death toll of the direct action of the earthquake, hurricane, flooding, etc.

I think WHO put out the "corpses are harmless" stuff because they didn't want dealing with the dead to get higher priority than "rescue" as they found various 3rd Worlders doing who thought it was culturally or religiously important to get the dead gathered and buried within 24 hours.

But body disposal will always be a priority. They certainly aren't innocuous objects that can be left lying where they are for weeks until they rot away...and not just from epidemiological concerns..but human psychology grounds - as I mentioned to Roger and he agreed.

If we are also honest, the cleanup will not be the 2 billion dollar 9/11 sort done for a few collapsed buildings in NYC where each scrap of body tissue or memento was deemed sacred and only to be handled by "Hero Cops" on OT..and it all went for DNA analysis to "help with Closure of the noble Victim Families - as Bush II wrote a blank check for the gold-plated recovery.
In Haiti, people will be pulling out bits and parts of long-decayed people they can't recognize and a certain part of Haiti's excess population will end up in the back of dump trucks along with broken cinder blocks and concrete chunks and squashed home furnishings and appliances now just garbage - and be dumped as landfill (as was the case in the San Francisco earthquake).

Freeman Hunt said...

"Let this remind our Mother Earthists that Nature is sociopathic."

I don't know if I'd go that far.


Why wouldn't you? Does Nature in any way empathize with you? Does it care about you? Or does it do whatever it does with pretty much complete disregard for you and your feelings? Like a sociopath.

Roger J. said...

C4--thanks for your considered response--looks like we are talking about relative priorities but it is nice to discuss an issue without being called a name--

I do, as I am sure you as well, wish the people of Haiti well

http://www.ehow.com/members/stevemar2-articles.html said...

The situation in Haiti is dire, and will only get worse over time. It is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, so it is up to wealthier countries to try to lend support. The United States will undoubtedly play a major role in the recovery effort, but I hope everyone remembers that the United States also has its own problems, like a high unemployment rate and Americans struggling to support their families.