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  1. #31
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    I think all of this is hypocritical. They needed help long before this happened and now everybody are so sorry for them. While in a about the month from now most people will not remember that this even happened.
    You are correct that Haiti has been in desperate need for years. I haven't been there myself but have visited the Dominican Republic and the poverty is striking, and the DR is supposedly a much "wealthier" society. Listen, I can appreciate your viewpoint "why pay attention (to Haiti) now"; however, this point is moot in your argument.

    There is suffering everywhere in the world. Most of it shielded from daily view. BUT, does that mean, in a moment of crisis, that no one should respond to try to alleviate acute suffering? Of course not. How much attention anyone has been paying to Haiti for the last 40 years becomes irrelevant. There is a crisis. They need help. So, in recognition of our shared humanity, we help as best we can and most appropriate for us to do so. And awaken perhaps our own complacency.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    Seriously, people go in to Doctors Without Borders or Engineers Without Borders simply because of news like this. And that has a lasting effect.
    Indeed.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    At a human level, even if they are strangers, I feel sympathy for such acute devastation these people have recently faced. I am also not blind to their ongoing struggle with poverty and the like even before this natural disaster. It just magnifies the devastation even more because the resources are not that great to begin with, to handle such emergencies.

    At a more personal level, I feel for the desperate situation that this earthquake has caused. I have a friend who works there at the Hopital Albert Schweitzer, Haiti. He was not in Haiti (came back home for holidays) at the time when it happened, but, a lot of people that he knows, his colleagues, friends, a lot of patients, etc., the stories that's coming out of there, through him, closes the distance between this random natural disaster and its impact on me.

    I support because I know of the work that that place does, and it's not some random organization for which I don't know if aid money will be used properly or just lost within corruption, etc.

    To each their own. It is just about how you let a news impact you, the level of association, there's no right or wrong for the level of association a person may have to news and conditions of people and things around the world. I don't understand the confusion of 'why do you care? why do you feel?' A person feels because there's something about that incident that resonated with them, somehow. It's the same old tired argument that comes up in every new thread started about a devastating news around the world, "So what?"

    It's news, either you want to know the news or not, and, if there's something in the story that somehow transforms it into an emotional reality, that's the way it is. I don't understand the puzzlement that seems to spur these "so what?" questions. Just don't watch the news, and listen to people's reactions to them, if you're confused by how some may be affected by it. It's quite irrational to have such a question, at a human level. And, none of us are robots, so all this 'objective posturings' is kinda tiring to listen to for every 'devastating news' thread.

  3. #33
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    You know, it's about how personally invested you choose to become. Is one way right or wrong? It's up to you to decide for yourself I suppose.

    "At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."

    "Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.

    "Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

    "And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"

    "They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."

    "The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.

    "Both very busy, sir."

    "Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge. "I'm very glad to hear it."

    "Under the impression that they scarcely furnish ... cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?"

    "Nothing!" Scrooge replied.

    "You wish to be anonymous?"

    "I wish to be left alone," said Scrooge. "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned -- they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there."

    "Many can't go there; and many would rather die."

    "If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides -- excuse me -- I don't know that."

    "But you might know it," observed the gentleman.

    "It's not my business," Scrooge returned. "It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!"

    --Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

  4. #34
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    This was a sad event feeling distracted about my neighbors to the south.

    China hasn't donated much.

    Sweden, not much.

    USA lots of promises (damn government, what, are our decisions makers emperors?) Plus, hey pardners, get your close asses down there, NOW, to save those that can be saved. What the hell are you waiting for? Permission from the Middle East to spend our defense money where it should be spent? :steam:

    UK is poor too, can't expect much.

    Other countries? Where ARE you?

    Katrina a category 5 hurricane hit a major US city and what was the death toll? 50?

    How about the Hatians replanting deforested mountains? What went wrong there?

    Why are Haitians welcomed into Cuba with financial assistance to obtain college and professional degrees, but not in the US?

    Why do Haitians stay on an island known for its bad weather? Maybe they have an affinity for unpredictable, moody, and adrenalining cosmic injections. So be it. Maybe they will think twice next life.

    I will donate money. Hoping the manager of the organization has integrity. All these organizations should have accountability but not sure if they do? Creeps if they don't spend the donations as intended.

  5. #35
    No Cigar Litvyak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wren View Post
    Other countries? Where ARE you?
    Huh? The whole world is helping. Our support team is en route despite that our situation is not the greatest either.

  6. #36
    THREADKILLER Prototype's Avatar
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    Not that I want to stir the pot too much, but with as many nations distracted with helping Haiti, what would be the chances of something big happening during all this commotion?...
    ... They say that knowledge is free, and to truly acquire wisdom always comes with a price... Well then,... That will be $10, please!

  7. #37
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prototype View Post
    Not that I want to stir the pot too much, but with as many nations distracted with helping Haiti, what would be the chances of something big happening during all this commotion?...
    I don't think that something will happen. Especially since right now everyone are on alert.

    On the other hand what can happen that this same world can't handle ?
    Even bigger natural disaster somewhere else, new 9/11 , nuclear war.....

    However all of this is not too likely to happen right now. Since the odds are small in the first place.


    Why do you ask ?

  8. #38
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    A good article on the reasons for the backwardness which compounded this tragedy:

    Haitian tragedy compounded by long, ugly history of exploitation - The Irish Times - Fri, Jan 15, 2010


    Haitian tragedy compounded by long, ugly history of exploitation

    PETER HALLWARD
    OPINION: The international community is as much to blame for the misery as the act of nature that caused the earthquake

    ANY LARGE city in the world would have suffered extensive damage from an earthquake on the scale of the one that ravaged Haiti’s capital city on Tuesday afternoon, but it’s no accident that so much of Port-au-Prince now looks like a war zone. Much of the devastation wreaked by this latest and most calamitous disaster to befall Haiti is best understood as another thoroughly man-
    made outcome of a long and ugly historical sequence.

    The country has faced more than its fair share of catastrophes. Hundreds died in Port-au-Prince
    in an earthquake in June 1770, and the huge earthquake of May 7th, 1842, may have killed 10,000 in the northern city of Cap Haitien alone. Hurricanes batter the island on a regular basis, most recently in 2004 and 2008; the storms of September 2008 killed more than a thousand people and destroyed thousands of homes.

    The full scale of the destruction resulting from this latest earthquake may not become clear for several weeks. Even minimal repairs will take years to complete, and the long-term impact is incalculable. What is already all too clear, however, is the fact that this impact will be the result of an even longer-term history of deliberate impoverishment and disempowerment.
    Haiti is routinely described as the “poorest country in the western hemisphere”. This poverty is the direct legacy of perhaps the most brutal system of colonial exploitation in history, compounded by decades of systematic postcolonial oppression. The noble “international community” which is currently scrambling to send its “humanitarian aid” to Haiti is largely responsible for the extent of the suffering it now aims to reduce.

    Ever since the US invaded and occupied the country in 1915, every serious political attempt to allow Haiti’s people to move (in former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s phrase) “from absolute misery to a dignified poverty” has been violently and deliberately blocked by the US government and some of its allies.

    Aristide’s own government (elected by some 75 per cent of the electorate) was the latest victim of such interference, when it was overthrown by an internationally sponsored coup in 2004 that killed several thousand people and left much of the population smouldering with resentment. The UN has subsequently maintained a large and enormously expensive stabilisation and pacification force in the country.

    Haiti is now a country where, according to the best available study, about 75 per cent of the population “lives on less than $2 per day, and 56 per cent – four and a half million people – live on less than $1 per day”.

    Decades of neoliberal “adjustment” and neo-imperial intervention have robbed its government of any significant capacity to invest in its people or to regulate its economy. Punitive international trade and financial arrangements ensure that such destitution and impotence will remain a structural fact of Haitian life for the foreseeable future. It is this poverty and powerlessness that account for the full scale of the horror in Port-au-Prince today.

    Since the late 1970s, relentless neoliberal assault on Haiti’s agrarian economy has forced tens of thousands of small farmers into overcrowded urban slums.

    Although there are no reliable statistics, hundreds of thousands of Port-au-Prince residents now live in desperately substandard informal housing, often perched precariously on the side of deforested ravines. The selection of the people living in such places is itself no more “natural” or accidental than the extent of the injuries they have suffered.

    As Brian Concannon, the director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, points out: “Those people got there because they or their parents were intentionally pushed out of the countryside by aid and trade policies specifically designed to create a large captive and therefore exploitable labour force in the cities; by definition they are people who would not be able to afford to build earthquake-resistant houses.”

    If we are serious about helping, we need to stop trying to control Haiti’s government, to pacify its citizens, and to exploit its economy. And then we need to start paying for at least some of the damage we’ve already done. – (Guardian service)



    Peter Hallward is professor of modern European philosophy at Middlesex University in England and author o f Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

  9. #39
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    It's just as tcda says -- the best solution is to just leave them alone.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  10. #40
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    It's just as tcda says -- the best solution is to just leave them alone.
    Are you sure about this ?

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