Tag Archives: Haiti

I was worried about this

It’s begun raining in Haiti. Heavily. And the rainy season is just a few weeks off.

This is going to make the unimaginable even worse. God help those people.

Ewww, wouldn’t it be loverly . . .

“The effect of this most recent Limbaugh calumny is, in my opinion, a clear SOS to mature and caring radio broadcast leaders to finally censure the man or, better yet, remove this dangerous hate-monger from the airwaves where he is increasingly and irresponsibly spreading his demagogic poison to the radical right and the emotionally vulnerable.”

Radio Ranch founder and Creative Director Dick Orkin, January 2010, in a letter requesting the National Association of Broadcasters to remove his own plaque from the Hall of Fame, until Limbaugh’s is removed. He doesn’t want to be in the smae company apparently.

Haiti and Cuba and us

I’ve been wondering about Cuban involvement in Haiti relief efforts, but hadn’t seen anything on it till today at TPM.

And about Haiti

“What the hell are they doing down there?! Why isn’t more getting done? What’s taking so long? Who’s in charge?”

I’ve been hearing that for quite a few days now. (Shades of New Orleans? Do I need to re-evaluate? Not really. It was a very different situation.)

This may be a level of natural disaster entirely new to us – a level that tears down an entire society-  its buildings, equipment, communications and infrastructure. Even today, the government is unable to determine where all the ministers are or if they’re even alive. Haiti won’t even be able to collect taxes for some time. So how to fund government functions?

I cannot get my head around the fact of up to two million(!) homeless in an already  overpopulated city without water, shelter, food, income or medical care. Subject to very dangerous continuing aftershocks. Plus decomposing bodies throughout the wreckage. Nowhere to put the wreckage. Roads impassable. Human waste. Garbage. Prisons and the insane roaming the streets. Orphans, elderly without care. No phones. No electric.

That income thing – it’s evaporated. The people in a poor country do not have savings – even assuming the bank still stands and can access records. People in a poor country live on earnings. They won’t be earning for quite a while.

An airport with single runway. Only a few planes at a time able to land. And it takes hours to unload, before they can take off again to make room for another plane. Delivering supplies requires knowing where they’re needed, working trucks to transport it and roads for the trucks. This was and – even with visible improvements – horrific.

Civilization is a thin veneer – in Haiti and in New York. Remove the water and electric and communications and any society devolves very quickly. So far, looting and disorder are very isolated incidents, which is really remarkable.

Their situation is so fragile that even rain would be a double edged sword, capable of degrading whatever shelter they’ve been able to fabricate while providing some fresh water.

We, and the rest of the international community – especially from the Americas – will be there for years. Years.

‘Hope for Haiti Now’

Watched the Hope for Haiti concert last night. Well done, but I found it annoying that the producers chose not to identify any of the performers or hosts. It wouldn’t have distracted from the importance of the ‘why’; I think it would have added gravitas by showing the world – especially Haitians –  who  participated. They bore witness for us; I wanted to know who they were. And it smacked of pretentiousness – the assumption was viewers knew who they were, and thus how important they were.

 Thanks goodness Rolling Stone was liveblogging because otherwise I’d not have known that the man singing so beautifully, so movingly at the top of the show had a name. He is John Legend and I am now a fan. And Justin Timberlake with Matt Morris – a stunning bit of sweetness and harmony that made me want more. And Madonna can still sing. Who knew?

Meet the new oligarchy . . .

I hope  to spend some time on yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on corporations and campaigns. Haiti also deserves a few more words. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Probably tomorrow. Weary.

Yeah, they’ll do that. Sure they will.

After 9/11, I found my way to Juan Cole’s site, Informed Comment.  He is one of our foremost experts on the Middle East. An Arabic speaker, he’s spent half his life in that part of the world. So while wars were blooming around us in the early naughts, Cole became an important source – for me anyway – in trying to figure out whatever was going on.

And just now, planning to link to him, looking around his site, I find there is no bio. He’s a very geeky academic type (if you’ve ever seen him on TV, you know this already), so that’s surprising.  His numerous awards and affiliations however are mostly there.  You can go look and marvel.

Today, he muses about Haiti and contemplates the Wall Street bonuses, and suggests these dudes tithe their bonuses to the relief effort. Heh. This particular line struck me:

” . . . the bonuses of the six biggest banks are now estimated to come in at $150 billion. Ten percent of that would be two years worth of Haiti’s gdp.”

He’s written an entire column on the subject at NPR.

Look at that face

Just picked this up at Dependable Renegade, who finds fine photos and saves me the time.She got it from the Oregonian. They got it from the AP.

Two year old Redjeson Hausteen Claude reacts to his mother Daphnee Plaisin, after he is rescued from a collapsed home by Belgian and Spanish rescuers in the aftermath of the powerful earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.

Mommy!

I would not be surprised

to hear talk, by tomorrow even, of  Haiti becoming a protectorate. And I can’t even remember when I last heard that word applied to a nation. But what to do – there’s no there there. We shall see. Those poor frightened people.

Now let’s hear from a ‘man of god’

Pat Robertson. On his show. (There’s video at the link.)

I think we can just hang it up now as a country. This celebration of ignorance we’ve had going in recent decades is fully ascendant.

Robertson: Haiti ‘cursed’ since Satanic pact

The Rev. Pat Robertson, on his CBN broadcast today, offered his own explanation of the earthquake in Haiti:

“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it,” he said. “They were under the heel of the French … and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’

“True story. And the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal,'” Robertson said. “Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another.”

Vile

I heard five minutes of Rush Limbaugh today on the radio. In the midst of such a horror as what’s unfolding in Haiti, I heard some of the vilest, most hateful trash talk about people who are dying in their own streets. Mothers are crying outside collapsed building listening to their children plead for help and Limbaugh is annoyed. He is annoyed that we’ve already done too much for this country. He is annoyed because they really don’t deserve more help.

He is annoyed that the President of the US asked people to donate. He points out that the Administration directed people to WhiteHouse.gov where they could get more info about making donations. And he pretends that’s a  trick to capture address information, and pretends that the White House is trying to run the money through them and ‘maybe’ some of it will get to Haiti – about which he gives not a damn. Had the quake hit the other half of the island, the Dominican Republic, that would have been a very bad thing. Because Rush likes to fly into the Dominican Republic and frolic there. So that would have been bad.

He embellishes his lie while reading directly from the relevant page at WhiteHouse.gov but not telling his listeners the truth of  what he’s looking at. Which is a simple link directly to the American Red Cross. And another link ot a second relief organization. That’s all. An astonishing lie.

Are there no workhouses? Are there no orphanages? What a vile man.