Patterico's Pontifications

1/12/2010

Earthquake in Haiti

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 9:06 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

A major 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti today and early reports indicate there is significant damage:

“The strongest earthquake in more than 200 years rocked Haiti on Tuesday, collapsing a hospital where people screamed for help and heavily damaging the National Palace, U.N. peacekeeper headquarters and other buildings. U.S. officials reported bodies in the streets and an aid official described “total disaster and chaos.”

Reports say hospitals, the Haitian Parliament and President’s home, and scores of buildings and homes have been damaged or destroyed. Likewise, there are many reports of injuries and deaths.

— DRJ

50 Responses to “Earthquake in Haiti”

  1. This sounds awful. My thoughts and prayers are with the Haitians.

    carlitos (057200)

  2. my first thought was “where is the nearest Amphib Group, or CVBG?”

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  3. So sad. I hope that the world will pitch in to help. Because sooner or later, every nation needs help from natural disasters.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  4. It’s just horrible that a storm of that magnitude lands on a dysfunctional country like Haiti. I hope the response of the world is comparable to the response to the tsunamis in Asia a few years back.

    JVW (48cbba)

  5. I do know the US is definitely working to get them the quality help they need but don’t have in their impoverished country. From the fed, the military, and the likes to private charities. They’re all on top of this, and acting now.

    As an aside, when my blood boiled in the wee hours yesterday morning (before going to bed), I suggested those who disrespect the Constitution should move to Haiti. Coincidence? Or Irony?

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  6. When asked to comment of the disaster, Obama swore under his breath, while Vice President Joe Biden took time from his duties as caddy to berate the reporter for interrupting the president’s golf game.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  7. Although, Obama is making a statment regarding the earthquake a day after it happened. Not so much with terrorist attacks on our own soil. Way to go, Big O!

    PatriotRider (1729de)

  8. FreeperDad, whose comment will soon be deleted, can just troll his or her way back to the DailyKos or Democratic Underground.

    JVW (48cbba)

  9. FreeperDad is jarjar and is now in moderation until Patterico or DRJ make a decision to ban or not.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  10. Stashiu3, why do trolls do what they do? Especially the banned ones? I mean, you have experience in the mental health field, I believe. Maybe you understand it.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  11. you know, let me say something really politically incorrect…

    I don’t know, why are we the ones who are expected to bail everyone out all the time.

    According to the average liberal, this is how it works. If a dictator with a bad mustache is killing his people by the thousands, it is morally wrong to stop him.

    On the other hand if a government, perhaps run by a dictator with a bad mustache, fails to plan ahead for the inevitable natural disasters that meet every nation sooner or later, we have a moral obligation to intervene.

    And on the third hand, we must allow other nations to rewrite our laws and even our constitution to fit their values.

    Am I understanding how all of this works?

    I mean if we are going to bail out haiti, are we allowed to say to them, “your inability to handle your problems yourself stems from your government being a clusterf—. make the following reforms if you want us to help.” of course the kleptocracy angle is less pronounced than it would be if we were talking about, say, china, but you get my point. a lack of disaster preparedness is a symptom of other problems of governance.

    And i find it amazing that the same liberals who say that if we don’t force the iraqis or afghans to take care of their own problems don’t think the same should be said about the hatians. In subsidizing the world’s disaster preparations, aren’t we in effect infantilizing these people?

    And can’t we say, “hey, you know what? if we help you, we are going to have to borrow even more from china, so f— it, if you want help, go talk to china.” You know cut out the middle man.

    I don’t know, i get frustrated when the world constantly asks of us and gives almost nothing back and appreciates even less.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  12. “…the world constantly asks of us and gives almost nothing back and appreciates even less.”

    Pretty much describes your average American well-to-do self-proclaimed “progressive”.

    SPC Jack Klompus (c1922b)

  13. Eric Blair, they do it because it fills a need and that need gets reinforced. Usually, it’s a need for attention, even negative attention. The need is stronger than shame or insight. The reinforcement is either attention from an echo-chamber (DU/Dkos/HuffPo) or disruption and constant condemnation/ridicule (hint/hint 😉 )

    If people stop feeding them, they starve and wander off.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  14. “you know, let me say something really politically incorrect…”

    See stashiu, if you had left freeperdad’s comment in, then AW would appear relatively politically correct.

    imdw (b1e447)

  15. Horrible. One of the poorest countries in the world and they still hadn’t recovered from the hurricane last year.

    As others said above, lots of places to donate. Here’s just three choices, if people are so inclined (from the website 2theadvocate.com):

    Aid Organizations:
    The homepage of Catholic Relief Services is currently being redirected to the Haiti Earthquake disaster relief donation page:
    https://secure.crs.org/site/Donation2?df_id=3181&3181.donation=form1

    American Red Cross:
    http://www.redcross.org/

    Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières:
    http://doctorswithoutborders.org/

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  16. Stashiu3, do you really think this particular Nutty Deluxe actually read your comment before writing that?

    I mean, it was so well timed and relevant to your point.

    As I say, a remarkable lack of self-awareness.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  17. jarjar and his various socks are now banned per Patterico.

    Ignoring trollish behavior directed to me. Bait someone else.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  18. Getting back to the point of this thread…

    Well, frustrating as it is, we shouldn’t do things to obtain gratitude, but because it is the right thing to do. What we want to stand for, in a way.

    I read once in a story that, in some foreign languages, no expression of gratitude was not tinged with resentment. That is part of it. Also rampant Daddy-hatred.

    I remember being devastated by seeing New Orleans about a year and a half after the Deluge. My wife and I contributed a fair amount of money to several charity organizations. Some of my friends insisted that “the government” would “take care” of it.

    I changed the subject, and was happy to contribute to charities.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  19. And thank you, as always, for the wise advice Stashiu3. You seem like a quality gentleman.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  20. On philly.com a commenter wrote this:

    “Haiti is the kind of place that the conservative cult wants America to strive to be. No taxes. No government services. A small ruling class with all the money and absolute poverty for everyone else. America did a get a taste of the conservative wet dream when Katrina hit the gulf coast and people in cities and rural areas were left to die by our very own government. It was shown all over the world. Welcome to the future of America if the conservative cult has its way.”

    Sometimes I think for sh’ts ‘n giggles it would be fun or perhaps informative to do a Being John Malkovich style travel into the head of people like this (kind of sounds like Vietnam Era Vet) just for the experience.

    SPC Jack Klompus (c1922b)

  21. Eric

    But in the end, we aren’t even giving our money. We are giving China’s money. Oh, and our children’s. I mean its not like we are balancing our own budget right now. How would you like it if a friend owed you $10,000 and he says, “wow, i just gave $1,000 to the march of dimes. i am such a wonderful charitable guy.”

    Its like Larry Miller said a long time about federal spending. He said something like this, “say i want a Porche. But I can’t afford a porche. Therefore, and this is the tricky part, i don’t buy a porche. But the government says, ‘I want a porche, i can’t afford a porche, therefore… i’ll take a red one.'”

    Everyone who says, “hey, let’s have the government help them,” is saying, “i’ll take a red one.”

    The more i think about it, the more opposed i am to this. if you want to donate, please do. More power to you. but not a single dollar from our treasury.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  22. Mr. Klompus, that is a good example of how hyperbole becomes political discourse these days! But partisans need to overstate things to stir people up and gain emotional support (like Al Gore and AGW, or folks who think that BHO is a closet Muslim).

    The ironic part is how sensitive people who post the above are to criticisms of their own Left agenda. They constantly rail how things are exaggerated, taken out of context, and so forth. I have read plenty of posts where Leftist pundits will sneer at “fear-mongering” of their Rightist opponents.

    It’s like a Greek myth: they become what they hate. And therein is a lesson for all of us, maybe?

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  23. A.W., I am not disagreeing with you in principle. But I must say I was proud how our own Navy helped out during the tsunami. I would hate to not do things like that.

    But I understand your frustration.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  24. “The more i think about it, the more opposed i am to this. if you want to donate, please do. More power to you. but not a single dollar from our treasury.”

    There’s a sizeable UN force that’s been at work in Haiti. It is mostly Brazilians. The Brazilian government is also sending aid. I think they also have budget and hunger problems of their own there — unlike the US they are a third world country. But they see the need Haiti has. And it is nothing like a Porsche.

    imdw (6951c3)

  25. You seem like a quality gentleman.
    Comment by Eric Blair — 1/13/2010 @ 10:02 am

    Appearances can be deceiving. 😉 Out of every 10 comments I write, I probably delete 9 of them before submitting. The 10th is usually edited several times. There’s only one day of comments that I wish I had never made and could take back, but it wasn’t here. I made them and own them (there were two), but they’re the only online ones I’m ashamed of. I essentially self-banned myself there after apologizing for them.

    But thank you.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  26. imdw

    Look, if we are going to spend china’s money to do this, why don’t we cut out the middle man and tell them to ask china for help.

    i mean it is absurd. yeah, there is a need, but the need doesn’t make the money materialize out of thin air. We don’t have it. we have spent ourselves into massive deficits and the president wants another “stimulus” that f–s up our economy more. At some point we have to say, “enough. we just can’t afford it anymore.”

    I mean we are so blase’ about the concept of deficit. it means that we are “spending” more than we are saving. It means we are not even balancing our checkbook. and we do that every year. when do we, or worse, our creditors say, “you have spent enough?” We are charging toward a trainwreck similar to california and obama says, hey, let’s throw some more coal in the furnace.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  27. But the difference there, Stashiu3, is that you are aware of the impact of what you write, and balance it against necessity.

    Your stuff ain’t trivial, and you try to own what you write, as you say. I have very seldom seen you post solely for snark.

    Eric Blair (ddbceb)

  28. “Look, if we are going to spend china’s money to do this, why don’t we cut out the middle man and tell them to ask china for help.”

    It may be cute and clever to call spending at a time of deficits “china’s money” but it is dangerous because it leads people to inaccuracies like this. Borrowed money is paid back. So it is not really aid from china, and we are not the “middle man” but the ones that pay.

    “We don’t have it”

    I think we have more than the third world country of Brazil.

    imdw (ae4236)

  29. I think we have more than the third world country of Brazil.

    We don’t talk much about “first” and “third” world countries now that the Iron Curtain has fallen, but by most indicators I think it would be difficult to classify Brazil as third world. The Human Development Report for 2008 evaluated Brazil as being in the “High Human Development” category.

    This may be seen as a very minor quibble, but I think it is important in that it reflects the leftist mindset that the U.S. must bear the brunt of any humanitarian burden since the rest of the world is always allegedly too poor to do their share.

    JVW (48cbba)

  30. imdw

    > Borrowed money is paid back.

    Yeah, by our children, grand children, etc. We are going to make our youngest americans pay for health insurance, our stimulus, our social security, our medicare, and even the aid to haiti. we are soooo charitable.

    When have we ever paid back? The government has been in the red my entire life, and has only gone deeper in debt. maybe we pay off some creditors a little, but its a pyramid sceme, paying off one debtor with money borrowed from another while never actually having the funds to pay the majority off.

    > I think we have more than the third world country of Brazil.

    I don’t know. Are they running a deficit? and if so how does it compare to their GDP?

    Even conceeding that we can better afford it, its a little like saying that Michael Jackson was a better father than OJ Simpson. Maybe so, but back when Jackson was alive, i wouldn’t have dropped my children off at Neverland Valley Ranch. In other words, saying we can afford it more than brazil is not the same as saying we can afford it.

    Anyway, i made my point. i don’t need to keep driving it into the ground.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  31. Out of every 10 comments I write, I probably delete 9 of them before submitting. The 10th is usually edited several times.

    Comment by Stashiu3

    But that is what a quality gentleman does. There have been very few people on earth who never said anything without self-editing that they didn’t regret at some point. (One, by my count).

    As a side-interest, you could offer comment pre-post editing services for a fee, or teach lessons on “Real Self-Control in a Virtual World” (first dibs on that copyright, but will eagerly share to worthy parties.)

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  32. okay, i will say one more thing. This is why we can’t afford to help them:

    http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/obama_deficit21.bmp

    (click on link)

    A.W. (b1db52)

  33. “When have we ever paid back? The government has been in the red my entire life, and has only gone deeper in debt. maybe we pay off some creditors a little, but its a pyramid sceme, paying off one debtor with money borrowed from another while never actually having the funds to pay the majority off.”

    Over the last few decades our debt has gone up and down as a percent of GDP. That does not square with “paying off one debtor with money borrowed from another.”

    “II don’t know. Are they running a deficit? and if so how does it compare to their GDP?”

    I think their debt is something like 30 or 40 percent of their GDP. Their GDP per capita is something like a quarter of ours. And that’s just production. Wealth too will likely show us richer, as we expect.

    “In other words, saying we can afford it more than brazil is not the same as saying we can afford it.”

    I do admit, I am setting an extremely low bar by comparing the US to a third-world country.

    imdw (b00214)

  34. “… they still hadn’t recovered from the hurricane last year…”

    Hell, they still haven’t recovered from Papa Doc, and all the other petty tyrants in their past all the way back to Napolean.

    AD - RtR/OS! (1365d9)

  35. “Hell, they still haven’t recovered from Papa Doc, and all the other petty tyrants in their past all the way back to Napolean.”

    Don’t you know, they’re cursed:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0110/Robertson_Haiti_cursed_since_Satanic_pact.html?showall

    imdw (795ee1)

  36. Even if every bit of assistance to Haiti were to come from private entities, there is only one orginization in the world that has the logistical reach to move all of that assistance to where it is needed, and to provide emergency power and water:
    The hated U.S.Department of Defense.
    (recite Kipling’s “Tommy” here)

    AD - RtR/OS! (1365d9)

  37. A.W.’s right, we’re broke. But we can save a few lives and that’s the right thing to do. Americans, privately, can help these people. Probably some Navy equipment can do a lot of good too.

    The next era of the Rich USA government giving tons of cash to all the world probably is unrealistic.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  38. no, they aren’t cursed. the real problem is that the slaves of their island had the temerity to kill white people to get free. that made them an international pariah for years and i have to think that if they were treated more like the american revolutionaries of 1776, they would today be a fairly wealthy island with a triving tourist industry. fwiw.

    if we had the money, i would have zero opposition to the government helping them.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  39. From the website of Brazil’s London Embassy:

    Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

    Brazil’s nominal GDP is currently around US$ 1.5 trillion. Whatever the criteria employed in measuring the size of national economies, Brazil’s is always ranked among the ten biggest in the world. It is the second largest economy in the Americas after the United States, and the second largest economy in the developing world after China.

    Indicative of a third world country? You decide.

    political agnostic (8a71d0)

  40. The Soviet Union was correctly described as a Nuclear Superpower presiding over a Third-World Economy, which is why they collapsed.
    The size of your GDP, or even the per-capita, does not make you a First-World Country, it is the internal conditions of that country, and how the average man lives, that makes it so.

    BTW, I just was scrolling through the pix of the disaster posted over at HotAir, and I think this is one of those times in history where the entire city just needs to be bulldozed, and you start over (perhaps even somewhere else). There doesn’t appear to be much standing that isn’t damaged in one way or another.
    Tragic!

    AD - RtR/OS! (1365d9)

  41. It was really interesting reading the parallel conversations going on in this thread – more alternated, 1-2-1-2-1-2 (and so just a tad amusing) – than I remember recently.

    But curiosity’s up now –
    Eric and Stashiu3, what was the gist of what the troll said?

    And A.W. et al – am reminded of P.J. O’Rourke’s “And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs [government charity as replacing private charity] is telling us that he will do good with his own money— if a gun is held to his head.” IMO private charity should be the backbone of relief efforts – just look how much private money poured in after that tsunami a few years ago – and every major national disaster before or since.

    However. I’d be loath to make a hard and fast rule that governments shouldn’t help as well. It is true we have limited funds and many responsibilities (and a few disasters of our own) here. OTOH we are the richest country in the world and it’s not like we’re buying steaks and champagne for people while we’re deep in debt (and we are).

    It’s like I have a 30 year mortgage and lots of credit card balances but I can still set aside some of my earnings to help someone in a crisis (and isn’t this the exact situation of many who are giving privately – or regularly tithing for that matter – anyway?).

    It’s a judgment call, isn’t it, and A. W. is right that we can’t say yes to every request, yet I’d rather err on helping a bit too much in a crisis rather than too little. My two cents.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  42. noyk

    Well, ultimately my dream response, the president saying, “are you kidding me? look, we will send some troops to help, but we ain’t sending money. in case you missed it, we are broke” just isn’t going to happen. not on this issue. and republicans won’t make aid to suffering people into a political issue. but we have to draw the line sooner or later on spending.

    I mean hell Obama has said we are broke at least once. so let’s stop spending.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  43. But curiosity’s up now –
    Eric and Stashiu3, what was the gist of what the troll said?

    noyk, I saw the comment. It was a very standard racial epithet directed at the Haitian people. I assumed it was the sort of thing that a moonbat lefty posts at a conservative blog, just so they can go to the lefty blogs and write “look what those racists at Patterico’s Pontifications are saying about the situation in Haiti.” That is why I immediately commented under it that the troll appeared to be a lefty troublemaker.

    JVW (48cbba)

  44. JVW

    are we sure pat robertson didn’t make that comment. he did say this about haiti:

    > “They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘Ok it’s a deal.’ And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another,” Robertson said.

    Oy vey. the original idiotarian is back. i would go as far as to say that even sounds a little racist.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

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  46. Comment by JVW — 1/13/2010 @ 2:31 pm

    Thanks – for the info, and the troll-Raid. Mobys.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

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  48. Whatever happened to Darfur or free Tibet? I never got my free Tibet. Is any still around?

    Has Sean Penn showed up in Haiti yet?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  49. AW, Robertson is such a little monster. If the devil walks among us as an independent being, trying to win a war against Christianity, he could do a lot worse than being Pat Robertson.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

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