Relief Someone Else

I sympathise with victims of Katrina, it’s very sad, horrible for some. Yup. All that. But, aren’t the US rich enough to take care of their own? Stop with all the giving to victims of Katrina stuff, this ain’t poor south east asia tsunami relief. If you feel a need to give (always a good thing), find a cause that really needs it like pretty much anything in Africa or Amnesty or anything having to do with kids. The US can stop their military / satellite / stealth plane research whatever they spend billions on for a few days and take care of all the Katrina damage, some don’t have that luxury.

If you think I’m mixing things up, “citizens not the same as their government”, bla bla, then give for Katrina but match yourself and give to another cause at the same time. How’s that?

[Update] Darren is thinking along the same lines.


Yan September 1, 2005

And now to add data to your posting

The average Mississippi household paid $3,940 in Federal Income Taxes for the 2004 fiscal year.

Of this amount $1,181 was spent by the Government on Military and defense.

In 2000, the state of Mississippi had 1,046,434 households.

Now for a bit of difficult mathematics. ( Not taking the change in years, so numbers are not exact but should be representative of current real values )

1,046,434 * $1,181 = $1 235 838,554
per year ( Only one state )

Damage cost of last big hurricane
“Hurricane Andrew inflicted about 25 billion dollars (U.S.) in damages when it struck just south of Miami in August 1992.”

So please give a buck to your local bum. So he can buy a beer and enjoy the fleething summer days.

Sources : (pdf)
National Geographics

Patrick September 1, 2005

Hehe. Thanks for the stats Yan :)

Tu l’part quand ton blog clavert? Enwoueille!

m-c September 1, 2005

absolument daccord avec toutte ça

karl September 1, 2005

Et il y a de quoi se révolter quand on entend des conneries du genre « It’s our tsunami »

Antoine September 1, 2005

Clavert de clavert ! ;)

Totalement d’accord. Bush y est allé de déclaration presque humble. Dans le genre, on est capable tout seul, mais du cash gratos on dira pas non. Pffff™

Patrick September 1, 2005

Karl: Et comment!

aj September 1, 2005

Rather prescient that this was published just a short while back. The hurricane destroyed the single biggest Gulf Coast oil / natural gas terminal; it also wrecked dozens of oil rigs in the Gulf. The result was an immediate spike in oil prices – in Atlanta, it hit $5 a gallon at one point.

The ultimate meaning of that is, this disaster has totally exposed us to a vision of where we are headed (especially marginal areas like suburbs, exurbs, Las Vegas, etc.) once the price of oil goes past a certain point. Certain cities will become simply unlivable, and we’ll have an enormous internal refugee crisis.

Of course, if they stopped spending so much to secure overseas power, and spent more on domestic infrastructure and sustainability, maybe that transition won’t be so harsh. It is coming, though, whether we like it or not.

Hoedic September 2, 2005

Surprisingly it’s a natural event (and not terrorism) that shows the overall weakness of the USA homeland management & security.

I don’t totally disagree with you but in my mind those refugees are the poorest of this region and are victims of both the hurrican and their government. In that sense they may need outside help…

Patrick September 2, 2005

“are victims of both the hurrican and their government. In that sense they may need outside help” Somewhat true. But, again, there are people in deep deep trouble in other countries who don’t even have the ressources to help themselves. The US gov. might be partially dropping the ball so far in getting the help in there but 1. They do have the ressources and 2. Do you really think the Red Cross can get to people quicker than the army?

Plus the fact that it seems help, Red Cross and all, are being sent in arms way because they have to dodge armed looters.

Lea September 5, 2005

I agree to some extent to this. Right before I donated to the Red Cross, when it came to the drop down, I pondered whether to choose “Help Where it’s Needed Most” vs. “Hurricane Katrina.”

Sure there are many more dire, more urgent yet unfortunately ignored causes, in the world… but we all have to choose our battles based on personal reasons.

It’s like trying to force people to compare these situations:

What is better: to donate money to battling cancer in Canada or Doctors without Borders to war-torn African villages…

Which is more urgent? Donating to a Toronto children’s hospital during the SARS outbreak vs. Red Cross for Tsunami?

Canada definitely has more resourcse than Africa or South East Asia… but geography means nothing. If someone wants to donate something to a charity, they’ve already made their personal decision. If they were going to donate to another cause, they already should have… and in a perfect world, everyone would have regular charity payments debited from their accounts monthly, to various organizations. But that’s often not the case, and I would hesitate disparaging people who choose to donate to any type of caus they believe in, including this hurricane.

aj September 5, 2005

Ultimately it’s kind of rhetorical – and there’s been a lot of rhetoric thrown about lately over this. Apparently the US is too proud to accept assistance from other countries – even Cuba, Venezuela and Sri Lanka were poised to send assistance in the immediate aftermath – but they claimed they needed to “assess their needs” first. Ultimately, all those nations sent their money to the Red Cross.

What it does underscore is how the military budget has completely usurped everything, including domestic preparedness, the purview of the Homeland Security people, who include FEMA as part of their group.

Ben Cohen (of Ben and Jerry’s fame) explains it all using Oreos in a funny Flash video, available at True Majority Action.

Patrick September 5, 2005

Lea you’re right, it’s hard to decide between good causes. However, the US is the richest country in the world so I’m still having trouble considering them as needing help, especially since, like AJ says, they aren’t asking (I think I heard something different today on radio, not sure). Seems like a good part of the people in trouble are very poor, disenfranchised and their governement doesn’t even help them that much (or at least quickly) so I’m more open to giving to the Red Cross than originally but I still feel weird about sending money in the US when they contribute to so many of the troubles around the world. Of course, that comes back to the whole country vs citizen thing that always comes up when discussing our neighbours… no quick answer to that one.

I don’t think I was “disparaging” people giving though. That wasn’t the goal anyway.

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