We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A childhood friend of mine is with the State Department stationed in Port au Prince. Fortunately, he left the Island yesterday before the quake. He has been trying to get back in today.
His pregnant wife and two young kids also happened to be out of the country. 16-year-old son was there and is uninjured. He's with three body guards, so I guess he'll be okay until Dad can get him out.
Sadly, the Haitians have no such protection or escape. The jail in port au prince collapsed, the government buildings are in ruins and even the Archbishop is dead.
This is the first time I've ever found Facebook useful in any way. Everyone has one page where we can be updated as events unfold.
It's a disaster of unimaginable proportions. They do need our prayers.
ahem ... The U.S. has a long record of "helping these poor people out" over the years. As always, we and the Canadians and several other nations in the Western world are rushing in to help once again.
How much do you know about the history of Haiti? It's the poorest country in this hemisphere, and has a long, ugly record of corruption, exploitation and mismanagement within the island, beginning with Henri Christophe, "the slave king," in the 1800s and proceeding through Papa Doc Duvalier, Baby Doc Duvalier and Aristide, among others. To the casual observer, it may seem that the populace is brutally treated and exploited, but other Caribbean islands have begun as captive states and have emerged to be profitable and peaceful in the modern world.
The United States has been a helpful neighbor to Haiti many times, through hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. We began to mobilize aid as soon as the earthquake happened Tuesday night. But it takes time to get nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, hospital ships and other heavy-duty equipment to Haiti. The airport is almost unusable after dark. There are no Haitian public organizations, like fire and police, which are functional right now. The Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is supposed to arrive at Haiti sometime today, as is the hospital ship and other American aid vessels. Countries as far away as Norway and Israel are sending search and rescue teams to help search for people trapped under collapsed buildings. And, in case you wonder why we are sending an aircraft carrier, the Vinson is nuclear powered, has a well-trained crew of around 5000 able bodied military, a completely equipped field hospital, skilled food service and supplies, desalinization facilities, and best of all, a huge carrier deck offering landing/take-off facilities for aid planes and rescue planes. The U.S. has about 40,000 of its citizens living in Haiti, as I understand it. Of course we are going to do everything we can to rescue them as well as the rest of the populace.
All of this information is available on the Internet, if you will search it out. Why haven't you done so, before you criticize us?