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Haiti earthquake search and rescue


There are disasters and then there are catastrophes. This looks like the latter. Lots of people are still trapped in the rubble. The cavalry is on the way but it needs to hurry.

I heard on the radio that the Fairfax Search and Rescue team had pulled a man (apparently Estonian Tarmo Joveer) from the collapsed U.N. Building where so many United Nations staffers were trapped during the earthquake. After 37 hours in the rubble, the guy walked away uninjured.

Read the story by quake survivor Jonathan M. Katz of the AP, apparently the only foreign correspondent permanently assigned to Haiti:

Imagine if nearly all the institutions in your life - flawed, but still the only ones - disappeared, all at once. In a life where the next meal is uncertain, where the next rain may claim your home, where the next election may happen or not - where that is the normal. Think of having those institutions smashed all around you.

Check out the blog of the Hopital Albert Schweitzer. The hospital is about 40 miles from Port-au-Prince and is facing an onslaught of patients arriving in the backs of pickup trucks.


[Both photos by Carol Guzy/Washington Post]

From the AP:

This is the 15th disaster since 2001 in which the U.S. Agency for
International Development has sent money and help to Haiti. Some 3,000
people have been killed and millions of people displaced in the
disasters that preceded this week's earthquake. Since the turn of this
century the U.S. has sent more than $16 million in disaster aid to

FYI, CSMonitor reports that U.S., in addition to emergency relief after storms, gave Haiti $287 in '09 in regular appropriations for foreign aid. About the same in the '10 budget request.

More pictures from Carol Guzy:

teacher trapped.jpg

girl named ruth.jpg

14 year old boy trapped.jpg

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 14, 2010; 11:20 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Haiti earthquake: Send in the reinforcements [updated]
Next: Haiti: The bodies


Thank you for the Haiti update, Mr. A.

As the photos roll in from various sources, I find myself in awe of the power of the planet and of humanity's power in responding to these extraordinary circumstances.

Keep it coming.

Posted by: MsJS | January 14, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Bringing a very large platter of a Haitian specialty into the bunker--bon bon terre--for those who hang out there to enjoy! Your lips ought to be smacking in no time. Help yourselves, eat all you want.

BTW, I read around Christmas time that Texas has the highest rate of childhood hunger in the U.S.

Posted by: laloomis | January 14, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Sobering kit. Silence may be the best boodling.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 14, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The more I read about this catastrophe the more horrified I become. And I fear things will get worse. So thanks, Joel, for highlighting this. Not that, of course, the Haitians care much for our mental state. But where there his empathy there is action. Unless, of course narcissism gets in the way.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 14, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

eff you, laloomis. that qualifies as the single most inappropriate post of all time.

Posted by: LALurker | January 14, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, thank you for pointing out the way some have to eat in Haiti.

Your method of delivering that information lacked any humanity.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 14, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

That blog of that hospital is heartbreaking. I hope they get the personnel they need. Or at least some of them.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 14, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree, LALurker. Joel, that 12:36 qualifies for zapping.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 14, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This isn't about us folks. It's about them. I wish I could do more. Who among us would not wish to jump on some plane and go help? At least we can donate something or give encouragement.

So, in the off chance that any of the people involved in Haiti read this.

Thank you.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 14, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Like Swift, I was only making "A Modest Proposal."

Posted by: laloomis | January 14, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Just watching CNN they are details some of the basic logistic problems right now, airport can't handle anymore planes equipment to off load ships broken. Such an awful situation.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 14, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Reposting mudged comment
Semi official rebuke of Robertson

Posted by: bh72 | January 14, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Swift was a talented writer.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 14, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Please let it go.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 14, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Swift was talented, but that comment was not appropriate in the current context.

Posted by: slyness | January 14, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I just don't understand why stuff like this happens to the most vulnerable.

Posted by: mfigiel-krueger | January 14, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl, you have contributed so much humor, poetry and wit to this forum and I feel grateful for that. I'll let it go.

Just this once, though.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 14, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Rain falls on the just and the unjust alike, but some can afford to purchase umbrellas. Among those who can afford umbrellas, however, it is easy to distinguish between the just and the unjust: the just are the ones who are sharing their umbrellas instead of condemning others for the failure to own them. The metaphoric rain is falling on Haiti, and this is the moment that we discover to which category we belong.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 14, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

You know, I want to contribute to the relief effort but I'm overwhelmed at the emails, FB posts and news articles bombarding me to give to the countless agencies providing aid. I have no idea who to choose. Unfortunately, I only have a small amount to give so can't spread it over a number of worthy agencies, consequently I have to pick one. Any suggestions?

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 14, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of rain, metaphorical or not...'s 10-day forecast for PauP shows clear skies for a week.

For once, let the meteorolgists be right.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 14, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I like what you posted Tim.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 14, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

There is plenty of sad stories coming out of Haiti, but some good stuff too.
The Cardinal Léger Hospital in Léogane, build in the 70s to host and treat the then numerous lepers of Haiti has been reduced to rubbles. *sigh* It was near the epicenter.
By now leprosy is much less frequent and the hospital also hosted other charities, mainly those directed toward women health care (the hospital was run by the Soeurs de la Charité, a Canadian order). Some patients were hurt but nobody was killed, or so the early report says. The sisters left on foot for a covent nearby but the reporter lost contact with them. She was worried.

I was referring to CECI yesterday. Their spokeperson was on the radio this morning. One of their partners in Haiti is operating AIDS/HIV clinics. These have become small emergency clinics around PoP. People have started to leave PoP for other parts of the country and the clinic in Saint-Marc, a nearby city left virtually untouched by the quake, is overwhelmed by patients from the capital.

The CECI guy was very proud that the EU has paid to greatly improved the roads out of PoP, so that people actually can get to Saint-Marc. Back in 2004 the road between PoP and the Gonaïves was a quagmire, a dirt road with no drainage and no culverts that was useless after hurricane-force rains.

He also mentioned that after almost 30 years of decline 2009 was a better for Haiti than 2008. People considered to be in "food precarity" went down to 2 millions from 3 mllions in 2008. Roads were better, food was getting better, policing was improving, even the notoriously ineffectual government was getting better...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 14, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

MotP, I felt like you and chose to go with the Red Cross, I could trust them and knew they would bring what is needed in the very short term.

I am trying to decide on the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders or a charity that helps children for my daughters contribution, like you wondering what will help most, but hoping any help will be useful.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 14, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Nice pull from Matthew, Tim.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 14, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the suggestions dmd, I was thinking Dr. w/o Borders. Red Cross is certainly worthy but they've been known in the past to be bureaucratic in quickly getting the funds to where it's needed so I'm less inclined to go with them. But, I will keep looking.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 14, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I donated my nickel to CHF, not that I necessarily recommend them.

I looked them up, and they're more a long-term economic and housing development organization so they already have 150 personnel in Haiti and the organization IS geared to deliver relief supplies at need, and they have updates from Haiti at their website which suggests they still have decent communication and organization even after the quake.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 14, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Tim, excellent theology there. Thanks.

MotP, I gave to these folks on CqP's recommendation. They are already in Haiti:

Posted by: slyness | January 14, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Pearls before swine wisdom:

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 14, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised that it's a biblical reference, but I was just pulling it from the ocean of cliché. I was thinking of mfigiel-krueger's 1:17. Bad things happen to both the vulnerable and the invulnerable (or less-vulnerable) except for two key differences: (1) the less-vulnerable are better able to choose their location and leave the riskier places to those who have less choice; and (2) even if they choose to live someplace risky (viz. the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, many coastal barrier islands), the rich are better able than the poor to rebuild (especially when they can get the government to pay for replacing their mansions!), are better able to build well in the first place, and are better able to be somewhere else when the bad things happen (viz. Katrina).

Much more concisely: terrible things happen to the most vulnerable BECAUSE they are the most vulnerable. If they were invulnerable, the same event would not be terrible.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 14, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

MotP, I suspect that you can safely donate your contribution to any charitable organization that first comes to mind as one that you trust. I doubt that any of them will be suffering from an excess of riches compared to what needs to be done, so your charity will not go wasted. An unequal distribution of charitable resources is likely, but the Federal gummint (that hated beast) also is making a major effort, which should be able to reconfigure to meet the needs that are not being met by charities.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 14, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

MotP, I also contributed to medicine for peace on CqP's suggestion. In the past I have contributed to Doctors without Borders. The Salvation Army is another charity to investigate. However, I wouldn't fret too much as long as the charity has a good track record.

I am horrified by Rush, Rev. Robertson and others of that ilk. I struggle with my darker thoughts regarding what should become of them.

Posted by: badsneakers | January 14, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

They need front-end loaders, dump trucks, cranes and lots of backhoes, with operators stat. Jacks and winches and a boatload of jaws-of-life. Water and of course the medical teams.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 14, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I am sure I do not want to know what Rush said. Currently watching CNN where a reporter is at the site of where people are trying to reached a trapped 11 year old girl, emotional would be an understatement.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 14, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

will post some other links -- repost actually. TIm is right. Choose. Close your eyes. Pick one that reflects your religious-moral heritage/code. We have some boodler-vetted ones if that helps.

Here is what Cowhand suggested yesterday:

Partners In Health
Very good organization already there; affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health and the allied training hospitals. I read both the Chronicle of Philanthropy and C of Higher Ed daily. Good stuff today about them, with specific quotes for people there for help via cell phone, skipe, etc. just before power faded.

Lots of universities have people and students in-country, due to service projects popularly scheduled over the breaks.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 14, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

A brief interlude --

Oxymoron spotted on the NY Times Web site:

Lady Gaga's stylist

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 14, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

SD's mention of Canadian charities is good: Haiti has deep ties with Canada and the Francophone aspect is very important and very practical.

I will not put links because I am being blocked by the comment-monster-eater.


Canada's Red Cross is another fine choice.

Several Catholic orders are active in Haiti , but easiest to click is CRS out of Baltimore -- more than 55 years in Haiti with a huge network of in-country people, including Haitians.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 14, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the copy and paste, but this is from

Rush Limbaugh: No More Aid for Haiti
January 14, 2010 12:20 PM ET
John Aloysius Farrell

By John A. Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Did he really say that? I guess so. I checked his web site. He's not even ashamed he said it.

For Rush Limbaugh, the deaths of thousands of Haitians in a natural disaster is just fodder for another hateful rant against American government and President Obama.

Said Rush:

"This will play right into Obama's hands. He's humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, "credibility" with the black community--in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It's made-to-order for them. That's why he couldn't wait to get out there, could not wait to get out there."

What kind of world does this nincompoop live in, that this nonsensical musing pops out of his mouth? What makes him see things through such an ugly prism, at a time when the bodies are still being dug from the wreckage?

And then this oaf went on to discourage Americans from making contributions to the Red Cross because, via foreign aid, "we've already donated to Haiti--it's called the U.S. income tax."

What a Christian.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 14, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Also, take time to write to your senators and reps. Tell them that despite serious trouble at home and abroad, Haitian aid is to be generous and practical.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 14, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Again, not posting links. But,

the American Catholic posted a brief and firm correction to Roberts, including this:
"This of course is far from the first time that Pat Robertson has said something factually challenged and insulting, although considering the vastness of the tragedy, Robertson expounding his kook theory at this point as Haiti mourns countless dead and lies prostrate is truly beneath contempt."

The Interfaith Alliance says:
"Pat Robertson has once again labeled a tragic situation as an act of God blaming the tragedy on the victims of the tragedy – in this case the Haitian people. Enough, please! At a time when the rest of the world is coming together to aid recovery and to provide relief, Robertson’s comments are inexcusable. We don’t need anybody claiming to be able to hear the devil and speak as God."

I can post quotes but not links.

Mudge -- PR speaks for NOBODY that I know.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 14, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Recusing myself from the boodle for the day.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 14, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

UU -- Unitarian Universalists have aid underway

They will focus on groups who might be overlooked in the confused and complex aid process, including the small and isolated LBGT community.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 14, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Hello, friends. I can't believe what some of these folks are saying. I wonder if they're reading the same Bible I read. I saw part of ABC's Good Morning America with Robin Roberts, and the devastation was overwhelming. It looks like a situation where one does not know where to start, it's just everywhere. My heart goes out to the people of Haiti, and my prayers too.

Why would anyone talk about skin color in regards to what is happening in Haiti?

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 14, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tim. That is very well written.

laloomis, I am sorry that your sole joy in life and one meager talent is disgusting the rest of us by displaying your sick thoughts.

Posted by: abeac1 | January 14, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I just don't understand why stuff like this happens to the most vulnerable.
Posted by: mfigiel-krueger

It tends to happen to the "most vulnerable" because how they live makes them so. Kobe and Northridge had major earthquakes, bigger than Haiti's, but with minimal loss of life. They designed to code. Little was heard about far more powerful hurricanes than Katrina hitting the US because the people in other locales were more adept than the NOLA underclass in dealing with things..

"They need front-end loaders, dump trucks, cranes and lots of backhoes, with operators stat. Jacks and winches and a boatload of jaws-of-life. Water and of course the medical teams.
Posted by: Jumper1"

Sadly, "rescue!!!" must remain a side show.

Higher priority is to get water to the survivors, get the Haitian government operable again, clear the streets, and get security in place before howling mobs rule parts of the city.

Without water and clear streets and security, rescue efforts cannot do that much. That will take days. THEN your heavy equipment, jaws of life, additional medical people and supplies can be brought in.
And food for about 2 million that are untrapped.
NO doubt many trapped will die in the time all that takes.
It isn't just the trapped that are in danger - all the survivors are - of death by dehydration, possibility of fire, epidemics, and mob violence

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | January 14, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Little was heard about far more powerful hurricanes than Katrina hitting the US because the people in other locales were more adept than the NOLA underclass in dealing with things.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | January 14, 2010 2:56 PM

I don't think it was the NOLA underclass that designed and installed substandard levees.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 14, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The front page of the Post has a link to a Twitter Haiti aid page.

It looks like an easy way to donate.

I gave to MB's recommended organization because of its history in Haiti.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 14, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

While I'm aware that this is about Haiti, not us, I can't help but be glad that I bought an earthquake preparedness kit a couple of years ago. The local fire department was selling them and it sits out on my back porch, a drum that masquerades as a table, filled with space blankets, first aid, a tarp, ponchos, food and water (outdated by now, I guess), and glow sticks. It's not much, but it's at least something if the house falls down. We live in the New Madrid fault area MsJS was talking about and we're overdue. When we moved in I noticed there's a wrench, permanently fastened on a chain, attached to our gas meter, so it can be turned off in an emergency. Someone was thoughtful.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 14, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Lot of terrible but necessary decisions must be made. This is a triage situation. The awfully injured are being let die rather than waste too much limited doctor time or medical resources on them - better to treat the lightly injured so they don't come back for a hospital bed they don't get - because their wounds were not treated days before because all attention was on the worst injured...

And maybe the women and infant caught underneath 70 tons of concrete slabs could be saved if all 200 people nearby trying to clear a road were diverted to "Save them!", but people in charge may well say clearing the road is the far more urgent use of resources for public safety and "the greatest good for the greatest number" of survivors.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | January 14, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

cQp, I know PR speaks for no one but himself, but that's not what irks me. People complain all the time that people within certain professions don't police themselves-- that cops don't rat on other cops, that lawyers protect other lawyers, that doctors won't testify against other doctors, yadda yadda. I don't especially agree with that (sometimes they do, sometimes they don 't) -- but I do think that clergy -- who by and large willingly criticize all the rest of humanity at the drop of a hat -- are notably reluctant to criticize one of their own when a fellow clergyman does something egergious.

The "condemnation" of Robertson offered up so far has been wrist-slap and tsk-tsk and "well, he's done it before, there he goes again."

Of course, I admit that I want blood: I want to see this moron dragged from his pulpit and thrown out into the street. I know it won't happen -- but I want to see and hear more than just the usual tsk-tsk. And that's all I'm hearing. Somebody ought to denounce him in terms of his own coin: fire and brimstone.

(I also think the rest of the clergy is making a huge tactical mistake by letting this guy keep on running his mouth. Every time he opens it he destroys religion a little bit. by making it seem ridiculous. I can't understand why they don't understand how destructive he is to his own general cause. But that's their problem, not mine.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 14, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I think it's been pretty obvious for a while that Rush is only a greedy self-serving sack full of sh1t. He can go and do his pill-fueled se3ual tourism in the better part of Hispanola all he wants, I don't care. He/It's not the kind of thing/person that should be discussed in polite company.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 14, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

loomis, your 12:36 was appalling to me.

Given what those folks in Haiti will be experiencing over the coming days and weeks, that comment may raise to the level of ghastly.

I pray it does not.
Not for your sake, for theirs.


Posted by: -bc- | January 14, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The front page of the Washington Post has a link to a Twitter Haiti aid aggregator that makes it easy to choose a charity to contribute to.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 14, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I don't think he belongs to any church but the Church of Me.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 14, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The reaction of some to this tragedy simply demonstrates, to me, where human empathy ranks in their list of priorities.

That is, to some, it seems as if the most important thing isn't to minimize the suffering of Haitians, but to determine the best way to exploit this suffering as a way to achieve other goals. Goals like, you know, damaging the President or making themselves feel smugly superior in some way.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 14, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Tried to post to Mudge; am blocked. Too many links from me.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 14, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Another charity suggestion-- YELE, run by Wyclef Jean.

Wyclef was interviewed on 60 Minutes.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 14, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

...aaaaaaaaand here's something disturbing. With all that news on the front page, ya know what the top four stories are in terms of links (according to that box on the front page)?

1) American dreamer [Olympic speed skater]
2) Ke$ha's 'Animal' parties to the top [music bimbo]
3) Google attack part of vast campaign
4) China defends censorship after Google threat

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 14, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why there aren't doing air drops of water from the C17's. They are doing it in Afganistan(sp). Even saw it in FoX Sports a few weeks ago. O course it must be done in a secure area to prevent cauous.

Posted by: bh72 | January 14, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

shrieking...the problem with Rush is that he IS the voice of the Republican party right now. And people listen to him. A lot. And believe every word he says.

I don't understand why.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 14, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Since I never listen to Rush-boy or PR -- wouldn't under any circumstances and certainly not willingly -- I don't know what entities sponsor their shows or give PR's school(s) grant money. I suppose its worth it to find out and do a lot of loud boycotting of the products. After all, it is the $$$$ (translatable in all languages) that talks. If we shout loudly, the money (and let us hope the lack thereof) ought to shout loudly.

The Rethuglicans definitely deserve these guys. Me? Not so much.

Back to werk.

Posted by: -ftb- | January 14, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

And one more thing. TBG, don't think we've heard anything from your new Governator, PR's best friend. Wonder if he will pipe up and disown.


Posted by: -ftb- | January 14, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Good politics isn't necessarily friendship, ftb.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 14, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I really don't understand the hate being heaped on Haiti by Rush et al. Did these folks say the same about Thailand and other countries when the tsunami hit? I'm sure the U.S. sends $ their way, too.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 14, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Rush is from my state, Raysmom. One thing I've learned over the years here is that, for the haters, it's always really about race. It's better now (by a long shot) than it was 30, or even 20, years ago. There's still a die-hard core of those who think first and foremost about "us vs. them." Don't know why.

Posted by: Wheezy1 | January 14, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The good news is lots of people ARE NOT listening to Rush and PR.

4 Mil in text donations - Wow!

Posted by: dmd3 | January 14, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Hit Rush where it hurts! Donate generously to Haiti relief. His comments incensed me to the point I got off my duff and made a donation to Doctors Without Borders. He11, he p1ssed me off to the extent I'm probably going to dip into savings and donate to some other organizations as well.

"Tax dollars" indeed! You could say the same thing about the food bank--our taxes pay for food stamps, after all. Wait--what am I saying? I bet that exactly what that bloviating sack of hypocisy say.

Thanks folks. Rant over.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 14, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

It took a few minutes to find this site, alleged list of Limbaugh advertisers.

I found some pretty big outfits there which, if this is true, might respond to one's perception of the taint they have (allegedly - I don't listen to the show!) besmirched themselves with.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 14, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I am sometimes surprised by how little the kids think about race - mixed couples are *completely* normal and no one thinks even once about it at the local high school. This makes me every happy.

Posted by: Wheezy1 | January 14, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

He questioned the death toll from the tsunami, Raysmom. Also claimed that throwing money just led to corruption and some people getting lots of money and others none (always true, but not the point.)

Caveat Donor is always good, but I wish he'd use the same logic to argue that talk radio shouldn't exist because some people get too much money from it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 14, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Front page alert.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 14, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey, y'all.

I spent a dee-light-full afternoon with Niece2. She leaves for a semester abroad (Seville, Spain) in 72 hours. I was honored she found time to stop by as she scrambles to pack.

We made a quick and easy chocolate cake from scratch. What we didn't consume is now on the boodle table, along with whipped cream and a raspberry sauce for the truly indulgent (we went frostingless on the cake).

I disagree somewhat with Mudge on the PR thing. To me his statements reflect a level of fear about life and death that is deep and profound. I'm not sure that other clergy would serve Christianity, us, themselves, or PR by publicly commenting on anything he says.

That said, I do understand Mudge's being irked that PR seems to get a free pass while others (Senator Reid?) get crucified.

Posted by: MsJS | January 14, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it amazing, Wheezy? Our kids have not a clue about the attitudes toward race that were normal for our parents. Not that we have erased racism or the impacts of segregation, but the change in two generations is phenomenal. I'm glad and profoundly grateful. Still much work to be done, however, and coming to the aid of Haiti is as good a place as any to start.

Posted by: slyness | January 14, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Clarence Page on how to donate to Haiti.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 14, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I have thought about this all day.

Loomis, with respect to your 12:36 post, I am left to wonder why Texans aren't doing something to deal with childhood hunger in Texas? It isn't as if Texas as poor as Haiti. If Texans had the will to solve that problem, they could.

If you wouldn't give to Haiti in their hour of need, why on earth would you expect anyone to solve the problems in Texas?

Posted by: --dr-- | January 14, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

SCC It isn't as if Texas is as poor as Haiti.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 14, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I just received an official email from the Solar Electric Light Fund -- mentioned on the boodle yesterday. Both Yoki and I -- unkwown to each other -- know of and have worked intermittently with this fine group.

The urge all to consider Partners In Health as a first-line crisis donation choice. Under separate cover a few moments ago, I heard from two colleagues, one with extensive relief experience. He worked for 18 months on Hurricane Mitch infectious disease prevention. He said that PIH is a good place to begin. The Haitian clinics and kiosks are running out of everything. So, contributions you make will help them replenish and continue.

In a separate communication, I learned that the adventure racing/extreme events community of participants and rescuers are arriving in the Dominican Republic to help with overland transport of stuffs. They are positioning themselves to accept air drops of supplies and then scurry forward. I learned this from my special ops brother.

Bravery in so many places. We can click and pray and remind each other that being human is rather easy: look at their faces in your mind's eye. We are brothers and sisters to each other.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 14, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

--dr-- Political will in Texas is an oxymoron except in the service of 'Bidness' as Molly Ivins would call it. As individuals, Texas can be very generous, the local communities and individuals do a lot of volunteer work, and really worked to shelter many during Katrina and Rita. But the people don't trust government. With good reason, Molly Ivins had, and Ben Sargent still has, a wealth of material for satire.
It can be frustrating to watch when the voters start circling the wagons and taking pot shots at everything they can't control or understand, then proceed to vote in a self-serving kleptocracy that use the right buzz words.
Thanks to all for the ideas on where to donate to help the people in Haiti.

Posted by: km2bar | January 14, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

cQp, I've enjoyed your recent posts for their informativeness but at least as much for the writing. People "scurrying forth" with relief supplies -- what a great image. May they scurry fast and safely.

Posted by: -bia- | January 14, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Oops, SCC: "scurry forward."

Is a compliment to writing style still valid if the compliment includes misquotation?

Posted by: -bia- | January 14, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

'evening...lost the computer to a trojan horse this week. not pretty, but all is back on an even keel. between grades and the turn of the semester, i didn't know of the devastation in Haiti until yesterday, just after school. the first image i saw was of the government building that had collapsed. then, yesterday, the PR piece. then excerpts from RL. unbelievable.

Posted by: -jack- | January 14, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse


It is uncanny how many Boodlers have had virus/trojan/malware problems in a short while. I can't help wonder whether it has something to do with the Google attack from China (which, BTW, is a *huge* story business-wise, so I'm not surprised it is in the "Most Read" listings).

Isn't CquaP's style a delight? Always has been.

I have a question for those who know a lot more about disaster relief than I do. Is there some "uber boss" agency that all these disparate groups report in to to find out where and what is most needed on a real-time basis? I mean, everybody can't just show up with tons of supplies and a bunch of people, and just do their own thing, right? In a functioning state, that would be the FEMA equivalent, but in Haiti? Is it what remains of the government? The UN? The Red Cross? I asked this on one of the chats today, the but the question wasn't taken.

Posted by: Yoki | January 14, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse


I haven't read what Pat Robertson said about Haiti. I do agree that some of us do give religion a bad name, and that isn't suppose to be. At times, we all fail miserably, myself included. Yet I think if we would stick to the book (Bible) instead of self, we just might do better, especially those of us with a high opinion of self. The Bible states we don't know the mind of God, but we have Christ as our example, yet we fail to live that example.

And Wheezy, you're right, Rush and company, when one gets to the bone of that rhetoric, it's all about race. But I believe that is their base. Of course, denial is their middle name.

Time to turn in, the legs are shot. I hope all have a good evening, and a good night's sleep.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 14, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

i'd guess the un and the icrc.

Posted by: -jack- | January 14, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks jack. That's what I sort of surmised. Let us hope they are talking to each other.

Posted by: Yoki | January 14, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Yoki saw an interview with a woman from USAID today, she said their first priority was to get search and rescue into PauP. Aid/Supplies after, that was the direction unless orders to the contrary given by the government in Haiti. This might be a unique situation given the state of destruction in Haiti, just getting equipment from the airport into town faces so many obstacles with clogged roads, port facilities damaged.

Clearly I need to step away from CNN at somepoint :-).

Of couse I do not need to qualify this as I am not a disaster specialist.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 14, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Some local relief news: SRC reports CECI in Montreal garnered 250k$ in private donations in a single day. There is apparently more from corporations, churches or other organisations. They've already freed 150k$ for purchases of equipment and supplies in Dominican Republic next door. The surrounding countries are not particularly big nor wealthy. I wonder just how much is available on their markets. Not a personal endorsement, but they have my double sawbuck.

French link for those who can read it:

Posted by: qgaliana | January 14, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

In the absence of a functioning local government, I suppose the UN is or should be the first point of coordination. My guess is that they will try to locate local officials for direction but that such officials will be in short supply.

In the US, local jurisdictions are expected to have detailed emergency response plans in place which take into account the hazards and issues of each particular place. We are supposed to have emergency operations centers with all the supplies and equipment to function without utilities, where governmental department heads are required to report. The person ultimately in charge is the emergency management director, but he would certainly defer to the city manager or county manager or the governor, as required.

The emergency response plan in this jurisdiction runs about 300 pages.

I hope the UN has a semblance of a plan to go by.

Posted by: slyness | January 14, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I think a further complication is the UN headquarters in PauP was destroyed with much loss of life.

All day CNN has followed a young eleven year old girl who was trapped under rubble her one leg under concrete, she has since been freed, but needs serious medical attention and now they are trying to get her to a medical facility 3 hours away in the hope they can help her. Just one of so many stories, but the young girl captivated me, some of the much heralded boodle mojo might help.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 14, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

The people with the natural right to run the place were overthrown in 1836 by a revolution. Innately untrustworthy, the new rulers have always been corrupt. It's doubtful the people themselves have enough education to run the place, as we have seen time and again.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 14, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

It's dead, Jim.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 14, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

'Sokay, Jumper. We need to rest awhile, we've been active for 48 straight hours.

Posted by: slyness | January 14, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Partners in Health is being featured on Rachael Maddow.

Gentleman is discussing how overwhelmed they are, how they were not damaged due to being away from P-au-P

Posted by: Pacifica | January 14, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

'Kay. Just to be clear, I was referring to Texas.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 14, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: -TBG- | January 14, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dmd3 | January 14, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Read this OpEd on Haiti by Tracy Kidder and then think of Pat Robertson.

Posted by: rickoshea1 | January 14, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I'll see your snort and raise you a chortle.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 14, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I'll see your snort and chortle and raise you a gaffaw.

Posted by: -jack- | January 14, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

km2 thanks. Truly I have no qualms with Texas. All governments and indeed most people fight to hold on to what is theirs. Is is our nature.

My only issue with a Texan, the nature of one post and some really really tactless words.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 14, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Snort, chortle, guffaw, and a jump, stomp, whoop-dee-do.

I call.

Posted by: MsJS | January 14, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

So was I.

Posted by: Yoki | January 15, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

So sad about Haiti.

I see a lot of hollow bricks among the rubble in the photos. Our family home was build in the 1970s. The surrounding wall and the inside partitions were of hollow bricks. They were the cheapest. No sound or heat insulation. Terrible material.

Posted by: rainforest1 | January 15, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Good article on who profits by donations-- banks and credit cards.

I feel better for mailing my nickel in.

The USPS needs the dough much more, and I just paid a much lower percentage for delivery than the charities are paying in processing fees.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 15, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

But breezeblock looks like a concrete foundation, doesn't it? So, good enough for them.

(Note to intertubes critics: this is bitter satire.)

Posted by: Yoki | January 15, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Well, long day for me away from the house for the better part. Where to start?

You seem to reward each other for your level on the emote meter rather than the intelligence meter. The problems with Haiti have been well-known for some time. As CNN correctly headlined, the earthquake in Haiti was a catastrophe waiting to happen--and I'll add in more ways than just pancaked buildings.

Before the earthquake ever struck, the most impoverished citizens ate bon bon terre (see the dateline on the link Iprovided), just as they now eat copper-tainted fish. As one Dominican said to Jared Diamond who was writing for his book "Collapse: How Societies Chhose to Fail or Succeed," about the difference between D.R. and Haiti, "The apocalypse here will not take the form of an earthquake or hurricane, but of a world buried in garbage." As it happends, the earthquake came first.

The 8:15 remark just makes me shake my head. In "the absence of a local functioning government"? You gotta be joking. Haiti has never had a truly functioning government in its history. Haiti had 22 presidents from 1843 to 1915, and of those, 21 were assassinated or driven out of office. The U.S., aware of the political unrest in the Caribbean and the threat it posed to the Panama Canal, completed in 1914, occupied the entire island, beginning in 1915 in Haiti, and remaining in the western island nation until 1934. Thereafter Haiti reverted to its previous political turmoil.
The CIA has an interesting presence on the island, too--I'll mention as an aside, including the assassination of D.R. leader Rafael Trujillo.

Haiti continued to have an unstable succession of leaders, until despicable dictator "PapDoc" Duvalier took over--with a long list of terrible, terrorizing practices against his own people, only to be succeeded by his son "Baby Doc" in 1971.


Posted by: laloomis | January 15, 2010 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Since the end of the Duvalier dictatorships, Haiti has continued its political instability. You can look at Kessler's article on the homepage for a discussion of the more recent political turmoil. In short, the government is pretty much perenially corrupt, as Diamond points out.

Part of the numerous ongoing problems is high population growth rate, coupled with overwhelmingly Catholicism that coexists with voodoo, and deficiencies in natural resources and trained or educated human resources.

As Diamond clearly states, Haiti lacks the capacity to utilize outside assistance effectively. "...the USAID program has put money into Haiti at seven times the rate at which it has put money into the Dominican Republic, but the results have been much more meager, because of the country's deficiency in people and organizations of its own that could utilize the aid.

Diamond probably best defines the differences between Haita and the D.R. in this one sentence--and its not simply the environmental differences. Diamond explains, "Most of the explanation has instead to do with differences between the two people in their histories [French vs. Spanish], attitudes, self-defined identity, and institutions, as well as their recent leaders of government."

As far as the best thing I've read about Haiti (and global poverty) since the earthquake struck, it's David Brook's brilliant analysis for tomorrow's NYT (however, Diamond would disagree with Brooks about the differences in environment on the two sides of the island--mountains and precip):

Of course, someone among you may want to pick up Jared Diamond's 2005 book "Collapse." *pinching myself, because I'm surely dreaming*

Heading for bed on this late rainy night.

Posted by: laloomis | January 15, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

You, laloomis, seem to grade yourself on a scale of bitterness (10! Perfect score!); it cannot be a very comfortable way to live.

"Emote meter"

That isn't even English. It is incomprehensible.

I imagine that you are trying to wound a community you cannot, somehow, abandon.

But take my word for it, you can leave us any time. We'll be fine without you.


Posted by: Yoki | January 15, 2010 2:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't know which is worse, breeze block or hollow bricks. Maybe both are as bad. Our hollow bricks is made of sand, cement and water. Only enough cement to hold the sand together, please. Otherwise, it'll be expensive.

Posted by: rainforest1 | January 15, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Hello, dear rainforest. I think breezeblock and hollow bricks are equally sound, when it comes to construction-worthiness,

Posted by: Yoki | January 15, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

Hi Yoki.

Hollow bricks are ok for us cuz the ground under our feet don't move. I don't know about earthquake prone places, though. In any case, rebars for the columns are definite must which like Jumper said there aren't any.

Posted by: rainforest1 | January 15, 2010 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Back around 1960, the Dominican Republic was a miserable place with its capital renamed Ciudad Trujillo after the glorious President-For-Life. Things like dental care were evidently very hard to get, even for the US ambassador.

Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer has a suggestion on how to minimize losses of reconstruction funds for Haiti due to corruption. What worked in Managua some years ago should work in Port-au-Prince:

Haiti's current president had already started a cleanup. I fear that the country may have lost lots of people who are badly needed for reconstruction.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 15, 2010 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Too much attention given to Rush. My view on him is simple: in a world full of large sphincters, there is always one with the largest diameter. The internet/blog explosion has made it harder for Rush to keep that title. He works very hard to keep it.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 15, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

All this retroactive hectoring of Haitians for the sin of living in a desperately poor nation seems more than a little mean-spirited. When people's houses have collapsed and their entire family is dead or missing, they need a helping hand, not a lecture.

David Brooks points out that the 1989 California Earthquake killed only 63 people. But it did over $10 billion of damage in inflation adjusted dollars. And that does not even account for the untold billions spent on the additional cost of seismic construction and developing our massive public safety systems. We trade money for lives as we should because we can.

The entire economy of Haiti is just around seven billion dollars with a per capita income of $1300. The major source of foreign capital is foreign remittances but when a boatload of economic refugees washes up on South Beach we send them back because they did not have good sense to have a Castro as their leader.

And these people are sneaking into our country to cut OUR sugar cane because our economic policy has favored the monogenomic corn industry and a few wealthy expatriate sugar barons over the fragile agricultural economy of the entire Caribbean basin.

There are a lot of things wrong with Haiti. It may be a basket case, perhaps irredeemably. But that is a reason to help them even more rather than just tut-tut about their history and politics and economics. Real people are dying as a result of events beyond their control.

And you can rattle on with code phrases about cultural differences, but nobody deserves to die if we can do something, anything, that might prevent it.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 15, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all, and happy Friday. Cassandra, I hope you're warm! It's supposed to get up to around 60 here today, I won't know how to act in pleasant weather.

Have a pleasant day, everyone!

Posted by: slyness | January 15, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Happy Friday indeed, all.

Speaking of Castro, from the home page lead article:

"the U.S. government said it had received permission from Cuba to fly through restricted air space on medical evacuation flights."

And once again, the forecast for PauP shows calm weather for the next 10 days; PLEASE let the meteorologists be 100% correct.

*hoping-for-a-continued-trend-towards-better-news-through-this-upcoming-long(-for-some-of-us-anyway)-weekend Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 15, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree enthusiastically with what Yoki said.

Look 50,000 people are dead and many more are in profound suffering, a suffering that will only get worse before, if ever, it gets better.

If anyone has something to say that either helps us deal with this horror, or provides some useful information for helping, please feel free to contribute.

But using this tragedy as a way of demonstrating one's mastery of facts is to exploit this tragedy for one's own self gratification. This, to me, is an obscenity.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 15, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Loomis - look at those last two pictures. Really look at them. And your response to this is to chastise us that we haven't read a book?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 15, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

I would endorse Yoki's and Padouk's posts, and especially yello's 6:41. I'm perfectly happy to grant every single criticism of Haiti's history, dysfunctional culture, dynfunctional politics, dysfunctional religion, dyfunctional whatever. At the moment, every one of them is irrelevant. As Padouk said, there's 50,000 dead, there's about 9 million in abject poverty, and they need help. Those are about the only three points of any consequence. I don't much care how many presidents they had between 1843 and 1915. I suppose I could postpone sending in some money for relief until after I run out and buy and read "Collapse," but I don't think I'm going to. No matter what he says in his book, I have a suspicion Jared wouldn't want me to wait, either.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 15, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

In astronomy news, the longest annular eclipse for the next thousand years happened over Africa.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 15, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Bonjour les Biidleurs.

Situation in Haiti is getting and will continue to get worse for seceral days. We are getting a lot of first person accounts as Chile been heavily involved in UN activity there and a number of Chileans are missing.

Last night, the chaos in PaP increased as fights in the streets broke out. General Toro who is in command of the UN peacekeeping force had to halt rescue work and send troops to re-establish order. This was a terrible decision as his wife is probably burried in the ruble of the Hotel Montana. A number of people are known to be alive there.

The airport bottle neck is part of the problem. The first Chilean relief plane, a 767 had to divert to Santo Domingo. After a three hour wait, it flew into PaP where it had to wait one hour for a ladder to get the passengers off. There are no forklifts to offload medical equipment.

Aid workers from several nations were not allowed to leave the airport as officials try to organize them into a meaningfull rescue organization.

A major health problem is brewing as bodies decompose. None of the hospitals is functioning. A large number of hospital personnel been killed.

Key UN personnel who were running essential services in the country are dead.

Wishing you all a nice weekend seems frivolous.


Posted by: Braguine | January 15, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

a word of caution;
poison spread from a scratched sore
is hard to scroll past

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 15, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I can loan my copy of Collapse if it will save some lives. I haven't gotten around to reading it and it's not on the on-deck circle for the rest of the month, so it might as well do somebody some good.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 15, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Jared Diamond's not exactly a go-to guy for unbiased analysis.

If you're going to slam someone for not reading a book, first, make sure they haven't read it, and second, pick a better book.

Posted by: LostInThought | January 15, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

HaikuGirl speaks with
Wise advice how venom spreads
from one bad apple.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 15, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I bought and read Collapse when it was first published. It does not inform a humanitarian response to catastrophe.

Posted by: Yoki | January 15, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Ball bounces, dog runs on
Nabbing new thoughts in dawn
Sniffing for new kit


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 15, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Bear with me on this idea. Fiction, for me and many others, provide a scaffolding for hard times. When we read or watch LofRs or An End to an Affair (G. Greene), Middlemarch, Shakespeare's stream, we really do incorporate lessons about the reality of human suffering. And, what the possible range of responses are.

Oh Brag, that man is a hero. We do not think that we will be heros or live out loud or in a muscular response to evil as does Frodo and his fellows. And this man -- how brave and heartsick he must be at the nobleness and futility of this. And, yet, such goodness in him.

But, we might have to make such a choice. Might.

Our choices are relatively easy: who do we trust to help. And click and send as Raysmom says more than we feel comfortable with. May it pinch and worry us as that might be the test that we are giving enough. That we are human and choosing generosity rather that a retreat into a prickled shell of false protection.

Really, in our our true stories, we do make choices about honesty, transparency, kindness, generosity or the setting of fair and loving boundaries. Just, the plots are narrow and comfortable, still we have our crosses (pardon), burdens, and rings -- yes rings. Remember that Tolkien was a young man in WWI. What was his response? Over his lifetime, he wrote a story for us about responses to what the world places before us. We are all little people of the shire, like the Hobbits:

"I will take the Ring," he said,
"though I do not know the way."

Frodo's story is to help us.

A truthy (good way) true story.
Another book I think of now is Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. A true true story.

WHen I first came to the boodle I ran into JK and his reminder to me of Kurt Vonnegut's writings. And this:

We may as well be kind.

Brag -- good weekend to you.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 15, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I never had a book knock me over like Man's Search for Meaning, CqP. What a story!

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last human freedom, to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.

That's a paraphrase of the quote, but it's gotten me through many dark nights.

And the observation that those who survived in Dachau weren't the physically strong but the spiritually strong. That makes infinite sense to me.

Posted by: slyness | January 15, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

American Express has announced that they are rebating transaction fees to any of the charities on this list:

Several of which have been mentioned individually by various boodlers. And doing anything is still preferable to doing nothing.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 15, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Yes maam. Yes sir.

Posted by: --dr-- | January 15, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Dartmouth's president and physician Jim Yong Kim-- and founder of PiP says this to students (aren't we all students?)

Q. What can colleges—and students and faculty and staff members—do to help, even if they don't happen to be at an institution with a medical or public-health program?

A. Let me give you three quick ideas. The first is, there is a desperate need for cash in the best organizations. Again, the one I know is Partners in Health, but there are others that students can donate to, and I encourage them to donate. Many, many lives are in the balance, and what we do over the next few days to few weeks is going to be critical for the quality and effectiveness of our response. So, just donate. Get into the experience of when these things happen, when your heart is full of sorrow and sympathy—do it.

The second thing, I think students should educate themselves about the history of Haiti. Haiti was the second independent nation in the Western Hemisphere. In 1804, it defeated Napoleon's army basically with sticks and uprooted them from their colonial anchorage in Haiti. And many people, historians, would argue that the Louisiana Purchase happened because of the loss of confidence of Napoleon in losing Haiti. American history, and certainly the history of the Western Hemisphere, has been deeply affected by events in Haiti. And then Haiti has had a series of just awful political situations. One of the modern leaders of Haiti, who came into power on a campaign focused on negritude, on blackness, turned out to be Papa Doc Duvalier, one of the most despotic leaders in the Western Hemisphere. So, Haiti has just had problem on problem on top of problem. And on top of that, an earthquake.

And the third and most important thing—this problem is going to get much worse before it gets better. So, give now, inform yourself about Haiti, develop a passion and a compassion for the problems of Haiti, and then stay involved.

Here at Dartmouth, one of our great presidents, John Sloan Dickey, would say constantly to his students, "The world's troubles are your troubles. But there's nothing wrong with the world that can't be fixed by better human beings."

RECAP: OUR situation -- task, cross/star of D/crescent/ying-yang/mother earth, burden, clarion call -- is to search our hearts and let this probing transform us: As Jim Yong Kim says above:

"Get into the experience of when these things happen, when your heart is full of sorrow and sympathy—do it."

Interview, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 14, 2010.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 15, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

a very touching piece regarding philanthropy:

Posted by: -jack- | January 15, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Another group that has its work cut-out for it in Haiti is Oxfam. In the UN grand scheme of things Oxfam is the emergency water and sanitation team. Oy.
So the mothership (in NY, I think) brings in a few emergency specialists to coordinate the efforts and lots of material and the 350 or so Oxfam people already in Haiti (mostly for sustainable development projects) become emergency water&sanitation foot soldiers. The things we learn on public radio.

The great majority of Haiti's Oxfam team are from Oxfam Québec, hence the interest of the local media.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 15, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why, but there is something I haven't wanted to post on the boodle until now, until cQp's 9:36 post and Brag's post about the hospitals.

I am extremely concerned about a very good friend of mine, who is a doctor working in Haiti. He was one of my very best friends in high school and after, and was one of my intellectual "mentors" especially during the the Civil Rights and Vietnam era. He went to Mississippi to register voters during the Freedom Summer. He became very radicalized, and was at the Port Huron Conference, though not a founder of SDS or a signer of the Port Huron Statement (not quite that radical, but almost). He was tear-gassed during the March on Washington, and when he returned to Philly the next day he and some friends stayed at my place the next night. He was a conscientous objector during the war and did three years in Allenwood fed prison for it. After he got out, he attended medical school at Johns Hopkins and became a doctor doing public health work in a ghetto in Brooklyn, NY. He somehow got connected with Haitian immigrants there by working in a clinic in a Haitian neighborhood. Then he spent years actually working in Haiti in some impoverished clinic in the mountains somewhere near a place called Les Irois. We have kept in touch irregularl over the years. When he returned to the U.S. a few years ago, he came to DC and we went to a Phillies-Nats game at RFK. A year or two later, we had dinner in Little Italy in Baltimore.

I tend to think of his as a cross between Albert Schweizter and Dr. Tom Dooley, if you know who that is. He is the only "saint" I ever met, a saint who is a rabid Phillies fan. Although a doctor for many years, I don't think he has 15 cents to his name.

A year ago he was back in Haiti up in the mountains somewhere. Although not a Quaker (or anything else) himself, his medical work is affiliated somehow with the American Friends Service or whatever they call it.

Last night I sent an e-mail to some AFS people asking if they'd heard from him, and if they knew if he was still alive or not. (I have no way of getting in touch with him. His cell phone is disconnected, because when he goes to Haiti he has it turned off. He only uses it stateside.) Haven't heard back, unsurprising, given the chaos.

The reason cQp's post galvanized me is because my friend graduated from Dartmouth.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 15, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I've read "Collapse" and "Guns, Germs, and Steel," and while I think they're reasonable high-level broad-brush scientific analyses, they are far from complete and as has been pointed out, I could not find that there's any humanistic elements to addressing catasrophic change or distaster.

I'd consider Diamond's works might be about as helpful for addressing the current Hatian situation as an Earthbound astronomer's advice to any civilizations that were living on a planet orbiting a star that had gone nova.

I am so glad that we have trained Medical Doctors and EMTs among first responders and advisors to such things. Tin Woodsmen chopping away at blogs aren't really helpful.


Posted by: -bc- | January 15, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Dooley with his clinic on the Mekong?


Posted by: Braguine | January 15, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I hope you hear about your friend soon, Mudge. Chances are good that he's busy treating people right now. I'm so glad there are clinics and NGOs there routinely, who speak the language and know the place, to offer at least some help before the massive interventions can be set up and get running.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 15, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

It is not my habit to comment on laloomis' postings. I will make an exception this morning.

I find this blog to be a pretty good place for folks to express both their emotional and intellectual reactions to things. Many times, a boodler has found support and practical guidance here (example: feeling helpless about Haiti and wondering how to help led to many suggestions about where/how to donate).

I'm not sure how any of the historical tidbits in laloomis' posts connect to this week's earthquake. I am sure that there are several folks here whose comments have enhanced my understanding of how various countries and organizations are helping Haiti (intellectual stuff) and also helped me deal with my visceral reactions to the event (emotional stuff).

Lunch and a movie day here. It's good for MrJS to have visitors as he's homebound for at least the next 6 weeks.

Posted by: MsJS | January 15, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Hoping for the best for your friend Mudge, thank you for telling us about him.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 15, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

CollegequaParkian and others have struck the real consequence such a disaster has for most of us, who are not only not personally affected (or only at a remove, through friends or relatives) but are nowhere near the location and cannot personally pick up rubble or administer aid. On a personal level, these events present a test of our characters as well as our ethical and moral codes.

In every case, our individual response to disaster affecting others shows our own capacity for what is sometimes loosely called humanity - compassion, sympathy, empathy, a desire to help others by doing what we can, even if that is just texting a $10 donation over a cell phone. There is no direct correlation between the measure of individual "humanity" and measurement of "emotional" versus "rational" characteristics. Certainly both rational and emotional concerns may drive humanitarian response. However, whether we usually view the world through emotion or with rational detachment is irrelevant in predicting our capacity for "humanity".

To take an immediate example, many Boodlers tend to be extremely rational, some of us frighteningly so. Many of us work in positions which require us to suppress emotional responses and that is not the way in which we generally view the world. However, the Boodle discussion since the Haiti earthquake has overwhelmingly focused on the necessity for humanitarian response in the face of disaster. Both emotional and rational arguments have been offered in service of this imperative. The same is true on a larger scale, across the world. I believe this shows how common and widespread the impulse to humanitarian response is. The fact that the response is commonplace among people of different cultures, religions, levels of intelligence and of education, suggests to me that any effort to characterize it as driven by emotion rather than rational thought is simply and empirically wrong.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 15, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

That guy does sound like a saint in any working definition of the term. Let us hope he is still alive and doing good work somewhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 15, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Brag, the Mekong Tom Dooley. Had a couple of books by or about when way back when.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 15, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Well said Ivansmom!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 15, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

So good to see Brag here and, as always, good to read his point of view on things.

The $10 donation via text message is an amazing tool. It allows folks who normally feel helpless in situations like this actually do something (with permission, of course).

I mean, there's knowing your mom or dad sent money, but actually being able to do it yourself (even knowing it's still Mom or Dad's money) means a great deal to a teenager. It's rational and emotional.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 15, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

This link from the NYT shows aerial photos of before and after. It shows many large buildings in the after with the roofs still in tact. Seem government building suffered the most damage.

Posted by: bh72 | January 15, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

We have a big box at work for donations. It's getting full. And it helps in many ways.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 15, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The last photo shows a lot of the middle of the pier missing.

Posted by: bh72 | January 15, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of the building that are still standing may have structural damage.

Great post Ivansmom.

Posted by: dmd3 | January 15, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

That's an amazing graphic, bh.

Posted by: -TBG- | January 15, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I hope that out of this tragedy a sense of self reliance grows in the Haitian population that can extend to a new government now that the old one has been swept away.

It is disheartening to see the images of a population that has already suffered so much endure such devastation.

Posted by: edbyronadams | January 15, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I hope the good Dr. is continuing his work down there, needed more than ever. Please let us know if you hear anything, and if there's anything we can do to help. I'll be thinking about him, too.


Posted by: -bc- | January 15, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

A quote from the David Brooks column mentioned above:

"Fourth, it’s time to promote locally led paternalism. In this country, we first tried to tackle poverty by throwing money at it, just as we did abroad. Then we tried microcommunity efforts, just as we did abroad. But the programs that really work involve intrusive paternalism."

Meh. In another part of his column he seems to think that if one can't "consistently" eliminate corruption in the recipient country, it's a lost cause.

So, what, unless we're allowed to come in and run things and put the citizenry under tight controls, we might as well not bother? Really? This is racism in one of its many ugly forms.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | January 15, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Latest news in Santiago.
Food and other supplies still not getting through to people. Peacekeepers allowed looting of stores, supermarkets and UN warehouse. Tensions diminished as this way some food filtered to the people.


Posted by: Braguine | January 15, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

From the Miami Herald:
"In a move mirroring the Operation Pedro Pan 50 years ago, the Archdiocese of Miami's Catholic Charities Legal Services is planning to airlift possibly thousands of Haitian children left orphaned in the aftermath of Tuesday's catastrophic earthquake in Port-au-Prince."

Also, Port-au-Prince is having a heat wave, up to 100 degrees.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 15, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Good to know that Brooks is still willing to bear the White Mans Burden. As Cassandra hinted at yesterday, there is more than a little patronizing going on, especially from the louder mouths, but among many others as well.

Third world countries are corrupt because, for the corrupt leaders at least, corruption works. We have a much more elegant system where the rewards for politicians are more subtle and backloaded. Our presidents don't have to flee the country with their loot because we give them book deals and speaking engagements and corporate board seats.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 15, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

On the way home from lunch, I heard that French President Sarkozy has proposed an international conference to work on how best to aid Haiti on recovery and building a better society. That strikes me as a good idea. Maybe changing tariff structures in the US will come up, as Yello has noted that our not buying sugar is an issue for them.

Posted by: slyness | January 15, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse


Roger Ebert delivered a quick and stiff rebuke to RL. Quotes RL.

Verb "horsewhipped" appears. Though you would appreciate.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | January 15, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Another good conideration for donating for the Canadian boodler, the Humanitarian Coalition (Oxfam, Care, Oxfam Quebec).

Posted by: dmd3 | January 15, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Miami-Dade and Broward County schools are planning for an influx of Haitian students, and even considering setting up schools at Guantanamo Bay or the Dominican Republic.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 15, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, cQp. But as much as I like Roger, he's still a movie reviewer. An umbraged movie reviewer is about as useful as an umbraged 900-year-old boodler.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 15, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you don't look a day over 889. Really.

Posted by: -ftb- | January 15, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

SCC: 899


Posted by: -ftb- | January 15, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you're only discounting the value and impact of Ebert's and your own opinions because you're one of those "emoter" types and not a self-important cold-hearted "intellectual" windbag from Texas.

I, for one, am proud to call myself an emoter and have been actively emoting since 1967. In fact, I'm emoting right now in Loomis's general direction.

Posted by: martooni | January 15, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

So, are any of my fellow Virginians doing anything fun to celebrate Lee-Jackson Day?

Posted by: bobsewell | January 15, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Martooni!!! How are you?

Posted by: dmd3 | January 15, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey Martooni! I thought that Ebert's piece was pretty good. But I don't think anything will change wrt RL unless and until the sponsors and station "hear" it in the wallet.

Has McDonnell been heard from wrt Pat Robertson's "comments"? Nah, didn't think so.

Posted by: -ftb- | January 15, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm doing fine, dmd -- thanks for asking. :-)

And before I forget, a big "hey yinz guys!" to everyone in Boodleland.

Posted by: martooni | January 15, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Thought you got trapped behind one of your closed doors.


Posted by: Braguine | January 15, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

'tooni, good to see ya.

Hope you're doing well, my man.

How's the Bean?


Posted by: -bc- | January 15, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear from you and know that you're still in the land of the living, Martooni!

Posted by: slyness | January 15, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Toon!!! I emote in your general direction, sir!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 15, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Joel, please get up from your desk, walk over to this department, and set these ^%&^% people straight, please. Sheesh.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | January 15, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the welcomes, everybody. I never really left, just went into lurk mode.

Brag... the only door I've been trapped behind is the one to my workshop (which is a good thing).

Little Bean's doing great, bc, though she's not such a little bean now that she's a "big kid" in the 2nd grade. She's also developed an attitude that's a little too much for her britches. I'm thinking of rechristening her "Cheeky Monkey".

Posted by: martooni | January 15, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Martooni! Howdy, y'all!

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 15, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

'Toooooooooon!!! *confetti and other tokens of partying*

I also emote in your general direction, although slightly off-line from 'Mudge's general direction so you get a two-level effect with a little path running down the middle...


Posted by: Scottynuke | January 15, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Martooni! Good to hear from you.

'Mudge: I hope for the best regarding your friend's situation in Haiti.

Posted by: -jack- | January 15, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

tooni tooni tooni!!!!!!!! *dancing around the boodle*

how's the door business going?

i shall emote in your general direction as well - so between snuke, mudge and i, we are forming an emote pyramid, if you will, in your general direction! (guys, be careful not to cross the streams)


Posted by: mortii | January 15, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Martooni. I'm glad that the fairies finally let you go.

Ivansmom, I liked your post.

To me, all human reason is founded on motivation which arises from basic emotion. We maintain integrity of the self and society by acknowledging and governing both impulses and their effects.

Impulsive responses provoked by callow emotional manipulation or self-serving beliefs ARE VERY different from rationally acting from values in a way that best benefits the desires of the self and others.

Some will give what they can, others will give more than they can or should. It all depends on their intensity of feeling-- which nobody can dictate to others.

We can only give feedback, educate through reason, and dictate social conventions and appropriate behavior and comments, and in doing so, we in part decouple social behavior from emotional impulse.

When social behavior violate our expectations, we sometimes get carried away, jumping to the conclusion that such violations must have a raw emotional cause (poor impulse control).

The reaction is generally that of angry reason, and an effort to chide the person for feelings that they may not in fact harbor at all.

Such exchanges always inevitably cause more strife and bitterness and run longer than the initial remarks deserved, and can be psychologically brutalizing for the target.

I just mention this because as a deaf person, I often violate social expectations and have run into the attitude that I was ignoring people on purpose to be mean, selfish, or malicious.

People have very different reactions to emotionally devastating events. Gallows humor, laughter, crying, uber-rationality, a need to evade, denial, anger, curiosity, a need to control by collecting all the news, etc. all may occur.

Arguing those emotional reactions only intensifies and forces them to persist, rather than letting them relax and recede to auger a more rational, value-driven perspective on things. We are, after all, each one of us aware of emotional manipulation and none of us like it.

So, let's not let others' posts get to us quite this much?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 15, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: Yoki | January 15, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, well:

Posted by: slyness | January 15, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I kept checking the dateline on that Brooks column, expecting it to read 1910 instead of 2010. What exactly is it about Haiti that brings all the social darwinists out of the woodwork?

Never mind, I think I know the answer to that question...

Personally I find that empathy guides intellect to practical purposes while intellect makes empathy effective. I won't claim to have them in abundance but I try to have both and give myself some wiggle room between dogmatic theory and hysteria. When I was a younger lad in a Canadian engineering school I made it a point to mock fashionable progressive causes and those pushing them, because of their perceived excess of one (emo) over the other. I got a bit older and learned to meet people halfway - that is I grew up and learned to give a s*it. But me being me, I can't resist some ridicule of the extremes, just somewhat more gently than I used to. Mockery done, I can get on with ignoring them.

Posted by: qgaliana | January 15, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

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