30 Thoughts to “Open Thread 1/21/10”

  1. Wolverine

    All this carping and criticism about the speed and effectiveness of our rescue and assistance efforts in Haiti is really starting to piss me off. If anyone has ever lived in a so-called “Third World ” country or an underdeveloped country, they should know firsthand that the governmental infrastructure is often questionable at best as to its responsiveness and effectiveness. It may look great on paper; but inexperienced and undereducated personnel, corruption, economic woes, and a host of other problems can mess up even the best looking government schematic. In West Africa, for instance, there is an old saying that has long been used when your best efforts to achieve something go awry. That saying is “WAWA.” It means that you have been frustrated by things absolutely beyond your control. It translates simply to “West Africa Wins Again.”

    Now, consider that, for a couple of hundred years, Haiti has been in the ranks of the severely underdeveloped. Things have gotten so bad that the UN has had to establish a major presence, including military peacekeepers, to try one more time to drag Haiti up out of the doldrums. And then, in a matter of minutes, almost the entire infrastructure of the country was destroyed, along with the principal port and many of the main roads. I mean, here you had at least some barebones infrastructure before the earthquake hit; and now you have got virtually zero. And some people are criticizing the rescue and aid efforts under such horrendous circumstances?!! Oh, the aid is not getting into Port-au-Prince from the airport or the ships fast enough? Wait a minute, friend. The roads betweeen the two took a severe hit and have been impassable at some points. The port has nothing left but one small fishing pier, and that pier has such a hole in it that only one truck at a time can go out to get loads of supplies. The USS Carl Vinson and the USS Bataan have helicopters but they can only carry a certain number of them. Those ships are large, but neither one is the equivalent of an international airport. The USNS Comfort has 1000 patient beds, but there must be tens of thousands needing medical/surgical attention.

    Well, all I can say to the critics is that this isn’t the Sermon on the Mount where we can wave a hand and the fish and loaves of bread increase like magic to feed all who are hungry. Just leave our people alone to work. They are trying as hard as they can against tremendous obstacles. And there is minimal local infrastructure left to help them. God bless ’em all.

  2. Great job, Wolverine. I totally agree with you. No magic wand exists. WAWa is a cute story.

  3. I just want to commend Medical Missionairies and the local efforts of people like Dr. Gil Irwin and others for carefully laying the groundwork for help with their clinic over the years. His team gave a presentation at our church with photos and they have been doing outstanding work. They need our contributions to continue that work, now that the clinic has survived and is being overwhelmed with earthquake victims who have left the main city and are trying to get to their outlying villages.

  4. Opinion

    Regarding the folks who volunteered to go to Haiti and help out… I second your opinion. Well said! I wish I was young enough to go; however, now all I can do is send money.

  5. GainesvilleResident

    There definitely is huge logistical problems getting people and supplies into Haiti – and it’s too bad a lot of people don’t seem to realize that. I’m sure everyone is trying their hardest to do things as quickly as possible, but they are up against a lot of difficulties. I know two other airports were opened that could handle some of the incoming shipments – one is actually in Dominican Republic.

  6. And it is a 10 hour drive in from the DR, isn’t it?

    Maybe people just need to be verbally abused when they start bitching about American response time. I am extremely impressed that our country got 11,000 troops into a tiny island nation in a week. 11,000 troops and supplies is just nothing short of a miracle.

    I kept rewinding to make sure I had seen the right numbers. Other countries without the close proximity are also doing great things. I know UK, Israel, Canada are sending in much relief also as well as search teams.

  7. The air traffic control at Port-au-Prince is on the ground and being staffed by the US Military. There is no control tower still. Impressive. That’s a lot to orchestrate.

  8. John Edwards…well surprise surprise! NOT!

    We were all over this one. Remember back last August when the announcement was supposed to come out later in the day? I posted a thread about Edwards, giving him equal time with Sanford of SC. Edwards never announced and I never retracted.

    Here’s the story and your comments, just in case you want to save yourself some time. I have voted for Edwards in the past. I have all the respect in the world for his wife. What a dirt bag he has been, more so because of her illness.

    I expect bad KARMA will follow John Ewards for being a low life to so many people.


  9. Poor Richard

    Imagine if D.C. and the surrounding counties were hit by an event that killed
    100K and caused injury to 200K – all in ten seconds – and roads were blocked
    and the airports almost useless. Despite all our technology and “sophistication”,
    there would be chaos and confusion for some period of time.

    A special challenge in Haiti is that their government barely functioned in the
    best of times and has now become almost useless. By default, others have
    had to suddenly step in and make key decisions (often leading to new
    medical problems – noses becoming out of joint – and pointed fingers
    being bitten).

  10. Opinion

    I just don’t trust people (make that men) with “perfect” hair. That’s probably irrational; however, it is a learned response based on personal experience… and it works for me!

  11. Poor Richard

    The new Gov. and GA must be stopped from playing “heads we win,
    tails you lose” with educational funding in Northern Virginia. Millions
    are at stake in PWC and the two cities.

    The Local Composite Index (LCI) is a formula that determines how much
    funding each locality gets from the state. It is designed to distribute
    money equitably with poorer areas getting more and wealthier areas
    getting less. For years it has been readjusted every two years and
    our area, compared to the rest of Virginia, has gotten less due to our
    relative wealth. Until this year when the dramatic drop in housing prices
    would mean we would, for once, get a larger slice of the pie.
    BUT, now downstate delegates want to “defer” readjustment –
    which, of course, helps them and hurts us.

    You need to contact your state delegate and senator and
    make sure they fight this unfairness.

  12. I hear France is accusing the U.S. of trying to take over another country. Anyone else hear that one?

  13. Lafayette

    Breaking news body found in trash can at the Parkway off of I-95 exit. I remember hearing one gentleman say he was and we should be proud to have 95 & 66 running through the county. Geesh. This is related to a case in NJ.

  14. Here it is: “It did not take long for France to start quarrelling with the United States over Haiti. The American take-over of the relief operation has not gone down well with Paris. Media cover over the past two days has depicted a virtual American invasion, with heavy-handed military pushing around French agencies. The words domination and even occupation were used on radio news reports this morning.” http://timescorrespondents.typepad.com/charles_bremner/2010/01/it-did-not-take-long-for-france-to-start-bickering-with-the-united-states-over-haiti-the-american-take-over-of-the-relie.html

  15. Poor Richard

    Story on NoVa website – a meteor apparently struck a doctor’s office
    in Lorton – according to Dr. Frank Ciampi. Good grief!

  16. clueless


    I could not agree more. I watched CNN last night and the entire show was a complaint about how there are no supplies a week after the Quake. I can’t imagine the devastation and am praying for more survivors. I would like to see Anderson Cooper hand out his water and dig into the rubble, where do they think they are?

  17. Poor Richard, will you consider drafting a skeleton letter for people to use on the index issue? Most people have so little knowledge of how that works it is difficult to write a letter. We can ad lib with your skeleton. Please?

  18. Clueless, I think all the cable stations have been pitching in and getting their hands dirty. They have assisted people move out orphans and gotten help for those being ignored. Dr. Sanjay Gupta performed surgery on a kid.

  19. From NY Times:

    Supreme Court Rejects Campaign Spending Limits

    The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend
    freely to support or oppose candidates for president and
    Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in
    federal campaigns.

    The court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that
    said corporations can be prohibited from using money from
    their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The
    decision almost certainly will also allow labor unions to
    participate more freely in campaigns and threatens similar
    limits imposed by 24 states.

    The justices also struck down part of the landmark
    McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and
    corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election

  20. 5-4 decision

    Against: Santamayora, Powell, Breyer, Bader
    Sustitute Stevens
    I guess big business is alive and well and return to buying its politicians.

  21. Formerly Anonymous

    Lindsey Graham is saying CIR is dead. (Mind you, he was a supporter of CIR.) I guess I technically have to wait until November to collect my bet winnings. (That CIR would never pass in an election year.)

    With that said, if they adopt a piecemeal strategy and pass popular measures like eVerify and DREAM Act, they might be able to get more down the road.


  22. What is he basing that on? I didn’t realize it had gotten that far in the process yet.

  23. Poor Richard

    I’m researching exactly how much PWC and each of the cities will lose
    in school funding due to the underhanded plan in Richmond not to
    readjust the LCI as has been in the past. State Senator Mark Herring
    (33rd District) has a piece in the opinion section of the
    Leesburg Times-Mirror (and on their website) – “Delay In Fixing
    State Tax Index Could Cost Loudoun Schools 35 Million” –
    which is equal to 6 cents on their RE tax rate. Have not heard
    beep from our local delegation.
    Ballpark best estimate is PWC stands to lose around 30M,
    Manassas City 3.5M and MP around 2M.

  24. That is a nice chunk of change.

    So we want the state to readjust the State Tax Index? That is my problem….I feel insecure about stating my case. I will link to the article. Thanks.

  25. Loudoun Times Mirror added to the news sources tab. Thanks Poor Richard.

  26. RingDangDoo


    Against: Santamayora, Powell, Breyer, Bader

    Powell’s been dead for 11 years.

  27. Sorry about that. I will try to do better. At my pay grade, I should know better. Let’s try Stevens. Powell left the court in 1987, to make matters worse.

  28. Wolverine

    In the category of “Can You Believe This?!! Hugo Chavez is saying that the U.S. deliberately set off the earthquake in Haiti as a test of some super weapon to be deployed eventually against Iran. I say to the people of Venezuela that, whenever you decide you can use it, we could arrange a nice quiet room for Hugo at Western State Hospital in Staunton.

  29. Lafayette

    Hugo Chavez is off his rocker. This one is takes the cake. The US can now cause natural disasters now? Wow!

    Oh, Western State Hospital, now there’s a solution. We were just discussing that institution this morning and last night around here. Do people even know what you mean when someone says “Western State” these days? Weston Hospital in WVa. would’ve been another solution, but it closed in the 1990’s. Weston Hospital is the second largest stone structure in the world. It’s only second to the Kremlin.

  30. I thought my financial advisor had sent the bulls after me for asking him to change my bonds and fixed income allocations back into stocks. I thought he was trying to teach me a lesson with a really bad stock market this week so I would stop asking.

    Just kidding Just kidding. What a horrible week!

    Chavez must be nuts. Certifiable even.

    Western State is creepy. The big caged building is now office space I think.

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