Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Deuce Stiffs Haiti

I haven't given a dime to least not directly. The Glorious Leader has promised $150 million in relief, about $10 of which I've paid in income tax, which is my contribution. Why not more you ask? Well, if all politics is local then so is charity. Haiti has been an economic basket case for decades, if not centuries. Governmental corruption coupled with voo-doo has got to be one of the worst combos since Tiger and busty waitresses.

I'm no different from you. It breaks my heart to see people suffering like the Haitians. Our common humanity and my own personal Christian beliefs cry out to help the broken, the homeless and the hungry of Haiti. But I don't. I don't send money to help Haiti for the same reasons I don't give cash money to my uncle the drunk, or my cousin the meth addict, or my old high school buddy who blows every paycheck at the casino and then begs me for a loan.

There is such a thing as the deserving poor and the undeserving poor. I judge Haiti to be of the undeserving poor...and I won't enable them by giving them yet more aid. Haiti has received hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. Name the relief organizaion and they've been there for decades; the International Red Cross; UNICEF; Doctors Without Borders; the Internationl Monetary Fund; UN peacekeepers.

Who am I to judge? Please. We all make judgments about people dozens of times every day. Christ said "Judge not lest ye be judged." He was talking about judging someone's soul, either to Heaven or Hell. Please note that Christ had no problem "judging" the money lenders in the Temple.

In 1989 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the San Francisco/Oakland bay area. You might remember it because it hit right before the start of a World Series baseball game and was immediately reported by sportscasters at the Oakland A's stadium. Sixty nine people were killed. The earthquake that hit Haiti was the same magnitude...and killed 110,000 and counting. Why the desparity in the number of people killed? There are several reasons, but they all boil down to poverty and governmental corruption...accepted by the Haitian people. Some wit once said, "People get the government they deserve." The Haitian people got a government that didn't dream of buildng codes that required structures that could withstand a 7.0 earthquake...and so they suffer. God help them.

Still, there seem to be millions of Americans who don't see things as I do. The people of the U.S.A. have already given or pledged $500 million to Haitian relief. Maybe they're right. But then again, the American people also elected a stone cold communist as president, and a year later seem to be deserting him in droves. We've recognized our error and have begun to make the necessary corrections ( see the recent senatorial election in Massachusetts ).

I said it before and I'll say it agian; if all politics is local, then so is charity. You want to help? I say give locally. Give to your local homeless shelter; give to the Salvation Army; give blood; volunteer as a Big Brother or be a Scout Leader or visit the lonely and the sick in the nearest rest home or hospice. Give to your church ( making sure they are spending your donations locally ); coach a Little League team; shovel your neighbor's sidewalks; give to the Shriners, or the American Cancer Society or JDL or the ASPCA. Give to the deserving. Don't enable people who are bound and determined to be needy forever. The sooner you stop helping them, the sooner they'll learn to stand on their own.

You want to help Haiti? Tell them to get their shit together.

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