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Old 01-20-2010, 11:52 AM   #91
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Cori,
I am no expert but having lived in Cali for most of my life, aftershocks like that do happen even a week out.. I am not sure why... Someone else will have to answer that but I remember a few times where we had a least a few after the big one granted I don't think they were 6.1 in magnitude but enough to be felt.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:29 PM   #92
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There was a 6.1 aftershock
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:33 PM   #93
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that's what i thought too. something is definitely going down. not to talk "doomsday" or anything, but there have been other earthquakes around the world since last Tuesday. maybe this is normal after a major earthquake. i'm not sure.
So many experts say that earthquakes in different parts of the world are not related, I just don't get it. The plates ALL touch each other right? There is no where on Earth where a tectonic plate is floating freely on its own right? So, if one moves under Haiti, why can't one be affected in California or Japan or Indonesia? I understand the fault lines, but I just don't get why seismologists are so quick to say that earthquakes are unrelated to each other if they are in different parts of the world.

Anyway, I hope things are going better in Haiti. I hope things can get somewhat settled before hurricane season.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:34 PM   #94
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So many experts say that earthquakes in different parts of the world are not related, I just don't get it. The plates ALL touch each other right? There is no where on Earth where a tectonic plate is floating freely on its own right? So, if one moves under Haiti, why can one be affected in California or Japan or Indonesia? I understand the fault lines, but I just don't get why seismologists are so quick to say that earthquakes are unrelated to each other if they are in different parts of the world.

Anyway, I hope things are going better in Haiti. I hope things can get somewhat settled before hurricane season.
exactly. even not as an expert the evidence i've seen suggests the opposite of what the experts.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:37 PM   #95
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So many experts say that earthquakes in different parts of the world are not related, I just don't get it. The plates ALL touch each other right? There is no where on Earth where a tectonic plate is floating freely on its own right? So, if one moves under Haiti, why can't one be affected in California or Japan or Indonesia? I understand the fault lines, but I just don't get why seismologists are so quick to say that earthquakes are unrelated to each other if they are in different parts of the world.

Anyway, I hope things are going better in Haiti. I hope things can get somewhat settled before hurricane season.
Sorry, corrected "can" to "can't."
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:07 AM   #96
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USA Today

Former NBA journeyman turned author Paul Shirley has written a long piece on flipcollective.com explaining why he has refused to contribute money to help Haiti rebuild.

Shirley is smart enough to explain his position clearly and clearly smart enough to realize that his position makes him look, to some, like an unfeeling clod.

ESPN released a statement saying he would no longer be a contributor for them.

This is what he wrote

"I do not know if what I’m about to write makes me a monster. I do know that it makes me a part of a miniscule minority, if Internet trends and news stories of the past weeks are any guide.

“It”, is this:

I haven’t donated a cent to the Haitian relief effort. And I probably will not.

I haven’t donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don’t give money to homeless men on the street. Based on past experiences, I don’t think the guy with the sign that reads “Need You’re Help” is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don’t think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either.

In this belief I am, evidently, alone. It seems that everyone has jumped on the “Save Haiti” bandwagon. To question the impulse to donate, then, will probably be viewed as analogous with rooting for Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, or the Spice Girls.

My wariness has much to do with the fact that the sympathy deployed to Haiti has been done so unconditionally. Very few have said, written, or even intimated the slightest admonishment of Haiti, the country, for putting itself into a position where so many would be killed by an earthquake.

I can’t help but wonder why questions have not been raised in the face of this outpouring of support. Questions like this one:

Shouldn’t much of the responsibility for the disaster lie with the victims of that disaster?

Before the reader reaches for his or her blood pressure medication, he should allow me to explain. I don’t mean in any way that the Haitians deserved their collective fate. And I understand that it is difficult to plan for the aftermath of an earthquake. However, it is not outside the realm of imagination to think that the citizens of a country might be able to: A) avoid putting themselves into a situation that might result in such catastrophic loss of life. And B) provide for their own aid, in the event of such a catastrophe.

Imagine that I’m a caveman. Imagine that I’ve chosen to build my house out of balsa wood, and that I’m building it next to a roaring river because I’ve decided it will make harvesting fish that much easier. Then, imagine that my hut is destroyed by a flood.

Imagining what would happen next is easier than imagining me carrying a caveman’s club. If I were lucky enough to survive the roaring waters that took my hut, my tribesmen would say, “Building next to the river was pretty dumb, wasn’t it?.” Or, if I weren’t so lucky, they’d say, “At least we don’t have to worry about that moron anymore.”

Sure, you think, but those are cavemen. We’re more civilized now – we help each other, even when we make mistakes.

True enough. But what about when people repeat their mistakes? And what about when they do things that obviously act against their own self-interests?

In the case of mistakes and warnings as applied to Haiti, I don’t mean to indict those who ignored actual warnings against earthquakes, of which there were many before the recent one. Although it would have been prudent to pay heed to those, I suppose.

Instead, I’m referring to the circumstances in which people lived. While the earthquake was, obviously, unavoidable, the way in which many of the people of Haiti lived was not. Regrettably, some Haitians would have died regardless of the conditions in that country. But the fact that so many people lived in such abject poverty exacerbated the extent of the crisis.

How could humans do this to themselves? And what’s being done to stop it from happening again?

After the tsunami of 2004, the citizens of the world wailed and donated and volunteered for cleanup, rarely asking the important – and, I think, obvious – question: What were all those people doing there in the first place? Just as important: If they move back to a place near the ocean that had just been destroyed by a giant wave, shouldn’t our instinct be to say, “Go ahead if you want, but you’re on your own now.”?

We did the same after Hurricane Katrina. We were quick to vilify humans who were too slow to respond to the needs of victims, forgetting that the victims had built and maintained a major city below sea level in a known target zone for hurricanes. Our response: Make the same mistake again. Rebuild a doomed city, putting aside logic as we did.

And now, faced with a similar situation, it seems likely that we will do the same.

Shouldn’t there be some discourse on how the millions of dollars that are being poured into Haiti will be spent? And at least a slight reprimand for the conditions prior to the earthquake? Some kind of inquisition? Something like this?:

Dear Haitians –

First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded.

As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it’s possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shack-towns? And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?

Sincerely,

The Rest of the World

It shouldn’t be outlandish to hope that we might stop short of the reactionary word that is so often flung about after natural (and unnatural) disasters. That word: Rebuild. Thus, the tired, knee-jerk cycle of aid/assist/rebuild would be replaced by a new one: Aid/assist/let’s-stop-and-think-before-we-screw-this-up-again.

If forced to do so through logic-colored glasses, no one would look at Haiti and think, “You know what? It was a great idea to put 10 million people on half of an island. The place is routinely battered by hurricanes (in 2008, $900 million was lost/spent on recovery from them), it holds the aforementioned title of poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, and it happens to sit on a tectonic fault line.”

If it were apparent that Haiti would likely rebuild in an earthquake-resistant way, and if a cure could be found for hurricane abuse of island nations, then maybe one could imagine putting a sustained effort into rebuilding the place. But that would only be feasible if the country had shown any ability to manage its affairs in the past, which it has not done.

I can tell, based on my own reaction to that last sentence, that it might strike a nerve. The reader might be tempted to think, “We can’t blame the people of Haiti for their problems. Surely it’s someone else’s fault.” A similar sentiment can be found in this quote, from article on the geology behind the quake:

“Unfortunately, [Haiti]’s government was not in a position to really do much to prepare for the inevitable large earthquake, leaving tens of thousands to suffer the consequences.”

The sentiment expressed is one of outrage at the government. But, ultimately, the people in a country have control over their government. One could argue that in totalitarian regimes, they do not have much control, but in the end, it is their government. And therefore, their responsibility. If the government is not doing enough for the people, it is the people’s responsibility to change the government. Not the other way around.

Additionally, some responsibility for the individual lies with that individual.

A Haitian woman, days after the earthquake:

“We need so much. Food, clothes, we need everything. I don’t know whose responsibility it is, but they need to give us something soon,” said Sophia Eltime, a mother of two who has been living under a bed sheet with seven members of her extended family. (From an AP report.)

Obviously, a set of circumstances such as the one in which Ms. Eltime was living is a heart-wrenching one. And for that, anyone would be sympathetic. Until she says, “I don’t know whose responsibility it is.” I don’t know whose responsibility it is, either. What I do know is that it is not the responsibility of the outside world to provide help. It’s nice if we do, but it is not a requirement, especially when people choose to influence their own existences negatively, whether by having too many children when they can’t afford them or by failing to recognize that living in a concrete bunker might not be the best way to protect one’s family, whether an earthquake happens or not.

Ms. Eltime’s reaction helps define what is the crux of my problem with the reaction to this and to other humanitarian crises. I recoil at the notion that I’m SUPPOSED to do something. I would like to help, but only if I feel that my assistance is deserved and justified. If I perceive that I am being told to feel a certain way, and if I can point to a pattern of mistakes made in similar situations, I lose interest.

When I was young, the great humanitarian crisis facing our world – as portrayed by the media, anyway – was the starving masses in Africa. The solution found, of course, was to send bag after bag of food to those people, forgetting the long-understood maxim that giving more food to poor people allows them to create more poor people. (Admittedly, it’s a harsh truth.) At the time, my classmates and I, young and naïve as we were, thought we had come up with a better solution. “They should just go somewhere else,” we said. Our teacher grimaced, saying, “It’s not that simple.”

It still isn’t. And I’m not as naïve as I once was – I don’t think the people of Haiti have the option of moving. But I do think that our assistance should be restricted, like it should be in cases of starvation. It simply does not work to give, unconditionally. What might work is to teach. In the case of famine-stricken segments of Africa, teaching meant making people understand that a population of people needs a certain amount of food, and that the creation of that food has to be self-sustaining for the system to work. In the case of earthquake-stricken Haiti, teaching might mean limited help, but help that is accompanied by criticism of the circumstances that made that help necessary.

In the case of the Haitian earthquake, it’s heartening to see people caring about the fates of their fellow men. What is alarming, I think, is the sometimes illogical frenzy toward casting those affected by the earthquake as helpless, innocent souls who were placed on the island of Hispaniola by an invisible force. In the case of some, this analogy might well be accurate; children cannot very well control their destinies. And as far as sympathy goes, much of it should go to those children.

But children are brought into the world by their parents. Those parents have a responsibility – to themselves and to their kids – to provide. They have a responsibility to look around – before an earthquake happens – and say, “I need to improve this situation, because if a catastrophe were to happen, we’d be in bad shape.”

The people of whom I write are adults. Functional, human adults with functional, human adult brains. It is not too much to ask that they behave as such. That they stand up and say, “Yes, we screwed this up the first time. We are forever indebted to you. Now show us how we can do it right. So that, next time, we won’t need your help.”
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:18 PM   #97
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In the case of the Haitian earthquake, it’s heartening to see people caring about the fates of their fellow men. What is alarming, I think, is the sometimes illogical frenzy toward casting those affected by the earthquake as helpless, innocent souls who were placed on the island of Hispaniola by an invisible force. In the case of some, this analogy might well be accurate; children cannot very well control their destinies. And as far as sympathy goes, much of it should go to those children.

But children are brought into the world by their parents. Those parents have a responsibility – to themselves and to their kids – to provide. They have a responsibility to look around – before an earthquake happens – and say, “I need to improve this situation, because if a catastrophe were to happen, we’d be in bad shape.”
There is just so much WTF?! in his comments. This excerpt is the nexus of my beliefs though.

I strongly believe in population control, but what this moron fails to realize is that without help and proper infrastructure, people have no choice. When you have very little and are struggling, you generally only have the next generation to hope for. Sure some people have children because they see them as helpers for their farm or to care for their other children or to help provide for themselves as they age and get sick. But, it's the only option you have! It's the most basic biological self-preservation act!

If we care about Haiti (and Africa, and elsewhere), we need to help these people improve their lives so they can make better choices and have hope for the future, with the ultimate goal of making them independent. But, blaming poor people for having many children in an earthquake zone is ridiculous. Ugh.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:36 PM   #98
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My boss is heading out tomorrow with a team of physical therapaists to assess the situation and plan ahead for setting up a prosthetic clinic down there in the next couple of months.

don't know if he's still planning on adopting, however, but this is a much better and more
practical idea.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:03 PM   #99
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Most child organisations are actually not too positive of adoptions. There is several issues with that. He should read this statement by the International Social Service: Press & News - ISS SSI as well as going to the sites of organisations such as Terre des Hommes, Plan International or help a child to see what they have to say about it. And he needs to stay away from any organisation that offers him to make a "quick" adoption. As always, there is quite a number of unscrupulous people who are basically engaging in child trafficking but making it look like a formal adoption.
There is also an issue of re-traumatisation involved. What people are doing to the children, who just come out of a deeply traumatic experience, is to take them out of their environment and putting them into a whole new world. What seems like a good thing can be, especially when rushed, have a serious impact on the child.
Adoption is something people should consider for some time after the initial catastrophe, when the status of the child is clear and a formal process can be undertaken again. As an immediate response a child sponsorship would be much more helpful.
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:12 PM   #100
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His wife was adopted. I don't know her background, but they'd probably be more qualified (and patient) than most.

As far as I know they've only signed up to foster with the request that the boy be an amputee so he can properly manage his rehabilitation/set him up for life.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:08 AM   #101
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AP PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Nearly nine months after the earthquake, more than a million Haitians still live on the streets between piles of rubble. One reason: Not a cent of the $1.15 billion the U.S. promised for rebuilding has arrived.

The money was pledged by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in March for use this year in rebuilding. The U.S. has already spent more than $1.1 billion on post-quake relief, but without long-term funds, the reconstruction of the wrecked capital cannot begin.

With just a week to go before fiscal 2010 ends, the money is still tied up in Washington. At fault: bureaucracy, disorganization and a lack of urgency, The Associated Press learned in interviews with officials in the State Department, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the White House and the U.N. Office of the Special Envoy. One senator has held up a key authorization bill because of a $5 million provision he says will be wasteful.

Meanwhile, deaths in Port-au-Prince are mounting, as quake survivors scramble to live without shelter or food.

"There are truly lives at stake, and the idea that folks are spending more time finger-pointing than getting this solved is almost unbelievable," said John Simon, a former U.S. ambassador to the African Union who is now with the Center for Global Development, a Washington think tank.

Nor is Haiti getting much from other donors. Some 50 other nations and organizations pledged a total of $8.75 billion for reconstruction, but just $686 million of that has reached Haiti so far – less than 15 percent of the total promised for 2010-11.

The lack of funds has all but halted reconstruction work by CHF International, the primary U.S.-funded group assigned to remove rubble and build temporary shelters. Just 2 percent of rubble has been cleared and 13,000 temporary shelters have been built – less than 10 percent of the number planned.

The Maryland-based agency is asking the U.S. government for $16.5 million to remove more than 21 million cubic feet (600,000 cubic meters) of additional rubble and build 4,000 more temporary houses out of wood and metal.

"It's just a matter of one phone call and the trucks are out again. We have contractors ready to continue removing rubble. ... We have local suppliers and international suppliers ready to ship the amount of wood and construction materials we need," said CHF country director Alberto Wilde. "It's just a matter of money."

Last week the inaction bore tragic results. On Friday an isolated storm destroyed an estimated 8,000 tarps, tents and shacks in the capital and killed at least six people, including two children. And the threat of violence looms as landowners threaten entire camps with forced eviction.

In Washington there is confusion about the money. At a July hearing, Ravij Shah, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, thanked members of Congress for approving the funds, saying, "The resources are flowing and are being spent in country."

It wasn't true then, and still hasn't happened.

When the earthquake hit, U.S. agencies sent troops, rescuers, aid workers and supplies to the devastated capital, Port-au-Prince. On March 24, President Barack Obama asked Congress for $2.8 billion in emergency aid to Haiti – about half to pay back money already spent by USAID, the Defense Department and others. An additional $212 million was to write off debt.

The heart of the request was $1.15 billion in new reconstruction funds.

A week later, Clinton touted that figure in front of representatives of 50 nations at the U.N. secretariat, the president of Haiti at her side.

"If the effort to rebuild is slow or insufficient, if it is marked by conflict, lack of coordination or lack of transparency, then the challenges that have plagued Haiti for years could erupt with regional and global consequences," Clinton said.

That was nearly six months ago. It took until May for the Senate to pass a supplemental request for the Haiti funds and until July for the House to do the same. The votes made $917 million available but did not dictate how or when to spend it. Without that final step, the money remains in the U.S. Treasury.

Then came summer recess, emergencies in Pakistan and elsewhere, and the distractions of election politics.

Now the authorization bill that would direct how the aid is delivered remains sidelined by a senator who anonymously pulled it for further study. Through calls to dozens of senators' offices, the AP learned it was Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma.

"He is holding the bill because it includes an unnecessary senior Haiti coordinator when we already have one" in U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Merten, Coburn spokeswoman Becky Bernhardt said.

The bill proposes a new coordinator in Washington who would not oversee U.S. aid but would work with the USAID administrator in Washington to develop a rebuilding strategy. The position would cost $1 million a year for five years, including salaries and expenses for a staff of up to seven people.

With the bill on hold, the State Department is trying to move the money along by avoiding Congress as much as possible. It sent lawmakers a "spending plan" on Sept. 20 and gave legislators 15 days to review it. If they fail to act on the plan, the money could be released as soon as specific projects get the OK.

"We need to make sure that the needs of the Haitian people are not sacrificed to procedural and bureaucratic impediments," Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry told the AP by e-mail. "As we approach nine months since the earthquake, further delays on any side are unacceptable."

Asked when the money will actually come, State Department spokesman Charles Luoma-Overstreet said the department expects to start spending in the coming weeks and months. He added that $275 million in "bridge" funds were released in March and have gone toward agriculture, work, health and shelter programs – not long-term reconstruction.

Haitian advocates say that is not enough.

Jean-Claude Bajeux of the Ecumenical Center for Human Rights in Port-au-Prince said this phase was supposed to be about building semi-permanent houses.

"Where are they? We haven't seen them," he said. "There is not much money that is being used. There is not much work that has actually been done."

Of course there is no guarantee that the money would lead to the successful rebuilding of Haiti. Many past U.S. aid efforts have fallen short.

"I don't think (the money) will make any difference," said Haitian human rights advocate Pierre Esperance. "Haitian people are not really involved in this process."

But officials agree the funds could pay for new approaches to make Haiti more sustainable, and rebuilding projects could improve millions of lives.

The AP found that $874 million of the funds pledged by other countries at the donors conference was money already promised to Haiti for work or aid before the quake. An additional $1.13 million wasn't ever going to be sent; it was debt relief. And $184 million was in loans to Haiti's government, not aid.

The Office of the Special Envoy has been tracking the money delivered so far but does not know who got it. The envoy himself, former President Bill Clinton, told the AP in July and again in August that he was putting pressure on donors to meet their pledges.

On the streets of Haiti, many simply feel abandoned. Mishna Gregoire, 22, said she was happy when she heard about the donors conference. But six months later she is still in a tarp city with 5,000 other people, on a foul-smelling plaza in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Petionville.

"I thought it was something serious they were really going to do," Gregoire said, standing amid tarps torn apart by the sudden storm. "But nothing has been done. And I don't think anything will be done."
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:49 AM   #102
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Now the authorization bill that would direct how the aid is delivered remains sidelined by a senator who anonymously pulled it for further study. Through calls to dozens of senators' offices, the AP learned it was Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma.

"He is holding the bill because it includes an unnecessary senior Haiti coordinator when we already have one" in U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Merten, Coburn spokeswoman Becky Bernhardt said.
Major. Douche. Nozzle.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:54 AM   #103
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I think these links are allowed. Sorry if they are not.

Contact Form - Tom Coburn, M.D., United States Senator from Oklahoma
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:55 AM   #104
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Maybe they'd stop playing politics with the lives of more than a million Haitian people if they had to live in a tent or a shack or under a tarp in DC

I bet they couldn't even do it for 24 hours
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:17 PM   #105
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I would love to make them go through what these people are going through. They deserve to get a hard dose of reality. Unfortunately I think it'd only affect some of them for about, oh, maybe 5 minutes at most. I really get the feeling some of these people genuinely do not give a crap about others. I've heard a bit about Coburn here and there, and the stuff about him here is of no surprise to me. Bang up job as usual, Congress .

Hopefully somebody can figure out a way to properly get this aid to the people so they can finally move forward to start rebuilding their lives. That's a disgraceful story.

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