Thread: Pact with the Devil?

  1. #16
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    The notion of a failed country having to deal with disaster themselves because...well, they are a failed country, is just a modern version of Machiavelli. I pass.

    However I do agree that the mechanisms in place (if there are actually any in existence) for taking a country and leading it from a dictatorship into a proper democracy are all a fail. Haiti is just in that juncture and it should be no surprise to anyone it wasn't ready yet for this disaster.

    So I do believe we have some sort of responsibility towards Haiti. We are the nation builders. And as much as it may hurt some minds, were today Haiti the dictatorship of 30 years ago, and I have very little doubts in my mind, they would have been better prepared then they are today.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #17
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    The notion of a failed country having to deal with disaster themselves because...well, they are a failed country, is just a modern version of Machiavelli. I pass.
    Nation building doesn't work. Besides the fact that it is irrelevant in this case, as Haiti is already a republic.

    However I do agree that the mechanisms in place (if there are actually any in existence) for taking a country and leading it from a dictatorship into a proper democracy are all a fail. Haiti is just in that juncture and it should be no surprise to anyone it wasn't ready yet for this disaster.
    Imposing democracy isn't the answer.

    So I do believe we have some sort of responsibility towards Haiti.
    Why? So that we can encourage a culture of foreign dependence?

    We are the nation builders. And as much as it may hurt some minds, were today Haiti the dictatorship of 30 years ago, and I have very little doubts in my mind, they would have been better prepared then they are today.
    Western civilization didn't spring into being out of empty space. It is nothing short of hubris to believe that we can impose a system of government that took ten millenia to develop on a people that were literally still in the stone age a few centuries ago. Let them evolve their own civilization naturally, do not impose it upon them, as that merely destroys all progress they made up to that point.
    Last edited by abachler; 01-16-2010 at 04:39 PM.

  3. #18
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was actually not so much thinking of funds for the purpose of rebuilding as for pure emergency relief.

    But WRT to that (general development aid), I wouldn't necessarily blame the beneficiary any more than the benefactor. It's hard to meaningfully paint with a brush that broad, and it seems to me that these are exactly the kinds of things that when you look at the fine grain, you are at least as likely to realize that it is the specific goal of a project, as designated by the benefactor, that is the real problem. For example, subsidies arranged thru the World Bank are almost certainly intended in the end to benefit the Western banking system more than anything else. Then when they fail, guess who is held responsible? Not the World Bank*...really I would class that stuff along with the Missionaries -- they pretend to be charitable when they are an industry, and the goal is not to help anyone in as much as it is to spread their ways and means throughout the globe.

    * and probably not their native partners either, who are exactly the same time of greedy, trough swilling, corrupt, power mad jerks they are, who will certainly arrange to take their "failures" out of the hides of the generally innocent -- INTERNATIONAL HEGEMONY is the genuine product of these endeavours. They will cling to the cover of "Western civilization" and "democracy", paying lip service as appropriate, when they are in their hearts very far from democratic, or civilized in spirit. They're fascists.
    Last edited by MK27; 01-16-2010 at 04:07 PM.
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  4. #19
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Why? So that we can encourage a culture of foreign dependence?
    I should mention that we agree on this matter. But to answer that question directly, we have a responsibility the moment we step in. And boy, did we step in Haiti!

    Had we left the country alone to fend its own domestic issues, and we could be sitting here discussing whether or not we should sacrifice our own populations to help the victims. But it's no good to be moving leaders in and out of the seat in Haiti and then turn our backs when the population of that country actually needs us.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  5. #20
    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Surely choosing an aid program that draws pretty graphs isn't the answer. We see the same graphs everywhere. Certain organizations are more respected than others, but this doesn't mean they are indeed trustworthy, either.
    Dwelling on minutia doesn't sell you point either. I gave links if anyone cared to investigate. The site I quoted was one that I read regularly and have a "feel" for. Much the same as if you encountered a link on one of you trusted sites. Even with that I did encourage one to look into it further.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Channeling aid money through the government seems the right thing to do. After all the aid coordination is often centralized at the local government. This is how things work in most countries in the world. But if any of us want to believe we live in a country where our government is corrupt to the point of stealing money from aid funds, fine. It's your prerogative.
    Is is well known and documented, and government entities seem to exhibit a track record of being some of the worst offenders of waste, fraud, and abuse. But who am I to tell another what to do with his business.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    >> If one is truly interested in helping the victims, it might be a good idea to check into the charity to find out where the donations go.

    This is a good point. I used to donate to the Red Cross, but based on information I've read I'm not as convinced they have the best use of the money. My wife and I used charitynavigator.org to decide on a Haiti charity (we picked Doctors Without Borders because we were hoping it could help immediately with some of the emergency health needs they have). That site is pretty helpful in finding charities that use the moneys well and also explaining what types of work each charity focuses on.
    Thanks for the link.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    [...] My mom was an administrator for the red cross, and she claims [...]

    My preferred form of charity is giving money to people who ask me for change. IMO, there is nothing more despicable than posters of the sort "Don't give money to panhandlers -- give it to an organization that feeds the homeless".
    Anecdotally, I can tell you of panhandlers that drive Cadillac Escalades to their panhandling jobs where they rake in an extra $60,000 tax free per year.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I would strongly question that pie graph and similar "charity rating" systems. What does "97% went to programs" mean? It's totally vacuous. It means nothing. If any of that "program cost" is someone's salary, all they are doing is shifting figures around so they can present people with pie graphs claiming "our administrative cost are only 2%"! Very unlikely -- if it smells like BS and it looks like BS, I say it's probably BS! Also, they are Christian missionaries. No doubt, a lot of those "programs for the poor" are just about proselytizing, handing out bibles, and even building churches == more hypocrisy. They simply profit from an industry, and make like it's charity. Not saying that of all Christian organizations -- I think the Salvation Army is terrific -- just most of them.
    When folks start off this way with bashing "pie graphs" and other minutia and seeming to miss the larger point, I get the impression that they are looking for a straw man. Discover your own research and make your own rating system.

    With regard to your view on religion and religious charities, that is your opinion. Find something else, then, as I've pretty much said. And Daved did kindly provide a link for others who think similarly on religion or the Red Cross and might like to see what else is out there.

    ---

    But I don't know what to do, now. It seems that even Daved's link shows a pie chart and even gives a 4-star rating to the Food for the Poor charity that was mentioned. And with some of those gosh darn religious charities, they've already got "boots on the ground" to try to feed people -- can't help them if they pass out a piece of paper with a meal.

    And by the way, the Salvation Army is a religious organization.
    The Salvation Army, is an international evangelical movement that sees itself as part of the universal Christian Church.
    [edit]And I'm not really defending Rush Limbaugh's comment. But this article does:
    As for donating through a government website, Limbaugh stated Thursday:

    I also said private donations are going to be much better than a government donation. They're all going, go to the Red Cross, do other things, don't go through the government. It's just going to go through hands and bureaucracies and a dollar is going to end up being 30 cents by the time they get through with it.
    And this of course was Limbaugh's point: If you want to make a donation to disaster relief, why not give your money directly to the agency(ies) you trust without the government potentially acting as an intermediary and/or putting your name on a list for future political contributions?
    7. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
    40. There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.*

  6. #21
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Sinkula View Post
    Dwelling on minutia doesn't sell you point either.
    Point taken. But you missed mine too.
    If we are to enter the side of the debate that deals with hearsay, accusations, suspicions and whatnot, then there's no manner of text you can show that can convince a wary mind any other organization is better.
    Heck, for the sake of argumentation I could even accuse you of trying to sell me Your organization for your own personal profit, every time you try to tell me some is better than another.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  7. #22
    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    Segue Out of the Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    But I don't need to tell you how Rush clearly lead the caller to that conclusion.
    People who don't regularly tune in or attempt to digest a whole show from a sound bite begin to stick out like a sore thumb...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Instead, it's best not to forget that you can still donate money to the aid organizations directly.
    ...because you just said the same thing that Rush did.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Sinkula View Post
    [edit]And I'm not really defending Rush Limbaugh's comment. But this article does:
    As for donating through a government website, Limbaugh stated Thursday:

    I also said private donations are going to be much better than a government donation. They're all going, go to the Red Cross, do other things, don't go through the government. It's just going to go through hands and bureaucracies and a dollar is going to end up being 30 cents by the time they get through with it.
    And this of course was Limbaugh's point: If you want to make a donation to disaster relief, why not give your money directly to the agency(ies) you trust without the government potentially acting as an intermediary and/or putting your name on a list for future political contributions?
    Unless I missed more of your irony.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Point taken. But you missed mine too.
    If we are to enter the side of the debate that deals with hearsay, accusations, suspicions and whatnot, then there's no manner of text you can show that can convince a wary mind any other organization is better.
    Heck, for the sake of argumentation I could even accuse you of trying to sell me Your organization for your own personal profit, every time you try to tell me some is better than another.
    I don't think it is impassable. I think people make judgements based not simply on what is said but who is saying it. It may take more work for the wary. And the trusting might be more likely to get taken.

    I don't know that I've done much more than encourage people to look into things a little bit deeper and make up their own minds.
    Last edited by Dave_Sinkula; 01-16-2010 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Typo: ~/while/whole
    7. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
    40. There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.*

  8. #23
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Sinkula
    People who don't regularly tune in or attempt to digest a while show from a sound bite begin to stick out like a sore thumb...
    Precious. Bet it made you feel better.
    It doesn't change the fact however that I'm right, simply because like you I can pass judgment. Because...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Sinkula
    I think people make judgements based not simply on what is said but who is saying it.
    Couldn't have said it better. Since Rush is a complete cretin...
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    I do tend to agree that we shouldn't send assistance. We can't keep bailing out these third world countries that make moronic policy decisions ( or no decisions at all) every time something happens.
    So Haiti shouldn't have helped the US win the war of Independence? (both with troops and logistics)

    Wonder how many US troops would be in Haiti if there was oil to be 'secured'.

    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Part of being a sovereign nation is taking the responsibility to make your own decisions and living with the consequences.
    Free from the US funding of coups, crippling foreign debit (in 2008 this was 36% of GDP) or CIA funded terrorists trained in the SOA?

    Or are you hinting at the damage US farm subsidies have done to places like Haiti (2/3 of income is from agriculture)?

    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    If the bleeding heart conservatives (e.g. crybaby xtians) had their way they would force anyone who builds a house on bedrock to subsidize the rebuilding costs for everyone that builds their houses on sand, which is exactly what sending assistance to Haiti is.
    You don't travel much do you?

    I suggest a trip to New Orleans where you exercise your right to free speech by shouting this sentiment on any street corner.

    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Most of the deaths in these situations do not come from the disaster itself, but due to a break down in the distribution system,
    My sister lives in Thailand and I spend a few months a year there (on an island where 10,000's were killed by the tsunami, including friends of mine).
    My ex spent 24 hours clinging to a palm tree, my brother in law was taking a dive tour and survived only due to the skill of the Thai captain and the pre-school my nephew normally attends was flooded killing most of his classmates and both his teachers.

    I suggest you experience something like this, it might give you some perspective on how the world actually works (outside your sanitised view point).
    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    "I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars......the rest I squandered."
    George Best

    "If you are going through hell....keep going."
    Winston Churchill

  10. #25
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Sorry, haven't caught up with the thread but just ran across a perfect example of what I meant here:

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    it seems to me that these are exactly the kinds of things that when you look at the fine grain, you are at least as likely to realize that it is the specific goal of a project, as designated by the benefactor, that is the real problem. For example, subsidies arranged thru the World Bank are almost certainly intended in the end to benefit the Western banking system more than anything else. Then when they fail, guess who is held responsible? Not the World Bank...
    Ie, about control, leverage, and economics:

    Reports from Costa Rica indicate that final approval of the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States is languishing in the Legislative Assembly due to concerns over the copyright provisions. The CAFTA copyright provisions are similar to those found in the other major U.S. trade agreements concluded in recent years: DMCA-style protections, ISP liability, and copyright term extension are all part of the package.

    In this case, it is the responses that are most noteworthy. Within Costa Rica, the article reports that the copyright provisions in the trade treaty have set off a wave of student protests over what it means for education. Meanwhile, health officials are concerned that the provisions on pharmaceutical products "would bankrupt the public health system." The response from the U.S. is important as well. It is delaying market access to sugar from the developing country until the copyright reforms are in place. Until that time, Costa Rican sugar producers will not be able to sell their product in the U.S.
    source:
    Michael Geist - U.S. To Costa Rica: No Sugar Access Without Copyright Reform

    Hey, that was just yesterday.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Sinkula View Post
    People who don't regularly tune in or attempt to digest a whole show from a sound bite begin to stick out like a sore thumb...
    ...because you just said the same thing that Rush did.
    I wonder who would tune in if the show only stuck to the point and the commentators did not ask leading questions.

    Something like;

    Justin of Raleigh, North Carolina: "Why does Obama say if you want to donate some money, you could go to whitehouse.gov to direct you how to do so? If I wanted to donate to the Red Cross, why do I have to go to the White House page to donate?"

    Rational Commentator: "You don't have to go to the govt web site, they just provide valid links to the charities. If you want to donate to the Red Cross online go to Redcross dot org or call 999 9999 9999."

    Concerned Commentator: "Make sure you only donate to reputable charities, some have very high overheads, meaning less of your money gets to those that need it."

    Justin of Raleigh, North Carolina: "Ahhh OK, thanks. [CLICK]"
    Last edited by novacain; 01-16-2010 at 11:51 PM.
    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    "I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars......the rest I squandered."
    George Best

    "If you are going through hell....keep going."
    Winston Churchill

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