Good News: U.S. increases tsunami aid to $350 million.

Looks like someone must be reading SEB as the CNN.com is reporting that the U.S. is increasing the amount of money earmarked for aiding in the tsunami aftermath:

The increase followed criticism that the initial amount was far from enough.

The director of the U.S. Agency for International Development told CNN on Friday that the $35 million pledge was only the first step in U.S. aid to the countries that were devastated by Sunday’s earthquake and tsunamis.

“The money was committed on Sunday when the emergency took place,” Andrew Natsios told CNN’s “American Morning.” “It’s action on the ground that is needed. We will get more than enough money from the president and I’m sure Congress later on when we need it.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy Thursday said the initial U.S. offer “gave the wrong impression to the rest of the world.”

I must say that it’s unusual to see folks in Washington demonstrating what passes for common sense among the general populace. It’s probably too much to hope this might be the start of a new trend.

39 thoughts on “Good News: U.S. increases tsunami aid to $350 million.

  1. It took long enough for them to get off of their collective asses.  Here we are in the midst of a democratic crusade to Muslim countries spending over $400 million every 48 hours and we have to ponder how much should be spent to help Indonesia?

    If we had made a strong commitment at the onset of this disaster we potentially could have swayed the Indonesian Muslims into the Pro-America camp.  Maybe Bush forgot Indonesia was the largest Muslim country in the world.  Instead we’ve run the risk of appearing to fall prey to the criticism of the world instead of displaying generosity to back up our rhetoric.

  2. A friend of mine emailed this to me…


    The recent Sumatra earthquake displaced a section of the ocean floor over 700 miles long and 10 miles wide, nearly 100 feet upward. An equal amount of ocean water on the order of 135 cubic miles was moved violently upward and outward. This massive plunger type motion created huge tsunami waves that brought devastation to coastlines 4,000 miles away. On a map of the world it is hard to gain a sense of how big this thing was. So, on a map of the United States AccuWeather.com has placed the entire length of the fault segment that shifted. As you can clearly see, it is huge covering a distance from Chicago all the way to Denver or from New York City all the way to St Louis.


    A devastating earthquake occurred in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Sumatra Saturday night. The quake, rated at a magnitude 9.0, is the most powerful recorded worldwide since 1964. Taking place at a depth of 6.2 miles below the surface of the ocean, the quake caused a severe deformation in the seafloor which displaced 135 cubic miles of water upward and outward much like what a massive plunger would do. This created massive waves called tsunamis that moved outward in all directions bringing devastation and even death to coastlines up to 4,000 miles away.


    Where’s Noah when you need him?

  3. I’m sorry, but all this bleeding heart propitiative shit is starting to piss me off. WHY IS IT ALWAYS UP TO US (TAXPAYERS)TO BAIL THESE BACKWATER COUNTRIES OUT EVERY TIME THERE IS A DISASTER? Yea, 100k plus people died. It’s sad and it sucks for everyone INVOLVED. But look – the tsunami wiped out maybe the first 1/2 mile of coastline. Beyond that area, they’re untouched – water, food, highways, housing, power – national infrastructures all intact and unaffected. Why are these LARGE (socialist) countries so unable to cope, that money is being confiscated from our taxpaying pockets at IRS gunpoint for it? Then these ungrateful little bastards bitch and scream that we are not sending them more!!!

    Considering the corruption of the oil for food debacle, what makes you think one fucking dime of Tsunami relief money goes to help victims anyway? Did any one of these countries send ONE DIME of their federal treasury when Florida was devasted by 4 hurricanes this year? How about after 9-11? The San Francisco earthquake, Iran, or any natural disaster anywhere else in the world? FUCK NO. Fucking ungrateful socialist bastards! If you want to help, give money voluntarily to relief charities – they’re more efficient and less corrupt than government officials anyway.

    ALSO – what makes anyone think that one goddamn Muslim jihadist is going to soften his twisted attitude about us INFIDELS if we just send them more money? Shit, they’ll just use it to buy explosives to kill more of US!!! Take your goddamn head out of your ass! These sick bastards have been pain-drug-hypnosis brainwashed and programmed to hate and kill us, and any other infidels who won’t convert to Islam. They laugh and sneer at our “good intentions”, and consider us pathetic, ignorant pussies when we propitiate to them like this.

    As SEB says so succinctly, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

  4. Baitsnitch is asking a question that is on a lot of taxpayers’ minds – maybe not the people we habitually have coffee with but a lot of people all the same.

    Let’s review:

    • It’s the decent thing to do, whatever the political situation
    • While it is correct that we’ll never change the twisted minds of the jihadists, we can significantly undermine support for them (they have to hide somewhere – usually in plain sight with the tacit approval of a disaffected population) and do their recruiting somewhere.  It’s the population at large who only see Al-Jazeera type media, who need to see a different side of Americans
    • Most of the affected countries hardly qualify as socialist.  More like, “hanging on by their fingernails.”
    • Finally, with all the people I’ve paid (through taxes) to have blown up, I really don’t mind a small amount to help a few people in genuine need because of a tragedy that really is not their fault.
  5. Les: It’s probably too much to hope this might be the start of a new trend.

    I’m afraid you’re right, but we can always hope… At least someone in the Administration seems to be on the ball.

    deadscot: Maybe Bush forgot Indonesia was the largest Muslim country in the world.

    Uh, “forgot”? You’re making an unwarranted assumption here.
    Spocko- as usual, good info. Thanks.
    Baitnsnitch- uh, never mind.  I’m pretty sure being you is reward enough, one way or another.
    DoF: what you said.

  6. DOF – you make very sensible points, none of which do I have any quarrel with. Your intellectual honesty is refreshing.

    Over the last 15 years I have personally given nearly $100k to worthy charities of my own choosing, and I live check-to-check like most other working schmucks. But isn’t there a vast difference between money that one gives freely to worthy causes as opposed to money that is involuntarily confiscated and misused or wasted by others? Americans will freely open their hearts and wallets to those affected by this disaster, and that is as it should be.

    There is arguably zero to be gained politically for the USA by granting massive tax million$ for tsunami relief, and plenty to lose if we don’t. It is pure political blackmail, and I, like vast millions of other Americans, am sick of being betrayed and attacked by those we have generously helped in the past. What makes anyone think that this time will be any different? At least I am free not to support charities who criticize and attack the giver when the gift is “not big enough.”

    Unfortunately, in the face of the psychiatric mind-control techniques being employed by the small minority of fascist Islamists, a diplomatic or political solution will never succeed in winning the minds and hearts of the Muslim world, no matter how much tsunami-relief money we send them. The Muslim world will be blind to the goodness of Americans as long as psychiatrists like Al-Zawahiri (bin-Laden’s doctor and right hand) are in control of anything over there, aggressively perverting the minds of decent people. There is a long history of psychiatric mind-control tech (pain-drug-hypnosis) being used in this way all over the world, USA included. Anyone who knows the real skinny on this has long since taken their last toke. But oops, sorry, I digress..

    (SS and GM, if you can’t do anything intellectually better than puerile name-calling, don’t bother on this thread – you are out of your league. BTW, go buy a dictionary, and look up “propitiation”, “puerile”, “confiscated” and any other really big words I may have used before you reply. How’s that for bait?)

    Also, do a little internet research on mind-control and Al-Zawahiri, google ‘psychiatry and terrorism’, Joseph Douglass, etc. Things aren’t really what you’ve been told they are…

  7. Baitnsnitch, your chest-thumping would be a lot more impressive if you would actually use those big words correctly.  “Propitiate” is a transitive verb, so you would “propitiate them,” not “propitiate TO them.”  Looky here.

    Your attempt at intellectual intimidation is indeed puerile, as are the rest of your arguments.  Have a nice day.

  8. You know, BS, it’s not likely that mind-control techniques are being used on large segments of the third-world Islamic population.  That’s a training-camp thing.  Where we have an opportunity is in people on the street.  If someone really helps them out in a jam, they’ll know.  Otherwise, all they have is what they see on Al-Jazeera.

    I, like vast millions of other Americans, am sick of being betrayed and attacked by those we have generously helped in the past. What makes anyone think that this time will be any different?

    For starters, we’re running our own show this time and it is non-political.  For once we’re not reinforcing a regime, we’re stepping up to lend a hand where it is really needed.  They’ll notice.  In addition to being a horrible tragedy, this is also a splendid opportunity for us to show our non – bomb-dropping, depleted-uranium-firing, “with us or against us” side.

    I think Bush was right to team up with India, Japan, and Australia on this one instead of working through the UN.  Not to diss the UN (though there’s plenty of opportunity for that going around) but to make sure all the aid goes where it should. This is the equivalent of helping a neighbor in our global village.

    BTW I heard Japan is up to $500m and they’re not really under any terrorist threat.  (Anyone living in Japan please correct me on this)

    As for your dissatisfaction with being taxed for things you may not believe in, well join the club.  I didn’t want the whole damn Iraqi war but it’s on my grandchildren’s credit-card bill.

    You have a pretty thin skin for someone who dropped in with guns blazing like you did.

  9. I should know better, but I’m baited too:

    There is a long history of psychiatric mind-control tech (pain-drug-hypnosis) being used in this way all over the world, USA included. Anyone who knows the real skinny on this has long since taken their last toke.

    You see, DoF, this mind control stuff is not a training camp thing- it’s in the dope, and all Muslims smoke it.  Not to mention the millions of Muslim psychiatrists hypnotically implanting messages of hate in their innocent clients during therapy!

    Anyone who tokes up will get the urge to bomb America!  Thanks, BS, for enlightening us with the real skinny!  You’re a lifesaver!  Wait a sec… what’s happening… Allah is Great!  Die, Infidels!

  10. Anyone who tokes up will get the urge to bomb America!  Thanks, BS, for enlightening us with the real skinny!  You’re a lifesaver!  Wait a sec… what’s happening… Allah is Great!  Die, Infidels!

    So that wasn’t a horn made of kelp after all, in your Gravatar pic, zilch. It was more probably the weed you were smoking in your pipe, freshly harvested off the shore of some socialist east asian country!

    And – maybe speaking to a few fence-sitters reading this – no one forced the US government to pay anything. They simply calculated that maybe they didn’t wan’t to look that miserly afetr the rest of the world gave a lot more.

    I think BS is actually right on one thing though: gifts and humanitarian aid never ‘buy’ gratitude. Partly because people dislike having to take handouts (just as they dislike being ‘liberated’ – see the French and the Iraqis, but I’m really drifting off-topic here).

    But then, If you give to get gratitude, you really haven’t understood the whole thing.

  11. But then, If you give to get gratitude, you really haven’t understood the whole thing.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head.

  12. But then, If you give to get gratitude, you really haven’t understood the whole thing

    Not to say the giving wouldn’t still keep people alive, help them rebuild, etc., whatever the motive.

    Doing the decent thing is the cake.  A better relationship with the Muslim world is the icing and is worth hoping for.

    Gratitude is probably unrealistic.  I’d settle for doubt – as in a nagging doubt that the US may not be the great Satan after all.

  13. BS,

    You can claim that I’m out of my league all you want.  I’m still going to think that you’re an idiot.  It might be a little childish to call you names, but hey, I never claimed to be a particularly mature individual.

  14. First time poster here, though I’ve been lurking a couple of days.  Looks like a great site with a some interesting folks…just the kind of people I like to hang with online.

    Just to chime in—and pile on a bit here—I’ve got to say that besides BaitAndSnitch being a paranoid tightwad troll, it would appear that he is a bad money manager living beyond his means or he is yanking our chain about his charitable contributions.

    By his estimate, he says he’s contributed ~100K over 15 years to charitable causes even while living “paycheck to paycheck”.

    Now I suppose he actually could be living “paycheck to paycheck” like a lot of regular folks, but by my calculations, he’s averaging roughly $6600 a year in giving to charity.  IF he’s giving 5% pre-tax income a year, that means he’s averaging about 133K/year in income.

    Now I suppose in certain parts of the country one actually could be barely making ends meet if these numbers are close to being in the ball park.  However, that sort of average salary would put one easily in the top 15% of income.  I could also see where I could be less than generous in my estimate of his generoisity and he is giving 10% pre-tax and is making half as much.  However, given the tone of his posts, I think he is BS’ing.

    My guess is that he’s a world-class hater from the right-wingnut fringe who is so tight that when he pulls a penny out of his pocket Lincoln winks.

    I just don’t get folks like this.  First of, he complains about less than a $1.50 per capita of our taxes going to one of the poorest regions in the world that has just suffered from a huge natural disaster.  OTOH, he can turn a blind-eye and doesn’t mind our government lying to us and says nary a word about our government spending 350M in less than 1 1/2 days to kill brown folks in Iraq over a lie.

    Some of these loons in a America that pretend to be so “godly” better hope there isn’t a God.  I’ve got a sneakin’ suspicion their SkyDaddy may be doling out some butt-kickings on judgement day if there were.

  15. Whoops, sort of late and I’m tired.

    I just realized I made an assumption that might not be true about B&S.

    To his credit, he didn’t actually say he supports killing brown folks in Iraq.  He doesn’t seem to like think too much of people in that part of the world, though, so I made the leap that he would rather have us killing as many Muslims as possible rather than helping them.

    My apologies B&S I’ve I falsely pigeon-holed you.  wink

  16. GM pontificated (look it up, BS): Baitnsnitch, your chest-thumping would be a lot more impressive if you would actually use those big words correctly.  “Propitiate

  17. I think Saudia arabia gave 135 million to the suicide bombers in israel.
    They have given 5 million to tsunami. We are the cheap ones?

  18. No, Bill, the Saudis have shown time and again what they want for themselves- money, power, and repressive fundamentalism.  I still think the US could do more, given the amount of money we’re spending in Iraq to enrich Halliburton, but Americans are certainly more generous than the Saudis to the down-and-out.

  19. Thanks Spocko!  I used that for my students!

    Damnit!  I just lost my whole post, this is why I double post so often.  Anyway, I was just saying, as much as this may be taken wrong, please try to take it in the context that I took out a personal loan to donate because Christmas wiped me out.  The 1st thing I thought when I heard was “the child rape & anti-Christian capitol of the world? I hope this isn’t a ploy by Allah to lure us & our resources straight to death.”

    Granted, I know that murderers & pedophiles aren’t even half of the population there, but Indonesia, Sri Lanka, & India are still the top 3 countries for child rape, prostitution & murder, plus murder of Christian missionaries, & now the world’s eye is finally on them.  I guess I’m a sucker for simplicity.  Ann Coulter’s a little crueler than I’d like, but I laugh at her the same laugh most of you give to zilch’s comments.
    Indian Christians
    Indonesia
    Sri Lanka
    India

  20. Granted, I know that murderers & pedophiles aren’t even half of the population there, but Indonesia, Sri Lanka, & India are still the top 3 countries for child rape, prostitution & murder, plus murder of Christian missionaries, & now the world’s eye is finally on them.  I guess I’m a sucker for simplicity.

    Hells bells ellie, I would even go out on a limb and guess that not even a third of the population there are murderers and pedophiles.  At least a few of them have to be just peasants, or the math doesn’t work out.

    And as far as being a sucker for simplicity, you’re in good company there- that’s all of us.  But as Alfred North Whitehead said, “seek simplicity- and then distrust it”.

    Good for you for making a donation.  Generosity is the root of all good.

  21. Germany upped our contribution to 500 million Euros today! In fact, the news are already reporting that relief organizations are getting more money than they can sensibly spend there in the near future, they’re asking for the money to be donated for less ‘glamourous’ aid projects.

  22. It’s also important not just to donate now, but donate later as well.  As the cover story in this week’s Time pointed out, those regions will take years to recover, and rebuilding will take much more than just getting rid of the corpses and restoring electricity and fresh water.  Most disasters see a good influx of help at the beginning, but people forget about them down the line even though the victims are still struggling.

    So donate early and often. grin

  23. Well, I think I said something smaller like 10% in the original post, but I was pretty pissed off I lost it.  Anyway…

  24. I fugure most of the moral degenarates are vacationers from elsewhere. I was just trying to make the point that thank God the vacationing sickos & corrupt locals can’t victimize the Thai paisa children with the world turning a blind eye anymore.  Kind of like breaking up the weed party in the high school bathroom, the perps have got to disperse now, God broke up their party place.

  25. Ellie, your logic is….well I don’t know what it is.  What I do know is that your postings make it more difficult for people of faith to be taken seriously.  You reinforce the stereotypes of people of faith.  I say this as a person of faith.

    I’d encourage you to take 5-10 minutes to think through what you want to post, BEFORE you post it.  I’m hoping that if you do, you will realize the implications of what it is that you are saying.

    Regards,

  26. I think Saudia arabia gave 135 million to the suicide bombers in israel.
    They have given 5 million to tsunami. We are the cheap ones?

    Bill, the alternative is to be like the Saudis.
    We cannot measure ourselves simply by the actions of others.  Anyone who says we (America and in my case Canada) are cheap should measure ourselves to ourselves.  What we expect us to do. 

    I expect Canada to be a leader.  Not that we do much of that any more.  But that’s what I expect.  And I think most Americans would expect the same.  To uses the old cliche, lead by example.

  27. that thank God the vacationing sickos & corrupt locals can’t victimize the Thai paisa children with the world turning a blind eye anymore. 

    Really, thats ridiculous. I don’t claim to know anything about Thailand, but I can buy a vacation there in any travel shop right here in my town. And they certainly don’t advertise ‘Pedophile Holidays’.

    Did you even realize how many families were there on holiday? All sickos, right? I don’t know how to answer that.

    You are basically claiming that most of them were pedophiles and thus deserve death anyway. You forget that these days the westerners coming to these countries are probably 97% not there for sex (illegal or not), and never were.

    And you totally ignore the locals, who after all make up the main bulk of the dead. Even if one follows your reasoning, thats like a swat team that shoots everyone in school because three guys were dealing dope.

    In all: wonderful logic.

  28. Ingolfson- Willkommen in Ellieland.
    And ellie- I had sort of hoped you were joking about God gettin’ an attitude about the murderers and pedophiles, but I guess you weren’t.  Sigh.  I could ask how many innocent lives God needs to take for each wasted murderer and pedophile, before it’s too silly even for Him, but given His Record (for instance, the Flood) I’m afraid I know the answer already.
    Consi- I hope she listens to you. We godforsakin’ atheists haven’t had much luck.

  29. Ellie, is it possible that when your original post got lost, your typed-from-memory version missed a bridge or two?  I got the impression your main point that the world spotlight on the area would make the sex trade less practical, not that you were saying God was punishin’ ‘dem heatherns.

    Now, what Tom Delay’s excuse might be is anybody’s guess.

  30. DoF- I should take a leaf from your book of sympathetic reading, but that would seriously encroach on my making fun of people.  Hmmm…

  31. DoF- Tom Delay’s excuse: the Bible told him too.

    Jesus love me yes he do
    Cause the Bible tells him to
    Little ones to him report
    They are weak but He’s a sport

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