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BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief

GUEST,heric 17 Jan 05 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,bflat 18 Jan 05 - 12:08 AM
dianavan 18 Jan 05 - 02:00 AM
GUEST,Wolfgang 18 Jan 05 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Giok in the blizzard. 18 Jan 05 - 09:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jan 05 - 01:40 PM
CarolC 18 Jan 05 - 02:05 PM
robomatic 18 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM
CarolC 18 Jan 05 - 05:39 PM
robomatic 18 Jan 05 - 06:09 PM
CarolC 18 Jan 05 - 08:27 PM
dianavan 18 Jan 05 - 10:24 PM
NH Dave 19 Jan 05 - 02:03 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Jan 05 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,petr 19 Jan 05 - 12:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jan 05 - 02:13 PM
CarolC 19 Jan 05 - 03:35 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 05:01 PM

Videotaping beheadings by knife blade is surely a new craze, though? Tough to defend, that, on moral principles. Diffrnt strokes for diffrnt folks, YUCHH. scooby doobie doobie.

Somebody got themselves a full-on archbishop yesterday, no shit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: GUEST,bflat
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 12:08 AM

How human is our humanity? Where were the relief efforts for Rawanda? What makes those of us who do give pick and choose? Is it news coverage or something else? I'd hate to believe it is racial.

Ellen


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: dianavan
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 02:00 AM

It is easier to give to victims of a natural disaster than it is to give to those who are victims of oppression or war. When politics are involved, you are never sure who is actually going to get your dollar or whether the money will be used for food or ammunition.

In the case of the tsunami, seems that lots of people are watching and making sure that the money actually gets to the victims. Of course, there will always be those who take advantage of a sad situation. We can only do our best.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 09:17 AM

An English translation of long parts of Mahmoud Bakri's article about nuclear tests triggering the tsunami is available

here (scroll down to read the last report on that page)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: GUEST,Giok in the blizzard.
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 09:34 AM

Rwanda's lack of aid etc is IMHO due to lack of education. To many people Africa is either one country or two countries, i.e. South Africa and the rest. They hear about diamonds, copper, gold, oil and all sorts of natural wealth and can't understand why people are poor. What so few know is that in the few countries with this wealth, it is quite normal for the money received is largely diverted into private Swiss bank accounts, leaving the poor to starve. Unfortunately the same thing happens to a lot of the aid, and once again the poor get poorer. I don't know what the answer is, other than actually putting charity workers on the ground to see that the aid is properly used, but many countries won't allow this. They say, like in Aceh at the moment, that it isn't safe for the aid workers, but usually it's because they want to control who gets the aid, and who doesn't. It makes me sad, and it's worse when there's nothing I can do.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 01:40 PM

One thing is, we've most of us been to the seaside some time and can imagine it happening to us.
.................................

I don't think it's really "lack of education" that gets in the way. You've really got to work at it pretty hard to avoid knowing that stuff, and to dumb yourself down so that you "can't understand why people are poor".

It seems to me it's more to do with a feeling that if we don't succeed in ignoring this stuff it's going to make us feel distinctly uncomfortable in the midst of our comfort.

Basically it's not all that disimilar to the way most Germans managed to avoid being aware of what was being done in their name, and ordinary decent enough people in racist societies manage to persuade themselves it's not really that bad.

Two sayings sum it up: "There's none so blind as they who will not see" and "When ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: CarolC
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 02:05 PM

So now we have a partial English version of the original article in the Egyptian periodical (as far as we know... MEMRI hardly being a neutral source), but none of whatever documentation the article may have used to back up its assertions (which, I note, as I noted before, are posed as possibilities, and not as facts, in contrast to what the rumors have been saying about it).


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM

Rwanda was a man-made tragedy which, as horrible as it was, one might not know where one's money was going, i.e. was there a legitimate outlet of 'humanity' there, at the time. I recall a CBC broadcast indicating that the plotting of the Rwanda genocide occurred in churches. NOT to condemn religion, simply to state that finding a 'good guy' in that maelstrom of murder would be a genuine problem.

If the ranting from the mosques re: Tsunami is happening, it's a sad commentary on what passes for religion in those parts. To say those were drowned were martyrs, to say it was Allah's actions due to alleged immorality and evil investors....sounds like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell who said similar things about 9/11.

Using weather as a justifiable 'act of God' on sinners is beneath contempt. It brings to mind the poem about the San Francisco Quake (and fire) of '06:

If God had meant to toast the town
for being over-frisky,
Then why'd he burn the first church down
and leave McCullough's Whiskey?

Voltaire made a lot of anti-zealot hay out of the destruction of Lisbon on All Souls Day in 1755 (Earthquake and tsunamis both).

That being said, before we leap on anyone for their national response, let's give the area some time to recover. They're going to need help for some time to come, and in six months or so it might be more obvious who arrived in time, who stayed the course, who met their obligations and who beat the drums of blame and obfuscation.

The death toll is steadily creeping up, but I haven't heard about any post-calamity epidemics. If people are getting water and being cleaned up, this does the world credit and we should be encouraged by it. Up till now it seems that as many people die after the event as from the event itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: CarolC
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 05:39 PM

If the ranting from the mosques re: Tsunami is happening, it's a sad commentary on what passes for religion in those parts.

The same exact thing was happening in the US after 9/11, coming from fundamentalist Christian pulpits (some of them quite prominent), only in that case, they were saying that tragedy was God's retribution for the sins of the "Liberals". The fact that you seem to know about the Muslim equivalent, but not the Christian equivalent is a sad commentary on what passes for "journalism" in these parts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 06:09 PM

Carol:
please read my post again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: CarolC
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 08:27 PM

LOL

Oops. I have no excuse.

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: dianavan
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 10:24 PM

Just heard a Canadian doctor in Sri Lanka say that the clinic where he is working was not there before the donations. They are giving medical attention to many, mostly children. He said that the donations are being put to good use.

Paul Martin (Canadian PM) toured Sri Lanka and said the real tragedy is not what can be seen.

I think he was referring to the grief and trauma of the people. All we can do is give as much as we can and hope for the best.

Regardless of politics, I am very proud of the amount of money the Canadian people have donated from their own pockets. I am also proud of a government that matches every dime of personal donations. Compassionate people with a compassionate government


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: NH Dave
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 02:03 AM

During the first few days after the disaster, when we still thought only 25,000 may have been killed, there was a lot of commenting on the BBC Worldwide Service about the callous indifference for live exhibited by thescientists who detected and reported the original earthquake, for not getting in touch with the governments of the areas worst hurt by the tsunami, of it this wasn't possible, broadcasting a warning on CNN.

    What many of these people didn't realize was that at the time of the earthquake, there was "no one home" at the various government office that might have disseminated this warning, assuming that they had a vehicle to achieve this, and that most British people have more electronic communications in their own homes than exist in the whole of many of the villages in the most affected areas. To this day, problems with distributing the world's largesse are one of the main bars to actually getting the aid and supplies to the affected people. I recall when I was in Thailand some forty years ago, the Thai Air Base at which I was assigned had an open area in that part of the base where the senior non commissioned officers lived. Each night at dusk the usual pick-up game of soccer or the Thai version of Hackey Sack, using woven wicker balls, would give way to an open air market cum carnival, whose main attraction was the television set that was brought our from its storage bin and mounted on a tall pole so all could watch the few hours that Thai TV broadcast to that region. Various food sellers would set up their portable carts featuring wontons, roasted, dried, squid, and other local food, and the kids would run around and have their usual good time. Somehow I suspect that things have not changed that much in the rest of the country over the ensuing forty years.

    Others expressed their disapproval of some of the royal family seemingly ignoring the suffering of their people while attending to their own problems in the area or elsewheres in the country. It was our experience that by and large the Thai, being Buddhists were a bit more laissez fiare about the plight of people caught up in local accidents and disasters, on the grounds that the affected people must have done something in their lives that upset their amount of "merit" with their supreme being, and since this was their problem, there was little use of others becoming involved in helping them out.

    We saw this attitude when a local bus collided head-on with a timber carrier, consisting of the tractor with a yoke, a 10 - 15' teak log or logs about 50 - 100' long chained to this yoke, and a small wheeled dolly supporting the back end of the log(s) with possibly a license plate and stop lights. The accident spread injured locals about a goodly area, and when we got word, we sent a medical team and a couple trucks to help as we could. I believe we collectged 10 - 15 people so badly injured that they had been left to die, moved them back to our hospital, and actually saved about 70% of these cases. While we earned lots of merit from this act, many admitted that they would not have helped these injured people, even if they had possessed the means and the hospital space. Thus royals seeming to ignore their seriously injured subjects is more along this general "mai pen rai", no big thing, and the theory that Buddha must have willed it, and who are they to thwart Buddha's will. While this does not fall into place with out achieving much merit bu our actions, it does seem to explain theirs and their attitudes to disaster.

    Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 05:46 AM

We have a saying in Scotland that encapsulates that mind set Dave.

Whit's fur ye 'll no go bye ye.

Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 12:17 PM

Id say the real irony of the tsunami relief is that
(according to the former Canadian Ambassodor to the UN) there's a tsunami happening in Africa every few weeks and the world doesnt care..

The second point is, how much of the money pledged by nations is actually delivered. Iran has only received a portion of the amount pledged after its devastating earthquake..

One of George Bushs first priorities was to organize a private fundraising drive while saying that the people of the US are a generous people.. not quite as generous as Australia which pledged something like $800 million so far (double that of the US).


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 02:13 PM

...the theory that Buddha must have willed it, and who are they to thwart Buddha's will.

If they were actually talking in terms of "Buddha's will", as if Buddha was some kind of Abrahamic God, they must have been a very peculiar variety of Buddhist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony of Tsunami Relief
From: CarolC
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 03:35 PM

More stereotypes I suppose, McGrath. They (stereotypes) are like a kudzu vine. They grow up all around the real thing (tree, house, whatever), strangling it and eventually obscuring it entirely until ultimately, all you see is a lot of kudzu vine in the shape of a tree or a house or whatever. It's the same with stereotypes. No resemblance to the real thing other than a few superficial attributes.

"Why is it that you don't often hear of charitable work being done by Buddhists?
   
    Perhaps it is because Buddhists don't feel the need to boast about the good they do. Several years ago the Japanese Buddhist leader Nikkho Nirwano received the Templeton Prize for his work in promoting inter-religious harmony. Likewise a Thai Buddhist monk was recently awarded the prestigious Magsaysay Prize for his excellent work among drug addicts. In 1987 another Thai monk, Ven.Kantayapiwat was awarded the Norwegian Children's Peace Prize for his many years work helping homeless children in rural areas. And what about the large scale social work being done among the poor in India by the Western Buddhist Order? They have built schools, child minding-centres, dispensaries and small scale industries for self-sufficiency. Buddhist see help given to others as an expression of their religious practice just as other religions do but they believe that it should be done quietly and without self-promotion. Thus you don't hear so much about their charitable work."

http://www.buddhanet.net/ans10.htm


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