Sunday, December 12, 2010

I miss hot showers, but...

I love the weekends. I take a shower later in the day... after the sun has heated the rooftop water.

I don't have hot water here -- other than stove-boiled water -- and the two minutes or so of warm water in the shower is so nice.

And speaking of my rooftop water, it reminds me about my dad voicing his concern for me as a hurricane approached Haiti's "southern claw" last month. He asked me to make sure I had plenty of drinking water available. Being my dad, I did ask someone about his concern.

The response I got?

"Put some buckets on the roof."

Ahhh... sustainable living. I love it!

Btw, I haven't seen Sarah this weekend. I can't imagine she'd come to Jeremie.

And speaking of Mrs. Palin, I appreciate her helping to increase public awareness of some of the problems here. But I certainly hope she doesn't suggest that a weekend stopover in Haiti has any relevance to the "foreign policy credentials" of a candidate for POTUS. Frankly, I don't think foreign policy experience is that important for Sarah Palin anyway. None of our three most recent Presidents had any such experience when they took office. And besides, we have plenty of domestic issues to be addressed.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Tim's father here. Sarah Palin is doing a good thing by spotlighting Haiti in company with Rev. Franklin Graham's charity project, The Samaritan's Purse. Cheshire Congregational Church has supported Purse, and I hear from various sources that Purse is run well, meaning frugally, without a lot of administrative overhead. (HHF, Tim's employer, says it has a decades-long administrative cost averaging 7-8%, which is really low. United Way claims 10% overall.)

Moreover, Sarah says we have a responsibility to help others. (She was quoted in today's Waterbury paper.) I agree that we who are fortunate should recognize a moral responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. When I ran the United Way annual campaign for Northeast Utilities, we used to say, "Don't give until it hurts. Give until it feels good."

However, all that is predicated on using our free will to volunteer giving our money, expertise, resources and time. That is true charity.

But for far too long, U.S. foreign policy has been built on giving foreign aid, which is not charity but rather is the unconstitutional theft of American taxpayers' money to buy votes or the complicity of foreign officials. It should be called foreign welfare. If Sarah segues into a pitch for giving foreign aid to Haiti, she’ll lose me. Most of the foreign aid America has given to other countries ends up in Swiss bank accounts of corrupt officials. Haiti is an especially egregious example of that. The last three or four heads of state there are now living in Paris (because they speak French), with estimated bank accounts in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The corruption in Haiti starts at the very top and goes, I'm told, all the way down. Rarely does foreign aid get to the people for whom it is intended, and then it’s less than intended.

If Sarah is serious about helping Haiti, she should use HHF as a model. It is sustained by the personal funds of the Lowney family, who started HHF, and is supplemented by funds from churches and private groups such as Cheshire Rotary. The funds bring goods and services directly to the people who need it.

Charity is freely given; foreign aid uses my tax money to prop up petty dictators around the world who’ll play ball with the State Dept. and the administration. It is, to repeat, totally unconstitutional; there is nothing in the Constitution which allows the President or Congress to give your taxes and mine to “do good” in other nations.

John White
Cheshire, CT

Anonymous said...

it's fine and well that Ms. Palin is helping a charity in Haiti. Still I'm for Anyone but Palin (or Huckeby) for Pres. in 2012.

Either one would be a disaster for Republicans, neither can be elected, and neither is qualified to be President. Palin's unfavorable rating is higher than Obama's!

Anonymous said...

John White said,
there is nothing in the Constitution which allows the President or Congress to give your taxes and mine to “do good” in other nations.

There is nothing in the constitution that says they can't give foreign aid either. Just like there is nothing explicitly in the constitution which gives the Fed gov't authority to regulate air flights or perscription drug safety (which the States could never do).

You have a valid point about not giving our tax money to corrupt dictators who line their pockets. US humanitarian aid should go directly to reputable Non-gov't agencies like HHF and Catholic Relief Services in those places, to be sure to reach the people.

Breachway said...

I ditto Anon 5:15....she's a dope

Anonymous said...

and Palin's a ditsy dope at that!
what are her supporters thinking?!