Wednesday, January 27, 2010

HAITI: Anderson Cooper and Geraldo got in before rescue SUPPLIES?

I just got this email from a friend and didn't even ask if I could publish it. I am not using the writer's name but he's obviously someone who flew from here to Haiti to be of assistance. I did nothing but clean up some spelling, etc...as I believe this was typed in haste and anger. This is eye opening, horrifying, disgusting, and, maybe it's only his point of view, but it sure should be READ:

To All,

I just returned from Haiti with (name withheld by Z). We flew in at 3 AM Sunday to the scene of such incredible destruction on one side, and enormous ineptitude and criminal neglect on the other.

Port au Prince is in ruins. The rest of the country is fairly intact.Our team was a rescue team and we carried special equipment that locates people buried under the rubble. There are easily 200,000 dead, the city smells like a charnel house. The bloody UN was there for 5 years doing apparently nothing but wasting US Taxpayers money. The ones I ran into were either incompetent or outright anti american. Most are French or french speakers, worthless every damn one of them. While 18oo rescuers were ready willing and able to leave the airport and go do our jobs, the UN and USAID ( another organization full of little OBamites and communists that openly speak against America) These two organizations exemplified their parochialism by:

USAID, when in control of all inbound flights, had food and water flights stacked up all the way to Miami, yet allowed Geraldo Rivera, Anderson Cooper and a host of other left wing news puppies to land.

Pulled all the security off the rescue teams so that Bill Clinton and his wife could have the grand tour, whilst we sat unable to get to people trapped in the rubble.

Stacked enough food and water for the relief over at the side of the airfield then put a guard on it while we dehydrated and wouldn't release a drop of it to the rescuers.

No shower facilities to decontaminate after digging or moving corpses all day, except for the FEMA teams who brought their own shower and decon equipment, as well as air conditioned tents.

No latrine facilities, less digging a hole if you set up a shitter everyone was trying to use it.

I watched a 25 year old Obamite with the USAID shrieking hysterically, berate a full bird colonel in the air force, because he countermanded her orders, whilst trying to unscrew the air pattern. " You dont know what your president wants! The military isnt in charge here we are!"

If any of you are thinking of giving money to the Haitian relief, or to the UN don't waste your money. It will only go to further the goals of the French and the Liberal left.

If we are a fair and even society, why is it that only white couples are adopting haitian orphans. Where the hell is that vocal minority that is always screaming about the injustice of American society.

Bad place, bad situation, but a perfect look at the new world order in action. New Orleans magnified a thousand times. Haiti doesn't need democracy, what Haiti needs is Papa Doc. That's not just my opinion , that is what virtually every Haitian we talked with said. the French run the UN treat us the same as when we were a colony, at least Papa Doc ran the country.

Oh, and as a last slap in the face the last four of us had to take US AIRWAYs home from Phoenix. They slapped me with a 590 dollar baggage charge for the four of us. The girl at the counter was almost in tears because she couldn't give us a discount or she would lose her job. Pass that on to the flying public.

Z: Well, it looks like Rush Limbaugh might be right after all....how terribly sad is THAT? From the guy's choice of words, I think he might be a Brit who lives in America...... And, of course, Liberals will overlook the really damning stuff he's written here and focus on what THEY think's wrong with it, but that's expected. How awful that this is the impression someone has; And, we're being told all the rescue efforts are right in line....the people are getting what they need. Sure, after the elitists get theirs. I'm no one to deny rescuers food and water because they NEED that to continue their work, but this account of the media coming first and the administration insulting military in charge and celebrity politicians coming before the people is sickening. And, what about Katrina? It was a TERRIBLE situation and Bush got NO free pass, did he. (by the way, the photo above IS Katrina....to make a point) By the way, it's fascinating that, at the end of that linked article, it mentions a Haitian Diplomat who blames this catastrophe on "witchcraft"...hmmmm


71 comments:

Ducky's here said...

This dipstick seems to think that organizing a relief effort to a city that has no infrastructure and has been completely devastated is just a day at the beach.

And he got charged for his bags on the way home. Boo-hoo.

My guess is he's one of those moronic Scientologists that went down there and started doing a Benny Hinn act on the poor population.

Elmers Brother said...

When I heard that USAID was in charge I knew it'd be a mess.

wow duhkkky contributed an ad hominems...

there's a good boy.

Z said...

Ducky, what's it like to have such a dark little heart? SCIENTOLOGIST? BENNY HINN? My gosh, that's hilarious!
DUCKY DOESN'T LIKE THE INFORMATION, LET'S BRING CHRISTIAN BASHING SOMEWHERE INTO THIS (when Christians have been working their EVERYTHINGS off to help those people in Haiti)

Um. Don't look now, but Katrina pretty much ruined an infrastructure, too...pretty damned completely as you saw in my previous post on that subject. Odd that Obama's getting kudos and Bush got CRAP.

And, yes...some of us believe that people who put their lives on the line just might not have had to pay for bags on their way home....

Z said...

Elbro....Laughing out loud here! Thanks, I needed that.

Faith said...

First believable realistic report I've seen yet.

Z said...

A friend's husband is returning very soon, Faith...he'll have more, too.
He had texted her that he's never seen anything nearly like these injuries (he's a surgeon), including the Salvadoran earthquake he went to do surgery after, too.

That people like Geraldo and Cooper got in and aid couldn't is so horrible..and then for the CLintons to have gone and had rescue efforts stop due to them? I remember Bush staying out so often from image-building photo events because he knew this would happen and didn't want it. He wasn't perfect, Bush, but he cared about the people.

Z said...

And, by the way, the group he went with is a doctor's group out of Boston, PRIVATE GROUP...I have heard nothing of screw ups or badly spent money.

cube said...

I'm saddened but not surprised. Anything the UN touches is botched.

I remember how they berated President Bush for the flyover over NO. Had BO done the very same thing he would've been praised for not wanting to divert manpower from doing the rescue work to provide security.

Linda said...

I have to say I am not surprised by this account either. We saw the news reports and saw the aid sitting on the tarmac's, and people trying to get to it. Now we see and hear about the hoodlums taking the food from the little kids, pregnant women, and the old folks.

It is a sad situation, and just pouring money in won't help. Most of the money will end up in some bigwig's pocket.

Ducky's here said...

I'm curious, z. Was the New Orleans airport out of commission after Katrina or was it able to receive cargo shipments on more than one short runway?

Were the highways completely destroyed.

Were rescue helicopters having difficulties other than the right wing lies that they were shot at?

To imply the situation in Haiti is not magnitudes more difficult than the Katrina rescue is simply insane.

Were there 200,000 dead in New Orleans? How many needed evacuation?

Z said...

Ducky, no doubt about it...Haiti is worse.
And NO doubt about it, the media and the WH are spinning that all was done absolutely right by this gov't...I wish it was, I'd be the first to give him credit...Matter of fact, I got an email last night on this subject, and I responded that it's time to stop BLAMING and get things DONE...who CAN do this kind of effort perfectly well? NOBODY, there was almost no precedent for something this awful.

MY POINT IS that I'm tired of the spinning, I'm tired of celeb journalists like Cooper and Geraldo and celeb politics like the Clintons getting so much CREDIT when they STANK in this situation, THEY CAME FIRST. That's WRONG.

Limbaugh caught such crap by the leftwingers, even lies that he accused Obama of stealing money!...and here's a guy on the ground who agrees...our money augmenting our already-spent tax dollars is better used going to private charities. That's all he said.

Also, I want noted that a HAITIAN mentioned witchcraft having brought down Haiti. Maybe I don't agree, maybe you don't agree...but I'm also tired of people like Faith (and even Pat Robertson, who I'm not a big fan of) here at my site getting such disdain for saying something the Haitian educated class is saying. Just wanted that noted.

Do YOU think the celebs come first, Ducky? REALLY?

Z said...

cube...good point about the flyover. Typical of Bush...
And, typical of Bush was going to see soldiers without lights and cameras at military hospitals; and his going to Ft Hood immediately, which the msm NEVER covered, by the way.

Joe said...

Ducky: You guessed wrong again. You even assigned a response to the relief worker without any facts to back yourself up. Stick to the one thing you actually know, if you can find one.

BTW: Southern Baptists already had missionaries in Haiti and were among the first to organize and provide actual relief to those in need.

Their International Missions Board partners with Baptist Global Response because it is led by Southern Baptists who have decades of experience in disaster assessment and relief projects.

After hurricane Charlie devastated Charlotte County in Florida, Southern Baptists provided more hot meals than the government. That was true for weeks after Katrina, as well.

Didn't hear about that? That's because MSM won't tell you and the Southern Baptists don't toot their own horn, they just go about doing what they do.

Ducky's here said...

Joe, let me inform you that many have contributed and your precious Southern Baptists do not have ANT worthwhile experience in managing the logistics of air traffic through the airport in Port-au-Prince which is limited in the best of times.

You do not have experience setting up public health operations and field hospital in a city that had a population of millions and did not have a single hospital standing.

The logistics here are severely daunting and for you to think that your contributions were "the first" or that you contributed to overwhelming logistical support necessary to deliver what WE ARE ALL contributing is just plain stupid.

Almost as stupid as the putrid complaint on z's post that it's just the white people that are adopting the orphans. In fact what is happening is that adoptions that were in an advanced stage of paperwork are being facilitated and z or the snarky little punk who wrote the e-mail have no idea who is at the other end of the adoption.

Of course there may be some that think it's a good idea to just snatch traumatized children when you don't even know if their parents are alive but that's another issue.

So stow the self righteousness. You aren't the tip of the spear. You aren't anything more than millions of others of all persuasions.

beamish said...

New Orleans was flooded after levees broke a day after Hurricane Katrina struck land virtually wiping Pascagoula, Mississippi off the map 150 miles away.

The difference is Pascagoula, Mississippi took their near two weeks notice that a Category 5 hurricane was heading their way seriously and made evacuation response a priority and New Orleans, Louisiana did not.

But, it's probably just a coincidence that storm surge damage and dangers along the coast from Texas to Florida were managed more effectively by local Republican leaders than local Democrat leaders. New Orleans had cops on the payroll that didn't actually exist, emergency food and medicaine stockpiles on paper only, and hundreds of public transportation buses sitting unused in a parking lot underwater.

New Orleans / Louisiana leadership gambled on not being adversely affected by storm surges agaisnt their levee systems, gambled on never having to employ a civil defense / disaster emergency plan that actually didn't exist.

One of the things Bush did wrong is not see to it that Governor Blanco's head rolled over that. But, Louisiana's voters took up that slack well enough.

The analogy from New Orleans to Haiti is that while their rareearthquakes are far more devastating than the rare Category 5 hurricane, the Haitians make no pretensions as to being prepared for such a catastrophe.

New Orleans local government was corruption and incompetence writ large. Haitian government can barely be said to even exist.

DaBlade said...

It may be just one person's perspective, but he witnessed this "criminal neglect" first hand. I wonder if Anderson Cooper was charged for his handbag of hair products.

Elmers Brother said...

Of course there may be some that think it's a good idea to just snatch traumatized children when you don't even know if their parents are alive but that's another issue.

who suggested this?

Anonymous said...

Z …

Haiti is a nation of about 9 million people. This means that roughly 2.2% of the people lost their lives in the earthquake. I know; terrible. If disaster took that many of our people, the number would be 6.6 million. But tragedy isn’t new to Haiti. The median age of a person from Haiti is about 20 years; death rate and birth rate is high, which is what we expect from fourth world cesspools.

Our government has been nothing if not inconsistent when it comes to nations such as Haiti. Occasionally we send in our Marines to free the people from despotism, and then we change our policy and formulate a hands-off policy so that the people can determine their own destiny. What we have now is the result of such mush. Haitian thugs have become so used to receiving American aid that they now regard it as their end-of-year bonus. If we have made an honest attempt to show these people how to fish, and they aren’t getting it, then perhaps they don’t deserve freedom and self-determination. Perhaps it is how their ancestors became slaves in the first place. We ought to wonder … are the Haitian people better off, or worse off, in the post-FDR “Good Neighbor” environment.

Mustang

Ducky's here said...

Oh and Joe, who was in there first? One of the first was Doctors without Borders, a FRENCH organization.

Elmers Brother said...

Joe,

don't waste your breath on duhkkky's collective theology, the only entity capable of the greater good is the government

Faith in god by faith in the Party. There is no other way! Open yourself to communism and Lenin's small voice will speak directly to your heart!

Elmers Brother said...

Oh and Joe, who was in there first? One of the first was Doctors without Borders, a FRENCH organization.

yeah joe, you should totally discount all those Protestant missionaries who live there and provide these services before the earthquake

what were you thinking Joe!

Ducky's here said...

Occasionally we send in our Marines to free the people from despotism

------------------

Yeah, mustang, name a place.

The Philippines, where we killed a couple hundred thousand people. Just where are you referring to?

Elmers Brother said...

The Philippines, where we killed a couple hundred thousand people. Just where are you referring to?

France..WWII

Z said...

Elbro...nobody suggested that...who would even think of that?

Beamish, thanks....I don't know how you keep so much information in your head. Between you and Elbro, and a lot of the other bloggers here, we should start our own Wikipedia with OUR slant on things not the left's...how refreshing.

Joe...you are so right.the point is the Baptists are ALWAYS THERE helping no matter what..in bad times and in disasters..as are other Christian groups.

Z said...

Ducky, tell us how Baptists weren't in Haiti working already.

Mustang....I've read that it's a mishmosh, what we've told the Haitians and yes, I think they do look us as their end of year bonuses.

One only has to look at the difference between Haiti and Dominican Republic...same soil, same water, same sun; But, like Palestine v Israel, the Haitians and Palestinians can't carry it off...poverty reigns. VERY different situations but similar in that....and that also gives one pause...

cube said...

Speaking of Katrina, I also remember seeing a photo of NO residents with a big sign that read "FU5O".

Does anyone out there know where I could find that photo that was circulated widely during Katrina, but has been scrubbed clean of any recent accounts?

Ducky's here said...

Good example, elmo and an excellent time to remind mustang that we have never accomplished any of this liberation he talks about when we've attempted it alone.

Unless you believe that as the major participant in WW II with the lowest par capita casualties we were the single handed liberators.

Elmers Brother said...

Unless you believe that as the major participant in WW II with the lowest par capita casualties we were the single handed liberators.

so if we had a higher per capita death rate we could actually say we accomplished something

thanks for that duhkkky

I'll remind my WWII Navy veteran grandpa

Faith said...

Kinda sad that "Papa Doc" would be considered a desirable influence when he openly encouraged voodoo from what I've read. That shows how pathetic the country is, I guess, that anybody who leads at all is a good influence.

Elmers Brother said...

oh single handedly...is that the example you were looking for...


so if we do it alone we're bad and if we do it with others we can't take any credit

gotcha

Elmers Brother said...

because single handedly we'd be big bad colonialists

my bad

Anonymous said...

Not when we change foreign policy like most people change their underclothes, Ducky.

I’m not in favor of sending in troops anywhere unless we have a viable plan and intend to stay until the mission is accomplished.

On the other hand, I know for certain that when you place a 7.62mm round into the forehead of a thug at 2,756 ft/s, that thug ceases to be a problem for anyone.

Mustang

beamish said...

Beamish, thanks....I don't know how you keep so much information in your head.

It's the curse of having eidetic memory, or at least a vivid recall of everything I encounter or read. It's weird. I can look at photographs of myself as a child even around age 3 and remember who the photographer was, sometimes even what they were wearing and what noise or music was playing at the time.

But in the case of Pascagoula, Mississippi and Katerina, I have relatives that live and work there, so my accounting there comes from first hand sources.

beamish said...

Ducky,

Unless you believe that as the major participant in WW II with the lowest par capita casualties we were the single handed liberators.

I'm sorry, what Normandy beach did the Russians land on?

America sent men and equipment across the ocean to drive back dug in Nazi occupiers in Northern Africa and Western Europe and reached Berlin in less than two years of fighting while Russia was fighting Nazis they only had to cross the street to see and still couldn't push them back 1,000 miles to Berlin until Britain and America paved them a path with aerial bombing to march upon.

America did this, while simultaneously fighting another war against a major power on the other side of the planet.

Russia is near the top of the list of countries that has never won a war by themselves.

So, no. Russian troops were too busy being liberated by Allied participation and strategic assistance to liberate anyone, including themselves.

Russian troops would have absolutely lost the Battle of the Bulge.

Britain and America almost did.

Elmers Brother said...

speaking of liberated duhkkky needs to remind everyone of liberation theology's(social gospel) own paving of Latin American streets with dead.

Ducky's here said...

I'm sorry, what Normandy beach did the Russians land on?

--------------------------

Stalingrad? Leningrad? the assault on Berlin? Kursk?

Some of them involved more casualties than our entire military history.

But the story of World War II is as much the story of the complete annihilation of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine as anything else, wasn't it? That's where the casualties were (and in Yugoslavia) and the Americans were nowhere to be found.

Ducky's here said...

Explain elmo, I'm curious what your perspective is. I assume you list all the troubles in Central America to liberation theology but let's read a short account.

Elmers Brother said...

Some of them involved more casualties than our entire military history.

we all know how much communists care about the number of their own dead.

Elmers Brother said...

Explain elmo, I'm curious what your perspective is. I assume you list all the troubles in Central America to liberation theology but let's read a short account

not all troubles but we might as well have a balanced discussion, what?

FJ said...

They're onto you ducky. The Left's UN world government is and always has been an incompetent waste of money, with or w/o a "disaster" or "peacekeeping effort" to pretend to manage.

Elmers Brother said...

I realize duhkkky that liberation theologians have dropped some of their the easy justifications of the necessity of "counterviolence" against the "institutionalized violence" of the political establishment.

Are you denying that it's provoked bloodshed?

The use of violence has been one of the most controversial aspects of liberation theology. Such violence is not considered sinful if it is used for resisting oppression. Indeed, certain liberation theologians "will in some cases regard a particular action (e.g., killing) as sin if it is committed by an oppressor, but not if it is committed by the oppressed in the struggle to remove inequities. The removal of inequities is believed to result in the removal of the occasion of sin [i.e., the oppressor] as well."

Ducky's here said...

I see, elmo, as long as everyone stays in line and eats what is on the plate there won't be any problems.

Bloodshed? Is that unique to this period? Is bloodshed anything but a commonplace in human history? What are you driving at?

Or do we have bloodshed because those folks won't toe the line?

Ducky's here said...

Farmer, other than z's e-mail from ,apparently, a whiny little hipster, there hasn't been much presented to demonstrate that the relief effort hasn't been effective.

This quake did occur at maybe the worst possible spot.

As for the U.N. some assessments say that conditions in Haiti had been improving before the quake. You may be correct but right now all we have is the standard dogmatic right wing line, no real hard analysis.

Elmers Brother said...

well duhkkky, if you're going to blame evangelicals and democratic prinicples for the troubles you might as well look at your own front porch while you're at it.

beamish said...

Ducky,

Stalingrad? Leningrad? the assault on Berlin? Kursk?

Some of them involved more casualties than our entire military history.


Pyrrhic victories, at best. Russians died slowing the Wehrmacht, but nothing to stop it.

America and Britain bombed a path across Eastern Europe for Russians cowering behind the gates of Stalingrad to march upon.

Russia couldn't even capture Finland by themselves, and couldn't even keep the Ukraine out of Nazi hands with 16 years notice from the publication of Mein Kampf that Hitler was coming for it.

Please Ducky. Russia's effect on World War 2 was in minimizing the number of Russian troops America airdropped food to.

Elmers Brother said...

so you're not denying it?

Z said...

DUCK...that "whiny little hipster" "snarky punk" was THERE HELPING in the heat with the smells and sights as you sit in your comfy Boston home in front of your computer. What a TYPICAL LEFTWINGER you are.

Man, the last few days, I've started to see that you must feel sick to your stomach that you are American; you posted elsewhere there is no 'exceptionalism' about America and now you're saying if we don't lose more men than the enemy we're useless? what the H?????????

Elbro, I'm thinking you'll be tapping your foot waiting like you are for the post down below.............still tapping.........still tapping.........

For Ducky, AMERICA IS BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD.
Man, you'd think he was a professor or something.

Elmers Brother said...

your own Catholic front porch

Chuck said...

Z, good post and dead on about the double standard about Bush in Katrina and Obama in Haiti. I've said it before, all of a sudden taking several days to respond to a disaster seems completely reasonable.

Finally, I have told you - the Duck becomes more and more irrelevant with every comment.

Debbie said...

Wow, I don't doubt for a minute that what the writer says is true. We contributed to the Red Cross for Haiti. I would never give a cent to the UN.

Rush Limbaugh didn't say NOT to give, he said not to give via the White House, and agree.

(Z: On the old musicians, the sweet Grouch put up a link to your place at the band's facebook page. He loved it

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Morbid-Strangers/279716455476?v=feed&story_fbid=272016428666

Have a nice evening NOT listening to Obama, I suppose I will suffer through it.

Debbie
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

Elmers Brother said...

duhkkky are you going to renounce those Latin American Catholic clergy who supported violence or do we have to get Pat Robertson to make a 'comment' again

Anonymous said...

Your remarks denigrating America's victory in WWII, is really illuminating as to your total lack of regard for this country.

The fact is, Europe would not have survived if not for the US, and you know it. So, what do you do? You blame America for the barbaric actions of Russia, in their hemisphere.

No, don't mention Stalin and the millions of deaths he was responsible for, blame us for not sacrificing more of our own.

You can't even appreciate our military's magnificence in fighting a war on two fronts and winning. You always find a way to disappoint, Ducky, but this isn't to merely feel disappointment. This is to feel disgust.

Pris

Z said...

Chuck, thanks.

Debbie..SO COOL! Thank you for that. I don't do FaceBook but I could see a few comments and I was so happy about that....I just knew musicians would love that. Boy, did I relate to it!
And ya...good luck tonight...
I think liquor stores in the Red states will be about out of every type of anesthesia they have!!

Pris, very well said; I almost hurt for someone like Ducky because I can't imagine living in a country I hated it.

Elbro...tap, tap, tap........maybe tomorrow!?

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I'm not wasting ONE of my dollars to Haiti. It is a LOSER country with little if any government. You can keep pissing your money away people; thanks, I'll keep mine for not only worthwhile but targeted areas where my cash can be of affect.

BZ

beamish said...

BZ,

After Hurricane Katrina, I felt the same way. I wanted my donation to go to help victims of the hurricane in Mississippi rather than victims of incompetence in Louisiana.

It took me a while, but I did find the number and address of a local food pantry in Biloxi, Mississippi and sent them a few donations directly.

To me, Haiti is different. They, through no real fault of their own, need help. A Richter scale 7 earthquake would destroy just about any American city is struck.
Find a charity you can support that is doing work to help them, a charity that doesn't eat up the bulk of its donations paying its staff (hint: don't give a penny to the International Red Cross). If it's in your heart to help them, and you're concerned that your help isn't really going to help, you should take the time to find a charity or missionary outreach program that is "getting more bang for the buck" in getting assistance to people.

I don't mean to sound preachy, just offering that there are charities that aren't wasteful.

psi bond said...

To let partisan politics, religious extremism, or a sore observer bitter at how he was personally treated keep many from making contributions to Haiti would be awfully sad.

craigslist recommends these charitable relief organizations, all of which have significant personnel and resources deployed in Haiti, and 4 out of 4 stars from Charity Navigator:

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) - 900 relief personnel in Haiti

Oxfam America - 200 relief personnel in Haiti

Save the Children - 200 relief personnel in Haiti

Partners in Health - 150 physicians; intact medical center in Haiti

CARE - 100 relief personnel in Haiti

UNICEF USA - 75 relief personnel in Haiti

psi bond said...

A more credible and more poignant report:

The New Yorker
A Little While

by Edwidge Danticat

February 1, 2010

My cousin Maxo has died. The house that I called home during my visits to Haiti collapsed on top of him.

Maxo was born on November 4, 1948, after three days of agonizing labor. “I felt,” my Aunt Denise used to say, “as though I spent all three days pushing him out of my eyes.” She had a long scar above her right eyebrow, where she had jabbed her nails through her skin during the most painful moments. She never gave birth again.

Maxo often complained about his parents not celebrating his birthday. “Are you kidding me?” I’d say, taking his mother’s side. “Who would want to remember such an ordeal?” All jokes aside, it pained him more than it should have, even though few children in Bel Air, the impoverished and now shattered neighborhood where we grew up, ever had a birthday with balloons and cake.

When Maxo was a teen-ager, his favorite author was Jean Genet. He read and reread “Les Nègres.” These lines from the play now haunt me: “Your song was very beautiful, and your sadness does me honor. I’m going to start life in a new world. If I ever return, I’ll tell you what it’s like there. Great black country, I bid thee farewell.”

Two days after a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, on January 12, 2010, I was still telling my brothers that one night, as we were watching CNN, Maxo would pop up behind Anderson Cooper and take over his job.

Maxo was a hustler. He could get whatever he wanted, whether money or kind words, simply by saying, “You know I love you. I love you. I love you.” It always worked with our family members in New York, both when he occasionally showed up to visit and when he called from Haiti to ask them to fund his various projects.

The last time I heard from him was three days before the earthquake. He left a message on my voice mail. He was trying to raise money to rebuild a small school in the mountains of Léogâne, where our family originated. The time before that, someone in the neighborhood had died and money was needed for a coffin. With a voice that blended shouting and laughter, Maxo made each request sound as though it were an investment that the giver would be making in him or herself.

When my eighty-one-year-old Uncle Joseph, a minister, left Haiti, in 2004, after a gang threatened his life, Maxo, his son, was with him. They travelled together to Miami, hoping to be granted political asylum. Instead, they were detained by the Department of Homeland Security and separated while in custody. When Maxo was finally able to see his father, it was to translate for the medical staff, who accused my uncle, as he vomited both from his mouth and from a tracheotomy hole in his neck, of faking his illness. The next day, my uncle was dead and Maxo was released from detention. It was his fifty-sixth birthday. Once the pain of his father’s death had eased, he joked, “My parents never wanted me to have a happy birthday.”

After unsuccessfully pursuing asylum, Maxo returned to Haiti. He missed his five young children, who were constantly calling to ask when he was coming home. There was also his father’s work to continue—small schools and churches to oversee all over Haiti. The return, though, was brutal. During our telephone calls, he talked about the high price of food in Port-au-Prince. “If it’s hard for me, imagine for the others,” he’d say.

His time in detention in the United States had sensitized him to prison conditions and to the lack of prisoners’ rights in Haiti. He often called asking for money to buy food, which he then took to the national penitentiary.

psi bond said...

Concluded

This generosity, along with the Haitian sense of kindness and community, is perhaps why, immediately after four stories collapsed on Maxo on January 12th, family, friends, and even strangers began to dig for him and his wife and their children. They managed to free his wife and all but one of his children, ten-year-old Nozial, from the rubble two days later. Even when there was little hope, they continued to dig for him and for those who had died along with him: some children who were being tutored after school, the tutors, a few parents who had stopped by to discuss their children’s schoolwork. We will never know for sure how many.

The day that Maxo’s remains were found, the call came with some degree of excitement. At least he would not rest permanently in the rubble. At least he would not go into a mass grave. Somehow, though, I sense that he would not have minded. Everyone is being robbed of rituals, he might have said, why not me?

By the time Maxo’s body was uncovered, cell phones were finally working again, bringing a flurry of desperate voices. One cousin had an open gash in her head that was still bleeding. Another had a broken back and had gone to three field hospitals trying to get it X-rayed. Another was sleeping outside her house and was terribly thirsty. One child had been so traumatized that she lost her voice. An in-law had no blood-pressure medicine. Most had not eaten for days. There were friends and family members whose entire towns had been destroyed, and dozens from whom we have had no word at all.

Everyone sounded eerily calm on the phone. No one was screaming. No one was crying. No one said “Why me?” or “We’re cursed.” Even as the aftershocks kept coming, they’d say, “The ground is shaking again,” as though this had become a normal occurrence. They inquired about family members outside Haiti: an elderly relative, a baby, my one-year-old daughter.

I cried and apologized. “I’m sorry I can’t be with you,” I said. “If not for the baby—”

My nearly six-foot-tall twenty-two-year-old cousin—the beauty queen we nicknamed Naomi Campbell—who says that she is hungry and has been sleeping in bushes with dead bodies nearby, stops me.

“Don’t cry,” she says. “That’s life.”

“No, it’s not life,” I say. “Or it should not be.”

“It is,” she insists. “That’s what it is. And life, like death, lasts only yon ti moman.” Only a little while.

Anonymous said...

"A more credible and more poignant report:..."

Huh? Maybe more poignant but definitely not more credible, Bond. What the hell has a mother pushing her new born out of her birth canal back in 1948 have to do with the incompetence that a first-hand witness to it has? I suppose you'd point at brand name "The New Yorker" as if that makes them more credible just because they are the big fish in the big media pond of NYC. They wouldn't have any bias, in your opinion, would they?

Personally, I'll go with the individual who reported back privately, since it was in a personal email, it likely has a more credible insight than a big media agenda-driven NYC publication.

Waylon

psi bond said...

"A more credible and more poignant report:..."

Waylon: Huh? Maybe more poignant but definitely not more credible, Bond. What the hell has a mother pushing her new born out of her birth canal back in 1948 have to do with the incompetence that a first-hand witness to it has?

I think you brazenly misrepresent Danticat's report. The three-day labor of Maxo’s mother and the absence of birthday parties in his youth, not only accentuate the irony of Maxo’s death, but are some of the details that make vivid the human dimension of the tragedy in Haiti. So does the death of Maxo’s eighty-one-year-old father, a Christian minister, in the custody of U.S. immigration officials, while seeking political asylum. To far too many rightwingers on the blogosphere, Haitians are hopelessly worthless, irredeemable subhumans undeserving of aid now. Maxo and Danticat’s six-foot 22-year old cousin put human faces on them.

The evident chip on his shoulder skews the firsthand witness’s report that rightwingers here are eager to embrace. He obviously thought he should be treated a lot better than the homeless Haitians, not only in Haiti but also in the U.S., where he expected a U.S. corporation, which he doesn’t hesitate to name---U.S. Airways (“Pass that on”)---to suspend its regulations for him. Perhaps, the onsite manager at the Airways counter should have waived the required fees in his case, but that has nothing to do with the unprecedented problems, reported by CNN and other media, in trying to establish an effective emergency infrastructure in a land where so much of the infrastructure has been obliterated. Even hospitals were ruined. I think the U.S. agencies and the military are doing the best job they can in very difficult circumstances.

I suppose you'd point at brand name "The New Yorker" as if that makes them more credible just because they are the big fish in the big media pond of NYC. They wouldn't have any bias, in your opinion, would they?

The knee-jerk insinuation of the New Yorker’s media bias is just the standard rightwing tactical noise. The truth is, Edwidge Danticat is a fairly well known, perhaps the best known Haitian-American writer, and, even before the appearance of this piece in the New Yorker, I had been wondering what her experience of this disaster would be. Her writing has a resonance among a large audience. The New Yorker does not lend credibility to Danticat. Danticat and other fine writers lend credibility to the New Yorker.

Personally, I'll go with the individual who reported back privately since it was in a personal email [the touted “personal” e-mail can be read on several websites and is addressed “To All”], it likely has a more credible insight than a big media agenda-driven NYC publication.

Personally, I accord more credibility to an accomplished author than to someone effusively fulminating about “Obamites”, communists, the French, U.S. aid, and the privileges given CNN and Fox reporters, among other items on a vitriolic laundry list of reviled targets.

By the way, Danticat (who, in 1993, she earned a Master of Fine Arts from Brown University) won the American Book Award in 1999, the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2007, and the MacArthur “Genius” award in 2009, among other honors.

Anonymous said...

Well, Bond, thanks for the lecture. I'm glad you didn't try to pretend that the U.N. isn't getting in the way in Haiti as the original email showed. Thanks for proving you are "moved" by emotion rather than facts and reality — and opening a piece on the Haitian disaster by recounting a difficult child birth in 1948 was meant for folks like you. Did it bring a tear to your flinty leftist eye (when you preach your compassion to "the far right wing")and cause you to sob and blow your nose, too?

Waylon

Anonymous said...

Now you've done it Bond. You made me look up "the touted personal email" and I found four hits on Google, including GeeeeeeZ which is number one on the Google search — out of a total of FOUR.

But doing that brought me to another place which is discussing something which isn't mentioned in polite company — the Amero, the new currency supposedly in the works for North America. Is that what is behind the destruction of the American dollar? Thanks for that, I guess.

http://www.usavsus.info/AMERO-090803.html

Waylon

Anonymous said...

I've received this email "letter" from several different sources. Each version is changed slightly, but the message and the airline remain the same. Why would anyone believe this sort of scam??

I'm Bewildered.

Z said...

That's odd, "Bewildered" ..because I get every email that comes down the pike 60 times and have only received this one once...Plus, the people I got it from new the guy's friends.
And, the other people I know who did surgeries there for a week came back with similar stories.

Hmmm.. You're not the only one who's bewildered, huh? :-)

psi bond said...

Waylon, one lecture---yours about who is credible---deserves another. Of course, it’s just my opinion, but I believe a highly regarded, accomplished author with strong Haitian roots is more credible than the hateful author of a viral e-mail. While you may be moved by stories that portend to prove UN and US aid are the problem (in accordance with the rightwing agenda), I am moved by vividly reported horrendous human tragedy. Being a part of humankind, I react to how an abnormally difficult exit from his mother’s womb in 1948 casts an ironic and gloomy light on death in 2010 when his collapsed home became his tomb.

I’m glad, Waylon, you don’t try to pretend that the extraordinary problems creating an emergency infrastructure from scratch have gone unreported and uncommented on in the mainstream media, as those with a fierce anti-MSM bias try to do with this tragedy of epic proportions.

I actually believe most rightwingers have hearts: They are just loath to show them (lest their friends think they’re weak).

psi bond said...

Now you've done it Bond. You made me look up "the touted personal email" and I found four hits on Google, including GeeeeeeZ which is number one on the Google search — out of a total of FOUR.

Perhaps, you need tutoring on how to use Google, Waylon. My Google search found 131 sites reproducing this viral e-mail, which you said you considered credible because it was a personal e-mail. Many were introduced with, “This from a friend.” The author is variously identified as “a retired USAF bird colonel” and “A Retired Special Forces SgtMajor” among other things.

GeeeeeeZ was not listed on the first Google page, but occurs on the second page, probably due to the large number of comments on it.

soflorattler, on another site, said: “Opitmus, I find it very hard to believe all of what's said in that email because of writer's political bend and characterizations. Had he/she left that out, and just reported what he experienced hands on without the "Obamites/liberal/left-wing" diatribe included, I could have empathized with him. He lost all credibility with me at the first political mentioning.”

Anonymous said...

Who the HELL is Benny Hinn?

Z said...

Anonymous...if you don't know, don't clutter your mind with it!
Or GOOGLE....all of us know how...perfectly well, go for it!

Elmers Brother said...

anon,

Most of us are aware that Hinn is a shyster.

duhkkky tried to sidetrack the post by falsely associating Z and many of the other posters here with Hinn. duhkkky's the king of strawmen.

psi bond said...

Should anyone want to know: Benny Hinn is a televangelist and alleged healer of disputed honesty, who has a large evangelical following and five NY Times bestsellers to his name, whose Ministries take in hundreds of millions of dollars annually. His teachings are accepted in the charismatic Christian community (46% of US Protestants and 36% of US Catholics, according to a recent study), but are thought unusual in mainstream Christianity, where some are hypersensitive about allusions to him.

psi bond said...

Of course, when the hate-filled author of a viral e-mail whom rightwingers hail as a credible savior for supposedly reporting the news as it has never been reported, is compared to a fake healer like Benny Hinn (which Ducky dared to do), it will inevitably be perceived as darkly heartless by them.