Monday, January 17, 2005


Tsunamis, Human Tragedy, And Political Grandstanding

No one could fail to acknowledge the scale of tragedy that Mother Nature left upon victims of the recent Tsunami in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and elsewhere. Private citizens, governments, and corporations the world-over have donated money, equipment, supplies, and physical labor to assist in an obvious time of need.

To some, such a calamity is the perfect opportunity to scale up their attacks on capitalism, corporations, the United States, and free people in general who may not fork over the demanded quota determined by the would be planners of our world.

In other scenes of political grandstanding, Kofi Annan plus entourage, were on the scene to show the world that the UN is needed to officially report that the devastation was really bad. We couldn’t have gauged that on our own from televised news images. Obviously Annan and friends care more because they flew out to observe first hand – what courage! Call me cynical, but I’d guess that the cost of jet fuel alone used to fury UN PR bureaucrats -- and "public officials" from around the world -- to the scene could have bought a few extra bags of rice.

I don’t know how much aid various pundits, editors, and bureaucrats have personally contributed to the victims of the disaster but it’s clear that some are convinced that others haven’t given enough.

The critics of this latest non-scandal are the same people who tell us that, “We don’t give enough to help the victims of AIDS” but would never acknowledge more conventional human maladies like childhood birth defects (a worthy charity that isn’t funded anywhere near the vast sums devoted to victims of AIDS). Perhaps everyone has his or her own favorite disease or noble cause. To the left, their cause must be our cause.

The whine between the lines is always the same, “I’m socially conscious and compassionate and an overall superior human being, so overwhelmingly wise, noble, and ‘spiritual’ that no one comes close to me in overall goodness. The selfish cruel materialists must be forced to do as I say….‘for a better world’…” -- god, its enough to make ya sick.

The US, like most countries, responded to the Tsunami tragedy immediately, in funds and manpower, as did its private citizens, businesses, and school students. Ironically, within a couple of weeks America had its own natural calamities, as it does every year. I didn’t hear about massive amounts of funds or sympathy being directed to those victims. Of course America is rich, so individual families who lose their homes or loved ones can go to hell I guess – leftist "compassion."

It's been clear in the Tsunami disaster that America and its citizen’s response was as well meaning and helpful as anyone else’s if not more so. Of course the predictable response from the drones of contrived and compelled altruism was to get their calculators out and analyze figures of GDP, budget allotments, and comparative tax rates. Now,Americans seeking to defend their record of generosity have to drag out their calculators – a battle of numbers that ultimately means nothing. Why should anyone have to defend him or herself after contributing millions of dollars to a far off land? Isn’t the act in itself admirable and praiseworthy?

I think that Victor Davis Hanson has covered this entire issue best:

"China, flush with billions in trade surplus, first offers a few million to its immediate Asian neighbors before increasing its contributions in the wake of massive gifts from Japan and the United States. Peking’s gesture was what the usually harsh New York Times magnanimously called "slightly belated." In this weird sort of global high-stakes charity poker, no one asks why tiny Taiwan out-gives one billion mainlanders or why Japan proves about the most generous of all — worried the answer might suggest that postwar democratic republics, resurrected and nourished by the United States and now deeply entrenched in the Western liberal tradition of democracy, capitalism, and humanitarianism, are more civil societies than the Islamic theocracies, socialist republics, and authoritarian autocracies of the once-romanticized third world.

In the first days of the disaster, a Norwegian U.N. bureaucrat snidely implied that the United States was "stingy" even though private companies in the United States, well apart from American individuals, foundations, and the government, each year alone gives more aggregate foreign aid than does his entire tiny country. Apparently the crime against America is not that it gives too little to those who need it, but that it gives too little to those who wish to administer it all. When the terrible wave hit, Kofi Annan was escaping the conundrum of the Oil-for-Food scandal by skiing at Jackson Hole, so naturally George Bush down in 'ole Crawford Texas was the global media's obvious insensitive leader —'on vacation' as it were, while millions perished."

I don’t know about you, but if I were seeking “compassion” or genuine support for a noble cause, the last place I’d look is the “heart” of a political demagogue. They can certainly rally the firing squads, institute reeducation programs and squash individual initiative, but for genuine assistance in time of need, they’re useless, and they’re certainly not one to point fingers at the donors of millions.


Just a thought:
The latest mini-scandal in the British Royal Family brings a thought to mind. Prince Harry, as you likely know, went to a costume party dressed in Nazi regalia -- complete with swastika armband. Really bad judgment, know doubt. What an idiot. I wonder if the international media would have taken as much note if he had instead dressed as a concentration camp guard from Soviet Russia with a hammer and sickle on his shirt, or why not the, now chic, Che Guevara image that adorns so many t-shirts these days? What's a little PR for the forces of authoritarian bloodshed? I've said it before but it bears repeating; the swastika and hammer and sickle both symbolize the identical horror of statist philosophy gone nuts. Why so many make exception for the violent histories of some tyrannies is bizarre but predictable in the mass-delusions of Left-land.


The nonsense regarding social security is something that should get informed people really fuming. It was a scam from the start and yet there are still people who see it as some sacred institution that must be "saved." Any sober attempt to correct the flaws in it -- or discard it completely as should be done -- is met with the usual phony victim hood whine from the socialist clique'. The evil Bush is at it again, he wants to privatize a portion of social security! Wouldn't that be horrible if people then got to keep their own money and have it available to invest as they choose or leave to their loved one’s?

Neal Boortz covers the important concepts involved (scroll down to "Why aren't people more interested in this?")

Another, more concise but less witty overview of the issue can be found at


If you haven't noticed, most of the issues I address here are not just references to specific events but ultimately regard some very basic philosophical concepts. Do you believe in your own freedom to think, act, and progress as you choose or do you believe everyone should obey the bland drones of state (bureaucrats and politicians)? Yes, it is that simple. You don't like other's freedom? Start a commune where everyone can boss everyone else around while bragging of their "compassion"...and, leave the rest of us alone.

*next post around Jan. 24th

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