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Tea, cash dollars & sympathy
September 6, 2005 3:13 PM   Subscribe

I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we haven't asked for it," (Bush) said. "I do expect a lot of sympathy, and perhaps some will send cash dollars. For a while there foreign countries were unsure whether to send aid and the US was sending mixed signals. Now of course, even Qatar is coughing up "cash dollars" and other countries are lending a hand. But the question remains: why do we even need it? This guy blames privatization, and I can't say I blame him. (NYT link).
posted by Smedleyman (54 comments total)

 
Thanks for this. I was waiting for Haliburton to raise its ugly head.
posted by donfactor at 3:21 PM on September 6, 2005


From now on, all money will be refered to as cash dollars.

Make yourself a note.
posted by SweetJesus at 3:24 PM on September 6, 2005


I wish he had said Benjis"
posted by matteo at 3:26 PM on September 6, 2005


...hoping it's common knowlege that the White House has pushed for privatization of essential government services, including disaster management, and merged FEMA into the Department of Homeland Security, where natural disaster programs are often sidelined by counter-terrorism programs.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:29 PM on September 6, 2005


One thing nobody has yet said is this:

"I've heard many times that Africa [Substitute: USA] is a "blackhole" or "bottomless pit" when it comes to aid from the International community. It seems the old axiom of "feed a man to fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for the rest of his life" still holds true today. So how do we go about "teaching them how to fish?"

Nor has anyone said this:
We'd like to see a commitment by African [substitute: American] leaders to democracy and good governance first.

Nor this:
aid simply enriches dictators, distorts economies, and props up bad governments.

I'm not saying any of those things, either. I donated to the Red Cross instead. But I just wonder what the Americans who've said those things are thinking right now, and whether their views might change.
posted by cleardawn at 3:36 PM on September 6, 2005


Once again, Bush shows that his head is up his fucking arse.

Iran's offering oil (although everyone's still unsure about the sanctions bit), Asia is offering assistance, there's more aid on its way from the EU and I've already donated via the Red Cross site (Red Cross UK here).

Doesn't he realise that you don't have to ask for help? That ordinary people across the world want to help?
posted by Nugget at 3:41 PM on September 6, 2005


Come to think of it, is this how the new privatized Social Security would work? Great. I'll start stockpiling my Old Grand Dad brand dog food now, I think....
posted by umberto at 3:44 PM on September 6, 2005


See...if he asks, it's policy. If people just give, it's charity. And cowboys don't take charity.
posted by umberto at 3:45 PM on September 6, 2005


Yee-haw!!!
posted by basicchannel at 3:48 PM on September 6, 2005


Just reading the BBC link is food for tought:

1. not expecting much etc : actually asking for cash dollars is..out of this world ? If there's something U.S. absolutely surely doesn't need is cash..anybody will extend U.S. government a credit line, or will donate equipement so why move cash ?

(To some this is the same as declaring "don't give us credit, give us what you can now because we're not going to pay in the future")

2. "This is the biggest humanitarian operation in its 125-year history, we are looking at an area the size of Great Britain that has been devastated.

That's ugly, but did we forgot 26th 2004 Tsunami ? It was an huge enormous horror with +- 200 thousand victims affecting many countries ! Red Cross U.S. didn't have experience in huge scale incidents ?

3. "You don't have billions of rations stacked up in one place and so they are quite often traded between nations."

Certainly not billions, but millions ? MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) are standard military supply. As far as I know they have long shelf life, measured in years (experts on topic ?) and while it's certainly expensive to maintain millions, it's not impossible neither uneconomical, considering alternative costs of 1. loss of life 2. looting of property 3. cost of famine disorders

That is what we are seeing today. The government was tasked with planning long term, and doing the right thing for the right reason, not for the most savings.

Yeah but limited responsability companies get the job, they fail as any other company BUT whoever choosed big saving for profit over less profit escapes, at worst losing invested money. Similarly politicos can escape, at worst losing their voter bases..such punishments pale if compared with loss o life and/or restarting from owning _nothing_ for the "crime" on being poor.
posted by elpapacito at 3:53 PM on September 6, 2005


I wrote this in a different thread, but after we'd moved on to a new one. I paste it here where it fits better:

---

From here, comments by George Bush, visiting the Red Cross headquarters:

"I just passed the place where volunteers and staffers are taking calls from around the country, and the response has been good, but there's more that needs to be done." he said. "Remember, it's the Red Cross that provides much of the first compassion that a person finds…it's the Red Cross that helps feed. And so the Red Cross needs money."

Of course when disaster strikes poor African or Asian countries, help organizations need fast money, from induviduals who wish to help.

But in the US? The president urges private citizens to contribute by donation? What stops him from issuing the Red Cross a carte blanche, settling the bill when people no longer stand with shit up to their ears?
posted by springload at 3:58 PM on September 6, 2005


Doesn't he realise that you don't have to ask for help? That ordinary people across the world want to help?

That's just it -- he doesn't realize it. He appears to have no intrinsic sense of compassion, empathy, or selflessness himself, and so of course is incapable of attributing such emotions to others.
posted by scody at 4:07 PM on September 6, 2005


The fact that he actually said 'cash dollars' is enough to blow one's mind. Cash dollars.
posted by moonbird at 4:09 PM on September 6, 2005



Doesn't he realise that you don't have to ask for help? That ordinary people across the world want to help?

That's just it -- he doesn't realize it. He appears to have no intrinsic sense of compassion, empathy, or selflessness himself, and so of course is incapable of attributing such emotions to others.
posted by scody at 4:07 PM PST on September 6 [!]

From the OED:
sociopath |ˈsōsēōˌpaθ| noun a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.
Now that we've got that out of the way...
posted by basicchannel at 4:12 PM on September 6, 2005


No doubt the president has embarassed the United States again with this 'cash dollars' business. Everyone knows it's 'cash money'.
posted by mullingitover at 4:19 PM on September 6, 2005


sociopath |ˈsōsēōˌpaθ| noun a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience

He certainly appears to speak the language of sociopaths...
posted by scody at 4:32 PM on September 6, 2005


George Bush, visiting the Red Cross headquarters:

"I just passed the place where volunteers and staffers are taking calls from around the country, and the response has been good, but there's more that needs to be done." he said. "Remember, it's the Red Cross that provides much of the first compassion that a person finds…it's the Red Cross that helps feed. And so the Red Cross needs money."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was criticized for a slow and inadequate response to hurricane Andrew in south Florida, but was bolstered during the Clinton administration.

Under Bush II it was folded into HOMELAND SECURITY. Did they assume that the only national emergencies in the future would come from terrorists? Or did former head of the American Red Cross Liddy Dole along with hubby Bob Dole assure them that the organization could handle any and all future national disasters up to and including {insert your own worst case scenario here}?
posted by longsleeves at 4:33 PM on September 6, 2005


Well, it's settled then: cash (dollars) do rule everything around me. Maybe W is channeling ODB, this would explain his mind-defying verbal tics, at least.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:42 PM on September 6, 2005


So who's running in the next presidential election? Message to potential nominees: START CAMPAIGNING NOW!
posted by snsranch at 4:43 PM on September 6, 2005


"cash dollars"? christ. make us sound like a stripper why don't you.
posted by TricksterGoddess at 4:45 PM on September 6, 2005


I’m somewhat torn about this one. I think that in large part the severe impacts of this hurricane are a result of US ideology and (mis)government, which I desperately abhor (ref. Iraq and War on Terror, individualism, gun culture, privatisation, war planning etc) and resent its export around the world. And you guys tell us you’re a democracy and that what you want, so…

But the poor mostly black victims of this event are also the victims of the system, and they haven’t been working to promote and create it, so my schadenfreude at the USA’s misery doesn’t counteract the desperate human suffering that is being experienced.

So I’ll donate, but only if you all promise to learn something from this, OK?
posted by wilful at 4:55 PM on September 6, 2005


Fucking great. Now I've got the savory mental image of Bush in a G string, cowboy boots and a ten gallon hat, shaking his money maker.

As someone else said in a recent thread: "All hat, no cattle."
posted by loquacious at 4:59 PM on September 6, 2005


Remember: Every cash dollar you tuck into George's bootyfloss buys chow food and swill liquid for ragamuffin refugees.
posted by maryh at 5:02 PM on September 6, 2005


I heard on NPR that Bangladesh is sending $1 million in aid (Nugget linked to a related BBC story above). People, if Bangladesh is sending us money, you know it must be bad.

That said ... take the money, George. Take the money, take the clothes, take the equipment, take the expertise, take the people, take whatever is offered, from whomever offers it, take it all. It's not enough. And it's not like the US has never helped out in disasters either, so none of this stiff-upper-lip "we didn't ask for it" BS. Take it and be grateful and go on with it already.
posted by macadamiaranch at 5:12 PM on September 6, 2005


I think it's our status as "The Richest Nation in the World" what makes this worst possible thing to say.

Sure, if any country offeres man power, expertise, and equipment, then you gratefully accept. They save some lives. Our guys take pictures together. It's great.

But if Bill Gates hits you up for a few bucks, what your reaction?
posted by betaray at 5:21 PM on September 6, 2005


Obama-Clinton
I'm down on my knees.
posted by JohnR at 5:22 PM on September 6, 2005


What a fucking prick.
posted by odinsdream at 5:25 PM on September 6, 2005


"cash dollars"? christ. make us sound like a stripper why don't you.
posted by TricksterGoddess at 7:45 PM EST on September 6 [!]


"Show us what you've got."
posted by Rothko at 5:29 PM on September 6, 2005


Calling it "cash dollars" certainly limits the number of countries that can help. Off the top of my head, I can think of Canada and Australia as other countries that use dollars as currency. And Canada has 4 navy ships loaded with supplies ready to go. If we gave him money instead, wouldn't he still have to use it to buy supplies we're willing to just give him?
posted by fossil_human at 5:34 PM on September 6, 2005


Hey loquacious -- sorry to remind you of your "savory mental image of Bush in a G string, cowboy boots and a ten gallon hat, shaking his money maker" -- but my new preferred term for him is "Ten Gallon Asshat."
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:34 PM on September 6, 2005


Great, now I'm thinking of goatse.cx perched on some cowboy's head. :\
posted by loquacious at 5:41 PM on September 6, 2005


"I’m somewhat torn about this one. I think that in large part the severe impacts of this hurricane are a result of US ideology and (mis)government, which I desperately abhor (ref. Iraq and War on Terror, individualism, gun culture, privatisation, war planning etc) and resent its export around the world. And you guys tell us you’re a democracy and that what you want, so…

But the poor mostly black victims of this event are also the victims of the system, and they haven’t been working to promote and create it, so my schadenfreude at the USA’s misery doesn’t counteract the desperate human suffering that is being experienced.

So I’ll donate, but only if you all promise to learn something from this, OK?"
posted by wilful at 4:55 PM PST on September 6 [!]

We all promise. I would like to add there was not much schadenfrede over here when we defeated hitler and when the wall came down. We were happy for all. But that was something we did for you, not what nature did to us. Your joy at our misery of course does not counteract our suffering. It would make it worse if many of us had time to read your unthinking words.
posted by longsleeves at 5:45 PM on September 6, 2005


Remember: Every cash dollar you tuck into George's bootyfloss buys chow food and swill liquid for ragamuffin refugees.

Thanks, I needed that.
posted by moonbird at 5:59 PM on September 6, 2005


Longsleeves, read again what wilful said.

If the people suffering from this were the people who voted for Bush, he would feel schadenfreude - which is quite a subtle concept, longsleeves, and not the same as "joy at your misery". Rather, it's a feeling of "thank God it's not me and I'm not involved."

But since the people suffering are mostly NOT those who voted for Bush, he chose to donate money to the aid effort.

Incidentally, longsleeves, the US did not "defeat Hitler". The USSR defeated Hitler, with some significant help from the US, the UK and a few other countries.

The US remained neutral when Hitler invaded France, Russia, and lots of other countries, and remained neutral when Hitler was bombing London. The US entered the war only when IT WAS ATTACKED.

The Hollywood version of history is not the truth, and repeating it doesn't make it so. Read up on it. I'm sorry to have to say these things now, but you brought it up.

And it was the USSR, under Mikhael Gorbachev, that chose to dismantle the Berlin wall and give up the benefits of their ill-conceived communist empire, voluntarily ending the cold war, rather than continuing to bankrupt themselves trying to militarily compete against the US.

Gorbachev didn't have to do that. He chose to.
/history lesson
posted by cleardawn at 6:07 PM on September 6, 2005


um, longsleeves... What are you talking about? What, exactly, does Hitler have to do with wishing that the U.S. would implement some freaking taxes and a social safety network, which is all that wilful really seems to be suggesting?

(Also, who is the "we" in "we defeated hitler"? I really hope you not suggesting that the U.S.A. managed that by its lonesome. Or was that some kind of wierd reference to allies acting together to set right something that was too large to handle alone, or something? There, see me give you the benefit of the doubt about both history and your relevence to the thread?)
posted by carmen at 6:10 PM on September 6, 2005


savory mental image of Bush in a G string

This is close...


posted by ericb at 6:12 PM on September 6, 2005


I really wouldn't give if i were you guys, unless you're giving directly to Red Cross or something...and your governments shouldn't be giving either. We have Estate tax cuts to be repealed, horrendously wasteful corruption in Iraq and billions in pork in many bills (Highway bills and others) that can all be cut. We have to change our priorities and money from other countries won't help that happen.
posted by amberglow at 6:14 PM on September 6, 2005



posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:18 PM on September 6, 2005


Here's a less biased source than me on Gorbachev and the fall of the Soviet Empire.

America needs a leader with Gorby's courage, and I don't know where they're going to find one. I'm not sure the Democratic Party is up to the job, either.

P_G, you made me laugh. Thank you.
Doesn't Bush usually try putting Kissinger into jobs like this?

posted by cleardawn at 6:30 PM on September 6, 2005


We, as a nation, have enough money. What we lack is the know-how to arrange aid in the best possible fashion, and to pick leaders who don't completely fuck us over. Also I think overall we lack the requisite compassion as a nation to make a serious reckoning for this situation mandatory. The clued in are aghast at how this has played out, but the average American is just going "awwwww" at the heartwarming stories the media just loves to tell when people are seen helping each other out in a crisis.

Please liberate us and institute a social democracy at the point of a gun. Pretty, pretty please. With sugar on top.
posted by beth at 6:46 PM on September 6, 2005


what beth said--hey, Canada! Now'd be a good time. : >
posted by amberglow at 7:00 PM on September 6, 2005


Here you go, amberglow. (main)
posted by carmen at 7:21 PM on September 6, 2005


erm, I'm having posting regret. The site was written quite a while ago... re-reading, I can see that it might be offensive in this context. So, apologies if anyone is offended. It's just that beth reminded me of the gentle tyrants.... I miss them so.
posted by carmen at 7:43 PM on September 6, 2005


Please liberate us and institute a social democracy at the point of a gun.

what beth said--hey, Canada! Now'd be a good time


Er, alright. I'm sure someone around here has one. We are talking one, right?
posted by dreamsign at 7:48 PM on September 6, 2005


thank god fidel is going to send us all those doctors! (i completely cracked up when i read that)
posted by muppetboy at 8:00 PM on September 6, 2005


not offensive at all carmen
posted by amberglow at 8:59 PM on September 6, 2005


I'm having trouble understanding why the administration is encouraging US citizens to donate to the Red Cross for this disaster. Not that I think people shouldn't, given the fact that FEMA has obviously been crippled beyond belief.

But isn't that what our taxes are for in the first place? Common defense, domestic tranquility, general welfare, and all that.

If conservatives truly believe in a smaller government, the government we get should be able to handle national disasters without asking private citizens to donate even more money. Cut the crap you think your tax dollars shouldn't be funding all you want, but dammit, keeping poor people alive after a hurricane should be one of the primary functions of a government.

(Oh, and I guess, really big bombs. Bombs are awesome, and we need as many of those as we can get.)
posted by bigbigdog at 9:10 PM on September 6, 2005


the government we get should be able to handle national disasters without asking private citizens to donate even more money

Dead on.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:29 PM on September 6, 2005


Thanks, cleardawn and carmen, couldn't have said it better. Longsleeves, don't be a dill. In the first place, my grandfather had been more than two years in uniform before the yanks showed up, though he would later admit that it was the russkies that sacrificed the most. But he was fighting for a civil society that looked after all of it's members. Something that some americans may have thought they were fighting for at the time as well. But that battle was busily being lost on the home front, it seems.

You seem to infer that there are only two ways of doing things in the world, either the US way or totalitarianism, and I tell you that you’re wrong. If the US was a more humane, social democratic place that allocated its resources in a different manner, the misery so recently inflicted would have been far far less. But you’ll never take that lesson, it would be an affront to your national mythology/cult, wouldn’t it.
posted by wilful at 9:56 PM on September 6, 2005


A note about Qatar: It is a tiny country, but it has the world's third largest natural gas reserves. When last I saw the statistics, it was about to become the country with the world's largest per-capita income. (No doubt the rulers aren't exactly scraping by, but they are also investing massive, massive money in education (for men and women).)

As an aside, the country has no military to speak of but it has been home to a large U.S. military contingent. There was some talk that the Qatari leader figured that was safer and cheaper than spending money on building up a military.

Also, the leader must realize that this sends a big message to his people, a message of tolerance, generosity and benevolence, a message against Islamic extremism.
posted by ambient2 at 12:43 AM on September 7, 2005


Maybe he meant Cindy.
posted by realcountrymusic at 6:58 AM on September 7, 2005


Every pound I give to the US now is a pound less I can give to Africans, or to my country's children's charity. Sorry, folks, but it fails just about every test of rationality I can throw at it. Doesn't mean I don't care about you.
posted by RichLyon at 9:52 AM on September 7, 2005


Maybe it's cash dollars as opposed to petro-dollars?
posted by sour cream at 11:49 AM on September 7, 2005


schadenfreude - which is quite a subtle concept, longsleeves, and not the same as "joy at your misery". Rather, it's a feeling of "thank God it's not me and I'm not involved."
You are wrong. Freude means joy. Schadenfreude means
the taking of satisfaction at the suffering of others because we do not like them very much. look it up.
posted by longsleeves at 6:50 PM on September 7, 2005


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