embarrassing generosity

$350 million is a big number. That is how much the United States has ‘so far pledged’ in aid to the peoples and nations affected by the Boxing Day quake and tsunami [ ]. $350 million is a big a number, but $500 million is bigger—thats how much Japan has pledged.

$80 billion is a bigger number. That’s how much the ‘liberation of Iraq’ was supposed to cost—no point in discussing how much it actually cost. It’s a disgrace. And Collin Powell has the audacity to say that our paltry $350 million was “an opportunity to see American generosity, American values in action.”

I guess it’s a good thing that the tradition in America is not of government charity but private charity. Hopefully the private donation by truly generous Americans who do have values will far out weigh the required generosity of the government. Have you given any money? Here are a few places you can donate if you have not…

The only worlds to describe the scope of the damage and the loss of life associated with the earthquake and tsunami is biblical just look at the death tolls [ ]. Remember that these numbers are still changing and they don’t include those who will die from lack of safe drinking water or proper medical treatment over the next few months.

The fall out for the few minutes of the earth shaking will take years to be fully realized. We will never know the true number of people affected because most of the affected areas are mired in absolute poverty. Whole villages were erased from the face of the earth in a few moments.

If you want to see a small sample of the power of the waves take a look at a few of the videos [ ] that were taken by tourists.

There was no killer wave here in Singapore and luckily I know no one I know was directly affected by the disasters. One person I know in the region checked out of his beachside hotel less than an hour before the tsunami hit—there is nothing left of the town he was staying in but he is ok.