Friday, January 15, 2010

Deals With the Devil

Today....Haiti!

First of all, there's nothing to mock about disaster. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere and to put it bluntly, they're effed. If you feel the need to donate to help these folks out, I've placed a banner over there on the right hand side of this here blog. The banner was downloaded straight from the American Red Cross website, so you know that any donations will go to the place where they are intended to go. The last thing anyone needs is to be sending money that is intended to go towards aiding those people in Haiti and have it instead going into the pocket of some shady blogger or worse...a Tweeter. Please don't be giving away your hard earned money blindly and just sending it off with every official looking email that you receive (unless it's from President Barry, as he seems like a pretty good guy). Make sure you know where your donation is going.

Now that I'm done reprimanding you for money that you may or may not be giving, let's move on to some people who really need reprimanding in regard to this situation. First up...newsholes!

Shortly after this earthquake hit, I began hearing reports of the "estimated" numbers of potential casualties. (If you're new to the newshole business, "casualties" means "deaths".) At first, I was hearing "thousands". Then I began hearing "tens of thousands". When I first heard "hundreds of thousands", that's when I lost it.

Hundreds of thousands? Really? I don't think so. And I, apparently unlike the irresponsible newsholes who are reporting such garbage, do not get some sort of orgasmic thrill when I hear a ridiculously high number of casualties being bandied about. Do you people really want there to be that many casualties? I don't think that you do. But let's look at what we can probably expect here, since the newsholes are unwilling to do that for us.

Haiti is an island nation. That means you're going to have a hell of a lot of people all compacted into certain areas and you're not going to have anywhere else to go. Hence the term "island". But while it is an island, that doesn't mean that people can't be spread apart. People can be spread apart. And while Port au Prince is the capital and the most populous region of Haiti, it's not like there aren't other places on the island to live. But if you're a newshole, you'd report casualty figures as if Port au Prince was the ONLY place to live.

The population of Haiti is around 9 million. The population of Port au Prince is somewhere in the neighborhood of 704,776 if you're going to believe Wikipedia. And for some inexplicable reason, let's say that we do believe Wikipedia (please don't make a habit of it). And let's also say that we believe The Telegraph that went with the headline: "Haiti earthquake: hundreds of thousands feared dead". Plural? Really? Hundreds?

Let's do a conservative estimate of that wildly speculative and highly irresponsible headline. Let's go with the lowest of all the plurals, the number two. Let's say two hundred thousand perished. That's over a quarter of the population of the city. And while I understand how that could happen (there IS a reason for an international building code), what I'm saying is that it's unlikely that it DID happen. And just doing the simple, basic, speculative guesstimating math would have told the newsholes the same thing: that it's unlikely there are that many casualties. But yet they go ahead and report it anyway under the guise of saying things like "We've heard there could be up to or possibly more than one hundred thousand casualties." So, what if I just said that I think there are a million casualties? I've said it and you've heard it so now you can report it?! I don't think you can I know for certain that you shouldn't. (By the way, the Red Cross is estimating somewhere in the area of 45,000 -50,000 deaths "based on information from the Haitian Red Cross". What a novel idea! Asking the Haitian Red Cross what they think the numbers might be! Fascinating. Wait. Let me write that down so I can shoot off an email to those newsholes who are just pulling numbers out of their newsholes to report. Morons.

Speaking of morons, let's move on to Pat Robertson, shall we? It won't take long. Pat Robertson is the Grand Poobah of something called the 700 Club. I don't know what that is supposed to reference, but it certainly isn't his IQ. He's a religious guy with a TV show. Enough said? I thought so. Anyway, he summed up what has happened down there in Haiti. Rather, he has summed up why the earthquake happened. Did people need to be told why? Shifting of the tectonic plates and all? Release of built up energy? Don't we know that? What's that? Oh, it wasn't because of the tectonic plates? I see. It was because...of...the devil, of course. Wait. What?

Correct. This jackass Pat Robertson has said that the reason that there was an earthquake in Haiti is because "Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal....ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other"

::: blink ::: ::: blink :::

What the what? I'm pretty sure that those folks that were over there in that earthquake did not make a pact with the devil. And even if they did, what kind of a pact would that be? You free us from that shrimpy little Napoleon dude and in exchange, we'll let you devastate our capital in 2010? What kind of a dumbass pact would that be (provided that you even believe in the whole "making deals with the devil" theory in the first place)?

Robertson goes on to explain why this is clearly the case by stating: "That island of Hispaniola is one island. It is cut down the middle; on the one side is Haiti on the other is the Dominican Republic. (He does have a firm grasp of the geography of the situation, I'll give him that.) Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island." Um, might I make a comparison? The United States and Mexico. The United States is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts like Dollywood and Graceland, etc. Mexico is...well...Mexico is not. Same island. Er, continent. Same continent. (Sorry, Canada/America's Hat. I suppose I could have put you in the equation with you being on the US side of things, but if someone is going to be as simple minded as Mr. Robertson or to consider what Mr. Robertson had said, I felt it best to keep things as simple as I could. We still love ya, but I just couldn't fit you into my rebuke against pacts with the devil to explain Haitian earthquakes. Sorry.)

Did Mexico make a pact with the devil? See, I don't know much about this sort of thing, so as you can imagine, I have a myriad of questions. Where exactly does one go to find this devil character in order to make said pacts? Can you just come up with your own terms or are there pre-written pacts to choose from? Can anyone make a pact? Do you need good pact credit? Is there a three day window in case of buyers remorse if I decide to go with a pact? Can you only make one pact? How many people can be included in said pact? I could go on, but as you can see, I bring up some valid questions about how all of this works.

Fortunately, he did manage to include at the end of his idiotic explanation "But right now we are helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable." (Please don't send that man any money. Ever.) I think the only thing that I find more reprehensible than his comments is the reaction of the person sitting next to him. Who is that nitwit? How on earth can you sit there and just nod your head and utter "Mmm-hmm" when he's spouting off something like that? How?! How can you just sit there and act as if those are words being spoken by a sane individual? You can't! Unless you're equally insane, which I'm going to have to assume that she is.

Speaking of equally insane, let me wrap this up with Rush Limbaugh. Rush is a doughhead at best. He has an act and he's good at what he does. And unfortunately, around 20 million people listen to this windbag regularly. This man makes a gazillion dollars a year. (For those of you unclear on the monetary denomination of a gazillion, it's right around $38 million a year for 8 years plus a $100 million signing bonus. Yep. That's a gazillion all right.) And because he's been so fortunate in his lifetime, he's going to be more sympathetic to the plight of others, especially in times of disaster, correct? Um, not...not so much.

Rush Limbaugh told a caller to his show "...that all helping out will do is get someone on Obama's campaign email list" according to Swamp Politics (they're a blog over at the Chicago Tribune). I highly doubt that's all a donation is going to do, but just in case people weren't swayed by that logic, Limbaugh went for the ol' one-two punch by adding "We've already donated to Haiti,. It's called the U.S. income tax." Oh, for God's sake. Shut up.

You know, the donations that are being asked for en masse are in amount of five bucks and ten bucks. The a-hole that is Rush Limbaugh makes $38 million a year in salary (and I'm sure that he endorses some piece of crap or sells gold bars or something in his spare time to earn more). The average annual income in Haiti is around $400. That's about $1.10 per day. And Limbaugh is trying to discourage people from helping out. Why couldn't he have made a pact with the devil?

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