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SnakebyteXX
12-29-2004, 09:33 AM
2004 turned out to be a tough year for the predictors

Monday, Dec. 27, 2004

They are ubiquitous, operating in shabby storefronts, appearing on national TV shows, keeping tabloids in business, working with naďve police departments and even participating in ludicrous studies by DARPA, the Defense Department’s Agency for Advanced Research Projects. They are the psychics, a motley collection of mystics, charlatans, hoaxers and smooth con artists who have successfully buffaloed a good portion of the public into believing that they have supernatural powers.

Among those supposed powers is the Nostradamus-like ability to prophesize, to foretell future events. Nowhere are these prophesies more promoted than in the tabloid press, and there is no one more familiar with them than Gene Emery, who has been tracking them for 26 years. Emery, to say the least, is not impressed. He has just completed his compilations of psychics’ predictions for 2004 and reported the results ion the Website of CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of the Paranormal. Among the 2004 headline-making events that psychics didn’t predict, for example, Emery lists the Janet Jackson Superbowl breast flash, the prison torture in Iraq and the Boston Red Sox World Series win. And he reminds us that, in the past, psychics have missed out on foreseeing such major events as the death of their once-favorite subject, Princess Diana, as well as the 9/11 attacks.

According to psychic forecasts made in December, 2003, the next year would bring the discovery of giant animal fossils on Mars, the election of Colin Powell, who would switch parties and trounce George Bush, and the development by Americans of a taste for pressed bricks of dried plankton. The Sun, the tabloid that most heralds the psychics, claimed that its predictions for 2004 were “from the world’s most brilliant psychics and seers.” Among them were twins Terry and Linda Jamison, who vowed that “Saddam Hussein will be killed by U.S. troops early in the year,” and that “Pope John Paul II will pass away in June.”

Anthony Carr, “the world’s most documented psychic,” foresaw the accidental detonation of North Korean nuclear weapons and the resulting deaths of thousands, the shooting death of Saddam Hussein, which incidentally involved a woman, and scientists successfully bringing “the first-ever male pregnancy to term.” The baby’s gender, by the way, would be male. Psychic Martha Henstridge prophesized that 2004 would be the year an anti-gravity engine was developed and patented, and that Martha Stewart would “take the fashion world by storm with a new line of prison-themed designed clothing.”

The prediction of the seer who came closest to reality was that Saddam Hussein would be captured in 2004. There was just one catch: that prophesy was published after the mid-December, 2003 apprehension of the Iraqi dictator.

Emery notes that the Sun, stung by its .000 psychic batting average, will make some changes in reporting the 2005 prognostications. The psychics whose visions are published will not be identified and their predictions will be interspersed with those made in the past by such equally inept, but now deceased, counterparts as Edgar Cayce, Nostradamus and Our Lady of Fatima.

“So a year from now,” concludes Emery, “we won’t be able to say who was responsible for predicting that a murder will take place on a flight to Mars, that Osama Bin Laden will be crushed by a comet, that a tidal wave will wipe out Tokyo and the Korean peninsula, and that newly-discovered writings from St. Paul will reveal that eating with a fork is a sin.”


Link (http://www.time.com/time/columnist/jaroff/article/0,9565,1012261,00.html)

Qtec
12-29-2004, 12:50 PM
Every 100 million years , an asteroid hits the Earth. Each time 95% of species is wiped out.
The last one was 65 million years ago. We are over-due for a hit.
In S.E Asia, 70,000 people ar dead because the plate lifted 30 m. if a good size asteroid hit the Ocean, the wave would go 5 times round the Earth.

So much for Intelligent Design!

Maybe somebody should have worked overtime on the 7th day.

How do you bury 70,000 people?

Quickly, I would imagine.

Q

wolfdancer
12-29-2004, 01:07 PM
and that newly-discovered writings from St. Paul will reveal that eating with a fork is a sin.”
I knew that...I'm Catholic,an everything is a sin...like not eating with a fork. Given a choice though, between using my fingers, or a fork to pick up food objects...I'd fork em

highsea
12-29-2004, 02:29 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Every 100 million years , an asteroid hits the Earth. Each time 95% of species is wiped out.
The last one was 65 million years ago. We are over-due for a hit.
Q <hr /></blockquote>
Let me guess, math was not one of your best subjects...

wolfdancer
12-29-2004, 02:37 PM
What? you've never heard of the theory of imaginary numbers?

nhp
12-29-2004, 03:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Every 100 million years , an asteroid hits the Earth. Each time 95% of species is wiped out.
The last one was 65 million years ago. We are over-due for a hit.
Q <hr /></blockquote>
Let me guess, math was not one of your best subjects... <hr /></blockquote>

lol

Deeman2
12-30-2004, 07:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Every 100 million years , an asteroid hits the Earth. Each time 95% of species is wiped out.
The last one was 65 million years ago. We are over-due for a hit. <font color="blue"> Wasn't this the guy who wanted to help us with counting the Florida Vote? </font color>
In S.E Asia, 70,000 people ar dead because the plate lifted 30 m. if a good size asteroid hit the Ocean, the wave would go 5 times round the Earth. <font color="blue">Are you advocating you had rather have had the asteroid? </font color>

So much for Intelligent Design! <font color="blue"> So much for Dutch Math! </font color>

Maybe somebody should have worked overtime on the 7th day.

<font color="blue"> Maybe they were European and don't work overtime! </font color>

How do you bury 70,000 people? <font color="blue"> Looks more like 100,000 or more. Sad, for all of us. I bet Holland has stepped up with a major donation that will make our measley $35,000,000 starter package look tiny...</font color>

Quickly, I would imagine.

<font color="blue"> For those poor people's health, let's hope so.

Deeman</font color>

Q <hr /></blockquote>

Qtec
12-31-2004, 06:36 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I bet Holland has stepped up with a major donation that will make our measley $35,000,000 starter package look tiny...
<hr /></blockquote>


[ QUOTE ]
Are We Stingy? Yes


President Bush finally roused himself yesterday from his vacation in Crawford, Tex., to telephone his sympathy to the leaders of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, and to speak publicly about the devastation of Sunday's tsunamis in Asia. He also hurried to put as much distance as possible between himself and America's initial measly aid offer of $15 million, and he took issue with an earlier statement by the United Nations' emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, who had called the overall aid efforts by rich Western nations "stingy." "The person who made that statement was very misguided and ill informed," the president said.

We beg to differ. Mr. Egeland was right on target. We hope Secretary of State Colin Powell was privately embarrassed when, two days into a catastrophic disaster that hit 12 of the world's poorer countries and will cost billions of dollars to meliorate, he held a press conference to say that America, the world's richest nation, would contribute $15 million. That's less than half of what Republicans plan to spend on the Bush inaugural festivities.

The American aid figure for the current disaster is now $35 million, and we applaud Mr. Bush's turnaround. But $35 million remains a miserly drop in the bucket, and is in keeping with the pitiful amount of the United States budget that we allocate for nonmilitary foreign aid. According to a poll, most Americans believe the United States spends 24 percent of its budget on aid to poor countries; it actually spends well under a quarter of 1 percent.

Bush administration officials help create that perception gap. Fuming at the charge of stinginess, Mr. Powell pointed to disaster relief and said the United States "has given more aid in the last four years than any other nation or combination of nations in the world." But for development aid, America gave $16.2 billion in 2003; the European Union gave $37.1 billion. In 2002, those numbers were $13.2 billion for America, and $29.9 billion for Europe.

Making things worse, we often pledge more money than we actually deliver. Victims of the earthquake in Bam, Iran, a year ago are still living in tents because aid, including ours, has not materialized in the amounts pledged. And back in 2002, Mr. Bush announced his Millennium Challenge account to give African countries development assistance of up to $5 billion a year, but the account has yet to disburse a single dollar.

Mr. Bush said yesterday that the $35 million we've now pledged "is only the beginning" of the United States' recovery effort. Let's hope that is true, and that this time, our actions will match our promises.


<hr /></blockquote>

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
12-31-2004, 08:10 AM
[ QUOTE ]
The American aid figure for the current disaster is now $35 million, and we applaud Mr. Bush's turnaround. But $35 million remains a miserly drop in the bucket, <hr /></blockquote>

Anybody who says that $35 million is all we are going to contribute is either very stupid or they are trying to politicize this disaster for their own selfish purposes.

I'll let you guess which.

Who wrote that crap anyway?

catscradle
12-31-2004, 09:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
The American aid figure for the current disaster is now $35 million, and we applaud Mr. Bush's turnaround. But $35 million remains a miserly drop in the bucket, <hr /></blockquote>

Anybody who says that $35 million is all we are going to contribute is either very stupid or they are trying to politicize this disaster for their own selfish purposes.

I'll let you guess which.

Who wrote that crap anyway? <hr /></blockquote>

I'm just appalled that he turned such a tragic event into political fodder to argue that Europe is better than the US. European countries have their faults, we have our faults, and meanwhile helpless people suffer. I'm not a bleeding heart, but this is clearly an extraordinary event that requires an extraordinary response.

Wally_in_Cincy
12-31-2004, 11:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Are We Stingy? Yes


<hr /></blockquote>

Colin Powell just announced $350 mil more

Proctor and Gamble donated a 747 full of stuff and Reds owner "Uncle Carl" Lindner ponied up 200 large to pay to fly it to Sri Lanka

The private and corporate donations will be in the billions.

Q, let me know when we aren't stingy anymore.

SnakebyteXX
12-31-2004, 12:03 PM
World Tsunami Relief Drive Kicks In

Friday December 31, 2004 4:01 PM

By CHRIS BRUMMITT

Associated Press Writer

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) - Two U.S. Navy battle groups loaded with supplies headed for tsunami-ravaged coasts Friday and an airlift of dozens of flights brought help to this wrecked Indonesian city, as a huge world relief drive to shelter, treat and feed millions of survivors kicked in. The death toll passed 121,000 and was still climbing.

But with help streaming in, overstretched authorities were dealing with logistical nightmare of getting it to the needy. Tons of supplies were backlogged in Indonesia, with thousands of boxes filled with drinking water, crackers, blankets and other basic necessities piled high in an airplane hangar nearly 300 miles from Banda Aceh, the wrecked main city in the disaster zone.

Indonesia, the hardest hit nation, said its toll - now at 80,000 - could reach 100,000, and officials began to acknowledge that the number of dead may never be known with precision, because the towering waves that smashed into Sumatra island swept entire villages with their inhabitants out to sea.

The Bush administration, which so far has promised $35 million in aid, was sending Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region to see first-hand what more the United States needs to do.

``All Americans are shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of life,'' President Bush said in a statement Thursday. ``To coordinate this massive relief effort, first-hand assessments are needed by individuals on the ground.''

On India's Andaman and Nicobar islands, survivors were desperate for food and water, with Indian relief workers struggling to get them aid six days after the disaster.

``There is nothing to eat there. There is no water. In a couple of days, people will start dying of hunger,'' said Anup Ghatak, a utilities contractor from Campbell Bay island, as he was being evacuated to Port Blair, capital of the archipelago.

Rescue workers in the archipelago believe thousands of uncounted bodies remain in the debris of crumbled homes, downed trees and mounds of dead animals on several islands. India has officially reported 7,763 dead in the tsunami disaster - most from the southern provinces of the mainland. Only around 700 dead from the archipelago were counted, but officials said Friday more than 3,700 were still missing. An official a day earlier said 10,000 could be dead in the archipelago.

Foreigners are banned from the archipelago - for security reasons because of its large air force post and for protection of its indigenous community - and India has so far refused requests by international aid groups trying to bring help to the islands.

Forensic teams in Thailand packed bodies in dry ice as the government announced its death toll had doubled to more than 4,500 people, almost half of them foreigners who had been vacationing on the country's renowed white-sand beaches.

Sunday's 9.0 magnitude quake struck just off the coast of Sumatra, near the Indian archipelago, sending walls of water racing across the Indian Ocean and wiping out coasts in 11 nations.

After Indonesia, Sri Lanka was the next hardest hit, with about 28,500 deaths. A total of more than 300 were killed in Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Somalia, Tanzania and Kenya.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday that nations had donated $500 million toward the relief effort, but more help was needed. Militaries from around the world geared up to help.

Nine U.S military C-130 transport craft took off Friday from Utapao, the Thai base used by U.S. B-52 bombers striking targets in Indochina during the Vietnam War, to rush supplies to the stricken resorts of southern Thailand and to more distant airfields in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, said Maj. Larry J. Redmon in Bangkok.

One of the cargo jets arrived in the main airport near Banda Aceh with blankets, medicine and the first of 80,000 body bags. Other C-130s were sent by Australia and New Zealand, and the Indonesian government said 42 flights from 18 countries had reached Sumatra by Friday.

Some pilots dropped food to villagers stranded among bloating corpses.

Two Navy groups of a dozen vessels - led by the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard - are headed for the coasts of Indonesia and Sri Lanka with supplies and, importantly, more than 40 helicopters to help ferry food and medicines into ravaged seaside communities.

But aid was stacking up, with trucks struggling to get it into Banda Aceh - the provincial capital, which officials estimate was 60 percent destroyed - or to the rest of Aceh province on Sumatra's northern tip, where many villages on the coast were wiped out.

Droves of refugees set up tents along the main road from Banda Aceh to its airport. ``It's on the path of the aid trucks,'' said one refugee, Umi Sana, who still doesn't know what happened to her six children back in the fishing town of Meulaboh, which was inundated by the tsunami.

Some 280 miles to the south, thousands of boxes were piled in an airport hangar in Medan, a main transportation hub. Some of the supplies had been brought to the hangar on Monday and still hadn't made it to the disaster zones.

``Hundreds of tons, it keeps coming in,'' said Rizal Nordin, governor of Northern Sumatra province, gesturing at piles of stacked cartons. He blamed the backlog on an initial ``lack of coordination'' that was slowly improving.

The United States, India, Australia, Japan and the United Nations have formed an international coalition to coordinate worldwide relief and reconstruction efforts. The Indian navy, which has already deployed 32 ships and 29 aircraft for tsunami relief and rescue work, was sending two more ships Friday to Indonesia.

Asian leaders on Friday were trying to put together a meeting next week in Jakarta that would group Asian countries with international donors and organizations.

Meanwhile, families around the Indian Ocean rim and beyond spent their sixth day of desperation trying to track down missing loved ones, including vacationers on the sunny beaches of Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. Tens of thousands were still missing, including at least 3,500 Swedes, more than 1,000 Germans and 500 each from France and Denmark.

In Sri Lanka, where more than 4,000 people were unaccounted for, television channels were devoting 10 minutes every hour to read the names and details of the missing. Often photos of the missing were shown with appeals that they should contact their families or police.

On Phuket, people scoured photos pinned to notice boards of the dead and missing. Canadian tourist Dan Kwan was still hunting for his missing parents and refused to give up hope.

``At this point we hope against hope that they are still alive somewhere,'' he said, adding that it was possible they were unconscious or unable to speak.

The search for loved ones on Sumatra was even less coordinated. One man was looking for his grandmother by checking corpse after corpse scattered over a road near her ruined home.


link (http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4703697,00.html)

highsea
12-31-2004, 12:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr>Who wrote that crap anyway?<hr /></blockquote>
I think it was our buddies the New York Times, but I'm not sure.

A couple clarifiations- The Millimeum Challenge was just that -a challenge. The aid was offered as an incentive to African nations, with specific goals of improvement in certain areas of human rights, political reforms, etc. tied to the funds. It was not setup to be a handout, but an incentive program.

The quake aid in Iran was handled by the UN, so I don't know how much relief has actually got to the people in need. I suspect there will be problems with this disaster also, as the UN is in charge of over $500 Million dollars as it stands right now, and it's anyones guess as to how the relief will be handled, and how much of the money will actually get to the affected areas.

The US is the largest contributor of non-military aid in the world, over 40% of the total is from America. We are also the largest contributor of food aid in the world by far, and we don't even count this when we add up the numbers.

As far as the tsunami, within minutes after the quake, a US sub in the region sent a message back to sub command. Also, the pacific tsunami warning center in Hawaii recorded it, but there was no way to get warning out in time. As we all know, there was no warning system in the Indian Ocean, and no emergency communication structure in place.

The US immediately diverted two fleets to the area, a carrier strike force (the Abraham Lincoln) was sent from Hong Kong on the 28th., along with the cruiser Shiloh, destroyers Benfold and Shoup and replenishment ship Rainier. The CSF has full medical emergency facilities in the fleet.

In addition to this, The Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group was also redirected to the disaster area. The group, carrying about 2,500 Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was about to begin a port call at Guam when it received orders to take part in humanitarian relief efforts. With the assault ship Bonhomme Richard are the cruiser Bunker Hill, destroyer Milius, frigate Thach, attack submarine Pasadena, amphibious ships Duluth and Rushmore and the Coast Guard cutter Munro. The amphibious ships carry helicopters and landing craft. The MEU also has full medical capabilities, Hovercraft, helos plus a provisioning ship with food and medical supplies.

We also sent 6 P3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft from Patrol Squadrons 4 and 8 in Japan to conduct search and recovery operations from the air base at Utapao, Thailand.

Private and corporate donors in the US are stepping up to the plate. The Red Cross and Care Intl. have over $20 Million in private donations so far.

Among the larger early donors to tsunami relief are drugmaker Pfizer Inc., which pledged $10 million in cash and $25 million in medical supplies; Johnson &amp; Johnson with a donation of $2 million plus supplies; and J.P. Morgan Chase with up to $3 million, including matched employee contributions. Citicorp has announced a $20 Million contribution, and several dozen more companies have pitched in funds ranging from 1 to 5 million each, with additional funds to match employee contributions. The list is too long to recite. Of course millions of Americans have donated individually, and there will be more to come.

As always, nothing we do will ever be enough for our critics, so I don't really care what the Euros say. It's enough to know that the US is doing our part, as we always have and always will.

Wally_in_Cincy
12-31-2004, 01:02 PM
And the UN is agitated because the money is not being funneled thru them. They proved their trustworthiness with the oil-for-food program.

Who was that broad - April Somebody - from the UN who was griping about the coalition of the Us, Japan, India, Australia, and now Canada saying we were not good at organizing things. They just wanted to get their grungy paws on the money so they could claim it was all their doing.

I looked for the quote and could not find it.

Good grief.

rmouton
12-31-2004, 01:26 PM
I was curious so I found a couple of satellite images of Banda Aceh, capital of Aceh Province in Indonesia. These images are taken before and after the devastation. I composed 2 composites of these photos that even more clearly show the level of devastation.

These photos can be viewed at the following link.

http://www.geocities.com/the_physics_guy/index.html

I also have a link which lists the organizations accepting donations for the victims of this disaster, on the main page.

highsea
12-31-2004, 02:01 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> And the UN is agitated because the money is not being funneled thru them. They proved their trustworthiness with the oil-for-food program.<hr /></blockquote>
I have trouble taking the UN seriously. Annan was on a skiing vacation in the US when the disaster hit, and couldn't even cut his vacation short. By the time he got back to the UN, GW had already dispatched 2 fleets to the stricken region.

The UN has lost credibility with the American people, and putting them in charge of our aid contribution would have a negative backlash, imo. The UN is dependent on member states for the logistics of distribution, etc. They do not have their own resources to do this, all they have is a beaurocracy in place.

The victims of the disaster don't need beaurocracy, they need help. Each day that goes by increases the death toll, risk of disease, dehydration, etc. They need food, shelter, and water, not International bickering.

The US, along with Canada, Japan, Australia, and India have the airlift and sealift capabilities to make an immediate effect. This is what's needed, not political posturing. There will be plenty of time for that later, and I'm sure the UN and some of our European "allies" will all have plenty to say at that time. Let'em gripe.

SPetty
12-31-2004, 06:40 PM
Those are some amazing pictures, rmouton. Thanks for sharing them.

Qtec
12-31-2004, 10:06 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Quote Wally_in_Cincy:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Who wrote that crap anyway?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I think it was our buddies the New York Times, but I'm not sure.
<hr /></blockquote>

Correct. It was an editorial from the NYT, therefor not an 'Euro' opinion at all! Its certainly not my opinion.
My buddy and his wife [ who is Thai] were in Thailand for xmas and New year. His wife,s family have their house close to the beach. Still havent heard anything from him.
I,m sure the US will do all it can to help- just like the Euros. Just supplying 5 million with water will be a huge task. Lets hope political posturing doesnt get in the way of the aid effort.


Qtec.

ceebee
01-01-2005, 10:10 AM
How much aid, from foreign countries or the UN, was given to people of the gulf coast states of the U.S.A., after 4 hurricanes?

Maybe that much aid should be returned.

pooltchr
01-02-2005, 06:30 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ceebee:</font><hr> How much aid, from foreign countries or the UN, was given to people of the gulf coast states of the U.S.A., after 4 hurricanes?

Maybe that much aid should be returned. <hr /></blockquote>

I was thinking the same thing when the whole fuss over money started. So many countries like to bash the US, but they sure like our money! But when we need help, be it natural disaster or political help, we are on our own.

I feel for the people who have suffered and lost loved ones in this disaster, but the complaints about how little or how much we do to help really pi$$ me off!!!!!!!

If I gave a homeless man on the street a dollar, and he looked at it and said that's not enough, I would probably take the dollar back!

We may not be perfect, but I challenge anyone to find any country or their citizens who do more for others than the people from the USA.

SnakebyteXX
01-02-2005, 11:21 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Anybody who says that $35 million is all we are going to contribute is either very stupid or they are trying to politicize this disaster for their own selfish purposes.
<hr /></blockquote>

U.S. tsunami aid may hit billions

Sun Jan 2, 2005 05:17 PM GMT

By Randall Mikkelsen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States may eventually spend billions of dollars to help Asia recover from last week's devastating tsunami, a leading Republican U.S. senator has said as the Bush administration battle criticisms it had been slow to respond.

The $350 million (182 million pounds) in aid pledged so far by U.S. President George W. Bush represents the entire U.S. foreign disaster assistance budget, and Congress will work to pass emergency legislation to go "well beyond" that figure, said U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican and head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Lugar, asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether U.S. aid could reach billions of dollars, said "ultimately there could be, given all that is occurring in Indonesia."

An earthquake and subsequent tsunami last Sunday devastated coastal areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India and as far away as East Africa. The death toll will probably exceed 150,000, U.N. relief coordinator Jan Egeland said.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell set off on a visit to the region and will participate in an aid-donors' conference in Jakarta on Thursday. He defended the Bush administration against complaints it took too long to comprehend the scale of the crisis or respond with financial aid.

"We have nothing to be embarrassed about. Our response scaled up as the scope of the disaster scaled up," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Bush, who was returning to Washington on Sunday from a Christmas break at his Texas ranch, had been following the disaster "very closely from the beginning," Powell told CNN's "Late Edition."

The damage estimate for the Asian disaster amounts to tens of billions of dollars, and as many as 5 million people may need assistance, Egeland told Fox. He told a news conference 1.8 million people now needed food aid.

So far, countries have pledged $2 billion in international assistance, led by Japan's contribution of $500 million.

The U.S. Congress passed $13.6 billion in domestic disaster aid last October, mostly for Florida, a state which was vital to Bush's campaign for reelection and which was struck by four hurricanes.

IRAQI RECONSTRUCTION MONEY

A possible source of additional U.S. assistance for Asia could be money earmarked for reconstruction in Iraq, lawmakers said. That money has remained unspent due to a violent insurgency.

Powell disputed accusations that the United States had failed to deliver on past aid pledges. "When we pledge an amount, we plan to deliver that amount," he said.

Egeland, who drew a sharp rebuke from Bush last week after he said rich countries had been relatively stingy with foreign aid in the past, said the United States and other countries had been generous in their response to the tsunami.

But he defended his assertion that wealthy countries could do more to help poor ones. "I will always be of the view that as the rich world is getting richer -- Europe, North America, Japan, Asia, the Gulf countries -- it should be possible to feed all the world's children, and we are not at the moment," he said.


Link (http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&amp;storyID=647453)

Ross
01-02-2005, 04:34 PM
The issue of America's "generosity" can be reasonably argued both ways. It is the old issue of what is more important - percentage of wealth or absolute dollars? One is a measure of how much difference your dollars will make, the other a measure of how much hardship your contribution is for you.

In terms of absolute dollars the US obviously is the world's biggest contributor to worthy causes around the world. In terms of percentage of our wealth (say GDP) we are one of the stingier of the developed nations.

The analogy would be this. Say in your town there was a teacher and a banker. The teacher made 50k/year and the banker made 400k/year. Say the teacher gives $1000 to the local United Way (2% of his gross annual income) and the banker gives $4000 to the same charity (1% of his gross). Which person is more generous?

Interestingly when we say "he would give you the shirt of his back" we are giving someone credit for making a personal sacrifice, not for his largesse. But on the flip side, many also think of Bill Gates as generous since he gives away hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to charity through his foundation. He doesn't have to but he does - that makes him generous. But this amount poses no real hardships on him either. So is he more or less generous than the teacher or banker cited above?

Conservatives, who hate to see the US criticized, will focus on the absolute amount given by the US. Liberals who think we should do more for the less fortunate, will focus on the percentage of wealth the US gives. Who is right, or is the truth somewhere in between and more complicated than either side is presenting?

Is the elephant flat and rough or is it long, round and squiggly?

SecaucusFats
01-02-2005, 09:10 PM
This just in Saudi Arabia has pledged to send 50 Korans to help their Muslim brothers in Indonesia.

WTF, the Arabs haven't contributed jack f*cking sh*t, but nobody is saying a damned thing about it.

The US provides 60% of the world's food relief but we are stingy? The 350 million is just the start but again we are so f*cking stingy right? I'm tired of the America sucks crap coming from abroad and even more tired of hearing the same sh*t from self loathing Americans.

SF

SecaucusFats
01-02-2005, 10:28 PM
I forgot to mention that the US pays 25% of the UN peacekeeping budget. Individual contributions by Americans amounted to roughly 34 Billion in 2004 (that is more than the entire UN budget). BTW the French immediately ponied up $134,000 (that's right ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR THOUSAND), but of course, none of the scum sucking Euro weasel vermin and their UN and media cronies called them cheap! Know what? They can all go suck our collective asses! We will lead the relief effort and together with friendly nations we will make sure it goes to help relieve suffering instead of winding up in Anan's and the Euro scum's pockets.

SF &lt; Get the US out of the UN, and the UN out of the US!

Deeman2
01-03-2005, 08:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr> I forgot to mention that the US pays 25% of the UN peacekeeping budget. Individual contributions by Americans amounted to roughly 34 Billion in 2004 (that is more than the entire UN budget). BTW the French immediately ponied up $134,000 (that's right ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR THOUSAND), but of course, none of the scum sucking Euro weasel vermin and their UN and media cronies called them cheap! <font color="blue">Of course not. You think Qtek would ever critize his buddies/cronies in France? or that someone would be so unPC as to call the Arabs on their lack of generosity? no way!! </font color> Know what? They can all go suck our collective asses! <font color="blue"> I hope they pucker up...or at least brush their teeth. </font color> We will lead the relief effort and together with friendly nations we will make sure it goes to help relieve suffering instead of winding up in Anan's and the Euro scum's pockets. <font color="blue"> Happened before, will happen again and the Liberal Whimps will be resounding silent. </font color>

SF &lt; Get the US out of the UN, and the UN out of the US! <font color="blue"> AMEN!!! </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

Ross
01-03-2005, 10:33 AM
SF, you responded to my post but obviously didn't think about what it said.

I said that in terms of absolute AMOUNTS given, the US IS the largest contributor to good causes to the UN, etc. All of your quotes AGREE precisely with what I said. By that measure the US, like Bill Gates, is quite generous as I said.

However the other measure of generosity (how much personal sacrifice are you willing to make to help others) is usually measured by the % of your income you give. Nothing you said had anything to do with that issue.

On this measure the US government currently gives 0.2% of GNP for foreign aid as traditionally defined. (To be clear, this is not 2 percent, it is two-tenths of a percent.) For comparison purposes, the US gave about 2% of GNP in the 40's for foreign aid assistance and this went up to about 3% during the Marshall plan. It has declined steadily ever since through both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Again, by THIS measure, the US percentage contribution is the lowest of 22 developed countries. The Scandinavian countries give about .9% of their GNP in foreign aid, France gives .4%, and as I said the US gives a little less than .2%.

Go to http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp#ForeignAidNumbersinChartsandGraphs and scroll to the bottom. You will find charts and graphs that show both perspectives (US gives the most in terms of absolute amounts and least in terms of % of GNP).

So, SF, if you want to argue that % of income given is not a good measure of generosity then by all means go ahead and do so. There are valid arguments on both sides of that issue.

Ross ~ doesn't think (and never said) the US sucks, is not self-loathing, and doesn't confuse loyalty to his country with refusing to look at it realistically - both good and bad.


(Also waiting for the arguments that foreign aid isn't measured correctly, that the US gives a lot of money privately, that we should count businesses we start up in other countries as aid, etc.)

eg8r
01-03-2005, 11:33 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I said that in terms of absolute AMOUNTS given, the US IS the largest contributor to good causes to the UN, etc. All of your quotes AGREE precisely with what I said. By that measure the US, like Bill Gates, is quite generous as I said.

However the other measure of generosity (how much personal sacrifice are you willing to make to help others) is usually measured by the % of your income you give. Nothing you said had anything to do with that issue. <hr /></blockquote> Those in need don't care what the sacrifice was, they just care about getting the aid. The US provides more than any other country, and I have yet to hear a country complain becuase it was not a great sacrifice.

eg8r

SecaucusFats
01-03-2005, 01:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr> SF, you responded to my post but obviously didn't think about what it said.

I said that in terms of absolute AMOUNTS given, the US IS the largest contributor to good causes to the UN, etc. All of your quotes AGREE precisely with what I said. By that measure the US, like Bill Gates, is quite generous as I said.

However the other measure of generosity (how much personal sacrifice are you willing to make to help others) is usually measured by the % of your income you give. Nothing you said had anything to do with that issue.

On this measure the US government currently gives 0.2% of GNP for foreign aid as traditionally defined. (To be clear, this is not 2 percent, it is two-tenths of a percent.) For comparison purposes, the US gave about 2% of GNP in the 40's for foreign aid assistance and this went up to about 3% during the Marshall plan. It has declined steadily ever since through both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Again, by THIS measure, the US percentage contribution is the lowest of 22 developed countries. The Scandinavian countries give about .9% of their GNP in foreign aid, France gives .4%, and as I said the US gives a little less than .2%.

Go to http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp#ForeignAidNumbersinChartsandGraphs and scroll to the bottom. You will find charts and graphs that show both perspectives (US gives the most in terms of absolute amounts and least in terms of % of GNP).

<font color="blue">If you add in the average $34 B per year in private donations from US citizens and corporations it becomes clear that the US is clearly the world's most generous nation.

This is from the site you provided a link to:

Side note on private contributions

As an aside, it should be emphasized that the above figures are comparing government spending. Such spending has been agreed at international level and is spread over a number of priorities. Individual/private donations may be targeted in many ways. However, even though the charts above do show U.S. aid to be poor (in percentage terms) compared to the rest, the generosity of the people of America is far more impressive than their government.

As discussed further below, the government spending has tied agendas that has often been detrimental to the recipient. Private aid/donation in contrast has been through charity on individual people and organizations though this of course can be weighted to certain interests and areas. Nonetheless, it is interesting to note for example, per latest estimates, Americans privately give at least $34 billion overseas -- more than three times U.S. official foreign aid of $10 billion:

International giving by U.S. foundations totals $1.5 billion per year

Charitable giving by U.S. businesses now comes to at least $2.8 billion annually

American NGOs gave over $6.6 billion in grants, goods and volunteers.

Religious overseas ministries contribute $3.4 billion, including health care, literacy training, relief and development.

$1.3 billion by U.S. colleges are given in scholarships to foreign students

Personal remittances from the U.S. to developing countries came to $18 billion in 2000

Source: Dr. Carol Aderman, Aid and Comfort, Tech Central Station, 21 August 2002. (Aderman admits that there are no complete figures for international private giving. Hence these numbers may be taken in caution, but even with caution, these are high numbers.)
</font color>

So, SF, if you want to argue that % of income given is not a good measure of generosity then by all means go ahead and do so. There are valid arguments on both sides of that issue.

Ross ~ doesn't think (and never said) the US sucks, is not self-loathing, and doesn't confuse loyalty to his country with refusing to look at it realistically - both good and bad.

<font color="blue">Looking at things 'realistically' means looking at the whole picture. </font color>


(Also waiting for the arguments that foreign aid isn't measured correctly, that the US gives a lot of money privately, that we should count businesses we start up in other countries as aid, etc.)

<font color="blue">Done. See above. </font color>

<font color="blue">SF &lt; Still wondering why no one has called the Arabs on their lack of generosity. And what about China (their economy is booming).
</font color>




<hr /></blockquote>

Wally_in_Cincy
01-03-2005, 01:41 PM
[ QUOTE ]
However the other measure of generosity (how much personal sacrifice are you willing to make to help others) is usually measured by the % of your income you give. Nothing you said had anything to do with that issue.
<hr /></blockquote>

Ross,

We could probably afford to give more if we did not have to maintain the military structure that keeps the rest of the world in order.

Ross
01-03-2005, 03:37 PM
Wally,

Maybe, but the numbers make you wonder if that is the issue. Here are some approximations for the US currently:

GDP = a bit over 10,000 billion dollars
US Federal Budget = 2,300 billion
---Defense budget = about 400 billion
---Foreign Aid budget = about 20 billion

The foreign aid budget is pretty small compared to the other big ticket items we spend our money on. Also since the percentage of GDP spent on foreign aid has been dropping at a steady rate for around 50 years throughout peacetime and wartime, I don't think it is military expenditures that determine our foreign aid budget.

Actually SS, Medicare, and Medicaid funds promised to the baby boomers are going to squeeze our budget more than anything else over the next two or three decades.

Ross

Ross
01-03-2005, 04:24 PM
SF, you are correct that the US gives a lot in the form of private aid. And I AGREE -- this shows a generous side of the US.

But again, when you go on to say that "clearly the US is the world's most generous nation" you are insisting that total amount given is the sole determinant of how generous a country or it's citizens are. Because on a % basis, even after you add in the estimated 34 billion in private donations, the % of GDP given by Americans (public + private) totals about .5%. This is a slightly higher % than France (.4%) gives NOT COUNTING private donations and still lower than any of the Scandinavian countries with them again not counting their private donations.

You then go on to say being realistic is "looking at the whole picture." But that is exactly what I'm doing. I have been VERY clear that by absolute amount given standards the US must be considered very generous AND that by % of income given standards the US must be considered one of the less generous of the developed nations. That is the whole picture (well, most of it anyway.) You are the one that only gives half of the picture by repeatedly ignoring the % of income viewpoint.

And the reason you see me emphasizing the % argument is not because I think it tells the whole story but because the conservative pundits are refusing to even acknowledge that this is also a legitimate point of view to be considered.

In essence, I'm saying "Whoa, don't forget that absolute amounts given don't tell the whole story. There is % of income to consider." And you are coming back at me like I hate America or that I only want to give one side of the story.

And why don't I focus on the foreign aid of the Arab countries? Mainly because I don't think it is a contest. The US should do the right thing no matter what other countries are doing. Second, I don't know what the Arab world is doing. Are the wealthier Arab countries not contributing anything? If they aren't then I agree -- shame on them. And what is China doing or not doing? I just don't know the facts.

My true belief? I think De Tocqueville was more or less accurate when he said (of the average citizen in a Democracy):

"In democratic ages men rarely sacrifice themselves for another, but they show a general compassion for all the human race. One never sees them inflict pointless suffering, and they are glad to relieve the sorrows of others when they can do so without much trouble to themselves. They are not disinterested, but they are gentle."

OK, we aren't so gentle currently, but neither are we uncompassionate.

Another great and currently germane De Tocqueville quote:

"There are two things which will always be very difficult for a democratic nation: to start a war and to end it."

Ross

nhp
01-03-2005, 06:08 PM
I personally think that most psychics suck ass.

SecaucusFats
01-06-2005, 02:12 AM
Ann Coulter - Liberals Love America Like OJ Loved Nicole
FrontPageMagazine.com ^ | 1/06/05 | Ann Coulter

Even the United Nations sponge who called the United States "stingy" immediately retracted the insult, saying he had been misinterpreted and that the U.S. was "most generous." But the New York Times was sticking with "stingy." In an editorial subtly titled "Are We Stingy? Yes," the Times said the U.N. sponge "was right on target." This followed up a patriotic editorial a few days earlier titled "America, the Indifferent."
America's stinginess is a long-standing leitmotif for liberals – which is getting hard to square with their love for America. When it comes to heaping insults on America, U.S. liberals are the nation's leading donors.

In 2003, the Center for Global Development – funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, despite the fact that it could have used that money on future tsunami victims – concluded that the U.S. ranked 20th out of 21 nations in helping poorer nations. This came as a surprise, inasmuch as the U.S. gives the highest absolute amounts of foreign aid to the developing world.

But as the study explained, the center "assesses policy effort rather than impact." As any liberal can tell you, it's not results that count, it's intentions! In other words, the CGD discounted some countries' foreign aid because the CGD decided it was the sort of aid that wouldn't work – even if, in the end, it did work.

The CGD's evaluation of "effort" somehow managed to bump U.S. contributions from the No. 1 spot to second-to-last. Sending the military to liberate millions of people from ruthless dictators, for example, did not count as "aid," whereas sending in peacekeepers afterward did.

The U.S. did not merely write a check to help the oppressed people of Afghanistan and Iraq: The U.S. did most of the fighting and liberating as well as a significant share of the dying. Where's Michael Moore with that up-to-the-minute body count of U.S. soldiers when you need him?

But in the words of the CGD, military aid doesn't count because "one country's security enhancement is another's destabilizing intervention" – you know, the way U.S. soldiers "destabilized" France in 1944. (My guess is, Presbyterian missionaries in the jungle don't get as many points as U.N. seminars on condom use either.)

Consequently, in 2003, Norway got 7.1 points for "peacekeeping." Denmark got 7.4 points. France got 5.2. The country that dispatched the Taliban and Saddam Hussein -- and, before that, ensured that the above countries would not be speaking German or Russian – got 1.5 points for "peacekeeping."

But at least we beat Japan! Except in other studies by liberals – who certainly do love their country – that claim Japan beats the U.S. in foreign aid donations.

Among Al Franken's proofs that Bill O'Reilly is a "liar" – in addition to his jaw-dropping revelation that O'Reilly's former TV show won a "Polk" and not a "Periwinkle" Award – Franken attacked O'Reilly for having the audacity to say the U.S. gives more foreign aid than any other country in the world.

Responding to this outrage, Franken writes: "Japan gives more. Not per capita. More." (And Franken is the world's largest donor of mentions of his own USO tours.)

I guess there are as many ways to calculate "aid" as there are to calculate "love of country." According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in 2003, the U.S. gave $37.8 billion out of a total $108.5 billion in foreign aid from the world's major countries – notable for being more than three times the amount from the next largest donor, the Netherlands, clocking in at $12.2 billion. Americans make up about 5 percent of the world's population and give about 35 percent of the aid.

So it's interesting that a great patriot like Al Franken – who goes on USO tours regularly, in case he hasn't called you at home in the last 10 minutes to remind you – would choose the method of calculating foreign aid most disparaging to his country and call O'Reilly a "liar" for using a different calculus.

At a minimum, in order to discount the largesse of the United States, one must carefully exclude gigantic categories of aid, such as military aid, food aid, trade policies, refugee policies, religious aid, private charities and individual giving.

However "aid" is calculated, it is not that hard to calculate someone's affection for their country based on their propensity to tell slanderous lies about it.

Let's review.

The New York Times calls the U.S. "stingy" and runs letters to the editor redoubling the insult, saying: "The word 'stingy' doesn't even come close to accurately describing the administration's pathetic initial offer of aid. ... I am embarrassed for our country."

Al Franken flies into a rage upon discovering that O'Reilly imagines the U.S. is the most generous nation in the world.

The Washington Post criticizes Bush for not rushing back to Washington in response to the tsunami – amid unfavorable comparisons to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who immediately cut short his vacation and returned to Berlin. (Nothing snaps a German to attention like news of mass death!)

The prestigious Princeton "ethicist" Peter Singer, who endorses sex with animals and killing children with birth defects, says "when it comes to foreign aid, America is the most stingy nation on Earth."

And has some enterprising reporter asked Sen. Patty Murray what she thinks about the U.S.'s efforts on the tsunami? How about compared to famed philanthropist Osama bin Laden?

In December 2002, Murray was extolling Osama bin Laden's good works in the Middle East, informing a classroom of students: "He's been out in these countries for decades building roads, building schools, building infrastructure, building day-care facilities, building health-care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. It made their lives better." What does Murray say about bin Laden's charity toward the (mostly Muslim) tsunami victims?

Speaking of world leaders admired by liberals, why isn't Fidel Castro giving the tsunami victims some of that terrific medical care liberals tell us he has been providing the people of Cuba?

Stipulating that liberals love America – which apparently depends on what the meaning of "love" is – do they love America as much as they love bin Laden and Castro?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ann Coulter is a bestselling author and syndicated columnist. Her most recent book is How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must).

SF

highsea
01-06-2005, 02:37 AM
Good article SF. I love Ann Coulter. She's not afraid to say what she thinks! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I know she's no Maria Sharipova, but I still think she's kind of a hottie. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Coulter (http://www.empireofgrey.com/ann4.jpeg)

eg8r
01-06-2005, 06:35 AM
My gosh, in that picture it looks like her hands are as long as someones foot. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

SecaucusFats
01-06-2005, 10:30 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> My gosh, in that picture it looks like her hands are as long as someones foot. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>

Ms. Coulter, what long hands you have! "The better to bitch slap liberal wuzzies with, my dear!" /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

SF

Qtec
01-06-2005, 11:29 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I love Ann Coulter. <hr /></blockquote>
Sorry HS. your credibility rating has just take a nose-dive! /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

[ QUOTE ]
She's not afraid to say what she thinks <hr /></blockquote>

Maybe if she had a brain, she would be able to think.!
Q

Qtec
01-06-2005, 11:31 AM
Dont you think she looks like some anorexic[sp?] guy who has had a sex change?

Q

[ be honest now]

Deeman2
01-06-2005, 12:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Dont you think she looks like some anorexic[sp?] guy who has had a sex change?

Q

[ be honest now] <hr /></blockquote> <font color="blue">

I don't know! Isn't that a Dutch specialty? </font color>

Deeman
not above zenophibic attacks

Qtec
01-06-2005, 04:06 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I don't know! Isn't that a Dutch specialty?

<hr /></blockquote>

I,ll bet you,ve got some stories! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Q

Ross
01-06-2005, 04:09 PM
She thinks? I couldn't tell by her writings... /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

eg8r
01-07-2005, 06:01 AM
I am not going to go that far, but that pic sure could lead someone to believe she needs to eat a little more.

eg8r

Chopstick
01-07-2005, 08:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman2:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Dont you think she looks like some anorexic[sp?] guy who has had a sex change?

Q

[ be honest now] <hr /></blockquote> <font color="blue">

I don't know! Isn't that a Dutch specialty? </font color>

Deeman
not above zenophibic attacks <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">
I think that's xenophobic

adj : suffering from xenophobia; having abnormal fear or hatred of the strange or foreign

They don't get much stranger than the Dutch.

ChopStick &lt;~~~Also likes Ann Coulter

</font color>

Deeman2
01-07-2005, 09:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr><font color="blue">
I think that's xenophobic

<font color="blue"> <font color="red"> Hey, now

If you guys are going to require that I spell correctly, I'll just maybe point my new laser at you... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
</font color> <font color="red"> I guess they taught you fellows at Whitehaven to spell a little better than those of us at Westwood. :confused </font color>
color]

adj : suffering from xenophobia; having abnormal fear or hatred of the strange or foreign <font color="blue"> That be me... </font color>

They don't get much stranger than the Dutch. <font color="blue"> </font color> <font color="red"> Ah! Youv'e been there too! </font color>

ChopStick &lt;~~~Also likes Ann Coulter <font color="blue"> <font color="red"> Mega Dittos </font color> </font color>

</font color> <hr /></blockquote>

SecaucusFats
01-07-2005, 01:36 PM
/ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Hey Deeman:


http://hometown.aol.com/raveloman/images/spellingnazis.jpg

SF