Tsunami.

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I am normally fired with impotent rage because of the plight of ordinary people around the globe who are rendered destitute, hungry and diseased.
Impotent, for this is usually the result of wars or civil wars where
aid agencies are hard-pressed to get to the people who need help.
I do not have any qualification that would ever help these people, assuming that I could get to them, but rather they have need of medicos, paramedics and trained search teams in terms of personell.
The present destruction around the rim of the Indian Ocean is the result of natural causes, and is thus apolitical. All the countries involved will welcome any aid agency that can help in whatever way they can.
This is my, and your opportunity to give some money to aid charities who are going to need it big-time if they are going to be able to provide the help that is needed. These are the people who have trained individuals on-tap who are competent to help.
So far our own government has given less than half a spoonfull, and it is up to us to provide the relevant charities with the cash that they need.
I would suggest that we all give a minimun of a fiver to Medecins sans Frontieres or the Red Cross, or any other charitable organisation that is going to be involved.
This disaster is almost unprecedented in the number of different countries who have suffered, and this is the time of year when we are meant to be thinking of others.
Come on - how will giving a fiver hurt you, apart from the effort of giving it ? Give more than a fiver if you can afford it.
I don't know about you lot, but I have more food in my freezers than I could eat in six months, my house is a comfortable 19 degrees C., I have three cars in the driveway, and live a privilaged existance, by and large.
I expect to see a load of posts underneath this one, stating that you have indivdually sent at least a fiver to help the survivors of this disaster. Just think how much you have spent over Christmas, and how a fiver equates to that spending. (£5 = $10 roughly)
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All the best,
Stubbsy.
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Gerald L R Stubbs wrote:

Do you have one of those freezers that you can walk into?
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Nothing is the way it is because that's the way it has to be.

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greek_philosophizer wrote:

Mιdecins Sans Frontiθres International Homepage http://www.msf.org /
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And here I am thinking it's called Doctors Without Borders. I guess French still is the international language. Richard

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marlin wrote:

I think that is the international site. The USA site is what you thought: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org /

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Cool, I'm not a dolt. Richard
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marlin wrote:

guess
No you are not.
And the organization seems unusually ethical in that they just asked people to stop donating for the tsunami victims because they had enough for that particular cause - although I would guess they still have other uses for money. I like that and I will keep them on the monthly donation list.
Here is the link and article: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/FlashNewsStory.aspx?FlashOID "730
Medecins Sans Frontiers: Stop sending us money
PARIS - The medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders) urged donors Tuesday to stop sending it money for Asian tsunami victims, saying it had collected enough funds to manage its relief effort there.
In an unusual step, the group's branches in France and Germany said they had 40 million and $27 million respectively, enough to finance emergency medical aid projects they were supporting in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Their decision surprised other aid groups and drew criticism that it could undercut an unprecedented wave of private giving to provide relief to the region devastated by the December 26 tsunami which has killed at least 150,000 people.
"It's the first time we are led to take this kind of decision," MSF Director General Pierre Salignon said.
"This might seem to run counter to the mood of general mobilization, but it's a question of honesty toward our donors. We don't want to continue to lobby the public for projects that are already financed," he said in a statement.
A spokesman for MSF's German branch, Aerzte Ohne Grenzen, said it had adopted the same policy.
"What shocks me is that you are taking the risk of pulling the carpet under the feet of other aid organizations. Many groups still need more money," said Jean-Christope Rufin, head of the French aid group Action Contre la Faim (Action against Hunger).
"It's a bit irresponsible. We're all in the same boat in humanitarian aid," Rufin told France 2 television.
Some German agencies said they had no plans to follow suit and privately several said they were shocked by MSF's decision.
"MSF mainly provides emergency aid, whereas UNICEF stays on. We build schools, carry out vaccination programs and so on. For us this is just the beginning and that's why we still need donations," said Astrid Prange of UNICEF Germany, which has received more than 10 million euros in pledges.
"Our experience is -- and our feeling is -- that people want to give to this or nothing. It's not that they want to give in general," said Oxfam Germany director Paul Bendix.
Some German aid agencies attributed MSF's move to its focus on providing short term aid, which is treated differently for tax purposes under German law on charitable donations than long-term development assistance.
A spokesman for the German Protestant church charity Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, which has also received 10 million euros in pledges, said most German charities had been careful to broadly frame their aid requests so that they were not legally tied to providing specific assistance in one country.
MSF in France said it was committed to use money donated for South Asia only there and not for other crises.
"If a person calls us to make a donation, we will tell them that these programs are already financed and that they can make a donation for a different crisis," a MSF spokeswoman said.
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As the head of one of UK's major private aid bodies pointed out a couple of days ago, yes, the tsunami casualties are bad, but a similar number of people die every week from disease and hunger...
DAS
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Yes, but those deaths don't give certain interests from infecting the national dialog with anti-Muslim hatred.
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It would be nice if this was some kind of coherent statement. Sorry about your problems...
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My thought as well.
Large tragedies seem to be a social Rorsach test of some sort.
Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

couple of

of
Asia
these
a
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"Rorschach" that is...
greek_philosophizer wrote:

South
for
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You mean the ink blotches are replaced by water splashes...?...
DAS
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On 2005-01-06 13:26:41 -0800, "greek_philosophizer"

It's just much more dramatic, so it gets a lot of attention...
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From a German point of view I'd like to add, that millions of Germans have visited the countries for vacation, which are now devastated by the Tsunami. Besides this hundreds of Germans have been killed there - the biggest catastrophy for our people since WW II. I am sure that these facts drew a lot of attention towards this incident, while in Rwanda one tribe can kill another, slaughtering down one million people and nobody cares. Most of us have never been in central Africa, we do not want to go there and we do not miss them. This may sound cynical, but it is true nevertheless.
Frank
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Cynical? No. Just shockingly ignorant and evil, considering the german people's status as the all time champions of genocide.
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And what did you do about the genocide in Rwanda, in which a friend of mine -- living here in the UK -- lost several members of her family?
DAS
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I am quite sure that the majority of people from other countries think and behave similar (if not, Rwanda would not have happened). Are they less evil, because their ancestors killed native americans, aboriginees or other ethnic groups?
BTW: Did you donate?
Frank
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Frank Kemper wrote:

think and

I like to think ( and perhaps that is my error ) that most people do care but for situations such as Rwanda they rely upon their governments to act when needed.
There is very little the average citizen can do except expecting his government to behave appropriately.
In Rawanda'a case, The American government failed to act when it should have and I think Clinton even expressed regret at that failure. It was an apalling mistake that would have required few resources to address in a timely manner.
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these words:

Two chest-freezers filled to the lids. Enough of that..... have you sent some dosh to help these people who have had their lives wiped out ? Most people should be able to help with a $10 gift.
And anyone else reading this... If you have a computer then you are rich by the standards of most of the folk around the rim of the Indian Ocean who have had their houses and infrastructure wiped-out. Most of those people have an income of about $1000 a year or less, some @ $10 pa
Enough of the funny stuff, this one is really serious, and millions of people are involved and need our help. You cannot rely upon your governments to do it for you, you need to send money to the NGOs. Principally the Red Cross or any other NGO that you trust to be involved and help the situation.
Just send the cost of a couple of four-packs, or more if you can afford it. You won't notice the loss and it will do some good.
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Stubbsy.
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