Thoughts on Haiti

Predictably people are running Haiti through their personal ideological mincers, from Pat Robertson and pacts with the Devil on the one hand to the US Imperialism is the most EEVIL thing ever known in the universe mob on the other. I guess it is to be expected.

Haiti map from Huffington Post

Sad though. Whatever one’s views, just considering the size of the problem, dealing with a country where just about all the key bits of organisation and infrastructure are somewhere under slabs of concrete and the airport is choked and tiny makes one just boggle at the logistics involved, and the fact is the only place nearby with any hope of sorting it is the USA and the only people with the skills needed are the US military.

Imagine the outcry if the US had stayed at home!

See also Ortega Warns of US Deployment in Haiti; Frustration mounts over Haiti aid — al Jazeera; ‘Mothers were trying to shake alive their children’.

Best thing to do, aside from helping if one can, is to resist punditry on this one. Seems a bit exploitative to me to improve too much on this far from shining hour to score political points.

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  • English/ESL retires after eight years

    engeslendlinked screenshot 

    I had been less active on this blog for the past year; it has after all is said and done been around in one form or another since 2001-2002. Time to give it (and me) a rest.

    The record to date (Sitemeter since November 2002)


    Total 260,222

    Average Per Day 171

    Average Visit Length 0:33


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    Average Per Day 207

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    How many kaypohs do you know?

    This is a post about other people’s posts – so that may make me a bit of a kaypoh…

    1. Creative Spark

    Singapore-based Aussie Marc Garnaut has been a regular for me for a few years now. In his latest post he introduced me the the word kaypoh.


    A busybody or nosey parker. Can also be used as an adjective or verb. If you’re Eurasian, you can shorten it to “kayps”.
    1. “Ah Beng is such a kaypoh.”
    2. “Don’ch be so kaypoh, can or not?”
    3. “Why you go and kaypoh their business?”
    4. “You know, that Cedric de Rosario is such a kayps, mane.”

    The Coxford Singlish Dictionary


    Marc Garnaut

    2. Information is Beautiful

    This is new to me and came my way through one of my favourite blogs, Strange Maps. Here is an example.


    “Of course, not all 12 million US scientists therefore agree with ‘The Consensus’. But this puts the PetitionProject’s 31,486 signatories in some kind of context.”

    3. Worldman

    Peter has been in my favourites on Google Reader for a long time now.

    The wars in the Balkans were terrible. I spent a long time in Kosovo trying with my colleagues to attenuate the suffering of the people. The task was enormous and perhaps we did succeed, at least a bit.

    Would I not have been "programmed" to return back to Sri Lanka, I might now have been sent to Haiti to help.

    I have mentioned a few of the disasters where I was directly involved. But of course, there was the Tsunami, the quake in Indonesia, the inundations of Myanmar, hurricane Katharina or the terrible situations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Without being cynical, all these happenings make that we, the aid workers, never run out of a job. Each single one, with his contribution, makes that things can become better for people and perhaps, only perhaps, their suffering disappears one day. Please have a thought for the aid workers.

    But better, and if you can, please donate to the agencies which are involved in aid work. Every dollar is welcome. There are dozens of them. Here is a list of recommended agencies. Of course, it is not exhaustive: