Prime Opportunity to win the PR War, Or: Congress is full of bastards
So the death toll is climbing in India, Pakistan, and Kashmir. It’s up to 20,000. I would recommend waiting until the dust has cleared a bit before making a donation so that the authorities have time to figure out where money should go. Should you like to make a donation now, I would recommend the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies. The Red Crescent is essentially the Islamic version of the Red Cross.
This may sound horrible, but it’s still true: This is a prime opportunity to win the PR war. Let’s show the extremists that they’re wrong. America can be a good place. We’ve listened to tons of whining about people being sheltered in the various super / astro / mega / ginormous / ultra / super-duper-special-happy-family-fun domes getting a cold sub after the first week. That’s the biggest problem in America. If your belongings get washed away, you have to find a new job and a new home and you get a cold sub. Guess what you do in India/Pakistan/Kashmir? In many cases you suffer a lot more. I don’t know. I’ve never been there. I do know they don’t have nearly as much money as us. Being poor in America is nothing compared to being poor there.
Honestly, I think your donation is better spent helping these people than helping New Orleans people move back into their city-which-shouldn’t-exist-in-the-first-place-because-it’s-below-sea-level. The mayor is clearly an idiot, and he’s hoping casinos will give him the revenue to rebuild his town. Oh and by the way, feel free to shower even though you’ll die if that water touches your lips. IDIOT. He’s desperate to bring his city back, which I understand. It’s home. However, he’s playing this very politically and not taking an overall view of the situation. He should be considering options, as should all the government officials involved. Instead, they’re going to spend billions. Members of Congress are rushing to spend our tax dollars to generate sympathy. Oh look at me, I’m sponsoring this bill to give more money to a sugar research foundation in New Orleans to give them back some jobs. Oh, it’s so hard to spend the taxpayers money. Remember to vote for me! It’s just the career politician problem though. They don’t recognize how far away they are from our actual interests. Mostly, their aim is to get in that soundbite in the news that we’ll remember so they get re-elected. Because hey, they’re different, and they know they can make a difference – if only they can get re-elected.
I’m sorry, I’m deviating from my main point. We need to step up here. I know that the administration is already making a plan and I’m sure the military will be sent out to help, just like they did for the tsunami. But if we really want to wow these people in Asia, more money needs to come from Americans. We hear constantly on the news about how horrible it is to have to eat a cold sub in Houston when you’re home is flooded. And how horrible it is to open your refrigerator and have it smell. If we do any more whining about hurricanes, this year or next, when another hurricane floods that stupid city again, we deserve the despisal of these earthquake victims. We cry about 9-11, we cry about our teeny tiny natural disasters, and we say “Who?” when it comes to the earthquake two years ago in Iran (5,000 people dead), the tsunami (250,000 people dead), or this latest earthquake (20,000 people dead and counting). If I have to see that woman who whined about having to wait for water while running air conditioning in her SUV again, I think I’ll just grow my hair out, wear sandals, smoke weed, and join the Peace Corps, because I just can’t stand it!
A big problem is the (natural) other-ization. We need to associate things and make groups of associations in our minds. These people are close by. The look similar and speak the same language. They are friends. They are part of my group. Those people speak a different language. They look different. They are far away. I do not know them and I do not want to know them. This is totally natural and it makes sense. It’s a simple mechanism of our brains. Let’s step past this. Let’s get a Cindy Sheehan to worry about the Earthquake Victims. I really think we’d all be better off if the country stepped up to the plate on this one. Don’t write that check for New Orleans, write it for Kashmir. It’ll make the War on Terror a lot easier and bring our troops home sooner.
And can we please abolish the Legislative branch?