2005; worst year ever? (long but worth it!)




 
--
Boots
 
December 30th, 2004  
chewie_nz
 

Topic: 2005; worst year ever? (long but worth it!)


this is an opinion piece that i happen to agree with, not in it's entirety but for the most part. i did not write it and i have included the links to these articles. cheers; chewie


This political heroin courtesy of Old Testament God (Dormant for over 2000 years!)
The words to describe it simply do not exist.

And it's only halfway done. Now the mission is recovery of the drowned. In the next few months it will be battling the diseases that spread. Cholera. Smallpox. Hideous things bouncing among the piles of dead bodies all along the shores of the Indian Ocean.

They say the death toll will probably double when all is said and done. Right now they're conservatively putting it at 67,000.

To put that into perspective, take a look at the capacitites for NFL Stadiums.


That's The Coliseum, home of the Tennessee Titans. It holds 67,000.

I've been too stunned to even think about it for the past few days. Last night, watching the news with a head full of cough medicine I just looked away. I lay against the couch and watched Spring's face.

Spring and I both have a bad habit of martyring ourselves, of wishing we could suck all the pain out of the rest of the world and keep it someplace safe. Namely, inside of us.

We want this of our friends. We want our friends to be eternally happy and in love and never feel any sorrow or regret or pain or anything. Give it to us. We'll take care of it for you.

I watched her face, her eyes scanning the piles and piles of dead bodies and I knew what she wanted. And if she could, she would have sucked all that death out of the television screen and kept it for herself. And we would have watched as hundreds of people sat up and shook themselves off and walked home, while Spring writhed on the couch in self-imposed torture.

It's a good thing, I suppose. It makes your head heavy, but its a good thing to have in your heart.

This is the most awful thing we'll see in our lifetimes. It's just the beginning. When 140,000 die in a very short amount of time it throws things off (hell--the planet Earth was thrown off its axis by the force of the quake. Some islands were moved as much as 120 feet; brushed aside like all the random flotsam and jetsam we really are).

It reminds us, I suppose, that we are not at all in control. No matter how much we kid ourselves about power struggles and egos and politics and money and torture and gender relations--it's all just to keep us busy and keep things organized. Because the richest, most powerful people in the world wouldn't have been able to do a damned thing about it, even if they all worked together. Sometimes the Earth has to exert herself. The reasons why, if they exist, remain a horrifying mystery.

*****

In the time it took me to write that the death toll rose to 77,000.

*****

It's the holiday season all over the globe, so everybody was kind of caught off guard. The best have responded admirably. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder cut off his vacation and returned to Berlin immediately, recognizing that the richest, most powerful nations int he world have a duty to start coordinating and helping our brothers and sisters in the poorest section of the globe. He called on creditor nations to suspend debt repayment for Indonesia and Somalia.

In response President Bush...

President Bush...

Uh...guys, that was Bush's cue. Where is he?
"mhpmhpmhpm vacation mphspmhpmsdpmm..."
What?? What vacation? We're talking about a global crisis of...
"mhpmspmhpmhpmh vacation mphmpsmghpmpmmph..."

Well, at least he was kind enough to send a spokesperson.

Earlier yesterday, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said the president was confident he could monitor events effectively without returning to Washington or making public statements in Crawford, where he spent part of the day clearing brush and bicycling.

How nice.

So who spoke up for the US? You guessed it.

Former US President Bill Clinton has called for the co-ordination of relief efforts in response to the Asian quake, as aid starts to flood into the region.

"It is really important that somebody takes the lead in this," he told the BBC's Today programme on Tuesday.

The Bush people bristled, saying that Bush was waiting until he was fully informed before making a public appearance. That, apparently, took days.

In the interim, the US released...are you ready for this?...15 million dollars.

Wow. I think I have fifteen million dollars somewhere in this cubicle.

The rest of the world gasped and one UN official infamously called the richer nations "stingy" for how little aid they promised. The US responded by releasing another 20 million. That's 35 million dolalrs pledged so far.

To put that into perpsective, let's consider this funny figure:

US aid to Asian Tsunami victims (so far): $35 million
Budget for President Bush's inauguration ceremony: $40 million

And, yeah yeah yeah. I know it's an unfair comparison. Because, after all, it is a one night party.

But how great would it be if Bush just said, "You know what--**** it. We'll do this thing on folding chairs and my mom will make some potato salad. You guys can have my 40 million."

I wouldn't hold my breath or anything, but that would be nice.

*****

Some more perspective-putting numbers for ya.

The following movies were made for $35 million dollars:
Head of State
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Radio Flyer
American Outlaws
Wimbledon
Man in the Iron Mask
Wonder Boys
Rush Hour
Malcolm X
Black Knight
Resident Evil
From Hell
Donnie Brasco
Batman

I don't know about you, but I'd be happy to give back 'Black Knight' to put Indonesia back together.

*****

But then again, we're a rich country. We've got a lot of money to throw around:

Michael Vick became the richest player in the league by agreeing to call Atlanta home for the next decade.

The Falcons' quarterback signed a 10-year, $130-million contract extension Thursday that guarantees him an NFL-record $37-million in bonuses.

"You know, making a commitment says a lot, not just to me, but to our team," Vick said with a smile. "It means a lot to me."

Vick's contract surpasses the $98-million deal Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning signed in March, although Manning's contract is for seven years. Manning was guaranteed $34.5-million in bonuses.


The land of plenty:

Jerry Seinfeld earned an estimated $267 million in 1998 according to the 1999 Forbes Celebrity 100 list, the highest annual earnings ever by a television or film actor.


The land of opportunity:

Julia Roberts, has topped the list of highest paid actresses yet again, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The "Closer" star commands a salary of approximately $20 million per picture, as does the No. 2 actress, Cameron Diaz, who was heard in the highest-grossing film of the year, "Shrek 2."

Coming in third through fifth place are Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore, who make $15 million apiece.

Rounding out the Top 10 are: Halle Berry ($14 mil), Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie ($12-15 mil each), Renee Zellweger and Jennifer Lopez ($12 mil each).


Indeed.

The Guinness World Records Book lists Adam Sandler as the world's highest paid actor, based on a salary of $49.5 million in 2001.

But Sandler's winning pay packet pales in comparison to the $73.9 million earned in 2000 by Bruce Willis, giving him the 2003 title.


*****

Granted, this is all private money. So, is my point that movie stars, jocks, and musicians are overpaid? Hell no! We earned it, dammit.

Sports and entertainment is a billion-upon-billion dollar industry and the actors/entertainers/athletes who fuel that industry deserve a big cut of that pie. The point is not about their share of the pie.

The point is that we've got a lot of goddamned pie in this country.

The point is that we could pledge 87 billion dollars to killing brown people without batting an eyelash, but only pledge 35 million to digging them out of the mud after getting mocked in front of the entire world.

It makes you wonder what would have happened if nobody had spoken up.

*****

it's a rough spot to be in, admittedly. You've spent the past three years screaming WAR ON TERROR WAR ON TERROR WAR ON TERROR!! and then GOD kills more people than terrorism could even dream of killing and you're stuck with a dilemma. Do you buy ten Bradley tanks (at 4 million a pop) or do you send 40 million dollars to Indonesia?

This is where fiscal responsibility would have been reeeeeeal nice. We're in the hole for trillions of dollars and Bush keeps promising these huge spending initiatives...during a war...with big tax cuts. He's never really explained how he's going to pay for all of it.

And now comes this big thing which tests the idea of Compassionate Conservatism. Are you gonna tighten your belt to help your fellow man or aren't you?

The numbers get disputed all the time, but we've spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 billion dollars killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We've apparently got a few bucks lying around.

Uh-oh! Somebody woke up Bush! He's coming out of his hole! What's he gonna say??

President Bush announced Wednesday the United States, India, Australia and Japan have formed an international coalition to coordinate worldwide relief and reconstruction efforts for the Asian region ravaged by a deadly earthquake and tsunamis.

``We will prevail over this destruction,'' Bush said from his Texas ranch in his first comments on the disaster Sunday that so far has killed more than 76,000.

Bush said the disaster had ``brought loss and grief to the world that is beyond our comprehension'' and he pledged a multifaceted response from the United States that goes far beyond the $35 million initially pledged.

He's sending in the Marines. Good for him. Ironically, he's sending in the USS Lincoln (which we last saw with a huge "Mission Accomplished" sign and a sunset in the background).

Still, many have been quick to note, no new money. No pledge for anything new. Not even for debt relief. Just that the situatino needs to be assessed before more resources are alotted.

Let's keep an eye on this, shall we? The BBC made an excellent point: that the world's eyes are on Southern Asia right now, but what happens in a year or two, when we're distracted and they still need help?

I dunno. Ask Afghanistan, I guess.

And if we know any millionaires, let's bug them to throw in a few bucks. It's the least they can do.

*****

Meanwhile, as the sun sets on 2004, the most horrible year ever...the bad news keeps piling on.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/chr...he/123771.html

12/28/2004
Jojo Acuin's eerie prediction: Expect more quakes!
By EFREN B. MONTANO

People's Tonight


MORE earthquakes will shake Asia, including the Philippines, People's Tonight resident psychic Jojo Acuin said yesterday even as mild tremors hit Bataan and Davao early yesterday morning.


For his 2005 (Year of the Rooster) prediction, Acuin said earthquakes will shake Luzon and the Visayas.


Temblors will also stun Japan and Malaysia as well as -- again -- India and China, he said.


In predicting that more temblors will hit the region, Acuin again demonstrates his uncanny ability to predict events in the future. It may be recalled that he predicted in 2003 that an earthquake will strike India, Malaysia and Thailand.


In the Nov. 20, 2003 issue of People's Tonight entitled "Satanism, Wars, Chaos and Cults," Acuin said that Malaysia and Thailand will tremble.


He added that a big quiver in Indonesia and India will occur.


Later, Acuin said that 2004 will be a tragic year for India following tens of thousands of deaths owing to a big quake.


The death toll from an earthquake off Indonesia (that measured 9 on the Richter scale) and the tsunamis that it unleashed in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Maldives, Bangladesh and India reached more than 14,122.


Sri Lanka was hard hit with 4,857 people confirmed dead, and 1,538 others reported missing. In Indonesia, at least 4,448 people were killed as the country took the full force of the huge earthquake and tsunamis that swallowed entire coastal villages.


At least 4,278 people were killed in southern India. At least 461 people were killed and more than 3,800 injured in southern Thailand, including foreign tourists at famous seaside resorts.


In Malaysia, 44 people, including many elderly and children, were killed, officials said. A British tourist and 31 other people died in the low-lying Maldives, officials said.


In Bangladesh, a father and child were killed after a tourist boat capsized from large waves.


In an unrelated development, one person was reported dead, another missing and 23 injured after a series of 47 earthquakes in southwestern China's Yunnan province. Some of the quakes as powerful as 5 on the Richter scale struck over a 17-hour period Sunday.


Yunnan province, in a quake-prone part of China, experienced a tremor in August that left more than 125,000 homeless, killed four and injured nearly 600.


Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs said yesterday it has not received reports yet of a Filipino casualty killed in the tsunami waves that hit Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Thailand.


About 5,000 Filipinos are deployed as overseas Filipino workers in all of Indonesia and 70 in Phuket, the popular resort city in Thailand that was hit by the tsunami. Only 600 Filipinos work in India.

http://www.msn.pldt.com.ph/news/arti...nid=5180&sid=2
December 30th, 2004  
rotc boy
 
 
that is long, hope you copied and pasted...

that puts things into perspective
December 30th, 2004  
chewie_nz
 
i was going to right a similar piece but that just said it so much better than i ever could esp like this sentance;

it's a rough spot to be in, admittedly. You've spent the past three years screaming WAR ON TERROR WAR ON TERROR WAR ON TERROR!! and then GOD kills more people than terrorism could even dream of killing and you're stuck with a dilemma. Do you buy ten Bradley tanks (at 4 million a pop) or do you send 40 million dollars to Indonesia?
--
Boots
December 30th, 2004  
03USMC
 
 
So your point besides bashing POTUS is the US is not doing enough I suppose. Just like the UN Under secretary who opined that the US should raise taxes so we could donate more.

Yeah if we do something we're butting in. If we don't we're selfish. Oh well.

And Clinton can go up a rope.
December 30th, 2004  
chewie_nz
 
it's not about bush and the US.


it's about 100 000 people dead and the western world doing bugger all to help. you have to see comparisons to make it real.

where is the greater need? 10 new bradley's? i don't think so
December 30th, 2004  
03USMC
 
 
Maybe it's just me. But I'm tired of the US being thought of as the worlds Piggy Bank. I'm tired of the liberal European and US press critizing every reaction of my CINC when it does not fit their high minded ideals.

And whats more important? For me it's my Brothers in Harms Way.
December 30th, 2004  
Missileer
 
 
Fortunately for a lot of places in the World, I just heard on the news that the United States contributed 40% of all disaster aid for the World last year. I know we're richer but other Governments around the world need to tune in to the needs of others. Bill Clinton? I'll bet his true reaction was, boy I sure am glad I'm not there. My thoughts only. By the way, the ex-Chancellor of Germany was pulled out of the area to save his butt four hours before the tsunami hit. He was a tourist, not on a diplomatic trip.
December 31st, 2004  
CavScout
 
Bradley's aren't tanks.

That's about the nicest response your gonna get from me when you flame the US that way... while commiserating with the worlds plight.
December 31st, 2004  
chewie_nz
 
awesome. bradleys aren't tanks i stand corrected (actually the piece that was taken from wasn't written by me...it just said what i wanted to say alot better).


back to my point- which was that the western world isn't doing enough. and i'm talking about ALL of the western world, not just the US. the US is constantly putting itself out as an example for the rest of the world so it is the logical country to use as an exmple.

i'm not flaming the US, it just seems that lately there isn't alot to be positive about.

but don't you agree that alot more can be done?
December 31st, 2004  
03USMC
 
 
Funny the majority of the post was directed at Bush not rushing to DC. Of vailed referances to racism on the US's part. Of the cost of the Inagural as a opposed to the aid. Then some more Bush Bashing. Then a complaint about the USS Lincoln being sent. Then some more Bush Bashing.

Right I understand it wasn't meant to flame.