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Supporting the Tsunami Survivors

It now appears that over 30,000 people have been killed by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunamis that hit nations on the Indian Ocean over the weekend.

People with a sense of proportion will note that this number is more than 10 times as much as the loss that America suffered on September 11, 2001. With this huge scale of loss, I could wonder why there is not a sweeping declaration that “everything has changed” once again.

Of course, there’s no real evildoer in this story. There is a history of neglect, from the world’s richer neighbors to the plight of impoverished people living in lowland coastal areas around the Indian Ocean, in buildings that could not hope to withstand an earthquake or a tsunami.

Maybe this disaster will not cause everything to change, but it does provide us with an opportunity to make some change. We Americans, in the most powerful nation on Earth, might use more of our power to provide comfort to those who suffer elsewhere in the world. We might counter the Republicans’ 600 million dollar cuts to foreign aid with some private aid of our own.

So, we the 48 percent of America that voted for progress, for hope against fear, can now stand up and show the rest of the world that we still stand with them, even though we lost the election. We can help out those who need help.

Here at Irregular Times, we regularly donate 20 percent of our after-tax profits to good progressive causes. Through our sales of items at Irregular Goods, we spread the word of political resistance to the agenda of radical American nationalists and provide financial backing to organizations that work every day in the progressive resistance.

Expanding upon this idea, we are opening a new section of our Irregular Goods store, dedicated to facilitating Tsunami Relief for the people of South Asia.

Not just 20 percent, but 100 percent of the after-tax profits from the sale of each item in this new section will be donated to organizations that are providing assistance to the survivors in communities hit by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. The cost of these items is elevated from our ordinary prices, so that more money in aid can be sent with each purchase.

We’re hoping that this small action on our part will do more than just help the people of South Asia recover. We also hope that we will provide an example to Americans of a way that we can stand united behind compassion instead of uniting against other human beings in insanely nationalist torture and war.

22 comments to Supporting the Tsunami Survivors

  • Kevin

    Bravo, Irregular Times. A tradgedy of epic proportions. I’ve heard it’s the worst natural disaster of all time. I will be supporting relief efforts through my church, not Irregular Times. (My political bent doesn’t warrant buying from y’all. Sorry.) I will be donating as much as I can so that the people of this area can somehow begin to pick up the pieces.

    However, I do take issue with one paragraph of the story:

    “There is a history of neglect, from the world’s richer neighbors to the plight of impoverished people living in lowland coastal areas around the Indian Ocean, in buildings that could not hope to withstand an earthquake or a tsunami.”

    Most of the people you are referring to lived in tribes/villages that had either no or very, very little contact with the outside world and were quite content to keep it that way.

  • J S

    I have to point out that you need to consult an accountant in about how you are making donations. As a for profit organization you are entitled to make pre-tax donations rather than after-tx donations as this money would be tax advantaged and serve to put more money in your pocket as well as the organizatins that you support. Also I might point out that we donate to worls causes on both sides from our generous pockets rather than only 48% doing all the work. I would rather have a say in were my money goes anyway rather than having someone in Washington trying to use it to help pay for abortions.

    I do thank you for helping these people in their time of need though. I too will work with my church to help these people in their time of need as I can not support the treason of this site.

  • Glad to hear you’ll be donating somehow…

    but the people of the Maldive Islands, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Thailand are not tribespeople living in isolation from the rest of the world.

    Get a clue.

  • Kevin

    Uh, J. Matthew, yes, they are. Maybe they have had more contact with the outside world than I let on, but J. Matthew. But those countries aren’t known for their suburbs. And just because you may define poverty and downtrodden as being without electricity and a house of bricks doesn’t mean they do. Or they ever will. That’s the problem with the elitist American point-of-view; if the rest of the world doesn’t have a two-car garage and a home entertainment center, they’re somehow miserable and wretched.

    You get a clue, you rude meanie.

  • Patricia

    Kevin, once again, you’re way out of line. It’s typical of Republicans that you can’t comment on the world outside of the United States without being:

    1. Incorrect
    2. Condenscending
    3. Racist

    Then we get another Republican saying that the important issue is not to pay for abortions.

    Hello, Republicans! The world of the Christian White Man’s Burden is over!

  • HareTrinity

    The death toll’s up to 60,000, now, by the way…

  • Pauly

    Kevin,
    I went out with a girl from Sri Lanka while I was in college. From the years of being with her and having her family visit us in the USA, I’d have to say that I personally know you to be wrong on this point. They are not cut off from the outside world and they live in communities, not unlike we have here in America. Yes some of the people are very recluse and don’t want things to change. But you could also say that about my grandfather as well.

    Personally you took me aback. I thought you were going to object to the 9/11 reference but you came out of left field with that one.

    Pauly

  • Jenna

    Kevin, in the paragraph you’ve referenced, the author makes no mention of the affected peoples’ contact, or lack thereof, with the “outside world.” Can you *really* take issue with the paragraph you quoted? Really?

    “There is a history of neglect, from the world’s richer neighbors to the plight of impoverished people living in lowland coastal areas around the Indian Ocean, in buildings that could not hope to withstand an earthquake or a tsunami.”

  • $40 million for the inauguration.

    $30 million for tsunami relief.

    Interesting.

  • Kevin

    Pauly: 9/11 was the result of man’s actions. This tsunami was Mother Nature. Tsunamis have happened before (not of this devastating caliber) and they will happen again. It’s a fact. I think that makes the pill “easier” (for lack of a better word) to swallow in this instance. Terrorism DOESN’T HAVE to happen, Pauly. It CAN be prevented. Mother Nature dictates the results of this game, every time. I guess that’s why I didn’t object to 9/11 reference.

    Patricia: You are starting to worry me. Uh, simply saying that some people in the area DON’T LIVE WITH MODERN CONVENIENCES IS NOT RACIST, QUEENIE. And since when is saying that those who don’t have what we in the USA have ‘condescending?’ Do you even know what the damn word means? Incorrect? Are you saying that 100% of those people live exactly as we do, Patricia? Get a friggin’ clue. You are so full of yourself. I know I said I’d ignore you, but it’s too much fun making you look like the shallow and clueless person you are.

    To everyone but Patricia: My apologies if my comments were taken as offensive. I assure you that was not my intention.

    Now, can we steer this back to the original intent, like helping these poor people out?

    Last I heard, the toll had risen to 51,000. Utterly unbelievable. I can’t imagine the grief and sorrow that is taking place among the survivors.

    A news report stated that those who are coordinating relief efforts ARE REQUESTING MONETARY DONATIONS RATHER THAN FOOD OR CLOTHING. The reason is that money is more easily and quickly used for its intended purpose than food or clothing.

    Let’s ALL help these poor folks out. Even a little means a lot.

  • http://www.redcross.org/donate/donate.html#dp

    Check the paragraph at the very bottom of the page. It has a link to kind of search engine, where you can find out if your employer offers a matching gift program, in case (like me) you lost your employee handbook 3 years ago.

  • S.M. Di Paola

    This is wonderful that donations are going to the folk hard hit by this latst natural disaster. While multinationals figure out ways to wring every cent ot of people, they continue to ignore mother earth, who is none too happy and letting us know… I am looking for a bumper sticker that says “MANDATE, MY ASS.” I thought for certain it was on here. If it is, and anyone can point me in its direction, please do. I’m burned out looking. Thanks and a good new year.

  • Kirk

    That’s an easy one S.M. Just go to Google, and type in – mandate my ass irregular –
    The links come up nice and easy.

    I think it’s really kind of sick that Kevin has to bring his tirades to this post, insulting others in that uniquely Republican way of denigrating their ethicity or their gender. The viciousness of Kevin’s attacks in response to the kindness and generosity of Irregular Times is quite striking. Reducing the people around the Indian Ocean to noble savages and calling women “QUEENIE” when they don’t shut up and fall in line behind him speaks much more loudly than any argument Kevin might try to make.

  • Jim

    Matt D.

    It should be pointed out to you that the your comparison between the inaguration and the relief is misleading. The relief money is public money from our taxes. The inaguration money was all from private donations. BIG DIFFERANCE!!!! The private donations from people in this great land will push those figures even higher. We do much more good with private donations than public donations.

  • Fran

    Nonsense, Jim. Those “private donations” for the inaugural are hardly charity. They’re a way for big business to buy influence in the White House.

    Good going, Irregular Times, for sticking your neck out and helping people in need!

  • Kevin

    Kirk: You obviously didn’t read my entire post, or you would understand what I was saying. Plus, you obviously haven’t read any other posts by me, or you would understand me better. Plus, Patricia has insulted me to a much greater degree in the past, with false accusations and lies, and I have shown great restraint in my responses toward her until now. Finally, I have much more integrity than to wontonly throw out derogatory remarks to ANYONE, which is much more than I can say for some people who participate in this forum.

    And what part of “To everyone but Patricia: My apologies if my comments were taken as offensive. I assure you that was not my intention. Now, can we steer this back to the original intent, like helping these poor people out? Last I heard, the toll had risen to 51,000. Utterly unbelievable. I can’t imagine the grief and sorrow that is taking place among the survivors… Let’s ALL help these poor folks out. Even a little means a lot.”

    is vicious??? I must’ve missed something there.

    It’s true what they say: No good deed goes unpunished.

    Now, to steer the discussion back YET AGAIN…

  • “your comparison between the inaguration and the relief is misleading”

    I posted two links, basically without comment. I’d call that a juxtaposition, not a comparison. Yes, one is private money, the other is public money.

    Apparently the juxtaposition didn’t speak for itself, so let’s discuss. It’s about priorities. The budget of the inauguration is over $40 million. Over $40 million for a single big fat self-aggrandizing party. The aid we have pledged to help dying and homeless people who’ve survived a truly tragic and catastrophic event is LESS than the budget for ONE big party.

    You say we do more good with private donations. Maybe you mean the private donations will exceed the amount of aid (which I suppose is possible), but if you mean something different you’ll have to explain. Money’s money. The tens of thousands of victims of this disaster need the money, and I suspect they don’t much care whether it comes out of the U.S. budget or the pockets of private citizens.

    In any case, if for whatever reason you prefer that private money be donated, think how many people could be helped with the insane sum of private money that has been “donated” for the inauguration – $100,000 or $250,000 at a time, in many cases. (I don’t know about you, but my private donations for tsunami relief are not going to approach $100,000.) Of course, if that money went to people who are suffering and actually need it, it would buy good will, maybe, but probably not power or influence, so there wouldn’t be a good return on investment.

    Look, I’m not such a curmudgeon that I can’t give credit where due. However slowly President Bush has responded, he HAS pledged a lot of money for aid, as well as personnel to help in rebuilding. The outpouring of private charity WILL be enormous, as always. In the end, I am sure we will do what’s required, if not more.

    On the topic of charitable outpouring…The USAID website has a long list of non-governmental relief organizations working the disaster area.

  • Kristine

    Can someone please tell Jim how to spell “difference”?

  • Fran

    Kevin, I’ll just point out that you have in fact thrown out derogatory, condescending remarks against women out quite casually, and it insults me and the other female readers here. Your remarks against South Asian ethnicities are also quite racist.

    A situation that calls for charity instead earns your scorn and insults. That’s over the line.

    Thanks to Irregular Times for a more mature, constructive reaction.

  • Kevin

    Where are these derogatory remarks against women, Fran? Please post them. I’m interested to read them. Let me please say that, as a heterosexual male, I like women very much.

    I stand by my remarks. I am not a racist, and I was not intentionally disrespectful to anyone; in fact, I apologized for any misunderstanding. Did you read that, or was that too far up the post for you to bother?

  • Kevin

    And by derogatory remarks, Fran, I mean instances where I referred to females as “bitches, ho’s, sluts” or some other variation. (These examples can’t be counted, as they are only for illustrative purposes.)

    Please, find an example where I insulted a female simply for being a female.

    Please, present a post where I wrote outright or even suggested that women are best kept at home, in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant (or any other similar stance).

    Please, find these ‘casual’ remarks so that I may enter into sensitivity training immediately.

    Please, Fran. For my sake. HELP ME.

  • Kevin

    Okay, the ‘queenie’ comment was slightly off-color but that hardly qualifies as a down-and-dirty remark, nor does it characterize me as a ‘sexist’.

    I’ll check back Monday when I’m back in town. If anyone wants to take an attempt on my life, I’ll be in Dallas on Friday and Carrolton the remainder of the time, brushing up on my no-good-dirty-rotten-evil-to-the-core-kick-a-puppy-I’m-so-mean skills.

    Till next we converse…

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