Published January 14, 2010
A terrible earthquake, as you know, has crushed the Caribbean nation of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Reports say thousands are dead, and this beleaguered nation may completely collapse.
The question is: How much should the world do to save Haiti?
Now some conservative commentators pointed out it took President Obama three days to talk about the Christmas Day terror incident, but just hours to address the disaster in Haiti.
"Talking Points" believes the president should have reacted quicker to the underwear bomber, but it is certainly appropriate for Mr. Obama to address Haiti quickly. The United States is a noble nation, and the world needs to hear that over and over and over. Already the U.S. Coast Guard is saving lives in Haiti, and America will respond generously to this devastation. We always do. Always.
Now as far as Haiti is concerned, the USA has given that country more than $1 billion over the past five years. Compare that to the World Bank, which has donated about $300 million over the same time. It is clear America is very concerned about the world's poor, and "Talking Points" would like to know how much money Russia and China have donated.
I myself donate money to the Haitian Health Foundation run by a Connecticut patriot, Dr. Jerry Lowney. I give the money directly to the doctor because I know if I send it to the island, Haitian authorities will most likely steal it.
And therein lies the problem with Haiti: massive corruption.
There are nine million Haitians on the island, so there's enough aid to provide for all of them. The nation could be a tourist mecca. It is rich in folklore and culture, including voodoo. It has the Caribbean Sea and very nice people. But there is little tourism in Haiti.
My travels there have been illuminating. Only half the population can read and write. Unemployment's more than 50 percent. Most Haitians live on less than $2 a day. No matter how much charity is given, no matter how many good intentions there are, Haiti will remain chaotic until discipline is imposed.
Many liberals don't want to hear that. They believe that nanny state can provide, but it can't. No society will prosper unless there are rules of conduct, mandatory education and fairness by those in power. None of that happens in Haiti. And so the USA will once again pour millions into that country, much of which will be stolen.
Once again, we will do more than anyone else on the planet, and one year from today Haiti will be just as bad as it is right now.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Model and actress Rebecca Romijn is a new spokesperson for milk. In addition to encouraging Americans to drink the beverage, she is setting up a project to donate hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk to poor people.
Now, we like milk. We know it's high in fat, but it's also healthy, especially for children. So Ms. Romijn is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, People magazine is reporting that Tiger Woods has checked into a counseling clinic. Ordinarily we would not mention this. It's a private matter for the golfer, and we wish him and his family well.
However, in the People magazine article, a so-called expert is quoted as saying Mr. Woods will be out of counseling by — wait for it — Valentine's Day. Perhaps not the best choice of words. Pinhead comes to mind.
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