Family emergency

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The sun and the moon and the seasons pass by so dependably that it's easy to forget we live on a rotating ball hurtling through space -- a mass of rock and liquid and gas that's still a work in progress.

It sometimes takes an earth-shaking catastrophe to remind us of that -- and of how much we allow our differences, both petty and principled, to mask the commonalities of the human family.

At times such as the killer 7.0-magnitude earthquake just miles off Haiti -- the worst there since 1770 -- all that matters is what we have in common, which is our humanity, and the need to reduce as much human suffering as quickly as humanly possible.

The extent of this tragedy is numbing. Tens of thousands are believed dead, while many others were no doubt trapped in rubble and others ambled in shock through streets piled with bodies and tearful mourners.

These calamities seem to fall disproportionately on the poorest of the poor in this world -- but the silver lining is that that frees up those of us who are capable of helping in ways large and small.

Whatever aid the U.S. government amasses, you can bet, will be met with private relief the public never hears about: charities, churches and even individuals with a heart for helping. That is the American way.

But the world is responding as well. This is, after all, an international crisis: Americans, French, Brazilians, Chinese and more are among the thousands dead and displaced in Haiti, where the capital city of Port-au-Prince is fairly well in ruins. A United Nations deployment alone may have been wiped out.

But even if it were only Haitians suffering, the world would come. We're family.

In all our angst over global warming, we no doubt have exaggerated our ability to direct this mass of metal and mineral we are riding on. At times like these, we are reminded who is in charge and that we are but hitchhikers in the galaxy.

And we should remind ourselves never to wait for the very worst to occur to be at our very best.

Comments (11) Add comment
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johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 01/14/10 - 07:30 am
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Regardless of the location of

Regardless of the location of the disaster, the United States government ,and people in general, are always ready to come to the rescue. It's one of the reasons the world hates us so much. Not that we're willing to help, but that we're ABLE and willing. Of course, the world isn't all lefties. Many people appreciate America and strive to come here and become part of the success. The stupid comment, "These calamities seem to fall disproportionately on the poorest of the poor in this world..." was obviously contributed by some misinformed Dem. I hope all of the whinny lefties that complain about the ACES notice this stupid comment so they can feel included.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 01/14/10 - 08:22 am
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Yup we should be banned by

Yup we should be banned by everyone outside our own country for going around the world helping so much. What are we thinking?

dstewartsr
20389
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dstewartsr 01/14/10 - 09:44 am
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Prediction: A year from now

Prediction: A year from now the Haitians will be back on camera performing their "Hate America" song and dance for the MSM. It's always a case of what have you done for me TODAY?

dstewartsr
20389
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dstewartsr 01/14/10 - 09:45 am
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And the Obamessiah will

And the Obamessiah will apologize for America. Again.

reader54
209
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reader54 01/14/10 - 10:20 am
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Let's not judge the Haitian

Let's not judge the Haitian people but sympathize and help them. There are good and bad people everywhere. There is staggering human suffering taking place and it's everyones duty to help. Poor and ignorant is not a sin but selfishness and self-righteousness are. Please send $5 or more to help. It is the right thing and you will feel better for it. I sent $10 by text message and it was very easy. Just text 90999 and then Haiti and follow the prompts. Thanks. P.S. Not that it should matter but I am a white southern male.

bdittle
78
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bdittle 01/14/10 - 10:42 am
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johnston.cliff, just maybe

johnston.cliff, just maybe there is no partisanship in the statement "These calamities seem to fall disproportionately on the poorest of the poor in this world...". It could be that the poor are not able to afford homes built to high construction standards and infrastructure (water/electricity/roads) is not good in the best of times in poorer nations. That is why calamities hit poorer nations harder. Way to pull your politics into a horrible situation though.

terry67
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terry67 01/14/10 - 11:51 am
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Lets face the facts, Haiti is

Lets face the facts, Haiti is run by a very corrupt government! We can only hope this aid/money is used for the good of the people - and not to line the governments pockets!

yaya1983
0
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yaya1983 01/14/10 - 12:12 pm
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well what do you say when

well what do you say when here in the usa we have folks hitted by mother nature's belt and FEMA does nothing but Haiti is mess up now we help? wow I where were the Wyclef for Katrina or fires in Cally??

fd1962
26
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fd1962 01/14/10 - 12:51 pm
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Well, well. More of the
Unpublished

Well, well. More of the World According to Johnson.Cliff.UnisexPatty et.al? NOW it's ONLY non-lefties who are able and willing to help?! No lefties have ever contributed to anything worthwhile in the 6000 (sic) year life of the planet? If you say so, bigot in charge. I'm sure injured Haitians feel differently about the HUNDREDS of neo-con Cuban doctors in the thick of it.

butler123
1
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butler123 01/14/10 - 01:41 pm
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When after years they get

When after years they get this country back to where it was, we will still be there because we won't be able to leave them where they were. It will still look like they were hit by a catastrophe. Their regular living was already a catastrophe. I just don't know what could be done for them. In other third world countries, we can drill wells, teach agriculture, build schools, etc. What do you do with a nations that just has millions upon millions of too many people?

fd1962
26
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fd1962 01/14/10 - 02:24 pm
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That's absolutely right,
Unpublished

That's absolutely right, butler. There's hardly a tree or piece of vegetation left on the whole island which hasn't been consumed for cooking fuel. The rest is eroding into the sea with each rain. A sad epitaph for the cradle of democracy in this hemisphere.

reader54
209
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reader54 01/14/10 - 03:57 pm
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Well, all you kind souls have

Well, all you kind souls have written them off so I guess we should just let em ly in the rubble w/o food,water or medical? Two wrongs don't make a right. Hey, that's just my opinion.

fd1962
26
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fd1962 01/14/10 - 04:40 pm
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It's a daunting task,
Unpublished

It's a daunting task, reader54. But YOU seem to be the only one here who has observed anyones' disapproval of relief efforts?! Hasn't your texting ten whole dollars turned you into a critical philanthropist!

corgimom
32473
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corgimom 01/14/10 - 08:51 pm
0
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Sure, send help to Haiti

Sure, send help to Haiti while New Orleans is still devastated from Katrina, and American citizens are living in contaminated FEMA trailers. Makes sense to me.

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