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'[OT][WOT] Urgent Supplies Needed for fleeing Leban'
2006\07\25@073816 by Russell McMahon

flavicon
face
UNHCR E-alertI hope that this sort of thing belongs in OT on occasions
like this.
Advise me OFFLIST or tell James OFFLIST if you have any problems with
this.

You too can help out in Lebanon if that's the way that you wish to
invest your capital.

The disturbing thing is that UNHCR seems to be massing aid on the
Syria/Lebanon border but can't as yet deliver it.
Organisations like Oxfam are 'in there already" although it's not at
all obvious whether they are yet able to channel aid to their existing
people there.

eg UNHCR say
                               "UNHCR is trucking some 40 trailers
loaded with over 500 tonnes of aid supplies from our regional
warehouse in Jordan to Syria. It's frustrating that we can't deliver
this aid, particularly when there are thousands of uprooted civilians
just a few hours away in Lebanon who desperately need it."
BUT
                               In addition to pre-positioning tonnes
of relief supplies, UNHCR has sent a 19-member emergency response team
comprising humanitarian specialists who will augment the agency's
staff in Syria and Lebanon.



           RM







UNHCR Addresses seem valid even though a bit unusual.
Following along the chain leads to what appear to be UNHCR sites BUT
if giving money going via a Google search or similar may be a good
idea. You'd *hope* that top level Google hits would take you to
legitimate sites as any scammers should be rapidly found out with this
degree of exposure.

UNHCR - see below

___________________

OXFAM et al

Canada:    CARE / Save the Children / Oxfam have joined forces as "The
Humanitarian Coalition".
They already have people "on the ground" in Lebanon. Donantions
welcomed:

       http://www.thehumanitariancoalition.ca/index.shtm

___________________________

UNHCR / Lebanon news.
Google will know of much more.

       http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0607/S00430.htm

From: UNHCR
To: spam_OUTnewslettersTakeThisOuTspamparadise.net.nz
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 10:18 PM
Subject: Urgent Supplies Needed for fleeing Lebanese


"The plight of the displaced in Lebanon is growing more difficult by
the hour," said Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
yesterday.  UNHCR is positioning more than 500 tonnes of relief
supplies along the Syria-Lebanon border but urgently needs assurances
of safe passage to deliver the much-needed supplies to tens of
thousands of displaced people.

Relief supplies sent so far to Syria include 20,000 mattresses, 20,000
blankets; 5,000 family tents; 5,000 bales of plastic sheeting; 10,000
jerry cans; 5,000 stoves and 5,000 cooking sets. A family tent costs
US$ 80. Twenty blankets cost US$ 100. To help, please go to
http://news.supportunhcr.org/cgi-bin2/DM/y/hYyn0G87Nh0FZs0p4w0ED


UNHCR has sent a 19-member Emergency Response Team of humanitarian
specialists to add to our current staff in Syria and Lebanon. Since
last week the team members have been flying in from UNHCR offices
worldwide.

The High Commissioner spoke out as the U.N. yesterday launched its
appeal for the Lebanon crisis. UNHCR needs US$18.9 million to help
150,000 displaced people in Lebanon and neighbouring countries for an
initial period of three months. That's US$126 for each person we help.

We are particularly concerned about the most vulnerable people in
Lebanon, Syria and surrounding countries - the women, children and the
elderly.

The UN refugee agency is on the ground helping the people it can
reach, including in the mountainous regions north of Beirut where
people are sheltering in schools.  "At the schools, people are
traumatised and anxious," said UNHCR's top official in Lebanon, Arafat
Jamal. "The conditions are very precarious. There's a lot of
overcrowding, with people sleeping three families to a room and
tremendous pressure on the sanitation facilities."

To read more about this emergency please click on
   http://news.supportunhcr.org/cgi-bin2/DM/y/hYyn0G87Nh0FZs0BBNq0Er.

To hear more from our High Commissioner, António Guterres on the
Lebanon Crisis, click on
   http://news.supportunhcr.org/cgi-bin2/DM/y/hYyn0G87Nh0FZs0BBNm0En

Later this week we hope to bring you news on Arjun who working as part
of the Emergency Response Team.

Yours sincerely,

UNHCR-The UN refugee agency

This E-Alert is a free subscription-based news service provided by the
UN Refugee Agency. It delivers up-to-date information on refugees
around the world, advises subscribers of emergencies, and suggests
ways to get involved.
Did you receive this message from a friend or colleague?
Stay informed, subscribe to UNHCR E-Alert.
http://www.unhcr.org
Send to a friend

2006\07\25@114946 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
I would donate money to these efforts if I thought 75% ended up in
a refugees pocket and not funding a fat cat's new car.


On 2006-Jul 25, at 05:37hrs AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

UNHCR E-alertI hope that this sort of thing belongs in OT on occasions
like this.
Advise me OFFLIST or tell James OFFLIST if you have any problems with
this.

You too can help out in Lebanon if that's the way that you wish to
invest your capital.

The disturbing thing is that UNHCR seems to be massing aid on the
Syria/Lebanon border but can't as yet deliver it.
Organisations like Oxfam are 'in there already" although it's not at
all obvious whether they are yet able to channel aid to their existing
people there.

eg UNHCR say
                                "UNHCR is trucking some 40 trailers
loaded with over 500 tonnes of aid supplies from our regional
warehouse in Jordan to Syria. It's frustrating that we can't deliver
this aid, particularly when there are thousands of uprooted civilians
just a few hours away in Lebanon who desperately need it."
BUT
                                In addition to pre-positioning tonnes
of relief supplies, UNHCR has sent a 19-member emergency response team
comprising humanitarian specialists who will augment the agency's
staff in Syria and Lebanon.



            RM







UNHCR Addresses seem valid even though a bit unusual.
Following along the chain leads to what appear to be UNHCR sites BUT
if giving money going via a Google search or similar may be a good
idea. You'd *hope* that top level Google hits would take you to
legitimate sites as any scammers should be rapidly found out with this
degree of exposure.

UNHCR - see below

___________________

OXFAM et al

Canada:    CARE / Save the Children / Oxfam have joined forces as "The
Humanitarian Coalition".
They already have people "on the ground" in Lebanon. Donantions
welcomed:

        http://www.thehumanitariancoalition.ca/index.shtm

___________________________

UNHCR / Lebanon news.
Google will know of much more.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0607/S00430.htm

From: UNHCR
To: .....newslettersKILLspamspam@spam@paradise.net.nz
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 10:18 PM
Subject: Urgent Supplies Needed for fleeing Lebanese


"The plight of the displaced in Lebanon is growing more difficult by
the hour," said Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
yesterday.  UNHCR is positioning more than 500 tonnes of relief
supplies along the Syria-Lebanon border but urgently needs assurances
of safe passage to deliver the much-needed supplies to tens of
thousands of displaced people.

Relief supplies sent so far to Syria include 20,000 mattresses, 20,000
blankets; 5,000 family tents; 5,000 bales of plastic sheeting; 10,000
jerry cans; 5,000 stoves and 5,000 cooking sets. A family tent costs
US$ 80. Twenty blankets cost US$ 100. To help, please go to
http://news.supportunhcr.org/cgi-bin2/DM/y/hYyn0G87Nh0FZs0p4w0ED


UNHCR has sent a 19-member Emergency Response Team of humanitarian
specialists to add to our current staff in Syria and Lebanon. Since
last week the team members have been flying in from UNHCR offices
worldwide.

The High Commissioner spoke out as the U.N. yesterday launched its
appeal for the Lebanon crisis. UNHCR needs US$18.9 million to help
150,000 displaced people in Lebanon and neighbouring countries for an
initial period of three months. That's US$126 for each person we help.

We are particularly concerned about the most vulnerable people in
Lebanon, Syria and surrounding countries - the women, children and the
elderly.

The UN refugee agency is on the ground helping the people it can
reach, including in the mountainous regions north of Beirut where
people are sheltering in schools.  "At the schools, people are
traumatised and anxious," said UNHCR's top official in Lebanon, Arafat
Jamal. "The conditions are very precarious. There's a lot of
overcrowding, with people sleeping three families to a room and
tremendous pressure on the sanitation facilities."

To read more about this emergency please click on
    http://news.supportunhcr.org/cgi-bin2/DM/y/hYyn0G87Nh0FZs0BBNq0Er.

 To hear more from our High Commissioner, António Guterres on the
Lebanon Crisis, click on
    http://news.supportunhcr.org/cgi-bin2/DM/y/hYyn0G87Nh0FZs0BBNm0En

Later this week we hope to bring you news on Arjun who working as part
of the Emergency Response Team.

Yours sincerely,

UNHCR-The UN refugee agency

This E-Alert is a free subscription-based news service provided by the
UN Refugee Agency. It delivers up-to-date information on refugees
around the world, advises subscribers of emergencies, and suggests
ways to get involved.
Did you receive this message from a friend or colleague?
Stay informed, subscribe to UNHCR E-Alert.
http://www.unhcr.org
Send to a friend

2006\07\25@123237 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
I would donate money to these efforts if I thought 75% ended up in
a refugees pocket and not funding a fat cat's new car.


I'm fairly happy with what Oxfam seems to achieve.
After the Indonesian Tsunami they were flying in tons of supplies
(with their crates visible on evening TV being forklifted into
aeroplanes) while the UN were still 'preparing to send people to
investigate requirements'.


UNHCR have their heart more or less in the right place but they are
not the most efficient organisation on earth or demonstrably good at
dealing with internal corruption. I indirectly know a man with the UN
who is working within view of the Lebanese-Israeli border (his wife
and children just arrived in Cyprus) so they have got at least some
people on site (as you'd certainly expect). How many are there working
on humanitarian issues directly I don't know.




           Russell

2006\07\25@125323 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
I think it's a fact of life.  I assume you mean that the charities
must pay local "independant forces" and "government workers" to get
the materials safely to the areas it is most needed.  I doubt you
really need to worry too much about the people running the charity
gaining too much from their efforts.  Generally it is transparant
enough that one can investigate and find out where the money is going.

As far as the 75% figure, I expect that in most cases the end
recipients will rarely receive anything over 50% value, even if the
charity uses completely volunteer labor throughout the organization.
Transportation, storage, maintenance, and distribution costs alone
generally account for nearly half the cost of an item in particularily
underdeveloped or tumultuous areas.  Note that in many, if not most,
cases timely delivery of a smaller quantity of goods is more important
than late delivery of a larger quantity of goods.  Last-minute
transportation is always more expensive than a plan with 2 months lead
time.

Yes, it would be nice to get rid of corruption completely (whether
local leaders or warlords who let the vehicles pass).  I'm not saying
you're making the wrong decision - I'm not donating to this particular
cause at this time as well.  But if I had money to donate, and knew
that even only 5% would actually benefit the recipient I would
consider it anyway, since it's 5% more than what they have now.  Those
who receive ill-gotten gains along the way will never find peace or
happiness in it, so the extra money from my donation is only binding
them further to their own gluttony.

</wax philosophical>

-Adam

On 7/25/06, Gus S Calabrese <gscspamKILLspamomegadogs.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2006\07\25@125324 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
I think it's a fact of life.  I assume you mean that the charities
must pay local "independant forces" and "government workers" to get
the materials safely to the areas it is most needed.  I doubt you
really need to worry too much about the people running the charity
gaining too much from their efforts.  Generally it is transparant
enough that one can investigate and find out where the money is going.

As far as the 75% figure, I expect that in most cases the end
recipients will rarely receive anything over 50% value, even if the
charity uses completely volunteer labor throughout the organization.
Transportation, storage, maintenance, and distribution costs alone
generally account for nearly half the cost of an item in particularily
underdeveloped or tumultuous areas.  Note that in many, if not most,
cases timely delivery of a smaller quantity of goods is more important
than late delivery of a larger quantity of goods.  Last-minute
transportation is always more expensive than a plan with 2 months lead
time.

Yes, it would be nice to get rid of corruption completely (whether
local leaders or warlords who let the vehicles pass).  I'm not saying
you're making the wrong decision - I'm not donating to this particular
cause at this time as well.  But if I had money to donate, and knew
that even only 5% would actually benefit the recipient I would
consider it anyway, since it's 5% more than what they have now.  Those
who receive ill-gotten gains along the way will never find peace or
happiness in it, so the extra money from my donation is only binding
them further to their own gluttony.

</wax philosophical>

-Adam

On 7/25/06, Gus S Calabrese <EraseMEgscspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTomegadogs.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2006\07\25@130557 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

For most of us here in the colonies, the word "UN" causes the hair to
stand up on the back of
our heads.  If we could, we would box up the UN building and move it to
Paris or Moscow,
where it would better fit into the landscape. I won't give any UN agency
a dime.

The best relief organization in the world is the Mennonites; they have a
DC3 that has supplies
ALREADY ONBOARD 24 hrs/day/365 days a year. If I give anybody support, I
support them.

Just my 2 cents.

--Bob

>
>             Russell
>
>  

2006\07\25@134315 by VULCAN20

picon face


M. Adam Davis wrote:

>I think it's a fact of life.  I assume you mean that the charities
>must pay local "independant forces" and "government workers" to get
>the materials safely to the areas it is most needed.
>
maybe a little bit here.

> I doubt you
>really need to worry too much about the people running the charity
>gaining too much from their efforts.  
>
Where are you from?  Some of the top executives running some of these
agencys make almost $1,000,000 a year with benefits.  There used to be a
Web site that showed where each percentage of a donated dollar would
go.  How much each top executive in the organization made etc.  It was
shocking to see how little of each dollar went to the actual place the
donor intended.

I personally would never give a penny to the American Red Cross.  If you
wish to know why contact me off list and I will tell you.

>Generally it is transparant
>enough that one can investigate and find out where the money is going.
>
>  
>
>

2006\07\25@143911 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
To be honest, the issue for me is my lack of faith that even what does reach
the needy will be of any lasting effect. Watch "Beyond Boarders" and think
about what happened to each and every group they were trying to help, after
that help was lost.

The key is: Sustainability.

What good is a Band-Aid today when there is no way to grow food in the
foreseeable future?

It seems to me that many aid efforts lack what any good emergency room has:
Triage.

Lets put our efforts into places where just a little help has a long
reaching, multiplying effect.

http://www.heifer.org is my preferred charity. One little chicken or
pregnant cow can end up as a flock or herd in a few years and not only feed
a few, today, but reproduce and feed the village down the road. Combined
with education, it makes all the difference.

Note that Heifer does NOT work in the middle east, Lebanon, Palestine,
Israel, Iraq, Iran, Cambodia, Afghanistan or any of the other insane parts
of the earth where people are just killing each other year after year after
year for no apparent reason. These places are like the guy who didn't wear a
helmet and has his brains bashed in during a motorcycle accident; yes, he
may still be alive right now, but should the emergency room try to save him
or the guy who fell while trying to install a PV system on his house and has
a broken rib and internal bleeding?

We can only do so much... Let it be for those who are not mad. And let the
mad ones pass from the earth on their own.

---
James.


2006\07\25@151335 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Well said, James.

--Bob

James Newtons Massmind wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\07\25@154841 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Bob Axtell wrote:

> For most of us here in the colonies, the word "UN" causes the hair to
> stand up on the back of
> our heads.  If we could, we would box up the UN building and move it to
> Paris or Moscow,
> where it would better fit into the landscape. I won't give any UN agency
> a dime.

I read the other day that 25% of all UN funding (all-inclusive) comes
from the U.S. -- that made me mad, for some reason.

Still pondering that one, but it seems quite wrong.  The other member
countries don't appear to pull their weight, and then we wonder why the
UN seems quite ineffective at times?

Not sure on all that... still digesting.  I'm sure lots of folks would
scream and carry-on if we stopped that level of funding, but perhaps
it's something who's time is almost due.

> The best relief organization in the world is the Mennonites; they have a
> DC3 that has supplies
> ALREADY ONBOARD 24 hrs/day/365 days a year. If I give anybody support, I
> support them.
>
> Just my 2 cents.

Forgot about the Mennonites.  Interesting (and sometimes strange) sect,
but very effective and non-wasteful, to a fault at times.

Nate

2006\07\25@174516 by VULCAN20

picon face
Very well put.  Do not just give them a fish, but teach them how to fish.

James Newtons Massmind wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2006\07\25@182950 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Nate Duehr wrote:

> I read the other day that 25% of all UN funding (all-inclusive) comes
> from the U.S. -- that made me mad, for some reason.
>
> Still pondering that one, but it seems quite wrong.  The other member
> countries don't appear to pull their weight, and then we wonder why the
> UN seems quite ineffective at times?

This is similar to the difference between "voting power" and income tax. I
know that there are people who think that he who pays more tax should have
more voting power (more votes), but I think that most would be against it.
I'm sure Bill Gates would not object :)

Whenever you get into representative anything, the weight of the
represented vote is a problematic issue. You probably wouldn't like a UN
where the voting power is according to number of people represented -- and
you probably wouldn't like a national government (whether local, state or
fed) where the voting power is according to tax paid. It's difficult to get
it "right"... especially if few if any of the major players are interested
in actually making it work.

Gerhard

2006\07\25@224921 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Very well put.  Do not just give them a fish, but teach them how to
> fish.

I appreciate James' and others' sentiments BUT at present in places
like parts of Lebanon one is unlikely to survive long enough to learn
how to fish if someone doesn't help you in the short term. And
yesterday you probably knew how to fish just fine - it's just that
someone has suddenly killed all the fish, drained the dam and is now
dropping bombs on what's left.

I appreciate the merit of James' hobbyhorse - I have similar horses
similar to it :-) - BUT in this case it's actually a red herring, even
though it looks like a horse.

The majority of people living in the south of Lebanon are currently
serving in much the same role as the Belgian people as a whole have
traditionally done. Look at all the names of great European battles of
centuries past and you'll find that many are Belgian place names.
(Waterloo, ... ). Most were battlegrounds because Belgium was a
convenient corridor for other people to traipse through to fight other
people.

In southern Lebanon the people who decided to start firing Chinese
manufactured, Iranian supplied long range rockets into Israeli cities
are very probably not mostly Lebanese and almost certainly didn't grow
up in the area. Regardless of the merits of the conflict the current
issue does not 'belong' to those who are suffering most and the MAJOR
need is short term relief to keep people alive - not development aid
to provide sustainable existence. They mostly had sustainable enough
existence (not necessarily of a form that all on this list would be
happy to share) before the present crisis erupted.

Re aid organisations. I'm not a great UN fan but I passed on their
newsletter - they are trying to help here and will do some good and
they have credibility internationally in a situation where that is
especially needed. Heifer and other schemes like it are great - but
they don't fill every need, and just because they don't address some
areas it doesn't mean that that area doesn't need addressing. The
Mennonites are great on all sorts of counts - they major in addressing
"the whole man". Oxfam are also great - in a lesser range of roles
than the Mennonites, but they are more capable in some areas in some
cases. When it comes to providing frontline practical aid at very very
very short notice they SEEM to me to be about as practical and
effective as any other organisation I know of. They may not have their
own DC3 (and they may) but they surely know how to discern the
immediate need and to get pallets of whatever is needed into other
people's Hercules and the like in record time. Hours and days - not
weeks and months.

If anyone knows of other organisations which are as good or better I'd
be genuinely pleased to know of them. They beat the UN into Indonesia
last time around by many many weeks. Also, if anyone has hard evidence
that Oxfam is less rosy and effective than my starry-eyed image of
them indicates I'd also be pleased to know. (FWIW / FYI Oxfam started
during WW2 as "Oxford Famine Relief" to assist people in Greece
(possibly mainly UK citizens ?) affected by the war. )[I have no
connection with Oxfam other than sending them money occasionally
:-) ].

If (when) the San Andreas decides to let loose big-time then I'm sure
James and those nearby will be wanting others to provide short term
palliative aid rather than development assistance. I'm sure that in
such a case James would personally be willing to contribute massively
and practically in the short term to assisting his fellow citizens get
through the immediate crisis, and that longer term planning would seem
of lesser priority. Immediate practical palliative aid is what Lebanon
needs right now.



           Russell




2006\07\26@031826 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>The best relief organization in the world is the Mennonites;
>they have a DC3 that has supplies ALREADY ONBOARD 24 hrs/day/365
>days a year. If I give anybody support, I support them.

Not sure what the range of a DC3 is, ...

Oxfam do maintain warehouses here in the UK with supplies ready for shipment
to anywhere in the world, suitable for almost any disaster. Recent events
that they were on top of with supplies were the Boxing day tsunami, the
Pakistan earthquake, and other similar major disasters. At the time of both
these disasters Oxfam supplies were on route to the disaster area within
very short times, although I believe it was on commercial air transport (but
they may have had a subsidised rate). They are certainly one of the more
creditable charities when it comes to disaster aid.

2006\07\26@042454 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Jul 25, at 16:29hrs PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

Nate Duehr wrote:

> I read the other day that 25% of all UN funding (all-inclusive) comes
> from the U.S. -- that made me mad, for some reason.
>
> Still pondering that one, but it seems quite wrong.  The other member
> countries don't appear to pull their weight, and then we wonder why  
> the
> UN seems quite ineffective at times?

This is similar to the difference between "voting power" and income  
tax. I
know that there are people who think that he who pays more tax should  
have
more voting power (more votes), but I think that most would be  
against it.
I'm sure Bill Gates would not object :)

Whenever you get into representative anything, the weight of the
represented vote is a problematic issue. You probably wouldn't like a UN
where the voting power is according to number of people represented  
-- and
you probably wouldn't like a national government (whether local,  
state or
fed) where the voting power is according to tax paid. It's difficult  
to get
it "right"... especially if few if any of the major players are  
interested
in actually making it work.

Gerhard

The way to get it "right" , is to minimize voting and representative  
government.
AGSC

2006\07\26@044335 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
Do you have contact info for Mennonites  ?

On 2006-Jul 26, at 01:18hrs AM, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> The best relief organization in the world is the Mennonites;
> they have a DC3 that has supplies ALREADY ONBOARD 24 hrs/day/365
> days a year. If I give anybody support, I support them.

Not sure what the range of a DC3 is, ...

Oxfam do maintain warehouses here in the UK with supplies ready for  
shipment
to anywhere in the world, suitable for almost any disaster. Recent  
events
that they were on top of with supplies were the Boxing day tsunami, the
Pakistan earthquake, and other similar major disasters. At the time  
of both
these disasters Oxfam supplies were on route to the disaster area within
very short times, although I believe it was on commercial air  
transport (but
they may have had a subsidised rate). They are certainly one of the more
creditable charities when it comes to disaster aid.

2006\07\26@050848 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
Thanks for the references to good organizations.
AGSC

On 2006-Jul 25, at 10:28hrs AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

I would donate money to these efforts if I thought 75% ended up in
a refugees pocket and not funding a fat cat's new car.


I'm fairly happy with what Oxfam seems to achieve.
After the Indonesian Tsunami they were flying in tons of supplies
(with their crates visible on evening TV being forklifted into
aeroplanes) while the UN were still 'preparing to send people to
investigate requirements'.


UNHCR have their heart more or less in the right place
--- I do not think so.... the UN is 75% full of mediocre, power grabbing
swine ----

but they are
not the most efficient organisation on earth or demonstrably good at
dealing with internal corruption. I indirectly know a man with the UN
who is working within view of the Lebanese-Israeli border (his wife
and children just arrived in Cyprus) so they have got at least some
people on site (as you'd certainly expect). How many are there working
on humanitarian issues directly I don't know.




            Russell

-

2006\07\26@104217 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Call them tollfree at 1-866-866-2872 .

--Bob

Gus S Calabrese wrote:
{Quote hidden}

what is the contact info for OXFAM?

--Bob

{Quote hidden}

2006\07\26@120149 by Aaron

picon face



>Do you have contact info for Mennonites  ?
>
>  
>
Somebody recently made me aware of the Mennonite Central Committee.
http://www.mcc.org/

and

Headquartered in the heart of Amish country, OH, I sometimes donate to
Christain Aid Ministries (CAM).
www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm/bay/search.summary/orgid/3494.htm
http://anabaptists.org/places/cam/


Aaron

2006\07\26@123257 by D. Daniel McGlothin

flavicon
face
> Do you have contact info for Mennonites  ?
>> The best relief organization in the world is the Mennonites;

You can Google for "mennonite disaster services"; the top link is
http://www.mds.mennonite.net/.

There are other Mennonite "services" offered as well.

Daniel

2006\07\27@162035 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Sorry, Russell, but Lebanon is in the Middle East. It doesn't matter how
nice the Lebanese people are, they live in an insane place. The Middle East
is not stable. Hasn't been and as far as I know will not be. Pretty much
insane, with notable exceptions and my efforts go towards getting the
not-insane to be able to immigrate to parts of the world that match them.

E.g. I know some very fine people from Iraq who are sane and who left when
they realized that they were living in an insane place. Asimov came from the
USSR on the same motivation. Einstein also. My personal favorite is our own
Nikolai Golovchenko who left the Ukraine for a more sane life here in the
USA. I am very proud that the PICList helped to find him a corporate
immigration sponsor. I vouched for him, and the USA is a better place for
his being here.

Take the good, leave the bad behind to eat itself.

It's one thing to battle nature and take calculated risks between the danger
of an earthquake and the other needed advantages of the land, and quite
another to continue to live in a place where war has been the norm for
thousands of years. In SoCal, we loose a few hundred every 10 or 20 years to
a quake, not 40,000 a year (or more?) to genocide. Every location has its
dangers, how many die of skin cancer in NZ? But natural causes can often be
compensated for. Don't buy a house on a hill side or live in a multi-story
complex. Wear sun block. How you going to stop that missile or car bomb?

And I am willing to accept that our love of cars is insane. More than 60,000
dead on the roads ever year in the USA means that people are not thinking
logically about transit. But I've done what I can to limit my exposure and
reduced my chances of dying in a car from 1 in 84 to about 1 in 101 and in
time, I will eliminate it entirely. I can make a change from driving to
telecommuting and avoid the danger. Anyone living in the Middle East is
living in a war zone and has little or no control over their potential death
from it.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\07\27@181641 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> Sorry, Russell, but Lebanon is in the Middle East. It doesn't matter how
> nice the Lebanese people are, they live in an insane place. The Middle East
> is not stable. Hasn't been and as far as I know will not be. Pretty much
> insane, with notable exceptions and my efforts go towards getting the
> not-insane to be able to immigrate to parts of the world that match them.
>
>  
My high opinion of you, James, grows daily! <G>

--Bob

{Quote hidden}

>> {Original Message removed}

2006\07\27@201605 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> Sorry, Russell, but Lebanon is in the Middle East. It doesn't matter how
> nice the Lebanese people are, they live in an insane place. The Middle
> East is not stable. Hasn't been and as far as I know will not be. Pretty
> much insane, with notable exceptions and my efforts go towards getting
> the not-insane to be able to immigrate to parts of the world that match
> them.

I would like to add two snapshots that seem to provide a different view of
the issue.

One is Brazil. Brazil is an insane place. I don't know how much you know
about life here, but by many standards it is insane. They don't fire
rockets here, but pretty much everything else. And it's not only the
criminals; the institutions are not that strong either. But... if all the
people who see some light left, it never would have a chance to get better.
Life is becoming increasingly global; I'm only 46, but since I can think
about issues, it's been clear to me that globalization is not a policy,
it's a reality. I don't condemn people who leave places like the Ukraine or
Lebanon, but I respect the ones who stay and try to make it work, even
though they know it's better elsewhere.

The other is Southern California. SoCal is also, by many standards, an
insane place. It's not only the certainty that sooner or later something
will open and quite possibly kill the equivalent of many, many years of
genocide in other places. It's that the "normal" life in SoCal is based on
illegally captured water ("illegally" as in "violating inter-state
contracts") from /far/ away -- so far that a normal life (without quotes)
in SoCal is practically impossible. Or only possible for a tiny fraction of
the current population.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that many people, including you and me,
life in places considered insane by many others. Once you spent enough time
there, some of the insanity becomes normality. For others, going away is
not that easy an option -- Nikolai apparently was an engineer. Many in the
Middle East (and in Brazil) are very simple people; land workers, for
example. You wouldn't find a visa category in the USA for these. And there
are good and admirable reasons even for people who could leave to stay;
reasons that do not only help the place, but the world as a whole.

> I vouched for him, and the USA is a better place for his being here.

Probably, and probably he's glad he came. But as much as the USA is
something of an island, it also helps the USA if places like the Ukraine
become peaceful places with a decent standard of living. They only have a
chance at that if not all of the good ones leave.


> It's one thing to battle nature and take calculated risks between the danger
> of an earthquake and the other needed advantages of the land, and quite
> another to continue to live in a place where war has been the norm for
> thousands of years.

I don't think you're being fair here. War was the norm for the western
parts of the USA until some 200 years ago; and still, people followed its
calling and moved west to California. Must have been an insane bunch :)
War was the norm for most places, and in historical dimensions, still is --
even though some places may have it less rough for a few generations.
Europe is no exception, the Americas are no exception, and the Middle East
isn't, either.

Also, during much of what is called the Dark Middle Ages, the Middle East
was where civilization as we know it could survive and grow. Much of the
foundation of modernity is based on knowledge that came from or through the
Middle East to Europe. They are going through some rough times, but much of
that is not of their own making. Similar to the American native population,
they are having a very difficult time adjusting to the extremely powerful
means modern mass production can provide. They lack the control structures
for this power that we (Europeans, "Westerners") had the time to create
(well, more or less) while creating the means.

I don't think you can make a case that in the Middle East there has been
more war than, say, in Europe or the Americas during the last few thousand
of years. (There may have been less war in the Americas before the
Europeans arrived, but probably this was due only to a much smaller
population density than in the traditionally densely populated
Mediterranean region, and in any case this changed radically with the
arrival of the Europeans and doesn't really count when comparing with
today.)

Gerhard

2006\07\27@220250 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
I don't mean this in a mean or argumentative way, but nothing you said
was... compelling. The comparisons do not appear reasonable to me. Rather
than continue to comment or rebut point by point, I'm just going to try to
simplify my points:

In the Middle East, many more people are actively killing each other when
compared to SoCal or Brazil or the USA in the past. The justifications don't
really matter. The history doesn't really matter. This is what IS. NOW. That
is a place where humans kill each other for no apparent reason.

In my definition of the word, humans killing each other, especially for
non-issues like religion, is insane. Because of the number of insane people
in the area, their situation is hopeless.

I won't help insane peoples. I see no point in helping sane people in insane
places except to help them leave. Those who can get out, should do so.

I will (and have) help those who are in places where there are not so many
insane people.

http://www.heifer.org, interestingly enough, does not help in Brazil...
Maybe I didn't understand how bad the situation is there... But I don't
think anywhere near the number of people are killed in Brazil as are killed
in the Middle East. There is not an active war that I am aware of. Did I
miss something? More likely, they don't help for the same reason they don't
help us in SoCal: We don't need it. We can afford to help others.



---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\07\28@024642 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> James Newtons Massmind wrote:

>> ... my efforts go towards getting the
>> not-insane to be able to immigrate to parts of the world that match
>> them.

> My high opinion of you, James, grows daily! <G>

My high opinion of James doesn't lessen, but I'd find it hard to
subscribe to a morality that demanded that people emigrate before they
were eligible for my assistance. While the golden rule V2 (he who has
the gold makes the rules) has some applicability, there will always be
a significant proportion of any population for whom subsistence living
is enough of a challenge to preclude ever rising to the level of being
able to even think about emigrating. To deny such people humanitarian
aid when two groups who they are unnassociated with decide to mutually
take it out on them is something of a travesty.

And to put things in perspective, when looking at what constitutes
insanity and death rate, one can choose to either use ones own rule
set (which is far more likely to be comfortable) or instead to look in
from some other perspective. Using one such other perspective, if we
define 'caused deaths' as being those people who aren't there at age X
who would have been there under another rule set, then not only does
the US have a 60,000 pa road death toll to account for, but also over
1 million 'events' per annum which will cause a person to arrive at
age X, where in this case X >= 0. While abortion is almost necessarily
not defined as destroying a life by those who wish to use it as a tool
of social convenience, this in no way invalidates (or per se
validates) the perspectives of most other onlookers who see abortion
as just another form of US caused death. (fwiw, the NZ abortion rate
per capita is about the same as the US rate and much higher than for
most other countries.). On this basis, in the US you have a good
fraction of a percent chance of dying before you are even born -
around the same chance as James has now arranged for his automobile
travelling :-(. This makes even southern Lebanon at present look
several orders of magnitude more sane than SoCal, even if you ignore
the auto fatalities. It just depends on your perspective. Maybe there
are people in Lebanon who would be willing to sponsor James and family
to emigrate and make a new start :-).



       Russell



.


2006\07\28@033939 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Sorry, Russell, James is right on the mark.. and you missed the point
entirely.

Until recent times, Middle Eastern peoples did nothing but fight among
themselves. These people
were held hostage by their respective religions. They still are. That's
what James was alluding to.

Iran is a theocracy of  Shiite  Muslim extremists. They genuinely desire
to eliminate all competing
forms of Islam except theirs, and thru confusion or destruction will do
so without any qualms whatever
throughout the world. Hezbollah is an army of Iran, operating outside of
Iran, and Syria facilities as a
communications path. Hezbollah destabilizes Lebanon, Iraq, and other
Islamic countries.  If Iran gets
a nuclear bomb, they will NOT hesitate to use it on anybody that they
think threatens them.

This is not the first time Israel has had to throw out Hezbollah out of
Lebanon. A UN agreement was
made that ensured that Israel could leave Lebanon and the UN would see
Hezbollah out of  Lebanon.
The UN, impotent as usual, failed to  remove Hezbollah. Lebanon CHOSE to
let Hezbollah stay.

Most of the "Lebanese who are displaced" are families of Hezbollah
fighting in So Lebanon. If anybody
should help them, Iran and Syria can do it.

--Bob






{Quote hidden}

2006\07\28@083138 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>>> James Newtons Massmind wrote:
>>>> ... my efforts go towards getting the
>>>> not-insane to be able to immigrate to parts of the world that
>>>> match
>>>> them.


>> My high opinion of James doesn't lessen, but I'd find it hard to
>> subscribe to a morality that demanded that people emigrate before
>> they
>> were eligible for my assistance.  ...
>> To deny such people humanitarian
>> aid when two groups who they are unnassociated with decide to
>> mutually
>> take it out on them is something of a travesty.


> Sorry, Russell,

No apologies necessary, apart than for, accidentally I'm sure :-),
suggesting I'm wrong when I'm not :-).
I can see that quite a lot of :-)'s are going to be needed in this
sort of exchange..

This sort of conversation degenerates to holy war amongst us, as in
Lebanon, and my chance of convincing you to see any merit in my
perspective is probably about as great as you convincing me that I'm
totally wrong 9as you suggest I am). Time for another :-).

> James is right on the mark..

No. He certainly isn't. PART of what he said is in the general area of
the mark. Part is pure rubbish. We all manage a percentage of rubbish.
To feel that we are "right on the mark" runs grave risks. I appreciate
what he's saying. Bu, for instance, suggesting that wounded children
in southern Lebanon are completely unworthy of humanitarian aid, which
is an onbious subset of what is being said, is 'low on merit'.

> and you missed the point entirely.

An extremely dangerous position to take.
And 'entirely' wrong.
I'm quite sure that i could hold forth quite eloquently on his point
of view if I wished.
Understanding it doesn't make me agree with it.
Disagreeing with it doesn't mean I've missed it.

> Until recent times, Middle Eastern peoples did nothing but fight
> among
> themselves.

I know that generalisations such as "did nothing but ..." are
hyperbole used to dramatic effect, but they also are dangerously
liable to blind one to wider truths.

Lets step back and try for a just slightly wider perspective. You've
provided a recap of 'recent history' of the area which you feel is
releavnt to the present events. Lets look just slightly wider and at a
just slightly longer timescale. All more relevant than it may at first
feel.

In time scales that are relevant to the area, "until recently" Lebanon
and Beirut were centres of world commerce and power. Beirut was one of
THE places to be seen for the social elite. Until "recently' (ie
before about 1914 or maybe a small period (100 years/) before) "The
Cedars of Lebanon" were one of the wonders of the world. Recent (last
100 - 200 years) events have rather trashed the neighbourhood. Until
recently (last 58 years)(1948) the people of the area did not fight
with each other in quite the same way for quite the same cause and
with quite the same utter loathing and hatred at core. Very slightly
less recently (90 odd years) messrs Zimmerman with his telegram (quite
possibly set up by a Zionist spy)(Mexico is the place that I'm ...)
and Balfour (Well, I do declare ...) made the events of 1948 a
possibility and set in place the events ever since.

In the wider area of the middle east the 'fighting amongst themselves'
was arguably of lesser severity and certainly of lesser scale than
similar occurrences in Europe prior to the 80 year and 30 year war and
the subsequent treaty of Westphalia in 1648 whcih more or less formed
the foundation for modern Europe.

       http://www.class.uh.edu/gbrown/philosophers/leibniz/BritannicaPages/WestphaliaTreaty/WestphaliaTreaty.html

Prior to that (and quite often after it) the description "did nothing
but fight among[st] themselves" would have been an exceedingly
apposite one.

Even since then the bloody minded and bloody handed nature of the
English (and many others) is something which we largely seem ignorant
of when we tut-tut over the deeds of less infomed groups today.

We also seem largely unaware that 'The Seven Sisters" (Shell, BP, ...)
made the whole area their playground and by foul means or foul sought
to dominate, exploit, subjugate, suppress and all that jazz with the
aim of monetary profit. The fact that in the last century borders were
drawn and redrawn and reredrawn by the "great powers" of the day and
that much of the fighting involved gun boat diplomacy (hard when you
are far from a gun-boat) with the said great powers providing the bulk
of the aggro is now generally lost on us.

Since then the currently greatest world power (and for about the next
10 - 15 years) first of all had  abloody but relatively lossless run
in with its masters and then a much more nasty run in with itself. In
my childhood there were still people alive who had lived through the
American Civil War when they all fought bloodily and with exxtreme
prejudice amongst themselves soley within  their own country.

It's useful to remember that in 1812 (before the Americans internal
stoush, the French (it was their turn to be 'great') took around half
a million (!!!) mainly mercenaries all the way to Moscow to be
destroyed by General Winter, and a mere 130 years later Germany did
much the same thing (but largely used their own people and some not
quite so willing helpers to feed General Winter. To any rational
external observer this would have looked exceedingly much like 'doing
nothing but fight amongst themselves'.

The point, if I need a point for such a fascinating subject :-), is
that in very very short timescales by historical standards the oh so
urbane and sophisticated and just and democratic (hanging chads) great
powers were every bit as bloody and bad and unreasonable (unless you
were them) as others elsewhere now. Because "we" feel that we have
learned the lessons of history, and because "we" happened to be those
who gained ascendancy earlier on, we now feel that we can proclaim the
good message to these ignorant miscreants and declare their wars
insane and worse.And we can, because we happened to be first. But I'm
not at all ceryain that we have in fact learned the lessons from the
experienc ethat we thing we have.

> These people were held hostage by their respective religions. They
> still are.

Religion is the great excuse. It's entirely obvious to the
orreligious, or to thjose of some other religious persuasion in any
given circumstamce, that the ills of the whole system are caused by
it. The 'truth' is [[although I just KNOW that you won't accept it
:-) ]] is that religion is simply a really good excuse to hand things
on. The bse fault is the core nature of mankind (whatever that may
happen to be). Religion is an area where people can explot pride and
greed and 'inhumanity' <sic> and more. But if you ever manage to
dereligionise a lare group of people they will either spontaneously
generate anew religion to fight over or just fight anyway. Hitler's
war was not largely a religious one. His understandings had some
wrappings and trappings of spirituality, but largely it was hate and
racial pride that drove him. Stalin? Mao? Those 3 are probably the
greatest ever kilelrs of people in all human history - Mao possibly
the greatest. Religion was not a genuine factor for any of them.

> That's what James was alluding to.

Indeed he was. In part. But anywhere where people are mad would meet
his criteria. eg Brazil, apparently :-).

> Iran is a theocracy of  Shiite  Muslim extremists. They genuinely
> desire
> to eliminate all competing
> forms of Islam except theirs, and thru confusion or destruction will
> do
> so without any qualms whatever

It would perhaps be slightly better to say " ... is controlled by
...". There are many there who must go with the flow who do not hold
the views of those who dominate them. Hitler was every bit as driven
to eliminate those who did not meet his criteria. He probably 'had to'
hate the Jews to get where he got BUT his decision to hate the slavic
racesas a whole and to consider them subhuman transformed him from a
potential liberator into a hated fiend. Germany COULD have worked with
much of the soviet peoples as allies but instead treated them as below
contempt and fit only for destruction. That only works long term if
you can maintain the ascendancy. If then.

The desire of the Shiite's is not in practical form any different than
what drobe Hitler EXCEPT that it is possible for their 'enemies' to
convert, whereas there is no way to turn a Slav into an Arian.

> throughout the world. Hezbollah is an army of Iran, operating
> outside of
> Iran, and Syria facilities as a
> communications path. Hezbollah destabilizes Lebanon, Iraq, and other
> Islamic countries.

Which may well be true enough. Although for completeness it would
probably be a good idea to mention that they also hold a signifiant
number of seats in the Lebanese parliament.  BUT it's absolutely
irrelevant to my original point. As is the point which I'll come to in
a moment :-). NONE of the young children who are wounded, starving,
homeless, parentless and more in Southern Lebanon are members of
Hezbollah. Their parents (if still alive) may be. And may not be. But
the children are simply children and are in need of aid. I've met
James' children, and I'm sure that he would be appalled if they were
in need of life saving aid and were denied it because they were
Democrats. Which, of course, they are not. Or if they were denied aid
after 'the big one' because their parents had lived ner the San
Andreas fault and had faild to move away, even though they knew the
dangers.

Children are children. When they need help they need help. There are
no reasons why this should not be so. And there will be many other
peple in the area who are equally in need of help and who were equally
unable to control their circumstances. And it'soften enough hard to
determine who is who.

> If Iran gets a nuclear bomb, they will NOT hesitate to use it on
> anybody that they
> think threatens them.

Only if they think they can do so to advantage. And that depends on
who is in power 5/10/20 years from now. Things do change totally
unbelievably. The fall of western communism was unbelievable to most.
And while "M.A.D." is not much mentioned these days, there were and
I'm sure still are some who have hundreds of H bombs at their disposal
who argued entirely seriously for pre-emptive first strike. Insane as
that may sound to all sane people :-). Having a 'small' 'enemy'
nuclear power with ?100's? of nukes nearby mat both drive their
aspirations and stay their hand.

> This is not the first time Israel has had to throw out Hezbollah out
> of
> Lebanon. A UN agreement was
> made that ensured that Israel could leave Lebanon and the UN would
> see
> Hezbollah out of  Lebanon.
> The UN, impotent as usual, failed to  remove Hezbollah. Lebanon
> CHOSE to
> let Hezbollah stay.

Children. The children. Focus on the children. Then look around at the
other innocents. Then ...

> Most of the "Lebanese who are displaced" are families of Hezbollah
> fighting in So Lebanon.

This *MAY* be true. And may not. And I don't know that anyone can
really be sure. But, even if it were, what about the rest. And what
about the children?

> If anybody
> should help them, Iran and Syria can do it.

Irrelevant, even if true.
Who can and who will and who should can be quite orthogonal.
If TRUE Islam were at work there's be no problems with aid. But the
dictats of the prophet are too hidden by the pride and aspirations of
men.


       Russell





{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\07\28@090811 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face

> Iran is a theocracy of  Shiite  Muslim extremists. They genuinely
> desire
> to eliminate all competing forms of Islam except theirs, and thru
> confusion or destruction will do so without any qualms whatever
> throughout the world.

I quoted this

   http://www.class.uh.edu/gbrown/philosophers/leibniz/BritannicaPages/WestphaliaTreaty/WestphaliaTreaty.html

but it may well have been lost amongst my greater ramblings. I just
went back and had another read, and I'd recommend it to anyone who is
sketchy on the basis of European history in the last 400 years or so.
It's fascinating enough stuff in its own right, and the parallels with
the modern Middle East while not tightly correlated, at least have
enough commonality for it to serve as a lesson in "been there, done
that". As I said before though, beware ascribing to religion that
which is simply mankind at work looking for an excuse.




       Russell


2006\07\28@094945 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> In the Middle East, many more people are actively killing each other when
> compared to SoCal or Brazil or the USA in the past. [...] This is what
> IS. NOW.

I really would like to get down to the facts of this, rather than repeating
preconceived notions (yours or mine) again and again. Is this really what
"IS"?

http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000396.htm:

"While the U.S. homicide rate declined slightly in 2004, it was more than
25 percent higher than Israel's combined rate of deaths from crime, suicide
bombings and intifada-related military casualties."

Are the numbers this guy is citing wrong? Irrelevant? Or just not
convenient? It seems to be "insane" to want to move from, say, Israel
(violent death rate 4/y/100k, location Middle East) to, say, Los Angeles
(violent death rate 13/y/100k, location North America) for fear of getting
killed. And note that while it's worse in the Palestinian areas, it still
doesn't seem as bad as a number of metro areas in the US (35/y/100k,
Washington, D.C. -- the nation's capital).

(I'm not saying there might not be other reasons to move from the Middle
East to the US. But the "actively killing each other" issue is what you are
talking about.)


> The history doesn't really matter.

Well, it was you who introduced the very distant history into your
argument. If it didn't matter, you shouldn't have written things about it
that you don't really care much about, it seems, and possibly because of
that don't know that well.

"... where war has been the norm for thousands of years" -- Bob also
repeated that, and I can't get rid of the impression that neither you nor
he really know whether or not that actually sets the Middle East apart from
other regions or have any facts to back that opinion up (that's what it is,
but presented as a fact), like by comparing war and related effects in
different regions of the world over the past few thousand years.

I probably wouldn't have replied if you hadn't tried to make that argument.
It's by repeating such unfounded opinions as facts and nobody objecting
that brainwashing occurs -- and all of a sudden it's not possible, even
with facts, to counter such an opinion-became-pseudo-fact; not despite, but
exactly because it is not based on fact.



> http://www.heifer.org, interestingly enough, does not help in Brazil...

I don't know their policy, their priorities, their requirements. Do you?
Without knowing them, I can't really tell why they don't. When you look at
the map, you see a /lot/ of countries where they don't help, many of which
definitely could need some help. So I don't know whether the fact that they
don't have any projects in Brazil is in fact "interesting" or just
arbitrary.

"Interestingly enough", though, they seem to think that helping in Ukraine
is worth it, differently from what you indicated you think about that
place.

They also help in Afghanistan, which by any accounts is not much better,
violence-wise, than any of the other countries in the Middle East. Not as
much present in the major news outlets as some others, but that doesn't
tell much and may have any number of other reasons.


> Maybe I didn't understand how bad the situation is there... But I don't
> think anywhere near the number of people are killed in Brazil as are
> killed in the Middle East.

commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/conor_foley/2006/05/post_92.html
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0520075374/103-8563620-3799044?v=glance&n=283155

This is just what I could come up with quickly; it doesn't cover it all. In
any case, it takes a bit more than this to understand, it has many facets,
and that's probably not the stuff we want to discuss at length and over a
period of time here. If you're interested, we can take this offlist.

> There is not an active war that I am aware of. Did I miss something?

Probably you did miss something. It's easy to miss out on important things
when you're far away. And we all know that the major press organizations
are not that reliable in showing the relevant. It may not be called a
"war", but that's just names. By some definitions of "war" (like a declared
war), there is no active war going on in the Middle East, either. By other
definitions, some unexpected places can be considered war zones.


> More likely, they don't help for the same reason they don't help us in
> SoCal: We don't need it. We can afford to help others.

By looking at the map of countries where they do and don't help, I can't
get the feeling that this is planned and has a clear policy behind it. Of
course there probably is some policy behind it (like why they don't help in
Germany), but there's probably also quite a bit of chance behind it (like
why they don't help in either of the Congos or in Angola).

Gerhard

2006\07\28@114647 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

perspective..?

{Quote hidden}

Just more liberal drivel. Do ya know how many liberals it takes to screw
in a light bulb? well, it
really doesn't matter, 'cause they never see the light anyway.

Ah yes, the children, let's not forget them. 10,000 hungry in Africa. If
you feed them now, in 14 years
you will have 50,000 to feed.

Don't worry, I'm done, you can have the last shot.

--Bob

{Quote hidden}

2006\07\28@155458 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000396.htm:
>
> "While the U.S. homicide rate declined slightly in 2004, it
> was more than
> 25 percent higher than Israel's combined rate of deaths from
> crime, suicide bombings and intifada-related military casualties."

Trust a web site like mideastweb.org to come up with statistics like that. I
strongly doubt them.

> Are the numbers this guy is citing wrong? Irrelevant? Or just
> not convenient? It seems to be "insane" to want to move from,
> say, Israel (violent death rate 4/y/100k, location Middle
> East) to, say, Los Angeles (violent death rate 13/y/100k,
> location North America) for fear of getting killed. And note
> that while it's worse in the Palestinian areas, it still
> doesn't seem as bad as a number of metro areas in the US
> (35/y/100k, Washington, D.C. -- the nation's capital).

Apples to apples please. Compare the entire USA with all of Israel or
compare inner-city USA with inner-city Israel. That was a cheap shot, and
not worthy of your intelligence.

Israel has lost a lost more than 4 / year / 100k. And it has been relatively
safe for them in the years he is apparently citing. And if it really is
safer living in Israel, why are they constantly whining about the terrorist
threat? I seem to remember it was a pretty scary place to be each time they
were at war with their neighbors. Maybe it's just fear and not actually
deaths?

Other countries in the middle east are much worse. Russell was specifically
looking at Lebanon. Anyone have non-biased figures for how many people die
there per year per 100k? I honestly couldn't find any.

> (I'm not saying there might not be other reasons to move from
> the Middle East to the US. But the "actively killing each
> other" issue is what you are talking about.)

<SNIP>

I'll stipulate the rest. Lets just focus on whether or not people in Lebanon
have any real hope in the future. Will the area be stable? Has it been
stable? If we support these displaced people, will they be able to find
homes, grow food, and live in peace?

---
James.


2006\07\28@155909 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Russell, irrespective of the history, how great Lebanon was in the past, and
so on... What hope have those people today? Will the displaced peoples be
able to find homes, food, and live in peace from now on, if they are
assisted in getting over this disaster?

I say no, but I admit to being less than an expert in that specific area
past or present. And future is all that matters here.

You say...

---
James.


2006\07\28@161356 by Josh Koffman

face picon face
Alright guys. I think we're getting a bit too political here for the list.

This is a pretty charged subject and I don't think we're going to be
able to solve much regarding it here.

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

2006\07\28@163604 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> children who are wounded, starving, homeless, parentless and

> children are simply children and are in need of aid. I've met

> Children are children. When they need help they need help.

> Children. The children. Focus on the children. Then look

> rest. And what about the children?

Cheap shots. Not the issue and you know it. This is the crap the liberals
pull that really pisses me off. And believe me, there are lots of things the
conservatives do that also piss me off, so I'm an equal opportunity pisser.

If I thought there was any way to actually help those children, and by help,
I mean insure a safe, sane, future for them. I would be right there doing
it.

There isn't. Sorry, but that is the truth as I see it. Their parents will
raise them to hate and kill anyone who isn't of their own religion. Assuming
they survive, and that is doubtful.

The only way to save them is to adopt them out, and yes, I do support that,
although I did not adopt myself, and I consider that one of the largest
mistakes I've made. I wish I had adopted that little girl from the Las
Colinas orphanage in Baja when I first married. I can still see her face.
But I had my own kids instead, and I can't handle more. I do advocate for
adoption. I encourage it every chance I get.

It comes back to triage. If the baby who is dying in your emergency room has
less of a chance of making it than the man who is also dying, you work on
the man. Later on, you cry about the baby and you damn yourself for not
being fast enough or good enough to save both. But you don't through reason
to the wind and try to save the baby, only to loose both.

You think the conservatives, the realists, the whatever we are don't cry for
the babies? How dare you. We cry, but we are man enough, in the light of
day, to stand by what we know is right for the majority and for the best.

And I am really disappointed that anyone logical enough to be on this list
would pull that "what about the children" crap.

If they want to save those children, give them to us. Let us raise them to
harm none.

---
James.


2006\07\28@170018 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
> -----Original Message-----
> From: @spam@piclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.eduOn Behalf Of James Newtons Massmind
> Sent: Friday, July 28, 2006 3:55 PM
>
> Trust a web site like mideastweb.org to come up with
> statistics like that. I strongly doubt them.

That site did have links at the bottom of the page to the original data
sources (FBI, Israel Foreign Ministry and, Haaretz).

Perhaps the CIA World Factbook is more believable:
https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2066rank.html

An excerpt from the 2006 CIA factbook:

Rank  Country        Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)
1     Swaziland      29.74
..........
107   United States  8.26
..........
166   Israel         6.18
..........
219   Gaza Strip     3.80
...........
226   Northern
    Mariana Islands 2.29

I suppose the CIA could be fudging the data to make the U.S. look bad but, I
doubt it. Of course this data does not break the stats down by cause of
death. I suspect a much larger portion of the U.S. deaths are due to old
age.

Paul  

2006\07\28@171714 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> This is not the first time Israel has had to throw out
> Hezbollah out of Lebanon. A UN agreement was made that
> ensured that Israel could leave Lebanon and the UN would see
> Hezbollah out of  Lebanon.
> The UN, impotent as usual, failed to  remove Hezbollah.
> Lebanon CHOSE to let Hezbollah stay.
>
> Most of the "Lebanese who are displaced" are families of
> Hezbollah fighting in So Lebanon. If anybody should help
> them, Iran and Syria can do it.
>
> --Bob

What he said.

I have other things to do, more hopeful projects on which to work.

I found a guy who will loan me his MIG welder and I got the frame designed
for the hydraulic power pack that I and a friend are building. He will use
it to automate the calibration of high pressure sensors, and I will use it
to drive a ram on a log splitter. That is logs for my wood stove which
enables me to heat my home without supporting the war on Iraq by using
fossil fuels.

My first motor is on the way for a solar electric bike/car. I eventually
hope to drive to the market on sun power and not have to support the war on
Iraq by using fossil fuels to shop.

I'm trying to find a way to work from home and not have to commute
(supporting the war... Etc...)

I want to live MY life as well as I can. I help my neighbors, my friends,
and family. I donate to good charities in safe, sane parts of the world. I
try not to harm the earth. I teach my kids not to depend on others, to take
care of themselves.

I try to harm none.

Spending my money on insane people would harm me and my neighbors, friends,
and family.

---
James.


2006\07\28@174517 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
That is total death rate. We have an aging population and generally poor
health practices, so yes, we are dying off. Maybe that counts as insanity.

Where are the figures on VIOLENT death?

P.S. I checked average life expectancy for USA and Israel, and I am
surprised to find that they are expected to live longer than we Americans
are...

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\07\28@193605 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
I'll try to make a summary here. Maybe it helps...

My main issue is not with not helping or not people in Lebanon right now.
It is with the prejudice that seems to grow about that region. Did you know
that Lebanon was known as the "Switzerland of the Middle East"? Because of
its prosperity, beauty, neutrality, and of course wealth. Did you know that
while my forefathers (and probably yours) were immersed in the darkness of
the Middle Ages in most of Europe, the Middle East was the light of
civilization and progress in the whole area around Europe and the
Mediterranean? We probably wouldn't be where we are if it weren't for them
and their knowledge that fed back into Europe after we woke up.

They are going through a rough spot (in history) right now, but that's not
more insane than some of what our people have done or survived in the past.
We also shouldn't forget that we, Europeans and US-Americans (as countries,
not necessarily as individuals), had a major role in creating the whole
mess in the Middle East. Feeding despots that came right out of the Middle
Ages with tons of money and mass-produced weapons over a long enough period
is likely to result in a radicalization of the region, no matter where.
Arbitrarily creating borders and just tell the people to take it (or leave
it, but that's then what they are doing) is not a good recipe for stability
either. Repressing democracy wherever it tries to grow is also not really
the way to go when you want long-term stability. So when you are saying
they are insane... what does that say about us? And where's the difference
then?

You say they should leave. Leave to where? You know quite well that they
are not welcome anywhere else. Not everybody there is an engineer... And
then, when people really leave the places where it's bad and go to the
places where it's better, no matter what, I'm not sure the people there
(where it's better) do appreciate that. Usually they don't. Maybe that's
not you, but that's the majority of where it's better. And the reality.

I think the whole situation there, especially around Israel, is very
difficult to understand, I'm pretty sure it all looks quite different when
you're there and depends a lot on exactly where (and who) you are, and it
seems to me that it is a bit without a solution -- at least in the classic
molds.

So my main point is: I don't think "cheap shots" at the Lebanon or the
Middle East and rash judgments without at least a good knowledge of the
facts (and possibly some real inside experience) is a helpful thing -- for
anybody. It's bad there, but washing your hands and saying that you don't
have any stake in that is a bit like putting the head into the sand.

I won't help either. I have my priorities, and I prefer spending what I can
spend (money and time) closer to home. But that's not because I think they
don't deserve it or are insane, that's because I'm limited and to make a
difference I need to focus.

In the heart, I'm an internationalist. I'm convinced that some form of
world federation is necessary to achieve a certain level of world peace.
I'm also quite sure that, if that should ever come, it's not around the
corner. Most people have too strong nationalist feelings, and rather make
war than peace -- if the peace would come with less of that fantasy called
sovereignty. But I'm also an optimist, and I think that it's still time :)



James Newtons Massmind wrote:

>> http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000396.htm:
>>
>> "While the U.S. homicide rate declined slightly in 2004, it was more
>> than 25 percent higher than Israel's combined rate of deaths from
>> crime, suicide bombings and intifada-related military casualties."
>
> Trust a web site like mideastweb.org to come up with statistics like
> that. I strongly doubt them.

Did you have a look at least? Or is it hardwired in your mind that this
just can't be true?

> Where are the figures on VIOLENT death?

With the numbers he cites are posted links to sites of the Israel Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and of the US Department of Justice/FBI. You strongly
doubt them also, or you just didn't bother to check? At least that guy
posted links with his numbers. (I know others who don't :)  That's why I
posted that link. The numbers are there, but if you don't check them
because they are linked from mideastweb.org to the FBI site, you won't find
them that easily.

Here is another source of violent death statistics (which apparently
doesn't include the terror victims in Israel; I'm sure they don't put them
in the normal crime statistics):
http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html

Matches the figures in that "doubtful" Middle East site.

I'm sure you can come up with your own sources that support your claims.
I'm just saying here that the numbers I can find don't support your claims,
or if they do, they support them with some surprising "side effects".


>> Are the numbers this guy is citing wrong? Irrelevant? Or just not
>> convenient? It seems to be "insane" to want to move from, say, Israel
>> (violent death rate 4/y/100k, location Middle East) to, say, Los
>> Angeles (violent death rate 13/y/100k, location North America) for fear
>> of getting killed. And note that while it's worse in the Palestinian
>> areas, it still doesn't seem as bad as a number of metro areas in the
>> US (35/y/100k, Washington, D.C. -- the nation's capital).
>
> Apples to apples please. Compare the entire USA with all of Israel ...

Again... did you have the courtesy to look at the page? It starts with (and
here I copy again -- see way above):

"While the U.S. homicide rate declined slightly in 2004, it was more than
25 percent higher than Israel's combined rate of deaths from crime, suicide
bombings and intifada-related military casualties."

That's all of the US compared to all of Israel. (And the page provides the
links to the sources of the data.) See, it was you who said that living in
the Middle East is insane because all they do is killing each other. I
tried to find some numbers about how much exactly they are killing each
other, and how that relates to other areas. Of course I know that there are
safer than average areas in the USA, and that there are more dangerous
areas in the Middle East. But do /you/ know that? Your statements didn't
seem to indicate this.


> ... or compare inner-city USA with inner-city Israel. That was a cheap shot,
> and not worthy of your intelligence.

Not really. I'm just putting your own words into contact with reality.

It doesn't help someone living in Washington, D.C. or in LA that the
country's average is lower. The numbers say it's several times more
dangerous in Washington, D.C. or in LA than in Israel. You say people
should leave the Middle East (not Lebanon or any other specific area) and
don't deserve any help as long as they don't do that because it's too
dangerous there -- by that same logic, people should leave many other areas
and don't deserve any help while they don't leave.

There must be something wrong with your argument, when the overall death
rate due to violence (crime and terror attacks) in one of the major
conflict countries in the Middle East is lower than the average rate in the
USA.

That was not a cheap shot. I really think that way. You may think I'm
wrong, but so far, you haven't come up with a lot of facts to support that.
I would really like to see them.


> Israel has lost a lost more than 4 / year / 100k.

Again... sez who? How many? How does that relate to the official Israeli
numbers (which seem to be that low)? What interest would the Israeli
government have to understate the numbers of terror victims?

> And it has been relatively safe for them in the years he is apparently
> citing. And if it really is safer living in Israel, why are they
> constantly whining about the terrorist threat?

"Whining?" Who is whining? What do you call "whining"? I'm pretty sure that
this is not a question about facts, so I'm not sure how to react to it
properly.

> Maybe it's just fear and not actually deaths?

Yeah... maybe. There's something about this on the page I posted... None of
us lives there. All we know is facts, opinion and media. And between the
three, I prefer the facts sprinkled with founded opinions from people who
live there.


> Other countries in the middle east are much worse. Russell was
> specifically looking at Lebanon.

Of course. But I replied to you, and you were very specifically talking
about the whole Middle East.

I'd like to recap some statements of yours here:

- "Note that Heifer does NOT work in the middle east, [...] Afghanistan or
any of the other insane parts of the earth where people are just killing
each other year after year after year for no apparent reason"

It seems they do work in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia and a number of
other countries that are not known for their stable inner peace.

- "More likely, [Heifer] don't help [in Brazil] for the same reason they
don't help us in SoCal: We don't need it. We can afford to help others."

I'm sure you don't need it much and can afford to help others. But FWIW,
Heifer has 76 projects in the USA (none in CA, though). I'm not sure this
means that Illinois, Maine or New York State are poorer or more help-worthy
than Brazil... Anyway, I'm not sure I read your argumentation correctly
about where Heifer helps and where not and what that means.

- "[...] and quite another to continue to live in a place where war has
been the norm for thousands of years."

You failed to bring any evidence (of course historical evidence) that life
in the Middle East or Lebanon (the reference of "a place" is not that clear
here) has been more war-ridden than other places -- over the past few
thousand years. I think that's just plain wrong, a very "unfactual"
statement and shows a pretty strong (and sad) prejudice.

- "In SoCal, we loose a few hundred every 10 or 20 years to a quake, not
40,000 a year (or more?) to genocide."

The reference (area) and the source of the 40k/y is not clear. The whole
Middle East? Lebanon? Are these apples or oranges? You say I should compare
apples to apples, but as long as you don't specify your claims, it is
difficult to even pick the facts from your words.

- "In the Middle East, many more people are actively killing each other
when compared to SoCal or Brazil or the USA in the past."

Here you state clearly "Middle East". You state less clearly "in the past".
I'm sure I don't have to remind you of the past of the USA... not exactly
built on a foundation of peace. If the people who went to North America
during the first few centuries of the colonization had been peace-loving,
it's not really that far off to assume that there wouldn't be a USA today.
(Whether that would be a good thing or not is another question.) The same
goes for Brazil, and most of the Americas, of course, and many other
places.

So I took your words, placed them in the present rather than an unspecified
past and picked an area in the Middle East and compared it to some areas
elsewhere. Your argument is based on that "people are actively killing each
other", and how much so. I wanted to see how much they tend to do that
there and elsewhere. If that's more than somewhere in the Middle East, then
it is safe to assume that your argument applies there too, isn't it?


> Lets just focus on whether or not people in Lebanon have any real hope in
> the future. Will the area be stable?

Not if we (our home countries) continue to do to the area what we did for
the last hundred years or so.

> Has it been stable?

Well, yes, it has been. For all I know, not much differently from other
areas. Until, of course, the colonial powers (mainly France and the British
in this case) started to meddle.

> If we support these displaced people, will they be able to find homes,
> grow food, and live in peace?

Not if the support is restricted to only send them supplies, and otherwise
we either leave them up to the chaos there (which is arguably mostly caused
by us -- Europeans and US-Americans) or increase the chaos.

Did you know that there was a democratic movement in Iran, in the 50ies?
That they had already gotten rid of the Shah, and were about to become the
first democratic country in the Middle East? Do you know why they didn't
succeed? In case you don't: the British and the USA teamed up to reinstate
the Shah in Iran (see "Operation Ajax"). I'm pretty sure that a democratic
Iran would have provided much less food for the radical fundamentalist
movement there. Radicalization is usually a reaction when a people has been
repressed for too long, and when softer means (like the largely non-violent
democratic revolution in Iran) didn't work, for one reason or another.

So... I think in order to find homes, grow food, live in peace I think a
bit more is necessary. That goes back to my statement above about me being
"internationalist". I think that's what's most needed. Not needed, but
something that could be done. It has worked in other places (the USA has a
quite good federal structure), so why shouldn't we be able to pull
something like that off on a somewhat bigger scale? If we take the
worldwide costs of war, that definitely has a budget.

Gerhard

2006\07\28@194010 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> That is total death rate. We have an aging population and generally poor
> health practices, so yes, we are dying off. Maybe that counts as insanity.
>
> Where are the figures on VIOLENT death?

The dreaded http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000396.htm links to
www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/offense_tabulations/table_06.html
(right below the US numbers he cites; you can't miss it once you go there
:)

Here's another one http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html

Gerhard

2006\07\28@200309 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Ahhh... Now that makes sense. Yes, it's a beautiful place once, and
hopefully will be again. I have deepest respect for their former
accomplishments and impressive history. I wish them all the best. I won't
help them, but if they get back on their feet, I'll be very, very happy.

We can agree now?

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\07\28@203816 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Well, as far as I can see, the actual violent death rate is 5.5 / year /
100,000 (not /1,000) and that was in 2004. From:
www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/offense_tabulations/table_0
1-01a.html which I assume is the summary of the one you linked to. So that
is no where near the over all death rate. (0.055 / year / 1,000 murders vs
8.26 / year / 1,000 over all death rate)

I'd be interested to know if they count the 9/11 deaths in that figure. And
I must say that I'm rather ashamed that the number is that high.

Anyway, that doesn't compare us to Israel. But it shows that death rate and
murder rate are totally separate figures.

The guncite.com page is obviously biased. They want to show countries were
guns are more common as having lower death rates. Notice however, that they
cite an Israeli population of 5,261,700 in 1993 and a total death rate of
2.32 per 100,000. Maybe true, but from 2000 to 2004, up to 1,001 Israelis
were killed in the al-Aqsa Intifada series of attacks or so says
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Aqsa_Intifada and that is 1,001 / 4 years =
250.25 per year or about 4.8 / year / 100,000 if I did that right. If that
is on top of the normal 2.32, then we are over the USA, but we don't seem to
have figures to verify that. Some 4,000 Palestinians died. And it is,
obviously, getting worse on both sides.

The first one, from 87 to 93 "only" cost 160 Israeli lives, which is
amazing. I'm happy to see that, but on the other hand, 1,162 Palestinians
died.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Intifada

Anyway, they cite 5.7 for the USA which seems low compared to the FBI
figures for that year, but more or less on track. Not what I would expect
from a site that has such a bias. Good on them.

Ok, here is what it seem to me. Israel has done an amazing job of not
getting killed by everyone around them while at the same time killing an
amazing number of the people around them. It isn't so bad being an Israeli,
due, apparently, to them having a kick butt military. I guess if you live in
an insane area, that helps.

But this was about Lebanon specifically and we have seen no figures for
them. Even if we did, things have changed, their outlook is not good, and I
see no hope in the future. As long as they have terrorist in their midst,
they are going to get pounded.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\07\28@212655 by Mike Singer

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> Anyone have non-biased figures for how many people die
> there per year per 100k? I honestly couldn't find any.

It's easy. With 70 years life expectancy you'll get
100k / 70 = 1400 people per year per 100k

MS

2006\07\28@214609 by Jinx

face picon face
> The guncite.com page is obviously biased. They want to show
> countries were guns are more common as having lower death
> rates

A couple of days ago, a man walked into an Auckland gun
shop, allegedly brandishing a machete. He was shot for his
troubles. "You don't take a knife to a gun fight". Especially
if you're probably a bit thick

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10393306

In the ensuing debate on talkback radio, someone mentioned
that many homes in Switzerland have a gun. Some of the "facts"
and opinions are conflicting

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-switzerland.htm

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/lott200310020833.asp

Bottom line, of course, is that people kill people. For the hard-of-
thinking, a gun is a quick'n'easy conflict resolver

2006\07\29@070144 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
After some of the less than nice things that people have been saying
(me included) about the UN's efforts, here's how it looks from the
(not quite yet) trenches:


           Russell

___________________

I arrived in Damascus at 4:00 am on Sunday morning on a 200-seater
aircraft.
Since arriving in Damascus, as part of the Emergency Response Team, I
have been monitoring the borders and helping people reach safety.
Within 5 days, we set up a presence in 3 locations and will probably
expand to even more. We need to be close to the refugees so we can
support them and gain their trust.

The operation in Syria and Lebanon is developing very rapidly and we
are adapting to it equally rapidly. To quickly respond to the needs of
the refugees, ERTeam members need a range of coordination, analytical
and negotiation skills. We also need to be quick in providing urgently
needed relief items to refugees. But most importantly, we need to be
able to understand the people and context that we are working in. It
takes time, inter-personal skills and a lot of direct contact with the
people we work with.

I have slept for around 16 hours in the past five days, most of the
time on the office couch between 3 AM and 6 AM. My diet is largely
cigarettes and Coke, with a splattering of sandwiches. For the first
time yesterday, some of us took a break to recharge our batteries and
visited the old town, which is absolutely amazing.

One of the most impressive and humbling aspects of this emergency is
the overwhelming generosity of the Syrian people. The most destitute
refugees have been taken in by perfect strangers and hosted for days
regardless of nationality or religion. It makes us forget occasionally
that a few miles down the road, inhuman acts that accompany all
conflicts are occurring with civilians dying on both side of the
Israeli-Lebanese border.

I am scheduled to leave for Lebanon soon to support the operation
there. Other colleagues have already been sent, and were asked to wear
flack jackets and helmets. There is talk of getting armoured vehicles
in Lebanon...Its rather disconcerting to see them leave to such a
dangerous location.
Lets see what happens in the coming weeks...in an emergency, we have
to be ready for anything! Absolutely anything.
Arjun Jain
ERTeam member in Syria

2006\07\29@094741 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
Please take not that Arjun does NOT mention actually doing anything
other than sleep on a couch and indulge in disgusting habits ( coke,  
cigarettes,
and splattered sandwiches )
I started laughing when reading the following quote ....
----> " It takes time, inter-personal skills and a lot of direct  
contact with the
people we work with. "  <------

yeah ...... duh  AGSC

I am scheduled to leave for Lebanon soon to support the operation
there. Other colleagues have already been sent, and were asked to wear
flack jackets and helmets. There is talk of getting armoured vehicles
in Lebanon...Its rather disconcerting to see them leave to such a
dangerous location.

yeah   ... duh   too bad the civvies don't have armour.
sounds like the Syrian locals are the only ones doing anything. I say
line up all the UN wimpies, shoot them and pass out their goodies to
the refugees.




On 2006-Jul 29, at 04:56hrs AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

After some of the less than nice things that people have been saying
(me included) about the UN's efforts, here's how it looks from the
(not quite yet) trenches:


            Russell

___________________

I arrived in Damascus at 4:00 am on Sunday morning on a 200-seater
aircraft.
Since arriving in Damascus, as part of the Emergency Response Team, I
have been monitoring the borders and helping people reach safety.
Within 5 days, we set up a presence in 3 locations and will probably
expand to even more. We need to be close to the refugees so we can
support them and gain their trust.

The operation in Syria and Lebanon is developing very rapidly and we
are adapting to it equally rapidly. To quickly respond to the needs of
the refugees, ERTeam members need a range of coordination, analytical
and negotiation skills. We also need to be quick in providing urgently
needed relief items to refugees. But most importantly, we need to be
able to understand the people and context that we are working in. It
takes time, inter-personal skills and a lot of direct contact with the
people we work with.

I have slept for around 16 hours in the past five days, most of the
time on the office couch between 3 AM and 6 AM. My diet is largely
cigarettes and Coke, with a splattering of sandwiches. For the first
time yesterday, some of us took a break to recharge our batteries and
visited the old town, which is absolutely amazing.

One of the most impressive and humbling aspects of this emergency is
the overwhelming generosity of the Syrian people. The most destitute
refugees have been taken in by perfect strangers and hosted for days
regardless of nationality or religion. It makes us forget occasionally
that a few miles down the road, inhuman acts that accompany all
conflicts are occurring with civilians dying on both side of the
Israeli-Lebanese border.

I am scheduled to leave for Lebanon soon to support the operation
there. Other colleagues have already been sent, and were asked to wear
flack jackets and helmets. There is talk of getting armoured vehicles
in Lebanon...Its rather disconcerting to see them leave to such a
dangerous location.
Lets see what happens in the coming weeks...in an emergency, we have
to be ready for anything! Absolutely anything.
Arjun Jain
ERTeam member in Syria

2006\07\29@105832 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Gus S Calabrese wrote:

> I say line up all the UN wimpies, shoot them

I've heard that before. Exchange "UN wimpies" with you favorite enemy
image. This is probably the most time-proven recipe for peace and
prosperity.

Gerhard

2006\07\29@120830 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
I was aware of the fact that he did not say he had been dragging
people to safety bare handed, or in fact mention any feats of derring
do when I posted that. However,

> Please take not that Arjun does NOT mention actually doing anything
> other than sleep on a couch and indulge in disgusting habits ( coke,
> cigarettes, and splattered sandwiches )

is also not correct. He does in fact mention worthwhile activities.
Read again. We have no real indication of the worth of what he is
doing or how good his description is. I suggest that HE obviously
thinks that what he is doing is extremely useful as it is most
unlikely that anyone would otherwise average just over 3 hours sleep
per day. (But, maybe the parties there are especially fabulous?),

It is of course extremely easy to take cheap shots at others comments
on their work. It will be interesting to see if we get any other
reports.

And

> I am scheduled to leave for Lebanon soon to support the operation
> there. Other colleagues have already been sent, and were asked to
> wear
> flack jackets and helmets. There is talk of getting armoured
> vehicles
> in Lebanon...Its rather disconcerting to see them leave to such a
> dangerous location.

> yeah   ... duh   too bad the civvies don't have armour.

Indeed it is.
Your point is ... ?

> sounds like the Syrian locals are the only ones doing anything.

You base this conclusion on what?

FYI:    A UN wimpies trial convoy of about 10 vehicles was run from
the Syrian border to the Lebanese front lines yesterday. A major aim
was to see how hard it was to do this survivably.

A New Zealander who is head of the UN wimpies ongoing land mine
lifting operation in the area was meant to have been in the UN post
that was shelled a few days ago at the time of the shelling but he
reports that he couldn't get there as the Israelis shelled it and the
area around it for 10 hours before finally hitting it, making it hard
for him to get to work. I imagine that he's pleased that it was so
hard. No doubt less wimpie people would have braved the shellfire so
that they could have been in position at the time. I have been
receiving reports on his family (wife and children recently evacuated
to Cyprus) before and after this incident through an organisation we
are both associated with. A few days before the shelling incident his
wimpie children's bedroom windows were blown in by shellfire (photos
available).  I believe the man concerned will be in NZ briefly in the
next few months. Should anyone be interested I may be able to obtain a
more detailed description of the sort of wimpie things  the UN mine
lifters do on an ongoing basis in that area.

> I say line up all the UN wimpies, shoot them and pass out
> their goodies to the refugees.

All you need is a better class of landmine. Although that would also
reduce the number of refugees.

Anyone here feel inclined to volunteer for wimpie landmine clearing
duties?



       Russell

2006\07\29@123643 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
How about replace UN wimpies and enemy image with nothing.
I don't have any enemies that want to kill me and if I did I would
deal with them directly... not through some 3rd agency.


On 2006-Jul 29, at 08:58hrs AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

Gus S Calabrese wrote:

> I say line up all the UN wimpies, shoot them

I've heard that before. Exchange "UN wimpies" with you favorite enemy
image. This is probably the most time-proven recipe for peace and
prosperity.

Gerhard

-

2006\07\29@124816 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
If you can list what he does that is useful, I stand corrected.
It is easy to criticize and that is why I do it.  People tell me
all the time that I am insane.  I used to stay up for 36 hours and  
party.
Did not mean I was doing anything useful.


On 2006-Jul 29, at 10:08hrs AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

I was aware of the fact that he did not say he had been dragging
people to safety bare handed, or in fact mention any feats of derring
do when I posted that. However,

> Please take not that Arjun does NOT mention actually doing anything
> other than sleep on a couch and indulge in disgusting habits ( coke,
> cigarettes, and splattered sandwiches )

is also not correct. He does in fact mention worthwhile activities.  
<--- name one
Read again. We have no real indication of the worth of what he is
doing or how good his description is. I suggest that HE obviously
thinks that what he is doing is extremely useful as it is most
unlikely that anyone would otherwise average just over 3 hours sleep
per day. (But, maybe the parties there are especially fabulous?),

It is of course extremely easy to take cheap shots at others comments
on their work. It will be interesting to see if we get any other
reports.

And

> I am scheduled to leave for Lebanon soon to support the operation
> there. Other colleagues have already been sent, and were asked to
> wear
> flack jackets and helmets. There is talk of getting armoured
> vehicles
> in Lebanon...Its rather disconcerting to see them leave to such a
> dangerous location.

> yeah   ... duh   too bad the civvies don't have armour.

Indeed it is.
Your point is ... ?    take it off the powder blue boys, send them  
home, give it to the Lebans.
You think I am joking ?  Then you do not understand how contemptible
I think most soldiering efforts are.  The soldiers may be fine  
people.  The mission is not.

> sounds like the Syrian locals are the only ones doing anything.
      ^ Arjun said so ^

You base this conclusion on what?

FYI:    A UN wimpies trial convoy of about 10 vehicles was run from
the Syrian border to the Lebanese front lines yesterday. A major aim
was to see how hard it was to do this survivably.

A New Zealander who is head of the UN wimpies ongoing land mine
lifting operation in the area was meant to have been in the UN post
that was shelled a few days ago at the time of the shelling but he
reports that he couldn't get there as the Israelis shelled it and the
area around it for 10 hours before finally hitting it, making it hard
for him to get to work. I imagine that he's pleased that it was so
hard. No doubt less wimpie people would have braved the shellfire so
that they could have been in position at the time. I have been
receiving reports on his family (wife and children recently evacuated
to Cyprus) before and after this incident through an organisation we
are both associated with. A few days before the shelling incident his
wimpie children's bedroom windows were blown in by shellfire (photos
available).  ^ So  how is that relevant to our discussion ? ^
I believe the man concerned will be in NZ briefly in the
next few months. Should anyone be interested I may be able to obtain a
more detailed description of the sort of wimpie things  the UN mine
lifters do on an ongoing basis in that area.  <------ actual  
testimony would be great to hear.

> I say line up all the UN wimpies, shoot them and pass out
> their goodies to the refugees.

All you need is a better class of landmine. Although that would also
reduce the number of refugees.

Anyone here feel inclined to volunteer for wimpie landmine clearing
duties?   ^ I volunteer to shoot the people who installed the mines.
US forces, Syrian, Israeli, etc.   And those who feel it was justified^

^ By the way, what percentage of blue wimpies clear mines and neat  
things like that.
Not too many I hazard ^



        Russell

2006\07\29@181054 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Jul 29, 2006, at 9:08 AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

> I suggest that HE obviously thinks that what he is doing
> is extremely useful as it is most unlikely that anyone
> would otherwise average just over 3 hours sleep per day.

I dunno.  It seems a pretty standard fallacy to try to rate
ones performance on the luxuries you've given up, rather than
the results you've achieved, especially when the results are
hard to see.  I'm pretty sure I've done it myself :-( (then
I get depressed and frustrated by the state of affairs...)

The hard-hearted conservative in me thinks that social work
in general tends to attract people particularly prone to
falling for that fallacy: "But I'm working so hard! How can
you doubt my results?"  The same HHC things emergency relief
efforts would be even worse...

BillW

2006\07\30@212342 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
James,

(I've swapped the order of these, so the figures you are commenting on are before your comments - I hope I have the attributions right):

On Fri, 28 Jul 2006 14:45:11 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I think those must be them, because if they are the total death rates then life expectancy is a bit overestimated:  1000/2.29 means that
(assuming they are averages per year), a Northern Mariana Islander has a life expectancy of over 436, while a USAmerican can look forward
to "only" living to 121.

I'm trying to stay out of this argument because I don't think anyone is going to change their opinion as a result, and I find some of the
opinions make my blood boil!  (Getting involved in the arithmetic isn't so stressful :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\07\30@222326 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I'm not sure how you come to these figures, but they seem to assume some
things around birth rate, total population number stability and age
distribution that are not quite in alignment with reality. I'm not sure
whether it's that simple -- but I'm not really a statistics expert.

For example, the CIA gives for the USA: birth rate 14/1000, death rate
8/1000, net migration 3/1000, pop. growth 0.9%/y, life expectancy 78y. The
Northern Mariana Islands numbers in the same sequence: 19/1000, 2/1000,
8/1000, 2.5%, 76y. I'm not sure where your 121y and 436y fit in here.

I also don't know whether you've seen the various messages where I posted
FBI (and government) numbers of violent death rates. They are much smaller.

You can of course doubt both the CIA and the FBI -- but in this case, the
numbers look rather realistic :)

Gerhard

2006\07\31@053434 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Gerhard,

On Sun, 30 Jul 2006 23:23:00 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

{Quote hidden}

OK, my use of the phrase "life expectancy" is probably wrong, what I was calculating is how long it takes for a batch of 1000 people to
die, and given just the death rates (which is all we had in the quote above) this can be calculated given that the total population
doesn't change very much.

> For example, the CIA gives for the USA: birth rate 14/1000, death rate
> 8/1000, net migration 3/1000, pop. growth 0.9%/y, life expectancy 78y. The
> Northern Mariana Islands numbers in the same sequence: 19/1000, 2/1000,
> 8/1000, 2.5%, 76y. I'm not sure where your 121y and 436y fit in here.

Can you point to the URL for that data?

What I'm saying is that if net migration and birth rate keep the total population about the same, if the all-causes death rate is 8/1000
and stays there it will take 125 years for a batch of 1000 people to die, from simple arithmetic - how can it be less?  This is barely
believeable, but for the Mariana Islanders it would 500 years at 2 per year, which is clearly nonsense unless people are emigrating to
somewhere else to die, or the death rate is going to make a dramatic upswing at some point.  If there is significant population growth, my
logic may be defeated since older people are a smaller part of the population than they were when they were younger, so their contribution
to the rate/1000 falls as they get older.  A quick calculation shows that 0.9% annual growth takes 77 years to double the population, so
that may be the flaw in my argument!  When I get some time I'll try a spreadsheet of this to see how it runs through the years, and how
long it actually takes for the initial 1000 people to die.

> I also don't know whether you've seen the various messages where I posted
> FBI (and government) numbers of violent death rates. They are much smaller.
>
> You can of course doubt both the CIA and the FBI -- but in this case, the
> numbers look rather realistic :)

I followed a link posted earlier to an FBI site that gave figures for cities (not aggregated to States or the whole of the USA) and I seem
to remember that deaths due to murder and non-accidental manslaughter were in the region of 200 to 700 per 100,000 population (so 2 to 7
per thousand).  Hopefully this is a small fraction of the total number of deaths, but I didn't keep the link, unfortunately.

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\07\31@083732 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> OK, my use of the phrase "life expectancy" is probably wrong, what I
> was calculating is how long it takes for a batch of 1000 people to
> die, and given just the death rates (which is all we had in the
> quote above) this can be calculated given that the total population
> doesn't change very much.


This link from a long private email to James.

   http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/idbagg

You're going to have to guess at the rest of the contents :-)
_________________________________

Death rate per age and overall can be easily determined.
I was interested to see that for Lebanon children 12 and under are
about 23% of the population.
This is around what you'd expect from my 100/L figure below.
ie 12/60 = 20%. Increased  infant and child mortality increases this
somewhat.

Same site has detailed tables etc for most countries.

A stunning demonstration is the change in the age/percentage graph
with advancing time. For my country this has traditionally been a
slowly tapering curve but in the next two decades it is expected to
invert in shape so that there are proportionately vastly more 'old
people' per youngster than in decades past. This fact is well known
and focused on at length by our retirement watchdogs but seeing the
dynamic display here really brings it into focus.

FWIW, for a given population with AVERAGE length of life L the death
rate is *about* 1000/L per 1000 per annum, or percent dying per year
is about 100/L. This is skewed by abnormal events and the fact that
people die at varying rates at various ages and this varies per
country. ie lots of people dying very young will push the death rate
and lower the average life expectancy.  A blip of similar size at a
greater age would have a diffreent effect on life expectancy. eg a
culture with young men/fast cars type deaths will produce a different
result to countries with less such deaths but higher infant mortality.

Worst case, short of 100% nuking, some people always live. However,
the more who die, the more likely they are to hate those who are
responsioble AND those they deem responsible AND those who didn't help
them AND those who they consider didn't help them AND ... . The actual
merit of any given situation is, as ever, not relevant - it's the
perceived merit that counts. Sometime one can influence perceived
merit, sometimes not. If you try you may well fail. If you don't try
you can't fail :-).



       Russell

2006\07\31@085403 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

{Quote hidden}

CIA World Factbook:

www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html
https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/cq.html

That's a handy link to keep around. A nice summary of country data for a
quick fact check.

> What I'm saying is that if net migration and birth rate keep the total
> population about the same, if the all-causes death rate is 8/1000 and
> stays there it will take 125 years for a batch of 1000 people to die,
> from simple arithmetic - how can it be less?  

I've learned one thing about statistics: it's (almost) never simple
arithmetic :)

First of all, you need to nail down the assumptions (which may be more than
you think), and then you need to check whether the difference between
assumptions and reality doesn't make a significant difference. If so, you
need to improve your model, ... (and here we go again :)

Probably the main assumptions to make your calculation work are population
stability, flat age distribution and no migration (or population changes
equal to migration rate) -- and all that stable over a period longer than
the calculated life expectancy. Not sure whether there are others, but just
these assumptions are rarely given.

> This is barely believeable, but for the Mariana Islanders it would 500
> years at 2 per year, which is clearly nonsense unless people are
> emigrating to somewhere else to die, or the death rate is going to make
> a dramatic upswing at some point.  If there is significant population
> growth, my logic may be defeated since older people are a smaller part
> of the population than they were when they were younger, so their
> contribution to the rate/1000 falls as they get older.  A quick
> calculation shows that 0.9% annual growth takes 77 years to double the
> population, so that may be the flaw in my argument!  

See... that's one assumption you made (stable population). Just use a
different unit for population growth: instead of 100 as reference (as in
%), use 1000 as reference, like the other rates. 0.9% (US) becomes 9/1000,
and 2.5% (the islands) becomes 25/1000 -- numbers that look pretty
significant compared to the birth and death rates, too significant to be
just assumed away.

{Quote hidden}

I posted this link earlier:
http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/offense_tabulations/table_06.html

You must have gotten some numbers crossed; it's easy in that table as it's
not very well organized (IMO). In any case, overall in the US this rate is
around 5/100k (from other sources), and in some bad metro areas it reaches
50/100k. I don't think you'll find numbers as high as the ones you're
citing in that page. (Cross the rows that say "Rate per 100,000
inhabitants" with the column "Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter".)
You'll find numbers mostly below 10. In order to get to the really high
rates, you need to pick individual bad areas (like Washington, D.C. or New
Orleans) and calculate the rate by dividing the numbers of deaths by the
population; the rates for these areas are not shown in the table, and the
numbers you see in that column are numbers of deaths. A bit confusing...

Gerhard

2006\07\31@140916 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> This link from a long private email to James.
>
>     http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/idbagg

This link doesn't seem to work. Response is "This script should be
referenced with a METHOD of POST." Now I could try to hack the server and
find out whether they properly check the posted data -- or you could try to
post the link from where you got there :)

Gerhard


'[OT][WOT] Urgent Supplies Needed for fleeing Leban'
2006\08\01@001102 by Russell McMahon
face
flavicon
face
> This link doesn't seem to work. Response is "This script should be
> referenced with a METHOD of POST." Now I could try to hack the
> server and
> find out whether they properly check the posted data -- or you could
> try to
> post the link from where you got there :)



Try

       http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idbpyr.html


for all countries, and

       http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/idbpyrs.pl?cty=LE&out=s&ymax=250

for Lebanon







       Russell


2006\08\01@171300 by Aaron

picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>
>
> I've learned one thing about statistics: it's (almost) never simple
> arithmetic :)
>

The one thing that I've learned is that that figures lie and liars
figure.   :)   :)

Aaron

2006\08\08@143117 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> Note that Heifer does NOT work in the middle east, Lebanon, Palestine,
> Israel, Iraq, Iran, Cambodia, Afghanistan or any of the other insane
> parts of the earth where people are just killing each other year after
> year after year for no apparent reason.

Maybe read this for a different view of "insane":
http://www.strangecosmos.com/content/item/118333.html

Loosely related...

"IRAQ VS CALIFORNIA - "AN EYE OPENER" ..........

Excellent letter, written by a person recently home from Iraq.

War-torn Iraq has about 26 million residents, a peaceful California perhaps
now 35 million. The former is a violent and impoverished landscape, the
latter said to be paradise on Earth. But how you envision either place to
some degree depends on the eye of the beholder and is predicated on what
the daily media appear to make of each. [...]"

Gerhard

2006\08\08@162501 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Actually, that is a really interesting and, to some degree, eye-opening
point of view.

As far as I can tell, Heifer also does not work in California. ;)

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\08\08@204131 by Robert Ammerman

picon face
Wow!

I have been away from the list for a couple of weeks, and this thread (which
I only glanced over) sure seems too political in nature even for [OT][WOT]!

And James himself a major contributor to it, too!

Bob Ammerman

2006\08\24@002604 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
Open Channel D*

> I would donate money to these efforts if I thought
> 75% ended up in a refugees pocket and not funding
> a fat cat's new car.

Challenge accepted.

Read this and linked pages

   http://www.oxfam.org.nz/whatwedo.asp?s1=what%20we%20do&s2=emergencies&s3=middle%20east%20crisis&s4=Middle%20East%20Blog

Then ask Oxfam how funds can be channelled directly to work that
Shaista Aziz is involved in.

Googling on "Shaista Aziz" will probably be quite an eye opener.
She's a Muslim.
She was fired by Al Jazeera early this year - an excellent
qualification :-).

Her Lebanon Oxfam blog, unnatributed it seems, here.

       http://www.oxfamamerica.org/whatwedo/emergencies/mideast/news_publications/middleeastblog

Wanna join? :-)
Brave the one who'd go through this stuff voluntarily.

Oxfam "rapid response team" member"  seems to mean what it says :-)



       Russell


* If you haven't met "Open Channel D" a quick gargoyle(tm) will show
you that it is functionally equivalent to "spam2006"


2006\08\24@003457 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Googling on "Shaista Aziz" will probably be quite an eye opener.
> She's a Muslim.

The above is true

> She was fired by Al Jazeera early this year - an excellent
> qualification :-).

But that may not be.
MAY be a different person (aka John Smith) BUT all the other urls
related to he.

This is also her

       http://www.oxfam.ca/news/SouthAsiaQuake/ShaistaAziz1.htm

as she travelled into Pakistan to help the Oxfam rapid response team
with the earthquake relief in October 2005.

Prior to that she had been worked with Oxfam in Aceh, Indonesia
following the tsunami.


       Russell


OpenChannelDspam2006

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