I had planned a number of "special" year-end posts, but everything seems silly or insignificant in light of what's happening in Asia.
(skip to the end of this post to see how you can help out and if you want to avoid my angry political views)
Unless anything incredible happens regarding voting irregularities in Ohio (slim chance), or someone in the Bush Adminstration does or says something incredibly stupid (much better chance) or anyone in our government does something incredibly brave and unselfish (we're back to slim, folks), I doubt I'll be posting anything new until sometime after the new year.
I would like to say I'm glad to see the U.S. has sent 15,000 sailors and marines to help out in Asia -- it's too bad we couldn't send more but I understand most of our troops are bogged down in Bush's fantasy war, otherwise known as Operation Enduring Quagmire.
I'd also like to ask: Where is America's supposedly great moral and inspiring leadership? It took Bush three (3!!!) days to talk about what is going on in Asia (the same amount of time it took him to come to Ground Zero after 9/11):
Skeptics said the initial aid sums -- as well as Bush's decision at first to remain cloistered on his Texas ranch for the Christmas holiday rather than speak in person about the tragedy -- showed scant appreciation for the magnitude of suffering and for the rescue and rebuilding work facing such nations as Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Indonesia.I'm sorry, but "our" President is a buffoon.
After a day of repeated inquiries from reporters about his public absence, Bush late yesterday afternoon announced plans to hold a National Security Council meeting by teleconference to discuss several issues, including the tsunami, followed by a short public statement.
A lazy, fat...
Q: Any plans for New Year's Eve?inconsiderate...
THE PRESIDENT: Early to bed.
Q: New Year's resolutions?
THE PRESIDENT: I'll let you know. Already gave you a hint on one, which is my waistline. I'm trying to set an example.
The White House is blasting former President Clinton for trying to upstage President Bush with a "we feel your pain" condolence message to the victims of the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami that struck Christmas weekend....B.U.F.F.O.O.N.
Reacting to complaints that Bush was missing in action in the wake of the disaster, White House spokesman Trent Duffy told reporters Tuesday, "The president wanted to be fully briefed on our efforts [before speaking out]. He didn't want to make a symbolic statement about 'We feel your pain.'" Many Bush aides believe Clinton was too quick to head for the cameras to "hold forth on tragedies with his trademark empathy," the Post added.
"Actions speak louder than words," an annoyed Bush aide told the paper.
So, on those two (or three or four) snarky notes, I bid you adieu until '05.
Have a safe and healthy New Year...
Peace to the World...
There is No "God"
P.S. If you can, please donate to the International Rescue Committee's "efforts to bring relief to tsunami victims in Aceh, Indonesia -- the closest land mass to the epicenter of the recent earthquake -- and to war-torn Darfur, Sudan, neighboring Chad, and to 25 countries around the world." Or go here for other donation options (personally, I wouldn't recommend the Red Cross option; I wasn't too pleased with how they initially handled their 9/11 donations. I'm just sayin'...)
Update: Rob over at AMERICAblog has an excellent essay about how this tragedy can become a turning point for our hurting world. Here's a good chunk of it:
This crisis presents an opportunity for the world to stand up and say that this moment - this disaster of such immense proportions - is time for us all to join and work together to show our humanity and help. Really help. It's an opportunity for leadership both from nations, but also for grassroots on an international level.
It's not all that hard to imagine actually. It's a question of what kind of view of the world we want to have.
What the UN can do -- and repair it's tarnished reputation at the same time -- is to take a true leadership role. It can get its administrative act together and ensure that all nations in the world contribute. To bring the nations of the world together to do good even in the face of all of our disagreements, would be a step in a positive direction for all of us.
The media can end the salacious coverage of bodies and corpses and start talking about what can be done. If ever there were a time for activist journalism, now is the time. The media can show us how good we can be as a people when we try. They can tell the story of the America that is kind and generous. They can show the story of the UN working effectively to solve problems, bringing warring and distant peoples together in what binds us all as humans.
What can America do? It can step up both on the federal level, with an appropriate level of financial aid, and it can step up on a grassroots level, as we've done in the past. We can send our rescue teams abroad, raise money of travel and send our police and fire units that train in rescue abroad...
Imagine what the peoples of South East Asia would think of the US if it brought to bear the riches of our nation in this time of such crisis? Sent our "little fire departments" from around the country to help these nations rebuild? Not just the federal government's response, but our grassroots response as well. Show this region of the world, a hotbed and breeding ground of terrorism, the America we all know is here.
What can you do? You can turn your New Year's Celebrations into fundraisers for relief and rebuilding efforts. There are over five million people who have been left homeless by this disaster. Take this time to do something on your own level other than just sitting by the TV and watching it all unfold.