When I was little, my mother would sometimes say, “Remember the hungry children in China” — to get me to finish what was left on my plate (usually vegetables).  Such children did not, of course, exist in my imagination.

Now we scarcely have a catastrophe when we are virtually on the scene viewing the worst of things.  Haiti is all too evident an example.  As I left the TV a few minutes ago live stuff was beginning to come in.  The estimates of loss of lives run into many thousands.  Beneath the concrete slabs people are moaning and crying out for help.

Mentioned once in the coverage that I saw is the likelihood
that we shall next see the deaths of thousands more from the spread of deadly diseases — the sewage polluted water or handling of dead bodies.

We are rushing there what we can, but a hospital ship is a week away.  No way can we get there the equipment to rescue those trapped under those slabs.

Anyone with an bit of human compassion is devastated  by such nightmare visions.  I wonder what the result will be in the long run to such — active concern or indifference?  People can take in only so much human suffering without being impacted by it in a variety of ways.  Usually private efforts at assistance in such situations cannot solve massive problems such as this.  How long will Haiti remain on our consciousness before we begin to forget it and move on to other things?  Back to the job market debates?

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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