To give the tsunami tragedy some perspective, and if we consider ourselves citizens of the world as well as America (I do):


6.5 Billion people on Earth
270 million Americans


The 114,000 currently estimated dead in the tsunami is equivalent to 4,735 Americans (proportionately) or 50% more than died in September 11th.

Some statistics on our 'generosity'

According to a poll, most Americans believe the United States spends 24 percent of its budget on aid to poor countries; it actually spends well under a quarter of 1 percent.

Mr. Powell pointed to disaster relief and said the United States "has given more aid in the last four years than any other nation or combination of nations in the world." But for development aid, America gave $16.2 billion in 2003; the European Union gave $37.1 billion. In 2002, those numbers were $13.2 billion for America, and $29.9 billion for Europe.

Victims of the earthquake in Bam, Iran, a year ago are still living in tents because aid, including ours, has not materialized in the amounts pledged. And back in 2002, Mr. Bush announced his Millennium Challenge account to give African countries development assistance of up to $5 billion a year, but the account has yet to disperse a single dollar.


Yet how much military aid does Isreal get per year from us?

$2.16 billion


Does this seem right to you?


An update to yesterday's post (in the interest of integrity, I won't just change the previous):

1000,000+ people die in the worst natural disaster in modern history.

Bush stays on vacation, make no public statement

Damage is spread across an entire continent.

The US pledges $35 million in aid.

What is $35 million?

Bush is spending over $35 million on his inauguration.

Oshkosh is spending over $2 million on the band shell.

Are we building 17 bandstands for the survivors?

Or just holding one party?
Here is a my response sumbitted to the Northwestern to this letter:

Evolution in school has led to moral decline


My letter:

In response to Mr. Gardinier's recent (Dec 29th)statement, "is it a coincidence that our nation has been morally declining over the past 164 years?"

A quick review of the last 164 years:

The end of slavery, the beginning of women's suffrage, equal protection under law regardless of race or position, voting rights, the civil rights movement and act, the GI Bill, Social Security, the New Deal, the Great Society, standing up to dictatorship in WW2, Badger and Senior Care ensuring helthcare options for Wisconsin's poor, labor movements ensuring safety at work, fair pay and the 40-hour work week, universal education for all Americans, abolition of poll taxes, equal housing laws, Americans with Disabilities Act, and many more.

I believe each of these were huge moral steps ahead for American society. When people try to isolate moral issues by a narrow religious view, society as a whole falters.

Allowing your society as a whole to prosper by offering economic and social equality in opportunity (not result), is a more moral stance than one that says if you do not worship my god or conform to my standards, you have no rights.

Unfortunately, Mr. Gardenier and those that share his views seem to long for the good old days of equal rights for white, male, heterosexual, christian property owners only.

That is not a land in which I want to live. And it is definitely not a moral value.
Aid grows amid questions about Bush
Should vacationing president have spoken out?


It is a shame that this person represents my country:

Earlier yesterday, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said the president was confident he could monitor events effectively without returning to Washington or making public statements in Crawford, where he spent part of the day clearing brush and bicycling.

Once again, as the death toll in this tragedy approaches 100,000; I would like to apologize for our nation's leaders.


40,000+ people die in one of the worst natural disasters in history.

Damage is spread across a continent.

The US pledges $15 million in aid.

What is 15 million?

Bush is spending over $35 million on his inauguration.

Oshkosh is spending over $2 million on the band shell.

What's wrong with this picture?
The best Christmas present I recieved this year was America: The Book A Citizen's Guide to Democract Inaction.

It is great - read it.

The best present I purchased for myself was Green Day's American Idiot - Album of the year!
"Troops are being shoved two or three times into the furnace of Iraq by astonishingly incompetent leaders who have been unable or unwilling to provide them with the proper training, adequate equipment or even a clearly defined mission."


Here is a great editorial:

"I'll give you 10 news stories from the past few weeks and you tell me what they all have in common."


I'll give it away:

"The common denominator is a country with a totally contradictory and messed-up set of priorities."

I will disagree with him on his analysis. I think this reflects most of the Republican agenda - HYPOCRACY!