New York Times:
Calling the death toll "unimaginable" as he surveyed the wreckage, Haiti's president, René Préval, said he had no idea where he would sleep. Schools, hospitals and a prison were damaged. Sixteen U.N. peacekeepers were killed, at least 140 U.N. workers were missing, including the chief of its mission, Hedi Annabi.
And the poor who define this nation were in the streets, some hurt and bloody, many more without food and water, close to piles of covered corpses and rubble. Limbs protruded from disintegrated concrete, and muffled cries emanated from deep inside the wrecks of buildings — many of them poorly constructed in the first place — as Haiti struggled to grasp the unknown toll from the quake.
"Please save my baby!" Jeudy Francia, a woman in her 20s, shrieked outside the St. Esprit Hospital in the city. Her child, a girl about 4 years old, writhed in pain in the hospital's chaotic courtyard, near where a handful of corpses lay under white blankets. "There is no one, nothing, no medicines, no explanations for why my daughter is going to die."
The death toll could be anywhere between 30,000 and 50,000. "We are still struggling to learn the full extent of the devastation from yesterday’s earthquake," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday. "Casualties can not yet be estimated but they are certain to be heavy."
The reaction of most people, reading about the extent of this disaster, is sympathetic. Notice I said "most people"; for some, their natural reaction is to be complete dicks about it. For his part, Pat Robertson refrained from blaming gays, lesbians, Jewish bankers, Catholics, Muslims, atheists, the ACLU, feminists, liberals or abortion providers for the earthquake. That'd be just wrong. No, Pat went ahead and blamed the Haitians themselves.
"[S]omething happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it," he said. "They were under the heel of the French. Napoleon the Third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.' True story. And so the devil said, 'OK, it’s a deal.' They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free."
But Pat has a history of this sort of thing and we practically expect it of him. He's just a crazy old wizard whose cognitive faculties are way past their expiration date. In fact, even when he was still a relatively young wizard, he was still a crazy one. If Pat Robertson proves anything, it's that the people who give him any credence at all are dumber than sacks of doorknobs.
Elsewhere, the tragedy generated more stupidity. For Rush Limbaugh, it was all about Barack Obama:
That's right, President Obama will use this disaster to boost his credibility with the "light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country."
A couple of points: 1) since when does Barack Obama need any help with the African-American demographic? 2) Why make the distinction between "light-skinned and dark-skinned" blacks? In the context, what the hell does this even mean? It's like he's throwing extra words in just to hear himself say them. Rush can deny he's a racist until the end of time, but this alone proves it conclusively.
Also, the White House has set up a webpage with instructions on how to give to disaster relief in Haiti. Which, of course, means that the president is just phishing for money and names to add to his mailing list:
As I did with Robertson, I'll use Rush to point out just how many astoundingly stupid people there are in the world. People actually hang on this moron's every word and treat every goddam pile of idiocy that pours out of his forever-open mouth as if it had come from Socrates. Rush Limbaugh is a man unmatched in only his uselessness -- and people think he's freakin' brilliant. Like I say, they're astoundingly stupid.
He'll be on again today and he'll do what he always does; justify and defend his off-the-cuff idiocy. And those talk radio-addled intellectual weaklings that make up his audience will buy it all, because there are no dumber people than those who call themselves "Dittoheads."
If Robertson's and Limbaugh's reactions to the tragedy in Haiti teach us anything, it's that there is nothing too low, too offensive, too exploitative, and too idiotic for them.
These are useless, useless people.
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