.
January 15th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Why can't Haiti catch a break?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's an old saying that goes "If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all." It's an expression that certainly seems to apply to the people of Haiti, as theirs is a long history of things going from bad to worse.

A girl rests at a makeshift outdoor recovery ward outside the morgue and main hospital in Port-au-Prince.

A girl rests at a makeshift outdoor recovery ward outside the morgue and main hospital in Port-au-Prince.

If it's not the poverty - the majority of Haitians make less than one dollar a day, and 75-percent of them are unemployed - it's political repression.

The nearly 30-year regime of the Duvalier family, beginning in the late 1950s, is seen as one of the most corrupt and repressive in modern history. Their personal militia killed tens of thousands of Haitians and tortured and raped countless others.

The Haitians also have a checkered history that includes slavery, debt, revolution, exploitation.

And when those poor people aren't trying to survive their own government and economy, Mother Nature periodically slams them with hurricanes, earthquakes, you name it... Yet for some reason the Haitians remain for the most part a peaceful, optimistic, even good-natured people.

We could all take a lesson from them. Most of the people in Haiti will survive, and the country will manage to go on in some form. The problem is the people there never seem to be able to enjoy a run of good fortune: An improving economy that elevates their standing of living, honest government that makes a legitimate effort to provide for the general welfare.

Things like education, infrastructure, shelter, medical care, etc. seem to be forever beyond the country's grasp.

Here’s my question to you: Why can't a country like Haiti catch a break?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Haiti earthquake
January 15th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

How has technology helped following Haiti quake?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In the hours and days following the disastrous earthquake in Haiti, technology is proving that the world is smaller than ever.

Haitians pass in front of the multi-story St. Gerard School that collapsed, leaving what is feared to be dozens trapped or killed under the rubble in Port-au-Prince.

Haitians pass in front of the multi-story St. Gerard School that collapsed, leaving what is feared to be dozens trapped or killed under the rubble in Port-au-Prince.

For starters - some of the first pictures in the aftermath of the earthquake came from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. When there was no video yet and traditional media weren't able to broadcast... it was newer technologies that showed the world how bad things were in Haiti... and how quickly help was needed.

And, it's not just about the change in delivering information. Technology is also a key factor in relief aid. So far - it's estimated Americans pledged more than $8 million via text message to the Red Cross alone... plus millions to other charities.

The Red Cross mobilized giving efforts through social networking sites... and so far hundreds of thousands of people have donated $10 each via texts to the Red Cross. It's quick and easy... and the charge appears on the user's cell phone bill.

The text message donations for Haiti also dwarf the amounts raised after Hurricane Katrina and the Indian ocean tsunami.

Of course, this is only part of a larger flow of money being donated to Haiti... but it's significant because relief agencies are reaching young people, typically the hardest to track down... and who might not have traditionally given. Some suggest texting has "opened up a whole new world for philanthropy."

Here’s my question to you: How has technology made the world smaller following a disaster like the Haiti quake?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Haiti earthquake