Our Brother’s Keeper


On CNN this morning, The Pink Flamingo noticed a shot of the NYFD working on that dreadful fire on Queens.  It was one of those iconic shots, that brought back memories of 2001, and the men and woman who literally gave their all, for others.  Americans are the best people in the world when it comes to compassion, care, and basic human decency.

And then, Mitt Romney trashed it with his disgustingly pandering attempt to hot the media spotlight.  It reached the point where his BFF, NJ Governor Chris Christi basically told FOX he was not wanted in NJ for a photo op.

Just mention a starving, abused cat, dog, or even a child and people in this country go nuts. We give more to charity than another nation.  We’re always the first to be there to help,  We specialize in help.  We’re a nation of bleeding hearts.  One of the greatest things about the American people is our bleeding hearts, which we wear on our sleeves.  It is who and what we are.  We are probably the best, kindest, most generous saps in the history of the world.

There is nothing worse, or more disgusting than this current libertarian, Randian streak that is destroying the GOP.  Not only do they NOT believe in helping those in need, but it is almost as if those who lost everything in such a disaster, do not deserve to be helped.  If they are to be helped, it is in a limited way.  Every tub standing on its own bottom, that sort of thing.  I think the Randians believe that only the little people, the low-life, the trash of the world have disastrous things happen to them.

Let’s get something clear.  There are times when government does things better than the private sector.  To think that the private sector could handle relief on the scale of the fire here in Ruidoso, let alone a super storm like Sandy, is delusional, at best.  Anyone who thinks that Mitt Romney would be a good POTUS is delusional, at best.

The Daily Kos

“…Republicans are immoral for, as Romney says, wanting to “get government out of the way” of people’s lives which is code for privatization and more tax cuts for him and his wealthy cohort. Government is not the be all, end all, but they are the only agency with the means to address something as monumental as a major natural disaster, and it exists to protect the American people it serves. If it is immoral to use federal funds for disaster relief, then it is a mortal sin for Romney to take $1.5 billion for puerile Olympic games, or millions from the federal government auto bailout. Romney’s moral dilemma can be summed up in three words; pure unadulterated greed. What the American people need to know is that Willard’s moral compass is dictated by the size of his hidden riches and not concern for the American people or this country, and he has projected that sentiment for the past 9 months. It is just another piece of evidence that not only is he not a Christian, he is an immoral human being who thinks so little of  the American people that his first priority is enriching the private sector and himself, and although that may be part and parcel of being a good Mormon, it makes him a despicable American, and in keeping with the spirit of the season, a scary monster….”

The Daily Kos

“...At least three times, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have publicly demanded that the federal government only disburse disaster relief funding if Congress agreed to offsetting budget cuts elsewhere. This would hold desperately-needed disaster relief funding hostage unless Congress agreed to cuts elsewhere in the budget, an extraordinarily difficult prospect even in normal circumstances.

Though GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) became the public face of such intransigence in the wake of natural disaster last year, Romney and Ryan have repeatedly made clear they agree with Cantor’s position.

Last year, after a major tornado and flood struck the United States, Romney was asked in a debate about federal disaster relief funding. Romney not only suggested shuttering FEMA and sending responsibility for disaster relief “back to the private sector,” but also said it would be “immoral” for the federal government to fund disaster relief efforts without cutting the budget elsewhere. “It makes no sense at all,” Romney concluded….”

Think Progress

On Tuesday, Mitt Romney made a fool of himself, and his followers, once again.  This photo should tell it all.  He made saps of the poor delusional people who came to see him, and to “help” those who lost their homes during Sandy.

The Daily Beast

The Pink Flamingo has a very real problem with charity.  First, according to Christ, we are not to let the left hand know what the right hand is doing.  Secondly, we are not to give grudgingly.  Thirdly, to clean out the pantry, finding a few canned goods we no longer want, or to dump household goods we no longer want is NOT charity.  It’s an excuse to clean house!

Someone told The Pink Flamingo that, if they were suffering, they wouldn’t mind taking used blankets and canned goods from people.  There’s a difference here.  We’re not just dealing with the “deserving” poor.  We’re talking about people of wealth and sustenance who have lost everything.  They don’t need the same things you put in a foodbank for the homeless of those who need help making ends meet.

I just have a real problem donating things you no longer need to “help” the less fortunate.  The same thing holds true for people who have faced disaster.  How dare we dictate how these people should rebuild their lives.  By donating the crap we no longer need, we’re basically telling them to stay in the underbelly of life.  We’re telling them they aren’t worth anything new.

During a major disaster, and even a minor one, quite often, the Red Cross will come in and put shelters together.  They will give vouchers for food, motel rooms at times.  They’re not looking for canned goods and used blankets.  First of all, in a disaster location, there’s no place to store those sort of things.  Secondly, they can take money and use it more effectively.  If they buy food in bulk, they get a huge price break. If you are feeding the five thousand in a shelter, you can’t open a bunch of small cans.  It’s insane.

Please, try using your heads.

Canned goods are great for a food bank, but not to ship to a major disaster.  Where I live, the past couple years, we’ve been through several major fires.  If the Red Cross, who handles this sort of thing, needs something, they will make a local announcement.

Don’t get The Pink Flamingo started on local foodbanks.  I’ve come to the conclusion they are designed to help well meaning people feel good about themselves, and almost humiliate those who need food. What they offer is fine, but doesn’t really help, all that much.  People are so afraid someone is going to take a voucher and go out and buy junk food, they’d rather make the “deserving” poor wallow in the dirt, begging, and teach them a lesson.

Put yourself in their place, for a change.  Think about how you would feel.



One thought on “Our Brother’s Keeper

  1. Mitt has been an ass with this, but our local food banks have been doing a yeoman’s job of helping around here and the people who run it are some good people — so I won’t knock our local food bank. The people who fall through the cracks would have a hard time without them and the food kitchens (which the local Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran and Methodist churches have managed to put aside their differences and run one of the largest, which is sort of nice to see them doing together…with a noticeable absence of some other groups).
    The problem I’ve seen, especially lately, has been an increased need for their services and fewer donations. The problem with private charity is when private citizens either become increasingly in need of charity rather than donating to it (as is happening here) and those who can decide they don’t want to (which is also becoming a problem).
    …and if the middle class gives out (heh, hmm) then private charity usually does as well; as they are the ones most likely to give…and which group is getting destroyed right now? The middle class and the traditional churches: if they go down, then private charity starts grinding to a halt (and we are seeing it, at least here).

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