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Radio Hams Fired Upon In Haiti 265

Posted by timothy
from the damn-shame dept.
Bruce Perens writes "A team of radio ham volunteers from the Dominican Republic visited Port-au-Prince to install VHF repeaters, only to be fired upon as they left the Dominican embassy. Two non-ham members of the party were hit, one severely. ARRL is sending equipment, and there is confusion as unfamiliar operators in government agencies join in on ham frequencies."
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Radio Hams Fired Upon In Haiti

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  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday January 23, 2010 @02:29AM (#30867480)

    The amateur radio operators are absolutely essential in a place where most of the communications structure has failed, and they didn't have much to begin with.

    The fact that these guys are being fired upon just shows how much trouble Hatti is in right now. If there's no law enforcement left, just how are the emergency supplies that are moving all to slowly going to wind up in the right hands?

    If they knew who these people were... why are they trying to scare away people who are rebuilding communication structures?
    If they didn't know who these people were... are they attacking anybody in a moving vehicle hoping they've got supplies they an steal for themselves without waiting in line like everybody else?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, where do those Haitians think they are, anyway? New Orleans?

    • by p51d007 (656414) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @02:34AM (#30867506)
      The unsung heroes of any disaster are typically the amateur radio operators. These guys, most of the time using their own equipment, time & money will set up a repeater or HF station so communications can get in and out of a disaster area. These guys always deserve a pat on the back as another of the "first responders". 73's! KB0GNK
      • by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @02:54AM (#30867574) Journal

        Yeah, and the ironic thing is that people complain about our "unsightly" antennas--right up until they need what we can do.

        With the severe storms we've been having here in souther California this past week, I've been on standby with San Diego ARES in the event communications go down. No major problem so far but I have all my 2 meter gear ready to go if necessary.

        KJ6BSO

        • by hey! (33014) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:45AM (#30869210) Homepage Journal

          Well, this is a good opportunity to invite your neighbors into your radio shack to listen to the ham traffic out of Haiti. Explain how you use that ugly antenna to help people around the world, and how it could might save the lives of their family if something like a terrorist attack or natural disaster disrupted normal communication systems in your neighborhood.

          Then maybe they'd feel differently about whether it is "unsightly" or not.

        • people complain about our "unsightly" antennas

          I think they look cool :)

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @02:39AM (#30867518)

      It has nothing to do with ham radio operators being targetted... I doubt they even knew (or cared) that the vehicles were filled with communication equipment.

      If there's no law enforcement left, just how are the emergency supplies that are moving all to slowly going to wind up in the right hands?

      The "right hands"? That's rather arrogant of you. If your city was just washed away or blown to bits, and there's tens of thousands of people roaming the streets looking for food, medical supplies, or anything useful and there's not a uniform in sight, what do you think happens after a few days and people start to get hungry and desperate basic essentials like clean water? In the middle of that, you've got a vehicle (maybe the first you've seen in days or weeks) with well-dressed people and boxes upon boxes of equipment -- you know what the first thought you're going to have is? Fuck! That's dinner. Get the gun.

      Morality is a luxury that not everybody can afford. It's like when you've got a person who's gone overboard and they're struggling to stay afloat -- the one thing you never ever ever do is jump in after them. That's a nice hollywood touch, but in the real world that person is desperate and will octopus-death-grip anything that's floating that comes near it -- which includes you. Then you'll both drown. Better to throw them the rope and let them save themselves. Maybe that's callous, but again -- your morality could get you (and others) killed. As such, it's a luxury in a crisis (at best).

      • by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @02:46AM (#30867536)
        Morality in the face of danger is what makes some people noble, and others scum. you are dead wrong that "everyone" will act like this when faced with hunger and thirst.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Morality in the face of danger is what makes some people noble, and others scum. you are dead wrong that "everyone" will act like this when faced with hunger and thirst

          When the cat's away the mice will play. I can't predict with much accuracy what any one person is going to do; but I can tell you what a group of people is going to do with a high degree of accuracy. The individual human can be compassionate, intelligent, and moral -- but human beings are dumb, irrational, and self-centered creatures and you and I both know it.

          As to heroes; We manufacture the occasional hero because we need them, not because what they did was heroic (though incidentally, it often is). We li

          • by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @03:05AM (#30867620)
            unless your an expert on every society and culture in the world you can't tell shit about what a given group of people are going to do. there are cultural influences in how a group of people react that greatly influence how they will react to a situation. haiti for example has a long history of violence and unrest, so it's no suprise there's lots of bottom feeders there willing to shoot at people helping them.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by dougisfunny (1200171)

              "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

              Also, Elvis isn't dead, he just went home.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by WiiVault (1039946)
            Without knowing it it sounds like you are endorsing non-intervention in crisis like this. If people will be people and mob and steal what incetive is there to help? I for one think that human dignity is often shown most brightly in times like these. Those who participate in acts like this urge others not to act next time, especially since there is no obgliation except moral- which is quickly washed away by a few injured aid workers. You let them off to easy friend.
          • by timothy (36799) * Works for Slashdot on Saturday January 23, 2010 @04:38AM (#30867996) Homepage Journal

            A few days ago I read this interesting account of another way that people can and do sometimes react:

            http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/man-at-his-best/# [thefreemanonline.org]

            Haiti doesn't have the sort of resources that Northern California does or then did -- and I suspect that there was plenty of looting / similar in the wake of the 1906 quake, too. Just saying, it doesn't take Pollyanna to believe that people sometimes treat others like they'd prefer to be treated.

            timothy

          • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

            The individual human can be compassionate, intelligent, and moral -- but human beings are dumb, irrational, and self-centered creatures and you and I both know it.

            And despite all this dumb, irrational, self-centered nature we have thousands of years of civilized society. Go figure.

            Yes - people can behave badly. And given a large enough sample, you're more likely to find at least one bad actor in the midst. But it is not a given that people in general will degenerate to chaotic lawlessness.

            As to heroes; We manufacture the occasional hero because we need them, not because what they did was heroic (though incidentally, it often is). We lie all the time about heroics -- but we do it with the bestest of intentions. We need hope, and that need outweighs our desire for objectivity. Sometimes, a person with uncommon qualities becomes self-aware of this fact and acts selflessly for the good of the whole, even to his/her own detriment. It is not a coincidence that these people almost exclusively come from small towns or communities -- but I'll leave it as an excercise for the reader to answer why that is.

            We don't always manufacture heroes. There are those who act heroic. And sometimes we recognize them. Granted - that may be as much for ourselves as the hero. But that does no

        • by ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @03:03AM (#30867616)

          Morality in the face of danger is what makes some people noble, and others scum. you are dead wrong that "everyone" will act like this when faced with hunger and thirst.

          You say that from your well-heated basement with Mom's fridge stocked full of frozen pizza upstairs.

          If your kid hasn't eaten for four days, your wife's legs are crushed and need to be amputated, but there's no antiseptic or surgeons for miles, and you're all sleeping under a tree, then being "scum" is not what you're worried about.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            There is ample historical record of people behaving admirably under extremely difficult conditions. Why? Culture and morality. This is a toxic modern idea, that in a crisis it is appropriate for people to devolve to barbarians. Hundreds of hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast before Katrina, and yet nobody shot at the rescuers. Usually, there weren't any rescuers at all, the local people just pulled themselves up and got to work, helping whoever needed it. I frequently see that modern, educated people find s

            • In the class of ungovernable hell holes Haiti is right up there with Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a bad idea to go there.

              • In the class of ungovernable hell holes Haiti is right up there with Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a bad idea to go there.

                Both Afghanistan and Iraq are much safer than you might imagine. The Kurdistan region of Iraq, basically a separate country with its own visa regime, attracts quite a few tourists. In Afghanistan, plenty of people visit; some get around in special convoys or fly, but the Eastern European hitchhiking community has maintained a heavy presence there with only good stories about their interactions with the local people. Yes, there are parts of both countries that are dangerous, but both have small tourist industries.

          • Well, off course. But if in a situation like that we are going to act just like Animals, trying to survive at any expense, then we are not human beings, we do not have human rights, and we don't deserve to get saved or helped.

            If your primitive instincts will overwhelm you, that's ok. But if you will act like an animal and just try to survive at any cost, I'll act as an animal too and do the same. Leave you behind to die, like any animal would do (Animals have a very instinctive understanding of evolution, and they know damn well that they have to let the week die).

            Now, if we are going to act like evolved Human Beings, then it's a whole different story. And don't come to me with terrible social stories. I live in Argentina. I've seen things. And I've seen people in shitty economic situations kill to get money for drugs, and I've seen people in even worse situations working honestly all their lives to get their families out of the hole. I've seen people that have got nothing in life and are living on the streets stop at a car accident to help people out of an expensive automobile, without taking anything, or asking for anything in return. And I've seen middle class people still to buy a new TV.

            You are either an Ethical human being, or you are not, no matter where or how you are.

        • by fm6 (162816)

          I take it you consider yourself one of the nobility. But tell me, how long have you ever gone without a decent meal? If it's less than a week, don't be so sure of your own non-scuminess, and don't be too quick to apply the label to others.

        • by Jurily (900488)

          you are dead wrong that "everyone" will act like this when faced with hunger and thirst.

          Yep. People aren't even noble in Nethack when starving.

        • Wow, so you are right and he is wrong, because...?
          You brought no arguments to the table. Only insults and “religious” phrase canting.

          First of all, you do not define morality at all. So it is physically impossible to agree with you.
          Then, common “political correct” “morality”, is so detached from reality, that it can only be described as seriously fucked up and very dangerous. So if you meant that one, your “noble” is my “idiot”. (I’ll explain why this description is justified, below.)

          The base mechanism here, on a physical level, is that we humans help others, because we know that this helps us too.
          And GP meant, that in reality, in cases where you know that you are going to get a kick in the balls, normal humans don’t help. The concept of just giving and giving and giving, without getting anything back, is a concept, created by those who always just take. The joke is, that if you try to fight it, to protect them, they will fight you, to protect it.

          Or in one simple sentence: If not jumping in the water under the delusion that that could save him, and therefore not drowning with him octopus-grabbing you, means I”m “scum“ to you, then I’m proud to be “scum”. Because by throwing a him rope, I will save two people, that with your “noble” method, would both have drowned.

          I bet you define morality, as expecting others to give their life for you.
          My morality is, that one does never ever expect anything from anyone. One can give something. But if nothing comes back, one will also stop giving something. (As described above.) Because else one has a greedy leech on one’s neck.
          I bet that this exact behavior of being used by a leech, is what you see as “noble”, and the behavior of denying to always and forever give away your life for people who are the opposite of thankful, is what you define as “scum”.

          And, can I make a wild guess, why that is so?
          Because you are the leech. You expect others to give. You just take. And you call that a noble moral. Because it is useful for you.

      • by gillbates (106458)

        Morality is a luxury that not everybody can afford.

        Well, in this respect Haiti must be rather affluent. 96 [wikipedia.org] percent of Haitians are Christian, which makes them more religious than the United States.

        The poor can embrace morality, if for no other reason, as a matter of pragmatism. The rich are generally well insulated from the consequences of their actions and can do as they please.

        If a society won't abide by a common morality under all conditions, why have morality at all? In such a case, it become

        • by c6gunner (950153)

          What in the world does religion have to do with morality?

          • What in the world does religion have to do with morality?

            It means, generally, that there is a prevailing wind in the direction of moral behavior being valued. Often lauded as gaining favor with some higher power who does not change what is moral on a whim. The cultural norm is therefore, to act in a moral manner and the morals are fixed and rarely change.

            As opposed to a culture where the majority do not believe in a higher power and believe that all morals are relative and can be redefined at will.
            • by c6gunner (950153)

              It means, generally, that there is a prevailing wind in the direction of moral behavior being valued.

              Pffft. Ha! That's a good one. Apparently you've never heard of human sacrifices, religious wars/crusades/jihad, oppressive theocratic states, genocide, or rewards in the afterlife being promised in exchange for acts of violence in this life. I don't see anything particularly moral about god telling the Jews to commit genocide and, oh, by the way, make sure they keep all the virgin girls alive to use for themselves.

              But never mind all that - let's pretend it never happened: your claim is is still ludicro

      • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @03:02AM (#30867604)
        By "right people" he means people that need the supplies rather than jackshits that will horde everything and try to sell it to starving people for everything they have left.
      • by TomXP411 (860000) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @03:03AM (#30867612)
        Remember Somalia? Warlords there grabbed airdropped supplies and then SOLD them at ridiculous prices. According to the news, the prisons are as broken as everything else, and criminals are running rampant. The Haitian police are nowhere to be found. This is exactly why the US sent in soldiers first, this time.
        • by Jawn98685 (687784)
          I do remember Somalia, and the dozens of places around the world where the very same thing goes on. And each time I see it anew, as we have over the last few days in Haiti, I am struck by how close any of us are to that same chaos. Pick any urban center in the U.S. It's food supplies lie in warehouses and supermarkets. Now apply an event (natural disaster, man-made disaster, war, whatever) of sufficient magnitude to cut off the steady supply that keeps those warehouses and stores stocked. They will last day
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        "The right hands" refers to the people that have the means to properly, and fairly distribute those supplies so that they provide the greatest possible benefit.

        Not exactly a hard concept, but what the hell, sometimes it's fun to play controversial and try to twist words and meanings of others to make yourself look more "progressive".

      • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @03:33AM (#30867750) Journal

        The "right hands"? That's rather arrogant of you.

        And it's rather ignorant of you. In situations like this in developing nations, warlords (or gangs or whatever they are in the current country) often hijack the emergency supplies and try to sell them, give them to their friends, or even dump them. If you are bringing aid to an under-developed country, this is definitely something you want to think about. Furthermore when people go hungry, they don't get violent, they get lethargic. Try skipping food for a few days yourself, and see how many faces you want to bash in. No, these people doing the shooting have been stealing enough food all along, and are well fed.

        It's like when you've got a person who's gone overboard and they're struggling to stay afloat -- the one thing you never ever ever do is jump in after them. That's a nice hollywood touch, but in the real world that person is desperate and will octopus-death-grip anything that's floating that comes near it -- which includes you.

        And it looks like you learned your life-saving skills from Hollywood or some other unreliable source. If you can't throw a rope or something to the person, then you swim up behind them, hold them against your body with your arm around their neck, and sidestroke back to shore. If they grab onto you with the octopus-death-grip, duck under the water and they will let go quickly. If my kid, or friend, or even random stranger is out there drowning and I have nothing to throw, you can believe I will go in after him.

      • by timeOday (582209) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @03:36AM (#30867764)
        What are you basing all this on? (A recent batman movie perhaps?) The vast majority of hungry people in Haiti right now are NOT acting as you believe to be inevitable. Moreover, from the reporting I've read, [google.com] the hungry people are not the most likely to be violent. The problem that's really worrying people is the gangs - the people that were already criminals vying for power before the disaster, and who (for that reason) are armed, and a number of whom escaped from prison when it crumbled in the quake. They're not hoarding to fill their bellies, they're hoarding because when food is scarce, food is power. You might say they vindicate your theories, but again, they were already at it before the quake, and they are not most of the people in Haiti.
      • Sorry, but actual experience and history shows that you have it exactly backwards. It's people in really awful situations that tend to think long and hard about the morality of what they do -- who do the most to help each other out, do the least to exploit and brutalize each other.

        The concept of dispensing with morality and taking a Look Out For Number One attitude is the luxury -- because you can only take that attitude if your life is so sheltered that you don't realize how much you really do depend on o

      • by ultranova (717540)

        In the middle of that, you've got a vehicle (maybe the first you've seen in days or weeks) with well-dressed people and boxes upon boxes of equipment -- you know what the first thought you're going to have is? Fuck! That's dinner. Get the gun.

        How strange. My first tought was: "These people are bringing me dinner. Help them so they can bring more.".

        Morality is a luxury that not everybody can afford.

        That keeps repeated often, yet it's absolute rubbish. "Morality" in humans is an evolved trait, which means t

      • Wow! You sound like a real scumbag!

        Shooting random people just because they might have food is not ok.
        Not even if you're starving.

        You always have a choice. Go fishing. Eat a dog. Eat a dead body. Whatever it takes.

        And yes there are right and wrong hands for these supplies. That you don't understand this implies you are a very ignorant person.
        Try reading a little bit about Somolia.

        The whole "You Americans are so fortunate you have no right to judge" thing is a pile of crap.
        There is right and
    • by sznupi (719324) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @03:17AM (#30867668) Homepage

      Perhaps it isn't so much about shooting aid volunteers as it is about shooting Dominicans. I imagine you can easily find some Hatinas that feel strong aversion towards them (easily manifested especially in such times?)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsley_Massacre [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antihaitianismo [wikipedia.org]

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 23, 2010 @04:01AM (#30867842)

      Haiti has had, and will continue to have problems. Keep in mind, the US government has given on average $300 million in aid to Haiti per year for the last 5 years. During the early Bush administration, they tried to give money for clean drinking water, but Baby Doc Duvalier took 88% (more than 25 million US) and the Tonton Macoute took more than 4.6 million U$. No clean drinking water. Later the Swiss government had their banks seize the money, and have tried to return the money back to Haiti (but to a non-corrupt government). My next door neighbours' went with their church 5 years ago to Haiti to set up a hospital and (with a dentist who attends the church) perform free dental work. When they returned they said that there is nothing there. Few people are working, they had to pay bribes to both the government officials and local gangs for their 'safety', and still they managed to build a clinic with clean running water, and perform 300 dental surgeries. Not bad for a week. But there is so much corruption. The gangs are so bad. The local population has no work but the population still managed to swell from 6 million to 8 million in 10 years (and still the life expectancy for anyone who makes it past 5 years old is 50). Poverty, disease, corruption, natural disasters, illiteracy, crime, few natural resources, a local population that manages to squander what little foreign aid manages to reach them -- Haiti has it all! On the other side of the island, the Dominican Republic is doing quite well. Tourism, foreign investment. The truth is, since independence, Haiti has had a new fresh coup-de-tat government every 6.25 years (32 coups in its 200 year history). Necklacing [bbc.co.uk] is not uncommon in Haiti, as is corrupt government. The fact that a group of radio amateurs got shot at in Haiti is unremarkable. Its a sad tale, but not unexpected.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        It's rather obvious from your post that giving money is useless and worse than useless. Only giving the time and effort of actual people works. The Swiss are sitting on $1.5 billion US government dollars because they have no one in Haiti to give it to. There is a widespread belief in the first world that money is valuable. It's not. Money is completely and utterly worthless. The only time money has value is as a means to convince people to do useful things. In order to establish ready availability of

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BuR4N (512430)
      "The amateur radio operators are absolutely essential in a place where most of the communications structure has failed"

      I dont know, maybe in the 70's they where. Ericsson pretty quickly sent a team (Ericsson Response) to restore the GSM network and distributed 5000 GSM phones among help works.

      http://www.ericsson.com/article/100121_haiti_20100121111142 [ericsson.com]
      • The Amateur Radio Operators are providing a tested network of volunteers to send "health and welfare" messages to friends and family outside of the disaster network.

        they do this reliably and at a significantly lower cost.

  • Yes... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rmushkatblat (1690080) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @02:29AM (#30867482)
    And this is why we send in the army.
    • I heard that on mainland USA criminals carry guns and shoot innocent people *even when there's no earthquakes* - should the army be sent in to patrol streets there?

      Not sure what country you're from pal but I'd suggest it would be better to support the local infrastructure (e.g. support and fund local police forces) than send in your own army. Colonial attitudes like this are best left in the 19th century ("these poor savages, they can't look after themselves or behave like civilised people, we need to send

    • by Neoprofin (871029)
      The U.S. Has 13,000 soldiers in the area, 4,000 or so on the ground including marines and air cavalry.

      However the UN is in charge of security and has only in the last couple of days approved sending more troops which could mean another week if not more before they actually arrive. I don't really think the U.S. needs to be stomping through the bushes right now in a third country, but it would certainly be more effective.
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday January 23, 2010 @02:32AM (#30867494)

    There's a big difference in the Red Cross these days...

    Previously, the Red Cross operated in the black by collecting after a disaster not to benefit the current disaster, but to replenish their funds in reserve so they'd have money to deal with the next disaster, whatever it may be.

    Then 9/11 happened. And worse yet, pinheads like Bill O'Reilly dared to attack this strategy by demanding that the Red Cross go all out to help 9/11 victims and spend all of the money it was raising. In effect, this disaster got double-funded... both from the collections after the previous disaster and the collections immediately after.

    Now here's the problem: More recent disasters like Katrina and Haiti have been underfunded because the money isn't available immediately after the disaster but until news spreads and people pay for the relief. It just hasn't been the same.

    I want our old Red Cross back...

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @02:49AM (#30867550)

      I want our old Red Cross back...

      You can't have it because O'Reilly and a bunch of others played the morality card, which always trumps common sense. The morality card states that all money collected must be diverted to [insert cause], and not stockpiled. The common sense card says disaster preparation requires a plan ahead of time -- you can't fuck around waiting to allocate resources when it hits. Which is exactly what has happened with Katrina, 9/11, Haiti, and many disasters yet to come. We've reduced our position from being proactive (being able to execute a rescue plan immediately because resources are already available) to reactive (waiting until resources are collected and organized before formulating and executing a plan).

      But that's okay -- because we can feel good about contributing a dollar here and a dollar there towards those poor Haitians... you know... we'll get there and help them out... eventually...if there's any that are still alive by the time we're good and ready. The new American Way is to cut our noses off in spite of our face, and pressure on the short-term solution, the quick buy, the easy fix, and the fast profit.

      And do you know why? Because the boomers need to milk the economy of every penny they can to pay for their exorbinant retirement package. They were raised believing that America would always be in a state of progress and growth, that we were the best, and competition with other countries was a joke. We grew complacent, and while they built out their infrastructure, we drove around in fat SUVs and bought big screen TVs, eschewing long term growth for the here-and-now creature comforts. And now... well now we are mighty fucked. And when people inevitably call me age-ist and that it's a generalization and blah blah blah -- I'll tell them this: you're right, it is discriminatory. It's also not wrong.

      • So how about the 15% payroll tax the Boomers have been paying for the past 40 years? Why shouldn't we expect the next generation to do the same in turn?

        You can rant all you want but the demographics and size of the voting population in the Boomer cohort sort of makes it pretty unlikely that you are going to be able to duck this bill.

    • Uuum, just a question:
      How exactly does Bill O’Reilly have the power to decide the behavior of the Red Cross?

      I hope it’s not the Red Cross buying into some talking retard’s bullshit. Because... well, a whole global organization, succumbing to the views of a single irrelevant idiot with zero competence, would be... just completely silly.

      It would be like me now stating “Médecins sans frontières are a couple of fags” and this resulting in a global investigation on their s

      • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday January 23, 2010 @05:01AM (#30868076)

        That's the problem though isn't it - the right wing shouties aren't just "individuals", they command the actions of all those repubs (including the rich ones with lots of disposable income) and can affect where the donation money goes. If they deem the Red Cross to be "unamerican", whoops, there goes all your donation from right wing, middle class white people.

        They might be twisted, hopeless and incompetent individual, but don't underestimate the power placed in them by a large portion of America. They can be very dangerous and destructive.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        Because... well, a whole global organization, succumbing to the views of a single irrelevant idiot with zero competence, would be... just completely silly.

        You must have never heard of George W. Bush, then.

    • by Jimithing DMB (29796) <dfe&tgwbd,org> on Saturday January 23, 2010 @04:50AM (#30868030) Homepage

      Gee that's odd. I seem to remember O'Reilly doing a show back then about the 9/11 relief efforts and warning people about scams. As part of this he had several reputable organizations on, the highlight of which was the Red Cross. The Red Cross guys explained that unlike the scam organizations the Red Cross had the money in advance, had already spent a lot of it on 9/11 relief and that the donations go to replenish their fund for the next disaster.

      I also remember in the aftermath of hurricane Isabel the Red Cross was there the next morning offering essentials like water. FEMA didn't show up until 4 or 5 days later when some lard-ass government employee ticked off little boxes on a crappy tablet PC so the government would have an idea of the amount of damage done.

      Then a year or two later Katrina happens and all of a sudden it's a big media story and oh my god where is FEMA? You know what though, the Red Cross was there early. That is until they started getting shot at. That was perfect though for political vultures like yourself just waiting with baited breath for the next big tragedy to happen so they could use it to beat up their perceived enemies. Of course there have been all kinds of disasters in the world between 9/11 and Haiti so it's quite telling that the one you think of is Katrina. Were there problems with relief in Katrina? Yes. Worse than normal for other disasters of that magnitude? No. Reported on more than others? You bet! I mean right on time to kick off the 2006 election season, it doesn't get any better than that.

      Hopefully the rest of slashdot can see through your and your ilk's self-righteous bullshit. Clearly you don't give a crap about the people in Haiti or the Red Cross providing relief or these Hams who risked their lives in an attempt to set up a basic communications network. No, for you it's all about badmouthing other people. Why let a perfectly good disaster go to waste right?

    • You make it sound like Bill O'Reilly is some kind of controlling figure in what the Red Cross does with its money. If what you said is true, it's not as if the Red Cross has to listen to the media pundits.

  • They should (Score:3, Funny)

    by JustOK (667959) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @03:20AM (#30867686) Journal

    If they'd just use BPL in Haiti, then HAM wouldn't work and there would not be problems like this.

  • Dear Hugo Chavez (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jeian (409916) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @04:02AM (#30867846)

    This would be one of the reasons why we're sending our military.

    Love,

    The USA

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Neoprofin (871029)
      You must have missed the press conference where Hugo Chavez claimed the earthquake was caused by a weapon of the U.S. Navy that they're planing on using on Iran soon. I was glad to see that he's so concerned about the Haitians' plight that he took the time to draw attention to this threat.

      The best part is the U.S. isn't even in charge of security, though they've offered. Everyone is stuck waiting on member states to donate more UN peacekeepers.
  • by mykos (1627575) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @05:55AM (#30868230)

    Can't someone just take Haiti? Surely conquerors showing up with promises of food and infrastructure building would be preferred to their current government.

    A government which lacks the power to govern also lacks the right to do the same.

    • by mykos (1627575) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @05:57AM (#30868240)

      Before down modding, hear me out. Haiti has no feasible way out of their current situation. But the one thing that would truly pull them out of this mire as quickly as possible is probably forbidden by a jillion UN rules. But it would work. They could NOT be in a worse situation than they are with their current government.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dkleinsc (563838)

        Hell yes, they could be in a worse situation than they are with their current government. I'd recommend reading a bit about the history of Haiti before you try to answer that question. Or if you want another idea about how much worse it can get, look at Somalia.

    • I think the same thing was said about Iraq: "Surely conquerors showing up with promises of food and infrastructure would be preferred to Saddam Hussein's government..." I would not bet on re-colonizing Haiti working out better than regime change in Iraq.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by amiga3D (567632)
        That's an interesting statement. Do you think that the majority of the people in Iraq would prefer to be back under Saddam's rule? I know things aren't great there at the moment but it's not like life was ideal before.
        • No, I don't mean to suggest that at all. I just meant to say that being a benevolent conqueror and trying to rebuild a country is much more difficult and complicated than mykos suggested it might be.

    • Don't count on it.

      And would the US want to pay the bill? With what exactly?

      And it the US and other western nations that have bled Haiti dry with loans they want repaid. The west is a loanshark. Stop that practice and poor countries would be helped far more as they could actually spend any earned money on developing their country rather then paying of endless debts. haiti was going backrupt just paying the intrest on its loans alone, not even able to actually pay them off. A perputual money machine for the

  • by FudRucker (866063) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @07:58AM (#30868680)
    14.265 & 14,300 both on the upperside SSB i been listening to them since the quake hit.
  • by Vskye (9079)

    This was posted on the the ARRL website http://www.arrl.org/ [arrl.org] on the 18th, 5 days ago.

  • And still people criticize us for sending in troops to impose order and stability, in a place that never had it to begin with. I got news for you bleeding hearts. If you want to help those people, re-establish law and order first. Once that is done, the business of distributing food and water, rebuilding infrastructure, re-establishing basic public services like sanitation etc, becomes infinitely easier.

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