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17 January 2010


George Rebane

Steve, thank you again for this post on post-disaster US policy toward Haiti. I was struck by your prescription for “re-building” the various infra-structural areas of Haiti. It implied that each of these areas was formerly (pre-earthquake) at a level that would have supported a productive civil society and functional government. I think that evidence points to other conclusions. Therefore, it seems you are recommending that the US should become the major funder of build the country’s infrastructure, legal norms, and educational levels to support some form of national governance that doesn’t rapidly re-degenerate the country to its former state.

This appears to me to be a multi-decadal effort during which time Haiti will indeed be the ward (or its functional equivalent) of the US or the UN, and no longer a sovereign nation-state. Is this a correct understanding of how you see America’s proper stance toward the Haitis of the world?

Mikey McD

I have included the text/audio to one of my favorite speeches NOT YOURS TO GIVE- BY DAVID CROCKETT. It exemplifies my feelings... let individuals give, keep my government out of philanthropy.

David Crockett: http://www.pointsouth.com/csanet/greatmen/crockett/crocket2.htm

you can listen to it at the bottom right of this page: http://libertypen.com/LibertyPen.html

Steven Frisch

First, I think there are ways to help people and not steal their sovereignty, we just need to be smart and careful and true to our principles.

Second, I clearly stated that I did not want the US taxpayers to be the ultimate funder, I want us to collaborate with others to be the guarantor.

Third, Mikey McD what are ya' doin?

This from the official Supreme Court web site:


Scope of the Power

The grant of power to “provide ... for the general welfare” raises a two-fold question: how may Congress provide for “the general welfare” and what is “the general welfare” that it is authorized to promote? The first half of this question was answered by Thomas Jefferson in his opinion on the Bank as follows: “[T]he laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They [Congress] are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.”581 The clause, in short, is not an independent grant of power, but a qualification of the taxing power. Although a broader view has been occasionally asserted,582Congress has not acted upon it and the Court has had no occasion to adjudicate the point.

With respect to the meaning of “the general welfare” the pages of The Federalist itself disclose a sharp divergence of views between its two principal authors. Hamilton adopted the literal, broad meaning of the clause;583 Madison contended that the powers of taxation and appropriation of the proposed government should be regarded as merely instrumental to its remaining powers, in other words, as little more than a power of self-support."


The bottom line--general welfare powers have already been decided on behalf of the Hamiltonians and there is now a strong body of precedent to that effect.

Finally, I don't know if you noticed it but you pulled that little southern ditty from a web site that is an apologist site for the Confederacy. The CSA stands for Confederate States of America: from a group that proudly proclaims its support for succession, and the quote is not even sourced. So I did a little background. And what did I find? This quote is considered completely un-sourced and completely unreliable by historians, was never quoted before Ellis included it as a narrative story in his book "The Life and Times of Colonel David Crockett" in 1884, was never footnoted, and never showed up in the congressional record. Not only that, Congress did not ever pass a relief act as a result of a fire in Georgetown.

I think you got some bad data here buddy. But then consider the source.

One more thing, as a student of history who occasionally reads original sources, the vernacular is all wrong for the antebellum period.

I think if you are going to quote American history you better try to get your sources right.

Account Deleted

I notice that no one has suggested that we send the ACLU, SEIU and a phalanx of lawyers. We could, of course, teach the Haitians to re-build their own infrastructure. It wouldn't be Rodeo Drive, but it could be something they could afford and maintain. We could help them set up some sort of industry that the island could support and help them to earn hard capital. I'm sure there is some one in our federal govt. that could show them how to run a printing press. As it is, they will continue to be a sink hole of wealth. Humanitarian aid is a given right now, with the racist, evil Americans leading the way in both governmental and charitable giving. As far as getting other nations to pitch in with a re-building effort, good luck with that. Few even care to help with the other on-going problems in Somalia, Afghanistan and the Imperial Valley in California. We will help get Haiti back on it's feet and it will totter off in the same derelict condition it has been in for decades. I'm being cynical for sure, but also far more realistic than the pipe-dreams of folks who have completely failed to bring about anything good in this country, let alone another.

Steven Frisch

So it seem the French Cubans, Israelis, Turks, Venzuelans, Chinese, UN, and scores of others are stepping up. US private donations for Haiti are now at more than $225 million in just the first 5 days, more than 4 times our 5 day total for the 2003 great Tsunami--where we raised more than $5 billion.

Steven Frisch

Proof that others are stepping up and we do not have to do this alone


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