Tuesday, December 28, 2004

And so this is Christmas/And what have you done?

Via Atrios, originally, we have this moral challenge issued by U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland, regarding the international response to what is being called the worst natural disaster in a century.
"It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really," the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. "Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become."
"There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy," he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more."

The death toll is now up to 44,000. One third of those are estimated to be children.

Atrios compares this to the cost of the upcoming Inauguration. Which makes me think of Ambrose, in the 4th century:

The large rooms of which you are so proud are in fact your shame. They are big enough to hold crowds--and also big enough to shut out the voice of the poor....There is your sister or brother, naked, crying! And you stand confused over the choice of an attactive floor covering.

Do we? Do we have to?

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