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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:24 PM
Original message
Haiti's elite spared from much of the devastation
Source: WaPo

PETIONVILLE, HAITI -- Through decades of coups, hurricanes, embargoes and economic collapse, the wily and powerful business elite of Haiti have learned the art of survival in one of the most chaotic countries on Earth -- and they might come out on top again.

Although Tuesday's 7.0 magnitude earthquake destroyed many buildings in Port-au-Prince, it mostly spared homes and businesses up the mountain in the cool, green suburb of Petionville, home to former presidents and senators.

A palace built atop a mountain by the man who runs one of Haiti's biggest lottery games is still standing. New-car dealers, the big importers, the families that control the port -- they all drove through town with their drivers and security men this past weekend. Only a few homes here were destroyed.

"All the nation is feeling this earthquake -- the poor, the middle class and the richest ones," said Erwin Berthold, owner of the Big Star Market in Petionville. "But we did okay here. We have everything cleaned up inside. We are ready to open. We just need some security. So send in the Marines, okay?"


Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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Sultana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fuck them
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ElmoBlatz Donating Member (149 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
27. Would you feel better if their houses caved in too?
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. uggh
:puke:
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. To be honest, the elite have been spared from devastation throughout much of history.
It's not right, but that's the way it has always been. The rich are different from the rest of us--they do have more money and all of the advantages and privileges that go along with that. I don't see that changing anytime soon.
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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. But when they go under ground we will weld the doors shut behind them.
Bastards think we will simply go quietly to our graves while the outside world dies.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Not the Titanic
The elite could afford the best ship of her day. They also could afford the last flight of the Concorde.
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bitchkitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. Even then -
There weren't enough lifeboats, so steerage was out of luck.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #14
32. But she was built to Government accepted standards
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Control-Z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. In So Cal
it seems to be the wealthy who suffer the most from natural disasters. Canyon, hilltop and oceanfront properties are the most vulnerable to fires, landslides, erosion. I can't tell you how many times I have felt grateful that I couldn't afford one of those homes that has slipped down the side of the hill or burned to the ground. It is the only time I really appreciate our modest home.
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
17. Its possible the owner of the Big Star Market has much less than any of us
...and he might be surprised to be called one of the "elite", and a bastard as well, for having survived and hoping that his business isn't looted or burned down.
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SsevenN Donating Member (153 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. Hey man..
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 02:18 PM by SsevenN
Knock it off...

You know as well as I do that anyone who has ever had money got it through being a lying, cheating, dirty trickster.
That's why they are the elite, because they are full of themselves. It's not because they we more motivated to be successful for them and their family, obviously.

Fuck those pompus rich ass holes, so selfish they decided to work hard through their life, I mean, what kind of jerk wants a better life for his children at the expense of his own time and effort?

All those stupid elitest rich assholes should have their homes fall on them and their familys, that's teach them for working for a better life.
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delete_bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. For the literal minded around here,
it helps to use this...

:sarcasm:
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
4. if you need the food, take it, just don't sell it for 100 times what it is worth
indeed
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
5. News just in, rich people suffered less when rome fell..(nt)
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. Translation:
We just need some security. So send in the Marines, okay?

Translation: If things break down much worse they will be marching on OUR asses to take our stuff. Please safe us and our stuff.
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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
9. I think some pitchforks and torches are in order here.
Fuck those bastards. What exactly are THEY doing to help their own countrymen?
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earcandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. We cannot resent the rich for simply being rich. No, its only the ones that have
taken advantage of the illegal deregulation of laws that need
to lose whatever they gained.

And we need to prosecute those who deregulated, because once
we do, they will be less likely to try this again.

This is their umpteenth time upsetting the applecart on us. 
Are we gonna learn or are we just dumb fucks? 
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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #11
18. I can certainly resent the rich for not helping out those less fortunate.
And it sounds like the rich in Haiti are doing just that. And being smug about it.
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earcandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
30. I am with you there.
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Andronex Donating Member (378 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
10. We just need some security. So send in the Marines, okay?

Yes we can !


Is 10,000 troops enough ?

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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
12. I can't take this. Why is the world so unfair?
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Techn0Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. The world is unfair because:
1. People without conscious will take advantage of the weak and the uneducated

2. The weak and uneducated will rarely rise up and risk their lives or livelihood to oppose people without conscious

This is the way it has always been.
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heliarc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #15
31. conscience...
You are conflating two VERY different things ... conscience and consciousness are not the same. I agree with what I think you have said, but my respect for semiotics, sociolinguistics and psychology makes it very hard to leave this uncorrected.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscience

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflation

My best to you :)
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
16. I believe it comes down to the construction materials and methods
...as may be the normal case anywhere in the event of disaster. Overpopulation in Haiti has led to deforestation over the years, so wood for construction is expensive. Regular housing is masonry or concrete, which faired very poorly in the earthquake. Expensively built houses of wood did comparatively well.

I wouldn't begrudge any stranger their good fortune to have survived a disaster.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:24 AM
Response to Reply #16
23. Nope, it was deregulation of the building codes.
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 07:26 AM by fasttense
Haiti was forced (because you have to force it on a population) to implement "free" trade policies in exchange for loans and aid.

So, they did away with earthquake resistant building codes. I understand that rebarb is frequently required to build concrete, cinder or block homes in order for those homes to even have a chance of NOT collapsing. Yet most of the poor did not have rebarb in their homes because it was expensive and not required.

Yet the rich and many businesses did use rebarb because they could afford it. Not that rebarb always helps but it was required prior to "free" trade policies and deregulation.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Link to that? Nt
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laundry_queen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. I don't know that they even had building codes in the first place.
One of the Canadians killed in the quake was an engineer down there, ironically, trying to implement new earthquake proof building codes.

I thought I heard on CNN the first day that Petionville was actually devastated? Have they changed their story now?
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 03:57 AM
Response to Original message
19. Gravey for some
Sixty miles from Haiti's devastated earthquake zone, luxury liners dock at private beaches where passengers enjoy jet ski rides, parasailing and rum cocktails delivered to their hammocks.

The 4,370-berth Independence of the Seas, owned by Royal Caribbean International, disembarked at the heavily guarded resort of Labadee on the north coast on Friday; a second cruise ship, the 3,100-passenger Navigator of the Seas is due to dock.

The Florida cruise company leases a picturesque wooded peninsula and its five pristine beaches from the government for passengers to "cut loose" with watersports, barbecues, and shopping for trinkets at a craft market before returning on board before dusk. Safety is guaranteed by armed guards at the gate.

The decision to go ahead with the visit has divided passengers. The ships carry some food aid, and the cruise line has pledged to donate all proceeds from the visit to help stricken Haitians. But many passengers will stay aboard when they dock; one said he was "sickened".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/17/cruise-ship...
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Kurska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. I've been to Hati on a cruise ship, on Royal Caribbean no less.
Many years ago granted, but the cruise ships are a absolutely massive part of the local economy, more so then even most of the other ports I've been to because of the pervasive level of poverty you could see there. Tourist pile out, throw money around , go on tours, visit private Islands, do excursions and a area that has little other economic output gets a weekly injection of American dollars.

Granted this sounds like Royal Caribbean is JUST using the private island, which makes sense considering the main land is probably pretty devastated, but these cruise lines certainly aren't the bad guys here. I don't know what sense it would make diverting ships to another Island.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
21. It's the natural order of things don'tcha know
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demo dutch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
22. you wonder how (or if) they are helping their countrymen in this disaster.. ....
Edited on Mon Jan-18-10 07:16 AM by demo dutch
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demo dutch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
24. We're not giving money to Intl. agencies, but give directly to several Haitian janitors that work in
in our school with family members that are badly affected. They will be traveling over there as soon as they are able to in order to help their families.
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jxnmsdemguy65 Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
29. I'm not sure this is totally accurate...
I read another story, in the Wall Street Journal, I think, that said the poor ppl living in shanties had it better than others, because they didn't have the heavy hurricane roofs that fell and killed so many...
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Those lucky ducks
Lucky Ducky, you win again!
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