Monday, February 18, 2013

18 February 2013 In the slot

Cassi Creek:  Sunny and expected to be above freezing today.  No good weather goes unopposed in nature.  Tonight we will be treated to more high winds and rain.  Both are expected to continue into tomorrow.  I believe we have had more high wind conditions this year than any other since we moved here.
          Cruise ships should be carrying backup generators sufficient to maintain, at the least, life support functions.  They should have some form of emergency food supplies that can be stored at ambient temperatures and eaten without heating. 
          The cruise industry would be well advised to improve their planning for such contingencies as have presented in the last couple of years. 
United Arab Emirates helps Joplin ‘think big’ in rebuilding tornado-scarred schools

          The article linked above details the provision of foreign aid to the city of Joplin MO by the United Arab Emirates.  The UAE provided a MacBook laptop to every high school student in the Joplin school system as a replacement for books destroyed by the 2011 tornado.  The UAE is also funding a Neo-natal ICU at the under reconstruction Mercy Hospital in Joplin. 
          According to the article there is far more foreign aid being sent to the U.S. than most of us realize.  The process is fairly quiet and is being channeled to many hospitals including Johns Hopkins. 
          Since there are many areas of the United States that lack only location to be classified as “third world “ in terms of poverty and poor education and health care services, the UAE may make considerable improvements possible for relatively little money. 
          I was not aware that the UAE was involved in funding such programs within the U.S. borders.  This should be more widely known.
The gifts are part of an ambitious campaign by the UAE government to assist needy communities in the United States. Motivated by the same principal reasons that the U.S. government distributes foreign assistance — to help those less fortunate and to influence perceptions among the recipients — the handouts mark a small but remarkable shift in global economic power.
For decades, the United States has been the world’s largest provider of foreign aid, paying for the construction of schools, health clinics and vaccine programs in impoverished countries. It still is, but the level of donations has been increasing among nations with new financial clout, including China, India and oil-rich Persian Gulf states. And at least one of them now sees poor parts of the United States as worthy recipients for that same sort of assistance.
“We spot needs and we try to help,” said Yousef al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States.
During the past two years, the UAE government has paid for the construction of all-weather artificial turf soccer fields in low-income parts of New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. The embassy wants to build three more fields this year. Otaiba hopes to break ground on the first of them this spring in the Washington area, although the embassy is still in discussions with potential partners and has not settled on a location.
Otaiba said he also has promised New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) about $5 million apiece to help rebuild their jurisdictions in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.”
          Those who insist upon complaining about foreign aid to other nations should be referred to this article.  So should ever member of Congress.

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