I have been reading on the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, and of course, soon enough one finds stupidity strewn along the path.
First Danny Glover, who believes the earthquake was caused by global warming and climate change:
Hat tip: Tim Blair, Daily Telegraph (UK).
If Glover has half the brains of a nit wit, he would know that there is zero evidence of any connection be tectonic plate movemen and climate.
And you know, David, there’s an important comparison that many are missing, here. There are a lot of people who stood sniggering behind their hands at the comments of Pat Robertson. The connection they miss when they hold their silence over the comments of Glover is that both sets of comments are being driven by religion. In one case, Christianity… which is of course unpopular with the far left, and Gaia worship which is of course is all the rage among that same group.
Then, too are the comments of Rush Limbaugh. Let’s look at that for a moment: 
RUSH: David Brooks today in the New York Times is basically saying what I said yesterday and was attacked for, that giving aid money to countries does not help them grow. Here it is right here in the New York Times, and nobody’s mad at them. Do I need to read it? Yeah, let me. “On Oct. 17, 1989, a major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck the Bay Area in Northern California. Sixty-three people were killed. This week, a major earthquake, also measuring a magnitude of 7.0, struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Red Cross estimates that between 45,000 and 50,000 people have died. This is not a natural disaster story. This is a poverty story. It’s a story about poorly constructed buildings, bad infrastructure and terrible public services. On Thursday, President Obama told the people of Haiti: ‘You will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten.’
If he is going to remain faithful to that vow then he is going to have to use this tragedy as an occasion to rethink our approach to global poverty. He’s going to have to acknowledge a few difficult truths. The first of those truths is that we don’t know how to use aid to reduce poverty. Over the past few decades, the world has spent trillions of dollars to generate growth in the developing world. The countries that have not received much aid, like China, have seen tremendous growth and tremendous poverty reductions. The countries that have received aid, like Haiti, have not.” Oh, my gosh, this is deja vu, except I’m the one that said it. Using our own war on poverty, how much money have we given to the poor in this country, and we still have the same percentages of poor people — and we’re never supposed to examine the results, right? Only the good intentions of the givers!
And, of course, the givers are us. Our back pockets are looted by our own government, and the money is redistributed — and as Mr. Brooks is saying here, there is no upside to this. “In the recent anthology ‘What Works in Development?,’ a group of economists try to sort out what we’ve learned. The picture is grim. There are no policy levers that consistently correlate to increased growth. There is nearly zero correlation between how a developing economy does one decade and how it does the next. There is no consistently proven way to reduce corruption. Even improving governing institutions doesn’t seem to produce the expected results. … . More than 10,000 organizations perform missions of this sort in Haiti. …
“The second hard truth is that micro-aid is vital but insufficient. Given the failures of macrodevelopment, aid organizations often focus on microprojects. So we have “more than 10,000 organizations performing missions of this sort in Haiti.” It’s exactly what I said: We’ve got charities on the ground 24/7, 365 in Haiti. By some estimates, Haiti has more nongovernmental organizations per capita than any other place on earth. They are doing the Lord’s work, especially these days, but even a blizzard of these efforts does not seem to add up to comprehensive change. Third, it is time to put the thorny issue of culture at the center of efforts to tackle global poverty. Why is Haiti so poor? Well, it has a history of oppression, slavery and colonialism.” Yeeeees, all the things we pointed out this week: Dictatorships! “But so does Barbados, and Barbados is doing pretty well.
“Haiti has endured ruthless dictators, corruption and foreign invasions. But so has the Dominican Republic, and the D.R. is in much better shape. Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the same island and the same basic environment, yet the border between the two societies offers one of the starkest contrasts on earth — with trees and progress on one side, and deforestation and poverty and early death on the other. “As Lawrence E. Harrison explained in his book ‘The Central Liberal Truth,’ Haiti, like most of the world’s poorest nations, suffers from a complex web of progress-resistant cultural influences. There is the influence of the voodoo religion, which spreads the message that life is capricious and planning futile. There are high levels of social mistrust. Responsibility is often not internalized.”
“Child-rearing practices often involve neglect in the early years and harsh retribution when kids hit 9 or 10. … In this country, we first tried to tackle poverty by throwing money at it, just as we did abroad. Then we tried microcommunity efforts, just as we did abroad. But the programs that really work involve intrusive paternalism. These programs, like the Harlem Children’s Zone and the No Excuses schools, are led by people who figure they don’t understand all the factors that have contributed to poverty, but they don’t care. They are going to replace parts of the local culture with a highly demanding, highly intensive culture of achievement — involving everything from new child-rearing practices to stricter schools to better job performance,” and none of these programs are sponsored by government and certainly not by liberal government.
So the things that end poverty are cultural, and they start bottom-up, and they’re done by citizens and real people who can’t take it anymore. Throwing money at it accomplishes nothing! It’s been demonstrated all across the world, but most near to us it’s been demonstrated in Haiti. I mention all this as a rebuttal to all of the feigned outrage at me, the lying note that I urged people not to give to charity for Haiti. Nobody in their right mind would ever believe that about me or anybody else, for that matter. However, I did say find some way to do it other than giving it to Obama, ’cause I know he’s going to eliminate the charitable deduction. He wants to wipe out individual charitable giving. He wants the government to be the go-to person for all charities. That’s the only reason you wipe out the deduction for charitable contributions.
Limbaugh here makes a point that I’ve been screaming for years about culture being the biggest reason that a society lives or dies. Now, of course that will be derided as old fashioned, one sided, pig headed etc… by the same people who remain silent about Glover and his ilk.
Addendum II (David L)
I too had no use for what either Pat Robertson or Danny Glover had to say. However Robertson’s statement was purely theological. As such it can only be believed or disbelieved, but neither be proven nor dis-proven.
As for Limbaugh’s long winded take on the perils of Haiti, it reads like a short version of Dr. Thomas Sowell’s many books. In general I believe in Milton Friedman ideas that personal freedom in conducive to improving the human condition. Sadly in the particular case of Haiti, there appears to too little of what Sowell calls human and cultural capital for Friednan’s prescription to work.
Finally, the liberals preach that all cultures are equal. Yet Haiti’s culture clearly does not work.