Thursday, November 01, 2012

American Red Cross goes AWOL

Only now are SWPLs beginning to discover that charities that pay their executives compensation comparable with the private sector not all that concerned about actually helping people in need:
At a press conference this morning on Staten Island, a host of local officials, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, gathered to highlight the needs of the hard-hit borough in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. And, although many pols spoke, no one was more impassioned than Borough President James Molinaro, who called the Red Cross an “absolute disgrace” and even urged the public to cease giving them contributions.

“Because the devastation in Staten Island, the lack of a response,” Mr. Molinaro said to explain his comment to NBC after the press conference. “You know, I went to a shelter Monday night after the storm. People were coming in with no socks, with no shoes. They were in desperate need. Their housing was destroyed. They were crying. Where was the Red Cross? Isn’t that their function? They collect millions of dollars. Whenever there’s a drive in Staten Island, we give openly and honestly. Where are they? Where are they? I was at the South Shore yesterday, people were buried in their homes. There the dogs are trying to find bodies. The people there, the neighbors who had no electricity, were making soup. Making soup. It’s very emotional because the lack of a response. The lack of a response. They’re supposed to be here….They should be on the front lines fighting, and helping the people.”
Clearly Mr. Molinaro doesn't understand how this works.  Private sector executives don't feel the need to be there helping anyone, so why should their American Red Cross counterparts be out there either?  The function of the American Red Cross is to collect millions of dollars and then distribute that money throughout its bureaucracy.  It has nothing to do with helping anyone except themselves.  Doesn't everyone know that?

For the record, this is NOT true of other national Red Cross organizations.  But the big name American charities make even Wall Street executives raise their eyebrows and marvel at their rapaciousness.  At least Goldman Sachs has the decency to honestly swindle its clients out of their money rather than lying about how they're going to help disaster victims with it.



Anonymous Mr. Nightstick November 01, 2012 5:51 PM  

Rapers gonna rape.

Anonymous Josh November 01, 2012 5:52 PM  

To donate $10, text "sandy" to 95559...

Blogger Unknown November 01, 2012 6:07 PM  

The Red Cross is a scam and always has been. They want your blood for free and then sell it to sick people.

I've met soldiers from WWII, Korea and Vietnam who hate the Red Cross. Officers got steak and the average GI got stale donuts and bad coffee.

Anonymous AdognamedOp November 01, 2012 6:27 PM  

Hard hit areas are basically on their own right now. Necessary supplies like food and water are being brought in by citizens from nearby area. My friends a trucker and he's currently idling in outer NJ with FEMA emergency loads because of road closures.
Despite the media lies and endless back patting press confrences by local politicians, this recovery effort is not going well.
Also, there has been widespread looting in vibrant areas that is going un-reported by the media.

Anonymous Apeman November 01, 2012 6:31 PM  

Yeah, I have come across the Red Cross sucks angle from some service members before. One guy would not give the time of day to anyone from Red Cross but always hand money for the Salvation Army guys (I guess the helped him out when the Red Cross would not). But this is from an old service guy and I don't know that it has anything to do with modern times.

Anonymous Apeman November 01, 2012 6:33 PM  

When our area got flooded out twice in 5 years, there was only one outside group that was really effective and helped a lot of people. And that was the Mennonites. If they wanted money I would give it to them in a heartbeat but they have never asked me.

All other half way effective groups were local.

Blogger John Cunningham November 01, 2012 6:36 PM  

Screw the Red Cross, the only effective quick relief forces are churches--the Salvation Army and the LDS church. the Salvation Army only has overhead costs of 1 or 3 percent,.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 01, 2012 6:38 PM  

Bob Wallace,

That's pretty serious, and I will stop donating if it's true. Can you back it up?

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 01, 2012 6:42 PM  

Which is to say, I'll donate blood somewhere else. It grows right back anyway.

Anonymous Sheila November 01, 2012 6:43 PM  

I thought people figured the Red Cross out a long time ago - I remember the public furor when people donated blood and money after 9/11, only to find out the Red Cross was essentially stockpiling what was given for purported future needs. Most charities have outrageous overhead and a pittance of monies donated actually get to the intended recipients. I give directly or I don't give at all. I particularly enjoy telling the grocery checkers "NO" when I'm asked to donate to the cause of the day (breast cancer, aids, "hungry" local illegals, etc.).

Anonymous Idle Spectator November 01, 2012 6:56 PM  

SWPL or Swipples are a bit slow at grasping anything except irony.

Then again, being crucified in a time of need by an organiztion called the Red Cross is pretty ironic.

So perhaps they are stupid at everything.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 01, 2012 6:57 PM  

That is damn funny Vox. see any disaster, how much money did they make off 9/11?

Anonymous Outlaw X November 01, 2012 7:01 PM  

Vox, GHWB and Clinton made millions off of Haiti.

Anonymous JCclimber November 01, 2012 7:06 PM  

I'm a Disaster Response Volunteer for ACS (Adventist Community Services). Part of our training included a summary of the functions of ALL the disaster relief organizations we work with in North America. Usually the part we play is to get in to an area immediately, within 12-24 hours, and set up warehousing and distribution for the disaster relief supplies. Other organizations supply the contents and delivery, still others provide temporary housing, some handle food distribution, and so on.

Red Cross has it's function, and usually performs that function relatively well. Relative to the government disaster response, where there is even MUCH more room for improvement. But they usually are not that quick on their feet, and usually exit fairly quickly.

We are often the last disaster charity to leave, with ONE exception: The Mennonites, who quietly come in, within a few days or weeks, and spend months and months helping rebuild houses, schools, and so on. We have a LOT of respect for them. They shun the spotlight and massive publicity that certain other charities court (ahem Red Cross).

But seriously, how are these frackin' politicians expecting the Red Cross to get supplies on Day 1 or Day 2 into the disaster zone itself? By foot? Carrying it in on backpacks with their 4,000 local volunteers? By truck over flooded roads? By subway? By train? By airplane into their shutdown airports?

Oh, and people missing shoes and socks for a few hours, when this disaster was known about DAYS IN ADVANCE, cry me a river.

I can't believe I'm sort of defending the Red Cross, whom I don't like or respect at all, but seriously. In pretty much every disaster their response is much better targeted, and faster, than the FEMA's response. Despite their many flaws.

Anonymous Porky? November 01, 2012 7:12 PM  

How 'bout we all keep our money and then help folks we meet who need help.

I know. It's a crazy idea.

Anonymous Mr Green Man November 01, 2012 7:13 PM  

Hey, now, The Won told us that Mr. Romney was wrong to be gathering up real supplies to truck to the disaster area, and instead we are ordered to donate to the Red Cross.

Yeah, those jerks screwed over relatives of mine on the Western Front. We do not give to them; we give to the Salvation Army.

Anonymous Johnny Reb November 01, 2012 7:14 PM  

Don't know much about the Red Cross but I've done some work with Samaritan's Purse and they seem to be a decent organization. True there are a few things that make one raise their eyebrows such as FG's compensation scandal a few years back though they currently claim to have overhead costs somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% I think. I know they have their DART teams for domestic disasters and I'd be curious to know how involved they are with responding to Sandy.

When I came back to the US I left with the impression that there was perhaps some intelligence component there either covert or overt from the point of the leadership. That's the part I found most unsettling. Actually I have mixed feelings about the whole NGO/relief in general.

Anonymous JCclimber November 01, 2012 7:16 PM  

One other question, did no one let the residents of Staten Island know that a major storm was coming their way?

I mean, I live in California, don't have a television, don't get a newspaper, and yet *I* knew that it was time for East Coasters to hunker down and prepare some quick get away bags.

Or is this a case similar to the Italian earthquakes, where "expert scientists" told Staten Islanders that their homes would be 100% safe, they shouldn't leave, nor prepare for disaster? In that case, why they lookin' at Red Cross?

It IS funny though, considering how SWPL never dig down to see that Red Cross comes in to a disaster, sucks all the "donation oxygen" out of the room, then blows town a couple weeks later.

I remember all the people touting how great it was the Elizabeth Dole was the president of Red Cross, as if that made Bob Dole a better candidate for POTUS or something. What a joke.

Anonymous zen0 November 01, 2012 7:28 PM  

I can't believe I'm sort of defending the Red Cross, whom I don't like or respect at all, but seriously. In pretty much every disaster their response is much better targeted, and faster, than the FEMA's response. Despite their many flaws. @ JCclimber

Damning with faint praise? The bloated corporate bureaucracy of the Red Cross is at least delivers a bit better than the uber-bloated government bureaucracy of FEMA?

(kudos for your work, by the way)

Anonymous Idle Spectator November 01, 2012 7:31 PM  


F)ucking over
M)ade by

Yes, that is in the government charter. I see it with my idling eye.

Blogger Unknown November 01, 2012 7:33 PM  

"That's pretty serious, and I will stop donating if it's true. Can you back it up?"

I'll give a personal example. In college I drove a taxi. The Red Cross was the only organization that never give a tip, and on top of that, they paid flat rates that was based on a straight line from the Red Cross to the destination. Every ride paid far less than it should have.

As for the soldiers, it was what they told me. I had a girlfriend in college whose father told me when he was in the Army the Red Cross gave him steak because he was an officer and all the grunts got cold coffee and stale donuts. When I asked other men about it they confirmed what he said. One told me he wouldn't give the Red Cross his spit, much less his blood.

And think about this: why does the Red Cross ask you to donate blood for free and then charge sick people a lot of money for it.

Also look up the salaries Red Cross executives pay themselves. They're outrageous.

Anonymous kaz November 01, 2012 7:38 PM  

U.S. Marine veterans of the Korean war have a particular dislike for the Red Cross. Having fought their way out of the Frozen Chosen they were greeted by the Red Cross who sold them coffee and doughtnuts.


Anonymous nick digger November 01, 2012 8:04 PM  

"I thought people figured the Red Cross out a long time ago"

People figured it out, but then people forgot. They'll forget after this one, too.

Anonymous LL November 01, 2012 8:13 PM  

I pulled up the Red Cross 990 yesterday and in 2011, the CEO got paid $500K plus I think about $60K in benefits.

I support Team Rubicon. They are fast first responders, former military guys who are all about action and not a bunch of BS. They have been in there with chainsaws cutting down trees and doing what needs to be done to get people moving forward. They started, trial by fire, during the Haiti earthquake and have rolled through many major events like the Joplin tornado. Best organization, hands down.

Anonymous Res Ipsa November 01, 2012 8:17 PM  

This is exactly my experience with the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. We had a tornado that wiped out about a quarter of a town. The Red Cross spent more money for diesel and a driver to drive a red cross truck up and down every street in town all day for two weeks than they gave in aid. To get aid you had to show up with two forms of ID one of which had to be a social security card and then they “qualified you” by checking your tax returns for two years to see if you actually needed help, because you could have been living in the trailer park as some sort of elaborate ruse to gyp them out of a bottle of water and a can of tuna fish. They spent more time justifying their efforts and documenting their help than actually helping.

Anonymous LL November 01, 2012 8:20 PM  

Oh, and Aeoli Pera, they don't charge for the blood directly, they charge for everything associated with collecting, advertising their drives, storage, "educating donors," paying for the staff that draws the blood, testing the blood for safety (although they got popped for a $4.2mil fine in 2006 for ignoring safety standards), record keeping, etc. So basically, yeah, they charge for the blood.

Anonymous Curlytop November 01, 2012 8:26 PM  

I can echo Bob Wallace's statement. My father DETESTED the Red Cross. 173rd Airborne Vietnam Vet. Any mention of the organization and the commentary was laced with multiple expletives. In his case, the bastards stole his class ring and other items on his person after he was shot in the head and laid on the side of a mountain after Dakto.

Most recently, I remember the Red Cross announcing after one disaster 911 or...Katrina, maybe(?) when the donations were astronomical that they planned to hold onto the funds for "future use."

Anonymous Jake November 01, 2012 8:26 PM  

Aeoli Pera November 01, 2012 6:38 PM

Bob Wallace,

That's pretty serious, and I will stop donating if it's true. Can you back it up?


I can't offer any direct evidence, but I'll confirm what Bob is saying from my own experience. Probably about 5 years back we had someone come into my office from a company that makes equipment for processing blood, they were looking for someone to design some simple little tool to speed up their work flow. What he told us about the business is basically exactly what Bob said. The red cross gets the blood virtually for free then turns around and sells it to hospitals for (as I recall) hundreds of dollars a pint. Given what medical costs have done I'm sure the price today is significantly higher still.

Also, (as with most things medical) the distribution system and "market" for blood is so outdated, inefficient, and probably rigged to benefit the main players, that a lot of the blood donated is allowed to spoil and has to be thrown away.

I have no problem with anyone making a profit, but the appeals for monetary and blood donations after every disaster no longer have even the slightest pull on me.

Anonymous Jake November 01, 2012 8:34 PM  

One other item I found interesting:

My mom has volunteered for several relief/aid sort of operations through the Southern Baptist Convention in recent yeras. When the red cross "sends in help" a lot of it isn't from the Red Cross at all, but from the SBC and I'm sure other religious organizations. They pay their own way, donate very large sums of money to the R.C., and then let the R.C. brass pose for the camera and take credit for helping people out.

Anonymous Anonymous November 01, 2012 9:30 PM  

Y'all can check it out, but my home team (the LCMS) is always at every disaster. Even the smallest of congregations of our "organized church" know how to get checks written for those in need

What we could do with the 400 grand the RC Director is paid, would ridicule the Red Cross were it common knowledge.

And while the Salvation Army and the LCMS are poles apart theologically, the SA is clearly the most superior agency for help and need. Every red kettle I pass during Advent and Christmas gets at least a fiver.

Giving Jesus His due . . . which few - do.

The "Church" is always "there." It really is.


Anonymous revrogers November 01, 2012 9:31 PM  

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief are the ones that get there quick in the face of disasters. Unfortunately for the North, the SBC DR teams are located primarily in the South and it takes time for them to mobilize and get on the road. They do the bulk of the cooking and feeding and the Red Cross distributes. The chainsaw units are just machines in clearing houses for people for free. My congregation has several guys in the chainsaw unit and they have mobilized for numerous disasters.

Anonymous Azimus November 01, 2012 9:34 PM  

Curlytop how does your dad know they took his ring if he was shot in the head? Was he conscious? If he was that is one tough hombre...

Anonymous JI November 01, 2012 9:36 PM  

Ever seen any United Way regional offices? Like fancy law offices.

Blogger Nate November 01, 2012 9:38 PM  

Why should the Red Cross give to flying shits about New York?

Anonymous Anonymous November 01, 2012 9:40 PM  

Nate -

Why does the Red Cross exist?

A much more pertinent question.


Blogger Dox Day Teddy Spagetthhi November 01, 2012 9:45 PM  

True indeed.

In Charlotte, there was a huge controversy over a United Way affirmative action hire could care less about 'helping people'. The Chlt O. was so surprised that she was there to collect a huge salary, play the knife and fork club while not giving a damn about anyone else.

It is a beautiful fraudulent operation!!

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 01, 2012 9:48 PM  

These stories are appropriately damning for the accusation, but the crux of the matter is economic: if the Red Cross disappeared tonight, would that drive the price hospitals pay for donated blood up or down*?

I will work to a reasonable extent with a grossly incompetent organization that doesn't fire its endemic assholes, so long as they serve an economic purpose.

I will NOT give my lifeblood to an evil organization or support them in any other way.

(I'll make time to respond in more detail later.)

*In which case, allowing a reasonable amount of time for the market to approach a new equilibrium.

Anonymous Anonymous November 01, 2012 9:52 PM  


I hope you don't think the Red Cross "donates" anything.


Blogger James Dixon November 01, 2012 9:55 PM  

The organization I hate is United Way, for pretty much the same reasons. But the Red Cross is just as bad. The Salvation Army has a mixed record, and I pretty much throw them in the same category any more. I don't think they were always as bad as they are now.

Anonymous Anonymous November 01, 2012 10:01 PM  

James -

Pecisely how is the SA so bad?


Anonymous DaveD November 01, 2012 10:04 PM  

I live near, got church in, and have friends who live in one of the towns crushed by tornadoes in OH, KY, and IN in early March. The Red Cross came in, offered little or no help or even advice, gave "cleaning kits" and mostly stood around looking cool. We had 3-4 Red Cross representatives there, each from a different branch of the bureaucracy, most (if not all) never having met each other prior, and not coordinating one bit.

Where did the real help come from? Individuals. As soon as the next day people were sneaking past the cops to bring supplies to my church, the only one left intact in town. Food, water, clothes, diapers, cleaning supplies, etc. On Day 2 (maybe 3) there were people showing up with chainsaws, work clothes and started cleaning up the mess.

The Salvation Army was good. Home Depot was good. Various restaurant chains in the area had catering vans pull up and feed the people, volunteers and locals, for free, no questions asked.

Big = slow. It also usually means corrupt. YMMV.


Anonymous Daniel November 01, 2012 10:07 PM  

Uhm, barefoot New Yorkers who eat soup? How can you tell the disaster victims from the hipsters?

I ate cold soup for supper tonight. Must have been that windstorm over in New York.

Blogger Unknown November 01, 2012 10:23 PM  

"if the Red Cross disappeared tonight, would that drive the price hospitals pay for donated blood up or down*? "

You can go to a hospital and donate blood directly.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 01, 2012 10:37 PM  

The fuck? I've playing the damn fool for half a decade.

Well, that definitely clinches it, I'll have to see if the nearest hospital takes walk-ins or if I need to set an appointment.


Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 01, 2012 10:41 PM  

Oh, and thanks Bob. I may have been born a sucker, but I don't have to stay one.

The rest of you too. Thanks.

Anonymous Jimmydom November 01, 2012 10:48 PM  

I figured out the Red Cross after 9/11 as well. They won't get another dime from me. The Salvation Army in my area is outstanding and they get my money.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 01, 2012 11:02 PM  

Red Cross AWOL? Hardly. They're very much present, asking for donations - "Your help with Sandy is needed." and "Hurrican Sandy impact blood supply." Oh, you meant absent from helping... oh, well. No, no Vox, you misunderstand what the Red Cross does. You think they help the victims of disasters. No, their job is to let SWPLs feel good about themselves without actually getting wet, cold, or tired. I mean, consider how terrible some Hollywood lib would feel, watching all those shoeless children from over the rim of their Pinot Noir glass and not lifting a finger to help. But thankfully for them, the Red Cross let's them make a simple phone call and feel like they've done some good.

Regarding US soldiers and the Red Cross, the story I heard was that in WWII, the Red Cross was giving free donuts and coffee to GIs in Merry Olde England, but the Brits had no equivalent - they had to pay for their tea and crumpets - and relations were already strained between the two. So, the FDR admin asked the Red Cross to charge for the stuff to keep from making the Tommy's feel bad. Unfortunately, so the story goes, nobody ever 'splained all this to the GIs, who just assumed the Red Cross was run by a bunch of greedy son's of bachelors.

Well, plausible enough for WWII, but that story doesn't explain the continuing problems in Korea and Vietnam, so I'm inclined to believe the "please don't upset the Brits" story was something retconned into the Red Cross show bible to handwave away bad PR.

Anonymous Invid November 01, 2012 11:23 PM  

I once tried to donate blood at a local hospital - they told me I should call the red cross and have them take it.

Anonymous Kickass November 01, 2012 11:35 PM  

Update from the trenches.....
Widespread looting. Massive gas shortages. People not willing to drive out of local area to get gas and food, would rather fight. Looting is Bad. Mansions ransacked first. Now town to town. One town had local dj make annoucement today they will shoot looters only in the head. My guard dogs, well over 200 pounds each, are chewing femurs at my door in plain sight.....just in case.

The people showing up at the shelters without clothes were flooded out of their homes people. There are WHOLE HOUSES a block away from their foundations. More then one town washed away, others burning.
Even the very prepared, like me, are very wary. People are starting to remark on how prepared we are.

We are in a difficult position, it is very cold now and many without power. I am helping who I can. Our street was barely touched compared to others.

People calling local radio stations screaming for someone to bring them food and water since day one and cant deal with temps in the fifties in their homes. Mostly want television bad.

I never wanted the electric on so bad, so people dont lose it more. Sad. Bet our Grandparents could have handled it for months

As for the red cross, I never liked them since I was in th AF and during basic you are taken and made to give blood. Who are they selling all that to?

Make sure you have oil in your lamp people, the darkness comes. God Bless

Blogger Dox Day Teddy Spagetthhi November 01, 2012 11:51 PM  

Good luck to Kickass, KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN. Don't help too many people, don't get abused. Don't get taken advantage of...don't be too ready in the eyes of others. Forgive me, I am not telling you how to live, just be careful.

I completely forgot an update post Sandy. PA is so-so, most offices are closed/services are unavailable. All utilities are working and gas stations are civil.

I drove into WV, into OH. The ohio river is swollen/high, some localized flooding but nothing too major to report. In larger cities in PA there was some looting and cops are guarding the gas stations. TSHF at the walmarts though, major looting, druggies just walk up to you and harass you for money, if you are armed and advise them, they usually back off. So I hope, pray for me, with both parents in the HOS, I'm semi alone...

Anonymous realmatt November 01, 2012 11:52 PM  

How do you hunker down and prepare for a giant tree to be completely knocked over, roots and all, lifting up a sidewalk, crashing onto your roof, or your house being lifted from the foundation?

The idiots living in the flooded areas who stayed and are suffering stayed because they were burglarized the last storm and didn't want it to happen again.

The only people helping anyone were neighbors with the machines to help, like pumps to get the water out of homes, generators, etc. and that's all you should ever hope for. Charitable organizations are horsecrap.

Where are you, Kickass?

Blogger David The Good November 02, 2012 12:00 AM  

You're damn right, Vox. I've worked with enough "non-profits" at this point to have been completely disillusioned.

Anonymous Kickass November 02, 2012 12:01 AM  

Thanks Eliza, you too. Will pray for you and yours. RealMatt, I am in nj. Agreed, after Irene people took the chance to stay because leaving meant losing almost everything. Where are you at friend? Stay safe.

Blogger David The Good November 02, 2012 12:04 AM  


"How 'bout we all keep our money and then help folks we meet who need help.

I know. It's a crazy idea."

I'm totally down with that.

Anonymous whatever November 02, 2012 12:36 AM  

I never wanted the electric on so bad, so people dont lose it more. Sad. Bet our Grandparents could have handled it for months

I tire of the "Legend of the Old People". They were weak. Much like the Red Cross, the key is to talk up your "difficulties".

The "Great Depression" peaked in 1933, four years after it started. We are now on year FOURTEEN of our generations "Great Depression". IT HAS NOT PEAKED YET. The oldsters refuse to acknowledge it, so I suppose it doesn't really exist. F' them.

Oh? World War II.... so scary. That was maybe three years and then they won totally. Current wars going so well? How many people have been stuck away from their families for more than a decade? A DECADE.

But the young don't have the hypersonic WHINE of the old people. Or at least if any young animal starts complaining all the oldsters will start up their super loud whining or, amusingly enough, tell the young animal to be "a real man". This will not stop the oldsters from whining all the time though.

Anonymous Beau November 02, 2012 12:49 AM  

Jack Amok

but the Brits had no equivalent

That's incorrect. The Salvation Army, founded in London, served soldiers at no charge starting in WWI. This continued into WWII. While ringing the bell for the SA one Christmas, a WWII vet told me the only person who met his bomber on return to England from missions was a little old lady from the Salvation Army serving donuts for free, "...and they were terrible (probably original WWI trench recipe)." Another old man recounted to me as I rang the bell, he had just been liberated from a concentration camp. He needed shoes; six other social service agencies came and asked if he was of their group before explaining they were sent to serve their own flock. He looked me directly in the eye and said, "You never even asked me if I was of your group. You just gave me the shoes. That's why I give." Another vet told me, "I survived the torpedoing of the USS Indianapolis. I arrived eventually in San Diego with only my dungarees to my name. The Red Cross wanted to charge me for a blanket. I went down the block to the Salvation Army. They gave me one for free."

At the Old Fire in San Bernardino, CA the Army set up a free thrift store just outside the hanger/shelter for the ~ 1,800 evacuees who had gotten out with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The next day the Airport Authority, at the behest of the Red Cross, told the Army they had to move a few blocks away. The very next day the Red Cross had Maria Shriver doing a fund raising TV special on the very spot vacated by the Army. The residents of the shelter noticed.

Doing disaster work I can't speak highly enough of the SBC kitchens, Samaritan's Purse, the Foursquare Church folks, the Mennonites, BGEA, the Nazarenes, Presbyterians, and a host of local churches and individuals of all stripes and walks of life. I have found many Red Cross volunteers to be wonderful people. However, around American Red Cross staff I set myself to be courteous - regardless - and wary.

Anonymous Anonymous November 02, 2012 12:51 AM  

I'm new to these parts and don't know the lingo - what is an SWPL?

Anonymous Beau November 02, 2012 12:52 AM  

charitable organizations are horsecrap

That's not the opinion in Ruidoso. The Little Bear fire was the largest loss of homes in the history of New Mexico, "If you would have told me last week that all you people would be here today to help us, I wouldn't have believed it. God bless you."

Anonymous Roundtine November 02, 2012 1:05 AM  

Interesting. The American Red Cross is now exactly the same as the Chinese Red Cross. Their scandal broke when a woman posted pictures of herself with expensive cars and jewelry online, saying she worked at the Red Cross. Since then, they've been under constant media scrutiny and the general sense is that their corrupt.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 02, 2012 1:13 AM  


I probably wasn't clear enough, but I don't believe the story either. I believe it was made up as damage control for the Red Cross after their double dipping (soliciting donations from folks back home to pay for coffee and donuts, then selling the coffee and donuts to the folk's sons and brothers overseas) was made public.

But anyway, if you google around you'll find that story offered up as an explaination for why GI's hate the Red Cross.

Anonymous JCclimber November 02, 2012 1:48 AM  

If you've read the story from the survivor of the siege of Kosovo, you know exactly what needs to be done in times like this...
Be prepared.
Don't let anyone outside of the clan know about it.
Don't show any wealth or food or water.
Every person you help is another potential leak. Help whom you wish, just remember operational security.
A weapon can be as much a liability as no weapon, especially if you don't have enough guards to maintain a 24/7 perimeter. After a couple months, someone's going to come in by stealth or by force to take them. Maybe the first 100 will fail and die, and now YOU get to bury their dead bodies, somehow.

I can totally relate to wanting to protect the stuff in your home.
Is your jewelry, 48 inch flat screen TV, etc worth risking your life over?
You know, it's just stuff. Seriously, have a grab bag with the essentials, drill the family on grabbing it and other stuff you don't want to leave behind, and have bicycles and cars. Bring your bikes in or on your car in case the roads are blocked or you can't get gas.
Never let your car's gas gauge get below 1/4 tank.

Watch the walking dead and see how little you can get by on if the life is on the line.

Anonymous Steve Canyon November 02, 2012 2:14 AM  

I heard too many stories about the petty crap the American Red Cross did to soldiers in Vietnam from my father and my uncles. I swore they'd never see a dime of my money.

Anonymous SEED November 02, 2012 2:21 AM  

OT: (maybe, considering corpocracy and Disney)


Promote this ... (the next level of Fringe)

Anonymous AdognamedOp November 02, 2012 2:32 AM  

What's crazy is that in the midst of all this chaos, our rodent Mayor Bloomberg has declared he wont cancel the NYC marathon on Sunday. For those that dont know, the Marathon starts off in Staten Island and ends at Central park. Numerous roads and bridges are shut down city-wide so that a bunch of yuppie prog health nuts can chase 3 Ethiopian guys to no avail.
Allowing the race to go on at this time is quite possibly the dumbest thing the little Napoleanic rat has ever done. I'd love to dunk his head in a 32oz sugary drink and watch his legs flounder.

Anonymous Anonymous November 02, 2012 3:10 AM  

I used to have a douchy boss that would make us grunts sit through a maddening/disgusting presentation by the United Way once every year or we wouldn't get our paychecks. I will not give to big, bloated "charities" ever!

Anonymous VryeDenker November 02, 2012 3:32 AM  

I'd rather donate to a local church than a charity organization.

Anonymous Kickass November 02, 2012 5:03 AM  

JcClimber, I have read what you are talking about and have studied this long and hard. Because of that, I see where things can go quite quickly. Not fun to realize J W was right. You can see the pattern unfolding. You gotta know when to hold em and when to fold em.

People are not staying to keep bigscreens, they are staying because being a refugee is harder. Especially if you dont have the skills for it.

One neighbor still mocking our preps, even as I gave his family shelter and hot food.

There is something to be said for very, very, very rural living and this is clarifying for me.

And for the mocker here, my Grandmother survived a hurricane at 5 that left only the closet she and her younger Brother were locked in the only thing standing for blocks. There is a difference.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein November 02, 2012 7:05 AM  

… so that a bunch of yuppie prog health nuts can chase 3 Ethiopian guys to no avail. 

Usually it's the Kenyans, not Ethiops.

To Anonymous: SWLP =" Stuff White People Like", from a pretty humorous site by the same name. Also: Please choose a handle. Anonymous commentings not allowed here.

Blogger Markku November 02, 2012 7:27 AM  

To Anonymous: SWLP =" Stuff White People Like"

This is still probably pretty confusing. In practice, SWPL means white people who act like Stuff White People Like describes.

Anonymous GmbH November 02, 2012 7:56 AM  

The scam was apparent when the Red Cross boasted of sending one van.... one van .... of relief supplies from our area. Three cheers for Home Depot, Lowes, WalMart etc who loaded up their distribution chain (even pulling supply from other parts of the country) to get materiel to affected areas.

Anonymous RedJack November 02, 2012 8:04 AM  

Haven't given to the Red Cross since 9-11. When they took the donations and built a brand new HQ.

I will say the local Red Cross has helped out a lot of people during the floods and storms, but they have to kick a certian percentage of the take upstairs.

Blogger Amy November 02, 2012 8:06 AM  

@Kickass, I am in NJ also, in the NW corner of Warren Co. Damage wasn't too bad up here (not like last year's blizzard that left us w/o power for 8 days).

My husband was helping a neighbor clear a tree and said tree fell on him so he is out of commission for a bit (he's OK just a lot of bruising and back/leg strain). While I was in town yesterday I heard a woman complaining to her kids that she didn't know what she was going to do with them for the week since school was closed and they had no TV. I have little faith in my fellow man; rather than bring out the best, we see only the bad, and the worst. Fisticuffs in gas lines, people cutting the gas lines at highway intersections, fighting over the purchase of generators...

I admit I suffer from a bit of romanticism about rural life. It's not terribly difficult but in times like these it helps to be prepared and have a sense of 1) reality and 2) making-do when you have no power. We have a woodstove for heat and plenty of wood stocked; I cook on the woodstove prairie-style - bacon and eggs in a cast iron pan, venison stew in a Dutch oven on the stove top. We have a hand-pump for our well if the power goes or we can't get gas for the genny. I garden, and we can and dry food for storage in case the freezers stop working. My husband hunts and we store the meat so we have food in case the grocery stores close (our local is running on genny power and had to throw away all of its perishable inventory - sad to think of all that meat and veg in a dumpster!).

A little prep goes a long way for comfort. I don't have an apocalypse cometh mentality (well, a little bit perhaps) but I want to know that if I had to hole up for a few weeks me and mine would be alright. Why is this so controversial, or difficult for others to grasp? We don't have a lot of money, either, so preparedness is not a rich vs. poor thing. And I know many otherwise intelligent people who are walking about dazed and confused and incapable of coping with our town's comparatively minor difficulties. The Raritan Valley is in deep trouble; we are in Disney compared to the people living in those areas.

The sense of self-sufficiency has been completely drained from America - that same thing that made survival possible has now been siphoned off or chipped or shaved away somehow. Surely there have always been people incapable of coping, but it feels magnified now. Too much luxury, maybe?

Blogger Amy November 02, 2012 8:09 AM  

ps Kickass, hope you are OK and that all is well soon.

Blogger James Dixon November 02, 2012 8:29 AM  

> Pecisely how is the SA so bad?

Have you ever tried to donate a used appliance, otherwise in good working order, to the SA? Let's just say it wasn't a pleasant experience.

Anonymous whatever November 02, 2012 8:47 AM  

The sense of self-sufficiency has been completely drained from America - that same thing that made survival possible has now been siphoned off or chipped or shaved away somehow. Surely there have always been people incapable of coping, but it feels magnified now. Too much luxury, maybe?

My uncle had to move his truck to my driveway this Monday to change the waterpump. When he tried to change it where he lived, the old people called management for him violating the "no repair cars" rules of where he lived.

It's such a riddle. A riddle without an answer if you are a willfully blind fool. Try to pick up material to treat a minor wound. Not allowed. Hospital want a piece of that. Old person nods sagely. Repair your car? Zoning not allow. Old person nod sagely. Want unpasteurized milk? Not allowed. Old person nod sagely. Oh, and old people are weak scum. The Great Depression peaked a mere five years after 1929. We are now on year FOURTEEN of our "Great Depression". No peak in site. The old use the clever game of refusing to call it anything, as if that changed anything. Worms.

They are just good at whining real loud about their imagined difficulties.

Blogger James Dixon November 02, 2012 8:48 AM  

> I'd rather donate to a local church than a charity organization.


We're in a rural area. The closest town is only 2000 people, and it's 4 miles away. We've finished up a bunch of repairs/renovations to our house this year to prepare for possible power outages in the future. We've added a whole house generator, replaced some old space heaters, etc. We have space for a garden and a stream with drinkable water which runs by the house. As long as we keep enough food on hand and the natural gas doesn't go out, we should get by fairly well in the event of a disaster.

Anonymous Kickass November 02, 2012 8:52 AM  

Amy, thank you. Warren co is beautiful, I am very familiar with that area. Stay safe. Yes, there is something bizare about adults throwing tempertantrums one day in and truly thinking someone is going to come make it all better. And yes, many people want the tv on so the dont have to deal with their children. Sad.

Anonymous Kickass November 02, 2012 8:59 AM  

James, sounds like you did a natural gas gennie. What can I expect specs and pricewise? Also, what did you replace your space heaters with? Thanks.

Anonymous RedJack November 02, 2012 9:04 AM  

Y'all can check it out, but my home team (the LCMS) is always at every disaster. Even the smallest of congregations of our "organized church" know how to get checks written for those in need

We sent a truck earlier this week (from my Iowa congregation). Think another one heads out today.

Kickass: If you have people you can get to outside the area, go there. It will get very ugly by next week.

Blogger James Dixon November 02, 2012 9:26 AM  

> What can I expect specs and pricewise?

Our is a Generac, the 14K whole house model with automatic cutover. The base price for the unit is about $3500. You can expect to pay about the same amount to get it installed. We had to have our service moved and our breaker panel replaced as part of the installation, so our total cost was just over $9K.

If we hadn't wanted the whole house automatic cutover model, we probably could have gotten by with the 10K unit and saved at least $2K.

> Also, what did you replace your space heaters with? Thanks.

We just got new ones. The ones we had we old models that were no longer code complaint.

Anonymous Curlytop November 02, 2012 9:37 AM  

Azimus November 01, 2012 9:34 PM
Curlytop how does your dad know they took his ring if he was shot in the head? Was he conscious? If he was that is one tough hombre...

Short answer, yes. He was conscious in and out. Oh yeah, my father possessed the warrior's heart for sure. Even on his deathbed this past year, he confounded the medical "experts." I have the information from my father's own mouth and my mother, who spoke with an eyewitness on the battlefield. My father was not a man who really discussed Vietnam. Most of the information I learned is from the first hand sources my mother spoke with or what she related to us that my father told her about. He was extremely tight-lip; never embellishing stories. The rule of thumb was if he mentioned something AT ALL, then you could be certain it was far worse than he let on.

Several people contacted my father over the years right after his service to find out his progress. Shot in the head and was placed in a body bag to be hidden until his buddy, who was an army medic could get to him. He was there for 3 days drifting in and out of consciousness. Daddy cut himself out of it! The army medic was one of the people who contacted the family years later and told my mother in great detail what he saw. That's not even half of the story. ;-)

Anonymous Curlytop November 02, 2012 9:50 AM  

Kickass, Liza, and all,

Stay safe. We'll continue to pray for you as you recover. The rest of us need to take a moment and count our blessings. Never know when we will be plunged into this sort of thing.

Anonymous rho November 02, 2012 9:54 AM  

After Katrina, one of the most effective organizations on the Gulf Coast were Lutheran missionaries. Roving bands of young Lutherans would go from house to house and do cleanup work.

Their organization was about as flat as you can get--one or two organizers managing a few dozen volunteers--and therefore things got done. Runaway managerialism kills effective disaster relief faster than insufficient funds.

Anonymous Shorr Khan November 02, 2012 10:52 AM  

My Dad was in WW2 and said he had no use for the Red Cross, but the Salvation Army was always helpful, so I am not surprised.

Anonymous Athor Pel November 02, 2012 11:41 AM  

I guess we need some honesty in rapacity laws.

Anonymous Kickass November 02, 2012 11:44 AM  

James, thanks. That is what I thought. That is a big chunk of change for me but might be necessary. Thought you might have gotten propane space heaters instead.

Curlytop, prayers are always appreciated.

Redjack, duly noted. We intend to bug in and I am in the best area you could possibly be in right now. But bugout plans in place if things get worse. Some power restored in area. Much of the problem is looters and idiots who would rather shoot each other over a tank of gas then drive 30 min.

God have mercy on us, people simply cannot think for themselves and turn on you quickly when it appears you can. I have learned several lessons already and am quickly adjusting.

This election thing is going to be interesting.

Anonymous Poli_Mis November 02, 2012 11:57 AM  

OT: Cop Tasers 10-Year Old Boy

Anonymous E. PERLINE November 02, 2012 12:21 PM  

The Red Cross makes nice parties for its society volunteers, but don't expect it to do much for New York City.

Gathering so many people into a relatively small space concentrates human excitement. But the exctement can easily go to critical mass. Consider, mountains of food have to trucked in before dawn -- enough to feed ten million people -- and gasoline and other commodities have to be brought in also. And mountains of garbage have to be trucked out, or the island will sink.

So far, New York City has been lucky. Its blocked arteries have let supplies thread in before every dawning. But a blip in the weather has made this week a little more difficult. The Red Cross can't get in either.

Anonymous JCclimber November 02, 2012 12:35 PM  

This appeared on my company's internal website yesterday:
"Company name A" and "Company name B" support employees affected by Hurricane Sandy; the "Company A" Foundation commits $200,000 to the American Red Cross; employee contributions may be matched through Employee Contribution Matching.

Yeah, thanks executives, nice range of choices there. I guess it could be worse, it could be the United Way.

Anonymous JCclimber November 02, 2012 12:38 PM  

Every time this happens to a city, it reminds me of the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.

The world of Trantor, the capital of the Empire, was totally dependent on something like 20,000 spaceships coming in daily to bring them their food. Because the entire surface of the world was covered with offices and dwellings.

Until the Empire fell and they had to dig down to dirt to begin farming. Minus about 50 Billion or so people.

Blogger James Higham November 02, 2012 3:07 PM  

Where was FEMA?

Anonymous bw November 02, 2012 3:15 PM  

Non-Profits / Tax Exempt Corps are just another Wall Street-meets-Government business model, exploiting the naive psyche and general good-will of most folks.

That Red Cross trip to Russia during its Revolution was interesting.

I've long assumed most of these groups, certainly the international ones, are essentially intelligence gathering and business operations at their core, with their abilities to gain access "for the good of everyone" there.

Anonymous JCclimber November 02, 2012 3:16 PM  

Oh, and just got this email from JetBlue:

....."Beyond our operations, we are focusing recovery efforts to rebuild our cities and neighborhoods. If you wish to help those affected by Sandy, we will match up to $50,000 in customer donations to the Red Cross. You'll also earn 6 TrueBlue points for every $1 you donate, now through 11/30/2012. Click here to donate to the Red Cross."....

Blogger Astrosmith November 02, 2012 4:10 PM  

In 2001, I lived in Houston, and my house was flooded by Tropical Storm Allison. I looked into getting help from Red Cross, and was told that any aid we accepted would have to be paid back! F that!

As for government, I got a small check from FEMA.

Allstate and State Farm were both awesome, and had their adjusters there in hours to help their customers.

As for all the other help we received, it came from our church.

Blogger James Dixon November 02, 2012 4:16 PM  

> Thought you might have gotten propane space heaters instead.

We do have a small portable propane heater as a backup. But it's not large enough to heat even one room if the temperature really starts dropping.

> As for all the other help we received, it came from our church.

See the comment above about donating to your local church. It should always be your first and is often your best option.

Anonymous MikeM November 02, 2012 6:29 PM  

In my personal experience, I have never met a veteran who had any good words for the Red Cross. This extends from WW2 to the present day.

I am not surprised that they are a total failure to follow their original mandate. Somewhat like present day folks who like to ignore our founding documents.

Blogger Markku November 02, 2012 6:44 PM  

In Finland this blood-thingie works because the "Blood Service" it separated from the Red Cross. They are allowed to share the symbol, but they have to always have completely separate finances and management.

Anonymous Anonymous November 02, 2012 10:30 PM  

Home team . . .


We are there.


Anonymous Anonymous November 02, 2012 11:09 PM  

Even better . . .


Anonymous Anonymous November 02, 2012 11:20 PM  

Getting the address right.

Apology. jb

Anonymous JCclimber November 03, 2012 12:04 AM  

And an email from Marriott:
"Our hearts go out to the millions of people and the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Marriott® is an ongoing supporter of the American Red Cross and we are designating part of our contributions to the American Red Cross International Response Fund toward Hurricane Sandy relief. Our associates are also supporting our efforts through their own donations, including participation in blood drives.

As a Marriott Rewards® member, you can donate points online to support the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts. Each year, members give millions of points to charitable organizations, making a significant contribution to the global community."

See, the Red Cross is "safe" for Corporate America because it IS in essence, just like corporate America.

Anonymous Beau November 03, 2012 1:28 AM  


Tonight preaching in the park - something that never happened for me before. Delivering a message on Matthew 25, two men from opposite directions were pulled forward. Without human hands one was flung on the ground, writhing. The other still standing stood writhing in place.

Without skipping a beat, some friends approached and immediately began praying for these two.

I kept on delivering the message, using Hebrews to illustrate, "But if you keep on deliberately sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sin remains.."

After finishing the message I joined a group of believers who were praying deliverance for the guy on the ground. He renounced Satanism, the occult, drug use, homosexuality, revenge, wickedness, & etc.

As a finishing touch, a couple visiting looked visibly shaken observing the activity. The woman, who is a believer, said with tears running down her cheeks, "I'll pray for you," meaning Christopher, the guy who had been on the ground. My friend Jim immediately asked her, "Why don't you pray for him now while the Spirit is on you?" She did - she came tonight to see her younger brother, who rededicated his life to Christ yesterday, playing his guitar and singing at the top of his voice praises to Jesus his Lord.

Anonymous tviper November 03, 2012 2:52 PM  

"Only now are SWPLs beginning to discover ..."

From the number of moronic tweets re donating to the corrupt Red Cross from sports writers and athletes the past week I would say the beginning is in the very early stages

Anonymous bw November 03, 2012 2:59 PM  

The Red Cross in History

Blogger Markku November 03, 2012 6:54 PM  

He renounced Satanism, the occult, drug use, homosexuality

Again the connection between Satanism and homosexuality. This is starting to look like a thing.

Anonymous Beau November 03, 2012 8:59 PM  

Again the connection between Satanism and homosexuality. This is starting to look like a thing.

Funny thing, he mentioned both Satanism and homosexuality first. At only the easiest of promptings to "renounce the wicked things in your life," Christopher immediately released a voluminous torrent of wretched acts from which he was readily repenting. As he was spewing I told him, "Vomit it all up. Nobody chokes it back, get it all up, out, and gone." With each item confessed, Christopher grew more peaceable and calm. Attending the process of someone in such deep pain being set free is one of the greatest privileges of Christian ministry.

Anonymous PC Geek November 04, 2012 12:52 PM  


If you've read the story from the survivor of the siege of Kosovo,

Great post - do you have a link to this story? I would very much like to check it out.

Sometimes I feel a conflict between the Christian desire/duty to help others and the need, as you expressed above, to be careful, since the enormous number of irresponsible folk who never lifted even a single finger in prepping for disaster feel entitled to the fruit of your responsible efforts.

As people get hungrier and colder, even those who are more high-minded can start to change in a hurry...

I too am in NJ and while I have power back on (finally!) and food stored up but so far have restricted my help to family and immediate neighbors. I am too scared/feel that it is unwise to get involved beyond that as looting and various other crimes (like robbers posing as emt personnel or utility workers) is a major thing in my area.

Anonymous Kickass November 05, 2012 8:25 AM  

PC Geek,

Be safe friend. I am so glad that the largest things guarding me are not my guard dogs and that the strength I have to depend on is not my own. Pray for guidence and protection. I am glad to know there are some Ilk out my way.

Your family is in my prayers as well.

If you can, get some extra preps. Storm coming again and earthquake this morning.

Yes, the criminals have come in like a flood. I am moved to tears at the Christians who have mobilized as well. What an amazing honor to see it.

@ Beau, what wonderful work you do!

Interesting times we are living in.

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