Decline of the West

OK, Gaius Marius, you're right. Western civilization is in a state of terminal decadence:

Engineer Paul Cunliffe, from Manchester, arrived on an almost empty flight from Malaysia. Gin and tonic in hand, Mr Cunliffe said he and two friends were booked into a beach-front hotel that had escaped serious damage, and had been assured of a "wonderful holiday".

"Our friends think we're mad. The only risk we face I think is if there's another quake. We love the place that much and we thought we would take the risk," he said.

Link courtesy of Drudge.

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  • ||

    I would like to assume that all these tourists are relaxing after spending the earlier part of the volunteering with relief agencies.
    Otherwise, its makes me kinda sick.

  • ||

    Supporting commerce and tourism in the affected areas is surely be up there next to direct aid in helpful ways to help the victims of the disaster get themselves and their economy back on their feet.

    For the utterly devastated areas, certainly direct aid is needed, but keeping the local economies going in areas that have been less affected is going to be a major help in overcoming this disaster.

  • ||

    Wow, thanks for throwing the brakes on my objection db. Hell, if the locals feel o.k. opening up for business, patronizing them seems reasonable.

  • ||

    Why is this so bad? If everyone avoids this area as a tourist destination, then the people are worse off than before. Yes, there is mass disaster, but the last thing the area needs is mass unemployment to follow...

  • The Lonewacko Blog||

  • ||

    "Hey honey... lets go to Thailand. With all those rotting bodies filling thier streets, they have cut prices in half! What a deal!"

    Yes, they need thier economy to get back on tract, and tourism is a major part of that economy.

    But, to use this tragedy as opportunity for a cheap vacation....seriously, its sick.
    I would be ok with it, if somebody said, "We donoted the money we saved to the their local relief agency." or, "We spent one of our vacation days helping to move bodies into mass graves."

  • ||

    There are plenty of places in the affected regions that derive large percentages of their GDPs from tourism (Thailand in particular). I can assure you that the natives want the tourists now more than ever, and they'll make a lot more money from tourists than from all of the donations--assuming that people don't stay away in fear (we're dealing with that on a much, much smaller scale here in Florida). On the other hand, going over there just to see the devastation is disgusting.

    It is beautiful there, for anyone who hasn't been. I was quite impressed with Malaysia.

  • ||

    But, to use this tragedy as opportunity for a cheap vacation....seriously, its sick.

    Whoa - where does it say "cheap" vacation? The implication is not needed.

    I would be ok with it, if somebody said, "We donoted the money we saved to the their local relief agency." or, "We spent one of our vacation days helping to move bodies into mass graves."

    What better for these people, some rice and blankets, or the ability to keep their jobs?

  • ||

    The World According to Cunliffe.

  • ||

    Coarsetad's comments make wonder what sort of bizarro world I live in. Indeed, they remind me of comments made by anti-GMO types who have the luxury of being paranoid while complaining about its use in the developing world where people don't generally have such an option.

  • ||

    Its not an either/or decision. I never said they shouldnt go on vacation there, in fact i agree that is what they need. But when there are thousands of bodies STILL rotting in the streets!, it is simply sick to turn a blind eye to that and ask for another gin and tonic.
    Yes, spend your tourist dollars there, they need it.
    But for god-sakes show some repect, the lady that made your bed that morning probally lost her entire family less than a week ago!

  • ||

    Thomas,

    It doesnt need to say cheap vacation. Im sure your familar with the concept of supply and demand.

  • ||

    Gary Gunnels, I saw a great attack on the anti-GMO crowd in a Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episode. I'm all for reasonable amounts of caution with genetic tinkering, nanotech, the environment, etc., but some of these anti-everything folks are plain crazy. If advanced technology is our doom, well, I'd rather go out trying to improve the world than scaring myself into a cave, eating plankton that had died of natural causes (or munching on some tasty Soylent Green).

    Maybe some of these anti-wealth-for-other-people advocates (oops, did I say that?) should go to the devastated regions and see what it means not to have an "excess" of wealth and technology.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    There's a middle ground between shunning the place as a tourist destination for all time and taking your vacation while thousands of bodies are still rotting in the open air. A week or two of lost tourist dollars will set back the economy less than it will show a decent respect for the dead.

  • ||

    Its not an either/or decision. I never said they shouldnt go on vacation there, in fact i agree that is what they need. But when there are thousands of bodies STILL rotting in the streets!, it is simply sick to turn a blind eye to that and ask for another gin and tonic.
    Yes, spend your tourist dollars there, they need it.
    But for god-sakes show some repect, the lady that made your bed that morning probally lost her entire family less than a week ago!


    The entire post contradicts itself in every other sentence. Alright, so according to you, when EXACTLY are people allowed to go back to spend their tourist dollars? What is the acceptable period?

  • ||

    Thomas,

    It doesnt need to say cheap vacation. Im sure your familar with the concept of supply and demand.


    Ah, so this is purely exploitation to you. I know that those that are able to continue working and earning feel differently.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Alright, so according to you, when EXACTLY are people allowed to go back to spend their tourist dollars? What is the acceptable period?

    Wow, there's a slippery slope argument. We can't have any mourning period at all because we're not exactly sure how long it should be (despite two million years of thought and custom to provide some guidance on this very matter). Where were all these complaints when the NFL and MLB took a week off after 9/11? America needed the money from those games too.

  • ||

    Wow, there's a slippery slope argument. We can't have any mourning period at all because we're not exactly sure how long it should be

    How long should it be? If he would have flown in next week, would you be upset with this guy? Is a week okay? Is it two weeks?

    Were you ticked off at people that were still flying into New York the week after 9/11? Were they awful?

    Where were all these complaints when the NFL and MLB took a week off after 9/11? America needed the money from those games too.

    Not nearly as much as the people that are working in those resorts.

  • ||

    "Ayn Rand Institute: U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims"

    But an open-ended democracy-building project in Iraq, with reconstruction aid that easily dwarfs what we're providing to the victims of the tsunami (even after Bush's recent announcement), is quite kosher, right?

    The ARI might want to think about the fact that Aceh has been the home of a seperatist uprising where some of the rebels have Islamist sympathies. It's not hard to envision Jemaah Islamiah and other SE Asian Islamist groups exploiting the tragedy to their advantage if starvation, disease, and chaos reign. Not to mention that providing aid generates goodwill in all of the countries it goes to, which in turn can yield economic and defense benefits over time. They're deluding themselves if they think our motives are purely altruistic here.

    $350 million might be too much, given all the other aid that's being provided (I think the number has as much to do with one-upping Europe, Japan, and China as anything else), but it still amounts to less than 1/1000 of our annual defense budget. I feel less squeamish about $350 million for the victims of a once-in-decades, Hiroshima-class disaster than the $5 billion that's split between Israel and Egypt, and the untold billions wasted in pork-barrel politics related to the development and manufacturing of weapons systems.

  • ||

    It shouldn't be cheap. There's a shortage in supply so tight the whole world is making donations. Also, this poor guy probably spent thousands of dollars on non-refundable plane tickets for his un-re-schedulable vacation time (just speculation). But should anyone show up to point and laugh they should probably be killed by survivors for their inhumanity.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    How long should it be? If he would have flown in next week, would you be upset with this guy? Is a week okay? Is it two weeks?

    Like I said, slippery slope...

  • ||

    Thomas

    Please read my posts. I NEVER said that people shouldnt go there on vacation, But IF YOU DO. Take a little time out and show some respect for a tradegy that is still VERY raw. Spend half a day passing out food, donate some savings to a relief group, Hell ask the manager of the hotel if any of the employees lost loved ones and donate something for them.
    Im not saying that every vaction to a poor country needs to be like joining the Peace Corp, but come on, you cant tell that that simply enjoying the sun and surf in the midst of such death, and not show some respect to those affected is appropriate?

  • ||

    captian

    the most expensive parts of vactions to 3rd world countries is the airfare and hotel room. Food and water may be at a higher premium, but it will be easlier offset by the desire of United and Hyatt to fill planes or undamaged resorts at a fraction of the normal cost.

  • ||

    Lonewacko -

    Here's an "op-ed" from the ARI that will make your head spin.

    http://tinyurl.com/6fyvs
    (links to article on aynrand.org)

  • ||

    Thomas,

    While I agree that captialism should basically trump government. You attitude seems to place captialism even over human dignity. Are you willing to defend the tourist that complains to the hotel manager about the smell of rotting bodies? would you defend thier right for refund? Do you think its ok to leave the waiter that broke down crying cause he just lost his entire family an extra small tip, because "Hell, its better than nothing, and besides he forgot to bring extra bread due to that crying fit."?

  • ||

    I'm not saying people should be heartless to their fellow humans. I'm saying that somepeople can't change their vacation days, and already paid for tickets. Would it be better to leave that paid for seat empty? Dude probably can't wait a week because his vacation time will be over. And like I said before, anyone too heartless should accept the risk of retaliation.

  • ||

    "Spend half a day passing out food, donate some savings to a relief group, Hell ask the manager of the hotel if any of the employees lost loved ones and donate something for them."

    "Do you think its ok to leave the waiter that broke down crying cause he just lost his entire family an extra small tip, because "Hell, its better than nothing, and besides he forgot to bring extra bread due to that crying fit."?"

    Coarsetad, are you sure you want to go there?

    The guy just lost his entire family, so I should help him with his grief by leaving a larger tip?

    WSDave

  • ||

    And speaking of "profiteering??" I know several people who used the time off during the 9-11 aftermath in college to crack open a few beers and get laid. Some even got their asses kicked. Anyway, I don't even know where I stand on this issue anymore. I don't even know what we're debating here. Yes, somethings are tasteless, but the guy we are all speculating about hasn't done anything yet but get on a plane. Let's see the effect first and then question it's moral verascity.

  • ||

    By the way, how do I go about creating Italics of other posts that I'm quoting?

    Thanks,

    WSDave

  • ||

    Dave

    Yeah, id leave him a larger tip, thank him, and might even give him a hug.

  • ||

    Ayn Rand Institute: U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims

    I wholeheartedly agree with this column. Show me in the constitution where the govt is give the right to take my earnings by force to redistribute to natural disaster victims in Thailand (or Florida for that matter)? I have no problem with voluntarily donating (and have donated) but I do have a problem with the money the govt extorts by force being used in this manner (or for most of the things its used for).

  • ||

    I guess this is the a bad time to discuss business opportunities along the Indian Ocean coasts. I have a very good friend in Sri Lanka who has already contacted myself and others about investment capital to rebuild privately owned resorts. As he stated, your dollars are now needed more than ever. I must admit, my ears and savings account are listening. I expect returns to be slow early on, but the appeal of obtaining limited ownership of a resort or 2 is striking. Am I some sort of an American Asshole if I choose to invest in rebuilding 3rd world economies following a major disaster? Would it appease the Guardian of Ethics if I match every investment dollar with a donated dollar?

  • The Lonewacko Blog||

    While tens of thousands of corpses are rotting in the sun is not the time to complain about redistributing money to victims of a natural disaster. Even if you agree with the editorial there must be some small voice in your head that says, "wait."

    "U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims", Badnarik, Ferret Guy and Mr. Druid, passing out toy guns in the ghetto,... I'd wonder if the Libertarians had been infiltrated by COINTELPRO, but I don't think anyone cares enough.

  • ||

    Coarsetad,

    It's WSDave actually (there's already a "Dave" posting the board) : )

    I doubt that any amount of money will make any difference to the emotional cost of these events. Personally, I wouldn't presume that my pittance of dollars would bring back his family or offset his grief.

    He doesn't need money, he needs to figure out why he even wants to keep living after his world has been shattered.

    I can assure you (having worked in the medical field for 10 years) that people who have lost thier families don't care about food and water. In fact, they're not sure that they want to wake up tommorrow.

    The best thing we can do (IMHO) is feed the people we care to (I'm a small "L" libertarian, so I don't think anyone should be forced to give), and leave an open invitation of "whatever you need" to those who are grieving; they'll tell us what they need when they are ready.

    Life goes on, and since systems work best under a condition of "normal", the affected areas should try to get back to "normal" as quickly as possible. Grief is personal and will last as long as it lasts. The economy (the long-term well-being of the society) can't be ignored just because of unfortunate events.

    WSDave

  • ||

    There is a certian naunce in the quote from the guy going on vacation to Thailand. That his only concern while there is not being swept away himself and the promise of a wonderful time. No mention or acknowlegment of the horrible suffering possibly just yards from where he is staying. Now its very possible that his concern or respect for the dead was edited out of the article and the guy is planning to rebuild a hut while there, but by reading it on its own, he comes across as being very shallow and oblivious.

  • ||

    WSDave,

    You do it using HTML tags. You can find the basic tags at the
    W3C's HTML Tutorial site
    . There's something specifically on bold, italics, etc. on their text formatting page.

    One of the Hit & Run editors can tell you specifically what tags will work in their Comments section, but usually only the basic formatting, layout, and hyperlink tags will work in a blog's comments area.

    I was going to try to type out the code for you, but I couldn't do it, even within a comment tag. I suppose I could try harder to figure out how to do it, but I need to get ready for a party :) Oh, and you can always see how formatting is done by looking at the source of a web page.

  • ||

    WSDave

    where did forceful giving come into the agrument? Sure, the money may or maynot be a big deal to him. But treating the people of a greiving nation the EXACT SAME as you would a lousy waiter in Paris is not appropriate.
    Humans (even in grief) can recognize a gesture of goodwill. Yeah, he may be in the denial phase or whatever and momentarily be offended by the few extra bucks, but I would err on the side of a little more goodwill than normal in this situation.

  • ||

    Coarsetad,

    The guy is on vacation. Do you take all of your vacation to build Habitat For Humanity houses, or help dig wells in people in blight countries?

    You may not like what this guy is doing, but he's simply making a choice that you don't agree with, he's not actually hurting anyone.

    WSDave

  • ||

    "U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims", Badnarik, Ferret Guy and Mr. Druid, passing out toy guns in the ghetto,... I'd wonder if the Libertarians had been infiltrated by COINTELPRO, but I don't think anyone cares enough.

    Lonewacko, I frequently disagree with you, but not on this one!

  • ||

    Pro,

    Thank you.

    Coarsetad,

    The "forced giving" is just my .02, not something I picked up from the posts.

    If you would err on the side of goodwill, why not pay to have his family buried in the family plot instead of a mass grave? It couldn't cost much with the exchange rate. And how about the other waitstaff? They lost family, too. And the woman who lives next door to that guy lost her kids. They should get a real burial, too.

    I'm sure you see the problem with helping individuals in a huge event vs. helping en mass.

    WSDave

  • ||

    WSDave

    I already mentioned that a vacation need not be a Peace Corp trip, and the gesture a person makes could be small or large, and you right hes not hurting me.

    But.

    To party in a city that just lost thousands to a natural disaster and to be there while the the bodies are still piling up in the streets and not show some form of respect is simply gross.
    I wasnt in New York in days following september 11, but I imagine that mood was alot respect and goodwill for fellow humans going around, than on normal day in New York.

    Nobody expects a lone vactioneer to save Thailand. But small gestures add up.

    (Warning: gross hypebole below:)
    By the way, if someone wants to fly to Thailand and shout Tsunamia jokes in the streets, by all means be my guest. I respect thier right, Im certain they wont be hurting anyone. ;)

  • ||

    Coarsetad,

    "I much rather have the choice to distribute help to the people that impact my life (even if only briefly as a waiter)..."

    Agreed, but then you can't realy fault this guy for choosing NOT to help the people around him.

    If you want to view him as bad for what he does, you certainly have my blessing, but his action is niether right nor wrong, just his choice.

    WSDave

  • ||

    Ayn Rand Institute: U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims

    Indeed.

    In doling out money to tsunami victims we're really endowing privation. Soon everyone will want to be a "natural disaster victim" instead of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, or ragged shawls or whatever it is they have.

  • ||

    I believe those ARI folks are right that the government shouldn't help the tsunami victims because charity isn't the proper role of government. But that sort of thing is among the least objectionable government actions. Of all the excess billions and billions our government spends, disaster relief is one of the last things I'd cut.

    BTW, I've been looking at Amazon.com's Red Cross donation thing... it's over $9 million on the US site right now. Since yesterday, the same link has sprung up on most of their international sites. Interestingly, the second-highest donations are from Canada's site, with about $23,000 (USD). It's good to see that Americans can be generous.

  • ||

    WSDave

    we are in agreement, anybody and choose to help or not to help. anybody can choose to be respectful or not to be respectful. Whether or not people CAN choose anything is a no-brainer for a libertarian web-site. I think everyone on here will agree with choice.

    But within the "right to choose" is the agrument of "what we choose to do, and why?" Are there any obligations to be a tourist? Somebody earlier commented on investing in rebuilding resorts, sounds great to me. but a question I would pose? Will you pull out because profits will be lower due to sturdier building construction? We are all proponents to the free market system, but what do we do when the market is washed away? How do we behave humans to rebuild it?

  • gaius marius||

    told you so. :)

  • ||

    Engineer Paul Cunliffe, from Manchester, arrived on an almost empty flight from Malaysia.

    Cunliffe may or may not be crude enjoying his vacation amidst tragedy. But at least he'll spend some money there. Sorely needed money. How much money will be contributed by all those empty seats?

  • gaius marius||

    Many in bathers and bikinis, some lounged on sunbeds and others took a dip in the water that had claimed so many lives a few days earlier.

    Their fun in the sun came despite warnings that aftershocks could follow the disaster that is likely to have killed as many as 100,000.

    the thing that gets me is that this oblivious cunliffe is apparently far from the only one. absolutely amazing. even i have a hard time believing that these people so completely fit the form of indifferent hyperindividualists.

  • ||

    It's been about a week since the tragic event. How long is appropriate? I'd suppose that it depends upon local custom.

    I wonder what Mr. Cunliffe will do? Will he simply relax and party? Will he be moved by suffering and get involved with the lives of local people?

    What is the purpose of a vacation? To let off steam? To take a break from work? To have different experiences?

    I think that a vacation of involvement in the lives of the affected by the tsunami would remove one so fully from their routine that, upon returning home, the vacationer would view their life through very different eyes. A break from work, indeed.

    Cunliffe may not care about the suffering. It's said that 3% of human males are to some degree sociopaths. He may also have a life-changing experience, for good or for ill.

    If 100 million Americans donated $25 each, the total would be $2.5 billion. I bet that if there were no income taxes, the American people would donate much more than that.

  • ||

    "In other tragic news, forced moments of silence held at celebrations world-wide for victims, causes a 400million dollar reduction in News year Eve spending."
    God, that must be the real tradegy, huh?

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    I think that a vacation of involvement in the lives of the affected by the tsunami would remove one so fully from their routine that, upon returning home, the vacationer would view their life through very different eyes. A break from work, indeed.

    What is it that is exactly the same about every vacation you've ever taken?... You. You're the same. No matter where you go, there you are. Always the same old you. Let me suggest that you take a vacation from yourself. I know it sounds wild, but it's the latest thing in travel. We call it an "Ego Trip".

  • ||

    are their travel agents for "Ego trips?"

  • Ted Bell||

    It's obvious that a lot of you don't understand what it is to be wealthy.

    We have to fit in our vacations when we can, where we can on accounta we have invested so much time accumulating our wealth. This means we deserve a bit of latitude that the Average Joe hasn't yet earned.

    And he wasn't drinking a gin & tonic, he was drinking a Ted - the drink I invented which is one part rum and two parts Coca Cola over ice.

    Don't forget, we give a discount to any Hit&Run bloggers anytime you're in town. I'll give you the best sirloin strip we have, our specialty baked potato wrapped in foil and of course, all the Teds you can drink - all for just half our normal meal ticket of $350.

  • ||

    Actually, Tim, you are never the same. We all change.

    I always thought that an ego trip was when you embrace your own ego to an extreme. A vacation from oneself seems less ego trip and more Tao.

    I admit that I'm not sure what to make of your post.

  • ||

    What does everyone think of our military being used to help with the crisis? (ie, sending drinking water ships, etc.) I personally think its a good thing. Disasters this magnitude happen so infrequently in the US that its reasonable to assume that these events give our military a nesseccary expertise, so that if it ever happens to us, our military will better know how to handle the situtation.
    (By the way, I believe "providing defense of the public" as including defense from any catastrophic event, natural or man-made.)

  • ||

    Glenn Reynolds is wrong--you people died a long time ago.

  • ||

    It's good PR for the US military (if nothing embarassing happens).

  • ||

    Can't you folks remember Rudy Guliani begging people to come to New York immediately after 9/11? There are people and businesses in those countries which desperately need the work and the commerce. There are people who have time and money and had already planned a vacation. I say if there is a place you want to go to, Godspeed.

    There is a lot of financial aid and in kind contributions on its way there. Almost none of it will end up in the hands of the taxi drivers, the hotel wait staff, the restaurants and small businesses that depend on daily cash flows to survive. Donating your vacation money today won't reach those people for weeks or months if ever. They need the donations, but they also need to get on with life as soon as possible.

    It's a personal choice, and I say to hell with those who somehow believe it is better to shut down what is left of some peoples lives as if the dead need more time to sort it out.

    You don't care about the living, all you care about is feeling good about your concern for the dead. Disgusting.

  • ||

    What a pathetic post. Give it a rest, Cavanaugh. We get enough easy, trite moralizing elsewhere. What a joke this is.

  • ||

    I am writing from Thailand. It is not a MASS disaster, it is a terribly localised disaster, extending a few hundred yards back from some beaches in seven of 76 provinces. One of the best things for people not directly involved in disaster relief is to get on with their lives. The thousands of hotels, restaurants and businesses in Thailand NEED the tourist-season tourists. Boycotting them helps no one. ALMOST ALL places are open for business, and do not deserve contempt or sarcasm because they are doing business.

  • ||

    It's been about a week since the tragic event. How long is appropriate?

    How about "not until all the bodies are cleared up"?

    Every gallon of water or gasoline used by a tourist this week is one gallon that won't go to a person in need. Don't kid yourself--tourists are just in the way right now.

  • RDale||

    So much for 'Free minds and Free markets'.

    I'm guessing that those of you who are 'sympathizing' with those poor, disaster stricken people have completely failed to grasp the possible fact that poor, disaster stricken people might actually WANT the vacationing vistors to show up.

    But, no, we can't have that! Libertarian principles only apply when in the absence of a disaster. Because if there's been a disaster, then it must be obvious that we know so much better than those poor, disaster stricken people what is best for them, both in terms of allowing them to resume their lives, and in the context of what constitutes a proper period of grief and concern.

    How about this: We let the people in those areas make up their own minds about this issue, and those of you who've had your precious little sensibilities bruised can just shut up.

  • ||

    Maybe this will happen, he'll go to Thailand and come back in a blaze of notoriety telling of his wonderful holiday, while everyone thinks 'what a jerk'.

    Then in a few weeks when others are wondering whether it's OK yet to travel to Thailand they'll think 'remember that jerk that went before the bodies were even buried? He had a good time', and decide it is OK to spend their tourist budget in Thailand.

    He might have done a good thing - inadvertently.

  • ||

    It's nature's way of thinning the herd. You bleeding heart jerks need to get real. If the guy has the bucks to vacation there and can stand the stench, it's his business. He doesn't have to view the world the same way you do.

  • James B.||

    What is it that is exactly the same about every vacation you've ever taken?... You. You're the same. No matter where you go, there you are. Always the same old you. Let me suggest that you take a vacation from yourself. I know it sounds wild, but it's the latest thing in travel. We call it an "Ego Trip".

    Thanks, Tim! I just spit soda all over my screen and keyboard from laughing so hard.

  • ||

    Glenn Reynolds is wrong--you people died a long time ago.

    And the comments are a twitching corpse.

    Auld langsyne!

  • ||

    Glenn is right; so long as the current crew is in charge, Reason becomes less and less interesting.

    Once upon a time, Reason used to ridicule folks who spewed crap like this.

  • S m||

    Engineer checks into a beach-front hotel. Why? Because it's open for business. The engineer offers cash for lodgings and service. The proprietor accepts the engineer's cash and pays his staff. The engineeer, proprietor and staff are all aware of the recent catastrophy. The engineer looks up from his laptop to ask the proprietor, "Ever heard of Tim Cavanaugh?" "No sir. Who is he?" "Exactly. Who the hell is Tim Cavanaugh?"

  • John Dunshee||

    Those who are complaining about the people showing up for vacations since the tsunami , "A week or two of lost tourist dollars will set back the economy less than it will show a decent respect for the dead." obviously don't know what the hell they are talking about.

    Thailand is dependent on tourism. Tourism brought in $7.6 Billion (with a B)in U.S dollars. Without this, their economy would probably collapse. They have just come out of the previous Asian Flu. I hope people won't push them down again.

    Go to Thailand. Got to Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Ayuttayah and Lopburi. Go do all the tourist stuff, buy the fake Gucci bags and T-shirts that shrink into handkerchiefs when you wash them. Go enjoy the women, they don't mind...really. Just don't go to Phuket or Phrang Nga right now. But Phuket is about the same size and distance in relation to Thailand as Alaska does to America. It's still part, what happened is still a tragedy, but don't shut down the rest of the country with your misguided shows of sympathy

  • ||

    Treat the staff with respect?! Aw, hell, what do you higher-principled people think us red-staters go on vacation FOR, if not to treat the help like dirt?! You see, that's how we get over the way you treat us the other 50 weeks of the year.

  • Drawingblood.com||

    What's really amazing here is the verbatim "Recall" of the lines. Growing up I watched the film enough times to recognize this as absolutely accurate. Indeed, indeed. Impressive.

    But let's be honest: it's the cinematic dissociation here that's truly noteworthy, as in "how blithe and insensitive can you be?!" I must be opposed to this disapprobation, since I lose many friendships by talking like a Hollywood villain. It's always the guy who distances himself with dark, cold self-interested reason that earns our contempt. Hey! Maybe the media IS liberal.

  • ||

    Well, Tim, as long as you're on the topic of fallacies...

    A week or two of lost tourist dollars will set back the economy less than it will show a decent respect for the dead.

    False analogy. How can economic activity be compared to "decent respect for the dead" in such a way that a conclusion can be drawn as to which is preferable? And even if you could, do you have estimates for how much impact reduced tourism would have on the Indonesian economy, and is your claim based on them?

    Where were all these complaints when the NFL and MLB took a week off after 9/11? America needed the money from those games too.

    False analogy. The U.S. economy, even in a time of recession and turmoil, cannot remotely be compared to the economy of a country where the average annual income is something like $500. In the U.S, maybe the family doesn't get a TiVo for christmas. In Indonesia, maybe the family doesn't eat.

  • John Dunshee||

    Daver, obviously you have never been to Thailand and seen how the Europeans act. Being in a third world country seems to bring out the supressed racist in them. I was appalled at the way they treated the locals. They all seem to have that "Colonel Blimp in Inja" attitude.

    I also speak Thai, so I have been able to eavesdrop on conversations where they would talk about the tourist. Scandanavians are kind of fun, Russians are cheap, Germans are tolerable, dealing with Arabs is considered an chore and the Japanese are considered boors. On the other hand, Americans, they love. Just as long as they don't take themselves too seriously.

  • ||

    A week or two of lost tourist dollars will set back the economy less than it will show a decent respect for the dead.

    The author of the "Nearly Headless Nick" post is lecturing people on respect for the dead? How quaint.

    Tim's rules for respect of the dead:
    (1) Cracking jokes at the expense of murder victims: Good
    (2) Patronizing the businesses of victims of natural disasters: Proof of the decline of western civilization

  • ||

    John D., as a matter of fact I have not only travelled but lived abroad for many years, so I am quite familiar with the foibles of my own countrymen and those of others (and I have some too, I am told).

    If you read my post again, I hope you will see that I was not talking about anyone except someone who self-evidently DOES take themselves too seriously! Anyone who would post "But for god-sakes show some repect, the lady that made your bed that morning probally lost her entire family less than a week ago!" is "probally" trying for the Nobel Prize in Pretensiousness, IMHO.

  • Matthew Goggins||

    From now on, whenever I meet a "libertarian", I will ask him if our government should have sent aid to the tsunami victims. If he says no, I'll say, "Really", and move on, cause I'll no longer be interested in anything else he/she might have to say.

    Attention all "taxes=extortion" folks: if you found yourself in the middle of a calamity like this, your tune would change pretty damn quickly. If American government aid is not appropriate in this situation, then government has no role in anything whatsoever.

  • ||

    My wife and I had a New Year's dive trip planned for Phuket. When the poop hit the propeller, we contacted the dive operator. Even though their office had been wiped out, they were still running their boats out, and that they encouraged us to go down there.

    Well, because of travel restrictions, we couldn't, but we told the dive operator to keep our deposit (about 1/3 of the trip cost) and use it as they saw fit. Maybe they gave it to their employees. Maybe they bought hookers. Who knows. But Thailand DOES live and die by the tourism industry. Telling people not to vacation there out of respect for the dead is like telling people to stop driving cars and buying gasoline if there's a disaster in the oil-producing countries.

    Finally, I don't know of some of you people have no concept of relief work. They don't let you sign up to go move corpses. In fact, they generally don't let you volunteer to go anywhere near a disaster area. They're trying to minimize "follow-on" casualties, the spread of disease, the gawkers, and the squeamish. Going down there and "volunteering" is akin to grabbing your helmet and axe and "volunteering" to help the fire department put out an inferno. You're pretty much just in the way.

  • ||

    Attention all "taxes=extortion" folks: if you found yourself in the middle of a calamity like this, your tune would change pretty damn quickly.

    Oh yes, you're such an expert on how everyone else will behave. Some of us have the moral fortitude to stick to decisions and principles that aren't always in our best interest. My home can spontaneously combust tomorrow, and even if I didn't have home owner's insurance, I still wouldn't want government money to rebuild, because it is morally equivalent to robbing each and every one of my neighbors.

    You don't know me. You sure don't know everyone on here.

    STFU.

    If American government aid is not appropriate in this situation, then government has no role in anything whatsoever.

    No shit. Thats the whole point.

    And as far as what Tim said, I'm disgusted, and wondering why I havn't already cancelled my subscription to Reason. This isn't Libertarianism, this is just ignorant and pathetic.

  • ||

    > The engineer looks up from his laptop to ask the proprietor, "Ever heard of Tim Cavanaugh?" "No sir. Who is he?" "Exactly. Who the hell is Tim Cavanaugh?"

    Tim is the pathetic little dude that has lost his "reasoning" ability some time ago and has been name-calling stuff he doesn't like.

  • ||

    Reynolds is wrong. Cavanaugh wrote as an individual and not as as avatar of libertarianism. Any libertarianism without individualism would be a hollow shell.

  • Matthew Goggins||

    Jay Kominek:

    I believe what you say about your home burning down. But that's not the kind of calamity I'm talking about.

    I'm talking about 1,000 people in your neighborhood being killed by an earthquake or a volcano or a bomb, including most of your family, and a hundred thousand or more homeless with nowhere to go. Throw in thousands of businesses destroyed (including yours and all your neighbors').

    If you think American government aid is not justified, I'm not going to tell you to STFU, but I'll be satisfied in knowing that the number of people who agree with you could fit in the back seat of a Volkswagen.

  • ||

    "Any libertarianism without individualism would be a hollow shell."

    D Anghelone,

    thanks, great comment. It can be a blurry line between the two sometime, but its good know that somebody out there realizes there is a difference.

  • ||

    So Jay,
    When the firefighters come, you would just tell them to leave?
    If your loved one is in an accident would call your insurance agent before you dial 911?
    Of governments few responibilities, I would rank being a first responder to tragedy as one of them.

  • ||

    In the town I grew up in, the first responders were Volunteers! There is nothing sacrosanct about government running the fire service, EMT and ambulance service, or even, as Great Britain's Life Savers show, civilian search and rescue at sea.

    That being said, since we made the poor choice of municipalizing or nationalizing those functions in much or all of the U.S.,* when disasters strike, we should all cooperate with those going into harm's way. If one wants to volunteer, there are plenty of opportunities with many a private group.

    Kevin

    *Our Coast Guard search and rescue is supplemented by a volunteer auxilary, along with the Civil Air Patrol, more volunteers under the aegis of the Air Force. Then there's the Red Cross, the Scouts...the list foes on.

  • ||

    Coarsetad,

    Libertarianism does not exclude firefighters from the world of professions, but it does exclude taxpayer-funded firefighters. If you own a home, you pay for any number of products and services to maintian it. Why can you not pay for private fire service? (It is way down on my list of government agencies to abolish. Anyway, most firefighting funding is local.)

  • ||

    Hello, Goodbye, Hello again....

  • ||

    This thread simply points out problems inherent in Libertarianism. It seems to run afoul of humanity. Mr Cavanaugh has made a perfectly reasonable point, it FEELS obscene for people to return to Thailand for fun. He's wrong, of course, but it FEELS right. I think that this might be a moment for Mr. Cavanaugh to take a few minute for introspection and ask, "Which is more important to me, my humanity or my philosophy?" Because his philosophy ought to have told him that his post was incorrect, from the outset. Yet it was not so apparent, for he did post it. Just a thought, mayhap it's not so easy to be a Libertarian and if someone like Mr. Cavanaugh can make such a mistake, surely he can then understand that in OTHER areas it's not so clear what is "right." Just a thought.
    And Jay Kominek, I don't think STFU is a particularly effective response. If that is the extent of your ability to argue for Libertarianism, I'd recommend that you cede that position to someone else.

  • ||

    Please read my posts. I NEVER said that people shouldnt go there on vacation, But IF YOU DO. Take a little time out and show some respect for a tradegy that is still VERY raw. Spend half a day passing out food, donate some savings to a relief group, Hell ask the manager of the hotel if any of the employees lost loved ones and donate something for them.
    Im not saying that every vaction to a poor country needs to be like joining the Peace Corp, but come on, you cant tell that that simply enjoying the sun and surf in the midst of such death, and not show some respect to those affected is appropriate?


    I think that continuing to allow those that survived to earn a living is plenty of respect. Ride in their taxis, take their tours, tip them, eat in their restaurants...allow them to earn.

    Avoiding these places, or going to these places and 'rescuing' the country isn't going affect these people nearly as much as allowing them to keep their jobs.

    For something that hits VERY close to home, go to the Alabama gulf coast and ask those people what they want...you to respect them, or you to drop by and spent four grand throughout the week.

    I was also traveling in Central America five days after 9/11. I saw how badly the lack of tourists was already affecting Costa Rica and Belize. I also saw the impending impact of mass unemployment in the region if tourism didn't pick back up.

    It's the ability to carve out a living that allows people to get back on their feet -- not condolences.

  • ||

    While I agree that captialism should basically trump government. You attitude seems to place captialism even over human dignity. Are you willing to defend the tourist that complains to the hotel manager about the smell of rotting bodies? would you defend thier right for refund?
    Do you think its ok to leave the waiter that broke down crying cause he just lost his entire family an extra small tip, because "Hell, its better than nothing, and besides he forgot to bring extra bread due to that crying fit."?


    This entire post is a strawman intended to tug at heartstrings. None of this in central to the debate.

  • ||

    There's a middle ground between shunning the place as a tourist destination for all time and taking your vacation while thousands of bodies are still rotting in the open air.

    Actually, most of the bodies have already been buried in mass graves. The places you're thinking about are the isolated villages on low-lying islands and other remote regions where rescue workers haven't made it in yet. Those places are not where the tourists go, anyway, and if the authorities can't make it in there then the tourist buses surely can't either.

    This whole "How DARE the tourists come back!" storyline stinks. After 9/11 everybody was trying to get the tourists to come back to New York as fast as possible; everybody. Somehow it's OK for the NY Times to beg tourists to come back to NYC after a disaster, but they turn around and complain about tourists returning to SW Asia now...? I guess it all depends on which end of the money-losing stick you're on.

  • ||

    I doubt that any amount of money will make any difference to the emotional cost of these events. Personally, I wouldn't presume that my pittance of dollars would bring back his family or offset his grief.

    And your avoidance of the area would only serve to worsen that waiter's situation. Lack of tourists means lower demand for waiters means the waiter is out of a job.

  • ||

    Joe L.,

    Who said Mr. Cavanaugh had to stick to his Libertarian guns in every instance? In celebrating "Free Minds" should we belittle someone who has a thought different from the determined groupthink? It would seem that Mr. Cavanaugh was speaking as a human being, not as a cold, rigid mouthpiece for "Libertarianism". His grasp of the realities may or may not be accurate, but I can hardly chastise him for his ability empathize.

    Mr. Goggins,

    Why SHOULD the government be in the business of helping people in other countries? We have what's called "charity" which is VOLUNTARY and tends to consist of much less of the BEAURACRACY that corrupts governmental agencies and decreases their effectiveness, no matter how seemingly benevolent they are. Were our government more effective or able to get the aid there more quickly than other organizations you might have an argument, but until then you're just spouting hot air.

  • ||

    Why do some posters assume that there are "thousands" of bodies in the streets and that every hotel staff must have lost a relative?

    I lived through a huge earthquake in Taiwan where 10,000 died and did not know anyone who died or had a relative die. These people still needed to go to work on Monday morning - you're in shock, yes, but doing your job is part of the recovery.

  • ||

    Jesus, Jennifer brings up "Nearly Headless Nick" in another thread and suddenly people with refreshed memories start jumping on Tim.

    As far as Mr. Cunliffe is concerned, more power to him. He may help out, he may not - I just hope he gets those G&Ts.

  • ||

    Jesus, Jennifer brings up "Nearly Headless Nick" in another thread and suddenly people with refreshed memories start jumping on Tim.

    As far as Mr. Cunliffe is concerned, more power to him. He may help out, he may not - I just hope he gets those G&Ts.

  • ||

    Anecdotal comments on this thread suggest that tourism continues to be important to Thailand; for example, the terminally decadent Western engineer Paul Cunliffe was allowed to disembark from his flight.

    If I want to sightsee in Thailand, I'll begin making arrangements. The Thais are civilized adults; respecting them as such, I trust them to let me know if they consider pleasure trips to their country currently inappropriate.

    The Thai embassy Website (www.thaiembdc.org) announces national days of mourning during 28-30 December 2004, but it does not dissuade foreigners from traveling to Thailand. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (www.tourismthailand.org/home.php) highlights the disaster and its continuing effects on tourists who were caught up, but it does not discourage new visitors. There are no keep-away notices at tatnews.org/others/2385.asp and www.phuket.com/hotel-status.htm; clicking through to www.allamanda.phuket.com, I read about "Laguna Phuket returning to normal". Hmmm...suddenly my Red Cross donation seems so inadequate...

  • Kevin L. Connors||

    I think your post was a poorly considered knee-jerk reaction, Cavanaugh. But just for the sake of discussion, just what is the appropriate morning period before an economy, having suffered a traumatic losscan again entertain foreigners?

    Kevin Connors
    The Daily Brief

  • ||

    "Club Med: a cheap holiday in other people's misery."

  • ||

    I'm all for patronizing their major industry, but it seems a little premature to show up while they're still trying to find all the victims.

    That said, I suspect that spending $ in the local economy is more effective than trying to stuff it through a funnel that can't assimilate it or enriching the coffers of a lot of NGOs. Sometimes they seem to be the war profiteers of the twenty-first century, particularly the U.N.

  • ||

    I came away from Tim's post on Tim's side, honestly. My initial reaction was exactly like Tim's, it does seem cruel and obscene to be drinking and sunbathing in Thailand long before the last mass grave has been dug up. I'm not sure I want to get over the tragedy that fast. But after reading the arguments from both sides, I do see now how even someone's callousness, at worst, can ultimately still be life sustaining. If the grieving waiters/waitresses in the hotels think the best way to rebuild what's left of the living is to continue making a living, then patronizing their services may not actually be as unkind as we think. Again, I would not show my sympathy in this way, but looking at it from the point of view of the grieving waiter/waitress, a paycheck may help them get back on thier feet faster than saying "I respect your dead so much more than you do to give you a tip or to allow you to work."

    Initially, I thought a vacation in Thailand at this time is tasteless. Again, personally I still think it is. But now I think someone who would deny a grieving waiter his income is probably just as tasteless. In a perfect world, the grieving waiter wouldn't have to work for a while. But in an imperfect world, I think imposing on the waiter our ideas on proper grieving only serves our own needs more than the waiter's.

  • ||

    Reynolds is wrong. Cavanaugh wrote as an individual and not as as avatar of libertarianism. Any libertarianism without individualism would be a hollow shell.

    How ironic, then, that Tim Cavanaugh and several commenters slagged that guy for not falling in line and not observing some arbitrary period of "decent people-approved" mourning. Individualism must not be for everyone, I guess.

  • ||

    I'm a libertarian and an individualist, but the two things are not congruent. I know perfectly sound religious libertarians who believe all that altruism stuff that I don't. They want a minimum level of government, just as I do, in no small part because they believe the virtue of charity is authentic when it is not coerced.

    I certainly stand ready to help those I love. If our Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, animist, etc, friends have a wider definition of who they love than I do, I doubt if it would be wise to try to argue them out of it.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Evidently the waiter is refusing to lie down and live life as a proper victim, his assigned role here.

    Well! We'll see about that.

  • ||

    Bob, in referring to the absolutely insane Ayn Rand Institute column, asks:

    "Show me in the constitution where the govt is give the right to take my earnings by force to redistribute to natural disaster victims in Thailand (or Florida for that matter)?"

    Let's start with the declaration of indepedence: "as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do."

    I think that pretty much leaves the door open, don't you? As for the constitution, it actually leaves open the possibility for the government to do quite a bit, with the exception being the bill of rights. But yes, the Congress and the President do have the right to engage in foreign relations, diplomacy, and to take action around the world that assists in US interests. (This is not to say that they are always successful, but it would appear that they have the right to do it according to the Founders.)

    Bob continues:

    "I have no problem with voluntarily donating (and have donated) but I do have a problem with the money the govt extorts by force being used in this manner (or for most of the things its used for)."

    Extorts by force? My, that's rather vivid language. But I don't really think anyone is extorting anything from you by force. You are free to leave the country any time and go live in Libertarianonia or even Ayn Rand's Atlantis. But then again, these are fictional places and what happens in those places is about as relevant as what happens in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Fiction is fun but don't let it go to your head or you'll come up with some silly ideas.

    If you accept that the government can "extort" money from you in order to pay for national defense, it pretty much follows that the government has every right to engage in any kind of foreign aid program that it desires. Presumably, these aid programs are initiated for the sake of providing some kind of stability in the world and reducing the need to utilize US forces directly. In the case of this tsunami, the US military is getting fantastic training, operational experience in working with many nationalities, and consequently building stronger relations in a region that is critically important to the on-going dispute with Al Qaida. All of this aid could be classified as a national security investment, not as forced charity.

    And that's where the Ayn Rand people get this all wrong. It's not just charity. It's building connections that will increase US influence and security in the region. It's also of benefit to the US because we have many businesses that operate in these countries; when their economies are doing well we profit from additional trade. This is more than charity; it's diplomacy, international business, and national security. And our government does have the right to engage in it.

  • Tom Vamvanij||

    As a Thai living in an area unaffected by the tsunamis (that's actually most of the country), I was much heartened by reports of normal tourist activities returning to the disaster area only hours afterwards.

    Bar workers resuming their work are:
    1. Not dead;
    2. Not injured;
    3. Making a living.

    What's not to like about that? Please note that showing respect through cancellations would be problematic for number 3.

    A TV report showed tourists in their swimsuits helping to clear all the rubbish on the beach. That would be pretty hard to do if they weren't there, wouldn't it?

    If you really want tasteless, there were also (local) people hawking photos of the tsunamis the way they normally do pirated DVDs. Still, I like them better alive and kicking rather than dead or dying.

  • ||

    How ironic, then, that Tim Cavanaugh and several commenters slagged that guy for not falling in line and not observing some arbitrary period of "decent people-approved" mourning. Individualism must not be for everyone, I guess.

    Cavanaugh is Cavanaugh and each commenter hermself.

    I still read him as giving a personal opinion. One knock on libertarianism is that, in its more radical forms, there is no one to set the rules and draw the lines. A typical response to that is to say that it is a developed society or culture that truly sets parameters. That of course opens a new can of worms but it is much so.

  • ||

    Me again. From Thailand.
    At least before you knock people in Thailand, or those who come to Thailand, find out what people IN THE DISASTER think. Try this:
    Phuket web site of photos
    hmmm??? html not working? Here's the raw URL:

    http://www.phuket-photos.com/frameme.php?page=phuket-tidal-wave.htm

    Here's the money quote from this website:
    If you want to help Phuket and people living here, come back for holidays!
    Feel free to confirm that feeling by visiting any of hundreds of other websites in the Thai South.

  • raymond||

    Head v. Heart

    Sometimes the heart and the head are in conflict. Sometimes even the REASONable choice feels - in the hea(r)t of the moment - morally unacceptable. Inhumane.

    If some people here react with disdain to the idea of sun bathing on piles of the dead, well... That's only to be expected. For my part, so long as Mr. Cunliffe respects the dignity of the people he comes in contact with while he's on holiday, I have no right or desire to judge his choice.

    Even some of the people here who contend that taxes are "theft" (and I'm one of those) might feel a certain... contentment? pride? at the idea that the government of the country they live in has chosen to use their tax francs to express solidarity with the victims of this tragedy. And that the individuals whose government it is have not stinted in their own individual generosity.

    Frankly, I find this far more cynical that poor Mr. Cunliffe's vacation plans.

  • Kathy K||

    Listen to Alan Dawson. He knows what he is talking about.

    I lived in Phuket for two years. The people there depend on tourism. Those 'mad tourists' are doing a lot more good than those who insist on staying away 'out of respect' and simply donating.

    If I had the money, I'd be over there now, tipping waiters, taking taxis, and buying tacky souvenirs.

  • ||

    Surely it is beyond Reason to judge the actions of free markets and free minds.

  • ||

    I think tourists should stay away from Phuket forever as a solemn tribute to those fallen. Leave it a wasteland in memoriam to the power of nature to bring man low. As for those who formerly worked and lived there, find them an uninhabited island somewhere and make them permanent refugees and wards of the UN.

    Yeah, it's sarcasm. The Paul Cunliffes of the world are the lifeblood of the island. May there be many more like him.

  • ||

    It seems like some of the commenters in this thread are reading things into Cavanaugh's post that just aren't there. I don't think Tim's suggesting that market solutions to Tsunami devastated areas should be abandoned out of probity; I think he's pointing out that...

    I, like many others, would argue for a market solution to the Irish Potato Famine. That doesn't mean that the first guy to show up mid-famine on a boat with food for sale at ten times the price of the same food in Britain is a nice guy--he's probably not very nice at all. "If you won't pay me $20 for a head of cabbage...", I imagine him saying, "...then you must not be very hungry. I can wait. How long can you wait?"

    There's something nasty about the character of a person who, in negotiations with a starving family, holds out for the highest price he can get for food. Someone who wants to go to a tsunami devastated area, lay on the beach and party it up among the carnage isn't as bad as that, but I don't think he's the kind of guy you want your daughter to marry either...

    ...If he is the kind of guy that a lot of people would want their daughter to marry, then isn't that further evidence that gaius marius is right?

  • ||

    Ken:

    Oh, please, don't get started on An Gorta Mor. If an Irish peasant had four quid to his name he could have bought food. The country produced beef and grain for export all during the potato crop failure. The system of land ownership and tenure by the conquering UK made the reliance on the spud as a monocrop a biological timebomb. In many ways, it was a political, as much as a natural disaster.

    The lesson we should derive from Ireland's Great Famine is that relief efforts by religious groups should take it easy on the evangelizing. Among the Irish and their dispersed descendants, those Roman Catholics who accepted aid from Protestant charity projects, on the condition that they affirm protestantism, earned the sobriquet "soupers." I'd expect that the NGO's aiding the stricken in South Asia won't be pulling that trick in 2005.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Why not make them real victims? Deprive them of the right to work, make them take handouts only. If there's a shred of dignity anywhere, wipe it out. We're nice guys and that will prove it.

    Hannah Arendt had it right - public doing-good turns to the worst sort of evil. It takes only a week, in this case.

    Dreary economics lesson : the reason you want economic activity is that both sides of any voluntary transaction profit. The money is worth less to the tourist than the coffee, and the coffee is worth less to the native than the money. Both sides come out ahead. The standard of living miraculously has gone up on both sides! The more voluntary transactions, the higher the standard of living. Amazing. Employment turns out not to be about keeping people busy, but raising their well-being.

    Dreary morality lesson : the only source of dignity in the world is to do something for somebody else. In this case, both the tourist and the coffee-seller come out ahead. Each has done something for the other.

    Dreary moralism lesson : public display of righteousness. The advice to hide your light under a bushel is not an injunction to modesty, but a point about what doing good is. It's mostly deep knowledge and hard work. No posturing, in particular, is suggested

  • ||

    James had it exactly right when he said " It's building connections that will increase US influence and security in the region. It's also of benefit to the US because we have many businesses that operate in these countries; when their economies are doing well we profit from additional trade. This is more than charity; it's diplomacy, international business, and national security. And our government does have the right to engage in it."

    You might argue that government aid is not libertarian, but it IS constitutional. The government is taking constitutionally acceptable action to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare while securing the blessings of liberty.

    the use of military units in this situation is entirely consistent with Sun Tzu's paraphrased advice that if you wait until war to use your army you have lost.

    If you want to argue that our government is built on libertarian principles and has drifted away, your premise is wrong and you ar enuts. If you want to argue that we should have a government organized around libertarianism, I'll tell you that the market has spoken and people have voted for the government we have and not the government you want. Seems like a valid exercise of free will to me.

    The adults in Thailand have spoken and want your tourism dollars which is a dignified way for them to validate their lives and earn a living. More valuable than donations. The charity is a reasonable way to make capital available for the immediate reduction of loss of life and suffering, and the government seems like an efficient way of amassing capital rapidly.

    All Cunliffe said was he was going to vacation in Thailand as planned. Thepeople who read into what his actions on vacation will consist of are projecting their own poor understanding of humanity to assume he would be a boor and a cretin. Of course he's entitled to do exactly that if he chooses just as we are entitled to not want to be like him.

    This board is a good example of why libertarians cant win at the ballot box and why thankfully we have a government that represents compromise between peoples and can still take immediate action while you biatch and moan

  • Matthew Goggins||

    Is American government aid for the tsunami victims forced charity?

    Yes it is. So what?

    Does it provide benefits to us as well as to the recipients?

    Yes, such as good will, disaster response training, and so on, as others have pointed out. But that is irrelevant. There is acute human need here, and we should respond. That is the overriding motive. Anyone who thinks otherwise has a moral blind spot the size of Saturn. Get a fargin' life, my brothers!

  • derek||

    I remember walking around a desolate Times Square the Saturday night after 9/11. It was downright eerie.

    I still remember all the Canadians tourists who came in afterwards, with signs that read "Canada (hearts) New York" etc. Same with folks from America's heartland. It brought a cheer to the whole city, I think.

  • Matthew Goggins||

    Andy:

    I was just looking back more carefully at some of the posts, and I saw yours for the first time.

    The government should definitely pick our pockets and send the money to south Asia.

    Yes, there will be bureacratic inefficiencies, or worse, but this is a rather clear cut case of where battlefield surgery is required, and the niceties of medical protocols may have to be temporarily ignored.

    I have libertarian leanings about some things. I believe there ought to be a strong presumption against any tax levy, and a strong presumption against any government spending program. But there are many things that in practice override that strong presumption.

    For example, during the Cold War, the U.S. government spent a lot of tax money fighting Soviet totalitarianism. A small minority thought this was an unjust appropriation of taxpayer money, and there probably was an obscene amount of bureacratic waste, bungling, and outright graft, but everything turned out pretty well in the end, don't you think?

    Last Sunday's tsunami is another example of where the enormous benefits of government spending trump the negatives of government taxing and spending. This is not hot air, this is compassion and common sense.

    It may be, from a libertarian perspective, that the need for our government to respond to the tsunami is the exception that proves the rule, or it may be a damning example that highlights the inadequacies of libertarian principles. But all that is quite secondary to the reality on the ground and its moral imperatives.

  • James Kielland||

    Matthew,

    I'm constantly hearing about how terrible it is for the government to be involved in science. The fundamentalist libertarian set insists that this is an improper use of government, and that it harms the economy and science! Of course, it overlooks the fact that Thomas Jefferson encouraged the government to spend money to acquire knowledge. And on the practical front it overlooks that the US is both the world's scientific AND economic leader. I'll become more convinced of the harm of such policies when some Libertarianonia becomes the world's scientific and economic leader.

  • ||

    Kevrob,

    The point I was trying to make is...

    ...just because an act is disgusting doesn't mean it should be illegal, but just because an act shouldn't be illegal doesn't mean that it isn't disgusting.

    ...That's all.

  • ||

    Seems like someone ought to mention Davy Crockett on whether Congress has any business in diasaster relief or any kind of charity at all. He thought not.

    Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose.

    Is this "a moral blind spot the size of Saturn" or making a distinction among appropriate roles for government, churches, charitable organizations, and individuals? To maintain that government should do everything seems to render the others superfluous.

  • ||

    Ken:

    I'm right there with you.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Shouldn't the decision to mourn or not and for what length of time be up to the people who live there? If they want to be open for business, what's wrong with that? I'd figure they're more in touch with what's appropriate for thier families and culture.

  • ||

    Jim,

    I do not think that anyone is maintaining that government ought to do everything. Charity may be a foolish thing for government to engage in, but just what is "charity?" I don't regard building strong relationships with foreign people and nations in time of a crisis to be mere charity. I think we have the potential to accomplish more than just giving money away and that it has the capacity to benefit the people of the United States in the long-run.

  • fyodor||

    Native NYer,

    Good point. OTOH, I suppose there's the issue that not all the people there are necessarily of the same mind. Is any large group of people ever of one mind? So doing business with some while others mourn runks the risk of presenting the problem discussed regardless that some are indeed willing to do busineess. OTOOH, I would agree wholeheartedly that we sould leave the judgmentalism in general to the folks there. If I have reason to believe that substansial numbers of folks there are against tourism at the moment, I'll concur that I undestand why they feel that way, stand with them as it were, for whatever good. But I don't think we in the comfort zones should be saying what's right or not for them without hearing from them first. Of course, we can only hope that the folks heading that way have already made some degree of attempt or thought to address this issue. Plus, as I've alluded to in many previous posts, there's an inevitably subjective nature to judging folks' actions when no coercion's involved, and I think the more we're subjective about judgment the more we should take pause before denouncing. I think one reason such activities as post-disaster--or especially disaster-enhanced--vacationing seems "bad" is that many of us wouldn't do it ourselves. And the scenario in question seems pretty damn yecchy to me. But beyond hoping the folks doing it are being fully conscious of and sensitive to the hardly subtle situation they're going to, I'd need to know how the locals feel before thinking about stepping into it myself, and meanwhile remember that doing business is a good thing.

  • ||

    While not exactly the same thing, we arrived in Hawaii shortly after 09-11 when everyone was afraid to fly and tourist-dependent Hawaii was starved for income. Every place we went the locals and the haolies implored us to assure our friends back home that travel to Hawaii was safe and where the aloha spirit would assure them to a wonderful vacation.

    The sooner things get back to normal the better off everyone is.

  • ||

    Over at travelwriters.com, there's a thread on the tsunamis. Their collective feeling is that (a) members should donate to relief orgs like the Red Cross; and (b) they should start pitching and writing stories ASAP on the affected areas to generate tourism because, as some locals/travelers/ex-pats have posted here, countries like Thailand are extremely dependent on tourism. The folks on that thread are right. Cavanaugh's wrong.

  • Matthew Goggins||

    Jim Bennett,

    Thank you for pointing us toward the Davy Crockett story. I read it, and recommend it heartily.

    But if I were a Congressman, I would not hesitate to appropriate a substantial amount of charitable aid for the tsunami victims.

    Frugality is an admirable principle, especially frugality with other people's money. But every situation needs to be judged on the merits, and frugality, and respect for the property rights of taxpayers, needs to be considered in the context of the exigencies at hand.

    A bloody-minded determination to stand for conservative, individualistic principles in the face of any crisis is as misguided in some situations as the whims of a tyrant or a collectivist.

  • ||

    I dunno, Matthew Goggins; removing the inflammatory bits from your sentence leaves "A [] determination to stand for [] principles in the face of [a] crisis is [] misguided ..."

    Standing for principles when there's no crisis doesn't really involve much determination. Principles that are abandoned at the first test aren't principles, they're just nice ideas. Crockett's point was not about frugality. If people want to impoverish themselves by donating their own rent and grocery money, fine. But when government steps in to take some people's rent and grocery money in order to donate it to others, that oversteps a principle. One that has been overstepped so much it's hard to see anymore, I grant you.

  • ||

    Jim B, exactly.

    It isn't charity unless you give it up voluntarily.

  • ||

    Jim Bennett writes:

    "If people want to impoverish themselves by donating their own rent and grocery money, fine. But when government steps in to take some people's rent and grocery money in order to donate it to others, that oversteps a principle."

    That's what government does in providing police and military. Maine wasn't threatened by the Japanese in WW2. You're not capturing a principle, you're articulating a weird superstition about government's role and nature.

  • Matthew Goggins||

    Jim Bennett,

    Thanks again!

    First a great story about Davy Crockett and Horatio Bunce, and now a very amusing rhetorical device: delete selected words from someone's statement and pretend you're not changing the subject!

    Let's try that one with you:

    Standing for principles [] doesn't [] involve [] determination.

    You see, this is fun, you've invented a new parlor game here!

    Getting back to my point, though, "taxes=extortion" is just one principle among many. For example, another principle is if you can save thousands of lives by extending the helping hand of the U.S. government at a token cost, then it would be morally obtuse to the point of evil not to do so.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    Goggins

    Your ignorance is stunning. JB took out the hyperbole in your sentence and boiled it down to what you said:essentially, that principles should be chucked in exigent circumstances.On the other hand, you decided to omit words very relevant to the main point. That's called dishonesty. Sorry, that dog won't hunt here...what's the point of having principles if any "emergency" can destroy them?

    Cavanaugh just made this magazine the laughingstock of the libertarian world. He portrayed someone who is doing EXACTLY what needs to be done in a crisis (that is, get back to normal as soon as possible) as some ignorant savage who dances on corpses. He castigates capitalism in the face of "emotions" and a "need to respect the dead"...the dead are dead, but what about the living?

  • ||

    hear hear!

    statements of taste are certainly not to be allowed on the internet!

    i'm sure that WTC tourism was helpful to local businesses in the months immediately after 9.11, but they came across as tasteless fuckwit zombies from the planet mars.

  • ||

    That's what government does in providing police and military. Maine wasn't threatened by the Japanese in WW2. You're not capturing a principle, you're articulating a weird superstition about government's role and nature.

    That's just dumb. It is the job of the federal government to provide for the common defense of the United States; take a look at the Constitution if you doubt me. So Maine gets taxed to fund the military even if Maine isn't currently threatened.

    It is not the job of the federal government to feed, house, or otherwise funnel money to foreigners unless doing so is necessary to for the security of the United States of America. They aren't American citizens, they don't pay taxes, and they aren't entitled to the benefits of American citizenship. There is no "weird superstition" at work here beyond the oh-so-wacky and zany belief that the job of the government is to provide necessary services for ITS CITIZENS, and not for every living soul on the planet.

    If every person going around saying "the US government should help those people" actually got off their ass and sent $20 in charitable donations it would easily surpass what the US government is sending. But they can't be bothered to do that, because they've outsourced their conscience to the state.

  • John T. Kennedy||

    Cavanaugh,

    " A week or two of lost tourist dollars will set back the economy less than it will show a decent respect for the dead."

    I assume that anyone in the tourist industry there who agrees with you will turn away business until they are satisfied a decent interval has passed.

    So what's wrong with patronizing establishments that want your business today?

  • ||

    James Kielland:

    "The government has just as much right to build a field hospital in a foreign land as it has the right to build a military base in a foreign land."

    So we "have a right" to open a military base wherever we see fit? Does might make right or do you have another reason for that statement?

  • ||

    Andy,

    Thanks for asking in order to clarify. Yes, the government has a right to open a military base in another country if that country is for some reason integral to the defense of the United States.

    If you're wondering whether I mean to imply that the government should just go around doing all manner of goofy and destructive things, such as hostile take-overs of harmless people, the answer is no. That would not be acting in the common defense of the United States; it would just be silly and counter-productive.

  • ||

    Andy,

    The point I was trying to make is this: libertarians often claim that the only acceptable action outside of US territory is military action. My point is that if you believe that the government has a right to base itself militarily outside of US territory in order to engage in power projection for the protection of US interests or the homeland, there is nothing to suggest that they should be merely limited to the application or the threat of application of military violence.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    Dhex

    Whatever you want to say about them, you have at least admitted they were helpful.

    Seriously, how much money should third-world businesses lose because we think they should "be respectful" and waste emotion on people who aren't alive to appreciate it?

  • ||

    JK,

    Other than the US, who has the right to put their bases in "integral" positions for their defense? How is this determined? Would you like it if Cuba decided to put a base here, or Saudi Arabia, or Kuwait? You could argue that our territory isn't integral to those countries' defense, but then you'd probably be forced to change your definition of "defense", which seems to be "anything that will advance the interests of the US".

  • ||

    Andy,

    Thanks for your follow-up. It would follow that other states do have that right and have been known to exercise that right. The limitations being their capabilities, the willingness of the host population, and basic sense.

    Your question as to whether I would like Cuba to build a base in the US seems to ignore my previous postings. The reason we have a government and a military is so we can have some influence on the ambitions of other states and some ability to resist actions that they might take that we would deem harmful to the survival of our nation.

    And I would argue that troops in Kuwait is indeed integral to the defense of the United States. A major, catastrophic loss of oil exports from the Persian Gulf could certainly be quite devastating to the world economy and the economy of the United States. Since the US government draws its sustenance from the economic activity of its people, a severe and violent recession caused by organized violence of one state against another state - even on the other side of the world - is an issue that gets to the defense of the US. If the US economy experiences a catastrophic shock which inhibits the ability of the US government to maintain an orderly market in US territory, it is a very real threat to national survival.

    Additionally, it should be pointed out that when I'm discussing the rights of the government I am referring to our government. And by these rights I don't mean any bizarre concepts dreamt up by libertarian philosophers who never read a single book on international affairs. What I'm getting at is the actions that our government may take according to the founding documents that spell out what the government may and may not do, and on what basis that it may do them. And there's nothing in those documents that says we may not send troops (or aid) anywhere in the world.

    If you wish to get into some bizarre cosmic talk about what any other nations have a "right" to, as if these are wild platonic forms that we can grab out of the air, I'd rather not. In the end, it doesn't matter what any nation believes it has a right to if someone is willing to fight over it. That is not to say that might makes right. It's more to say that without might you become severely limited in your ability to do right and prevent others from doing wrong to you.

  • ||

    Better phrasing:

    One is led to wonder if keeping our economy at ULTRA-SUPER STRONG as opposed to SUPER STRONG is worth the deaths and oppression of so many people.

  • ||

    Andy,

    All of your comments about complaints of US foreign policy are certainly very much appreciated by me. I find our record in many cases to be rather appalling. However, at the same time I find myself wondering what those decisions makers either knew that I do not know... or didn't know that we feel seems obvious or clear in retrospect. Just about every form of imperialism that I've read about was committed by people who weren't merely greedy; they felt they were doing the moral thing (or were able to invent semi-plausible justifications to that end.)

    Nevertheless, we are now in a position where our nation is the most powerful and influential in history. Fortunately for us, this nation is also the most transparent in its operations of any major historical power and also capable of being shaped and altered by the actions of its citizens.

    The information age offers us great hope but also great risks. Our decisions, the decisions that you and I and other citizens come to about the course of our country's future, will be felt around the world. Hopefully we can make the right decisions.

    Cheers!

  • ||

    And I should have said LATIN America :)

  • ||

    "The information age offers us great hope but also great risks. Our decisions, the decisions that you and I and other citizens come to about the course of our country's future, will be felt around the world. Hopefully we can make the right decisions."

    Here Here! May people begin to shed their (mostly) self-imposed shackles of ignorance and start thinking for themselves! (Not likely, but hey, it's New Year's, we can at least entertain that thought, no?)

  • James Kielland||

    I think that your point about "how many deaths is it worth" is a very difficult one. I don't mean merely troubling in a moral sense; it's troubling to really make accurate judgements about what kinds of consequences different actions might have.

    A good way to look at this is the old "no blood for oil" mantra, which seems to suggest that wars fought over oil are just about "money." Well, a severe rise in oil prices would certain hurt economic productivity. This would lead to lost jobs, of course. But the lost economic performance would also mean cutbacks in medical care or at the very least rising prices. Not going to war over oil could kill more people than going to war over it.

    And yes, it's new year's, and there is abundant reason for optimism. The most populated muslim nation in the world is eagerly accepting our; not Al Qaida's. More and more people are following events around the world and discussing them. And network technology that allows millions of people sitting at home to send money to victims on the other side of the world. We don't even need to be bothered with the "hassle" of writing a check and sending it in the mail.

    And seeing the extent to which people in the US have taken advantage of this technology to send millions in private contributions, as well as eagerly encouraging their president to send their sons and daughters and husbands and wives in the military, shows just how generous humans can be. It puts a heart-warming touch to an otherwise tragic story.

    And it leaves me optimistic as to what networks of thinking, questioning, acting people will be able to accomplish in the coming years. There's a reason for faith.

  • Matthew Goggins||

    Mr. Druckenmiller (a.k.a. Ayn Randian),

    Doh! You caught me out, you've unveiled my ignorance. What really gets me is that you've nailed my dishonesty as well.

    Maybe you have a newsletter I can subscribe to so I can find out what else is wrong with me.

    If you are still willing to hear me out, though, I'd like to respond to the substance of your comment.

    You say that I say that principles should be chucked in exigent circumstances. I apologize if I wasn't clear, but what I meant to say is that keeping the U.S. government from aiding the tsunami victims on the grounds that government is not in the business of charity is a misguided application of an idea that is often useful under other, less calamitous, circumstances.

    In fact, it is so misguided that it reminds me of the arbitrary, ideologically driven mistakes (crimes) of Fidel Castro, Joe Stalin, Adolph Hitler, or Louis XIV.

    But reasonable people can disagree on these things, so I didn't won't to put it too strongly. Instead, I said,

    A bloody-minded determination to stand for conservative, individualistic principles in the face of any crisis is as misguided in some situations as the whims of a tyrant or a collectivist.

    In a crisis, we need to hold firm to our principles, but we also need to realize that our principles can lead us astray if we don't use them with a certain amount of healthy skepticism, humility, and self-awareness.

    Have a healthy and happy new year, my rand-ian friend!

  • ||

    Matthew,

    I'm sure you realize this put it's always worth saying: when libertarians of the Randian variety refer to "principle" they usually mean "divine, unquestionable commandment." It can be excruciatingly difficult to explain to them how big, complex, and ancient reality seems to be. And you can visibly upset them if you try to suggest that it's possible that the concepts held in our little, young brains sometimes don't provide an absolutely perfect template from which to understand reality.

  • ||

    "Cavanaugh just made this magazine the laughingstock of the libertarian world. He portrayed someone who is doing EXACTLY what needs to be done in a crisis (that is, get back to normal as soon as possible) as some ignorant savage who dances on corpses."

    A post on Hit & Run pointing out that it takes an ignorant savage to dance on a village of corpses doesn't make Reason Magazine a libertarian laughingstock.

    Look at the quote again:

    ""Our friends think we're mad. The only risk we face I think is if there's another quake. We love the place that much and we thought we would take the risk," he said."

    The only question in this insensitive clod's mind appears to be whether he's in danger; the question of probity doesn't even appear to have occurred to him. For a tourist to say something like this, it's like the equivalent of picking his nose at the table--but much worse.

    My personal list of ignorant savage behaviors includes other things that shouldn't be illegal too like producing pornography, marketing cigarettes, adultery, selling recreational drugs and using foul language in mixed company. To my mind, that list makes me a libertarian with a moral center, not a libertarian laughingstock.

    ...The laughingstocks are the people who think that, in the context of a free market, obnoxious behavior isn't obnoxious.

  • raymond||

    It seems to me that if masses of people are not free, then my freedom is in danger, since the concept of fundamental individual rights, to be logically consistent, has to be universally accepted.

    I think, therefore, that as a free individual it is in my best interests actively (and nonviolently) to help those whose basic rights are violated.

    I know, too, that if I were caught up in some disaster beyond my control which put me and those I love in danger of not being able to exercise my rights, I would be grateful to those who helped. And so, I try to help insofar as I am able when disaster strikes others. It's in my best interests.

    When a valid government acts validly, it acts as the agent of the people. Not an incorporated "people", but a whole bunch of individuals. If the people decide they want their government to send money (because by putting their money into a common pot it can be used more efficiently), then their government may rightly do that.

    At times, our agents must anticipate our desires because a situation is urgent. If my dog becomes violently ill while my cleaning lady is here and I'm out, I would expect her to rush him to the vet without bothering to get my ok first. Even though we have never discussed this possibility, and even though it's not part of the contract, I would be liable for the bill, since she would be acting reasonably as my agent.

    So. The government of the country which I call home has decided to show solidarity with the people of SE Asia. The individuals of this country have decided to be individually generous as well. As a result, my rights are more secure.

    Why would I complain?

    When your government invades a country which poses no immediate threat, installs mayhem, and kills and tortures its citizens... THAT you can condemn. For my part, I'd rather pay for a water pump than for a leash.

  • ||

    "Not going to war over oil could kill more people than going to war over it."

    Hmm... good point. This doesn't mean that we couldn't treat the natives a bit more civilly. Read "The Exception to the Rulers" by Amy Goodman. She gives the story of the oppression and murder of the Nigerians who DARE to question the authority of Chevron (who hires Nigerian military men to help take out those naughty folks) and ask for a piece of the pie (which the natives don't see). This, of course, has the full implicitness of our government, who would never dream of bossing an oil company around and holding them accountable for their actions.

  • gaius marius||

    This thread simply points out problems inherent in Libertarianism. It seems to run afoul of humanity. Mr Cavanaugh has made a perfectly reasonable point, it FEELS obscene for people to return to Thailand for fun. He's wrong, of course, but it FEELS right.

    mr joe l (not to single you out -- your views appear widely held), you ignore *why* it might feel wrong. and there is a why, of course -- it's because it goes against every decent thing you've ever been taught as an inheritor of western social mores, even in their now-diluted form.

    after reading half a thousand posts, the inescapapble conclusion of this thread for me is the clear moral bankruptcy of the viewpoint which is now called libertarian -- and was, in some aspects at least, once called nietzschean. i don't know whether the good libertarian thinks touring amidst the unburied dead is honorable and heroic, or simply thinks 'honorable' a quaint notion best retired. morality is not efficient; therefore, it is wrong.

    this is why, imo, it is legitimate to be concerned about the decay of the west. the assumption among so many that morality simply has no role, that it is quaint, or a bit daft -- this is moral bankruptcy, and we're far from the first society to experience it.

    the immense influence of industrialization -- which is also a wonderful thing, before anyone goes wild -- on the western outlook is evident here as nowhere else. we, each of us, cogs in the ideal machine; each of us blithely doing what we do, isolated from any reality, is what is best.

    and, in the shortest of terms, it may be absolutely right. maybe what thailand and sri lanka really need are floods of tourists and their money.

    but, in the longer term, it is evidence of a kafkaesque mechanistic indifference to humanity and society. the question is not only what does it mean for them -- donation or tourist, the dollars are good, i suspect; it is also what does it mean for us?

    those lot of you who imagine this sort of unflappable amorality to be good, god help you. the greater your number, the more i fear for us all -- this is all too clearly reminiscent of the fascist viewpoint.

    ...If he is the kind of guy that a lot of people would want their daughter to marry, then isn't that further evidence that gaius marius is right?

    i sincerely think so, mr schutlz -- but it gives me no satisfaction at all.

  • ||

    Gaius,

    Thanks gramps for the lecture. Now, if you don't mind, take your patrician finger-wagging and bugger over to Weekly Standard or Lew Rockwell or NRO where you'll be appreciated, mmmkay? Me and the rest of the whippersnappers have some vacations to plan.

  • ||

    while i think gaius takes it 15 steps too far as usual, the basic thrust here is that some folk are looking at this as a question of economic mechanics and some are not. those talking about economics are correct, mechanically.

    no doubt the death tourists, as we came to call them, were helpful for some businesses downtown, and for the city in general, considering everything that happened. but they were still a gang of crass, fat and vapid jackasses taking pictures of a still smoking crater.

    it's a question of taste, really. i worked on the 21st floor of the 140 building across from where tower 2 was, so i got a lot of long looks at that crater. maybe there's some sort of novelty involved that didn't exist for the oklahoma city bombing. i don't know, though my personal theory is it's an attempt for those who are in little to no danger of dying in a terrorist attack to justify just how frightened they feel. which is sort of bitter and crass in its own right, and purely emotional, but we work with the tools we have.

  • ||

    "You are free to leave the country any time....."

    Godamn right! Love it or leave it, fucking anarchist libertarian bastards!

  • ||

    Even for those who concede that the death tourists can ease the economic loss from the tsunami, mixing pleasure in the middle of overwhelming grief is an obscenity that still ultimately outweighs whatever economic loss. Therefore, this is still essentially a moral issue. But what exactly is the moral implication of a pause in pleasure for a country that survives on pleasure? Will not economic loss be also a moral issue then? For those who depend entirely upon tourist money, are we not really saying, "You cannot get over your own loss ahead of me? You must starve yourself and your family until I have gotten over your loss?"

    The "death tourist" shouldn't concede morality to economics. The morality of touring, in a country that survives on tourists, may be more meaningful and more essential than the morality of a sympathy boycott.

  • RDale||

    gaius,

    You're making two mistakes in your diatribe.

    The first is one that several others in this thread are making, including Cavanaugh. That mistake is not the question of a decent mourning period or some other signifier of respect, the mistake is in the presumption that anyone other than the Thais in question should be the ones to make the decision about that period. If you and others think it's so horrible for them to choose to get on with their lives, you don't have to go there. Castigating those who do want to go is puerile and useless. There's more dignity (on all sides) in allowing the Thais to make their own choices about this rather than in attempting to foist your particular notions of decency upon them.

    The second mistake you make (and you do this in other posts as well), is that you have bought into the idea that a social structure composed of individuals somehow supersedes the individuals of which it is comprised, arguing, in essence, that "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one." However, the many are the one, and any unnecessary abrogatation of the rights of an individual in the name of society is a harm to society.

    I understand, and accept, reasonable constraints on the actions of individuals in the context of providing for individual safety and integrity. But all of the things you rail on about, especially as regards decency to one another and so on, are most properly exercised within the purview of individual action and should not, under any circumstances, be imposed from without.

    There will never be a time or situation where there aren't abuses of some kind at the individual level. We don't need a large collection of more invariant social structures to deal with this, the individuals themselves can do so. The only societal pressure (at most) that should be permitted would be the collective censure (by the individuals) of behaviour that violates the tenets of that particular societal substructure (or subgroup). Additionally, the societal subgroups should not be permitted to impose their particualar mores on another subgroup. Freedom of association requires that like individuals should be permitted to construct whatever social organization they so choose with any social rules they choose, regardless of anyone elses' ideas about what is best.

    Apart from the above limited forms of social pressure and interaction, the rights of the individual should (and must) trump all else. To do otherwise would ultimately do greater harm to those social structures than the mere exercise of individualism.

  • gaius marius||

    There's more dignity (on all sides) in allowing the Thais to make their own choices about this rather than in attempting to foist your particular notions of decency upon them.

    so our choices about what dignity is are not ours? wadr, mr dale, i think the mistake is to view our moral condition as contingent only on what suits thailand's economy -- and assuming what all thais want is what the owners of tourist resorts want. there is no way around the fact that many millions of thais will characterize these actions as limitless western self-involvement. vacation dollars may help; what would be decent is going there to help remediate the disaster, instead of to blithely suck on mai-tais.

    the upshot seems to be that many quite clearly find morality of no value vis-a-vis economy -- or, worse, that economy is morality. this worship of property is one thing when constrained by the temperance of locke, who was a very moral man; when maximized without such temperance, one gets justifications for death tourism -- which, i submit, because it is considered is worse than the thoughtless tourism itself.

    But all of the things you rail on about, especially as regards decency to one another and so on, are most properly exercised within the purview of individual action and should not, under any circumstances, be imposed from without.

    We don't need a large collection of more invariant social structures to deal with this, the individuals themselves can do so.

    here again, mr dale, we see the unlimited individualist notion i am so appalled by. the notion that men are civilized without effort, that they make moral social decisions from a state of nature is, i think, to misunderstand what morality and civilization are.

    men of their own devices behave savagely; this is why insufficient parenting leaves one with a sociopathic child. it is in society that we can be more than warlike animals.

    and civilized society requires institutions as a mechanism to protect itself from the destructive impulses of misanthropic men, which frequently enough arise, by the institution's ability to impose limitations forcibly on men who have lost their social sensibility. it is in the weakness of men and institutions that we obtain evil dictatorship, not in their strength.

    this is the idea of an institution -- but the notion of desirable limitation, so fundamental to locke, seems now lost. does anyone here acknowledge that forcible limitation can be good? i doubt it, because the religion du jour seems to be that men are by nature rational and good, and society makes them senseless and bad -- a notion hobbes would have laughed at, rousseau took to be truth, and machiavelli knew better than by experience.

    i submit that it is the weakness of western institutions undermined by individualism that allowed the fascists to rise, and has even now allowed a cadre of unvetted, unconservative nouveau fascists to come to power in the united states.

  • ||

    There are two main threats to civil society. The first is the government overstepping its bounds, and the second is a general degradation of morals. The appropriate defenses to these two threats are not contradictory.

    Libertarians have done a better job of explaining the first threat than the second; indeed, many libertarians seem to be openly hostile to the idea that the second threat even exists. I would remind them that the argument against slavery and the arguments for the civil rights movement were moral arguments.

    ...I would point out that the argument against torture is a moral argument too.

  • ||

    This is a different thread altogether but:

    This, of course, has the full implicitness of our government, who would never dream of bossing an oil company around and holding them accountable for their actions.

    How exactly would our government hold am entity accountable for breaking another country's laws, ESPECIALLY, if that entity hasn't even been held accountable by the other country?

  • ||

    i don't know whether the good libertarian thinks touring amidst the unburied dead is honorable and heroic,

    As always Marius, you make giant leaps with assumptions. The original story noted that the gentleman was heading to an untouched resort in Malaysia. Since you've made leaps via assumptions, I guess I can too. The gentleman was heading to an all-inclusive resort, a large one that was north of Brunei. It was untouched and the surrounding area is generally unharmed. Because he's not touring amongst the piles of dead and enjoying dinner next to mass graves, his vacation is still a respectful one. Because he's one of only twenty five guests in a resort that houses three hundred, the owners of the resort and the employees are greatful that he's there. While other parts of the country are suffering, this area is not. Well, now it's suffering financially, of course, because of moral people like yourself that have decided to be respectful and stay away.

    Malaysia is rounghly the size of Florida plus Georgia plus the gulf coast of Alabama and Mississippi. Are the people that traveled to Savannah, Georgia for vacation the week after Hurricane Ivan destroyed the gulf coast of Alabama and the Florida panhandle immoral hedonists? Should they have avoided Savannah altogether because other parts of the region were flattened?

  • ||

    It seems over the last three days, I forgot the details of the article. He was heading to Thailand from Malaysia. So I must edit my previous post:

    As always Marius, you make giant leaps with assumptions. The original story noted that the gentleman was heading to an untouched resort in Thailand. Since you've made leaps via assumptions, I guess I can too. The gentleman was heading to an all-inclusive resort. It was untouched and the surrounding area is generally unharmed. Because he's not touring amongst the piles of dead and enjoying dinner next to mass graves, his vacation is still a respectful one. Because he's one of only twenty five guests in a resort that houses three hundred, the owners of the resort and the employees are greatful that he's there. While other parts of the country are suffering, this area is not. Well, now it's suffering financially, of course, because of moral people like yourself that have decided to be respectful and stay away.

    Thailand is roughly the size of Florida plus Georgia plus Alabama plus Mississippi. Are the people that traveled to Savannah, Georgia, and Tunica, Mississippi for vacation the week after Hurricane Ivan destroyed the gulf coast of Alabama and the Florida panhandle immoral hedonists? Should they have avoided Savannah and Tunica altogether because other parts of the region were flattened?

  • ||

    You are free to leave the country any time..... - James Kielland

    I am so tired of this lame argument. Let me see, shall I take up citizenship in the Republic of Minerva, or the Principality of Sealand? If there were actually some terra obscura that freedom-minded people could colonize, with a reasonable assurance that armed thugs from some state or another wouldn't immediately visit and try to assert sovereignty over it, this criticism might make some sort of sense. But the reality is that we have to make our freedom where we are. Perhaps the Free State Project has a good idea, but even the Porcupines aren't trying to leave the country.

    gaius marius, taking the name of an odius dictator who famously appealed to the mob, tires me out with his sermonizing about the invidious effects of rampant individualism. His is an essentially conservative critique. I am reminded of the Straussians who promote religious belief for the masses, while not bothering about it for themselves, because it has social utility. That it may be untrue is a small matter that the little people shouldn't concern themselves with.

    The distributed decision making of free individuals has an advantage over the moral leadership of an elite with its hands on political power. The genius of libertarian individualism is to delimit the areas of life subject either to the whims of a political elite or of majoritarianism. I can sit in my study, smoking cubans, drinking port, reading Mencken and bitching about the poor taste of the demos if I like, while my neighbor stays up all night playing Grand Theft Auto online. I find that a great improvement over regimes where the both of us would be pressured or forced to attend Vespers, or a Party meeting.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Kevin,

    You are free to start Libertarianonia wherever you so choose. But there are a couple of fundamental problems: First, the philosophy is absolutely bankrupt. Second, most people have enough sense to realize that and reject it. Other than those two minor problems, GOOD LUCK!

  • ||

    Kevin,

    I'd like to add a response to this comment of yours:

    "If there were actually some terra obscura that freedom-minded people could colonize, with a reasonable assurance that armed thugs from some state or another wouldn't immediately visit and try to assert sovereignty over it, this criticism might make some sort of sense."

    I think you're making a great point here! Libertarianism is great as long as we aren't talking about the real world. But beyond that, I'm sure there are all kinds of places in the Third World that are quite eager for all the capital and boundless creative and productive energy that libertarians so constantly yammer about. Many of these countries have things such as free trade zones. I'm sure that if enough libertarians could get together and pool their resources, you could all rent a sizable chunk of some Central American country in which to run your little grand experiment. And that would be nice because instead of listening to libertarian arguments we could actually have some empirical basis by which to evaluate their claims.

    But in the meantime, you'll have to endure this awful, decidedly anti-libertarian country that the founding fathers created. Or you'll have to present a compelling case to the American people to adjust things to your taste. Since that's highly unlikely, you may wish to strike out on your own and show the rest of the world how it's done.

    And I'm not being sarcastic. I encourage the experiment. Good luck!

  • ||

    "But in the meantime, you'll have to endure this awful, decidedly anti-libertarian country that the founding fathers created."

    So the founding fathers came up with progressive income taxes, drug laws, social security, farm subsidies, a 21 drinking age, and the ATF, DEA, and TSA? That's news to me.

  • ||

    Eric,

    It's news to me, too! Where did you get that from?

  • ||

    I think, frankly, we pro-tourists are taking Cavanaugh, Gaius, et al., too seriously. They haven't made any real arguments; they've just got us shadow boxing. Gaius is simply impressing an undefined morality on everyone else and haranguing us for our sinfulness when we don't accept his version of things. It is interesting in 160+ posts on this subject that while the burden of proof is on the anti-tourists to prove exactly why "death tourism" is either immoral or amoral, they have yet to do so, while the pro-tourism argument has been made exhaustively -- and in a few cases by individuals who actually reside in the afflicted countries (assuming everyone is being truthful in their posting). We're not talking about traveling to the most devastated areas (why would you? it sounds like there's nothing there but mud and corpses); we're talking about going to those areas that were either lightly to moderately hit or completely untouched, so all this talk about drinking mai-tais beside steaming corpses is hyperbole. So then what exactly is the appropriate behavior in this situation? Only Gaius "Emily Post" Marius knows; the rest of us are uncouth heathens for not following his mysterious chivalric code. And so he fears for the children.

    Whether to participate in this kind of tourism is essentially one of taste. dhex found the "death tourists" in NYC after 9/11 distasteful; I found the outpouring of emotion and solidarity moving, in one instance to tears. These are very different displays of grief. Yet as to the question of what is materially and pragmatically best to help folks, I consider the matter settled. Gaius and co. are nothing but apocalyptic zealots standing on a streetcorner, wearing sandwich boards announcing the end is nigh.

  • ||

    Slag,

    I'm not sure what Gaius is really getting at. It all seems kind of strange and odd. Personally, if I had a trip planned to an area that was devasted I would probably engage in some volunteer work if there was something I could do. I do find the idea of sitting on a beach drinking beer with all sorts of corpses and debris around to be a little distasteful. But then again, it's probably a little silly to imagine that is what is occuring. While the images we see on TV and the net are horrific, it's reasonable to assume that there are many places that have been relatively unscathed and are eager for business.

  • ||

    I think, frankly, we pro-tourists are taking Cavanaugh, Gaius, et al., too seriously.

    You're taking yourself too seriously. I wouldn't know Cavanaugh if I stepped on him on a beach but I can see that he's merely expressed a personal opinion. He's proposed no laws, restrictions or eternal damnations.

  • ||

    I suppose I should feel honored to have been "Dowdified," but [...] not so much.

    From the main info website for Patong Beach, where Mr. Cunliffe was headed:

    If you want to help us in Patong, do not cancel your tour to Patong Beach. Yes we had a disaster here but survivors need to work and we can still give you a very pleasant holiday in Patong.

    Of course this only represents the people directly involved in the disaster and recovery; I suppose the "millions" of others of finer sensibilities would find it offensive. Have I missed all the news stories calling for Westerners to stay away? The only one I recall of that nature was from Sri Lanka, and only Israelis were being asked to stay away (though the supplies they sent were being accepted). Links?

  • ||

    "You are free to leave the country any time and go live in Libertarianonia or even Ayn Rand's Atlantis."

    The main problem underlying this mode of thought is not that there are no such libertarian paradises, but the implicit meaning behind the thought: The fruits of your labor, and the property you acquire with your labor, are not yours but can be rightly claimed by others (the government) should they so choose. And the only way to prevent this is to move somewhere else that will probably take more from you than the current regime in the U.S. does. Seems kinda messed up to me, but I'm just one of those crazy indivudualist libertarians. What to I know?

  • ||

    Correction, should read: What do I know?

  • ||

    You're taking yourself too seriously. I wouldn't know Cavanaugh if I stepped on him on a beach but I can see that he's merely expressed a personal opinion. He's proposed no laws, restrictions or eternal damnations.

    And I have expressed my personal opinion which disagrees with his. And your point is...?

  • ||

    Matt,

    You wrote:

    "The main problem underlying this mode of thought is not that there are no such libertarian paradises, but the implicit meaning behind the thought: The fruits of your labor, and the property you acquire with your labor, are not yours but can be rightly claimed by others (the government) should they so choose."

    You're quite right! A big problem is that there are no libertarian paradises! And this should tell us something.

    But I think you go a little too far with your implication of this. I don't think anyone is suggesting that the government may take anything or everything from you. But the people of the United States, following the guidelines set down in the constitution regarding the powers of their government, have decided to create a system of government in which taxes are collected to pay for a variety of services. While I believe that too much is collected and too many of the wrong services are provided, I am free to opt out at any time. There are all sorts of places that collect far less in taxes. But they tend to be rather hideous places without decent roads, quality fire/rescue services, and the libertarian's big enemies such as clean public parks and well-stocked public libraries.

  • ||

    And I have expressed my personal opinion which disagrees with his. And your point is...?

    That you "pro-tourists" have made tsunamis of ripples.

  • ||

    "But the people of the United States, following the guidelines set down in the constitution regarding the powers of their government, have decided to create a system of government in which taxes are collected to pay for a variety of services."

    Certain people some 200 years ago decided this. I never decided to create any such system, nor did I ever consent to be governed by any such system. Of course had the system they designed actually worked (that is relegating the government to a few specific tasks), then people like me would have little to argue against.

    "While I believe that too much is collected and too many of the wrong services are provided, I am free to opt out at any time"

    No, you're not free to opt out. You are free to travel outside the reaches of the U.S. government but I call this running away not "opting out." Besides, like I said earlier, this assumes that others have an implicit right of ownership in the fruits of my labor and the property I acquire with my labor.

  • ||

    Matt,

    You wrote:

    "Certain people some 200 years ago decided this. I never decided to create any such system, nor did I ever consent to be governed by any such system."

    Exactly right, Matt! Thanks to the decisions of all sorts of people you were born into the most priveledged society in human history, given more opportunity than over 99.9% of human beings who have lived could even imagine, and it was all free. In fact, it's entirely reasonable to assume that you were enjoying services and consuming them long before you could be productive and pay for them. And you feel treated unfairly? Please.

    Look, I know you libertarians have some fanciful ideas. Government spending on science is bad. Government spending on research and universities is bad. Government spending on public facilities is bad. Our massive government is crippling the economy. And somehow, through it all, the US has the best economy and the best science and the best higher education in the world. And some damned nice libarires, too!

    It's possible that things would have worked out much better had only Ayn Rand been in charge. But in comparison to other nations the US seems to be a lovely place in many respects. I don't particularly care to see it radically upended in some libertarian experiment.

    But the great thing about this awful, unreasonable government that we have is this: if you can convince people that things would be so much better if we abolished the US government and became Libertarianoina, you can do it! All you have to do is make a convincing case. But considering the schlock offered up as "political philosophy" by libertarians it's highly unlikely that the American public will ever be convinced.

  • ||

    That you "pro-tourists" have made tsunamis of ripples.

    Right. So if I don't like the outcome of an argument, I just say the other guy is taking it too seriously and making mountains out of molehills?

    Gotcha. I'll have to remember that the next time I lose money playing pool.

    No, wait, that'll just get my ass kicked because it's fucking preposterous.

  • ||

    "In fact, it's entirely reasonable to assume that you were enjoying services and consuming them long before you could be productive and pay for them. And you feel treated unfairly? Please."

    Yeah, I was "enjoying services and consuming them" because my parents worked and provided me these things, no thanks to the government. I don't ask to be treated "fairly" by you or anyone else, just left alone to live my life and enjoy my earnings how I wish.

    "And somehow, through it all, the US has the best economy and the best science and the best higher education in the world."

    You think this is because of the government? It's precisely because throughout the rather brief history of the United States, the framework for a free market economy has survived despite the continual growth of government.

    Each dollar taken from the private sector and confiscated by the governemnt is one less dollar that can be put to its most productive use. The bigger the government becomes the poorer we all are because of it.

    "But considering the schlock offered up as "political philosophy" by libertarians it's highly unlikely that the American public will ever be convinced."

    One problem is people don't view what the government and its minions for the band of thugs that they are. Most people, when asked, know that aggression is wrong and will say so, but then turn a blind eye if the aggressor happens to be the government and not "private crime" like the mafia.

    It's hard to undo 12 years (excluding college) of government education and indoctrination, but definately possible. I guess you could say I am one shining example of that.

  • ||

    I long ago lost any grasp of what the point of this thread is. However, I just saw that there were 187 posts. Perhaps "Stevo Threadkiller" could do a 187 on this thread?

    (And for the hip-hop-impaired, 187 means "homicide".)

  • Matthew Goggins||

    I'd like to thank James Kielland for the yeoman's effort he's made to defend common sense in this thread.

    If I had more time and stamina, I'd have spent more time in the trenches with you, but you've done an admirable job on your own.

    Libertarianism is not an end in itself. It is a defensive posture against the depredations of the power monopoly of the state. We should guard against our libertarian impulses pushing us into rebellious poses that are overwrought or even ridiculous to the point of self-parody.

  • ||

    mr. kielland is expressing the usual outrage at the usual hyperbole. plus there is a certain strain of extreme hatred which comes out in people when suggestions of less government (in situation x, y or z) come up.

    even for people who don't work in the government!

    it's very very strange.

  • ||

    ....certain strain of extreme hatred which comes out in people when suggestions of less government (in situation x, y or z) come up. -dhex

    dhex, I wouldn't know if it is fair to denote James K as one of them, but there are people who so identify with the nation/country/state they are citizens or residents of that they confuse the government of that place with the place itself, and its people themselves. One can, of course, love one's country and hate its government, else no man would have ever risked his life to dethrone a tyrant, expel a conqueror, or reform a corrupt regime. Not all patriotism is bunk, even if much is. This confusion is especially common among our conservative friends, and when I say "conservative" I don't mean the deracinated Whigs of the Republican party, but more the blood and soil types, among whom Consul Marius would stand, front and center, should he ever do anything so crass as to lead a movement. Now, I'm a minarchist myself, and fully understand caution about eliminating government entirely. I'd sure like to try the stripped-down model for a while before we all decided that we could do without it completely, though. Of course, statists of the Left get pretty angry about the shrinking of government, too, but they are coming from a different cultural corner. Some would be quite happy if the power in Washingon disappeared, as long as it was vested in a world government, or some other utopian set-up.

    BTW: here's a minarchist solution to the problem of disaster aid. The nation's banks agree to extend a sizeable line of credit to the Red Cross and allied organizations, in anticipation of the billions of dollars that are expected to be donated. Interest forgiven on the loans could be written off against income taxes, if those haven't been abolished yet. Even without the tax relief, not charging interest could garner good PR for the banks. Let our armed forces help deliver aid. Since they have to train for logistics challenges anyway, they might as well do some good while they are at it.

    Everybody but the pure anarchists happy?

    Kevin

  • ||

    Thanks, James. I'm as much a "fundamentalist" as the next libertoid, enough to have given up on the Republicans the day after Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford. But I am also a supporter of various gradual steps to minimal government, foremost among them school choice. We didn't get mired in the quicksand of a metastisized state instantly, and we won't cut out its tumors in one swoop, either.

    Now, about selling the roads....

    Kevin

  • ||

    Any who would presume to pass judgements on the moral character of the tourist in question based upon this short piece is a pompous ass. It is quite doubtful that he is going to be gawking at corpses while loved ones grieve. Anyone who believes that a couple weeks of lost revenue is not critical to small business owners and employees (food stand operators, jitney drivers, etc.) is simply too stupid for words, or has led such a sheltered existence as to be completely useless as writer. Cavanaugh should resign, and take up a task better suited for him, although anything involving more effort than inheriting wealth would likely be too difficult.

  • ||

    as a strange example of what i'm talking about, i've argued with well-meaning liberal types, who generally dig non-censorship as a good thing, who were outraged that one private organization could appear to influence the FCC. But when mentioning a reduction or removal of the FCC, the argument suddenly became "without the FCC children will grow into amoral monsters." it is very very very very...strange.

  • ||

    "i submit that it is the weakness of western institutions undermined by individualism that allowed the fascists to rise, and has even now allowed a cadre of unvetted, unconservative nouveau fascists to come to power in the united states."

    Churches and Courts of Law are both institutions.

    When you used the words "institutions" and "individualism", what did you mean exactly?

  • ||

    It appears as if the Ayn Rand Institute has retracted their earlier op-ed on assistance to the tsunami victims. The link now leads to a different op-ed, and there is no mention of the original anywhere on their site.

    Nevertheless, CNSNews published it already. You can find the link and my response here:

    http://jameskielland.com/index.php?p=91

  • raymond||

    Just a minute ago a live interview with a Phuket resort owner was on TV. He said that if tourists stop coming - even for a while - that will cause great hardship.

    He quoted some Europeans who had written him saying "The Thai people have got better things to do than serve us." To which he replied, "No they don't. They need their jobs."

    Then the interview ended because Bush - who is there as a "disaster expert" - is giving a press conference. PR.

  • ||

    "Our friends think we're mad. The only risk we face I think is if there's another quake. We love the place that much and we thought we would take the risk," he said."



    The only question in this insensitive clod's mind appears to be whether he's in danger; the question of probity doesn't even appear to have occurred to him. For a tourist to say something like this, it's like the equivalent of picking his nose at the table--but much worse.

    I thought his safety was the only question in the minds of his friends. I guess I'm having a difficult time assuming he means 'I just can't wait to go relax on the pretty beach and to hell with their troubles' instead of 'I love the place and even though my friends think I'm insane, I'm going to go spend my money and show I'm not afraid to visit.'

    I know, it's because the guy drinks gin, right? He MUST be evil!

  • ||

    I imagine that marius had noticed how the social glue of Burke's "little platoons" eroded as a result of the effects of the French Revolution. Though I am an individualist, I do see the wisdom of guarding against a spread of anomie. The family and private associations are a check against that. The European branch of the Enlightenment was always more susceptible to conflating the state with society, an attitude that reached a terrible extreme in the Third Reich.

    Kevin

    (200 responses! What's the record?)

  • ||

    Here's a capitalistic argument for why tourists should stay away: The economic incentive to provide service to tourists is much greater than the economic incentive to do all the badly needed cleaning up.

    I don't see how it helps the Thai economy too much to serve this guy a gin and tonic when there are bodies to be buried, debris to be removed, buildings to be built, infrastructure to be replaced, etc, etc, etc. If labor is displaced from the hospitality industry for a few months after this, is it really so terrible? There is suddenly a lot of work to be done, after all, and this work will only be slowed down by a bunch of tourists coming in.

    Looked at another way, the massive inpouring of foreign aid can serve as a surrogate for the tourism industry during the coming months.

  • ||

    Neil,

    An excellent point! It should also be noted that Thailand's tourism industry only accounts for 6% of the economy.

  • ||

    After reading some of the posts i find my self agreeing that people should have there holidays but i feel at the moment it is too soon the people out there would love us ifmwe have booked holidays to go and help so wen we go back in the future the hotels etc are rebuilt.because at the end of the day without the tourists these people will have an even harder time of trying to rebuild there lives

  • Nike Dunk High||

    thanks

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