"Do or do not, there is no try." Thus says the second most famous Muppet ever.
As regular members and friends know, though not casual readers since they get no access to the relevant threads, I am something of a major supporter of Doctors Without Borders, to give it the name you are most familiar with. Medicines sans Frontieres if you want the original. They do good work. Vital work. How vital? Well, if they had more funding, the worries about the flow of illegal kids into the USA causing disease outbreaks would be moot. It wouldn't happen. The chain of infection would be broken in enough places that a massive outbreak simply would be impossible.
Sure, there would still be small and localized infections, but they would be exactly that. Small. And mainly down to the dipshits that think Jenny McCarthy can even spell science, never mind understand it. The anti-vac crowd. Vaccines work. They are comparatively cheap. So why isn't some philanthropic foundation bulk buying and bulk injecting? We got rid of Smallpox completely, world wide, by doing that in the freaking 70s!
It simply doesn't pay. That's the long and the short of it. A vaccine is usually a one off. Not always - yellow fever has to be renewed every ten years, for example, but that's one shot a decade. Not the 30 pills a day you have to take if you come down with yellow fever. Where is the profit margin in that? Drug resistant TB? It doesn't matter how drug resistant it is if you can't catch it in the first place. And drug companies spend a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of man years creating new drugs. They are not charities - sometime they are going to want to be repaid.
There are other things MsF does that are simple. Nearly every kid has worms or flukes, the MsF doesn't stay in the nice parts of town. The kids get dosed. The faces they pull are priceless, but that cup of reconstituted powdered milk goes down under stern eyes and the parents are warned there will be explosive results the following day, usually to much giggling. Costs about 4 cents a kid, and the kid can now actually get nutrition from what they eat instead of feeding a tapeworm or having their liver slowly destroyed before they get the chance to have their first beer.
Basic sanitation, discussed here: http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php/topic,143124
, is another biggie. You may think it's dead obvious to keep your outhouse away from your drinking water, but it were killing Americans well into the 20th Century. The true saviors of civilization and creators of the cities many of us rely on are not the architects or the banks or the business owners. It's the guys who drop into a manhole of nameless goop when there is a blockage and keep your flushes flushing. Close behind are the guys who check, clean and distribute the water. Clean water is not a right, despite what various articles about Detroit may have said - it's a need. Without it, you will die.
Every one of these things are cheap fixes. Bill Gates could probably vaccinate all of Africa with the change he digs out of his couch cushions. The cost of one Presidential trip to go play golf somewhere warm would cover clean water for a huge swathe of the third world. Get both Clintons together to give a speech and you have de-wormed every kid in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh for a year. I'd ask Al Gore for a contribution, but he drew septic tanks and he'd fill them with his speeches as fast as they were built.
So where, exactly, is the Left on this? These are not big government programs, it's penny ante shit. The Right does it's part, and more so - most of the aid shipments that come in are from church groups. Many of the volunteers are Libertarian, at least, though there are some Socialists. We try not to talk politics in that case.
The USA is - as a whole - possibly the most charitable nation on Earth. And most of the time, you are getting ripped off over it. Yet you continue, because it's the right thing to do, because you want to, and most of all because you are the most stubborn people since the Celts. You give your time - think of the person hours involved in even a simple food or clothing drive! You give your money - got some change from your coffee, it goes in the collection jar.
Now it's time to give your voices.
We all know there are "charities" that do nothing. 2 cents on the dollar go to the cause they are supposed to go to and the rest goes to admin staff. So post the honest ones here. It can be for anything, though I am personally more interested in stopping suffering in people.
And lurker/readers? If you have one you wish to add but don't feel like making an account, you can email it in.
All rights passed to gopbriefingroom.com. But - if you think it's worth while, post it everywhere.