I Don't Like Zeroes!

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Shocking news today from Italy where an earthquake of significant magnitude struck the country causing massive devastation. As of 8 p.m. more than 150 people had been confirmed dead and early reports say thousands are injured and several villages in the Old Country may have been completely destroyed.

Obviously our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone suffering- from residents and American citizens on holiday, to those involved in the recovery effort- it appears it will be quite an undertaking.

As I surfed the Internet earlier today, I came across a news brief that the United States had pledged $50,000 in aid to Italy. What? Is that in Lira, and what does that equate to over there? Oh yeah, I forgot, it’s the Euro now, which means even less cash.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in the earthquake. Our embassy in Rome will provide 50,000 (dollars) in emergency relief funding," State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

Jumping on this early I run the risk of looking like a fool in three days time when the government pledges a few hundred million to help out, but I am willing to take the risk.

You see shortly after President Barack Obama took office he signed an order directing more than $900 million to Palestinian Authority to help with the recovery efforts in Gaza. You will recall that a few weeks later a government official claimed our allies in Great Britain were just the same as any other country in the world following a botched visit by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Now apparently Italy is the getting the same “old" "allied” "treatment."

If you’re keeping track, that’s $900 million for the suicide bombers blowing their own families up in the name of Allah, and $50,000 for our Italian friends suffering from a natural disaster.

In an effort to give the President the benefit of the doubt, I’m going to give him his out. In fact, he can plug this right into the teleprompter on Wednesday when he resurfaces from prayer in Turkey, and gives this address to the world.

“My fellow citizens of the world, I want to take a moment to explain to each of you why the United States is only providing $50,000 in aid to our great allies in Italy following the massive earthquake there earlier this week. You see, I am by nature, an optimistic person. And the number zero really gets me down. What we have to ask is, is zero even a number? Is it? This is what needs to be discussed during this tough time.

So we stand by our allies and offer our full support, but only whatever $50,000 buys these days. You see, 4 zeroes, is better than 7 zeroes, and definitely better than 8. I’m sure I don’t even need to tell you about 9, unless of course you happen to be a non-for-profit agency sanctioned by the government, then I have a lot of zeroes for you. Of course, those are the good zeroes, you know, the zeroes that buy votes. In closing, I just don’t like zeroes.

Thank you, and enjoy the opening of the Masters- it is a tradition like any other. I have Tiger in the White House pool.”

And there you have it.

I’m insulted that this great country would insult another country by releasing a statement saying we would send $50,000 while its people are buried beneath rubble. It’s pathetic, and people can continue to overlook this and claim it is partisan. It is anything but.

The only question left will be whether or not the real explanation will be as entertaining as the above faux speech? Well two questions, actually. How much would that original sum have totaled if it occurred in the homeland of one of our true allies? Say Iran, for instance.

Stay tuned.

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