Friday, February 01, 2008

I Have a Study That I did Proving that I’m an Umbrella

Really. Never mind the pretense of good intentions, and look at how the spin is spun. It starts with this:

The US Trails Behind on Humanitarian Aid
Scary, hunh? Sure sounds that way. It was the derived conclusion found in a study of what’s called the “Humanitarian Response Index” done by an outfit called “Development Assistance Research Associates” which places the US at number 16.

It turns out that DARA is a Spanish government spin-off that gets its’ funds from the same “look at me, I giving this poor waif a cracker” operations doing something contractual and functional for them like management and working up studies. They are: The Spanish Government, The EU, The UN.

Now, take a look at what that “Humanitarian Response Index” registers. One would think that it has something to do directly with feeding, clothing, protecting, providing medical care... think again:
The established categories and their respective weights in the Index are as follows:
1. Responding to humanitarian needs (30%)
2. Integrating relief and development (20%)
3. Working with humanitarian partners (20%)
4. Implementing international guiding principles (15%)
5. Promoting learning and accountability (15%)
They gage MANAGEMENT, not AID. If they did, they would have to innumerate the heartlessness of most the people listed in their hall ‘o fame.

In other words, the services that DARA offers under contract using nebulous immeasurable indexes like “promoting” something and “partnering”. Stupider still they list among donating nations transnational bodies like the European Commission that aggregate member states’ activities which are also listed. It’s part of the same old gang-bang: Europeans may list themselves individually to pad it with names, and as the EC or EU to pad the scale. It’s no different that the occasional comparison of the population and economy of California to that of France, except in one way: we do it for fun. Americans don’t build news stories and statistical benchmarks that are supposed to be taken seriously. In fact most frequently, the references are used in the context of light entertainment and comedy. Would any EU member state care to compare itself to a US state, knowing that it only represents PART of a nation that they terminally fixated on? Not likely.

Then they dress it us as actually being the aid that they make a living off of managing. Nice trick. Better still the goal in any event is to win a beauty contest of apparent compassion, not with those needing aid, but the public and the repugnant elite at home that think that this sort of index reflects on their own generosity as a society.

But if you want to take the actual rankings seriously, one finds that the greatest difference is still WITHIN the Euro-pantheon of eternal goodness tells you a great deal more about what’s going on. In any event, there is a 18% difference in the indexed score of the 5 low-population European states with everyone below them. The difference between the large states are far more telling. Averaging the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy who in aggregate have a larger population that the US, and also represent the overwhelming majority of the scale of Europe’s people places them greatly below the US. But somehow you still get:
The US Trails Behind on Humanitarian Aid
Yes. Yes. Of course. Tossed in among the other items studied with the same depth in the newspaper... Look here Karl-Heinz, a sale at karstadt!