Aid and relief agencies are rushing to assist the people of Haiti after yesterday's devastating earthquake. But they can't do it without you or, more accurately, without your money. Although it's really easy to donate your dollars, it is unimaginably difficult to actually help people. The best fund raisers in the business are not the best relief workers in the business.
If I learned one thing during nearly 18 years as an aid worker and journalist in Africa it is this: Nothing is simple. Helping people is much more complicated than just delivering food and medical supplies. To accomplish these tasks with even moderate success requires tact, skills, knowledge, and political savvy that can't be learned from books and newspapers.
So take a minute. And take some responsibility. As a donor, you are responsible for what is done with your money. And the wide range of organizations who need your money aren't going to do the same things with it. And how do you know what your favorite charity is planning to do in Haiti? Ask them. Demand that they put the information on their websites and in their PR material. It's not enough that they slap pictures of suffering Haitians online.
What do you need to know? First and foremost, is your favorite charity already working in Haiti? Have they had personnel there for years, with contacts in affected areas? Do the really know the country and the local leaders who will help deliver aid quickly and equitably to those who need it most?
Originally created to capture reviews for restaurants, hotels, and services, Survey on the Spot’s first phone application rolled out in November 2009. Now is shaping up to be the perfect time for the feedback interface to include airport security in its fold.
USA Today | WASHINGTON — President Obama, declaring that the "buck stops with me" when it comes to protecting the nation from terrorists, ordered stepped up aviation security and released a declassified report on intelligence failures behind the near-catastrophic Christmas Day attack.
Under the directives issued Thursday, airline passengers will face more pat-downs and many will be put through body-scanning machines in coming months while counterterrorism officials revamp the government's terrorist watch lists and establish clearer lines of accountability to follow intelligence leads about plots.
The Globe and Mail | Airline passengers heading to the United States met increased security screening Monday in airports around the world following U.S. requests for stricter checks after a Nigerian man allegedly tried to ignite explosives on a flight to Detroit.
Pakistan's national airline said it was intensifying security checks for U.S.-bound passengers, even though there are no direct flights to the States from Pakistan. Screening was also stepped up for those flying to the U.S. from other parts of Asia and the Middle East.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said people flying into the United States from countries such as Nigeria, Yemen, Pakistan, Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria are to face the extra screening, which is likely to annoy passengers already facing intrusive security procedures.
The Wall Street Journal | The Obama administration said Monday it would begin levying hefty fines against U.S. airlines for subjecting domestic passengers to lengthy tarmac delays, the government's latest response to a series of high-profile incidents.
The new rule adopted by the Department of Transportation sets fines of as much as $27,500 per passenger when airlines leave fliers stuck on a plane on the ground for more than three hours. Based on a delayed plane carrying 120 passengers, the fine could be as much as $3.3 million. The rule would apply to planes with more than 30 seats.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday announced the three-hour limit and other new passenger protections long sought by consumer advocates. From January to June this year, 613 planes were delayed on tarmacs for more than three hours.
I'm a huge fan of flying United to SFO—the PS flights are my favorite. Another enticement has sweetened the deal: SFO's Terminal 3, the United terminal, has some terrific new food and shopping options.
Have someone on your list that never gets out of bed? Give the Heavenly Travel Blanket from Westin Hotels! They can literally take the bed with them. Plus, the blanket tucks into a nifty compact travel pillow.
I have a bee in my bonnet lately about something: When did everyone lose their manners? In the span of ten years, everyone—from the undergrad to the blue-haired grandma—has a wireless device. And everyone seems to be blabbing on it with no regard for their fellow human beings. Cell phone etiquette is at an all time low, if you ask me. And nothing puts my nerves to the test more than having to endure some type A conducting a full-scale business meeting at high volume three feet away from me on the train, in the airport, or on an airplane before it takes off. What will happen when cell phones are fully operable on planes in flight?
Which brings me to the point of my rant: Thank God for Amtrak’s Quiet Car. It’s the one place left on earth where it’s fully permissible to shush your neighbor when he or she answers that cell phone (usually following some really annoying, personalized ring).