• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Our Right to Charity

The News: Due to the global economic crisis and falling oil prices, Venezuela-owned CITGO announced that it was dropping its "cheap heating oil program" which provided low cost fuel to 200,000 U.S. households. A spokesman for Citizens Energy Corp., which distributed the oil for CITGO, said the decision was a shock coming as it did "not only in the middle of the winter, but in the middle of an economic shot."

The Note: While the decision creates an indisputable hardship for the indigent recipients, the reaction seems to assume that we -- as Americans -- are entitled to charity. Does it ever occur to anyone in this country -- the foremost exploiter of other people around the world -- that maybe Venezuelans are having a hard time of it too? The cheek is astounding. Hugo Chavez got no thanks from us when he instituted the program. In fact, our media spat in his face and said the move was "just propaganda". Of course, that didn't stop us from quietly accepting the charity. Nor, apparently, does it stop us from raising a victimized wail when a global economic disaster we and we alone caused requires Venezuela to take measures to protect its own.