The damage in the Philippines will never truly be fully tallied. This is destruction of biblical proportions. My wife watched the coverage on the Clinton News Network last night, and burst into tears on occasion. I spent some time on the phone with some sources who understand all too well how things work in the Philippine Islands.
The Marines and at least one Navy ship are either in country or on the way with food, medicine, and other vital supplies. Organizations like the Red Cross are going to be begging for money nonstop. Folks will contribute. That's when the fun begins.
A brief history of how things work in the Philippines.
No building codes. The majority of buildings are built of matchsticks, with inferior materials. This includes cement. Contractors will do whatever they can to cheapen up their cost while charging for first rate materials, with no regard for safety...only for their pockets.
The people in the Philippines could school any homey in Chicago, Nawlins, or DC about corruption. They are the true masters of corruption, from the President on down to the lowest local official.
I predict that there are nannies working in Makati who will be eating MRE's. Hundreds, if not thousands, of tons of rice will either go bad or be stolen while just sitting in warehouses. You will be able to buy body bags on the street. Cash contributions will primainly end up in the President's personal coffers. Less than half the aid given will end up where it is needed.
Once the waters subside, the scavengers will move in, retrieving anything of value. They will be forced to move in with dozers and bury bodies and debris in a common hole. Though there will never be a true body count, there will be well in excess of 100,000...maybe closer to 250,000.
If you have the means and desire to contribute, do so. But make sure you have a good idea that your contribution has half a chance of getting where its needed. Although not immune from corruption, going through a church may be one of the better bets.
Arguing with a Kansas State fan is like playing chess with a pigeon.
No matter how good you are, the pigeon is just going to s*** on the chessboard and strut around like it won anyway.