Fields: Wasted Millions In Haitian Relief No Surprise








A couple of weeks after the January 2010 Haitian earthquake I wrote tongue-in-cheek piece called “News Of The Future”.

Pretending to be written in 2015, it quotes a fictitious General Accounting Office report concluding that 90% of all Haitian aid money was: “…misspent, stolen or is simply unaccounted for.” There was some confusion in the report as to whether the remaining 10% was “’pissed away or simply flushed down the crapper’”.

I now wish to apologize for that column which is linked here. 

I grossly underestimated the ability of Haitians and their aid partners to waste American aid money.

This month the ProPublica investigative news site and NPR reported that in 2011 The Red Cross was put in charge of a $500,000,000 (That’s half a billion dollars) to construct and repair housing for 130,000 Haitians.

They built 6 houses and the money is all gone!

My first thought is that they constructed the six on The Hillsboro Mile or Palm Beach. Wrong.

Ultimately, I concluded, we will find out where the $$$$ went on the same day they locate Jimmy Hoffa and The Lost Dutchman Mine.

(Special Note: In the original draft of today’s column, I wanted to compare The Red Cross and its CEO Gail McGovern to FIFA and its President Sepp Blatter. I edited that out when I was threatened with a defamation lawsuit…by FIFA.) *

As the FIFA spokesman said to me: “Sure we stole. But we always put on The World Cup…which is more than you can say for The Red Cross.”


FPL’s Edifice Complex — Redux


Apparently Florida Power and Light executives have never heard of the economic principle of “economy of scale”. Perhaps, as a monopoly, they just don’t care. Perhaps they have a sub rosa motive to once again overpay for a solar energy system.

This time they are spending $7 million to install a 1.6 megawatt (1,600,000 watts) system at Florida International University.

That breaks down to a cost of $4.3 per watt. That only sounds good when compared to their Martin County project FPL built in 2011. That was $5.3 per watt plus decades of maintenance costs.

Back in 2011 you could put up a turnkey solar project, using the same off the shelf equipment they are now using, for $4 a watt. It’s what I did in 2012.

Currently, with the price of solar panels continuing to drop, you can do it for $3 a watt. Anyone in the industry will tell you a 1.6 million watt system would be even cheaper…if you cared to save money.

FPL does not. And they have a good reason.

There has been an ongoing battle of “centralized” versus “distributive” systems for generating electricity. Put another way, will FPL own everything and sell it to us or will people generate their own electricity and sell the excess to the highest bidder. [If enough signatures are gathered, it will be on the ballot in 2016.]

You can probably guess which side FPL is on.

FPL is willing to overpay for the FIU project to show the public and the Public Service Commission that “distributive” systems are not cost effective.

It’s a big lie.

In 2012 FPL was required to pay me $2 a watt to construct a 10,000 watt system. They do not have to put up another dime. I am required to sell excess electricity back to them for under market value. I alone am responsible for all maintenance.

Since December 2012 I have generated 32 megawatts (32,000,000 watts) from 34 solar panels on my roof. Put another way, my system has avoided 50,000lbs of Co2 and saved me thousand$$$.

In 2015, FPL, Tampa Electric, Duke Energy and the Southern Company’s Gulf Power have divided up Florida like Hitler and Stalin cut up Poland. (If that seems a little harsh, let me tone it down. How about Al Capone and Bugs Moran divvied up Prohibition Era Chicago?)**

Like Poland, there is a partisan/insurgent movement and it is called “distributive power”. It scares the hell out of Big Power.



*FROM BUDDY: A FIFA offficial has beern investigated over the disappearance of the money for Haitian earthquake relief raised by the soccer organization, according to the BBC. 

**FROM BUDDY: Actually, there are 34 municipal electric utilities also supplying power in the state.  They are responsible providing electricity to about 25 percent of Floridians. See the map here.   

6 Responses to “Fields: Wasted Millions In Haitian Relief No Surprise”

  1. zigy says:

    why are you surprised sam,, ita always the same, follow the money, I bet those responsible for the faulty system that resulted in the alleged Chinese hacking will all get their federal bonuses this year… so will the fbi which is investigating a baseball team for hacking the Astros instead of a winning team. the feds have been and will be as a rule inept..

  2. Tom Oates says:

    re: Wasted Millions In Haitian Relief No Surprise

    What a huge disappointment. Especially given the fact that there are charities who managed to do it right like Food For The Poor.

  3. Hillary4Prez says:

    I don’t know what squandered money you are referring to associated with Haiti Relief, Bill said he never seen any of it.

  4. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    I’ll bet Clinton got most of that money.

  5. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    ProPublica and NPR, yeh Mr. Fields, really “professional”, “disinterested” experts on foreign affairs! I can write a “ProPublica” or an “NPR” story blindfolded, which is how their “reporters”, usually working from somewhere other than where they are reporting about, write theirs. This is like quoting a Fox News report on anything the Obama Administration does, anything MS-NBC reports on the Republican dominated House of Representatives, etc. Both “institutions” have become so biased leftward and “anti-Establishment” that they left serious researched writing a decade or so ago. If you want to write about a foreign issue go to ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS, ORIGINAL REPORTS, not third hand or worse! And, by the way, once or twice a month I help my across the street neighbors unload a truck with supplies for Haiti my neighbors send back home, clothes, furniture, foodstuffs, all paid for by their modest incomes from working long hours. Their relatives and friends in Haiti use or giveaway the things that are sent, SO PLEASE DONT THINK BECAUSE SOME BIG SHOT IN A COUNTRY IS A THIEF ALL or EVEN MOST HAITIANS ARE THAT WAY, ALL THE HAITIANS I KNEW IN MIAMI BEACH and now FORT LAUDERDALE help their relatives and friends in Haiti for NO MONEY, just to be good RELIGIOUS PEOPLE like the Haitian Baptists in Fort Lauderdale. I guess being a non-believing Leftist you don’t know GOOD, DECENT PEOPLE!

  6. Jaden Elizabeth says:

    Leave it alone Sam, Buddy you too, between the two of you the IQ of political Broward has gone down a solid 20 points.