Richard Morse’s Haiti

You’ll have to click the link for the video since it won’t allow me to embed:

RAM is one of Haiti’s most successful music bands and Richard Morse is its frontman. Here Morse is our guide, sharing his perspective on his homeland with the camera. He shows us the fading glamour of his Oloffson hotel, once the haunt of celebrities, and the rickety shacks which crowd the roadsides as he drives through slum after slum.

The Hotel Oloffson was the inspiration for the fictional hotel owned by the protagonist in Graham Greene’s The Comedians and is one of the few hotels left standing in Port au Prince after last year’s earthquake.

From Wikipedia:

The Hotel Oloffson is an inn in central Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The main structure of the hotel is a 19th century Gothic gingerbread mansion set in a lush tropical garden. The mansion was built as a residence for the powerful Sam family, including two former presidents of Haiti. The hotel was the real-life inspiration for the fictional Hotel Trianon in Graham Greene’s famous 1966 novel The Comedians. Since 1990, the hotel has been the regular performance venue of the mizik rasin band, RAM, famous for their protest music during the Raoul C├ędras military dictatorship from 1991 to 1994.

The hotel’s website is here.

I started following Richard Morse’s twitter feed right after the quake and found his tweets were giving a clearer picture of what was going on over there even better than all of the media reports. His tweets still continue to paint a picture of Haiti’s political and social situations.

And here’s a video of him telling the history of his hotel and Haiti.

Wisconsin Church Members Charged With Abusing Infants

They were following the bible:

The pastor and seven members of a small church in central Wisconsin have been charged with using wooden rods to spank infants as young as 2 months old for “being emotional, grumpy or crying,” the Dane County Sheriff’s office said.

The Aleitheia Bible Church, in the town of Black Earth, was started in 2006 with a donation in the range of $500,000-$600,000 from Bob and Lori Wick of nearby Mazomanie, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

“During interviews with detectives, Phil expressed his belief that the Bible dictates the use of a rod over a hand to punish children. He stated that children only a few months old are ‘worthy’ of the rod and that by ‘one and a half months,’ a child is old enough to be spanked,” according to the sheriff’s office release.

“Throughout the investigation, the church members were open with detectives about their ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’ philosophy. They described using wooden dowels and wooden spoons on the bare skin of children, starting as young as 2 months old,” the sheriff’s office said.

“If you spank early and it is done right, then kids will be happy and obedient,” Philip Caminiti said, according to the criminal complaint.