Every year at this time, I, like countless other Americans, review my finances and figure out how much to give to the various charitable causes I support. As per my previous post, I am often annoyed that some groups which do good work show little respect for their contributors (and potential contributors) by regularly sending appeals for donations, sending unsolicited gifts and asking for more money in letters confirming a contribution.
In this post, I’d like to single out three groups which send out only a handful of solicitations each year (in the case of one group, no more than two) and whose thank-you notes are just that, thank- you notes and not appeals for contribution. They do good work by respectively, helping injured service members across the country, providing housing for the mentally ill homeless in Los Angeles and promoting free market ideas in our nation’s capital.
Of course, there are many groups out there which do good work. In my experience, these groups combine the good work they do for those in need of medical care, housing or an education in freedom while respecting those who want to help them meet those needs.
If your finances allow, be generous at this time of year, indeed, strive to be generous throughout the year. Even if you don’t support these groups, please find a worthy cause to support. Or a lonely friend to visit. It’s not just through our donations that we can show our generosity.
Today, I received a letter confirming a contribution I made to a charity I have long supported. Attached to this letter of gratitude was a solicitation for an additional contribution. Other charities send me regular snail mail, often in thick envelopes, marked with reminders to the Postal Service to handle the package with care as “free gifts are enclosed.”
Fancy writing on other packages indicates “Your FREE 2009 Wrapping Paper & Gift Tags Are Enclosed.” Others are marked “Urgent” while I received two solicitations from the same charity on one day. In many cases, I receive regular solicitations, often in thick envelopes from organizations I have never supported. One particular think tank in our nation’s capital regularly sends me 8 1/2″ by 11″ envelopes asking for my money. Some send me “gifts” they want to send back to them so they can send them along to soldiers or schoolchildren. It might save some expense if they didn’t first send such things to me.
I wonder how many trees were cut down for the regular 8 1/2″ by 11″ mailings I receive from the National Resources Defense Council (a group I never supported). Oddly enough, organizations I have never joined send me reminders to renew my membership while my apartment is cluttered with gift cards I never ordered, books I have yet to read, CDs I have yet to open and DVDs I have yet to watch, all sent to me, free of charge by groups about which I know little.
In one case, I received regular mailings from an organization I was convinced was a fly-by-night operation, using the stories of children with facial deformities in the third world to enrich scam artists on the East Coast. I later learned that group does very good work; they just have a very bad group of fundraisers. Indeed, I’m sure that many of these groups do very good work; it’s just that those in their Development Office (or those to whom they farm out fundraising) don’t have much respect for their potential donors. (more…)
Ten months ago, California’s junior Senator praised the Senate for passing the so-called “stimulus,” noting that the “$787.1 billion economic recovery legislation” was “designed to save or create millions of jobs“. She cited a White House prediction “that the legislation will save or create approximately 400,000 jobs in California.” Well, since her vote for the bill, the Golden State has lost 342,600 jobs.
That means that before Ma’am again faces the voters, she’ll have to find a way of creating nearly three-quarters of a million jobs, 742,600 to be precise.
Wonder what plans she has to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses, you know, those enterprises which create the most new jobs.
Looks like there’s something to our contention that the supposedly non-partisan Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is really just a gay auxiliary for the Democratic National Committee.
Checking out “HRC PAC records at OpenSecrets.org for the 2010 election cycle,” principled left-wing blogger Michael Petrelis finds that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) “is the largest recipient of HRC PAC money so far this year“. Scanning the HRC’s donations, I founds lot of donations to Democrats. Well, they did donate to one Republican, but practically the first thing that DIABLO did after dropping out of her special election contest in Upstate New York was to endorse a Democrat.
And HRC seems heavily invested in Ma’am’s re-election, donating $4,000 to “Friends of Barbara Boxer.” HRC and Ma’am do have a lot in common. They can raise a lot of sound and fury (and a huge chunk of change to boot), but don’t seem able to accomplish much. For her 17 years in the Senate, Ma’am has only seen three of her bills become law, while HRC has little to show for their bowing, scraping and fundraising for the Democratic Party.
We’re accused of being the party of no. . . . no is a wonderful word. When your child is misbehaving, you say no. When someone’s stealing liberty, you say no…Saying no at the right time saves lives. Saying no at the right time saves money…Saying no at the right time saves liberty.
Let the Democrats call us the Party of “No.” And we’ll tell them, as Tom Coburn has, what that “No” affirms.
‘Twas the Friday before Christmas, and not on the Senate floor
Was Harry Reid’s Health Care Bill available, nor its CBO score.
The Senators were pretending to ponder the issue with care,
With Democrats promising the legislation soon would be there.
Every step of the process needs to be transparent, and information regarding the bill needs to be readily available to our constituents before the Senate starts to vote on legislation that will affect the lives of every American. The legislative text and complete budget scores from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) of the health care legislation considered on the Senate floor should be made available on a website the public can access for at least 72 hours prior to the first vote to proceed to the legislation.
Wonder if these eight will refuse to vote for cloture until those 72 hours have passed after the release of the bill.
If Washington Democrats weren’t trying to nationalize one-sixth of the United States economy while giving government a greater say in the most personal decisions we make about our health, the current shenanigans in our nation’s capital would make for a fine farce, you know, to borrow a title, a real comedy of errors. The latest comes to us via Michelle.
Among the quirky films that have found the way to the top of my list of favorite movies is a little known (save to film buffs) 1948 picture, Portrait of Jennie, about Eben Adams (Joseph Cotten), a struggling artist, finding his muse, a woman (or is she just an image?) who helps him turn his raw talent into real accomplishment. Jennifer Jones, that muse, the subject of that portrait, died yesterday at her home in Malibu. She was 90.
Most obituaries mention the film only in passing (if at all). To be sure, her body of work was most impressive. She was nominated five times for an Academy Award, winning for her portrayal of Bernadette Soubirous in 1943’s The Song of Bernadette. But, I’ll always remember her portrayal of Jennie:
She plays the character with the same innocence she played Bernadette, but with an entirely different energy. There is something haunting about her appearance on screen, entirely appropriate because, if she is a real, she is a ghost, appearing only to the artist who will paint the portrait that will capture her beauty and secure his fame.
Those who warm to this movie find that her presence lingers long after the images have faded from the screen. Her presence is this movie is like a face in a painting that remains with you even when it (or a reproduction) is no longer in front of your eyes.
This is not to diminish the rest of her work, but only to draw to your attention to a too often neglected film. Hollywood has lost a legend this week. A truly talented actress has passed on, leaving us a number of great films and one particularly unusual one which really resonates for those of us fortunate enough to have seen it at turning points in our lives.