Sunday, January 24, 2010

Corporations are just like real people...but with more wealth, power, influence and rights (oh, and fewer responsibilities)

The recent Supreme Court majority opinion in the case of CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION now allows corporations unlimited power to influence elections through campaign contributions, advertising and other applications of their wealth. Justice Stevens was scathing in writing the dissenting minority opinion. The following are some excerpts taken from this opinion. The full text can be viewed at the U.S. Supreme Court website.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

White House Site

Help for Haiti: Learn What You Can Do

From the above link:

Donate $10 to the American Red Cross – charged to your cell phone bill – by texting "HAITI" to 90999.

(Phone companies have agreed to forward 100% of proceeds to the relief effort.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Money needed most in Haiti earthquake relief efforts



By Amy Zerba, Jacque Wilson and Christopher Dawson, CNN
January 13, 2010 7:35 p.m. EST

Agencies are asking for donations to purchase supplies for relief efforts in Haiti after Tuesday's earthquake.


(CNN) -- The next question on many people's minds after learning about the earthquake devastation in Haiti has been: How can I help? Most organizations are asking for monetary donations. They are not seeking material items, like clothes or food, or volunteers at this time.

These agencies have set up phone lines, online donation pages and even texting for individuals to contribute to their relief efforts. We've compiled a list of a few organizations who are in Haiti helping those in need.

These resources include the highest-rated charities by CharityNavigator.org, which is an independent, nonprofit organization that evaluates charity groups based on effectiveness and financial stability. These sites are vetted by CNN journalists for credibility.

For additional resources, go to Impact Your World

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross' primary focus during the initial response of an emergency is feeding, sheltering and supplying any other basic needs. To donate: Go to RedCross.org, hit donate now button at top and then International Response Fund. You also can text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the International Response Fund. The money will go directly to relief efforts in Haiti. Or call 1-800-Red-Cross.

AmeriCares


This nonprofit disaster relief organization delivers medicine, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis around the world. To donate, call 1-800-486-HELP or go to AmeriCares.org. Donations will go toward medicine and medical supplies and for expenses for providing that medical aid.

Care


This humanitarian organization's main focus is to fight global poverty, specifically by empowering marginalized women and girls. To donate to the Haiti relief fund effort, go to Care.org or call 1-800-521-CARE. Money will go toward food, water and sanitation, shelter and emergency health response.

Direct Relief International

Direct Relief provides medical attention to those in need on an ongoing basis and in emergencies. Monetary donations go toward medical aid, supplies and equipment in Haiti. To donate, go to directrelief.org or call 805-964-4767 and 800-676-1638, or go through Google Checkout.

Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders)

The humanitarian organization delivers medical care to people caught in crisis. Donations to its Haiti relief efforts will go toward repairing the obstetrics and trauma hospitals in Haiti that were damaged in the earthquake. They also will go to transporting an additional 70 doctors and medical supplies to the island in an effort to set up makeshift emergency medical response centers. To donate, go to doctorswithoutborders.org or call 1-888-392-0392.

International Medical Corps


This emergency response agency focuses on health in emergency situations. Monetary donations go toward purchasing medical supplies, medicine and emergency kits and transporting these supplies. 1-800-481-4462 or go to imcworldwide.org

Medical Teams International


The Christian global health organization sends volunteer medical teams and supplies to those in the midst of disaster or poverty. Monetary donations will go to supporting the medical teams being sent to Haiti and to the cost of shipping the medical supplies donated by corporations. Donate by going to medicalteams.org and clicking on the "Donate Now" button, or call 1-800-959-HEAL (4325) or send a check to Medical Teams International, P.O. Box 10, Portland, OR 97207.

Mercy Corps


The organization provides humanitarian assistance and economic opportunities in the world's toughest places, specifically those dealing with poverty, conflict and instability. To donate, go to MercyCorps.org. Money will go toward immediate humanitarian needs in Haiti, which may include, food, water and temporary shelter.

Operation USA

The international relief agency provides funding for reconstruction and development aid to communities that have experienced disasters, disease and poverty. For its Haiti relief efforts, the agency plans to use donations for health care materials, water purification supplies and food supplements. To donate, go to opusa.org or call 1-800-678-7255, or mail a check to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.

Save the Children

The independent organization focuses on children in need in the U.S. globally through programs for health and nutrition, child protection and education. To donate, go to savethechildren.org and look under "latest news" for the Haiti press release, which has a link to the donation page, or call 1-800-728-3843 or 203-221-4030. Donations will go toward purchasing relief items, such as hygiene kits, family kits (pots, pans, food preparation items) and tarps.

The Salvation Army


The Salvation Army's mission is to provide food, shelter, clothing and spiritual comfort during disasters. To donate money, go to salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Make sure you designate the donation for "Haiti Earthquake." Money will go to the Salvation Army in Haiti, which will determine the country's immediate needs, including water, food, medicine and transportation.

Shelterbox

The nonprofit delivers boxes of supplies to families of up to 10 people. The boxes contain a tent and essential equipment to use while individuals are displaced or homeless. To donate, call 941-907-6036 or go to shelterbox.org.

U.S. Fund for UNICEF


The national committee for UNICEF is responsible for the organization's fundraising. UNICEF uses the money for health care, clean water, nutrition, education and emergency relief. To donate, go to Unicefusa.org or 1-800-4-UNICEF.

World Food Programme


The food assistance agency's main focus is to fight hunger worldwide. The organization is working to bring food to Haiti. To donate, go to wfp.org.

Yele Haiti


This organization, founded by Wyclef Jean, creates projects to improve the quality of education, health, environment and community development in Haiti. To donate to to its Haiti relief efforts, go to yele.org or text YELE to 501501 to donate $5.

Friday, January 01, 2010

MMX

Welcome 2010.

It has been a nice run: nearly five years away from the corporate workplace, and all but a brief stretch with no "boss" at all (save those forces that govern us all.) But my savings are nearly exhausted. Two months' rent remain, or maybe several months' food. But not both. I've jettisoned nearly everything I can.

"Decisions" must be made. A new direction chosen. Whatever awaits, it will be interesting - and uncomfortable. And that is a good thing.