Big Tech For Voter Suppression

Do you use Facebook?

We all use Google.

What do you think of all the voter suppression in many states?

How does all these questions relate?

In the first quarter of 2021, Facebook, Google, and several other major American companies donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Republican political group that advocates for voter suppression laws around the United States.

Facebook donated $50,000, and Google donated $20,000, according to a new report from Popular Information, alongside a $50,000 donation from AT&T and $100,000+ donations from two major pharmaceutical companies: Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca.

The organization that received those donations — the Republican State Leadership Committee — describes itself as, “the largest national organization focused on electing Republicans to state offices in every corner of the nation.”

The RSLC supports Republican candidates that have supported voter suppression laws, and itself advocates for said laws.

https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-google-donated-tens-of-thousands-to-republicans-this-year-2021-4

So the very sites that you use to stay in touch and/or get information have spent time and money helping these voter suppression laws by Repubs get passed.

Then there is AstraZeneca…the vaccine hero for the pandemic…….helping save lives all the while working to help suppress the vote….a perfect example of the slim in corporate world.

Facebook and the others were not alone….

Since 2015, AT&T, Comcast, UnitedHealth Group, Walmart, and other big businesses have donated a combined $50 million to state Republican lawmakers who are currently supporting voter suppression bills across the United States—generous political spending at odds with recent corporate efforts to rebrand as defenders of voting rights.

A new report (pdf) released Monday morning by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen found that during the 2020 election cycle alone, U.S. corporations donated $22 million to Republican architects of voter suppression bills that are advancing through state legislatures nationwide.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/05/follow-money-corporations-gave-50-million-gop-lawmakers-behind-voter-suppression

Read the pdf and weep for our nation.

You still think these sites are indispensable to your life?

Maybe it is time to stop letting these corporate slugs run and ruin your life.

Thoughts?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–15Mar21

No secret that I am a dog person……some of my best friends have been canine…..I try to support the local humane society…I seldom donate to a national organization simply because I do not trust them to use my donation wisely….I have read horror stories that tell of about 70% of donation go to admin salaries and such….they get nothing from me….nothing at all!

What prompted me to write this post was something I read about a Dog Rescue Charity…..seems this one is funneling money to Donald the Orange……

A dog rescue charity with links to Lara Trump has spent as much as $1.9 million at former President Donald Trump’s properties over the last seven years and will drop an additional quarter-million at his Mar-a-Lago country club this weekend.

According to a permit filed with the town of Palm Beach, Florida, Big Dog Ranch Rescue estimates it will spend $225,000 at the club where Donald Trump has taken up full-time residence since leaving the White House. All the profit from that spending winds up in his pocket.

Internal Revenue Service filings show that the group has spent as much as $1,883,160 on fundraising costs at Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s golf course 18 miles north in Jupiter starting in 2014. Lara Trump, the wife of Eric Trump, started being listed as a chairwoman for charity events in 2018, and the group’s president, Lauren Simmons, visited the White House in 2019 for the signing of a bill addressing animal cruelty.

https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/lara-trump-mar-a-lago-dog-rescue-charity-232906971.html

Now you see why I do not trust most so-called charities….

This is pathetic that people would support a charity that profits a person not the animal that it was chartered to do.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Look Before You Give

By now the whole world has seen the horrific photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey….

The donations are poring in…..my neighborhood, which was hit hard by Katrina, has started clothing drives, food drives……all Americans need to pull together and help where they can.

Most people are donating money to the various charities that work during the disaster after math……but you need to be careful with these also….I wrote about the trouble the the American Red Cross is having……

Source: Closing Thought–30Aug17 – In Saner Thought

My family donates to the Salvation Army and the SPCA……

After the disaster in Haiti years ago the Red Cross got a bit of a bad name……some felt that it was undeserved criticism…..but after I watched an interview with a leader of the ARC I am not so sure……

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many have criticized the American Red Cross, with Facebook and others even directing those who want to help to donate to a different charity. The criticism isn’t new: As NPR notes, there have long been reports that ARC misstates how donor dollars are used, or uses a significant percentage of that money on internal expenses. NPR’s Morning Edition host addressed those criticisms Thursday with Red Cross VP Brad Kieserman, but Kieserman couldn’t say what percentage of donations will go toward Harvey relief. “I don’t think I know the answer to that any better than the chief fundraiser knows … how many emergency response vehicles I have on the road today. So I think if he [were] on this interview and you were asking how many relief vehicles in Texas, I don’t think he’d know the answer and I don’t know the answer to the financial question, I’m afraid.”

Questions on high administrative costs reported on in the past led to a similar answer: “It’s not something I would have any visibility on. I can talk about what it costs to deliver certain relief services.” He continued to say that, no, he “really” doesn’t know what portion of donations goes to relief, though he did say that as of Wednesday morning the ARC had spent $50 million on Harvey relief. “We are committed … to using our resources and donor dollars in a way that best helps the people of Texas,” he said. “The folks I work for are very, very attentive to cost effectiveness and cost efficiencies in making sure that as much as every dollar that we spend on an operation is client-facing.” The organization’s president and CEO, Gail McGovern, was on CBS News Thursday defending the ARC, and she said that on average, 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends goes toward its services for victims.

Do your research before you throw your money at these people……but do not get discouraged……Harvey victims are in dire need of your help.

Please do what you can.

Closing Thought–30Aug17

Your Assistance Is Needed!

By now even the dullest of person has seen the disaster that is the Texas after math of Hurricane Harvey.

Many Americans will be compelled to send aid or donations to help these people…there are many organizations that will help and if one is so inclined then this article in the NY Times will help.

Explains the organizations that are in the mix and some tips on what to watch out for in the cons come out in droves…..

If you’re outside the affected area, here are options to help. (If you’re in Texas and displaced by the storm, here’s how to get help.)

If your choice is the American Red Cross then maybe this is something that you need to know…..

Hurricane Harvey has devastated Texas, and it’s natural to want to help. But don’t try to help by donating money to the American Red Cross, journalist and author Jonathan M. Katz writes on Slate. The disaster relief organization may be iconic, but it’s far from effective, Katz notes, running down a list of issues the ARC has had, starting with the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The ARC raised $488 million, but it couldn’t quite figure out what to do with the funds. “ARC isn’t a medical aid group a la Doctors Without Borders. It doesn’t do development work or specialize in rebuilding destroyed neighborhoods,” Katz writes. And what it does do best—provide immediate emergency aid like blankets and temporary shelter—didn’t come close to costing $488 million. Two years after the quake, just a third of the money had been committed.

The ARC has been similarly ineffective in responding to US disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. The truth is, the organization is great at raising money, Katz says, but it fails to inform the public it doesn’t actually need nearly as much money as it raises, and after the money has been raised, the ARC isn’t transparent about what it’s used for. There are multiple other issues, including the fact that no regular independent evaluations of the organization are done. Looking at the bigger picture, though, Katz argues that our entire way of handling disasters is wrong, and what we should be doing is working to prevent them, or at least mitigate their impact. We need to look ahead to things like “the growing risk of a major Oklahoma earthquake,” Caribbean tsunami, and other potential disasters and bring “lots of attention to helping those areas adapt for the future.” His full column.

That is one person’s opinion…..

Me?  I donated to Salvation Army and SPCA

Please help if you can these people are suffering and need our help.

No Faith In A Clinton Presidency

The 2016 election is starting to look like the players for prez will be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (yuk on both counts).

It is no secret that I do not want Hillary to be president: she is a damn sight better than the alternatives in the GOP, but I just do not trust her as far as I can spit her or her family.

Yes, she has experience from being the First Lady, a Senator and the Sec of State–but at what price?

– US First Lady: 1993-2001 – Senator for New York: 2001-2009 – US Secretary of State: 2009-2013

My main concern in this election is the foreign policy that the country will be forced to follow with the new dude/dudette as leader….

Who will they be working for?  Will our foreign policy reflect undue influence from foreign players?  What influence, you may ask?

Just what sort of promises were made to these players?

I do not trust her decisions or her intentions…..

For instance….her words on the Libyan conflict.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton loudly defended her push for the 2011 NATO war of regime change in Libya last night, insisting “we didn’t lose a single person” in the conflict. Clinton was Secretary of State at the time, and a loud proponent of the war.

Did she forget about 4 Americans that lost their lives?

She has been criticized for her support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq….sje has tried to explain it away but these words say it all….

“Part of what certainly influenced me” to support the Iraq war was George Bush pledging billions to rebuild New York after 9/11 a year before her vote, Hillary Clinton said last night. The comment is getting a lot of attention: folks are asking whether Hillary Clinton got bribed to support the Iraq war.
Apparently she can be bribed as the info-graph has illustrated.  Cash appears to be more important than American lives.

You may not care but if she is elected I will be watching the Geopolitics to see who gets what good deal.

She is a neocon, yes it is possible to be a Dem and a neocon.  Her foreign policy will not bode well for the US on the international stage..it is that simple!

Americans will be asked to pay for her decisions…..in blood!

Where Does Your Donation Go?

Let wish all you FATHERS and very happy Father’s Day……..enjoy your day……

I am not one that gives easily…..I check out almost anyone that ask for money…..sorry but I do not trust blindly no matter who asks.  I have seen good stuff done by these charities and I have seen crap done…..after Katrina there was a wealth of people looking for donations and much of it never made it South…….

The Red Cross did an excellent job as far as I could see after Katrina…..they were there in numbers and did amazing work…..so when I read a piece about them and Haiti I was surprised to say the least…….

The American Red Cross raised nearly $500 million after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, but what happened to the money? According to an NPR and Pro Publica report, the organization claims to have provided 130,000 people with homes but in fact built only six permanent homes. The Red Cross says land-rights issues hindered its efforts, but reporters found other problems, like lengthy bureaucratic delays, changes in staffing, and a full year in which nothing happened. “They never had a real plan for what they wanted to do in housing,” says Lee Malany, who was in charge of the organization’s Haiti shelter program. He says Red Cross leadership, including CEO Gail McGovern, seemed more concerned with publicity than project details.

NPR and Pro Publica look at the struggling Haitian community of Campeche, part of a Port-au-Prince neighborhood where the Red Cross promised to spent $24 million on rebuilding—but residents say it never happened. The Red Cross reacted with an email that accused reporters of “creating ill will in the community, which may give rise to a security incident. We will hold you and your news organizations fully responsible.” The Red Cross also says it provided Haitians with temporary housing, rental assistance, clean water, vaccinations, sanitation, and other services (but won’t give details on projects or expenses). A press conference about the report got heated in Haiti this week, Pro Publica reports, and NPR says there may be a Congressional hearing. Click to see the Red Cross’ full response.

What happened to the money?

I suggest that everyone pay close attention to the charities that they give to……all may not be as it appears…….look for the “hinkey”……………please give but give wisely.

Malala: A Woman Of Destiny

There comes a time when the young need to step forward and show the rest of humanity what is right…..Malala Yousafzai is such a person.

This young lady deserves every prize given by humanity to those that put humanity first…..and she shows the world again how a responsible person acts…..

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani education campaigner shot by the Taliban, has donated $50,000 (nearly £31,000) towards the reconstruction of schools in Gaza.

The Nobel peace prize winner, speaking after receiving the World Children’s Prize for the rights of the child in Marienfred, Sweden, on Wednesday, said the money would be channelled through the United Nations relief agency UNRWA to help rebuild 65 schools in the Palestinian territory.

Malala, who now lives in the UK and has her own fund to help small-scale organisations in a number of countries, including Pakistan, told journalists that children in Gaza had suffered from conflicts and war. The money would help children get “quality education” and continue their life, knowing they were not alone and that people were supporting them, she said.

Where are all the ‘responsible’ individuals?  I am talking about the individual making a difference not some for profit corporation that receives a tax deduction for their “gifts”.

She has my vote, if anyone is asking, for Woman Of The Year.

The world needs more people like this wonderful young lady.  If we had more then this conflicted planet would be a much better place to live..

Evolution Of The “Bag Man”

This election we have those darn Super Pacs that are all the rage……unlimited amounts of money used for political purposes…..to be fair…candidates are not suppose to lead these organizations in any way…,but there are ways around any regulation on campaign funds……but where did this all begin?

First of all, what is a “bag man”?…….an advocate who represents someone else’s policy or purpose; “the meeting was attended by spokespersons for all the major organs of government” or Any person in charge of organizing and collecting contributions to political parties or funds gathered for political reasons. These contributions may be legitimate or illegitimate.

Back in the day, money was collected by campaign friends and put into paper bags and was then doled out as needed….sometimes legally and often times not so legal ways and for not so moral purposes……then in the 60’s and 70’s the paper bag was replaced by the attache case….but the reason and the use were the same….so legal and some illegal.  And then came Nixon and his posse at CREEP (Committee For Re-Election of the President)….after Watergate money in campaigns came under more scrutiny….and that was the day until the cash started infiltrating back into political campaigns back in the 90’s and the 2000’s….and then SCOTUS ruled that corporations were people and as such could donate and donate and donate….and there is where we are today…….special interests can donate unlimited amount of funds to be used by Super PACs in support of a candidate……

There is the evolutionary cycle of the use of a “Bag Man”……..from the sleazy cash in paper bags used for purposes that may not have been on the up and up to the more civilized attache case, but still just as sleazy and just as legally questionable to today’s Bag Man….the Super PAC.

Thanx to the use of a Bag Man, all our elections are nothing more than a political auction (thanx to Dylan Ratigan for the term) where the candidate that raises the most money wins the election….at least in 94% of the time……

Time to Get The Money Out of politics and return the government to the people!  PERIOD!

Oh Haiti! I Am So Sorry!

Think back about a year ago….a massive earthquake took out a large portion of the island nation of Haiti….you remember those days….celebrities getting their required PR photos taken….politicians handing out a couple of bottles of water so their photo-op looked good and so on….all the concern was basically a PR stunt…yes I said stunt…..

Only a small portion of the money pledged has made it to the country…..why?  Better yet…now that the sensationalism has subsided….NO one cares….it is sad and I apologize for the lack of compassion that the media and governments are showing toward the island….

And now…thanx for all the concern of the world a massive Cholera epidemic has engulfed the island….

Hundreds of protesters threw stones at UN peacekeepers, set up burning barricades and torched a police station in Cap Haitien.

Six UN peacekeepers were injured in the clashes, the UN said. At least 10 people were also injured.

As well as calling for UN peacekeepers to leave Haiti, demonstrators accused the government of “leaving the people to die”, the AFP news agency reported.

This will not be last incident of protesters and violence….the world has seen to it…….we should be proud of our governments….we opened our hearts and wallets to people that needed our help and the government have been nothing but pricks from the start……. after the photo-ops…….

Death Throes Of American Democracy

Since the very beginning there has been those detractors of American democracy that have predicted its demise…but few have been accurate until recently….the activist judges (to use a GOP slogan) on the Supreme Court have taken a step to finally end the government of the people, for the people and by the people…..

This from an article in the LA Times:

The ruling removes limits on corporations from spending their money on federal races, meaning that companies — and probably labor unions — will be free, for instance, to buy up advertising time days and weeks before an election to support or attack a potential candidate, perhaps creating slick spots with high production values similar to drug or car ads, or purchasing large blocks of network time.

Previously, federal law prohibited corporations and unions from using their treasuries to advocate for a specific candidate, allowing them to express themselves only through political action committees that were tightly regulated. They will still be prevented from donating money directly to campaigns even after today’s decision.

The question now is whether corporations and labor unions will take advantage of their new freedom. For the past decade, labor unions have been more aggressive than corporations in finding legal ways to fund independent political campaigns. But the relaxation of campaign-spending restrictions could clear the way for groups from all points along the political spectrum to spend more, and target more of that spending in the critical final days of a campaign.

This ruling is putting the very fabric of American democracy in danger….no longer will the people be the deciders…but rather the corporations will decide who rules and who gets what…..

The American will NO longer be a minor inconvenience to be tolerated; they will become insignificant to the political process…I have always said that Americans get the best government money can buy and now, thanks to the Supreme Court, I am proven right, yet again…..

The American voter will NO longer be relevant to the political process….more so than NOW!