A New Jersey couple who raised $400,000 to help a homeless man who helped the girlfriend when she ran out of gas was ordered to give the rest of the money to the man. Homelessness isn’t always about lack of money. Some homeless people have deeper issues that a GoFundMe drive can’t help. Think twice before projecting your own biased ideas on others without asking.
Republicans think they can get elected in 2014 if we have more of these soup lines
The Congress is considering a Farm Bill right now that could cut $20 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which is also known as Food Stamps. It is part of the social safety net where the government provides some help for people to buy food when they are poor or have low income. The reason for the cuts is the same tired false assumptions Republicans make about poor people. Many in the GOP claim that Food Stamps make people dependent on the government, the program is being abused, or worse that charity will cover the need. Like all GOP claims, their attack on food assistance is full of crap.
Vanguard, on Current TV, is like 60 Minutes on steroids by focusing on one issue for the whole hour. After the Current TV special on the GOP Iowa debate held Saturday night, Vanguard showed a program titled “Two Americas” that compared and contrasted two families on either end of the income scale. One brief statement from the unemployed Dad parroted the views expressed by Ron Paul – that the social safety net should taken down and poor people supported by charity. His comments showed the disconnect I’ve seen before by poor Republicans who keep voting for cheap labor conservatives who steal from the 99% and give to the 1%.
The unemployed family of four moved to Houston, TX to get work after the Dad lost his $55,000 construction superintendent job. The Mom had just lost her $12 an hour job the previous month and the family was living on approximately $19,000 a year in unemployment – of course until it runs out. The other family of four had a Dad who is president and CEO of an energy trading company.
On the talk show Countdown with Keith Olbermann, there was an interview with President Bill Clinton about his world charity efforts through the Clinton Global Initiative. One of the programs Clinton wrote about in his recent book “Giving” was about the website Kiva.org
We let you loan to the working poor
Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you’ve sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.
It is called microfinance where people are looking for financing for their ideas and businesses but the amount needed isn’t the amount a typical bank would loan, if they would qualify, but if they could get it, it would make a huge difference in their lives.
It is a loan so you can get your money back and can loan it out again to another business if you want.
To me this is a classic application of the Humanist philosophy. People are responsible for their own actions and you show compassion for and interest in the human condition.
Six degrees of Kevin Bacon is a game created by some college students a long time ago. The premise was that any actor in history could be connected to the actor Kevin Bacon and the challenge was to make the connection in as few steps as possible. For example, one of my favorite actors is silent era star Louise Brooks. She has a Bacon Number of 3 (although one of the links I was not aware of at all).
Louise Brooks (I) was in Who’s Who in the Zoo (1931) with Billy Barty
Billy Barty was in Harum Scarum (1965) with Suzanne Covington
Suzanne Covington was in Beauty Shop (2005) with Kevin Bacon
Anyway, this past week Kevin Bacon used that game concept and applied it to giving to charity in association with the website Network for Good. They created a Charity Badge program. People who pick and donate to charities listed with Network for Good can post a graphic in support of their charity on their blog or website. The twist is that you can find a badge created by your favorite celebrity and post that one instead.