Thursday, May 14, 2009

World Vision will not sponsor poor Jewish children

Most people are unaware of it but there are quite a lot of poor Israeli Jews. So in August 2006, I sent the following email to World Vision:

"I was thinking of helping a poor Jewish child in Israel. Do you have a facility for that?"

On 8.23.2006 I got the following reply:

"Thank you very much for contacting World Vision! I appreciate the time you took to communicate with us, and I am happy to respond. On behalf of World Vision, I want you to know how grateful we are for your interest in our organization.

World Vision always serves the most needy children in a community. We never choose to sponsor children on the basis of race or religion, but rather on poverty indices alone. We do have programs in Israel, including sponsorship which has been funded by World Vision Canada, but the worst poverty is in Palestinian areas. In this region, those areas are found in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem and are mostly occupied by Palestinian families.

World Vision United States funds sponsorship programs in other countries that include children from different religious backgrounds, including Jewish children. However, it is important to note that every child in our program has the same needs (they lack the basic essentials of life); a child's religion is not a criteria that is included when enrolled in our sponsorship program; therefore, we do not have a process or system in place to select a child for sponsorship based on race, religion, or political background.

Persons living outside the U.S. may sponsor a child through the World Vision office in the United States only with an international credit card. Unfortunately, due to shipping costs/constraints, international donors are not eligible to receive any premiums (for example, a free CD or stuffed animal). Currently monthly sponsorship rates are US$30.00 and Hope Children are $35.00.


Michael D. Restivo, Donor Contact Services, World Vision U.S.

World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. Motivated by our faith in Jesus, we serve the poor--regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity, or gender--as a demonstration of God's unconditional love for all people."

I wrote back saying: "Sorry you don't want my money"

On 8.29.2006 I received the following reply:

"Thank you for your return email. Yes, you are correct, it is not possible to choose a sponsored child through our organization based on his/her religion. However, in the future, you may be able to sponsor a child from our sponsorship projects located in Jerusalem/Westbank/Gaza. This option is not currently available due to the impact of the recent Middle East crisis. After this situation settles down, sponsored children from these projects may be available for sponsorship. Once again, it is important to note that we cannot and do not guarantee that sponsored children from these projects are of the Jewish faith."


Michael Restivo"

I dropped the matter at that time but I am putting the emails up now as an illustration of how "non-discrimination" can be used as an insidious mask for discrimination -- refusing to help a needy group because of their religion. If they really were a charity solely concerned with the welfare of poor children, they would be delighted to receive all donations, regardless of the religion of the intended recipients. It would have cost them nothing to honour the wishes of a donor in this matter but they would rather lose the donation than direct it to Jews. They are modern-day Pharisees: "Whited sepulchres", as Jesus called them.


Afghan-bound GIs Surge Ahead of Gear

Thousands of U.S. troops are being rushed to Afghanistan without the equipment they will need to fight an emboldened Taliban, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and military officials said Thursday. The equipment delay is "a considerable concern," Gates said as he toured a dusty forward base in south Afghanistan where some 200 newly deployed Marines and sailors are arriving each day as part of the buildup of 21,000 new U.S. troops.

Marines who arrived in southern Afghanistan this week mark the vanguard of the expansion Obama has ordered to reverse a war his commanders say they are not winning. Pentagon officials said the initial Marine units are small advance parties, to be followed by much larger waves of forces in the coming weeks. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe troop movements. "I heard this on several occasions today, that the equipment is coming in behind the troops and is not here and available for them when they arrive," Gates said at a news conference Thursday night in Kabul before a fly-around through bases in Afghanistan.

Gates attributed the delays to "the amount of equipment that has to be brought in and, frankly, the relatively limited infrastructure in terms of airfields and so on of how to get it in here." Despite concerns about pressing U.S. military needs in Iraq and insurgents' interference with supply lines, the real problem has been "more a logistical challenge than it is anything else," Gates said. He promised to pursue the problem after he returns to Washington on Saturday.

The scope of the equipment shortage was not immediately clear. One Marine corporal at Camp Leatherneck told Gates during a 15-minute town-hall meeting in sweltering heat that he needed more communications equipment. The Pentagon has already been grappling with how to beef up mine-resistant patrol trucks that have shown success in Iraq but are not resilient enough to withstand Afghanistan's hilly and rugged terrain.

The equipment shortage leaves U.S. troops vulnerable as the Taliban and other extremist groups are ramping up attacks with Afghanistan national elections approaching. In a chilling reminder of the risks U.S. troops face, Gates said casualties among American, Afghanistan and other international security forces are up 75 percent since the beginning of the year.

Brig. Gen. John Nicholson, commander of military forces in Afghanistan's southern region, predicted a surge of violence through the Aug. 20 elections. But Nicholson said he expects the attacks will cease once the Taliban understands that they cannot drive away U.S. and international forces. "There will be an increase in violence, initially, because the enemy will not easily give up their hold on the population," Nicholson told reporters at Camp Leatherneck. "But this will be a spike, not a continuous upwards slope." The United States is sending 21,000 troops to add to the 38,000 already in place.

Taliban forces show few signs of backing down as the U.S. ramps up its forces - underscored by the confrontation with American troops this week in the western Farah Province that resulted in the deaths of dozens of Afghan civilians. The incident, still under investigation by U.S. and Afghan authorities, came just days before Gates flew to Afghanistan, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met in Washington with President Barack Obama and other top U.S. officials as well as Pakistani leaders.

At Leatherneck, a Marine asked Gates if U.S. troops in Afghanistan might be sent into Pakistan for peacekeeping missions. Hours later, in Kabul, an Afghan reporter asked a similar question. In both cases, Gates said no. "I do not anticipate at all there will be American troops going into Pakistan from Afghanistan to deal with this problem," Gates said.




Tax Increases Could Kill the Recovery: "The barrage of tax increases proposed in President Barack Obama's budget could, if enacted by Congress, kill any chance of an early and sustained recovery. Historians and economists who've studied the 1930s conclude that the tax increases passed during that decade derailed the recovery and slowed the decline in unemployment. That was true of the 1935 tax on corporate earnings and of the 1937 introduction of the payroll tax. Japan did the same destructive thing by raising its value-added tax rate in 1997. The current outlook for an economic recovery remains precarious. Although the stimulus package will give a temporary boost to growth in the current quarter, it will not be enough to offset the combined effect of lower consumer spending, the decline in residential construction, the weakness of exports, the limited availability of bank credit and the downward spiral of house prices. A sustained economic upturn is far from a sure thing. This is no time for tax increases that will reduce spending by households and businesses. Even if the proposed tax increases are not scheduled to take effect until 2011, households will recognize the permanent reduction in their future incomes and will reduce current spending accordingly. Higher future tax rates on capital gains and dividends will depress share prices immediately and the resulting fall in wealth will cut consumer spending further. Lower share prices will also raise the cost of equity capital, depressing business investment in plant and equipment."

The budget cuts charade: “There are plenty of empty and annoying rituals in official Washington: the pompous playing of ‘Hail to the Chief’ when the president materializes; tiresome standing ovations during the annual State of the Union address; the State of the Union address itself. But among the most silly, at least in modern Washington, is the ritualistic axing of wasteful and superfluous federal programs in the president’s budget. Every president in recent memory, no matter the party, proposed bringing the hatchet down on wasteful, duplicative, anachronistic programs. And each president, when he did so, knew full well that none of the targeted programs would be eliminated or even cut, once Congress intervened.”

Britain's minimum wage rises by 7 pennies!: Britain's minimum wage is to increase to £5.80 an hour. The 7p rise was far less than unions had asked for. But yesterday's move, which will take effect in October, has angered business leaders who wanted a freeze on the rate to help companies cope with the economic downturn. The increase means adults working a 40-hour week will receive at least £232. From October next year, this adult minimum rate will apply to 21-year-olds as well. Their minimum wage is currently set at a lower rate - together with that of workers aged 18, 19 and 20. The Government said almost one million people will benefit from this year's increase after it approved recommendations from the independent Low Pay Commission.

Financial health of SSI, Medicare worsens: “The financial health of Social Security and Medicare, the government’s two biggest benefit programs, has worsened because of the severe recession, and Medicare is now paying out more than it receives. Trustees of the programs said Tuesday that Social Security will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in 2016, one year sooner than projected last year, and the giant trust fund will be depleted by 2037, four years sooner. Medicare is in even worse shape. The trustees said the program for hospital expenses will pay out more in benefits than it collects this year and will be insolvent by 2017, two years earlier than the date projected in last year’s report.”

UK: "Gorbals Mick" is a disgrace to his high office: "Ministers have told Gordon Brown that the Speaker of the House of Commons must go, amid growing concern within the Labour Party that it is unable to regain the initiative on expenses from David Cameron. Downing Street said that the Prime Minister thought Michael Martin was “doing a good job”. But within hours the Speaker was embroiled in his second spat with backbench MPs in 24 hours. The Speaker’s latest outburst was directed at David Winnick, the Labour MP, who asked Mr Martin to apologise for the way he had attacked two MPs in the chamber on Monday. Mr Martin replied that if any MP was unhappy with him, “then he knows what he must do” — a taunt that his critics should put up or shut up. Some ministers said privately that Mr Brown must meet David Cameron and Nick Clegg as soon as possible to decide how to oust Mr Martin. “He must be handed the pearl-handled revolver,” a senior member of the Government said. “He has to go. He has shown an astonishing lack of judgment.” The comments are an indication of the depth of anger at Mr Martin on the government benches. Many MPs believe that the rehabilitation of Parliament’s reputation cannot begin until he is removed, since the Speaker oversees the system of allowances, which is now discredited widely."

Stopping the snooping of police databases: “Information is power and law enforcement seems hungry for both. A recent report that police in Massachusetts pried into personal information about movie stars and sports heroes by trolling the Criminal Offender Record Information system is the latest example of the abuse that occurs when police and other government agencies have unchecked power to collect, use, and even share personal data about citizens. This kind of abuse doesn’t stop with the stars, and it doesn’t stop with CORI. The misuse of law enforcement databases, as reported by the state auditor, can have serious consequences for ordinary residents as well as celebrities. Unmonitored access to poorly regulated databases gives power to local law enforcement to pry into and share information about innocent people and potential criminals alike.”

Transportation alternatives: How others manage : “Transportation is the most important service function in the community. Unfortunately in America the transportation marketplace in most cities has been closed to private non government entities for a number of years. There are a few exceptions. Were we to open the transportation market to private mom and pop operations, or corporation we might find we have a powerful tool to put a significant dent in poverty. The government’s own research notes that certain groups in our society have poor access to transit services.”

Democrat wipeout planned for the 2010 mid-terms? "Senate's top tax writer said Tuesday that taxing employer-provided health benefits is a possibility as lawmakers search for ways to pay for overhauling the nation's health care system and to insure 50 million Americans who lack coverage - a stance that riles both business and union leaders and is at odds with some leading Democrats. At the last in a series of public forums on health care reform, Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said scaling back the tax-free status of employer-provided health care benefits must be considered."

Moral-values groups hail tax ruling: "In a move cheered by conservatives, the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that ministers and pastors do not risk losing their tax-exempt status for engaging in political acts on behalf of issues such as traditional-values advocacy. The IRS said in a letter to the Niemoller Foundation that the Houston-based nonprofit organization did not violate its tax-exempt status when it brought together pastors and politicians to champion moral issues during Republican Gov. Rick Perry's 2006 re-election campaign. Short of endorsing a particular candidate or spending substantial portions of their nonprofit budgets on legislative lobbying, ministers and their churches are free to engage in political acts on behalf of moral values, the IRS said. Clergy are also free to encourage their congregations' members to get out the vote based on those issues and values. The long-awaited IRS decision benefits Republicans, since religious conservatives constitute a large and influential bloc in the party's electoral coalition. Many political analysts in both parties have maintained that but for the active support of Christian ministers who spoke out for the same moral values that the Republican presidential candidate espoused, George W. Bush would not have won Ohio and, therefore, would not have been re-elected in 2004."

Extortionist lawyers: "Court cases get dismissed all the time, but rarely are dismissals as significant as the two lawsuits against Dole Food and other companies that were tossed recently by a California judge. Among other good things, the ruling is a setback for tort lawyers who troll abroad seeking dubious claims to bring in U.S. courts. The allegations against Dole, the world's largest fruit and vegetable producer, involved banana plantation workers in Nicaragua who alleged that exposure to the pesticide DBPC in the 1970s left them sterile. The only problem is that most of the plaintiffs had not worked at plantations and weren't sterile. In fact, there's no evidence that farm workers at Dole facilities were exposed to harmful levels of the chemical -- which was legal and widely used at the time -- or that the level of exposure they did experience even causes sterility. "What has occurred here is not just a fraud on the court, but it is a blatant extortion of the defendants," said Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Victoria Chaney in her oral ruling. More than 40 related cases involving thousands of plaintiffs from Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and the Ivory Coast are pending in her court. And the ruling puts in doubt some $2 billion in judgments that plaintiffs lawyers have already obtained in Nicaragua."


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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