Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gaza / Charities / The Bail-out

It is quite amazing that when Israel gets hit by Kassams daily,the world attacks the shooters, even as it pronounces support for Israel's right to defend itself
One hour after some hard hitting much delayed Israeli raids,suddenly the same voices call for an end to all violence,or an attack on disproportionate responses.
The Jew is not allowed to defend himself and defeat the enemy that fires rockets at schools civilians and industry.
Whatever Israel intends to accomplish,they should do it quickly, before the world via the UN and the State Dept. place undue pressure on them.

As the Madoff issue percolates, and we examine the use of charity funds for the Clinton Foundation,a sense of sadness and even dispair envelops me as to how we can trust charities again?
There was a time when charities were mostly volunteer groups.When we were kids we rode the subways with the blue and white JNF pushkes.Lucette Lagnado ,who I recall from her days writing for the Forward,has an interesting op-ed in the WSJ on how Jewish charities have changed.
The small donors have been replaced with the Foundations and the mega-wealthy.The volunteers in the offices, to a great extent have been replaced by professionals.This is because women now work to a greater extent,and volunteerism is down.When you hire a professional,he or she tries to impress the Board with new ideas for fund-raising-telemarketing,golf outings, new dinners,trips for wealthy potential donors to exotic places which have nothing to do with the mission of the organization.The goal is often to get these wealthy people to join the Board.The cost of these projects add up, to the extent that often very little is left for the charity.
We the public have little knowledge when we get a solicitation from for example,Heart or Diabetes or the Blind etc.Where is the money going?such as research? TV ads? building a huge nest egg? what are the expenses for fund raising?
Does the organization have a conflict of interest policy to protect its receipts?Truth be told, the organizations don't really care about the small donor.Their donation are welcome but unless there are huge numbers of such donors,it is the wealthy that they wish to attract.

Which brings me to the financial mess we are in,and the huge bail-out being talked about.There appears little talk of accountability,nor is there based upon such programs in the 1930's a guarantee of success.Where is the oversight of what has been spent and that proposed? It cannot be done by individuals who have other full-time jobs We are talking of trillions of dollars of projects.Will the UAW be forced to make changes?
The Obama team is saying No-pork! but some of the projects mentioned are the worst kind of political machinations.
In short I have little confidence that the economic part of the Obama team ,is anything but liberal spend-tax-spend.
The foreign policy-national security division is really Bush II,because this arena does not interest Obama per se.But like Bush with Pakistan-India, Iran, and the bomb,Israel and Hamas as well as Putin's return to the good old days,like it or not that is where he will spend a great deal of time.