Andira Rain Tees-T-Shirts for Trees


With a growing environmental awareness, many clothing companies are making the decision to go green with their merchandise. Andira Rain Tees is no exception to this growing trend, selling 100% organic t-shirts and bags.Named after a Brazilian flowering tree cut down by loggers, this eco-friendly company does more than offer great organic shirts. Founder Beth Doane started her company in 2005 as an import and distribution company that has recently expanded to include consulting, design, distribution and marketing strategies to companies who wish to stay eco-conscious.

Andira Rain Tees also sells their own special merchandise directly from the Amazon. On a trip to visit South America’s beautiful, but endangered rain forest, Doane donated craft school supplies to the children living there. She told them, as she distributed crayons and paper, to draw what they saw around them. Their artwork was then transformed into designs for women’s and children’s shirts in the Andira Rain Tees collection.

When establishing her clothing company, Doane chose to manufacture her clothes in Peru due to their enforced fair labor laws. Her entire business plan is focused on remaining sustainable and Peru provided the perfect environment for this goal. Peru produces huge amounts of cotton, which eliminates the need to import material. Free trade also exists between Peru and the US, so there are no import taxes. The factories are all family-run and vertically integrated, which means that all the labor and assemblage is done in the same place. This allows for the workers, no matter what part of production they work on, to see the end result of their labor. Workers receive wages that are 20% above the average in Peru. Many of these workers were previously forced to work for illegal logging companies, animal trafficking and oil companies just to support their families. Donane’s factories provide a safe, clean alternative to such devastating jobs.

With the money raised from the clothing sales, Doane donates trees to be replanted in Costa Rica where logging companies have destroyed the natural forests. Children who Doane has worked with during a trip to bring school supplies plant each tree donated.

All the Andira Rain Tees’s merchandise is sold through online retailers. They are currently selling to 8 different websites and 15 boutiques. Although they are not currently selling merchandise on their website, http://raintees.com, you can find a complete list of retailers who do carry her stuff.


Is there a Ghost on Twitter?


Pacman
Originally uploaded by Scorr HampsonOriginally uploaded by scott hampson
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Originally Uploaded by Scott Hampson.

It's been about two months since I first got on Twitter and I have mostly positive reviews of it. I have never learned so much from so many brilliant people who have passed on information via Twitter about my interests: business philanthropy, CSR, non-profits, volunteerism, entrepreneurism and others. Just this last month I have been able to experience via Twitter, from the comfort of my desk, four amazing conferences: Business As Agent Of World Benefit Forum, Craigslist Foundation Bootcamp, the International Positive Psychology Conference and the National Volunteer and Service Conference.

While I wish I had the opportunity to be physically present at the conferences, being on Twitter gave me live feedback from the participants there as well as the links to the livestream of the proceedings. I had the the opportunity to observe some of the presentations, workshops, and hear many speakers like Michelle Obama speak via livestream. I am so grateful and privileged to be able to get this much value from my virtual participation.

So what do ghosts have to do with this? I continue to be puzzled by this rush to have hundreds and thousand of followers who are trying to add me to their list and who have nothing to do with what I am interested in. Most of them that find me are not scary, a few of them are and I block them. But somewhere there is a ghost that is creeping in. All of the sudden I am seeing "thank you for following me" from people like "LooseFat" that I would have not agreed to follow. Of course I now have to take the time to "unfollow" all these unknown people.

I had not heard about these ghosts in Twitter before and I hope Twitter does something about them, so I can get back to doing learning and writing about what it is important to me, and participating in all these great conferences!

Give Free Advertising To Your Cause

So you think that because your business cannot afford to give much to charity there's nothing you can do? Think again, there are plenty of resources that you already have that you can use to make a positive contribution to a charity.

One company, eCompliments is offering their website as an advertising vehicle to charities.
"Through their ongoing initiative, eCompliments is offering free advertising for approved charities through banner ads on their site as well as through what eCompliments has coined as ECN advertising. ECN stands for Email Compliment Notification. When a compliment is made on the website an ECN is delivered to the profile owner (typically the business owner or manager) showing the compliment given. Just below this compliment is the ECN text ad."
eCompliments COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- eCompliments is an online review and referral site whose mission is to share the good(TM).

eCompliments hopes that other businesses will be inspired by this idea. Businesses and charities can participate with them when they use eCompliments. http://www.ecompliments.com

It's great way to promote your business through eCompliments, and now you can help promote a charity too. But you can also do this on your own. Why not post the banners, advertise or raise money for a favorite charity on your website? The charities will be grateful for any additional support that comes their way.

North Korean Government requests WFP to shut down entry points and halt its humanitarian emergency food assistance in DPRK

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is scaling down its food assistance to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) due to a a request from DPR Korea's Government in May 2009.

Sheila Sisulu, the deputy executive director for Hunger Solutions at the WFP said food assistance was being scaled back because the DPRK government had requested as such.

"We are in the process of phasing down the (DPRK program) for a number of reasons ... including that the government of DPRK itself has said they don't need emergency food assistance," Sisulu said, adding that entry points had been closed.

"Obviously, we are concerned about the situation of the people," she added.

DPR Korea Government took the above steps only few days after the UNDP re-started its operations in Pyongyang. Helen Clark, the former New Zealand PM and current UNDP Administrator has given the green light to re-open a full flag economic and social assistance programme in CASH for North Korean Government. Following her agreement with the UNDP Executive Board and its Iranian President, Helen Clark seem determined to continue UNDP's destructive policies and to assist the North Korean Regime's survival.


While WFP is reducing Food Aid to NoKO, UNDP confirms increased Economic support for Kim Jong IL

As the North Korean regime continues to spend money to develop nuclear weapons and long range missiles to threaten their neighbors with, the world continues to have to feed the people of North Korea:

The United States and the United Nations will continue humanitarian aid projects to North Korea, despite the U.N. Security Council’s latest sanctions on the North for nuclear provocations.

In a Saturday interview with Voice of America, spokesman Stephane Dujarric from the U.N. Development Program said that aid projects will continue as planned regardless of the sanctions resolution.

The U.S. State Department’s Agency for International Development (USAID) also plans to continue its medical aid projects for the North.

Speaking to Radio Free Asia, a State Department official said the U.S. is concerned about the North Korean people’s welfare. The source said the U.S. government and four civic groups are currently involved in a four-million-dollar project to provide electricity and equipment to a North Korean hospital. [KBS Global]

I wonder what changes have been made to ensure that the UNDP doesn’t become Kim Jong-il’s personal ATM again?

While WFP reduces humanitarian food distribution - UNDP confirms that Economic Assistance to Kim Jong il will continue

As the North Korean regime continues to spend money to develop nuclear weapons and long range missiles to threaten their neighbors with, the world continues to have to feed the people of North Korea:

The United States and the United Nations will continue humanitarian aid projects to North Korea, despite the U.N. Security Council’s latest sanctions on the North for nuclear provocations.

In a Saturday interview with Voice of America, spokesman Stephane Dujarric from the U.N. Development Program said that aid projects will continue as planned regardless of the sanctions resolution.

The U.S. State Department’s Agency for International Development (USAID) also plans to continue its medical aid projects for the North.

Speaking to Radio Free Asia, a State Department official said the U.S. is concerned about the North Korean people’s welfare. The source said the U.S. government and four civic groups are currently involved in a four-million-dollar project to provide electricity and equipment to a North Korean hospital. [KBS Global]

I wonder what changes have been made to ensure that the UNDP doesn’t become Kim Jong-il’s personal ATM again?


'Melkert kan VN-gezant worden in Irak'

(Novum) - Ad Melkert wordt mogelijk de hoogste VN-gezant in Irak. De voormalige PvdA-leider is daarvoor gevraagd door VN-baas Ban Ki Moon, meldt De Telegraaf zaterdag. Melkert zou het voorstel in overweging hebben genomen.

Ook de Amerikaanse organisatie Inner City Press meldt de kandidatuur van Melkert voor de post in Irak.

De 53-jarige Melkert is sinds 2006 de tweede man van het UNDP, de ontwikkelingsorganisatie van de Verenigde Naties. Tot twee keer toe werd hij gepasseerd voor de benoeming tot topman, recentelijk voor het laatst. Naar verluidt wilde Ban Ki Moon een vrouw aan het hoofd. Eerder werkte Melkert bij de Wereldbank in Washington.

In 2002 volgde Melkert Wim Kok op als partijleider van de PvdA, die dat jaar een grote verkiezingsnederlaag leed. Daarna trok de voormalige minister van Sociale Zaken zich terug uit de Haagse politiek.

'Ad Melkert wordt VN-gezant in Irak'

ELSEVIER

Oud-PvdA-leider Ad Melkert lijkt na een aantal keer mis te hebben gegrepen nu eindelijk toch zicht te hebben op een topfunctie binnen de VN. Hij is door VN-secretaris generaal Ban Ki Moon gevraagd de hoogste vertegenwoordiger van de VN in Irak te worden.

Ad Melkert, aan de slag in Irak?Ad Melkert, aan de slag in Irak?

Irak
De oorlog in Irak begon in 2003. De Amerikaanse presidentBarack Obama heeft aangekondigd dat de meeste troepen in augustus 2010 het land zullen hebben verlaten.

Aan het begin van de oorlog werd toenmalig VN-gezant in Irak, Vieira de Mello, gedood bij een aanslag.

Dat meldt De Telegraaf.

Mislukt
Ambtelijk gezien is deze nieuwe functie van hetzelfde niveau als de baan (tweede man bij VN-ontwikkelingsorganisatie UNDP) die hij nu heeft, aldus de krant.

Melkert, die het voorstel in overweging heeft, ishard op zoek naar een topfunctie binnen de VN. Tot twee keer toe lukte het hem niet om hoofd van UNDP te worden.

Eerst ging de Turk Kemal Dervis er met de functie vandoor en later werd hij verslagendoor de Nieuw-Zeelandse Helen Clark.

Verkiezingen 2002
Melkert leidde de PvdA tijdens de verkiezingen in 2002, die funest uitpakten voor de partij.

Hij pakte zijn biezen en vetrok naar Amerika. Eerst was hij in dienst van de Wereldbank, waarna hij na enkele jaren de stap naar UNDP zette.

Omstreden
Daar bleef hij ook niet onbesproken. Zo zou hij betrokken zijn bij het ontslag van een klokkenluider.

Zelf heeft Melkert dat altijd ontkend.

Melkert mag naar Irak

De Telegraaf


NEW YORK, - Oud-PvdA-leider Ad Melkert heeft zicht op een nieuwe baan. Hij is door VN-secretaris generaal Ban Ki Moon gevraagd de hoogste vertegenwoordiger van de VN in Irak te worden.


Melkert, die het voorstel in overweging heeft, moest op zoek naar ander werk, nadat hij tot twee keer toe naast de functie van hoofd van de VN-ontwikkelingsorganisatie UNDP greep.

De nieuwe uitdaging die de Nederlander nu geboden krijgt, is ambtelijk gezien van hetzelfde niveau als zijn huidige baan, als tweede man bij de UNDP.

Blogs That Care- List Of Change

This last week, the List Of Change, an aggregate list of cause related blogs, was launched. I am happy to say that "Business That Cares", made it on the list along with almost 200 other blogs whose focus is social change.

Our goal here at "Business That Cares" is to inform, inspire, and help implement business philanthropy. While there are many philanthropic business ideas that we seek out to write about, the extent of the topic is so broad it is quite impossible to cover it all. I have identified specific blogs within the List Of Change, that focus on or at least touch upon the topics of business and CSR, social enterprise, and business philanthropy. These blogs cover everything from philanthropic businesses, to microlending organizations, to an array of new social ventures. They also discuss topics of significance like embedded philanthropy and rational philanthropic decisions.

Whether you are looking for ideas for engaging your business in philanthropy, or causes that your business can support, you are sure to find inspiration from these blogs on the List of Change.

Have Fun Do Good
Triple Pundit
Social Entrepreneurship at Change.Org
Fake Plastic Fish
Tactical Philanthropy
Charity Navigator ( for researching charities to give to)
Kenneth Cole's Awearness
Philanthropy 2173
Philanthrocapitalism
The Fabulous Giver
The Causemopolitan
Giving City Austin
Epichange

The other blogs listed all deserve a look for the great work that they are doing. Be sure to check them out for more inspiration about social change, and to learn about non-profits that you may wish to support.

It is important to note that List of Change is a self submitted list. There are many more blogs out there in the blogosphere with related topics that are worth reading. Some of them are referred to in the posts on "Business That Cares".

To read any of the blogs mentioned, go to the List Of Change. http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/listofchange/ or click on the link above.

On Twitter, you can also follow List of Change for updates of the latest posts.

Town and Country Magazine Scoops Business Philanthropy

I just picked up a copy of Town and Country Magazine’s latest Special Philanthropy Issue at my local grocery store. Town and Country Magazine has been around since 1846 featuring stories about fashion, society, travel. They have monthly columns that feature fundraising galas across the country where society folks are pictured attending these events.
The June issue of Town and Country has dedicated the entire magazine to the subject of philanthropy. Yes, the fundraising galas are there, but there is so much more. The issue has wonderful articles about subjects such as teaching children about philanthropy, travel to endangered places, stories about women philanthropists like Jennifer Buffet (Warren Buffet’s daughter -in -law) and others, helping women around the world create better lives for themselves and their families.

Town and Country has also featured business philanthropy, (which is my main focus) in the sophisticated worlds of fashion, cosmetics, wine and design, where looking good and doing good merge to help worthy causes.
In Their “ Must Haves With a Mission” and “Designs for Giving” they write about :
-Clothing and accessories by such well know designers Nannette LePore, Gucci and Magaschoni, who donate a percentage of proceeds from the sale of designated dresses, shoes, sweaters, and purses to a variety of non-profits such as Greenpeace and Unicef .
-Jewelry designers such as Jennifer Meyer, Montblanc and Alex Woo and so many others, that donate a percent of proceeds from the sale of designated necklaces and bracelets to causes like Charity Water and World Wildlife Fund.
-Cosmetics from companies like Origins, Crabtree and Evelyn, and Philosophy, that include everything from scented candles, to hairwash, body scrubs and face serums, and donate proceeds to charities or support specific foundations.

Businesses that make people feel good about themselves not only by looking good but by doing good seem to be proliferating. When magazines like Town and Country start to feature them, trends in fashion may come and go, but the trend to do good and look good is here to stay.

Brokers for Charity, Helping To Change the World One Property At a Time

Buying a house or business property can do more than help your family or your business, when it is sold through a broker from Brokers for Charity. Brokers for Charity is a registered LLC with the Arizona Department of Real Estate dedicated to giving back. Owner and designated broker, Janae Jaynes-Learned admired the concept started by actor Paul Newman, in which consumer products aptly named “Newman’s Own®” raised awareness as well as money for groups in need. This concept has extended into the Real Estate market by donating 10% of the referral agent’s commission to a charity of the client’s choice once the transaction closes. Janae explains, “It came from my own desire to have more socially responsible choices and from my motivation to provide these same choices to others.”
Brokers for Charity is a referral service that pairs agents dealing in both residential and commercial properties in the US and Canada with clients. Choosing this service does not add any additional charge to the buyer or seller, but allows them to make a positive impact in their community. The idea is that although the agent is taking a cut in their pay, they are gaining more clients while giving back to their community.
This dedicated consortium of real estate professionals show their dedication to giving back with each sale they close. When asked what she believed was the most important aspect of successfully running a philanthropic business plan, Janae Jaynes-Learned replied, “I think Mahatma Gandhi said it best, ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world’” and so far she has taken all the right steps to do just that.
For more information please contact them at www.brokersforcharity.com

by Lauren Partain
2009-2010 Fellow Selected

The CLSR has hired New England Law | Boston alumna Adonia Simpson as the 2009-2010 CLSR Fellow. Ms. Simpson will assist the Center in all of its areas of public interest law, and will make her primary focus immigration law. A 2009 graduate, Ms. Simpson has just finished her term as managing business editor for the New England Journal for Civil and Criminal Confinement and was active in the Immigration Law Association and Women's Law Caucus, among other activities.

Please see the CLSR News & Events page for additional information about our activities.

American Constitution Society Fellowship
The American Constitution Society (ACS), one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations, seeks a talented, versatile and energetic recent law school graduate with a deferral option from a law firm (or other independent funding) to fill a one-year position in ACS's national headquarters. ACS has qualified as a pro bono legal organization for several firms already and would be happy to work with incoming associates on individual deferral arrangements.

The Fellowship will begin in September 2009. The Fellow will serve as part of ACS's Programs staff, which is led by a group of experienced attorneys who coordinate and facilitate ACS's rapidly expanding output of innovative, highly relevant legal and public policy work. The Fellow will work with existing Programs staff to assist in coordinating the work of ACS's Constitution in the 21st Century project, an ambitious multi-year effort to engage scholars, practitioners, public officials and law students in the articulation and dissemination of a progressive vision of the Constitution, law and public policy. In close coordination with the Programs staff attorneys, the Fellow will:

  • Assist in developing and planning ACS speaking programs on cutting-edge legal and policy issues, such as briefings at the National Press Club and on Capitol Hill, conferences and symposia around the country and the ACS National Convention;
  • Manage the listservs of the ACS Issue Groups (ACS's national network of legal practitioners, scholars, and activists), selecting and posting relevant materials and leading substantive discussions among Issue Group members;
  • Help draft program guides for ACS chapters and materials for the public such as short papers based on ACS Issue Briefs;
  • Maintain relations with public interest advocates, academics and private practitioners;
  • Perform legal research and writing projects as assigned, to further the work of the ACS Issue Groups;
  • Attend conferences, hearings or other events as assigned; and
  • Assist the Program team in other ways as the need arises.

The Fellowship is a one-year position. A law degree from a U.S. law school is required. The ideal candidate will be a recent law school graduate who has a strong academic record; excellent research, writing and oral communication skills; and strong interpersonal skills. He or she also will have demonstrated initiative, organization and attention to detail. Experience working on Capitol Hill desired.

ACS is an equal opportunity employer; women, people of color, people with disabilities, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are encouraged to apply. To apply, send a cover letter; resume; 5-10 page, self-edited writing sample; and three references to ACS via U.S. mail (ACS, 1333 H Street NW, 11th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005); email (jobs@ACSLaw.org with "Law Fellow Candidate" in the subject line); or fax (202-393-6189; Attn: Shannon Hiller). No phone calls please.

Why is UNDP a problem ?

While David Morrison and other losers at the helm of UNDP management, continue their campaign against UNDP WATCH, we wanted to explain to you why UNDP has become a problem.

Don’t let anybody tell you that this makes UNDP-WATCH anti United Nations.

Our staff members speak French, Spanish, many African languages, Chinese and Russians. We believe in the values that traditionally have enriched the United Nations, variety, pluralism, diversity, parliamentary democracy, rule of law and personal freedom.

Our problem with the United Nations and UNDP in particular is that is giving up on all the above values, UNDP and other UN agencies have become cut off from the real people, remote and self servant. All UNDP business is about - how to accumulate more funds and charge more fees.

Let’s be honest about this, in United Nations power is shifting from elected Member States and General Assembly to the unelected functionaries. Member States are loosing power to UN Bureaucracy and politically appointed administration of UN Agencies.

UNDP-WATCH aims to bring power back from UNDP and other corrupt unelected UN officials to the Member States and General Assembly. In a process that would restore purpose to the UN System, dignity to the Member States and ultimately voice and oversight of the world citizens to UN Programmes and Finances.

We cannot pretend and demand to restore order or sanity to world public finances or social affairs while allowing UNDP and other UN Agencies mismanage and divert 25 Billion Dollars a year in the name of the poor.

The UN has become the biggest hangover lot, namely 308 Assistant and Under-Secretary Generals and almost 11000 Directors and Deputy Directors in the UN System. Our problem is that UN has become a real anti-democratic institution in a sense that you have to have lost an election or be “un-popular” or “under investigation” in your own country to get appointed to a high level UN job. Best examples of it are:

  • Ban Ki-Moon - former minister of foreign affairs in South Korea
  • Kemal Dervis - former minister of finance in Turkey
  • Ad Melkert - former head of Socialist Party of Holland
  • Eveline Herfkens - former Minister in Holland

and many many more.

So what is the purpose for voting at the General Assembly when the above UN administrators and officials are not only regulating our lives and skimming our/your taxpayers dollars, but also slowly becoming a power in themselves claiming independence from UN General Assembly, Member States and their mandated oversight bodies.

Enough is enough – we demand change NOW !!

ResRep in Jordan to replace Helen Clark at the helm of Labour in New Zealand


Labour's newest MP, David Shearer, was very gracious in victory yesterday after his landslide in Mt Albert.

While National rival Melissa Lee went to ground after her heavy loss in Saturday's byelection, Mr Shearer described her as someone with "a huge amount of courage and guts".

"In many of the debates she made some really good points and particularly towards the end she was getting better and scoring more."

It is not surprising that the harshest criticism of Mr Shearer, besides running a safe and dull campaign, is that he might be too nice a person to be an MP and has no mean streak.

He disagrees - not that he has a mean streak, but that one has to have one to be a politician.

"I don't think you need to be nasty about it. You need to be strong. But when you play the ball you play it hard."

It is third time lucky for Mr Shearer who stood for Labour in 1999 and 2002.

Mr Shearer will be welcomed to the Labour caucus tomorrow morning by leader Phil Goff, a good friend and former boss when he worked for him when he was Foreign Minister.

Mr Goff was as jubilant as anyone about the win, his first real success since being handed the leadership in November by former Prime Minister Helen Clark. He declared it the end to National's "honeymoon" and said Labour would redouble its efforts and win the 2011 election.

Mr Shearer said it was an important win for Mr Goff's leadership "but I think it was more important for the party - that this is the beginning of the return and pride was coming back in again and that Phil is a highly credible leader who can lead them to the next election".

"In some ways it was a test for him and he came through with flying colours."

Mr Shearer acknowledged the Labour Party machine that had helped to campaign for the byelection.

The party had 400 helpers on the ground on Saturday - 200 scrutineers and 200 door-knocking to make sure people had voted.

One scrutineer from another party had told him "you own this electorate".

Mr Shearer, who has most recently been the United Nations' No 2 man in Baghdad, and the United Nations Development (UNDP) programme's No 1 man, will now move his family back to New Zealand from Jordan.

One of the ironies, had he not won, was that he would have had to have negotiated with Helen Clark, now head of the UNDP, to regain his post in Baghdad.

But Mr Shearer scored an overwhelming victory with 12,613 votes and 63 per cent of the vote.

That was 9187 ahead of Melissa Lee on 3426 votes and 17 per cent.

Helen Clark telephoned Mr Shearer from the Congo on Saturday and asked for all the details.

Mr Shearer told her about the majority. He did not tell her that his percentage of the vote was higher than her 59.29 per cent at last year's election.

UN to recycle the Dutch Dirty Garbage of UNDP

VN te recycleren de Nederlandse Dirty Garbage van het UNDP

Dutch Ambassador at the UN, confirmed today that Holland does not want Melkert back and would pay any price that this corrupt Dutch politician be recycled within the UN and never make it to his home country in order not to disturb anymore dutch politics and current governing party.

During today's press conference he expressed that Ban Ki Moon is "looking for ways to keep Ad Melkert within the UN system". Click here for the video.



DPR de Klerk, polite but vague answers on Melkert
Nederlandse ambassadeur bij de VN, vandaag bevestigd dat Nederland niet wil Melkert en terug zou betalen elke prijs dat dit corrupte Nederlandse politicus worden gerecycleerd binnen de VN en nooit naar zijn eigen land om niet te verstoren meer Nederlandse politiek en de huidige regeringspartij .

Tijdens de huidige persconferentie sprak hij dat Ban Ki Moon is "op zoek naar manieren om Ad Melkert binnen de VN-systeem".

Bijltjesdag kan niet uitblijven bij de PvdA

De PvdA heeft het vertrouwen van de burgers verloren. De positie van Wouter Bos staat weer ter discussie en die van Mariëtte Hamer ook. Het eerste slachtoffer is er al: Nebahat Albayrak, het allochtone PvdA-boegbeeld in het kabinet.

Allochtone boegbeeld Albayrak is eerste slachtoffer bij PvdAAllochtone boegbeeld Albayrak is eerste slachtoffer bij PvdA

De Partij van de Arbeid is de grote verliezer van de Europese verkiezingen.

Zelfs Ad Melkert, de PvdA-lijsttrekker bij de Fortuyn-verkiezingen van 2002 deed het nog iets minder slecht. Dat verlies komt niet uit de lucht vallen. Want wat heeft de PvdA de burgers eigenlijk te bieden? Niemand die het kan zeggen.

Bij de Europese verkiezingen profileerde de PvdA zich met een ‘ander Europa’. Wat dat is? De PvdA gunde de kiezers in 2005 een referendum over de Europese Grondwet (meer macht voor Brussel, dus).

Niet populair
Wouter Bos beloofde vervolgens opnieuw een referendum als er weer zoiets kwam (en dat kwam er), maar trok zijn verkiezingsbelofte in. En bij het andere Europa van de PvdA, daar hoort Turkije gewoon bij. Dat mag je vinden, maar populair word je er niet mee.

Het probleem is uiteraard breder. De SP wil gewoon hogere uitkeringen, gratis dure zorg, geen hogere AOW-leeftijd en een hoger minimumloon. Hoe heilloos dat verzorgingsstaatgeloof ook moge zijn, het is wel helder.

De SP neemt in dat opzicht zo ongeveer de positie in van de PvdA van vroeger. Maar de PvdA was eerst tegen en nu voor een hogere AOW-leeftijd. Hoe willen Bos enHamer dat verkopen?

Geflirt met islam
De PvdA wordt ook gekneveld door de eigen, doelbewust gezochte populariteit onder allochtonen - moslims in het bijzonder. Dat leverde in 2006 extra gemeenteraadszetels op en ook in de Tweede Kamer dankt de PvdA een enkele zetel aan de allochtone stem.

Maar wat wint de PvdA bij de rest van Nederland met het geflirt van Job Cohen enElla Vogelaar met de islam? PvdA-minister Eberhard van der Laan wil de immigratie van ongeletterden nu wel terugdringen, maar dat was tot een week geleden nooit een PvdA-thema, integendeel.

De PvdA draait en keert en wisselt van standpunt zonder zich te verantwoorden. De PvdA zou en moest meeregeren en leverde daarvoor het ene na het andere strijdpunt in, inclusief het geëiste Irak-onderzoek en de JSF-straaljager die men niet wilde.

Zakkenvullerij
Het zijn veelal PvdA’ers die niet terugdeinzen voor zakkenvullerij en hun almacht in toezichthoudende functies verwaarlozen.

Zolang de kiezers niet weglopen maakt niemand zich druk. Maar dat doen ze wel. Bij de Europese verkiezingen gingen PvdA-kiezers trouwens vooral richting vluchtheuvel D66. Niet naar de eerder gevreesde SP en (nog) nauwelijks naar de nieuwe PvdA-vrees, Geert Wilders.

Bij volgende Kamerverkiezingen kan Wilders trouwens alsnog toeslaan in de PvdA-gelederen.

Schuld
En zo is de PvdA nu een kruiwagen vol kikkers, iedereen geeft de ander de schuld of hoopt (zoals Wouter Bos) gewoon op betere tijden. Maar op enig moment resulteren verkiezingsnederlagen in Bijltjesdagen.

Dat kan fractieleider Mariëtte Hamer treffen, dat kan ook Wouter Bos treffen. Het kan het kabinet treffen.

Het eerste slachtoffer is er al. Dat is Nebahat Albayrak, het allochtone PvdA-boegbeeld in het kabinet, de staatssecretaris verantwoordelijk voor de immigratie.

Albayrak wordt sinds een week door PvdA-minister Eberhard van der Laan afgetroefden buitenspel gezet. De PvdA moet kennelijk even afstand nemen van de allochtonen in de hoop de autochtonen terug te winnen.

Ad Melkert on his way to become UN's Czar in Iraq

The most dedicated and outspoken anti-American, the Dutch communist politician and #2 of most corrupt UN Agency - Ad Melkert is now secretly lobbying to become the next United Nations Czar in Iraq.

Secure sources inside the 38th floor indicate that Melkert is in his last steps to securing the job of the Special Representative of Ban Ki-moon in Baghdad. Same sources say that Melkert has allegedly secured United States Mission's blessing for the job.

At least this piece of junk is out of UNDP.

North Korea Intends to Match U.N. Resolution With New Nuclear Test

U.S. intelligence officials are warning President Obama that North Korea intends to conduct another nuclear test in response to passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution this week condemning the communist country for its recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests, FOX News has learned.

FOXNews.com

U.S. intelligence officials have warned President Obama and other senior American officials that North Korea intends to respond to the looming passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution this week -- condemning the communist country for its recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests -- with another nuclear test, FOX News has learned.

What's more, Pyongyang's next nuclear detonation is but one of four planned actions the Central Intelligence Agency has learned, through sources inside North Korea, that the regime of Kim Jong-Il intends to take -- but not announce -- once the Security Council resolution is officially passed, likely on Friday.

The other three actions include the reprocessing of all of the North's spent plutonium fuel rods into weapons-grade plutonium; a major escalation in the North's uranium-enrichment program; and the launching of another Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile from the Yunsong military complex on the west coast of North Korea. The North last launched a Taepodong-2 on April 5; it conducted its second nuclear test in the last three years on Memorial Day.

The intelligence community only learned of North Korea's plans this week, prompting CIA to alert senior officials. Asked who would be briefed on this kind of data, a source told FOX News: "The top people: POTUS, DNI." "POTUS" is acronym for the president of the United States; "DNI" refers to the director of the Office of National Intelligence.

FOX News is withholding some details about the sources and methods by which American intelligence agencies learned of the North's plans so as to avoid compromising sensitive overseas operations in a country -- North Korea -- U.S. spymasters regard as one of the world's most difficult to penetrate.

A White House official, contacted by FOX News, declined to comment, saying only that the U.S. government never speaks publicly about intelligence matters.

As top Obama administration officials weigh this prized data and what actions they might take to counter North Korea's plans for a third nuclear test, American intelligence analysts have also encountered setback in their efforts to track developments in the reclusive Stalinist country.

Where U.S. officials had observed the arrival of the first-stage transporter for a Taepodong-2 at Yunsong by June 2, leading to predictions of an imminent launch by officials as high-ranking as Defense Secretary Robert Gates, sources now tell FOX News they see no significant activity consistent with an imminent launch.

"The TD-2 activity has been rather dormant," one source said.

As well, where American intelligence officials on June 9 observed components for the long-range Musudan missile leaving the Wapo-ri installation area, they have now "lost track of them," FOX News has learned.

"We spotted the TELs [Transporter-Erector-Launchers] and then we lost track of them," a source said. "NGA lost track."

NGA refers to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a unit the Defense Department that provides imagery and geospatial information for military and civilian purposes.

"It's disturbing," the source added.

As well, despite multiple tests, U.S. scientists have only reached inconclusive results in their efforts to use air samplings collected over the Korean Peninsula in the days after the Memorial Day detonation to confirm with 100 percent certainty that North Korea conducted a nuclear test, as is still widely believed.

What Do James Taylor, the Boston Red Sox and Cold Play Have To Do With a Business Charity?

Ever wonder what would happen if the money consumers pour into the entertainment business went to charity instead? Jord Poster, founder and Chief Executive of Charity Partners, did more than just think about it-he acted on it. As a co-founder of the successful travel company, Priceline.com Inc, Poster started a fundraising platform where goods and services are bought and sold at the same or better price as elsewhere but with a percentage going to charity. For two years, Charity Partners has successfully generated millions of dollars for over 30 nationwide charity groups. They run Tickets-for-Charity using this model.

The concept is similar to that of an online ticket vendor like Ticketmaster.com, but with a greater message to send. Charity Partners works directly with artists, different venues, management, and promoters to receive in-demand tickets to popular events. These tickets are paid for at face value as established by the venue. The ticket price is decided by this original face value with an additional pre-determined donation amount added. Both prices are explained clearly on their website, www.ticketsforcharity.com, to show customers where their money is going. These two amounts also show up separately on the customer’s credit card receipts to allow for tax deductions for the donation part of the purchase. Charity Partners earns its money again in similar ways to Ticketmaster.com, by charging a small service fee to the total ticket sale.

Tickets available for purchase range from James Taylor’s show at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA to Boston Red Sox games. Premium seats to the Coldplay concert in Los Angeles sold out for $212.50, with face value of $112.50 and a donation amount of $100. These tickets sold for up to $293 on StubHub.com and were long sold out at the venue. Charity Partners is not an auction, so customers pay the price listed on the website on a first-come first-serve basis.

Poster started this company with the intention of increasing much need financial support many charities are lacking in today’s economy. Jord Poster was quoted saying, “If you can capture even a small portion of the billions of dollars worth of inventory trapped in the hands of resellers and divert it to charity, that would be a big win.”

Charity Partners works with over 30 well-known, nation wide charities such as Autism Speaks, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Feeding America, and Natural Resources Defense Council. For each event, Charity Partners works directly with artists to select a specific charity to receive the money from the donation portion of the ticket. Tickets sold from the recent James Taylor concert went to Natural Resources Defense Council, of which Taylor has been a long-time supporter. More than $78,000 has been generated so far for this non-profit organization alone.

Ros-Lehtinen Statement on Foreign Relations Authorization Act


NEWS

House Foreign Affairs Committee

U.S. House of Representatives

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Republican

CONTACT: Brad Goehner, (202) 226-8467, June 10, 2009

Alex Cruz, (202) 225-8200

http://foreignaffairs.republicans.house.gov

For IMMEDIATE Release

Ros-Lehtinen Statement on Foreign Relations Authorization Act

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement today during debate on H.R. 2410, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of FY 2010 and 2011:

“Some ‘Dear Colleague’ letters sent out by a few Members earlier this week in order to express their support for this bill tended to focus on the few attractive features of the bill --- such as improvements that it would make to the ‘Merida Initiative’, our vital effort to assist Mexico and other Central American countries to fight dangerous drug cartels.

“Unfortunately, supporters of this bill have remained silent on or ignored its fundamental problems which are that:

• The bill calls for exorbitant spending in the absence of reform, and

• The bill does not take the difficult, but necessary, step of setting priorities, either with out of control spending or with important international issues facing our country.

“By our best estimates, the bill before us represents an estimated 12% increase in planned expenditures above the levels of Fiscal Year 2009. It creates 20 new government entities – offices, foundations, programs, and the like. These new programs and initiatives funded in this bill constitute expenditures that go beyond the 12% increase to accounts previously funded in FY 2009. The bill also represents a 35% increase in State Department’s main salary and operating accounts.

“We have to ask ourselves: where is the money to support this additional funding coming from?

“In the coming fiscal year alone – Fiscal Year 2010 – we are expected to have to pay almost $285 billion (billion with a ‘b’) in interest costs – just interest, not payment on the debt itself. By Fiscal Year 2014, our costs for interest on our debt will likely have risen to about $560 Billion in that year alone --- again for interest payments alone, not the debt payments that will have to be made. Our deficit in the coming Fiscal Year 2010 is now projected to total an estimated $1.3 Trillion.

“Yet, the funding levels proposed by this bill seem oddly detached from that reality. Both in Committee markup and at Rules Committee, I offered amendments that would have capped increases for next year at 3.7% -- the 2008 annual rate of inflation. This amendment would have saved American taxpayers more than $2.8 billion dollars in authorized funds. Unfortunately, this measured, calibrated approach was rejected twice in favor of the largesse in the underlying bill.

“In trying to justify the enormous spending increases in this bill, supporters paint a picture of a hollowed-out shell of a State Department, suffering from years of neglect. Yet, according to the Congressional Research Service and the State Department’s own data, funding for the State Department and related agencies doubled from fiscal year 2000 through 2008. This clearly shows that growing the bureaucracy and throwing more money at the Department of State are not the answer.

“Supporters of this bill further argue that the major funding increases for the hiring of new staff are necessary, even in the absence of reforms. I note that there was an effort last Congress by colleagues in the other Chamber to ascertain the levels of absenteeism at various US Government agencies. The results for the State Department were impressive – in an ironic way. The Department explained that it does not specifically track absences without official leave. It was the only Executive Branch agency that could not provide such information. Instead, the State Department only tracks those incidents in which such absenteeism reaches such an egregious level that discipline is required.

“As a result, we – and the management of the Department – have little idea if the Department’s own personnel are at their posts at the times we would expect them to be, although the overwhelming majority of State Department employees are hard working patriots. They are the ones who should be upset over absenteeism in others.

“The bill before us today does not address such questions nor does it build on earlier inquiries, such as the one I have cited. Instead, supporters of this bill focus their arguments on unfilled State Department ‘vacancies.’ These arguments, too, do not bear careful scrutiny.

“Most of those so-called vacancies are the result of shifting personnel to high-priority posts, rather than cuts in funding. Furthermore, the State Department always shows ‘unfilled’ positions on their books, because those numbers are the result of our overseas posts’ self-identified needs, rather than being a budget-driven number. It’s a way of saying that they would like more employees and more funding. What agency wouldn’t? I expect that all Americans would identify very significant, unfunded ‘needs’ in their own homes, families, and budgets.

“Moreover, at a time when we need to cut the deficit, in just one little-noticed instance, this bill bypasses an opportunity to transfer several hundred million dollars to our Treasury to help pay down our national debt. In fact, an amendment offered by Mr. Burton was not made in order by the Rule. This amendment would have required that just half of the funds of US-funded enterprise funds abroad be turned over to the U.S. Treasury when they close down their operations. By remaining silent on the disposition of such funds, the bill would instead allow loosely-overseen, so-called ‘legacy institutions’ to take possession of all of those funds. This bill prefers to focus on creating new US-funded foundations and offices that will add hundreds of millions of dollars in new costs to the taxpayers over the coming years.

Policy

“When it comes to policy issues, this bill does not set the priorities that we believe would best serve our nation.

Anti-UN

“Not only does this bill provide close to $2 billion (that is a b in billion) in funding for the United Nations, not including peacekeeping, without requiring any reform, it authorizes the payment of all claimed UN arrears, or back payments. Why should American taxpayers be asked to write a blank check to the UN? Why not demand specific returns on our investments?

“Instead, efforts to leverage our contributions to secure concrete, systemic, and comprehensive reforms throughout the UN system were rejected in both the Foreign Affairs Committee and in Rules.

“H.R. 2410 provides an inexplicable authorization to pay a higher rate for UN peacekeeping than even the UN is charging us. The bill’s assessment rate could result in the U.S. paying, in one year alone, more than $100 million for UN peacekeeping above that which the UN requires us to pay.

“The bill also fails to take any action to address endemic corruption at the United Nations. In fact, not only does the underlying bill and the manager’s amendment remain silent on the UN’s misuse of American taxpayer funds for activities that undermine U.S. interests, but an amendment offered by the gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Burton, which sought to prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from paying for the legal fees of corrupt UN officials, was rejected at Rules and will not be considered today.

“The UN has decided to pay the legal fees - possibly almost $900,000 - of Benon Sevan, who ran the UN’s corrupt, disastrous Oil-for-Food Program, which was supposed to help innocent Iraqis but was instead exploited by Saddam’s regime. U.S. federal and state prosecutors have charged Sevan with bribery and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, but H.R. 2410 does nothing to protect taxpayer dollars from bankrolling and rewarding corruption at the UN.

“The underlying bill also helps foster the ‘culture of corruption’ at the United Nations by failing to leverage U.S. contributions to the UN Development Program (UNDP), until it accepts the jurisdiction of the UN’s Ethics Office. The UN Development Program (UNDP), to which the U.S. contributes $100 million or more per year, continues to be the poster child for mismanagement, corruption, and waste – from Zimbabweto Uganda to Burma to North Korea. In fact, UNDP had to pull out of North Korea, after reports emerged that development aid was being diverted to the North Korean dictatorship. Now, unbelievably, UNDP is returning to North Korea, with essentially no meaningful protections to prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from again benefiting Kim Jong Il and his cronies.

“Our Treasury Department has even engaged a collection agency to retrieve over $7 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars mismanaged by UNDP inAfghanistan! We might never know about UNDP corruption and mismanagement without the help of brave whistleblowers. Unfortunately, whistleblowers have few protections at the UN, and UNDP has reportedly retaliated against a number of them, including the one who exposed their operations in North Korea.

“H.R. 2410 should do more in safeguarding our constituents’ hard-earned dollars. Nowhere are UN failures, which undermine U.S. interests, clearer than with respect to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. UNRWA, which has a strictly humanitarian mandate to provide aid to Palestinian refugees, continues to compromise its mandate – and U.S. taxpayer dollars.

“It does so by:

o Emitting propaganda against Israel and in favor of Hamas;

o Doing business with banks targeted by the U.S. Government for terror financing and money laundering;

o And refusing to vet its employees and aid recipients for ties to Palestinian militant groups like Hamas.

“UNRWA’s Commissioner-General says she doesn’t even consider Hamas to be a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and her predecessor admitted that members of Hamas were on UNRWA’s payroll, saying ‘I don’t see that as a crime.’

“No one can guarantee that over hundreds of millions in U.S. funds sent to UNRWA will not end up in the hands of Hamas. Yet, H.R. 2410 takes a see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil approach, refusing to demand accountability and transparency for our investments.

Proliferation

“Supporters of the bill will claim that H.R. 2410 strengthens nonproliferation activities at the Department of State. However, the pertinent section of the bill contains contradictory provisions regarding the Department’s nonproliferation and arms control infrastructure.

“On the one hand, the bill asks the Secretary of State to develop a comprehensive plan to determine what the Department actually needs, in terms of personnel, additional authorities, and new appropriations, in order to carry out its arms control and nonproliferation policies.

“Yet, before that plan has even been drafted, this bill:

• removes the statutory requirement for the Assistant Secretary for Verification and Arms Control,

• authorizes $3 million for 25 new positions focused on arms control, and

• mandates other programs and activities.

“These provisions actually appear to be laying the foundation to reverse the reforms enacted in 1998 under the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act. Further, by removing the requirement for the Assistant Secretary for Verification and Arms Control, it is diminishing in importance and targeting for possible dissolution, the bureau at State that was instrumental in the dismantlement of Libya’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs.

“This is also the one bureau that has consistently pressed for greater disclosure by the North Korean regime on the totality of its nuclear activities.

North Korea

“And on North Korea, this bill and the Congress have remained largely silent in the face of this, one of the most grave foreign policy crises currently confronting our nation.

North Korea’s leader is preparing to test yet another long-range missile which could reach Alaska, Hawaii, and the West Coast, possibly as early as next week. Yet, an amendment I offered at Rules to address the escalating crisis over North Korea’s nuclear brinkmanship was rejected.

“This amendment would have re-listed North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, as suggested by Secretary of State Clinton this past weekend. It called for full implementation of sanctions, including those imposed by UN Security Council resolutions adopted after previous North Korean missile and nuclear tests but never fully enforced. It contained consequences as called for by the Administration’s North Korean special envoy after Pyongyang’s April 5th missile test.

“This amendment raised grave concern about Pyongyang’s defiant, continuing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to Iran, Syria and other rogue regimes. It also pointed to the North Korean regime’s horrific record of human rights abuses.

Pyongyang made a provocative and reprehensible decision on Monday of this week, in a secretive kangaroo court, to sentence U.S. citizen journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee to 12 years of hard labor in the North Korean gulag. This amendment demanded the immediate and unconditional release of our two U.S. citizens before the lifting of U.S. sanctions or granting of diplomatic recognition.

“Much of the language of my amendment had been accepted by Chairman Berman last year and incorporated into the Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Reform Act of 2008. The Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously adopted the agreed upon North Korea language during a mark-up held last May. Yet, the amendment I offered to address this threat to U.S. security interests and our allies in the region was rejected yesterday by the Rules committee.

Conclusion

“In conclusion Mr. Chairman, at a time when our country faces a range of threats in our own Hemisphere, the bill does not set out a comprehensive approach to those threats.

“This bill also displays a willingness to put our national interests in the hands of the vaguely defined ‘international community.’

“Mr. Chairman, because the fundamental weaknesses and core problems with this bill have not been addressed, I will not be able to support this bill.

“I urge my colleagues to also oppose H.R. 2410 and vote NO on final passage.”

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“I urge my colleagues to also oppose H.R. 2410 and vote NO on final passage.”

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