Courtesy Jason Calacanis and commenters.
When I give, I like to give smart.
I give to the right organizations that I’ve researched and know well, and I prefer giving when my donation is being matched.
A few weeks ago, I found one of those opportunities when a distant acquaintance/relative named David Alhadeff was raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. David was kind enough to offer a personal match AND a corporate match from his firm, Goldman Sachs. 3X leverage on a philanthropic donation is a situation I like, so I donated and then sent out an email to some family members who were also kind enough to donate. With one email, we increased his fundraising amount by 21% (but more importantly, The Lance Armstrong Foundation got 3X that much!)
Today, a similar opportunity has presented itself. A wealthy donor has offered to match gifts to Planned Parenthood up to $1M:
From now until June 30, a generous donor will match every online gift to Planned Parenthood dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. This means that, for example, if you give $50, Planned Parenthood will actually get $100. With more and more people turning to Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers for care during this economic recession, now is the best time to give. Whether you can spare $5, $50, or $500, your contribution will be doubled: https://secure.ga0.org/02/match09pporg?source=match09fbc3
Planned Parenthood is a leader in women’s health, and often provides services free-of-charge to underserved and poor women (including cervical cancer screenings, breast exams, contraception, testing for STIs, et cetera), and Planned Parenthood can’t continue to provide those services without your support.
2X leverage on your donation for a good cause…what are you waiting for!?
Give To Planned Parenthood
When you can tap the knowledge of everyone you know, on a single platform, with responses coming at you near instantaneously, who needs a specialist anymore?:
Due to an apparently fraudulent election in Iran, an interesting situation has presented itself. One in which the world would be much better off if the man controlling the White House was former-President George W. Bush.
One of the most hated Presidents in recent memory (if not the entirety of American history), George W. Bush managed to divide the nation into hostile camps of partisanship. He led a war into a foreign country that did not attack America, going against the traditional anti-war stance the Republican party had held for much of U.S. history (including Vietnam). He changed tax policy to increase the amount of earnings that the rich could keep, which both inductively and effectively led to increasing wealth inequality and disparity, fanning the flames of class warfare . And he was a foreign policy hawk, largely due to the construction of his cabinet which included prominent gung-ho warriors like Elliott Abrams, Dick Cheney, and Paul Wolfowitz.
Barack Obama, in contrast, is a foreign policy diplomat. His message as well as his actions indicate a desire to show a new face to the world: an America that engages other nations constructively as an observer, but neither infringes on nations’ sovereignty nor involves itself in their internal affairs.
Enter the 2009 Presidential Elections of Iran. It’s come to light that Mr. Ahmedinejad, the victor, may have actually come in 3rd in votes. The vote was certified within three hours of being counted, whereas Iranian election law dictates that they be certified no earlier than three days after an election, so as to allow for appeals on grounds of corruption or voting-tally errors. The security services have green-lighted a provision to allow police to fire upon demonstrators and protesters who dare question the results, and have already begun shooting protesters in exactly this fashion.
It is time for a change of the political system in Iran, the first major change since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. A young and resurgent Iran demands Democracy and modernity, and now needs to rip the power away from the entrenched theocracy, the Mullahs, and the (Grand) Ayatollah (Al-Sistani).
Equally important to the Iranian people’s revolutionary actions would be American intervention. The United States’ CIA is widely-known as being responsible for the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq in August 1953, and is just as able to foment a revolution in Tehran now as they were then.
The best outcome of these election irregularities would be a peaceful popular uprising and a revolution. The mullahs, however, have other ideas, and would be a strong adversary during a revolution. The mullahs would call up the military to institute martial law in order to keep the revolutionary hordes down. Because of the mullahs and their power, the most likely endeavour to bring about revolution in Iran would require outside (U.S.) intervention in addition to a popular uprising.
With Barack Obama sitting in the White House being the calculated and ‘safe’ President that he has shown himself to be time after time, it is not likely that we will see strong support from him for an aggressive U.S. response/intervention. Doing that would go against not only the principles that he ran on and his outspoken stance against the war in Iraq, but against his subconscious self that has been shaped by his experiences in politics and law for decades.
Barack Obama is not the President who will help Iran over the pass and into the Valley of Liberty and Prosperity.
But who is?
The first man who comes to mind is none other than George W. Bush. Bush’s father, George Herbert Walker Bush served for a time as Director of Central Intelligence under Gerald Ford, and knows of the CIA’s capabilities regarding illegal and unauthorized activities and intervention on foreign soil (he was actually called in by Ford to investigate and clean-up the agency of this kind of activity). Bush 41 also led the charge of Desert Storm into Kuwait and Iraq in 1990 and is likewise quite willing to use the military and the CIA in defense of America’s interests abroad. Bush 41′s son, George W. Bush, was likewise a war-hawk, willing to intervene for global interests and to ensure that authoritarian hegemony has no safe harbor in our modern world. He and his cabinet led the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 in addition to the occupation of Afghanistan, and managed the occupations until his two-term presidency ended in January 2009.
If George W. Bush were the President of the United States, he and his cabinet would likely support and execute a covert intervention in Iran and supply the Iranian revolutionaries with intelligence, supplies, and money. Such a development would be best for Iran and the world, but because Barack Obama is such a measured and calculating anti-war President, American intervention is unlikely. Iran and the world will doubtlessly suffer because of this cruel joke of history.
It’s now up to the Iranian people to rise up, as Ukraine did in 2004, and do what must be done–with or without the help of a passive and unassertive America.
Cameron Newland is a mobile phone expert and technology writer from Seattle, Washington. You can subscribe to his blog’s RSS feed by clicking here, and follow his Tweets here. He can be reached at cameron at cameronnewland dot com.
I propose curbing gun violence not by further restricting the availability of guns but by expanding and reorienting it. Men would still be forbidden to walk the streets armed, in accordance with current laws, but women would be required to carry pistols in plain sight whenever they are out and about.
Were I to board the subway late at night, around Lincoln Center perhaps, and find it filled with women openly carrying Metropolitan Opera programs and Glock automatics, I’d feel snug and secure. A train packed with armed men would not produce the same comforting sensation. Maybe that’s because men have a disconcerting tendency to shoot people, while women display admirable restraint. Department of Justice figures show that between 1976 and 2005, 91.3 percent of gun homicides were committed by men, 8.7 percent by women.
Excerpted from Give Women Guns by Randy Cohen, in the NYT Sunday Magazine.
Link courtesy Justin Ricaurte.
Hello. Welcome to Washington State. Do you print outdated news on dead trees while fleecing the advertising industry? If you answered “Yes”, we’ll give you a 40% tax break. That’s now the law in Washington.
In the last 3 years, US ad spending shrank from $230 billion to $222 billion. The two most volatile categories was the Internet and newspapers. (Everyone else pretty much stayed the same.) Internet ad revenues grew from $17B to $26B, while newspaper ad revenues shrank from $47B to $34B. In essence, the Internet started eating newspapers’ lunch in the order of $9 billion. Make no mistake. This is an epic battle to the bankruptcy filing.
A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo in the herd. When the herd is hunted, the slowest and weakest (at the back) are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells.
Excessive intake of alcohol kills braincells. Naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest braincells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.
A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religous man replies, “no, I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”
Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”
With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”
Wired: Why are people so drawn to the paranormal?
Art Bell: The same reason we’re drawn to God. The greatest question of all is whether our experience on this planet is “it” or whether there is something else. Things in the supernatural realm give support, strangely perhaps, to the things we take on faith. Like ghosts, for example—they underscore the possibility of an afterlife.
“Unlike Winston, [Julia] had grasped the inner meaning of the Party’s sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the sex instinct created a world of its own which was outside the Party’s control and which therefore had to be destroyed if possible. What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war-fever and leader-worship.”
-1984, George Orwell
OctoMom has been punished for her outlandish behavior: she’ll be undergoing surgery that will leave her unable to conceive again (tumors on her uterus).
From An unchristian response to torture, by William Pitts, Jr.
You’d think people who claim connection to a higher morality would be the ones most likely to take the lonely, principled stand against torture, writes Leonard Pitts Jr. But you need only look at history to see how frequently Christians acquiesce to expediency and fail to look beyond the immediate.
Between 1933 and 1945, as a series of restrictive laws, brutal pogroms and mass deportations culminated in the slaughter of 6 million Jews, the Christian church, with isolated exceptions, watched in silence.
Between 1955 and 1968, as the forces of oppression used terrorist bombings, police violence and kangaroo courts to deny African Americans their freedom, the Christian church, with isolated exceptions, watched in silence.
Beginning in 1980, as a mysterious and deadly new disease called AIDS began to rage through the homosexual community like an unchecked fire, the Christian church, with isolated exceptions, watched in silence.
So who can be surprised by the new Pew report?
Specifically, it’s from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, and it surveys Americans’ attitudes on the torture of suspected terrorists. Pew found that 49 percent of the nation believes torture is at least sometimes justifiable. Slice that number by religious affiliation, though, and things get interesting. It turns out the religiously unaffiliated are the “least” likely (40 percent) to support torture, but that the more you attend church, the more likely you are to condone it. Among racial/religious groups, white evangelical Protestants were far and away the most likely (62 percent) to support inflicting pain as a tool of interrogation.
I think it’s obvious why Christians support torture. Fundamentalist Christians are more likely to vote Republican, and during the George W. Bush years, W. argued for having unchecked power to fight terror (and torture falls under that). Also, Christians are by definition followers–they’re less likely to be critical thinkers on any and all issues. They vote with the pack*. If the pack of sheep they happen to reside in seems to prefer torture, they’ll blindly support it without question.
*This behavior, obviously, is not unique to Christians. Humans in crowds will riot when others riot, for instance.
“The number of hungry people in the world could soon hit a record 1 billion, despite a recent drop in food prices, the U.N. food aid organization said Wednesday.”
How about this: STOP FUCKING HAVING KIDS! Then there won’t be any starving people!
“With every passing day, we lose more young people to the postmodern philosophy (no absolutes) and older people (with the Judeo-Christian values) to death. Time is not on our side,” wrote Heidi Lestelle, a Kitsap County Christian activist.
This is an amazing time to be alive, what with all the things that are changing, evolving, improving.
A major step was just taken that will revolutionize how video is produced and consumed. It’s called the Panasonic GH1.
It dispenses with the traditional SLR mirror and optical viewfinder, allowing a shorter lens-to-sensor distance; in turn enabling smaller, lighter, and quieter cameras. The platform, called ‘Micro Four Thirds’, maintains the same-size image sensor as a traditional DSLR, and uses similar (though smaller) interchangeable lenses that allow for shallow depth of field, which is one of the defining characteristics that DSLRs have long had a monopoly on versus point-and-shoot consumer cameras.
So it’s smaller. Why is this camera so revolutionary, then?
Well, size is not the revolution. HD video functionality is.
Though hardly the first digital camera to shoot HD video (notable examples include the Canon 5D Mark II and the Nikon D90) the GH1 manages to provide jaw-droppingly-good HD video (1080p) in a smaller and less-expensive package* than its predecessors and rivals. This means that any idiot with a thousand bucks, a subject, and a PC can become a movie producer.
Here’s the freshest example of HD video shot off a Panasonic GH1 (if you watch the HD version closely and notice the shallow depth of field and fantastic quality, you’ll understand how revolutionary this is!):
What we’ve seen with print media–the replacement of the top-down newspaper/magazine model with a more democratic, user-generated model–is exactly what is going to happen with digital video. With the increased accessibility of cheap HD video recording, sites like Vimeo and FunnyOrDie are going to be swimming in quality user-generated content (if they’re not already). The losers are going to be the big studios, whose only advantages will be 1) bigger budgets for marketing/production, 2) star power, and 3) existing distribution channels (movie theaters, et cetera). The studios, however, will be at a massive disadvantage on the internet, coming up against small niche players who will be able to undercut them on production cost AND content pricing, providing the content for free (ad-supported). If the big studios eschew the free-content route, as print media did, and they’ll lose market share to the internet upstarts.
This is a MASSIVE opportunity for anybody with film-making experience. You have the opportunity to be involved in a revolution. Yes, the democratization of HD video will mean declining prestige, and an increasingly flooded content marketplace. But at the same time, it allows content creators to put more professional-looking creations on the web and garner maximum exposure before the big studios begin to adapt to the new platform.
If there is to be an internet video production star made, he/she will be made king very soon. As I said earlier, this is an amazing time to be alive.
*Note: the Panasonic GH1 may be priced similarly to the Nikon D90. We’ll have to see.