Jul 7, 2005

Galloway on the London Blast

RESPECT - The Unity Coalition - News

We extend our condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives today and our heartfelt sympathy to all those who have been injured by the bombs in London.

No one can condone acts of violence aimed at working people going about their daily lives. They have not been a party to, nor are they responsible for, the decisions of their government. They are entirely innocent and we condemn those who have killed or injured them.

The loss of innocent lives, whether in this country or Iraq, is precisely the result of a world that has become a less safe and peaceful place in recent years.

We have worked without rest to remove the causes of such violence from our world. We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the government ignoring such warnings.

We urge the government to remove people in this country from harms way, as the Spanish government acted to remove its people from harm, by ending the occupation of Iraq and by turning its full attention to the development of a real solution to the wider conflicts in the Middle East.

Only then will the innocents here and abroad be able to enjoy a life free of the threat of needless violence.

* George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow

The Cost of Prayer ?

Getting people to pray apparently takes a lot of money

The Presidential Prayer Team began with a simple idea: Encourage people to pray for the president daily. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 2001, it was an appealing plea. No politics, no agenda, no dogma. Just pray for the country's leaders.

The idea caught on. The Scottsdale-based charity became one of the most successful and fastest-growing non-profits in the country. Nearly 3 million people have signed up at the organization's Web site, and donations have topped $6 million.

But operating the charity has not been so easy. John Lind, its president, said the challenge is to keep people motivated to pray daily. And sustaining that energy costs money. Lots of it.

Financial records show the Presidential Prayer Team has been deeply in debt since its inception. Currently, it's in the hole by $531,891.

The red ink seems surprising considering the wild success the charity has enjoyed and the simplicity of its mission. It doesn't seem like it would take millions of dollars to get people to pray, after all.

"If we're going to ask them and encourage them to pray daily, we need to provide resources to help them do that," Lind said.

Some might find that encouragement by buying a Presidential Prayer Team souvenir to serve as a daily reminder. A gold logo coin in a display case goes for a suggested donation of $30. The coffee mug with a gold seal is $20. A wristband is $10.

"We just look at it as part of our mission of encouraging them to pray. Part of, I think, that encouragement is educating them on the issues.

To get selected, members must sign a statement that says the Bible is inerrant and that non-believers will suffer the "resurrection of damnation." They also must agree to donate at least $180 a year.

Lind said the group started with an interest-free loan of $250,000 from a person who wishes to stay anonymous.

But the debt continued to balloon each year. Even as 2002 brought more than $2.2 million in donations, the group's records show it spent more than $2.5 million. The next year, the group raked in $2.5 million but again overspent. Its debt at the end of 2003 was $845,769.

The financial records show some spectacular figures. Management and consulting fees cost $770,000 over the past few years. Legal fees cost $600,000. Postage has cost $1 million. Last year, the group spent $500,000 on a direct-mail appeal, Lind said.

The records also show that, in 2002, the Presidential Prayer Team gave away more than $1.1 million in grants to other unspecified groups. Lind said that was a paperwork error and that no money has left the Prayer Team.

Lind, who was hired in late 2002 with a salary of $108,000, said the group has cut back on costs, partly by having him run the charity instead of hiring outsiders.


Oy big hands in the Jesus Bucket, and they just can't wait to get that direct checkbook to the US Treasury... even as they can't keep their own sham corps out of debt.

Jul 2, 2005

The Crushing Paranoia

Have you ever seen a beast who, as it's Power escalates, it's Paranoia and Fear does also ?
This is the psychological disease that has taken root in the US admin, and is a structural component of Power in general. The 'mightier' these assholes become the more fearful and paranoid of every shadow they become. Perhaps it's just that Power KNOWS how many people it has screwed over in it's bloody climb, perhaps it knows it's paranoia is valid from it's past actions ? Who knows the delicacies of this specific state ? But one things for sure...These are thee questions of our time, which should bebeing divined now...... Why does Power, strength, and dominance always deliver ever bigger sidedishes of fear and paranoia to the Powerful ?
Power will crush out anything in it's path in an ever floundering attempt to SECURE it's Power, to feel SAFE ( at last), and yet that feeling is never achieved.

Bradblog has a note on the ever madening march of herr leader's hubris and power here :
THE BRAD BLOG: "White House Announces Formation of Domestic Secret Police"