In the field of humanitarian aid, personnel decisions are life and death business. The UN knows all too well the costs of poor oversight, but aid worker and blogger Michael Kleinman makes another observation, far more disturbing. In the multi-billion dollar humanitarian aid business, some lives are worth less than others, and not only among the populations served.
Local staff are the lifeblood of international charity organizations, and a lifeline for those they serve, yet they too rarely make the headlines, either to celebrate their work or to acknowledge their sacrifice. Is this a symptom of neo-colonialist attitudes in global aid or the evolution of aid into anything but neutral charity (or ngo-colonialism)? Simple racism? Or are the economic conditions in many of these places so dire that the relatively well-paying jobs for international organizations make the risk seem worthwhile in countries where civil society and the middle class have been destroyed or never existed in the first place?
U.S. consumer confidence plunged to a record low in October as a worsening financial crisis made Americans anxious about their jobs and pessimistic about the future, a report said on Tuesday.
The Conference Board said its index measuring consumer sentiment tumbled to 38.0 in October from an upwardly revised 61.4 in September. That was the lowest reading since the index began in 1967. The previous low was 43.2 in December 1974.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann wrote a letter last year recommending a federal pardon for a major campaign contributor who was once convicted of felony money laundering, firearm and drug charges on the basis he had reformed.
So, how reformed do you think he was?
This month, she withdrew that recommendation on behalf of Frank E. Vennes Jr., eight days after the FBI searched his Shorewood home and office and confiscated documents, money, art, coins and jewels that agents think may be related to a $3 billion investment fraud scheme in which Minnesota business mogul Tom Petters has been charged.
In the last week, Bachmann also has said numerous times that relationships and advisers of candidates for public office such as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama are “fair game” for public scrutiny, as they may affect the candidates’ views and beliefs.
“The media needs to do their job in vetting,” she said following a St. Cloud Rotary Club luncheon last week. “Those associations are certainly fair game and something the media brings up.”
Okay, sure, so talking about you and Vennes should be fine, right?
CHANTILLY, VA- OCTOBER 22: Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) fists bumps with Ethan Gibbs the son of Robert Gibbs the campaign communication director as he arrives at Dulles International Airport October 22, 2008 in Chantilly, Virginia. Obama continues to campaign with election day less than two weeks away. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
You can see she heard that one, but she just goes on. Racist bitch.
Two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee over plans to go on a killing spree and eventually shoot Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, court documents showed on Monday.
Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman were charged in a criminal complaint with making threats against a presidential candidate, illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun and conspiracy to rob a gun dealer.
The plot did not appear to be very advanced or sophisticated, the court documents showed.
“We’re unsure of their ability or if they have the wherewithal to carry out any of their threats,” said a source close to the investigation.