sexta-feira, 29 de maio de 2009

Japanese & American donate to Caritas International for the flood victims in northern and northeastern Brazil -- Learn how!

From Laurie Dougherty in Massachusetts:

An advantage of Caritas International is that you can donate online with any credit card -you don't have to fool with bank wire transfers. And as Suya pointed out there is now an option on the online donation form to earmark the donation for the Brazil flood (this option was not yet there last evening when I became aware of Caritas involvement).

From the press release on Brazil at this link, click the black box "Support our work in Brazil" (or go to to Donate Now, select Emergency Response Fund, check "emergencies," open the drop down list and select Brazil Flood). I will also donate 100 EUR which at the moment is US$138.78. (A donation of US$100 would be 72.06 EUR.) This currency converter may not be the exact "official" exchange rate, but we use this at work to get a good approximation. I will also spread the word among contacts at work -- we have a large Latin American program and several Brazilians on staff.


quinta-feira, 28 de maio de 2009

Caritas - the charitable arm of the Catholic Church - is appealing for contributions to provide assistance to flooded areas in northeastern Brazil

Caritas - the charitable arm of the Catholic Church - is appealing for contributions to provide assistance to flooded areas in the northeast of Brazil

Caritas Brazil issued an appeal a couple of weeks ago requesting contributions that can be made through several bank accounts in Brazil (contributions from out of the country would need to be wired to the banks, most likely):

Caritas International, based in the Vatican, issued an appeal today to raise US$1.1 million for Brazil flood victims. Contributions can be made online with any credit card (as well as by check or wire transfer). The press release describes the kind of relief intended.

The Caritas website says donations can be earmarked for a specific emergency, but the Brazil floods are not on the list of choices on the online donation form.

Contact: Michelle Hough Tel. 39-06-69879721, 39-334-2344136 or

Currency converter (Euros to other currencies):

Many thanks to Laurie Dougherty, in Massachusetts, for the information in this post.

segunda-feira, 25 de maio de 2009

Cruz Vermelha do Brasil: Como fazer doações p/ os atingidos das enchentes do Norte e Nordeste

Veja como fazer doações para o Nordeste

Cruz Vermelha (para todos o atingidos do Nordeste)

Agência 0472
Conta 235.000-8

Defesa Civil do Piauí

Banco do Brasil
Agência 3791-5
Conta 2004-4

Ceará / Campanha Força Solidária

Caixa Econômica Federal
Agência 3281
Operação 003
Conta 300-1

Banco do Brasil
Agência 3515-7
Conta corrente 11024-8

Banco do Nordeste do Brasil
Agência 016
Conta corrente 29393-8

SOS Maranhão

Caixa Econômica Federal
Agência 0027
Conta corrente 1000-2
Operação 006

Banco do Brasil
Agência 2954-8
Conta corrente 2222-5.

Fonte: Folha Online


Many thanks to Suya Yamazaki, in Japan, for getting me headed down this road to information for donations.

quarta-feira, 13 de maio de 2009

Maureen Dowd: Rogue Diva of Doom (Dick Cheney, in case you were wondering)

Rogue Diva of Doom

Maureen Dowd. Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times.

by Maureen Dowd, New York Times, May 12, 2009

When Bush 41 was ramping up to the Gulf War, assembling a coalition to fight Saddam, Jimmy Carter sent a letter to members of the U.N. Security Council urging them not to rush into conflict without further exploring a negotiated solution.

The first President Bush and other Republicans in Washington considered this treasonous, a former president trying to thwart a sitting one, lobbying foreign diplomats to oppose his own country on a war resolution. In 2002, when Bush Junior was ramping up to his war against Saddam, Al Gore made a speech trying to slow down that war resolution, pointing out that pivoting from Osama to Saddam for no reason, initiating “pre-emptive” war, and blowing off our allies would undermine the war on terror.

Charles Krauthammer called Gore’s speech “a disgrace.” Michael Kelly, his fellow Washington Post columnist, called it “vile” and “contemptible.” Newt Gingrich said that the former vice president asserting that W. was making America less safe was “well outside the mark of an appropriate debate.”

“I think the president should be doing what he thinks is best as commander in chief,” Gingrich said flatly. Now, however, Gingrich backs Dick Cheney when he asserts that President Obama has made America less safe.

Asked by Bob Schieffer on Sunday how America could torture when it made a mockery of our ideals, Cheney blithely gave an answer that surely would have been labeled treasonous by Rush Limbaugh, if a Democratic ex-vice president had said it about a Republican president.

“Well, then you’d have to say that, in effect, we’re prepared to sacrifice American lives rather than run an intelligent interrogation program that would provide us the information we need to protect America,” Doomsday Dick said.

Cheney has replaced Sarah Palin as Rogue Diva. Just as Jeb Bush and other Republicans are trying to get kinder and gentler, Cheney has popped out of his dungeon, scary organ music blaring, to carry on his nasty campaign of fear and loathing.

The man who never talked is now the man who won’t shut up. The man who wouldn’t list his office in the federal jobs directory, who had the vice president’s residence blocked on Google Earth, who went to the Supreme Court to keep from revealing which energy executives helped him write the nation’s energy policy, is now endlessly yelping about how President Obama is holding back documents that should be made public.

Cheney, who had five deferments himself to get out of going to Vietnam, would rather follow a blowhard entertainer who has had three divorces and a drug problem (who also avoided Vietnam) than a four-star general who spent his life serving his country.

“Bush 41 cares about decorum and protocol,” said an official in Bush I. “I’m sure he doesn’t appreciate Cheney acting out. He is giving the whole party a black eye just as Jeb is out there trying to renew the party.”

Cheney unleashed, egged on by the combative Lynne and Liz, is pretty much the same as Cheney underground: He’s batty, and he thinks he was the president.

W. admired Cheney’s brass (he used another word) but grew increasingly skeptical of him, the more he learned about foreign policy himself, and the more he got pulled into a diplomatic mode by Condi in the second term. There were even reports of W. doing a funny Cheney imitation and that it dawned on him that Cheney and Rummy represented a scofflaw, paranoid Nixon cell within his White House.

“Toward the end, 43 was just as confused as anybody about what makes Cheney tick,” said a Bush family loyalist.

Cheney’s numskull ideas — he still loves torture (dubbed “13th-century” stuff by Bob Woodward), Gitmo and scaring the bejesus out of Americans — are not only fixed, they’re jejune.

He has no coherent foreign policy viewpoint. He still doesn’t fathom that his brutish invasion of Iraq unbalanced that part of the world, empowered Iran and was a force multiplier for Muslims who hate America. He left our ports unsecured, our food supply unsafe, the Taliban rising and Osama on the loose. No matter if or when terrorists attack here — and they’re on their own timetable, not a partisan red/blue state timetable — Cheney will be deemed the primary one who made America more vulnerable.

W.’s dark surrogate father is trying to pull the G.O.P. into a black hole of zealotry, just as the sensible brother who lost his future to the scamp brother is trying to get his career back on track.

When Cheney was in the first Bush administration, he was odd man out. Poppy, James Baker, Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell corralled Cheney’s “Genghis Khan” side, as it was known, and his “rough streak.” Cheney didn’t care for Powell even then.

But with W., “Back Seat” — Cheney’s Secret Service name in the Ford administration — clambered up front. Then he totaled the car. And no amount of yapping on TV is going to change that when history is written.

Link to column:

domingo, 10 de maio de 2009

Maureen Dowd: The Final Frontier -- Put Aside Logic


Maureen Dowd (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

Credit: Shan Carter.

I dreamed that Spock saved our planet, The Daily Planet of journalism.

Instead of swooping in to figure out the dimensionality and logarithms to rescue the world from red matter, as Spock does in J. J. Abrams’s dazzling new “Star Trek,” I imagined Spock rescuing read matter for the world.

Newspapers are an “endangered species,” as John Kerry called us in a Senate hearing last week, just as the Vulcans are in the new prequel.

I know Barack Spock likes newspapers. An aide told me during the campaign that Mr. Obama would get cranky if he didn’t have some time set aside during the day to read The New York Times.

And it was clear from his very first news conference, when I began covering his long-shot bid for the White House and he began referring to stories he had read in The Times, that Mr. Obama’s supple mind was nourished by news and books. You knew he would never inspire alarm as W. did, that if Condi walked too far away or his notes blew off the lectern, he’d be utterly lost.

Once, during his campaign trip to Europe, Mr. Obama told me that he had briefly sold subscriptions to The New York Times when he was at Columbia University to help pay for school, but confessed he wasn’t very good at it.

I said that if he won the presidency, he’d be pretty busy, but that maybe he could find time to sell a few more subscriptions. It would really help us out in the current business crunch.

He gave me that wry Spock look.

In the “Star Trek” prequel, Spock’s father tells him, “You will always be a child of two worlds,” urging him not to keep such a tight vise on his emotions. And Spandexy Old Spock, known as Spock Prime, tells his younger self: “Put aside logic. Do what feels right.”

Mr. Obama is also a control freak who learned to temper, if not purge, all emotion. But as a young man of mixed blood, he was more adept than Young Spock at learning to adjust his two sides to charm both worlds, and to balance his cerebral air with his talent for evoking intense emotion.

Just as President Spock pledged to make hope and government cool again, Mr. Abrams said he wanted his movie to make optimism cool again.

Commanding his own unwieldy starship of blended species, with Cheney, Limbaugh and other pitiless Borg aliens firing phasers from all sides, Mr. Obama has certainly invoked Mr. Spock’s Vulcan philosophy of “Infinite diversity in infinite combinations.” And he even recruited some impulsive Rahmulen muscle for his Utopia.

Many other corporations are being coddled by the president. But, as Robert Gibbs correctly pointed out the other day, a government beam-up for newspapers is not logical.

One of the things Young Spock has to learn in the movie is the difference between what is morally praiseworthy and what is morally obligatory. Newspapers do a praiseworthy job of trying to keep the dark side at bay, by shining sun on it. But society may not consider us obligatory, as we’re finding out.

Senator Kerry’s hearing tried to determine, in a metaphor that was whipped to death, whether there was any way to shut the barn door now that the ink-stained horse has gotten out into the virtual pasture (making readers pay for content now that they’ve gotten used to getting it free online).

David Simon, the creator of “The Wire,” who worked for 13 years as a Baltimore Sun reporter, testified that “high-end journalism is dying,” and when that happens, and no one is manning the cop shops and zoning boards, America will enter “a halcyon era for state and local political corruption.”

He said he thought the horse could be lured back into the barn. “I work in television now,” he said, “and no American, for the first 30 years of television, paid anything for their rabbit ears. Now they pay $60, $70 a month for better content.”

Newspapers no longer know how to live long and prosper. It’s enough to make a Vulcan weep.

Kirk out.

Link to article: