Tag Archives: charity

Moore Love – Oklahoma Rallies After Deadly Tornado

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Moore, OK tornado

May 20, 2013 tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma

For the second day in a row, Central Oklahoma was hit with severe weather and deadly tornadoes. Moore, Oklahoma is no stranger to the danger of tornadoes. On May 3, 1999, the city of Moore, which is just South of Oklahoma City, was devastated by an EF5 tornado that killed 46 people. The tornado today, which followed a strikingly similar path, has already been estimated at least an EF4, and reportedly already has a higher death toll. It may be days before we have an official number of fatalities.

As rescue efforts continue, and families wait to be reunited, the residents of Oklahoma City and surrounding areas have rallied to provide for the victims of this devastating storm. Several area locations have set up donation centers, and the response from the community has been overwhelming. Local news channel 9 ( KWTV) set up a donation center a their station and, at the time of this writing, volunteers were still unloading donated water, shovels, nonperishable food, clothing and more from the generous residents in their viewing area.

To assist: Text: STORM to 80888 for Salvation Army. Text REDCROSS to 90999 for Redcross. Text FOOD to 32333 for Reg. Food Bank.

America’s thoughts and prayers are with the people of Moore tonight, and the images below should serve to remind that kindness and compassion abound. ‘Merica.

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Line to donate at Channel 9 News collection center

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Miracle On Main Street

The folks at Rebooting America are at it again.

“A simple act of kindness can change a person’s mood, their outlook and their heart,” reads the Facebook event page entitled, Miracle On Main Street.

Hoping to create nationwide recognition for random acts of kindness, the group of internet savvy activists say they want to prove conservatism works because conservatives are good.

“The simple act of giving a homeless man a pair of boots received over 200,000 hits online within days,” says Justen Charters, one of Rebooting America’s founders. “We know that charity works best at the local level and that communities can better care for their needy than bureaucrats in D.C. can”

The group intends to create a list of ideas on the event page that people can use to do good deeds in their local communities during a 3 day period later this month.

“Together we can create thousands of random acts of kindness all over the country, proving once again that as Americans, we take care of our fellow citizens. To learn what you can do in your community or to post ideas for others, please visit www.facebook.com/RebootingAmerica and leave a comment. Tell us what you are doing, share a photo and inspire others. We will be compiling a list of random acts of kindness and posting it on the event page.”

Critics have already begun to claim that acts of charity should not require recognition, but the group has fired back saying that this event hasn’t been created out of a need for self-promotion, but rather it is to serve as inspiration to others who may need encouragement this holiday season. The idea list they are compiling includes acts that require a charitable donation, but also includes many ideas that can be done for free.

Rebooting America was responsible for Papa John’s Appreciation Day in November that helped create a much needed boost in business for local franchise owners. Tens of thousands of Americans participated in the event that started with a Facebook event page and a few tweets. Rebooting America hopes to compound those efforts and make Miracle On Main Street even more successful.

When: December 21 – 23, 2012
Where: USA
Learn More: Miracle On Main Street Facebook Page

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Full disclosure: This writer is also a founding member of Rebooting America and helped create this event. For questions, media inquiries, comments, etc. please follow and direct message on Twitter: www.twitter.com/erinhaust

Charity From The Church. What A Concept!

I’m a Christian.  A very strong one, as a matter of fact, but over the years I’ve allowed myself to become quite jaded with the Church.  The Church, after all, is administrated by man and as such is just as corrupt as any other human agency, but a church called Liquid Church in New Jersey has caused me to take another look.

This past Sunday, the Church sent around the collection plate in what would appear to be a normal offering, but this time, instead of putting money into the plate, parishioners were told to take an envelope out of the plate.

Inside the envelope was either a $10, $20, or $50 bill.  In total, the church gave away $30,000 for this event, which Senior Pastor Tim Lucas said was to:

“teach churchgoers that faith in God, not government, is the only route to recovery in this financial crisis”.

Wow!  An argument that conservatives have been making for decades is that the reason we have the welfare state that we have is because churches have dropped the ball and left government to pick up the pieces.  If more churches would do things like this, there might come a time when the social programs like we currently have them won’t have a reason to exist.

The church plans to donate an additional $60,000 to various projects in the northern New Jersey counties they serve.

Bravo, Pastor Lucas.  Keep it up!

 

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Source:
NBC New York

Austin Recovery Announces Rob Lowe as Guest Speaker at Artists on Recovery Fundraiser

The Event will Take Place at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater on Tuesday, November 8, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Austin Recovery, the largest and most affordable drug and alcohol treatment center in Texas, announces Rob Lowe as the guest speaker at their first annual Artists on Recovery fundraiser luncheon. Proceeds from the fundraiser will directly benefit the construction and operation of Austin Recovery’s new Family House facility, designed by Austin-based Sixthriver Architects.

The Artists on Recovery fundraiser luncheon will take place at the state-of-the-art ACL Live at The Moody Theater venue.  Each year, this new fundraising event will feature a nationally acclaimed artist sharing their story of recovery.  The goal of the series is to create awareness of the effects of addiction and the help available through highlighting an artist’s successful journey to recovery.

Rob Lowe, the speaker at the first annual event, currently stars in the NBC TV series Parks and Recreation, and is also known for his roles on The West Wing, The Outsiders, St. Elmo’s Fire, Wayne’s World, and numerous other films and programs.  Having been sober for two decades, Mr. Lowe will speak about the difference sobriety has made on his own life, as well as that of his family.  Mr. Lowe will also be signing copies of his book “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” for event sponsors and key donors.  The book, dedicated to his family, has received much positive critical acclaim since its release.

All proceeds from this event will go towards Austin Recovery’s Family House, a unique and highly-specialized program which allows mothers to bring up to two children under the age of six into residential drug and alcohol treatment with them. “One of the beauties of Family House is that it allows mothers to work completely on their recovery without worrying about the safety and security of their young children,” says Jonathan Ross, Austin Recovery’s CEO.  Family House offers special forms of therapy for the children as well, enabling them to heal through their mother’s recovery process.  At more than 21,000 square feet, the new Family House facility will offer family-friendly private living quarters for mothers and their children to stay together, in a family-like environment with purpose-built play areas customized to enable strategic play therapies for the children.

Austin Recovery is now accepting corporate and organizational sponsorships and donations for the event, as well as sales of individual tables and seats for the luncheon program.  Early sponsors include MAXIMUS Charitable Foundation, Communities for Recovery, Sixthriver Architects, and Benchmark Recovery Center.  Contact Ramona Cruz-Peters at [email protected] for more information on participating in this fundraising event, including table or seat purchase, sponsorship, or donation.

About Austin Recovery
Since 1967, Austin Recovery has provided effective and compassionate chemical dependency treatment at very affordable rates. Non-profit and CARF-accredited, their transformational treatment model brings about in-depth cognitive, behavioral and spiritual changes essential for overcoming addiction. Austin Recovery offers a number of programs including medical detox, separate men’s and women’s campuses for 30-day and 90+ day programs, and Family House, which provides a minimum of 90 days of residential drug and alcohol rehab to mothers of young children and women in their third trimester of pregnancy, allowing them to bring up to two children under the age of six with them into treatment. Through parenting education and intensive case management, mothers in Family House are able to reconnect with their children and hone their parenting skills while also recovering from their addiction.  Austin Recovery also offers outpatient services, alumni support, family programs, aftercare and community education. For more information about Austin Recovery, please visit www.austinrecovery.org.

CONTACT: Ramona Cruz-Peters
Director of Marketing & Communications
Austin Recovery
512-697-8506
[email protected]

SOURCE Austin Recovery

Web Site: http://www.austinrecovery.org

A Limited Edition T-Shirt for $50,000.00, Who Says the Economy Is Bad?

20 Collectible, Numbered T-shirts to Be Produced by 50K Tees with a Portion of the Proceeds Being Donated to a Charity of the Buyer’s Choice

NEW YORK, Aug. 31, 2011 — When a performer asked designer Daniel J to make a T-shirt that no one had seen before, he had an idea for T-shirts so rare that only the economic elite could own them. After creating the design, Daniel J created 50K Tees, the world’s most expensive and collectible T-shirts.

With a limited production of only 20 shirts, each selling for $50,000, the black, 100 percent cotton shirts bear his original design of 50 letter “K”s in various white fonts and sizes.

Each T-shirt is visibly numbered and includes a certificate of authenticity signed by the designer. While the T-shirts are truly collectible items, Daniel J encourages owners to wear them and then send him a photo of themselves wearing the T-shirts, which he will post on the http://www.50ktees.com site. “You could call it the ultimate ego trip,” he said. “Only 20 people in the world will own one of my T-shirts. They are more than fashion pieces. They are conversation pieces.”

The buzz has already begun. Three people are already proud owners of the designer T-shirts. As the different numbers sell, the site will be updated. Buyers who want a particular number will be able to see if it is still available. Nos. 3, 14, and 19 are taken, purchased by a couple of performers and a serious collector.

“Our customers range from T-shirt collectors to rock stars, the hip, cool, trendy and wealthy crowd,” said Daniel J.

These customers can not only get satisfaction from knowing they own an extremely limited T-shirt, they can take pride in the fact that their purchase also helps make the world a better place. Daniel J will donate 10 percent of the purchase price of each shirt to a charity of the buyer’s choice.

“Whether you’re partying in the T-shirt, performing in it, clubbing in it, walking the red carpet or washing your car in it, I’d love to see a picture of you enjoying wearing it,” said Daniel J.

Each T-shirt is shipped in a gift box, and all orders are insured and require a signature for delivery. For more information or to order an extremely limited T-shirt, visit http://www.50ktees.com.

Contact:
Mr. Daniel J
Email: [email protected]
973-464-5621

Six Years After Hurricane Katrina, Grassroots Organizations Lead Gulf Recovery

Community Leaders Across the Gulf Coast Call for National Support

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Six years after Hurricane Katrina, poor and low-income residents, African-Americans, immigrants, indigenous populations, and other at-risk communities living along the Gulf Coast report that the storm’s devastating effects continue to be felt. The need for environmental restoration, affordable housing, employment opportunities, the right to return for displaced persons, and access to quality healthcare and education remain, and have been exacerbated by new disasters including Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and the BP oil disaster.

“The disasters that have devastated the Gulf Coast over the past six years – whether natural or manmade – have created the need to rebuild anew, and grassroots organizations have been taking the lead, working to create a just and sustainable future for the region. However, Federal assistance is a must if the region is to indeed be made ‘whole’ as promised by both this and the previous administrations,” states Stephen Bradberry, Executive Director, Alliance Institute, and Advisor, Gulf Coast Fund.

Founded in the wake of Katrina, the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health is a community-led philanthropy focused on long-term social and environmental sustainability for the region. The Fund provides grants and support to over 200 organizations on the ground in all five Gulf states and works closely with community leaders, creating programs and opportunities for them to forge networks and strengthen relationships. In turn, these leaders are playing a decisive role in Gulf Coast restoration, galvanizing local residents, heightening the accountability and responsiveness of elected officials, and working to mobilize national support for Gulf Coast renewal.

“We must continue to demand governmental accountability on all levels – local, state, regional and national – and restore full civic participation in the region,” states Jaribu Hill, Executive Director, Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights, and Advisor, Gulf Coast Fund.

BP Disaster: Community Leaders Call for Legislation

Gulf Coast communities continue to experience economic and environmental problems due to the April 2010 BP drilling disaster, and reports of severe oil-related health issues continue to climb. According to the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, almost 500 miles of coastline from Louisiana toFlorida remains contaminated. Activists from across the Gulf are calling on Congress and the Administration to support the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2011, legislation introduced in the Senate last month that would require 80% of Clean Water Act penalties levied against BP for the drilling disaster to go towards ecological and economic restoration of the Gulf. “While the RESTORE act is a good start, we also need legislation to create a Regional Citizens Advisory Council to give coastal communities a seat at the table as oil and gas development continues in the Gulf,” notes Aaron Viles, Deputy Director, Gulf Restoration Network, and Advisor, Gulf Coast Fund. “The Gulf Coast is a national treasure, and it’s urgent that we move forward with restoration immediately,” Viles declares.

Media contact:

Barbara Nonas
[email protected]
(212) 759-4378

This press release was issued through eReleases(R).  For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Gulf Coast Fund

Web Site: http://gulfcoastfund.org

Tragedy Should Be A Teaching Moment

I live in North Carolina. Newbern and a few other communities are underwater and need help. This site made a contribution and  I also did from my personal funds. I then turned to my children and asked them what they they thought they should do.

My youngest is six and doesn’t fully understand money. Her answer was “ten”. I reminded her that her allowance was $1.50 or six quarters and she said, “oh, give them 2″. It took some time to figure out that she meant 1/3rd of her weekly income.

When I brought in my oldest in (9 next month) he looked at me, thought for a second and said, give them my whole allowance, I don’t need it – my eyes watered. That is the lesson I hoped to teach him, but he already knew. We give what we do not need when someone else demonstrates a need.

I had made the cash contributions before my conversation with my son, now, we will be doing even more. Tonight and tomorrow, the whole family will be digging through clothes, tools and toys that we don’t need. Those will get boxed-up and delivered to those that can use them.

We, as parents, are examples for our children. Every once-in-awhile, our children are examples for us.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

If the names Michaele and Tareq Salahi sound vaguely familiar to you, but you just can’t seem to remember where you know it from, there’s little doubt the “White House Party Crashers” should jog your memory.

The White House Crashers, aka Michaele and Tareq Salahi

In November of 2009, the Obama administration came under intense scrutiny with the news broke that there had been a breakdown in security measures taken to protect the leader of the free world. Whether you agree with his policies or not, Barack Obama is the President of The United States of America.

Michaele and Tareq Salahi, now forever known as “The White House Crashers”, managed to slip through any security measures that were in place.  Their names were not on the guest list for the event, which was a state dinner at the White House honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Not only were they successful in slipping through security measures, but they actually shook hands with the president, as well as Vice President Biden, then Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and several other prominent people.

When the news story broke in 2009,  Ed Donovan,a spokesman for the White House, stated that the president nor any others in attendance at the state dinner were ever in any danger, because the Salahi’s “went through all the security screenings – the magnetometer screening – just like all the other guests did.”

After the initial incident was reported, rumors began to surface that the Salahi’s were hoping to be cast on the reality show, “The Real Housewives of DC”.  We heard the argument that the Salahi’s crashing a White House event was harmless, and just a way to get attention for the reality show. While that may have been the case, if the Salahi’s were able to achieve the breach of security, what if someone with other motives were just as successful? Not only were the President and Vice President of The United States put in jeopardy, but so was the Prime Minister of India. In a day and age where biological warfare is just as real a threat as guns and explosives, the thought of what could have happened had it been real evil breaching security instead of simply the selfish elite causes great concern.

While the evening in 2009  ended with more embarrassment, and thankfully without anyone being harmed, many questions have been raised about the Salahi’s, who Donovan later confirmed to be “well-known Virginia horse-country set” people. This latest incident is not the only scandals to have swirled around them since that night in 2009.

Here we are again, with yet another scandal involving them. The Salahi’s are a prime example of how actions speak louder than words. The liberal, progressive left speak words of sacrifice for others, but their actions scream self-seeking greed- exactly what they accuse conservatives of being. That is not to say that there are not conservatives who are self-seeking and greedy, or who do not have scandals involving them. We all know that is just a fact of humanity. The real issue is that the liberals tout a “holier-than-thou” attitude, claiming they are the ones who truly care, while the conservatives just want to hurt the poor and throw grandma off the cliff.

Former talk-show host Montel Williams

In a Press Release from LUCID Public Relations today, the company that represents former talk-show host Montel Williams reports that his name has been used to promote an event that claims association with the White House Crashers. The organization has claimed that Mr. Williams will be attending the event, and that his foundation, which is dedicated to furthering the research and study of multiple sclerosis, are actual supporters of the event.

“It has come to our attention that a group claiming to be associated with Tareq and Michaele Salahi have announced that Mr. Williams will be attending an event at their Oasis Winery in Virginia and that Montel Williams’ MS Foundation is also a supporter – neither is true.”

While this incident is not an issue of national security, nor does it even involve the president in the least, it does call into question how the presidency of the first Social Media driven president has impacted our society. In a world where “reality” is now what is seen through the lens of staged drama and cat-fights between the elite housewives around the country, any hope of waking up the clueless seems to be less and less likely.

The actual facts and figures in black and white are cast aside by main stream media outlets, who instead put their liberal agenda spin on the issues and feed it to the masses who buy into their skewed and manipulated perception of reality.  The liberal leaders, talking heads and political pundits preach to their cult following condemning conservatives as being “selfish” and not willing to “pay their fair share”, yet they refuse to take a long, hard look at the actual facts. They tout the mantra of the progressive agenda, completely ignoring how the movement is slowly, yet ever increasingly destroying the very foundation of this nation.

From the Salahi’s who are willing to sneak past security, misrepresent themselves in the name of charity for the ill, and other less-than-honest practices just to gain wealth and fame to false identity of the Hollywood elite, this administration is the epitome of how reality is not always what it seems. The liberals talk a good talk, but do not walk the walk of having great concern for their fellow man, much less those less fortunate. The liberal, progressive left speak in platitudes of  how we should tax the rich to give to the “poor”, rather than expecting that each person has a responsibility within the society they are a part of.

The actions of the liberal left speak much louder than the words spewing from their haughty, idealistic mouths. The actions of the liberal, progressive left define selfishness and self-serving attitude, all the while their blaring hypocrisy can be seen miles away. While selfishness is a common character trait of the human race, it is Conservatives who hold the belief that by expecting each person to do their very best for themselves and the good of society, we are in fact empowering them to live an independent, productive, meaningful and fulfilled life rather than enabling them to depend on the rest of society.

Charity Claiming Association With White House Party Crashers Under Investigation

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — “It has come to our attention that a group claiming to be associated with Tareq and Michaele Salahi have announced that Mr. Williams will be attending an event at their Oasis Winery in Virginia and that Montel Williams’ MS Foundation is also a supporter – neither is true. We discovered that Mr. Williams’ name and the name of his charitable foundation had been used without any notification or permission whatsoever via an article posted online by the Washington Examiner.”

“We are extremely concerned that donations were being solicited using Montel’s good name and record of advocacy on behalf of MS sufferers worldwide without our knowledge or permission, and are currently investigating the circumstances that led up to this.”

“Throughout the day our office has been contacted by multiple governmental agencies, including law enforcement investigating the group responsible for this event. We would like to reassure Montel’s fans and the millions of people who follow his work on behalf of those suffering with MS that Montel has not, nor will he ever be associated with the Salahis, their charitable foundation or this event; and that our office is actively cooperating with the governmental agencies who made contact with us.”

We will be happy to elaborate on our statement, and the actions we are taking to ensure the record is corrected in this matter.

For Montel Williams:

Jonathan H. Franks
LUCID Public Relations
310-713-4351
[email protected]

SOURCE LUCID Public Relations

Web Site: http://www.lucidpublicrelations.com

Liberalism: Perpetuating a Society of the Poor

Assuming their motives are pure, liberals are to be applauded for their dedication to assisting the poor and needy. But that does not excuse the abject failure of their misguided ideology which they wield like a sledge hammer – smashing prosperity wherever they find it in their lunatic quest to achieve equal outcomes.

The Good Samaritan

Ignoring the fact that that Good Samaritans, by definition, need to be in a superior position in order to provide aid, comfort, and resources to assist the poor, liberals force a redistribution of wealth upon society at large – purposely destroying wealth, which is the very foundation from which aid to the poor and needy has to be drawn. By killing the goose that lays the golden egg, liberals obliterate society’s capacity to lift up the downtrodden. By forcibly taking from the productive and redistributing the ill-gotten gains to the unproductive, liberals exacerbate the problem by creating an ever-larger pool of the poor. By their imperial decree that government is the sole solution to poverty, liberals conveniently ignore the honored philanthropic and charitable traditions in American society.

Some approaches to welfare in the world foster idleness, give subsidies with no labor required, create a burden of debt, and promote greediness—an appetite for things of this world rather than the riches of eternity.

Too often rich and poor alike shut their hearts to the divine attributes of love and compassion. The rich languish in their abundance and justify turning the poor away as “welfare cases.” The poor are likewise entrapped, becoming dependent on others in a system destined to trample initiative, undermine family responsibility, foster divisiveness, and erect barriers to equity, opportunity, and fellowship. – Robert D. Hales

Hales’ expose of illogical systems of welfare pegs liberalism at its very core. Liberalism ignores the divine attributes of love and compassion. “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me” (Matt. 25:34–36). Implicit to this scriptural example of love and compassion in action is the fact that these acts of charity are done voluntarily. Force is not the answer. True charity comes from the heart. It comes voluntarily. It comes from a deep and abiding conviction that all men are the giver’s brother – and all women are the giver’s sister.

Liberalism’s approach to welfare is a good example of Charles Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest. Liberals believe that only the fittest in society survive. Progressives also proclaim themselves the fittest of all and therefore crown themselves as Gods on earth – presiding over the vast unwashed masses of humanity who are too stupid to figure out for themselves the wisdom of socialist/communist doctrines – especially how they relate to wealth and the proper redistribution thereof. But progressives forget one little fact when it comes to Darwin’s theory of “Survival of the Fittest.” The missing element? – Love! If Survival of the Fittest is a natural law, then how do liberals explain the fact that men have developed love and compassion for their fellow men? Through acts of charity mankind has ensured that those who are not deemed to be among the fittest survive to live another day. Through philanthropic acts of generosity, untold numbers of people have been fed, clothed, educated, and loved – their needs met without once relying upon the largesse of a misguided progressive government agency.

Hales also pegged another problem of liberal ideology when it comes to welfare. Hales notes that incorrect systems of welfare “give subsidies with no labor required.” This, in a nutshell, aptly describes the vast system of entitlements enacted by progressive legislators and signed into law by equally progressive presidents. Liberal entitlement programs do not require the able-bodied to work for what they receive. This robs the poor of their dignity. It robs the poor of the desire to work and lift themselves from the depths of poverty through their own efforts. It robs the poor of not only their own lives but the lives of their posterity by creating and perpetuating a permanent culture wherein people exist in poverty and misery – barely able to exist upon the meager handouts of the public dole. Public entitlements suck the very life from the souls of men, women, and children by taking away their incentive to better themselves. No conservative endorses a system in which those who are truly physically incapable of providing for their own needs are denied food, clothing, shelter, and other basic needs. But conservatives are keenly aware of the emotionally damaging aspects of the public dole. It literally destroys people.

Public entitlements also create massive amounts of debt – a phenomenon now fully on display in the United States of America. Under President Barack H. Obama, the public debt has soared to record heights because of his profligate spending – much of it on idiotic programs of dubious value. By funding entitlements through raids on the public treasury, Obama and his ilk have unfairly and unethically burdened both the present and future generations. The heavy burden of unrepayable debt threatens to crush our society – which is also part of the liberal plan.

The liberal philosophy regarding welfare also promotes greediness, the final aspect of unworkable welfare systems described by Hales. Obama is happy to forcibly take money from the rich and the middle class in order to shower it upon the heads of the poor. But take notice that Obama is not willing to put a crowbar to his own personal fortune and pry loose any funds to be used to relieve the suffering of his half-brother who lives in a shack in Kenya. Is Obama his brother’s keeper? Apparently not! Obama also ignores the plight of his aunt who lives in the projects on the east coast. While Obama greedily keeps his money to himself and lives the high-life on the public dime, his relatives languish in abject poverty with no hope for change that they can believe in.

The wisest of the Greeks was always held to be Solon, the father of democracy. Solon foretold the Age of Obama and others like him who through their destructive actions would bring down empires:

The ruin of our state will never come by the doom of Zeus; . . . it is the townsfolk themselves and their false-hearted leaders who would feign destroy our city through wantonness and love of money; . . . they are rich because they yield to the temptation of dishonest courses. . . . They spare neither the treasures of the gods nor the property of the state, and steal like brigands one from another. They pay no heed to the Unshaken rock of holy Justice; . . . our beloved city is rapidly wasted and consumed in those secret deals which are the delight of dishonest men. – Solon

Dr. Hugh W. Nibley, commenting on Solon’s proclamation, said:

It is the perennial story: “Ye yourselves raised these men to power over you, and have reduced yourselves by this course to a wretched state of servitude. Individually, you are a lot of sly foxes, but collectively, you are a set of simpletons. For ye look to the tongue and the play of a man’s speech and ignore the deed which is done before your very eyes.”( Ivan M. Linforth, Solon the Athenian (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1919), 140-45. The trouble is that “no visible limit is set to wealth among men. Even now those among us who have the largest fortune are striving with redoubled energy.” Then Solon… strikes a familiar note: “Wealth comes to mortals by the gifts of the gods. But out of it comes madness, which leads to destruction when Zeus sends this madness as a punishment to men.

Thus we see liberals decrying the greed of capitalism while they hoard their cash, like Obama, refusing to come to the aid of their brothers in need. Thus we see the Hollywood set wallowing in their wealth and seeking to curry favor with the powerful in society by promoting socialism while, like Obama, refusing the share of the abundance with the truly downtrodden among us.

The economist Daniel Yergin, writing about the problem of poverty in society said this:

There is an increasing doubt [among economists] that anything at all can be done about anything; . . . if that wisdom is correct, then any “solutions” to poverty become far more difficult and painful; they cannot be financed out of a growth dividend, but only by redistributing what others already have, in turn creating massive social unrest [most utopians did that merely by suggesting such a move]. Before the 1974-1975 minidepression, all financial poverty could have been eliminated at a modest shift of $10-15 billion to the poor from the rest of the community. 15 billion is less than 1.5% of the GNP, about the size of one of the cheaper weapons systems.

Once again, we turn to Nibley – “Our society has gone out of the way not to do what could be done to solve the problem. Why? A community which can at tolerable expense eliminate human distress but refrains from doing so either must believe that it benefits from unemployment or poverty, or that the poor and unemployed are bad people, or that other more important values will be impaired by attempts to help the lower orders—or all of these statements.”

This is an incredible statement by Nibley. Read it again, carefully. Nibley maintains that our society, i.e., our legislators, have chosen not to solve the problem of poverty. Why? It is simple really. The liberal Democrats know that by purposely creating and enlarging a populace totally dependent on government entitlement programs they ensure their own continual political power. Think about it! The Democrats have purposely allowed poverty to expand in the United States simply in order to ensure that they remain in power! It is inconceivable, at best. The scope of the evil is unfathomable. Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan is a lie. The Democrats have no intention of allowing us to hope for change – for change would eliminate the need for Democratic control of society.

No other civilization has permitted the calculus of self-interest so to dominate its culture,” writes the eminent economist and historian Robert L. Heilbroner. “It has transmogrified greed and philistinism into social virtues, and subordinated all values to commercial values.” [See Leonard Silk’s New York Times book review of Robert L. Heilbroner, Business Civilization in Decline (New York: Norton, 1976 )] This is exactly what Thomas More said: “What has heretofore passed as unjust,.. they have turned upside down, and in fact proclaimed it publicly and by law to be nothing less than justice itself.”[Sir Thomas More, Utopia, 1:25] And that is exactly what Ivan Boesky proclaimed when he recently commended “healthy greed” as a high virtue to a college audience. [Mariann Caprino, “Healthy Greed Was Boesky’s Undoing,” reported in Salt Lake Tribune (20 November 1986): D9.] The complete inversion of the utopian ideal is reached when success itself becomes synonymous with money. And what is the end result? The old familiar pictures. A citizen of New York writes,

You have to be on the alert constantly to sense when somebody nearby is out of place, waiting, looking, ready to pounce. You have to clutch your handbag up close, ready to fight for it should that become necessary. You have to put three locks on your door, plus a burglarproof chain. You have to avoid the subways, night or day, and don’t smile at strangers on the bus. [Carolyn Lewis, “The Beasts in the Jungle,” Newsweek (19 January 1981): 8.]

Nibley conducted a great deal of research into the study of ancient utopias, Greek, Christian, Hebrew, Roman, and Coptic, etc. Read his conclusions, below, regarding the common elements found in those ancients who sought out utopia:

Here is what all the great utopians have in common:

  1. They were not losers with axes to grind but the most successful and respected men of their times.
  2. They were preeminently practical men of the world, with far more experience in leadership and organization than their critics.
  3. All attempted to implement the setting up of societies that they believed had existed among men in the past and would again in the future.
  4. Whether Jew, heathen, or Christian, all thought of their utopias as religious societies, and they preached both religious tolerance and the cultivation of faith.
  5. Yet all, in spite of all the great esteem in which they and their works were held, were persecuted by the powers that be, and few escaped violent death.
  6. All suffered disillusionment in their own day; their communities were either violently destroyed or went underground.
  7. They taught that the object of life was joy, and none of them either displayed or recommended stern puritanical judgments. Their utopias were… easygoing.
  8. The advantage of technology and its possibilities for bettering the human condition were first fully realized by the utopians.
  9. They all realized that joy is to be found only in the active mind—the glory of man is intelligence, and knowledge is the stuff on which the mind feeds.
  10. Science, art, scholarship, philosophy, literature were all cultivated together as the principal activity of the citizens. There is quite enough there to keep us all busy even without the urgent imperative of getting lunch. It is because of this that what appears to us as a disturbing uniformity in dress, housing, and so on, presents no problem but rather removes obstacles to the proper studies of mankind.
  11. The joy derived from the senses—beautiful surroundings and impressions—and from the vigorous exercise of our physical as well as our mental faculties is never neglected.
  12. Goods of “secondary intent” (Campanella uses the expression)—clothing, housing, food, medicaments, transportation, etc.—are essential to assist in carrying on the more serious work of the mind and body, but they never become primary, in other words, their own excuse for being, as is the case with us, where to make and market such goods fulfills the measure of one’s existence.
  13. Money and private property are the insuperable obstacles to the achievement of utopia. The two are inseparable because the idea that there is no limit to what money can represent is necessary to implement the equally outrageous idea that there is no limit to what an individual can own. The relationship is succinctly stated in a formula propounded by one of awesome authority in the very beginning, in the first utopia, where he cast the long, dark shadow ahead with those ominous words: “You can have anything in this world for money.”

Were all of these shrewd, experienced, and concerned observers being simplistic in unanimously tracing the root of all evil to money? Well, make a list of some of those evils that today as never before threaten the whole world with dissolution—drugs; pornography; terrorism; nuclear armaments; fraud; corruption; soldiers of fortune; corporate outrages; opportunistic preachers; pollution of air, water, food, and information; acid rain; extinction of species; and so on. Which of these does not have big money as the driving force behind it? The drive for power and gain is the soil in which they all flourish.

Reading Nibley’s works in-depth show that he is not against private ownership of property. What he is against is people accumulating more than what they need – thereby depriving the poor of what “they” need. What Nibley rails against is greed – a subject that goes to the very core of what Obama is about.

No society will ever solve the problem of poverty through government entitlement programs. The solution cannot be forced upon us by Obama’s dictatorial edict of the redistribution of wealth. The solution is a voluntary one. The solution must include teaching the poor how to become self-reliant. The solution must teach the self-reliant how to care for their families. The solution must teach those who care for their families to voluntarily reach out and extend helping hands to the down and out. The solution must be run with integrity, without guile, and without greediness.

Utopia cannot be achieved through the forced distribution of wealth. The answer lies in voluntary acts of love and mercy, tempered with the realization that man is meant to work for what he receives. This preserves the dignity of the poor and shows them the way to work towards becoming self-reliant. Men are meant to stand independent and strong.

By work we sustain and enrich life. It enables us to survive the disappointments and tragedies of the mortal experience. Hard-earned achievement brings a sense of self-worth. Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God. A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires. – D. Todd Christofferson

We will only solve the problem of poverty through the proper application of conservative principles. Liberalism only exacerbates the problem. Conservatism solves it. By consecrating our lives in service to our fellow men – lifting them up, comforting them, and teaching them to become self-reliant, we can solve the problem of poverty. This is why the election of 2012 is so important. Do we choose a continuation of the degrading communistic policies of Obama and the rest of the progressives, or do we choose to free ourselves from bondage and once free, extend our hands in kindness and lift the weary, downtrodden, and poor among us. The choice is ours. And we will live with the consequences of our national decision next year.