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Ignore the Smears, and Help UNICEF

21 Nov

In order to make this point: 

Blonder Paladino Donald Trump accused UNICEF’s CEO of basically ripping off the charity.  

UNICEF USA’s CEO, Caryl M. Stern, responded: 


And UNICEF itself wrote,


In fact, regardless of what Ms. Stern drives, UNICEF took in $455 million in the fiscal year that ended in June 2011. Just under $447 million of that went to fund its programs. Administrative expenses totaled $12 million, and fundraising expenses came to $29 million.  Ms. Stern’s compensation amounts to $454,000 per year – a tremendous amount of money, but not unheard-of for someone managing an operation such as this, based in New York. It represents 0.10% of UNICEF’s annual expenses.

Trump is apparently referencing something that Snopes has already debunked as false; charges that Stern earns over a million dollars per year and has a Rolls-Royce at her disposal

The United States Fund for UNICEF was founded in 1947 to support the work of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) by raising funds for its programs and increasing awareness of the challenges facing the world’s children. The oldest of 37 national committees for UNICEF worldwide, we are part of a global effort to save, protect and improve children’s lives. Every moment of every day, UNICEF is on the ground providing lifesaving help for children in need. We provide families with clean water and sanitation, we vaccinate against childhood illness, and we help protect children against malaria. We provide nourishment to fight malnutrition, and we care for children affected by AIDS. We protect children from abuse, and we give them an education. We are here to make sure that all children lead a healthy, humane, and dignified life.

I don’t know why a craven and mean-spirited wealthy person in the public eye would choose to lie about UNICEF in an effort to do it harm, but you can do something about it. Donate to UNICEF and support its programs, such as providing kids with clean water, an education, health care, AIDS medication, food, vaccinations, and other programs.  


Good Stuff

19 Mar

1. Great Movie I saw this weekend: Senna, an award-winning documentary about the racing career of Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna. (The 2012 Formula 1 season just began, and will return to the US in November in Austin, TX.  Runner-up great movie: Spirited Away.

2.  Great Show I discovered last week: Airplane Repo. Exactly as it sounds, it tracks a team of people who travel the world repossessing aircraft for their secured creditors. It’s got travel, thrills, and legal procedure. I want a job with Sage-Popovich, LLC. 

3. Great Thing this Weekend: This weather is awesome. Washed two cars, cooked on the grill, wore shorts, and enjoyed early summer. 

4. Great Company I dealt with: I had to travel for the day on Friday on Southwest. My final of four flights of the day was to take me from Baltimore to Buffalo, but with the fog, this happened instead: 

When we returned, it was amazing to watch people out-do themselves for getting angry at the ground crew who were just trying to rebook people. After about 15 minutes, the airline realized that rebooking wasn’t going to work, and they just added a 6am flight the following morning. Perfect. 

174 people were mildly inconvenienced by the weather-related delay that was completely out of the airline’s control. We were best off going back to BWI, which is a Southwest hub. My favorite comment came as it was revealed that there were more bags than people, and the aircraft we had might not fit all the bags. Given that small chance that not all of her bags would be on the flight, a woman angrily barked at the woman taking boarding passes (as if she had anything to do with it) that it was a “disaster”. 

No, the plane plunging into the mountains of Pennsylvania would be a “disaster”. A missing bag is merely an inconvenience. 

They handed out new boarding passes in the order of our boarding, and I grabbed a room at an airport hotel and got a few hours’ of sleep before returning to the airport at 5am. The fog was still in place on Saturday morning, and when we landed I didn’t see the ground until we were over the Thruway on final approach to runway 23. Kudos to Southwest for so quickly and effectively accommodating us. 

The Santaland Diaries

23 Dec

In my house, David Sedaris is key to a wonderful Christmas. In the spirit of enlarging your yule, I’d like to share with you the Santaland Diaries.

Santaland Diaries, Part 1:

Click through to hear the full story.

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