Local politics are always amusing.
Here are three stories to keep you
Progressives say the earth is a
The Miss-Lou’s breaking news:
Bear poacher arrested. Job losses continue.
Melanie Sojourner will
head new campaign.
Alcorn State is in
The Advice Goddess:
He can make them laugh. But do they
Terry Savage on money:
Can America create another round of
extraordinary economic growth and
McAllister on health:
Steroids should not be overused for
Thomas Sowell thinking clearly:
Here are a few books that should be on your
The Fed has way too much
Tourists and pilgrims welcome:
Natchez and Vidalia offer true
Win cash or prizes!
The last gas contest
worked so well, we’re giving away $200 in gas once more!
More good writing:
Peter Rinaldi takes no prisoners. Read
Predators rely on generous
Members of America’s military services are being shown spontaneous respect
It hasn’t always been that way.
Today, however, soldiers have told me that if they’re in
uniform in a mall, in an airport or just walking down the street, people
will look at them, smile and whisper, “Thanks.” They get handshakes, hugs,
salutes. The loudest applause at every college football game is reserved for
the “veteran of the week” being introduced to fans in the stands. At holiday
parades all around Mississippi, locals who have taken up arms to protect the
nation get cheers almost as loud as those for Santa Claus.
America is sharply divided on whether the two wars launched in the aftermath
of the air attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were righteous. Americans today are
not at all divided on our admiration of those who volunteered to serve in
those wars and in defense of the nation, generally.
Sadly, this trend has not been lost on the predator class, the scum who
scheme to scam us.
one thing to rob a bank, a liquor store or grab a little old lady’s purse
and run, but it takes a special level of evil to put on a coat and tie, rent
a post office box and become a “charity” soliciting donations and knowing
all the time that most of the money will be pocketed.
many years now, Mississippi secretaries of state have published annual lists
of registered charities. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has continued
that practice. Unlike the early days when the “charity list” was a thick,
paperbound book that might have been available in the nearest library, this
year’s list is online and searchable.
in the name. Get the report card on that charity.
is simply no reason for any Mississippian to be scammed anymore.
the name of a charity seeking a gift is not in the database, the charity is
operating outside of state law and should not be given a penny.
the name of a charity seeking a gift is in the database, there will be a
percentage chart showing how much the charity reported receiving, how much
was allocated to works and how much was allocated to overhead. It’s far from
full disclosure. It’s far from perfect, but the Better Business Bureau
advises that worthwhile organizations will spend at least 65 percent of
revenue on program activities.
“Veteran” and “military” are hot terms for charities to include in their
names. Indeed, at least 100 groups on the list contain the word “veteran.”
“Cancer” is also common. “Children.” “Homeless.” These words get our
attention, but how do we tell which ones are “fake” and which ones are “for
Take the Maryland-based Veterans
Support Foundation for example. Not picking
on them, but their last report shows
$2.7 million collected, from which $1.2 million was paid out in fundraising
expenses and $830,000 went to administration. That left less than a quarter
of every donated dollar spent on “program activities,” meaning the
activities donors had every reason to believe their gifts were sustaining.
Center for American Homeless Veterans, Inc., according to its report,
collected almost $400,000 and spent less than $100,000 on program
All charities have expenses;
all charities have overhead. But make no mistake — charity is big business
in America and the outliers thrive only because Americans aren’t paying
enough attention when they respond to solicitations.
Sometimes people say, “Well,
this kind of thing ought to be illegal.” The Supreme Court has answered that
question many times. The justices have said that in a free nation anybody is
free to ask anybody else for money.
What the court didn’t say —but
what is implicit — is that this freedom creates a duty for donors to be
smarter. Government is big enough without having to regulate how charities,
including churches, spend donations.
great country and it’s a great time of year. It’s wonderful to be blessed
with heartstrings that can be tugged. It’s a horrible thing to see generous
people targeted as prey.
We do, however, have a tool to
check these things out. And, by the way, if we focus on helping our families
and neighbors, we can know for sure that what we can share will be wisely