Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"The Red Cross Has Basically Stolen Money from Victims in New Orleans"

Amazing segment on Democracy Now about a five-day International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It is comprised of hurricane survivors, international delegations, expert witnesses, a team of human rights and civil rights prosecutors, and a panel of US-based and international judges, and it opened last night in New Orleans:

MALCOLM SUBER: Well, we believe that the Red Cross has basically stolen money from the victims here in New Orleans. They collected, by their own accounting, $2.1 billion. They claim that they spent $1.9 billion, and they had $200 million left. But we have never had any public accounting of the funds actually spent, and this last $200 million, they have decided to establish a Means to Recovery program, which works through a case management system. And basically the only people who knew about the program were their partners, the other nonprofits, and they would give the money to selective survivors. And we just don't believe that that's a very fair and democratic way. We don't think that the donors who gave the money to the Red Cross intended that the money be set aside and decided by the Red Cross what to do with the money.

And so, we have just been challenging their veracity on this whole program, and witness to that is every time we've confronted them they’ve changed the figures. When we first started this campaign, they said they had $80 million left. A week later, they said they had $40 million left. And then the national president came down here, and he said they had $171 million left. So you don’t know what the story really is, so they haven't gotten their story together.

And, of course, they've been attacking the People's Hurricane Relief Fund, saying that we are spreading lies and stuff against them. But we confronted them directly, and we took our -- their application to the local news media. And they were forced to admit that the program existed, because when people first called about the program, the Red Cross would say, “What are you talking about? We’ve never heard of a Means to Recovery program.” So we want to know why such secrecy, and why did you decide that it was up to you, the Red Cross, to decide what to do?

The other important factor is they got $50 million from Kuwait, and instead of giving that money to people, they built new office buildings in New York City.

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