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Category Archives: Philanthropist

Global Tentacles

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Giraffe Cave Art at the NamibRand Nature Reserve
Picture credit: Namibnat

 

At first glance this morning, this news appeared to be a positive move, made by someone who had their heart and their power, in the right place, and was a cause for tremendous joy.
But then after reading further and seeking secondary and other stories for reference, it seems that all is not as it appears.
Paul Allen, the Billionaire philanthropist, who is seemingly strongly supportive of protecting Endangered Wildlife, has several not so nice personal blemishes, that must also be considered before we proceed to give him his Best Global Humanitarian Award.
Mr. Allen has introduced a measure to get on the Fall Ballots in Washington State, that will put a hurting on those who use the World’s  most at risk wildlife to make a dirty income.
The measure, called Inititive 1401, has already reached, thanks to all of his volunteers in the field, the necessary number to get on to the Ballot in November.

This is a great thing.

What I am having trouble with, is the dark side of his company Vulcan and his sister Jody, who was the CEO, and has just stepped down after some very ugly issues about wildlife  poaching and sexual harassment were brought to light by accusers who work for Allen’s company.
I will not go fully into these things, as they are well presented in the links below.
What I am interested in pointing out here is this.
When very rich, very powerful people make the news and receive gushing accolades without the public or the press, doing more than just a little background digging into the facts, bad things can happen.
In this case, Allen, who has passionately promoted this initiative in Washington, to save and protect wildlife, seems awesome, but something here is not right, and  it all smells just a little rank, when you learn that he has regularly taken African Safaris and owns Tourist Lodges in Botswana.

Now add to this, the fact that his Company Vulcan,  formerly run by his sister, has been taken to court and accused of smuggling, poaching and more.
All too often, people like Allen and his sister, are unlike you and me, frequently kept safely in a cocoon, so that the scandals, or dirt runs off of them and does not stain their pristine, public images.
My concern and primary reason for writing about this today is, that it would be so much easier to believe Allen and all the others who claim to be truly concerned about the welfare of Endangered Wildlife, if there was not so damn much money involved in all of this.

If, as you do so passionately profess Mr. Allen, you truly do wish to protect Endangered African Wildlife, may I suggest that you dispose of your African Tourist Lodges and suspend your Safari trips?

It would be wonderful to see those with so much wealth, using it to personally educate and enlighten the rest of the world to what is happening to the precious few wild animals that we have left, before they are all gone.

We absolutely must take this message out to the schools, to the young, who will become our next generation of protectors.

Sadly, access to excessive money can turn even the best people’s heads the wrong way and there is just too much at stake here.

The treacherous arms of Global Smugglers and Wildlife Traffickers can have very long tentacles, some are even said to be attached to Global Mobsters, that just may reach into even safe corners, including those of the well protected, well insulated, excessively wealthy.

 

Places to learn more:

Washington Rare Species Trafficking Measure, Initiative 1401 (2015)

Global Efforts to Stop Illicit Wildlife Trade: Are They Enough?

China Promises an End to Its Ivory Trade, While Some U.S. Politicians Pander to Wildlife Traffickers

Paul Allen: Seeking unbroken tall bones?

Paul Allen’s sister steps away from managing $17 bln fortune

Seahawks owner Paul Allen, sister settle as bodyguards claim smuggling, bribery

War threatens existence of wildlife species in South Sudan

Washington State Initiative Aims to Protect Iconic Animals Threatened With Extinction

Paul Allen bankrolls initiative to ban rare-species trafficking

 

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You Gotta Love Leo~

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Leo at the premier of  Wolf of Wall Street  in London.
Picture credit: Wikipedia/Christopher William Adach
 
AN UPDATE 
**After seeing this film last night for the first, and last time, it is absolute that Leo gave a masterful Oscar worthy performance. However, the film was disgusting, filthy and sexist. It is basically pure porn and not anything that I would ever suffer through again, nor could ever recommend.**

We will be finally be able to see this multi talented man in the highly acclaimed, ” Wolf Of Wall Street.”

It was just recorded overnight and we will watch it for the first time tonight.

Leonardo DiCaprio has enjoyed a lengthy, impressive film career and when he comes to town, people always take notice.

As a long time admirer of his off-screen philanthropic work, it is so fitting to write this today to acknowledge what happened yesterday in New York.

Although most people, I suppose, think of Leo only as a movie star, like with so many others who perform on-screen, my respect for him, comes not for his acting, but for the admirable things he does away from Hollywood.

When he made his appearance yesterday at the UN Summit on Climate Change, Leo wasn’t just showing up to be admired, although he was given a most prestigious welcoming  by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,  naming him as the Messenger of Peace.

For this Hollywood legend, Climate Change and the disturbing state of the World’s Environmental Health are not only vital, they are something that he has cared deeply about for many years.

So often with those who are in the public eye and under the glare of the lights, it can sometimes be difficult to be taken seriously for those causes, or issues that are close to your heart.

Especially when you look like Leo!

This well known and much loved man, who came to this Summit, was only one of a very long list of VIP’s, Global leaders and others who came to speak about what so many believe, is the most important issue in our World right now, Climate Change.

What disturbs many of us the most, is that it has been five very long years since the last one and nothing was done at that one.

This very abused and tired planet, simply cannot wait another five years for us to wake up and stop our deadly bad behavior.

At any given moment, Mother Earth may just throw her hands up and say: ” You don’t show me any respect, so forget you, I’m outta here~”

Or she may allow us one more last gasp of a chance, thanks to some people like Leo.

You gotta love Leo~

 

Places to learn more:

Leonardo DiCaprio addresses world leaders at the UN: Climate change is real

Secretary-General designates Leonardo DiCaprio as UN Messenger of Peace

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Foundation Grants $3 Million to Ocean Conservation

Thousands rally for climate change action

Leonardo DiCaprio – Wikipedia

Leonardo DiCaprio Biography

 

 

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Paul Newman, the Philanthropist

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Paul Newman in 1963
Picture credit: Wikipedia

 

Philanthropists give me hope for us as a species.

These are the wonderful people who make an enormous amount of money and then choose to give it away, or at least share a great deal of with those in need.

Perhaps it was a direct result of the fact that we had some of his pasta sauce for dinner last night, that Paul Newman’s name immediately came to my mind for a post on Philanthropists.

This son of Jewish Hungarian/ Polish immigrants would become one of the most beloved and well-known celebrities of his time.

Sadly, Paul has left us now, but his great work and generous donations live on through his Global Organization, Newman’s Own, and this franchise, ” as of 2013, has donated in excess of $380 Million ”   –  Wikipedia

This movie star, actor, race car driver and political activist attracted legions of admirers all of his life, but he is dearest to my heart primarily because of his great concern and compassion for so many others, all of his life.

It doesn’t hurt that he is also a fellow Buckeye!

Paul’s life was full and rich and filled to the brim with accolades for films and racing, but to me, it was what he did away from the glitz of Fame, that made him such a remarkable human being.

A true mark of his infinite wisdom and great class, was in his choosing and remaining married to his beautiful wife, the quite talented actress Joanne Woodward for 50 years.

Newman, who was well-known for his quick wit and clever humor, never avoided sharing advice laced with humor, as with this great line about marital fidelity:
” Why go out for a hamburger when you have steak at home? ” –  Wikipedia

He did indeed have steak at home and it was Filet Mignon in my opinion.

Newman’s Own began in 1982 with writer, partner E. A. Hotchner and the extensive list of products that they now produce includes, everything from pasta sauce to pet food, as is aptly demonstrated with the newest Newman Company Branch that  includes Organics like,  pet products, snacks and coffee.

Newman’s name can now be found on everything from popcorn, to pet food and pizzas.

I am a great supporter of the Organic arm of his Company and we have tried many of the products and like the fact that with every purchase,  we are helping someone, somewhere.

The one common ingredient in all of the products that the Newman Companies provide and produce is: quality.

Aside from the multitude of great food products, this warm and generous soul began in 1988, a wonderful place for kids with serious illnesses with his “Hole in the Wall Gang  Camps.

Although for millions around the world, Paul Newman will always be remembered as the quintessential, glamorous and exciting, movie star/actor, to me, he was much, much more, he was Paul Newman, the Philanthropist.

 

Places to learn more:

Biography

Paul Newman

Paul Newman – IMDB

Newman’s Own

Hole in the Wall Gang Camp

Serious Fun Children’s Network

An Obituary

 

 

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