From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      Tourbus - 13 Jan 05 - Tsunami Relief


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

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On with the show...

Tsunami Relief Audience: Everyone

Like everyone else around the world, my thoughts and prayers are with the families devastated by the recent tsunami. The news coming out of Asia these past few weeks has been horrific. As usual, Yahoo's Full Coverage at

has done a great job of following this story as it continues to unfold.

If you haven't yet made a donation to aid the relief efforts, it's not too late. In fact, Los Angeles radio station KROQ ["the world-famous K-Rock"] is holding a rather "large" auction to raise money for tsunami victims. The auction list includes a trip for two to see Interpol [the band, not the international criminal police agency] in Paris; a private performance by Hoobastank at any event of your choosing; the opportunity to get your ride "pimped" by West Coast Customs; signed guitars from 311, Korn, Garbage, Tool, The Killers, No Doubt, The Used, Alice in Chains, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, A Perfect Circle, and Green Day; and walk-on roles on the television shows NYPD Blue, That 70's Show, and The OC. For the complete list of KROQ’s auction items, point your web browser to

For an explanation of what the auction items actually *ARE* and why they are so totally cool, ask a teenager. ["TWO guitars signed by Maynard! No WAY!"] One word of warning: The auction ends at about 5:00 PM Pacific [GMT -8] Friday, January 14th.

The following day, Saturday, January 15th, US broadcast television network NBC along with its sister networks USA, Bravo, Trio, SCI FI, PAX, Telemundo, MSNBC and CNBC, will hold a two hour "Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope" telethon. Funds raised during the telethon will support the American Red Cross. For more information, please visit

or check your local television schedule. The list of people scheduled to appear during the telethon reads like Who's Who of both the musical and political worlds--Madonna, Kenny Chesney, Elton John, Eric Clapton, George Bush [41], Bill Clinton, Bill O'Reilly, George Clooney, etc.--so fire up your Tivos. This will be an event you don't want to miss.

But what if you'd rather make a donation directly to a support agency instead of to an LA radio station or to the NBC telethon? The White House recently posted a fact sheet at

that includes a HUGE list of relief agencies around the world that are accepting donations. Newsweek magazine also recently posted a chart showing you which relief agencies do the best job of turning your donations into direct aid:

So long as you choose a reputable relief agency from one of these two lists, you can all but guarantee that your money WILL be going to the relief efforts in Asia. Go off the list, however, and you are taking your chances.

I don't have to tell you that you should NEVER donate money to ANYONE who contacts you via email, right? There is something about disasters that breeds parasites, and fake tsunami charities are popping up all over the world. If you do choose to donate to a charity that is "off the list," so to speak, Interpol [the police agency this time, not the band] recommends that you:

  • Ask charity collectors for proof of identity as well as written
  • permission to collect money in the name of their organization.

  • In suspicious cases, note the identity details of the
  • collector(s) and immediately inform your local police.

  • Follow donation advice from your governmental institutions or
  • national and international charity organizations published in the press and media and/or contact directly charity organizations to obtain details on how to make donations.

  • Do not respond to requests for unsolicited donations received
  • by phone, fax or e-mail.

  • Avoid buying goods from private sellers, companies through or
  • via Internet based on their promise of donations from proceeds.

  • Avoid sending donations via wire transfer remittances to
  • accounts outside your country of residence.

    [Source: ]

    Finally, if you are a US citizen, you can claim a charitable tax deduction on your 2004 tax returns for tsunami disaster relief-related cash donations you make before January 31, 2005. In other words, you can donate money today [2005] and claim the donation on last year's [2004] tax returns. For more information, either visit

    or contact your tax advisor. [Oh, and “tax advisor” is *NOT* the same as “fearless bus driver.” I leave all questions about tax law and the Infernal Revenue Serpents to the REAL experts.]

    That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon.

    The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
    Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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