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Yet More Miscellaneous Rambling

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Yesterday, I wrote that phrase, "available at Amazon," with a pang of guilt. I don't know if you've noticed it or not, but Catholic apostolates have been "guilting" supporters into buying books from their sites instead of from Amazon. As someone who buys a lot of things from Amazon, it makes me feel a little guilty. When it comes to buying local, I buy from the "little guy" as much as possible, but when it comes to flat-out charitable efforts? I don't really believe in it. I support my charities like I buy life insurance: term policies only. I don't buy a whole life policy, thereby bleeding my investments and my life insurance together. I make my investments for investments; I buy my life insurance for the life insurance (death benefit) only. If I believe in your apostolate (like I do EWTN's), I will still buy from Amazon, but I will also donate money to you and take the tax deduction. I promise: the money I donate to you will more than match the money you're losing on profits from the books I buy at Amazon.

Ceiling. Trastevere

That last ramble prompted me to download EWTN's information tax return (IRS Form 990) from 2014. Wow, I knew it was a large organization, but I didn't realize just how big it was: $47,000,000 in contributions (which, if I had to guess, increased significantly when Mother Angelica died), $45,000,000 in net assets. Also impressive: zero debt (other than current accounts payable), highly reasonable executive salaries, and 86% of its funding goes toward program expenses, according to Charity Navigator. I'll continue to donate.

Ceiling. Trastevere

If you're a fan, this is worth checking out, at least cursorily: An Oral History of Seinfeld. It's a bit too self-indulgently goofy, but entertaining enough. . . if you're a fan.

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