What’s going on in Bowling Green, KY? A presumption of good intentions?

Update November 2nd:  Bowling Green overloaded, refugees to go to Owensboro, here.

When I first saw this article yesterday from “welcoming” Bowling Green, I assumed I would be writing another of those puffy ‘refugees see first snow’ stories.  That’s what I call the template story that always begins with a recitation of the terrible circumstances refugees found themselves in that resulted in their resettlement to America where they struggle to survive with little federal money, but with the miracle of seeing their first snow comes hope for the future.   I swear it makes me wonder if there are actually professors that teach this style of writing in journalism school.

I started a little research and found there is much much more to whatever is going on in Bowling Green (a preferred community!) with one resettlement agency in particular.

So, here is the ‘snow’ story, sans snow, with some bits I wanted to mention before getting to other puzzling aspects that turned up in my research.

The article begins with the usual very sad story of how rough the Zaw family had it in Burma.   Now the Zaws are settled in Bowling Green where both college-educated parents can’t find work other than Mr. Zaw’s  job in a chicken processing plant.  I’ve followed so many of these stories that I can almost bet there is a chicken or meat packing facility somewhere near where the federally contracted resettlement agency has placed new refugees who must work or be kicked out of apartments—some within 3 months of arriving.

We learn that more than 15 years ago the city of Bowling Green was flooded with 3000 Bosnians.  Funny, what a coincidence that’s about the same time the meatpackers of Iowa were rewarded with Bosnian labor by the Clinton Administration!  I swear the head honcho do-gooders are really head hunters for big business!

Back to the Zaw family’s resettlement with the Bowling Green International Center:

Speaking of the Burmese, Tatyana Sahanic, the center’s refugee program director who happens to be Bosnian, says:

“There is the perception that this group is more foreign than the Bosnians,” she said. “They look different and many have lived in the jungle without electricity or running water so they have to learn very basic tasks like using a microwave or washing machine.”

Read on, there are lots of column inches devoted to how little they get from the resettlement agency and the federal government and on top of that they need to pay back their airfare (this article does not tell you that Ms. Sahanic’s agency will be getting a cut of anything they can collect from the refugee for the family’s airfare bill).

Many arrive with only a plastic bag filled with their belongings, and an IOU for the U.S. government for thousands of dollars for their plane fare. That amount can often range from $3,000 to $9,000, depending on the number of family members in the group. The refugees have three years to pay the money back before they are subject to negative credit, regardless of their economic situation, Sahanic said.

The caption under the photo tells us that Ms. Shanic’s agency, the Bowling Green International Center, may not be fulfilling its contract with the State Department.  Refugees are supposed to be supplied with basic furniture and clothes.  BTW, clothes are cheap, just stop by any local yard sale and you will know what I mean.

The Zaw family, Kaung (from left), 1-month-old Hay man, mother Yi mon and 4-year-old Hein Htet, are Burmese refugees who have been in Bowling Green for three months. Their apartment is almost bare with no personal effects adorning the walls and very little furniture. They are concerned about the upcoming winter and have few clothes and amenities.

How many Burmese are being resettled in Bowling Green?  Who knows because the article gives us two different numbers.

805 other Burmese refugees who have been resettled through the Bowling Green International Center since 2004.

And this:

About 500 resettled Burmese refugees have made their home in Bowling Green.

Of course the explanation for the discrepancy may be that 305 Burmese moved on shortly after resettlement by the Bowling Green International Center.

And, before I get on to who is the Bowling Green International Center, this little line was curious.  Why on earth would an Al Jazeera reporter be interested in a presumably Karen family?

The Zaws received special assistance from a journalist who worked with Al Jazeera.

What is the Bowling Green International Center?  Who are they?  Who are they affiliated with? 

I thought this would be simple, that I would just look up BGIC and find a website, but no such luck.    I soon found out they have two names—why?  Who knows!  According to The Idealist.org.

The mission of the International Center (Western Kentucky Refugee Mutual Assistance Association, Inc.) is to serve the area’s foreign-born by advocating for their rights, facilitating economic self-sufficiency, empowering communities, and supporting cultural integrity and family solidarity while assisting them to assimilate and contribute to their new country. We specialize in advocacy and services to the foreign born and serve refugees, asylees, and immigrants. We are a partner agency of U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)in the resettlement of refugees and asylees.

Affiliate of USCRI, the plot thickens.   Learn all about how USCRI itself has changed its name, here.   O.K. so since I couldn’t find a website for BGIC, I went to USCRI affiliates page and yup, there it is listed as the Western Kentucky Refugee Mutual Assistance Association, Inc.  There is a link for a website which no longer works, why?

Checking on the Form 990’s

My next stop was BGIC’s Form 990’s, but when there were none I immediately figured of course they would be listed under the Western Kentucky name.  Sure enough, here is their 2008 Form 990.  Check it out!  In that fiscal year (July 07 to June 08) they received $796,907 from government grants (that’s you!) in a total income of $1,001,667.  That’s 80% of its funds from taxpayers.

Scroll all the way to the end of the return and note that they claim to have filed requests for extensions of time to file because some third party information was not available.  By the way, when I look at these Form 990’s virtually everyone of these resettlement agencies files for extensions and virtually never has their Form 990 in on time, so that is no surprise.   This agency claims they couldn’t find the letters from the IRS allowing two time extensions—-great bookkeeping!

Political advocacy on your dime and how conservatives are outspent!

Now, have a look at this Form 990 for 2006 where 87% of this group (whatever its name is) was funded by taxpayers.   Yet, here they are involved in lobbying for an Amnesty for illegal aliens bill before Congress that year!

What gives here?  Why does USCRI use this group’s name interchangeably?  Is it to confuse the public?  And, most importantly how is it possible that this group that gets as much as 87% of it’s funding from taxpayers to care for refugees is busy advocating and lobbying for legislation before Congress?  

Hundreds of people from all walks of life gathered Sunday afternoon in front of the Warren County Justice Center on Center Street to show their support for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s recently penned compromise bill that would neither make undocumented immigration a felony nor send home the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in America.

Carrying signs that read, “We love the USA,” “The USA was built by immigrants,” and “No man is illegal,” the group cheered and applauded as local religious leaders and human rights advocates spoke on a makeshift stage decorated with red, white and blue balloons.


The legislation in question is an immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate, which would give legal status to illegal immigrants already in the country, while tightening border controls and implementing a guest worker program supported by labor. The original version of the bill, passed by the House of Representatives, would make undocumented immigrants living in the United States guilty of a felony.


The International Center supports the Senate’s reform bill, said Executive Director Marty Deputy, who helped organize the rally.

I think they all went to the ACORN school of community organizing that goes something like this: obtain federal grant money for humanitarian purposes (wealth redistribution), set up many groups so the public stays confused, and then use other people’s tax money for leftwing political advocacy. 

Meanwhile refugees like the Zaw family don’t have enough clothes as winter approaches.

For more information use our search function for Bowling Green.  We have several not so happy stories from that “welcoming” city.

AIM conference dissects Obama, media, global warming and more

As Ann told you on Friday, she and I attended a conference put on by AIM, Accuracy in Media, to celebrate their 40th anniversary on Friday.  As bloggers we got a free pass. I’m pleased to see that “journalists and bloggers” are a category now, in the eyes of many. It was a packed schedule, one speaker after another, and most of them were very good. Here’s a brief summary:

Cliff Kincaid, AIM’s editor, went through some influences on Obama’s thinking, including Frank Marshall Davis, a mentor and black role model to the young Barack Obama. He was a Communist who was under surveillance by the FBI. Kincaid introduced Trevor Loudon, somebody Ann and I were excited to see.

Trevor Loudon is a New Zealander whose blog is at http://newzeal.blogspot.com/. If you’ve never heard of him it’s because our media are so timid; because Loudon had the scoop on Obama’s leftist past in great detail all during the presidential campaign, when most journalists refused to look into Obama’s background and ideology at all. Glenn Beck discovered him, though, and used his material extensively.

Trevor Loudon pointed out that the left’s goal is to infiltrate and take over mainstream institutions. To see what the Democratic Party will do next, read the People’s Weekly World or another Communist newsspaper, because that’s where the radical-left-controlled Dems get their agenda.

Asked about upcoming revelations, Loudon said he has a lot more on staffers in the Obama administration. In addition, he will write about foreign involvement in the Obama campaign and administration. In answer to a question from Ann, he said that the Apollo Alliance (a group covered extensively by Glenn Beck and others) was formed to unite the labor and environmental movements, who were often at odds. The notion of Green Jobs is a tactic to suck working-class people into the radical movement. Did you know $500 million of the stimulus bill was earmarked for green jobs? I didn’t, though I note that last week a woman I know who is still in an electrician’s training course was snapped up by a solar energy company less than 24 hours after she sent in her resume.

Andy McCarthy spoke about the administration and the left’s attack on the CIA and on the war on terror. He said the Department of Justice is obsessed with partisan concerns. If there is an attack on the U.S. there will be a lot of questions asked about why this could happen.

A panel on global warming was interesting. The moderator said they had tried to get somebody who believed in man-made global warming for the panel but couldn’t. So we heard from three others: Marc Morano is a science writer and former advisor to Senator James Inhofe. His website is http://www.climatedepot.com/. He gave us this amazing quote from our own Senator Ben Cardin, who called cap and trade “the most significant revenue-generating proposal of our time.”

Ann McElhenney, maker of a new documentary film about the global warming, Not Evil Just Wrong, a refutation of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth.  Her next project is a film showing the indoctrination of children into environmental radicalism in schools, and she asked for the public to send her examples.

Lord Christopher Monckton, former science advisor to Margaret Thatcher, gave a dizzying array of facts showing how wrong the conventional wisdom is on global warming, and also how persecuted those are who try to present the truth.  He said we are going from the age of enlightenment into a new dark age. His YouTube clips are here. All three panelists were very knowledgeable as well as entertaining. 

Tony Blankley, former White House policy analyst for Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich’s press secretary when he was Speaker of the House, spoke at lunch. He said he was shocked at the media during the presidential campaign. Not for their leftism, which is no surprise, but their lack of shame at their open lack of objectivity. Journalism school used to teach that there was an adversary relationship between the media and government officials, but that no longer seems to obtain.

Blankley sees the democratic nature of the digital media as a good sign. The left and the right will unite to defend the freedom of the Internet.

Next was a panel on ACORN. Anita MonCrief, former ACORN employee and whistleblower, told her personal story. She was working with a New York Times reporter during the 2008 campaign, but the editors killed the story which would have been published shortly before the election. She is being sued for $5 million by Project Vote, an ACORN affiliate. Her story and her defense fund are here.

Hans von Spakovsky is a former member of the Federal Election Commission and a legal analyst at the Heritage Foundation. He pointed out that the widely publicized congressional cutoff of ACORN’s funding was only a temporary measure that expires October 31. He related ways to deal with ACORN legislatively and judicially. Members of Congress have issued reports and called on the Department of Justice to investigate, but this will not happen in the Obama administration. There are several bills in Congress to defund ACORN now and in the future.

John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, longtime reporter on election fraud, talked about how ACORN could have gotten away with so much for so long. He said it as based on racial guilt, even though ACORN is actually like a plantation, with a few white people at the top making a lot of money, and lots of blacks at the bottom doing the grunt work for low pay. He said this might be a situation where a special prosecutor is needed that is independent of the administration.

We stayed for one more speaker, Jonah Goldberg of National Review and author of the excellent best-seller Liberal Fascism. He titled his talk “Two Cheers for Incivility” and pointed out that much of what the left bemoans as incivility is actually just criticism of their policies. He is optimistic about the future for conservatives and points out that the insults hurled at the right are signs of the panic and desperation of the media.

He said that for a while journalists all wanted to be opinion commentators, but there is a shift to wanting to report facts. There is a big market for new facts. The team that uncovered the ACORN outrages posing as a prostitute and a pimp, Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe, are admired by young people. Some think they’re great, but many more think they’re cool, and that is probably more important.

We left after that, missing the final panel on the New Media and the Future of Journalism. It seems to be on a C-SPAN website, here.

It was a good day, and my main criticism is that it was so poorly attended that those at AIM responsible for that should be horsewhipped. It would have been easy to fill up the room with young journalist or congressional staff if anyone had put a little thought and work into it. I’ve only seen a little of it on C-SPAN, so I don’t know if the cameras panned the sparsely-populated audience as they often do. But since it is on C-SPAN, presumably it will get seen by many more people, as it should.

Just one more bit to make the obvious connection to this blog. We are part of the new media, and coverage of the downside of refugee resettlement is almost nonexistent in the mainstream media. We are one little piece of the new ability of citizens to present information that sometimes finds its way into public consciousness and sometimes even makes it into larger media outlets.