You want to make a difference, but marching isn't your style. Writing letters to the editor doesn't seem to make a difference in Washington, D.C. There's only so much time in the day and you've got to make a living and care for your family before you spend time volunteering somewhere. This is your chance. You can change the world by engaging in what David Brin calls Proxy Activism, "the uniquely convenient, but seldom discussed, ability of a modern person to participate in activism... helping change the world... by the simple expedience of joining some group that is vigorously pursuing that part of your personal agenda."
You have only have one vote in an election. But you have as many votes as you have dollars when it comes to proxy activism. The year is about to draw to a close - this is your last chance to donate money in 2005 that you can deduct from your taxes in 2006.
I've been putting it off for a while. This evening I finally sat down and became a member of organizations that I feel will make the world a better place.
This year we selected several organizations dedicated to supporting our rights to free speech:
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
The CBLDF is currently engaged in defending Gordon Lee, a comic book retailer in Georgia. A summary:
"Lee, the proprietor of Legends, in Rome, Georgia, faces multiple charges stemming from an incident whereby a minor participating in a community Halloween celebration inadvertently received as a trick or treat gift the 2004 Free Comic Book Day offering by Alternative Comics (cover pictured below). That comic book featured a selection from the historical drama "The Salon," by Nick Bertozzi. The scene in question showed the first meeting between Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Picasso is depicted in the nude on three pages in reflection of historical fact."
The Electronic Freedom Foundation
The EFF is a non-profit dedicated to protecting digital rights. Their latest campaign is for blogger's rights.
And, finally, the American Civil Liberties Union.
It's not just about unreviewed phone taps and intelligent design - the ACLU is a major supporter of free speech rights.
And finally, on the saving-babies front:
The Cambodia Fund
The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation is removing landmines and providing prosthetics for the ongoing wounded in Cambodia and around the world.
Do it tonight - I can't think of a better way to honor Christmas and/or Hanukkah.