12_days_2018-12 — Sunday, January 6, 2019 — 00:23

Happy 12th Day of Christmas, everyone!

Today’s gift goes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude does research on childhood cancer and other catastrophic diseases, and helps kids get well. They want every child to be able to survive a bad diagnoses. For children in their care, they have an 80% survival rate for childhood cancer, up from 20% when they started, thanks in large part to treatments developed at St. Jude. And, of course, to their []

12_days_2018-11 — Saturday, January 5, 2019 — 00:12

Happy 11th Day of Christmas! Today’s gift goes to NARAL.

I moved from Ohio to Oregon this year, but I’m giving this donation to NARAL’s Ohio chapter. While in the current political climate, abortion rights shouldn’t be considered “safe” in any state, Oregon is in much better shape than Ohio. Here in Oregon, in this most recent election, an explicit anti-abortion bill was defeated by roughly a 2:1 margin, and our existing progressive governor won re-election in significant []

12_days_2018-10 — Thursday, January 3, 2019 — 22:26

Happy 10th Day of Christmas!

Today’s gift goes to KBOO, Oregon’s listener-supported non-commercial radio station. They’re mostly volunteer-run, with only 9 actual employees, and produce a variety of original shows on music, news, and culture, as well as syndicating some really intersting stuff. I first heard about KBOO well before moving out here, at a talk with Democracy Now! ’s Amy Goodman, where she talked about their long relationship []

12_days_2018-9 — Wednesday, January 2, 2019 — 22:40

Happy 9th Day of Christmas! Today’s gift goes to the Lupus Research Alliance.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease which affects about 1.5 million Americans (including my favorite one). Like many autoimmune disease, its causes and how it operates aren’t very well understood, and there’s often limited treatment options. The Lupus Research Alliance is the leading private funder of lupus research, and if you donate, []

12_days_2018-8 — Tuesday, January 1, 2019 — 23:43

Happy 8th Day of Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy… Feast of the Circumcision of Christ? “Happy holidays” indeed.

I’m kicking off 2019 by supporting App Camp for Girls, a program to help girls, transgender & gender non-conforming youth learn about the practice and business of technology with hands-on experience, and inspire them towards tech. It’s a great direct action approach to combating some of the problems leading to the remarkable []

12_days_2018-7 — Monday, December 31, 2018 — 21:34

Happy 7th Day of Christmas, and happy New Years' Eve!

I’m wrapping the calendar year up with an easy one for me: City Fresh. Moving away from Ohio this year, City Fresh is, aside from individual people, the thing I miss most. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a non-profit Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group, connecting small farms in the area to people who’d like fresh, tasty, local veggies. It’s also the only CSA group I’m aware of with a social []

12_days_2018-6 — Sunday, December 30, 2018 — 21:54

Happy 6th Day of Christmas!

The Dougy Center provides a space where children, young people, and their families who are grieving a death can share and process their experiences. They provide direct support to people, in the form of facilitating peer support groups, and also provide materials and training for people around the world who need to be able to handle similar needs. []

12_days_2018-5 — Saturday, December 29, 2018 — 23:52

Happy 5th Day of Christmas!

This year I moved from outside Cleveland to a bit north of Portland, moving my nearest major body of water from Lake Erie to the Columbia River. Both are under a number of environmental pressures. Columbia Riverkeeper does a lot of legal work and community organizing to help protect the river. Right now, we’re dealing with a number of efforts to expand fossil fuel transport up and down the river (which is an []

12_days_2018-4 — Saturday, December 29, 2018 — 23:08

Happy 4th Day of Christmas!

For this 4th day, I’m supporting Outside In, a Portland organization which works to provide services to local homeless youth and other marginalized folks. For 50 years, they’ve been providing housing, education, employment, medical care, counseling, and a variety of other services. They do a good job of understanding the variety of experiences that lead people into bad situations, meeting people where []

12_days_2018-3 — Thursday, December 27, 2018 — 22:14

Happy 3rd Day of Christmas!

For this third day, I’m again supporting the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU remains the strongest independent legal defender of our civil rights, for nearly 100 years now. They list some highlights of their long fitht, and it’s quite impressive — and does a good job of illustrating their commitment to principle. They defend the rights of every American, even those we don’t like, but especially the most []

12_days_2018-2 — Wednesday, December 26, 2018 — 23:24

Happy 2nd Day of Christmas — Boxing Day!

If your Christmas went anything like almost all of mine have, a big part of the celebration involved eating more food than is probably wise. This year, we made lasagna as our main dish, and my mom went way overboard (as is standard in our family) with pastries and cookies from our favorite Italian bakery in New Jersey. Breakfast this morning was leftover pastries, which means we’ve now maybe gotten about []

12_days_2018-1 — Tuesday, December 25, 2018 — 20:29

Merry 1st day of Christmas, everyone.

To celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas, I’m going 12 Days of Giving again this year. This year starts off… rough. It doesn’t feel very Christmasy, but that’s sort of the point.

The Christmas story is, more than anything else, a celebration of a birth; the birth of an infant who’d grow into a man who told us to []

12-Days-2016 — Sunday, January 8, 2017 — 18:12

So Christmas is over (unless you’re on the Orthodox calendar; in which case Happy 2nd Day of Christmas!). I’m now done with my 12 Days of Giving project for 2016, and I thought it would be worth taking a look at how it went. First, some notes.

Growing up, I went to mass pretty much every Sunday with my parents. Maybe the most profound thing I remember hearing was something one of the priests said during the homily: []

12 Days of Giving—12 — Thursday, January 5, 2017 — 20:49

Happy Twelfth Day of Christmas. This season’s final recipient is NARAL Pro-Choice America.

NARAL is the oldest abortion rights advocacy group in the United States. They’ve been working to protect and expand women’s reproductive freedom since 1969, when Roe v. Wade was still four years off. They provide direct legislative support for lawmakers working to ensure those rights, organize public action against those to are []

12 Days of Giving—11 — Wednesday, January 4, 2017 — 20:05

Happy Eleventh Day of Christmas. Today’s I’m supporting the Fund for Legal Name/Gender Changes.

A lot of folks are understandably concerned about what sort of changes the incoming administration is likely to bring. Really, anyone remotely paying attention ought to be, but for some people the impact is much more immediate and personal than others. The proposed cabinet and executive staff are packed full of some remarkably regressive []

12 Days of Giving—10 — Tuesday, January 3, 2017 — 20:58

Happy Tenth Day of Christmas. Today’s recipient is the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The EFF is the most important defenders of civil liberties online. From the particular aspects of speech which show up in digital realms, to aspects of how copyright applies to digital or electronic means, to what to do about strong cryptography, there’s a whole bunch of legal problems that our existing legal structures have no idea how to deal []

12 Days of Giving—9 — Monday, January 2, 2017 — 20:53

Happy Ninth Day of Christmas. Today’s I’m supporting The Internet Archive, a remarkably important public service for the 21st century.

The Internet Archive aims to be a library for the web. They’re most known for The Wayback Machine, a collection of web page snapshots over time. Plug in a URL, and see what, say, cnn.com looked like on a given day. That’s tremendously valuable on its own (and has saved my butt more than once), but they do so much more than that. They’re currently []

12 Days of Giving—8 — Sunday, January 1, 2017 — 14:08

Happy Eighth Day of Christmas. Today’s recipient is City Fresh and the New Agrarian Center.

City Fresh is absolutely the best CSA in Northeast Ohio. They work with local farmers—all within 75 miles of downtown Cleveland—to get great tasty fruit and vegetables (and occasional other items) to several hundred shareholders. I got started with City Fresh as a shareholder because I wanted tasty food, but I’ve gotten more and more []

12 Days of Giving—7 — Saturday, December 31, 2016 — 20:30

Happy Seventh Day of Christmas. Today’s recipient is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The ASPCA is the first humane society in North America, and is now one of the largest in the world. They do direct adoption/placement services, fund spay/neuter services, run rescue operations, provide millions in support for local animal welfare organizations, and work on legislation to provide a legal framework for protecting animals []

12 Days of Giving—6 — Friday, December 30, 2016 — 20:45

Happy Sixth Day of Christmas. Today’s recipient is Kids Corporation.

Kids Corp works with elementary school students in Newark on improving literacy and math competency. They offer after-school and summer programs, in addition to things like medical care and school supplies. This incarnation has been working with kids in Newark since 1992, and their programs and support help their kids do up to 55% better on writing and math tests. They’re currently working with over 3000 kids. []

12 Days of Giving—5 — Thursday, December 29, 2016 — 20:56

Happy Fifth Day of Christmas. Today’s gift goes to the Lupus Foundation of America.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease with a wide variety of symptoms and severities. You can be stable with low-grade aches for years, or it can be super debilitating, or (most common) you can be mostly fine and then get flares where it gets really bad. It’s a fairly common disease—about 1.5 million Americans are estimated to have it—but it []

12 Days of Giving—4 — Wednesday, December 28, 2016 — 07:03

Happy Fourth Day of Christmas. Today’s gift goes to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The order of these posts is absolutely not intended to be meaningful, and certainly not to imply an ordering, but it did feel right to put the SPLC and ACLU next to each other. There’s a lot of overlap in their mission, defending the rights and liberties of all Americans. But while the SPLC focuses narrowly on a particular type of threat []

12 Days of Giving—3 — Tuesday, December 27, 2016 — 19:34

Day Three of this thing goes to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The SPLC is probably the most important legal adversary for hate groups and bias-based crime in the country. They’re the leading non-governmental experts on hate groups in the world. In addition to direct legal challenges, they provide services like training for law enforcement, educational resources, and run the Civil Rights Memorial. They’ve got an impressive résumé of high-profile wins against folks []

12 Days of Giving—2 — Monday, December 26, 2016 — 20:44

Day 2 of this project goes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I have a hard time imagining a worse feeling than finding out your kid has a catastrophic illness. With my sister and I having good health, my parents mostly only had to worry about the stupid things we could do on our own, which is more than enough worry for any parent. The raft of other things that come along with a child with a serious illness is a whole other thing. Nobody having to go through that should get hit with the added burden of worrying about getting the []

12 Days of Giving—1 — Saturday, December 24, 2016 — 23:42

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Today, Christians around the world are celebrating the birth of a dirt-poor, brown-skinned Jew to teenage parents who would almost immediately become undocumented Syrian refugees.

The Christmas story is inherently a subversive story. It upsets conventional lines of class, religion, nationality, and gender roles. []