Ho! Ho! Ho! And a Merry Christmas to you all!
It's that time of year again and I've been so busy making Xboxes and E-readers and blankets with arms in them that I sometimes forget there are others like me doing good works but who are in need of some help.
These other "Santas" operate on a shoestring and need money to do their kind deeds. Unfortunately they can't do what I do to cover the cost of my operations. (I rent out my North Pole facilities to Superman eleven months of the year for him to use as his Fortress of Solitude.)
So Mrs. Claus, the elves, the reindeer and I are asking if you could make a last minute donation to one of the six worthy organizations I've listed below. Or do it as a gift in someone else's name and make that their Christmas present (thus fewer chimneys for me to go down. I know, I know, stop with the burgers in a donut bun.) These Santas will then turn around and use your money to create gifts greater than anything I could ever make in my workshop.
Here they are:
** The Innocence Project. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans sit in prison tonight having been wrongly convicted of a crime. They are 100 percent innocent and the system has the DNA samples to prove it. The Innocence Project is an amazing group that provides free attorneys and researchers who devote their time to freeing these innocent men and women. It's no mistake that human rights groups place the United States on their list of countries who throw the innocent behind bars. No country on earth (including China, with four times the population of the United States) has more people in prison than America. Please give to the Innocence Project so that those who've committed no crime do not spend another night in jail -- and so I don't have to spend so much time on Christmas Eve going through security when I make deliveries to them.
** The Bradley Manning Defense Fund. If I witness a crime while making my rounds on Christmas Eve, and I report it, I'm considered a hero. (Sometimes there's reward money!) Private Bradley Manning of the United States Army allegedly came across video of his fellow soldiers gunning down and killing in cold blood two reporters from Reuters and a group of Iraqis who were civilians. He apparently decided to report this crime to the American people. For this, he has been arrested and thrown into the brig -- where he has sat in tortuous solitary confinement for seven months. He is also believed to be the source of thousands of documents obtained by WikiLeaks which show the disgusting and immoral behavior of your government and Pentagon as they've prosecuted two illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a true travesty taking place and it's being done in your name. Please contribute to his legal defense fund and please send him a holiday card at:
c/o Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave #41
Oakland CA 94610
(See BradleyManning.org for how to mail things to him directly.)
** WikiLeaks. What more needs to be said? Frankly, in retrospect I'm GLAD they leaked my 2009 Naughty & Nice list -- especially the parts about the U.S. government. I know that may hurt a bit for those of you who are Americans, but trust me, it's good for you in the long run. What I do foresee in the coming year, though, is a battle for who controls the internet -- and those in power are going to find ways to clamp down and not make it so easy for all of us to share with each other so freely. (Another good group to give to that is helping to keep the internet free is Save the Internet.) From the Iraq War video to the proof that you're backing a corrupt government in Afghanistan to the fabricated cables sent to the Bush State Department from Havana about Mike's movie, WikiLeaks has performed an invaluable service. As long as they don't dig into what my elves do in the 11 months they're on vacation, I'm solidly behind WikiLeaks.
** The Water Project. Over a billion people on this planet have no access to clean drinking water. Approximately 2 million children under age 5 are killed each year worldwide by a water-related disease. This is insane considering we have the technology and the people power to fix this in a very short time period -- if we wanted. The money from just one year of the Iraq War would pretty much take care of it. Sad, isn't it, how we're capable of so much more, of being so much better. The Water Project is a hands-on, boots on the ground organization that's digging wells and getting clean drinking water to the Third World. This is one delivery -- water for a billion people -- that just doesn't fit in my sleigh.
** Park 51 Islamic Community Center ("The Ground Zero Mosque"). Here's a tip: if there's anything that will get you a lump of coal in your stocking, it's hating people based on their race or religion. And I'm sorry to say, folks like that were out in full force this year. They even won themselves an election. Soon they will hold congressional hearings to out America's Kenyan-born Muslim president. (My team's already getting extra coal ready for Christmas 2011.)
Meanwhile in lower Manhattan, a group of people who happen to be Muslim want to build a community center. They asked the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan for help. They helped them. It was so nice it made me think I should branch out into Hanukkah and Ramadan. Then the haters showed up. But I believe Park 51 will win this fight. Please help them.
** Democracy Now. This great daily show presents the news we never get to hear on mainstream radio or TV -- especially at the North Pole, where for some reason the cable system only runs the Hallmark channel and Spike. Amy Goodman and Co. do an incredible job bringing the truth to the American public every morning. I listen to them and I support them. (And I support all efforts for non-profit, community-based radio stations. You can learn more about that movement at Radio for All.)
So give if you can. I know these are tight times for most people and you've got yourselves and your families to take care of. I hope this time of the year is going well for you and if not, then please know that there are many -- including me -- who care about you and yours. Working together, it will get better for everyone.
Finally... those of you who don't have chimneys, could you possibly leave the door open this year? I don't like it any more than you do when I have to break in through your bathroom window.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night,
Santa (c/o Michael Moore)
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