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November 03, 2008

I've learned that this election is about the heart of America.

A swing Bush 41 and Bush 43 voter canvassas for Obama and learns what's goin' on. Christian Science Monitor | My wife made me canvass for Obama; here's what I learned | By Jonathan Curley
Charlotte, N.C. - There has been a lot of speculation that Barack Obama might win the election due to his better "ground game" and superior campaign organization. I had the chance to view that organization up close this month when I canvassed for him. I'm not sure I learned much about his chances, but I learned a lot about myself and about this election. Let me make it clear: I'm pretty conservative. I grew up in the suburbs. I voted for George H.W. Bush twice, and his son once. I was disappointed when Bill Clinton won, and disappointed he couldn't run again. ... I am the dreaded swing voter.... Instead of walking the tree-lined streets near our home, my wife and I were instructed to canvass a housing project. A middle-aged white couple with clipboards could not look more out of place in this predominantly black neighborhood. We knocked on doors and voices from behind carefully locked doors shouted, "Who is it?" "We're from the Obama campaign," we'd answer. And just like that doors opened and folks with wide smiles came out on the porch to talk. Grandmothers kept one hand on their grandchildren and made sure they had all the information they needed for their son or daughter to vote for the first time. Young people came to the door rubbing sleep from their eyes to find out where they could vote early, to make sure their vote got counted. ... I've learned that this election is about the heart of America. It's about the young people who are losing hope and the old people who have been forgotten. It's about those who have worked all their lives and never fully realized the promise of America, but see that promise for their grandchildren in Barack Obama. The poor see a chance, when they often have few. I saw hope in the eyes and faces in those doorways.

Continue reading "I've learned that this election is about the heart of America. " »

November 01, 2008

Charity money rejected because of ties to D&D

Giant In the Playground Games

As has been reported by a few other gaming blogs and news sites, the Charity Auction at this year's GenCon Indianapolis was held to benefit Gary Gygax's favorite charity, which I will not name here for reasons that will soon become obvious. The fine folks at GenCon raised over $17,000 for this charity, which helps starving children in impovershed areas of the world--only to have that money actually turned down by the charity. The charity refused due to the fact that the money was raised partly by the sales of Dungeons and Dragons materials, which as we all know, puts an irrevocable taint of evil on the filthy lucre that us demon-worshipping gamers might want to use to, say, donate to starving children. Not only is this a slap in the face to every gamer, but it is especially insulting to Mr. Gygax himself, who I understand donated to their cause many times over the years. Plus, I'm sure the children who would have gotten food or clean drinking water with that money would be sort of upset, too.

I bring this story to your attention not simply so that you might let the people at this charity know how you feel (especially if you have donated to it before, as many did in the wake of Mr. Gygax's passing), but so that you would be aware that there is an alternative charity that I would personally recommend (based on our own charitable giving) if you have a desire to donate money to help starving children. Plan USA is a worldwide charity aimed at helping those who live in poverty and/or have suffered from a natural disaster, particularly with monthly sponsorships of individual children. Since the money of D&D players is clearly not welcome at this other charity, I can't recommend Plan USA highly enough to those interested in giving anyway. At least if you choose to donate through them, there's no chance your generous gifts to the starving children of the world will be rejected due to your weekend hobby.

(Incidentally, GenCon was also able to find another worthy charity with an entirely different focus, the Fisher House Foundation, that was willing to accept the money given in good faith by GenCon attendees.)