Can you please help someone in dire straights?

Reece Markowsky is a friend and colleague of mine from work who lives and works in British Columbia.  Late last week he received word that his brother passed away after a protracted period of hospitalization.  As one might imagine he's devastated by this.  Unfortunately his sister-in-law Shari is now a single mother of two young boys who is now on a single income, trying to pay for the funeral, and trying to get by until she can find a job.  Reece has started a crowdfunding campaign on her behalf.

If you can spare it, would you please donate to their …

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Can you help an old friend?

I haven't spent much time with forge and Nicole since their wedding many, many years ago.  Forge was in mine back in '08, but weddings being what they are, I wasn't able to really hang out.  I think they lived in the Bay Area for a while, but now they're living in Maryland under what seems like less-than-optimal conditions..

Nicole recently announced that she's been suffering from polycistic kidney disease for much of her life; it is a disease in which cysts grow inside the kidney in the place of normal nephritic tissue.  If the cysts become too large or …

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Some friends of mine are in trouble.

This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I've ever tried to write. It's hard to write something like this so that it's not all drama, not all pathos, not all "holiday tragedy human interest story" (which is its own unique flavour of article, to be sure), and yet not come across like I'm trying to manipulate people by tugging at their heart strings. So, to that end, I've opted to write only the facts as I understand them, with a minimum of linguistic ornamentation.

Mylia, Chey, Mika, and Cindy are old friends of the family, and rented a …

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An open letter to Terry Jones, pastor, Dove World Outreach Center.

You can't blink without running into a news article about Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center (slashdotted at the time of this writing) and his scheme to burn a bunch of copies of the Q'uran, the holy book of the path of Islam outside of his church in Gainesville, Florida this Saturday (11 September 2010). It's on again, it's off again, and even the pastor of the church that punted him like Jeff Reed stood against him.

Then word got around that there was something better to do than get all steamed up over it... Greetings, salutations, and …

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An open letter to the ACLU.

Dear American Civil Liberties Union:

I understand that your programs are funded largely by donations from the public. While I won't discount what your hard work has done for everyone or my personal participation in several of same, you really need to stop being so pushy. Earlier this year you sent me a donation request that, upon cursory examination, looked for all the worlds to be an overdue bill notice strongly resembling my monthly automobile payment. In the past nine days one of your solicitors in the state of Texas (phone number 512-916-0420) has taken to calling me several times …

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If this is legit, it will lessen the load on blood banks around the world.

It is all too common for people who have been in accidents of some kind to require donated blood to stay alive, but there's only so much to go around. Pluswhich, humanoid biology complicates matters: There are four major blood groups (A, B, AB, and O), and two Rhesus groups (positive and negative). People with type A blood can recieve blood from type A and O donors only; similiarly, people with type B blood can recieve type B or O blood only. A lucky few with type AB blood can recieve blood from any of the four groups, but people …

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The world of campaign donations has just gotten a lot smaller, and a little more scary.

One Abdul Tawala ibn Alishtari, also known as Michael Mixon, is a noted donor to the National Republican Congressional Committee, and has given in excess of $15kus in donations to the Committee since the year 2002. In fact, he was named a member of "the Inner Circle" of the committee because he's been so monetarily helpful, and was named Businessman of the Year by the state of New York two years in a row. The thing is, he's now up on charges of terrorism and giving financial aid to terrorists because it's come out that he also donated around $152kus …

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