A fellow author visiting mywebsitesuggested this organization. It features authors who commit to donating a percentage of their royalties to a charity or cause of their choice. Here is how they describe themselves.
“What exactly isRABMAD? Well, other than being a semi-cool (and not completely forgettable) acronym, RABMAD stands for Read a Book, Make a Difference. Shortening the name helps in a lot of ways: number of characters typed to arrive here, space on bumper stickers, etc. (For the record, you can also get here the intuitive, long-hand way—http://www.ReadABookMakeADifference.com)
RABMAD is the brainchild of author R.S. Guthrie. The concept is not new, however. Giving back. Returning success to the people.
Founder of Read A Book, Make A Difference
Writers making a difference.
The concept is simple. Most avid readers are going to purchase another book. Why not give them an additional option of supporting some up and coming writers, knowing that in doing so, their hard-earned dollars not only get them a great read, but will also help someone in need with their plight?
That is what RABMAD is all about. Promoting authors who are giving back from the sales of their books. Writers who give a percentage of their net proceeds to their own chosen cause, non-profit, or charity.
What you will find on this site is an ever-growing portfolio of talented writers who care. You will be able to browse their bios, their books, and their causes. RABMAD will link you to their author websites, Amazon pages, twitter following, and other author-related places.”
I’ve been a big fan of MoveOn.org since the last Presidential election. I smiled every time I sat in my car behind one of their bumper stickers and, being from the Bay Area and having a long commute, I probably smiled a lot.
MoveOn doesn’t have the feel of a Super PAC. They have harnessed email, Facebook, and Meetup forums. It has an Action Forum that allows members to decide and promote progressive causes.
MoveOn has divided into two legally separate entities: one is educational and advocates for national issues (MoveOn Civic Action), while the other is a more traditional PAC, raising millions of dollars for Democratic candidates.
There is nothing wrong, illegal, or immoral with what MoveOn.org is doing. But those bumper stickers just don’t make me smile anymore. I wish for a simpler time, when politicians won elections with scintillating rhetoric, inspiring vision, and a strategy to make the world a better place for all.
I was on the road a lot for this year’s Memorial Day holiday. While I was driving along paying close attention, as I do, to the bumper stickers that people put on their cars, I started to notice something. Between all the “I’m cool because I like this or that brand of shoes, clothing, or whatever” stickers, there are cars proudly making one of two political statements. What’s interesting is the clear division between the two: Patriotism…
These two statements of character are represented by one of two stickers: an American flag or a peace symbol. It’s very rare to see both of these on the same car, and this sort of agrees with what I see on the sidewalk as well. People are either, “pro America” or “pro-peace”. And, if you are pro-America, you are anti-peace, or pro-peace and anti-America – at least that’s what some people would have you think.
What a weird thing this is. How the heck did we get to this? What tweaks me the most is that these concepts, patriotism and peace, would appear to be not only mutually exclusive, but in opposition to each other.
The people who wave the flag think that the people who want peace would roll over and play dead if the Red Army stormed across the Pacific, while the people who want peace think that the flag-wavers will support a president (at least a republican president) who decides we should bomb Canada.
The flag sticker asks, “Why can’t you be a patriot? Why can’t you support our country and our wars?” The peace sticker asks, “Why is war patriotic? Defending yourself is one thing, but why do we have to go and look for asses to kick and people to kill?
Flag-wavers often seem to think that peace-mongers live in a dream-world where they can dance around, dropping daisies on the ground and Russia, China, Israel, Palestine, Iran, and everybody else will just join the love-in. That there is just never any justification for war or military action at all. Peace-lovers seem to think patriots just want all of our enemies bombed until they are dead, and our enemy is anybody who doesn’t serve our empirical aspirations.
Although closer to the peace side, I’m kind of stuck between these two groups. I think the U.S. has (especially recently) taken war to the business level in order for war-based corporations (that have a lot of influence on our government) to profit big. However, some wars MUST be fought. Iraq and World War II could not be more different, for example. Just looking at the European “theater”, as it was called, in WWII. Hitler had unleashed a massive killing machine on that part of the world, with no sign of stopping there. Diplomacy wasn’t going to get us anywhere. We had to fight and fight hard.
It’s probably true that, once we got going, we might have gone a little too far – in fire-bombing Dresden at a VERY late stage, for example. But our heavy, military involvement in WWII was clearly necessary.
But even I must admit I feel a sort of tension in my gut when I see a flag on someone’s car. I pre-judge on an emotional level, of which I am somewhat ashamed. I sometimes think, “There goes a dumb redneck who will vote us into more wars, more killing, more military spending, and then blame the resulting financial ruin on public employee’s unions or something.” I’m certainly not the only one who is so judgmental, but all that just from a flag sticker? Wow.
OK, so I’ve proven to myself and to all of you that I can be as much of a judgmental jerk as the next guy. But what I really want to ask is: Why is it unpatriotic to want peace? Why can’t peace and patriotism go together? Patriots often argue that peace or freedom “isn’t free.” But why do people, the people who love to chant: “Freedom isn’t free,” assume that the cost of freedom or peace is war? As I’ve said, sometimes war is inevitable and necessary. But can anyone think that the only way, or even the best way, is to strong-arm our so-called enemies and scare everyone else?
I have some ideas, but I’m interested in what people think. Can you come up with some ideas that, except in the extreme cases, might promote peace, prevent war, or make for sustainable, good relationships with our neighbors on this planet? Can we find reasons to be proud of our country other than its hegemony? Please tell us what you think!
Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.
I’m not sure that I agree with this one. It can sometimes be too simplistic to make such historical comparisons (I appreciate that this is coming from a person who finds profoundness in bumper stickers).
But there is a point that I have been trying to convey in my blog posts this week that is also a clear theme of Unwanted Heroes. You cannot change the past. The treatment of war veterans from previous wars can never be corrected. Organizations like Swords to Plowshares help to remedy the injustice, but the memories remain.
What can be done is to learn from past mistakes. When soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan, they must be received with respect regardless of our political views, and they must receive the support and benefits that were so sadly lacking for those who returned before them.
Otherwise a travesty begets a travesty. The worse crime we can commit as a society is to fail to learn from our past and our mistakes.
Never Again is a powerful rallying charge for my people when we talk about the Holocaust. But is a worthy rallying cry for other injustices such as this.
I love bumper stickers. This one was a no brainer to add to my collection. It is one thing to be apathetic or to bury your head in the sand. But the propensity of people to complain and criticize but refuse to try and do something is truly frustrating.
There is an election coming up. The untruths (I’m being nice here) being thrown out is startling. These candidates rely upon people not really listening to them and just grabbing onto cliches and soap opera-worthy ads.
Whatever your decision in November, be revolutionary and make an informed decision. Just understanding what is really happening is a first step to being an activist.