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Seriously, this is another kind of challenge, aimed at gathering as much dough as we can for the troops. Bald? Don't you mean bold? No. This is an ode to baldness. What does it have to do with Netroots For The Troops? Not much. I'm here to mouth off my silly opinions...and help you empty your pockets and maxing-up your credit card for this excellent cause.

So, how many diaries have you read featuring a photo of a bald monkey on the intro?


Follow me for my bald theory.

My bald theory:

a few years ago, someone - I forgot who - had given me a book on the history of hats. It got me interested as it was raining heavily outside.

It had hundreds of pictures and drawings of hats worn by important and less important people throughout the ages. My favorite one was the headdress that Sitting Bull wore, made out of dozens of bald eagle feathers stringed onto a fine length of painted leather. It had elegance, poise, and more importantly, it did not cover his hair, hence my theory on baldness.

Have you ever seen a photograph of a bald Indian? Unlikely. Why? They never had to wear heavy hats, only feathers. This theory came to me last year as I was leafing through another book, a book on the Stone Age, probably looking for my editor's Neolithic equivalent, and noted the thick manes covering our distant ancestors' heads and subsequent "plumeless genus of bipeds" (from that priceless old Greek guy, you know who he is...) They didn't have to wear helmets or heavily brocaded nonsense upon their heads up until about five thousand years ago, when some genius devised a tin hat, most likely to ameliorate the average foot soldier's chances of getting killed a lot quicker in a close range sword & sandals battle. That's when the ugly head, so to speak, of baldness appeared. Wear a kilogram of tin or lead or even gold upon your head for a few months, and your hair will stop breathing, thin out and fall, in that order.

To prove to myself that my theory was valid, I wore a woolen cap for seven days, tightly around my ears, night and day. When I took it off, my hair, which is normally thick, was soft, thin and sluggish. My wife almost left me. Well, almost. Do the same and see for yourself. And report.

In the book on hats, my prize for the most ridiculous one had gone to the Spanish police (though some venerable Japanese Lords came close, all wearing what appeared to be a bunch of warped wooden spoons tied with black spaghetti). When visiting Spain, marvel at those wonderful upside down bedpans with black wings, regal yourself at the sight of this awe-inspiring Iberian version of Mickey Mouse ears. I mean, a hat that instills such confidence in laugh-and-order ought to be given a Nobel Prize. Anything that produces giggles is worth a prize.

Below is a pic of one of my favorite hats:


Now that you have been enlightened by another bit of selected persiflage, do the right thing, and if you did smile once reading this, then you should give a little. If you had laughed out loud, this could translate into a few bucks more. Guffaws? Empty your pockets, at once! Next week I will be back with a story on parachutes, but not the golden kind.

Our goal for Netroots For The Troops 2009 is $50,000.00 (cash or in-kind donations).


We realize that you would like to donate something tangible to go inside the packages that will be mailed to the troops.  Unfortunately, accepting in-kind donations from individuals is not practical in terms of storage and handling of the items.  The Pittsburgh Convention Center is a union shop so we have more stringent rules that need to be followed. Instead, we will only be accepting corporate donations or cash from YOU to purchase items for the care packages this year.

Here’s how YOU can help:

  1. Please contact TexDem or VeloVixen if you know someone who might be helpful in securing the corporate in-kind donations.  To help you think of companies who could donate products, see below* for a list of potential items.  Put your thinking caps on and let us hear from you.  It takes time to get through the corporate processes so we need to hear from you ASAP!
  1. We are accepting cash from individuals and beg ask that you DONATE HERE to contribute to this worthy cause.  Your donation will enable us to purchase the things that we are unable to obtain through corporate donations, and will help to pay the costs of shipping them to our troops. This year your donations will be tax deductible, thanks to Netroots Nation and their partner Netroots Arts and Education Initiative, a California 501(c)3 corporation.
  1. Sign up for a diary!  Our goal is to post two diaries per day until NN09.  That’s a lot of diaries!  Don’t worry---we’ve made it easy for you.  We’ve got a template set up, and all you need to do is add a small introduction telling us why you are donating, sharing a story of someone you know who has served or is serving, or any other thing you want to share that might help motivate others to donate.  Please contact politik if you are interested in posting a diary.
  1. Do you know a service member who would like to receive a care package?  Email a request to: before July 31, 2009.

Please include all of the following information.  Unfortunately we will not be able to process any incomplete requests:
     Last name:
     First name:
     APO Address Line 1:
     APO Address Line 2:
     APO Address Zip:

  1. Write letters to be included in the packages!  Our own jlms qkw is collecting the letters and will print them out and bring them to Pittsburgh.  Just email your letter to her Look for more information from jlms qkw soon. If you need some ideas, rbutters wrote an excellent diary with tips on how to write letters to troops and why it’s so important to them.
  1. Help us assemble the packages in Pittsburgh. It's fun!  More information will be forthcoming for those of you who are going to be in Pittsburgh and would like to help there.
  1. Please consider joining the  NFTT FaceBook Group.    Invite your FaceBook and non-FaceBook friends.

*The following list contains some of the things we would like to include in the packages.  Please let us know if you know someone who might be helpful in securing these corporate in-kind donations.  (Please DO NOT send these items yourself!  We have no way to accept them.  Instead, your cash donation is the very best way to help make this happen on the ground in Pittsburgh.)

  • Baby wipes
  • Mechanix gloves
  • Language translation books or CDs (Rosetta Stone as an example)
  • LED flashlights
  • Gel shoe insoles
  • Goop Cleaning Gel
  • Powdered energy drinks
  • Gel energy food packets
  • DVDs and CDs
  • Letters to the soldiers
  • More suggestions coming soon

Books for Soldiers
Soldiers love to receive books, but due once again to the logistics of collecting and storing them prior to NN09, books will not be included in the packages that NFTT will put together this year.   Other organizations are more specialized in the collection and distribution of books to Iraq and Afghanistan.  If you are interested in sending books, please consider checking out the Books for Soldiers Website.  It is run by DKos's very own StormBearand is a great resource for giving.

Important Note about Successful Online Donations

When you make your online donation, the screen indicates that you are donating to Netroots Nation.  This is the right screen!  Rest assured all donations WILL go to NFTT.  If you wish, feel free to use the comment area provided to note that your donation is intended for Netroots For The Troops.  It isn’t necessary to do this however, as this is the only fundraising activity being conducted for Netroots Nation at this time.  For further information about online donations, please read TexDem's diary on the subject.

Originally posted to Asinus Asinum Fricat on Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 02:30 PM PDT.

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