Amid the 50-year anniversary of desegregation in Little Rock (great article here about it), we have the real-time drama in Burma as Buddhist monks face off against the military dictatorship.
I spent two winters in the early 90's volunteering with the ethnic minority Karen opposition groups in eastern Burma, and several years afterwards assisting in efforts to stop financial support for the dictatorship. The media is accurately conveying how bad things are there, and the slim but real chance for improvement.
The best "what you can do with 30 seconds' time" action is to sign this online petition to the Chinese government. Petitioning Burma's dictators is useless, but the Chinese have to weigh how much their colonial enterprise in Burma is costing them as the 2008 Olympics come ever closer.
European Union citizens and others can also petition the EU President to support stronger actions, rather than get shown up by George Bush of all people on a genuine human rights issue.
The military is starting to take action now against the monks, so any outside pressure at all is sorely needed.