Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fundraiser Kick-Off

Well, it’s that time – I’m kinda like NPR. Twice a year I pass the hat. This is where I tell you that if you didn’t put anything in the tip jar in August, I would really appreciate it if you would toss a couple of bucks in this time around. I mean, if you like what we’re doing here and think it might be worth a couple of bucks, well, I would like to encourage you to click that PayPal button right now, before the magnanimous feeling passes, and I thank you in advance.

I was actually planning on doing this during February, but I have been prompted to get it underway a few days early because I just got hit with the second major hardware fatality in six months, and the timing sucks - it hits not quite two weeks after I sent a daughter back for another semester, and I’m out of computers to pull out of the closet to cannibalize as I try to make one working Frankenputer. What I have managed of those efforts so far is a PC with Office, but I can’t get online. Not even with dial-up.

Balancing the old bank account, and looking at various laptops and trying to ferret out a deal, I am timidly setting a goal of $750 for this fundraiser – and asking myself as I dare to type that plea “Who the hell do even you think you are??? Nobody owes you a damned thing! And by the way, Missy, nobody asked you to do start a blog, either.” I am, of course absolutely correct. It was my decision to cash out early instead of going balls-to-the-wall in the run-up to 50. It was my decision to put helping our daughter raise Zoe right while she busts her ass to build a solid future for the two of them ahead of more retirement than I will actually need to be comfortable. (The choice here was ‘What will help my grandchild more? My time and talent now, or cash when I’m gone?’ and time and talent now won the day.) Furthermore – it was also a conscious decision to take the next step and reduce and defer the household income to such a point that we are not paying income taxes. Put simply, we refuse to support the war in Iraq as this president persists in pursuing it, and we refuse to be a party to income redistribution from this member of the (barely) middle-class to the wealthiest among us.

I didn’t give my kids an allowance when they fucked up, and they figured out pretty quickly how to act, so why shouldn’t I try the same tack with my government? It is, after all, currently being run by recalcitrant brats, so for now, I’m not paying their allowance either. I am willing to sacrifice my whims to achieve this, I am not willing to cheat on my taxes. When we made is decision, we paid off the credit cards and budgeted every penny of our reduced income. I made a commitment and I intend to stick to it, and this doesn’t meet the criteria we set forth as an “emergency” when we were plotting this course. I have a reasonable alternative so the credit card stays in the jewelry box.

Given that I haven’t broken yet, and don’t intend to, dealing with this setback within budget will take about three or four weeks.

Unless y’all help out, and then I’m back before Super Tuesday.

I gotta stress, there is no lifestyle peril pending. I’m not staring down a sub-prime reset, I’m not unemployed and losing my benefits. I am not in danger of my utilities being terminated, and there is plenty of food in the cupboards. The cats are not in danger of being switched to generic cat food. I made a conscious financial decision based on ethical considerations. I intend to live up to the standard I set for myself.

But I do have what I hope is a major motivator ip my sleeve – as soon as 20 people become subscribers for the low, low price of just five dollars a month, I will take all of the google-ads off the blog. It’ll be like public teevee used to be – no commercials, just real-live sponsors!

There – I have made my case and explained myself. It’s entirely up to you, and I don’t want anyone feeling any pressure.

Here’s how it’s going to play out for the next few days while I test the waters to see if I can raise some matching funds for a desperately needed new laptop: I will be taking advantage of the public library I enthusiastically support. I will trek to the library daily to print a white paper, then I will go home and pore over it and write about it. The next day, I will post up, and print out a new report to take home and do it all over again. For now, I’ll be shifting my focus strictly to policy analysis.

Pale Rider will be handling the daily doses of outrage, snark and righteous indignation for the near term. Show him some love and make some thoughtful comments.

And while you are appreciating his keen perspective and pull-no-punches style, click that button and help me surpass my goal so I can throw some love his way for all the heavy lifting he does around here.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the next installment in port security.

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