If you have "no place to go," come here!

The middle-aged blogger on the flying trapeze

UPDATE 3/12 Still in a holding pattern; Coyote Creek's challnege is still not met! Clearly, I need to write a different post (though thanks to dan_ps for writing this one). However, there are several other posts I need to write (Obama's lying again) so I'll do that first.

UPDATE 3/10 Still in a holding pattern... Coyote Creek's $250 is still on the table. I can write a better fundraising post, or write some other posts, so I'm going to write some other posts. Suffice to say that when I say "hard landing" I'm not kidding, and I made things worse by postponing this appeal until the 12 Points were ready to roll out. And I think I'm going to be as right on the 12 Points as I was on ObamaCare, or Obama, for that matter. Help!

UPDATE 3/10 We're in a holding pattern, here. Coyote Creek's challenge is still on the table.... (Sorry I got distracted by my teeth, but...)

UPDATE 3/8 CoyoteCreek has issued a challenge: She'll match $250-worth of contributions (just say "Matching CC" in your PayPal message (that Donate button to your right)). Thank you CoyoteCreek!

UPDATE 3/7 Readers, thanks to you the server is back under control, though not completely! Meaning we're a little over 10% 14% of the way to goal. And 13 donations, 10% of the last campaign's donor total. Maybe I've got to rethink that NewsMax box. Kidding!

I knew there'd be something in Thurber!

So, why that picture? Well, because I launched myself into the air without being entirely certain whether I'd be grateful for a net I am in fact, without, that's why! In fact, I'm still not certain. I'd like the landing to be hard and not soft! But before we get to the sad tale, let me just make the ask.

This is the winter Corrente fundraiser. The PayPal button is to your right.

Corrente is supported, readers, by you.

The only other source of revenue Corrente has -- besides what I sock into it as a labor of love from my own precarious lower-lower-middle income -- is the small commission we get, quarterly, from Powells. (And thank you, book buyers, whoever you are.) There are no Amazon ads, there are no Google ads, there is no NewsMax block. There are no advertising banners. There are no pop-ups. There are no sponsored links. There is no content people pay to have placed. Partly that's because as a reader I hate that stuff on other sites; but mostly because I just don't want to deal with the people (or, in Google's case, the algorithms) who are in that business, and I don't want to think that way about Corrente. I am a bad businessperson! And there is no squillionaire writing the check.

Corrente is a really simple proposition:

Correntians donate enough to keep Corrente going, Correntians post whatever they want[1], and everything gets front paged, and sorted out, also by Correntians, which in practice means -- and here I am sidling toward the ask -- keeping lambert (moi) living in the precarious, lower-lower-middle, downwardly mobile lifestyle to which he has -- rather happily, actually -- become accustomed. (The PayPal button is to your right.) In this way, lambert can administer the server (see image at right for the server administration enclave), periodically upgrade the software, do occasional debugging, moderate the comments, answer the mail, beat back attacks, blog a lot, encourage others to blog, and conduct an extensive correspondence.

Six months ago, I (lambert) set a numerical goal for a fundraiser for the first time -- I'm a WASP, and I avoid talking about money whenever I can -- and asked for a hundred contributors! We met the goal, and raised $3000.

Do the math: Assume lambert (moi) works 20 hours a week on Corrente. Half a year is 26 weeks, so 26 * 20 = 520. $3000 / 520 = $5.76 an hour. I think that's low, even for an English major, so I'd like to raise the bar for consistently excellent left-wing blogging to, say, $5000 / 520 = $9.62 an hour, or within hailing distance of Obama's pathetic version of the minimum wage. (Of course, this estimated wage is ridiculously high: 20 hours a week is absurdly lowballed, and not only am I leaving out the costs of the server that keep Corrente consistently up and free from attacks -- $220 * 12 = $2640 -- I faithfully pay taxes on donations, which are, after all income. So, reworking the calculations, that comes to ( 3600 - (2640 / 2) - (3600 * 20%[2]) ) / 520 = $3.00 an hour. My plan to blog and grow rich is working really badly To the right: The PayPal button!

So, $5000 is the goal.

That's what I'm asking for. Honestly, I don't think it's a lot, especially given the challenges we face, and the soul-sucking Cthulhu-like horror of media controlled by the political class. In fact, if every Corrente reader gave just $1.00 right now, we'd blow past the measely $5000 by an order of magnitude!

But what -- I hear you ask -- do I get for my contribution, besides a blog where I can post whatever I want and get front-paged*, unlike so many of the blogs that banned me? (For new readers: "Banned" is actually true for many Correntians; "If you have 'no place to go,' come here!" applies to a lot of exiles and refugees, especially from blogs run by legacy party apparatchiks.)

Here is what I want to do -- that is, what your donations will fund (PayPal button → ) -- for the next six months:

I plan to propagate The 12-Point Platform (and 12 Reforms, and 1 Value) during the mid-terms.

With your help, I can make The 12-Point Platform go viral -- finally, a reason to post to FaceBook and Twitter! -- and I can also write all the supporting material and provide talking points (""overlays"; hat tip danps)), relate the Platform and the Reforms to current events, and especially rate candidates for compliance whether Democrat, Republican, or Green. That's quite a blogging project, as you can imagine. Bigger than ObamaCare, probably, and that was big. (PayPal button→ → → → → )

* * *

And now the sad tale, the "without a net" part. Before I left, I had a series of unfortunate events: Not only was there a brutal cold snap (fuel!), my pipes froze twice, and I also paid to have them insulated (thank you, readers). Plumbers aren't cheap, and neither are electricians. Electricians, you say? I had done a good and sensible deed by airsealing my attic, but that turned out to require not only electrical work, but triaging a revenue-generating room.

In order to cover all this, I attempted to cash in a pathetically small ($5000) IRA, but as it turns out, I sent in the wrong form: My IRA -- Hi, Citi! [waves] -- is a rollover IRA (?), which mean in essence it was moved over to Citi from somewhere else, and while Citi has my money, and sends me stuff in the mail, they don't have my money officially, and I have to prove my identity to them with a number of forms and some documentation, some of which which has to be notarized. Well, when all that crap arrived, it struck me as so lunatic that I thought they sent me the wrong forms, because they didn't give a shit about me as a customer. They're Citi, right? So I went to their website and got what I thought was the right form, sent it in, and and flew half-way round the world. As it turns out, they sent me the right forms, I sent them the wrong ones, and my check never arrived in the mail.

What your donations will cover
What my hatred and fear of the FIRE sector caused me to fuck up! [3]

  1. The server, which I am behind on, and grateful every day to log on and find running ($660);
  2. Family obligations and bills ($1000);
  3. The electrician ($700);
  4. The air-seal people ($1400);
  5. Final dental work, network maintenance, and food, lodging, and transport back to Maine for Lambert ($1300).

That is the operational definition of the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed! #FirstWorldProblem, I know. But I do want to get the 12 Point Platform propagated! The PayPal button is to your right, over there in the sidebar.

* * *

At this point, the very skeptical reader may ask: Why on earth are you gallivanting about in Thailand, Lambert, on your precarious lower-lower-middle income, when you have all these financial woes? To which the answer -- besides the fact that I bought a penny-pinching ticket, and reserved a very cheap hotel long before the IRA fiasco -- is that such is the plan! Leaving aside the dental work, which would have taken a big chunk of the cost of the trip, had I even wanted to do it in the States, which I don't, I really need to find a location with decent medical care and a pleasing milieu where a dollar goes a lot further than it does in the states. Hence Thailand (and if not Thailand, I'll look at Ecuador, for obvious reasons[4]). My plan is to blog 'til I drop, hopefully in Gore Vidal territory (86), and thinking of the long haul, the first thing to fix is my teeth!

NOTE [1] To be fair, moderation rules apply. But at this point, these rules are embedded in Correntian culture.

NOTE [2] I forget what my tax rate is, so I grabbed 20%.

NOTE [3] And don't worry. When I do manage to cash it in, the IRS and house will suck it all up.

NOTE [4] And one not so obvious one: They use the dollar as their currency.

UPDATE I seem to have pasted the whole post in twice. I guess that trip to the dentist stressed me more than I thought it would.

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Submitted by lambert on

... and currency arbtitrage never looked so good!

Submitted by lambert on

Again, if every reader gave one dollar.... We'd actually have a number worthy of being called a budget, that wasn't hand-to-mouth! I wish there were an easy way to make that happen....

Also, Luke 21:1-4 (the moral, at least).

Submitted by lambert on

I sent off a partial payment to the hosting service, so no embarrassing interruptions. Thank you!

Adding, I numbered the projects and crossed that one partially off. So now I need to pay the electrician and the insultation people, and take care of that family matter!

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

It never occurred to me to do other than what I thought interesting.
I've had so many careers I can barely remember them all.
I have nothing of material value; but I have a lifetime of adventure and risk; all of which paid off in memories and a loving way to deal with the world: Anywhere in this world. It has carried me far and landed me in a place I never dreamed existed.
Stay on that trapeze; when/if you fall it will be soft and interesting...

Submitted by lambert on

... since we're now 14% of the way to goal, which has me chewing my hands a little.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

*At this point, the very skeptical reader may ask: Why on earth are you gallivanting about in Thailand, Lambert, on your precarious lower-lower-middle income, when you have all these financial woes?*
There is a reason people come to Thailand for all medical solutions.
Example; my sister was looking at a root canal and crown for $3,000 USD. She came here; no root canal just a crown; ฿5,000 ($156 USD). That was more than 2 years ago; everything is fine. Her airfare, return, $1,200 USD.
One can come here and have a vacation for less than the cost of almost any medical procedure.
Most of the doctors I and my wife have dealt with are western trained/educated Thais who practice good medicine (I should be getting a commission for this), IMCO.

Submitted by lambert on

Sorry I was out of touch after the Friday extraction, but I was visiting with a blogger who only had 3G, which I can't use.

Suffice to say, all seem well so far. Bleeding stopped, no pain, no suggestion of lifting clot leading to dry socket.

I'm glad I did this. That cracked back tooth was a lot of pain waiting to happen; at some point, the strategy of killing what I now understand was an incipient abscess by an evening sloshing red wine over my gums wasn't going to work. Now that's not going to happen. Didn't pay for the trip, but compared to the madness in the U.S., both price and horrible experience, it paid for a good chunk of it, larger than the money alone.

Submitted by lambert on

We aren't quite there yet, but thank you! (Also, I tend to be out at Internet cafes -- just like back in Maine! -- where I'm reluctant to check PayPal, and the router back at my hotel has been on the fritz, so I can't check there either. But from the PayPal email confirmation messages, we are not there. Thank you!

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

Thanks for the matching donations; very generous of you. I'm on a pittance (retirement) so I could manage a pittance, just before your generous offer.
In days of yore benefactors supported worthwhile endeavors such as Corrente and its fine author Lambert.
Pity those days are far behind us...

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

I'm on small pension and SS but we all do what we can and that's more than most do. Yes, when I had a high paying blue collar job helping others was easy not some much today. Oh well it could be worse at lest the house I've rented for 30yrs is cheap and I have big garden to eat from;)

Barmitt O'Bamney's picture
Submitted by Barmitt O'Bamney on

Chipped in $50 last night, but didn't include a matching message. Sorry - I didn't see that instruction. I can only plead my undiagnosed ADHD. We could also blame tequila. It's a small town, and they're used to being blamed for all kinds of things.

Submitted by lambert on

That might put us over the top on that; I was going by people explicitly saying they were matching.. I'm going to do another post, though, and do a rework of this post tomorrow.