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February 2006
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March 2006 is a family of blogs:

It's designed to serve the "Community of Giving" in a way that has never been attempted before. Each one of our blogs is themed to serve a particular aspect of charity or community fundraising. They're YOUR journal to share your experiences with others. YOU are a "Roving Reporter" for the Fundraisers Blog Network! Report on a successful event, or pass along a useful bit of information. Tell us about what inspires you, and what you're feeling. These blog are YOUR forum!

Readers can submit articles by email.

The War of Ideas - Why Conservative Foundations Are Winning

Perla Ni at Stanford Social Innovation review discusses an excellent article by Andrew Rich. Conservative think tanks are committed to an ideology among others. Liberal foundations are concerned with the impartial truth. That pretty well explains it. (One side comes to fight, the other comes to be the referree and discovers itself on the canvass counting stars.)  Can liberals fight well, and fight dirty, and be proud of it? Of course, my friends that is the Augustan Tradition on which this great country was founded. Blame your own prose, not the English Canon.  Moderation is a head fake. The blade is well concealed. Read Dryden on Our Noble Trade. See, you can be as academic as can be and wet the blade in the other's blood, as might a deft surgeon seeking always to heal. 

Continue reading "The War of Ideas - Why Conservative Foundations Are Winning" »

Forging an Identity Online

Working in public to humanize the earth, one link at a time. Blogging philanthropy, or civil society, can get rather lonely, like bowling alone, but when we hear and respond to one another we create little ripples of hope and reciprocity. We also create for ourselves, little by little, an identity as a citizen separate from the roles we play on company time or in our families. Is that legal? Maybe we need a permit. Or a sign saying, "Free Citizenship Zone," within the barbed wire where the surveillance cameras swivel to protect us from ourselves. Blogging is the signal that to me says, "Not here. We are many and we are not so stupid and malleable as would appear from the shows you show us, the junk you sell us, and the lies you tell - the same strategic fictions we ourselves may be paid to fabricate in our day jobs as think tank thinkers, casters of news, pundits, speechwriters, marketers, PR mavens and respectable connivers. We know the game; some of us get paid well to play it, and we supplement it on the side with citizenship as per Constitution. Join us." One link at a time, each one a little gesture of recognition. "Forging an identity" - the story of my life, one way or another.

Privatizing Welfare

1cake1 Albert Ruesga unleashed. He has a PhD, I believe, from MIT in analytic philosophy and decades of experience as a philanthropic thought leader. In a think tank world, I can imagine Congress passing an act that subsidizes Albert to forgoe thinking, as farmers are paid sometimes to let their fields lie fallow. Sophistry is a joy for philosophers; they revel in it, as play. The difference, from think tank thinkers, is that a philosopher turns the sophistry into satire while the think tank thinker proffers it as  truthy-enough as he or she heads to the pay window to collect the wages of shame.

As one satirist to another, I would only suggest to Albert that he keep his eye not just on the sophistry, but on the visage of the sophister. Satire is a  moral tradition, a form of vigilante justice. It's success is determined not by scoring intellectual points alone but also by the moral reform of men and women like, well, whomever you wish to mention. We are in the business of salvation, Albert, saving those who would otherwise be damned from their own mouths.

In debating social policy with think tank thinkers. I recommend Enrique The Gay Philosopher as a model worth emulating. Wasn't it Nietzsche who wrote that philosophy is the gay science? Life is a masquerade. Maybe we could organize a Cake Walk at the Big House for Hudson? Then the poor might speak for themselves, if only in dumbshow.   

Blogging for Social Cohesion

Ted Ernst on blogs, attention, and working in public to connect ideas and people within a larger movement. Dave Weinberger once wrote, in the early days of blogging, "We are writing ourselves into existence." Now, for some of us the hope to to write a "we" into existence, one link, on colleague, one friend at a time. You publish for a public. You blog to create one.