I got an e-mail today from a guy who has donated fairly regularly to MWD-related freedom projects over the years:
“I kind of want to help you out and give you a hug for all your hard work. And service to this great nation of Nestlandia. But then I hear you are giving away 275 Amazon bucks of mics, and I am like ‘He is not that broke after all.’ I still love you man, it is just the hamster in my brain, he can’t commit to fund your general welfare. The new show is great and cool. I love not hearing about Bitcoins and drones the whole time. If you run into concrete funding problems for a liberty project or just hard times then let me know.”
It sounds like you’re saying “I don’t want to be charitable to you because you might turn around and be charitable to others.”
I can see how it would look like I’m asking for money and then throwing it into the air, but that’s not really the case.
I’ve also never presented myself as broke. I’ve made it clear I’m not starving and that I use any money donated for progressing liberty, not for basic needs. My wife and I take care of our own basic needs. The only time I’ve ever expressed an actual NEED for anything personal was about 7 years ago when DJ needed money for expenses not paid by insurance on some very expensive, very needed surgery, and I believe you donated then. We were overjoyed with getting donations on that, it made us feel very comforted in an otherwise very scary situation.
I really like to give. If I ask to get sometimes, it’s for something specific. Like when I asked recently for the MeowBit project, and you gave, it was all used to pay Derrick, the programmer of MeowBit. Not a cent of your donation went into my pocket.
And MeowBit is something I’m STILL losing money on, and doing as a gift to the world for liberty. And I’m working so hard on that, and two liberty radio shows, that I have a bad back ache as I type this. I often do. I literally suffer for this stuff. I’ll be 50 in two months, and I don’t bounce back like I used to. Yet I still work non-stop on the liberty mission. I really appreciate donations, they feel like thanks in a basically 24/7/365 lifelong commitment.
I’m not broke per se, but I basically have stopped working on paid projects and only work on liberty projects lately, so I’m not bringing in money like I used to. I’m getting by, but donations really help. And moreover, they really buck my spirit.
The Amazon bucks isn’t really money to me, in a way. I can’t spend it outside of Amazon (though I AM taxed on it), I can’t pay for web hosting or the streaming server, or any other recurring Feens show expenses with it. I get it from links from blog posts I do as labors of love and then forget about. I usually get about 50 bucks a month in Amazon bucks. 275 was a rare windfall. I hope it becomes a trend, but I doubt it will.
Usually my wife spends the Amazon bucks on books, but she didn’t need any this month.
I asked Neema if he needed anything from Amazon, since I know they sell baby stuff, he didn’t need anything.
So I decided to find ways to give it away to others to help liberty.
I gave a mic to a 15-year-old guy who really wants to start a liberty cast, but needs a good mic. One of my main aspects of the liberty mission is spreading the ability for people who have a good voice in liberty to sound good. We need that. And people calling in to radio shows on cell phones sounds horrible. Callers sounding good makes the whole liberty mission more valuable for everyone, and makes it easier to bring in more people.
I’m basically the ONLY person out there fighting for better sound for everyone in liberty. That’s what the Creamy Radio Audio blog is about. That’s a blog I work really hard on, and that’s where a lot of the Amazon bucks come from: liberty people reading that blog and clicking on links to get good gear to start more liberty shows.
Hell, I first met Ben Stone because I wrote him and said “Love your show, if you’d like I can give you some advice on how to improve your audio.” Go listen to his first few episodes, and listen to him now, if you want to hear the difference.
Improving audio for everyone is much of my activism, and I’m alone in it. No one else is doing it. And it needs doing, so I do it. It’s not as sexy as walking around with guns in public and filming it for the YouTubes, or getting arrested as a protest, but I believe it’s just as important.
I’m not going to be around forever, and I want to help as many people as possible get up to speed with making good media. And sometimes that requires me shelling out money out of pocket to help someone. I’m amazed that doing that would rub anyone the wrong way.
Training more liberty radio hosts is one of the main reasons I started a new show. That new show is five nights a week. That’s quite a commitment for something that makes me zero money, and actually costs me some money to do, because it gives me less free time to do paid work I’d normally do.
Neema and I are giving away another mic as a prize to help raise money to get Ben Stone to PorcFest. Ben should be there, doesn’t have the money, and had heart failure and nearly died recently, partly from the pace of his liberty work. He told me he was thinking of giving up on podcasting, and I wanted to encourage him that people care about him and that he shouldn’t give up. I talked to him today, and the response from the Indiegogo campaign seems to have maybe swayed his mind about giving up.
I appreciate money you’ve given. But if you think I’m selfish or foolish to give things away, please, give your money to any of the other liberty media folks asking for donations. Many of them will spend it on weed, clothes and airline tickets rather than buying things for other liberty folks, including strangers, like I do sometimes.
–Michael W. Dean.
Freedom Feens radio show / MeowBit / Michael Dean After Dark radio show