About 4 months ago I asked for the readers to support this project albeit in a understated way. That page, “Slabbed at the crossroads”, which replaced the blog for a few hours, did stimulate substantial reader commentary, which I was happy to host. Those that have followed this project since its inception over 6 years ago know that I have a deep interest in Behavioral Economics and all of its offshoots including Public Choice Theory and Game Theory and sometimes Slabbed is my laboratory. The reader feedback in the form of that ‘substantial reader commentary’ has helped shape this place since. There is a misconception that needs clearing up however and it is there I begin:
The existence of slabbed and its followers was and is enabled by our right to the freedom of speech. This right was provided and is maintained by veterans who volunteered to answer the call of duty. I cannot personally vouch for the expense details of the slabbed donation program but I think it would be fair to donate a portion of it to battle wounded veterans.
There is no disputing the basic fact that we all have a constitutional right to free speech and that right has been justified in blood. I have a bit of firsthand knowledge of that topic in fact but the only person that can preserve your right to free speech is you. And sometimes that takes lawyers and a resolve to stand up for the truth and fight for it in a court of law. Not everyone has what it takes to do that and no amount of blood shed by our veterans in the past changes that fact. In my own case two large, well funded media outlets folded up rather than expose the depths of the corruption in the face of frivolous SLAPP suits by Aaron Broussard’s unindicted co conspirators. They folded despite having both the basic facts and the First Amendment on their side.
There are those that have told me in so many words that story wasn’t worth the fight while politely asking Slabbed to lend exposure to their causes. To myself I think, “If Broussard’s bribery and money laundering schemes aren’t worth that fight your story can’t be either.” You see folks I only know how to bring it one way. It is why you’re here reading this and also why there aren’t thousands of blogs just like this one.
About six weeks ago The Lens cut an editor’s position due to the challenging business environment that is the media biz these days. The industry is clearly in the middle of secular change not seen since the Gutenberg printing press arrived on the scene. The Lens is local microcosm of the larger media industry but the fact is with one exception over the last 10 years the market valuations of the largest US print media companies have declined while the public’s need to have quality information has only grown in the aftermath of two major economic collapses, two wars and a major terrorist attack and that does not count having both a major Hurricanes and a massive oil spill to contend with down here in paradise.
Those wanting to know a proverbial fundraising goal need to understand that I’ve never had one because donate buttons are never going to meet 100% of the financial needs of a website like this one. The environment is simply way too target rich. Hypothetically, with what I’d term real money to hire a writer, maybe a private investigator or two, etc I could spend 6 figures pretty quickly doing journalism in the public interest. I’m far more realistic and try to live within the generosity of the readership that actively supports Slabbed.
To this point there are what I’d term a core group of contributors that have donated from $100 – $500 at a shot and without them Slabbed would not be possible in its current form and those people have both my gratitude and respect. That said a broader base that followed the example of the most recent contributor that set up a $10 a month auto payment via Paypal would help insure Slabbed’s financial future.
Donate now and support your local muckraker. Thank you.