BlogNote: On hiatus as of Sept 1st, but please stay tuned

Over 500 supporters responded to Diplopundit’s GFM fundraising last year.  We reached our funding goal hours before our self-imposed deadline of August 5, 2019 and that allowed us to blog for a year. Our funds ran out this month.  So we’re back in our old cycle of anxiety about how to make ends meet for the remainder of the year and into next year. Asking for donations as you may already know is the least enjoyable part of running this blog.
We’ve tried various ways to keep this blog open since 2008. The fact is while we have over 11,000 subscribers, we have a more limited number of blog supporters who pitched in when we ask for help once a year. About 500 donors have kept this blog going year after year. An overwhelming majority of them, we hear from only once a year during our fundraising.
We did our first fundraising in 2014 with minimal success.  After that, we were closed to calling it quits but OneFSO, TwoFSO, and 373 donors made sure this blog made it to its 7th birthday in 2015.  They (and more) came back to help in 2016, 2017, and 2019 (2018 was a darn mess so we were in a hole that year).
You folks kept this blog alive and we remember, and are grateful.
This year, as we consider the blog’s future and our next adventure, you will clearly be in our thoughts.  This blog will be on hiatus for the month of September. There will be no updates for at least four weeks. Sometime in October, we hope to fly the blog again, perhaps in a different medium. But for now, your blogger will be off to Mars on a mental health break!
You can continue to reach us via this blog: https://diplopundit.net/contact-us/ and via email at contactblog[at]diplopundit[dot]net. Response may be slow for the next several weeks. Be kind to each other and stay healthy.

Update: We’ve received emails asking about a new fundraiser.  At this time, we do not anticipate launching a new fundraiser for the remainder of the year. Apologies for the confusion.

Thank you! Some Fireworks to Share, Not Rum!

 

 

Our thanks and appreciation to 540 people who made this blog’s funding campaign a success! People even took time out from their weekend and turned out for the campaign! Some made second donations to help ensure that we get to where we want to be. We reached our funding goal hours before our self-imposed deadline of August 5. So sharing some fireworks (from Winfield House’s 2017 event), but not rum:-)!

 

As of this writing, the campaign has raised $41,432. GoFundMe deducted $1,364.02 in transaction fees, and left the campaign with $40,067.98 to withdraw. We won’t get the funds for a few more weeks but we are now funded from August 2019 to August 2020.
We are relieved we don’t have to worry about funding for the next 12 months, and at least for the moment, we are able to put the bag lady nightmare at bay. Thank you for making this possible!

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A Note to Readers

Help Fund the Blog | Diplopundit 2019 — 60-Day Campaign from June 5, 2019 – August 5, 2019

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Diplopundit will not be updated for the next two weeks. Your blogger will be on the road with obligations that could not be put off, and also will have very limited to zero online access. Blogging is expected to resume around the third week of July. 

The GFM fundraising is chugging along. 183 campaign supporters in 26 days stopped by to pitch in. Thank you all, we appreciate every help! 

We’re not quite halfway to our funding goal and time clearly is gaining on us.  We’re looking at the rest of our subscribers to remember the blog and help, if their circumstances allow it.  Whether or not we will get to our goal by August 5 remains a cliffhanger.  Maybe we’re seeing the end of the line here, though the universe may still surprise us.  For now, be well, don’t start a war, and we’ll see you in a bit.

White Cat on Grass Field by Pixabay

 

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So Hey, We’re Off to See the Wizard – Permanent Return TBD

We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz. We hear he is a whiz of a wiz. If ever a wiz there was …

 

As some of you know, this blog will be on a semi-hiatus after April 1st with only sporadic posts over the next few months.  We’re moving out of the house and looking for a new place. We are currently scheduled to go into temporary housing and may not be in permanent housing until sometime this summer. Maybe. Earlier, if we get lucky.  Nothing to be concerned about.  This has been a long planned move that we thought would happened in 2017 but didn’t.  We’re packing our own stuff and we’re currently drowning in large and medium Home Depot boxes. It turns out that despite excellent multi-tasking skills, packing boxes and blogging do not actually mix well.

Your blogger will be on unsettled schedule for a while. Hoping that the hiatus will be short and painless but knowing that may not be the case. The blog has been around for ten years now, so maybe it’s a good time to reassess the mission. Or decamp to The Wicked Wasabi so I can get some real sleep while I raise laughing chickens with colored eggs in a farm, hey? Or you know, cartoonists and lawyers seem to be the only folks having the time of their lives these days … so that, too … but anyway, the break could help me think through what to do with the blog in the future and the hows of it.

I’ve been around a bit to recognize that things are not quite well, and I know I would feel bad giving up this watch at this time.  But perhaps this is just me suffering from separation anxiety, right? Where does that put me in Abe Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

Some of you have been with this blog since the beginning, so  know that your feedback and input are always appreciated.  I’ll be checking emails and Twitter periodically but apologies in advance if response time lags a little. Now take care and be kind to each other.

 

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The Daily Démarche: Diplocats Can Hold Their Tongues in 10 Languages! #NoMueller

It’s Wednesday, and we almost forgot The Daily Démarche! Diplocats Can Hold Their Tongues in 10 Languages features a proud, sleepy kitty who is not in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s crosshairs. Real diplomats can hold their tongues in 10 different languages. And no visit to a bar can change that. A fantastic gift to diplomats and natsec friends who can carry their liquor and know better than blab over drinks in a bar.

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Looking For Stocking Stuffers? Some Holiday Gift Ideas

 

The T-Rex Collection for our behavioral science and organizational study nerds: There are a few picks ranging from the “Push Button to EXIT” T-Rex Sign Graphic t-shirt to the “Tee-Rex Looking For Exit You’ve Been Waiting For.” Yee be careful what you wish for though. If you’ve been good and nice, Santa might just give you what you wished for … although it may not necessarily be this season. We heard that the elves are working on the next button, and they’re not sure if it’s gonna be a mustache or something more. 

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NASA/JPL Visions of the Future fantastic designs for science pals, who may soon get their own government approved dictionary, if the reported CDC banned words are any indication.  NASA/JPL says that “imagination is our window into the future” and here are some images of imaginative travel destinations that you can wear or gift somebody. Don’t forget to check out the t-shirts’ backs.

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Deep State, Diplocats and FOIA’d? For those looking for deep state unicorns, here’s one where the front features the words “there was never a deep state before” while the back features the words “until those idiots conjured one.” The navy looks lovely. And of course, the diplocats will save the world, who else can do that now? For those FOIA’d in Washington, D.C. there is the perfect wear to the FOIA marathon party! Sorry, the cocktails collection is not ready for the holidays.

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For readings pals, here are a few books on diplomacy, the foreign service, and geography that friends might enjoy.

Matthew Palmer Collection

Foreign Service Books

 

For board game aficionados, a few games to consider as gifts to families, and friends with slow internet connection who may soon be moved to the cloud, also with slow internet connection.


 

Our friends at Muckrock have the magical unredacting mugs, indeed a little reminder about the importance of a government accountable to the people. Check them out.

For feds considering donations to the Combined Federal Campaign this holiday season, please consider supporting our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation – @EFF, the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world.

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Update: Contact Details For This Blog

Hey folks, we’ve updated our contact info. We’ve deleted the Contactify email for this blog previously but inadvertently left one link on. Apologies for that.  If you’ve sent us anything via Burn Bag and have not seen anything posted, please consider sending it again.

For Burn Bag entries:

  • Via AnonEmail run by Anonymouse.org. You may address it to: burnbag[at]diplopundit[dot]net. You do not need to provide an email address but we request that you include “Burn Bag” on the subject field to help us sort it out from our regular mail.  Note that your anonymous e-mail will also be randomly delayed up to 12 hours.
  • You may use burnbag[at]diplopundit[dot]net if you’re also using Hushmail, the company provides encryption by default. You may sign up for a free private account at Hushmail.

For comment, feedback or request for correction our contact link remains the same here: https://diplopundit.net/contact-us/

Other option:

  • You may also contact us using diplopundit[at]protonmail[dot]com. If  you are also a ProtonMail user, your communication will be encrypted by default. If you don’t have a ProtonMail account you may want to create one here.

Please read: PSA: If You’re Using Gmail, Consider Getting a U2F Security Key to Secure Your Account.

Many thanks!

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Blognotes: Moving Our Curated Store From There to Here

Just a quick housekeeping note — as many of you know, this blog is part of Amazon’s Affiliate Program. Your purchases via affiliate links here help support this blog at no extra cost to you. It’s not a lot but it helps. We have a curated e-store that includes primarily movies related to diplomacy, the Foreign Service or the State Department, as well as a list of books, and gifts. Later in October, Amazon will do away with its e-store functionality, so we have imported the lists here. We’ve done away with a lot of stuff and pared down our selection. If you use the “STORE” tab under the blog header, you will get to this page, which is generally divided into a curated lists for movies,
t-shirts/gifts, really just mugs that we adore, and books. We hope to keep the lists small and manageable, and will update the selection as time allows it! We hope you enjoy our picks! If you have other suggestions to share, do let us know.

For now, don’t miss the After Every Trump Tweet, You Need This Screamy Owl T-Shirt, which is really what I look like every morning when I open my newsfeed and see what POTUS has tweeted. More here.

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