"News that's not known, or not known enough." Helen & Harry Highwater's cranky weblog of news and opinion.
We hope y'all enjoy Unknown News, whether you can afford to help or not. If you can afford it, though, every little bit helps, and every kindness is deeply appreciated.
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We accept Visa or Mastercard, through PayPal, or you can send a check, money order. We used to accept occasional dollar bills mailed to our PO box, but we grew weary of the death threats and closed the box, sorry.
To use PayPal, click the top green button. You can adjust the amount by changing the 'quantity'.
A few sweet folks contribute every month, and for them we've added the monthly buttons, below. If you
click one of those buttons, whatever amount you
choose will be sent our way, once each month.
A note about using PayPal to buy our stickers or make a donation:
PayPal has a reliable track record of efficiently processing payments and donations. You really needn't worry if you're spending or sending money through PayPal.
It's a different and somewhat more risky story if you're accepting payment through PayPal. The company has a long pattern of occasionally but unpredictably blocking account-holders from accessing their funds, if PayPal disapproves of an account-holder's politics or business.
Some people, quite understandably, would rather avoid giving their business to PayPal. For these folks, we used to have a PO Box and accept donations more directly. Sadly, we closed the box in 2008, after growing weary of the death threats from people so stupid they think it's treason to stand up for peace and freedom.
If you'd like to help us out without using PayPal, we suggest sending a generous donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York NY 10004. They'll appreciate it, we'll appreciate it, and your donation will definitely be funding a very good cause.
It takes money to publish Unknown News. Golly jeepers I hate begging, but sometimes we hear
from people who have the amusing misconception that we're young professionals, or that the site is funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation or the Pew Cheritable Trust or some such. It ain't that way, but the notion does make us laugh.
Unknown News is not tax-deductable, not affiliated with any political party or group, and not cuddly with the likes of MobilExxon or Archer Daniels Midland. We are painfully poor. We're not kidding, and we're not exaggerating. If you're not above giving to charity, we're not above asking for it. Every little bit helps.
We're paying about $50 a month for webhosting and $24.95 a month for an internet dial-up connection. (Yes, there are cheaper alternatives, but we want our website to actually be on-line when you click it, so for this one aspect of our lives we don't scrimp.) Last time I did the math, one dollar kept Unknown News on-line for about ten hours, and ten dollars kept us on-line for about four days.
We try to bring you a regular dose of bad news from reliable sources. If you appreciate the nucklebustin' work that goes into this website, we would greatly appreciate your help.
An important note: If you're poor like we are, if you're worried about making next month's rent or paying next month's bills like we are, then please send nothing. We absolutely don't want to add to your worries.
But if you're not particularly worried about the rent and the bills, then yes, we would appreciate your help.
All funds received go toward ISP, webhosting, and luxuries like a new keyboard without a stickyyy y. If there's ever enough to cover expenses, any hypothetical excess would go toward making this a better website.
Anyone who might think monetary gifts a tad too cold (believe me, you're wrong) is invited to look through our 'wish list,' to find other ways to put smiles on our faces ...
Unknown News has been on-line since 1999. If it suddenly goes dark, that means we're bankrupt or dead, or we've been arrested for unAmericanism, in which case we regret that refunds will probably not be possible. Unless and until one of these things happens, however, we are completely committed to keeping this site up and running, and we appreciate the heck out of everyone who helps.
Like the URL says, this website is about unknown news.
Our news comes only from mainstream, professional journalists or (rarely) other sources we trust entirely, with no nuttiness and no interest in the same news you see everywhere else.
What we believe
We believe in liberty and justice for all, so of course, we oppose many US government policies. This doesn't mean we're anti-American, redneck scum, pinko commies, militia members, or terrorist-sympathizers. It means we believe in freedom, as more than merely a cliché.
We believe you have the right to live your own life as you choose, and others have the equal right to live their lives as they choose. It's not complicated.
We believe freedom leads to peace, progress, and prosperity, while its opposite -- oppression -- leads to war, terrorism, poverty, and misery.
We believe it's preposterously stupid to hate people because of their appearance, their race or nationality, their religion or lack of religion, how they have sex with other consenting adults, etc. There are far more apropos reasons to hate most people.
We believe in questioning ourselves, our assumptions, each other -- and we especially believe in questioning authority (the more authority, the more questions). We believe obedience is a fine quality in dogs and young children, but not in adults.
Like America's right-wingers, we believe in
hard work to get ahead,
and stern punishment for serious crimes.
We believe big government should not be blindly trusted.
But unlike most right-wing leaders, we mean it.
Like America's left-wingers, we believe in
equal treatment under law,
war as a last (not first) resort,
and sensible stewardship of natural resources.
We believe big business should not be blindly trusted.
But unlike most left-wing leaders, we mean it.
Like libertarians, we believe it's wrong and reprehensible to arrest people for what they think, believe, look like, wear, eat, smoke, drink, inhale, inject, or otherwise do to themselves.
But unlike many libertarians, we're not obsessed with the gold standard, we don't believe incorporation is humanity's highest achievement, and we don't believe everything in life comes down to dollars and cents. We've read and enjoyed Ayn Rand's novels, but we understand that they're works of fiction.
We're skeptical, and we're sick of so-called 'journalists' who aren't skeptical at all.
A reader asks, what are our solutions?
We propose no solutions except common sense, which is never common. We like the principles of democracy, and the ideals broadly described as 'American'. The US Constitution is a fine and workable framework for solutions, when it's actually read and thoughtfully understood by intelligent statesmen and women. So, no manifestos from us. We don't dream that big, and if there's one thing the world doesn't need it's yet another manifesto.
Our suggestion is: think.
A fact-based instead of faith-based approach leads to solutions for most of the recurring issues of our time, from abortion to global climate change, pollution to universal health care, careful but real regulation of industry and economy, hunger, war, terror, human rights for humans not for corporations, science not religious doctrine in public schools, equal protection and prosecution under law, etc. Approach problems without glorifying stupidity, without demonizing intelligence, and answers usually come into focus.
These pages are published by Harry and Helen Highwater, happily married low-income nom de plumes and rabble-rousers from Madison, Wisconsin (with a few friends scattered around the world helping out).
We try to spotlight news that hasn't gotten enough (or appropriate) attention in American media, along with our opinions and yours.
We bang our keyboards against the wall, because it doesn't hurt as much as banging our heads.
We assume our readers are well-informed before they click here, so we focus on news that's generally unknown or under-reported. We're generally disinterested in such non-news as reports on what politicians might do, may do, or should do, and we don't usually mention the murders, kidnappings, house fires, auto wrecks, celebrity crap, wacky fluff, and other nonsense that's pushed real news right out of the newscasts.
Disclaimer for dummies: Our front page is free from nudity, but we make no promise on profanity. If your surfing is monitored this site might not be safe for work, and you may be shocked, offended, or in trouble with your boss. A link doesn't imply that we agree with every sentence and every sentiment on every site we link to. We use our noggins, and suggest you use yours.
We always welcome comments from readers, and we're especially interested in hearing and considering different perspectives, so please don't be shy. All we ask is that you conduct yourself sanely and civilly, so consider yourself invited to speak your mind. Our email address and other info is on our contact page.
Please don't email us unless you're sending an original communication that you're not sending to anyone or everyone else. If you add us to your mailing list or chat group without asking us first, or if you send "Dear friend" newsletters, or "link exchange" form letters, or if you send a press release every time you add a post to your blog, you're a spammer and we'll soon block your emails. Also, as a matter of security, we don't open emails from strangers which include attachments or have any kind of programming imbedded, and we recommend a similar policy for others. If you're sending us an email, please send it in plain text only.
Anything sent to Unknown News may be published. If you don't want it published, say so plainly. When we publish incoming emails, we edit out the sender's last name and email address — if we slip up (or if you want your full name and email address published) please let us know. Of course, if your email is unambiguously intended only to annoy, insult, or threaten us, we'll publish it with all the details and leave it on-line forever.