Summers Joins FIRE
By David Henderson
FIRE is pleased to announce the newest addition to its Board of Advisors – Lawrence H. Summers. Professor Summers is President Emeritus of Harvard University.
For those of you who don’t know, FIRE is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. They try to protect, and often succeed in protecting, rights of students and faculty. They especially focus on freedom of speech. I’ve given to them annually for about 8 or 9 years. I started doing so when I saw they defended someone who made extremely anti-Islamic statements after 9/11 and defended someone who made extremely pro-Islamic statements after 9/11.
Maybe Larry Summers learned something from they way he got mauled while President of Harvard U.
Personal story: I hate giving small amounts of money and then seeing a lot of it burned up in glossy updates that the organization sends every month or two. At first, FIRE was no exception. I calculated that their mailing and printing costs alone would eat up close to 30% of my $100 contribution. So I contacted them in 2003 or so and said that if they promised never to mail me anything again, but, instead, keep me informed by e-mail, I would double my annual contribution. The person agreed and was relieved: he said that their perception is that many people want to see tangible output for their money. I said I do too, but the tangible output is the activism and I can see that by e-mail. FIRE slipped a couple of times in 8 years, accidentally mailing me some glossy stuff. But twice in 8 years is so much better than 50 times in 8 years. So I’ve kept up my end of the bargain.