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Had he lived in our times, he (we'll call him Bill) could have been a prominent blogger on Daily Kos.  In fact, given his way with words and unique ability to coin new phrases, I'm sure he'd have joined this blog early on.  However, he might have had a bit of difficulty making up his mind. (he wasn't good at doing so)  No question in my mind, though, that had he overcome his initial hesitation, he'd have become a prolific contributor and one hell of a community moderator.  (Sorry, MB)

So, how would have Bill fared on these pages?  This is entirely speculative but it is, nevertheless, informed speculation.  He'd have written about everything under the sun,  and then some.  In doing so, he'd have adopted a whole new set of terms and phrases that are commonly used by many amongst us.  If there is one thing he was good at, it was adapting to the times.

He loved pooties and woozles.  In deference to the powerful PWB Peeps group, he would have gone out of his way to appease them.  See, pandering isn't just for elected officials!

His output would have far exceeded anyone else's.  In that department, he had no peer.  The range of topics he could opine on would have been the envy of this site's best writers.  Bar none.  Some might have tried to emulate his style of writing.  None would have succeeded.

To get with the times, Bill would then adopt new technologies to popularize his works.  Even as he had Luddite tendencies, he could foretell the future and his more meaty, substantive pieces would give way to shorter, punchier posts.  Some would decry the "Facebookization" of Daily Kos.  Not Bill.

Popularity, however, is a double-edged sword.  It inevitably results in creating enemies - both real and imagined.  Bill would have been accused by some to be a sockpuppet, or even worse, a zombie.  Such accusations can be hard to defend against.  

Bill was never a GBCW-kinda guy.  Hounded by his critics, he would decide to take a leave of absence.  Yes, he would TTYN.  Many would pine for his return.  In his farewell diary, he would pen these famous words.  His work would live on.

The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interrèd with their bones.

Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2

When shall we three meet again   
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?   
When the hurlyburly’s done,   
When the battle’s lost and won.           
Fair is foul, and foul is fair;   
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act I, Scene I

Stay tuned.  Substantive blogging will return soon. (we hope)


Poll

Of This List of Phrases from Shakespeare, Which One is Your Favorite?

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| 791 votes | Vote | Results

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Please recommend the diary posted this morning by peregrine kate - Community Fundraisers Emergency Request: Snoopydawg Needs Help NOW to Avoid Foreclosure.

Please help to keep Kate's diary on the Rec List, republish to your groups, link to your Facebook pages, and help spread the word through Twitter.  snoopydawg is facing a very difficult medical situation and needs to raise a bit of money to pay her mortgage next week and save her two woozles, Charlie (below left) and Abby.  

Here's how you can help snoopydawg and save her house, Abby, and Charlie.  Thanks in advance for your generosity.



Here's How You Can Help snoopydawg, Abby, and Charlie




  • To make a contribution through PayPal, please do so by sending it to snoopydawg@earthlink.net
  • You can also contribute through snoopydawg's GoFundMe page -- for which every FB share will be a huge help too.
  • If you would rather mail a check or money order through the US Mail, please Kosmail pergrine kate and she will give you snoopydawg's name and mailing address.
Discuss

Senator Edward Brooke (R-MA) represented a different era in American politics and certainly came from the wing of the Republican Party that simply does not exist today.

From his obituary in the Boston Globe

Edward W. Brooke, the Massachusetts Republican who was the first African-American to be elected to the US Senate since Reconstruction, died today, according to Kirsten Hughes, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican Party. He was 95. Mr. Brooke served in the Senate from 1967-1979. Elected attorney general in 1962 and reelected two years later, he was the first African-American to hold that office in any state.

"Massachusetts has a history of sending giants to the United States Senate, great statesmen like Quincy Adams, Webster, Cabot Lodge, and Kennedy. We count Ed Brooke among them," said Governor Deval L. Patrick. "He carried the added honor and burden of being 'the first' and did so with distinction and grace. I have lost a friend and mentor. America has lost a superb example of selfless service. Diane and I extend our deepest condolences to the Brooke family."

There have since been six subsequent African-American senators: three Illinois Democrats, Carol Moseley Braun, Barack Obama, and Roland W. Burris; Massachusetts Democrat Mo Cowan, appointed to fill the seat of John F. Kerry; South Carolina Republican Tim Scott, and New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker.

Here are a couple of reactions to his death.  You can read more here.

"Ed Brooke stood at the forefront of the battle for civil rights and economic fairness. During his time in elected office, he sought to build consensus and understanding across partisan lines, always working towards practical solutions to our nation's challenges."— President Barack Obama.

"This strong public servant with a deep voice and a big laugh defined the term gentleman, and he gave life to the words 'public servant.' Whether in the Army Infantry during World War II, where he was awarded the Bronze Star fighting fascism; or as state Attorney General, battling corruption; or, finally, as a United States Senator, helping to pass landmark civil rights legislation and pushing for affordable housing, Ed Brooke gave to his country every day of his life." — Secretary of State John Kerry, former Massachusetts U.S. senator.

Below the fold is a diary that I had posted about Senator Brooke three years ago.
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I first posted a version of this diary on Christmas Eve 2011.  Even in the midst of unprecedented carnage in World War I, soldiers on both sides found within themselves a modicum of human decency and desire for peace. In this most brutal of wars which raged on for four long years, there was a cessation of hostilities on the night of December 24, 1914 - even if for only one day.  Any time, anywhere, when the cycle of violence is momentarily interrupted or broken, that, in itself, is worthy of remembrance.

Wars suppress the natural urge of men to behave in a manner that has no bearing to and can even remotely be construed as civilized behavior.  

Combat does terrible things to human beings and transforms the best of them into killing machines. The low-key and gentle man who may have been a country farmer in a previous life turns into a savage, thirsty for blood.  The unassuming and quiet factory worker who was primarily concerned with making machine parts emerges as an efficient killer.  The seemingly peace-loving gardener who lovingly took care of nature's wonders is worried about one and only one thing - kill or be killed.  

Prolonged conflicts severely restrict and narrow one's options on the field of battle.  Through all the brutality, soldiers are preoccupied with the ultimate goal: survival. And at the war's end, a longing to be reunited with their loved ones and to carry on with their mundane, unexciting, and ordinary lives.  

The lie and the harsh reality of total war is simply this: older men send younger men into battle to die while invoking honor, duty, and country.  How should soldiers behave when placed as cannon fodder in an impossible situation?  

As I wrote in this 2007 diary - "Shared National Sacrifice" and 'The War' Tonight on PBS

Grand strategies, geopolitical objectives, and tactical battle plans are for politicians and generals.  In a democratic society, soldiers don't make the decision to engage in war; political leaders, some with perverted personal agendas, do.  

The "Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom" Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote about the futility of war and directed his criticism at the British military high command.  His classic poem,The Charge of the Light Brigade, is about a disastrous suicidal charge made by British soldiers in the Crimean War.


The Crimean War took place between 1853-1856, with Tsarist Russia fighting an Allied force consisting of soldiers from the British, French, and Ottoman Empires.  The Allies were also joined by a force from the Kingdom of Sardinia.  The war resulted as imperial powers jockeyed for territorial influence following the decline of the Ottomans.  

Poll

How Much Do You Know About World War I?

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Sorry, but I already took care of it.  Happy blogging!

Sincerely,
Markos Moulitsas Kim Jong-un
Supreme Leader
Daily Kos Central

Discuss


As many of you know, TiaRachel has been facing a rather difficult time of late.  A host of health issues have adversely affected her ability to work and put her in a serious financial bind. She needs our help to secure a stable future.  It is within her reach.  Let's collectively ensure that she starts anew in 2015.

Over two weeks ago, Tia reluctantly posted a diary because she had run out of other options. I happened to see it and messaged her that many of us had not only read the diary, but would try to assist her as best as we could. What followed over the next few days surprised me a bit.  It shouldn't have.  

Due to this community's incredible generosity and collective embrace of Tia, we have raised about $5,500.00 so far and are only $1,500.00 away from reaching our fundraising goal.  

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I first posted a version of this diary in 2011.  On the 51st death anniversary of the last American President to be assassinated while still in office, it is useful to remember not John F. Kennedy the legend, but the talented leader whose memorable speeches and deeds inspired a nation.  

Had he lived, been re-elected in 1964, and served a second term, would we remember him along with the likes of great presidents like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt?  We will never know.  That speculation would end on a dark day in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

The election of John F. Kennedy in November 1960 was like a breath of fresh air blowing throughout the entire land. The staid, predictable 1950's which ushered in the politics of superficial tranquility and an era of conformity was drawing to a close.  

If the country had largely coasted through the previous decade, new frontiers and possibilities suddenly appeared over the horizon.  The charismatic, young President challenged all Americans to work harder to give of themselves to their country and to scale new heights.  Optimism and excitement seemed to be the new buzz words.  

It was to be the dawn of a new period of American renewal in more ways than one.  


The above editorial cartoon was published in the Grand Forks Herald (N.D.) on November 24, 1963 by political cartoonist Stuart McDonald.  It shows a despondent Uncle Sam expressing the shock felt by the nation and the world upon hearing the news of JFK's assassination in 1963.  Cartoon source: University of North Dakota Discovery.

Poll

Do You Remember the Day When President John F. Kennedy Was Assassinated?

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I'm going to be brief.  Please be sure to recommend this diary by Onomastic

Both of the Reed Sisters have had an awful year in 2014, one marked by serious illness for Ann, sick pooties, and a host of other issues.  In addition to paying real estate taxes next week to save their home, Sara and Ann have miscellaneous other bills to take care of and the need to replace two PC's.  

You can read more details in this diary by llbear and one posted by peregrine kate.  If you follow Sara on Daily Kos, you also received a request earlier today by 2thanks.

Many thanks.  You all have been great.

Discuss
On September 1, 1939 the armed forces of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded Poland with overwhelming force, lightning speed, and unprecedented ferocity.  World War II had begun and the term "Blitzkreig" would enter our vocabulary along with all the negative connotations it implied.  More than two decades earlier by August 1914, the idea of total war between great industrialized nations had already arrived with a vengeance. After one thousand, five hundred and fifty one days of intense fighting and almost nine million dead, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 1918, the guns of war would finally fall silent.  World War I had come to an end but not before an entire generation of European men had been lost.  It was a brutal and destructive war - one whose global reverberations are felt even to this day.

This diary is not a comprehensive history of World War I.  It only explores some of the themes from that senseless war and the response of a few poets directly affected by it.  I first posted a version of this diary on Remembrance Day in 2012.  Every year I try to improve upon the diary.




Dulce Et Decorum Est
by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Death doesn't always have the last word.  What eludes the living - be it fame, fortune, or some other form of notoriety - is often only apparent after they have departed this good earth.

Wilfred Owen eventually came to be revered as one of the great British poets of World War I. In what is probably his most famous poem, he describes the futility of war and appalling conditions he experienced while surviving chemical gas attacks in trenches as a soldier during that most brutal of conflicts.  The poem's title was inspired by a line in one of the Odes of the ancient Roman poet, Horace. The Latin phrase Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori means "how sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country."  Even a cursory reading of the poem makes it obvious that an indignant Owen strongly disagrees with Horace and vigorously challenges that misguided notion of personal and imperial glory that Horace later came to be associated with.  

Owen had defiantly mocked the idea that there was honor in dying for one's own country. Ironically, that is exactly what he ended up doing.  After a stay at Craiglockhart War Hospital in late 1917, Owen returned to France to rejoin his military unit.  One week before the war would end, he was caught in a German machine gun attack and killed in action on November 4, 1918. On the day the war ended on November 11, 1918, the sound of church bells in Shrewsbury, England signaled the coming of the long-awaited peace.  At the home of his parents, the doorbell rang and a telegram informed them that Owen had been killed the week before.

Only 25 years old at the time of his death, Owen had planned to publish a collection of war poems in 1919.  In the book's preface, he had written

This book is not about heroes.  English Poetry is not yet fit to speak of them.  Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except war.  Above all I am not concerned with Poetry.  

My subject is War, and the pity of War.  The Poetry is in the pity. Yet these elegies are to this generation in no sense consolatory. They may be to the next.  All a poet can do today is warn. That is why true Poets must be truthful.


The haunting music in the above video is composer Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings."  It was first performed in 1938 by the NBC Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Arturo Toscanini in front of an invited radio studio audience in New York City.  One of President John F. Kennedy's favorite pieces of music, it was played on television upon the announcement of his death on November 22, 1963.  You can read a draft of the poem that Owen wrote while recuperating from shell shock at Craiglockhart War Hospital, near Edinburgh, Scotland in 1917.

Poll

When Will American Troops Return Home from Iraq?

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Real life will often trip you up in unexpected ways and ones hard to fathom.  If you've been on the receiving end of such a nasty curve ball, you know the feeling.  Helplessness.  Distress. Sleeplessness.  Unpredictability.  Fear. Despondency.  A feeling of not knowing what to do next, or who to turn to for help.

Such is the case now with one of our long-standing Daily Kos members, KibbutzAmiad (Lori).  Having run out of viable options and after exhausting all other avenues, she reluctantly posted a diary yesterday reaching out to our community - Longing for home...  All she is asking is the opportunity to bring her son, Keir, home and have some semblance of normality.  Burdened by medical bills and a long struggle to keep her son alive, she just needs a bit of support.  For Lori, there is a light flickering at the end of this dark tunnel.  It's what gives her hope.  Let's help her get through this ordeal.  

For those of you who are relatively new here, and may have lurked for years before joining the community, know that we have rarely, if ever, failed one of our own.  Through random acts of encouragement and kindness, not to mention incredible generosity, we've always come through in times of need.  The state of our politics may disappoint us all from time to time, but the outpouring of sympathy and support displayed in times of need is what keeps many of us coming back.  Out of the thousands of minor and major interactions that occur on a daily basis - and I'm reasonably sure that I can speak for most of you - we all can count on one certainty on Daily Kos: when the need arises, we have always helped one of our own.  It's also the decent thing to do.

If at all possible, please extend a helping hand to Lori.  Here's the Donation link for Keir at GoFundMe.

Please follow me for more below the fold...

 

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By many reports, there were over 300,000 people demanding action to combat the menace of Climate Change today in New York City.

Here are a few sights and sounds from this historic day along with a few media reports and diaries posted over the past three days.  Our blogathon isn't over as more is to come over the next couple of days.


The People's Climate March NYC Sept 21 2014
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Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:03 PM PDT

Favorite Television Sitcom?

by JekyllnHyde

Give me 30 minutes of Seinfeld, Mad About You, Murphy Brown, Fawlty Towers, All in the Family, Are You Being Served? and watch out reconciliation bills, filibuster, cloture, and politics in general.  I'll abandon you in a second.

Seinfeld

The continuing misadventures of neurotic New York stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his equally neurotic New York friends.

One of the most watched television shows of the 1990s, "Seinfeld" is a true-to-life comedy series that follows the events of a group of friends.  The group consists of Jerry Seinfeld, a stand-up comedian who questions every bizarre tidbit about life; George Costanza, a hard-luck member of the New York Yankees organization; Elaine Benes, a flashy woman and book editor who is not afraid to speak her mind; and Cosmo Kramer, an extremely eccentric, lanky goofball. Another very notable member of the show is Newman, a chubby mailman, friend of Kramer, and, almost always, nemesis of Jerry.  Other sources of comedy appear in the form of the parents of both Jerry and George.

(George, Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer in Seinfeld)

What makes for a good television sitcom?  What elements combine to make a sitcom successful as well as popular?  The criteria are many, the judgments all too subjective.  

A few guidelines

  • Characters.
  • Theme Song or jingle.
  • Acting.
  • Writing.
  • Plot.
  • Directing.
  • Timing.
  • Edginess Factor.
  • Cultural, political, and social significance.

Poll

Among the Ones Listed, What is Your Favorite Television Sitcom?

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| 156 votes | Vote | Results

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