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Since, during the last few days, there has been a plethora of Meta Diaries I thought I would add one more. I was walking home Tuesday night in the cold Seattle weather and was struck by something.

There has been much discussion about what is wrong with this site and whether or not it is "broken". I can tell you that it is not. The decision Markos made to start a "blog" and the foresight he had to set up the format he did has changed politics, blogging and my life profoundly.

A little over a year ago I signed up and began posting. I'm going to risk boring everyone by sharing some of my experiences since that day. Bear with my sentimental moment.

I have never been a politically active person. I've voted in every election that has occurred since I was 18, but until I found this site that was about the extent of it.

This site is a great place to learn about Politics, Politicians, Issues, Elections and News. But it is so much more.

The first person to respond to my very first diary was Plutonium Page. Little did I realize that within a month I would be at a Pub with her and other members of this site. After that, we began getting together at least once a month. Now it is a regular occurrence. It is morphing into a group that will become active in local politics. Thanks in large part to switzerblog who, even though he is an idiot, has helped make it happen.  We adopted a local blog called "WashBlog" which will soon become a Scoop site and we will focus on Washington issues.

I've met some truly wonderful people: eugene, mcjoan, N in Seattle, switzerblog, , surprise guests like em dash that showed up from Colorado without her boots, Frank and Plutonium Page come while they are in Seattle. These are people I could develop life long friendships with.

I somehow stumbled upon another poster, cmk, and we realized we only lived a few blocks from each other. Cmk, his wife (who posts here as Em) and I have developed a friendship that has extended beyond this site. They were at my place with their family for the 4th of July and we are starting to meet regularly for other activities such as coffee, kayaking and very, very long walks to the SeattleKos get together (thanks to Em, who likes to climb very steep hills).

I have met people from all over the world. I may not know what they look like, but they have influenced me, exchanged emails and been there when I needed them. Fantastic writers like:

  • Meteor Blades - who inspires me and if he was the only one posting here . . . I would read it every day
  • The mysterious Soj - who has opened my eyes to issues outside our borders
  • DarkSyde - who shares my love of science and who is so prolific it astounds me. Give em' hell DarkSyde.
  • Carnacki - whose deep love of his family and his "Happy Story" diaries have gotten me through some dark days. Can anyone really be as kind as he seems? I'm suspicious.
  • pastordan - who has given me "Faith" in those more involved in the Spiritual side. His "What's Your Fucking Problem" diaries have ALSO gotten me through some dark days. I am an atheist, but I consider us friends
  • georgia10 - who posted some fantastic and informative diaries about the Ohio issue after the election
  • bonddad - who has informed me about the world of Finance which, frankly, bores the shit out of me - but I know it is important.
  • Newsie8200 - who has read and shared news, pictures and cartoons from all over the Globe
  • RubDMC- whose "Iraq War Grief Daily Witness" photos from Iraq have made me cry and experience intense anger about the tragedy of War
  • Bill In Portland Maine - whose "Cheers & Jeers" I never post to because by the time I get up there are 407,532,452 comments already with 657,984,456 "4's" given out.
  • Armando- the controversial figure that many have called for the head of on a platter. Love him or hate him he has done more than anyone to keep this site functioning as well as it has. Thanks Armando.

I've been entertained by Bob Johnson and his canine companion (Bob, I can't tell you how close I was to putting your dog down as a write in candidate for the Monorail Board - he'd already be unemployed if he won though). The Photoshop skills and humor of Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner and Dood Abides are something that can't be missed. Raybin makes me smile frequently. I read the wonderful stories by Omir the Storyteller on Sundays. (When are you coming to a meeting Omir?) Shared the joy of JamesB3 when he shared the victory for Gay Rights this last election (he has been frustrated at other times and I've shared in that as well). I've learned about the latest HIV research from Toktora.

I've learned from, shared experiences with and debated with people from all walks of life about all kinds of issues.

I've seen incredible spontaneous outpouring of generosity. The community raised money to buy a computer for a disabled Vet, raised money for the victims of the Tsunami, Katrina and other disasters, raised funds for Politicians and families in need.

We have shared in the Wedding of Plutonium Page and Frank (next time you two are here you better call me so I can give you your Wedding gift . . . or maybe your 3rd Anniversary gift by the time I get around to it). There was vast support for Meteor Blades when his family was in an Auto accident. We shared in the pregnancy of fabooj. . . possibly with more details than we needed ;-) (congratulations to you on the arrival of your new family member by the way! I hope all is well).

I once wrote a comment that mentioned how broke I was and could not afford to go see my Grandmother while she was ill. Within a few minutes I got an email from our Queen of Profanity, Maryscott OConnor offering to send me some money. I didn't take it, but MSOC I can not tell you how much that meant to me - love ya lots for that. This is an example of why a big heart and caring attitude are sometimes more important than language. (Although you had some great points Jeffrey Feldman, really!)

We have Senators, Members of Congress, and Candidates that inform us directly. We got updates from Cindy Sheehan from the Texas front lines on a daily basis.

This past Summer the local group decided to have a picnic. For fun we invited our Congressman, Jim McDermott. Surprisingly, he showed up - twice. I got to talk with him for about 2 hours with a few other members. Congressman McDermott and I exchanged some personal emails and I wrote a diary about what he is going through in a court battle. He showed up in the diary and answered a few questions. This was the only diary I wrote that got play on the conservative blogs and I got my first "Hate Mail" from those Crazy Conservatives (this is when you know you have made it on Kos).

Because of this meeting, I co-hosted a "House Party" fund raiser for Congressman McDermott and helped him raise a few dollars. We had a conference call where he answered questions from the guests. I got to talk momentarily to the elusive RonK Seattle during this event (you better show up to one of our meetings damn it!).

Jim McDermott is a warm and caring politician and when it is time for his re-election I will volunteer for his campaign. I have never even considered doing this before Kos.

Tuesday night I went to the monthly 43rd District Democrats meeting. I have NEVER attended a meeting for my District before. Now I am ready to pay my dues and get active. Of course, I went because N in Seattle was in charge of the Program. He had a discussion about these things called "blogs". At the meeting was a round table with some local bloggers. I didn't learn much about blogs but I met "Goldy" of HorsesAss the blogger that broke the story about the Equine past of our beloved Ex FEMA director, Michael Brown, also in the discussion was Lynn of evergreenpolitics and Andrew of nwprogressive. All of them post here on Kos as well.

Now I write and call my Congress Critters and I am happily involved in the Battle to take back our Country.

I left out many people I should have included. And this is just some of what I remembered. NONE of this would have happened to me if it had not been for this site.

Are there problems here? Oh, yeah.

Battles Royale that I am sure if we were able to get a hold of each other there would be serious injuries . . . possibly fatalities. Each major battle has its own name for posterity: "Shut Your Fucking Pie Hole", "The Genital Wars of 2005", "Pie Fight", and others. Markos himself has said some things that seem quite inflammatory and . . . well . . . stupid. Welcome to being a member of the Human Species.

Some of these battles have meant the loss of valuable members of the community and spin off sites. So yes we have our dysfunctional, fucked up moments. But I would expect nothing less. This site has about as many members as Montana's largest city has people. It is a diverse group. For those of you new to the Battles - get used to it because the '06 election cycle is coming! "Back my Candidate or I'll kick you in the groin!" -  "Bring it on beeyotch!" We'll survive.

Recently, I had to take a break from the site but couldn't stay away. I haven't been gone long but I noticed there are hundreds of new names I don't recognize and I'm sure they have no idea who I am. Hell . . . the owner of this site probably doesn't know who I am. Now I have to get to know which of these hundreds will be the next prominent members of this community.

When I returned this last week it was like coming home and having a warm reunion with some great friends and family - hugs all around.

So thank you Markos and everyone here for this community. With all its problems it is still a hell of a place to be a part of.

Originally posted to SeattleLiberal on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:23 PM PST.

Poll

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4%4 votes
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51%44 votes
8%7 votes
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| 86 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sappy Tonight (4.00)
    If any one wants to share what this place has done - I'd love to hear it.

    And if you wouldn't mind throwing something in the tip jar. I lost my TU status and I miss the Troll entertainment.

  •  Mojoriffic (4.00)
    I still think this is one of the best blogs in these here Internets. Your sentiment is spot on.

    There are two blogs I have up and go to constantly (and I mean all the freakin' time). My own, and DailyKos. Works for me.

    ###

    Tilting at windmills, with the proper armor and enough firepower, can be a productive effort. http://www.43rdstateblues.com

    by Serephin on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:27:45 PM PST

  •  "everybody hates me" (none)
    "well why do you think that is?"

    "cause i'm the son of the devil."

    "ok.  that's good.  now why else?"

    "my belief is that everyone but me is stupid. and one more thing. i am getting sick and tired of people persecuting me for my beliefs." -- anonymous.

    by BiminiCat on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:29:52 PM PST

    •  I hope (none)
      you have taken everything I said over the last few days as just good debate.

      It's all good.

      •  ha!! (4.00)
        the more people who hate me the better off i am.

        everybody i've ever met .. they have always told me i'll never know what it's like to be persecuted.  they said it was a compliment.

        and i really want to experience EVERYTHING before i die.

        sick.

        i know.

        ok.  maybe not.  i may not need to get blown by a midget while doing crack in an abandonned warehouse in baltimore to experience everything, but ... if persecution is the only gateway to integrity, i'd really like to know if i really have a future in politics.

        "my belief is that everyone but me is stupid. and one more thing. i am getting sick and tired of people persecuting me for my beliefs." -- anonymous.

        by BiminiCat on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:46:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't let that cuddle bunny Carnacki fool you... (4.00)
    he's got a "dark side"

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:39:49 PM PST

  •  I'd go to the KOS Seattle meetings if (none)
    the friggin' Metro bus in my neighborhood ran past 7PM.

    Freedom's Angels ~Cindy/Bunny/Sibel~

    by Skylor on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:52:03 PM PST

  •  Aw, go on. Admit it. (none)
    The sassy boots done you in.

    T'was a pleasure to meet you too, my friend.

    xo xo,

    em dash

    Unbought, the new ass-kicking little sister of Unbossed, seeking activist bloggers.

    by em dash on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 09:55:08 PM PST

    •  Hey em! (none)
      Been awhile.

      How's CO treating you?

      •  Having the time of my life (none)
        because ousting Marilyn Musgrave is my raison d'être.

        Here's a little gem from a press release we sent out this week:

        Big Oil raked in the largest profits in American business history this year while Musgrave looked the other way, and voted to give her oil baron buddies a total of $14 billion in tax breaks so they can make even more money.

        "Whose side is she on?" said Angie Paccione, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress. "The tax give-away to Big Oil is seven times what the House plans to allocate to the Low Income Heating Assistance Program in 2006. With winter fuel prices surging, Colorado stands to lose $1.4 million for heating assistance for working families while Representative Musgrave is lining the pockets of Exxon and they are lining hers."

        Hope all is well with you. Lemme know when you're coming to Colorado.

        Unbought, the new ass-kicking little sister of Unbossed, seeking activist bloggers.

        by em dash on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 10:11:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed! (4.00)
    Just want to add to that - I love that our representatives blog here too.  That's one of dKos' main draws for me.

    I emailed Coleen Rowley a few days ago and invited her to come on over.  She replied... so maybe we'll see her around :)  MN Kossacks - she's a keeper.

  •  not quite broken, but... (4.00)
    I'd say the biggest problem I've seen around here is the propensity of diaries to fly off the "Recent Diaries" list without many of the good ones ever making it to the "Recommended Diaries" list. This is a function of the sheer speed at which diaries get posted around here, even with only one diary posted per account per day.

    For example, there have been approximately 307 diaries posted in the past 24 hours. About 200 of those were posted in the 10 hour period between 7am PST and 5pm PST--that's about 20 diaries an hour during peak hours. Using Sturgeon's law (90% of everything is crap), we can estimate that, say, 2 quality diaries get posted every hour.

    Now let's claim for the sake of argument (because I don't have numbers on this) that the recommended list on average features/represents the best 8 diaries in a 10 hour period. I know there's some churn, but then again, other diaries from outside that period pop up as well. That'd give us 8 quality diaries featured versus 20 quality diaries posted--12 quality diaries buried every day during peak hours, to say nothing of the ones at night, or really the rest of the 300 or so posted!

    My fix? It's simple--expand the recommended list. I say this all the time, and people usually don't notice. But I think someone just posted a diary on this too, let's see if I can find it... Ah, here it is. Slightly different in concept (4 lists with 8 diaries each) but still worth consideration--anything to expand the darn thing! :)

  •  hey! (none)
    you forgot skippy!
  •  DKos is the best ... (4.00)
    ... education in politics I have ever had (And continue to have)!

    You've all been patient with me, and I learn so much from you all.

    Thanks for letting me be here.

  •  I'm pretty new here (4.00)
    But what I find most encouraging about dKos is the sheer diversity of opinion.

    Hardly a day goes by when I'm not finding something I completely disagree with.  And that's wonderful.  And not just because of the hearty debate which follows, usually including the participation of whomever I am thinking is crazy at the time.

    It is wonderful because it exposes the lie that the left is some sort of monolith, out to demonize anyone who doesn't fit into their narrow view of things.  It is wonderful because it exposes the truth that liberals are a big tent party, filled with a greater diversity of views than the Republicans and Conservatives could dream of.  It is wonderful because in a society where I find myself often despairing that we are all lusting after an imagined past that our parents and grandparents couldn't wait to escape, I see people from such disparate views and agendas coming together to embrace the idea of progress, and to believe in the notion that democracy can work and ideas can be harnessed to improve the world around us.

    In this bitter and bloody world we live in, the engagement of so many in the attempt to improve our world sometimes brings out the optimism in even a cynic such as myself.  My thanks to each and every one of you for that.

  •  Off topic question about Seattle (none)
    Let me begin by saying that I loved your diary SeattleLiberal. I would be a different person today if I had not wandered across this site, and in hindsight, I'm very grateful that I did. It has changed my life in many wonderful ways.

    My question, however, is about sight-seeing in Seattle. I've never been before, but may get an opportunity soon. I'm hoping to get some advice on things to do while in town?

    Any suggestions?

    Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

    by rogun on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 10:47:32 PM PST

    •  What do you like to do? (none)
      Do you want to go "Tourist" or see some of the locals?

      You can't go wrong at Pike's Market. The Seattle Art Museum is a short walk from there. The Waterfront and Seattle Center have some great things to offer (Pacific Science Center, the Children's Museum if you have young ones).

      All of these things are an easy walk from each other.

      If you want to ride in an Amphibious bus and take a driving tour of the city and across Lake Union, the Duck Buses are popular. (not with me though because the tour goes right by my back door in the marina I live in).

      The University of Washington north of the city has some wonderful architecture and the Arboretum is there.

    •  I like to go historical (none)
      Check out the Smith Tower, and I always always recommend the Underground Tour.
    •  I think the ferry ride across (none)
      the sound and back gives you a look at some of he most beautiful sights that you'll ever seen.

      Going out with the views of the islands and coming back with the view of the Seattle skyline; I'll never forget them.

      -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

      by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 11:08:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you like to camp? (none)
      I went camping for a week on The Olympic Peninsula... just outstanding! (Especially for a person from the flat marshy east coast.) The ferry rides are cool.  (Take a trip up to Victoria Island and spend some time with our ever-so-sarky northern neighbors.)

      I spent another week just driving around.  Got a chance to drive up very close to Mt. St. Helens back in 1992, it was still a moonscape in some areas.  Was in the arid dessert like Yakima two days after camping in the Ho rainforest.

      BIG trees, HUGE vistas.  Love the Pacific Northwest.

      The most important thing about life is to stay amused by it.

      by Paulie200 on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 12:17:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't leave Hunter off the list. (none)
    He's a terror on the keyboard.

    Bush administration Press Secretary: "We remain baffled..."

    by John West on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 11:01:43 PM PST

  •  I signed a little over a year ago (4.00)
    and it has changed my life also. I don't have relationships with people here though I have communicated with MSCO a few times.

    What has changed is that it has provided me with the motivation to volunteer for Steve Young's campaign for Congress. I go 4-5 nights a week sometimes at my wife's displeasure but she really supports what I'm doing and joins me once a week. I'm meeting some fantastic people there and the conversations over grunt-work nights are priceless.

    I strayed away from dKos for a while when we moved from Sydney to Ca but it didn't take me long to get back in the groove and get enough points to view hidden comments.

    Still don't know how that shit works but I love reading them sometimes. It's sort of like reading the stories behind "The Darwin Awards". It's amazing how stupid some people can be and not know it.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 11:05:52 PM PST

    •  Great you found a Candidate (none)
      The whole Troll thing is like watching a car wreck (although a lot funnier) - I just can't look away.
      •  I sometimes have to force myself (none)
        to get back to the real conversation.

        Your "car wreck" analogy is perfect.

        -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

        by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 07:27:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Got to get the plug in. (none)
        Steve Young's Ca 48th is the only election between now and next Nov.

        Please help us by commenting when he or someone else posts a diary on him.

        We're making great progress and we actually think we have a chance.

        He was on Randi Rhodes yesterday as well as a local Right Wing show last night. He was kick-ass good. They invited him back.

        Got to get the word out.

        -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

        by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 07:30:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What I love the most (4.00)
    is the Kos "family" -

    reading the comments in any given diary is like having a conversation/argument with your close family and friends.

    Sometimes it is a scream and you laugh till your computer screen is covered in coffee - beer - wine --

    other times - it is so sad it makes you cry

    at times - I am absolutely furious

    and then there are all the times when someone gives a point of view that I just never thought of - and I feel enriched.

    There are the total nutjobs slinking over from FP - and you feel for those poor slobs - what lives they live - in the gutter - in the dark - no hope, no love.

    but this is the family we have here at Kos -- love you all.

    Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

    by sara seattle on Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 11:34:25 PM PST

  •  Someday, me post pretty. (4.00)
    The beginning was November 2004. I've been just a onlooker without posting.
    One day I received a reply-mail from Keith Olbermann.
    I wanted to tell my excitement to somebody, and that made my first diary.
    ... And many months past as being 'just a bystander.'

    Then Katrina hit NOLA, and hit my heart, too.
    I realized that when people get REALLY mad, they do a good diary.

    I enjoyed georgia 10's Fitzmas, rant with Anglico, good laugh on snarky Carnacki's diary... I learned a lot of F-words on Maryscott's, (before I didn't know how to spell it... I wrote 'bowshet' for bull s--t.  X-b)  
    For many, many great diarists, I'd like to say thank you to share your thoughts, in real time.

    Now dKos is my virtual classroom, locker-room, and Starbucks without annoying minor entrepreneurs.
    And today, my God, my diary was on the top of Google's page, busting other 2,710,000 sites with keyword of 'Philip H. Bloom.' YEY!
    Philip Bloom Case: Iraq coalition-contractor conspiracy

    Here's a method how dKos and Dubya have done a heckuva job for me:
    Bush  >  anger  >  rant  >  post  >  my English ability improved.
    BTW, I'm Japanese-U.S. citizen with 3rd grade conversation ability. When I confess my nationality, dKos friends are sweet enough, giving me a handicap of 40. (Probably by pitty)

    Thank you all, to let me in this forum!
    Someday, me post snarky.
    (Note: Don't post in the midnight...the words fail on me.)

    Revelation is the best revenge. - J. C.

    by ysbee on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:00:04 AM PST

    •  A reader of David Sedaris perhaps? (none)
      I have been trying to learn some Japanese. Believe me - your English is much more "pretty".
      •  Bingo, Bango, Bongo! (none)
        ... and Golgo 13.
        It's a Japanese joke. Golgo 13 is 'Japanese James Bond' (wacky-Jacky!) a popular hero of Japanese MANGA=animation.
        BTW, there're no pronounciation of F, L, V in Japanese. So 'F--k you, Bush' goes "Huack yoo busshoo." It doesn't work... I mean huackto upoo!

        Revelation is the best revenge. - J. C.

        by ysbee on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:38:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well said. (4.00)
    Keep this in mind, though...if you read the more recent "Metadiaries" the focus has been much more positive and forward looking - less of the "the place is a dump, broken, and needs to be torn down" and much more of a "my god, there is so much great writing, let's try and engineer a solution that allows more people to see more work"

    That's my stance.

    The "if it ain't broke don't fix it" cliche DOES apply, however, just because it works OK now doesn't mean that we should stop thinking about ways it could be better!

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:07:28 AM PST

    •  The broken talk (none)
      has mostly been in the comments of the Atheist/Theist arguments, the "You're censoring me by not letting me threaten the President in my title" and "Conspiracy" diaries.

      You are right though about some of the positive moves to fix the site to give more diarists a chance for recognition. This is always a good conversation to have.

  •  BTW (none)
    I got quite a few compliments on the value of our program on blogs at the 43rd LD Dems meeting.  And tonight at the post-election review in the neighboring 36th, one of Ron Sims's campaign people gave great credit to the local bloggers for Ron's victory and the defeat of I-912.

    You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen

    by N in Seattle on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 01:10:18 AM PST

  •  Ha! I was going to post another meta diary... (4.00)
    ... today sometime (it's 11:31 am here), something like "how are we doing?" and "name an event in the last year that changed the course of dKos, for better or for worse" (including a photo of a pie, of course... kidding).

    Your diary kicks ass, though, and says it way better than I would have.

    There are over 70,000 users here at dKos.  Sometimes, I am convinced that 69,000 of them are terminally stupid, incredibly narcissistic, or just plain mean.

    Ok, maybe only 50,000 are.  

    In any case, this is a great site, no matter what's happened in the last year.  I can't say if it's changed my life or not, because that's a pretty big thing to say, but I've definitely learned a hell of a lot about politics, and met some really great people (that would include you, SeattleLiberal, and the other Pike Brewery Drinkers).

    Actually, if I hadn't started reading and posting on dailyKos, I wouldn't have "met" my co-bloggers at The Next Hurrah, and that has definitely changed my life.

    Hey, speaking of the Pike Brewery, look what I just found:


    I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been/ Each week we lose a hundred fine young men. -- Johnny Cash

    by Page van der Linden on Fri Nov 18, 2005 at 02:40:22 AM PST

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