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I hate to draw clear lines. I prefer the community moderate itself. And really, the libertarian in me says people should have a right to be scammed if they refuse to be discerning, skeptical individuals. I'm no one's protector or hand-holder. I've got my hands full on that front with my growing family.

But given the last solicitation for money, I was struck by 1) how uncritical people where when asked to give to someone who really isn't a well-known member of the community, and 2) how hostile they were to those who urged caution. And it wasn't hard for people doing some quick googling to cast doubts on the veracity of the claims.

So do I need to create a clear rule banning such personal appeals?

Originally posted to kos on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 09:55 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes n/t (226+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, xerico, Sharon, Alumbrados, RobertInWisconsin, maryb2004, qwerty, jmart, aisling, Go Vegetarian, Mark H, Helen in MD, JillR, pb, hester, smithbm, vivacia, nanorich, GOTV, acquittal, vetfordean, Adam B, talex, timber, Nina Katarina, pHunbalanced, Unstable Isotope, melvynny, kathyp, Lahdee, scooter, Sherri in TX, Heather in SFBay, LionelEHutz, DCDemocrat, yatdave, oysterface, Pompatus, xynz, Duncan Idaho, dash888, ilona, peacemonger, Meandering Fox, SallyCat, amitxjoshi, grndrush, alcorsu, jrcjr, HighSticking, mldostert, Geotpf, Tom Wingfield, fabooj, Cho, Boston Boomer, redwagon, emmanuel, skrymir, corndog, mentaldebris, Shadan7, SamSinister, bhlogger, maxschell, highacidity, bluesteel, Patricia Taylor, jenifera, BuckMulligan, taonow, peeder, oceanspray, standingup, josephk, MadEye, matt2525, Cardinal96, SensibleShoes, stacystace, Cream City, SadTexan, xoRfl, BrianL, cosette, Caldonia, grayslady, peterborocanuck, Black Maned Pensator, GN1927, BlueGoo, johnnygunn, peregrina, renaissance grrrl, The Angry Buddhist, greenreflex, lawstudent922, annetteboardman, 313to212, kismet, lulu57, RyoCokey, One bite at a time, nasarius, peterj911, jesses, WV Democrat, Eckhart1234, Virginia Liberal, the chavi, kd texan, vivadissent, coneyretard, weirdmusic657, Timroff, iliketodrum, donailin, Gowrie Gal, vcmvo2, Fabian, 3goldens, Treg, bellevie, seesdifferent, LisaZ, chuckles1, Jersey Girl, Melody Townsel, Luetta, clammyc, ZappoDave, leeroy, stitchmd, Kdoug, trinityfly, reflectionsv37, Sweet Georgia Peach, Annalize5, zombie, dansk47, Heartcutter, jorndorff, jimreyn, aaraujo, John DE, Ice Blue, Phil S 33, RickE, Warren Terrer, Sevah, dem4evr, Alabama Bill, doe, Dania Audax, danger durden, thiroy, RainyDay, jay23, begone, milkmit, mspicata, Sanuk, BachFan, Do Tell, Keone Michaels, VoicelessInDC, Ceee, VolvoDrivingLiberal, Dvalkure, darthstar, Belltowner, theadmiral, InsultComicDog, Magnifico, isis2, blueoasis, birdbrain64, bleeding heart, Potus2020, edgery, Randolph06, Cato come back, Turbonerd, Mikesco, mang glider, land of the free, Timothy J, zeke7237, means are the ends, lightyearsfromhome, Carbide Bit, Granny Doc, Dem partisan, RickBoston, kml, mariachi mama, Palmetto Progressive, GoldnI, pat of butter in a sea of grits, Abraham Running For Congress When I Turn 25, neo marxist, DrSteveB, cyberotter, Cat Whisperer, RTB, PhantomFly, possum, Mr Met, aravir, drbloodaxe, 0wn, Norm DePlume, Nespolo, kath25, profmom, Crisitunity, Blue Wave Cometh, Elizabeth Ann, Junglered1, dgil, birdlady, lil love, GeorgeXVIII, TomP, extradish, gzodik

    Its just another day, and I'm still breathing...

    by Barbara Morrill on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 09:55:51 AM PST

    •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oysterface, highacidity, BarbinMD

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:53:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm firmly in the yes camp. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What I am really opposed to is having such diaries on the recommended list.  They have little potential to do harm otherwise.

        So I'd really rather have no rules with an "unrecommend" button though that could be used to push objectionable diaries off the rec list.  

        I'm sure the admins have thought about that though and rejected it for other reasons.  It does promote centrism and moderation and push the edgier commentary to the margins.

        The grass is greener where it's watered.

        by decon on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:25:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gpm, watch out for snakes, ilex

      But that whole diary disturbed me because it was either a scam or someone with a profound lack of dignity. I'd like to think that the community can police itself w/r/t these issues, but if more of them start popping up, you would certainly be within your rights to ban it or them.

      •  Wishful thinking (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adam B, matt2525, Phil S 33, gpm, Erevann

        on your part. How did the community police itself wrt that diary? The diarist claimed he had received over $2000. If it turns out he's a scammer, that's not good policing on our part.

        And have you forgot about Buffy Orpington? This community not only failed to police itself over that incident, but actually turned a rather innocuous situation into a mass invasion of another kossack's privacy.

        •  are you perpetuating a myth? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Have you seen anyone on kos actually say that they ever saw, met or spoke to the individual posting as B.O?  I have yet to be convinced that B.O. was not a sock puppet & part of an elaborate hoax - how can you invade a sock puppet's privacy?


          •  Way to introduce a red herring (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jmart, Buffalo Girl

            I'm talking about the damage the Buffy O incident did to this site. I'm not trying to rehash once again whether Buffy O was legit or not. I have my opinion on that, and you have yours.

            My point stands, regardless of what Buffy O was or wasn't. If she was a sock puppet, then that makes my argument even better, i.e. the users of this site can't be trusted to protect themselves from a scam.

            •  'mass invasion of another kossack's privacy' (0+ / 0-)

              your words - how can you invade the privacy of a sock puppet?


              •  Fine (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alice in Florida, Buffalo Girl

                Can we agree that the Buffy O situation was a fiasco that reflecting poorly on this site?

                  •  where do you suggest.... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gpm, Mary Mike

                    that the line be drawn? - how do protect the site against hoaxes?  Do you thing that the site should not be moderated by the community?


                    •  I have said in a previous post (0+ / 0-)

                      where the line should be drawn - ban diaries that engage in personal fundraising. That's very simple. If you are so convinced Buffy was a hoax, why wouldn't you want personal fundraising diaries banned?

                      •  I just think it's a slippery slope (3+ / 0-)

                        If you ban personal fundraising diaries do you also ban personal diaries if in the personal diary the writer discusses a personal difficulty or financial challenge, but does not directly ask for help?  Do you get rid of WYFP since members of the community might share information about imminent eviction or not having the funds to pay for medication?  Perhaps the hoaxes help us to develop critical thinking skills - hopefully.


                        •  Remember, the only practical effect (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          peace voter, ChiGirl88, Simpletonian

                          of Kos "banning" something is that it gives bloggers free reign to troll-rate or castigate people who post diaries of a type that are banned.  It's still up to us to police stuff, and we're pretty good at it.

                          The only change this ban would make is that people wouldn't have to put up with being sanctimoniously called "heartless" for expressing healthy skepticism.

                          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are always cocksure and the intelligent are always filled with doubt. -- Bertrand Russell

                          by gpm on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:15:19 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  There is no such thing (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          scrutinizer, Catte Nappe

                          as the slippery slope. Each category of diary that has a proposed ban can be judged on its own merits. It doesn't follow that if you ban one kind of diary you must ban some other kind of diary.

                          Each of the categories you raise can be judged on its own. Today the question is, should we ban personal fundraising solicitations? I vote YES, and I do so in complete confidence that we won't be inadvertently banning other categories of worthwhile diaries.

                          There is a huge difference between WYFP and the diaries under discussion here. In WYFP users are invited to share their personal pet peeves and issues. They are not called up to solicit funds for personal use. The diaries under discussion today, however, involve the diarist completely on his own initiative posting a diary in which he asks other readers here to send him money. I'm certain you can see the difference.

                          And the idea that we should encourage hoaxes to sharpen our critical thinking skills is preposterous on its face. We have enough to develop our critical thinking skills what with all the GOP, MSM and pundit bullshit that we are forced to deal with and counter every single day.

                          •  I'm just saying (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            that viruses adapt and scam artists find a way to scam - ban diaries that prohibit personal appeals for monetary assistance but don't be lulled into thinking that you've really solved a problem.


                          •  I agree that (0+ / 0-)

                            they adapt and find a way to scam. Why make it easy for them by allowing them to post diaries here?

                          •  I think you've missed my point (0+ / 0-)

                            If you kos adopts a rule against posting direct personal appeals for financial assistance, that will not prevent scam artists from posting diaries on daily kos - that will simply prevent them from posting a particular kind of diary.

                            Further - members of this community might actually choose to fund projects that they deem worthwhile - legitimate projects.  There may be real circumstances where real members of this community can help one another. Like when the car plowed into CT's home.  Should Kos not have asked the community to help out?  


                          •  Kos was personally vouching (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Adam B, TrueBlueDem, grayslady

                            for the identity of the person in the car accident situation. If he allows diaries that solicit funds for personal use it is an implicit endorsement of those diaries.

                            I think what a lot of people fail to realize is that kos is clearly against these diaries. He's not asking us to debate the merits of these diaries. He's asking 'do I need to ban them or can I trust you guys just to ignore them?' It's already a forgone conclusion that they aren't acceptable to kos.

                            So my answer to kos is: Kos, we can't be trusted just to ignore those diaries. People on this site gave wolverine over $2000 in just a few hours. Therefore, kos, you would be doing this site and yourself a favor by banning these diaries outright. If you don't, it's only a matter of time before we get scammed, and YOU kos will be accused of having been a part of the scam. Save yourself the headache now and ban these diaries.

        •  This was the exact opposite (8+ / 0-)

          of Buffy.  In that diary, people assumed she was in trouble, and then went to great lengths to find her, invading her privacy.

          In last night's diary, people went too far in trying to prove the diarist was "scamming" the community. If I decide to give someone money on the street, I first don't launch into an interrogation of his name, where he worked, where he lived, how come he lost his job, how come he hasn't found a new one, what county does he live in, etc.  It was ridiculous.

          And kos, I take you to task for this:

          But given the last solicitation for money, I was struck by 1) how uncritical people where when asked to give to someone who really isn't a well-known member of the community, and 2) how hostile they were to those who urged caution. And it wasn't hard for people doing some quick googling to cast doubts on the veracity of the claims.

          I think wolverine has posted enough diaries here to show he wasn't scamming us.  Either that, or he was the con artist of all time. As for those who urged caution, honestly, once was enough.  I am a big girl (and hey, I can say that because I really am). I didn't need to be told repeatedly that I needed to think it through.  I did that, thank you.

          As for the googling, that was symptomatic of how bad this got.  Some people weren't satisfied with the ton of information they DID get.  Then, when they got some information, they interrogated the poor diarist on THAT.

          My position on this is simple: We don't need a ban. If you want to help someone out, fine.  If you don't, then don't.

          I've never been in favor of filters, kos or FP's monitoring (they have enough to do), or prevention of any diary getting on the rec list.  Everytime someone comes in here and has an idea of how to "improve" this site, it usually involves rules and regs, and I get enough of that in the rest of my life.

          As for this being simply a "political" blog, it's actually a community.  There's a lot of diaries that are not simply political, Cheers & Jeers, WYFP, Brothers and Sisters, Garden Blogging, just to name a few.

          I don't need my hand held.  If I want to throw $5 or $10 bucks (or whatever) on something I deem to be a worthy cause, that's my right. And if you don't want to, hell, it's a big site.

          We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

          by Mary Julia on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:56:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do sock puppets have a right to privacy? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RobertInWisconsin, Politburo

            "This was the exact opposite of Buffy.  In that diary, people assumed she was in trouble, and then went to great lengths to find her, invading her privacy."

            — Mary Julia

            I know that a lot of folks on this site don't agree, but I will be very surprised if it is ever established that Buffy was not a character in a rather elaborate hoax - As far as I know, no one who posts on daily kos has ever seen, had a cup of coffeee with or spoken to 'Buffy Orpington' - no one.

            I honestly do not think that it's possible to invade the privacy of a sock puppet.


            •  As I recall (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Buffy came back and bitched out the community, in a rather nasty way.  She did exist; I think that was the problem.

              But, like I said, this was the opposite of Buffy.  In that case, people ran to help someone who didn't really ask for it.  Last night, people jumped in to "verify" that the diarist was who he said he was, and it got completely out of hand.

              We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

              by Mary Julia on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:31:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Right, but you and I are different. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If I decide to give someone money on the street, I first don't launch into an interrogation of his name, where he worked, where he lived, how come he lost his job, how come he hasn't found a new one, what county does he live in, etc.  It was ridiculous.

            Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. But I not only won't give money to anyone on the street, I deeply resent their fouling up my otherwise peacefully anonymous urban environment with their panhandling. If I'm going to give money to charity, which I almost certainly will not because most charities are welfare for people who can't handle real jobs, I'm damn sure I'm going to ask these kinds of questions.

            And I don't want my Democratic networking site fouled up by panhandlers. I just don't think "banning" is the appropriate response. That person either should have been proved to be a scammer or shamed into knocking off the panhandling.

            •  Agree on main issue, disagree with the analogy (0+ / 0-)

              I agree with you on the main issue--this site isn't for personal appeals, regardless of whether or not they're legit.

              (Though I do have trouble swallowing the concept of someone being so down and out, yet keeping their Internet connection paid up. Also, both of the diaries discussed here were so damn maudlin that I had trouble believing these people could be for real.)

              However, I disagree with your analogy of homeless people on the street.

              I do give to people on the street all the time. Big deal. They're obviously cold and likely hungry. They NEED a few bucks for a meal or a warm place to sit. That is obvious, unlike in these Web appeals.

              And they have as much right to be on the sidewalk as I do. If looking at them messes up my day, then maybe I'M the one who should move on to leafy, brain-dead suburbia.

            •  Are there no poorhouses? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I deeply resent their fouling up my otherwise peacefully anonymous urban environment with their panhandling. But I not only won't give money to anyone on the street, I deeply resent their fouling up my otherwise peacefully anonymous urban environment with their panhandling. If I'm going to give money to charity, which I almost certainly will not because most charities are welfare for people who can't handle real jobs...

              Damn those pesky homeless! How dare they spoil your urban aesthetics! What the hell is wrong with them? Are there no prisons?!? Are there no poorhouses?!?

              Do you have any idea what it has been like for poor people under the Bu$h administration. Do you have any idea what it has been like for mentally unstable people? People with disabilities? Veterns of wars long forgotten? With huge cuts in Medicaid and the VA, hospitals and shelters have been forced to close, sending the patients out to fend for themselves. Just about every social program has had deep cuts.

              As if the problem with homeless people is that they are simply too lazy to get a job. Breathtaking. Like someone straight out of the Victorian bourgeoisie. I only hope someday karma will teach you a lesson in humility and humanity! Until then, here's a big FUCK YOU! Get lost. Your kind is not welcome here.

      •  I'm wondering if the poster's dignity (5+ / 0-)

        (however much he has) prohibited him from taking a job "out of his field". There was no mention of not being able to get work at fast food joint, or convenience store, or any one of a number of places that there are jobs, however distasteful to our dignity to work them.

        Mother gives thanks. Pombo, Allen, Chainsaw Charlie.

        by emmasnacker on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:20:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow those pay so well. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:


          Like working at McDonald's would pay the rent and keep his family off the streets. He and his wife would both have to work 2 jobs like that each.

          There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click)

          by willers on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:36:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And soliciting donations on a blog pays better?nt (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChiGirl88, Treg

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are always cocksure and the intelligent are always filled with doubt. -- Bertrand Russell

            by gpm on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:16:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  When you don't have any money, (0+ / 0-)

            working a job that pays money helps. I didn't say that getting a job such as that would cure all his problems.
            Welcome to reality. Shitty pay. Working 2 jobs. I sometimes work 3 jobs in the same day. I am fortunate in that they are all above min. wage jobs. Pays the bills, don't it? Plenty of people work more than one job.
            Farmers around here usually work a job and farm too.
            Working at McDonalds would have put him in a position of being able to offer something to the landlord. If indeed there was a landlord.
            Would you suggest that all those working fast food should quit, and go on the dole?

            Mother gives thanks. Pombo, Allen, Chainsaw Charlie.

            by emmasnacker on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:17:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly.... (0+ / 0-)

          Or checking out the social services sector in his town.  Food stamps.....state healthcare....short term help with rent....

          My main comment below basically pointed out that I think peope come to a warm and fuzzy board like this FIRST, rather than as a last stop, to AVOID having to do the poor man's two step through the systems in place to help him.  TO AVOID losing dignity, whatever the hell that is. :-)

          Googlebomb WA-08 - Dave Reichert

          by letsfight on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:02:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes there was (10+ / 0-)

          And the comments were exactly what I face.  They dont wont to hire a 30 something experienced professional down on their luck.  You can apply all you want but unless you are a 17 year old hispanic the Mcdonalds here doesnt want you.  The convience stores are more or less family businesses.  So unless you are Lebonese or ethipiopian or Paki none of the store here will look at you.  I have been told I dont have enough "retail experience" to work at another chain store.  Believe me, I lost my dignity when i didnt eat for 3 days. Its much easier to find a job in todays market if you are 19 with no eductaion and no experience what so ever.  

          •  Absolutely True (6+ / 0-)

            I am having a really tough time in the job market since I moved. The state I moved to has a certain certification program in my field that wasn't required when I lived in another state. I am in the process of getting certified but it will be another four months.

            Now, I can't find a job in my field, even at a lower rung on the ladder because I am overqualified and they know that I am not likely to stay once I get certified. I am competing with 22 year olds who quite frankly if I was the boss would hire too because they will likely be around a few years.

            It's frustrating. I have never felt the urge to go online and beg for help, because A I don't need it that badly, and B in a pinch relatives will help out. But for people in their 30's and 40's, it's rough out there in the job market in alot of fields. You have a family, and a McJob isn't going to be worth the time. You can't support a family on it.

            Don't like crooks in D.C.? Vote Against Charles Taylor (NC-11) who is one of them.

            by trifecta on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:14:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I guess I just think that a glass not (0+ / 0-)

              need be either empty or full. Nobody wants to work for min. wage (if you can even get the job), but isn't some money better than none?
              So what are these people doing with the time that could be spent working earning some money? How much time per week is spent sending out resumes?

              Mother gives thanks. Pombo, Allen, Chainsaw Charlie.

              by emmasnacker on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:26:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, It depends (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SarahLee, esquimaux, toys

                At minimum wage for say 8 hours a day in some states, your pay will be under $50 per day before taxes. You must drive to the job, using gas in many areas with crappy transportation. You have children, try to afford child care, food, clothing housing, energy bills, car insurance, etc.

                It's pretty much better to be on uninsurance than on minimum wage. Then you also have the problem of working just enough to not get services for your kids such as medicaid because you barely make too much money. Working poor really sucks.

                Don't like crooks in D.C.? Vote Against Charles Taylor (NC-11) who is one of them.

                by trifecta on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:33:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sing it to me. I'll harmonize. (0+ / 0-)

                  Looking at your sig, I think you live in the same sort of place I do.  btw, I just interviewed for job with a non-profit program that attempts to fill that "makes too much for medicaid" gap. Wish me luck!
                  And time to change that sig, isn't it? Congrats!

                  Mother gives thanks. Pombo, Allen, Chainsaw Charlie.

                  by emmasnacker on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:53:05 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I guess I didn't see them. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Good luck with your searching.

            Mother gives thanks. Pombo, Allen, Chainsaw Charlie.

            by emmasnacker on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:21:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

            And is is harder to try and find the right job that will pay enough to get by, if most of your day is spent flippin burgers.

        •  Yeah, I wondered about that too (0+ / 0-)

          Didn't seem like he was turning over every stone for any type of work. If, in fact, he wasn't a scammer.

    •  Another yes. (9+ / 0-)

      I would draw a distinction between asking for money and asking for advice or other kinds of help - that is, there are a lot of smart, knowledgeable people here and I wouldn't like to see that eliminated as a place for people to turn with, say, legal trouble (bearing in mind of course that only limited and general legal advice can be offered in this context).  I want to see people able to ask for information/advice/help.  But outright asking for money?  No.  That shouldn't be allowed.

      Paul Hodes is my new representative in Congress!!!

      by Laura Clawson on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:22:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I say no. (32+ / 0-)

      Do any of you remember when we raised money for an individual who was part of this community when his house was hit by a car?  We all pulled together to help the guy out during a rough time. That was a good case of fundraising for individuals.

      A lot of people just recently lost houses from a tornado in North Carolina. If a Kossack was one of those people and posted on here asking for help, should we ban that person and turn him away for using their diary to post photos of the devastation and asking for help? I say no.

      That said, perhaps we should have a policy that states that any personal fundraising done under false pretenses should result in 1) banning on the site and 2) turning the matter over to the police as a fraud investigation. That should do something to keep any such appeals a little more honest, but still leave us room to help a fellow Kossack in need without violating our own rules on the matter. Also, a "caveat emptor, be skeptical of all such appeals until they are verified" policy for all personal fundraising wouldn't be a bad idea either, simply as far as site liability goes.

      •  This sounds like (17+ / 0-)

        the compromise I'd like to see struck.

        Back in 2004, I was a regular on Blog for America. Everyone was fundraising for DeanFest, buying tickets, etc. Quite a few people asked if I was going, and I said no, because I was dead broke (at the time, I was unemployed, and yes, I was trying everywhere).

        I said I would not refuse a ticket if it were offered. I also said I would not refuse a place to stay, though I originally planned to sleep in my car. Two generous people offered me a room to sleep in during my time there.

        I got to receive activist training which has helped me ever since, I got to meet my friends from BFA, and thanks to all that I ended up with the job I have today. All that thanks to a few small acts, lumped together, that made for a very wonderful weekend.

        Now, DemocracyFest 2007 is upon us, and thanks to that generosity, I have a job that can fund my ticket and room for this year. If such acts were banned here, I think we would be doing a great disservice to some people who really could be helped by what is being given.

        I will never forget what those people did for me. And I owe them all drinks this year.

        The "middle of the road" is where the chickens get run over.
        -8.13, -4.15

        by Eddie in ME on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:37:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  this sounds reasonable (0+ / 0-)

        with the caveat emptor and a push to not recommend such diaries until sufficiently verified.

        •  Maybe a "recommend until verified" button? (0+ / 0-)

          Someone had this idea a while back on some other meta thread.

          It could be a useful tool. An un-recommended diary will scroll off the page at a busy time without many getting a chance to see it. So a lot of people will recommend some "important-if-true" diaries to keep them in view long enough for others to see them and weigh in.

          "recommend until verified" button would be helpful with tin-foil diaries as well as for solicitations.

          (Sorry if already mentioned somewhere. I started the comment when there were fewer in the thread and had read all, but got called away for a half hour or more.)

      •  Just like we have been told caveat emptor (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Helena Handbag, TiaRachel, HK

        for the ads on this site.  I like this approach, because it leaves the responsibility for what you do right where it should be (with each of us).

        This is a wonderful site, and I think one reason that it has been as successful as it has been, is that it is fairly unregulated.

      •  A very critical distinction: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In the case of the truck hitting ct's house, Kos posted something soliciting donations for a long-time Kossack who is known personally to many people here.

        Sorry for the sanctimonious bolding.  I'm not trying to yell at you, just highlight what I think is important.  :)

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are always cocksure and the intelligent are always filled with doubt. -- Bertrand Russell

        by gpm on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:18:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is true, but... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HK, gpm

          If Kos or NYCEve (as she recently did for a woman without healthcare) make a plea for funding for an individual doesn't change the fact that we are giving money to help out individuals. The only difference is someone asking for help directly and someone pleading on their behalf. Sure, the latter has more credibility in that it is already verified by Kos or well-known users, but if you ban the personal solicitations, then I'd think these like Kos's and NYCEve's would be included in that sort of blanket ban.  That I don't favor, at least not before we start having a real problem. There are flaws, but I don't think we've gotten to the point of abuse yet.

          •  Yeah. I guess a blanket ban is no good (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            if certain people can defy it at will, eh?

            I think it comes down to what Warren Terrer said (I'm paraphrasing here, so hate me, not Warren, if you don't like what I say) -- Kos is giving us a wink-wink nudge-nudge, basically saying in code, "Please tell me you guys aren't actually gullible enough to send money to some dude on the internets."

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are always cocksure and the intelligent are always filled with doubt. -- Bertrand Russell

            by gpm on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:55:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Losing money is a learning experience (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and this is slippery slope territory. I vote "no" ...

        Thom Hartmann or Stephanie Miller for President, screw the wonks and whimps.

        by fairleft on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:39:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A combination of this... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HK, ladybug53

        ... and a required disclaimer on any such diary seems a reasonable compromise. An outright ban seems like an overreaction.

        Like most of us, I'm generous with my time and money to those who are less fortunate. Some of each goes to known legitimate charities, whether it be the local food banks, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat, Northwest Harvest, NPR, PBS, Cocoon House, etc., etc.

        And some of it goes to folks who come with no such proof of legitimacy. Whether it's the busker at the Market or the lady selling Real Change in front of the co-op or the guy with the "Homeless Vet. Please Help" sign on 1st Avenue. I have no emprirical evidence that any of these folks are putting the money I give them towards what I would consider useful purposes. Or that they're who they say they are.

        But I'm clearly having a better day than they are, and a few more bucks isn't going to materially change my way of life in the negative as much as it might theirs in the positive.

        I get a smile and a thank you in return, and most of the time that's worth more to me in exchange than the currency that they got out of the bargain.

        So, no. Don't ban the diaries asking for help. Allow the community to police itself (with the caveats mentioned above).

    •  Yes, (6+ / 0-)

      if only for reasons of practicality.  We have well over 100,000 users, and with the economy chugging along so strongly [/sarcasm], it's just not the best way to handle something like this unless we want to find ourselves slowly buried in solicitations.  Poverty is a really, really shitty situation to find oneself in, but that's why we do better to focus on 1) long-term structural change, 2) poverty initiatives we know and trust, and 3) local donation and volunteer work.  That, and a couple things in that last diary set off my little red warning lights.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:30:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A very good point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gpm, pico

        This is the kind of thing that can grow out of control very fast. I am in favor of the ban.

        Full disclosure: I am board president of a local non-profit. The group once bought an ad on this site seeking donations. I wrote a diary pimping the ad. So I, in effect, engaged in a form of fundraising on the site.

        This situation, and this discussion, has helped me to see that the diary part of that equation probably wasn't a good idea.

    •  What diary are we talking about? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "I just had the basic view of the American public -- it can't be that bad out there." Marine Travis Williams after 11 members of his squad were killed.

      by Steven D on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:32:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      <div style="color:#218868">angulus terrarum </div>

      by Nina on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:38:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No----think about Mike Stark (3+ / 0-)

      This site funded him, and he may have helped affect the outcome of the VA Senate race.  

      Shorter Republicans: You guys only won because we were corrupt and bad at governing.

      by bosdcla14 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:52:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scrutinizer, gpm, begone

      If I wanted to Help Kaycee Nicole I'd go check out LiveJournal.

      But seriously.  Even if Wolverine or whoever is a stand-up guy and really needs help, sooner or later there's going to be a big ol' Kos sympathy scam that'll burn a lot of people and make the national news.  It's just a matter of time.

    •  No, but (4+ / 0-)

      My inital insitinct is to be a Hell yes, as I am cynical soul with a Lawyer's training.  

      Then I remember that we claim to be an Online Community, not merely just a blog, and that one of a community's main functions is serve as a mutual support structure for its memebers.  Moreover, since it is very large, the Kos Community  has the ability to aggregate  very large sums of money very quickly from relatively small personal donations.  

      More than one long shot fellow travelling candidate has found themselves onthe business end of an unexpected jolt of Campaign funds just from asking politely.  

      Moreover such solictians are not only non-controversial but some would say our Main source of power. (Me self i think the intellectual ferment here is actually Kos' greatest value).   However it seems a strange logic that finds the feeding of the modern Poltical money machine  (With its army of consultants, staffers, negative ad producers, etc) to be right and noble, but then scruples at personal charity and helping the needy.

      OTOH nobody wants to play ' Donation Cop" and for every worth cause there is an unworthy pewrson trying to get over.  If the community is victimized by more than a very occasional scammer, money for ANY cause will dry up here.

      So, like a good politican I suggest splitting the difference.


      A) Require a Front pager to pre-approve any personal solicitation diary: - this would have to be in advance, and only after they are satisfied (via proviate email, phone call whatever) of its Bona fides.   Any other diary is subject to deletion and the user of Bannination.

      B) Create a mechanism:  It would be a big step, but big steps are not always bad things.   In this case it wouldn't be too difficult to set up a 501( c)(3) to solicit and handle all such charitable donations and place on its board a group of trusted users who woul dreview such solcitations privately.

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:19:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Barb benefits from a lack of Poll (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      anyway ... because there was no Poll ... barb got some Mojo from me

    •  Yes n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  Count me as a yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenreflex, nicejoest

      It's not appropriate here. It makes me uncomfortable even having to say it.

      Life is hard, man. I've been there, but I would NEVER do that.

      I think a rule of this type is overdue.

      Your fabulous community does have a great self-regulating aspect, but it is not effective in all contexts. At times you'll need to step in.

      The fact is, the Democrats are the Party of "We" while the Republicans are firmly established as the Party of "I."

      by The Lighthouse Keeper on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 02:08:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm shocked he hasn't run a poll. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is the perfect topic for it.

      The fact is, the Democrats are the Party of "We" while the Republicans are firmly established as the Party of "I."

      by The Lighthouse Keeper on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 02:20:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  YES (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sad to say but opportunists know an easy touch when they see one. Why give them the opportunity to do their dirty deeds?

      "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

      by talex on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 02:56:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, because Karl Rove is Raising $ for RNC here. (0+ / 0-)

      People don't realize this is happening. All your paypal posts are going to the RNC.

      It's ingenious.

      "History will judge the GOP's abdication to the NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

      by BentLiberal on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 04:22:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Posting in the Kommunity section, how novel (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oysterface, Mumon, Arclite

    9/11 was a Faith-Based Initiative - Bill Maher

    by glazeone on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 09:55:57 AM PST

  •  don't know about ban (9+ / 0-)

    But couldn't you make a rule about titles? Maybe a special tag that must be placed in the title, so it can be easily ignored?

    •  HELP ME: (expanding on my post) (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alma, oysterface, musicsleuth, cathy b, HK, MasonLee

      One of the things I'm seeing is some encouraging some type of policing of these types of posts. I don't think that's fair to those who would have to do it. Everyone has a different idea about need and how to validate a user and their need. If Kos isn't going to outright ban these types of solicitations he can come up with an easy way to allow people to skip them.

      So an upfront title HELP ME, and everyone would know this is a personal appeal. Not to be used for candidates, legislations, PACs, 501c3/c4s etc. And no diary pimping by others. It succeeds or fails on it's own. If the diary isn't appropriately titled then it's taken down and the user is banned/suspended, etc.

      This would allow the community to track the effectiveness and appeal of these types of posts. Who knows after a while they may just go away on their own because of lack of interest.

    •  huh...then I gues this hard-hitting (7+ / 0-)

      political diary is next...

      "Our sweat and our blood have fallen on this land to make other men rich." Cesar Estrada Chavez

      by bic momma on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:43:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! (15+ / 0-)

      How about we ban ALL personal cries for attention/help?  This is a political blog; sorry to offend, but I really don't care that your dog died/you lost your job/your kids are sick/you need $$...enough is enough.  I come here for political discussion and Democratic activism; if I wanted to play on myspace, I would create an account.

      •  This is a progressive community blog (15+ / 0-)

        or so I thought.  It is not strictly political, and it has been the community I have enjoyed since I got here two years ago.  I get political news from several blogs, including this one. But I get more from this one than others.  And what I get is not just political.

        If you come here exclusively for political discussion and Democratic activism, great -- I am happy that there is a place for you to find it.  I find it here too.  But I also find a lot more. Have you played on myspace?  You will find a different crowd there.  

        Some of those I like reading most are people who deal with literature, teachers and education, history, and personal issues.  I think this blog would be sadder for losing a lot of that kind of writing. Some of the finest writing here is very personal and not political.

        That being said, I do not like being asked for money for personal use, and would not be upset to see it go away.  But if it is not banned then I will just skip over it. What I think Markos is dealing with is the idea that people might be scamming members and that might get worse if it is not stamped out. There is a certain responsibility he feels to the community, even if it is caveat emptor here.  

        •  its a democratic blog (5+ / 0-)

          supporting the democratic party. not a progressive blog.  Yes, there are progressives here, but it is not a progressive blog.

          Election 2006: When the output made contact with the atmospheric circulation facilitator

          by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:07:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I get this (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tamens, highacidity, HK, vox humana, ilex

            But my real point was the community thing, not what it is called...

          •  It is also a community (7+ / 0-)

            We have many diaries and posts that have little to do with creating a democracy. We have diaries on food, diaries on TV, diaries on home improvement, diaries on sports, and a myriad of other diaries that show that while our primary mission may be to create a functional democratic government that we have evolved beyond that into a community.

            I would like to think that one of the things that differentiates us from the other side of the aisle is that our side of the aisle believes that a COMMUNITY should help those that are most vulnerable and in need and has the ability to empathize and recognize that rather than having the pull yourselves up by the bootstraps mentality that doesn't work that sometimes to address a problem the best response it to address it collectively.

            I realize the way the community is set up right now there is no way to discern the difference between real and genuine need and someone who just wants to figure a way to defraud the community but I think that could be resolved. I also don't think that it would necessarily mean that kos would need to be the person who needs to do the verifying. That could be delegated.

            •  It also doubles as a floor polish (4+ / 0-)

              Gotta cut this out.  I'm on snark binge.

            •  I believe we're addressing this collectively now (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Karma for All

              The community is not policing itself very well on this issue lately. OTOH our community can dig in to a situation and come up with all manner of sources to verify or not. The real question is how much bandwith, energy and space should this take up on a political blog and where do you draw the line?

              My solution is to not recommend such pleas on the diary list unless there is overwhelming evidence that it is legit.

              •  Good idea. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musicsleuth, TiaRachel

                It should mirror what happens in a real-time community.  If I take a walk to the park, for example, people hand me fliers and solicit for all sorts of things.  Some of them ask for cash straight out. Its up to me to decide how much attention to give it and if I think it merits my attention, time or cash.  

                A lot of what went on in that thread was unnecessary drama.  I think its a big issue now because of people telling one another to fuck off and all the rest.  If you look carefully though you'll notice that's not much different than behavior when we discuss other topics, so I can't really complain about it based on the fact that it was a diary asking for money, self-righteousness isn't restricted to discussing charity around here!  

                On the other hand, scepticism is also not restricted to diaries of people asking for money.  
                I don't think Dkos is in danger of being a mark for scam artists any time soon.  I've seen arguments over the use of apostrophe's so I doubt seriously the community is going to suffer a scam to survive.

                Like I suggested elsewhere on this thread, write a disclaimer somewhere and let it go.  

      •  You don't sound like much of a progressive (7+ / 0-)

        to me.  If you don't care about the lives of others, then why are you interested in progressive causes?  The two seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.
         I can totally relate to someone needs some emotional support because their family (including pets) are sick, or the need to rant about some other problem in order to vent.  And often people are just seeking information from others who may have more knowledge, whether it's a health issue or taxes.
         And per the "rules" of this website, topics not strictly related to politics are allowed.  So if you don't care to get involved in a particular topic thread, don't.  But let the rest of us judge for ourselves if that's something we want to do.  

        My Karma just ran over your Dogma

        by FoundingFatherDAR on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:17:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's become more than that. (5+ / 0-)

        It is unquestionably a commmunity, and I think our feeling of mutual responsibility goes further than the mere "marketplace of ideas" -- not for everyone, certainly, but for many of us.

        I'm torn about this.  I'm loathe to get in the way of the community helping out its members.  My only concern is that there is the real possibility for abuse.  It's like any friendship where money gets involved; it can really complicate things if the lending goes awry, or if there is a dispute as to what was promised, or whatever.  

        Also, it establishes a precedent:  if we give to one person, the next person with a legitimate plea is going to be miffed if the community directs suspicion towards them that they didn't give to the first guy.

        I'm not sure if a rule needs to be established, any more than, be careful who you give money to.  But I do worry that we might get into a whole set of complications (even legal ones?) that we might not anticipate.

        It just occurs to me:  are blogged promises contracts?  Like if I said, "yeah, I'll get you that money on Tuesday," could a really legalistic person claim that that is a binding contract?  Or is that just ridiculous?

        Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought. -- Milan Kundera

        by Dale on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:21:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  How in the hell does a call for help (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mary Julia, nasarius

        translate into creating a myspace account?

        Maybe I am an ignorant slut who can't figure it out, but to me this comment seems well-endowed in the bad-analogy department.

        Chuck Norris Fears Democrats.

        by roboton on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:23:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  so I guess we (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ban Pastor Dan now, who has been around here a long, long time.

        The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it. -Bertolt Brecht

        by Jeffersonian Democrat on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 02:19:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes (33+ / 0-)

    I think someone can start a site for that, if need be. It tears me up every time someone does it -- because I do care, and because I haven't got time to sift through the evidence. What if I tried to start politics talk on ebay? Would that work? No.

    This site has a specific nexus and that's what makes it work. Through everything into the mix and we'll be up to our necks in b.s. of all sorts.

    "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

    by JuliaAnn on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 09:57:05 AM PST

    •  I wish I'd thought of this last night (14+ / 0-)

      But there is already a site for this purpose. It's called Modest Needs. I can't vouch for it's integrity, but I found the link to it in someone's diary here and it looks okay to me.

      Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

      by rogun on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:06:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for bringing that site to our attention... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rogun, Nina, Cato come back

        I have been considering either starting or trying to find something just like this since last nights firestorm. :)

        Good call!

        "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." - Mother Jones

        by Erevann on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:24:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think this site is unquestionably legitimate (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xerico, KB, Nina, Erevann, cwaltz, Cato come back

          It's a registered charity and has received quite a bit of national exposure.

          I would suggest that future diarists, who are requesting money, be directed to this site and we donate money to Modest Needs to cover his expenses. This not only would help the diarist in question, but anything above the diarist's immediate needs would probably go to help others in need. It would also might give more legitimacy to Modest Needs, which I think is something we would all agree is worthwhile.

          Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

          by rogun on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:45:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You deserve a gold star here dude... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rogun, KB, cathy b, Nina

            this site is perfect, now that I've dug into it a bit.

            From their mission statement:

            Modest Needs exists

            To prevent otherwise financially self-sufficient individuals and families from entering the cycle of poverty, when this might be avoided with a small amount of well-timed financial assistance;

            To restore the financial self-sufficiency of individuals who are willing to work but are temporarily unable to do so because they do not have the means to remit payment for a work-related expense; and

            To empower permanently disadvantaged individuals who otherwise live within their limited means to continue to live independently, despite a temporary, unexpected financial set-back.

            Here's a link to the security section of their FAQ. Looks like a well established process that moves fairily quickly.

            Wonder if Kos might consider setting up some sort of affiliation with this org, to direct those of our community their way who are in need or want to help.

            Regardless, yeah, I think this is the right way to go to ensure legitimacy and it can expand the options for those who need help.

            GREAT call Rogun!

            "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." - Mother Jones

            by Erevann on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:38:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Great idea--Redirect personal pleas for money (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rogun, KB, HK

        to a site like Modest Needs via DailyKos. First, with no judgement involved, many here do care about those of us in the Kos community who find ourselves in difficult situations for whatever reasons and, as this diary shows, it is clearly important for many here to be supportive of this community in a variety of ways, including financial. At the same time DailyKos has a specific mission, namely, "it's a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory. And since we haven't gotten any of that from the current crew, we're one more thing: a reform blog". Initially I believed a total ban was called for but ideas like rogun's seem to better reflect the needs, expectations and creativity of the Kos community. As Julia Ann observes personal appeals are a distraction to the stated purpose of the blog, but at the same time this is a "reform blog" and threby has developed into a community, and as the Democratic Platform declares, "to those who are victims we promise justice, to those who are hopeless we offer hope...your cause is our own". To this end perhaps this can become a "project" as listed in the dKospedia. It might include links like Modest Needs and perhaps even starting up "pet projects" charities, like wheelchairs or computers for vets via linking with the VA or VFW, etc. I am not offended as such by pleas, nor do I worry overly that there are too many suckers on this blog here who need to be minded, but I do worry that diaries about pleas interfere with the stated mission of this site. It might be easier to redirect personal pleas for money to the "project site" by recognizing that DailyKos understands that anyone can get into a bind and that there are resources available via the "Help Is On The Way Project" or somesuch. Those in the Kos community who want to help can keep the project evolving while those who need help can go to the project for ideas and possibly more specific help. So while personal pleas as diaries might be banned, it is not fair to leave people stranded with no options--that's not what Democrats do. And it is not necessary to protect commenters and readers who might be taken advantage of. Instead, redirect the financial pleas that interfere with the mission of the site, and keep the focus particular to the goal: the "Help Project" for personal pleas and successful Democratic victories for the DailyKos blog.

        <div style="color:#218868">angulus terrarum </div>

        by Nina on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 02:57:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  missing something.. (8+ / 0-)

    Who has a link to the diary that necessitated this?

  •  Yes (22+ / 0-)

    There's enough fundraising spam in my life.

    But please don't ban takeoffs on Nigerian fundraising letters.

    •  yes! (9+ / 0-)

      But please don't ban takeoffs on Nigerian fundraising letters.

      I don't know how I'd getthrough the week without 'em

    •  I love those guys (7+ / 0-)

      I was once really bored and wrote one back. Over a series of emails I convinced him the CIA wanted to interrogate him. He never wrote me back after that. Normally I would feel bad about striking such fear in another person, but those guys are total fucking scum.

      "The power to dominate rests on the differential possession of knowledge" -Foucault

      by Jett on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:57:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't ever answer that kind of email (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... with an email.

        Part of what they're phishing for is your valid email address.  You are now no longer just an anonymous guess for them.  You're better off answering in writing with a phony return address.  For a good time, make your return address, FBI, Washington, DC.

        Dividing is easy. It's sticking together that's hard. - jotter

        by Eddie Haskell on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:00:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  don't care much (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eddie Haskell

          gmail has amazingly competent spam management. one of the things which intrigued me was that it was one of the few to make it through the filter. About 1 every two months makes it through. that address is already on the web so I'm sure it's been harvested.

          "The power to dominate rests on the differential possession of knowledge" -Foucault

          by Jett on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:59:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, good. You sound careful enough and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            knowledgeable enough to know never to use that gmail address for anything remotely traceable to you, like correspondence with a bank, etc. or to anyone who might include it with their own address in some mass cc: of one of those "send this to all your friends" forwards that we all get.

            Those email phishphuckers are a pretty ruthless lot, even though their "Nigerian princess" messages are pretty funny.  In Missouri, the state's attorney general requests that we do two things with them.  Forward to his office (with complete header data) and then delete them.  For most people, that's pretty good advice.

            Dividing is easy. It's sticking together that's hard. - jotter

            by Eddie Haskell on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:11:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

              I've been on teh intarweb since the mid '90s, I've yet to see anything I couldn't spot as a scam within about 3 seconds. The thing I love the most about gmail is the spam filtering, it works better than any other I've seen - only the best phishers or the newest scams make it through (and then only once so far). I've seen some really impressive phishing scams, the thing is though the few times I've dug in to find out who is running them it hasn't been that hard to trace things back to a compromised server. I don't understand why law enforcement never bothers with them, it shouldn't be that hard to get a search warrant for the logs and trace things further back, or even better - set up a sting on the compromised box.

              "The power to dominate rests on the differential possession of knowledge" -Foucault

              by Jett on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 02:47:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Is it just me, or has the instances of this... (0+ / 0-)

      scam increased significantly lately?

      Hadn't gotten one of these for over a year, then suddenly about a month ago, I started getting one or two a day.

      "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." - Mother Jones

      by Erevann on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:26:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I get a lot of investment spam (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in the email address I don't use for much other than on my kos profile, and I have it with "(at)...(dot)...(com)" which is supposed to keep it safe for harvesters, or so I thought.

        •  That tactic... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cathy b

          isn't quite as effective as once it was.

          Once the marketers are on to it, it's a simple matter of just adding the most common dodges to the scripting and queries that suck up addresses.

          If I were to venture an alternative, I'd say the following would probably work for a while:

          Alias: user
          at domain (domain): myspace
          suffix (top level domain): com

          with the @ and "dot" simply remaining assumed format convention. Standard for email addy's. Switching out those labels could keep it safe for a while too.

          Good luck!

          "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." - Mother Jones

          by Erevann on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 03:15:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  my first thought: beggars on dkos? (11+ / 0-)

    wow, how tolerant our community is?

    unfortunately, even if all but one of those persons is legit, that one scam artist is enough to make everyoen look silly.

    if you're gonna give money to a stranger, at least let it be a stranger you can see. drive your car for free!

    by ucla grad102 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 09:59:42 AM PST

  •  I think (10+ / 0-)

    it's inappropriate to solicit funds through some community blog.

    Then again, I'm not hard-up for cash.

    I'd say leave things be.  After all, a fool and his money are soon parted.

  •  I think so Kos... (13+ / 0-)

    Yes, we are a community.  But we are a community dedicated to focusing on the political news and getting politicians elected.  I really feel bad when any member struggles.  But if we allow exceptions, then anybody can come on and solicit money for themselves.

    God does not bless a nation that tortures.

    by RichM on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:00:27 AM PST

  •  No. (19+ / 0-)

    You said it best.

    people should have a right to be scammed if they refuse to be discerning, skeptical individuals

    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

    by GTPinNJ on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:00:28 AM PST

  •  From a business perspective (16+ / 0-)

    if it got really out of hand, you don't want bad publicity for the site of how "liberals are so gullible" and give money to some rich conservative or journalist out to make the site look bad.

    Otherwise, it isn't really a distraction for me personally yet.  I only give money to the candidates ;)  And actually, it can be useful at times (i.e. ct's apartment destruction).

    I've done more work on meth than anyone! --Conrad Burns

    by toys on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:00:38 AM PST

    •  Ban it. This poster made about $300 an hour (15+ / 0-)
      last night and the floodgates could open and ruin the mission of this site.
      Self policing was attempted and it spawned ugly comments and hurt feelings on both sides...and the diarist still took in over $2,500.
      •  Is that all? I suspected it would be more. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vivacia, cathy b, Cato come back, toys

        One of the things that bothered me about this diary is that the diarist said, in one of the comments, that he would let everyone know when he had received $5,000. This was strange because, as far as I could tell, it was the first acknowledgement that there was actually a goal (in other words, I would've felt more comfortable knowing how much the diarist actually needed) and because $5,000 seems like an awful lot of rent money for one month in a temporary arrangement (I can't recall if he ever said it was temporary, but I do recall him saying that he had already been forced to move from his previous residence.)

        Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

        by rogun on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:31:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It would have helped greatly (6+ / 0-)

          if people had read the diary.  He said that he hadn't been able to pay his rent since August.  That's more than one month.

          It's simple, people.  If you don't want to be a part of it, don't be.  What got out of hand was not the original "cautions" (though, for heaven's sake, we ARE adults, I don't need anyone's "protection"). but the craziness that followed. This was the REVERSE of Buffy.  Someone asked for help, and ended up being accused of being a scam artist and a thief.  Talk about libel. Geesh. Plus, a little info wasn't enough.  At one point, as I recall, his poor wife was willing to email their phone number. Nobody should have to be grilled like that.

          Like I said, we are adults.  I can take care of myself, and I assume the rest of you can too.  I don't need kos to protect me, or a FP. I can decide for myself if I want to give.

          Plus, I have seen maybe two or three diaries like this, and I have been on this site for over two years.  This isn't a major problem, IMHO.

          We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

          by Mary Julia on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:21:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You addressed one of my points (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The one on why he needed $5,000. But I still think he should've mentioned how much he needed beforehand, because, let's face it; we all need money. What sets my needs apart from someone who is about to be evicted is that I still have a roof over my head, but if he's driving a new car today, then his needs were apparently well met (and yes I know he said that he received $2,500, but how do we know that to be true? As I noted above, I suspected it to be more then that and I wouldn't at all be surprised if it actually was more.)

            This is an issue that I'm very sympathetic towards, because I've been there. And so I'm proud that we, as a community, have such big hearts and think of others in their time of need. But I also think there are better ways to handle this problem then people just throwing money to every John Doe who has requested it.

            I also disagree that this is the reverse of the Buffy case, because no one wants to call someone out who may be considering suicide.

            Democrats -- Progress for the Working Class

            by rogun on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 02:00:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  exactly! doesn't CNN still (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmart, Cato come back, toys

      have that silly blog watch segment where they highlight the most idiotic blog comments on a national news program? if this ever goes wrong, which it eventually will, the entire world will know about it and the credibility of dailykos will be greatly diminished.

    •  The apartment drive (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shadan7, highacidity, begone, toys

      Was joined by a drive for gina from Yearly Kos, and they were effectively both "tip jars" in the real sense: these are two individuals who gave enormously, ENORMOUSLY, to the community and the community being given an opportunity to show their appreciation, one somewhat in need due to tragedy and the other not, is in my opinion appropriate and not even in this category.

      You can still be on the team, even if you're not in the choir.

      by peeder on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:20:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Totally agree it was appropriate in those cases (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scrutinizer, HK

        That's sort of my point, a total ban could affect the ability to get people behind those drives, and if there was a ban for everyone else but not them, even more divisions could be created.

        I've done more work on meth than anyone! --Conrad Burns

        by toys on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:49:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bans like this apply discretion (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scrutinizer, highacidity, begone

          on the part of the management, because it's the management that has to enforce it. I have faith in the managerial discretion in that particular case.

          You can still be on the team, even if you're not in the choir.

          by peeder on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:54:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not about enforcing, that's the easy part (0+ / 0-)

            But I don't see how management can enforce something like this ban efficiently, unless of course every diary was read and approved by management.

            I'd expect the community to keep the peace.  Should be simple enough since most people don't seem to like being put on the spot.

            I've done more work on meth than anyone! --Conrad Burns

            by toys on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:08:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think when the management sees one of these (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              or is notified via Contact Us etc. they delete it and ban the user. Eventually it will be clear that it's just not going to work here.

              If otoh it becomes clear that it does work here...

              You can still be on the team, even if you're not in the choir.

              by peeder on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:18:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  A diary only gets a few hours anyways (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cathy b

                So you'd have to respond really fast 24/7/365.  Not really an enviable position to be in.

                It's like these people that park in my driveway sometimes.  They know it will take at least 30 minutes to give them a ticket, and an hour to get towed, so they feel the rules don't apply and there is really nothing one can do about it.

                I've done more work on meth than anyone! --Conrad Burns

                by toys on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:51:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I understood them differently (0+ / 0-)

        They were not both tip jars, at least not framed as such to my reading.

        In kos's post, I think there is a clear distinction between the two. One was a tip jar for a volunteer. One was a charity appeal for an employee.

        While I think both were legitimate requests, I also believe they were not both framed as tip jars.

  •  Dont accept or have special place. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HK, Fabian, Allogenes, lil love

    To keep your trustworthiness, you had better not just go with the let the buyer beware idea.  Especially if it turns out to be not so reputable.  Heck, I don't even like them asking for collections in church, even though some way has to be found to pay the bills.  But here, nah.

  •  NO (7+ / 0-)

    but reserve the right to remove material if in your opinion it's intended to defraud.  

    If you try to take on the role of making sure everything on here is safe, you'll fail.  Anyone who gives money without further research is really being naive

    •  Who Makes the Call on That Though? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alma, trinityfly, lil love

      And how do you PROVE intent?

      Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. -8.75 / -6.10

      by Alegre on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:08:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's his site (5+ / 0-)

        no one has to prove it - that's why I said "in your opinion".  meaning his opinion.

        Personally I'm fine with the person who runs the site making the decisions.  If he makes ones I don't like, I'll speak up.  If he keeps doing it, I'll leave.

        Simple.  It's how big kids play.

      •  Well frankly there are ways to prove that (20+ / 0-)

        someone is actually having trouble, but if people who ask questions and urge caution get shouted down - which I saw on that thread - the vetting process is derailed.  I read the diary and it sounded like a sad story, but there was little I could discern from it that would prove that the story was in fact true.

        I would rather not see pleas for help banned, but I think that it is completely fair if someone wants more information before they donate to be able to ask relevant questions without being insulted or made to feel like a jerk for having asked for more information.  Asking for proof is the only stop gap short of banning these pleas that can prevent this site from becoming a scam artist's dreamland.

        •  This kind of personal pleas (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, cathy b, chemicalresult

          make me feel very uncomfortable. Whether this one was legit or not it will sollicit scams. Helping this one person doesn't address the real problem that is out there and tender hearted generous people will get cynical when they find out they have been scammed. Instead of allowing people to personally plead for financial assistance maybe a group of people at Dkos could set up some kind of system where people could turn to and their story could be checked and presented to the Dkos community once a month or so. This way whenever somebody turns to the community, people can point in that direction without feeling pressured to make the choice between sending money without being able to do a proper check or leave a person in extreme trouble hanging.    

          •  Honestly, the only way to legitamately (5+ / 0-)

            address the sort of situation described by the diarist yesterday would be through a not-for-profit set up for the purpose of helping community members.  An organized entity that would be able to review the need and determine that it was in fact real.

            My mom is a veteran fundraiser and I have been taught my whole life to give back, but also to be very careful about making sure that claims are legitimate and that money solicited is in fact going where they claim that it will be going.

            There is nothing wrong with being generous or wanting to help.  Those qualities are quite admirable and many people in this community are the kind of people who instinctively help others when they can.  But this site is not set up to be a community bank.

            •  I agree with you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              highacidity, chemicalresult

              But there seems to be a great need to reach out as a community and offer help. I am justing looking for ways to direct this energy towards a more constructive outlet. Instead of people getting into fights whether someone is gullible or cynical they  could point someone to the appropriate place without feeling guilty either way.  

            •  Lookie here... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              That thing drove me crazy last night. I was torn between concern about the guy and his family and concern for the Kossaks who could have easily been deceived.

              We'll never really know the content of that man's character, in fact when I asked very probing questions of Alma and the other person (sorry I forget the name) from Soapblox if they had ever been to his house, know his phone number, blah blah, blah...they both vouched for this person intensely, claiming they "knew" him personally.

              But at last when we got down to the nitty gritty, they had "known" him and his wife online. Period. Now I hate to sound like a wet blanket...but had this person been a long established part of this community...different story.

              I still feel as if something is just not right about the whole thing. Can't help it. It took lots of emotional energy from lots of people.

              It is my understanding this person was encouraged to post here from the people at Soapblox.

              I cannot make a valid descision based on some pixels vouched for by some other pixels.

              I hope we never see this again. When it started I was all for helping the guy, then I saw red flags and unreco'd the thing.

      •  Seems like (0+ / 0-)

        If someone has been a consistant user, especially if they have TU status, that should give them a little more credibility if they ask for help. Doesn't prove intent, but it makes them a solid member of the community whose past diaries and comments can be easily looked at. It's an idea anyway.

        There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click)

        by willers on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:48:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  this is a reasonable compromise (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alma, HK, arbiter

      Kos or the other Front pagers should have the ability to make a call, with no implied endorsement if they are silent.

      Either that, or people wishing to fundraise must go through a FP'er for approval and some form of validation of legitimacy as Kos does for elected politicians.

      Trust is essential to this community.  If the crediblity is hurt, we're in trouble.

  •  besides, fundraising is for politicians! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JuliaAnn, Do Tell, pissedpatriot, kath25

    trix are for kids!

    lets keep things in order. drive your car for free!

    by ucla grad102 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:00:59 AM PST

  •  I think it invites arguments over definitions. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, Maura in VA, khloemi, HK, enough, slksfca

    What counts and what doesn't count as a personal solicitation, etc.  I'm not sure you want to invite those squabbles.

    I understand the urge to do it, though, and I do wish people would be a tiny bit more skeptical.

    You could have an official policy of discouraging it without outright banning it.


    (Yes, I know, really helpful answer.)

  •  Nope (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, javelina, HK, Allogenes

    It's not that I like those diaries, but the more rules that are in place the more control will have to be in place.  

    I wish their was something like a 'too mean' button for comments to address the issue you raised about the venom spewed at those who urged caution.  The nastiness really detracts from the discussion - more so as there are more participants.

  •  Shut it down (8+ / 0-)

    I hate Santa Clauses with kettles and bells, too.

    "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think." -- Dorothy Parker, who knew someone like Jeff Gannon

    by PDiddie on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:02:23 AM PST

  •  Yes (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    silence, Shadan7, ZappoDave, citizenx, Do Tell

    It makes people here look like idiots.

    humani nil a me alienum puto (I consider nothing human foreign to me) --Terence

    by astraea on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:02:27 AM PST

    •  Idiot (6+ / 0-)

      Idiot is a person who falls for a ponzi scheme, people who give and ask for nothing in return are just good people period.  Yes maybe they were taken advantgae off be a scum bag, but this reflects on the scumbag not the person giving freely.

      mr republican, is that a flag in your pocket or are you just glad to see my son?

      by pissedpatriot on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:08:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  true (5+ / 0-)

        At least in an ideal world, but there were all those fraud diaries a while back. At least one got on the rec list before word got around that it was a complete fraud.

        There are people out there trying to make us look gullible.

        Giving is good. Perhaps there should be a Help Poor Kossites page where we can donate money. People who need help can send a letter to some moderator who will verify that it's not a fraud and send off a check from the fund. Or something. I just don't like people playing games with us.

        humani nil a me alienum puto (I consider nothing human foreign to me) --Terence

        by astraea on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:24:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  good charity (3+ / 0-)

        Look at it this way.

        I would say charity is best where you know where your money is going. If you send your money off to some scam artist, it might be that it reflects poorly on the scam artist, but it also does on you, though to a lesser extent, because there are a lot of honest people who could have benefited from your charity. But if you got caught by a scam, you wasted that money that could have helped actual needy people.

        Philosophically, you were a good person for being charitable, but someone poor person could have had a hot meal with that money.

        humani nil a me alienum puto (I consider nothing human foreign to me) --Terence

        by astraea on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:51:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  then they need no protection (0+ / 0-)

        they are "good"

        not that I agree with you.

        strong infrastructure, fair play and sober leadership

        by pyrrho on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:46:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think a ban is premature ... (30+ / 0-)

    ... and I agree that the community is best as self-regulated.

    There is nothing a ban brings which the shared experience (and wisdom) of the members doesn't.  Sure, some people will be taken advantage of (or not) -- that is part of being part of any community.

    As the phenomenon of private solicitation "matures" on dKos, I fully expect it to be discouraged.

    We all learned something from the Boston incident, and we all learned something recently.  Learning isn't easy or pretty, but it produces wisdom.

    Bush/Republican legacy: Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Cheney's Dirty War, Black Sites, AnalPlugs&Bodybags, Rendition, Torture, Waterboards, Murder, the Disappeared.

    by Yellow Canary on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:02:39 AM PST

  •  Yes n/t (5+ / 0-)

    Insert witty remark here.

    by clonecone on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:03:09 AM PST

  •  Absolutely not... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, Uniter, Little, Allogenes

    First off, it doesn't happen that often, so when it does let the fools empty their pockets for a scammer.  They have only themselves to blame.  If this sort of thing starts happening more often, maybe.  But you have better things to worry about and spend your time on.  So, as you said, don't protect the fools.

  •  you answered (21+ / 0-)

    you answered your own question

    I prefer the community moderate itself

    mr republican, is that a flag in your pocket or are you just glad to see my son?

    by pissedpatriot on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:03:12 AM PST

    •  Hear hear! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alma, oysterface

      Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. -8.75 / -6.10

      by Alegre on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:09:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This post is part of the moderation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, isis2

      and looks like the majority want banning.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:32:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem yesterday was that the (24+ / 0-)

      community was not allowed to moderate itself because a few very aggressive posters basically berated anyone who politely questioned the situation.  One person wrote that they were really sorry, but that they didn't make these kinds of donations and wished the diarist the best of luck only to be completely attacked and called cold-hearted or something like that.

      The mechanism for moderation was not allowed unless one was willing to endure venomous personal attacks.  I didn't comment because I would have wanted to know much more before giving any money to someone that was completely foreign to me.  If indeed the story was true, those posters attacking people basically blew his chances of getting any money from me.

      •  May us TUs need to get cracking (0+ / 0-)

        I had four donuts left last night and didn't share.  Perhaps we TUs should start using our complete ration.  

      •  Thread blowouts are bad community etiquette (5+ / 0-)

        They serve no purpose beyond a couple of hotheads confirming their lack of self-discipline and tolerance.

        As to the subject at hand, I vote no.   Yes, to self-moderation.

        •  This very thing... (6+ / 0-)

          being the personal attacks upon fellow Kossacks all around in that thread last night, had me so furious I had to shutdown for the night.

          This isn't an issue only within the context of personal solicitations like this. The behaviour that's of concern seems to be becoming more prevalent all around, at least in my experience lately.

          I'm very conservative with my TU status and don't hand out TR's very often at all. But it's getting to a point where I'm going to start to, even to those I may agree with, but are being vindictive and mean.

          As for the personal solicitation, I contributed to that diarist, and checked him out as best I could. I'm pushing his resume around to people I know in his area and in his field. I'll be sure to report back should anything solidly confirm or refute the legitimacy of his claims.

          I still think he was on the level, but even if he isn't, I'd rather err on the side of compassion and get burned once in a while, than not.

          I don't think a ban specifically is entirely warranted, but established guidelines in the FAQ, and a clear disclaimer to protect Kos and others responsible for the sight from legal liability in these cases sounds like a very good idea.

          "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." - Mother Jones

          by Erevann on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:00:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well kinda... (0+ / 0-)

        There were definitely some less than polite comments questioning the situation which were attacked, and rightly so due to their tone. But you're right, most comments questioning things were smacked down really hard no matter how polite.

        There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click)

        by willers on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:53:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was in when the discussion was only at about (0+ / 0-)

          20 comments and it had already started hard.  I didn't go back after that.  I saw the flame war coming at that point and I knew I wasn't going to be able to find out anymore about the situation to increase my comfort level about doing something for the guy in that environment.

      •  That always happens in this type of diary. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        During the dustup over the My Housemate Was Beaten By Rabid Rednecks diary, two or three people were questioning the veracity of the diary, and were hit hard by others as being unfeeling and uncompassionate.  Even when the diarist was shown to have been creating the story out of whole cloth, the attack on the cautious continued.

        I won't speculate on the reasons for this aggressive compassion, but it certainly doesn't respond well to members who attempt to put on the brakes and say "Hold on, we're supposed to be the reality-based community, how do you know this isn't just bullshit?"  God help the TU who tries to hand out donuts in that kind of environment; s'he would be TRed into autoban in about 5 minutes.

        Banning these diaries (or at least the fundraisers) cuts down on that crap, and it helps avoid the feuds that spring up around here after the wars that result from them.  When feelings run as strongly as they do in these situations, self-moderation really doesn't work.

  •  Yes - this isn't the right forum for those (11+ / 0-)

    There are too many scam artists out there, and we have no real way to prove/disprove anyone's hard luck story. This is supposed to be a political forum, not the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen.

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

    by WV Democrat on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:03:18 AM PST

  •  Yes /nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaintBoy, BarbinMD, cosette

    to provide for the general welfare

    by hhex65 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:03:25 AM PST

  •  No (12+ / 0-)

    If that guy was a fraud, then someone please post a diary proving it. That will be a much more powerful deterrent to future giving than some heavy-handed rule banning solicitations of all kind.  

    "If he who bases his hopes on human nature is a fool, he who gives up in the face of circumstances is a coward." -Albert Camus

    by jcbhan on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:03:27 AM PST

  •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WV Democrat, Do Tell

    There was one last week looking for a place to live. I didn't think that one was as bad, but maybe it would have been better placed in an open thread.

    However, before such a ban takes place, if it does that is. I'd like to plead my own case for poverty and direct others to my paypal account for donations:

    Fill my bourbon cup Kos!!

  •  Poor Kos. (13+ / 0-)

    Seems we're at about 50/50 yes-no here.  So much for our help, lol.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2850+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

    by Miss Blue on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:04:26 AM PST

  •  initial gut reaction was yes (12+ / 0-)

    but then I think of other times, like when a car went through Jerome's house. It's a tough call.

  •  In A Word - No (7+ / 0-)

    We're big boys & girls and can look out for ourselves Markos.  I'd like to think that we help each other out if the need arises and some of us actually thought the diarist needed help to head off homelessness for he and his family.

    And if I was "hostile" toward anyone who urged caution in my or the original diary, I apologize.


    Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. -8.75 / -6.10

    by Alegre on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:04:46 AM PST

    •  Not everyone is a big boy or girl here (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pyrrho, grayslady, saucy monkey, willers

      Don't forget the lemmings who jump on any topic AFTER the train has left the station.  The level of throb over Buffy approached terrifying.  Buffy was pissed about it when she got back too.  There is a percentage of the membership which has problems with proportion and setting boundaries for themselves, plus the desire to throb over situations.  I think we need to avoid statements which characterize the membership in absolute terms.

      •  broad brush generalizations (0+ / 0-)

        are generally good things to avoid - I just want to weigh in on your statement about 'Buffy', since I have no reason to think that 'Buffy' was anything other than a sock puppet in an elaborate hoax - I'd say that the  character posting as 'Buffy' expressed a great deal of anger in a brief reappearance on this site - I don't think it's wise to write about 'Buffy' as if she were real because it perpetuates the hoax.


        •  ah, evidently this was even more (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peace voter, highacidity

          the case than I thought. I dropped out of the Buffy thing as soon as the throbbing started (plus, I have a life that occasionally needs tending).  This merely serves to illustrate even further the need for self-containment and the fact that at least part of the membership has less critical thinking skills than other parts.

  •  The solicitations (15+ / 0-)

    are a slippery slope. I think the fact that there is a strong sense of community here proves conducive to "helping" each other, and that's a good thing. However, I'd rather see the solicitation part be more in the form of asking for leads, contacts, guidance, moral support, etc. Those who feel compelled to send money, can "offer", but should then take it off this forum via emails, etc.

    I dunno, just my conflicted opinion.

    •  I think that (15+ / 0-)

      is an excellent solution. Take any cash arrangements off-site.  However, if Wolverine was in desperate need of a job and his quals just happen to match what another kossack was looking for...

      well, that's networking and a win-win for both.

      I know that this site is about politics, and there is a lot of nay-sayers and purist who want only political diaries.  Nevertheless, I've said this before, it was a personal diary here a couple of Aprils ago that really changed my life and put me on the path to sobriety.  It was a sense of community and support that helped me so much during that rough time, especially alone and isolated overseas when all I had was the internet and no friends here yet.

      I am indebted to you kossacks for really helping me because I really was going down hill with that and the PTSD on top of it.  That defined what the Kos community is about for me.  I hope those of you who really dislike personal diaries consider that, that they may just help out an individual who only reads it.

      My 2 cents

      The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it. -Bertolt Brecht

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:29:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely. (2+ / 0-)

        Your authentic experience is valuable. It's the human connection here, that we don't want to lose.  I see no reason why we can't modify our policy to accomodate this. I know the learning curve is steep (e.g. conspiracy theories,etc.) but we'll always have those who are new, those who are resistant, and those who remind us of policy!  

        Glad you shared your thoughts about this.

  •  Of thought of this before (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    casperr, Caldonia, ZappoDave, edgery

    how someone could see the trusting ways of many here and put a bogus thing up and see people flock to help save their non-existant child who is in the hospital, or to help raise funds to repair their house that wasn't damaged by that flood.

    I don't know if you should or even can ban then completely - people will post what they post - but perhaps highlighting that you can't necessarily trust these things should be done at the very least I think.

    Election 2006: When the output made contact with the atmospheric circulation facilitator

    by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:06:37 AM PST

  •  Hi. (35+ / 0-)

    My name is Ickarmar Al-Balsengi Mohammed. My father was oil tycoon is Algeria and recently he die in bizar cart accident.

    The Algerian consulate is try to take his wealth and although I am son, consulate won't let me take money. So I offer to you this gret opportunity.

    If you send me $82.87 in a SASE, I can arrange transfer of $50m (American) to bank account, choice of yours. Please, this very important as Algerian consulate will use my fathers wealth for exploit of children in uranium mines.

    If interest, please email back at

    We speak soon, I hope!

    Todd Reynolds

    Phillybits - A Showcase Of Political News And Thought

    by Stand Strong on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:06:41 AM PST

    •  Please send money (5+ / 0-)

      to account 234323 of the First Bank of Crawford. I will be sending you your check shortly (don't be surprised if it's made out from the US Treasury)

      You can reach me at

      Thank you!

      [Bush] speaks to the audience as if they're idiots. I think the reason he does that is because that's the way these issues were explained to him. Graydon Carter

      by mecki on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:40:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about Mike Stark? (12+ / 0-)

    I was delighted to give him $20 on his defeat Allen campaign.  But that technically wasn't a true political donation....

    That was worth it to me.

  •  The thing is going to blow up (6+ / 0-)

    If this is allowed to continue then somebody here will be taken advantage of. It is a matter of time, it will be a scandal.

  •  Yes. Bright line rule avoids any confusion. (5+ / 0-)

    This isn't a charity site.  It's no fun to be scrooge, but there are a lot of good-hearted but overly-trusting people here.

  •  Heh... (6+ / 0-)'d hardly be the first to try to protect suckers on the internet.

    I doubt you'll have any more success than our Federal government.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:08:08 AM PST

  •  Yes, this has no place here and is probably (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GregNYC, WV Democrat, ZappoDave

    a scam artist.  

    Thank you, Howard Dean!

    by Do Tell on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:09:04 AM PST

  •  Hard Call (6+ / 0-)

    I agree that everyone should be careful and try to determine the veracity of someone's claim that s/he needs money asap.  And, besides, there are other blogs that are probably more appropriate than this one to ask for cash for personal reasons.  

    That said, a self-moderating community should remain the goal, so I don't know if an outright ban is the way to go.  Perhaps some clear guidelines along the lines that some have been suggested here already.

    Finally, I recall some time ago that a trusted user (don't remember who, but I do remember saying to myself, "that dude is trustworthy") made an urgent appeal on behalf of another (unnamed) community member.  Obviously, such requests carry a bit more credibility with me because I don't think someone with a lot of cred would risk losing it on account of an appeal that isn't in fact urgent.

    •  I gave a little towards that (11+ / 0-)

      it was for a surgery overseas for the wife of a well known Kossack that did not want to go public with the medical details. I believe it was pastordan (that asked for the help for the Kossacks wife).

        I'm torn about it. I feel we should have the option to help, but then again what if turns into a daily thing?


      •  Yes that was it. Thanks. n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oysterface, paddykraska, kath25
      •  Right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oysterface, highacidity

        in theory, I think any soliciting of material help should go through a handful of senior Kossacks deemed trustworthy to determine whether the claims are legitimate.  

        The problem comes in with who should be saddled with such a responsibility.  Obviously kos doesn't want PI added to his to-do list, and the other front-pagers are busy too.  People like pd are the obvious choices (that's within the appropriate purview of pastors), but pd isn't really as involved here as he used to be.  I wonder if StreetProphets would be interested in picking up this function?

        I don't think that generosity and empathy make people "fools."  If someone is scamming, the moral failing lies with them.

        Still, yesterday's diary didn't strike me right, and I think there should be some kind of protection for the kindest-hearted members of this community (which obviously don't include me!).  If banning of solicitation is the only way to institute such protection, then I'm for it.

  •  No (8+ / 0-)

    You could put a warning in the FAQ, though no one reads the damn thing as it is.  But banning won't stop people from being stupid.  If we can't use our reasoning skills, that's our problem and not yours.

    We will appoint as...officials, only men that know the law of the realm and are minded to keep it well. -- Magna Carta, #46 (-6.25, -7.18)

    by DH from MD on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:10:17 AM PST

  •  Surgery (18+ / 0-)

    Kos, you need surgery to have that libertarian in you removed before it does you some permanent damage.

    Ban the begging. It is unbecoming, distracting and inappropriate. It makes a mockery of this site and the good work you've done.

  •  My take (9+ / 0-)

    The "precedent" was set when you, kos, made the ct appeal last June after his home was wrecked by a drunk driver.

    The genie is now out of the bottle and I think there are a few of options available:

    1. The complete ban
    1. Our Daily Kos community organizes a charity (tax-exempt, etc)
    1. Status quo

    I'm against #3, lean toward #1. Forming a charity to "help our own" is an option, but I don't know if this is something someone would want to take on. I, personally, would not.

    I can imagine though, that requests for assistance would be placed to the dKos charity and then be properly vetted to determine legitimacy (to avoid being scammed). Then an appeal could be made formally. It would be a lot of work and take resources and people to run, but it would allow us to "do good" responsibly.

    Barring the formation of the Daily Kos Action Corp Charity, or some such, I think a ban is necessary.

    •  but that was made by kos himself (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      saucy monkey, leeroy, sbdenmon, Do Tell

      I mean, I think one can make an argument that some things kos doesn't necessarily translate into "everyone can do it"

      Election 2006: When the output made contact with the atmospheric circulation facilitator

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:12:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

        I think it was a fine thing to do; however, it set an example. Certainly kos can do what he chooses with his site, but different sets of rules can be confusing.  

        Personally, I prefer we all follow the same guidelines and have only fundraising activities for candidates. If the community wants to charitable, non-political work, then I think establishing and running a non-profit is the appropriate way to do this.

        I think the case-by-case, self moderation method is subject to scamming. Whether it be for super-secret political ideas or hard luck stories.

    •  I like the idea (4+ / 0-)

      of a charity or non-profit that people can contribute to, and needy people can seek their help offline with real information and justifiable documentation.

      part of the problem is a lack of legit sources of help for the needy to turn to. it might set a nice precident if our website decided to actually help those whom we always talk about wanting to help.

      I can't stop gloating about beating George Allen!

      by kath25 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:26:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The difference (0+ / 0-)

      kos (well known poster - wink) made an appeal for a well known poster whose story was easily verifiable by reading The Olympian.  A big difference between that and a relatively unknown poster making a personal appeal for money based on a story that could not be verified.

      Its just another day, and I'm still breathing...

      by Barbara Morrill on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:42:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Double standards (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think kos was right to allow us to help ct, but I also think it set a precedent.

        Some people are unluckier than others.

        Not every person with a hard luck story has a friend with a huge website and gets newspaper coverage.

        Like I've noted before — All kossacks are equal, but some are more equal than others.

        •  Well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I understand what you're saying, but I maintain that there is a huge difference between someone making an appeal for someone else for a verifiable situation versus a person asking people to send them money when their story can't be checked out.

          Its just another day, and I'm still breathing...

          by Barbara Morrill on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:52:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Verifiability (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Buckeye BattleCry, joyful

            Which is why I proposed the formation of a Daily Kos charity, so that people with hard luck stories that cannot be easily verified by pointing to newspaper stories, etc could also get help. The charity would be responsible for verifying the legitimacy of the story. This way "celebrity" would not be the determining factor in who gets helped or not. Barring that, I think there should be an outright ban regardless of who makes the appeal.

          •  Exactly barb (0+ / 0-)

            You are on point here.  By the time anyone could vet last night's story, $2.5K had been collected from commenters.  People need to remember the statistics often quoted: 90% of this site's hits come from lurkers, people who don't participate but read.  Anyone could have been reading what went on last night, and we can BET that a small percentage of those quietly observing that situation are already thinking of ways to cash in.  I'm sorry, but this is common sense.

            I would feel comfortable assuming that it is much more difficult to get into Kos' inner circle via years of labor improving this site, than merely setting up a paypal account and a few months' worth of a comment/diary history.  There's no equivalence there.

            "Sometimes when I sleep at night I think of Hop on Pop." - George W. Bush, 2002

            by GN1927 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:39:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I gave to CT and to the Yearly Kos (4+ / 0-)
      which I could not attend. My thinking is that this is Markos site, and if he (when has time) thinks a particular not - specifically - political cause is good, then fine, fundraise. Otherwise, keep fundraising diaries to only political causes.

      If someone has a personal problem, they could post a comment on WYFP and take emails/contributions offline. The WYFP can post a caravat emptor notification at the front end, to remind people to keep the skeptical hats on regarding contributions.

      "The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers. " Jung

      by sailmaker on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:06:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm leaning towards #1, too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xerico, chemicalresult

      only a little narrower.
      I'd be in favor of a complete ban on diaries written for the sole purpose of personal fundraising.  If people need a little attention, they can go through WYFP or open threads or something.  That way people who really need help can get help, without making the main page look bad having a GIVE ME ALL OF YOUR MONEY diary on the rec list.
      I like the idea of kossacks being charitable, not so much gullible.

    •  Our objective is to create a gov't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      (including funding appropriate candidates) that will ease these burdens on everyone. That will be far more sweeping and effective than any charity.

      There were precedents before that, and I've already commented on this thread just how different the ct and gina drives were in nature to what happened yesterday.

      You can still be on the team, even if you're not in the choir.

      by peeder on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:29:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yearly Kos tip jar vs charity (0+ / 0-)

        I understand your point that Gina's was a tip jar, but ct's was not framed as a tip jar. The donation for ct was framed as charity. There was a difference between the two appeals:

        There are two people I hope the community can help out, even if a little bit.

        The first is Gina Cooper, who spent nearly two years organizing this year's insanely successful YearlyKos conference. For her troubles, she earned a big fat $0. While she never expected to be compensated for her efforts, that kind of work and dedication should not be allowed to stand unrewarded. Every dime contributed through the button below will go to Gina.

        The second is Jeremy (username "ct"), my sole employee and the guy that keeps the site running. As you may have already read, a Ford F-150 plowed through his house. Had he not been in Vegas at the time, we may have lost him and his 2 1/2-year-old daughter. Her crib ended up in the backyard. Yet while he and his family is safe, they've lost a ton -- computers, furniture, and the like. So please consider kicking in a few bucks so the ct family can get back on their feet.

        One of the beauties of the netroots is that we take care of our own. Thanks.

        I agree creating a better social safety net, a better government, has the potential to be more effective than establishing a charity. I am not arguing that. All I was suggesting is this: kossacks like to help people, many of us are "do-gooders", and by forming a kossack charity we can still help and, hopefully, not be scammed.

  •  I have mixed feelings on it... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, HK

    But would like to see something in the diary title - so I could ignore it like I do other solicitations.  

  •  No (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, HK, nymosyn, kittania

    People should go with their instincts and moderate themselves.  

    Lobbyists need Republicans like pimps need whores.

    by electricgrendel on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:12:26 AM PST

  •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, BarbinMD, kath25

    With the addendum that if there is a longtime poster who really is in trouble and their identity/information can be verified, their story and links to help can be posted via a Front Pager (Like when a car crashes into someone's house, for instance).

    •  But that perpetuates (8+ / 0-)

      the "in crowd" phenomenon that some people feel exists here on the site. what if you're a longtime poster who doesn't "know" anyone? what if you've lurked since day one?

      IMHO, the "front-page" dichotomy in terms of personal help will only perpetuate an even worse hierarchy over whom is lucky or "worthy" enough to get their request FP'ed.

      I can't stop gloating about beating George Allen!

      by kath25 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:27:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the "in crowd" phenomenon that some people feel exists here on the site. what if you're a longtime poster who doesn't "know" anyone? what if you've lurked since day one?

        Then you shouldn't be posting requests for money from strangers here.  I'd say that's pretty simple.  This website should not be a clearing house for just anyone to solicit personal donations.

  •  Yes n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  I would not oppose it (6+ / 0-)

    I would certainly not oppose a ban on personal fundraising appeals.

    I would not want an all-out ban, for example, if people want to post about worthwhile charitable causes for individuals set up through a reputable fund manager or verifiable trusted third party.  The money we raised for the school to send the kids to the camp in the country comes to mind - I can't remember the exact circumstances, but it was clearly legit.

    It is certainly something to consider and as owner of the site, I think it is polite of you to ask for our input.  It is completely your decision, though.  

    Closed minds should come with closed mouths.

    by Pennsylvanian on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:13:33 AM PST

  •  Yes. Make the rule. (24+ / 0-)

    Over the last few days, people were offering up their own diaries to link to fundraising diaries. That's distracting and diminishes the site's focus, no matter how well-intentioned. Personal stories of hardship here should be used as examples of policies that progressives should be working to change. If people can offer help in those situations, it should only be as an incidental action to the real purpose- changing the policies that made the bad situation happen.

    "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

    by histopresto on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:16:59 AM PST

    •  I agree entirely (8+ / 0-)

      What do people tell us about?

      1. Lack of jobs
      1. Horror of living without health insurance
      1. Victimization of various sorts
      1. Poor pay, lack of benefits

      This site is for addressing the underlying reasons that so many people have reached crisis mode. I don't want to send John Q. Public $20. I want to change the way this nation works -- from the foundation up. That's what dKos does best.

      "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

      by JuliaAnn on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:26:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes there just isn't time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm not advocating either keeping or banning, but these pleas are a last despirate emergency act, whether to keep a family from living on the street or to save someone's life.

        I also want to change the way things work, but that is an extremely slow process. For example, if I have a heart attack today, introducing legislation in congress will not save my life.

        I think we can do both. Food for thought.

        There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click)

        by willers on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:06:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We are all nothing but total strangers. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scrutinizer, grayslady

          I can't and won't be made to feel responsible for remedying all the bad things that are bound to happen among a large online group. Real crisis, fake crisis or anything in between- this isn't a venue that should be depended on for help.

          "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

          by histopresto on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:06:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  When the scammers smell money (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xerico, grayslady

      they come in droves.  

      Let's say that 5 legitimate fundraising efforts raise considerable cash for a good cause.  

      The scammers read the diary, read the comments, and know exactly how to set up the next "request for help".  A couple of the scams work.  The smell of money wafts into the drugged out houses.

      Next thing you know, I sit down with my morning coffee to read about the latest political updates at DKos and instead get hit with 50 diaries on "needy causes".  All of the great political diaries have scrolled off of the page, the rescue rangers are working overtime digging through the crap, and our goal of "getting Dems elected" is foiled.

      Ban the damn charity diaries, Kos!  Before I stab myself with my breakfast fork!

      Jon Kyl
      Incompetent, Bush's lapdog

      by Cato come back on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:59:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please... (19+ / 0-)

    ...if you trust the community to self-police, then don't ban personal requests.

    Instead, give us what we've been asking for for months if not years -- a diary SMITE button.  We need this, Markos.  You want to give it to us, trust me.  If a nickel rattles in an unworthy cup, we'll get rid of it for you.  If a troll diarist shows up and the masses can't resist feeding him, a few TUs can take care of the problem quick.

    There are many more reasons for a SMITE button.  Consider it, please, if you really do trust your community.

    Say hello to my little subpoena!

    by The Termite on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:17:45 AM PST

  •  This isn't fundraising. (6+ / 0-)

    This is just blatant begging.

  •  What to do? (6+ / 0-)

    This is a tough one.  I actually read that diary.  I would never donate to someone asking for charity on an internet site such as this.  That is not what this site is for.  If I would have responded at all, which I didn't, I would have advised that individual to consider local resources available to him or her.  There is always something available locally, especially for a person with family responsibilities.  I used to give money to street panhandlers, and I actually had physical contact with them.  I don't do that anymore, because it is my understanding that most of them have personal issues where they take what I would give them and spend it on thing that are not useful to them such as alcohol or drugs.  

    On the other hand, I would never put down another person for making a contribution to an unverified requestor.  I would caution the person making the contribution, but that is about it.  For some people, making a contribution is not about help to the person they are contributing to, but a reflection on the person they themselves are, and I would not want to intrude on that, even if I thought what they were doing was unwise.  

    We previously had a person that we assisted in the past.  I forgot his screen name, but he was a wounded Iraqi war vet that needed a special computer because he could not use his hands.  This community got together and was able to get him that computer and it gave this community a sense of togetherness.  Of course, this individual's request was validated by a long term member of this community.  

    I would say to continue to allow these requests for help, but there would have to be specific information in the request, such as contact information where a member of this community could, if they wanted to, meet with the individual requesting help and validate his or her request.

    I believe that we are all adults here and should be allowed to make our own decisions regarding issues that may be brought up.    

    •  LOL (4+ / 0-)

      There is always something available locally, especially for a person with family responsibilities.

      You're kidding, right?

      Heaven forbid you ever need any of these services, because you will quickly find that these phantom services either do not actually exist or disqualify pretty much everybody for one reason or another. On top of that, the few assistance programs left are being eliminated one at a time.

      Yes, there are a few food pantries and clothing giveaways out there, but little else. I've looked.

      There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click)

      by willers on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:13:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with much of what you say. (0+ / 0-)

      Read the diary, did not comment. I did wonder if the poster had any apps out at any fast food joints, conven. stores, etc... I believe that any work is good work, when you need money. I also wondered if he had been in touch with any agencies that typically give assistance in these cases.
      I was astonished at the attacks on the posters that urged caution. As numbers grow, I am getting that feeling more and more often.

      Mother gives thanks. Pombo, Allen, Chainsaw Charlie.

      by emmasnacker on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:38:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  btw, the poster you spoke of was (0+ / 0-)

        Drainbamaged. He was vetted by bexley lane. He posted for a while, through a hospital stay, and up to a move to another state. I searched for him about 6 months ago, but came up with nada.

        Mother gives thanks. Pombo, Allen, Chainsaw Charlie.

        by emmasnacker on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:43:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is really tough (0+ / 0-)

        to get a fast food job unless you are a teen, or at least in my area that is the case.  

        And if you have any sort of higher education, it might be worth it to leave it off your resume if you are applying to lower paying jobs (i.e. retail, convenience stores, wal-mart, etc).  Thats what finally worked for a friend of mine.

        Home is where the cat is

        by HK on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 04:24:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Use DKos as a portal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caldonia, Catte Nappe, Allogenes

    I don't mind using DKos as a portal to fundraising for other people and causes (political candidates in particular, and also other organizations), nor do I object to personal solicitations for non-monitary help (find a job, find a graduate school, find a post-doc residency, find a house).  Those types of solicitations may also be scams, but they are a no-harm-no-foul sort, just begging for attention.
    Diaries on dkos should not include a paypal link where you can send me money.  Email is fine- this allows the tried, true, and trusted kossacks to seek help if they really need it by making a diary and including an email for further instructions how to send money.  This would (hopefully) prevent drive-by fundraisers.
    Hope that makes sense.

  •  Yes if necessary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The community is very self-policing, and I think that if this phenomena continues, will come to frown heavily on it.  If for some reason they don't, they by all means, ban away.

    •  No, but add troll rating for diaries instead (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlamoureux, Feanor, sheddhead

      The self-policing aspect of this community has indeed been very successful, when it comes to comments.

      So why not extend that to diaries as well?  

      Specifically, allow trusted users to troll rate diaries.  This way, if something does appear shady, unsure, etc., it can be troll rated into invisibility before it does too much harm.

      I don't know the technical feasibility of this, Kos, so I'll defer to you, but... it seems a natural way to take advantage of the self-policing power that already works well with comments, and use it to squelch this problem (as well as likely problems, such as spam diaries).

      My two cents..  

  •  I think if a valued member of our community is (13+ / 0-)

    in financial trouble and is a regular contributing member in order for them to ask for help or support they should have to get a sponsor here. Perhaps a front pagers or past front pager. I remember when Pastor Dan put up a Diary trying to raise money for a Dkos member that needed help with medical expenses, I would hate to see something like this totally banned from Dkos. I think for future diaries in regards to needing money a member needs a sponsor. If I was in financial straights I know of several past front pagers that I would hope would sponsor me.

    I typed my fingers to the bone for Harry, his little hippie River, us, and America and WE WON!!!!!

    by Chamonix on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:19:40 AM PST

    •  Who is to say (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nina, dcatalin, Granny Doc, kath25, lil love, kin

      who is a "valued member" and who isn't? How regularly does one have to post?

      I don't think this is the proper forum for tales of woe and requests for dough. Unless the tale involves a political candidate being "swiftboated"...

      "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

      by WV Democrat on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:23:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  sorry, we are also a community here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alma, javelina

        I can think of at least 25 people here that I would donate to if they had an emergency. It wouldn't be a lot but I would do the best I can to see to it that they were helped. The reason being is the respect and trust that I have in them based on my past 2 year experience with them and the fact that I believe their contribution that they have made to Dkos and the Dem party was deserving of my gift.

        I typed my fingers to the bone for Harry, his little hippie River, us, and America and WE WON!!!!!

        by Chamonix on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:29:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've also been here 2 yrs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but we are now talking about a community of over 100k. Are we only going to "trust" users with user ID's below 40000? How about we only trust the ones who post at least 1 diary per week?

          Too "slippery slope."

          "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

          by WV Democrat on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:10:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  That's part of what a community is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ..valued members are recognised for possessing the qualities valued by the community to a high degree. In recognition whereof, one is rewarded with Front Page status. A recognised leader of the community. If Please Help Me diaries are to be allowed at all, I think this level of control would work, and be most consistent with the self-regulating character of this community. Part of this self-regulation consists in having standards for recognition and status such that STFUs come into existence and are generally accepted as deserving of their status. It's really more like a Berkelian representative democracy than a pseudo-right-anarchist free-for-all.

        It's a lousy world, Sir Magnus. A few happy fish will make it better.

        by Boreal Ecologist on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:57:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes (11+ / 0-)

    I think you should ban personal fundraising.

    I don't see how you can keep the bad eggs away from the good ones.

  •  Let's have some faith in social workers/medicine (16+ / 0-)

    I find it ironic that we supposed champions of "science" and the "reality based community" and in the competence of liberal governance, were so quick to jump on a bandwagon, ignoring the facts that

    1. There are competent social workers/mental health professionals, etc. everywhere to which individuals can be referred to receive the kind of help stated.
    1. I keep planning to post a "crash course" on the rights of people with disabilities, including MH and Special Ed on here, because, Dear Kossacks, most of the time you don't have a strong understanding of these issues.  Example:  we do not "commit" people involuntarily these days- that is a violation of their human rights.
    1. Any personal appeals here probably amount to a certain degree of exploitation and voyeurism, take your pick, on the part of the community.  This is not the place.  Period.  
    1. I GUARANTEE you there ARE web forums and sites of dedicated, caring communities that can help with all sorts of issues (you name the disability/need/situation there is a listserv/forum) which are much better equipped than people here.  

    My recommendation:  no personal appeals, period.  Obviously, if Mike Stark needs bail money for something political, that's different.  But even then, I would say let's make that a front-pagers job to push such an appeal and lets get a diary rule up in the Wiki stating that we don't do personal appeals for cash/assistance here.

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:21:04 AM PST

    •  Curious (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alma, Sanada Yukimura, willers, Mary Mike

      Have you ever needed the help of social workers?

      During the Bush administration?

      I hereby promise not to jump on you if you say "no" - although I can't speak for anyone else - but I wonder if the reason there was such a response is that so many of us have been there, or are one paycheck from the situation the diarist described.

      •  There have been other instances too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        On Kos, beyond the cash assistance diary cited, of some intrusive personal pleas.  See this post at MyDD:

        In fact, I thought that was what Kos was referring to (and it may be...)

        ANd yeah, I know its hard to get help, but I guarantee that if every Kossack who wanted to help found a local charity to donate and volunteer for that helps in this situation, they will help far more people than one guy raising 2K online.  (What if everyone who donate $20 took that to a local agency, gave them $20 AND two hours of their time?)

        Bush will be impeached.

        by jgkojak on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:42:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This seems like a ridiculous pain in the ass. (2+ / 0-)

    To police, I mean.

    If someone comes on here and posts a diary begging for money, they get banned.

    If people pay a hundred bucks to buy an ad begging for money, they get front paged.

    It's meta, and I don't care. But it seems like you're inviting a huge pain in the ass over definitions. If you care about the definitions, that is. I suppose you could just do the bannings without resort to rules and/or regulations if you wanted to.

  •  Yes n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sanuk, Granny Doc

    "Control of the initiative is control of the battle. In the alley, at the poker table or in politics. One must raise." David Mamet

    by coral on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:23:28 AM PST

  •  Banning Is Probably Too Strong a Word (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Magnifico

    But I do think that we should add it to the posting guidelines.

  •  Absolutely, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...don't forget that YOU are constantly asking for money, so you need to be Fair and Balanced™

    You need to craft a policy that allows your own targeted fundraising (which is wonderful, BTW), while preventing people's access to the site for personal gain.

    This is not just begging for money, it is also prestige, asking for jobs, sucking up to employers, etc.

    Since politicians come on this site, doing exactly that, you have a bit of a dilemma.

    "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

    by Heronymous Cowherd on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:23:49 AM PST

    •  Also (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alma, missreporter

      I wanted to point out an example of using the access of this site for a good purpose.

      I know I gave the diarist a bit of a hard time, but I actually completely support the gist of what they are doing. This site can act as a "community bulletin board," for these types of efforts.

      Now, things get fuzzy when someone asks for help on a site that mysteriously morphs into a different type of site, or when they use the work others donated for purposes not mentioned at the start.

      Don't underestimate the power of posting a diary that will be read by 100,000 (or more) people. It ain't just money. I'm actually really surprised you don't get more referral spam.

      Also, I see many politicians posting here. It can be everything from simple campaign announcements to pleas for assistance.

      It can get a bit odd, when a town councilman in a Wyoming hamlet is asking for help and donations from a New Yorker (like me). It can be easily pointed out that Chuck Schumer and John Kerry do the same thing. Where do you draw the line?

      You're the lawyer. You know how weird and complex this crap can get. I've had to go through somewhat similar stuff with organizations that I can't mention in press, radio or films (or blogs).

      Have fun.

      "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

      by Heronymous Cowherd on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:37:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't care... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caldonia, overturned turtle, HK

    To be honest.

    There's too many Nigerian princes who have spammed me to care.

    Call me cynical, but that's my 2 cents.

    "It's better to realize you're a swan than to live life as a disgruntled duck."

    by Mumon on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:24:56 AM PST

  •  Unfortunately, yes. (5+ / 0-)

    these calls for help are becoming both more frequent and more popular (i.e. on the rec list).  While the community should moderate itself, it's bullshit that these diaries take precedence over political ones.  (There are exceptions, but very few--such as ct).

  •  Yes, ban them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    UNLESS the solicitation is verified and approved by Kos, or someone in administration it has no place here. Those soliciting funds should identify themselves to the administration and ask permission first.

    An 'anything goes site' is not a sign of democracy, it is a sign of disorganization.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:25:45 AM PST

  •  Well lets see (6+ / 0-)

    Last night the community got together and saved a family from losing their home.  Was it worth it?  I say yes.  People need to use their own judgement about what they want to fund and what they don't.

    I have seen mention of a committee being formed for such things.  I have been on those kinds of committees before, and you get very few that ask for help.  Through Boy Scouts we had 2 families that asked for camp sponsorships.  Through the Parents group at school we had one grandmother raising her grandchildren that asked for help for lunch money.  I would be glad to serve on a board if it is so decided.  I also think just a help section where people could post their problems might help.  I noticed that some people can help with jobs advise in certain areas of the country.  

    I think we should help our own, if we so choose.  If you don't choose to, thats fine too.

  •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, Granny Doc

    Campaign donations are fine as that is what this site is about, as well as being a good news and editorial service for the community, although we do have the odd diversion into personal rants and humor (but almost always along political lines).

    Let's not diffuse our niche too far.

  •  Jesus God (8+ / 0-)

    I finally give enough of a crap about people to publicly try to help someone and I get called an idiot, a child, and a scam victim.

    Personally, I don't think you should regulate it because, to go through what I've seen diarists get subjected to in the diaries asking for help, someone would have to be desperate or insane.

    But, if you're going to ban contributions, I think you should ban all of them.

    I never did get a coherent answer on why giving a few dollars to a political campaign was different than giving a few bucks to someone asking for help.

    •  because . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      renaissance grrrl, dcatalin

      . . . you know if a political campaign is legit. You do NOT know if these solicitors are.

      And scammers do not give a bleep as to what they are subjected to. Normal people do, which is why the vast majority of normal people, who really need help, would not solicit.

      There is no avant-garde. There are only people who are a little late. - Edgar Varese

      by thepdxbikerboy on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:37:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's a huge difference. (25+ / 0-)

      I never did get a coherent answer on why giving a few dollars to a political campaign was different than giving a few bucks to someone asking for help.

      Donating to a one-off individual helps that individual. Donating to a political campaign/candidate means you are supporting the positions and policies of someone who can effect thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions.

      I donate to candidates up and down the spectrum -- from my local city council to statewide races to congressional representatives and senators who will fight for healthcare for EVERYONE, retirement security for EVERYONE, a healthier environment for EVERYONE, etc.

      Therea are literally MILLIONS of stories of need in this country.  And if you want to help the one-off cases, their are numerous organizations that help people right in your community.

      Donate to them.  God knows, they need the help.

      But this is not the place for such appeals.  We have a much broaader, and just as critical, purpose here.

      WOMAN: My cat's in the tree! MY FATHER (a fireman): He'll come down. WOMAN: No he won't! MY FATHER: Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?

      by Bob Johnson on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:41:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  And I think directing those in need to local (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pb, highacidity, matt2525, Nina, trinityfly

          ... organizations that can help, and, concurrently, encouraging people here to donate time, money or both to these organizations, is the right way to go.

          We do more in numbers than we do alone.  And every organization helping those in need could certainly use the donations of time and/or money from people as caring and dedicated as those found here.

          WOMAN: My cat's in the tree! MY FATHER (a fireman): He'll come down. WOMAN: No he won't! MY FATHER: Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?

          by Bob Johnson on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:56:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is the key point (0+ / 0-)

        This site is full if active people who have the best interests of the many at is why I come here, anyway.

        There are local issues that I help with in my community like the food banks, church charities and even neighbors that I know need help.

        Daily Kos is for what I can do to help for the many...I know personally the individuals that need my help.

        Financial decisions are ethical decisions.

        by trinityfly on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:50:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  See, this is where I have the problem (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HK, trinityfly

          There are local issues that I help with in my community like the food banks, church charities and even neighbors that I know need help.

          Daily Kos is for what I can do to help for the many...I know personally the individuals that need my help.

          Maybe I don't get out enough, but people keep telling me that this is a community. I'm supposed to be making friends here, that we may work together to make things better for the many.

          Yet, when a member asks for help, vouched for by other members that I trust, I'm supposed to tell them to call a local charity?

          •  I do understand your dilemma (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            and for myself, I have settled on the more limited definition of what this "community" of DKos is for me.

            Friends?  Not sure that I could ever expect that from this site.  Like minded people working toward common political goals?  More likely for me.

            I also, years ago, in my first online forays witnessed some pretty serious rip-offs of people trying to help online 'friends'.

            So for me, I am happier helping locally with poverty issues...I can see the results.

            It is a personal call, to be sure.

            Financial decisions are ethical decisions.

            by trinityfly on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:16:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  If you give to a campaign (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      you know that it is being spent in an effort to get the politician into office.  If the money is spent for personal enrichment, this is an illegal offense that will likely be caught and prosecuted.  

      If the idea is that politicians scam by accepting campaign donations and then disappointing in office, then it follows that we should not be fighting against the purchasing of policy by corporations, but istead railing against the injustice suffered by those businesses which donated but did not get what they wanted.

      The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. - John Adams

      by tipsymcstagger on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:43:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i prefer self-policing (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, philinmaine, javelina, peraspera, HK

    and let the community sort it out.

    but it might be a good idea to state a clear policy on this, and make it rather prominent. advise people to be cautious.

    the democratic party has taken back the legislature... now who will take back the democratic party?

    by danthrax on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:27:07 AM PST

  •  Not yet (4+ / 0-)

    If you have to ask, you know it's not at 'that' stage.  If and when it reaches a tipping point, you'll know.  

    PS - and, from a lawyer's POV, the banning itself might be construed as your taking some sort of control over this matter, which might, repeat might, be found to confer up on you some sort of liability if such a scam were to get thru your screening in the future.

  •  Yes. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, aimeeinkc, Caldonia
  •  yes (15+ / 0-)

    I am especially offended when the comments in such diaries get toxic because a person is NOT donating or cautions others about donating.

    Financial decisions are ethical decisions.

    by trinityfly on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:28:27 AM PST

  •  Count me as a yes... (5+ / 0-)

    I can see rabid Publicans (if we're the DEMOCRAT party, then they're PUBLICANS - pass it on) setting up these fund raiser scams and literally laughing all the way to the bank at the DKos community.  The only type of thing I would allow is for political action, like what Mike Stark did a while back.

  •  Yes, please! n/t (6+ / 0-)

    "Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind." John F. Kennedy

    by vcmvo2 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:29:57 AM PST

  •  Yes, you have to, and for a good reason: (12+ / 0-)

    If this site becomes scam-land, we will have a serious integrity problem. The risk is not only to individual members, but to the voice of the community and how it will be regarded. It's easy to distinguish political organizations, campaigns and other groups like from individual appeals. I even had a problem with Mike Stark's appeal--as much as I value what he did--for the floodgates it could open.

    Please ban yes. For everyone.

    "With great power comes great responsibility." -- Stan Lee

    by N0MAN1968 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:30:41 AM PST

  •  No..... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, peraspera, HK, ladybug53, Mary Mike

    ...let the community police itself. We are a generous warm hearted bunch, but "caveat emptor". -- make sure you know who you are donating to. Check that link. Does it go where it says it goes? Is it secure? Well known site? We have been flooded with evil-doers lately. As a community we are pretty good at sorting them out.

    Once you start making rules, it all goes downhill. Keep the "self-policing" aspect of the site.

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:31:16 AM PST

  •  Anyone who would like to pay my mortgage... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, diplomatic, Sanuk, cabomte

    please send to this address....I am sitting here listening to Noron OWhatever on MSNBC and I would like to gouge my eyes and ears out. Just sayin.

  •  I'd have to say yes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, highacidity

    This is a blog I come to for opinion. Other than links to give to campaigns, I don't view this as a monetary site.

    It is unfortunate that people fall on hard times economically, but this isn't the venue to seek financial help. We can, being the caring community that we are, by all means direct that person to financial resources in their area that are more equipped to help the person one-on-one. Perhaps a link area for organizations offering a social safety net?  

    How's that for a Unitarian response?

    •  I'm an example (0+ / 0-)

      Hey, I was broke, did I ask for money from strangers? No. I do owe my brothers a ton, but that's something else.

      What I did do was ask if anyone knew about a job, and got good information about a job and where to polish on my computer skills for free.

      This is a great networking and social community where people can get a lot of great help and advice, and I'm not against helping out known members of the community in major circumstances. But let's not open up to everyone just passing their hat around. I get enough of that in the subway.

  •  I'm for laissez-faire. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, bustacap, bewert, HK, joyful

    Those who are sceptical can take a pass, they are free to share their scepticism with others.  Those who aren't, can respond as they wish by helping or just by offering moral support.

    If it's a scam, the bad karma devolves to the scammer.  If it's not a scam, then think about the amount of pride the poster has had to swallow in order to make the plea.  God knows I couldn't do it, no matter what kind of dire straits I might be in.

    Either way, what goes around, comes around, to everyone involved.  Why meddle?

    No, I won't sit down and shut up. Thanks for asking.

    by Mehitabel9 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:31:52 AM PST

    •  I second this (5+ / 0-)

      I must have your libertarian leanings Markos :-)

      I was a silent skeptic and didn't contribute yesterday. But I was silent because those brave souls who did question the poster were so soundly shouted down. In the future, I wont stay silent and I will lend support to those who demand solid proof. And if we get it, I will be right there helping out.

      I definitely do refer back to your own request for funds for ct after the accident. There are times when the community may indeed need to help their own and I'd hate for you to eliminate that possibility. As you said, if people are too naive and get taken - so be it! At some point, they are going to learn (we hope!)

  •  Yes. (5+ / 0-)

    Just make a rule that all fundraising appeals have to direct to a legitimate non-profit organization, and never to a pay-pal account or individual.

    Should be simple to enforce and would still allow people to scratch their charity itch.

  •  HOW about some EXAMPLES of HOW to ask for help? (15+ / 0-)

    You should NOT in your request for help:

    1. Reveal personal info about yourself or about another Kossack/non-Kossack, especially involuntarily.
    1. Ask for cash.

    Instead, here is how you COULD ask for help:

    I live in Illinois and my landlord is going to evict me because I asked him to put in a ramp so my son in a wheelchair can safely get out of our apartment.

    Can anyone help?

    Responses can then be:
    yes, call this agency at # or email here

    I work for the Ill Dept of Human Services, call this number and someone will help you

    That is illegal and a violation of the ADA, I am an Illinois Attny, here is my lawfirm


    This is an acceptable exhange of knowledge and info to fight for a good cause on a person's behalf.  

    I will note, however, the best referral this person would get would be to an appropriate local agency that can deal with the situation.

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:32:04 AM PST

    •  This seems very reasonable. (0+ / 0-)

      There are other ways to help besides cash donations.  Kossacks did all the could--even to the point of doing too much--in Boston.  

      Kossacks who want to get involved should get involved.  

      -8.63, -5.49: Gandhi and the Dalai Lama don't got nuthin' on me!

      by Dania Audax on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:45:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peraspera, Dania Audax

        in the offending diary from today, many Kossacks gave concrete ideas of where to find help and/or jobs that the diarist hadn't thought of. I suspect that not many gave cash, but a few really good ideas were floated there.

      •  The Boston thing had a lot of red flags (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dania Audax

        I am not sure where people get off (well I think that's the problem) in exploiting someone's problem -- but that is exactly illustrative of why referring people to trained professionals where a person lives is better than vigalante social-work, which is what that situation was.

        Believe it or not, in a lot of places, the law works pretty well to protect our most basic rights (privacy, choice of where to live, etc), beyond the drug/nat. security stuff we regularly read.  

        Bush will be impeached.

        by jgkojak on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:54:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Screenames and anonymity is tool for scam. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat4everrr, Annalize5

      So I was going to go the other way.

      If they ask for cash donations, then they should be providing an actual identity, address, and listed telephone number to disscourage scams.

      It's the proto-fascism

      by Inland on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:21:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's fine with me (0+ / 0-)

      Personal fundraising is the issue. Sharing knowledge is not a problem, and it can bring about policy advocacy.

      You can still be on the team, even if you're not in the choir.

      by peeder on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:33:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The country we carry in our hearts is waiting. - Bruce Springsteen

    by kaelamantis on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:32:14 AM PST

  •  Yes n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, x

    Rather than getting back into that circular firing squad, what say we just get things done and dazzle the American public?~LuLu

    by Caldonia on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:33:11 AM PST

  •  yes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, saucy monkey, Sanuk

    This is not the place for it.

    If someone wants to write about how local services are failing them, fine, but by allowing solicitations, I'm afraid we just open ourselves to scam artists.

    There is no avant-garde. There are only people who are a little late. - Edgar Varese

    by thepdxbikerboy on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:33:28 AM PST

  •  Put Up a Poll (4+ / 0-)

    Hey Kos, put up a poll so we can vote on it.  

    "You will either hang from the gallows or die of syphillus" "And that depends upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

    by ChapiNation386 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:33:52 AM PST

  •  No. (9+ / 0-)

    You've always let the community decide what was appropriate, and unless this becomes the focal point for aid requests, I say let those bubble up as they will.

    Jim Webb's my Senator-elect!! Woo hoo!!

    by RenaRF on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:33:54 AM PST

  •  Don't ban all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, bustacap

    cause some abuse .

  •  Geez... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hlinko, Sanuk

    All these years in the community and I missed my opportunity to ask people to send me money?  Wow!  How could I have missed that when I was shilling for Democrats all this time?

    Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.

    -9.50;-6.62. But it don't mean nuttin if you don't put your money where your mouth is

    by ultrageek on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:34:45 AM PST

  •  Ration recommends (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice in Florida

    Then recommendations will mean something.

    Here's another idea, kos, which I'm curious what you think, it's called pay to play, or, you can call it a lame diary tax, which would filter out bogus diaries.  I posted the diary, got 100 comments, and just 4 recommends.  Good debate though.

    Political compass: 0.0, -4.92

    by freedc on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:35:02 AM PST

  •  Yes (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grayslady, GN1927, greenreflex, begone

    It doesn't seem like the community can easily self-regulate these matters.  

    "I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice" ---Albert Camus

    by peaceandprogress on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:35:09 AM PST

  •  I think so. (31+ / 0-)

    Simply put, this site could be all about personal appeals.  There are, literally, millions of stories of need in the country.

    I say ban personal pleas for money and let us focus on getting healthcare for everyone in this country, increased job security and retirement security.

    We focus our efforts on taking care of EVERYBODY rather than the one-off cases that have no end in sight.

    WOMAN: My cat's in the tree! MY FATHER (a fireman): He'll come down. WOMAN: No he won't! MY FATHER: Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?

    by Bob Johnson on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:35:17 AM PST

    •  And let me add this... (9+ / 0-)

      I posted this upthread to someone who said they didn't see the difference between giving to an individual in need and a political candidate/campaign:

      Donating to a one-off individual helps that individual. Donating to a political campaign/candidate means you are supporting the positions and policies of someone who can effect thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions.

      I donate to candidates up and down the spectrum -- from my local city council to statewide races to congressional representatives and senators who will fight for healthcare for EVERYONE, retirement security for EVERYONE, a healthier environment for EVERYONE, etc.

      Therea are literally MILLIONS of stories of need in this country.  And if you want to help the one-off cases, their are numerous organizations that help people right in your community.

      Donate to them.  God knows, they need the help.

      But this is not the place for such appeals.  We have a much broaader, and just as critical, purpose here.

      WOMAN: My cat's in the tree! MY FATHER (a fireman): He'll come down. WOMAN: No he won't! MY FATHER: Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?

      by Bob Johnson on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:42:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now I'm talking to myself... (11+ / 0-)


        Anyway, as I see it, this is not about whether or not the folks posting persoanl appeals are scammers or legit.  It is about the purpose and energy of the site.

        I believe this is clearly defined as a political site with the expressed purpose of discussing political matters and electing Democrats who will implement the very needed reforms that will help MILLIONS of Americans, not just one-off cases.


        I think I'm done, but I can't be certain...

        WOMAN: My cat's in the tree! MY FATHER (a fireman): He'll come down. WOMAN: No he won't! MY FATHER: Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?

        by Bob Johnson on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:47:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll talk to you - I disagree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Johnson, ladybug53

          You're right that it's not about whether they're legit or not—but then you go the wrong way, IMO. "Clearly defined"? This site? it might like to be, but it ain't. There was a fucking Top Model or some shit regular feature. And there are football diaries. That's fine, the Top Model thing was a bit modd and not for me - but I don't care. Others enjoyed it.

          Let the adults here give if they want to. Giving feels good, is extra-nutritional for the spirit, and needs to be done a lot more fucking often.

          Don't ban the donation diaries.

        •  oh, like your diary from today...n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Johnson

          Home is where the cat is

          by HK on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 04:34:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Smooch you Bob Johnson... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, aphra behn, ERyd

      BUT - this site could also be all about American Idol, but it isn't (although some HAVE posted about it).  Why correct a problem that doesn't really exist?

      Jim Webb's my Senator-elect!! Woo hoo!!

      by RenaRF on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:46:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kos (8+ / 0-)

    This is a tough issue.  I ponied up $20 and can easily afford it.  Some people were giving half their last $20, and that is sad in many ways, and sort of beautiful at the same time.  I went to bed wondering if I'd been scammed, then quit worrying about it because I got the most intense pain I've ever had and had to go to the hospital and passed a fricking kidney stone.  Now that is a problem.  I've got great health insurance and 0 financial worries in any real sense.  While I was in the hosp, I was thinking about the $ I'd sent and decided I'd not do it again unless it was someone I'd known for a while-or someone really got me with a story.

    Bottom line, I wouldn't ban them, but I personally probably won't send much more $.  I have done a little help by giving some legal opinions and once made a couple of phone calls.  I certainly don't mind that, but I hope we can stck closely to politics.


    "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

    by NearlyNormal on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:35:25 AM PST

  •  I say no (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, HK, ladybug53, Mary Mike, ERyd

    I say don't draw clear lines. I think that the genius of the site is that the community moderates itself. And the libertarian in me says people should have a right to be scammed if they refuse to be discerning, skeptical individuals.

    So, my answer is no you do not need to create a clear rule banning such personal appeals?

    Thanks for asking. And, as alaway thanks for this amazing, thriving electronic commons.


  •  Marcos, seriously, we need a smite button. (5+ / 0-)

    There are too many troll diaires and other debris on the list and if you want to keep this a community moderation thing without having to play dad for the whole crew here, then I say, based on TU stratus, bring in a smite button so we can toast these damn things before they turn into a carnival.

    Now, that may not work for the kind of diary you are talking about here, so I would, full heartedly, YES. Ban them.

    Are there not like a hundred dKos Yahoo groups around the world? THAT'S a good place for this kind of thing.

    ... we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888)

    by Tirge Caps on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:36:40 AM PST

  •  Yes (6+ / 0-)

    The diary you mention was really over the top. Even if the story were true, this individual had, it seems to me, many options available to him. Soliciting money here was not appropriate. I think you have to ban these diaries.

  •  Dunno, but pls send all your ca$h first (0+ / 0-)

    .. because with the holidays approaching I could sure use lots of dough!  That, and it would be nice to retire early, become a wealthy philanthropist, buy politicians and so on.

    Worthy cause?  Hmm.  I'll have to get back to you on that.

    In the meantime, the least you could do is visit my lousy website and listen to the free music.  Actually, that kinda makes my day, people cranking up my web stats.  I am uber-geek!

    I really hafta get back to work...

  •  And where's the damn poll? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888)

    by Tirge Caps on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:37:03 AM PST

  •  Yes. (6+ / 0-)

    Over the years, I have seen far too many suspicious claims and solicitations here. In fact, I sent a couple of notes about these to Admin. when they popped up.

    As an "old guy", and by virtue of perhaps having lived longer than most here, and perhaps from growing up in Nevada where hucksters and scammers are a dime a dozen, my radar is attuned to scammers seeking money.

    Regardless, this site is not the place for this type of social engagement. It's a political site, not a social welfare site.

    That said, perhaps something could be set up to help fellow Kossacks looking for, or needing jobs and services. Perhaps a page where they could find help listings or agencies.

    -7.00/-4.77 "Public campaign financing, media reform, and ballot integrity, are all necessary ingredients for a healthy democracy!"

    by Hornito on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:38:07 AM PST

  •  before you put in the ban, (13+ / 0-)

    can I borrow $5?

    Rome wasn't burnt in a day.

    by Miss Devore on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:38:43 AM PST

  •  no (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, bustacap, HK, Mary Mike

    listen to your inner libertarian

  •  I vote no (to banning) (14+ / 0-)

    The community has pulled together to help individuals with cash before. It has happened in the form of "hey some jackass ran a car through the living room of our tech's house, can people help contribute..."

  •  Yes - They should have asked for source (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think that it is find to ask for help from a community - maybe sources and / or off line support but to actually ask for personal money is wrong on so many ways

    There is no way to no if it is a scam - you see these scam artist all the time.

    If they are genuine then the contact information can be handled off line and people can then make there own decisions whether or not it is legit.

  •  They make me uncomfortable. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I believe in helping people and believe that I'm not alone in that and truly want to believe that people wouldn't try to take advantage of the generosity and human warmth of others, but it does happen.  What's that saying?

    Fool me once, shame on me.  Fool me twice, shame on you.

    I've been fooled more than once.

    Teacher's Lounge opens each Saturday, sometime between 10am and 12 noon EST

    by rserven on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:42:07 AM PST

  •  It would be great (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missreporter, ladybug53

    if all we talked about was political stuff...

    But then I recall MSoC doing a very much needed diary about her own problems.  We didn't have this discussion then, because (1) MSoC is more well known than wolverine and (2)  MSoC wasn't asking for money.

    It's hard, but it's true.

    Because this is a grassroots thing, this is a hard question.  People feel like family in here.  Most of us know what it feels like to be unemployed, to have nothing to releive the stress except the laughter and gasps from the internet.

    I don't know, Kos, but I vote No.  Perhaps a new tag would help, perhaps it wouldn't.  Hopefully there's always somewhere else to turn for down and out folk.  

    -8.63, -5.49: Gandhi and the Dalai Lama don't got nuthin' on me!

    by Dania Audax on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:42:10 AM PST

  •  i'd say yes (7+ / 0-)

    because the potential for fraud and abuse is so high on a site with generous people like what we have here.

  •  I think no (12+ / 0-)

    I was disturbed by the diary yesterday, and how uncritically people were approaching the request.

    But I do not think that a ban is the best answer here.    

    I've participated in some of these fundraising drives, and I suspect in hindsight that one of them may have been a scam.  

    Still, I can't say I regret giving to them. The virtue of the gift is in the impulse to give more than the worth of the recipient. The times I heard back about the results of the gift were a bonus, not a requirement.

    I'd like to see the community approach such requests with skepticism, but I don't think it's practicably policed at the top down level.

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:42:55 AM PST

    •  thank you (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boadicea, peraspera, HK, ladybug53

      Still, I can't say I regret giving to them. The virtue of the gift is in the impulse to give more than the worth of the recipient.

      I have always given when I could to people on the street.  I have had many friends tell me I am being scammed and I always tell them that I know that this is a possibility and that I really do not care about that enough to stop giving.  I figure that if someone is scamming and I give to them, that eventually the generosity and care will change their heart too. And in many cases they really do need the money, so I will err on the side of trust.

  •  You should consult a lawyer on this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't know the particulars of the law, but you may be in an actionable position if a fradulent appeal goes out and someone gets scammed.

    I would still allow appeals for money and help, however, if the person asking for help goes through you and/or the frontposters first.  That way you can differentiate between legitimate appeals from long time posters who hit on hard times and everything else.  The default answer should be no, with a very high bar for approval.  Any appeals not approved through you and/or the frontposters would be banned.

    The bar should be high for monetary help on Daily Kos, but not so high that a well-known member of the community can't rely on his or her friends in a time of need.

    That's my opinion.

  •  Probably not (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, bustacap, bewert, HK

    Reasons to not ban:

    1. Money is necessary for grassroots people to exist (they lack the networks and paychecks that big money consultants do)
    1. Why limit fundraising to Branded Important Organizations and Important Politicians when we know that it's important for everyone to have access to fundraising?
    1. People have a right to use their own judgment
    1. People's judgment is augmented with the comments below the post

    Reasons to ban:

    1. A scam could devastate the community
    1. A scam could be pushed in the media as 'dangerous Internet scammers on Daily Kos!"

    My conclusion: it's better to trust people's judgment and allow things to remain as they are.

    Compromise position: have a trusted user or moderator add a mandatory disclaimer/buyer beware boxed bold statement to any fundraising post.

  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, casperr, MajorFlaw

    Personal pleas for funds on behalf of individuals; yes, ban them. But pleas for third party politicos or charities I would have no problem with since by and large these are easy to verify.

    •  Fundraising on behalf of candidates/campaigns is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alice in Florida

      directly related to what we do here;  it is not only appropriate, it is necessary.  Fundraising on behalf of non-profit organizations is frequently close enough to be appropriate.  But personal appeals have no place here, imho.  Call me a heartless bastard if you wish but I come here for political discussion and action, not a soap opera.  I get enough "save the world" action in my real life.  Count me as a yes to ban vote.

  •  Yes, ban (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, Sanuk

    I don't know whether it's necessary to ban the authors, but the diaries should be deleted.

  •  I have mixed feelings (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bob, Alma, poemless, SFJen, Hey BB

    This site was used to make a personal appeal for help following someone having a car crash through their house, so it isn't like there wasn't a precedent for this kind of behavior. It seems like there ought to be a way to figure out which appeals are genuine versus which are not. Perhaps rather than banning it would be helpful to ask for individuals willing to take the time to verify credibility of a claim and allowing only those people to post appeals for donations(something similar to the concept of front page posting). While you, kos, may personally not have the time perhaps some people that do could be vetted to fill the position as ambassador to Dkos and we could get a support network for genuine crisises in the community.

  •  Definitely (7+ / 0-)

    I was amazed how people were forking over money without even questioning it. Fucking nuts.

    Ban it...this is not the place for it...

    Catch NY politics raw and uncensored at The CITY.

    by GregNYC on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:45:18 AM PST

  •  No. We are progressives, not Repugs (9+ / 0-)

    Perhaps if Americans hadn't been put through the wringer for the last 5 years, there wouldn't be a need for personal requests for assistance.

    I can tell you right now from personal experience, living in Michigan, that the economic landscape in my state and county is devastating.  I knocked on door after door during canvassing, only to come to the realization that this city located 2 hours north of Ann Arbor, has been "Katrina'd".  More than 30% of the houses in this town are for sale; the county has the second highest rate of mortgage defaults next to Detroit-Wayne County.

    The diarist who wrote last night could easily have lived in my town.  He could have been one of the many progressives whose door I knocked on.  And I'd have given the money in my wallet at that moment if I'd known, especially if there were children involved.

    If there anything we need, it's a third-party intermediary for progressive assistance, not unlike  Blue America PAC and ActBlue.  We never questioned the ability of so many candidates to effectively use the money we gave them; we never asked what kinds of staffers would be handling the money.  We simply gave out of passion.  And you, Kos, asked often; we took you at your word, even though you may not have actually done any vetting of these candidates and staffs that would satisfy a third-party auditor.

    I say let us do our own vetting; it's no different than the vetting we did for Kos and Jerome.  Cripes, I've bought multiple copies of books from bloggers at this site because of pleas at this site -- and I've never met the bloggers.  Why is any other progressive cause different?

    And didn't we give to the veteran/former cop, too, without a lot of initial vetting?  What's different now, did we lose our sense of smell?

  •  My opinion i (0+ / 0-)

    that if there is a personal need within the community, run it by one of the front pagers or you.

    They can then do any factual checking that might need to be done, and promote/deny the request.

  •  Ban it please n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, greenreflex

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:47:44 AM PST

  •  Yes. n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    timber, highacidity, Caldonia, greenreflex

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:47:48 AM PST

  •  "I will turn this blog around RIGHT NOW (4+ / 0-)

    if this tomfoolery doesn't stop!"

    Being a parent gets to all of us, kos.  I don't mean to ignore the valid point you're raising, but when I read the diary title I just heard myself asking my kids, "Do I need to turn the t.v. off?!"

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:47:53 AM PST

  •  where's your poll? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, highacidity

    my answer is yes.  

    "Mr. Speaker, I mourn democracy." Barney Frank, House of Representatives, 06/29/06

    by suskind on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:48:21 AM PST

  •  Markos... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaintyKat, poemless, peraspera, nio, Mehitabel9

    You posted a fundraising solicitations on behalf of ct gina after YKos.

    And PastorDan posted several fundraising solicitations on behalf of a Kossack unnamed, who he assured us was legit and in need of our help.

    The issue is whether these solicitations are legitimate or not. In the case of your's and PastorDan's solicitations, we assumed that they were legitimate... based on your word, and I'm sure they were.  Other such pleas may or may not be kosher...  so I'd just advise that the donor should beware... there may be times that long-term participants here may legitimately need help, and many of us would gladly come to their assistance.  That should be at our own discretion, using our own standards of evidence, IMO.

    Victory has many fathers, but Howard Dean was the doctor in the delivery room.

    by Malacandra on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:48:25 AM PST

  •  Keep listening to the libertarian (4+ / 0-)

    voice in your head, well known members will police this type of stuff.

  •  Believing what you read (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joejoejoe, peraspera, HK

    I think one of the things this community tries to do is educate people to think for themselves, to get behind a story, and to question what they are being told.

    Examples like this story are instructive, in that people who are paying attention get a lesson in critical thinking. They can then decide for themselves whether to help or not. I agree with the posters who believe it will be self-regulating and think the dialog is healthy for the community in the long run. I'm not for a ban. If too many requests for help occur, the diaries won't get recommended.

  •  Yes, to keep the site focused (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My 2 cents

    •  Yes, personal appeals are too far (0+ / 0-)

      from the site purpose--and there are other places on the internet that are more appropriate. What bothers me most is that those who will ask for money are not likely to be those who need it most, but those who have the most chutzvah or the least shame.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 04:15:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eph89, mcm, HK, ladybug53, SFJen

    I'm of the belief that you should not restrict a freedom unless you absolutely must.  And we're not there yet.

    Having said that, the diary in question would have passed with little notice if not for the multiple subsequent diaries pointing to it.  If you were to ban anything, I'd rather it be those, since they are duplicates like any other, and have the effect of making a single diary start to look like a dKos campaign.

    CNN: The Most Trusted Name In News
    Twinkie: The Most Trusted Name In Nutrition

    by Irfo on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:49:21 AM PST

  •  Live and Let Live (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, Catte Nappe, HK

    If we can't and shouldn't legislate morality, then you can't and shouldn't legislate charity.

    Personal begging dairies make us all read and weep.  They make some of us reach in our pockets and give generously.  But they don't coerce anyone into being either a fool or a philanthropist.

    Let the community act for itself.  Who knows, the day may come when you need to post your own begging diary.  Or me, too.

    They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

    by Limelite on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:49:33 AM PST

  •  No (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Retards can't use google, let them waste their money.  

    Sometimes it is necessary to fling shit back at the monkeys.

    by mismolly on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:50:11 AM PST

  •  Yes. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not the church. Not the state. Women will decide their fate.

    by JaciCee on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:51:31 AM PST

  •  I'm leaning toward yes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, highacidity

    It's a tough one, though.

    I don't have a problem with someone asking for non-financial help (advice/suggestions) If the diary/comment includes the person's email address, people who feel so inclined can contact them offline and offer $ or other assistance.

  •  For five bucks, I'll vote YES (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, jmonch

    Seriously, there are levels to this that may prevent the imposition of a clear rule. For example, the guy who programs this site (ec?) had that truck drive through his house. I appreciated the chance to chip in and help him out.

    Somebody just pops up here, gives us a "My momma needs her medicine" sob story, well, that's a different story. And if it turns out to be a scam, then you wind up with community problems, all kinds of crap you don't really need.

    Maybe the rule ought to be that only an FPer should have the ability to post a call for donations - and we could assume that said DKos luminary has done the due diligence bit and can confirm the request isn't a scam.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:53:11 AM PST

  •  Make it a semi-official endorsement process (0+ / 0-)

    I think you could make a new section where people ask for community endorsements of causes.  Each request should have a discussion thread - so that people can read the reservations that other people have.  There should be some rule about community endorsements - like you get 2/3 of the vote.
    If they pass this threshold then they can make an ask for money.
    This will give people a little more chance to research whether the cause is a good one.

  •  NO (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HK, ladybug53, Hey BB, Mary Mike

    I think that would work against a sense of community and togetherness. I only check the list of posts on the right side. Wolverine's was the first of this kind I had ever seen. Unrecommnded posts fall off the front page quickly enough.

  •  In the past, we have had folks like Pastor Dan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jakarta, Jeffersonian Democrat

    write a diary asking for aid for a blogger. That way the individual was not asking for themselves.

    Pastor Dan, someone with a low userID, who was well known to the community, who had personal experience of the individual, or had verified facts prior to posting a diary, was able to provide kossacks a high level of assurance that this was a valid plea for help, from one of our own in need.  

    I read the diary posted yesterday, checked the usedID, and I did not donate money because I had not seen this person active on line.  

    Additionally, part of who a "bleeding heart" liberal is, is our willingness to reach out and help those in need.  I can think of two dozen users who, if asking for help, would get it from me in a heartbeat.

    Others might need the validation of a thorough source check and third party support from a regular daily kos member.  

    What does a site like Street Prophets do when they get a diary asking for help?

    "Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth." Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by maggiemae on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:54:38 AM PST

  •  NO BAN! NO, NO, NO. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, HK, ladybug53

    Don't eradicate, educate...or something like that.  

    They want to ban pan-handling in my town. Why? The people who give money aren't complaining at all.

    "A fundamentalist is someone who hates sin more than he loves virtue."--John Schaar

    by Guglielmo on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:55:21 AM PST

  •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

    by thief on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:55:33 AM PST

  •  Yes, ban private solicitation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, Alice in Florida, dcatalin

    This is a site to elect democrats and inform ourselves on the electoral and political process.

    Personal fundraising is inappropriate and, on a personal level, makes me feel very uncomfortable, especially when those who are sympathetic reply with the mob mentality of "if you dont xyz you are not a good person".

    The other side of the coin is that people dont have to read those specific diaries, and that this is an ever-evolving organic community, and that we like to help our virtual friends when they are in pain.

    On balance, I think it the best of the 2 options available to ban personal solicitation requests.

  •  no (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HK, ladybug53, Mary Mike

    because some valid efforts do come up.  Other than arguing which we do about everything all the time anyway, what would be the advantage?  
    Maybe there should be requited disclaimer in any personal fundraising diary.  Make it one that is copied right off the new diary entry page.

  •  Ah, the authoritarians vs. the libertaians (-: (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry, couldn't help it! Actually both sides have pluses and minuses. Tough call. I lean toward yes, but not in an authoritarian way (-:

    •  Not authoritarian (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe


      I understand Kos's libertarian streak and agree with it--

      However, protecting the dignity of people (remember there have been other pleas here that involve people involuntarily... see here: is important.

      Also... again, I go back to... if youre not offering up a real set of ideas as to where to turn for help, you should not be commenting, and, you are ENABLING an inferior response that could be gotten elsewhere on the web from people more trained to assist in a partiuclar crisis.  In other words... its quite disfunctional and should not be the purview of this site.

      Bush will be impeached.

      by jgkojak on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:00:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Relax, pal (0+ / 0-)

        although we can tell from your response that you must be a savior to all those in need and real genius when it comes to pointing out who enables what and how dysfunctional it is, a little levity never hurts in a long thread and a sense of humor can be good to cultivate even for those who have to save the world today. This site even welcomes it and doesn't ban commenters who don't always offer "a real set of ideas" all the time and on every issue. Get over yourself.

  •  Makes me think of (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, ladybug53, lotlizard, arbiter

    the Night Listener situation, a story about a kid who had had a horrific childhood, then became HIV positive and was dying.  Olberman ended up paying for some of the kid's treatments, and later discovered, along with Armistead Maupin, that they'd been duped.  

    "OLBERMANN:  Well, lastly, I‘ve always been reluctant to talk about this.  I just thought OK, I found out the truth, I don‘t need to disabuse others of what they believe, but I finally decided, when I have to be a fool I‘d rather be our kind of fool than Vicki‘s kind of fool.

    MAUPIN:  Absolutely, I have no regrets whatsoever.  I was acting out of human kindness and I don‘t think nobody has a reason to be ashamed for doing that.  "

    My guess is that people who are quick to part with their money have it to give, and feel good about giving.  My guess is that the mere existence of this diary will be enough to strongly discourage those who would make personal solicitations and to strongly encourage those who would police them.

    "This is your time, now, to do what you will do. Your life is now." - John Mellencamp

    by lapolitichick on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:57:37 AM PST

  •  Pie (0+ / 0-)

    This really called for a poll.

    You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

    by dnamj on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:57:51 AM PST

  •  sorta (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, GN1927, coolbreeze

    Several people yesterday suggested a fund.

    I think that makes the most sense. Like it or not we ARE a community and need to help those who need it, we just need to come up with a better way to do it.

    Another tough job for someone, invent it and administer it.

    But then when a diary is published, it could be pulled, while notifying the diarist, and referred to the fund for review and action.

    YELL LOUDER!!!! ........ Hey, what's NION?

    by buhdydharma on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:57:58 AM PST

    •  Buhdy... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, buhdydharma

      ... you have a large following here, maybe you could bring these ideas (that I have read from others here and elsewhere) to the fore...

      Kossacks can instead:

      -Refer people in need or who wish to help to, they are a registered charity and are rated by Guidestar and appear to do exactly what needs to be done here:

      Modest Needs is a charitable organization reaching out to the people who conventional philanthropy has forgotten: hard working individuals and families who suddenly find themselves faced with a small, unexpected expense that threatens their ability to remain self-sufficient - the unexpected car repair, the unanticipated visit to the doctor, the unusually large winter heating bill.

      At Modest Needs, compassionate persons whose lives have been touched by kindness pass that kindness on to individuals and families struggling to remain self-sufficient despite a temporary financial setback. We do this because we've all been there, and we all believe that no hard-working person should ever be forced to choose, for example, between seeing a doctor and putting food on the table.

      Modest Needs is proud to be the one and only licensed charity in North America serving otherwise self-sufficient individuals and families who find themselves in temporary financial distress. Our work has been featured on NBC's Today Show, CNN, CBS' Early Show, NPR's Morning Edition, in People Magazine, USA Today, and in countless other media outlets across the globe.

      ...we focus on prevention by making grants designed to STOP the cycle of poverty BEFORE it starts. Conventional charitable and social programs play a critical role in the lives of those who simply cannot support themselves. But generally, individuals and families generally have to lose everything - including any hope of future self-sufficiency- before they qualify for assistance from these types of programs.

      At Modest Needs, we think it makes more sense to assist hard-working individuals and families at the OUTSET of a financial crisis, when a small amount of well-timed assistance has the power to keep our applicants from entering the cycle of poverty altogether.


      Set up a group on a site like

      They do microlending, it looks like you can set up a group, collect funds, and set whatever interest rate you like, there are fees for transactions (don't look too bad to me, but then again you don't want me to do your finances ;-)

      Prosper, America's first people-to-people lending marketplace, was created to make consumer lending more financially and socially rewarding for everyone.

      The way Prosper works is intuitive to people who have used eBay. Instead of listing and bidding on items, people list and bid on loans using Prosper's online auction platform.

      People who want to lend set the minimum interest rate they are willing to earn and bid in increments of $50 to $25,000 on loan listings they select. People who lend can easily diversify using "standing orders", which automatically make many small loans to different borrowers.

      Solutions like this would take a lot of the adminstrative work of of volunteers... these are just suggestions, I am sure there is more out there, I just did a cursory search here.

      I know buhdy you don't have much else to do with your time :-p

      •  heh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and the noose tightens!

        I will save and peruse.

        This is the second huge meta-project (a Weekly-kos being the other) that i have suggested in two days....i better learn to keep my mouth shut!

        My mind has grabbed on to this a bit...since i have needed help in the past, but for now i will let the whole sitch percolate for a bit in my brain.

        Thanks highacidity, there are obviously a lot of things this community can accomplish....IF we want to!

        YELL LOUDER!!!! ........ Hey, what's NION?

        by buhdydharma on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 03:44:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes (7+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry, but last night, someone set up a pay pal premier account, linked to it in a diary, and hinted in the comments section an expectation of raising several thousand dollars' worth of small donations.  

    Not saying the story wasn't true, I don't think anyone can say that.

    But I think this is one area where IMO community moderation will not as agilely handle the issue.  The outpouring of sympathy and empathy were so incredibly intense in that diary last night, that the few who were brave enough to warn were literally cussed out and called everything but children of God.

    Just ban personal fundraising diaries.  The potential for harm outweighs any benefits, particularly when there is a plethora of other resources on the web much more suited to handling crises.

    "Sometimes when I sleep at night I think of Hop on Pop." - George W. Bush, 2002

    by GN1927 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 10:59:25 AM PST

  •  Yes, Ban them (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, GN1927, dcatalin, MajorFlaw, fiddlingnero

    Plenty of outlets for such charity, this isn't one.

    I'm afraid DKos might go down the MTV route, and wind up as the political website that no longer contains any politics.

  •  No (7+ / 0-)

    If a diary is posted asking for assistance, only the people who want to provide assistance (in whatever form) will contribute. Those that do not want to help, won't, and are additionally free to explain why and/or try to persuade other users to their POV.  

    It is my personal opinion that placing a ban on such requests would be hypocritical for several reasons:

    1. This site is, amongst other things, a fundraising site; if you trust your users to give accordingly to organizations and individual politicians then why not a DKos user?
    1. You have personally used this type of appeal in the past.  I saw nothing wrong with it then, and I see nothing wrong with it now.
    1. Freedom of Choice: how many arguments have been made by stating "if you don't want X, then don't have or do X".  If you don't want to contribute - don't.  If you don't want to read a personal plea for assistance - don't.  It's just that easy.
    1. But most importantly, this site is supposed to be comprised of individuals who value people above all else. Every idea we support, every candidate we back, must above all else serve in the best interests of those least able to help themselves.  And to tell the truth, I'm a bit shocked at some of the harsher comments from some folks in the "yes" crowd.  Get rid of the beggers?  Only help those whom you personally know?  Good God people, did we not just fight tooth and nail to eject people from the two houses of Congress because they held those same positions?  If you don't want to help that's perfectly fine.  But please don't turn into neocons in the process.

    One last thing and then I'll stop.  Ultimately Kos, it's your site.  It's your absolute right to make any rules you see fit.  I just hope the aforementioned ban isn't one of them.


  •  The debate was an interesting exploration (5+ / 0-)

    In the stark difference between persons who are generous in the particular and those who are generous in the generic.

    The former would prefer some opportunity to give aid and support in particular circumstances; the latter would as soon not do so.

    I suspect it's an exercise in how easily one can trust other persons, how much (possibly misplaced) confidence one has in one's ability to determine who's a genuine case and who's a fraud, how (un)sympathetic one is.

    Basically, we have to decide what sort of community we are.


    1. We Help People. It's What We Do.


    1. We Help Get People Elected, So They Can Help You.


    1. We'll Have To Get Back To You Later On That.

    I feel like I am part of my own country again.

    by cskendrick on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:00:41 AM PST

  •  No. And please put up a poll (5+ / 0-)

    Here's my 2 cents: If people here don't know how to spot scams, then they're going to lose their money. If not here, then somewhere else. Maybe you should put a paragraph in the FAQ that people could refer to. But ban these types of things? Christ, that's exactly what I would expect to see at Freak Republicrooks.

    ...I was struck by 1) how uncritical people where when asked to give to someone who really isn't a well-known...

    How many people gave to politicians, having no idea whether they were good ones or not, just because of diaries on this site? Plenty. It happens.

    ...and 2) how hostile they were to those who urged caution...

    I think a few people were hostile, but that's on THEM. The diarist wasn't hostile to those who urged caution. Should you bad any type of diary which draws a few hostile comments? I guess you'll be banning all the I/P diaries then.

    Personally, I lost some good money backing Kerry, who a) rolled over like a fat poodle and b) kept several million dollars of Democratic donations in his personal piggybank rather than help his own team win more seats. That was a scam.

    And finally, if you ban some diarys, you are endorsing all the rest of them, right?


    Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo

    by racerx on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:00:53 AM PST

  •  Yes, in a narrowly explicit way (6+ / 0-)

    For me, part of the beauty of this site is that in addition to being a tremendous source of information and challenging debate, it is also a true community.  It has so far managed to maintain that quality even with its burgeoning size.  The emotional support we give one another when, via diary or WYFP comment, we express our personal anxieties over money, job or health, or when we acknowledge that we've been struggling with depression recently, is impressive.

    Nevertheless, it definitely can be abused.  The Saturday night WYFP!? diary is the best place to get these things off your chest.  Diaries that present your personal experience as an example of how the average person struggles under current governmental policy are reasonable as well.

    After that, it gets into a grey area.  I think it rare enough to see a diary devoted to a purely personal problem that they need to be banned.  If someone is that stressed that they need to vent here, the community is open enough to accept it and the verbal support offered can be helpful.

    But the explicit financial solicitations should stop.  If any Kossacks are inclined to help out someone, there are ways to communicate and network among ourselves off-site.  Many of us have email addresses in our profiles, or it is easy enough to set up a throwaway email address if you want to ask more details about a person's problem with an eye towards helping out if it seems legit.

  •  For your own personal protection (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, Caldonia

    either ban, or place some notice that you do not promote or encourage any such pleas.

    Very unfortuanate.

  •  Yes. And thank you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, Caldonia

    Solicitation does not fit your goals for the site.

    "It is, in other words, time for a national oil change. That is apparent to anyone who has looked at our national dipstick." - Al Gore

    by skwimmer on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:01:22 AM PST

  •  Ban those diaries... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffersonian Democrat, sheddhead

    and the gardening ones
    and the prayer ones
    and the solicitation fo prayer for the best friend who is bleeding in the brain
    and the pootie ones
    and the recipe ones
    and the top comments ones
    and the Project Runways ones
    and the favorite position ones.......

    because after all, we ARE a Progressive Democratic Political site whose sole purpose is to elect Democrats...

    "Our sweat and our blood have fallen on this land to make other men rich." Cesar Estrada Chavez

    by bic momma on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:01:30 AM PST

    •  If you didn't mean the snark (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffersonian Democrat

      that I saw dripping through this comment, don't tell me, because I loved it.

      Exactly!  Ban everything except the "vote for this progressive democrat" and lose any sense of community this site may have...

      or don't ban everything.

      I've donated $10 - $25 from time to time to people who I'd never heard of before.

      If people donate money that they could not gamble away on a cruise ship, they deserve to be fleeced.

  •  here's my thing (7+ / 0-)

    To me, the idea of asking for money when in a desperate situation, makes me wonder why there are no people who are known to the supplicants who are able to help.  I can think of 50 people who would loan my wife and I money if we REALLY needed it.  Why?  Because we have earned that kind of trust.  Not that anyone wants to receive a phone call like that, but the best safety net has always been friends and family.

    If someone is asking the public in this kind of forum, it seems to me that it is: A) because their friends and family have been burned before and don't trust that the money will be spent wisely, B) because they are in a kind of denial and don't want to admit how bad things have become, C) because they don't have friends and family at all (often because of alienation but also because of a just plain lousy deck of cards) who are able/willing to help,this being the sad situation we all imagine when our heart strings are tugged.

    I am on the board of an Almoners group and it is a serious task because we have to check our consistancy and our integrity with every solicitation.  The thing we do best, is let people close to the person who is asking and who has a verifiable sad story know how much help is needed.  Often this means tracking down old war buddies or old church friends.  These people are likely to feel moved to help, because they often see the sad path that led from A to B.

    Ban these appeals or not on dailykos, I don't care.  But it is clear to me that this forum is a lousy way to conduct Almoners work, and I'd much, much, much prefer that we have a tradition of contributing to clean 501c3 organizations when our heart strings are tugged.  These organization are just so much easier to vet and verify, and the process of a community doing so need not be messy.

    despair is the worst sin

    by jakarta on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:01:46 AM PST

    •  yes, my wealthy father was of that opinion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jakarta, HK

      He'd lend you money only if you could prove you'd done nothing, ever, in your life to contribute to your current catastrophe; I mean he literally required a person to make their case and to prove to his satisfaction that long lost friends and family members had been ruled out as possible first-tier benefactors (whose humiliating scorn was generally the reason they weren't contacted in the first place). This meant of course that few people ever got any help from him--not to say very many people asked as his stringent lending policies became known: who wants a lecture in fiduciary rectitude on top of losing your house? On top of being given the bum's rush after the lecture, all for naught, none the richer? Better to sleep on the street.

      Woe betide us both: my fiducially correct father--much to his chagrin and everlasting remonstration--ended up with a bleeding heart for a daughter. Here's my view: everyone effs up and lands on his or her ass somewhere along life's road. Some people are slow learners/repeat offenders and eff up a lot. Me, I've got food, shelter, books to read and enough money to keep the lights on; whatever is left, should anyone ask before I blow it all on more books, is pretty much up for grabs--no doubt because I'm about always about one twist-in-the-road away from the next eff-up myself. (I mean, I play so it so loose with money it must be some kind of overcompensatory, psychological thing. That's fine.)

      As for scams? Whatever. If I give you money it's yours, no strings; I don't need to know the upshot necessarily and I definitely won't ask. If you spent it on twenty bottles of Strawberry Boone's Farm instead of the heart medicine you told me you would surely die without, that's your biz, not mine. Maybe Boone's Farm IS your heart medicine--makes sense to me. I try not to judge. I try, instead, to take people as they come and to listen not so much for holes in their story as for metaphor.

      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:01:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  important addition to my previous (0+ / 0-)

      I sounded very harsh in my post to you just now and I did not intend it. While I hold fast to my opinions with respect to the disposal of my own, personal funds, I want you to know that if I were soliciting friends/fellow churchgoers for donations on behalf of some cause or other that I had been charged with vetting as worthy, I too would exercise enormous caution!!!

      I really can't stress this enough. I'm sure being on an almsgiving committee is a huge and no doubt stressful responsibility.

      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 01:38:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for your replies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I really can't stress this enough. I'm sure being on an almsgiving committee is a huge and no doubt stressful responsibility.

        It can be sometimes, and it actually happened because of a different role I took which by bylaws put me on the 'alms' board.  But it has been a blessing to at least try and serve in this capacity.  I didn't take what you wrote as harsh however.  

        You are of course correct that a lecture or guilt trip is rarely (though not never) what is needed.  I guess I was speaking more from the recent experience of seeing a bunch of older parents with limited resources still tying to help their meth addicted kids get clean.  

        My main point wasn't about vetting (though it does appear that way I admit).  What I wanted to try and express was that I keep seeing that shame prevents many people from asking the ones who actually WANT to help them.  There is something very sad about having to be more honest and open with strangers than with one's "loved ones".

        Yes, that being said, there still is a need for charity, for safety nets to feed and shelter eachother, to remove the fear of hitting bottom that haunts our social interactions and life choices (as well as our politics) by helping to alleviate the reality of how down that bottom is.  There will always be those who have broken families, or who have chemical imballances that make it a constant uphill struggle to cope, or who have period of spiritual crisis and growth needing extra care.  

        despair is the worst sin

        by jakarta on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 06:18:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The fact that you asked the question (0+ / 0-)

    answers the question.  Would the answer be any different if, in pleading my case for assistance, I offered to give the donor something in return?  That would be different from an outright soliciation for aide; it would be a sale.  Do you want to ban the use of your site to promote the commercial ventures of "the community"?

    Thought so.

  •  How many of YOU would ask for money? (9+ / 0-)

    I certainly hope we can self-regulate. The rules already seem sufficiently clear to me. This is a political blog.

    While I also think of this as a community, it doesn't strike me as a source for personal fundraising.

    I recall exceptions, made by Kos himself, when various individuals ran into challenges (car accident and the like, I think). That's different to me: the individuals are known entities, many providing support that keep this site running.

    It would never occur to me to solicit personal funds from my fellow Kossacks. I might tell a personal story that would beget sympathy and written support. But money? Never!

    How many of you would ask for money?

    "You can count on Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else." -- Winston Churchill

    by bleeding heart on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:04:40 AM PST

    •  I would not. (0+ / 0-)

      I am not in favor of banning such diaries, though.  You can take the girl out of the libertarian, but... well, you get my gist.

      No, I won't sit down and shut up. Thanks for asking.

      by Mehitabel9 on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 12:02:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hell, no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Look, if this is real, I'm sorry for the guy.

      But there are no medical emergencies here. No bail money to be raised. I'd wager that there are a good number of posters on this board in more dire straits than this fellow. He and his wife are both able to work.

      I've been out of work (and insurance) since Katrina. Not as dramatic a tale as being fired for supporting Cindy Sheehan, but what can ya do.

      Didn't take the FEMA, didn't get 26 weeks of unemployment. I haven't found my ideal job, but I've been doing part-time work to keep the savings account from going down too quickly. A friend of mine who was a TV producer in New Orleans found herself working graveyard at a convenience store.

      It's humiliating for all of us. I hate worrying about basic finances. And yet...and yet...

      And I would never beg for money from strangers in a public forum, using my children as sympathy-getters. That's the answer to your question.

      As far as the question in the diary title: It's not up to me or anyone else whether this sort of diary should be banned; it's Kos' decision. He can, and should, do what he wants.

  •  I just gave to the Kissell recount fund (0+ / 0-)

    through Act Blue, uncritically.  Is that what this is about?

    It's hard for me to read broadly here, so I really don't know what this is about.  Can someone add a couple of specifics?

  •  No (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A fool and their money are soon parted...

    Anyone can do their own research on the subject and decide for themselves whether it is worthy enough to give money to someone over the internet.

    Of course there are going to be people who come on here to bilk people out of cash...everyone should have a grown up approach about handling their own money.

    I would, however, draw the line at persistent appeals for money...flooding the forum with diary after diary asking for cash should be a read flag...and it is hard enough to read diaries around here without someone drowning the site with appeals for cash...

    Besides, we have to make room for the 37 Breaking news diaries for those who don't take the time to do a damn search...

  •  No, but I do think (0+ / 0-)

    all solicitations that have not been pre-approved should be required to have a disclaimer at the end of the entry notifying the reader you have not enorsed their claim.  The disclaimer should also warn the reader to do due dilegence to verify the information...sorta like warnings on a cigerate pack.  An update should also be made in the rules plainly stating that any diary that essentially is a solicitation will be deleted if the disclaimer is not included.  Everyone should be given a two week notice with reminders given once every three days

    Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge

    by Cat4everrr on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:05:07 AM PST

    •  besides (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      we have enough people policing the threads...honestly the policing gets annoying but i understand their heart is in the right place.  sometimes i want to ask them if they have a life..nothing better to do but call people out? sheesh...of course i never ask but the thought does run threw my mind

      Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge

      by Cat4everrr on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:19:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't ban it...YET (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, HK, ladybug53

    Watch it closely.  If it stays in control, leave it be.  Step in if it gets to be a problem.

    Also, I encourage fellow Kossaks to be more civil with eachother when discussing these issues (referring to the discussion in the other diary, not this one.)

  •  NO..the best thing about this sight (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, HK, ladybug53, Guglielmo, Little

    is that it is completely open and honest, and if people are stupid enough to give money to non established writers or at least people who they can see are progressives through their diaries and comments then that is their own fault

    You see things that are and ask, "Why?" I dream things that never were and ask, "Why not?"

    by New Frontier on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:05:18 AM PST

  •  No (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


  •  Absolutely YES - Ban them, please (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is no way to verify whether these people are telling the truth.  I hate to see kind-hearted DKOS'ers giving away their hard-earned money to these people, especially when many seem ill-able to afford it.  

  •  Sure would HELP (0+ / 0-)
    if I had the vaguest CLUE as to what diary kos is talking about.

    If a student of mine if they wrote something so vague, I'd give them an F.

    Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

    by chemsmith on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:05:44 AM PST

  •  Community Support (0+ / 0-)

    So we would like to be able to lend support as a community but many do not like direct solicitations. do we create a mechanism to do this? A community foundation of some sort? Would have to be administered somehow.

  •  yes, unless some of the well-known diarists (0+ / 0-)
    recommend or vouch for.  Individuals here do not need protecting, but the kos name and community needs to think of reputation.  Don't want to get a reputation for being an easy touch.  This community's rep is excellent right now, but let it become known for rip-off, that is the slippery slope.

    I vote yes, unless vouched for.

  •  It makes me a little sad... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, cwaltz, Mary Mike

    On the one hand, I am certainly all for banning those who conduct themselves in a fraudlent way..

    However, if even a single individual's cry for help is legitimate, I would say let them be heard.  Before giving money conduct a little research and due dilligence.  If you are not interested in helping someone out, skip the diary.

    IMHO, this is similar to activities underway in major cities to "get the homeless off the streets" - IE: Get rid of them so we don't have to see them.

    I'm sure I've been scammed before, so what?  The amount scammed didn't impact me.  I'm also certain that I have helped out those who geniuniely need help.  I'd rather help that one person and be scammed by 5 others than help no one at all.

    Just my thoughts...


  •  My requests for help save my son (7+ / 0-)

    a extra year in prison that he did not have coming. For mor on that you can read my comment from yesterday. would hate to see our community ban request for help. If we need to ban personal request for money, I can understand that, but is that going to include contributions to those wanting to look into running for office.
    The help I got here, I doubt I could of gotten anywhere else, and would hate to see others forbidden from access to that kind of help.

    As always, this is Kos's site, and he can do whatever he feels is best. Just my 2 cents.

    -8.63 -7.28 He was carrying a skateboard on his back, a red rose in his fist, and the war.

    by OneCrankyDom on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:07:04 AM PST

  •  No. (8+ / 0-)

    Among my many reasons:

    • What counts as "personal" is not clearly defined.  (Think about small NGOs, charities, local community work, asking for money for somebody else, being asked to donate to a political campaign, or a political "cause", etc.)  The line is very blurry.  
    • Outright banning, in general, is bad.  Better put in structures and processes (such as the current rating and recommendation/promotion system) to act as collective/community (normative) filters.  If there's a problem with the current ones, we can brainstorm about how to improve them (although personally I don't see a problem).
    • "Survival of the Fittest."  If the community generally ignores such requests, they will die away or, at worst, scroll away quickly.  If the community heeds them and responds, they will continue.  In either case, the values of the majority of the community are reflected by what percolates to the top (assuming the system is designed correctly:  see the previous point).  In every community, there will be minorities and there will be people who don't agree with or get annoyed by the views/values of the majority.  This is part of life... and healthy.
    • Not everyone takes the point of view that being scammed is the worst thing that can happen.  I'd personally rather risk being scammed than be censored.
    • People need to learn to be critical thinkers one way or another.

    (I assume many of these points have been made by others.  Sorry I didn't have time to read through other comments today.)

    Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself. --Jane Addams

    by shock on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:07:06 AM PST

  •  I vote no. (19+ / 0-)

    This year this great community, in response to a diary I wrote, helped raise over $5,000 in small donations to help pay for internet access for the 172nd Mountain regiment.  They were very grateful that we did that, and I'd hate to shut down similar fundraising activities in the future.

    But, for god's sake, people should be skeptical of any kind of request for money.  And those who articulate their skepticism should be both respected and responded to by the diary's author.  An appeal for money should be transparent and button-down.

    Rule #1: Donor beware.
    Rule #2: See rule #1.

    But no, I don't think it should be banned.


    Yes, yes, I'm in Down East magazine this month. Film at 11.

    by Bill in Portland Maine on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:07:15 AM PST

  •  thanks for bringing the debate to the community (3+ / 0-)

    i had similar concerns as you noted above: the person was not a well known member of the community and the skeptics were bashed rather mercilessly.  add to that the question of the site owner's potential liability in not policing for potential fraud and it can look pretty ugly.  donations to someone unscrupulous could potentially lead to identity theft.

    the requests from pastordan and on behalf of ct were quite different than the current request in that both are well known people here; we know them, we know their character.

    that having been said, i'm against a ban.  the community has always self policed and the issue doesn't come up all that often.  when it does, with serious caveats, the members should be able to decide what they wish to do.

    with the above in mind, it would be, i think, a good idea for there to be caveats about private donation solicitations in the FAQs, especially noting that unless they come from a front pager, the site accepts no responsibility for the choices members make and that skepticism should be both encouraged and polite.

    George Allen: racist bully; you know what to do

    by jmonch on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:07:38 AM PST

  •  How about a Poll, Kos? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  I'm neutral (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    even though I'm one of those who gave him yesterday.

    I had my suspicion too, not that I just had a giving itch to scratch or trying to get a mojo.  My suspicious were that the sob story seemed just too picture-perfect to be true:

    • getting fired for posting Cindy Sheehan's writing  on the bulletin board.
    • fighting for the Dem causes at work.
    • being a vet. with a long list of URL references.
    • "my wife is sobbing when seeing the dKos community generosity".


    and then:

    • having another "internet handle person" (as a sockpuppet ?) to verify his story.
    • just establishing the premium Paypal account a few days ago (for the purpose of soliciting donations ?)

    But I still gave him some money anyway.  The reasons were:

    • all he ended up with was a few hundred bucks.  That won't get anybody rich (BTW, for this reason, this cannot be compared to charities which misuse the donations).
    • bad money will bring bad karma.  Dishonest money will find ways to destroy the person trying to help himself with it.  Having his head messed up is much more damaging than the what that little money brings him.
    • I don't care a damn about the amount of money I gave away since it's spare change to me.  [But some people seemed to give away money they could not afford to give :(].

    But, I see the points from both sides and I have no opinions about the ban one way or another.  I am somewhat inclined to leave dKos as a caring community rather than just a political site but my name is not kos :).  Just my 2c.

    BTW, if there's a way to do some background check then it would be best but I don't see how it can be done.  You can take that idea as "just another Iraq victory promise" (i.e. no plan).

  •  Ask a lawyer (3+ / 0-)

    Seriously.  I know this comment is buried down at the end, but hopefully it will get some attention.  Kos, I'm inclined to say you shouldn't ban.  If people have to learn the hard way not to be cautious, then so be it.  Having said that if there is a hint of legal jeopardy to you and your LLC by not banning, then please do.  You have your own interests to consider as well as the community's.

    Yeah, I'm trying out this blogging thing, too.

    by MLDB on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:08:45 AM PST

  •  Ban it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, Catte Nappe

    (1) If these please are both accepted AND successful, this won't be a progressive political site anymore.  It will be a place where people come for handouts.

    (2) As terrible as any particular situation is, DKos members are in general better off giving to organizations in their own community that not only provide emergency relief (food, shelter, clothing, etc.), but also provide the kind of support services that get people back on their feet.  $2500 is great for one family, but it might help 10 families if it were given to a community organization.

    (3) The verification problems alone make this problematic.  

  •  I gave once to a Pastor Dan-endorsed (10+ / 0-)

    project, and I received repeated pleas over the course of a year for more money from this Kossack.  I was astonished at the chutzpa.  It was the last time I donate money directly to a Kossack.  (If there is a reputable third party agent, I would consider that route depending on the circumstances of the need.)

  •  Ban My Fucking Panhandling, Kos! (9+ / 0-)