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I am still shocked by Meteor Blades' departure from Dailykos. He will be greatly missed, and he was a very powerful voice for progressives. Before I met Meteor Blades at Netroots Nation in 2009, he was a very mythical figure to me. Getting a recommendation from Meteor Blades meant a great deal, as did a tip from him. His words carried a lot of weight around here, and they still do.

When I met Meteor Blades, he was kind of like what I'd pictured him to be. That person sitting with the front-pagers at Netroots Nation was soft-spoken with a black patch over his eye, and in an Hawaiian shirt. His hair was cut in a buzzcut style, and there he was. I felt nervous going up to him. I shook his hand, and introduced myself. He smiled. I didn't get much of a chance to talk to him until Netroots Nation was over, and we were both at the airport dealing with the insane layovers. I told him where I was going, and he commiserated with me over the holdup in the flights. He wished me a safe flight home.

Ever since then, I've always smiled every time I see Meteor Blades post his diaries and in the comments, seeing that person in the airport lounge wishing me a safe trip home.

Thank you, Meteor Blades, for being who you are. Thank you for being a fair moderator, even though I was angry with you at times. You called it like it was, and you got so much abuse for it.

Thank you, Meteor Blades, for all the diaries you've written about labor issues. You spoke up for the unemployed, the 99ers, and those who recently lost their jobs. You spoke up for environmental advocates, and always kept a spotlight on these issues in your open thread every night.

Thank you, Meteor Blades, for standing up for Democratic principles in the platform of the Democratic Party platform.

Thank you, Meteor Blades, for being an unabashed progressive, even though you were hit for your progressive views from time to time.

Thank you, Meteor Blades, for being a steadying presence on this website, and for being the heart and the soul of this community.

Without you, Meteor Blades, we are all worse off as a community now that the heart and soul is gone. There will never be another frontpager like you. You are irreplaceable.

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