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The Rescue Rangers, now stocking and serving up quality diaries in Community Spotlight each day, have created the site's Rescue Zone for overlooked writers. (Photo by Land of Enchantment)
Well, okay. I lied. Like everyone else on the site, I'm indebted to Markos for the vision, tenacity and sheer contrary cussedness that went into creating the site and sustaining the community.

But let's face it: We hear enough about him. He'll be the first to tell you he's gotten plenty of attention over the years. Today I want to honor some of the unsung heroes of the site, the absolutely fabulous Rescue Rangers who stock Community Spotlight with an endless stream of quality diaries saved from oblivion.

To me, this labor of love they undertake every day on behalf of the community—checking out every diary posted, bringing attention to under-appreciated posts and writers—is the model of what our community is all about. It's not about them. It's not about one writer. It's not even about a bunch of prominent writers. It's about us, all of us, as a community, and the passion, commitment and knowledge we bring to our politics and to Daily Kos.

So this year, as we undertake our inaugural War on Christmas fundraising drive, I'm kicking in an $81 donation—one for every Rescue Ranger, past and present, who toils anonymously behind the scenes. Markos explained earlier today about the shifting economics in media that makes such drives necessary to keep the lights on and the juice flowing here. But really, there's no point to such an endeavor without the awesome members of the community. It really is all about ... all of us.

The history of the formation of Rescue Rangers is a beautiful one—unplanned, chaotic and ultimately self-organizing. One of the first Rangers, Unitary Moonbat, wrote a history of the Rescue Rangers in 2007 of how the group initially came about, and it's well worth a read. In hindsight, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse's dream for the future of the project quoted in that post turned out to be almost entirely fulfilled:

One way to increase footprints would be if markos posted a list of rescued diaries in a box on the front page located in between the diary rec list and recent diaries list. Such prominence may ensure that more people would read the rescued diaries, and then more comments may be posted in the rescued diaries, and then more people would become familiar with the diarist of the rescued diaries, and our goals would be achieved!
Who knew she'd aimed too low and that the feature would end up with top billing on the right-hand side?

If anyone else wants to honor the Rangers, or any other special Kossacks that warm the cockles of your heart during this fundraising drive and giving season, feel free ... with a donation or subscription if you're so inclined, or with a shout-out diary that simply reminds the community of beloved individual members who make this place the dynamo that it is.

And please, follow me beneath the fold to see the honor roll of incredible Rescue Rangers, past and present. Note that three of the founding members of the group are still active today—Bent Liberal, pico and Unitary Moonbat. To them, special recognition, thanks and honors, for all they've done over the years.

Current Rescue Rangers

a gilas girl
Got a Grip
jlms qkw
Louisiana 1976
Purple Priestess
Regina in a Sears Kit House
Thinking Fella
Unitary Moonbat

Rangers Emeritae

Alfonso Nevarez
a synthetic cubist
Blank frank
Cordelia Lear
Dump Terry McAuliffe
Kronos Blue
Land of Enchantment
mem from somerville
nyc in exile
Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse
Rippen Kitten
sunspark says
tlh lib
twilight falling
Wes Opinion

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