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What makes Daily Kos so successful?

The Front Page writers are top notch, that is for sure. They inform us and motivated us. But other sites do that too. No, I think there is something else.

If you are like me, you came here because you want to leave this world a better place then you entered, and you found a kindred spirit here. You are a reality based progressive who is willing to work to change the political landscape for the better. But, if you are like me, you stayed here for the community.

Where does that community come from? A big part of it is because Markos Moulitsas has given us a forum to write. And we do. We write about politics and justice. We write about our victories and personal tragedies, our struggles. We write diaries about cats, cooking, science, home repair, travel and love.

We write.

I really can't think of any other site on the Internets that promotes writing more than here. That is why it surprised me that I never thought to look at other Kossack's profile to see what books they have published. We have published books– more so than I thought.

I recently read two Kossack's books, and I offer my humble reviews below the fold.

Before I get to my reviews, I ask that you let me know about any books that you have published. I can't promise that I will read them all, but I hope to continue my reviews of fellow Kossack's books in future diaries, and let's face it, this is a great opportunity for self promotion. :)

Mysoreback gotten me started on my quest to read Kossack written books with a diary about spam.

Well once the money is in, can girls and fast cars be far behind? The most gorgeous and hottest girls on the planet now want to date me. I wonder why? Maybe they came to know of the lottery jackpot? News travels fast I suppose. Of course at my age, I may need a certain blue pill and guess what, these are just for the asking from all the online and net pharmacies who only seem to stock my kinda pills.
I thought it funny, so I checked out his profile - and found out he has a book on Amazon, I Married My Cousin. (Along with being an engineer, he is a 'self certified mover and packer' by the way.)

Rangaswammy's book might best be described as a manual for a balanced life. Although largely written for an Indian audience, the themes of family, friends, adventure and meaning are universal. Whether you are guiding your high school child through the maze of collage enter, considering the cost of pursuing your dream, planning a trip to India, or considering the ultimate Indian Cricket team, there is something for you here. The book is at times sentimental, and often technical in details, but it is always peppered with humor, a keen political insight and spirituality.

His chapter on the Indian American Vote is excellent. 82% of Indian Americans approve of Obama. For me it made the argument that we need to take the mantel of the family values party. Education, healthcare, nutrition are all key values of Indian American families, values that all American families share. We are the party of family values. He explores why politicians like Jindal and Nikki Haley choose to run as Republicans, and part of his assessment is that it was purely political expedience. They are highly driven people who wanted to get elected, and the Republican party gave them the best path.

What comes through in his words is the thoughtful approach of a person now late into the Grihastha (householder) stage and approaching the Vanaprastha (forest dweller) stage of life. What gives life meaning? The author's 25 things to do before you die may not match your list exactly, but it will make you consider your list in a more profound way than perhaps you ever have before.

___

The second book I review is by JML9999, who as always struck me as one of the more 'real' members of the 'reality based community', and he was the only one to recommend a comment I made. Who is this lone person, I thought? I checked out his profile, and surprise surprise, he has written two books.

One of which is Riding the Bull Into the Ground.

JML9999's book Riding the Bull Into the Ground short book is an inside look into Merrill Lynch. Written from the perspective of the IT department, it is a unique but all to familiar look at corporate America. He describes a world where the PTB (Powers That Be) initiate new project on little more than the latest fad in trade magazines, spend millions of dollars, and than abandoned them when something new and shinier comes along. But, he does tell us in the pages of his book that the rank-and-file employees of the company are skilled hard workers. Unfortunately, these workers are often rewarded for their hard work, on doomed projects with unrealistic dead lines, by getting fired.  

I loved his description of HAMs (High and Might). Every new HAM brought with them an Administrative Assistant, Professional Scapegoat, and Somebody to do his or her dirty work. The Administrative Assistant we all know as the person who actually does all the work, the Professional Scapegoat is the person that gets fired when the HAM's project implodes, but the last one is the most interesting for me. The 'somebody to do the dirty work' is what he nick-named Renfields, the minion of Dracula. The HAM must be admired and liked, so they need a person to do their dirty work. When you get fired, after working tons of hours of overtime and abandon vacations, because the PTB decided the project was a wrong turn, it is the Rensfield who calls you into their office for the exit interview, not the HAM.

Along the way you will learn about other denizen of the corporate world, like 'somebody of some importance' and the 'old war horse.'

 If you have ever worked in cooperate America, like I have, or are just curious about what it is like, this is a good read. If you are a PTB or HAM, this is a must read. Listen to your employees when they tell you that you are making a big mistake by putting all your back-up severs in one building. I had no idea that Merrill Lynch's top internal lawyer risked his life going into the World Financial Center North Tower, with National Guard escort, right after the 9/11 to retrieve tapes – because they were the only back-up tapes that existed.

That is all for now. Send me an email about your book – and keep writing!

Originally posted to se portland on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter, Readers and Book Lovers, and DKOMA.

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