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i've thought long and hard about whether or not to write this diary.  it is personal to me.  very personal.

some on this site object strenuously when kossacks who are facing real trouble have fundraisers done to help them.  i've contributed to those in need and have been in need, myself, so i have a rather unique perspective to offer.

first, let me state up front that i do not understand those who want to prohibit others from extending a helping hand to those in need.  i really don't understand what it "costs" someone who disapproves (and, yes, it is a judgement being made) of those who offer to help.

this diary is an attempt to understand why coming to the aid of another person is so upsetting to some on the site - upsetting to the point that those who object would rather see someone suffer rather than have another lend a helping hand.

i'm open to learning why those feelings exist - and i'm here to state that the community of users here who come to the aid of those in need are one of the reasons i'm here - whether it is a political candidate, someone who needs words of encouragement and support during illness, loss, pain - or financially.

if you will, please hear me out across the orange divide.

i've been here a long time - since nov. of 2004.  i've seen many people come and stay and some come and go - not necessarily by their own choosing.

for the most part, i find this to be an amazing community that never ceases to astound me - even during our differences.

but the issue of community fundraisers truly puzzles me.

no one is asked to "give" or to "donate" by demand.  the diaries are posted clearly to aid another kossack.  no one says that any person has to read those diaries.  indeed, they are there for those who want to help to have a means to do so.

some help with words of encouragement - saying that things WILL get better, that they are there emotionally for the one in trouble, and some -  they CHOOSE to offer financial aid.

no one forces any member to do that.

i read the arguments that this site is just for politics - but that hasn't been so for many years - we are a community that meets both online and in real space.  we get to know one another and know when someone is facing a difficult time.  

i've donated time and funds when i had them to ease the trouble someone faced and in january of 2012, when i was possibly at the lowest point of my life, ths community was there to help me.  

this was when my unemployment was about to expire - leaving me with an income of less than $1000 a month to live on.  it shouldn't have been a problem.  my mom had died a year earlier with just my sister and i as the two who inherited everything - a fully paid for home (with a buyer already inquiring if we were planning to sell - the answer was yes), a home filled with 50 years of antiques, mahogany furniture, china, sterling flatware, decades of antique collecting - all to be left between the two of us.  mom also owned half a beach property worth between $200k-$300k, but my sister wrote a will giving that entirely to herself.  

still, my mom refused to sign that will, stating my sister wanted "everything" - i had no idea how true those words would turn out to be.

you see, in january, 2012, when people came to offer me help in staying in my little rental cottage with my mr. tee, i had no way of knowing that my sister had submitted an invalid will, closed probate months earlier - all the while lying to me about what was happening with mom's estate.  i trusted her.  she was my only sister - my BIG sister.

i was a fool.

at that time i was getting increasingly depressed and desperate, i kept begging her to send me the inventory of what was in the house so we could decide what we each wanted - and clear the house to sell it.  while i was home the previous feb/march, i had loaned her every last penny i had, she promised to immediately pay it back when she got her pension check.  she had wailed she couldn't pay her mortgage - yes, she owns her own home.  her second mortgage was so she could take european trips to compete in ballroom dancing - she is very good at it.

i loaned her the money for a new printer, bought her a new laptop, bought her a number of electronics because she "couldn't afford her phone bill!" and i paid for every meal we ate in all restaurants the entire time we were there.  i returned home with nothing.  absolutely  not a penny, but the house and furniture were to be sold, the silver, the antiques - so, i wasn't worried.  that is, i wasn't worried until i couldn't get a straight answer out of her about what was happening.  oh, and my sister makes over $65k a year in pension and social security BEFORE working her part time job.  yet, she took every last penny i had and knew that was all i had at the time.  

in january, i was beginning to realize that i was in real trouble.  by march, i had a troubling conversation with her about the estate when i asked if she had inventoried our home yet and she snarled that she didn't have to give me anything!  uh oh.

i called the state and asked where the estate probate was standing and, to my horror, i was told it had been "closed" in sept of 2011 - almost 9 months earlier.

now, add the overwhelming feeling of betrayal to the loss of my mom.  now i'd lost my sister, too.

i asked for copies of the estate probate to be mailed to me and then, tee died.  she called and i asked her again about the estate - i told her i wanted mom's relax the back chair (my sister has one just like it) and her mixer - mom baked and so do i - i wanted things that had her "touch" to them.  she literally snarled and said "that's not going to happen!" when i asked again for an inventory (as required by law), she replied "i don't owe you anything!"

when i got the paperwork, i learned that she had listed my mom's worth as $500 personal property and the estate value under $20,000 so she wouldn't have to provide a list or "pay any taxes".  

this is just the tip of the iceberg of illegal activities ongoing regarding the estate.  and, to my utter amazement, i was told that since probate was closed, they wouldn't do anything - i needed to get an attorney and fight her in court.

on $967 a month.

fortunately, there IS a divining hand for injustice and i HAVE a good lawyer who is preparing the caveat and readying it for filing imminently.

so, back to the issue of fundraisers...

when all this happened, i was unaware of what a really ugly year was about to transpire.  i knew that i was having financial issues due to unemployment running out but the estate should have been settled before that (actually, it was).  the generosity of kossacks kept a roof over my head at this was unfolding.  i still had no idea what lay ahead.  none of us do.

my point for making this personal is to put a face on how quickly our settled lives can be uprooted in disaster.

in april, when mr tee died, for the first time since mom died, i cried.  i cried for over a month -  for tee, for mom, for the loss of my only sibling.  loss? you say? over money?

not exactly.  you see, when i went home for the funeral, i tried to build a relationship with her (as i've done for 67 years) only to have her turn on me at every attempt.  at one point, i told her i'd spent my entire life wondering what i'd done to make her hate me so - she laughed and said, "oh, it wasn't just you, i hated EVERYBODY!"

then when i told her my first memory of her was of her pinching me in my playpen, she laughed again and said, "oh, i used to hold your nose closed in the crib, but, back then, i didn't know you had to cover the mouth, too!"

and she laughed.  at 72, she still laughed.

i didn't.

okay - dysfunctional family - yes.  i know that intellectually... but, it is soul crushing to be face to face with the reality of it a few weeks after your parent dies - and the only other living close relative just states flatly how she tried to kill you as an infant while regretting her lack of complete knowledge back then.

now - back to NOW... and fundraising.

why am i telling this now?  because i've alluded to a deeper story now for two years and it's time to put a face on need and how it comes unexpectedly and how it blindsides the person it affects.

i was so depressed at the time of the diary, i truly felt no one on this site knew i really existed or cared about my posts.  i felt like an anonymous user who no one would notice was gone if i left.  i felt worthless and unloved and desperate.  i expected nothing but perhaps a bit of disbelief or accusatory comments about how i couldn't manage my income and was irresponsible and more (not unlike the last cruel comment recently that perhaps i should buy a bearclaw for the horse i couldn't afford to keep).

i have an aged horse - one who will problably only be here another few years - if i'm lucky, five.  he is 26 and has a myriad of issues that have presented themselves in the last year.  actually, i'm damned lucky to STILL have him as he foundered in october of last year - and most horses with as severe a founder as he had DON'T make it out alive.  and so some might snarl and ask how i could afford to keep him? to pay for his medical bills?  

it is because my wonderful vet has not billed me for one cent yet - he knows that the house is there and will eventually be sold.  my farrier carries a balance for me and every third or forth shoeing, i pay him what i can.  my barn has carried a balance for me since mom's death and has been taking partial payments when i can make them - and from october when sani developed laminitis to dec when i had my surgery to just recently when i was first able to use my hands again to make jewelry, they have taken partial payments.

i also have to buy sani's low carb hay and feed separately as well as his meds that he takes daily.  the hay i can do - the meds, between my vet not yet billing me (since last year) and a friend who swaps  wine for the meds (my friend who imports trades wines for doggie sitting and training - and because she and her husband are awesome people) for the wonderful hungarian wines i use to pay for the meds), i'm keeping my nose and sani's just above the waterline.

in 2012 i lost tee.  both of these beautiful creatures are my emotional support - they are my anchors... with tee gone and sani so ill, life would be unbearable - life would be unbearable if i didn't see an end to the financial ruin my sister has put upon me - without my wonderful lawyer who, like i do, still believes in our colleges "honor codes", i would be in serious jeopardy.

yes, i've met wonderful people from this site - remembrance, glen the plumber and TLO, AoT and more - people who awesome - the ones at nn13 that i've longed to meet - kitsap river and charles curtis stanley, kestrel, citisven, side pocket, edgery (the OTHER edrie) and smileycreek, perigrine kate, navajo, mb, horace, sara and her sis and so many many more special special people (apologies to those whose names i've omitted).  so many i've yet to meet, ekaterin, avilyn, avila, aji, wings, luvsathorogred, lujane, silentpawz, zwoof, possum, nurse kelley, commonmass, timeaus, and so so many more.

i've met so many online who have offered love and support and caring that i have come to realize i'm not alone and i'm not unloveable.  this site has done that for me.  this site is FAMILY - the kind i've always dreamed of having.

i have treasured friends IRL who are there for support but i can't and won't ask them to pay the bills i can't because of my sister's doing.  instead, i make jewelry.  i fill it with love.  i create beauty.  i get snide comments for having my etsy shop in my sig line (after people asked me to put it there).

i don't understand.

why do some feel "harmed" when someone is in trouble?  why do some object so strenuously to something that has nothing to do with them.   they are under no obligation to help or offer support or caring.  why do some object to the quilts - those beautiful messages of love that wrap the recipient in warmth and caring.  is it the "there but for the grace of god..." syndrome?  who is harmed by caring for another?

NO one is asked to do anything that they don't WISH to do. NO person is "harmed" when another person helps someone.

yes, there are a few who scam - but, my own view is that i give willingly and if that gift is for someone who is misrepresenting their situation, it is STILL my choice to err on the side of helping.  i don't need anyone to protect me from my own choice to give when i have the funds.  i also don't like being judged for something that is beyond my control - as the current financial situation that has occurred since mom died and my unemployment ended.  also, MY current situation was exacerbated by a failed hand surgery that made my left hand inoperable until recently (negligent physical therapist, not the doctor).

i had it all worked out about getting my store restocked and paying my own way until the estate was settled.  instead of being independent (as i have for the majority of my life), i found i was unable to supplement my income despite having major surgery to ensure i could still use my arthritic hands.

this condemnation of "fundraisers" casts dispersion on those who are in trouble, desperate, in need and in a period of extreme darkness and depression.  it makes others who are desperate NOT ask for help when there are those who are willing to do so - and are financially capable to do so.  anyone who is hurting hurts more when their situation is dismissed or challenged as not being real.  the pain is real.  it is palpable.  the chest tightens and breathing is difficult and the head hurts - and the depression gets deeper and darker.

why?  WHAT do the detractors lose by these fundraisers?  i know one answer - they lose the spirit that brings a community together INTO a community - they lose the compassion and empathy that makes us grow as individuals and as a group.  why?  so it breaks the comfortable world of fantasy that everyone is okay or can "make it on their own" or is "scamming" instead of hurting real pain - don't read the diaries. don't go there. don't post. change the friggin' channel!

what do they gain?  as far as i can see, absolutely nothing but a place where they don't have to confront and acknowledge the ugly reality that more and more americans face - the one of poverty, grief, loss and pain.

the food stamps issue the other day is classic.  why would ANY person judge what another person eats - it is the classic argument about welfare that people should only have just barely enough to subsist, otherwise they are "stealing" (somehow) from the person watching.

the actual theft is done by the individual who steals a part of the other person's dignity - one critical comment at a time.

the bottom line to this diary is that i am asking markos NOT to prohibit those of us who either want to or need help provided the community wants to help.  i know this isn't a place to do monthly commerce, but it IS a place where we come together to help each of us survive this economic disaster many of us are facing.  those of us who are in it cannot begin to describe to those who've not experienced it - the humiliation that comes with having to ask for help.  that shouldn't be so.  we are taught that only the incompetent fail.  that isn't true. illness happens.  death happens. accidents happen. fraud happens. these things aren't planned - they HAPPEN.  and when they do, it is devastating to the one experiencing it.

to then be chastised, judged, criticized, labeled only adds to that pain.  it is sadistic.

i know.  i've been there recently here - in a totally different conversation.  "why don't you buy a bearclaw for the horse you can't afford!"  

i asked that poster if he thought i should just sell that "horse i can't afford" to the slaughterhouse and use the money to buy food.  he didn't answer me.  

when i made a commitment to "that horse", it was 24 years ago.  when the estate is settled, i can fulfill that commitment i made.  if i had to put sani down because of finances, i would go with him for breaking that promise through nothing i have done to cause it.  killing him because i face a temporary problem is immoral.  what has happened in our society that people make such harsh comments?

that is the depth of depression and sorrow and anger and hurt i live with daily.  that is why i live with an 88 yr old lady instead of being independent. (at least, i can be helpful to her until i can find my soul and independence again).  but the loss of my freedom to go and come as i please, the loss of my own dignity - that is why i hate my life.  that is why i am hanging on by my fingernails until there is a resolution to the legal issues at hand.  that is why i needed help - help i did not ask for - a friend did - and for that i'm grateful - it got me a little more time to make more stuff to sell (you see, i WANT to earn my own way - for my own self respect).

but, without this community's help - twice now, i'm not sure if anyone would have noticed i wasn't around any more.

please, markos, don't stop the fundraisers, for when people are in need, when KOSSACKS are in need - this might be the only place they can turn for help. not a single person on this site can predict the future nor do they know when THEY might face that catestrophic incident that puts them in so many of our shoes.  i believe this will get better.  it has to.  it can't get much worse for some of us.  

together, we stand, divided we fail - not fall - but fail.  

and, thank you, markos, for the kos katalogue - which lets us have our dignity as we fight to survive.

please forgive any typos and inconsistencies - i'm not sticking around - this is far more personal than i can take right now. i'll check back in later this morning.

oh, and in case someone thinks this is a ploy to "sell stuff" - i've not added anything to the etsy site since remembrance's diary - have two more orders to get out.  eventually i'll add - hopefully before sani and i get kicked off the farm - but that isn't why i wrote this.  while this diary is "about me" - it really isn't at all - it is about ALL who find themselves behind that proverbial 8 ball.

four in the corner pocket, if you please!

Originally posted to edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Fundraisers and Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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  •  Tip Jar (188+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dennis1958, cfk, Mortifyd, rl en france, JaxDem, tonyahky, fallina7, mint julep, reginahny, Joy of Fishes, worldlotus, Just Bob, HappyinNM, hannah, KibbutzAmiad, aitchdee, SadieSue, DavidW, Denise Oliver Velez, koosah, earicicle, marykk, luckylizard, DRo, Alexandra Lynch, scamperdo, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, palantir, i saw an old tree today, aravir, ovals49, SoonerG, kurt, marleycat, Diogenes2008, FlyingToaster, JoanMar, freerad, oortdust, broths, lineatus, murphy, BoiseBlue, Blu Gal in DE, 2thanks, Susipsych, Habitat Vic, ladybug53, GeorgeXVIII, Onomastic, Dvalkure, tapestry, Knockbally, denig, peregrine kate, PinHole, pixxer, Matt Z, RLMiller, blue91, FindingMyVoice, CroneWit, puzzled, dsb, jabney, LinSea, Debby, weck, nuthangerfarm, gypsytoo, Tool, remembrance, BadKitties, Cronesense, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, kimoconnor, Kysen, Fineena, zerelda, lavaughn, kml, Pandora, MKinTN, Involuntary Exile, allensl, OllieGarkey, Radiowalla, 1864 House, emmasnacker, Lorinda Pike, Amber6541, Yo Bubba, swampyankee, Wee Mama, Avilyn, Debs2, Charles CurtisStanley, anodnhajo, Ed in Montana, wordfiddler, Vetwife, Lorikeet, Ekaterin, weatherdude, raptavio, annrose, Lying eyes, texasmom, TrueBlueMajority, side pocket, grover, radarlady, mayrose, sillia, IamGumby, high uintas, Mnemosyne, anana, DMiller, OldSoldier99, KelleyRN2, cotterperson, Drobin, ksp, greengemini, Oye Sancho, mollyd, jan4insight, voracious, citisven, LaughingPlanet, petulans, Pam from Calif, marathon, blueoregon, lunachickie, mapamp, flowerfarmer, DefendOurConstitution, shortgirl, Steven D, Sara R, Puddytat, Laughing Vergil, DannyB, MRA NY, deeproots, alice kleeman, Timaeus, allergywoman, Lefty Coaster, TokenLiberal, ArchTeryx, Ebby, pvasileff, princesspat, Senor Unoball, Tommy T, Rox Girl, basket, emeraldmaiden, ninkasi23, yoduuuh do or do not, CA ridebalanced, blukat, newinfluence, rubyr, shari, Alice Venturi, sobermom, BlueInARedState, WilliamE, bluesheep, belinda ridgewood, ferment, blueyedace2, mettle fatigue, 42, susans, slowbutsure, JVolvo, Kitsap River, ER Doc, j b norton, Sand Hill Crane, Noor B, jlms qkw, Liberal Thinking

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:01:19 AM PDT

  •  Damn you edrie (72+ / 0-)

    I was sorta drifting away from this site because over the last year I've given well over $1,000 to people asking for help. The thing that bothered me was only two people out of all those people I helped ever responded that they even received the money, let alone thanked me. You've made me realize that it doesn't matter. I guess I'll hang around a bit more and keep giving what I can afford. Thanks for the diary.

    •  i have a confession to make - actually two of them (62+ / 0-)

      in january of last year, i have yet to thank everyone.  it is inexcusable, i know - but i will.

      the reason?  because i haven't been able to come out of the deep whole and depression i've been in this whole time.  

      another treasured kossack hasn't been able to personally thank people because i haven't sent him the list of those who reached out when his beloved died.  pulling the information has been difficult as paypal doesn't make it easy to format the many names and notes that gave to him and his family to get his family to the funeral.

      i've gotten the file half way there - but commonmass is not to blame for replying - it is my fault.  i've been buried under the massive issues caused by my hand surgery and the subsequent move i had to make when i lost that cottage.  actually, it is two moves.  being separated from everything that i own and trying to keep everything above water has been difficult.  taking the nn13 break was the best thing i could have done to try to re-organize my life.

      oh, and before anyone jumps on my going - i was working to pay my way.  no "free rides" there - for either me or AoT - we earned every minute we got to be there! (and loved doing it!)

      i'm so glad i got to meet you there - and neal - you two are among the special real life folks that have come into my world thanks to the great orange!

      and, thank you for extending your hand to help with sani, too.  because of you and the others who helped and bought jewelry, sani is safe for now - but i have to get back to work making more stuff before the month ends.  

      hopefully, the man struggling to buy my rv will be able to do it soon.  

      hugs from sani and me - and next time, yall have to come out and meet the boy!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:41:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't misunderstand (11+ / 0-)

        I don't expect any thanks. I give to people because they need help and I'm glad I'm in a position where I can. I just wish there was a better way to know they received it. Many times I don't hear any more about whether they're okay or still need help. It's frustrating. I didn't know that about Paypal. It makes sense now why no one responds. I also understand that it's hard for some people to ask for and except help and that is another reason.
             I might bitch now and then, but I won't stop helping. I had to laugh at myself the other day. There was a diary about this guys mother who was always giving money to right wing nuts. I'm sort of the same, but I give to numerous environmental and  humanitarian organizations instead. You should see my mail.

        It was great meeting you this June and I'll be sure to stop by one of these days when I'm up that way again. Oh and by the way. My original comment wasn't about you. You already let me know you got it and how it helped with Sani. The post was mostly middle of the night venting. I'll be glad to help again if you ever need it. Don't hesitate to ask.

        •  well, young man, you're getting some thanks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          anyway!  here's a gross of them!

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          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:26:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I used to worry about that -- (24+ / 0-)

      whether someone thanked me for giving something, I mean. Then I realized that the gift is in the giving, and the giver benefits every bit as much as the recipient.


      There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from Midtown and how late is it open? -- Woody Allen

      by Mnemosyne on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:46:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I come from a tradition (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edrie, ER Doc, Sand Hill Crane, Noor B

      where you get the most points from anonymous contributions. It is true that there are those who need to see their names in lights (The SUSANS Building!) but I like your attitude better.

      •  as a costume designer, i loved to slip anonymously (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Sand Hill Crane, Noor B

        into the back of the house on opening night to hear the reactions to my stuff.

        i'll never forget one ballet (eglevsky ballet, balled called 'combat') where the set designer and i just clicked and saw with the same eyes.

        when the curtain opened, 1000 people sucked in their breath then exhaled "AHHHHHhhhhhhhh" in UNISON!

        yep - i like being behind the scenes.  it is really fun then.

        oh, and i'm really liking a new reality tv show (i normally HATE them) - it is based on an old fictional one called "the millionaire" - this one is called "the SECRET millionaire" - where real life ones go into situations to become anonymous inhabitants and then, after spending some time with them, reveal their real identity and give them money to support their projects, their lives, their community.

        it is a wonderful show!  much like this community!

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:23:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Please let me take this opportunity (6+ / 0-)

      to thank everyone who responded with comments and/or funds and/or artwork (that's you, fatoldman) when Raven died and we were so far in the hole for her vet bills that we couldn't see out. Charles is working; I'm disabled and can't. We can generally cover anything like that, though it puts us into the hole for months afterward, but this was over $1600 in vet bills incurred during a 3-week period, at the end of which we lost our beloved dog, two days before Thanksgiving. I don't remember if I said "thank you" then. I did do so later but not individually, and should have.

      So to anyone who contributed in any way, thank you. You helped us more than words can express. The amount Aji set as a goal was several hundred dollars less than what it actually turned out we spent, and that's the way we want it. The amount raised put us back into a position where we could crawl out of the hole, and we did, and it would literally not have been possible without the help of the Kossacks who contributed or made sure Aji's diary got seen.

      If I have in any way slighted you by not sending an individual KosMail to you, you have my apology for that, and if you send or post your name, I will rectify that.

      •  {{{{{{{{{{{dearest kitsap!}}}}}}}}}}}} (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kitsap River, Sand Hill Crane

        and {{{{{{{{{{{{{{charles, too!}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

        i was so glad we got to meet at nn13 - i've been looking forward to that day for a long time!

        i think that most of us put up less than we need because we still want to be able to be involved in crawling out - it is so hard to be slammed with unexpected bills and know there is no buffer there.

        my vet is so wonderful - he has delayed billing me because i was in tears when sani was diagnosed - he said it would be a long expensive road - i told him without sani, i had no REASON to continue that road.  

        he looked at me and said "we've all been there..."

        and he's been taking care of my baby and has saved both our lives!

        now that i can work my left hand again, one of the first things i need to do is catch up with my barn, my vet and my farrier - they are the top priorities - for they gave me the means to treat sani.

        i am so sad about raven - as i am about tee - but we were so blessed to have them in our lives for their brief lives.  

        please give bitty a hug from me - and a big kiss, too!

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:55:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Helping others is a progressive value. (62+ / 0-)

    I don't know what we would have done without the Dkos community's help. Without it, I would not be able to have the surgery I need because I would not have  been able to pay for caregivers to come in and help take care of my autistic daughter. I was able to contract with an agency in my area to provide care for her from September 19--the date of my surgery, right up through the end of October. There are no government programs in this state that will provide assistance in our kind of situation--the community was literally a lifesaver to us.

    All I can say is this--my door (and if possible, wallet) will always be open to any Kossack who needs help.

  •  Well, you've answered your own question. (36+ / 0-)

    Some people are sadistic. Which political party they choose to associate with doesn't really matter. They associate with people so they can see them hurt.

    We tend to assume that Schadenfreude is somehow deserved by the person whose misfortune leads us to gloat because he's got his due. But, that's not what deprivators feel. Indeed, deprivators may not feel much of anything for long. They deprive because they like to see people in distress -- like boys tearing the wings off flies to see them squirm.

    I expect that your sister's life-long effort to hide the hatred she felt for you represents some sort of success to her. Envy is what does it.
    Where does it come from? I've long pondered that. My mother, who lived to 98, spent a life-time being envious. Sometimes, considered superficially, it is manifest as ambition or the competitive spirit and, as a society, we value and reward that. Envy is also acquisitive. Envious people immitate and accumulate what other people have. Again, our society rewards that. Perhaps that's because these same self-centered envious people tell us accumulation is good and generous people believe them.

    Envious people exploit their own kind. On the other hand, if there weren't takers/exploiters, generous and creative people would have no-one to give to. Give and take--it's what makes the world go 'round. That some of the takers are clueless really doesn't make any difference.

    Personally, I am about convinced that these self-centered, instinct-driven people are somehow developmentally flawed. There are some sensory connectors missing, perhaps having to do with the sense of touch. Perhaps they never feel connected, in touch and, as a result, don't care.
    Indeed "care" seems telling -- it's what is missing, what they want, and don't know how to get. That's why the ambivalence towards Obamacare and healthcare and medicare.
    My mother always wanted care, but never realized she was getting it. She had a "nurse", me, but that was in the context of a status symbol, comparable to the rich people she had known who had nurses for their children. Possessive, envious people are possessive. This does not, however, mean that they take good care of the things/people they claim to own.

    "Take good care of yourself; you belong to me."  See, it's a common attitude, but not universal. Not everyone is into ownership, even though Dubya has dubbed us an "ownership society."

    Finally, we are all tempted to blame ourselves for how other people treat us. It's an illusion that leaves us with a modicum of control. Assuming responsibility is better than drifting in the unknown void. But, some people are just plain mean and cowardly and they pick on the innocent and the good because the good don't expect to be attacked and aren't prepared to retaliate.

    •  i'm so sorry you have such wisdom, too. (14+ / 0-)

      dealing with the reality of family - recognizing it isn't the "perfect" one we were shown always by "life with father", "the brady bunch", etc., is hard to reconcile.

      you've so acurately described this situation that affected both our lives - and how some of us try to take responsibility for a situation that was never ours to control.

      with my sister, we never "spoke" except to fight until i made that effort when i was 27.  i grew up in a battlefield and could hold my own - but not without cost.  that constant hostility sucked the life out of me - so i left as soon as i graduated college - went to grad school then 1000 miles away and eventually 3000 miles away.

      the price i paid was giving up seeing both my parents except for short visits and these last 25 years, my only contact with my mother was by phone.  now i realize how much my sister agitated for even that to be limited.  it is hard to realize you've been "driven out" and not "blame yourself" for it.  

      your post clarifies so much of what went on in my own family - you are wise for your insight and understanding of your mother and the situation - and, i am sure, your post will help many others who are stuggling in similar situations without realizing that they are not to blame!

      thank you for sharing this... thank you so much!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:07:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hannah (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah, edrie

      You hit the nail on the head. It's called sociopathy. If I understand correctly(I'm not a professional), they are basically unable to care about anything but themselves and what they want. They see the world as a resource for whatever they want and however they want to get it.

      •  another aspect is narcissm - where the only (0+ / 0-)

        one that matters is herself.

        i had to laugh when she "de-friended" me from her personal page on facebook for asking if she had meant to post 27 rapid political links (she's competed with me on everything but here - so she has her own political website, thankfully).

        recently, she de-friended me on the political one.  i had to laugh again.

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:29:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary. Thank you. (47+ / 0-)

    I've been here long enough to realize there are some established users here who are just nasty. There's no other word for it. Don't let them get you down.

    On the other hand, there are those who are always willing to help and more who would like to help more often than they are able.

    We are the coalition of the willing. (I hope you'll forgive me for a bad pun. ;-))

    I see us as a mutual aid society when people need help. I've never been disappointed in the response I've seen here. It's a reflection of our values. We don't insist on participation from the people who don't see the world as we do. I would ask that those who choose not to participate to allow those of us who do to express our values as we will.

    I'd like to add my appreciation to the many who restore my faith in mankind. Thank you.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:28:04 AM PDT

    •  hi, jb - yes, that comment got me down - but it (5+ / 0-)

      also made me very angry.  that is why i decided to write this finally.  comments like that shouldn't go unchallenged for they poison the barrel if left to lie.

      i love your "pun" - and, i, too, see us as a mutual aid society - for no one knows where the wheel will stop.  

      it is that faith in man AND womankind that keeps this world from sinking into the darkness.  

      remember the campaign years ago that if everyone lit just one little candle, how bright the world would be!

      we are just little candles in a dark world but together we make it better and brighter!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:31:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't get it, either. (37+ / 0-)

    First of all, no one is obliged to read any diary or contribute anything to anyone.  It's like every other issue on the site: don't like it, don't read it.

    Second, as a beneficiary of the generosity of you all, I can't imagine not getting the opportunity to help someone else, to pay back some of the love that helped me through a rough time.  Bless you all!

    For the humbugs who don't like pleas from poor folks like me, I hope they can find something that gives them a fraction of the satisfaction that the rest of us get from sharing with each other.  

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:11:35 AM PDT

  •  Once, on a trip with my parents and small (51+ / 0-)

    daughter my father was approached by a panhandler with a story about getting prescription medicine for his child.  It was a classic scam story and I and others on the trip blasted my dad for "falling for it".  He told us all that his 4 year old granddaughter was standing right there listening to the story and that he wasn't going to let her think he was the kind of person who would ignore someone else's misfortune.  Then he lectured me on how giving is about the person giving.  If it is done with love and generosity then it doesn't matter what the motives of the recipient are.  Your diary made me think of this story.  I don't know that I always agree with my dad about this but I do think he made me much more likely to think about my responses to people in need.  Ultimately he taught me to err on the side of giving because it reflects on who you are.  I'm sorry for your troubles and hope things improve.

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:27:01 AM PDT

  •  I do worry about scams. (49+ / 0-)

    We've surely had them here before, your own diary reminds us that we can't even trust family sometimes, and so on.

    Let me suggest a possible compromise, which walks back from a position I espoused in November 2006: no diaries raising money for yourself, but a Kossack can initiate and promote a fundraiser for another member of the community.  Through that process, and through another Kossack's being able to privately verify and publicly vouch for the other's needs (to the extent possible and necessary), there may be an extra level of assurance built into these diaries as well as an inherently community-building function.

    I have no problem with long-standing, trusted members of this community receiving help from others; it's laudatory and noble.  I'd rather avoid having people be taken in by a relatively unknown requester where skepticism towards the claim is met with hostility from others, which we've seen here.  And I acknowledge, as I must, that I'm writing all of this from a privileged position where I don't foresee myself ever being a recipient of such aid here, and am more concerned about site credibility and the like ... so I hope this is a fair compromise.

    These are my views only. I don't speak for the boss.

    •  Thank you for that perspective (14+ / 0-)

      I can honestly say I don't have the same concerns. You have a bit more responsibility on your shoulders.

      For me it isn't even about money. It's about caring.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:44:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  your idea really doesn't solve... (11+ / 0-)

      ...the problem, as if there is a problem here, it just makes the scam a little more complex.

      Just allow the ability to fundraise alone.  The site credibility will be more damaged by a ban than by being scammed.  We are not Republicans you know.  Being scammed is not something that we should be ashamed about especially when people are trying to help.  The scammer is the one who should be ashamed.

      Oh and BTW I still need a job.  

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:54:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I don't see things that way. (19+ / 0-)

        We shouldn't open our doors to scammers and say "come on in, but shame on you for taking our money and trust." I'd be more comfortable with some degrees of verification here.

        Compared to 2006, when this issue really erupted, we've developed much stronger ways of building and sustaining community and groups on this site, between many of the community diaries established, the groups, the ability to Kosmail folks, etc.  I don't think what I'm asking for is that onerous, and I do think it'll protect against some of the fly-by-nighters.

        •  I think people of this site ... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tonyahky, PinHole, weck, Vetwife, edrie

          ...are able to decide on their own.  And I also think they are smart enough to decide on their own.

          If you were really concerned with the standing or image of this site you would do something about the BS that is currently going on in regard to the NSA stuff on the wreck list.

          spend some time verifying the people who are now behaving badly.

          We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

          by delver rootnose on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:06:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It depends. (16+ / 0-)

            If you think that it's not dangerous to encourage people to "err on the side of giving because it reflects on who you are," when multiplied by a thousand givers, then, sure, don't regulate this at all.  But what I've seen here over time, and others can confirm, is that expressing skepticism within these diaries (to encourage people to make different decisions) yields a passionate how dare you question this person response which gets really self-righteous and unhealthy.

            The other issue you raise, to the extent I even understand it, is beyond the scope of edrie's thoughtful diary.

            •  I guess you and I will have to disagree... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              weck, greengemini, alice kleeman

              ..but I still don't see how your changes will do anything to prevent what you describe.  It will just make this place less compassionate and even more mean-spirited and meaningless.

              We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

              by delver rootnose on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:29:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, we need to examine fundraiser policy. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adam B, BoiseBlue, edrie

              But the debate, imho, must be done with balance. As compelling as these stories are, good policy must take a broader perspective. And that is near impossible when honest discussion is judged as sadistic.

              If we want to help in a smart way, we need to look at these situations with both head and heart. And we need to be self-aware, wise to our own inclinations and motivations, and the personal satisfactions we derive from the good we do.

              Self-interest can undermine commonsense and lead us to apply ways and means that are unhelpful in both the short and long term. And it makes the giver more vulnerable to  fraud.

              If debate on these things were encouraged, maybe the pain and desperation here in our own ranks could be the catalyst for such a discussion and a prime opportunity to re-examine our theories on the causes of poverty and how best to lift folks up and out.

              As Progressive Democrats, these questions of policy are important not only to our Daily Kos community, but to our cities, our states and our charity abroad.

              I'm not advocating that we give individuals a hard time when they ask for help. But money isn't always the answer and when community resources are limited, we can't afford to be naïve.

              I was a peripheral visionary. I could see the future, but only way off to the side. ~ Steven Wright

              by Bugsby on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:58:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I truly don't understand this "we" thing. (11+ / 0-)

                Dailykos is neither the fundraiser nor the giver. It's an individual act. It's a personal thing. The only policy is one of conscience and kindness.

                Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                by Just Bob on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:14:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  wow! so MANY words from me and yet you just summed (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Just Bob, Sand Hill Crane

                  up everything in one paragraph!

                  wow!  i need to definitely "follow" you - i can learn from you!!

                  EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                  by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:33:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Adam B has given his view (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    edrie, emeraldmaiden


                    We have to acknowledge that this site is a corporate asset that should not be foolishly exposed to needless liability.

                    I'd suggest an addition to Terms and Conditions with a standard boilerplate disclaimer and a statement that as a matter of policy any non site related fundraising here is neither encouraged nor discouraged but is done by individuals acting in their own capacity as their conscience moves them. Caveat emptor.

                    There have been a few scams run here. I even vaguely recall a couple of fake politicians. All in all I think in terms of crime rates we've done phenomenally well when compared to any like sized community in the real world.

                    I just wouldn't want my conscience to be restricted by a corporate straitjacket.

                    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                    by Just Bob on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:34:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  i've just awaken and read the comments and (8+ / 0-)

                i want to answer you first.

                i didn't mean to imply that skepticism implied sadism - that is not what i meant to say at all.

                i am a healthy skeptic - but i usually set the bar very low.

                what i intended and hoped i'd made clear was that personal comments toward those hurting can border on sadism, if not actually BE sadistic.

                i've had a number of people in discussions of politics make ugly remarks about the link to my etsy shop - a link i forget is there and one put in when multiple people asked me to.  that is not "sadism", but is unnecessary and hurtful (as it is intended to be)

                the one comment that still stands out, though, is one made recently in a discussion on a political topic where the person suggested i buy a "bearclaw" for the "horse i couldn't afford".

                that ugly comment, when expanded, did not deal with the reality of my situation (and that of the aged horse i love and promised to care for - and WILL be able to care for again  medically and physically and emotionally).  i am lucky. i know there is an end to my situation that will remove the burden that is now temporary.

                HOWEVER, the "reality" of that sadistic comment is that the alternative to not caring for a 26 year old lame horse with insulin resistance (horse diabetes - JUST like tee needed special care for three and 1/2 years) is to "put him down".

                and, for what?  a permanent fix to a temporary situation is what i believe it is called?  why? because he happened to get sick at an "inconvenient" time?  that comment was horrific.

                the poster didn't look at the logical conclusion to his words.  NO person will adopt or take on the care of an old horse that has major medical and feed issues.  so, the ONLY solution is to kill him.

                and that, in turn, would kill me.

                that is the "sadism" i am referring to - the hurtful words uttered without thought to the damage they cause.

                i can only hope that the person who typed those words has had a chance to realize how harmful they were.  if not, i hope to not interact with him ever again.

                as for discussing this stituation - how can anyone "know" how deeply another is in pain unless you have been there?  i don't find that a requirement to help or to refuse to help, but i do find that words can keep many people from asking.

                sometimes, the situations have reached catestrophic proportions and the person hasn't asked until there is nowhere else left to turn.  that desperation bleeds through the screen to those who read - when the person is lying (like charley james) and repeatedly returns to ask for more, it becomes very clear fairly quickly.

                my own take on james is that i would rather make the error in favor of the person until they are proven to be lying - and liars ALWAYS give themselves away.  

                nothing prevents us from digging a bit to verify our suspicions - and that digging in today's world is easy.  i've also looked up some people i felt uncomfortable about - most turn out to be real and their situations real.  a few, not so much.

                do we get "harmed" by the scammers?  well, if a community is shown as caring, charitable, giving - how are WE harmed?  the person who is the abuser of that giving is the only one who is really hurt in the long run - like james, he was exposed for all the "world" to see - for what price did he sell his integrity and honor and self-respect.

                going back to skepticism - the easy solution is to ask questions of the person in need - either by private kosmail or on the site - those who are desperate will answer them honestly and openly - if the information you are asking is too personal for online, then send a kosmail.

                by the time i had to ask for help, i felt that those asking deserved answers.  this answer was longer in coming due to my attorney trying to resolve this situation privately without having to file the caveat.  as he said recently, until we file, she is not going to do anything but try to run out the clock on the contesting of the will.  so, i am finally able to explain how i personally ended up in this disaster.

                i "trusted" my sister instead of being skeptical of what was in front of me all along.  the difference between my trust in her and the trust we give online is that online, we have the option to shut the computer and turn and walk away.

                in my case, i can't do that.  that doesn't lessen the pain i feel at what is happening - and that pain is made worse by heartless comments like "buy a bearclaw for the horse you can't afford".

                i hope you better understand my use of the word "sadistic" now.

                EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:51:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  it isn't "expressing skepticism", rather it is HOW (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alice kleeman

              that "skepticism" is presented at times.

              i did a fundraiser for someone who i HAD verified the need - was fully cognisant of the problems - ALL the problems the user faced - yet there were some of the ugliest comments i've ever read by a very few people.

              i had to listen to the person on the other end of the line hysterical asking me not to continue - to hear the panic and desperation behind that request - and, eventually, learn of the very bad consequences of lacking just a few hundred dollars... all because a few people objected and said some pretty ugly things.

              i pm'd, i kosmailed, i pleaded with people to stop making comments publically - that those comments were doing real harm.

              yes, that kossack's problems were more than this site could remedy - but we could have aussuaged the damage instead of exacerbating it.

              perhaps, if folks are skeptical, ASKING through kosmail would be a better solution than coming in canons firing wildly.

              still, the greater issue is this:  why does ANYONE care how another chooses to spend their money - it isn't theirs, they didn't earn it, they aren't the one doing the giving.

              so charley james was a fraud.  so the nephew was a fraud.  what IF they were real and in need?  does it matter at the time they asked?  i don't ever regret giving, but i do regret NOT giving!

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:24:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I believe in asking publicly. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                edrie, Bugsby, grover, BoiseBlue

                Because I think that lurkers with skepticism need to know they're not alone.  Of course it shouldn't be rude.

                As far as "why does anyone care how another ..." well, we are here to protect each other, aren't we?  It's the libertarians who'd say "do whatever you like."

                •  ah, but adam, in some things, i don't WANT (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  protection!  if someone is worried and wants to try to do that, that, imho, is where a private kosmail stating concerns should go - not on the public site where the person in trouble is already hurting and in stress.

                  then, if there are serious and legitimate concerns, first ask the subject of the fund raiser in private if they are willing to allay those concerns - if not, then maybe address it in public.

                  but hanging out all the suspicions prior to ever seeing if there are legitimate answers first seems a bit unfair to the person in need.

                  i've helped many people over the years, both online and off - and i know how to ask enough questions to find out what i need to know to help them.

                  unfortunately, too many people come in to say they hate these diaries and they don't BELIEVE the person without one ounce of basis for that comment.

                  that is what i am asking to be moderated.  i know that outing is not allowed - so perhaps an ombudsman on the site to verify the person is who he/she says he/she is  would work.  not to publish, just to come back and say - yep, this person is real and, as far as we can tell, their story is legit - OR state it can't be verified and let people then make up their own mind.

                  and, as for "protecting" each other, how about protecting the one in trouble who is already going through tremendous stress?  

                  there are ways to check out a situation to see if it is real - and some of us who participate in these diares do exactly that.  

                  a few of us have been around a very long time and are very good at finding out what we need to know to support or not support a funder.  (that doesn't mean by our absence that we aren't supporting or don't believe the person - it MAY mean we missed the darned diary!)

                  EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                  by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:42:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  adam, i think what most of us are saying (5+ / 0-)

              i think the real issue is that this is a personal choice - and the freedom of each of us to decide on what we want to do.

              as a 67 yr old woman who has been independent for the bulk of her life (and will be again), i am fully capable of deciding how and where to spend my own money.

              having the site play the overseer in my decision to help or not help is not how i envision this place.

              it would have definitely prevented me from asking for help - it was hard enough to do as it was.  i always feel there is someone with a much greater need than me - and i work as hard as i can to be independent.

              so, throwing up obstacles will definitely deter folks like me when we're in trouble, but it won't stop those who are out to scam.  they are never deterred.

              so who gets hurt?  the honest kossack in trouble.

              just my 2cents

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:31:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  A dift perspective (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          weck, Joy of Fishes, edrie

          I knew my share of grifters/scammers in my youth, and when I see an ask diary, I move along. I am fine with someone asking for someone else, both hopefully well known posters.

          •  most of the grifters I... (22+ / 0-)

            ...see at this site are politicians. How many times are we asked for money for people who have no intention of living up to the campaign promises they make and how many times are we asked to sign a petition which has only one purpose, to generate a mailing list for future campaign fundraising letters.

            We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

            by delver rootnose on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:34:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To me it comes down to justice (7+ / 0-)

              or injustice.  Many times people are caught between a rock and a hard place.  Sometimes people need a little help to reach a better place in their lives.  As one who benefited from a gift of a lifetime subscription, due to a temporary financial crunch, I have tried to pay it back to the site and to others since.  

              I feel good about most of the situations we have contributed to.  There is one which upon reflection I wish I hadn't contributed to.  S(he) was supposedly in dire straights, and then put many conditions upon any donations.  This person was glad to reach out to this community, but then has never been heard from since.  

              This was my mistake, and I let myself be swayed by others to overcome my skepticism of how much this perhaps dysfunctional person was responsible for his/her own problems.  With 20/20 hindsight well into the 'campaign', I also saw some outright evidence seemingly not presented in an honest context.  Lesson learned.

              So I read, and try to use my fairly long association with DK plus my own values & experience as a guide.  We can all skip over anything which we do not wish to waste our time on.  In a way, I also am making a statement against the selfishness of my in-laws.  

              Far more troublesome are the lies and tone of SOME of the RTBA people, those who hijack diaries into endlessly long loops of nonsense and pointless (often nasty) arguments.

              I am far more likely to contribute to someone who has contributed here with words and actions.  As long as the appeals are few I can easily skip over those which I cannot afford.  

              There for the grace of the FSM, go I.  And these days, most of us.  

              •  i think what harms this site is exactly what you (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                UnaSpenser, alice kleeman, PinHole

                bring up - the "tone".

                as i said above, i don't see a problem with skepticism - there is a way to find out more information by asking questions - much like glen the plumber did with charlety james - and, when he had enough "answers", he brought the information to the site.

                it is the hit and run accusation based on "i don't like fundraisers" that troubles me.  making an accusation should only occur when there is enough evidence to support that accusation... and then some.

                the first time i ever "gave" money in any sum was when i flew into ny for a job interview in connecticut.  i was in penn station when two young people approached me and told me they had lost their tickets and were trying to get home - they needed just $60.

                i had just gotten the job - was very excited - and in my joy of my circumstances, i didn't hand them $5 or $10 - i handed them $60.

                a bit later i saw them again - with the same story for another person.

                i had to laugh - i had been "taken" but somehow i didn't mind.  i realized that i had trusted them and then decided i would prefer trusting and being wrong than ignoring a real need.

                my choice.  if i have the money, i give freely.  if i don't, i smile and wish them success.

                it's my choice and my learning experience and what i learned is that being "taken" is not as bad as being "cold" and turning away.  the one harmed when i turn away is me, not those doing the asking!

                EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:40:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  that is okay - and everyone is free to do just (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MRA NY, Just Bob

            that.  some move on because they want to give and can't - others move on because they give elsewhere - and some have been scammed and don't want to be again.

            i, too, am fine with those who don't want to participate - what bothers me is when those who object also demand the diaries be banned.  that takes away my right to help (when i can).

            thanks for your post - and thanks for your perspective!

            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

            by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:46:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I see nothing wrong with asking that a person (19+ / 0-)

          requesting help have their story verified by a trusted member of the community. That is just a sensible precaution. But no matter how hard we try, I don't think we will ever eliminate every scammer. Not even professional social service agencies are able to avoid being scammed by the rare client who isn't entirely truthful about their circumstances.

          I used to volunteer at a domestic violence shelter. One time, a woman came in from another state who told us she was fleeing her abuser. She put on a big show of being very religious and when she left after about a month, she told us she had decided to return to her husband because of her beliefs. A few months later, our director brought in a copy of the newspaper from one of the neighboring counties--the woman had been arrested for writing thousands of dollars worth of stolen checks. She had just used us as a means of laying low for a while so the law wouldn't find her.

          So there is always the risk of being taken advantage of. All we can do is just try our best to weed out the bad apples. I think, for the most part, that the vast majority of requests for financial assistance on this site have been legitimate, however.

          •  And who defines a "trusted member" of the (5+ / 0-)


            Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

            by JesseCW on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:49:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We can't weed out every scammer (15+ / 0-)

            If it's as involved as The [Relative], well, think about how long that went on.  But we can create an environment which builds in some verification steps and which doesn't lead to skeptics being called "sadists."

            •  Maybe, where possible, we could ask that the (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              weck, Catte Nappe, KelleyRN2, edrie, grover

              person requesting assistance provide some kind of documentation. When people were raising money to help me obtain caregiver services for my daughter after I have my surgery, I offered to provide copies of the relevant medical records that would verify my condition, plus, if needed, some documentation about the severity of my daughter's autism. I also allowed for people who wanted to talk to me personally to have my phone number sent to them (and a few people did call me!) as well as my name and address.

              In some cases, though, it can be very hard to verify a person's story, like in the example I gave above. In those kinds of cases, we each have to just make a judgement call for ourselves.

              •  sometimes there isn't documention - and that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                again is putting up hurdles that will keep people in dire need from approaching the judgment board.

                my feeling is that it is STILL up to the individual to decide whether or not he/she wants to participate or give in these diaries.

                EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:48:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I would like to point out to you Adam that edrie (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              edrie, Bugsby, Sand Hill Crane

              does not call skeptics sadists.  

              What she does is call the actions of those who come in to a fundraiser diary and use a comment to criticize, judge, etc. sadistic.  

              so 1. she calls the actions of those who would berate someone in need sadistic

              2.  she, and many others here in the comments, point out that they understand that many are skeptical for various reasons and do not understand why they can't just avoid the diary altogether or move on without commenting

              Now, I know there are instances where skeptics have voiced concerns, and rightly so - that is something entirely different, and those doing so should not be piled on.

              If someone goes in to a fundraising diary to voice concerns in a civil way about the fundraiser, their voice should be heard.  If someone goes in to a community fundraiser and wants to criticize the one in need, that is something else entirely.  

              Here is the actual quote from the diary that seems to have spurred your comment:

              to then be chastised, judged, criticized, labeled only adds to that pain.  it is sadistic.
              so, maybe what we need is guidelines for the skeptics to comment by?  and, in the same vein, guidelines on how others need to accept such skepticism.  with the bottom line being that you don't attack the person in need in a fundraiser diary and that those that civilly voice concerns about any particular fundraiser should not only be heard, but should have their concerns addressed.

              (a skeptical eye on any given fundraiser is, in fact, probably a good thing in that it will keep scamming to a minimum)

              "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

              by MRA NY on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:48:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ah! a post i can heartily endorse! (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MRA NY, Sand Hill Crane

                guidelines on behavior in the diary - yes!

                so, maybe what we need is guidelines for the skeptics to comment by?  and, in the same vein, guidelines on how others need to accept such skepticism.  with the bottom line being that you don't attack the person in need in a fundraiser diary and that those that civilly voice concerns about any particular fundraiser should not only be heard, but should have their concerns addressed.

                EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:51:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  adam b - let me state again: i did NOT call (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              "skeptics" sadists - i called those who make hurtful and damaging comments "sadists".  

              i gave a specific example of the type of behavior that i label as such - a comment made in a different thread DAYS after remembrance published a diary for sani and me - actually well over a week later - that snidely told me i should "go buy a bearclaw for the horse i couldn't afford to keep".

              THAT is what i refer to - the deliberate attempt to inflict pain on someone that one KNOWS is hurting.  that is sadism.

              those who doubt, i would love to see a bit of moderation in expressing that doubt until they do their homework (like glen did and like i've done in the past).

              so, please let me be clear again -  as i stated both in the diary and in the comments - i am referring to a specific comment that reflects sadism - not skepticism  (and, no, i won't link it because i would LIKE to think that at some point, that user will have second and third thoughts about what he posted).

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:47:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  the only problem with that is that it implies that (3+ / 0-)

            the person in need is a liar unless "verified".

            so, once and a while, we get "taken" - but if suspicions had caused you to turn away a woman because she hadn't been verified - and she were killed by her abusive spouse, then how would you feel.

            preventing pain and suffering is always a better option, imho.  and, as i've mentioned before, a few questions will quickly let anyone determine if there is substance to the request.

            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

            by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:42:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The person who has an abusive spouse ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BoiseBlue, grover

              ... needs to go to the police.  And on the other side of the intervention ledger is Buffy. You remember that one.

              •  In some cases, the women who would come into (4+ / 0-)

                shelter where I volunteered were sometimes afraid of calling the police. In some areas, the police will arrest not only the batterer, but his victim as well. In addition, some women are fearful that calling the police will make their abuser even more likely to severely harm or kill them.

                In addition, many shelters are unable to provide victims with funding that can help them reach the facility in the first place, particularly in rural areas. If she (or he) doesn't have a car, or a person who will bring them, the only way they can get to the facility is by getting a cab. In a rural area, that can run into quite a bit of money. Here in Richmond, KY, it would cost a victim about $70 to get to the shelter in Lexington. Many victims may not have that kind of money on hand.

                So the question of "who to help" can get a little complex at times. That is why I think each person's request should be judged on a case by case basis.

              •  i remember it well - i actually called her and (0+ / 0-)

                talked to her after that episode.  we had corresponded via email about... chickens.

                i have had buff orpingtons and love them - we were in touch until that "intervention" - and she asked to cut ties, so i did.

                another one, though, worth bringing up where intervention might have been worth it - ended tragically.

                rip translator...

                EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:42:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  That is exactly the point I was making in the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              comment above when I mentioned the lady who scammed us at the domestic violence shelter. In many of these kinds of cases we simply have to take the clients at their word. Asking every woman who comes into the shelter to "prove" that she is telling the truth would get a lot of women killed. Sometimes, people need help NOW--they can't wait a few days for somebody to run a background check on them. And background checks are not free, in any case.

              Maybe people who are able to do so--like in my case--could be asked to provide some kind of documentation. But in emergency cases, that simply may not be possible--for example, if a person is in an abusive relationship, and needs to get away immediately. Other examples might involve a person who has no food or a person who needs medicine right away.

        •  IF you can do it in a way to not heap more (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tonyahky, Sand Hill Crane

          pain onto an already painful situation, then try it, but what i am concerned about as are others is the potential to prevent us from helping each other when the need arises.

          as i asked above, who is going to tell someone they are not "worthy" of help?

          i think that should be left up to the individual who gives to decide for him/herself.  

          after all, kossacks have shown themselves to be pretty danged smart people!

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:18:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That just becomes reciprocal. Tit-for-tat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck, edrie


      Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

      by JesseCW on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:48:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It could ... (6+ / 0-)

        ... but I guess that sort of logrolling is a reason to be skeptical.  I'm open to any idea which puts some mediating forces into the process.

        •  why? there aren't mediating forces in any of the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alice kleeman, emeraldmaiden

          other processes around here - the pie fights, the meta - those aren't really mediated unless they go over the top and out of bounds - then someone gets a time-out or banned.

          why should fundraisers be a separate category?  if the individual user who objects isn't REQUIRED to send or give anyting, how does that user get harmed?

          the meta fights are far more harmful than the compassionate giving that occurs here.

          and, while the site isn't set up to be the sole source of support for anyone, covering emergency situations, we are fully capable of handling, imho.

          setting up a separate set of rules to control who wants to help whom reminds me of how, decades ago, a woman couldn't buy a car without a "man" to sign - she couldn't take out a loan without a "man" to sign the papers - hell, she couldn't even open a BANK account without a male to co-sign.

          those of us who want to give don't need our hands held to tell us when and how and to whom we should do so.

          how is this different than any  OTHER aspect of this community?

          and why does it matter if someone receives money from multiple people?  those individuals that make up the multiple people all made a choice to give.  a personal choice.

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:59:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  ah, but like the donut tossing that goes on (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that quickly becomes apparent.  

        i don't see that happening, though.  what i do see here on this site are many responsible people reaching out to help others who are facing hard times.

        when the situation reverses itself (like in my case), there are those who reached out to help me - and for that, i am forever grateful.

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:53:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Scams are always possible (7+ / 0-)

      in meat world and here in kosland. I would hate to lose the ability to help for fear of being scammed.

      "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

      by high uintas on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:09:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  if that is to be the rule, may i then volunteer to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      be the one to put those diaries up?  i'll vet and vouch and do the work you all need.  i've been here only a bit less than you have and i cannot see a better use of my time to help those who need as i have been helped.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:54:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have helped contribute to emergency (36+ / 0-)

    fundraisers and quilts, and Bastrop and I were the recipient of a great outpouring of help to get my family up for GreenMountainBoy02's funeral. I have seen Kossacks do amazing things for others in need and it's beyond words moving.

    I agree with edrie: if you object to fundraisers, don't participate in them. But I'll tell you this: without Kossacks, my family could not have been present at my husband's funeral, when we all needed each other the most.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:36:18 AM PDT

    •  Without Kossacks, me (15+ / 0-)

      or my vet could possibly be dead right now.  I am serious.
      That 4th thing has left me very aware how fast things can spiral out of control.   I have always and I mean always worked with other trusted Kossacks and even on regular fundrasiers IRL with some of the community  and many times has to go and see that things are even worse than depicted in the actual fundraiser.  I remember that happening a couple of years ago when Nurse Kelley and I worked on a Kossack Fundraiser and by the time several IRL Kossacks made the pilgramage to the home, it was all Kelley said and more.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:54:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i remember taking that journey with you and vet (5+ / 0-)

        and holding my breath until he was home safe.  that the kossacks were there and came to the rescue made me love this place even more.

        and, you're right about things always being worse than we're told - it is a sense of dignity that prevents people from telling the "whole truth" about how desperate they are or how bad the pressure or situation really is.

        i miss nurse kelley - hoping she comes "home" soon!

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:43:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You hold a special place in my heart (4+ / 0-)

          edrie... that journey did something to me...Thank you for being there.  It made me leave the computer and concentrate on things other than veteran issues.    That journey according to Navajo started The New Day Series ( see what I mean about Karma) and she wrote a diary about it.  I had to start helping and reaching out to vet and non vet alike anyway I could.  My Goodness..the whole blog almost stood still for 3 days solid over that nightmare.   Just Bob does not like to be mentioned as the hero who stepped forward but I owe my sanity and life to a degree to that wonderful Kossack and his brother.  I have not yet met Just Bob but his brother and wife are delightful.   I had no idea he was not more than 50 miles away until that eventful 4th.  I was so desperate with 6 children..2  special needs....a broken leg 1 leg friend, no car, all food disappearing during the crisis, a husband just out of the hospital with heart surgery and felt I was held hostage by circumstance...Alone on a weekend holiday in the middle of a nightmare.  Yes it did something to me..
          I reach out .. I pay forward, I start fundraisers and I appreciate the love of this community despite the pie fights.  The circumstances have always proven to be much worse than told on the web and I always check them out.
          Always.  I would never hurt one of these special people.
          Since that 4th I have pushed harder and not gone easier on myself, finances, or opinions because that one holiday made me a different person...KNOWING now no one is an ISLAND and we are all in this boat together .. Some with better seats but we are all still floating in the same boat.

          I talk to IRL many many Kossacks now....I am a better person for it.

          God bless for this diary.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:02:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh, wow! i didn't realize the new day series (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rubyr, Vetwife, Sand Hill Crane

            started out of that journey!  what an amazing contribution you and vet have given to this site through navajo's wonderful efforts!

            and, i didn't realize it was just bob and his brother who were vet's and your guardian angels that day!  

            ah, and the boat - i'm smiling because the big tent just turned into an orange boat - with a bunch of us fighting to see who'll hold the rudder at times - but, in the end, we all are in this together!

            god bless for those who have come here to share their feelings and thoughts, too!  and, especially you, vetwife, for all you've done in the name of love!

            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

            by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:04:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you hon and here is an excerpt and her (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              edrie, Just Bob, Sand Hill Crane

              diary.  God bless you Navajo.. Now it is worldwide meetups..

              I started New Day on July 7, 2012. Many things inspired me to start this series but there was one event in particular that compelled me to start a movement to organize regional Dkos communities in meatspace. That event was reading Vetwife's two diaries calling for comfort from this community. The first diary detailed a terrible accident at her home involving her BFF, whatGodmade, who has a prosthetic leg. After exiting the pool, whatGodmade slipped and fell directly on her stump, fracturing it, she went into shock. Vet, Vetwife's husband who has PTSD from Vietnam, attended to whatGodmade until the EMTs arrived, he spent all night with her in the hospital. Vetwife stayed with her children plus whatGodmade's two special needs children. The next day Vetwife must attend to her traumatized husband and heavily medicated, injured house guest plus all the children.

              We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

              by Vetwife on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:57:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I would likely be dead, too. (7+ / 0-)

        This community paid for me to get medical tests which insurance wouldn't covered and those tests confirmed an auto-immune disorder for which I'm hooked to an IV today (and one day every week) right now. I would have never gotten any treatment without Kossacks.

        I'm not really able to speak on this topic with an unbiased opinion.

        Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

        by UnaSpenser on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:39:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  hi cm - i've got everything downloaded in one (5+ / 0-)

      place - i work on converting it a bit at the time.  don't have excell and open office spreadsheet (of which i am not great) is slowly letting me pull info together - now to connect the notes people wrote.

      i am SO sorry it has taken so long - seems like life likes to make me play baseball - keeps throwing unexpected curves my way.  this second move wasn't planned - another story - but when  i got here, my 88 yr old friend was quite sick.  another three weeks just disappeared into where, i'm not sure, but she is finally out of the woods and feeling better.

      so, back to paperwork soon.  

      hope you and john and your mom are well!


      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:40:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I say we should appreciate the naysayers (16+ / 0-)

    for they are like the darkness of night. Life without them would not allow us to see the stars.

    Thanks for sharing. You may have received help but don't believe for a second that your words have not helped some of us.

    "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme." - Mark Twain

    by SoonerG on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:17:30 AM PDT

    •  thank you, soonerg... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rubyr, emeraldmaiden

      i wrote this in hopes that i could bring a personal face to he debate because mine isn't the only "face" out there.

      i am but one story - there are many more much worse - yet, those folk may be afraid to speak out and ask for help because of embarrassment, fear, shame.

      for me, my critter(s) are more important than my ego.  whether or not i am embarrassed or ashamed takes a back seat to their well-being.

      when i made a promise to take care of sani - that didn't come with qualifications. love isn't just there when it's convenient.

      i can't imagine how it must feel, as some have posted, to face losing the lights or losing one's home when there are two footed children involved.

      for those without children, the loneliness of having nowhere to turn, that, too, is hard to explain.

      this community fills that void - emotionally and financially - for so many of us - that is what makes THIS place different!

      and, thank you, markos, for giving it to us!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:37:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm torn on this one (17+ / 0-)

    It is such a judgment call, but there are a lot of people here who lack clarity when making such decisions.

    When Homogenius needed help, I "know" him online and "know" a lot of other people who know him in person, so it was an easy call to make.

    Then there are others that, to me, are clearly scams. One in particular comes to mind, where it was just one sob story after another, most of them highly improbable, and when I pointed out the blatant inconsistencies I was attacked for it. I am usually able to state my case without being a dick, so I wasn't HRd or anything, but there are a lot of people here who don't have that sort of patience. And I can't count how many times those people have been banned or otherwise punished for pointing out the obvious.

    So I don't know what the answer is. It's easy for me to say that a fool and his money are soon parted, but I am uncomfortable with this site becoming an easy target. And it kind of has been.

    Either way, if kos decides to weigh in on this issue (in the past he has declined to do so, other than saying people who don't like the fundraisers should avoid them), I'll continue to treat them the way I always have. If it's legit, I'll donate if I have the money. If it's not, I'll leave a comment respectfully explaining my skepticism and move on.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:38:24 AM PDT

    •  I want to clarify one thing (14+ / 0-)

      First, thank you for sharing your story, edrie. It is heartbreaking, but it does help me understand you more.

      Second, what I wanted to make clear is that the reason I am so opposed to these scams and the people who enable them is because of the people who were scammed.

      I don't think it's fair to call skeptics "sadistic." I feel bad for the people who are scammed. They become invested in a fake story that tugs on their heart strings only to find out it was fake. And, again, it's easy for me to say a fool and his money are soon parted, but we've had plenty of non-financial scams take place here, too.

      There are people on this site that I am very fond of, even though I've never met them in person. If I found out that they never even existed it would break my heart and cause a lot of anguish. Particularly since I've shared so much with so many of them.

      When the scams are brought to light you see so many people saying "I feel so stupid" or some variation on that. I've been scammed in real life and I know how it feels. It is hard for me to watch it happen to people here and be essentially helpless to stop it.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:05:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember my husband (Glen the Plumber) (17+ / 0-)

        scratching his head, pacing, kosmailing back and forth trying to shed the light on a fundraiser scam that tugged on many people's heart strings. In the end, he was right, feelings were hurt and those taken in by the scammer had a really difficult time making sense of the situation. In fact, a couple of individuals had a really hard time coming to terms with the fact this particular person scammed them; understandably they were hurt and angry at my husband.

        I wrote fundraising diaries for edrie. I know her in real life, brought together out of my own illness and her recognition that our family was in need of emotional support that she was capable and willing to provide. I am a trusted user and have been on the site since October 2011, not that long actually. I am active with the SF Kossacks too. But what does all that matter really because no one had to believe me that edrie was suffering and needed help. We took a chance though and because of it edrie was able to give the barn enough money for them to let up on her and she began making jewelry again, something she didn't know she was capable of doing. I saw the relief in her face, I see the ongoing worry in her.

        I agree with you and I'm sure most people do, we don't want to be scammed and we hope we can see through it; fundraising diaries open us up to that potential but in contrast, people we care about are hurting deeply in physical and emotional pain; for me the benefit outweighs the risk. I'd stake my reputation (for what that is worth I don't really know) that as far as edrie is concerned, the situation she describes is real and true. As she has shared with me over time the circumstances of her pain, she is always consistent and the emotion of her face and body is genuine.

        So this comment is not directed only at you, BoiseBlue, but to anyone who may doubt for a moment that edrie's circumstances are not as she says, again, the benefit these fundraisers provided for edrie far outweighed any risk (in her case) that she is scamming.

        She is a dear friend to me, my daughter and husband and I am grateful that we have the venue of Daily Kos to ask for help. Sani's health and well being is important to my family too because  my daughter loves him. As far as the individual who callously commented on giving the bear claw to him, have some decency and look inside yourself, when you can make amends with what you see, come back, but not until then.

        "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass... it is about learning to dance in the rain." ~ Vivanne Grenne Shop Kos Katalogue!

        by remembrance on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:13:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I don't doubt edrie's sincerity at all (4+ / 0-)

          She and I have talked about this in other threads and via kosmail. There have been times when we are on opposing sides of a fundraising call, but we've always remained civil and have never doubted each others motives.

          I am just a skeptic by nature.

          As an aside, I did not know that Glen was your husband. That's cool :-)

          P.S. I am not a crackpot.

          by BoiseBlue on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:00:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My response is really in kind not (9+ / 0-)

            just to you personally but also Adam B and to those thinking about regulating this. I'm not against regulation, obviously, I'm a progressive, but this issue has so many shades of grey that honest and good people would be left out and the benefit which clearly outweighs the risk in so many cases would be lost. I did struggle with where to put this comment, your words spoke to me so I replied to you.

            Yes, it is very cool being married to Glen:).

            "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass... it is about learning to dance in the rain." ~ Vivanne Grenne Shop Kos Katalogue!

            by remembrance on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:06:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Understood (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              edrie, grover, rubyr, remembrance, Bugsby

              I am for regulation. Not stiff or impossible regulation, just some common sense measures.

              This community has helped me in more ways than I can count, though none of them financially. I understand how important these things are, and I don't want verification or vetting to be a Herculean task.

              I'm more in favor of self-regulation. Every single time there has been a scam on this site, there has been a Glen on the other side of it trying to bring it to light, often only to be shouted down and ignored.

              I don't want people to turn off their hearts, but I DO want them to give the skeptic's voice as much merit as it deserves. I'm a pretty harmless and compassionate person. When I see a scam, I want to be able to state it without being attacked for it.

              P.S. I am not a crackpot.

              by BoiseBlue on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:25:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  that is my worry - that someone who is in trouble (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marathon, rubyr, remembrance

              falls through the cracks.

              this is like "welfare reform" that shuts out those who need the most at times.

              i think that erring on the side of the individual is far more important than bruised egos over being scammed.  (i know that sounds harsh, but what about being taken advantage of for caring is so horrible?

              with the exception of the "charities" that prey on the elderly and kind, individual cries for help shouldn't be dismissed lightly.

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:31:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  they really ARE "cool" - and TLO is just... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BoiseBlue, alice kleeman, remembrance

            well... awesome!

            i am a skeptic, too, just not as quick to question.  i rely more on instinct than in questioning everyone who asks.  there are things that "ring true" and things that don't.

            when i see the latter, i do a bit of digging.  like glen, i'm good with a shovel.  if the person is legit, i'll defend them forever.  if i'm not sure, i wait... like glen did with cj.

            but truth has an amazing way of always coming out eventually.  

            skepticism is a good thing - whether in fundraising diaries or in political ones.  with the fundraising ones, though, i am quicker to err on the side of believing because to doubt could cause immediate harm to an individual. so the risk is losing a bit of money - that can be regained... but to lose the person, that is something that is intolerable to me.

            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

            by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:27:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  maybe there should be a way to express (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alice kleeman

      concerns behind the scenes until those concerns can be checked out.

      i know i've had kosmails about funders and the person funds were being raised for and was able to share why i felt comfortable helping - and it helped allay the other person's concerns, too.

      it is when the comments are public and NOT polite that it gets tricky.  words hurt.  words REALLY hurt when you already are in pain.

      it is the choice of and use of words to question or to accuse that make the difference.  asking questions can lead to the same result if the person isn't being honest - the truth will out.

      but if a person is telling their situation where that situation causes great pain to share, then how is adding to that pain productive?  

      again, it is the how, now the doing that is the problem - and maybe that is where there should be an ombudsman to review privately when there is suspicion of dishonesty.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:12:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Virtual community" somewhat an oxymoron (10+ / 0-)

    One of the oddities of the virtual social world is that it is easier to engage with people (or at least with their online personas -- can be a significant gap there) here than in our actual neighborhoods and communities. I know that's true for me -- I can sit here in my bathrobe feeling like I'm part of something, much easier than getting dressed and going out and working with people in a local community organization.

    So when we're in trouble, whether financial or emotional, this becomes our safety net, even though we're dispersed around the planet so our ability to really take care of each other is limited.

    My personal choice is that my care-giving goes to people I can actually visit, and my donations go to local organizations I know and work with. My usual reaction to the "help! please help!" diaries (whether a plea for the writer or for someone else) is "find local resources," and often, "There's something about this story that doesn't add up -- that person needs a patient advocate, or someone to go with them to untangle the welfare bureaucracy, or a lawyer."

    •  "find local resources" (9+ / 0-)

      Is usually met with "I've tried, I don't qualify," or "there aren't any here."

      There have been several occasions that I've been told there are no resources, I ask for their city, do quick Google search, and come back with a link in two minutes or less. Then, crickets.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:52:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ah, but sometimes the person has been to those (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emeraldmaiden, Sand Hill Crane

        resources only to be turned away.  depending on where people live, you have to be dead or dying to qualify for help.

        this is the world we live in - people turn away people because they don't "fit the rules"... yet those same people are in trouble enough they end up living in cars, vans, under freeways, in parks.

        we have a problem in this society where the "services" forget that the single tense of the word is "service" and not "self-serve".

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:36:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Money is such a strange and funny thing (33+ / 0-)

    It seems the more you have the greater value you place on it.

    I'm 68 years old. I've been scammed a few times. It hasn't changed my willingness to help people. I'm still the guy who will stop when I see a car broken down on the highway to see if I can help. I still hold doors for people..male and female. What's so bad about being taken advantage of? I like being useful. It makes me feel alive.

    It's been said that all problems are people problems. The opposite is also true. All solutions are people solutions.

    People are the real value in life and the value of a random act of kindness is to restore faith in humanity. We need that.

    Keep the faith.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:06:41 AM PDT

  •  Edrie, thanks so much for sharing your story (14+ / 0-)

    I wish you and Sani the best!!

    I am glad of the opportunities to help other Kossacks out, especially since, just months ago, I was going to have to make my first trip to a food bank.  I was very lucky to find a temporary but good-paying job, and I'm out of the woods for now. But it can be a scary financial world out there.

    Echoing others, the Kos Katalogue has been a terrific way to help people out - and be made aware of some fantastic artists and artisans.

    "We must understand that fossil-fuel energy must be replaced not just by clean energy but also by less energy." --Wendell Berry

    by Knockbally on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:21:00 AM PDT

    •  that is so scary - years ago after el nino took (4+ / 0-)

      out my car so i couldn't work, i visited the food bank in the central valley.  it is so disheartening to get molded bread - things the stores no longer will sell and then donate for the tax credit.

      so, ya pick the mold off and slather on the peanut butter and that's breakfast, lunch and dinner!

      then i met this amazing retired couple who had a nest egg and no children - so they opened a private food bank out of their garage.

       they didn't make comments like "this is all you get until after your next welfare check!  when i explained i wasn't ON welfare, they still said, well, it doesn't matter, you can only come 3 days a month!

      back to the couple - they gathered fresh produce, fresh meat GOOD food AND they had donations of pet food for families with pets - and they had NO restrictions on what you got or needed.  when i asked them why they were doing this, they smiled and said they wanted to put something back because life had been good to them.

      i will never forget that couple - they gave more than food - they gave dignity!

      oh, and i got my car back on the road and got back to work - as is my norm.  but, for those who had no way out - that couple gave them the key not just to the door, but to the castle!

      and, yes, the kos katalogue has been a godsend!  now, i just have to put new things in - you folks keep buying me out!  8^)

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:24:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  (((((((Edrie))))))))) (27+ / 0-)

    I had to walk away from the computer for a bit after reading your heart breaking post.

    What your sister has done to you is psychopathic.

    I'm so damned sorry, honey. Of course you're grieving from it all.

    But please do remember what JoanMar and others have so wisely said.

    Your biological sister is not your only sister. Far from it. You have multiple sisters and brothers of the heart.

    Hold on to them as they hold on to you.

    We'll all make it through together. Ok?


  •  i like politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if i wanted to read about begging i would go somewhere else. same thing for sensational headlines/diaries that say snark at the bottom. politics,not personal sob stories or 'comedy gold'.

  •  In 2011 I was facing eviction (27+ / 0-)

    from my apartment and was dejected about my prospects of being able to return to college to finish my degree in early childhood education. I didn't ask for help but in the comments section people asked me how they could help. I was taken aback - but posted my Paypal anyway. By the next day I had enough money to pay my back rent and stave off the eviction.

    It truly humbled me as I had never been the recipient of charity before, nor had I thought I had particularly stood out over the years as I tended to lurk and read, lurk & read. Well now I have given up that apartment and alternate between living with my parents, my gf & crashing on friends couches but my life has been changed forever by two Kossacks who not only sent me to NN12 & allowed me to take two other Kossacks with me - but has helped me pay for continuing my education at a community college.

    This is a real community that takes care of its own. I understand that people have been burned - especially by Charle or TheNephew - but banning all fundraisers or community support diaries would be like taking a hatchet into surjury over a scalpel. There is real good that has been done - and if you are one of the people who have helped me, when my life was at its lowest - thank you - if I have not thanked you enough already.

    Thank you for this diary Edrie.

    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

    by Tool on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:52:33 AM PDT

    •  Thank you for your comment Tool! (7+ / 0-)

      I find your story very heartwarming as well.  When disaster
      strikes, many of us go tharn and don't know how to react.
      It makes my life better knowing that you were inadvertently rescued and helped onto a path of much
      greater good.  I am grateful for this for you, and for knowing that this site I love so much is full of deep, soulful
      people who listen, act, and make worlds better other than
      their own.  It's a gift to us all.

    •  what amazes me is how astute some kossacks are (3+ / 0-)

      in recognizing someone's needs.

      also, january 2012 was the most humbling experience i've ever had - i was stunned by the outpouring of love and care that happened - all that was in addition to the financial help.

      it is strange, isn't it, how many people have posted today that at the lowest point in life, THIS group of people came to the rescue!

      kossacks just came - and they saved so many without stipulation.

      this is the world we SHOULD be living in - outside the orange perimeters... this is the world we need to shape - one of compassion, empathy, caring, charity and love.

      it has started here and will continue to grow - of that, i am sure!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:08:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been involved in many fundraisers here. (24+ / 0-)

    I have turned away some folks who have contacted me for some of the reasons expressed above; repeat requests and scams and help for non-kossacks and for not considering other, more appropriate ways to get the help they need.

    I have also contacted others who seemed to clearly be in need, but did not want to ask the community.

    I don't think that fundraisers here are a negative for users of the site.  Each of us has the ability to choose what we read (we love you, Rescue Rangers; you have chosen to read everything!)  No one is compelled to respond to the requests, and not all of the requests I see are for money, many "help" diaries seek advise.

    Please do not restrict the ability of community members to care for each other by writing or responding to a diary.  We are capable of managing the requests in the same way we are capable of managing trolls and sock puppets.  

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

    by weck on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:55:46 AM PDT

  •  {{{Edrie}}} (19+ / 0-)

    I cannot imagine banning our ability to help our friends here. And frankly that is what we are in many cases, true friends.

    This is more than just a political website, it is a place that we have the chance to connect with many others across the nation who share our values.

    As someone who has felt the love and aid of my friends here as well as someone who had a chance to offer help to others in the past, I feel sure that we will continue to help each other no matter what kos does with his site.

    I'll never understand why some people think falling on hard times is something to be ashamed of, but I am sure that this is a place where there are many who understand.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:05:36 AM PDT

  •  We're supposed to be reasoning people here (17+ / 0-)

    People who can tell scams from real need stories. I think the people who complain about these diaries (disclosure: I contribute when I can) don't want to face reality when they come here.

    Next, and it is almost a sure thing, they will go after the bereavement diaries if they get the need diaries banned.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:09:11 AM PDT

  •  As someone who has received help from this (22+ / 0-)

    community, and who plans to help others as soon as I am able to, I support the idea that Kossacks should be allowed to help each other.

    Me, Jesse La Greca, Tool, AoT, we've all been in tough scrapes. We've all had trouble. We've all received help from others through a really tough economic time.

    This community helped me keep my lights on, and even more importantly, helped me find the social services I needed to keep them on.

    There is this fear that we might be taken advantage of, I guess, and those sorts of people might be out there. I can't deny that.

    But for every swindler, there's a boatload of Kossacks who've needed help and who've gotten that help.

    And I am one of them.

    And I will never forget that.

    When things settle for me economically, I want to be able to pay that forward and help others here in this community who need it.

    I hope we keep community fundraising around, so that Kossacks can help each other out.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:19:39 AM PDT

    •  i'm with you 100% here! (6+ / 0-)

      i've helped in the past, been helped in the past and will help again when i am able.  i am lucky to know that will happen - i'll be "able" to help.  

      for some, there isn't a light so clear at the end of the tunnel.  heck, they can't even FIND the tunnel!

      my philosophy is that you can't "take" something from me that i freely give.  it is about making a decision and being comfortaable with it at the time.  and, if it turns out that charley james is scamming the system, then the one i feel sorry for is james - someone who has lost much more than he will ever know.

      he just didn't lose his reputation, his integrity, his dignity - he lost this community.  that is something he can never regain!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:32:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this diary edrie! (13+ / 0-)

    I was unaware that kos was considering banning the community fundraising diaries.
    I'm on the same page, if you dont' like a diary, click on out.
    Prohibit these diaries? Might as well....
    Delete my fucking humanity, kos!


    Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

    by emmasnacker on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:22:29 AM PDT

    •  you made me smile! (4+ / 0-)
      We just have to trust our instincts sometimes and I'd rather be scammed once or twice than have someone fall off the edge.
      sometimes i feel sorry for errinf - to be ever so immortalized.

      but, errinf's legacy has been to make people smile now for years... that is an amazing accomplishment!

      and, i agree with the sentiment - it is MY choice to help another - it hurts no one but helps SOMEone!

      and, when i found myself on the other side of that situation, i can't begin to tell you all what it meant to have those hands extended.

      i felt truly humbled and it renewed my promise made years ago to never turn away from someone when i could help in any way!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:29:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  glad I could be of service! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I occasionally hire a boy, trying to teach him to work. It's almost hopeless, but I feel for the family... many medical probs, abusive step father who is thankfully, in jail at the moment. It's a bit  hard on me, as I have to go behind him and re-do most of his work. But I hope to see him grow better, and I know the family needs the money. Also have been able to give him some garden food.
        It's that time of year around here. You have to lock your car everywhere, or someone will put large zuchini in it!

        Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

        by emmasnacker on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 05:12:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Stay for the Community" (16+ / 0-)

    We've all come here for different reasons. I've been in lurking mode a lot lately,  but over the years I've read and contributed to many fundraisers. I've read some and not contributed when I felt I couldn't or was skeptical about the situation.

    I don't give with expectation of anything in return. I don't expect or need a personal thank you. I once knew the desperation of not knowing whether I was going to be able to feed my kids or keep the lights on. That takes up so much mental bandwidth that sometimes other things get overlooked.

    I do wish there was a more formal vetting process for fundraisers, but sometimes the need is so immediate that's not possible. We just have to trust our instincts sometimes and I'd rather be scammed once or twice than have someone fall off the edge.

    They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

    by 1864 House on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:22:30 AM PDT

  •  I will be sad to see this dynamic go. (8+ / 0-)

    I have given help and have received help.  Nothing big on either end, and honestly I turned away help I did not need.

    Scams are going to be problem.  I get it.  Most of us do.

    Too bad we can't have a Dkos escrow for this purpose.  Trust but verify I say.  The desire to help here is a genuine one and it is remarkable.

    Let us really think about this in terms of the possible.  I want to help in the future because doing that beats back a lot of shitty news.  Don't most of you feel the same way?

    I've been here a long time too.  Having this talk hurts, but maybe there are options.  Lots of smark Kossacks here.  Let's sort it out.

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***

    by potatohead on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:46:04 AM PDT

    •  what i see out in the "real world" are so many who (13+ / 0-)

      are truly hurting.

      a few weeks ago, i stopped (actually turned around and went back) for a car that was broken down near the barn.  it was an older model car and inside were two delightful people.  he had recently had back surgery and was on dialysis twice a week and she was a kidney transplant recipient (immediately thought of our own kitsap and what she had gone through).

      their car had a slow leak in the radiator and when she refilled it on the way down from the mountain where they lived, she had forgotten to replace the cap.  the engine blew.

      they had a total of $180 to their names until their social security checks came in in a few weeks... and they were stranded on the side of the road.  one of their friends came by to try to help get the car running.  after sitting there several hours trying to get it to go, i stopped.  it was getting dark and they were an hour from home with no way to get back.

      a friend of mine came out and called triple a to have their car towed to the dealership (he started calling trying to borrow money to repair it) and their friend drove them home.  the next day, i drove an hour to their house, picked them up and drove him back down for dialysis - then, later that nite, drove them back home after they found out that the car was ruined.

      the dealership worked all day yet capped the cost at what they had raised after i told them what was going on.  had the car been reparable, the service department was going to give them a brand new loaner car to drive until it was ready.  (you see, SOME dealerships have really GOOD hearted people working there!)

      to make a long story short, a neigbor loaned them a car and is letting them buy it out on time but it took a community to literally keep him alive and keep them mobile.  

      when they asked why i stopped, i told them i had a "feeling" they needed help - and i was "paying it forward" to all those who had helped me in the past.

      so, you were there, too, potatohead - and all of this community was there.

      pay it forward.  that is how this works and we all will make it through hard times.  one act of kindness exponetially multiplies when we do that in the name of our friends (even if those "friends" are strangers we've never met!)

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:23:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is there any possibility that your sister has (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    remembrance, edrie, high uintas

    some serious health issue that could affect her mentally?  Brain tumor comes to my mind.

    Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

    by Amber6541 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:48:50 AM PDT

    •  i wish there WERE a "physical" cause - that (6+ / 0-)

      could be fixed.  sadly, this has been ongoing for 67 years, almost 68 (as my birthday is less than two months away).

      sometimes it is just what it is... and accepting that has been the hardest thing of all.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:13:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some people are just psychopaths (6+ / 0-)

      My husband has psychopathic relatives. Really, so off the wall that if I wrote about it, it would sound like science fiction. When his parents finally pass, there is going to be a massive uproar (a la "Fatal Attraction") among the siblings who have been counting on inheriting wealth all their lives. There will be nothing for them.

      My husband stayed sane by separating himself from all this. We have been very fortunate career-wise and so don't need help from relatives, thank FSM. Because help would not be there if it was needed.

      I have frequently donated to fundraisers here and will continue to do so. Most people in that situation do not have (enough) supportive family members and that is why we have to step in as substitute family and help out fellow liberals. I understand this at the fundamental level; I wish everyone could see it but perhaps if you've been lucky all your life you can't empathize.

      Thanks for speaking up, edrie.

      Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

      by sillia on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:04:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for sharing your story, too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sillia, emeraldmaiden

        and, you hit the nail on the head that many who are in trouble don't HAVE a supportive family that can or would help.  

        it's hard to explain to people who ask "don't you have family" that, yes - and the word dysfunctional is too mild.

        thank you for joining in trying to help those more fortunate to understand!

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:54:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  But the constant push for (11+ / 0-)

    political fundraising is just fine? I don't see a huge difference, myself...okay - there are some differences. But if personal donations are not okay because someone might be a scammer, does that mean I should never expect another John Edwards?
    I would far rather give what little I have toward helping someone get through a bad spell than give (and then be repeatedly harassed) to someone who furthers some of the corruption in our system.

    •  deciding how and where to help sometimes has (9+ / 0-)

      amazing consequences!  

      the other day, a friend's husband felt ill and needed to go to urgent care - thought it was vertigo but not sure.

      i was driving toward their house - she was at work and he couldn't drive due to the world spinning.

      took him - it was vertigo - and when i was driving him back home, he grinned and said "your brakes are out of true".

      my jaw dropped!  i thought i had bent a tie rod or had thrown my car out of alignment due to hitting a large hidden curb.  never THOUGHT that the rotor might be warped!

      turns out, he has the equipment to turn the rotors and offered to do it for me - and if they are too low and would be out of spec, he can get the rotors for me at a steep discount!

      one never knows where helping will lead.  i am thrilled - my car has been shuddering violently when i brake going downhill - was really afraid i would be out of a car.  now, it turns out that the only "turning" i need is on those rotors and my friend's husband will do it for me!

      we really ARE all in this together!  or, as the old saying goes:  one good "turn" deserves another!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:20:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was holding it together (9+ / 0-)

    until I read my name on your list of people you'd like to meet.  Now I need a tissue....


    The Girl Who Loved Stories
    I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

    by Avilyn on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:03:36 AM PDT

    •  and i'm not alone - your ears must burn when (6+ / 0-)

      remembrance, glen the plumber and i get together!

      we're hoping you come to the bay area!  we ALL want to meet you!

      i have so many names i want to add to that list - so many here that constantly are talked about when i talk to my barn friends - they also feel like they know you and our orange family!

      so many good people concentrated in so small a space (9x15, i think my screen is...)


      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:11:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  D'awww... (4+ / 0-)

        shucks.  Thanks.  Usually the husband and I stick to driving distance trips, because flying gives us both migraines (not to mention security is a pain).  But we've talked about the train as an alternative, although it takes longer and would require using more vacation time, so we haven't followed through on it yet.  But if we do, I'll post about it here so that a meet-up can be arranged :-)

        I'm actually excited that I'll get to meet some of the NJ/Philly/NYC folks come October; it'll be my first time meeting Kossacks in person.  Can't wait :-)

        The Girl Who Loved Stories
        I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

        by Avilyn on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:21:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful diary, dear edrie ♥ (9+ / 0-)

    Lots of love and many hugs to you. Hopefully someday we WILL meet.

    Your jewelry is beautiful and I'm honored to be a customer!

  •  As someone who has been the recipient of help (14+ / 0-)

    I am much happier when someone else asks for me. I wouldn't have minded sending copies of bills, etc. at the time if it were needed to verify the needs mentioned.

    I would hate to see the fundraising diaries go; I hope to be able to pay forward what I received someday.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:13:11 AM PDT

    •  i agree with you about being uncomfortable about (6+ / 0-)

      asking directly for help - that is the hardest thing i think i've ever done in my life - it felt like i was a failure for not being able to take care of myself and my creatures.

      never mind that tee was on insulin twice a day, i was cooking for him because the commercial food was filled with rice hulls - and then sani developed laminitis.

      when nimbus got sick - i had taken the job selling cars because he was older - that last month, his and sani's vet bills were over $10k - then tee's diabetes was ove $2500.  when mom died, i drove to n.c. and tee ended up having a splenectomy for another $1500 plus the car broke down and after repairs, gas etc., the trip cost me almost $7000 (including what i loaned my sister).

      still, i didn't come here - i managed to work and take care of my responsibilities.  so when i couldn't meet these last ones, i felt like superwoman had died and i didn't know WHO replaced her.

      there are times people really do get overwhelmed.  that is when people - we - any of us - need a little help to get back our cape and wings.

      i think that if fundraisng diaries were banned or "controlled", it would suck a major part of the community out of this site.

      i hope that things stay the way they are - if someone abuses the system, then that can be dealt with.  but, if we can let the free-for-alls go on without interference, then why are fundraisers somehow singled out for limits?

      as many have said here - just click on through and go to another corner of this site - there are many other places to go if one spot makes you uncomfortable!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:13:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I managed to get back to school twice because (19+ / 0-)

    of this community -- the second time, I didn't even ask, someone posted the link (meant to be circulated in private among friends) while I was asleep and it exploded.

    Some of the fiercest "progressive" warriors on this site are anything but progressive if they object to people asking for and receiving help. And if Markos wants to stop them and cater yet again to the whine-and-bitch demographic, more power to him. Whatever.

    If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

    by weatherdude on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:17:54 AM PDT

    •  hi, wd - we're facing t-storms in norcal tonite! (10+ / 0-)

      so, of course, i think of you! - we west coasters are neglected, my friend - when will we get your weather prognostications?


      and, so far, markos hasn't weighed in on this topic - it has been brought up by other kossacks who object. i don't think it is fair to say he is going to "ban" the diaries - this is in response to requests to look at them.

      i've talked to him personally about this on occasion - he watches to see if the requests are too frequent by the same people and are becoming a problem.  

      i am always surprised at how much "hands on" markos really is - he watches far more than we realize - yet gives us tremendous leeway to (as you put it) "whine-and-bitch".  

      while some of us would prefer less of that, i still see many of those who do just that stepping up quickly to help another kossack in need.  

      i remember the saying growing up - "it takes all kinds" - and i am in agreement - for with ALL of the kinds of kossacks here, the word that stands out the most is "kind" when someone is hurting or in need.  political differences dissolve and people step up.

      it is the rare one who doesn't.

      even the skeptics hold a valuable place here - for they are the ones who exposed the manipulation of the nephew and charley james.  in a way, they are here to try to "protect" our vulnerability - even though i diagree with those who want fundraisers stopped.

      so, again, please don't think that this issues is originating from markos - it's not.  it is an issue raised by the community and one that needs airing, imho.

      when does schoool start back?  you should be getting closer to that cap and gown now!  hope you are out of tornado alley this year!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:05:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I tend to jump on (9+ / 0-)

        Markos because he has a record of dealing with the community in an ultra-ham-fisted manner, and I've only seen a few select folks complain about fundraisers. In public, anyway.

        I'll see what I can do about the weather out yonder. ;)

        School starts today, actually. I've got my first class in about an hour. 9 months until I graduate.

        If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."

        by weatherdude on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:18:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and we're all invited to your graduation, right? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sand Hill Crane

          heh heh heh - a sea of orange amid a sea of blue!

          i understand markos' style of moderation a bit better now - it isn't as though he does this out of the blue.  i was surprised to learn that he does watch the site - and he tried NOT to interfere until it is beyond bringing back.

          the idea of banning all who participate instead of one side or the other i harsh - but he does have a point.  we don't HAVE to engage.  we can shut the puter off and walk away!

          check out tonite and tomorrow - the real danger here right now is dry lightning with the tinder dry woods.  we are in heavy fire season with multiple fires burning right now - and tonite could get very bad very quickly.  i've been watching the weather fronts moving through - the thunderstorms headed our way are the real danger now.

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:57:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like limits. (8+ / 0-)

    I've donated to fundraisers.

    But some are just too much.

    I'd like:
    1. Limits on frequency (this is a big one for me)
    2. Some sort of maximum limit.
    3. When the maximum is hit, the diary is taken down.

    There can be a group whose job is not to vet fundraisers (too comicated, plus liability) but just keep track of fundraising diaries that have been posted, since they have been taken down. This way we can keep track of frequency.

    "Immediate need" fundraisers really should be immediate need, such as car accidents or other sudden incidents. Most if the time, "immediate need" is lack of planning or not wanting to face up to facts. I don't go sound cruel, but that panicking tone in that sort of diary makes me far more skeptical; and from what others have posted publically, I get the feeling that's part of the issue.

    Finally, sponsoring members should try to find out as much as possible, and be upfront. The nephew incident proved we can't "know" a stranger by talking to him on the phone repeatedly.  We just can't. Can you or a local Kossack go visit? Perhaps there is documentation (an estimate) that can be emailed? If this is related to an animal needing help, can a local rescue organization drop by?

    Yes, the recipient will lose some anonymity with their sponsor . But they're asking the community for hundreds or thousands of dollars.

    When I donate -- and I do donate -- I just want some reasonable assurance that the person is legit, that the need is real and the probability is the money will go to what they say it will.

    Planned Parenthood and my local food bank have legitimate need and can prove where the money goes. If I'm diverting funds from them, I just want assurance that we're doing this right.

    I'm fine with fundraising diaries.

    The lack of guidelines here makes me uncomfortable.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:18:39 AM PDT

    •  hi, grover, (11+ / 0-)

      i'm not sure that there can BE guidelines - that limits how we address someone who is in desperate need - and, imho, to come to a blog to expose one's vulnerabilities IS desperation.

      so many times in life, people make suggestions without realizing that the person has already tried that one - not that the suggestions shouldn't be made - they should in case that is the lifeline that will get someone through.

      the sad thing is that by the time someone is here, they've pretty much used up all other alternatives that the KNOW about.

      what i love about this community and the diaries is that many times, just the asking will provide direction that gets help long term instead of just addressing the crisis.

      when you have limited funds (as i have had for a while now) that shapes how you give.  i find that sometimes i see the person on the corner asking for help and all i have is the food i just bought - so i share that.  the smiles are just as broad for food as for money that is going to buy food.

      and, it isn't always money that is important.  just the simple {{{{{grover}}}}} is enough to pick up someone's spirit and allow them to take another step towards a solution.

      emotional support can be every much as empowering as money.

      i just worry that if we try to hard to make people prove their need, they won't ask when that need is very real.  asking is the hardest thing in the world to do for someone who holds a sense of pride in life.

      letting go of that pride is possibly the lesson to be learned - but humble and humiliation walk a very close path - it is for us to know how not to push someone into the wrong one.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:57:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't thik you understand that I've been there (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BoiseBlue, Adam B, edrie, Bugsby

        Too edrie.

        And that's why I do donate and that's why I tried  to be  as flexible as possible in my guidelines.

        Asking for help is the hardest part. But the sponsor can help from there. If I need help with rent, well, that's easy: you come to the community and say that grover needs $1500, or 2 months of $750. That doesn't require a lot of documentation.

        If you need $7500 for your horse to have surgery, you come to me. You give me an estimate for $7495. You give me copies of photos of you on your horse (so we know it's actually your horse). I also get from you estimate for $
        $500 to board the horse for a month, because I don't want to come back with an emergency request later. We ask the community for $8000.

        Maybe it says ok. Maybe the community decides, that's the craziest idea ever. Maybe it asks for copies of the surgery estimate and photos ( sent via kosmail with your true name redacted).  

        But we're asking for $8k. A bank would have you jumping backflips for that sort of loan.

        Yes, loan.

        This community steps up again and again. But all we need is one big scam and no one will ever donate with that sort of generosity again.

        I can give you a list if people who have defrauded this community with fake personalities. Some did fundraisers. Most caused huge fights. Some people are still hurt by the cruel words that were exchanged. I care about this community. I especially care about those on limited incomes who toss in $10 that they don't really have to share when a request seems questionable.

        Is it sadistic for me to remain quiet if I really believe someone with limited resources is about to be scammed? I have a good track record detecting the frauds at this site thus far. But currently, I just walk out of those diaries.

        Right now, it's impossible to walk into a fundraising diary and simply say, "I have concerns about this one."

        Right now it's black and white.

        I'm asking for everyone to move to the gray area in between.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:58:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh, grover - PLEASE don't think my comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          about sadistic posts was directed toward you or any other kossack who cares as deeply as you do about this community.

          as i mentioned upthread - the comment was one made by a person in a thread having nothing to do with me or my horse - it was about being critical of someone who purchased food items from a gas station paying with food stamps.

          much later, in an entirely different aspect of the conversation, that poster wrote a comment that had nothing to do with the thread topic - he stated that perhaps i should buy a bearclaw for the horse i couldn't afford to keep.

          that is sadism.  plain and simple.  sadism.

          the desire to inflict pain on another for pleasure.

          it serves no useful purpose other than to hurt me because remembrance had posted a diary about sani and me.

          so, PLEASE don't think i meant you or any of the other kossacks who question.  i, too, question when i read a diary.  i do a quick search if i am not comfortable to confirm what is being written - to see if it is plausible.

          in 99% of the cases, it is.

          your suggestions are good with one minor correction.

          horse emergencies don't have TIME to gather papers.  they are immediate.

          when a horse needs surgery - it is in a life-threatening situation where the owner and vet and horse are already or one the way to the vet hospital.  the decision for surgery usually is made within a very short window (most are for colic surgery where the intestines are either blocked or twisted).  any delay means that part of the gut quickly becomes necrotic and the horse is in great pain - and can die of stress even before getting to the table.

          i've been there for colic surgeries where the horse didn't make it - it is heartbreaking to have to say goodbye to a beloved horse on the table without bringing him out to say goodbye.

          and that is the problem with vetting fundraisers - many are time sensitive - and the person is already under great stress, too.

          when one can plan to get a "loan", even that takes time to get the paperwork in order.

          what we've seen here over the years are people who are in crisis and have already exhausted all other means of funding.

          why do we need to pile more stress into that well?

          i can see if there is a pattern of poverty and abuse of the good nature exhibited - like with charley james.  but to punish everyone else who may have a problem seems grossly unfair.

          as for moving into the gray area, i have a suggestion here.

          ask questions - a lot of questions!  those that are legitimate won't have any problem answering them.  those that aren't will trip themselves up and set off alarms.

          when those alarms go off - investigate them - ask more questions!

          the questions clear up misunderstandings.  in remembrance's diary, a very compassionate guy wrote that he did the math and my board was $1000 a month based on what i needed for how long.  what he didn't realize is that my barn has been carrying a balance from me for months - and, my board is only slightly higher than half that.

          i caught his error in math and posted a comment to clarify it - why? because asking someone to pay $1000 a month so i can keep my horse is just wrong!

          my issues are related to mom's estate - i am juggling every penny to get through each month.  when the barn called due the past board, that is when my situation became a crisis.

          it has a shelf life, fortunately.  when mom's house sells, i am out of this mess - and it WILL sell as soon as i get my sister to agree on the listing.  if she doesn't, then this caveat filing will get very interesting indeed.

          but, questions will put most folks' minds at ease.  that is a gray area i see working well.

          and, grover, i KNOW what a big heart you have - after all, you bought the very first piece i ever put up on etsy - for your sister!

          the funny thing is that we agree on so much - it is just the "how" where we are searching for common ground here!


          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:13:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wish I could rec this (7+ / 0-)

        many times over.  What you say about spirit is so important.

        Just to know that a community cares whether one lives or dies -- that is major.  It gives hope.

        Thank you for this diary, edrie.  {{{{{{{edrie}}}}}}}}

        •  i just posted to adam b (when he brought (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emeraldmaiden, Sand Hill Crane

          up the "buffy intervention") that perhaps we might have done the same for translator.

          i get so sad thinking of him - we corresponded behing the scenes a bit - he was so much in love with "the girl".

          he was a good soul and is missed - but, at least, there is a "cloud kossack meetup" going on somewhere over our heads as i type, i'm sure of it!

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:52:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  is there a new rule about fundraisers? (9+ / 0-)

    did i miss something

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:23:02 AM PDT

  •  Take Care Edrie, (9+ / 0-)

    don't hate your life - there is always someone out there that is worse off. I would like to be walking strong and without the cane, and someday I will.
    Fortunately for me, my sons nave come to my aid when needed, but if they hadn't I would have needed a fundraiser, too.
    Thank you for writing this diary, and stay strong.

    Visit my Etsy Shop - Kos Katalogue Member Just renamed!

    by mayrose on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:39:29 AM PDT

  •  You know I love you edrie (8+ / 0-)

    I can't imagine how much pain your sis has caused you. I'm at a loss for what to say, it's horrible.

    I wish you peace and comfort and an end to this nightmare you have been enduring. ♥ hu

    "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

    by high uintas on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:47:43 AM PDT

  •  One thing that happens (11+ / 0-)

    in every single "fundraiser" type diary I have seen here, is excellent help and advice of a non-financial nature that is offered to the person in dire straits. I have been very, very impressed with the ideas, brainstorming, sometimes localized information and on-the-ground help that gets offered. Strategizing for the long term as well as for the immediate crisis, links to legal sites, names of agencies that might work with the person, etc.

    Really the problem-solving ideas that come out of these diaries are magnificent. Sure, money may be needed to forestall a crisis. I usually pitch in just $10 or $25 dollars as most of my money goes to medical costs. But I see that enough people kick in small amounts that it gets the person out of disaster and more in a position to solve long-term problems.

    This is the essence of what it is to be a liberal. Everyone matters. And this type of effort brings out the best in Kossacks, who can be extremely smart as well as kind. And many hands together are very powerful.

    Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

    by sillia on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:15:25 AM PDT

    •  i so agree with you - the suggestions made are (3+ / 0-)

      just amazing!  i've bookmarked so many of them to share down the road when another need arises for someone in trouble.

      this site leaves me awestruck in so many ways - it isn't just ideology that we share - even if we argue over the fine points sometimes - it is a vast wealth of knowledge that is put out there for all to share!

      i've kicked around political boards since the early days of the intertubes and i've never seen anything comparable to this site.

      i think we have markos to thank for that!  even though we sometimes complain about the lack of "moderation", the reality is that we disagree passionately on some things and agree passionately about others - AND, when push come to shove, we come together where and when there is a need.

      haiti and shelterbox and texmex come to mind...

      yep, ths place never ceases to amaze me.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:01:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Car repair advice saved me $$$ (6+ / 0-)

      It's a great point that it's not just donations of funds but of time and effort. One Kossack researched the cheapest parts for my Focus repair job and saved me more than $110. That's a huge saving when things are bad financially.

      Another Kossack recommended working out payment arrangements with a local repair shop and that worked for me until the poor guy started to struggle too... it's a trickle down lousy economy in that way.

  •  given a choice between being scammed (14+ / 0-)

    now and then, or not giving to someone in need.. I'm ok with occasional loss

    I rather be a fool than a jerk

    as always your choice

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:19:45 AM PDT

  •  {{{{{edrie}}}}} (10+ / 0-)

    Thanks for sharing your story and putting yourself out there. It's because of people like you that this community has a such a huge heart and soul.

    Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

    by citisven on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:25:40 AM PDT

  •  It's been rough lately (6+ / 0-)

    for all--some more than others. In debate and outside it. In Real Life and outside it (ie. in blogs).

    We've tussled a little lately, but I want you to know, edrie, that I support you a thousand percent on this. And I am so sorry about the shit you've been going through. Families and money. Been there, done that, it was ugly. It always hurts and it will never stop hurting (though it does lessen).

    Taking away any number of diary series anyway--particularly this one--seems wrong on the face of it. A lot of what was mentioned in that 'feedback' diary about new site rules, in terms of their future, was just so disheartening. Overall it's an idea that's always worked so well around here.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:50:09 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, dear. (9+ / 0-)

    You expressed very eloquently and clearly the importance of the Kos Community.

    Some people come here to check in on the news, and they become arrogant because they find out that Kos is more than the news.

    If they would stick around just a little longer, they would begin to realize that there is strength in people supporting and caring for each other.

    Sending you lots of positive thoughts, prayers, and energy!

    Peace, Hope, Faith, Love

    by mapamp on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:52:54 AM PDT

    •  when i'm "down" - i know that i can find so much (5+ / 0-)

      here that is uplifting and beautiful along side the politics.

      kossacks are the community i wish we had everywhere.  we can agree to disagree and still care for one another.

      heck, we can argue with passion and yet be friends!  (hi, AoT, thinking about you!)

      thank you for the positive thoughts, prayer and energy - it helps!  there is a wonderful young lady doing reikei for sani and me - she is a family member of another kossack, zett.

      i can feel the energy from her - and you - and many more - and i'm smiling.

      thank you, mapamp!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:13:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can just see it: Meteor Blades holding a prover- (14+ / 0-)

    bial gun to our heads to force us to donate to people in need!

    /snark to point out what you said so well.  No one forces us or even pressures us to give in any of these fundraisers.  I have given in some and not given in others, but no one (not the scary "admins" or any group or any user) has ever pressured me.  I do rec these fundraisers, even if I can't give at that time, because I hope that others that can and are interested will see the diary and be so inclined, but even in that there is no pressure (sure some community members do chime up and say "rec this up" or "give" but even that I do not see as pressuring me).

    Thanks, for your diary and beautifully told, albeit sad, personal story.  

    In case you are interested about my will story: My dad died nearly 3 years ago and I have some siblings, one brother specifically, that is fighting my dad's will - even after he had a hand in writing it (along with another brother that since died) and has tied up the whole thing in court. The $20k or so I would get would sure come in handy, but I would gladly give that up to erase the pain and the ill will that this brother has sowed among the remaining 8 siblings since my father's death. Ironic how our own family can sometimes hurt us much more than anyone else, isn't it?

  •  {{{Edrie}}} (7+ / 0-)

    I wish I could help, as other kossacks have helped me in the past. I wish you luck in your upcoming legal battle.

    I'm also the victim of some seriously sociopathic sisters, the younger one stealing my ID when we were teenagers and then fighting with my parents over it. they convinced me to drop the matter, claiming it didn't matter (she claimed she loaned it to a friend to get a fake ID)
    and, an older sister who had me sign a Power of Atty when I was abroad for year so she could turn in my taxes, only to have her refuse to give me a copy a few years ago when i became homeless so I could revoke it. She claims she never  processed it, but then she changes the subject when I tell her if she didn't process it, then there's no reason not to give me a copy so I can revoke it. Why she wants to retain a copy of a POA when I live in subsidized housing and have no assets is troubling.

    If it weren't for kossacks, I'd still be sleeping on the streets of Portland, but I was never offended when asked to prove who I was or what my circumstances were and so, I agree with Adam B.'s suggestions on how  to continue fundraiser diaries, but don't think they should be banned outright.

    perhaps we make a annex site for simply fundraisers if the admins don't want to continue them here.

    "Truth catches up with you in here. It's the truth that's gonna make you hurt." - Piper Chapman

    by blueoregon on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:10:03 AM PDT

    •  check with legal aid - i think you can revoke it (5+ / 0-)

      without that copy - then send her a notarized change - that should cover you legally.

      i'm looking at the gofundme site that aji used for mishwa - but i haven't figured out how to offer the reward levels with jewelry.  also, i just had a MAJOR issue with etsy - they decided (according to the patronizing email i got in reply to my query) to start "strictly enforcing" the 14 day grace period to pay the etsy fees.

      they never have in the past and sent no prior notice.

      on the 15th at 12:30 am, i couldn't add anything to the site until i "paid my fees" and was threatened with having the account suspended if it wasn't paid in five days!

      i was appalled!  i couldn't add anything to sell and was only allowed to sell, not manage the site.  since my sales were all on the 29th and 30th of july and the bill came due on the 1st with that 14 day grace period, it left very little time to collect the paypal funds and pay etsy.  fortunately, i was able to do so - but am now looking at setting up my own webpage for my jewelry - cheaper to pay the domain fees than paying etsy a commission for net 14 on a bill!

      i was so upset when this happened, i was up all night - really upset.  i budget what is due when and when it gets paid - and that one came out of the blue.

      when we are living close to the edge, any little thing can throw you - that is where community comes in.  that is where kossacks come in - they are there to listen to us when we are upset and raging - they are there to soothe us - they are there with their hands extended.

      and, during all of this, it hit me again how the "fees" and "charges" and costs for smaller quantities of merchandise can cause us so much financial distress.

      when adam or others want to limit the diaries - i remember how upset i was over the fees and the limit - since that is the ONLY source of income other than social security that i will have for a considerable amount of time to come.

      moving the diaries to a separate annex means they are essentially stripped of the eye views that cause people to help.

      i almost was eaten alive over something i had no knowledge of happening in the middle of the night - a change in policy that i never knew about until after the fact.

      some here, like the situation vetwife encountered in july and others who have immediate crises - they depend on that large audience to find the right answer.

      so, i am against segregating fundraising diaries - adding a label or a group, then maybe - but adding extra clicks to get there, not so much in support of that.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:20:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't end fundraising. I don't post a lot, but (10+ / 0-)

    the one thing that keeps me coming here nearly daily to read threads is the sense of community.

    Part of that is being able to help others.

    Please don't end fundraising.

    Democrats: The party of "We The People"

    by DannyB on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:13:02 AM PDT

    •  {{{{{DannyB}}}}} (5+ / 0-)

      ITA the sense of community is what makes this place so special.

    •  thank you - and come post more - we'd love to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emeraldmaiden, Sand Hill Crane

      read your thoughts!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:07:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, Edrie :) More inside ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Right now I have a very busy life with work and an 89 year old mother-in-law whose health isn't good.

        I'm with this community 100% regarding views on politics.  When things calm down I'll post more.

        For now, I love reading the great diaries here and feeling good for as long as I'm here.

        Hope you and yours are doing OK.  You're someone, although I only know you through a few messages back and forth, I know cares about others in a big way, fur or skin people. You're the best :)

        Helping others helps me too.  

        Democrats: The party of "We The People"

        by DannyB on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 04:26:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wishing you laughter as you work to bring joy into (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          your MIL's life!  that is what i am doing with rita, my friend's 88 yr old mom.

          life is for laughter and joy - no matter WHAT gets thrown our way!

          i'm glad you're here - and when you can, stop in and say "hi" - let us know you're okay!

          and "helping" is what lets all of us get through the difficult times!  your kind words are "helping" many people who read them.

          thank you!

          [now for the GOOD news! - sani got his third set of "nooshoos" today - his feet are healing nicely!  my farrier is very pleased and my vet said we've got the weight off - a bit too much, actually - so SANI is very happy cuz he's getting more FUD!

          AND he gets a quarter cup of canola oil in it each day - he thinks that is just YUMMY!  

          i think we have rounded the corner health wise - now to round it financially.

          my awesome vet has never billed me - he knows about the sister stuff and is just supplying meds - he's paying for them - until i can pay him.  i told him today that my fingers are starting to work again and i can start to cover the cost.  i could hear him smiling through the phone - not because he is going to start getting paid, but because things are starting to get better!

          one day at a time - that is how we take it!]

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 09:52:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I agree that fundraiser diaries are fine. (8+ / 0-)

    Perhaps they should have a standard start to their titles, so the stingy among us can just not click.

    My impression is that there aren't that many of these.  And Kossacks are pretty good at separating the wheat from the chaff.

  •  {{{edrie}}} Thank you. (8+ / 0-)

    I stand with you completely, and I'm grateful to you for sharing details of your painful ordeal in order to ensure that the community can come together whenever someone may need the help.  Your generosity of spirit epitomizes the best of what this community can be.  Best wishes for an easing soon of the estate troubles, and many fine years ahead with Sani.

  •  I've been a giver & a receiver here & learned... (5+ / 0-)

    I've been a giver and a receiver here... and learned from both sides that together we have made huge differences in people's lives.

    My first years here, I came for the politics and mainly donated to the campaigns and pizza deliveries for the Obama volunteers. I was really impressed how our small donations pooled together were making such a huge difference.

    Over time Nurse Kelley's community fundraising diaries captured my attention. Nurse Kelley is a true angel who carried on the spirit that drew me to the Obama campaign AND this site in the first place - that message that together we CAN make a difference if we pool our few bucks together to work for a common goal.

    Since I was still in decent financial shape back then, I was able to contribute a few bucks here and there to a few Kossacks who needed this community to serve as their safety net. Honestly, all those experiences were very positive. I never felt "scammed" ever and those suffering huge medical bills in particular I felt empathy for as I was starting to see our own family consumed by them.

    With my father's congestive heart failure consumed me and my mom's time, I had less and less time to visit here and missed whatever went down with the infamous scammers. To this day, I'm still confused on those events.

    But I can stand testament firsthand the generosity of Kossacks here has truly made a huge difference in many lives. Including mine.

    Little did I know those years ago, I would be the one in desperate need last year after my father's long illness and death left me and my mom decimated financially. I never expected to ask for a penny, and only made a comment in a diary that I couldn't help anymore due to my own troubles. Kelley and another Kossack reached out to me and I'll be forever grateful to them, and this site for literally helping me get my gas turned on and keep my beat up car running so I continue to care for my elderly mom.

    And it's not just the life-changing financial donations, but it's the emails that poured in sharing stories of their own struggles, past and current, to care for elderly parents. There's very few programs out there, few discover that until they come up against the lack.

    Kossacks taught me one is never alone when part of this community and I try to pay that forward when I can.

    I wish I was a poet. I wish I was even a fairly decent writer so I could convey the depth of my gratitude to this community for embracing me, for teaching me important life lesson of empathy for others, and for saving me before that quicksand completely overtook me.

    I can only send a humble thank you and serve as a witness this site is far more than just about politics. It's a real community of friends and I don't ever want to think we'll change that.

    •  you don't need to wish - you are a poet - (3+ / 0-)

      your words are beautiful in how they describe what this community means to you and me and so many more posting here today.

      and, i, too, send that humble thank you to this community of friends!  this place is special in a way that is hard to describe to those who've not experienced it.

      thank you and i hope all is going well with you and your mom...

      i'm helping out a friend right now - actually TWO friends (three, if you count one's husband).

      her mom is 88 and is also my friend - she can no longer live alone so i have moved in to help her adjust to this life changing situation.  by the time i finally get my own place again, she will have adjusted to having a second being in her home.

      and, me?  this morning as i was typing i looked up to see her brining me donuts and freshly made coffee!  wow!  caring goes two ways and expands beyond!

      that is the great orange community, too!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:02:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos, and thank you edrie. (6+ / 0-)

    I didn't know that community fundraisers are on chopping block. I hope it's not a done deal (although really, how could it be enforced?) and that discussions such as the one you started will bring some enlightenment to the, er, rules changed.

    Count me in as one of those who've been helped through rough times via community fundraisers. I've also been through family-money hell, and in fact this has been touch & go due to yet another glitch in the family money thing. Long story I won't go into here. I'd been considering asking for community help a few weeks ago when it looked like I wasn't going to make my mortgage payment, but fortunately the check I was waiting for came through and got this month covered. Next month or the month after, who knows.

    The help I've gotten from the community has made me far more aware of the interconnections we all have, and more willing to pay it forward, as they say, when I can. It would really be a loss to this site, maybe even a devastating blow, to see those connections broken.

    "I don't love writing, but I love having written" ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:49:36 AM PDT

  •  Hi, edrie (7+ / 0-)

    I'm glad you wrote this diary.   It has given me a little more insight.  

    I'm so sorry that you and your sib don't get along.  Sorrier for her actually, because not only does she not appreciate what she's got, she seems incapable of recognizing that her existence is the poorer for it.  Someone who lacks that capacity is to be pitied, indeed.

    But don't let her depress you any more!  As a friend of mine once said,

    Before you self-diagnose as being depressed or suffering from low self-esteem, make sure everybody around you isn't a perfect asshole.
    I've contributed to people here on the Kos, and been glad of it, even when I thought there might have been something "Lunch" about it.  :)  But I've gotten so much in return - rich friendships even from people I've not yet met.  My beautiful horsey-themed quilt from Sara R, that I used in every chemo session.  Rock solid support and advice from Nurse Kelley when I realized the woman was my virtual sister was more than just a narcissitic pain- she was and is a dangerous psychopath who tried to harm (kill sounds so dramatic, but that was her intent)  me and my horse.

    I think the only "rule" about fund-raising diaries should echo the same rule around Pootie Diaries.  If you don't want to contribute - move along.    And if you can't contribute or empathize with someone else's plight, at least have the decency to STFU.

    Don't practice. Train.--Brian Harvey

    by luvsathoroughbred on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:19:32 PM PDT

    •  oh wow! you made me LAUGH! (4+ / 0-)

      i am SOOO going to post this everywhere!

      Before you self-diagnose as being depressed or suffering from low self-esteem, make sure everybody around you isn't a perfect asshole.
      it is so hard to realize people wish you actual harm - but at least that frees you to move on... and away.

      i agree with you about the pootie rule - if someone doesn't like it, don't go there!

      sadly, though, they will be the ones missing out for those diaries are filled with love.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:51:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is their loss (5+ / 0-)

        my friend.

        We can't force people to examine their consciences (always assuming they have one).  And as my mentor in law school says,

        Aggravated felony dumbfucktitude is not in the criminal code.
        So, as the old book says, "Leave Them to Heaven".

        and get on with our own lives.

        Or,  as our distinguished Commander in Chief says,

        Please proceed

        Don't practice. Train.--Brian Harvey

        by luvsathoroughbred on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:18:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ha! i think that every person with a negative (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emeraldmaiden, Sand Hill Crane

          attitude should pass the pony test (not horse, PONY!)

          nothing corrects a bad attitude like a good pony!


          it always tickles me to watch a "lesson" being learned when someone who "thinks" they are smarter than a horse come in with a "tood" on - they rarely win the discussion!

          heck, maybe we need more ponies on this site!  (or, that may be why "pony talk" is now considered a no-no.

          that said, i'm heading out in a few to go take care of mr. sanman.  it's cooled down to  81 degrees so i can go out and rake his paddock - a daily occurance for his laminitis!

          not that i mind - it is a true labor for love.

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:41:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  When I speak to non-DailyKos people about (8+ / 0-)

    what is experienced here, it is profoundly impressive to them.

    The very concrete ways in which we support each other speak far more deeply than any political opinions we espouse.

    When I give, I give freely, with no attachment to how the money is used or judgment of the person. I give to give, because it feels great.

    When I have received, I have been so humbled. It is an overpowering experience. I have received life from this community. I'm on my weekly IV today, which I would not be getting without this community raising funds for needed tests which insurance wouldn't cover. What could possibly be more bonding? For whatever political or stylistic differences I may have with anyone here, nothing can outweigh the concrete way in which this has been one aspect of life support for me.

    Clearly, this is an emotional subject for me. I would be heartbroken and feel that a cloud covers my experience here if the prospects of my being able to give others were taken away.

    Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

    by UnaSpenser on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:16:57 PM PDT

  •  I've given hundreds of dollars (9+ / 0-)

    to people here.

    I have also voiced skepticism regarding people who were using dkos as an ATM on their own behalf.

    People are within their rights to do both.  I will do just that.

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:25:59 PM PDT

  •  I agree with you, edrie. I do not see how (7+ / 0-)

    helping another person harms anyone. I went to that link and read all that talk about the help diaries affecting the overall balance of the site and some such nonsense. Crap.

    People who are opposed to helping can choose not to open the diary. It's that simple.

    I have never received a penny, yet I have been enormously helped by the fundraising/helping diaries because they have restored to me a belief in the goodness in people. I would hate to see them end and feel that the soul of this site would end with them.

    I notice that the true naysayers regarding the helping diaries are mean in other places on this site. Let them blather on.

    As for regulation, I think we should all regulate ourselves. If we want to apply strict skepticism, then we should. If we want to give and trust, knowing that if we're scammed we still have the blessing of sharing, then we should.

    I would again like to thank everyone on this site who has done anything at all to help another human being (or animal). The light from this generosity shines into dark corners that we do not even know about.

    Kos, leave the fundraising for people in need diaries alone, please.  

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:35:52 PM PDT

  •  I got to the bottom of the comments (4+ / 0-)

    again...and again.

    I never realized how many people this community of friends has helped over their rough spots. Ya make me proud.

    Have a tribute to the human spirit:

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:34:18 PM PDT

  •  Kos, please leave the fundraising diaries alone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edrie, emeraldmaiden, scamperdo

    I understand that some people feel like they have to regulate charity and expose the scammers, but that sounds a bit too much like the platform of the Wisconsin Republican Legislative majority to go over too well with me.

    BSW (before Scott Walker) I used to be able to donate to the fundraisers. I donated with an open heart, knowing that I was helping a Kossack in need and I didn't require to have that "need" verified and approved by anyone else.

    Adam B and the other skeptics are always welcome to skip over the fundraiser pages and move on to the "hardcore" political diaries. If there's a Kossack in need, I would rather have the opportunity to decide if I can help them, rather than have them get turned away by complex rules and documentation requirements.

    "We are slow to realize that democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ~ "Fighting Bob" - Robert M. LaFollette Sr.

    by Sand Hill Crane on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 01:43:15 AM PDT

    •  thank you for saying this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it is the individual choice to help or not.

      having "rules" and "hoops" to jump through is a deterent to those already in stress.

      and, NO one is demanding anyone else read or donate or become involved.  NO one is holding hostage participants of this site to participate.

      i'm confused how people talk of feeling "shamed" into donating - "shame" is an emotion that comes from within, not without.

      i've seen that comment multiple times in this discussion and wonder how one could not feel "shame" for trying to prevent others from helping those in need.

      the saying "charity begins at home" means that it begins within each of us - no one can "make" another feel compassion or empathy.  it is either inside a person or it's not.

      that some would become so outraged that others come to the assistance of those in need puzzles me.  i understand those who are worried about whether this site is being "used" - and the answer to that is simple.

      either we are a community or we are a political bulletin board that only discusses approved topics.

      i prefer community.  i prefer knowing that those here share a view of the world that is broad and diverse - but mostly i prefer a community that is compassionate and willing to DO something instead of just "talk about" it.

      where there is need - we have filled it.  whether it be personal or political, this community has stepped up time and again to prove that we don't just "say" we believe - we LIVE those beliefs.

      i join you and the others here in saying to markos - please leave the fundraising diaries alone.

      let people have the freedom of choice whether or not to participate.  

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 10:51:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We really ARE the ones we've been waiting for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In one of the fundraising diaries, several of us discussed that we're really LIVING Obama's message about being the ones we've been waiting for... we're being safety net and supportive of those in needs whether due to financial or medical need.  That's a real community.

        I do respect those who view dKos as just a political site. That's how I felt my first few years here, too. I just learned it's so much more.

        •  a "political" site, you can leave - a "community", (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          not so much.

          there are days i remember those we've lost and i get very melancholy - and then i remember those who we still have, despite the adversities they have faced - and i celebrate.

          holding our breaths waiting for kitsap's kidney, sending healing thoughts to timeas as he waits for his surgery - celebrating remembrance and all those i the cancer club, still holding dear and remembering the beauty of the memorials of those we have loved - exmearden and do many more - THIS is a community!

          i don't want ANYONE to ever tell me i can't give help, extend a hand, prayer, direct healing energy  AND love to those who are my family here.

          that is the real crux of this discussion.

          are we just a "political site" where we can argue, name-call, insult and push for our political opinions OR are we a group of people who really care about those we see here - EVEN when we may sometimes disagree with one another!

          i choose the second door.

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 09:44:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You misstate what I said. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      All I'm proposing is "fundraising diaries need to be authored by someone other than the subject of the fundraising."  The level of documentation is solely up to what another Kossack is willing to stake his or her credibility on.  There's nothing complex about this.

  •  Good stuff. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emeraldmaiden, edrie, scamperdo

    And I'll add my voice to yours, edrie.  Markos, the community fundraisers need to be kept going.  The economy is not improving everywhere, and only a lucky few are really seeing an upswing.  Life continues to throw curve balls.  For many, this is the last lifeline.

    There's a special needs family several states south of me who have their new assistance trainee puppy because I asked for gas money to transport the puppy.  I got through a bout of pneumonia last winter without hospitalization because Kossacks pitched in for heating oil at my house.  Aji has done fundraiser after fundraiser after fundraiser for the reservations, so people don't freeze to death and women have a safe refuge when things turn violent at home.  This just scratches the surface:  there is a world of need, and I can tell you from experience, the local churches are tapped out.  

    Please keep the community fundraisers.  If you need a political justification to do so, think about this:  every single one of us who manages to hang in there because of the fundraisers is another vote for sane candidates.  Remember, the only polls that really matter are the ones that close on Election Day.  Let's not lose anybody.  We are stronger when we help each other stand a little longer, a little taller, and take another couple of steps forward.

    "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

    by Noor B on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 05:03:55 AM PDT

  •  Well, crap (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edrie, scamperdo

    I had posted a long comment, and it went into the ether and disappeared. :( No way to recreate it, so ...

    Suffice it to say that I have been helped here, and it was so moving that anyone could care enough to help a person they'd never met. Even Rich was moved to tears at the response from the community. JekyllnHyde and Sara R were huge in helping.

    I have helped as I could, though not much, so far, as our finances are still strained. However, this will not always be the case, and we will soon be able to help more frequently and more substantially. That is a big reason that I am a member of Community Fundraisers.

    edrie, I wanted to say that I am sorry for what your sister has put you through all of your life, and I sincerely hope you will prevail in your court case. FWIW, I believe that you will. Mojo and hugs for you and sani, too.

    •  doncha just hate that! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emeraldmaiden, scamperdo

      i've lost whole diaries before - now, i save the drafts frequently!

      how this community has reached over the digital divide and been there for so many of us is amazing.  reading how many have been touched by our orange family is amazing.  

      i can't imagine this community being told that is a bad thing - or seeing individuals told that their behavior is not allowed when it comes to personal choices to help others in need.

      the overwhelmng consensus here is that this effort on the part of the community should be left alone - it is our choice and since no one is forced to participate, the answer is simple:  if you object, don't participate - go somewhere else and read another diary.  

      no one is forced to give or participate.

      if the rare scammer shows up - that user will, like in the past, be uncovered.  in my opinion, however, this community is wise enough to decide whether or not to help.

      thank you, too, for your support in my own situation.  i published it here as an example of the "unexpected" that can affect anyone.  it was difficult sharing what is a very sad part of my life - showing personal pain is uncomfortable, but that part of the story is also important.  unfortunately, as the comments have shown, this is not an uncommon occurance in families.

      that is why it is SO important to have a will and have a neutral executor of the estate.

      my own situation will be resolved - for mom and dad's sake, as much as mine.

      thank you for the mojo and support!

      hugs back from sani and me!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:04:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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