Community Spotlight: How are you helping to build back better?

We Rescue Rangers know the Community has broad interests, but you surprised me this week by going big for two rescued stories covering subjects not remotely associated with current news and politics. Previously, I’d exclaimed that Community stories can offer “refuge from politics,” but that referenced nature, more commonly considered a haven away from troubling news. This week, however, the Community found an atypical refuge in … classical literature!

With another impeachment behind us, leaving a residue of widespread dissatisfaction, governance still holds our attention, as do climate change and COVID-19. In addition to this week’s focus on Beowulf and Shakespeare, the Daily Kos Community has turned back to more enduring concerns, including the need to hold legislators accountable and to empower voters. One of my volunteer projects does both and takes an hour of my online work per week.

I’ll tell you more about this project next Saturday, because this week, I’d like to hear about your volunteer involvement. Has the pandemic changed how your project operates? Did you work on candidate campaigns in the last election and, once those wrapped up, shift to new ventures? Are you still writing postcards to voters? I’m interested in hearing about all kinds of volunteer efforts, not just the political ones. The pandemic has expanded the need for ongoing efforts, like food banks and created new needs, such as testing and vaccine clinics. The Daily Kos Community comprises varied talents and expertise, so I’m sure some members are involved in projects new to many of us. Expand our world by sharing your enthusiasm in the comments, and, if your project needs more helpers, add a volunteer sign up link.

Half of the 16 stories we featured this week are first time rescues, including two writers who joined and wrote their first stories the same day. One such story, about Shakespeare, had 22 Recs Wed. at 8 p.m. and, 24 hours later, had 188 recs and 439 comments. As an illustration of our Community’s diversity of knowledge, another new member joined the next day and wrote their first story describing the municipal water delivery infrastructure, and how system flaws result in devastating problems, such as the debacle in Texas. The week’s most recommended rescued story, with over 200 recs, is a deeply personal essay describing the author’s realization that their husband is a narcissist. 

16 Rescued Stories from 4 p.m. EST Friday Feb. 12 to 4 p.m. EST Friday Feb. 19, 2021

Community Spotlight’s Rescue Rangers read every story published by Community writers. When we discover awesome work that isn’t receiving the attention it deserves, we rescue it to our group blog and publish a weekly collection—like this one—each Saturday. Rescue priorities and actions were explained in a previous edition: Community Spotlight: Rescuing your excellent stories for over 14 years. You also can find a link in Meteor Blades’ “Night Owls” series, which publishes daily between 10-11PM EST.

In Myth of the middle—Jeep Super Bowl, Grey Panther explores the high-profile Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl ad for Jeep that, the author claims, perpetrates a false stereotype of the average American as a “wandering soul searching for a middle ground, a geographic middle.” Grey Panther demolishes this myth using their personal experiences of “middle America,” then promotes their view of what constitutes the average American. “I have found a little bit to worship in every place and person I’ve encountered. I have loved the preserved sites of the First Peoples, the Civil War, and natural habitats. There are too few of them. I slide through America on my solo journeys, becoming more in touch with my humanity.” Grey Panther joined in 2008 and has written 89 stories, with 12 rescued.

The circus comes to town by ViewFromSpace re-examines the first two weeks after Trump’s 2017 inauguration to evaluate if his actions were as awful as we anticipated. Not a spoiler—they were worse. “The term ‘outrage fatigue’ predated the Trump administration, but seemed custom designed to describe it. Trump packed more scandal into his first two weeks than most presidents achieve in eight years. Nothing about the Trump presidency was normal and it’s important that we reflect on just how abnormal it really was.” ViewFromSpace joined in 2020 and has written three stories. This is their first rescue.

DrMarmot traces the processes climate change kicked into action and the traits of bat biology that, together, could result in the emergence of a novel pathogen such as COVID-19 in Bats, bushmeat and viruses: How climate disruption helped create COVID-19. Ecosystem disruptions reverberate through nature, affecting species distributions and migration, until infected animals connect with humans in wildlife markets. “The study found that this climate-induced chain reaction of floral change driving faunal change driving viral biodiversity ‘may have played a key role in the evolution or transmission of the two SARS CoVs’...Though bats are the source for many coronaviruses, they are not responsible for the pandemic. People are.” DrMarmot joined in 2017 and has written 10 stories, with four rescued—two of them this week.

The search for truth part 2 by Casual Observer 2 asks “(H)ow does a normal human being separate wheat from chaff, sheep from goats? This question gets at the heart of what I think is the key crisis in our country (if not the world) right now: ’What information do I believe is reliable and why do I believe that it is reliable?’” They compare a few approaches to finding the truth, one over 2,500 years old, noting differences and similarities. Casual Observer 2 joined in 2016 and has written two stories. This is their first rescue.

Winifred3 started quilting six years ago, after many years of embroidery, and she has learned that embroidery is an "integral aspect" of quilting. She now adds blocks of embroidery to her quilts, as shown in her beautiful illustrations in DK Quilt Guild: quilt blocks with embroidery. Winifred3 joined in 2010 and has written 124 stories. We also rescued her photo story showing Christmas quilts last month.

Bet you’ve never heard of the 1954 film Salt of the Earth.  Random82 tells us about this hidden, entertaining gem in Labor film of the week. It was financed by a union, and used only a handful of professional actors, while the rest were played by local union members and their families. The film, available on YouTube, gives an uncompromising view of the Empire Zinc Miners Strike in New Mexico. Random82 has been a member since Sept. 2020 and has written seven diaries. This is their first rescue.

As the climate crisis worsened during his tenure, Trump went out of his way to help. Not to help the climate, of course, but to help his industry-connected friends, donors and supporters. One of his most egregious decisions was the appointment of Scott Pruitt to head up the Environmental Protection Agency. Like so many of Trump’s cabinet appointments, Pruitt decided that instead of shutting down the agency, there was more money to be made by reversing its mission. In Trump considered abolishing the EPA, DrMarmot takes us back to the Pruitt era and the mountain of challenges that he left for President Biden. This is the author’s second rescue this week.

Daverhagen reminisces about memories and what elements combine to create them in Losing touch during COVID-19 hibernation. Staged events, like Woodstock, “birth a myth...notable for creating a community of strangers. A community of the moment. Other events are only personally memorable but hold consequence for us.” The author contemplates what we are missing during the pandemic’s forced isolation from friends, family, and society. “(W)hat happens to love in a world where people’s touch is imprisoned by fears? The embrace of one’s extended family, the fraternal as well as the familial, speaks a language beyond the limitation of our words. It may not be recognized as such, but touch is a language universal.” Daverhagen joined in 2019 and has written six stories, with three rescued.

Using references my English teacher snubbed, DrLori makes Beowulf pleasurable by taking readers deeper into the poem inflicted on us in high school. In The Language of the Night: Beowulf after Tolkien, she examines scholarship “around Beowulf, the Ur-Daddy of English Literature” beginning with “J.R.R. Tolkien’s all-important essay, Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics, which, in addition to showcasing Prof. Tolkien’s dry brand of snark, turned the study of Old English in general, and Beowulf in particular, on its head.” DrLori joined in 2010, and has written 220 stories, with 111 rescued.

In A look at the school re-opening plan set forth by the Biden CDC, bilboteach analyzes the administration’s efforts to get kids, teachers, and staff back into classrooms by the end of April. The pod approach, masking, and funding are the most critical and detailed plan sections. Less robust areas of the CDC plan include minimal suggestions on proper classroom ventilation and no requirement that all staff is vaccinated. “The good news is if pods are done correctly, and the system is in place correctly, a LOT of the concerns I raised six weeks ago are alleviated.” Bilboteach joined in December 2020 and has written 15 diaries, with five rescued.

Fragmented fairytale: Waking up to my life with a narcissistic husband is BootsyVixx’s personal manifesto of freedom from an abusive narcissist. The author describes her growing realization that the person who should be there to support her above all else is actually the one who has been holding her back. “Maybe it was the new environment, or maybe we were thrown together everyday but I started to see … how weak he really is. Huge ego. Self-absorbed. Chronically angry and impossible to please. Blames others for situations he creates. Takes care of his own needs. Just … totally … unilateral in vision.” BootsyVixx joined in 2020 and has written 13 stories. This is their first rescue.

The TRUTH about Shakespeare by new member spadeandarcher takes us out of our worries about COVID-19 and snowstorms into a lively discussion of their passion for Shakespeare. What makes Shakespeare so great, the author asserts, isn't whether he was or wasn't the person we think he was, or that he wrote about kings, queens and princes, but that he takes those characters and makes them come alive in a way that embeds them in our hearts and souls. Thus the author’s truth: Shakespeare is no more or less than "the birthright of every human being on this planet, he is for all mankind for all time." Spadeandarcher joined and published their first story on Feb. 17.

Shackman333, another new member, takes readers on a journey into the “exciting” world of city infrastructure. Burst pipes, pipe bursting, and the American water crisis: Part one explains water main breaks, water loss rate, and cycle time. The reason you probably haven’t ever heard about the health of a municipal water system, except perhaps for Flint, Michigan, is that the infrastructure is out of sight, out of mind (underground) until a problem forces us to look. Shackman333 provides an accessible look at municipal water issues and maintenance choices that drive failure in systems with inadequate repair budgets. “Many cities East of the Mississippi still have wood pipe in service. Wood. Wood water pipe. New wood pipe hasn’t been installed since the late 1800s. Do you think that pipe leaks?” Shackman333 joined and wrote their first story on Feb. 18.

Bill in Waco Texas asks, “Did you ever have an experience that didn’t really register with you as being influential until years or perhaps even decades later?” In Music wins! A personal Black History Month story,  the author shares recollections from high school that answer this question. A talented musician, Bill built a friendship with an African American fellow student bused in to their previously all-white school. They shared musical stylings and taught each other about their different approaches. “Today I realize that we both shared something that would last a lot longer than our jam sessions or trading ‘licks’, and that was the fact that music brought us together in a way that was both completely unexpected and totally predictable!” Bill in Waco Texas joined in 2018 and has written nine stories, with two rescued.

Author AAAMCWB and his husband have been together for decades, formalizing their agreement through marriage multiple times. In Til death do us part, he reflects on how amazing it is to have the legal right to marry and that, even though an emotional bond is powerful, the legal bond adds an important layer. “For years I had said that in our hearts, Timo and I were married, regardless of what some state law may say. While a Supreme Court decision was important, it wouldn’t make a difference to our marriage. I honestly believed those words when I said them. I had no idea how wrong I was.” AAAMCWB joined in 2020 and has written nine stories. This is his first rescue.

Since Mitch D is a big baseball fan, it is natural to describe Trump with a baseball game metaphor. In His deplorable base, the author takes the elder George Bush’s famous quote about being born on third base and applies it to Donald Trump. "Oh, it’s true Trump was born on third base but far from being pleased he’d hit a triple, he was disappointed. He thought, right out of the ‘Lucky Sperm Club’ birthing tube, he should have hit a home run." Mitch D joined in 2018 and has written three stories. This is their first rescue.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT is dedicated to finding great writing by community members that isn’t getting the visibility it deserves.

  • To add our rescued stories to your Stream, click on the word FOLLOW in the left panel at our main page or click on Reblogs and read them directly on the group page.
  • You can also find a list of our rescued stories by clicking HERE or using the link in Meteor Blades’ Night Owls open thread that publishes daily between 7-9PM Pacific time.

An edition of our rescue roundup publishes every Saturday at 1 PM ET (10AM PT) to the Recent Community Stories section and to the front page at 6:30PM ET (3:30PM PT).

Community Spotlight: Taking the temperature of the Daily Kos community

Reading the Daily Kos’ Community's stories through the whipsaw events of the past few months has been enlightening. As Besame has noted before, when a crisis hits, we tend to come together to share and reflect on the events that are shaping history even as we live them. When a crisis resolves, especially when the resolution benefits people, our attention moves quickly to new challenges. After all, we're a community of activists, and it's the role of the activist to push change.

The inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris signaled a deep sigh of relief, like a breath held so long that the lungs burn. We gave ourselves permission to feel good, and to enjoy that feeling while knowing that there's a lot more work to be done before democracy is secure. Violent fascism continues to threaten us, and we have the chance to turn our country—finally—toward the path of fulfilling the promise of America for all our citizens, redressing past sins, and extending equality to all.

That's how this week started. But if you want to know how it's going, I have three words for you: Senate impeachment trial.

When the Senate gaveled into session and the trial began, you could sense the mood shift and the tension ratchet up on Daily Kos. I doubt that last week most of us were really aware of the level of violence, the intimate involvement of the former president in both planning and execution, or the terrible trauma inflicted on all the people who found themselves under attack. But we know now. And we're watching—still watching.

This week's rescued stories are presented chronologically. See if you can spot when the trial started.

10 RESCUED STORIES FROM 4PM EST FRIDAY Feb. 5 TO 4PM FRIDAY FEB. 12, 2021

Community Spotlight’s Rescue Rangers read every story published by Community writers. When we discover great work that isn’t receiving the attention it deserves, we rescue it to our group blog and publish a weekly collection—like this one—each Saturday. Rescue priorities and actions were explained in a previous edition, “Community Spotlight: Rescuing your excellent stories for over 14 years.” You also can find a link in Meteor Blades’ “Night Owls” series, which publishes daily between 10-11PM EST.

"Alone with his thoughts, he felt a rising sense of rage and fear, combined with a feeling of helplessness.  He tried to suppress it, but it kept coming back." In “Changes,” Bankshot writes of Mr. Finley, an elderly widower who is grieving, worn down by time, habitually angry, and casually racist, yet clueless about the socialism that brought him the Social Security and Medicare that his life depends on. Bankshot has authored 17 stories, this being their first rescue.

In “Occult & Psychical Sciences: The Tragicall Hifstory of Dr. John Dee, Part 1 of 2,” Clio2 weaves the story of John Dee, whom history remembers mostly as a counselor of Elizabeth I. Dee was a magician and alchemist around the history of his time. "No solid career path existed for learned men in Elizabeth’s England, outside of the clergy. Dee’s activities earned only fees for particular projects, inherently unreliable. He was continually petitioning the Queen for a pension, or for some ecclesiastical position, to provide a solid, steady income." In her carefully researched biography, Clio2 explains the practices of alchemy and divination as precursors to the scientific method as well as the tools of the charlatan and fraud. The story of Dee's precarious career as court magician and queen's counselor concludes next week. “Occult and Psychical Sciences on DK” explores all phenomena spooky and occult. Clio2 has authored 190 stories for Daily Kos.

Through text and illustration, skralyx explains the natural science behind why “The Big Dipper rises, heralding the approach of Spring.” The Big Dipper has been important throughout history because it points the way to Polaris, the North Star, pointing the enslaved toward freedom as surely as it gave mariners a steady reference point in the early nights of navigation. "The North Star can tell us a lot more than simply which way north is. It’s directly above the Earth’s spin axis, so if you’re at the North Pole, it’s directly overhead, and if you’re at the Equator, it's right on the horizon. But if you’re in between those two, you can measure the angle from the horizon to the North Star, and voilà!  That is your latitude." Skralyx, who writes often about science, joined the Daily Kos Community in 2005 and has published 408 stories, with 39 rescued.

Bisleybum celebrates “Tiny things” that grow in the shadow of bigger things. A trip to the University of Tennessee Forest Resources Research and Education Center is an opportunity to meander down trails that feature their "own ecological niche, whether an oak-hickory population or a rhododendron cove. These weren’t your everyday suburban trees. In just over the span of a year I learned to identify almost four dozen trees by bark or leaf. Bit by bit though, my eye would be caught, as the seasons changed, by other patches of green." These patches of green led the author to look for "the tiniest of plants, the ones you would easily overlook unless you are specifically looking for them." Bisleybum has been a member of the Community for 10 years. Of their 102 stories, 12 have been rescued.

Enoch Ro0t, a retired engineer who restores antique tools and often writes about their craftsmanship, explains the working and operation of an unusual brand of block plane in “Forgotten tools: Chaplin's patented planes, 1872-1914.” While sharing the beauty and utility of the tools, the author points to the diversity of tools available from many companies in the past, now narrowed due to corporate buyouts and mechanization. "I’ve been intrigued by the ingenious ways some of the smaller 19th-century plane manufacturers worked around the patents held by the major players of the day." Enoch Ro0t takes these unusual planes apart to display their utility as tools and their beauty as works of art, and compares their relative strengths as essential to a woodworker. The author has published 37 diaries. This is his 10th rescue.

Laurel in CA explains how Davis, California, is marshaling community resources and town/gown cooperation to combat the pandemic in “Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic: a campus-community partnership in Davis, CA.” She writes that thanks to the Healthy Davis Together project, "Our efforts have worked so far to keep Davis’ case count low relative to other nearby communities. Even our nursing homes and retirement communities have escaped major outbreaks, with only a handful of cases reported. The university is adding vaccine capability to its testing sites and mobile vans as fast as vaccines become available." Davis offers a model for other blended communities to pool resources and achieve better coverage for everyone. A retired medical school professor, Laurel in CA has authored 52 stories, with nine of them rescued.

“Faster than a public bus, more persistent than a carpooler, able to leap long traffic lines in a single light. Look! Out in the street—it’s a dog, it’s a lawn chair; no, it’s the Iron Tortoise! Yes, (a) strange cyclist from another consciousness, with powers of perseverance far beyond those of ordinary bikers; and who, disguised as a mild-mannered seismic analyst astride his trusty steed, fights a never-ending battle for road space, justice, and a less motorized way of life.” In this the first installment of an adventure, solo-biking 480 miles around the Nevada Test Site to raise support for the ban of nuclear testing, Iron Tortoise recounts the “Iron Tortoise origin story --- 1989 Nevada Peace Ride, Part 1.” A prolific writer since joining the Community in March 2020, Iron Tortoise has authored 301 stories.

Psychusa identifies an overlooked source of inspiration for Donald Trump's peculiar brand of fascist showmanship in “Trump, Republican lies, and wrestling bad guys.” A fan of professional wrestling in childhood, "as I grew up, like most of us, I realized that it was all a put on fantasy and violence in real life was no joke." Still, the author observes that many adults fall into the easy good/evil soap opera drama in which professional wrestling traffics, and further, that Trump is a master of the negative face of that soap opera. "Make no mistake about it, Trump and his Republican enablers hold a monopoly on organizing around the dark side of human emotions, and would make even (Vince) McMahon jealous. In that respect, it still compares in many ways to the appeal of wrestling." Psychusa has authored 43 stories for the community, this being the first rescue.

In a Spanish-language book club of Latinx readers, plus one Spaniard and a Kiwi, Senorjoel relates how two members brought into the discussion Black writers who changed their lives. Weaving together Amanda Gorman and Langston Hughes, "Song of Spain," and the impeachment trial, the author meditates on how some can be “Waving a flag and mouthing rot,” and asks us to remember "our compatriots who have stood for the greater good. People like policeman Eugene Goodman. Like John Lewis and Cori Bush. And our artists, writers, and poets." Senorjoel writes on a wide variety of topics and has published 52 stories since joining in 2016.

Manny Payne takes us down a personal Valentine’s Day path with humor and pathos in “A smile, a laugh, a chuckle on me as I go SEARCHING FOR VALENTINE'S DAY.” The vignettes range from cajoling a boyfriend who thought the event was politically incorrect into “getting swept away by capitalism just this once,” to delivering a card to another boyfriend only to stick it under the door of the wrong house and get irked with him for not responding. The days, over the years, have been bittersweet, but the accumulation of them and lessons learned along the way remind us that even secret attempts at thoughtfulness can have long-lasting impacts. Manny Payne has been a Kossack for just over a year, and this is their first story and first rescue.

In “45 words,” outsidethelines closely parses Donald Trump's tweet on Jan. 6 telling his supporters to go home. The analysis reveals Trump's mastery of rhetoric and consistent use of religious language to incite outrage and justify violence, ultimately explaining why these 45 words are a "message which straddles that day, Jan. 6, from the four to five years of Trump and right-wing messaging before, and for many years to come." Outsidethelines has published seven stories, with this being their first rescue.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT is dedicated to finding great writing by community members that isn’t getting the visibility it deserves.

  • To add our rescued stories to your Stream, click on the word FOLLOW in the left panel at our main page or click on Reblogs and read them directly on the group page.
  • You can also find a list of our rescued stories by clicking HERE or using the link in Meteor Blades’ Night Owls open thread that publishes daily between 7-9PM Pacific time.

An edition of our rescue roundup publishes every Saturday at 1 PM ET (10AM PT) to the Recent Community Stories section and to the front page at 6:30PM ET (3:30PM PT).

Community Spotlight: The Daily Kos Community reacts to history in real time

We haven't gotten the chance to celebrate the victories of Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Georgia runoff elections that, against the expectations of most pundits, delivered the Senate into Democratic hands and demoted Mitch McConnell to head of the minority. That great good news was immediately swallowed by the attempted violent overthrow of Congress.

In the earliest aftermath of any emergency, it's almost impossible to make sense of exactly what happened. This attack is no exception—what appeared at first to be a disorganized mob has, in the space of one short week, been revealed to be a coordinated attack, with elements reaching inside law enforcement, the military, and possibly the Congress itself. All of those threads will have to be traced and the perpetrators held accountable, starting with the President and Inciter-in-Chief himself.

Like the world's worst Polaroid, the full picture will take time to appear.

Fortunately, we have that time. The coup failed, but the price was high. We are only now learning that our government came within a hair's breadth of murderous collapse. The aftermath has left a revanchist Republican party in near-collapse and its malevolent leader howling as, first Twitter, then party support, then business and grifting opportunities and finally—and most woundingly—his treasured golfing creds were stripped from his grasp.

As Besame noted last week, the Daily Kos Community is acutely responsive to the news cycle, and when a crisis shakes the country, the Community pivots to analysis and reflection. Of the 14 rescued stories published this week, 12 focus in some way on the attack or its fallout.

There will be time to take account of it all. And time for the other paradigm shift to sink in: Senators Warnock and Ossoff will change the Senate, not only because their presence gives the Democrats the majority, but because of who they are—the legislation they will shape, the leadership they will assume, the moral force they will bring to bear. A better day is coming for the nation because of their victories. We'll have the chance to celebrate, even in the midst of crisis, exactly how monumental their victories were. Because they will likely be sworn in about the same time as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the Biden administration will have the power to hold the planners and perpetrators of this attempted coup to full account, no matter where they are, or how powerful they think themselves to be.

And there'll be time to savor their victories. Let's not let that get lost.

Community Spotlight’s Rescue Rangers read every story published by Community writers. When we discover outstanding work that isn’t receiving the attention it deserves, we rescue it to our group blog and publish a weekly collection—like this one—each Saturday. Rescue priorities and actions were explained in a previous edition: ”Community Spotlight: Rescuing your excellent stories for over 14 years.” You also can find a link in Meteor Blades’ “Night Owls” series, which publishes daily between 10-11PM EST.

14 RESCUED STORIES FROM 4PM EST FRIDAY, JAN. 8, TO 4PM EST FRIDAY, JAN. 15, 2020

Why Impeach Again Now by dratler observes that President Trump’s first impeachment didn’t catch the public’s interest because Ukraine is a distant country and obstruction of justice requires some knowledge of the law. The attack on Congress, on the other hand, is a visceral and visible attack that can’t be explained away. “As time goes on, we are attending places of worship less and less often. The seat of our government—especially the Capitol—is our common secular temple. You can see the awe and reverence in the faces of tourists who visit our capital every day.” The attack on the Capitol was an attack on all Americans, and it demands a commensurate response. Dratler joined the Daily Kos community nearly five years ago and has authored 85 stories, five of which have been rescued.

In The Coming Crisis, Treats writes, “I’ve never wanted to be wrong about anything more than now.” Treats examines rise of American authoritarianism and warns that its power won’t wane when Trump is gone from public life. “We face in this country right now a long-term, vicious, and ruthless insurgency that will inflict all the terror they can on this nation in order to destabilize it to the point where in the chaos they can take permanent power.” Although its success is not assured, the author warns that we cannot ignore or minimize the dangers this faction poses. A nine-year Kossack “(s)till searching for that tidbit of truth and knowledge to be found here and there,” Treats has authored 31 stories, eight of which have been rescued.

In If you want the wound to heal, take the knife out of it first, LimeyExpatDave likens the United States to a wounded patient in a trauma ward. The assault on the Capitol, he argues, is not the knife-in-the-back moment for democracy, but is instead a deepening of the wound the country sustained the first time we did not demand accountability for a lawless government. “If these actors, the politicians and their followers, who lied, cheated and violated the law  to stab American democracy in the back, are allowed to escape consequences then the wound cannot heal. America has swept these people under the rug so many times that the rug is now within three feet of the ceiling and you’re crawling around on it on your hands and knees, dodging the light fixture!” A prolific commenter, LimeyExpatDave is the author of 43 stories. This is the first time the nearly 13-year Kossack has been rescued. 

Driving through a deep-red farm country on the way to Walmart and Tractor Supply, where Trump support is deep and stalwart, first-time writer and new Kossack YoniL notes a lack of Trump signs and Trump flags, and a proliferation of clean rectangles on vehicles, visible signs “indicating where bumper stickers had been removed. ‘Blue Lives Matter’ stickers were still there, but next to them you could see the tell-tale signs of newly exposed adhesive.” Republicans Denying Trump Faster than Peter Denied Jesus (not equating the two) is a grassroots peek into a new reality in Trump Country. It appears that his ardent supporters are now ready to say “Trump who?”

In The first lies … the ones we tell ourselves, vjr7121 reviews the lies that the media and punditry have told to soften the threat that the Trump regime posed to the country, and argues for a full investigation, accounting, and justice, on behalf of the public and the rule of law. The founding lie, however, is the one we all accepted: American exceptionalism, and the attendant idea that “we owed our ‘home teams’ support for even bad decisions and poor policies … The sickness is not a foreign pathogen and is not based on party affiliation, it is rooted in beliefs (of our nation’s founding).” Vjr7121, a retired educator, sometime writer, and full-time liberal, has written 164 stories for Daily Kos, 23 of which have been rescued.

Whytewolf explores the limits of free speech in the United States in Now More Than Ever: Why We Need the Exercise of Free Expression. Noting that free speech limits are more clearly defined in other Western democracies than they are in the U.S., and that we are unlikely to impose legal restraints on free speech without amending the Constitution, whytewolf considers the ways that absolutists abridge the right to free speech, and how those abuses can be countered. This is whytewolf’s eighth story, and the fourth to be rescued.

In The Road to Hell, A Pagan in Arizona recounts growing up in an evangelical church that always mixed right-wing politics with faith, and how after leaving the church, the author “didn't think about it much. Until 2016, when I started hearing Pastor What's His Name's rhetoric being repeated very often and very loudly. As if someone had exhumed his ideas and repeatedly dosed them with meth.” In a region where Trump flags are still flying, A Pagan in Arizona wonders whether the evangelical neighbors will agree that it was God’s will that Biden was elected. A new Kossack, A Pagan in Arizona is a “Flaming Liberal hedgewitch and artist” who has authored eight stories. This is the first one rescued.

Woodworker brings a change of pace and a somewhat change of subject in The transformative power of the arts. Realizing that “the Republican party has been the sanctuary for some time now for those we excuse as ‘harmless crazed folks’ when they come to the dinner tables of the sane,” Woodworker offers the example of an uncle who found healing in art, and counsels that, “When we craft useful beauty, we are also crafting something within ourselves. The transformation that can take place in wood (or through work in other materials) is also a transformation of self.” A 12-year member of the Daily Kos Community, Woodworker has authored 26 stories, three of which have been rescued.

New member and first-time writer Europeananalyst argues that Trump supporters are not delusional, but are instead determined to hold power at all cost in MAGA Mob does NOT believe in Election Fraud, they’re dishonest traitors.  Drawing from two Italian political mottos to explain what is happening with Trump supporters, the author speaks from the perspective of someone who "learned at an early age, dealing with the communists in my home country, that is pointless to argue with dishonest people." 

In the first true break of subject this week, Brecht captures that lightning-in-a-jar moment in writing in Write your own Bookchat in 2021. While encouraging other Kossacks to write about the books they love in the long-running series Bookchat series, he revisits his first crafted and polished story and its effect on him: “Writing offered me a physical toolkit to test and shape my ideas into more complex stories. A fine novel can be a grand loom, to lay out subtle and interwoven truths, in a rich tapestry of life,” and asks others to do the same. A member of the Daily Kos Community since 2005, Brecht has written 95 stories, 45 of which have been rescued. He resides in Los Angeles with extensive literature and music libraries.

In The House Members Who Voted in 3 Presidential Impeachments, billyleeblack16 takes a dive into impeachment history and finds that “nine House Republicans who voted to both impeach Bill Clinton over a blowjob ... voted against impeaching Donald Trump over inciting an armed insurrection against Congress,” to the astonishment of few indeed. One GOP congressman back in the day—Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan—voted to impeach Clinton, passed on Trump the first time, but voted to impeach the second time, ensuring Upton will be a piece of presidential trivia someday, as the only congressperson to vote to impeach two different presidents. Billyleeblack16, who is neither Billy, nor Lee, nor Black—nor 16 —has written 17 stories, four of which have been rescued.

Taking the aphorism “We are all the hero in the movie of our life” as a starting point, new CCommunity member theghostofjohndewey connects Frodo, Luke Skywalker, and the archetypal QAnon conspiracist under the umbrella of Joseph Campbell’s Hero of a Thousand Faces. The "hero’s journey" is a three-part process that repeats in both modern stories and ancient myths. Theghostofjohndewey explains how the structure of Departure, Initiation and Return act in the monomyth of a QAnon conspiracist. It's not about what is real, but what that person believes is real. Q and The Hero’s Journey (A Shared Delusion) is the author’s fourth story and first rescue.

JenMerrill and her 21-year-old son Lucas rented a hotel and a car, and beat the pavement in Georgia for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, door-knocking and contacting voters face to face. What My Son and I Discovered When We Dipped Our Feet into Georgia Politics recounts their adventures talking to voters in Greene County, where they discovered the power of meeting voters where they live. In the end, they “decided we loved the African Americans of Greene County — the white people we encountered, not so much.” On Election Day, Lucas served as a poll watcher—the only Democratic poll watcher in a sea of Republicans who “almost managed to keep him out” but, in a nail-biter, didn’t. This is proud mom JenMerrill’s second story and first rescue.

Joe Biden will not be inaugurated Jan. 20 announces that, thanks to 100,000,000 write-in votes, the author comeaug will be president instead, and expects to hold office for about three weeks. If you hadn’t heard about the real election because the corporate media is in the bag for Biden and Harris. Extolling the benefits of being an outsider, comeaug promises “to use the Trump method to MAGA. First, I will make America really crappy, and then it will be easy to bring it back (I think).” Comeaug has authored 11 stories with this first-rate parody being the first rescue.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT is dedicated to finding great writing by Community members that isn’t getting the visibility it deserves.

  • To add our rescued stories to your Stream, click on the word FOLLOW in the left panel at our main page or click on Reblogs and read them directly on the group page.
  • You can also find a list of our rescued stories by clicking HERE or using the link in Meteor Blades’ Night Owls open thread that publishes daily between 7-9PM Pacific time.

An edition of our rescue roundup publishes every Saturday at 1 PM ET (10AM PT) to the Recent Community Stories section and to the front page at 6:30PM ET (3:30PM PT).

Community Spotlight: This week’s stories remind us why Daily Kos is more than a political website

Daily Kos publishes about a thousand stories each week, many written by Community members like you and me. It’s easy for stellar stories to get lost in that volume, which is why the Rescue Rangers assembled 14 years ago—to elevate good writing that deserves a bigger audience. The Rangers are a team of volunteers who read every single story that gets published. If you post a story, know that at least two sets of eyes will review it.

With the shift to the new front page, rescued stories are a bit trickier to locate, so we’ve created this roundup. You can also see the list of our stories as they are rescued day by day. Bésame’s introduction to this series was published last Saturday; it contains some history, some description of rescue criteria, and a lot of great conversation in the comments.

This week’s collection covers all rescues from Sept. 18 at 7PM ET through 7PM Sept. 25. These stories offer a broad range of topics, including polling, health care, and citizen action, along with some culture. That breadth is a unique strength of the Daily Kos Community.

Teachers, COVID-19 and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 by LeftOfYou, a lawyer with decades of experience with the ADA, who shares insights into the complex issue of "reasonable accommodation.” Teaching in-person classes places people with certain health conditions at higher risk amid the pandemic, but the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) provides them with significant legal rights. 

La Mesilla by Desert Scientist explores the author's favorite small town in New Mexico. He writes: "My well over 50 years along the border I think qualifies me to be a certified desert rat. Unlike many Southwestern desert towns, which often look like they died somewhere around 1950 and are quietly melting into the ground, Mesilla was a fascinating place to visit." Details of the town's history and people make this a fascinating story to read.

Movie Review: Scream (1996) And Its Antecedents by disinterested spectator is a trip through the nuances of character development in horror movie remakes and sequels, Warning: It is an amazing collection of spoilers that analyzes the interactions of the people who populate movies in this genre. We get snippets from different movies, including Invasions of the Body Snatchers, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, and An American Werewolf in London as we journey through what characters do and know about themselves and the world—and how that impacts some characters’ fates.

Dawn Chorus: One yard, two worlds (worlds apart in 100 feet) by The Lipsticked Pig is a cheerful exploration of the two different worlds on opposite sides of the author’s mountain home. Photos and words illustrate how the wildlife in the backyard is different from the wildlife in the front, and the author asks “why.” Is it the feeders? Is it the plants?

"Doubt" and "A Wilderness of Error" by GrafZeppelin127 examines the 1970 story of Jeffrey MacDonald, a brutal murderer, through the ideas presented in the play/film Doubt. Can we ever really know what happened? Or is this story so embedded in our collective consciences that none of us can escape our own preconceived opinions?

Tzadik by guavaboy is a personal story inspired by reading a tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg that called her a tzadik—a Hebrew word for “a righteous person.” The author recalls an Israeli song which takes on new meaning, now that he understands a tzadik as RBG.

Mozilla Foundation takes a look at political ads on streaming platforms by Alonso Del Arte ponders the dilemma of targeted advertising. If you thought cutting the cable cord and paying to stream content would protect you from unwanted political advertising, think again. Your data could be used, according to the Mozilla Foundation, to target you for particular ads, including deceptive political promotions, on streaming platforms … with virtually no transparency.  

Let’s Blow Apart This Right Wing Talking Point Right Now by Bring the Lions is a rant that indeed does blow up whatever shred of logic underpins Sen. Mitch McConnell's position that the Senate had the right to deny a vote on President Obama’s SCOTUS candidate. The author considers how this kind of authority can extend into even more ludicrous positions.

The Beat Goes On by Jacks Grandpa considers the long-term effect of Supreme Court decisions in a historical context, such as the Dred Scott decision. Public opinion later changed legal decisions like that one, and that may happen again, even with a new hardline conservative Court.

A Democratic Party strategic plan for the next half-century by vjr7121 notes that the GOP race to replace RBG is not a surprise. The big task of progressives going forward, the author argues, must be to strengthen government institutions. Taking back the Senate is key, for several specific reasons.

Using the Dornsife Tracker to Demonstrate how Confidence Intervals Work by Denver11 gets into the details of how the USC Dornsife tracking poll for the 2020 election creates a more realistic view of public opinion than any single poll on a single day. The author illustrates this by “creating a real life, real time demonstration of how ‘margin of error’ or ‘confidence interval’ works in real life.” 

Lest we forget, here’s a partial list of Republicans endorsing Biden or who won’t vote for Trump… by O C Patriot delivers a startlingly long list of GOP defectors. Associated info, such as their government role and when they held it, adds weight and context to their disapproval of Trump.

Diary of a Phonebanker by iLuvReading is a personal essay on how phone banking has changed during the pandemic. The author explores their own questions about the effort, including “Why would I call people I’ve never met, knowing that they might say nasty things to me?  Why would I reach out to voters in states that I’ve never visited?  And why would I call for candidates who might not win?”

Return to the Partisan Divide Cafe by Grey Panther offers an uplifting piece of original prose that begins by focusing on the first sip of a good morning coffee, and ends with this pearl: "Living in the moment of a good thing, and not losing it to fret is a great start to any morning."

Isabel Wilkerson Takes a Deeper Look by Toddlerbob gives a personal dive into Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wilkerson’s analysis of how caste impacts our society in her newest book Caste, the Origins of Our Discontents. He makes connections to other books and media, while highlighting how well Wilkerson provided “lots of examples that the thinker can distill into concepts.”

Counting the Cost by ruleoflaw, who is scheduled for a kidney transplant soon, says "I am one of the fortunate ones. I get health insurance through my job and my employers have been very supportive and understanding … I am presently drawing short-term disability (paid) through them. All this is good news, but before I go under the knife, I’d like to show you the dirty underside of our health care system." He then delineates what his treatments cost and likely why his insurer quickly approved his transplant.

SCOTUS, Civ 4, and Spy Spam by Risen Tree considers what congressional Democrats can do to stop the confirmation of a third Trump-appointed Supreme Court justice. Adapting what he has learned from a game he calls "spy spam," the author suggests different stalling tactics. For example, the House can impeach Trump "over and over and over again" and for good measure, impeach others like AG Bill Barr and the postmaster general. The opposite tactic is needed in the Senate, where the transition of the articles of impeachment should be stalled.

Moody’s Analytics: A Democratic election sweep would be best for the economy by voidstuff discusses a new economic analysis showing "Democratic presidents outperform Republican presidents by every economic measure ... the economy always does better under Democrats because Democrats invest, Republicans cut … Obama’s worst year was better than Trump’s best year. “

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT is dedicated to finding great writing by Community members that isn’t getting the visibility it deserves.

  • To add our rescued stories to your Stream, click on the word FOLLOW in the left panel at our main page or click on Reblogs and read them directly on the group page.
  • You can also find a list of our rescued stories by clicking HERE.

An edition of our rescue roundup publishes every Saturday at 1PM ET (10AM PT).