In the early days of Daily Kos, one member decided that the Community needed a break from all the politics of the G.W. Bush era, and started a daily series devoted to furbutts and featherbutts, pooties and woozles, and every other critter that has worked its magic on the human heart. The late and beloved Triciawyse was the Pootie Queen, and her politics-free zone became such a respite for Kossacks that Kos himself commanded that the cranks and political purists “don’t mess with the Pootie People,” so firmly that this order became number 16 of 23 in the “Don’t’s” of Daily Kos’ official Rules of the Road. In the aftermath of her unexpected death in 2016, Meteor Blades wrote, “Having compassion not just for human beings but also for animals is all part of seeking a transformation of politics-as-usual. Tricia made that point for us every day when she was able. In that way, and adding a touch of goofy humor to the mix, was how she built community, day after day after day. She, in fact, epitomized community.” Neeta/Navajo added, “Tricia built the strongest community at Daily Kos and it will carry on.”
It had indeed carried on. The PWB Peeps are an essential feature of Daily Kos. The group is a refuge on bad news days, an additional lift on good days, and a wry look at life and at least one laugh every day in between. The group is now helmed by The Marti, who bears the title of “Pootie Princess,” and who says the team “has kept up the tradition, expanding it to include a variety of diarists, each with their own talents. Da Peeps…are da best!”
“One reason I joined,” wrote Dixiecollie, “(or at least why I write my Woozle Wednesday evening edition) is to get those woozle (dog) numbers up. Wednesday is the day when the pooties (cats) get to rest and the woozles get to shine.” BMScott, who manages the daily links and lists of Kossacks who could use a hand from the Community, says, “The PWB diaries were more or less my ‘home’ at DK, and I did not want to see the Community links disappear: I’m not sure what I came to DK for, but I have definitely stayed in large part for the Community!”
Which is just another way of saying, “Came for the politics, stayed for the Community,” as is true of so many of us. Whatever varied paths brought us here, here we’ve stayed. “Politics can be pretty rough,” elenacarlena wrote. “I feel an obligation to read all the bad, mostly political, news and help out where I can, but it gets emotionally draining. So Community diaries, and especially the PWB Peeps with its cute animals and humor, is where I go to take a break, relax and chat with friends, give and receive support, have a few laughs. Then I am re-energized, and can go and get back into the fight.”
Being in the fight is essential, and this week’s Rescues reflect the wide variety of struggles we encounter. From deadly serious questions of justice and reform to the lighter dilemmas of how to dispose of treasured possessions, our Rescues this week run the gamut.
SEVEN RESCUED STORIES FROM 4 P.M. ET FRI., APRIL 16 THROUGH 4 P.M. ET FRI., APRIL 23, 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 at 7:30 PM Pacific time. Rescue priorities and actions were explained in a previous edition, Community Spotlight: Rescuing your excellent stories for over 14 years.
Paul Abrams suggests that the best way to get an infrastructure bill passed with support from Republicans is to tie improvements to their states in How to get 100 Senate votes for infrastructure. He reasons that “Republicans do not want an infrastructure bill at all for two reasons: It will put the final nail in the coffin of their ‘government spending destroys the economy’ mantra they have used (and, official Washington has more-or-less swallowed) for 50 years; and it will make President Biden and Democrats look good going into the next two election cycles with “it’s morning again in America” memes.” One possible solution he proposes is to tie the amount of infrastructure spending directly to the votes of each senator. Although the solution as stated is unworkable, it’s a creative step toward breaking the logjam that Republican opposition to everything has created, and may point to a way forward in a wide range of issues. Paul Abrams has been a Kossack since 2008 and has written 34 stories. This is his second rescue.
One side effect of gentrification is the way that locals are pushed out of shared public spaces. Grog explores one such example in Denver’s city park and road closures: A new generation of white entitlement on display. As part of COVID-19 lockdown measures, the city of Denver closed parts or most of three public parks to vehicular traffic. Now, with restrictions easing, some (mostly young, white, gentrifying) residents are lobbying the city to keep the cars out of public parks where, for generations, for people of color the park’s driveability has meant “ad-hoc classic car rallies, sitting in lawn chairs beside the car smoking a cigar or talking with friends, massive family picnics only made possible by hauling stuff in with a car, napping in the car (yes that’s a thing here) and,” Grog notes, such access is essential for “people with mobility issues.” Things have come to a head over proposed restriction of access to the MLK monument. The new residents don’t think they’re being racist, but their actions tell otherwise. “Basically, it comes to keeping ‘others’ from ‘their’ areas of the park, said areas that are normally open and accessible to everybody.” YIMBY is coming to a neighborhood near you. A longtime Community member, Grog has authored 68 stories. This is his eighth rescue.
Wayneonly dives into the mentality that makes it possible to strip humanity away from whole groups of people in NHI: No Human Involved. NHI is police slang and stands for “’no humans involved,’ an informal classification assigned to a crime giving it low priority, because its victim is regarded as having a low social status. Low social status is just a euphemism for ‘not worthy of consideration.’” Wayneonly walks us through some of the times in U.S. history where the NHI mindset is clear, when atrocities were committed because the victims were considered “not worthy of consideration.” From current policing policies that emerged from the system of slave control, to the internment of Japanese people in WWII, as well as Jim Crow and segregation, all involve dismissing the humanity of others for the purposes of control or erasure. And this is not relegated to the past only- dehumanization continues to this very day … and the news is full of stories where NHI mentality has created horrible situations. Wayneonly has written 16 stories with two of them rescued.
Coming from a personal history of hard-drinking sports lovers, Rule of Claw relates his evolution in understanding from a “blue collar” dude to a mature and more enlightened individual in How I look at the transgender issue. Because, he explains, gender is not an “issue.” “The bubble heads in the media kept referring to trans-rights as an ‘issue.’ Issues are debatable, they are discussed in the context of policy development. A bridge that needs repaired is an issue. When you frame something as an issue, you automatically set it up for false equivocation. You set it up to be debated as something to be ignored, as something that can be disallowed.” The “issues” that the right so love to frame are peoples’ lives and well-being. Transgender people are not an issue: Transgender people are people. Rule of Claw has authored 102 stories for Daily Kos.
Neelyja debuts at Daily Kos with The way to end abortion: Make It unnecessary. Anti-choice forces have chipped away at women’s right to control their reproduction since Roe v. Wade in 1973 and now, with a hard-core ideological majority on the Supreme Court, the country is on the edge of outlawing not only abortion, but imposing ever-more invasive policies to control people who might be or become pregnant. She writes, “If Republicans are sincere about protecting mothers and children, born and yet to be born, they would focus on making abortion unnecessary.” But of course, that’s the opposite of what they’re doing. This is Neelyja’s first story and first rescue.
In the aftermath of Derek Chauvin’s conviction, dratler wonders What will justice look like in the future. If, instead of a brutal arrest and violent subdual, George Floyd had been treated with the protocols appropriate for a low-level offense and possible mistake in possibly passing a fake $20; if instead of being led by martinets, police departments were judged by standards of community satisfaction instead of an impossible metric of “crimes prevented,” what would policing look like? What will justice look like? “We will encourage cops to use their intelligence, human judgment and contact with people to weed out the truly bad actors, and to leave cases of harmless carelessness and mental illness to unarmed specialists.” It’s a model worth trying, since the one we have now has failed so miserably. Dratler has written 105 stories for Daily Kos. This is their sixth rescue.
Irresistible force meets limited storage space in MT Spaces‘ world in Bookchat: To keep or not to keep—why ask that question? as the author wrestles with the eternal struggle of book lovers everywhere: Deciding what to keep, what to give away, what to dispose of, and how? A library becomes a series of collections boxed and sorted by genre, but the dilemma is still there: “I am no longer able to intelligently deal with this mountain of cardboard containers, accurately curate volumes for research purposes, or properly display my most collectable books.” The author is making progress, but “to keep or not to keep” is still an open question. MT Spaces, who has collected books around the world, has written 15 stories. This is their fourth rescue.
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT is dedicated to finding great writing by community members that isn’t getting the visibility it deserves.
An edition of our rescue roundup publishes every Saturday at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) to the Recent Community Stories section and to the front page at 9:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT).