The Community at the heart of Daily Kos manifests not just in our stories but also in our comments. We build community through our interactions, by asking questions of the group hivemind, seeking problem-solving help, fundraising to support causes and individuals, and by telling our personal stories. We fiercely defend our Community and hold it up as an example of what makes Daily Kos special, even as we gripe about the new site design.
This week’s Spotlight illuminates the Community that lives in the printed lines—in stories, and in comments. I came across these examples while taking a breather from doom-scrolling wildfire monitoring websites, as California’s newest megafire burned up my favorite hiking trails and conservation projects. Before looking at the stories we rescued this week, let’s appreciate other Community discussions that drew us together, even when we disagreed.
Thanks for distracting me from my wildfire worries by helping each other, criticizing cryptocurrencies, describing a creepy clown encounter, and commiserating over common problems.
A friend’s military recruitment bait-and-switch experience motivated leftover to ask for advice and an attorney referral. The story’s update illustrates the Daily Kos Community camaraderie: “Thank you to all who weighed in. I won’t forget that when I asked for help you were there for this boy. I was feeling pretty hopeless. Good things happen when you least expect them.”
Rise Above the Swamp’s story recounts how she went out of her way to fulfill a family tradition that Grandma Ada described in a comment to Cheers and Jeers: “I have an ancestor buried in the Methodist cemetery in East Jewett, New York,” Grandma Ada wrote. “Our family has this tradition that if we are anywhere close, we should go there and take a picture of ourselves at his grave.”
In response, Rise above the swamp saw an opportunity and offered to help. “East Jewett is only 72 miles from me! Send me a selfie and I’ll place it on the grave and take a picture for you!” Sure enough, Rise shared a photo of Grandma Ada’s selfie, taped to an old shovel handle propped next to her ancestor’s gravestone.
We can be equally thoughtful in disagreement, as when the Community was quick to ratio a rah-rah cryptocurrency story, with just eight recs to 211 comments. The criticism, however, attacked the concept, not the author. G2Geek’s comment sums up the response: “Progressive patriots pay our taxes (the price tag for civilization), unlike Shitcoin-using tax cheats who are freeloading off the rest of us.”
When Glen the Plumber and his daughter took an eastern Sierra desert road trip to a spooky cemetery, they also discovered a creepy clown motel. And, as friends do, they shared their road trip saga in Kitchen Table Kibitzing, a story that quickly grew too popular to need a rescue.
“When planning our recent trip to explore the eastern Sierras, I noticed the Clown Motel (Tonopah, NV) was only a couple hours off our planned route. My little one has always watched ghost hunter type shows on YouTube. So, I added a day to our trip to explore the desert and spend a night at the motel … My little one had to play the part. You might assume she brought those clothes inspired by the clown theme, but that is actually an outfit she normally wears.” You can see that photo above (daughter is on the right 🤡).
Finally, ColoTim, in his weekly gathering for Colorado locals, reflected a common problem people in the western states face—vegetation is super dry and we dread this summer’s high wildfire risk. Xerorest’s comment represents our sorrow over past wildfires, as well as present worries: “94 degrees again today. No rain for two weeks. Scary orange sun. Can’t see the mountains for the smoke. Same as last year.”
Community interactions surrounding wildfire, a topic that has fiercely concentrated my attention this week, were an unanticipated respite. They reminded me that the world shares these unavoidable realities, not just the American West, as fires also burn in Siberia and the Amazon, and our western fires are smoking out the eastern U.S. It’s not soothing, but it’s a reminder that we aren’t alone; for a little while, I thought about fire abstractly instead of mentally inventorying the flaming flora and fauna of my home.
Encountering these small Community exchanges while scrolling through Daily Kos as a break from my wildfire mesmerism brought some of my “good” moments this week, but most weren’t something I didn’t expect. I browsed Daily Kos because I felt sure that, amidst the drumbeat of horrible news, I’d find upbeat stories and thoughtful conversations … and you didn’t let me down.
eight STORIES RESCUED FROM 1P.M. PDT FRIDAY, JULY 16, TO 1 P.M. PDT FRIDAY, JULY 23, 2021
Rescued stories this week looked at serious topics—the coronavirus, corporate reform, cannabis legalization dilemmas, and voting rights—while two stories offer breaks from pressing concerns. I encourage you to click through and read any you missed.
The Rescue Rangers read every Community story published and reblog to our group blog those that are well-done, but not getting enough attention. You can also have them placed in your personal stream clicking on “Follow Group” on Community Spotlight’s profile page.
Good news: You don’t have to search to find our rescued stories! The nightly News Roundup, an Open Thread published six days a week at 7:30 PM PDT, includes links to each day’s rescued stories.
Reminder: The numbers in parentheses after each author’s name indicate the year they joined Daily Kos, how many stories they’ve published, and how many we’ve rescued.
A brief but immensely informative firsthand account of getting great medical care in Slovakia, including the surprisingly small bill, as compared to the U.S.
The twists and turns involved in making a special meal on a budget as a treat for your beloved end up being the treat, not the actual meal. Almost everything that could go wrong did, but the result was a still a delight, even if it was inedible.
Hope Springs From Field PAC is a grassroots-led, door-to-door canvass to increase awareness of the fact that Democrats care about our voters and are working to protect their rights, most recently in Texas. By notifying voters of their visits via robocalls, this team of canvassers found they were met with more open doors and had more conversations.
Counterintuitively, large-scale illegal growers have flourished as a result of cannabis legalization in the state, from the Mojave Desert in the southeast to the Emerald Triangle in the northwest, creating more problems. “One prominent reason is the reduced sentences mandated under Proposition 64, and relatively lax enforcement.”
What do black spruce trees and the modern GOP have in common? Aside from the fact they both are highly flammable, each produces vast quantities of failed leaders. Follow the link and you’ll get a new term stuck in your head: “Trump Sticks.”
While Taiwan tightly managed COVID-19 initially, cases have surged in recent weeks. With less than 2% of the population vaccinated, the virus spread quickly, providing a sobering look at just how rapidly the situation can change. This regular series on the coronavirus continues with a detailed, fascinating case study.
This vision for corporate reform includes enforcement of existing statutes to prevent situations like ”Amazon’s brave new experiment in creating a monopoly by attempting to control as many supply chains as possible.” Reform includes not only the right of workers to organize, but also safeguards that can help prevent the ongoing escalation of inequality.
It’s peak pupping season for seals in the Salish Sea. With the sea lions away at their breeding grounds, the seals take center stage, along with a multiplicity of gulls.
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).