9/9/10 Blogs

A selection of some "last blogs" before the Cafe Reader Blog Section went dark - including info on "dashboard capability" by AA (see below):


Josh M the blogger

by Bwakfat


A well-known Blogger cafe-owner disappeared
early this morning.
Last seen in a mouse-brown overcoat,
suitably camouflaged,
they saw him catch a train.


"TPM its disgusting"
"Such a horrible thing to do"
Josh the blogger cut off his readers and served them all
for tea
"Can't go far", "He can't go far".
"Hasn't got a leg to stand on"
"He can't go far".

Al Shaw (via disqus):

I'm standing in a doorway on the main square
tension is mounting
There's a restless crowd of angry people

Versha Sharma:

"More than we've ever seen.
- had to tighten up security"
(right, right, right, quite right!)

Over to the scene at the town hall
Mayor Bloomberg's ready to speak

 Mayor Bloomberg:

"Man of suspicion, you can't last long, the Cafe Public
is on our side"

Cafe Public:

"Can't last long", "You can't last long".
"Said you couldn't trust him, Yglesias was just the same"
"You can't last long".


If I was many miles from here,
I'd be sailing in an open boat on the sea
Instead I'm on this window ledge,
With the whole world below
Up at the window
Look at the window...

Cafe blogger:
"We can help you"

Cafe blogger chorus:
"We can help you"

Cafe blogger:
"We're all your friends, if you come on down
and talk to us Josh"

You must be joking
Take a running jump

The crowd was getting stronger and our Josh M
was getting weaker;
Forwards, backwards, swaying side to side
Fearing the very worst
They called Millet to the sight
Upon the ledge beside him
Millet made a last request.

"Come off the ledge if Andrew Golis was here he'd be very,
very, very upset.
"Just can't jump, you just can't jump"
"Your shirt's all dirty, there's a man here from
the New York Times"
"You just can't jump"

Cafe Blogger:
"We can help you"

Cafe Blgger's Chorus:
"We can help you"

Cafe Blgger:
"We're all your friends, if you come on down
and talk to us Josh"

You must be joking.
Take a running jump......

Sorry, bwak... your video didn't make it!!!

1 Comment

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Oooh.... I'm stealing this one, bwak... for posterity. A "page" over at my "memory blog" for TPM.
Love, TheraP :-)
Posted by TheraP
September 10, 2010 12:06 AM | Reply | Permalink



Pulls on chain.

Closes door.

Blows kiss.....


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Please just leave the blinds up a bit so the sunshine can come in if you would...
And a night light on... for late comers...
Posted by TheraP
September 10, 2010 12:35 AM | Reply | Permalink


The Wizard In The Window

by LarryH

He shivered beneath his heavy robe.
"Close the window" he hollered at his assistant and pointed his finger at the narrow slit in the wall.  The gesture was only for emphasis since there was but one window in this room in the castle, the room that was the Wizard's study.  It faced almost due South which meant that it got sunlight for only a short time each day and then only in Summer.  It gave him a crabbed view of the courtyard.  More often than not his understanding of what might be transpiring below was gained from some ambient sound rather than from reliable observation.  The Wizard had become quite adept at gleaning a lot of understanding of the affairs of state by listening for these little clues.  If it was quiet he knew that he would have the day to himself to consider his craft and other serious matters.  If there was the sound of horses or wagons or both then something of note might be occurring.  The wizard had learned that if there was human chatter that accompanied those sounds then the activity was probably some mundane event like commerce or social affairs.  If there was loud shouting then the Wizard knew that soon he might be called for counsel or perhaps a potion.  He would be prepared.  If there was silence that accompanied the coming and going in the courtyard then it was serious.  When really bad things are happening, officials of state appear uncharacteristically calm, circumspect and sometimes even silent.  The Wizard knew that at these times the officials were neither calm nor circumspect but rather prickly and defensive. That was the time for him to think hard and speak carefully.
Now and then the Wizard entertained the notion of asking for a larger window.  He imagined how it might be to see the comings and goings in the central courtyard without moving from his desk.  Somehow though the Wizard never made the request.  Partly this was because of the expense.  The Wizard did not take part in discussions of money but he knew from the numerous requests for remedies for discomforts of the digestion made by the ministers of the kings financial affairs that the time was rarely propitious for such a petition.  And partly it was because the little window was a secret resource for the Wizard.  He would not infrequently impress some audience of his betters with his incisive appreciation of the matters at hand without any perceivable source of his understandings other than his wisdom and intellect.  The Wizard had his vanities too.
He pulled on his ermine collar.  It is going to be cold soon.  The window will be shut.  He wondered how he would keep ahead of events in the castle without the little, telltale murmurings and rattles from the courtyard below.   He knew that he would have to spend more time in the great hall, joining the assemblage of notables, nobles and the king himself.  And he thought to himself as he shifted in his chair that a small blizzard of snow closes his window on the world leaving him with nothing to do but sit amidst the giant blizzard of self-serving posturing and general hoo-ha of the great room.  Suddenly that slit in the wall didn't seem so small.


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And the flying hedgehogs?
What of them, eh?
I remember discussing your case at a recent session with the psych panel at the institute. As I recall you have been told definitively that the flying hedgehogs are all in your head. Everyone seems to like having you as a patient but you do need to show some progress or they may become discouraged. Just a thought. Hope it helps.
LarryH -- when you speak, I listen. I hope you will wend your way to one of the alternative sites. Thanks you for the quality of your thinking and writing.
You are very generous. Thank you.
I will be following you and the others somewhere. What we have here really is relationship and relationship keeps its value better than gold, especially in hard times.
Today we are all Wizards.
Funny; I saw it as A Window, too, Larry. I might have expected Don Key and I to be on the same page, but this may mean this place really is a window.
You're a gem, and I'll miss you.
I'm TWAD with you. Totally. We will meet again soon.
Selfless man slip by my side
Uttering words about the turning tide, and
She slowly furnishes my continuous ride
Towards insanitary bits of hide
Hair quite long and lavender-dyed
Split nostrils are green open wide
Velvet breasts with crimson legs astride
Uttering words about a turning tide
And she asks me can I ever provide
Transparent radiation
Transparent radiation
Oh, radiation
Transparent radiation
My liquid head open to the rain
I walk through a bushel and a peck of grain
I hear in my ear a hurricane
And speak to the man about a train
Touch with my hand an aeroplane
Eyes wide open on the coast of Maine
Red signs outside which I contain
Some sensuality that I can't explain, ah
Some sensuality that I can't explain
Transparent radiation
Transparent radiation
Oh, radiation
Transparent radiation
Tables bearing the fruits of Lent
Styrofoam people quite violent
Clear light blowing right out of my tent
Ozone over our continent
Expert men not knowing what they meant
They all eat babies for nourishment
Funny bird with her forehead bent
Slogans tell me that I can rent
Ah, yes they tell me that I can rent
Transparent radiation
Transparent radiation
Oh, radiation
Transparent radiation
Uttering words about a turning tide
Some sensuality that I can't explain
Transparent radiation
Transparent radiation
Oh, radiation
Transparent radiation
Ozone over our continent
Yes they’re tellin’ me that I can rent
Transparent radiation
Oh, radiation
-Mayo Thompson
Something about your wizard stories and your general authorial tone reminds me of the inimitable Red Crayola. Please take it as a compliment. Please.
I admit I had to look this one up.
Actually once in Fourth grade I wrote a piece in a light, sensual and irreverent tone. The good Sisters Of The Presentation dissuaded me from ever doing that again. To this day I can only write with a dry, Victorian lilt. Oh yea and I can not stand to be alone in a room with a wooden ruler.
Thanks and best of everything to you.
You have always been a workingman's broom in this joint, carefully balancing your buckets where I would only tip over.
I think your boss is a good guy too, even if he is pretty scary sometimes.
To be honest I do have this recurring nightmare.
Larry, you have brought us all into this moment, this little space. This is really too sacred to comment on.
May I make a page for this here?
Only with your permission, I'll copy the story and the comments as well.
Of course. Please do.
It has been a privilege to communicate with you, one that I have no intention of giving up. I visit your site regularly.
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." Thomas Merton
Bless you, dearest Larry!
I thought this was about this wonderful foam I found that has these happy bubbles on it and it cleans windows like nobody's business.
Oh it is supposed to be used for toilet bowls and such but with those faces smiling and all while you clean the tar and nicotine off those windows where I really do not get that much sun really....
I hereby render unto Larry my final Dayly Blog Award for this here TPMCafe Site, given to all of him from all of me.
I tried that stuff once myself. I found it disconcerting to have all those beady little eyes staring back at me from the bowl. I would fantasize that I was standing in front of the Republican caucus.
Thanks for the award and as Wendy sang above, we'll meet again. TWAD.
Piss on them?
Larry, I am stalking you......hahahahaha
I live in a town that calls itself The Rose City. So here we see a lot of good that comes from manure. So follow along with the rest of us a bring the shit.
I don't know about JMM. I like what he has done. But I gotta say that he wouldn't make the quarter finals in a snark contest here at the cafe.
Well, I donno about that sorta rough talk, Larry. Seems a bit invidious or somesuch.
What I WILL say is there's a whole mess of people here that I'd fuck before I'd fuck J Jonah Marshall.
Some of 'em, more'n once.
Still. I suppose he's likeable enough.
Your brand of equanimity is unique if not downright nonpareil, you little cupcake you.
I had to ask someone to explain that term to me.
Apparently, they're little cakes, about the size to fit into a cup. Cool.
It is also French for "without equal." I was attempting something called a double entendre. Imagine if you will two equally attractive female moose. How would you decide... oh never mind.
P.S. "J Jonah Marshall" still makes me laugh.
And I think it makes you Peter Parker.
P.P.S. Who's the Wizard, and does he have one of those little sticks?
Posted by quinn esq in reply to a comment from LarryH
September 10, 2010 12:21 AM | Reply | Permalink
And the changes of no consequence will pick up the reins from nowher
And the changes of no consequence will pick up the reins from nowhere.

And so we move on. See you there, wherever there is.
"..almost everything serious is difficult; and everything is serious." R.M. Rilke


The Storm Breaks at Last

by wendy davis

This is for Libertine and the others who have admitted how sad they are; and for those who haven't, but are, as well...
She walked out onto the porch.  For three days now, the sky had been every possible shade of grey with myriad textures of clouds.  Out one door, the mountains were draped with dusty grey shrouds; peeking out from behind the peaks were thunderclouds of off-white, the last vestiges of fair weather that are often so deceptive.
Countless threads of darker grey virgas sent their moisture to the hills below, speaking to the possibility of rain, yet still not promising itDark stratus-cumulus leviathans crept slowly toward her, while lower streams of vapor above the river marched westward below them.
An occasional rumble of far-off thunder meant rain somewhere; a tease, really, as only a spritz or two of drops had materialized so far.  At least the raging spring winds of dust had finally ended, and some blessed rain had come.  Her skin was still parched from that time: the faint tributaries of a desert-dweller's skin could be smoothed by lotion, but that ritual was often forgotten in the midst of her increasing unease.
So much to do this time of year as the garden hit its peak, the fruits and veggies calling to be picked and preserved for the coming long winter.  She tried to pay it all enough attention, although lately some days it all took second place to her other life...her oddly more necessary life.
She hugged herself when a full-body shiver took over her body.  She was aware that changes were coming, and wondered if she could face them with equanimity and dignity.  She chuckled to herself upon thinking that, and asked her self, "Since when did you ever worry about dignity?"  Ha!
She was exhausted and depleted by recent attempts to be heard; to translate the pictures within her mind and body into language accessible to normal humans.  She knew she was in a way an oddity; thinking took place in pictures and images, then had to be turned into words, and back again.  It was an inefficient and clumsy way to communicate; with the coming loss, and other unease bordering on fear, she felt like an idiot, ready to bang her head into the wall.  Feh!
Impending changes were often little deaths; God, did she know that!  If only the storm would break...then she'd cope better.  Maybe go through the stages of grief a little more elegantly (riiiight.) 
She sat back down at the computer and read her messages.  A frustrated sigh escaped her nose, and her lips pooched in consternation.  She booted up her Realplayer to play one of her favorite Dylan poems set to music; it always made her feel brave and full: the line about "using ideas as our maps" caused her heart and mind to get bigger, but the back-story offered a poignant pain behind it.
As she tried to formulate answers to one, a blast of wind lashed rain into the row of windows at her elbow, the huge drops crashing into, then streaming down the glass.  Without conscious effort she went outside to let the torrent wash her personal dust away. She sniffed the air for salt; this storm had migrated north from the Gulf; she fancied she could smell the sea, and loved the pictures it brought to her mind. 
The rain followed her into the house, and her face grew wetter and wetter; she futzed around with chiles and tomatoes, then sat back at the computer...stared at all the words...questions and answers dueled in her mind...words...so many words, and thoughts; no way to keep them crashing into each other...no way to let them settle into images...she attempted to answer some messages...failed...and walked out into the rain again.
 "Fuck it," she thought.  "What does it matter if my face is wet all day long?  It's not as though anyone will know...
She gazed west, and noticed the queer angle of the sun spiking through the layers of ridged clouds, and went to the open door on the northeast side of the house.  A strange, broad rainbow lit the foothills with bands of color, the flattest arc she'd ever seen; not in the sky, but along the ground.  An omen, she wondered?  A strange portent seemed likely, though she didn't really believe in signs...But in unusual times, a person's mind could meander into strange territory.
She went about her chile-work, slipping the blackened skins off the plump fruits, still fighting a headache and the lump tightening her throat.  Images of the Café window closing mirrored the closing of the window of good change so many of us had hoped for, yearned for, just a couple very long years ago.
Hell, heartbreak didn't last forever...she knew that, but it didn't stop heart-rending images jamming through her consciousness...dark images of the future relentlessly weakening her.  She finally surrendered to the rain. 
She read a couple more emails; so many last-minute considerations...threw in a couple comments at the Café while the rain continued to quietly soak her face.
Ach; it would be so hard that there would be so much to write about, and no one to hear, no one to share. 
Torrents of rain that soaked the ground and her skin, refreshing all; when the rain stopped, it was as though her windshields had been wiped clean.  She'd think about finding shelter in the storm tomorrow; or not.  Maybe a break would be good.  Waiting is.  Maybe I'll make a big old pile of words and smash them with a tenns racquet...  
Fuck it.  Time for some dance music!   Who knows what tomorrow may bring? 
She slept.  And dreamt of corn and travel in muddy places, and of clothing made of wood and metal.  (Never mind.)    ;-)

Notes:  Please; I'm not looking to be fixed here; just trying to express grief through a metaphor some may have needed and may appreciate.  Or not...    ;-)
 Check out this blog of Watt Childress's at Firedoglake; it looks like another place open to temporary refugees:
* Homeless was referring to virtual homelessness; got a nice 12-sided roof over my head still.
I love and have long-loved the Cafe, and most all of you here.  I hope it returns in another form.  See you then if it does, and I wish the very best to all of you in the interim.

For any wandering refugees, I'll try to create a Refugee Space on my Posterous account in the next few days so we can keep in touch. 


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Beautiful blog, Wendy. It would be fitting if it were the last one before the hiatus.
What you said here, so succinctly, is so true:
".... Images of the Café window closing mirrored the closing of the window of good change so many of us had hoped for, yearned for, just a couple very long years ago...."
The Cafe may or may not be gone, but we will regroup, here or there or wherever.
This is for Libertine (really for all of us) and how we feel today:
But tomorrow -- dare I say it -- is another day, when:

And the day after that? Going forward?:
Because you are all about love.
Great choices, Wendy. I hope Libertine comes over to read and listen.
That Bonnie Raitt may make something of herself, don't you think? ;-)
She just might. ;-)
For you, Wendy. But I think Frost says better than I could what your post made me feel.
There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.
And peace to you, too, Anna.
And a perfect poem; I'm stunned by it.

And I'd thought the rain had ceased. Not so much, I guess.
i think this place will be back. perhaps sooner than we all think. in the meantime, take good care of yourself. and keep on writing!
Hey Anna -- let us know where you'll be posting; you're worth reading/agreeing with/arguing with -- wherever. Ciao.
Oh Wendy, I don't exactly know if that will happen, or happen anytime soon. It took a long long time here before I ever opened my mouth and I can't imagine I'll be much different anywhere else, though I guess only time will tell.
I'd like to stay in touch with you some way though, so I guess I'll plan to drop by your site at posterous and say hello from time to time.
If you ever want to get in touch, you can pop me an e at amorvolo@aol.com. I'd love to hear from you anytime, about anything.
Ciao back at you.
Still -- flash fiction is over, but if it were not, I think you nailed it, here.
LOL and a half!
Get in touch when you're in NY in October, stilli. Email above. Vodka's in the freezer.
I was gonna say "Hey, let's do dinner! The three of us: Westville in the West Village!" But I realized that was butting in uninvited, so I offer the idea sincerely yet with a willingness to gracefully bow out of the picture. :-)
get outta here. of course you're not butting in. and i love the west village, lived there for a long time when i first got to ny. great idea to take stilli there. we'll take a long walk and give her a tour. nyc's little paris.
You're on, anna! LOL! ;-)
Wendy, I love everything you seem to write down. I bet this is just the tip of your iceberg. Don't let it melt.
I am sitting here, holding in my hands the first copy of my book of poems, which arrived 15 minutes ago in a package. I don't know if more than ten people will ever see it, but I had to write it all down. I know you understand.
Congratulations on your book of poems, Joe. I think I do know.
And my infinite gratitude for breaking the developing pattern of this thread as 'a chick blog'; I was seriously gettin' worried! LOL!
(I mean chicks are fine, as far as that goes...Some of my best friends are..., etc.) ;-)
I wasn't going to say anything, wendy, but this was beginning to look like a meeting of the Golden Vaginas Club.
Ever since someone mentioned there was lots of free testosterone over at dagblog, all the TPM guys split. Anyone notice that?
Whew; glad you saw it, too, Gasket! How do we get 'em back? Hate to yell anything like "Free Golden Vaginas over here, boys!"
(Sure would hate to make Joe look suspect or anything, either...)
Guess we could lure them with Santana...
If you ask me, Joe appears to be pretty damn smart.
Meanwhile, my mission—to get you to laugh—has been accomplished. ;-)
Thank you for being a delight, wendy davis.
And thanks for sharing how to tell when mushrooms are past their prime. I think of you every time I buy mushrooms.
I'm finding this fitting my mood these days
Just beautiful, Wendy. Like Joe says: don't let it melt!
May I copy your blog, wendy, to place it here?
Not sure if I can do the comments... but maybe.
Yes, TheraP.
That'll be $1.49, please, or two for $7.00.
Pay Obey, the cashier, on the way out....
LOL! :-)
Posted by TheraP in reply to a comment from wendy davis
September 9, 2010 6:43 PM | Reply | Permalink

Well I was speaking recently with this MacArthur guy and he said:
Died of tobacco poisoning I think!!
Ms Davis,
If they get this dance hall going again, we will have to swing around a bit.
In the meantime, I will tap my toe to the music.

I boogie wid moat anytime, any place.
p.s. Ms. Davis be my (deceased) mum-in-law.
I knew that using that form of address would get me into some kind of trouble. :-}
Nah; just sensitive because Zip called me 'old' and whatnot yesterday. LOL!
I'll miss you, moat.
TPM may just leave us softly in the night. But it has been great knowing you all. {{hugs}}
Oh, you too, Mage. And thanks ever so much for the help embedding photos in Movable Type.
Sleep well and 'softly', and hope to see you again.
I didn't know you had done this in my honor wendy...thanks. I am going to quickly try to make it through all the great looking links everyone posted.
Thanks again...John
You're welcome, Libertine. I was so touched that you'd mentioned your sadness. So many here had been so chipper about such a monumental change to our lives.
Sleep well, and Godspeed. ;-)
Some trippy stuff
Some sludgy stuff...
As Edwin R. Murrow was known to say...good night and good luck.
Posted by Libertine
September 10, 2010 12:01 AM | Reply | Permalink

Good news: the new TPM system does have tracking of comments by user, and "Dashboard" style capability

by artappraiser


| Leave a comment
I've made a pretty nice dashboard by subscribing to commenters and linking to my subscription feed.
Great! Now that I know it's there, I'll fiddle with it over time to get what I want.
You know, I just couldn't believe a place that promoted itself to someone like Josh Marshall as only doing comments, but doing them well, wouldn't have functions that have long been part of most forums with commenting. That's kinda why I was a little obsessed about it, among other things. It's one thing to say "we aren't going to be able to offer that anymore," it's another thing to say "we've just hired these specialists to do this for us" and then they don't do much of anything more than any basic blog off the rack would do? Just didn't seem quite right to me, not exactly a viable business plan (for Disquis I mean.) I knew they had to do something else besides straight line comments, just wasn't sure what it was.
This is good to know, as I'm quite addicted to the current dashboard. Thanks, ArtApp, Bwak, Wendy, and Stilli, for finding all of this out.
I, for one, am leery of creating an account with Disqus and I would prefer not to have it link up all my other comments, but hopefully I can "follow" people around TPM without having to do that. I'll mess with it some, tomorrow, and figure all that out, I guess.
Thanks for the good news.
I didn't authorize it to link anything, so it isn't.
So I haz a dashboard ova there, and ova heah.
I subscribed to you first

I would think it would be wise to get this thing figured out while we can still post and share info...once we lose reader blogs, unless Josh/staff opens a discussion for keeping up with it, we will have to resort to e-mail or chat to pass along tidbits...
So get exploring, peeps!

That happens to be precisely what I was trying to say to Josh Marshall on his thread. First I was trying to get him to say if he is still going to have tracking, because I knew that it would be a decent subsitute for many for interacting via blogging. If so, that if he takes away reader blogging before people know how to use the tracking, that they won't be able to help each other figure it out, and they will get discouraged about staying in touch with the people they like to read, and might not come back. I was just talking chronology. Like: please explain the new system first to people, so they know what they'll have in the meantime. Then they can tell you more accurately about whether they will be happy hanging around or not.
I would think our discoveries today have taken care of your concerns?
Yes, because now there is time for some users to get a little knowledge about how things will work and they will be able to help others and all holy hell won't break loose. When the holy hell has happened in the past, it makes the site useless for content for weeks, not the least of which at a time because a lot of users just give up and go away for a long while, come back and try to learn how to navigate when they miss it too much.
It is often like the early days of Ebay here, where there is often no one around except other users to help learn how to use it. In a way, that's why I am not totally sympatico to management's complaint that users are not grateful, because except for a good few posts by Al Shaw explaining the last system, this site is pretty self-managed by users, freeing up money that it would cost for a manager if you were running a real business site. Some users, like you and LisB, seem to have developed a relationship with Versha Sharma or others here that they recognize and answer your emails when you have a problem. But as Eric Stepp posted recently, others don't get answers at all when they are having problems, even though they try for weeks.
I hope no one takes this the wrong way. I'm not saying that I expect them to function as a full fledged business site with good customer service. I'm saying that in my experience, users are willing to help out on that front so that management here can use funds that would go to service site issues for reporters or whatever. But you have to give users enough knowledge/tools to help out, you can't keep eveyrthing a secret about what you are doing in the background if you are changing things. Either you're sharing management of the site with users or you're not.
I posted the following at Josh's blog:
stillidealistic said:
Josh, I hope you are still monitoring this post...
A bunch of us have been digging into disqus to see what it will do, and have been communicating over on the other side, letting others know what we've discovered.
It's actually a pretty cool system, and we have discovered that we can set up our own dashboards, complete with people we "follow" so to speak.
Thing is Josh, once we lose the reader blogs we won't have a real good way to keep each other apprised of the little tips we're discovering to make the transition to the new system less painful, especially for those who aren't real adventuresome when it comes to trying to figure out tech stuff.
Would it be possible to have one of the staff set up a post each morning on the cafe page to act as a clearing house for new info, at least for awhile as we discover tricks for making the site work for us?
Hopefully he will see it...
Where's the edit button? Oh, yeah, over on the new side...
Sorry, the italics should have continued up to the last sentence.
It appears to me that it picks up comments from sites that it has long been used on according to email address.
Actually, I logged on there before I went there here from my avatar, using my real email address, which isn't the one with TPM. Now when I go there from my avatar, it's a different account from the one I logged on there with. The two accounts don't seem to know each other.
The latter account, when I go there directly from here, has all my comments from here, and those I have chosen to "follow," my "subscriptions," from here.
The other account, with my real email address, doesn't have anything from this site, but it does have 3 comments I made on Atlantic.com several years ago, on Yglesias and TaNeisha Coates threads. That's all it got, and I commented there more than that. So it looks like Atlantic must have used Disquis for a short length of time, maybe.
In any case, it is easy to change the email you are registered with there, IF YOU WANT TO REGISTER. BUT I don't think you have to register to get everything from here, though. And I suggest people don't. They should just try going there from here and do it that way, not the way I did. You just go through any avatar and get started. (Actually, it looks to me like I screwed things up a bit for myself by registering first before starting to use it here.)
I suspect that if you find any comment feeds that you don't want there by going there from here, you can easily turn them off or delete them. And I suspect that it is related to the email address you registered at the sites with.
Right now I am locked out of the other side. I have been able to since the begining of the change. I gues I got some work to do finding my way in.
I will stay hanging around.
I hope the new log-in they are offering after the holiday works well for you.
I noticed Quinn just got in after being "locked out" as you say:
I wish he would have explained to others how he did so.
I suspect long-time member Ellen can't get in because I see her commenting on Reader Blogs a lot since the login changed and she never used to, almost always stayed on the front Cafe page threads, and I don't see her on the front page threads. Since I know her to be rather tech savvy, I also suspect she is just feeding her addiction that way while she waits for the OAuth log in. :-)
oops, I see that Quinn replied there that he has no idea how he got in. :-)
Blow made it in, too!
Also, if you over your cursor over the How Many Hours Ago on a comment on the Left Side (new system), you can get a permalink when you click it. That helps.
More confusion for me, at least:
I had noticed that different times I would boot up comments on the Left Side, there were different choices offered: sometimes Flag And Reply, sometimes I Like This (or something close).
This morning I checked again to see what was happening, and the Quest version of IE I use shows NO REPLY button, but Firefox does.
My IE shows only an Abuse button, but the window is too narrow for all the parts of the comment to show up, so you have to slide to the bottom and use the slidey bar to decide which parts you want to see: Left to the avatar and time orientation, or right to the Reply and Abuse buttons.
Clicking on the avatar starts the Disqus search, but it's been five, six minutes, and it never took me to the requested page. Useless.
The titles at the top of each comment on Disqus are links to the comments if the buttons aren't working out for you.
Correct me if I am wrong, as I may be confusing you with someone else on tthis, but I believe you said once you were on dial up? If so, that might explain what you are describing, that what's happening is that you don't get loading of everything that is there all the time. I finally just got broadband for home yesterday, was using dial up before that, and often saw similar problems with various websites, would have to refresh and refresh to get the whole page with all the functions.
And Wendy, if you don't figure this out soon, you are never going to get that toaster. I just looked at My Profile on Disquis, and I have three points already. :-)
(No, everyone, I don't know what the heck Disquis points are for or what they do.)
oh no, it's that goll dang popularity contest thingie again. :-)
You're so pop-u-lar
I got a toaster because I won the "Staff Pick of Most Intriguing Avatar Contest"
Ah heck they said the same thing to me, but all I got was a rock.
I'm wifi, AA, and I WANT YOUR TOASTER! I deserve it more than you do, and besides, you wouldn't even know what a toaster is for unless I'd shown you! And your zinnias might be better than mine, but my bread is better! Sourdough for sourpusses; just tailored to me! ;-)
I'm sure I should bookmark this blog... eek.
This is how I made my left side "dashboard."
First, I signed up for an account at disqus.
Then I went to the left side, and everyone I want to follow, I 'right-clicked' on their avatar, which brings up their comments page.
There is a "subscribe to" button on the upper er, right. (said left before, sorry)
Click that, then when you have linked to as many of your friends as you can find, click "subscriptions" on the left.
All your friends comments will be listed by date and time, and you can go back to their first comments, (at least so far).
I bookmarked that, and now I have a left-side dashboard.

I feel like I did when they put the Dashboard in: something is better than nothing! Except this time we won't have to live without the something for weeks before it is put in.
I know several people who never got used to the Dashboard system, couldn't figure it out, didn't want to spend the time to figure it out. They were used to a system where comment tracking was very simple, where you didn't have to "follow" anyone, and they didn't want to go the extra mile and just drifted away, stopping in from time to time if they saw a thread that interested them, but not using the site anywhere near as much as before. That's undoubtedly also going to happen this time, but having a heads up and that it appears the system is very similar is a big plus.
'tis. Now Fried day hardly worries me at all.
Thanks for all this AA, you've been beyond helpful, you've been stellar!
I am subscribing to everybody who pops up, just in case everyone has to run for the lifeboats and ends up heading toward separate islands. Of course, that will only work if each person signs up too.
I see Disqus allows multiple identities so that one doesn't have to use the same name for different web sites. So it seems to have a capacity to "anti-link". The whole enterprise is interesting and worth investigating.
Thanks ArtA for persevering in the matter.
It's pretty clear that nobody here has to register for you to get their comments on a subscription. It is loading all TPM comments in the new system.
And just like with our past Dashboard, I don't think they can block that. If chose to comment here, those comments are going to be on Disqus. Disquis is running the commenting system here, not TPM, you can see that as you wait for comments to load.
I understand that no one has to register for me to see them on tpm. The system is run by Disqus. I was thinking that if they post on another site, the subscribed person would have to "claim" their handle for me to see it there.
Oh, maybe. Also I should correct myself, not start passing disinfo like I did before--I don't know if people could block their comments here from being seen by others on Disqus, maybe that is possible, who knows. I suspect what the deal is that all TPM members can see all TPM comments, but not people who are not registered at TPM, that that would be the way it works.
I need to say maybe as well. I am having trouble hooking up the Disqus promotion that they allow one to control and track across many different websites and what I read in their very skinny "knowledge base."
I was looking to see about the possibility of blocking access earlier because of the comments about linking upthread and had no luck.
I did find this set of instructions for registering other web sites on your Profile:
I looked through the Developer/Client side. The editing information about a number of moderation issues are not on display. Probably some security issues restricting that info.
whoops. That feature doesn't do what I thought it does. It only hooks up to blogs one makes oneself.
I was able to link to my old word press tpm blog address within my Disqus "Public Profile". I think the "multiple" option allows you to add other such locations. A dashboard of dashboards, if you will.
Thanks for doing all this, moat.
Thanks guys, for doing some good detective work and sharing your research.
I feel like we are all on a great precipice, but I am walking straight ahead.
hmmm, looks like some kind of moderator service may be operative. Either via staff @TPM or staff @ Disquis or automation via flag @ Disquis? See:

Comment removed.
2 hours ago
in reply to FreeRider
Comment removed.
1 hour ago
in reply to psyclone
Comment removed.
1 hour ago
in reply to FreeRider
Comment removed.
1 hour ago
in reply to meattpm
Those are usernames used for spam in the past. I bet Disqus does have an automated recognition set up for that.
No, actually they are posters in DC. It's funny, you can look up their Disqus accounts and see the banned comments.
I remember seeing the psychlone on the Cafe list and the title making me think spam.
I guess the spammers and the trolls are approaching each other asymptotically.
I know for one that Free Rider is a long time regular over there, pretty trollish, too.
Actually, they were pretty tame for DC, notice the back and forth removal? could spell trouble.
I don't see the removed comments on their feeds at Disqus, only their comments that still remain on that thread. For example, meattpm has one that says Are you six years old or just a retarded adult?
Yes, I saw them by clicking on "context" on close by comments.
They may have been in a cache and expired by now.
This is the sort of thing that I bet Disqus doesn't want to talk about much outside of a client relation.
more evidence:
Rutabaga Ridgepole 2 hours ago in reply to Winning Progressive
Comment removed.
Har Har Har!
Hopefully, disqus has "Avatar Removed" in its bag of tricks too. Hope to see you at dag during the hiatus, artappraiser.
If not, all the best.
Are you going to register here on the new system under the name of "spam" or some other? I understand if you don't want to say.
Hopefully, disqus has "Avatar Removed" in its bag of tricks
Gotta agree with you there. Maybe they can at least finish the dental work for him if not the dayglo pigmentation. As it stands, it's always kind of signified for me something along the lines of decay and death r us. But then the memento mori does have a tradition among zealous preachers of doom. Savonorola as a blogger, oh boy.
I have followed your directions guys thanks. But I can only add to my subscription list from the new format postings, not ones like this. Also is there any way to organize the people you have added. I never could get my old dashboard to do any for me so I really want this new thingy to work right.
Disqus has two sides. A web site commenting system and a personal Profile setup. The "new" TPM is using the the Comment side to run their replies to posts.
If you choose to register with Disqus, your Profile is independent of the commenting system now used by TPM. The Profile side lets you create a dashboard but it is important to understand that the "tracking" is being done by you as an independent agent; Not as a feature of TPM.
The Reader's Blogs are not a part of the new Disqus system and will be shut down this coming Friday. The Dashboard for the Reader's blog will also disappear next Friday.
moat, that was my experience too, but the weirdest thing just happened. Now it is tracking my comments. It definitely wasn't earlier today.
Go figger
I missed your comment earlier but see what I put below @ 4:01.
All the comments of the people you subscribe to come in a single chronological feed, like the dashboard, BUT you can easily search your comments, and by doing that, say for one user name, you can click on that user's name once you find it and just get all their comments and no one else's, say if you weren't here for a week or a month and you wanted to see everything LisB or Rotwang had said and what threads they had found interesting enough to comment on.
And don't forget that now, unlike the Dashboard, you don't have to subscribe/follow to get a one-time view of the comments of a user you might come across that looks interesting (or to see, for instance if they are always nasty, or just this one time :-)), you just check out their avatar from here.
There are the "friends" and "my replies" functions I can't activate, so I don't know about those. (I can't even get it to recognize me as "artappraiser" yet so I have to subscribe to myself.) But I easily can find the individual list of any user I am subscribing to by using the search.
And still I think it is better than the Dashboard we used because it is simpler and offers much much more coverage. So far it doesn't appear that there is any cut off at all; they solved that by making you load a page at a time.
I really like the ability to simply see a single user's commenting history right away, no following over time involved--I forgot how much I missed that from previous forum software. It's far less limiting this way, less like Facebook, it's all open to public view and to your own judgment. And it's far less work for the user.
Cross-link to discussion of some user problems:
Disqus feed by FDRDog/Gettex
September 6, 2010, 8:04PM
When you return to your "My Activity/My Subscriptions" page, there's a little red number that tells you how many new comments there are that you haven't looked at.
The "search my comments" function on the "My Activity" page works fast and well and searches all comments you are subscribed to.
You can find a user page for a user you are subscribed to that way, search for their name, once you get a comment by them in the results, you click on their name and get their page with all their comments.

My Last Blog

by some dude named steevo

My first blog was back in March 2006 and I have been here intermittently ever since.  My one successful post involved Sarah Palin and Amniotic Fluid.  I just figured out the reader blogs are going away so I wanted to say goodbye.  Not sure anyone will read this, but thanks to all for some very good writing over the years.

Take Care!


| Leave a comment
Steevo, I've always enjoyed reading you - was wondering where you've been lately.
Thanks for the post, and be sure to check out the other places we've managed to create:
And, of course, DagBlog.
Until we meet again...
fyi, dag has crosslinked to those other two blogs
Dude I hope you come back when we get back up here. I've always enjoyed reading everything you've had to say.
Lisb gave you some links.
Check back here in a couple of months but until then a lot of us will be at those sites.
I always liked reading you Steevo!!
Yes. Just to be clear TPM is closing down reader blogs as is on Friday and there will be a hiatus before they are revived in a form less costly to TPM.
Thanks guys and gals. I will see you all later!

Goodbye friends, enemies, frenemies

by Obey

Well, there have been enough tearful huggy threads over the past week, so I'll keep it short. This has been a special place for me over the last couple of years. I have discovered some great writers, been inspired by some great ideas, and touched by some great souls. I will miss this forum and dearly hope it comes back in some form in the near future.

In the meantime I will be lurking from time to time around TPM, and I will check the new tpm refugee sites regularly. For anyone who cares, I've got my first reader post up at dagblog. It seems to be going smoothly. I can also be reached at my own posterous blog, which I'll be cranking up again (just leave a comment under any post and I will see it the same day).

p.s. can someone tell me if I already have a disqus account? and if not should I? and if so, how do I do it...?


| Leave a comment
Log in and comment at DC or on the left hand side.
Then "right-click" on your avatar and you'll see your Disquis account. "Right-click" on other commenters to see theirs. Look up ArtAppraisers recent blogs for more info on stuff like setting up a Disqus account to make a "dashboard."
See ya around, pug.
Thanks for that chicken. Yeah, I figured it might involve something like that, signing into the new system. Still not comfortable with juggling my real-name and pseudo accounts like that though. Will educate myself...
Didn't work for me.
I'll see you at dagblog
Yes I saw you already had settled in, synch...
Looking forward to seeing you wherever, Obey.
Special thanks to you wendy for all your encouragement along the way. Do tell me where you'll be headed.
See ya around, pugsly! Don't for get chat! A bunch of us hang out there, and you can at least pop in and say hey! But, we'll still see each other in the comment section, so it's not REALLY like goodbye. We'll be back!
Thanks Stilli. could you leave me the link for chat on this thread so I have it to hand...?
Thanks FDR!
Shoot, I posted a comment earlier; it's not here. Movable Type really IS my enemy, I tell ya!
Rats, Obey; I posted a weepy blog, but I left out the hugs. Can you give me partial credit? Please?
You're absolutely one of finest at the Cafe, Pug; even if you do kick my ass just a little too often for comfort!
Baskets of love to you.
Gaskets of love too! LOL!
Oodles of pug-love to you kitty.
Pugs are the best. Seriously. When my mom died, my sister brought her two pugs up from Atlanta (no one to take care of them on short notice). At the end of each day, one or the other would lean against me, and it was the most comforting weight in the world.
Please stop by my personal raggedy and forlorn blog anytime, dear pug. I intend to do some writing there throughout these unmoored months ahead. Maybe not political, but we'll see.
Already bookmarked it! Looking forward to pretty much anything you write, to be honest...
Oh your blog is beautiful, Wendy! I'm not complaining, just not capable of expressing the finer sentiments so well.
Er...I hate to beg to differ with you about that, my friend.
If you peek in and see the lack of er...Y chromosomes there...maybe you'd have some pity.
Farewell and hope to see you soon Obey! You've been a very welcome voice here as far as I'm concerned. I've always appreciated your take on things.
Hope to see you too Oleeb. I always took it as the highest compliment when people confused me with you...
see you around Obey.
I've been meaning to get over to Dagblog, perhaps open up a blog of my own there.
Is it a relatively simple process?
Really simple. And it seems like a good crowd - only getting better with the newcomers...
I enjoyed following you Obey. Well maybe not the part with the ziplock baggy and the tongs but otherwise it was always great to see you. I did buy a gross of surgical gloves so I will keep an eye out for you in the future too.
you are hysterical.
Yes. He is.
How's he look now?
Yes, well sorry about those 'gifts of nature', old friend. It is just that, when I stood in awe before your wisdom and your wit, I would on occasion lose what one might call my 'self-control'.
I shall be following you as best I can...
Follow - behind - yes - please. I am not concerned about the crap that's behind me. It's the crap ahead of me that has me worried.
Doch uns ist gegeben,
  Auf keiner Stätte zu ruhn,
    Es schwinden, es fallen
       Die leidenden Menschen
         Blindlings von einer
          Stunde zur andern,
            Wie Wasser Voll Klippe
                Zu Klippe geworfen,
                   Jahr lang ins
                      Ungewisse hinab.
"...Wie Wasser von Klippe zu Klippe..."
Bis bald mein freund.
And do let me know where you'll be posting. I shall miss your stuff from around here...
Obey... I've been told by wendy to pay you (as cashier) on the way out.
So can I copy your blog and the comments, which will all end up on a "page" at my record of TPM Writers - on this last day (or few)?
I'll try to copy as many of these as I can... in the brief time left...
As the French say, "Bark! Bark bark!! Bark Bark le Bark!"
And on that point, who can disagree Muttley?
See you soon. In other places, untethered spaces. Running free.
Borrrrrrrrn freeeeeeeeee..... as FREEEEEEEEE Where's Dick? He knows the words to this one.
Hope to see you around

Are we frenemies, enemies, or drinking buddies? I am not sure.
It is all goooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!
I hired to private detectives to hunt you down...er to make sure I know where you are.
Why did not you tell me your first name was Mohammed?
Well for now I probably will just be posting at my personal blog which can be found here. I am really not up for heavy interaction at this time as I explain here. But I still will be posting my thoughts as the mood strikes me.
Thanks for all the great years my friends, I love you all. I probably should have done my own farewell blog post here at TPM but I wanted my last one here to be the one I did on August 2, 2010...the day PsuedoCyAnts passed.
By the way ignore the parental warning on my blog. I did that because of the language I am wont to use at times...and just in case I ever post pics of naked women. Which I have not and I doubt will happen there...but just in case. :-P
Take care all...and the pleasure has been all mine, you are a wonderful group of people.
This is pretty embarrassing, Libertine; but since when did I stand on dignity? I...wrote a blog for you; or at least partially.
You wrote a blog about me and speak of standing on dignity, lol? I am one of the most inglorious bastards to have ever walked the face of this piece of cosmic debris called earth.
Yeah you and dickday both immortalized me with blog posts, to which I can only say...what the hell were you thinking? Seriously though thanks...and yeah, my post was pretty embarassing.
Posted by Libertine in reply to a comment from wendy davis


Ciao... for now

by Packerfanchick

I will miss this forum.  I started back in class today so I'm not sure if the axe fell or not.  Took a nap, today really got my peripheral neuropathy fired up.  I am hooked up with those at wordpress so you can find me there.  I probably will go to the other two blog sites that others here have set up as well.  You will see me as Packerfanchick no matter where I go.  It is me, I am a packer fan and a chick!  Either way my email is packerfanchick@yahoo.com  still feel free to contact me.  I graduate with this degree December 17.  I am very excited and this semester doesn't seem as bad as I thought.  I will be around here too though commenting on DC and Muckraker.  I do find this site more enjoyable than Huffpo and such.  Keep in touch!


| Leave a comment
Same, Packer. I'm already comfortable at Once Upon a TPM, and will continue reading DagBlog and TPMAHOLICS. I'm glad we're all finding places to continue our discussions.
I'm available to be reached at lisbindahouse@gmail.com if anyone needs to reach me in the future, and I will start commenting more here on the TPMDC and Cafe left side, once the Readers Posts sinks. And, there's always the Chat, too.
Meantime, I wish you continued success with your courses, and am so proud of you for doing what you do. In every regard.

Thanks hun and yes I will see you guys there!
Good bye for now.
You know where we are. I'll be checkin in on those sites also.
Have a great semester and congrats on the degree.
No goodbyes...this is temporary, and most of us know how to reach other, or at least know someone who can get a message to someone through weird channels.
We'll be together again!
Have a great semester...
The best of everything to you, PFC. ;-)
Nice to know you, hope to hear more from you in the future.
You should consider becoming a fan of a winning team, Go Vikings
Good luck

So Long, And Thanks For All The Quiche

by Zipperupus

I want to jump in on the goodbye blog bandwagon. If TPM Cafe returns to at least a semblance of its original framework, I will be here with bells on. Until then, I don't plan on finding a different home. My plan is to go ahead and create my own home, with its own curious architecture, plumbing and interior design.
In 2004, I completed my first novel. Since then, I have lost my electronic copies and now only have one hard copy in my possession, along with the ISBN number proving my copywright. I have spent the last few months typing the whole work back in, revising and editing the work as I go along. This has been an acutely painful process. I should be completely done with this drafting process by the end of this month.
Which leads to my new home.
I plan on purchasing a domain name and making "Maximum Technology" the centerpiece of the site. I will also publish my other written works, entirely for free. I will pimp a PayPal button for those who wish to contribute, but given these times and my own relative economic well-being as part of the military industrial complex, it isn't my intent to make a profit. My intent is to make any readers guinea pigs.
Allow me to explain.
The novel itself is only somewhat linear, and that linearity isn't crucial to the story. I've decided to slice apart the novel into a series of vignettes, nearly a thousand of them, and interconnect them via keyword hyperlinks. The next page function would put you in a random spot, so the only way to even attempt to read the story from "cover to cover" would be to try and piece it together based on the hyperlinks. There will also be photos and my own illustrations to accompany the work.
I've given myself a deadline of the Spring of 2011 to get the site up and running. I may open the site for traffic before then for my poetry, essays, rants, and plays. The heart of the site, however, will be the novel. The internet is an ideal environment to make real the structural concepts brought forward by writers like Burroughs, Borges, Woolfe, Joyce, and Faulkner among others. As long as the novels had to be packaged with a first page and last page between the binding, there was way to make (for example) Joyce's conceit about Finnegan's Wake be an authentic mode of reading. In this manner, my goal is to make my novel more like a scuplture, where I as the author have a relationship with the reader that is informal. The reader can choose more or less where to begin and how to explore the work, and will most likely at first give up unless I am able to sufficiently intrigue the reader by sheer craftmanship of the writing itself.
For those few of you that were curious about where I am going, I hope this answers your question. I may occasionally post at Dagblog, and I have a commenting home at Rump Roast, the meatiest blog on the internets. These writings will be few and far between as I spend more time in my workshop, trying (and probably failing) to introduce something novel into the novel. I know that the hyperlink novel has been discussed and probably explored elsewhere. There is nothing new under the sun. But I do intend to make the experience unique through my own personal imprint based upon Western and Eastern occult concepts of interconnectedness.
To those of you whom I am fond of and may likewise be fond of me, I am glad and grateful that our frequencies were of sufficient sympathy to make our relationship of supplementary colors. To those of you with whom I have quarreled (nearly always at my instigation and fault), I am equally glad and grateful that our antipathies and resentments were such that our relationship was complementary. And to everyone else in the inner and outer spheres of our inharmoniously beautiful community, I send you my love and gratitude for existing now during these most strange and uncertain times.


| Leave a comment
Best wishes, zip! I'm interested in your novel... but not sure I'm up to the confusion of following links... like a mystery - is how it sounds. But given your gifts, I would be very interested in what you eventually share with us.
Peace. Namaste. Blessings upon your task!
Thanks for the background on your upcoming novel, Zip. I've saved this post so that I can eventually find it -- it sounds intriguing. Best of success to you.
You should live and be well, Zip!
Wendy the Yenta
p.s. We shall quarrel no more; isn't life too short for quarreling? Of course it is!
Life is too long to not quarrel at all!
Yenta? Lol, you have an outstanding memory.
In my mind's eye, I picture you as a kind of rhetorical drunken master. I see you saying, "oh, I am old, and my mind is foggy. My knee's acting up and I haven't slept." And then: POW! You zing your opponent so hard they buckle at the knees and collapse into their own guts.
Old? OLD?!? Who are you calling OLD, you young whipper-snapper?!?
Didn't your Eema teach you bupkis?
So what's happened; people have no manners today?
Of course they don't! Am I right? Of course I'm right!
Cross posting is always good advertising Zip.
I am always interested in what you write!!
Good luck. I hope to catch your novel when it emerges. Maybe we will cross paths. I've just kind of thrown up my own blog at wordpress http://justanothertrope.wordpress.com/ and there are a few of us hanging out here http://onceuponatpm.wordpress.com/
So drop on by if you want.
A little Rimbaud for the road maybe?
I went off with my hands in my torn coat pockets;
My overcoat too was becoming ideal;
I travelled beneath the sky, Muse! and I was your vassal;
Oh dear me! what marvellous loves I dreamed of!
My only pair of breeches had a big whole in them.
– Stargazing Tom Thumb, I sowed rhymes along my way.
My tavern was at the Sign of the Great Bear.
– My stars in the sky rustled softly.
And I listened to them, sitting on the road-sides
On those pleasant September evenings while I felt drops
Of dew on my forehead like vigorous wine;
And while, rhyming among the fantastical shadows,
I plucked like the strings of a lyre the elastics
Of my tattered boots, one foot close to my heart!

Looking forward to your future offerings:)
Have loved talking with ya, Zip and look forward to it in the future. By the way, some of my favorite writers did their first drafts by hand and then typed up the manuscripts, fixing as they went. Retyping was the major revision. It can work! Happy writing and designing.
I look forward to reading your novel.
May the Metaphor be with you.

See you later, Zip.
Me, I'm going to launch a Kitty porn site, which I hear is pretty popular these days, and figure it'll pay me to write my great Melville novel or better sit at the beach doing nothing.
Also the Real Estate in Iraq - once the surge stops, I'll be homesteading.
Presumably Quiche sounds like Fish (Fuiche?)
Or as George Bernard Shaw spelt it, "ghoti"
As long as you are in charge of looking good, all will be well. :o)
I'll keep a lookout for ya on the internets.
Ah Zip. We needed more time. I so enjoyed reading your thoughts and occasionally exchanging a word or two. Wherever you go you will be a gift to those you meet. I hope to see you somewhere again amid all the terabytes.
We'll see you somewhere, Zip. Been great meeting you here.
Party on, Garth.
Party on, Wayne.
So long!
Looking forward to reading whatever you write wherever you write it, Zip. See you soon. ;-)
Ditto, Zipperus -- what you write, I read.
The WWW is something like the Library of Babel, isn't it? Or maybe it's a fresh-baked quiche. Your idea of putting your novel on shuffle, so to speak, is great. It sounds like an interactive novel but without a structurally imposed beginning or end; with a reader chosen "center." Look forward to reading your fiction. Goodbye, for now, Zip.
Is it just me, or has Rosenberg lost his damned mind? He isn't normally very good anyway, but this latest half-baked hypothetical really burns me.
He's basically a troll, just looking to get inflammatory reaction in pursuit of various goals:
so let me get this right, now: during the campaign, if you brought up Obama's middle name, you were called an anti-Muslim racist. now that Obama has safely won, you want to celebrate that same name that you said didn't mean anything before?
do you hear yourself?
Posted by gretz
November 9, 2008 7:38 PM | Reply | Permalink
Yes. Gretz, we kept our mouth shut about lots of things during the campaign, and we said things designed to get Americans to see Obama as just another guy, but now he won and we can say what we think.
Hypocrites, indeed, but determined to win. We learned our lesson well.
We won, and we have a disciplined focused Democratic President for the first time since LBJ. Only he won;t get tripped up in Vietnam.
Hell, if I thought Obama was a Muslim, I'd have said that I saw him at Episcopal Church because I wouldn't have cared what he was except that he was the smarter, more decent, more patriotic, more competent of the two candidates.
I hear myself. I like.
Posted by M.J. Rosenberg
November 9, 2008 8:56 PM | Reply | Permalink

Wow MJ, you really ought to get a grip on yourself. Are you drunk. This embarrassing confession of brazen, mercenary dishonesty will be stored away, remembered and used against you in the future to disqualify anything you say as the calculated prevarications of a hack. You might as well say, "Never listen to anything I say henceforth."
If you are going to play the game of lying for political gain, you really ought to master the game thoroughly, and learn to lie about the fact that you are lying.
Posted by Dan K in reply to a comment from M.J. Rosenberg
November 9, 2008 9:40 PM | Reply | Permalink
Mho, after unfortunately reading him for several years, is that he mainly uses this blog to personally attack people he hates in the beltway, whether it's the AIPAC that formerly employed him, or Charles Krauthammer or Jeffrey Goldberg. Sometimes he uses it to attack groups of people he hates like "racists," or certain kinds of Jews. It's not really about Israel or Palestine, he rarely writes here about what is going on there (though his commenters do.) Also note that articles he does for other venues are written in a totally different style and sometimes even address the topic he purports to cover.
He's just not an honest writer, Zip, I suspect that's probably what you sense intuitively. Just another example in the many I have seen, he changed the title of the current post from "Feds Should Arrest Quran Burner In Front Of Cameras" to "Can Feds Arrest, And Jail, Quran Burning Pastor?" in an edit to the original posting, you can see the old title in the url and the Disquis feed.
One member here, lally, used to crticize me about my attacks on his slopiness being personal. I don't comment that much on this threads, but when it was something like a blatant misreprsentation of something he linked to, I couldn't resist. The dishonest writing is why, that's what really bugs me. Your comment on this thread of yours abour writing helped me clarify that for myself. If we can't use the interactive net to get writers, pundits and journalists to be more honest, to help us deconstruct the spin rather than create more, what the heck is it good for?
Good luck to you in your future endeavors. I hope to still see your comments here, I've always appreciated seeing them.
I appreciate your response, AA. I have only ever paid him a modicum of attention because his inflated expectations of Obama's diplomatic efforts in the Middle East were kind of embarrassing to read. And his comment section usually degenerates into one of the cess pools of the internet. But I had always found at least somewhat sensible... but this post is hysterical and run so contrary to liberal values that I came away stunned.
IMO, if we are so worried about troops being put in harm's way over the antics of a pastor, then we should rethink our military presence rather than diminish civil rights.
I didn't think of that angle--it really is saying to those over in Afghanistan that they are a bunch of mommies boys and girls that need protecting, isn't it? :-) (See, your input is valuable, not your garden variety blog forum commenter.)
He's lazy, and it shows here.
Just remember, Zip... don't become obsessed over making your novel perfect.
Nothing is, and that which is either successful or honest, rarely is.
Take it from an artist who spent his 20's spending nights without sleep, toying with self-portraits, only to tear them up after I had become so concerned with perfection, I couldn't deal with the truth. They ended up being ripped canvas and a stack of broken wood, in the trash. Had I just been ok with what naturally came out of me, and patient enough to know editing doesn't mean becoming someone else--then I would have enjoyed the ride.
So, take my humble advice--don't try to be perfect; enjoy the ride.
Your novel will be the better for it. And people will love you for who you are, not what you know.
My first book, I edited and edited, and after awhile, it looked nothing like my original idea. I took so much advice, changed so many phrases, it became someone else's work--not mine. Like a tree being trimmed leaf by leaf, until its just a towering piece of wood. By the next time, I spell-checked, read the flow of it, then moved on.
I believe we are about the same age. I hope that you and I both find success with our respective works of prose and poetry, and that ten years from now, we can look back to these earlier efforts as necessary rocks under the summit. Good bye, mon ami.
The hourglass is almost up on this post. Thanks to all of you who commented, thanks to all who reccomended, and thanks to everyone else. I have enjoyed neary every moment of my time in this community, and even those moments I did not enjoy I learned something, occasionally at great cost to my pride and dignity.
To those of you interested, my e-mail is: eamcclure2000@yahoo.com
Zip, you may or may not find this. But I'm copying it for posterity at the TPM Blog I set up with all sorts of memories. I see your email and I'll ask permission there... but must do this now. Should you not grant permission, be assured I will erase the blog there. Otherwise... the hourglass will NEVER be up!
Posted by TheraP
September 9, 2010 6:53 PM | Reply | Permalink

What are your favorite blogs?

by miguelitoh2o

I've been thinking that since we're about to have a hiatus here at TPM Cafe, it might be a good time to tell some others what you've read or written here that seems memorable to you for whatever reasons.  In thinking about my own writing, the policy blogs mostly seem dated and of less use now.  Oddly, it's some of the more "poetic" writing that seems to hold up after the healthcare "debate" , and financial "reform", and the "end" of the war in Iraq have come to pass. 

So three of my favorites from my own writing are as follows:
A reflection on the future of ours and perhaps all intelligent species, composed in a high fever in a spiral notebook while traveling in Mexico in 2009...
Some thoughts on consciousness, perception, and friendship composed after visiting a friend with Alzheimer's Disease...
And a quasi-poetic takedown of the current corporate/business paradigm in the US and the world...

I've enjoyed innumerable blogs you all have written over the years, and would love it if you would share with us all some of the ones you've either written or read that speak to you.  So, if you would, share those thoughts, (and links), here so we all might have some additional reading material to ponder during the upcoming hiatus. 

I'm traveling this week, and may not be able to check in/comment before the Cafe goes dark, so if I don't get back to any comments/commenters in time, thanks in advance, and see you after the break, (hopefully).  Cheers!  -  Miguelitoh2o


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Be safe.
I look forward to reading your comments
I can't say any particular post stands out for me. But I have always appreciated Jamie Friedland's blogs because they are filled with scientifically literate and valuable information, with a minimum of sturm und drang.
I really can't remember any specific thing I have written.
it has to be your travelogues.
Smokin a big fatty with felons down south of the WALL. ha
But damn, I sound like a sycophant, but I love em all. ha
I admire your contributions very much, and of course your poetry about topical current matter--something I do too little, always tending to fall into the ME, ME, ME trap. So I am in awe. Congrats, Miguelitoh2o....
I just love the fact that someone in this world has on their profile--contributions from both Jack Handey and Eugene V. Debs. WHat a country!
Well, it was so hard for me to start writing here... and then some of the blogs that came out of me were such surprises... that I'll remember some of them, like your own kids, I guess:
- The Ice Weasels (where were THEY from?), the Cajun story, the 7 Fat Cows (maybe my fave), Buffalo Jump (still 50 feet, Rutabaga), Birds Seeing in the Ultraviolet, Cake or Pie (Nervous Breakdown), and the little Shaman Woman from 12,000 years ago.
Most all of these, most of what I wrote here, came in a 5 month period, from Sept/08 til Feb/09. But then, after that, for various reasons, family death, health shift, I changed again, didn't blog much more. But I'll remember those posts - from the inside, what you give birth to, you remember.
The ones I'll remember most though, for the surprise and joy of coming across them, are ones like... Dick's amazing Arthur stories, where we'd heckle him in the comments and suggest changes, and he'd write them in, flying hedgehogs and Shiteface and all.... Plus his ones on the ancient mind, language, archaeology and all that...
And turning way back, there were Billy Glad's masterpieces, in the way that a perfectly written invitation to a bar brawl was a masterpiece... brilliant stuff, and made me laugh like hell, and we were fools to drive him off, though maybe he wanted to go....
And Des' stuff, apologies to all the pretenders here, but Des was the fastest and smartest shot in town, and the best man alive if you need to go rampaging through late night threads, and y'all are idiots for fighting with him, you should be egging him on, to go on out further, to see what he can find and bring home to the rest of us...
And on my yes, the beautiful Lux, that man had it pouring out of him those last months, just joy and love and wisdom. Only sad I didn't catch him earlier... Who knows, maybe we'll find him later....
And late night fighting with Seaton, the early days, trying to convince him that people here weren't total assholes, then watching him tune in, and all that good stuff come out... And the rarely-blogging, more often commenting folks like Dij and Gasket, who - if we were smart - we would have just shut up and listened to... And Miguelito and Obey and XXXXXX (just deleted list of over 20 names off top of head) for whom I would automatically stop and read, just to see what they were up to... But ahhhhh, I'm off topic now, not mentioning individual blogs like I'm supposed to... and then there's back to the very start, and al those folks lost in the mists of time, but what about X and Y and Z and the fights and the mistakes and me being tagged an obviously fictional character and a sock-puppet, what a brilliant way to get to enter the scene here, shoulda paid Genghis for that intro...
And actually, all in all, it was quite a world, quite a blog, a giant rolling, single blog, that everyone and no one could take credit for, because everyone helped create it, 'til someone left it out in the rain, yes, and that means that TPM Readers Blogs are melting in the dark, all the sweet, green icing flowing down, cause someone left the Blogs out in the rain, probably Al Shaw, liquored up one night, but I don't think that I can take it, 'cause it took so long to bake it, and fuck knows, I'll never have that recipe again.
I'll.... never have.... that recipe..... again.
So.... Amen. And Thank You! Goodnight Oklahoma City! And God Bless!
In all honesty, the Great Pseud Hunt was one of the most eye-opening experiences for me at the Cafe. I felt like a pitchfork wielding Puritan from the Crucible, except that we didn't try to burn anyone. I still cringe a little bit at the memory.
Hey miguelito, I tried to submit a few links as you suggested, but my comment is being held up by the moderator, probably because of the links. Given the state of the cafe, I wonder if it will ever be released.
Hey, Genghis; remember you can only add two links per comment or it won't show up. It just etherizes.
Be well,
I used to be able to post more links. Oh well. Here's one, a toast to the old Obama - Clinton battles that sucked in a bunch of us. It also includes my favorite comment of all time, a riposte to BevD near the end of the thread.
Thanks for memories, miguelito. I hope that you come visit us at dagblog. Bring your incisive wit.
PS My favorite blogger was always FlyOnTneWall, long gone now.
Quinn: I was fond of Pie but as I recall, I was dazzled, gobsmacked by your first blog about Arcadian love lost and found. As I was mesmerized by River Running. And so pleased by those Ice Weasels. And the Shaman woman, and your first (and apparently only) talk in church.
I promised you a tale about monkeys and orange umbrellas but did not deliver. Never mind. It would be better if you wrote it.
You have a rare gift, Q -- a voice that is yours alone but which transcends itself to the universal. Not to mention quirky. And off the wall (or cliff, depending).
Thanks for all that. Please write MORE.
Hey, Miguel.
Can't think off-hand of any of my blogs I particularly loved, but this one of Obey's was great plus:
Quinn's creative writing - River runner, ice weazels, all of it.
Dickday's fantasy fiction - the Arthur and Northco series.
Miguel's travelogue.
Wendy Davis's Vignettes.
TheraP's discussion threads.
Wendy Staebler's stormy nights.
Desidero's polemical cultural history
Every comment LarryH ever wrote.
- There is something about the blog format and its peculiar incarnation at the Café that makes me believe these things could never have existed without it.
Some of my fondest memories were long stream of consciousness back-and-forths between myself & Quinn in his early days, trying to one-up each other, out-obscurely-reference each other (leaving aside language tricks which were GirlFromTheBronx's domain), out humor each other, updating as fast as the software would allow and wishing it was real chatroom software to see if we could make braincells spontaneously combust over 200 or 300 comments (no wonder I ended up with a grand total over 11,000 or so). And then there were those DJ nights when the music never stopped.
Then Dijamo strolling in like Seymour to pull out her can of whoop ass - even I would hide behind the bar squinting out to see whose tails got knocked together.
Billy Stinking Billy - kind of a poet priest, old Burroughs curmudgeon and Obi Wan Konobe figure that kept the Cafe/Hive in check for some time.
Rootie-Tootie, always quick with the insults & har-de-har-hars but also always the strongest, most disturbing documentation of modern events. Don't mess with a turnip with a bad attitude.
Gasket I could always depend on to follow me into the barroom brawl when others were scarce (24x7 bloggers unite).
DonnerPass if I needed someone to eat the survivors.
Monica/Crankypants, Art Appraiser, Miguelito, Laura, Ellen, GirlLookingAcrossWater, BwakBwakBwakFat, WendyOfTheAnasazi, numerous others who I remember & don't, left & who hung around, who argued & supported & laughed with me, plus my enormous crew of stalkers, trolls and general burrs in my butt. And then my faves, the ones who threw underwear, offered to show me their nay-nays or give me a rimjob, and in other ways expressed their appreciation in the best virtual fashions you can without an on-site tip box. Thanky, thanky. I'll return them all when I'm finished with them, promise.
And to think I naïvely showed up here to discuss the importance of Free Trade. I don't think I ever got around to writing that essay. Probably would have put me to sleep anyway.
And in the words of the immortals, It's Excellent! For Hillary!

(Not to mention you're WRONG about it!)(Free Trade, that is...)
Har har har!
Posted by wendy davis in reply to a comment from Desidero
September 10, 2010 11:35 AM | Reply | Permalink


The one below from March - by amike - gives anther option:

One can't have too many coffee houses.

by amike

It's early days yet,  but I've found another place which  in which it is going to be fun to hang out.  No, not instead of but in addition to.  It's called

Coffee Party USA

COFFEE PARTY MISSION STATEMENT: The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.

I like it because it has a local  component, blogs, and some interesting tools.  I think some of the caffeine addicts here might like it too.

I also like this: 

As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.
Quite not the tea party, huh?


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I have already joined and took part in some forums. It is a very fun place to hang out. So far, everyone tries to maintain civility which is very refreshing. I think it is a good place for us to join on common grounds, no pun intended, ok maybe just a little. It appears their first target is to abolish corporate personhood. Changing our democracy starts with elections. With polls saying 80% of the people disagree with the supreme court's ruling, I think this is a great place to start. Good luck to the Coffee Party Movement, I think it will give Americans a good opportunity to see an alternative to the offensive Tea Party Hatriots. They even welcome Tea Partiers that have become disgusted with much of the Hate Speech from their puppet masters. Civil discourse, what a novel idea.
I'm still prowling around the website. My next step is to plug in my zip code and see if there's a local group to reality-swill coffee with. BTW puns are very welcome. They're witty, even if the guy who wrote Swowbound was Whittier.
No offense, but I'm afraid it is a bit of the decaf side too me.
I'm waiting for the pitchforks party.
"A poke in the eye is worth two in the ass."
My preference is to leave both orifices (is the eye an orifice--at least the eye socket is) pristine and un-poked, save by ophthalmologists an proctologists (in that order)
Ah...the old O-before-P-except-after-C rule. Or is that just in the Navy?
Good to see you Mike. Always a pleasure to be in the company of a gentleman, whether it's for coffee or tea.
Thanks for this, amike!
Thank you amike, the site looks interesting.
As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.
I agree, but can't let communication be undermined and stifled by prohibitions against using language the TeaNuts can understand. After all, if the incurious won't stretch themselves, one must reach out and slap them upside the head with vocabulary they understand.
Well, it is not for everybody. It really stresses self-control and not to be inflammatory, and yea 'TeaNuts' wouldn't go over very well. The whole point is to try to bring people in that may be tired and disgusted by all the hyperbole. And yes there have been some Tea Party converts on there too. But calling them TeaNuts doesn't really help their cause. Don't get me wrong, I've used some TeaBagging euphemisms in my day, and I'm sure I will again, but I choose not to do that on that site in those discussions. It is really geared to appeal to moderates and independents, again it's not something everyone can handle. It is meant to be refreashingly free from hyper-partisanship. It's about 'toning it down' just a notch.
If only polls could distinguish liars from honest.
Polls find that some 74 per cent of teabaggers are actually misspelling the word Republican -- some becasue illiterate, and the others because lying that they are "independent" and "Democrat" in effort to falsely portray the fake "movement" as being "diverse" and "tolerant".
Then we see the videos of those at the "Conservative Woodstock" who dissagreed with them being booted.
Try to persuade them by your approach all you like. But realize that they are not on that site to be persuaded -- which means, to discuss reasonably and objectively -- any more than they are on any other site for any other "reason" than to spread their America-hating poison.

But I think that there are a few that are in the Tea Party or sympathize with their message that are not fringetastic hyperbolic. I think they want to offer an alternative movement, that is also not happy about everything that is going on in the country, but strives to maintain civil discourse. Yes, I have my reservations if that approach would actually work, I'm cynical too. But it would be nice if politics could be discussed in a calm, non confrontational manner. This is just their attempt at that and I hope it works.
I perhaps should have repeated the point in the title in the text itself. One cannot have too many coffee houses, by which I was thinking that it's good to have a place to rant and it's good to have a place not to rant. Now if I can only remember which is which.
The other point. How good it is to look forward to having a place where coffee is wet and sweet rolls have calories. We haven't got one here in my part of Rhode Island yet, but I have hopes.
Is there a wine party ? No not the congressional republicans. Or maybe a Red Wine Party....part Marxist.
Welcome to the Beaujolais wing.
Well there's always Drinking Liberally: http://livingliberally.org/drinking/
I need to have a coffeehouse nearby, however. At my age, one glass makes me drowse right off. And being the last pedestrian on earth mine is a bit difficult to get to.
Not Thirsty? Hungry--need a laugh? There's always Living Liberally. http://livingliberally.org/
Yeah, ther is -- amnd it's countered by the White Whine Party.

Yeah, there is -- amnd it's countered by the White Whine Party.

More Public Service

In order to save and salvage some of these last blogs and vital info that people may need, I've set up one final "page" at my personal blog digest.

It's called 9/9/10 Blogs.  (it will always be just under the title)

I apologize that I won't be able to save every last blog.  But in addition to some blogs, I've also saved them with their comments.  And I'll go back later and try to copy the additional comments.

So if you have something to say... for posterity, you can either comment right here or at one of the blogs I've copied already.  The one by Larry, the one by wendy, and I've got Zip's there but have to ask his permission after the fact... so I can't promise that one will stay up.  Also looking to see if Obey grants permission.

And, if possible, I'd like to transfer the blogs where AA gives info about setting up a disqus dashboard.  (I've gone ahead and saved that blog including the comments.)  If AA has a problem with that, I'll delete it there.  (I think she'll agree it's worth saving.) 

I have to make supper now for Mr. TheraP - but I'll be back later to copy what more I can before all this goes dark.

Rather than simply offer heartfelt wishes to all, please accept them via this opportunity to save what I can for you of these last moments.  To a place you can visit, if you like, for info on where to find people or to get a feel for your friends and this place.

Peace to all.  My blessing upon you.  May  the road open before you.  And may you find the companions of your heart's desire.


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Take what you want from me, TheraP I'd be proud, proud, proud, to be included. And thanks, of course.
Pick one if you like, amike. Or better yet, take a few minutes to do a short valedictory blog. That and the comments will get transferred. That's what I'm REALLY looking for! That and your comment already.
And, by the way, I'm still waiting for the info (or whatever) to join your blog.
Peace, dear friend.
I really don't have any posts worth saving Thera, but I think it is really wonderful that you have taken the time and energy to save the others for posterity.
Isn't it amazing that almost random patterns, using only a few of 26 letters at a time, can create such emotion? Such a family? It never fails to amaze and inspire me.
I hope Mr. TheraP is doing well and you both had a good dinner. :) I am going to hang out over at Dagblog, but I have your blog and various others bookmarked for regular visiting. :)
Namaste my friend
Thanks for the memories!
I've always loved you avatar! Please never change it. :-)
Namaste.  May friends remain across the miles.


Parting Shots

by oleeb

I've enjoyed being able to blog here at TPM Cafe.  I hope reader blogs come back here soon.  But in case they don't I want to share a few thoughts with you and I want to say thank you to all those I've run into here for their efforts (even those with whom I strongly disagree). 
I have found the posts and comments here on the whole quite thoughtful, interesting, well written, often very witty, humorous and downright funny.  I have found sustenance in the passion of many of those who have shared of themselves here.  I have felt sorrow for some of those in this community who have been sick, taken ill and in a couple of heartbreaking situations even passed away.  I've learned some new things and come to appreciate some things I hadn't before.  It's been quite a memorable experience.  Thanks to Josh for making the experience possible.  Thanks to the endless good humor and patience of Versha and the others who kept it all operating one way or another.
Following are just some items I want to share as my parting blog here.  I'm sure I'll run into a number of you either at dagblog or one of the other possible TPM refugee sites identified in recent days.
Until then...Pax Vobiscum to you all!

Martin Luther King, III (above)
I thought the message in the excerpted AP article below worth remembering and repeating often:
The eldest surviving child of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King prefers to observe the national holiday in honor of his father as opposed to celebrating it. Martin Luther King III said there is simply too much work to be done around what his father called the "triple evils."

"We can't celebrate when the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism are still very much existing in our society," said King. "The holiday always gives us an opportunity to begin anew."

Ever since I first learned about the great Frederick Douglass (above) he has been one of my heroes.  I think he was one of the greatest Americans who ever lived.  His words are worth remembering when we hear politicians and pundits talking about compromising with evil.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.
Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and never will. Show me the exact amount of wrong and injustices that are visited upon a person and I will show you the exact amount of words endured by these people.

 Sojourner Truth (above) was an extraordinary woman and on her tombstone is the following question she asked of Frederick Douglass during the Civil War...
Is God Dead?

Mary "Mother" Jones was born in the 1830's and fought hard all her life for working people.  Her famous battle cry should never be fortgotten.
Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living!

The incredible Helen Keller (above) is known far and wide today as the person who overcame multiple disabilities in a time when that was unheard of.  Yet she was also an ardent activist whose politics has been buried in favor of emphasizing her "safer" triumph over her hearing, sight, and verbal disabilities.  Her words in the quote below resonate strongly today as we manage to survive a rerun of the robber baron era and the boom and bust cycle of laissez faire capitalism once again as she did a hundred years ago.
We the people are not free.  Our democracy is but a name.  We vote?  What does that mean?  It means that we choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.  We elect expensive masters to do our work for us, and then blame them because they work for themselves and for their class.

The legendary Joe Hill (above) was shot by a firing squad for organizing workers.  He wrote a song called The Preacher and the Slave sung to the tune of the old Christian Hymn "In The Sweet Bye and Bye".  It's worth reading Joe Hill's lyrics even today:

The Preacher And The Slave
by: Joe Hill
Long Haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die. (That's a lie!)
The starvation army they play,
They sing and they clap and they pray,
Till they get all your coin on the drum
Then they'll tell you when you're on the bum:
Holy rollers and jumpers come out,
They holler, they jump and they shout.
Give your money to Jesus they say
He will cure all diseases today.
If you fight hard for children and wife-
Try to get something good in this life-
You're a sinner and bad man they tell,
When you die you will sure go to hell
Workingmen of all countries, unite!
Side by side we for freedom will fight!
When the world and its wealth we have gained;
To the grafter we'll sing this refrain:
You will eat, bye and bye,
When you've learned how to cook and to fry,
Chop some wood, 'twill do you good,
And you'll eat in the sweet bye and bye.

Robert F. Kennedy shown above talking to a child was an extrardinary inspiration to so many people and remains so today and had a great deal to say that should be remembered.  When I was in grade school he was murdered but I still remember these words of his:
A well-informed, well-educated young America is our country's best hope for the future.

Earlier this year we lost the people's historian, the incomparable Prof. Howard Zinn (above).  His influence continues growing with each passing year.  I doubt that death will slow down the momentum of his message of optimism, hope, defiance, love of humanity, and respect for the dignity and worth of all human beings.  His stature only continues to grow in my eyes and in those of many, many others.  He was a towering source of strength and hope for millions of common people and for me personally.  He is certainly the greatest figure I have ever known well.  For decades now I have had nothing but a growing admiration for his work, his wisdom, his gentle but resolute manner and for his perserverance.  As he grew older he only became more eloquent and moving when he spoke to crowds of people.  His words were and remain particularly important on the topic of war.  As a World War II bombardier he spoke not from an academic point of view but as a participant in war.  His experience of war and the mass violence it visits upon human beings taught him to oppose all war.  His words on this topic are well worth reading over and over again and should never be forgotten.
This is an excerpt of a talk given November 11, 2009 at Boston University where Howard Zinn taught countless students for many years whose lives, like mine, were changed for the better by the experience.

When I was discharged from the army, from the air force, I got a letter from General Marshall.  He was the General of Generals.  He was sending a letter (not a personal letter to me) "Dear Howie..."   No, a letter was sent to 16 million men who had served in the armed forces, some women too, and the letter was something like this.  "We've won the war.  Congratulations for your service!  It will be a new world."   
It wasn't a new world. 
And we know it hasn't been a new world since World War II.
War after war after war after war and 50 million people were dead in that war to end all wars, to end fascism and dictatorship and militarism.  No.  So, yes, I came to the conclusion that war cannot be tolerated no matter what we're told.  And if we think there are good wars and that therefore maybe this is a good war I wanted to examine the so called "good wars", the holy wars yeah, and take a good look at that and think again about the phenomenon of war and come to the conclusion: yes, war cannot be tolerated.
No matter what we're told, what tyrant exists, what border has been crossed, what aggression has taken place.  It's not that we're going to be passive in the face of tyranny or aggression.  No!  But we'll find ways other than... war, to deal with whatever problems we have because war is inevitably, inevitably the indiscriminate massive killing of huge numbers of people and children are a good part of those people.
Every war is a war against children.
So it's not just getting rid of Saddam Hussein if you think about it.  Oh we got rid of Saddam Hussein.  In the course of it we killed huge numbers of people who had been victims of Saddam Hussein.  When you fight a war against a tyrant, who do you kill?  You kill the victims of the tyrant.
Anyway, all this... all this has been simply to make us think again about war and to think.  We're at war now!  Right?  In Iraq.  In Afghanistan.  And sort of in Pakistan since we're sending rockets over there and killing innocent people in Pakistan.  And, uh, so we should not accept that.
We should look for a peace movement to join.  Really!  Look for some peace organization to join.  It will look small at first and pitiful and helpless, but that's how movements start.  That's how the movement against the Vietnam War started.  It started with handfuls of people who thought they were helpless, thought they were powerless.
But remember, the power of the people on top depends on the obedience of the people below.  When people stop obeying: they have no power.  When workers go on strike, huge corporations lose their power.  When consumers boycott, huge business establishments have to give in.  When soldiers refuse to fight, as so many soldiers did in Vietnam, so many deserters, so many fraggings, acts of violence by enlisted men against officers in Vietnam.  B-52 pilots refusing to fly bombing missions anymore.  War can't go on when enough soldiers refuse, the government has to decide we can't continue.
So yes, people have the power if they begin to organize, if they protest, if they create a strong enough movement they can change things.  That's all I want to say.  Thank you.
  All one has to do is look at the following photographs to know how right Howard Zinn's words above really are.

The children above were killed in Afghanistan

The child above is from Iraq.
War is the enemy of all humanity and all that is decent and good in the world. 
Failure to oppose war is tantamount, in my opinion, to collaborating with evil.  We should do all we can to end the horrific and unwinnable, endless wars our country is currently prosecuting.
I'll end with a reminder about how this post began.  Martin Luther King's struggle was the right one.  He fought against militarism, poverty and racism and so should we.


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Don't be lost to us, Oleeb. Please stake out a plot of land on any of the refugee sites until the Cafe is re-invented so your voice is not quieted.

This is beautiful, oleeb. I don't know if the blogger server can take it, but I'll try to preserve this lovely meditation on why so many of us blog over at my TPM "digest" site.
I really should be baking bread right now... but this is more important.
Lovely, painful blog from a man who carries on the legacy of being a prophetic voice. Not a pleasant calling, to be sure. But a needed one.
Bless you, dear oleeb


A Prayer at the End of Ramadan  

by Hesham A. Hassaballa

Most Precious, Beautiful, Kind, Loving, Merciful, and Gracious Lord; O God, our Precious Beloved Lord; Ruler of the Heavens and the Earth; Kind Guide to all those on Your Path:
Lord, the month of fasting has come to an end, and as You know, I cannot say that I will not feel happy. This year has been particularly difficult for me to complete. I have strained at the difficulty of having to wait for the long (and frequently hot) day to finish before I can finally eat and drink. Then, I strain at having very little time to eat and drink before I have to stop again.
I feel terrible for my straining this past month. You have been so Beautiful, so Kind, so Merciful, so Compassionate, so Wonderful to me for all these years...and I strain when I have to fast the day for only one month out of the year. I feel terrible, Lord, for it is clear that I am also not truly free.
I know that You understand that fasting is difficult, and that is why You have pledged to reward us for it. Nevertheless, I feel terrible for not having fasted with a huge smile on my face, with happiness that I am not eating and drinking for Your sake. Perhaps I ask too much of myself, but when it is for You, I think it is worth it.
So, my Beautiful Precious Lord, I ask that You look past my straining and accept the fasts that I tried so hard to faithfully fulfill . Please look past my weaknesses as a human being, my hypocrisy that I live each day, and accept my striving on your path. Please accept the fact that I did thirst and strain at having to fast, but that I tried to do it for You. Please accept my recitation of the Qur'an during the holy month of Ramadan. Please accept the cycles of prayer that I offered for You during this month. Please accept the night vigils that I tried to perform for Your sake.
Lord, please forgive my shortcomings during this month. Please forgive the many sins that I committed during Ramadan. Please forgive the mistakes that I made while I was trying to be good to You. Please look past all the ways I fall short of Your Way and accept me into Your Presence and Garden.
Lord, do not let the blessings of this month, which I took for granted, to pass by me when the days and nights of holiness are long gone. Please, do not take away all that Grace, and Mercy, and Beauty, and Kindness, and Graciousness once the calendar continues on. Please continue to show me that Most Beautiful Face that You have always shown me and continue to bless me for all my life, for all my time.
O God our Lord, I wish I had been better during this Ramadan. I wish I had fasted with a big smile on my face. I wish I had no feelings of dread as the month of Ramadan approached. I wish I jumped for joy when I found the month of fasting upon me.
I didn't.
Nevertheless, O Lord, I tried my best to fast because it was You who told me to do so. I did my best, my Lord, so please accept it from me.
O God my Lord, I love You. I may not show it in the best way, but I really do. I know You know this, but I like to say it anyway. And I know You love me, because if You didn't, You would not have given me life when I was dead. And so, my Lord, I will try my best to stay true to your path for all the days that I live.
My Precious Beloved Lord, the month of Ramadan is over, and I cannot say I won't be happy to have that cup of coffee when the sun is rising high into the sky. I cannot say I won't be happy to be able to play golf and drink coffee or diet soda at the same time. I cannot say I won't be happy to be able to eat before the sun sets. But, please, Lord, accept me with all my weakness, all my frailty, all my hypocrisy.
I am trying my best, O Lord, so please accept me. And I end with one of my most favorite passages of Your Most Holy Word:
Limitless in His glory is thy Lord, the Lord of Almightiness, [exalted] above anything that men may devise by way of definition! And peace be upon all His Message-bearers! And all praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds! (37:180-183)
In Your Most Holy Name do I say this, Amen.