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Hooray for all of you who have written here since 2002

In May 2002, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas dashed off the seven sentences that birthed the Daily Kos we know and love today, there wasn’t a computer, much less internet, to be found in the home I shared with two fellow bartenders in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.

We were all in a period of arrested development: At 22 years old, we were still reeling from 9/11 eight months before. The only war we’d experienced in our lifetimes lasted just six months, when we were too young to understand the repercussions or realities of the actions of the first Bush presidency, including the appointment of Justice Clarence Thomas.

Two years earlier, the first presidential election in which we could vote was decided by the Supreme Court and we still were too young to understand the repercussions of a second Bush in the White House, even though none of us voted for him. Dubya would later place John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the court that handed him his first term, leading to today’s precarity. It’s one that, I think, our younger selves couldn’t, and didn’t imagine.

It was, as they say, a different time. Yet so many of you were here, fighting to stop today’s nightmare before it became reality. And without those of you who were here then, Daily Kos wouldn’t be the essential, multi-faceted progressive hub that it is today—one that’s given my work such meaning over the nearly five years since I joined the Staff.

So even in the face of Alito’s leaked opinion and a far-right activist SCOTUS that has only gotten worse, we must celebrate you, dear Community. You are simply the best.

Since March, we’ve been celebrating the best of the millions upon millions of stories written here, by Staff and Community alike. I challenged everyone—including you, dear Community—to ponder our writings here on Daily Kos over the last 20 years and pick a personal best.

It’s been a blast highlighting submissions—first from the Community Contributors Team, our Daily Kos staff (part one and part two), and Kos himself—and then from the Community (part one, part two, part three). And now it’s time for the antepenultimate installment of This Is My Best (TIMB)—focused yet again on Community writing.

A quick reminder of how TIMB works:

Some years ago, I’m told, there was a wonderful series called This Is My Best (TIMB), which encouraged Community members to share their own writing that they were most proud of, rather than the writing of others. One part self-promotion, one part self-confidence, all parts awesome, TIMB encourages writers to press pause on their role as their own worst critics and take some time to toot their own horns.

With that, let’s dive right in! This week’s collection includes stories from as far back as 2005 and as recent as 2021. They’re a fascinating mix of history, current events, and personal stories. I hope you’ll give ‘em a read!


Mr. President: I remember (2009)

My favorite even though it was far from my most recommended. It was the point where I came to grips and reached acceptance of how President Obama would govern and how it would impact my personal views on the pros and cons of the Democratic Party, the only sane party in the US.

It was worth a shot.


My uncle died from COVID-19 earlier this evening (2020)

This was when COVID-19 was still new, we didn’t understand everything about it, and there was no vaccine. Thousands of Americans had died by this point, there were mass graves and refrigerated trucks outside morgues, and that was all horrible enough...and then it happened to my family.

My uncle was a great guy, very upbeat and positive, a kind and loving family man who was loved by everyone in the family. He also enjoyed Christmas, especially when he got older and would play Santa Claus (whom he strongly resembled!) He did not deserve to go through that hellish disease, hooked up to machinery, briefly getting better before getting worse again and finally dying, all alone, with nobody in the family allowed to see him due to the COVID protocols at the time.

I was stunned and wracked with grief when I wrote the diary, and it shows in the writing. I had to get my thoughts out, the hurricane of emotions I was going through, and a plea for people to take this seriously, as COVID is no hoax, but very real and deadly. The outpouring of support and sympathy from the readers here on DK was a true comfort at that awful time, and showed what a wonderful bunch of people we have on this site.


I was assigned the identity of a straight male when I was born (2018)

I think this one might be my best. I’ve done a lot of self-examination about sexuality over the past few years and I think this is the best that I, as a straight white male, can do.


Food and the homeless (2011)

I chose [this story] because it might have spurred people to donate to one of the soup kitchens I used to eat at, [which] managed to move to bigger digs. The old place was tiny.


At the SEAL Memorial Ceremony: Contempt for death, love of family, respect for the president (2011)

I cried writing it, I just cried again reading it.

This was an insider’s view to the SEAL Memorial Ceremony for the large number of guys who died in the Extortion 17 shoot-down. It was brutal, and wonderful, and I wanted the members to see inside a world that is usually very very closed.


History for Kossacks: The First Crusade (2006)

There were better-written ones later in my posting career, but that HfK in particular had the most impact on its course. At the time I started my Crusades series I'd only been putting up diaries for a couple of months, and while a few had picked up some eyeballs, interest in things like a 7-part series on the history of Iran seemed to have plateaued.

That changed when SusanG included HfK: First Crusade in one of her earliest “Open Thread and Diary Rescue” posts, which led to the first example of a phenomenon later witnessed occasionally by the Rescue Rangers: the R2R, or “rescue to recommend.” It can happen when a story appears on a rescue thread soon enough after its posting that a few more recs can elevate it to the Rec List. It also meant that for a few hours, the diary's title link appeared in three separate places near the top of the front page.

The gee-whiz stuff was neat, but the important thing (for me, anyway) was the boost to my morale, which had been flagging a bit as I researched and wrote long-form history diaries for what seemed like a couple of dozen people, tops. With the exposure that rescue brought, I was motivated to keep developing what became the format for the History for Kossacks series, which ran largely between 2006 and 2009 and achieved some measure of success around these parts.


The Language of the Night - Original sin in Heorot and Valinor (2021)

[Of my] peer-reviewed and published essays in academic journals that made up my dissertation and that I adapted to diary format at the request of the Language of the Night crew, [this] was the first one and it is the only one that is not split into two parts.


My friend who lived (2009)

I’ve written some good stuff here over the years, and I’m grateful for the support I’ve found here.

This piece holds a place in my heart.


Jeniva Jalal has a name (2007)

Why do I think it’s great? Well, I had been writing a series of anti-war diaries about the American War in Iraq and I’ll be honest — it was hard to get people to read them, because of the stark subject matter, even though I had a loyal following. It was also hard to write them. So I think I was really looking for another way to approach doing a diary about the war in Iraq that might be a little gentler and that people could relate to and still manage to read through it. When I heard about Jeneva Jalal, I tried to imagine what her life might have been like and I tried to portray her as a real human being, how I though she might be. I think it resonated with people and especially with women, based on the comments and also private messages that I received. And so I was proud of that. And now looking back at it in the wake of another war, in Ukraine, I think it’s a timely pick.


Ginger is the bestest Pootie in the entire universe (2020)

It’s sad that she was having health issues, but joyful for knowing her with all her quirks. And I think [this story] reflects the mad love for pets that a lot of us have around these here parts (like Kos says, don’t mess with the Pootie people). If I were nominating others’ best diaries, I’d probably pick a lot of their pet tributes too. Each pet personality is unique, but each diary reflects the common joy of pet ownership, as well as the shared pain of having to let them go. Came for the politics, stayed for the love of animals.


Exclusive! Interview with the Devil (2005)

It was my first try at a long humor piece. As I revised it over a week’s time, inevitably new jokes would come to mind and because they were new they seemed funnier than the jokes I’d written days before and read dozens of times. Deciding which was actually funnier was a challenge, then I got to read the comments and see what folks actually liked. It was a lot of fun.


The evil of our banality (2020)

Every day I read stories here on Daily Kos full of pain, full of indignation, full of demand, and full of hope for a better world and a better future. And yet there is, in my view, a whole set of factors mostly invisible to us (like fish who ask “what’s water?”), factors that have predisposed us to be in the mess we’re in, factors that keep us here despite our sincere efforts, factors that keep us choosing the mess simply because we don’t entirely see our part in creating/perpetuating the mess. These factors are called a priori because they come before, they set the parameters and limit our vision, and truncate our choices. Identifying these pre-disposing factors is an absolute necessity for any meaningful change. The continued not-seeing is what makes the whole process banal, and the blind continuation of destructive systems and structures is what makes the banality evil. Recognizing our complicity is intensely difficult and painful, but doing so is the only way to make the deep and necessary changes in our lives and communities. Anything else is re-arranging the deck chairs on a systemic Titanic of our own design.


A short history of the Munich analogy (2008)

This is the most “serious” article I ever posted on Kos. My other contributions are mostly intended as humor. Unfortunately, satire, which was a species already endangered by the excesses of the Pre-Trump GOP, is now entirely dead, as nothing one could imagine could possibly be as ludicrous, surreal, shameful, or mind-bogglingly stupid and criminal as the Republican Party today. Even S. J. Perelman would have thrown in the towel if he’d been around for the past few years.

That’s it for this week, folks, and after seven weeks of collecting your submissions, we’ve got just two installments left as we really throw the celebration into gear. And speaking of gear, have you checked out the updated Daily Kos store yet? We’ll also be adding some super cute anniversary merch as soon as it’s ready, so keep an eye out for it!

Koscars voting starts next week—and I hope to see y’all next Friday (May 20) for our Cheers and Jeers 20th Anniversary Virtual Happy Hour—RSVP by sending a KosMail to Christopher Reeves!

Daily Kos relies on readers like you. We don't have billionaire backers like some right-wing media outlets. Half our revenue comes from readers like you, meaning we literally couldn't do this work without you. Can you donate $3 right now to help Daily Kos keep fighting?

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Albania buys anti-tank Javelin missiles to strengthen army

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Celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Pembroke Pines Dr. Antonio Wong Stays True To His Roots

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we put the spotlight on a Pembroke Pines doctor who is saving lives while staying true to his roots.

“My parents are Asian American. It means I’m very proud of my ancestors. They teach us that with discipline and to be successful you must work hard,” said Dr. Antonio Wong.

READ MORE: Ex-BSO Deputy Jorge Sobrino Found Not Guilty Of Battery On Inmate

From his medical practice in Pembroke Pines, Dr. Wong, a family doctor proudly talks about his Asian culture and the many sacrifices and struggles his parents went through to live the American dream.

“They came to this country and adapted to this environment. They were in the restaurant business and I grew up in that type of environment working with them seeing how hard and difficult they struggled to make advancement. I am very proud of what they did because of them, I am what I am now,” said Dr. Wong.

Dr. Wong who was born in Honduras moved to the U.S. when he was 13 and says he was so impressed and thankful for the opportunity he felt he had to give back and he is doing so by caring for people.

“That’s our goal. To bring hope, because when you have your health you have hope and when you have hope you have everything,” added Dr. Wong.

READ MORE: Be Prepared: Florida's Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday Begins Next Saturday

Dr. Wong graduated from the University of Miami and went on to do his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He is now the medical director of Pembroke Pines My Care, where he’s been for nearly 30 fulfilling years. Decades of hard work and determination traits he inherited from his role models.

“My parents were my role models because I saw they were able to adapt to this country and I saw how hard they worked. My dad was not as educated, but he was able to bring a family of seven to where we are, so I’m very happy to have him as my role model,” said Dr. Wong.

Although he has been living here for more than 30 years, he always stays true to his roots.

“I love the culture. I love the food of Asia. Everywhere I go, I look for that so I’m a food enthusiast but the other thing about Asian culture is we believe in working hard. We believe in making sure that everybody around us are in a neutral way. We are very much concerned about community and making sure we always leave our community a better place than we came into,” said Dr. Wong.

MORE NEWS: Miami-Dade Launches Building Blocks Fund For Affordable Housing

Dr. Wong who is also the president-elect of the Broward County medical association, also told us he thinks these are times that we should be open to discussion so we can understand the differences of each culture and adapt and learn from each other.

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