A Sobering Look At History Through Ancestry: Owned v. Pwned

From Brandon Friedman (@BrandonF) via Twitter, about 11:30 pm EST:

If you watch the TV ads, you always see people who find wonderful, redeeming stories about their families.What they don’t prepare you for is that you also find the names and dollar values of the people your family used to own.

Warren 24 years old, yellow color, $1,500; Mease a man 28 yrs old, black color, $1,400;Nettie 20 yrs old, black color, and her children, $1,700; Sarah 17 yrs old and her children, $750; India 52 yrs old black color, $350.

No idea what became of them.

Those are sobering thoughts that harken back to a darker part of our national heritage - a part that we have not left fully behind, when slavery and indentured servitude were used to build the nation on the backs of others.

Logo Design Contest - ePluribus Media

ePluribus Media is looking for a logo. Specifically, it's looking for a new logo, one that will be more functional as a logo than our traditional trademark graphic. Given the plethora of bright, talented individuals who populate the ePluribus Media and Daily Kos communities and their past participation in the Dick Cheney Halloween Photoshop contest (entries here, votes here), I thought it may be both useful and fun to offer a free ePluribus Media "Don't Clog My Tubes" coffee mug to the winner - whoever designs the best new logo for ePluribus Media. The winner would also be listed on the ePluribus Media "About" page for credit with the logo design and given the option to link to his or her site if they'd like (unless such a link would lead to a NSFW site - sorry).

The blogger's mug features a graphic designed by Roxy the ePM Webmistress and myself, and brought to life through Roxy's own mystickal Photoshop wizardry. Here's the graphic:

And here's what it looks like wrapped around a coffee mug:

What do you think - are you up for a challenge, in exchange for a stylin' mug? If so, read on...


Saturday Afternoon Open Thread: ePluribus Meta, DK4 Formatting Tips and Thou Edition

Earlier today, ePluribus Media posted a diary over on Daily Kos containing a few formatting tips and tricks for the new DK4 format. The diary is called The Elements of Style: Tips, Tricks and Regrouping News. The first part of the title comes from the well-known The Elements of Style - perhaps a bit presumptuous, but at the time it seemed appropriate.

For those who are waiting and watching as ePluribus Media rebuilds and rejuvenates, we're interested in any feedback you've got regarding our past, present and future: what would you like to see, what would you like to see more of, and what didn't work for you?

We'll keep the community posted on developments as we move forward, and we'll be starting a group (as yet undefined) over on Daily Kos as part of reconstituting our core of citizen journalist researchers, writers and editors.

We hope to see you in the comments below, and over at our dK4 Group too. Most of all, we hope to hear from you.

For now, though, just remember: This is an Open Thread.

Up and Coming on ePluribus Media

Over the next couple of days, some of the upcoming content on ePluribus Media will include a fantastic Flash animation by Billy Blob with music by The Sun.

Keep an eye open for it.

Behind the scenes, we've been doing some site updates in addition to planning some other changes that we're sure you'll like.

What kind of "Fall Cleaning" are you up to?

Coming up...Reviews and New Opportunities

Hiya, folks. As you may have noticed, ePluribus Media is doing some updates. These updates are both internal and external -- some you'll see, others will happen behind the scenes.

As with all such efforts, your feedback and contributions are always appreciated; please feel free to sprinkle a few in the comments.

Upcoming on ePluribus Media in terms of content is a review of Public Journalism 2.0: The Promise and Reality of a Citizen-Engaged Press, edited by Jack Rosenberry and Burton St. John III. Our own Aaron Barlow contributed to it (he wrote Chapter 5), and I was fortunate enough to be quoted. The topic is both relevant and timely, coming shortly on the heels of news regarding how Susie Dow's Iraq, Contingency Contracting and the Defense Base Act started a series of events that culminated in the Department of Labor finally recognizing the benefits claim of the Kirk von Ackermann's family -- six long years after Kirk disappeared in Iraq, in what the Army CID determined was a clear-cut case of abduction and murder. Kudos again, Susie, and our thanks for your dogged pursuit of justice.

I'll be posting my review of Public Journalism 2.0 in the next day or two. Keep an eye out for it.

Other things are happening -- some still in the planning stages but moving forward. More on all this later. In the meantime, have a great weekend.

Brief Site Update: Saturday Maintenance Results

Yesterday, the community site was updated with an anti-SPAM filter to help counter an ongoing problem with SEO spamming.

You may notice the neat little "no spam" icon and link at the top of the content section -- kudos to Roxy our fantabulous rock-hopper penguin webmistress for her deft and responsive skills.

Other changes that went on were behind-the-scenes for the site editors. Quite a while ago, we added the ability to schedule posts so that as we build content or prepare content for publication on certain dates, we could set the date and time for the post to appear. One element we didn't add until recently was a way for site editors to see what was scheduled. Now, when a site editor wants to see whether there are any scheduled posts for his/her day of managing content and maintaining the front page, they can.

We added a link to a page that will show 'em scheduled posts that have not been published.

So, I just thought a little update would be in order. We want our readers and intrepid army of eclectic posters to know that in both obvious and subtle ways, we're constantly working to improve the site.

Now, please go check out Susie Dow's recent post entitled Why is Obama Administration Hiding Evidence of Torture? and follow it up with Hello Dolly Llama's The “grab yer guns and destroy Obama” meme is now an internet game!, then resume random perusal of the rest of the items that are percolating on the page.

Happy Sunday! You can tread this announcement as an additional Open Thread.

We're back!

Thanks to our wonderful and mystically-endowed-in-the-cyber-arts webmistress Roxy, we're back!

Our toolset and underlying core software has been updated, and our DB backed up, all in a little under an hour.

Kudos to Roxy! Huzzah!

(Please direct all donations to our PayPal account, or send lots of flowers to Hawaii. Don't worry about an address -- just include a note that they're for Roxy, and the islanders will make sure they get delivered.)

Irony ^2 -- My A** In A Sling "arm" in a sling.

Fell on the ice while clearing the driveway of ice/snow/slush...injured the elbow. 
Appears to be a bone bruise and nothing more, but the radiologist will let us know for certain tomorrow. (Yeah, I'm not a complete fool -- we had it x-rayed.)

Anywho -- irony of ironies, nested:

1.  I fall on the ice while out clearing the ice so that nobody will fall on it and get injured.

2.  The doctor said I might want to ice my elbow to help alleviate pain and prevent swelling...from the ice-related injury it sustained.

I think I should go to bed now, and hope that "Blessed Irony" has finished attempting to make her presence known.


I originally wrote this as an email to a friend, but thought it was a good enough example of living irony to share.

DailyKos, Subliminal Advertising and the Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy

Crossposted to DailyKos.

"What's in a name" might well be answered in the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words" -- evidence of a vast left-wing conspiracy to control the blogosphere, the internet, US politics and even the WORLD has now crept out of the shadowy depths and into the light...

Yes, that's right -- the Great Orange Satan has finally tipped its hand. Er, claw. Whatever.

No, really. And I'm sure the reich- right-wing pundits will be all over this as evidence of a nefarious, insidious conspiracy any time now.


...any time now...

Finding my way in the dark

OK - I'm foundering a bit.  I had a heck of a time finding the comments I made.  I ended up just going back on the diaries to find Jeff's witty piece and my comment.  Sure enough, Carol was there.  Hi back at ya, Carol!  Such a friendly face!

If I were to characterize the past several months it would be one of bubblegum which ends up in the hair.  LONG hair!.  While I've taken off the firefighting uniform for now, I know I'll have to doff it shortly.  The range of life's little complexes range from refinishing kitchens myself then 401Ks and investments go tubular, kidlets medical and school complications, oh heck - you guys know, it's just life. 

It's that dadgum wad of pink Bazooka bubblegum tht is well-chewed and you thought you had put it in the right place to dispose of it.  Little did you know that the endge of the coffee table just wouldn't do.  So when you ducked to clean out the cat yack, yout hair caught on the edge of said coffee table and low and behold you have a new addition to you coiffe.

All tried and true methods of ridding yourself of that growth:  "Out damn spot!" don't work (no, it ain't cancer, I just reread that and thought "Oh, crap!".  We're talking mundane stuff here - none-the-less time-consuming).

Political veterans rights,Snate, Congree,  Pretty Bird Women House, family, school district commitments, health of kidlets and grandbaby -all of which occupy the mind.  So it's a Hey There to you All, I'm around but cannot be counted on for now.  January - mehbe so. 

So take that all you Christmas standard or ho-ho-humbug folks!

Turn The Page


On a long and lonesome highway
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engine
Moanin' out as one long song
You can think about the woman
Or the girl you knew the night before.

But your thoughts will soon be wandering
The way they always do
When you're riding sixteen hours
And there's nothing much to do
And you don't feel much like riding
You just wish the trip was through


The haunting words and lyrics in the song Turn the Page1 give an instant sense of the road's long journey, conveying the sense of a journey that just continues methodically as the strength and endurance required to go on becomes a focus on just completing each day.

Life is like that sometimes, giving us more than enough to focus on so that the only way we can continue is to deal with what is immediately ahead of us and reflect only on that which was immediately encountered on our journey...

CoinKitty is Coming Here Too!

Yes, as ePluribusMedia gets ready to migrate to the new hosting solution lots of stalwarts like Roxy, StandingUp and others have worked hard to make this possible.

And CoinKitty is coming along too. We want you to be able to find and test our 'Tip`em' buttons and they will be showing up here very soon.

CoinKitty is now very close to opening up the 'Front Doors' and will soon be asking our existing 'Mousers' to use our software to re-join CoinKitty.

Thanks to all our 'Mousers' and the other anonymous testers!