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The Ripples Speak of the Rock (for everyone mourning Khephra)

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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:30 PM
Original message
The Ripples Speak of the Rock (for everyone mourning Khephra)
I have been following all the Khephra threads and thinking about why it is that the death of someone I never met and who I didn't really know very well seems to have affected me so much. I know it's at least partly because I see so many of you grieving for him, and because I have come to think of DU as a kind of extended family, I can't help wanting to be able to make it better, though I know I can't. I thought maybe I should say something about how his life and his death have affected me, one of the people farther from the center of this loss.

When you toss a stone into the water, the effect is most obvious near the point of impact. But as the ripples spread, it changes more and more, in ways that are not as obvious. I am one of those ripples. Spending as much time posting here as I do, I inevitably got into conversations with Khephra, and you could always tell two things about him: that he had a big heart, and that he deeply cared about what was happening to his country. I didn't know until I started reading the tribute threads how important he had been to establishing and maintaining the Latest Breaking News forum. In that way, he has had and will go on having an enormous impact not just on my life but on the lives of people who don't even post here.

I don't watch TV much any more. Figure skating, the Cubs, the World Series, and that's it. Since the bombing of Baghdad started, I just can't take the TV news. After the election, I lost NPR too--or more accurately, after their stupid fucking piece on "Kerry die-hards," about which I have ranted lustily elsewhere. And yet, to not keep up on what's going on would be irresponsible and, for me, impossible. So I got to Latest Breaking News. Basically, at this point, that's the media, for me. It pulls together sources from all points on the political spectrum, it brings in articles from the international English-language press (even the occasional translated foreign-language story), and it's constantly being updated. IMHO it's the only news portal anyone should ever need, and it is a mammoth achievement.

Building that up must have involved an enormous amount of time and effort. Now, LBN is strong enough and robust enough to go on without him, as an enduring and I hope damn near immortal part of his legacy. It will certainly always be an important part of my life, until the government shuts us down or I get sent to a re-education camp in Nebraska.

The DU community is some 50,000 strong (plus or minus the lurking freepers and curiosity seekers). But through LBN Khephra's impact goes further than that. I remember my partner telling me a few months ago that her younger sister, who has also gone through a revulsion against TV news, told her that my livejournal is now her sole news source. I get my news from LBN, as I said. So Khephra's legacy passes through me to Jane and through her to whoever she's going to talk to about what she's heard that day and through them to whoever they process their news with and on outward toward the ends of the ocean.

Watching all of this has reminded me of what drew me to the Internet in the first place. It has always been one of my pet theories that the foundation of ethics is imagination. You cannot always see and touch the people that one of your actions might hurt; you have to be able to imagine them. Meeting people through the Web involves the same kind of faith; you believe in them even though you can't see or touch them. Approached in the right spirit and used with the right intentions, the anonymity of the internet can help train us to do the most important thing we can possibly learn, which is to consider, understand, and respect the rights and feelings of people who are not physically present to us and who are not--at least as far as we know--part of whatever we consider our tribe. When people talk about Khephra as being a pillar of this community, it seems to me like what they're saying is that he was able to make online interaction good for people, even at times when the rest of us often yielded to the temptation to fire up the flamethrower and toast away.

The loss of the ability to care about imaginary people is, from what I can tell, what has allowed our countrymen to accept the Iraq war, and many of the other abominations this administration has perpetrated. At its best, DU nurtures that ability, by helping us care for each other as well as acting on behalf of all the people who are being hurt by the goons who run our country. From what I can tell, Khephra was DU at its best. And for that, I will always be grateful to him.

My heart goes out to everyone for whom this loss is deeper and more personal than it is for me. I love you all, and I hope that you will find comfort in each other, and in the knowledge that Khephra will live on as long as we keep this community alive.

Peace,

The Plaid Adder
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Rick Myers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you, that was wonderful
:toast:
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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. What a great post!
Your sixth paragraph is amazing. I never thought about the net like that but it's so true. :hi:

But the entire post is a great one. But that's expected from you! Thanks for your great posts and for all you do for DU! :hug:
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. THAT WAS A WONDERFUL POST - thanks - :-)
:-)
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. Beautiful. Perfect.

Thank you.


:hippie:
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. very wonderful. I know what you mean. I feel so badly about this
even though I never met him. But he was so real and human and humane. Very sad day.
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SariesNightly Donating Member (237 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #5
25. I hope you're in a better place Khephra
There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher.

~Henry Van Dyke
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stellanoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
6. thanks
dearest Plaid, I feel the same.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
7. nice words!
:thumbsup:
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FarLeftRage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. Thanks so much
A most excellent post that rings out with a sincere heart felt truth to it all... :thumbsup:
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thank you for those words...
...from another of the outer ripples. You have expressed all that I have felt in reading his tributes these past few days. The reality of what we might have considered "virtual" relationships is closer when a man's passing can have such a profound effect on so many people whom he has never met. I, for one, will look a bit differently on these relationships now.

Peace
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
10. Thanks so very much PA
That is so moving. And so very true.

Kef was "real" to me. My grief is real. The fact that I never met him in person does not seem to matter.

Your piece will probably go down in history as groundbreaking work on internet relationships.

I'm nominating for the homepage.
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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
11. Kick
This is too good of a post to let sink.
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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
12. Kick
I hope many of us are reading this and just not replying to it.

There's some good stuff in here.
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. There are
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. that's a hell of a point.
The loss of the ability to care about imaginary people is, from what I can tell, what has allowed our countrymen to accept the Iraq war, and many of the other abominations this administration has perpetrated.

Well said, Plaidder.
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Agreed. That's a very powerful point.
I read that line several times, just because it really struck me as a powerful point.

When you change your buying habits so you don't harm the environment, or don't reward child labor, or burn too much energy, you are caring about "imaginary people." People who are out there--nameless, faceless--that you are caring for.

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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I'm not the first person to have the idea
that the basis of ethics is sympathy. One of the fundamental principles of Christianity, in fact, is that it is not enough just to care about the people who love you, and that you have to act out of love for everyone--even people you don't actually know. Sadly, this is one of the principles that the right-wing Christian movement seems to understand only in the most warped way imaginable.

Ah well,

The Plaid Adder
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. Maybe Not, But You've Expressed it In Such An Elegant Manner!
That it deserves praise! Thanks PA!
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MarianJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #16
32. But You Say it So Well!
I'm a frequent user of the pebble in a pond analysis.

As always, Adder, you seem to express what so many of us feel in so eloquent a way. We miss you and we all love and respect you.

All the best to you and yours!

Maria and Jack (MarianJack)
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ArchTeryx Donating Member (189 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
17. Wonderful morning read
Y'know, I've been reading you for a while, Plaid Adder, and it's always worthwhile for me. But this about took the cake. As I am facing some very hard times myself personally, it's hard sometimes to read the steady drumbeat of bad news on top of that, and Khephra's death was pretty horrendously bad news.

But this one brought a big smile to my face, for the sentiment if not the event that triggered it. Thanks, Plaid Adder.

-- ArchTeryx
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buddhamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
18. Thank you, Plaid Adder
this is wonderful, simply wonderful.

I try to be mindful of the ripple effect.



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Marnieworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
19. I love you Plaid Adder
You definitely spoke for me too with this eloquent post. One of my experiences after Khephra's passing is the feeling of regret that I never expressed my appreciation for him. I have no idea how many times I interacted with him and how invaluable he was to LBN, also my only source of media. He was a positive presence in my life but I didn't realize it until he was gone. Too often we just take everyone for granted and they become so familiar that they seem permanent here and "in real life." So I wanted to say thank you to you PA and tell you how much I appreciate every word I've ever read of yours. Keep up the good work!
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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
21. Thank you Plaid Adder
You have a great gift, and you use it wisely, that can't be said about many people these days.
Yes we all here are just bits and bytes, but we are also physical, and there is a life and life story behind every moving hand on the keyboards.
To be here in this electronic world and not to be able to comprehend that there are people with feelings behind each word is in itself inhuman, there are many who do just that though, see only the words as they appear on the screen, how I don't know.
We are family, I've grown to care more about this family than my actual, and I'm so lucky to have found each and every one of you.
kef was special, and he won't be soon forgotten, he brought the world to us in his special talent as a scout.
We've lost part of our eyes and ears, I can't stomach what passes for news either, now it's going to be difficult to stay informed only because I've got to do the work myself now.
I'm rambling now, but, thank you for sending your ripples out to touch ours, is what I want to say.
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
22. Beautifully said ,Plaid Adder
Edited on Wed Jan-12-05 08:58 AM by Desertrose
I agree...Kephra WAS DU at its best and we are all so fortunate to have been touched in whatever way, by having Kef with us....thank you!

:hug:
DR
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blue neen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
23. That was a beautiful, moving post.
I also depend on LBN for most of my news. Khephra was instrumental in building something very strong and vital to all of us.

Thanks.
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Paradise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
24. Beautiful! Insightful!
Thank you.

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
26. What a wonderful post!
Thank you for sharing your insight. :hug:
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
27. Even my girlfriend's co-worker was really saddened
to hear about it, although he had never heard of Khephra, when he was told that Khephra was such a big Invader Zim fan.
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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
28. Kheph shaped LBN several ways
Not only by his multitude of posts, but he taught quite a few of us moderators (past and present) how to keep the forum on target. He led by example--I daresay several of our other major LBN contributors learned how to be effective in posting from him.

I really became hooked on DU on 9/11. Here I could get the information from a wide range of sources, pulled together by people who were interested in the news, not the corporate spin we saw from the major media. I signed up a month later, to join this great community.

I can say little when the emotions run this high; all I can do is thank those who can eulogize. Thanks, Plaid Adder.
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nariel Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
29. What a beautiful and poignant expression!
As a newbie, I didn't know Kephra, but I have read the sentiments expressed here, and it's been very uplifting in spite of the sadness of his passing.

The more we care for and about each other, the closer we are to recognizing that all of humanity is one big tribe, and the sooner we begin to lift our world from the ugliness and the quagmire of war and injustice.

To Kephra and everyone here: Namaste
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bear425 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
30. Thank you PA,
That was so beautifully written and reveals the caring, sensitive person within you. Hopefully, we can all keep in mind your consideration of the "imaginary people" in our daily interactions - both here and in the "real" world.
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gapower Donating Member (72 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
31. A touching tribute
Say what's your lj username? Can I add you?
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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #31
37. My username is plaidder
Go ahead and add me as long as you don't mind my not adding you back; I'm trying to keep the friends page manageable.

C ya,

The Plaid Adder
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ArchTeryx Donating Member (189 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #37
43. LJ chat
I certainly wouldn't mind looking you up and chatting some time, or exchanging LJ replies.

Though I imagine you're immensely busy, not to mention get alot of fan mail from the community here!
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
33. Well Said!
I hope he is somewhere, listening to this.

I believe that one thing that we experience in the dying process
is a sense of connection to every act we do to another.
For a good person, it might be heaven, for a bad person, hell.

For most of us, that might properly described as purgatory. Now as a Pagan, I am not really into that one life to live model of existance, so regardless, I feel we move on to the pass through the dance.

Having said that, I can't wait for Khephra to return to us, the world needs as many Khephras as it can get, preferably healthy and vital.
He used this life well, and made one hell of a difference, sitting in a room with a couple of tvs and a computer, the giant wurlitzer of our age.

We are heading into a period where the forces of paternalism and maternalism, punishment and nurture collide, like Shakespere's "A Midsummer's Night's Dream,"
and the world will be shaped by the outcome of that collision.
Khephra, by being himself, was doing the Goddess' work, IMO.

Thank you for your perceptive words, and the grace therein.
You too, are very important to many of us here.

Hwas thu Hal,
RealP
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fob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
34. Thank you. That sums it up quite nicely.
How about renaming LBN to the Scott Lowery LBN Forum or the Khephra LBN Forum?
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
35. Strong and beautiful words Plaid Adder
And you captured our sentiments exactly, the ability to empathize with all of the world's humanity should be our core value. What people like Kephra and you have taught is, is that we can use our community and this technology to educate ourselves, build a stronger world community and to care about all people. Our actions do have consequences. It is a wonderful thing to care and be moved so fiercely by one of our fallen community members that many of us had never met personally. That is the legacy of Kephra. He helped build this community and he has brought us closer together even in his death.

peace to Kephra

Sonia

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StephanieMarie Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
36. I gave up on TV November 3 as well.
DU is my source for news!
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The White Tree Donating Member (630 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
38. I didn't know him nor ever realize his impact.
I've been here a while mostly reading and forwarding others posts to friends and relatives, sometimes posting when I felt I had something to say. You see so many 1000+ posters on this board that the names become a blur sometimes, especially when like I do, you only have a limited amount of time to visit here.

But it seems very clear his legacy will live on and that is as it should be.

For those greiving, I'd like to say that my thoughts and sympathies are with you. I lost my mother about 1 1/2 years ago and it was the 1st major death in my life (which at 36 is pretty lucky). It is hard getting over it.

I would like, if it is not too impertinent, to offer you the words to a song that I have been listening to recently to help comfort me and let me have a good cry.

It is by Warren Zevon, who like my mother recently passed away from lung cancer. He wrote this when he knew he had little time left. It is called:

Keep Me in Your Heart for a While:

From the album "The Wind"

Shadows are fallin'
and I'm runnin' out of breath
keep me in your heart for awhile

If I leave you
it doesn't mean I love you any less
keep me in your heart for a while

When you get up in the mornin'
and you see that crazy sun
keep me in your heart for awhile

There's a train leavin' nightly
called when all is said and done
keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile
Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sometimes when you're doin'
simple things around the house
maybe you'll think of me and smile
you know I'm tied to you
like the buttons on your blouse
keep me in your heart for awhile

Hold me in your thoughts
take me to your dreams
touch me as I fall into view
and when the winter comes
keep the fires lit
and I'll be right next to you

Engine driver's headed north
to Pleasant Street
keep me in your heart for awhile
these wheels keep turnin
but they're runnin out of steam
keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile
Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Keep me in your heart for awhile...


Peace :cry:
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
39. very insightful...thanks
and I'm very sorry for refrring to you as the Plaid Addler on another thread.
:)
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HoosierClarkie Donating Member (504 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
40. Very powerful.
I hope a lot of DUers will be able to attend his funeral.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
41. You are not imagining things, I am quite real
Insofar as anything is real. The Velveteen Rabbit became real because it was loved, so in that sense, I am not sure how real I am. I think in many senses that the people we meet on these discussion boards are more real, or that you get to know them better through their thoughts and their words, than you do of many people that you see alot of and merely exchange hellos, or comments about the weather, or the "how are you? - Ok" exchange.
I have been reading the "top ten conservative idiots" since I discovered "hated.com" probably from a mention on a Yahoo discussion board. I have been reading articles and posts on the discussion board for quite some time, and trying to contribute (although I seem to be either ignored or annoying or misunderstood).
When I first learned of the death of one of us, I scrambled around trying to find out if I had met him. Since I was/am a Deaniac, I am sure that I probably read one of his posts on a Dean thread, because I read alot of them. I have never bothered with LBN, because I do not mind getting my news a few days late. I will hear about the important stories because they will be talked about.
I feel a loss from the fact that I cannot remember him, and also because I will never get to, except for reading archived articles. Also I have to admit to a little envy for the fact that he was able to accomplish so much and to make so many good friends although he did not live as long as I have. I hope that he knew how much he meant to his friends and this community while he was still alive. Probably he did since I see Plaidder getting many kudos in this thread. Let me add my verbal applause to that, and posthumously to Khephra. The bell tolls for me too.
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clydefrand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
42. Thanks, Plaid Adder, for a beautiful tribute to Khephra and DU.
Edited on Wed Jan-12-05 02:34 PM by clydefrand
You are such a wonderful writer. Thanks so much.
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
44. Beautiful.
My favorite kind of artist - one who presents words in such a way that I knew you were experiencing my feelings and you said them in a way that I felt like Shakesphere speaking my thoughts.

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Sacajawea Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
45. Thank you, PA...
That was beautiful, just beautiful. Real food for thought. Thank you. :hi:


(Sacajawea, the DUer formerly calling herself Alskade)
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tilsammans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
46. Wonderful, touching remembrance . . .
. . . thank you, Plaid Adder.

LBN is where I go first for REAL news, not the so-called news that gets filtered through the RW spin machine. I agree; "it's the only news portal anyone should ever need, and it is a mammoth achievement."

Many, many thanks to Khephra for all he did to make it happen. His spirit carries on. Indeed, he was/is DU at its best.

RIP, Khephra. You are missed.


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Insider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
47. very thoughtful...thanks
very well done, PA.

can't get here like i used to. it was a couple days before i knew. another few days to process.

this will take a long time to sink in. DU won't look the same, or be the same, without him. three years ago, he treated me with respect and kindness in this cyberspace.

so long, khephra.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 02:46 AM
Response to Original message
48. Thank you for summing it up
For me Kef was the symbol of restraint. I was corrected more than once (by him) when I started here to get the news out first and discuss it later. It was always however good natured.

Lately it seemed as the more ridiculous direction our country was taking, the more humor he seemed to find.

I only come here for LBN I can't stand the fascist propaganda on TV anymore and for this part of my life I will always be grateful to him.
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 03:43 AM
Response to Original message
49. What a beautiful post and a lovely tribute to Khephra
I share your feelings. I just cannot see LBN maintaining the same standards, without him, so we all must be just a little more vigilant, though I know I could never keep up; I've tried. I will look for a yet-unposted and important LBN story, before I log off, in honor of our DU friend. I agree that it is important to keep this community alive, both for Khephra, who will be terribly missed, and for ourselves, to keep it up to the bar that he set for us. That's one thing that we can do for Khephra. Thanks so much for your kind words, since we need this inspiration, especially now, after this devastating election and the loss of someone on DU who kept us going, informed, and inspired. This was an inspired post, my friend.

Rhiannon :hi:
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
50. thank you for your words and insight
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