It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 2-1/2 years since Jane asked me to become a member of the Firedoglake community. Now, that surprised me at the time, as I’m a writer with a kind of idée fixe. I’d been writing for some years almost exclusively on the fight to stop torture, and in particular, against collaboration of medical health and psychological experts in the construction and implementation of the torture policies. Jane, Marcy, bmaz and some others thought, yeah, we think that’s important, too, and they said to me, “Come, join us.” And here I’ve been ever since, proud to be a part of a progressive blog that not only comments upon the news, but actively seeks to intervene in the world itself.
Recently, I was asked to collaborate with Kevin Gosztola on FDL’s new blog, The Dissenter, and the blog, with Kevin’s tremendous energy and reporting has really taken off, covering major civil liberties and progressive stories, including analysis of the new Wikileaks State Department cable links, domestic spying and surveillance, as well as in-depth coverage of the attempts to stifle protests against racist police killings at SF Bay Area’s BART stations, and the recent hunger strike by inmates of California’s Supermax prison at Pelican Bay.
For my part, I’ve continued to write about the issues that concern me, including exposing the use of neurotoxic drugs on Guantanamo detainees, the effects of isolation on prisoners like Bradley Manning, the real truth behind government lies about waterboarding, the struggle for accountability and further investigations of the torture scandal, and other stories the major media — even the major “progressive” bloggers — can’t or won’t cover.
As we enter these last few days of the FDL Membership drive, I want to stress how important membership is to readers like you. Because FDL counts on its readers. This is not a corporation or foundation-supported blog. It’s totally independent, which means it depends nearly completely, more than 90%, on its reader-donor base. That’s you.
The whole point of memberships — besides all the cool benefits and swag — is to provide a progressive, independent voice like Firedoglake some financial stability as we take on the most important issues of our day: war, attacks against social services, the battle for affordable health care, the attacks on civil liberties, the struggle for gender and sexual equality — and all with a commitment to truth, justice, social equality and the rule of law. And did I mention that the site is entertaining and educational, as well? If you haven’t checked out the now venerable FDL Book Salon, or its provocative Movie Nights, you’re missing half the fun.
Memberships are not expensive. In fact, they are cheap, costing less than two bits a day (12 cents for Friends and 32 cents for Benefactors). If you haven’t joined FDL, if you’re not a card-carrying “firebagger,” well, why not? You’re not doing anything else right now (except reading this). Sign up and help change the world for the better.