It’s amazing sometimes how quickly a year passes us by. It was just last March that I wrote this diary on National Women’s History Month. And if I had been paying close attention, I would have written this diary yesterday in honor of March 8, 2011 being the 100th celebration of International Women’s Day. Well, I hope being a day late doesn’t upset anyone.

As I wrote back before Mother’s Day last May, I love strong women. The strong women associated with Firedoglake were a prime attraction when I first discovered FDL way back during the Libby Trial days. It took me a while to figure out things as I would read a post and comment thread and want to reply to some comments but noticed that the last response on a thread might have been hours before and not wanting to waste my NSVHO on the ether, I held off.

Then one day, I arrived just after a new and interesting post had gone up and was able to jump right into the conversation. Ever since that day, FDL has been a life saver for me. It has been a place where I could have “conversations” with people all over the country and all over the world and keep my brain exercised. It is a place where folks recognized the disastrous nature of the US economy years before the financial markets crashed and the official beginning (and end) to the Great Recession. I have been well aware of how bad the economy was as before my last lay off in ’04, I was working under state and local government contracts supporting the development of social services applications. States have been cutting budgets in those areas for years now. At FDL, I found others who recognized just how bad things were then and who were able to make accurate predictions on how much worse things would get.

When I first came to FDL, the culture was for a comments thread to reach upwards of 200 comments, then a new post would go up and everyone would rush upstairs to read and comment on a new topic. And yes, I captured a few “Zeds!” in those days. I learned what it meant to be EPU’d. I was cautioned by the Mods to avoid ziggurats. (For the uninitiated, “ziggurats” occurred when there had been multiple levels of comments and replies using some of the older blog software so that all the indents began to look like a bunch of sideways steps.) I learned what words to avoid or to change the spelling of to avoid having my comments having to be freed by the Mods. This was in the days before FDL asked for folks to register and all we had to do to comment was enter a “nom de blog” and email address and start commenting.

I have watched front pagers at FDL come and go. Christy. TRex. Ian Welsh. Dave Neiwert. Spencer Ackerman. I have watched this section of FDL move from “Oxdown Gazette” to “The Seminal” to “MyFDL.” One of the constants through all the moves and changes and new blogs being added on has been the consistently high quality of the writing and the myriad of topics covered.

I have also been honored over these years to be asked to provide an occasional post. I have written a Saturday morning “Pull Up a Chair” and a Sunday night “Late Night” post. I have hosted a Book Salon and a Movie Night (and will be hosting another Book Salon in a few weeks as far as that goes). I have had some of my diaries be cross posted to the FDL front page. And yes, I’ve had diaries that I thought might be worthy wind up scrolling right off the pages with nary a comment but so it goes. There is so much content available at FDL and partners and nowhere near enough time for any one person to read it all and still have a life.

All of this is by way of saying that Firedoglake, that “foul mouthed fem blog” as it has sometimes been known in some not so savory quarters (such as inside the Beltway,) has provided information and entertainment. I’m pretty sure that the Libby Trial helped set the standard for “live blogging” such that now, most all news organizations at least attempt the feat, though few are as capable as the experienced folks at FDL such as Marcy Wheeler and Jane Hamsher. These are just a few of the reasons that I believe the Firedoglake Membership program is worthwhile. Can you add a few more?

And because I can: