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AdLib On January - 31 - 2013

WE ARE ONE

REMEMBRANCE OF BITO

by Kalima

BITO:

Joined on: October 30th, 2009

Bito’s Profile:

“Was once a handsome frog until kissed by an ugly corporate princess.—– Like a well honed knife, the internet can be a wonderful and useful tool. It can be used to prepare and serve a delicious meal or it can be used to cause harm. Peace”

This is hard for me to write, the words in my head won’t translate to actual words on a page because my loss fills the empty spaces around me and beyond. I have lost someone who I considered to be a dear friend, we became very close over the years.

When Bito first joined The Planet in October 09, he seemed very shy, and although I read his comments, they were few and far between. For those of you who have been here from the start, he went by the name of bitohistory then. One day he asked me how to make a Smiley face, I told him. A few days later he asked me how to make a moving Smiley face, I showed him how, and this is where our friendship began.

The change from his previous cautious style to becoming someone who strove for truth and loved researching, was gradual as he found his voice here, and when he did, he was a fountain of information. You could ask him a question either privately or on a subject being discussed, and he would find the answer even if he had to spend many hours to find it for you.

On January the 4th 2010, bito started his “Time Out for Off Topic” post, it proved to be a huge success from the beginning, and it was the place you could find him each day, either deep in conversation, or leaving articles and videos he thought might be of interest to us. Kes and I had talked recently about that had bito been around, the complete transcript and a video of the President’s inaugural speech would have been up on TO/OT as soon as it became available.

His interests were far flung and I remember so many interesting conversations with him on MB about a variety of issues affecting international policies. Recently I remember telling him that he was my champion, and my day brightened whenever I saw him here.

When we decided to ask him if he would consider taking over our Twitter account, I remember no hesitation apart from him saying that he had never done it before, and he hoped we wouldn’t be disappointed. Within months he was building up quite solid and reputable list of followers. Today, our followers stand at 993 due to the diligence and hard work by bito of weeding out those who just came to fight us. I remember chuckling many times when I caught a tweet of his declaring so and so as a spammer who needed to be removed from Twitter. He didn’t stand for fools and deliberate trouble causers, and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind.

In Admin we worked almost seamlessly as a team. In the rare instances we disagreed, and I can count them on one hand and still have fingers left over, we discussed  it together until we could come to an agreement, and the one thing we always agreed on was that the site and our members came first. Bito loved The Planet and respected what AdLib, KQ and I had started, and for him, like for the rest of us, keeping the site’s standards was the important thing. He worked tirelessly to maintain it even when he was feeling very ill, The Planet came first.

It is hard to fathom that we will never see him  here again, I can still feel his presence each time I come to the site, look at our Twitter feed, or leave a comment on his “baby”, TO/OT. He made this place special with his sometimes very dry and surprisingly European sense of humour and we will miss him enormously. On a private level he was my dear friend, steadfast in his support, concerned for my health and well being, a humorous cheeky imp, a fighter for truth and reasoning. A man I came to admire for so many reasons, a man who never let on here how very ill he really was, and when he was able, came to “work” here, sleeves rolled up, and fearlessly  joined in the conversations.

His passing has shocked me to my very core, I have lost a dear friend and have spent my days going through the huge volumes of emails we shared. Some made me laugh out loud, others bring endless tears, all will be kept and treasured. He might be gone from these pages, but his legacy and the work he leaves behind here will remain forever. We will miss you bito and though the bright light you brought with you has dimmed, we will look for you in the night sky where I know somewhere your energy burns brightly. Thank you for everything dear friend, I hope you knew how much you were respected, admired and loved, and how much your short but meaningful presence here meant to all of us on The Planet.

Goodbye my friend, you will remain in my heart until I leave this earth, and I hope that we will meet again one day to continue our conversations. I salute your humility, humanity and the brave way you faced personal hurdles for so many years, you made me a better person by knowing you and sharing these three years of your life with me. Do they have a library and computers up there, because if anyone ever deserved to be there, it would be you.

Bito didn’t want to leave us, he wanted so much to stay. Bito never gave up his fight, his body did. Rest in peace “Dear One”.

Michael Jackson – Gone Too Soon Lyrics

 

Randy Crawford – Knocking on Heaven’s Door

================================================

THOUGHTS OF BITO

by Adlib

It was just his username but it couldn’t have been more prescient.

In 2009 he quietly joined PlanetPOV as Bitohistory. He would become a meaningful part of my history as well as that of PlanetPOV’s.  Over the years, his username evolved to just Bito and he became a strong voice of conscience for what is fair, just and true and joined us as an invaluable member of our Admin team.

Bito had the heart of a journalist and the wit of a comic, he felt a duty to inform people about issues and revelations that were important and affected them while never letting an opportunity for humor get past him. He wrote passionately and inspirationally about the Affordable Care Act, he called out those on the Left who attacked President Obama for not delivering everything on their wish list and he was constantly monitoring the Right Wing for their latest lies and extremism.

The re-election of President Obama was a major focus for Bito, he invested so much time and effort in posts and Tweets to campaign for Obama and against Romney. He was thrilled by Obama’s win, a well deserved reward.

When we started up PlanetPOV, we created our Twitter account as part of our presence on the web but being an all volunteer site, KQuark, Kalima and I had our hands full with all of the aspects of running The Planet. After we had seen how dedicated Bito was to The Planet, we invited him to become an Admin. Bito expressed that one thing he had really wanted to do was to manage our Twitter account which up to that point, primarily featured links to our new posts. He had a philosophy about it, it was easy to rack up thousands of meaningless followers on Twitter but it was Bito’s vision to only build up a following of substantial people. Handling Twitter for us, he built our following up to nearly 1,000 quality followers, built relationships with other notable people and sites by replying to their tweets and gained many friends in the process.

At The Planet, it was Bito’s idea to start up Time Out for Off Topic, to address the problem we were having of too many off topic comments appearing on the latest posts. Time out for Off Topic (or TOOT or TO/OT) soon became the hang out place at The Planet where most members would congregate.

He and I had so many exchanges of comments, so many discussions, some strong disagreements and many exchanges of jokes. During Vox Populi and when we had live chats during special political events, Bito would often post many of our comments on Twitter to share them with an even bigger audience. He’d also share clips of comments from anywhere on the site. And he was so supportive of everyone else at The Planet, he would post Tweets about Morning Blog, Middle East Update and many of our ongoing features at The Planet. If you wrote something notable at The Planet, Bito would often make sure that another thousand or more people knew about it.

In tribute to Bito, Kes is keeping what Bito built on Twitter alive and growing, she is now handling our Twitter account and we are so grateful to her. And of course, along with all of his posts and multitude of comments that will forever be here and around the web, TOOT will continue to be Bito’s legacy of truth, free expression and community at The Planet.

It’s very surreal for me to get my mind around Bito passing away. I have never before met someone, come to trust him and become friends with him, “see” him on a daily basis and spend years with him as an important person in my life…without ever having met him in person…and then he’s gone. Bito had been fighting hard against his cancer and coping with his chemo and complications since I had met him here. His strength and determination against this insidious disease and his defiance against the toll it was taking on him was inspirational and challenging…one could only hope to be as brave and strong in such a situation. Perhaps it was his strength that allowed me to lull myself into a bit of denial, how could cancer defeat such a man who refused to be defeated? And of course, I just didn’t want it to happen. So the news of Bito’s passing seemed so unreal and that shred of denialism in me still hopes that reality will be proven wrong and a new comment by Bito will appear at the site the next time I check in…though the rest of me knows that as bizarre as it seems, that will never be.

If anything, Bito was one of the most humble and selfless people I have known. It is astounding to me how someone suffering from cancer, enduring chemo and ongoing pain throughout his time here, could rally himself to express such concern for the lives of others while never mentioning the difficulty of what he was going through.  Despite all that pain and how heavily the threat of cancer had to weigh on him, he would show up day after day, posting comments at our site and on our Twitter account, concentrating on the welfare of his fellow human beings, never letting on about how much he was struggling through pain and medication.

Bito was a man who talked the talk and walked the walk. He was a thoughtful, honest and compassionate man who was completely grounded by that and truly lived by the principles he believed in and spoke about.

His passing is terribly sad…though, it makes me realize how incredibly fortunate we were to have had Bito stumble onto this site and make the kind of profound impact on so many here and tens of thousands out there that he did.

Bitohistory he is and always will be in my life, a difficult farewell to a remarkable man who will always be remembered.

=================================================

MEMORIES OF BITO

By Kesmarn

Even though he warned us it was coming, we didn’t want to believe it. For those of us who’d been on the Planet for a few years, it was an open secret that b’ito was battling lymphoma and leukemia. He could even joke about it with comments like: “But, hey, what do I care? I have stage 4 lymphoma!” (After a passionate exchange of opinions on something he really did care about.)

But he was serious about fighting it. And fight he did. Chemo. Surgery. Complications. I doubt that any of us ever really knew how much pain he was battling through as he posted the latest updates on the passage of the ACA or the campaign or the election.

His gently mocking sense of humor was his hallmark. He could be edgy, but if he felt that he had crossed a line he was amazingly humble and quick with a sincere apology. His quips were so whimsical and unexpected that they could make you laugh out loud alone in your own home.

I still remember being involved in a sober conversation about terrorism, and what constituted it (or something along those lines) when b’ito suddenly announced that there were few groups who were more formidable to deal with — who inspired more fear at first sight — who were more aggressive than — Lutheran insurance salesmen. I exploded in laughter.

He had that effect on people.

But beneath the humor, the sharp intellect, lay a heart of gold. AB’s “chirren” were so close to his heart that reading about them could bring tears to his eyes. He avidly followed my updates about little Emmett, who had gone through a long, difficult surgery to repair damage done by his ingestion of a button battery. Sometimes he knew (through following Emmett’s website) the latest news of his recovery even before I did. Kids were important to him.

b’ito was an amazing combination of deep thinker and Joe Lunchbox. He was raised in a rustbelt area of the midwest and was extremely proud of his multi-generational union roots. Yet he studied philosophy in college. He earned his living in the trades — often working with his hands — and yet he was incredibly well informed on how politics and government worked. He was extremely well-read on history and world affairs.

He and I joined the Planet community within days of each other — October 25 and 30 of 2009. Like him, I was very reserved when I first joined. Gun-shy from the brutal environment of Huffington Post, at first I didn’t reveal the slightest detail of my personal life — including my location, gender or background. So b’ito didn’t even know if he was replying to a man or a woman when he once followed a comment of mine with the words: “Once of these days, Bub…you’re going to say something I don’t agree with.” That was the only time in my life I’ve ever been called “Bub.”

He did occasionally refer to me as “Toledo Red,” however. And we had both been called “Commie Pinkos” a few times in our lives because of our lefty views, and we took pride in the appellation.

Over the next few years we became friends although we never met in person. When I would come home after a frustrating evening at work, he was there online and in email with a word of sympathy and a much needed bit of humor.

Periodically he would vanish. Sometimes for weeks. We waited. We worried. We found out later that these were times when he’d been hospitalized, cut off from computer contact. It was nerve-wracking.

We never knew when a disappearance would be the final disappearance, but we clung to the hope that somehow he could beat this illness. And he did bounce back more than once — sometimes when we were just about to give up hope.

But the most recent silence was the most ominous. The doctors were saying they were running out of options. The message that we all dreaded came. The tears came. The realization that a uniquely luminous presence would be gone from PlanetPOV.

But also came the recognition that the work he left behind is an enduring record of his strongly individual personality. That humor was important to him and he wouldn’t want us to give up a sense of humor in the process of grieving for him. Or to abandon the wonderful forum that is the Planet.

He would have signed off with his trademark parting word. Peace.

================================================

KQuark often called Bito “Brother”, they shared a unique bond. As KQuark has written about here, he too has had daunting health issues and they gained strength from each other’s courage in facing their challenges. On behalf of KQuark, who will post his own thoughts here soon,  we send this sentiment to Bito, “Peace, brother.”

Categories: Featured, PlanetPOV

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

62 Responses so far.

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  1. For Bito and the Planet;


  2. PatsyT says:

    Bito, was a inspiration to me. I am very, very sad to hear of his passing.
    BitoHistory, could have been called Treasure Trove of History and Knowledge because he was always quick with facts, figures, charts, studies, maps, you know, “links”.
    He was a champion for a truth that you could easily recognize, I really admired that.

    Although I had been a Planet regular, things changed for me after Fukushima, as I live 5 miles downwind of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant.
    I had to turn away from much of the national dialog and focus in on the serious local safety issues at San Onofre. Bito understood this with out a detailed explanation from me and he really helped our local issues by “re-tweeting” out my sometimes desperate “tweets” of “please sign this petition” or “please write Governor Brown”, action items or other important news. I know that made a difference and has helped protect our safety in Southern California.

    I will remember Bito for his genuine good nature and fine example of “how to win an argument” he so generously displayed here and years back at HuffPo. Of course his humor was always a bonus when a spontaneous game of make believe broke out here at the Planet. You could make a broadcast radio show out of the running Buffy and Biffy bit (I hope I remembered that correctly Kes).

    Bito, If you can read this and somehow I think you can… Thank You, thank you so much for showing us all a fine example how to conduct ourselves and fight for the truth and social justice with a quality winning debate.
    Thank you for the friendship I will miss that very much.

    Please everyone, we should all try to honor Bito by getting involved in both local and national issues and always work to GOTV!

    Nighty Night Bito, Much Love, PatsyT, Oatsy, Ralph

  3. Sabreen60 says:

    I did not know Bito was sick and I did not know he had passed. My condolences to his family, friends and his family here at The Planet. I’m not here as regularly as some, but I truly love this site. Bito was always knowledgeable, sincere, humorous and it was just a pleasure to read his comments. He will be missed.

    • AdLib says:

      Sabreen, thank you so much for the kind words. Bito was a big part of making The Planet what it is and helping to build a community of thoughtful, fair minded and compassionate people. So your compliments of The Planet reflect on his good work too.

  4. SueInCa says:

    I had to leave early yesterday morning so did not get to post the poem I wanted to. This poem is one that makes me rejoice in the end of a life, especially in the case of Bito who I know lived such a good life. It makes me feel better to think there were people there to welcome him.

    Gone From My Sight
    by Henry Van Dyke

    I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
    spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
    for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
    I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
    of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

    Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

    Gone where?

    Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
    hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
    And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

    Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
    And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
    there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
    ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

    • AdLib says:

      A lovely poem, Sue. We can only know what we can know. If Bito is arriving on another horizon, you can bet that those who value compassion and courage will be smiling at the sight of his approach.

  5. agrippa says:

    I am sorry that he died.
    My condolences to his family; his IRL friends; his friends here.
    He will be missed.

  6. Kalima says:

    I’m sorry for my absence here today and couldn’t let this day end without adding my sincere thanks for all the beautiful words of admiration, respect and love expressed here for bito today. If he could tell you how he felt about this outpouring from all of you, I imagine he would be overwhelmed and just manage a humble “Aw shucks guys”. Thank you so much for honouring his memory and as I know he would have wished, we will continue on The Planet with his path for truth and justice as we always have. Although there are no adequate words to really express how much he will be missed both here and privately, I know that he will live on in these pages and in our hearts forever.

    • AdLib says:

      Kalima, your touching piece in the post above made your presence felt here all of yesterday.

      So true, Bito was so humble he wouldn’t have known how to take such a public expression of affection.

      Bito put so much of himself in The Planet, his presence will always be here.

      • Kalima says:

        Thank you AdLib but so were yours and kes’s. Not seeing his gravatar will be one of the hardest things to deal with here, and although it will never be, in some corner of my mind, I will still be searching for it whenever I’m on The Planet, for a long time to come.

    • foodchain says:

      Thank you Kalima. Indeed the stars. We can all share them and the feelings they bring.

  7. Jenuwin says:


    Very sad about Bito’s passing, he had such a tough struggle and never complained. He was remarkable and astounding in that way. Bito, you will be greatly missed around this Planet and the planet.

  8. funksands says:

    I knew Bito was sick. I didn’t know how sick. Oddly enough, I may have interacted with him more on Twitter than on the Planet.

    I’ve read through each of the moving comments in the body of the remembrance and comments section and it makes me sad I never got to know him better.

    My failing, not his, so I’ll reserve my sadness for the good friends and colleagues he leaves behind. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

    “To have a good friend is one of the highest delights in life; to be a good friend is one of the noblest and most difficult undertakings.”

    -- Anonymous

    • AdLib says:

      Funk, Bito did have a passion for building up our Twitter account, he built it into a mountain from the molehill it was when he started on it. He really enjoyed it, connecting with you, Sue, Choicelady, Cher and many others from The Planet as well as outside The Planet.

      Noble is a word that fits Bito so well, it was often in my mind when I thought of him. He paid no heed to his pain and illness as he marched forward to espouse and support principles and issues that would help others.

      He would never complain at any length about his condition throughout it all, a rare mention of feeling tired or out of sorts at times but otherwise, he just devoted his words to his compassion…and his clever sense of humor.

      He was a great friend to me and the rest of the volunteer admin here, to Kalima, KQuark and Kes and to many Planeteers here.

      Though it’s a wonderful quote, it didn’t seem to be so difficult for Bito to be a good friend or make new friends…for some, it’s just a part of their nature.

  9. snoskier says:

    I was saddened to hear of Bito’s passing (thank you Haruko), and wish to express my condolences. Peace, love, and hugs to all of you. May God Bless him, and accept his loving heart.

  10. foodchain says:

    “…the impossible words of sorrow….” wrote Richard Blanco in his 2013 Inaugural poem. Any accolades I give Bito, I would give to everyone here. The difference is he’s not here. The difference is he hurt while he was here but didn’t let it matter.

    I started to write earlier but it was too much to take in: I couldn’t say anything off the cuff about Bito. I share the tears, the hole in my middle when anyone special leaves my life. I want to add to everyone’s comments and will try to tomorrow: joining in sorrow is as important as joining in celebration.

    Bito, Bito, sigh. I didn’t know you as well as many here but you treated me as someone just as important. Twice he had to help me remember to put the “v” after http. He fixed simple mistakes I made so my posts would show.

    But that’s not why I have a hole. It’s because I knew who he was even when I didn’t know his name, what he looked like, his life history (glad to be filled in though). I find that words just don’t explain him--or any of us. I wish I had been closer—he would have let me. So I guess what I’m really feeling is that a Family Member is gone; not someone from a blog, someone who could fix glitches for me, but someone who took me in when he didn’t know me—like so many here do. But he’s not here and we are and though I’ve been “absent” from writing I haven’t been absent in thought. This is a wonderful place and Bito helped make it so.

    Let me add these thanks to Kalima’s thoughts on stars. My daughter’s best friend died at 28 and I couldn’t imagine the pain her mother—my friend-- must have felt then and feel forever. She went to their cottage in northern MI and on that weekend there were a field of shooting stars. I think about them all the time. A few more people have passed away since then and stars have explained it best.

    “Perhaps they are not the stars,
    But rather openings in Heaven
    Where the love of our lost ones
    Pours through and shines down upon us
    To let us know they are happy”—an Eskimo legend

    And these from Anotine de Saint-Exupery:

    “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
    (and here we are)

    “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. “
    (and here we are, Bito invisible and we, visible only by the feelings we write)

    “Tell me who admires and loves you, and I will tell you who you are. “
    (I know I admired and loved Bito in how much he gave me in my short time)

    And for all, but especially my dear friend Kris who lost her daughter and to all of us who gaze up to the sky to look for peace a final Saint Exupery from “The Little Prince”:

    … In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me… You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh”

    I wish someone could confer peace on those of us feeling this loss but I will take a moment of silence for our Bito. Take care good people

    • AdLib says:

      foodchain, your post is just beautiful.

      I remember the night when John Lennon was shot, I saw a shooting star while driving on the freeway in L.A. and you never see that there.

      We are all made of stardust, all the elements in us came from out there in the universe. We have our time in this form then we are eventually transformed. If you project time long enough, 7.6 billion years into the future, even the Earth itself is expected to be transformed as it is absorbed by the expanding sun.

      Who can argue that the stars aren’t a part of us and we are not a part of them, perhaps it’s a cycle that repeats itself again and again.

      We are so incredibly fortunate to experience life and that’s why seeing the loss of it for someone we care about is so devastating…but there could be more to existence than what we can know or prove.

      Thank you so much for sharing all that you have, it’s so appreciated.

      • foodchain says:

        Ad, thank you so much. I’ve long believed that we go on in some way and the open universe is a better place than the confines of earth in my mind.

        Death brings such a perspective that is painful but expansive. It helps me understand how great everyone here is.

        • AdLib says:

          Foodchain, the mystery and rare gift of life and existence are so pushed out of our views by the day-to-day concerns and duties we have.

          Moments like this, when the reality of the fragility and fleeting nature of life is brought home to us personally, through someone we’ve cared about, is a time when we can and should consider this glorious and devastating thing that is life.

          • foodchain says:

            Ad, couldn’t have said it better. These are sad opportunities to glimpse the glorious. I think mostly we area left with the devastating. I’m trying hard to see the glorious because at 65 more of it will be coming. 🙂 actually

  11. AlphaBitch says:

    Looking at his “motto” = we are one -- I can’t help but recall the many acts of loving kindness that Bito shared with so many of us. For us, it was the bond of loving John Prine, and his love for my children from Afghanistan, who think of him as Khaka Bito (especially that Baby Girl).

    When I heard the news, I thought “Life sucks. But Bito never did.”

    My heart has a big old hole in it for one of life’s true gifts. I’ll get over it in time (see below), but it will take a lot to fill it with the warmth and love that I was lucky to receive from my friend, my “brother”, Bito.

    I know we are all grieving, but I have to remind myself how happy I am to have known him at all. The same with all my other dear friends on this site. Together, we ARE one. And here’s a couple of tunes, without videos, that say it all. If you can’t listen to them, try cut and paste. They will stay with you, like the one from Vince Gill.

    “Is Heaven Good Enough For You” -- Allison Moorer

    http://www.myspace.com/music/player?sid=198433&ac=now

    “Time to Learn” -- written by Tim O’Brien, performed by Maura O’Connell

    http://www.myspace.com/music/player?sid=90186122&ac=now

    I especially love what Kalima wrote about his energy in our sky at night. ‘Scuse me while I go kiss that sky.

    Peace out, brother.

    • foodchain says:

      AB, the music is haunting. Too bad we live in so many different time zones: it would be nice to all gaze at those stars together. But then we have this, music and the sky to untied us: We Are One.

    • AdLib says:

      AB, I do often try to turn things around to celebrating the life of someone who has passed instead of grieving but when they go before their time like this, it’s hard not to be angry and saddened by it.

      As you say, we will work through this but it is a real blow. Bito had palpable goodness and compassion and that’s just in too short of a supply out there….which does make me happy for having known him and had the good fortune to work beside him here at The Planet.

      Thanks for the songs, listened to both and really appreciated them.

  12. SallyT says:

    I have nothing to add to all that has been said except that I will miss Bito for all he shared with me. We spent many late nights on here, just the two of us, back and forth. Sometimes we agreed and sometimes not so much. But, sooner or later we got each other to laugh. I knew I had done something good when I saw him post it on twitter. His dedication to this site was obvious. I know we will all miss him but never forget him. I am so glad he touched my life, if only through a computer screen.

    • foodchain says:

      Sally, it is what unites us. I couldn’t always join VOX but would read through as people commented. You were always there.

      • SallyT says:

        FC, thank you for being among my friends. A valuable one. I don’t have many local friends but I think I have lots here on the Planet. To lose one hurts us all. But among us, we have many wonderful memories. When I log on it is like answering my door and finding my friends there waiting to share their thoughts with me and taking the time to hear mine.

        • foodchain says:

          Sally, my fur’s all puffed up on that compliment! Planet is a very special place. When I thought and wrote about Bito, I realized that so many here are as wonderful. While Bito was special, so are so many here. The very, very sad problem is that he is not here.

          Our family lost a lot of members over the last few years, some age, some illness, some pets, some brothers, some mothers. We lay low for awhile and then I decided to do the “girl scout” thing: make new friends but keep the old; some are silver and the other gold. It’s kept me busy plus our two puppies.

          But now I see, thanks to what you said, that this, too, is important to me. This is the door that opens to a safe and good place. Thank you for that.

    • AdLib says:

      Sally, remember, one of Bito’s recent deeds was to champion your start up of The Sunday Funnies here. He offered words of encouragement to you and promoted it to the rest of the Admin.

      That was how he was, he was always looking for and open to new ideas and concepts and when he found something that he thought was wonderful, he put everything behind it.

      His energy was amazing and inspirational, he was a rare human being.

      • SallyT says:

        Yes, I remember that he was very much for the column to be started and I am very appreciative. He will be missed by me very much for many things.

  13. Nirek says:

    I have to add my thoughts of Bito. He always made me feel welcome here at POV. I will miss him and his insight. I pray for him and his families (POV was one of his families).

    RIP Bito my friend.

    Thanks for the information Adlib , you and all here at POV have suffered a great loss. I know you were friends and I grieve for you too.

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks so much, Nirek. It was a challenge to beat Bito to welcoming a new member, he saw The Planet as his home (as he should have) and was so gracious towards everyone as they came by.

      Bito had many friends here, as you can see. That alone says so much about him, accomplishing this without seeking it out but just by being who he was. And doing so on a virtually anonymous blog, where who he was, was never literally seen but became unmistakeable. That’s quite a footprint to leave in the sand.

  14. Pepe Lepew says:

    Ah, Bito, what a shame. He was one of the originals. Happy travels, Bito.

  15. Wow, this sort of news always comes as shock when it’s a person you have grown to respect and admire. Like a terrible suction that vanquishes a piece of the heart.

    My relationship with bito got off to a slightly rocky start. I am sure that the cause was much more mine than his. I was new here and a bit battle weary from engaging in combat with troll after troll on “that other site.”

    It wasn’t very long before bito won me over and I came to admire and respect him. He was very helpful to a techno neophyte like myself, making videos appear easily when I did not know how. He did this many times, out of the goodness that was in him and his sense of duty to The Planet, without me having to ask. He just helped me, selflessly.

    Bito will surely be missed. He was a rare sort of man that doesn’t come along all that often. For bito:

    DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO
    THAT GOOD NIGHT

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Dylan Thomas

    • AdLib says:

      Thank you so much, KT for the sentiment and the poignant poem.

      Bito was a fighter, he proved that day after day. He did not go gentle into that good night. In that way, he was an example for all of us.

  16. Mightywoof says:

    I’m lost for words and so sorry for the loss Bito’s family and his second family on PPOV have suffered in his passing. I always enjoyed reading Bito’s posts and TO/OT is the first place I stop to read …. but the very first thing I always do is to check to see if Bito is still posting ‘cos it meant he was still OK. I am so so sad at this news

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Mightywoof, indeed, the folks here were Bito’s second family.

      I know what you mean, I’d always look at our Twitter feed whenever I first came to the site, if there was a new tweet, I knew he was around.

      Thanks for your thoughts, they affirm what an meaningful impact he had on so many of us.

  17. SueInCa says:

    I am having a very hard time reading all of this column for the tears that are falling. Bito History encouraged me to post my comments. He worked with me to find new ways to investigate and search for the truth. He was a very special person and I was always worried when he would be gone for awhile on his hospital stays. Yes, I knew he was battling cancer and somewhere deep inside I knew he would probably not win the fight but I kept hoping. I know it sounds trite, everyone says it, but I want to think with all my heart that he is at peace now. I want to believe in his final hours he was visited by an angel who helped into his new life and provided peace and assurance that it was indeed a new life.

    Bito I will never forget you and as Kalima has said I will look to the heavens for that bright star I know will be you. RIP my friend, and go rest high on that mountain, son your work on earth is done.


    • foodchain says:

      Sue, just reading your post brings tears. Bito Us he is now.

      • SueInCa says:

        Food
        Yes he is. He was a truly good friend. I am a little better today, yesterday was hard but I know he will never feel pain again. Bito Us he is. It is a tribute to how wonderful he was that so many came back to pay tribute.

    • kesmarn says:

      I’m with you on those tears, BFF.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Sue, that was Bito, always wanting to help and support others and searching for the truth.

      Same here, when he would undergo chemo and disappear for long periods, it was unnerving. Then he’d return, piping up on an important issue with no mention about what he had just gone through.

      He gave so much to The Planet and other folks out there with little interest in getting anything back but despite that, he received so much respect and affection in return. I do think he knew that and that it gave him what he always wished others, peace.

  18. Haruko Haruhara says:

    Oh, how terribly sad.

    I don’t spend time at the POV like I used, so sorry about that, but I remember Bito well. Very kind and helpful, and smart.

    God bless to his family.

  19. Chernynkaya says:

    I am heartbroken. I have no words but offer this to a dear, wonderful, courageous man:

    God full of mercy who dwells on high
    Grant perfect rest on the wings of Your Divine Presence
    In the lofty heights of the holy and pure
    who shine as the brightness of the heavens
    to the soul of

    who has gone to his eternal rest
    as all his family and friends
    pray for the elevation of his soul.
    His resting place shall be in the Garden of Eden.
    Therefore, the Master of mercy will care for him
    under the protection of His wings for all time
    And bind his soul in the bond of everlasting life.
    God is his inheritance and he will rest in peace
    and let us say Amen.

    • choicelady says:

      Thank you, Cher -- that gives all of us some hope. If there is an ‘after’, may it be what bito wanted, however that may have been. Just so he will be at peace, free from pain, free to spread his wings once again.

      We will ALL miss him so much!

      • foodchain says:

        Choice, there is an after, we just haven’t named or visioned it correctly yet

        • choicelady says:

          Dear foodchain -- I think you’re right! You know I work for a faith organization, but none of us see Heaven as a place with people in long white robes playing harps, wings or no wings.

          UGH!

          I’m fascinated by quantum physics and all the insights it brings into how much we do NOT know, and into possibilities. Whether or not one is theistic, the idea of “Spooky Action at a Distance” where things move absolutely in tandem no matter how far apart -- what MIGHT that tell us about collective consciousness, about dimensions we are merely surmising, about — whatever.

          If it’s the unified theory where everything is everything else, then we ARE one, past, present, future. It offers the possibility that the energy that is a person -- and energy cannot be destroyed -- survives, and perhaps is coherent.

          So bito -- if you’re energy around us -- we love you still! We might not be able to hug you, but we DO send our thoughts and our own energies your way to keep you in our hearts.

          foodchain -- you are seriously onto something very wonderful here!

    • AdLib says:

      Good to see you Cher and thanks so much for the prayer.

      Bito was all of those things that you said, his tremendous courage and compassion, his solid principles and wit made him such a remarkable and singular human being.

      Tweeting on behalf of and commenting at The Planet really seemed to give him a new purpose that he welcomed. The many friends like you that he gained along the way couldn’t help but make his life richer as he campaigned for better lives for others.

      As much as he gave to others in this way, I believe he got so much back and appreciated it completely.

      He will be greatly missed.

  20. choicelady says:

    Thank you Kalima, Kes, AdLib. I am in tears knowing our beloved bito is gone. He was one of the first with whom I directly communicated, too. I’d written something of my own life -- my time helping the Eastern Airlines mechanics in their strike -- and he joyously responded that he’d done that, too. From that a true friendship was born.

    We shared roots in many way, bito and I. We both come from the Rustbelt, both had strong alliances with unions, both had the same sense of what mattered in our nation’s history and ethos.

    He honored me always by calling me “Mrs. Perkins” saying I sounded like FDR’s Labor Secretary, Frances Perkins. I could NOT have been more flattered and tried to live up to that in all ways. He was funny, sweet, kind, insightful, and very, very clear about what he believed to be right and wrong. His passion for justice was never ending, and he presented his views clearly, honorably, succinctly. He took no guff, but he was never mean.

    Goodbye bito. I love you and always will. Go sweetly to your rest and please, if there IS an “after”, know how desperately you will be missed, how deeply we care, how much better we all are for having known you.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey CL, I remember when you and Bito first had that discussion about the Eastern Airlines strike and it only impressed me more about both of you.

      As you note, his knowledge of history was impressive (he was “bitohistory”). Indeed, he didn’t back down on anything he believed in but as you say, he never made it personal and always kept the discussion on the issue.

      As modest as he was, I do think he knew how much affection and respect people here had for him because of who he was and what he did.

      Bito did make the world a better place and those of us who were lucky enough to know him, will always remember him for that.

  21. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    Thank you Kalima, Kesman and AdLib for your thoughtful, insightful and personal remembrances.

    Bito was among the first who welcome me to the Planet. He also helped me get “over the hump” when I first tackled the technology of posting. He did this in no small part by recalling his own tek firsts when the logic of the procedures eluded him.

    Bito was also one with whom you could have a “fair fight”. He argued the case. He argued the facts. No loss of passion but a recognition that opposed opinion might be correct, and even if it is not, defending one’s own position strengthens it.

    When he joined in at Vox Populi, he would sit back, reading, and then drop in a couple of lines that were just so spot-on, so sharp, so pithy, that they often took the conversation to a different place. I admired that. Knowing what I now know about his initially tentative forays in the blogging world, I am even more impressed.

    I liked Bito very much and when I learned a while back of his illness, and a bit later of how poorly it was going, I was saddened.

    It is good to “be” with Bito through the lens of your own experiences with him. I thank you for it. And I thank Bito.

    I hope that what family/friends he has and with whom “we” have contact will get a chance to see him through our eyes.

    As Kesman recalls, he often closed with “Peace”. It is a good place to close. It is a good place to be: Resting In Peace.

    • AdLib says:

      Murph, thanks so much for your remembrances of Bito.

      He was often in the driver’s seat of the welcome wagon here, always trying to make new members feel welcome and comfortable.

      Bito didn’t shy away from a debate but as you say, he always played fair and reasoned and really listened to those with other opinions…changing his own position from time to time based upon the discussion.

      His passion, his steady principles and his force of will to post and tweet despite the pain he was going through, caring about the lives of others while privately fighting for his own…made him a singular and remarkable man.


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