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AdLib On September - 16 - 2013


It is with a very heavy heart that Kalima and I share the news with the rest of our PlanetPOV family that our co-founder and wonderful, brilliant friend, KQuark has passed away.

From Kalima:


Where does one start when one has to put into words the loss of two special and much loved friends just months apart?

In life sometimes we pass each other like two ships in the night, sometimes we collide. But sometimes, we glide into the harbour at the same time, and that’s how I felt about KQ.

We met over at HP in 08 during the primaries. I loved his passion and knowledge about issues, and the way he would use it to smack down the ignorant trolls. He encouraged me to speak my sometimes very different and loud European take on things, and we became friends. We continued this relationship at another site where we blogged together with another friend, AdLib.

It was unfortunately not the place to speak your mind or be different, so we talked about starting our own site one day in our emails to each other. Eventually we did, thanks to AdLib who came back from a trip to Europe in the spring of 09, and after growing tired of the sameness at the other place, said let’s do it, and we did. We planned for a few months, then launched The Planet where we hoped to give freedom to troll free discussions and ideas.

A scientist by profession. A humanitarian by nature. A man who had an unbending belief in fixing the injustice he saw, while often laughing like a playful child at simple and silly things we shared.

KQ was not a well man, but that never stopped him or his main passion for healthcare for all Americans. He had lost his insurance when he became too sick to work. Last year, due to the President’s ACA, his life became so much better. Unfortunately, his health did not.

I don’t know how to say goodbye to people who mean so much to me, so I won’t. I’ll just say thank you my friend for your friendship and for making my life that much better for having known you.

Rest well, your suffering is over. I miss you and thank you for letting me into your life. RIP.

If you missed his well researched articles on the Healthcare Reform bill. I’ve linked to them at the end of this to help us remember why he was such a special human being.

Periodic Table of Dangerous Elements | PlanetPOV


Periodic Table of Dangerous Elements: Final 2012 Edition | PlanetPOV


The Many Ways to Fight for Real Universal Healthcare Reform | PlanetPOV


The Fundamental Case for Healthcare Reform: Part One the Moral Case | PlanetPOV


Just Regulate Stupid! | PlanetPOV


A Healthcare Irony | PlanetPOV


Who’s Paying to Kill Healthcare Reform? | PlanetPOV


My Personal Healthcare Story | PlanetPOV


Survivorman Circa 2009: Somewhere in NE Georgia Hospital | PlanetPOV


Wow Under Different Circumstances this could be Me. | PlanetPOV


Proud to be a Scientist | PlanetPOV


KQ wrote 143 articles for The Planet and these listed were a few of my favourites. You can check out others at: KQµårk 死神 | PlanetPOV http://planetpov.com/author/kquarks/

From Adlib:

There’s not that much I can add to Kalima’s description of how she and I met and came together with KQuark to found PlanetPOV.  I do recall after we had left HP for another site, KQuark had privately contacted me about helping him write a post and in doing so, really started our friendship. My response was being a bit surprised, I expressed how impressed I was with the comments he wrote and how I had no doubt he could write quite well. He showed me a draft of his first post before posting it and as I had expected, it was smartly written and very effective.

As a couple of months went by and we grew dissatisfied with the atmosphere of that other site, KQuark, Kalima and I soon discovered how like-minded we were in our desire for a place to blog where trolls, conformity, cliques and censorship did not have a home. We envisioned a site that was by bloggers, for bloggers, where everyone could freely express themselves as part of a community that respected individuality and freedom of expression.

If not for KQuark’s commitment to there being such a site as PlanetPOV, none of the conversations we’ve ever had here, none of the revelations or laughs we’ve shared, none of the people you’ve come to know here, would ever have been a part of any of our lives.

When we first launched PlanetPOV there was just Kalima, KQuark and me and a few very appreciated friends from that other site and HP. In those early days, KQuark and I were the only ones posting articles, Kalima’s focus was on building up our comments and conversations. Sometimes we’d both be posting articles in a particular week, other times KQuark would keep the posts flowing, sometimes I would, both of us knowing that to get this site off the ground, we had to keep it up till it caught on.

During all that time, while expending all of this energy, KQuark was dealing with a great deal of debilitating illness and pain, not to mention stress from not having health insurance to cover his serious condition. His passion though, for writing in defense of justice, fairness and the principles of a good society never wavered.

When the ACA was first being debated, KQuark was a fierce defender of it, giving no ground to those on the Right or the Left who wanted it defeated. When some on the Left promoted the belief that it would be better to kill the ACA than to have a plan that wasn’t single payer, KQuark was energized to knock that argument down by skewering intellectual exercises with humanity and sharing the details of his own dilemma with needing but not being allowed by insurance companies to get covered. No one was more a staunch campaigner in the blogging world for the need to pass the ACA than KQuark and when it passed, many here were as happy for and proud of KQuark as we were for Obama.

KQuark was our resident scientist, his delight at sharing a recent scientific breakthrough or a NASA discovery was contagious. He was a man of logic who never took a position that didn’t make sense, even if one disagreed with it. He was so creative as well and had such a sharp sense of humor, as his works such as his Periodic Table of Dangerous Elements that appears above attests. He enjoyed creating graphics for our posts and regular features and even created a very funny smiley of a stick figure peeing. From the sublime to the ridiculous, KQuark covered the whole spectrum.

We shared many things in common including an appreciation for Monty Python and Pink Floyd. We had our share of disagreements on issues which neither of us were bothered by, having that friendship meant never having to hold back on how passionate we were about our POV and though I was of course always right, I would sometimes let him think he was as I think he did with me for some inexplicable reason.

Life for KQuark was a challenge due to the severity of the pain he endured and the devastation of his health and abilities but he constantly fought against it, refusing to accept concession and insisting on making a difference every day he could.

Kalima listed some of his best posts above. His posts on his own condition and the issues he had to face due to our health care system were his most potent arguments for health care reform though his well-researched opinion pieces were very strong. His posts on science were always intriguing and enlightening, making me step out of my day to day thinking and zoom out a bit to ponder God, the universe and existence. His humorous posts would always make me smile no matter what was going on. The logic he exhibited in his comments and arguments made even the briefest one substantial.

KQuark was a brilliant, creative and witty man. Fortunately, he has left a lot of who he was here in the form of his posts, comments and creations. Due to that and as a co-founder of The Planet, KQuark will always be a part of my life and my universe even though he has passed on. I will always remember him as my friend, my partner and a singular, remarkable and irreplaceable human being.

RIP KQuark, you will always be missed.

Categories: News & Politics

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."

117 Responses so far.

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  1. funksands says:

    It looks like this was published the day before I left town on vacation. I regret having missed it. This is the news I had been fearing, having not heard from him in so long.

    I’ve missed him here and over on Twitter, where he was really coming into his own using that medium.

    My sympathies to all of you that knew him so well for so long.

  2. empi says:

    ADLIB No worries about responding. I totally understand. It really helped coming to the Planet after learning of KQuark’s passing. I still can’t believe it but I know he is resting in peace. Thanks to all at the Planet

  3. Nirek says:

    To all of you who have been touched by KQ, I second everything good you have said. KQ and Bito were what we all aspire to be.

    May KQ rest in peace as I know Bito has already greeted him.

    • AdLib says:

      Nirek, in a time of growing pettiness and irrationality, it is pretty special to have had KQuark and Bito as inspirations here. Both exemplified the kind of humanity, reason and humor that all of us aspire to. We were lucky to have known them and to have shared with them all the conversations, debates and joking around we did. Their integrity will always remain as part of this community.

    • kesmarn says:

      They were two truly remarkable guys, Nirek. They made a great impact in the short time they were on the planet and on the Planet.

  4. empi says:

    Thank you AdLib, Kalima and all the others who responded to my posts about KQ. Yesterday was a catharsis for me because it was only a few days before that I received an email from his wife telling me of his passing and I was so very sad and couldn’t share my grief with anyone. That is what brought me to the Planet to see if there was anything about it and there was.

    Thank you again each and everyone of you.

    • AdLib says:

      Sorry for the delay in replying, empi. It has made it less difficult to work through this by having the chance to share memories and feelings with others who knew and cared a lot for KQuark. Glad you were here, hope to see you here again soon.

  5. I was so sorry to hear of KQ’s passing. I knew he was ill, but I didn’t know to what extent.

    I will miss his wit and knowledge. He was a good person who’s writing was excellent. He cared about people, our country and the world. He was a true progressive.

    RIP KQ, you will be missed. It’s amazing to see all the tributes to KQ here. It seems he touched a lot of people.

  6. agrippa says:

    KQuark was a great deal kinder and more patient than I was at Huffington Post.Because of the fatuous and ignorant posts by trolls, I wrote off that site. Now, I just go there for some news.
    I found this website from a comment that suggested planetpov with a link.
    His writings were most excellent.

    I wish that he were still with us.

    • AdLib says:

      Really appreciate your kind words, agrippa. KQuark was also more patient than I was with HP trolls though I did enjoy those occassions when he’d had enough and took them down.

      He did tire of all that unnecessary and manipulative conflict though, which is why he, Kalima and I came together to found The Planet as a haven for thoughtful conversations and debate.

  7. empi says:

    Who was Bito?

    • AdLib says:

      Bito was among the earliest Planeteers and after being such a passionate and prolific blogger-of-conscience here, he came on board as an Admin. He came up with the idea for and hosted our Time Out for Off Topic page which quickly became the hang out for Planeteers to chat about anything and everything.

      Bito then turned his focus to our Twitter presence and skillfully built it up and forged relationships with other Progressive sites and bloggers.

      And he was a great friend to many here, just as KQuark was. They had a good deal in common in many ways, they were each very singular and selfless.

      That’s just a thumbnail that can’t do justice to everything Bito meant to us and The Planet, Kalima’s link to the remembrance post for Bito is probably the best way to learn about who he was.

      It’s difficult to lose Bito and KQuark in the same year. I do feel so fortunate though to have shared so much with them. They are and always will be hugely missed…

      • empi says:

        Thanks Adlib. So sorry you lost two friends in one year.

      • AlphaBitch says:

        Dear Leader -- I lost a very good friend on the ValueJet crash in the Miami Everglades. His name was Walter Hyatt, and he was an amazing singer/songwriter I knew from Austin. A kinder soul probably did not exist. I mourned him deeply. When I saw a friend and told her of the huge hole in my heart from the absence of Walter, she told me the hole HAD to be there to make room in my heart for new ones. Took 57 Afghans to take Walter’s place, but I do understand the pain of loss and that empty feeling a little better now. It’s the waiting for something else to come along that is hard. Bito’s place is still open, but Bito and I both know it will be filled. -AB

        • AdLib says:

          AB, really appreciate your philosophical wisdom on this. You’ve proven how a tragic loss can lead one to truly remarkable expressions of compassion. I agree, it takes time to heal from such a loss and nature does abhor a vacuum so eventually, we can find a way to help fill the space that’s left empty but we never forget the one who left it.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      A great soul, a wonderful companion.

    • Kalima says:

      Maybe this will explain him better than I could right now, except to say that like KQUARK, he was a very sick man, a fighter against injustice, a friend who never complained and became part of the soul of The Planet. A very big part.

      A real shame that you never got to know him.


  8. empi says:

    Cliches are cliches because they are true and the one that comes to mind in response to SueInCA is:

    “The good die young”

    • Kalima says:

      In my personal experience, Empi, that unfortunately has been more true than not in my lifetime, and it makes me realise that we could do more when they are with us than facing the prospect of feeling guilt for the things we put off because we were lulled into believing that we had plenty of time later.

      • empi says:

        Well as one gets older, one gets to understand the importance of savoring the moment and living life to the fullest. We only have the present but we don’t live our lives that way because we always believe there is another tomorrow. I have a feeling that KQUARK was all too aware how fleeting his life was given his illnesses, yet he was able to stay positive and be thankful for his wonderful wife and his friends. Let us all remember KQ and enjoy every day as it comes if we are lucky.

        My hubby always tells me to “eat your ice cream while it’s on the plate”

        Being at the Planet today has been a catharsis.

        Kalima -are you british -- you spell realize with an “s” and not a “z”.

        • AdLib says:

          Empi, I do think that KQuark made a very conscious decision to make the most of the time he had and he really did. That should be a lesson well learned by those who knew him, he never gave up and he kept caring and investing himself in making a difference.

          This does make me think more about valuing each day as much as possible and the great people we’re lucky enough to be connected to.

        • Kalima says:

          That’s very true Empi, I hope I can grow into “savouring every moment” but living in a big, fast city like Tokyo, it’s much harder than it seems. I’ve lost many wonderful people who were in their 40s and 50’s, my mother being one of them, and the shock always takes me by surprise, even if they were sick. KQ often told me that he knew he was living on borrowed time, and he tried to live his life to the fullest never knowing what tomorrow might bring.

          I am a naturalised Brit but am German by birth. We first moved to England when I was 9 years old.

          So happy to hear that being here helped you today, please come back whenever you feel like it, we will always be here if you want to talk or join in.

  9. empi says:

    Thank you Kalima. I just want to cry reading all of the wonderful tributes to KQUARK. Do you think he had any idea how much he was loved? I saved all of his emails and when I found out the other day I opened one up where he included his picture -- just so I could see his face and remember that smile.

    Thank you again and thank all of you for such a wonderful tribute to such wonderful person. Has anyone been in touch with his wife. I am sure these tributes would be of some solace to her.

    • Kalima says:

      Empi, I think he would be quite shocked to read all of the many comments here, he was a very modest man who cared about others before himself, something that is quite rare these days, so I imagine he would be grateful but maybe blushing with his skin tone.

      I have “liked” this post on Facebook and was just wondering about sharing this link so that his wife might see it and find some comfort in knowing how much he was loved and appreciated by our members here at The Planet. I might just do that later.

  10. empi says:

    I just found out the other day about KQuark and my heart sunk to the floor on hearing the terrible news. His lovely wife said she was finally able to open his email and respond to those who had written and who were concerned. I also met KQ at HP during the 2008 election year and we just hit it off immediately. After reading some of the comments and tributes, a lot of us met him the same way. I couldn’t even begin to write a tribute as befitting as that written by Kalima but suffice it to say, he was a wonderful person with such courage and insight, and the world was a better place when he was in it. This is a tremendous loss.

    KQuark, you will be missed more than you could ever know. R. I. P.

    • AdLib says:

      Empi, thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts about KQuark. This is a profound loss for many though sending our best thoughts to his lovely wife.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Empi….thanks for the insight. I did not know KQ in the way you did….but I have come to know him in a number of the tributes shared….like yours.

    • Kalima says:

      Empi, he was always so happy to find you here, and btw, you just did write a “tribute as befitting” here, and I thank you with all my heart. The best thing we can do for his memory is to remember him for the way he fought his obstacles, and how this made us all stronger.

      Peace and the strength to heal.

  11. beowoof says:

    Thank you Kalima and AdLib for your thoughtful tributes. KQuark was one of the first that I remember really liking over at HP. So bright and willing to stand up for what he believed. Very sad to hear of his passing and may he be on his way and far away from worldly pain. Thank you also for this wonderful site, full of passion and reason along with open minded discourse and compassion.

    • Kalima says:

      beowoof, so sorry to be late with this reply and thank you so much for your kind words and for coming here to share this tribute to KQUARK with us. It is a great comfort to know how much he was appreciated and loved. Thank you.

    • Nirek says:

      Beowoof, because my eyes still water up , I thank you for voicing how I feel . I remember KQ at HP and here at the Planet. Your post really says what I want to say.

    • AdLib says:

      beowoof, nice to see you and thanks for sharing such kind words and sentiments.

      HP is where I first met KQuark as well, his brand of moral conviction with logic and facts to back it up was what made him stand out for me.

      He was dealing with a great deal of pain and difficulty, I’m thankful that’s over for him but of course he is greatly missed.

      If he was here, I think KQuark would reply that it is you and the other members that are here on The Planet that make it what it is. Not being as humble about him as he was, I’d say that the smart and reasoned tone that KQuark set here, along with our invaluable co-founder, Kalima, had a lot to do with starting The Planet in the right orbit. And in that way and with the collection of his works that will always reside here, he’ll always have a presence here as far as I’m concerned.

  12. Khirad says:

    My condolences. Been away far too long. The Planet came crashing down upon me again when I heard the news.

    • AdLib says:

      Khirad, nice to see you though I regret as well that it’s under such circumstances. KQuark was so humble, he probably didn’t know how much he meant to so many people. Maybe, as Haruko said, he, Bito and Hume are all having an ice cream together after a heated debate and if so, I hope they have wifi and an iPad so KQuark can see all the comments here and all the people just at The Planet who cared about him.

      • Khirad says:

        I think I missed BITO’s passing, as well. A shame I never got to visit him. Both of them and Hume are all having a great ice cream social, I know.

        • GirlOutWest says:

          I remember Hume and KQuark from HP. I knew BITO from the Planet.

          It’s a sad day to think that these brilliant souls are not among the “living” but I believe they’re still surrounding their friends and family. They’re there when you need them.

          My condolences to everyone at POV and the families of Kquark, BITO. Peace be with you.


          • AdLib says:

            Thanks so much for the kind and thoughtful words, GirlOutWest.

            We will always have their words and perspectives on life and the world, thanks to all they wrote. They have left a bit of themselves here so I agree, they will always be around in a way.

        • AlphaBitch says:

          Hi stranger! I’ve missed you. Got my two kids from Syria here -- both on Fulbrights. They are doing well. I will never forget your kindness in coaching me while I would Skype. Come stay for awhile. Would love to hear your take on Syria. -- AB

  13. Haruko Haruhara says:

    KQuark and I shared an affinity for anime, we both had anime characters in our avatars. This was the show his avatar came from. A wicked satire from Japan that is a lot like South Park.

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