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Hi all. I haven't posted here for a long time, but I am doing this on behalf of both myself and several other people. I hope you all don't find this to be too petty and whiny.

This is a story of what happens when bloggers protect their own over their loyal readers and commenters, but more importantly over their own political ideals.

Let me start by saying that I was one of the most prolific posters at the left-wing website talkingpointsmemo.com (under the username Flying Squid) and I stayed despite it making a slow descent into Huffington Post territory with sensationalist headlines and suspiciously right-wing friendly articles, but the community was terrific and there was a lot of fun to be had.

Then, yesterday, Andrew Breitbart died and a decision was made by the people who ran TPM: He was not to be discussed by commenters. At all. This decision was not made public. Comments about him simply vanished. Then commenters started asking why the comments were being deleted. Those comments vanished too. Talking Points Memo was scrubbing its entire site clean of any discussion of Breitbart.

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Fri May 29, 2009 at 03:03 PM PDT

Telescopes for all!

by Arken

Sorry if this sounds like spam. I just think it's a really cool educational program that deserves some promotion since it's been a volunteer effort dedicated to low-cost education.

I just ordered a nice, basic telescope for $15. Anyone can.

The Galileoscope™ is a joint effort of the International Astronomical Union's Galileoscope task group and the American Astronomical Society's Telescope Kits & Optics Challenges working group, with educational support from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Dozens of team members have devoted thousands of hours to the project, almost entirely on a volunteer basis, since its inception in 2006.

This telescope is not the greatest in the world. It's cheap and it isn't very powerful, but it is still better than the telescope used by Galileo himself to discover the moons of Jupiter. They are selling it to individuals for $15 and in bulk to schools for less.

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Yes I know, not a diary, bitch, bitch, bitch. I don't care.

Have you looked in your spam folder lately? Mine has some great subject lines.

95% of e-mail is supposed to be spam. Think about how much bandwidth that is and 95% of it goes totally ignored, put immediately into spam folders and never seen again. Now that I've gone into my spam folder for the first time in years, I may have to go back regularly. Not for the ads, I don't care about those, but for the subject lines. More on that below.

First though, a related note/question-

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According to a New Scientist article, the Martian Viking and Phoenix landers, sent to Mars to look for signs of life, may have accidentally killed it.

As we all know now, the landers found the Martian soil samples they took totally sterile with no life or even any organic compounds... and that's the problem.

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I'm probably going to take a break from Daily Kos for a while. Between being accused of being a racist and a personal information leak along with this whole banning fiasco, it's all made be very, very tired and when I'm already tired from the depression of having no job or money, plus the wonders of Type II Bipolar Disorder, it's all just been too much.

However, before I go, I wanted to share this story from Slashdot. I think they are taking an unfairly negative view, probably because the story comes from Fox News, because it sounds like an open secret, but now we finally know where the 'undisclosed location' was. Apparently, it was his basement. Biden accidentally revealed it this weekend.

Details below.

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Sun May 10, 2009 at 01:03 PM PDT

Sunday Confessional

by Arken

Okay, it's time for us all to confess some of our sins. I'm not a priest... or Catholic... and I don't believe in God... but hey, confession is cathartic, right?

So come on, everybody. Let's confess our dirty little secrets. I'll go first:

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I was lucky enough to spend the last few days wandering around (and taking classes at) the 2009 NAB convention in Las Vegas. The convention is a yearly mega-event trade show where the technical side of the broadcasting, video and audio industry comes together to show off their wares and instruct on techniques and tricks.

There's nothing especially political about this diary, but I thought it would interest people.

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Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 11:47 AM PDT

O NOES! Twitter is teh evil!

by Arken

Let me start by saying that I have absolutely no interest in using Twitter, reading other people's "tweets" or any of that. I think most of it is mindless self-indulgence. That said, I hate media sensationalism far more than mindless self-indulgence, hence my repeated eye-rolling reading the following from CNN.com...

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Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 02:55 PM PST

Kossack Saturday Film Club - Postponed

by Arken

Short diary here. I have been trying to watch To Kill a Mockingbird, but all week, Netflix has says it is 'temporarily unavailable' for streaming. I honestly do not remember it well enough to discuss it, so let this be an open thread for that.

Meanwhile, the movie for next week will be Persepolis which can be watched online via NetFlix here.

I haven't seen it yet, but I have been told that I must see it. Do not let the fact that it is animated fool you as the story is supposed to be deep and moving and it won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, so that should tell you something. The trailer is below.

Poll

Arken

12%5 votes
15%6 votes
30%12 votes
42%17 votes

| 40 votes | Vote | Results

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Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 04:08 PM PST

Kossack Film Club Next Saturday Evening

by Arken

The votes from my diary yesterday are in and the first movie we will be watching and discussing will be- To Kill a Mockingbird!

Here is the original trailer, narrated by Gregory Peck himself.

Please do not discuss the movie in this diary.

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Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 06:39 PM PST

Poll: Daily Kos Weekly Film Club?

by Arken

My earliest memory is watching a movie. That's how much movies are a part of my life. I owe a great deal of this to my father, who educated me about films in ways no one else could and introduced me to movies that I would otherwise never have seen.

There are so many amazing movies out there and many of them involve progressive politics. I would like to propose starting a weekly film club starting next Saturday.

Each week, we will discuss a film from the previous week. I will be happy to administrate this at first, but it would be great to see this balloon out and have other diarists talk about films. The point will be to watch films which are both entertaining and educational, films which help you think about where you stand on political and social issues.

Poll

What should be the first Daily Kos Film Club Movie?

39%47 votes
9%11 votes
16%20 votes
10%12 votes
11%14 votes
13%16 votes

| 120 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 07:47 PM PST

Dear Lone Nut With a Gun,

by Arken

We all appreciate how hard it's been for you these past eight years. There's so many reasons to hate this man-

We all hate him. Sometimes, we might even think violent thoughts about him. But even you, Lone Nut, were stopped from doing anything about it because you knew that behind that man was this man-

As of Tuesday, that was no longer a problem. There is no longer a worse evil behind the evil and I know you're thinking to yourself, "now is my time." Well I am here to ask you to please avoid making front page news and go back to crafting your newsletter.

I'm not going to insult your intelligence by telling you not to because it's illegal. I'm sure even you, Lone Nut, are aware of that.

Here are my reasons for you to please leave him alone-

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