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Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 07:14 PM PDT

O Captain! My Captain!

by Lasgalen Lothir

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            The arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

--Walt Whitman


Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 04:06 PM PDT

FICO Scores Being Recalibrated

by Lasgalen Lothir

Per the Wall Street Journal, in "FICO Reclibrates Its Credit Scores", the credit scores that are used for accepting people for credit cards, car loans, mortgages, and the like are going to be changed, and in ways that probably favor many Kossacks.

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Sorry about this super-super short diary, but the David Wildstein Committee Meeting in the New Jersey statehouse is just starting:

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There's been some talk among political pundits suggesting that, due to gerrymandering and redistricting in 2010, the Democratic Party is going to have a difficult time retaking the U.S. House of Representatives.

I decided to do some poking around of my own, starting with Wikipedia's chart of potential toss-up seats in 2012 (scroll down a bit in the link) to generate a list of names of Congress members who might be vulnerable in 2014.

I also went to a few other sources, including Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball, which also conveniently included which Congress members in his 2014 predictions were elected in districts that voted for the other party's presidential candidate in 2012.

But before I get to that, I'd just like to remind readers to call their own Representative about the government shutdown, particularly if those readers live in "pink/purple" districts.  This is the phone number for the U.S. House of Representatives switchboard, and the link will send you to an email form to contact your Congress member.

U.S. House Contact Info
(202) 224-3121

Speaker of the House John Boehner
(202) 225-0600

(513) 779-5400
(937) 339-1524
(800) 582-1001

Furthermore, we should contact the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and put pressure on him to PROVE IT! that there aren't enough votes to pass a clean continuing resolution.

Are you going to contact your Congress member about the government shutdown?

26%13 votes
42%21 votes
28%14 votes
4%2 votes

| 50 votes | Vote | Results

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:57 AM PDT

Obama Rox! AND Obama sux!

by Lasgalen Lothir

I've been following the "Obama sux/rox" thing a little--not in any depth like some of you, but a little.  It's a bit unfortunate the DKos is splitting down that line, and that people are drawing up teams like we're shirts and skins.

The thing is both camps are right.

Obama does rock.

And Obama does suck.

And, yes, like the White Queen, I can believe "six impossible things before breakfast".

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Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 01:15 PM PDT

A Modest Proposal

by Lasgalen Lothir

In light of the news yesterday of the NSA's new tool, XKeyScore, and the news today about Googling "backpack" and "pressure cooker", I have a modest proposal. Let's have cameras installed in each room of our homes, and have them record 24/7. These video feeds will be sent to a server--let's call it RAINBOW--at the NSA, or the FBI, or the Department of Homeland Security, or the intelligence agency of your choice.

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Wed May 22, 2013 at 02:14 AM PDT

We Need an Ignore Function

by Lasgalen Lothir

You know what would probably settle at least 90% of the fights that erupt here?

A function for users to simply ignore another specific user's comments--to "hide-rate" them for themselves, but not for anyone else.

There are people here who I can't say don't contribute to the site, or to progressive politics, or to the Democratic Party as a whole, but damned if they don't grate on my nerves.

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I'm sorry if this has already been diaried, but I don't see it in the Community Spotlight, the Recommended List, or the Recent list.

A "roving do-gooder" by the name of Aaron Jackson, 31, has purchased a house right across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church and, today, has been having it painted in the rainbow colors of gay pride:

"The House Across From Westboro Baptist Is Getting a Rainbow Pride Paint Job Right Now"

From what I understand, the painting is still in progress, but it should be done by the end of the day, according to the story.

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Back in the 1970s, when the Gay Liberation Front was an actual entity, the gay liberation movement decided that "coming out of the closet" was a political act.  As the theory went, slowly but surely, families with gay members would increasingly be less inclined to attack LGBT folks politically.  The more people who came out, the better, because "We Are Everywhere" (as the button used to declare), and every family probably has at least one LGBT member.  Coming out, as framed by the gay liberation movement, was a political act as much as it was a personal one.  This should come as no surprise, because the gay liberation movement followed the feminist movement, which famously stated that "The Personal is Political".

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Yeah, my last diary wasn't too popular.  I don't expect this one to be, either, but it's worth writing anyway because the DailyKos is, at least in theory, a fact-based community.

A couple of days ago, Christopher Gettler's deposition video was making the rounds on the blogosphere, supposedly justifying Christopher Jordan Dorner's actions.  If you haven't seen it, watch it here:

Let me direct your attention to 1:21 to 1:53 of the video.  I'm not going to transcribe the entire thing--I really just want to focus on those thirty seconds of it (given that it's only two minutes and fourteen seconds long, that's actually about 20% of it).

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This isn't going to be a popular diary, I know.  It's en vogue to be "anti-police" on the Left, and has been since at least the late 1960s.

Nonetheless, people on the left are acting like the shootings in Torrance were somehow malicious and prove the LAPD are a bunch of thugs.

No, they don't.  They prove the LAPD were human, like me and you, subject to human failings like panic and fear.  The Torrance incident was an accident--nothing more.

And it needs to be seen in its full context.

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In my last diary, "Something is Rotten in the State of California", I wrote about one of my students who'd registered on campus at the community college for which I teach.  In that diary, I wrote that he'd been registered as a Republican (he isn't) and that he'd been registered in a different county.

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