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Forgive me if others have already discussed this, but I wasn't aware that Markos had lost his fucking mind and declared Daily Kos a Texas-style free-fire zone until I became a target and was cut off from my own account for two weeks for no reason.  I'm not okay with this state of affairs, with the mentality it represents, or with the people who allowed their own mere tastes to trump fundamental liberal principles - let alone with staff members acting like The Law rather than facilitators.  Al Pacino said it best in Glengarry Glenn Ross: Your job is to help us.  To help us.  Not to fuck us up.  This is not right by any stretch of the imagination, and not a recipe for anything other than the flight of all creative talent away from this website, which apparently began quite some time ago.

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Well, we knew it would come to this.  Republicans failed to win the Presidency twice in the '90s, so they settled for trying to impeach the one we did elect.  They couldn't win the Presidency in 2000 either, so they just had their allies on the Supreme Court declare the election null and void in their favor.  They failed in 2008 when the people were tired of their lies and criminality, so they had their Supreme Court puppets obliterate campaign finance laws so they could try to buy power.  It seemed to work in 2010, but in 2012 it stopped working - we denied them both the Presidency and voted their asses out of power in the Congress, but they had already gerrymandered themselves an impenetrable House majority that stood despite the people throwing them out.  

Now they have nothing left to do but take hostages again and plot coups again, the filthy Teahadist Fauxmericans in their flag lapel pins made in China by child slaves.  They have nothing left to do but tear down this country and rip at its fabric, feasting their fat, unelected asses on the fruits of other people's labor so they can feel powerful at our expense.  And they know if we're ever too successful at the polls despite their conniving and voter suppression; if we're ever too bold at prosecuting them for their crimes; they'll call up their armed paramilitary terrorist groups with their Ayn Rand catchphrases and tricorner hats, their Confederate flag-bedecked trucks and their autographed copies of the Turner Diaries.

And what do they do for the American people they claim to represent?  Nothing.  Because they don't believe they work for you: They believe their seats in office belong to them - are their property.  They don't believe you have the right to take it away from them, because who are you?  Who do you think you are, you un-rich swine who can't afford your own lobbyist?  Do not pollute the air of the Holy Job Creators and their humble Republican servants with your meager presence.  You who have never known the awesome struggle and heartbreak of being told about having to pay taxes on your yacht by your accountant's secretary.

How big a bribe must we pay you, Herr Cruz/Boehner/et al, to give us mere unworthy mortals the privilege of a government that serves at least our most basic rights and interests rather than being a platform for you to step on our face every day?  How big an honorarium are you demanding to graciously dismantle the bombs you've planted beneath this country's future?  How much must we grovel at your feet for the right to healthcare?  You, who already have it at taxpayer expense while refusing to do the job that provides you with that privilege, you lazy, thieving trash.

If you don't want to live in a country where your tax dollars pay for the common good, move somewhere there are no people for you to rob or complain about.  But then, of course, with no one there to pay your way, Republicans would just starve, wouldn't you?  And you know that.  That's why so many of you live in Blue States while always complaining about the laws here - you just want something for nothing in recognition of your inherent superiority (that only you can see), and want everyone else to be your obedient servants.  Don't ever call yourself American in my presence, you foul vampire c**ts.

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In a stunning escalation of the federal government shutdown confrontation, Republican Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has vowed to blow up the Statue of Liberty unless President Obama agrees to his Party's demands.  Tea Party members from across the country have assembled on Liberty Island armed with explosive vests and assault rifles, and say they are poised to carry out Cruz's threat unless the GOP's demands are met.  "We're here because of freedom," said Tea Partier Gunny McGunderson, lovingly stroking the stock of his AR-15 from his perch near the base of the statue.  "And with freedom, there's freedom.  I want freedom, so...all you better do what I say or I'm gunna blow shit up.  Like this French dyke statue all you libruls love so much."  "Spoken like Thomas Jefferson," said Senator Cruz upon hearing his comrade's words, tears of inspiration in his eyes.

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Saturn's outermost major moon, Iapetus (pronounced eye-ap-et-us), would be considered bizarre anywhere else in the solar system.  Ironically, it's one of the more normal worlds compared to its exotic siblings, but still has remarkable and baffling features.  Apart from being divided in color with one hemisphere dominated by dark terrain and the other bright white, it also sports a mysterious equatorial ridge large enough to visibly warp its shape and cause it to be known as the "walnut moon."

Poll

What is your favorite major moon of Saturn OTHER than Titan?

11%2 votes
27%5 votes
5%1 votes
5%1 votes
0%0 votes
50%9 votes

| 18 votes | Vote | Results

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I realize it's always a delicate balance for a President of the United States to both tell the hard truth and maintain the integrity of an office that's supposed to represent the entire country, but I think the time has come to take the gloves off and unmask the Republican Party in the starkest possible terms from the Oval Office.  Their actions speak for themselves, but ultimately someone has to speak the actual words for it to register.

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This is just a brief follow-up to my diaries yesterday and the day before about the SpaceX Falcon 9 v. 1.1 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, in case you haven't been following it.  I came across a truly amazing video of the launch, and that's saying a lot given how many launch videos I've seen.  You'll want to go full screen HD on this one - the most interesting parts come later, so watch the whole thing:

The pencil-thin rocket rising above the horizon is surreal, and the image in the tracking shot is so clear you can see the individual puffs of gas during staging events.  Just wanted to share that.  Brightened the hell out of my day.

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The new Falcon 9 v. 1.1 successfully launched into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California this morning, right on the dot at 9 am PDT as planned, delivering the Canadian Space Agency's CASSIOPE satellite into a polar orbit.  This is a BFD for both the economics and the technology of spaceflight, but is itself merely another step toward greater things.  Details and screencaps below the curl.

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The maiden flight of a new, highly advanced and powerful SpaceX rocket is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9 am PDT from the Vandenberg launch range in California.  The new rocket, called the Falcon 9 v. 1.1 - a typically massive understatement of the level of progress it represents over the original Falcon 9 - has new and drastically more powerful (and more efficient) engines, the Merlin 1D, which are arranged in a different configuration than before, has a substantially longer tank and more fuel, and is designed to relight after stage separation in hope of eventually allowing stages to land back on the pad.  

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Saxet Testa had been infamous in his neighborhood for belligerent, violent behavior for nearly his entire life.  Peers and acquaintances described him as an arrogant, selfish person with a short temper who was incapable of tolerating criticism or understanding (let alone benefiting from) others' attempts to help him.  He cultivated a tough guy image while spending most of his time bullying and robbing those weaker than himself, but always portrayed himself as a righteous victim seeking to turn the tables on the vast assortment of people he saw as persecuting him.  What followed would be unsurprising in hindsight.  

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Via Slashdot, I came by this article describing an apparently major breakthrough in quantum physics at Harvard, Princeton, and Cal Tech, allowing particle calculations that are normally incredibly long and complex to be boiled down to a relatively simple geometric object.  What would have been hundreds of pages long is now mind-numbingly simple (from the perspective of a theoretical physicist), and may ultimately be extended to form the basis of a unified physics that elegantly encompasses all known phenomena.  The oddest implication of the work is that space and time may both be illusions, and that the universe may actually be an unchanging geometric object.  The article is long and involved, but understandable and fully worth reading.  

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No mic checks, no drum circles, no "jazz fingers," none of that irrelevant counterculture horseshit that dazzles the left-wing imagination and makes everyone else yawn and pick Comic Con instead: Just people - literally anyone who wishes - congregating to discuss and arrive at political resolutions achieving some agreed upon level of consensus.  That doesn't have to occur in a city park, and it doesn't even have to feature anything resembling the typical features of protest: It can be purely assertive and authoritative on the part of The People, provided the process is arranged to be both practical and inclusive.  In other words, OWS and everyone who was ever sympathetic to it can just arbitrarily skip the entire protest process and go directly to institutionalization of (local) direct democracy.

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Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 03:39 PM PDT

Prepostradamus Predicts

by Troubadour

Random but non-obvious things I think will happen.  Eventually.  Perhaps.

1.  Mormonism will become the dominant religion of the US.   I hope not, but it's one of the few religions that seem serious about growing - and the fact that both its mythology and literal history is US-centric gives it a cultural advantage in this country over the course of deep history.  And as it seems remarkably able to spread internationally, the tourist pilgrimages of global Mormons to this country would add economic impetus to its expansion.  Mormonism is a truly odd phenomenon.  Every single Mormon I've ever met has been a genuinely decent person, despite the incongruous ugliness of their politics and utterly moronic, demonstrably false beliefs.  Eh, we could do worse.

2.  Drug cartels will evolve into semi-legitimate, wealth-backed political parties combining economic conservatism with social libertarianism, primarily in Mexico but with considerable influence beyond.  All politics is fundamentally based in economics, and the one thing the War on Drugs has proven beyond all doubt is that the demand for drugs is totally impossible to limit in any meaningful way.  When people are happy and prosperous, they do drugs for fun.  When people are oppressed, or poor, or afraid, they do drugs to escape.  Like energy sources, drugs are a Spice that Must Flow.  And like all failed counterinsurgencies, the War on Drugs will be replaced by policies that are accommodative and increasingly legitimize those elements in the cartels that keep the body count to a minimum while allying with authorities to crush those who act like warlords.  The evolution of the "reasonable" cartels into political parties might have a similar process to that of the IRA/Sinn Fein.

3.  There will be professional sports teams called the Nazis and the Commies, with a theatrically-arranged rivalry between them.  There will be people of all races on the Nazi team, and the Commies will make lots and lots of money through capitalist hawking of merchandise.  Naturally this will only happen when the memory of World War 2, the Holocaust, and the Cold War is no longer in the living world.  I'm not joking about this, BTW, I really think it will happen, albeit not any time soon.  There's already a spate of incredibly ignorant, superficial Hitler-themed stuff going on in Asia because they're culturally removed from the European side of WW2.  Some day the titanic struggles and tragedies of WW2 will be reduced to a silly sports thing.

Just think about the fact that today there are teams called the Vikings - basically named after mass-murdering home-invasion robbery crews; and the Pirates/Raiders/Buccaneers - thieves and murderers who even to this day exist and cause mayhem off the East coast of Africa; and Spartans, who had a racial purity and militarist ideology with remarkable similarities in cruelty and violent aesthetics to Nazism.  But the historical monsters behind the names are dust, so we make their memory into something innocuous.  And there's nothing wrong with that as long as real history is still remembered along with the pop culture trivializations.

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