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Now for something happier – SpaceX Falcon Heavy successfully launches February 6, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, blogfoolery, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, Society, technology, Victory.
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I don’t know if you got to see the launch, but over 5 million pounds of thrust shook Launch pad 39A at Cape Canaveral for the first time in 45 years as SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket conducted an almost entirely successful test flight.  I say almost entirely, because at the time I am writing this, it is not known if the core booster successfully landed on the drone ship in the Atlantic (the side boosters did land).

Footage of the launch below.

The payload was Elon Musk’s 2008 Tesla roadster fitted with a manikin in an astronaut’s suit.  They are still livestreaming footage of that, dubbed “Starman:”

Both the Tesla roadster and the 2nd stage of the Falcon Heavy are en route to a solar orbit that will have them pass somewhere out around the orbit of Mars.

While this initial version of Falcon Heavy was significantly dialed back in terms of thrust and payload potential, given how SpaceX has constantly, incrementally increased the thrust and payload of its Falcon 9, I expect them to do the same with Falcon Heavy.  I wouldn’t doubt if a nearly 6 million pound thrust version may enter service at some point.

The launch coverage was thoroughly enjoyable to watch.  The immense joy of SpaceX employees in the background, shouting and whooping it up as the rocket successfully executed each step of the launch cycle, was contagious.

Congratulations to SpaceX.  I think BFR and Mars colonization are a bit too ambitious even for Elon Musk, but what they have accomplished so far they have every right to be extremely proud of.

So It’s Pretty Much Obvious at This Point that Representative Democracy in the USA Is Dead February 6, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, disaster, Endless Corruption, General Catholic, horror, It's all about the $$$, rank stupidity, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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I know some, perhaps most, readers have believed that what we have all been sold as “democracy,” or a representative republic where the “will of the people” is expressed, at least generally, in broad strokes, by their elected leaders at the national level, has been dead for decades.  Pick your date for when it died – Marbury vs. Madison, the Civil War, the 16th Amendment, direct election of Senators, the assassination of JFK, the lies perpetrated by the intelligence apparatus to suck us into the Iraq War……whatever – the point is, many of you have been onto the fact that this thing we have been very deliberately and carefully propagandized to believe – that we have some say (again, at the national level particularly) in how we are ruled (not governed) – is a farce.  It hasn’t been true in a very long time.

I don’t mean to sound defeatist, unpatriotic, or, God forbid, like a carping leftist, but if the revelations of the mammoth, ongoing, unrepentant, largely unreported Deep State conspiracies against Donald Trump, and, more particularly, those who elected him, have shown us anything, it is that somehow, over the past few decades (I think it’s mostly occurred in my lifetime), a deeply entrenched unelected unaccountable cabal has taken over the reins of power in this country, particularly at the national level but depending on where you live all the way down to the most local level, and that democracy, or republicanism, as we have all been taught to believe, is a crock.

This cabal consists of deeply embedded, careerist bureaucrats in the government, the academic environment from which they derive their sacred credentials which they purport makes them fit to rule over others, and a media which has become wholly ideological and uncaring about having even a semblance of impartial coverage.  It is deeply classist and thoroughly bourgeois. Indeed, that is their primary objection to Trump and his supporters, that they are so working class, so often Christian, so rough and tumble, so politically incorrect (and thus heretics against their new, self-made, godless and God-hating religion) and just so gauche.

This coalition of the unworthy, this cadre of self-anointed leftists, has grown unchecked in power and influence over the past 50 years irrespective of which party is in office.  Well intentioned fool Bush ’43, however, did a very great deal to make their hold on power unshakable through the the “PATRIOT Act” and unaccountable, secretive courts and apparatus that have been, and will continue to be, ranged against the people of this country not in pursuit of national defense, but in pursuit of naked partisanism and self-aggrandizement.

We are confronted in these present days with a scandal that utterly dwarfs the defining political scandal of the past 3 generations (at least) – Watergate – in which a democrat administration and a democrat political campaign found eager partners in the intelligence and federal law enforcement bureaucracies in order to try to destroy the reputation of the Republican candidate and so swing the election to Hillary Clinton. Even after this effort failed and Trump won, the democrats and their media allies have waged an utterly unprecedented and unconstitutional (as if that matters anymore) campaign to have a sitting president accused of committing some crime, any crime, even (or especially) if it is not an actual crime, in order to drive him from office.

And the media, an absolutely vital component in the system of checks and balances envisioned by the Founding Fathers, has gone over wholly into this same obvious partisanship and absolute contempt for decency, fair play, or anything remotely resembling balance.  Indeed, the relations between the media, academy, infotainment complex, and government agencies is as incestuous as it is corrupt.  All of these entities have a huge stake in seeing the current system continue to grow in wealth and power, no matter the consequences for the “little people” who are being crushed through their avarice.  No, that’s wrong……crushing the little people is indeed the point, as this cabal seeks to create a new peasant class and a new aristocracy.

That this cabal is also entirely leftist and filled with loathing for this nation as founded, all non-leftists, and especially those who believe in God and adhere to traditional morality is simply the glue that holds the entire unholy enterprise together.

I’m ranting, but I think we good cause.  I have listened to hours of media coverage try to pretend that a government conspiracy to destroy a major party presidential candidate (and now president) is of absolutely no consequence, and in fact, that it is the Republicans who are damaging the Constitution and endangering the Republic.  The unmitigated gall…….but as I’ve said before, if you want to know exactly what evils leftists are guilty of, see what they accuse their opponents of.

If you’re looking for specific reasons why I am so outraged and ranting like this, here are but a few: the US in danger of becoming East Germany, intelligence services threaten to stop even their current, feckless, recalcitrant “cooperation” with Congress in overseeing their activities, and switch to outright adversarial obstructionism, if Congress does not stop investigating their unconstitutional and tyrannical activities, the failure to send even ONE IRS or other federal gov’t employee to prison after illegally persecuting “TEA party” groups in 2011-2, the fact that Robert Mueller’s witch hunt is still ongoing after the basis for it has been shown repeatedly to be not just false, but an entirely partisan hit piece………I could go on for ages.  It’s not just where we’re at, it’s where we are so manifestly headed.  As this piece notes:

…Kamala Harris tried to imprison pro-life journalists for probing Planned Parenthood. Now she’s a U.S. senator, whom some think should run for president. What would President Harris’ FBI look like? A lot more like the Stasi than we would like to admit.

More than likely, the best that we can hope for is that Trump will not be wounded politically by all these efforts, but may even get a slight bump.  But given what we’ve witnessed in these last 5-6 years of ugly, self-serving, Chicago machine-style rule, there is absolutely zero chance that any of the major players in this attempt to destroy a properly elected Republican administration will even be convicted of a crime, let alone serve any jail time (which, manifestly, numerous people, from Lois Lerner to James Comey to Strozk and these many other characters should).  The law, the ever-multiplying rules and regulations they impose on  us, are for the little people.  The elite, the connected, the self-anointed (always holding the correct, changing-by-the-minute leftist politically correct beliefs) are above such things.

The question is, how much longer are we not just going to take it, but continue to pay for the privilege through our obsequious submission to taxation and and other means of control?

The other question is, many traditional Catholics would argue that what we are seeing now is the inevitable end state of a democracy.  All previous “experiments” in democracy have failed.  Are we doomed to repeat the experience, and must it lead to civil war and cultural collapse, as it so often has in the past?

What should we, as Catholics, advocate for, in terms of politics, if anything?  Is it better to just try to ride out the calamity, doing the best we can for our family and other loved ones, and let the chips fall where they may?  Is there a point in engaging in this system anymore, or should we only advocate for some radical alternative, whatever it may be?