msilverstar: (war is not the answer)
There was a mainly peaceful protest about Ferguson, etc. Some violent splinter groups broke some windows during a mainly peaceful demo, so the Berkeley Police decided to teargas the entire area. Including all the usual students on a Saturday night before finals week, a couple of hundred elderly people who’d been to a concert down the street, and us. My daughter was crying and I can still feel the gas it in my throat after a large glass of juice and a tea with honey.

We like to think our town is better than that. There has to be another way.
msilverstar: viggo with vote t-shirt (vote with viggo)
as per my conversation with [livejournal.com profile] lobelia321

We just started AV, and the Mayor of Oakland (across the Bay from San Francisco) was elected with second-choice votes: she was not the first past the post but she was less hated than the other candidate. I think it's a fine result, the first Asian-American and the first woman mayor, without the expense and low turn-out of a runoff election.

local news coverage )

Also, via everyone on my reading lists, Reform Cat explains AV voting
msilverstar: (ian-dom oscars)
Yay! Even the conservative part of the US has realized that not letting people fight and die in the military because of their sexual orientation is stupid and wrong. DADT is dead, finally!

In more fannish news, [livejournal.com profile] lobelia321 posted her [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti, Beer, Sweat and Tears (Orlando/Dom), it's an angst fest, satisfyingly unromantic, and wonderfully written.

I posted the May 2010 Lotrips listing, and am very slowly catching up. We still have a hell of a lot of fics, hidden in pairing communities and personal journals.

random other stuff )
msilverstar: viggo with vote t-shirt (vote with viggo)
Health care reform is all very well and good, but I want all my fandom friends to be well and secure right away dammit! So I found some places that might help.

I had a boyfriend working for the 1980 Census (yes, I'm that old), and they kept him on for months after the first wave was over. So please consider applying: it can't hurt.

apply for jobs with the Census )

Americans tend to be conflicted about asking for government help except when they are automatic and/or we feel we've earned it, like unemployment benefits. But we can't really be self-sufficient, not now or here. We need backup, and that's what government should be for.

You may be eligible for medical coverage )


more possible benefits )
msilverstar: (drowning in splooge)
The fail was back in November when a small majority of voters went against equal marriage rights. The state supreme court just upheld the proposition, because they are bound to decide on the law rather than principle. At least they also confirmed the legal marriages during the interim. But it's not the court's fault, it's the voters' fault, so that's where we have to fight it next.

MarriageEquality.org has a list of protests and actions (mostly in California).

DayOfDecision.com has another list

There are twitter reports from the Sacramento protest at twitter.com/stop8dotorg and from San Francisco at twitter.com/geminiwench with lots of pictures. More coming at twitter #rejectprop8

Couragecampaign.org is proposing a Meet in the Middle demonstration reaching out from the coastal liberal cities to the more conservative inland California.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win -- Ghandi
msilverstar: (drowning in splooge)
  1. Please don't call Amazon today )

  2. What and why of googlebombing Amazon Rank )

  3. a colossally stupid technical/editorial mistake )

Alternatives to Amazon: Local Indie Bookstores, Powell's Books, Borders, Barnes & Noble. Always good to have business diversity, choices, and good old free-market competition.

It doesn't matter why. It expresses the new corollary to Clarke's Third Law, Minim's Law: Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.

amazonfail

2009-04-12 02:39 pm
msilverstar: (wtf? billy)
Amazon has just re-defined pretty much every book in their Gay and Lesbian section as "adult" and removed their "sales rank" and listings in the bestseller lists. As though their existence is too scary for children. I'm a mom, gay is just a word for some of our relatives: how dare Amazon try to make them disappear?

This is just wrong and stupid. One author of a non-explicit gay YA book, markprobst , got this explanation
In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller listas. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.
For more WTF? see the list of suppressed books, including Brokeback Mountain, Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story, Tipping the Velvet, Heather Has Two Mommies, and Challenging Homophoba: Teaching About Sexual Diversity.

Not affected: heterosexual novels including violent rape and/or explicit rape (Laurel Hamilton, etc.) And their featured blog of the day includes a trailer for the video game Terminator:Salvation (rated teen). So it's clearly not violence they're worried about.

What to do: use the word #amazonfail on Twitter and blogs, at the very least. Link to the smartbitches redefinition of Amazon Rank. Gosh, Amazon has some blogs with comments enabled. We could... comment.

(cross-posted, sorry)

amazonfail

2009-04-12 02:24 pm
msilverstar: (wtf? billy)
Amazon has just re-defined pretty much every book in their Gay and Lesbian section as "adult" and removed their "sales rank" and listings in the bestseller lists. As though their existence is too scary for children. I'm a mom, gay is just a word for some of our relatives: how dare Amazon try to make them disappear?

This is just wrong and stupid. One author of a non-explicit gay YA book, [livejournal.com profile] markprobst, got this explanation
In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller listas. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.
For more WTF? see the list of suppressed books, including Brokeback Mountain, Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story, Tipping the Velvet, Heather Has Two Mommies, and Challenging Homophoba: Teaching About Sexual Diversity.

Not affected: heterosexual novels including violent rape and/or explicit rape (Laurel Hamilton, etc.) And their featured blog of the day includes a trailer for the video game Terminator:Salvation (rated teen). So it's clearly not violence they're worried about.

What to do: use the word #amazonfail on Twitter and blogs, at the very least. Link to the smartbitches redefinition of Amazon Rank. Gosh, Amazon has some blogswith comments enabled. We could... comment.
msilverstar: (vote!)
  1. First day in office, President Obama (oh how I love typing that) put limits on lobbyists, and froze the salaries of staff making more than $100k a year (New York Times).

  2. They have good taste in computers: The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software. Laptops were scarce, assigned to only a few people in the West Wing. The team was left struggling to put closed captions on online videos. (Washington Post)

  3. I'm not much of a gamer, but the US Democracy Server : Patch Day post cracked me up! (gacked from [livejournal.com profile] kntb )

  4. (late) A commitment to closing Guantanamo. What a pathetic legal fiction, where only the honor of military lawyers and judges kept us from running Stalinist show trials. What a horror that was. POW status would have been much more appropriate.

in foot news: ow ow ow ow ow.
msilverstar: (vote!)
I voted oval [This badge is for sharing! It was apparently made by lunaris and shareable, found it via a friend, and it's on my scrapbook so OK to hotlink]

Argh, last night I was so stressed I couldn't sleep (after the last two elections got pretty much stolen) so I got up and filled out my ballot. That did help. Walked over to my precinct and dropped it off, no lines at 9 am.

We have a Democratic candidate who is smart, caring, charismatic, energetic, black, and has a foreign-sounding name, is much more than I'd hoped we could do in my lifetime. I will be incredibly proud of my country if we do suck it up and elect him! And proud of my parents, who were very active in the Civil Rights Movement. Because that's the kind of thing we're supposed to be about, hope and community and working together (with the rest of the world) for a better future. And now I'm making myself cry, sorry to blither all over your friendspage.

(and thanks to [livejournal.com profile] matildabj for letting me blither at her first)
msilverstar: (dom dork)

ETA: I keep fiddling with this. sorry if it seems to be morphing slightly
msilverstar: (war is not the answer)
Colin Powell said a great thing: "Is there something wrong with being Muslim in this country? No, that’s not America." Finally someone points out that being a Muslim is not an automatic indicator of terrorism. I blame the Bush Administration and John McCain for this open-ended "War on Terror", as opposed to The World United to Suppress Al-Queda, which I am pretty much for.

Also, California, Alameda County, and especially Berkeley voters: the Green party voter guide (page will lead to PDF) is very helpful. Well-written explanations of the issues and candidates, even the obscure ones like BART board and judge. I may not agree with them 100% but at least I know why. Get this: the Greens agree with the fiscal conservatives (and me) that bonds are a bad idea, better to pay as we go.

And here's to Viggo "War Is Not The Answer" Mortensen, who got me into fandom. It was his smile, from the FOTR extended DVDs, that completely seduced me. May he have fifty more good years.
msilverstar: (war is not the answer)
I'm not sure where this meme came from, but it's been all over my flist and I love it. The best kind of protest, what we would have called, in my childhood, a Teach-In. I'm not going to repeat the rules, but here I go.

I give you one of the worst rulings ever: Dred Scott (1857), which held that:
Africans residing in America, whether free or slave, could not become United States citizens.
That means that not just those born in Africa, but also their descendants who were born in the United States, were denied the same human rights as all other "races".

It also held that the United States Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories, or free states to grant freedom to slaves who entered the states. So, state's rights were great, but not for Free States.

Why? In an appeal to the strict constructionism much like that beloved of our right-wing-looney Supreme Court Justices (Scalia and his shadow, Thomas), the majority decided the drafters of the Constitution had viewed all African-Americans as:
...beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.
That's disgusting.

The ruling, IMNSHO, made the Civil War inevitable. The Slave States were were willing to revolt for the right of states to choose slavery over humanity. Dred Scott encouraged this, going so far pro-slavery as to make compromise impossible.

That was back when the Republican Party had the moral high ground, they were the party of enfranchisement and liberty. Now, not so much. They want to dismantle the public school system so we can give vouchers for suburban private schools, they prosecute mostly African Americans for civil rights violations, they refused to raise the minimum wage for years... I can give details, if anyone is undecided, and is willing to listen to my version of the issues. But I have no interest in debating Republican True Believers, or libertarians, for that matter. Obama's a little conservative for me, but his take on ISSUES is pretty good. And that's honestly the only thing I care about.
msilverstar: (war is not the answer)
Chuck Todd: I mean, is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?

Peggy Noonan: The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives and (inaudible) the picture.


...as they were caught on on an open mic. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] zoniduck and [livejournal.com profile] icarusancalions for the evidence.
msilverstar: (wtf? billy)
...in that "it's a selfish grasping onanistic power play disguised as utopian openness and universal freedom." (by [livejournal.com profile] almostnever, used with permission)

Anyone who thinks that male assumptions of privilege and sexual objectification don't exist any more, and female safe spaces are not necessary... )

(cut because I got all ranty and used italics and bold)

And HAH: apparently he is a Heinlein fan.

ETA: when I told my husband about this, he was literally speechless for a while. He's one of the aware & respectful guys, and has helped socialize some of the geeks in his gaming circles, giving them Stern Talks about bad behavior and disrespectful comments and worse. It was kind of fun to watch him open his mouth, shake his head and look pained, as I talked. Because really, what is there to say besides WTF?
msilverstar: (war is not the answer)
Obama & Clinton.  The GOAL is a DEMOCRAT in the WHITE HOUSE.  DON'T FUCK IT UP

Source: Australian blogger TigTog (who is a big LOTR fan)
msilverstar: (billy playing BW)
That meme makes ever so much more sense when you know it's designed to help first-year college students get some perspective on their lives. More (fascinating) info on it here.
msilverstar: (war is not the answer)
Today's Doonsbury, about impeaching the president and the VP -- made me laugh and wish

cut because I'm nice like that )

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