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I don't know how I missed The Shrouds of the Somme commemoration, but I found it today.

Doctor Who

Mar. 24th, 2017 04:36 pm
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I'd like to see Alexander Siddig as the new Doctor. If he weren't on Timeless, I'd be rooting for Paterson Joseph, and if she weren't on Blindspot, it would be Marianne Jean-Baptiste.


Mar. 17th, 2017 09:59 am
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I've been posting at Slate about this. The below is from my comments there.

A single Air Force Bomber costs $550 million. The National Endowment for the Arts annual budget is $146 million. The National Endowment for the Humanities costs $167.5 million.

Using the annual budget of $3.1 billion which is the amount of the CDBG block grants and multiplying it by .05 to get the 5% that most jurisdictions use on Meals on Wheels, I get $155,000,000. What are we going to do with the other $81,500,000?

One plane less. When people tell you that "guns or butter" arguments don't work, remember that 1 less bomber for the Air Force would cover the above. Cutting half a squadron, 6 bombers, would cover the CDBG block grants in full and still leave enough left over to fund the National Endowment for the Humanities and have $32.5 million left to play with.

The Air Force has requested 100 bombers.
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the term "bloated plutocrat" was both out-of-date and an insult?


Yes, I have been reading about the new healthcare bill, why do you ask?

I want one

Jan. 31st, 2017 12:15 pm
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A bracelet multitool -- there's something soothing about watching creation.

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The bit I love starts around minute 4, but the whole thing's worth watching.
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Several people have asked me how they can help DC protect itself from the ravages of the current congress and administration. I have an idea.

DCist has an article about the current abortion law before congress. There's also a link to a "death with dignity" law with which congress is trying to interfere and, though there's no link, mention of a gun law which the House, especially, has already tried to overturn. They've already interfered with our decriminalization of marijuana laws, leaving us in the awkward position of not being able to regulate a trade which, through taxation, would help us immensely.

Call your congress people and Senators. I don't care if you agree with DC's law. I disagree with the "death with dignity" law and the only reason I don't disagree on abortion is that someone who doesn't have bodily autonomy isn't a full citizen in the eyes of the law. I see anything forbidding the right to choose as a slippery slope to women no longer being seen as full citizens. After all, it's been less than a hundred years since we were seen as full citizens. The point is actually more powerful if you disagree.

The point is that we have Home Rule. The point is that congress is not allowed to interfere with Boston, Denver, Oklahoma City, Detroit, Memphis, Nashville, Seattle, El Paso, or Portland, OR all of which are cities within 50,000 of our population. If the US Congress passed a law that said only the citizens of Seattle had to turn in their personal guns, everyone would rightly be up in arms (no pun intended). If they passed a law that said only the citizens of El Paso were required to have a gun on them at all times, the NRA might be happy, but the rest of us would be up in arms.

The more conservative the state you live in, the more powerful the statement. It's primarily, though not exclusively, Republicans and conservatives who are putting their fingers in our pies. Many of them are the same Republicans who shout from the mountaintop that the Federal government shouldn't interfere in local laws -- like those "religious freedom" laws and "bathroom bills."

Call. Please call. Call often. Adapt one of the sample scripts from thesixtyfive.org. More than anything else, make certain that you say your are their constituent and that you support the District of Columbia's right to autonomy in local matters. It can also be phrased as support for the District's right to Home Rule. While you're at The Sixty-five, pick another call to make. This isn't going to be a short haul on any issue. If you call your congress critter on another issue, throw in a "and don't interfere in the District of Columbia's local laws" at the end of it.

Thank you. Spread this message any way you can.
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I wish I could tell you about all the clever turns of phrase on the word Trump used to explain where he likes to grab women.But I can’t. The following, however, are printable:

“We Shall Overcomb”

“Make America Think Again”

“Think Outside My Box”

“IKEA Has Better Cabinets”

“Did You Remember To Set Your Clocks Back 60 Years Last Night?”

“Tweet All People Kindly”

* n.b my personal favorite is the one bolded and underlined.

My friend Gileswench sent me this.

Who says the Dutch don't have a sense of humor?
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I tripped over this on YouTube last week and I've been enjoying it ever since.

The above is both hilarious (Happy ending for all them white girls.) and a good analysis. Some of the others are as good if not better. Enjoy!
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I got two gifts this year, both lovely. The first was in The LXD fandom. It's called Breathe. Stay Calm. You're gonna be OK. The other was in The Shadow fandom, Dinner with Uncle Wainwright.

I wrote 13 stories. My assignment was in Diana Wynn Jones' Fire and Hemlock 'verse for Minnabird: Gaudeamus Igitur.

The pinch hits were:
Dinner at Eight for the TV version of the Phryne Fisher stories.

End of the Vacation for Midsommer Murders

The Other Side of the Door in Hail, Caesar

Celebration at the Mill for the UK North and South series

Enter/Return for Tron, Legacy

Serial for Forever Knight

A Listening Ear in Robin of Sherwood

A Tale for a Cold Summer Night in Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion universe

Sparkling in the Now You See Me fandom

Wollaston Beach in The Departed fandom

Memory for the movie Amazing Grace


On This 'Ane Night which is a Tiffany Aching/Discworld story
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I've rolled over my membership to 2018. It was a combination of things, but the death of Elle's husband was a final straw. I need to be available for her and for my own peace of mind. I'll miss everyone.
fabrisse: (FringeBrownBettyOlivia)
We all have that one friend. The problem with this week's topic is which one friend do we need to discuss. There's the one who only talks about what she's interested in, no matter what the prior topic had been or the one who only ever gossips.

In my life there's Elle, who, to use a cliche, will be late to her own funeral. The only time I ever got furious with her was when, for once in her life, she was on time, and left before I arrived, ten minutes late. The next time I saw her I reminded her of 2 hour waits in the rain or cold on my part, just knowing that she was on her way, but, once again, late. (The one real advantage I can see to cell phones is that Elle can now let me know, often before I've left the house, how late she foresees being. She's usually at least 15 minutes later than that, but at least I know I can leave later or bring a longer book to read while waiting.) Elle is also unique among my friends in that I have never, not even when sharing a hotel room with her, seen her with her make-up off.

But what of me? How many times have I been that one friend who wails my lamentations in someone's ear before asking how s/he's doing or what's happening in their lives? How many moments of selfishness have I had within friendship without even realizing that I had something for which to apologize?

That then led me to that one friend in a positive way. That one friend who said I could stay with her for a couple of weeks and let me stay for a couple of years. Or Elle, again, who volunteered to look after me after foot surgery before I could even ask. The friend who made certain I was all right after my concussion and went with me to urgent care was another "that one friend." All the friends in many cities, who have helped me clean when my depression has decompensated my apartment into a mess that needs a shovel to get from the door to the bedroom, are "one friends" and godsends.

And in that aspect, what can I take pride in as a friend? In high school, I saw the movie Auntie Mame with my best friend at the time. After it was over, she turned to me and said, "You're my Auntie Mame." Five years ago, at a high school reunion (different high school), someone came up to me and said, "I should have appreciated you more. You were the only one of us out having adventures." He then thanked me for introducing him to the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, a lifelong love that he was looking forward to sharing with his son.

I don't know that there's much I do right in this world. I try, but as Hamlet says, "I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me." I think I'm sometimes -- I hope not often -- a terrible friend. But I have adventures and I do my best to share them and share my love for testing limits.

Maybe I'm not the best person in the world, but at least I've been someone's Auntie Mame.

eta: a missing comma and a missing word
eta2 (12/8/2016 3:00 EST): I just got off the phone with the friend I'm calling Elle. Her husband went in for routine surgery yesterday and, in her words, "I'm probably going to walk out of this hospital a widow." Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
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I won my election. To clarify, I am now the first (unpaid) politician 2000 people will call if they have a problem. I hope the percentage of children too young to use email is high, but it's not likely.

What does this mean for me? Well, first of all, no matter what, I can't move to Quebec for at least two years. I mean, I hadn't planned to, but with our current President-elect, it was a possibility.
The struggle is under the cut. )
For the next two years, I'll have to worry about these 2000 people -- that they'll lose the little political autonomy they have, that they'll end up being forced to register on someone's list. And I'll have to fight. Mostly in small ways via forcing developers to adhere to zoning plans and pollution regulations, but I'm very aware that it may also be in big ways -- and that I'll need to be vigilant every day.
fabrisse: (FringeBrownBettyOlivia)

I've never tried this challenge before. I like the idea of any community that's trying to keep LJ active.

Let's see what I manage.
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In August of 2004, I was at a friend's birthday party. Someone came up to me and said that the people who lived in the middle of the country, the ones who were going to be voting Republican were, and I quote, "stupid." When I disagreed, he said, "What do you call people who vote against their own interests?" We then got into a discussion about totalitarianism's definition (he was using the word fascist when he meant totalitarian) and whether or not Bush was totalitarian (in my opinion, no, but Cheney probably was) until we finally circled back around to his original, "they're all stupid." He also called me a Republican and we had to have a side discussion on what independent means.

At that point, I said something along the lines of, "This is why you'll lose. You're not willing to find out why they aren't voting in their economic interests." More discussion.

Finally, I made my point, which is that the Democratic Party had a chance to reverse people's belief that it was made up entirely of elitists who didn't care about the middle of the country. What they needed to do was go out at a very grassroots level and talk to people door to door, set a spell on a front porch drinking the sweet tea that would be offered and ask about what's going wrong in America or in the neighborhood and take notes. Then go to the next front porch and do the same thing. At that point, we, and I'm counting myself there as an East coast elitist who is traditionally Liberal, had up to three years to figure out how to reach middle America and drop our elitist language.

We didn't. Obama won. And we forgot that this project still needed to be done.

Make no mistake, this is about class and privilege in the United States. While white privilege exists (hoo boy, does it exist), people who are in extreme poverty, without work, and with drugs devastating their communities don't see themselves as privileged.

Until and unless we build this bridge, we will lose the hearts and minds of the middle of the country and their kids. Seeing that Grandma's medicare doesn't get her the help she needs or that his children are more likely to find meth than a job, alienates people and they are told by the ministers they listen to that a thrice married sociopath is better than a God-fearing Methodist who's stayed with her husband because the "values" shared aren't tangible. It doesn't matter that Hillary Clinton isn't warm and fuzzy, that can be overcome. It matters that the Democratic Party is bad at pointing to the concrete actions they have done to help. It matters that the Liberals don't deplore abortion, for instance, while explaining why it needs to remain legal with human and relatable anecdotes.

I work with numbers. I've learned to respect statistics. But I'm also southern culturally, and nothing is really understood within my culture without a story to explain it.

In a Guardian comment, I once said: In my jurisdiction, most of the women who choose to abort already have two or more children. They are making the choice, in part, to make certain the children they already have will be fed, schooled, and reared with fewer financial constraints. This is not the choice for toys. This is a choice for children to have the essentials of life.

You want to end abortion? Then make certain there are programs which provide safe havens for abused women. Make certain that every child who is already here has a safe place to sleep and sufficient to eat. I promise you, the abortion rate will go down drastically.

That's a strategy that has a story to be told. Sharing that story could get middle America supporting the right to choose if it's framed right (I admit, I picked a tough one as an example.).

But Liberals can't tell these stories until we've set on a porch and listened to their stories.

When my cousin who was more like a grandmother to me was in her late 80s, I said something inadvertently which led her to ask me about "the gays." I approached my answer through the bible using the ten commandments, the New testament superceding the Old, and 1 Corinthians 13 to buttress my argument. She listened because I was family, in part, but also because I was educated, because I approached it through the book she loved and the religion she practiced, and because I listened to her whole question.

I don't know how we can do this, but I know that we must.
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Tip of the hat to Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian for suggesting this in his column today.

The Philadelphia Story (9/10) Movie CLIP - The Whole Affair (1940) HD
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From an article in The Washington Post, there are people becoming more vocal and public about their lack of support for Trump (and some are even voicing support for Clinton). If I may point out, I predicted back in August that Utah would go blue at the Presidential level. Let's see if it's true in 26 days.
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Your result for The Golden Compass Daemon Test...

Multi-Faceted Soul

In a way, you are a truly balanced person. You have a good sense of self, but you have periods of worry and self doubt. You don't like to be alone a lot, but you don't like being constantly surrounded, either. You can be shy in some situations and bold in others. You can tell people how you feel, but you don't wear your heart on your sleeve. You aren't "TOO" anything: You aren't too shy, you aren't too aggressive, you aren't too extroverted, you aren't too introverted. However at any one time you can be any combination of these things.

You tend to adapt yourself to match the situations in which you find yourself. You may be quiet and sensitive with some people, or joking and loud with others. These are all facets of your personality. People tend to perceive you as they want to perceive you. They may even tend to idealize you a bit. Then, when you do something that doesn't fit their concept of who you are (like have an outburst of anger, or a fit of shyness, or make an insensitive joke)they can be shocked and surprised. Does anyone know the real you?

Your daemon would represent your multi-faceted and ever-changing personality, as well as people's tendency to idealize you. He or she would get angry when you did not, be calm and poised when you felt ruffled and anxious, and always be the voice of emotion and reason in your ear.

Suggested forms:
Swan, Elephant, Koala, Panda, Chameleon, Wolf.

Take The Golden Compass Daemon Test at HelloQuizzy

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From their live factcheck, written by Alan Yuhas, of the Vice Presidential Debate:

Kaine: Even Richard Nixon released his taxes

Richard Nixon did not release his tax returns while running for president in 1960 or in 1968 – he released them in 1973, after his second term began. In 1968 Nixon only gave a limited glimpse of his a magazine writer, and only released the returns under pressure from the Watergate inquiry. He released the returns despite an audit by the IRS, which Trump had repeatedly claimed was his reason for not releasing returns.

You can look at Nixon’s returns at the Presidential Tax History Project. You can look at Trump’s 1995 returns at the New York Times. If you can somehow see Trump’s later returns, feel free to send copies along to our offices at 222 Broadway, New York. (emphasis mine)


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