Wednesday is looking autumnal again

Aug. 23rd, 2017 10:00 am
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished The Private Patient, which was readable enough, I suppose, but felt not exactly as if PDJ was phoning it in, just proceeding along well-worn ruts. Found it hard to believe in the characters. Also, while PDJ does have a sense that there is Modern Life, and makes a nod to it in Miskin, she still feels in a bit of a time-warp (unlike Rendell/Vine)

Read Ginger Frost's Illegitimacy in English Law and Society, 1860-1930 (2016), which was a freebie for reading a book proposal and I have been trying to get to for months, because Frost's work is always good and going into areas very under-explored. This one looks at illegitimacy from the angle of the illegitimate children (rather than the fallen mother) and is densely researched. Also more than a little depressing - illegitimate children had a very high mortality rate, if they weren't the victims of infanticide by desperate mothers they were subject to neglect or the general problems of poverty. Also the cruelty of the laws took so very long to change. But Frost does get the ambivalances: courts and local officials being sympathetic to the plight of unwed mothers and thus giving merciful judgments in infanticide cases, giving mothers out-relief rather than obliging them to go into the workhouse, demonstrating a certain flexibility; while thinking actually changing the rules would lead to the downfall of morality.

Also finished one of two books I have for a joint review, which also deal with a rather depressing topic.

On the go

Tanith Lee, Nightshades: Thirteen Journeys into Shadow (1993, and collecting some much earlier material). Some of these have been in other collections of hers I've read recently. Very good, if creepy.

Also, have started second book for the joint review.

Up next

If it ever arrives, the new Barbara Hambly Benjamin January mystery.

(no subject)

Aug. 23rd, 2017 09:20 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] natlyn!

Birthday greetings and felicitations

Aug. 22nd, 2017 10:39 pm
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] elisem !  Have a terrific day!

Robotstuff7

Aug. 22nd, 2017 04:01 am
[syndicated profile] robot_hugs_feed

Posted by Robot Hugs

New comic!

Still doing stuff, still being a robot. Now with extra punches! It’s a good time to learn to punch better.

Share

Question of the Day

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:00 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

Suggested by Shaker yazikus: "What is your road-trip CD list?"

One of the things I love to do when making a road-trip mix is pick artists that come from the place(s) to which I'm traveling and/or through which I'm traveling on the way to my destination.

So, for example, when Iain and I were still living in Indiana and made a road-trip to visit the Space Cowpokes in New Jersey, I picked a few artists from Ohio for our trip through Ohio, then a lot of artists from Pennsylvania for our trip across Pennsylvania (it's a big state!), and then we ended on artists from Jersey: Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, The Misfits, The Fugees, Gloria Gaynor, Queen Latifah, Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce.

Meerkat

Aug. 22nd, 2017 11:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Meerkat


Once the meerkat cannon has been loaded, you’ll be wanting to get yourself elsewhere.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

An Observation

Aug. 22nd, 2017 05:00 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

So, some conservative asshole wrote a thing (to which I'm not linking, because fuck that guy) about how Donald Trump's 11-year-old son Barron Trump needs to start "dressing like he's in the White House" after the kid wore t-shirts and shorts on Air Force One over the weekend.

First of all: No.

Second of all: Nope.

Thirdly: What the fuck is wrong with you?

Fourth, fully 67% of the sentient beings in the multiverse have already weighed in on why picking on the way an 11-year-old kid dresses is just the most colossal jerk move ever, because HE IS A CHILD ON HIS SUMMER VACATION, and also WHO CARES SHUT UP YOU GARBAGE BULLY, so let me just add this point: Donald Trump wears a suit in the White House every goddamned day and they don't magically make him behave as though he is a decent and competent president.

What's even the point of demanding that anyone ever dress any way, really?

That's not how clothes work, and also stoppppppppp.

Discussion Thread: How Are You?

Aug. 22nd, 2017 03:45 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

I feel something coming in the air. Tonight, or soon. I don't know what it is. But I sense that pieces are being moved into place for a big shift. It's making me very anxious, especially because I can't get my head around what it is.

This administration has been a waking nightmare, but the one tiny comfort I had was always being able to predict what was coming.

I'm suddenly unsure, and it's overwhelming me with dread.

That said, as ever I feel strongly that building community in order to validate and support each other is incredibly important, no matter what tomorrow brings, and I am here for it.

Aside from politics, I'm all right. I made a tasty bit of salmon with some perfectly ripened avocado for lunch, and had a quick call with Iain during which we both completely slap-happy and making each other laugh. I was perfectly content for 21 minutes and 44 seconds, which feels like a lot these days. I'll take it with gratitude and without complaint.

How are you?

(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2017 02:46 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
Yesterday afternoon I was in a weird mood--I thought I was going over to [personal profile] goshawk's house for an hour or so to cuddle with her cat and do some writing, but I ended up wanting to be alone to think and brood and sleep, and ended up skipping dinner and staying until ten PM. The cat was glad, since he's lonely without his human, but I'm still not quite sure what's up with me. Then I went home and ranted about the adults involved in the Indigo Children idea, which was very soothing.

I nailed today's job interview, or else I've never nailed anything in my life. I want the position desperately. But they said they'd take "a few weeks" to decide. Siiigh.

On the upside, Mom was able to afford to pay someone to come in and drywall my kitchen and bathroom. So yes, everything there is now covered in drywall dust, but once I clean it off I get to paint and make things look actually inhabited.
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Aphra Behn

[Content note: Gaslighting, lack of consent, infidelity.]

This weekend, architect Kai Cole penned a devastating account of the end of her marriage to Joss Whedon, the creative force behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, and the director of several recent Marvel films.

Cole revealed that for years, Whedon had affairs, both physical and emotional, with the women around him — friends, fans, actresses, and co-workers — affairs which he told her about only as he was ending their relationship. She writes:

Despite understanding, on some level, that what he was doing was wrong, he never conceded the hypocrisy of being out in the world preaching feminist ideals, while at the same time, taking away my right to make choices for my life and my body based on the truth. He deceived me for 15 years, so he could have everything he wanted. I believed, everyone believed, that he was one of the good guys, committed to fighting for women’s rights, committed to our marriage, and to the women he worked with. But I now see how he used his relationship with me as a shield, both during and after our marriage, so no one would question his relationships with other women or scrutinize his writing as anything other than feminist.
Plenty of people out there have offered their reactions to Cole's piece, from Gamer Gate types who hate Whedon for any semblance of feminism he does possess; to those who have long criticized his work’s lack of diversity and often frankly anti-feminist bent; to those who argue you can still cheat and be a feminist, so what’s this all about, really.

I’m not writing to engage those takes. I am writing simply to acknowledge that for a lot of us, this hurts. And it’s not about our opinion of Dollhouse.

It’s about yet another man abusing a position of trust.

And in this case: A man abusing his knowledge of feminism, its language and analysis, in a way deeply hurtful to his partner and their relationship, and then gaslighting her about the reality of the situation.

According to Cole, Whedon revealed the affairs in writing to her after filing for divorce. Per her account, he explained his first affair, on the set of Buffy, thusly:

“When I was running ‘Buffy,’ I was surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women. It felt like I had a disease, like something from a Greek myth. Suddenly I am a powerful producer and the world is laid out at my feet and I can’t touch it.” But he did touch it. He said he understood, “I would have to lie — or conceal some part of the truth — for the rest of my life,” but he did it anyway, hoping that first affair, “would be ENOUGH, that THEN we could move on and outlast it.”
This is an astonishing way for a man who understands feminism to describe his history. There is blaming of the women involved — if only they had not been so beautiful, so needy, so aggressive, perhaps this would have been different.

He also objectifies them, as “the world laid at my feet,” and further self-aggrandizes his desires as “a disease, something out of Greek myth.” That doesn’t sound much like a man who’s taken full responsibility for harming his relationship. The problem isn’t a curse laid by a sorceress, but Whedon’s own refusal to be honest.

Cole says she is recovering from the relationship, after being diagnosed with complex PTSD. I wish her all the best in her journey. And I write this in support of those who find her account all too familiar. Because this is gaslighting, this is harmful, and we've lived it.

Look at it this way: If Whedon were a Christian megapastor who had hidden behind his reputation as a man of faith in order to carry on affair, who had justified his emotional affairs by claiming he was practicing his faith (“ministering” to women, for example), and/or who had hidden behind his marriage in order to keep people from questioning his involvement with other women, we would have no trouble seeing the issue. And we would understand why those who had put trust in his messages — even if it was sometimes a critical trust — would be feeling devastated.

And we would certainly understand why women who have been in a similar situation would be feeling especially devastated.

And we would instinctively recoil if he blamed Satan or in other ways dodged responsibility by spouting the lingo that had so long shielded him. Or, in this case, by blaming patriarchy for his actions:

When he walked out of our marriage, and was trying to make “things seem less bewildering” to help me understand how he could have lied to me for so long, he said, “In many ways I was the HEIGHT of normal, in this culture. We’re taught to be providers and companions and at the same time, to conquer and acquire — specifically sexually — and I was pulling off both!”
Personally, I have few words for how this makes me feel. I know I am not the only one who has been hurt by someone who has mastered the concepts of feminism well enough to understand how gender roles help abet his infidelity, but couldn’t be arsed to meaningfully engage enough with those concepts to be honest with a partner.

On some level, then, this isn’t about his work, and demanding that every discussion be about his work is not helpful. There’s certainly a time and place to discuss his works, which were already problematic, which already demand discussion. But it feels a little hollow to see this descend into another round of how fucked up his vision of Black Widow is, or how “we” already knew he was a lousy feminist because of Firefly (or whatever.) That can’t be the only conversation.

It’s also not helpful to have every conversation be about how this isn’t a surprise, or that “we” already knew he was problematic, or a jackass, or whatever. Again, that’s a fine conversation, but it doesn’t have to be every one.

Some of us need a space to acknowledge something more fundamental: We’ve been here. And it hurts like fuck to see it being played out again, on the big screen.

This betrayal of trust, trust given in the name of feminism, is a story we have seen played out with Prominent Male Feminists before. And it hurts every time.

In part, it may hurt because we have personally extended Whedon good faith in regards to his works, choosing to believe that he is sincerely interested in feminism as a good thing, even if he practices it poorly. It may hurt because, for some people, his works may have been an introduction to feminism on some level, even if it's one we have outgrown. It's jarring to think that person was using feminism so cynically.

But it may be even more personal than that.

It hurts because some of us have been gaslighted just like this. By men who are not-so-prominent, but equally manipulative. By men who disguised emotional or physical infidelity as "just relating to women better." By men who used their relationships with us as a shield. By men who learned the lingo, only in order to abuse it.

If it’s feeling all too familiar, you have my sympathy, and I take up space in solidarity with those who are having a rough time with this. If you have been looking for a space to talk about those feelings, have at it in comments.

[Note: I have deliberately avoided commenting on the dynamics involved in Whedon’s relationships with women other than Cole, because I do not know enough about the perspectives of the other parties involved. It feels important to acknowledge, however, that the categories Cole describes include people over whom Whedon potentially exercised tremendous professional power, a dynamic that can easily be abused, and where trust can also be betrayed.]

Daily Dose of Cute

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:30 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

image of Dudley the Greyhound lying on the couch, grinning at me
"Hi!"

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

Post-eclipse complaining

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:54 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
So, prior to the eclipse there were FAQs and news reports about people who didn't want to go out on the day of the eclipse - even before it started! - for fear that they'd go blind, or didn't want to walk their dog because the dog might go blind (not knowing not to look at the sky on eclipse day, of course) or not letting the kids out at all during recess because, you got it, they might freeze in place, stare at the sun, and go blind.

And then Trump looked at the sun without glasses. And everybody is throwing fits about what an idiot he is. I commented on one article that no, it's not likely you'll go blind if you just glance at the sun for a second*, and one person replied "but this isn't the sun, it's the eclipse!" like that's a winning argument. I mentioned to another, who claimed you couldn't see anything without the glasses until totality anyway that I'd been staring at the cloud cover impatiently before the peak, and when the clouds parted I'd gotten an unprotected glimpse of the sun and yes, I could see the bite of it - and that person went "Well, you do permanent damage at 20 seconds, so you might've been lucky". How long do they imagine it takes to see the sun when the clouds break and then look down again?

I think I've figured this out.

The rule is "You should not stare at the sun, even during an eclipse". This is a sensible rule that nobody has ever needed to tell anybody over the age of, say, six weeks. We don't stare at the sun. Even infants know better - if the sun shines in your eyes, you squint, put your hand up, and turn away. Aniamls are even smarter! No matter what happens, they don't need to be told.

But humans think we're cleverer than animals, and during an eclipse we sometimes break that rule and look at the sun because it's cool. And because the light seems dimmer, we can look longer. But it's not really dimmer - it's just as bright, it's just that some of it is blocked. So for the past year, we've had it drummed into our heads that you shouldn't look at the eclipse without glasses. Consequently, many people have internalized the rule as "You shouldn't stare at the sun, especially during an eclipse". But the sun isn't any more dangerous then. It's only our behavior that changes!

If you look for up to five seconds, you're probably fine, just like when you turn a corner and find yourself driving toward the sun. (Or look up at a flock of birds just as the clouds part and find the sun glaring in your eyes, or wake up with the sun in your eyes.) According to the only study on the subject, you're not likely to have visible damage unless you look for 15 seconds or longer... and even then, most patients improved with time.

So don't stare at the sun, but if you did catch a glimpse, whether on purpose or not, it's probably no more harmful than when you catch a glimpse of the sun on regular days.

(As for Trump, this was a dumb move, but not because of the potential eye damage. It was a dumb move because everybody and their dog, literally, knows better but he still did it on national TV. Doofus. And if he's getting any flak from it he probably blames the aide for calling attention to his behavior rather than his own foolish decision to do something everybody knows, from the very day they're born, not to do.)

* Turns out it was more like 30 seconds in his case, which is really way too long. Not that I give a fuck what that person does to his eyes.

Gorilla

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Gorilla_1


Gorilla pondering the death of Vladislav II of Wallachia, 561 years ago today, and wondering how the world might have been different had he lived.


Perhaps we’d have more movies about Saint Patrick battling snakes.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

If you go down to the woods today...

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:38 pm
oursin: image of hedgehogs having sex (bonking hedgehogs)
[personal profile] oursin

Spotted this the other day and then forgot to mention it:

Sex Festival in Tunbridge Wells.

Actually, not in Tunbridge Wells, which evokes images of orgiastic goings on in the Pantiles amidst a crowd of the local denizens being Disgusted.

In fact, in a wood nearby.

'People living in the area have expressed concern over noise, parking and decency': which is almost in the fine tradition of the inhabitants of Hampstead not minding so much about the actual cruising taking place at the famed gay cruising grounds of the Heath, but that they were leaving litter.

A local farmer reported 'Locals that hadn't bought tickets posed the biggest problem for event organisers, with hundreds of people trying to get in on the action'.

A man was found dead and a woman unconscious at the campsite this morning: while all the reports namecheck the festival, it sounds as if it was over by then. The report in the Telegraph suggests that it is possible that fumes from a barbecue were to blame, and the death is so far described as unexplained. But obviously, all reports are going to mention the kinky sex party.

calendars and Ninefox Gambit

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:29 pm
asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
[personal profile] asakiyume
Something you notice very quickly when you start reading Ninefox Gambit is the importance of the calendar. It’s the foundation stone of empire: things that subvert empire cause “calendrical rot,” and, conversely, things that cause calendrical rot are subversion, or, as the story terms it, heresy—like rebellion but even more rebellious.

This focus on calendars is a stroke of genius. Calendars **are** powerful mechanisms of cultural control. Think about how the international standard calendar for business and commerce is the Gregorian calendar, which ties its start date to Christianity. (People do use other calendars in various places and for various purposes, but the Gregorian calendar dominates for international exchange.) Less so now than in the past, but Sunday is designated a no-work day in accordance with that tradition. And think how the rest day figures for other calendars, too—the Jewish calendar or the Islamic calendar. If you don’t know the proper rest day, you can be in trouble—and this is even if you’re an outsider: things stop. And if you don’t stop—depending on the degree of observance—you might be punished. And if the community gradually moves away from this, it can be perceived by the more-faithful as cultural weakening. Calendrical rot is threatening!

The traditional Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar that has complicated, intersecting base 10 and base 12 recurring features and indicates certain days as auspicious or inauspicious for various activities. When you combine it with geomantic principles (powers or traits related to compass directions—feng shui), which happens naturally, as feng shui is tied to the solstices and equinoxes, which are calendrical as well as astronomical occurrences, boom, that’s a whole lot of Chinese folk culture you’ve got—and, like the Chinese writing system, it spread to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.

In Japan (and probably in other East Asian countries, but Japan’s the one I know about), magical powers were attributed to people who could advise on and manipulate the calendar—something that required some good math skills, what with those mixed number bases and various repeating units. If you’ve ever seen the film Onmyōji, you’ve seen the story of one famous example of such a person, Abe no Seimei. In Ninefox Gambit, this magic translates to the “exotic effects” that can be generated in war, relying on the calendar. These same effects don’t work if the calendar is subverted—beware calendrical rot!

There’s one notable instance in Ninefox Gambit in which the protagonist manipulates the heretics’ calendar to gain a tactical advantage—Buuuuuut I can’t spoil it.

This isn’t a review of the book—I have one of those at Goodreads, covering some of the same territory, but in less detail—it’s more of an appreciation of this one aspect of the book. It’s me saying “I SEE WHAT YOU DID HERE, YOON HA LEE! VERY CLEVER!”

We Resist: Day 215

Aug. 22nd, 2017 12:15 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: So the President Gave a Speech Last Night and Pence to Join Trump in Phoenix.

[Content Note: Disablism] Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post: It's Time to Talk About Trump's Mental Health. You know, even setting aside the disablism here and in the dozens of other pieces just like it, the problem is that their authors presume Trump is actually trying to govern like a traditional president and failing. But what if he isn't? And there's frankly an enormous amount of evidence that he isn't.

What looks like "mental illness" — or some other variation on "unfitness" — when judging Trump's comportment against traditional expectations of a president looks a lot less so when judging Trump's comportment against expectations of an aspiring dictator.

Maybe Trump praised Duterte, for example, not because he's "an idiot" who doesn't know any better, but because he actually admires Duterte.

I understand why people don't want to contemplate that possibility, but maybe "it's time" to talk about that.

* * *

[Content Note: War; death] Maya Gebeily at AFP/Yahoo News: Dozens Reported Dead in US-Led Strikes as Battle Nears Raqa Heart.
Dozens of civilians have died in two days of intense US-led strikes on Raqa, a monitor said Tuesday, as fighting to retake the Syrian city from jihadists nears its densely populated centre.

The coalition acknowledges it has pounded the city and surrounding area with more than 250 air strikes over the past week alone, in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance battling the Islamic State group.

The SDF has so far captured just under 60 percent of Raqa, monitors say, leaving IS with about 10 square kilometres (four square miles) in the heart of the city.

But as clashes approach central Raqa, monitors and activists have reported scores killed in intensifying coalition bombardment of the city.

On Monday, US-led air strikes killed at least 42 civilians in several neighbourhoods in Raqa under IS control, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Nineteen children and 12 women were among the dead, the monitor said.

The Observatory says 167 civilians have been killed in coalition strikes since August 14, including 27 on Sunday.

"The tolls are high because the air strikes are hitting neighbourhoods in the city centre that are densely packed with civilians," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.
Goddammit. I don't even have words. My heart aches.

Tim Johnson at McClatchy: US Navy Collisions Stoke Cyber Threat Concerns. "The Pentagon won't yet say how the USS John S. McCain was rammed by an oil tanker near Singapore, but red flags are flying as the Navy's decades-old reliance on electronic guidance systems increasing looks like another target of cyberattack. The incident — the fourth involving a Seventh Fleet warship this year — occurred near the Strait of Malacca, a crowded 1.7-mile-wide waterway that connects the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea and accounts for roughly 25 percent of global shipping. ...In a little noticed June 22 incident, someone manipulated GPS signals in the eastern part of the Black Sea, leaving some 20 ships with little situational awareness. Shipboard navigation equipment, which appeared to be working properly, reported the location of the vessels 20 miles inland, near an airport. That was the first known instance of GPS 'spoofing,' or misdirection."


Of course it has.

Alec MacGillis at New York Magazine in collaboration with ProPublica: Is Anybody Home at HUD? "The story of the Trump administration has been dominated by the Russia investigations, the Obamacare-repeal morass, and cataclysmic internecine warfare. But there is a whole other side to Trump's takeover of Washington: What happens to the government itself, and all it is tasked with doing, when it is placed under the command of the Chaos President? HUD has emerged as the perfect distillation of the right's antipathy to governing. If the great radical-conservative dream was, in Grover Norquist's famous words, to 'drown government in a bathtub,' then this was what the final gasps of one department might look like."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk, and Rhonda Schwartz at ABC News: Glenn Simpson, Key Figure Behind Million-Dollar 'Dossier,' to Face Questions. "A key figure behind the so-called 'dossier' featuring uncorroborated and salacious allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump's ties to Russia will be questioned by investigators from the Senate Judiciary Committee today about the funding and sources for the document. ...Simpson, who will appear in a closed session on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, hired the former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to compile the now infamous 'dossier,' which alleged that members of the Trump campaign had colluded with Russian agents to damage Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democratic opponent."

My friend Leah McElrath notes that ABC kinda buried the lede on this one:


"According to people briefed on the developments, Steele has met with the FBI and provided agents with the names of his sources for the allegations in the dossier, but it is unclear, how much information lawmakers will be able to obtain from Simpson this week. Attorneys for Fusion GPS have indicated to the committee that its client relationships are confidential." That is the very last paragraph in ABC's piece.

[CN: Misogyny]


Jesus fucking Jones.

Glenn Kessler, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, and Meg Kelly at the Washington Post: Trump's List of False and Misleading Claims Tops 1,000. "We have been tracking [Donald] Trump's false or misleading claims for more than seven months. Somewhere around Aug. 4 or Aug. 5, he broke 1,000 claims, and the tally now stands at 1,057. (Our full interactive graphic can be found here.) That's an impressive number by any standard. In fact, we are a little late with this update because we have simply been overwhelmed keeping track of the deluge of claims made by the president in the later part of July. Things slowed down during the president's 'working vacation,' so we have finally been able to catch up. At the president's current pace, he averages nearly five claims a day."

That actually seems low to me, given that some of his tweets have five bullshit claims in them.

* * *

Oh. My. God.


Damian Paletta at the Washington Post: Treasury Secretary's Wife Boasts of Travel on Government Plane; Touts Hermes and Valentino Fashion.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post that only became more bizarre minutes later.

When someone posted a comment on Linton's Instagram picture that criticized the way Linton touted the trip, the treasury secretary's wife swung back hard, mentioning the extreme wealth she and her husband control.

"Did you think this was a personal trip?!" Linton wrote on her Instagram page, responding to the person who had written "glad we could pay for your little getaway."

(Linton's Instagram account was later made "private" so that it could not be publicly seen).

Linton continued in her response to the critic: "Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I'm pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day 'trip' than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you'd be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours."

Linton added, "You're adorably out of touch … Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute."
At ThinkProgress, Aaron Rupar notes: "Linton's condescending remarks come as Mnuchin, a 17-year veteran of Goldman Sachs who later ran a bank that has been described as a 'foreclosure machine,' ramps up his sales pitch for a tax reform plan that the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says will disproportionately benefit the top one percent of earners."

It also "came on the same day as news about how [Donald] Trump's lifestyle is creating huge financial and logistical problems for the Secret Service and for taxpayers."

What a fucking administration this is.

* * *

[CN: Violence; murder; racism; death penalty] Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery at the Washington Post: Missouri Plans to Execute Marcellus Williams as His Attorneys Say DNA Evidence Exonerates Him. "Missouri on Tuesday plans to execute Marcellus Williams, a death-row inmate convicted in 2001 of killing a former newspaper reporter. But with Williams's lethal injection looming, his attorneys have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay, arguing that Missouri may be on the verge of executing the wrong person. ...Attorneys for Williams argue that he is innocent, pointing to DNA tests they say produced 'conclusive scientific evidence that another man committed this crime.' They say this evidence shows that DNA belonging to someone else was found on the murder weapon, exonerating Williams. ...State officials, though, said they still believe Williams is guilty due to other 'compelling non-DNA evidence.'" JFC. End the death penalty now.

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

Pence to Join Trump in Phoenix

Aug. 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

Tonight, Donald Trump will appear in Phoenix, Arizona, for yet another Make America Clap for Me Again rally — despite the fact that Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has asked Trump to postpone.

Trump was rumored to be considering the announcement of a pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the event — a doubling down on support for white supremacy and nativism, which Stanton (and everyone else with any sense and decency) is worried could result in violent clashes between Trump's white supremacist supporters and protesters at the event.

In a very curious move, Mike Pence will reportedly be joining Trump for the rally in Phoenix.


I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but here's what I've seen over the past week or so: Multiple news reports about Pence laying the groundwork for 2020 run, followed immediately by: Pence pulled back home early from abroad, followed immediately by: Pence getting super promotional on Twitter, which is a highly unusual tone for him, followed immediately by: Pence appearing at Phoenix rally with Trump, in contravention of long-established security protocols.

It seems incredibly unlikely to me that Pence came home from a trip abroad and is creating a massive national security risk just to show solidarity for Trump's Afghanistan war plan, which was vague garbage — hardly a radical military realignment that necessitates such elaborate maneuvers from Pence.

Something is up. And it's moving fast.

I have some ideas about what that might be, but they are nothing more than hunches. I'll be watching what happens in Phoenix closely to see if any of those hunches prove out and/or look more likely after tonight.

My Favorite Eclipse Stuff

Aug. 22nd, 2017 09:45 am
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

There was a lot of great, clever, beautiful, and/or hilarious stuff created during and about the solar eclipse yesterday. In no particular order, my Top Five Favorite Eclipse Things:

1. This extraordinary time-lapse photo of the eclipse created by photographer Jasman Mander.


2. This solar eclipse recreation with pug puppies.

Video Description: A fawn pug puppy is held in the air by a person off-screen. From the right side of the screen, a black pug puppy is moved through the air by another person, in front of the fawn pug puppy.
3. This tweet from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.


4. Rae's perfect comment on Trump looking straight at the eclipse.


5. This OMG LOLOLOLOLOLOL supercut of Fox News' Shep Smith giving zero fucks about the eclipse, compiled by the Washington Free Beacon, via Jessie.

Video Description: Video clips of Shep Smith sarcastically covering the solar eclipse, which really doesn't impress him. Sometimes he is onscreen making exasperated and sardonic faces while speaking; other times, it is only his voice over eclipse-related images, whether of the eclipse itself or people watching the eclipse, etc. [ETA Content Note: Racist dogwhistle.]

This is Total Eclipse of the Sun Watch Twenty-Seventeen on Fox News Channel. The excitement must be building and building, like fireworks! [edit] If I put this here, and my phone here, I have a total eclipse of the phone! [edit] Fascinating! It's amazing! Oh my god the moon has gotten in front of the—! Well, okay. I don't know. It's interesting-looking. The sun looks a little like the moon up there on my wall. [edit]

If you mention it, you gotta sing it. [sings] Where the deer and the antelope playyyyyyy....! [edit] WOW! Would you look at that?! IT'S A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN! [edit] They know this is all it's gonna be, right? Just a moon over a sun? [edit] Oh, the sun's coming back now. Oh my goodness. That didn't last long. [edit]

Yoo hoo! I wanna hear more! [edit] No, 'cause now you can look at the thing! It's covered so YOU CAN LOOK AT IT! OH MY GOD! [edit] The sun is returning! Jalapeña! [edit] How was it? Response: "Weird." "Dark." "Cold." Another "dark." "Amazing." "I love nature." "Amazing." "I'm gonna die now." And we hope that doesn't happen! [edit]

Wanna see a total eclipse of this monitor? [holds paper in front of camera] It's totally eclipsed. [edit] Well, we're having a good time, too. And there's some people who think we should take this a little more seriously, on the Twitter. [edit] Because, for us, this is just a lotta fun. We've been watching the path of totality— [runs toward large board showing path of totality; a producer gets caught on camera] You can catch D.C. on screen if you run. [edit]

Do you know that it goes [convulses] buzz buzz buzz like old NASA stuff from the seventies whenever you move around? It's 'cause of the sun! [edit] And then over on MSNBC, it's just—it's just sorta dark and vacant. [edit] They're not gonna have a—what is it?! [the crew murmurs unenthusiastically: "Total eclipse of the sun."] Not a total eclipse of the sun down in— [cracks himself up; edit]

The sun is 400 times larger than the moon. But the sun is 400 times farther away from us than the moon. Which works together nicely. [edit] So, here, it's a little darker than usual, but, uh, it's not, like, dark. [edit] According to one legend from ancient China [does Trump impression] CHI-NA! people were scared that a dragon might eat the sun. Which is always something to consider. [edit]

How was it?! Was it everything?!
Please feel welcome and encouraged to share your favorite eclipse stuff in comments! And don't be shy about self-promoting: If you created something cool, got a neat photo, said something hilarious...toot your own horn!

Fossa

Aug. 22nd, 2017 02:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Fossa_2


The Fossá is the highest waterfall in the Faroe Islands and one of the biggest attractions in Northern Streymoy.


And this is why diacritics matter.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

Donald Trump gave a primetime address last night, during which he was supposed to outline his new plan for the Afghanistan conflict. If you missed it, video and a link to the full transcript are below. Trump's speech starts just after minute 33 in the video.


[Transcript.]

The long and the short of it is that Trump said we're going to commit more troops, that we're going to "attack," and that we're going to kill terrorists, but he won't say how many troops, where, or when.


He peppered his planless plan with a lot of belligerence toward Pakistan, as it was reported he would do. He failed to mention that he eliminated a key diplomatic position in the region.


He stuck to the teleprompter, on which there was a speech written by people who seem to have very little solid understanding of foreign policy delivered by a man who seems to have even less understanding of foreign policy.


Afterwards, there were still members of the press who insisted on playing the Presidential Pivot game.


And that's about it. Trump flip-flopped on Afghanistan, and justified his reversal by saying, "We are not nation-building again; we're killing terrorists."

Because he's not the kind of guy who would change his mind for some silly bullshit like helping people. Only for killing people.

Sob.
Page generated Aug. 23rd, 2017 10:01 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios