Eclipse!

Aug. 21st, 2017 04:53 pm
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
It was only around 75% totality in my area, but still pretty cool. I'm very glad the sky wasn't obscured by fog, which was sounding entirely possible yesterday morning.

Probably I should have gotten my act together to find a place to see the totality. Maybe in 2024, where the totality is further away but closer to people I might reasonably be able to visit.

Meanwhile, have some tree shadows from the courtyard in front of my office.
owlmoose: (quote - B5 avalanche)
Between North Korea and Charlottesville and everything else happening, it's hard not to feel like everything is burning down. But until the world actually ends, it's better to proceed as if it will keep on turning, so have some linkspam.

owlmoose: (da - flemeth)
July was a busy time for me at work, and then I went on vacation, and as usual political events moved really quickly. It seems like years have passed since the last time I did one of these, although in reality it was just under a month. So it goes when you're on Trump time. But Congress is on its summer recess (mostly -- the Senate pulled a procedural trick to keep the chamber officially in session, so that Trump can't make any recess appointments; this isn't an unusual practice, though), and the big man himself is on a seventeen day vacation (because he's been SO HARD at work these last several months, you know), so maybe things will be a little quieter for a bit, and we can catch up.

It's nice to think so, anyway.

  • The big story on Twitter this weekend is an anti-diversity memo making the rounds internally at Google. The full text was leaked to Gizmodo; I'm not going to link to it, since it's 1. easy enough to find and 2. the same tedious MRA/alt-right bullshit we've all seen a million times about how women are too emotional to be good coders and "meritocracy" and why Google's REAL diversity problem is not enough Young Republicans (although Anil Dash's short version is pretty entertaining). However, I will link to this ex-Google employee's response, which is excellent. I also direct you to Dr. Nerdlove's Twitter thread on why "at least it's promoting discussion" is exactly the wrong response.

  • The Washington Post examines exit poll data from the last few president elections in search of "Trump Democrats" only to find that they basically don't exist. Most of the voters who switched from Obama to Trump were Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote for Obama. Yet another reason for the Democrats to stop chasing this demographic and focus on pleasing their actual base.

  • Speaking of, yet again more nonsense about the DNC/DCCC giving money as support to anti-choice candidates. Stop. Just stop. It's never helped us before and it's certainly not going to help us now. I will never forget how anti-choice Democrat Bart Stupak almost derailed the passage of the ACA by pushing for anti-abortion provisions. I don't believe in ideological purity tests, and I know that not every regions of the country is willing to elect loud and proud abortion activists. Candidates and elected officials can believe whatever they want, and take more moderate positions on the issue. But when it comes down to it, if you are a Democrat, you support reproductive rights. The end.

  • That said, I have a huge issue with purity politics in general. Bustle has a good article on why women politicians in particular are hurt by an insistence on ideological purity. I'm really ready to be done with circular firing squads now.

  • On the lighter side, sort of, it recently came out that Trump considered buying the San Francisco Giants back in the 1980s. Sports writer Grant Brisbee reacts with the appropriate levels of existential horror.

  • On the occasion of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller impanelling a grand jury, Vox presents a really handy explainer of the probe, what Mueller's authority is, and how the investigation might go.

  • Hey, remember back when we thought Trump's real endgame for his campaign was to launch his own TV network? Well, would you take a look at that.

  • Because of the time gap since my last post, I missed the rapid rise and meteoric fall of never-quite-officially White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci (aka "The Mooch"). He'll be a great trivia answer in about ten years. Anyway, Jay Smooth had a great take on the whole thing.

  • The central topic of my last linkspam post was the Senate's continuing attempts to ram through some flavor of ACA repeal; as we all know, that didn't happen, in dramatic eleventh hour fashion. One of my favorite stories about that night comes from Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from Connecticut, who shared his view from behind the scenes.

  • You may recall a senator with cancer who got a lot of attention for his last-minute no vote. I'd rather celebrate Senator Mazie Hirono, who flew to DC from Hawaii right after surgery for Stage 4 cancer, held the line on every vote, and gave a beautiful, impassioned speech.

  • Speaking of credit where credit is due, let's not forget two other Republican Senators who have stood firm against ACA repeal, almost unwaveringly from the beginning: Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.

  • Here's an interesting report on the number of Congressional challengers who have already filed to run in 2018 and comparing them to other elections at this point in the cycle. It's worth reading the whole thing, but the upshot is that, in wave elections like 2006 and 2010, opposition party candidates file early in considerably larger numbers than those from the party in power, usually about twice as many. This year? It's an order of magnitude. (209 Democrats vs 28 Republicans.)

  • In the interest of this post not being five million pages long, I'm not even going to get into the whole Donald Trump, Jr., saga, but I was amused in an eye-rolly sort of way by this report from The Hill that Junior is "miserable and can't wait for his dad's presidency to end". Join the club, kid. (Note, autoplay video at that link.). Also, from the BBC, an article on whether this might be the smoking gun, and whether a smoking gun is even enough anymore.

  • Finally. this article is a little older, but it's from the man who coined the phrase white fragility, and it is a very good examination of the subject. Every white person should read this essay with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
owlmoose: (quote - bucket)
owlmoose: (cats - tori peeking)
I kind of want to share some links, and I'm kind of afraid they'll all be out of date within five minutes of posting them. (At the very least, by 5pm Eastern Time today, which is when we seem to be getting our daily bombshell.) It's been less than two weeks since my last linkspam post, and in the meantime it feels like an entire year's worth of news has happened.

But, this the teaspoon I have, and so I'll keep going at this ocean for as long as I can.

  • It's hard to say what's the biggest story in the long run, but for now I'll put my money on the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Could this be the thing that brings it all toppling down? Vox thinks it might be.

  • Not just the firing itself, but the way that the White House narrative tried to deflect the blame onto Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein might be what triggered the appointment of a special counsel (FINALLY OMG). Unfortunately, the special counsel doesn't quite have the power or independence of a special prosecutor, but it's probably the best of the options we have right now. Vox has a good overview of what a special counsel is and what they have the power to do.

  • This close reading of James Comey's farewell letter to FBI staff is a work of genius. So is the farewell letter itself.

  • Don't forget The Comey Memo. (Does anyone else hear that in the cadence of "The Reynolds Pamphlet"? Just me? Okay.) This New Yorker article is a pretty good summary of the memo's importance and how it raises the stakes for everyone involved. Also, I'm pretty sure the last shoe has not dropped on revelations from James Comey. Not even close.

  • I suppose it might be a staggering coincidence that the White House invited Russian officials into the Oval Office with only Russian media present, and that 45 dropped some key intel to make himself look important (and SERIOUSLY? You are the President. Of. The. United. States. You don't need to puff yourself up to look important anymore, I promise) on the day after the man leading the investigation into Russian ties with the campaign was fired, but. Well. It doesn't look good. Politico's brilliant take on how Trump supporters are trying to spin this story is both illuminating and a work of trolling genius:
    Others accepted the report but contested the suggestion that Trump’s behavior was problematic. “This is only a scandal in the minds of those who haven’t heard that the Cold War is over,” said white nationalist Richard Spencer, who over the weekend rallied a peaceful, torch-bearing mob in support of the Confederacy at a park in Charlottesville, Virginia.

  • If you haven't seen it yet, [personal profile] renay's story about trying to get involved with the local Democratic party only to run into roadblocks and uncommunicative people at every turn is frustrating and infuriating. As I said on Twitter, red state and rural progressives are fighting enough battles. Getting the attention of the Democratic infrastructure shouldn't have to be another.

  • There are currently six Democrats in Congress who identify as pro-life and regularly (though not always) vote for anti-choice legislation, three Senators and three Representatives. All of them are white men. This is my surprised face.

  • Meanwhile, voter suppression is back in the news, as The Nation reports on new research into the effects of Wisconsin's voter ID law. I still contend that voting rights is THE issue we need to fix if we're going to straighten things out in the long run. Even with all the balls in the air, we need to keep an eye on this one.
owlmoose: (avengers - a little help)
I'm sure no one really wants to think or talk about anything other than the House's narrow passage of the AHCA today, the bill that's intended to replace Obamacare and dismantle our entire healthcare system in the process. It's terrible, awful, and terrifying for a lot of people; I don't expect to be affected in the short term myself, but the ripple effects could be tremendous if this bill becomes law. It's hard to know what the odds of that happening are. The GOP got away with this in part by rushing the AHCA through before the CBO could prepare its report on how much the updated bill will cost, and how many people it will affect, and that report is expected to be ready before the Senate can vote. It's also commonly thought that the House bill is too draconian to pass the Senate as-is, but if the Senate softens it up too much, it might not survive another House vote. (Never forget: the GOP got this bill through the House by insuring fewer people. I think about that, and compare it to Obama's fruitless efforts in 2009 to win even one Republican vote for the ACA, and it makes me want to cry.) But never underestimate what this group of thugs, bullies, and fascists is willing to do. That said, if you are feeling defeated today, I recommend you to this Twitter thread, which I found a small beacon of hope on a dark day. Friends, we were dealt a setback today, maybe the worst one since January 20th; it's okay if you need a little time to rest and regroup. But I hope you come back refreshed and ready to fight another day. The marathon continues.

Some other stuff that happened:



Today's fun link: The Sandwich Alignment Chart. "What is a Sandwich" is possibly my favorite low-stakes debate topic, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if we come back to this one.
owlmoose: (quote - questions)
I didn't take my laptop with me on my East Coast trip, mostly because I figured we'd be out and about a lot, especially in New York. I was mostly correct in this, so I fell a little behind on world events while I was gone, which is probably just as well.

  • I found this overview of the violent protest in Berkeley this Saturday to be a good and thoughtful summation of the situation. As usual, it's more complex than you might think from headline news. It's not really Trump supporters vs. anti-Trump; it's the latest evolution of a long-running conflict between the white supremacist right and the anti-fascist left, with the white supremacists using more moderate Trump voters as cover.

  • From The Nation, "Fear of Diversity Made People More Likely to Vote Trump." This is a nice way of saying that Trump voters were racist (or, to take it a little more broadly, xenophobic, but the poll discussed by the article asked questions specifically about race and racial anxieties). The article never comes out and uses the word "racist" but the implication is clear. I'm getting a little frustrated by the mainstream media's inability to call racism out by name, even left-leaning publications like The Nation, but at least they're still raising the issue.

  • Of all the various takes inspired by the United Airlines debacle last weekend, I was most interested in Vox's history of airline industry deregulation and consolidation, and how that's led to current miserable flying conditions. It also answered a mystery that has long puzzled me: whatever happened to America West? (Answer: they bought out US Air and kept the US Air brand, so through various mergers they're basically now American Airlines.)

  • From The Washington Post's Daily 202 newsletter, poll results show that the change in support for military intervention in Syria is driven entirely by a massive swing in Republican opinion. Only 22% of Republicans approved of potential airstrikes in 2013, when Obama sought permission from Congress to punish Assad for using chemical weapons against civilians; today that number is 86%. (Democratic opinion is nearly unchanged, from 38% to 37%, well within the margin of error on the poll.) But sure, tell me that their opposition to Obama was principled.

  • I really appreciated this interview with political scientist Marcus H. Johnson on the problems with Bernie Sanders and his approach to fighting Trump, and the problems with infighting in the Democratic Party.

  • As you might therefore guess, I'm not on board with primarying every moderate Democrat under the sun in 2018 (please stop making noises about Dianne Feinstein; I don't love everything she does, but she has serious seniority in the Senate, and she flexes those muscles when it matters). But there are exceptions, and it seems like these eight New York Democrats who caucus with the Republicans are prime candidates for some challengers.

  • It's a little too depressing to go back and chronicle the events that led up to the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court now that the damage is done, but I did want to share the article about his purported plagiarism, largely because it was a centerpiece of Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley's epic filibuster last week, which I caught part of. Merkely wasn't blocking any particular vote by speaking overnight; it was mostly a protest move. But I found his effort inspiring anyway.

  • Jill Filipovic on why it's a problem that Mike Pence won't eat a meal alone with a woman who isn't his wife. This is not an uncommon stance among a certain strand of conservative Christian -- it's known as the Billy Graham Rule, because the evangelist famously pioneered the practice when Christian leaders were getting caught in sex scandals. It's still offensive in that context, but when a world leader adopts the policy, it's flat out discrimination. What if Pence becomes president, and has to take a private meeting with Angela Merkel? Will he insist that his wife be in the room? It's a system-wide problem, too, as this survey of female Congressional staffers shows -- they report being routinely excluded from after-hours networking opportunities because it would require them to be alone with male members of Congress.

  • On the good news front, recent local elections in Illinois elected a record-shattering number of Democrats to office. Includes a video from Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, who runs a boot camp for people planning to run for office. It's called Build the Bench, and of the twelve alumni who ran in this cycle, at least eight of them won. This is exactly the kind of effort we need to be putting in, and I hope we see it spreading across the nation.

  • On that note, and related to my comments about primarying moderates above, here's a "List of Things Progressives Should Do Before Primarying Joe Manchin", moderate Democratic Senator from West Virginia. I'd add the caveat that if West Virginia progressives believe it's worth putting in the time and effort to mount a primary challenge to Manchin, then more power to them, and I'll support their efforts. (Same for Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, etc.) But on the national level, I absolutely agree that everything on this list takes higher priority.

  • Jill Filipovic has been killing it in her editorials for Cosmopolitan lately, and this piece on abortion rights as a precondition for economic justice is no exception.
owlmoose: (lost - hurley dude)
  • A presidential appointee to an EPA leadership position is stepping down because staffers won't play along with his climate change denial agenda. "They’re here for a cause," he said. A cause, like, say, protecting the environment? WHO KNEW.

  • The New York Times and The Washington Post Are at War, and Everyone Is Winning: when two major news organizations are trying to out-do each other in their investigating efforts, there can be no losers (except maybe the Republican administration).

  • I could share a lot of links about the Day Without Women, the strike scheduled to coincide with International Women's Day last week, but I already wrote a whole post about it, so I will limit myself to this New Yorker piece, The Women's Strike and the Messy Space of Change.

  • Ever wonder why the big news always seems to break at night? The Atlantic has a good explainer; the short version is that newspaper publishing deadlines are at night, we're just now getting the stories as soon as they're filed, rather than having to wait for the next morning to read them.

  • Some professors at NYU staged a gender-swapped version of the three Clinton-Trump presidential debates, and did not get the reactions they were expecting from the audience. There's a clip from the rehearsal, which is fascinating to watch. I'd be really curious to see the whole thing.


For your Thursday funny/cute, I commend you to Olly the Terrier have the time of his life at a dog show skills competition. The announcer's affectionate amusement makes it even better.
owlmoose: (CJ)
Happy International Women's Day!

I hope that today's events lead both to a continuing groundswell of the progressive actions that have been going on for years but came into focus for many more with the Women's March in January, and to a greater recognition of International Women's Day in the United States. Interesting reading: this Slate article on the history of International Women's Day, which discusses its roots as a day of strikes and pro-worker action through a defanged and commercialized holiday somewhat akin to Mother's Day. (Also an excuse for self-styled wags and MRAs to complain that there's no International Men's Day. Which: 1. shut up; 2. November 19th, in case you actually care; 3. It's during White History Month and Straight Pride Week, duh.)

Although I'm wearing red today, and ate breakfast at home instead of going out as I often do on workdays, I haven't varied my routine much otherwise. I contemplated not working, but since I'm on a major deadline and had a couple of meetings, I decided it would inconvenience the wrong people without sending any useful messages. I felt a little bad about it, but I also firmly believe that every person needs to decide this sort of thing for themselves. I have heard and sympathize with some of the criticisms that not every woman is in a position where they can afford to take a day off work and/or care-taking; I think that's legit, but I've also seen too many women -- and by this I mean the well-off white women who could most likely take the risk -- use that criticism as an excuse not to participate. In the end, if trusting women is important -- and I believe that it is -- then we need to trust women to evaluate their own lives and know what actions are appropriate for them. We can critique the larger meaning of an action without getting too bogged down in the choices of individual women. I'll be interested to see if any statistics come out about the aggregate effect of Day Without a Woman, and if the strike tradition continues.

(Post title is from a Peter Gabriel song, "Shaking the Tree".)
owlmoose: (narnia - edmund coat)
I probably need a catchier name for this project....

Not much this time because I actively avoided posting news and politics links while I was in Hawaii. A few gems, though.

  • A quick rundown of the attempt of Congressional Republicans to defang House ethics rules and the almost immediate reversal. The two main takeaways: public outcry sometimes works, but we have to keep watching them like hawks.

  • I found this Tweetstorm on this history of reconstruction from [twitter.com profile] arthur_effect (Arthur Chu) to be both informative and thought-provoking, in terms of what might happen next in this national backlash to progress on civil rights issues.

  • Another on the "Third Reconstruction," from Rev. William Barber, the leader of North Carolina's Moral Monday movement. Moral Monday is an excellent model for liberal resistance, and I hope more of us can adopt it.

  • Very good takedown of the idea that Hillary Clinton lost "working Americans". It largely boils down to the media's limited definitions of "working" and "Americans" (i.e. white men in very specific kinds of jobs).

  • From Brookings, a blueprint for what path the media should follow to cover the incoming administration.
owlmoose: (quote - flamethrower)
I've been thinking I'm sharing most of the best resources I find on Twitter and Facebook these days, and given the speed at which things have been happening since the election, good stuff sometimes gets lost in the social media firehose. If I noted the best of those links and posted them here, say on a weekly basis or so, would people find that useful and/or interesting?

I'm a librarian; curating and sharing information is what I do. If I can take that task on in a way that helps people, I feel like I should. So I'll try this for now, but if folks have feedback or suggestions, definitely let me know.



And now for something completely different: NPR's Monkey See blog is putting together a Pop Culture Advent Calendar, sharing one perfect pop culture moment from 2016 per day. I love this idea, and perhaps in its spirit, I should make sure to include at least one happy or uplifting thing in each links collection. We can't have four years of unalloyed misery, no matter how bad things get -- that way lies burnout and despair. As I've said before, we need to take our bright spots where we can get them, even if it feels like trying to keep a candle lit against a firehose. This is my candle, and I will do whatever it takes to keep it burning.
owlmoose: (Obamoose '08)
President Obama gave one of his final press conferences today. The transcript is an interesting read, and this version has some annotations from Washington Post reporters. I'd call his tone guarded but hopeful, particularly in terms of the future prospects of the Democratic Party:

I believe that we have better ideas. But I also believe that good ideas don't matter if people don't hear them.... We have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere. We have to work at a grassroots level, something that's been a running thread in my career....

And the challenge for a national party is how do you dig in there and create those kinds of structures so that people have a sense of what it is that you stand for. And that increasingly is difficult to do just through a national press strategy. It's increasingly difficult to do because of the splintering of the press. And so I think the discussions that have been taking place about, how do you build more grassroots organizing, how do you build state parties and local parties and school board elections you're paying attention to, state rep races and city council races, that all, I think, will contribute to stronger outcomes in the future. And I'm optimistic that will happen.

For Democrats who are feeling completely discouraged, I've been trying to remind them, everybody remembers my Boston speech in 2004. They may not remember me showing up here in 2005 when John Kerry had lost a close election, Tom Daschle, the leader of the Senate, had been beaten in an upset. Ken Salazar and I were the only two Democrats that won nationally. Republicans controlled the Senate and the House, and two years later, Democrats were winning back Congress, and four years later I was President of the United States.

Things change pretty rapidly. But they don't change inevitably. They change because you work for it. Nobody said Democracy's supposed to be easy. It's hard. And in a big country like this, it probably should be hard.


Considering that Obama has already said that he plans for his main political cause post-presidency to be getting Democrats elected locally and fair redistricting for the House of Representatives, I think he's going to put his money -- and his time -- where his mouth is on this one. And I hope to support this effort every step of the way.

Although I haven't read it yet, he did an extensive exit interview with Doris Kearns Goodwin in September's Vanity Fair, and apparently in that interview he suggested that once he's out of office, the gloves are coming off. I think we've gotten a bit of a preview in the last couple of years, and I can hardly wait for the rest. (Except for the part where I really, really don't want him to leave. Especially not now. *clings like a limpet*)
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
As it typical for me in the third week of November, it's a concert week, which means I don't have time for much outside work and rehearsal. This year's main piece is one I've done before, "Dona Nobis Pacem" by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and it's one of my favorites. This cantata is a setting of several texts, including three poems by Walt Whitman about his experiences as a Civil War nurse ("Beat! Beat! Drums", "Reconciliation", and "Dirge for Two Veterans"), various Biblical passages, and a speech by the British orator John Bright opposing the Crimean War. Vaughan Williams was himself a veteran of the First World War, in which he served as a medic, and he wrote this piece in 1936, with the dark clouds of the Second looming clearly on the horizon. It is a meditation on the horrors of war, and a plea for peace, ending on a note of hope for the future, and I can think of nothing more appropriate to sing right now.

I found this article with some background on Vaughan Williams himself as well as "Dona Nobis Pacem, and a complete recording on YouTube in case you're interested, and my concert is too far away for you to attend. (But if you're local and would like more details, let me know!)
owlmoose: (think)
Maybe so, but they got the wrong bums. The Republicans are cruising to an easy takeover of the Senate, and seem to have picked up a number of governorships as well. I'm not sure how much this changes anything on a practical level, though. Even if the GOP has a Senate Majority, it's not enough of one to get anything done, any more than the Democratic majority was before. Certainly not enough to override any presidential vetoes. And despite all the hand-wringing I saw on MSNBC about Republican governors in blue states as harbingers for 2016, it's not like New England and the Mountain West haven't had Republican governors before. Remember, it's not so long ago that Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts.

I really do continue to boggle at the Democratic inability to capitalize on success, though. People like the Affordable Care Act! Why do you keep running from it?

Meanwhile, I did of course vote this morning. California is rather insulated from the national stuff because Jerry Brown was reelected in a walk, and neither of our US Senators were up this year. We also had slightly less of the proposition-related ridiculousness this year, although "less" is not "none". But it looks like almost nothing I voted against is going to pass, and nothing I feel strongly about is going to lose, so that's generally okay.

If only the midterms being over meant that we were done with election nonsense for awhile. But alas, it seems that will be with us always.
owlmoose: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
A 6.0 earthquake hit the Napa Valley early this morning, about 40 miles north. It didn't do any damage here, but I did wake up at 3:20 am, alert and ready for the emergency. Then I went back to sleep.

Folks in Napa were not so lucky -- almost 90 people injured (no deaths reported, thankfully), significant damage to buildings, minor damage to roads, power outages and water main breaks, and possibly a whole lot of spilled wine. That sounds like a joke, but it's not. If wineries and restaurants lost too much of their stock, it could have a serious economic impact on the region and the state. It'll be awhile before we'll know the extent of the damage.

This is the second largest earthquake I've ever felt (the largest being the Loma Prieta, back in 1989), and without question the scariest in the moment, in part because it woke me up and in part because it was so long. They're saying the shaking (more of a rolling) lasted 20 to 30 seconds, which is forever in earthquake time. Long enough to know what's going on, but not enough time to really do anything about it.

Fun times. I still wouldn't live anywhere else, but the reminder of the dangers is always useful. We really need to update our emergency supplies. Maybe in a few days, when the initial reaction has died down.
owlmoose: (cats - silver kitty)
After a long off and on battle with cancer, Roger Ebert passed away today. I didn't always agree with Ebert (particularly not on the question of video games and the artistic merits thereof), but I always wanted to hear what he had to say about a movie, and enjoyed his writings on many other topics. He was one of our greatest living writers, and his contributions to our culture will be greatly missed.

If you're ever looking for something to read, you could do a lot worse than surf his review archives for his Great Movie reviews, or the reviews of movies he hated -- no one could take apart a bad movie better than Roger Ebert. His site is down right now, probably due to heavy traffic, but come back in a couple of days and take a look.

Progress

Nov. 8th, 2011 09:32 pm
owlmoose: (book - key)
It's probably cheating for so many of my posts this month to be about my Mega Flare progress, but it is the main focus of my time and attention right now, so maybe not? I can't decide.

Anyway. Got some good editing done yesterday and today, maybe halfway through this first editing run, and once this post is done, I'll dive back in. Current wordcount is 26,483; I haven't discovered any gaps yet, but I've flagged a few sections for possible rewrite. It would be in great shape if I had about a week longer, or at least if I weren't completely booked this weekend. As it is, well. We'll see.

In other news, bleah. If Ed Lee wins outright, I am going to be Very Irritated. Can San Francisco politics get nothing right?

All right, enough of that. Back to work. If you see me on Twitter or Tumblr, smack me on the hand, will you? Thanks.
owlmoose: (heroes - hiro dino)
Eleven candidates for mayor? Eleven? And I have to make a decision because the person I least want to see win is the incumbent?

At least in the old days I could have waited for the runoff, but no, SF had to adopt an instant runoff system (pick your top three candidates). So I get to pick now. Not to mention choosing among the three candidates for sheriff, and six for district attorney, and the half-dozen local propositions. Bleh.

Well, off to go read all my political spam. (Seriously, it's been ridiculous. I'm tempted to count up the number of mailers I've received over the last month and vote for the person who sent me the fewest. All those dead trees. Very sad.)
owlmoose: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
Oh, like I could resist that subject line when we just had two noticeable earthquakes less than six hours apart. Supposedly they were about the same magnitude, 4.0 and 3.8 respectively, but the second was much scarier to me, probably because it lasted a lot longer, maybe a whole 10-15 seconds. (That may not sound long, but in earthquake terms, that's awhile. The 1989 quake was 30 seconds, and it felt like an eternity.) They were also in about the same place, along the Hayward fault in the East Bay; the news is calling the second one an aftershock. No real damage anywhere, just a little nerve-wracking.

In other news, iPhone 4S! The sharp screen is pretty sweet, although I'm not sure how I feel about the edge ridges. I liked the curvier feel of my 3GS. Also, I would prefer if TweetDeck did not crash all the time, thanks. That might be an iOS 5 problem, because it got a bit crashy on my old phone, too, after I upgraded it. Let's hope that gets resolved soon.
owlmoose: (quote - B5 avalanche)
Try as I might, the world doesn't stop moving when I go on vacation. Here are some things I would likely have written more about if I hadn't been trying to keep up on my phone as they were happening. This is also my official notice that I am as caught up on LJ/DW/Twitter/email/Google Reader as I'm going to get. If you posted something you wanted me to see and I haven't commented on it, or otherwise indicated that I've seen it, drop me a line.

-- Supreme Court says video games are protected speech: Most excellent news, of course. It's not a particularly surprising result, but I'm still glad to see it. Maybe more on this one later.

-- Major fanfiction site is bought by a web developer as a money-maker: Haven't we been here before? Ah, the FanLib debacle. Good times. Of course, you remember how that all turned out: FanLib bought by Disney, then shut down only a couple of months later. Good thoughts on why this new for-profit venture may or may not be a problem from the OTW blog, here.

-- IMF head and accused rapist Dominique Strauss-Kahn will likely go free; he was released from house arrest, and the case against him is falling apart, largely for the same old tired victim blaming reasons we've seen a thousand times before. And yes, presumption of innocence and better to let a thousand guilty men go free than to lock up one innocent and all that. But isn't it funny how so many of those guilty men who go free are those who have been accused of sexual assault?

-- Google+: I received an invite, haven't gotten around to using it yet, but I expect I'll at least poke around. My antipathy toward Facebook is well documented; on the other hand, I get nervous about outsourcing too much of my online life to Google, especially when they bungled their last attempt at social networking so badly (remember the disaster that was the Buzz launch?). What it really comes down to, of course, is that a social networking tool is only as useful as the people who are on it. So I am adopting a wait-and-see attitude. I may end up using Facebook for RL and Google+ for fandom, if enough people migrate.

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