on becoming a partial porcupine, sort of

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Our Space Acupuncture in Silver Spring, MD, is having $10 off your first visit with a coupon (from this printable flyer.)

This is a community acupuncture center -- the cost is far less than at a private practice. It's $15 to $40 (you choose how much, based on income/what you think it does for you), and the acupuncturist, Farris Johnson, has a master's in acupuncture; he is also the gentlest needle-wielder I've experienced in several years at several places. If you have been thinking of trying acupuncture, you might want to give this a try.

The center is currently in space in a house on a side street. Since it's a one-person operation, some of it is a bit self-service: most of the paperwork that a receptionist might hand you to fill out is on computer, you put your payment in a box on the door, and there's water and tea you can get yourself. But you get the same kind of personalized consultation and acupuncture that you would get anywhere else, and the lounge chairs are very comfortable.

(yes, this is me posting -- Farris has done acupuncture for me for the last several months. And he uses the smallest size of needles; most of the time I really can't tell that he's put them in.)

just in case

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
If you've been thinking of checking out Dreamwidth, but are put off by invite codes -- you won't need one for the rest of this year. You can get a free Dreamwidth account at www.dreamwidth.org.

Still there. Still writing. Still protesting the stupidities of politicians. Still telling stories. Come join me?

May. 28th, 2011

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I am still alive, and can be found at here. I've simplified my online presence (no more IJ or Blurty accounts) and the Vox and GJ went away awhile back. So if you're looking for me, go to Dreamwidth, where I've been reading Hawaii 5-0 and Sherlock and writing poetry (not necessarily about the shows).

Also, if you would like an invite code for Dreamwidth, email me at twistedchick at gmail dot com.

Archive Of Our Own, anyone?

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I have one [uno, un, ein] invite available if anyone reading this who writes fanfic does not already have an account at the Archive of Our Own (http://archiveofourown.org). Please contact me in a comment to this post at twistedchick.dreamwidth.org.

For what it's worth, I have moved all my publicly available fanfic there, and have been very pleased with the facilities, the people, and the method of posting.


if you're migrating

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
to Dreamwidth, the best place to pick up a free account invite code *whenever you need one* is the community dw_codesharing.

ETA: I do have a few codes, and you're welcome to them -- but I may not have any available when you need them. Please do feel free to ask me, and give me an email address to send them to, but if I'm unavailable, go to the community posts. Everyone has different timing, and these days I'm not always on computer as much (::looks outside to see if it's thunderstorming. No? Will go out, then.::)

Jul. 14th, 2010

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Still reading here. I am gradually unfriending accounts where the account owner crossposts from Dreamwidth, after I've made sure to friend/add you to my reading circle over there.

Posting at length continues at Dreamwidth under the same name. If you need an invite code for a free Dreamwidth account, let me know.

Mar. 5th, 2010

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I have 10 shiny new Dreamwidth invite codes. First ten commenters who give me an email address to send them to will have them. This post is going onto both Dreamwidth and LiveJournal; all comments will be screened.

Jan. 26th, 2010

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Interstitial ads, associated with malware, on LiveJournal.

I have two Dreamwidth invite codes if anyone wants them. Comment at Dreamwidth; comments will be anonymous. Include the email address to which the code should be sent.
susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Facebook founder says the age of privacy is over.

ETA: This -->And a closer look at Facebook's new privacy options. <-- is now probably not as relevant as the first link, which blows everything wide open.

In short: If you joined Facebook thinking that the information you shared with trusted friends and family would remain only with trusted friends and family -- think again. Whether you wanted your info to be public or not, it is now.

ETA 2: If you know of a more current link than either of these, put it in comments and I'll add it on. LJ isn't letting me reply to comments at the moment.


Aug. 26th, 2009

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I have five Dreamwidth invite codes available -- three recent and two that I sent out months ago that were not used. I figure if something was sent out three months ago and is still unused, that person is probably not so interested, and the code would be better going to someone who is. So if anyone would like a free Dreamwidth account, please comment with your email address so I will know where to send it. Comments are screened.
susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I have five more invite codes for free accounts at Dreamwidth; if you are interested, please comment with your email address. All comments will be screened.

Jun. 22nd, 2009

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Anyone else want to test the waters at Dreamwidth? I have more invite codes for free accounts.

I am screening all comments; I will need your email address if you want me to send you an invite code.

more invite codes

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I have three more Dreamwidth invite codes available to me, if anyone is interested (one's already taken.) Please leave your email address in the (screened) comment.

ETA: Two still available.

Dreamwidth invite codes, anyone?

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I have four more Dreamwidth invite codes. Anyone want a free journal?

Comments are screened because commenters need to give me their email address in order to send the codes out.

ETA: Gone! Anyone commenting after 3 p.m. EDT will go on the list for the next invite code release, or to friends to send out codes if they have any left.

May. 5th, 2009

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I still have a Dreamwidth invite code, if anyone wants one. Comments are screened because I will need your email to send it to.

ETA: Gone now! But those who did not receive it are on the list for the next batch of invite codes, and I will email before sending to make sure you have not already gotten one elsewhere.

ETA2: A couple of people at Dreamwidth are willing to send out codes also to people I send them. PLEASE TELL ME YOUR EMAIL IN THE SCREENED COMMENT OR YOU WILL NOT GET A CODE.

May. 3rd, 2009

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I have two Dreamwidth invite codes, if anyone is interested. Comments are screened because I will need an email address to send a code to.

last post as a post

As of now, I will be posting only at Dreamwidth, as twistedchick.dreamwidth.org. If someone wants to make a RSS feed in LJ, you're welcome to -- leave a comment with the name of it, please. I suspect Dreamwidth will have RSS feeds when it goes out of beta and becomes official on April 30. You will probably not be missing much between now and then, as I'm importing everything from here and from IJ, and will be busy organizing it. I am deleting a lot of the old newsblogs, btw, because they are timely and topical for when they're written and not too relevant now -- so if you think you may want to find some of the links, do your searching here.

I'm not deleting this journal or closing it; it will still be here. I will read my friendspage here for quite a while, I think, but I will be ... releasing people from it as they move to Dreamwidth so that if they are crossposting I will only read them once (I hope that makes sense.).

If you're moving to Dreamwidth, let me know; I'm trying not to let people slip through the cracks during changeover.

Thanks for reading me here, all these years. I hope to see you at the new place, where I hope to post more artwork and essays and poetry than news.

Jan. 6th, 2009

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Rather than adding more posts, I'm continuing to update on my first post of the day, here. There are more links to ways to back up LJ, as well as commentary. Most of this is reflected (except for comments) at the IJ post today also.
pitch a holy fit
SUP, the Russian overlords of LiveJournal, laid off 20 of 28 employees with no notice and no severance this morning. [Correction: according to foxfirefey on no_lj_ads, it's more like "13 let go, 17 kept in total, and 12 let go and 12 kept in SF."]

Ignore the fact that the person writing this article has neither an understanding of LJ or any true journalistic sense of inquiry, and look at the details: and they're not prettyCollapse )
The author of that article evidently did not take the time to talk to any LJ users about lack of service, bad management and extremely poor top-down public relations under SUP. It's true that LJ has been declining in total numbers, and that those of us who have stayed with it for more than five years are the narrow end of the long tail of a statistical distribution. [And I'm not even going to say what I think of LJ having had a "permanent account sale" last month.]

[ETA: I realize the news article above isn't very good, but it's the only one I've got right now. The only other things showing up on Google News this morning, even with a full search, are an article posted yesterday on how LJ is still blocked in Kazakhstan, and a December 19 C-net article, LJ users still passionate and shrinking.]

synecdochic, who used to work for LJ before the Russians came, provides a brief update on the Dreamwidth journaling project here -- and some reassurance to LJ users: Nothing's going to happen overnight.

In the meantime, if you have a journal on LJ, best start looking for somewhere to jump if it disappears without notice. It may not happen overnight, but I wouldn't doubt that somewhere along this economic downturn the Russian overlords are going to get tired of running a server farm and cut off the electricity. This is your notice: figure out what you're doing now, and start doing it. personal comments behind cutCollapse )

ETA: I did a search to find LJ Book, which I used to turn my LJ into a downloaded file. I have found two articles on it here and here, but http://www.ljbook.com/ljbook.html is not working for me. However, LJ Archive -- http://fawx.com/software/ljarchive/ -- is still working [but only for Windows?]. Check it out.

liz_marcs lists other options and links here.

Karma Apple's long list of links to archiving methods AND explanations of how to get them to work is here: http://karma-apple.insanejournal.com/8073.html

iCal problem?

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Does anyone have words of wisdom on how to deal with a problem in iCal on MacBook? It will not let me add anything to the calendar, although the disk has plenty of space (and it's not like four or five words will take up that much space.) When I look at the drop-down menus, everything is grayed out except backup and restore. (I did back it up.) It won't even let me quit without force-quitting. I have rebooted, and this does not seem to make a difference. And no, it won't let me access iCal Help either.

Dec. 8th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex

You know that we are living in a twistedchick world
and I am a twistedchick girl.

Which song was this lyric from?

Get your own lyrics:

dear yuletide writer

Thank you for writing a story for me!
detailsCollapse )

dulce et decorum est

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)
"Dulce et Decorum Est "

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! -- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under I green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, --
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

More World War I poetry here. And an entire book of it is here. Read it. War may be universal, but the experiences recorded from that war are far less filtered than they are now.

and Aunt Susan said...

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Quotations from the speeches and writing of Susan B. Anthony:

• Independence is happiness.

• Men their rights and nothing more; women their rights and nothing less.

• Failure is impossible.

• The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball -- the further I am rolled the more I gain.

• It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.

• Suffrage is the pivotal right.

• The fact is, women are in chains, and their servitude is all the more debasing because they do not realize it.

• [T]here never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.

• There is not the woman born who desires to eat the bread if dependence, no matter whether it be from the hand of father, husband, or brother; for any one who does so eat her bread places herself in the power of the person from whom she takes it.

• Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.

• I can't say that the college-bred woman is the most contented woman. The broader her mind the more she understands the unequal conditions between men and women, the more she chafes under a government that tolerates it.

• What you should say to outsiders is that a Christian has neither more nor less rights in our Association than an atheist. When our platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no creeds, I myself shall not stand upon it.

• I tell them I have worked 40 years to make the W.S. platform broad enough for Atheists and Agnostics to stand upon, and now if need be I will fight the next 40 to keep it Catholic enough to permit the straightest Orthodox religionist to speak or pray and count her beads upon.

• The religious persecution of the ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God.

• I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows.

a slight but relevant historical diversion

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
The woman in my icon is Susan Brownell Anthony, whom many of you may know only from the Susan B. Anthony dollar of a while back. But she's a lot more than just a face on a coin.

Here's a short biography. More here. Notice that she was convicted in 1872 of voting illegally; she also refused to pay the $100 fine. A friend paid it for her, and he never heard the end of it from her. She was one of the organizers of the first Women's Suffrage convention in Seneca Falls, along with her friend, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. While Elizabeth was writing about women's rights, Susan was minding her children; when Susan was traveling the country to speak about women needing to have a voice in control of their lives, Susan wrote her encouraging letters.

Here's her house in Rochester, NY.

She was a strong believer in girls and women receiving an equal education to that offered to men. For years after the University of Rochester was founded, she petitioned the men in charge to allow women to enroll. Finally, they came to her and said they would admit women, but they didn't want to lose money on it -- they asked her to put up money to cover their expected loss, since they expected that women were only going to attend to get a Mrs., not a B.A. Susan, well into her elder years, put up her life insurance for the next 10 years and told them she would manage not to die during that time -- and she didn't.

As a Quaker, she is my foremother in her willingness to continue to search for truth, to uphold the equality of everyone, and to follow her leadings regardless of where they led her.
I can only hope to have as much kindness and steadfastness as she had (I think we're somewhat closer on stubbornness.)

I am proud to have her on my icon, pleased to have come from her home town. Somewhere in some cozy section of the afterlife, she is having coffee with her friend Frederick Douglass and watching the election returns.

A sestina on the eve of voting, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
We hold these truths to be self-evident,
we, the people of the United States.
All are created equal, all of us,
free to speak, to write and to assemble
to petition for grievances' redress.
We choose our future in the voting booth.

We choose our future in the voting booth
where choices are not so self-evident,
where we ask fate for grievances' redress,
we, the people of the United States,
as we speak with our hands, as we assemble
quadrennially voting, all of us.

Quadrennially voting, all of us,
we trust our future to machines in the booth.
We talk, we write, we hope and assemble.
We hold these truths to be self-evident,
we, the people of the United States,
hoping now for grievances redressed.

Hoping now for grievances redressed
as a country, as equals, all of us,
we, the people of the United States,
call our soldiers home in the voting booth,
call for our truths to be self-evident
free to speak, to write and to assemble.

Free to speak, to write and to assemble
we have waited for grievances' redress
still holding faith in truths self-evident.
(All are created equal, all of us.)
We call for justice in the voting booth.
we, the people of the United States.

We, the people of the United States,
told not to speak or write or assemble
now choose our future in the voting booth.
We petition for grievances' redress
all of us as equals, yes, all of us.
We hold these truths to be self-evident.

From villages to states, hear the calls for redress
Let us assemble our lists, bring them with us
Into the voting booth; our choice is self-evident.

Aug. 22nd, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
The Department of Health and Human Services (and what a deceptive euphemism that title is becoming) wants to funnel funding to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" and make it optional for federally funded health care centers to provide contraception at all. This is a revised proposal; here's the AP report, here's the press release, and this link takes you to a pdf of the entire revised proposal, thanks to feministblogproject. There is a 30-day comment period, starting now. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD IF YOU DON'T LIKE THIS.

You do realize, I hope, that John McCain is entirely in favor of this change in health policy, right? He is on the record as being entirely against abortion, including in cases of rape, incest and severe health problems for women. And, just in case you male readers still feel all warm and cuddly about the guy, you need to know that he wants to reinstitute the draft to supply an unending line of soldiers for that hundred-years war he wants. More on that here. It's likely that he's also thinking along the neoCon line that involves removing 'hostile regimes' in the Middle East and elsewhere.

By the way, those aren't Cindy McCain's recipes -- she "borrowed" them from tv shows.

And who sponsors your news?

Slate considers why mothers don't give their daughters the HPV vaccine.

I am surprised that 78% of Bush's signing statements have raised constitutional or legal objections. Only 78%?

We need to rebuild the US infrastructure -- before it all comes down.

How many homes does John McCain own? Well, to be precise, none. His wife and her companies own this many.

Oh, by the way, don't mention China's carcinogenic water. If it's mentioned, the person who says it might end up breaking bricks and hauling rocks as 're-education' for a few years. That's regardless of age or health.

In Yemen, child brides may be married off at 9 or 10.

How do you spot a lie? It's blinking obvious.

Universities want the drinking age to go back to 18.

phone? what phone?

My old Sprint cell phone is falling apart -- the case is cracking. It's old enough that it doesn't have a camera. I need to get a new one.

Anyone got suggestions for which phone to get, which features? I'm still staying with Sprint, so please don't suggest phones that only work with another company (like the iPhone.)
pitch a holy fit
What's the first thing a woman does when she's being raped, or as soon as possible immediately afterward? She calls for help. That's what the women working for KBR in Iraq did, the same as anyone else would do. What's KBR's response? They're banning the use of personal cell phones for employees in Iraq. More details here.

Jamie Leigh Jones, who was gang-raped and kept in a shipping container by KBR employees -- her co-workers -- has said there are 11 more women who have been treated like her. She was able to get a guard to loan her his cell phone; she called her father in Texas, and that's how she was rescued. How many more women will be mistreated -- and have no way to call for help?

Yes, KBR is a private company that can set its own rules -- but it is also a government contractor and should be required to place a greater emphasis on worker safety. KBR is there because they were hired by Congress. Write your Congressman about this. http://www.house.gov. Yell a lot. This is intolerable.

I don't care *how* much KBR pays. I can't comprehend why any woman would work for them.

ETA: It's 10:30 a.m. EDT; I'm out the door and will not reply to anything until Sunday night at the earliest. Off to what has been dubbed Quakercon!

another beautiful day in the neighborhood...

pitch a holy fit
The House Judiciary Committee has voted to cite Karl Rove for contempt of Congress. More from The Raw Story.

ETA: Since Congress goes on break Friday until after Labor Day, it's significant that this was done now and not put off, shoved under the rug, or ignored -- especially since Rove, whatever his whereabouts, is on the McCain campaign staff, very likely advising on dirty tricks against voters via his cell phone.

our bodies, our rights.

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
The Religious-Right-run US Department of Health and Human Services is redefining contraception as abortion, in order to make it harder -- or impossible -- for women to avoid pregnancy. They're doing this by claiming -- without any evidence -- that hormonal contraception acts to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the womb, and they're defining "prevention of implantation" as abortion because they're defining "the beginning of human life" as fertilization.

Feministing has plenty to say about this:all your body are belong to bushCollapse ) Digby has a few choice words as well : nsfwCollapse )
Here's the NYTimes's view: behind cutCollapse )
Here's the full text of the memo in question, in pdf format.

You can tell the Department of Health and Human Services what you think about this. Or you can contact your Congressperson and express yourself more effectively, since your Congressperson is at least theoretically interested in what constituents think, while HHS doesn't really care. If you don't know how to reach your representative, check here. I'd suggest also yelling at your Senators about this, as well. Or, if for some reason neither of those links work, use this non-government-run information site's link (on the top of the left column) to find out contact info for your elected officials and phone them directly.

And, if you need a bit more documentation on the war against women (older but still relevant links) or the government efforts to control human sexuality through religious ideologies(updated), check out these pages from Theocracy Watch.

Finally (for now) a quote from The Christian Taliban, a 2004 AlterNet article:

During the Taliban rule of Afghanistan the world got a good look at what happens when religious zealots gain control of a government. Television images of women being beaten forced to wear burkas and banned from schools and the workplace helped build strong public support for the President's decision to invade Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.

But even as President George W. Bush denounced the brutal Islamic fundamentalist regime in Kabul, he was quietly laying the foundations for his own fundamentalist regime at home. For the first time far right Christian fundamentalists had one of their own in the White House and the opportunity to begin rolling back decades of health and family planning programs they saw as un-Christian, if not downright sinful.

Since 2001 dozens of far-right Christian fundamentalists have been quietly installed in key positions within the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration and on commissions and advisory committees where they have made serious progress. Three years later this administration has established one of the most rigid sexual health agendas in the Western world....

Jul. 3rd, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
YouTube user records to be divulged by court order. http://twistedchick.insanejournal.com/26356.html?mode=reply

Jun. 29th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
My paid time on LJ, a gift from an anonymous friend, has run out. Because of LJ policies and management and poor customer service, I will no longer be posting linkfests and essays on LJ after it reverts. Because of changes in LJ policies/management/etc., I don't think the LJ owners' bad judgment deserves more money from me or anyone donating on my behalf. The management doesn't appear to be interested in retaining or serving loyal longtime users who want good service, anyway; their preferred demographic is much younger. That's their decision, and their loss.

If you want to continue reading my posts, they will be at twistedchick on InsaneJournal. The RSS feed for the InsaneJournal posts is twistedchickij -- and that will put the posts into your friendslist here, if you are not on IJ. I am waiting eagerly for synecdochic's new Dreamwidth journaling service to open; I would almost say I'm waiting breathlessly but with the asthma that's kind of a given; when it does, I may be found there under the same name.

I don't want to lose anyone in the transitions, but this is how it is. I will, however, still be reading LJ and commenting on other people's posts until things sort out one way or another; I just won't be adding content in this journal. Management of The Free Speech Zone has been turned over tosupremeherptile. I am not leaving the net, just migrating to a friendlier strand of it.

If ad content falls into an empty journal, does anyone hear the clang of coins?

Jun. 26th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Apologies to anyone who has tried to comment on my IJ; it's behaving badly and not letting anyone including me comment. I hope to post there again tomorrow or Saturday.

Jun. 25th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Pigs fly. Hell freezes. http://twistedchick.insanejournal.com/24541.html

You should be aware that LJ cuts made in InsaneJournal do not translate to LJ even though it's the same code. (The journals are weird that way. Turf, and all that.) Apologies in advance for very long posts. It may be possible for you to set your preferences so that you only get the first line and have to click the link for the rest, if you want. (I am not sure of how to do it or I'd tell you.)

Jun. 25th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Memebait: http://twistedchick.insanejournal.com/24142.html

If you are receiving the RSS feed for the Insane Journal account, you should get the full text of the linked post in that feed.

Jun. 24th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
You think nobody cares about your Google searches? Think again, if you get into trouble (or plan to cause any).

Sometimes technology is lifesaving. And sometimes older technologies are forcibly removed from people who are using them -- aka, farewell to Usenet.

Obama, telecoms and the beltway system, from Salon.

If you needed proof that the formerly impartial Washington Post is now a strongly Republican publication, consider this "coverage" of Rep. Dennis Kucinich's resolution proposing impeachment for Bush based on 35 articles of proof. This is not the journalism I was taught to follow; this is the yellowest of yellow journalism. Shame on the Post for this. They know better; they are refusing to remember.

You may not know this, but Christianity did not start out stressing the Cross and the death; it started out talking about paradise, and it did that for a thousand years. This is an earlier date than I'd realized; I'd thought the hell-and-damnation talk started at the time of the Black Plague, when Europe was depopulated despite people's prayers (because nobody then understood how it was transmitted by fleas on rats) and religious devotions turned toward penitence and preparations for death instead of how to live a full life.

Bush and the phone companies get off without even a wrist slap for violating our privacy and spying on us. More here.

Onward Christian Soldiers -- evangelicals and the military. more than you thinkCollapse )

Yes, America is racist. This is not news. It's not even a viable excuse for anything any more. My question to anyone who thinks saying it is a conversation: what are you doing to change this?

What really happened in Building 7 of the World Trade Center? Were there explosions before the building collapsed? And who were the dead bodies?

I've thought for some time that the Bush Administration rules by making us afraid; moreover, it specializes in using fear to make people want someone else to make their decisions, trying to turn us into children with itself as Big Daddy. As part of that, it's trying to protect us *from* the information we used to have, info that allowed us to make our own decisions and track health concerns. In doing this, it's being criminally irresponsible. For instance, Bush's people are suing to make it illegal to test meat for mad cow disease, so that nobody can tell whether meat is safe. Anybody got a spare copy of The Compleat Vegetarian?

In the 'glass houses' department, John and Cindy McCain really have no room to throw stones. More here.

What's it like to fly without ID under the new TSA rules? Uncomfortable.

Whales, lonely, may be losing the will to live.

Paving the road to hell with green intentions.

Jun. 20th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I have been watching old La Femme Nikita episodes, with Don Francks as Walter, who takes care of munitions and who has a solid crush on Nikita. The more I watch them, the more I realize just how much Rainbow Sun Francks, aka Lt. Ford on Atlantis, looks and acts just like his dad. He looks especially like Walter when he's gone feral and is wearing a headscarf, but before that happens in the series his mannerisms and expressions are very similar as well. I've always liked Walter; I'm adding Ford (and Rainbow) to my list of men to keep an eye on.

Jun. 20th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Words I did not ever expect to put together in the same sentence: Alligator found in the Chicago River.

Near West 37th and Racine, apparently, quite happily feasting on carp. It's thought that it was an abandoned pet.

In my latest LiveMocha spoken exercise, I was told that I was 'perfectly understandable, if with a strong American accent'. (No surprise there.) But I'm a little confused. Apparently, the s at the end of fils and the f at the end of neuf are pronounced. I thought the rule was that last consonants were silent. Could any of you find me the guideline that says when you do or don't pronounce the ends of words?

Jun. 19th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
More wordles, this time from Shakespeare and other places:


As You Like It.

Henry V.

Much Ado About Nothing.

Romeo and Juliet.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Kubla Khan.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson's, Lancelot and Elaine, from Idylls of the King.

The first six sections of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, including Song of Myself.

Jun. 19th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
I decided to play with Wordle.net to see what would happen. So, I plugged in the text of The Recreation of the Warrior, an Andromeda story I wrote a while back from Tyr Anasazi's viewpoint, and this is what happened.

This is the Wordle for No W, the first La Femme Nikita story I wrote. One for Identity, the first long Sentinel story in the series that might actually get finished one of these days if Jim Ellison tells me the last episode. And one for Ice, the Sports Night/due South crossover featuring Dan Rydell and Mark Smithbauer.

And this is the one for the longer bloglinks and essays in this journal back to June 4.

Jun. 19th, 2008

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
A smattering of recent news bits, and a reminder at the end:

This opinion piece claims that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is worse for the state than Katrina. Anyone who lives in that area want to talk about this?

Congress is finally banning the outsourcing of interrogation to mercenary contractors. because this is several days old NYT ...Collapse )

More here on the semantics of Bush's torture policy.

Does the US *really need* to have 58 military bases permanently in Iraq? Is this what McCain is talking about with his hundred-years war?

Is the Army casting aside its neediest soldiers? Of the thousands of U.S. troops getting discharged from the Army each year, many who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries aren’t getting the vital care they need. The Army claims these soldiers have pre-existing mental illnesses or are guilty of misconduct. But advocates say this is a way for the Army to get rid of “problem” soldiers quickly, without giving them the treatment and benefits to which they’re entitled. The NOW website has streaming video of the entire episode.

Stupid. Heartbreaking. Criminally negligent. And just plain *wrongheaded*. The money should be going to programs for children, not to fancy trips for administrators. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

How human actions have affected the Iowa flood.

We got a 5-4 vote from the Supreme Court -- that's a scary thing, when three of the five justices are of retirement age and the next President gets to nominate their replacements. and this is why it's important to get a Democrat as presidentCollapse ) McCain, in fact, sees this Supreme Court ruling as 'one of the worst in history.' Let me remind you about what that ruling does. It gives habeas corpus rights -- the right to challenge being arrested in a court of law, to hear the charges against you and to be defended by an attorney -- to the Guantanamo detainees. Also, if you read the Military Commissions Act carefully, it returns those Constitutional rights to the rest of us. Yes. All of us. We lost our Constitutional rights with the Military Commissions Act, when it took them away from anyone suspected of various kinds of acts. Not convicted or charged with various acts, just suspected of them. And the level of suspicion allowable included hearsay evidence. Under the Military Commissions Act, it's possible to be condemned to death on hearsay without having the right to an attorney, to hear the charges against you in court, to speak in your own defense or have an attorney speak in your own defense. That is the unConstitutional truth of it. And McCain doesn't want us all to have our Constitutional rights. A man who does not want to fulfill and carry out and preserve and protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America has no business running for president, because he is already violating the oath of office.

Of course, he and the rest of the neoCons who voted for it have a vested interest in not changing the status quo, because the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Rights is hearing testimony that hundreds of detainees have died in US custody and at least 25 were murdered. That's war crimes, plain and simple.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has subpoenaed the FBI's transcripts of interviews with Bush and Cheney about exposing the cover of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. Note that they're getting the FBI copies, not the I'm-sure-they've-been-shredded-burned-landfilled-and-fed-to-the-dog White House copies.

We may be facing a change in the way we are all charged for Internet access. Time Warner Cable, Comcast and AT&T want to charge based on metering the amount of bandwidth used. behind the cutCollapse )

Meanwhile, the Associated Press continues to shoot itself in the foot with a howitzer and follow up with a full cannon barrage. Now, supposedly, they're rethinking this, but I haven't seen further evidence of stepping back. Anyone?

BTW, if you want to boycott AP links, here are some helpful graphics for use.

Normally, if Congress were to declare more wild places as wilderness, I'd just be happy about it. This time, I have to wonder *why* they want more land under federal control. It couldn't be so they can drill in it, could it?

A deal on fighting child pron online in NY State raises some free-speech issues.

Now, these bugs I could like -- they produce diesel fuel.

My paid time on LJ, a gift from an anonymous friend, is running out. Because of LJ policies and management and poor customer service, I am not planning to continue posting these linkfests and essays on LJ. Because of changes in LJ policies/management/etc., I'm not even sure if my account will go back to being a free basic account or an ad-supported one. (I've been here for a long time, long enough to get the basic, but who knows what they'll do?) I don't think the LJ owners' bad judgment deserves more money from me or anyone donating on my behalf. From what I've seen, they're not interested in having or serving loyal longtime users who want good service, anyway; their preferred demographic is much younger. That's their decision, and their loss.

At this point I am planning on posting to InsaneJournal (the account is also twistedchick) and putting a link to that post in this journal, at least for a while. If this journal devolves into an ad-supported account there will be one final post here telling you to go to Insane Journal or subscribe to the RSS, and that will be it; I have no intention of asking anyone to look at advertising on my behalf. The RSS feed for the InsaneJournal posts is twistedchickij -- and if you want to continue to read what I write, then you may want to subscribe to it if you are not on IJ. I am waiting eagerly for synecdochic's new Dreamwidth journaling service to open; I would almost say I'm waiting breathlessly but with the asthma that's kind of a given; when it does, I may be found there under the same name.

I don't want to lose anyone in the transitions, but this is how it is. I will, however, still be reading LJ and commenting on other people's posts until things sort out one way or another; I just won't be adding content in this journal. If ad content falls into an empty journal that nobody reads, does anyone hear the clang of coins?

well, that was unexpected

susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
We got home from lunch out today to find a boil order: boil all water until Thursday noon, don't do laundry, don't run dishwashers and don't drink anything that hasn't had a fast rolling boil for a minute or so. The swimming pools are closed. I'm not going to be catching up on the laundry. It's going to be an interesting time.

Hmm. Interesting article. Quote:

I think there is every reason to believe John McCain won't be the nominee. Ok, let me say that again. McCain will not be the Republican candidate in November.

Here's how it could happen:

At some point in mid August, John McCain will announce that he has decided that he can not accept his party's nomination for president. The reason will be health-related, and that may turn out to be the truth. Anyone who's seen him on stage these days knows he looks like he's about to keel over. And anyone who's been on a presidential campaign knows the physical demands are grueling and can be a challenge for a young man.

But excuses or facts hardly matters. He won't be accepting his party's nomination.

The reasons are simple. He can't win. Now that Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee -- the polls all show that McCain's pro-war stance and Bush endorsement make him a lost cause in November. That combined with soft stand on litmus test conservative issues make him an unpopular candidate among the base....

The article suggests that any number of other Republicans might be dropped in at the last possible minute in an effort to continue the neoCon Republican control of government. Here's the names they dropped as possibilities:

Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State)
Colin Powell (fmr Sec. of State)
Marilyn Musgrave (Colorado Congresswoman)
Mitt Romney (fmr Massachusetts Governor)
Mike Huckabee (fmr Governor of Arkansas)
Charlie Crist (Florida Governor)
Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota Governor)
Bobby Jindal (Louisiana Governor)
Mark Sanford: (Governor of South Carolina)
John Thune (Senator from South Dakota)
Dick Lugar (Senator from Indiana)
Chuck Hagel (Senator from Nebraska)
MIchael Bloomberg (NYC Mayor)

Possible? Yes, I think so. some thoughts behind cutCollapse )
susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex
Over the last few years I've linked a lot of articles by Jeff Sharlet, who wrote Killing the Buddha and who writes on The Revealer website (and other places) about the intersection of politics and religion in America.

For example, this article, The F-Word, on Christian fundamentalism affecting US politics.

Since Borders' Rewards had sent me a nice discount coupon, I went over to the local Borders today to pick up a copy of Sharlet's book, 'The Family', which documents his time underground in Ivanwald and other branches of the fundamentalist neoCon Right wing alliance with militant Christianty. (Here's an AlterNet revew of the book, which notes the Family's propensity for citing Hitler as a source of good ideas for government.) I checked the new books rack, and the new nonfiction and the special displays -- nothing.

I asked one of the clerks to find it for me. It took him about ten minutes on the computerized index. (I've worked at Borders; their index needs some work). He finally found it buried upstairs in General Religion.

I've been linking chapters of The Family here for weeks. I believe it's the most powerful book about the undercover successful connections between religion and power in this country. I believe that the more people who even look through it on the stand in the store, the more will be a bit enlightened about the religious influences on the current government. But the people who are going to learn the most from it aren't ones who are going to go looking in General Religion; hell, I'm reasonably tolerant of theology and I'm allergic to the General Religion section at Borders because whoever indexes it at the head office appears to be ignorant of theology in general and either the Library of Congress system or the Dewey Decimal system in particular. And that's not even taking into account the fact that most Borders' are understaffed, which means that many sections simply aren't shelved properly more than once a week or so.

When I said the book was misindexed, the clerk said he couldn't do anything about that; indexing is determined at the head office in Ann Arbor. (True.) But I told him what it was about, and he started reading it right there and said he would review it and give it a 'Borders Recommends' display, which would at least get it out from the shelf and onto the sales floor where the general nonreligious public will see it.

So, here's what I'm asking you to do: Go to your local large chain bookstore, Borders or other, and ask for the book: The Family, by Jeff Sharlet. See if you can persuade the clerk who is helping you to read and review the book for the store, and put it out where it will be seen by more people. If enough people do that, it may make a real difference. Consider it your good deed for the day, or your contribution toward a saner and more sensible government by spreading the truth in the hope of justice for the American way (to misquote Superman.)

Can we argue for a Second Amendment right to arm bears, particularly polar bears?

In China, part of the preparations for the Olympics is the deliberate slaughter of cats.

The Associated Press wants you, me and everyone to quit linking their stories because they don't think it's fair use. Quoting: What a brilliant move — try to drive away the very people who are luring others to your content. What is AP trying to do — blow up the blogging world? You might remember that AP went after Google, too, although Google = Samson, and other bloggers = Delilah, and Google and AP struck a deal and avoided a showdown of biblical proportion. This latest move by the AP is a potential threat to RSS, which comes in quite handy for news and business and sports junkies or any other kind of junkie except, you know, the real kind. It’s bullying, some say. Already, a blogger who says AP “leaches off original reporting” — has called on other bloggers to go crazy and post entire AP stories an an act of solidarity. This could get ugly. Buzzmachine suggests, in return, that in all fairness the AP should start linking to all its own sources for stories, to promote transparency and good ethics. ETA: TechCrunch bans AP links.</ a>

McCain's idea of birth control = none at all. Video. It figures, considering that one of McCain's supporters thinks 'rape is like the weather, as long as it's inevitable you should just lie back and enjoy it. Suggestion for Mr. Williams, author of that sentiment: Stop off at any of the maximum security prisons in Texas and offer yourself up for the taking, and see just how much you enjoy it.

Rick Warren, author of the 'Purpose Driven Life' books et al, is planning to send out 200,000 missionaries to spread his view of Christianity. Since Warren is also strongly homophobic and intolerant of gays and lesbians, this litttle evangelical spree of his is something to keep an eye on.

Photos here of the results of the earthquake (7.2, I think) in Japan.

More on the Midwest floods.

Would Australia's prime minister ban Botticelli? Probably.


susan b. anthony by xdawnfirex


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