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cylon wars: equestria
[22 Mar 2017|08:30am]

We got our new hero – Orisa – in Overwatch yesterday, which means unlimited-selection-hero game mode is all-Orisa-all-the-time. She’s a robot centaur so basically it’s Cylon Wars: Equestria in there now.

There’s a skin called “Twilight” that has more or less Twilight Sparkle colours and you cannot tell me that’s not on purpose.

she even has a cutie mark SHE EVEN HAS A CUTIE MARK

And Janai and I were laughing about ponies everywhere when she said WE NEED A COWBOY THAT’S ALL WE NEED so for this I was willing to play McCree on purpose.

Back in the saddle again

He’s 120% laughing into his hat during this victory photo. I insist.

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good morning, it's 22 march 2017
[22 Mar 2017|12:11am]

[ mood | blank ]

Have to get to bed early - but here's the news nonetheless. Republican approval of Donald Trump remains at 86%. Trump voter approval of Donald Trump remains at 91%. They think this is all just fine.

New documents show Trump aide laundered payments from party with Moscow ties, lawmaker alleges

Supreme Court/Neil Gorsuch:
In E-mails, Neil Gorsuch Praised a Leading Republican Activist Behind Voter Suppression Efforts
Gorsuch’s Views On Women Disqualify Him For A Seat On The Supreme Court

President Trump faces his hardest truth: He was wrong
Ivanka Trump has West Wing office and will get access to classified information

U.S.-Muslim Teen Stopped From Boarding International Flight Home
No African Citizens Could Attend A Summit On African Trade After Visas Denied
Philly Cinco de Mayo celebration canceled over immigration crackdown fears

AMA repeal:
Trump Warns House Republicans: Repeal Health Law or Lose Your Seats

Opinion: Sessions' hard line on pot doesn't help anyone

It's March 22, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 21 march 2017
[21 Mar 2017|01:51am]

[ mood | blank ]

"Georgia nonprofit says it unwittingly gave $25,000 to white nationalist Richard Spencer" - on the instructions of a third party they refuse to name. Neat.

Lots of Russia and Trump, as you know. Some secondary fallout stories, too. "Fox News pulls Judge Napolitano over his Trump wiretap claims," "As it happened: FBI at Russia hearing," "Trump Russia claims: FBI's Comey confirms investigation of election 'interference',"Video: Here's that moment: Comey confirms the Russians hacked both Dems & Republicans, but didn't release any GOP info."

Not part of the hearings but part of the bigger story: "Russian elite invested nearly $100 million in Trump buildings," "Exclusive: Tillerson plans to skip NATO meeting, visit Russia in April - sources," "Exclusive: Powerful Russian Partner Boasts Of Ongoing Access To Trump Family."

"Why Is YouTube Blocking Videos By LGBTQ+ Creators In "Restricted Mode"?" gets another, slightly larger story. YouTube late today was tweeting about errors in categorisation; we'll see.

"The EPA Needs Lots of Money to Gut Itself" talks about how the Trump administration plans to end the EPA for all practical purposes.

"Supreme Court nominee: Senators clash at Neil Gorsuch hearing."

Some on the ACA repeal: "Ahead of Trump visit, Paul hopes health proposal will fail," and "Conservative senators disappointed after White House health care meeting."

Finally, a couple of social stories: "Tomi Lahren's show suspended over host's pro-choice views," and the much more in-depth "How a Sleepy German Suburb Explains Europe’s Rising Far-Right Movements."

It's March 21, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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wherein i thought i was going to be posting about a new microphone today
[20 Mar 2017|08:30am]

I thought I was going to be posting about a new microphone I built today! I was pretty sure I could get the kit construction finished and even make a couple of recordings.

And I could’ve, but no, I had to have one of these moments:

…wherein on page 24 of the assembly instructions it talks about connection sealing material and special kinds of thread-locking fluid which aren’t strictly necessary but are definitely good to use, if, you know, you just happen to have them around, and if you don’t, well, you can add them later but EVERYTHING WILL EXPLODE.

Particularly the connection sealing material. Apparently.

None of this was in the components and tools list up front. Of course. So thanks, now I get to order all that stuff, which I already have, and it’ll get here Wednesday. (No, it’s not at the local hardware. I did check!)

Anyway, this is how far I got, and where it’ll be until Wednesday:

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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good morning, it's 20 march 2017
[20 Mar 2017|12:21am]

[ mood | blank ]

Another night getting started late (this time it's my fault, or more accurately... my fault, or less accurately, Overwatch, because Tracer is my fps gf), so let's get to it already.

"Dr. Sebastian Gorka May Be a Far-Right Nativist, But for Sure He’s a Terrible Scholar" - an analysis of the Nazi-aligned Hungarian in Trump's administration. "New York Attorney General Steps Up Scrutiny of White House" and "The Unlikely Liberal Hero Adam Schiff Is Ready to Investigate Trump" are about investigations, which are necessary, but don't expect them to move quickly. "Lawmakers seek FBI, NSA answers on Trump, Russia at rare public hearing" isn't about new investigations but hopefully getting some data about what we already know.

In matters of political control, we have the Trumpist Commissars stepping up in, "White House installs political aides at Cabinet agencies to be Trump’s eyes and ears." Meanwhile, we're all worrying about the honest truth - that "For Donald Trump, a Terror Attack Will Be an Opportunity Not a Curse." Of course, other than 'taking massive advantage to tear down more law,' we have to wonder what else the Trump administration would manage in response to a crisis, particularly after how we saw "In One Rocky Week, Trump’s Self-Inflicted Chaos on Vivid Display." (One could say the same thing about every move made since the last election, I suppose.)

Finally, another moment of reality: "CNN's Zakaria: Trump got to the Presidency by 'bulls--tting'."

Only one direct racism article this time - "A California waiter refused to serve 4 Latina women until he saw ‘proof of residency’." Like you need to be a resident to eat at a restaurant? Seriously? What the hell.

But this is kind of related - "Message to YouTube Creators from YouTube about Restricted Mode" is actually from me, but in response to YouTube's apparent decision to create a "Restricted Mode" which is supposed to be super-safe mode? But queers are autoblocked while white supremacists like David Duke are not. LGBT coming out stories and makeup tips?" NOT SAFE. Genocide advocacy? TOTALLY SAFE. So, yeah. Fuck you, youtube.

To the courts, we have "Reported Gorsuch Statements Show Disqualifying Disregard for Women’s Workplace Rights," where Gorsuch reportedly told law students that corporations have a responsibility to grill women about child plans, because women will get hired, immediately get pregnant and go on paid maternity leave and never come back. NO, REALLY. (This will be in an action item.) Also, we have the less explosive but still extraordinary, "9th Circuit judges in nasty feud over Trump travel ban."

Two "please don't do what you said you would" stories - "Trump Proposes Cutting Billions to Urban Areas He Vowed to Help," and "Washington farmers tell Trump: We need more foreign workers." Not that it matters - Trump's approval rating with Republicans and white men continues not to budge. (White women are now majority opposed, though not by much.)

Two environmental stories: "Environmentalists warn about Trump Puget Sound budget," with Trump zeroing it out, the ecological (and resulting business) impacts would be huge. And also, "Effort to replace pipes to Flint homes off to slow start." They're far behind schedule and there's no promise of money to continue working.

Finally, a couple of cultural stories from the evangelicals - "The Resenters: Building Hell in Heaven’s despite," and I don't know what the title is supposed to be referencing (I presume some Christian religious thing), but it's basically about ressentiment as filtered through their lens. "Dying before We Reach the Promised Land" is one evangelical trying to work out how the fundamentalist evangelicals could go so completely against everything they pretended to stand for. I think he's overly charitable to his own - I just don't think they ever believed any of it, and that it was always just about power, and people like him were suckers. But that's me.

It's March 20, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 19 march 2017
[19 Mar 2017|12:11am]

[ mood | blank ]

Well, another day. I'm running late, so it's mostly just a stories list this time rather than a writeup. Sorry.

"Trump and the Parasitic Presidency," and "Young Americans: Most see Trump as illegitimate president." And while a bare majority of young whites see Mr. Trump as legitimate, a clear majority disapprove. That's something, I guess.

Fox's Kilmeade: "We keep marrying other species and other ethnics" and it doesn't get better from there. It's not a new quip - it seems to be from 2009, based on the stories in the crawl - but it's a reminder that this horrible shit was always juuuuust below the surface.

The Gorka stories today: "Top Trump Adviser Faces Calls For Resignation After Reports Of Ties To Nazi-Aligned Group," a repeat with "Did Gorka Really Wear A Medal Linked To Nazi Ally To Trump Inaugural Ball?" (because it's relevant again), and "Nazi-Affiliated Hungarian Group: Sebastian Gorka Swore a Loyalty Oath to Us."

A reminder that Republican Senators have committed more crimes in washrooms than all transwomen combined: "Married GOP Senator Ralph Shortey Turns Himself In, is Charged with Child Prostitution: WATCH" - though this one is just a state Senator.

"Kellyanne Conway Is a Star" is an article on Kellyanne Conway that some might find interesting.

"After neo-Nazi-fueled disquiet in Portland, Oregon's U.S. senators call for harsher hate crime laws" - it won't go anywhere, but the effort of writing and filing the bill is worthy.

The Trump administration makes it easier to really dig into people who owe student loans: "Trump administration rescinds Obama guidance on student loan defaults: report"

"George W. Bush Gave Us Donald Trump. Now He Wants To Be Forgiven." FUCK NO. DOING THAT IS HOW WE GOT HERE. FUCK THAT FOREVER.

And finally, "Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?"

It's March 19, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 18 march 2017
[18 Mar 2017|01:09am]

[ mood | blank ]

LET'S GO. Right out the gate I'm starting with my own shit, a couple of tweetstorms that got like 20,000 viewers: FASCISTS RUIN EVERYTHING. Because they DO.

Moving on:

"Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In The US." That's called racism. The neofascists, a lot of them? A lot of them outright want a whites-only welfare state, the key phrase being "whites-only."

Lies, lies, and more lies: "Sean Spicer’s angry, lonely defense of Trump’s wiretapping claim, annotated" talks about some. "Senate Intel leaders were 'fully briefed' on wiretapping allegations: report" should be pretty neat if we ever get to hear about it. "How Big Tobacco invented Donald Trump and Brexit (and what to do about it)" is a bit misleading, but there is a connection - specifically, how to tell stories that override science, which the tobacco companies perfected. "Debunking a Myth: The Irish Were Not Slaves, Too" gets to a white supremacist talking point that they use to downgrade actual chattel slavery. And it's kind of a budget story, but "White House says Meals on Wheels is “not showing any results.” Research says otherwise" is about lies too, so let's have that up here.

Relatedly, "White House Tries to Soothe British Officials Over Trump Wiretap Claim" - at least for three and a half hours, between the apology and Trump going back to the 'the UK helped Obama bug my campaign' again less than four hours later.

Aaaand then there's the budget. "Trump’s Budget Would Break American Science, Today and Tomorrow." "Scientists Brace for a Lost Generation in American Research." "Tom Cole: Trump's Proposed Cuts To NIH, CDC Are 'Short-Sighted'" - that's one way to describe them, sure. But pulling back to the larger picture, let's talk about how this is a WAR WAR WAR 5EVA budget, which is what it is - nothing fucking matters if it's not about killing somebody, which is how you get articles like "Trump’s Budget Blueprint: Pulling Up the Diplomatic Drawbridge" and "Now America knows what a tinhorn dictator budget looks like."

And hey, let's talk about war, shall we? "US says 'strategic patience' on NK is over." and "Rex Tillerson Rejects Talks With North Korea on Nuclear Program." Remember how Marmalade Hitler kept going on about 'why can't you use nukes' during the campaign? We might be about to find out why.

Oh, and Republicans can shut the fuck up about the UN's human rights bodies now - if you're going to send rabid anti-queer/anti-women's-quality groups to the UN Women's Commission, you've got nothing to stand on. (See: US Sends Group Rejecting Rights to UN Women’s Commission)

Remember GamerGate? Remember how the FBI had videotaped confessions from GamerGaters sending out death and rape threats and refused to act against them? Well, once it's a man targeted, suddenly, it matters. "Twitter User Accused of Sending Journalist Seizure-Inducing GIF: 'Let's See If He Dies'" and "The FBI, Which Still Won't Address Online Threats Against Women, Arrested Someone For Tweeting a GIF at a Male Journalist" both talk about that. Don't get me wrong: I hope they lock this motherfucker up. But still.

A few last stories don't really group into anything else: "Mayo to give preference to privately insured patients over Medicaid patients," which is part of a trend just being made more explicit; "White Nationalist Richard Spencer Gets His Money From Louisiana Cotton Fields—and the US Government" (via farm subsidies); "The Lesson of Trump’s 1040," and finally, "Fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Said to Have Been Investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price." I'd rank that last one higher but it's all unnamed sources, so... yeah. May be true, but we don't really know. Get somebody on the record, goddammit.

It's March 18, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 17 march 2017
[17 Mar 2017|12:39am]

[ mood | blank ]

Quite the day.

Normally, I'm "Always lead with international fascism." But we have something possibly more urgent: the Trump administration desperately needs a war, the sooner the better, and conveniently, on a trip with essentially no press, complete fool pretending to be Secretary of State "Tillerson says diplomacy with North Korea has ‘failed’; Pyongyang warns of war." Why, how handy! Obviously, it's not the war Bannon really wants - he wants the RaHoWa, the Racial Holy War, against Arabic muslims, all to service his white supremacist vision for the US. But in a pinch, maybe it'll do.

I suppose that means we've already gone straight to the fascism, haven't we? Well, here's more.

"Flynn Received Funds From Instrument of Russian Government." Also a company working with Russian spies, which likely means more Russian government money. Neat! And absolutely verified! He didn't know who was sending him this money? Oh, that was pretty clearly a lie. So that's fun.

But the even bigger bomb is "EXCLUSIVE: Nazi-Allied Group Claims Top Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka As Sworn Member." Now, after spending a lot of time very much not denying this, I read that Gorka has in fact come out and denied it late yesterday, buuuuuut frankly I don't believe him. There are too many people making too many connections and saying "no, that's totally what he did," and it includes people who are proud of being fascists. See also, "Gutter Trash: Sebastian Gorka’s ties to a group of Nazi collaborators is a new low for Donald Trump’s administration."

To round this section out, we have "Stephen Bannon Is a Fan of a French Philosopher...Who Was an Anti-Semite and a Nazi Supporter." o rly? just one? Well, just one French one, I suppose. He is, after all, a FUCKING FASCIST. What else would he like? Also, we have, "Trump to Michigan gov: 'I never forget' those who didn't endorse me" - which is a matter of personal rule, one of the hallmarks of authoritarianism in any form.

Now, in terms of associated insanity, we have a few stories. "Trump leaked classified CIA intel to Tucker Carlson on live TV: ranking House intel member." That's also neat. The "GCHQ denies White House claim that UK spy agency helped wiretap Trump," which is apparently fairly unusual? They don't normally comment? But this is too much. We also have "Intel chair pushes back on Trump 'literal vs. serious' debate, says President's tweets matter," and Wired weighs in with "Trump Can’t Quit His Wiretap Claims. That Won’t End Well."

"The sneaky way the Trump administration is chilling government oversight" belongs in here too, but honestly, I'm not sure where.

Immigration! Let's get that out of the way before destroying the environment and budgetary issues. "Vancouver-based metal band denied entry to U.S. for SXSW festival" is about the third band blocked by US border patrol for no apparent reason other than racist assholery. At least, that I know about. More critically, Detroit hospitals are in trouble, what with "Trump immigration policies kill work visas for specialized Canadian nurses."

Finally, to the budget! We have "This Is the Ending Conservatives Always Wanted," "Here's what Trump's budget proposes to cut" (everything that isn't a massive military buildup isn't too far off), and "Trump’s Budget Would Kill a Program That Feeds 2.4 Million Senior Citizens." Lots of research being cut - "UW, Fred Hutch slam Trump’s proposed budget, calling it ‘major step backward’ and ‘indefensible’." That won't stop the rightists from supporting it, of course. The politically interesting bit, I think, is how "Trump has promised big spending on infrastructure. His budget cuts it" - Bannon's plan has been from the start to deficit-spend his way to popularity via a massive infrastructure plan, and to do so right out the gate. Instead, we have opposite. Is this a defeat, or a delay, for Bannon this front, and have they just decided it's better to go straight to a war? No way of knowing.

The axe is falling particularly hard on EPA, since this whole busload of literal, actual fascists all hate the world anyway, I guess. "Trump budget chief on climate change: 'We consider that to be a waste of your money'" (even as "Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge" but one of the hallmarks of this is that nothing has to make sense), and "Republican senator thinks EPA cuts will keep the agency from ‘brainwashing our kids’." Perhaps that should't been up in "associated insanity." In terms of resistance, we have, "Blue states rush to block Trump’s emissions rollback." Good luck.

Overall, the word is, "Scientists urge moving to China or Germany over Trump budget: ‘Your future is brighter elsewhere’." The US is looking at a massive brain drain.

Which is, let's be honest, just fine with the fascists.

It's March 17, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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entirely worth listening to
[16 Mar 2017|10:08am]

[ mood | contemplative ]

This is a presentation at GDC 2017 about virtual worlds and augmented reality and it is entirely worth your 55 minutes whether you are in game design or arguably even more if you are not.

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good morning, it's 16 march 2017
[16 Mar 2017|12:49am]

[ mood | blank ]

As always, lead on the neofascist horseshit. "The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse" describes how the fade of the fundamentalist right didn't lead to less rightist extremism, but more. "The GOP Is America’s Party of White Nationalism" is pretty much just pointing out the obvious, but the obvious is real bad and a lot of people still don't want to face it - and as example, Rep. King is not getting GOP pushback on his move to overt white supremacist politics. "Trump to release 'hard power budget' with cuts to State Dept, EPA" points to a big upward ratcheting in militarism and an express preference for the use of military force over any other method of solving... anything, really. And closer to home, we have "Video: Nazis Thrown Out Of Portland's Lucky Lab Beer Hall" in Portland. Well done, Lucky Lab.

We've got a link for the "Text of court order against Trump's second Muslim-targeting travel ban," of course. Also commentary involving Trump's reaction at his rally; "Obama ethics lawyer: Trump 'digging grave' for future travel ban court cases." Of particular note is that Trump says the second is just a watered-down version of the first, which certainly means it has all the same legal failures.

And of course, add in "Trump stands by unverified wiretap claim" even as congressional GOP is going, '...we don't believe it.' Who are you going to believe, Leader Trump or your lying eyes?

In crackdown news, we have Texas leading the pack yesterday, with "Texas Senate Passes Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill, Now Closer to Becoming Law No One Asked For." Locally, we have Crosscut asking, "Washington’s legal pot experiment: Can it survive Trump?"

Finally, a few last stories: "Trump fuel economy rollback will kill jobs and cost each car buyer $1,650" is about helping the fossil fuel industry, which backs the GOP more completely than any other group. "Congress sends Trump drug test measure for unemployed" arguably belongs under fascism - it's about humiliating the unemployed, pure and simple. And finally, the NYT has a story on Trump's 2005 tax returns: "Trump Wrote Off $100 Million in Losses in 2005, Leaked Forms Show."

It's March 16, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 15 march 2017
[14 Mar 2017|11:37pm]

[ mood | blank ]

This is the last item under the cut, but I'm talking about it first, because it's a big deal. I've been sitting on it for a couple of days until I could poke at it myself and independently verify some of the details. It wasn't difficult, I just needed to do it.

Wikileaks appears to have moved two servers to Russia in 2016, and those servers appear to have the private key file for wikileaks.org. ( wikileaks.org,, both hostkey.ru, Moscow, Russian Federation.) This is a big deal. The FSB has access upon demand to anything in Russian space, and that most specifically includes servers. This means they have things like the Wikileaks private key, meaning the FSB can forge Wikileaks origination, and should be presumed to have all data available from connections to and from Wikileaks since at at least 2016. (And, of course, if the FSB have it, the GRU have it, and so on.)

I've been holding off on the "Wikileaks is a Russian counterintelligence operation" thing for a while, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being that I was around and attentive when it started - and was a very different operation. And because frankly the allegations seem to be a bit too on the noise, a bit too facile.

This, however, is... not ignorable. It is difficult at best to dispute. The Russian intelligence agencies have controlling access over Wikileaks, and that appears to have been the case since at least 2016. Wikileaks appears to be, at best, comprehensively compromised.

Bear that in mind henceforth.

As to the more usual fascist watch updates: "Decoding trumpism: "Who are you going to believe: me, or your lying ears?"" plays upon a theme we've seen before, but it's still news to some people. Steve King is testing the water with pure, up-front white supremacy - "Steve King: 'Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other' before whites become minority," "White supremacism is ready to roar," and "Nancy Pelosi To Paul Ryan: Strip Steve King Of His Chairmanship" are the stores I've included.

Will McMaster resign? Trump (and Bannon and Kushner) override him in an attempt to ditch a Flynn-installed aide. "Trump rejects push to oust NSC aide Bannon and Kushner prevail on the president to override his national security adviser and keep a Flynn protégé." Does McMaster have any independence at all?

Finally, in general other news - "Mormon church uses bogus copyright claims in attempt to censor Mormonleaks," which is pretty low-grade to be including here, but it's still bad, so I'm including it. "Tillerson used email alias at Exxon to talk climate: New York attorney general" might get him in legal trouble - sockpuppetry isn't just an internet crime, in the right circumstances. "What Calling Congress Achieves - It’s said to be the most effective way to petition the government, but does it really make a difference?" is mostly thrown in because I had it. And finally, "Bannon: Conway standing by Trump was key to surviving ‘Access Hollywood’ tape" - which is why I don't think Conway will be going anywhere soon. Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty, only to Trump.

It's March 15, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 14 march 2017
[13 Mar 2017|11:57pm]

[ mood | blank ]

Lots of entries applicable to neofascism and related today, and this is, after all, the fascism watch, so let's get straight to it.

"Steve King Says Civilization Can’t Be Restored With ‘Somebody Else’s Babies’" - as 'mainstream' GOP elected officials start openly embracing the white supremacist (né "white nationalist") positions. Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer has already declared Steve King's assertion "the 15 words," echoing Hitler's "14 words" slogan from Mein Kampf. (See: https://twitter.com/JeffSharlet/status/841339397299658752 )

I've been warning about this for a while, but apparently it's a shocker for some people: "American Citizens: U.S. Border Agents Can Search Your Cellphone." Surprise! It's mostly Muslims they're targeting! And in the headline case, they put a chokehold on an American after he said no, until his wife handed over her phone for the same search purposes.

Today's executive order is more than it looks like on first glance, says "President Bannon Is Laying the Groundwork for Destroying the Executive Branch," particularly in that it authorises wholesale eliminations of Executive departments.

And in "let's make up reality," we have "Sean Spicer just explained why ‘wire tapping’ is different from wiretapping" (trying to pretend a walkback of Trump's claims of spying by Obama aren't what they are in plain text) and "Deep State: Inside Donald Trump's Paranoid Conspiracy Theory." Fun times.

So, from there, to corruption! Lots of that, too. "Kushners Set to Get $400 Million From Chinese on Marquee Tower" has been getting some notice. It's basically a payoff. For what, we don't know. "Donald Trump, Jr is a patent-troll and his biggest client now does business with the US government" is pretty straightforward. "Want to Keep the President at Bay? Two Consultants Have an Inside Track" is Trump associates putting up a shingle for shakedowns - don't want Trump to tweet negatively about your company? Well, come talk to us! We can't stop it but we can handle it for you and maybe help you prevent it. How is this different to a "shame if something was t'happen to it" shakedown racket? Business suits. And to top it off, enjoy, "This Level of Corruption Is Unprecedented in the Modern History of the Presidency."

Oh, and whether this is related to corruption, fascism, or staggering incompetence, I can't tell you, but "Exclusive: Russia appears to deploy forces in Egypt, eyes on Libya role - sources."

Trying to assert empirical rationality, we have "Meteorologists refute EPA head on climate change." Not that it matters, since empiricism isn't the point or even a consideration - except insofar as it is the enemy. Shying away from the insanity, "Girl Guides of Canada, reacting to Trump, won't send groups to United States." They're afraid of having girls turned back and stranded. They won't even do layovers now.

Finally, we have an amusing health care duo: "Affordable Care Act revision would reduce insured numbers by 24 million, CBO projects," "White House analysis of Obamacare repeal sees even deeper insurance losses than CBO." The Republican response has been to attack the CBO as corrupt ("Newt Gingrich Says the Congressional Budget Office Is 'Corrupt' and Should Be Abolished"), of course.

It's March 14, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 13 march 2017
[12 Mar 2017|11:42pm]

[ mood | blank ]

Good morning. We have three immigration/roundup stories: "Exclusive: Trump admin. plans expanded immigrant detention," "It’s Still a Muslim Ban," and "BBC reporter Benjamin Zand‏ harassed, questioned about ancestry at US customs." Plans include intentional removal of children from families of those seeking asylum as a way to pressure asylum-seekers to abandon the attempt.

We have a set of stories on environmental issues and government suppression of data. "Trump's actions raise fears about access to government data," "Inside the GOP's Latest Effort to Gut Science at the EPA," and the terrible clickbait headline "This climate lawsuit could change everything. No wonder the Trump administration doesn’t want it going to trial" for which the Washington Post should be embarrassed. On a not-unrelated note, we also have "Conservation group maps land protection strategy in 3 states." Being private, hopefully _that_ one won't get shot down.

In other reality-altering news, we have "Trump's budget director claims Obama was 'manipulating' jobs data" - they're doubling down (of course) on the claim that the Obama-era jobless numbers were "fake" but their identically-derived numbers are "real" now because they're coming from the Trump administration.

20/20 (on ABC News) had a story on Gay Conversion Camps, the fundamentalist abuse and torture facilities used to try to turn queer kits straight. "Undercover at a so-called gay conversion camp" is only the short form for the longer story, but it's what I have online.

Russians and impeachment: "Trump Adviser Had Twitter Contact With Figure Tied to Russians," "If Russia Inquiry Is Not ‘Legitimate,’ Democrats May Abandon It" (meaning they won't participate in a coverup or sham investigation - hopefully), "Flynn told Trump team he might register as a foreign agent," meaning more lies from the Trump administration about this whole thing, "Democracy 21 letter to United States Attorney Preet Bharara" - the request to investigate that probably got Mr. Bharara fired, and "Donald Trump could be impeached on four grounds, former Labor Secretary says."

Five Thirty Eight talks about the surprise factors in the election in "There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble."

A couple of health-care updates: "What Do Republicans Believe?" (spoiler: FUCKING NOTHING) and "What the GOP health-care plan might mean for Washington state."

And finally, two other miscellaneous: "During his political rise, Stephen K. Bannon was a man with no fixed address," and "Emboldened by Trump, some police unions seek to overhaul Obama’s reforms."

It's March 13, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 12 march 2017
[12 Mar 2017|10:09am]

[ mood | blank ]

So we have a big stack of connected stories from yesterday (and a few from a couple of days before) about the fired Michael Flynn, about Russian contacts with the Trump campaign, and a series of connections between urges-to-investigate Trump's use of the White House to further his business interests and the sudden firing of US Attorneys without replacements.

* Trump adviser admits to contact with DNC hacker
* Michael Flynn Apparently Paid Retired-FBI Agent Embroiled in Clinton Email Scandal

* Ethics Watchdogs Want U.S. Attorney To Investigate Trump's Business Interests
* Trump Abruptly Orders 46 Obama-Era Prosecutors to Resign
* The Showman: How U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara struck fear into Wall Street and Albany.
* Preet Bharara Is Fired After Refusing to Step Down as U.S. Attorney

Neat stuff.

In Texas, we have a neat story about how "Trump is about to pull off one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history and Texas will lose." Well, shoulda maybe not voted for him given that this was one of the central planks of his platform. Given that we're going to be hurt by this too, is a big ol' HA-ha out of line?

Less funny are "How President Trump has already hurt American democracy — in just 50 days" and "The Words We Use About Donald Trump," about the normalisation of neofascism.

Introduced in the House is "H.R.610: To distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools." Definitely keep track of that.

Border issues continue to be fun; two on refugees fleeing the US for Canada, and one pocket guide to getting across the US border without handing over a copy of all your data. "A run for the border," "A perilous, frozen trek into Canada was the only option for three terrified migrants. The alternative was to face death in their home country," and "EFF’S POCKET GUIDE TO PROTECTING YOUR DATA AT THE U.S. BORDER" (PDF booklet).

We have our first anti-gay law passed at the state level since the election - South Dakota takes that shitty crown. "South Dakota Governor Signs Anti-LGBTQ “License to Discriminate” Bill into Law."

This isn't the election's fault, but cuts to the CDC won't help anybody deal with "Deadly fungal infection that doctors have been fearing now reported in U.S."

And today's alt-reality headline, "White Evangelicals Believe They Face More Discrimination Than Muslims" is actually pretty explainable - it's a combination of just outright lying about anything anyone else faces, pity party, and most of all, a zero-sum view of rights; they quite sincerely believe that if they can't oppress others in law (queers particularly, but by no means just) then they are being oppressed and their religious liberty (to oppress others) is being taken away. They've been taught this for decades and this was well and firmly in place even before the 1990s, and it hasn't really changed. Their media have been calling themselves the most oppressed people in America for ages. So really, there's literally nothing new about this story, but it's a good reminder.

It's March 12, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 11 march 2017
[11 Mar 2017|12:21am]

[ mood | blank ]

The jobs report came out and suddenly it's valid data and not fraudulent. "Jobs report no longer phony, Trump says, now that it’s his," reports the AP, and Spicer actually says that. ("I talked to the president prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly: ‘They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.'") This is personal rule incarnate, and fucking terrible.

In depleting the government news, which helps avoid scrutiny and also promotes personal rule, we have two stories - "Under Trump, an Already Depleted I.R.S. Could Face Deep Cuts," and "Attorney general seeks resignations of 46 US attorneys." The second is actually pretty normal, except that it's not usually done until replacement attorneys have been at least nominated. That hasn't happened. Sessions's portfolio has been less unfilled than the rest of the administration, but it's still not exactly off to a gallop. Still, I think this is mostly to make sure nobody opposing his crackdown on minorities is in the offices.

In bipartisan horrors, we have "America's spooks want Congress to extend massive spying powers but still won't answer Congress's basic questions." That's the domestic spying capabilities that keep being renewed regardless of who is in charge. It's expected they'll be renewed again.

We also have an article on Sebastian Gorka, the "terrorism guru" of the Trump administration who - as has been documented in previous news posts - has ties to neofascist groups in Hungary. "The Curious Case of Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s New Terrorism Guru."

"The super-secret division in charge of the Russia investigation" is an attempt to figure out what the FBI is doing regarding Russian interference in the US election. The answer: yes, they're doing things. It's not fast.

A couple of environmental stories: "EPA Head Scott Pruitt Says CO2 Isn't A Primary Contributor To Global Warming. He's Wrong" and "Mass. is enforcing its environmental rules less" - the former is Scott Pruitt doing what the GOP and he in particular do: override science in favour of predetermined policy goals. The second is a story from Massachusetts, wherein they're less able to enforce their own laws due to Federal budgetary actions.

Remember those refugees fleeing the US and seeking asylum in Canada? It hasn't gone away. Two stories, one from the Americans, one from the Canadians. "Since Trump, Quiet Upstate Road Becomes a Busy Exit From U.S." and "'I want to die,' 2-year-old refugee said during hours-long walk to Manitoba from U.S."

"Vandals target Seattle synagogue with anti-Semitic graffiti" - specifically holocaust denial graffiti. Ugly ugly ugly.

In health, a plethora of nasties: "Expect the CBO to estimate large coverage losses from the GOP health care plan" - the estimate being made here says 'at least 15 million.' Also, see "House GOP health bill would cut women's services," and "GOP congressman says we need to repeal Obamacare so men don’t have to pay for prenatal care" - women are, of course, going to get the short end of the neofascist stick, as always. And in a separate bill, "House Republicans would let employers demand workers’ genetic test results." It's like something out of Gattaca.

It's March 11, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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a few pictures from qualicum beach
[10 Mar 2017|08:30am]

It’s very strange to start learning the violin (or, in folk terms, the fiddle), just because it’s an instrument that anyone around me actually plays. Honestly not entirely sure what to do with that. Everything else I’ve learned it’s been me and THAT’S ALL (for the most part) and so I’m all kinda “…huh” and not sure what I think about it.

The other people at the Qualicum Beach workshops were pretty much “…well you’re jumping straight into the deep end, aren’t you?” at me, and I’m all YES BUT IT’S OKAY I AM A SHARK. A SHARK WITH A FIDDLE. APPARENTLY.

I have a few photos, but not that many, because the weather on the way was pretty terrible and I like rain and stuff so you know I’m not fucking around. But right as we were docking in Nanaimo, it cleared up a bit, and I took a few pictures.

Of course, the best picture I got of Andre – who was leading the workshops – was on guitar. Go fig. Still, it’s the best shot I got that wasn’t video. (I took a little video for technique study later.)

I broke a bow string! MILESTONE ACHIEVED! Very, very small milestone. Still. Also, a vaguely album-covery picture from Saturday night, after dinner but before the ceilidh performances, of the workshop stage.

Oh, yeah, there was a stage because everyone at the workshop gets up and does a piece or two. Anna and I went up as a band and did the entirely-unrelated-to-the-event “King of Elfland’s Daughter” and “Elf Glade.” They were not expecting that, and Andre was all “now I get what you do.” It was pretty metal.

Bigger versions on Flickr, as usual.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

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good morning, it's 10 march 2017
[10 Mar 2017|12:11am]

[ mood | blank ]

Two stories on Flynn; first, that he retroactively registered as a foreign agent (and was paid $530K for it) during the campaign and while a Trump administration official. The neat second story is that the White House is provably lying about not knowing. (Flynn Admits Lobbying May Have Helped Turkey, White House Demonstrably Lying About Flynn) Meanwhile, the Trump administration is claiming that ethics rules don't apply to various staffers, and the Secretary of State for Exxon is travelling to Asia - but without allowing media along, and after cancelling yet another planned press conference. (Rep. Elijah Cummings blasts Trump admin.—demands explanation on White House claim that ethics rules don't apply to certain Trump staffers, Tapper: Tillerson traveling without press ‘insulting’)

Also, "EPA’s environmental justice head resigns" is pretty self-explanitory.

"BLUEXIT: A Modest Proposal For Separating Blue States From Red" is getting a lot of reaction out there, much of it negative. But it's absolutely a moot point - the rightists didn't take the not-dissimilar Archipelago of Cities proposal seriously 15 years ago, there's no way in hell they'll take this seriously now - and moreover, they don't want to. None of this has ever been about 'local control' except as an excuse, used where it fits, to support what they want to do anyway. If you want to do something with 'local control' that they don't like, they'll move against it federally. Their interest in states' rights and true original-school Federalism is purely a sham. (See also, "Texas Central fights legislators' efforts to kill high-speed rail project.")

Three Jeff "Racist Motherfucker" Sessions articles: "Sessions: Gitmo is a 'very fine place'," "Jeff Sessions Should be Disbarred," and "ACLU files ethics complaint against Sessions with Alabama Bar Disciplinary Commission." Normally lying under oath is an immediate disbarment; I rather doubt they'll stick to that though for one of their own.

We're still on the case: "Washington AG says order blocking Trump’s first travel ban should apply to new one" - it's not a separate case, it's a straight-up attempt to apply the previous ruling to this order, because, as Atty. General Ferguson said, we can't keep playing whackamole with a series of endless slightly-revised new orders. (Hawai'i has also jumped in, filing a separate court procedure, and a few more states have joined Washington State.) As for impact, well, "Fatima Avelica Watched Her Dad Get Arrested by Immigration Officials While Taking Her to School."

Former UKIP party leader "Nigel Farage Just Visited The Ecuadorian Embassy In London." And lied about it in a way that was that kind of contemptuous "I'm lying, I know I'm lying, you know I'm lying, I know you know I'm lying, and don't even give a fuck" answer. Meeting up with Assange? Why else would he be there?

Sadly inevitable, anti-Semitism seems to be being bolted onto prosperity gospel, in "Cindy Jacobs: God Wants Christians To Be Rich So Jews Become Jealous And Convert."

In corruption news, "Senate Republicans introduce resolution ensuring ISPs don't need your permission to sell your private data and SSN" and "GOP senators’ new bill would let ISPs sell your Web browsing data" are both about the same regulatory rollbacks. And Trumpcare - "Trump tells conservative leaders he will blame Dems if healthcare plan fails: report," "Advocates call foul on CDC cuts in GOP Obamacare repeal bill," "The Great Republican Swindle," and "Mental Health Support Will Disappear Under The GOP Healthcare Act" round out the list.

It's March 10, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 9 march 2017
[09 Mar 2017|12:52am]

[ mood | blank ]

Freakishly short today. An opinion piece in Canada against the US demands to be able to Do Unreasonable Shit to Canadians in Canada. Trump's corruption ring nets him 38 new trademarks in China - very valuable. NOAA is also getting the axe - it's landing particularly hard on anything involving climate change, of course, but also tsunami warning systems, lots more. ProPublica has a list of some of the people Trump has installed in the Federal government - ones that don't require Congressional approval and therefore have little oversight. And Clarence Thomas hasn't managed to be right twice a day, but in a nearly bizarre turn of events, he may be right on something. Something the court is sadly not taking up, but still.

It's March 9, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 8 march 2017
[08 Mar 2017|12:52am]

[ mood | blank ]

Bit of a mix today - no particular theme. It's been interesting watching Trumpcare/Republicare/Chumpcare withering already on the vine - and rumours already are appearing about a replacement for the replacement. (4 GOP senators demand to keep Obamacare Medicaid expansion, House GOP releases plan to repeal, replace Obamacare, House, Senate conservative Republicans plan own Obamacare repeal bill)

Apparently it's supposed to be a BIG SHOCK!!!1! that the intelligence groups have ways to hack phones and televisions and stuff. I have no idea why, but there you go. The Russians and various rightists (including our favourite pederast) are now alleging that it wasn't Russia who hacked the DNC's computers - it was the CIA. Sure. Why not. (WikiLeaks publishes CIA trove alleging wide scale hacking, CIA Has an “Impressive List” of Ways to Hack Into Your Smartphone, WikiLeaks Files Indicate)

TSA's new "pat-down method" is so "invasive" that they're telling local agents to meet beforehand with local POLICE so that when people report BEING MOLESTED that police blow it off as just new patdown. Of course, this will never be used to cover up sexual assault or anything else. Seriously: I won't get on another US airplane in the US. Somebody will ram their hands up my vag and I will punch them in the face and then _I'll_ go to jail, and it's just not worth it (TSA Introducing New, More Invasive Pat-Down Method).

Trump administration halts California's plans for high-speed rail and infrastructure improvements pretty much speaks for itself. It's not a 100% shutdown, but it's a real attempt to kneecap the state's transit efforts. Because fuck California, apparently.

LGBT issues: Study: Statewide legal same-sex marriage reduced suicide attempts for gay, bisexual youth; Texas conservatives launch massive anti-transgender misinformation campaign,

Alt-Facts: Spokane County sheriff blames Obama for cop deaths, The EPA’s Science Office Removed “Science” From Its Mission Statement

Canada: The Alt-Right Has Eaten the Conservative Leadership Race (This is very discouraging.)

And finally, Russia and Trump Administration Insanity:

Blumenthal: Special prosecutor must probe Trump/Russia ties
A Conspiracy Theory’s Journey From Talk Radio to Trump’s Twitter
Trump's Wiretap Tweets Raise Risk of Impeachment
Russia: The Conspiracy Trap
GOP refuses to back Trump's wiretap claim
Top Trump Ally Met With Putin’s Deputy in Moscow
Before Elections, Dutch Fear Russian Meddling, but Also U.S. Cash

It's March 8, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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good morning, it's 6 march 2017
[05 Mar 2017|11:59pm]

[ mood | blank ]

Massive unwinding and cutbacks at NOAA, climate research, EPA; Pruitt plans to block California's more stringent vehicle emissions standards, as well. Basically, the plan is to FUCK THE PLANET AS HARD AS THEY CAN. Seriously, that's the plan as far as I can tell. Fuck everything.

Of course, also this weekend, the big story is Trump accusing the Obama administration of wiretapping his office and Trump Tower during the campaign investigations about Russian political interference. No supporting evidence has been forthcoming, but Republicans in Congress are already planning on investigating the Democratic Party and the Obama administration on this (as well as other) matters. I guess this is their defence position on the Russian collusion story: ramp back up fake investigations of Democrats to keep the base frothy.

Meanwhile, DHS wrote up a report calling the Portland anti-Trump protests "Domestic Terrorist Violence."

In smaller crackdown news, flying in the US is about to get worse as pat-downs are going to get a lot more invasive.

elle comes out and notices that the big common tying thread in the pan-neofascist movement is misogyny. Late to the game, but correct nonetheless.

Georgia is redrawing Congressional lines to shore up weakening Republican districts with even more gerrymandering.

The US is ready to completely botch the next pandemic - it's been ill-prepared generally for a while, but the situation has become much worse under Trump, in a very short period of time.

Another 'go back to your own country' shooting is reported - this one's in Kent, and Kent police are taking it very seriously. (The rightist response has been to meme fake-hate-crime variants, setting up websites that declare all racist/misogynist/anti-Semetic hate crimes as fake.) Also, some more immigration crackdown side effects which the people behind the crackdowns don't care about, mostly because they enjoy hurting people.

Surprising no one, the "US steel" requirement for pipelines isn't so much of one. A Russian ogliarch is a huge benefit of the reframing. Surprise! Also, the Trump administration weakened Obama-administration ethics rules on roles for industrial lobbyists, and isn't even following its own weaker rules. Meanwhile, the Trump kids are making serious bank off dad being in the white house.

It took me two days of not being in the centre of the storm to start to unwind from this wretched insane lootfest maelstrom of fascist corruption and horror; I'm back 90 minutes and I'm reeling. Christ, what a complete clusterfuck the US has become. Seriously, this is complete fucking madness. But Trump's numbers with Republicans - who are the only people who matter, as they have made it very fucking clear for some time now - have barely budged - 80%+ approval in Reuters. If you squint hard, you can see some movement out of peak - the margin of error at the highs were 4 points above his current most-likely number - and the margins-of-error just barely fail to overlap (by about a percent). So that's a gradual small movement from peak support.

But that's it. Until that actually moves, nothing changes.

Good luck.

It's March 6, 2017; this is the newsCollapse )

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