As a straight, cis, white girl I'm indebted to the LGBTQIA community for my ability to continue Anti-AOL when it was just starting out, and when I didn't always know what to do with it or myself, if only because some members would drop in during my lowest moments and bolster my strength and my belief that I could do it. For that, I never thanked them properly or enough.
I don't know why they came to my blog when they did: I had no visible political or other affiliations that would attract them to my cause, discussed nothing related to theirs, and on my personal blog was quite open and public about being a girly girl (I have quirks - like how I write, not to mention how I think and how I can see the world - that make me believe I'm more androgyne than traditionally femme, but hey, that's another story, and it doesn't really matter, as I don't know if it attracted the LGBTQIA crowd to my blog, or not).
But because they came to me in numbers here and there over the years and lent me their support (emails, comments, linkbacks, information, online friendships) and were there for me in a way that, to this day, most straight people are not, my gratitude was total. I don't forget kindness, and they took the time to show it to me even at my lowest points, often when absolutely no one else would.
So, though I have no offline LGBTQIA friendships, thanks to a mostly sheltered life, and though I'm not one to bring up LGBTQIA issues very often, I have no reason not to, and often feel like I can and should do more. In the meantime, I'd like everyone to know that I will stand by the LGBTQIA community, that I consider all of you my friends and compatriots in every battle for justice and equality, and that because I believe women's rights are human rights, I don't think of what I go through as a woman without also thinking of every one of you who go through all of what we do and so much more.
In that spirit, I'd like to present a few things that have been bothering me - and am hoping I can stay more up to date in the future on sharing what's going on in the fight for LGBTQIA and women's rights.
Firstly, in the spirit of putting someone in charge of an agency who is known to hate it, and who wants to dismantle it - such as DeathStar Bannon (administrative state deconstructionist), Suer Polluter Pruitt (EPA disassembler) and Gun For Grizzly DeVos (public education destroyer) - now we have Bethany Kozma, an "anti-transgender activist" (gender equality gutter). I know nothing about her except her official title: "senior adviser for women's empowerment". My ass.
Anyone not empowering LGBTQIA is not empowering women. Period. I could go on about how fluid gender and sexual orientation are, not just for some but many of us, how dumb it is to make assumptions based on birth gender, current or desired appearance, admonitions in the Bible or from parents, teachers or communities, and the state-directed propaganda that is the purulence of Trump and his base, but I get why not being a scaredycat phobic bigot is in humanity's best interest, and I'm just preaching to the choir.
This regime does all it can to feed its ignorant base, as they have no quarter anywhere else, while the majority of us watch horrified as they undo the very tenets of treating each other with respect and kindness.
In the run-up to Trump's latest base-baiting, a GOP Congresswoman named Vicky Hartzler, "[f]resh off a committee hearing where she introduced (and withdrew) an amendment banning transgender people from serving in the military", was quoted as saying: "At a time when we should be focusing on the threats from North Korea, and Putin, and ISIS, we’re having to deal with a threat here at home — a domestic threat — of allowing transgenders [sic] in our service [...]".
As though filing and withdrawing her hate bill and spouting this horseshit was not enough, a month later Trump picked up where she left off by barring transgender from the military. Though he phrased his twit (yes, he actually tweeted an order) as though the ban went into effect immediately just because he'd twitted it, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (after Trump claimed he'd already consulted with them) denied having any knowledge of it. Then the military announced transgender individuals can still serve - at least for now - as they refuse to discharge anyone without an actual policy in place.
On the same day Trump issued his ban, the Justice Department, without invitation, jumped in on a private lawsuit to argue employers are allowed to fire people for being gay - threatening rights assumed under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act - and the regime appointed infamous anti-gay rights activist Sam Brownback as "international religious freedom" propagandist.
Today we have news (that I didn't know of until I searched Google for the links above) that The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) are representing five active duty transgender service members in the lawsuit Doe vs. Trump, aimed at ending Trump's ban because it's unconstitutional. I hope they prevail. If the ban is indeed unconstitutional, then there's no reason why they shouldn't.
In the meantime there are lessons here, going back to what kind of person Trump became in 2015 to play to his intolerant base. Because I'm a New Yorker and grew up hearing about Trump's antics, it irritates me when people say: "Oh, you should've known you can't trust Trump" on LGBTQIA issues. To us - to typical city and outer borough New Yorkers - it sounds kind of nuts, because we had him pegged years ago as the typical showy, pro-abortion liberal who hung out with gays and celebrities, as one does, so we might have thought he was merely putting on the "conservative" act. To fit in. To win.
While one can rest assured he's not pretending - because if it ever was an act, it's become all too real now, be it to play to his rotten base, for his own financial gain, to prevail in the 2020 race, to impress his beloved Putin with shows of similar "values", or whatever - after observing him in New York, many of us assumed he'd be just a little more bendy around the edges in respect to LGBTQIA issues than he's actually turned out to be.
Instead he's taken such a harsh stance against LGBTQIA that I have no doubt without Ivanka around to impress, things might be worse - LGBTQIA might be more routinely persecuted; the office of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment might not exist; civil rights might be completely off the table by now, so...it's not going to be easy out there, and anyone with a more upbeat prediction than that is likely just kidding themselves.
Let's not stereotype the stereotyping, now
First paragraph: "and [I] don’t endorse using stereotypes." Last paragraph - actually a bullet point (emphasis mine): "Spend more time on the many other types of biases besides stereotypes. Stereotypes are much more accurate and responsive to new information than the training suggests (I’m not advocating for using stereotypes, I [sic] just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of what’s said in the training).
So he doesn't endorse using stereotypes
though they are sooooooo accurate aren't they for real so why aren't we using them to train Google employees, already? but hey, he's gotta be politically correct, so he denies in the face of all his carefully hand-crafted evidence to the contrary that they should be used to train people, or something.
You have to consider how insidiousness the creepy-crawly, "I'm not really picking your pocket so stop yelling at me to give your wallet back"-ness of him is, and I'm only up to the first offending snippets.
He thinks stereotypes are bang-on, perfect representations of everyone he thinks fits into one, so much so that they should be used, in his opinion, to teach Google employees how to do their jobs, which to his mind, all involve ceaseless stereotyping in order to succeed. Then he claims he would never "endorse" or "advocate" the use of stereotypes, but hey wait, he just did.
Don't alienate the aliens, now
Some bullet point, way in: "Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require [SIC! Not proofreading your lousy manifesto is NOT a good example of "conscientiousness"!] for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company."
OK, where to start: Bart here has a lot to say about conservatives. He thinks they're more conscientious, a bullshit opinion which he's confused with "obedience to authoritarian dictatorships", which is "not hardly" the same thing, self-sic sic sic. The conscientiousness he so prizes is "self-reported" in most studies that have been done.
Conservatives also self-report being "less open", "less exploratory", and "less open to change"...they're crashing bores, in other words, who are literally (not just self-reported) afraid of everything.
Not the folks I'd want chatting me up at my next dinner party; maybe the ones I'd leave in the yard with "gun for grizzly" to calm dear old Betsy, cowering away inside.
Don't be evil? Heh...don't be "agreeable", now
Some paragraph, way in: "In addition to the Left’s affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable [SIC!] than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women..."
One sentence at a time: "humans are generally biased towards protecting females". Obviously he's not kept up with history, be it ancient (Viking women) or current (female Israeli soldiers; women serving in the US military and fighting for combat spots even as we speak).
"this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men." Eh, uh...no. Women are "generally more cooperative and areeable" because historically speaking, if we aren't, we can be hurt emotionally, physically and economically or even killed just over not being "nice enough". But even given all that, I take offense at the idea that I should be agreeable just because I have parts the author doesn't and vice versa. It isn't part of my "just being me" job description, kthanksbai.
"We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women"....OK, yeah, because? Because men have dominated every arena of public and private life since this country started, so having programs to "protect" us - like having programs to "protect" other vulnerable people - is necessary only because of the inborn privilege men have been inoculated with for hundreds of years to confer them with immunity from competition with us.
It goes on and on - for literally ten pages - but I think I've unloaded the worst of my wrath at this point. Knowing he was fired is the least it will take to smooth over the very real damage he's caused thousands of people with his tired, low-res, 100% recycled (tell me conservatives aren't going green!) claptrap. Don't miss the part where he co-opts our "safe spaces" by calling PC culture "psychologically unsafe" because conservatives are just big, soft, supermelty snowflakes, too!
That we're fixing for a friend (the trackpad needs a new circuit board, but he doesn't really want the laptop, so we've been tossing it back and forth) and Other Person was like, "Oh my God, there's room for more stuff! Look at all the room! You could have like, more sidebars and stuff!" and I'm laughing, but I'm also like 0_o, because the last thing I want is to add more code.
But he's right; on widescreens there's enough room to make this into a four column layout (if you're viewing this in your own style, it currently runs one of two, two-column styles depending on your res; on mobile it has one column and nearly no graphics - my favorite of all three).
But - and this is why sometimes I wish everyone knew CSS, so they'd know just what a nightmare it is, and why "bloat" and "page load times" and so on matter - going to a four-column layout for widescreens would mean adding more code, and technically, I consider any background or column changes "a new layout", which would bring me to four of them on a blog maybe a few hundred people a year ever see, and of those, I'd gander 2/3s of them don't see my style thanks to DW's excellent tools to help you never see anyone's.
Plus what would I put in the third and fourth columns? Recipes? Thought of the day? Word of the day? Poems? I could get creative, but...I'd want the extra space on a blog where I could automate the changing of content on a daily basis, but even then, I'm minimalist enough I don't even want the only sidebar I have, so I'd have to think that over. On another website. Because this one doesn't have default support for automated content changing unless I really twist someone's arm to write me some s2 (I know it can be done from the things I saw done on LJ, I just don't know how to convert the code to work on Dreamwidth).
Without automated content changing, if I ever do mess with it - which I'd do only because at anything over 15" wide, the design reminds me of nothing so much as the letter "T", which is why I've taken great pains to widen it over the years, though only up to a certain point - it would be to further widen the main content, but along the same lines as my one-column, with the difference that text would be readable from about three feet away, with no background, maybe just dark text on a plain white page. Maybe some neat typography. Maybe I could use the wider screen to play with the flexbox spec (I almost said "and columns" but no, I really don't think a newspaper or magazine style would suit a personal blog).
Maybe as a winter project.
I'm not posting a full screen shot with location, latency information (48ms - actually kind of awful) and protocol (IPv6) so you'll just have to take my word for it, but the initial speed test - while we were still on the phone with Level 5 tech support after he fixed our download speed - shot up to a comparatively decent 578.75mbps:
I want this screencap framed. Better yet, I want this download speed.
Alas, it was not to be: subsequent tests show speeds as high as 150mbps (entirely on the kitchen laptop, which has the wireless N spec - the prototype of wireless N, in other words - and yet still it flies) to as low as the usual 30-45mbps on other devices around the house, but hey, I can look at this screencap, at what was for a few seconds, and dream.
It's not an unusual speed in South Korea, after all. And obviously it's possible here. The price, though, probably isn't within reach for most of us.
After we brought the modem home one hot and disgusting day toward the end of last month in between ceaseless rain storms, Other Person called Comcast to help us troubleshoot it. The modem was simply not cooperating; we'd exchanged the old one to fix download speeds as low as 1.5mbps when we're supposed to be getting 75mbps down and no less than 30-45 over wifi, but even with the new modem there was no improvement.
OP wound up speaking to what, back in the day, we'd call Level 5 tech. The guy who worked with him over the phone (it was on speaker so I could listen and participate as needed) was well-spoken and clearly knowledgeable, as well as extremely patient and nice, but couldn't figure it out. He walked OP through a number of steps and processes to no avail, before he got the idea to log into our modem as us and make some adjustments.
This meant granting himself access to our gateway admin panel (the panel you normally log into over 10.0.0.0.1, or similar) which made me a bit nervous because I tend to lock things down like Fort Knox the same day we bring each modem home (and this is our third one in a year, so I've gotten rather good at practicing really tight security) but I consented simply to get the modem running right.
Well, it got running right (I'll post an image of just how fast our wifi is on the laptop we keep in the kitchen to use while we're cooking or hanging out nearby, maybe as my next post, only because it is rather funny by itself) but the possible tradeoff for that was when I logged into our Comcast account later on that night, the wifi page told me the modem was no longer ours.
But this was impossible with the way Level 5 would have left things for us. He specifically asked permission to use our last modem's broadcast name (let's say it was Cowboy, though it was not) and our last wifi password (let's say it was c0mca5t5uck5, though it was not) while he was in there making his adjustments*, which we allowed him to do for the sake of expediency.
But when I logged into Comcast later on that night instead of seeing the gateway broadcasting as Cowboy with the password c0mca5t5uck5, I saw this:
The screencap shows our gateway broadcasting with the wrong name and password. To protect the information from search indexing I'm not posting the text.
I'm like, who is L*, and what kind of password is that, because neither I nor OP would ever choose it. There is and has never been a gateway named L* in our area, so it didn't seem like it could be an odd, local mixup on Comcast's part, not to mention our wifi was literally broadcasting as Cowboy - not as L* - even as I saw this strange name and password on the page, so it also didn't seem possible a stranger had overtaken our router. And again, our Level 5 told us he used Cowboy and c0mca5t5uck5 when he went into our router to make his changes, so he should not have been at fault for why the broadcast name and password were showing up as someone else's.
At this point I was wondering if I should call Comcast as I realized I hadn't once logged into the admin panel myself to do my usual Fort Knox lockdown, when suddenly I thought to just refresh the page. Sure enough, the reloaded page showed our broadcast name as Cowboy and the password as c0mca5t5uck5. Multiple refreshes didn't bring the page back to showing the wrong name and password, so at that point it looked like the problem was solved - but not knowing what caused it has been sort of bugging me ever since.
* Edited after posting to more accurately explain what Level 5 did.
I wanted to post this over a week ago (7-24, according to my computer when I screencapped the relevant messages) but life's got a way of getting in the way. I'll assume (though perhaps in error) that it's untriaged/unfixed/unpatched after doing a quick search on Google, but I'm not going to trawl the results any deeper tonight; if this is a dupe report or has already been fixed I might find out and update this post at some later point.
Anyway, it starts out like this: you switch your IP address to a new one (in our case that's because our Comcast modem, the one I need both arms to carry around, took a crap on us last week, so now we're working on the third iteration of this modem in the past year, with a different IP) and LastPass suddenly doesn't recognize the device you're on or the location you're at (it's not sure which), though it's the same device as always (my HP laptop, which has somehow lived another year without the graphics card destroying itself like the last one did, though pixels are beginning to blow out left and right).
When the LastPass add-on (in Firefox latest on Win 10 Pro - not an Insider build) sees your new IP address as a "new device" or "new location" (though that sounds like a bug in itself, it's not the bug I'll be talking about) it looks like this:
The text in the info bar my screen got splashed with says (emphasis mine): "LastPass doesn't recognize this device or you are at a new location. Please check you email to grant access to your new device or location."
See the part where LastPass asks me to check my email? Which means I should literally be unable to use LastPass to log into websites until that one little detail is taken care of? Heh, about that...I just ignored or dismissed the infobar (I forget which), opened the LastPass add-on dropdown menu and finished logging into my Live account like nothing had happened. No checking my email. No granting access. I just went on and used LastPass normally. Which I should not have been able to do!
After logging in, I checked for the email from LastPass just to see what it said, because them even sending it was like, totally useless. It looks like this:
This is where things get funny - if your idea of a good time is when your device gets stolen and your online security is compromised by, of all things, not the thief, but a buggy password manager. What a laugh! The email reads (emphasis mine): "Someone, hopefully you, recently tried to login to your LastPass account from a device or location that we did not recognize. We prevented access until you have reviewed the details of the login attempt."
See the part where LastPass tells me they prevented access until I could review details of the login attempt? Lies, tall tales, and made-up stories because they prevented nothing. I could use LastPass just by continuing to use it. I saw a few more infobars saying the same thing, but I just kept ignoring or dismissing them and like, logging into things. Which, again, I should not have been able to do!
I'm posting this mostly to remind myself to check the LastPass forums and search results more deeply one day for any other news of this issue, and to warn anyone else who comes across this post who might also be using LastPass.