marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-05-11 11:54 pm
Entry tags:

[sticky entry] Sticky: Clearing out my bookmarks: the outré 'Comey condensed' Russian edition (updated 7-24-17)

Timeline to dismissal; updates with ongoing Russian contratemps*, Flynn revelations that tie in, Comey set to testify 10am EST on June 8th, June 14th BREAKING NEWS Trump is now under investigation, and other still-unfolding events

Follow me here... )
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-22 01:35 am

How to view and download ransomed Photobucket gallery images, on a per-image basis (updated 7-26-17)

Update, 7-24-17: in working with images on my other blog tonight I discovered Photobucket has write-protected ransomed images so that even if the method described below works for you, you can only view ransomed images in your browser. Once you download them, they're not viewable on your computer. They also cannot be viewed if you upload them elsewhere. As I say in the post following this ETA, download your albums. Images in downloaded albums were not write-protected - at least not "as of a few weeks ago" when I grabbed my albums.


As I said to Andrew Ducker, it's slow and awful, but until Photobucket disables the ability to use this trick, if you have a copy of Firefox to travel to the image(s) in question, it works even if you're not logged into Photobucket, but does not work on images with the word "album" in the URL, only on images with the word "gallery" in their web addresses.

Which I learned only after my profile meme got ransomed sometime this week, which I caught on to just minutes before posting this. Photobucket images on my blog might be gone now, too, but I don't have time to check.

For Photobucket URLs with the word "gallery" in them, only...

  1. Right-click the ransom badge in your post (for expediency's sake, I'm linking to Andrew's images for testing, so you can try the steps out yourself, as I had no ransom badges of my own when I began this)
  2. Right-click the ransom badge on the Photobucket page you're brought to
  3. The original image has now become visible
  4. Right-click the image and click "Save as" to download (see ETAs at top of post and below for more info) Screencap away - lotsa gotchas, though, if you go this route
  5. Once you follow the above steps, hit your browser's back button. The original picture (not the ransom badge) will show up on its Photobucket page and the post it was added to.

These steps have only worked for me so far in Firefox latest (version 54.0.1) so they might not work in other or older browsers. They do work in both Firefox's regular and private browsing modes. Using Opera with adblock results in a shocking Photobucket directive to install an anti-Adblock script called BlockAdblock, aka FuckAdblock, and links you to a site that I won't share because Web of Trust gives it such a low rating. "Photobucket teams with FuckAdblock" needs to be my next post title, as that's kind of news in itself.

ETA, 7-26-17: Using Chromium (like the barebones version of Google Chrome, which I had to use tonight to deal with Wordpress's PHP-from-hell backend burning up Firefox) the above steps not only won't work, but clicking "Save As" will result in downloading Photobucket's actual ransom badge.

As for other ways to access Photobucket images, Fix Photobucket and the photobucket embed fix app are both dead. You can spam me in the comment section with any apps, tools or websites that actually still work, but I'm quite picky and will try to check a tool before I publish any comment on it. Comments initially will stay screened.

ETA, 7-26-17: [personal profile] killerweasel has found a script via Twitter which, if you own a Wordpress-based site, replaces the images for you. From their web page: "PhotobucketScraper is a script to download all images to your server in the original folder structure." For website owners, this or a similar plugin might be the best way to go.

Downloading Photobucket Albums

Edited on 7-24-17 to add: download your albums. See instructions at next link. See Update at top for more info.

I've had no problem downloading Photobucket libraries, but there are reports that a few people have been unable to. If you don't block ads that could be one reason why; the page basically never finishes loading and will load one ad after another (up to a dozen) which locks your browser up and slows everything down while you're trying to access images, download libraries, or even copy and share file links.

Some people claim Photobucket's mobile site is much faster. There's also a Photobucket app that's said to load up even quicker than Photobucket does on the Web.

As for moving Photobucket albums to a new image host, you might want to skip moving them to imgur. Imgur's ToS prohibits creating libraries that have already been linked to from other websites and will resize images on direct link, making them basically useless.

You might not want to bother with TinyPic, either, because it's already owned by Photobucket.

So I can tell you what others have suggested and what I'm doing: others mainly suggest getting your own domain name and a hosting plan to host images yourself. From what I gather, self-hosted image libraries (not some roll-your-own solution like adding them to posts, or buying a Wordpress-hosted plan) involve buying or at least adding a separate tool or utility to the backend of your website.

Other ideas include using a free Blogger account, then creating individual posts (Blogger allows up to 10 images per post). Kind of awkward...then there's free Wordpress, which along with Dreamwidth's hosting, is what I use for some of my images. Free Wordpress has 3GB of free storage space, and individual posts are automatically created for each image. These posts aren't displayed publicly nor are they indexed by search engines, and you don't need to know their addresses since you can find all your uploaded images in the Media Library.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-21 07:48 pm

What I'll go through just to save $10 bucks

I just...*headdesks with laughter*

My phone's cheapest prepaid plan is $45 through GoPhone, aka AT&T PREPAID (allcaps are theirs, not mine). I don't, to say the least, have $45 for anything, much less my stupid phone, but we're getting into storm season, I still fear the trees and I happened to drop my LG flip phone - which I kind of fucking adored in all its 2G glory - in the toilet the other day and the 3G replacement is such a dud I plan to throw it off the next bridge I come across.

Besides my Windows phone and my bridge-bound dud, I have a tiny Android I haven't used in literally years, so I called Net10, who services it, to ask about plans. Their cheapest is $35, saving me $10 bucks, so I took it (data went from 6GB high speed with rollover to 2GB without rollover; other than that the plans are about the same) only to realize I had to migrate my Windows phone data to Android - mostly contacts, photos and emails (I could be upset about losing call logs and texts but I'm really not, so I haven't sought to restore either one of those).

As I write this Google Drive, aka Backup and Sync (the name change is theirs, not mine, sans the allcaps) is syncing 9,655 files between my laptop and their servers. I decided my folder selection was too aggressive when GUID diagrams for Firefox and my Dell printer began rolling in but whatever. To get this far I had to uninstall Google Drive after merely "upgrading" it to Backup and Sync, which failed miserably, not allowing me to sync the proper folders and basically fubaring everything.

While I was unfubaring the laptop installation, I rolled back Drive on Android to factory-installed settings and broke the sync connection from my laptop, which wiped out all the files on Android's Drive. There weren't many because the Gmail address I use for Android was not talking to the one I use on my laptop so I logged out of GMail on my laptop, logged back in using my Android Gmail address, then re-installed Drive (now Backup and Sync) on my laptop. This installation went flawlessly and is syncing away as I write this - and slowing my connection to Dreamwidth to a crawl.

When it's finished, I should be able to upgrade Drive to Backup and Sync on Android and pull in files from my laptop, which should bring over my Windows phone data, because I threw my OneDrive folder in there and it actually let me, which I cannot believe. Getting that done should pull in all the photos on my Windows phone, which are the only data still missing after the work I did last night to pull in everything else...

First I imported my main Outlook account to GMail, but the import was marked "has not started" with a "provide info" link that made me log in again in a small, separate window that barred add-ons like LastPass from running, then told me my credentials were incorrect although after triple-checking them against LastPass I could see everything was correct.

So I googled these problems and import will probably never finish based on others getting the same error messages since literally 2009, so I moved down the list to Send Mail As and Check mail from other accounts. Those tasks went as expected, so now my Outlook mail is forwarding to GMail on Android, so I'll never really need to check my Windows phone again. I also have a setting that shows what's coming in off Outlook - but according to the unlabelled emails I'm getting at the moment, it's at least partly malfunctioning, so I'll need to fiddle with that some more.

Once that was done, my Windows contacts synced with Android and GMail started receiving Outlook mail, so things were getting better, but I don't like stock Android, so I was in need of a more ideal solution when I stumbled across Arrow Launcher, which uses "pages" in place of launch icons or home screen widgets to let you see email as it arrives (you can use app icons or pages, but pages are amazing) so I set up an Outlook page as my second home screen (just swipe right) and now I don't even need an app to scan my email (though I still need an app to read the body text).

Unlike any Windows app ever, it doesn't crash (well, it crashed immediately after installing - um, it not only crashed, it removed all my custom settings, but after a phone restart and a redo of all the settings, it seems to work just fine).

To get around Android's ugly stock app I'm using Android Messages; I tried Allo but it's too resource-intensive, so I had to remove it after only a few minutes. That I can't update from Jellybean to the current version is irritating because I want the Ibotta app, which so far is the only app that isn't compatible, but I haven't really "done" apps in my rush to get Windows data onto Android, so I guess I'll see what else fails to play well with it eventually.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-13 03:40 am
Entry tags:

10 ways recipes are undermining your cooking needs at least 11 reasons, not 10

I'm about to take an Emeril Lagasse oyster stew recipe prisoner for this communique on why you should always scan recipes for ingredient lists, cooking times and methods, then ignore almost everything they say and just do whatever the fuck you want.

Before this article on 10 ways recipes are undermining your cooking came along I never knew discussing this sort of thing was a thing, but now that it is, hey, let's do this.

The recipe

Emeril Lagasse's oyster stew

The (alleged) ingredients, with notes on what I sub in or out and when in [brackets]

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick), plus 2 tablespoons butter [this is bullshit; you don't need a plop of butter; if anything, it dilutes the finished product]
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour [he adds it at the entirely wrong step in the process]
  • 1 cup chopped onions [I sub in shallots or use shallots and onions; sometimes also leeks, bok choy, and/or green onions]
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery [completely unnecessary; stew tastes just dandy without it]
  • 2 cups milk [makes a thin, runny base. I worked in a restaurant where oyster stew was made with milk, and it was a disaster. I use half cream and half milk or half half-and-half and half milk - just whatever we have on hand]
  • Salt and cayenne [go light on the cayenne unless you want a burning tongue; can be skipped altogether; for milder flavor I'll use paprika and only use coarse sea or kosher salt]
  • Fresh black pepper [I use this and a peppercorn medley which adds allspice, coriander and All the Pepper Colors]
  • 2 dozen oysters, shucked, drained and liquid reserved [works and tastes just fine with half this many but the more, the merrier]
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic [I usually double this and don't chop it, except to get it small enough to mash up in the mortar and pestle]
  • 1/4 cup chopped finely chopped parsley [not even needed; tastes better with fresh basil chopped and sprinkled on top - and we grow our own]

The directions, with what I actually do in [brackets]

Oh God help me *drinks an entire liquor store's worth of vodka before going on*

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. [OK, so far I'm just playing along here, and it's fine. This will be the last time you see me this complacent, so enjoy it.]
  2. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. [Nope, nope, NOPE, what the hell is he even doing? I haven't even cooked the veggies yet. NOPE.]
  3. Add the onions and celery and cook for 2 minutes. [OK, so far I've melted butter and begun cooking shallots and celery, or shallots and onions without celery, or just shallots or onions, or onions, shallots, and celery. Sometimes I'll even throw in some green/orange/red/yellow bell peppers. But I never add flour before cooking the veggies, literally never. And I stir in garlic after the veggies finish cooking but before the next step, heating it no more than 30 seconds to a minute so it won't get bitter.]
  4. Stir in the milk and oyster liquid. [Nope, nope, NOPE, what the hell is he even doing? This is the part where I finally add the flour! NOPE.]
  5. Season the mixture with salt, cayenne and black pepper. [Nope, nope, NOPE, I do that only after stirring in the cream and milk, or half-and-half and milk - which I haven't done yet, because I'm still stirring in the flour. NOPE.]
  6. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. [This is when I stir in the cream and milk or half-and-half and milk and add the spices, then bring to a simmer for about the suggested time, except sometimes I'll throw the oysters in now as well, but a lot of times I'm drinking or otherwise distracted so I'll forget I could just toss them in now.]
  7. Add the oysters, garlic and parsley. [Nope, nope, NOPE, I add the garlic after sauteing the veggies, which was many, many steps and often at least one drink or so ago. The oysters might already be curling in the stew at this point, so it's just a matter of tossing parsley or basil in now.]
  8. Bring the liquid back up to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the oysters curl. [Half the time, they've already curled, so I'll skip this and the next step and any subroutines they involve.]
  9. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and remove from the heat. [Nope, nope, NOPE, no butter gets added now. Or ever. NOPE.]
  10. Ladle the soup into the terrine. [We don't have a freakin' terrine, pardon my French, so we just ladle it out of the pot.]

  11. So yeah, sometimes following recipes can suck for some pretty obvious reasons.

    But if you can suss out...how do I put this...how to work around them, they can help you by suggesting what I refer to as "flavor profiles" and giving you other ideas to work off of, like rough quantities and approximate cooking times.

    To give an example of how I'll (deliberately) mix things up, sometimes I'll make oyster stew by combining Emeril's original recipe with his Creole version (which I think is not his nor truly Creole; if it was truly Creole, then the cayenne would be in it, not in the other recipe). Which means picking ingredients from both lists (but normally I just add bacon and white wine and otherwise keep ingredients and proportions about the same as above) but I use the techniques which I bent to my will in the above recipe to cook the resulting combination.

    When I really want to change things up, I'll use ingredients from another recipe altogether, which adds cooked, crumbled sausage into the mix but is otherwise too bland to use in anything other than combination with Emeril's original.

    What none of these recipes even hint at? That fresh-squeezed lemon applied at the table makes any oyster stew truly out of this world. And that if the stew comes out a bit on the thin or bland side (using my steps, it shouldn't), a drop or two of Tabasco at the table is a good flavor lift. And to cook oyster stew in a cast iron pan or Dutch oven because nothing else tastes like it...

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-13 03:33 am
Entry tags:

Oklahoma just flipped two seats from red to blue. Go....

Oklahoma, for helping us gain at least four seats so far this year.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-13 12:40 am

What the mother**** is Net Neutrality?

NSFW, your kids, your ears, your eyes, your brain, or in general. Author promises to cough up a "cleaner" version in "about eight hours" but if they ever have I can't find it, so here, enjoy.

Highlights from the Net Neutrality Day of Action: there were none. It sucked. No seriously, we (and I *do* mean "we") went so much more all-out five years ago for SOPA/PIPA (so many websites were either temporarily or completely inaccessible - including yes, Dreamwidth) that the underwhelming nature of today's "Just click the little X next to each little "just joking, BUT" message to close it" - and that's if a website even had a message because most major so-called "participants" did not - almost made me pass out several times from the sheer drudgery of it all.

It's been too hot to take my own advice and just go for a fucking walk (which is sort of a difficult thing for me to pull off nowadays, anyhow), so I had little choice but to try to slog through it.

I mean, the most exciting thing I saw all day long was my own DW, which I turned into something else for this highly anticipated, yet underwhelming worldwide event (Dreamwidthians will need to "view page in original style" or toss or suppress Dreamwidth's cookies to see the end result properly, or at all), because I still recall, unlike much of the intertubes, how to conduct an online protest, and real protests - not this fake pretend shit people do nowadays ("Oooh, I changed my profile picture"), all the lazy clicktivism they indulge in) involve actual effort and sacrifice, two ideas no one's interested in pursuing anymore, to the point where I feel like a freak and somehow wrong for even bothering.

Sorry/not sorry, but if taking just one day to let a truly impactful message get across - even if it means risking the loss of some online visitors, some money and the likely, at-most temporary loss of a few codger's so-called "goodwill" - is too much of a chance for people to take, then I hope they don't come crying to anyone when what they were so unwilling to do - stand up, really stand up for what they want and believe in - results in all the damage they feared and more actually being done.

With a Republican-controlled (aka: business-controlled) House and Senate and Russian-controlled/Republican-flavored Orangado at the switches, this is not the time to be uncaring or flippant about anything that matters as much as Net Neutrality. Let's see people post twee little cat memes once our currently unfettered access to the Internet is cut off by the very ISPs being cat-memed as I speak. Oh fuck, that's right: they won't be able to, not unless they "buy" the imgur package (includes AOL and MSN!) for an extra $39.99 a month, subject to multiple, super-restrictive ToSes and cancellation without notice at any time, yippee.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-10 04:35 am

!signalboost...Save the date & get ready: Net Neutrality Protest/Day of Action July 12th

Easy enough to remember: the morning after Prime Day (July 11th) we'll wake to the Net Neutrality Day of Action (July 12th - wait, is this bad timing? I hope not). Google and Facebook, among many other sites, have decided they're all in, so be prepared to not know what you'll be preparing for, because the Internet is the only place where we can pull off something akin to April Fool's Day any day of the year.

I myself have something planned, but an inability to spill my own secrets keeps me from sharing much on it, so here's fair warning: all I can say is I've already checked Dreamwidth's ToS and I think I can do what I've been planning, which is a slightly modified version of what Dreamwidth did some five years ago over SOPA/PIPA (archived Dreamwidth SOPA page). Five years later I can't believe we still need to fight for such basic rights and principles, but here we are.

So I'll be going all out; once the 12th rolls around you'll know why you can take me pretty much at my word.

In the meantime, I've been subscribed to the Fight For The Future newsletter (https://www.fightforthefuture.org/), which brought us this update over the weekend:


The last few days have been intense.

On Thursday, over 100 big-name YouTubers with 150+ million shared subscribers took a stand for net neutrality in an open letter to the FCC and Congress.[1] Later that same day, Google and Facebook surprised everyone when it was leaked they would be joining the day of action after months of silence.[2]

Then, on Friday, streaming giant Spotify and cloud storage leader Dropbox announced they too would stand alongside over 60,000 Internet users, thousands of other sites, and over 100 subreddits to make this day one of the largest protests in history.[3][4]

Think about every website or app you use in the course of a day – for music, video, storage, news, and others. We guarantee that many of them are now part of this day of action.

To truly win this, and save net neutrality, we really need to keep the pressure up. If we make this big enough, we can send shock waves through Congress and the FCC and keep them from doing Team Cable's bidding. July 12th is the day we show them them that opposing net neutrality is political poison.

But we’re running out out of time. July 12th is only a few days away and we need you to do everything you can to make this day of action huge. Here’s how you can chip in:

  • If you have a website, run a widget on your site that encourages your visitors to take action. See examples and get the code here (or use the Cloudflare app).
  • If you have a mobile app, send a push notification linking to BattleForTheNet.com so your users can easily take action. The dating service OkCupid will be messaging all their users this way!
  • If you’re on social media, join the “Twitter Brigade” and opt-in to tweet at key moments, change your profile pics and spread the word to all your followers using these resources.
  • If you’re a video creator, post about net neutrality on July 12 linking back to BattleForTheNet.com, or use our simple 30-second video bumper (see files here).

To truly win this, and save net neutrality, we really need to keep the pressure up. If we make this big enough, we can send shock waves through Congress and the FCC and keep them from doing Team Cable's bidding. July 12th is the day we show them them that opposing net neutrality is political poison.

If we don’t, throttling, blocking, and new fees for Internet users will be the new normal. And we simply can’t let that happen.

Every day we have new reasons to hope and believe that we will win this.

Don’t believe me? Think about this for a second: this protest has gotten so big that, on July 12th, it is entirely possible that all of your friends and family will experience this day of action one way or another. That’s crazy, right?

But you have a crucial role to play in making sure this happens.

Please help us make the best of this historic opportunity. We’re counting on you.

For the Internet,

Josh, Laila, Joe, Sarah, Evan, Holmes, Tiff, and the team at Fight for the Future.

Footnotes:

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/6/15930170/youtube-stars-net-neutrality-letter-fcc

[2] http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/06/tech-companies-to-join-day-of-action-protest-to-protect-net-neutrality/

[3] https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8xa84k/spotify-google-tons-of-other-companies-will-protest-to-save-new-neutrality

[4] See full list of participants here: https://battleforthenet.com/july12

Dreamwidth prevents us from running scripts or modifying backend files (to oversimplify things a bit), but there are other ways to protest. We can: change our profile pictures and blurbs, add info and image-only badges to our sidebar custom text areas, post about the fight for Net Neutrality on or before the 12th, and stand in solidarity by taking our DWs offline that day via one-day friends-locks and so on (I'll be in the "and so on" group; please join in however you can and spread the word so others can be ready to participate).

Obviously, clicktivism and slacktivism can be essential activities for raising awareness - much as I'm doing with this post - but they're not a great way to actually get things done, so don't stop at sharing this post (or simply the info contained within it) across Dreamwidth and other social media sites; you should also click here for concrete information on how to contact the FCC and Congress to register your complaint against ending Net Neutrality - let's make positive change happen.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-07 08:12 am

Is Photobucket holding "heavy users" ransom or "hotlinkers" in general? Survey says...

For days I've read that it's the latter, only for it to possibly turn out to be the former. Interestingly, neither website says where they get their information from, so if not for users posting locked-out black badges like this one I'd wonder if I should tsk-tsk about "fake news".

The only thing I can say is both things seem to be true: Photobucket's ToS says (emphasis theirs): "The free account does not allow any image linking or 3rd party image hosting" but this might not necessarily result in a ransom situation for any free user - though at any moment it certainly could, considering "free user" does not compute to "light user".

With Photobucket tossing word salad with such impunity, I've downloaded my albums - a measly ~60MB for images on both blogs (I don't use Photobucket for personal image hosting, so at least there's that) because when web hosts of any kind - blog hosts, image hosts, whomever - "get funny", and by "get funny" I mean do strange, unexpected, and quite sudden things without notice, it's almost always presage for a disaster.

And given any notice at all (and/or any time to act upon it) I don't f*ck around, so I downloaded them. My next "someday" project will be rewriting blog image links after I upload them either here (Dreamwidth has its own image hosting) or Wordpress.com (which much to my eternal chagrin, hosts my other blog, but also offers a few gigs of free media storage).

Oddly enough, images hosted on Wordpress might load faster than they do from here; I think I'm seeing this when I test on pingdom.com for how long background images take to load (they take forever coming from either site, where the web's definition of "forever" is more than two seconds and Google's is more than one, but before I decide DW is slower, I'll need to test again and actually note each site's speeds).

I have to File 13 my Photobuckets, though: PB's been impossible to visit for well over a year without on-page memory use clogging up the pipes; they changed how images are accessed so hotlinking's impossible (the so-called "direct link" brings you to a web page instead of the actual image), and I have three image hosts (four, if you count images I shove off onto accountless imgur uploads because I don't ever want to see them again; in that respect, imgur's literally my online trash can).

For now I divide image hosting between two Photobuckets, Wordpress.com (which hosts images on both blogs via just one WP account) and Dreamwidth. I don't think there's space on DW to move all my blog images here, so they'll probably go on WP, or stay split between DW and WP. Which is...I'm considering moving Anti-AOL to hosted Wordpress just to use a plugin to rewrite all the image links. After roughly 10 years of moving around online MM Itinerant Blogger style, done that, got the t-shirt, so spare me.

Though of course it would save money, if not improve my character, to just rewrite all the links myself.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-07 03:20 am

Various and sundry

Thinking that...

  • Browserstacks does the worst mock-up of a Nokia phone. It's supposed to be flat with no 3D bezel. Specifically, the 930 (which runs Windows; I know there's some new ones out, and yes, even if they run Android, you might want to get one; I know I want to) has no 3D bezel. Yet Browsertacks shows me this and tells me it's a 930 and I'm like 0_o:

    Non-existent Nokia featuring 3D bezels - it's supposed to be, but is not, the 930

    Btw, this is what a 930 really looks like - not so bad.
  • That the net might be doomed.
  • That I don't understand why browsers can't write @media CSS on the fly. They write other CSS rules ("default styles"; literally the only reason why you know Eric Meyer's name - unless you're [personal profile] theferrett, his real-life friend). It seems browsers could be set up to "read" style sheets for size rules and custom-scale them automatically (brought to you by my coding a new style sheet and realizing I used more CSS to scale mobile than I did to put the whole style together - such a tedious, let-me-stab-my-eyes-out-just-to-check-if-I'm-alive waste of time.)
  • If nothing else, there should be a bot we could let loose in Notepad++ to just write the @media for us. *pauses* Y'all think I'm kidding.
  • That somebody makes t-shirts with custom logos, right? Because someday when I have a few dollars I want a sky-blue t-shirt with white lettering on it that says: *:not(what you think), which might be an abstract joke about the universal selector.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-01 04:37 am
Entry tags:

If you overdose a third time just die

The choice that's always preferred over raising taxes: three overdose strikes and you're out. Also, layoffs. Because he'll take dead bodies and heartbroken families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and communities to any living bodies moping around without a job.

Are we talking a Republican saying this (party affiliation isn't mentioned, so I don't know, but a dig through any available voter records might be in order)? Sounds about right, in that case...

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-01 12:31 am

White House and Justice Department purging voter rolls (updated 7-1-17 w/more issues)

Not a good look for this increasingly banana republic administration.

I also don't think that's entirely what they're up to. What I think they're also doing is compiling a list of every registered non-Republican voter. Go figure what they might do with it. Germany made some lists back in the 30s, and look how that turned out.

And if you think I'm just being paranoid, I'll indicate, much like the governor of Mississippi already has, which bridge you might go visit. The Gulf is great this time of year, lemme tell you.

My only other advice (and it's sad for being so little, so late) besides get your birth certificates, passports, and naturalization papers in order: the banana republic is looking hard at dual enrollment - amongst many, many other things - so if you're dual (or triple, or quadruple, or whatever) enrolled (in other words, if you might be on the voter rolls in more than one state) you should probably do something about it.

It's very late to say so; I'm simply hoping Kobach and his minions can't check the voter rolls that fast. While I might recall from past things I've read on him that he has some sort of automated software to look through voter rolls with *(he does; more at bottom asterisk), there might be a window (likely not more than a few days) in which you can get un-enrolled where you need to. I don't know if it'll help (you might still get purged) but if you fix what you can now, it might be proved down the road that your voting rights should be restored.

People should keep a careful eye on what comes out of this. Look out for your own registration however you can.

And not to strike fear into everyone, but the banana republic's formally requested not just any publicly available voter information, but every last bit states can or will provide (and the Justice Department will be suing states that refuse to provide it). The information requested includes information that violates our privacy (party affiliation, voting history, military status, dual citizenship, felon status - some of this in violation of the 1974 federal Privacy Act) and risks our financial security (name, address, last four digits of Social Security number).

I've seen unsourced reports that the nature of Kobach's voter record's request (which is to be completed by email, btw!) can also force states that collect such information to pass along voter's phone numbers and email addresses, and that giving any voter information to the federal government makes the information a matter of public record, but I need to check into that a bit more.

*The NYTimes, at the link above, might be referring in error to the software as "Birth Link". The best-known version of Kobach's voter registration cross-checking system is the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which Rolling Stone covered in-depth last August.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-06-29 09:58 am
Entry tags:

The real reason right-leaners want you to die without health insurance is...(updated 6-30-17)

From personal experience with some of them (mostly older, working class white men, but not that much older...I'm talking like 45-60 years old) I can say the whole problem, according to how they've gone out of their way to explain it to me, is they're owed whatever perks they get out of life because they work for them and you don't. I've had them tell me so with a straight face even while I was "working for it" just as hard as they were, no if, ands, or buts.

Pointing out I am (or have, or was, or will be again, depending on my situation when we had these conversations) "working for it" just as hard as they were would only lead them to point out that if I ever qualified for or used government entitlements to do anything, like not die of a tooth infection or perhaps not starve for lack of food, then I'm lifelong disqualified from ever bothering the hard-working Murcan taxpayers again.

Simple as that.

I've often wondered how when my work history gets put up against theirs, mine gets erased on the spot for having been supplemented at any point in time. I can be working, but if there's even a whiff of an EBT card on me as I walk by, I'm disqualified from having any perks of American life, like eating or not dying for lack of funds to pay in full at time of visit, so I should go quietly lie in a gutter so as not to bother hard-working folks like them who deserve better than to subsidize me.

Not only am I disqualified, but they want everyone to know they're getting robbed. Not just by me or people like me who've ever leaned on their hard-working taxpayer dollars for a single moment, but by everybody. It's classic that everyone's using them for something: Their employer's using them by overworking their bodies, minds or both for too many hours and not enough pay; their government's using them by making them pay a single dime in taxes for anyone else's existence; everything is described in terms of their financial martyrdom to others.

They keep paychecks to themselves even if their wives or SOs aren't working and have little to no other sources of income; tend to overspend on their kids, then complain the kids are taking advantage and aren't turning out as hoped; tend to overspend on themselves and not week by week, but day by day, then claim it's only because they deserve to have nice things for all the hard work they do and the upholding of the American welfare state that they're personally financing. Not you. Them.

Then they'll complain of being unable to buy groceries or their next beer or whatever, not before another payday rolls around (when it's just Tuesday) and I'll think to myself, "You said you "deserved" all this high-life horseshit; I see where it gets you" because another thing is they seem to think they're rolling in dough even if they make maybe less than (or at most) $20 an hour, yet they talk - and spend money - like the gold-plated toilet is in the bathroom right in back of the living room in their trailer with the 70-inch financed TV hanging up on the wall.

I don't know what drives them. They're usually too incoherent and/or emotionally chaotic to get to the bottom of that. I prefer it when people state their rationales calmly, clearly, sans overly-divisive emotions, but these folks can't do any of that, because their emotions carry their rationales clear out into the Twilight Zone faster than you can hope to know why. I don't know if right-leaning women act or live similarly, but even when I've known these men's spouses, they were polite enough to not quite batter me to death with their opinions - then again, I'd catch them using more bigoted language and higher-strung defenses than the men did in private conversation that did not involve, or include, me.

These men I'm speaking of also had or have randomly volcanic tempers (the worst kind, in other words) and were usually in the throes of strongly denying being wracked by multiple addictions, so whether their other halves went along out of fear of riling them or out of a genuine shared hatred and a feeling of being put-upon and used by the rest of Murca is or was not clear.

Where I'm going with this is, I see a lot of people try to explain the cruelty of yanking people's insurance or Medicaid (or at other times, welfare or food stamps) by saying their thought process must go something like this: "I got mine, so screw you". But that's not entirely it. It's some, but not all of it.

It's more like: "I got mine - and I worked hard for it and the rest of you didn't, or wouldn't if given the chance - so screw you". I can't overstate how martyred they are over having to go to work each day, and pay taxes, and not go fuck up the rest of Murca for putting them through so much for so little, because Murca is literally (to their minds, and to a person) financed on their backs, and their backs are hurtin' so they just want to sit back and collect like "the rest of y'all do", but "you" are "sucking off" them, so they can't* (more on that at asterick).

So if you can't afford health care then that means you either aren't working (or aren't working hard enough), weren't working (or weren't working hard enough) or might not work in the future (or might not work hard enough) and you'll never work as hard as they do, because no one does, so you don't deserve it. They've paid for you long enough, and will pay for everyone like you long enough, so screw you, because they got theirs and they shouldn't have to pay for yours.

I'm mentioning this so you'll get why some working class people (and working class white men, in particular) vote and even literally think in ways that clearly work against their own interests: because their perceptions are skewed in unhealthy and even hateful ways, though they don't see it as hateful so much as they see themselves as taken advantage of by nearly everyone, and especially by the poor. Of course, their self-regard doesn't match the reality in any but the most passing of ways, but let's not let the truth get in the way of a good story, as I often told them, myself. :)

For another, I'm trying to gird people for when the Senate not only rams their Wealthcare bill through about one second past midnight July 5th (or whenever; every time I check the deadline changes again), and then all your working class neighbors erupt in cheers and threaten to wipe every last poor off the face of the Earth if they don't go and just fucking die of something already. Expect both things to occur pretty much in tandem. It's not just rich, white men who want it this way: it's some of their lower class cohorts, too.

We could get into "why" but in fact, another reason I'm posting this is for the sociological aspects of it that might be studied or looked at by others. I want to spread as much fodder as I can and this post adds a little to hopefully figuring out what makes the more cruelly right-leaning tick, though I can't explain much of that myself.

I can only tell you what I know: the few I'm acquainted with aren't thoroughly educated but seem to know everything; have mostly dead-end jobs; not only expect but often demand that their opinion be deferred to; claim they're not prejudiced but complain of every non-white, non-citizen and non-binary group "taking advantage" and "working the system"; have poor attitudes toward women, LGBTQIA, immigrants and non-whites in general; watch FOX News, rock multiple addictions, and have had either missing or exploitative and cruel fathers. Maybe the last two (multiple addictions; bad fathers) are not the norm for most right-leaning people, but either way I'm throwing it out there.

The last part (bad fathers) makes me think they grew up seeing themselves as victims, so the idea that they're being victimized by The Other somehow naturally gets woven through their lives. But with or without any benefit or perk from working, their attitude remains the same: they finance Murca, you don't, so go away.

*Oh, but yes they can. Let's check the hypocrisy of them spending their whole lives shoving anti-poor militancy down everyone's throats, then collecting whatever benefits they can when hard times come along for them. It's happened. One time I was informed of it by the person's son, who laughed because he knew just how stridently "anti-welfare state" his dad was. Though I'd known him about 15 years, still he told me to my face his "family" was helping him through his hard times. We're his "family", folks.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-06-29 01:46 am

Example of a perfect how-to or tutorial, with a hat-tip to Gizmodo

Since I've gone out of my way to pick apart a malware how-to on PCWorld that had too much text/too many steps just to reboot into Safe Mode (conversely, I think my version *still* leaves out selecting Safe Mode before Restart, so I might have gone a wee bit too minimal!, but I'll run through the steps again to make sure)* I figured I'd offer folks a contrast to show how much "fun!" a tutorial can be.

Mine are rarely "fun!"; my nerves get so wrecked getting things right there's not much left over for "fun!". So do as I say, not as I...anyway, Adam Clark Estes at Gizmodo, who I ran across after my own how-to attempt (any title with the words "If You Dare" makes me wanna dare, so I looked even though I don't have Apple-anything to see if he'd get into installing it on Parallels - which shows how little I know about Apple/Mac/iOS) gets it right. Maybe I should try to hire him? After I win Lotto?

Though his style isn't mine, and I prefer mine for Reasons, you have to admit he hits the right notes, like this:

Until the software gets an official release, you can expect your phone to be a big pain in the arse, featuring all kinds of new adventures like crashing apps and awful battery life. So you should consider running the new software on a secondary device, in order to avoid ruining your day-to-day phone usage.

And this:

If all this sounds fine to you

I like this for a few reasons: a) he's not losing sleep wondering if you should. b) You're good with it? So is he! Which sounds kind of re-assuring.

And, finally:

Once you're all updated, have a blast. Impress your friends. Expect everything to crash! It will be annoying, but you'll feel so cool in your annoyance.

I loled.

His how-to is also quite short (maybe that's the difference between how much harder Windows is than Apple-anything? Windows isn't hard to use/tweak/take apart for me, but I doubt my ease with it is on par with much of the population's).

In fact, his how-to is so damn short if I quote much more maybe I'll get in trouble, so just go visit the link (and if you're an iOS user and try it let me know how it goes - though I am not, so I can't help it if it all goes south).

* Ran through the steps on my PC again after posting and nah, it's fine, it's just that the final Restart boots your computer directly into Safe Mode - there are no other options on that screen because it's just that easy...(but seriously, my nerves do get shot making sure of things like this).

marahmarie: How to Even, for Dummies (how to even)
2017-06-29 12:22 am
Entry tags:

I probably would've spent the 70s in a haze of Can't Even if it was as prudish then as it is now

Mind you, in the mid to late 70s I was anything from 7-10 years old.

I had shoulders.

Sometimes they were bare.

I didn't choose my clothes, my mom did. But I happened to like having shoulders, so this was no problem.

The teachers in my (small, well-to-do, perhaps slightly liberal) public school said nothing.

The kids said nothing. They bullied me (I was reed-thin and always sick, which doesn't go over well with bullies, believe you me) but not for that.

The neighbors said nothing.

Back then I did things like: walk for miles unattended, hang around a nearby train station because I liked watching people more than I liked watching trains, and wander through the woods either alone or with boys my own age. While I was a girl.

No one said a word. About my shoulders, nor any of the other stuff I did.

But shoulders? Are apparently a reason to be tortured.

Shoulders? Going off on them now is a thing.

So I guess I had a particularly amazing childhood, considering.

I'm not talking about my shoulders getting me tortured now, either - I'm talking about Ivanka Trump's. She wore this stunning, cheapo off-the-rack dress that showed off her shoulders.

They were bare.

It was too much for people to take.

She's caught almost nothing but hell for it, since (some praise, but mostly hell).

And I don't understand.

I refuse to say, "Well, at least it's not her bottom or breasts" because it's sexist to suggest those areas should not be shown off, too. That's the absurdity of this: we're going off on shoulders now? What's next? Ears?

In light of this, if my mom were here, we'd go shopping to buy up things with no shoulders and take our shoulderless selves out on future dining, shopping and sightseeing jaunts like, "Take that, shoulder sexists, we're a two-for-one. And you won't say a word, because we know how to carry ourselves".

I just. Cannot. Even. With this horseshit.

And I am kind of a prude - not when it comes to how to dress, more in other areas - so I really can't even.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-06-27 12:54 am

Link'ems

Politics

Amazon

  • Amazon now offers reduced fee Prime membership - $5.99 per month for low income earners. "Normal" Prime membership is $99, which in theory would be $8.25 per month, but only if you paid $99 at sign-up to lock in the price, so many people actually pay what I did before "cheaper Prime" came along - $10.99 per month/$131.88 per year - the usual $99 plus a $32.88 Poor People's Poverty Tax.
  • Also check out four more ways to get Prime on the cheap.
  • Amazon ended unlimited cloud storage pretty much the same week I had to jump cloud storage services...*grinds teeth into dust*
  • For cord-cutting Prime members now there's Amazon TV (pick your poison. Yay?).
  • From the email I got, as Amazon has no explainer and Google has nothing indexed: "Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of a game-changing Prime exclusive benefit—Amazon Channels, the first truly a la carte TV service. You can create a lineup you love from over 100 channels, and only pay for the ones you want—no cable required. You get a 7-day free trial of all of our channels, and you can watch anywhere and cancel anytime."
  • About the above - I haven't signed up and will probably be unable to. I also don't know anyone who's signed up. Comcast controls most of the fiber in my area and with them it's cheaper to pay for a TV and Internet package (called the "Double Play") than to just have Internet, so that's mostly what's been stopping me. Will take reviews, though (preferably from people I already know)!

Firefox

  • The search for Goldilocks, indeed. The author says the latest version of Firefox (54) has e10s (multi-process/multi-threaded like Chrome but a max four processes), but it does not have this. I'm using it on an x64 machine with two processors/8GB of RAM, so I can definitively say it has no e10s.
  • Before posting, I found an updated article which says (emphasis mine): "Electrolysis still isn’t on for all users. “Roughly half of Firefox’s user population is using multiple content processes, but Mozilla will be expanding the number over the next few months based on extension compatibility, accessibility support work and other factors,” a Mozilla spokesperson told VentureBeat. To check if you’re in the Electrolysis group, type “about:support” into the URL bar and check to see if it says “1/1 (Enabled by default)” under the Multiprocess Windows line item."
  • While I'm on the topic of Mozilla doing what Mozilla does, and as I made [personal profile] solarbird aware of, standard Firefox add-ons are on their way out, ostensibly to make room for the e10s that they claim exist which for many of us, still don't. People aren't exactly keen on this.
  • Without add-ons as we know them, Firefox basically turns into Opera on Webkit. And though they're killing add-ons as we know them first, a complete browser engine re-write is also on the way. "firefox why u so", indeed!

Invention

  • With this, the author proves he can turn something as ho-hum as a relatively obscure invention into an epic tale that covers everything from original sin to the rise and fall of civilizations to the sad state of mankind's eternal economic Shangri-La. He's also - did I mention this - a great writer.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-06-23 12:04 am

Later model HP computers might be recording your every keystroke (updated 6-29-17*)

In a weird twist, it's not HP recording your keystrokes on certain desktops and laptops - technically it's a Conexant audio driver that does the actual keystroke recording (it includes a debugging program that went a little haywire; whether that's by design or error is not yet known). HP has since released a security advisory that claims the driver's keystroke logging is "caused by a local debugging capability that was not disabled prior to product launch".

Because Conexant makes audio drivers for many computer brands, this privacy intrusion may ultimately affect many other computer, laptop and tablet makes and models, as well.

That means check your tablet, laptop or computer for this driver - no matter which make, model, form factor or version of Windows you have.

You can follow these steps to find the Conexant audio driver on your device and to get a new HP driver without the keylogger in it:

  1. Using Cortana or a search tool like Everything, look for C:\Windows\System32\MicTray.exe or C:\Windows\System32\MicTray64.exe (you can right-click, copy and paste these words right from here into either one of those tools).
  2. If either file turns up, right click the computer taskbar, select Task Manager and look for either MicTray.exe or MicTray64.exe. If either of these turns up, right-click it and select End task.
  3. Go back to the file you found in C:\Windows\System32, right-click it and delete it.
  4. Install the latest HP driver from here. [ed. note: requires FTP to download]
  5. Now search your computer for C:\Users\Public\MicTray.log or check C:\Users\Public\ for the file; if it turns up, open it and check for login names, passwords, banking info, and so on, then change your passwords at the affected websites. 

Microsoft says in this advisory that "Windows Defender AV detects and removes this threat" but also warns "[d]oing so also disables the keyboard short cut that turns the microphone on and off."

For affected desktops and notebooks/laptops HP has made the public aware of scroll to the titles Commercial Desktops, Consumer Notebooks and Commercial Notebooks in the same security advisory linked above, which will list affected models not found in the lists below.

More affected notebook/laptop models the public has been made aware of [list]:

* HARDWARE PRODUCT MODEL(S):
HP EliteBook 820 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 828 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 840 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 848 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 850 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 640 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 650 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 645 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 655 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 450 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 430 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 440 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 446 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 470 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 455 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 725 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 745 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 755 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 1030 G1 Notebook PC
HP ZBook 15u G3 Mobile Workstation
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 Tablet
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 with Travel Keyboard
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 Advanced Keyboard
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Notebook PC
HP ZBook 17 G3 Mobile Workstation
HP ZBook 15 G3 Mobile Workstation
HP ZBook Studio G3 Mobile Workstation
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Notebook PC

Affected operating systems the public has been made aware of [list]:

* OPERATING SYSTEM(S):
Microsoft Windows 10 32
Microsoft Windows 10 64
Microsoft Windows 10 IOT Enterprise 32-Bit (x86)
Microsoft Windows 10 IOT Enterprise 64-Bit (x86)
Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Starter 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 7 32
Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 7E 32-Bit

I'm pretty sure merely having one of the operating systems listed above - by itself - isn't enough to predict "MicTray.exe" or "MicTray64.exe" will be found on your computer, but any make, model or type of computer - such as your tablet, laptop or computer tower - could have it, so it still doesn't hurt to check.


*ETA, 6-29-17: hat-tip to [personal profile] darkoshi for pointing out HP's security advisory lists laptops affected by this keylogger not found in the lists I posted; while I was noticing that, I realized there's a list of affected HP desktops, as well. Article and post title have been updated accordingly.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-06-22 04:05 am

Why do people keep ruining computer how-tos 1000 needless steps at a time?

Seriously, for the love of God, PCWorld has you do so much just to boot into Safe Mode and it's so unbelievably torturous and will so make you want to stab your eyes out with forks (they didn't even have the simple courtesy to turn their many needless steps into a perhaps easier-to-read list, instead pushing you through a gigantic wall of text that barely passes for a normal paragraph) using both hands at once I'm quoting it just for others to share in my sheer horror (emphasis mine, and oh, do I emphasize! [Bracketed step numbering like so] is also mine.):

Step 1: Enter Safe Mode

[in which I've scraped out two paragraphs of useless fluff you can google which has absolutely nothing to do with how to actually boot into Safe Mode]

Sadly, Microsoft has turned the process of booting into safe mode from a relatively easy process in Windows 7 and Windows 8 to one that is decidedly more complicated in Windows 10. [1] To boot into Windows Safe Mode, first click the Start Button in Windows 10 and select the Power button as if you were going to reboot, but don’t click anything. [2] Next hold down the Shift key and click Reboot. [3] When the full-screen menu appears, select Troubleshooting, then Advanced Options, then Startup Settings. [4] On the next window click the Restart button and wait for the next screen to appear [5] (just stick with us here, we know this is long) [ed. note: NO, really?]. [6] Next you will see a menu with numbered startup options; select number 4, which is Safe Mode [ed. note: Finally, yay! Oh, but wait...-->] . [7] Note that if you want to connect to any online scanners you’ll need to select option 5, which is Safe Mode with Networking.

Dear God.


My way, or the highway

Type "safe" into Cortana. Click on the first result; on the next screen hit the Restart Now button. After restarting, click Troubleshoot, then Advanced Options, then Startup Settings; on the next screen hit the Restart now button.

*drops mic forever* (this came in many words under PCWorld's version even once I had to edit shortly after posting for leaving most of the steps out*)


I could make my version even shorter, but it'd just be nitpicking.

Bold is used in my how-to to help the eye track better, so you stay more focused. And if your steps involve a computer re-start at any point, like these ones did? You need to ask your readers to bookmark the instruction page so they can find it again.

The thing is, if you're gearing words toward the computer-learning, don't use lots of words. You need a clear, short, simple, easy-to-follow framework, preferably in list form if it takes more than 2-3 steps. I struggled with just this issue in learning to write how-tos, and still feel some of them should be even shorter/more concise than they are.

Computer users often know what to look up if they don't understand why they're doing something, so simply tell them how and let them figure out "why" in Google or by asking you or others. You can also explain "why" before you start the actual how-to, but somehow separate it from the actual instructions to help minimize confusion.

And if there are multiple ways to do something, show the simplest way possible. Make it look easy; make it seem like fun! Or they'll never want to follow your steps again. Even I got a headache trying to envision how to perform all of PCWorld's steps: knowing the most complicated way to do something is far from knowing the one way that makes you look l33t even if you have no idea what you just did.

And I'm hoping no one says, "But what about people who disable Cortana?" Can't be done, for one thing. Even if people choose to keep Cortana "hidden", there are still easier ways; for instance, the latest version of Win 10 Pro allows you to find Safe Mode by looking in the taskbar tray for All Settings; from there just go to Updates & Security-->Recovery-->Advanced Startup and hit Restart now, then click Troubleshoot-->Advanced Options-->Startup Settings and hit the Restart button. That's it - for real.

*last paragraph also left steps out; now fixed

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-06-21 02:32 am
Entry tags:

Democratic/left-leaning myopia, ftw (updated 6-27-17 w/link)

In tonight's "myopia" series, I explain people not being able to see the forest for their own asses taking up the entire view. Another case in point: Us. Let's get our heads out of our asses and stop Republican gerrymandering (witness another House seat we should have easily won; we are screwed right through 2018, should this continue) and stop ogling Trump's supporters.

Y'all have damn short memories. I mean really damn short.

Do any of you all recall what it was like to support Bill Clinton after his first election? Any Bill supporters out there?

OK: *waves*...I was. He won with only 43% of the popular vote and the right insta-hated him. I cannot emphasize this enough: they hated him right out of the gate; he hadn't taken his first post-McDonald's jog around the White House before you could feel it in the air that they wanted him gone. You can quibble with me, but I followed Clinton's every word/move/bill/action/reaction almost as breathlessly as though he was the actual prophet selected to announce Jesus's return.

If y'all want to know why, it's because - and I've said this before - I have a strong weakness for the underdog as long as they - unlike Trump - seem honest, above-board and act well-intended enough (though having my political and social preferences also clearly helps).

Bill was the underdog, so Bill was my president, no ands, ifs, or buts. The only time I *ever* disagreed with him - for like a half a second - was after he signed off on NAFTA, and I'm still pissed about that, so yeah, I rather vehemently disagreed. But walk away? Oh hell, no. Back then I had two obsessions: the New York Knicks winning their championship that year (they got eliminated in the East Finals) and Bill Clinton becoming and staying president, and you'd easily pry either concept from my cold, dead hands before I gave them up without a fight.

Has it ever occurred to people that Trump's supporters simply feel the same way?

As a past True Believer, I can tell you you're not going to win the fight for 2018 or 2020 by winning them back, so quit it. Stop talking about their underemployed, opiate-and-Faux News-laden self-made hells on Earth. Stop interviewing them in their fucking trailers. Stop bemoaning their disappearing lung-cancer-causing mining jobs and stop doing summations of Why They Voted For Him that ignore the second most important part of why they did: mostly because they're racists - or the more well-heeled folks after big tax cuts and the hell with the rest of us - so again, mostly because they're racists.

The most important reason, though? They wanted a leader, and to their minds, they got one. Don't ask why; it's an irrational thing considering Trump is all smoke, mirrors and one too many Twitter rants. While edges of his base will peel away, the core will remain. Don't mess with it, let's just move on.

For success in 2018/2020 we need to stop finger-pointing, we need to stop ogling, we desperately need to redraw Republican-gerrymandered districts, and we need to stop being divisive. Oh, and you think that's just Faux News! Well, that's us, too. A house divided will always fall. Why are we doing this to ourselves?

  • Every time a progressive points at a Democrat and says: "not left-leaning enough" that's not only complete bullshit it's divisive.
  • Every time a Democrat blames something on "the Bernie bros" that's not only also complete bullshit it's divisive.
  • Every time Bernie gets mentioned, it's divisive. I hate to rip a page from Orangado's book here, but folks: Bernie lost; get over it.
  • Every time progressives single out publications for their hate - most recently, they went after The Washington Post for not feeling progressive enough, something I cannot forgive because it's my favorite newspaper - it's divisive.
  • Every time an (obviously) self-proclaimed "antifa" hits the streets to stand in opposition to Trumpsters, it's divisive; also, "antifa" are quite possibly just plain nuts.

If "antisoc" had hit the streets in protest every time Clinton supporters breathed in his direction they might arguably have been locked up (not to mention back then, no one would have dared. My, how times have changed). A really good argument can be made in either direction that Republicans/right-leaners/Trump in particular are fascist scumwads OR that Democrats/left-leaners/Clinton in particular are socialist scumwads. I'm entirely capable of agreeing with both arguments equally.

Did I mention I was so fucking mad about NAFTA I nearly turned Republican myself, and have considered myself "moderate" (with a few admittedly more liberal aspects) ever since? While I was never gonna give up on Bill, the entire Democratic Party could pretty much blow me at that point, and while I've recovered most of my left-leaning equilibrium since then, in some ways it still can. And I refuse to feel bad about this.

So stop being divisive, stop Republican gerrymandering, and quit with all the "why Trump's supporters support him" songs and dances. Because, nope. Really. It's not helping.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-06-21 02:08 am
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Historical myopia, ftw

Forex: the idea that TV cultivates authoritarianism. Then explain 1930s-40s Germany - I don't think TV was that big a deal then - or North Korea: I doubt there's a TV set in many homes nor that its mostly starving population stays glued to it like our Faux News addicts do, many of them yelling at it day in and out (oh, and if this reminds you of a fake office holder, that's because it should: Faux News fosters not just division and acrimony, but successful presidential runs based on everyone - including the fake office holder - feeding off said division and acrimony).

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-06-21 01:15 am
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And now we'll never know how Otto Warmbier died...(updated 6-22-2017)

Because his parents refused the autopsy and he's being buried tomorrow morning. While refusal to have an autopsy might be in keeping with the family's Judaism (even if the family hasn't yet publicly raised this as their particular objection) I'm still disgusted that his parents could not make an exception when no one even knows how - or why - their own son died.

Short of that, someone needs to introduce a bill - call it the Otto Warmbier Act - stating that in cases of potential murder (especially by an enemy or rogue state!) the family's wishes are automatically overridden regarding autopsies. Call it outrageous. Call it anti-religion (Muslims raise a similar objection) but let's keep some perspective here: any God who'd reject a spirit over how its body was handled after death isn't a God we should want to spend too much time shooting marbles with, anyhow.


ETA, 6-22-17: In light of my suggestion that a law should be passed preventing families from forbidding an autopsy being performed in certain circumstances (and while I was researching another aspect of this issue, entirely) I ran across an article on Judaism and autopsy which states, with emphasis mine:

In general, Jewish tradition forbids autopsies on the grounds that the body is sacred and should not be violated after death. However, autopsies are permitted in two specific cases:

  1. When the physician claims that it could provide new knowledge that would help cure others suffering from the same disease;
  2. When the law of the land requires it.

The normal stricture against autopsy would be overridden by the requirement to follow "the law of the land" so Warmbier's parents - if the law was in effect today - would be incapable of violating it without violating their own religious tenets.

Another article states autopsy is not forbidden if performing one prevents a possible "plague"; as I pointed out in comments, "botulism" counts, and since that's what North Korea claims put their son in a coma, the parents have little reason to forbid an autopsy, since no medical determination concerning botulism was made stateside before his death.

And though I'm having a hard time finding a more definitive-sounding source, this website on Islamic rulings doesn't rule out autopsy to determine the cause of death when a "crime" is suspected, so in their case, the law might not be needed.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-06-15 03:23 am
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I'm getting tired of doing this

To say that "Russian interference affected vote totals in 39 states" is a lie, or, at best, an unsubstantiated opinion without basis in fact, if you read the article the person quoted linked to for their latest waltz through alternate reality. Better yet, read the article that the article links to, because Esquire is not exactly an arbiter of all things political.

I hate to sound pedantic here, but this is not the first time I have called out this particular user without mentioning them by name for either misstating the truth (but perhaps innocently enough, the last time) or else flat out misrepresenting it, as in this case, and the sad part is that it probably won't be the last if this pattern holds. I'd like it to not hold, which is why I'm going a bit out of my way here.

Misleading and lying only every once in a while is still misleading and lying. Credentials do not negate that; if anything, they amplify it. The truth is still the truth, whether obfuscated by someone who Knows How To Do This or not. Someone who does Know How To Do This has a greater responsibility to stick to the truth than someone who doesn't.

Also, charmingly enough, because I don't know whether to feel flattered or tell them to go find their own gig, this same person recently cribbed my words to describe what topic matter they cover and why they cover it, while being completely incorrect about the second part of that because the first part is completely different from what I do.

Yes, really. Comments are disabled; discuss under your own locked post, because I have nothing further to add to this.