2017-04-20

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
2017-04-20 01:18 am
Entry tags:

good morning, it's 20 april 2017

Okay, I'm running late - as always, but more than usual - and so the most important thing I can talk about is that we are starting to see the dam break. There has been over the last few days of sampling a significant breakdown in the strongest levels of support for the Trump administration, specifically in both GOP in general and Trump voters in general.

Now, it's not a complete breakdown - what we're seeing is a significant move out of "strongly approve" and into "somewhat approve." But it's out of the margin of error and a clear trend. It's the start of reconsideration.

Nothing is disastrous for them yet, there's not much fall through lower - say, into somewhat disapprove - but it's meaningful. This matters.

And now, the news.

Russia and corruption:
Exclusive: Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election - documents
Paul Manafort Meets with a Chinese Billionaire to Talk U.S. Infrastructure
The White House’s game on Russia has now been fully exposed
The Continuing Fallout from Trump and Nunes’s Fake Scandal

Environmental attacks:
EPA plans to offer buyouts as part of Trump push to shrink workforce
Battle over landmark law already raging out of public eye [This means the Endangered Species Act]
A Timeline of the War on Science

Misogyny:
All-Male Panel Failed to Pass Maryland Law Barring Rapists’ Parental Rights
Fox News Found the Perfect Woman-Hater to Replace Bill O'Reilly

Naziism, nativism, neo-fascism:
Lawsuit Accuses Alt-Right Leader of ‘Terror Campaign’ Against a Jewish Woman ["Alt-Right" meaning Nazi, it's literally the Daily Stormer crew, a website literally named after the Nazi paper of the 1930s, and yet, they will not use the word "Nazi" here.]
First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump

General horribleness:
Betsy DeVos Is Wasting No Time Screwing Over Students Who Borrow Money for College

Resistance:
After travel ban, AG Ferguson’s next fight: deceptive student-loan practices
Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz Will Not Seek Re-Election

Good luck out there.

It's April 20th, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (tracer)
2017-04-20 08:30 am
Entry tags:

crazy week

I’ve been trying to catch up to a lot of things this week, and I’m still pretty far behind, but: Norwescon went well! Glad to see so many people again, even if I didn’t get to see everyone, and didn’t get to see those I did see half as much as would’ve been best! But that is how things go sometimes.

The big news is that the other band I’m in, Leannan Sidhe, is starting to get moving again and there may be some news coming out of that soon. I hope so, anyway!

The Otamatone and my electric zouk were both big hits at the show, so enjoy this, I did:

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

solarbird: (tracer)
2017-04-20 10:26 pm

later than everything else so far, and a little later than you probably think

"So... you're saying she came to you."

Winston, on the far side of a screen with a three second lag, took off his glasses, and polished their lenses, looking down at his bench. "By radio, of course. But yes."

"Winston, I've... I've read up on what she's done. On what's happened. On what the UN and Overwatch and Blackwatch did, and... But..." She waved her hands around, words not coming. "What."

"It was the only chance I had to pull you back into normal time - the first chance I'd had in years." He shifted his weight a bit, leaning a little on the edge of the bench. "I was almost ready, before - I was this close." He held two fingers a millimetre together to illustrate. "I only needed a little more time, that's all. Not even budget, just time. Just two or three more days." Old frustration radiated through his otherwise-calm tone.

"I was so angry when the UN swooped in and shut us down - I'm afraid I may've lost my temper." He chuckled. "I'm not saying 'excuse me' for that."

Lena Oxton laughed, and ignored her almost-mended ribcage's complaint. It'd been an effort, getting up this high. "I know, I know, Winston, none of this is your fault! I'm grateful, believe me, I really am! I just don't understand why."

The hyperintelligent gorilla leaned back into his chair, looking down. "I'm not even sure shutting down Overwatch was the wrong decision. The black ops group..." he sighed. "I wish I could say I was completely unaware, but I wasn't. I didn't know details, and things were worse than I suspected, but the honest truth is that we were... at least to some degree, we were complicit."

Lena nodded no. "That's not what I meant, Winston."

Ah, thought the scientist. "I see. I presume she's trying to get you to join her organisation."

"Ah, c'mon, big guy, I'm not stupid. Sure, she's put that out there, but that isn't what I meant either, and you know it." She waved her hands around in the air, frustrated, frustrated that words weren't coming as quickly as they should - something else that should improve over time. She shouldn't really have been climbing yet, but she missed the heights - and the adrenaline rush - too much not to. Everything gets so fuzzy at the edges, red and blue shifted, drifting just slightly back and forth, like a boat not fully anchored. "I'm a damned good pilot, Winston, but they don't have an air force and this isn't what they do. So what is going on?!"

The face on the screen scowled, and the delay seemed longer this time, somehow. "I don't know. I don't know why she did it. I'm glad she did, but it bothers me that past a point I don't care, because I'm just so happy to see you back with us again."

The pilot once known as Tracer smiled and spread her arms wide. "Aw, c'mere, y'big lug."

"I would, if I could." He smiled, wryly. "I can't even do a lot of digging from up here. Dr. Ziegler and I talk regularly - we're doing some research together on the long-term effects of artificially assisted gravity on mitochondria, I have some ideas to improve our systems - but the rest of us haven't exactly kept in touch."

"Given everything, I'm kind of surprised you talked to her - much less believed her. In your position, I wouldn't've."

"I didn't talk to her, at first. If that friend of hers hadn't managed.. do you know she started leaving messages on our internal comms? They're not even connected to the uplink. I got one in my bathtub - it took us three weeks to track down how she did it. So I decided, if she was that determined... maybe I should listen."

"That, and she threatened to start shutting down your environmental support."

"I think that was a joke."

"She told me it wasn't."

"Oh, dear." That's bad, he thought, leaned forward, and earnestly - even for him - in a low voice - even for him - continued, "Where are you? Do you need help? I can get Angela at any time. Just give me some kind of sign."

Lena laughed, and leaned back. "No, no, Winston, it's fine, honestly - now I'm the one who's joking. Look, I'm - look, I'll show you!" She picked up the comm and aimed its camera around, showing no one around her, showing the rooftops of old London, with the newer, taller buildings behind it, and then pointed the camera down a bit, showing the height of her perch.

"Is that... that's... that's Westminster?" came Winston's voice from the small speaker. "You're on top of Big Ben?! How did you...?! ...are you sure Amélie isn't there?"

Lena put the comm back into its little improvised holder atop one of the spiky ornaments of the tower roof, and laughed again. "Yes, Winston, honestly, it's just me here. Me and the pigeons! They're after my chips." She shooed one away, and distracted another by sacrificing one chip to the rooftop.

"And it's called Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben's just the bell. Honestly, luv, you're such an American - even if you are from the moon."

"But," she added, "she's been showing me a few of her tricks. And... I just needed some air. I just needed some up."

Winston looked particularly grumpily at his now-even-relatively-younger old friend, through the camera, through hundreds of thousands of kilometres, through seconds of time. "You needed some fear. Or maybe you needed to be arrested. Why aren't the police after you, up there?"

"I needed to feel like myself again. This is as close as I could come without something dangerous to fly." She smiled, and twirled a little grapple around in one hand. "And like I said, she's been teaching me some of her tricks."

"Lena..." He rubbed around his left eye with his left hand. "Just... I don't know the whys. I didn't decide to trust Amélie; it was just the only shot I had to save you, and even then - I didn't think it'd work. I thought you had to be dead. I guess... frankly, I guess I was looking for closure. I thought she'd be bringing back a body."

Lena replied, as soberly as she ever had in her life, "But she didn't."

Winston nodded. "She didn't." Not yet. "But it's what she does. The first time we trusted her, and that turned out to be a very bad idea. This time has worked out - so far. Be careful."

Lena blinked. He doesn't know. She told me, she thought, but he doesn't know. Why not? She smiled briefly, and tried to make light of it, but found she just couldn't. She wished she could hug the big ape, instead. "I will be, Winston. I promise."