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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And finally, Russia and Trump Administration Insanity:

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

It's March 8, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Another wonderful day in Bedlam. There are so many stories I've listed them by topic. Sadly they aren't really in this order, but the headlines are preserved so if you search for the first part of the headline you'll find it in the main body below.

Lots on the new muslim-targeted immigration ban - the racist intent, and the people trapped up in the wash, and all that. But this block also includes anti-immigrant stories generally. It's not a good picture:
  • Twitter thread on Trump new muslim immigration ban - why we have to fight this one as hard as the first one
  • ACLU Comment on Trump’s New Muslim Ban
  • Revised executive order bans travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from getting new visas
  • Veteran fighting deportation after 2 tours in Afghanistan
  • Canadian woman en route to Vermont spa denied entry to U.S., told she needs immigrant visa
  • The Big (Imaginary) Black Friday Bombing (how Trump turned an FBI sting into a fake terrorist attack)
  • [American] Gold Star father Khizr Khan cancels scheduled speech in Toronto after being told his "travel privileges are being reviewed."
  • The Real Goal of Trump’s Travel Ban Is to Make America White Again

Racism and anti-semitism has a bit of a field day; former KKK leader David Duke's twitter account was suspended, but then restored; also, another book Bannon likes to reference a lot, and compare the current refugee crisis to, and of course it's viciously racist. To wit:
  • Muslim Students Trying to Meet Oklahoma Lawmaker Are Asked: 'Do You Beat Your Wife?'
  • David Duke’s Twitter Account Restored, Including Tweet Threatening Synagogues
  • This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World
  • Study: Black people more likely to be wrongfully convicted

The ICE detainee story probably belongs above, but it also fits here in FASCISM AND POLICE STATE, so I'm putting it here. The III% (three-percent) militant asking Trump to call them up as an army in his (Trump's) defence is pretty fun stuff, by which I mean, sedition. Also, look for more attempts to get a Constitutional Convention going, and the revival of Obama Is Evil And The Villain Of Our Times in rightist media continues apace:
  • Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws
  • 4 Washington state firms interested in building Trump’s border wall
  • After travel ban, interest in trips to U.S. declines
  • George Stephanopoulos has to repeatedly fact-check Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee live
  • ‘Economic terrorism’ bill would toughen penalties on protesters who block roads, damage property
  • III% Anti-government militant makes video for Trump pledging to take up arms if Trump requests on Twitter
  • Republicans and the Constitution: Article V allows a method of proposing amendments that cuts Congress out entirely. This partisanship is just what our founders were trying to avoid.
  • Republicans All Over the Country Are Pushing These Anti-Protest Bills to Silence Peaceful Dissent
  • Right-Wing Media Scramble To Recast Obama As Trump-Era Villain

It's hard to believe that Trump's Russian ties are this far down, isn't it? And yet, here we go:
  • Russian Hackers Said to Seek Hush Money From Liberal Groups
  • Comey Asks Justice Dept. to Reject Trump’s Wiretapping Claim
  • Knives are out for Reince
  • AP FACT CHECK: Trump takes credit where it’s not deserved
  • The former British lawmaker at the heart of the Trump wiretap allegations
  • EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia
  • GOP rep: Trump should 'purge Leftists' from White House
  • Trump wants Congress to investigate leaks
  • Obama 'could not have directed' alleged wire-tapping: former CIA director

TRUMP AND CORRUPTION is a one-entry section, but it didn't quite fit above. But it's a doozy:
  • Donald Trump’s Worst Deal: The President helped build a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarchs tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Anti-queer activity is relatively low - a meaningful setback on trans rights following Sessions reversing course in court, and an attack on an LGBT centre in Oklahoma:
  • US Supreme Court vacates decision, sends back to appeals court for reconsideration
  • Dennis R. Neill Equality Center vandalised

Late in the day, we got a first round of stories on the ACA/"Obamacare" repeal and 'replacement.' It's not designed to insure coverage, it's designed to cut taxes for the upper-middle and upper classes, insured rates will drop like a stone, and they're going after abortion rights (of course) and Planned Parenthood (of course) with a vengeance:
  • Why House Republicans Are Rewriting Their Obamacare ‘Replacement’
  • GOP releases bills to repeal and replace ObamaCare
  • Trump Tells Planned Parenthood Its Funding Can Stay if Abortion Goes
  • GOP Drops Obamacare Replacement Bill, Includes Planned Parenthood Defunding
  • The GOP's Obamacare repeal plan is out--and it's even worse than anyone expected

Two stories in the continuing attack on the environment:
  • ‘Shell knew’: oil giant's 1991 film warned of climate change danger
  • STATEMENT: Rob Bishop’s $50 million land giveaway budget request

And finally, being a bad example still means you're an example to some people:
  • Amid US travel ban, Israel set to bar entry to boycott activists

Good luck out there.

It's March 7, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Massive unwinding and cutbacks at NOAA, climate research, EPA; Pruitt plans to block California's more stringent vehicle emissions standards, as well. Basically, the plan is to FUCK THE PLANET AS HARD AS THEY CAN. Seriously, that's the plan as far as I can tell. Fuck everything.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck.

It's March 6, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (poor kitty!)

Heading north to Vancouver Island for a music workshop. Minion Anna has been going to this Qualicum Beach event for a couple of years, and she’s dragging me along this time. I’m even taking the thrift-shop viLOLin, as it is technically an instrument, and, well, let’s see how badly I can torture this cat. It should be painful hilarious a learning experience.

Possibly for others more than me. Just sayin’. 😀

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

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Probably the last post 'till Monday - I'm in British Columbia this weekend for a music workshop. I'm late packing, so all you get is a headline list, I'm afraid. Sorry. See you on the flip side.

  • GOP Rep Says Holding Town Halls Is Like Being Yelled At In A Ritual By 'Orientals'
  • Voice of The Southern: Let the people have their say
  • The State of Trump's State Department (spoiler: rudderless)
  • Pence used personal email for state business — and was hacked
  • Exclusive: Two other Trump advisers also spoke with Russian envoy during GOP convention
  • Here Are The Strategies That Actually Work Against Christofascism, From a Former Believer
  • FBI to review young Muslim man's death
  • Trump transition team canceled plan for ethics training for staff: report
  • Trump’s green assault off to fast start: The president's moves to slash regulations and chop EPA's budget represent the most aggressive environmental rollback in decades.
  • Jeff Sessions is in deep trouble. Bigly.
  • The Daily 202: Trump’s Russia headache gets worse, as Sessions struggles to spin undisclosed meetings
  • Jeff Sessions recuses himself from Russia probe
  • 5 Trump Cabinet Members Who’ve Made False Statements to Congress
  • Dreamer Arrested After Speaking To Media Will Be Deported Without Hearing, Attorney Says
  • Biggest losers in Trump's @EPA budget?
  • Here are 42 of President Donald Trump's planned EPA budget cuts


It's March 3, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
wow

Okay so, apparently, Sessions met with the Russians a couple of times during the Trump campaign and told Congress - under oath - that he didn't. His office is saying he didn't lie, they didn't talk about the election. Except he doesn't really remember what they talked about. But it wasn't about the leaks or the election.

yeah.

Also, from a December report, about how a Republican SuperPAC connected to Paul Ryan used material from the Russian spying campaign in GOP elections.

So that's fun.

The Iowa State Senator pushing for political quotas on campus? Turns out his business degree is managerial training at Sizzler Steakhouse. No, really.

Also, the Trump administration admits more outright lying to journalists as part of a "misdirection play" to generate some inaccurate but positive reporting before the State of the Union/joint session address. Even before that came out, you were seeing criticism of their handling of it ("presidential" is now just "not ranting deliriously for an hour"?) from the New Republic.

And four mosques have been burned in the last seven weeks; three have been declared arson, the fourth is still under investigation.

It's March 2, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (fascist sons o bitches)
I'm a Seattle adopt-a-stop (anti-litter) volunteer. Part of that is emptying the trash at the bus stop near my old house; I sort out recyclable material. I found this racist mini-flyer in it yesterday:

https://twitter.com/solarbirdy/status/837003684416364544

I mean, the trash is the correct place for this, so thank you whoever pulled it down and put it in there; well done. Still, there it was.

The obscured URL is registered at godaddy; it's a redirect to a hate site on Blogspot. #Blogspot officially has rules against hate blogs. But it's #Google and I've reported abuse to them plenty of times in the past to no avail. I've also thrown it at GoDaddy, who I also imagine will do nothing.

But you never know.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
So you know: I'm going to be in British Columbia this weekend, so weekend news amalgamations probably won't happen. If they do, something bad has happened.

Larger media have picked up on Tennessee's sideways-in attempt to find ways to hurt queer couples and their children. Turns out it's a multi-pronged attack. Go fig. Meanwhile, in Texas, they're trying to pass a bill to let doctors lie to pregnant women about the health of their foetus if the doctors think the woman might seek an abortion. This is abominable and in many cases life-threatening, not that they have any fucks to give about that. In other "women, fuck 'em, am I rite?" Trump greeted governors by welcoming them 'and their wives,' ignoring the women governors in the room.

Republican leadership response to the town hall pressure is to put up the ACA repeal they want, and dare their hesitant members to vote against repeal. I think this will probably work.

Yesterday was a terrible day for both truth/reality-based policy, and minority and immigrant policy. First, as expected (and predicted yesterday), the Republicans voted down the attempt to advance debate on Trump-Russia allegations. No surprise, but bad.

Second, the story is item four, but for the first source, LOOK AT THIS HORRIBLE CRAP AS TRUMP IMPLIES ANTI-SEMITIC VANDALISM IS A FALSE FLAG. This is straight-up anti-Semitic neo-Nazi bullshit. Rightist Facebook has been saying for weeks that it's all liberal false-flags and/or just fake; now we've got Trump apparently going along with it. Fuck. That.

Third, Sessions's use of his office to enable minority suppression continues, announcing that the DOJ will 'pull back' on civil rights suits against excessive force by police departments. He also threw out the Justice Department reports on Ferguson and Chicago policing sight-unseen - except for summaries, which he scanned and declared "anecdotal," despite being years of research. To wit: if you want to do anything about police abuses and police violence, you're going to have to do it at state and local levels. And the Feds will have the attackers backs.

Trump also lied again about the US murder rate. I'm not going to repeat the figure, because the whole point of these lies is to take advantage of a failing of logic in the brain, to wit: IF YOU HEAR A LIE OFTEN ENOUGH, YOU WILL START TO BELIEVE IT, EVEN IF YOU KNOW IT'S A LIE.

The US murder rate - and crime rate in general - has been falling for years.

Trump knows that.

The lie is to make people start believing otherwise, in order to grow support for police crackdowns against targeted minority groups.

Similarly, it is a measured fact across many studies that immigrants are LESS likely to commit crimes than citizens. Trump spent a fair amount of time lying about that, as well. He's also setting up a US government agency to promote these lies, by generating propaganda about crimes committed by immigrants. The intent is to make immigrant crime seem pervasive, when it is actually less common than crimes by citizens, and yes, that's per capita. The intent past that, again, is to grow support for racist crackdowns.

Beyond that, on this topic, you never hear Trump mention The New York Times without a particular adjective. What adjective came to mind? I bet you know. THIS IS THE SAME EXPLOIT. This is why I will henceforth often be referring to The Resurgent New York Times, as a counter-measure. (Given their climbing subscription numbers, it is even truthful.)

Good luck.

It's March 1, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
As predicted, Sessions is reversing the Justice Department's course on voter rights protections - Texas, first. More will come. He's also laying off investigations into police abuses (dismissing the DOJ report on Chicago police as anecdotal despite not having read it) in favour of crackdowns.

In the house, Nunes is in hard denial; 'We still have not seen any evidence' of Trump campaign, Russia contact. Paul Ryan is ‘We Know Russia Meddled in the Election, No One Is Disputing That’ but it's all about nope nope nope on any investigation of meaning. Rep. Burr (chair, Intelligence committee) - who called himself "inseparable" from Trump - is yet another blocker for any actual investigation. As a fourth article says, "We No Longer Have Three Branches of Government."

First look at the budget proposal involves a 10% hike in military spending and huge cuts in domestic. Combine that with Slate's article on how the Trump administration is slowly taking apart the Federal government via attrition (failing to nominate people to hundreds of positions, etc) - "The Trump Administration’s Not-So-Benign Neglect" - and you've got a picture of unaccountability and hypercentralisation of power in the political administration. And, of course, you've got to have something to use that military buildup against, which is why Trump's ISIS-boosting rhetoric fits in so nicely.

In Trump's war against reporting, you've got a smear campaign against a reporter, and an update on intimidation which includes that report. Also, other countries are starting to use Trump's actions on Friday as an excuse/example in more severe crackdowns against their own journalist corps.

ICE agents are loving Trump's change in direction. The job is "fun" again. They can pick on whoever the fuck they want now and it's all good.

'The Religious Origins of Fake News and “Alternative Facts”' is one of those articles I keep pointing people to (and even writing myself). Maybe it'll sink in at some point.

On the state level: Ohio bill to outlaw marital rape gets zero support from GOP lawmakers; our governor Jay Inslee now ‘more concerned’ after meeting with Trump on health care, immigration; 'Plan A Protest, Lose Your House' Bill, SB 1142, Killed by Arizona House (but they'll try again, I have no doubt), and Mercer Island Jewish community center evacuated following bomb threat as at least 20 other JCCs and schools get bomb threats Monday.

It's February 28, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Okay, so editorials and background mostly for you this morning.

I include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial because that is not a liberal town. Item two makes it look to me like Steve Bannon has not just bought into the cyclic theories of Neil Howe's, but is trying to short-circuit them to get them to a desired position - and certainly adds another layer to his desire for massive war in the mideast. And there's another round of Jewish cemetery desecration, in a new city.

Leakers continue to leak, 'cause leakers gonna leak, even when it's a memo about leakers. Six and seven are about the vote coming on Tuesday to more or less shut down Trump investigations in Congress. Eight has the new EPA head talking about how awful the EPA is - as he's done his entire career, of course.

Item 10 is important because it charts together some of the previously-murkier people involved at the high-money/high-data levels of the rightist/authoritarian movement. It's long, but worth reading.

11 - Trump may have more secret loans, but no proof - just curiously inconsistent data. 12 - meet the 16-year-old Canadian girl known only as "Julia" who got the NeverTrump Republicans attention on the Milo videos. And finally, the current candidate for Secretary of the Navy withdraws.

Good luck.

It's February 27, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Okay, so the front-line names on Initiative 1552 (the anti-LGBT initiative that puts bounties on the heads of trans students) are three women nobody's heard of being particularly active in politics before: Kaeley Triller, Kristi Meritt, and Cassandra Nelson.

But! Guess what: their domain (justwantprivacy dot org) has a non-concealed owner! And that owner is Joseph Backholm of Lynnwood.

Joseph Backholm of Lynnwood is president of the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW), a long-time right-wing fundamentalist evangelical political group, and a legally-distinct but nonetheless listed affiliate of the Family Research Council, a decades-old anti-LGBT hate group spun off of Focus on the Family for specifically political actions. (You can find FPIW on FRC's state affiliates page here: http://www.frc.org/state-policy-organizations )

FPIW were previously behind Referendum 74, which asked voters to reject our then-recently-passed marriage equality laws.

Joseph Backholm himself used to be with the similarly anti-queer and anti-woman's-rights ADF ("Alliance Defending Freedom," formerly "Alliance Defence Fund"), of Scottsdale, Arizona, which may be best known to larger audiences as supporting law making LGBT people illegal.

They also have ties to anti-LGBT/fundamentalist political groups such as the Pacific Justice Institute, the Thomas More Law Center, the Heritage Foundation, and the (dead?) "ex-gay" group Exodus International. The Heritage Foundation also supports states' rights to make LGBT people illegal.

So if, you know, you thought this was anything other than an attempt to peel off layers of the alliance to weaken the entire coalition so they can pick all of us off one layer at a time? It's not. That's exactly what it is.

Registry Registrant ID: CR212357711
Registrant Name: Joseph Backholm
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street: 16108 Ash Way
Registrant City: Lynnwood
Registrant State/Province: Washington
Registrant Postal Code: 98036
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.4256080242
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: info@fpiw.org
Registry Admin ID: CR212357713


(If you go to Google Maps streetview, you'll find their office, facing the parking lot in back, suite 113.)
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[Posting this a little early to get it done]

White supremacist Steve Bannon brought in Sebastian Gorka to the White House staff. Gorka has extensive ties to anti-Semetic groups back in Hungary. Also in Breitbart alumni, we have a pro-Trump megadonor who is part owner of Breitbart News empire. And Bannon promises daily war against the press and everybody not part of the Trumpian movement.

Fox News has been holding up a convicted felon as some sort of Swedish government security official. He's not. But I doubt that'll sink in - as another story shows, people still mad (at CPAC) over alleged Obama holidays and spending refuse to believe the numbers incurred by Mr. Trump. They just flatly reject the data.

Churches are putting together immigrant protection cells - safe houses, transport networks, etc. A few other immigrant stories, too, including another legal Visa holder ejected at the border.

The White House told DHS to justify Trump's travel ban - their report did the opposite. So it was suppressed, then leaked.

Where is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson? He's been invisible. Particularly to the press.

Kansas is having an intra-Republican fight over the fiscal implosion caused by the polices Trump and Ryan intend to implement nationally. It's blown the budget and job growth fell and is below national averages. Governor Brownback doesn't care and is fighting the hardliner side; they fell three votes short of overriding his veto.

Trump is reportedly going to throw out more anti-environment EOs this coming week; targeting clean water rules, in particular.

This is what passes for a quiet day these days.

It's February 26, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
hoo boy.

ICE raid at a Seattle tech company. Jay Inslee says "fuck you, no help from Washington State" via a series of executive orders. Kenmore, Washington leads a league of smaller King County, Washington towns in declaring themselves "welcoming" cities - meaning they won't help ICE and are making sure they don't collect data that could be used to help ICE. Not incidentally, DHS concluded that citizenship is an unreliable indicator of terrorism threat; so the report was suppressed, then leaked. It's also suppressing housing sales in our area, as (legal, again) immigrants get scared.

Twitter is locking down accounts (shadowbanning) if you swear at blue-checkbox people. They say the blue-check is not actually a factor? But it is. Three longer-term studies say voucher schools are _much worse_ than the schools they replace, across most to all axes.

Republicans are trying to crack down on protest nationally, but at the state level. 17 states have had bills introduced. Washington State's was dead on arrival, but that didn't stop it from being introduced. (And the sponsor from being publicly shamed, which was great.) The NRA is declaring protesters to be paid terrorists, "dedicated to destroying not just America but Western Civilization;" that won't lead to violence, now will it? And Montana's GOP chair opposes making voting easier, not because of supposed vote fraud, but because it hurts Republicans, and he actually said so in those words.

Lots of articles on Trump's attacks upon and exclusion of critical press. Key to note is that all of the news organisations excluded on Friday are leaders in the Russia-Trump stories. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

Remember that effort in Iowa to force political hiring of professors at universities? It's shown up now in North Carolina, too. I'm sure that's just a coincidence too.

Two fundamentalist groups filing amicus briefs to the Supreme Court regarding access to washrooms by transgendered students misgendered Gavin Grimm (the plaintiff) intentionally. (Very intentionally; pointedly so. And said so when asked.) So they both got reprimands FROM THE COURT ITSELF, for not following court procedure and for generally being dickbags.

And a number of abuse stories, as well - extensive interrogations of native-born Muslim citizens at customs, and so on. It's ugly. And more. It's another big day.

It's February 25, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (gaz)

Turns out it’s not just me having racism and misogyny problems in Overwatch competitive. I saw Wil Wheaton reblog this article from mic.com about it, as well as this thread on the Reddit Overwatch forum, and yeah – it did get a lot worse in Season III.

And so far, nobody official seems to be doing much about it. And people doing it won’t stop until it hurts them, so I’m definitely going with my announcement and plan as a de rigueur thing before all competitive matches in Series IV.

Meanwhile, back in quickplay, I’ve started singing what I call the Tracer Tank song again, because Tracer is a tank in the right circumstances and the right levels. NO, SHE IS, REALLY. I have golded so many times for objective time as Tracer that it’s hilarious.

Tracer tank / Tracer tank
movin’ the payload
’cause somebody has to

where the fuck is Reinhardt?
where the fuck is D.va?
i could be that Reinhardt
if i really wanted

let’s all move the payload
i said everybody
okay fine I’ll do it
objective gold again

I mean, think about it. If you’re on offence in a payload level, and you’re good at her dodging motion/blinking/rewind, it works out to an effective hitpoint/armour total of easily 350 points, assuming only one rewind – much more if you’re lucky and good. I have beaten back one-on-three facedowns across the payload, more than once.

How does that work? Base health/armour of 150. Near-double that to 290 from your own health, doubled, with use of rewind. You get 10 points per second back from being on the payload; survive five seconds – not hard if you are good with her movement – and that’s another 100 points (with the single rewind), which gets you up to 390. Survive 10 seconds, that’s 490. Survive 15, 590.

Survive, oh, 2:09 like I did in one game last night as Tracer Tank? That’s 2580+300 hit/armour points (tho’ that assumes more rewinds, as it would), for a total of 2880.

Bulletproof. Reinhardt? Roadhog? Paper people.

And that’s not even getting into how the payload is functionally a motion-restricted shield with infinite hit points and infinite duration.

Tracer is a tank.

(Really, of course, Tracer shouldn’t be your group’s tank. For one thing, this whole shtick falls apart if they have a Sombra who knows what she’s doing. Even without that, it’s not Tracer’s best mode, and usually if I’m doing it, the team I’m on isn’t very good. But we all know the number of people that just won’t get on the goddamn payload, right? I was on one of those a couple of days ago where I literally solo-escorted the payload from Objective A to (just short of) the Eichenwald castle gate entirely by myself. It was hilarious.)

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

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Item 3 is the kind of thing that - were it to pass - means you should flee the state. No lie.

Item 21: what part of "trying to get the FBI to shut up about Russia" isn't obstruction of justice?

Item 24: Keep on eye on this. The plan may be to flood non-cooperative cities and states with ICE personnel, to the point where ICE presence is overwhelming. This will be where non-cooperation needs to go all the way down. There are several other ICE- and police-state-related stories today as well.

Washington State governor Jay Inslee is acting quickly to remind everyone 1) Fuck you, Trump, and 2) Washington State has its own civil rights protections that do include trans kids. (We're also ready to fight on legal marijuana, which the administration is now hinting it may try to stop.)

Item 4 involves more 'alterations' to reality - if they change the import/export numbers to be wrong, they can make the trade deficit look worse, and gain more support for trade wars. This is very bad, of course, but may well happen.

More on Milo's lies; a Muslim now-former staffer talks about leaving the Trump white house; Matt Schlapp was going to let neo-nazi and overt genocide planner Richard "One Punch [and down]" Spencer attend CPAC, but yanked his membership when people noticed; Trump refers to increased ICE action as a "military operation," which would be 192 kinds of illegal; the FBI is cold-calling Muslims in Seattle and calling it "outreach" but it's all kinds of intimidating; several notes from CPAC; it is UTTERLY INSANE that Trump's desire to RAMP UP NUCLEAR WEAPONS PRODUCTION isn't the lead story here and maybe it should be; more. Good luck.

It's February 24, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (fascist sons o bitches)
This'll be in Friday morning's news, but if you have anybody in Arizona:

Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent
By: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services February 22, 2017 , 5:11 pm
http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/02/22/arizona-senate-crackdown-on-protests/

One of the neat things about this bill is that it allows arrest of planners of protests ("riots") before the protests even happen, if someone decides they're going to "riot" (which has been redefined to property damage). Also, it doesn't matter if you have anything to do with the property damage - involved at all, you're in the net.

This is just a straight-up police-state anti-protest law and needs to be stopped at all costs.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
So many big problems.

Trump administration poised to change transgender student bathroom guidelines (And then did so, in "Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students"). Reportedly, there were conflicts between Ms. DeVos and Mr. Sessions (strongly for) but frankly I don't believe it, and it doesn't matter anyway.

The emails that the GOP didn't want to come out before the Pruitt vote came out; he "Was Arm in Arm With Industry," as in, let polluting industries write his policy papers and briefs. Basically, his whole career has been PR for serious-business toxin emitters, and that's why they didn't want the letters out.

In a similar "betrayal of everything" theme, the GOP will kill a House measure forcing release of data on Trump's various deep conflicts, in committee.

Another Federal amendment at the state level: a proposal in Florida to disable the Judicial branch by letting Congress override court constitutionality decisions with a 60% supermajority.

4chan/pol had a straw poll: "Is /pol/ for Milo, or Against?" A strong plurality is still fine with Milo, at 46%. If the "don't care" didn't care before (pretty likely), then 2/3rds of those who care about Milo still support Milo. This could be useful.

Washington State GOP release statement: "Exposed: The Democrats’ plan of disruption and intimidation," by which they mean the Indivisible groups specifically.

Other stories:
  • Trump’s America will be on vivid display at annual conservative gathering (CPAC) Relatedly:
  • Facebook gave $120,000 to CPAC, half in cash and half in-kind contributions. That's not cool.
  • Mr. Trump’s ‘Deportation Force’ Prepares an Assault on American Values
  • "We Will Never Stop": An EPA Employee Blasts the Trump Administration
  • Trump’s New Immigration Crackdown Has Private Prison Investors Salivating
  • How Trump’s campaign staffers tried to keep him off Twitter
It's February 23, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
While there isn't a story to go with it, Mr. Trump's approval ratings continue to go down the toilet - except with Republican voters, where he's got a rock-steady unshakable 85% approval rating. They love all of this; it is his party now; and CPAC will make that very clear. I'll have an article or two about that tomorrow. Until then:

Republians still mining old Milo interviews, are shocked - shocked! - to discover that he has been preaching that campus rape reports are all "frauds and hoaxes" - there are a few other Milo stories as well, including one about his boys on the bus;

North Carolina gives up on its extraordinarily blatant disenfranchisement law (for now);

more on Trump's business interests in Russia;

Canadian shoppers pressure Hudson's Bay to drop Ivanka Trump brand;

Teen suicide attempts fell as same-sex marriage became legal, while Trump's administration signals they're completely fine with state actions against transgendered kids;

Another article on protecting your data while crossing US and Canadian borders;

Plans to cut environmental protections, and Scott Pruitt's first day on the job attacking his own staff;

ACLU announces plans to fight new versions of Trump immigration bans, which include deporting non-Mexicans to Mexico, which is very much a "...what?" situation;

School Asks Teachers To Take Down Pro-Diversity Posters, Saying They're 'Anti-Trump';

An interesting personal report by a Southern Baptist preacher at Trump's rally in Melbourne, Florida;

British Muslim teacher denied entry to US on school trip, nobody knows why;

And "The Myth of the U.S. Immigration Crisis" - noting that as in everything else, what isn't a lie from the Trumpists is a decade (or more!) out of date. Notice how Mr. Trump's descriptions of conditions in cities are all basically from the 1970s? That's not a coincidence.

It's February 22, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Milo Y has resigned from Breitbart News. But note this key line from the Milo resignation announcement story:

Yiannopoulos blamed the media for the controversy and for not reporting on the comments sooner, calling it a "cynical media witch hunt." That sentiment was also expressed by [Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex] Marlow on Breitbart's radio show on Tuesday morning.
THIS IS WHAT BREITBART IS, AT ITS HEART.

Getting called on supporting pederasty and calling the idea of requiring consent for sex "oppressive" is a "cynical media witch hunt" to Breitbart's editor-in-chief Alex Marlow.

THIS IS WHAT BREITBART IS FOR.

And that doesn't even get into Milo dismissing literally all campus rape reports as "frauds and hoaxes."

THIS IS BREITBART.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

Sorry I haven’t been doing much with the band blog lately. Frankly, all my blogging energy has been used working against the literal fascist movement which has grabbed partial power and is trying to grab more.

I blog at Dreamwidth and it’s echoed to Livejournal. Here’s my post on Milo’s support of child pedastry, for example, which I wrote last night. The Republicans have been fine with his vicious misogyny, overt and savage white supremacy, and slanderous attacks on transgendered people; let’s see if they’re also on board with 28-year-old men fucking 13 year old boys.

I mean, we already know they’re fine with 50-year-old men raping 13 year old girls, but everybody knows the only way to end up dead in politics is to get caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy. Because boys are valuable and girls aren’t.

Apparently, CPAC (biggest conservative political conference, where he has a headline speech this year) and his fans in general all knew about this already – the interview I’m quoting ran over a year ago. And they’re okay with that. Monstrous filth.

Anwyay, I’ve been getting used to being back in full-time war mode for a couple of months now. Since this movement has always hated women and queers (unless, apparently, they’re pederast fascists), I’ve had to do this my whole life – but I had kind of some time off for a little while, and it made me soft. Hopefully I can return to band stuff more regularly, as I start to feel more ramped up on all this again.

Hopefully.

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