ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was thrilled to receive a flyer about a proposed change to the Illinois constitution, up for voting on November 8, which would restrict taxes and fees obtained from transportation to expenditures on transportation itself.  That is, driver's license fees, state taxes on gas, etc. could only be used for such tasks as road repair, mass transit fleets, supporting the driver's license office, and so forth.  Pro and con arguments appear in the article, and you can dig up more on your own.  Basically the pros are all aimed at better transportation; the cons are complaining that it restricts government power -- which is the point, because politicians have a nasty habit of robbing the transportation budget to do other things, and then this happens.  A couple other states have enacted policies to keep transportation funds in transportation, with favorable results, so watch for this on your ballots.

If you're wondering how T-America has such a fan-fucking-tastic transportation system, this is a significant part of how. Revenues from the field go right back into the same field, which makes it substantially -- though not wholly -- self-supporting. This means that the people who use the resources are paying for them, and that the more you use it, the better it gets.  \o/ This is how they have buses that run every 5 minutes downtown, and several times a day even on the fringes, on time and with lifts.  This is how they have dedicated bike lanes separated by curbs and hedges from the car lanes. This is how they can afford, on a day's notice, to put a crew on safety inspection after some yoyo crashes his zoomwagon into an overpass pier, and have the sealant patched and both roads fully operational after a couple days of work.

If you want there to be buses that everyone can actually use, safe bike lanes, and bridges that don't fall down and kill people, you have to pay for that; and this is one of the best ways of doing so.  Plus it should create more construction jobs, which mostly benefit able-bodied young men, but that will feed back into the economy; and with a little luck, maybe they'll add some office jobs too.  This is exactly the kind of thing I've been telling folks to watch for locally as a way of improving social and material infrastructure.  Keep that money in the right budget, and then when you ask your state or your own to do something like upgrade the bus fleet or replace a bridge, they'll be able to afford it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Corporations are leaving their names off the logo.  Part of it is just a shell game in hopes of deluding consumers that the product isn't really corporate.  (Hint: most products that aren't corporate don't have a logo.)  But mostly what it does it make it harder to connect the logo to the owner, if you don't already know whose it is.  You see a logo on a thing you like and you want more -- how do you find it?  You see a logo on something that pisses you off -- how do you know who to blame?  Search "thing with a red circle and yellow circle on it?"  Yeah, right.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the May 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills "The Veteran" square in my 4-1-16 card for the Archetypal Characters Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the May 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "classic villain" square of my 4-1-16 card for the Archetypal Characters Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a very astute look at an obscure but vital economic sign: shipping.  When the economy cycles properly, ships spend a lot of time in transit carrying raw materials and finished goods.  When the economy drops, demand falls, and shipping falls with it.  Now the demand is so low that ships sit in harbor because sending them out would lose money.  This is a bad sign.  It is, however, quite predictable that if people have not got enough to live on, they stop buying things.

It's not that there is no money in the economy.  It's that so much of it is held by so few people, there isn't enough left to sustain the motion.  The cycle grinds to a halt.  The whole point of having money is to move goods and services more efficiently than barter.  This only works if the money is spread around enough for people to use it.  If they can't get it, then it might as well not exist.  People have to fall back on other methods of meeting their needs, and the big engines of commerce just run out of gas.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Australia has a good idea to boost films by and about women.  This is what it looks like when people actually care.
ysabetwordsmith: (gift)
The Winterfaire spreads out as far as the eye can see. Some booths show streamers of red and green, while others sport blue and silver. All of them offer treasure after shining treasure. Music fills the air with lyrics of Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, and Yule. From the Wordsmith's Forge comes the bright chiming of words being hammered into literature. Delicious scents of hot chocolate, spiced cider, peppermint, baking cookies, and gingerbread tantalize the appetite. Smiling, laughing shoppers amble from booth to booth with lists in hand. Vendors grin back, calling out, "Come try, come buy...!"

I know a lot of artists, writers, musicians, crafters, and other talented folks who make some of their living from their creative endeavors. I don't always have the money to support them as much as I'd like, but what I can do is set up a virtual faire where vendors can offer their wares to an audience that likes crafts, literature, and small businesses. For those of you doing your holiday shopping, here's an opportunity to buy something made with love, something unusual or unique, in a way that helps make it possible for creative people to go on creating wonders. And there will be no traffic jams, stampedes, or gunfights at the Winterfaire! Enjoy the seasonal offerings on Dreamwidth or on LiveJournal.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So this rich guy offered to buy an island to host the refugees pouring into Europe.  This would give them a place to stay with others who share their language and culture, without bothering those areas in Europe that really don't want refugees. Furthermore, he cleverly suggested something I've been saying: put immigrants to work taking care of each other, get them building homes and service facilities, etc.  They're just ordinary people who've been run out of home by psychos; they must have useful skills.  And this  guy actually has enough money to make things happen.  I hope it works.

Also this is the point where Italy and Greece should take the offer or else STFU about not wanting refugees on their turf.  Especially Greece, with a very plausible exchange of selling an island, addressing the refugee problem, and getting a little boost and maybe some advice on fixing their mangled economy.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Civilization is relatively new, and not as great a thing as most people think, only they've forgotten the other options
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
In a rare triumph of justice over corporate fraud, StarKist Tuna has been convicted of underfilling cans. If you bought their tuna since 2009, you can file a claim for $25 cash or $50 in tuna.

What can you do with $50 of canned tuna?

Curried Tuna Sandwiches
Fisherman's Pie
Tuna Quesadillas (if some people don't like salsa, serve it on the side)
Tuna Stuffed Mushrooms

Canned Tuna Recipes (Allrecipes)
Canned Tuna Recipes (Allyou)
Canned Tuna Recipes (Epicurious)
StarKist Recipes

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is an article about people emptying out the Little Free Libraries, which are America's answer to public libraries and bookstores closing.

You may also have heard that HitchBOT was destroyed only two weeks into its trip through America.

These actions are not random, isolated, or irrational. Instead they are coherent symptoms of a wider problem, indicating an unhealthy society.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
That wasn't the original title of this article. But allow me to elucidate ...

Jesus H. Christ on a gluten-free cracker. Millennials are having problems because the workplace is DIFFERENT now.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is from the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] thnidu. It has been sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth.

"Habitat Foreclosure"
-- a vembletroon

Nincompoops in power cannot do the math of water shortages:
It's farms and factories at fault, not homes.
Take this to the bank: habitat foreclosure is at hand, aquifers running dry, glaciers absent without leave, and doom gathering in every empty lake.
Fracked! Cracked! Thanks to this, the water that remains is no longer potable.

* * *


"Habitat foreclosure" is a phrase I coined some years ago to describe situations where environmental changes make an area unsuited for human residence. This is happening in parts of China, Russia, Africa, etc. where settlements are being abandoned due to drought, dust storms, and other problems which have exceeded feasible coping strategies.

Read about the vembletroon form.

The West Coast drought is behind the water shortages, but the highest demand is not from individual use but from industrial and agricultural uses.  Therefore the problem cannot be solved by individuals or cutting municipal supplies.  


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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