ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the March 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] librarygeek and [personal profile] bairnsidhe. It also fills the square "The Pursuit of Happiness" in my 9-2-18 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] librarygeek in memory of the fires today at BOTH Notre Dame Cathedral and Al-Aqsa Mosque. What is remembered, lives. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A wide variety of Travelers, Romani, and other nomadic folks face deepening discrimination.  If you don't pay money to occupy a parcel of land on at least a semi-permanent basis, you don't count as a real person.  Although nomadism is the original state of humanity, and residence only developed in the last few thousand years, most societies today are viciously intolerant of anyone who is unable or unwilling to stay in one place.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Flood recovery is expensive, partly because it's badly planned.  People keep rebuilding in places that flood, and those places are flooding more often now than they used to.  As the ocean rises, it will encroach further on what is now solid land, swallowing many homes and businesses.  Things America needs to do but is not doing:

* Stop building anything in floodplains or other places subject to flooding.

* Wherever an increasing pattern of incursion flooding from waterways is appearing over developed land, pull back to higher ground.  That means don't rebuild structures there, move people somewhere else by giving them enough funds to build or buy an equivalent property somewhere safer.

* Increasing floods due to rainfall or other causes may need different responses, such as creating rain gardens and marshes, or upgrading water management infrastructure.

* Provide incentives and assistance for people currently living or working in flood-prone areas to move into safer areas before  a flood forces them out and requires expensive emergency measures.  This requires analyzing how many homes and businesses are in an area of responsibility, how many people they are, whether the population's needs are currently being met, how many replacement structures will be needed, and where would be a safe place to put those.

* If you live in a flood-prone area, move elsewhere as soon as it is feasible for you to do so.  It will be better to move before you are driven out (or possibly killed) by rising waters.

* Restore wetlands and other riparian features to reduce the tendency to flood.

While these would better be done on a national level, any individual town subject to flooding can do it on a local level.  Zone flood-prone areas for water management instead of building.  Identify safer areas and provide incentives for people to build there instead.  Assist people in flood-prone areas to move out of them.  This will save you a ton of money and trouble.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
People are freaking out over a climate change paper. Very little of this is actually new; what's new is that some people are actually listening this time. Let's look at a few choice bits.

(Warning for, well, how very fucked we are in detail.)Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article talks about how to fix emergency room flow to stop overcrowding that can kill people. They're doing it mostly wrong and much too late. Here are some steps that would actually fix it ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the March 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] satsuma. It also fills the "Artist" square in my 5-1-18 Gimmicks / Roles / Characters card in the Pro Wrestling Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] satsuma, [personal profile] fuzzyred, and [personal profile] erulisse.  It belongs to the series Arts and Crafts America.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Numerous species have been saved from extinction by captive populations.  When humans block that process, more species die out.  

I have told and told people that separating animals from humans is a death sentence for the animals.  If humans don't love them or find them useful, those animals cease to exist,  And when the numbers get small enough, only heroic action can save them.  Block that and they die.  So lobbying to ban zoos, aquaria, etc. is lobbying for animals to die out.  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Canada has a problem with overcrowding of humans in national parks. So does America. It's not just national parks, although the most famous places are suffering the worst. Anywhere with a bit of green is getting more crowded, and thus less useful.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This is the free epic for the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. Most of the poetry is currently tied up in the half-price sale, but I just wrote this one yesterday. I finally figured out why Terramagne-America has such a better housing situation compared to here. This poem fills the "complex" square in my 2-1-19 You Are card for the Valentines Bingo fest. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
(hydrogen) and (stupidity

Just the two symbols, and see how many people can figure out the subtext.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Yes, some refugees today are in exactly the position of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany.  They leave or they die, because some countries are killing Muslims or Christians or whatever else they've decided to hate; others are killing gays and transfolk and women who wear pants; quite a few are targeting doctors, scientists, journalists, and other intellectuals; and several just seem to be shooting anything that moves.  It's the same.  It's people fleeing genocide because they don't want to die.  

And countries are responding now just as they did to Jews: turning them away.  Oh sure, after  WWII everyone was "shocked" and "sorry" that Jews sent back to Germany were executed en masse.  After most of the Jews were safely dead and not in need of food, shelter, or any other assistance anymore.  People will turn back desperate masses and then be "shocked" and "saddened" when a toddler winds up drowned on their beach.  Well, when people are in dire situations, they will escape as best they can, and if nobody helps them do that safely then quite a lot of them will die along the way.  So everyone who supports  refugee-hostile polices becomes guilty of refoulement and shares part of the moral burden for those deaths, because their choices lead to actions that lead to dead refugees.  Those who fight for human rights are not at fault for the errors of others.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article predicts wilder weather due to climate change.  I've been warning people all along that the Earth can move blindingly fast at times, and that we don't know how the system works that we're messing with, so forget precision in prediction.  You'll have to be satisfied with "FUBAR." 

Also, I have no faith in this new information altering public policy.  Mostly politicians want to stave off change as long as possible. They have that power.  They won't change unless forced to.  As climate change is already upon us and we are long past the point where doing anything about it would mitigate the changes to bearable levels, continuing to fuck around will likely result in a "beyond all recognition" scenario. 

Worth mentioning: impact of sea level rise depends primarily on two factors: total height above sea level and degree of slope.  Nations with a low maximum height (the Maldives is just a few meters at most) and/or a very gradual slope will be largely or wholly inundated.  Those whose coast consists of tall steep cliffs needn't worry on that point.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 The most successful genocide is when you convince your victims to do away with themselves.  Of course the American government isn't protecting people from disenrollment: fewer Indians means fewer expenses.  But government shouldn't be let off the hook just because one tribe doesn't want its members anymore.  The government still owes those people.  It just doesn't care.  It never has cared.

The only good Indian is a dead Indian.

Someone should really lay genocide charges in international court.  The evidence is pretty brutal.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It occurs to me that the government shutdown offers an unparalleled opportunity to reach out to people who might decide that the Republican Party does not have their best interest at heart.  If you belong to a political party which upholds strong labor values such as a living wage, or a strong social safety net such as affordable housing, consider raising funds and distributing them to people directly harmed by the shutdown -- no strings attached, just let them know who you are and your platform on the topic.  These are the most and least affected states.  

After all, this is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people.  If the elected officials can't be arsed to do their jobs, we can always do it for them.  And that could generate some very interesting attention.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a thoughtful post about the dangers of voice-activated technology.  Security-minded people know better than to carry a smartphone, buy a TV with spyware, or install a voice-activated system like Alexa.  The problem is, that does you fuckall good in a society where everyone else is buying that shit.  Unless you want to stop interacting with other people, stop going to their houses, and stop going out in public ... everything you say and do can be monitored and used against you.  That's a problem.

What really bothers me is that some people clearly read 1984 and thought, "Clearly people will resist being spied upon if they think of it as spying.  So how can we make them WANT to be spied upon and resist giving it up?"  And the sick fucks figured it out.  They wrapped the bugs in eyecandy and apps psychologically engineered to addict people to playing with them.  It works.  It's like hiding a pill in baloney so your idiot dog will swallow it.

Only this pill is poison.  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 8, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "balance" square of my 9-30-18 card for the Fall Bingo fest.


"Never Trusted Without a Check"


The U.S. Constitution provides
for the separation of powers.

It supports the three branches
of the American government:
Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.

Each branch has its own powers,
but all are limited by another branch,
creating a system of checks and balances.

This complex structure of countervailing forces
is inefficient, but that is not a mistake.

It is a deliberate design choice
to reduce the possibility of tyrants
usurping too much power.

The founders understood that
power was a two-edged sword,
never quite entirely safe and
never trusted without a check.

* * *

Notes:

“...I say, that Power must never be trusted without a check.”
John Adams, The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams

The U.S. Constitution establishes the separation of powers.  This requires miscreants to take over multiple branches in order to obtain full control, which is more difficult than corrupting a single branch.  In other words, don't put all your eggs in one basket.

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