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.

Read more... )
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.

* * *


“...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.

Gag Orders

Dec. 25th, 2018 12:41 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So this is a thing ...

Pharmaceutical organisations working with Whitehall to maintain medicine supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit have signed 26 “gagging orders” that bar them from revealing information to the public.

Figures show that 16 drug companies and 10 trade associations have been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) which prevent them from revealing any information related to contingency plans drawn up with the Department of Health and Social Care

If people ask you to do something evil, such as withholding life-or-death information, you should either:
1) refuse if it is safe for you to do so or you're comfortable becoming a martyr, or
2) lie like a carpet and then discreetly sabotage the evil plan; in this case, by leaking the information so people are not caught unawares.

Don't join team "I was just following orders."  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Food for thought.

Much of the social justice in my writing comes from either personal observation or prompts from fans with disadvantaged traits. But more recently, it's getting a big boost from social engineering.  I look at a functional society like Terramagne-America and wonder, with increasing detail, how the fleeping heck they make it work.  I have dug into their federal budget, their mass-transit maps, their park parameters, etc. looking for concrete details that I can highlight for replication if desired.  How do you make a society a nicer place to live?  That's the real social justice.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... because the government is banning it. Don't be their flying monkey in the destruction of free speech.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Brexit explained.

More simply, if people don't like how they are treated, they tend to leave.  This is often messy.  That's just the way breakups are.  Telling people it is wrong or stupid to leave when they don't like how they are treated is not helpful, does not typically stop them from leaving, doesn't make the relationship better, and doesn't improve anyone's understanding of what a healthy relationship looks like.  If you don't like it, you can leave.  But understand, it's probably going to be a mess and you may lose a lot in the process. 

More and more countries in the European Union are feeling unhappy with their union.  Either the union fixes its shit, or a lot more are going to leave.  Since people don't all want the same things, it is impossible to make them all happy enough to stay.  This is a problem.  Much of it is based on totally obvious mistakes that I and a few other people pointed out from the very beginning (e.g. a half-assed union is wholly doomed) while others arise from recent developments (e.g. a flood of refugees driving berserk nationalism).  Good luck fixing any of that.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the December 4, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from Anthony Barrette and [livejournal.com profile] my_partner_doug. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

Warning: This poem contains political criticism.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (hawk)
Midterm elections are coming up. Here are some resources ...

Are you eligible to vote? If yes, are you registered to vote? If no, do that now.

Read more... )


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