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Lydy's Anarchist Revival Meeting

16th April, 2017. 12:48 pm. LJ 18th anniversary

#mylivejournal #lj18 #happybirthday

Huh, been here longer than I thought, and have been less prolific than I thought, both in posts and comments.

LJ, I will miss you. I'm sorry you are run by idiots and malign thugs.

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13th April, 2017. 2:37 pm. Another Experiment!

So, I think I've turned on cross-posting, so that when I post on Dreamwidth, it also posts to LJ. This is to test that.

I am lydy over on Dreamwidth, and I am trying to friend (encircle?) everyone who is over there that I normally follow at LJ. If I haven't encircled (friended?) you yet, please comment with your DW handle, so that I can do so. If I don't, it's probably incompetence on my part, not animus.

Have I mentioned that I hate learning a new interface?

I am not planning on deleting my LJ. I'm just planning on primarily using DW.

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12th April, 2017. 10:46 am. May Be Leaving

I am working on porting over my LJ to Dreamwidth, since it seem to be where all my friends are going, and LJ without yunz guys is kinda pointless. I'm using the importer tool provided by Dreamwidth. Any tips as to how this goes, what I should look for, what I will need to do manually?

Also, are there any mobile apps for Dreamwidth, like there are for LJ? I like to be able to check on my phone from time to time, and when I searched the Google Play Store, all it provided me was the ElJay app. Does this work for DW?

I really hate this. I hate learning new interfaces. But I hate losing track of my friends, more. So.

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9th April, 2017. 5:39 pm. Stupid LJ Question

Nobody ever reads their EULA. It is known, Khaleesi. I have probably signed hundreds of them, and I have read exactly none of them. I am by no means unique. I am, also, living in the United States (it could happen to anyone!) and so subject to the laws of this benighted republic.

Why are so many of my friends, most of whom also don't read their EULAs, and none of whom live in Russia, all freaked out about LJ's latest idiocy? What am I missing? In what qualitative way is this crazy-assed EULA different from all other EULAs?

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7th April, 2017. 10:45 am. Deja Vu All Over Again

So, I've lived through Viet Nam (well, the ending thereof), Gulf I, Gulf II, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now dear sweet Jesus fuck me, Syria?

Theme for my Five Calls of the week, "Syria needs many things, but I do not believe that more bombs are among them." Asked my senators and congress critter to require that Trump get Congressional approval for any additional military adventuring, and to say no if they can actually get him to ask.

So many other things are going on, going wrong. Too much, too much.

And really, again? We are not prepared to go in, depose Asad, and spend 20 years rebuilding the country. I'm not sure that we should, but that at least is something that would make sense. We have done this before. Japan and Germany come to mind. We also had international support, and we spent a fuck-ton of money. In general, I think it was money well-spent, and while I'm absolutely sure the Japanese and Germans would have some harsh things to say about some of our choices, it was not the worst possible thing to have done. We have no such commitment to Syria, nor will we acquire one. This, too, we have done before. Somalia ring any bells?

This is not a careful, well-thought out, precise and sourced post. This is a crie de couer. I'm sure there are many thoughtful things to be said. But at the moment all I want to do is hide under the covers, and say, "No, not again."

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25th March, 2017. 5:51 pm. Old Marrieds, the Charms Thereof

So, David and I have been living together for more than 20 years. While we lack the blessing of the state, I think it is reasonable to describe us as "old marrieds." One of the things we like to do is just, you know, hang out. It's not that we have nothing to say to each other, of course, we talk a lot. But sometimes, there's a nice animal comfort in being in the same room, doing different things. No need to interact, really, but the physical presence is companionable.

I've gotten obsessed with The Rachel Maddow Show. David... really not. So, he wants to hang out in the media room with me, and read a book or work on his laptop, and I want to watch TRMS, or other news shows. This doesn't really work, for him, and so either I don't get to do the thing I want, or he doesn't get to do the thing he wants, or we have to be in separate rooms. We kind of assumed that there was a headphone jack on the television, and we could just set me up with a long cable and headphones. Yeah, no. The television is too modern, or something, and doesn't have a headphone jack.

David did a little research, and there's this combination of things that you can use. David can explain it, I can't. Any gate, there's a thing that you plug into the television that gets the audio from...something optical? Not sure. Then there's a bluetooth repeater. David spent some time looking for something that has a very low latency. Latency? Any gate, so the sound and the picture would be in synch. (I can't watch dubbed movies, because the sound and the lips being out of synch makes me crazy.) Then there's a little bluetooth receiver with a headphone jack.

Due to various things, like the fact I spent Christmas out of town, David hadn't bought me a Christmas present. So he asked me if I would like this set up, where I could watch my news shows without driving him out of the room. And if I preferred earbuds versus headphones. And if this would qualify as a good present. I was delighted, said yes, he got the things, and they work exactly as we had hoped, and I'm delighted.

And it's such an old married sort of situation. First, no stress on just asking me if I wanted such a thing. And also, if it would constitute a present. It was a sensible question. There are ways to look at it that would suggest that rather than a present for me, it was a present for him. And, you know, I think that if we weren't old married, a "Hey, how about I buy you a thing that lets us ignore each other while being in the same room, wouldn't that be cool?" might come across as...not so romantic.

There are many charms to the early bits of a relationship. The falling in love, the newness, the excitement of it all. But I also love the calm, slow bits, the comfort and the ease of having someone where most of the communication bugs have been worked out, and where most of the fraught bits have been dealt with. Not all, of course. We still have our moments. But this really was just such a good Christmas present.

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17th March, 2017. 11:41 am. Made my calls

Called Al, Amy, and Keith about the disasterous Republican "replacement" of Obamacare. As always, I flubbed the first call, did better on the second and third. I kind of think the staff are tired of hearing from me...this may be projection on my part. In all three cases, they didn't ask for my zip code, and in two cases they declined to take it. One of them said, "I have your phone number" which is totes adorbz, since one's area code is the area code that one had when one first got a cell phone, not necessarily where one lives at the moment. Which actually highlights some of the ways in which the geographic representation is an antique thing. On the other hand, most of the suggestions for replacing it with something else seem to have even greater problems. I don't know... It's complicated. If representation were by affinity group rather than geography, it removes the problems of gerrymandering, but introduces greater balkanization, just for starters.

I also called the Dept. of Homeland Security to ask for the release of Daniel Ramirez, who is a Dreamer who didn't do anything at all, other than just, be, you know, brown.

So, that's my little bit for the week.

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10th March, 2017. 11:00 am. Treating Trump Voters Like Adults

So, let's talk about adults, for a moment. You know the ones, the ones whose lives are perpetually in a tangle, and in the end, you shake your head and say, "Well, he's an adult."

That guy, that guy who cannot manage his financial situation. He's basically a good person, someone whose company you enjoy and who you would like to see happy. You've done what you can to help. Maybe you lent him money, maybe you sat down with him and developed a realistic budget. Maybe you listened to him describe exactly why it is that he can't seem to keep the whole financial thing together. Maybe you understand why he's making the choices he's making, and maybe you don't. Either way, at some point, you shake your head and say, "Well, he's an adult." You keep an eye out, though. When it's clear he's having trouble getting food on the table, you invite him over for dinner a couple times. Maybe you pay his heating bill, or fix his car. You do little things to make sure that he doesn't end up dead or in jail. But you also protect yourself. You don't lend him money, you don't get involved in any financial schemes he has, and you quietly warn mutual friends. If he's homeless, you put him up for a while, but you set limits and boundaries.

This is not a bad person, per se, but he's definitely making some pretty terrible choices when he could have made better ones. So you stop trying to protect him from all the consequences, just make sure there's enough of a safety net that the possibility exists that things can get better for him. You don't pay attention to his self-serving explanations, and you are really clear that you don't support those choices. Understanding why he's doing this to himself doesn't really change things. You protect yourself, and do what you can for him, but you don't enable his world-view. You probably can't stop him from believing what he believes, but you don't have to buy into it, either. And if you have any hope of him changing, it is in part by refusing to endorse his bizarre justifications for his actions.

Now, let's talk about Trump voters. I am enormously tired of the call to "understand" the Trump voter. They're adults. They made some pretty bad choices. I am going to continue to fight for various safety-nets which will benefit them, because even though they did something incredibly stupid, they shouldn't die of unaddressed medical needs, nor should they starve. But I really don't need to understand why they did what they did. Nor would it help in the least. I am not their therapist. I am just their co-citizen, living in the same world. And I don't think that "understanding" them will make a wet slap of difference. Assuming I did understand the exact emotional structures that led them to want to burn it all down. Then what? I should...let them burn it down? No, that's stupid. So, I continue to fight for a more peaceful and prosperous world, and I stop accepting their juvenile excuses for why they did what they did. They're adults. I think we should treat them like it.

As for winning their votes next cycle... If it is possible, and it may not be, it's going to be by being really clear what the consequences of their last set of votes was. I say, ignore all the think pieces about the resentment and feelings of abandonment that the Trump voters have. Don't care, am not their therapist or their mommy. If they're going to vote for racist policies against their own self-interests, there is literally nothing I am willing to do to fix that.

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3rd March, 2017. 1:03 pm. And Every Man Will Do His Duty

Called my Senators and Congresscritter about Sessions, today. Said that although what I wanted was him impeached and sent to jail, I was willing to settle for his resignation. Also tried, repeatedly, to call the House Judiciary committee, but was unable to get through. Once again, I used 5calls.org, which makes this as easy as it can be. The staffers seem overwhelmed, and did not remember to ask for my zip code. I found during previous calls that if I give it at the beginning, they have usually forgotten it by the time I'm done. The fact that they weren't asking suggests that they are way overwhelmed, and possibly don't care any more. Me, I still care, a lot.

Josh Marshall argues that the pattern of lies and cover-ups that we're seeing suggests that there's something actually serious at the center. You don't make this many unforced errors about minor stuff unless you're really worried about something much bigger at the center. I suspect that's true. At any rate, the only way to find out is to keep pushing.

On the other hand, while the Russia stuff is marvelously byzantine and distracting, and very possibly treasonous, we must not forget the huge push against women, transgender people, and immigrants. And, of course, their vigorous attempt to destroy the entire planet. All of this matters. I know that they say that you should pick your battles. I am unsure which battles are the most important. I am hoping that the Russia stuff will be a useful lever for the rest of it, but we must not ignore the rest of it. It's all scary, folks.

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23rd February, 2017. 3:32 pm. Made My Five Calls

Today's issue was the transgender bathroom executive order. I said, each time, that transgender students were not dangerous, they were in danger. I was unable to reach the Department of Justice. The nice lady at the Department of Education said that they were getting a lot of calls, and she was very nice. I said that I bet her job wasn't much fun just now, and she laughed just a little and allowed as how it was very busy.

I'd do more calling, but it just feels weird to call my senators more than once a day, you know? I mean, I might never stop calling. And they do suggest that you stick to one issue per phone call.

So now I get to mark this off on my Habitica checklist, and get points. Yay, points! Someday, you will be another virtual, magical pet!

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