Oct. 28th, 2015 04:05 pm
Someone else please write the overactive-pattern-recognition post about scapegoating/call-out culture/Vriska-vs-Kankri as Bad SJWs/Gamzee being the goat. I have no brain cells left to house the discourse. They are all presently occupied by outrage about Kentucky politics and other people's Ruby code.

(#six days until we know which idiot is the governor #will it be screaming tea party man #puzzled fark-dot-com man #or a relentlessly-narcissistic early-90s-republican running as a democrat? #we lose regardless #we always lose #kentucky #is a doomed timeline)

Oct. 6th, 2015 09:04 pm
Why does Florida get to vote for the candidate who sacrificed-a-goat-to-the-god-of-the-wilderness whereas Kentucky is stuck voting for the candidate who Fark-dot-com

deep sigh

Sep. 30th, 2015 07:54 pm
Cut for Kentucky politics.

Read more... )

Jun. 4th, 2015 09:32 pm
Social Security disability payments restored for hundreds in Eastern Kentucky facing eligibility review.

Thank Christ. This should never have happened.

I will point out that though Rogers is getting the credit in this article, and he definitely did a great thing by pitching in, John Rosenberg, a civil rights and legal aid activist, and Ned Pillersdorf, the attorney in the class action suit against Conn, were probably the ones who forced the change in course to happen so quickly - Conn's victims have only missed one check so far, the one they should have gotten this week. This was something that needed immediate action - there have already been three suicides - and they acted very fast.

Rosenberg in particular found out and started raising a ruckus before the letters rescinding everyone's benefits even made it to them. I can't guess how many hours this eighty-something-year-old dude spent on the phone with people at newspapers and the state and federal governments, but given what his Facebook's been looking like, I would say the answer was "a lot of them."

(Screening comments on this post, for reasons.)
Dad: You have to vote tomorrow, you have to vote for [his friend] and against [mom's enemy]!

Me: I don't know anything about the people they're running against. - wait, in Papaw's neighborhood today, there was this guy going around hassling people, he was sort of shaped like a cinderblock and had a buzzcut, who was he?

Dad: Uh... probably [name], he's running for [office].

Me: Okay. He was parked in a stupid place so I couldn't pull out, so I'll vote so I can vote against him.

Dad: His opponent runs a pit bull puppy mill, though! Keep that in mind.

Me: I'll write in my own name or something.
(Subtitle: Also, Don't Read The Comments. Sub-Subtitle: I Should Not Have Read The Comments)

Okay, this is the definition of drug abuse:

If you're using a drug in a way that does you more harm than good, you're abusing it.

And this is the definition of physical drug addiction:

If you will have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking a drug regularly, you're addicted to it.

A person who is addicted to a substance is not necessarily abusing it. A person with severe chronic pain who takes oxycodone every day is almost certainly addicted - they're going to feel like shit for months if they have to go off the stuff - but they are not abusing it. It's doing them more good than harm. If you wouldn't be able to get out of bed if you weren't taking the stuff, then why the fuck does it matter if you're addicted?

My grandmother, towards the end of her life, could not move around, cook, and take care of her pets without prescription painkillers. One of her doctors nonetheless at one point decided to refuse to renew her prescription, because she was "an addict." Yeah, no shit, buddy. She was also an old woman who, without that medication, physically could not care for herself.

I wonder how many people in her situation that doctor, and others like him, have killed like that.

A lot of people have personal objections to taking stuff that's addictive, even if they'd be better off on it; I am one of them! But that's 100% a personal decision - it is not something that other people have the right to decide for you. You do not need to feel guilty if you choose taking something that induces dependency over, y'know, being in horrible pain all day.

And it is definitely not something we should be fucking legislating. If you think that, you are what is known, in medical terms, as a complete jackass.
A congressional committee had to have Bruce Schneier brief them on the NSA's various unconstitutional activites, because the NSA, obviously, was not about to do so:

This morning, I spent an hour in a closed room with six members of Congress: Rep. Lofgren, Rep. Sensenbrenner, Rep. Scott, Rep. Goodlatte, Rep Thompson, and Rep. Amash. No staffers, no public: just them. Lofgren had asked me to brief her and a few Representatives on the NSA. She said that the NSA wasn't forthcoming about their activities, and they wanted me -- as someone with access to the Snowden documents -- to explain to them what the NSA was doing. Of course, I'm not going to give details on the meeting, except to say that it was candid and interesting. And that it's extremely freaky that Congress has such a difficult time getting information out of the NSA that they have to ask me. I really want oversight to work better in this country.

It would be nice if I could feel that decisions were going to be made based on Schneier's input rather than that of the Dementors, but let's be real: Mike Rogers, who's the head of the House Intelligence Committee, was on TV saying that Snowden had had help from Russia getting access to documents on a system for which he had administrative privileges.

What did he need Russia for, were Russian spies going to carry his pen drive for him? Was it an unusually heavy pen drive? Maybe he had trouble starting his car some days, and he needed a Russian spy to turn the key for him, or hold down the pedal.

What the hell does the House Intelligence Committee do when it meets, play Parcheesi? It can't be Monopoly, that's too complicated.
Because it's not like nonwhite people or those otherwise known to vote "wrong" ever get turned away from the polls due to spurious horseshit these days.

Oh wait no that is in fact the case.

Seriously, literally all that section 5 said was that particularly hate-crime-prone states have to show changes to their voting procedures or redistricting plans to the Justice Department before implementing them. This is done on the basis that common sense suggests that they are more likely than other places to require "Arabian-looking" people to sing the Star-Spangled Banner in order to access the polls, or chop a primarily-black community into nineteen separate voting districts, or whatever.

So it's not exactly an unreasonable requirement. The only problem with it is that it's too limited; it does not, for example, cover my ridiculous state, home of the nation's largest concentration of KKK members. Because we're super responsible about electoral shit.

Here's an overly-mild description of the decision's implications by a someone at the Washington Post. There are four things he fails to address adequately:

Read more... )
The Millionaire Law:

Anyone possessing more than one million dollars in assets, solid or liquid, is ineligible to run for public office of any kind. The same rule applies to appointees to major state and federal offices. If a millionaire sincerely wishes to serve their country in this way, they have the option of donating the remainder of their wealth to the Social Security fund. Those worthy of the public trust should have no problem with this.

It's a felony for an office-seeker to "hide" money in any way; putting it overseas, donating it to a nonprofit which will hire the individual and/or their family members, divorcing their spouse for the duration of their term in office/term of employment, and so on. It does not need to be proven the individual was "knowingly" a millionaire at the time. If a person has over $500,000 in assets, he or she certainly knows where to find a good accountant. Ignorance is not a defense.*

The minimum sentence is at least five years, and again, the social security fund gets whatever is left over after rewarding any whistleblowers who may have been involved in bringing this to light. Whistleblowers get 25% of the recovered money with a cap of two million. They're also granted immunity from prosecution for any nonviolent crimes which they may have committed in the course of acquiring their information.

There are obviously other things that need to be done - SuperPACs and the revolving door still need to be dealt with. However, the root of our problem is simply that the extremely wealthy don't belong in public office, unless they're willing to demonstrate that they value their duties over their wealth.

We'd lose a few good people from this, I'm sure, and I regret that - but we'd lose a lot more bad ones.

* There may need to be a severance clause for this part. I think the nature of felony convictions generally requires intent, but the thing is that extremely wealthy people often make a choice not to know exactly how wealthy they are. If there are no legal repercussions for "accidentally" misrepresenting yourself, people are going to "accidentally" misrepresent themselves.
Me: Is this show live? If I go to his studio and shoot him right now, will it just go off the air?

Mom: You may not shoot Chris Matthews.

Me: Sure, just keep talking, asshole! Your guests' jobs are just to sit there and look earnest and nod. You have failed to communicate a single idea in the past ten minutes you've been talking, but that's fine!... You're just shouting! You're not saying anything! Shut up!

Mom: Dear, please calm down.

Me: ...You think if I shoot him they'll just replace him with a robot anyway.

Mom: No.

Me: It would be funny if Keith Olbermann's contract had said they could just replace him with a robot if he left. Like they get a copy of Vocaloid or something and they load samples of his voice into it, and his show is just, Vocaloid screaming in rage. One half-hour-long Vocaloid scream.

Mom: *is now ignoring me*

Me: Or they can make it sing and there can be a musical interlude.
It was very small - maybe five people when we got there. I warned a guy Dad was talking to not to let him hold a sign, because he was the 1%. (No, though we were on our way to a law office probably populated by several such.)

I asked a woman how things were going, and if the police had bothered them. She said no, "they're doing their own protest later if you want to come see."

We passed by again after our conference with the 1%, and they were, along with the firefighters. It appeared to be union-organized, and was relatively big and tidy - maybe forty people, matching t-shirts for everyone. I think it was about funding cuts, but I'm not actually sure what the specifics were - I haven't located any news coverage of this.

I kind of feel like there should be some? I also suspect that there must have been at least one other police union protest coinciding with an Occupation by now. Lexington is, after all, our nation's most sedentary city! Not often the first past the goal. Yet when I search for "occupy" and "police" on google news, all I see is stuff with the word "clash" or "confrontation" in it.

It gave me the odd impression that, perhaps, some of our nation's news reporting might be edited to keep it in line with a specific narrative. Surely not, though.

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