Feb 09 2018
As I write this, it's roughly a week before my 40th birthday. I'm sitting in a hospital waiting room tapping away on Windbringer while Lyssa undergoes surgery to remove a cataract from her left (and only working) eye.* When this post goes live on the day of my actual 40th birthday, more things will undoubtedly have happened. I don't know how much time I'm going to have in the next few days, so I guess I'd best take advantage of the spare time I have due to how busy I've been lately.
A lot's happened in this past year that I'm still trying to wrap my head around. My grandfather died. Somebody I knew but wasn't terribly close to committed suicide. I've been in the hospital and laid up at home a couple of times with strict "Sit on your ass and read comic books while you heal" orders (which, as you've probably already guessed, got boring pretty fast). Our landlord has begun the process of selling the house we're presently renting, which has introduced no small amount of uncertainty into the short-term future.
Mar 04 2017
You may or may not have noticed amongst the blizzard of other stuff that's happened in the last two weeks that Donald Trump appointed Ajit Pai to the chairmanship of the Federal Communications Commission. Pai has a history of being something of a contrarian; during his time as one of the five commissioners of the FCC, he repeatedly spoke against regulations that protected the consumer and was against diverse media ownership (since the 1980's, we went from 50 media companies to just six). Time and again Pai's said that he was going to tear down regulation after regulation that the FCC was responsible for enforcing, and so far he has a track record of making that happen, albeit piece by piece and not all at once.
But what does this mean?
Net Neutrality is the legal state in which every Internet Service Provider out there has to provide the same kind of service for all of its users to every online service out there. In other words, the Net is treated like a basic utility, no different from water or electricity. If a provider gets caught monkeying with its service to privilege some company over another, they can get fined. A number of large service providers, including Comcast and AT&T, pledged publicaly that they'd adhere to the terms of Net Neutrality until a certain future date. That's pretty much it.
Let's look at a world in which net.neutrality is a thing in the United States, which it still seems to be as of the time I wrote this article:
Jan 29 2017
Due to extenuating circumstances, I don't think I can keep updating this entry. For the sake of my mental, emotional, and physical health I'm going to let it go. Lifeline, Edison, and other parts of me are going to continue monitoring and archiving the USian political situation but I, the organic core of everything, need to step back and do other things.
In response to reading this tweet, I thought I'd type up the following list, and add links to some stuff I've observed. I'll update it as necessary. List beneath the cut.
Jan 28 2017
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
I very much want to be wrong.
Within 180 days of 0000 hours UTC, Friday, 27 January 2017, the United States of
America will declare war once again. That puts it at Wednesday, 26 July 2017
at 0000 hours UTC. I do not know for sure, but countries in the Middle East
seem the most likely targets.
This seems due, in part, that the USA seems to be trying to start the Crusades
again (George W. Bush tried once). The Trump administrations' public and
flagrant distrust, disapproval, and seeming pants-shitting-fear of Muslims
around the world would seem to point to this.
This seems due, in part, to the low approval ratings of President Donald J.
Trump. As of 28 January 2017 @ 1454 hours PST8PDT, they are at 36% approval,
44% disapproval on http://www.pollingreport.com/djt_job.htm. I've made a PDF
copy of this file here:
SHA-512 hash of trump_approval_ratings-20170128.pdf:
To jack up his approval ratings (and improve his chances of re-election, if
nothing else) this is a logical national action to take. It certainly worked
for George W. Bush after 9/11 but wasn't enough to sustain his approval ratings
in the long run.
Evidence of the above claim: http://www.gallup.com/poll/116500/presidential-approval-ratings-george-bush.aspx
Local copy of the above claim:
SHA-512 hash of george_w_bush-overall_approval_ratings.pdf:
I have received no orders, demands, or suggestions to write or post this. I
have received no pay or other compensation to write or post this.
I have no insider knowledge.
I have only the patterns of history to suggest this, and I'm seeing everything
happen all over again. And again.
I don't want to be right again.
- --The Doctor [412/724/301/703/415]
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Jan 14 2017
So, there's this guy named James O'Keefe.
He's got this problem: He likes trying to play Mission: Impossible and wreck the careers and lives of people he doesn't like by pulling scams, editing videos in interesting ways to set people up, and generally being the sort of person you'd eject from the party for being such a huge asshole that the Alpha Betas would throw him out on his ear. He spent all of Election Day in 2016 tailing buses taking people to the polls in an attempt to intimidate them into not voting. He's cost a couple of people their jobs. He's also been paid to do other people's dirty work, including breaking and entering and wiretapping, and his video editing skills are creative to say the least, but he relies upon shock value to cover up the fact that he's talking out of his ass. His track record shows that there's a 50/50 chance that he'll burn himself while trying to pull a black op (and I'm being much too polite because the guy's not even a mall ninja).
He's up to his old tricks again, only this time his reputation preceeded him and he was caught in the act when the groups he approached turned the tables on him by using his own tricks. O'Keefe and Allison Maass (one of his employees) approached two organizations, Americans Take Action and the journalist group The Undercurrent, and offered them thousands of dollars if they would disrupt the inauguration on 20 January 2017 by shutting down bridges and inciting a riot. Two versions of the video are available, an edited version in a news segment by The Young Turks (including some behind-the-scenes discussion that you really should watch) and longer video footage which is damning, to say the least. When last I heard, trying to pay people to cause riots and generally wreak havoc was a felony in the United States.