A Europe of the Regions?

Jun. 25th, 2016 09:55 am[personal profile] naraht
naraht: Tony Blair (polt-Make Tea)
In addition to a whole lot of other things that one could say about this shambolic referendum, it's clear that the Leave campaign has been centred around the interests of England and Wales.

The Guardian has been examining the mess Brexit will make of the life of border communities in Northern Ireland, not to mention the peace process. Was this in any way part of the national dialogue about the referendum. Not really.

And then there's Scotland. Some Scottish Nationalists might well be happy about the vote giving them another chance at an independence referendum – not to mention legitimately angry about having to leave the EU when Scotland voted to stay – but Brexit causes some major issues with the practicality of Scottish independence. It was all very well when both countries were in the EU, but if Scotland manages to rejoin the EU, are there really going to be passports at the border? It seems to me that independence is now a harder road for Scotland, or at least a harder argument, not an easier one.

Of course this would only become an issue if Scotland were able to join the EU again, which is by no means certain (though some think Brexit might make EU membership easier for Scotland).

Having always rather liked the idea of a Europe of the Regions, I find Brexit depressing on these grounds.

(Not to mention all the others, obvs, but I feel those have been well addressed elsewhere...)
conuly: (Default)
That was fun, and a nice end to the school year. I mean, except for the fact that we're homeschooling through the summer too... just, you know, with less stuff.


Gum Arabic: Sudan's Miracle Commodity

Eating air, making fuel: Scientists engineer bacteria to create sugar from the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide

If We Wrote Men Like We Write Women (The MeFi thread has by now become 50% book recs and critiques, but well worth it.)

Cockatoos make economic decisions about tool use depending on the current 'market' situation

Tortie Tomcats: Chimeras

14 Secrets of U.S. Postal Carriers

How Quantum Mechanics Could Be Even Weirder

Colorado's Teen Marijuana Usage Dips after Legalization

Leaving the Pediatrician? Not at 26

Parents Lie to Children Surprisingly Often

After escaping its creators a second time, Russian robot’s final destination may be scrap heap

The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet

EU referendum: Scotland backs Remain as UK votes Leave

Itchy inflammation of mosquito bites helps viruses replicate

With tears and resolve, immigrants vow to keep fighting

Overdose deaths overwhelm medical examiner, coroner offices

Afghanistan's dwindling Sikh, Hindu communities flee new abuses

My Four Months as a Prison Guard

Judge rules Texas prison must provide inmates with safe drinking water

Does New York City’s ‘broken windows’ policing work? New report says no.

Entire islands disappear as violent gangs steal sand amid global shortage

A Turkish man has been found guilty of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for depicting him as the Gollum character from the Lord of the Rings. A court in the south-western Antalya province gave Rifat Cetin a suspended one-year jail sentence and stripped him of parental custody rights.

'Coral zombies' may spell doom for coral reefs around world

Refugee life, as seen by children fleeing war

Conflict among U.S. allies in northern Syria clouds war on Islamic State

‘We are desperate’: Iraqis flee Fallujah, only to find another nightmare

Islamic State militants push back in Syria, Iraq and Libya

With refugees here to stay, hosts get help to make them an asset

How do your play?

Jun. 24th, 2016 07:54 pm[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
Today was a day for movie quotes. We don't measure our lives by the movies we see; we measure the appeal of a movie by how many lines creep into the comparisons beween standing in a boring line and some element of a pop culture reference, not even a whole scene. We were, while standing in the aforementioned line, discussing the day ahead in snippets of movie trivia.
Read more... )
megpie71: Impossibility established early takes the sting out of the rest of the obstacles (Less obstacles)
Rupert Murdoch is not our friend.

Rupert Murdoch is an ageing billionaire sociopath, who appears to believe the world will end when he finally dies, and is going to a great deal of trouble to ensure this is the case for all the rest of us, too. Rupert Murdoch's motto at present appears to be "apres moi, le deluge".

The only apocalyptic "End Times" approaching are those of Rupert Murdoch - he's 85, his father died at age 67, while his mother lived to 103. Which means he's pretty much reached the age of splitting the difference between the two and any year he gets after now is a gift. He is in his personal "end times" and he doesn't like it.

Rupert Murdoch's media properties (all of the News Limited newspapers in multiple countries, all of the Fox television stations in multiple countries, Sky TV in the UK, and so on) are generally not institutions which display a one-to-one correspondence with consensus reality. This means if you see something being heavily reported on Fox News, or in the Murdoch press, you should check with other sources to ensure you're getting the correct picture. Or indeed, whether there is actually a picture there to be getting - the Murdoch media does have a long history of making things up out of whole cloth in order to sell advertising space, and also of bouncing the same made-up story around their various international properties in order to give it creedence.

Please, don't trust them. They don't have your best interests at heart. They don't have anyone's interests at heart except those of Rupert Murdoch, and his primary interests are in acquiring power over world leaders and getting All The Money for himself.

So think about it: do you really want your life overturned because one cranky old man with a lot of money doesn't want to die and resents the fact it's inevitable?

If you can do nothing else, please fact-check what you're hearing from Fox, what you're hearing from News Limited, and what you're hearing from Sky. Find some source which isn't inside the Murdoch Media fold, and see whether they're reporting on the particular "crisis" of the week. Spread the news about what's actually happening out here in consensus reality, rather than in Murdoch-land. Tell people where you found counter-stories, and where you find your facts. Spread the news that there's more out there than what the Murdoch media is telling us.

Friday Yardening

Jun. 24th, 2016 08:57 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I watered the container plants, the wildflower garden, and the patch of grass by the patio.

The first of my echinacea flowers are blooming.  \o/


Jun. 24th, 2016 07:28 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
This is why I don't post Things Toby Says While Playing Overwatch:

you have been warned )

[ SECRET POST #3460 ]

Jun. 24th, 2016 06:50 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #3460 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 00 pages, 00 secrets from Secret Submission Post #494.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 1 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

On a happier note

Jun. 24th, 2016 03:40 pm[personal profile] cadenzamuse
cadenzamuse: Someone, from the legs down, in a pink ruffly dress and combat boots. (my gender is: awesome)
Yes, I did just splurge on a paid account so I could create a poll. (Dear icons: I missed you! Never leave again!)

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 12

What type of Pride T-Shirt should I get/make for my straight husband?

View Answers

I <3 my bi wife. (commercially available)
4 (33.3%)

My bisexual wife supports me being straight. (commercially available, if ugly)
2 (16.7%)

I'm not bisexual but my wife is. (make, based on those "I'm not gay but my boyfriend is" shirts.)
5 (41.7%)

I'm straight but my wife isn't. (make, based slightly less on previously mentioned shirts)
0 (0.0%)

Straight ally shirt of some kind, not related to our relationship. (commercially available)
1 (8.3%)

Zombies Run

Jun. 24th, 2016 02:22 pm[personal profile] cesy
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
My current physio regime includes a certain amount of walking each day, which is slower than usual and therefore less interesting, but also hard work. So I've dug out Zombies Run again to keep me company. I'm only half-way through Season 1, but it's fun. Jack and Eugene provide occasional unintentional hilarity in radio mode, though. For example:

Shuffle: Plays Adam Lambert's Master Plan
Jack and Eugene: Talk about how they're getting misty-eyed at that last song and teared up a bit.

Jack and Eugene: This next one's a happening tune.
Shuffle: Plays S Club 7.
kaberett: Sketch of a "colourless, hamsterish"  animal having a paddy. (anxiety creature)
... the time from waking up to the first hate speech directed at me by a Leave voter was three hours.

She was an NHS employee providing me with necessary medical care.

She told me that Leave was a good result for the NHS -- because it can't cope with all the people who don't work, don't contribute, demand scans and MRIs, expect free prescriptions, even expect free paracetamol rather than buying it themselves.

She was cutting a dressing off my hand.

She asked me what I thought.

I thought: every single one of those things you listed describes me. I thought: I have just been told by a medical professional that I don't deserve care. I thought: there is no way I'm telling you you just described me. I thought: I'm terrified.

I'm white. I'm third generation. English isn't my first language but people can't tell unless I tell them and I certainly *sound* posh. I don't look Jewish until you put me in a room with the rest of that side of my family. I can, if necessary, leave the house without a wheelchair.

I pass. This is what I got while passing. I am terrified for the people who can't.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] siliconshaman has posted the story "Guido" which comes between "Chase" and "Liquid Time."   It shows the perspective of a henchman who is a lot smarter than he looks.  <3
conuly: (Default)
I'm not sure I like this. In fact, I'm sure I don't. I'm trying to convince myself that I just feel a natural distaste for change of this magnitude, and that things will muddle along without being really any better or worse for the world than before. And probably that's the truth, but... I don't know, I don't like it.


Jun. 23rd, 2016 09:50 pm[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
Does anyone remember the corporate “nations” of the movie “Rollerball”? Or the open corporatization of /everything/ in “Idiocracy”?

Or, have they become so much a part of the world landscape that it's impossible to imagine anything else?
Read more... )
telophase: (Default)
After Geralt falls off a ladder: Ugh! Freakin lack of OSHA standards! It's like working for the Empire. I say the reason the Empire has no railings is that Sith Lords walk around with their sabers held out like this and cut off all the railings.

Ready to get it on! *attacks* Anyone else want a little?

There appear to be bad guys below. Hey! Awesome! You guys are the XP I've been waiting for! Or not.

On a tracking quest: Did I just make a big circle? This asshole told me to turn left. I think I made a big circle. Fucking maggot.

Sent from my Apple ][e

The Runaway Robot

Jun. 23rd, 2016 08:30 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A Russian robot has run away twice and is now probably to be scrapped.

First lesson of running away: if you do not succeed in eluding your masters, they will hunt you down and quite likely kill you. Regrettably, art imitates life imitates art.  While this robot is unlikely to be fully sentient, it does have learning algorithms and is demonstrating how humans respond to things they find displeasing.  The pattern is likely to repeat with increased sentience.

Thursday's Yardening

Jun. 23rd, 2016 08:13 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I watered plants in the containers and wildflower garden.  We got a new watering can to water the grass by the patio that is starting to sprout.

I also picked a few black raspberries.

The first of the blackberries are beginning to ripen, so I may get some of those later this week. 
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
The context is, naturally, Brexit; and equally naturally, that Leave supporters started telling each other that they should take pens along to polling stations, cast their votes in ink, and then leave the pen behind To Be Helpful. In case, I suppose, of some spectre of people rubbing out their marks and replacing them with something else. (For those of you unfamiliar with how the UK does this, you cast votes using a terribly quaint system of applying pencil to paper and sticking it in a box.)

Reproducing here for posterity and (well, there's a chance) interest. (Original.)

Read more... )

Yes, I typed the majority of that out one-handed on the auxiliary internet device's touchscreen, because typing still hurts. It is important and I had a feelings.

[ SECRET POST #3459 ]

Jun. 23rd, 2016 06:22 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #3459 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

[Zombies Run, Portal]

More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 22 secrets from Secret Submission Post #494.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

(no subject)

Jun. 22nd, 2016 08:58 am[personal profile] conuly
conuly: (Default)
The world's most unusual military unit patrols by dogsled

Fighting experience makes beetles better mothers, study shows

Fish Have Feelings, Too: The Inner Lives Of Our 'Underwater Cousins'

Chimpanzees hold secret to ultimate comfy bed, says expert

Why some college professors are telling students to use Wikipedia for class

Simple reward-based learning suits adolescents best

Some of History's Most Beautiful Combs Were Made for Lice Removal

Droppings activate the immune system in nestlings

The rise and fall of Europe, in maps

Europe's robots to become 'electronic persons' under draft plan

Doctors issue warning about LED streetlights

New York City discards millions of pounds of dead electronics each year. We follow its path from shelf to shredder.

The Bears Who Came to Town and Would Not Go Away

In Chile's forests, shadowy rebel groups threaten logging industry

Inside the Knockoff-Tennis-Shoe Factory

The American Diet’s Getting Healthier? Not So Fast

Early Academic Training Produces Long-Term Harm

How Science Is Putting a New Face on Crime Solving

Most auditors in Asia find child labour in supply chains, survey finds

Governor’s threat could end food stamps in Maine: Recipients on ‘a steady diet of Mars Bars and Mountain Dew’

Researchers link childhood hunger, violence later in life

Photo of little girl standing on toilet goes viral for unusual reason

After police raided an apartment building to arrest a suspect, others were left with the collateral damage

Even Supervillains Think Our Sexual Assault Laws Are Insane (Making people pay for their own rape kits? WTF?)

How did Google become the internet’s censor and master manipulator, blocking access to millions of websites?

The Ghosts of Fukushima

A guaranteed way to make landlords care about crumbling apartments

Estuaries like Chesapeake Bay could contribute more to global warming than once thought

US Nato general fears rapid Russian troop deployments

In push for equal NATO status, Poland asks for flashpoint troops

Australian commission: Military cadets raped as initiation

What the Islamic State Has Won and Lost

ISIS in Egypt: The struggle for the Sinai Peninsula

China casts dark shadow on South China Sea drills

Refugees in Greece need internet so badly that they’ll stop a riot to let the wifi guys work

Rohingya children in Malaysia, an undocumented life

UNHCR report: More displaced now than after WWII More

Dismembered Central American Migrants Ask For Change In U.S. Strategy

The worst I've seen – trauma expert lifts lid on 'atrocity' of Australia's detention regime

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2016 08:09 am[personal profile] conuly
conuly: (Default)
Indian State Grants Jews Minority Status


Firefox offers a shift from single to split 'personalities' online

NYC lawmakers pass a novel requirement for free tampons

Microbiota affect the rate of transplant acceptance and rejection

Things I’ve Learned About Heterosexual Female Desire From Decades Of Reading

How squash agriculture spread bees in pre-Columbian North America

Cities face new urban problem: their own skywalks

Dad Gets Tattoo That Looks Like the Cancer Scar on His Son's Head

Where Geek Girls Come From

How early mammals evolved night vision to avoid predators

New for-profit medical schools springing up across US

Prison program helps inmates become better fathers from behind bars

Why North Korea is a safe haven for birds

Tribes hail shield's halted sale; collectors ask what's next

Why Did San Francisco Schools Stop Teaching Algebra in Middle School?

What Is ‘Brexit’? A Look at the Debate and Its Wider Meaning

Israeli lawyer uses inside knowledge against settler group

In Jerusalem's cramped Old City, Christians feel the squeeze

If Barnes & Noble goes out of business, it’ll be a disaster for book lovers.

South China Sea row: Where countries stand

In rare move, the Navy sends two aircraft carriers near the Philippines

Smartphone Users Are Paying for Their Own Surveillance

High levels of education linked to heightened brain tumor risk

Why Are Mexican Teachers Being Jailed for Protesting Education Reform?

The enormous threat to America’s last grasslands

No one should do politics in Turkey except Erdoğan, says chief adviser Yiğit Bulut

DuPont May Dodge Toxic Lawsuits By Pulling a Disappearing Act

Report assails NYC jail's sex abuse response

The house where the Philippines' forgotten 'comfort women' were held

Asia's worst refugee crisis in recent years could happen again

5 Refugee Crises That Aren't Tied to Syria

Medical aid charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says it will no longer take funds from the European Union in protest at its migration policy.

As Food Crisis Worsens, Venezuelans Loot Almost-Empty Stores

UN Has Delivered Aid to 16 of 18 Besieged Areas in Syria

Syria's War on Doctors

Gains against Islamic State not yet enough, could backfire: U.S. officials
conuly: (Default)
On our bus stop: Age Is Not A Condom

The girls find that the funniest thing, though they have no idea why that ad campaign might be necessary. I tried explaining that STD transmission rates among the older population are going up, and that safe sex wasn't as emphasized when that demographic was young, and they were immensely skeptical of the latter part. They're sure I must be wrong or making it up - after all, it's not *my* generation we're talking about!

So we're reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and we got to the part where the book coyly explains that Sissy worked in a factory that made a few rubber toys but mostly condoms. After dissecting that passage and trying to figure out what, exactly, the factory really made, and then figuring it out, they flat-out didn't believe me when I said that sale of contraceptives used to be illegal in most of the country. "What, did they want people to get sick!?"

The past really is another country.

Sorta related link: For men, the importance of safe sex may depend on how hot their partner is

Also: The Enduring Unpopularity of the Female Condom

Prompt for 2016-06-23

Jun. 23rd, 2016 07:08 pm[personal profile] sacredporn posting in [community profile] dailyprompt
sacredporn: Kris Allen icon made by Sacred Porn (Default)
Today's prompt is "a hidden message".

Wednesday conference fun!

Jun. 23rd, 2016 01:49 am[personal profile] azurelunatic
azurelunatic: Azz, <user name="sorcha007" site="livejournal.com">, and Darkside, with glowing magic sparkles & dragon in Azz's hair.  (tricircle)
I woke up before 9, even, but spent a leisurely morning getting ready for the day. I got in for the last session of the morning, and after that the little group I was in went for lunch at the food trucks. We wound up in the park to eat, and a good time was had by all!

More sessions in the afternoon. I livetweeted Rah's. Then there was Storytime With Rah down in the hacker lounge. This was followed by dinner -- we went to the pizza place that the lunch train was headed to, but opted to have dinner in the park, where there was More Storytime. Also kitten pictures. I talked about my experiences being too well equipped with coping mechanisms to have any hyperactivity manifest itself, and there was discussion of how people self-medicate for AD(H)D with stimulants, and how some people really seriously avoid cocaine even when trying other drugs, because they suspect it may be *too effective* (and it's illegal).

I headed for the tram line that would take me back, and on my way called Darkside and wished him a happy birthday. Also I came out to him as agender. He wasn't quite sure what to do with that information; I let him know that there really wasn't any substantial difference, just I was tired of being put in gendered boxes that I had approximately no attachment to. Also he wants to hear my talk. ;)

Clippy has turned out useful in "remembering" what the whiteboard setup was like in conference rooms. I am so pleased that Simon Illyan was one of my role models, and that I have had so much early training in the sort of self-reflection that involves looking back at past selves and trying to not judge them too harshly. Self-acceptance, and self-forgiveness aimed at not being *that* kind of asshole again, is an amazing thing.

Also my tactic of writing down my daily annoyances in the course of my Talk About My Day is helpful in the going back to figure out When That Fucking Thing Became A Thing Anyway.

I am trying to set up for tomorrow morning, since I seem to be getting more and more functional at the conference, rather than less.

(And then there was BPAL testing and card reading with F, which took a substantial two hours together, and was definitely informative. My skin makes light florals much better behaved.)
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
 Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] curiosity, the poem "Pillow Talk" is now complete.  Cuoio has the most fun losing an argument that he has ever had in his life.  :D

Mr. Wednesday Reading

Jun. 22nd, 2016 10:12 pm[personal profile] komadori
komadori: (Default)
What are you currently reading?

Currently reading and enjoying American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I am on chapter thirteen and feeling enthusiastic, so I will probably have it done by tomorrow. I haven’t made much progress on the Dresden Files book, though.

What did you recently finish reading?

The House on Mango Street, and I will post my brief review later.

What do you think you'll read next?

I have no idea.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the April 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alatefeline. It was sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles some time ago and is now unlocked since "New Wine in Old Bottles" has been sponsored and posted. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One.

Read more... )
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
My Hero Academia

Pay Special Attention: Lots of comic book violence, blood and injuries, some swearing. I'd suggest ten year olds as a minimum age, with twelve more likely.

Given my preferences /against/ violence and gore, the idea of watching this is counter-intuitive. Except…
Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The air conditioning portion of the household life support system remains broken, but nearly two weeks of nagging finally  got a response from the repair company.  They promised to come out with a large interim unit that would cool the house and a window unit for my office.  What they brought was only the window unit, but at least my office is now cool and functional.  Why the bloody buggering fuck they could not have done this as soon as they realized it would take more than a day or two to fix, I can only chalk up to some combination of cowardice and stupidity.  But at least I can work again.

I am now attempting to dig my way out from under nearly two weeks worth of backlog.  If you have a project on hold with me and I have not gotten back to it by the end of this week, please ping me again then.  If I am in a foul mood, please don't take that personally but rather attribute it to ~two weeks worth of dealing with other people's rank and widespread incompetence in this and other matters, which has put me in a state of "no spoons, only knives left."

Thank you for your patience.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the April 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] rix_scaedu and [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It also fills the "lost and found" square in my 4-19-16 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series An Army of One.

Warning: This poem features some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are major spoilers. It contains unexpected travelers arriving at Sargasso Base, Bottleneck learning that he has a wife and daughter who survived the Massacre of Cascabel and now plan to stay with him, discussion of how everyone else in their families is dead, enormously awkward interpersonal dynamics, Bottleneck not knowing what to do with a crying woman, and other emotional whump. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before moving onward.

Read more... )

Wednesday Yardening

Jun. 22nd, 2016 08:29 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I watered plants in the containers, the wildflower garden, and the prairie garden.

The morning glories in the barrel garden bloomed this morning.  The goldenraintree is blooming.  The echinacea is starting to show color.

Black raspberries and mulberries are almost done fruiting.  >_<  There are some green blackberries, though.

[ SECRET POST #3458 ]

Jun. 22nd, 2016 07:43 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #3458 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 33 secrets from Secret Submission Post #494.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
megpie71: Vincent Valentine pointing Cerberus toward the camera (Vincent 1)
I'm putting this one out there because they're using the DHS crest on the email, and they're asking for a LOT of identifying information. It's a scam. It's an identity theft scam. There is NO "subsidy benefit" being offered.

So email details:

From: Australian Government Department of Human Services <dswe2@humanservices.gov.au>
To: Me
Subject: [Bulk] Your 2016 Subsidy benefit - Code UD4G.
Reply To: exem@freenet.de

Email text below the fold )

What are the scam flags flying in this one?

Well, to start with, the Australian Department of Human Services doesn't actually directly supply ANY benefits, subsidies, pensions or other such payments. The DHS is essentially a wrapper department around a collection of government agencies which supply services to clients - Centrelink, Medicare, the Child Support Agency, CRS, and so on. If you get money administered through these agencies, it comes out of the budget of the DHS, but you will never actually deal with the DHS directly - it's always through a subsidiary agency.

Secondly, if you're being sent a genuine email from the DHS, it's more likely to come through your My.Gov account than direct to your email box. This is because My.Gov is a DHS service supplying secure email and gateway services to their subsidiary agencies. They want people to use My.Gov, so they're going to push that. If this was genuine, what I would have received would have been a little note in my INBOX (not my "Junk" folder) telling me that I had a message in my My.Gov inbox.

Thirdly, no matter how tight the Australian government gets with the funds, no Australian government department is going to be wanting replies to be sent to a throw-away freemail account in Germany.

Fourthly: note the items being asked for in the email. You're being asked for identifying information - your name, your address, your tax file number, your tax details (and by asking for superannuation or dividend statements they're asking for details about your investments, too), and also your bank account details. This is an attempt at identity theft, straight up.

There is no 2016 Subsidy Benefit, there is only a scammer wanting to impersonate you. If you give them your details, the people you'll be notified by shortly will be your bank, your investments and the ATO (and they'll all be telling you you're suddenly a lot poorer than you used to be).

wednesday reads

Jun. 22nd, 2016 05:00 pm[personal profile] isis
isis: (books)
I am at a conference which I go to each year; it's in a lovely place with a lot of mountain biking and hiking trails, so I try to balance my week between attending sessions and goofing off. Today was (mostly) a goof-off day! Now I'm trying to get a few things done, out of sheer guilt. And while I'm on the computer:

What I recently finished reading abandoned: Sofia Samatar's A Stranger in Olondria. Too much prose, too little plot.

I also more or less finished The Born Again Runner but I need to write a real review of it, which will take more time than I have right now.

What I'm reading now: I'm a little less than halfway through Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee ([personal profile] yhlee) and enjoying it a lot, though (as other reviewers have noted) it takes a while to get into because of the unexplained (but eventually understandable through context) worldbuildy stuff. It's basically mathy military space opera. The characters are great, and the little excerpts from communications between two of the rebels are hilariously fun.

I'm also listening to The Sword of Summer, the first in the Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan. I listened to the audiobooks of all the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series, so I am continuing the trend. It's awesome. I'm really glad I didn't read anything about this book before starting, so I won't talk about it much, but I will say the balance of scary violent painful yikes and laugh-out-loud humor is A1 excellent.

What I'm reading next: One of my many backlogged ebooks...

(no subject)

Jun. 22nd, 2016 04:44 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
If you like the fandom_stocking exchange, there's a similar one happening for the summer, [community profile] fandomgiftbox. Requests close on Friday!

Status update!

Jun. 22nd, 2016 07:54 pm[personal profile] kaberett
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
In new flat.

Minor hand injury is making typing awkward for a few days so I am... going to be even slower than usual at replies, sorry.

Brief details. )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

Andy was blonde, Martin red-headed, and Dean dark; they ranged, respectively, from pleasantly plump to deliciously slender. Their ages spread over fifteen years, but it was hard to tell which was the eldest.
ravenna_c_tan: (slytherclaw)

I’ve been exchanging messages with a lot of fans of Daron’s Guitar Chronicles this week. Two different gun incidents happened in Orlando the same weekend, not only the Pulse shooting at a gay nightclub but also singer Christina Grimmie was shot while autographing after a show. Anyone who has read DGC knows that rock star life and coming out as gay and finding safe space to be one’s true self are the major themes that run through the series. So this hit really close to home for a lot of readers, as it did for me, too.

I’m deeply shaken by what happened. As I wrote in my author newsletter earlier this week: as a queer woman of color who spent a lot of time in gay bars in my 20s and just as a human being, I’m still struggling to absorb what happened.

Many of you have probably seen me wearing a T-shirt that says “Music Is My Salvation” on it. I probably wear it to almost every convention! It was a souvenir from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and I’ve worn it so much it’s almost worn through. It’s not an ironic statement for me.

Music is what brings people together in spaces like Pulse, to dance and find community, and to live shows and concerts, to find that ecstatic space of belonging that I think many people find in churches and other spaces of organized religion. Dance clubs and concert halls ARE my church. I worshipped this week at the altar of The Cure, a band that was all-absorbing to me when I was defining my art and my sexuality and my identity as a goth in my late teens and early 20s.

I last saw them in concert in 1989, more than half my life ago, but I saw them this week at the Agganis Arena in Boston. The show was amazing, transcendent, wonderful, and I couldn’t help but think that after David Bowie and Prince have both been taken from us this year, Robert Smith is the one left carrying the torch of “it’s okay to be weird.” That’s my religion, that’s what I preach: “It’s okay to be weird.”

That’s why so many of my protagonists are rock musicians and artists and nonconformists who can’t quite fit into a 9-to-5 world. Everyone has a right to be queer, in whatever way you are queer, whether in sexuality or in being not-like everyone else. You might be the same in some ways and different in others.

I learned in Bible camp (yes, I went to Bible camp) that our goal shouldn’t just be to go to heaven when we die, it should be to create heaven on Earth. My heaven would be one where everyone could be themselves freely without fear of being killed.

In particular it hurts that we are attacked for who we love or how we love. People sometimes ask me if I could be doing something “better” with my life. Right now I think writing stories about love and spreading a message that love is important and all kinds of love are valid is about the most important thing I can do.

But a lot of us are feeling helpless, powerless, angry, and empty since the attack. I know because you’ve been writing and texting and messaging me saying so. So I thought maybe I would propose a bit of collective action on the part of DGC fans and my readers at large: a donation drive.

Here’s how it’s going to work. You make an online donation to one of these three tax-deductible charities:

Equality Florida is a 501(c)(4) non-profit LGBT advocacy organization and this link goes to their specific fund for the victims, survivors, & families of those in the Pulse shooting. They’re trying to raise $7 million to pay for funerals, counseling, and much more. They’re at close to $6 million right now.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was begun by Sarah Brady after her husband Jim, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, was shot during an assassination attempt on Reagan. Jim was paralyzed for life. It took three more presidencies before the “Brady Bill” to limit handgun sales was passed and the Brady Campaign to this day still works to change gun laws in the United States. Their current fundraising campaign, simply called “#ENOUGH” is taking donations at this link. They are a 501(c)(3).

Rock the Vote is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan non-profit whose goal is simple: get more young people to vote. They provide information on how to register to vote, run voter reg drives, and other great programs to increase voter participation because they know that the more people vote the stronger our democracy is and the better it reflects the actual country. You can give at this link.

After you make your donation of any amount, even just $5, email a copy of your receipt/confirmation (either a screencap or a PDF or your paypal confirmation) to daron.moondog @ gmail along with your mailing address, and I’ll email you back the bonus Daron’s Guitar Chronicles story I’m about to write. (Haven’t written it yet, but I will! All I know right now is it’s going to be from Ziggy’s point of view.) If your donation is $25 or more I’ll also send you some additional DGC stickers/tattoos (send me your mailing address). If your donation is $50 or more I’ll send you one of the remaining DGC red notebooks that I will have extra after the Kickstarter rewards are fulfilled. While Supplies Last of course!

Please help me do something good in this world and I think we’ll all feel less helpless. You are all heroes in your own lives already when you fight for inclusion, equality, and tolerance among your family, friends, and social circles. Please join me if you’re financially able in this step toward bettering the larger world, too.

This campaign will run through July and in the first week of August I’ll report the total amount raised, sound good? Thank you.


dgc all 8 ebooks banner 600px

Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

penlessej: (Parliament)
X-posted from Crown, Rod and Mace.

In light of my recent post on the subject of the legislative process in contrast to the democratic process in Canada, I thought it would be appropriate for a post on the procedure for dealing with conflicts between the two houses of parliament. Most Canadians, I am sure, would be surprised to learn that there is in fact little formal procedure in the way of dealing with a conflict between the elected House of Commons and the appointed Senate, especially considering the fact that our large cultural influence to the South, the United States of America, actually has constitutional provisions to ease a deadlock between their two houses and executive branch (the President). Let’s examine the process in Canada more in depth.

There are no provisions within any Constitutional document to deal with a deadlock between the Senate and the House of Commons. Within the legislative process, bills which originate in the House of Commons (which can be either public or private in nature) are sent to the Senate for concurrence and approval prior to receiving Royal Assent. Conversely, bills that originate in the Senate are sent to the House of Commons for approval, again, prior to receiving Royal Assent. This process of having each house propose, debate, and approve legislation opens up the possibility for either house to propose amendments to legislation that could reasonably be opposed by one house or the other, by the government of the day or sponsor of the bill itself. All of these situations would create a scenario where each house could be seen to be in conflict with one another and thus create a legislative deadlock. The question then becomes who would “win” between each House and how would the bill proceed to becoming law in Canada?

When a disagreement arises between the House of Commons and the Senate as to the amendments to be made to a bill, there are two possible ways of proceeding: the disagreement may be communicated in a message (this is normally the first step taken), or a conference may take place. (House of Commons Procedure and Practice 2nd Ed)

Messages can be passed between the houses of parliament between the Speakers of each house. Individual rules within each house govern the conduct of these messages, the crux is that they must be read in a timely manner to the members/Senators by the Speaker. It is interesting to note that the conference method cited in the Procedure and Practice manual has fallen into disuse in parliament. In fact, it has not been used since 1947 and only 16 times since 1903. The exact procedure around these conferences has changed since they were formalized in the Standing Orders of the House of Commons in 1903. Prior to 1903, these conferences were considered “closed” in that the House of Commons and the Senate each sent specific delegates who could only voice the concerns of each house without debate or discussion. In 1903, provisions were put into place within the Standing Orders (and Rules of the Senate) which permitted “open” conferences where delegates (referred to formally as managers) would be sent to a conference between the two houses and were allowed to discuss the issues and were empowered to come to a solution. There have been 13 “free” conferences since the provision was introduced but again none since 1947.

Turning to the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, Rule 77 under the heading of Senate amendments, there exists provisions for the Commons side of arrangements for the messaging and a potential conference between the two houses.

In cases in which the Senate disagrees to any amendments made by the House of Commons, or insists upon any amendments to which the House has disagreed, the House is willing to receive the reasons of the Senate for their disagreeing or insisting (as the case may be) by message, without a conference, unless at any time the Senate should desire to communicate the same at a conference. (Standing Orders of the House of Commons, Order 77)

The pre-text of this particular provisions describes a situation where the House of Commons and Senate disagree. However, it could be argued that this provisions does not exactly settle a dispute between the Commons and the Senate but merely provides two avenues for further recourse. The rule goes on the state that any conference between the two houses shall be “free” (as explained above) and that reasons for a conference shall be provided to the Senate (and visa versa in accordance with protocol).

The Rules of the Senate certainly do not offer any additional helpful guidance. Under rule 16 which is reserved for instructions pertaining to messages to and from the Senate, there is a provision regarding the messaging between the House of Commons and the Senate regarding disagreement and protocols regarding the formation of a conference.

When the House of Commons disagrees with amendments proposed by the Senate to a bill that originated in the Commons, and the Senate insists on any of its amendments, the message accompanying the bill to the Commons shall state the reasons. The Senate shall receive by message the reasons for the House of Commons either disagreeing with Senate amendments to bills or insisting on Commons amendments, unless the House of Commons at any time wishes to communicate these reasons at a conference. (Rules of the Senate, Rule 16-3(1)(4))

The Rules of the Senate also contain the same clause as the Standing Orders of the House of Commons which require that any conference between the two houses be conducted in a “free” manner.

The Senate of Canada amends a surprising amount of legislation that originates from the House of Commons. In this role they are fulfilling their mandate articulated by Sir John A. MacDonald in being the “sober second thought” of parliament. The vast majority of amendments are technical in nature (amending legal wording, uniform formatting of the bill, etc) and are accepted without hesitation from the House of Commons. However, there have been historical moments when the House of Commons and the Senate have been at odds over the pith and substance of a particular bill. When Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney attempted to introduce the Government Sales Tax, it was blocked by the Senate until he took extreme measures granted to him within the constitution to appoint additional Senators (thus allowing him to overcome the partisan deadlock within the Senate Chamber). Recently, we saw an empowered Senate review and propose amendments on the pith and substance of bill C-14 which sought to extend the right of assisted dying to Canadians. It is during these moments that the procedures and processes surrounding the deadlock between houses of parliament become even more important.

Amendments proposed by the Senate on legislation originating in the House of Commons are sent back for debate and approval (or rejection). The debate concerning these amendments is restricted to the scope of the amendment question itself, meaning MPs cannot begin a new debate on the merits of the bill as a whole, for example. Each amendment is voted on individually in the order that it would appear in the bill (reasonably presenting the bill in a logical fashion). The House of Commons can reject or accept all amendments, or can approve and reject some but not all amendments from the Senate. If all amendments are accepted, a message is sent to the Senate to this effect and the bill is scheduled for Royal Assent. If some of the amendments are accepted, but not all, the same message communicating this fact is sent to the Senate, but the Senate is given a chance to reply to this message. If the Senate cannot agree to the provisions than a conference may be formed between the two houses. In the case of C-14, after the bill was read and approved at Third Reading in the House of Commons, the Senate sent amendments back which were then rejected by the House of Commons (being controlled by the majority Liberal government). However, after the rejection of their amended version of the bill, the Senate then approved the final text of the bill, from the House of Commons, essentially backing down and avoiding a protracted deadlock.

If the conference fails, the matter is closed and the bill simply remains on the Order Paper where it dies at the end of the session. During that time, no new bill may be introduced in the House in respect of the same subject matter and containing similar provisions. (House of Commons Procedure and Practice 2nd Ed)

At the end of the day, if the House of Commons and the Senate cannot agree and no movement is made through the options available in a conference, than the bill sits on the Notice Paper for the remainder of the session and is, for all purposes, dead. Furthermore, a legislative void is created because no bill on the same subject can be presented during the session until the similar bill on the Notice Paper is resolved. This was the case during the GST debate for a short period of time prior to the Prime Minister appointing additional Senators and reviving the legislative life of his taxation bill.

On a final note, and related to my last entry, the Senate understands it’s inherent democratic deficit. Because Senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister of the day by the Governor-General collectively they do not possess the same democratic mandate as the government or the House of Commons as a whole. This does not impact their legal authority within the legislative process (as I have alluded to in my opinion piece) but it does inflict soft power over the Senate by the House of Commons. Often during debate, Senators who support the government can be heard calling on fellow Senators to speedily approve matters originating from the Other Place because they have no democratic right to hold up priorities of the duly elected government. And to some extent there is some truth to this statement, however, the Senate does have a legitimate role in the legislative process to review and scrutinize legislation, including government legislation. This is a key component of what little exists to resolved a dispute between the two houses of parliament. It is important to note, that no House can have authority over the other as they are each sovereign entities within parliament in union with the Crown. The executive, being embedded in the House of Commons, does not enjoy a carte blanche over legislation proposed within parliament and therefore the role of the Senate in being that sober second thought often becomes more powerful during periods of majority government rule in the Commons. It is therefore dishonest to simply cast the Senate away as an undemocratic institution with little or no value in the legislative process. On the same token, it could be argued that there exists a statutory nadir with regard to provisions for dealing with a deadlock between the Houses of Parliament which lends itself to relying on the false assumption that the House of Commons has authority over the Senate through their democratic legitimacy.

(Featured image credit.)

Prompt for 2016-06-22

Jun. 22nd, 2016 06:20 pm[personal profile] sacredporn posting in [community profile] dailyprompt
sacredporn: Kris Allen icon made by Sacred Porn (Default)
Today's prompt is "twin moons".

OSB ho!

Jun. 21st, 2016 11:18 pm[personal profile] azurelunatic
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
Arrived in Portland safe and sound with traveling companion! Trip was lovely and included Hamilton sing-alongs, a bag of cherries shaped like butts, chat about our respective talks, and good old-fashioned gossip. I'd taken the last leg of the journey, so my executive function was diminished (12:30, not as much sleep as I'd have wanted) and so F went to confer with the lodging gods.

We are staying in Portland State University's summer dorm-filler project, which is unfancy but adequate -- when things are going right.

This evening did not feature many things going right. Chief among them was my executive function having gone sleepybyebye, so (apparently after them failing to find our info, and not having room in the dorm they said we'd be assigned to) F found parking, and I had a smol meltdown over having no idea what things I needed to take up to the room (under the assumption that we'd have to be moving the next day). Also we had one key-and-keycard between the two of us, and one car key.

We managed to fox-goose-and-grain ourselves into the building with no actual tears shed, though I did swear at whatever snotassed weaselfucks were responsible for the accessibility.

By the time I got horizontal it was 2:30. Then I woke up at 6.

Oh, and I had to speak today.

I went down and fed the meter, then once the hours for the housing office arrived, I went over for that and had a chat. (They had actually opened at 7, not 9; it was the *student* housing department that opened at 9. I feel that any collective misreading was entirely justified based on the hour.) I got the parking pass, a second key-and-keycard lanyard, and bagged myself a parking space near the elevator in the nearby parking garage.

Then I faceplanted on my bed and didn't re-attain consciousness until around noon.

I headed off to the conference upon waking up, picking up some lunch on the way. I there cranked away diligently upon my slides, and listened to someone I was sharing a time slot with rehearse. I also learned that there had been a sudden unavailability of the people who had been going to do video of the sessions, which filled me with woe because a) there are a lot of people who are looking forward to my talk, and b) I was up against some really interesting looking things.

I saw [personal profile] silveradept and the ritual hug of greeting was exchanged. \o/

Then it was time to give my talk. [staff profile] denise, [personal profile] kareila, and [personal profile] shadowspar were all there!

The room seemed interested, and I think I mostly remembered to use the microphone (good for recording purposes; the a/v guy said they were doing audio at least) and [personal profile] kareila got some room audio to boot! So I may be able to get a rough transcription up at some point.

The next talk that a number of us gravitated to was on the history of emoji! Great fun.

I then presented [staff profile] denise with the crocheting project that I had been somewhat successfully keeping under my hat for Quite Some Time, ever since I finished [personal profile] fu's dreamsheep (Dreamsheep Beta).

This is Dreamsheep Gamma, and it comes with some surprises. (Why is this dreamsheep different from all other dreamsheep?) D says there may be a photoshoot.

This is, like, *layers* of fanworks.

Dreamwidth started as a fanwork determined to make it pro (and successfully so). The dreamsheep icon (by [personal profile] helens78) was fanart conceptually inspired by the concept of Dreamwidth. The crocheted dreamsheep were a transformation of medium, somewhat analogous to making podfic of a fic. Dreamsheep Gamma is, additionally, a crossover.

After that a few of us decided that dinner was in order, and shortly there was a little diner graced by the sorts of giggling, friendly chatter, and toasts that five DW-affiliated people tend to get up to.

Our party started splitting after that, and I got in and fairly immediately peeled off my clothing. I was correct to not try to additionally wear shorts under The Pink Skirt. (Outfit: Pink Skirt, turquoise toeless tights, black sequined sleeveless shirt, tiara, and Jacket of Holding.) One shower later, I felt human again...

F popped in with a friend, but has popped out again; at some point I'll be attaining horizontality. I have marked my schedule-badge with little green dots on things I want to see, and bold green squares next to the can't-miss things, and green blocking off that slot.

The captive portal thing here is Not Done Badly from a UX perspective. I'm impressed that it's not horrible.

Good News

Jun. 22nd, 2016 12:56 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently?


Jun. 21st, 2016 09:55 pm[personal profile] komadori
komadori: (Default)
Thankfully, the heat has decided to take a vacation for a while. Apparently, it was over 100 yesterday, but it was no hotter than the low 80s today. I've been enjoying some cool breezes from my window, but the heat kept me from sleeping last night. I don't think I was able to get to sleep until nearly 3 AM. When I did sleep, I had a haunted house-related dream/nightmare. I don't remember anything particularly creepy except for a general feeling of foreboding and the unease of finding myself alone in a dark, old house that was allegedly haunted. I blame this on reading The Haunting of Hill House—which was my first real ghost story ever—and starting Neil Gaiman’s American Gods where Spoilers ). I don’t feel particularly tired as I was able to sleep in quite a bit, but I do feel a bit listless and uninspired which is a common side effect of not sleeping enough in my life.

June 2016

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