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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
That Donald Trump is set for a confrontation with China and that this was not a surprise is the dominant theme in Tom Phillips' article in The Guardian, which notes how the state media has muted criticism of Trump in an effort to prevent too bad a deterioration. Liu Zhen's South China Morning Post article looking at the reactions of netizens is also worth reading for a take on how ordinary Chinese once pro-Trump are changing their minds.

China has urged Donald Trump to be its friend not its enemy, amid fears the tycoon’s inauguration could set the world’s two largest economies on a calamitous collision course.

Since his shock election last November Trump has repeatedly put Beijing’s nose out of joint, challenging it over the militarisation of the South China Sea, alleged currency manipulation and North Korea and threatening to up-end relations by offering greater political recognition to Taiwan.

The billionaire has also handed jobs to several stridently anti-China voices including one academic who has described its rulers as a cabal of despicable, parasitic, brutal, brass-knuckled, crass, callous, amoral, ruthless totalitarians.

But on the eve of Trump’s swearing in, China’s government and state-run media struck a conciliatory tone with the man about to become the United States’ 45th president.

“Both sides should try to be friends and partners, rather than opponents or enemies,” Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, told reporters.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
This Bloomberg article, written by Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov, and Irina Reznik, makes an excellent point. I have seen many people--even on the left!--prefer Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton on account of her alleged tendencies as a warmonger. If Trump's election actually was the culmination of a gambit by Putin to try to install a pro-Russian figure in Washington D.C., it seems that this will end as badly for Russia as Putin's other gambits. The man simply does a terrible job of predicting negative consequences and second-order effects of even victories. In the particular case of Trump, the appearance of a badly compromised president may be encouraging a bipartisan consensus against Russia, to say nothing of the dim prospects that a man known for petty vendettas and cheating his business partners may not be a good partner for Russia.

Russia is giving Donald Trump the kind of fawning television coverage usually reserved for Vladimir Putin, with its most popular propagandist hailing the president-elect this week as “a man of his word.”

But inside the Kremlin, the initial euphoria over having a Putin admirer in the White House is giving way to skepticism that any meaningful detente with the U.S. can be achieved, according to four senior officials in Moscow.

Swirling controversies over alleged Putin-ordered hacking to help Trump get elected and a leaked dossier claiming the Kremlin has blackmail material on him has transfixed Washington, where a bill to impose even harsher sanctions on Russia is gaining bipartisan support. The backlash appears to have forced many of Trump’s cabinet picks to take tougher lines on Russia in their confirmation hearings than the Kremlin anticipated, the people said.

The unprecedented firestorm is a double-edged sword for Putin, who’s spent the last 16 years trying to restore some semblance of his country’s lost superpower status -- while Russia is back at the center of U.S. attention, the uproar has energized Putin’s critics, according to Alexei Chesnakov, a former senior Kremlin staffer who continues to advise authorities.

“There is a sensible shift of expectations in the Kremlin,” Chesnakov said in an interview. “The leadership understands clearly now that restoring ties won’t be easy and that more scandals will worsen the chances.”
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Sammy Leonard's angry essay on Medium condemning the temptation of too many people on the American left to opt for purity instead of practical politics has been widely circulating on my Facebook friends list. This is a good thing, since Leonard's analysis is entirely correct. Condemning those politicians on the left who compromise as traitors and instead opting for politicians who cannot manage anything more than niche support is, far from a way to get people on the left elected, actually a very good way to get the right ensconced. Many of the fans of Bernie Sanders are particularly responsible for this, with their unfounded talk about the corruption of Hillary Clinton probably doing quite a lot to help this candidate lose in the Midwest and elsewhere. That the people who are immune from this criticism happen to be white men is, of course, not a coincidence.

For three months now I’ve been hearing people talk about resistance against Donald Trump. Time and again I’ve seen and heard people say that we should not normalize Trump or the putrid cabinet he’s assembling. I keep hearing that resistance would take bold and assertive action and I’ve heard people demand that the Democrats in Congress be at the forefront of the resistance.

Yet when Booker does just that in order to stop Sessions from having the power to set legal policy that will severely harm everyone who isn’t a white, heterosexual, Christian man he gets shat on for voting against a separate amendment that a) wasn’t going to pass b) was non-binding and c) would have undermined some of the drug provisions of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that the Republicans are hell bent on destroying anyway. I’ve seen several people say that his vote on this one amendment completely invalidated his effort to stop Sessions and by extension resist Trump.

A lot of people have framed it as Booker rejecting Bernie Sanders (I-VT) amendment. Only the amendment was actually the work of Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) — Sanders was only a co-sponsor. Surprise, an old white man is taking all the credit for the work done by a woman. Not to mention that Booker and the other 12 Democratic Senators that voted against Klobuchar’s amendment voted in favor of a very similar amendment proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Wyden’s amendment covered the same ground as Klobuchar’s, only there were greater safety provisions and fewer strings attached in his amendment than hers, and his amendment was also co-sponsored by Sanders (Wyden’s amendment was not passed either and the 51–47 vote was a direct partisan split). Speaking of Sanders, the man exposes himself as fraud and an absolute hypocrite every time he opens his mouth these days, and his large cult of rabid worshippers are the slimiest and most deceitful pieces of shit on this earth (and the ones most deserving of getting their heads bashed in). Notice that I wrote “cult of rabid worshippers” and NOT “supporters” because his supporters were at least willing to accept that Hillary Clinton won the Dem nomination, support her in the general election, and in many cases did the work necessary to make sure she would be elected.

But the large Bernie Bro/Zealot/Never Hillary cult made it clear that anyone who didn’t worship at the altar of Saint Bernie Sanders wasn’t a “real progressive” and therefore wasn’t worthy of their support unless they cleared an impossibly high bar. And they joined forces with an already established wing of far left purists for whom any Dem politician who rates less than 100% in their purity scale of select issues is a “neoliberal” and therefore justifies them to throw away their votes on crackpot third-party candidates so they can preen to everyone how “radical” or “revolutionary” they supposedly are and to try and shame people who consistently vote Democrat as ignorant and brainwashed sheeple. Yeah, I’m brainwashed for realizing that a system that often requires some level of compromise to move things forward renders 100% ideological purity useless and subsequently voting for whichever candidate in best positioned to effectively advance the issues I care about in a given election is the most prudent option. Yeah, I’m ignorant for realizing that this is a two-party system, no third party is going to magically rise overnight to save us, and the Democratic party is presently the only viable electoral vehicle for effective progressive action in America. Both parties ARE NOT THE SAME. Every politician takes corporate money because that’s the cost of doing business in American politics — even Bernie does — but only ONE Senator stood up to confront his colleague for the rights and safety of all Americans this week, and it WASN’T BERNIE SANDERS, IT WAS CORY BOOKER.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

Jan. 20th, 2017 11:04 am
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Bad Astronomy shares photos of the ripple made by moon Daphnis in the rings of Saturn, as does the Planetary Society Blog.

  • The Broadside Blog questions whether readers actually like their work.

  • Centauri Dreams notes evidence for the discovery of a Jupiter-mass planet in the protoplanetary disk of TW Hydrae.

  • Dangerous Minds links to the 1980s work of Lydia Lunch.

  • Far Outliers reports on how the Afghanistan war against the Soviets acted as a university for jihadists from around the world.

  • Kieran Healy looks at some failures of Google Scholar.

  • Language Hat reports on a fascinating crowdsourced program involving the transcription of manuscripts from Shakespeare's era, and what elements of pop history and language have been discovered.

  • The LRB Blog compares Trump's inauguration to those of Ronald Reagan.

  • The Map Room Blog links to an exhibition of the maps of Utah.

  • Understanding Society reports on a grand sociological research project in Europe that has found out interesting things about the factors contributing to young people's support for the far right.

  • Window on Eurasia reports on instability in the binational North Caucasian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, describes the spectre of pan-Mongolism, and looks at the politicization of biker gangs in Russia.

It's been snowing, too.

Jan. 20th, 2017 07:42 am
gorgeousnerd: #GN written in the red font from my layout on a black background. (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousnerd
Today is my birthday! I'm currently at a hotel relaxing; Sister and I are doing a mini staycation in honor of said birthday, complete with spa/massage time. Mmm.

Since I'm going to be busy getting rubbed, I'm not doing anything special for More Joy Day - unless people want to leave drabble requests that I can fill tomorrow - but I hope everyone can find joy in a difficult day. Much love.


Jan. 20th, 2017 09:55 am
dorothy1901: Gilda: Put the blame on Mame (Default)
[personal profile] dorothy1901
I just unfollowed @POTUS and @FLOTUS on Twitter, then burst into tears.

If there were a button to push that would turn the incoming administration into a bunch of chimpanzees, I would push it.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
[PHOTO] 506 Main Street streetcar approaching on Carlton

506 Main Street streetcar approaching on Carlton (1)

506 Main Street streetcar approaching on Carlton (2)

506 Main Street streetcar approaching on Carlton (3)

Late in the fall of 2016, in November, I took these three photos of a streetcar assigned to the 506 Main Street route approaching me as it advanced east on Carlton Street.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Blue-and-white STM subway train

Narrower than the cars I'm used to on the TTC, one clear advantage of the STM's subway cars lie in their ruber wheels. They can get loud, but they never screech.
spiralsheep: Remember guys, magic is more realistic than black people (sugargroupie Magic realer than Black Peo)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
Violent racist hate attacks by violent white racists, including police officers and other representatives of the UK government, are still a regular week-in-week-out occurrence in the UK. Anyone who tries to tell you differently is a liar - a racist liar.

"A major police investigation is underway after officers were captured on camera tasering a Bristol grandfather who set up a group to foster better relations between the police and Bristol's black community."

The video of the police attacking Judah Adunbi was made by one of his neighbours and is widely available online (luckily because this has forced the police to drop the charges they falsified against Mr Adunbi). The following article is all quoted from source @ Bristol Post for archiving purposes.

Bristol tasered man Judah Adunbi: 'The police attack was racist and I was terrified'

A man tasered by police in a case of mistaken identity said he believes the incident was a racist attack by officers.

Judah Adunbi, a grandfather of three, was tasered in the face by a woman police officer outside his home in Easton in Bristol on Saturday morning, after he was stopped while walking his dog. The 63-year-old's ordeal was captured on video phone by his neighbour, and the footage shows officers accusing him of being a different person, trying to follow him through the gate to his house, and then tasering him. Mr Adunbi said today how he has suffered sleepless nights after being tasered just metres from his front door. Judah claims he went through a similar ordeal involving police in 2007 in another case of mistaken identity. And believes the incident on Saturday morning around 9am was a racist attack. He said: "The first time round it could have been an accident - but a second time, that's a racist attack. I'm happy to say that. I know it was the case."

The 63-year-old was returning home from a routine walk with his pet pooch Hazel when he claims the police pounced without provocation. He said: "I was just finishing my walk and coming home. Police were driving up the road and caught a glimpse of me. When they saw me I had my hood up so it's impossible for them to think I am who they were after. One of the officers came right in my face. They insisted on trying to antagonise me. I started to see red and thought it was happening all over again. I felt frightened and terrified because of what happened previously."

Judah claims police tried to block him as he tried to open his back gate. He added: "She had a taser and I said: 'are you going to taser me? Because if you do so you will probably kill me'. I made my way towards the gate took my keys out and went to go through. They tried to force it open which made me release the grip I had on the gate. Then I heard this sound and felt something hit me below the lip. I collapsed on the ground. She started saying you've been tasered. I was paralysed. I couldn't speak or move and didn't have any strength in me. She then told me to get up. I knew if she fired again it would have killed me. They tried to lift me off the ground. They raised me up and leaned me up against a garage but I started to slide down. It's a grace of God that I'm still alive. She has done a very terrible thing to me," he added.

Mr Adunbi says he was rushed to the Bristol Royal Infirmary by ambulance with the taser still dangling from his face. He added: "They then removed most of the loose wires. They lift me back on my feet. They tried to pull the one from my face off and realised they couldn't."

But after being discharged later that morning he spent the next ten hours at Patchway police station. He claims he left just before midnight and was forced to make his own way home. Mr Adunbi was charged with assaulting a constable in the execution of their duty and a public order offence, but the charges have now been dropped.

Stunned neighbour Tom Cherry, 39, who filmed officers confronting Judah, said their actions were an 'unjustified and disproportionate use of force'.

Police chiefs have referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over the incident.

Game reviewer angst

Jan. 20th, 2017 01:45 pm
lea_hazel: Angry General Elodie (Genre: Games)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
After having been playing it pretty regularly for about a month and a half, I believe I might finally be ready to make my review of Kisses and Curses. There are 5-6 routes (depending on how you count) and I played two of them to the end, then quit halfway through another. Now I'm dipping my toes into a fourth with hopes of clarifying something about the reasons why I DNFed the last one. I've been trying to review this game for ages so getting this out of my system will be real nice.

In other game news, I made a thread for Wreath of Roses on the Lemma Soft forums, the mythological birthplace of so many OEL visual novels and dating sims. My concerns about text games and game writing and etc. are more or less validated, but it's okay.

Fandom nostalgia

Jan. 19th, 2017 11:36 pm
krait: "faith and fairy tales" - Sydney (Vagrant Story) (sydney)
[personal profile] krait
So for Christmas, I finally got round to digging up all the old photos of trips I had taken with a friend back in 2012; this involved digging up the converted-to-external hard drive of my computer from that era and browsing through it.

(I'm organised, in my own very unique way. But it's the kind of way where four years later my filing system may defeat rational analysis, and "where did I put that? What did I NAME the folder for that?!" is a common refrain.)

While I was doing this, I of course ended up browsing through a lot of other stuff as well, including a whole bunch of my earliest fandom-related folders, when I was just a young serpent learning how this whole 'online fandom' thing worked; I've got canon materials, fan art, LJ icons, drabbles I was working on, and miscellaneous tangential materials all saved together in a jumble. (This post was almost a "political cartoons about Harry Potter" post. Why do I have so many of them? Why were there so many of them? One forgets just how much of a sensation HP was, until things like this crop up to remind one!)

Anyway! I felt such a wave of fandom nostalgia while going through this stuff. So many names I remember: Snaples, Brevisse, Seviet, Lizard, Raven Dunbar, Dovie, sine_qua_non767, Nimori, wikdsushi, Telanu, amethyst_lupin, Donna Bond, Gwyllion, Yukipon, Cybele... I remember them all so fondly, and can't help wondering where they are now, and missing them, and just generally missing the way fandom was, in those days. We were all so joyfully talkative, the fic and art and meta and casual LJ posts just pouring out of us! They felt like friends, though we never met in person.

(A few of you are still around! Hi, [personal profile] isis and [personal profile] dementordelta! There's fanart for your fics stored on my external hard drive and it gave me so many lovely feelings to see it again!)

Seeing "c.2003" and "[name] '04" on so much stuff is kind of mind-boggling, too, because I'm not a person who Has Skills when it comes to tracking time; I joke about being an Old Fan, but it's still a little bit shocking to realise that I was downloading explicit fanworks in a year when half of Homestuck fandom was in elementary school. And HP fandom wasn't my first fandom, but it does seem to be the first one where there was a wealth of fan-created artwork as well as fic - especially explicit fanart. One day I should put together a timeline!

It's really interesting, looking back at it so discretely; one notices trends and little signs of the times... The aforementioned increase in fan art generally, and in explicit fan art. A huge amount of fan art done in traditional media, with all the little things that go with it: handwritten captions and speech in comics, scanner blur. Long-URL personal websites under the artist's signature. Lots of meta-jokes about fandom itself.

Anyway, this post doesn't really have a point. I just tripped over some old fandom stuff and fell headlong into ~~emotions~~ and wanted to fling names out into the void in the faintest hope that they might not be gone forever; someone might know where (and who) they are these days, and pass the word that someone still thinks of them and their work from time to time.

Tell me about your old fandoms, and whether you ever peek into the souvenirs of your past fannish days!

Thursday politics roundup

Jan. 19th, 2017 08:30 pm
snickfic: (Default)
[personal profile] snickfic
I've been feeling a little conflicted about spamming you all with this stuff. I post it partly because it's a way for me to keep this stuff organized and partly because I figure it might be of interest to someone? And also I just don't know where else I'd put it that it would reach a higher ratio of interested to non-interested people.

In any case, reminder that at the bottom of this post are instructions for how to filter out a specific user tag (for example "topic: politics") from your feed.

And finally, be aware that I'm not vouching for any of the stuff I link, often because I don't know enough yet to judge. I just link stuff that sounds interesting.

Analysis / resources / other
* Former state dept staff explains why Trump's slowness to appoint staff is a good thing (Twitter)

* Pod Save America interviews President Obama, which has got to set some kind of record for great podcast gets. The interview was great, too.

* 10 Investigative Reporting Outlets to Follow

* "I'm Prejudiced," He Said. Then We Kept Talking. (NYT, a story about how people can change)

* And finally, because we need it, Pinky and the Brain read Donald Trump tweets (Twitter)

News / rumors
* North Dakota Bill Would Protect Drivers Who 'Accidentally' Hit And Kill Protesters (Huffington Post)

* Canadian campuses see an alarming rise in right-wing populism (CBC)

* Why Lower Courts Are Striking Down Shameless Voting Restrictions All of a Sudden (Slate, from last summer)

* Congress moves to give away national lands, discounting billions in revenue and millions of jobs (Guardian)

* Republican Health-Care Debate: Guide for perplexed Americans (National Review - pretty damning picture of Trump-GOP dysfunction, especially considering the source)

* Arizona bill to ban 'social justice' courses dies quickly (AZ Capitol Times)

* Sources: Trump labor pick Andrew Puzder has voiced second thoughts about nomination (CNN)

(no subject)

Jan. 19th, 2017 09:01 pm
skull_bearer: (Default)
[personal profile] skull_bearer
via http://ift.tt/2iQwrOQ:



I’ve started thinking about male characters. Sort of.

I’ve been thinking about how some characters—ones who are almost archetypes—get distorted once they reach the pop culture canon. Right now the ones I’m thinking of are Sherlock Holmes and Captain Kirk.

Sherlock started as a guy with an incredible mind who didn’t know how to person very well but still cared very deeply about the disadvantaged and unprotected elements of society. He’s become a selfish manchild. There are variations of him—RDJ’s thrill seeker, House’s misanthrope, BC’s self-described sociopath—but it has no basis in the original. So why did we decide this was better? Why did we decide that a genius is above the rules of polite social interaction? What purpose does it serve?

Something similar has happened with Jim Kirk. I mean, watch the original show if you disagree. He’s intensely loyal, a creative thinker, a bright guy. He literally picks flowers on more than one planet. He’s read Milton. There’s basically no quicker way to anger him than to treat one of the women in his crew as second-class. He’s willing to show mercy to an opponent he’s defeated. But what’s his reputation in pop culture? A womanizer—which is just a different kind of selfish manchild.

I’m not saying that good stories can’t be told with these archetypes. I’m just saying that they don’t really resemble the original. Copy after copy gets less and less nuanced, till the original is completely foreign to these new versions even when they bear the same name.

And they’ve become so prevalent that there’s nothing interesting left in them.

Elementary though

Notably, Jonny Lee Miller went and read the books specifically to find aspects of the character that had gotten lost as the adaptations drifted away from the source. There was a deliberate attempt to bring back the character’s compassion.

Another aspect is that these characters are no longer allowed to be wrong, they are pure ego want for the creators. Again, Elementary exepted.
skull_bearer: (Default)
[personal profile] skull_bearer
via http://ift.tt/2jSp4Im:




This is important to remember.
While Freud played a crucial role in the development of modern psychology and therapy, his theories were all untestable at best and rampagingly sexist at worst. He had absolutely no empirical data and his theories, while very thought out, are complete bullshit.
It is good to learn about him and his theories to have a basis for understanding modern psychology, but under no circumstances should his work be applied to anything beyond a historical and academic perspective.

I am so thankful for this post

Like, his Electra theory was based on the idea that all the women telling him they were raped by their dad’s were lying are really talking about sexual fantasies, as opposed to, y'know, actually being raped.

icons: Dark Matter

Jan. 19th, 2017 08:19 pm
meganbmoore: (chiana and jool)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
168 x Dark Matter


here )

January Talking Meme #2

Jan. 19th, 2017 08:29 pm
sage: crop from a painting of the front window of a bookstore showing books on display and shelves behind. (joy: books)
[personal profile] sage
[personal profile] resonant asked: What are you fannish about that you wish other people were fannish about? ... or what are other people fannish about that you wish you could be fannish about?

This really cuts to the heart of my recent nonparticipation in fandom, doesn't it? Like, I've really come to love fandom for the people, for the relationships, for the millions of things we discover we have in common once we get past the initial, "Oh hey, I LOVE THAT MOVIE/SHOW/BOOK/THING!" But that's largely because I haven't been consuming mainstream fannish media and feel largely left behind.

I'm more fannish about books now because my migraines have been on an upswing and optical triggers suck. Animation is easier than live action, bc fewer distinct images per second, but laptop-to-eyeball distance is terrible and movie theater scale is impossible. I'm actually considering getting a tv again, now that a small Roku doesn't cost the earth. And also upping my migraine preventative. OTOH, I don't know that having infinite streaming media right there would be great for me, health-wise. Besides, I like reading.

Which is what I wish more people were doing. I know book fandoms are generally Yuletide fandoms, but my deeply nerdy writerly side is terribly fond of the sort of salon where people drink a lot of wine and/or coffee, play Show & Tell with what they believe is The Next Big Thing, and do literary/music theory/theatrical analysis for fun, assuming enough ppl are familiar with the work in question. I loved that sort of thing back in the day. I miss it. How do we make it work online?


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Scans Daily


Founded by girl geeks and members of the slash fandom, [community profile] scans_daily strives to provide an atmosphere which is LGBTQ-friendly, anti-racist, anti-ableist, woman-friendly and otherwise discrimination and harassment free.

Bottom line: If slash, feminism or anti-oppressive practice makes you react negatively, [community profile] scans_daily is probably not for you.

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