Pull the Football

Oct. 16th, 2017 11:44 pm
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower
The "nuclear football" is the nickname for a briefcase of codes the President of the United States can use to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike at any time, for any reason, with about five minutes elapsing from the moment he gives the order until the moment the missiles launch.

I don't care what you think of the current president, or the past one, or any that might come in the future. I care about the fact that no one should have that kind of unfettered power. No one should be able to start World War III on a whim.

And the good news is, we can take that power away.

Courtesy of Rachel Manija Brown, who started the "Pull the Football" social media campaign, here's what you need to know.

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.

How to save the world:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

How do I contact my representatives?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

I've contacted everyone. What now?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

What do I say?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

Democrats to contact:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

Republicans to contact:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker (202) 224-3344) warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Rep. Walter Jones (202) 225-3415 is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

Sample Script

Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.)

I believe Republican Senator Bob Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.


Don't tell yourself "it could never happen." Don't rest in the assumption that nobody would really launch the nukes -- it's all just posturing, right? We need precautions in place to make sure we don't wake up tomorrow morning to annihilation.

Or don't wake up at all.


Oct. 15th, 2017 07:13 am
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
I am on the island now, and relishing what is for me dead of winter weather (i.e. sixties, rain) -- in fact, it rained all day yesterday, whereas SoCal rain tends to rush in for ten minutes, then it's gone again for weeks or months.

My one day in New York was splendid, except for the part where I managed to get onto the subway going the wrong way Every Single Time. Once it was not my fault. The woman in the info booth told me that the train to our right was uptown and it was downtown. That was mean.

But I had a great dinner with the DAW team, many of whom are young, smart women, giving me the feeling that publishing will be in good hands.

A very pleasant drive through Brooklyn (which is much larger and more varied than I'd thought) and then along the coast to Wood's Hole.

Yesterday afternoon it was good to sit with tea and laptop listening to the rain as I tried to do some catchup work. Today more catchup, then the workshop begins.

Strictly Week 3

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:40 am
shallowness: Fred and Ginger dancing in foregroud, him in tails, her in a dark gown, background a white circle (moon or spotlight) (Fred and Ginger dancing)
[personal profile] shallowness
So, it turns out I got a few pro names wrong in last week’s results show.

13 couples dance )

Tooting No Award's horn

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:02 am
lizbee: (Default)
[personal profile] lizbee
The proper grown-up blog I share with [personal profile] yiduiqie has been linked from some amazing places in the last month, and I just want to document it for posterity and ego boosting:
  • The New Yorker linked to our 2015 post about the sinister subtext of Thomas the Tank Engine. Yes, that New Yorker. Ain't no thang. *hairflip*
  • (That article was then shared at BoingBoing, where the comments were filled with nerds taking our silly post very seriously indeed.)
  • BookRiot's crime fiction podcast discussed our post on why we're not supporting the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries film Kickstarter, and our earlier post (linked in our recent one) about the racism in the books and TV series, and how it's something that non-Australians seem to overlook.
  • The podcast included a wonderful bit where the hosts were like, "Well, these Australian ladies say the books are problematic, but we wanted to make up our own mind, so we read one each." But they chose the books at random, and had the misfortune to end up with Blood and Circuses, The One With The Infamous Clown Sex. (If you watched the series -- which I really love, when it's not being incredibly racist -- you should take a moment to appreciate the lack of clown sex. Really.) Anyway, they concluded that, yes, the books are very bad in terms of exotifying and othering people of non-Anglo backgrounds, but they're also just not well-written and ... bad. Which is fair. 
  • And The Monthly, an Australian publication whose essays and articles appeal to flat white-sipping inner-city lefties (so, me), linked to our first Discovery post in an article about angry, racist nerds complaining that Trek is "suddenly" appealing to an "SJW" agenda.
  • (I am extremely proud to get the word "feelpinions" into The Monthly, BUT I also wonder if my use isn't a bit defensive, ie, no one can accuse me of being emotional, irrational or otherwise a silly lady fan if I say it first. Am I putting myself at a disadvantage by emphasising that my posts are reactions, not reviews, and that my opinions derive from my emotions? On the other hand, what is television for but to elicit an emotional reaction?)
Finally, here is this week's Discovery post, which I almost didn't share because it wasn't wholly positive and ... IDK, I guess I've become protective of this ridiculous show, and don't want to play into the narrative of it being The Worst. On the other hand, it made some Bad Choices this week, along with some better ones. (And I note that the dude reviewers who have decried it as being The Worst really liked this episode, which only reassures me that I'm on the right track.)

Political activism

Oct. 13th, 2017 06:15 pm
sartorias: (tosh)
[personal profile] sartorias
I usually avoid politics in this blog, but I am worried about nuclear war wiping us out as powerful and irresponsible leaders (who of course would never be in any danger) joust with their joysticks.

If you are worried, too, then read this post. If you feel you can't do anything about it, definitely click this post.

If, of course, you think everything is fine and you are happy with the President and his team, then pass right on.

Pull the Football -- Save the World

Oct. 13th, 2017 02:11 pm
pameladean: (Default)
[personal profile] pameladean
[personal profile] rachelmanija is launching a campaign to support and get enacted the House and Senate bills each called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. The Senate version at least was introduced on January 15th of this year, but there doesn't seem to have been much motion on it.

Here's the link to Rachel's journal entry detailing how to create that motion. Please go there to see what the bills do and how you can push Congress to act on them.


Given the current state of, well, everything, this may have a much greater chance of succeeding than a lot of other campaigns to get Congress to wake up.


I'm still miles behind, but...

Oct. 13th, 2017 07:20 pm
shallowness: Molly and Roger both smiling (Wives and Daughters Molly/Roger)
[personal profile] shallowness
Victoria 2.4 The Sins of the Father

Read more... )

2.5 Entente Cordiale

Read more... )
[personal profile] lizvogel
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Cinnamon, Cayenne & Cherries

Where bought: Foods For Living

Aroma: Ahhhhh.

Texture: Solid, chomps well.

Taste: Cayenne bites the tongue before anything else even registers. And keeps on biting. A little zing in chocolate can be fun, but this is napalm. It's overwhelming every other flavor -- I think the cherries are trying to fight through, but they're not making it -- and my mouth is still burning ten minutes later.

Overall: Actively unpleasant. Would *not* buy again, and may not finish bar.

ETA: I tried another piece a few days later, hoping the flavor balance would have improved with time; if anything, the cayenne's even worse. Tossing the remainder.
[personal profile] swan_tower
In ye olden days of publishing, short fiction tended to have a half-life of about .17 seconds. If you didn't read it in the magazine issue where it was published, too bad; the issue went off the shelves, and unless you stumbled across it later or the story was reprinted in a "best of" or single-author collection, you might never see it again.

cover art for ARS HISTORICA by Marie BrennanBut with ebooks, that doesn't have to happen, because collections are so much easier to do now. I'm pleased to say that Maps to Nowhere has been selling splendidly since it came out last month; next month it will be joined by Ars Historica, which collects my historical fiction and historical fantasy. I have more of these planned, too, but they'll take a while -- I have a wordcount range I'm aiming for in each collection, in order to make them roughly novella-sized, and the other three I've got planned all require me to sell another two stories or so (and then wait for those stories' exclusivity periods to expire).

In the meanwhile, here's the Table of Contents for Ars Historica, which you can pre-order from a variety of places here!

Table of Contents

[personal profile] ishie


The Good Place Is Wherever I’m With You
Chidi and his faux-mate are out in the big park in front of Tahani’s house, reading poetry to one another. Chidi’s on his back with his head in his faux-mate’s lap. Vicky’s looking down at Chidi with a soppy expression on her face, and Chidi looks alarmed. Maybe even vexed.

Just like Vicky, Eleanor thinks. Always overplaying it.

Faire faire faire

Oct. 11th, 2017 04:17 pm
[personal profile] miladygrey
It was lovely, as always. *happy smile* Yeats had his curmudgeon moment because it was 80 degrees and the Faire should be cool and crisp and autumnal dangit, but I had a sleeveless shirt and a filmy skirt along with my corset, so along with judicious applications of beer, I was in no danger of heatstroke. We each splurged on something nice (I found an adorable skirt that I can wear in reality as well as at events like this, he found a nice new pipe and accoutrements), we saw the falconry show, we clapped along with a band called Wolgemut, we bumped into one of Yeats' high-school friends, who was there with his wife and two agog little boys, we curtsied to the Queen. And we ate and drank in tasty abundance, and I have had my yearly scotch egg.

We had planned on Sunday to go into the nearby Small Adorable Town and shop and enjoy the wine tasting rooms, but found out when we got there that the wine shops and a lot of the businesses were closed because it was Sunday. We were not, however, deterred for long.

Me: Well, the chocolate cafe is open, and we both love their macaroons.
Yeats: True, and so is the kitchen gadget/spice shop.
Me: And so is the...hey.
Yeats: Hey?
Me: The pub is open. And so is the Speakeasy Bar attached to the barbecue joint. And doesn't that street sign point towards a brewery down the street...?

Several beers, one basket of fried pickles, one plate of pierogies (did you know you can fry them in garlic butter? My life is forever changed), and one slider trio later, we Lyfted back to the B&B well content with our lives.

Back to work this week, but we are still going out on Friday, because Friday is our 10th (!!!) anniversary. He's getting a plethora of dorky gifts, two of which (his dragon pin and his handmade leather cuff) he already got and wore proudly to Faire. I wouldn't be here without him--not living in our very own house in DE, not attending Ren Faires, not working as a paralegal and (mostly) enjoying it. I liked my life fine as a bachelorette librarian, but I love my life with him.

Reading Log: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley; The Golden Thread by Suzy McKee Charnas; Final Girls by Mira Grant; An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King; Warcross by Marie Lu; Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon; The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy; Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence; No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor, and the essay collection Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women

WIP Wednesday - Week 41

Oct. 11th, 2017 02:01 pm
kiwiria: (Hobby: Knitting)
[personal profile] kiwiria
I don't think I ever got to show this off as a WIP, but after having tried on Miriam's "dragon mitts", Isabella also wanted a pair! Of course I agreed to knit them for her... and when she texted me last week to hear if I could add thumbs I couldn't let her down but had to figure out how to do that as well! :) Wasn't too hard, fortunately. I had to rip back once as I'd added too many short rows, but after that it worked fine :) I just need to weave in ends and block it, and then it's ready to hand over to her next week.

I've also started a new poncho for another niece. Rosa tried on the one I'd made for Nora and wanted one of her own, so of course I had to get working on that. The pattern doesn't come in large enough sizes, so I'll be adjusting as I go - hoping to end up with something that at least somewhat fits her.

Despite the fact that I still have 12 semi-active WIPs on the needles, I really wanted to cast on something new, so decided I was entitled to a "Birthday Cast On" (in the spirit of the PrairieGirls' Mother's Day Cast On) and cast on the Chromatic pullover by tincanknits! While I did swatch, I didn't actually block it, so we'll see if that comes back to bite me :-P but for the time being, I'm really enjoying the knitting. I worked on pretty much nothing else all weekend, which means I've just separated for the sleeves and am making my way down the body. The lace is really easy to memorize, and I love seeing the colours change!


Oct. 10th, 2017 10:58 am
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
Approaching the Mississippi under gray skies. Gray! Rain! Alas, rain will happen in Chicago, keeping me in the station instead of adventuring out. (It was ninety degree heat when I packed, and I can tell already that my summer clothes are going to be a challenge. Al well.)

Yesterday, while I was snapping billions of pix of snow dotting the ground at ten thousand feet, my spouse sent me a pic of the sky over the neighbors' house as the Anaheim Hills fires roared.


Science fiction and Strictly

Oct. 9th, 2017 07:28 pm
shallowness: Movieverse Rogue leaning against a blank wall. (Rogue X-Men Films)
[personal profile] shallowness
Electric Dreams – Crazy Diamond

Read more... )

I have seen Blade Runner 2049, and it’s stayed with me – it looks amazing, works well as a sequel (confession: I’ve only seen the original once, and it was a version that strongly suggested that you know who was a you know what). It didn't feel too long, despite the length. I liked that there wasn’t just the one woman in it (although I rolled my eyes at certain aspects ) and wondered what the film would be like if the main character was a woman, although I'm generally glad Ryan Gosling is gainfully employed). However, I do acknowledge this spoilery criticism from Digital Spy Can we talk about Blade Runner 2049's problem with women? It raises something I hadn’t thought of, the closing point that it was made by men is very valid.

Strictly Week 3/Movie night results

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On ITT, Craig Read more... )
[personal profile] mary_j_59
So, we are just back from the Horn Book Awards at Simmons college. As always, it was an inspirational and energizing event, with a lot of wonderful writers there. I met Richard Peck again! And the theme, like last year’s, was very relevant. It was resistance.

The winner of the award for teens was Angela Thomas, author of The Hate U Give. This is a book you need to read carefully, without skimming and without skipping around. When I first began reading, I was doing both those things. And it seemed too polemical, too much a retelling of current events. When I read more slowly, though, I really appreciated the story, the characters, and the craft Thomas uses in bringing them into a whole. It’s pretty devastating, actually, but not without hope.

Since she is a woman of color, Angie manages to do some things here that a white author could not. The boy who dies, Khalil, is by no means a bad kid. But he makes mistakes. He gets caught up in gang activity, though he doesn’t want to and is not a member. He is surly and uncooperative when the police pull him over. Nevertheless, it’s quite clear that he and his friend Starr, the main character, are unarmed children who pose no threat to anyone. Khalil dies anyway.

That is not a spoiler, since it’s been one of the selling points of the book that the main character witnesses a police shooting. What follows might be.

There is a scene later on when the police roll through Starr’s neighborhood in a tank. A tank! When I was a girl Starr’s age, such a scene would have been unthinkable. Today, sadly, scenes like this have actually occurred, especially in minority and immigrant communities. It’s all part and parcel of the militarization of our police force. And—

I hope every adult who discusses this book with teens will ask why? Why are our police being taught to treat civilians as the enemy? Why are they going abroad to learn crowd control techniques from occupying armies? Why are they using military riot gear? Aren’t the police our fellow citizens?

Some might be tempted to answer: because those minorities are so violent and dangerous. So the police are scared. If that’s your answer, please rethink it.

The violence police are carrying out against civilians is criminal, to my mind. Whenever there’s a crime, in classic detective novels, the detective asks a single question. Cui Bono? Who benefits?

Well, who does benefit? The minority citizens who get terrorized and killed certainly do not. I’d argue the police don’t, either. They are put in an adversarial role when they should be in the role of helpers and servants. But there is one group who benefits greatly from this nonsense. A former president warned us against these people more than fifty years ago. He said,
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

He then added, “Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.
Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.
Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his final speech to the nation, January 1961. You can find the full text of the speech here:

It seems to me that what president Eisenhower feared has come to pass. We are living in a state of perpetual war; both war abroad and war against our own citizens. The arms makers and arms dealers make millions by selling weapons to the police. It’s to their benefit to keep doing so. The more they can make civilians seem like “the enemy”, the more weapons they can sell. The more the police lose sight of their actual mission; the more they see themselves as soldiers in an undeclared war, the happier these death merchants will be.

We are walking over a cliff, and it really seems to me that most of us don’t see it. Oh, we see the effects. The tanks rolling through working-class neighborhoods, the police in riot gear, the young men shot, the guns everywhere, the fear on both sides. We see the racism and ignorance—great evils, both, for sure. But we don’t see the greed. If we could deal with that directly; if we could stop the arms merchants in their tracks, we would be far better off. Oh, the evils of ignorance and racism would still have to be fought. Always, and hard. But we would not have to mourn so many deaths. We would have a chance to look at each other and talk to each other, and maybe the fear would lessen.

So let’s, please, try to deal with this structural evil. Let’s halt the merchants of death. We must, at the same time, try to deal with other structural evils, such as racism and poverty. But let’s tackle the arms merchants first. They are in charge of our world right now. They have taken the White House and have a stooge installed there. If we can stop them, we can start to make our country, and our world, a better, safer, and more loving place for all the Starrs and all the Khalils out there. Please. Let’s do it.


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