Sidetracks - July 27, 2017

Jul. 28th, 2017 12:09 am
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[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.


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Senate ACA Repeal bill fails (again)

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:30 pm
teaotter: (Default)
[personal profile] teaotter posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
In a dramatic late-night vote, three Republican senators join all 48 Democrats in voting down the so-called "skinny" repeal bill. (Politico)

I was following twitter feeds of some of the reporters at the Senate during the vote-a-rama, and everyone was pretty much stunned by the turn of events. For more than an hour, Republicans refused to close the previous vote so that they'd have more time to strong-arm McCain, Murkowski, and Collins. No one knew what was being said, so reporters were describing body language and hoping. I couldn't believe it was going to go our way, even when Pence left the building.

And then the votes came in.

WE WON!

(Okay, nothing's officially dead until we get a better ACA repair bill in play, but still -- this was supposed to be a done deal in January and we've fought it to a fucking standstill and I AM SO PROUD OF US, LOOK HOW STRONG WE ARE TOGETHER!)

Pod Save America

Jul. 27th, 2017 09:21 pm
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[personal profile] laceblade posting in [site community profile] dw_community_promo
Three former aides to President Obama — Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor — started a media empire they named "Crooked Media," a hat-tip to Donald Trump. Their flagship podcast is Pod Save America, a freewheeling conversation about politics, the press, and the challenges posed by the Trump presidency.

Hang out at [community profile] podsaveamerica to discuss this podcasts and others by Crooked Media - Pod Save the People, Pod Save the World, Lovett or Leave It, and With Friends Like These.

In this community, we'll have discussion posts about each podcast. Talk about the guests, the conversations, whatever grievances were aired during the ads (lol). We'll also have posts about targeted activism. For example, during Resistance Recesses, you can discuss in the comments if/what you did. (The podcasts themselves frequently suggest specific action items for listeners.)


Listen to all of the podcasts, or just 1 or 2. No pressure.

Space: Above and Beyond [VID]

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:03 am
colls: (SAAB ladies)
[personal profile] colls posting in [community profile] vidding
Title: Mean World
Fandom: Space Above and Beyond
Music: Where the Devil Won't Go by Elle King
Summary: it's a mean world that I've known
Notes: Women in SPACE!!! ♥

H E R E @ [community profile] swannee
[personal profile] penta posting in [community profile] factfinding
OK, so...There's a game I'm helping restart (after a ten year break) called World Alliances and Rivalries. (Yes the website is bad, we drew it up a few days ago in the middle of the night fueled by coffee and insomnia.) We're not sure yet when we're doing as a Point of Divergence (except that we know it'll be after 7/1/2017, because the whole reason we're restarting it is partly because Trump gives us an opening...and partly to heal from Trump-caused trauma...), but I got drafted to play Israel (on the grounds of "Look, you didn't suck at playing a tiny country last time, you do research real well, and we need someone in the Middle East").

So I'm doing my research and trying to figure out a scenario to make my character PM as the game needs...The problem is, I don't read or speak Hebrew at all (neither does anybody else who plays!), and the English translations of key materials (IE, the English translation of the Basic Law on the Government) seem to literally be missing a few lines with no indication as to what should be there or how important it is. (We are talking the English translation on the Knesset website. I cried in frustration when I figured this fact out, because ugh.)

This is going to be a bit scattershot of a post (I didn't want to put multiple posts up when it all seemed to boil down to a related set of issues). I've done my fair share of Googling and Wikipedia hunting, but there are questions those don't answer.

Questions on Israeli Government:

1. It's said in the British system that the Monarch has the powers "to encourage, to warn, and to be consulted" (and that they shouldn't really want any others). Israeli politics are at least partly based off of the Westminster System, so...Does that also apply to the President of Israel? Does he get updated on state affairs, does he get consulted by the PM?

2. How exactly does picking a PM work when there are multiple valid choices for a PM based on coalition-building (I'm unsure if I want my character to have a majority (the scenario is that the previous government had to resign after a spate of corruption indictments) or have to live in a coalition)? Are there any formalities associated like an oath of office specific to being PM?

3. Just how much power do Knesset committees have to conduct oversight of the government? Both theoretically and in real terms. It sounds like they have normal oversight powers, but maybe that's me drawing on experience with the US Congress or the UK Parliament that doesn't apply...

4. If the PM is indicted, is there a mechanism to remove *just* the PM, or is a no-confidence vote required? (No doubt it'd be howled for, but I'm trying to figure out "Did they 'go to the country' because the law said they had to, or just because the pressure to do so was insane?")

Questions on the IDF (numbering continues to make answering easier) - please note for reference, my current draft has this character born December 1977 and drafted somewhere around 1995-96, and I know the law has changed since:

5. Someone please explain to me the proliferation of Sayeret units. I realize they're mostly recon units in theory, but they're also special forces...So I'm eventually confused (aside from a few units) as to who does what. I made my character a Sayeret Matkal vet because, well, it seemed like an obvious choice for "Special forces vet", but now I'm realizing that that could be cliche...but I can't figure out what the other units do, so I'm confused.

6. Officers are drawn from conscripts and have a four month training course. Sayerets have an...18 month? training pipeline. Do officers do officer training and then unit training, or...? How does that all work? How are Sayeret *officers* recruited and trained? Not looking for deep details, just how long from "I got drafted today" to "I'm a fully qualified officer and out leading troops starting tomorrow" or something.

7. Are officers held to a conscript's 3 year term of service? Is it longer? (I presume it is, but how much longer?)

8. Presuming a guy just wants to serve his conscript term as an officer and then get out and start civilian life, given what I mention above, how long is he in for, what age is he getting out at, and what rank is he getting out at? What rank does said officer transition from "an officer" to "an officer who's going to make the IDF a career"?

9. Wikipedia is being confusing. It mentions stuff like Rifleman 01, Fighter 07, etc. when speaking about training. It sounds like stuff I should have a clue about to draw up a character. What is it talking about?

10. Reserve service: OK, when does a guy with that background (Sayeret unit, officer) stop being liable for reserve service; how frequently is he called up for said service, how long are the callups in non-emergency situations, and (because the internet doesn't give me too great a clue) what the heck do they do (besides, I presume, training of various sorts)?

11. Just what are the benefits post-service associated with service as a conscript, or what were they in the 1996-2000ish timeframe? Do they vary between officers and enlisted conscripts? (I looked this particular question up about 20 different ways on Google. I found plenty of mentions in English of benefits during service, or that benefits post-service exist, but no mention of what the post-service benefits (or in-service benefits) actually are or would have been at the time.)

Yes, I make my characters unusually detailed. No, that is not standard for the game it's for. It's how I learned to draw up characters and scenarios, regardless of the roleplay or the setting; it's worked so far, and in this game it enabled me to (last time) play a character otherwise completely unfamiliar to me with a good degree of clue and "I actually don't appear to suck at RPing this character".

Thanks in advance for anybody willing to help me not be dumb. :)
davidgillon: Illo of Oracle in her manual chair in long white dress with short red hair and glasses (wheelchair)
[personal profile] davidgillon posting in [community profile] access_fandom


The Disabled People Destroy SF Kickstarter*, to produce a disability themed special issue of Uncanny magazine, is up and running here and well on its way to meeting the initial funding goal (about 80% funded with 29 days to go).

And the first of their personal essays on disability and SF is up here, a good piece on Mental Health/neurodiversity** getting in the way of growing up to be the SF protagonist you dreamed of, that the genre allows you to be, so sitting down and setting to work to change the genre to allow for protagonists with MH/neurodiversity. I'm so glad the first piece talks about MH/neurodiversity and invisible disability, as they're the most invisible/most often cured of SFnal disabilities.
 

* If you aren't familiar with the 'x' People Destroy series, it has already done POC Destroy SF and Queers Destroy SF to significant success. I was initially a little disconcerted it's swapped magazines for the disability issue, from Lightspeed to Uncanny, but the editors of Uncanny have a disabled child and they've assembled a solid team of disabled editors for the special issue, so my worries seem unfounded.

** The author talks about a bipolar diagnosis, but then settles on neurodiversity as their preferred community label. It's a view I have some sympathy with, though it can confuse people about non-MH related neurodiversity.

otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
OTW contested election banner

OTW Elections voting instructions have been e-mailed to all members. Find out what to do if you didn't get yours: https://goo.gl/QFV8iv
jesse_the_k: Hands open print book with right side hollowed out to hole iPod (Alt format reader)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k posting in [community profile] access_fandom
Elsa Sjunneson-Henry is the Managing Editor of Fireside Fiction, a literary magazine which publishes a variety of things, lots of which are SF.

Her essay on the task, and the metaphor, of "blind reading," does a great job explaining why the phrase "blind reading" is unhelpful

http://firesidefiction.com/blind-reading

Here's a taste: click to read )

Torchwood: Fanfic: Glass Hearts

Jul. 24th, 2017 04:19 pm
badly_knitted: (Owen)
[personal profile] badly_knitted posting in [community profile] fan_flashworks




Title: Glass Hearts
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: [personal profile] badly_knitted
Characters: Owen, Katie, Jack.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 707
Spoilers: Fragments
Summary: When he lost Katie, Owen discovered that he wasn’t as tough as he’d always thought.
Content Notes: None needed.
Written For: Challenge #198: Glass.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.



Glass Hearts... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Welcome to the second half of 2017, which will go by in what feels like three weeks but will also feel like 19 years thanks to Political Shenanigans. Time is weird! Luckily, we have books to get us through it all.

I always enjoy looking at all the books I may read, even the ones that I'm going to have to make hard purchasing decisions about. Out of my anticipated books last time, I've read 10. For a lot of them I'm waiting for them to cycle out of the new collection and into general at the library so I can enjoy all the things I check out for a full, glorious month. I suspect I won't get to some of these until 2018 when my library buys all the late-year release books and cycles the others out of new. I love my library, but I wish the new book check out time was longer than two weeks. Two and a HALF weeks would help me. Alas, alas.

I have my eye on a ton of science fiction IN SPACE this time around. Some of these I suspect I'll buy if my finances work out so I can use them for my space opera challenge. Read more... )

What great-sounding books have I missed? What's everyone else looking forward to?

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