lunadelcorvo: (Grrrrr!)
I don't want to be a drama-llama, but I think LJ has really screwed the pooch this time, and I'm done.

Read the lj_news posts here:
and here:

The upshot of this is: no matter what your layout is, you will now HAVE TO read your friends page in the default, ugly, LJ eye-wrenching blue and white site style. Had your layout customized for easy reading? Tough. Huge swatch of blank white space with dark type gives you a headache? Buy some fucking aspirin, sucker, 'cause we don't care. Spent hours laboring to get you layout just how you want it, so it makes you happy, is aesthetically pleasing to your soul? Too bad, aesthetics of for sissies; read it our way.

If that's not enough, LJ is also implementing a 'pay to promote' scheme, whereby you can pay to have your entries fasttracked to the top of your friends' reading pages. Oh, and if you've ever had your computer or browser lock up from one of those "infinite scrolling"sites like FB or tumblr? Get used to it, because LJ friends pages will now feature infinite scrolling.

If you think it sucks, comment on one of those pages, and/or fill out this poll:

Be warned, however, that LJ will flatly ignore you, like it has flatly ignored user outrage (and exodus) over every other lame-brained "update" they've crammed down our throats over the years....

So yeah, if this is implemented, I think I am finally out, done, gone. DW full-time. (And damn, I wish I had never gotten a perm account!)

:::ETA::: I'm not honestly sure this isn't what they want; for US/European users to leave. Read this:

End of an era of my life.... So, where can I find you all on Dreamwidth? I'm at Come on over and visit. THey are still invite-free, so anyone can sign up. If you've been putting it off, I think now is the time.
lunadelcorvo: (Unclear on the Concept)
This article at DailyKos presents a sobering view of what America has, in art at least, become. The reality of life in the face of spiraling medical costs, insurance costs, unemployment, disenfranchisement of voters, renewed oppression of women and other minorities is a brutal one. That so much validity is given to the notion that assistance to those who need it is somehow evil, and that the notion that the government should exist to take care of all its people is considered corrupt and craven makes of us, all of us, a cold and brutal nation. The most obvious recent example is Ron Paul's dodge of the question of whether an individual without insurance who falls ill should be allowed to die.
To his credit, Paul did not say a sick person should be left to die, if they showed up at the hospital unable to pay. That was left to the audience. I am sure the audience, too, had seen the same jars on the same countertops time and time again, but on them it made no impact. I am sure a good portion of them attended church on Sunday, and perhaps heard a plea for a sick member of the congregation that had stopped attending church suddenly, and there may have been talk about transplants or rehabilitation or family, and perhaps they gave $10 and felt a sense of satisfaction in it, and a clean conscience.

We are not socialists, here in America. We are not like all the first world countries in Europe or Asia that believe caring for citizens in need is the duty of a government and its people, and not just a whim to be met sporadically according to our moods. We are religious, and our religion dictates that we will help only who we want, when we want, and the others can either die or be reduced to lifelong poverty. That will still grand us a clean conscience, it seems: We can show up for church on Sunday, then go to a political debate during the week and shout for the poor and the sick die already, rather than pay a penny to save them.

That is what I find so cold in Ron Paul, and in the other freedom-lovers that share the stage with him, and especially in those members of America that they so feverishly wish to cater to. They can see that their solution does not work: The evidence is in every town, every day, but it still does not matter to them. They will poke their fingers out at you, and lecture on how churches or friends or neighbors will take care of it all; if you note that churches and friends and neighbors have never, ever been able to take care of it all, they will scoff, and mutter something about freedom; if you press them on what freedom means in such a context you will, eventually, come back around to the darkest response, which is let them die.

It is cold, and dark, and miserable, and mean, and tribal, and cruel.

It never ceases to amaze me, the emotions that we will wrap up in a flag and call patriotic if it suits us. A large swath of America is made up of very cruel people, people who value their own self-indulgence over the welfare of their neighbors, and they seem uniformly to be the most pompous in their exhortations of both patriotism and godliness. They are here to defend the nation from monsters who would parcel out a modicum of support to all citizens, and not just ones they personally know of or approve of: If they help their fellow man, they want to see the person grovel for it a bit, and helping an anonymous soul is deemed not just a pointless exercise but an insult to their very freedom.

Let them die does not make a very good slogan for a bumper sticker, and so even true believers tend to shade it a bit. But even in the boldest, cruelest state, it will be applauded.
More disturbing than Paul's dodge, however, was the affirmative roar of the crowd. It was disturbing enough when the mob cheered Perry's nonchalance when asked about the number of executions in his state, and his cavalier denial of any concern over the innocence of any of those executed. Similar tirades seem to draw the same bloodthirsty furor out of audiences no matter the topic. Muslims, gays, liberals, atheists, socialists, people of color, even those 'horrid, lazy, dissolute unemployed' seem to be equally subject to the condemnation of the mob.

"Christian leaders" blaze the trails of hate and oppression. Pat Robertson advises a man to divorce his wife with Alzheimer's, because she is "all intents and purposes, already dead." Oklahoma legislator, Sally Kern, a known religious right affiliate, calls gays worse than terrorists. Massachusetts State Rep. Ryan Fattman believes that rape and abuse survivors ought to be afraid to report their assault, assuming they are undocumented. Teens are bullied to the point of depression and suicide, and the Christian right opposes measures to combat such harassment. When women are raped it's their own faults because they go out at night dressed like sluts. Black people breed too much. Kick out the Muslims, kill the gays, let the poor ask for handouts from their church or die. Gabrielle Giffords. Dr. Tillman.

The uniting characteristic of America today is blame, vilification and retribution. America loves to hate, we seem to feed on it these days. Hate drives more passion, more action, more political force than does anything else, save perhaps fear, and really, how far apart are they? How long before the rallies calling for the wrath of God to smote the unrighteous, the protests harassing those who seek reproductive freedom, the vilification of gays - how long before we recognize these as the "Two Minutes Hate" of our time?
lunadelcorvo: (Can you be that stupid?) you keep demanding that you get screwed and then, not surprisingly, you keep getting screwed.

(Reposted from Slacktivist. This is his work, not mine. But it's important, so I'm reposting, with full credit.)

Hey you. You there in the Glenn Beck T-shirt headed off to the Tea Party Patriot rally.

Stop shouting for a moment, please, I want to explain to you why you're so very angry.

You should be angry. You're getting screwed.

I think you know that. But you don't seem to know that it doesn't have to be that way. You can stop it. You can stop it easily because the system that's screwing you over can only keep screwing you over if you keep demanding that it do so.

So stop demanding that. Stop helping the system screw you over.

Look, you can go back to yelling at me in a minute, but just read this first.

1. Get out your pay stub.

Or, if you have direct deposit -- you really should get direct deposit, it saves a lot of time and money (I point this out because, honestly, I'm trying to help you here, even though you don't make that easy, Mr. Angry Screamy Guy) -- then take out that little paper receipt they give you when your pay gets directly deposited.

2. Notice that your net pay is lower than your gross pay. This is because some of your wages are withheld every pay period.

3. Notice that only some of this money that was withheld went to pay taxes. (I know, I know -- yeearrrgh! me hates taxes! -- but just try to stick with me for just a second here.)

4. Notice that some of the money that was withheld didn't go to taxes, but to your health insurance company.

5. Now go get a pay stub from last year around this time, from January of 2009.

6. Notice that the amount of your pay withheld for taxes in your current paycheck is less than the amount that was withheld a year ago.

That's because of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan, which included more than $200 billion in tax cuts, including the one you're holding right there in your hand, the tax cut that's now staring you in the face. Republicans all voted against that tax cut. And then they told you to get angry about the stimulus plan. They didn't explain, however, why you were supposed to get angry about getting a tax cut. Why would you be? Wouldn't it make more sense to get angry at the people who voted against that Obama tax cut?

But taxes aren't the really important thing here. The really important thing starts with the next point.

7. Notice that the amount of your pay withheld to pay for your health insurance is more than it was last year.

8. Notice that the amount of your pay withheld to pay for your health insurance is a lot more than it was last year.

I won't ask you to dig up old paychecks from 2008 and 2007, but this has been going on for a long time. Every year, the amount of your paycheck withheld to pay for your health insurance goes up. A lot.

9. Notice the one figure there on your two pay stubs that hasn't changed: Your wage. The raise you didn't get this year went to pay for that big increase in the cost of your health insurance.

10. Here's where I need you to start doing a better job of putting two and two together. If you didn't get a raise last year because the cost of your health insurance went up by a lot, and the cost of your health insurance is going to go up by a lot again this year, what do you think that means for any chance you might have of getting a raise this year?

11. Did you figure it out? That's right. The increasing cost of health insurance means you won't get a raise this year. Or next year. Or the year after that. The increasing cost of health insurance means you will never get a raise again.

That's what I meant when I said you really should be angry. That's what I meant when I said you're getting screwed.

OK, we're almost done. Just a few more points, I promise.

12. The only hope you have of ever seeing another pay raise is if Congress passes health care reform. Without health care reform, the increasing cost of your health insurance will swallow this year's raise. And next year's raise. And pretty soon it won't stop with just your raise. Without health care reform, the increasing cost of your health insurance will start making your pay go down.

13. I wish I could tell you that this was just a worst-case scenario, that this was only something that might, maybe happen, but that wouldn't be true. Without health care reform, this is what will happen. We know this because this is what is happening now. It has been happening for the past 10 years. In 2008, employers spent on average 25 percent more per employee than they did in 2001, but wages on average did not increase during those years. The price of milk went up. The price of gas went up. But wages did not. All of the money that would have gone to higher wages went to pay the higher and higher and higher cost of health insurance. And unless Congress passes health care reform, that will not change.

Well, it will change in the sense that it will keep getting worse, but it won't get better. Unless the problem gets fixed, the problem won't be fixed. That's kind of what "problem" and "fixed" mean.

14. Sadly for any chance you have of ever seeing a raise again, it looks like Congress may not pass health care reform. It looks like they won't do that because they're scared of angry voters who are demanding that they oppose health care reform, angry voters who demand that Congress not do anything that would keep the cost of health insurance from going up and up and up. Angry voters like you.

15. Do you see the point here? You are angrily, loudly demanding that Congress make sure that you never, ever get another pay raise as long as you live. Because of you and because of your angry demands, you and your family and your kids are going to have to get by with less this year than last year. And next year you're going to have to get by with even less. And if you keep angrily demanding that no one must ever fix this problem, then you're going to have to figure out how to get by on less and less every year for the rest of your life.

16. So please, for your own sake, for your family's sake and the sake of your children, stop. Stop demanding that problems not get fixed. Stop demanding that you keep getting screwed. Stay angry -- you should be angry -- but start directing that anger toward the system that's screwing you over and taking money out of your pocket. Start directing that anger toward fixing problems instead of toward making sure they never get fixed. Instead of demanding that Congress oppose health care reform so that you never, ever, get another pay raise, start demanding that they pass health care reform, as soon as possible. Because until they do, you're just going to keep on getting screwed.

And it's going to be that much worse knowing that you brought this on yourself -- that you demanded it.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. -- I didn't mention this because I'm trying here to be as patient with you as I can, but you might also want to keep in mind that in addition to screwing over yourself and screwing over your family and screwing over your own children by demanding that Congress oppose health care reform so that you will never, ever see another pay raise, by doing that you're also demanding that I never, ever see another pay raise, which means that you're also screwing over me, and my family, and my children. Not to mention the millions of poor and uninsured and uninsureable people I didn't even mention above because they don't seem to matter at all to you. And for that, let me just say the only appropriate thing that can be said to someone so determined to do direct, tangible harm to the welfare of my family: Fuck you, you fucking moron.

(Reposted from Slacktivist. This is his work, not mine.)



Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities



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