The Blood is the Life for 23-04-2017

Apr. 23rd, 2017 11:00 am
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New Twitter Muting Policy

Apr. 22nd, 2017 09:32 pm
miss_s_b: (Blogging: Internet forever!!)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
There's an election on.
I tweet about politics.
I have over 3000 followers, and several of them RT me on occasion.

This all means that I quite regularly attract... People who wish to engage in debate. Some of them in a less than friendly manner.

Now, sometimes, these people are just asking a question. And sometimes, when I answer their question they say "oo, I didn't know that! Thanks!" and we both carry on our merry way after a positive interaction.

Sometimes they are just outright hostile or insulting, and those people I mute straight away.

Sometimes though... Sometimes they are asking a question in the hopes of trapping me, or pissing me off, or just wasting my time. So I answer their initial question, and then they say "yeah but..." and bring up something unrelated, but still opposing, or they build a straw man (or a battalion of straw men), or employ any number of other tactics designed to irritate me.

Life is too damn short for people like that.

Therefore, from today, I have instituted a Three Strikes and You're Out policy for twitter. If you ask me a question, and you respond with "yeah but...", I'll answer. If you respond to the second answer with "yeah but..." then I will know that you are not debating in good faith, you're trying to irritate me and/or waste my time, and I will simply mute you.

Like I said, life is too short. I confidently expect lots of "yeah but..." replies to this post, btw...

Smile: Initial reaction

Apr. 22nd, 2017 08:15 pm
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[personal profile] miss_s_b
OMG you guys, Doctor Who was good TWO WEEKS RUNNING!

Spoilers under the cut )

Carlton does a happy dance
miss_s_b: (fangirling: hounds)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Unless this is the first entry of mine you've read, you'll know that I am active in politics.
You will also know that I am active in a lot of geekeries (Doctor Who, obvs, but lots of others too).
The thing about both of those things is that they can sometimes cause a teeny tiny slight amount of stress to enter one's life. If I get stressy, one of my main ways of destressing is to look at Cute Doggy Pictures. A clear majority of the Instagram accounts I follow are hounds of various stripes, and a healthy smattering of the Twitters I follow are doggies too. @arthurwhippet and @smiththewhippet are two of them. I've been following these two for a while. They live together, with some humans obvs, and are utterly adorable. I mean, who can look at Arthur's excitement about a flat rugby ball and not feel all squishy inside?

This morning I was leafing through twitter, and the following tweet caught my eye:
A tale of 2 leaders; May talks at a group of constituents and orders 'no questions', Tim Farron chats to the passing public in Manchester.
tweet by @TammRehgallag (Matt Gallagher)
I'm pretty sure the use of the words at and to were very deliberate in that tweet. Attached to the tweet are two pictures. One picture is of Theresa May, looking shouty and authoritarian and offputting. The other is of a nice lady with pretty hair and a fab coat talking to Tim Farron. She was walking some dogs in the picture. I did a double take at the dogs. Hang on... I know those dogs!

It turned out that my politics world and my cute doggies world had collided with some force. My friend April even got to pet Smith and Arthur and their friend Ziggy! I've never met Arthur and Smith in real life, only on twitter, so I am quite jealous of April for that. And it appears I am not along in thinking that doggies are more exciting than party leaders.

If you, too, think that doggies are better than politics, you may wish to follow @arthurwhippet and @smiththewhippet on twitter as well.

(why yes, this post really was just an extended and belated Follow Friday post O;) )

The Blood is the Life for 22-04-2017

Apr. 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
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[personal profile] miss_s_b
spiralsheep: Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society (Sewing Circle Terrorist Society)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Creepy zebra puppets that will haunt your nightmares... from an interior decor shop. No, rly. o_O

Creepy zebra puppets in an interior decor shop, 02-17

- Prompted by fiction to ask: have any of you ever hidden in a Ladies toilet as part of a successful strategy to completely avoid someone? You don't need to share the circumstances, obv. I know many women who've taken refuge for a few minutes to compose themselves but nobody, outside newsworthy incidents, who has managed this feat in a similar way to so many fictional females. Thoughts on this trope? Does it even have a name? Is it as much of a gendered trope as I think it is? (I don't mean the more dramatic Searching The Stalls [tvtropes warning].)

- Reading, books 2017: 28

8. Power Up, by Kate Leth and Matt Cummings, 2016, a fun all-ages superhero comic including non-white people, non-het people, cross-dressing, and a super-powered goldfish. (4/5)

9. A Close and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers, 2016, science fiction novel set in the same future 'verse Ms Chambers established in her brilliant debut The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Technically a sequel but I suspect it would read well as a standalone too. (5/5)

10. Help Us! Great Warrior, by Madeline Flores, 2016, all ages comic partly based on earlier adult webcomics by Ms Flores. Perhaps not quite as lolzy but now with added plot! (4/5)

• Examples of the adult original webcomics for your perusing pleasure:
a. http://helpusgreatwarrior.tumblr.com/post/40864925035/a-terrible-curse
b. http://helpusgreatwarrior.tumblr.com/post/41998614980/warrior-chit-chat
c. http://helpusgreatwarrior.tumblr.com/post/45799288418/the-great-warriors-scars
d. http://helpusgreatwarrior.tumblr.com/post/52952730074/dance-edit-ive-decided-that-the-dress-great
e. http://helpusgreatwarrior.tumblr.com/post/44168224516/the-traveling-merchant

11. Jonesy, by Sam Humphries and Caitlin Rose Boyle, 2016, teen comic with some borderline creepy consent issues imo. I won't be buying volumes two or three but they're due for publication so the target demographic presumably liked this better than I did. (3/5)

The Blood is the Life for 21-04-2017

Apr. 21st, 2017 11:00 am
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[personal profile] miss_s_b

Right, fellow Who fans

Apr. 21st, 2017 10:21 am
miss_s_b: (Mood: Kill me)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
[community profile] gallifrey_times went away for a long while, but since I've managed an issue per day all week, I think I can confidently say that it's back.
  • If you are a Who fan who wants a daily shot of news and reviews and links to fanworks, please subscribe. We're a bit like Who Daily on LJ (although we explicitly try not to tread on their toes - there was a time when I was a back up for Who Daily as well as doing GT and I still have a lot of affection for them).

  • If you're a Who fan who does fic, or reviews, or art, or vids, or podcasts, or any other content you want promoting to other Who fans? please request to be added to our watch list - I'd really REALLY love to have more Dreamwidth-hosted content on there.
(X-posted from [site community profile] dw_community_promo)
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... if you want to listen to me, load up this show on BBC iPlayer (you DON'T have to be in the UK, apparently, but you do need flash). I am in a group discussion for the last half hour, so two and a half hours in. Fellow Lib Dems might want to start at about one hour 45 minutes, though, because my lovely regional chair, the fabulous Stewart Golton was on at that point, and I thought he was rather good.

I... don't think I did too badly. I could have done better. I'm glad I got the dig in about Niggle Farridge though :)

It all felt very good-natured, despite our areas of disagreement (we'd all had half an hour or so to get to know each other first). And Nicky the Entrepreneur and Heather the charity CEO and I are now following each other on twitter and plotting going for a jar together at some point. AND I recced the pub on Dewsbury station to the producers of the show on their way home; I hope they enjoyed it. I mean, if you're GOING to be waiting for a TPE at Dewsbury, it'd be rude not to...

Thank you to everyone who wished me good luck earlier. It really is much appreciated.

Off to meet the beeb

Apr. 20th, 2017 03:34 pm
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[personal profile] miss_s_b
I'm on my way to Morley to be on radio 5 live's drive time discussion show. I'm a radio 4 girl through and through, so not sure what'll happen. Hopefully won't embarrass myself TOO badly…
miss_s_b: (Blogging: Mod hat)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
More than one person yesterday mentioned a dislike of my colour scheme. The word "Geocities" was uttered. I am not unaware that everywhere else on the internet is bright white with lots of free space, and that my colour scheme might be seen as undesirable, so I thought I ought to explain (especially for non-LJ/DW users) why it is as it is:

If you use Dreamwidth (or any other code fork of LJ) your blog is not just your blog; it is also a social network and an RSS reader. Look up at the top right of any page on my blog, you'll see "what I am reading" - it does what it says on the link. It is my reading page.

If, like me, you suffer from crippling migraines, which can easily be triggered by looking at lots of bright white screens, this is a positive boon. It means that you can set up your style to be as restful and brain-kind as possible for you and it doesn't matter for any other DW or LJ user, because they have done the same. Dark purple on black, for me, means I can spend a lot, lot longer looking at the screen before it starts to hurt. I always have twitter/tweetdeck on Night Mode when I look at it, and Lib Dem Voice has a dark theme because I asked for it; pretty much every other blog or website I read regularly, I read on my reading page here.

However, I am aware that lots of people really like looking at bright white screens, and find them much easier to read. If this is you, you can add "?style=light" to the end of any url on Dreamwidth (not just my blog, any Dreamwidth url) to get a black text on white screen colour scheme. It makes the landing page of my blog look like this. And, as [personal profile] sfred points out below, if you're a Dreamwidth user yourself, you can add "?style=mine" and everything looks absolutely optimal for your own preferences!

I hope that helps :)

The Blood is the Life for 20-04-2017

Apr. 20th, 2017 11:00 am
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[personal profile] miss_s_b

A snipping from Google Analytics

Apr. 20th, 2017 10:24 am
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[personal profile] miss_s_b
Holy shit, you guys...

a screencap from google analytics

My regular readership is not tiny. Yesterday was... impressive.
Most people looked at more than one post, too.
And links came from EVERYWHERE: obviously, twitter was by far the biggest source of links; Lib Dem Voice, HuffPo, and fellow LDs like Zoe O'Connell and Nick Barlow were also expected, but... Mumsnet? Two different Liverpool local websites? Outpost Gallifrey? And DuckDuckGo, which implies people were searching for me...

Genuinely kind of bowled over here.

On coalitions and the Lib Dems

Apr. 19th, 2017 06:15 pm
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Lots and lots of partisan people who would probably be unlikely to vote Lib Dem anyway are saying things like I couldn't ever vote Lib Dem; they won't rule out coalition with Labour/the Tories.

You all know me.
You all know I am not backwards in coming forwards, and will happily call a spade a spade.

I, personally, will not rule out voting for a coalition with either the Tories or Labour.

That's right. Even now, even in this poisoned, febrile atmosphere, I would do a deal with either the red devil or the deep blue sea.

To agree to a coalition with either of them, they would have to agree to the following three things, for me:
  1. No brexit. At all. It's completely stopped.

  2. STV for all elections from this day forth, no exceptions, no referendums, just implemented.

  3. Useless waste of space of a leader to be replaced.
Without all three of those conditions being met as an absolute minimum, I, personally, would not vote for coalition with either Labour or Tories. I'd also quite like there to be a lot of stuff about guaranteeing the rights of immigrants and disabled people, and stopping the shafting of the poor, but those three things are the absolute minimum of the contents of an agreement I would consider. And for a coalition to happen, we have to call a special conference and two thirds of the attendees have to vote in favour of the deal offered. I'm not the most typical Lib Dem, but I'm not so far from the mainstream that I think that more than two thirds of the party would opt for a lesser deal than that.

We have learned from the coalition deal we voted through in all innocence last time, and I suspect that quite a lot of the party is a lot more cautious than it was.

So yeah, I'm not ruling out a coalition... but equally, I don't think it's very likely. Do you?

The Blood is the Life for 19-04-2017

Apr. 19th, 2017 11:00 am
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[personal profile] miss_s_b
miss_s_b: (Who: Six (ot3))
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Dear media people,

I see that, thanks to Cathy Newman's interview last night, the thorny theological topic of Sin has raised its ugly head once more.

Let me get this right out in the beginning: I don't give a fig what Tim Farron's religious beliefs are. You know why? Because I am a Liberal. He could believe the sky is made from Puff the Magic Dragon's bumfluff, and I wouldn't care one jot, whit or iota. What I do care about, and care deeply about, is
  1. How Tim Farron votes in parliament

  2. How he treats people - LGBT+ people in particular - in everyday life
So lets do a little list of things which illustrate how Tim Farron views LGBT people:
  1. With one exception, Tim Farron voted fully in favour of same sex marriage. The one time he abstained? That was because he was trying to get an amendment passed on the Spousal Veto, a really nasty little clause which shafts trans people. Yep, that's right, even the time he abstained was because he was fighting for LGBT+ rights, not against them.

  2. He was the first party leader to issue a statement on the gay concentration camps in Chechenya. He condemned them in the strongest terms. And while the Greens have since joined in, none of the Tories, Labour, or UKIP have.

  3. He campaigned against section 28 from its inception, and thinks that refusing people service for their sexuality (like bakeries not baking cakes for gay marriages) is unchristian.

  4. He spoke out on the blood donation ban (I'm still banned from giving blood, by the way - because I have had sexual relations with bisexual men).

  5. He has campaigned tirelessly for the rights of trans women in prisons, and trans issues in general. When we had a trans rights motion before conference, he was there at 9.30am in the front row to vote for it. Not because of the cameras - there were no cameras - but because he is enthusiastic about LGBT+ rights, and not just G rights with a smattering of L like many politicians.

  6. When Lib Dem conference brought in an accreditation scheme that inadvertently discriminated against LGBT+ people, he listened to us at LGBT+LDs, and then he went to head office and batted for us till the scheme was changed, and eventually dropped.

  7. He has said to me personally that when poly marriage is made legal he wants to be the first on the invite list to our wedding.
Look, I could go on for hours here, but it is as plain as the nose on my face that Tim Farron is no homophobe. So why do the media keep treating him like he is? Well, in the past, he has made some missteps - accepting that intern from the gay cure people, for example. But if you actually look at what happened in that case? The second he confirmed those people were campaigners for a gay cure, he backed away, apologised fulsomely, and campaigned hard against the concept of curing gay people. Me, personally? I value a leader who will listen and change his mind when someone points out he's wrong - Cthulhu alone knows Cleggy never did.

The other reason is possibly a conflation of the word "sin" with the concept of "bad thing for which I am judging you" in general parlance.

Reverend Lovejoy delineates what sin is

I'm an atheist. Yes, I have A-level RE, but I do not know Christianity from the inside. However, even I have heard of the Christian concept of "judge not lest ye be judged". As Tom King says at some length in this twitter thread, the Christian belief means that you explicitly do not condemn people who sin, because we are all sinners and judging people is God's job. Whether or not Tim Farron believes that homosexual sex (or heterosexual sex, or wanking, or eating beef on Fridays, or anything) is sinful, this has no bearing on his actions because it is not his place to judge.

I don't pretend to understand that belief system. But I accept it, just as I accept Islam, and paganism, and the church of the flying spaghetti monster. I accept it because to not accept that people can differ in their beliefs from you and yet still be worthwhile people is fundamentally illiberal. I'll tell you something that is liberal, though. If a person believes in their heart of hearts that something is wrong, and yet still campaigns for the right of other people to do it because it's other people's right to make their own moral choices?

That, my friends, that is liberalism.

I await your forensic questioning of the Prime Minister on her voting record with regard to LGBT+ rights with interest.

Lots of love

Jennie
Acting chair LGBT+ Lib Dems, bisexual polyamorist, and person who voted for Tim Farron to be her party leader and is happy that she did.
spiralsheep: Death to the fascist oppressors (present company excepted) (chronographia Death Fascist Oppressors)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
Statue of Edward Elgar, Worcester 12-16

- Bloody democracy! I'm amazed Theresa May is trying to call an early General Election. I honestly thought she'd soldier through until 2020 and then find an excuse to declare Martial Law. [/only partly kidding]

I already hate Tory politics but my recent experience is that elections are increasingly making me hate everyone else's politics too, and then I waste considerable effort on attempting not to retreat into permanent generalised misanthropy. Baa humbug &c.

Mainstream and social media are full of the usual suspects lecturing everyone who wants politics to move to the left that we should inexplicably vote to the right... despite that meme having resulted in the rise of rightwing extremists such as Nigel Farage to actual political power, a relentlessly Conservative Con-Dem government from 2010-15, and Donald Trump's election in 2016.

Clue: only vote to the right if you want to further empower right-wingers. If you want politics to move to the left then vote to the left. Easy.

- Reading, books 2017: 27

7. Lady in a Boat, by Merle Collins, 2003, poetry, includes Ms Collins' first published poetry about the failed Grenadan revolution and therefore essential reading both literarily and historically. (4/5) /amused this was the next book in line for posting today, lol

Music, by Merle Collins [spiralsheep's note: read with the line breaks as intended]

perhaps you are
lucky

when you are in
tune

with the music that's
playing

not so those

who want a different
song

It Will Be Televised, by Merle Collins [spiralsheep's note]

It seems the apocalypse
will be televised

I wonder if the bush gram
will pick up the news

Tout moun ka pléwé
black is white

The apocalypse will
be televised

Note to Self:

Apr. 18th, 2017 09:42 pm
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Having a big angry rant on twitter when you're literally drooping from tiredness after a long day's lib demmery including a branch meeting is not the most sensible thing to do...

Off to bed now, peeps. Laters.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I'm not convinced that it's to do with brexit, despite her speech. Labour have rubber-stamped or abstained on every single vote. She was getting brexit through with no trouble whatsoever, aside from noisy shouting from us and the SNP. Yes, she is gambling that Corbyn's crapness will give her a big majority. But it is a gamble; there's no certainties in politics.

There is one thing that's standing out to me, though... up to 20 tory MPs are under threat of prosecution. TMay has a working majority of 17. If even half of those look like successful prosecutions, that's potentially majority wiped out. TMay is going to know whether or not these MPs are guilty.

Calling an election now means that they won't be MPs by the time prosecutions go through. They'll quietly retire, and the news media will not pay as much attention to prosecutions of ex-MPs. The polls have the tories on a stonking lead. I think she's calculated it's worth the gamble. I'll say this for her: she's got massive brass balls. Whether that's enough... I hope it isn't.

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