Trump being a pawn of Russia

Feb. 18th, 2017 04:45 pm
[personal profile] omnifarious

Someone I know pointed me at an interesting article about 'russophobia' and the long and conflicted history of US public opinion of Russia. One of the points being made was that complaining about Trump being under Russian influence is pretty rich given that we essentially placed Yeltsin in power in Russia in the 90s. Either that article, or a podcast he pointed me at also expressed worry that the 'intelligence community' (who I will hereafter refer to as the 'deep state' without quotes) is taking it upon themselves to depose a democratically elected leader.

While I think the article makes for interesting and thoughtful reading, I disagree with their opinion about Trump. It's not because I disagree with their facts. It's that I disagree with their conclusions.

When we meddle in other countries, I think the other countries are perfectly justified in trying to undo the effects of our meddling, and attempts to remove our ability to further meddle in the affairs of their country. This opinion forms a backbone of my dislike of our military interventions.

Much the same as the citizens of the countries we try to meddle in, we have an obligation to ourselves and to each other to have our country be run by us, not some foreign government. Unless we collectively make an explicit decision to turn over the reigns to a foreign government, we should do everything in our power to make that not happen.

Of course, Trump was democratically elected according to the rules we've adopted for elections. And a large portion (though very definitely not a majority) of the electorate voted for him. As a democracy, we cannot simply ignore their interests. But the issue of our government being under the influence of a foreign one is orthogonal, and one that must be addressed separately.

It does disturb me that our own deep state has it in for Trump. It does make me skeptical of the information they provide. But in this case there appears to be a fair amount of corroboration. In general though, the way our deep state acts as our keepers rather than our servants in something that has disturbed me for a long time.

I do wonder though how many of our other leaders have had similar problems that the deep state has chosen not to reveal because it wasn't in their interests to do so. This is a whole different issue, and part of the massive problems we currently face as a nation. Problems that Trump is ill-equipped to solve, even if he wasn't a likely puppet of another (hostile) government.

vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Sequel! Squeal! This is the book that follows A Darker Shade of Magic, starting approximately four months after the end of the previous book. Like the previous book, there are multiple strands of narrative that braid together. And it's been out for a year and I didn't notice. Weird, how that happens.

Anyway, eminently readable. If you liked #1, you will liekly like this one. #3 should be out in a week or so ,so all is good.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

NSFW Feb. 17th, 2017 10:37 am
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[personal profile] elfs
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vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is the 3rd collection volume of McGuire's Velveteen stories. Superheroes aplenty. And some crass corporatism. And all.

That aside, it's pretty darned good reading, so that's brilliant. All I need to do now it remember to track down more.

Dreamwidth news: 15 February 2017

Feb. 15th, 2017 05:35 am
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_news
Hello, Dreamwidth! And thank you to everyone who wished me and my wife a happy vacation -- it was an excellent one. (Rumors that it was to help distract me from a significant birthday starting with 4 and ending with 0 are totally unfounded. Really.) It was also awesome to come back and see all of the new activity going on! I hope that everyone who's joined us in the last month or two has been settling in nicely.

Behind the cut, a tour of some of the new stuff we've done in the last few months, plus a look at some older changes that could use more love:

* Image Hosting Frontend
* HTTPS Beta
* Create Entries Beta: progress report
* Selective comment screening
* Other alphabets in site search: fixed!
* Icon file size limit increased
* Dreamwidth: Did You Know?
* Team Dreamwidth

DW News, 15 Feb 2017 )

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That's it from us for another update! As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check the Twitter status page.

Comment notifications may be delayed for an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 5:35AM EST (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

This is the first book in the Charlie Madigan series (4 so far, 5th in the works, but has definitely missed the expected 2016 release).

Anyway, Madigan's world is a world where portals to Heaven (well, Elysium) and Hell (well, Charybdon) have stood somewhat open for years. Madigan's a police officer and single mum, on the Atlanta police department's "we chase angels and demons" squad, ahem, task force. She's also recently resurrected (no, this is not normal).

And it all starts with shit going wrong and it doesn't get much better from there.

All in all, eminently readable. I think it's two-or-so years since I read this last, but I am, to be honest, not 100% sure.

Code push imminent!

Feb. 12th, 2017 11:07 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We're about to pull the lever on tonight's code push! I'll update this post when it's finished. For a reminder of what to expect, check the previous post for the list of changes.

Update: All done! Comment here if you notice any issues that need our attention.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

This is the 3rd book in Butcher's Dresden Files and rereading the early bit of the series, it's fascinating how much of what happens resonates throughout the rest of the series. I am still not sure if it's clever use of established plot, or if it's clever setup of plot to come, but I am willing to believe the latter.

I think this is the first book we meet Michael Carpenter, one of the Knights of the Holy Cross (capitals very much necessary, as it were) and one of the signs, I believe, that Dresden has a life outside the books, which is not a bad thing.

Anyway, Chicago's ghosts are all aflutter. Or was that "angry and more out than normal"? Something like that. Into the centre of this mess, Harry and Michael dash, in order to Set Things Right Damnit All.

And in that single book, three or possibly four future Dresden Files plot threads are born.
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We are planning to do a code push late this weekend, at approximately 9pm PST / 12am EST / 5am UTC on either Sunday, Feb 12 or Monday, Feb 13, depending on whether you live east or west of midnight. (Time is an illusion anyway, right?)

Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push, apart from the usual minor tweaks and bugfixes:

  • HTTPS Everywhere beta! Users can opt-in to have all Dreamwidth content automatically served over HTTPS. We'll post the instructions for this after the feature goes live.

  • New and improved design for the file management pages, which we were hiding from you because we were so embarrassed about them before. Thanks to [personal profile] momijizukamori for making them prettier and more functional!

  • Backend fixes to resolve problems using the aforementioned file management pages. (Did I already mention the embarrassment?)

  • At long last, international character support for journal search! Our systems guru [personal profile] alierak finally cracked this long-standing bug.

  • Support index page converted to Foundation styling, for your mobile viewing pleasure.

  • For users of the Practicality style: color properties now sort properly in the customization wizard.

  • For users of the Drifting style: the QuickReply box will now appear in the appropriate location, instead of wandering off somewhere unexpected.

  • Improved handling of word break (<wbr>) elements in user entries.

  • Allow embeds from: Facebook, CNN, 4shared.com, playmoss.com, onedrive.com, jsfiddle.net, scratch.mit.edu


We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Found myself between books (well, at the end of a book) and thought "why not". This is the first book in McGuire's InCryptid series, the second urban fantasy series she's written. All in all, eminently readable and I really can't find anything to complain about, apart from the lack of things to complain about.

If you like action and "supernatural" beings, this may well be very much the right series to read.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

This is essentially fan fiction, My understanding is that Scalzi wrote this for his own pleasure, expecting to be unable to publish it. However, it ended up being essentially a reimaging or reboot of H Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy and published with the blessing of the latter's estate.

Now, the fact that it's essentially fan fiction doesn't make it bad (or good, I have a strong suspicion that the presence or absence of fan fiction in a work's history is neither here nor there as far as quality is concerned), but it does mean that we can contrast it with what came before and I would definitely say I prefer this to the original.

[ bookmonth ] 2017-01

Feb. 7th, 2017 07:58 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Book list )

Somewhat late summarising January. Linear extrapolation says 84 books, that's probably shooting under the actual mark, but, you never know.

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