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Graph of Citizen Voting Turnout by Age Bracket

First, consider the chart on the left.  It lists the percentage of people in each age bracket who voted in each election since 1986.  Unsurprisingly, a higher percentage in each age bracket vote during Presidential election years than in off years.  Also unsurprisingly, young people are the bottom group.  In years with a Presidential election, we usually get about the same number of 18-29 year olds voting as the next age bracket up (30-44 year olds) in off years.  The older the age group, the higher the percentage of the people who vote.  This is true across the boards.

Now.  Every politician and political strategist in the country has seen this chart or one like it, I guarantee.  Put yourself in their shoes.  They need to win an election.  Who should they court?  The young people who may passionately love them but (even if they do) don't turn out to vote in large numbers?  The group who, even when the turn out in the most massive numbers in thirty years (2008, for Obama) still aren't even in shooting distance of the age bracket above them?  The group who will only be there, at best, with a 20% turnout when your seat (or your parties seats) are up for election in the midterms?  No.  That would be stupid.  You couldn't possibly rely on that group, even if you believed in absolutely the same things they did, because you would know for certain that you would never get to implement any of those policies because a) they probably wouldn't turn out in great enough numbers to get you elected and b) even if they did, in the midterm elections (when they don't vote) your opponents would get control of the majority again and block anything you suggested.  No.  If you wanted to actually have a chance in hell of accomplishing, you would cozy up to the older groups, the groups that actually vote.  Because those are the people you can count on.  The older the group, the more solid their support once you have it, because not only do they vote in much higher numbers, the vote in midterm elections.

Now consider the chart on the right.  It lists the percentage of members of each political category, from conservative to liberal, in each age bracket.  It should not be surprising to you that the older the age group the larger the red (conservative) groups are and the smaller the blue (liberal) groups are.  This should be fairly familiar to anyone who has discussed politics with anyone outside their own age bracket.  So if you are a politician, cozying up to an older age bracket because you are surer of their support, you will swing more conservative.  Pretty much guaranteed.

We millennials complain that nobody listens to us in politics, and that politics are gridlocked.  But this is an entirely predictable product of our own voting habits.  Why should they listen to us when we don't actually take the critical step of voting?  And even when, as in 2008, we have a large effect on an election and provide the swing to get someone elected (like Obama), we don't stick around to make sure that he can actually put in place the policies we elected him to do by making sure he has a congress that agrees with him.  If we want our voices heard, WE HAVE TO VOTE.  We have to vote for president, and we have to vote in midterm elections, AND WE HAVE TO VOTE RELIABLY EVERY TIME.  ALL OF US.  If we do not vote, in large numbers, reliably every election, a politician would be stupid to listen to us.  Because listening to us would actively hurt their chances of getting elected by preventing them from listening to the people who actually do vote.

If you do not vote (unless you are actively prevented by unfair voting laws or inaccessible polling places), YOU DO NOT GET THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING POLITICAL.  Why?  Because you threw away your chance to have your voice heard when it might actually have accomplished something, and so all you're doing is whining.  The reason American politics doesn't listen to us?  It's not corruption.  It's the entirely predictable result of our own actions: we talk a big game, but we do not follow through.

When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action.  When you desire a consequence you had damned well better take the action that would create it.--Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory

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Derek Morgan Question

So, what endearments (if any) does Derek use when he's talking with his wife Savannah?  Because I'm having trouble with their dialogue.  If anyone who has watched recent seasons of CM and knows their relationship could read my [community profile] wipbigbang for characterization of Savannah and their relationship, I would be awesomely grateful.

(The bears are ... slightly less vicious today.  The end is in sight.)

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/323425.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Fic writing: good news, and bad news

The good news is, today I have completely written my [community profile] femmeremix fic!  And by "completely written" I mean I went from "heck, I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what story to remix and have nothing interesting to say about any of these stories of my assigned writer" to "here is the finished work ready for betaing."  Since it's due July 24, this is a relief.

The bad news is, it means I didn't get any work done on my [community profile] wipbigbang which still needs SO MUCH WORK to get into its finished form and is due July 23rd.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  Can there be bears if it's not [community profile] yuletide?  Because I feel like the bears are out to get me.  (I have absolutely no doubt that it'll be finished by the deadline.  It's just going to require some ... concentrated work and wrestling with bears between now and then.  This is what happens when, halfway through an ancient WIP for a fandom you haven't been in for years, you find out that there has been a major change in canon that, if you incorporate it, will make your fic better, but means a ton of extra work.)

If you're wondering about Past Lives, once [community profile] wipbigbang is no longer eating my brain I'll get back to it, and hopefully back to an "updating weekly" schedule.

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/323116.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Rec: The Moral Economy of Tech

The Moral Economy of Tech, by Maciej Ceglowski
The feeling of competence, control and delight in discovering a clever twist that solves a difficult problem is what makes being a computer programmer sometimes enjoyable.

But as anyone who's worked with tech people knows, this intellectual background can also lead to arrogance. People who excel at software design become convinced that they have a unique ability to understand any kind of system at all, from first principles, without prior training, thanks to their superior powers of analysis. Success in the artificially constructed world of software design promotes a dangerous confidence.

Today we are embarked on a great project to make computers a part of everyday life. As Marc Andreessen memorably frames it, "software is eating the world". And those of us writing the software expect to be greeted as liberators.

Our intentions are simple and clear. First we will instrument, then we will analyze, then we will optimize. And you will thank us.

But the real world is a stubborn place.
An interesting piece on technology, arrogance, politics, and the modern surveillance state.
This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/322966.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Either that or the CM wiki is wrong.  Savannah Hayes, Derek Morgan's wife, is a doctor at what the wiki calls "Bethesda General Hospital."

And there is a Bethesda General Hospital!  ... in St. Louis, Missouri.

Somehow I doubt that's where Savannah works.

There are also Bethesda Hospitals in Florida.  Again, probably not where she works.

There is a hospital near DC that is colloquially known as "Bethesda," the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Maryland.  This can't be where she works because it is a military hospital, and as such would only be treating military people and their dependents, which is a problem since she treats Meg Callahan (child of one of the newer BAU members) in the episode Breathplay.  (And I'm not sure they have civilian doctors, either.)

There is indeed a civilian hospital in Bethesda, MD.  It's named Suburban Hospital, and it's part of the Johns Hopkins Medical System.  I am going to declare that for the purposes of my fic, this is the hospital that Savannah Hayes works at.

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/322682.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

US Politics: Good news for a change

So remember that Puerto Rico is, because of weird loopholes in US law and terrible management, in crippling debt?  And because of more loopholes, was going to have to pay creditors instead of basic services like hospitals unless Congress did something?

Congress actually did something: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/06/29/senate-poised-to-act-on-puerto-rico-debt-days-before-debt-cliff/

The problem is not fixed; PR still has huge amounts of debt to pay off.  But at least now they can pay for basic services like schools and hospitals before paying off the hedge fund vultures.

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/322254.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Criminl Minds Beta Needed

Okay, my Criminal Minds/SG crossover fic for [community profile] wipbigbang NEEDS A BETA OMG.  Preferably a beta who is watching current Criminal Minds episodes.  General plot/theme/characterization issues, and also HALP I NEEDZ AN ENDING.  (Seriously, I keep reaching points where I thought the fic was going to end and it ... hasn't.)  It's currently about 27k long, and IF IT GETS ANY LONGER IT WILL NOT BE READY BY THE DUE DATE, OMG.

SEND HALP PLZ

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/321825.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Art for me!

Just got my art from my [community profile] wipbigbang artist!  How exciting!  It's definitely inspiration to keep me chugging along on the story.  (There are only a couple of scenes left to write, and THEN I've got to go back and edit some key plot changes in--I Got A Better Idea 2/3 of the way through--and then off to the beta it goes, and then .... well, it feels kind of disjointed and thematically incoherent to me, but my stories often do at this point in the creative process, and then betas tell me it's fine, so I FEEL like any competent beta would tell me to rewrite half of it, but the rational part of my brain knows that's not necessarily true.

By the way, they are STILL LOOKING FOR ARTISTS for the [community profile] wipbigbang! It's a multi-fandom challenge, and they've still got several unclaimed fic: Chronicles of Narnia, Code Black, Highlander/Forever, two Once Upon a Time fics, Saints Row, a Sherlock/St. Trinians crossover, a Stargate Atlantis fic.
This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/321753.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

UK Politics: Brexit

[personal profile] rydra_wong has a great post on why Brexit is a bad idea. If you can vote in the referendum, please do so!

I actually think that decent people can disagree about whether the UK should leave the EU. There's even a left-wing case for Leave that can be made, though nobody's really trying to make it.

(Pragmatically: there are a lot of credible and knowledgeable voices saying that it would be an economic disaster, which, given our government, also means more “austerity”: more people starving and more people driven to suicide.)

But in the last few weeks, it's suddenly turned out that we're no longer debating "Should the UK be in the EU?", we're apparently now debating "Immigrants: how much do we hate them?". And the answer seems to be "Quite a lot".

We also seem to be debating “Do you want a new government made up of Boris Johnson (a completely amoral opportunist clawing his way into power by posing as a adorably-befuddled tousle-haired buffoon), Michael Gove, and Nigel Farage?”

...

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/321357.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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US Politics: warrantless surveillance

Tomorrow the Senate is going to vote on a bill that has an amendment that would allow the FBI access to your internet metadata without a warrant: account numbers, who you talk to and when, where you were when you did it, browsing history, and more.  All they'd need is a National Security Letter, which doesn't require any court oversight.

Here's a handy widget to help you call your Senators to ask them NOT to allow warrantless metadata snooping.  It will also give you a script to read--you don't have to do anything but read the script and tell them your name and address when prompted.  (I also took the time to express how unhappy I was that the legislation to close the loopholes in background checks gun purchases was voted down yesterday.)

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/321116.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Fic: Rose in the Spring

I just realized that after [community profile] ssrconfidential went live, I never posted my own story here! Sorry, folks, here it is.

Title: Rose in the Spring
Fandom: Agent Carter
Characters: Rose Roberts, Daniel Sousa, a couple of OFCs
Warnings: none
Written for: [personal profile] sholio in [community profile] ssrconfidential 2016
Betaed by: [personal profile] lilacsigil 
Summary: Rose Roberts, between seasons 1 and 2.

At AO3.


Miss Roberts, hello, come in!Collapse )


AN: Yes, there really was a play called The Mystery of Theodosia Burr on Broadway in 1947. Being a Hamilton geek, I couldn't resist it. I know nothing of it besides the fact that it apparently didn't last long. They really should have gone to see The Heiress, which is a great show that not only was revived many times, it also has a classic movie starring Olivia de Haviland made of it. Show information taken from Broadwayworld.com.

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/320986.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
What Happens in Budapest…Comes Home to Roost (4872 words) by MarbleGlove
Fandom: The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Relationships: Clint Barton & Natasha Romanov, Clint Barton/Laura Barton
Characters: Natasha Romanov, Nick Fury, Laura Barton, Clint Barton
Additional Tags: Red Room, What Happened in Budapest
Summary: Found family and unexpected allies, monsters that needed killing and recovering from brainwashing, … yeah, the New York alien invasion really did remind Natasha of Budapest.


Okay, I can't tell you what makes this story SO FLIPPING AWESOME, because it would spoil the whole thing if I did.  BUT YOU NEED TO GO READ IT NOW.

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/320744.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
And there's some art and vids, too.  If you like Agent Carter, you should check them out!

I received A Problem at Isodyne, an interesting what-if where Whitney Frost actually got to go to college.

My favorites:

To Lift Again the Banner.  The worst part is this: If they'd asked Gabe to participate in Project: Rebirth, he would probably have said yes. However, they didn't give Gabe a choice, and now he's on the run with only a lady spy and a scrawny kid from Brooklyn to help him.

Bad Romance [Vid]--"Aww, Peggy. I'll always be in your head."  A Peggy/Dottie vid set to the Postmodern Jukebox version of Bad Romance.

All Of Me--Between countries, between languages, between death and life: Ana Jarvis has been all of this for years. Portrait of a survivor.  Brilliant character study.

Out of the Cave--When Whitney Frost escapes the asylum, Dottie Underwood is there waiting with a plan.  Fun story, with interesting meditations on power and powerlessness and what drives these two women.

A Voice for America--When Angie takes a job as a voice actor on US Army propaganda films, she has no idea who she'll end up working with.  Or, the troubling problem of Captain America's English accent.  Fun Peggy/Angie AU, just wish it was longer.
Not The Last Dance This Time--beautiful fanart of Peggy and Colin Wilkes.

One of the Lucky Ones.  The anniversaries we want to forget will always sneak up on us. Sousa, for instance, wants nothing more than to move on from the blast that took his leg. Carter is more tight-lipped about the things she's lost. Neither of them is willing to stay back-benched.

Rose in the Spring.  Rose Roberts, between seasons 1 and 2.

In the Dead Lava Streets.  New York is a devil's dream, the most urbanized city in the world. It is all geometry angles and stone. It is mythical, a city buried by a volcano. Five times Howard Stark met Joseph Manfredi, and one time he did not.
Not Your Fairytale Princes.  Peggy/Dottie.  "Forgive me for doing my job," Peggy said. "I'm not exactly ready to play therapist to world-weary spies, not yet."

Four Times Peggy Tried to Run Away (And the One Time it Finally Worked).  This is my new canon for what Peggy was like as a kid, it's just delightful.

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/320012.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
So, you guys remember my Criminal Minds/SG-1 fic that I asked for help with a while back?  It's in the home stretches, which, yay!

The problem is that I haven't actually watched CM in several seasons.  Like, I watched it religiously for years, and then after the whole shenanigans with Prentiss "dying" and coming back I kind of drifted away?  And I figured, this fic, which has been a WIP since before that point (and a plot bunny before that) could just be set sometime in those first seven seasons or so, and so then I wouldn't have to worry about it.  Or I just didn't have to mention what season it was set; after all, the only BAU characters who appear on-screen for more than a few lines are Derek and Rossi and Garcia, and it's a casefic (so few personal details are shared), so one could imagine it taking place at any season since Rossi joined the team, right?

And I suppose I could still do that!  But.  I just found out that Derek is now married with a baby son at home.  And I think that's AWESOME, showing a black action-hero character who often gets stereotyped as the "angry black man" as a family guy.  And having a family at home would make the kidfic aspects of the story resonate throughout, rather than feeling (as now) tacked on at the end.  It would tie things in nicely.  Only problem is ... like I said, I haven't watched the show in YEARS, I'd never even HEARD about this character until today, in order to write her I'd have to watch the episodes she's in, it would probably add quite a few thousand words to the story (which I thought was in the home stretch!).  AND THE ROUGH DRAFT IS DUE NEXT SUNDAY.  (This fic is for [community profile] wipbigbang )

HALP, WHAT DO I DO?!?!?!?

ETA: Have watched the Savannah Hayes eps available on Netflix, which only has CM through season 10.  Alas, the critical eps--"Derek," "The Sandman," and "A Beautiful Disaster," are not available anywhere free that I can find.  I mean, I could pay the $3/episode to buy them on Amazon.com, but I don't want the eps in and of themselves.  Especially not "The Sandman," which seems to just have one or two short scenes with her in them.  And "A Beautiful Disaster" she's in the hospital in labor.  "Derek" has a long hallucination from Derek about their relationship, which might be worth it, though.

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/319649.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

US Politics: Puerto Rico

I've posted a couple of action alerts to call-email your congressmen about the debt crisis in Puerto Rico.  On Thursday, the House passed the legislation!  WITH the child poverty amendment attached!  Yay!  That's awesome.

Now it just needs to get through the Senate.  If you would like to email your senator to encourage them to vote for it, Jubilee USA has a form here.

This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/319411.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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The European Union is currently coming up with regulations for net neutrality. Regulators will finalize their guidelines by the end of August. They’ve published a draft, and there are some really bad loopholes.

Here"s what the loopholes are, why they"re bad, and how to fix them:Collapse )

United States and Child Nutrition: the U.S. House of Representatives could vote soon on a bill that would roll back years of positive steps toward eliminating childhood hunger in the U.S.

What the problem is and how to email your congresspeopleCollapse )

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As you may know, Puerto Rico is facing a huge debt crisis that has triggered an even bigger humanitarian crisis.  This crisis has come from two parts: first, the US's really screwy laws about Puerto Rico, with all kinds of weird and arcane loopholes just begging for exploitation by the unscrupulous, and second, Puerto Rico's government's own mismanagement, taking advantage of parts of those loopholes without looking at the longterm costs.  These two factors have left Puerto Rico in a really terrible situation, deep in debt with vulture funds demanding payment before social services like schools and hospitals are paid for.

Here"s what you can doCollapse )

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Fic Rec: Periastron

Periastron (9026 words) by splash_the_cat
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Warnings: Major Character Death
Characters: Teal'c (SG-1), Walter Harriman, Paul Davis, Rya'c (SG-1), Original Child Character(s)
Additional Tags: Found Family, Off-screen Character Death, Kid Fic, Kidnapping, au after season 7
Summary: After learning of the loss of the rest of SG-1, Teal'c finds himself once again torn between his two worlds, but he is not alone in his grief.

This is a wonderful story. I love the different take on revealing the SGC to the world, and I love Teal'c's perspective on his duty and his parenting fails, and I love how complicated and nuanced you made Cassandra in so few words. I would love to see Teal'c and Lauren on Kelowna with Jonas, if you ever write more.f This entry was originally posted at http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/318595.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Lo these many years ago, when I was just a fannish newb trying to post fanfic to LJ, my elders passed down to me a secret: how to html code your fic the easy way in Microsoft Word, without either introducing errors or weird characters.  You see, if you use a rich text interface and go directly from Word to the rich text posting, things like smart quotes (quotes which curl toward the quoted text, which is Microsoft's default) will come out as weird characters when viewed in some browsers.  If, however, you post into the html interface, you lose the smart quotes ... but you also lose all other formatting like italics and so forth.  (And AO3 doesn't have the option of a rich text interface, so you HAVE to put in html codes yourself.)  And if you write while inserting the html tags as you go, it looks a lot messier and is harder to read and edit, at least for me, anyway.

And so here I am, passing on what I have learned so that nobody has to hand code all their italics.

Here's the simple and easy way of coding your italics and such in Word.  (Instructions will be using Word 2007, because it's what I'm currently using, but it's roughly the same in every Word version I've ever used.)
  1. Write your fic as if it is a normal story.  If you want to have something italicized, just do it using Word's normal functions.  If you want something bold, do it using Word's normal functions.  Do this with all formatting like that.  Don't put in any html coding at all.  Just remember what formatting you put in that you will want to keep.  EXCEPT scene breaks.  If you use something like this *** and Word turns it into lines for you, stop it from doing that.  (You can do this by hitting the backspace every time it does that, it should revert to *** for you.)  Use consistent characters for scene breaks, the same every time.
  2. When done and ready to post, hit ctrl-F.  This will bring up the Find box.  There are three tabs at the top; Find, Replace, and Go To.  Click Replace.  There will now be two fields in the box, Find What and Replace With.
  3. Put your cursor in the Find What field.  Type in whatever characters you use for scene breaks.  Then put your cursor in the Replace With field, and type < hr > (remove the spaces).  Click the "Replace All" button.  You now have the html code for horizontal lines at all the scene breaks.
  4. Delete the scene break characters from the Find What box.  Click the "More" button; more options should show up.  Down at the bottom, there will be a "Replace" section with three dropdown buttons, one greyed out.  Click the "Format" dropdown and select "Font."  A new dialog box will appear.  Click Italic in the Font Style box, and then Okay.  This dialog box will disappear, taking you back to the Find/Replace box, and underneath the Find What field it will now say Font: Italic.  Move your cursor to the Replace With field and type in < em > (without the spaces).  With your cursor still in the Replace With field, click the "Special" dropdown at the bottom and select "Find What Text."  A caret and ampersand (^&) should show up in the Replace With field.  After the caret ampersand, type < / em > (no spaces).  It should look like this, except without the spaces: < em > ^& < / em >.  Click "Replace All."  All of your italic text will still be italic, but it will now have the html tags around it.  You don't have to worry about remembering to close tags--the open tag will be inserted just before the italics begin, and the close tags will be inserted just after they end, leaving the text in the middle just the same as you typed it.
  5. Do the same with bold text, changing "italic" to "bold" in the Font Style box and using the strong tag instead of the em tag in the Replace With field.
  6. Do the same with any other formatting you want to do in html.
  7. Save As.  Instead of just hitting "Save," click "Save As" button and select .txt from the file type dropdown.  It'll ask you if you're sure, because that will strip out a lot of the formatting.  Click yes--you want to get rid of all of Microsoft's bulky and weird formatting, leaving nothing but your text and html tags.
  8. Open the .txt version of your story in a program like Notepad that does nothing but read .txt files, and copy and paste from there into the HTML posting interface of the site of your choice.
And there you have it!  A lot simpler and easier than typing in your html tags by hand, with no chance of missing a close tag somewhere.
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