I have just one chapter (about twenty pages) left to go in The New Jim Crow, so I will probably finish that either tonight or tomorrow. One thing I learned in the most recent chapter, which I had no idea about is that although prisoners cannot vote while imprisoned, the prison populations are used in creating voting districts and such. Most prisons are built in rural areas with very low, mostly white populations. These areas should hold very little power based on population, but because their numbers are padded by thousands of non-voting (mostly black) prisoners, they gain much more weight. Like the extreme gerrymandering in so many areas, this is nothing but an obvious power grab by republicans who know they don't have the numbers to support themselves in a fair vote. >:(
I'm also just a few chapters away from finishing The Library at Mount Char, too. This book is definitely a wild ride and I'm looking forward to seeing how it ends.
What did you recently finish reading?
I finished up Public Library and Other Stories yesterday, spurred on by the fact that it was due back at the library today. Overall I enjoyed the stories, but found the title and cover blurbs a bit misleading. There was no story called Public Library, and the stories were not so much library-themed as language- and book-themed. They were still good stories, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.
What do you think you'll read next?
Well, I had pre-ordered the new 7 Seeds and just got an email from Amazon last night that it had been downloaded to my ipad, so I will probably be reading that pretty soon. The last chapter apparently came out this month, but I'm not sure how many more volumes that will be since I don't follow the chapters as they're published, but probably just one or two. Maybe more if she does bonus material like she did for Basara.
Title: Koi-iji: Love Glutton
Original Title: こいいじ (Koiiji)
Author: Shimura Takako
Status in Japan: 6 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates
Summary: 31-year-old Mame has been in love with her childhood friend Souta ever since she can remember. Despite multiple rejections, her love has stayed constant. It's become a habit more than anything, but is it one she'll ever be able to break and get on with her life?
Chapter Summary: Souta's reaction when Mame tells him she broke up with Kawada-san is the last thing she was expecting.
Chapter 18: Something's Gotta Give
Senate Republicans have finally released what appears to be the draft text of H.R. 1628, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.”
It’s 142 pages, and to be honest, I’m having a hard time deciphering it all. (Not a lawyer or a legislator.) But here are some things that stood out at me…
Elimination of the individual and employer mandate. (Pages 10-11)
Tax repeals on medications, health insurance, health savings accounts, etc. (Pages 25-29)
This includes the “Repeal of Tanning Tax” on page 29.
The continuing attack on abortion rights.
“Disallowance of small employer health insurance credit for plan which includes coverage for abortion.” (Pages 8-9)
“No Federal funds provided from a program referred to in this subsection that is considered direct spending for any year may be made available to a State for payments to a prohibited entity,” which is then defined as an entity providing abortion services except in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman’s life is in danger. (Page 35)
According to a USA Today analysis, this bill would:
- Reduce or eliminate most subsidies for individuals and families
- “Eliminate the ACA’s requirement that insurers can’t charge older customers more than three times what younger customers pay for the same coverage. Instead, those in their 60s could be charged five times as much, or more.”
- Eliminate penalties to large employers who choose not to offer health insurance. (Elimination of the employer mandate.)
- Make it easier to drop coverage for things like maternity care and mental health issues.
CNN points out that the bill would also:
- Defund Planned Parenthood for a year.
- Require coverage of preexisting conditions. However, it also lets states “waive the federal mandate on what insurers must cover… This would allow insurers to offer less comprehensive policies, so those with pre-existing conditions may not have all of their treatments covered.”
A PBS article says the bill would:
- Cap and reduce Medicaid funding, and allow states to add a work requirement for “able-bodied” recipients of Medicaid.
- Provide $2 billion to help states fight opioid addiction
- It preserves health care for people with preexisting conditions (with the potential exceptions noted in the CNN bullets, above), and allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan through age 26.
- It expands health care savings accounts.
- It provides a short-term stabilization fund to help struggling insurance markets.
The Congressional Budget Office is expected to release their report on the senate bill next week. The CBO estimated that the House-passed bill would result in 26 million fewer insured Americans by 2026, and would cut the budget by $119 billion over the same time. (Source)
Nothing here is particularly shocking. I’m glad I and my family can’t be kicked off our insurance for our various preexisting conditions…though some of those conditions might no longer be covered, which sucks. It would hurt the poor, the elderly, women, and the mentally ill, among others. None of my readers will be shocked to hear that I think this is another step backward. The ACA was far from perfect — it’s like a patient with a broken leg, but instead of trying to fix the broken leg, we’ll just throw them through a woodchipper, because hey, it’s cheaper!
It looks like this may be a tight vote, which would make this an excellent time to call your Senator.
Please keep any comments civil. I’m angry about this too, but I don’t have the time or the spoons to moderate fights and nastiness today. (Which probably means I shouldn’t have posted this in the first place, but I never claimed to be that bright…)
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Then, this morning, my company announced a position that I would be really good at, and which would be a promotion, and I'm trying to figure out whether I apply or not. The biggest downside would be the lack of flexibility I would have with my hours if I got it, and I'm not sure that's negotiable. I think that's contributing to my overall state of mind - it's a great opportunity, but I'm really not sure that I can do it and have PTSD at the same time. (I feel like Josh Lyman. Where's my Leo McGarry?)
It's also hot, and my house doesn't have central air, which makes doing the tidying, cleaning, and laundry that would make my house feel like a refuge very hard to accomplish. Yikes-a-mighty, I need a brain transplant. Or lacking that, the equivalent of a caffeine jolt to the brain - something that makes it feel energized and sharp. Right now it's very sluggish. Poor brain. Needs a vacation.
[R]ed tape also means regulations that protect citizens, at a certain cost to companies that otherwise have little incentive to sacrifice some profit to mitigate risk. It is because of red tape that you cannot buy a flammable sofa, and that you are very unlikely to die in an air crash.
Much red tape, indeed, is the frozen memory of past disaster. Modern regulatory regimes as a whole came into being in the late 19th and early 20th centuries because of public outrage at the dangerous practices of unrestrained industry.
This is perhaps partly similar to the phenomenon that having effective infrastructure and ongoing regular maintenance of same is not as dramatic a story as horrendous accidents.
It's possibly also analogous to people becoming anti-vaxxers, because vaccination programmes have been so successful that there is no notion of the risks there used to be from common diseases of childhood.
For the first few years of 'there were no new cases of polio in the last twelve months' this is news. And then that becomes the default setting.
For those who decry 'Elf and Safety, I recommend a salutary reading of the London Medical Officer of Health reports from the C19th, freely available digitised and searchable online.
There are some Victorian values one can get behind, and the rise of public health is one of them.
On other Victorian values, however, and those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it, this person seems unaware that providing tied housing contingent upon working for a particular employer is nothing like a 'welfare state':
it was recently reported that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is spending is around $30m to provide short-term, prefab housing for 300 of its employees because Silicon Valley housing is in such short supply. Tech giants helped cause a housing crisis in Silicon Valley, now it seems they are becoming landlords. It’s feudalism 2.0.Not so much feudalism as C19th model towns, e.g. Saltaire, founded by businessmen to keep their workers contented and (I hypothesise) spurning the trades union movement (having had to do with a late C19th enterprise with some of the same elements of benevolent paternalism towards the workforce).
And, looking at that article, was New Lanark really quite the same thing? Enlightened capitalism not quite the same as utopian socialism.
Also had the thought that people who are 'regulation BAD' seem to reverse this opinion when it comes to panic measures against terrorism that are often symbolic rather than proven efficacious.
The Heiress Effect, by Courtney Milan.
The conceit of this book is brilliant. She has to stay single, for complicated family reasons, but her plan will stop working if she turns down any reasonable offer, so she has to make her person repellent enough to counterbalance the attraction of her considerable fortune -- without letting anyone see that she's doing it on purpose. I love it when the obstacles in a romance are not stupid! I love comedy of manners, when it puts extra constraints on the protagonist's solution space! Especially when the protagonist using a formidable intelligence and an immense amount of work to seem foolish and ineffectual!
I was disappointed that this book ignores the constraints that don't assist the story it wants to tell. (For example, these unmarried gentlewomen would not go to a dinner-party in a house without a hostess. One of them is accompanied by a chaperone, another is with her sister, and that is adequate for excursions in public places in daylight, but after dark, in a house full of young men -- no. It would not do.) These elements might not move the story forward directly, but they would do a lot to make the societal forces our heroes are working against seem powerful and real.
• What did you recently finish reading?
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, by Amy Schumer. DNF. It isn't a bad book, but the more I read of it the more I found myself resenting the idea that it would be one of the approximately 3000 new books I have time left to read. Its greatest appeal for me is how thoroughly Schumer fights against shame. Read for Tawanda book group.
• What do you think you’ll read next?
I put a Climbing Mount TBR challenge on my Habitica To-Do list, but I'm not sure how to tackle it. Two of my book groups are on summer hiatus, so I have room to move. I like melannen's FMK polls, and I keep thinking I could do that too, but when I look at my shelves and ask, "Which of these are you going to read, really?" and "Which of these do you need to keep, really?" my answer is always, "All of them. All. Yes, even that one."
Gah. Have to pick just one.
( I'm going with pirates. )
2. We stopped at Hungry Pocket on the way back from the library and got lamb shawarma for dinner. Haven't been there in ages, but it's as delicious as ever.
3. Look at these two sweeties sleeping together!
“One of the things we are figuring out is have these guys been off the coast and we haven’t seen them? Are they moving inshore for a different reason?” said Sorensen.
YES AND I THINK WE KNOW WHAT THAT IS. Let me know when they reach Washington.
They're known as the "unicorn of the sea", apparently, so should clearly be claimed as a symbolic animal by you (glowing) asexual people out there.
ETA: Wikipedia just provided me with this beautiful quote:
"I have just watched the moon set in all her glory, and looked at those lesser moons, the beautiful Pyrosoma, shining like white-hot cylinders in the water" (T.H. Huxley, 1849).
Tomorrow we'll head to Santa Cruz, and hit up Monterey on the way, and after a couple of nights in Santa Cruz, we'll go to San Francisco.
I'm really liking the beachfront place. The front office gave us two rooms, one with a view of the ocean downstairs, and one upstairs with a fireplace. And I snagged the downstairs immediately because I wanted to work at a desk with a view of the sea. It's not been working, of course, because I spent most of the evening texting with A instead of working. But hope spring eternal?? We don't have to check out until noon anyway.
Also lifted a nice free rain-noise-maker from apiphile. We've also been having small daily unscheduled thunderstorms ever since. I will just assume that's how this works, then.
I wanted this book because of the cover even before I read the premise. Then I read the premise, and I still want it. I also want a ginormous robot.
I poked around in my resources because I was threatening to write up a post on the Adinkra symbols, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. This isn't a bad list, though. I'm not using all of those, and there's others I am using that are not on the list, and furthermore, some of the symbols are not exactly like the images shown, but that's the idea.
I was kinda hoping I picked up a new job before the Santa Rosa Gardens summer sale, 'cause things sell out fast. They have it every midsummer and it's a good chance to get a lot of perennials I can't find locally at good prices. They ship kinda beat up and rootbound because this is the end of the shipping season, and for some reason, UPS loves to kick the crap out of my plant boxes in particular? But they're perennials, you shove them in the ground and water them and next year if they like where they were put, they're just fine (and if they didn't I just dig them up and move them), and the year after that, they're awesome. Never had a problem with this company.
Sometimes Apartment Therapy can be...something (and the commenters abrasive), but then they post cute couples like this, and everybody melts. Their style is still a little too on the monochrome minimalist side for me, but these gentlemen had this great idea where they had a poster made of the coordinates of where they met, and I totally want to steal this idea and run away with it. (39.9511° N, 75.1681° W, if you're curious.)
A little something about accounting in cuneiform, because it is relevant to my worldbuilding interests. Via conuly.
I now want a story about The Maroon Resistance living in socialist utopias in the Great Dismal Swamp.
I've cleaned out my email boxes, I've gone through and pulled a bunch of dead feeds and stuff out of my dw circle, as I haven't done any maintenance for a few years, and replaced them with new and shiny feeds, and I've also added a few new comms and stuff. While I was at it, I did notice I was unsubscribed from a few people that I was following and seemed to have revoked access to a few people as well. I fixed that too. So if you got notifications from my direction today, that's why. And now my circle is more-or-less functional and I get bonus random pretty horse picspam and tons of art thrown at me. I will count this as a win. Now I can sleep.
So: 30 days of songs, which are likely to be YouTube embeds (but maybe not, because I have a great love for a lot of filk that's never made it to YouTube); some are likely to get a lot of commentary, and others are likely to be "here it is, end of the day... um, have a music thing."
SUMMER SOLSTICE JAM PARTY BEGINS NOW.
( List of Songs to Post Later )