June 23rd, 2017
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 23/06/2017
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael, Norman Lamb
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable

You'll note that Norman Lamb has moved from probably standing to definitely not standing. He announced this with rather petulant article in the Grauniad, in which (among other things) he proclaimed the Lib Dems' second referendum policy as toxic. Now I agree, it is toxic. "First we'll negotiate brexit, then we'll set up a referendum, then we'll campaign against the deal we ourselves negotiated!" is an utterly ridiculous policy. The problem is, it was only in the sodding manifesto due to the insistence of people on the rump brexity wing of the party, of which Norman Lamb is definitely one. This was as far as the rest of the party, who just wanted "we will stop brexit" to be the manifesto position, could be dragged. Policy making by committee often comes up with soggy centrist compromises, and often that's a good thing and satisfies most people, but sometimes it's patently rubbish. This time was the latter. What I don't get is Captain Brexit blaming the rest of the party for it. Well, I do. He'd like us to embrace brexit. And that is not going to happen.

Anyway, the rest of the article sticks the boot in to members in various other ways, and alludes to, but doesn't actually acknowledge, the problems autistic people have with the idea of Norman as a leader, and frankly, just makes me glad he's not standing. At least he has the self-knowledge to know he's not right to lead the party as it currently is, even if he declares it in a rather Skinnerian way.

Principal Skinner asks a pertinent question

So the only likely runner at this point undeclared is Ed Davey. And there will be siren idiots voices whispering in his ear, saying:
Don't stand, Ed. Leadership elections are expensive, Ed. They are divisive and set party members up against each other, ed. It'd be easier all round just to crown Vince, Ed. You don't want the hassle, Ed. The party doesn't want the hassle, Ed. Lets just have a coronation, Ed.
To which I say, pish, tosh, bunkum, bollocks, and bullshit.

Yes, leadership elections are divisive, and do set members up against each other, and sometimes even cause resentments. Do you know what's even more divisive, and causes even more resentments? Not letting Lib Dems have democracy. Not letting us scrutinise each candidate and come to a decision on merit. Not having hustings at which we can put questions to candidates and examine their views and records and promises. Imposing a leader on us without us having a say. I can guarantee you that while a leadership election might be divisive, it's nowhere near as divisive as a coronation.

Now, Ed Davey told one of the BBC politics correspondents (I think Norman Smith) the other day that he would declare whether or not he was standing "on Thursday or Friday". He didn't declare yesterday. I'm hoping he declares he's standing today.

And if you'd told me last month I'd be crossing my fingers for Ed Davey to run in a leadership election, I'd have thought you insane in the membrane, crazy insane, got no brain. Just goes to show what a funny old world it is...
Mood:: 'morose' morose
June 22nd, 2017
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 22/06/2017
June 21st, 2017
splix: (holiday inn by karitawyr)
posted by [personal profile] splix at 08:26am on 21/06/2017 under
Hi all. It's been ages since I posted and if I put it off much longer it's going to turn into one of those situations where I keep procrastinating and end up not posting for months, so.

Anyway, I went to the Pittsburgh area recently to see my sister and to go see U2. It was a terrific experience. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to go because of my health, but because it was right before a chemo treatment I was able to make it, even though I had to go to a hospital there to get bloodwork done, bah.

What follows are a bunch of pictures: of my sister's gorgeous farmhouse that was built in 1875, of her new small house that she and her husband built while they're restoring the old farmhouse, of Pittsburgh and the show, and a couple of random others.

check it out! )
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Arachnia Janeway)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 03:35pm on 21/06/2017 under
I think the argument boils down to two things: what you earn, and what you picture in your head as a rich person's lifestyle.

£70,000 is in the 95th percentile for personal income. This means that if you earn £70,000 you earn more than 94% (or thereabouts) of people. If you're earning more than 94% of your fellow countrymen, you ought to be rich, right? Like, if you're better off than the vast, vast majority of people, you should feel well off, or else how must the poor buggers on less than you feel?

The problem is, of course, that £70,000 doesn't actually buy that much these days. Like, it won't get you a mortgage on a decent house anywhere in the home counties. It won't buy you a new car and a couple of holidays every year after housing costs. It won't pay school fees for your little ones to go to private school once you've paid for housing costs either. £70,000 a year doesn't feel rich; and that's what the problem is.

If you look at the lifestyles our parents had, well, this is what my parents did in the 80s:
  • owned a home
  • bought a new car every two years
  • didn't go on foreign holidays but DID send me to private school
  • were in the pub three nights a week
etc., etc.

Now, I'm not saying they didn't work for that: they did. My dad had two full time jobs (mild mannered biology teacher by day, superchef by night) and my mum worked 9-5 too. They worked bloody hard. But the same amount of work in the same jobs these days would get you, if you were lucky:
  • a rented house that is one of three poky little Barratt boxes built in the back garden of the kind of house your parents owned
  • a second hand banger that you run till it dies, or a bus/rail pass
  • a cheap holiday for now, but only until brexit happens and then we have to pay visa fees and the exchange rate is knackered and oh look we can only afford Butlins
  • Pre-loading because the pubs are so bloody expensive, thank you alcohol duty escalator
Now most of the people I see arguing about this are either saying "£70k is mega rich, you're in the 95th percentile FFS" or "£70k is not that rich when you consider what you can buy" but not many are following both thoughts through.

How bloody scandalous is it that even if you're in the 95th percentile you are still struggling, and you are well worse off than your parents would have been on an equivalent income adjusted for inflation etc.? If 95% of the country is not getting a good enough income, that's a bloody disgrace and somebody ought to do something about it.

Anybody know any politicians?
miss_s_b: (Default)
The relevant part (and the reason why I am posting this) will also be made bigger and bolder for those hard of thinking people. I thought I'd post the whole thing again though, just because it's periodically useful to do so.

Hello! There now follow some handy hints on how to make the most of your Reading My Blog experience:
  • If you don't like my colour scheme (I am aware that many people don't) add "?style=light" to the end of any url to get a different version, or "?style=mine" if you have a dreamwidth account. For an explanation of why I have it like this, see here
  • If you want to know more about me, click here
  • If you haven't got a dreamwidth account you can still log in and comment or participate in polls with openID.
  • Other platforms I am active on are listed here.

Comments Policy:
  • Anonymous commenting is enabled, although anon comments are screened before publication; please, if you comment anonymously, give yourself a name/pseudonym/some form of identifier. If you don't your comment will not be unscreened.
  • I don't screen comments from people I know unless pushed VERY hard. Red lines include racism, misogyny, homophobia, unjoking advocation of violence, and being horrible about (or to) people I love. Anons tend to get a lot less leeway and a lot less benefit of the doubt; sorry. My blog, my rules.
  • If you want to point out cock-ups I have made, please direct them to Pedants' Corner; likewise if you want to ask me something off the topic of the post please go to this entry - this saves readers' scrolling fingers.
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 21/06/2017
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Arachnia Janeway)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 10:16am on 21/06/2017
... especially to all those of us who fear the filthy day star and can now look forward to inexorably encroaching cool soft darkness for the next 6 whole months :)
Mood:: 'busy' busy
June 20th, 2017
the_little_owl: self-portrait (Default)
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
... and to nobody's surprise it is Vince Cable.

I like Vince, as a person. I like his stance on bees. I like his dancing.

None of those three things makes him suitable to be leader of the party, though. I mean, yes, he's got long service. And he did that one joke when he was acting leader that one time. But I'd really like something more than that to enthuse about in a potential leader.

Plus, there's all the things that make him unsuitable to be leader:
  • He's not a liberal, he's a technocratic centrist. This is fine if you are (shadow) chancellor; commendable, even. It's not acceptable in the leader. The leader needs to inspire. Technocratic centrism is the opposite of inspirational.

  • His stance on brexit is... at odds with the majority of the party's members and voters is probably the kindest way of putting it, and is already bringing out the "but we must appease the racists! We can't tell people they are wrong!" faction. If he wins, and maintains this stance, I predict a halving of our membership in pretty short order.

  • Tuition fees. OK, so he's not entirely to blame for the policy cock up (all those of us who voted for coalition, myself included, must take out share of that blame) but he is the person responsible for the catastrophic mishandling of the implementation and representation of it, and a big part of the reason Labour, why a party which introduced and then trebled tuition fees, can still point at them like an albatross round our necks.

  • The British Press, bless them, are not known for their nuance and balance. His name will be "Sir Vince Cable, the man who privatised the mail" - whether he wins the leadership or not, tbh.

  • Ten years ago he declared that by his own reckoning, he was too old. I do not believe he has got younger in that time.
All that said? I'll give him a fair hearing at hustings. He'll have his chance to impress me. I just don't see him doing it.

So far, to my knowledge, the field looks like this:

Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Norman Lamb, Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable

If anyone else declares that they are definitely standing I shall go into my reasons further, but based on Ds&Ps, and subject to persuasion at hustings, I expect my ballot to look like this:
  1. RON
  2. Davey
  3. Cable
  4. resigning from the party
  5. Lamb
There has been talk that there might be an online ballot this time, rather than a paper one. If that is the case I shall lobby very hard indeed for it to have at least one free text box for write in candidates and/or voting RON. Voters should be able to express their displeasure at the options on the ballot on any and every ballot, this one included.
June 18th, 2017
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 18/06/2017
June 17th, 2017
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 17/06/2017
June 16th, 2017
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
posted by [personal profile] xnera at 11:46am on 16/06/2017 under ,
I'm making this post public, so feel free to share it with other friends who play!

To start off, let's go over the in-game announcements from this week: the Brave Frontier crossover is back! With it comes the 6* awakening of Tilith who is amazing. Here are her new skills:

* Affectionate Aura - Increase resistance to status breaks (100%) for 3 turns to all allies
* Sealed Light - Remove all status effects from all enemies
* Prism Heal - Restore HP (2500) and MP (50) to all allies except caster
* Radiant Light - Recover HP (100%) to all allies
* Goddess's Revelation - Revive all KO'd allies (100% HP)

This banner is a limited time only, so once it's over, Tilith and friends are gone. She's the best healer in the game, and will be for a good six months or so, so if you can, try to pull for her. Alas, the drop rates for this banner are really, really low. :( So, good luck, everyone!

Now, onto the E3 announcements! As you might know, FFBE's Global one-year anniversary is on June 29th, so we have a lot of exciting stuff coming out!
  • Expeditions - if you've played Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, you'll be familiar with these. Expeditions allow you to send a unit out to perform a particular task. While the unit is out on expedition, it cannot be used in a party. There are special rewards for undertaking expeditions, but it's not clear yet what those are.
  • EX point system - this is a new currency that you get when you purchase lapis, and can be used for items, tickets, and perhaps even a special unit that you can't get any other way!
  • Esper SP reset - did you screw up your grid when training your espers? Not to worry - you'll be able to reset the grid and start over for 100 lapis.
  • Removal of crafting time - All items will be crafted instantly!
  • New Dungeon Tiers Unlocked - Cactuar Dunes, Gil Cave and Enchanted Maze will gain an additional level that drops better units.
  • Story Unit Special Dungeons - special dungeons will be released in which you can only use the seven story characters. The dungeons drop equipment that has special properties for those units, but that can be used on any unit.
  • Sharing summon results - You'll be able to share your summon results on social media
  • Guaranteed 5* base in a 10+1 pull - there's confusion over whether this will be a free pull or not, so start saving lapis, just in case it's not!
  • Free Summon Campaign - get an additional free summon for 28 days!
  • Vault of Hidden Treasures - for two weeks there will be a special, easy dungeon that drops pots, cactuars, and other items
  • Anniverary Special Bundle - there will be a special bundle available for purchase, but we don't know the particulars yet
  • Special daily login rewards - the reward board is supposed to be really good for July, so keep logging in! There will also be a special reward for clearing the whole board
  • 5* vision shards - Right now, you can summon special unit Kelsus from vision shards. There will be more such units in the future, so hold on to your excess shards!
  • Enhancing Units - there will be a rate up chance of getting Great and Amazing results when enhancing units.
  • Half NRG Campaign - dungeons will be half their cost for the anniversary celebration period!
  • All Portals Open - All the portals in the vortex will be open
  • Fujimoto Rainbow Hoodie - players will receive this special equipment. All we know so far is that it is clothes--we don't know the stats.
  • FFX BANNER IS COMING! - Rikku, Tidus and Wakka are coming on June 29th!


For those not in the know, Rikku is the best support unit in the game. She has AoE 100% raise, and her limit burst is AoE Re-Raise! You'll definitely want to pull her. She's a 4* unit, so might be a little tricky to get, but won't be too bad. Tidus is a strong DPS who can chain with himself.

Also! There are rumors floating around that we will be getting Warrior of Light's 6* awakening soon! He becomes the best tank in the game, as he has AoE cover abilities.

That's it! Exciting stuff, isn't it?
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 16/06/2017
June 15th, 2017
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 15/06/2017
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 09:31am on 15/06/2017
One of the most depressingly predictable things about the lib dems is if/when a leader gets pushed out, the circular firing squad immediately forms.

This morning lots of people I care about are screaming "it's all YOUR fault, you bastards!" at each other, in an extremely unhelpful way. They probably all have something of a point, if I'm honest. But hurling insults at each other is just hurtful. And some of the rank hypocrisy on display from people who are saying things to the effect of "wah, those arseholes are being mean to me, when all I said was Tim Farron/Jo Swinson/Vince Cable/Brian Paddick should be eviscerated with pointy spoons and have acid poured in the wound" is frankly turning my stomach.

And we haven't even started the leadership election yet...

* sigh *

Shall we have a nice chorus of Wouldn't It Be Nice If Everyone Was Nice?
Mood:: 'depressed' depressed
June 14th, 2017
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 14/06/2017
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
Having blogged recently about how nice it's been the last couple of years not having to post about the stupid decisions Our Glorious Leader has taken twice a week, every week, I had this drawn to my attention this morning.

I'm sorry, Tim, but what are you DOING? The absolute worst possible thing you can do right now is water down our position on brexit. It's a colossal national act of self harm, in ten years' time you won't be able to find anybody who will admit to having supported it, our membership and voters are massively against it, and you want to tie us to it? Have you gone COMPLETELY Tonto? Why are you spouting the brexiteers ridiculous "will of the people" line? It doesn't make you look grown up, it makes you look weak and stupid.

Our USP at the moment, the one thing we have going for us, is that we are solidly anti-brexit. We already watered it down far too much in the manifesto. And you're throwing even that away? For what? We're not going to get any positive press for it, the press are uniformly hostile whatever we do. The only press we will get out of this is "See? Brexit is inevitable! Even the Lib Dems support it now!" That's not going to attract new members and supporters, in fact it will drive away lots of the existing ones.

And worst of all, it proves all our critics right: we look like weak, unprincipled fence-sitters.

Honestly, what is it with the lib dem instinct to, every time we manage to get a USP, throw it away? I'll never bloody understand it.
Mood:: 'frustrated' frustrated
June 13th, 2017
miss_s_b: (Default)
Here's my current top ten:
  1. Jen Williams - I'm with Gadsden on this, Jen is the best political journalist in the UK right now. Mancunian focus, but covers national stuff too. Forensic with information, and does proper investigative journalism as well as straight reporting. If you only follow one from this list, make it Jen.

  2. Marina Hyde - absolutely brutal yet hilariously funny political columnist. I've never yet read a Marina column that didn't make me laugh, then think, then laugh again.

  3. Samira Ahmed - freelancer who pops up all over the place, often Radio 4. Her twitter feed is exactly the kind of blend of politics and geekery I adore - her recent visit to Bamber Gascoigne's house was a delight. Often connects geekery with politics, which is fab.

  4. Rosamund Urwin - Jobbing journo, mostly writing for the Evening Standard. Excellent spotter of details, possibly because she's just as much of a politics geek as those of us in it up to our eyeballs, and is therefore paying more attention and getting more right than many of the lobby hacks.

  5. Jessica Elgot - Grauniad politics correspondent. Jessica is where I go for straight Westminster bubble news, as it happens.

  6. Judith Moritz - BBC North of England correspondent. Was astoundingly good on Hillsborough, among other things.

  7. Susan Hulme - presents Today In/Yesterday In Parliament on Radio 4. Excellent coverage of stories some others don't pick up - recent example being the gay concentration camps in Chechnya.

  8. Isabel Hardman - writes for the Speccy on politics. Also very good on mental health issues. Not to be confused with Oakeshott, who is Wrong Isabel. Don't follow Wrong Isabel.

  9. Joanne Douglas - Yorkshire politics, with a focus on West Yorkshire, especially Huddersfield. Like Jen Williams, Joanne digs deeper and goes harder than most local paper political journos.

  10. Helen Pidd - Grauniad North of England correspondent. So dedicated to the depth of stories is she that she took in a Syrian refugee last year.
Yes, this is C&Ped and edited slightly from an earlier entry. And you're going to keep getting it until people pay more attention to the ladies on this list, and less to the ill-informed cishetabledwhitemale lobby hacks that dominate political commentary in this country.
June 12th, 2017
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 12/06/2017

December

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
 
2
 
3
 
4 5 6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30 31