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--Update 2016-11-30: After the Green Party filed for a recount and paid Wisconsin's estimated fee, Wisconsin more than tripled the fee: Now WI wants 3.5 million dollars. And they're trying to get away with just a machine recount, not having real human beings examine the ballots.

Hillary is now suing to make Wisconsin do a real hand recount. And she's recruiting volunteers to help with the hand recount.

Also, Wisconsin's initial vote tallies include at least two places with more ballots cast than registered voters, a Trump campaign staffer in MI has been convicted of felony election fraud, and - in this year of massive public focus on the presidential race - Michigan and Florida claim that amazingly large numbers of people voted on every question except who should be President.

Pretty much all my news tonight is from http://www.palmerreport.com/

RECOUNT!!

Nov. 26th, 2016 09:34 pm
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A computer scientist has pointed out irregularities in reported election outcomes in at least three states, in this 2016 US presidential election. These irregularities correlate with counties that use electronic voting with no human verification.

The only people with legal standing to request a hand count of all votes are the candidates. There are two barriers to requesting a recount: one is how it will look, and the other is cost. Recounts triggered by a state's automatic-recount law are paid for by the state, but a candidate requesting a recount has to pay for it themselves. There is a federal law that all recounts must be completed by Dec. 13th, so the nation can have a firm outcome and get on with life. Election workers will have to be paid for a lot of hours, including a lot of nights-and-weekends overtime, to finish by the deadline.

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, has filed a petition for a full hand recount in Wisconsin. She has a fundraiser up to cover recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania too; all three states had suspicious results.

Ms. Stein says this is an effort to ensure results are valid, and that everyone's vote is recorded correctly. That's all true and important. Honest and accurate elections are the basis of democracy.

I'm glad to see this is happening. I don't trust electronic counting one inch; you can display anything on a computer, regardless of what was scanned into one of its ports.

And I can't help noticing that Wisconsin has 10 electoral votes, Pennsylvania has 20, and Michigan has 16. Trump's total margin (reported) was 20 electoral votes.

Please, if you are a U.S. citizen or legal resident with any donation budget left, donate to the recount. We need to know the truth.

(Edited to add the detail that only U.S. citizens or legally resident aliens (Hi! Your tentacles are looking gorgeous today!) can donate for this.)
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Happy birthday, Oursin!
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I've been meaning to recommend The Marriage Bureau for Rich People for a while. Especially since K. Tempest Bradford suggested reading more non-white-males.

The short recommendation is, if you like Jane Austen you will like Farahad Zama.

The long version is: the author is from India. He lives in the U.K. I think he wrote this because he was homesick. It is a lovely cozy story where pretty much everyone is nice, and there are lots of details of daily and domestic life. The interest and tension come from watching very nice, virtuous people struggle with social and economic constraints.

It's a lot like Jane Austen: you are expected, practically required, to get married. There is an appropriate age: early to late twenties, no later. Divorce is a terrible, life-blighting scandal. Parents have a lot of power over even adult children's lives.

It's an ensemble story, but it centers on Mr. Ali, who recently retired from government service and starts a matchmaking business on his front porch, to keep busy. (The 'rich people' of the title means doctors, lawyers, engineers: people making the equivalent of $50,000 American, enough to afford the services of a professional matchmaker.) It also centers on Aruna, the young woman he hires (on his wife's advice) as an assistant.

Mr. and Mrs. Ali are Moslem. Aruna's family are Hindu and Brahmins. The author shows how both households are run and shows a Moslem wedding and a Brahmin wedding. Anyone who's been enjoying the adventures of Madame CC will probably also enjoy this.
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Happy Birthday, Oursin!

Apologies for missing the day.
kathmandu: Close-up of pussywillow catkins. (Default)
Happy Birthday, Box of Delights!
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Happy Birthday, Oursin!
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I saw this video on James Nicol's page of honey badgers escaping from their pens. The thing that caught my attention was the ones in a pit, like a house foundation, deliberately taking hold of a long object and tipping it against the wall, then climbing the object to get out. That's tool use.
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Happy Birthday, BoxofDelights!
kathmandu: Close-up of pussywillow catkins. (Default)
Happy birthday, Oursin!
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I went to a hippie college. We didn't have fraternities and sororities. We didn't even have sports teams. We were an unworldly bunch who were frequently to be found in the library, working on class stuff, of a Saturday afternoon. Or out banding seabirds, for the more field-biology-oriented types.

But there was a neighborhood soccer league. Enough people from my college joined that eventually there was a whole team formed of college hippies. They were vaguely aware there was a convention of naming sports teams after fierce, impressive predators: Lions or Tigers or Bears.

The college was in Maine.

The team name was the Blackflies.
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I have been reading economics articles, and noticing how much "wealth" gets invoked. Investment-advice columns talk endlessly about investing your wealth, and wealth-accumulation strategies, and the average wealth of the average American family.

And the thing is, the average American family does not actually have any wealth. There was a recent survey that reported about half of Americans would have a hard time coming up with a thousand dollars on a week's notice (which is more notice than you actually get of the car or the furnace breaking down).

It's all surprisingly reminiscent of women's supermarket magazines, with their endless articles on "beauty" and beauty tips and beauty regimens and beauty products.

In both cases, we're facing a huge tide of propaganda, attempting to convince us that we have what we don't have---or rather, that we can have it if we buy their products.
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I was just reading yet another political argument where yet another person argued that we can't ever have an egalitarian society, or even a society with a reasonable baseline level of well-being guaranteed to everyone, because people want to outrank their neighbor on a relative scale more than they want to be prosperous/safe/happy on an absolute scale.

I don't think that's true. At least, it isn't true of everyone. Most of the people I know want a comfortable life with the chance to pursue their hobbies, and no one picking on them. Provided they can have that, they don't care if someone else has more/better/trendier whatsits.

I am willing to believe that some people really do want to be the least-poor person in a poverty-stricken society more than they want to be prosperous and surrounded by other prosperous people, but not many. Furthermore, they fuss a lot at the shock of losing status symbols, but once they're over that they are just as focused on getting minimum needs met as the rest of humanity.

So I think the repeated rhetoric about 'people will never accept a strong safety net or taxation to pay for universally-valuable services' is mostly propaganda, with just a thin backing of people who care a lot about being on top.
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When I was growing up, we kids liked ramen noodles. But Mom wouldn't let us eat them plain -- she said they weren't nutritious enough. So the way we were allowed to eat them was:

Ramen Noodles with Green Peas, Cheese, and Yogurt

1) Take one package of ramen noodles. Remove the flavor-packet. Put a (small) pot of water on to boil.
2) Chop up one to two ounces of cheese. I prefer cheddar or colby.
3) When the water boils, drop the ramen noodles in. Turn down heat a bit so it won't boil over. Poke the noodles a bit with a fork so they'll all get wet.
4) Get out frozen peas.
5) At the three-minute mark, pour some peas (maybe a quarter-cup? as many as you'd like) into the boiling noodles and water.
6) Immediately drain off all the water.
7) Put pot with noodles and peas back on the stove. Stir to release steam. Immediately dump in the flavor-packet. Also dump in the chopped cheese. Stir cheese in so it starts to melt.
8) Promptly (before the cheese finishes melting) get out the yogurt and dump a couple big spoonfuls into the pot. The idea here is to use unflavored, unsweetened, nonfat yogurt: it adds protein without adding fat. And fruit flavoring just would not go at all.
9) Stir thoroughly.

This produces warm-but-not-hot noodles with some vegetable content, some protein content, and a mellower and less overwhelmingly salty flavor. It's very cheap, only takes fifteen minutes to make, and only uses one pot.

It tastes exactly the same after it's cooled. This may not sound like a selling point, but it meant this was my default food for carrying along with me: safe for several hours without refrigeration, and just as appetizing as when it was new.
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"wiki" is not a proper noun. A wiki is a website set up to be easily editable by lots of people working independently, usually to pool their knowledge. There are wikis for pooling knowledge on science fiction, on sewing patterns, and on architecture. Wikipedia is a specific site; its name is capitalized because it is a proper noun.

Citing the source of your information as "wiki" is no kind of citation at all.
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Today was a presidential primary. In my state, you can vote in any one party's primary.

I think the Republican candidates are all equally awful, just in slightly different ways. I don't care which of them gets nominated.
I'm not much happier about Obama, but he's running unopposed. Which means he'll be the Democratic candidate no matter what.

A primary election in which your least-disliked candidate is unopposed is the perfect example of a time when your vote will make no difference in the course of government.

So I thought a little about the possibilities, and then I got a Democratic ballot, and wrote in Glass & Steagall.
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Posted as part of the "Cooking for People Who Don't" Blog Carnival (Carnival the First: Food Security) organized by [personal profile] commodorified.

This is a very simple, easy (and cheap! Did I mention cheap?) recipe made from things that keep well. It also counts as a vegetable dish and a protein dish. Tastes yummy, warms you up on a cold night, looks elegant if served elegantly. Total cooking time maybe fifteen minutes.

I usually make it as a stovetop dish. Hot plate would be fine, microwave should work also, just make sure to bring to a boil before adding the egg and heat again until the egg solidifies. All proportions are to taste. The only key point is 'bring to a boil, add egg while stirring so it gets spread out thoroughly, cook a little bit more until done'.

Quantities given are for one vegetarian with a small appetite, or two to three people as an appetizer. Scale up as necessary, but only on a stovetop---a microwave probably wouldn't heat evenly enough.

Ingredients:
Water / chicken broth / veggie bouillon, two cups
Tomato paste, about two to three tablespoons
Egg, one

1) Heat the water or broth and stir in the tomato paste.

2) Break the egg into a small bowl or cup, stir lightly with a fork so the white and yolk are well mixed.
(If you don't have an extra bowl or cup, you can break the egg directly into the boiling liquid and immediately stir like crazy. The egg will form larger lumps and need to cook a bit longer, but you'll still have cooked food.)

3) When the tomato liquid boils, turn down the heat (or remove from the microwave). Pick up the bowl of egg in one hand and a fork in the other hand. Pour egg slowly into liquid, while stirring. The egg should form long thin ribbons.

4) Turn the burner back on or microwave on high, briefly, so the egg is solid and opaque. Clear bits of egg are not done yet. When you taste it, it should taste cooked but not hard-boiled.

Flavorings you might like to add if you have them around:
ketchup
hot sauce
lemon juice
pepper/salt/garlic powder
minced onion / scallions / chives

Because the egg is only lightly cooked, I never try to keep this soup. But the ingredients (tomato paste and eggs) keep excellently in the fridge, and dry bouillon cubes keep for years on the shelf.
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Happy Birthday, Oursin!
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So, you know how feminists talk about the way this culture treats men as the default human being, the normal and expected type of person, and every time there's a difference between men and women it's treated as women's deviance from the norm? Rather than, say, men's deviance from the norm, or two equally valid norms?

I started reading Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett's fantasy novels when I was in junior high or high school. They do historical fantasy with a wealth of historical detail, and magical systems based on things that were believed in Europe at the time. The Armor of Light treats Elizabethan belief in demon-summoning and spell-casting as if it were true. Point of Hopes and Point of Dreams treat astrology as if it were true; businesses time their activities according to the most propitious arrangements of stars.

What I didn't notice until I re-read them in adulthood, is that Point of Hopes and Point of Dreams are set in a world where women are the default person. A male character, considering what he should do next, thinks "This is the point at which a wise woman would..." meaning a wise person would. Groups of men-and-women mixed are addressed as "My ladies". It's not the point of the series, it's just a background detail, but it's a neat view into an alternate universe.