Monday, October 21, 2013

Facebook Was Broken for Me Today (10/21/2013)

When I wake up, I check my mail, Facebook and Twitter. All was well this morning. Ran some errands and was back around 9am. Everything else was fine...except that I could not add comments to any Facebook page. Earlier, some of the pages also looked wrong, but that problem has since gone away. Very annoying. So if you're looking for me on Facebook, I guess you won't find me there today.

By about 10:30, the problem went away as mysteriously as it came. Other people have reported similar problems on Facebook today.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Never Forget: These Senators Voted for the United States to Default on Its Debts

As you consider who to vote for in future elections, remember these Senators voted for the United States to default on its debts.

@TomCoburn @JohnCornyn @MikeCrapo @SenTedCruz @SenatorEnzi
@ChuckGrassley @SenDeanHeller @SenRonJohnson @SenMikeLee
@SenRandPaul @SenatorRisch @SenPatRoberts @marcorubio
@SenatorTimScott @SenatorSessions @SenShelbyPress
@SenToomey @DavidVitter @SenatorWicker

Oh, and even though everyone knew there would be a vote last night, Inhofe did not vote at all, though he was reported to be sick.

Interesting but not surprising that the overwhelming number of Senators voting "No" (for default) represent former slave states.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thinking About Convention Codes of Conduct

In the "old days" (about 1976 or so), there was an informal Fannish Code of Conduct:

Do Good
Do No Harm
Throw a Good Room Party

At last night's Confluence meeting, we had a brief discussion about developing a code of conduct for Confluence and I said I'd help develop one.

Ideally, I'd like it to be what we had in the '70s - something extremely short, to just remind people to be adults.

There have been some harassment issues at Confluence. They haven't been quite as ugly as at other cons, but I know they have happened. People have the right to attend a con and if they feel unsafe, the con com should be told and the harasser should have his (or her) membership pulled.

Boskone's Code of Conduct gets pretty much to the point (and was vetted by at least one if not two lawyers):

I think some cons have codes of conduct that go on a bit long (even if I do agree with most of its points):

Both John Scalzi

and Mary Robinette Kowal

have written at length about Con Behavior/Codes of Conduct.

It would be nice if our Code of Conduct could be something simple as:

Don't be a jagoff
A jagoff is a person who harasses others, feels entitled to make sexual advances, tries to make others feel uncomfortable. If someone tells you "No" or "Go Away" and you don't go away, you're a jagoff. If your behavior continues and is reported to a con com member, we can pull your badge and tell you to "Go Away."
So, don't be a jagoff, be an adult.

For folks from outside the Pittsburgh area, common definitions for jagoff.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Hate the Republican Shutdown? E-mail Your Tea Party Rep/Senator EVERY DAY

I live in a reddish area outside of Pittsburgh, so my Congressman, Tim Murphy and Senator, Pat Toomey are both pretty solidly Tea Party (though Toomey did vote for the Violence Against Women Act and did work with Joe Manchin to try to improve gun checks, so he very occasionally shows a little sense). We know politicians tend to lie, but Republicans seem wedded to the big lie. Most of the Tea Party claims that they are only hearing from the "Shut the Government Down" faction.

It is vital for the people who want the government re-opened to contact their reps, even if they're Tea Party types, frequently, every day if possible.

I have E-mailed Murphy and Toomey every day of the Republican shutdown. They need constant reminders that many people in every district want a progressive, properly funded country. I urge you to write to your federal legislators.

In addition, I tweet a message supporting Obama every day, and telling Boehner to let the Congress vote. Tweets are more symbolic than practical. But I think they are useful.

I'll keep a record of my E-mails and tweets here and will update it daily.

To E-mail any Senator, go to To E-mail any Representative, to to


My daily E-mail to Tea Party Tim Murphy & Senator Pat Toomey:
Republicans keep claiming that the Affordable Care Act, which is still not completely implemented, has "failed." A year ago, Republicans kept claiming that Romney would beat Obama in the November election. How can we believe people who are that out-of-touch? I encourage you to ignore your Tea Party overlords and do what's right for the American people - stop the shutdown!

(And, at the same time that people are pounding on the ACA for some bad coding on the ACA Website, Toomey's Web crew continues to be so incompetent that they can't process the information from a single Webform with about 20 fields. So, again, I had to go into the Tea Party-infested Facebook page of Pat Toomey to submit my daily complaint.)

Tweets (OK, I'm guilty of a repeat here)
.@BarackObama, Democrats & some Republicans: Stay strong and DON'T BLINK. Americans have your backs. #BoehnerShutdown
.@SpeakerBoehner - it's clear if you had the courage to stand up to the Tea Party insurgency, the Senate's clean bill would pass. #DOYOURJOB


My daily E-mail to Tea Party Tim Murphy & Senator Pat Toomey:
Much as I do think the government must go back to work, I am glad you voted to pay furloughed Federal workers. Please fight for the people and get back to work.

[[Toomey's CAPCHA code was broken AGAIN so I had to go to his Facebook page...*sigh*]]

.@BarackObama, Democrats & some Republicans: Stay strong and DON'T BLINK. Americans have your backs. #BoehnerShutdown
.@SpeakerBoehner - it's clear if you had the courage to stand up to the Tea Party insurgency, the Senate's clean bill would pass. #DOYOURJOB


My daily E-mail to Tea Party Tim Murphy & Senator Pat Toomey:
The Republican shutdown continues even on a weekend, so I'm writing to you on a weekend to remind you that you don't just represent the Tea Party - you're supposed to be representing ALL of your constituents. Not everyone agrees with you; many of us care about the country, and it is only being damaged by your shutdown.

.@BarackObama, Democrats & rational Republicans - some of us write our TP reps daily in support of you. Stay strong, we have your backs.
.@SpeakerBoehner Thanks again for showing up you have no courage against the Tea Party insurgents-PERMIT A VOTE. #BoehnerShutdown


To Representative Murphy & Senator Toomey:
My daily reminder that not all of your constituents are Tea Partiers. In fact, many of us will never vote for another Republican after this Republican shutdown. Get back to work.

To @BarackObama, Democrats & Rational Republicans - Stand strong against the tea party insurgency. We have your backs! #BoehnerShutdown
.@SpeakerBoehner Show you have courage against the Tea Party insurgents-PERMIT A VOTE. The Republican shutdown is now the #BoehnerShutdown


E-mail to Representative Murphy & Senator Toomey:
I watched a video where Republican Congressman Randy Neugebauer of Texas harassed a National Park Ranger, trying to blame the ranger for obeying the rules of the government shutdown. Aren't you at least a little ashamed to be in the same party as someone who who can't take responsibility for the actions of your party? Your party started the shutdown, and your party is the only group who can stop it. Get back to work.

To @BarackObama, Democratic & a Growing Number of Republican Reps: Stay strong for America & DON'T BLINK. More voters than have your backs
@SpeakerBoehner Stop being the Tea Party's lapdog! Do something for AMERICANS for a change - bring the Senate bill to a vote TODAY.


E-mail to Representative Murphy & Senator Toomey:
This is my daily reminder to you - I live in Pennsylvania and I do not believe the Republicans should either shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act or play games with the debt ceiling. Stop it and get back to work.

To President Obama, Democrats & an increasing number of Republicans: Stay strong against the extremists and DON'T BLINK. We have your backs


E-mail to Representative Tim Murphy & Senator Pat Toomey:
I will try to write to you every day of the Republican shutdown of the federal government, just to remind you that Americans are disgusted. I am opposed to the government being shut down because you Republicans don't believe in the Affordable Care Act. It passed. Get over it and move on.
As my friend Laura Anne Gilman says: To: every member of Congress. From: nearly every US citizen. Hand in your paychecks until you decide to work again.
If there's any part of government who most deserves to not be paid, it's the Congress, especially the Republican members.

President Obama, Democrats, & the few rational Republicans - Stay strong and don't blink. We have your backs against the American Taliban