Monday, April 1, 2019

LOSS

Kuoleman Puutarha by Hugo Simberg
The two best things that Google ever did since Gmail and Google (the search) was INBOX and Google Plus.

Inbox helped me manage my email much better than Gmail alone, which was already a zillion times better than "generic" email, like Outlook. Who remembers Netscape? It was an internet suit that had a browser and email, and some other stuff i forget...Inbox ruled, I wish they'd just let people keep using the app and just deprecate it, instead of killing it wholesale.

Google Plus was hands down the best social media site ever, it had the best content control and it had ZERO ADS (probably how it died, but still...) Circles, although it confuses everyone, allowed amazing content control of who you see, who you "can" see, who can see you, and what people can see. Yes, there were some hacks, and some security flaws, but it was a work in progress, and the RPG gaming scene and a lot of the Android (the OS) developer scenes really saw its value, even though no one in Google did.

They were both quality products from Google, and they are both shutting down... uh, today? Or tomorrow. It seems to be a slow death for both of them as features are disappearing (maybe just on G+) and Inbox gives you a warning every time you open it.


Books on my digital shelf

These are the first 10 (of 292) books on one of my digital "shelves". It's mostly "D&D". Even "Hammers On Bone" is Cthulhu-related. No, this isn't a clue or anything, just sharing.

It's 7:20 dude.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

REV. DAK’s 2018 VOTER GUIDE!


Voting Guide, 2018 - Midterms, etc. Nov 6th, 2018 by Rev. Dak.

Introduction: It's that time again for my voter guide. I don't usually do midterms, but with all this "Blue-wave" talk, and the general disenchantment with our current leadership, why the heck not. This voter guide is very Los Angeles California specific. You can take-away two things from this, even if you're not from LA. Such as the kind of laws we're trying to pass, and my politics -- which I guarantee will NOT align 100% with you. I may revise this as more eyes critique it, I have been swayed on several issues before. You can find my most up-to-date voter guide here.

ALL OFFICES: Don't forget your pen! 

Write-in vote for Joseph Helvetica Borfo for all positions in 2018, at least. Definitely vote against any Republicans, because everyone knows you have to be AWFUL (or "awesome" if you're a shit person) to want to fly that fucking GOP flag. I hope if you're reading this that I don't have to explain what politics in the US have become. None of these candidates are going to show any guts, much less compassion or empathy for the people they are actively hurting with their inaction and bullshit. Gavin Newsom for Governor? WTF, another career politician... surprise. And my past favorite, Xavier Becerra - I was a fan of this guy, but now he's AG, he replaced Kamala Harris (the cop, therefore ACAB), so I don't even know. He works for the cops now, so gross. I can't even...

Most important is US SENATOR. Anybody but Feinstein should be good. I'd go as far as to say anyone not a Democrat, but that might hurt some of the heads of you folks that love your political duopoly. You should know me by now, I hate politicians, and don't believe in "leaders".

STATE MEASURES (California) 

1 NO: Oh boy, let's kick off with a bond -- my fucking favorite, right after politicians. $4-billion bond for "low-income housing" assistance. This already exists, they just want more money. They're pulling on your heart-strings with this one too. They say it's for veterans and the homeless (yes, some), they say it doesn't raise taxes (duh! It's a bond). But fuck-off, it DOES raise taxes, how else do you pay off bonds? (with tax dollars!) Oh, who can buy these bonds? Oh, right, rich people, the same people that get bailed out if their "investments" fail. Yeah, unfortunately the only person fighting this is some NIMBY that doesn't want transportation-based housing (housing near transportation hubs, like along the Expo Metro line). And folks for it are "non-profits" (aka lobbyists), who were able to convince the CA Legislature to put this (and other bonds) on the ballot. How many of these legislatures have ties with developers, the folks that will be raking in all this dough in the end. Yeah, politics is a racket folks. Prediction: Neo-Libs love this shit, pass.

2 NO: Another bond, this one is pretty redundant because it is about housing, but it is also focused on the mentally ill. I focused on those making the arguments for and against. One is a small charity (Nami Contra Costa) that is active in supporting the mentally ill. The others, lobbyists for people that "care" about the mentally ill. See the difference? Nami is in opposition, because it TAKES AWAY funding that has already been issued for mental health programs to focus on building housing. Sound familiar? And it's a bond. So someone is getting rich, especially bond holders and developers (who are likely the same people). Prediction: Pass.

3 NO: Yikes, I would only support this if it wasn't a bond. I'm telling you, BONDS ARE SCAMS. They're great for bond holders, who are basically rich folks that get rich "helping" their community. The projects that this funds are pretty awesome - a network of systems that would save rain water, clean it, conserve and use it, while creating natural environments that would be pleasant for everyone, but the Trump loving lobbyist "farmers" in Central CA hate it, so I won't feel as bad if it passes. But because Trump country Californian pay more attention to stuff like this, they might get there way. Prediction, the only bond that will fail.

4 NO: Every election, I swear, the "Children's Hospital" lobby asks for more money, and every fucking election they get it. What did they do with all the money from the last election? Oh, right... nothing. They just re-word it every election. This money goes to developers and private hospital administrators. Let's just pay for this things with a budget, and quit with the bond bullshit. FUUUUUCH!!! I really hate the opponent of this proposition, so it always makes me feel dirty when take sides with them. It'll probably pass because of the childrens.

5 NO: Oh boy, taxes. This restructures the weird property tax laws if you're a 55+ home owner. Everyone else, hah! Fuck off. It's basically a tax break for senior citizen homeowners, if this is you, you want this. Will this ever be me? Hahahaha... can you read the doubt in my words? You'd see it in my eyes. There are major fiscal impacts if this were to pass, including up to losses of up to a $1-billion in tax revenue, money that would go to pay off those BONDS you all fucking love so much. In the end, higher taxes for everyone! It'll pass, because senior citizens vote.

6 NO: Hahah, there is one tax I have little issues with, and they're luxury taxes. I consider driving a luxury. I also consider the fuel you put in your oversized death machine a taxable luxury. Ironically Prop 6 is a reaction to SB 1, a tax that your legislators voted for, and it was signed off by Jerry Brown. I say ironically because this was one of the few times that your political "leaders" created a law that made sense, and actually created jobs, and repairs our ancient ass roads and bridges. Proponents want to kill it, and make it practically impossible to maintain a basic infrastructure (our roads). I agree that existing taxes need to be used more efficiently before increasing them, but SB 1 has proven to actually be working. It's forced by last June's prop 69, that protected the funds from being used for anything else but transportation infrastructure. It's this money that is being used to make streets safer, car lovers HATE THAT. I love what they hate. SALT!

7 YES: I hate Daylight Saving Time (DST). It's stupid. Noon should be noon, and the sun should be on the same longitude-ish. The opponents hate DST too, but are against this law for the wrong reason. They assume that if this law passes, California will vote to be full time DST. I don't want that either, I want full-time STANDARD TIME - where the sun is pretty much at the 12-o'clock position in the sky, not 1PM. Fucking pick one. This proposition allows us to do just that, pick one. It allows us to CHOOSE ONE, or the other, or keep the time switch. But it puts it to a vote, not some stupid arbitrary failed idea from 70 years ago. Fuck I hope this passes, and we can end that stupid time change (which is this weekend, btw.)

8 YES: Health "care" (haahahh!) in America doesn't exist. We have a for-profit health "insurance" system that relies on profits as the indicator of success. Is that the kind of healthcare we want in the US? The current dialysis system sucks, it's too expensive, and it's because it's a racket, and the providers want to keep it that way. That is why this proposition exists in the first place, we pay too much just to stay alive. The opponents are all lobbies. The proponents are patients and consumer groups. Who do you trust more?

9 NO: Two states. We want TWO states. North and South. Two, two states... not three (or six). What we really want is secession from the rest of the country, or that might be just me.

10 YES: Big fucking yes on this one. It repeals a super-dooper, developer and landlord friendly EXCEPTION to existing rent control laws, particularly the 1995 Costa-Hawkins act. Housing is fucked in California, especially in Los Angeles. This may fix it in the long run, because rent control in LA is extremely flawed. Anything new (all those fancy bonds that you voted for the past few decades to build "affordable" housing) is not subject to rent control, so the landlords can raise monthly rates arbitrarily. This can (hopefully) fix that. And all the "flaws", that prop 10 "enables" according to opponents, are things they're ALREADY DOING, like using rental properties as AirBNBs and increasing rents. There is a reason why one of the US's biggest private property owners (Blackstone) is pouring millions of dollars against this, and it's not to keep rent reasonable, they only care about profit.

11 NO: I waffled on this. I think this proposition is weird. It is basically creating a new class of first responder out of private ambulance companies. I had no clue that 75% of all ambulances, who respond to 911 calls, are private ambulances? This law is even weirder in that it regulates the private ambulance industry. I kind of feel like this might be an attempt to privatize another emergency public service. It increases required training, but also eliminates some liability -- that makes no sense to me. Even though there are no opponents, it’s become clear to me is that this is really about the liability, and also the break requirements afforded other jobs.

12 NO: This is a ruse, by the biggest "Humane Society" group to backpedal on their old proposition (Prop 2 from 2008). Prop 2 promised humane, cage-free, farming by 2015. Well that came and gone, and we're still not 100% cage/cruelty free, because the law was poorly written, and had too many exceptions and unenforceable elements. Prop 12 takes those flaws and loopholes and makes them law! It allows for cages (1-ft square) for egg laying hens, and worse for pigs and cows. It's an example of the compromises that these large "non-profits" make with their supposed opponents. Kind of like Greenpeace when they made compromises with Japanese whalers, etc. FUCKK THAT. If you believe in the humane treatment of animals, this is NOT that.

COUNTY MEASURES (Los Angeles County) 

W YES: I love this one. This is a parcel tax, mainly on people that have paved over their yards, or built McMansions, covering the ground, and forcing more water to flow into the streets and thus into the ocean. It forces land owners to reconsider the materials they use to "pave" their land - particularly impermeable materials over large areas. Los Angeles has a water table, and it's not being replenished because water that would normally seep into the earth, and naturally be filtered and become drinking water, is flowing into the ocean instead. Imagine everyone drinks from the same tub through a straw, and suddenly there isn't any water. That's our water table. The tax will be used to store and capture what little rain we get, and clean it for daily use and drought preparedness. This is a good tax.

CITY MEASURES (Los Angeles) 

B YES: Public banking! Millions of dollars are in service fees is being wasted, going straight into the pockets of bankers on Wall Street. Just to manage the city's money. This allows the city to establish a public bank, and get rid of the middle men on Wall Street.

E YES: Align the election dates for City primaries with the state's? WTF, how is this not already a thing?

SCHOOL MEASURES (Los Angeles) 

EE YES: Same as E, but for LAUSD... how did they even get split?


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Two Party ⚁ 🎉

I believe in free speech. And I try not to limit my reading and learning to materials "acceptable" to certain bubbles. So I read a lot of shit from pundits on both sides of the Libs vs Cons dichotomy (which in a way is its own bubble). And I find myself questioning my understanding of what it is to be a liberal or conservative. So I look it up. Today I find myself disagreeing with 60% of the positions of "most" liberals and about 70% of those of "most" conservatives. Is it me, or are their principles constantly changing? I'll assume that their corresponding political parties are pretty much the same, essentially a ® or (tm) of those beliefs. Why, people? Why do you allow yourselves to be simply framed by those constructs?

I noticed that for the first time since 1992, there are more people registered as Independent than whatever. That must mean something.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trouble

I feel troubled. Yesterday I started off cynical, with a very dismissive "told-ya-so" attitude. Mostly laughed. But today I'm pissed. I shouldn't be. Probably one of the stages of grief, but why? I didn't vote for the guy, but I didn't vote for Her either. None of my friends in LA/CA's vote mattered, because: Blue-state. I think I'm upset because this has made some of my friends cry, they're really fucking upset. And all I want to do is rationalize it, to understand why. And I know why, because the largest population of dis-enfranchised and downtrodden folks in America stepped up and voted against the establishment. Could have Bernie beat Trump, probably. He was an independent, and record numbers of people registered as Democrats just for him. But 6-million Democrats didn't bother voting. And there is no way that 6-million Democrats were stopped, Voter ID'd, and harassed from voting. So Trump didn't so-much win, because Hillary lost this election because she deserved to lose. We got what we deserved.

I want to join my friends at the protests, but I don't see the point. I already feel defeated. To me, this is the norm. I lost faith in our system a long time ago (and way too long to explain it here) as you've probably seen with my anti-establishment politics and my anti-authoritarian, anti-fascist rants. As person of color, I don't know if I feel safe outside my community. But that could be the establishment and mainstream media's fear mongering... what got us here in the first place.

Someone made my friends cry, you can see it in their eyes, and their words, and the way they carry themselves. My instincts are to punish those that did this to them. Pissed. But we all know who is to blame. And it's not the orange man with little hands. And it's not his "white-trash" supporters that took a stand, and voted their conscious. As vile as their rhetoric was, with their "blame the other" stance. The reality is it's the top-down, elitist, neo-lib, neo-con, two-party system and those that fight to keep the status-quo who made this fiery bed.

I still want to punch those that hurt my friends. But how do you attack the that?

The Democrats have failed you. The Republicans have failed you. Majority rules. That is democracy. You call that freedom?

See my profile banner? That's freedom. No gods. No masters.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

SATURDAY IN HOLLYWOOD

If, for some reason you happen to be in Los Angeles this Saturday afternoon (11-4pm), I'll be here:


ZINEMELT @MELTDOWN COMICS
7522 W Sunset Blvd. 90046

I'll be peddling all the RPG zines I got. I might try and run a demo or two for the uninitiated. Not sure what I'll run. But thinking either a mini-OSR/DCC compatible thing, or straight up DCC RPG. We'll see. Come on by and check out RPG zines!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

1 – Make a Top 10 list of reasons why your love zines

I will give this a fair try, but don't expect anything amazing. (That typo is annoying.)

  1. Three letters, DIY.
  2. No middle man.
  3. Safety
  4. Compact
  5. Fun
  6. Fast
  7. Dangerous
  8. Efficient
  9. Easy
  10. Material

http://www.stolensharpierevolution.org/international-zine-month/

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Too Old For Numbers

Today is my forty-sumtin'th birthday. If you're in Los Angeles, and you have a minute. Come find me +Dak Ultimak [@reverend_dak on twitter] to catch up. As a birthday wish all I ask is you take a few moments to read and understand the TPP, and why it's bad for your freedoms, health, and the Internets: https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp for details, and learn what you can do to fight this bullshit.
Or for something lighter, check out the song premier of our neighbors from the past year and for the next few:
http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2015/06/09/412933181/song-premiere-gardens-villa-fixations . It's on NPR, and we listened to them work on this song for several months, and I'm really excited for them. Congratulations dudes.

Rough Itinerary:
11AM - TW Stronghold @reverend_dak for details.
12-6 - a healthy combination of beer, bikes and Tonk. Lunch & Dinner...
7PM - TW Stronghold
8-12 - a healthy combination of beer, bars, parks and beer.