Friday, October 1 2021

Quote of the Day

As a clear blue sky waits for rain, so too shall I wait for you.

Yilun Fan, “Speechless Love,” Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation

Unfortunately found out the way things really work

Yesterday I thought and thought about my Solarpunk Story #1 theme. I had a couple vague, barely there ideas about what could maybe happen in the story. I was thinking about committees and bills and laws and voting and technology.

I did a little researching on participatory democracy (or direct democracy) compared to representative democracy. I had the stunning thought that voting is incredibly binary–it’s yes or no and that’s it. No nuance when citizens vote on a local referendum or when representative vote on a law.

The nuance, then, is all about who is in the room when a bill / proposition gets crafted. Which made me think. Who is in the room? I think it can be anyone, technically, but usually it’s the representative and probably lobbyists? Right?

Wrong! We’re more dysfunctional now! Yay!

You elected them to write new laws. They’re letting corporations do it instead.

In all, these copycat bills amount to the nation’s largest, unreported special-interest campaign, driving agendas in every statehouse and touching nearly every area of public policy. 

The investigation reveals that fill-in-the-blank bills have in some states supplanted the traditional approach of writing legislation from scratch. They have become so intertwined with the lawmaking process that the nation’s top sponsor of copycat legislation, a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, claimed to have signed on to 72 such bills without knowing or questioning their origin.

For lawmakers, copying model legislation is an easy way to get fully formed bills to put their names on, while building relationships with lobbyists and other potential campaign donors.

For special interests seeking to stay under the radar, model legislation also offers distinct advantages. Copycat bills don’t appear on expense reports, or campaign finance forms. They don’t require someone to register as a lobbyist or sign in at committee hearings. But once injected into the lawmaking process, they can go viral, spreading state to state, executing an agenda to the letter…

Copied bills have been used to override the will of local voters and their elected leaders. Cities and counties have raised their minimum wage, banned plastics bags and destroyed seized guns, only to have industry groups that oppose such measures make them illegal with model bills passed in state legislatures…

Model legislation has flourished as gridlock in Congress forced special interest groups to look to the states to get things done, she said.

Great. I mean, it helped me refine my theme in a burst of rage-fueled clarity, but….ugh, that’s gross. If there is a way to game the system, someone will eventually do it.

(Which is what I really wanted my theme to be, but solarpunk is about optimism, so I had to dig deeper….)


Cottagecore gloriousness

Winter is approaching and while it’s still pandemic-y out there, I suspect I will be going Outside more than last year’s winter. Having just moved here at the beginning of the pandemic, I really don’t have appropriate winter clothes.

I really hate shopping for clothes, and everything in plus size seems to be all exactly what I don’t want to wear and / or exactly what will make me look the most horrible.

But this rise of cottagecore and shops that want to purvey it might save me. Here’s a couple link-filled articles I found:

21+ Plus Size Cottagecore Outfits – Where to Shop

The Must-Have Winter Wardrobe Staple: Cottagecore

I want my clothes to be simple and easy to clean, but I am also sick of my shirt-and-jeans look. I also don’t want TOO many ruffles. We’ll see where this goes, I guess. (Probably right into dark academia, but we’ll see!)