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About Gertrude

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    an ok person, just sayin'
  • Birthday December 4

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  1. Gertrude

    U.S. Politics- This Is Us, Basically Fascists

    I worked my first election this year during the primaries. Something I learned was that you don't have to pre-register as rep or dem (or whatever) to vote in a specific primary. Once you request a specific ballot, you are automatically registered to that party. Switching registration back is as simple as going on-line and doing so the next day. At least in Iowa, there's really nothing blocking an essentially 'open' primary. If anyone is really interested in voting across party lines in primaries, check your state laws to see how they handle this. To weigh in on voter IDs, I am torn as well. I am not unsympathetic to the arguments of voter suppression and the difficulty for some to get ID. I don't believe it would stop in-person voter fraud to any measurable degree. What I did see, however, is that scanning an ID speeds up the process immensely at point of contact with the poll workers. It's not an important point when talking about voter accessibility, but it would go a long way to cut down on wait times that we always see stories about in big elections. I guess I'm curious to know how many states have the option to show ID, but don't require it. Like I said, I'm in Iowa and we passed a voter ID law that was in the process of phasing in during the primaries. I would like to see some data in these situations - how many don't have or refuse to show ID? What kind of confusion and information is out there about the laws that people are trying to process and may be misinformed about, etc. In our district, every single person showed an ID, but I know that this is an extremely small sample size from a middle-class, urban area. I'd genuinely be interested in seeing this kind of information about other districts around the country. I'm in my little bubble and have zero idea of what the realities on the ground are in more rural or economically diverse areas other than the propaganda both sides throw out. I'd like to see politicians have an actual conversation about overcoming obstacles to voter ID rather than just shouting their opinions at each other. I'd be for voter ID in a heartbeat if we could ensure all eligible voters could access the proper ID.
  2. Gertrude

    Who Are We Anyway: Tracing Our History

    Hey Lany, that's fun about the niece! It's frustrating to hit walls. Information is so fragile. My mom is on Ancestry and has had anyone who would do it DNA tested. One interesting result is that one of our distant cousins still living in the Czech Republic had a confusing hit. The cousin was a link from 10 generations back on my dad's father's line, but he also hit on my dad's 2nd cousin on his mother's side. Both sides of the family had emigrated from the same region, so there was a marriage between the same families on both sides of the ocean that we tracked down. It helps having someone interested in genealogy who still lives in the country the information is in.
  3. Gertrude

    Welcome to Jurassic Park!

    Don't harsh my buzz, man. Dinosaurs! GET HYPE!
  4. Yeah, I like this a whole damn lot. It's crazy to think we'd want the people we elected to represent us and make laws, govern us, etc. to actually do their job, right? I don't want them out campaigning for half a year or spending over half their time fund raising so they can afford to not represent us during that time.
  5. Jesus Christ, this. I also want the "privilege" of being the first primary state to rotate. In fact, because the country is so damn large, I'd be in favor of breaking it up into regions that all vote on the same day so we don't have results trickling in over several months. Focus on a region to let the candidates do their everytown tours and not have to jet around hell and back, they vote, then move to the next one. Our current system is so cumbersome and wasteful. Iowa would not want to give up their place in line because of the money it brings in, but fuck that. It would save my sanity.
  6. Gertrude

    Is Maggy the most powerful witch in the series?

    Maggy using the blood as a focus for her powers doesn't seem unique. MMD uses blood magic to 'save' Drogo. We see in Bran's visions that blood sacrifice was a part of the weirwood rituals and that it 'awakens' the trees (if I'm remembering right). Jojen paste, if true, is another use of blood to enhance magic. Mel uses leeches and has a fetish for King's Blood. It seems to be the most common denominator for some of the more powerful magic we see perpetrated. The Targ dragon dreams and Stark skinchanging seem to be tied to blood, even if they don't explicitly use it to manifest their magic abilities. Even the glass candles are sharp enough to draw blood, which may indicate that blood is a component of their magic (maybe, we don't know enough.) Blood isn't involved in all magic (Patchface, Mel's latent fire abilities, resurrection), but it does seem to figure prominently a lot. As to the OP, I'd qualify anyone who uses magic as a 'witch', and Maggy has powers, but I don't know if I'd say she's the most powerful. At this moment, I would probably say Mel. She has used her powers the most blatantly in the series and we've seen a wide range of things she can do. Bloodraven is powerful, but in a more focused and narrow way, going by what we've seen so far. Then again - define power. Is it action or knowledge and influence? Bloodraven wins for knowledge, Mel for direct actions.
  7. I just worked the polls this last election. We do have same day registration (Iowa). I will say that I don't know that I'm completely in favor of this. When the turn-outs are low (like for these primaries), it's not a big deal. However, when the turn-out is high, it causes delays as there is only one person processing these along with change of address and other irregularities that come up. In theory, I like the idea, in reality, it can be a practical headache. I have talked to people of both parties that have had to deal with same-day registration that are unhappy with the extra work and delay it causes. I am all for making it easy and giving ample opportunity for people to help others register, but same day is an avoidable hassle on what can be a really hectic day. We also have a voter ID law that goes into effect next year. We started using this just this last election,, and I have to say I'm a fan. Along with the usual photo IDs that are accepted (DMV, military, passport), you can be issued a voter ID card that has a barcode to scan. I was sent one because I let my license expire by accident last year and they saw that in the system. Everyone registered to vote, but not in the system with a valid license or DMV issued ID was sent one. Had a few people use them. Made things run very smoothly and quickly. I don't have an issue with the implementation or policy in theory - in the past I've had issues with the way some of these policies were wanting to be implemented (types of IDs accepted, time frame for role-out, ease, etc.). Unless I'm missing something here, it's easy to get a valid form of voting ID and people have been given time to be educated about it. The point of me telling you all this is that we had several people voting that were inactive in the system. They weren't purged, just marked as inactive. As soon as we scanned in the ID, that flipped back to active. No fuss, no muss. What in the world is the point in purging them? It's just a fricking database. It's not hurting a damn thing and it makes it obvious that you're trying to game the system for your benefit. I'm all in favor of updating the roles to catch the people that didn't update paperwork (moving, deaths, etc). Not blind purges, but actual verification. For fuck's sake, voting is a right and you can't just take it away because that person hasn't exercised it. A lot of the same people get worked up about the 2nd amendment and would never stand for the types of restrictions on guns that they are perfectly happy with putting on voting rights. Oh, you used to own a gun, but haven't for several years? Sorry, you can't purchase one today. You'll have to go downtown and file some paperwork that gives you back your right to own a gun before we start that process. Have a nice day!
  8. If they both survive and if one or the other ends up ruling and if he/she/they are infertile, I don't see a problem with adopting an heir. The problem would be if the people accept and support this. No noble rules without the consent of the people they rule. True, an adopted heir would have a larger hurdle towards gaining acceptance and it gives their enemies a more powerful card to play against them, but it just puts them closer to revolt on the sliding scale of peace-war than a trueborn heir would be by default. I think that the smart move would be to work with a council of nobles to decide an acceptable heir, rather than Dany/Jon deciding unilaterally. Do it early, do it by as large a consensus as possible, and failing that, explain your reasoning and do everything in your power while you still live to earn friends and allies to your side so the succession has a chance of being peaceful.
  9. Funny you should ask ... I just got back from manning the polls for the first time ever. I probably won't do that again any time soon. the talking to people and doing the actual work was fine, I'm just a little peeved at my precinct chair for being a wee, WEE bit disorganized and now knowing her ass from a hole in the ground. Super sweet lady, don't ever want to work with her again. Oh, you're asking how the races went? Not a god-damned clue. All the action was in the Dem races though. I'd say about 90% of the ballots issued were D in my tiny section of Eastern Iowa.
  10. Gertrude

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    Is this actually the case or was it just that he refused to make a cake celebrating a gay wedding? Like if the couple walked in the shop hand-in-hand and wanted to buy a dozen cupcakes, would they have been refused? I'm asking because I don't actually remember, but there have been other instances where this was stated by the owner to be where the line was drawn. Not that it should make a difference, but I'm curious. I've found that articulating why refusing a cake is not cool difficult to articulate persuasively, and this tends to be a sticking point.
  11. Gertrude

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    I saw someone speculate that perhaps Melania is recovering from plastic surgery. It sounds plausible. Not that I think she's super excited to be involved with The Donald and all that her position entails, but it's the not being seen that is the weird part, and plastic surgery would be the least troublesome answer to the mystery.
  12. Gertrude

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    Well, congress could fix this through legislation, but since congress is so fucking broken and useless, there's little hope on that front.
  13. Gertrude

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    hmm ... abortions, breakup of families, violent movies and video games. And our culture is significantly different from other developed nations in which of these factors? That's right, none of them. Maybe we should look at the gun part of our culture, just a thought.
  14. Gertrude

    Laurel or Yanny?

    It was Yanny all the way, then I heard Laurel in a different clip and I can't switch back. And for the record, the dress was gold and white. This shit is so stupid and trivial and I love it. I've always been interested in how people perceive the world around them and how my 'green' is not your 'green'. eta: oh shit - I just listened to the clip that FB actually linked and it was Yanny. Hmm. I should check out the actual source of the clip, but I'm lazy.
  15. Gertrude

    US Politics: The Ides of Mueller

    I get having to use the internet for your job, but that’s not the same as a personal profile that we are talking about. Hobbies are entirely optional. I have internet dependent hobbies too, so I get it, but it is optional. As for the time/money angle - it can be done, yes even for people with families and jobs. Maybe I have a different perspective as I grew up without internet. My parents still write checks and buy stamps, so it’s possible. It’s not as convenient, obviously, but it’s possible. Lots of people live off the grid because it’s important to them for whatever reason. They draw their lines differently than you and I do. All I’m saying is that if something is convenient, there’s a price to be payed and people (in general) happily gave up personal information for the convenience and entertainment value of it all and trusted that things are ok because if it was bad, there’d be laws against it, right? I guess that’s the point. There’s every reason to fight it and try to hold companies and governments accountable for best practices, but the genie has been out of the bottle for a long time now. I don’t see how it can be put back in the bottle without a lot of political will and, frankly, I have about zero hope for that. I honestly think that something a lot more catastrophic than micro-targeting and harvesting will have to happen before enough people find their voices and be loud enough to make officials/companies even think about getting serious about it instead of band-aiding the problem. And on a personal note, I don’t know that you weren’t outraged about it before the CA stuff, but your earlier quote about it happening faster than anyone imagined, or ‘what’s to be done about it, really?’ Made me think you were one of the people who might have been surprised at where this all led. And I might be wrong, but your two stances of ‘what’s do be done about it?’ And ‘if people accept this as the new normal, no one will fight for it’ don’t seem to square.