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In the News (#1261)

Surveillance always comes with inherent forms of abuse.  –  Evan Greer

If Men Were Angels

“Youth group director” is clearly just as bad as “youth pastor”:

A [typical and representative New Jersey]…church youth group director is facing child pornography charges.  Arnold DiBlasi was arrested…after [cops] found thousands of child porn images on his home computer and cellphone…the FBI…[claims] DiBlasi distributed more than 11,000 photos to 30 different people in an online chat room…

You Were Warned (Subtle Difference)

What the government can’t destroy with criminal law, it wrecks by encouraging nuisance lawsuits against:

[A predatory lawsuit by a professional “survivor”] alleges that Visa, by processing revenue from ads, conspired with Pornhub’s parent firm MindGeek to make money from videos of [what is alleged to be underage sexual] abuse.  Visa had sought to be removed from the case…[correctly] argu[ing] that the “[fact] that Visa recognized MindGeek as an authorized merchant and processed payment to its websites does not suggest that Visa agreed to participate in sex trafficking of any kind”…a commercial relationship alone does not establish a conspiracy.  But [the] Judge…[prefers to fantasize that a major corporation with a long history of nervousness around “reputational damage”] “intended to help MindGeek monetize child porn from the very fact that Visa continued to provide MindGeek the means to [operate]”…

In plain English, the judge is assuming that the plaintiff’s bizarre and censorious conspiracy narrative, intended to further an agenda of criminalizing all adult content on the internet, is not only true, but that Visa somehow knew it to be true and willingly participated despite decades of aversion to dealing with stigmatized businesses.

Stalkers in Blue (#1180)

Another sexual predator specifically targets traumatized women:

A [Sussex cop] sent a naked selfie to a woman after [taking a report from her after] she [was]…sexually assaulted in a pub…he [also] told [her] he wanted to take her home and use his police handcuffs on her and [said] he was so aroused by her he would have sexually assaulted her himself…The [not-remotely] shocking revelations were made at a disciplinary hearing…where the [creepy cop was]…granted anonymity to keep his identity a secret [so he can assault more women in future]…

Thought Control (#1209)

A fine example of ice-pick self-lobotomization:

Voters in Jamestown Township, [Michigan]…rejected renewal…of a millage that would support the Patmos Library.  That vote guts the library’s operating budget in 2023 — 84 percent of the library’s $245,000 budget comes from property taxes…There have been protests at other Michigan public libraries and at school board meetings about books with LGBTQ themes.  But…[this] may be the first time a community voted, in effect, to close its library [because neither the board nor the director would submit to censorship by fanatics challenging books they haven’t read from a widely-circulated hit list]…Library Director Amber McLain resigned this spring…[after] she [was]…harassed online and accused of indoctrinating children.  Interim director Matthew Lawrence resigned later…

Opting Out (#1229) 

The UK’s decade-long campaign to censor the internet continues to be a comedy of errors:

The government’s flagship Online Safety Bill [wa]s…dropped from Commons business…with a view for it to return to the Commons “in the autumn”…[wannabe censors are] oncern[ed]…that it could be [entire]ly scrapped as its return later this year will be dependent on the focus of the new Prime Minister.  The Bill aimed to allow Ofcom to [control] online platforms, mainly [by censor]ing…content that [politicians have arbitrarily declared “harmful”]…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1231)

It’s always lovely to see them feeding on each other:

A [California cop so representative he]…was named “Detective of the Year”…in 2019 has been charged with sending graphic messages to someone [cops recruited to fantasy role-play online as] a 14-year-old girl…Gregory Beaumarchais…was [rewarded with a paid vacation after the incident, which vaguely occurred] between December 2021 and January 2022…

Welcome to the Future (#1249)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

When students in the US were forced [by the State] to continue their schooling virtually, many brought home school-issued devices…[packed with malware that can allow teachers to view and control students’ screens, [secretly read their] emails and cloud-based documents, and…[automatically rat them out to the pigs for thoughtcrime].  Now that the majority of American students are finally going back to school in-person, the surveillance [mal]ware that proliferated during the pandemic [is here to] stay…89 percent of teachers [report] that their schools will continue using student-monitoring software…[even though] the overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to new concerns about digital surveillance in states that have [criminalized] abortion care…[and] gender-affirming care

Diary #632

For most of the year, the weather at Sunset is mild and wet. But in the Dog Days, it’s often quite hot and there isn’t much rain to relieve it.  On Saturday we hit 34o, and on Sunday it got up to 37o and didn’t even start cooling off until about an hour or so before sunset.  As a result, I was pretty much the only warm-blooded creature moving around for most of the day; the residents of the paddock took shelter in the shade provided by the not-yet-complete stable (Cicero is not visible in this picture because he’s on the other side of that wall, lying under a big tree).  And even though I was working, I tried to stick to less-strenuous tasks (and those in the shade), because I can’t handle the heat as well as I used to (and Grace can’t handle it any more at all).  Still, the heat here was neither as severe nor as long-lasting as in a lot of other places this summer, and the forecast for the next two weeks looks like a lot more typical August weather for us (highs in the mid-20s every day).  And it’s a lot easier to endure the heat when I know relief is on the way.

If you don’t have the right to bodily autonomy then you cannot be said to really be free.  –  Kelly Wright

Crypto-puritans in the libertarian tent have definitely become more numerous.  A few weeks ago at Freedom Fest, I attended a panel on the dangerous liberty-violating laws that may result now that Roe has been overturned.  Despite the fact that there was even a “pro-life” person on the panel who eloquently explained why she was just as concerned as the others, stupid mumbling and a few loud belches of “dead babies!” and the like warned me of what was to come during the time reserved for questions: a long line of propagandists at the mike who didn’t have questions, but instead wanted to appoint themselves as members of the panel without invitation of permission.  So I was forced to appoint myself as bailiff and shout “THIS IS NOT A QUESTION!” when it became clear that was the case, except for the idiot who made an “argument” involving Marxism equivalent to, “this plastic bottle is actually a plant because both are green”; for that guy, I shouted “This is pure bullshit!”  Then there was the guy who promised his question wasn’t belligerent, then proceeded to make a statement just as propagandistic as the half-dozen before him.  We were only saved by the organizers ejecting us for the next presentation.  It felt like an Evangelical convention had invaded a Libertarian one.  By the by, most of the panelists thanked me for my anger later; I could do from the floor what they really couldn’t from the stage: confront rude, disrespectful twatwaffles with a taste of their own medicine.

It’s certainly possible for a libertarian to be against abortion for themselves and/or in principle, but the second the state becomes involved, using violence to abrogate women’s bodily autonomy, there is no honest way to describe support for such a regime as “libertarian”.  This recent article by Kelly Wright explains it perfectly; it’s rare that I agree with every point made in a persuasive essay, but this is one of those times.  The article is well worth reading in its entirety and I strongly urge you to do so, but here’s the core of the argument:

Are the lives of hypothetical future babies (blastocysts, zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are not babies) worth more than the lives of actual living breathing pregnant individuals?  Are people with the capacity for pregnancy nothing more than walking, potential incubators?  Even if we concede the argument that a fetus is a person with individual rights, libertarians should still oppose abortion restrictions.  If someone is invading your home, you have a right to repel them, especially if your life is at risk.  It follows that if someone is invading your uterus then you also have the right to repel them as well.  Fetuses hijack blood supplies and even begin to leach the calcium out of the bones of the person whose body they have commandeered.  This may seem like a peculiar projection of agency onto fetuses, but it’s no more peculiar than the rights, interests, and souls projected onto fetuses by advocates of fetal personhood and forced pregnancy.  No one has a right to your circulatory system, and if someone has affixed themselves to your circulatory system against your will, you have the right to use force to stop them from doing so.  One rights-bearing individual does not have the right to the calcium in the bones and teeth of another rights-bearing individual…

There’s an incidental point the author makes that you might not have noticed, so I’ll elaborate.  I’ve never made a big deal about people incorrectly calling anything in a pregnant woman’s uterus a “fetus”, because up to now it wasn’t that important.  However, it certainly has become so.  A developing organism of less than 11 weeks gestational age (which is actually 9 weeks after fertilization due to the practice of counting from the last menstrual period) is not, repeat not, a fetus; it is an embryo.  This is important because there is as real and distinct a difference between the two as there is between a fetus and a baby.  Alas, this won’t make any difference at all to prohibitionist politicians, who think the state has the right to classify a bee as a fish, define pi as “3” or declare that the laws of the State supersede the laws of science in any other way.  But using the word “fetus” in a discussion of, say, ectopic pregnancies (when the developing organism rarely makes it to the fetal stage) helps to extend and worsen the scientific ignorance and confusion that prohibitionism relies upon to thrive.  Using the correct terminology won’t sway religious anti-abortion people in the least, because their position is based in belief, not facts.  But it may help the great majority who can be swayed by argument to understand the absurdity and evil of “from point of conception” abortion bans.

Links #631

Sulu (George Takei): I’ll save you, fair maiden!
Uhura (Nichelle Nichols): Sorry, neither.

Nichelle Nichols, who passed away a week ago today, first entered show business as a singer, and she performed in several first-season episodes; this video features “Beyond Antares” from “The Conscience of the King”.  The links above it were provided by Dave Krueger; Cop Crisis; Franklin Harris; Scott Greenfield; Franklin again, and Furrygirl; Mike Siegel; and Kevin Wilson, in that order.

From the Archives

Give people a load of propaganda about…sex trafficking and voila—awareness has been raised!  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Above the Law

Why does nobody ever recognize the likely outcome of giving guys in hyper-masculine professions power over teenage girls?

…a New York Times investigation…has found that the [Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] program has repeatedly become a place where retired military officers prey on their teenage students.  In the past five years…at least 33 JROTC instructors have been criminally charged with sexual misconduct involving students, far higher than the rate of civilian high school teachers…Victims have reported sexual assaults in classrooms and supply closets, during field trips or on late-night rides home, sometimes committed after instructors plied students with alcohol or drugs.  One [victim] said her instructor told her that sexual submission was expected of women in the military.  A[nother]…said her JROTC instructor warned that he had the skills to kill her without a trace if she told anyone about their sexual encounters…[Another] said she was forced to kneel at her instructor’s bedside, blindfolded, with a gun to her head…

To Molest and Rape

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

A federal appeals court in Texas has sent a case back down to a lower court after deciding that a…sheriff’s deputy who…forced a woman to expose her genitals to him while he masturbated isn’t entitled to a qualified immunity defense…On Sept. 18, 2018, [Melissa] Tyson’s husband [foolishly] called the Sheriff’s Department of Sabine County, Texas, to request a welfare check on his wife…while [he] was out of town.  [David] Boyd called Melissa Tyson that night…telling her…that he handled welfare checks because he was a preacher, although…[his] “ministerial credentials had actually been revoked eleven years prior because”…[he] had…been sued by church members for [repeat]ed sexual misconduct…

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

I suppose it could have been much worse:

…Overall, the 2022 version of the human trafficking bill is shorter than many earlier iterations and lower on the sort of carceral solutions and surveillance initiatives that defined them…at least isn’t simply throwing more money at cops for prostitution stings.  And a section pressuring hotels to [indoctrinate] staff on spotting human trafficking (an endeavor without a great track record) was removed…But there are…repeated references to “trafficking transmitted through technology”…[censorious asshats and their] lawyers have been trying to broaden the scope of sex trafficking laws to cover not just underage or forced prostitution but also the transmission of certain pornographic images by commercial tech platforms…it will…likely mean going after tech platforms in a way that jeopardizes a wide variety of free speech related to sex…

Guinea Pigs (#1153) 

Stalwart friend of whores Mark Draughn picks apart claims that computers can detect “sex trafficking” in ordinary escort ads:

…I’ve obtained a copy of [a]…research paper…[in which researchers] “used machine learning and custom web crawlers to collect and analyze a data set of online ads for escort and sex work services”…you need sex trafficking ads to train an ML system to recognize sex trafficking ads.  I suppose it’s possible in theory: They could have searched police human trafficking case files to find instances where the victims were the subject of online sex ads and then used those ads for training and testing the ML model against ads tied to actual sex trafficking.  The problem…is that actual sex trafficking cases are…too rare to build up a large enough corpus of online ads to train an ML classifier.  So where did the researchers find those ads?  How did they know the ads were for human trafficking victims?  The short answer is that they didn’t.  Instead, they used a manual classification system to deem some of the ads as possibly related to sex trafficking…[using] a list of trafficking indicators from [typical prohibitionist propaganda]…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1255)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

[Flint, Michigan cop] Forrest Bradley…was one of two deputies who [had panic attacks]…after previously [subduing] a…[prisoner] who had overdosed from fentanyl-laced heroin…[the other hysteric was named] Justin Hall…[neither described any of] the [known] effects of a fentanyl overdose [but that didn’t stop local media from gullibly lapping up every word drooled by “authorities” about it]…

A Moral Cancer (#1256)

The claims of crypto-moralists are growing increasingly absurd:

People who consume more than 17 units of alcohol in a week – equal to about five large glasses of wine or eight pints of beer – were found to have “older” DNA…The study…[claims] that consuming alcohol in excess can wreak havoc on DNA by causing damage to telomeres — like protective caps at the ends of a chromosome — which could eventually lead to age-related diseases and the formation of cancer…

Cancer is probably inevitable for anyone who doesn’t die of something else first, but don’t tell that to puritans, who want people to believe they could live forever by simply eliminating every single pleasurable activity from their lives.  Of course, then there’d be little point to an extended lifespan, but one can’t have everything.

Micromanagement (#1258)

Any information you give to the State can and will be used against you:

New Jersey police…use…blood samples taken from babies to in[criminate their parents]…the practice came to light after a case in which [cops]…subpoenaed a…lab for a blood sample drawn from a child.  Police then performed DNA analysis on the…sample that [suppos]edly linked the child’s father to a crime committed more than 25 years ago…a…lawsuit…filed jointly by the [Office of the Public Defender] and the New Jersey Monitor, now seeks to compel the state…to disclose…the full extent of the practice.  All babies born in the state of New Jersey are required to have a blood sample drawn within 48 hours as part of a mandatory [disease] testing program…if police are able to…obtain the samples through subpoena, then…the…screening…is entering all babies…into a DNA database with no ability to opt out…

Bathhouse 76

I was really very pleased with how this little porch on the north side of the annex came out.  I did the screen before I left for my road trip, but hadn’t yet installed the door; I did that Monday of last week.  It took me all afternoon because I’ve never done anything like that before, and didn’t want to screw it up.  So I made very sure the frame was straight, and took my time with each step because I recognized that the instructions were assuming the door would be used as an outer layer directly in front of a solid door, rather than separated from it by a sort of vestibule as it is here (the fact that it was being mounted on an incline also necessitated some modification).  But in the end, it works perfectly; the automatic closer works as it should, as does the latch.  I still need to put a ceiling on it to keep insects out, and of course it still needs paint and siding.  But the hardest part is done, and I keep finding excuses to pass this way just so I can have the satisfying experience of watching the screen door close itself.

Vulture Watching

After the government does something especially awful, there is usually an avalanche of horror stories illustrating exactly what reasonable people warned would happen after the awful government act.  The overturn of Roe v Wade is no exception; if I had included these stories in my normal news columns, they would’ve completely dominated most of the late July installments.  So instead, I opted to collect them all together here; future updates to these stories will appear in regular news columns under the appropriate tags.

One of the strongest reasons to oppose authoritarian laws of any kind is that they inevitably harm people the politicians insist they weren’t trying to target:

A sexual assault survivor chooses sterilization so that if she is ever attacked again, she won’t be forced to give birth to a rapist’s baby.  An obstetrician delays inducing a miscarriage until a woman with severe pregnancy complications seems “sick enough.”  A lupus patient must stop taking medication that controls her illness because it can also cause miscarriages.  Abortion restrictions in a number of states and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade are having profound repercussions in reproductive medicine as well as in other areas of medical care…Even in medical emergencies, doctors are sometimes declining immediate treatment. In the past week, an Ohio abortion clinic received calls from two women with ectopic pregnancies…who[se] doctors wouldn’t treat them…

More about the aforementioned lupus drug many women are now being denied:

Methotrexate is a cheap, common drug prescribed to millions of Americans…[for] rheumatic illnesses…inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis or cancer…[but because] it is used off-label to end ectopic pregnancies…it could be restricted by doctors or pharmacists even in states…that do not ban abortion…in low doses, it has proved to be one of the safest, least expensive and most effective treatments for roughly a dozen autoimmune conditions, from juvenile idiopathic arthritis to Crohn’s disease…“I have gotten some reports where children have been denied methotrexate for their juvenile arthritis until they’ve proven they’re not pregnant,” said Dr. Cuoghi Edens…a rheumatology expert…“The majority of rheumatic diseases affect females at substantially higher rates than males…The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in women to men is 3 to 1.  For lupus it’s 10 to 1.  And so rheumatology is a very female-predominant patient population”…some doctors have already stopped prescribing methotrexate rather than risk [persecution]…Many pharmacists have likewise refused to fill methotrexate prescriptions, or have demanded additional proof before dispensing the medication to patients they believe could get pregnant…

And it’s not just a few fundamentalist asshat pharmacists, either:

…the largest pharmacy chain in the country sent explicit instructions to its pharmacists informing them that new checks would be implemented to confirm the reason a doctor prescribes a drug before filling routine medications for patients…CVS headquarters sent a memo to pharmacies in [Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas]…review[ing] diagnosis codes that are deemed acceptable for dispensation, which include miscarriage…If they find abortion is the intended use, they “must refuse to fill the prescription”…

Some of the tyrannies forced-birth fetishists are trying to impose are blatantly unconstitutional:

South Carolina [politician]s introduced legislation that would make it illegal to “aid, abet or conspire with someone” to obtain an abortion…Provisions would outlaw providing information over the internet or phone about how to obtain an abortion.  It would also make it illegal to host a website or “[provide] an internet service” with information that is “reasonably likely to be used for an abortion”…the proposal is…modeled off a blueprint created by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), an antiabortion group, and designed to be replicated by [politician]s across the country…

Other FOSTA-inspired laws which encourage nuisance lawsuits have unfortunately not yet been declared unconstitutional:

Nearly four years after a woman ended an unwanted pregnancy with abortion pills obtained at a Phoenix clinic, she finds herself mired in an ongoing lawsuit [after]…A judge allowed the woman’s ex-husband to establish an estate for the embryo, which had been aborted in its seventh week of development.  The ex-husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the clinic and its doctors in 2020, alleging that…[he has the right to make decisions for his ex-wife]…

Naturally, this new extension of the police state will be enabled by the same fascist surveillance tactics as the War on Whores:

Many of the states rushing to ban abortion are also the biggest users of a surveillance tool that [cops] could use to track women ending their pregnancies — the location data from people’s phones…states across the country are already using this kind of data for other [surveillance and harassment].  And a POLITICO analysis found that many of the states that have criminalized abortion have relied increasingly on location data in recent years…Figures from Google…show that the company received 5,764 “geofence” warrants between 2018 and 2020 from police in the 10 states that have banned abortion as of July 5…

Of course, sex workers know all about most of these oppressions, because they’re tested on us first before being extended to amateurs:

Madolline Gourley, a Brisbane resident…was treated like a criminal during her transit through Los Angeles on 30 June, where she was detained at the border due to suspicions about her intention to house- and cat-sit in exchange for accommodation while holidaying in Canada.  Gourley was held in a detention room, interrogated twice, patted down, fingerprinted and photographed…At one point a US b[ureaucrat] asked Gourley, who was wearing a loose-fitting dress, whether she was pregnant.  The same question was repeated as she was moved between rooms.  When she again [replied that]…she was not pregnant, Gourley was asked whether she had had an abortion…

There will be many more [scandals] because, for years & years, we have paid no attention, apart from giving them money.  –  Maneka Gandhi

Droit du Seigneur

What did this guy think he was, a cop?

A…US Naval petty officer has been sentenced to…two consecutive 20-year prison terms for sex trafficking Native Hawaiian girls…Petty Officer Marquis Green, had no criminal history other than a minor traffic matter a decade ago.  Then in December 2013, he was arrested for sex trafficking two girls under the age of 18…He was also charged and convicted for his involvement with a 15-year-old girl whom he sexually assaulted and whipped with a belt in 2013…he is the first person in Hawaii to be charged for first degree sex trafficking since 2015…

Despite the claims of perennial fabulist Khara Jabola-Carolus, quoted in the story, the case proves how rare actual “sex trafficking” (as opposed to the ordinary paid sex Carolus labels “trafficking”) is.

Above the Law (#899)  

Even being related to a cop may be enough:

The son of a[n Indiana cop] running for Kosciusko County Sheriff [molested] a fourteen-year-old girl…Zachary Smith, 18 at the time, also gave [his victim and several other] girls…margaritas, moonshine and marijuana.  Smith [got away with] charge[s of] battery and maintaining a public nuisance [instead of his actual crime, statutory rape]…The girls say…they [were] pressured to smoke weed and drink alcohol…And [were intimidated by the fact that] Zach’s dad [Jim Smith i]s a [cop]…running for sheriff…

Creepy Coppers

This attempt to blame others is odious even by abysmally-low cop standards:

A [typical and representative California cop was] sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison for distributing child pornography [after trying to blame the] public [for giving him sadfeelz by protesting rampant cop violence]…Anthony Mark Brown[‘s crimes were]…initially c[overed up by]…a colleague…but…he…was…[later indicted by] a federal grand jury…

Of course, they still managed to cover up for him somewhat by hiding his picture. Imagine that.

Torture Chamber (#1219)

Your “leaders” call this “correction”:

[Women locked in cages by the state] at an Indiana jail were subjected to a “night of terror” when male detainees [were sold the keys] to their cells…[by a screw named] David Lowe…in exchange for $1,000.  That night, the two male [prisoners led a gang]…into restricted areas of the jail…[where] women [were caged]…and…raped, assaulted, harassed, threatened and intimidated the…women…for…hours…[while screws watched the whole thing] on surveillance video [and did nothing to help them]…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#1242)

Prajwala’s idea of “rescue” results in “at least two” suicide attempts by its prisoners every day:

On 19 May…India’s Supreme Court ruled that [cops and rescue industry opportunists may not attack, abduct and cage] voluntary sex work[ers under the pretense of “rescue” and “rehabilitation”]…under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), [but the]…”protective homes” [have not released their prisoners in a timly manner.  So]…weeks after the…ruling, 80 sex workers locked up near the city of Hyderabad rioted against their forced detention…the[y overpowered]…three…guards, broke down the facility’s gates, and walked for two kilometres before being [beaten] by police….[and] taken back to the [labor camp], which is run by the NGO Prajwala

Follow the link for more on the deeply-evil Prajwala and its deranged leader, arch-fantasist Sunitha Krishnan.

To Molest and Rape (#1250)

Of course they’re prosecuting his wife for trying to stop him:

A [typical and representative] Baltimore [cop] who was shot by his wife [after she caught him] molesting [at least 3] kids at her daycare has been arrested on child abuse charges…James S. Weems Jr…was admitted [to hospital] with life-threatening injuries after his wife…Shanteari Weems…shot him…in Washington D.C…Shanteari was arrested after she admitted to shooting her [rapist] husband…[and] charge[d with] assault with intent to kill…Days after Shanyteari’s arrest, the police [finally got around to]…arrest[ing]…James…

Given that they’ve only been married five years, one must wonder whether part of the reason he married her was because she owned a daycare.

Property of the State (#1255)

“Hard cases” are more common than forced-birth proponents want you to believe:

The…10-year-old Columbus girl who was impregnated du[e to] rape and [had to] travel…out of state to get an abortion…is hardly alone…a similar case happened in Cleveland last year, before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and a federal judge unlocked Ohio’s [draconian] ban on abortions…Two sisters, ages 10 and 13, were impregnated du[e to] rapes by the same perpetrator…under Ohio’s old law, the younger girl was able to get an in-state abortion, but her sister, who was too far along…traveled to Pennsylvania for the procedure…Ohio law provides no exemptions for rape and incest…but [the old law]…allowed more time for women to discover they were pregnant, which…is especially crucial for younger victims of rape…

Diary #631

I suppose I should’ve recognized that sooner or later, I’d start to show symptoms of age beyond mere grey hairs and facial lines that can be hidden by modern technology.  And I should’ve also recognized that by the time she was my age, Maman had already been suffering from arthritis for years, and my mother had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome before she turned 50.  So it really wasn’t a surprise that I developed one of them (I suspect it’s arthritis, because it’s in both hands even though I’m a one-finger typist), but what was a surprise was how rapid the onset was.  Before the summer started, I’d never had any persistent symptoms (though now I’m wondering about the occasional spasms I’ve had in my right hand for years), but a little over a month ago my hand started hurting too much to ignore, so last week I bought one of these braces and it’s definitely helping.  In fact, no sooner did I start wearing this on my right hand while working, than my left hand started hurting just as badly.  It seems a reasonable assumption that my left hand was probably hurting before and I simply didn’t notice it because the pain in my right hand was much worse; with the brace alleviating the right-hand pain, I was able to notice that in the left.  And that makes me wonder if perhaps I’ve actually had this problem for some time, and what changed recently was that the pain finally reached a level I couldn’t ignore.  I have a very high threshhold of pain, and now I’m beginning to wonder how much of that is due to the way I’m wired, and how much due to a stubborn refusal to let pain distract me from whatever it is I want to do.

Lammas 2022

Happy Lammas, dear readers, and Blessed Be!