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Archive for May, 2021

Back Issue #95

It’s more exciting to believe in a fantastic monster than a rather mundane reality.  –  “Chupacabra

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You shouldn’t be able to breathe, you stupid bastard.
–  William Jennette’s murderer

For a number of reasons, novelty songs aren’t really a thing any more, but the 1960s were their heyday; all through that decade, one subgenre was novelty songs recorded by the stars of hit TV shows, often (though not always) in character.  Here’s one example I hadn’t seen before, called to my attention by Franklin Harris; the links above it were provided by Scott Greenfield, Clarissa, Mike Siegel, Mistress Matisse, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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Instead of…a chicken in every pot, Biden…promises an auditor at every kitchen table.  –  Chuck Grassley

To Molest and Rape (#1013)

Give aggressive thugs power over teen girls; what could possibly go wrong?

A [cop assigned to terrorize students]…in the Chouteau Public School District…[was arrested by other] Oklahoma [cops for molesting a student]…Dale Tillotson…faces a lewd molestation charge [for sexual assault while wearing his magic clown costume]…

I Spy (#1064) 

Looks like we’re going to have to rethink the safety of the mail:

The [US] post office’s law enforcement arm has faced intense congressional scrutiny in recent weeks over its Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP), which tracks social media posts of Americans and shares that information with [cop shops and spook houses]…the program…includes analysts who assume fake identities online, use sophisticated intelligence tools and employ facial recognition software…in[cluding]…Clearview AI…Other tools…include Zignal Labs’ software, which…run[s] keyword searches on social media event pages…[and] Nfusion…to create and maintain anonymous, untraceable email and social media accounts…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1071)

Now that the pandemic is fading, cops are back to their usual panics:

A Michigan [cop] collapsed during a traffic stop after he [had a panic attack due] to [hysteria over] fentanyl…[he] was [root]ing [in] a vehicle [that was none of his business] and adjusted his face mask…[then got the vapors] and f[ainted.  Imagining]…he could be overdosing, his partner administered Narcan and the [placebo effect stopped the attack]…Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is [not an aerosol and is so difficult to absorb through the skin that fentanyl patches for pain treatment rely on patented technology that took years to develop]…according to [actual pharmacologists]

Guinea Pigs (#1083) 

Civil rights violations often start with whores, but never stop with us:

…In the name of catching tax dodgers, the Biden administration is seeking serious snooping rights to oversee all American bank accounts and payment apps…87,000 new IRS employees would be hired and everyone could expect more scrutiny of the flow of money to and from their financial accounts…inc[luding]…Paypal and Venmo…It’s how the administration proposes paying for the massive new spending measures in Biden’s American Families Plan…The administration [claim]s…this…would only affect extremely wealthy tax scofflaws.  But the extremely wealthy know they get extra IRS scrutiny and already have all sorts of tricks for shielding income…from regulators’ view.  Rather, it’s the folks who sometimes get paid “under the table” for informal gig work…who [would be targeted]…After all, those 87,000 new employees can’t all be catching wily millionaires and billionaires…the IRS would have an unprecedented ability to…target even the tiniest bits of unreported income…

Biden adores surveillance, and dreams of dramatically increasing every variety whether the Constitution allows it or not.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1088) 

It’s so nice to see them feeding on their own for a change:

A [typical and representative] New Jersey [cop named Christopher Walls] is facing a list of serious charges after [other cops] discovered a methamphetamine lab inside of his home…[when his girlfriend] called t[hem because he beat her up]…Walls had everything…he needed to manufacture meth, along with…books related to “making methamphetamine, explosives, and poison…

Torture Chamber (#1121)

Clearly, this is all Trump’s doing:

More than 4,500 immigrant children and teens are being held in enormous, filthy tents on a military base in Texas without access to basic necessities, including underwear…The [camp], which is largely populated by teenage boys, is housed at Fort Bliss, an Army base near El Paso…In [government propaganda], these [camps are] shelters…for kids who are waiting to be reunited with relatives…in the United States.  In fact…the Biden administration is holding “tens of thousands of asylum-seeking children in an opaque network of some 200 facilities”…[that even] Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra [admits are]…not fit for…them…lice…are…[spread]ing…and [a whistleblower reported that]…”We have already caught staff [molesting] minors”…

To Molest and Rape (#1140)

Good riddance to bad rubbish:

A Texas [cop] killed himself…just after admitting he had sexually abused children…Robert Johnson…had a six-hour standoff with other [cops] before he died by suicide on [May 19th].  He admitted to being involved in several child sexual assaults…[and] implicated two other [cops, Christina McKay and Chonda Shalett Williams] in the crimes…

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Bathhouse 30

Grace is finally done with the brackets which will support the steel header for the roof section of the bathhouse which will overlap the roof at the back of the existing structure, which will finally allow us to remove the shitty awning which came with the house.  The thing was jury-rigged to begin with, and there’s no telling how long ago; judging by the rot in the beams and the type of materials used, my guess would be sometime in the early ’80s.  I’ve been crossing my fingers it wouldn’t collapse before we removed it, but it started to do just that under the load of snow we got in February; we’ve had it propped up with a beam since then, but I’ll be glad to get rid of that once the proper roof (or at least the west section of it) is up.  I’m in Seattle today, but I’m returning tomorrow and the coming week is supposed to be both temperate and rain-free, so I’m hoping we can at least get it started; I find once we actually get these projects going, they tend to have a momentum which helps the rest get done.

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My go-to argument for skepticism about flying saucer sightings (which have been in the news again lately) is as follows: Any technology capable of getting here across interstellar distances would be able to avoid detection.  And if they wanted to be seen, they’d simply hover over New York City or something.  It’s basically the same as my argument against the idea that hypnosis can promote recall of past lives: If the deities or forces that control reincarnation wanted us to remember past lives, we would.  And if they didn’t, the Divine will couldn’t be circumvented by a parlor trick.  See, avoiding detection by radar and the like isn’t that difficult; we already have ideas (and elementary techniques) about how to do it right now.  But people without a background in physics and/or astronomy really don’t grasp just how difficult it is to get from one star to another within any practical timespan.  Popular sci-fi makes it look easy, but it’s incredibly difficult.  Surpassing the sound barrier was mostly a problem of engineering & metallurgy, but surpassing the light barrier is so hard we don’t even have any widely-accepted (by physicists) theory about how it might be done.  Compare the plethora of fictional ideas about what FTL travel might look like (hyperspace, wormholes, tachyons, spacetime folding, etc, etc, ad absurdum) to Renaissance fantasies about going to the Moon; the real thing, when we finally develop it, will probably resemble Star Trek about as closely as a Saturn V resembles a kite towed by birds.  I’m defintely not saying that there are no such thing as alien visitors; what I am saying is that I won’t get excited about it until I’m offered more convincing proof than, “Some jet-jockeys saw lights that appeared to move impossibly fast.”

Incidentally, there’s a reason I say “flying saucers” rather than “UFOs”.  Even when I was a tween (during the ’70s UFO craze) and people asked “Do you believe in UFOs?” I’d answer, “Yes, I believe there are things that fly that those who see them can’t identify.”  At the time, I was still young and impressionable enough to believe in alien visitation, ancient astronauts, the whole schtick.  But even then, I recognized using “Unidentified Flying Object” to mean “definitely an alien spacecraft” was dumb.

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People just like to hate.  –  Zeyanie King

The Last Shall Be First (#785)

Potty-obsessed politicians attempt to circumvent a federal ruling by unconstitutionally compelling speech:

Tennessee’s…H.B. 1182…requires all…facilities and businesses to post warning signs that they let trans people use the bathrooms…business[es]…”shall post notice of the policy at the entrance of each public restroom and at each entrance of the building accessible by the general public”…This isn’t the only anti-trans bill Tennessee has recently passed, just the dumbest…H.B. 1233 [allows and encourages]…civil lawsuits if administrators [do not attempt to compel] trans people to use the restrooms or locker rooms of their…birth sex.  The obvious result…will be that every single private business and public facility is going to have to put these signs up since they’re not going to actually police who uses which restroom…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#861)

Cops busting kids’ lemonade stands is no longer news, but using “public health” as an excuse for tyranny is increasingly popular:

With the help of their grandmother a…[group of Richmond, Virginia] sisters…[ranging from 10 to] 13…grew the[ir] lemonade [stand until]…they sold nachos and hot dogs, too…People posted all over social media about their business, called “4k Lemonade,” in hopes to get more people outside of [their neighborhood] to support them financially…But then on April 27 — 10 months into their business venture — a [cop and a]…health [department bureaucrat arrived]…to…[threaten and shake down] the girls[, saying] they had five business days to obtain a business license, and…[demanding] excise taxes from the [kid-level] revenue they made…It was the end of a nearly yearlong streak of running a youth-led business.  They haven’t sold anything since…a [bureaucrat defended the harassment by belching out the magic word “]unlicensed[“]…and [bloviating about] food-borne illness [even though they’d never had a complaint]…

Social Distancing (#1028)

Even in a crisis, politicians have to advertise their hate for sex workers:

A group of strip club owners in Pennsylvania, California, New Jersey, South Carolina and Maryland are suing the federal Small Business Administration…over their discriminatory policy classifying sex-oriented businesses as “prurient” and preventing them from…accessing the same…funding that other bars and restaurants have enjoyed…the SBA [automatically declares all adult businesses]… “prurient…without having ever visited the establishments or having viewed the live performances”…At the core of the lawsuit is the federal government’s use of…“prurient”…an imprecise, obscure word that means “appealing to unhealthy sexual interests”…members of the adult entertainment community and First Amendment lawyers have pointed out that people who do not consider their sexual expression “unhealthy” are exempt from application of the “prurient” clause…

Across the Pond (#1047)

Redbridge is so obsessed with persecuting whores, one wonders if any actual crime ever occurs there:

…while sex workers have “disappeared” from the once-notorious Ilford Lane, outreach groups fear they are just being displaced to more dangerous areas or into pop-up brothels.  In 2018, a[n “end demand” scheme]…was introduced across Redbridge [with the typical effect of such schemes, shifting the stroll to someplace cops aren’t stalking]…But while residents [so sheltered they claim to be] shocked at [the extremely mundane sight of] sex work[ers]…may be pleased, outreach groups report their work building relationships with vulnerable women was completely undone…

Given that “pop-up brothel” is a UK dysphemism for “incall” and that one of these supposed “outreach” supporters vomits out a lot of “end demand” filth later in the article, I’m rather skeptical that these “outreach groups” are anything other than typical rescue industry sleaze.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1067)

I love it when they feed on their own:

A [typical and representative London cop] who…sen[t] “highly sexualised” messages to [another cop fantasy role-playing as] a 13-year-old girl has been jailed for more than two years…Mark Collins…[also] sent [the role-playing cop dick pics]…while he was on holiday in Malta…and was arrested [when he returned to] work in Bromley police station on November 26 [2019]…

Stalkers in Blue (#1132)

Another sexual predator specifically targets traumatized women:

The Pinellas County [Florida] Sheriff’s Office fired a patrol deputy…after…he…sen[t] inappropriate text messages to vulnerable women he met on the job…[typical and representative cop] Brian Overton [acted in a typical and representative way, but got caught]…in July 2020…telling [a] woman his favorite thing to do when he was not working was “wild orgies” and that, if he could do any job, he would be a “male stripper”…[then] in February 2021…he…used an app…to disguise his personal phone number [while creeping on] another woman who…called the texts…”unprofessional, creepy, and scary”…Overton [also] communicated through a dating website with an[other sleazy cop fantasy roleplaying] a 15-year-old girl…

To Molest and Rape (#1139)

Rapist cops everywhere tend to prefer underage victims:

The suicide of a 17-year-old girl who [was raped by] police…sparked an uprising in [Popayan,] Colombia that left at least one person dead, 35 injured and the local police jail destroyed…On her Instagram account, the girl had de[scrib]ed how she had been [raped]…by members of the loathed riot police unit ESMAD…police [of course denied raping her]…despite evidence indicating the opposite…[but] Prosecutor General Francisco Barbosa announced a criminal investigation into the [rape, which was only]…the latest of many allegations of sexual abuse by the police…Masked men threw firebombs [in]to the Popayan police’s [cage stack] whose outer walls walls had been spray painted with words like “murderers” and “rapists”…

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Diary #569

Aeryn was born in March, 2002, which makes her now the cat equivalent of roughly 107 years old.  She’s remarkably spry for that advanced age, but as you can see she’s greyed considerably.  We suspect she’s also arthritic, because though she was always a very talkative cat, she now complains frequently (it’s difficult to describe the vocalizations as anything but “complaining”, as you may have heard yourself if you’ve seen me on Zoom).  So a couple of years ago, Grace started sharing the cannabis tincture she uses for her arthritis with our little old lady; because Aeryn’s tummy has become pretty delicate, Grace makes her a “stew” of warm water and pate-style cat food, adding a few drops to the mixture.  After eating a bit of that, she’s content for hours, generally sleeping on the sofa or sitting in someone’s lap to be petted while purring a bit raggedly.  Then after about 24 hours she declares whatever’s left too old, and complains until Grace makes her a new bowl (the remains of the previous bowl go to my dog Annie, who gets to enjoy a buzz for a few hours).  We need to keep her bowl up on the counter because the dogs think any food on the floor is theirs; as you can see, her water fountain (which Grace made her sometime in the Oughts) is also there.  But because she’s no longer strong enough to jump all the way up, Grace made her a little staircase (you can barely see the top of it at lower left) so she can reach the dining area.  Yes, we spoil her a bit, but we know that she probably only has a little time left in this world, and she’s been a (mostly) good kitty for two decades now.  So I think it’s the least we can do for a beloved friend to make the last part of her life as comfortable as possible.

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We are quicksilver, a fleeting shadow, a distant sound…our home has no boundaries beyond which we cannot pass. We live in music, in a flash of color…we live on the wind and in the sparkle of a star!
–  Endora (Agnes Moorehead)

A couple of years ago I rewatched Bewitched, a show I always enjoyed in my youth but hadn’t seen since the early ’80s.  I’ve always thought Elizabeth Montgomery was an excellent actress, but this time the magic of cannabis (which slows down my hyperactive nervous system so that I can really watch these shows in a way I’ve never been able to before) opened my eyes to just how talented she really was; she could convey so much with just her facial expressions and vocal manner, and her comedic timing was brilliant.  But beyond that, I saw aspects of the show itself that were previously opaque to me.  I’ve always recognized that many of the episodes are veiled commentaries on racism and other forms of bigotry; that was typical of the 1960s, when fantasy and science fiction shows could sneak controversial issues past uptight sponsors and network censors by disguising them as the stuff of alien worlds or magical happenings.  When Samantha angrily denounced ugly witch stereotypes or mortals’ fear of those who are different, the perceptive viewer understood what the show was really saying.  As I grew older, I realized that there was also a more-deeply-buried queer subtext which was too radical even for most contemporary viewers who thought of themselves as liberal:  beside the fact that several of the principals were played by gay men, Samantha had to hide her true nature in order to exist in the judgmental mortal world, and only in the company of other witches could she really be herself.  Furthermore, those mortals were willing to hunt, persecute and even burn those like her merely because they were different.  But queer people weren’t the only sexual minority violently persecuted and actively hunted by 20th-century puritans; while I’m sure it was unintentional, sex workers can also see ourselves reflected in this magic mirror.

When I last watched the show, in my late teens or very early twenties, I naturally identified most with Samantha.  But on this rewatch, I found myself identifying with her mother, Endora, due in part to her age, in part to her unique personal style, and in part to her attitude toward her daughter’s marriage.  I’m old enough to have a daughter in her twenties or early thirties, and I can certainly understand how I’d feel if she married a man I thought wasn’t good enough for her.  But it goes beyond that: the association between sex work and witchcraft is a very old one, and even today many sex workers metaphorically describe our work as “magic” (not to mention the many sex workers who actually do specifically practice witchcraft, though obviously not the fantasy TV variety).  Endora’s chief gripe with her son-in-law isn’t really that he’s mortal; it’s that he wants to rob her beloved daughter of her birthright by forcing her to eschew magic and submit to mortal drudgery.  And every time I heard her say this to Samantha (in quite a few episodes), I imagined how I would feel if my beautiful daughter gave up a successful career in sex work to marry a “dumbo” who demanded she renounce her heritage, shun her whore friends, and work a shitty square job when she could make far more with far less effort by doing what she’s good at instead of letting herself be limited to behavior that doesn’t make dreary, unimaginative authoritarians uncomfortable.

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It’s like they have nothing to do but harass families.  –  Charles Twyman

When Mike Siegel recently saw me post a Luna video on Twitter, he shared another unusual cover of a rock classic.  The links above the video were provided by Dan Savage, Billy Binion, Scott Greenfield, Violet Blue, Franklin Harris, Cop Crisis, and Dave Krueger, in that order.

From the Archives

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[The “sex offender” registry] thoroughly ruins someone’s life.
–  Elizabeth Ehret

Elephant in the Parlor

Americans pretend “politician hires whores” is something other than a yawn:

When…Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was…a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event…The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will [out] that escort to [busybodies] as one of more than 15 [sex workers] Gaetz [hired]…what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that…Greenberg [moved money around to tip her an extra]…$7,000 to $17,500…Gaetz…has declared that he “never paid for sex” [and] wrote off the stay at the hotel as a campaign expense

“Politician lies” ain’t news, either.

The End of the Beginning 

It’s good to see so many challenges to these medieval laws:

In 1993, when he was 18, Randall Menges had consensual sex with two other teenage boys at a camp in Idaho.  [He] was charged…with “crimes against nature”…and served seven years in prison…[then condemned to] the sex-offender registry…a federal judge in Montana ruled that Mr. Menges’s name should be removed from the…registry…but…the Montana attorney general, Austin Knudsen…said he planned to appeal…because “[laws are more important than people]”…Last September, [attorney] M[atthew] Strugar, along with the A.C.L.U. of Idaho, filed a federal lawsuit challenging Idaho’s law on behalf of Mr. Menges and another man who was forced to register as a sex offender because he was convicted 20 years ago in another state for performing oral sex on his wife…

Torture Chamber

Funny how people die of “undetermined causes” while cops are brutalizing them:

…[two South Carolina screws murdered] Jamal Sutherland, a Black man with mental illness, in jail…[by tas]ing [him] and pepper-spray[ing him multiple times while he cried that]…he couldn’t breathe…The county coroner has [tried to exonerate the screws by blaming]…his [his death on] an “excited state” with unfavorable effects from prescription drugs [rather than the fact that] police [were attacking him with a high-voltage weapon and dangerous toxic chemicals]…Sutherland’s manner of death remains “undetermined,” according to the coroner…[screws] Lindsay Fickett and Brian Houle…were [at first rewarded with paid vacations]…but the…sheriff…[later fired them in response to public outcry]…

Nothing To Be Proud Of

I hope they’re so “disheartened” they go out and find honest work:

Organizers of New York City’s Pride events…are banning [cops] and other [government-sponsored thugs] from marching in their huge annual parade until at least 2025 and will also seek to keep on-duty [cops] a block away from the celebration…“law enforcement…can…be threatening, and at times dangerous, to those in our community who are most often targeted with excessive force and/or without reason”…the Gay Officers Action League said in a release it was disheartened by the decision…and [called] the decision…[to place the safety of cops’ victims above the sadfeelz of cops] “shameful”…

To Molest and Rape (#862) 

Note that politicians took three years to act on doing something about rapist cops:

House [politicians] just passed a bipartisan bill that would make it illegal for federal [pigs, spooks and g-men] to [rape] people…the[y have abducted]…th[us closing the “she wanted it”]…loophole…[which] protect[s rapist cops]…The Closing the Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act, created by Rep. Jackie Speier…would make it a criminal offense for [pigs, spooks and g-men] to engage in any sexual activity with anyone…while exercising their [police powers]…On the state level, it’s still legal in 34 states for [cops] to [rape] someone in custody [as long as they belch out the magic words “she wanted it” when caught]…

Disaster (#1130)

It’s just going to keep getting worse:

…eBay…has changed its policies regarding what it considers “adult items” effective June 15, completely eliminating the category “Adult Only” for new listings…Items that contain nudity are allowed only if the eBay moderators consider it to be “nude art listings that do not contain sexually suggestive poses or sexual acts” and if they are accordingly categorized and labeled…[however] eBay also…reserves the right to decide what is and is not “art”…The company…somehow decided that vintage copies of only four magazine titles — Playboy, Playgirl, Mayfair and Penthouse — may be listed for sale or auction “as long as the listing does not contain nude images or explicit content.”  All other adult publications are banned…[as are] erotic videos and films…video games with a rating of X, XXX, R18 or unrated…and all “sexually explicit anime, comics, books, films, animation, manga, hentai [and] yaoi”…

To Molest and Rape (#1137)

Imagine a non-cop child rapist getting only three years:

A [typical and representative] Massachusetts [cop]…convicted…of [raping] a child was sentenced…to [less than] three years in prison…Daniel Cintron was convicted in a jury-waived trial of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and two counts of intimidation of a witness…Cintron has been in [jail] since 2018 when he…rap[ed] three girls.  But a jury in 2019…[said it was OK for him to] rape [kid]s while deadlocking on [mostly clown-costume-related] charges…

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