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Archive for August, 2021

Diary #583

Since Lorelei knew I was coming into town last week, she invited me over for a Who night on Friday, and when I arrived this was what she had waiting for me because she knows I’m very fond of charcuterie with all the trimmings, especially for a TV-watching date.  Look at how gorgeous this is; I told her at the time it was almost too pretty to eat.  Emphasis on the “almost” there, because eat it we did, nearly every morsel.  The drinks, by the by, are our signature Who cocktails; mine (left) is a Sonic Scewdriver (a screwdriver made with our favorite cinnamon-sugar flavored vodka) and hers is an Ass-kicking Amy Pond (like a Moscow Mule but made with our favorite vodka and blood orange-flavored ginger beer).  We don’t get to do our Who nights as often as we used to, but we still do them as often as possible.  And occasions like that are made extra-nice when the person one is sharing them with does something like this to say, “I love you and you are important to me.”

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Back Issue #98

Control freaks…can’t stand the idea of women choosing whom they will have sex with for their own reasons.  –  “Droit du Seigneur

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Please, don’t kill me!  –  Angelo Quinto, last words

Since Don Everly died last week, I thought this was the most appropriate song with which to memorialize him.  The links above it were provided by Lenore Skenazy (“ball”), Dave Krueger (“Hall”), Jesse Walker (“Everly”), and Cop Crisis (everything else).

From the Archives

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How do we know it won’t happen again?  –  Lacy Lennon

I Spy (#930)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

Google received more than 20,000 geofence warrants in the US in the last three calendar years…[this fascist surveillance technique allows cops to] carve out a specific area and time period and [demand]…information about the devices that were present during that window.  The information is anonymous…[until cops demand more details, at which time]…Google [happily violates] those users’ [privacy]…In 2018, Google received 982 [such] warrants.  The following year, it rose to 8,396.  Last year, it jumped to 11,554.  In all, Google received 20,932 geofence warrants…since 201[8]…

Business As Usual (#1011)

The media are still downplaying the crimes of this psychopathic rapist-murderer cop:

A federal judge has set a new trial date for a [typical and representative] Columbus…vice [pig who murdered a sex worker when she wouldn’t submit to rape]…Andrew Mitchell is [only being] charged with…federal [conspiracy and perjury-type crimes even though]…he…had [a long history of raping] prostitutes…Mitchell also faces state charges [for shooting 100-pound] Donna Castleberry [eight times at point-blank range] after she [fought back] during an [attempted rape by] Mitchell, who has [described the wanton murder of a woman half his size]…as self-defense…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1012) 

How is this surprising when TikTok is owned by the Chinese?

TikTok has quietly expanded how much information it will collect from its more than 100 million users in the U.S. to include “faceprints and voiceprints.”  In response, [US politicians want a piece of the action]…The U.S. does not have a federal law regulating the tracking of biometric data by technology companies, but…TikTok…is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese [company owned in part by the Chinese government, which also controls 1/3 of its board]…Earlier this year, TikTok paid $92 million to settle dozens of lawsuits [in response to] the app[‘s]…harvesting personal data…including…facial recognition…without user consent.  That data…was [shaed with Beijing] and sold to advertisers in violation of state and federal law.  In 2019, TikTok was fined nearly $6 million by the Federal Trade Commission for [violating] the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires apps to receive parental permission before collecting a minor’s data.  The Trump administration[‘s attempt]…to ban the app was abandoned by the Biden administration in June

Policing for Profit (#1096)

No matter how little their victims have, cops will steal it and fuck up their lives in the process:

The city of Longmont [Colorado] has [finally] paid the $1,592.72…toll bill [the state tried to stick] a [disabled] woman [with after]…a [city cop named Stephen Schulz stole her] license plate…and put [it] on his [disguised pigmobile]…Debra Romero…[was] left…without the use of a vehicle…[because] the [state]…refused to waive the toll charges even after Romero filed a report…declaring her license plate as stolen…the state of Colorado [also] barred her from renewing her registration until the toll bill was paid…the city [didn’t care about Romero’s plight until]…the…situation [made the news]…

The Prudish Giant (#1104)

Facebook can’t even follow its own “standards”:

A poster for Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s new film Parallel Mothers…was [censored by Facebook-owned] Instagram for depicting a lactating nipple…[after public outcry] Instagram…reverse[d] its censorship…[but] given Instagram’s exception for artistic context, the rationale for the poster’s initial removal remains unclear…

To Molest and Rape (#1165)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative] Massachusetts [cop] has been arrested on child pornography charges…Francis Hart…[was caught] upload[ing] a file with numerous images of child pornography…

I’m not sure what will happen here; Massachusetts cops who forcibly rape actual children get less than one year per victim, or no penalty at all plus being rewarded with a powerful cop gang position for repeatedly raping children of both sexes for decades.  But Massachuseets puritans are very uptight about porn, so who knows?

The Next Target (#1165)

Those who shift with the wind can be counted on to continue doing so:

OnlyFans says it has suspended a plan to ban sexually explicit content following an outcry from its creators and advocates for sex workers…the planned ban was “no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators”…[however, an authoritarian circle-jerk made up] of over 100…[politicians are still howling for sex workers’ blood, cit]ing the[ir own disgusting fantasies about]…sex…with children

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Bathhouse 41

It’s good to at last see the roof structure beginning to take shape; as you can see, the third post is shorter than the others because the roof beam it will support runs from the peak down to the edge of the existing house roof, so this will give you an idea of the pitch.  In preparation for running that beam, we’ve also welded the header beam which runs along the back of the house to its support brackets, but that wouldn’t make much of a picture.  The next step, which should be in place by the time you read this, will make an even better picture; I hope things are speeding up now at last, because once the framework in place the installation of the cee purlins should be relatively simple, and the roof panels more straightforward still.  And if we can get the roof in place before the rainy season starts again in October, we’ll be able to work on the walls and other internal features at our leisure without having to plan around the rain.

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It’s probably difficult for people under 40 to imagine the frustration of being unable to complete a multi-part story due to the conclusion being unavailable.  But in the days before home video, there was no way to see missed episodes of a TV show except by finding it in syndication and waiting until the missing stories were shown again.  And in the days before Amazon and other online stores, it could often be extraordinarily difficult to find the missing issues of a comic book or serialized magazine story, especially if one lived in a small town or minor city with only one library and few if any places that sold used books.  Add OCD to that mixture, and I think you can probably grasp how frustrating it was for me as a child and teenager when months would go by without a given title appearing on any comic book racks I visited, and when the comic at last reappeared it was a new story because for some reason the distributors had apparently skipped, one, two, or even three issues.  Or I’d anxiously look forward to the next in a series of novels, only to discover that our library didn’t have a copy and the only accessible bookstore told me it was out of print.  Because of this I developed an aversion to multi-part comic book stories and multi-volume novels, and by the time I had grown into an independent adult, I was strongly averse to beginning any story I was unsure I’d be able to finish.  It became my habit to buy entire series of books I wanted to read all at once whenever possible, and when it wasn’t possible I’d diligently search every possible source until I found whatever I needed to complete a set, even if it meant driving around for hours.  And due to more than one instance of a network cancelling a show I was enjoying with a complex story left incomplete (American Gothic and Farscape leap immediately to mind), I generally won’t start a new TV series until it’s concluded and I know I can get the entire set; I imagine a special circle of Hell for corporations which release the first few seasons of a show I want and then suddenly stop before finishing the job (Disney is notorious for this, but Warner can be nearly as bad).  So when TV series started using long, interconnected arcs in the late ’80s, I was not at all happy about it; though many of my friends enjoyed The X-Files, I never watched it because the first two episodes I tried to watch were both part of longer arcs and therefore made little sense to me, and in VHS days buying an entire TV series was prohibitively expensive.  Now that I can in most cases easily buy an entire series on DVD, my view of long story arcs has changed; upon rewatching the last three seasons of classic Doctor Who (the first of the series to employ such an arc) I found I enjoyed them much more than in the days when there was no way to ensure I could see them all, and in the correct order.  But I still won’t invest the time and emotional energy into new shows until and unless I’m dead sure I won’t be left in the lurch.

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Media coverage [of prostitution “stings” is]…yet another reminder of just how divorced from reality…U.S…”trafficking” operations have become.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

So Close and Yet So Far

If you can’t support sex workers without condemning consensual sex, you don’t actually support sex workers:

Marsha Scott, the chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid…has made it clear that the charity will not back…proposals [to impose Swedish criminalization on Scotland]…she wrote: “Criminalisation of sex work is a major issue and can cause increased risk for the women involved in it…it’s impossible to criminalise the buyer without…taking away any small bit of choice she has in th[e] awful…dynamic [of women having the power to demand payment for sex]…we want to stop…demand [for consensual sex], but we think we are not in that place yet”…

Little Tin Gods

He literally made himself into a little tin god:

…Escambia County [Florida] Sheriff David Morgan spent thousands of p[illaged] dollars to order a life-size bronze statue of himself last year before the end of his final term in office.  Current Sheriff Chip Simmons called the 6-foot-4-inch statue, which arrived last week at the Sheriff’s Office, a “brash narcissistic waste”…[naturally] Morgan [believes]…it was not that big of a deal…The statue of Morgan was one of two…paid for out of the…general fund at a cost of $75,000 for both…”I have zero intention of placing this thing in front of our building,” Simmons said…Morgan [lied that] he ordered the statues two years ago, but they were delayed because of COVID-19…however…Morgan’s handwritten signature appears on a document specifying the terms of the deal with Randolph Rose Collection Design Studio…Directly next to his signature, Morgan handwrote the date “4/20/2020” and the words, “Good to go!”…

Bronze, in case you didn’t know, is an alloy of copper and tin.

End Demand (#893)

Guys, please do your homework and only call reputable providers:

Puritanism is still alive in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, only now it poses as saving people from human trafficking…this month, five men were charged with “trafficking a person for sexual servitude” after [a huge herd of fantasy role-playing pigs]…posted ads online pretending to be an adult sex worker.  Five men…were [entrapp]ed and face charges for sex trafficking.  If convicted, they’ll be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of five years in prison without the possibility of parole, plus [condemnation to]…the…Sex Offender Registry.  The [maximum sentence]…includes up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine…

Meanwhile, Massachusetts cops who forcibly rape actual children get less than one year per victim, or no penalty at all plus being rewarded with a powerful cop gang position for repeatedly raping children of both sexes for decades.

Social Distancing (#1046)

I’m sure this guy is motivated entirely by concerns for public health:

Canberra’s largest brothel owner…has w[hi]ned that illegal sex workers [are making money while he’s closed]…Aaron Jones, who operates the Langtrees brothel…said that [independent] sex workers…would not be [collaborating with the pigs to spy on their]…customers.  He has [belched out various dysphemisms at them, including “superspreaders”, “il]legitimate[“, and “]non-essential[“, in addition to leaning heavily on the “dirty whore” myth]…”These independents are…taking four, five, six bookings per night….[with] zero co[ming to me]”…

A Broker in Pillage (#1091)

Nobody is safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

A New Orleans grandfather [was robbed by] the…DEA…[of] his life savings based on [spurious] accusations of drug trafficking and without ever charging him with a crime.  Now he’s fighting to get it back.  Kermit Warren…and his son had gotten laid off from their jobs last year during the COVID-19 lockdowns, and he was trying to turn a side-business as a scrapper into a full-time venture.  To that end, he and his son traveled to Ohio with roughly $28,000 to purchase a tow truck…[but] the…truck was too large for his needs, so he and his son bought a one-way ticket back home.  In the airport, three DEA agents stopped the two men and [harassed] them about the bag of cash…the[n stole] his money [after branding him “suspicious” and claiming]…that a…dog [gave them permission to rob him]…Warren is represented by the Institute for Justice, [which]…has filed several lawsuits on behalf of people who had significant amounts of cash s[tolen] from them at airports [by pigs oinking out the magic word “]trafficking[“]…

To Molest and Rape (#1157)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative cop named Matthew Darren Atkins] who worked for several metro Atlanta police departments during a [checkered] career that [included being sacked for drug abuse in 2014] has been indicted [for]…molesting a 7-year-old girl in Cobb County…Atkins was [first] arrested in March…[then] was arrested a second time in Carroll County…[after] a woman who saw reports of [his] arrest…came forward to report that she had been molested by him as well…several years ago…

The Next Target (#1163)

This was inevitable once “sex trafficking” fetishists extended their pet fantasy to OnlyFans:

OnlyFans…will prohibit users from posting any sexually explicit conduct, starting in October.  Creators will still be allowed to post nude photos and videos, provided they’re consistent with [whatever] policy…banking partners and payment providers [demand]…the company [bloviated about]…“the long-term sustainability of our platform”…[apparently unaware of what happened to Tumblr]…

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Diary #582

The cable I ordered arrived last Monday, after I had already left for Seattle.  But I came home on Wednesday, so on Thursday we measured it out, ran it through the conduit and buried it, so now everything is ready for our electrician to return.  In addition to running the subsidiary breaker box for the garage I’ve wanted since we moved here, he’ll also set up our generator to operate as it’s supposed to, and wire up the GFCI panel (purchased for me by a generous gent last week) for the hot tub, which means we’ll be able to start using it (at least in fair weather).  Once the bathhouse roof is in place, that condition will be moot as well, and about damned time considering I bought the thing a year and a half ago.  And since it looks like my apple crop will be pretty good this year, I look forward to being able to sit in the tub drinking homemade apple cider while listening to the sound system given me by another lovely gent.  Would that I always had so much good news to share!

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Day of the Dogs

Because my brain insists on being contrary, while a lot of people I know were extremely stessed out last summer, I was actually doing a lot better than usual.  This was largely due to the fact that I was extremely busy working on my bathhouse project, and therefore much too focused on important, positive developments for my typical summer anxiety to get me as knotted up as usual.  This isn’t to say it was completely absent; it just took a different form than it usually does.  Rather than manifesting as a nearly-constant agitation which waxes and wanes depending on other conditions, it mostly stayed trapped below the surface unless someone obstructed my work, at which time it exploded in the offender’s face like an incompetently-opened champagne bottle.  But this year the work progressed much more slowly, with the result that I found myself displaying the usual symptoms: restlessness, agitation, troubled sleep and nightmares even under the influence, worrying about everything and anything, aversion to leaving my home, pointless procrastination, mild writer’s block, excessive frustration and annoyance with any interruption to my routine, and other curious writhing of the snakes in my head.  But today marks the end of the Dog Days, and as we pass through September my brain will start to relax.  The government’s obsession with fucking around with perfectly-good time zones means the sun will still be up far later than it should be until a whole damned week into November, but at least the total amount of light per day will have contracted back within my autumnal brain’s capacity to handle it, even if it is distributed so as to offend my sensibilities for weeks longer than necessary.

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Get down on the fucking floor.  –  typical Chicago “peace officer”

The latest addition to my collection of unusual covers is unusual indeed!  The links above it were provided by Elizabeth N. Brown, Scott Greenfield, Radley Balko, Mike Siegel, C.J. Ciaramella, Cop Crisis, and Stephen Lemons, in that order.

From the Archives

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