Archive for April, 2022

May Eve 2022

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Annex 64

We finally got two warm days without rain, and were thus able to get the cottage roof headers connected to each other and to the surrounding structure. Welding and plasma cutting both require a ground connected to the metal being welded; since it’s a pain to have to keep moving he ground clamp around, it’s helpful to avoid “orphan” structural members, such as the roof headers were prior to making these connections. But now the header on the northwest cottage (which is the one I’m standing on in this picture) is connected to the larger structure over the new bathroom (not visible in this picture), and also to the beam that forms the roof peak (center of the picture); that let me weld the connection between the headers (lower left, under the apple branch I have since pruned off) and the beam connecting the southeast cottage to the structure atop the shop.  Later on, we also welded a beam from the peak of the second cottage to the structure over the central post.  The rain hasn’t yet stopped; it has appeared every day this week.  However, it’s mostly been in the morning, leaving the afternoons clear; you’ll see what we did after this next week!

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Back Issue #106

Defining sex is like twisting a rope of sand; the more one tries the more it slips away.  –  “Little Boxes

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The decision of whether or not to install surveillance cameras at a business should be up to the owner.  –  Erica Smith Ewing

To Molest and Rape

Protecting and serving rapists:

A…Vicksburg, Mississippi…[cop named]…Derrick Dotson…resigned about a week after being [given a paid vacation for raping a woman.  Another cop named Jessie Harris]…who was already on probation from an earlier incident, was fired for [trying to cover up his buddy’s crime].  The [assault came to light when]…the…victim[, Ejeane Lewis, reported]…in a now-deleted Facebook post that she was sexually assaulted in the back of a p[igmobile]…behind an “abandoned hospital” by the [rapist cop], who “turned his cameras and radio off”…

Panopticon (#914)

Houston isn’t satisfied with waiting for useful idiots to grant them access:

…the Institute for Justice (IJ) calls on Houston officials to repeal an Orwellian ordinance that requires various businesses to install surveillance cameras at their own cost and turn footage over to the police without a warrant…Any business that does not comply…would be subject to fines of $500 per day.  The law requires “bars, nightclubs, convenience stores, sexually oriented businesses, and game rooms” to install surveillance cameras with sufficient lighting at all places where customers are permitted, keep the cameras running 24/7 and store all footage for at least 30 days.  Upon [demand] from police, businesses will be forced to turn their footage over within three days…some local bar owners raised concerns that it was arbitrarily targeting their businesses, and that many could not afford to comply if it becomes law…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

How long will America ignore the costs of its sick worship of state-sanctioned violence?

Police in the US have [murdered] nearly 600 people during traffic stops since 2017…including…a…disproportionate…[percentage of] people of color, according to data collected by Mapping Police Violence…About 10% of the roughly 1,100 people [murder]ed by police each year involve traffic violations, the group found…There has been renewed scrutiny of traffic stops since the 4 April killing of [Patrick] Lyoya…[who] was shot in the back of the head…for having a mismatched license plate…Daunte Wright…was [murdered]…for…a hanging air freshener; Sandra Bland…was [murdered] for failing to signal; and…Philando Castile [was murdered because a racist cop claimed he couldn’t tell black people apart]…Some of the deadly traffic cases tracked this year include a Miami man [murder]ed for an expired tag, a Milwaukee man [murdered for] failing to signal and an Oregon man…[murdered for pulling out of] a parking lot…

Creepy Coppers

Seems like a significant fraction of child porn is spread by cops:

A Daytona Beach [cop named]…Brandon Fox…is facing seven counts of possession of child pornography…[after he was caught] sharing…images and videos of sexual acts involving children under 10…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1214)

There won’t be any shortcut to stopping Clearview:

…Scraping publicly accessible data is legal, according to a…ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals…in a long-running legal battle brought by LinkedIn aimed at stopping a rival company from web scraping personal information from users’ public profiles. The…Court…found that scraping data that is publicly accessible on the internet is not a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act…which governs what constitutes computer hacking under U.S. law.  The…decision is a major win for archivists, academics, researchers and journalists…But there have been egregious cases of web scraping that have sparked privacy and security concerns.  Facial recognition startup Clearview AI claims to have scraped billions of social media profile photos, prompting several tech giants to file lawsuits

Torture Chamber (#1229) 

Your “leaders” refer to this as “correction”:

…For incarcerated persons, few experiences are as degrading as the strip search…a…humiliating…reminder of your total inability to control access to the most intimate parts of your body.  Even worse is what people in prisons call the “credit card swipe,” the practice of sliding a gloved hand between a person’s buttocks.  [It] is…indistinguishable from sexual assault…especially…[because] guards use this practice…as a form of punishment…a means of control…and provoking a reaction that might lead to pretext for a beating or other punishment…these degrading searches almost certainly undermine institutional security, to say nothing of rehabilitative goals.  Ultimately, rather than cowing the defiant, unnecessary strip searches are likely to inflame opposition and defiance of authority – exactly the opposite effect intended…

The Last Shall Be First (#1229) 

At least Florida’s anti-trans crusade isn’t as psychopathic as Texas’:

…the Florida Department of Health [has] released guidelines that advise no treatment of gender dysphoria for children and teenagers outside of counseling…[it advises] against…prescription of hormone therapy or puberty blockers…[and even] things like using a different name, pronouns or style of dress…It…[is un]clear what effect the state’s guidance could have on physicians treating children and teens with gender dysphoria…research shows that gender-affirming care like social transitions and hormone therapy can improve the mental health and well-being of transgender and nonbinary children and adolescents…

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Diary #617

Spring has finally arrived, albeit a month late, and I think the animals are even happier about it than I am.  I’ve never even seen Jonathan sunbathing like this; usually the only time he lies flat like that is when he’s taking a dust bath in the summer, and at those times he’s rolling back and forth rather than lying still.  You can see that his wool is a frightful mess from all the mud; he’s been combing it by circling cedar trees which keeping his head down, so the branches pull out all the loose, dirty wool, but on Saturday he just wanted to enjoy the sun.  I saw practically every pet doing something similar at some point that day; even the chickens seemed to be enjoying it.  It still tends to be pretty rainy here in May and June, but warm spring rains are not at all the same thing as frigid rain alternating with hail and snow; here’s hoping that by the next time we see either of those sorts of precipitation, the bathhouse is snugly sealed up so it’s not quite such a hassle as it was this winter.

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April Twitters

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It’s a serious crime.  –  Tom Mynsberge, about a child’s tantrum

I have no particular explanation for this 1975 hit by The Jimmy Castor Bunch, except to say, “you had to be there”.  The links above it were provided by Walter Olson, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, J.D. Tuccille, Tim Cushing, Cop Crisis again, and Wendy Lyon, in that order.

From the Archives

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No one works without getting paid in return, so how is this different?  –  Haneen Hossam

Triple Threat

What a koinkydink:

[Days after] a civil rights lawsuit against a [typical and representative] Tennessee sheriff’s deputy was approved by a U.S. District Court judge…the woman who brought the lawsuit has been found dead…Shandele Marie Riley [was molested, terrorized, and humiliated by] Daniel Wilkey, [who] was indicted in 2019 on 44 charges including rape, assault, and official oppression…Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston has requested the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigate Riley’s death…

There are two other lawsuits pending against Wilkey for similar assaults on other motorists.

All-Purpose Excuse (#1149)

Anything can be “trafficking” if you use your imagination:

An Egyptian court…sentenced TikTok influencer Haneen Hossam to three years in prison and a fine of 200,000 pounds ($10,759) after a retrial [again] convicted her of “human trafficking”…Hossam was sentenced in June 2021 to 10 years in prison on the same charges, but a retrial was held after her lawyer lodged an appeal…The [supposed] human trafficking…was…a[ctually nothing more than]…an Instagram video in which she encouraged women over 18 to post videos of themselves on the app Likee to earn money.  Amnesty International said the video had “no credible evidence linking her to any internationally recognisable crime”.  The…cybercrime law…[under which she was prosecuted]…allows any social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers to be [surveilled by the state]…

Business As Usual (#1166)

A psychopathic rapist-murderer cop is still unconvicted:

…the case of Andrew Mitchell…ended with a hung jury…prosecutors…did not comment after the trial on whether Mitchell would face another jury…[for the wanton] murder…of…Donna Castleberry on Aug. 23, 2018…Mitchell…[attempted to rape] Castleberry…[but when] she [resisted him]…he…shot [her] three times [at point-blank range]…Mitchell [whined] that [t]he [tiny]…Castleberry [“tried to kill him” so he was justified in murdering her]…The jury did not hear testimony about…Mitchell[‘s long history of raping sex workers, or]…that he [is facing]…federal charges [for]…the same conduct…

The Mob Rules

The number of laws empowering busybodies to harass victims with nuisance lawsuits will only keep growing until they’re ruled unconstitutional:

A…Louisiana [politician] has proposed a new bill to allow state residents to sue any commercial entity for failing to implement age verification to prevent minors from accessing [porn or any other] “content…that [the plaintiff claims] could be harmful to them”…[before becoming a politician] Laurie Schlegel…was…a faith-based couples’ counselor and “sex addiction therapist”…

Tissue of Lies (#1203)

Yet another dog’s-breakfast record review sold to softheads as a “sex trafficking sting”:

US Marshals Service in Louisiana [pretend]ed t[hat] the recovery of 16 [different legal] mi[nors from running away on their own or from the custody of state-disapproved parents were actually part of one unified]…operation, dubbed “Fresh Start”…[cops pretended the so-called “operation”] took place in the New Orleans area from January 1 of this year until March 31…[though in reality the minors were located all over] Louisiana…and [also in Florida and New York]…In one case, a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy were…taken by [cops from]…their mother…[in] Fort Lauderdale…[in another] a 1-year-old baby [was]…surrendered to the New Orleans Police [by his father.  Spokespigs oinked out nonsense about “sex trafficking” even though there was nothing of the kind described among the charges, presumably to spice up an otherwise routine report]…

Note that this is simply a continuation of the process described in the subtitle-linked article, only with a new sophomoric name to make it seem like a new “operation”.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1221)

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

…Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller [loves fantasizing about]…child sex trafficking…[so he encourages other perverts on his payroll to fantasy role-play online as] 15-year-old girl[s in order to entrap other creeps.  This time they ensnared]…Abraham Hohnke…a Western Michigan University [campus cop.  Several politicians and university official used the incident to bloviate about]…human trafficking [while making furtive movements in their pants pockets]…

The Cop Myth (#1223)

“Cop murders pregnant girlfriend and claims it was suicide” is a recurring theme in this tag:

Sandra Birchmore, a pregnant woman who [was murdered]…in Canton, Massachusetts…on Monday, February 1st, 2021…[by] the [sire] of her child, a Stoughton [cop]…was [not] found [until] February 4th…[the murder] was ruled a suicide by a medical examiner…[and] no criminal charges were filed.  However, the Norfolk District Attorney’s office and Massachusetts State Police have launched a year-long misconduct probe into several Stoughton [cops] implicated in the [cover-up]…Two [were rewarded with] paid [vacations]…while a third, [murderer cop Matthew G. Farwell]…has resigned.  [The two vacationers are] Robert Devine and [Farwell’s twin brother] William…Three of Birchmore’s friends told…[reporters] that Matthew Farwell began having sex with Birchmore eight years earlier when she was 15 and…he [was her “mentor”]…in [the grooming program called] police youth explorers…Farwell…is married with children…and…was not happy about the [pregnancy]…

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I actually like winter, as one of four well-defined seasons; what I do not like is when winter is a bad guest which arrives earlier than it is supposed to or overstays its welcome.  And this year, it did both.  The monsoons arrived before Thanksgiving, and the cold just kept holding on past Easter; I wrote this a week ago today, just a few hours after a fairly-heavy hailstorm.  It has, in fact, hailed some ten times in the past two weeks, in addition to the rain and snow, and though we haven’t had a real freeze since February, the temperature has hovered just above that point most nights in April so far.  And did I mention the biting-cold winds off of the Pacific Ocean?  Look, I know this isn’t Camelot, and the weather isn’t required to conform to my ideas of proper meteorological deportment.  But if we were going to have a five-month-long season, why did it have to be winter rather than autumn or spring?  Those are my two favorite seasons, yet I got cheated out of a month of both of them this time around.  And to add insult to injury, it’s light until after 8 PM, which combined with damp cold and frigid winds, is basically the worst of all combinations.  Since it’s too damned wet to get up on the roof, and too damned cold to weld, I don’t have any roof progress to report this time.  And that’s why I’m griping about the damned weather instead.

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Part of the reason I got such a good deal on my property was that superficially, the house was in a frightful condition.  It was structurally sound, solid, and dry, and though we needed to do considerable work on the electrical and water systems to get them to the level I was comfortable with, we were able to move in right away and then fix it up over time.  But while I cleaned up the most obvious dirt, dust, and grime pretty quickly, and tackled the less-obvious stuff as I got to it in the process of remodeling, every house (especially a 100-year-old one) has innumerable nooks, crannies, corners, behind-fixture spaces, and other places where grunge and filth can hide.  On top of everything else, the house was unoccupied by humans for so long, the spiders had multiplied until they were numerous enough to field an entire arachnid legion without much trouble; it seemed like no matter how often I cleared away the cobwebs, there were plenty more within just a few days.  Had I attempted to get it all perfectly clean from the get-go, I would’ve been so overwhelmed I would’ve had little time or energy for anything else, so instead I adopted a strategy of “clean enough”, keeping in mind that it’s a farmhouse near a rain forest, and that we have pets and have been constantly remodeling for the past five years.  Over the past two I’ve been living here full-time, and except when I’m traveling or absolutely slammed with the building project, I like to clean pretty well once a week; I dust, vacuum, wipe down the counters, clean the stove, mop the floor, etc.  And over the past year I’ve realized that almost every time I do so, I notice some crud somewhere that I hadn’t before; it’s as though it had been hiding and suddenly leapt out at me, taunting me until I eliminate it.  Obviously, that’s silly; most of this grot has actually been there since the last owners were alive, and I simply hadn’t gotten around to looking closely enough at the spot it was lurking to notice it before.  But I think a lot of my not-noticing is a psychological defense; my brain refuses to register most of it because if I did, I wouldn’t stop cleaning until I dropped from exhaustion.  So I only let myself notice one or two such spots every time I clean, and as the general level of cleanliness increases, the remaining problem areas become more noticeable one by one.  This is, as I wrote above, a farm; it’ll never match an operating theater.  But it’s reached the point where most of the rooms now look clean to me, and it’s a lot easier to maintain that level once achieved than to deal with hidden messes which have been slowly accumulating since the late twentieth century.

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