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Archive for May, 2022

Diary #622

Now that the weather is slowly getting warmer and drier, we’ll soon be able to start working on the stable again; Jae’s patron had the rest of the materials shipped here, but it has rained nearly every weekend (and he isn’t available on weekdays).  But worse come to worst, July and August are generally dry here, so we’ll be able to get it done then if not before (I think perhaps two more dry weekends of good work can probably accomplish it).  That means it’ll be all done before the autumn; which is the next time it’ll really be needed; right now there’s very little hay in the barn, so the animals have plenty of room to shelter in there when it rains.  But as summer goes on it will fill up with hay, which means Shiloh won’t be able to shelter there because of her bad reaction to hay dust.  I think they’ll like the stable; as you can see, they already prefer to be in that part of the paddock when they aren’t doing something important somewhere else.

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Back Issue #107

In the 5000 years since [Gilgamesh] was first pressed into clay, Man’s world has forgotten its debt to us and has generally succumbed to the hubris of believing it no longer needs us.  –  “The Daughters of Shamhat

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You did this to yourself.  –  cop, to grandmother he assaulted

I don’t think I can really explain the silly kitchen banter between Grace and me that resulted in my jokingly threatening to throw a “ricochet biscuit” at her, so I won’t try; I’ll just share this video for those who have no clue what I’m talking about.  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko, Franklin Harris, Jesse Walker, Cop Crisis, Boatfloating, Kevin Wilson, and Cop Crisis again, in that order.

From the Archives

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Extortion, there’s no other way to explain it.  –  Marc Deldin

To Molest and Rape

Distorting a rapist pig’s image is almost as bad as hiding it:

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation arrested a [typical and representative] Canadian County [cop]…who…rap[ed a woman] he [had locked in a cage-truck]…David Wayne Loman [raped her]…three times at three different locations…at [least once anally]…

A Broker in Pillage (#918)

Wayne County, Michigan has openly extorted money for years with similar tactics:

…in December of 2020…the mayor…and…police chief [of Highland Park, Michigan] dropped by a 13,000-square-foot building owned by Justyna and Matt Kozbial [using the pretext of] an impromptu fire code inspection…[in reality, the politicians needed pretext to pretendto “find” a [state-licensed] marijuana grow operation…[in order to steal] the building…and h[o]ld on to it for 17 months without charging them with a crime…police never alleged there was any major criminal activity…[and] In…response to an interrogatory filed in the Kozbials’ subsequent lawsuit against Highland Park…they received a settlement offer from the town:  Stop growing marijuana and buy two [brand-new pigmobiles] for the [cop shop, for]…a…total…pcost of] about $70,000…after WXYZ Detroit reported on the fiasco, Highland Park informed the Kozbials that it would be giving them back their building.  Their lawsuit is still ongoing…

Quiet Genocide (#1157)

How much longer will the Western Establishment ignore this?

Thousands of photographs from the heart of China’s highly secretive system of mass incarceration in Xinjiang, as well as a shoot-to-kill policy for those who try to escape, are among a huge cache of data hacked from police computer servers in the region.  The Xinjiang Police Files, as they’re being called, were passed to the BBC earlier this year…and…reveal…in unprecedented detail, China’s use of “re-education” camps and formal prisons…for Uyghurs – and…[makes it harder for Western politicians to pretend to believe its ridiculous] public narrative about…[the concentration camps being] “schools”…The documents provide some of the strongest evidence to date for a policy targeting almost any expression of Uyghur identity, culture or Islamic faith – and of a chain of command running all the way up to the Chinese [dictator], Xi Jinping…

Thought Control (#1210)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

[After the] Virginia Beach (VA) school…[board ordered the] remov[al of the book] Gender Queer from [school libraries]…a Virginia [ambulance-chaser seized upon the opportunity to]…fil[e]…suit[s] against [a] school [which stocked the book] and against the Barnes & Noble store in Virginia Beach…[because the book, and another one named] A Court of Mist and Fury are [available]…to minors…[shyster Tim Anderson,who is also (unsurprisingly) a politician, openly admitted his suit is intended as a nuisance and encouraged other wannabe censors to file] “suits like this…all over Virginia. There are dozens of books. Hundreds of schools”…Neither book fits the [legal] definition of obscene and neither book is pornography…

The Mob Rules (#1215)

This batshittery is virulent, and will only get worse:

The Oklahoma Legislature gave final approval…to a bill that prohibits nearly all abortions starting at fertilization, which would make it the nation’s strictest abortion law.  The bill subjects abortion providers and anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion to civil suits from private individuals…The measure is modeled on a law that took effect in Texas in September, which has relied on civil…instead of criminal enforcement to [circumvent] court challenges”…The bill makes exceptions for cases of rape and incest, but only if [the victims invite cops to gawk at them, ask disgusting questions, and pry into every corner of their lives]…

Oklahoma ladies: please allow me to aid and abet you in having a medication abortion at home.

Guinea Pigs (#1234)

Cops have been doing this for years, and platforms do nothing to stop it:

…a little-known [gang in the Chicago cop shop]…called the Social Media Exploitation…team…had been set up to [conspire with] the FBI [to] find [weak people who could be suborned] and [spy on citizens] using information gleaned from social sites.  The Intercept and Chicago-based transparency groups obtained more than 800 pages of emails and other documents about the [gang] through public records requests.  These show that the [gang members] were given broad leeway to [spy on] people across platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, using fake social media accounts furnished by the FBI, in violation of some platforms’ policies…

Stalkers in Blue (#1238)

This cop just keeps demonstrating what he is:

Matthew Dominguez…[the infamous Wanking Pig of] San Jose…[has] sexually harassed and assaulted…other…wom[en]n [in the past]…Dominguez…touched [one woman’s] breasts and thigh and kept trying to touch her even after she rebuffed his advances…she and her boyfriend…reported the…sexual assault…but [of course nothing was done]…Another woman…[w]as…[groped by] Dominguez…[while] arresting [her in December.  Conveniently]…the body camera footage [for the arrest is] missing…

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Bathhouse 67

This section of roof went much more quickly than any of the previous ones because the orientation of the leaf allowed me to use the panels with very little cutting; I simply had to trim a short section off of each one and then haul it into place and screw it down.  Indeed, since the polycarbonate panels are shorter than the metal ones (12′ vs 16′), all I had to do was cut the metal ones to the same length.  The only difficult part is holding each panel in place while drilling the first two holes; once there are two screws in place, the panel can’t shift and the rest of the task is relatively quick and easy.  Better still, I was able to climb back and forth between the shop roof and cottage roof on the steel framework, and once the roof panels were in place I could actually walk on them (though I need to step over the polycarbonate panels because they aren’t strong enough to support human weight).  You can see the roof peak beam through the transparent panels; each panel goes a little past the peak right now, but when it’s time to install the ridge caps those will be trimmed down until they fit under the caps.  This picture was taken on the 9th, and I’ve already finished the section visible on the other side; however, as I’ve written in the past, I like to space out these reports because progress can be very uneven and it might be weeks between developments that will show in pictures.  I expect that will be especially true once I start working on the ridge caps, which will involve a lot of waterproofing with Gorilla tape and silicone sealant.

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May I Tweet?

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The viewpoints…individuals and businesses hold are real, even if they differ from the views of…government officials.  –  Judge Aleta A. Trauger

Surplus Women

The BBC feeds stigma just as much as the Russian media this story criticizes:

On the day she was murdered, 20 July 2020, Olga had a profile on an online escort site where she went by the name Margo.  A 53-year-old former convict, Oleg Tochilkin – who had been released on parole after serving part of a 20-year prison sentence for crimes including murder…b[eat] and strangled Olga…then [dump]ed her naked body…at the entrance to [his apartment] building…One headline read, “Do you feel sorry for this kind of victim of violence?”  Another was, “The bloody details of how a prostitute from Bryansk was killed”.  And there was the one that called Olga a “whore” and referred to her killer as “grandpa”…

Instant Criminal

This guy is lucky his evil wife wasn’t smarter:

…on April 18…Angel Moore [told cops in]…Wynnewood [Oklahoma that]…she’d [somehow] seen a man using his phone to download child [porn.  She claimed]…the man’s wife, Lacey Hucks, managed to get the phone away from her husband and gave it to Moore so she could alert police.  The man was swiftly arrested, and…over 800 child sex abuse images [were found] on that phone…[but] deputies noticed that the phone that the husband had on him at the time of his arrest didn’t have any content similar to what was on the phone Moore had given them.  They only kept the husband in jail overnight, and got a warrant for Hucks’ phone—which showed that she and Moore had been discussing plans to make the police report before April 18…Moore quickly folded under questioning…an[d]…told a deputy that Hucks had…coached her…to deliver the false report against her husband…in hopes of winning a child custody battle…Hucks and Moore…were arrested on charges of conspiracy and knowingly reporting a false crime.  Hucks faces an additional charge of aggravated possession of child sex abuse material; if convicted on that charge, she faces up to life in prison…

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes (#770)

I’m not sure who Bindel thinks she’s convincing with this tedious claptrap, but I’ve got to hand it to Liz Brown for being far more patient with her than I could possibly manage.

I Spy (#1015)

Are there really sane adults gullible enough to swallow this?

The NSA — which has undermined encryption standards in the past — says it won’t undermine the next strain of encryption, one being built to withstand the inevitable arrival of quantum computing…“There are no backdoors,” said Rob Joyce, the NSA’s director of cybersecurity…Pardon my cynicism, but that’s exactly the sort of thing someone planning to backdoor encryption would say…While it’s true the NSA has spent less time agitating (at least publicly) for encryption backdoors than, say, the FBI, its troubling past strongly suggests it should not be taken at its word this time around…Quantum computing has the capacity to be the pipe wrench that makes security efforts mostly irrelevant.  The sooner a new standard can be put in place, the better.  If the NSA can help achieve this more quickly, it should.  But it should never be assumed the NSA’s intentions are pure…

The Last Shall Be First (#1140)

One small victory against a rising tide of bigotry:

A federal judge struck down a Tennessee law…that would have [forced] businesses in the state to post warning notices on their public restrooms if they have policies allowing transgender patrons to use the facilities that match their gender identities…Judge Aleta A. Trauger…wrote…that the law violates the First Amendment of the Constitution because it compels speech that is controversial and with which the plaintiffs disagree.  “It would do a disservice to the First Amendment to judge the Act for anything other than what it is: a brazen attempt to single out trans-inclusive establishments and force them to parrot a message that they reasonably believe would sow fear and misunderstanding about the very transgender Tennesseans whom those establishments are trying to provide with some semblance of a safe and welcoming environment,” Trauger wrote…

Out of Control (#1173)

The next level beyond spooge-based sexual assault:

An Arby’s manager…urinated in the milkshake mix…for his own “sexual gratification” on at least two occasions…Stephen Sharp, who was being investigated for child pornography, admitted to police that he enjoyed relieving himself in the restaurant’s milkshake mix while working as a night manager at a Vancouver, Washington, location…[cops found] dozens of [child porn] photos and videos…as well as the urine video on his digital devices…Investigators are looking for any unlucky customers who bought and drank the urine-contaminated shakes…

To Molest and Rape (#1230)

So many rapist cops, so many underage victims:

A Dallas [cop who was] arrested last summer [for] sexual assault of a child is now facing a second charge after more victims came forward…Tyrone William Jr….[h]as [been on paid vacation since…June [of last year]…

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Diary #621

When I arrived at my Seattle apartment on Sunday, I found a package waiting for me from Amazon, courtesy of regular reader & gift-sender Robin Aguilar.  It contained Joe Satriani’s latest disc, plus the DVD of the space vampire movie Lifeforce (1985) and this set of a 1977 TV show most of y’all have probably never heard of.  Those who weren’t born yet then may find it hard to believe, but before the debut of Star Wars that same year, science fiction had been very out of fashion since Star Trek went off the air in 1969.  And in those pre-home video days, that meant often the only science fiction shows available for viewing were Trek reruns and old movies in syndication packages broadast mostly on Saturday afternoons and late at night.  There were certainly a few adventure shows featuring sci-fi elements, such as The Six Million Dollar Man, but new straight-out sci-fi series were rare and generally short-lived.  This one lasted only ten episodes, but I liked it very much and had a bit of a crush on Katie Saylor, a leggy blonde who played the Atlantean woman Liana.  Given that I haven’t seen this show in 45 years, I have no idea how I’ll appreciate it through adult eyes, but thanks to Robin I’m going to have a chance to find out!

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My favorite musician of all time, Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou (best known by his stage name, Vangelis), died last Tuesday in Paris at the age of 79.  And because he was the creator of a large fraction of the soundtrack of my life, I find myself very affected by his passing, more so than by any of the other relatively-recent deaths of musicians whose work I admired.  I wrote a Twitter thread featuring many videos, with a few facts and a bit of criticism, but here I’d rather share more personal thoughts about my relationship with his music.

Like many Americans, I was first introduced to his work by Carl Sagan, who used the third movement of Vangelis’ Heaven and Hell (1975) as the theme to his amazing and groundbreaking TV series, Cosmos.  And while I found the music lovely and moving, it was the music used in this sequence, demonstrating the evolutionary history of humans, that really took hold of my brain:

In those pre-internet days, there wasn’t any simple way to find the name of a piece of music used in a show if it wasn’t listed in the credits, and it wasn’t.  Fortunately, someone thought of writing in to TV Focus, the weekly TV magazine of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, to ask about the main theme, and somebody over there was able to name Vangelis as its composer.  Armed with that knowldge, I begged my cousin Jeff to take me to New Orleans’ best music store, Leisure Landing, where I found the Cosmos soundtrack and a number of other Vangelis albums.  Fortunately, part of the piece I was looking for was on the soundtrack album, along with its name, “Alpha”, and the name of the album on which it appeared, Albedo 0.39.  And it wasn’t long before I made another trip to Leisure Landing to buy it.  China soon followed, then Heaven and Hell, then Spiral; I played them all frequently, and copied them to cassette tapes for playing in the car (as we used to do in those long-ago and far-off days, dear reader).  They were among my favorite albums for playing while dallying with lovers, and to this day I cannot hear the titular song, which appears on Heaven and Hell, without thinking of lying in the afterglow with my first adult inamorata on lazy Friday afternoons in the early ’80s in my apartment near UNO.

Of course, I was much too young then to really feel in my gut what it meant to remember such things across a gulf of decades; even Vangelis himself was only 32 when it was recorded, and singer Jon Anderson two years younger still.  But in the many intervening years my brain has caught up with my very old soul, and the departure of my lifelong musical friend has left me feeling very old indeed.

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How did we go from a routine traffic stop to narcotics-sniffing dogs?  –  Pamella Jenkins

The big news this week was the passing of Vangelis, the Greek composer most famous for his soundtrack work, whose albums from the late ’70s and early ’80s in particular formed a large portion of the soundtrack of my life.  I’ve featured many of his compositions over the years, but never the one that first made me a fan, fittingly entitled “Alpha”.  The links above it were provided by Franklin Harris, Cop Crisis (x2), Radley Balko, Popehat, and Nun Ya, in that order.

From the Archives

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