Archive for May, 2023

I can’t breathe.  –  8-year-old murdered by US Border Patrol

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by cops at will:

A [typical and representative] Orlando [Florida cop named Jonathan Mills]…was found guilty of [misdemeanor] battery nearly a decade after he…grop[ed] a [woman under the pretext of a “]search[” after belching out the word “drugs” in]…August 2014…Mills was sentenced to [a mere] 30 days in…jail…Mills…was kept on the force for years despite multiple complaints of misconduct since he was hired in 2012…[including] two…excessive force [lawsuits]…which cost city taxpayers $130,000…

Crying for Nanny (#997)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A Las Vegas, Nevada, woman alleges in a new federal lawsuit that she was…trafficked at an Albuquerque motel whose management “overtly encouraged” the “horrific” behavior in March 2019. The woman…contends that employees at the Midtown Motel 6…should have known that she was being repeatedly exploited by her trafficker and the “many men who sexually assaulted her.”  But no one intervened and no one called police…

IOW she had a pimp and they didn’t rat her out, so now she’s off the street and seeking a payout.  I can’t feel sorry for Motel 6, though, because the chain typically has such a cozy relationship with pigs they’ve actually been sued over it.

Vulture Watching

Psychopathy is typical in politicians, but these laws are indicative of complete derangement:

…By the time [Kiersten Hogan] arrived at the hospital, she had lost too much amniotic fluid for her son to survive — but hospital staff didn’t tell her that…“I was told that if I tried to discharge myself, or seek care elsewhere, that I could be arrested for trying to kill my child. So of course, I stayed”…[for] a harrowing five days…where…religious counselors repeatedly came to visit her, even though she had declined pastoral care.  She…[was] terrified of…going…into premature labor, and be[ing] arrested…she was [finally] discharged [after delivering a stillborn child] and told she could return to work the next day, “as if nothing had happened”…Hogan is one of eight new plaintiffs who [have] joined a lawsuit against the state of Texas…seeking clarification about what qualifies as a medical emergency under Texas’…abortion bans…lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the initial suit in March, asked a district court…for a temporary injunction blocking Texas’ abortion bans in cases of pregnancy complications as the case continues…

Thought Control (#1308)

It seems I was destined to be threatened with state violence regardless of my career path:

Librarians could face years of imprisonment and tens of thousands in fines for providing…books to [legal minors if politicians arbitrarily declare those books “obscene” or “harmful”] under new state laws that permit criminal prosecution of school and library personnel.  At least seven states have passed such laws in the last two years…although governors of Idaho and North Dakota vetoed the legislation.  Another dozen states considered more than 20 similar bills this year, half of which are likely to come up again in 2024…Some of the laws impose severe penalties on librarians, who until now were exempted in almost every state from prosecution over obscene material — a carve-out meant to permit accurate lessons in topics such as sex education.  All but one of the new laws target schools, while some also target the staff of public libraries and one affects book vendors…the laws [are designed to] forge a climate of fear among school librarians, spurring…censorship [by librarians lest] books [religious fanatics and other self-appointed moral authorities dislike are later used as a pretext to persecute librarians]…

Torture Chamber (Chamber of Horrors)

I’m sure they helpfully yelled “Stop faking!” at this little girl as she died:

…an 8-year-old girl…died [while locked] in [a cage for over a week by the US] Border Patrol…[because] agents repeatedly ignored pleas to hospitalize her…as she felt pain in her bones, struggled to breathe and was unable to walk….Mabel Alvarez Benedicks said…“She cried and begged for her life and they ignored her”…People are [supposed] to be [locked in cages for] no more than 72 hours under agency policy, a rule that is violated [with nauseating regularity]…

The Cop Myth (#1335)

Sleeping with a cop is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do:

A [typical and representative Georgia cop]…was sentenced to life in prison for the [wanton murder] of his girlfriend in June 2020…Jason Cunningham…[murdered] Nicole Harrington…[because during and argument about her] seeing another man, known as Maui…[she said] “at least Maui has a large penis”, and Cunningham shot her point-blank in the head…[and left] her body…in [an] elevator…

Winding Down (#1335)

When will the federal government finally read the writing on the wall?

Minnesota, which legalized medical marijuana in 2014, [has become] the 23rd state to allow recreational use…Adults 21 or older will be allowed to possess two ounces or less of marijuana in public, share that amount with other adults, keep two pounds or less at home, and grow up to eight plants…Marijuana products will be subject to a 10 percent retail tax, in addition to standard state and local sales taxes…Local governments will be allowed to regulate retailers and cap their number but will not be allowed to ban them entirely…Cannabis consumption initially will be limited to private residences.  But the law eventually will allow marijuana use at specially licensed businesses and events…


I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

Read Full Post »

Diary #674

Last week, I ran the barbed wire for the west side of the paddock extension, then on Saturday I ran the two lowest strands of the north side, taking them from the fence I’m phasing out.  Then yesterday I ran two more strands before moving the gate, pulling off the pig-panels and running the top strand of the new fence.  And as I expected, Jonathan was out there tasting all the new plants before I was even done, so I pulled my phone out of my back pocket and took a number of shots.  If you look closely, you can see that I hadn’t yet pulled out the old T-posts, but I did so not long afterward.  Shiloh was more cautious than Jonathan; she contented herself with standing barely past the old fence-line, nibbling the lush grass that I’ve intentionally left uncut this year because I knew I’d be doing this and wanted to let them have as much as they wanted.  And though Cicero doesn’t eat grass, he seemed delighted at all the new smells, and when it gets hot this summer he’ll have plenty of shade to nap in.

Read Full Post »

Back Issue #119

Dysphemisms…[are] one of the moralists’ chief weapons in transforming a fact of life into a “menace”, a statement into a “shocking revelation”, a thing they dislike into something “seedy” or discussion of a taboo subject into a “conspiracy”.  –  “Dysphemisms Galore

Read Full Post »

You’re gonna get lit up.  –  “Officer” Henry Trujillo

This week’s video was sent by Rikki de la Vega because she remembered that I like these sorts of things; this one especially reminded me of Jim Henson’s “Number Three Ball” and the Wintergatan.  The links above it were provided by Nun Ya, Cop Crisis (x4), Mike Siegel, and Winnie Pond, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

Americans’ privacy shouldn’t depend on whether the government uses a court order or credit card.  –  Ron Wyden

I Spy (#1067)

In mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

Customs and Border Protection…is using an invasive…[surveillance] tool to screen travelers, including U.S. citizens, refugees, and people seeking asylum, which can…link their social media posts to their Social Security number and location data…Called Babel X, the system lets a user input a piece of information about a target—their name, email address, or telephone number—and receive a bevy of data…includ[ing the victim’s] social media posts, linked IP address, employment history, and unique advertising identifiers associated with their mobile phone…Babel Street…the tool[‘s maker, claims it]…is also able to perform “sentiment analysis”…

Winding Down (#1133)

Washington state politicians demonstrate their hypocrisy:

The Washington Supreme Court effectively decriminalized drug use two years ago…[politicians] predictably viewed…that…as intolerable, and…promptly approved a [temporary] law that made possession a misdemeanor…That law is scheduled to expire on July 1, which prompted a bipartisan panic…[resulting in] a new bill criminalizing drug possession, which Gov. Jay Inslee immediately signed into law…[because] he…[claims] drug users cannot be trusted to decide for themselves what they need…[so the state must] ignores their preferences…[by]forcing them, under the threat of jail, to accept the “help” that the state is offering, whether they want it or not.  Although that might look like kidnapping and extortion, Inslee insists it is an act of love.  Notably, that policy does not apply to drinkers…Nor does it apply to cannabis consumers…It applies only to people who use psychoactive substances that the state has deemed beyond the pale…

Policing for Profit (#1166)

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

A [typical and representative] California [cop has] been charged…for…stealing money that a homeless man had saved for dental work…John Sanzone…arrested [the] man [in] August 2022 and found that…he…had $3,500…Sanzone stole it…Sanzone was previously…[accused of stealing] $1,300 during an arrest in 2021…

Panopticon (#1232)

Why pay for surveillance when useful idiots can be talked into providing it?

For the past year [cops in Rialto, California have] been trying to [intimidate] owners of private surveillance cameras [in]to enroll[ing] in…Fusus, a [surveillance] tech company that aims to boost public [surveillance] by making it easier for police to access privately owned surveillance cameras [without warrant or oversight]…In Rialto, the police have access to over 150 livestreams across restaurants, gas stations, and private residential developments – a number they are hoping to increase through [intimidating useful idiots]…Fusus technology is being operated in over 60 different cities and counties across more than a dozen states…[despite the objections of people who care about privacy]…Fusus…tramples the privacy of residents, and…hand[s] police tools that are easily abused…

Judging by Houston and San Francisco, this won’t stay voluntary for long.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1266)

Another baby step toward recognizing sex work as work:

After months of late-night picketing in North Hollywood, the dancers of the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar have become the only unionized strippers in the US.  Their victory was finalized with a unanimous vote by 17 dancers in favor of unionization…and marks the first time that the Actors Equity association, a century-old union for stage actors, singers and dancers, will represent strip club workers…The campaign, which started in March 2022, was galvanized by…unsafe working conditions and…retaliatory firings of dancers who tried to address customers’ dangerous behavior themselves…“While some elements of their job are unique, [strippers] are essentially performance artists, and have a lot in common with other Equity members who dance for a living,” Kate Shindle, the union president, said in a statement…

The Last Shall Be First (#1319) 

It’s two!  Two!  Two fads in one!

In late April, an abortion ban failed to pass in Nebraska—but Republicans weren’t ready to give up on it.  So they tacked an abortion ban onto a bill banning gender-affirming care for…minors…and passed the whole Frankenstein bill on [May 19th]…The final bill bans abortion after 12 weeks…and bans gender-affirming surgeries for everyone under the age of 19…the state chief medical officer [will be required] to design new rules for…trans…care that is not surgical, such as puberty blockers.  People already receiving treatment are exempt from those restrictions…The bill also includes a [mob rule]…section, [encouraging] citizens to seek…damages…from [any] health care professional who performed gender-affirming care within two years…

The Last Shall Be First (#1337) 

Of course Florida had to have its own “bathroom bill”:

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida [has] signed…a bill that would criminalize trans people [who use] public restrooms…[appropriate to their] legal…gender [if that is different from their chromosomes and genitalia present at birth]…People…who are accused [by busybodies] of being trans also w[ould] be obligated to undergo genitalia exams, DNA testing, and other invasive procedures…


I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

Read Full Post »

Annex 109

This beauty was the sixth of the statues I mentioned last week; as you can see, she’s a fountain.  I had originally intended her to stand beside an ornamental pool in the atrium of the house I was building in Oklahoma, but we never got that far; unlike the others, she’s therefore never been displayed at all.  So when we started planning this addition, I knew I had to fit her in somehow; you can see I’ve already built the platform which will support her, and Jae has done the first step in the staining process.  See, the water level in the tub drops gradually due to evaporation, so every few weeks I need to pull out the hose and top it off again; that means introducing dozens of liters of 10o C water into a tub we want kept at 38o C, which is not ideal.  But now that we’ve switched the bathrooms over to the gas water heater, the electric one only feeds the sink, dishwasher and clothes washer; all I need to do is run a hot-water pipe parallel to the main water feed (which runs under the floor below the lady’s feet in this picture) and we can top off the tub with water that’s warmer than what’s already in the tub, rather than colder.  I know it’s absurd to anthropomorphize a hunk of stone, and I certainly mock others mercilessly for attributing feelings to objects fashioned to resemble the human form.  But the difference is, I know I’m being irrational, and I’m not using my feelings to drive a campaign of oppression against actual human beings; my decision to prominently display a statue in part to make up for keeping her in storage for almost two decades may be silly, but at least it’s harmless.

Read Full Post »

Until recently, I had never seen the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series.  Frank showed me the movie on video (IMDB says it came out in 1992? I thought it was earlier.) and though I found it amusing, it didn’t move me to watch the TV show when it appeared in the late ’90s.  But somewhere along the line Grace had picked up the first season on DVD, so late last year we decided to watch that with the understanding that if I liked it, I’d buy the rest of the series.  Well, I did like it; in fact, I liked it a great deal.  Now, you might think that it was a foregone conclusion that I’d like a horror-superhero soap opera, but poor implementation can ruin even the coolest concept; fortunately, the implementation was anything but poor.  I found the series clever, witty, funny, touching, thought-provoking and even inspirational, so I’ve been meaning to share a few thoughts on it ever since we finished its spinoff Angel a couple of months ago.

First and foremost, the thing that hooked me was the series’ wealth of dynamic, well-developed characters.  It’s hard for me to really appreciate a show with flat, static characters, but the ones in Buffy kept engaging and surprising me.  This isn’t to say I liked them all, or that I always liked the ones I did like; what I mean is, even characters I liked very much, such as Willow and Giles, would sometimes make decisions which annoyed or even angered me.  But that’s what makes a character interesting: if I don’t believe in the character, I mean accept them as “real” in the part of my brain which assesses verisimilitude, then I start losing interest in them, the situations they’re involved with, and everything else.  But the writers of these shows (both Buffy and Angel) clearly share my views on the importance of well-defined characters, even when those characters were villains.  Again, it wasn’t 100%; the primary villain of the 5th season, “Glory”, failed to capture my interest in any way.  But the 3rd season’s villain, the Mayor, was an amazingly complex personality; instead of a stock power-seeking evil wizard, we were shown a man who, though as awful as any of the other main villains of the series, was both a complete square and capable of genuine affection, to the point where it proved the weapon which allowed Buffy to defeat him in the end.

Some of the series’ villains even became heroes, or at least supporting non-villains; the vengeance demon Anya, who started out as a serious menace, later lost her powers and became an interesting member of the Scooby Gang, and though I never stopped disliking the goofy Andrew, I can’t say he wasn’t interesting.  And then there was Spike, a character I was determined not to like who had already mostly won me over by the end of the first season in which he appeared; I suspect he won the writers over in the same way, because his return and his slowly-expanding role in the series, from secondary villain to full hero, felt so organic I can’t quite believe it was planned that way from the start.  His genuine human emotions made the character stand out from among the other vampires, including Angel, despite not having the benefit & burden of a soul.  The credit for this memorable character goes not only to the writers, but to an absolutely masterful performance by actor James Marsters (later the villain Captain John Hart on Torchwood), who handily stole practically every scene he was in.

But even the Buffyverse’s formulae were sometimes turned upside-down and backwards, and heroes could also become villains.  Angel, Willow, and Cordelia all became villains in various story arcs, while Faith and the aforementioned Anya went back and forth as their twisty paths led them, and even Wesley, who started out as a naive klutz, eventually became a very effective, then a very dark character (though never truly a villain) before his painful redemption.  There is essentially no such thing as a static characters in these shows; even one-season characters and nasty villains often developed over time.  But of all the characters in both Buffy and Angel, the one whose growth was most compelling to me was Cordelia.  Even when she was a shallow high-school “mean girl” I loved watching her brilliant bitchiness, her attempts to pretend she was stupider than she actually was, and her core of decency working to turn her into a force for good despite her very vocal protests.  By the latter seasons of Angel, she had changed so much the writers had to sneak in a plot complication where everyone was regressed to their 16-year-old personalities and memories, so audience members who had forgotten could be forcefully reminded of just how far the character had come.

I have a great deal more to say, but it’s so much I’m going to divide it up over several weeks.


Read Full Post »

Whenever there is a power imbalance…consent is not really possible.  –  Meg Foster

Thou Shalt Not (#971)

Crypto-moralists believe that people enjoying a food is sufficient reason for declaring it “unsafe”:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised most people to avoid most kinds of “non-sugar sweeteners”, after a 2022 review of the evidence found they don’t help with weight control long term and [crypto-moralists claim without evidence that they] may cause diabetes, heart attacks and death…the evidence supporting [the idea that eating less sugar reduces sugar intake] is mixed.  Some short randomised trials have found that consuming drinks with sweeteners instead of the full-sugar versions can reduce weight gain in children, but others have failed to show a benefit.  Population studies tend to show that sweetener consumption correlates with higher rates of diabetes and heart disease – but this could be because people are more likely to use sweeteners if they are heavier to start with…

The lede is of course both buried and quintessentially crypto-moralist: “The perfect solution is going for water.”  To “hydrate” your meal of insects and raw vegetables, I’m sure.

A Broker in Pillage (#1101)

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

…”civil asset forfeiture”…remains a boil on the ass of American jurisprudence.  Now, in a rare demonstration of cooperation across political divides, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have joined together to introduce legislation to reform the practice…at the federal level.  They are supported by a coalition of organizations that put aside ideological differences in an attempt to curb the dangerous practice…The FAIR Act…requires that seizures be conducted in court rather than through administrative processes and also guarantees legal representation for federal forfeiture targets…[I]t isn’t a perfect bill…but…some improvement is better than none for a practice that has largely served as an exercise in legalized highway robbery…

I Spy (#1206)

Remember, Twitter claims this surveillance isn’t surveillance:

…in the wake of the reversal of Roe v. Wade…U.S. Marshals …received regular alerts from Dataminr, a[n “official partner” of Twitter] that persistently monitors social media for corporate and government clients, about the precise time and location of both ongoing and planned abortion rights demonstrations…Dataminr flagged the social media posts of protest organizers, participants, and bystanders, and leveraged Dataminr’s privileged access to the so-called firehose of unrestricted Twitter data to monitor constitutionally protected speech…

You Were Warned (#1279)

A little bit of good news about mob-rule attempts to castrate Section 230:

The U.S. Supreme Court…upheld Section 230, ruling in favor of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube/Google in two cases…Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh…which dealt…with…Section 230 protections…In the unanimous decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas…SCOTUS held that the tech companies’ conduct “did not constitute aiding and abetting [terrorists] because they did not knowingly provide substantial assistance to the groups in carrying out the terrorist act in question”…the ruling means that…“the Supreme Court made it abundantly clear that social media platforms like Twitter cannot be held civilly liable for third-party content”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1299)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

The…TSA’s trial rollout of biometric facial recognition technology at airport security checkpoints…is…[supposedly] voluntary.  However, in a March 14 interview with Kyle Arnold of The Dallas Morning News, TSA Administrator David Pekoske said that if the TSA gets its way, biometric screening technology will eventually not be optional.  But even without mandating facial recognition, fears of delay or poor treatment by TSA staff may lead travelers to submit when they’d rather not…Additionally, the TSA risks travelers’ privacy by collecting personal data and sending it to the Department of Homeland Security (even if the TSA [pretends] that the data is anonymized, encrypted, and eventually deleted)…

You Were Warned (#1328)

These attempts to destroy the internet are just going to keep getting worse:

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has signed into law a measure to severely restrict…TikTok, making his state the first to enact a near-total ban on the social media platform…The law, slated to take effect on January 1, 2024, would bar TikTok from [legally] operating in Montana.  It would also prohibit app stores from offering TikTok for download within state lines — a ban that tech companies [correctly state] will be impossible to [enforce, in addition to being]…a violation of the…First Amendment…TikTok has earned bipartisan scrutiny in the US and other countries over questions of privacy, surveillance and [partial ownership by] Beijing’s government…Gianforte promised…to…widen…[the ban] to other social media apps with foreign ties, including the China-based WeChat and Telegram, which was founded by two Russian-born entrepreneurs…

To Molest and Rape (#1338)

Cops should not be allowed anywhere near legal minors:

A [typical and representative] Los Angeles [cop] has been charged with sexually assaulting four boys…Paul Razo…[molested] two of his young male relatives; one was 11 or 12 years old and the other was about 13 when the abuse began…The other two victims were sons of a woman Razo had been dating…one was 9 or 10 when Razo began molesting him, and the other…was 12…The assaults occurred between 2006 and 2017…

UPDATE: Razo has apparently died while in the “care” of his cronies.

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

Read Full Post »

Diary #673

Whenever I first close up the nursery for the year and force the new pullets to join the flock, they’re typically a bit reticent; this year was no exception.  Though I kicked them out almost two weeks ago, they spend all their time close to each other, typically hiding among the feed cans and only occasionally venturing out of the henhouse.  But this past weekend that finally changed; they’ve started to venture out to scratch in the dirt, and though they still stick close to each other (as you can see), they’re getting braver about being near the big hens.  For the most part, the hens (even the previously-troublesome blues) are leaving them alone; the only aggressive one is the oldest of the Ameraucanas, and she’s too old, fat, and slow to actually catch them.  Within a few weeks, even that will stop, and in about two more months we should start seeing some eggs from the young ‘uns.  Then next spring we’ll start the whole thing over again with three new chicks whom I’ll have to protect from the now-grown leghorns.

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »