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Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

There’s a continual commitment to using violence to control people and manage problems in this country.  –  Elizabeth Davies

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Some psychopaths use moral panics to get attention at others’ expense:

A 22-year-old woman…[named] Eleanor Williams…[pretended] on Facebook…[that] she had been beaten and raped by [Muslim] men who took her to sex “parties” around the north-west of England.  The post, made…on 20 May 2020, prompted…more than 1,000 people [to] donate £22,000 to…her…and drove a sharp rise in racism…Curry house windows were smashed, beloved restaurants were boycotted and one Muslim takeaway owner was chased down the street by men who poured alcohol over his head…It also ruined the lives of those she falsely accused, who were spat at, ostracised and called “paedo” in the street…Wh[en] Williams…[made the] post…she had already been charged with making false rape allegations against four [other] men.  One of them, an 18-year-old man who had gone on a night out with her and friends, spent 10 weeks in prison…before police [bothered to] check…his alibi….[and] realised they had [arrested] him [for arguing] in [public] on the very night she first accused him of drugging and raping her…Williams had multiple phones she used to create a fictional web of abusers as well as fellow victims she created to corroborate her lies…[she concocted the fantasy] after watching [various “sex trafficking” propaganda movies and fakeumentaries, including]…the 2008 film Taken…Williams [even]…injur[ed herself]…with a claw hammer police found covered in Williams’s blood but absent of anyone else’s DNA…

To Molest and Rape (#1215)

It’s kinda nauseating to read this monster’s prattle about Jesus:

Dennis Wallace Perkins was sentenced to 100 years in [Louisiana] state prison…after the [typical and representative cop]…pleaded guilty to [several charges of rape and related crimes stemming from molestation and other violations of children he gained access to via]…his wife…Cynthia…[who allowed him to spooge into] batter [for cupcakes]…she then served to students at Westside Junior High School, where [she was]…employed as an English teacher…Perkins filmed himself making the revolting concoction.  Cynthia Perkins…[also] aid[ed] her husband in [raping and otherwise violating kids]…Perkins addressed the court…[claiming without evidence that] “Jesus Christ has forgiven me”…and…that…certain facts [which] “came to light in pre-trial motions”…would [somehow] have helped his case…

The Last Shall Be First (#1235) 

Another attempt to extend legal minority to 25 based in pseudoscience:

[A new] Oklahoma bill…proposed…by [politician] David Bullard…aims to prevent healthcare professionals from providing “gender transition procedures” to those…under 26…professionals administering [or referring patients to such]…care [c]ould be convicted of a felony…

See No Evil (#1270)

Let’s hope these opportunists get the same treatment as the Nirvana baby:

Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting were…teenagers…in the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Franco Zeffirelli.  The film was a hit and was nominated for four Academy Awards, but it also stirred controversy [among bluenoses] over a bedroom scene which included images of Whiting’s buttocks and Hussey’s bare breasts.  Now in their 70s, Hussey and Whiting filed a lawsuit in Santa Monica Superior Court…[hoping to cash in by] accusing Paramount of sexually exploiting them and distributing nude images of [young people who are now infantilized as] children.  The suit alleges that Zeffirelli — who died in 2019 [and is therefore unable to contradict their claims] — assured both actors that there would be no nudity in the film…but [later]…implored them to perform in the nude…[yet] the suit [also] alleges that…[they] were…filmed nude without their knowledge….They are seeking [a payday] “believed to be in excess of $500 million”…The lawsuit relies in part on a California law that temporarily suspended the statute of limitations for [mummified] claims of child sexual abuse

To Molest and Rape (#1281)

Most rapist New Orleans cops don’t do it by proxy:

…sexual violence by New Orleans [cops is]…an everyday practice of policing…on average, there is a complaint of sexual violence filed against an NOPD officer every 10 days…[and rapists are usually] allowed to resign without any investigation: of the 254 NOPD officers who left their job between 2019-2021, 90 percent had been reported for misconduct in the previous year…Of the 944 [thugs] currently employed by the NOPD, around 190 have at least one complaint of sexual and/or intimate partner violence. Of those…26 have two or more complaints, and 5…have three or more complaints.  The highest number of complaints for one [cop] still employed by the NOPD is 64…

The Cop Myth (#1297)

The death toll will continue to rise until policing as we know it now is abolished:

US law enforcement killed at least 1,176 people in 2022, making it the deadliest year on record for police violence since experts first started tracking the killings…Police…killed an average of more than three people a day, or nearly 100 people every month last year…including people fatally shot, beaten, restrained and Tasered…Only 370 (31%) involved…an alleged violent crime…What’s more, in 32% of cases last year, the person was fleeing before they were killed, generally running or driving off…Black residents were three times more likely to be killed by US police than white people. The inequality is particularly severe in some cities, including Minneapolis where police have killed Black residents at a rate 28 times higher than white residents, and Chicago, where the rate was 25 times higher…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1299)

If you didn’t foresee where this was going, you haven’t been paying attention:

The New Hanover County [North Carolina] Sheriff’s Office has charged a man with assault with intent to kill or seriously injure after [cops fantasized that he “]expos[ed” them]…to a “dangerous opioid drug.”  Lewis Drayton…attempted to throw drugs out of his vehicle and [when three little pigs saw this they panicked]…causing [one of the brave heroes to faint]…the Sheriff’s Office is awaiting lab testing to determine what the substance was…The charges follow a string of incidents over the last few years in which law enforcement across the country have claimed exposure to fentanyl has caused symptoms which…don’t line up with the drug’s effects.

 

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!

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I can’t even breathe.  –  Neal Saunders

This seemed like the right song to memorialize composer Ned Rorem, especially since it’s also seasonally appropriate.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel; Dave Crisp; Jesse Walker, Franklin Harris, & Dan Savage; Cop Crisis (x2); and Carol Fenton, in that order.

From the Archives

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!

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You can’t win an unwinnable war.  –  José Irizarry

R.I.P. Carol Leigh

Carol Leigh, one of the leading figures of the US sex worker movement (she was the person who actually coined the term “sex work”) has died at 71 after a 7-year battle with uterine cancer.  Carol became involved in activism just a year after she became a sex worker in 1977, and was involved in nearly every aspect  of the movement throughout the ’80s, ’90s, and Oughts; even later she was always happy to give advice and guidance to younger activists like me.  She was so well-known that even the mainstream media (including the AP, the NewYork Times and the San Francisco Chronicle) published obituaries, but the title links to one by a sex-work-friendly reporter (albeit in a publication which can’t seem to make up its mind); I’ll also be linking memorial essays from those who knew her as they appear.

Perquisites

Are statists really so delusional they can’t grasp that this is inevitable when men are given this kind of power and privilege?

José Irizarry accepts that he’s known as the most corrupt agent in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration history…[for] conspiring with Colombian cartels to build a lavish lifestyle of expensive sportscars, Tiffany jewels and [women] around the world.  But…Irizarry says he won’t go down for this alone, accusing some long-trusted DEA colleagues of joining him in skimming millions of dollars from drug money laundering stings to fund a decade’s worth of luxury overseas travel, fine dining, top seats at sporting events and frat house-style debauchery…federal agents, prosecutors, informants and in some cases cartel smugglers themselves were all in on the three-continent joyride known as “Team America” that chose cities for money laundering pick-ups mostly for party purposes or to coincide with Real Madrid soccer or Rafael Nadal tennis matches.  That included stops along the way in VIP rooms of Caribbean strip joints, Amsterdam’s red-light district and aboard a Colombian yacht that launched with plenty of booze and more than a dozen prostitutes…All this revelry was rooted, Irizarry said, in a…reali[stic assessment] among DEA agents…that there’s nothing they can do to make a dent in the drug war anyway…“We know we’re not making a difference…The drug war is…a very fun game that we were playing”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1104)

Useful idiots destroying any possibility that the facial recognition djinni can ever be rebottled:

…public anxiety about crime seems to be peaking. Determined to [capitalize on hysteria in order to win]…votes), major cities including San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans are turning to…surveillance as a [pretend] solution.  This marks a big shift, especially for a city like San Francisco, which in 2019 became the first U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition technology by…police.  Boston, Portland, Oakland, and Jackson, Mississippi, have since followed…But…the [public is fickle and fearful]…“We went from a long-term view to an extremely short-term view,” explained Tracy Rosenberg…[of] Oakland Privacy…“[concerns about] the end of public anonymity…ha[ve] largely been replaced by a narrative that [says]…the short-term implications on your life right now are more important than any sort of future surveillance state”…San Francisco’s…passed a policy that will allow [cops]…to [root through]…footage of private security cameras [without a warrant]…Cities…expanding the use of surveillance technology…risk entrenching a permanent surveillance infrastructure that may be difficult to dismantle down the road.  “The history of surveillance suggests that it’s not easy to put the genie back in the bottle,” argues Rosenberg.  One of the most high-profile examples of this dynamic comes out of New Orleans, where [politicians] are poised to expand police surveillance less than two years after passing a sweeping facial recognition ban

Torture Chamber (#1186)

It’d be great if US cities could flush their toxic waste before somebody dies:

…Forks, Washington, will pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit…filed by the family of a young…woman who committed suicide in jail after being harassed by a guard with a long history of misconduct…John Gray…would later be convicted of sexually assaulting four other [helpless caged] women.  But when Kimberly Bender—a 23-year-old Quileute tribal member struggling with drug addiction and depression—tried to report Gray’s misconduct, the Forks jail [blew her off while Gray]…sexually torment[ed] her…[until] she…hanged herself in her cell…

Torture Chamber (#1189)

I’m sure they helpfully yelled “Stop faking!” at him as he died:

…Thousands die while locked [in cages by the State] each year…a third of [them]…are younger than 55, many suffering from untreated or poorly treated illnesses, with the prison healthcare system frequently deciding that treatments for common and debilitating ailments are not “medically necessary”…“If it’s not life-threatening in that moment…they put it off and tell you to…take ibuprofen,” said Tonya Wilson…an advocate with Freedom Project…[Clifford] Farrar, [a type I diabetic] who required four insulin shots a day, was initially given access to needles, test strips and a glucometer…But…prison…[bureaucrats in Washington state soon started refusing to pay] for…insulin supplies…and…on 27 December [of last year], Farrar…was found lying on the ground…with blood coming from his mouth…he…was declared dead 20 minutes later…the prison had repeatedly neglected his health, including by denying him supplies that could have prevented his seizures, failing to check on him when he did not arrive to get his insulin shot, and responding too slowly to his final emergency…

Creepy Coppers

Just another typical and representative cop:

A Chesapeake [Virginia cop named]…Timothy M. Newton…was charged with more than 20 felony child pornography offenses [after an unknown party snitched on him]…

To Molest and Rape (#1275)

This just keeps getting worse:

[Typical and representative] Kansas City [cop]…Roger Golubski…[faces charges of conspiring with] Cecil Brooks, LeMark Roberson and Richard Robinson…[to run a violent pimping scheme] from 1996 to 1998…Brooks, Roberson and Robinson all…used physical beatings, sexual assault and threats to compel the young women to provide sexual services to men…Golubski…accepted [bribes] from Brooks, provided protection from law enforcement, and forcibly raped a[t least one] young woman…

 

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!

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You ain’t paralyzed.  –  typical Florida screw

The Public Eye (#789)

It’s always heartening to see a sex worker run for office, especially when she wins:

A transgender politician in Mexico’s ruling MORENA party is under fire for posting pornographic videos of herself on Twitter.  But María Clemente García Moreno—a federal deputy in Mexico City who made history in 2021 when she and another politician became the first trans people elected to the country’s congress—also moonlights as a sex worker and contests that it’s within her rights to post whatever she wants…

Torture Chamber (#1069)

Florida screws love yelling “Stop faking!” at their victims after intentionally breaking their necks:

Craig Ridley…[was] a 62-year-old prisoner in Florida who, after having his neck broken by guards, was left to die in his cell…Ridley…was…tackled…to the ground face first on Sept. 8, 2017…[by brutal screws who th]en manhandled, mocked and ignored [him]…even as he begged for help…as he lay in his cell, unable to walk and starving because he couldn’t reach the food he was being given.  After five days of this paralysis, guards finally took him to a hospital, where…he died on Oct. 12…intubated and unable to communicate…the…story was kept hushed for years…

Winding Down (#1179)

Destigmatization of psychedelics is happening much more quickly than I would’ve expected:

Shroomyz is Toronto’s first magic mushroom dispensary and the second in the province…A Shroomyz in Ottawa opened in May of this year…Shroomyz is akin to any cannabis store you’d find in the city.  Windows are taped off for privacy and customers need to buzz in to enter…The store supplies everything from dried psilocybin and microdose capsules to mushroom chocolates and mushroom tea…

Winding Down (#1243)

It’s great to see anti-prohibitionist views quickly becoming mainstream:

Prohibition is not working—and that can be seen most strikingly with cocaine, not cannabis…Global production hit a record of 1,982 tonnes in 2020, according to the latest data, though that is likely to be an underestimate.  That record high is despite decades of strenuous and costly efforts to cut off the supply.  Between 2000 and 2020 the United States ploughed $10bn into Colombia to suppress production, paying the local armed forces to spray coca plantations with herbicide…or…yank up bushes by hand.  To no avail…murder in Colombia is three times more common than in the United States; in Mexico, four times.  In some areas, drug gangs are so wealthy and well-armed that they rival the state…the cocaine gangs will remain powerful so long as their product is illegal in the rich countries that consume most of it, such as the United States.  Half-measures, such as not prosecuting cocaine users, are not enough.  If producing…is still illegal, it will be criminals who produce it…the real answer is full legalisation, allowing non-criminals to produce a strictly regulated, highly taxed product, just as whisky- and cigarette-makers do…

To Molest and Rape (#1263)

The New Orleans cop who stood by and watched a rape has thought up an excuse:

Earl J. Brown III…resigned a week after The Times-Picayune published audio from a 911 call demonstrating that — though he was just a block away — Brown declined to intervene [in a rape] for more than three minutes.  By that point, the suspect had fled.  Brown later [claimed]…he was working a security detail on a movie set and that he had been trained to wait for backup before responding.  Brown also heard over the radio that New Orleans [cops] had been dispatched…[so he figured they would eventually get there, and called it good]…Scott Seymour…who investigated the incident, rejected Brown’s explanation and concluded he violated several department policies by failing to act.  Seymour recommended firing Brown, but he resigned before…that [happened, which] means Brown maintains a clean record…and [could be rehired as a cop somewhere else]…

See also “To Molest and Rape (#1273)” below.

The Cop Myth (#1271)

You’ve heard of “burying the lede”, but this one just keeps getting worse:

A Louisville [cop sent]…a sexually explicit photo of a woman to more than a dozen people without her consent….Harry Seeders…was arrested…and charged…under the so-called Kentucky “revenge porn” law that went into effect in 2018…Seeders…was on [paid vacation as a reward for] a previous domestic violence incident…in May 2021 [in which he attacked] a woman he was dating…[by] hit[ting her]…in the mouth and then chok[ing] her…those charges[, which] are still pending…[were filed when] Seeders was [already enjoying a paid vacation he received as a reward for murdering]…a [random] man…on Nov. 22, 2020…and [trying to blame his victim]…

To Molest and Rape (#1273)

It’s not only Louisiana cops who prefer to rape by proxy:

A garda is under suspension…[for trying] to hire a man to [rape] a female colleague…the [cop apparently]…contacting a man online, possibly on the Darkweb…[and the scheme] apparently came to light when the man, understood to be in Scotland, began arranging to travel to Ireland…

 

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!

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Sex workers are collateral damage in th[e “progressive”] quest to build the perfect internet.  –  Evan Greer

The Missing Word (#570)

Notice what nobody calls this?

For almost seven years, two Pennsylvania judges sent hundreds of [teens and] children—some of them as young as 8 years old—to privately run juvenile detention centers in exchange for financial kickbacks…[now] former Judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan [have been ordered] to pay over $200 million in compensatory and punitive damages to their victims.  Starting in 2000, the pair sent children into juvenile detention for offenses as innocuous as jaywalking, petty theft, or truancy.  In what became known as the “kids for cash” scandal, the [victims] were sent to two privately run detention centers whose builder and co-owner paid the men $2.8 million…over the course of the scheme…following the plot’s discovery, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court…thr[ew] out 4,000 juvenile convictions…[but] many of the plaintiffs still suffer from mental health problems.  Several…died by suicide or drug overdose in the years after their detention…Unfortunately, it is unlikely that any of the plaintiffs will [actually] receive [any] financial compensation…[because] Ciavarella and Conahan are now serving lengthy prison sentences.  Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years…and Conahan…17…though he was released to home confinement in 2020…[due to] COVID-19…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1009)

Another baby step toward recognizing sex work as work:

…a group of former Star Garden [exotic] dancers…filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, through the established actors union Actors’ Equity Assn…If the[y]…succeed, it would be the first time the century-old union that represents actors and stage managers on Broadway and venues such as the Hollywood Pantages Theatre would include strippers in its ranks.  Star Garden would become the first unionized strip club in the U.S. since…the Lusty Lady…closed in 2013…But…most of the strippers seeking representation said they have not worked at Star Garden since mid-March, when they raised safety concerns and were subsequently [fired]…Union lawyers will need to convince the National Labor Relations Board the strippers are Star Garden employees who were unduly terminated in order to be eligible to participate in a union vote and secure a shot at winning…

The Widening Gyre (#1116)

The latest iteration of “sex traffickers are EVERYWHERE!!!” has it all: the roses from the item linked in the subtitle, themselves only one example of the “valuable bait” trope, are loaded with the magic instant-overdose fentanyl of cop fantasies instead of the unidentified magic contact poison of earlier iterations of this myth.  Given that cops have recently started claiming that the magic fentanyl is being intentionally sprinkled onto $1 bills, the convergence is pretty clear; presumably the fentanyl-using “traffickers”, no doubt driving around in white vans, are also dropping the bait bills where cops can find them so as to stop their heroic anti-trafficking pogroms, or something.

A Broker in Pillage (#1147)

Absolutely nothing is “safe” if government actors know where it is:

The FBI [lied] to…a federal magistrate judge…[claiming] that it intended to open hundreds of safe deposit boxes s[tolen] during a March 2021 raid in order to inventory the items inside—but new evidence shows that federal agents were plotting all along to use the operation as an opportunity to [steal] cash and other valuables…the FBI also seems to have ignored limitations imposed by the warrant, including an explicit prohibition against using the…boxes as the basis for further criminal investigations…agents…were instructed to be on the lookout for cash…and to note…anything which [might give the government a pretext to steal it]…Agents [even] arranged to have drug-sniffing dogs present…which doesn’t do anything to help inventory items, of course, but makes more sense if the actual goal is to initiate forfeiture proceedings…

You Were Warned (#1218)

Looks like Reddit is covering its butt as a hedge against more FOSTA-enabled predatory lawsuits:

…adult content creator[s have]…recently found themselves abruptly removed or had their Reddit account limited without warning.  Sex workers have long been subject to deplatforming on most social media platforms…yet even though Reddit has a reputation for being relatively sex-positive compared to other Big Tech sites, sex workers are increasingly finding themselves restricted or even outright permanently banned on the platform, often without notice or…explanation…“The fact that sex workers are reporting an uptick on Reddit is particularly concerning because it has been one of the last places where this type of content is allowed,” says Evan Greer, director of the digital rights organization Fight for the Future, citing Twitter as the only other example of a platform that still continues to allow NSFW content…

The Vultures Descend

You can always count on my native state to out-Herod Herod:

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry…successfully urged the Louisiana Bond Commission…to delay a $39 million future line of credit for the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board–which the city needs for [a dedicated power station for] its flood response–until city officials agree to enforce the state’s abortion ban.  The move comes right at the start of hurricane season, on the same day New Orleans…issued a flood advisory…Even Republican state senator Bret Allain warned that because the sewerage and water board is a state-created agency, he finds it “problematic” to target New Orleans over their abortion stance…

The Last Shall Be First (#1244)

If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention:

After one competitor “outclassed” the rest of the field in a girls’ state-level competition last year, the parents of the competitors who placed second and third lodged a complaint with the Utah High School Activities Association calling into question the winner’s gender.  David Spatafore, the UHSAA’s legislative representative…said the association…asked the student’s school to…examine…the students’ enrollment records [going]…“back to kindergarten and she’d always been a female”…Spatafore said the association has received other complaints, some that said “that female athlete doesn’t look feminine enough”…

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This fucking cop is still a block away and this girl got raped on the street corner!  –  witness to the crime

License to Rape

“Search” is the most common government euphemism for “molest”:

…650 [legal minors] were strip-searched [by London cops without good reason] over a two-year period and the majority were found to be innocent of the [accusat]ions [cops used to justify the molestation] …in almost a quarter of cases (23%) an appropriate adult was not present during the search, despite this being a [legal] requirement…of children [and young adults] aged 10 to 17 who were strip-searched between 2018 and 2020, almost three out of five (58%) were black…for 2018 alone the figure rose to 75%…

Torture Chamber 

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

…a lawsuit against [St. Louis] and [a pack of screws reports]…that [human beings locked in cages without having]…been convicted of any crime — are subjected to “persistent and widespread torture practices”…[foremost among these being] pepper-sprayed for any number of capricious reasons or for no apparent reason at all…In 2019, the St. Louis county executive resurrected a local advisory board to monitor conditions at the jail after the deaths of several detained people, including one person who died of a curable form of leukemia…But as conditions at the jail continued to deteriorate, several board members resigned in protest…[because] they were not…[actually allowed] to…investigate conditions…the city of St. Louis has denied all wrongdoing…[and a spokesbureaucrat vomited out the words] “order and security in the correctional facility” [as an excuse for the torture, which includes]…regularly shut[ting] off detained people’s water for hours or days at a time…

If Men Were Angels  

It’s getting harder to tell the preachers from the cops:

A [Missouri] pastor has been charged…[with] sexually abusing a child…John Hampton…abused two children, starting four to five years ago…[Cops]…tried to talk to Hampton in May, but Hampton told [them] he didn’t have time to speak to them [so they just let it go for a few months]…

To Molest and Rape

I suspect prosecutors get off on coming up with ridiculous-sounding euphemisms for rape:

A [typical and representative] California [cop] faces a federal indictment [for raping] four women while [wearing his magical clown costume]…J. DeShawn Torrence…[faces] a maximum…penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine…[for] crimes [of rape and sexual assault committed] from August 2017 to June 2021…without a legitimate law enforcement purpose…

Presumably, raping a sex worker in order to entrap her and destroy her life would be considered “a legitimate law enforcement purpose”.

Above the Law (#923)

Rapist politicians generally prefer to assault drunk women:

A…Kentucky [politician]…was arrested [for]…rape.  John Tilley…[raped] a woman who could not consent due to her level of intoxication…[besides being a state legislator] he…served as Justice and Public Safety Cabinet secretary from December 2015 through 2019, overseeing Kentucky State Police, the Department of [Locking People in Filthy Cages] and other agencies…

Notice how any association with cops has a high correlation with being a rapist?

To Molest and Rape (#946) 

Some Louisiana cops prefer to rape by proxy:

A New Orleans [cop who] was flagged down…in the French Quarter by a witness who…saw a man raping an unconscious woman in plain view on the street corner…didn’t budge…the witness…[then called] 911…[and] grew increasingly frantic as the [cop continued]…to [do nothing]…Another [pigmobile] had already driven past the [rape] without stopping, she added…Two minutes passed. “He’s still not even coming!” the witness said.aid.  The dispatcher also became exasperated, “Ma’am, this is…I can’t speak freely…I understand”…The witness [who is a respiratory therapist] returned to the corner and [started CPR when she] found the victim without a pulse.  The [rapist] had fled…The witness…asked not to be named because she fears [police] retribution…

The Prudish Giant (#1251) 

Why does anyone still trust Facebook?

A Nebraska teenager is facing criminal charges alleging she aborted a fetus in violation of state law, after [cops rooted in] her Facebook messages using a search warrant.  Seventeen-year-old Celeste Burgess…[was transformed into] an adult [by the power of a magic prosecutorial finger] along with her mother Jessica Burgess…Nebraska c[riminalizes] abortions beyond 20 weeks…[cops found out via a snitch and couldn’t wait to ruin a young woman’s life]…Facebook [has been playing both sides on the issue; while]…the company [has] announced that it will reimburse employees who…must travel to a different state to seek an abortion…Instagram and Facebook posts about acquiring abortion pills…[a]re being systematically removed…[and the company has] continued to earn revenue from anti-abortion advertisements containing dangerous misinformation…Facebook [is also] collecting data from users interacting with abortion services websites, and [selling it]…to anti-abortion groups…

Since the earlier Texas case was dropped, Burgess may end up being the first woman prosecuted under the new abortion prohibitionist regime.

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That was stupid.  –  Chase Bebak-Miller, to his victim

Last week, on my way back from Seattle, I listened to the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack.  That may have been a mistake because I had a tooth pulled the next day, and I kept giggling because this song kept going through my head.  The links above the video were provided by Mike Siegel, Franklin Harris, Cop Crisis (x3), and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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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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After Hereticon ended a week ago today, I flew into New Orleans to visit old friends; since my first visit was scheduled for Friday, I decided to go down to the flea market in the French Quarter to see my friend Solomon, an Ethiopian man whom I’ve been buying Indian dresses from since I was a stripper in the late ’90s.  Due to delays in picking up my rental car I arrived fairly late, after most of the vendors had already packed up and gone for the day; however, since Solomon was a friendly and popular guy who’s been a fixture in the market for over 20 years, I asked one of the few who was left about him.  And when I was told he had died just a few weeks ago, I was unprepared for how very sad I felt.  It’s not like he and I were drinking buddies; I never even knew his last name.  But he always had kind words and compliments for me, and never failed to recognize me; everyone in the market liked him, and for my part I never even considered buying my dresses from anyone else.  And when I heard the sad news, I couldn’t help crying; it was as though a part of New Orleans itself had died.  Perhaps that’s part of why I was so sentimental for the rest of the visit; it did my heart good to hear the local accents, to see the displays of king cakes at the doughnut shop where I bought my breakfast, and even just to drive the streets I once knew so well.  I even took some time to go to a branch of the grocery store chain where Grace and I used to shop, and bought some things that just aren’t available in Washington; of course I had to send them home by priority mail so the TSA couldn’t steal them by belching out the magic word “liquid”.  Later that afternoon, my friend Olivia contributed to the nostalgic mood; when it was time for dinner she said, “I made gumbo; I hope that’s OK.”  Nothing could’ve been better!  Because even though I do love my little farm and all my Seattle friends, and have absolutely no regrets about choosing to relocate, one long root of the tree of my life will always be inextricably embedded in the swampy soil of south Louisiana.

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Diary #603

What an exhausting week!  After Hereticon ended Thursday morning, I flew to New Orleans to visit some old friends I haven’t seen in a long time, including the cousin who recently got back in touch with me.  And while I had a lovely time, the pace definitely took its toll.  I knew the rapid weather shifts from Seattle to Miami to New Orleans (with a cold front moving in Saturday) and back to Seattle would play hob with my sinuses, and they did; it started as a post-nasal drip which turned into a cough on Friday, then practically as soon as I got back to Seattle turned into heavy congestion.  It didn’t help that I had decided to do the week without cannabis; in retrospect, that was a bad idea because I didn’t sleep nearly as well as usual (even with the help of other drugs), so by Friday I was pretty tired from days of poor sleep.  The flight into New Orleans was on a regional jet, which are far more conducive to giving me vertigo attacks than larger aircraft, and such attacks (while I recover from them more quickly than I used to thanks to my meds) tend to sap my reserves.  By Saturday afternoon I was so debilitated by the one-two punch of lack of sleep and wonky sinuses that I strongly considered asking my cousin if I could stay an extra day, because I was genuinely unsure if it would be safe to drive back into town feeling as I did.  But fortunately, she’s a very early-to-bed-early-to-rise type, so I took a five-hour nap and by 2 AM I felt good enough to get the rental safely back to the airport, board the plane, and promptly fall asleep by lying across three seats.  I don’t actually remember takeoff; the next thing I knew, the pilot was telling the flight attendants to prepare for landing.  The layover in Dallas was mercifully short, and though I didn’t sleep as well on the flight to Seattle it was mostly uneventful.  Once back at my apartment some breakfast and tea allowed me to rally enough for the drive home, and though it was far more tiring than usual, I made it back to Sunset at last.  This was typed about 9 PM Sunday night, so I hope you’ll forgive its brevity; I hear my edibles calling.

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