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Archive for March, 2020

Diary #509

Jae finished staining my bookcases on Thursday, and said they’d be dry enough for books on Saturday.  So about 11:30 Saturday morning I started shifting my books from where they were stored in three cupboards, and by the time I stopped for dinner at 6:30 I had them all divided into 25 groups by author name (or title if there was no clear author).  The reason it took so long was that at the same time, I was also shifting Chekov’s books from the boxes in my hall into the now-vacant cupboards, where they’ll remain until we get his cottage built this summer (he ordered a kit Saturday).  Soon after dinner I started alphabetizing the shelves, and got done about 1:30 AM; then on Sunday morning I shifted them to basically even out the shelves, as you can see below (the bottom shelves, for oversize books, are not visible in this picture).  In the initial process it became pretty clear that I wouldn’t need the shorter shelves at the top of each case, so I left them empty and moved my CD collection to them on Sunday evening after spending the afternoon rearranging the utility room shelves to make better use of the space and thereby clear the rest of the boxes out the hall.  Then yesterday, we started building shelving for my TV series DVDs, and later in the week we’ll be doing another unit for movies.  That will free up the area where they now live to build a bar, which will get the liquor and glasses off of my kitchen counters.  Oh, and I’m also working on getting the clutter out of the garage.  It’s rather like one of those number puzzles where you need to slide the numbered tiles around to get them into numerical order, but I’m getting closer and closer to a solution.  I don’t particularly like everything being closed and everybody panicking, but at least I’m using the downtime constructively!

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Back Issue #81

Are you blind or just stupid?  –  “Deadbeats

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Somewhere in the darkness, the gambler he broke even.  –  Kenny Rogers

Country music legend Kenny Rogers died late last week after a long, successful career which started as a doo-wop singer in the late ’50s; this was his most famous song, but he was known for many which told the stories of hard-luck characters (such as “Lucille” and “The Coward of the County”), plus his duets with Dolly Parton.  The links above were provided by Dave Krueger, Brooke Magnanti, Zuri Davis, Mistress Matisse, Phoenix Calida, and Furrygirl, in that order.

From the Archives

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We should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.  –  Norman L. Reimer

844,739

Waffle House is so reliably open, FEMA uses them as a measure of disaster severity:

Waffle House has now closed 365 locations across the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic…In a Facebook post on March 15th, Waffle House said that they were attempting to keep their customers safe and keep nearly 45,000 employees employed.

Like Houses

And guess who gets to declare that an “emergency” exists?

The Trump Department of Justice has asked Congress to craft legislation allowing chief judges to indefinitely hold people without trial and suspend other constitutionally-protected rights during coronavirus and other emergencies…While the asks…will likely not come to fruition with a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives [until a future Democratic presdent asks for the same exact thing], they demonstrate how much th[e] White House has a frightening disregard for rights enumerated in the Constitution.  The DOJ [wants to]…allow any chief judge of a district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation”…Norman L. Reimer…of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, [said]…“you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over.  I find it absolutely terrifying”…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#892)

Hollywood actors really need to stop pretending expertise in sexology:

British actor Orlando Bloom…recently disclosed that he practiced celibacy for six months prior to dating pop-singer Katy Perry (now his fiancee) and further disclosed [his adherence to the bizarre but increasingly-popular puritancal belief] that pornography is very “destructive”.  Bloom’s comments were praised by [pro-censorship fringe group Morality in Media]…

Torture Chamber (#1010)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can torture them until they kill themselves”:

A 27-year-old Honduran man [killed himself in a cage after being locked in it by]…Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas…The death is the ninth in ICE custody in the 2020 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, and surpasses the number of deaths for the entire 2019 fiscal year when eight people died…The man had requested asylum [with his]…family…at a port of entry in Texas on Feb. 19…[but was denied by a pig] on Feb. 28, a decision that was later upheld by an immigration judge on March 11…

Social Distancing

How the pandemic is affecting sex workers in Germany:

At the “Lankwitzer 7” brothel…disinfectant dispensers have been installed next to the washbasins.  [Owner Aurel] Marx say he’s ordered staff to hot-wash all towels and sheets, and open the windows more often to let the warm, sticky air escape.  Still, customers just aren’t coming round anymore…since the virus arrived in Berlin…

And Bangladesh:

Sex workers from one of the world’s largest brothels appealed to the Bangladesh government…for emergency funding after a ban on customers to prevent the spread of coronavirus.  More than 1,500 sex workers are based at the Daulatdia brothel, about 100 km (60 miles) west of Dhaka, which is one of about 12 officially sanctioned brothels in the South Asian country, and receives an estimated 5,000 customers every day.  The government on [March 20th] announced the closure of the brothel…until at least April 5 but promised to give all of the sex workers a package of 30 kgs of rice, $25, and a freeze on rent…

And Bolivia:

A nighttime curfew imposed by the Bolivian president to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus…faces opposition from sex workers, who say their already precarious livelihoods are at stake…more than 50 licensed establishments have been forced to close after the Bolivian government imposed a daily curfew from about 5 p.m. to 5 a.m…Lily Cortes, a representative of Bolivia’s sex workers union, said that if the legal establishments cannot function, “unfortunately the sex workers will go out to work the streets and the result will be worse”…

Worse Than I Thought (#1023)

Wow, two politicians with a particle of human decency!

…Odessa [Texas politician]…Dan Jones [tried to use the fantasy of “sex trafficking” to sell his proposed]…policy [to deny strippers the licenses they need to work if they got behind on their water bills while out of work during an epidemic]…but…council member Peggy Dean…ask[ed] for the…change…to be pulled from the…agenda and so did…council member Tom Sprawls.  Both previously voted against the ordinance during the March 10 council meeting…Dean said that that she disagreed with the ordinance’s utilities policy especially in the current times where many people might be unable to pay their water bill after being laid off or have had their hours cut due to the coronavirus….“I don’t really understand how the past due water bills help stop human trafficking. That makes no sense to me.”  She mentioned that if anybody had a past due water bill, then they would be 18 [even though Jones pretended his petty, punitive]…policy would help us find out who is under age.  “Well it wouldn’t, a 16-year-old wouldn’t have a water bill…[this] is very invasive and way too far reaching”…

Social Distancing (#1024)

A glimpse into the violent sociopathy that is prohibitionism:

When the news alert from the Baltimore Sun popped up saying: “Baltimore State’s Attorney Mosby to stop prosecuting drug possession, prostitution, other crimes amid coronavirus,” I had a visceral reaction that was like a punch to the gut.  I’m most concerned about the inclusion of prostitution in her list.  By [stopp]ing [cops from stalking, deceiving and raping]…sex [workers, we rob freaks like me of material for our spank banks]…I sold sex for money in my early twenties…more than a decade later, I [started swallowing prohibitionist propaganda.  Blah blah “sending a message“]…In Baltimore we have a VICE unit specifically focused on [ra]ping sex [workers]…If I reacted so viscerally to Mosby’s statement, I can only assume that [the rapist cops must have had a similar reaction to news that they would temporarily be denied opportunities to rape women and destroy peaceful men’s lives]…

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When Lucy Steigerwald tweeted this item about ICE still trying to deport people in the middle of a pandemic, she commented that she didn’t understand how they could sleep at night; I said that “Just doing my job” is even more insidiously evil than “I was only following orders”.  Mike Siegel then replied by calling attention to what Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski said about the interrogator character in the episode “Intersections in Real Time”, a man so harmless-looking he would’ve gone unnoticed in any ordinary office:

…You look at most of the guys who ran Treblinka, or Bergen-Belsen, and they’re largely ordinary looking guys, who could be accountants or repair men or car salesmen…most SF tends to…deal with the big bad guys, the…Darth Vaders and all the other major forces…but all too often the real damage is done not by the single Evil Leader, but by the ten million people who follow him, the bookkeepers who track the bodies and…make the trains run on time, who run the gulags, who build the new state empires that will be built with slave labor, any or all of whom could say, as many have, “I was just doing my job”…To the interrogator, he was simply doing his job, and…then he goes home to his wife and kids, and has dinner, and sits out on the porch trying to forget what he does because he thinks he has to do it…assuming he thinks about it at all…

Look around you, especially in an election season, and see the pure evil a lot of people spout, usually while imagining that the things they’re advocating – up to and including mob violence – are righteous.  And they’re all ordinary folks.  Some of the people I’ve crossed paths with as an activist don’t actually care about anyone’s rights; they’re just amoral Marxists who happened to fall into sex work at some point and have chosen to adopt it as an identity despite Marxist regimes’ long persecution of us.  The majority of cops, bureaucrats and other petty evildoers don’t see themselves as evil; they see themselves as just people doing a job.  And every one of them looks (and in public, acts) just like anyone else.  They shop in the same stores, watch TV, love their dogs, eat next to us in restaurants.

All the cops.

All the screws.

All the functionaries.

All the other quiet sociopaths.

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On Wednesday of last week, an authoritarian psychopath from Australia tweeted that to prevent what violent collectivists call “food hoarding” during the pandemic, “All houses should be inspected. Anyone that has more than two weeks food should be fined, heavily.”  This is the kind of violent, coercive idiocy which has become fashionable among “wing” fetishists who think of themselves as “the Left”, and demonstrates their complete detachment from reality.  There has been no time in my life since I moved out on my own in 1983 that I did not have at least two weeks of food on hand; usually it’s more like one or two months’ worth.  That isn’t “hoarding”; it’s being an adult.  Let’s see what “two weeks of food” looks like, shall we?  I eat only two meals a day, a small breakfast and a moderate dinner.  A bag of cereal and a gallon of milk = breakfast for me for about ten days.  Add a second bag & we hit two weeks’ breakfast.  For dinner, an 18-carton of eggs + 1 loaf of bread + cheese = six omelettes or egg sandwiches.  A can of corned beef + bread + cheese = four meals.  I have two cans of corned beef in my cupboard, 4 packs of cheese in the fridge & 3 loaves of bread in the freezer; there’s your “two weeks of food”.   And as you can see, it’s maybe 20% of what I have just in my incall (fridge & freezer look similar, and at Sunset it’s at least triple that).  And yet this wannabe Wizard of Oz says my house should be torn apart by armed thugs and my personal economy wrecked because he’s too stupid to buy corned beef, cheese and bread before he absolutely needs it.  This is “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” behavior:  “Anyone who does things differently from me should be targeted by mob violence.”  And anyone with a functional moral compass who encounters this kind of thinking should not be afraid to condemn it, in no uncertain terms.

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Curfew and quarantine enforcement inevitably mean new opportunities for police overreach, profiling, and violence.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Above the Law 

Even rent-a-cops feel entitled to rape sex workers:

A hospital security guard has been jailed for 14 years for the rape and violent assault of two sex workers…one of the victims was forced to jump naked from a window to get away from Noel McKeon…as he tried to stab her. The attacks, on June 18, 2016 and on February 2, 2018, both took place after McKeon contacted the two women [for outcall]…

Monsters

What a sick, sorry waste:

Timothy Blancher, 20, Alunte Davis, 21, and Paris Cameron, 20, all attended a party with a 19-year-old man they met at a gas station in Detroit.  Hours after he left the group, Devon Robinson, 19, burst into the house wearing a masked and…gunn[ed] the three…down…Jurors found Robinson guilty Tuesday of the May 25, 2019, murders…committed…to cover up…that he had engaged in sex…with the three victims…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#802) 

Predictable in the current Neo-Victorian climate:

Playboy has announced that it’s closing down its flagship magazine for the rest of 2020.  It seems unlikely, given the wording of the announcement and the state of print magazine-making, that it will ever return.  It’s not a surprise, exactly — its circulation and advertising drooped long ago, accelerating as the nudie pictures for which it was celebrated became available everywhere for free…

The Widening Gyre (#866)

This won’t end until it starts inconveniencing the wealthy & well-connected:

…Oprah Winfrey’s name…trend[ed on Twitter after]…a series of tweets…alleged that the celebrity’s Florida home had been raided by police, who were “digging up the tunnels” there in connection with an alleged sex trafficking ring.  (…Oprah has no home in Florida)…the tweets put forth theories:  some noting the friendship Oprah enjoyed with Harvey Weinstein, others suggesting the novel coronavirus epidemic was somehow engineered to shift the spotlight away from the arrest of celebrities involved in the alleged ring…includ[ing] Tom Hanks and Justin Trudeau…

Wise Investment (#920)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

From January through March [of last year], at least four men responded to online ads f[rom a pervert cop fantasy role-playing as] a [sex worker] named “Brittany” who…asked each of the four men to meet [him] at a hotel, but first to stop at a gas station before to buy [him] a treat such as a candy bar or a can of pop…Cases against them were dismissed, first by a district court, and then by a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals…[because] the [prosecutor] charged the[m]…with…soliciting prostitution….[which] has to come in a “public place”…cops and…prosectors…didn’t prove any of these men was in [public] when they texted [the masturbating cop.  Though]…the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office [vomited a lot of disgusting nonsense about]…human-trafficking…[all over the court, it still]…rul[ed that]…there’s no evidence indicating [the cop was fantasizing he] was underage, or a victim of trafficking, [while msturbating, and] the…language on gross misdemeanor solicitation is plain, and applies only to “public” acts…

You Were Warned

A reminder of what the government is trying to take away from you:

It’s almost hard to believe now, but there was time when Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of “participatory media” were widely heralded as great gifts to public perception and global democracy.  For going on nearly half a decade now, the tone on tech companies and social media has shifted to one of suspicion, hostility, grievance, and moral panic.  But as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world and as many governments continue to mishandle things, people are starting to remember why the platforms we love to hate are important after all…Social media have also been providing news from early outbreak zones across the globe, as users widely disseminate stories from foreign news outlets, statements from foreign leaders, and first-hand accounts from residents of affected areas abroad.  These snapshots helped give Americans a better sense of the scope of the threat posed by COVID-19 at a time when the messages coming from official channels were conflicting and confusing…

Social Distancing

As always, sex workers demonstrate our adaptability:

Portland will not go without its strippers, even during a…pandemic.  Lucky Devil Lounge is bringing its dancers to your door with a new food delivery service it’s calling—wait for it—”Boober Eats”.  “I originally did it at first as a joke,” says club owner Shon Boulden, “and it got 150 shares on Facebook—like nothing we’ve ever had before.  So I was like, ‘Well shit, why don’t we just try to do this?'”  Lucky Devil has a full food menu and non-alcoholic drinks, like ginger beer and Red Bull, available for delivery.  The process is similar to many the home drop-off systems that have sprung up overnight as a way for restaurants and breweries to continue operating…Simply peruse the menu online, give the business a call and place your order….[but] instead of being greeted a harried driver in jeans and a hoodie, your meal is hand-delivered by two dancers.  “They’ll wear pasties and booty shorts, drop off the food, dance for a second and then we’ll move along,” Boulden says.  “We’ll still stay a reasonable distance back.  They have Lysol as well”…the strippers will also pose for photos…

Meanwhile, in porn:

Free Speech Coalition…called for a voluntary shutdown of all adult entertainment productions in the United States and Canada through Tuesday, March 31…”we ask that producers cancel all shoots through March 31, and recommend that performers immediately stop filming with partners who are not a part of their household”…

The Public Eye (#1022)

Prohibitionist whining is becoming increasingly desperate:

The MTA [was paid to] display…a series of advertisements promoting a “Sex Workers Pop-up” exhibit…[prohibitionists moronically labeled the text-only ads]…“sexually oriented” [even though they merely advertised an art exhibit]…and [bloviated a lot of their usual puritanical idiocy about how consensual sex is]…inherently harmful.  The pastel pink promotions, up since early March on subway lines across the five boroughs, was bankrolled by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and invites commuters to a West Village “exhibit dedicated to the global sex worker movement”…

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Diary #508

Last Thursday I came out to Sunset, because there’s nothing going on in Seattle anyway and I might as well spend my time getting stuff done out at Sunset (because there’s a lot to do).  On top of that I don’t really want Grace to be alone more than necessary, and Chekov’s return has been delayed due to the virus panic.  In the past few days I finished rebuilding the chicken yard, cleaned out the henhouse in preparation for the new chicks, helped Grace do some electrical work, cleaned out the garage from the stuff that’s never been properly unpacked and stored since the move, and set Jae to finishing the bookcases.  As of this writing (Sunday night) the east bank of three cases is completely done, and by the time you read this the north bank will probably be mostly done; with any luck, by next week I’ll have my books properly shelved again.  And yes, I’ll share pictures!

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In order to keep my news columns reasonably consistent in length, I keep them to a minimum of nine news items and a maximum of thirteen, and I try not to let the number shift by more than two in either direction from one column to the next.  So if one column has ten, I try to keep the next one to no more than twelve; since they’re written half a week to one week in advance of publication, I can see how the queue is stacking up and move items from one column to another as needed.  Well, when I started working on “In the News #1022” on the 12th, it had twelve items, but on the evening of Sunday the 15th I realized that one was a duplicate of an item from #1021 (same story in a different source) and that there were only seven items in #1023.  So I eliminated the duplicate and shifted two items to #1023 to even them out, and as I started slotting stories for #1024 I noticed it was also probably going to be lean.  It didn’t take me long to figure out the reason:  COVID panic has pushed “sex trafficking” hysteria off of the internet’s “front page”, so to speak.  Usually about a third of the stories in any given column are directly related to “sex trafficking” hysteria, but in the past week and a half those have all but dried up; #1023 would’ve only had one such item had I not shifted two of them from #1022.  Now, it may be that this is only a temporary respite, and that once governments stop these dress rehearsals for martial law we will once again be inundated with crude sexual fantasies about pubescent “sex slaves” abducted from Ikea and raped by dozens of men a day.  However, the last round of “sex trafficking” hysteria ended in the UK because of the First World War, and in the US because of the Great Depression; it wouldn’t be at all surprising or unprecedented for this one to be killed by a pandemic.  We’ll have to wait and see, but if this indeed turns out to be the case, the dark cloud we’re all enshrouded in right now might well turn out to have a silver lining.

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The Constitution is dead.  –  Duncan Lemp

This string quartet cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” often plays on the Pandora station I play while getting high; it’s one of several unusual covers of the song here.  The links above the video were provided by Radley Balko, Franklin Harris, Amy Alkon, Lucy Steigerwald, and Stephen Lemons (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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