Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Our job as educators is not to create a surveillance environment that teaches students how to better lie, but to foster critical thinking and civic responsibility.  – Zeynep Tufekci

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

Christopher McCormack is one of the New York Police Department’s highest-ranking officers…his ascension started three decades earlier…and [all]…along the way, police leaders were privy to an ever-growing list of complaints against McCormack…[most] of [which] were hidden from public view…What stands out…is how often Black and Latino men accused him of [molesting them under he pretext of] invasive, humiliating searches…he pulled down their pants in public, exposing their genitals…[and] used his fingers to [rape] their anal cavities [under the pretext of “searching for drugs”]…McCormack is just one of dozens of high-ranking NYPD officers who have risen [thank to egregious] misconduct in their records.  Eighty-six of the roughly 420 [cops]…who currently hold a rank above captain…have tallied at least one misconduct allegation that was substantiated by the [cops themselves], meaning that [the behavior was too blatant to hide as per standard procedure]…the…substantiated complaints are dwarfed by a far larger list of those that are “unsubstantiated,” meaning [cops were able to pretend they didn’t]…happen…

Scapegoats (#438)

I reckon someone else noticed Arpaio’s obsession with this topic:

…For $30.99, users of Cameo — an app where singers, actors and other public figures record custom video messages for a fee — can request a personalized clip of [disgraced politician Joe Arpaio] saying whatever they want…Most of Arpaio’s Cameo videos appear to be standard fare, such as birthday greetings, thank-you messages, congratulatory comments.  But one…[last week] raised eyebrows. “Hey, good luck organizing the Arizona Furry convention,” Arpaio begins, though he pronounces it “Fury,” suggesting he’s not totally certain…he’s been asked to talk about…Arizona Fur Con, an annual event [for] members of the furry community…the…person who ordered the video [goes by]…Sir Yiffs A Lot.  “Yiff” refers to furry-related sexual content or activity, which made Arpaio’s sign-off all the more cringeworthy…”I’m kind of partial to dogs,” he says after a pause, as if responding to a question included in the video request. “But I love all animals. Thanks”…

Devil’s Advocate (#944) 

Florida politicians are obsessed with child-shaped toasters:

[A pervert politician from Florida] filed legislation in Congress to ban [small] sex dolls [fashioned to resemble children] nationwide…[per-Vern Buchanan] said he will reintroduce the [moronically-named] CREEPER Act…which died in the Senate [in 2018]…Buchanan said he felt the [urge] to reintroduce the legislation after [some creep had a masturbatory fantasy] that a…sex doll was being sold on the Internet…was [somehow] modeled off of a girl in Miami [even though the same model has been sold for years before the girl reached the size and age depicted by the doll]…Florida passed a similar…ban in 2019…[making it] one of only three states, along with Kentucky and Tennessee that has specifically banned [plastic toys made to resemble children]…

Welcome to the Future (#1010)

What “predictive policing” actually looks like on the ground:

Pasco County [Florida] Sheriff Chris Nocco took office in 2011 with a…plan…to create a…system to continuously monitor and harass…residents…the Sheriff’s Office generates lists of people it c[laims are] likely to break the law, based on arrest histories, un[founded allegations] and arbitrary decisions by [cops]…Then it sends deputies to find and [harass] anyone whose name appears, often without probable cause, a search warrant or evidence of a specific crime.  They swarm homes in the middle of the night, waking families and embarrassing people in front of their neighbors.  They write tickets for missing mailbox numbers and overgrown grass, saddling residents with court dates and fines.  They come again and again, making arrests for any reason they can.  One former deputy described the directive like this: “Make their lives miserable until they move or sue.”  In just five years, Nocco’s signature program has ensnared almost 1,000 people…

I Spy (#1010)

The pandemic has been a very useful excuse for expanding the police state:

[Using the excuse of] the pandemic, many universities and colleges around the country are forcing students to download location-tracking apps, sometimes as a condition of enrollment…When students enter a classroom, their phone informs a sensor that’s been installed in the room, or the app checks the Wi-Fi networks nearby to determine the phone’s location.  As a university professor, I’ve seen surveillance like this before.  Many of these apps replicate the tracking system sometimes installed on the phones of student athletes, for whom it is often mandatory.  That system tells us a lot about what we can expect with these apps…Knowing that they are being tracked, some students will no doubt let their phone “sleep” peacefully in their bed while they party elsewhere.  If a few get sick, they may hide it, for fear of having their tech trickery found out…Excessive surveillance often backfires in this way…And broad surveillance can engender a chilling effect among the whole populace…

You Were Warned (#1045)

Exactly the same thing the Democrats want, but please tell me more about the “wings”:

A group of…Republican…[politician]s introduced a new bill…aimed at chipping away some of the protections provided to social media companies through Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  The [misnamed] Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act…would strip away the liability protection provided by Section 230 if a platform restricted access to content without providing specific rules that it violated…[after] Trump[‘s]…executive order [doing much the same thing was shown to be impotent, bootlicking politicians] started introducing their own legislation to amend the law…

Finding What Isn’t There (#1070)

This time they didn’t even try to wedge their scam into the “sex trafficking” narrative:

Eight [legal minors] were [taken into custody] in a five-day r[aid series] in the Indianapolis area and one person was arrested on charges including parental kidnapping…The U.S. Marshals [are] now [calling all of the apprehensions in three states “]rescue[” even though few if any of the subjects were in any danger; they are also calling all of the 72 subjects “]missing children[” even though most were not actually children and few were actually “missing” in the usual sense of the term]…The [subjects] are between 6 to 17 years old…and [some may have been arrested by the cops under guise of “rescue”, since the pigrelease claims they were all]…turned over to the Indiana Department of Child Services…and…no further details about the [subjects] or the circumstances were released…the U.S. Marshals Service [also pretended] it found 39 missing children in Georgia…[and] 25…in Ohio…[though no factual details were available in that case, either]…

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I can’t breathe.  –  Daniel Prude

It’s hard to believe that today is already the 21st anniversary of the greatest disaster in human history, when we lost the Moon to a bizarre nuclear accident.  What, you don’t remember that?  The video below may help.  The links above it were provided by Mistress Matisse, Cop Crisis, Popehat, Billy Binion, Amy Alkon, and Popehat again, in that order.

From the Archives

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Bathhouse 16

I returned to Sunset on Wednesday of last week, and until Monday did a host of small jobs on the project which were yet unfinished.  I spent most of the day Saturday skirting around the cottages; since the ground falls away toward the east fairly quickly, I had to allow for that while simultaneously using something strong enough to keep Orville and the other animals out.   Fortunately, Jae remembered that alongside the shop were the panels of a huge garage door which was apparently once installed on the barn (the previous owners came of age in the Great Depression and never threw away anything as far as we could tell); they were strong, light, weatherproof, pig-proof, and (best of all) free.  So I used them as the base layer all around, and topped them with leftover floor and roof boards from the cottage kits.  When Chekhov stains the cottage, he’ll also spray the boards; later, Jae will paint the white panels to match the trim.  We had meant to have our workmen come back to shingle the roof last week, but that got pushed to this week; on Sunday (with Chekhov’s help) I finished the remaining roof boards which are still missing in this picture, then did the roof underlayment so the shingles could be installed.  Grace also showed me her sketches for the main roof design, and we priced the steel for the supporting structure; we should be able to start on that early next week.  And if things keep going as they should, we’ll have a roof up before the rainy season starts again in about four weeks!

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Zoiks!  –  Norville Rogers

One of this week’s deaths was Joe Ruby, who with his partner Ken Spears created Scooby Doo, Where Are You? during their time at Hanna-Barbera.  Years later, they started their own studion, which produced this cartoon I was very fond of (though I did often make fun of the fact that, due to broadcast standards & practices in 1980, Thundarr never killed anything with his “fabulous Sun Sword”).  The links above the video were provided by Grace, Mike Siegel, Yasmin Nair, Jesse Walker, Elizabeth N. Brown, and Anarras Ansible, in that order.

From the Archives

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You have two things against you — you’re black and I have a badge.  –  Donald Kincaid

Vincent Price was never too proud or snobbish to appear in just about anything, including a plethora of TV commercials from the ’70s and ’80s; this one was from one of the first credit cards to offer reward points.  The links above the video were provided by Scott Greenfield, Rick Horowitz, Tim Cushing, Radley Balko, Mike Siegel, and Thaddeus Russell, in that order.

From the Archives

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Diary #530

On Thursday morning I woke up at Sunset, came downstairs, looked out the back door and immediately turned on my phone to catch this picture.  Orville used to pass directly through this area on his way to look for green apples falling from the tree, but he quickly discovered that he didn’t especially like what we’ve put in his way.  He hasn’t tried it again since; I don’t think he liked coming down the ramp.  And once the roof and walls are in place, he won’t be able to get in anyway.  Besides, not many apples fall directly onto the deck (though I had an Isaac Newton experience on Sunday).  But while the apples aren’t yet ripe, the plums definitely are; I made a cobbler Sunday evening, and I think I’m going to make jam this coming weekend.  It looks as though we’ll be finished most of the second cottage by Friday, and I don’t need to return to Seattle until Monday, and we aren’t yet ready to start on the roof just yet.  And it’ll be nice to have homemade jam again for the first time since I left Oklahoma.

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I hate that you put me in this position.  –  unidentified pig

As many of you can probably guess, I’m not a fan of Platonic thought; I am, however, a fan of weird short films from the ’70s, like this one discovered by Jesse Walker.  The links above it were provided by Kevin Wilson, Amy Alkon, Thaddeus Russell, Mike Siegel, Cop Crisis, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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Diary #528

It appears I’m not the only one who wants to protect her skin from the sun; as I was taking a short break in the shade, Chekhov snapped this picture with Jonathan, Shiloh and Orville all clustered behind me.  (I think the dogs were under the deck, which is now a considerable area).  It’s not that it ever gets all that warm here; we’re fairly close to the Pacific Ocean, so the climate is quite moderate.  But standing out in the sun is still a lot less comfortable than a nice shady spot.  In case you’re wondering, that’s the door to the wellhouse behind me; Grace asked me to take it off Saturday so she could move around more freely in there while connecting the new main power cable and the subsidiary lines to the breaker box, and if it starts to get cold before we have the bathhouse sealed up, we can always put it back.  This is the section of fence that was temporarily rerouted (yes, I know it’s slacky; it’s only for a few weeks) to keep the animals from getting too close to the construction site; they aren’t bothered by the sound of power tools, but they’re often curious about what we’re doing and I don’t want anything falling on them, especially once we start on the roof of the second cottage.  We should be starting that cottage week after next; on Thursday I need to return to Seattle for about a week, then when I return I’ll put the cottage foundation together to get ready for the main construction.  Chekhov’s going to finish the last section of the new French drain while I’m gone, and Grace is already working on the designs for the roof; with any luck we’ll have it done before the rainy season starts again in October.  And then we can find some better use for that shabby old door.

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The 8-Ball was a psychic.  –  Stella Immanuel

The day after I found the “Bradbury” link, my favorite living animator, Amy Winfrey, tweeted this muffin film (if you’re unfamiliar with Amy, it’s one of her series) as a response.  The links above the video were provided by Kevin Wilson, Jesse Walker, Billy Binion, Ally Fogg, Franklin Harris, and Lady Vi, in that order.

From the Archives

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Diary #527

Are you familiar with the Ameraucana breed of chicken? It’s an ornamental variety, bred because it produces blue- or green-shelled eggs.  When I was buying chicks a few months ago, Jae wanted one, and she finally started laying last week (a month behind the layers, but that’s not surprising because that’s what they’re bred for).  It’s so nice to have fresh eggs again; we’re up to about a half-dozen a day, enough to have all we want and still give plenty away.  And until they reach full maturity, there’s all kind of crazy variation in size, shape and even contents (we’re getting several double-yolked ones a week, and they’re always obvious because they’re much larger than other eggs).  A few green apples are starting to fall off the trees, too, and Orville seems to like them; I’ll wait until they’re ripe to eat any myself, thanks.  And I think I’m going to get a cider press this year, too.  Right now I’m really busy with building the extension, but that should (knock wood) be mostly done by the end of the year, and then I can settle down into a mostly sedate rural life, running into town for appointments with regulars and continuing my writing and activism from here.  It’s not really a lot to ask for the latter days of a very tempestuous life; I only hope the gods, the Fates and the world agree to let me have it.

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