Real sex robots — um, good?

As a veteran law-enforcement officer and feminist, I feel some relief that actual women and children might catch a break from being abused if men who want to rely on sexbots, rather than breathing human partners, can get them. Some relief – not much.
These realistic robots can be made to look however their demented makers desire. We have no laws requiring them to be crafted (and is this craft, akin to fermenting a fine mead or painting a great masterpiece?) so they don’t seem childlike; neither are there rules requiring anyone making them to do something – anything – to distinguish them as obviously not human. Therefore how often will police have to chase down allegations of child sex slaves, only to learn they’re “just” bots? Perhaps that’s an ultimate goal of the bot-makers and -buyers, to wear us out so they can go about their dirty work with no-one making pesky comments like “She’s 18? Prove it,” or “A dummy, really, maybe it’s you who thinks us cops are the fools!” When one man transmits to another a sexually transmitted disease via a bot party, or two men get into a fight over whose turn it is, the bot can’t very well be called as a witness against them.
Like “Shots fired!” calls on the Fourth of July that are “just” fireworks, there will be no end to the hurt feelings, fake sightings, possible (likely?) false arrests,  and allegations that “The cops knew it was a sparkler/robot so why am I being arrested for M-80s/rape?  Will a disgruntled party-goer, calling 911 to report forcible restrain despite knowing the “victim” isn’t real, still be charged with making a false report? Say a video of an apparent crime by an assailant is made by a concerned citizen. If it can’t be confirmed as a crime against a human rather than a lifelike robot, or if it indeed turns out to be a sexbot, will the man say “The cops should have known!” and file a lawsuit?
If a man can say he’s bonding with not just his motorcycle or boat or car but his bot, too, he will have zero incentive to reach common ground with any real women, not his half-sister, not his stepmother, not his bosses, certainly not his wife or girlfriend. But if he’s the abusive type anyway maybe women everywhere can heave a collective sigh of relief that she herself’s not the current or next target.
Asia and Europe already have brothels touting sexbots. Can America be far behind, and whatever will the evangelists say about that? “Morally repugnant,” because the object of the man’s attention is not his wife – or “Good, we don’t have to lock up the kids and sheep”?
The sexbots, at fifteen to fifty thousand dollars apiece, are not now restricted to those with physical disabilities and the elderly, however the bots might take the edge off. Will these items becoming more widely available just frustrate the remaining physically handicapped persons and emotional cripples (see below) who can’t afford droids, who will then take out their hostilities on their mothers and nieces, their roommates or students? Their children? 
Several years ago one young man decided he’d waited long enough to get laid. Filmmaker Peter Rodger’s son Elliot went out hunting sorority girls as if they were rabid dogs and slew them. Will similar men, if bot-less and imagining themselves likewise unduly ignored or maligned, lash out and harm us further?
Maybe the world’s hostilities will devolve further. If getting a bot can be called something one freely chooses, there are myriad attendant, new, eternal vigilances we have to build up fast against them.
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Fake-Smiling Big Sugar

It isn’t Toni Preckwinkle laughing all the way to the bank, not on our behalf nor her own, through all this. argument over Illinois’s sugary drinks tax, a good-riddance to a bad thing that’s been hard won and a long time coming. Dollars to doughnuts (and isn’t that a stitch, coming from a cop?) the ones who stand to lose the most here are the producers and distributors of soda pop, and that’s the real reason Chicago’s being inundated with “Taxwinkle’s gonna getcha!” memes, wailing and gnashing of teeth over the supposed loss of choice, and oh, we’ll have to drive to the next county to get our goods, and while I’m there, I’ll show you, I’ll fill up on gas too!
The tax righteousness aside, why is it nobody’s breathed a word about corn syrup – the ingredient causing us most of the problems?
HFCS is much cheaper than actual sugar, so no wonder everybody and his brother uses it in drinks. Better for corn growers’/producers’ bottom line – the better to line their own and their shareholders’ pockets. Mother Jones magazine’s investigative reporting called them “Big Sugar.” Let’s run with that.
Big Sugar uses the same tactics Big Tobacco found tried and true (jaded and worn though they are, many people, those who’ve smoked and those who abstain, still get suckered by them); in many cases they use the same ad agencies and lawyers. The image we get – that they want us to hold in our memories, of corn – is akin to those benign wheat fields waving, maybe a tumbleweed or dust cloud rolling, farmers feeding the nation and the world, kindly people caretaking their animals and gently watering the fields They don’t breathe a word about corn syrup, because they know how hard it is on our bodies, making us fat, the cravings for chips and pop raising its ugly head over and over. According to them we should say to ourselves, Poor misunderstood corn, let ME take you in! Please note, I have nothing against farmers or anyone else rural, they’re the seed savers and plant propagators of the country. It’s the ad-men and their ilk and institutions I have a quarrel with.
 And how much corn IS there in Illinois, anyway? In the Midwest? Most of it is on fertile farmland which – as a vector for HFCP – is going to waste, meaning it’s also going to waist(s). Vis-a-vis yet another waste, did you know corn is packed in so tightly it alters the humidity even here in the Windy City, fairly far from the mega-AG-operations?
Corn syrup harbors many more ills, including the pesticide residues that get embedded in the plant tissues and don’t completely wash off (but what does, goes down our waterways). The growers don’t want our decisions to in any way impact subsidies they get from the government – and none of it makes our bad habit any cheaper.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s some research showing consumption of sugar and HFCS will cause memory problems:
The chumbalones are the ones who think this is all about them, who believe Big Sugar’s BullS…, that this is Big Government trying to choose for us, and boohoo, how far we’ll be forced to drive to get our fix.
Big Sugar (read: pushers) shouldn’t be the one pushing THEIR preferences on our politicians. What ever happened to the sense that we could rightly say “GodDAMN the pusherman!” — and why don’t we shout this at Big Sugar?
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CPS: Don’t inflict Burge on 7th & 10th graders!

Open letter to CPS, Chief Education Officer Jackson, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, et al:
I am a graduate of LaSalle Elementary (1972, now LaSalle Language Academy) and Lane Technical High School (formerly boys only; I was one of only two girls picked from LaSalle to enter Lane in 1972,  graduating in the second co-ed class in 1976; it is now Lane Tech College Prep), and I am one of two parents of a straight-A Walter Payton College Prep sophomore. For more than six years, my assignment has been to handle warrants and summons for crime victims at the Belmont/Western courthouses.
 At first I was puzzled by the announcement that CPS would seek to teach about Jon Burge and his heinous practices. Within moments, I became enraged. While of course it is necessary to cover history’s mishaps and crimes, I fail to understand how a course devoted to this one man and his more-than-misguided mission can purport to serve primary and secondary students.
The Chicago Police Department being the size it is, comparable to a big town, I never worked for nor even crossed paths with Burge; I have neither defense nor sympathy for him. The proper venue for his actions is not CPS, but rather the criminal justice program of the University of Illinois or any similar (I am perhaps partial to UIC since I finally obtained my BA there in 1986 (going on to a MSLIS at Dominican University in 2011).
For the youngsters, it would be more appropriate to take them on field trips to the Police Memorial in south Grant Park, and to police awards ceremonies and/or cadet graduations, for sober reflection on a career in public service and on sacrifice.  If boys and girls in war-torn Syria can be Scouts and Guides, so to can our kids, with the addition of the Police Explorer program. The Girl Scouts of Chicago & Northwest Indiana are always looking for supplies and volunteers, especially leaders, and places to hold meetings. All teens – not just those diverted from the court system – would do well to sit in on a peer jury.
Students these days are far more aware of what’s going on in their city and the world than I was at their age. In every profession and job category there can be bad seeds, slackers and a few true psycho/sociopaths. Certainly Burge falls therein, but it is not necessary for things like this which are common knowledge to take up class time. To the best of my knowledge, their days are already full to the brim with crucial material, some of which they need to know for statewide exams – nowhere else in Illinois will the kids have to sit through this. Having a week or whatever on Burge will detract from Chicago Public School students’ studies, emphasize that they are a captive audience, and risk lowering their grades.
Even though the world grows ever more complicated, things like this should not be soaking up any more class time than is absolutely necessary, especially when their brains, teeming with ideas, could be put to better use figuring ways (for example) to craft bioplastics from weeds or thwart the likes of Kim Jong Un.
These things need to become instinctive in every person: kids and teenagers especially need to know what is base power and what is noble power. This is something martial arts are uniquely suited to teach. Children need practice to restrain their impulses and figure out how to deal with feelings such as rage, jealousy and envy — so at the very least they don’t grow up to electronically harass, smash the windows of, slap or spit on someone they disagree with — meaning too many of the named offenders I hear about and have to get ordered into court.
There are many styles of martial arts which could be taught in school, along with the verbal judo we all need to practice on life’s offenders (not least among them Jon Burge). You might not like the hours or the instructor at the first dojo/martial arts academy. Keep searching until you find a style that you feel you click with, and then — stick to it!
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Sugary drinks tax? O, the humanity!

To anyone getting in a lather about the soft-drink tax, there are more important things to consider and do rather than driving to the next county for your fix. And if you can’t stand the thought of not having a soda, yes – you’re addicted.
No-one is forcing you to buy sugary drinks for you and your family. Nobody owes you pop at whatever price you feel you should pay.
Pop provides zero nutritional value – spending any money on it is a waste. Mostly what you get in your drink isn’t even that real, grainy, white or tan sugar, but high fructose corn syrup.
If you have a trainer or martial arts teacher, she or he will tell you to lay off soda. Your doctors want you to stop ingesting HFCS. Your dentist wants you to never ever touch the stuff – which adheres itself to our teeth, there to wear off our enamel in record time.
Are you planning to drive extra miles to get pop and maybe gas and groceries? Really? You mean you’re going to add extra dollars to the coffers of the gas companies and more smog to the City? What sense does that make? Let’s say you’ve gotten used to eating swordfish every week and just learned about its tendency to harbor mercury. You like it, but for the sake of your health you’re going to give it up or cut way back. You can do likewise with soda.
Calling Toni Preckwinkle “Taxwinkle” (maybe she will wear this name as a badge of courage!) or worse does nothing to further any discussion or educate the people you know. No matter how much the marketing juggernauts want us to decry this as a loss of choice, this is the corn growers ans HFCS producers in a lather over something they want to make us believe they’re right about – this is not at all about a choice being taken away from poor consumers. This is about us keeping some of our money and them losing some of their revenue, because no matter what they claim, they could care less about our kids’ bodies or oral health.
Drink iced tea and you’ll get healthier as you add less and then less sugar; soon you, too, will be down to zero added sweetener. If you must have something sweet, use honey, which really is all-natural, and because it’s so much sweeter, you’ll use less. Best of all is to eat the whole fruit, which will give us fiber and micronutrients, and drink plain water. The time to do just as we like and eat what we please never should have gone this far, but it’s time to help HFCS and soda die, a painful death if it must, just so long as it goes away!
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Missing chunk of neo-nazi puzzle

At least one alt-right writer denigrated Heather Heyer as a lesbian and as a supposed drain on society.  The idea held by far too many, he too thinks she abandoned her natural duty and so her place in society. This speaks volumes, even though he later tried to say his blog post was a joke.
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Chicago’s Golf Gaffe

So Cassandra Curry (of Chicago) and her Ebony Ladies Golf League want us to think “‘You get plenty of nature when you golf’.” 
I would say “It is to laugh” if it weren’t so deplorable.
Years ago I started in a volunteer Master Gardener class. One woman was convinced that as long as it was green it had to be great. By the time we finished, she’d learned the difference between weeds – some of them edible but some extremely noxious – and useful flowers and vegetables. She didn’t again claim all green was good.
It’s the same with golf, which couldn’t exist absent its monoculture, the next nearest thing to nothing at all. The grass is tenderly manicured so some poor golfer’s shot won’t wobble, and the relatively few flowers – for decoration – are far from the greens. No clovers may rear their lovely heads among the lawns for bees to visit as nature intended – they might cause a sub-par shot!
Too often heavy doses of herbicides are used to maintain the great green illusion that is golf, and plant killers are about the furthest thing from nature there is.
There is a vague assurance there will be created “a new nature area north of the cultural center.” Who thinks to look at what the birds are eating and what is in the soil ecosystem which has already established itself? These relationships don’t happen overnight! Just like the recent past platitude (that the South Shore Nature Sanctuary wouldn’t be disturbed) but they now want to shove their done deal down our throats, watch – they’ll roll out sod and call it natural.
If golf is really a jobs creator, let Tiger Woods plunk a course somewhere it could truly make a difference, on some of the City’s many vacant lots and brownfields. Don’t pander to Curry and other golf-elitists who think of the nature that belongs here as expendable and who ignore the first law of the planet, which is: Nature abhors a vacuum!
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Scam, attempted & averted 

This is not a fake news tidbit or urban legend – it happened to me yesterday late afternoon, 6/16/17, at Costco:
I was sitting in my car, which was not in a designated parking place, waiting for my husband to come out with bottled water and berries. It was quite warm, so I had the windows down and engine off.
A car with two men pulled alongside and the passenger claimed to know me from the dealership where we’d bought my car – he gestured back toward my license plate bracket, still bearing the dealer name – and expressed concern for the dent on my door. He said he’d just fixed the VP’s car, but off the record, so he wouldn’t lose his job at the dealer’s. He said they could fix the dent quickly, the dealer would charge me a couple thousand and have it over a week, he could do it for so much less…

I’m pretty sure I didn’t give him a clear “Yes,” but the driver jumped out with a suction cup on a handle while slick willie kept saying things like “Usually it’s 249 times six, you can get the work for half…”

I said, waitaminute! I need the calculator! – $1474?! Half still being over $700? These guys couldn’t possibly do anything worth that much in a parking lot! What about an estimate, or a contract? 

While the one “worked” on my car, the slick guy kept busy suggesting I could cash a check at the bank, or get the money from the ATM – I said I didn’t have my debit card and the bank was closed in any case (being the truthful person I am, these were indeed true). I started texting my husband to come out NOW. They said they’d taken care of the scratches and to just wait a day to wash it.

I spotted Hubby coming, walked over to meet him and quickly filled him in. I then slipped into the good wife role and “busied” myself unloading the shopping cart while he gave the two grief, told them no WAY were we going to pay them anything, he yelled that it wasn’t my car so I didn’t have the authority to tell them to go ahead with ANY work, and besides, why weren’t talking to THE MAN?! (One of the few instances where white lies and sexism actually work).

They left some smears on the door but drove off with none of our money, at which we saw their miracle elixir was nothing more than simple car wax.

My husband refreshed my memory of this same type of scam having been attempted at his grown daughter’s expense several years ago not far from our house. When she called him he rushed to that other big box parking lot, where he threatened to stick her keys up where their sun didn’t shine.

He reminded me that these sorts of scams are perpetrated by individuals who self-identify as Gypsies, secure in their belief that because their forebears (supposedly) made off with one of the Romans’ nails at Christ’s crucifixion, they “earned” free rein to steal for infinity!

Moral of the story is still: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t good or true.

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