Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saturday 9: G.I. Blues

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: G.I. Blues (1960)



On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday that honors men and women who served and died in the United States Armed Forces. We want to make sure that message is not lost this weekend.

1) Are you a veteran? Are there veterans in your family? Do you know anyone who is active military? (We are grateful and want to hear about it.)
My father severed in World War II

2) In this song, Elvis sings about marching, and complains that the Army doesn't give Purple Hearts for fallen arches. Do you have any aches or pains to report this morning? 
Ha! Do I, when you get to be my age your warranty starts to run out and I never bought the extended warranty.

3) This song is from the 1960 film of the same name. In the movie, Elvis is in The 32nd Armor Regiment of the United States Army. That's the same regiment he served with in real life. He had the 32nd written into the script as a shout-out to the soldiers he came to know, but realized he'd likely never see again. Is there an old friend you're missing this weekend?
A number of them.

4) Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food?
Cheeseburger!
I’m on a kick right now with fancy burgers; I bought a hamburger press and now I make burgers with different types of fillings. Some of the combinations that I make are, bacon, bacon & onions, bacon & cheese, blue cheese, Gouda cheese, and plain stuffing (this is one of the best filling, the stuffing hold in the juices).
I tried Parmesan cheese but that was a flop, the cheese was way to over powering.

5) Let's celebrate the Memorial Day holiday with ice cream. What's your favorite flavor? Cone or cup?
Cup. And I haven’t had an ice cream flavor that I didn’t like. A few of my favorites are Cherry Vanilla, Ben & Jerry’s Chillin' the Roast, Haagen Dazs Java Chip, and of course anything chocolate.

P.S. the best ice cream is UConn ice cream and their best flavor is Husky Tracks.
The University of Connecticut started out as an agricultural college and they have their own dairy herd.

5) This marks the weekend when Americans step up their outdoor activity and do things they may not have been able to do during the winter months. For example, when is the last time you applied mosquito repellent?
Probably when we had the New Hampshire cottage.

7) Or swam?
Again, at the New Hampshire cottage. I miss being able to walk out the backdoor, taking a few steps and jumping in the lake on a hot summer night.

8) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or fan on?
I turned it on for the first time last night; it was a hot and sticky night and I couldn’t sleep so I turned on the AC

9) Random question: How do you define success?
No having to live day to day, being able to do the things that you want and not your boss.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Other Big News

Sometimes big news out shines the other news; the Grimms case over shadowed other court wins around the national.
Three transgender-rights cases to have their day in court this week
Courts in Montana, Oregon and Pennsylvania will hear cases this week involving transgender people’s access to gender-segregated public facilities.
NBC News
By Julie Moreau
May 22, 2018

This week alone, three lawsuits — from Montana to Oregon to Pennsylvania — involving transgender people’s access to gender-segregated facilities will have their day in court.

On Monday, a district court judge in Montana heard from both sides in Hobaugh v. Montana. The case concerns I-183, or the Montana Locker Room Privacy Act, a ballot measure put forward by the Montana Family Foundation that would require transgender individuals to use public facilities, including restrooms or locker rooms, corresponding to their “biological sex” and not their gender identity.
[…]
The Montana Family Foundation pushed back against the lawsuit in a statement issued by its president, Jeff Laszioffy.
No surprise there that a “family” is leading the opposition.
In Oregon, two organizations — Parents for Privacy and Parents’ Rights in Education — claim transgender-inclusive policies implemented in Dallas School District No. 2 in Dallas, Oregon, violate the privacy of non-transgender students.

The new rules and policies, their complaint states, “radically changed the meaning of ‘sex’ in Title IX” of the Education Amendments of 1972, which states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Portland claimed the school board “unilaterally rejected the Title IX meaning of sex, which for 40 years has meant biologically male and female, two objectively determined, fixed, binary sexes rooted in our human reproductive nature.”
Um… no. The definition of sex in Title IX also means “sexual stereotyping” as defined by the 1989 Supreme Court case of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.

The third case is,
The third case, Doe v. Boyertown, will be heard on Thursday in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Parents of children in the Boyertown Area School District claim the district’s transgender-inclusive restroom policy violates the privacy rights of non-transgender students.
The Morning Call had this article about the case…
Appeals court upholds Boyertown transgender bathroom policy
By Peter Hall
May 24, 2018
Transgender students in the Boyertown Area School District may continue using the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities after the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld the district’s policy, which other students had challenged.

After hearing arguments, Judge Theodore McKee announced the unamimous decision of the three judge panel not to suspend the policy, finding that the anonymous group of Boyertown Area High School students who challenged the district had not shown that they were likely to succeed in a full trial of their case or that they would be irrepairably harmed if the policy remained in place.

Decisions from the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals typically take weeks or months, but noting that the high school’s graduation is weeks away, McKee made the rare move to give the panel half an hour to attempt to decide the appeal Thursday. The judges returned to announce the decision after about 15 minutes.
So that case is ready to go to trial and you have to wonder if they will settle out court or take it all the way to the Supreme Court, my guess it will go to the Supreme Court.

These were not the only cases heard this week…
Federal judge finds Missouri transgender prison policy violates Eighth Amendment
The Jurist
By Erin McCarthy Holliday
24 May 2018

[JURIST] A judge for US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri [official website] held [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that a prison's policy of refusing hormone therapy treatments to its transgender inmates was an unconstitutional violation of the Eighth Amendment.

The lawsuit was filed by Jessica Hicklin, a transgender woman in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC), which refused to provide her with hormone therapy because of what the MDOC had named the "freeze-frame policy." Rather than basing decisions on individualized assessments of each prisoner's medical needs, the policy automatically denied hormone therapy to any transgender prisoner who was not receiving such therapy before entering the correctional facility, even though it was provided for those who had been receiving such therapy prior to entry.

The court held that this policy was an unconstitutional violation of the Eighth Amendment, and that the prison "knowingly disregard[ed] Ms. Hicklin's serious medical needs through the enforcement of the freeze-frame policy."
I think we are well on our way to a Supreme Court case, my money is on the first Monday in October the court will announce that it is hearing a case on Title IX.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Kids

I know of several children who transitioned before they started kindergarten and they are all doing fine.
The Controversial Research on 'Desistance' in Transgender Youth
KQED
By Jon Brooks
May 23, 2018

The phenomenon of transgender children "growing out of" their transgender identity by the time they are adolescents or adults is called “desistance” by gender researchers.

For decades, follow-up studies of transgender kids have shown that a substantial majority -- anywhere from 65 to 94 percent -- eventually ceased to identify as transgender.
[…]
If most kids will eventually cease to be transgender, some clinicians have reasoned, isn’t it more prudent to take the least disruptive path in coping with a child's gender dysphoria? That way, if or when kids later stop identifying as transgender, they will have less to “undo.”
The article then goes on to say,
“The methodology of those studies is very flawed, because they didn't study gender identity,” said Diane Ehrensaft, director of mental health at UCSF’s Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic. “Those desistors were, a good majority of them, simply proto-gay boys whose parents were upset because they were boys wearing dresses. They were brought to the clinics because they weren't fitting gender norms.”
[…]
Some clinicians criticize this study, however, on methodological grounds, because the researchers defined anyone who did not return to their clinic as desisting. Fifty-two of the children classified as desistors or their parents did send back questionnaires showing the subjects' present lack of gender dysphoria. But 28 neither responded nor could be tracked down.
But in another KQED article yesterday…
When I met Gracie, she was a few months out of kindergarten — pretty young for a transgender kid, I thought. Gracie lives with her parents and younger brother in a small city in the East Bay. She is  already two years into her transition, having started her public life as a girl at four. The family began by discarding her boy name and referring to Gracie as “she” and “her.” She was also allowed to wear girl clothes outside the home, and her parents changed the gender on her birth certificate.

Steps like these make up the “social” aspects of social, not medical, transitioning. The distinction is important: According to Endocrine Society guidelines, patients who want to begin medical treatment like puberty blockers, hormones or surgery should be old enough to give “informed consent,” which the organization says is usually attained by 16.
I think that the key is “informed consent,” doing nothing that cannot be reversed. I don’t believe that the desistors rate is not more than a couple of a percent; but let us for argument sake say it is high and you let the child socially transition since nothing has been done to them other than live in the gender that wasn’t assigned at birth they can go back and live in their birth gender. Even if they were on puberty blockers no lasting physical changes were made.
"That's not the question,” the therapist told Molly. “The question is, what if you don't do it?”

It was only semi-rhetorical. Some gender therapists say there are serious potential dangers if adults suppress a child’s desired transition. On surveys, American transgender adults have reported attempting suicide at the startling rate of around 40 percent.
You know that is the thing that none of those who say children should wait until they are “old enough to transition” is will the child still be alive? Also if you wait until they are “old enough to transition” will they be in the throes of Tanner Stage II? Tanner Stage II is when secondary sexual characteristic develop, voice deepen and beards start to grow in trans girls and trans boys start to develop breasts.

So the battle will continue; the conservatives will continue to use flawed data to justify their position and meanwhile the children will suffer if they are not allowed to transition.