Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bathrooms, Definitions and Reality

Transgender: A person who, most often in conjunction with qualified medical providers, finds that their psychological gender or identity is not synchronized with their physiology (the way their body is laid out), often resulting in severe stress to the person involved. More clinically, this is often referred to as Gender Dysphoria.

Gender Dysphoria has been recognized as a valid phenomena since 1980, with the Encyclopedia Brittanica offering a particularly good summation. This phenomena should not be confused with transvestitism nor drag performances - the same person *MAY* engage in behaviors commonly associated with all three patterns, but nothing implies that "because one does drag, one MUST be transgendered or transvestite.

A further common misunderstanding is that "Transgender" somehow means "gay." If only things were that simple. Heterosexuals can be TG, as can gay/lesbian/bi folks...and considering that set of implications (particularly post-op) is usually where my head begins to spin and I smile nicely and, until compelled to do otherwise by reality, accept folks for who they say they are, and move right on along my merry way. Rule of No Touchie and all that.

Heteronormative: Bad things happen when Womens Studies or Social Science majors are allowed near dictionaries, not unlike having a nurse with tuberculosis working the asthma ward. Heteronormative is a puffed up way of describing the idea that heterosexuality is the only legitimate form of sexuality and that all others are somehow lesser or deviant. The term, while shorter than the explanation, doesn't seem especially intuitive to me.

Cisgender: I'm going to stick with Merriam-Webster here and hope they don't hate me for it. "Someone whose internal sense of gender corresponds with the sex the person was identified as having at birth." This has absolutely *nothing* to do with whether a person is gay or not. A gay, bi, lesbian or straight person can all be cisgender (the simple, easy and cheap option) with equal fortune/misfortune if they are lucky enough to be dealt that card by the fates. It, like getting the transgender card, is a matter of luck - not choice.

Gay: A male that is attracted to other males at a romantic or sexual level. Yes, there are a whole bunch of different kinds of Gay dudes - give up the stereotypes, don't be a SJW. Just as there are a whole bunch of different views, personalities and philosophies within the Latino, Black and Asian communities (and also similarly, with loud victimhood advocates trying to claim the spotlight as the "true community representatives"), the Gay community contains everything from cops to lumberjacks to lawyers and to hair dressers - even actors and pianists.

Lesbian: A female that is attracted to other females at a romantic or sexual level. Yes, there are a whole bunch of different kinds of Lesbian gals - give up the stereotypes, don't be a SJW. Just as there are a whole bunch of different views, personalities and philosophies within the Latino, Black and Asian communities (and also similarly, with loud victimhood advocates trying to claim the spotlight as the "true community representatives"), the Lesbian community contains everything from cops to lumberjacks to lawyers and to hair dressers - even actors and pianists.

Heterosexual: That most common of orientations (there must be an AWFUL lot of hetero cards in that playing deck), boys that like girls and girls that like boys when it comes to romance and happy naked times - usually on a fairly exclusive or locked in basis. (No, six pack conversions DON'T count).

Bi-Sexual: In a more perfect world, twice the chance of a date on a Friday night. In our sadder world, these are boys and girls that're perfectly ok waking next to or romancing persons of either traditional gender - and usually get heightened suspicion from members of the Lesbian, Gay and hetero communities based on insecurities around fidelity (they have TWICE the opportunities to cheat on me!), "oh, you're just going through a stage.." and other issues.

Non-Binary Gender: Arguably a cultural phenomenon as much as anything. Someone who either doesn't fit (or doesn't believe they fit) the cultural roles and stereotypes of either gender, instead combining characteristics of both. The most obvious stereotypes relate to sissy boys and butch girls (tomboys) to use increasingly archaic terms, but in todays less restrictive environment more and more folks are saying some variant on "BUGGER OFF! I am who I am!" and stomping off to be their own selves, usually while rather annoyed about the whole affair. This term is still being defined, particularly amongst the SJW sorts and the more esoteric discussions involve a great deal of silliness.

Ok, this was going to be a very different post. Then @kurtschlicter and @winningatmylife chimed in on related topics on Twitter and I was forced to admit that, if I'm trying to be charitable, that an explanation of terms is necessary just so folks aren't talking past each other. I'm not a social scientist, a womens studies major nor remotely a SJW - but sharing common terms at least improves the chances of communication vs shouting past each other.

Grr. The phrase "do your own research" keeps leaping to mind.Definition time is now done.

Let us define our fundamental premises here. LGBT folks insisting on pushing the boundaries of "acceptance" ever further outwards? Y'all annoy the bejeezus out of me. Just for a bit, give it a rest and let the mainstream catch up - backlash is bad, m'kay? See: North Carolina.

Y'all denying the existence or validity of transgender existence, promoting hatred or fear of T-folks, and generally rolling about in the pig shit of ignorance whilst trying to smear that same shit on everyone in arms reach? You, too, just piss me right the hell off.

Given that it is unlikely that a shower of dreadfully well-targeted meteorites will simultaneously take you *all* out - generally reducing the level of whininess in the world - what say we examine reality and propose a solution. Ideally, any proposed solution should inflict educational levels of unhappiness upon activists on both sides - King Stork, if you will.

For the most part, North Carolina HB 2 has been - to be kind - ill-read and poorly reported. It addresses bathroom usage, but more as icing on the cake rather than substance. Katie Couric writes reasonable summary of HB 2's actual effects, and the National Review provides a worthwhile balancing commentary to the frantic hand-wringing of LGBT leadership and the Left. HB 2 is with equal certainty badly written, as are most of its clones in other states.

The goals of each party are fairly straightforward - the Trans community, understandably, desires a place to defecate and urinate (and where appropriate, change clothes and shower) in safety. Similarly, the "traditionalists" (for lack of a better descriptor) desire a place for themselves, their loved ones and those they believe they have a "duty to protect" to defecate and urinate (and where appropriate, change clothes and shower) in safety.

The problem lies in the existence of multi-user single-gender facilities for these activities that our society, rightly or wrongly, trains us to believe are not only shameful (requiring privacy) but cause us to be substantially more at risk while engaged in said activities. It does not help that there are actual predators that take advantage of persons engaged in such for a variety of criminal purposes.

The "safety" of single-gender multi-user facilities is largely exaggerated, if not entirely illusory, as shown by the vast number of arrests for voyeurism (peeping tom, for the unwashed), rape and assorted other inappropriate behavior in and around these environments. Despite this, many folks still believe that security and safety can be found in a sign posted on a wall and either a rule or statute barring persons of a given gender from a particular area. This is not supported by the evidence - at best, it filters the law-abiding, the stupid and the lazy - not the truly dangerous.

In short, Security Theater writ small and stinky. BUT THE FEELS!

Conversely, T-folk using the restrooms of their birth-gender - particularly and especially during and post-transition are at substantially elevated risk of physical and sexual assault (and potential arrest), and understandably displeased with the notion of being coerced to enjoy this heightened risk. Thus the push, however ill-advised, for access to restrooms appropriate to the gender they are currently living.

The concern of the Traditionalists are less about TG folks than about losing their largely mythical safety blanket (that is far cheaper to build and maintain than single-user facilities) and that predators will slip through this portal opened for TG folk to do their naughty predator thing. Most don't seem to care about, believe in or hold any special malice for the TG. As obnoxious as the second is, it ain't bigotry - it is denial of reality.

On the other side, TG activists believe in and loudly proclaim that they have the one true vision of moral purity and rightness - and any that might disagree are reason-free bigots with only the vilest of motivations and possible arachnid ancestry. Argument by insult, rather than reason or logic.

As hinted at earlier, a pox upon both. May the leaders of both hand-wringing and bed-wetting factions suffer cataclysmic projectile diarrhea until they calm the heck down, and reject competitive tantrum throwing in favor of reason.

Instead, I propose a solution set based in reason, logic and irritation. These people (both sides) have annoyed me.

1) The ban of multi-user changing or bathroom facilities in new construction, requiring an equivalent number of single-user facilities. Yes, it's more expensive, but you dolts started this thing - the both of you.

2) A $1 per roll tax on toilet paper to subsidize the conversion of legacy structures with multi-user facilities to single-user facilities. You like to start $#^$ so much, you can pay for it through your clean-up.

3) A reduction of the required number of toilets/urinals in new and legacy construction by 50%. This is both to save money on legacy rebuilds AND because y'all annoyed me and deserve to be punished by having to do the pee-pee dance in the hallway.

We may not be able to sell #3, but we can try. These folks deserve the dance.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

On Freedom of Speech

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." 

 - First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

The trumpkins and others seem to be making a great deal of noise about the Trump Rally shut down the evening of the 11th (last night, to me) in Chicago - idiots on both sides are crying out "First Amendment! First Amendment!"

They are idiots, all of them. 

The First Amendment (and courtesy of the 14th Amendment and SCOTUS, all lesser political bodies) prohibits Congress from (among other things) abridging freedom of speech. 

It does not shield speech from the actions or words of our fellow citizens or private organizations thereof - there are other laws relevant to such things, but by the time those are up for discussion the 1st Amendment is clean off the table. 

Did a government or government agent try to censor or suppress your speech (aka freedom of expression)? If not, you do not have a "speech" case under the 1st Amendment. 

So what about those other areas of law? 

If some large lunged type follows you about screaming "OOOK! OOOK! OOOK!" every time you try to speak, you probably  - depending on local law - have a case for harassment, and maybe to question their sanity in front of a judge.. Not a First Amendment issue.

If you show up in someones living room at two in the morning and start belting out "Eskimo Nell" at the top of your lungs you are not exercising freedom of speech. You are exercising breaking and entering, trespass, possibly burglary and being a bloody nuisance - the homeowner with a shotgun and members of and the local law enforcement agency will have things to discuss with you. None of your actions here are protected by the 1st  Amendment.

If someone puts on a large public event and wishes to exclude a person or class thereof, they can. They are exercising their 1st Amendment rights to control their message. 

Finally, if you go spelunking in bears dens and get mauled after poking the bear with a sharp stick - play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Still not a First Amendment issue.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

No. Genitalia are not a pass for assaultive behaviors.

"It is morally wrong to initiate the aggressive use of force."

That's where I base my take on it. If someone initiates force against me (hit, bite, stab, club, use projectile weapons against me, etc) their gender is utterly irrelevant to the discussion. Bringing an immediate halt to the bad behavior, regardless of gender/race/orientation or wearing of a beanie is at that point the critical goal of the day - by whatever means seem the best bet to do the job, ideally before I qualify for hospital time.

The same goes for a valid (believable to a reasonable person and actually achievable) threat. A person waving a knife and screaming "I'm a gonna stab you" qualifies - a person waving in their hands in the air and screaming "I'm a gonna puree you with my Imaginary Blender of Death" not so much. The knife-waver gets a three-dot discussion, the "Blender-Wielder" gets my undivided attention lest the situation change and a phone call for the kids with the nets.

"Play stupid games, win stupid prizes."

Women are not stupid simply by virtue of being women. Just as with men, some are dumb as rocks and some are geniuses with the majority falling between.

Women are not fragile flowers incapable of homicide, assault, poisoning or a wide variety of other criminal activity that must be protected (because they are too stupid/weak/helpless/vapid to protect themselves) not only from the world but from themselves. Women are, in fact worthy of the same respect we accord any man and - upper body strengthy aside - as tough or tougher as most men.

Women, too, can play stupid games. And earn stupid prizes. And as far as I can tell from the outside, women have a *broader variety* of stupid games available to them amongst themselves and with our cultural set-up.

Just as with men, they may get the stupid prize awarded at random by the fates - or they may try and knife someone and get shot.

"Don't start none, won't be none."

We all know there exist asshats in the world that undermine that statement as a description of reality - but we also know that the *ideal* begins with us. That if we work to avoid initiating either the use or threat of use of force in our own actions (to the extent practical) that the odds of things going rodeo drop off something fierce. The flip side is that one must be prepared for those on a different page.

So. I don't run about randomly hitting folks, nor do I favor others doing so - and that applies to either gender. I don't generally engage in horseplay - the potential for truly exciting response in the case of misunderstanding is generally not acceptable from my viewpoint. Not surprisingly, I don't encourage others to engage in horseplay for that and *other* reasons (unless folks know each other REALLY well, a "playful tap" can have bad or lethal effects on a pre-existing condition...).

And no, women don't get a special "It's Ok to physically abuse GC" license because *genitalia*.

Format Change

Folks who screw with templates and other folks blogs...suck. That will be all.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Cheesy Grits...

Cheesy Grits

A three-way recipe, after we made all three variants of these cheesy grits disappear rapidly last weekend during a gathering. It has nothing to do with low carb, and everything to do with delicious. 


5 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups uncooked quick cooking grits*
16 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (roughly 2 cups)
1/4 cup whipping cream (unwhipped)
1 tsp sriracha sauce**
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 large eggs

For meat
Option A: 1 can hickory smoked spam, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
Option B: 1.5 lbs breakfast sausage, cooked and drained***
Option C: 1.5 lbs Peter Grant's Mex Mix


Step 1:
Verify you have all the ingredients for your intended mode of destruction.

Step 2:
Butter a 9x13 glass or ceramic baking dish.**** Put meat of choice in even layer in bottom of pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 3:
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a Large saucepan.***** Gradually whisk in grits, bringing back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened. (While grits are thickening, in 1 cup glass measure, mix whipping cream, hot sauce, black pepper and red pepper vigorously with a fork or small whisk. Set aside.

Step 4:
When grits have thickened, add cheese. Stir Vigorously! Large whisk works well. Keep stirring until glop is not lumpy. Add cream mix.

Step 5:
In seperate bowl, stir together the three large eggs. Stir into grits mix until thoroughly mixed. Pour into 9x13 pan over meat of choice.

Step 6:
Cook at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes. After baking, remove and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut with spatula and serve to the hovering crowd.

*stone ground grits can be substituted. Increase liquid to 6 cups & cook time to 60 minutes
**other and inferior hot sauces may be utilized, with predictably inferior results.
***drained is important! It avoids setting the stove on fire!
****Use of metal baking dish will result in cursing, soaking, scrubbing, more cursing, and more scrubbing.
******Not medium, you fool!
.****** Failure to allow resting time may result in second or third degree burns.

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Weekend Away...


Thursday afternoon found me in Bugscuffle, TX rapidly surrounded by friends, fellowship, food and a far healthier political and social environment than I am used to enjoying. Mine hosts were accommodating, the quarters most excellent and the company could have been little better.

Over the weekend I enjoyed some great lasagne, a batch of jambalaya from a roughly 90 year old recipe, and a wide variety of other culinary pleasures - and got to share several versions of my baked cheesy grits (one now known as "Tex-Mex Shepherds Pie") with friends, and even introduce a long-time southerner for the first time to that quintessential southern delicacy, the lard shortening biscuit.

One friend had an amazing new adventure, a kidney stone, that he seems eager to avoid repeating. He seems to be recovering well, and what with one thing or another my planned Sunday departure morphed to a Tuesday afternoon departure.

I had the opportunity to tour a gorgeous early Craftsman era mini-mansion (and only damaged myself slightly lurching through a subterranean tunnel therein) in astonishingly good shape after years of neglect - almost all of the original woodwork present, and only moderate weather damage.

Y'all know who you are. Thank you for a wonderful weekend(ish). I hope to see you all again soon, and ideally before October.

While as with any venture there were some bumps in the road, I am deeply grateful for this time away from home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

On Trump, Elections

On Trump: Our nation has survived Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant and (soon) Obama as President. We have survived an administration that set up Concentration Camps Lite.

While Trump (at least in his public personality) is a brash, bare-knuckled candidate of no great depth (and clearly not my preference), if he is elected President the world will not end nor will the Republic collapse.

Enough with the hand-wringing, panic-mongering and bed-wetting.

Let us grow up and accept that, with the exception of Huckabee and Santorum, that any of the GOP field would be better for our nation than O'Malley, Clinton or Sanders. Within that paradigm, it remains that various GOP candidates (and perhaps Bozo the Clown) would be likely to provide better Presidential service than Trump - the key point is even Trump, unfortunate as he appears, seems likely to provide the nation substantially less destructive leadership than the (D) on offer - a do-gooder, a likely felon and a lunatic.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


A few brief words on the ‪#‎OregonNinnyhammers‬. The BLM station in question is at a wilderness location, well isolated from any population centers (cutting way the heck down on risk to bystanders). Casualties to media, regardless of who inflicts them, should be considered self-inflicted (don't be going where cranky armed people are in dispute, m'kay?).

If LE is doing their jobs (and we've not seen anything to the contrary), they have established a secure perimeter and cut all utilities (water/power/etc) to the facility and set up a nice warm camp for themselves. Given the sites isolation from civilization and the local weather conditions there is absolutely no hurry about anything.

Work smarter, not harder. In this instance, let the weather do the work for you.

Urban adventures, where non-media bystanders are at risk, are an entirely different kettle of fish and may actually justify intervention. An isolated federally owned medium-sized cabin in the wilderness isn't worth a single person suffering a hangnail, let alone getting shot/killed barring significant new data.