Thursday, 2 April 2009

Bathroom Idiocy

From the BBC :
The International Space Station, once a place where astronauts would share food and facilities, is said to be embroiled in a Cold War-like stand-off.

A Russian cosmonaut has complained he is no longer allowed to use a US toilet as well as a US exercise bike.

Gennady Padalka, 50, told Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper the lack of sharing was lowering the crew's morale.

The veteran cosmonaut said the problem was due to the ISS becoming a more commercial operation.

For several years after his first space mission in 1998, Mr Padalka and his American colleagues worked in total harmony, he told the newspaper.

But space missions became more commercial in 2003 and Moscow started billing Washington for sending its astronauts into space, he said. Other nations responded in kind, he added.

"What is going on has an adverse effect on our work," said Mr Padalka, 50, a veteran of two space missions who is to be the station's next commander.
Worse still, the regulations now required US and Russian cosmonauts to eat their own rations, he added.

"They also recommend us to only use national toilets," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"Cosmonauts are above the ongoing squabble, no matter what officials decide," he told the newspaper. "It's politicians and bureaucrats who can't reach agreement, not us."
And in Nevada :
A state Senate committee unanimously passed a bill on Monday that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in restaurants and other public accommodations.

Senate Bill 207, which passed the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee in a seven to zero vote, did not include an amendment that would have added gender identity and expression. This omission came in spite of testimony from transgender Nevadans who described the harassment and even violence they said they have suffered.

"I don’t understand why and what the next step will be," David Gordon, political co-chair for the Nevada chapter of the Human Rights Campaign, said "What I can tell you is that HRC is committed to legislation that includes gender identity and expression."

Nevada law already bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, but SB 207, which would make it illegal to ask someone to leave a public space based on any actual or perceived sexual orientation, would allow complaints to be filed with the Nevada Rights Commission and ensure the policy is enforced.

Nevada Families and other anti-gay groups testified against the inclusion of gender identity and expression in the bill. Their representatives argued banning discrimination in public accommodations may allow pedophiles and other criminals to go into bathrooms, locker rooms and schools.

"Those are really just unsubstantiated fears that the opposition has brought to try to get these bills to fail," Patrick Patin, president of the Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus in Las Vegas, said. "I would challenge the opposition to show where there is a correlation between bathroom-related crimes (and law protecting gender identity). If they have evidence to the contrary then they should present it."

Some politicians may consider the passage of SB 207 an incremental victory toward equal protections, but Patin disagrees. He cites a study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force that shows 15-year lag for legislation to become trans-inclusive. And Patin further noted Assembly Bill 311, a piece of legislation passed in 1999 that made it illegal for certain employers to discriminate against an employee (or a perspective employee’s) sexual orientation.

"We are cautiously optimistic of our chances although I don’t want to make any predictions."
"The sponsor (of the) bill said that it was hard enough to get sexual orientation and get (that they’d) back later to include gender identity," he said. "Incrementalism doesn’t work. It’s been 10 years and it hasn’t passed."
And New Hampshire :
The House killed an anti-discrimination bill that had become known as a "bathroom bill" that opponents said would allow sexual predators into women's rest rooms.

The vote was 181 to 149 to kill HB 415, which sponsors said was meant to protect the rights of those who experience gender identity problems.
Sponsor Rep. Ed Butler, D-Harts Location, said he wanted to protect those who now have no protection in state law against job or housing discrimination.

"I thought we'd introduced a simple little non-discrimination bill," he told the House. "You fear that my co-sponsors and I have lost our marbles and that we have introduced a bill that threatens the safety of our citizens. Nothing could be further from truth."
Majority leader Rep. Mary Jane Wallner, D-Concord, criticized Republicans' approach to the bill.

"Promoting fear is a reprehensible tactic to use to deny a group of citizens their equal rights," she said.
Reprehensible, but very effective.

Ironically, on the same day, the New Hampshire legislature voted to permit same-sex marriage.

Calling it a "Bathroom issue" is a bit of a misnomer anyway - the legislation didn't mention bathrooms. It mentioned "public accomodations". And existing legislation prevents discrimination on the basis of sex in the provision of those.

So if those who claim that this bill would have allowed men to use women's restrooms were correct, then so does existing law! But of course it doesn't. This was a lie, a scare campaign to fool the gullible.

And it worked, didn't it?

It's legal to persecute the transgendered in 37 states, but in 13 it isn't. Yet in those 13 states, there have never been these mythical "bathroom issues". Not once. Oh, perverts have used womens facilities as places to attack, rarely, but they've never tried to use the human rights legislation, either mentioning "sex" or "gender identity" as a defence. Not once in 33 years.

I guess though that Lincoln was right: you really *can* fool some of the people all of the time. Enough of them, anyway.

If there really *was* a danger - then we'd admit it, and try to find a solution to work around it. We have children too. And we'd be in just as much danger.

But you can't work around something that doesn't exist. All you can do is show that it's a myth, and a deliberate lie.

Just look at what the various Women's advocacy groups say. The people who are most concerned about issues such as violence against women. They know that it's a lie, and have said so, in public. But their voices have been drowned out by the well-funded propaganda machines repeating this Big Lie.


Narcoleptic Kitten said...

It seems, especially in the US, that the GLBT advocacy groups the end up involved in the writing of policy only advocate the rights of the Gay Middle-class White Male.

I find it very insulting that the groups involved in policy time after time prove to anyone that is watching that they do not believe that we should have any rights or legal protections.

Fred Kiesche said...

The ISS situation seems less than "Cold War" than "accounting war". For years there have been give-and-take struggles over whose equipment is used on which spacewalk, for example. Like carbon credit trading, the partners trade resources back and forth, get to assign numbers of crew, etc. The ISS is as much politics as it is science or engineering.

You think it is bad now...wait until the six person crew and you get a crew with all the international partners!

jessie-c said...

Says David Gordon: "What I can tell you is that HRC is committed to legislation that includes gender identity and expression."

He just forgot to include the rest of the sentence which goes "...until there's an actual chance of getting some legislation actually passed and then we'll throw those uppity trannies under the bus yet again. You just watch!"

Sorry David, I'm not buying it this time.