Friday Morning News and Open Thread

In the news this morning:

  • Patrick Kennedy returns to rehab
  • Madonna wins her adoption fight in the Malawi Supreme Court
  • Chasity Bono is undergoing a sex change operation to become a man. According to TMZ, once her breasts are removed, she can petition the court to legally change her sex. At that point, she is a "he" and can legally marry. How awful, that a person must undergo radical surgery to be able to marry his or her partner of choice.
    At a point during the gender change -- typically when breasts are removed -- the subject can go to court and ask a judge to legally change his/her sex. It's discretionary on the part of the judge in determining when the person switches sex and is entitled to a legal change, but typically it's when the breasts are removed. Judges typically do not require a genitalia switch as a prerequisite to a sex change.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    latest story is up if you are interested (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 10:57:48 AM EST

    it is long and somewhat sad, but somehow makes you smile.....

    Laugh out loud stuff J.... (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:32:29 AM EST
    Compile these crazy parenting tales in a book, or even a screenplay, they're great...what am I saying, I don't know how you find the time to write the journal entries much less a book with your hands so full!!  

    i love my kids (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:35:21 AM EST
    and make everyone sick about it because conversations always go to funny things they do.  The next one is about public restrooms and it will leave you in tears......

    That was a hoot! (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:36:30 AM EST
    It was so descriptive and engaging - thanks for a much-needed chuckle - I am still smiling thinking about the "super-hero" outfits... :-)

    As someone whose household also had cats, dogs, fish and hamsters when our girls were little, I can so relate...I think we even have some pictures of one of the hamsters in its "casket" - complete with cotton-ball liner - hey, if you're going to have a funeral, you might as well do it right!


    thanks anne (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:39:52 AM EST
    I really should change my superhero name to captain underoos...

    The casket is a great idea and one that I don't have to use for a long time.....


    Really well done, JL. (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:46:59 AM EST
    Both the article and your ability to handle what life throws at you!

    thanks suo (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:48:15 AM EST
    i know you are balancing as much as i, so i take that as a high compliment...

    lockthedoor,lockthedoor,lockthedoor (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Fabian on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 01:49:00 PM EST
    It's not my best dog story, but it is true.

    My dog liked to go "visiting".  Later on I found out that what he was doing was fulfilling a centuries old breed instinct to patrol easily ten miles a night.

    What usually happened is the batteries died in his collar without us noticing and when he noticed, he'd set off.  Usually someone with other dogs would find him in their backyard, cavorting with their pets and call us.  (phone # on the collar)  Once it was a man with not only a large strange dog visiting, but he had house guests and their dogs as well.  My dog was having a great time. He always played well with others.  I picked him up and took him home.

    The next morning bright and early, I get another call from the same man.  "Your dog is here.  Could you please come get him?"  Definite irritation in his voice.  My dog showed up predawn (5ish) and walked into the house by means of the front door which had been left not only unlocked, but ajar.  He probably started whooping it up with the other dogs and woke the owner.

    It just goes to show you that it's not the humans you have to worry about.  Imagine waking up fuzzy headed and bleary eyed to a ninety pound dog playing with a handful of under twenty pound canines!  Must have been surreal.


    So funny! (none / 0) (#101)
    by Birmingham Blues on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 09:06:23 AM EST
    As a parent and pet owner, I could relate quite well.  I'm recovering from gall bladder surgery, so I was literally hurting from trying not to laugh so hard. Thanks for brightening my day!

    why this blog is so cool (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:43:27 AM EST
    one post has a guy pusing a childrens story.

    next post down "You don't know dick"

    and its all good man.

    happy aniversary George Orwell (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:38:12 PM EST

    if you only knew how far beyond your wildest dreams we have gone.

    George Orwell's classic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four was released sixty years ago this week.  It's doubleplusgood.  To say otherwise is crimethink and result in being sent to a joycamp.

    Pure genius... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:51:15 PM EST
    not a day goes by that I don't see a little Oceania in our country.

    Like our new drug czar trying to doublespeak us that the drug war isn't a war at all anymore...wtf?  Maybe after I get my hands on a 10th edition Newspeak dictionary this will make more sense to me.

    Victory Gin tonight in honor of the prophet!


    Argghhhh (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:42:34 PM EST
    The Obamanians are threatening democrats who do not want to vote for additional funding for the corrupt war in Iraq.

    So - let's talk about date night, shall we?

    Aren't those the same people who (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:00:31 PM EST
    threatened Democrats who DID vote for the war and added funding over the previous 6 years?

    Better yet - what's for dinner? (none / 0) (#58)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:30:40 PM EST
    When you start talking "date night" around here, the starting point is under a bridge somewhere, drinking something that never comes out of the paper bag, which seems like a bad place to start pretty much anything.

    So, dinner...

    Maybe something on the grill, if the sun manages not to cook up a raging thunderstorm by the time I get home - we've been under a dome of hot, humid air that sprouts lightning and thunder and torrential rain as soon as the sun is out for more than an hour or so.

    Maybe reservations somewhere...no, that doesn't work - the husband is working late, so that wouldn't be much of a date.

    Maybe a graze through the fridge to see what's lurking - wish I could figure out what I'm in the mood for.



    You have no idea... (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:42:05 PM EST
    what a beautiful place it can be under the bridge with a brown paper bag, and the magic it can bring about Anne:)

    As for a suggestion, I'm in the mood for swine myself...gonna stop at the butcher and see what the pork chops are looking like, or maybe some pork ribs...and bbq 'em up for myself and whoever is milling about the crib tonight.  Strictly charcoal at my crib...no gas grills, and never lighter fluid...that sh*t is blasphemy.


    Well, kdog, all I can say is... (none / 0) (#63)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:58:10 PM EST
    it would have to be the right bridge, and the right alcohol in that paper bag...there might be a bridge or two out here in the country near where I live that could be appropriately romantic.  It might have to be the bank of the stream or river, though - to be actually under these bridges would require a raft securely anchored...

    Guess I have to stop picturing the overpass-type bridges located in urban areas that come with carbon monoxide, wind-blown trash, and used needles.



    And the DoJ is defending DOMA (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 10:48:56 AM EST
    from what appears to be a facial challenge in Federal court.

    Now, some of the more experienced legal eagles can correct me if I'm wrong, but by defending DOMA, isn't it the case that the DoJ has to believe that it is constitutional? In other words, suppose, at a policy level, Holder and friends thought that DOMA was unconstitutional. Would they still be required to defend it?

    The official DOJ position, (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Peter G on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:17:08 PM EST
    enforced by the Solicitor General, is that the Department of Justice must defend the constitutionality of any law passed by Congress if any reasonable argument can be made to support it.  If not, then they concede, which needless to say is very rare.  Most important, the position the DOJ takes on the constitutionality of federal legislation is not supposed to be simply a reflection of the Administration's policy preferences, or even a reflection of which side the Solicitor General thinks has the better legal argument.  This longstanding DOJ policy reflects the general professional responsibilities of a lawyer for a client and the nature of our adversary system of litigation.

    Interesting, and not surprising (none / 0) (#28)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:22:19 PM EST
    Why do I get the feeling that this policy was not followed by recent Republican administrations looking to satisfy their base?

    I think the policy is not a good one, because it gives too much power to the dead hand of old statutes. The executive must be able to make a policy judgement.


    the language they used to make their arguments was (none / 0) (#29)
    by iceblinkjm on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:28:32 PM EST
    atrocious and rightly are causing much consternation in the community. I didn't know the Obama administration thought the gay community was comparable to incest and other grossness. I shan't be taking anything that comes out of Obama's mouth as nothing more than hot air after this. I hope the DNC rethinks their high dollar junket to leech money out of the GLBT community next month. They have some nerve.

    Well, I think it almost goes without saying (none / 0) (#30)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:29:39 PM EST
    that he's lost my support in the next election. He can get it back, but it's going to take some action.

    I don't know about (none / 0) (#41)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:02:07 PM EST
    constitutional cases, but the Microsoft lawsuit settlement/court decision made under Clinton was NOT well enforced by the Bush DOJ.

    DOJs are political offices (just like the Supreme Court is), and can and do temper the cases they argue based on politics.  The fact that they didn't do so in this case is telling.


    This is a separation of powers issue (none / 0) (#91)
    by Peter G on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 06:24:01 PM EST
    In a democratic republic, the legislative branch makes the law, subject to constitutional limitations, not the Executive.  It follows that the Executive cannot misuse its authority in conducting litigation on behalf of "the United States" to refuse to enforce the statutory law.  Can you give an example of a Bush admin Solicitor General not supporting the constitutionality of a law passed by Congress, in deference to the Administration's own policies?  (There may be; I'm not saying there aren't examples.  Those guys did, after all, make all sorts of far-fetched "arguments" about Executive power, in "signing statements," in OLC opinions, etc.) In areas not governed by statutes, the situation is entirely different.

    On this issue I am a results oriented activist (none / 0) (#92)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 06:26:28 PM EST
    And I think the DoJ had enough discretion not to defend the statute, at least not in the way it did.

    Ok, now we agree (none / 0) (#96)
    by Peter G on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 10:19:01 PM EST
    Even though I believe that the DOJ had to try to defend DOMA in this case (so there we disagree), there was no need to trot out a rehash of the same bigoted arguments that were rejected by the Supreme Court majorities in Romer v Evans and Lawrence v Texas. The arguments quoted by Jeralyn are beyond lame.  Of course there is not "fundamental right" to "homosexual marriage," just like there is no "fundamental right" to "sodomy" (the argument Scalia made unsuccessfully in those cases).  The fundamental right is for willing adults to marry.  The invidious discrimination lies in denying this right to otherwise similarly situated couples.  The only purported reasons for the discrimination are indistinguishable from those rejected in Lawrence as lacking any compelling (or even rational) secular basis -- there are no other reasons.

    So, you're tasked with "defending" (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 10:27:53 PM EST
    this law. If you believe everything you just wrote, is there a good faith way to do it? I think Jerry Brown's motion comes close.

    My personal belief is that the DoJ policy on defending statutes is stupid and actually potentially evil. I think they should not have to defend any statute they consider unconstitutional. If Congress wants to hire special outside counsel for the purpose, fine. If neither branch wants to, then the political will is lacking, and the statue dies. It's a pretty good way to address the "dead hand" problem.


    Moreover, if this is what is meant (none / 0) (#94)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 06:32:22 PM EST
    by "separation of powers," then I reject it as a useful concept.

    I think (none / 0) (#4)
    by Steve M on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:27:04 AM EST
    it is the standard position of the DoJ that they have to defend everything, but I have read persuasive arguments that they don't have to defend things they believe to be unconstitutional.  Wish I had a link for you, but I really don't remember - maybe from one of the Balkinization people?

    I think I've read both positions too (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:32:44 AM EST
    So, assuming they have to defend it, how well and how vigorously do they have to do so? And on what grounds?

    Because I'm really not liking what I'm reading in that motion. The attempt to distinguish Loving is pretty asinine, IMO.


    I looked some more at this issue (none / 0) (#79)
    by Steve M on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:04:50 PM EST
    See my comment here.

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#81)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:16:39 PM EST
    For me, this is really not a hard call. DOMA is odious and clearly unconstitutional. Apparently, the Obama administration thinks otherwise. (Hell, they say so in their motion).

    When he comes running back to me for support, I'm really not sure how I'm supposed to respond. I'm now inclined to decline it.


    In four years, you'll prob be hanging with me :-/ (none / 0) (#83)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:23:50 PM EST
    when it comes to equal rights, it gets pretty darn hard to "vote for the Dem" when he's the one trampling on yours. I had really, really hoped I was wrong about him in the rights area . . . . I wasn't expecting any fierce defense of mine, but heck, could he at least just be a Dem in this ONE area?!

    I was hoping he could earn my vote for 2012.


    He can still earn my vote, even with (none / 0) (#86)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:27:27 PM EST
    so much water under the bridge, but I'm going to need to see some movement.

    He could still earn mine also (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 06:04:51 PM EST
    but he better get on it!!  ;)

    It's just so freakin' frustrating after the last 8 yrs. I don't want to have to worry about SC choices, abortion choice, LGBT rights, woman's rights, etc, etc, etc. We should have those areas locked up better with a "Dem" in office. And now we have to worry about HCR, Medicare, and SS with this all on the table BS. And I'm really not up to playing Dimensional Chess for 4yrs.

    Anyway, I'm off to play in the kitchen and listen to Yanks/Mets. Hopefully you're partaking in some celebrating tonight and the rest of the weekend :)


    Very good, Steve M (none / 0) (#93)
    by Peter G on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 06:29:17 PM EST
    and entirely consistent, I think, with what I offered in my own comment above.  I personally abhor DOMA (an opinion I don't think Obama shares), but that's not the point. The issue is the DOJ's duty within our constitutional system -- and the proper limits of that duty -- to defend a statute passed by the Congress.

    In particular, this passage is pretty (none / 0) (#24)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:00:55 PM EST

    Loving v. Virginia is not to the contrary.  There the Supreme Court rejected a contention that the assertedly "equal application" of a statute prohibiting interracial marriage immunized the statute from strict scrutiny.  388 U.S. 1, 8, 87 S.Ct. 1817, 18 L.Ed.2d 1010 (1967).  The Court had little difficulty concluding that the statute, which applied only to "interracial marriages involving white persons," was "designed to maintain White Supremacy" and therefore unconstitutional.  Id. at 11. No comparable purpose is present here, however, for DOMA does not seek in any way to advance the "supremacy" of men over women, or of women over men.

    Or split the baby See Jerry (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:47:10 AM EST
    Brown supporting statutory ban on same sex marriages and then Jerry Brown asserting Prop 8 is unconstutional under CA constiturtion.  (I think he got it right the 2nd time.)

    Another bit of info (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:26:44 AM EST
    I did not need to know.

    Meanwhile the BBC is concentrating on swineflu in Scotland.

    I sincerely hope... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:34:59 AM EST
    Chastity Bono isn't mutilating herself just to jump through hoops to get married...that would be insane.  

    I doubt very much she is (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:41:09 AM EST
    she seems to know what she wants.  and the screening for this stuff is extensive (no direct knowledge ;-) but I once had a female room mate in NYC who worked for a doctor who performed these surgeries so I know more than I probably want to, honestly).

    I saw a great HBO doc about female to male transsexuals not long ago.  it was called You Dont Know Dick.


    Well, (none / 0) (#14)
    by bocajeff on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:45:40 AM EST
    There is no way that the sole reason Chastity Bono is getting a sex change is because she wants to get married. First of all, there are other states and countries where she can get married. This is publicity pure and simple...

    I mean I love my wife, and I've sacrificed a bunch to be with her, but there is a limit...


    having met some of the people who do this (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:49:44 AM EST
    I can almost guarantee "publicity" has nothing to do with it.

    Agreed. (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by jeniferea on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:58:11 AM EST
    If anything, the publicity has probably greatly delayed this decision.

    Publicity? Really? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ahazydelirium on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:16:18 PM EST
    Why is it not a possibility that Chaz is undergoing sex re-assignment surgery because of a desire for his gender identity to be reflected in his body? I don't see how this story relates to marriage at all. There are many battles being fought by the queer community -- marriage is but one, and it is not the end-all, be-all of queer rights.

    very true (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:40:26 PM EST
    the rights of the transgendered are often ignored.
    that movie I mentioned tells a great story about this.

    I had a friend and coworker who did this when I was working at disney.  fortunately disney was very progressive in dealing with it and she had not problems.
    there are issues about which bathroom do they use?
    some employers, rather than try to deal with it and inform other employees, would just rather fire the person in question.  

    that should be illegal and as far as I know it is not.  in a single state.  am I right about that legal guys?


    In my admittedly limited (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:42:32 AM EST
    reading on the subject, I have never seen 'so I can get married' mentioned as the reason people go through this process. I think the doctors and psychiatrists that have to sign off on it might draw the line at that.

    I would hope so... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:49:49 AM EST
    yet my libertarian streak wonders why one needs permission at all to get the surgery.  I wonder whose benefit the requirement is supposedly for...the patients or societies.

    no no (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:55:19 AM EST
    you really dont understand.  this is more than major surgery.  it is simply turning you entire life  upside down.  the screening process is meant to protect the person who thinks they want it.
    they make them jump through all kinds of hoops.
    and it is not unusual for someone to be turned down.

    according to my friend many people think they want this just because the hate who they are.  that is not a reason to do this.  this is a whole different thing.

    men, for example, have to live as a woman for a period of time.  I expect the same is true for women but I think the ramifications of that are a little easier for the female to male than the other way around.  but I dont envy either.

    there is also an excellent movie about that subject.  its amazing in fact.  its called "Normal".
    its about an Iowa farmer with a wife and kids who comes to believe he want this procedure.  and the horrors he and his family go through because of it.
    among other things being kicked out of their church.


    Normal (none / 0) (#21)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:57:07 AM EST
    I understand more than you think... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:00:11 PM EST
    I was just thinking of the person convinced they want to change sex for the "right" reasons, yet the "experts" disagree.

    It's definitely a good idea to talk to somebody and have a waiting period...there's no turning back.  I just question the right of the state to require approval, thats all.


    its not the state (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:36:04 PM EST
    its the medical profession

    Gotcha now... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 01:54:28 PM EST
    It's a self-imposed thang, not state imposed.

    And if a doc here won't do it for ya, one in S. America will.


    cant say about SA (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:03:44 PM EST
    but I think the screening is pretty strict everywhere now.  unless you go to Nick Rivera.

    it really meant to help the people deal with it.  sometimes someone just realizes in mid life they are gay and they become so confused by the conflicting urges they think they were supposed to be born a woman.  it takes months of observation by someone trained to know what to look for to tell them, hey, you are just gay.  go out and enjoy it.
    GID (gender identity  disorder) is notoriously hard to diagnose I guess.
    some people take issue with the word disorder.  it seems to me it is an appropriate word.  if it needs a change to make the person feel like a whole person it seems to me it is a disorder.
    it, along with homosexuality, was removed from the list of mental disorders quite a while ago.


    GID (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Spamlet on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:18:53 PM EST
    some people take issue with the word disorder.  it seems to me it is an appropriate word.  if it needs a change to make the person feel like a whole person it seems to me it is a disorder.

    I would agree to "gender identidy dysphoria," but not to "disorder." "Dysphoria" meaning plain old-fashioned unhappiness at being railroaded into an orderly slot by the technology that is gender assignment based on biological sex.

    I'm a transman who has chosen to forgo surgery, for a number of reasons, and I'm far from alone.

    My reasons?

    First, why subject myself to months if not years of painful surgery, only to come out the other side with a need to constantly inject hormones, and without a working penis?

    Second, I realized long ago that I could probably sleep with more pretty biowomen as a (faux) lesbian hottie than as a 5'4" identifiable transman without a penis. So I've been passing for years as an attractive lesbian. (I'm often told that I resemble Jane Fonda.)

    Third, I think that biomen in this culture often have an emotionally lonely time of it, thanks to conditions structured that way for them, and I'm not willing to take those conditions on just so I can stop feeling like a fraud every time I enter the ladies' room. (And, no, I don't get off on being there--I just feel like a fraud.)

    I am a heterosexual (nonsurgical, not presurgical) transman, and my wife is an attractive bisexual biowoman, but we had to pretend to be gay in order to get married (in Canada).

    My wife knows I'm transgendered (that's only fair), and so do a couple of friends. But at this point in my life I don't think my being transgendered is the most interesting thing about me, and I'm generally unwilling to interact with people who do.

    I'm all for people having gender-reassignment surgery if that's what they need. Many do, but perhaps not so many as we've all been led to believe. An analogy can be found in the way that data on "homosexuals" as a group were based, once upon a time, on institutional populations (i.e., in prisons and mental hospitals). This is NOT to pathologize transpeople who seek surgery, but just to make the point that the leading, most visible edge of a phenomenon is not always representative of that phenomenon as a whole.

    The world of transpeople is far more complex than our culture's obsessive emphasis on binary, male-or-female conceptions of gender and desire. The world of ALL people is more complex than that.


    "far more complex" (none / 0) (#75)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:55:25 PM EST
    no offense meant.  thanks for sharing that story.  it has occurred to me that if I was in the situation it would be very hard for me to try to change my body to the accepted standard.  who, of course, would know without being there but I suspect I might make some of the same choices you did.

    Well, especially if you were to (none / 0) (#77)
    by Spamlet on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:00:18 PM EST
    end up looking like Dick Butkus in a dress.

    Not very nice, but ROTFLMAO.


    which I definitely (none / 0) (#80)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:06:03 PM EST
    would.  scary.

    There was documentary called 'Trinidad' (none / 0) (#70)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:35:13 PM EST
    on Showtime last weekend about a town in southern Colorado that has become a sort of a destination location for the gender reassignment surgery, due to a local surgeon that practices there.  Folowed the doctor and a couple of the patients, their families and friends, and a couple that were trying to start up a recovery home for the patients to stay right after surgery and during their adjustment.

     It was very interesting if you are at all a student of human nature, as I believe most of we TL'ers are! I see they have a DVD at that link - maybe it ia avaialble on Netflix or other rental sites.


    The long review process also protects the (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:07:44 PM EST
    doctors.  And rightfully, so IMHO.

    Scenario: Patient has surgery.  Patient decides they didn't want the surgery.  Patient says, "doc, why didn't you talk me out of it?  Couldn't you tell I wasn't 'in my right mind?'"

    Patient then sues.

    Sooo....Doctors need to know the patient is really sure about wanting the procedure done.  I don't think it's illegal to undergo the process without the long waiting period.

    Regarding other points in this thread.
    I had an aquaintance who had the procedure done.  Wasn't about getting married.  Was about his gender identity problems that lead to severe mental illness.

    I don't think Jeralyn was saying the reason people have the procedure is so they can get married.  I think she was seeing marriage as a "side benefit" of the procedure.  She was basically pointing out that isn't it sad, that a person as a female can't marry a female, but change sex and the very same individual -- no difference in the DNA that makes up the person -- can. That, IMHO, is the definition of irony.


    Dawg - it's to make sure that (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by scribe on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:47:07 PM EST
    the people who are going to go through this are really serious, and seriously need it.  It's not the government imposing a screen, rather, it's the medical professions doing so, in the interests of being healers and not harmers.

    I recall reading a few years ago about a senior cop in a Jersey town (call it "Sopranos-ville") who needed to go through this (M to F).  When word of it got out, this person was the object of serious publicity and a lot of ridicule.  So much so, IIRC, that she successfully sued the city for various species of discrimination.  Stuff like making her get up and explain to her fellow cops (subordinates, mostly) what it was like to be a woman, now. Had to answer questions like "before this came on, were you looking at us in the locker room, like, you know?"

    Couldn't go to the supermarket - people would gawk, old ladies would spit.

    Family was all estranged, in large part b/c of the publicity.

    Ultimately had to move out of town, I heard.

    No.  One does not go through this for the publicity.


    Found an article (none / 0) (#34)
    by scribe on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 12:57:28 PM EST
    just reading some stuff about this (none / 0) (#35)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 01:00:08 PM EST
    here a couple of things that struck me:

    Hate violence.  Transgender people are often targeted for hate violence based on their non-conformity with gender norms and/or their perceived sexual orientation. Hate crimes against transgender people tend to be particularly violent. For example, one expert estimates that transgender individuals living in America today have a one in 12 chance of being murdered. In contrast, the average person has about a one in 18,000 chance of being murdered.

    Health care and other discrimination. Transgender people also frequently suffer discrimination in health care. For example, female-to-male transsexual Robert Eads of rural Georgia developed cervical cancer but could not find a doctor to treat him. Twenty simply refused. He eventually found one more than 130 miles from home, but by then, Eads' partner said, it was "just too late."


    Like I said (none / 0) (#36)
    by scribe on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 01:13:33 PM EST
    the little old ladies would spit when she walked by.

    That's the least of it.


    No worries..... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 01:53:18 PM EST
    fellas, if you make bail in time there will be plenty more of what got seized where you are going.  Link

    I love this bit....

    "The detectives in the vice unit as a whole should be proud of this investigation," he said. "There's no telling how many lives they may have saved by keeping these drugs off the streets."

    All these fools did was get a mushroom distributor another sale.

    I like this (none / 0) (#40)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 01:56:19 PM EST
    and like LSD a person can die the first time they use these poisonous mushrooms

    nothing like a little hysterical misinformation.
    I was amazed until I saw it was the "tennessean"



    Must be like Christmas.... (none / 0) (#43)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:11:25 PM EST
    for the vice squad down in Tennessee when Bonnaroo time comes.

    Maybe I need to re-think my anti increased surveillance on hate mongers stance if it will get John Law off my peoples back.

    Nah, that wouldn't be righteous:)


    Tennessee, my moron state (none / 0) (#49)
    by Teresa on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:42:14 PM EST
    I was amazed until I saw it was the "tennessean"


    Hi Capt Howdy. Yes, my whole state has gone moron on me. The legislature has passed an amendment to outlaw abortion. The procedures require the next legislative session to also pass it and then it goes to a vote of the people. I'm just sick about it.

    Then, the "morons" in the legislature voted to allow people with guns to take them into bars. The governor vetoed it and they voted to override it by a large majority.

    I love my mountains and my Vols, but I want to move. I'm sick of this place. We are going backwards compared to the rest of the country!


    I can so relate (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:49:33 PM EST
    I have a home in arkansas which is I think at least politically a tiny bit more evolved but a close call.   I love it there but OMG.

    I did not mean to smear all tenneseans but I have read that paper before.


    I've read the comments at their paper too. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Teresa on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:57:34 PM EST
    Those are just idiot people posting there. I though middle Tenn wasn't as bad as where I am in East TN but it seems to be about as bad.

    I'm very frustrated.


    Tennessee is beautiful! (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:06:48 PM EST
    I spent a couple days driving around the countryside between the Smokies and Nashville a few years ago and just loved it.  It actually reminded me a lot of Vermont, except the hills were a bit flatter and the terrain more rolling than steep.

    If you really are pondering relocating, come visit Addison County in western VT sometime and see how it feels.  It's flatter than the rest of the state, warmer by a good bit, and has fabulous views of either the Green Mountains or the Adirondacks in NY or both, depending on where you are.

    Of course, our winters are a good bit longer and colder, but our summers are glorious.  And our politics, needless to say, are the best in the U.S. by a mile.


    Don't let legislators... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:54:10 PM EST
    get ya down T...things are tough all over.

    Focus on those mountains and your beloved Vols...legislative wizards can't take those from you...I think:)


    Hi kdog! (none / 0) (#55)
    by Teresa on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:01:57 PM EST
    I can't help it. It seems the rest of the country is coming around a little and we are going totally backwards.

    The Vols, mountains, and what little family I have left is all that keeps me here. If I could move my mom and brother, my husband is all for moving too. There are mountains in other places and I can see the Vols on pay per view if I have to.

    I never thought I would hate my home state but that's where I'm headed.

    Do you ever hear from your lady from the cruise?


    Know the feeling... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:22:47 PM EST
    I've got half a mind to leave my state for different reasons...too many nickel and dime taxes and fees and fines putting a dent in the quality of life I am accustomed, and too many damned cops...but the other half of mind says don't let the bastards win and drive you from your home, family, and friends.  So I'm toughing it out.

    With that said, I have been talking to the special lady quite regularly, and if I can think of a way to sustain myself in Guadalajara I'll have to very seriously consider expatriating, if I can't sweet-talk her over to this side of the Rio Grande.


    lol (none / 0) (#57)
    by Teresa on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:27:39 PM EST
    Kdog, my money is on you sweet talking her.

    Hey T! (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:42:46 PM EST
    How's the back doing?  Healing well, I hope!

    Are you ready for football season?  I see the Crimson Tide got smacked down pretty good by the NCAA.  Cheaters!


    I'm so ready MileHi! (none / 0) (#88)
    by Teresa on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:33:07 PM EST
    I didn't read about Bama yet - I need to go check that out.

    New MRI was 3 pages long! My back is falling apart. The neuro put me on pain killers so now I can sit here a little bit. I've missed you guys. I've read a lot but haven't posted much. I think I had to work through a little depression for a while but I feel better. It may just be my drugs, though. :)


    Teresa, wow girl (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:11:16 PM EST
    Where have you been? It seems like you haven't been around for awhile. Or am I just a whole lot spacier than I think?

    BTW, if you decide to move, we have both the mountains and the ocean here in Oregon. You might have to root for the Ducks, but you'd never have to see Loiusville or Duke fans again.


    Hi Casey! It's the Bama fans and (none / 0) (#89)
    by Teresa on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:35:16 PM EST
    some Gators fans (not the ones here, I love them) that I have to avoid. And Memphis in basketball but I think they lost their swagger when their coach left them.

    I would love to come to Oregon. It's so beautiful.


    And, in a related story (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:20:48 PM EST
    The "pregnant man" gave birth again.

    not sure if I should say this (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:25:21 PM EST
    but I believe female to male transexuals probably have, at least in some ways, and easier go of it that male to female.  
    for one thing they can more easily blend in.  for another, and this is an admittedly superficial observation, they make much more attractive men than the men tend to make women.

    the poor guys.  it seems they always, or at least more often than not, end up looking like Dick Butkus in a dress.

    this observation is made with love and sympathy.


    I haven't met many people (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:58:35 PM EST
    who have had these operations, but you are correct that some will be evaluated as rather unfortunately homely women...just like some who were born women.

    My favorite character in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" was Chablis. He/she was actually quite attractive. I almost forgot about Jay something. He/she, too, was quite attractive in "The Crying Game".

    I think any identity issues, gender or otherwise, are severely difficult for people to go through.


    In jailhouse news (none / 0) (#46)
    by scribe on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:33:03 PM EST
    Remember former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who went to federal prison relative to allegedly "shaping" the results of games and sharing that with gamblers  (or at least being too good at predicting what the outcome would be, together with betting on the games)?

    Time flies:  he is due for release to a halfway house next week, on 6/17/09.

    But a couple months ago while in prison in Florida, another inmate, who claimed connections to the NY mob, tried to break Donaghy's kneecaps.

    Apparently he didn't break them all the way, but did some damage that showed up on MRI.

    these people are sickening (none / 0) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 02:33:35 PM EST
    I DIDN'T kill George Tiller.

    Neither did Bill O'Reilly, Randall Terry, Pope Benedict or the little old lady praying the rosary outside Planned Parenthood.

    So to all of the pro-choice advocates and their sympathizers in the media, drop the collective guilt trip, OK? Because the myth that the pro-life movement bears any responsibility for Tiller's death is on par with the fairy tale that most abortions are performed to protect a woman's health.

    A young friend went through the surgery (none / 0) (#59)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:33:51 PM EST
    undertaken by Chastity/Chaz.  Transgender young friend in his (i.e., a he now) mid 20s is one of the brightest minds around, a terrific student and teacher -- and somehow retained a sense of humor through so much hardship, and now is so happy.

    The things I learned from him are legion about many marvelous people who have been much misunderstood.  But I miss when he was a she and the lead singer in a band of "drag kings," faux five o'clock shadow and all.  Who knew?  Not me, until fine young friend came into my life several years ago.

    Of the two of us, I probably have changed more on this issue, knowing next to nothing before.  It's just didn't have to have surgery to change.

    Letterman v Palin (none / 0) (#62)
    by Manuel on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:52:51 PM EST
    I am wondering why there isn't any comment about this on the left blogs.  Is it because it's about Palin?  Considerng the big flap about Shuster and Chelsea Clinton, I am surprised to see this incident get so little commentary.  Is it just a non story?

    There was a long discussion yesterday (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:05:03 PM EST
    The collective thought (for most) was that Letterman is a jerk.

    I think (none / 0) (#87)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:28:29 PM EST
    you're mischaracterizing how women who actually care about women's issues reacted to it.

    Women who care about women's issues think it's out of bounds to call any woman in public life a sl*t and her daughter (by reference) a sleezy whore.

    We don't care if she'll be out of office soon.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#99)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 06:32:18 AM EST
    Her political opinions or future in politics are entirely beside the point.

    Interesting episode in the annals of lefty (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:43:25 PM EST
    commentary.  I read this article on Salon this morning. It is generally asking the question of why Letterman seems to get getting a pass from liberals. But one of the statements in it made me about spit up my coffee. She said that if a liberal woman had been gender-trashed like Palin and her daughter, the left blogs would be on fire about it, etc.  HA, I laughed, thinking about Hillary last year of course.

    Now, I went back to look at it again just now so I could quote that part here, and that line has been edited out. I imagine (hope) she got plenty of comments about it. I did not have a chance to pen a diatribe when I was at work, but I'm glad others did.


    My mistake, it was not edited out. (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:47:11 PM EST
    Here is the line that made me laugh:

    Imagine if, say, Michelle Obama, or Rachel Maddow, or Nancy Pelosi became the target of similar invective. The outcry from the left would be deafening.

    She does not ask us to imagine if it were Hillary Clinton of course. We already know how un-deafening the outcry would be. In fact I'm not sure it would be deafening in defense of any of those 3, except, perhaps, Michelle Obama.


    Well, (none / 0) (#84)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:24:25 PM EST
    we don't have to imagine with Nancy Pelosi.  Remember the P*ssy Galore piece?  The liberals came out in flames and the piece disappeared.  

    The process works when people want it to....


    I had forgotten that (none / 0) (#100)
    by ruffian on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 06:33:42 AM EST
    Thanks for the reminder. Nice to know the potential is there , I guess.

    I looked at the older thread (none / 0) (#82)
    by Manuel on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:19:21 PM EST
    I had missed it since I tend to browse the headlines.  I guess if BTD was around, there would have been a front page post.  I am glad to see the Daily Howler covered it.

    Someone mentioned Richard Pryor but that comparison is way off the mark.  Sure, Pryor used profanity but much of his material was based on the reality he observed and lived through.  I don't recall mean spirited attacks on personalities in his performances.  Pryor held up a mirror to ourselves.  Letterman holds up a mirror to himself.


    Um (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:52:14 PM EST
    Somersby covered it well today as part of another critical article about Olbermann (very worth reading).  Amy Siskind has a good article about it on HuffPo.  Otherwise, I haven't seen it covered on a "mainstream" liberal blog (other than in comments).  The blogs-that-shall-not-be-named are covering it quite well.

    Oh, and NOW has added Letterman to their "Hall of Shame".

    But yes, it's because it's Palin, IMHO.  It's a non-story to liberals.  It's okay to go out of bounds with a Republican woman....because it's not about all women, it's about that woman...same as it was with Clinton.


    Not on the same scale, but (none / 0) (#95)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 09:55:40 PM EST
    Hillary and Chelsea were also targets of trash talk. "Pimping Chelsea" and the most vile name calling. The difference was that Hillary was running against Obama, Palin wasn't.

    Some left blogs are discussing (none / 0) (#66)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:02:21 PM EST
    it at length, but like the media, not every "station" needs to labor on the same topic for days. It's nice to have a place to go for some other topics.

    In more jailhouse news (none / 0) (#78)
    by scribe on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:00:37 PM EST
    There's a big scandal brewing in NY.  

    It erupted with the disclosure that a prisoner in the Tombs, a financial scammer who jumped bail back in the 80s and lammed it for twenty years or so, managed to have his son's bar mitzvah held in the gym at the Tombs.  (Math tells me the young'un got his start while dad was lamming....)  This shindig went off with scads (hundreds) of invited guests, catered food, china and (metal) silverware, and live musical entertainment.  

    Who needs the Waldorf?

    A wealthy inmate was allowed to host a lavish bar mitzvah behind bars for his son at the downtown lockup known as the Tombs, The Post has learned.

    The proud papa, Tuvia Stern, is a financial-scam artist who jumped bail and spent nearly 20 years on the lam.

    City Correction Department officials permitted him to use his own caterer, who supplied kosher food, china, forks -- and knives -- for about 60 guests who partied and danced the hora for six hours in the jailhouse gym.

    Then it comes out that this special treatment was not just for one particular prisoner. Apparently, an Orthodox Jewish Jails Chaplain managed, through generously providing various people in the NY Jails hierarchy with Christmas gifts and patronage of all sorts, to get many (if not all) of the Orthodox Jews who came into the NY jails sent to the Tombs, instead of Rikers.

    And, then, the Chaplain's car would be unloading catered food from outside, and it would go in to his co-religionist prisoners.  Roast beef, salmon, etc., etc.

    The papers are comparing it to that scene in Goodfellas, where the mobsters in prison get salami, fresh Italian bread, lobster, etc., and wind up cooking their own meals.

    People have <shudder> lost vacation pay over this.  People might get ... suspended.  Or even fired.

    Only in New York.

    Where's Madoff vacationing these days? (none / 0) (#85)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 05:26:11 PM EST