Alas, another Monday choir practice has thrown me off schedule for blogging. So here's another of those intermittent links posts, where I share a link I posted to blog about and then never got to--along with a brief comment or two. As always, they're in no particular order:
1. New U.S. passport rules will allow transgender people to list their "new" gender even if they have not had sex reassignment surgery. Though for now a physician's statement that the person has received "appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition," is required I imagine that eventually that requirement will be seen as being too onerous. Without delving into specifics, I'd just like to say that given an Islamic doctor and an Islamic terrorist, this new law raises the prospect of "underwear bombers" to a whole new level, so to speak.
2. In related news, the New York State Senate did have the uncommon good sense to kill a bill that would have opened "...all public accommodations, including restrooms, high school locker rooms, health clubs, dorm rooms and other single sex residential facilities (like homeless and family violence shelters) to both biological genders, dependent upon whether or not an individual chooses to identify his or herself as the opposite sex (i.e. cross-dressers or transvestites)." With nothing more required for a man to gain access to a women's bathroom, locker room, or other gender-restricted area than for him to say that he is transgendered, a cross-dresser or transvestite, or to wear clothing signaling that, it's amazing that this wasn't titled "The Make Women and Girls Vulnerable to Pedophiles, Rapists, or Anyone Else Willing to Put On a Dress Long Enough to Gain Access to a Bathroom or Locker Room Act."
3. With temperatures rising and summer weather abounding, it's a good time to be reminded of the danger children face from being left in a parked car in the heat, and this essay was a good reminder. I know that lots of moms think this could never happen to them--but tragically, these sorts of infant or child deaths have occurred in all sorts of families, not just the two-income, who's taking the child to daycare type of situation we seem to hear about most often. If you or anyone in your family regularly drives young children, make it a habit to visually inspect carseats when you are leaving the car--it takes a couple of seconds, and can avert tragedy. Even if you think there's no way in a million years you'd ever forget a child in your car, get into this habit anyway. And, perhaps more important for some, never, ever leave your car unlocked in your garage or driveway--many young children have died because they have somehow managed to get into a parked car that was left unlocked, and what started out as adventuresome play ended as a nightmare, like this recent and terribly sad story. Even if you don't have young children at home, do NOT leave your car unlocked if there's any chance a child could try to climb inside.
4. Movies just aren't doing well right now, leaving a lot of movie industry types puzzled. I think there are multiple reasons: the bad economy and overpriced tickets, lackluster offerings, and the fact that we are into a generation of people who are used to seeing movies in the comfort of their own homes, with no sticky gross stuff on the floor or seats, no filthy public restrooms, no ridiculously overpriced snack offerings, no "arctic blast" air-conditioner settings, and no "eardrum-bleed" setting on the audio. Or maybe that's just me...
5. Is food too salty? Yes--but why? Maybe because too much of it is mass-produced into those pre-packaged offerings for sale at the grocery store, or sold by restaurants. It would be really interesting to find out just how awful most of that stuff would taste if it couldn't be over-salted or manipulated with sodium enhancers like MSG. I think most of it would end up tasting like cardboard--except that cardboard would probably be better for you from a nutritional standpoint.
6. You have the right to remain silent--but only if you say so. Is this simply a logical conclusion by the Supreme Court, or a threat to the liberty of all Americans? I lean toward "logical conclusion." But then, I've read lots of old Perry Mason novels, and the great fictional lawyer always advises his clients to talk--but to say this sort of thing: "Why, I'd love to tell you all about it, Officer. In fact, if it were up to me I'd do just that! But my lawyer insists I not say anything when he's not here. Tell you what--call him up, and I'll answer every single question he says it's okay for me to answer! But, otherwise, I guess I have nothing to say." We could call that the Mason Codicil to the Miranda Warning...