It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread… Emoticon: Autumn Sandeen, snarkily shifting her eyes right-to-left-to-right

Image: Bookworm Bob, the cartoon 'sockpuppet' of Autumn Sandeen'sSo, this is what my cartoon sockpuppet Bookworm Bob have been looking at since our last This & That post.

Victoria Colonist‘s How should schools handle transgender kids?:

…Although mental-health experts disagree on whether people should make such a dramatic transition at a young age, children as young as 5 are doing it. They’re changing their names, insisting on a new pronoun and altering their appearance with new clothes and hairstyles.

As a result, school districts are having to make some controversial changes.

What should schools do about restrooms and locker rooms? How do they make sure everybody uses the correct pronouns? How should teachers explain the situation to curious classmates?

It’s hard to know how many people are transgender, an umbrella term that includes those whose biological sex doesn’t match their internal sense of masculinity or femininity. Nobody tracks statistics, and many transgender people prefer to keep information private.

The American Psychological Association estimates that about 1 in 10,000 males will transition to female, with or without sexual-reassignment surgery. About 1 in 30,000 females will. The National Center for Transgender Equality thinks the number is 0.25 per cent to 1 per cent of the population…

Transyouth are people. What school districts should do is accommodate transyouth as they would accommodate the needs of members of any other minority groupmember. Period.

Palm Center‘s Press release: Experts Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is Now at an Impasse; Presidential Leadership with DOJ or a Moratorium Can End this Mess:

Release Date: September 24, 2010

Press Contact: Cathy Renna,, 917-757-6123; Christopher Neff,, 202-372-7227

Santa Barbara, Calif. (September 24, 2010) – Today the Palm Center released a statement in response to the filing by the Department of Justice in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, which requested limiting the scope and staying the enactment of any future injunction against “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the case. [Note: the filing did not specifically address the issue of an appeal to the case. That appeal will depend upon the final injunction decision by Judge Phillips].

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is now at an impasse that only the President can resolve,” stated Palm Center Deputy Executive Director Christopher Neff. He added, “It is becoming increasingly clear that we are facing a new set of challenges and a new landscape for the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.” Congress is in a stalemate, legal wrangling continues, and discriminatory discharges are still happening. The President has the power to end this discriminatory mess by either not appealing Judge Phillips’ forthcoming decision or by issuing a stop-loss executive order to place a moratorium on these discharges.”

Legal Co-Director Law Professor Diane Mazur responded to the Department of Justice’s filing stating, “The government’s position on the injunction is so narrow as to make the ruling nearly meaningless, which may be the point. The Department of Justice appears to be daring gay and lesbian service members to identify themselves to qualify for individual protection, with no guarantee of equality waiting for them on the other side.” She also noted that many of the government’s arguments are not new. “Judge Phillips has already ruled that there is no evidence the policy is good for the military, and no evidence that implementation of open service would be difficult. It makes no sense to require gay service members to challenge the policy one at a time.”

In addition, a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton is also expected shortly on whether to re-instate former Air Force Major Margaret Witt, who was discharged under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’

The Palm Center is a research institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara, committed to sponsoring state-of-the-art scholarship to enhance the quality of public dialogue about critical and controversial issues of the day. For the past decade, the Palm Center’s research on sexual minorities in the military has been published in leading social scientific journals. The Palm Center seeks to be a resource for university-affiliated as well as independent scholars, students, journalists, opinion leaders, and members of the public. For more information see

Los Angeles TimesThree current and former Bell officials freed on bail; five remain behind bars:

Five current and former Bell city officials remained behind bars Thursday — two days after they were charged with public corruption.

Councilwoman Teresa Jacobo was released on 0,000 bail, and Councilman Luis Artiga was released on 0,000 bail. Former Councilman George Cole was also out on bail as of Thursday morning, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department jail database

Former City Administrator Robert Rizzo; his former assistant, Angela Spaccia; Mayor Oscar Hernandez; Councilman George Mirabal and former Councilman Victor Bello remained behind bars.

On Thursday, a judge reduced Rizzo’s bail from .2 million to million…

Emoticon: Angry Rant Ugh. And California is supposed to good about not having too much civic corruption in its municipalities. Emoticon: Head banging against a wall

San Francisco Chronicle‘s Dog poop has bright side: Powering Mass. park lamp:

It stinks and it’s a hazard to walkers everywhere, but it turns out dog poop has a bright side.

Dog poop is lighting a lantern at a Cambridge dog park as part of a months long project that its creator, artist Matthew Mazzotta, hopes will get people thinking about not wasting waste.

The “Park Spark” poop converter is actually two steel, 500-gallon oil tanks painted a golden yellow, connected by diagonal black piping and attached to an old gaslight-style street lantern at the Pacific Street Park.

After the dogs do their business, signs on the tanks instruct owners to use biodegradable bags supplied on site to pick up the poop and deposit it into the left tank…

Okay, green energy of a kind that seems pretty darn useful. Emoticon: Dog

• Our Wiener Story Of The Day: Business Week‘s Mr. Hope and Change Can Feel No One’s Pain: Margaret Carlson:

We don’t get many do-overs in life. President Barack Obama got one on Monday, a chance to correct the impression that he can’t identify with Joe and Josephine Six Pack except when telling them to eat their spinach and not be upset that the bankers who got us into this mess are dining on caviar.

Image: Wiener World, a restaurant in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Link To Pam's House Blend Tag 'Wieners'His opening came in the form of a long, compelling question from Velma Hart at a town hall meeting at the Newseum in Washington. As an exemplar of the middle class, sitting at the kitchen table at the end of the month asking why it’s going so wrong, you couldn’t do better than Hart.

A veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, Hart is married to a facilities manager and lives in suburban Maryland. With two daughters in private school, one about to go to college, she told the president she’s afraid of having to revert to serving hot dogs and beans, the universal symbol of scrimping. The room was with her.

Bill Clinton would have been feeling Velma’s pain at “Hello.” He would undoubtedly have gone overboard, biting too hard on his lower lip. But too much empathy is better than treating a plea from the heart as a request to the professor for a make-up exam.

This time, Invader Zim’s coaxing of “The weenie tempts you!” doesn’t appear to apply. The experience of the American Dream seems to be a fading thing. Emoticon: Blank face

So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?

And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo! Emoticon: Dancing happy face character
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