The Breakfast Club (Cruel Summer)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

 

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South Carolina DMV sued in federal court over gender policing incident

Last March Chase Culpepper, 16, applied for a South Carolina driver's license. Chase is gender non-conforming but still uses male pronouns. At the DMV Chase was told that he could not have his license photo taken unless he removed the make-up he uses on a daily basis.

I covered the story at the time: Disguise and Deception, complete with the basic concept:

 

No amount of makeup remover can erase how he feels.
 

The government should not be in the business of telling men and women how we are supposed to look as men and women.

--Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF)

On Tuesday TLDEF filed a federal lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles brought by Theresa Culpepper on behalf of her minor child, asking the court to rule that denying Chase the freedom to wear his everyday makeup in his license photo constitutes sex discrimination and violates his right to free speech and expression under the United States Constitution. The suit also seeks a ruling that the DMV's policy (roughly, that it cannot take the photo of anyone who is "in disguise") is unconstitutionally vague, too broad, and allows DMV employees to "police gender" (i.e. to arbitrarily decide how a driver's license applicant should look without regard to the rights of the people they are supposed to serve).

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The Breakfast Club (Dancing in September)

The Breakfast Club (Dancing in September)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

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TBC: Morning Musing 9.3.14

I've got 3 interesting article this morning for you all.  

 

I think that we ought to do automatic DNA testing on evidence from crimes where there is anyone convicted of them on Death Row. And throw in the life without parole folks too. I abhor the death penalty in and of itself and it seems cruel and unusual to not just make sure in this day and age. 

 

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Gender Prison: New Palm Center study of transgender military service: administratively feasible and neither excessively complex nor burdensome

I'm not generally in favor of military service. To me it was a dehumanizing experience, not much better than being incarcerated or otherwise institutionalized.

But let's face it. There has been no better measure of the acceptance of certain classes of people in our society than whether or not they are allowed to serve equally in the military. People who were 4F at the time of WWII and the Korean War were typically shunned and that carries over to the treatment of people with disabilities to this day. Blacks were racially discriminated against in the military until Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981 on July 26, 1948, which led to the final all-black military units being abolished in September, 1954.

Don't Ask Don't Tell (Defense Department Directive 1304.26) was eliminated on September 20, 2011, prohibiting military personnel from discriminating against or harassing openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members.

A new study was released last week by the Palm Center (a San Francisco think tank) which concluded that ending the military's ban on transgender personnel would be "administratively feasible and neither excessively complex nor burdensome." A previous Palm Center study called for lifting of that ban in March of this year. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in May that he was open to reviewing the issue of transgender eligibility.

As always, I read the studies so you don't have to.

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Sunday Train: NEC High Speed Rail for Under $20b (from 15Jul2012)

Sunday Train this week is a re-run from 15 July, 2012

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

One of the transit bloggers that I enjoy reading is Alon Levy who blogs his observations on a variety of transit topics at Pedestrian Observations . Following the important California HSR funding vote in the California State Senate and the excitement leading up to it, I thought I'd like to take a look at the proposed Express HSR system for the states of the Northeast Corridor.

Of the $53b cost of the proposed San Francisco to Los Angeles Express HSR corridor seems hefty ~ and it seems even heftier when it shows the Year of Expenditure headline value of $68b ~ then the proposed Northeast Corridor states Express HSR will seem massive.

However, Alon claims:

Northeast Corridor HSR, 90% Cheaper
...
In contrast with this extravaganza, it is possible to achieve comparable travel times for about one tenth the cost. The important thing is to build the projects with the most benefit measured in travel time reduced or reliability gained per unit of cost, and also share tracks heavily with commuter rail, using timed overtakes to reduce the required amount of multi-tracking.

This sounds like an intriguing possibility ... but is it realistic? Or is it wishful thinking? Follow me below the fold, and then let's discuss it.

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