Doing the Right Thing

Last Sunday I wrote about a meeting scheduled at which the Barnard trustees would be deciding the fate of transgender admissions at the college.

Last week turned out to be a busy week in the transgender world. Vanity Fair put Caitlyn on its cover. OSHA put whatever power it might have directly behind trans people. The Air Force made it easier for transgender people to serve. And the Barnard trustees had that meeting.

Those trustees decided that transgender women will be admitted beginning in the fall. In so doing, Barnard became the last of the famous "Seven Sisters" to do so. If you are not familiar with the Seven Sisters, they were Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar and Wellesley. They were given that sobriquet in 1927 to signify their parallel with the Ivy League men's colleges.

But times change and Poughkeepsie, NY's Vassar went coed in 1969. And Radcliffe, located in Cambridge, MA, began merging with Harvard in 1977 (and completed it in 1999).

In the past year Mount Holyoke, Bryn Mawr, Wellesley, Smith and now Barnard have opened their doors to transgender women, following the lead of California's Mills College.



Sunday Train: Making An Energy Revolution

Writing for Politico, "Energy Visionary" Vaclav Smil writes in Revolution? More like a crawl:

Undoubtedly, the U.S. is experiencing two notable energy transitions, from coal to natural gas and from fossil fuels to new renewables in electricity generation. These shifts are welcome because they promise to bring cleaner and less carbon-intensive supplies. But they cannot be rapid, and they bring their own technical, economic and social challenges. Energy infrastructure is the world’s most elaborate and expensive, and the longevity and inertia of many large energy enterprises make it impossible for any large, complex national system (to say nothing of the global level) to reconfigure itself even in three or four decades.

And the statement is, on its own terms, quite certainly correct. Yet I support calls for a "pedal to the metal" transition to low and no carbon, sustainable energy as a policy approach that we shall have to be pursuing in order to achieve what must be done. So, what gives? Is Vaclav Smil correct? And if he is, in what sense is he correct?




The Breakfast Club (Tuba Skinny)

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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Air Force cracks open the door to transgender service

 photo Logan-Ireland_zpsltgdzuny.jpgOn Thursday the Air Force announced a policy change which will make it more difficult to for transgender troops to be discharged. The AF's new policy is modeled on the one adopted by the Army in March.

In the past airmen diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identified as transgender were generally immediately discharged, based upon decisions made by a doctor or unit commander. The new policy requires review of such decisions by officials at Air Force headquarters.

A psychiatrist or psychologist must support the recommendation for discharge for gender dysphoria. A commander must also determine that the condition interferes with troops' performance of their duty.

Though the Air Force policy regarding involuntary separation of gender dysphoric Airmen has not changed, the elevation of decision authority to the Director, Air Force Review Boards Agency, ensures the ability to consistently apply the existing policy.

--Daniel Sitterly, Air Force personnel official



The Breakfast Club (The Suckiest Blogging Day, Part 3)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgTwenty six screaming 7 and 9 year olds.  Twenty eight "adult" chaperones. 

Nothing will get done.  What fun.

I will be wearing very old clothes that I will burn immediately
following a very long shower after dealing with many sticky
interventions, some of them with children.

How bad can it be?  Last year my relative wanted to do toilet
paper bowling (you know, toilet paper for the pins).  It's cheap, it's
soft, you need it anyway.  What could possibly go wrong?

Toilet paper Dodgeball.

Did I mention the fun?

So forget music.  You get music next week.  This week you get schadenfreude.

Obligatories, News, and Blogs below.




That bathroom thing? Oh, yeah. It's crap.

We've seen it time and again. Someone somewhere suggests that a school district actually develop a policy to protect transgender students from bullying and sexual or physical harassment and the first thing you know the conservative media is all over "the bathroom thing."

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington all have statewide nondiscrimination laws designed to protect students on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, as does the District of Columbia. Additionally, Wisconsin and New York protect students on the basis of sexual orientation, but not gender identity.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education today issued official guidance which makes clear that transgender students are protected from discrimination under Title IX. Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. Specifically, the guidance states that "Title IX's sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation.

--GLSEN, April 29, 2015

Rightwing sources: Government overreach. Title IX was never intended to protect "those kind of people."



The Breakfast Club (Traveling)

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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This Day in History





Today in History for June 5th






Sen. Robert F. Kennedy assassinated in Los Angeles;
The Six-Day War erupts in the Mideast; Birth of the Marshall Plan; First
reported AIDS cases in the U.S.; Former President Ronald Reagan dies.

Breakfast Tunes











Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac


Wherever you go, go with all your heart.





Because opportunities to hate are so rare

One of the stupidest efforts to promote transphobia is underway at Someone who claims to be Jennifer Bradford of Fort Worth, Texas is calling for Caitlyn Jenner to be stripped of her gold medal in the Olympic decathalon in 1976. The petition, written in the form of an open letter to the IOC opines:

Ms. Jenner (as talented as she is) claims that she has always believed herself to be truly female, and therefore, was in violation of committee rules regarding women competing in men's sports and vice versa.

It is with a heavy heart that we must ask whether or not it is proper that Ms. Jenner should retain her Olympic records in light of this, as we must now either claim that Bruce Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner are two entirely different people (which we know is not true), or that Bruce Jenner was, in fact, a woman participating in a men's event.



The Breakfast Club (On The Road Pt. 1)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgI will be busy this weekend visiting relatives and TMC will be out of town also.  Normally (and I'm not bragging or wanting
anyone to feel bad about their contribution) these take me from 3 to 4
hours to do, exclusive of the time spent reading to find the material. 

What takes the time is writing the front part (sometimes more and
sometimes less, depending on the depth of treatment) and expanding the
news stories with quotes (always a slog and terrifically time

Anyway, while I'm on the road I'm dispensing with the tricky and
time consuming (and amusing and informative I hope) bits and formating
everything as blog posts (title, author, publication) which will save a
ton of time better spent on napping or socializing with people who
already think I'm a driven eccentric (which is of course, true).

I apologize to you dear reader for this blatant
disregard of your needs and feelings and can only promise that I shall
return from this exhausted and cranky (I shall be dealing with children
and I like them just fine if properly prepared), and resume my normal
sub-standard output as soon as I can decently get away with it.

Science Oriented Video


1st place Egg Drop project ideas- using SCIENCE


The law that entropy always increases holds, I think,
the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to
you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with
Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If
it is found to be contradicted by observation - well, these
experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found
to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope;
there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

-Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Science News and Blogs

Obligatories, News and Blogs below.





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