📰🌈 Fighting the Misinformation

As it is the start of Pride Month, I feel it is appropriate to post these thoughts that have been going around in my head. This all got started last week when I answered a question on Quora about whether trans rights would be the downfall of America, and the ensuing questions and answers that arose therefrom. It made me realize the level of misinformation that is out there, and the stunning ignorance that results from people not listening and thinking. So I’d like to do my part to clarify things, at least from my understanding as a cismale person.

First, there are three distinct things out there that are seemingly being conflated by those on the “anti-Woke” (henceforth !W) crowd:

  • Transgender. This is the condition when the physical body that one has is not congruent with the gender identity in the mind. It is something that is really hard for most of us to think about — after all, we never think about our gender as something different than what our sex organs are. But there are those who have that condition. When they do, they have a range of options, from hiding their identity (bad idea), to expressing their identity in various ways. They can simply dress and adopt the lifestyle of the gender they seem themselves as. They can go on the appropriate hormones. They can avail themselves of various surgical options. All of these things require psychological counseling and multiple years; surgery in particular requires years of living as the other gender before it is even considered. Many trans folks don’t have surgery. It is important to note that individuals under 18 DO NOT have irreversible surgery, unless some significant medical reason requires it. Before age 18, puberty blockers are used to delay puberty (there are rare side effects), and in later adulthood, hormone therapy may be used (the “at birth” gender reasserts itself if those hormones are stopped). In other words: Nothing irreversible is done before age 18. It is also important to note that suicide is very common for people suffering from this dysmorphia, and the impacts of the medicines are much better than suicide. It is also important to note that trans is independent of sexuality and sexual desire. Lastly, note that the percentage of folks that are trans is very very small, when compared to the overall population.
  • Drag Queens. Drag is just another form of cosplay, and drag queens are just actors inhabiting a persona. Drag has been around for a long time. In Shakespeare’s time, all “women” actors were played by men. We had folks like Milton Berle in the 1950s and 1960s, there was Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in the 1950s, there were TV kid show hosts; there was Flip Wilson and Bob Hope; and of course, there was Mrs. Doubtfire. This is just acting. It is not recruiting kids, and it is not sexual. KIds just like playing around, putting on costumes, and pretending to be other people and using their imaginations. Nothing about sex at all. They like watching people in costume. The important thing here is that drag is for entertainment.
  • Cross-dresser. A term for people who dress in clothing traditionally or stereotypically worn by the other sex, but who generally have no intent to live full-time as the other gender. Some of these folks do get sexual pleasure from doing this, but not all. Again, these folks don’t recruit, but do it for their own pleasure.

Different things. None of them recruiting kids.

It is also useful to understand life is rarely binary, and there aren’t simple dimensions in this area. Sex isn’t XX or XY; genetically there is a wide range between the gender (see this article). Gender is a societal construct that changes over time, and it is also a spectrum from male to female to ambiguous areas in-between. There are also dimensions that are spectrums with respect to romantic attraction and sexual attraction (not always the same). And, of course, there are folks who just want to have no part of any of this, and just to live their own life on their terms. We should not be judging on this. As the Skittles ad says: Enjoy the rainbow.

So, the next question is: Should there be laws limiting this stuff? The answer here is a resounding “No”. Such laws are un-American, where the Constitution explicitly permits freedom of expression. Gender is a form of expression. Simple as that.

You say your religion is against it? Then don’t do it yourself. But don’t use your religion as a cudgel to force other people to agree with your religious views. That is also un-American, where there is freedom of religion.

What about bathrooms you say? A few points here:

  • If you were in a ladies room, and saw someone dressed as a guy walk in, you would be upset. Similarly, if you were in a men’s room and saw a woman walk in. So the rule should be simple: Go into the restroom that matches your gender expression.
  • The notion of genital inspection to enforce restroom usage is just plain stupid. If the government does it, it goes against the 4th amendment: unreasonable search. If a person does it, it is essentially sexual assault.
  • But what about exposed genitals in the restroom. I don’t know where you go, but I don’t see them except at the trough pissers at a baseball game. Go into a private stall, mind your business, do your business, and wash your hands.
  • But what about bathroom assaults? I have yet to see a pattern of proven incidents involving transgendered, drag queens, or cross-dressers. The one report I did see was someone where the victim had a previous sexual relationship with the attacker, and invited them into the restroom. Restrooms attacks are more often done by the angry entitled men who have a negative view of women. That’s a different problem, and one that needs to be addressed. Similarly, sexual attacks on children are often from those in a position of power, not from people already marginalized. Again, we need to address that (and note that the folks riling you up against the marginalized folks are those same folks in a position of power, who want to keep that power).
  • What about shared and open showers? That’s a bit of a harder question, for you want to respect others as well. Such rooms typically have a private area for those who need it (it’s not just trans or different gender-presenting folks). Use that private space; but it may mean waiting until you get home (or turning away out of view). You might need to talk to the management. But remember: It is as much a concern for the person being seen as the person doing the seeing.

What about sport teams, you say:

  • Personally, I think we should get rid of gendered colligate and professional teams, and go to weight and strength based classes, independent of gender. That’s a fair and equitable solution.
  • Otherwise, at the College and Professional Level, there should be a requirement to have been on the appropriate hormone for a significant period (which weakens or strengthens muscle mass), with private changing areas. This does actually tend to be quite rare.
  • For kids? We shouldn’t have the gender distinction. Just provide the appropriate changing areas, and let the kids have fun playing together.

It boils down to this: Treat people as you would like to be treated: with respect. Call them what they want to be called. Treat them as the gender they present as. Don’t judge, lest ye be judged.

Oh, and let the drag queen read to your kids. They’ll probably enjoy the story, and maybe will learn a very important lesson from the drag queen: reading is a lot of fun.

What? You were thinking they would learn something else?

P.S.: If you note, the concern seems to only be with men presenting as female, never the other way around. Ask yourself why that is. Does it say something about men? Does it say something about what these men are afraid of, or how they view men who want to be woman? What does that say about how they view women? Quite telling.

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🗳️ Nov 2022 General Election Ballot Analysis (V): Summary

Here in California (and in Los Angeles in particular), we have an election coming up. You know what that means: Every election, I do a detailed ballot analysis of my sample ballot. This is where I examine each candidate and share my conclusions, and invite you to convince me to vote for the other jerk.  Because this is a long ballot, I’m splitting this analysis into a few chunks (note: links may not be available until all segments are posted):

  1. State and National Offices (excluding judges)
  2. County and City (Los Angeles) Local Offices (excluding judges)
  3. Local and State Measures (nee Propositions)
  4. Judicial Offices (County and State)
  5. Summary

This part provides a summary of my ballot analysis results. Please read the full explanation of why I chose who I chose in the links above. Note: This summary is presented in the order of the Sample Ballot.

For your reference and mine, here’s the summary from my primary analysis:

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🗳️ Nov 2022 General Election Ballot Analysis (III): Local and State Measures

Here in California (and in Los Angeles in particular), we have an election coming up. You know what that means: Every election, I do a detailed ballot analysis of my sample ballot. This is where I examine each candidate and share my conclusions, and invite you to convince me to vote for the other jerk.  Because this is a long ballot, I’m splitting this analysis into a few chunks (note: links may not be available until all segments are posted):

  1. State and National Offices (excluding judges)
  2. County and City (Los Angeles) Local Offices (excluding judges)
  3. Local and State Measures (nee Propositions)
  4. Judicial Offices (County and State)
  5. Summary

Note: This analysis is NOT presented in the same order as the Sample Ballot (the ballot order makes no sense). I’ve attempted instead to present things in more logical order.

This part covers the Local Offices (excluding US Congress and State Assembly)

  • State Measures: Measure 1 ❦ Measure 26 ❦ Measure 27 ❦ Measure 28 ❦ Measure 29 ❦ Measure 30 ❦ Measure 31
  • Los Angeles County Measures: Measure A ❦ Measure C
  • Los Angeles City Measures: Measure LH ❦ Measure SP ❦ Measure ULA
  • Los Angeles Community College District Measures: Measure LA

There were no state measures on the June ballot; and the city and county measures on the June ballot were already decided.

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🗳️ Nov 2022 General Election Ballot Analysis (IV): Judicial Offices (County and State)

Here in California (and in Los Angeles in particular), we have an election coming up. You know what that means: Every election, I do a detailed ballot analysis of my sample ballot. This is where I examine each candidate and share my conclusions, and invite you to convince me to vote for the other jerk.  Because this is a long ballot, I’m splitting this analysis into a few chunks (note: links may not be available until all segments are posted):

  1. State and National Offices (excluding judges)
  2. County and City (Los Angeles) Local Offices (excluding judges)
  3. Local and State Measures (nee Propositions)
  4. Judicial Offices (County and State)
  5. Summary

Note: This analysis is NOT presented in the same order as the Sample Ballot (the ballot order makes no sense). I’ve attempted instead to present things in more logical order.

This part covers all the judgeships on the ballot:

  • Judge of the Superior Court: Office № 60 ❦  № 67 ❦  № 70 ❦  № 90 ❦  № 118 ❦ № 151
  • State Judicial:
    • Supreme Court: Chief Justice ❦ Assoc. Justice ❦ Assoc. Justice
    • Appeals Court, 2nd District:
      • Presiding: Dist 1 ❦ Dist 5 ❦ Dist 8
      • Assoc: Dist 2 ❦ Dist 3 ❦  Dist 4 ❦ Dist 4 ❦ Dist 5 ❦ Dist 6 ❦ Dist 7 ❦ Dist 8 ❦ Dist 8

For your reference and mine, here’s where the candidates for this post were covered in my primary analysis:

Note: This post was updated Sun 10/16 with additional information on Judith M. Ashmann-Gerst and Elizabeth Annette Grimes, but my recommendations did not change.

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🗳️ Nov 2022 General Election Ballot Analysis (II): County and City (L.A.) Local Offices

Here in California (and in Los Angeles in particular), we have an election coming up. You know what that means: Every election, I do a detailed ballot analysis of my sample ballot. This is where I examine each candidate and share my conclusions, and invite you to convince me to vote for the other jerk.  Because this is a long ballot, I’m splitting this analysis into a few chunks (note: links may not be available until all segments are posted):

  1. State and National Offices (excluding judges)
  2. County and City (Los Angeles) Local Offices (excluding judges)
  3. Local and State Measures (nee Propositions)
  4. Judicial Offices (County and State)
  5. Summary

Note: This analysis is NOT presented in the same order as the Sample Ballot (the ballot order makes no sense). I’ve attempted instead to present things in more logical order.

This part covers the Local Offices (excluding US Congress and State Assembly)

  • County of Los Angeles: Supervisor 3rd District ❦ Sheriff
  • City of Los Angeles: Mayor ❦ City Attorney ❦ Controller
  • LA Community College District: Board of Trustees Seat 2 ❦ Seat 4 ❦ Seat 6 ❦ Seat 7

For your reference and mine, here’s where the candidates for this post were covered in my primary analysis:

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🗳️ Nov 2022 General Election Ballot Analysis (I): Intro + State/National Offices

Here in California (and in Los Angeles in particular), we have an election coming up. You know what that means: Every election, I do a detailed ballot analysis of my sample ballot. This is where I examine each candidate and share my conclusions, and invite you to convince me to vote for the other jerk.  Because this is a long ballot, I’m splitting this analysis into a few chunks (note: links may not be available until all segments are posted):

  1. State and National Offices (excluding judges)
  2. County and City (Los Angeles) Local Offices (excluding judges)
  3. Local and State Measures (nee Propositions)
  4. Judicial Offices (County and State)
  5. Summary

Note: This analysis is NOT presented in the same order as the Sample Ballot (the ballot order makes no sense). I’ve attempted instead to present things in more logical order.

This part covers the State and National Offices (i.e., the US Legislative Branch, US Senate):

  • Federal: US Senate (two elections) ❦ US Representative, 32nd District
  • State:Governor ❦ Lt. Governor ❦ Secretary of State ❦ Controller ❦ Treasurer ❦ Attorney General ❦ Insurance Commissioner ❦ Board of Equalization, 3rd District ❦ Supt. of Public Instruction

For your reference and mine, here’s where the candidates for this post were covered in my primary analysis:

For these offices, a lot of the analysis I did in the primaries still applies. After all, a leopard can’t change their spots that fast… and these candidates can’t change. But sometimes my preferred candidate was eliminated in the primary, so I have to look again. Sometimes there is new advertising that needs to be addressed. New material about candidates will be clearly indicated.

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🗳️ June 2022 Primary Election Ballot Analysis (V): Summary

Here in California (and in Los Angeles in particular), we have an election coming up. For months, one of the wealthiest candidates has been blanketing the airwaves, together with ads from the Native-American Casino Lobby, fighting against a ballot initiative that isn’t even on this ballot. Now that both the sample ballots and the real ballots* have been mailed, the political advertising has increased by an order of magnitude. That’s where I come in. Every election, I do a detailed ballot analysis of my sample ballot. This is where I examine each candidate and share my conclusions, and invite you to convince me to vote for the other jerk.
————————————————-
* California gives all registered voters the option to vote by mail and to vote early.

Because this is a long ballot, I’m splitting it into a few chunks:

  1. National Offices** (including US Congress)
  2. Local Offices*** (excluding US Congress and State Assembly)
  3. Judicial Offices
  4. California Statewide Offices*** (including State Assembly)
  5. Summary

** Bucking the convention of my sample ballot, however, I’m including our Congressional Representative in this section.
*** Bucking the convention of my sample ballot, I’m including state legislative officers with the Statewide officers. In my case, that is my Assemblycritter, as we have no State Senator running for office this election.

This part provides a summary of my ballot analysis results. Please read the full explanation of why I chose who I chose in the links above.

(I) National Offices (including US Congress)

US Senator – Full Term (Jan 2023 through Jan 2029) Alex Padilla (D) Inc
US Senator – Short Term (ending Jan 2023) Alex Padilla (D) Inc
US House of Representatives, 32nd District Brad Sherman (D) Inc

(II) County and Local Offices

City of Los Angeles  
Mayor Karen Ruth Bass
City Attorney Faisal M. Gill
Controller Kenneth Mejia
Measure BB ⚫ Yes on BB
County of Los Angeles  
Supervisor 3rd District Lindsey Horvath
Sheriff Robert Luna
Assessor Jeffrey Prang Inc

(III) Judicial Offices

Office № 3 ⚫ Tim Reuben
Office № 60 ⚫ Sharon Ransom
Office № 67 Fernanda Maria Barreto
Office № 70 Holly L. Hancock
Office № 90  Melissa Lyons
Office № 116  David B. Gelfound Inc
Office № 118  Klint McKay
Office № 151 Patrick Hare
Office № 156 Carol Elswick Inc

(IV) California Statewide Offices (including State Assembly)

California Legislature
Member of the State Assembly, 40th District Annie E. Cho (D)
California Executive Branch  
Governor Gavin Newsom (D) Inc
Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis (D) Inc
Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber (D) Appointed Inc
Controller Ron Galperin (D)
Treasurer
Fiona Ma (D) Inc
Attorney General
Rob Bonta (D) Appointed Inc
Insurance Commissioner Marc Levine (D)
State Board of Equalization, 3rd District Tony Vazquez (D) Inc
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony K. Thurmond Inc
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🗳️ June 2022 Primary Election Ballot Analysis (IV): State-wide Officers

Here in California (and in Los Angeles in particular), we have an election coming up. For months, one of the wealthiest candidates has been blanketing the airwaves, together with ads from the Native-American Casino Lobby, fighting against a ballot initiative that isn’t even on this ballot. Now that both the sample ballots and the real ballots* have been mailed, the political advertising has increased by an order of magnitude. That’s where I come in. Every election, I do a detailed ballot analysis of my sample ballot. This is where I examine each candidate and share my conclusions, and invite you to convince me to vote for the other jerk.
————————————————-
* California gives all registered voters the option to vote by mail and to vote early.

Because this is a long ballot, I’m splitting it into a few chunks (note: links may not be available until all segments are posted):

  1. National Offices** (including US Congress)
  2. Local Offices*** (excluding US Congress and State Assembly)
  3. Judicial Offices
  4. California Statewide Offices*** (including State Assembly)
  5. Summary

** Bucking the convention of my sample ballot, however, I’m including our Congressional Representative in this section.
*** Bucking the convention of my sample ballot, I’m including state legislative officers with the Statewide officers. In my case, that is my Assemblycritter, as we have no State Senator running for office this election.

This part covers the California State offices:

  • Local: Member of the State Assembly, 40th District
  • Statewide: Governor ❦ Lt. Governor ❦ Secretary of State ❦ Controller ❦ Treasurer ❦ Attorney General ❦ Insurance Commissioner ❦ Board of Equalization, 3rd District ❦ Supt. of Public Instruction

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