Meaningless, hypocritical virtue signaling

If we are going to have a debate on transgender restroom access, can we please have an actual debate instead of meaningless, hypocritical virtue signaling? A friend of mine posted this picture on his personal Facebook page of a sign indicating that a single occupancy, lockable private restroom is an “all gender” restroom.

One of my favorite restaurants has has “all gender” restrooms, but they do not call them that. They call them unisex restrooms. Single occupancy, lockable private restrooms obviously do not need to be restricted to one sex. In fact, all of our homes have unisex restrooms and have always had them.

Therefore, there is absolutely no need to put a “gender inclusive” sign on the restroom. It is a waste of wall space and money. They are patting themselves on the back for accomplishing nothing at all.

I commented on the picture and urged my friend to call them out on their hypocrisy the next time he is there. Why is the business using sexist images? Can’t men wear dresses? Can’t women wear pants? Why are they perpetuating sexist gender roles and stereotypes? (Note: The questions in this paragraph are sarcasm.)

They are hypocrites pretending to be for trans-inclusivity. They are virtue signaling and patting themselves on the back while doing absolutely nothing of substance. This does not force people out of their comfort zone and make people recognize that trans women are, in fact, women and should be permitted to use the women’s restroom. (Trans women are not women, of course, but Leftists say they are.)

Not one single trans woman or trans man has had his alleged “civil right” to use the restroom that corresponds to his or her “gender identity” expanded. It is completely meaningless.

Target took a lot of heat for their transgender restroom policies, and they were wrong. But even in being wrong, Target at least had the courage of their convictions to make multiple occupancy public restrooms trans-inclusive. They have far more integrity than these pathetic, sniveling cowards.

Are fidget spinners dangerous?

I saw an article the other day that claims fidget spinners are dangerous because someone seriously injured himself with one. How did he seriously injure himself? He did it by using an air compressor to spin it faster than it was designed to spin.

Right. That is totally because the product itself is defective. Sure.

When you use a safe product in an unsafe way, you get hurt. That is your fault and your fault alone.

Idiot.

Kevin Durant did nothing wrong

Clyde Drexler to the Houston Rockets. Shaquille O’Neal to the Los Angeles Lakers. Charles Barkley to the Phoenix Suns. Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics. Jason Kidd to the New Jersey Nets. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James to the Miami Heat. All of these personnel moves had something in common: Star players moved to a different team in a different city with the hope of winning a world championship. For some, it worked, and for others it did not. So why are so many people ripping Kevin Durant to shreds for doing what many before him have done?

“Well, what Durant did was different because…”

Whatever. Look, you can come up with all kinds of differences between Durant and all of the other players and claim what he did was uniquely bad. But outside of professional sports, people take different jobs in the labor market all the time and no one complains about it. Nobody would look askance at someone who leaves a part-time retail job for a full time office job with benefits and a 100% increase in his hourly pay rate.

If NBA teams (or pro sports teams generally) displayed loyalty to their players or city, perhaps one could make a more convincing argument. Does anyone remember when the Atlanta Hawks exiled Dominique Wilkins to the Los Angeles Clippers in the midst of a championship contending season because they thought they would do better with Danny Manning? We should not forget that the Oklahoma City Thunder abandoned the city of Seattle, where they played as the Supersonics. The Thunder permanently lost all right to complain about players leaving when they did that.

People, just chill out. It is not like NBA players have a choice of where they will work when they enter the league, thanks to the draft system. Thunder fans can be disappointed that Durant did not stay with them, and NBA fans generally can think the super-team in Golden State makes the NBA less fun to watch, but people have a right to work where they want to work. It is just a game.

Random video game observations

♣ – I find it amusing how in role-playing games you can just walk into people’s houses, look through their cabinets and drawers and take stuff. It was actually very amusing in one of the Phantasy Star games for the Sega Genesis when a fellow party member tells the player that sort of thing is not allowed.

♣ – Speaking of role-playing games, having enemies on-map as opposed to random encounters makes the game much more fun. It is a useful feature to allow players to avoid fighting or to hunt certain enemies. Chrono Trigger for the Super NES was great in that regard.

♣ – If a video game has multiple game modes, the “easy” mode should actually be easy. This is especially important in fighting games, to allow a player to learn the moves and learn how to play as various characters. Throwing the player into the deep water with a nearly-impossible “easy” mode is an exercise in frustration.

♣ – More games need to include a “New Game Plus” option. There are few things more rewarding in a game than fighting an especially difficult early boss a second time using an end-of-game party and completely curb-stomping him with basically no effort.

♣ – The NES Classic was a good idea but it was too limited. It would have been better to offer the ability to play old cartridges like the Sega Genesis Throwback or (better yet) download more games via the Virtual Console onto a memory card. Maybe this will be fixed if a Super NES Classic is released.

♣ – I am still surprised that games for the PlayStation 4 and XBox One were not distributed entirely by digital download. Piracy would be a problem, but not an insurmountable one.

You do not have a right to my money.

It is a common misconception among Leftists that if the government does not fund something, they are restricting that thing or depriving someone of their rights. We see this in many areas, but it is most prevalent in debates over subsidizing birth control or funding clinics that perform abortions.

Of course, Leftists are wrong.

We even see this locally. I posted my most recent letter to the editor a couple weeks ago. In the Facebook comments, someone said “Get out from women’s baby ovens.” Of course, in the context of the city council funding Planned Parenthood, that is not the issue. If the 2019 city election saw nine abortion opponents elected to the city council, they would still not be able to get into anyone’s baby oven. This is because abortion is regulated by the state legislature, not by local government. The city council has no authority in this area.

It is absurd to paint the issue of the city council funding Planned Parenthood as an issue of abortion rights. If the city were to never give another penny to PP, the “clinic” would continue to operate and the “doctors” would continue to murder babies every week with no interference from city government.

This has been the prevailing argument over birth control as well, with the folks at Salon hysterically screeching that a proposal by the Trump administration “would give employers unprecedented power over women’s lives.” This is utter nonsense, and is the perfect example of the #FakeNews decried by the President and his supporters. No one is going to impose their religious beliefs on anyone. No one is going to have any control over anyone else’s personal life. It may be that some women will have to pay for their own birth control out-of-pocket. Many methods of birth control are extremely affordable and there are programs to help women pay for it without forcing employers to do it against their religious convictions.

It is really simple, folks. If government declines to take my money by force at gunpoint and use it to buy you something, your so-called “rights” are not being violated in any way. In fact, in that case the government is taking a truly pro-choice position.

Let’s please not spread paranoia needlessly

If you are a parent, it is easy to give in to paranoia and fear about everything. If you spend much time online and are susceptible to such schemes, one could easily be convinced to never leave your house.

One horror story I saw recently involved a two year old who developed a severe rash and bleeding sores all over her face, complete with heartbreaking pictures. I will not link to the article here, because it is dishonest clickbait fearmongering and therefore does not deserve a link.

Here is what happened: She was kissed by someone with a cold sore – a common ailment. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 90% of adults have been exposed to the virus that causes cold sores by the time they are 50 years old. For whatever reason, the child reacted horribly to the virus. As a father myself I cannot imagine how terrible it would be to watch your child suffer like this.

But reactions like this are rare. Using alarmist language such as referring to the virus that causes cold sores as “herpes” (even if technically true) is recklessly irresponsible and dishonest.

Yes, let’s be careful and use common sense. But we should not be overcome with fear. We can have and should have an honest and responsible take on the subject of cold sores – such as explaining that some people (including very young children) can have rare but extreme reactions to being exposed to the virus. But we can spread awareness of this phenomenon without spreading needless paranoia.

A shameful smear of Jeff Ellington

I am deeply disappointed yet totally unsurprised that the Herald-Times chose to publish a shamefully dishonest smear of Jeff Ellington. A letter to the editor asked two so-called “questions” that were obviously designed to make the reader think that Ellington has a conflict of interest regarding legislation he proposed limiting the authority of local government to regulate logging. The clear message of the letter is that Ellington is using his position of power in the state legislature to enrich himself.

This is nothing but lies. The two so-called “questions” are as follows:

Does Ellington have any business relationship with the owners of this property where the logging is proposed? Does Ellington do any logging in the Lake Monroe watershed?

Predictably, there were immediately some lame hyperpartsan justifications for these shameful smears. After all, is it really bad to ask questions about what our elected officials are doing? But these are not “questions” and everyone knows it. These so-called “questions” are lies and smears.

It is like asking someone: “When did you stop beating your wife?”

It has been established in the Herald-Times that Ellington’s business interests do not include logging. Therefore, there is no need to ask any so-called “questions” about a conflict of interest that exists only in the fantasies of Ellington’s political enemies. There is not a single shred of evidence backing up these smears.

State legislators fill out financial disclosure forms. This is required under Indiana law for people running for elective office that pays more than a certain amount. (I know this because I filled out these forms when I ran for city council.) If Ellington had a business relationship with loggers, that would be in the forms. Therefore, there is no need to ask any so-called “questions” about it. It is already public record.

These smears on Ellington do not deserve to be published. They violate the Herald-Times’ own published guidelines. Shame on the H-T for publishing these smears. They need to publish a retraction, along with an apology to Jeff Ellington for allowing this dishonest, false attack to be published.

The Bloomington City Council funds baby killers again

City Council chambers was filled with abortion opponents and Planned Parenthood activists on June 14, as the city council once again gave Planned Parenthood a handout from the taxpayers’ wallets. As expected, the corporate welfare passed 8-0, and the councilors showed that they are precious little snowflakes that cannot handle policy-based criticism. It was a truly pathetic display.

Planned Parenthood had their people out in force, as a group of people in pink shirts filled the front row. That was an interesting display for a grant that was always going to pass unanimously. About fifteen anti-abortion activists showed up too, including the President of Students for Life at IU. This was the first time since 2002 or 2003 that SFLIU had a representative there, so that was good to see.

Before the legislation funding PP was introduced, the City Council decided to split the funding into two votes. Dorothy Granger recused herself from voting on the funding for Shalom Center, since she is a paid employee of the organization. People have been calling on Granger to recuse herself from voting to fund Planned Parenthood, where she is a clinic escort. Splitting Shalom off for a separate vote but not Planned Parenthood was a nice big middle finger to the pro-lifers in the audience.

This is ridiculous. If the council can split the funding package into two different votes to accommodate Granger (which has never been done before) there is no reason that PP could not have been considered separately. While Granger is not legally required to recuse herself, it would nonetheless be a good move to embrace the highest ethical standards. Instead, Granger petulantly refused to recuse herself from using her position to fund the abortion clinic where she is an escort.

Other councilors whined that it was improper and “uncivil” to single out Granger to recuse herself. Steve Volan actually said that Granger’s name should not even be used, but that she should be referred to as the council member from District II. This is completely absurd. If the councilors do not wish to be held accountable by name for their votes they should resign from office. It is an arrogant entitlement mentality unworthy of any elective office. I was stunned that Volan actually had the audacity to say that.

Once again, the council limited total comment time. This was done last year, and it is just as shameful now as it was before. The councilors are given a salary and offered health insurance benefits for this job, and part of this job is listening to constituents speak on matters of policy. If the council was worried the meeting would go too long, they could have easily scheduled the tax abatement report for a meeting with less on the agenda. Limiting speakers to two minutes each is reasonable, but limiting total comment time to 40 minutes is not.

Pro-life activists also opposed money for the “All Options” pregnancy clinic, because it has an abortion fund to help women pay to have their babies killed. All Options does not generate the same kind of opposition that Planned Parenthood does, but funding them is just as egregious.

The council pretended to not understand why anyone would oppose this particular grant to provide diapers, but this was disingenuous. They understand perfectly why people would oppose vouchers for private schools that enforce Biblical standards on sexual morality, even if the quality of the education for each individual child is good, and the same principle is at work here. Furthermore, diapers could easily be funded without giving it to an organization that pays for babies to be killed.

Planned Parenthood’s grant was for STD testing (which could be done by another organization) and long acting reversible contraception. As I pointed out in my comments, giving birth control to underage teen girls is effectively a way to fund sexual abuse, as abusers can use the birth control to hide the abuse. This is exactly what was done to one of the anti-abortion activists in the audience when she was a teenager.

Of course, Bloomington’s Planned Parenthood was caught on tape in an undercover sting operation trying to cover up sexual abuse back in 2008. The council knows what they are doing. They do not care.

The Democrats repeatedly spoke of how abortion is legal and how we all have a choice. Yes, abortion is unfortunately legal. But just because abortion is legal does not mean we are required to fund an organization that performs abortions or an organization that subsidizes abortions. The strong rhetoric about freedom of choice comes as the council is taking a very anti-choice action, forcing pro-life taxpayers top subsidize an organization we consider to be a moral abomination.

The most laughable moment of the night was when Volan whined that the use of the word “baby” regarding a “fetus” is judgmental language. So, any time a woman is pregnant and refers to her own child as a “baby” she is judging? Come on, this is crazy. This is snowflake culture taken to the extreme. It is one thing to argue that “fetus” is a better term, but to object to the word “baby” in that way is laughable.

The city council has a limited budget for the Jack Hopkins fund and the requests for funding are always greater than the budget for the fund. There is no reason that several thousand dollars needs to go to an obscenely wealthy international corporation when there are truly local charities that legitimately need the money. The city council needs to end this pro-abortion virtue signaling and stop wasting taxpayer money on political endorsements of abortionists. This farce needs to end.