Four Lights

Torture exists solely for the sake of torture, it is indeed a sad world where we assume that torture is an acceptable way to obtain confessions and information. Sarah Palin’s attempt to portray torture as harmless and “a dunking” is the sort of revisionism you see when people just want to feel better about doing something bad. It’s just water after all.

Sarah Palin failed to understand one thing about torture, and John McCain did. See he was subject to such interrogation. Only back then we called it for what it was. Torture.


I felt bad for McCain. Everytime he was forced to defend torture you could see he didn’t believe in what he was saying. If any one person in the Republican Party understands torture, it is him. The man who was tortured so badly his arms can’t lift above his shoulders anymore.

The problem with torture is that there are many many responses. Either they tell the truth, or they tell a lie, or they tell you everything they think you want to know. Only one out of three responses is useful, the rest are actually detrimental to you.

And the worst bit is that the people defending torture are often Christians and who clad torture in the fancy words of interrogation in the same way that the Inquisition used the word confession. And these people tried to claim that they were sticking to “Christian Values”. If they did then they were clinging to the worst ones.

The ultimate joke is that the people it was used against were expendable. The way Al-Qaeda works is multiple redundancy at all levels. Everyone is expendable and can be replaced. Torturing one does not give you a reliable source of information, it just torture for the sake of it.

Just remember. There Are Four Lights.

Trans Phobia

I rarely talk about transphobia and the hijra I used to work with. Well that’s mainly because we don’t work together any more the last I saw of them was a while ago.

But sometimes while poking around the net you do find some absolutely horrendous things.

“I would like to pass out something that shows people what is going on in the rest of the country. Massachusetts and California have passed laws relating to calling a student, irrespective of his biological gender, letting him perform as the gender he thinks he is, or she is. I just want to emphasize: not in this district. Not until the plumbing’s changed. There would have to be castration in order to pass something like that around here.”

This is from Katherine Svenson, a Colorado school board member.

Look the words we use are important too. A lot of people reported this as “Svenson wants to castrate trans people before they use the bathroom” which is simply untrue. Svenson is a bigot but her bigotry is not fixed or solved by being incorrect.

No, what she is trying to imply in her own mutliated understanding of what it is to be trans is that the only way she will accept trans utilising the loo is post-surgery. And definitely not the people who made it sound like she going to castrate trans people the way we used to castrate sheep.

Yes this was a thing and no it’s not recommended you do it this way unless you want a kick in the face.

No it’s still bigotted and part of the “won’t someone think of the children” but we should hold ourselves to the truth because the truth is stupider than the stuff we make up.

There is a train of thought of the right wing and religious fundie when it comes to the trans people and bathrooms.

They think the acceptance of transexuals into the bathrooms of “choice” will lead to a sordid world where young men pretend to be women solely to spy on women in bathrooms. To which I say that the fundies really don’t know young boys and this seems like too much work to look at naked women when we have access to the Internet and all the depths of nudity that entails to the average teenager. Doing all this seems like too much effort especially considering the level of torment the trans people face.

But trans people are all perverts! They clearly are men who like to dress as women! That’s another common fallacy. Transvestites are different. Look, some men don’t think clothes define your gender and so wear women’s clothes. Big Whoop. It takes all sorts to make the circus we live in. The fact we distinguish our clothes SOLELY based on gender is laughable! Many gay men have corrected me when I said that they are just as promiscuous as straight people by explaining to me that gay men were always ostracised for what they are and so didn’t really have any issues with promiscuity. So I will retract my old stance. Maybe trans people are like that too. But who cares. I have written safe anal sex advice here and I know I am not exactly vanilla in my tastes (More like 99 flake). To the fundie the idea of letting trans into the bathroom will turn the bathroom into their idea of what “cottaging” looks like. AKA a bathroom filled wall to wall with an orgy of sex.

If we let trans women into the women’s room they will look at women peeing. In the fundie world F2M trans people don’t exist after all. Because women are never perverts… No let us assume this is an enlightened fundie who knows about F2M. He may be a transphobe but he is no sexist! Trans people will spy on women/men peeing and get some sort of pleasure out of it. Well I don’t know about you but most men in the men’s room are rather surreptitious about peeing even at urinals. We all know what we got. We aren’t comparing lengths and we go to great effort to shield ourselves from prying eyes to the point that we have unwritten rules such as standing as far apart from each other as possible when using the urinals. And honestly? This fear is as old as time, we feared that homosexuals were going to molest us all in our bathrooms but turns out gay men generally use bathrooms for the same things we straight men do. The whole “women’s” bathrooms is even more puzzling since I know women’s rooms have stalls and I figure women lock them when they use them.

Again the fundies assume the mere presence of trans people would turn the loo into a den of iniquity. Drug dealers will move in, and people will start snorting the crushed ashes of Rush Limbaugh’s speeches or whatever it is they snort these days. There will be glory holes galore and no one will be able to use the bathroom without being peeked on  or stumbling on cottaging.

Trans people just want to go to the bathroom without having to declare to all and sundry what they are. I mean the problem here is how the fuck are you going to enforce the rule? I am a bloody doctor and even I take a few seconds to realise if a person is trans. I have a trans friend (Hola Nadia! Waves) who sounds and looks female and I wouldn’t have known she was trans unless she  bared her throat (Adams apple or the surgery to reduce it) or stood up straight (the male body has some tell tale differences. One of them is the carrying angle. When you semi-flex your arm you will notice your arm bends “outwards”. In women it is more because of women’s body shape. There are a few signs like this that surgery doesn’t change) or spoke without the voice training.

Basically? She looks like an attractive lady who is much younger than she actually is.

And you think the Bathroom police are going to catch her out? What are they going to listen while she pees? Either this person is trans or is peeing from a great height! SUMMON THE TOILET COPS! Would these be called Porcelains instead of Coppers?

Again the same issue with F2M trans.. They can simply use the stall.

No the legislation or rules to ban trans from basically using what bathrooms they like are solely designed to harass the few trans who MAY get caught out or who are reported by those who know their status.

It’s just so ridiculous. Pragmatically it’s a waste of time. Socially it’s a waste of time and it’s forcing trans people to out themselves to simply use the bathroom and economically it is a gigantic waste of time. There is absolutely no argument for this that isn’t scare mongering or just out and out stupid.

I have this expression on my face too when I hear the right wing say this

I use public restrooms to pee and maybe wash my face. Most of the time it’s a pretty harrowing experience since it’s India and people take a very lax attitude to plumbing and hygiene. Even in the UK I have the same attitude and most people I know tend to not linger around the place.

Trans people do not wish to be noticed for being trans. They spend their entire transition changing to be like the gender that they wish and need to be. It is a simple case of privacy. We owe them the basic right to not be bothered while they wish to use  the loo.

The ideas pushed by the fundies about trans people and indeed the GLBT in bathrooms boils down to the fears that are created by the dialogue. It’s simple.

Let people use the loo in peace. I don’t want to be interrupted by some stranger in a uniform (or not) demanding to check the contents of my boxers when I fly. Why do you think I would think  it’s acceptable for that to be the case when someone else uses the bathroom?

How to Cripple Healthcare

This isn’t up for debate really. A socialised medical system is pound for pound the most cost effective method of guaranteeing the health of a population.due to a large emphasis on preventative medicine, subsidised costs, economies of scale and the like.

Now people look at the NHS bloat and don’t realise that the bloat is bad but not as bad as the USA’s. The US government spends nearly double what we do for a slightly worse system of healthcare with regards to outcomes.

In addition? The privatised medical sector played a large part in the destruction of the economy. One of the major reason for bankruptcy and foreclosure or indeed taking out a overdrawn sub-prime was healthcare costs.

So along came Obama Care and IMHO it’s not enough. It’s propping up a failing system. You may as well go the whole hog really. [Read more…]

Low Blow

We often talk about underhanded tactics in politics and let us get this straight.

Neither side in the USA is bereft of such tactics. For every vitriolic rant about Hilary Clinton being some testicle shrivelling bitch who eats the souls of men there are equally sexist and indeed vile depictions of conservative women. Who’s Naylin Paylin for example (It was a spoof porn released during Sarah Palin’s run as for VP).

And more recently?

[Read more…]

Rick Perry – What if Your Mother Aborted You

“It is just unfortunate, that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.” – Rick Perry

Rick Perry said that at the National Right to Life Conference (I wonder if the National Right to Life Conference is anti-death penalty?) about Senator Wendy Davis after her marathon 13 hour stall for time (AKA a filibuster) last week.

At the core of this argument is an idea of “What if you never existed? WHAT IF YOU WERE THAT BABY!” [Read more…]

It’s not a religion, it’s a personal relationship!

It’s not a religion, it’s a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

Ever heard that line? I did and ended up snorting milk out my nose at the sheer ridiculousness of the notion that Christianity isn’t a religion.

The major reason for this argument is to shimmy Christianity around the establishment clause. Why? Let’s just have a look at North Carolina. [Read more…]