The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):


  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”


Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bradley Manning wants to be called "Chelsea"

A post entitled “He Is Not Bradley Manning. She Is Chelsea Manning. Deal With It,” by Ryan Kearney on The New Republic's site says that Bradley Manning, the WikiLeaks leaker, wants now to be called “Chelsea.” Kearney, of course, has the right to call him anything he wants to. But he will always be Bradley Manning on this site.

I have no problem with people being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. We don't know how much is heredity, how much is environment, or even if there is some third cause, but whatever it is, people feel attractions to different people, and regardless of the Religious Right's railing about “unnatural” sexualities, it is truly natural for them. I'm willing to accept even stranger sexualities, though I can't fully understand them; I won't go into all the details. But the one group I can never understand or make sense of is that of the transgendered: men who think of themselves as women or vice versa.

A man who falls in love with another man just has his sense of what he finds attractive different from the majority. We are all programmed to eat, but many people eat, every morning, foods that it disgusts me just to contemplate. Sex is like food — the species could not survive without each of them, but how desires manifest themselves in different people varies. (Yes, gay sex does not procreate; but people have been known to eat non-nutritive foods as well!) And now, as gay people are getting more and more accepted (a lesbian has a good chance at being the next Mayor of New York!), there is less and less reason to consider a same-sex attraction as “unusual.” People can simply love whomever they want to love.

But transsexualism is another story. Bradley Manning will never be able to have a cell in his body (other than the sperm cells in his testicles) that has anything other than an XY chromosome type. Even if they cut off those testicles and his other male organs, and give him all the estrogens he asks for, he will still be genetically male, and he will never be able to function sexually as a female. He will simply be a castrated male, dressed in woman's clothes. No act on earth is possible that will make him anything other than that. So what does he get by adopting a female identity? I suppose, the right to go around in a dress. It's not the right to marry a man — twelve states already give him that, and more will follow, while the others probably would not even if he undergoes the sex-change operation.

Kearney's policy is “call someone what they want to be called.” Mine is “call them what they really are, if I know it.” And what they really are is in their genes.

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