Friday, May 22, 2009

Are "equal rights" always good?

Yesterday was hot. Record hot, but by staying in the house, it wasn’t too bad. We didn’t have anything planned except to keep cool. I did have an early morning Senior Fitness session and Gator Wife had planned to visit one of her long time friends for the last time.

She got a call early that the visit was no longer necessary.

The Ch. 6 weather gal tells us today is going to be another rather nice day with temps probably in the 80s. Although just a little cooler, this holiday weekend should be nice, too, with the only precipitation being a little rain after dark tomorrow night.

I haven’t read or heard about anything that interests me out of Augusta or Washington. Perhaps our state and federal lawmakers are taking it easy heading into the holiday weekend or perhaps it’s a time for discussing upcoming proposals.

The state did get a new biennium budget earlier this week. I think it’s going to cost us a whole lot more than was cut. You can read about how I feel about the budget in Wednesday’s post.

The whole legislature gets that budget for consideration early next week. From what I’ve read, there are some lawmakers who see problems with it. I doubt, however, there are sufficient numbers to hold it up.

There was one non-legislative ruling that needs a mention. The Human Rights Commission ruled this week that a man claiming to be undergoing transgender procedures may use ladies rooms in restaurants. The man apparently continues to have his male features as that part of the procedure hasn’t yet been concluded.

I heard a local radio talk show host yesterday while I was driving to Senior Fitness discussing his feeling about the ruling. Ray Richardson of WLOB Ted and Ray Morning Show (95.5 FM, 6-9 in the morning) was opposed to the ruling and I think I agree with his reasoning. He said the two rooms in most public places, like restaurants where this particular ruling was aimed, are clearly labeled “Ladies” and “Gentlemen” or appropriate synonyms.

Richardson pointed out that modesty is still a virtue we should be teaching and practicing. He said that when women enter a “ladies’” room or men enter a “men’s” room, neither expects to see people of the other sex there. To his credit, he had no objections to rooms marked “unisex” as anyone going in knows anyone could be there.

Richardson didn’t buy an argument that only stalls are used in ladies’ rooms for those private moments. He said those stalls in no way trump the expectation. Men’s facilities contain public urinals and even men sometimes are embarrassed using them. A woman walking into the room would only exacerbate the situation.

Someone pointed out, and I don’t remember if it was the host or a caller, who opined that now any man could walk into ladies’ rooms and, if questioned, simply claim he was about to become transgendered and get off with a free pass.

There are times, says the Gator dude, when equal rights rulings simply go too far. This is one of them. We still don’t know what the next common sense division of the sexes will be put asunder.

There was one item out of Augusta yesterday that raises the old eyebrow. The Transportation Committee of the Legislature is considering raising gas taxes in Maine. The current discussion concerns a potential eleven cents increase over the next four years. It would replace the state’s automatic annual increase. The State is running out of funds to fix the state’s roadways and looks at the gas tax as a way to fix them. I always wonder what happened to the millions of dollars all those bond issues raised over the years and all that money the Feds are providing as part of President Obama’s spending plan.

Gator Wife and I had just begun talking about taking at least day trips this summer and perhaps even a vacation to our favorite spot in Pennsylvania. Those discussions have sort of slowed down almost as fast as they began with the price of gas once again rising at incredible rates. It’s now generally over $2.40 per gallon. An eleven cent increase, even only 3.5 cents in the first year, would probably keep us home once again.

Just as we saw some light, the dimming begins again. Raising taxes, any taxes, is absolutely no way to get us out of this recession.

If you don’t get a chance to visit us this Memorial Day Weekend, I hope you and your family have a great time. The weather appears to be cooperating with your plans.


No comments: