Month: June 2022

The incompetentocracy

This put me in a bad mood.


When I first wrote about Brinton, I was going by the media’s reporting that he was a Biden appointee in the SES.

He is not.

The President is allowed to appoint up to 10% of the SES, the rest are career employees.

In theory, the career employees are supposed to be qualified and the Presidential appointees can be whomever, hence the 10% limit for appointees.

Understand that a career SES employee is a civilian with a rank equivalent to a general officer in the DOD.

Again, I looked for his qualifications.

A BS and MS from MIT in nuclear engineering and some time in think tanks.

He has never been employed as an actual nuclear engineer at any time.

He is 33 years old and his longest job was with a LGBT rights organization.

I didn’t like him as an appointee, but that I understood.  They found someone with a nuclear engineering degree and had a unique sexual identity.  He checked the right boxes and he was in to do a sinecure as long as Biden was President.

But for him to be a career hire meant that the government actually intended to give him actual responsibility across multiple administrations in a job many people have for life.

With only the poorest of qualifications.

Seriously.  There is more published by him on how to have sex with a man in a puppy mask than nuclear energy.

This shit hits me hard.

Understand that I spent a while in the government contracting world.

I tried to get hired by the government a few times.

I was always rejected.

For some reason I was “highly qualified” but there was always someone more qualified who got the job.

I have a BS, MS, and Ph.D. in engineering.  I’m a PE in five states.  I have 10 years of engineering field experience in industry and manufacturing.  I have been published multiple times.

I’ve applied at NASA, the DOD, and to a few DOE government labs.

Rejected every time.

For the life of me I legitimately cannot fathom what qualification or skill I’m missing that I keep getting passed over to be an engineer making missiles or rockets for the government.

But this guy gets to be a deputy director of an agency.

At this point I can only come to the conclusion that my qualifications are what disqualified me.

Our government is made up of utterly incompetent people who only hire other incompetent people, that way nobody makes anyone else look bad by actually doing a good job.

At every fuck level.

Our United States assistant secretary for health bumble-fucked his states response to COVID, killing the elderly when he was Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Buttigieg has proven to be utterly useless, which should have been evident since he came from McKinsey.

The entire Flag Officer Corps lost Afghanistan in a few weeks.

And it all makes me so angry.

I grew up on The Right Stuff and Apollo 13.

Deep in my soul engineers at NASA or Sandia are the elite of engineers.

They put men on the moon and split at atom.

I wanted to be one of them.

One of the elite.

To be rejected by them hurts so fucking much I can’t stand it.

Then I see this and I realize just how fucking broken our system is.

And I hate it.

I hate what we’ve become.

I hate that I can’t reconcile the reality of what I see with the dreams and aspirations I had and still have.

I hate it all so much.

Avoiding Bruen: NY State

Democrats have to do what Democrats do, cheat.

Right now Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh is on my less liked list. On the Bruen decision he wrote his own concurring opinion. In it he gave the left the anchors to hang gun control on. There are 80 pages in the opinion, most by Thomas. Amy said “We didn’t clarify this and we should have.” Alito said “The judges in disent aren’t practicing law, they’re practicing emotional blackmail.” And Kavanaugh…

First, the Court’s decision does not prohibit States from imposing licensing requirements for carrying a handgun for self-defense. In particular, the Court’s decision does not affect the existing licensing regimes—known as “shall-issue” regimes—that are employed in 43 States.

…or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Adding to Thomas’s:

Consider, for example, Heller’s discussion of “longstanding” “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.” 554 U. S., at 626. Although the historical record yields relatively few 18th- and 19th-century “sensitive places” where weapons were altogether prohibited—e.g., legislative assemblies, polling places, and courthouses—we are also aware of no disputes regarding the lawfulness of such prohibitions. See D. Kopel & J. Greenlee, The “Sensitive Places” Doctrine, 13 Charleston L. Rev. 205, 229–236, 244–247 (2018); see also Brief for Independent Institute as Amicus Curiae 11–17. We therefore can assume it settled that these locations were “sensitive places” where arms carrying could be prohibited consistent with the Second Amendment. And courts can use analogies to those historical regulations of “sensitive places” to determine that modern regulations prohibiting the carry of firearms in new and analogous sensitive places are constitutionally permissible.

From this we knew what was going to happen. The second amendment infringers were going to paper cut the right to its death.

And being cheaters they have to cheat.

According to Minority Leader Willam A. Barclay of the New York State Assembly office, the bill that the Governor wants them to vote on has not been given to them as of 1600 on June 30th. They have no idea when they will have a copy of the text of the bill. There is nothing filed at this point.

It sounds more and more like the S.A.F.E. act. It will be passed at midnight before anybody can actually comment on the bill. As normally a politician won’t accept comments on a bill for which there is no text.

First they are going to extend “sensitive” places to include government buildings, hospitals, schools, public transits, and places where children gather, bars. (My original source had more listed). The thing to note about these sorts of sensitive places is that there are likely to be a radius around them which is considered to be part of the sensitive location).

Thus it is likely that “public transport” will mean buses, subways, trains, as well as bus stations, train stations, subway stations, and bus stops. Consider a simple 100ft limit. This means that every bus stop in NYC now has a 100ft no-go zone around it. It might mean that as a bus moves through the streets it also has a 100ft radius. You are driving down the street, minding your own business and drive pass a playground and suddenly you are breaking the law. It could mean that all of central park is a no-go zone.

Without stepping over the line of making all of NYC a sensitive place, it could make it so that there are so many no-go zones that it is impossible to go anywhere without intruding into one of these places.

In addition they are looking at including 15 hours of in-person range time. One version I read had it “Must pass the same training in firearms as law enforcement.” Given that certified instructors are not cheap this will be expensive. In talking to one range owner it will cost you two boxes of ammo plus $100 for an hour of range time with him as an instructor. It looks to me as if the cost for 15 hours of training will run well over $500, not counting ammo.

Side note, I don’t like talking to NYC people. They have an entirely different way of talking to people which starts with not answering the question asked, assuming you are a dolt and then telling you what you have to do. This owner includes instructions on how to clean your gun. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was sitting next to more firepower than anybody outside of criminals and Law Enforcement has in NYC. I.e. I have more than one firearm.

The biggest difference is that NY State is going to declare all private businesses as gun free zones without an explicit concealed carry permitted here signage. In reasonable states an owner can post a No Guns sign. In most states the signage is very explicit as to size, shape and visibility. This is so some nasty can’t put a post-it note up with a hand drawn “no guns allowed” and then bust a legal gun owner that didn’t see the sign.

In some states, such as mine, a No Guns Allowed is not prohibitive. You can still carry in those locations. The business can ask you to leave if they see the firearm but it isn’t a real issue. I’ve yet to see a no guns sign outside of hospitals and clinics. Which is sometimes funny when I forget I’m carrying and they ask me to take my coat off so they can take my blood pressure.

The good news is that most state level second amendment organizations as well as the FPC and other national organizations have a number of lawsuits teed up for these actions. The 9th circuit remanding cases based on Bruen is a good sign. I’m hoping that we’ll see the lower courts just hammering these laws so that we don’t even have to wait for a circuit court to hear the case.

Hochul: NY Lawmakers Hold Special Session, Will Limit Where Guns Can Be Carried plus some personal calls to legislators offices and gun ranges.

Win In Ninth Circuit: McDougall et FPC v County of Ventura et all

The district court’s judgment is vacated, and this case is remanded to the district court for further proceedings consistent with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S. ____(2022).

This case is about Ventura County closing gun shops, ammunition shops and firing ranges during the panic. Plaintiffs claimed a violation of their Second Amendment rights.

It also looks like Jones v. Bonta is being remanded as well. This is the California assault weapons ban. I can’t find this on the courts webpage but it seems to have been mentioned in a couple of different trustworth places.

It looks like there are a number of lawsuits that are dropping now that Bruen has been decided. We are living in interesting times.

The trans cult of mutilation

I read a lot of terrible articles for blog-fodder.  I feel like I have been inoculated against a lot because of it.  Every once in a while I read one that still manages to get through my defenses and makes me sick to my stomach.

This is one of them:

‘Never ask permission’: How two trans women ran a legendary underground surgical clinic in a rural tractor barn

Somewhere in the boondocks of America’s Pacific Northwest, near the city of Olympia in Washington state, there is a long gravel logging track leading off the main road between a field and a forest.

If you follow that track for about a kilometre, you will find a rustic-looking wooden house that has stood there for about a century, with an old tractor barn converted into a small outbuilding. There might be chickens, sheep, and geese honking raucously at your arrival.

And, if you had entered that tractor barn between 2004 and 2006, you would have found a secret underground transgender surgical clinic run by two trans women with an autoclave and a cauterisation machine bought on eBay.

In an era when trans people were routinely blocked from life-saving healthcare, and often discriminated against or abused by medical staff, this clinic aimed to treat its patients with respect and never charged more than $500 for a procedure that usually cost thousands.

Yet despite its clandestine nature, it operated legally – and according to one of the women behind it, it was even inspected and approved by Washington state health officials.

That is a hell of an opening.

This article is practically a hagiography of some of the most grotesque stuff I have ever read.

I have been informed by the media that being transgender is an identity that must be respected.

I, personally, concur with the pre-Woke science that says transgenderism, or gender-identity disorder, is a mental illness.

The evidence of that, to me, is evident on its face.  The individual has a perception that does not match physical reality.  Much the same way someone with anorexia feels about their body.

I am a compassionate person and so I have sympathy for anyone who has a mental illness.  I do not want to see them suffer.

But I’m one of these old school individuals who wants to treat people to cure them of their suffering.

I accept that for some trans people, some form of transition does alleviate some of their dysphoria.

But what comes next is a horror show.  Literally.  This could be the plot of a horror movie.

More than that, the way it is covered in this article, and the way that it has become part of trans culture or the trans experience takes this way beyond the realm of helping and into the world of a cult.

“No one was going to take care of us. We had to take care of ourselves,” says Eilís Ní Fhlannagáin, a software developer and veteran protest medic who helped set up and run the clinic.

Now 50, Ní Fhlannagáin spoke to The Independent about her role in an almost forgotten moment in LGBT+ history, which until the pandemic had only been passed on through zines and word of mouth within the trans community.

A moment in LGBT history that should be looked on in shame but instead is being covered almost romantically by this article.

This is one of the things about the LGBT community that I find strange.

Years ago, before trans took over, shortly after Obergefell was decided, I read a number of articles that made the point that while gay marriage was good, there was something lost to gay culture because of it.

What was lost was the seedy underground side where men went to bath houses and theaters and had filthy, disease transmitting, anonymous sex with one another.

It was exciting, dangerous, and subversive.  Gay marriage was just like regular marriage, boring and pedestrian.

This has stuck in my mind because it’s and attitude that is antithetical to social inclusion.

Moderate, middle-class social doesn’t want that degeneracy, get some part of the gay community identified it as part of gay culture and bemoaned its loss.

This article feels like the trans version of that.

Back before trans was the Left’s cause celebre, real trans culture performed unground surgeries in a barn.

It started in Philadelphia in the early Noughties, when Ní Fhlannagáin persuaded her doctor friend Willow that she could totally perform life-changing surgery on Ní Fhlannagáin in her adopted trans mother’s living room.

When Ní Fhlannagáin transitioned, around 1993-4, most cisgender (or non-trans) people were barely aware trans people existed and would never expect to see one in real life. For those who lived openly, or were outed against their will, tremendous discrimination was the norm. Few countries had formal legal protections, and the world wide web had not yet given isolated trans people a lifeline to each other.

For trans women, the game plan was to get hormones any way you could, stay on them for a year or so without coming out, burn away your facial hair with electrolysis, then disappear from your old life and go “stealth” – meaning no one, except perhaps other trans people, knew you were trans.

“You came up through certain ways,” Ní Fhlannagáin explains. “You came up through the clubs, came up through drag shows, you came up through the support groups – I kind of knew some of those folks – or you came up through gender clinics.”

“I knew no one from there. That was the rich girl s***. Rich girls got sent to gender clinics; I didn’t get into a gender clinic.”

The first step in a medical transition is usually gender-affirming hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which slowly reshapes a person’s body and emotions by adjusting their balance of estrogen and testosterone. For many the impact is life-saving, not only making them happier with their appearance or more able to “pass” as a cis man or woman but connecting them to their body in a profound new way. Some compare it to seeing the world in colour for the first time, or coming up from underwater and breathing air.

“It was calling up the physician that got his licence taken away because he was prescribing one too many narcotics,” she recalls. “It was online pharmacies, because online pharmacies became a thing. Or if you weren’t online, that friend of yours who went to Mexico and brought back a suitcase.”

This was the time of “Butcher Brown”, alias John Ronald Brown, a San Francisco surgeon who specialised in trans women but was forced to set up shop in Mexico after his US medical licence was suspended. “The quality of his results was generally considered unacceptable,” writes Andrea James on her widely consulted Transgender Map website.

By the turn of the millennium, though, Ní Fhlannagáin was running in punk anarchist circles, absorbing riot grrrl feminism and radical environmentalism and transgender separatism. It was a scene that shaped a generation of North American trans women.

“We’re not going to ask for permission for something that we should be able to just do,” says Ní Fhlannagáin, summarising their attitude. “It’s my f***ing body. If I want to go get my ears pierced, no one’s going to say, ‘oh, you can’t do that, you need two letters from psychiatrists’.”

All of which helps explain how Ní Fhlannagáin convinced Willow to perform an orchiectomy on her – that is, remove her testicles – in a reclining chair, working from photocopied pages of a medical textbook, while her trans mom was sleeping off her night shift upstairs.

The procedure almost went smoothly. But the instructions for bandaging afterwards were written for cis men, whose genitals function very differently than trans women’s after a year or two on HRT. Six hours later the bandages fell apart, and Ní Fhlannagáin was rushed to hospital. On her first try, she was thrown out for “drug-seeking behaviour” (“yeah,” she recalls, “I needed antibiotics”), and only got treatment days later after nearly dying.

“Overall the DIY orch is very simple and teachable,” wrote the trans novelist Sybil Lamb in 2010. Sure enough, orchiectomies – under the more traditional name of castration – were performed without modern surgical equipment or anaesthetic around the world for millennia, with all manner of religious and political purposes.

“It’s just not a complicated surgery – mine took like 40 minutes,” says Jules Gill-Peterson, a professor at Johns Hopkins University who is writing a book about the history of DIY trans medicine. Her research has found evidence of underground trans orchis going back to the 1950s, as well as hormone sharing and smuggling, making the Washington clinic part of a “hallowed tradition”.

The “hallowed tradition” of underground castration is more in line with a cult than the treatment of a mental illness.

Willow was not only a doctor but, rarely for the time, an out trans woman. Ní Fhlannagáin declined to provide Willow’s real name because she now works as an abortion doctor facing threats of violence, and told The Independent that Willow does not wish to speak to journalists.

Why do I not find it normal that a person who would do underground castration on trans people would graduate to working in an abortion clinic.

It’s almost as those these people are attracted to a dark side of medicine, soaked in blood and misery.

By 2004, Ní Fhlannagáin had burned out on anarchist activism and moved to Washington with her girlfriend Chrissy, where Willow was doing a residency. Ní Fhlannagáin needed money, and Willow had an “eBay addiction” where she would buy old medical equipment and fix it up. They hatched a plan.

Still, both women had been involved in abortion activism, and they drew political inspiration from an underground women’s abortion service called the Jane Collective. Operating in Chicago between 1969 and 1973, it was founded as an antidote to unsafe illegal abortions often done by unqualified men.

Again we see that overlap of dangerous underground gender surgery and dangerous underground abortions, both written about as inspiring stories of rebellion against men in the established medical world.

They didn’t tell the neighbours, nor the landlord. Nobody out there knew that Willow, Ní Fhlannagáin, or Chrissy were trans – rural women weren’t expected to be feminine in the same way as city women – and they intended to keep it that way.

One week before the first surgery, on the 256-acre farm that Ní Fhlannagáin and Chrissy were renting, they built a front and sides onto one of the bays in the tractor barn; put in a door and a window, ran in electricity, and tiled and sealed the floor.

That tiling, Ní Fhlannagáin adds, is still there today, though the room is now used as an organic chicken processing factory. “They still don’t know what I did in that room,” she says, “which I plan on never f***ing telling them, ever.”

That’s fucking horrifying.

Also, if they read this article, they will know.

If, one day in 2005, you had driven down that logging road for your appointment at the clinic, the geese would have heralded your arrival.

The two women explain what will happen and how it will work. You get a prescription for vicodin and pre-emptive antibiotics, which you have to fill at the nearest town 20 miles away. You take the vicodin in front of the medics, and then begin the surgery.

Afterwards, they’d apply tight bandages and drainage tubes, following new procedure designed specifically for trans women after Ní Fhlannagáin’s near-death experience. You were required to stay in the area for seven days in case of complications, but Ní Fhlannagáin says they never had one. Most people simply crashed on her couch.

The clinic charged a sliding scale, depending on circumstances, never charging more than $500. For another $400, you also got 40 hours of electrolysis, which Ní Fhlannagáin had learned by practising on her own arm.

The amount was based on the cost of materials and the minimum amount needed to pay for Ní Fhlannagáin’s daily Amy’s Mac and Cheese and tobacco bought in bulk. Usually, an orchi alone would cost $2,000 to $5,000 – about $3,000 to $7,500 in today’s money.

What heroes!  Performing castration in a converted barn with medical equipment from eBay, having patients illegally obtain their own narcotics.  But they weren’t charging what doctors charged.  Castration equity for the poor!

One day, while Ní Fhlannagáin was drinking her first cup of coffee, the geese began honking because a big dark blue car with government plates was coming down the track.

The officials said they were from the state Board of Health, and they were looking for Willow.

Ní Fhlannagáin remembers telling the bureaucrats to wipe their feet. They didn’t, and tracked mud into the clinic. They asked to see autoclave logs, business licences, narcotics stores, all of which Ní Fhlannagáin was prepared for. Then she spotted something catastrophic: a little cup, with two testicles in it, left just behind the cautery machine.

Normally, patients were supposed to bring their balls with them after surgery. But Dana, last night’s patient, was “an absolute lightweight” and was zonked out on vicodin. Ní Fhlannagáin and Willow had to haul her into the house, then give the clinic a quick wipe down and focus on looking after her, intending to clean up fully tomorrow.

Excuse me while I go vomit.

Luckily for Ní Fhlannagáin, she had learned a “cheat code” for situations like this. “When a cis bureaucrat is getting in your face, and you want them to disappear, say the words ‘transgender’ and ‘transsexual’ as loud as possible and as many times as possible,” she says. “They get very uncomfortable and they back away.”

This just makes me hate these people.

They scrammed, allowing Ní Fhlannagáin to grab the organs, stick them in her pocket, dart into the house, and tell her patient: “Dana, you left these.”

Now I have to go vomit again.

She is proud of the work she did, saying: “I don’t regret helping a bunch of girls that wouldn’t have been helped.” But the clinic did not last long. In 2006, Willow’s residency ended, taking her out of the Pacific Northwest, while Ní Fhlannagáin herself was burned out.

Worse, Chrissy was suffering from slowly worsening mental health problems, including alcohol and substance abuse, leaving Ní Fhlannagáin straining to keep her away from patients as much as possible. About three years after the clinic closed, they broke up, and four years after that, Chrissy killed herself.

“It’s the same story, right?” says Ní Fhlannagáin. “This is a world not built for us. And how do you live in it? It’s 35 people now, queer folks, and about two thirds of them trans, that I’ve lost over the years.”

So much positivity and mental health in this underground castration barn in the woods.

Trans history, she argues, has been “over-narrated” by medical institutions, which often defined mainstream discussion about trans people from within its own narrow worldview. She believes that researching and remembering DIY healthcare can challenge that, restoring the diversity of the many trans communities – from “black and brown trans-fems who came up through the ballroom scene” to mostly white punks in the Pacific Northwest – that have carried knowledge through the generations.

What did I say?

Underground castration for equity, diversity, and iclusion.

A modern day Robin Hood tale.  If Robin Hood cut Little John’s balls off so he could become Maid Marian.

The story also reached Nicki Green, an internationally exhibited sculptor and lecturer in ceramics at the University of California, Berkeley. She contacted Ní Fhlannagáin and gained information about the clinic, making an artwork about it called Operating in Bright Sunlight, featuring paintings of the old farmhouse, the trees, and the procedure itself.

A proper shrine in this hagiography of trans saints doing the good work of castration the poor.

Tell me this is not a cult.

“A sure sign that something is seriously missing in a society is a generation gap. If the younger generation does not take pride in becoming like its elders, then the society has lost its own continuum, its own stability, and probably does not have a culture worth calling one…”

Ní Fhlannagáin believes that applies to trans people too. “I’m 50 and an ‘elder’. How the f*** does that happen? Well, because the previous generation, a lot of them died – in the Aids crisis, or for the many, many reasons we died early – and no one gave a s*** except us. Or you went stealth, and you never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever talked about it.

“That’s by design. If you don’t have continuity of culture, you have no ability to stand up and say, ‘this is wrong, stop treating me like s***’. So how do you unf*** a people? How do you create a culture of resistance?”

To younger trans people seeking that goal, she offers this advice: “Don’t ask permission for how you live your life… what are they going to do, get you in more trouble? You’re trans, honey; you’re already in trouble. Just don’t get caught.”

Underground castration in a barn is part of the hallowed tradition of trans culture that young trans people must learn about to be proud of as part of a culture of resistance.

This is a cult.

A cult of blood and pain and mutilation.

A cult.

Avoiding Bruen: Hawaii

You can tell the size of the bubble by the word games people play. In the state of Hawaii it is nearly impossible to get a CCW and it is illegal to open carry unless hunting.

A recent 9th circuit court case found that this was constitutional after the same 9th circuit found that another law was constitutional only because a state offered one of open or concealed carry.

The gist of the cases was the infringing law was constitutional because the state allowed concealed carry via a may issue process. Banning all open carry was acceptable. Hawaii was shown to have an effectively no issue because of how difficult it was to get permits to carry a firearm.

Hawaii is also one of the states that requires an ordinary citizen to get government permission before exercising their second amendment guarantees.

Bruen was about may issue with regard to concealed carry. The opinion mentioned but was not answering open carry issues.

According to Hawaii News Now, Bruen was about open carry. Interesting.

They are so limited in their thinking about the open door to their cage that they haven’t figured out how Bruen is going to effect their gun laws.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on a separate lawsuit by a Big Island resident George Young Jr. that seeks to overturn Hawaii’s restrictions on concealed weapons removing that exceptional case rule from the statute.

Even if Young is successful, they will still face an uphill battle to fundamentally change how Hawaii regulates firearms across the state.

If that rule is struck down, state lawmakers say they’re already working on legislation that would shore up Hawaii’s gun laws, including rules that would make anyone applying for an open or concealed carry permit to go through the same firearms training that HPD officers go through.
— Hawaii News Now: Fate of Hawaii’s gun laws still unclear following Supreme Court’s open carry ruling

I have a suggestion for the law makers in the state of Hawaii, how about just follow the Constitution, follow the law.