Bacon Bits: Wild and Crazy Edition

First the wild… The Virginia state Senate passed a bill, SB 657, earlier this week that would allow a person who changed his or her sex to have a new birth certificate issued, reports the Associated Press. Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Fairfax, who sponsored the bill, says transgendered constituents have reported issues when leasing apartments, applying for jobs, and opening bank accounts. Permitting people to amend their birth certificates would help eliminate confusion when the a person’s legal identification doesn’t match his/her newly adopted sex. I confess that I can’t keep up with the evolving sex/gender controversies. How many sexes can people pick from these days? Wikipedia lists five sexes: male, female, hermaphrodite, female pseudohermaphrodite, and male pseudohermaphrodite. Will someone be able to pick between the five? Another question: Does the freedom to select one’s sex include one’s “gender”? In 2014 ABC news identified 58 genders — starting with agender, androgyne, androgynous, bigender, cis, cisgender, and on down the list. What logic prevents people from listing their gender (how they self identify) instead of their sex (what their sex organs look like)? By what logic does this bill not simply perpetuate the gisgendered patriarchy?

Now the crazy… A pair of bills under consideration in the House and Senate would amend current law and prohibit motorists from using smart phones while they drive. Unlike previous attempts to tighten the law, reports WTOP, this version would take steps to ensure that “people of color” aren’t disproportionately targeted. Language added by Del. Jeff Bourne, D-Richmond, requires authorities to collect data “to make sure these laws are not disparately impacting communities of color and certain people.” What? I can’t find that language in the bill, HB 874. But assuming I’m overlooking something, I have a few questions: (1) Does Bourne have any evidence to suspect that the law banning smart phone use would be enforced more rigorously against “people of color” than whites? (2) Does “people of color” include Asians and white Hispanics, and does he have grounds to think that they might be targeted on the basis of race? (3) Let’s say for purposes of argument, that statistics show that African-Americans are ticketed more frequently than whites — is racism presumed? What would Bourne do about a ticketing disparity? Cap the number of African-Americans who can be ticketed?

And now the curious… It turns out that there are laws on the books that prohibit “transporting an alien” and “conspiring to harbor an alien” — “alien” referring of course to illegal immigrants. We don’t read about those laws very often; I have no idea how often they are applied. But they sure proved useful when federal prosecutors were throwing the book at the three white supremacists who were accused of plotting to attack the Richmond gun-rights rally in the hope of triggering a race war.

One of the three, Patrik J. Mathews, is a Canadian citizen who, apparently, entered the United States illegally. His two alleged conspirators, William G. Bilbrough IV and Brian Lemley were charged with transporting and harboring him, according to the Washington Post. Their attorneys argued in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Md., that the two Americans were just exercising free speech when they fantasized about ambushing the crowd. If that argument works, it’s good to know there are back-up charges to nail the bastards.

— JAB

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5 responses to “Bacon Bits: Wild and Crazy Edition

  1. How about pseudolibertarian?

  2. You’d think the Canadian Nazi wannabe terrorist (“Blame Canada”) would pick a Sanctuary City to hide in….

  3. Turns out that “alien” is not such a simple concept except to the willfully ignorant.. I claim the latter but not the former:

    From the IRS: Determining Alien Tax Status

    If you are an alien (not a U.S. citizen), you are considered a nonresident alien unless you meet one of two tests. You are a resident alien of the United States for tax purposes if you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the calendar year (January 1-December 31).

    Certain rules exist for determining the Residency Starting and Ending Dates for aliens.

    In some cases aliens are allowed to make elections which override the green card test and the substantial presence test,

    You can be both a nonresident alien and a resident alien during the same tax year. This usually occurs in the year you arrive or depart from the United States. If so, you may elect to be treated as a Dual Status Alien for this taxable year and a Resident Alien for the next taxable year if you meet certain tests. (Refer to section “Dual-Status Aliens”

  4. Driving bill–The phrase “to make sure these laws are not disparately impacting communities of color and certain people” is not in the bill. It is either Bourne’s explanation of his purpose of the newspaper’s interpretation. The operative language on this issue is in the fifth enactment clause referring to the “relevant demographic characteristics of those persons issued a citation.”

  5. The wild–This is not as radical as it seems. Currently, the law authorizes the State Registrar of Vital Statistics to amend a birth certificate to show a change of sex. SB 657 would allow for the issuance of a new birth certificate, rather than an amended one. (See the second section amended by the bill.) I am not sure of the significance of having a new birth certificate rather than an amended one, but the concept of having a birth certificate that shows one current sex or gender is not new with this legislation.

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