BUMPED: Read Comment from EarthImage! Got Triskaidekaphobia? 

Happy Friday the 13th. I’m not remotely superstitious so today isn’t worrisome for me but if your children attend public school you might want to crawl back under the covers or do as Martha does and homeschool. It’s getting ugly out there for students, thanks to the determination of the Obama administration to redefine what it is to be a male or female. Those words don’t exist anymore I guess.

From the New York Times:

“A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so,” according to the letter, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times.

A school’s obligation under federal law “to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex requires schools to provide transgender students equal access to educational programs and activities even in circumstances in which other students, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns,” the letter states. “As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.”

As soon as a child’s parent or legal guardian asserts a gender identity for the student that “differs from previous representations or records,” the letter says, the child is to be treated accordingly — without any requirement for a medical diagnosis or birth certificate to be produced. It says that schools may — but are not required to — provide other restroom and locker room options to students who seek “additional privacy” for whatever reason.

It looks like it is incumbent on the parent to assert a child’s gender identity so at whim I can say my son is now a daughter even if they aren’t of legal age to so assert? That sounds way wrong to me.

And why will this insanity stop at the bathroom? What if I say my son is now my daughter and she wants to compete in girls gymnastics, specifically the high bar? Won’t “she” have a distinct advantage in terms of muscle strength inherent in a male versus that in a female? The list is endless of how this transgender or no gender mess will play out and I don’t envy anyone having to navigated the world of public school.

School should be about learning reading, writing and arithmetic. History, science, language. NOT does Susie have a penis!!

Meanwhile, I’m knocking on wood, crossing my fingers, making a wish on a wishbone, and keeping my umbrella closed until I get outside that you all have a very LUCKY Friday the 13th. Swanton, be sure and get a Mega Millions ticket today – it’s upwards of $140million. Bring a rabbits foot with you, but who ME superstitious?

27 thoughts on “BUMPED: Read Comment from EarthImage! Got Triskaidekaphobia? 

  1. Hellooooooooooooooooo everyone, it’s me, your Wyoming Foreign Correspondent. We arrived yesterday noon after a leisurely drive across country, stopping here and there to see some towns on our list. The packing up of the Bedford house was remarkably undramatic but the van isn’t here yet to unpack so there’s still a chance for moving drama that always seems to happen.

    We’re thrilled to be here and we have all summer to adjust to being westerners and for the kids to meet and make friends before they start school. There’s still some snow in the mountains but most of the spring skiers have gone and the town is transitioning into the summer tourists who come for the hiking and events.


    By the way EOS, private schools won’t be far behind in making transgender students able to use the bathroom of their choice. Just you wait. It’s not far behind the public school lunacy.

    Note to Bedford Mom: Wonderful news that you’ve gone to contract. I hope your search finds you what and where you want. John was in a unique position to pick up from his job and move us out west and I realize it’s not feasible for most. To do this, we are making a complete change of lifestyle, downsizing the house size, sending the children to public school, John not working. We only knew we didn’t want to keep paying the surcharge to be New Yorkers. Good luck fellow Bedford mom.

    Happy Friday the 13th all.

    1. Thanks for the update Catherine. Many have asked about you, wondering if you will check in here. Love seeing the live Teton Village cam at the crossroads there – I somehow envision your first Christmas card as Wyoming residents will be under the horn arch or on horseback wearing cowboy hats. We are all living vicariously through your move and I hope it is all you hope for.

      As for private schools not being far behind, the private day school I attended growing up has a new head of school, a woman. I met her at an alumni event in Greenwich a few months ago and was taken (aback) by her constant use of inclusive language. Kids must feel safe kind of crap. A state of the school newsletter from the head of school arrived in the mail this week and I sat stunned. She has chosen the word of the year to be Gratitude, saying gratitude is part of what it is to lead a meaningful life. Welllllllllllllllll, maybe that’s true, but shouldn’t gratitude be taught from the home, not as part of a school curriculum? Shouldn’t I expect my tuition dollar to pay for the best teachers the school can recruit to teach my children the latest in math and sciences, to give them a solid footing for the rigors of college and life after college? Why should the word gratitude play into anything there?

      I was irritated as hell reading the letter and am sure you are right Catherine – that private schools aren’t far behind in capitulating.

      1. I do think gratitude (and character training in general) is probably the most important aspect of education. What is so cool about homeschooling is it naturally intertwined and presents itself in so many ways on various levels. You could not get to their characters as deeply and profoundly if they are off at school for 8-10 hours a day. (Not that my kids are high on the character ladder, by any means. But at least we are working on / prioritizing it. )

        1. We’ll have to agree to disagree about this subject Martha. Gratitude and character training ARE important, the building blocks of life but IMHO those lessons should come from the parents, an extended family, religion (no matter which one), and interaction with peers. What I may be grateful for in my culture or life could be very different from what you are grateful for so making it a teacher’s or schools task to incorporate that into the course of studies means less time for fact learning.

          Martha, you have the best of both worlds able as parent and teacher to intertwine the two. But would you have been okay if at your Greenwich public school your children were taught gratitude? I wouldn’t like it one bit. What if the teacher doesn’t understand or care a hoot about gratitude? Does the school system vet your employment based on your sense of gratitude? What if you are a complete sybarite, grateful for little, yet a genius Latin teacher? Do I not hire you?

        2. No disagreement here. Character training totally comes from the home. My point was, I have a lot more opportunity to sculpt that character, as my boys are home with me, opposed to under the “care” of someone else for most waking hours.

    1. The Where’s Waldo doofus in the tape will be soon living with someone who bore him but who he can’t call mom because that would define her as a female. Heaven help us all.

  2. I’m afraid today alright, not of ladders and black cats, but by the amount of time Obama has left in his term to finish the job of radically changing America, his stated goal. What he’s doing to the schools is called blackmail – do as I say or I take away your money. I hope to hell states fight back with all the fury they have. States like mine (Connecticut) and yours EOS, New York, are doomed to fall in line with the latest Obama dictum (or is it dick’em?).

    My children attend private school because I don’t see how it is the public school obligation to cater to the less than 1% of the population who are confused about their gender. I wish I didn’t have to spend the $$, $$$ for private school tuition – I grew up educated in public schools and did just fine, but that was a different time. If my husband and I have to both work two jobs to keep the kids in private school, we will but what we’ll do when they transform is anyone’s guess.

  3. I rarely think of the Friday night lottery and didn’t focus on how much the jackpot holds tonight. Thanks for the reminder to spend that $8.00 I won last week.

      1. The way my luck has been running the most you can hope for is a share of a couple hours of a parking meter fee. But, there’s that hope thing….

  4. I should have some pithy comeback I guess….especially since I have one long haired boy and we are studying Shakespeare — where gender confusion is essentially a joke, as it should be. But, seriously, WTF? Why is this issue so important? (Btw, I am not even capable of blogging! I can’t tell you how many journals I’ve started….but, I can tell you the journals that went more than a week were equal in number.)

    Catherine, good to hear of your update. I’m quite envious of your move and lifestyle change. The Greenwich grind has grown old (and I don’t even participate, even). How did you choose Wyoming? I know I would like to move the family, but I don’t know where. We are not quite ready for full time Florida, and Sweden is summer only for me….

    1. Martha, last summer We took the children in an eight-week drive out west. Montana. Wyoming. Utah. Colorado. Idaho. When we got to Jackson Hole my husband declared he had found home. He fell in love with the Tetons. It was right then and there he decided to quit his job and told us we would be moving. I didn’t make much of it until two months after we got home and moving was all he could talk about. We talked to our financial planner about living without a primary bread earner income. We talked to the kids about moving and before I knew what hit me we were flying out to Wyoming every other weekend house hunting. It was like ripping off a bandaid quickly.
      It’s not for everyone but it was the right choice for us, as of today! We wanted a less stressful and hectic life. We wanted more nature less suburbia.

  5. Texas is fightin’ mad. Hook ’em horns! I forgot to note where I saw this article for credit to them. maybe Daily Caller? Anyway, I hope every state fights this bullying back.

    A top Texas official said the state will not yield to “blackmail” from President Barack Obama, after the administration on Friday released a directive notifying public school officials that transgender students must be allowed to use the restroom and locker room facilities corresponding with their gender identity.

    “I believe it is the biggest issue facing families and schools in America since prayer was taken out of public schools,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told reporters.

    Obama’s policy “will divide the country not along political lines but along family values and school districts,” Patrick said.

    “He says he’s going to withhold funding if schools do not follow the policy,” Patrick said, referring to the risk of schools losing federal funding if they do not adhere to the recommendations. “Well, in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.”

    Noting that Texas public schools get $10 billion of federal funds over a two-year budget, Patrick said the majority of that is for free breakfast and lunch programs.

    “So Barack Obama, if schools don’t knuckle down to force girls showering with boys and force 8-year-old girls to have to endure boys coming into their bathroom, he’s taking money from the poorest of the poor,” Patrick said. “The president of the United States will be ending the free breakfast and free lunch program. That’s what he’s saying.”

  6. If I may comment on the topic somewhat, there is a running battle between Allegiant Airlines pilots and maintenace crews. I assiduously avoid the MD-80 fleet and fly only scheduled A321s, with their proven capability to land on water.

    Well on Friday the 13th, not so much.

    My two hour trip to Florida started with a rain and fog soaked run past Bedford on Friday evening commuter traffic, due to listed delay for the Airline take-off in the pre-traffic hour. Big Mistake number 1.

    Then I joined the Voyage of the Damned 171 other passengers, while the pilots landed in-bound from St. Pete, and said they wouldn’t fly back until Maintenance signed-off on plane safety for the A321.

    Five hours later after much fussing over the left wing engine on step ladders, we push back from the gate and the cabin fills with exhaust fumes. Pilots return to gate.

    Allegiant says, sorry, wait till morning, and sorry all hotels are sold out within 40 miles.

    Passengers get on their cell phones to hotels, and discover Allegiant, who claim to be willing to pay up to $300 per room in reimbursement, plus $100 flight voucher, have been unwilling to book sub-$200 rooms.

    Legal fight breaks out. Many hours later, Allegiant fesses up and orders a fleet of taxis to transport us to Marriott- Courtyard in Middletown, NY. A short sleep was enjoyed in a $172 room.

    Saturday the 14th dawns quiet and sunny. The same fleet of Peruvian taxis drive us back to the airport, where a pleasant pair of pilots arrive, having flown an MD-80 up from St Pete to save us. The disabled A321 is still at Gate 5 with engine cowl up (See photo sent in). But passengers enjoy an alcohol-fueled smooth flight to St. Pete.

    Moral: avoid Friday the 13th I-684 fog and Allegiant.
    Airbus 320, meet Friday the 13th .
    Caption: Airbus 320, meet Friday the 13th .

    1. Incredible story!!!!!! I mean INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!! Knock on wood, I haven’t had that kind of journey in a long time and I hope I don’t anytime soon, or ever. Hope the alcohol was free and flowing on the flight to St. Pete. Question: why not JetBlue? Do they not fly your way from HPN?

    2. Man, that’s a bad flying story for any day but for Friday the 13th, it gives me reason to be superstitious. Glad you are okay.

  7. I’m generally a fatalist when it comes to flying but after two back to back scary airplane incidents in heavy turbulence, I’m staying home the rest of my life.

    1. I’ve said a few prayers on turbulent flights myself, the moment the plane drops and everyone on board gasps. The sideways land in high wind is another of my least favorite times. Happily I’m still here to talk about those incidents. You are too anonymous. So get back on board.

  8. I booked a flight back on Jetblue to HPN.

    That said, Allegiant’s business plan to use old planes to offer super-cheap fares from under-used regional airports in the northern tier (Newburgh, Harrisburg, etc) to the same in the southern tier
    (Clearwater-St. Pete instead of Tampa) was a boon to that sector of air transportation.

    St. Pete/Clearwater (KPIE) now has over a million passengers per year, as opposed to too few to keep the airport functioning. It does have UPS and Coast Guard installations, which were in-adequate revenue sources.

    Allegiant’s stock in the last year went from 135 to 238 back to 142. A few weeks ago, four flights failed to reach their destinations on maintenance issues. Management responded by firing the head of maintenance in St. Pete. So it’s been an open question as to where the fault lay.

    But from appearances, corner-cutting in maintenance is greatly affecting reliability, which is one of Jetblue’s strengths. Arrivals on the three prior flights were 3, 4 and 4 hours late. Then cancelled for disabled aircraft on my flight.

    I continue to believe that keeping regional airports viable outside the spoke and hub framework of multiple flights legs with plane changes is a good idea.

    1. I fly with some regularity to Moline and although my ticketd are booked with United, it’s one of their regional contractors who actually own the plane and who hire and pay pilots the little salaries you read about. I admit to being very uncomfortable with this practice (I am sure I relayed here that a couple of years ago flying back from ORD into HPN the landing gear didn’t come down. We were instructed to land at EWR. I was in seat 1A and witnessed the flight attendant in a cold sweat. Come to find out this was her first day on the job and she was READING the emergency card rules for landing). Not that something can’t happen at any time on any airlines, but I do think twice when on the regionals. When I lived on MVY, I knew the man who owned New England Air. He didn’t know this, but it was usually called Scare Air!

  9. I used to sit at the very back, but always within one row of an exit. This time I opted for the front row, where it happens I can hear the whispered conversation between the pilots, cabin and ground crews pre-push back from the gate.

    I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that the story given to the passengers didn’t match what was really going on. Announcement: “We’ll push back in a few moments when the paperwork is done.” Pilot to ground crew: “We’re not going anywhere until Maintenance signs off on this aircraft.” Later: “Enough. We’re de-plane-ing for the night.” [Ed. New word. Is that really a verb?]

    Later in the parking lot- no taxis for the pilots and crew. They’re on their own, like the passengers.

    1. WHOA NELLY!!!!! That’s not too disconcerting. I’d suggest you try Amtrak to Florida but (a) who wants to take days to get there and (b) they have more derailments than planes have malfunctions.

  10. I tried Amtrak to Harrisburg PA, and flying Allegiant from Harrisburg to St. Pete at a lesser air-fare than the train ticket cost me. Amtrak west of Philly was electric and very smooth. But all-in-all, Jetblue booked a week ahead seems best.

    Planes, trains and cars should all be running without the human operators in a few years. They are the biggest error factor.

    As a bonus, David McCollough’s “Wright Brothers” book was recommended to me. I saw a copy on sale by the gate and downloaded it as a audiobook through my Scribd account. It filled the hours of the trip, but underlined that Federal policy toward airships and air travel has always been part of the problem.

    Like those later prophets of the future who saw no practical applications for personal computers, so too the Government could envision no real need for airships.

    1. You are a good man Charlie Brown for trying all methods of getting to Florida. I’m from the path of least resistance travel group.
      Certainly pilot error is number one for the regional disasters. That one plane that crashed in Buffalo the new young pilot hadn’t slept for more than a day.
      Let’s change the subject to something cheerier.

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