Thursday, June 4, 2015

The World Is Going Crazy... And Other Things You Already Know

Legendary Olympic athlete, Bruce Jenner, has revealed that he wants to be a woman and that he is going to transgender in the near future. It's not a huge surprise - he's been working on it for a while now. A few weeks ago he did an interview with Dianne Sawyer in which he announced his intentions. Last week he posed, wearing hair extensions and lingerie, for the cover of Vanity Fair, announcing his new lifestyle and name.

To my knowledge Jenner hasn't had the actual surgery yet. At least I haven't seen it all over the news. He told Sawyer his transition has not been completed. If that's true then his Vanity Fair cover is a man in drag. That doesn't rank hero status, last time I checked the definition of the word, yet that's what some are calling him.

Even the President of the United States spoke publicly about Jenner's status (he must keep up with the Kardashians, after all) and talked of Jenner's courage. While I personally believe that making an announcement like this to the world does take personal courage (your entire life is going to change and you're going to take ridicule as well as encouragement) it doesn't come near the hero status that some are trying to bestow on him. And yes - until the surgery is completed he's still a him. I don't care how he identifies.

Personally, I don't much care what Bruce Jenner does. He's not important in my life. But I wish they'd take him off the TV and stop calling him a hero. What he's doing now does not rate hero status. Heroes are those individuals who selflessly put others ahead of themselves, often risking their own lives to do so. Call me a hater if you will but I just don't see Jenner doing that with this announcement. I'm pretty sure he's not doing it for someone else.

There's an interesting new story out there, along these same lines, that make one wonder where society will draw the line concerning what people want and desire and how far we will go to accommodate them. A doctor in Canada has identified people who suffer from Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), also called "transability." They believe their perfectly healthy and complete bodies should not be complete and have a deep need to make themselves disabled by removing a limb or becoming blind or some other body altering thing.

One man cut off his right arm and told people he had done it accidentally. It was later discovered that he had tried several times before and kept working, studying first aid as well, until he found a way to do it. This is not a joke.

“My goal was to get the job done with no hope of reconstruction or re-attachment, and I wanted some method that I could actually bring myself to do,” said One Hand Jason, as he now calls himself.

Transable is a real condition. From the

“We define transability as the desire or the need for a person identified as able-bodied by other people to transform his or her body to obtain a physical impairment,” says Alexandre Baril, a Quebec born academic who will present on “transability” at this week’s Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Ottawa. “The person could want to become deaf, blind, amputee, paraplegic. It’s a really, really strong desire.”

So is this a mental disorder? Does a person who wants to be disabled when they're not, even going so far as to destroy a limb or appendage (one man wants his penis cut off - not to be a woman but to be considered disabled), or wants to be blind or paraplegic, suffer from mental illness? They want to alter their bodies from the natural state and permanently change them. Do they need help?

If your answer is yes, does that same logic apply to transgenders (people who want to alter their bodies to be something other than they were naturally designed) or are they somehow different? If transables are not deemed mentally ill is society going to help them attain their desires by assisting them with their bodily mutilation? Have we come that far?

Finally, changing the subject just a bit - in a poll that will make liberal heads spin far and wide, a new CNN poll says that George W. Bush's favorability rating is now 52% positive. That's interesting considering the latest CNN poll also shows that President Obama now has a 52% disapproval rating. I'm having a difficult time controlling my laughter. In 2009, when Obama took office, only about 1/3 of the American people had a favorable opinion of W. I predicted back then that as time went on Bush's approval rating would improve. I think President Obama has helped it tremendously.

Obama's failures over the last six years, his huge lack of meaningful response to ISIS most recently (63% of Americans disapprove of Obama's actions toward ISIS), has contributed to Bush's approval rating rising. Regardless of what Bush may have done wrong, when it came to national security and confronting radical Islam Bush was in his game. Americans felt far safer from terrorism with Bush at the helm. And rightly so. You never would have seen W try to make a nuclear deal with a nation that hates us and has vowed to destroy Israel. Period.

I now predict the longer Obama is in office the higher George W. Bush's approval ratings will climb. That's really got to irk Obama. I'm guessing he had one of his temper tantrums when he first learned of it and soon he'll be placing CNN in the same category with Fox. He doesn't take kindly to bad publicity - especially from someone who's supposed to be an ally!

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