Should we worry? The lead story in The New York Times said, “Cuts give Obama path to create leaner military – bases, health programs and nuclear arms face scrutiny.”
The word that caught my eye, naturally, was “bases.” I know it’s unlikely in the extreme that the Travis mission, or the base itself, would be affected by the shrinkage, but, until we know the details, it’s cause for at least a little bit of worry. The problem is that this isn’t the Reagan or even the Clinton administration, where we didn’t see the long knives sharpened and ready for military cutbacks.
We know that Travis has more cargo-carrying capacity than, I believe, all the bases used for airlift in Western Europe. That doesn’t include U.S. bases overseas as part of our NATO mission. What we don’t know is whether the potential cutbacks are purely for budgetary reasons or part of the Obama philosophy of giving the military the lowest priority.
What is, well, scary, is that we have complete, veto-proof, Democratic control of the state Legislature in Sacramento. Veteran politician Tom Ammiano is introducing Assembly Bill 1266, a bill that would ensure bulletproof rights for the transgendered. Transgendered used to mean someone with not only the mental structure of the opposite sex, but physical features as well. The physical features were either natural or the result of surgery.
San Francisco, through its universal health care plan, offers sexual reassignment procedures for qualifying low-income residents. City employees since 2001 have had a provision in their government health care plan to cover sex-change procedures for transgender employees.
The transgender issue goes way beyond the right to same-sex marriage. Someone who, for example, was born male, but feels female, without any physical alteration, has the “right” to use the women’s locker room, restroom and play on supposedly all-girls’ teams. If a young woman using the women’s locker room sees someone who is distinctly male and expresses any discomfort to him/her or to her teacher, she may be subject to disciplinary action.
The San Francisco Chronicle recently had a front-page article on Gabrielle Ludwig, who plays on the Mission College women’s basketball team. She is 6 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 220 pounds. When she was a he, Gabrielle was married and divorced twice and has two children. From her pictures in the paper, she looks nothing like a woman, but she has full right to play any sports or use any facility – dorm, shower, restroom – that are intended for a woman’s use.
I know that gays and lesbians here in Fairfield are treated, let’s say, in a fully accommodative way. Still, I wonder if a 6-foot-8, 220-pound basketball player, who fathered two children, would be permitted to use the women’s locker room at Solano Community College.
Bud Stevenson, a stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at Bsteven254@aol.com.