Morning Open Thread is an open discussion forum for human interest news of the day.
It would be hard to guess if one tries to follow TV news, but other things actually occur in the world besides election primaries.
British Transport Minister Robert Goodwill says an unidentified object that either hit or nearly hit a British Airways Airbus A320 last week was likely to have been a plastic bag. The incident occurred at 1,700 feet over southwest London. Radio controlled quadricopters, commonly called “drones,” are limited to flying no higher than 400 feet. A wind blown plastic bag and other light objects can sometimes be seen floating on the wind far higher than that. Many pilots are able to report seeing plastic shopping bags and the like several hundred feet above the ground. They can easily be picked up by strong rising air currents called ‘thermals.’ It is thermal activity that causes dust devils when loose dusty soil is sucked hundreds–or even thousands–of feet into the air.
More over the fold.
As it turns out, many so-called “drone” sightings may be objects other than model aircraft. Hysteria is a peculiar thing. I am waiting for aliens to come down in drones and kidnap somebody.
News story from The Telegraph: “Drone believed to have hit British Airways flight ‘may have been a plastic bag'”
On Wednesday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a rather peculiar bill into law. Seems the Tennessee state legislature, not to be outdone by North Carolina, Mississippi and Indiana, passed HB1840 which protects mental health counselors from having to provide mental health services if the client or patient has a problem that conflicts with the belief system of the counselor. In other words, and although it does not say so explicitly, counselors are now protected from having to give mental health services to people with icky sexual orientation issues. That might include being gay, lesbian or transgender….or anything else that offends the counselors sincerely held beliefs.
This puzzles me, since the Counselor’s professional organization opposed said law. In fact, it puts the Tennessee state legislature squarely between counselors and their code of ethics. To illustrate why this bill is a non-starter, every mental health profession’s ethical code requires the professional to avoid conflicts of interest, counter-transference issues, or any other matter that may make it difficult or impossible for a counselor to provide impartial and non-judgmental services. In those cases, the counselor is ethically required to refer the patient or client. The exception being that a counselor cannot abandon a client if there is an immediate danger of harm to self or others. In those cases, referral to a competent colleague may be made once the crisis is resolved.
Well, gee whiz!
That is more or less what this new Tennessee law says. The problem rearing its ugly head is that if there are instances of open bigotry or other personal problems between a counselor and client, state mental health licensing boards now appear to have their hands tied if ethical sanctions are indicated. Having learned little or nothing from the experience of other states who are losing millions of dollars in tourist business, new jobs and and conventions, Tennessee is now at risk for some expensive lawsuits they don’t need, and which they are likely to lose.
Somebody once told me a good test to see if you are a bigot is, “If your God hates the same people you do.”
News aggregation site BuzzFeed has the story: Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Letting Counselors Refuse Service
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Bad move Tennessee! You shouldn’t want to join North Carolina’s crazy club!
I just read that the Oxford, Alabama city fathers got really torqued at Target’s welcoming attitude towards transgender patrons. There is one Target store in Oxford, Alabama. So…they made it a criminal offense to use a bathroom other than the one that fits the user’s birth certificate. That poses an interesting question. Does this mean everyone has to carry their birth certificate around with them in case they want to pee in Oxford, Alabama?
News item from the Anniston (AL) Star newspaper:
After reading the actual text of the new ordnance (in the newspaper article), I discovered that in Oxford, Alabama we have the right to “quiet solicitude.” (sic)
And to think, this crowd is allowed out of the house without adult supervision…or a dictionary.
Morning, all. Chilly and rainy here in south central WI.
Chuck, I have been wondering about these laws targeting transgender people popping up — why now?
I am not sure. There is a certain amount of “jump on the bandwagon” copycat mentality. Probably also an election year and they are looking for issues or some kind of poutrage du jour.
The logic escapes me, since there has not been any reported instance of a transgendered person molesting people in bathrooms. On the other hand, there have been many instances of inappropriate behavior where the person was not transgendered. I give you the example of Larry “Wide Stance” Craig. Or how about wrestling coach Dennis Hastert who was in the news only yesterday?
On the other hand, there is a news story almost every week of some transgendered person being beaten up or killed. They are the ones needing protection.