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Showing posts from May, 2017

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Transgender athlete sets world records

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Weightlifting is hard. The numbers regularly hoisted by women in the sport would be more than enough to disabuse any man of the misguided machismo that associates strength with masculinity. So when a woman clean and jerks 149kg and snatches 123kg, setting new masters world records for both lifts and the total, it's generally kind of a big deal and cause for celebration.
But for Laurel Hubbard, it's been a cause for controversy—she's transgender (she's formerly Gavin Hubbard). In a global strength sport, the idea that someone can switch divisions from male to female raises some obvious questions. Does she have an unfair advantage, having trained and competed as a male for many years? According to FloElite, "Hubbard met all of the International Olympic Committee and International Weightlifting Federation criteria to compete as a woman, including proving her testosterone levels stayed below a certain threshold for the 12 months leading up to the meet," for a mee…

Trump signs EO to allow churches to endorse political candidates

Lord Dampnut today signed an executive order that is designed to ease the restrictions imposed on churches by the Johnson Amendment, which explicitly forbids churchs—as tax-exempt 501(c) organizations—from endorsing political candidates.  Part of the huge irony of today's executive order is that the IRS has pretty much never enforced these laws. A while back some 100 pastors openly defied the IRS by sending videos of them openly endorsing political candidates. The FFRF actually sued the IRS for failing to go after churches that abused their tax-exempt status. Now, frankly, I'm okay with church leaders endorsing political candidates from the pulpit... as long as you don't insist on being a tax-exempt organization. If a church wants to forfeit their 501(c) status, then by all means let them openly endorse whomever they choose. Trump's EO, though, is almost certainly going to meet a swift defeat in the courts. The Johnson amendment specifically prohibits 501(c) organizat…