One day during last month’s Pride festivities, the White House flew a trans-inclusive flag and conservatives predictably lost their minds about it. The very idea of the government telling trans people they are welcome in America rubbed some in the media and in the U.S. Senate the wrong way. Trump’s former top adviser Stephen Miller called it “a warning about how civilizations unravel from within.”
“Where does it end?” critics of trans visibility often ask, as though each act of tolerance only hastens the hand basket ferrying us all to hell. If something as egregious as a flag is possible, where does it end?
Meanwhile, back in reality, the only real progress made with regards to the LGBT community this past June was in the existential war against it. Toward the end of an already brutal Pride Month, the Supreme Court ruled that businesses may discriminate against LGBT customers, but only in circumstances that go against their religious beliefs, like a same-sex wedding.
Unlike the right’s fears about what untold evils a flag may portend, though, the dire consequences that critics of this ruling were afraid of did not remain hypothetical for long. Within days of the decision, a salon owner in Michigan declared on Facebook: “If a human identifies as anything other than a man/woman, please seek services at a local pet groomer. You are not welcome at this salon. Period.” So much for special circumstances.
By now, it comes as no surprise that the right would celebrate this ruling as a victory for free speech. What’s bizarre is that they also seem either unaware or ambivalent about business owners someday applying their newfound legal right to discriminate against people they do care about. Somehow, that same imagination that always envisions incendiary consequences somewhere down the line can’t conceive of any eventual issues on this one.
It’s an all-too-familiar pattern. While conservatives often perform their fear of a mythical, militantly progressive future, they refuse to engage with the many briskly accelerating catastrophes in our real present. They are terrified of Americans falling down slippery slopes, even as several cascading avalanches crash down all around them. (Considering that climate change is one of the catastrophes they’re ignoring, though, even as the Florida coast becomes an endurance-challenge jacuzzi, maybe just pretend both those slopes and that avalanche are made of lava.)
Contrary to what that hysteria suggests, when Democrats are in power, they don’t descend these slopes nearly fast enough. Barack Obama likes to talk about the glacial pace of progress, and Dems have largely internalized this idea. They’re careful not to demand too much too fast; essentially strapping on traction cleats with ice spikes to safeguard against slippery slopes. To the frequent frustration of progressives, Dems often use means-testing to ensure only the most practical, incremental measures toward radical change, no matter how morally urgent.
This is perhaps why the opposition tends to fearmonger around what might happen, or what could conceivably happen, rather than what is well and truly happening.
Whenever conservatives ask “Where does it end?”, correct responses include “Not here” and “Calm down.” This question is just a tacit admission, though, that whatever they’re outraged about is too innocuous to attack on its own merits, rather than the dystopia it might usher in.
And when they’re not engaging with an imagined future, they’re mad about a fantasy present—say, the one in which trans youth have paved the way for students who identify as cats to demand litter boxes in classrooms.
Unfortunately for them and everyone else, conservatives have a long track record of fighting against feared future events that never come to pass. They claimed that tearing down statues of racist Confederate war heroes would lead to removing statues of problematic faves like George Washington, which it didn’t. They’ve screamed about trans people attacking kids in public bathrooms for ages, without it ever emerging as a real issue. (Imagine the years-long meal they would have made out of even one single incident!)
And in perhaps the biggest parallel to the trans community’s current civil-rights struggle, conservatives for years predicted that same-sex marriage would open the door to bestiality, polygamy, and in the case of then-Rep. Steve King, marrying one’s lawnmower—none of which saw any uptick in the near-decade since Obergefell v. Hodges. Conservatives aren’t even arguing otherwise. They’ve just surrendered to the demonstrated will of the majority they’d been fighting, allowing hindsight to reveal how ridiculous and cruel their positions were all along.
While the right has spent so much energy agitating against outcomes that never came, however, the dystopian future that liberals have been warning about has seemingly sprung up all around us. These long-feared “Where does it end?” scenarios have led to our current era, which sometimes looks and feels like The End.
The left has warned against environmental, structural and financial deregulation—just to name a few issues—and now our buildings are collapsing, our trains are derailing, and banks keep failing. They’ve been warning about climate change for decades and now the sky just occasionally turns red, and earlier this month Earth reached the hottest day ever recorded on four consecutive days and now July appears to be the planet’s hottest month on record. The left warned that lax gun control would lead to more mass shootings and rage killings—which it continues to do—while the right thinks the real long-term threat is that the shootings will result in any gun-control measures whatsoever. (“Where does it end?”, asked Fox News’ Mark Levin about the response to the Parkland massacre in 2018.) And then there’s the long line of liberal doomsaying around Roe v. Wade, which conservatives swore was settled law and whose removal last summer resulted in an ongoing human-rights crisis that threatens to get even worse.
“They’re not stopping here,” President Biden recently said, while marking the anniversary of SCOTUS striking down Roe. It was neither exaggeration, hyperbole, nor Chicken Little fearmongering; just a realistic assessment of how a 6-3 SCOTUS plays goal-line defense for progress, with the support of a fully emboldened, mask-off GOP.
Conservatives are not making practical, incremental measures toward long-term radical change. They openly aspire to resurrect a backwards version of America right now, and they don’t care whether there’s majority buy-in or not.
There is still hope, though, and it lives in Minnesota.
Democrats in the Land of 10,000 Lakes clawed back a two-vote majority in last fall’s midterms—perhaps not coincidentally soon after three GOP state reps discussed classroom litter box nonsense on the House floor—and proceeded to go on a legislative bender for the ages. Governor Tim Walz’s list of wins since then reads like a checklist of the average MAGA grandad’s worst nightmares, touching on everything from reproductive rights, gun control, recreational weed legalization, trans rights, green energy, and way too much more to mention.
Governor Walz and his team are not trying to “sensible” their way into making constituents’ lives better, they’re just doing it. They have seemingly realized that the kind of conservative who paints support for trans people as a pipeline to pedophilia isn’t worth reasoning with or trying to win over with practical measures. The right fights each proposed incremental change as if it were a full-blown revolution anyway, so the only sensible thing to do is swing for the fences.
Where does it end? If other leaders follow suit after the next election, it will be fun to find out.
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Today’s workforce is highly mobile. Therefore, requirements for business phone systems have changed over the years. Requirements to facilitate mobility include the ability for users to remotely access voicemail when they are out of the office. If your company uses the Nortel Norstar system, you can check your business voicemail when you are away using your number, extension and your voicemail password.
Call the main number for your office’s switchboard from a remote location.
Transfer to your extension. Some companies configure the phone system so an operator connects you to your extension, yet others enable access by providing you with a prompt. At the prompt, enter the number of your extension.
Press the “*” (star or asterisk) button on the phone’s keypad twice while the recorded greeting plays.
Key in the number for your voicemail, your extension and your voicemail password on the phone’s keypad. Enter these numbers one right after the other.
Listen to your voicemail messages.
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[PyottDesign] recently wrapped up a personal project to create himself a custom AR/VR headset that could function as an AR (augmented reality) platform, and make it easier to develop new applications in a headset that could do everything he needed. He succeeded wonderfully, and published a video showcase of the finished project.
Getting a headset with the features he wanted wasn’t possible by buying off the shelf, so he accomplished his goals with a skillful custom repackaging of a Quest 2 VR headset, integrating a Stereolabs Zed Mini stereo camera (aimed at mixed reality applications) and an Ultraleap IR 170 hand tracking module. These hardware modules have tons of software support and are not very big, but when sticking something onto a human face, every millimeter and gram counts.
Continue practicing “Beautifully Rebuilding A VR Headset To Add AR Features”
William Pullman is a freelance writer from New Jersey. He has written for a variety of online and offline media publications, including "The Daily Journal," "Ocular Surgery News," "Endocrine Today," radio, blogs and other various Internet platforms. Pullman holds a Master of Arts degree in Writing from Rowan University.