New Jersey

New Jersey Considers Lifting Ban on Self-Service Gas Stations—Legislators Worried About Public Safety

NJ adults can't perform what's a basic task in most of the country


Dustin Quasar/flickr

New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. , New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that still have such bans on the books. Oregon, meanwhile, is considering a limited reform—permitting gas stations in rural counties with fewer than 40,000 residents to offer self-service so that they can stay open even when an employee is unavailable.

While Oregon legislators point to the idea that their state's ban "creates jobs," New Jersey legislators appear to be sticking with the "original intent" of their law, public safety. The first self-service gas station in the United States wasn't opened until 1947 in Los Angeles by Frank Urich, who thought cafeterias worked better than restaurants because they offered more options. New Jersey was one of the first states to ban self-service gas stations—in 1949. Other states introduced their own bans, but now only New Jersey and Oregon remain.

Because the law has left many adult New Jersey residents unable to use a pump, the proposed lifting of the ban would be phased in. As reports:

Republican Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon said Saturday the bill would authorize drivers to fuel cars themselves. The bill calls for a three-year period where merchants can offer self-service gas but must also provide full service. A similar measure has been introduced in the Senate. O'Scanlon says his bill would be introduced in June.

O'Scanlon calls the current law unnecessary and says it can lead to inconvenient waits at the pump. Supporters of the current law say it promotes safety, but O'Scanlon questions whether 48 other states are less safe for letting motorists pump gas.

Gov. Jon Corzine (D) suggested lifting the ban in 2006, saying it could lower the price of gas by 6 cents, but believed there was too much opposition to the idea.

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  1. Jesus fucking fuck. Fuck New Jersey, and fuck....fuck!

    *shoots self*

  2. Because the law has left many adult New Jersey residents unable to use a pump, the proposed lifting of the ban would be phased in.

    Nice, Ed.

  3. If we can get cute girls in every article picture, I'll waive alt-text requirements.

    1. "Check your dip-stick, Sir?"

    2. We're overdue for a lobster girl post.

    3. She needs a shower first. She has the feet of hobo.

      1. She probably has a bunch of nasty viruses and bacteria on those feet.

        1. So - don't nibble her toes.

      2. "Hello, hookworms, get in my feet," or whatever. Some kind of worms will go in your feet.

        1. +1 Sterling Archer

      3. You can usually get a discount for hobo feet. Or you can pay extra.

      4. "She needs a shower first. She has the feet of hobo."

        That is so hot. Did you used to write letters for Hustler?

    4. "Do you come with the car?"

      "Oh, you." [giggle]

      1. +1 Mr. Plow jingle.

  4. We're trying to get my 85-year-old father-in-law to move down to Virginia. Maybe this will convince him that NJ will soon bu unsafe.

  5. This file footage of a professional gas pumper should be enough to convince even a legislator that the pros are no better than the amateurs.

    1. Heh.

  6. "Supporters of the current law say it promotes safety..."

    Because nothing says highly trained safety professional like a minimum wage high school kid.

    1. Followed by their argument that minimum wage should be $30/hr.

    2. These are NJ unions. The politicians are talking about their own safety.

    3. NJ resident here. Very rarely is it a kid pumping gas. Almost always a middle-aged Mexican or Middle-Eastern man.

      1. It's usually a kid at Wawa or Quick Chek. It's almost invariably a middle eastern or Indian dude anywhere else.

        I honestly can't recall ever getting a Mexican attendant despite the amount of time I've spent in Hispanic areas.

  7. Milton Friedman asked why work on the expansion on the Panama canal was being done with shovels, he was told it created jobs. He famously(supposedly) retorted, "well if that's the case then why aren't they using spoons?"

    1. Um, Mr. Matthews, it was not the Panama Canal.

      1. The New Jersey Turnpike?

        1. It was the Panama Canal that the Chinese were expanding. Not the other Panama Canal, no.

          1. Must have been that Panama Canal in Asia, good call. Chinese are all over Asia!

      2. I said probably:) The point is quite the same even if the story is all bullshit.

        1. So, you're playing the 'fake but accurate' card *here*?

          1. It's the best kind of accurate?

            1. At least he did not claim witness to the event.

  8. Every time I fuel up my TDI in Oregon, I have to watch the guy at the pump to be sure he doesn't fill it up with gasoline. It's more bother than pumping my own diesel.

    I do remember the days when the station attendant would wash the windshield and check the oil in addition to pumping gas. After we switched from stone wheels to rubber tires, they'd check tire pressure, too.

    1. I do remember the days when the station attendant would ....

      Ah, yes. Before the "squeegee kids" took over those tasks.

    2. If you have a newer TDI (2013+), it has a filler that, in theory, makes it so a gasoline nozzle won't fit.
      2009 to 2012 TDIs had a recall to refit their fillers to provide the same protection

      That said, I don't know that I trust it, and I've never bothered to try sticking a gas nozzle in there to find out.

      1. And that doesn't mean the 'highly trained' pumper won't simply stick the end of the nozzle in as far as it will go and keep squeezing the handle, over and over, anyway.

      2. And that doesn't mean the 'highly trained' pumper won't simply stick the end of the nozzle in as far as it will go and keep squeezing the handle, over and over, anyway.

      3. My 2012 Passat TDI didn't get any refit, just multiple stupid yellow stickers emphasizing DIESEL ONLY!

      4. The recall did not replace the filler, it merely ins tall ed a big yellow sticker that rings the filler warning against filling it with gasoline.

        1. They sent the stickers yes, but there was also a mechanical change that they would do at the dealer.
          Had the dealer do it at my 30,000 mile maintenance on my 2012 Jetta Wagon

      5. If the nozzle don't fit you must acquit.

    3. Diesel is exempt from the ban already.

      The "safety" excuse, after all, can't apply to diesel, which barely burns when you TRY to ignite it.

  9. Freedom and responsibility are scary. Please, oh blessed government, relieve us of the burden of both!

  10. We should ban home cooking because such a ban would create jobs and because like OMG do you know how many kitchen accidents there are? Sometimes, negligent adults cause kitchen accidents that affect children. You don't ... hate ... children ... do you?

    1. Also, with home cooking, who knows the nutritional content of the food? Better to leave that up to our government betters.


        1. Holographic Michelle Obama has total control over your kitchen and gives you a state-approved meal plan every day.


      2. Stop giving them ideas!!

      3. Food safety too

        Home kitchens don't have regular inspections by the health department.

        They don't even have rules about mandatory hand washing.

        1. Or how far the sink must be from other appliances.

      4. As long as you can reliably calculate the caloric and nutritional content of your food if inspected, and make sure to keep all diners informed, I don't see why well regulated home cooking shouldn't be allowed for people who are willing to take a set of safety and nutrition courses and who can pass an exam proving their nutritional knowledge and basic culinary skills.

    2. Also because inequality.

    3. Home cooking? Better to ban home bathing - the bath being the most dangerous room in the house.

  11. New Jersey Considers Lifting Ban on Self-Service Gas Stations?Legislators Worried About Public Safety

    Pumping your own gas is something that should be reserved only for yokels and peasants. You know, not the beautiful people who live in NJ.

  12. Have no fear- Fatso will most likely veto.

  13. permitting gas stations in rural counties with fewer than 40,000 residents to offer self-service so that they can stay open even when an employee is unavailable.

    I have noticed a trend around here for stations to leave the pumps "enabled" even after closing, for pay-at-the-pump customers.

    1. Of course - the cost is almost nothing and even if you make one sale at night you still lose less money while closed than making no sale.

  14. I don't support bans on self-service gas stations, but I do lament the near-extinction of the "mixed service" stations, where you could drive to one set of pumps to "do it yourself," and another for "full service" (paying more per gallon at the latter). My car is a little bit leaky and crotchety at 11 years of age. Before taking a day trip out of town, especially if I have to go over the mountain highway that separates me from the big city, it's a good idea to check, and, if necessary, top off the fluids, check tire inflation, clean the windows and windshields, etc. In the old days, I could pull up to a full-service pump and get a few gallons; the attendant would deal with the tires and issues under the hood. They would always also have oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, and wiper fluid on hand, saving me the hassle of buying one or more of those things and keeping partially empty containers in the trunk or at home. Now, I pretty much don't have a choice. I have to set aside time to do all of that petty maintenance myself and fetch or keep any consumables that the car needs. Every now and then, I can get all this done when I go in for an oil change at the mechanic's place, but of course I end up doing it myself more often, and it is then -- especially when I have to do it on the road, while wearing good clothes -- that I really miss the old approach.

    1. I wouldn't mind it as an option on occasion. I assume it's been dropped because labor costs are high enough that they can't cover it with a few cents a gallon.

    2. I've never seen a mixed service station that does all that outside of black and white tv shows. But I grew up in AZ so it may be a regional thing that died out here in the 70's while sticking around longer elsewhere.

      In the 80's you could still find mixed service stations that would pump for you (and, if your disabled you can still get a clerk to do it for you - as long as you don't show up at 2 am).

    3. We have those little drive through valvolines that will check all your fluids, replace wipers, etc.

      1. We have those little drive through valvolines that will check all your fluids, replace wipers, etc.

        Yeah, we have them in CT too. But you gotta pay at least $29.95 for an oil change, whether you need it or not first before they even look at your washer fluid, air pressure etc. And the Valvolines here don't sell gas.

        SLD: Government bans are bad, m'kay? But I'm with JA Merritt here. I really want to have the option of paying (even significantly) more to have full service. But there does not seem to be enough gGs and JAMs to support a market in full service gas stations.

    4. They don't even clean your windows at most places here in Oregon. Got to do it yourself. Fucking worthless.

      So yeah, we aren't getting better service out of it. It just takes longer, because they never have enough attendants at the pump.

      1. NJ too. I hate it. I haven't had anyone clean my windows in 15+ years, just wastes my time as you said.

        1. You know, you can just pump it yourself. I do it myself about 1/3 of the time, the attendants are typically appreciative. The only time I ever got a problem for it was when I couldn't get a card reader at a Shell to work, but that's my fault for going to Shell in the first place.

          Seriously, fuck Shell.

    5. Get yourself a new car. The money you're spending up keeping it can be saved if you buy a small diesel car that gets better fuel mileage than your 11 year old car.

    1. I couldn't get the time in the link

      A model idiot.

      1. My macbook doesn't like flash, and I wasn't going to reboot just for a run of the mill gasoline fight video.

        1. Just add &t=2m40s to the end of the link.

          1. I caught a bad case of lazy tonight.

        2. Install ClickToFlash (or equivalent). I've had fewer problem with Flash, because it only runs when I tell it to.

  15. Okay, so the majority of people in other states can safely pump their own gas. But not people in New Jersey? As much as I'm inclined to make a joke about that, it's an amazingly ridiculous position for the state to have taken. They have the same thing in Oregon, right?


      1. "Not now, chief. I'm in the fuckin' zone."


    2. Yes, every time I fill up here in Oregon I have to wait for some high school dropout to finish their conversation and come fill me up. It's infuriating

      1. What are they worried about, a gas fight? I had no idea that Zoolander was so influential. And people say Florida is fucked up. Well, we can pump our own fucking gas, carry our own fucking guns, buy liquor in the fucking marketplace, and not pay fucking income taxes.

        1. Damn you Pro. I was waiting to use that reference once I got through the comments.


          GAS FIGHT!

    3. This is what happened the last time a Jerseyite pumped his own gas.

    4. It must not be pot-related.

  16. I get very uncomfortable when at a full service station. Too much human interaction, and I'm never sure if I'm supposed to tip!

    1. If it's full service in any other state that NJ or OR, then tipping might be appropriate. In OR and NJ, fuck 'em. Their jobs shouldn't exist, so their 'tip' is getting paid to do something I'd rather do myself.

      1. Until they blow up your vehicle.

        1. I've never heard of anyone tipping them, so it's really not expected. I certainly never do.

  17. A trained professional would never pump gas BAREFOOT!

    1. What if they got gas on their feet? They'd explode!!!

      1. But gas is a good solvent - gets all that dirt off easy.

      2. "Of course there's gonna be an explosion! You think I'm not gonna explode?"

    2. Yeah, and rather than distribute the risk of exposure to a possible carcinogen across everyone who owns a vehicle, let's make it a few people's job to handle gasoline ALL DAY LONG.

      1. (And I view this risk as so miniscule that I'm not willing to take up the space on my motorcycle with an orphan.)

        1. That depends on how old and shapely said orphan is.

  18. . . . but O'Scanlon questions whether 48 other states are less safe for letting motorists pump gas.

    Is O'Scanlon *crazy*! Why just in my little town there's someone who sets himself on fire at one of the two gas stations each week!

    1. While Oregon legislators point to the idea that their state's ban "creates jobs. . .

      Also, Oregon legislators are openly retarded.

      Jobs are a *cost*, not a benefit.

  19. O'Scanlan was on the radio this afternoon explaining the bill and after he finished a guy called in and said gas is cheaper in NJ bc of the existing law. He explained that stations' insurance premiums are far lower because customers aren't allowed to pump. Can that be right?

    1. No, its not right.

      In order for it to be right, the difference in insurance premiums would have to be *greater* than the cost of employing someone to pump gas.

      If that were the case, then *everyone* would be doing it - all without the need for government intervention.

      And you can use this link to compare gas prices in NJ with prices in other states that don't have 'can't pump yourself' (heh) laws.

      A quick look tells you that there's no correlation in gas prices between self-serve only and full-serve only states.

      1. That makes sense. The gas buddy doesn't help though bc it doesn't back out taxes which vary widely from state to state, otherwise though I agree.

        1. Prices include taxes.

          If you sell me something for 10 cents but there's 3 dollars of tax on it - it still costs me $3.1 dollars.

          How much is 'price' and how much is 'tax' is irrelevant to the consumer.

      2. I caanot make gasbuddy show me non-local prices on the phone, but NJ gas prices were always much lower than in the surrounding states when I was in NJ. I wonder if this has an effect on the local support for the ban.

        1. Right now NJ is showing an average of $2.36 to 2.53 in the rural parts of the state and $2.53 to $2.7 in the more urban.

          MD is showing $2.53-$2.7 throughout the eastern part of the state and NY is $2.7-$2.83

          So really, you're looking at a 20 ct/gal difference on average.

          My bet - it could be even larger if you weren't paying someone to pump that gas. 84ish hours at $8.38 is a decent chunk of change - and that's for *each* pumper on a shift.

        2. During the countless times I visited NJ in my youth (my entire family is from Jersey), gas (and food, interestingly) were always cheaper, sometimes significantly so. I still remember seeing a station in Paterson in 1990 with gas at 89 cents per gallon.

    2. Bull dinky. Our gas prices are low because we are closer to the refineries, which are located here. The reason why self service is illegal is because the self service pricing would push the already low prices even lower, cutting further into the supplier's profit margins. Regulatory capture strikes again.

      1. The main driver for why your prices are lower than the surrounding states is that most likely your state does not require some unique blend of fuel that no other state uses (like CA does - that's why they consistently have the highest prices in the country).

        If you use a blend that is shared between several states then the cost per unit can be drastically lower.

        1. The main driver is gas taxes. Back the state taxes out of the Fuel Buddy data and it becomes pretty obvious.

    3. No. Gas taxes in New Jersey are extremely low.

      $0.1450 per gallon according to this source.

      1. Oops. I should say "state gas tax". Federal gas tax is the same all over.

      2. Huh. CA is more than double that.

      3. Whenever the self-service proposal has come up in the past, it has been coupled with a massive gas tax increase. Which is why I never supported it.

  20. New Jersey must be heavily populated with union people. What else would explain why they can't be trusted with operating a gas pump?

      1. Racist!

  21. Really? They can't pump their own? I don't understand how you travel basically anywhere else if you can't get gas. Full service is virtually never available in a normal state.

    I've known people from NJ who liked the ban, and I knew a few people who let the other household drivers do all the gas fill ups. But I only knew one driver who claimed to be unable to do it herself, and she was born during the Harding administration.

    1. I don't understand how you travel basically anywhere else if you can't get gas.

      Shit. Shit man, we need to rethink this. If NJ learns to pump their own gas then they'll be able to migrate at *will*!

      Right now they're mostly contained by enforced helplessness.

      1. There's a highly insensitive Baltimore joke to be made here and I'm certain the lot of you were just thinking it.

  22. A long time ago, I was in Joisey visiting my parents. I zoomed into a gas station in the old BMW, grabbed the gas nozzle and commenced to fill 'er up. The guy came running out, screaming bloody murder.

    1. You're lucky to be alive!

    2. Nice way to other us, bragging about the family BMW

  23. I'm going to play devil's advocate here and remind everyone that this is New Jersey and we're talking about a highly volatile and flammable liquid being pumped out of a nozzle by The Situation.

    1. The Situation's from Staten Island.

  24. I've seen Sopranos and Jersey Shore. those morons in Jersey would be setting themselves on fire constantly.

    1. So, its kinda a win for everyone.

      The smart ones *won't* set themselves on fire and the dumb ones will thin themselves out. NJ becomes a better place.

      1. I hear what you are saying. But if I'm competently filling my tank while a dumb one blows himself up on the other side of that pump, it's going to be a bad day for me. After all, it's not like the dumb one is going to be wearing a sign to warn me...

        OH..., WAIT! That's what the Jersey plates are for! RIGHT!?

  25. Extreme sports athlete dies doing what he loved: Screaming horribly and crashing face-first into a rock-strewen mountainside after his parachute fails to deploy.

    Extreme athlete Dean Potter, renowned for his daring and sometimes rogue climbs and BASE jumps, was one of two men killed while attempting a wingsuit flight in Yosemite National Park, a park spokesman said Sunday.

    1. I blame it on deregulation and austerity.

      1. You could make the Reason-esque argument and say that had BASE jumping in Yosemite been legal, it would have been perfectly safe and he'd be alive today.

        1. Jacob Sullum is writing that article right now.

    2. A blonde is watching the news with her husband when the newscaster says "Two Brazilian men die in a skydiving accident."

      The blonde starts crying to her husband, sobbing "That's horrible!!! So many men dying that way!"

      Confused, he says, "Yes dear, it is sad, but they were skydiving, and there is always that risk involved."

      After a few minutes, the blonde, still sobbing, says, "How many is a Brazilian?"

      1. That's pretty good

      2. I'm going to remember that one.

      3. I should have actually seen the punchline coming.

        True story = my best friend in college was this super-wealthy kid from Sao Paolo.... and our freshman year, we were watching the (all new at the time) X-Games on tv, and there's this idiotic 'sky surfing' competition... and he goes, 'have you ever been skydiving'? No, says I. He picks up the phone and 10 minutes later, tells the room full of people (6) that we all have reservation to go skydiving the following weekend. He paid for the whole thing over the phone. (He later did the same thing for spring break, bringing 9 people to Jamaica with him)

        We called him, "The Brazillionaire"

        1. Christ. Them's good friends to have. I'm in favor of mandatory busing for college students so not just the ivy leaguers get to rub shoulders with the fabulously wealthy.

        2. Nice guy.

      4. Ok. I laughed.

        Copy pasted.

    3. Looks like his sponsors have been dropping him for years. This was no surprise.

    4. See? Shouldn't have been an arsehole to Gilfoyle and Dinesh.

  26. So I was reading about Charles James Fox who supported abolishing the slave trade, supported civil liberties and stated that he would "much rather be governed by a mob than a standing army". And he was a fat, alcoholic gambler/

    One the other hand: [Fox] interpreted the American cause approvingly as a struggle for liberty against the oppressive policies of a despotic and unaccountable executive.[4] It was at this time that Fox and his supporters took up the habit of dressing in buff and blue: the colours of the uniforms in Washington's army. Fox's friend, the Earl of Carlisle, observed that any setback for the British Government in America was "a great cause of amusement to Charles."[11] Even after the American defeat at Long Island in 1776, Fox stated that

    I hope that it will be a point of honour among us all to support the American pretensions in adversity as much as we did in their prosperity, and that we shall never desert those who have acted unsuccessfully upon Whig principles.[12]

    This is the sort of trolling Rockwell, Raimondo and Richman would approve of, except that Fox was partly responsible for the creation of the USG which makes him terrible.

    He also thought Burke was wrong about the French Revolution (which is why Burke broke with him) and Fox confessed in December 1802 that he was "obstinate" in his belief that Napoleon's "wish is Peace, nay that he is afraid of war to the last degree".

    1. Character Limitations prevented me from listing the worst part of all: Foxborough, Massachusetts is named for him!


  27. "Oregon legislators point to the idea that their state's ban "creates jobs,"

    Now they they mention it... why the fuck do i pay good money at a restaurant just to shovel the stuff into my own mouth? What are waiters *for*?? If they expect a tip, i'm demanding they do all the fork/knife/spoon handling duties for me. Which leads me to the subject of beverages....

    1. If they'd get my steak right more often than not I might trust them forking my mouth for me.

      1. Fork you.

  28. It looks like she's pumping Diesel (green covered handle) into some Chevy branded car, which I don't think they make in diesel? If so, nice touch.

    1. Bigger puzzle. Chevy made plenty of diesels back in the 1970s (old) but that thing looks pretty new. It is that Chevy ripoff of a PT Cruiser.

      1. It is a Chevy HHR. And it is a ripoff of the PT Cruiser. IIRC, GM poached the PT Cruiser designer from Chrysler and tasked him with drawing a Chevy version.

      2. Also, no US market HHRs were diesels. But don't read too much into that green nozzle in the photo. Here in CT I frequently run into green handle gasoline nozzles. (It bugs me too.)

  29. No offense my friends from NJ but that's one retarded law - and the excuses justifying it make me wonder what's in the water over there. I still laugh about the time I tried to pump my own gas, you know, like a fucken adult, in NJ. A guy - let's call him a professional pumper - popped out of nowhere about how it's against the law while pointing to a sign. I quite literally stood next to him laughing at the stupidity of it all.

    Are we supposed to tip these guys in NJ?

    1. No, absolutely not. Everyone who isn't retarded realizes that it's retarded, but it's the law and unfortunately the stations self-enforce so strongly that people just go along with it. And as always, the reality behind it is some sort of cronyism bullshit.

      1. Good because I need change for the tolls.

        1. Why would you ever take the parkway. There are tolls like every 10 feet, or there at least used to be.

          1. By parkway do you mean turnpike?

              1. That's the standard route Mapquest gives to go towards Florida.

                The I-95 that is.

            1. By turnpike do you mean tollroad?

      2. Everyone who isn't retarded realizes that it's retarded, but it's the law

        And here's the image that runs through my brain when hearing about such laws.

  30. Anyone else miss the overnight Independents threads? Besides Matt and Kmele, I mean.

    1. I get the impression that Reason doesn't like the west coasters very much.

      1. Is that why they keep Doherty out there?

    2. They tended to be going during an appropriate hour for me (I'm in Western Australia atm)

      I lurk here, a LOT, and it always seems to be during off-peak hours ... which is ok, cuz I don't think I could contribute much. This place is hilarious, and I love the banter ... and extensive knowledge and linkage provided by the commentariat.

      1. I take full credit for everything, and you are welcome.

  31. A loooong time ago I moved to Oregon for a job and it took me weeks to get used to not being able to pump my own gas.

    On the drive up I stopped for a fill & empty and because I drove a lot I could unbelt myself, open the door and slide off the bench seat and be at the gas lid in like two seconds. Two or three seconds later I would have the cap off and the nozzle jammed in deep and flowing.

    Thirty seconds later I was being lectured by an acne-scarred misanthrope about how I was breaking the law. There was even a sign he repeatedly waved his grease-streaked pud-puller at.

    Then he walked behind my truck and saw the CA plate and insulted a whole state's worth of people for not knowing about their stupid law. Like we should have been teaching it in the schools or something.

    Fuck that guy.

    1. So basically you're a retard for not knowing in advance that he's a retard? Bill Engvall was right, stupid people should have to wear signs around their neck so everyone else will know to avoid them.

    2. "...I could unbelt myself, open the door and slide off the bench seat and be at the gas lid in like two seconds. Two or three seconds later I would have the cap off and the nozzle jammed in deep and flowing."

      Good for you.

      1. Proverbs 22:29

  32. Slightly somewhat related .... I used to pump fuel at a truck stop in Southern Ontario. Another long lost vestige of the past, diesel attendants at truck stops are probably the most endangered of species. We would get the odd American trucker who was befuddled at the fact I would pump his fuel for him; also, as myself and my fellow employees were not total douchebags, we would break the rule of not pumping gasoline for car customers, mostly for older folks, and those whom showed right away that they were incompetent.

    1. How can one be 'incompetent' at the pump?

      1. I see you have never met my wife.

        Double entendres welcome, have fun guys!

  33. Mississippi man arrested and charged with burglarizing some cars. Minorities hardest hit.

    The man thinks he's a woman, and "those who knew [him] said []he has lived as a woman for years." So how should the prison system deal with "transgender" individuals?

    "The Harrison County Sheriff's Office does not have a written policy on housing people who are transgender but officials there follow what is considered current national "best practices." This includes segregating transgender people from the general population, jail warden Evan Hubbard said.

    ""It's an area of the jail that's under direct supervision," Hubbard said. "It means there is an officer in that section 24-7."...

    "Safety has apparently not been a concern for Mauffray, who has been arrested before.

    "But placing [him] in segregation creates a new set of problems, [lawyer Dianne] Ellis said.

    ""I would think for [his] safety, (segregation) is preferable to being in the male section," Ellis said. "As far as long-term health and well-being, I think it's a brutal way to do it. They put people in isolation as punishment for a reason."

    "Hubbard said officers are available to speak to Mauffray any time, as well as staff counselors if needed."

    1. The Prison Rape Elimination Act

      I find it odd that one would pass a law in an attempt to prevent a population of law breakers from doing something.

  34. Professor who gives trigger warnings for Alexander Pope's *Rape of the Lock* explains how trigger warnings are needed:

    "I don't mean to say that we should become licensed therapists or trauma experts on top of our ordinary specializations, or worse, to pretend to have expertise we haven't earned. But so long as we're happy to evangelize about the truly disruptive and real life-changing possibilities of our subject matter, we also need to be prepared to teach that difficult and sometimes disorienting material responsibly and attentively, not just to cast out barbs of hardcore human expression while we watch our students puzzle and weep....

    1. "Given that the difficult and potentially triggering material we teach must not be abandoned because it's timeless, provocative, germane, or simply canonical by accident of history?and given that a trigger warning can actually open up a discussion of material with which students have an initially low comfort level?we simply can't dismiss student calls for trigger warnings. We have to take them seriously, not because literature (or life) needs a censor or students need to be coddled, but because being more acutely aware of how students are responding to challenging material is just better and more responsible pedagogy. It's true that life is triggering and won't usually come with its own trigger warnings. But students are in their seats in part to be better prepared for that reality, and it's professors' jobs to facilitate that kind of intellectual development."

      1. Serious question: Must these babes in arms students be given a trigger warning about trigger warnings?

      2. But students are in their seats in part to be better prepared for that reality, and it's professors' jobs to facilitate that kind of intellectual development."

        If by "professor" one means "pre-school teacher" then sure.

      3. It's almost a compelling argument for driving out students with the trigger warning mentality from academic life. Until the hyphenated sentence, he might easily be suggesting that students with so little mental tenacity to handle even the suggestion of subjects untoward should be stricken from the roster and sent forth sobbing from the classroom. Listen, he could have said. If we English Lit instructors are content playing up our curriculum as truly vital cultural exposure, we need to understand that responsibility attends grave power and students without the wherewithal to learn it gracefully must be excluded from these foreboding lessons.

  35. Those feet are going to give me nightmares.

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