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Thoughts & Views: Woke up, it was a Chelsea Manning

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By now, you have heard that Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, pictured here as his alter-ego, and as he is now, to “live his life as a woman.” Named Chelsea.

I have no problem with that. He can live his life as a chimpanzeee named Chelsea for all I care. I do, however, have a problem with my tax dollars paying for his hormone treatments.

According to a written statement sent to the “Today” show and signed “Chelsea E. Manning,” the convicted WikiLeaker says: “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. . . . I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.”

If Manning has felt this way since childhood, one wonders why he/she didn’t pursue his/her transgender goal earlier. And on his/her own dime.

But no, he leaks classified documents, is convicted and sentenced to 35 years in Leavenworth, and then announces that he is seeking gender reassignment.

While prisoners are entitled to (taxpayer-funded) medical care, a spokesman for the Fort Leavenworth military prison said it “does not offer sex reassignment or hormone therapy for the inmates housed at the facility,” The Washington Post reported. He had better doublecheck; for all we know, sex reassignment might be an Obamacare entitlement.

In any case, Manning’s lawyer told “Today” he intends to do “everything in my power to make sure” his client’s wishes are accommodated.

The Post also reported that in 2010, while serving as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad, Manning sent an e-mail to a superior officer describing his “struggles with a gender-identity disorder.”

He wrote: “I thought enlisting in the military would get rid of it. . . . “ For an intelligence officer, Manning comes across as pretty dumb.

One wonders, though: If he does get the government (us) to pay for gender reassignment, would it (we) also have to then foot the bill for makeup, wigs and clothing?

For those of you who think I am being crass and insensitive – yes, I am. I am not, however, mocking those with gender issues. They can’t help it.

However, they should not expect anyone other than themselves to pay for whatever therapy or surgery they want.

Indeed, now that I am approaching my dotage, I am thinking of living the rest of my life as a man.

Not because I am attracted to women. I am not. Let’s get that straight (no pun intended). But because even in so-called liberated society, men have the advantage.

Men can:

• Date someone 20 years younger and not be labeled a “cougar.”

• Faced with hair loss, shave their heads and still look sexy.

• Faced with a double chin, grow a beard. • Own only two pairs of shoes: sneakers and sandals.

• Wear white knee socks with the sandals.

• Wear long, baggy shorts with the sandals and socks. •

Go unembarrassedly to the beach no matter how chubby they are.

• Live on take-out without being judged, because no one expects them to cook.

• Pay someone else to clean the house and not be called lazy.

Chelsea, dear, have you REALLY thought this through?

– Karen Zautyk

P.S. On another matter, my story last week on the 1943 Congoleum-Nairn explosion gave two different times that the blast occurred. The correct time was 5:50 p.m., not 5:05. The latter was a typo.

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