May Day Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Ugh. Odarkthirty. Again.

    Hopefully it’s a good day for all y’all.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This March a bill was reintroduced in the US House and Senate that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work in certain mechanized operations in the logging industry under parental supervision. Timber industry groups have strongly backed the legislation. For Wendy Bostwick, the news was a nightmare.

    Bostwick’s son Cole, who had just turned 18, died in a logging accident in 2014 on a job site in Washington where his father, Tim Bostwick, was also working.

    “Obviously that was a tragic situation, but somebody who does want to get into logging can and should be supervised by their parents,” Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, chief sponsor of the Future Logging Careers Act, said in an interview with local Washington paper the Chronicle. “If a child is going to go into logging, what better way than to start with your family and having your family teach it to you?”

    “Bullshit!” Bostwick told the Guardian. “It should open our eyes.”

    “One of the most dangerous jobs in the world and people want to put their children out there? Kids that age are not emotionally ready for something like this. They don’t have the mental faculties to drink alcohol, but they can go out there and make life-and-death decisions? I don’t think so. It’s dumb and dangerous,” she said.

    Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs According to OSHA

    2. Logging Workers

    Fatal injury rate: 91.7 per 100,000 workers.
    Loggers work in forests and other outdoor environments. They are tasked with using heavy machinery to cut down trees to create raw materials including lumber, paper, and cardboard. Aspects of this profession that make it dangerous include conditions that require the use of heavy machinery and contact with dangerous objects. Injuries related to heavy machinery are the most common reason for fatalities in this field.

  3. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    A few random thoughts about yesterday’s “tabs”

    I’m fascinated the not one of the comments yesterday even touched on the tab regarding weight vs earnings.

    I’d love to retire and travel with SWMBO. However, the financial and career costs of my four years cancer voyage, and the it’s echos, ensure that we’ll will likely die in harness, in low level jobs.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I slept in this AM, all the way too 0530.
    Thank you NyQuil. (in addition to my usual doses of melatonin, trazodone, and benadryl. better sleeping thru chemistry!) Unfortunately, I still woke up with a head full of snot.

  5. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Yeah, better living through chemistry is my friend too. The meds moved the neuropathy down the hall and out of my bed, but the downside for me is that I’m wired and twitching, with a side of maudlin dark thoughts. Sitting in the living room binging Cheap Irish Homes, listening to the cats and SWMBO snoring gently.

    But I’m glad you got a decent night’s sleep.

  6. CSK says:

    Trump is in Scotland today, visiting hisgolf courses. Last night on Fox, he claimed that “everyone says” he’s been treated worse than Abraham Lincoln.

  7. Tony W says:

    @CSK: I hope they refuse to extradite him back to the U.S.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US freight rail companies nearly spurred a nationwide railroad strike last fall by refusing to grant paid sick days, but in a surprise move welcomed by workers, those railroads have recently granted paid sick days to almost half their workforce.

    After being roundly criticized for not offering paid sick days, the leading rail companies – BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific – have granted many of their 93,000 workers four paid sick days a year through labor negotiations, with an option of taking three more paid sick days from personal days.

    “We’re very happy about this. We’ve been trying to get this for decades,” said Artie Maratea, president of the Transportation Communications Union. “It was public pressure and political pressure that got them to come to the table.”

    When Joe Biden and Congress enacted legislation in December that blocked a threatened freight rail strike, many workers angrily faulted Biden for not ensuring that the legislation also guaranteed paid sick days. But since then, union officials says, members of the Biden administration, including Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who stepped down on 11 March, lobbied the railroads, telling them it was wrong not to grant paid sick days.

    “We’ve made a lot of progress,” said Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, the main US labor federation. “This is being done the right way. Each railroad is negotiating with each of its individual unions on this.”

    I was one of those carping at the Biden Admin for their heavy handedness on that issue, so I am happy to hear that they continued pushing for it until it got done. I am assuming that the half of RR work force that don’t yet have sick days are still in negotiations.

  9. CSK says:

    @Tony W:

    Yes; funny, isn’t it, that he should choose to visit Scotland now, just when Judge Kaplan has refused Joe Tacopina’s request for a mistrial.

    After Scotland, he’ll be visiting his golf course in Ireland.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A federal judge overseeing a bankruptcy filing from the US’s second-oldest Roman Catholic archdiocese has recused himself from the case amid scrutiny of his donations to the church as well as his close professional relationship with an attorney representing archdiocesan affiliates in insurance disputes.

    Greg Guidry, who was appointed to the judicial bench at New Orleans’s federal courthouse by the Donald Trump White House in 2019, issued an order after 8pm on Friday recusing himself from a role handling appeals in a contentious bankruptcy involving nearly 500 clergy sexual abuse victims.

    Seeing as I was complaining about this asshole last week it seems only right that I should acknowledge the fact that he has finally done what he should have done a long, long time ago. Now to void all of his rulings in this case….

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. Sometimes I just crack me up.

  11. BugManDan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Melatonin works to get me to sleep, but I wake up about half way through the night and can’t get back to sleep. Benadryl and melatonin are the only ones that don’t cause me to drag ass the whole next day.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BugManDan: Over the years I have tried all kinds of things sometimes by themselves, others in combo. Melatonin worked great at first but eventually became less efficacious. I tried a # of scrip drugs, including trazodone, that had little to no effect sleep wise, but a couple had “day after” hangover effects. A few months ago I was looking at the almost year old bottle of trazodone and thought to add a benadryl and BING! I slept the whole night.

    I should explain that my definition of sleeping the whole night means that after I wake up at 11 pm, 1 am, 3 am, I am able to fall back to sleep. I have chronic pain and I WILL wake up from time to time. Even if I can’t fall back to sleep at 3 AM, I consider that a successful night of sleep. Many years a 3 AM wake up was necessary for me to get to the jobsite at 6 AM, so it’s almost normal for me.

    These days, the melatonin/trazodone/benadryl combo doesn’t work as well as it did at first but it still beats a sleepless night.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Field of fresh cow pats welcomes first dung beetles to be rewilded in France

    Did not have that headline on my 2023 Bingo card.

  14. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    I call that “sleeping like a baby.” One of my side effects of treatment is severe neuropathy. We’ve run through the diabetic neuropathy drugs with no improvement, THC/CBD ditto (& too $$$). I keep a stash of Rx opiates for the nights when it’s 9+ pain, but hate the side effects enough that addiction isn’t a concern. I’ll discuss your 3-pack combo with my Dr and see what she thinks.

    Not on my bingo card either.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:
  16. Neil Hudelson says:

    Story time.
    Background: I live in an urban-suburban area. My little neighborhood has large 1/2 acre to an acre lots, often forested or partially forested, with few fences breaking them up. But, this relatively small strip of land (maybe 4 dozen homes/lots total) is bounded on three sides by busy roads or a train tracks, turning the unfenced lots into a bit of a wildlife corridor.

    You know which house out of the dozens does happen to have a fence? And a fairly tall one? Mine.

    So, a week ago Thursday we were all having family dinner at our dining room table. The kids were taking forever to finish, as kids do, and I offered to go start a load of laundry while my wife supervised them. I leave to walk upstairs and make it to the top before I hear just a cacophony of glass breaking–so, so much breaking glass, it sounded like a waterfall of glass pieces–and then screaming from some, but not all, of the people downstairs.

    The only thing in my mind that could’ve happened was that one of the kids pulled over on top of themselves a glass hutch filled with decorative plates.

    We don’t have a glass hutch of decorative plates, but it was the only thing that made sense in my mind. Maybe my wife bought one and snuck it in? And then stocked it with commemorative dishware?

    I run back downstairs and can see my wife panicked, holding up my son who is screaming. She’s surrounded on all sides by a sea of glass shards. The dining room table has been cleared, all of the dishes are on the floor (though, strangely, not broken). My daughter is standing there, beaming, smiling from ear to ear.

    “Neil! Deer! It’s a deer!”
    [Daughter, echoing her, still beaming: “Reindeer!”]

    Now, my wife is clearly in shock. We have two dogs and while I don’t know how they did this, clearly she means that the dog did it or maybe a stray dog from the neighborhood or maybe OH SHIT THERE IS A DEER THERE IS A DEER RUNING OUT OF OUR BATHROOM BEING CHASED BY OUR TWO DOGS.

    What had happened, apparently, is that a deer saw the one fenced in yard in all directions, carefully navigated through it, and then jumped through our dining room window, landing where I had been sitting 10 seconds earlier. It got up, jumped over our dining room table, kicking my son in the forehead while landing. From there it ran into this spare room we have that leads to our bathroom…a spare room which happened to hold our dogs who were having their dinner too.

    My dogs, utterly confused, were nonetheless plum delighted at the arrival of their 5 ft, 100+ lb bleeding friend, and challenged it to a race to the living room. Darlene (she looked like a Darlene) had no interest initially, and instead tried to climb the shelves in that room, tearing down a wall of glassware, jarred food from my Amish neighbors, and small appliances. This scared here so she tried to go out that window but alas, did not have the momentum she had upon entering the house. Having nothing else to do she took my dogs up on their generous offer of racing, and took of through our kitchen into our living room.

    In our living room she decided to Goldlilocks it, trying each of our windows to see if she could exit through one of them. The first one was toooooo hard, and she just bounced off (leaving a bloody deer face print and a trail of deer mucus). The second window was tooooooo small. It was large enough for her head, which she did get through. Somehow not breaking the glass, but shattering the wood frame and sheering off the interior bolts that attached it to the brick wall.

    Then she tried the TV (deer are dumb). Then she tried to climb the entertainment shelf to get over the TV (deer are really dumb). Finally she tried the third window, finding it almost (but not quite) just right.

    By this time I had gotten an exterior door open, and fortunately it was catty corner to her, in the same room. She turned around and (I thought) charged to the open door. Almost too late I realized she was charging me. I slammed shut the interior door separating the dining room from the living room (our victorian house has transom windows, which only work if there’s a door separating each and every room. What an unexpected blessing).

    Darlene slams into interior door and ricochets out the exterior door. Upon finding the fence she had previously navigated JUST FINE, Darlene chose the path of most resistance, jumping (repeatedly) through (not over) our fence until a section of chain link collapses, allowing her through to freedom.

    Start to finish, maybe 90 seconds, around $7 ,500 in damage. We were lucky (excepting the deer-through-the-window part). I could have been sitting there when the deer came in; 100 pounds of bone, muscle, and glass shards travelling at 40 mph. Or my son–a deer kicked him in the forehead, but it was just the barest of glances. An inch over and it could’ve been lights out.

    Instead we have to replace three windows, cleaned up lots of blood, and did some minor wall repair.

  17. Bob@Youngstown says:

    On the Election Integrity Front:
    Ohio’s Republican’s Secretary of State (LaRose) has decided to end participation with ERIC ( Electronic Registration Information Center).

    ERIC is a multi-state partnership that experts across the political spectrum say is the only reliable, secure way for states to share voter data with each other. The coalition allows states to know when voters move or die, so they can keep their lists of registered voters more up to date.

    Just last month, in an interview with NPR, LaRose called ERIC “one of the best tools that we have for maintaining the accuracy of our voter files.”

    Apparently at issue was the urging of ERIC to have member states reach out to newly eligible residents to encourage them to register to vote. Ohio, did not want to do that, although their ERIC participation didn’t really require them to do so (or for that matter ERIC doesn’t require the states to take any action at all – ERIC is actually just an information exchange between states)

    The red herring objection that Ohio (and other Republican states) have is that some ERIC board members are active Demon-crats.

    So Ohio, is flushing one of the “best tools” to maintaining voter (eligibility) accuracy to the toilet.

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Truly a libertarian paradise

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I hoard the vicodins I get after surgeries (I have a high pain threshold, so getting cut up usually amounts to only one or 2 nights of use)(they have very little side effects for me) to use when my leg cramps go way over the top to beyond begging my wife to shoot me pain. Lately they haven’t been as effective but I think (more like hope) that was due to the age of the bottle I just emptied. Now I will start on the bottle I got after last years rotator cuff surgery. Here’s hoping.

    I’m sorry you are a fellow sufferer of chronic pain. I have come around to acceptance and just hope to take the edge off it.

  20. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Now, that’s an adventure…

    I gave it a thumbs up, thought about your son’s near miss, took it away, but finally figured you would take it as intended and put it back.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Dayum!!! Yeah you got lucky, especially the little guy. Most people just think of a buck’s antlers as being dangerous, but deer fight, and sometimes kill, predators with their hooves. I once rescued a fawn from a tangle of downed fencing and when I cut the last strand he damned near gutted me with a hoof. I have no doubt he could have.

    And only $7500 in damage? From your description, I’d have bet double that.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Yep.

  23. MarkedMan says:

    Still on the tour of Portugal but on the final stretch so back in Lisbon where my wife and I visited Michael’s recommendation, Republica das Flores, a high end and extremely quirky antique store (Thanks, Michael!) I had my usual reaction to a place with such well curated wares, absolute delight in them as objects and, in this case anyway, total respect for the manager’s ability to find such a wide variety of neat and clever items guaranteeing that virtually anyone entering will find something they want. Anyone, that is, except for me since I’m long past my accumulation stage. And then I rounded a corner and there was this piece. A hand carved wooden representation of the front of an Indian temple, or perhaps it was a mansion or a government building. About a meter high and wide, and maybe a hand’s breadth deep, with untold thousands of passes of the carvers chisel, with the most delicate and precise work you could imagine. (Who is it here that sometimes shares his woodworking adventures? Mu? You would love it.)

    And I wanted it. I wanted to be its owner, to treat it with respect. To display it properly, which would require a wood paneled wall with an alcove of just the right size which, in turn would require a book lined study, and a house big enough to hold such a study and…. Fortunately I snapped out of it.

  24. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: That was a TERRIBLE story ending!!! 😛 😛

  25. Jax says:

    @Neil Hudelson: So glad nobody is seriously hurt! Of all the random things that could happen…..

  26. Jen says:

    @Neil Hudelson: HOLY MOLY.

    Glad everyone is okay.
    Deer are very dumb–particularly panicked deer.
    Probably doesn’t reach your deductible but boy that would be an interesting call to your insurance agent…

  27. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jen: @OzarkHillbilly:

    My agent took it all in stride. While stories like this arent’ common in Indiana, I guess they hear of things like this once in awhile, especially in states where bears are more common.

    Yeah I guess I was off in my damage estimate, as I just got a quote from a window guy–since the windows were original with the house, getting it to match the others and whatnot is expensive–$3-$4K per. Welp, that’s why insurance exists.

  28. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Many speak of home invasions, but few homes are invaded by deer.

    We see deer walking by on the hill in the back, but none of them has tried a home invasion. I recall my dad being vexed with deer eating his roses.

    Great story! I’m glad y’all are well.

  29. Scott says:

    Be careful what you ask for because this can’t end well. Can you imagine 1000 middle schoolers all claiming their t-shirts are protected by the 1st amendment? I would not advise anyone to go into education now.

    Student with ‘only two genders’ shirt schools district on free speech: ‘This right is called the First Amendment’

    A Massachusetts seventh grader is gaining national attention after telling his local school board that his middle school violated his free speech rights.

    Liam Morrison, a student at Nichols Middle School in Middleborough, Massachusetts, was allegedly sent home from school for wearing and refusing to change out of a shirt that read, “There are only two genders.”

    I know that I have a right to wear a shirt with those five words. Even at 12 years old, I have my own political opinions and I have a right to express those opinions — even at school,” he told the committee. “This right is called the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

  30. Jen says:

    @Scott: Hasn’t that already been settled? The Tinker decision.

  31. Scott says:

    @Jen: True. I suspect, then, that some people are going to get mighty offended as payback. And teachers and administration are stuck in the middle.

  32. Jen says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    especially in states where bears are more common

    Oh, gosh yes. Lots of bears around here, and it’s important to remember not to leave food in your vehicle if it’s parked outside at night! Bears can get into anything.

  33. Kathy says:

    While it’s Monday, I have the day off. So, more music for the long weekend.

    Continuing with modern classical music, The Waltz of the Sirens by Alma Deutscher.

    The composer provides an explanation of the work before the performance.

  34. Franklin says:

    @Neil Hudelson: You said it was story time. That’s one fuck of a story!

  35. Jen says:

    I wonder just how many versions of this story we’ll have to see to get to a tipping point:

    ‘I’ll lose my family.’ A husband’s dread during an abortion ordeal in Oklahoma

    Before February, Jaci Statton wasn’t particularly focused on Oklahoma’s abortion bans. “I was like, ‘Well, that’s not going to affect me. I won’t ever need one,’ ” she says.
    She soon learned her situation was even more complicated. At an appointment with her OB-GYN the next day, she was told she actually had a partial molar pregnancy. Jaci says her doctor told her: “It is non-viable. It is potentially cancerous.”

    On the ultrasound, the doctor showed Jaci how the pregnancy tissue was bean-shaped and surrounded with cysts. “One of them had ruptured, causing me to bleed, and she explained, ‘If more rupture, you could bleed out,'” Jaci recalls.
    She says she is “pro-life,” but she’s decided to speak publicly about her experience because she doesn’t want anyone else to have to go through it. “I think something needs to be done” about the state abortion laws, she says. “I don’t know how else to get attention, but this needs to change.”


  36. CSK says:


    The Oklahoma law is idiotic–or vengeful and idiotic. What is the point of killing the mother so that…what? A collection of non-viable cells dies with her?

  37. Monala says:

    @Neil Hudelson: my jaw dropped reading this! Wow, what a story! I’m so glad you all weren’t really injured. Will your homeowner’s insurance cover any of the repairs?

  38. Monala says:

    @Scott: at my former workplace we had a blanket rule against clothing with any wording/logos other than the company’s logos (beyond tiny brand name tags) in order to avoid just this issue. It’s hard to do it any other way without being discriminatory.


    I’ve been reading Conor Friederdorf’s columns, especially the ones where he asks readers to chime in. A recent one was on the gender debates. As usual, people without any actual knowledge or connections to trans people are full of speculation (example: “I’m a liberal feminist who was a tomboy as a child. I know that if I were growing up today people would wrongly insist that I was trans!” And another reader who wanted to know, if the body and mind don’t agree about the person’s gender, why do we try to change the body rather than the mind).

    Then there’s the words of a parent actually dealing with a trans child, and the reality is very different from the speculation:

    I think there is a feeling in some circles that parents of trans kids see their biologically female child play with a truck three times and rush to change pronouns, throw away dresses, and cover all pink paint with blue. For us, this was not even remotely the case. As our son’s identity began to express itself, we were confused, uncertain, and, to be perfectly honest, a little frightened. Our son began refusing anything remotely “girly” about the time he was 4-and-a-half. He began demanding short haircuts, boyish clothes, and mostly boyish toys.

    …We had no idea what to do. Somewhat guiltily, I will admit that we didn’t fully accept (or maybe want to accept) the reality of our son. We weren’t cruel or entirely unsupportive. But we clung to the idea that it was merely a phase. That he was just playing with roles.

    In pre-K, he was starting to ask for male pronouns. We nodded and brushed it off. In parent-teacher conferences during the autumn of kindergarten, his teachers again told us this, as well as about him asking to use the boys’ restroom. We replied that we were fine with that in school if that’s what he preferred but we still used she/her at home and planned to continue doing so. “We just want to see where it goes,” we said.

    … We feared telling our families and potentially facing their rejection and judgment, their possible assumptions that our time in “liberal Madison” had something to do with our child being transgender. We feared we would cause harm by labeling our child too soon. We let our fears hinder us from being the parents our child needed. We were wrong.

    I share this to underscore how complex this process is. Because there does seem to be the idea that parents of trans kids aren’t making an effort to “make” their kid conform their gender to their biological sex, that we are just rushing headlong into embracing our child’s trans identity. That there aren’t transgender kids, just over-indulgent progressive parents using their child as a political totem. Or, from the other political extreme, that if we have any doubts or fears or missteps, that we are anti-trans bigots pushing our children toward certain suicide. None of those ideas are true. That this is a deeply difficult thing to process doesn’t seem to occur to some people.

  39. Joe says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Glad you are all safe. Years ago, a deer broke through the front window of a friend’s professional office when no one was there. Of course it tripped the alarm, but with the very injured deer storming around the reception area (I don’t remember whether it escaped or died), he told me it looked like a murder scene.

  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: HA!

    I once installed the handcarved fronts of a confessional from a demoed south side Catholic church in a Lafeyette Square family room. I recently ran into the owners at a funeral and the wife said it is a story often told.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Welp, that’s why insurance exists.

    And why we pay it.

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: I await the “This guy is a raging asshole” t-shirts with bated breath. He’s about to find out free speech has to be payed for.

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: When I was a kid of 4 & 5 or so, I loved parading around the house in my mother’s high heels. In my young mind it was, “grown up.” Neither Ma nor Pop made any kind of deal about it and eventually I moved on to other more self destructive modes of behavior.

    These days, I have no doubt that more conservative parents would totally wig out if little Johnny came out in Mom’s high heels.

    Kids need space to figure these things out. I’m glad it’s not my problem anymore but whatever path my granddaughter’s choose, I will help them along it any way I can. I know my sons will too.

  44. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Nathan Lane as Albert in The Birdcage,

    Oh, I know what you’re going to say. “If you kill the mother, the fetus dies, too.” But the fetus is going to be aborted anyway, so why not let it go down with the ship?

  45. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Ah the joys of country living. Glad that you and the family, but maybe not Darlene are all right. Great story to tell.

  46. Sleeping Dog says:


    As much as I disagree with the statement he’s making, he is right and as @Monala: notes, like her employer, all statement clothing would need to be banned. If the school has that policy then the kid can’t wear the shirt, but if not, they need to adopt it.

  47. Kathy says:

    Space Elevator.

    It’s a fun, informative way to spend a couple of minutes. I’m amazed how high some birds can fly.

  48. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Monala: Nice story Monala. I appreciate it showing up here.

    Our daughter didn’t come out to use until she was 19. She was mad at us for not noticing, though. We would find her sister’s bras in her room, but her sister was so careless, we thought nothing of it.

    The consequence of her not saying anything about it was that she was very depressed and socially anxious. We barely knew her at all, and then she came out. It made so many things make more sense, that we accepted it immediately. At one level. And we felt like we were meeting her for the first time.

    I also felt that the child I had known, or that I thought I had known, had died. I went through a mourning process, which I tried to do privately. I didn’t want her to feel guilty, the transition, even with pronouns (which is all it was at that stage) had such a positive effect on her.

  49. Monala says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I think as you, and the parent who wrote to Friersdorf, have said, it’s a complex issue that even the most accepting of families must wrestle with. And it shouldn’t be anyone else’s business besides the individual, their family, and their therapist and doctor.

    Comments like the one from the woman who says she’s a liberal feminist drive me bananas (it’s not the first time I’ve seen that sentiment expressed). They know and have fought for years to try make people realize that women don’t have abortions casually, and regardless, it’s no one else’s business. Yet they can’t see that the same is true for trans individuals and their families.

  50. Mister Bluster says:

    Gordon Lightfoot 84

  51. Gustopher says:


    I’ve been reading Conor Friederdorf’s columns, especially the ones where he asks readers to chime in. A recent one was on the gender debates. As usual, people without any actual knowledge or connections to trans people are full of speculation (example: “I’m a liberal feminist who was a tomboy as a child. I know that if I were growing up today people would wrongly insist that I was trans!” And another reader who wanted to know, if the body and mind don’t agree about the person’s gender, why do we try to change the body rather than the mind).

    Both of those parenthetical people seem like they have entirely reasonable questions for which there are entirely reasonable answers (“no, you fool!*” and “we have no effective psychiatric drugs or therapy that can change someone’s gender, check back in a few decades… maybe we will discover that as a surprise side effect of a third generation boner pill or something”). Is Friederdorfland somewhere they will get reasonable answers? I always found him a bit bothsidesing useless.

    *: I suppose it is possible that the liberal feminist thinks that “every woman wants to be a man, right?” and is one bit of information away from a sudden realization that will change her life, but probably she’s just ignorant and concerned because of the amount of propaganda going around, and just needs a little information to counteract the misinformation.

  52. Monala says:


    Is Friederdorfland somewhere they will get reasonable answers? I always found him a bit bothsidesing useless.

    Interesting that you ask. Another of his recent columns asked readers to chime in about diversity training. One reader, who identified herself as an African American woman working in Human Resources, talked about how people tend not to respond to diversity training in the form of lectures, but they do respond to it in the form of stories. When they start to listen and understand the stories of women, people of color , immigrants, LGBTQ folks, etc., that can help change attitudes and perspectives.

    So I guess it all depends on whether his readers listen to and try to understand the stories of those directly affected by the topic at hand, such as the parent of a trans son that I quoted above.

    Btw, another writer who used to do the “reader chime in” thing was Andrew Sullivan when he had his Daily Dish blog. I recall even he himself changed his mind about late term abortion (from always against to agreeing that it is sometimes necessary) after several of his readers who had to make that heartbreaking decision shared their stories.

  53. Michael Reynolds says:

    I warned you. Everything you ever kind of maybe wanted but could not find an excuse to buy.