Saturday’s 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. Bill Jempty says:
  2. Bill Jempty says:
  3. charontwo says:

    Pamela Paul fisking:

    Gender Stuff


    If we are accused of activism in our published responses to Pamela Paul, it is only fair to apply that label to her and some of the sources she uses as well. For instance, Pamela Paul claims that “The Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine” is “one of the most reliable nonpartisan organizations dedicated to the field.” She relies on non-reviewed journal letters to the editor from this group in her original essay and response to us on multiple occasions as evidence of her claims. However, what she does not reveal is that according to the Southern Policy Law Center, SEGM has received significant funding from the same sources that support the partisan Alliance Defending Freedom and the Heritage Foundation, organizations known for drafting anti-trans legislation. SEGM is closely linked with anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ extremist groups, a connection mapped out by the SPLC’s analysis. Its founder, William Malone, was part of an anti-trans working group in 2019 where members asserted that “god’s will” is being enacted through passing trans bans. In this group, he stated, “It might take years, but we’re going to get them.” If that is not activism, what is?

    Paul seeks to dismiss our criticisms of her misinformation about trans care as activism, but readers deserve better. They should be aware that every major medical organization in the United States supports gender-affirming care due to the evidence behind it. It’s important for them to know that multiple judges have determined the evidence supporting trans care is comparable to that of most pediatric care, overturning bans on care in the United States. Readers also deserve to understand that the narrative Paul presents about high detransition rates and stories of regret does not stem from careful journalism, but rather, anti-trans activist groups. Lastly, they should be aware that these erroneous narratives are now being used to justify legislation aimed at banning transgender “for everyone.”

    This piece was in response to recent piece Paul wrote in the NYT.

    Disclaimer: I have learned not to get into gender stuff discussions, not stuff I know much about.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    If your day didn’t have enough worries already let me help fill it up: Atlantic Ocean circulation nearing ‘devastating’ tipping point, study finds

    Until now there has been no consensus about how severe this will be. One study last year, based on changes in sea surface temperatures, suggested the tipping point could happen between 2025 and 2095. However, the UK Met Office said large, rapid changes in Amoc were “very unlikely” in the 21st century.

    The new paper, published in Science Advances, has broken new ground by looking for warning signs in the salinity levels at the southern extent of the Atlantic Ocean between Cape Town and Buenos Aires. Simulating changes over a period of 2,000 years on computer models of the global climate, it found a slow decline can lead to a sudden collapse over less than 100 years, with calamitous consequences.

    The paper said the results provided a “clear answer” about whether such an abrupt shift was possible: “This is bad news for the climate system and humanity as up till now one could think that Amoc tipping was only a theoretical concept and tipping would disappear as soon as the full climate system, with all its additional feedbacks, was considered.”

    It also mapped some of the consequences of Amoc collapse. Sea levels in the Atlantic would rise by a metre in some regions, inundating many coastal cities. The wet and dry seasons in the Amazon would flip, potentially pushing the already weakened rainforest past its own tipping point. Temperatures around the world would fluctuate far more erratically. The southern hemisphere would become warmer. Europe would cool dramatically and have less rainfall. While this might sound appealing compared with the current heating trend, the changes would hit 10 times faster than now, making adaptation almost impossible.

    “What surprised us was the rate at which tipping occurs,” said the paper’s lead author, René van Westen, of Utrecht University. “It will be devastating.”

    He said there was not yet enough data to say whether this would occur in the next year or in the coming century, but when it happens, the changes are irreversible on human timescales.

    Your welcome.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This is just plain insane: US dentist may lose eye after allegedly getting stabbed in face by ex-patient

    Papers filed by local police in New Orleans’s state criminal courthouse accuse Stewart of going to Tran’s Louisiana dental center office on 7 February and asking to speak to her. One of Tran’s co-workers then heard a loud sound, turned around and saw Stewart standing over the dentist while wielding a knife with a three-inch blade, police alleged.

    Another of Tran’s co-workers heard her remark: “I got stabbed in the face” while blood streamed down from around one of her eyes, police added in the documents. Stewart allegedly chased Tran, 32, as the dentist ran into another room and locked herself in there.

    Stewart is accused of trying to hurt two more employees at Tran’s office, including one who stepped in to defend the dentist. “She is crazy – she is trying to stab me,” one of the employees whom Stewart allegedly targeted was heard screaming, according to police.

    But that was just the final act: added that the prosecutor recounted how – at the time of Tran’s stabbing – Stewart was wanted in connection with allegations that she tried to set a man’s apartment on fire on 31 January.

    The victim in that case told police that Stewart had beaten him with a hammer and hurled threats at him in the days before she allegedly approached his home, lit a match and ignited his window. The man put out the blaze with help from a neighbor.

    But wait, we’re not done yet:

    Meanwhile, on 9 January, a woman alleged that she and her daughters were confronted in a beauty store parking lot by Stewart, who also followed them to a nearby pharmacy. The woman asked Stewart to seek counseling after she said Stewart accused the woman of stealing her identity and food stamps – and threatened to come after the accuser’s family “when the time was right”, reported.

    A civil court judge on 29 January signed an order prohibiting Stewart from contacting or going near that woman.

    Suffice it to say, Ms. Stewart needs help. One last little tidbit:

    This “is the latest chilling reminder that US healthcare professionals are suffering more workplace violence injuries than those in any other industry, including law enforcement, as the Associated Press reported last year.”

    I had no idea.

  6. gVOR10 says:

    It’s starting to look like 2016 all over again. On this morning’s home page FTFNYT has eight headlines about Biden’s age/memory. All because a GOP prosecutor couldn’t follow policy about charge or STFU and claimed he couldn’t prosecute because Biden was such a sympathetic old man rather than admit he had no evidence.

  7. Jay L Gischer says:

    @charontwo: I heard about that piece from another source. It’s all part of the smug certainty of those who carry forward the project of erasing trans people from public life.

    So, they are certain that:

    * There are only two genders which never vary or change and always conform with morphology. Whereas a medical textbook can describe a half dozen very unusual situation with regard to these things, never mind trans people.

    * They are doing Gods will even while ignoring the avowed greatest commandment.

    * Anybody who tries to point out what they’ve got wrong is easily dismissed, perhaps as an “activist”.

  8. CSK says:
  9. Kingdaddy says:

    @gVOR10: Why 8 headlines? Because (1) they’re “topical” (i.e., clickbait); and (2) they take practically no effort to write, just like horse race coverage.

    Years ago, I Arthur Sulzberger, then publisher of the NYT, claim that since the paper enraged both sides equally, they must be getting their coverage just about right. Apparently, he didn’t consider that you can achieve the same outcome just by doing a crappy job.

  10. charontwo says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    They are doing Gods will even while ignoring the avowed greatest commandment.

    From the link:

    Its founder, William Malone, was part of an anti-trans working group in 2019 where members asserted that “god’s will” is being enacted through passing trans bans.

    People who assert “god’s will” do that for a god they have created in their own image, complete with their own biases and bigotries.

    I do not take “god’s will” as a credible argument.

  11. Kathy says:

    Some time ago I linked to Huapango by José Pablo Moncayo.

    Here’s some more of Moncayo’s work.

  12. CSK says:


    That’s wonderful. Thanks.

  13. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    …you can achieve the same outcome just by doing a crappy job.

    Doing both a crappy job and staying in business was harder to do back in the day?

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: very nice

  15. Kathy says:


    You’re welcome.

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    A first for me. Minor road trip for the Superbowl weekend. Checked in to a motel that I’ve stayed at before. The desk clerk asked me if I was on TV or the movies. He said that I looked like someone. English was not his first language and I was in a hurry to get to my room as I had consumed too much coffee while driving and needed to hit the pisser so I didn’t stick around to ask questions. I was already getting the Go Fast Points discount so I guess it wouldn’t have done any good to tell him that my name is Norman Bates.

  17. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Ultimately, everyone with XY chromosomes has a full set of the genetic blueprints for both a male version of themselves and a female version of themselves. Everyone with XX chromosomes has 99% of the genetic blueprints for both a male version of themselves and a female version of themselves (e.g., of the 60 genes known to be involved with the formation of testes, only several are actually on the Y chromsome).

    Gender has very little to do with what genes you have and far more with what genes are turned off or on. In the vast network of thousands of genes enabling and disabling each other, it’s very easy for a glitch to turn off part of the tree that goes with your “primary” gender or turn on part of the tree that goes with the other gender, all to unpredictable effect on the resulting person.