Thursday’s Forum

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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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The teen, who had a knife, locked himself in a bathroom, and deputies tried to get him to come out for about a half hour, according to the sheriff. But when the boy threatened to harm himself, deputies kicked down the door and tried to apprehend him, Dicus said.

    A video and still images of the encounter show the teen holding a knife, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. Deputies pepper-sprayed him, and one deputy’s hand was sliced by the knife, the newspaper said.

    The teen was backed into a bathtub, where police shot him, Dicus said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

    Yes, the one cop got his hand sliced while no doubt trying to disarm the boy but in the end it all comes down to they were afraid he was going to self harm so they shot him.

    Dicus said Wednesday that in both Ryan Gainer and the 17-year-old’s cases, deputies had been met with violence. He said parents need more access to mental health services for their troubled children, so that law enforcement isn’t the only option in times of crisis.

    “My record as sheriff for the last several years is I have championed having a better mental health system,” Dicus said. “The corrections environment and our public environment have been challenged a number of times where the only mental health resource we have in our community is law enforcement, and that’s the only 24/7 resource that we have.”

    He’s not wrong, but…

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Uh huh:

    Donald Trump’s social media company Trump Media managed to go public last week only after it had been kept afloat in 2022 by emergency loans provided in part by a Russian-American businessman under scrutiny in a federal insider-trading and money-laundering investigation.

    The former US president stands to gain billions of dollars – his stake is currently valued at about $4bn – from the merger between Trump Media and Technology Group and the blank-check company Digital World Acquisition Corporation, which took the parent company of Truth Social public.

    But Trump Media almost did not make it to the merger after regulators opened a securities investigation into the merger in 2021 and caused the company to burn through cash at an extraordinary rate as it waited to get the green light for its stock market debut.

    The situation led Trump Media to take emergency loans, including from an entity called ES Family Trust, which opened an account with Paxum Bank, a small bank registered on the Caribbean island of Dominica that is best known for providing financial services to the porn industry.

    Through leaked documents, the Guardian has learned that ES Family Trust operated like a shell company for a Russian-American businessman named Anton Postolnikov, who co-owns Paxum Bank and has been a subject of a years-long joint federal criminal investigation by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) into the Trump Media merger.

    The existence of the trust has previously been reported by the Guardian and the Washington Post. However, who controlled the account, how the trust was connected to Paxum Bank, and how the money had been funneled through the trust to Trump Media was unknown.

    Just a house of cards. Also…

    There is also no indication that Trump or Trump Media had any idea about the nature of the loans beyond that they were opaque, nor has the company or its executives been accused of wrongdoing. A spokesperson for Trump Media did not respond to a request for comment.

    After this story was published, a lawyer representing Trump Media said in a statement: “The Guardian continues to propagate its false narrative that TMTG has these fake connections to Russia. It is a hoax. Litigation will continue on this point and we are confident that The Guardian will ultimately be held responsible for its defamation and this story should be retracted.”.

    But Postolnikov has been under increasing scrutiny in the criminal investigation into the Trump Media merger. Most recently, he has been listed on search warrant affidavits alongside several associates – one of whom was indicted last month for money laundering on top of earlier insider-trading charges.

    Smoke, fire, and all that. More at the link. Much more.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    So there was a fight at Madison Square Garden last night and a hockey game broke out.

    Rempe and MacDermid fought the longest on Wednesday as their tussle continued at center ice after the other four fights had ended. Four players from each team received game misconducts two seconds into the game.

    Just in case anybody is curious, the Rangers won 4-3. The hockey game that is. Not sure who won the fight.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Speaking of smoke, fire, and all that: Two brothers plead guilty to insider-trading scheme linked to Trump’s media business

    Two Florida brothers pleaded guilty on Wednesday to securities fraud over their roles in a $23m insider-trading scheme when they traded on confidential information in 2021 about the planned merger between Donald Trump’s social media company and the special purpose vehicle that would take it public.

    The men – Michael and Gerald Shvartsman – had originally pleaded not guilty when they were charged with multiple counts of securities fraud last year alongside a third co-defendant and were scheduled to go to trial later this month.

    But weeks after Michael Shvartsman was charged with an additional count of money laundering in a superseding indictment, he and his brother reached a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to one count of securities fraud and avoid trial in federal district court in New York.

    I can’t help wondering what kind of songs they have to sing.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    We don’t know what percentage of children manifesting gender dysphoria will retain that into adulthood, and attempting research into it is highly fraught for a career, at least in the United States. However, Kevin Drum highlights a recent paper from the Netherlands that sheds some light on it. While the n seems large (2200 children), the percentage exhibiting gender dysphoria is low, so the number of children in the category is a fraction of that, approximately 300. The paper needs time to be understood and critiqued by others in the field, and it would be good if other studies were undertaken, both in the Netherlands and elsewhere. In any case, the bottom line is that they found that approximately 12% of children exhibit gender dysphoria at age 11, but follow ups every two years shows that rate drops until age 19 to about 3%, where it stabilizes. The last followup was at 25. Put another way, three quarters of 11 year olds who expressed gender dysphoria “always” or “sometimes” no longer felt that way by age 19.

  6. drj says:


    approximately 12% of children exhibit gender dysphoria at age 11, but follow ups every two years shows that rate drops until age 19 to about 3%, where it stabilizes.

    Obviously, it can’t be the case that 12% of all children in the Netherlands receive puberty blockers or other care in anticipation of a permanent gender transition.

    Thus, I would be careful to draw conclusions from this paper related to the actual treatment of gender dysphoria.

    I think we can all see how this study’s findings are going to be used by bad-faith actors.

  7. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This brought back a memory. For my son’s 10 year old birthday party, I took a bunch of boys to a minor league hockey game here in San Antonio. We had front row seats in one of the corners behind the glass. Game was terrible but, for the boys, it was an opportunity for enhanced vocabulary acquisition and new fighting techniques. They had a blast. Their mothers would’ve been appalled.

  8. Mister Bluster says:

    Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
    January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968

  9. Beth says:


    Alright, I’m going to call bullshit on this. Especially the way the Drum framed this.

    First, according to the abstract, this survey didn’t measure gender dysphoria, it measured “gender non-contentedness” which it explained was a broader category.

    We know that there are non-binary people (which this study admits they exist, but they can’t pull out of the data cause the questions weren’t good), there are more masculine women and feminine men. If I’m reading this abstract correctly, it’s just saying that about 20% has some relative gender issues. To that I would say, yeah, no shit. That doesn’t mean 20% of the population has gender dysphoria or is trans, it just means 20% doesn’t do gender like the 80%. Whoop-Di-do.

    The problem is Drum says “gender noncontendedness “ equals “gender dysphoria” and then whips up a fake graph that doesn’t appear in the study. I looked multiple times for that graph. If you find it, I’ll eat my shorts. It’s not there, cause that’s not what this study measured. Also, Drum’s graph is intentionally misleading. I’m going to say he’s a fucking liar that lies. You know how I know he’s lying? He labels his graph as a measure of “Gender Dysphoria” and implies that it peaks at 11 years old. The study, which again, only measures “gender noncontendedness” explicitly says:

    The gender non-contentedness prevalence was highest at the first assessment wave (mean age 11), but no data before this age were available. Thus, based on the current sample we cannot conclude that the prevalence of gender non-contentedness during development peaks around age 11.

    The effect of Drum’s lying. I just looked at the post again, he’s fucking lying. The effect is seen in the first comment:

    “Obviously we need further research, but my initial take is that any permanent gender procedures should be done at 18 and not before and laws that do this help more people than they hurt.”

    I wish I could force cis people to experience the trauma and horror of experiencing the wrong puberty. I wish I could force men to endure 200 plus hours of facial electrolysis. I wish I could get people to understand the unrelenting agony I experience every time I talk. Passing is a bullshit cis-heteronormative concept, but you wouldn’t be able to tell I wasn’t a natal woman if I hadn’t been tortured through a masculinizing puberty. You know how I’m super confident in that assessment? Because I’ve met enough people that had no fucking clue I was trans until I opened my mouth.

    Denying gender affirming care to kids that need it is torture and you are being lied to in the hopes that you’ll support torturing trans kids.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Game was terrible but, for the boys, it was an opportunity for enhanced vocabulary acquisition and new fighting techniques


  11. Beth says:


    Especially since it’s obvious that Drum is acting in bad faith.

  12. drj says:


    First, according to the abstract, this survey didn’t measure gender dysphoria, it measured “gender non-contentedness” which it explained was a broader category.

    Wow. This is exceedingly sloppy (what Drum did).

    Especially when looking at what the study says:

    A broader concept is gender non-contentedness, referring to unhappiness with being the gender aligned with the birth-assigned sex (Egan & Perry, 2001; Potter et al., 2021). To illustrate the relation between these concepts; a young adolescent girl who mostly likes things seen as typical for boys and who dislikes the changes she goes through during puberty, might (temporarily) experience gender non-contentedness, although she might not experience gender dysphoria or wish to transition from female to male.

    A kid essentially disliking traditional gender roles (towards they are now increasingly pushed) is obviously not the same as a kid disliking their own gender identity.

    I’m not sure if Drum is acting in bad faith, but what he did is – at the very least – completely irresponsible.

  13. Beth says:


    Here’s another problem I have with Drum. I’ll be less strident here, mostly because my search skills kinda suck. Drum calls this a recent survey, intimating that it just came out. But it came out at the end of February. I can’t find any mention of it by Erin Reed or Assigned media, two trans reports that giver this stuff extensively.

    This is important, because it suggests to me that this study wasn’t published somewhere a lot of people are going to see it. The anti-trans bigots would have jumped all over a survey that purports to show that gender dysphoria decreases significantly by age 20. They would have gone ape shit. Watch, they’re gonna go apeshit now that they have Drum’s lying graph. If the bigots had started promoting this study, Reed and Assigned would have been all over it, cause that’s their job. I would have seen it cause I am inundated with this garbage.

    I call bullshit.

  14. Beth says:


    Bingo!!! Thank you thank you thank you.

    I have zero reason think anything other than Drum is acting in extreme bad faith. At a minimum he’s recklessly lying. At worst, he’s intentionally, maliciously stupid.

  15. Matt Bernius says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    For the last year, I’ve been making regular trips to Memphis to help facilitate a community research project. Every time, I have stayed within a few blocks of the Lorainne Motel, the assassination site. When the National Civil Rights Museum was built there, the motel’s exterior was preserved. While getting around that area, I end up walking by it just about every trip.

    Every time I am struck by how it’s such a great example of how great acts of evil play out in the most banal of spaces.

  16. Matt Bernius says:

    @Beth & @drj:
    This gets to a larger issue around the rise of wonky independent journalists writing about whatever they choose (versus having a beat). Folks like Drum and Yglesias, among others. They develop some “beat” areas where they accumulate a lot of knowledge and usually create insightful analyses. Because of that, and their engagement with academic sources in those pieces, they become seen as, or at least akin to, public scholars.

    In traditional journalistic institutions, their editors would encourage them (or force them) to stick to those beats. And typically, if they wrote outside of those beats, they would get more oversight and fact-checking (at least in theory).

    But once you become more independent, you can write about whatever you want. As a result, they often write about topics that interest them in the moment–regardless of whether or not they did the work to really understand it. And once that’s out of their system, they usual forget about that writing (or at least don’t come back to it).

    And that’s what makes them different than a lot of academics trying to do public work. Usually–though again not always–they learn to stick to their expertise (especially if they are writing in an immediate feedback medium).

    I have no idea what Drum’s intent was here and haven’t paid closely enough to his writings around trans issues to know if this is part of an ongoing pattern. I do see this as part of a larger pattern of what happens when these guys write (without care) about things they haven’t done the work to really understand and analyze (i.e. they don’t deeply care about). And to Beth’s point that, unfortunately, often bring attention and lend their credibility to things that experts within a given topic would call BS on (or, at the very least, unpack with a lot more nuance). And that’s also a significant issue, in my opinion.

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    @Matt Bernius:..Every time I am struck by how it’s such a great example of how great acts of evil play out in the most banal of spaces.

    Texas School Book Depository and Ambassador Hotel kitchen are two of those banal spaces that come to mind.

  18. Joe says:

    @Matt Bernius: We visited Memphis a few years ago. Our local hosts took us to a BBQ restaurant around the corner from the hotel. I was, of course, aware that MLK had been assassinated in Memphis, but was not expecting to see the Lorraine. I recognized it immediately.

    We took the tour of the National Civil Rights Museum that is grafted onto the back of the hotel facade (totally worth it) but were still surprised when the final exhibit was walking through a plexiglass tunnel through the fully preserved rooms of the hotel that Dr. King and his entourage were staying in. Aside from the banality of the site, I was struck by proximity of the window across the street from which Ray took his shot. It took no marksman. They may well have been able to look each other in the eye.

  19. steve says:

    Enhanced vocabulary acquisition will go into my permanent lexicon. Speaking of which I used to preferentially hire ex-military. On their first day I used to give them a vocabulary sheet that would help them convert commonly used military bad words into acceptable civilian talk. I am not especially given to profanity but it sometimes surprised me how easy it was to slip out, at least partially because the term we used in the military fit better than anything else. When something is a true cluster#ck no word fits better. Just saying “this is totally messed up” doesnt capture the correct essence of the event. Anyway, I gave them the sheet to be funny but also as a reminder.


  20. Scott says:

    @Mister Bluster: King had just turned 39. That seems shockingly young these days. Especially given the accomplishments he achieved.

  21. inhumans99 says:


    Perhaps, but ultimately the number of folks who go through a phase of feeling out how comfortable they are in the body that they reside in and still have discomfort about what gender they are is rather tiny when you reach a certain age

    Copy/paste from Drums post:

    By age 25, the share of people who felt gender dysphoria “always” was 0.75% for men and 0.5% for women. (end copy/paste)

    Drums post show that the panic amongst the Right about attempts by the left to force kids to question what sex they are, etc., are way overblown and really make the Right look like a bunch of shrill hysterics when it comes to this subject.

    After all, it is no shock that young teens or even young adults might spend some time in their life questioning who they are and how they fit in. There would be no need for the term Tomboy if all girls only felt it was natural for them to only feel the urge to play with Barbies and hold tea parties with stuffed animals as their guests.

    My takeaway from Drums post is that this panic that a bunch of lefty parents want to pump kids throughout America with puberty blockers needs to be called out for what it is, because trying to ignore the hysteria on the Right is not really working as they continue to try and scare parents by using the $20 word that is dysphoria.

  22. Matt Bernius says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I haven’t been able to do the tour–too busy working to dedicate the time to it. My next trip will most likely have me there for a somewhat free Sunday and I’m planning to do it then.

    100% to your point about the simplicity of the angle as well.

    @Mister Bluster:
    Well said.

    I LOVE this approach. Makes total sense and is really smart. Code shifting (the fancy term for using different forms of language depending on the situation) is a learned and perishable skill. And language habits are incredibly difficult to break.

    Also ditto the point about “Enhanced vocabulary acquisition.” Love that phrase!

  23. EddieInCA says:


    I was struck by proximity of the window across the street from which Ray took his shot. It took no marksman. They may well have been able to look each other in the eye.

    I had the exact thoughts and feelings when I visited.

    I also had the same thoughts and feelings (minus looking each other in the eye part) looking down from the window in the Texas Book Depository from which Oswald took his shots at Kennedy. I remember thinking, “I could make this shot easily. And I’m only decent with a rifle.” It wasn’t a hard shot, given how slowly the motorcade was traveling. Oswald was rated as both a marksman and sharpshooter in the Marine Corp. That shot would have been very simple for him.

  24. Kathy says:

    Well, it seems after four long years, I may have succumbed to the trump disease.

    Yesterday I thought it was a cold, but I developed fever overnight. I can tell by the detailed, semi-lucid dreams, the sudden need to pull up the covers in bed, and the thermometer that read 38.2 C this morning. Curiously, I had one of the best night’s sleep in years.

    I should have stayed home and taken a test, but I have some confidential papers with me the boss needs today (long story). So, here I am at work, waiting for 10 am when the pharmacy nearby begins to do COVID tests.

    The other curious thing, is that , fever aside, this seems milder than any cold I’ve had before. Who knows, it could be flu.

    Now, I did take a flu shot late last year, and a Pfizer Omicron booster in December. This in addition to the two dose regime of original Pfizer in May/June 2021, and two AstraZeneca original boosters in 2022. It hardly seems fair.

    And I don’t think I can get Paxlovid here…

  25. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Beth: I have read Drum for over 20 years now. I very much doubt he’s lying, as such.

    What he’s doing is cherry picking. And assuming that even though he doesn’t know much, he understands. He doesn’t understand, but he thinks he does.

    *cough* I was just like him until my daughter came out as trans *cough*. I thought I knew, but I didn’t know.

    I have been trying to work on him on the trans issue. He should be reachable. I don’t know why he hasn’t really been reached.

  26. CSK says:


    Keep us updated, please.

  27. Bill Jempty says:
  28. Bill Jempty says:
  29. CSK says:

    Trump says Biden is doing coke.

  30. Bill Jempty says:


    Just in case anybody is curious, the Rangers won 4-3. The hockey game that is. Not sure who won the fight.

    Brings back memories of the Broad Street Bullies doesn’t it?

    More recently there was the dust up of a Vancouver-Calgary game in 2014. More memorable than the on ice melee was Vancouver Canuck Coach John Tortorella trying to invade the Calgary locker room at 1st intermission.

  31. Jay L Gischer says:

    The survey did not measure gender dysphoria, but something a lot more common, which as you point out, is no big deal.

    You have a completely mistaken notion about what gender dysphoria is. So does Kevin Drum. I had the same mistaken notion. So I’m addressing it.

    People who are trans – people who have gender dysphoria – do not change their mind about it. This is, I’m sorry to say, a diagnostic criteria (and something that makes many trans people mad, as they are certain that what’s happening to them is a permanent thing, and yet it’s hard for anybody else to tell).

    I myself had gender non-contentedness. There were all these things that “Be a man” told me not to do, and I had some protest about that. I still kind of do, though it’s a lot less. That’s gender non-contentedness. That’s what I thought gender dysphoria was about until my daughter transitioned.

    For a couple of weeks I blamed myself for not being a ‘good enough’ man for her to want to do that also.

    But, it turns out, that has nothing to do with it. There’s something very deep in her (brain? gut? psyche?) telling her that she’s a woman, and physical manifestation be damned. It doesn’t have much to do with “liking” one thing or another at all.

    The thing that really got my attention was when I read about the trans man who said “I thought I’d grow a penis at puberty”. That’s not like any sort of gender non-contentedness I had experienced, not at all.

  32. Bill Jempty says:

    The Sports headline of the day- Oakland A’s to Play in Sacramento for Next Three Seasons

    The ballpark in Sacramento seats less than 15,000 people and most minor league parks don’t have comparable to major leagues ones. There’s more than just players and fans to figure into the equation.

  33. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Matt Bernius: I agree with your analysis viz. Kevin Drum. I have read him every day for the last 20 plus years. I very much doubt he’s acting in bad faith. He’s acting on ignorance that he isn’t aware that he has. Which is really, really common when it comes to trans people.

    He’s on a trend lately of being a contrarian of the sort that says, “that thing you worry about isn’t that big a thing – here’s a chart”. Even today there’s a chart of price increases of various food products. The trans post fits in that mold, so he cranked it out, not knowing enough to know its wrong.

  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    Well done. I sent your comment to my kid. It saves her having to write essentially the same comment.

    BTW, I’m almost 70 and depending on the day and the time and wether I’m high, I might well answer that I was ‘not-content’ with my gender. Drum isn’t stupid enough to conflate ‘non-contentedness’ with dysphoria, so I vote: liar. ‘Non-content” is to dysphoria as ‘having s shitty day’ is to clinical depression.

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: I think if Biden were to agree* on the condition that trump took one too, I think the worst possible result for trump would be if his came back clean.

    “You mean you’re NOT on drugs??? This is normal for you??? ”

    * (he won’t, it’s a schoolyard taunt and Joe’s better than that)

  36. Stormy Dragon says:


    We know that there are non-binary people (which this study admits they exist, but they can’t pull out of the data cause the questions weren’t good)

    Most non-binary people are still trans and experience gender dysphoria. This comment sort of felt like we were getting lumped in as being “not real trans”.

    Also, while this paper’s “gender non-connectedness” is a terrible replacement for the reasons you mention, gender dysphoria shouldn’t be the sole criteria for trans identity.

    For one: it’s bad for trans people, both because it leads to “you must be at least this miserable to transition” gatekeeping and because defining our existence entirely in relation to our suffering is bad for our future development. We should be focused on the positive experiences that are our goal, not the negative ones that we originated from.

    Finally, dysphoria doesn’t reflect the current state of the field, which increasingly sees dysphoria as a symptom rather than a diagnosis. I personally find the theory that “gender dysphoria” is the way complex PTSD manifests in trans people due to the constant stress of having to perform the wrong gender for others a compelling explanation.

  37. Kathy says:


    NEGATIVE. more details later.

  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I would suggest that we cue up the “law enforcement =/= mental health services” argument again, but…

  39. Beth says:


    Man, Trump’s really out here trying to make Biden look cool.

  40. Kathy says:

    So, the rapid antigen test says it’s not COVID. That’s good.

    These pharmacy tests are administered by a doctor, as they have a tiny medical office attached. So he looked at my throat, asked some questions, told me it was unlikely to be flu (not miserable enough, apparently), and prescribed a general antiviral and an anti-inflammatory.

    I kind of was stuck on it has to be trump virus or flu, because what else? And bacterial pneumonia is a real PITA. Now I wonder about RSV, but I don’t really know the symptoms for that. It could be some aggressive common cold rhinovirus with delusions.

  41. CSK says:
  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    Have you considered allergies? Every year I get what I’m sure is strep throat until I realize, Oh yeah, it’s Spring. Sensitivities change as we age. Age 5 to age 50 or so I ate a lot of cashews, and then, all at once I couldn’t.

  43. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Matt Bernius: Correct. After a visit to The Sixth Floor in Dallas a few years ago, I wrote an essay about how great (and monstrous) acts can take place on very small stages. It won an award from a writers’ group in NC.

  44. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @EddieInCA: I’m teaching a class on how conspiracy theories develop, using the JFK assassination as an example. Back in the mid-1960s, CBS did a special in which 11 different marksmen fired a Mannlicher-Carcano at a course replicating the movement of the presidential limousine. Only one shooter missed all three shots; most scored one or two hits on the target. But conspiracies have a peculiar appeal.

  45. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Now and then I get a rash inside the elbows. I always assume it’s something I consumed. Last time was just a few weeks ago. I hypothesized it was the coffee-flavored coke. I stopped drinking it, and the rash subsided.

    I sneeze now and then, too, but it doesn’t seem to get worse by season.

    Regardless, I’m waiting for the boss to tell him I’m taking tomorrow off, not counting the day against vacation time.

  46. Kathy says:

    And a blue check here, and a blue check there. Here a check, there a check, everywhere a blue check. Old McXlon had an app.

    I never used Xitter’s previous incarnation, Twitter, all that much and less so after Xlon ruined it (more). I don’t know what the deal is with the blue check marks, other than many who paid for them might feel like suckers now.

  47. inhumans99 says:

    I appreciate the folks who have stepped up to open my eyes regarding what gender dysphoria actually is.

    What surprises me is that folks are kind of dug in on declaring Drum is a hateful liar, even MR went down this path.

    Like myself, Drum is clearly ignorant about this subject, and yes he tends to be a contrarian but he is one of the good ones out there.

    He is often one of the most prominent bloggers to say things like for fucks sake, why are we letting the GOP get away with this or that shitty action of theirs.

    Ocams Razor should have you thinking ignorance rather than his being a deliberate hateful liar when it comes to subjects that he should do deeper dives into prior to putting up one of his posts.

  48. gVOR10 says:


    Trump says Biden is doing coke.

    Every accusation is a confession.

  49. Kathy says:


    In addition to all that, one should always keep in mind that one study is never conclusive proof of anything. No matter how rigorous and how well it’s carried out, it’s at best tentative and indicative until it gets replicated, or confirmed through similar observations.

  50. Beth says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Yes, absolutely, 100%. I am a very, very, binary trans person. I am binary enough that I don’t understand non-binary identities. That and a heaping dollop of 90’s bullshit and you have a problem. My problem. One that I continue to work on and continuously fall short. My therapist and I were discussing how bad the “It’s Pat!” SNL sketches messed us both up.

    Finally, dysphoria doesn’t reflect the current state of the field, which increasingly sees dysphoria as a symptom rather than a diagnosis. I personally find the theory that “gender dysphoria” is the way complex PTSD manifests in trans people due to the constant stress of having to perform the wrong gender for others a compelling explanation.

    My therapist was telling me about one theory that resonates with her, a cis woman who sees a lot of trans clients, is that dysphoria is better understood as a form of dissociation. I desperately wish I had a way to explain dysphoria to people that don’t experience it. It erased years of my life. I have whole years that I don’t remember much of anything and what I do remember I can’t place when it actually took place.

    Frustratingly, everything the trans community comes up with to explain this eventually gets thrown back in our faces. The whole born in the wrong body stuff is a good example. It doesn’t really work, but I understand why people expressed it like that. Now we get sneered at, “How could you be born in the wrong body, neeh!”


    I promise you I will come back to this and explain myself. It’s just going to take more than a couple of minutes and I very much have work I need to get done.

  51. Kylopod says:

    No Labels has decided to go the way of the other octogenarian Joe.

  52. Mister Bluster says:

    No Labels, No Candidate, No Kidding

  53. Mister Bluster says:

    “No Labels has always said we would only offer our ballot line to a ticket if we could identify candidates with a credible path to winning the White House,” the group said in a statement. “No such candidates emerged exist, so the responsible course of action is for us to stand down.”


    (Professor Taylor won’t have anyone to kick around anymore.)

  54. CSK says:

    I lose track of Trump’s delinquencies after a point–really, who could keep up?–but in case this hasn’t been mentioned here, he’s suing the two co-founders of Truth Social for mismanagement of the site initially.

    Therefore, Wes Moss and Andy Litinsky should be stripped of their shares.

    Moss and Litinsky filed suit against Trump this past February for diluting the value of their shares by jumping the number ofr shares in the firm from 129 million to one billion..

  55. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    No Labels. No Candidate. No Shit.

  56. dazedandconfused says:


    I had the precise reaction when I was in that square. All those conspiracy theories had me thinking it was a difficult shot too.

    Only about 80 yards. The car was moving slowly and almost directly away from him. Almost a stationary target from his perspective, no lead needed at all. A braced, scoped rifle at that distance? Within an hour I could get nearly anyone making 90% hits on that shot.

    Conspiracy crap has a way of sinking into us, even if we don’t want it to.

  57. Mister Bluster says:

    I don’t know what held me back. An uncharacteristic attack of decorum?

  58. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    You may rely on me to be unseemly for you when you suffer another lapse.

  59. Gustopher says:


    In any case, the bottom line is that they found that approximately 12% of children exhibit gender dysphoria at age 11, but follow ups every two years shows that rate drops until age 19 to about 3%, where it stabilizes.

    Not to pile on too much and repeat what everyone else said, but…

    If 12% of Dutch 11 year olds think they are trans (and this is clearly what Drum means with gender dysphoria), this suggests there is something completely insane going on in the Netherlands. Or that the study is flawed. Or that the interpretation is flawed.

    Drum is usually better at this — recognizing that wildly unexpected data often doesn’t show what you think it does. And I’m pretty certain that he has written about the Irreproducibility Crisis in a lot of modern science, particularly psychology.

    So, there’s that — not applying a basic sniff test to the data.

    And then there’s the “sometimes”, which is probably where the data and his interpretation goes off the rails.

    I question whether asking 11 year olds if they “never/sometimes/often/always wish they were another gender” is going to tease out any meaningful data on the “sometimes.” If I questioned a basic part of myself more than 10% of the time, I would think that was “often”, so I don’t think this “sometimes” is particularly frequent.

    Also, these are 11 year olds. Their hormones are just kicking in, and they are at an age where they should be questioning everything at least “sometimes”.

    I kind of wish they also asked if they “never/sometimes/often/always wish they were a cat, dog or dragon” — it would help show how seriously to take the “sometimes” Being a dragon would be awesome. And my cats seem to have a good life.

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    they are at an age where they should be questioning everything at least “sometimes”.

    Yeah. This one. Exactly.

  61. SenyorDave says:

    I think there is a large element of Kevin Drum playing at being a contrarian, finding a result that plays into a contrarian paradigm, and then running with it. To say a blanket 18 year old limit that would “help more people than it would hurt” sounds like a complete shoot from the hip statement. Maybe to balance Drum’s analysis he could have talked to a few actual doctors and statisticians. Maybe also review data from the NIH. But that might have yielded answers that didn’t fit his conclusion. Better to leave these life-altering decisions to the state legislatures of MS, AR, FL, etc.

  62. DrDaveT says:


    When something is a true cluster#ck no word fits better.

    I thought “goat rope” was the usable-in-polite-company military equivalent.

  63. gVOR10 says:

    Drum does seem to have gotten ahead of his understanding here. But as someone who’s quoted Drum occasionally in these threads, usually without any pushback, I’ll offer some defense. Drum’s schtick is to dig out what data he can find and tease what he can out of it. Usually this is useful, sometimes he misfires. and he does have a tendency to bend over backwards to try to seem “reasonable’ (= centrist).

    @Matt Bernius: comments that bloggers suffer from lack of editors. I’ve made the same observation about Substack. A second set of eyes before you hit Post could save a lot of silliness. But. Blog posts and comments are not doctoral thesis. If newspapers are the first draft of history, this stuff is the rough notes. We should correct errors and argue our different views, but a good bit of tolerance is appropriate.

    As far as I’m concerned, by putting data on the table, even if sometimes the data or his analysis is shaky, he’s head and shoulders above the usual political whiners who attack, say: CRT in grade school, cancel culture, antisemitism in academia, vaccines, etc. with nothing but anecdotes. I am far from convinced that three quarters of the supposedly crucial problems dividing us politically are even real.

  64. gVOR10 says:

    I’ve been meaning to link to this Guardian story, Moon Standard Time? NASA to create lunar-centric time reference system, to make sure Kathy saw it. The administration has tasked NASA with coordinating with other agencies, U. S. and foreign, to establish a time system for the moon. This has nothing to do with the 1.28 second lag in one-way radio communication. It’s because of relativity and gravity.

    Nasa has until the end of 2026 to set up what is being called Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC).

    It’s not quite a time zone like those on Earth, but an entire frame of time reference for the moon. Because there’s less gravity on the moon, time there moves a tad more quickly – 58.7 microseconds every day – compared with on Earth. Among other things, LTC would provide a time-keeping benchmark for lunar spacecraft and satellites that require extreme precision for their missions.

    … “An atomic clock on the moon will tick at a different rate than a clock on Earth,” said Kevin Coggins, Nasa’s top communications and navigation official.

  65. Kathy says:


    I saw it yesterday.

    GPS satellites are pretty much atomic clocks in orbit, and they have to be corrected for general relativity effects.

    Synchronizing with Mars is far more difficult. The problem is the Martian day is about 24 and a half hours long. The people who control the Mars rovers therefore go off phase with their local time, as the rovers are maneuvered mostly in local daytime.

  66. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’ve been thinking of K Drum’s post off an on most of the day and have decided to say only that this is why I don’t postulate on transgenderism. I’m ignorant and I know it. Ergo, I listen, accept, and take what trans people say as their truth.

    Why wouldn’t I?

    It affects me not at all. I don’t need to understand. And ftr I don’t think I ever will. I. don’t. have. to. understand. All I have to do is accept.

    And Hell’s Bells, that’s easy, I accept other people’s Christianity, don’t I? Been doing it all my life. Accepting trans is just the same step down a slightly different road.

  67. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: Fuck. I’m a union carpenter. I speak as a union carpenter. Always have, always will.

  68. DrDaveT says:


    GPS satellites are pretty much atomic clocks in orbit, and they have to be corrected for general relativity effects.

    Actually, they have to be corrected for both general relativity and special relativity. They’re that precise. It’s a compelling confirmation of the theory.

  69. Beth says:


    As promised, I have returned. Please bear in mind, this is being written by a 46 year old super binary trans person.

    As far as I’m concerned, there are three possible options here:

    1. Drum intentionally misrepresented a study because he is a liar;
    2. Drum intentionally misrepresented a study because he is a malicious bigot; or
    3. Drum intentionally misrepresented a study and didn’t know in this political climate he was making an argument for torturing trans people because he is profoundly stupid.

    Remember, HE created and labeled that graph. Me, after about 5 seconds of reading at 7am (not a morning person) figured out that 1. the graph doesn’t appear in the study, and 2. does not measure what the study claims to have measured.

    I will also add, that one (two?) of us pointed out his, let me be charitable, “mistake” and he did nothing to correct a profoundly egregious mistake.

    Through my transition I have come to discover a kind of man and it’s always a man, women tend to do their anti-trans shit differently, that presents himself as a contrarian, a truth-teller, someone willing to ask questions NO ONE ELSE DOES! or is afraid to ask. They almost always present themselves a centrist or someone who is just sliiiightly left of center. Some of them, like Conor Freiderdorf are just annoying. Some of them like Jessie Singel are outright bigots.

    What they all share in common is a belief: that while a mythical “true transsexual” might exist somewhere, we have vastly exceeded the number of trans people that should exist. They all believe, that at best we are deluded and at worst, a bunch of sad autogynephiles with surgery kinks. Their solution to the problem of trans people is to simply torture us until we give up or prove them right by killing ourselves.

    This is exactly the kind of thing Drum is doing here when he says this:

    As you can see, gender dysphoria was most common at age 11 and fell steadily until age 19, at which point it plateaued. The authors found that, overall, 78% of the children never experienced gender dysphoria; 19% experienced gender dysphoria that declined with age; and 2% experienced gender dysphoria that increased with age.

    By age 25, the share of people who felt gender dysphoria “always” was 0.75% for men and 0.5% for women.

    First, the study did not measure gender dysphoria. Second, the study explicitly said that gender noncontentedness does not peak at age 11. Third, by alleging that “gender dysphoria” gradually goes away by age 25 for almost all people, he’s implying that there is a fixed number of trans people, we have way too many trans people, and (I don’t think he understands this part) that it is more important that cis people be comfortable, than trans people exist.

    If for example, that if 20% of the population started at age 11 with gender dysphoria, which he implies is a bad thing (and he’s right) but that by age 25 that less than 1% of people would experience gender dysphoria because it just goes away for most people, it would probably be unethical to transition before 25. The problem is, reality is much much different.

    It wouldn’t particularly shock me if a study came out that said that in fact, 20% of the population has some sort of gender incongruence. Gender rules, roles, and boundaries are ridged, strictly enforced, and deeply protected. Cis women have a little more freedom here. They can be tom boys, or sporty or whatever, so long as they remember they are women. Cis men have it rougher, they are taught the absolute worst thing in the world is being a woman. If your a man and saying not me or some bullshit, yes you.

    Out of that 20% comes out a smaller group of people, 1-3%. That 1-3% won’t respect those gender boudnaries at all. They will come out and say, “No, I am a girl/boy” (note, do you see the problem with that framing?). They won’t say it once or twice, they will say it a lot. It will hurt them when people don’t recognize that fact about them. As an aside, I have a theory that all trans people, certainly all binary trans people, come out at age 3 or 4 to their families and are subjected to intense ridicule, shame, or in my case, gets the shit beat out of her to make her stop.

    But that dysphoria, what I now think of as noise and blackness, never goes away. It just gets louder and louder. You hit puberty and it gets worse. By the time I was in highschool I hated taking my shirt off because it felt like I was showing my breasts to everyone. But I wasn’t like the other girls, my breasts did not exist in objective reality, in my reality, they were there. I don’t remember most of high school. The years between 1996 and 2004 are a rough jumble of memories and void. One of the things that punctures that void are the times I crossdressed. When I finally got a pair of breast forms that glued on that noise finally got a little quieter. I had to live with that noise eating at my brain and soul for 40 years. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t transition sooner.

    Because I went through masculinizing puberty, I have spent over 200 hours getting my facial hair electrocuted off, one at a time. Thousands of dollars. I had to have surgery to change my hairline and grind off my brow ridge. Did you know you get those guys? I didn’t but I like it gone. Critically for me, I am stuck with this voice. I hate this voice so fucking much. I am stuck with it as a constant reminder that I am not cis. That I will always be an other. I can hang with the medusa’s cause I am also the wrong kind of woman. It didn’t have to be like that.

    For the small subsection of people, maybe as much as 3%, most of those who as children show that they are consistent and persistent in their gender will at some point in their lives transition. For those that do it as children, they should be supported and given access to blockers and hormones when appropriate. There are certainly going to be some edge cases and some people will make mistakes, or simply come to understand their bodies differently. But those people will be in the minority. Not allowing kids and people to transition is saying, “it is more important that I remain comfortable, than you exist.” What Drum did today, whether he intended to or not, was to advance this line of thought.

    I know this because I read this constantly. Nothing but a stream of bad faith and bigoted shit. Because we are different. If you have Apple news, do what I did and set up a favorite for “Transgender”. It’s a never ending stream of people screaming about how evil I am. Drum’s article would fit in perfectly with any of them.

    Thank you for coming to my BethTalk.

    PS, thank you again to whoever quoted me over at Drum’s place I appreciate that. Feel free to direct him here, I’m happy to talk to him about being Trans any time he wants.

  70. Stormy Dragon says:


    I remember reading an article recently and one particular anecdote that hit me hard even as a trans person myself was a part about a pre-teen trans girl who loved to sing and whose mother has been desperately trying to get her access to puberty blockers because she is terrified if she doesn’t before puberty starts, her singing voice will be irrevocably lost forever…

    …and I just now, while I was typing this comment had an epiphany… I was in jr. high chorus. Even got a solo or two. But I quit after ninth grade and never really sang with intention after that… right after my voice changed. Fuck, I was that girl once…

  71. inhumans99 says:


    Food for thought, I read your entire post.