Tuesday’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. Scott says:

    One thing I’ve never understood in today’s United States. How does an American’s rights depend on what state they live in? Why has that question not be asked of every politician? I’m thinking, of course, of the abortion issue.

  2. Scott says:

    I wonder if our defense department is watching closely or will the inherent slowness of a massive organization condemn us to fighting the last war?

    Small to medium size conflicts like the Russian-Ukraine war are, out of necessity, testbeds of new warfare technologies, tactics, and techniques.

    Polish defense leaders push ‘dronization’ of the armed forces

    Polish defense leaders plan to embed drone capabilities into all levels of the armed forces, building a new military component devoted to unmanned aircraft and speeding up their acquisition.

    The envisioned transformation comes after studying the lessons gleaned from Russia’s full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine and Kyiv’s ensuing defensive operations, now in their third year.

    Ukrainian forces rig machine gun networks to down Russian drones

    Ukrainian forces have rigged an elaborate network of sensors in the country that feeds targeting data to heavy machine guns for downing Russian combat drones, according to analysts.

    The fallback tactics towards mobile, low-cost defenses come as sophisticated interceptor missiles donated by Western allies are running low.

  3. Gavin says:

    It’s fun to see the video of one of the RFK campaign directors outlining their plan to ratfunk Biden by getting Disaffected Democrats to vote RFK so that Trump wins.. with her slide deck in the background showing the strategy and EV count in bullet points.
    The so-called rationality of antivaxxers is definitely made of real words.

  4. Joe says:

    @Scott: While I believe in the “states as laboratories of democracy” concept that relies on some level of differences, I am always interested in how little state policies seem to affect who continues to live in or move to particular states. We might talk about how important our rights are, but the right job comes up in (pick a state you think is backwards) and here I go.

  5. Stormy Dragon says:


    Meanwhile in the trans community, what we would do if we’re forced to suddenly flee our state, how to help people trapped in certain states, deciding what states are safe to visit, etc. is a major topic of conversation.

  6. Scott says:

    @Joe: I understand “laboratories of democracy” as an idealized concept but are states really that. Are some states becoming “laboratories of something other than democracy”?

  7. Gavin says:

    @Scott: It’s time we talk for real about the “states as laboratories” concept. It’s absolutely not a thing Republicans believe in for 1/7th of a second. It’s a fake excuse used as a stalking horse because they know their actual policies are abhorrent to voters. Republicans say that both because they think they can get their favored policies implemented via their control of courts explicitly to ignore democracy.. and because they’re intentionally taking advantage of the liberal tendency to assume good faith. Treating this as some kind of One Neat Trick is far too kind —- even the civil war used States Rights as a fake excuse.
    Note, of course, that the “final straw” for those same states once again asserting states rights… was watching a Yankee state assert its own states’ rights to reject a claim from a Southern state. And of course those pesky northern states don’t Axshually have any rights, amirite!

    Republicans want to ban abortion nationwide, full stop, and “individual states” is just part of the boiling-the-frog-slowly concept. Of course they didn’t take into account that they’d be smacked with a clue-by-four regarding votes in favor of personal rights in most of those states, but that doesn’t mean they’re stopping the momentum for the nationwide abortion ban —- and here’s a bet those nationwide ban vote attempts in the House won’t stop at abortion.

  8. Tony W says:

    @Scott: Outside of the population of white, land-owning men, there has never been a time in this country when your civil rights did not depend on what state you live in.

    The concept is in our very fabric as a nation.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joe: I am always interested in how little state policies seem to affect who continues to live in or move to particular states.

    Inertia. People are loathe to change things up as long as their current circumstances are tolerable. Think of boiling frogs.

  10. MarkedMan says:


    I am always interested in how little state policies seem to affect who continues to live in or move to particular states

    Together and alone, my wife and I have lived in the Midwest, the South, and the the Northeast. Now that we are looking for a place to retire, we are most definitely looking at state and even county level policies. We are not going to live in a state that voted for Trump, or a county that did so despite being in a Blue State. It’s not really about Trump, but rather shows a level of stupidity and bigotry that we just don’t want to be at the mercy of. It’s hard to imagine such places are going to be making good long term decisions. Also, as a rule Trump states have poor public services and the governance there is all about setting groups against each other. When we reach the “elderly people” stage we don’t want to be in a place where the power brokers are constantly weighing whether it’s time to throw the pensioners under the bus and gin up resentment against us.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Heh: Yes, total eclipses are very nice. But have you ever smelled bacon?
    Zoe Williams

    Having just returned from Arkansas on my own eclipse chasing sojourn, I can’t help agreeing with Zoe. The previous eclipse passed over my house and we had an eclipse viewing party with some friends in attendance. I can’t say that this eclipse was any more or less than the previous one but tbh that’s not why we went.

    The real reason we went so we could enjoy the company of some of our long time Arkie caver friends and to once again enjoy that oh so “cooked and steep” topology. We hit paydirt on both of those scores.

  12. CSK says:


    Southern New England is pretty much uniformly blue.

  13. charontwo says:


    We might talk about how important our rights are, but the right job comes up in (pick a state you think is backwards) and here I go.

    It depends on the nature of the job. Some people can work anywhere. If your experience is designing offshore oil platforms and petrochemical plants, your choices are mostly limited to Houston and, well, Houston.

    ETA: It wasn’t always like that, but all the engineering companies in places like southern California. Tulsa, Chicago etc. have first merged with Houston companies, then closed their Socal offices.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: I like Burlington, Vermont, but we might end up along the commuter railroad between NYC and Albany. Climate change is a big part of our decision, both in finding a place that will be less susceptible to the heat waves, flooding and hurricanes and whose government will be able to rationally react to the challenges it does face.

  15. gVOR10 says:

    I am reminded that today should be a national holiday. On this date in 1865 Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox. Other commands continued to fight briefly, but this is generally regarded as the end of the war. The nation really should celebrate.

    My little corner of SW FL has a stop light at the corner of Sumter Blvd and Appomattox Dr. This town in a once Confederate state nicely bracketed the war. Not sure anyone else gets the chuckle out of it I do.

    In other local color, I see in the paper this morning that nutjob General Flynn’s nutjob sister is running for the board of our public hospital.

  16. gVOR10 says:

    @Scott: Elsewhere I’ve seen commentary noting that Ukraine, a country without a navy has disabled a third of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, driven them well offshore, and maintained commerce in the Black Sea while the Houthis have largely driven shipping out of the Red Sea despite the efforts of the U. S. and Royal navies. Drones and missiles may have made large ships obsolete.

  17. Beth says:

    @Tony W:

    Outside of the population of white, land-owning men, there has never been a time in this country when your civil rights did not depend on what state you live in.

    I wonder if there is a, professional, lawyerly, way to say that. Oh yeah, I remember:

    “the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.’”

    Meanwhile I continue to wonder if I can get a drug dealer to get Estrogen for me.

  18. Bob@Youngstown says:


    where the power brokers are constantly weighing whether it’s time to throw the pensioners under the bus and gin up resentment against us.

    Particularly where that effort is in service of maintenance of a political party.
    IMO, nothing speaks to national divisiveness like setting each state against another.

  19. Tony W says:

    @Beth: I am sorry you face this tribulation. One of the reasons I live in California is that I trust this state to be among the best at protecting individual liberties and civil rights for all people.

    We do have our problems, and the morality bar is ridiculously low in the U.S., but we Californians regularly use our enormous wealth to help our fellow citizens better than nearly every other state in the Union.

    And the good news is that seems to be chasing the worst of the conservatives from our state into other parts of the country – raising the average IQ of both states in the process.

  20. Kathy says:


    Flooding and hurricanes are fairly easy to avoid:

    Pick a place far from a coastline to avoid hurricanes. Most flooding is along the courses of larger rivers.

    Now, hurricanes can make it inland, sometimes far inland. but 1) that’s rare, and 2) far from the coast, you avoid storm surge.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Vatican calls gender fluidity and surrogacy threats to human dignity

    No comment beyond I feel the same way about the Church.

  22. Jen says:

    @Kathy: While the risk of flooding is higher along rivers, the reason that flood insurance isn’t part of standard homeowners policies is because flooding can happen pretty much ANYWHERE. Rapid snow melt while the ground is still frozen? Flooding. Too much concrete to handle a downpour? Flooding. Desert area where water doesn’t have anyplace to go? Flooding. Post-wildfire heavy rain? Flooding.

    People seriously underestimate their flood risk. Unless you are on top of a hill, there’s probably a chance of floods.

  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    The pope doesn’t want to any confusion between priests who molest girls and priests who molest boys.

  24. CSK says:

    Shares in DJT, previously at $80, have fallen to $37.

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Trae hits it out of the park again:

    Trae Crowder


    @Michael Reynolds: Aha! It all makes sense now. Thanx, I was about to twist myself into knots trying to make sense of a Church edict again

    @CSK: What’s the over/under on $5 a share?

  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: “Far” is a vexing term, though. In the late 90’s we were living in Baltimore, which is decently far inland (yes, it’s on the water, but the water is Chesapeake Bay, not the Atlantic Ocean), and a hurricane left us without power for 5 days. Hurricane Sandy did a similar number on our home in Connecticut, despite having Long Island and the sound in between the Connecticut shoreline and the path of the hurricane. And we were 15 miles inshore to boot. Now add to this that hurricanes are becoming more powerful, to the point where meteorologists are considering adding a Class 6 category. Class 5 is “winds greater than 155 mph”!

    And while you are right about most “house swept away” type flooding being near rivers and oceans, “basement full of water and your house full of mold” can occur anywhere there is a torrential downpour if it exceeds the ability of the house and landscaping to channel it away.

    Several of the places we are looking at are close to the Hudson River, but it’s a hundred feet or more cliff-like drop to the normal water level.

  27. Kathy says:


    By “far” I mean something like 100 kilometers from the nearest shore.

    All places are prone to something. Hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, gales, rain, snow, etc. This is, after all, the world the so-called all-loving, all-knowing deity created specifically for humanity.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Baltimore is well over 100 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean, although it does sit on the Chesapeake bay and is about 100 km from the Delaware Bay. Like I said, I get your point, but I don’t think 100 km is enough to completely avoid. Even a 100 miles is probably not enough for that. But it’s probably enough for our purposes.

  29. Kathy says:


    I’d recommend Vegas. I think they can get flash flooding, but supposedly the city has means to deal with that. The downside is it may almost literally dry up and vanish soon.

    On to other things, It seems the August 12 2026 eclipse will take place near sunset in parts of Spain. I’m trying to figure this out, as I’d hate to spend the money to travel there and find totality taking place under the horizon, or, worse yet, behind a mountain.

    The other thing is that the biggest expense for a transatlantic trip is the air fare. So, I thought if I go, I should take side trips to Rome and Athens, these being the two places in Europe I most want to see.

    It’s a long way off, and two years under the current political climate is like half an eternity. First, I need to start putting money away.

  30. Mister Bluster says:

    I didn’t catch how the subject came up as me and a couple of other delivery drivers were standing around waiting to pick up our newspaper bundles to distribute so when the dispatcher asked me when I thought the world would end I said something like “Well the sun is supposed to burn out in 7 billion years or so and it will expand into earth’s orbit so Mother Earth might have 6 billion years give or take before old Sol burns her to a crisp.”
    I guess that wasn’t what he was expecting as the look I got was about as blank as could be.
    I suppose that I should have said: “The second Tuesday of next week so pack your bags!”

  31. Grumpy Realist says:

    Best comment found on social media eclipsewise: “Fenrir! You spit that out right now!”

  32. Kylopod says:


    In the late 90’s we were living in Baltimore…and a hurricane left us without power for 5 days.

    My parents moved into their current Baltimore home in 2001, and for the first several years (when I was still living there) they had horrible power outages, often lasting days. One hurricane left them without power for over a week. There have since been improvements in the electric grid, and they don’t have these long outages anymore.

  33. MarkedMan says:


    I’d recommend Vegas.

    Vegas is hotter than hell and will only get worse! I wish Michael all the best but my wife and I are outdoor people and Nebraska is only going to become more and more arid and unlivable.

  34. CSK says:


    I was going to suggest the Hudson River Valley. Maybe Dutchess County.

  35. Beth says:


    The Pope wants to come for us? We bring the fire:


    I am not a Catholic. What the Pope has to say about my dignity is no more relevant to my self-conception than a police officer busily ransacking my home for electronics. If the Pope thinks my unique dignity has been threatened by taking cross sex hormones, nuts to the Pope. It hasn’t been.

    There is a temptation, in the face of the widespread perception of our lives as undignified, to say “the hell with it” and embrace foolishness. Much of transfemme culture, in particular, is playful in its willingness to embrace and subvert stereotypes, to reclaim AGP, kink, perversion, furry culture, to trans Kurt Cobain, to trans Superman, to spit in the eye of propriety. All of this is, I would say, good: The middlebrow conception of a dignified person in dignified clothing with moderate, dignified, centrist politics isn’t for us, and attempting to embrace it as a trans person means embracing self-hatred and destruction. (This doesn’t mean it’s incumbent on us to wear undignified clothing or dye our hair purple, just that however proper or improper our dress, it will never be the source of our dignity.)

    The muscle a trans person needs to assert their worth in the face of a dominant culture that mocks them begins with coming out. Every trans person who has once come out to anybody has begun developing the muscle for transgender dignity, a dignity that exists in defiance of anyone’s attempt to define us as ridiculous. However, there are a number of ways we can cede ground and dignity to our mainstream oppressors. One is nihilism, which I already mentioned. Another is an attempt at concession or compromise with respectability. A trans person who places their dignity in contrast with other, less worthy, trans people, someone who grovels and begs for the mercy of being recognized as one of the good ones, loses that dignity of asserting themselves as having worth inherently. Once they concede to the mainstream that their worth can’t stand on its own, unsupported by the diminishment of other trans people, they’ve lost it and are reduced to asking for it back from people who will never, ever grant it to them.

    Similarly, a trans person who lives a stealth life, as necessary as that may sometimes be for their survival, also sacrifices some dignity, particularly if they allow comments about trans people to be made in their presence without asserting the worth and dignity of their trans siblings. A trans person who embraces racist politics, sexism, transmisogyny, or the politics of wealth and privilege does something similar. It should come as no surprise that many of these compromises can cluster together, as they do in Caitlyn Jenner, the least dignified trans woman in existence.

    Transgender dignity is found in the rejection of this, and not just this, but also every one of its supporting pillars. It is a rejection of the idea that men and women have between them, as the Catholics would have it, “the greatest possible difference that exists between living beings,” with its bizarre implication that a heterosexual married Catholic cis woman has more in common with a female chicken than the human man she shares her life with.

    As trans people we trouble some of the mainstreams most deeply experienced fears and prejudices. For this we will be laughed at, jeered at, feared, and hated. To embody dignity as trans people is to accept this as the state of things. It means saying, calmly and directly, that nevertheless we are as real and worthy of respect as anyone. We demand and expect fair and equal treatment, and if we don’t get it, that is the mainstream’s moral injury. It has nothing to do with us.

    The whole thing is long but very much worth your time. The Pope is not.

  36. Jay L Gischer says:

    Sigh, I was rather fond of Francis until now. I’m not a Catholic, but I keep tabs on them. Apparently the thing has a carveout for people born with unusual genetic expressions of sexual characteristics. (There’s some very, uh, unexpected, things that happen every once in a while. Nature is messy.) Of course, that’s exactly the situation a trans person is in. For some reason, that’s just very hard for some people to get through their noggins.

  37. Franklin says:

    @MarkedMan: There’s always Ann Arbor, buddy. Liberal af in a purple state, no natural disasters to speak of except the rare tornado. And the Great Lakes tend to moderate the extremes caused by climate change.

  38. Kathy says:

    This week will be a second iteration of beef stew. I’m just about halving the amounts of barley and beans, so I won’t need to add more beef. We’ll see how it turns out. On the side I’m doing kasha and rice, cooked separately and mixed.

    For ice cream, I’m thinking piña colada. How’s that not coconut and pineapple? This one has cream in it, but not rum. So, puree about 250 gr. of pineapple, plus 400 ml. cream, plus 330 ml. coconut milk, sweetener, and perhaps a small dash of vanilla.

    BTW, this leaves me with about 100 ml. of cream. I may, time permitting, try to whip it up

  39. Franklin says:

    Duplicate comment when my other one didn’t immediately appear.

  40. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    The exceptions involve what’s loosely known as intersex conditions, which may be anything from ambiguous genitalia, to androgen insensitivity. In the west, it’s customary to intervene surgically and early, to be followed by hormones later in life. Usually without ever asking the patient what they want or would prefer, and hiding the truth later on in life.

    This is not necessarily wrong, but there have been issues documented later on. You can’t ask a newborn what they want, of course, but there’s usually an arbitrary decision, taken very early, before the child even has a chance to begin expressing any kind of personality development. The parents’ preferences may be considered, but not the child’s.

    What’s really striking is there’s little if any medical follow up later in life. Some doctors claim great success, but have no clue how their patients are faring in their teens and beyond.

    If there’s any kind of gender care that needs a second, third, and fourth look, and more state oversight, it’s this.

    Instead it gets all the exceptions.

  41. Kathy says:

    I’ve never been involved in any sort of legal case, certainly not as the principal in one. So, I must ask: is losing in court a thrill or a high like an orgasm, or perhaps snorting cocaine*?

    I ask because Lardass does it so often, I have to conclude he gets off on it.

    Though maybe only when someone else foots the legal bills.

    *I’ve never done that, either, but there’s more coverage about it in the scientific literature.

  42. Stormy Dragon says:


    *stands up and applauds*

    For me the most enraging part of the Pope’s announcement isn’t the hostility toward trans people; it’s the sense of ownership over my body being expressed.

    Who the fuck is Jorge to think he gets to decide what does or doesn’t dignify my humanity?

  43. gVOR10 says:

    I couldn’t remember where I saw the piece I was largely referencing in @gVOR10: . I just stumbled across it again, John Q at Crooked Timber.

  44. CSK says:


    So much winning. I’m bored with winning. Aren’t you?

    Oh, and Bloomberg has bumped Trump from its list of billionaires.

  45. dazedandconfused says:


    Bet the house the DOD is paying attention to the drone issue, and that your local police and people like the Proud Boys are too. The current and potential effects on the modern battlefield and for domestic terrorism are scary as hell. “Perun”, an Aussie military analyst with a solid rep and a bit of a sense of humor.

    Near the end he mentions an academic at a war college who isn’t getting it (yet), but he will.

  46. Kathy says:


    It’s possible “winning” is how Lardass pronounces “whining.”

  47. DrDaveT says:


    Vatican calls gender fluidity and surrogacy threats to human dignity

    I was thinking that the headline should have been “Vatican officially sides with Pharisees”.

  48. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kathy: I’ve had an ob-gyn tell me about an intersex condition where an XY is born without T receptors. One consequence of this is that they have testes, which are undescended, and if left there, will rot, abcess, and evetually kill the infant.

    So, they remove them. It’s not a hard call. The interesting thing is that this ob-gyn, (who was very trans/gay positive, by the way) told me that what they used to do is some reconstructive surgery (on a newborn, yes) and tell the parents that it’s a girl, who will be unable to bear children. And this worked out “fine” according to her. (I’m not quite so sure about that.) She expressed regret that these days they actually tell parents what’s going on in detail.

    Nature is messy.

  49. steve says:

    Kathy- Pina colada ice cream rocks. Hope it turns out well. I have been experimenting with oxtail. Made a guyana pepper pot, Chinese oxtail soup and just made a middle eastern version with white beans. Used lots of aleppo pepper. Pretty good but not good enough make again. Also working on perfecting my arepa recipe.


  50. Kathy says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I’ve heard claims like that, but also of women who found out they were XY androgen insensitive later in life. But then, the spectrum of intersex conditions gets very little attention, and good, reliable info is hard to find.

  51. Kathy says:


    I’m far less adventurous than that.

    I rarely follow recipes I find online exactly. Most times I change what seems right. The big exceptions is when I’m doing something completely unfamiliar.

    I do follow Kathy’s first law: the ingredients are already dead, there’s nothing you can do to them in the kitchen that will make it any worse.

  52. CSK says:


    I’m glad I wasn’t raised in any religion.

  53. Monala says:

    @Beth: Beautiful essay. Thanks for sharing it.

  54. steve says:

    Kathy- Some of my bread making attempts probably broke that rule.


  55. Kathy says:

    Boeing’s back in the news, and not in a good way.

    I hope the aviation blogs will have something about this. The mainstream media just doesn’t get aviation, much less engineering. I assume the whistle blower referenced will have provided the FAA with details.

    On other news, Delta is changing boarding from fare class names to numbered zones. Essentially the same boarding scheme, with different labels.

    Boarding is one of those perennial issues. Everyone wants faster boarding, no one quite manages to.

    The Mythbusters did boarding tests with a nice airplane cabin mockup and lots of volunteers. I think they pronounced the back-to-front window-middle-aisle method as superior. But they had volunteers who were explained the various boarding rules, and who obeyed them.

    Usually boarding people will line up and completely disregard instructions from the gate agents. Not many enforce boarding rules (it may vary in other places). And the mess happens when people stand in the aisle to load their carry on bags in the overhead bins. Especially when the bins near their seat are full.

    I think the second best method in Mythbusters was the free for all. Just let people board in whatever order they lined up.

    The fastest single aisle boarding I experienced was with Interjet and Volaris in Toluca. There were no jet bridges at the airport, so it was all done with stairs. The thing is they opened both the front and back doors, and just herded people to the right door by row number (1-12 front; 14-26 back).

  56. Mister Bluster says:

    So the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law restricting abortion. Maybe the good citizens of the Grand Canyon state should vote to pay its justices 1864 wages.

  57. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    The silver lining is there’s a movement for a ballot measure to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. I think they’ve gathered more than the number of signatures required. if that’s on the ballot this year, and given the two Dem senators and governor, plus Biden’s surprise win in 2020, I’d say odds are good for Biden to win Arizona again.

    If the GQP had a spine, they’d propose a law mandating all states must allow abortion for the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, with the option to allow it for more weeks as each state chooses, and with deadline exceptions for rape and incest. That would defuse the execrable Dobbs decision fallout.

    I wonder if the Dobbs decision was, in Talleyrand’s phrasing, worse than execrable. It was a big mistake.

  58. Tony W says:

    @Kathy: Rape and Incest exceptions feel good, but they are terrible policy and do not do the thing that many people think they do.

    Typically they require a police report or other proof. That means reporting Uncle Charlie to the police, or possibly facing your rapist in court. Many – maybe most – victims just want it to be over and go away.

    So, those “exceptions” put a terrible burden on the victim, and most often leave the perpetrator unscathed.

    The only moral abortion policy is one that allows women to make medical decisions about their bodies with their doctors, without government intervention.

  59. Kathy says:

    @Tony W:

    I agree.

    But if there is a time limit, then it’s worse if no exceptions are made for rape or incest.

    I’d also add an exception involving the health or life of the mother, in the judgment of her physician. This avoids any arbitrary legal standards, and does not require the mother to be nearly dead before anyone dares do what’s medically necessary.

  60. Franklin says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Ooh, interesting info. I don’t know any more details, but your description reminded me of what I heard about my cousin’s child many years ago (maybe late 80s or early 90s), that there was some problem and they had to do some sort of reconstructive surgery and the girl would never be able to have children. You’ve made me curious if this is what happened, but I suppose there are many other possible birth defects that could sound like that.

  61. Kylopod says:

    @Franklin: When I was a kid we had a family friend with an intersex child, though it was kept a secret and he was raised with a masculine name and identity. I don’t believe he underwent reconstructive surgery. As he had severe physical and mental disabilities (he couldn’t even speak), it was hard to tell if he experienced any gender dysphoria.

  62. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..If the GQP had a spine…

    If the moon was made of green cheese the earth would have been covered in fondue yesterday.

    The Arizona for Abortion Access campaign announced on Tuesday that it has so far gathered more than 500,000 signatures, with three months left to go before the July deadline. The campaign, which is made up of several reproductive rights groups including Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona and Reproductive Freedom for All Arizona, is spearheading a ballot initiative proposal, titled the Arizona Abortion Access Act, that would enshrine abortion protections in the state constitution.
    Because the measure is a constitutional amendment, it must garner 383,923 verified voter signatures before it can be presented to voters in November.

  63. Jen says:


    Usually boarding people will line up and completely disregard instructions from the gate agents. Not many enforce boarding rules (it may vary in other places).

    This feels like one of those areas that could eventually be improved by AI. Have a boarding gate design that essentially scans the bar codes and only allows those who are authorized to be boarding at that time to go through the gate. If you try and board when it’s not the right time, a loud buzzer goes off and the gate won’t open. People would learn quickly not to bollocks up the queue.

    I absolutely HATE when people try and board before they are supposed to.

  64. wr says:

    @Jen: “If you try and board when it’s not the right time, a loud buzzer goes off and the gate won’t open. People would learn quickly not to bollocks up the queue.”

    I love your optimistic worldview! And I’d love to think that where you live, this is what people would do.

    But in all the airports I’ve been through I’m pretty sure that many of those trying to scan passes out of turn would simply scan and scan and scan, and then start yelling at the gate agent, and generally hold up all boarding until either the gate agent called security — thus slowing down the whole process even further — or simply let them in to get the line moving again.

    And by the way, about half of those trying this would be doing it because they were seriously confused, and the other half would be mad because “you’re not the boss of me.”

    The only way to make your system work — at least with Americans in line — is to supplement your buzzer with about 5,000 volts of electricity.

  65. Matt says:

    @gVOR10: Unescorted and unarmed ships have been “obsolete” since the dawn of ship building.

    You’re comparing apples to bricks. The Russian navy has been in poor shape since basically forever. Their ship’s defensive systems and training are a really bad joke. Paper tiger begins to describe the situation.

    Now if the Houthis were sinking American war ships then you might have a point. The AO involved is quite expansive and the houthis have been throwing drones and missiles galore only to sink one ship this entire time…