400 Comments

Excited to listen to this. This is a borderline self-doxx so I’ll probably delete, but BJC/WashU is both my provider and the employer/educator of 80% of the people I know. It’s the most shameless display of champagne socialism and elite issue silos, both relating to this and generally.

In the past three-four years, the WUMC curriculum was completely overhauled to center health equity & justice. STL is 50% Black and I know of zero WUMC students who are African-American from Missouri or otherwise - all Black students I know are first/second generation kids with doctor parents of African descent.

Students are obviously from upper middle class through upper class backgrounds, I know of four-five genuinely middle class students. It amuses me so deeply to see their discourse regarding opioids and the discussion around the gender clinic when no one, no one here has meaningfully interacted with what homelessness and addiction look like in STL.

When we’ve discussed the gender clinic, they’ve often fallen back on privacy arguments - that Jamie Reed, even if correct in her perceptions, failed to protect patient privacy. But they also acknowledge that she effectively had no protected reporting mechanism as a staff member who was both client-facing and administrative.

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Her not having a good reporting mechanism is really scary. That's pretty important in healthcare. Sometimes you do need to report something that's very unsafe and not having that mechanism means people might die.

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Definitely should have been some sort of inspector general option - even at the state level (but ideally starting lower).

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Yeah, there are way too many cases of healthcare organizations ignoring problems with the quality of care and patients being harmed as a result. They need some sort of inspector general type thing that really does have teeth and is going to be fair. Sometimes concerns about quality of care turn out to be unfounded, but that's why making sure these offices are unbiased is so important. Most of those cases are not going to be politically charged -- they're going to be stuff like surgeons who have high levels of serious complications or who don't fully disclose the risks and benefits of procedures before the patient consents -- but if they've handled stuff that's not politically charged, their conclusions in politically charged cases are going to be more credible.

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I mean, it depends on whether your priority is enabling actual whistleblowing, or just scoring political points. In most red states, it's the latter (they think employers are pretty much God on earth, so anything that would interfere with the employer's absolute prerogative to fire someone for any reason is viewed with extreme suspicion).

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"Employer" is irrespective of patient treatment safety concerns and appropriate reporting options.

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I would like to respond to this, but I have no clue what it means. Clarify?

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Re: the employer ability to fire folks - there should be multiple ways to report safety concerns without exposing yourself to liability/risk/etc - and IGs normally specify protection.

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Big difference between public schools and private schools in my experience. There’s a lot of BS everywhere, but at University of Kentucky, I would see people who were really Appalachian, at University of Maryland, I would see horse farmers, at LSU, there are a lot of Cajuns, etc. etc. The private schools don’t have any obligation to represent any particular community, which I think makes it easier for them to become insulated from society and go off the rails.

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I've had the same experience at public vs. private institutions. You do see plenty of rich kids at flagship public institutions, in part because they're hard to get into and in part because they can cost as much as private schools for out-of-state students. But you also see a much, much wider range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

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To be fair to the privates, there is of course a lot of variation. I had a classmate at Georgetown who was black and from the eastern part of the city (which is generally a very low-SES, high-crime area, not what most people picture when they picture DC). He has gone on to considerable success in medicine. In DC it might be a little different because we’re not a state and we don’t really have state institutions.

It’s not all or nothing, but I do think there’s a reason the ideological extremes have an easier time taking hold in the ivies than in public schools.

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I think I’ve heard enough about furries to last me a lifetime now. Can we have a long break until the next one?

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author

To pull the curtain back on this a bit, I got deeply invested into figuring out the truth of this story—much less because of the furry angle than because I'm really, really wary of people celebrating political violence. The closer I looked, the more kafkaesque it appeared to me—I assumed that the assaultee would at least be more-or-less a conservative, and was increasingly frustrated and surprised as I dove in. "Punching Nazis is good" is the overwhelming consensus among leftists; that this spat happened among furries has much more to do with a lot of furries being leftists than with anything subculture-specific. I think it's worth articulating a three-pronged response to that—first, why encouraging political violence is so damaging; second, the hazards of turning personal disputes into political grand struggles; third, the object-level truth of what actually happened.

My intention with this particular research was to turn it into an article to submit somewhere, not a segment—not only has the podcast focused on furries a bit more than I think the audience prefers lately, a lot of my interest in it was motivated by wanting an easily readable account, on the public record, of what actually happened in something a lot of people were getting wrong. One occupational hazard of being a BARpod producer as well as a writer, though, is that there's a very clear glide path for projects I fixate on to wind up on the podcast.

For what it's worth, I recognize that a lot of listeners are tired of furry stories. I really do think the increasing comfort with political violence indicated by stories like this is worth serious examination, and it would have caught my attention independent of the subculture it happened in, but my initial intent with this was to present it in another venue and I'd also just as soon see the pod skip furry stuff for a while. There's plenty of nonsense elsewhere.

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I thought I wouldn't like this story because I'm not interested in furry culture. But it turned out to be a super fascinating account of how "Punch Nazis!" ideology has pervaded leftish groups, and I thought you and Katie did a great job with it.

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That’s really interesting context and I completely see why the content of the story was interesting in itself. Apologies if my comment was a bit too dismissive. I can certainly see the work that must have gone into it. I’m always interested in your perspective on furry and non furry matters and alive to read your next piece.

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author

Not at all! I think it's important for the health of the pod that we maintain a pretty wide rotation of topics, and reminders to avoid zeroing in too much on any given rabbit hole are always worthwhile.

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So long as the pod stays away from circumcision debates and Kiwi Farms for the next decade you’re good

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and adult diapers

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I feel like I'm in the minority of loving and wanting more furry content because it's all so batshit crazy and stupid. But judging from the comments I'm one of the few listeners who listens to the podcast more to laugh than to listen to Super Serious Stuff. Tbh I'd love if K&J would start doing occasional non serious episodes where they just chat and joke about all this dumb internet bullshit while taking their journalist hats off. I know Jesse would never do that though.

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> it's all so batshit crazy and stupid.

Furry phobia?

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I got drawn to J&K initially because of the GC rabbit hole and I’m always happy to hear serious takes on the trans issue and out-of-control wokeness too, but I totally agree that my favorite episodes are the ones that are just SO batshit I end up laughing my way through it. My absolute favorite thing is when Katie asks Jesse to describe some insane video or screenshot and you hear him audibly sigh and mutter “Jesus Christ”... that’s when you know it’s gonna be good.

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I thought it was great and look forward to reading your piece.

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`I recognize that a lot of listeners are tired of furry stories'

Not at all! It's a very low-stakes drama, with interesting characters, that demonstrates the insane social dynamics and memory of the moment.

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Well tbh, I did get into a lighthearted argument with my partner this morning about whether Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream is either a therian or a furry, and if so, which. My partner, who is teaching the play right now, wasn’t buying any of it (sigh).

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I demand only furries be allowed to play Bottom. And rename the character "Tail".

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Bro you should be reporting all the furry stories. I loved that one episode where you were on the pod.

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Considering the relative rates of political violence among leftists and rightists, isn't it... let's say, a bit lacking in proportion... to focus on an obscure left-wing subculture rather than the far-right and poltical-Islamist groups that are responsible for like 99 percent of it?

I mean if the goal is just to find a weird story and tell it, by all means do so (I hate to be one of those people who is all "why are you writing about this thing rather than this other thing that I would prefer you write about"), but if the specific project goal is to explain political violence and the acceptability thereof, you are (pun very much intended) barking up the wrong tree.

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author

Well, it's not just an obscure left-wing subculture. Online leftists as a whole loudly and eagerly embrace the "punch Nazis" position.

For me, there's a major difference between violence everyone agrees is bad and violence loudly endorsed by the groups propagating it. I zero in on leftist advocacy for violence because I think it's a serious and underdiscussed problem to have an increasingly influential political tribe openly and passionately advocating for political violence against people they dislike, justifying it with claims that those people's very existence is violence.

There are comparable analogues in other groups! I think Islamist advocacy for violence, for example, is a similarly big deal, and I recently pitched a story on Quran burnings that would have gone into some of that. There are segments of the right that are becoming radicalized in the same way and I'm pretty consistent in speaking out against that stuff inasmuch as I notice it. When an example pops up of a conservative, say, assaulting a socialist and receiving widespread acclaim from other conservatives for doing so, if I don't notice it organically I'd encourage you to draw my attention towards it.

Advocacy towards, and glorification of, low-scale violence directed towards political opponents is an enormous threat to the liberal peace treaty, and I think it should be unambiguously and emphatically pushed against in all its manifestations. I'll admit that I get more preoccupied with leftist advocacy--I think it enjoys a certain social sanction or tolerance among the mainstream that comparable conservative/Islamist advocacy do not, and there are fewer voices available to push against it. But it's something I feel strongly about from all directions.

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So you would.... what, just rather that the far left be much more disingenuous about its tactics and targets? Like, we know that the far right does not actually condemn political violence, on account of they keep doing it (and doing it, as I said, at rates literally multiple orders of magnitude higher than the far left), so their exclamations of sorrow when someone really does rid them of this meddlesome priest are, shall we say, Henry II-esque.

The reason current-day leftist verbiage results in eyeball-rolls and not FBI investigations is because it is generally and correctly understood to be cheap talk; in the periods of time when left-wing violence has actually been serious (and some when it has not), the result has been Ludlow Massacres and Palmer Raids and other ideological crackdowns-with-extreme-prejudice.

(Also, glorification-- indeed, canonization-- of killers of abortion doctors has been a Thing among the Christian Right for decades. Remember the "hit list" that displayed names and addresses and made a point of crossing out the ones who had been assassinated?)

Maybe I'm way out on a limb here, but the fact that the far right are willing to lie about what they are doing should be seen as a bad thing, actually.

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author

Well, no. I would rather those on the far left who advocate and participate in political violence be shamed and disowned by their colleagues, face the same pressure to disown that violence as those on the right face, to be treated as the problem they are rather than patronizingly or pragmatically tolerated. Neither left nor right is a monolith. Some condone political violence from each group, some condemn it. Inasmuch as each has the capacity to police their own and are not doing so, they deserve condemnation. I don't want people to be disingenuous. I want them not to be violent. Do you?

Your claim that the right is orders of magnitude more violent only arguably applies so long as you exclude riots from the category of violence, which I do not. Are you comfortable unambiguously condemning and speaking out against "punch a Nazi" as a slogan in situations like this, against riots, against left-coded political violence of all stripes, or is your frustration with my focus on this issue a matter of tacitly condoning violence so long as it comes from your side, or at least wishing people would talk about something else?

Be as sarcastic as you want: my position is consistent. I have no qualms about shedding a light on and unambiguously condemning advocacy for violence whether it comes from leftists or the far right, and I think you should as well.

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"Your claim that the right is orders of magnitude more violent only arguably applies so long as you exclude riots from the category of violence, which I do not." Glad you brought that up because the riots were in my mind as I read this thread. There has been plenty of leftist violence (not ignoring violence from the right, but that gets penalized and talked about in the media... and I don't think it's getting adequately punished/reported in the opposite direction).

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Okay, fair enough; your ideological project is to boffsidez political violence. At least you're not hiding the ball here. I'll keep that duly in mind when evaluating whether to believe future claims of left-coded violence emanating from this podcast.

I do, however, have to react to the claim that "RiOtZ" are "political violence" with a hearty "lmao, get the fuck out of here," however.

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What is your actual evidence for the 99% figure?

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It should be fairly obvious, if it wasn't already from my use of the term "like," that that number was not intended literally. The exact figure would depend on your precise definition and the timespan of your analysis (for instance, some significant periods of time have no left-wing killings at all).

But to give some representative examples of the actual literature here, Reuters found 13 right-wing and one left-wing fatal political attacks since the Capitol riot:

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-politics-violence/

The Washington Post found that 96 percent of political killers were right-wing, though Islamists were sufficiently more lethal that they only amounted to about 75% of total deaths:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/02/28/extremism-right-wing-deaths/

And more broadly, "left-wing and right-wing extremists are not equivalent when it comes to the use of violence":

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9335287/#:~:text=Left%2DWing%20versus%20Right%2DWing,engage%20in%20politically%20motivated%20violence.

The Journal of Democracy sums up the evidence as follows:

"What is occurring today does not resemble this recent past. Although incidents from the left are on the rise, political violence still comes overwhelmingly from the right, whether one looks at the Global Terrorism Database, FBI statistics, or other government or independent counts." (citing another Washington Post analysis)

https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/articles/the-rise-of-political-violence-in-the-united-states/#f3

citing

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/interactive/2021/domestic-terrorism-data/

which concludes that the far right has been responsible for about 3/4 of attacks and 5/6 of deaths since 2015. (Note that as best I can tell, this DOES include RiOtZ among the attacks attributed to left-wing causes, hence the somewhat-less-but-still-really-right-wing-biased lean of the results.)

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I presume you’re choosing to exclude death & rape threats?

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I'm not "choosing to exclude" anything. I'm not a violence researcher; I'm just quoting from them. I think the studies cited above take differing approaches to that question (e.g. I believe the 2021 WaPo article includes "plots" as well as attacks, which likely brings in some number of threats). Obviously the Reuters analysis is only capturing murders, so it does not include threats.

The bigger problem, however, is that most threats are not criminal in the first place, because they lack the elements of imminence and intent that are required to qualify as proscribable under the First Amendment. I don't think it's remotely reasonable to characterize constitutionally-protected speech as on a level with targeted assassinations or bomb plots.

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What if in a bizarre twist BARpod just became a podcast investigating Muslim extremist but also a comedy podcast?

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I enjoyed this story (I don't mind furry stories, perhaps a result of accidentally stumbling on the Pittsburgh furry convention when traveling for work 10 or so years ago and being fascinated that this subculture exists), and the "justification of violence" angle stood out to me. It seems like many on the far left are super invested in the "punching Nazis is good" narrative and also pretending like large numbers of people are Nazis who aren't and that Naziism is some sort of threat in the US to justify fantasies of violence. It's maybe an effort to feel more important or to justify hating others, but it seems really weird and mentally deranged.

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Couldn’t disagree more - them talking about furries is always hilarious.

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I have a soft (furry?) place in my heart for furries. I just love hearing about subcultures I’m not apart of and their drama in general because I’m nosy and find it endlessly interesting! I think the best episodes are where Jesse and Katie get to dig into this kind of thing.

I loved how the story turned into an examination of the online norm of labelling people who are clearly not Nazis as Nazis and using this as a means of calling for them to be assaulted. The normalization of calling for this type of violence has been a real problem for a long time now and it’s pretty disturbing. A well-laid hit to the head can kill someone or fuck them up for life. There are consequences to this shit.

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Yes please. No offense to anybody, but there’s just too much furry content

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Co-sign. STRONG co-sign.

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Every show seems to be about autistic people, whether it’s furries or trans, autism seems to be the underlying issue

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Just logged in to say this.

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I only listened to the beginning part. Once K got to the furries part I called it quits.

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For me the furry stories are fine provided I’m in the right mood. I save them for when the mood strikes and skip them when I’m not having it.

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Skipping this one.

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What? Katie missed a perfect opportunity to say "fursona non grata"?

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My thought exactly!

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I’ve made multiple comments about this topic years ago. The whole punch a nazi thing is all well and good up until it’s ok to accuse your neighbor of being a nazi for having eaten a frankfurter on a Thursday. Encouraging political violence is a very dangerous game mixed with the level of extreme political polarization being pushed by the media these days.

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Everyone knows you eat hot dogs on Friday, that furtive frankfurter burglar might actually have some suspect leanings

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My apologies. I will now consider references to Thursday afternoon barbecuing as far right/fascist/nazi dog whistles.

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Huh? The media is doing everything it possibly can-- right up to, and beyond, shading the truth about what's going on in American politics so as to normalize tactics that would have been considered completely beyond the pale even ten years ago-- to DEpolarize American politics.

(Also, political polarization is just an unambiguously good thing, full stop. The only thing worse than Republican public policy is bipartisan public policy.)

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Bro, I’m entirely unsurprised by your stance on this. Your comment makes it seem like you think republicans are generic comic book villains.

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If you want to have an argument about a specific point of public policy, or media criticism, or whatever, then out with it. If you're just mad that I'm being a big ol' meany to all those poor Republicans who've done nothing other than want to take away my healthcare, abolish labor unions, ban abortion, and immiserate the bottom 80 percent of American society, well, tough luck.

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My guy, you literally stated that the only thing worse than republicans is bipartisanship. That might be the most close minded political idiocy I’ve heard in a while. If you can’t change that mindset, it’s never going to be worth having that conversation with you.

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Hey, man, if you want to argue in favor of interdicting the income of sex workers in order to conduct a snipe hunt for sex trafficking, extending copyright to absurd extremes such that works published today won't enter the public domain for 150 years or more, spending untold amounts of treasure on the most pointless level of military excess in human history, deregulating banks just in time for a whole bunch of them to collapse at taxpayer expense, or invading Iraq, among the many greatest hits of bipartisan legislation just since the mid-1990s, be my guest. I stand behind my point of view one hundred percent.

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Ironically, I agree with you on many issues presented there. What’s missing from your mindset is that the left is just as capable, and guilty, of covering facts, half reporting truths, and turning a blind eye to corruption as the other side of the political spectrum. (Jesse and Katie being villainized by the left is perfect, real evidence of this.) They just do it in different ways and are driven by different ideologies. Some of those ideologies are good and some are bad, just like the rest of the political spectrum.

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Jesse did you consider turning the modem off waiting ten seconds and turning it on again?

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A fine birthday present for this gentleman 😁 two thoughts:

1. The trans activists were insane before there was any talk of legislation, they want to control reality and are finally getting actual pushback

2. Good lord imagine getting the sweat and sand and... uh... other stuff out of those suits. Good reminder to not bring a UV flashlight to the beach, you never know when you'll suddenly be swarmed by Furmeat

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Dudes, pre-record a housekeeping segment & play that in between segments & add a live addendum as needed. Your talking about your tiredness makes us so tired, y’all.

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Aug 26, 2023·edited Aug 26, 2023

I take it back, I’m halfway through the furry segment and your tiredness is 100% valid.

I was actually looking forward to another wacky furry bit but now I just want to hibernate away until furry fandom goes the way of hackysacks & hypercolor sweatshirts.

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If they pre-recorded it, I would have to skip it. As it is, I find them stumbling to be funny and charming enough to listen every time.

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Me too! I love the goofy banter.

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My unsolicited opinion about the New College of Florida stuff is that I'm personally not interested enough about it to listen to multiple episodes or segments about it. I skipped last week's episode because of that. This is K & J's show and it's their right to make the content they want, it just doesn't intrigue me as much as it seems to intrigue them.

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You missed nothing. They're really just chalking up all criticism as Chris rufo fans. It's not I can only speak for myself but I find him insufferable but I also think they're mailing this topic in because they uncritically agree with the NYT op-ed piece that was last week's feature and are not inspecting any of the bad faith strawman positions they asserted in their last podcast.

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He seems to break people’s brains somehow. I largely agree with what he writes about but then when I actually SEE him talking I want to slap him until his ears ring. I’m probably subconsciously picking up on what Katie was talking about. I hate it when grifters get ahead. I agree with you though, being a NYT op-Ed seems to have some gravitas with Katie and Jesse that it doesn’t have with me. Still, it’s good to hear what they think even if I disagree.

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Rufo is thin-skinned and seems like a grifter -- he was insufferable on the Fifth Column and seemed way too impressed with himself that RW politicians were seeking him out. However, with his criticisms/disclosures of idiotic CRT (or just weird racist stuff that probably does have some underlying CRT in ed school influences) or gender nonsense in schools, I think he is doing a service, whatever the motives. That stuff has been lied about (it doesn't happen) or under the radar, and it is crazy and bad. And yes, sometimes he exaggerates or gets it wrong, but you can tell because he shows his sources. Also, K&J sometimes seem to think that this is about teachers expressing their own views, but it is usually about the school buying curriculum from some grifting (as much as Rufo) DEI type group, and the curricula is required by the school. Some journalist should really do a deep dive into how this all started and how it works.

With the NCofF stuff, I (a) don't care and don't think anyone would except it is in Florida and the media is still acting like DeSantis has a shot at being the R nominee, which he doesn't IMO, and (b) I am going to wait and see what actually ends up happening rather than getting excited about every dumb thing.

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Good points. I think I’ve come to the opinion that I find everyone involved in the whole DIE / CRT grift - for and against - to be revolting and loathsome. I tend to agree more with the substance of the argument of Rufo and his ilk but I have room in my heart to be disgusted by the self-promotion, self-absorption, and self-interest at the expense of children and young people, by almost everyone involved in this whole “debate.” The whole circus is grotesque. I feel so sorry for parents, who actually do have some skin in the game, and who have to navigate all of this crap on behalf of their children.

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founding

having been involved in education and seeing the worrying trends, I am grateful for the pushback that Rufo has helped fuel.

I wish he was better, more truthful, less using it to fuel his own political empire.

It probably takes someone like that to oppose this stuff---Jesse and Katie do (to an extent) without that baggage but they're not actually duking it out institutionally and it probably takes someone with a certain amount of ego and thick skinned shamelessness to endure the constant hatred from the people being challenged.

I hope the university experiment ends up in a better place. This is a difficult task though.

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I don't think it's all that important, then again that argument could be made about "furries getting into online alleged Nazi trouble" too

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Aug 26, 2023·edited Aug 27, 2023

"These dudes are the type of people who have a panic attack if they see a fluorescent light" 💀

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That line made me truly laugh out loud.

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As I've noted before, I really appreciate the Times giving some creedence to Jamie Reed's statements and to the idea of substandard youth gender medical care in general. However part of the framing of the article was "there was such an uptick in caseloads that they couldn't keep up", implying that that was the main reason for a lack of thorough assessment and a rush to medicalization. Given the ideological state of most clinics and professional organizations at the moment, I would think it more likely comes from the "affirming" model.

Also, discussions of problems with such care often get (understandably) sidetracked by examples of clearly undesirable side effects, such as liver damage (which apparently was a weak point in Reed's affidavit) or bone density issues (e.g. in Scandinavia). The bigger question about whether these kids should be on hormones or mutilating their bodies gets a little lost sometimes.

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The uptick in caseloads should be the thing that makes people stop and think and ask why? What other non life threatening conditions would elicit such sloppy treatment?

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Out of curiosity, do you routinely describe plastic surgery as "mutilation"? If not, why not?

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No, I don't. This isn't routine plastic surgery. Do you think it is?

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Right?

What word besides mutilation works for this?

These are surgeries that destroy sexual function, reproductive capacity and have a range of other risk factors. Just once I would like to see an activist/ally type explain how the the removal of healthy, developing and functioning breasts and genitals of children and very young adults is something BESIDES mutilation.

Dr. Marci Bowers, a transwoman, and VERY experienced surgeon, has acknowledged that biologically male children blocked in tanner stage 2 and who then have genital surgery to construct an approximation of a vagina aren’t able to achieve orgasm as young adults. Tanner stage two is pre-teen age wise. I am dumbfounded that anyone would be able to think that a 12 year old could give meaningful consent to never being able to experience sexual climax or have children. This isn’t routine plastic surgery.

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"What word besides mutilation works for this?"

Sometimes I use the word "maim," because it puts the onus on the physicians doing these barbaric treatments when they took an oath to "first do no harm."

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12-year-olds aren't consenting to genital surgery, because it is not performed on 12-year-olds.

As for removal of healthy, developing and functioning tissue, have you let, say, Simona Halep know of your concerns that she has "mutilated" herself, or does this particular bit of hectoring only apply to trans youth?

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There’s a pathway here. Blockers >>> hormones>>>surgery as older teen or very young adult.

For natal males, blocking in tanner stage two and continuing to estrogen is proving to be essentially irreversible- they can have surgery without enough tissue for the surgeon to work with or they can live with a non-functioning, under developed penis. Most go on to have surgery and the surgical outcomes aren’t great. It’s such a lie to say that 12 year olds aren’t consenting to anything irreversible. It’s a comfortable lie but it’s a lie nonetheless.

This is an issue that I have lived in a much more personal way than you can probably comprehend- paying for and providing post-operative caregiving for my FTM sibling after his double mastectomy in 2002 to mothering a now desisted son to loving and taking care of several additional trans-identified children.

I used to make similar pro-trans arguments. I used to play on your team or at least an adjacent one.

As a mom of children who aren’t transgender but who got caught up in identifying as such for complex reasons, I had no choice but to reevaluate and deeply question my “good liberal” biases and beliefs. Once I did that, insisting puberty blockers are just “a harmless pause button” and that no irreversible surgeries are done in young people without extensive therapeutic safeguards in place was no longer an option. I’ve spoken to doctors, therapists, endocrinologists, parents, happily trans adults, desisted and detransitioned teens and adults. We are living through a medical malpractice scandal, one that hurts transgender people as much as those who ultimately end up desisting or detransitioning.

What you call “hectoring” I would call “saving my child (who has long expressed a desire to be a father someday) from sterilizing himself” and “reminding my niece that liking girls doesn’t mean she’s a boy- it’s really ok to be a lesbian”.

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Many good points here. Thank you also for letting us know your personal experiences.

In particular I appreciate you bringing up the dubious nature of the consent involved in surgeries if the child (and parents) have already been on this path for years and (understandably) feel committed to it.

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Also, comparing an elective double mastectomy to breast reduction is such a silly argument. A double mastectomy completely eliminates the primary functions of the breasts- a reduction can often be done in such a way that most function is maintained. Have you listened to any detransitioned women speak about their experiences or is your opinion rooted in your own unchallenged political beliefs?

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A clever transposition of the word "routine" there, but unfortunately, that's not what I said. I asked if you routinely used that descriptor, not if you used that descriptor about routine things.

There are a plethora of widely-practiced plastic surgeries, among them the insertion of silicone implants and liposuction just to name a couple, that I would pretty readily describe as "not routine" (to say nothing of the infamous Brazilian butt lift or weight-loss surgery). So: mutilation, or nah?

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I'll go back to my original comment and clarify my language. The word "mutilation" is a strong one, and it's rare that I use such strong language. I would not use the word to describe either minor surgery (say, a nose job) or a major procedure that was medically necessary and justified by careful research. Serious procedures such as liposuction that are elective provide interesting food for thought here, but as others have already noted, these don't destroy function, they are backed by careful research (and if not, they should be paused!), and they are performed on consenting adults.

For example, a serious condition (e.g. major trauma, gangrene) in my leg might require its amputation, and I would not call that "mutilation". However if a doctor amputated my leg when it was not medically necessary, I would think the word "mutilation" is a fair one. (And I would sue for malpractice.)

In the case of youth gender surgery, we're talking about irreversible procedures that remove healthy tissue and destroy function, and that drastically change the person's way of living. My read on the evidence base is that it provides very weak support, at best, for such procedures on minors. I find very little commonality here between these surgeries and cosmetic surgery done on adults--which is what I was trying to get at in my previous, rather terse, reply.

One concern here might be that if one uses the word "mutilation" in the youth gender surgery context, one would also use it to describe the same surgeries for consenting adults. (I would not describe the more serious of these surgeries as "plastic" or "cosmetic", so this is going away a bit from your original question.) I think it's important not to downplay the seriousness of those surgeries, but the fact that a consenting adult is signing off on them is the crucial difference. Hence I would not want to use the term "mutilation" there.

Overall, in the youth gender surgery context, I find a rather harsh term such as "mutilation" to be more accurate than not. But I understand someone who would want to use more guarded language.

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The evidence on liposuction is that it is not just ineffectual, but actively harmful:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liposuction

In other words, scientists have carefully researched the procedure, they have overwhelmingly concluded that it's shit, and people continue to demand it and have it performed anyway, with no apparent objection from politicians or Very Serious Opponents of Mutilation. Caveat emptor, etc. Aside from parental consent, which is more or less mandatory for all surgeries on under-18s, there are no restrictions on minors getting it.

So I ask again: mutilation, or nah?

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You are uninformed if you think that parental consent is required for youth transition in all states. Check out the laws on the west coast and similar laws in other very liberal states. I volunteered to get both the state AG and Governor elected and yet the laws they have pushed to enact on this issue have left me completely without anyone to vote for for Governor in 2024 (the AG is seeking the Governorship, the party is captured in this issue).

The law in my state for a long time now makes it so kids 13 and up have decision authority in reproductive and behavioral health. Yes, they are interpreting that law to include any and all things related to gender.

I have to get my 14 year old to sign a release for me to see his records related to those things, even the insurance billing records we are responsible for are redacted.

Maddeningly, I still have to sign a form for him to get so much as an aspirin from the school nurse so the gap in the law is weird. If he were to go to the emergency room for a physical health matter, if the care needed wasn’t deemed truly urgent they would hold off on anything until then could get a parent’s consent.

Further non-affirming parents are being conflated with child abusers and yes, I know parents who have had this be an issue in maintaining their custody of their children. My state isn’t alone, there are other states with similar laws and DCFS type policies and still more states wanting to pass and implement them.

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I'd have to look more deeply into the question of liposuction to have a definite opinion on it. If there is currently a large uptick in poorly-justified liposuction performed on minors, I would find that interesting and concerning. My instinct would probably not be to use the term "mutilation" in that case though, since we're just talking about removing fat cells.

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Sure, mutilation. I think there should be more regulation of cosmetic surgery in general. Part of the issue is how the US health care system works.

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That you’re willing to equate the removal of excess fatty tissue and/or the addition of silicone to the removal of functioning organs indicates you’re not interested in arguing in good faith.

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Bariatric surgery could absolutely be described as the “removal of functioning organs”

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I’m fairly certain that the stomach isn’t removed (certainly not in it’s entirety).

It’s also not performed to directly remedy a mental health problem.

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I take it, then, that you are vehemently, loudly and publicly opposed to vasectomy? It certainly disables the functioning of organs. Of course, that's literally the point of the surgery-- the people in question don't want the "functioning" that the organ is providing.

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As a treatment for a mental health disorder? Yeah that's probably a bad idea.

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I do if it's of the the Lion Lady, Michael Jackson variety.

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Aug 28, 2023·edited Aug 28, 2023

Is it just me, or are the far left-identitarians who want to punch Nazis and the far right anti (or are they?)-identitarians who want to hunt child traffickers looking for the same thing? Somewhere between a moral crusade and an imaginary guy to be mad at, to give their lives meaning or maybe just spice things up?

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Remember that the people we hear most from online have nothing else going on in their lives. No children or careers or real skills to give their lives meaning. Something very simple and easily accessible that can give your life meaning is an enemy. The other nice thing about having an enemy is that it brings people together. Entropy and human nature means that losers will always have someone to scream at.

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I think we can all agree that the terms "Nazi" and "child trafficker" are both overused way out of proportion to their existence in reality. (Actually, since November 2016, "fascist" has supplanted Nazi.)

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I think they DO seek each other out. See those proud boys vs antifa street fights in the summer of 2020. So cringe.

When it comes to actual violence perpetrated, it’s 99% of the time some mentally disturbed person with an ar47, not too online people larping. But the disturbed people who commit mass shootings are definitely online and are reading and being affected by this stuff.

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*Fursona Non Grata

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👏👏👏

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*Willem Dafoe in Boondocks Saints impression*

THERE WAS A FURRY FIGHT

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“That’s quite violent, even by the standards of furries.”

Perfect delivery, no notes.

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If the doctors had informed the patients there would’ve been no reason for Reid to do so herself. That bit if the piece makes no sense since it seems to confirm what she said.

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I agree. I had some questions about this part of the article as well. I'm not sure what the Reid affidavit says, but it's possible for her to have sent emails to some, but others weren't informed. I guess if she said, "not one person was informed," then the emails might invalidate her claims.

Also, as you suggest, are emailed documents a suitable way to inform patients of all the side effects of these medical interventions? In my experience, people don't read stuff. Getting an email is a lot like the fine print. Especially in this context, most people would assume their doctor provided the necessary info.

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Hi! Good morning. That’s all.

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Thank you! The episode droped an hour ago, I was about get out a pan and a laddle and run around clanking to wake up everybody, it's already past 7 AM on the east coast you sloths, I've been up for ours!

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Good morning to you!

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