You know…

I keep saying I’m not going to post on this sort of thing any more. I’m decreasingly inclined to even read about it, and hope for the day when I lose the impulse entirely. It’s a process.

But sometimes…


Uh huh. Look, pal – you can do whatever you want to yourself. Others may have an opinion, may have concerns, but in the end it’s really nobody’s business but your own. Sure, do as you will. But when you angle for a position of power over other people, then start issuing idiotic edicts and commandments that you expect those people to obey at the risk of fines and imprisonment, enforced at the point of a gun – well, then you and your oddities become everybody’s problem. And everybody’s business.

And even if you get what I take to be your way in the end, and we all end up groaning under the weight of your new people’s paradise – do you really expect you’re going to be on top of the heap? Because … read a history book, dude.

Just saying.



About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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27 Responses to You know…

  1. TS says:

    I’m always amazed that people who “switch” genders actually think they look like that gender. They. Do. Not.
    Just sayin’.

  2. Eric says:

    Awesome Joel! Two thumbs up or is it middle fingers. 🙂

  3. Beans says:

    That It got elected or appointed more because of it’s it-ness than it’s actual ability to do it’s job says so much about the politics of the place where it lives.

  4. Robert says:

    The commish’s pic made me immediately say OMG, while seeing Joel’s pic made my brain immediately say “He’s the human version of Tardar the Grumpy Cat!” I got nuthin’ worth hearing ’bout the politics of the commission’s absurd edict.

  5. TK421a says:

    Be gentle Joel, it’s probably this guy’s time of the month. 🤣

  6. Klaus says:

    Amen to that.

  7. seatron says:

    If you trust science:
    -There is good evidence (of particular note: fMRI brain scans) supporting the idea that trans people imprint (tertiary sex) with the wrong gender, and therefore should be supported instead of crapped on by society (which is actually why they face such high depression and suicide rates)

    -Wearing a mask helps protect others. We shouldn’t need to be forced to do it for public safety, because it is our civic duty.

    Again, all that is just if you happen to believe that you don’t know better than lifelong physician scientists, and the entire scientific community.

  8. Claire says:

    -There is good evidence (of particular note: fMRI brain scans) supporting the idea that trans people imprint (tertiary sex) with the wrong gender, and therefore should be supported instead of crapped on by society (which is actually why they face such high depression and suicide rates)

    I think most people of goodwill could be as open to that as we now are open to the idea that gays are born and not made.

    I think trans people were well on their way to a very libertarian style, live and let live, social acceptance.

    The problem came when they started insisting that other people adopt an entire package of beliefs (that sexuality isn’t naturally binary, that gender has nothing to do with physical characteristics but is solely a social construct, that we should no longer believe that only women can menstruate, that conservative Christians should be forced to bake gender change cakes or else, that males should share locker rooms with females, that biological males should compete in female athletics, that government schools and social workers should encourage children to undergo sex-change treatment, that the thousands of genetic differences between men and women simply don’t count at all).

    Were trans people mocked and tormented previously? Yes, just as gays once were. Would they still look freakish to many people’s eyes? Sure, but that’s the way society works. Speaking of science, it’s also pretty clear that our general preferences in male/female appearance were hardwired into the human race before we left the caves.

    As long as live-and-let live applies, then we can work things out.

    But that’s not what’s going on. In the name of trans rights we’re now facing one of the most intolerant and self-righteous little mobs in modern times. When even staunch liberal J.K. Rowling gets pilloried merely for saying (I paraphrase), “Do your own thing and be happy — but don’t persecute others for saying that biological womanhood is a real thing,” we’re in deep yogurt.

    I think that’s what Joel and others are responding to.

    And as to that guy “Clair,” fine, let him call himself whatever he wants and dress however he wants. He has still rendered himself seriously ugly, both by his attempt at a transformation and by imposing his weird views (about race in this instance) on others.

  9. seatron says:

    I think I understand where you’re coming from, and I accept that many biases on the left make it harder for all of us to find the truth, but I have to insist that calling her “him” is pretty offensive, because it contributes to the reasons trans people have such high rates of major depressive disorder and suicide: it tells them they’re wrong; they’re actually a man and not a woman (or vice versa). Constantly hearing that from others lades one with the heavy weight of being rejected by society + being told that one’s entire existence is flawed. I believe ostracism is rough, in a way that is hard to understand without experiencing it. If people were more accepting, trans people wouldn’t have such a hard time.

    This is all straight from a doctor I let lecture me for a couple hours. I apologize for leaning so hard on appeal to authority, but I urge you to ask your own doctor if you don’t believe me (same with the mask thing). Forget about secondary sources and commentators; look to the science.

  10. Claire says:

    First, thank you for your courtesy, seatron. That can be rare these days and I’m grateful.

    I can easily believe that there are people who do imprint on and identify with a sex (gender if you prefer) they weren’t born to. Human sexuality is mysterious and full of variety and there’s still a lot we don’t know. I’d rather see the differences accepted, even celebrated, than condemned.

    That said, you’re right that appeal to authority isn’t valid argument. I’ve asked my doctor plenty of things and gotten wrong, even occasionally mindblowingly stupid, answers. Scientists make mistakes or let their own biases affect their work. Science isn’t something to believe on authority; it’s just a process for determining what’s not accurate and what’s more likely to be accurate. And the process is everything.

    Does an fMRI study indicate that some or all of its subjects who identified as trans have imprinted on the “wrong” sex? I’d like to see the study, to verify its claims, to see for myself how many subjects it had, how they were tested, etc. Then I’d like to see the study replicated, or a similar study done with a larger and more diverse set of subjects. (It’s a sad statement about current science that as many as half of all studies can’t be reproduced.)

    I’m not saying that I don’t believe such studies exist or are wrong. I’m just saying science needs rigorous, reproducible evidence. And I haven’t seen it yet.

    Also, I don’t doubt at all that many trans people genuinely do perceive themselves as being born in the wrong-sex bodies, and I feel for those people. But with trans having become a movement, it’s also possible that adolescents or young adults who are frightened or confused about their sexuality are feeling outside pressures (social, political) to believe themselves trans when they’re really not.

    When I was a young teen, I would have given anything to be male. Males had it good. They had all the power and prestige. They didn’t have to spend a week every month doubled over in misery, bleeding. Had peers and “authorities” told me then that I was trans, I’d have wanted achingly to believe them — and god knows what I would have done to try to “fix” my unwanted female self.

    The heartbreaking de-transitioning stories tell me that a lot of unhappy, confused, maybe mentally ill people think they’re trans because they’re desperately seeking solutions to lives that don’t make sense. Then they discover only after having their breasts or penis removed, or after being given hormones that create facial hair or breasts that they don’t fit their “new gender” any more than they felt comfortable in their old.

    I also wouldn’t be the least surprised if, now that being trans is a thing, the trans world has a few “Rachel Dolezals” — people who play at being trans because in their social and political circles it’s suddenly cool. Or it makes them the center of sympathetic attention.

    As to pronouns, I really don’t care if I offend the person in the photo above. But in general I’d rather not offend anybody unless I have good reason to.

    OTOH, the pronoun issue is another example of how mere acceptance and “do your own thing” isn’t enough. We’ve now entered a minefield in which we’re expected to always somehow know and use another individual’s preferred pronouns, and if we don’t get it absolutely right the first time and every time, we’re “haters.”

    Yet being forced to use other people’s self-chosen pronouns implies that we accept a person’s subjective judgment of their own gender — in other words, that live-and-let-live is already gone, and that others must accept whatever premises the trans person or the trans movement demands of us.

    I would use personal pronouns as a courtesy to a friend. But having to memorize subjective (and often completely made-up and changeable) pronouns, and to be condemned (and perhaps even fired from our jobs) if we don’t is, in itself, more Orwellian than many of the other must-do-or-else items in my list above.

    As to the person in the picture, that’s a man doing an embarrassingly bad imitation of a woman. I don’t know what he feels subjectively. I only know that that person, whatever the preferred pronouns, is willing to use politics and law to make arbitrary rules that others must follow. (And BTW, I do wear a mask in public; but issuing a diktat that says white people have to wear masks, but the even more vulnerable black people don’t is ridiculous.)

  11. Demented Guy says:

    I think they have or are born with mental problems. Thank God we have places for those kind of people, like Oregon.

  12. Joel says:

    Seatron: You could be right. But I don’t particularly trust “science” anymore. Science has become politics by other means and the proclamations of scientists can no longer be taken as expressions of objective observations. These days they always seem to serve an agenda and if you question it then you’re just a ‘denier.’

    But that’s all beside the point of my post, of course. If this person wishes to identify as a man or a woman or a Cocker Spaniel, that’s none of my business. Maybe you’re right, maybe I’m just old and out of my time. I can live with that. I saw it happen to old people when I was young and I’m quite comfortable with it happening to me. I’m not going to persecute this person for a matter of pronouns.

    But I am now expected to defer to this person’s authority as a ‘trans?’ This person is above criticism because to question his/her/its incredible, idiotic edict that everyone must henceforth wear a mask in public unless they’re black is to express ‘transphobia’ and is therefore beyond the pale? At the risk of being politically incorrect, screw that.

  13. bill says:

    I just don’t have the energy or desire to keep up with it all. I’m not trying to hurt anybody. Be what you want to be and allow me to be what I am and in the words of John Prine “quit hollering at me.”

  14. Jeff Allen says:

    not a tough lookup. IMHO the “trans” thing is a red herring.

  15. BobF says:

    @Jeff Allen Oh, Jeeeeezzzz. I read the article. I missed your hint that hip waders were necessary to keep clean in the pool of crap. My bad. I kept reading, figuring there would come a “but,…” followed by some actually honest discourse. It never came. Or if it did, I was too busy looking down to check the level.

  16. doubletrouble says:

    You folks (especially Claire), are far more ‘civilized’ than I. A man, or a woman, is defined by what they see when they look in their shorts. If they (or it) has a problem with that, go talk to a shrink; but DON’T push that garbage onto others.
    Want to wear a mask? Have fun, enjoy, but don’t require me to do your bidding- if I catch a seasonal cold/flu that’s my problem, & I’ll do my best to not spread it to others. When, & IF I get it.
    Joel, I’m not a complete hermit yet, but your sign has got it right.
    Man, these liberal nut jobs are everywhere.

  17. Waepnedmann says:

    Twenty+ years ago I lived in Lincoln County.
    It is one of the top ten most beautiful places on earth.
    No exaggeration.
    The professional world travelers say so.
    It had some old counter culture types, a bunch of retired Californians, trust fund babies, discrete hideouts for actors and writers, decedents of early settlers, some of the best locally sourced foods anywhere, and some really odd people.
    My wife used to work in the ER at the Hospital in Newport.
    What is the deal with all the people who have to have Barbie heads surgically removed from their colon?
    Back then the record was thirteen.
    There be freaks in Lincoln County.

  18. jabrwok says:

    Whenever this topic comes up, I’m immediately reminded of a particular quote.

    “Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
    ― Theodore Dalrymple

    I’ll stick to using pronouns that correspond to biological reality. If the individual has a Y-chromosome in every cell of his body, he’s male. If not, then not. If that hurts his feelings then he needs to get over it. And if I later find out that the individual in question has gotten some really convincing plastic surgery then I’ll simply avoid him insofar as I can. I don’t like being lied to, and trannies are walking lies.

  19. Kentucky says:

    This has certainly been interesting! 🙂

  20. Joel says:

    Indeed it has, but I’m sorry I started it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I suppose that if I lived in Lincoln County I might care. But I don’t live there and, frankly,I don’t really care. Bad attitude I admit.

  22. seatron says:

    One doctor can make a mistake. The entire scientific community, however, moves slowly and deliberately, by consensus. The amazing technologies that exist in this world, everything from modern conveniences to the atom bomb, exists solely because experts dedicate their lives to using the scientific method to hard-scrabble all of us closer to the truth, an inch at a time.

    Respectfully, a laymen like you or I saying we don’t trust science would be a bit like me, a pampered city boy, telling Joel how to survive in the desert. It would seem ridiculous to you!

  23. -s says:

    Respectfully, you have no idea what you are talking about. Science is not about consensus. There are no votes.

    Richard Feynman was one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century. He won the Nobel prize and made many major contributions to physics.

    Feynman understood science, and that lesson has been lost, deliberately obliterated in the panic. Watch at least the first few minutes of this short video:

    Feynman on the Scientific Method :

    Watch because this great scientist, who was also a great communicator of scientific ideas to the general public, never mentions the word “consensus.”

    Instead he notes that your name, qualifications, history, fame, how many agree with you, your awards – none of those matter. What matters is being shown to be wrong. In science you can never be proved right, but good scientists can sometimes produce something that isn’t proved wrong for a very long time.

    When you hear the words “scientific consensus” be aware that whatever is being sold to you is the antithesis of science. Everyone is of course free to believe it or not, that is their right, but when you see the word “consensus” used with “science” as a means to silence dissent, you should know that someone is lying to you and using “science” as a magic word.

  24. Claire says:

    Respectfully, a laymen like you or I saying we don’t trust science would be a bit like me, a pampered city boy, telling Joel how to survive in the desert. It would seem ridiculous to you!

    There is a great, great deal of material being published or publicized in the name of “science” that isn’t scientific at all. As -s says and I also noted above, science is simply a method.

    Science isn’t a priesthood that should never be questioned, a priesthood that must be “trusted” and obeyed — or else. On the contrary, science is questioning — constant, hard, unrelenting questioning that never accepts easy answers and that checks, double-checks, and triple-checks everything. Science that can’t stand up to rigorous scrutiny isn’t science at all, but a form of secular religion.

    It might even surprise you to know that some of the best science in history was done by either laymen, or at least by outsiders to a specific field who came in, shook up the orthodoxy, were roundly condemned by the establishment — and turned out to be absolutely correct.

    Nobody here is anti-science. On the contrary. We respect what the scientific method has produced. You, I’m sorry to say, simply keep asserting authority-authority-authority.

    And appeal to authority is not only NOT science, it’s the exact opposite of science.

    I’ve answered you above with specific points, which you notably don’t respond to. You answer us with “Trust scientific consensus” — a thing that, as -s points out and the invaluable Richard Feynman seconds (or firsts) — doesn’t actually exist.

    Please, if you want to talk science, give us specifics. Link to reliable studies. Delve into how those studies were funded and conducted. Show us what happened when other scientists attempted to replicate them.

    Don’t “trust” science. Don’t “believe in” science. DO science. Then you’ll have more to talk about.

    Oh, and BTW, while I am a layman (woman), I don’t think -s would mind me revealing that he is a professional, certified, degreed, working scientist in a terrifyingly demanding field.

  25. BobF says:

    @Joel Joel, you remarked that you regretted the original post, but allow me, please, to point out that though it was not your intent, the post has given an excellent example of the front porch atmosphere you have created here. I don’t think we all could name a handful of other places where such a possibly contentious subject could be run up the flagpole without resulting in nothing more than a very long string of juvenile responses devolving further into name calling. Folks here have their opinions just as others do elsewhere, but the discourse here is of a level notably more mature and respectful than I read most other places.

    I suggest you not be kicking yourself in the butt (a feat I would genuinely pay ticket money to observe) and rather be enjoying not the subject but the quality of conversation here at your abode. As I have discontinued certain doctors’ care purely because of their atrocious front office staff, I have left otherwise decent blogs because of the commenters they attract and allow. To me it is the whole package that counts and I regret that it was not until this past year that I discovered this place. Your place – it is the real deal, Joel.

    /love note 🙂

  26. Joel says:

    🙂 That is true. I am consistently impressed with the quality of the TUAK commentariat. Probably the only reason TUAK is still active, to be honest.

  27. Robert says:

    An avowed hermit with a civil, spirited discussion on his virtual front porch- truly, we are living in the future. Plus, Joel doesn’t hafta police the area for cigarette butts and crushed beer cans after everyone goes home.

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