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February 3, 2024 208 mins

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Speaker 1 (00:02):
Zone Media.

Speaker 2 (00:03):
Hey everybody, Robert Evans here and I wanted to let
you know this is a compilation episode. So every episode
of the week that just happened is here in one
convenient and with somewhat less ads package for you to
listen to in a long stretch if you want. If
you've been listening to the episodes every day this week,
there's going to be nothing new here for you, but
you can make your own decisions. Welcome back to It

could Happen here, a podcast about it happening here. And
in the original cadence of this website or website, in
the original cadence of the show, that was a reference
to a civil war, right, a new civil war. It
could happen here. That's what season one was made a
big splash. Now, we kind of covered the dystopia beat

in general, but today we're getting back to our mother
fucking roots because the state of Texas has recently declared
a big old fuck you to the federal government are
having its National guardsmen deploy razor wire at the border
and stop border patrol people from, for example, performing rescues

of people who are trapped in the water drowning.

Speaker 3 (01:12):
It's a whole thing.

Speaker 2 (01:13):
At least three migrants have already died as a result
of this fuckery by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and now like,
I don't know, twenty states something near to that. There
may be more by the time you hear this, but
something like twenty states have declared that they're in support
of Governor Abbott's refusal to let the FEDS in and
insistence that he's dealing with an invasion and must take

on the border texas'self, and some of those states are
now sending or at least claim they're going to send
national guardsmen. So when this all started happening, we all
got a lot of messages. I got about a billion
from people being.

Speaker 3 (01:49):
Like is this it? Is this the civil war?

Speaker 2 (01:51):
And obviously a big chunk of that comes from right
wing memes because they are all talking about like, yeah,
let's do it, let's have us a civil war. We're
all going to start fighting over some guy posted his
handgun collection like we're ready a.

Speaker 4 (02:04):
Bunch of revilvers.

Speaker 2 (02:06):
Yeah, stupid shit, it's stupid shit, But you know, it's
not unreasonable to be like, this seems like a massive
constitutional crisis that's potentially in line with some of the
crises that precipitated the original Civil War. You've got a
governor completely defying not now, not just you know, the
president and the federal government, but the Supreme Court who

ruled that you can't just have your fucking Texas goons
stop a federal law enforcement agency from doing its.

Speaker 3 (02:34):
Job on the border.

Speaker 2 (02:35):
So you know, how serious is this and is this
the kind of thing that's going to lead to a
twenty four's new Civil War movie? And my quick take
on this is no, probably not. I think what this
is is, in fact, a governor stretching out his authority
and testing how much he can get away with against

the overall federal government because he and a lot of
other conservative governors want to do things that are directly
in contravention of the Civil Rights Act, of the Bill
of Rights, of numerous federal protections for their citizens. And
this is kind of a way of being like, well,
if they won't fuck with us over this, then we
can probably start imprisoning journalists and you know, killing people

that or at least imprisoning people that otherwise we would
not be able to write like this is a right
wing power grab and it's an attempt to see is
the central government weak enough that we can get away
with this stuff. I don't think they're all going to
start shooting at each other. I don't think Greg abbott
is wants to get in a shooting war with the
federal government over mostly the dimensions of the crisis are

gend up and fake in terms of like what he
is claiming it is. There is, in fact the humanitarian
crisis at our border, but that's not what his issue is.
So that's my quick take. We're going to get into
more of all of that. But James, you are our
resident border correspondent porrespondent, and you have some very strong
feelings on how all of this has been interpreted in
the media, So I wanted to pull to you first
and then we'll get to Mia and we'll just kind

of round table after that.

Speaker 5 (04:07):
I do, and in a rare instance for me, I
have strong feelings about the way this has been covered,
and strong feelings about the coverage of the border, which
I know is the thing I talk about all the time.
But I am beyond frustrated with the way this has
been covered. It's hugely irresponsible and it's completely context free,
Like there are people as there always are with the border,
and there always are with the right who just tourists

outside things that they understand and try and generate clicks
by geeing up the fear of a civil war. And yes,
I've seen dozens of people sharing headlines about national Guard deployments.
So happened years ago. The National Guard have been deployed
to our border for years. I see national Guard troops
every day. I had a National Guard guy shooting me

and shoot at me, shout at me.

Speaker 3 (04:53):
A friend of ours took one of their rifles.

Speaker 5 (04:56):
Yes, yes, the National Guard have been extremely based in
arming the Butterfly Center. Yeah, they they're there. There's a
federal deployment. Texas also has a state deployment. These are
different things.

Speaker 2 (05:10):
And other states have also sent national guardsmen to the
border before. By the correct this is not the first
time this has happened.

Speaker 5 (05:17):
Yeah, yeah, So there's a federal deployment and then there
are state deployments. Both of those are distinct things. Something
to know about the state deployment that is missing in
the context free reporting that you're seeing is that these
guys aren't getting any of their federal deployment benefits, so
they won't be getting the tricare, they won't be getting
the time towards their retirement, they won't be getting their
GI bill, etc. So, like the Texas guys who are

deployed on state orders are really the National Guard are
getting barked by Greg Abbott Like it's laughable that that, Like,
you know, he's pretending that he cares about Texas while
actively screwing over and Robert and I have spoken to
some of those Texas National Guard folks last time we
were in Texas. Did not seem to be super motivated

to be They're the only military unit I've seen tried
to form a union because they're not in the federal
They're not in the federal orders, so they can attempt
to form a union.

Speaker 3 (06:10):
Get Billy bragged down to the border. We got to
do this.

Speaker 5 (06:13):
Yeah, let's get Billy back. I'll get him going over
the Rio Grande and when Billy bragg and they'll fix it.
It has been the most dangerous deployment that they've had,
including deployment to a rug They they have, unfortunately a
habit of drinking and driving, which has not proven healthy
for them. They also there's a quirk of Texas law
that means that they can't stop National Guard soldiers from

bringing their own firearms, yeah, which is great. Yeah yeah,
and then us they can't stop them accidentally killing each
other with their own firearms. Also, yeah, it's good stuff.
A TG soldier did die trying to save a migrant
from the river. Yes, he drowned. So like it has
not like it is very boring but also quite dangerous deployment.

You know, they have really high They wrote a manifesto
a couple of years ago about how bullshit that deployment was,
which is really great to death. Yeah, So much of
this has been reported without any context, right, Like, I
think genuinely a lot of the people reporting on this
are not aware there have been national their National Guard
here in California. Like I say, I see them all
the time. They're not supposed to interdict migrants, but I

see them doing surveillance, and I see them guarding open
air prisons in Hiccumber almost every day, And I think
that seems to have been missed by the majority of
people covering this.

Speaker 4 (07:34):
Now we should talk more about the open air prison part,
because I think there's a lot of people who seem
to be getting the impression that the Biden administration is
like actually substantively trying to do something to help immigrants,
and like they're like this fight is like between like
pro and anti immigration. It's like, no, there is a
fight between whether you think these people should be killed

incredibly quickly by accommodation of razor wire and rivers, or
whether you think they should starve the day.

Speaker 5 (08:01):
Yeah, or die of dehydration walking through the desert, or
die of hypothermia walking through the mountains. Like I I
think I've said some of the podcasts before, but I
was helping a three year old girl who was hypothermic
last week, and like, that is what Joe Biden is doing.
That is a Joe Biden policy being enacted by Joe
Biden as Joe Biden wants it to be enacted, or
at very least I'm sure his personal complicity or even

understanding is relatively low. Given his understanding, it seems of
a lot of things. But the Biden administration's policy is
to deter people by making crossing more difficult and more dangerous,
which de facto makes it more deadly. Abbott is doing
with his razor wire and his floating fence is a
version of the same thing, like they are not distinctly different.

When everyone was up in arms about three people drowning,
that's a tragedy. At eight hundred and fifty people died
crossing the border in twenty twenty two, that was a
normal day. Like the distinction is maybe in degree, but
really it's an aesthetic between between Abbott and Biden and
this and it's just two dudes chest stump each other

trying to not look weak. There is not an option
in the US system which allows you to vote for
the party that doesn't want migrants to die, like like that,
both of the parties are completely in lockstep on that.

Speaker 2 (09:19):
And let's let's let's be very clear about something. Part
of why that is is because an overwhelming number of
Americans are indifferent or actively hostile to the survival of migrants. Yes,
like this is an It is incredibly unpopular in this
country to think these people are human beings who deserve
decent treatment in decent lives. This is a fight that

the left has lost comprehensively, mostly in large part because
the left has completely given up on it, which is
why you've got fucking a lot of these nasbol assholes
saying shit like you know, this is we have like
like saying basically protectionist, nativist kind of shit these yes, right,
because I.

Speaker 5 (09:57):
Think that like leftist media as also, and to include
I guess liberal media also has completely oh yeah, like
being complicit in this, right, Like the amount of stories
that you will read about migrants that don't talk to
migrants in the next few weeks will be a lot
if you'd care to read them, right, And that's because
people don't want to come here. They're either afraid of

coming here or they don't want to take the time,
they don't have the language skills. There are people who
have the language skills who who don't get these jobs,
and are people who don't have the language skills and
who don't have the understanding of how the border on
the ground works as opposed to immigration policy in DC works.
And you're going to see a lot of people who
don't live at the border, who don't come to the border,
writing about the border and yeah, that's how we got here,

and that's how we're getting to this largely like a
giant panic about a nothing burger. But yeah, it's the
reporting has been in continued to be responsible, and that
is in some degree complicit.

Speaker 4 (10:52):
Yeah, And I think this is also the explanation for
why there's a lot of people going like, why is
Biden not like setting the troops? Why is Biden not
cracking jobs? Does fucking give a shit? It's the same policy.
He doesn't care, right Like, there's not actually substantive disagreement
except over like whether it should be like some like
a really stupid political stunt, over whether it should be
like federal troops like on or federal agents like on

the border, or whether it should be the razor wire
like he doesn't care, you know.

Speaker 2 (11:21):
And to be fair, I will say I don't think
this is the start. This right here, I don't think
is the start of a civil war. We may if
we have one. We may someday see this on like
the list of factors contributing to in the years leading
up to it. But I will say, if we do
ever have a shooting civil war, it will be something
this dumb that I feel absolutely certain of it will.

It will be a thing where no one involved really
cares about the issue that starts it. It's just a
dick measuring contest that goes too far. I just don't
think this is the dick measuring contest. But to be fair,
it will be something this dumb. Don't worry, folks, don't worry.
If we do start shooting each other, it will be
just as supid as this.

Speaker 5 (12:01):
Yeah, I do think that, Like I think we're extremely
likely to start of shooting civil war over this or
in the next few years. Generally, I do think the
chance of shooting my context without a CIVI awards, shooting
specifically of migrants, especially in places where they're not safe,
like open air attention centers, is going up. And yes,
that scares the shit out of me, like as someone

who spends a lot of his life there. And I
do think that the I mean we saw in twenty eighteen, right,
and we've covered this extensively. The Tree of Life shooting
was in large part motivated by right wing rhetoric about
a caravan of migrants. I was in Tijuana in twenty eighteen.
I spent months of my life helping people down there.
Like anyone who's scared of those people is paranoid at least,

right that they were mostly fine, wonderful, very friendly people.
I spent Christmas with them. But yeah, the twenty eighteen
Tree of Life shooting came from paranoia about the border.
We're seeing that same paranora from right wing media and
from liberal media now, and I think that it would
not be unreasonable to have that fear of individual acts

of violence and terrorism along the border.

Speaker 3 (13:09):

Speaker 2 (13:10):
I think one of the things we're going to have
to do in the near future is get better at
understanding kind of the media dimensions of conflicts like this
and what is an irresponsible way to respond to them.
And I think treating this like it is a civil

war type deal is kind of feeding into the right's
image of itself and their desire to treat this like
their revolutionaries. Now, that said, what is the right thing
to do, because, like the the what the Biden administrations
seems to be doing right now is largely kind of

ignoring it. I think at some point they will probably
try to nationalize the guard and we'll see what happens.

Speaker 3 (13:58):

Speaker 2 (13:58):
One thing that's kind of worth noting is that this
has primarily gone viral on right wing media. I'm seeing
very little of this on mainstream centrist like liberal media sources.
And I'm seeing little on this because like most of
those sources don't really care about the border unless there's
some way to like drum up fear against migrants like that,

they'll do a caravan story. But this just simply doesn't sell.
I think when it comes to like what is a
responsible way to report on this, I think you have
to start by centering what's actually happening to the migrants,
what's being done to them, as opposed to focusing on
this dick measuring, because that's the actual harm here. The

harm here is not that Abbott has been mean to
the border patrol, and it's not that Texas and these
other states, these rebel states, are raising an army to
fight the federal government. It's that there's this argument between
the people in power in our country about like how
bad should things be for people who are already desperate.

And I think that's where you should center your focus. Also,
I've just noticed this on my other screen. This is
a bit off topic, but you know that movie Rebel
Moon by Zack Snyder, Oh god, An, there's an ad
for the canned water company Liquid Death that just is
showing a bunch of like imperial troops from that movie

beating a man and then drinking Liquid Death water as
they relax afterwards, and It's the most unhinged ad I've
ever seen. It's like running a side a Vox article.
I've never seen anything like this before. It's just like,
what the wait a second, what Zack Snyder? Come on,
you can't do zax No, that fucking guy. Jesus talking

of advertising, buy some liquid death.

Speaker 3 (16:03):
We're back.

Speaker 5 (16:04):
Yeah, So I want to talk about grift because we
talked about advertising a bit. I don't know if you
guys have seen the number of like right wing influences. Okay,
so I'm looking at friend of the podcast, Tim Poole's
Twitter here.

Speaker 2 (16:16):
Oh, Tim, there's a guy who is excited to have
a civil war where he will be mrked immediately by
one of his bodyguards.

Speaker 5 (16:24):
Yeah, there is a man who's seen combat and knows
what it is to hear rounds cracking off over your head. Okay, Timple,
I'm just going to quote here at ha ha ha
ha ha etc. Fuck me, dude, and then Safe and
Ready Meals dot com. Pool is not the only one
on the buckets of food grift right. Alex Jones has

been on this too. Oh yeah, a million years, Yeah, yeah, yeah,
He's been longtime, longtime food story guy at Alex Jones.
A lot of these guys are like very clearly geeing
up fears of civil war on the right so that
they can sell people powder dry eggs like it's so transparent,
Like it's in the same tweet. Yeah, sobiak Trump calls

for all willing states to deploy National Guard to Texas
border and start the deportations. And then as a special
partner offer from my patriotsupply dot com god, which is
the way to fuel your bigotry?

Speaker 2 (17:19):
I guess guys, two things. First off, if you buy
your storable food from some right wing media grifters deal site,
you will spend the apocalypse shitting yourself to death like
it's all horrible. If you are going to buy, if
you are going to throw a bunch of money on store.
If you are a sane and reasonable person who wants
to store food, learn how to make your own jerky.

Learn how to can food. You can do it very cheaply.
It is not expensive to can your own food. If
you know what you're doing. You can can stuff that
is in season and get it really cheap from the
grocery store. And you can pickle and do other kinds
of can't pressure canning. It's really economical and it will
last a long time. If you are going to spend
a shipload of money on storable, freeze dried food, you're

going to be spending a bunch of money anyway. Just
go buy Mountain House. By Mountain House. It's the good stuff.
It's tasty as far as I know. No right winger
advertises on them, and it's it's actually pretty good food. Yeah,
that's what I keep in my car. Emergencies. You will
not ship ever ever again. Yeah, you may never poop again.
But the fucking biscuits and gravy breakfast selection there. Man,

when you're alone in the mountains, that ship is fucking fire.

Speaker 3 (18:31):
Oh my god.

Speaker 5 (18:32):
Yeah, that will. It is like a bung for the
digestive system.

Speaker 3 (18:36):

Speaker 5 (18:36):
I just want to plug Lentils do org, which checked
a websitels.

Speaker 3 (18:42):
Yeah, Lentils ship forever.

Speaker 5 (18:46):
Yeah, it's find balance between the yin and the yang
in your in your post a vocalypse life with Mountain
House and Lentils do Org. You today, you know what's
not running on Lentils guys. Unfortunately, this is not that pivot.
I've just I've done the ol bait and switch it's
this fucking convoy that's going to the border.

Speaker 3 (19:05):
I'll talk about this little Yeah, let's do that that.

Speaker 5 (19:08):
Like, this is where I'm really done with irresponsible reporting,
like being like oh no, January sixth, Part two. Here's
a link if you want to take part. Look, like,
what the fuck is wrong with you is stop it?
But I look, right wing groups have tried to run
convoys probably a dozen times since twenty twenty. Right, I

think we can all think of a different convoy that's
got stuck under a bridge.

Speaker 4 (19:35):
When drove by my house and then basically didn't get
any further than that.

Speaker 5 (19:39):
Yep, yep, they get lost. They disagree about directions.

Speaker 2 (19:43):
A lot of what a lot of people are going
to realize is that the Texas border is twelve hours
from anywhere in Texas when you are in Dallas. I
believe this is accurate. When you are in Dallas, it
is faster to drive to Chicago than it is to
direct to the border. It is so fucking far away
from anything you could cross Europe in the time it

will take you to get down there.

Speaker 6 (20:09):

Speaker 5 (20:09):
I love the idea of a convoy of like you know,
like completely c pilled lunatic you're sending on the town
of MafA.

Speaker 2 (20:17):
Yeah, fucking passing Marathon and going where the christ.

Speaker 6 (20:22):
Are we.

Speaker 5 (20:24):
Like, yeah, like, it is a really really beautiful bike
ride from MafA to the border. There's from dirt roads
you can take.

Speaker 2 (20:31):
Oh and Marfa by the way, folks, if you're looking
to go down to the border, very fun town. You'll
have a good time in Marfa.

Speaker 5 (20:37):
Yeah, do love a bit of Marfa. Really, I'm not
going to tell my Martha story. I'll tell you guys
when we're done. But yeah, yeah, it is not like salacious.
It's just yeah, Marfa is near the border. Lots of
things are not. It is a very long way from
I guess like maybe people could fly to a passer
that's near the border. But yeah, it's this idea to

those three convoys, right. One I think is supposed to
go from Virginia Beach to Texas.

Speaker 3 (21:07):
Shares the way.

Speaker 2 (21:08):
Good luck, guys, enjoy spending seven thousand dollars in Gussie Yes,
exactly where if they not looked at the cost of fuel,
you fucking idiots have fun homies.

Speaker 5 (21:20):
Yeah. Another one is going from I think last Cruisays
to Yuma and the one is going from here at
Santa Cedro to Yuma. Yes, the drive from Santa Sedro
to Humor is boring af but good luck, I guess,
like good luck spending that Californa. Hopefully they get pull
off at some of the gas stations like east of
San Diego where it's still like six or seven dollars

a gallon, because you're fucked if you need fuel there
and you can't buy it from anyone else. But yeah,
the idea that people are going to spend all their
money like driving across the country's also just very like
there's the meme right of the like the old white
guy wearing Oakley wrap around or fake Oakley wrap around
sunglasses doing selfie video in his car to rent about

like anything and everything. But like, I think it's very
illustrative of how many of these people don't feel safe
outside their vehicles and like need the activism to involve
their theft.

Speaker 2 (22:14):
Fifty Yeah, well, in part because most of them are,
like most Americans, not in great shape, not physically imposing.
So if you're sitting in an F two fifty, you
feel big and powerful. Like James, you and I both
have trucks. One of the things about trucks that is
nice is that being in a truck, you're elevated above
the rest of the road, right, Oh yeah, and that

that gets to a lot of people's heads, especially if
they have absolutely nothing else going on in their lives,
which nobody participating in this fucking caravan does. So they
this is like it's it's it's there. It's emotional support. Right,
They're sitting in their truck, they've got their gun, They're
not breathing hard because they have to like walk around
the world, and they would desperately prefer that they can.

That's where how their activism, that's how their participation in
the Second Civil War will occur. Yeah, bunch of fucking wankers. Yeah,
So I do want to get into kind of like
what we do feel is the actual threats of this. Again,

I think the danger here is you've got a lot
of kind of fights going down about like how far
can governments take their anti trans legislation, How mean can
they be to undocumented immigrants, Like how much violence can
they deploy in deporting people? What can they do to journalists?
What can they do to people speaking out or engaging

in protest without violating the Bill of Rights. You know,
what can they do to marginalized communities about virrelating the
Civil Rights Act?

Speaker 3 (23:50):
I think this is an.

Speaker 2 (23:52):
Attempt to set a precedent for ignoring federal control so
that they can be crueler to large groups of people
within their purview. And I think a lot of this
is a reaction to this is kind of there, what
if we lose this election?

Speaker 3 (24:08):

Speaker 2 (24:08):
I think there is a fear. And I don't necessarily
think this fear is actually like born out. I don't
think the Rights National hopes in terms of its ability
to get elected again after Trump are as poor as
people want them to be, as I might want them
to be. But I think there is real fear among
the right that if Trump doesn't win this, they're not
going to win the presidency again, right, And I think

part of what they are doing is setting up all, right,
then we will just take over and take increasing autonomy
in our red states, and we will effectively govern them
very differently and govern them in contravention of how the
rest of the country and how the federal government of
the Supreme Court says that they can be governed, because
we can't be cruel enough without that and I think

that is what they are stepping up to be able
to do. If you're asking you know, what do I
think will be sort of like line crossings that could
lead to to mass social violence in this country. One thing,
I don't think they're going to take that leap while
a Democrat is in control of the federal government in
the Defense Department. I think they will push for a

violent crackdown on everything left of the far right if
they win power again, because they talk about that repeatedly,
because they've promised to do that, and I think that
if they lose, there's an off chance. I don't think
this is likely, but it's not impossible that protests and
violence as acts of protest against Biden winning a second

term could snowball into something that resembles an insurgency. Not impossible.
I don't think that's the likeliest outcome. But I don't
see them starting to shoot at federal troops now while
Biden is in the White House. For one thing, I
feel like that's the thing that would really clinch it
for Biden. If Texas National Guard trying to secede, well,

you've made his reelection campaign easier, right, because now none
of the red states. None of the states that secede.
You can't also have an election where those states get
to vote, right, Like, that's that's just not the way
it works. Yeah, so I don't feel like that's the
likeliest thing I think this is. Yeah, I think I've
made it clear what I think, and I think it's
really clear that it's time for our second dad break.

Speaker 3 (26:17):
That's right.

Speaker 5 (26:18):
Hopefully it's an ad for the new transpried oreos. Have
you guys seen those?

Speaker 4 (26:22):
Yeah? No, have you not seen those?

Speaker 1 (26:24):

Speaker 7 (26:24):

Speaker 5 (26:25):
Trans fried oreo? Well, yeah, maybe it's just me. I
was just reading a story earlier and I just.

Speaker 4 (26:31):
Trans fat or No, they have like a blue transplant.

Speaker 2 (26:36):
Oh well, okay, they have.

Speaker 4 (26:43):
Years ago.

Speaker 2 (26:43):
Hold on, this is okay, okay, okay, let's say I
don't really have.

Speaker 5 (26:48):
Woke woke biscuit.

Speaker 2 (26:51):
That's good, I have. I have no opinion on this.
I guess it's good Oreos aren't bigoted.

Speaker 4 (26:58):
Yeah, well, don't money to me instead.

Speaker 2 (27:01):
Yeah, I don't think it really matters. Side there. Ah,
we're back.

Speaker 8 (27:17):
You know.

Speaker 4 (27:18):
One thing I think about like part of why this
is going viral, and I think part of what's an
issue about this with the way it's being talked about
on the left, but also you know, the way, the
way it's marketable to the right is that the thing
about this confrontation is that it looks like a civil war,
but it looks like it's it's it's exactly perfectly engineered

to look like the lead Civil war one, And that
is incredibly misleading. It's it's it's it's basically it's like
a marketing thing, right, because like, yeah, and this is
only thing we've talked about on this show for like
literally since day one, is that like a civil war
in the United States is not going to look like
a bunch of states like form an alliance and then

all they're fighting all of the other states. Like it's
it's not going to look like that. It's going to
look closer to Syria than it is going to look
like like the first Civil War. But people haven't shaken
like the sort of like brainworms of a civil war
is like sixteen states fight sixteen states, even though every
single civil war that we've had, like in the intervening

like one hundred like two hundred years, has not been that.

Speaker 2 (28:28):
And here's here's how wrong. Here's how people are comprehensively
wrong about this. Right on the left side, you have lmao,
you guys are going to fight the federal government with
your AR fifteen's. They got bombs and planes, and like, well,
we've seen how well our bombs and planes work against insurgencies.
We're not good at winning those. If there were any
real insurgency, and there's certainly ingredients to it, it would

actually be a problem for the US. However, that does
not look like sixteen states declaring themselves succeeded and going
to because that's a conventional war. And you know what
happened if Greg Abbott started a conventional war against the US.
Greg Abbott doesn't have a fucking bunker, right like we could,
we could, he could be he could.

Speaker 3 (29:05):
Be blown up.

Speaker 2 (29:05):
He is again nothing against being in a wheelchair, But
this is not a man who is capable of like
living underground and hiding from federal bombers. Like that's just
not the kind of conflict that you need to be
concerned about.

Speaker 4 (29:19):
Yeah, this this man does not have the big lawden
dog in him.

Speaker 3 (29:22):
He just does not know he's sure, he sure doesn't.

Speaker 2 (29:27):
He the idea of Greg Abba taking to a hate
system in doing a Tora bora Texas. He's hand out
and fucking yeah, fucking big bend or whatever. Yeah yeah,
Torah boring big bend. Jesus Christ.

Speaker 5 (29:44):
Yeah, it will be outstanding. We would love to see it.

Speaker 2 (29:47):
Yeah. Yeah, grainy photos of Greg Abbott and like the
mountains of Southern Texas shaking hands with Mexican revolutionaries as
they smel rifles to him, rifles they also got from
the United States. That is what we call the circle
of life.

Speaker 5 (30:05):
Oh good god, we can we can dream, but it
does seem unfortunately unlikely. Yeah, it would be very funny.

Speaker 3 (30:12):

Speaker 5 (30:12):
See Sealed Team go off to Greg Abbott.

Speaker 2 (30:15):
Yeah, yeah, absolutely, Sealed Team fighting the Texas Rangers off only.

Speaker 4 (30:21):
If only.

Speaker 5 (30:23):
Just a bunch of dudes each with a revolver because
they thought it looked cool until the very first time
someone was shooting back at them.

Speaker 3 (30:29):

Speaker 2 (30:29):
It's it's a real like who has who is on
the most HGH competition? Whoever, whoever can stop the steroids
from flooding in is going to win. That's the spice
in this particular conflict. Yea, we would love to see
Joe Rogan's the baron Harcone and of making sure everybody
spec ops, guys have enough gear floating above a fucking table. Great,

it would be wonderful in some senses. Yeah, I don't
think we're going to see a sheet word about It
will be interesting to see how like Biden has screwed
the pooch in terms of like his media management of this,
I would say, And it will be interesting to see
how hard he goes in response, Like if he goes
back in response, I think the smart answer would be

nationalize the Guard. If there's things that you can actually
prosecute people over, prosecute them and continue to not deal
with it in the media. Like his instinct isn't bad
in terms of not wanting to feed in directly to
the right wing outrage loop, but you still have to
You still have to go after them for this, right,
And it's the kind of thing it's probably like too

much to hope for any real action being taken. But
I would say that's probably the smarter option, right not
to say anything of like what the most moral thing
to do is, but the smart option is don't feed
into the fundraising loop, because we should probably get in
on that this is all a fundraising thing, right. In addition,
to them testing the waters. That's the biggest dimension of
this is and that's why we talked earlier. All of

these guys Timpoole and Jack Pisoviec, and I'm sure the
Daily Wire guys are in it now, are like advertising
their storable foods companies and shit. The point of all this,
all right wing messaging, all far right messaging, starts as
a grift. It all starts with a product to sell. That's,
by the way, how guns became so enmeshed with the
far right right. A lot of gun companies realize that

like Americans only need so many guns for like reasonable
self defense and hunting and even even recreational purposes. There's
only so many guns a man could shoot at a time.
But you can really get people to stockpile shit like
crazy if you convince them they're like preparing to be
gorilla fighters in a future civil war. And so and

a lot of these like gun tuber influencers, that's kind
of where they increasingly went because that's where the money was.
And so this becomes more and more of a part
of right wing politics because a lot of people on
the right have a lot of money to be made
in messaging this kind of stuff and selling this kind
of stuff. The same thing is true with the civil warshit.
It's true with these like fears that the government. You know,
we can sell you storable food, we can sell you

fucking bunkers. All of this stuff comes out of some
sort of financial grift. And the biggest thing that most
of the people involved in this are hoping for. Fucking
Jack Pisobiec doesn't want to be fucking hiding underground getting
bombed by the US Air Force. Jack Pisobiec wants to
make another million dollars off of affiliate sales of bullshit, Right,

that's what And a lot of these people, these guys
doing this caravans to the borders, they're not planning on
spending their own money on gas. They're hoping that they
can crowdfund a shitload of money. And I'm sure one
of them will steal all of it and run away, Right,
That's what usually happens with this kind of shit. But
that's what they're all hoping to do. And so that's
kind of the over if you want to actually hurt them,

if you're looking at where do we how do we
draw a strategic victory out of this, find a way
to damage their ability to profit off of this shit.
And I do think part of it is not making
this as big a story as that otherwise might be.
But that's not simply enough, because the right is large
enough that just through their media hyping this up, they
can make a decent amount of money off this stuff.

So more complex solutions are needed.

Speaker 5 (34:20):
Yeah, I do think we should probably discuss like the
potential of Abbot using this in a personal like later
our presidential run, right, Like, yeah, he's in New Delhi
at the moment.

Speaker 3 (34:29):
Have you seen here?

Speaker 2 (34:30):
He's a New Delhi hanging out with everybody's favorite pseudo
dictator of India Modi.

Speaker 5 (34:35):
Yeah, like Abbott trying to build this kind of like
electoral alliance and international alliance for like fascist like Wolfenstein
America is is. I think like it's concerning because like
Trump has a lot of baggage and I think obviously
he has a great degree of personal support switching in
the primaries. But if they don't make if they don't

stick the landing with Trump, I think Abbot is waiting
in the wings to make that perhaps the more competent
fascists than Trump and make an attempt at running for
the presidency.

Speaker 3 (35:09):
Not good anything else to say, fuck.

Speaker 4 (35:13):
All of them, Yeah, that's it. Sure, But okay, So
the other thing that you actually can do about this
is that look, this bullshit, all of this stuff is
going to continue until there's actually some kind of sustained
attack by the left on like politically on the border regime.

Speaker 6 (35:34):

Speaker 4 (35:34):
That was a thing that when I when I was like,
you know, when I was like like coming up like
twenty sixteen, twenty seventeen, twenty eight, and we were doing right,
there was Occupy Ice. There was like there were massed demonstrations,
there was like critical pleasure being applied, and we didn't
go far enough. Part of the reason we didn't go
far enough is a lot of people fucking a lot
of very optimistic political groups, like including like PSL et cetera,

et cetera, like hijacked a lot of these things and
pulled people off of occupations. But you know, there was
actually there were there have been periods in my lifetime,
like not that long ago, where there was actually forward
progress being made about this ship to the point where
like even that we're like the Democrats were trying to
co opt it, and it doesn't fucking have to be
like this, Like we don't. We don't have to have

hundreds of people fucking dying at the border every year.
We don't have to have people in open air fucking prisons.
It doesn't have to be like this. We can fight
them and we can win, but it requires actually like
it requires actually going and fighting, and you know, you
have you have to you have to actually be willing
to do this. You have to be willing to commit
to the organizing. But if we don't, if we just
keep leaving all of this ship to like just the

literal howling fascists and then Biden who is like it,
like on on the border doing the same thing but
not being but not like howling about it. Yeah, yeah,
you know, like this this this, this country is going
to go into fucking oblivion and we are we are going,
like you're you're going to see in your lifetime the
US government shooting people on the board like with machine guns.

Speaker 6 (37:01):

Speaker 4 (37:01):
If we don't stop this fucking now, that is that
is what you are going to live to see. And
it does not. We don't. We don't have to. We
don't have to live in that world. But you have
to act now.

Speaker 5 (37:13):
Yeah, I think that's a great Like it is also
within our power to like, there is not a voting option,
but there is always a mutual aid option at the border.
And I know I bang on about this, but like,
if you are within range of the border, you can
go and help. If you're not, there are migrant communities
in your city, in your town who need your help.

And like, the way we get through to our boomer
uncles and Facebook ants and stuff is by showing them
that migrants are people with stories who are just the
same as you, and they just want a chance to
raise their kids someone where they're not going to get
fucking killed by a car bomb. And that the more
human interactions more people going to have with migrants, and

the more stories we can tell that's center migrants as people,
artest numbers or tsunami or any fg humanizing gretoric like,
the more likely we are to take the teeth out
of this. And that's something that all of us can do. Yes,
all right, So that's a good thing to end on.

Speaker 2 (38:15):
And obviously by our storable foods, go to pissing my
Pants dried Foods dot net and use promo code Robert
Evans says the apocalypse is coming. It's a very long
promo code, but you will get Actually it increases the
price by fifteen percent, but please do it anyway. Yeah,
well we get more money. That's gonna be it for

us here, And it could happen here until next time.
I don't know, go to sleep with dreams of a
jdam taking out Greg Abbott right in the Austin Capitol Building.
Just bam baby. It won't happen, but it is a
funny thing to think about.

Speaker 4 (39:08):
Welcome to Dick It Happened Here, a podcast that is
in no small part about the increasing and escalating series
of anti trans laws being passed around the country. It's
another one of those episodes. Things are getting worse, things
are also getting weird. And with me to talk about
worse and weird is Kay and Lee from Health Liberation

Now welcome to the show.

Speaker 7 (39:34):

Speaker 4 (39:34):
I'm excited to talk to you both because, Okay, very
very odd stuff has been happening. So the main reason
I wanted to have Eat You on is to talk
about the stuff that's been happening in Ohio. So for
people who are unaware, Ohio's legislature has been trying to
pass a very draconian ban on all gender firmcare for minors.

The States Republican governor vetoed the bill, and this was
for about one day. There was a lot of sort
of like liberal cheering about like ah a compassionate Republicans,
blah blah blah blah. And then immediately after that, like
like like the next day, when all of all of
us we haven't even like we hadn't even really gotten
into the weight hold on, He's going to do something else.

Speaker 1 (40:18):

Speaker 4 (40:18):
The thing that Dwine did is is you know, and
this is this is being framed as like an attempt
to stave off the veto, which hasn't worked so far.
But he immediately implemented a bunch of rules that say
that in order to get gender firming care, and this
is true of both minors and adults, which makes it

in a lot of ways more draconian than the actual bill.
It's quote unquote supposed to be preventing like getting passed.
If you want to get gender refirming care, you need
recommendations from a psychiatrist, an endocrinologist, and a bioethicist. And
also all gender firmingcare in the state has to be

reported to the government, and there's like other stuff too.
So this is the technical term for this is this
is extremely bad.

Speaker 1 (41:09):
Yeah yeah, yeah, I mean he also signed an executive
order just banning surgery for everyone under eighteen too.

Speaker 4 (41:19):
Yeah so yeah.

Speaker 1 (41:23):
Yeah, I mean also I think I believe it was
like everyone under twenty one also had to go through
six months of counseling as well.

Speaker 8 (41:29):
Yes, yeah, at least six months of counseling. Yeah, there's
no upper.

Speaker 6 (41:37):
Cap mm hmm.

Speaker 1 (41:38):
And like a lot of this was the wine and
his spokespeople have ended up like justifying a lot of this,
like trying to use language from clinicians working at clinics
in Ohio that see trans youth and be like, well,
you know, they're taking this comprehensive multidisciplinary approach, and most

of the people they see like get counseling instead of
medical transitions. So they're actually like using a lot of
the testimony against the band to try to justify these
rules and regulations. And I don't think they're acting in
good faith because when you actually like look up the
details are like, well, this would basically make it almost
impossible for anyone at any age to transition. But it's

like you know, it's a very sneaky smart move right,
like being like, oh, look, we're trying to find a compromise.
We're trying to make sure everyone gets good healthcare. And
you know, unfortunately sometimes liberals and liberal media i'll just
kind of eat that up without really looking at the details.

Speaker 4 (42:34):
Yeah, And one of the things that's happening here too
is that so the US, where in places where there's
pretty good access to gender a firming healthcare, it works
off of something called informed consent. And informed consent is
like okay, so you go there, they tell you what

is going to happen, and you talk, you talk to
like a nurse or a doctor, and then once you
know the like what you're actually getting into, you say
yes or no if you want to do something right.
And you know, this is a this is a pretty
good system. It still can be really annoying to navigate
because of insurance stuff, and you know, like there's definitely

problems with it, but it's a it's a much better
system than exists in a lot of places. And you know,
I think there have been two sets of comparisons about
what these restrictions look like. And we're going to get
to the comparisons to uh tart restrictions on abortion in
a second, But I want to talk about another thing
that these restrictions strike me as very similar to, which

is the British system. And the way the British system
works is you get put on a wait list and
then you die, or you go to our media like
those are those are your options?

Speaker 9 (43:48):

Speaker 4 (43:48):
Or or you're really wealthy and you can you can
bypass the public healthcare system and go to the private
healthcare system. But you know, like I hope, like I
hope you are like the air to mansion before you
start that process, or you're in serious trouble. The thing
about the British system is there's all of these paths
of interlocking experts. You have to go through it every

single you have to get signatures from every single one
of them. And what this means is you have this enormous,
sort of interminable British gender bureaucracy whose only job and
only the only thing they want to do is stop
you from getting healthcare. There's a very very good Philosophy
Tube episode about this about what it's actually like to
be in that system, and it's terrible, and this is

a this is what the kinds of things that are
being proposed here are. In a lot of they're it's
not exactly the same, it's the British system, but it's
it's bringing it much closer to that system where it's
basically impossible to get healthcare. And the thing about the
British system and about these restrictions where you know you
have to have like a bioethicistant, a psychiatrist and endocrinologist

and you have to like do all you have to
jump through all of these troops, is that at every
single point in the pri there is another gender bureaucrat
who can just by themself decide that they're just doing
a trans healthcare band. And you know, every every individual
person you put into the process is another person who
could just say no. And that's what the bridge system works,
is that someone in the process just says no and

you die in a wait list. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (45:18):
I mean, we know trans people in Britain and in
other European countries where they have like a lot of gatekeeping,
and you know, all of them have warned us like
you do not want this coming to the US. Yeah,
you know, reminding us like all the time, like how
much easier. Are a lot of US trans people have
it in terms of accessing healthcare, and just like, yeah,

I mean everything I've heard about, like the UK healthcare
system sounds like nightmarish. People asking invasive questions about like
your sexuality or your trauma history or for youth that
often ends up like involving like genital inspections for some reason,
it just sounds like a horrible, dehumanizing, violating experience. And

then yeah, like a lot of people like spend years,
years and years if they you know, and are lucky
if they do it, are able to access care. A
lot of people have to go private if they can
afford to.

Speaker 8 (46:12):
Honestly, before, I mean technically it was during but before
the full like onslaught of bills started to hit the US,
Like there were Brits that were trying to sound the
alarm and get the message out to US base.

Speaker 6 (46:29):
Yeah, like it was.

Speaker 1 (46:29):
Around when the Currabell ruling happened. Crabelle was a d
trans woman who's later was affiliated with the ADF, with
the British branch of Alliance depending Freedom, which is behind
a lot of the It's like an international Christian nationalist
organization that's behind a lot of the healthcare bands in
the US as well, also the abortion birth control. Yeah,

really nasty people. But anyway, so like Currabell, this d
trends woman, It's like she sued.

Speaker 6 (47:01):
The NHS.

Speaker 1 (47:03):
For allowing her to transition and originally like won her
case and that led to basically.

Speaker 10 (47:09):
Like the end of.

Speaker 6 (47:11):
Transitioning for you. Yeah, she submitted a judicial review.

Speaker 8 (47:16):
The initial review was favorable to her, but upon further review,
the appeals did end up overturning it. But by that point,
the damage had already been done. Yeah, a bunch of
people were starting to lose access to care, and the
likes and the wheels were starting to spin internally as
well in terms of the Tavistock system and so like.

As a result, like the wait lists just ended up
getting longer and.

Speaker 6 (47:40):
Longer and longer.

Speaker 1 (47:42):
So that was like a huge blow that happened in
the UK and like UK trails people like basically like
by that point, it starting trying to warn people in
the US like this is going to come for you too, Yeah,
like get ready, like they had already been already been
like suffering under this like no anti transplants for a while,
and they knew it was going to spread down the

borders of the UK, and unfortunately it has.

Speaker 6 (48:06):

Speaker 8 (48:07):
In like the very early stages of our project, when
we launched at the beginning of twenty twenty one, almost
immediately after the Carabell initial ruling, we hosted a transcript
of a podcast from Blood and Turf that was trying
to deliver this message over to US based comrades, and
unfortunately it does not appear to have reached as many

people as it really needed to. But we do have
that available in the event that people can still learn
from it, because this onslot is not going to stop.

Speaker 3 (48:37):
Yeah, it's not.

Speaker 4 (48:39):
Yeah, And I think one of the things that we're
seeing now is that we're now seeing kind of an
opening of new fronts in a way where you have,
in the same state at the same time you have
both what I guess I would call the American style
approach of just straight up bands and then this kind

of an attempt to implement this sort of British like,
you know, attempt to implement this sort of like British
ender bureaucracy system. And one of the things that's been
happening with this is, you know, Okay, so there's a
lot of places where there's inspirations coming for this, and
I think, you know, we mentioned it briefly earlier. One

of the inspirations for this is obviously parp restrictions on abortion,
where you have these like unbelievably restricted like basically these
targeted things. When before, before Roe v. Wade collapsed, there
was you know, you could you could ban abortions by
for example, you know, saying like passing a bill that

says that, like, okay, if you want to do abortions
in a hospital, the walls in the hallways have to
be like exactly like this diameter, which is not the
same diameter as like as as normal hospital walls are.
So now you can't do abortions in hospitals, And so
they do things like this, right, and this is you know,
and this has been a huge problem for a long time.

Answer anti abortion activists have been talking about it for ages.
The Democrat Party did nothing. So you know, that's I think,
I think it's sort of like forwarding of where this
is going.

Speaker 8 (50:19):
Yeah, a direct parallel is actually over in Arizona, if
I remember correctly, because one of the things that they
ended up doing down in Arizona is a requirement that
they tried to implement was this rather controversial piece where
they also had to provide information on abortion reversals using

certain types.

Speaker 6 (50:44):
Of hormone care.

Speaker 8 (50:46):
Right, similar to how in order for people to be
able to provide gender firming care they have to provide
information about detransition and stuff like that. But when you
actually start to look at some of the data, not
all of it, but it's some of the data that
they are relying on to inform people of this, it

is a wildly biased sample or just downright pseudoscience. Right, Like,
they looked at the evidence base for the abortion reversals
and it didn't actually work the way that they were
saying it was, and it was actually coming from very
very very.

Speaker 6 (51:22):
Explicitly motivated groups. Right.

Speaker 8 (51:24):
So, Yeah, like abortion has been difficult to access in
Arizona for a very long time in part because of
some of these like obnoxious requirements that people end up
putting into place through trap laws.

Speaker 4 (51:40):
Yeah, And you know, I think it's it's worth noting that, like,
and this is true of both the anti trans bands
and the and anti abortion legislation, is that, like it's
the science, they're just making it up. A lot of
the time, Like, you know, one of the like one
of the very famous things is these like fetal heartbeat
bills that required like and the thing about like fetal

heartbeat bills is that fetuses don't have heartbeats. You're not
hearing a heartbeat, Like doctors will like force you to
listen to this. It's like that it's not what's happening.
It's literally not a heartbeat. But these people, like they
put a stethoscope to a women's chest and heard a
beating and we're like, oh shit, it's the baby's heart.
And it's like, no, it doesn't have a heart, Like wait,

this is a fetus, Like what are you even talking about?
But you know, and this kind of stuff, right is
you know, they're they're they're they're basically they're they're doing
just scientific malpractice, right, They're straight up lying to people,
and then they're using that as a justification for you know,
actual legislation which has sort of material impact and like

you know, carries the force of the law behind it.

Speaker 6 (52:47):
Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Speaker 4 (52:48):
And we've been seeing a lot of very similar kinds
of things from from these anti trans legislation and one
of one of the ways that they've been able to
use sort of pseudoscience, it's to get restrictions on healthcare past.
And this is true both of sort of the straight
up bands and also of these kind of like massive

bureaucratic restrictions, is by allying with groups of sort of
right wing de transitioners. And we're going to talk about
that more after this AD break, because we unfortunately are
reliant on ads to cover this stuff. So yeah, here's ads. Okay,

we are back, and this is the point where we
need to talk about the stuff in the Ohio story
that is very weird. Now. I think if people have
been following the story of sort of anti trans bills,
one of the things that's been happening a lot is
there's been this sort of there's there's a network of

people who de transitioned for various reasons I don't know,
who have become very very hardline right wingers who have
basically been doing like circuits of of the capitals of
you know, like state capitals and like going to Capitol
Hill and like telling their quote unquote stories to try
to get this to try to get like all trans
healthcare bands. Now, so this is you know, this is

something we've covered on the show in the past. What
is very weird about Ohio is that you had a
group of these right wing transitioners who specifically we're trying
to get it looked like at very at least we're
trying to get or trying to stop the like the
actual uh like gender firming care ban from going through,

and we're in favor of more of this restriction stuff.
Is that is that?

Speaker 10 (54:51):
Is that?

Speaker 4 (54:51):
What am I getting this right?

Speaker 6 (54:53):
Not not exactly. There's a couple of.

Speaker 4 (54:56):
No, okay roles. Sorry, I'm I.

Speaker 8 (55:00):
I can provide my my brief description here real quick,
and then you can retake aspects of that stuff. Because
something to bear in mind is the fact that, like
some of the opposition in the Ohio testimonies are actually
coming from people who view themselves as very left wing.

They are radical feminists. Specifically, they are just hardcore opposed.

Speaker 1 (55:24):
I mean, I would say they're they're they're actual politics
for a reactionary even yea, they call themselves left wing.
They see themselves as being opposed to the right, like
that's how they present themselves, and they definitely believe that
they're anti right wing.

Speaker 6 (55:36):
But there's there's also another component. This one is like.

Speaker 8 (55:45):
The nuances are sometimes almost impossible to be able to
tease out. I swear tomato tomato. But one of the
people who was a proponent for both this current bill
and a past bill is actually Corona Cone, who doesn't
not consider herself to be right wing, though she does
appear to be working with a number of right wing people.

She considers herself to be quote unquote libertarian. Now, this
is a red flag for those of us who have
done any sort of like real engagement with certain types
of libertarians or political organizing or whatever in that if
you actually pay attention to some of the arguments that
are being made or the collaborations that are being made,

you can generally tell which direction their politics are truly
leaning towards right?

Speaker 6 (56:33):
Is it left wing? Is it right wing? And hers
have been steering far and far more right wing.

Speaker 8 (56:40):
Like she uses the excuse of, you know, I want
small government and stuff like that, but if you're working
with like legislators to put in full on bands, I'm sorry, honey,
that's not small government.

Speaker 6 (56:57):
That's not small government.

Speaker 8 (56:58):
That is the opposite of small government, truly, and so
like like it's kind of hard to sort of like
encapsulate the entirety of like the proponents of the opposition
into particular political alignments, because a lot of it is
really based off of like what are their motivations and

who are they willing to work with?

Speaker 6 (57:21):
Which again, tomato tomato.

Speaker 8 (57:23):
But I'll have to come back to the Corona Cone
one at some point here too, because that one is
actually an important timeline in terms of understanding the Ohio bills.

Speaker 6 (57:32):
Mm hmm, yeah, I mean basically, I mean you have
like these, You do have like right wing beast.

Speaker 1 (57:38):
Transition people like Chloe Cole or Christian Boseley, Laura Becker
who like do you know they they'll be hanging out
with like the Heritage Foundation or Billboard Chris or the
Cue Shop yeah, or Our Duty like and they very
much are just working to try to pass these full
on bands.

Speaker 6 (57:59):
But then yeah, you have also these.

Speaker 1 (58:01):
Like d trans Turf and they're more liberal fellow travelers
who definitely see themselves as being opposed to the right
and are opposed to I mean, they they're opposed to
the right because they see right wing Christians as being
a threat to them as well, and are at least
smart enough to understand that if you know, right wing

Christians have their way, they're going to suffer too.

Speaker 6 (58:24):
But they also want to end trans healthcare or restrict it.
I mean some of the.

Speaker 1 (58:31):
Two of the people who helped organize, helped collect the testimony,
the group statement that was submitted under the name Are
you asking why Max and Katie Robinson they have ties
to Janice Raymond? Dead serious, Yeah they do. Janie Raymond
help publish Max Robinson's book It over at Spinefects Press,
this swurf and turf publisher.

Speaker 6 (58:53):
So yeah, they they're not actually a pro.

Speaker 4 (58:57):
Trans like, yeah, well we should we should, so Janice
Raymond for people who, uh, someone we've we've talked about
on the show a few times. But Jennie Raymond wrote
a book called The Transsexual Empire, and okay, so people
normally leave off the subtitle of it, which is called
It's the Transsexual Empire. The Making of the she mail.

It's like one of the original like original anti trans people,
like incredibly violent transfo like like both both in terms
of like the career of her work, like physically like
violently anti trans and yeah, yeah she is. She is
connected to a lot of the modern anti trans groups

and also the modern like the modern I don't know
what you call them, people who are attempting to take
away trans healthcare but who don't see themselves as anti trans.

Speaker 6 (59:49):
I have no idea how to even summarize that.

Speaker 4 (59:52):
Yeah, bad, I don't know.

Speaker 1 (59:55):
I kind of yes, yeah, yeah, so like I mean yeah,
and I mean yeah, Max and Kitty fully endorse Janice
Raymond's theories.

Speaker 6 (01:00:06):
I mean Janice Raymond.

Speaker 1 (01:00:07):
One of the things she's famous for is saying that like,
like transsexualism should be morally mandate out of existence, like
Max Robinson has said that she supports that. They also
both I mean Janice Raymond focused heavily on transom and overall,
and you know, also claim that basically like trans women were,

you know, committing sexual assault against women just for existing. Yeah,
Max and Kitty are also horrible transpasogenists to actually make
I mean, Kitty makes a lot of propaganda tracking attacking
transomen and trying to cast all trans women as predators
and yeah, just not people you want on your side,
because they're not. They're danger to all trans people. They're

just like trying to find a way to influence trans
healthcare in a different way. And I mean, I I'm
concerned that people will hear like, oh, look at all
these deeds, like these supposedly trans friendly d trans people
who testified against the SPAN, not realizing that these are
actually like purse with an agenda.

Speaker 6 (01:01:07):
Who I mean part of them.

Speaker 1 (01:01:08):
Part of what they want to do is to infiltrate
like queer and trans subcultures and promo like profideology and
recruit people like let's put it this way.

Speaker 8 (01:01:18):
So Max Robinson in terms of some of her beliefs
refers to medical transition for like trans masculine folks as
a sato ritual, going back to Mary daily types of
descriptions of things. And then Kitty was one of the
people that was interviewed for and gave extensive background information

for a BBC article that was released. I believe it
was called something along the lines of we are being
pressured into sex by some trans women, which is basically yes,
that one right, Like so yeah, being into this narrative
that trans women are sexual predators right into the British
media when they were already having a massive influx of

anti trans media that was again feeding into the demonization
of trans people as a whole, but then also like
controlling trans youth and the likes. And of course this
article not only did it end up originally platforming like
an actual like serial rape.

Speaker 4 (01:02:19):
Yeah, Lily kaid like someone someone a serial rapist so
prolific that like, within like maybe thirty minutes of this
article going up, like multiple like probably like a dozen
people had come forward and been like she raped me,
Like that is the person that the BBC was like

coming forward to do this shit with.

Speaker 8 (01:02:43):
Yeah, she ended up posting basically a manifesto on her
website that was even more extreme than aspects of the
article showed off. And then I will also note that
this article was originally I believe it was only translated
into Portuguese in order to be oh yeah, moved into
BBC still zilla yeah yeah, which is also one of
the countries that has one of the highest rates of

trans femicide. So like, yeah, these these are the people
that decided to go ahead and testify. Yeah, Like, well,
I'm those of personally bring up Max and Kitty because
like they were some of the people who helped like
get the testimonies. Like I found a post on Kitty's
Tumblr blog looking for d trans and Desisted women who
were willing to testify against a ban, and then Max

was the one who actually submitted the collective statement from
Arius and Wise. He also submitted an individual statement to
So basically like they found a bunch of like de
trans and desisted turfs on Tumblr to sign a statement
and then submit to like the state of Ohio, which is.

Speaker 6 (01:03:44):
Kind of wild to think about.

Speaker 8 (01:03:45):
Yeah, you don't normally expect to see testimony from turf Tumblr,
let alone transfer Tumblr.

Speaker 6 (01:03:54):
But that is, like that really happened. Yeah, really, who
you want to show up for you?

Speaker 7 (01:04:01):

Speaker 4 (01:04:02):
Really really not good in terms of who you want
doing your legislation, Like oh god, yeah yeah. So okay,
we need to take another ad break and then we
will come back and talk more about this. So enjoy
your brief capitalistic respite from the horror of capitalism.

Speaker 3 (01:04:32):
We are back.

Speaker 8 (01:04:33):
In order to properly understand the situation in Ohio, you
kind of have to go back several years, right. One
of the bills that ended up being proposed in twenty
twenty was HB five to one three. This was another
version of a proposed ban on gender firming care for

trans youth in particular, and it was sponsored by Representatives
Ron Hood and Bill Dean. This one is interesting because
one of the groups that ended up coming out in
opposition to it was the Gendercare Consumer Advocacy Network. This
is the organization that I helped found in twenty nineteen

prior to my resignation. They submitted this opposition after my resignation,
but it is available on archives. Then in twenty twenty
one and the twenty twenty two legislative session, there was
the proposal for HP four or five four, which was
another proposed ban on gender for main care for trans youth.

This time it was being sponsored by Representative Gary Klick,
who was also the sponsor of the current bill that
had recently been vetoed. And then the V two vtwed
And in May of twenty twenty two, the Gendercare Consumer
Advocacy Network or GCCAM testified in tentative support. The testimony

was submitted by coronicone and included suggestions for amendments. These
amendments are actually very important. One of the amendments that
she recommended was on data tracking. I believe it says
here the second amendment would be a requirement for physicians
mental health care providers and other medical healthcare professionals, mandating

an annual report to the Ohio Department of Health the number,
age and sex of minor patients who are receiving gender
transition services of any type. This was what she originally
proposed as an amendment to the bill. The bill again
did not end up passing. But now we are seeing

HB sixty eight, which is the one that merges the
ban on gender firming care for trans youth and a
sports ban because I guess, you know, trans youth plane
chess is somehow like threatening. So this one was again
represented like sponsored by Representative Click, and this time, curiously enough,

Karina had been working more extensively with Click during various
portions of the.

Speaker 6 (01:07:15):
Of the push for the bill. Right you know, she testified.

Speaker 8 (01:07:17):
Multiple times she's posted videos with him, pictures, et cetera.
Another person who had originally founded the organization, Carrie Callahan,
did originally start opposing. Curiously, she did not note her
prior experience with the organization, but she did start to

oppose the bill and then later starts to put out
basically like a more.

Speaker 6 (01:07:45):
General call for opposition to HB sixty eight.

Speaker 8 (01:07:50):
Right you know, trying to collect in you know, various
types of detransitioned people who were opposed to bands on
gender affirming care right.

Speaker 6 (01:08:03):
And then who is it that ends up showing up.
It's this weird little like.

Speaker 8 (01:08:13):
Turf group that originally came out of the trans Turf
Tumbler in twenty thirteen, that historically speaking, she had prior
working relationships with and even presented their stories to us path.

Speaker 1 (01:08:30):
Yeah, and also I mean Max Robinson too, like both her,
both Max Robinson and Carrie Callahan were both featured in
Jesse Single's Atlantic article too. There's lots of points of connection.
They've they've known each other since at least twenty sixteen,
and you know, work together.

Speaker 8 (01:08:50):
Like I can't say for certain how it is that
they ended up there personally, to me, it seems a
little weird that people who had prior working relationships dating
back a decade are showing up in the same place again,
and like they are also showing up in legislative testimony

for the first time in the state where some like
one of the central figures for a long time there
is putting out a call to oppose this particular bill.
Like the coincidences are racking up a little bit here,
it might be good to ask some further questions about
what exactly happened, because I have some questions. So you know,

this happened in December of twenty twenty three.

Speaker 4 (01:09:43):

Speaker 8 (01:09:43):
Eventually Governor Dwine goes ahead and vetos, but at the
same time he makes his you know, proposal for the
drafting of new regulations with you know, the Department of
Health and the likes and within that is the suggestion
of detailed data tracking that is reported to the Department

of Health and then to the general public every six months,
focusing on things like, you know, I don't think that
he wanted to focus on like the number of people
that were doing it, but he did include a like

the nature of the diagnosis. It applies to all ages.
It was not originally restricted to trans youth, like the
original testimony was from from gc CAN. The time range
was also ended up being like it's shortened. He wants
it every six months, not every year. But you know,

very similar kinds of things, right in terms of what
it is that he is proposing for this mass collection
of data. And a previous testimony was submitted to the
Ohio Legislature in fact, Like, not long after that fact,
representative clique ended up going on an interview with Tony

Perkins of Family Research Council talking about the pending veto.
They originally did this interview on January ninth, and he
noted that the data collection suggestion was originally included in
a draft version of his bill, but was removed due
to opposition, and so he's glad actually that that was included,

although he wished that there would be even more restrictions.
He actually was going to encourage the governor to also
sign an executive order banning the use of puberty blockers,
not just surgery. As far as I can tell, that
has not happened, but he did say that he was
going to try.

Speaker 6 (01:11:52):
But like.

Speaker 8 (01:11:55):
It's like there's there's definitely some weird kind of like
escalations that end up happening, and some of the like
some of the interconnecting threads with individuals that again just
happened to keep showing up in the same place over
and over and over again, either in support or in opposition.

Some folks have been consistently opposed, whereas other people have
been kind of flip flopping. The GCCN organization is one
of the ones that flip flopped. It originally opposed all bands,
and then now all of a sudden, it's like, you know,
the person that they are throwing out into these testimonies

was arguing in favor of them, and then like you
know the quote unquote are you asking why collective? And
to be fair, Carrie Callahan have also been firmly opposed
to full on bands and the Christian right pretty much
from the beginning, though for very very very different reasons.

Speaker 1 (01:12:58):
I mean, some other opposition was, well, people will go
to like could go to other states where there's less restrictions,
Like no, the stuff we have you know, hiwas already
like has a lot of restrictions, and majority of trans
youth like only get counseling and they don't get any
like none of them get surgery, and most of them,
like only a very small number of them get puberty

blockers or horrormones. So this should be like this should
be an example for the entire country. Like that was
kind of Carrie Gallahan's take on things. And then like,
I mean, yeah, a lot of the the more like
the d transferfs, like the Robinson's or other members of
our Usking Wives it's like, Okay, well they're opposed to

the Christian Right, and they recognize that, like if the
Christian Right gains more power and is banning things, that's
bad not just for trans people, but also for you know, cis,
lesbian and gay people and says women, and you know
it will end up hurting them too. So I mean,
even from a self preservation stance, they understand like why
they should be opposed to the Christian Right, but they're

still if you actually read their testimony, a lot of
them do make it clear that they're opposed to transition.
Like one one person called it like compared medical like
trans healthcare to like a hydra said that, like it
would only be cutting off ahead like these aren't.

Speaker 4 (01:14:14):
Yeah, and so a lot of them were, you know, we're.

Speaker 1 (01:14:16):
Also kind of praising uh, you know, regulations like the
group uh statement talks about like it's like, you know,
shutting down clinics when improve anyone's quality of care. Ohio's
existing programs are known for their moderation. Uh, they don't
perform surgery on minors. Many clinics out of state do

a lota YadA.

Speaker 8 (01:14:38):
So Max Robinson's testimony also said similar but that she
had it on good word from an Ohio in.

Speaker 1 (01:14:48):
Right, I have yes, you had say I hear if
I'm good authority from an Ohio in that pediatric gender
clinics their prescribed hormones pretty sparingly and don't actually perform
any underaged transition surgeries.

Speaker 6 (01:15:01):
Other states do, though, So there's like.

Speaker 1 (01:15:05):
This whole thing is like like there's still kind of
scaremongers like, oh, but these other states, like we're transition
as a minor, those are bad, but they're still making
it clear that the idea that people having easy access
to transition, especially as youth, is like a.

Speaker 6 (01:15:18):
Bad thing in their minds.

Speaker 1 (01:15:21):
I don't think we actually mentioned like how like if
you actually look at the collective statement, that are you
asking why issued?

Speaker 6 (01:15:28):
And like who signed it?

Speaker 1 (01:15:29):
Like a whole bunch of them didn't actually transition, Like
a lot of them are actually desisted, which means that
they like never actually medically transition. They considered transitioning or
maybe socially transitioned, but then they decided not to medically transition,
possibly after you know, converting to anti transfeminism or the like.
So it's just a bunch of people who like I

decided not to transition. I'm desisted, like you know, testifying
against a healthcare band. That's also like a kind of
a classic strategy too. It is like they have a
bunch of like dissisted people along mixed in with people
who actually like transition and do transition to kind of
like inflate the numbers.

Speaker 6 (01:16:06):
Yeah, this is a standard. Yeah, this is very standard.
It's an old trick.

Speaker 1 (01:16:11):
It's it's like, oh yeah, you're like okay, yeah, And
then a bunch of them are also like saying the
ones who did like you know, transition and new transition,
they're like emphasizing how they a few of them like
are emphasizing how young they were when they transitioned and
be transitioned.

Speaker 6 (01:16:24):
Again, not exactly, yeah, not exactly. Protraums.

Speaker 8 (01:16:28):
This collective here with like pretty pretty explicit turf ties,
including some of them directly to Trannis. Raymond herself was
the bulk of the opposition from de transitioned people to
the bill. I should note, like that's fifteen signatures right there.
People are talking about like how there were nineteen people

that were opposed, so fifteen of them were either like
part of the recruitment or actively recruited on d trans
turfed her.

Speaker 1 (01:17:00):
Yeah, and then like at least five of them are
just assisted, they're not to transitioned. It's not clear about everyone,
but yeah, yeah, it's.

Speaker 6 (01:17:12):
It's weird.

Speaker 7 (01:17:13):
It's just.

Speaker 6 (01:17:16):
It's really weird.

Speaker 8 (01:17:18):
And it's also been really weird to see the media
just kind of take that testimony of theirs at face value.

Speaker 6 (01:17:27):
That it's been a problem for a long time.

Speaker 1 (01:17:28):
It is like getting the media to actually sort of
like investigate or care about people's like political views or
activism or actually kind of being like like sometimes like
I think, like I say, like the Basilon New York
Times story we were talking about before has Grace Litnski Smith,
and they're.

Speaker 6 (01:17:46):
Without saying that she was you know, affiliated with J. C.
Kan and she's like not just with the president, she
was the president.

Speaker 5 (01:17:54):

Speaker 1 (01:17:54):
Yeah, so it's like it's like, okay, she's just like
represented as just like you know, as a deutns woman
without going into like she she's the head of this
political organization, and that's just you know, this has happened,
this has been a problem for years.

Speaker 6 (01:18:08):

Speaker 4 (01:18:08):

Speaker 1 (01:18:09):
So it's just like, I mean, just a whole lot
of different sketchy characters kind of came out for what's
going on in Ohio. I mean you have like you know,
Republicans and right wing Christians who just want to straight
up ban transition and move towards eliminating it for for

all trans people and workers, making it you know, as
impossible for trans people to live in society as they can.
And then you have kind of more like tricky Republicans
like DeWine sort of like pretending to find some kind
of compromise and be like, oh, we're just trying to
work for like more comprehensive healthcare that is just so

everyone gets what they need, and like sort of like
using some of the language that was used by clinicians
who are trying to fight against the and their testimony
and you know, trying to claim make these claims, but
if we actually look at the details, like the regulations
they're proposing would make it nearly impossible for anyone to transition,

you know, both youth and adults. And then you have
like you know, these different medical professionals and kind of
more liberal transphobic d trans people who want more gatekeeping
and regulation and control over trans people and are kind
of like using de transition and transition regret as a

justification for that or praising being like, oh well, Ohio,
their youth clinics are already really good because they're very
cautious and they use therapy a lot more than they
actually allow youth to medically transition.

Speaker 6 (01:19:49):
I mean, that argument didn't seem to work out at all.

Speaker 1 (01:19:52):
Instead, it sounds like the governor kind of was like, oh,
two thirds of youth only get therapy instead of medical transition,
and we should do that for everyone.

Speaker 6 (01:20:03):
It's like sort of like, you know.

Speaker 1 (01:20:04):
If you propose restrictions, say oh, this is great, then
of course the people who are more extreme will just
like take that and run with it.

Speaker 6 (01:20:11):
And then you know you have uh, you know, d
trans turfs showing up and testifying for their own weird reasons.

Speaker 1 (01:20:20):
You know, probably because of their connections to carry Galahan,
but you know, this also is a chance for them
to sort of like you know, launder their image, make
it seem like, oh, look we're good, we're good d
trans people.

Speaker 6 (01:20:30):
We oppose the religious right, we're fighting against these bands.

Speaker 1 (01:20:34):
And then people who don't necessarily like know any better
will like come here maybe right right, because this is
like that's a strategy they often pretend to be more
trans friendly than they really are to sort of like
draw people in or be able to like influence queer
and trans communities and slowly slip in like crypto turf
ideology and recruit people or just space.

Speaker 6 (01:20:59):
Yeah. So, I mean it's like there's just a whole
lot of.

Speaker 1 (01:21:03):
Different you know, anti trans groups and individuals like stretching
from like paternalistic medical professionals who want more gaykeeping, who
want to restrict the number of people transitioning like all
the way to you know, like Christian nationalists you want
to just.

Speaker 6 (01:21:18):
You know wipe us out completely.

Speaker 1 (01:21:20):
And you know, not only h you know, are basically
at war with bodily autonomy in general.

Speaker 6 (01:21:25):
They don't want anyway.

Speaker 1 (01:21:26):
They want to be the ones to control what people
do with their bodies. Like they also want to you know,
restrict reproductive care and abortion. It's all part of the
same war, uh, just control people and assort their version
of authoritary in Christianity. And then you have you know, uh,
you know, weird d trans turfs, and it's just like
all you kind of have to like understand like all

these different factions and how they sort of like interact
together and how you know, they try to.

Speaker 6 (01:21:52):
Use each other, you know, can see them overwhelming.

Speaker 1 (01:21:54):
But like the more we kind of understand like what
we're up against, like the easier it is for us
to develop strategies of resistance. And it's like, you know,
even though you know it can seem like we're up
against a lot of different groups, but like, you know,
we're also part of this larger fight for liberation, and
you know, we can connect you know with feminists who

are fighting for reproductive autonomy. We can connect with like
disability liberation activists who are fighting for better healthcare for everyone.

Speaker 6 (01:22:24):
We do potentially have lots of allies.

Speaker 1 (01:22:26):
We do have lots of connections like with other movements,
and so when you think of it that way, it's like, Okay,
we're not just like.

Speaker 6 (01:22:33):
One small group up against this whole like Goliath.

Speaker 1 (01:22:36):
Let's like, no, we're part of this larger movement that
is fighting so that everyone is free and that everyone
gets the health care they deserve.

Speaker 4 (01:22:44):
Yeah, And I mean I think that one of the
one of the sort of tangential things here too is
you know, this is an extremely negative example of the
amount of influence that a very very small number of
people can wield who have extremely popular ideologies. On the
other hand, there are a lot of us and the
things that we believe are very popular. And you know,

the amount of power that we can wield if we
are willing to organize, and we are when we understand
what we're organizing against is immense, and it is enough
to drive these people into the fucking ground. Oh yeah, yeah,

welcome to dig it up in here. This is Mia
long back with part two of my interview with Kay
and Lee from Health Liberation Now about the long origins
of anti trans legislation and policy in Ohio. Let's get
right into it, Okay. So the next thing I wanted
to sort of ask about is, so this is a

very very long running I guess, sort of strategy and
campaign of sort of right wing or right wing and
turf do transition like groups advocating for trans healthcare bands.
And I wanted to I wanted to talk about some

of the older campaigns that happened, and I wanted to
talk about specifically some of the campaigns to influence WPATH.
Oh boy, right, right, So we should we should start
by explaining to people what WPATH is, because I think
unless you're trans you probably don't know. You've probably never
heard of WPATH.

Speaker 1 (01:24:37):
It's like World Professional Association for trans Healthcare, I believe,
is what it.

Speaker 6 (01:24:42):
Can double check that.

Speaker 10 (01:24:44):

Speaker 1 (01:24:44):
Yeah, World Professional Associations for Transvender Health formerly known as
the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Alliance.

Speaker 8 (01:24:51):
They published the standard care that is usually used to
help inform gender firming care for trans people, and they
have done various versions of.

Speaker 6 (01:25:02):
This over the course of decades. We are currently on
version eight.

Speaker 1 (01:25:07):
Yeah, and historically they've they're a way of administering trans
healthcare has involved a lot of like gatekeeping and then
psychological assessments or requiring people to do a real life test,
which is like making someone live as the gender they're
transitioning to for like a year before they can actually
access medical transition. So I guess like social transition, but

it's like a test to prove whether you're a quote
unquote real trans person or not. And like things of Yeah,
things have gotten like somewhat better over time, but there's
still a lot of medical professionals in and especially like
therapists in WPATH who like still want to require some
form of gatekeeping, who basically still don't trust trans people

to know, you know, who we are and what we
need and are like okay, but we need to make
sure they get therapy. We need to make sure we
do like oh the SYPE tests, what if they regret it?

Speaker 3 (01:25:59):
And so yeah.

Speaker 1 (01:26:00):
So I used to be a de transition radical feminist
back in the day, and I used to know I
mean I knew Max and Kitty. I was involved in
that particular group for about like six and a half
seven years, and I used to have a blog called

Crash Chaos Cats where I wrote about de transitioning and
kind of got more more turphy over time. But like
pretty early into my blog, about like three months or
so in this gender therapist who worked for the San
Francisco Department of Health like left a comment on my
blog and was like, I'm interested in talking to de
transitioned people because I think there are two Like well,

she left to comment that she was interested in talking
to de transition people and you know, talking to me,
and then like we started emailing back and forth, and
she opened up pretty quickly and said like there are
too many f to ms in San Francisco. It was
like too many f to ms in the San Francisco
Bay Area, there are too many like you know, Quoe
unquote female PEP transitioning. I know, it's like, oh no,

it's like, oh wow, there's It's like it couldn't possibly
be that people are just coming to one of the
most trans friendly areas in the country to transition because
they think they'll have an easier time there.

Speaker 6 (01:27:16):
No, there's got to be too many people.

Speaker 1 (01:27:18):
I mean, I think somewhere early in the conversation she
brought up YouTube influencing people towards transitioning.

Speaker 6 (01:27:24):
She thought there was like, you know, pressure to transition
in the trans community.

Speaker 1 (01:27:28):
So anyways, shit all this stuff, something about like you know, oh,
people are treating this social problem as a medical problem.
And I you know, immediately kind of turned around and
started talking with this other detrans radical feminist that I knew,
divoras Ahab, and we started scheming like, Okay, this like
gender therapist who works for the San Francisco Department of

Health like thinks there's too many people transitioning. How do
we exploit this, Like how can we like use this
as an opportunity to like cut down on the number
of like people transitioning.

Speaker 6 (01:27:59):
It wasn't just the connection to the Department of Health. Yeah,
also the w PATH.

Speaker 1 (01:28:03):
Well that that we found out about that I was
just going to go into that, like eventually, first we
found out she was working for the Department of Public Health,
and then we found out that she was in w
PATH and she actually was like you know, talking to
the president of w PATH and that she like so
she made it clear that like she wanted to use
the stories of de transitioned people to try to get

more clinicians to be to take a more cautious approach,
and she also wanted to try to develop psych assessments
that could supposedly like weed out you know, who the
real trans people were, who was going to benefit from
transitioning and who would supposed to go on to regret
transitioning and d transition.

Speaker 6 (01:28:37):
The thing is, we didn't actually.

Speaker 1 (01:28:40):
Believe that you could tell the difference between someone who
would end up like state transitions because we were TERFs, right,
we thought everyone could you know, be saved by radical
feminism like we And we had a bunch of people
in our group who thought that they were you know,
quote unquote true transsexuals, who thought they fit the criteria
of someone who would have a seccess full transition, you know,

until they you know, decided they actually were suffering from
internalized misogyny or some other kind of rad fem explanation
for gender dysphoria. And like the thing is, like Devora
also lived in the San Francisco Bay area, so you
actually end up like meeting up with this gender therapist.
His name was Julie Graham, and was like pretty open
with her with her anti trans views. I mean, she

wasn't like completely open with her like intentions like, oh,
I'm going to use this person to try to like
work towards ending all transition, but she was. She did
tell you know, Graham, but she didn't think anyone really
benefited from it. And she told her that, you know,
she said she knew people who have been true transsexuals
who had de transitioned, and said like lots of really
awful things about like trans women being fetishists and just

like you know, all this very anti trans stuff. But
then you know, I say, oh, but I think we
don't have to agree on everything. I think we can
like work together, and like, you know, this gender therapist
fell for it, like somehow like divorcing all this very
anti trans stuff like making a close she was opposed
to transition, saying like really nasty, trans misogynistic shit, like

none of that was like objectionable enough for great not
to like continue to like work with her, to continue
to be like, hey, do you want to talk to
these clinicians about what it is to do transition?

Speaker 6 (01:30:20):
And you know eventually what happened like that.

Speaker 1 (01:30:24):
Eventually, this relationship with this gender therapist eventually led to
a presentation at the first us PATH conference by Carrie Callahan,
who's like she's kind of an odd figure because she
never actually identified as like a radical feminist, but she
spent like years hanging out was like detransitioned radical feminists,
and she's she's de transitioned, but she's kind of more

of like a weird liberal who believes in more gatekeeping,
but she's kind of handy, like we like like she
did this presentation at us PATH and she showed some
videos of trans turfs, including myself, like I made one
of I made a short video, and Max Robinson also
made one of those videos, and Carrie Stella was the

third person, and Carry Stella she did like she was
another like d trans tumbler turf who did this survey.
It still gets like it was a it was a
survey monkey survey. It's gets cited by like anti trans
researchers about de transition yeap. Which anyways, so we so
there were three of us who made these short videos,

both me and Max Robinson by that point had gone
like we had hooked up with these weird turfs who
were Dianic witches and taken part in these kind of
weird neopagan x trans reclaiming femaleness rituals. We had been
through this kind of like religious neo pagan like you know,

conversion practice rituals, which of course that wasn't something that
the USP like those are the people, you know, dos
Path knew that, but we hit that. We just you know,
I talked about how I thought I had transition due
to like internalized misogyny and trauma on all that. So
I was sort of like spreading a more like kind
of watered down terf ideology to the folks over at

us Path.

Speaker 8 (01:32:19):
This is this is kind of an intentional strategy if
you think about it, because I want to I want
to point out something from the emails about how that
presentation was made and then given where Carrie Callahan noted
that her slides were quote unquote decidedly on radical.

Speaker 6 (01:32:40):
She was trying to talk to therapists as a therapist.

Speaker 8 (01:32:45):
What that basically meant was she was taking away a
lot of the more objectionable elements, the things that would
identify folks like Kai and her previously scrambled state as
a turf and being completely oppos transition and stuff like that,
and then putting on you know, kind of suiting them
up right, like you know, getting getting them in their

in their nice clothes, and then presenting them to a
professional audience who is then able to take that information
and sort of absorb it into their general thinking and
then how that's going to play out in terms of
their changes or implementations of care in the long term.

Speaker 4 (01:33:24):
Yeah, and that's something that like, I think there's something
that's pretty common with like a d D trends, uh,
like anti transactivists across the spectrum, Like a lot of
people like Cloe Cold, there's a lot of the sort
of like just hardline right wingers who didn't talk about
stuff like like like some of these people de transition

because like the thing that they're saying now is the
de transition because they got a vision from God, right,
and they don't start with that because I think, right,
I mean, I I think I think there should be
more skepticism of people who are like I got a
vision from the Christian God or like the Abrahamic God
that told me a t transition. I think thered be
borced get the system of that. But that's not something
that like, I don't know if if you if you

walk into like W Path and you tell them I
was given to vision from God, They're going to be like,
what whereas this kind of stuff?

Speaker 8 (01:34:18):

Speaker 4 (01:34:18):
Like, you know, but the Wpath people like and this
is something that's kind of complicated about this because I
think there's I think there's a lot of people who
see W Path as one of the sort of like
as one of the organizations that's there to protect trans
people and that are sort of allies in this sort
of in this battle against anti trands stuff. And it's
true to a certain extent, but they're also like, this

is an organization composed of a bunch of CIS doctors, right,
who can be influenced and manipulated.

Speaker 8 (01:34:47):
And there's there's trans members as well, there's a few,
but it also is less power.

Speaker 1 (01:34:55):
Well, it also seems like the trans people who do
end up like you know, positioned at wpath like also
tend to be like end up believing in gatekeeping and
restrictions that kind of like internalize the general mindset and
so so it's kind of like their tokens, right. It's
kind of handy for like CIS medical professionals who want
to like control trans people to have some trans people

as like figureheads, you know, expressing those views because they're like, oh, well,
you know, look this person's saying it and they're trans,
so like yeah, I mean, I mean, like yeah, at
the same like that the first US Path, I mean,
just to kind of show how far things still need
to come, you know, the same US Path where Carrie

did her de transition presentation. Ken Zucker was there and
he got he got protested, I mean like there was
a protest against him, and I did. I believe they
ended up like canceling at least like one of his presentations.
But yeah, so ken Zucker kind of the notorious like
conversion therapist to focus primarily on on trans use like
clinic in Canada, you know people I mean and like

going after both like trans youth and gender non conforming youth.
They tried to like you know, prevent kids from growing
up trans, but they also tried to make you know,
non conforming youth like more gender conforming as well, with
the justification, Oh well, it's easier to change individual than
to like make society less bigoted. Yeah, yeah, but yeah,
but he was the type of people, like he was

one of the medical professionals that was like, you know,
helping to create like the standards of care for for
trans youth for decades, and it took a lot of
work to.

Speaker 6 (01:36:36):
To change that.

Speaker 1 (01:36:37):
And like, yeah, he was still given a platform by
w Path in like twenty seventeen.

Speaker 6 (01:36:42):
That's not that long ago.

Speaker 4 (01:36:45):
Yeah, And that's I don't know, it's this is one
of these things where like the history of cist doctors
treating trans people is really really bleak in ways that
don't get talked about. And the reason, like one of

the reasons they don't get talked about from people who
know about it is that like it's fucking bad, Like
it's a lot it's it's a lot of people getting raped.
It's like a lot of like I mean, and like
when we talked about sort of like gatekeeping for health care,
Like that was the like one of the original things
was like, you know, one of the things that would
happen very very commonly was you know, it's like okay,

like if you if you want to get healthcare, like
you have to let me rape you like that. That's
the thing that happened all the fucking time. And this
is the and that's not something that's you know, extremely
long ago, right, And you can you can look at
like modern w path and be like, well, it's obviously
like yes, it has come a long way from that shit,
but simultaneously, yeah, like I don't know, that's that's something
that you know, like there are living people who fucking

experience that, right, and you know, and and when when
you when you look at why these kinds of like
d trans campaigns, why why these just like like these
the sort of d trans anti transactivists have been so
successful in targeting this it's like, well, you know, it's

it's it's it's I think I think it's a kind
of similar thing to like, oh wow, I wonder why
like the third KKK was successful in this South And
it's like hmm hmm. Maybe there are things happening. I
mean that that is slightly unfair as being a bit
unfair to them. But you know, there's there's still a
lot of these sentiments that there's a lot of sort

of like transphobic sentiments that are just kind of like
buried beneath the surface. And I think a lot of
what we've been seeing over the past you know, like
like eight ish years, what is time hold on? Is
that God, Okay, I've broken my own rule about not
trying to do bath life on air. People don't figure

out that I can't do subtract. But you know, that's
that's a lot of what's the topic of the last
like eight years is that people figured out that there's
still a lot of sort of lingering anti transceniment, and
they figured out where you can target it in ways
that are extremely effective. We need to go to ads
were back in a second with less capitalism, and we're

back Oh yeah.

Speaker 1 (01:39:27):
Oh yeah, I mean like yeah, I mean I feel
like like in terms of like medical professionals who want
a gatekeeper, what like they've they've been using you know,
de transition and transition regret as like an excuse for
controlling people for basically since the beginning of trans healthcare.
I mean not like like you know that gender therapist,

she like Graham, she went looking for us. She like
went looking for for de trans people to use. She's like, Okay,
this is how I'm going to like cut down on
the number of people transitioning. I'm going to find some
like de transitioned women and then use their experiences. And
you know that's what she tried to do. And like
and I see this happening with other like clinicians too,
like kind of going back to Ohio Scott Liebowitz, who

runs he's a therapist who runs the Thrive Clinic in Ohio.
And he's another one who has used like detransition to
justify like more psych assessments. And I mean he was
actually one of the therapists featured in one of the

New York Times articles that everyone a lot of trans
people got mad at, the one by Emily Baislon. Was
it like I forget what it's called selfpies the general
for gender therapy, where he's like kind of cast is
this like this poor moderate position who's caught between the
religious right that wants to ban all trans healthcare and
these wacky transactivists who just want to let everyone transition.

It's like he's just trying to find this nuanced approach
and make sure that like teenagers don't transition and regret it.
And you know, yeah, you know he was like, I mean,
like he was trying to stop the healthcare bands in
Ohio by pointing out, like, oh look, you know we're
we do comprehensive care. You know, most most youth don't

go on to medically transition. Like like Carrie Callahan was
also one of the you know, she and her testimony
and in some op ed pieces that she wrote, she
was like praising his approach, calling it conscious cautious. You know,
people who want to like restrict care implement more gatekeeping
will use like de transition stories to justify that. And

then of course, like you know, the religious right, who
wants to completely wipe out all transition healthcare will also
use like D transition stories as well. They'll have their
set of D transition people that they they bring out,
like Chloe Coole to testify for the bands.

Speaker 10 (01:41:56):

Speaker 8 (01:41:57):
Leibowitz was also one of the colely for the adolescent
chapter in the Standards of Care eight from w Path.
This was also partially reported on in the Basilon piece
since they were given exclusive access to the draft before
the actual final product was officially published. And so this
particular chapter, especially compared to most of the other ones,

was it was basically a dumpster fire. Like it was
a massive rollback in terms of accurate information. And part
of this was actually captured by a white paper that
was written by Kelly Winter's a trans woman.

Speaker 6 (01:42:34):
You know, she's got a PhD and everything like that.

Speaker 8 (01:42:35):
She's been paying attention to this stuff for a really
long time, has been working in aspects of w path
and trying to like, you know, kind of help reshape
some of the transphobia that's been happening.

Speaker 1 (01:42:46):
Yeah, I mean she's been finding back against like how
trans people are pathologized and you know, against paternalistic yeah
healthcare for a very long time now.

Speaker 6 (01:42:54):

Speaker 8 (01:42:55):
So she ended up writing a white paper about Version,
with a significant section focusing on the adolescent chapter and
some of the weird like pseudoscience laundering that ended up
happening because that chapter not only did it include like
you know, lip service to things like quote unquote rapid

onset gender dysphoria, which is a this is a bunk
pseudodiagnosis that was invented by Lisa Littman after surveying a
bunch of anti transparents. But then within that chapter you
also see the laundering of specific studies that are focused
on predominantly de transitioned women, predominantly gender critical or radical feminists.

These two papers were Litman twenty twenty one, which surveyed
a lot of the kind of the old D trans
turf groups that we had been connected with right around
twenty seventeen or so, so this was before the ROGD
paper was published in twenty eighteen. But then there was
also let's say, there's the Vanderbush study, which I believe

that was published in like what twenty I don't remember
what year that was published in the Vanderbush study, Now,
this study was done by Eli vander Bush, who is
basically post trans half of a gender critical detransition project,
and it had a very similar kind of like recruitment

strategy sometimes an overlapping recruitment pool. But the difference is
that this happened after the rog D paper dropped.

Speaker 4 (01:44:30):
RGD is that's wrap it on SUT gender dysphoria, which
is distinct correct, Yeah, to be like all the kids
are suddenly transitioning, is like no, this is yes, yeah,
but that's what that is.

Speaker 11 (01:44:40):

Speaker 8 (01:44:40):
When that paper dropped, a shift in some of the
narratives from people who are coming out as de transitioned
was also starting to be observed. More people were starting
to call themselves as having experienced ROGD.

Speaker 6 (01:44:54):
This is where the peak Resilience project came from.

Speaker 8 (01:44:58):
And so as a result, like this BANDI Bush study
was also pulling in aspects of that kind of narrative
as well. Right, and you know this, none of this
actually makes sense. These are wildly biased sample pools. It's
not going to be generalizable to basically any population. It's
only focused on like a very particular subset of people

who end up detransitioning and then develop some kind of
like political belief it's connected to it, right, And then
it's being used as legitimate data as part of standards
of care that is supposed to be like yeah, yes,
it's just it's particular absolus.

Speaker 1 (01:45:39):
Well, it is ridiculous, But I don't feel like like
I feel like the medical professionals who want more gatekeeping,
like they just need some de transitioned people to justify it.
They don't really care if like the people ended up
de transitioning because they like found God or radical feminism
or like or you know, our old group, a lot

of de transmit. I think I already mentioned this before,
Like a lot of us like talked about how like
we had the same kind of dysphoria than any other
transperson had and we're.

Speaker 6 (01:46:08):
Still fighting it off. That was a thing too.

Speaker 1 (01:46:10):
Most of the people I knew still had gender dysphoria
and we're just finding like quote unquote alternative ways to
cope with it. And it's just like, I don't I mean,
a lot of people were trying to like talk themselves
out of like transitioning again. So I don't think the
issue here is like, oh, transition didn't work for these people.
It's more like they internalized the idea that no one

should transition. But again, like people don't. It's like people don't, Yeah,
they only care about using D transition in order to
reduce the number of trans people or prevent transition. They
don't care about transition or d transition that you know
results from transphobia either internalizing it, yeah, internalizing it an

anti trans ideology, or you know, not being able to
access transition because of living in a transphoba, coming from
a transphobic family, you know, having to go into the
closet to find a job, that kind of stuff. Like
it's never about like yeah, it's never about preventing due
transition that results from from transphobia. It's just about finding

excuse to control us and our access to healthcare. There's
this perverse incentive structure here too, because you know, these
doctors are trying to find you know, they're trying to
find something that gives.

Speaker 4 (01:47:26):
Them more ability to do gatekeeping. So it's it's it's
in their interest to in order to in order to
preserve and increase their own power, to find this kind
of stuff, which means that they're not actually doing their job.
They're going out and trying to find ways to like
they're trying to find, you know, whatever whatever like absolutely

dog shit studies or like just stuff that like probably
should be considered medical malpractice. Like they don't really care
because again it's it's it's it's just this like loop
because that's the thing that they need. So they'll they'll
find whatever, like bank pseudo scientists just like cranking the
stuff out and they'll use.

Speaker 1 (01:48:02):
It, yeah, I mean, and also I mean I also
feel like this is one of the reasons why there
aren't more resources for people who end up de transitioning too,
because they want to be able to use as a
scarce scare story, right because like really, I mean, like okay,
like you know, I do transitioned, and like it was
hard because there weren't as much like resources and support
out there. And I mean a lot of the supports

I did find were crappy because they were coming from TERFs.
But it's like it's really just kind of like transitioning
again in a lot of ways. So it's like, well,
if you can create resources to make transitioning easier, you
could definitely create a lot of similar resources to make
do transitioning easier.

Speaker 6 (01:48:40):
But that's not there.

Speaker 1 (01:48:42):
And I feel like like one of the reasons that
is not there is because if like if it's easy
for someone to do transition, get what they need to
have a good life, and just move on, then it's
hard to use those stories. Like you'll have less people
who want to, like you know who you can kind
of like, uh, you know, indoctrinate into these anti trans
ideologies and then use them, you know, as part of
the anti trans movement, but also just like I mean,

if it's not scary anymore, if you just feel like, okay,
like this is just an issue of like making people
making sure people get the supports they need so they
can just get on with their lives, Like you just
treat it as a practical problem that needs to be
solved instead of using it to feed a trans panic.
Like yeah, it's just like the the there's actually like
less reasons for gatekeeping. I mean, I feel like like

creating like basically you're kind of like creating a safety
net for in case, like you know, in case something
unexpected or negative happens. So you're like, okay, well, if
you transition and things you end up changing your mind
or things don't work out the way you think they would,
here's all these supports you can turn to. So I
feel like that's kind of a better long term thing

to work for It is, like, okay, like make sure
there are supports for people no matter how their transition
turns out, Like if then including you know, de transitioning,
or if people like you know, face health complications, like
make sure that there's like support some place for that.
Don't use that as an excuse for gatekeeping.

Speaker 6 (01:50:03):
Yeah, that's unfortunately one that I know all too well
the consequences of.

Speaker 4 (01:50:12):
Yeah, and I think I think also the everything that's
going on is there's just like all of these groups
see both trans people and people do transitions as just
not like like they're you know, they're they're they're violating

the content categorical comperative in the sense that they're not
treating people as actual humans or treating them as objects
or tools. Yes, and once you do, when you do that, right,
like everything suddenly, you know, like who cares what happens
to these people afterwards because you don't think of them
as people. You think of them as just a thing
that you're using to do another thing.

Speaker 6 (01:50:53):
Mm hm oh yeah. Absolutely.

Speaker 8 (01:50:56):
The unfortunate thing is that unfort like this can also
happen within the community as well. When they are trying
to advocate for certain kinds of things, people will end
up using each other, oh yeah, as tools in order
to meet their own personal goals.

Speaker 4 (01:51:10):
Speaking of goals, make it your goal to buy these
products and services. Zh No, we're back.

Speaker 8 (01:51:29):
So let's go back a little bit to about like
twenty nineteen. Some of the bills are starting to go out.
We had the test balloon build that was happening in
South Dakota that eventually turned into twenty twenty. Right in
this timeframe, an organizing call went out on the Well,
the site previously known as Twitter by Kerry Callahan that

was looking for people that wanted to advocate for better
healthcare outcomes for trans and d trans people. Right during
that time frame, I had been starting.

Speaker 6 (01:52:04):
To go off of my hormones.

Speaker 8 (01:52:06):
I started going off of them a few months prior
to that point, and in that time frame, I started
experiencing certain types of what seemed like progressive vision loss
right my brain I sometimes have a tendency to panic,

I guess, especially when it comes to things like health anxiety.
My brain started to make the internal connection, did going
off of my hormones cause my vision to change?

Speaker 9 (01:52:41):

Speaker 8 (01:52:42):
And unfortunately, as I started to talk about this online
and the likes, I was getting a lot of encouragement
from other folks, usually like you know, gender critical, anti transparents,
that kind of thing, that yes, absolutely like the hormones
were causing me to have vision loss right and it
was really impacting my ability to function in my daily

life right but another part of me, at the same
time as all of this was starting to feel like
I was starting to feel aspects of regret and anger,
which made me want to do something. This is a
very common narrative, right, It made me want to do
something so that other people would not end up in
the situation that I was in. And so I answered

this call. Probably not the best of decisions that I
could have made for myself, but I decided.

Speaker 6 (01:53:31):
To go ahead and do so.

Speaker 8 (01:53:33):
Answered Kerrie Calhoun's call. Yes, Yes, I decided to go
ahead and say, yes, I will. I will connect in
with this. I would like to be a part of it.
I had to apparently apologize for talking to the wrong
clinician in public first.

Speaker 6 (01:53:47):

Speaker 1 (01:53:49):
No, you had to apologize for talking to Jack Turbin
because he was too affirming and she was mad that
you would speak to him because I was too willing to.

Speaker 10 (01:54:00):

Speaker 8 (01:54:01):
Yes, yes, because he prescribed puberty blockers. I was talking
to the wrong clinician and therefore this was not allowed.
But anyway, so eventually the actual like organizing committee starts
with four people. So it was me Carrie Corina Cone,
who was later testifying in favor of some of these bills,

and then Grace Leedinsky Smith. There were some other people
that were in and out, but they ended up dropping
off very early on. So it was predominantly the four
of us that ended up being the actual formal board
at any point in the early stages, right, And so
we started to draft a lot of this stuff. But like,
over I was starting to wonder about two things, right, Like,

after some exchanges with other board members about who it
is that we should be predominantly outreaching. Should it be
clinicians or should it be people that are actually impacted,
people who have gone through gender affirming care, regardless of
how they identify themselves currently, Like, what is our main priority?

The other board member at the time wanted to focus
more on the clinician route.

Speaker 7 (01:55:16):
I did not.

Speaker 8 (01:55:17):
My focus was on if we are going to be
doing a quote unquote patient advocacy organization, we should be
focusing on the people that we are supposed to be
connected to, right, Like, those are who we are.

Speaker 6 (01:55:32):
Why would we want to put more power into the
hands of the clinicians that supposedly harmed people. That doesn't
make any sense, right? And then, like you know, as
these wheels were starting to churn.

Speaker 8 (01:55:44):
Another part of me was starting to worry that over time,
the trajectory of this organization at that point was going
to start advocating for more restrictions or full out bands
later on in the future, possibly even partnering up with
some of the some of the more right wing groups

I believe I actually.

Speaker 6 (01:56:08):
I I think I.

Speaker 8 (01:56:10):
I worried about them becoming like the gender care equivalent
to Wolf, which was unfortunately pretty accurate, I would say
in terms of my my concern that was. That was
part of my my formal resignation to the board. I
stepped down as vice president about five months after I
had joined on because I could not see any I

could not see any recourse within the group for for
changing directions. I couldn't be party to them hurting other people,
even if I felt hurt at the time, and so
I ended up taking a step back. My vision was
still having problems, but you know what ended up making

that a lot easier. Actually, it's funny, this is not
something that was recommended to me by anybody that I
had been talking to about this stuff who had been
more exposed to anti trans rhetoric like I I talked
to blind people. Yeah, I ended up talking to to

blind people. I connected with folks from the National Federation
for the Blind. It was a group that was recommended
to me by somebody I knew from a from a
past job that I had, because she was the daughter
of somebody who went blind later in life due to
a genetic condition, and he was a member of the
NFB right he was part of the federation, and so

that was her recommendation to me. I hadn't reached out
at the time.

Speaker 6 (01:57:45):
My brain was too.

Speaker 8 (01:57:47):
Focused in doing this weird we got to save people
kind of bullshit direction.

Speaker 6 (01:57:55):
But like eventually, after I'm like.

Speaker 8 (01:58:00):
Taking a step back from all of this stuff, I
decided to go ahead and pursue that suggestion from you know,
this random person in my life, not from anybody I
had been connected to in terms of organizing. And when
when I went there, like the only thing that I
ever got was acceptance. There was no questioning. Nobody asked

what happened, Nobody asked like any sort of details about
like my my personal views. Like I didn't have to
express any forms of like, you know, sorrow or regret
or anything like that. A lot of it was focused on, Okay,
these are the issues that you're currently dealing with. Here
are some of the things that you can work on

to make your life easier.

Speaker 6 (01:58:46):
Here are some.

Speaker 8 (01:58:47):
Supports that you can find within your states if you
need to do things like you know, get certain kinds
of mobility training using a white cane and the likes,
if you need to learn how to use braille, all
of that fun stuff. Here, here's even like specific doctors
that you could try to go to who can like
really assess what's going on with your vision. Because before

that point, I did not have access to specialists. I
was living in like you know, rural main There was
there was nothing there. I would have had to travel
like over three hours to go to Boston for me
to be able to see as specialist. Instead, like they
were able to point me to people who had specializations
in like retinal conditions, and so when I went there,

you know, they they did their usual tests. They ruled
out some things that were known to run in my
family actually, but they did ultimately decide that, like my
retinas are not processing like correctly, and that it's actually
likely genetic.

Speaker 1 (01:59:50):
So unrelated to horrormone youth comes related to hormone usage.

Speaker 8 (01:59:55):
In fact, you know, as I was going through that process,
and I started to reflect on and what my vision
was like before I even took hormones, let alone stopping it,
Like certain symptoms were actually there, just at a much
lower degree. Since, like at least my teens, I already

had difficulties with my night vision. I had difficulties with
color contrasts. Sometimes my light sensitivity wasn't nearly as bad.
Usually it was only with migrains, but over time, like
you know, that started to break out more where like
even just like you know, there being too much sunlight

was painful for me. But like some of this stuff,
it definitely predated when I started my transition. But because
I wasn't really given space to actually unpack any of
this stuff, I didn't really have the ability to make
those connections. Instead, what happened was, you know, I join

in on this organizing board. I connect in with three
other people that were looking to advocate in very particular directions,
and like my my story was not something that was
meant to get support. My story was something that was
meant to scare people. I was also nominated as the spokesperson,

which meant I would have had the responsibility to do
things like, you know, respond to the press or give
sound quotes or whatever. Right, I gave certain kinds of
descriptions over to a like a democratic candidate that we
had been scheduled to meet with Ryan Starzik at the

time down in Arizona, and you know, give the whole spiel, right,
you know, a visible trans person with a story that
for a lot of people who, like most people, are
very conne to their senses, whether that's hearing, vision, touch
or whatever, they can't conceptualize a life without them, and

so it terrifies them. Right, But like that doesn't actually
help the person be able to get to a point
where this is a livable life, it's even a frame life.
There are certain things that I can do that other
people can't do. I can navigate inside the apartment without
having the lights on because I know where everything is

mapped out of my head, and I can rely on touch.
I can pour myself a glass of water and not
have to worry about its spilling because I can feel
where it like goes up. But that's not really something
that like we're not even allowed to think about. We're
not even allowed to think about, Like, Okay, so if
this thing happens to you and there's documented evidence of it,

not like something that's completely imagined, like my brain decided
it was, here's what we can do to help. That's
that's the kind of things people really need to be
able to access, right, you know, if something happens to you,
these are the things that you can do to be
able to work through this and live a more comfortable
life in the way that you are happy with. But

I don't really see any of that happening to be
perfectly frank well, no, Like I'm also thinking back about that,
like the standards of care A because like you know,
there's this you know, inclusion of aspects of regret and
de transition and stuff like that into things like the
adolescent chapter. But you know what, they don't include a

chapter for de transition support. Yes, no, because they're not
serious about that.

Speaker 1 (02:03:40):
I guess I just want to use it as like
a scared story and a justification for controlling people exactly,
you know, putting them through a bunch of assessments or
something like that. Like again, I very much believe that
there's a connection between like a desire for more gatekeeping
and psych assessments, control over trans people and not having
support for like de transition transition either because there's not

like I feel like there's even less talk or resources
for people end up retransitioning after de transitioning, because no
one's trying to figure out like, oh, like the idea
that transition could just be temporary or that a lot
of people you don't go on to retransition later on
or just confirms for them that they really are brands.

Speaker 6 (02:04:20):
Like that's also a thing that you know, just just
people don't really want to touch.

Speaker 4 (02:04:24):
It's one of these things where you know, like pain
is useful to these people, but like the actual like
people experiencing the pain aren't, and you know, and that
has its own perversion center cycle because like, yeah, if
you want to harvest scare stories, you don't want people
getting actual help. And that is an absolutely terrible, incensive

structure for making sure people actually get the care and
the help that they need, and it absolutely sucks.

Speaker 1 (02:04:59):
Just yeah, oh I remember realizing, like when I was
still a de Trens radical feminist, like realizing that a
whole lot of like people who wanted to restrict or
lumny transition like like headed investment in my suffering.

Speaker 6 (02:05:14):
Because you know, I was, and I was struggling a
lot like I do.

Speaker 1 (02:05:18):
It can really be hard to do transition like right
now because there are you know, there is a lack
of resources and support and understanding. But the thing is,
like I you know, I kind of slowly realized over time,
it's just like, oh, all these people want to use
my story, but they need me to suffer for it
to like work out for them. Like they don't have
any interest in making my life easier, Like they don't
have any interest in like helping me like create a

good life and being happy. They want me, they really
do want me to be ruined and miserable forever because
they can use like that's more valuable to them, Like
my suffering matters more than my happiness to a lot
of these people. Like you know, that was definitely one
of those moments where I was like, what, like one
of those things that eventually, you know, led me to
get disillusion with the whole thing and be like you
know what I get myself involved with? But yeah, yeah,

it's just it's it is really like sick and perverse.
How how anti trans people like you suffering use both
trans anti trans people suffering for their own agenda.

Speaker 6 (02:06:14):
It's awful.

Speaker 4 (02:06:16):
Yeah, And I think this is something that you know,
there's this is the sort of it's it's also that
there's a broader set of incentives here too, which is
the sort of the structure of the media market, right,
which that the media that's like the like you know,
the the entire media broadly, like you know, like if

it bleeds, it leads, right Like that's that's that's the
that's the actual media model of you know, everything from
like your like shitty local right wing tabloid to like
the New York Times, right mm hmm. And the way
that this plays out for trans people and for de
trans people is that like like the thing that these
people that you know, the journalists also are looking for

is suffering. Like they don't really care, you know, like
they like none of these people ever report stories that
are just like hey, like I went to a gender
clinic and it was great, Like nobody's gonna read like
I don't think anyone's going to read that, Like I
would read that because you know that's you know, that's great,
but like like they don't care about that that there's
there's no sort of sensationalism there. The sensationalism is like,

you know, then this is why you get like the
Washington Post interviewing this light. You know, like these people
who are just like, oh, like I was, I worked
at a gender clinic, but I was secretly doing evil
or like you know, or or or you get all
of it. And this is why a lot of even
protrans like media coverage is about things like suicide rates

and about things like, you know, like how like how
likely you are to die if you don't cut the
health care that you need, because it's it's the same
as inra structure. It's the thing, the thing that's useful
to sell to people is suffering and that I don't
know what the solution is to that, because I mean,

I don't know have have media that's not based on profit,
I guess, but like you know, decommodify the news. But
that's one of these things where it's like, you know,
like as long as long as like every single like
shitty local newspaper is making all of their money from

like crime scare stories, they're not going to report. They're
not going to You're not gonna get active reporting about
police because they need the police to give them, like
feed them all of these shitty crime stories, right, And
this is the same thing here where it's like you're
not going to get actual good reporting about trans people
and about people who do transition because nobody actually cares

about that because the incentive structure is just suffering and
that trickles down through through the healthcare system and through
you know, through through the legislative system, and it trickles
down through our social networks and what support networks exist
and don't exist. And it's a absolutely like if you

were just to like ask someone how do you want
a society to be run, zero people would answer we
want it to be based on the production of suffering.
And yet we have done this, but it doesn't have
to be like this. To sort of finish that David
Graver quote, the ultimate hidden truth of the world is

that it is something that we make and could just
as easily make differently. So let's go build a world
that's safe for trans people. This has been nickeld happened here.
You can find more of Lee and Kai's work a
Health Liberation Now dot com. I recommend you go do it.
It is great and go and make the world.

Speaker 3 (02:09:52):
Otherwise welcome back to it could happen here.

Speaker 2 (02:10:13):
I am, once again Robert Evans talking about it happening
here and in the case of today, because we mean
something different every time I introduce the show. That way,
we're talking about the carserral state and the worst reactive
impulses of society coming for people who use drugs recreationally,
who either have a problem or don't with them and

simply don't want to go to prison for it. And specifically,
we're talking about all of that within the context of
the state of Oregon, where I reside, because back in
twenty twenty, the state of Oregon passed a measure, the
first in the nation, decriminalizing all simple possession and use
of street drugs. So heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana was already legal,

but you.

Speaker 3 (02:10:59):
Know everything is.

Speaker 2 (02:11:00):
You can't get arrested for simple possession of small amounts
of stuff, right, That's the gist of the law. This
passed by a pretty wide margin, fifty eight points something
percent of Oregonians voted for it. It was a ballot measure,
not something the legislature pushed through, and it came as Oregon,
like the rest of the country, was kind of wrapped

in the grip of an escalating drug crisis. In twenty twenty,
and again that's before the ballot measure passed, Oregon had
the second highest rate of drug addiction in the country
and ranked nearly last in access to treatment. From twenty
nineteen to twenty twenty, opioid overdose deaths in Oregon increased
by about seventy percent. So that makes the case that

the problem prior to the ballot measure was pretty severe
and that the current state of affairs, which was everything
was illegal and you could go to jail for possession of, say, heroin,
was not working out for anybody. However, in the years
since the ballot measure passed, overdoses have continued to rise
in Oregon, and miraculous almost the drug problem did not
solve itself overnight. Now we're gonna be talking about some

reasons for that. But now it is time for me
to introduce our guest for the episode, Oregon Public Defender
Grant Hartley Grant, Welcome.

Speaker 3 (02:12:12):
To the show.

Speaker 12 (02:12:12):
Yeah, thanks for having me, Robert, Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (02:12:15):
So, first off, I wanted to say from where you're
standing as somebody whose job is to represent Oregonians generally
with the least resources who were charged with crimes. What
were you saying prior to one ten and what are
you saying after it?

Speaker 12 (02:12:28):
Well, I think prior to one ten, we had, you know,
a population similar to what we have now, which is
individuals who were struggling with houselessness, with housing instability, who
were struggling with mental health. And as a result of
many of those factors and others were copied with substances,

and as a result of that, many of them would
get wrapped into the legal system. And one of the
issues with our legal system is that it is based
on compulsion, and so when someone came into the system
with a drug problem, our first reaction is to compel
them into treatment, to force them into treatment, even though

we know that that is not effective, and you know
at times it can be. And generally where you see
the most success with it is where there's more hanging
over the person's head, more leverage that the system has.
And so, you know, somebody who has a substance use
disorder and commits a robbery and is put on probation

and they have a choice between going to prison and
doing treatment, much more likely to engage in treatment. But
when you have low level possession, where as a society
we've deemed that should not be punished by prison, and
frankly that should not be punished by jail. The problem
is is that the only tool that the system has

is jail, and so if somebody says I'm not ready
for treatment, the system says, well, we're going to put
you in jail that and then they go to jail,
they're what little they have is destabilized and they get
out without any treatment. And as you mentioned in the opening,
the biggest thing is just the incredible dearth of services

in our community. There is not nearly enough outpatient treatment,
but especially in patient treatment, and that's that's important for
those houseless folks, because you can't expect somebody to engage
in outpatient treatment and then go back and sleep on
the street at night and not use So I know
that's I think the general gist of what it looked like.

Speaker 2 (02:14:36):
Yeah, I think that's all really important to keep in mind,
and it's particularly important and the reason we're doing this
episode is because the last two years really is when
it's escalated. We have seen this increasing and very organized
campaign against One ten and it's being pushed by the
police who are angry that they're not able to arrest
more people, particularly more homeless people. It's pushed by a

lot of business owners who have convinced themselves that the
reason why downtown Portland has had such a hard couple
of years is because there's too many homeless people and
they can go after them and get them off the
street by having them arrested. This is all my opinion,
not yours here, but there has been What is not
up for opinion is that there has been an escalating
campaign to portray the measure as a disaster and to
portray it as the center of particularly Portland's ills, but

also more broadly the state of Oregon's ills. And I
think there's a number of reasons why that's dishonest, which
we'll talk about. But where that's kind of culminated now
is this year. There are two big pushes to get
rid of one ten. One of them is the push
by a ballot measure or to put out a ballot
measure basically repealing one ten as it exists, and the

other is a push by the legislature. And you kind
of have separate plans pushed by the DIMS and the
Republicans to in the case of the Republican plan, basically
put things back to the way they were, if not
more severe in terms of your ability to arrest people
for possession. And the Democrats' plans is to re criminalized
possession but make it all basically at the lowest level
of misdemeanor. I don't think either of those are good plans,

But I wanted to talk about kind of how you
would characterize the backlash campaign against one ten and how
much of it do you think is rooted in actual
problems caused.

Speaker 3 (02:16:14):
By the measure?

Speaker 12 (02:16:15):
No, I mean it is caused the most of the backlash.
I would agree with you that it is a lot
of business communities, but it's also just you know, average
Portlanders because what they see is people on the streets struggling,
using drugs in public because that is the only place
that they can use drugs, and you know, that's a

problem of houselessness. They people have to ask themselves, am
I upset that I'm seeing somebody use drugs? Or am
I upset that this person is sleeping on the street
and needing to use the drugs in the street. And
that is the same of business owners. You know, they
call and complain that there's somebody on the stoop next
to them using fentanyl, But is the issue that that
person is using fentanyl or is the issue that that

person is on the stoop next to them? Because there
are no housing services in our city and so really
Measure one ten is being scapegoaded for two huge issues,
which is the influx of synthetic heroin or fentanyl into
our community and into every community around the nation. It
is not restricted to Portland or to Oregon because we decriminalized,

it is everywhere. And then just the houselessness crisis, which
is tremendous in our city. It is so bad, and
people are essentially arguing that because we decriminalize drugs, more
people are on the street, and I just don't think
that there is any data to support that.

Speaker 2 (02:17:46):
Yeah, And I think part of the reason why people
suspect that is again because of how much dramatically worse
the problem has gotten in recent years. But it's gotten
worse everywhere. It's gotten worse in states like Oklahoma, where
it is and has remained very illegal to possess this stuff.
Oregon is not the state with the worst death problem

due to drugs, per capita, and the states that are
worse or are worse in various ways, are all states
in which it's criminalized. It's very frustrated to me when
you look at like, well, we passed one ten in
twenty twenty, and these problems have gotten worse since, and
it's like, well, but these are all problems that have
gotten worse everywhere, and they are problems that are not
driven by legality or at least the fact that it's
no longer criminal to possess heroin. It's driven by the

fact that we had a horrible pandemic that traumatized people.
They lost loved ones, they lost jobs, they lost support.
It's driven by the fact that the price of housing
continues to rise. It's driven by inflation. It's driven by
the fact that, I mean, to no small part, everybody's
got brain worms from social media. That's not a zero
percent factor in both people's anger at the houseless and

in the fact that people are falling through the cracks.

Speaker 3 (02:18:54):
Like we have a million different things.

Speaker 2 (02:18:56):
I don't mean the list that is a comprehensive list
of our problems, either, like drug addiction and drug deaths
due to overdoses are caused by a variety of things.
And one of the reasons why the death rate has
been so high is that if you're addicted to heroin,
you can't just stop doing heroin or the consequences are really,

really horrible, worse than a lot of people are going
to deal with. And so people keep using, and they
keep getting drugs that have been tainted with fentanyl, and
it's hard not to die doing that. Like, rich people
can continue to test their kids. People who are you know,
have had the benefit of not just education, but a
stable home in which to do drugs and sort of
the resources to know and to be able to test

their shit, will test their shit. But most street level
users don't have that kind of option. And it frustrates
me that it's all getting scapegoaded this on this ballot measure,
And so I wanted to talk a little bit about
how they're attempting to go after one ten because it
looks like right now the primary threat is legislative part,

because if they push another ballot measure, Oregonians get to
vote and we'll see how they vote. But reversing it
by ten, you know, almost a ten percent lead, is
not an easy thing to do, and I kind of
think Oregonians might surprise them in terms of not being
willing to repeal this thing legislatively. We don't have really
that kind of option against it. If they're able to
get a kind of enough people behind an essential repeal,

and they'll frame it as you know, we're just trying
to tinker with the law to make it work better.
But if they can get enough people behind that, there's
really nothing to do about it, right, Yeah.

Speaker 12 (02:20:32):
Yeah, And I think you know, one of the things that,
in my opinion was a strategy on the part of
the opponents of one ten was I mean, they have
some very wealthy financial backers, yes, and so you know
it is not cheap to do a ballot measure, and
you know, they know that they can use that money

to do media buys and to spread all of the
misinformation that they've been spreading thus far. And I think
that frankly, there are people in the legislature that don't
want to recriminalize but feel that it is the lesser
of two evils. And the unfortunate thing is that what
we are essentially doing is delivering them a watered down
version of that ballot measure. And they were intentional in

that ballot measure. I mean, they made it as bad
as could be. That it includes more than just recriminalization.
You know, it includes what is commonly known as lend
bias law in federal courts, which is essentially that people
who deliver a substance that causes an overdose can be
prosecuted essentially for murder. And it is a archaic understanding

of how the distribution of drugs works or the testing
of drugs works, And so they tried to make it
as bad as possible in order for the legislature to
essentially go, well, we don't want that to happen. And
you know, I would worry about a ballot measure. I mean,
I agree with you that it's a big swing, and
I have faith in the voters of Oregon. But the

fact is is that the media has portrayed this very unfairly.
You know, there was an article recently from the editorial
board at The Oregonian and they advocated for recriminalization, and
in it they cited that they want a data driven approach.
There was not a piece of data in that article.
It was all based on misinformation. And the same is true.

I mean, law enforcement are the worst about this. You know,
they're constantly saying, oh, well, we just want tools so
that we can confiscate the drugs and so that we
can refer people to treatment, because we all know that's
all police officers want to do. And yet when you
look at the E citations that came out of Measure
one ten, those were meant as to be a referral tool.

And that was one of the big mistakes of one
ten is trying to use police officers as an ambassador
for treatment. There is a culture in the police community
that it treats drugs as crimes. Right, you are a
criminal if you are a drug user, and I am not.
You know, I'm not saying police are a monolith. I'm
saying that is the culture that exists. And to expect

them to change that overnight because the voters said they
wanted to decriminalize was rather naive and it's obvious because
just here in Maltnoma County, I think in basically a
twenty four month period they issued something like nine hundred
E citations or that was during a thirty month period,
excuse me. And during a twenty four month period in

twenty eighteen and twenty nineteen, they arrested more than thirty
three hundred people on PCs, and that is what nearly
three times more than three times as many people when
they were able to put handcuffs on the people that
they were meeting with, and Maltnoma County was actually better
than a most you look at Washington County, seventy one
e citations in thirty months. Seventy one tickets were given

on this and the ticket was supposed to be the
tool by which somebody is referred to treatment, and so
you know, in some ways, Measure one ten had some
serious structural and implementation issues, but that doesn't mean that
we just go back to what the voters saw.

Speaker 2 (02:24:10):
One of the things that was the biggest issue in
implementation is that a lot of funds were supposed to
be redirected, I think from marijuana sales was one of
the places to treatment facilities and treatment options for people
like these people who are supposed to be getting tickets
instead of arrested for drug use were supposed to being
kind of pushed gently towards options, but the actual money

for those options took more than a year to start arriving,
and it is still not at a very good clip
and there's a number of reasons for this, but like
when they frame it as like will be decriminalized stuff,
and all these problems kept getting worse, It's like, well,
for one thing, they kept getting worse. They were getting
worse when everything was illegal at a rapid pace. And
number two, you didn't do what was supposed to be

half of the measure, which was increasing the amount of
care that people had access to.

Speaker 10 (02:24:54):

Speaker 12 (02:24:55):
Absolutely, And would to hear people talk about it now.
I mean during a legislative committee, I think there was
one representative or senator who said to take well, why
did it take so long for this to get implemented?
It was twenty twenty and twenty twenty one. Like people
are quickly forgetting how chaotic things were that And the
other thing is that when you put that money into

the system, it takes a while to build beds, to
hire people to do that. And what the opponents of
one ten are doing, what the people seeking to recriminalize
they're doing, and they're really praying on our collective impatience.

Speaker 10 (02:25:28):
You know.

Speaker 12 (02:25:29):
It's they're saying, oh, well, you know, nobody is going
and voluntarily engaging in treatment. Therefore we must mandate it,
and again, no one's voluntarily engaging in treatment because there's
no treatment available to voluntarily engage in. And the idea
that by making it criminal we can somehow fix that
is actually counterproductive because we're taking all those funds that

we could be putting into additional services into outreach, and
we're instead putting it back into law enforcement or into probation,
or into the jails or into the state lab to
test these drugs.

Speaker 2 (02:26:02):
And I want to continue off of that, and I
want to talk bring out some more data too, but
first we have to go do a plug to ads.
So here's ads, folks, all.

Speaker 3 (02:26:20):
Right, we are back.

Speaker 2 (02:26:22):
We're back, And I wanted to I think there's two
really good things to keep in mind when as an
Oregonian you're arguing with friends and family about one ten
or if you're outside of the state and people bring
it up because they saw like a three minute piece
on Fox News where some smarmy asshole talk to a
guy on the street, you know you should be aware
of a couple of things. Number One, when people talk
about how it's not working, the thing that you should

bring up is like, well, what about the forty years
or so of criminalization prior like that led us to
this point and at which the acceleration in depths was highest.
And the other thing to bring up is, well, there's
these claims that, like public disorder, drug use, all this stuff,
overdose deaths have gotten worse since one ten. There's no
evidence that that's the case, right, And there was in

fact a study into this by New York University that
found no evidence of an association between decriminalization and fatal
overdose rates in Oregon and Washington. And I want to
read a couple of quotes from that study. So, first off, quote,
publicly available calls for service data were used to compare
Portland's use of the nine to one one system to Boise, Idaho, Sacramento, California,

and Seattle, Washington, before and after one ten. This was
between twenty eighteen and twenty twenty two. Public initiated calls
for service did not change after BM one ten was
enacted in Portland. Portland's nine one one calls for service
data align with comparison cities for property, disorderly and vice
offenses with similar seasonally fluctuations. So, for one thing, what
you'll notice is that a lot of the articles about

one ten started to hit both when we would have
winter weather come in and summer weather come in. Both
of those lead the surges in overdoses and drug use.
Because the weather's shitty, right, people have less to do,
less options, and actually, if you're living outside it's one
hundred during the day or it's twelve, maybe you want
to do drugs more because you're uncomfortable. Right. Yeah, So

again I think that it's important. There's this study from
New York University on one ten and you know, it's
lack of impact on this stuff. That shouldn't be the
final word on this. I'm certain there will be more studies,
but that is a word on this, and they simply
have no data.

Speaker 3 (02:28:23):
Well, on the other side of things.

Speaker 12 (02:28:24):
You know, there's another study as well. I mean, you know,
there's a study out of Portland State University and it's interesting.
It was a follow up study. The full report has
not been released yet, but they did release some of
their key findings and it was in the first year
PSU met with officers and interviewed them about their perceptions

of one ten and how it was going. As you
might imagine, officers didn't think it was going well and
they said, oh, well, violent crime has increased and property
crime is increased in overdoses are increased in all because
of one ten. And what this report found is that
is not true. There was an uptick and property crime,
but we cannot say that that has been a result
of one ten for years. You need a lot of

data in order to look at that. And so, you know,
this idea, and I mean, the ultimate finding of that
study was that it is too early to recriminalize. It
based on the data, it is too early to recriminalize.
And so but again, you know, I think that instead
what we are relying on is people's fear and what
people see in the street. And you know, I think

it's also this idea. I mean, the reason we are
having this discussion, in my opinion, is two things. One
is public use, right, individuals using the street. It's in
people's faces. Nobody really cares when someone is in the
warmth of their own home using fentanyl. It's when they're
on the street.

Speaker 2 (02:29:45):
Or I should note when someone's in the White House
using fentanyl, because it just came out that the President
and high staff were prescribed fentanyl and ketamine in the
White House when Trump was in office.

Speaker 12 (02:29:54):
So yeah, absolutely, but no one really cares about that.
It's when it's in your face that people care. And
the other one is the perception that crime is. You
know that again, a lot of crime is caused by
drug use, right, there is an underlying association there. But
the idea of criminalizing drugs because of that is the

idea that you can somehow arrest somebody, compel them into
treatment and therefore prevent crimes.

Speaker 3 (02:30:21):

Speaker 12 (02:30:22):
I mean that's like the pre cog the sci fi
sort of things. It's it is a backward system.

Speaker 2 (02:30:28):
No, and we actually know what will stop the drug
related crimes, which are mostly theft, right, And one of
the things that will and they've seen this, I believe
it's the Netherlands that if you're a heroin addict, the
government will give you free heroin. You have to take
it at a center like you go in, you sign
a thing and you get your dose and you take
it there. That saves them money based on doing nothing,

because when they do nothing, people break into houses and cars,
et cetera, and boats because it's the Netherlands in order
to steal shits so that they can not get dope sick,
and just giving the dope to them winds up costing
a lot less per addict.

Speaker 12 (02:31:02):
Well, the other thing that gets people clean or that
stops people from committing crimes is housing, is providing them
a roof over their head. I mean, when people are
even if they're not on the street, if they are
housing and stable, they're trying to make a living and
it is not easy to do so with whether it's
a felony record or you're you know, your upbringing or

whatever reason has held you back. If they have housing.
I mean, there are numerous studies that show that when
you put somebody in housing, their likelihood of using drugs drops,
their likelihood of committing crimes drops. And yet we are
focused on this recriminalization rather than trying to house these individuals.

Speaker 2 (02:31:45):
Yeah, and it's you know, when you talk about this,
when you talk about decriminalization in Oregon's context, there's a
good reason for this. People talk about Portugal, Portugal, Spain
also did this, both Portugal and Spain, and I believe
Portugal's first decriminalized simple possession and use quite a while ago.
It's been that way in Portugal for I think like
twenty years. Like they have a significant amount of data

on it right, and Oregonians, the people who were pushing
for one ten, cited it specifically as like a reason
why this was worthwhile. There was recently, I think last year,
some state officials and whatnot went to Portugal to look
into the system, and so as a result, you've seen
like attacks on the Portuguese drug system, including there was
a recent Washington Post article about how Portugal is starting

to regret it, They're going to recriminalize maybe, And the
reality of the situation is that there was has been
a recent surge in illicit drug use in Portugal from
seven point eight percent in two thousand and one to
twelve point eight percent in twenty twenty two. That is
an increase. It's still below the average in most of
Western Europe. It's lower than France and Italy. I believe

it's lower than the UK, It's lower than like most
of Western Europe. And I just kind of pointing out
the fact that Portugal is also dealing with an increase
in drug use. Again, saying that that's because of the
culture of decriminalization seems silly when there have been corresponding
surges everywhere where it's illegal. But beyond that, it ignores
the fact that there have been really significant benefits that

we do know our benefits of decriminalization because of how
long we've been looking at it. From two thousand to
two thousand and eight, prison populations in Portugal fell by
almost seventeen percent. Overdose rates dropped because in part they
funded rehabilitation, which Oregon still has not really done. There
was no surge in use, and in fact less people

seem to die when the system changed, right. What has
increased is some drug de related debris. Particularly most of
the surges have been in the last literally the last
couple of years, which again makes me think it is
tied to the global trends that have made a lot
of people more miserable and living in a more difficult
situation and at more risk of drug addiction. What happens

in Portugal politically hard to say, but overall, decriminalization we
have a lot of data for seems to have largely
been success.

Speaker 3 (02:34:01):
And if that's kind of.

Speaker 2 (02:34:02):
What we were to see in Oregon with decriminalization, I
would be happy, even if there's more mess on the streets,
although I don't think that that's inevitable. And this gets
us to what I think is kind of the most
dangerous point that the opposition, the people who want to
recriminalize make, And it's dangerous because it seems like they
have a good point, which is people shouldn't be people
with families, just regular people should not have to see

folks using hard drugs on the street as they walk
around town. And I agree it is not reasonable to
expect people to walk with their kids to school past
somebody shooting up heroin or smoking crack. It's fine, and
you're not like a some sort of like nark or
party pooper if you don't want your kids to see that.
But that's already illegal, because it's like it's illegal to

drink a beer on the street in Portland. The problem
is not that the cops can't do anything about it,
it's that, again they're choosing not to do anything about it.

Speaker 12 (02:34:56):
Yeah, no, absolutely, I mean, and again it is the
issue of we have people living on the streets, right,
I mean, it is I completely agree that people shouldn't
have to walk past that, but maybe that is an
opportunity to talk to their child about the need to
make sure that people have a safe place to live.
And also, I mean it's also you know, if we

had safe use locations, you wouldn't see nearly as much
of that. And frankly, the system would have a better
argument for punishing public use if we had safe use
areas because we have put so many people on the street. Yes,
somebody who has no place to be and is desperate
and it is addicted using it a place where you

can see them is understandable. Somebody who has options for
places to be and is choosing to do it in
front of people, that's a bit of a different case.
And again I also want to just really, because I've
encountered this in arguments about one ten with people. It
did not make it legal to do drugs in public.
That remains illegal. It's illegal to drink beer in public. Absolutely, Yeah,

public use is I mean, but again, these are sort
of the narratives that are being perpetuated by and a
lot of it is law enforcement. And honestly, my take
on it is that law enforcement doesn't really care about
recriminalizing possession.

Speaker 3 (02:36:19):
They don't.

Speaker 12 (02:36:20):
What they want is they want the ability to search people.
What that gives them is it gives them the right
to say, hey, I have problem cause to believe that
you have drugs on you therefore I'm gonna search you,
I'm gonna search your car, I'm going to search your house. Right,
it gives them that ability, and they, you know, many

of them, will be very forthright about that. And the
biggest infringements on our personal privacy, on our Fourth Amendment rights,
on our protected privacy interest has always been drugs. It
has always been the criminalization of drugs has eroded our
privacy interests. And and that is that's what's really at

play here because I don't I don't think the officers
I mean, and this is again not a monolith I'm saying,
I don't think in general law enforcement really is that
concerned with, you know, getting individuals off the street and
into treatment. If that were the case, we would have

seen far more of those e citations, you know, we
would see the officers doing there. There is a statute
that allows them to transport people to detox, right, we
don't see that that often because really, what is that
issue here is the ability to search people based on
probable cause that they possess drugs.

Speaker 2 (02:37:43):
Yeah, yeah, and we will we will talk about what
people can do if they want to stop the recriminalization
of drugs in Oregon.

Speaker 3 (02:37:51):
But first, here's some more ads. We're back, So grant.

Speaker 2 (02:38:05):
Kind of the question I am left with at the
end of this here is what do we do to
fight back against this?

Speaker 3 (02:38:12):
What is actually what is go? What are the options
people have?

Speaker 2 (02:38:15):
Obviously the thing that first occurs to me that is
most successible is make a fuss to your elected leaders
so you know that this is something you'll think about
come vote in season.

Speaker 3 (02:38:24):
But first off, how would people do that?

Speaker 12 (02:38:26):
I guess yeah, I mean, you know, figure out who
your legislator is, you know, write to them, call them,
let them know that you know you want to see,
you know, realistic fixes to this. You want to see
investment in public health, in outreach through pure navigators and
case managers that you don't want to see us return

to the same war on drugs that has failed.

Speaker 2 (02:38:52):
Yeah, it's it's hard, I will say if you're looking
to do research outside of like a lot of a
lot of local news, this is a hard time for
local news. Well, good local reporting gets done in a
number of places, including Oregon. Also, a lot of smaller
local news agencies are very much in the pocket of
the people who helped to fund them, which is some
of the people funding the attempt to repeal. So if

one of the better articles that has been written recently
was in the New Yorker, it's great. Yeah, there's a
I'm pulling it up right now. There's a great New
Yorker piece, a New Drug War in Oregon, that was
published just this month, probably the best major outlet piece
I've seen on it, And yeah, it's It talks a

lot about the STAB and Wagon, which is a kind
of independent although they've now should at some point theoretically
be getting a significant amount of funding, but like they
provide drug users not just with naloxone or narcan, but
with safe use materials like syringes and stuff that are clean.
This is down in the south of Oregon, in a
place called Medford, which has both one of Oregon's worst

drug problems and also is much more conservative area. So
obviously these people are very controversial, and I will say,
you know, one of the things this article does well
is they get at, even within people who are supportive
of one ten, the conflict between kind of traditional addiction
recovery resources and organizations and some of these often these
new organizations are either started by or run by people

who have or do currently deal with addiction, and I
think covering that conflict is valuable. There's some stuff that
frustrates me about it, and this is I think there's
a lot of negativity towards stab and Wagon and its
founder that's unfair. I also think some of the things
that she has said about traditional addiction recovery resources are
very unfair from her point of view. And I think

when I look at the problem, the only comprehensive solution
is multiple options for different kinds of people. Because I
know a lot of people who have dealt with addiction
and recovered and no two of them did it the
same way.

Speaker 12 (02:40:52):
Yeah, no, absolutely, And I mean I think that you know,
both of those are necessary, right harm. What I always
say is that the beauty of armyedduction is that not
only does it ensure that somebody survives long enough to
make it to recovery, but it also builds a relationship
with that person. It builds a relationship of trust so

that you can have a conversation about the need for recovery.
You know, as a public defender, I don't get the
benefit of the prosecutor or the court to or probation
to wield power and to make my client do what
they should do. Because I'm holding power over them. I
have to build trust, right, I have to have a
relationship of trust with them, and I have to find

out what motivates that individual and and try to utilize
that to encourage positive steps. Right, And that's true of
our our case managers and social workers that work with us.
And that's that's what the system doesn't have, right. The
system is just trying to use the threat of incarceration
in order to get individuals who are not ready for

recovery to engage in recovery, and that that's detrimental. I mean,
we need both harm reduction and we need traditional treatment.
We need culturally competent treatment. You know, there needs to
be wrap around services. And that's one of my concerns
here is that you know, we know that the criminal
legal system has worked. One ten past, we had a

drug court that dealt with low level possession and its
graduation rate was around seventeen percent, so seventeen percent to people,
and graduation meant ninety days of sobriety. And that was
seventeen percent of people. That other eighty three percent if
they fail out a program. Again, the only tool the
system has is jail, and so all they did was

did not hook them up with services and instead eventually
punish them for not being ready for treatment, and that
is not how we get people into recovery.

Speaker 2 (02:42:51):
Yeah, I think that that's a really good point when
I when I talk about both how people can help
if a loved one is starting to do with drug
addiction and when someone if someone you love is getting
into a cult or getting pulled into conspiracy theories, it's
actually the same advice. I had a friend come to
me recently because I loved one of theirs was starting
to kind of talk about some really concerning conspiracy theory stuff, right,

and they were like, what do I say against this?
How do I argue against it? And my answer was like, well,
you don't really You make it clear, like, hey, I
don't really believe this, I don't find this compelling, but
like you know, I love you and I'm always here
to listen if you want to talk about this kind
of stuff or you want to talk about whatever. And
that is the same if someone's starting to get pulled
into a cult or if they're dealing with drugs, because,

as you noted, if they have a pathway out, and
they're not going to have to It's not this kind
of thing where you've been yelling at them and may
and then they they have to come to you with
their head tail between their legs and like I was wrong,
I fucked up. That's a barrier. If like, well, this
this person cares about me and is always going to
be like willing to you know, talk with me like

no matter what, well, then that's less of a barrier.

Speaker 3 (02:44:01):
Then you're not.

Speaker 2 (02:44:02):
You haven't built a wall that they have to get through.
They can just come to you when they're like I
need help exactly. I mean, it's based in relationships, and
I mean that's that's one of the issues, right, is
that too many people, not just Importland but everywhere, see
individuals on the street and assume the worst and see
them as the other. They don't see them as part

of the community, and so they're more than fine with
a system locking them up because of their addiction. And
you know, we all need to recognize that, you know
it that falling into that lifestyle. You know, whether whether
it is because of you know, where you were raised,
how you were raised, you know, whether you got addicted

to pills because your doctor prescribed them. There's a lot
of reasons, whether you had childhood trauma, there's a lot
of reasons why people get an addiction. And you know,
to simply assume that somebody, because they're addicted to drugs
is a criminal, a bad person, you know, it is
making them the other. And it's so much easier to

be punitive when you're just seeing.

Speaker 12 (02:45:10):
That person as the other.

Speaker 2 (02:45:11):
Yeah, and I did want to note if people are
looking for resources online both about one ten and how
they can help in the fight to stop it from
getting repealed, you can go to h JR, the Health
Justice Recovery Alliance. They have you can sign up to
get information from them. They have community resources, they have

like updates on what's going on. I think you can
find through them a way to like automatically kind of
send a form message.

Speaker 3 (02:45:40):
To your elected leaders.

Speaker 2 (02:45:42):
So just google Health Justice Recovery Alliance Oregon or Health
Justice Recovery Alliance one ten and that will take you there.
They've got a lot of stuff collected there, both resources
if you're having arguments with people about this and information
on how you can help at least try to do something.

Speaker 12 (02:45:59):
Yeah, and I will say all so the ACLU has
been very active in this as well, and you know,
they have an action plan on their website that you know,
tells you some of the things that you can do
in this and and you know, like I said, I mean,
I I think obviously contacting your legislators where we haven't
even started the legislation or the legislative session yet, and

so there is still room to change this and to
at least make it less bad, which you know it's
these days sometimes it feels like less bad is the
is the goal that we need to strive for.

Speaker 3 (02:46:32):
It's harm reduction.

Speaker 2 (02:46:33):
Again, That's how I tend to look at the legislative
side of things. Well, everybody that's going to do it
for us here at it could happen here, Grant, thank
you so much. Should you have anything you wanted to
plug your direct listeners towards before we roll out here?

Speaker 12 (02:46:46):
I mean, I think again, it's just you know, go
to the ACLU website, go to hha's website, get involved.
But more than just that, no matter what happens during
this legislative session, you know, remember that all of these
folks on the street are people, and they need assistance,

and you know, and they need help and continue, or
consider you know, contributing to a recovery organization, or volunteering
to go out into the community. You know, if you
have lived experience with addiction, consider becoming a peer. It
is so impactful to have individuals who have struggled with

substance use go out in the community and engage individuals
who are currently struggling with it. And that is the
best trust building that it's the best way to get
people into recovery, not through handcuffs in jails.

Speaker 2 (02:47:41):
Thank you very much, Grant. I couldn't agree more. All Right, everybody,
that's it for us today. We'll be back tomorrow with
more of it happening here.

Speaker 13 (02:48:03):
Welcome to it could happen here on Garrison Davis.

Speaker 10 (02:48:07):

Speaker 13 (02:48:07):
Last week I spent a few days in Las Vegas
for the Consumer Electronics Showcase. Most of the time of
the convention, I was just walking around the show floor
looking at various new types of surveillance equipment, AI products,
and various other bullshit that was being pedled to many
industry attendees of CEES. But I was also able to

go to a few panels. Now, panels are really interesting
because you get to hear people who are working inside
industries talk about stuff that they don't usually really publicly
talk about very much. And on the first day of
the convention, I went to a panel about drone technology.
Half of the panel was about how Walmart is launching
new delivery drones in Dallas, Texas. The other half was

about police drones. And that's what we're going to be
talking about here today, how the police are using drones,
why they're using drones, and how you can probably expect
to be seeing a lot more drones up in the
sky piloted by either an AI or a police officer.
So let's get started. Cheula Vista is the southernmost kind

of medium sized city in California, with the population of
two hundred and seventy eight thousand people. Cheulavista has a
police force of two hundred and eighty nine sworn officers,
as well as one hundred and twenty civilian employees. On
top of their nearly three hundred officers, they operate a
drone fleet ten hours a day, seven days a week,

launching high deff camera mounted drones from four locations throughout
their small city. I'm going to quote from an article
from the MIT Technology Review, which did a deep dive
onto Cheulavista's police drones back in February of twenty twenty three.

Speaker 4 (02:49:49):

Speaker 13 (02:49:50):
Cheulavista uses these drones to extend the power of its
workforce in a number of ways. For example, if only
one officer is available when two calls come in, one
or an armed suspect and another for shoplifting, an officer
will respond to the first one. But now cvpd's Public
Information Officer, Sergeant Anthony Molina, says that dispatchers can send

a drone to surreptitiously trail the suspected shoplifter quote, and
this really gets at the heart of how these drones
are going to get used. They exist to funnel more
people into the criminal justice system. Instead of having to
choose between two calls, one of which actually could relate
to saving someone's life, the other just a petty crime,

now the police can easily follow someone doing a petty
crime while responding to other calls and eventually catch up.
It's a way to just expand the amount of people
that can be arrested and thrown into jail. Nowadays, drones
are pretty common.

Speaker 4 (02:50:46):
Tools for police.

Speaker 13 (02:50:47):
Over one thy five hundred departments currently use drones, usually
for special occasions though, like search and rescue, crime scene documentation,
protest surveillance, and sometimes tracking suspects, but at the moment,
only about a dozen police departments regularly dispatched drones in
response to nine to one one calls, the first of

which was Chew La Vista PD, who launched their quote
drone as first Responder program back in twenty eighteen with
the goal of having an unmanned aerial system or drone
be proactively deployed before an officer is on scene. Now
we'll hear from Chief Roxanna Kennedy of the Cheu La

Vista Police Department talking on the drone technology panel at CES.

Speaker 10 (02:51:35):
We are seven miles from the Mexico border, and we
have the second largest city in San Diego County. So
we have about two hundred and ninety officers and we
serve a community of about three hundred thousand. Because of
the close proximity to the door, we have a lot
of people that have traveled back and forth.

Speaker 7 (02:51:52):
We have a drone program that I'm awfully proud of.

Speaker 10 (02:51:57):
And we are responding proactive lead to calls for service
in our community.

Speaker 7 (02:52:02):
And so we have drone station.

Speaker 10 (02:52:04):
From four different locations throughout our city. We have pilots
in command that are on the rooftop, and then we
have a operation center where we have sworn officers that
are part one to seven pilots.

Speaker 7 (02:52:16):
That fly the drones. So we are responding now to
calls for service on average, and.

Speaker 10 (02:52:22):
An officer on scene, a drone pendant on scene that's
sharing information with our officers lights streaming that information on
our cell phones or in our computers that we're seeing
information about the call within.

Speaker 7 (02:52:34):
Ninety seconds on average.

Speaker 10 (02:52:36):
And so what it's doing for us in sure Vista
and for our community is we are providing information rapidly,
real time information to officers so that they can make
better decisions so that everyone goes home safely. We say,
the community safer, the officers are safer, and the subjects
that we encounter are safer.

Speaker 7 (02:52:55):
So we're offly proud of what we're doing.

Speaker 13 (02:52:57):
The way police are able to deploy drone used to
be a lot more limited. The use of drones is
regulated by the FFA, the Federal Aviation Administration. In most cases,
the FFA requires that both hobbyists and police departments only
fly drones within the operator's own line of sight. But
starting back in twenty nineteen, agencies and vendors could start

applying for a beyond visual line of sight or BEVLOSS
waiver from the FFA to fly drones remotely, allowing for
much longer flights in restricted airspace. Chula Vista Pedi was
the first department to get a BEVLOST waiver. The MIT
Tech Review estimated last year that roughly two hundred and
twenty five more departments now have one as well.

Speaker 7 (02:53:43):
Another thing that I.

Speaker 10 (02:53:43):
Always talk about because I think it's critical, is the
concept of why they're using drones, what the benefit is
to the community with the use of our drones. And
I truly believe that when my officers can pick up
their cellf up before they even respond to the call,
and they can look and see the scene.

Speaker 7 (02:54:05):
What's happening where the individual is.

Speaker 10 (02:54:07):
If the person's facing in the middle of the park,
there are no children around, and there are noo there's
nobody that's within the reach of this individual harmy, you
might not have to rush into that scene so quickly
officers can d escalate, make better decisions. And I mean
this is just a game changer for law enforcement and
right now, you know, we were the first agent agency

to be involved in the integrated Pilot program with the FAA.
We're very proud of that that they trusted us enough
for us to be the organization that brought forward all
these these ideas that are now being utilized in law enforcements. Now.

Speaker 13 (02:54:45):
I've watched a lot of videos of police talking about
why they're using drones, of drone training companies talking about
why police drones are so important. In one video on
their website, this guy from Skyfire Consulting was talking about
how police may not have had to kill Ta Mirror
Rice if they simply had a drone watching beforehand so
they could see that it was a toy gun, which

is a ridiculous thing to say, because in the nine
one one call that jump started this entire police interaction,
it was expressed that the caller thought the gun was
probably a toy. And this notion that is simply if
police have more ability to surveil, they'll be able to
respond safer and apply less deadly force, I think is

a pretty suspect premise. Now, the effectiveness of drone technology
and law enforcement is challenging to verify and quantify. The
MIT Tech Review cannot find any third party studies showing
that drones reduce crime, even after interviewing CVPD officers as
well as drone vendors and researchers quote, nor could anyone

provide statistics on how many additional arrests or convictions came
from using drone technology. I was able to find some
data on cvpd's website talking about how many drone initiated
interactions resulted in arrests, but quantifying additional arrests seems to
be a little challenging.

Speaker 10 (02:56:09):

Speaker 13 (02:56:09):
If you look at Cheulavista PD's own drone responses stats,
the vast majority of deployments I estimate around seventy percent
are for what the director of investigations for the privacy
rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation refers to as quote
crimes of poverty unquote, which he believes will be the
target of most drone policing as opposed to violent crime.

Nearly thirty percent of Chula Vista's drone deployments are for
what's categorized as disturbances, Almost fifteen percent are for psychological evaluations,
ten percent are for quote, check the area and information.
Over seven percent are for welfare checks, six point five
percent is for quote unknown problem, and over six percent

is for suspicious person and another six percent for traffic accidents. Now,
some drone of deployments do results in patrol units not
having to be dispatched, but CVPD also says that drones
have assisted in thousands of arrests. And I'm really not
sure if having a drone following someone around is the

best thing for a fifty one to fifty psych evaluation.
The presidence of a police officer doesn't always make the
situations better either, but I don't see having a drone
be a really calming presence if you think someone needs
mental help. Funding a whole fleet of heavy duty surveillance

drones and paying dedicated operators costs money. Now it's unclear
to me how many drones to LEVISTAPD currently has, and
on their website they list ten different drone models currently
being in their fleet, most of them really expensive DGI
drones like the DGI Matrix, the DGI Inspire, the DGA Phantom,

the dj Maverick, as well as drones from a few
other random companies. But nevertheless, Chief Kennedy is very grateful
for their local Police Foundation for heading up the funding
for their DFR drone first Responder program. Let's hear from her.

Speaker 7 (02:58:23):
I don't know if anyone here is in.

Speaker 10 (02:58:25):
Law enforcement, but many agencies use drunes and there are
all different types of drones that are available.

Speaker 7 (02:58:31):
I call them reactive drums.

Speaker 10 (02:58:34):
Or ones that are like the tactical drones that you
can use to go in on a hostage situation or
a missing person to check in the.

Speaker 7 (02:58:42):
Canyon areas, or you know, interior drones.

Speaker 10 (02:58:46):
We have drunes that grow underneath bands, go inside addicts,
all types of different drones, and many organizations have drones
like that, but a DFR drone is very unique and
different because these drones are flying as you can imagine
ten thousand missions. It puts a lot of wear and
tear on them. But that is one of the biggest
challenges beyond that of funding. So we don't have huge

budgets that are abouted for drone programs, and so we've
had to be very, very creative at our police department,
and we were very blessed to have a police foundation
that has taken on the responsibility to help us really
start our drone program and continue going forward. So funding
is always going to be a challenge and dependent upon the.

Speaker 7 (02:59:32):
Drone that you use.

Speaker 10 (02:59:33):
There are some drones that you can't get any as.
You can't use for assets seizure funding, nor can you
get grants for because sometimes when it comes to foreign
may drones there are many challenges as well. So you
have to think of that and then we deal with legislation.
Right now, that's the new challenge staff we all have.
We have to bite some valves. I'm like I said,

I'm agnostic. I want to use what's the best drum
out there and protect the inform and we do that
with encrypted software programs that are on private servers. But
you'll see that there's a lot of discussion about drones
and what drones we.

Speaker 7 (03:00:10):
Should be using right now.

Speaker 13 (03:00:12):
We'll get back to the chief's offhanded mention of legal
battles in a bit here, But Chula Vista's budgetary situation
may not be as dire as the chief makes it
out to be. On top of their current fifty five
million dollar operating budget. Back in twenty twenty, the Loprenza
newspaper revealed that departments in San Diego County had secretly

been getting hundreds of millions of dollars in high tech
police equipment, including armored vehicles, facial recognition and phone breaking software,
license plate readers, drones, ria gear, among other miscellaneous technology
as a part of a DHS grant program due to
their close proximity to the US Mexico border. Chula Vista

was one such department, and as of twenty twenty, so
four years ago, they had already received over one million
dollars in grant funds from this DHS program, titled the
quote Urban Area Security Initiative. Considering Chief Kennedy's budgetary concerns,
drones actually have a lot of upsides financially, as they

are often a lot cheaper than alternative surveillance methods, as
well as being relatively easy to deploy remotely, either with
a joystick or just by clicking a point on a
map from a comfy office building. Issues around this ease
of use was pointed out by Dave Moss, the director
of investigations for the privacy rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation,

who was quoted in the MIT article saying, quote, up
until the last like five to ten years, there was
this unspoken check and balance on law enforcement power, money
You cannot have a police officer standing on every corner
of every street. You can't have a helicopter flying twenty
four seven because of fuel and insurance is really expensive.
But with all these new technologies, we don't have that

check and balance anymore. That's just going to result in
more people being pulled through the criminal justice system.

Speaker 10 (03:02:07):
My officers constantly are on the air now is UAS
one available? Is UAS one available? Because it's getting them
more information. Think about the fact that you can look
at your cell phone. I could be anywhere in the
world and I can look at kit lets me know
whenever there's a drone fly, and I can walk, I
can have visual awareness, aial overlay of what's happening in

my community.

Speaker 7 (03:02:30):
No matter where I am.

Speaker 13 (03:02:32):
Advancements in technology are leading to further normalization of police surveillance.
Ten years ago, would people react to news of a
twenty four hour police drone program the same way they
would now? What was once the threat of Big Brother
has since become a very sought after, unfetishized nanny state.

In the v for Veneta graphic novel, anarchist writer Alan
Moore imagined a fascist Britain characterized by surveillance cameras around
every corner, and now cities around the country are setting
up their own street mounted cameras linked to private security
cameras and ring doorbell cameras to create a network of
life coverage around a whole city which is instantly accessible

to police. The more widespread consumer adoption of new technologies
like small camera mounted drones and doorbell cameras, the more
acceptable it seems for police to add such technology to
their arsenal of surveillance tools. It almost becomes expected to
LAVISTIPEDI has routinely declined to answer why their drones are

always recording, both to and from the scene, and the
department has put in a lot of effort into managing
the backlash against their expanding drone program.

Speaker 7 (03:03:49):
And I'll tell you one thing.

Speaker 10 (03:03:50):
Even some of the after this, they were very concerned
about drones in the sense of privacy.

Speaker 7 (03:03:55):
What are you doing with these drones?

Speaker 10 (03:03:57):
As you're responding, you're trying to gather data and information
and de spy on us, right, And we have had
to go to a lot of detail and explaining that
as our.

Speaker 7 (03:04:06):
Drone lifts off, it is immediately it is recording, because
that's the information gatherer for us. As that drone responds.

Speaker 10 (03:04:14):
The camera is already going almost three miles down the
roads where the scene is and giving us vital information
as the officers are responding. But one of the criticism was,
go on the way back, is your drone just going
in my backyard? What if we're spoking marijuana in our backyard?
And I said, you're in California, it doesn't really matter
about way.

Speaker 3 (03:04:33):
Let that way go right.

Speaker 7 (03:04:35):
But we said, okay, we gave you your concern, and
so what we did was we worked with the.

Speaker 10 (03:04:42):
Software company that we were with and they created an
automatic so that as a drone returns, it automatically tilts
to the horizon, so we're not recording anything. If another
call came out, we can immediately we'll go back in
it or flight map it for us to share that
information later on. But the goal is to listen to

your community as well.

Speaker 13 (03:05:06):
Chief Kennedy's claim here is difficult to back up because
CVPD have refused to show the public any of the
drone footage they routinely collect. But if we take the
Chief at her word here anyway, she admits that the
drone goes back to recording at street level as soon
as there's another nine one one call, as they record
everything on the way to a scene. And the way

she phrases this whole tilt feature is quite misleading because
the camera never actually stops recording. She just claims that
it tilts slightly upwards in between nine one one calls,
but it's still capturing footage up to three miles away
the entire time it's in the air. Police in Cheulavista

have flown over eighteen thousand missions with their drowns. That's
a lot of footage. When talking about the privacy concerns
had by some residents of Chewulavista, Chief Kennedy really emphasized
how much her in the department really care about listening
to community feedback and how data transparency is so important
to CVPD.

Speaker 10 (03:06:08):
Community engagement is essential, especially in law enforcement, because there
is there are so many challenges when it comes to
misinformation that's out there, and whenever you're a part of
what's deemed as a government, everyone thinks that you have
some ulterior motive when you're involved with any type of technology,
and so we have worked really hard to build very

strong relationships with every aspect of our community. So it
was about in twenty fifteen when we started talking about
the concept and the possibility of drones. And I laughed
with Chancel, said George Jensen, because that's my story that
I used to and I love it.

Speaker 7 (03:06:45):
Because I made fun of my guys.

Speaker 10 (03:06:47):
When they said that we want to fly drunes. I said, oh,
come on, now, what are we bet George jetson flying
around the cars? And then I saw today they talked
about a blind car.

Speaker 7 (03:06:55):
So it happens. It happens, all right. And so with
the community, we.

Speaker 10 (03:07:00):
Started having these conversations. We created a working group, we
started doing community forums. We started asking the community about
what would you think if we were able to do
something like this. We even went to some of the
organizations that may not always be so supportive of these
types of groups. We worked with the ASL you and
ask for their input on our policy. So before we

ever flew a drone, we call it the krawl.

Speaker 7 (03:07:27):
Lolock run phase.

Speaker 10 (03:07:29):
We're still at the very end of crawl, we're not
into lock yet and we've been doing it again also
for five years. So you have to make certain that
you're transparent, and we provided all types of information that
are available.

Speaker 7 (03:07:43):
If you go to all you have put in is
Jovis to place.

Speaker 10 (03:07:47):
Drums and it'll come up with us and you can
look at all the things that we do, all the
information that we share, the flight maps that we share.

Speaker 7 (03:07:56):
I mean, it's just super important to have those forums.
Every year.

Speaker 10 (03:08:01):
We do a community forum twice a year where we
ask for input from our community.

Speaker 13 (03:08:06):
Later on in the panel, Chief Kennedy said that CVPD
is quote unquote extremely transparent about their flight data and
quote unquote have nothing to hide relating to their use
of surveillance drones, which is a curious claim considering the
fact that CVPD has historically kept all drone footage hidden

from the public and has fought in court to do so.
Despite the chief's emphasis on the police's commitment to transparency
and the importance of listening to community feedback, even going
as far as to consult the ACLU when developing their
drone program, for years now, the Cheu Livista Police Department

has denied all FOYA and public records requests for any
drone footage in response. Are Turno Castnares, a Teulvista resident
and owner of the local bilingual newspaper Loprenza filed a
lawsuit against the city. CVPD argued that all drone footage
should be categorically exempt from the public records requests on

the basis that the footage could be used for a
future investigation. Just last December, only a few weeks before Cees,
the California Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled that this
blanket exemption is invalid and that not all drone first
responder footage could be classified as part of appending or
ongoing criminal investigation, pointing to examples such as nine oh

one calls about a roaming mountain lion or a stranded motorist.
And police were not happy about this ruling. I'll talk
about their reaction at the end of the episode, but
controlling the narrative about the drone first responder program has
been of the utmost importance to Trulavista Police, as the

chief herself expressed at the panel.

Speaker 7 (03:09:57):
And we're real good about telling our story.

Speaker 10 (03:10:00):
If you don't tell your own story in law enforcement,
other people will tell it for it and it might
not be the right story. So we've gotten really good
at sharing on our social media and through YouTube channels
and everything.

Speaker 7 (03:10:14):
Success stories of what we're doing.

Speaker 13 (03:10:17):
That is quite the claim there, to paraphrase the Electronic
Frontier Foundation. Without public access to their drone footage, it
makes it very difficult to assess how much privacy you
have in Cheula Vista and whether police are even following
their own rules about when and whether they record sensitive
places like people's homes, backyards, or public protests. And that's

why this recent ruling and the legal precedent it sets
is a huge win for actual transparency and marks the
first step towards the public finally getting a look at
how these drones are being used in Scheula Vista. With

drone first responder programs is spreading to police departments across
the country modeled after the one in Chula Vesta. Combined
with the increasing presence of stationary street level cameras, the
ability for police to be watching everywhere without the need
for on the ground officers creates what the EFF refers
to as quote, a fundamental change in strategy, with police

responding to a much much larger number of situations with drones,
resulting in pervasive, if not persistent, surveillance of communities unquote.
Speaking of persistent surveillance, Near the end of the panel,
the Chief announced that to Lavesta, PD is planning to
expand their ten hour a day drone first responder program

to a constant twenty four hour a day drone surveillance program.
More than doubling the department's capacity to have eyes in
the sky would mean a lot more work hours for
drone operators, as well as a large increase in the
amount of video files being stored indefinitely, but Chief Kennedy
claimed that they're looking into offsetting costs by replacing some

of the drone piloting team with AI assisted piloting and
autonomous devices.

Speaker 9 (03:12:17):
You've clearly been the leader with thrones's first responder technology.
Looking forward, what is the future hole for the department?
I assume you're spending a lot of time telling others
about the program edition using drones, but beyond that, what's up.

Speaker 10 (03:12:34):
Well, my hope is that we'll be moving towards twenty
four hour operations. Right now, we're from sunrise to sunset.
We go untill close to ten o'clock at night, which
goes a little bit beyond that. And then one of
the challenges, and I know you're only getting a little
piece of the information about exactly how we're doing this.
But from the four different locations that we fly on

each of the rooftops, we have what's called the piloting
command and thatlot in command is contracted through a company
and we and they just have visual awareness of the
sky and they working in coordination with our drone pilot
that's inside our operations center. But that's a huge expense
for us to pay lead for each site right now

with the operations that we have to paint abut one
hundred thousand dollars per year, So that's four hundred thousand
dollars for four locations beyond all the other processes here.
And so if you can get expensive, my hobe is
that and we keep hearing about it. We've seen some
of the testing and we've been testing it as well
in our area or what's called drone in the box

or there's some of the systems that are out there
right now that organizations are using that are a toonaments
and so we're getting there, but we're not quite there
because it's very different when you're dealing with flying over
people and you're flying.

Speaker 7 (03:13:54):
Into areas where the drone was to drop out of.

Speaker 10 (03:13:57):
The sky and harm people in our community. That could
create tremendous challenges for a silberberry. As I mentioned the
crawl things.

Speaker 13 (03:14:05):
So to explain how these AI autonomous drones would work,
It's essentially this box about the size of a truck
bed that can either be mounted in like a police
pickup truck or be stored on various rooftops around the city,
and someone just needs to point at a place on
a map and the drone will fly in pilot itself
around obstacles and basically circle around an area to do surveillance,

and you can call it back when you're done. This
would require a whole bunch of drones to just be
launching and being piloted by themselves. You wouldn't have to
train random police officers to become FAA licensed pilots, and
you could just have the whole thing in the box
like it's called drone in the box. And these are
only going to become more common and cheaper. Imagine having

ten of these throat a city, launching from like ten
different rooftops, being able to fly around by themselves, constantly
going around in communities, constantly going to GPS coordinates linked
to the nine one one calls creating a whole wealth
of footage instantly available to police, live streamed from the air.
Matt Sloane, the founder of Skyfire Consulting, a company here

in Atlanta that trains law enforcement agencies on the use
of drones and DFR programs, thinks that we'll start seeing
autonomous deployment of police drones within the next year or two,
as police budgets increase and become allocated for unmanned aerial systems.
He referred to the state of drone use by police
as quote rapidly escalating. Jula Vista likes to market itself

as a pioneer of the smart city movement, which consequently
makes them able to receive a whole bunch of grant funding.

Speaker 2 (03:15:42):

Speaker 13 (03:15:43):
The idea of the smart city is built around having
a massive amount of data to automate certain city services.
So for this idea to work, there needs to be
a way to collect that data, and these drones are
a major part of that. The website for the city
of Truela Vista also lists projects like electronic transportation, adaptive

traffic signals in app for non emergency city services, as
well as quote crime mapping and police dispatch modernization unquote
as also being smart city initiatives.

Speaker 10 (03:16:18):
We have what's called by nine one one, and that
allows my officers to hear incoming nine more one calls
before dispatch even puts it into the system. They can
hear what's going on there, and that is tremendously in
valuable to them. We have so many different layers of
technology that have really showcase the value.

Speaker 13 (03:16:40):
Live nine one one is a new piece of software
that allows patrol officers to listen to live stream to
nine one one calls directly and pinpoints the location of
the caller via GPS. Now, I don't even have time
to get into the many reasons that this could be
a bad idea, but simply put, police do not need
to respond to every call that goes into nine one one,

let alone be giving random cops this ability to self
dispatch on their own. It just seems like that could
have many many consequences. But anyway, back to drones. According
to a twenty twenty article in the newspaper Loprenza, cities
in San Diego County like Chula Vista, have received equipment
such as tethered drones used for stationary surveillance poll cameras,

license plate readers, and cell phone cracking technology used to
circumvent passwords from the Urban Area Security Initiative DHS grant program.
A lot of these technologies have use in the Smart
City Idyllic plan for data collection to automate city services.
After the drone panel was over and I was walking

around the show floor at CEES, I couldn't help but
notice all of the smart cameras and AI image recognition
systems being advertised for law enforcement applications. Software that can
almost instantaneously scan through a wealth of footage and track
people's movements, run facial recognition, and identify every article of clothing.

Versions of this type of software are already in use
by many police departments, and they will only get better, cheaper,
and more common. In effect, what this does is remove
a lot of the detective legwork. Instead of having to
manually map someone's movements and track down what niche etsy
shirt someone's wearing, these aisystems can now do this all automatically.

To quote the MIT Tech Review article on cvpd's DFR
drone program quote. As the technology continues to spread, privacy
and civil liberty groups are raising the question of what
happens when drones are combined with license plate readers, networks
of fixed cameras, and new real time command centers that
digest and sort through video evidence. This digital dragnet could

dramatically expand surveillance capabilities and lead to even more police
interactions with demographics that have historically suffered from over policing.

Speaker 5 (03:19:01):

Speaker 13 (03:19:02):
Pedro Rios, a human rights advocate with the American Friends
Service Committee and a member of Chula Vista's Community Tech Council,
was quoted in the MIT article saying, quote, people in
the community have no awareness of what images are captured,
how the footage is retained, and who has access. It's
a big red flag for a city that says it's
at the forefront of the smart city movement.

Speaker 4 (03:19:25):

Speaker 10 (03:19:26):
These dramas they're revolutionizing the world. You, I mean people
who are not taking drawn seriously right now? Who will
be left behind. We have flown eighteen one hundred and
fifty missions. You can go on a web page, you
can see the flight data. We're extremely transparent. We share

all that with our community.

Speaker 2 (03:19:47):
We have no need to hide.

Speaker 7 (03:19:48):
We are in the business of saving wise and I
believe drums are one of the best estories focused.

Speaker 13 (03:19:55):
If they truly have nothing to hide and are extremely
transparent about the use of their camera mounted drones, I
wonder why they've spent years in court fighting to keep
every second of drone footage from being seen by the public. Luckily,
after Chief Kennedy talked for like thirty minutes about how
much they care about community engagement and how transparent they

are with their flight data, I was able to ask
the Chief how their commitment to transparency relates to the
recent lawsuit she just lost over hiding drone footage. And
I also threw in a question about drones at protests.
Let's take a listen.

Speaker 4 (03:20:33):
Yeah, a question for the chief.

Speaker 11 (03:20:34):
So, I know you talked about the importance of like
listening to the community and community engagement. And I'm not
sure this is the case for your department, but other
departments who've kind of followed suit, for your example, have
been using drones to surveil first amendent activity stuff. And
I know you recently lost a court case regarding the
availability of drone footage, so I'm curious about kind of

what the rationale for that footage is and how that
plays into this idea of trying to be transparent with
the community for how these drones are being used.

Speaker 10 (03:21:06):
That's going to be going to be a little bit
difficult for me to answer because the court case is
still moving forward.

Speaker 7 (03:21:12):
It's an active case. If you read it, we didn't
lose the case.

Speaker 10 (03:21:18):
It was recommended to go to a lower core to
go back for some clarification under three categories.

Speaker 13 (03:21:25):
Now this is either a straight upply or a huge
cope and a gross mischaracterization.

Speaker 5 (03:21:31):
But more on that in a sec I think.

Speaker 10 (03:21:33):
It's really important. As I mentioned, there are ethics involved in.
The ethical responsibility that you have as a law enforcement
agency is super important. So how you utilize your drones
and how you do outreach with your community is fundamentally important.
And so we don't use our drones for if there

was a protest, We would not use are drones if
there was if it turned into a riot. So if
people were out there and they have the ability to
to speak freely to share their concerns, and if it's
in opposition, our goal is to make sure that we

keep it safe for all parties involved on either side.
So my hope is that other people look at it
the same way that we do, and hopefully I've been
able to answer it as much as I believe me,
I'm dying to give you more than I can't.

Speaker 9 (03:22:32):
Okay, thank you for those questions, Folks were out of time.
Maybe there could be questions after the.

Speaker 13 (03:22:39):
Session, So yeah, there were no more questions after mine.
I kind of shut down that possibility anyway.

Speaker 4 (03:22:45):

Speaker 13 (03:22:45):
So, first of all, the line between a protest and
a riot is meaningless. Police can declare riot for any
reason they see fit, including people being in a road marching.
I've seen this happen dozens of times, nearly hundreds of
times actually, So moving on from that immediately, let's go
back to the court case. The city of Cheuelavista did

lose the argument that they were trying to make. They
did lose the case. The Fourth District Court of Appeals
ruled that claiming exemption from the Public Records Act was
unlawful and sent the case back to trial court to
hammer the details of how much footage is subject to
public disclosure and figure out a process for standardizing the
release of the footage. Now. The same day I attended

this panel in Las Vegas, January ninth, the city of
Chula Vista requested an appeal to the California Supreme Court
to prevent the release of their aerial video footage. There
is a sixty day waiting period where the High Court
will decide whether or not to take the case, and
if they decline finally, it will go back to trial
court to decide on the process of how selected drone

footage shall be made publicly available. The police are now
currently claiming that make DFR footage adhere to the Public
Records Act would violate the privacy of Chula Vista residents
captured in the videos, which perhaps demonstrates that the aerial
videos should have never been captured in the first place.

I'm going to read a press release from the city's
communication manager. Quote, the city declined to provide the copies
because doing so might have violated individual privacy rights. The
city would have to manually review and redact every video
recording to protect information considered personal, such as the images
of faces, license plates, backyards, and more. Unquote, So the