Freedom's Just Another Word for Never Cutting Class

Trying to decipher an incoherent argument.


North Dakota bound!

This week the Mercatus Center released a report that set out to rank the 50 states from the most free to the least. The results, which declared North Dakota the most liberated part of America and New York the most enslaved, have come in for inevitable criticisms.

I'm less interested in the study's rankings than in its customized "Personal Rank" feature, which lets you decide for yourself how to weigh the laws being measured pick for yourself which policies affect the outcome (but not, alas, how much each law is worth). I'm pretty sure that if I were to use that tool to make my own list, it wouldn't look the same as the one the study's authors put together. So I'm open to arguments that, say, they shouldn't have treated right-to-work laws as a form of economic liberty.

But some of the arguments against the report are just incoherent. Here is Matt Yglesias, for instance:

You might think at first that abortion rights are given zero weight for metaphysical reasons rather than reasons of cultural politics, but it turns out that permissive homeschooling laws are given weight as a factor in freedom. Children, in other words, are considered fully autonomous agents whose rights the state must safeguard vis-a-vis their own parents from birth until conception at which point they lose autonomy until graduation from high school.

I'll assume that the "birth until conception" bit is a glitch, and that Yglesias isn't actually confused about which one of those comes first. I won't dwell on his belief that one must think a fetus is a "fully autonomous agent" to oppose legal abortion. I won't make a big deal of the fact that he assumes the Mercatus writers are themselves taking a stance against abortion rights, though it's clear to me that they're trying to sidestep the issue entirely.

Hero of freedom!

It's when Yglesias suggests that homeschooled kids "lose autonomy" that he goes completely off the rails. Under the restrictions favored by the pro-life crowd, the fetal "rights the state must safeguard vis-a-vis their own parents" are the rights not to be deliberately killed or maimed. Needless to say, those rights don't disappear when a child is born. The only way Yglesias' argument would make sense is if permissive homeschooling rules overturned the laws against child abuse. Needless to say, they do not.

It is also possible, I suppose, that Yglesias thinks compulsory schooling isn't a restriction on children's liberties. But that would be even more backward than "birth until conception."

Update: Matt Yglesias replies:

You can click through and scroll down to see the argument he says he was trying to make. Judge for yourself how much it resembles the passage he actually wrote—and, while you're at it, whether it qualifies as an "argument about homeschooling."

NEXT: Thousands of Frozen Food Items Recalled over E.Coli Fears

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  1. What is this, Snake Plissken Week? If not, why isn’t there such a thing?

    1. Yes it always falls on the week before Easter.

      1. I heard that was dead.

          1. I’m having the strangest feeling of d?j? vu.

        1. Yeah, you and everybody else!

        2. It’s been resurrected

  2. Why can’t we just abort children in their 127th trimester?

    1. When they’re 42?

      1. Your maths are failing.

        1. Damnit Joe! I’m a hearing coordinator, not a math guy!

    2. You should be able to if they are still living in your basement at that point.

  3. Shorter version: Matthew Yglesias is a very stupid man, but a savant working a keyboard who knows not what he types.

    1. Still not sure how this particular member of the JuiceBox punditry rose to such prominence. Especially so, seeing his recent real-estate purchase.

    2. Agree. Yglesias is just becoming terminally unreadable. He’s clearly sentient, but damn me if his articles and tweets have any rationality to them any more.

      1. He seems pretty rationale compared to most of the commenters there. I’m guessing that’s a “one-eyed man is king” thing going on.

      2. He’s one of the few leftists that recognizes some of the harms of the regulatory and licensing state. I’ll give him that much, and only that.

        1. But he only cares if those harms affect his idealized hipster existence (food trucks, rent, Uber). The guy simply cannot think outside of his bubble.

          1. I was trying to praise him as faintly as I could.

            1. I use to that but got mistaken for a Carter royalist once.

          2. A fair point. Yglesias seems aghast that anyone could thing you have more freedom in North Dakota than New York, as though the only freedoms that are worth anything are the ones that involve eating lots of different kinds of ethnic cuisine.

            Why would anyone want to buy a big piece of private land and be left alone?

  4. OT: All Women’s colleges don’t want no trannies!…..08428.html

    1. Why are there All Women’s colleges again?

      1. Because there is market demand for it.

        1. Do women go there to learn how sexist All Male colleges used to be when they were allowed?

          1. Deep Springs is still all-male.

            1. Where?? Fake colleges don’t count, Nicole.

              1. It’s not fake, and I’ve heard a lot of good things, though it’s certainly nontraditional. I always thought it sounded really cool.

                1. Deep Springs. Subtle. I got it. As in, deep “boing boing boing.” I think one of the “50 Shades of Grey” characters went there.

            2. I’m not quite sure what to think of that name for an all male school or whether I should even contemplate it.

              1. Bugger U.

        2. In Massachusetts and Wong’s home state of Connecticut, a transgender person would need to have sex-reassignment surgery to change the legal sex on a birth certificate and thus amend a FAFSA form.

          Wong has not undergone the costly reassignment procedure.

          In plain English, he’s a man, baby.

          1. Wong still has a wang.

          2. So, would you actually accept her as a woman if she had vaginoplasty?

      2. Peni are scary.

        1. I thought the plural for was penii, or was it peniseses?

          1. 1 penis, thus clearly many penare.

          2. Penes. Third declension.

            1. “Yes sir, thank you sir, hail Caesar, sir”

              1. Now write “penes” on the wall one hundred times or I’ll cut your balls off.

    2. Wow, this keeps coming up every few years.

      The ladies don’t like the trannies!

      1. I blame Bosom Buddies.

        1. Fucking Hanks.

          1. What do you have against Hungarians?!

            1. They are hard to shoot.

          2. Sure; ignore Peter Scolari.

      2. Yup. Give it a few years and the ladies will lose. Heck, we may start seeing the courts siding with the Calliopes of the world as early as this year. Once that happens, there’s no turning back. We descend a little farther into idiocracy as we forget even the biological differences between men and women.

    3. Calliope Wong? Ok.

  5. I did think it was weird to leave out abortion, especially in light of all the sonogram laws.

    1. Anti-freedom laws are fine if they originate in the GOP, don’t you know?

    2. Abortion would be neutral on freedom. Who’s freedom? The child’s or the mother’s?

      The entire issue comes down to when a lump of cells becomes a person. And no one in the world can definitively answer that.

      1. No! You can’t admit the other side has a valid position! They are wrong and they evil!

      2. Can anyone in the world definitively answer when a lump of cells stops being a person and is no longer alive?

        1. I would imagine that’s why assisted suicide is freedom neutral as well.

          1. If the lump of cells is a person at birth, restricting abortion decreases freedom of the mother. (The cells have no rights)

            If the lump of cells is a person at conception, restricting abortion INcreases the freedom of the child. (The mother has no right to kill a person)

            At the point of death, there is only one entity involved. So restricting assisted suicide decreases freedom.

            1. So restricting assisted suicide decreases freedom.

              Unless, of course, you are a ward of the State in which case it becomes legalized murder.

            2. What if that person has obligations to other people.

              For example, what if they owe someone money? To go full circle, what if it is a pregnant lady?

              A person who commits suicide has basically breached his contract to pay his mortgage, or the implied contract in his responsibility to raise minors. Should he be compelled not to commit suicide until those obligations are resolved?

              1. Thinking about this, it really is an unwinding of an entity, the end being a hole in the ground.

                Really, if we treated suicide more like bankruptcy, things would work much better. After you go through the steps of unwinding your obligations, you can assume room temperature.

                Well until Obama steps in and gives your youngest kid the dining room table because he works in a union shop.

        2. An hour before STEVE SMITH stops raping it.

        3. when a lump of cells stops being a person and is no longer alive

          Or, related, if those two things happen at the same time.

      3. No, I can very much answer when the lump of cells is definitively a person – when it demonstrates higher cognition and language skills (please note that I wrote language, not speech). You may not accept my definition, but that’s your issue, not mine. This also doesn’t preclude my willingness to extend (some) personhood priviliges to collections of live-born human cells to simplify things by establishing a clear, bright line.

        1. A lump of cells is definitively a person when it gets its ass out of the house and gets a job. You may not accept my definition, but that’s your issue, not mine.

          1. Bravo, Sir.

  6. Have you seen a picture of Matthew Yglesias? It’s entirely possible that he thinks birth comes for conception, and that the stork makes babies.

      1. Does that mean that Matty is a ghola? You’d think he’d be smarter.

        1. He’s a ghola, not a mentat.

  7. It is also possible, I suppose, that Yglesias thinks compulsory schooling isn’t a restriction on children’s liberties.

    To the progressive, compulsory anything = freedom.

    1. Exactly. Moreover, freedom from choice lessens the stress in our lives, so everyone benefits.

  8. The only way Yglesias’ argument would make sense is if permissive homeschooling rules overturned the laws against child abuse. Needless to say, they do not.

    His “argument” also works if he considers home-schooling a variety of abuse. Which is not outside the realm of possibility for his ilk.

    1. Pounding religious fairy tales into the soft skulls of children is a form of abuse – whether it is the Bible here or the Koran in Goatfuckistan.

      1. Because non-relgious homeschoolers don’t exist, amirite?

        1. Even if it was religious it wouldn’t be child abuse, especially given that religious people generally score higher on personal well-being studies.

          Public school is child abuse.

      2. Whereas pounding government fairy tales into their skulls is A-OK.

        1. Pfffft – I bet you buy into the myth of ownership, don’t you? Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to slip back to my million-dollar townhouse.

      3. Because public schools don’t pound religious fairy tales into soft skulls?

        I know, anti-freedom laws are fine if the originate in the DNC, doncha know?

        1. “I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down the cherry tree.”

          1. Religious, since it was created by Parson Weems.

        2. Don’t feed the monkey. He won’t go back in his hole then and it just encourages him to throw more shit.

          1. Now wait just a minute, J – you engage him more than anyone…have you had a Road To Damascus moment? (Holy Week irony partially intended).

            1. Yes I have.

              1. I’m going to put a big fat sloppy kiss on your mouth if that proves to be true.

                1. I was lost and then I was found. Give me the strength to ignore the trolls.

      4. In the entire time I’ve been homeschooling, the time I’ve spent on religious fairy tales is less than the time it took me to type this sentence.

        1. Look, I am sure there are many excellent private tutors. I just know why the average bumpkin hates public schools – the liberal evolutiony secular subjects taught in them.

          Wealthy private schools often follow the same liberal curriculum as public schools – just not as well.

            1. That didn’t last long.

              1. Making fun of him, is not responding to him.

                1. You use this word, “ignore.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

                  1. Words have shades of meaning RMA. Not every word in every context is meant literally.

                2. Glad you’ve grasped that, John.

                  1. “Glad you’ve grasped that” was mocking that comment at 2:08, btw.

          1. I hate public schools because they made me take at least 3 years longer than I needed to get to college.

            1. No, no! There is no alternative better than Chicago Public Schools! Detroit Public Schools!

              You would only teach your own kids in a place like that if you are a cousin humping Bible waver!!!

            2. College would suck at 15, though.

              1. Unless something goes off the rails, my younger kid will be in college full-time at 15.

                1. My 11 year old is ready for college level math. He just finished reading Brave New World in about 2 days.

                  I think I am going to start him out with online college.

              2. Having a baller career at 23 would make that shit fade into the fast real quick.

          2. I hate public schools for making my son’s kindergarten class write reports about Michelle Obama, Kobe Bryant and Oprah.

            1. I hope your son at least chose Kobe, though.

            2. Since when do Kindergarten classes write reports?

              1. It’s an Advanced Track, so the kids are all reading and writing.

                And yes, despite hatred for him, he chose The Raping Mamba.

            3. Jesus, who’s their teacher? Mr. Garrison?

          3. “Wealthy private schools often follow the same liberal curriculum as public schools – just not as well.”

            Uh, huh. That’s why private schools consistently churn out better students and have insanely higher parental satisfaction rates than public schools.

      5. Every home schooler i have met has been an atheist.

        1. “Nobody I know voted for Nixon!”

          1. Technically I only need to know one atheist homeschooler to destroy Shrike’s argument.

            Also I am pretty sure both my parents voted for Nixon…even in the one against Kennedy.

            1. My daughters an atheist and is planning on homeschooling her daughter.

              1. I’m an atheist in a mixed marriage and we’re homeschooling – my wife teaches the kids some basic religious lessons but the curriculum is all very well grounded in the secular.

            2. Most overrated President: Kennedy or Lincoln?

              1. Kennedy. We’ve said loads about Lincoln, but the case for him being influential and important in American history is colorable. Nothing is special about Kennedy other than the fact he was shot.

                1. Oh come on, he also managed to make a crucial foreign policy blunder not once, not twice, but three times. Four if you blame him for escalating Vietnam, although I still think LBJ gets most of the blame for that one.

                  JFK is a perfect example of how good propaganda can overcome utter stupidity and incompetence. The man somehow managed to get a PT boat, famous for their speed and agility, run down by a Japanese destroyer with half the speed and a quarter the maneuverability. Halsey wanted him court martialed, but was overruled because young Kennedy had political influence.

                2. He banged Marilyn Monroe.

                  1. He and half of the rest of the glitterati.

                3. “Nothing is special about Kennedy other than the fact he was shot.”

                  Well, his tax cuts sparked one of the most prosperous decades in American history. That’s gotta count for something.

                  1. The only reason that got passed is because he got shot.

                4. Nothing is special about Kennedy other than the fact he was shot.

                  Absolutely read this as “he was hot.”

                  1. Ironic that a bibliophile would make such a mistake. Freudian slip, perhaps? Do you want to see me in some sort of weird homo Presidential sexnario?

                    Just…just askin’ for a friend.

                    1. I certainly wouldn’t stop you.

                    2. I just can’t even…

                      No. No. But I do really like “sexnario.”

      6. Yeah, they might lose all sense of perspective, as well as the ability to think critically…

        I wonder what that looks like.

    2. I am quite sure that is what he thinks. Home schooling might prevent kids from growing up to be as stupid as he is.

    3. Finished Woken Furies a few days ago. I had to drop it for several days for crunch time. IMHO, it’s the best of the three. Best part — plotting is at a far more intricate level than the previous. Worst — bogs down a bit when he joins up with the surfer revolutionaries.

      Anyways, something to pass away a few minutes —

      Remembering Cordwainer Smith: Full-Time Sci-Fi Author, Part-Time Earthling…../#comments

      1. I youd the link. Try that again with special sauce.…..-earthling

        1. He was a great science fiction author. Three of my most treasured books are rarities by him (including one that’s autographed).

          1. For my money, Banks does the best modern imitation of Smith’s approach and style.

  9. Water is wet. The sky is blue. Ice is cold. Matt Yglesias is stupid.

  10. Tsk, tsk, Jesse. You obviously didn’t understand the glorious prose of one Matt Yglesias.

  11. Jesse,

    You are just not sophisticated enough to understand Sad Beard. I know his piece had the words “home schooling” and “autonomy” and “parents” but it was only an argument about such because you insist on using your right wing, racist logic and meaning.

  12. It is also possible, I suppose, that Yglesias thinks compulsory schooling isn’t a restriction on children’s liberties. But that would be even more backward than “birth until conception.”

    That’s pretty much exactly what I thought he meant, but a step further–compulsory schooling makes you more free, for Yglesias, because the state takes care of it instead of your parents.

    1. Haha more from Twitter: “I argued that opponents of abortion & opponents of homeschooling both view themselves as protecting children.” He himself does not have an opinion on the matter. Riiiight.

      1. You have to remember Yglesias has spent his entire life in the liberal hive blowing smoke up others and having smoke blown up his own ass. That makes your thinking sloppy. I am sure he is totally shocked someone called him on this. I mean in his world it is taken as a given that home schooling is bad.

    2. I’ve definitely heard people argue that public schooling protects children from abuse. The logic is that parents who abuse their kids will homeschool them to keep the state from knowing about the abuse, but the loving arms of the public schools will know and protect children from abusive parents.

      It’s particularly dumb logic when you look at kids who are forced to go to school where they’re abused by their peers, and even teachers and administrators.

      1. The very same people who claim that in the next breath talk about how bullying is such a problem.

        1. It’s a gender thing. Women are highly represented in education, and women bully with their minds. Men bully with their bodies, so what the feminists are trying to do is disarm their opposition. So anything physical, anything at all (they hate football, for instance), is evil.

          1. I dunno bout that, the recent bullying focus seems to be on verbal/social media attacks.

            1. Yeah well that’s because they actually have done a really good job of stamping out physical bullying. Of course they’ve done this by punishing anyone who swings a fist.

              So now the slow, awkward, held back a year kid gets to endure torment from his smarter peers instead of giving them the smack they deserve.

              Remember, education people were the ones picked on in school for being goody goody teacher’s pets. So now that they have control, they’ve set up a system which favors goody goody teacher’s pets. I work with kids, and I’m telling you, the amount of incentives they have to inform on each other rivals 1950s era SovBloc nations.

              Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

      2. “Close your eyes and put your mouth around this spoon…”

  13. “I don’t think I even made an argument about homeschooling”

    He doesn’t think? So he’s not exactly clear on what he said? Wow, who knew he’d ever admit that he has no idea what he’s talking about?

    On the other hand, strictly speaking, I think he’s right. He didn’t make such an argument. An argument would be coherent and based on some sort of evidence, which means he’s never made an argument about anything.

    1. I think I agree. He didn’t make an argument about homeschooling. He didn’t make any argument at all. He is an incomprehensible moron. Our home grown trolls make more sense than that idiot.

      1. Especially HERC. I miss HERC.

  14. Oh shit, jesse gonna get in a tweet war with Yglesias? If I followed twitter, I’d totally ignore that!

  15. One trick of liberals (and academics, but I repeat myself) is to present their arguments in a verbal fog. My guess is that they learned this from the 1930s communists. It makes it harder to refute them, because they can always claim you misunderstood what they meant while simultaneously implying that you’re not very bright.

    If they keep at it long enough, they lose the ability to distinguish between the fog and what the fog it supposed to obscure. So they start to believe that the fog itself is meaningful, and that they’re making a point when what’s coming out of their mouths is nothing but fog.

    1. I’m not the only one who thinks that leftist academics, especially those during the glory days of getting to do what every they wanted, scot-free (1920-1980), made about as much sense as a 3 year old child on mushrooms?

      1. You have your three-year-old partake of mushrooms? 🙂

    2. There’s a word for that: obfuscation.

      Some people believe that the more complex something is, and the less able they are to understand it (thus deferring to the “experts”), the more true it must be.

      Tony is a great example of this.

      Whereas people with problem solving skills understand that something complex is composed of simpler and simpler component parts, and solving the complex problem is just solving many simpler problems.

      The Tonys of the world scoff at this because they believe anything simple must be born of a simple mind. They do not judge ideas on merit because they can’t understand them enough to judge them. So they judge ideas on the source and upon their emotional reactions.

      1. I took a class on the works of Nietzsche in class. I had to make some fun out of the class, and I suppose part of the fun was trying to interpret what philosophers like Nietzsche, Satre, and Camus meant. It would have been much more aggravating if Nietzsche had actually been in the class trying to rationalize all of the obfuscous bits of his writing.

        1. *”in college”

        2. Of those three, Nietzsche is the most straight forward. I don’t think he is particularly difficult to read or understand. Satre in contrast, is a total bullshit artist.

          1. I gravitated more towards Camus than Sartre. Though I did appreciate Sartre’s refusal to accept the Nobel Prize, unlike a certain self-important, current leader of the free world.

            1. The one thing I liked about Satre was his takedown of Descartes. “I think therefore I am?” Really? How do you know you are thinking? The best you can say is “there is thinking going on”. It was clever.

              1. huh. that doesn’t do anything for me. If only think I’m thinking, I’m still thinking.

                1. I believe the point of the critique is that “there is thinking” doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s an “I” that is thinking. The thinking could just be some impersonal phenomenon.

                  1. Ok, that does at least make some sense. I still think that whatever is doing the thinking is “I”, by definition. Like all good axioms, it’s tautological. I guess some people see that as a weakness, but for starting points, I think it’s a strength.

                    And Sarte’s point seems kind of anti-tautological or self defeating. If he is arguing he doesn’t think and/or exist, then I wish he’d shut up so that the rest thinking/existing things could start examining more important things.

                    1. actually I shouldn’t say “all good axioms”. I should say “many good axioms”.

                    2. Technically an axiom is something unproven that can be accepted or rejected by choice. (of course, the arguer is hoping the reader will choose to accept it so that his argument will logically follow)

                      Descartes’ point is that Cogito Ergo Sum is not an axiom, but an observation that anyone reading his words must accept.

                    3. Sounds like Sarte chose to reject it. So I guess it is an axiom. And I’m not going to argue about it any further. I’m declaring a new axiom that the thing I was talking about above is an axiom.

                2. That’s what you think!

              2. How do you know you are thinking? The best you can say is “there is thinking going on”. It was clever.

                It’s not clever at all, it’s semantic trickery. If thinking is going on, someone is thinking, just like if eating is going on something is eating.

                1. Descartes seems to have viewed thinking as a process and further, that processes require agency. Rejecting either of those assumptions isn’t trickery.

          2. Some of Nietzsche’s aphorisms are completely opaque. Of course, unlike the others in that list, you get the feeling this is intentional, like he’s just fucking with all those pretentious wannabes.

            1. Camus isn’t opaque at all, Sartre is full of shit, and Nietzsche was doing it intentionally. Nietzsche’s writing is full of jokes that I suspect are funny mostly to other philosophers (though probably not to Kant, had Kant read him) and philologists.

    3. It wasn’t just the communists. The Fascists used the same technique.

      1. So did Jesus.

    4. That’s a very old rhetorical tactic — the Sophists of ancient Greece were infamous for it, hence the term sophistry.

      Redefining common words to mean something most people don’t understand the word to mean is another common tactic.

  16. It’s sad when public intellectuals fight.

    1. It’s even sadder if Matt Yglesias is considered “a public intelletual”. I certainly hope that’s not the case.

      1. What Radar said. Doomed man. We are doomed if sad beard is what passes for intellectual these days.

        1. You need a tweed coat with elbow pads or some such?

      2. As opposed to the conservative intellectuals Beck, Limpy, and Hannity?

        Not a single college credit among them?

        1. Pretty sure this is an argument between Walker, Yglesias, and a few researchers who put out a paper rating freedom.

          If we are just pulling random people out of the hat as our opponents then I choose you from 3 years ago when you would scream “Jesusfags” every other post.

          1. The proper term is Christfag. And our little monkey hasn’t changed.

        2. Not a single college credit among them?

          Hannity graduated from high school in Uniondale, N.Y., and attended both New York University and Adelphi University but left school without graduating in order to pursue a career in broadcasting.


        3. I’m sorry, is there someone around here who considers any of those clowns “intellectuals”?

        4. I have a bachelor’s degree in history that I achieved despite reading maybe half the assignments. Who gives a damn about credentials?

          1. Didn’t you know? All knowledge comes through attending college and all college graduates are, by definition, very knowledgeable because they attended “higher learning”.

            The guy with a degree in “puppettering” has lots of college credits.

    2. If he’s public, does that mean he belongs to all of us?

      1. Can I sell my part?

      2. Yglesias is just an example of the tragedy of the commons.

  17. BTW That poster was ripped off for Cloverfield.

  18. “You wrote, “but it turns out that permissive homeschooling laws are given weight as a factor in freedom.””

    “No I didn’t!!!”

    “Yes you did. look at your article”

    “nah nah nah nahhhhhhhh I can’t hear you”


    I just can’t see why anyone would not want to send their kids to public schools.

    1. Beck noted that secular progressivism, further, the notion of communal life and collectivism, is at the system’s core. Other points of contention concerning CSCOPE curriculum include lesson-plans positing that Christopher Columbus was an “eco-warrior” and, when referring to the famed explorer’s journal, all references to God and Christendom were removed.

      The lengths they go to create propaganda to fit the narrative is convoluted beyond imagining.

      1. He who controls the past… They want people to be stupid and uninformed.

  20. Yglesias is seriously one of the biggest fucking idiots writing punditry on the internet. It’s an embarassment to even acknowledge his incoherent drivel.

  21. I tried the personalized ranking feature. It lets you decide which factors and sub-factors to include or exclude, but not how to weight them. South Dakota won in my rankings, which seems more correct than North Dakota, based on personal experience. California was still in the bottom five, of course.

    1. Yeah, I was disappointed you couldn’t decide on the weighting. I don’t think I would be likely to remove any of their factors, so the weighting is all I was really interested in.

      1. Indeed. Their personalize feature is backwards.

  22. I see from his Twitter page that he managed to write a book. nicole! Read it and tell me how hilariously bad it is, at once!

    1. Why do you hate me?!?! (Actually, it doesn’t seem insanely terrible. Please hate me appropriately.)

      1. It’s Warty. Warty hates everybody.

  23. seems like a questions for @askunclejoe to me.

    Dear Uncle Joe,
    Can you explain what comrade sad bear meant? are we actually only conceived after we’re birthed from the public schools?

  24. You might think at first that abortion rights are given zero weight for metaphysical reasons rather than reasons of cultural politics

    Soo North Dakota may have a higher portion of people who disagree with Roe V Wade then New York…and even though Roe V Wade is nation wide and every state is required to follow it North Dakota’s rating needs to be lowered cuz public opinion there is not what Yglesias likes.



    Sugar Free once made the very astute point that feminism is really just an extension of 8th grade girls saying “that nerd talked to me, I am telling my b/f”. Marcotte proves his point. A high school kid asking Kate Upton to prom is not cute or funny it is “creepy”. That nerd talked to her. We need to do something about it.

    1. I was just reading that. That’s low, even for her.

      1. Any man expressing any interest in a woman that is not completely wanted by said woman is “creepy” and wrong.

        1. I think the bigger problem is that Marcotte seems to view society’s pressure for people (especially celebrities) to be polite somehow only applies to women. If some girl publicly asked Ryan Gosling to prom, would the expectations be any different?

          1. They would be bigger. Can you imagine the hell a male sex symbol would take if he said something snotty about a teenage girl who asked him out? His career would be over if he wasn’t lucky.

            1. On the other hand, imagine the rumors if he went.

      2. They are destroying her in the comments. When you are a “feminist” writer and you have lost the Slate readership, what do you have left?

        1. Jezebel or Feministing to accept you wholeheartedly?

        2. That seems to be the redeeming feature of Marcotte: Her regular commenters think she is an idiot.

          1. Deep down all she really wants is a man’s approval.

            1. Deep down, they all want a nice husband and to be pushing a pram in the burbs.

            2. And a good deep dicking.

    2. It’s even more shameful in the context (is that a dirty word for identity politicians?) of a teenage boy’s harmless goof. I swear, are trying to make life a living hell for teenagers?

      1. teenage boy’s harmless goof

        I like all the feminist crap about “presumption of male access to women”

        As if this kid would not be Upton’s absolute slave if she asked.

      2. I swear, are trying to make life a living hell for teenagers?

        Teenage boys, anyway.

      3. Exactly! Blathering on about “men’s access to women” – it’s not a man, it’s a fucking high school kid! And it’s not a woman, it’s Kate goddamned swimsuit model Upton! It takes a very special, very determined kind of stupidity to view that story and conclude that somehow this is a case of a man asserting dominion over a woman. It’s a random horny 17 year old and a wealthy, gorgeous model – who the hell do you think has the upper hand there?

    3. You are reading to much into this:

      Amanda did not get asked to prom…and she is jelly.

      1. She is not just horribly bad looking in that picture. But judging from the women I see who come from Texas, she probably didn’t get asked out a lot in high school.

      2. I’ve seen pictures of noses half bitten off by wolves that didn’t look as ugly as hers.

        1. Lips look like she could give a mean and very angry blow job though.

      3. And she looka like a man.

        1. I wouldn’t say that. She just has that same butt hurt look on her face that every feminist writer seems to have.

    4. 8th grade girls saying “that nerd talked to me, I am telling my b/f”.

      I still say it’s worse than that.

      It’s “That nigger boy looked at me, you better hang him!”

      1. Feminist believe you can never be too vigilant in rape prevention. As we learned at the Clarence Thomas hearings women never, ever lie about matters of such serious gravity as sexual harassment and rape.

        1. Unless the accused is a pro abortion politician. We all know that Juanita Broaderick was a lying bitch.

          1. During the CT hearings I almost fell out of my chair when a feminist law professor made the claim that the serious nature of the charge was proof of the veracity of the woman making the claim. It was an . . enlightening moment for me in coming to understand their mindset.

            1. I was a rape and child abuse prosecution course back in the early 00s. And one of the courses was put on by this fanatic feminist who said that no woman would ever lie about rape. So I asked her then if she thinks Bill Clinton should have been impeached and put in prison because of Juanita Broaderick affair. If looks could kill, I would have died on the spot. After some sputtering and stammering she said that was different because Broaderick was never put under oath.

              1. Did you point out that an FBI study going over cases before DNA testing became common practice with DNA sampling exonerated a quarter of the men convicted in those test cases? I bet she would not have flinched if you did. Something about the feminist cause turns these women into the coldest blooded ideologues on the planet.

                1. No. It would have kind of hurt my career to get kicked out of class.

                2. Feminists when it comes to rape are like the sociopathic pro-death penalty crowd. The arguments are the exact same: “OK innocent people might have gotten caught up in the system, but most of the people in jail for rape/on death row are guilty, so the system works. Anyone worried about false convictions LOVES CRIMINALS!”

              2. Wow. Was this just like a seminar? Or were grades given?

                1. It was a seminar for prosecutors. It would have been bad juju to make a scene.

                  1. More balls than I’d have at a thing like that. I figure it’s just better to play dumb in those situations, and that the less I say, the sooner it’ll be over.

                    I like your tactic of one good question that points out a self-contradiction, and then just let the bullshit slide. To anybody paying attention, the bullshit will be obvious. Maybe I’ll try that next time I’m forced to listen to obvious PC crap.

            2. It’s about fundamental dishonesty. I think people who are dishonest have a thing where they rationalize dishonesty. So to that woman, someone wouldn’t lie about sexual harassment because that would be a real lie, not like the lies she tells on a day to day basis which aren’t real lies.

              Or something. I’ve always had a hard time getting my head around liars.

          2. To be honest though, I watched the Broaderick interview on 20/20 and didn’t find her to be credible. The things she said Clinton said sounded like film noir dialog. Yeah, he’s pond scum and I believe he deserved to be impeached, burned to a crisp for what he allowed to go down in Waco, that there was more to the Vince Foster incident than ever surfaced in public, and a lot of other things, but she didn’t sound convincing to my ears.

            1. I really have no idea if she was telling the truth or not. But, if you believe that women never lie about rape as many people do, then you have to believer her don’t you? Yet, the very people who profess to believe that women never lie about rape were the ones least likely to believe her.

            2. I have little doubt that Bill Clinton was very sexually aggressive. There’s oodles of evidence for that. It really is not that much of a stretch to believe he forced himself onto somebody.

              1. Eh I used to think he was a rapist for sure. But now that I’ve actually experienced a little more of life, I think it’s pretty typical regrets. Bill’s a charming bastard, and charming bastards get laid a lot. Charming bastards also leave a lot of girls with either the explicit or implicit idea that they loved them more then the world, and that they were going to settle down with them some day, just as soon as the time was right to divorce the wife.

                Rape doesn’t mean “I wish I hadn’t slept with him willingly.” Rape means “I never wanted him to have sex with me in the first place.”

                You cannot revoke consent in the morning.

      2. I really hope some shit-stirrer finds a historical lynching based on a debatable rape claim to use set the race grievers and femistasi at each other’s throats.


    Is it possible that this idiot is actually nuts?

    1. Or his dad did not properly explain to him that when he did it it was only posturing to get free stuff.

      1. Which would make him nuts. He is backing himself into a corner here. When nothing happens and the sanctions go on, he is going to look like a complete clown and be humiliated. Being humiliated is a very good way for a dictator to have one of his generals knock him off and take power. At some point he is going to leave himself no choice but to start a war.

        1. Who exactly is going to think he is a complete clown? The rest of the world? That’s not exactly a change from how we already think of North Korea. But it does whip his people up into a nationalist frenzy and he might even get some free stuff out of it. Basically, he loses nothing and gains plenty from this move. This was most likely his generals’ idea anyway.

          1. He stands to lose a lot when the world ignores him and he has to tell his people “never mind”. His biggest fear is appearing weak to his own people.

            1. It’s called spin, man. Kim and his crew are fucking spin masters, they’ve been doing it since infancy.

              Even if his whole country got napalmed, the truly patriotic brainwashed masses would hail him as a hero.

              1. Are you talking about the Kims or Obama?

              2. You have a real point there. In 1999 a nK soldier on a patrol got washed into the RoK. During the interview process he was shown Seoul and other spots and when asked what he thought he replied (paraphrased) “Very impressive, but we will still kick your ass and reunite with us.” The RoK’s sent him back. I was amazed by the tapes but since have read “The Cleanest People” and that is one brainwashed society.

            2. He stands to lose a lot when the world ignores him and he has to tell his people “never mind”.

              Well the world isn’t ignoring him, that the US is sortieing its bombers makes it look like a credible threat.

              And aren’t you forgetting that he tells his people whatever he wants them to hear? He’ll probably end up saying that the US begged for mercy and gave him tribute. Or he could just say he successfully attacked the US and we begged for mercy, etc.

              1. I hope you are right.

                1. I hope you are right.

                  He is. I started reading the KCNA website on my first tour of Korea in 99. It goes a long ways in explaining how that country is so fucked up.


                  Both times I was there, I read on that site REPEATEDLY that they would turn us into a lake of fire at any moment. I never lost a minute of sleep.

                  1. I am well aware of the history. North Korea is a bit of a private hobby of mine. But this time seems to be different and a bit more crazy. We are on our second idiot son here. I am not totally confident he knows how to play the game of extortion without causing a war.

            3. he has to tell his people “never mind”.

              If he tells his people anything it will be that he waged war on the Americans and North Korea won…but it was costly so food rations have to be cut and more saboteurs need to be imprisoned/executed.

    2. Did you see that North Korea’s U.S. targets are Hawaii, San Diego, Washington D.C. and Austin Texas? Does he have something against SXSW?

      1. Or hipsters, which makes me think that maybe I need to rethink my opinion of the NORKS.

        1. Is it really treason if we only help them get nukes to wipe out the worst parts of America? Well, except Hawaii. We should just promise them free vacay privileges if they spare it.

          1. I live in the Peoples Republic of Hawaii and would (not so happily) have it nuked to bring it some reality.

  27. Jesse, can you ask Sad Beard what exactly the controversy is over home-schooling vis-a-vis freedom? Specifically, how can not allowing children to be home-schooled be argued to be an increase in freedom? Because Sad Beard seems to think there is something analogous to the controversy over abortion.

  28. Lol @ Matt Yglesias. His own head is so fucking incoherent, he can’t tell when he’s arguing for or against something. He clearly loathes home schooling, probably because it’s not public schooling. Therefore, in his mind, home schooling a child constitutes an abrogation of his rights.

  29. To the extent that I can decipher what Yglesias is saying, he appears to be arguing that homeschooling has a negative impact on the liberty of children because it subjects them to the preferences of their parents, and public schooling “liberates” them from those preferences.

    Because naturally it goes without saying to Yglesias that being subjected to a private preference is oppression, and being subjected to a state preference is liberation. Because, you know, democracy.

    1. Hey guys… I just figured something out…

      Tony is Matt Yglesias.

      1. It’s all so clear now…

    2. It’s probably just false consciousness or Stockholm Syndrome or something, but my kids don’t think being stuck in class until 3:00 having everything repeated for the slow kids, when they could be swimming, at a movie, at the mall, reading something they chose, or just kicking back and watching Dr. Who is “liberating.”

      1. but my kids don’t think being stuck in class until 3:00 having everything repeated for the slow kids, when they could be swimming,…

        Who the hell do your kids think they are? Do they think they’re better than the other kids? Huh?

      2. NEM, that sounds like my kids, including the watching Dr. Who part.

  30. BTW, shocking admission:

    Until this thread I thought “sadbeard” was Krugman.

    Now I think I have it straight:

    sadbeard = Yglesias
    Krugabe = Krugman
    “That dumb cunt standing in the way of the TV” = Marcotte

    1. Krugabe is also known as Little Pauli Krugnuts.

      1. Also Kruggymandias.

    2. do they all have beards?

      1. *insert merkin joke here*

    3. The FUNNIEST WOman in Da WORld = Lindy West.

  31. I was going to dissect this turd scientifically, but the stench is overwhelming. This is as far as I got:

    Some of the problem here arise from arbitrary weighting of different categories in order to simultaneously preserve libertarianism as a distinct brand and also preserve libertarianism’s strong alliance with social conservatism.

    Strong alliance with social conservatism? You mean complete rejection of social conservatism? That was a typo right, Matt? Right???

    1. Libertarians don’t put qualifiers in our beliefs if an ideological enemy benefits from the freedom we advocate, in this case determining your own child’s education, so therefore that makes us allies to the SoCons. If we were true Blue Team members, like the proglodytes we would go out, of our way to stick it to the SoCons even if that means diminishing the quality of educational choices for our own children.

      1. Shift that final ‘,’ four words over to the left.

        1. See some of shriek’s posts for confirmation of this. If you do not eliminate or restrict all religious beliefs then you oppose liberty because he hates ’em, and stuff.

          He is a Libertarian, who hates Liberty with which he disagrees.

      2. In notvso much there willingness to diminish the quality of their kids educations (the ones in power send their kids to private school). Its about making sure the plebs kids get tge proper indoctrination which is the true goal. I know you were just using this as an example but wanted to comment on that anyways. They’ve recognized that no one is going to reach insane conclusions about how we should be governed without a massive brainwashing.

    2. strong alliance with social conservatism.

      You just have to laugh. How can anyone be that stupid and that misinformed? Did Sad Beard miss people like Santorum and Frum ranting about the libertarian menace?

      1. Disinformation campaign. As PB/Shreekie will tell anyone, we’re all closeted Old Believer Christian Republicans ’round here.

    3. I had my own criticism of the index yesterday, but how in the world he can think social conservatism is a priority when they’re giving major points for having legal SSM is beyond me.

      1. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt!

  32. From the Bloomberg link:

    Interestingly, the bottom two?California and New York?are two of the places I think I’d most enjoy living.

    And that’s all you need to read of it.

    1. I’ll give him California. The weather, landscape, chill attitude, medical marijuana, and chicks are all top notch. I don’t know what you’d have to be smoking to want to live in New York.

      1. Isn’t Yglesias gay? If you are gay, I could see maybe wanting to live in NYC or California because the scene is better there.

        1. Isn’t Yglesias gay?

          He seems to think he is not.

          I outlined this very same critique [Brokeback Mountain needed more hot gay sex] back in March 2006 and I stand by both it and my heterosexual status.

          1. What a sad confused little man.

        2. Her says he is straight.

          1. So he is not out of the closet. Oh well, his life.

        3. You’re thinking of the other balding bearded Obama fellator, Mr Sullivan.

          1. And frankly Yglesias sets off my gaydar even more than Sullivan does.

      2. Upstate NY is the most beautiful part of the country IMHO.

        A lot of people enjoy the hyper-compact city lifestyle that one can have in NYC and basically nowhere else in the US.

        1. Upstate NY is the most beautiful part of the country IMHO.

          Maybe 4 months out of the year. The rest of the time it’s frozen.

    2. There are good reasons IMO why one would want to live in CA or NY (especially if you have certain personal lifestyle preferences). None of those reasons involve the quality of governance

      1. Or liberty. Those places are wonderful in spite of their oppressive governments, not because of them.

        1. “Or liberty.”

          More or less what I meant. If it wasn’t for all the benefits of living here that have absolutely nothing to do with the government, I would be out of here in a heartbeat after graduating from college. The mere fact that I’m willing to consider moving says a lot

        2. I think it tends to go like this in order of appearance.

          1. Nice place
          2. Good for business
          3. Lots of money
          4. Large population
          5. Lots of government

          But I tend to see people argue the opposite as if lots of government gave the place a large population, lots of money, and made it so nice.

        3. In a matter of great irony, California has some of the greatest hunting opportunities outside of the Rocky MTN states. The reason is the great habitat supports lots of quality game and the large liberal population makes for much less competition for good hunts than in most western states.

  33. The best explanation for Yglesias’ behavior is that his paycheck depends him appealing to vast groups of people who are liberal. The progressive turn of the party is something he’s got to keep up with.

    It’s a business model.

  34. Didn’t he use to be a regular Reason contributor?

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