Matt Welch on Social Media Outrage-Swarms, License-Plate Free Speech, Automated Airplanes, and Crony Whiskey Capitalism

Watch thee some Cocktail Chatter


This afternoon I appeared on HuffPost Live's Cocktail Chatter program with host Josh Zepps and co-panelists Imara Jones and Jennifer Brown to talk about everything in the headline and more:

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  1. “Watch thee some Cocktail Chatter”

    Kiss mine posterior

    1. It’s cocktails all the way down.


  2. it looks like matt got a haircut between yesterday and today

    what. i can’t help it.

    the black/grey looks better than usual. the haircut ties it all together.

    1. Even between today and today….

      Black/grey was always unfairly maligned, IMO.

      1. Can anything in your outfit be described with the adjective “tactical”?

        If not, “black” is how you misspell “navy”.

      2. The Pleasantville” wasn’t maligned as much as it was given poor-marks as “Host”-attire. too hip for Fox.

        as Guest, there’s naturally a wider style-latitude

  3. As a matter of etiquette….

    can you just down the cocktail, then yell at the producer to bring you a man’s drink and be quick about it? (you’d tip him of course…i mean, we’re not savages)

    I think that’s something i’d have to ask mcInnes, because i’m pretty sure he probably tried it already.

  4. No way Mr Welch would be allowed on that show if Reason had come out for freedom of association over the past few days.

    1. …..

      aren’t you just saying, “COSMOTARIAN!” in so many words?

      technically, i think most of the posts about the RFRA probably included some gestures towards ‘free association’ without necessarily mentioning it by name (which i think a lot of people translate to “Racism”)….

      …though i generally agree with your comment. as noted earlier today, when The Atlantic comes out with the stronger case against the mass-freak-out over Indiana?…. you’re not really scoring a lot of Libertarian-credibility points.

      1. They’re treating freedom of association like the creepy uncle you wish you didn’t have to invite, so you seat him at the back of the church for the wedding, hoping none of the important people up front will notice the smell.

        1. “They’re treating freedom of association like the creepy uncle you wish you didn’t have to invite…. “

          harsh, but accurate.

      2. Or, alternatively, they fault the RFRA for protecting only some freedom of association, not all of it like a libertarian dictator would. The fact that rolling back all anti-discrim laws is politically impossible (indeed politically SUICIDAL) never seems to be discussed.

      3. Nick and Robbie have clearly retreated from the “free association” position. It definitely seems like a hard left away from past editorial opinion, and not just in tone.

        1. Judging by my google news feed, the battle has already been lost, the opponents have successfully reconstructed the law as an anti-gay law, much as the 1st amendment is I suppose a Nazi law since it permits be people to say Nazi things with impunity. In any event, despite the undeniable hypocrisy of the whole opposition, I think they’ve won it already; it’s gay-hating fundamentalist bigots vs. progressive altruists, and those are your choices. The idea of freedom of association as a simple civil libertarian principle, a ‘though I disagree with what you say (or do) I’ll defend to the death your right to say (or do) it” type of situation, seems to have garnered little traction. I expect a repeal forthwith and all bills like it in other states to fall flat from here on out.

          1. The great thing about this situation is that out-of-state opinion trumps the democratic decision of elected representatives. No longer do hypersensitive malcontents need SCOTUS when they can accomplish much the same results through Twitter.

  5. Matt scores a point by being the first person to curse on the segment.

    1. He cursed? At what time in the video?

      1. right after the man-woman….uhm…. @ 5:44 or so.

        1. Just what the fuck is an Imara Jones???

          1. I’m not qualified.

            a brief google has yielded indicators that are equally…. contradictory

            – firstly, that Imara has a Masters in Economics from the LSE

            – and wrote this… smorgasbord of insight, including

            “America has the lowest tax rates of any developed country on the planet(1) and the rich have a greater share of national wealth than at any point in our history(2). But poverty is stuck at a decades-high level(3), black and Latino wealth is the lowest ever recorded(4), and America remains flat on its back after the worst economic downturn in almost a hundred years(5).”

            1 – the US ranks 32nd out of 34 OECD tax rates. “higher than everyone except France, Portugal”
            2 – It was higher in the 1920s-so what? income is not ‘national wealth’.
            3 – its been between 10-13% since the 1970s.. half what it was before WWII – and they keep redefining the number to *keep it high*.
            4 – when did census ever accurately capture real-income of minorities? And the data does not show “lowest ever” – but negative growth under Obama, certainly
            5 – since you’ve gotten this far, why not cap it with a whopper?

            I really do believe that Universities should retain the right to repeal degrees, and exercise the right often.

            1. I don’t suppose she… um, it, even attempted to cite any of it’s ‘points?’ It’s times like this I realize my education was far too ethical and responsible for these times we live in. I cannot comprehend how a person who writes in the public domain for a living can write things that aren’t remotely self-evident and never cite them, and get paid to do it.

              1. I didn’t even bother to note that the entire focus of her litany of Un-facts? was to bemoan the 2013 SEQUESTER OF DOOM THAT WILL DESTROY AMERICA*

                (*if you missed it, well, let me assure you = it was horrible)

                it involved ayn rand, naturally. and ‘secretive billionaires’ (wink to fellow koch-bots)… who have “‘championed an end to the education, health, transportation and housing programs that have made America more economically fair.””

                never mind that one could easily argue – with ACTUAL facts! – that the government role in education, health, transportation, and housing since the 1970s have actually caused significant economic damage to the ‘poorest’ – and woefully stymied their improvement, rather than contributed anything of value.

      2. He also drops a bomb @ 15:50 or so. Still uncontested by anyone else. I think if he hits 3 it starts to count against him.

        1. This is what happens after you do 90 minutes w/ Gavin….

          1. You haven’t started talking about transsexuals or demeaning the fine people of Mexico yet, so you’re nothing like Gavin.

          2. Matt Welch, if you are reading this right now, I want you to know I dream of you. Sometimes, I sit alone in my bathroom with the lights off and pretend to be you. I say things like “Hey guys, how’s it going?”, “Tonight on the Independents”, and “I am editor in chief of Reason magazine and co-author with Nick Gillespie of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong With America.” And for a brief moment, I feel you inside my body.

            This is for your sake, Matt. I Hope you rest In pepperoni

            I cry every time.

            1. How did Agile take over your handle?

              1. I don’t think so.

                Let me show you my ID.

                1. I’m sorry I doubted you.

              2. yeah, that’s not HM

                1. I take it back

              3. AC! HM is stealing from your stash, quick release the ferrets!

            2. I’m sure I’ll figure it out next year.

            3. Matt Welch, you cheeky scrublord. It’s happening. I could have saved you. I tried to warn you but you looked away. You could have prevented this. You made your bed.

              Now, lie in it.

              1. The best guess is that Mary has taken up alcohol, and they interact poorly with the Zoloft/Zyprexa

            4. I cry every time.

              You misspelled cri evry tiem.

              1. Not misspelled…translated.

            5. This is for your sake, Matt. I Hope you rest In pepperoni

              I cry every time.

              This is what happens when you break the fourth wall, Matt.

  6. We need a million ways to jet to all those other fucking places

    Just know that I need to get off this shit round globes…

    I just want to fuckin smoke weed on the green planet and draw the deepest line of comet dust on Saturn… I feel like peyote is best smoked on a comet captured from those fucking spaceships

  7. So an Englishman, a black guy, a lesbian and a cosmotarian appear on a talk show…

    1. And drink cocktails

      1. …and the frog says, “doctor, can you remove this wart from my ass?”

        1. …”last week, there was a guy doing it with a duck!”

          1. “You don’t think I asked for a twelve-inch pianist, do you?”

            1. How many scientologists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

              [answer omitted on advice of counsel]

              1. …and that’s how copper wire was invented!

                1. …it depends on how thin you slice them!

                  1. …and the farmer says, “well, the third knothole was attached to my milking machine!”

                    1. …”A pig like that, you don’t eat all at once!”

                    2. Think of all the useful information I could store in the parts of my brains where I keep those punch lines. Sad…

              2. …and one to hold the penis.

  8. I think matt makes excellent point re: Scientology – “”the homegrown religion that was so embarrassing that even Americans are leery of it””

    to be fair – all religions are pretty kookysauce. (zepps dings catholicism). it takes some stomach to get past that stuff to the ‘meta’ values which are more interesting.

    1. I’ve always considered Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, whatever) to be the One True Weird Embarrassing American Religion.

      1. Except Mormonism is hilarious and modern Mormonism is nowhere near as sinister as Scientology.

        Historical Mormonism was legitimately nuts, though.

        1. And believing in an invisible man, who lives in the sky, who can do magic, is rational?

          1. And believing in an invisible man, who lives in the sky, who can do magic, is rational?

            No, but some level of deism can be rational. Accepting both the power and the limits of human knowledge, one can arrive at a necessary being, an eternal element of the universe that can be considered God-like, without attributing the Western personification of will or benevolence upon it.

            1. Exactly, so brainwashed with dogma that most cannot see that all of creation starts on a subatomic level with the same basic particles passing through a field which imparts mass, vibration, and a period in time which it exists, would not the Higgs-Boson be the actual concept of god as the creator of the universe rather than a benevolent higher dimensional being placing order onto the entropy of the universe?
              Sky-daddy theory of god is silly, but equally silly is to say there is no creation in the universe when we have observed it at the sub-atomic level.

          2. Then some guy was scribbling on a potsherd and he drew a man with a cow’s head and his comrade said well then, how about that. And he said, “Why don’t we make a god out of it? We could call it… ‘Iahveh’.”

            There was a pause and he gin to doubt himself, but then here it comes and his mate says, with feeling, ‘Ay. That’s a good idea!’ You don’t want to know what they did next.

        2. Scientologists are still fairly minor culturally and historically speaking though. Mormonism at least created a state and a lot of firearms. It’s way more relevant and influential in American culture that scientology is (admittedly outside of L.A.).

          Mormonism indeed hilarious though. My favourite parts are probably the underwear and God changing his mind about black people in 1978.

          1. My favorite part is the North American prehistory.

          2. It’s way more relevant and influential in American culture that scientology is (admittedly outside of L.A.).

            I have a friend who’s marrying a Scientologist, although her beliefs have never really come up in conversation. Is it possible to be a lay-scientologist?

            1. Is your friend a man or a woman? It’s not clear whose beliefs haven’t come up in conversation.

              1. The friend getting married is a man, the wife to be is a scientologist

          3. Scientologists committed the largest infiltration of the US government in history.

            1. A much better strategy than “ballot access”

      2. I grew up with 3 mormon families in my high school. there were – no joke – like 20+ kids between them.

        they were without exception =

        – all good looking (if in a sort of bland way)
        – all fantastic athletes
        – probably the most ‘well-adjusted’ people i’ve ever met

        (*while i don’t think it works for everyone, having *lots* of brothers and sisters means that they don’t suffer from as many social anxieties and don’t always worry what their parents think)

        I asked one of them about the church once, and he gave me what seemed a very-canned “here’s what you tell outsiders about the church”-description. being “catholic” (*atheist by 10) myself i felt i was in no position to judge whatever other people’s parents dragged them off to. (i.e. ‘everyone’s god is more or less the same, the rituals are different’). I had to credit them for *consistency* though, because they were all bullet-proof. not one cursed, smoked, drank or had sex… during high school at least.

        have no idea what happened to any of them. Will have to check now.

        1. Hell, I’m with the South Park guys on this one. The few Mormons I’ve met are probably some of the nicest, most polite people I’ve ever met. But a lot of Mormonism’s dogma is just really, hilariously weird (and very, very American). I mean, Joseph Smith (or it might have been Brigham Young, can’t remember) talked about the possibility of aliens on the moon. Admittedly some of this is the product of being a ‘recent religion’ rather than an ‘ancient’ one, with a lot of claims that are easy to disprove.

          1. Young and Smith were also both insane.

            Well, Young was insane. Smith was a con artist.

            Brigham Young also may have ordered the murder of a shitload of people, although most of that still hasn’t been proven.

          2. The most interesting and wonderful thing about that episode is that they spend most of it slagging the Mormons beliefs, and at the end use it as a total misdirection when they have the Mormon kid put the group in its place for doing the exact same thing that Parker and Stone were doing in the episode–“I know you think my religion is weird, but I never tried to push it on you. I just wanted to be friends, but you couldn’t look past my beliefs. So fuck you guys.”

            They made a great point that, no matter how kooky you think someone’s beliefs might be, you may be missing out on having some otherwise great people in your life when you use those beliefs to justify your own bigotry.

        2. One of my friends in high school was Mormon. Dude drunk like a Russian, did every drug he could get his hands on, got busted for selling oregano that he claimed was pot to some younger kids, all kinds of stupid shit. His next oldest brother (there were 7 kids – 6 boys and 1 girl, and he was the youngest boy) was a legitimately unpleasant redneck asshole.

          Rest of the family was pretty well adjusted, though. Mostly.

          Oh, we had plenty of the “South Park” Mormon types in town, but they aren’t all that way.

        3. The religious Mormons I’ve come across have all been as Gilmore described, but I’ve come across my fair share of fallen Mormons as well. Apparently the original Mormon diaspora, small and largely inbred for a few generations as it is, has a higher genetic predisposition towards alcoholism. May have even contributed to the puritanical temperance of the faith.

          1. I flew for SkyWest out of Salt Lake. You’d bid a trip and fly with the same crew for a month. On the first flight the flight attendant asks the captain, with the intention of determining if there will be boozing on the layovers, “Are you an LDSer?”

            Without missing a beat, he looks at her and says, “Recovering.”

            Good trip.

        4. I asked one of them about the church once, and he gave me what seemed a very-canned “here’s what you tell outsiders about the church”-description.

          My brother dated the daughter of the local ward’s bishop and attended their services. They were more like proselytizing training sessions than prayer sessions.

        5. Mormonism and scientology are things I’m content to ignore entirely, except that they keep getting brought up in forced conversation by militant atheists I work with. It amazes me how such people can be more obsessed with the groups they despise than the groups themselves are. The fact that Mormons seem much more willing to live with my utter indifference about Mormonism than anti-Mormons is enough to induce me to side with the Mormons in that dispute in a heartbeat.

          1. F u want something that exemplifies a totally insane and stupid religion, why look further than Islam? For that matter, as the biggest trip on the planet, it’d seem a better anchor for thah Atheists to make their claims than lesser screwballs like the mormonites or the skientologs.

      3. Hey, Mormons can be pretty cool. The drummer in a band I used to be in was Mormon, and we always had somebody sober to drive.

        1. In the military i worked with 2 mormons, one was a magic underwear wearing anti-coffee, anti-porn champion of the dull and mundane, that guy was not an asshole
          the other “mormon” i worked with was vehement about his faith but never practiced a single tennet of it, like so long as hes mormon hes in the clear with anything he does but youre a vile sinner if you do it.
          Mr. Magic-underwear watched Orgasmo and laughed his fucking ass off.
          Mr. Pretend-mormon filed a religious bigotry complaint against me for playing Orgasmo on the ships movie system.

  9. Wow, an English atheist, how transgressive!

  10. Ya know what they call socially conservative libertarians?


  11. Ugh! Comedians can’t offend…

    I miss Sam.

  12. Josh Zepps, sounds libertarianish. How is that possible at HuffPost?

  13. Odd that no one mentioned the Mississippi state flag.

    1. Someone stole it again?

  14. GILMORE,
    I replied elsewhere, but note that I updated greasonable to allow you to not show the clear and reset buttons. If you don’t click that link, note I still find those buttons useful.

    1. Thanks!

      i figured you catch that. Its like i just wish out loud…and you appear…..

  15. WELCH

    If you’re still here and haven’t been scared off by the Heroic Mulatto impostor, you need to have Soave write about this shit tomorrow:

    Officials at North Carolina State University are encouraging students to start censoring the school’s “Free Expression Tunnel” by purging it of speech that constitutes “social injustice,” reports Campus Reform.


    Now, however, director of student involvement Eileen Coombes wants to make it clear that “anything” shouldn’t be taken literally. The school, she said in an email to student group leaders, is launching a new “State Not Hate” campaign to help students cover up speech they consider icky. The campaign will supply students with stencils in order to make it easier for them to cover up objectionable content.

    “If you see hate speech or offensive language in the Free Expression Tunnel, cover that speech with the stencil, indicating that you, as a member of this community of scholars, will not stand for any form of hate at NC State,” said Coombes.

    I don’t know what’s the worst part – the fact that a ‘free expression tunnel’ exists, or that they’ve begun to actually censor the free expression tunnel.

    1. Heroic Mulatto impostor

      What, I’m not allow to have different sides to my personality?

    2. Having official, school-supplied censorship stencils is a particularly nice touch.

      1. I think the “Dowdyness of Evil” might have been equally apropos

        1. Our definition of diversity and student inclusiveness is our board entirely made up of single-point-of-view lesbians.”

    3. Not sure I understand this. The tunnel was constantly being repainted by new “expressors”, so if painting over someone else’s expression is “censorship”, that tunnel has been censored every time someone paints something new.

      1. Except now the administration is urging people to censor speech they don’t like, instead of just letting nature take its course. Doesn’t that seem different to you?

    4. From the link DC links to:

      “At the end of the day, we want our students to feel empowered to set the standard for our Wolfpack community and the stencil is just another method we’ve provided to combat speech with another form of expression,” Coombes told Campus Reform in an email.

      Creepy wording of course, but I have to agree. Freedom of speech does not imply the right to an audience. Why should people who disagree with expression be prohibited from expressing their disagreement?

    5. The worst part is Soave is now cool with Social Justice Warfare so long as it doesn’t involve actual violence. Purging “social injustice” through theft or vandalism would pass his “non-aggression” test.
      (based on his 4/1/15 post)

    6. “The campaign will supply students with stencils in order to make it easier for them to cover up objectionable content.”


      in case you can’t think of anything, we will provide templated “thinking solutions”

  16. Headline I did not expect to See Today.

    How glow-in-the-dark tampons can fight pollution

    1. Moot. My tampons already glow in the dark after I use them. I guess I should probably avoid that Taco Bell next to the nuclear power plant for a little while. You might say I should also stop sticking tampons up my ass, but believe me it really helps with the leakage.

      1. Only if they’re agitated.

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  18. If there was a transcript I would check it out

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