Podcasts

How To Navigate Through Virtue Signaling and Disinformation

Also: Should D.C. be a state?

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On this Monday's Reason Roundtable, Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Nick Gillespie compare standings on masks and D.C. statehood.

Discussed in the show:

1:24: Coronavirus check-in. Do we need to wear masks outside? Are we just doing this because everyone else is?

20:31: Weekly Listener Question: The rash of dangerous disinformation regarding all things related to the pandemic is making me waver on my maximalist commitment to free speech and to think that maybe we should censor just a few of the most dangerous voices. Please tell me where I'm wrong in thinking about this.

28:56: D.C. statehood: retrocession into MD, or stick to the status quo?

41:57: Biden's first 100 days.

51:12: Media recommendations for the week.

This weeks links:

Send your questions to roundtable@reason.com. Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

Today's sponsors:

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.
Assistant production by Regan Taylor.
Music: "Angeline," by The Brothers Steve.


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  1. Also: Should D.C. be a state?

    No. It should be its own country, with no diplomatic relations with the United States.

    1. D.C. should be retroceded to Maryland. Baltimore will be happy to have another city in the state with more crime and institutional corruption.

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      3. Virginia, General. Don’t forget Virginia.

  2. Welch is an expert in virtue signaling

    1. No, he’s obvious and lame.

  3. Biden is a reanimated corpse. Valerie Jared is his puppet master guiding him to sign EO after EO in exchange for a cookie, nap time and a young girl to sniff.

    1. Is Dr Dementia the most cronyism Prez since….who? LBJ? FDR?

  4. I think DC should have a wall so wakanda can happen.

    1. New nuclear test zone.

  5. “The rash of dangerous disinformation regarding all things related to the pandemic is making me waver on my maximalist commitment to free speech and to think that maybe we should censor just a few of the most dangerous voices. Please tell me where I’m wrong in thinking about this.”

    Who decides what are “the most dangerous voices“? Congress? The media? Social media? The Truth Czar?

    1. Maxine Waters should be the speech czar.

    2. I’m guessing he doesn’t mean the CDC telling people to do a bunch of things that weaken their immune systems, and then walk around with petri dishes strapped to their faces.

  6. If they cared about DC residents getting representation they would make residential areas part of MD or VA. Or start with Puerto Rico first. So that claim by the leftists was BS from the start.

    Fuck it, I’m going back to 48 stars.

  7. Reason editors would be terrible navigators.

  8. “How To Navigate Through Virtue Signaling and Disinformation”

    Skip Reason articles and go straight to the comments.

    1. There are articles in this chat room?!

  9. Also: Should D.C. be a state?

    No, it’s explicitly prohibited.

    1. So is “infringement”.

  10. Confirmed Reason Roundtable podcasters are giant p*ssies. Why would a libertarian with a brain where a mask outdoors? I haven’t worn a mask outdoors ever, because I’m not an idiot. If you’re worried about provoking an idiot, than you need to grow a pair and stand up for ScIeNcE.

    I’m in a big city, but Texas, so I’ve been mask free for a while now indoors and nobody says anything. It’s liberating, you should try it Nick! I get some looks in the grocery or in the elevator at times, but some people just take longer to readjust to regular life.

  11. Come on, people, we already have a 49-star flag design. It was in effect from 1959-1960.

  12. As long as the 23rd Amendment is still in force, there should be no change of any kind in the status of DC.

    1. It should take an amendment to add a state, any state.

  13. Faucian Bargain: The Most Powerful and Dangerous Bureaucrat in American History”

  14. “Weekly Listener Question: The rash of dangerous disinformation regarding all things related to the pandemic is making me waver on my maximalist commitment to free speech and to think that maybe we should censor just a few of the most dangerous voices. Please tell me where I’m wrong in thinking about this.”

    Fuck you.

    There are other legitimate answers, but that one is the most appropriate.

    A longer answer might have it that the First Amendment doesn’t only protect smart speech any more than the First Amendment only protects smart religions.

    Other people’s rights don’t exist for your benefit. If what they want to say isn’t in your best interests, that’s a good thing–because if our rights were only respected when what we were doing was in everyone else’s best interests, we’d live in a communist country.

    That idea is what authoritarian socialism is all about.

    P.S. Fuck you!

      1. It has his spirit, but I’m thinking it was actually ENB.

    1. “Other people’s rights don’t exist for your benefit. If what they want to say isn’t in your best interests, that’s a good thing–because if our rights were only respected when what we were doing was in everyone else’s best interests, we’d live in a communist country.”

      Very well said; I’m hanging on to this, thank you.

      PS: I take back my comparison of you to Cliff Clavin last week.

  15. Wow. What a terrible roundtable.

    The DC conversation was particularly vacuous and dishonest. No discussion of the point of DC. No discussion of the constitutionality of such proposals (yes, it is specifically mentioned in the constitution)… And perhaps worst of all, the complete dismissal of the only historically and legally viable solution on the basis of “I personally don’t like Maryland”, which came of more as a contrivance to avoid actually dealing with any of the relevant issues than an actual motivation.

    I don’t know how Nick puts up with the cringeworthy levels of “both sides” being spewed forth by his compatriots, especially on issues that are quite distinctly not “both sides” issues.

    You guys have just flat lost it. You have to forge your ideas in a crucible, not coddle them in a warm blanket. Nobody at reason seems to be doing anything beyond avoiding offending each other. Several attempts at making an argument were feckless and unsupported, but nobody bothered to eviscerate the malformed intellectual children. Come on guys, pick up your game!

    1. The problem is they are all bloviators with no experience outside of bloviating:
      (1) Matt Welch does not appear to have finished college (per Wikipedia) and his Reason bio only lists bloviating work.
      (2) Katherine Mangu-Ward managed to earn undergrad degrees in philosophy and political science and only lists a career in bloviating – appropriate for someone with those credentials.
      (3) Peter Suderman has no listed degrees and only lists jobs in bloviating.
      (4) Nick Gillespie managed to earn undergrad degrees in English and Psychology, a Masters in English and a doctorate in English Lit. Only declared work is, get ready for it: bloviating on multiple media.
      So they are all operating without any rigorous training in problem analysis and solutions – not like professional or amateur scientists and engineers who learn the follies of bad thinking at the hands of the implacable laws of the universe.
      Call me spoiled, but my favorite libertarian bloviator of all time was Robert Heinlein. He earned an undergraduate degree in engineering and served in the Navy. Got involved in politics. Tried his hand at silver mining (like my other favorite bloviator Samuel Clemens.) Only got into bloviating later in life – and was (IMHO) entertaining and instructive. All that real-world experience made a difference.

  16. The Federal District should be moved to the center of the country, preferably a muddy cornfield. The Congress should meet in a big tent. Washington should be left to molder like ancient Rome, someplace for tourists to gape at the ruins.
    Better yet the Congress should meet in a big tent but forced to move to another state after each session, like the circus. The President can live in the White RV.

    1. The traveling tent/Circus is a great idea. We can liken it to the holy rollers since the woke has essentially established its own religion now as well. Congress already speaks in tongues. Can we add the rattlesnakes as part of the Speaker of the House requirements? He/She confers with the snake and lives – the term continues.

      1. Have some compassion! That would be cruelty to snakes to let Nancy Bugliosi play with them!

    2. I am even meaner than that.
      Congress should be part time, with only two staff per member.
      In January and February they should meet in an unheated barn in Topeka Kansas, and in July and August they should meet in a metal Quonset hut in Big Bend Texas.

      1. I’ll see you and raise you! Don’t detund the police! Defund the Congress and the Legislatures! After all, they make the senseless “victimless crime” laws that police enforce.

    3. All excellent ideas, and I honestly think we are heading in that direction. Perhaps as soon as enough States take action to nullify any and all unconstitutional laws, regulations, and provisions, it will increasingly cease to matter as much. We need to take back everything we have lost of the past century.

    4. Can they have bearded ladies and hook-armed ride conductors as well? No travelling fair is complete without them!

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  18. “I have crazy views,” said KMW. True!

    Seriously, she has taken entirely the wrong view on the topic of DC statehood. It’s not an accident that is not a state.

    What was the argument for DC being a unique federal city outside of any state? There were two – one of course is that the Federal government needed sovereign control over it’s environment. Is Maryland or VA going to set the rules or the laws that govern the city? No, which is why retrocession is absurd.

    But there was a second factor which still applies and to which ANY good libertarian should be sensitive: government IS a special interest that inevitably votes for itself; and the larger the government it becomes the more votes it gets for itself. And since it is actually impossible on policy grounds to convince DC denizens that what is needed is much less government spending and many fewer people buying large homes in close-in suburbs.

    In fact the retrocession to northern VA is the problem, as it has offered lots of government derps to live near the district and still vote. Consider what VA politics would look like if we restored DC’s original boundaries.

    Probably we should recognize that Washington drew the district too small (though it wasn’t obvious until the 1940s). We should probably enlarge it to a size that makes it impractical for government employees to commute.

    We should also consider a major change to citing of the various federal departments. We should consider redistributing these jobs to places that would expose more federal employees to normal Americans – say, Wheeler West Virginia, or where have you, which might help them to have more sympathy and understanding and thoughtfulness when constructing policy.

  19. You talked about aquariums and said you didn’t think there were any that weren’t publicly funded. You’re forgetting the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. The principal part of its funding came from David Packard (co-founder of HP) and the Packard foundation. I’m sure they’ve accepted public money since they were built in 1984, but the construction funding was private, and visitor fees fund the majority of their operations. It’s a really nice aquarium, with a 28-foot tall live kelp forest, and lots of fascinating exhibits.

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