Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Big headline at libertarian mothership Reason:
New Teaser Trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Shows Why Big Government Is Scary
Regular readers will recall that top libertarians like Nick Gillespie, Glenn Reynolds and Ross Douthat consider the Hunger Games franchise a metaphor for real-life Washington D.C., because Emperor Obama draws the noble children of the Red States (miserable and starving, despite the heavy subsidies they receive from Blue States) to fight for his entertainment. This, rest assured, is more of the same.
The newly released teaser trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 will remind everyone why no other recent pop culture phenomenon is as strikingly libertarian.
Except for the Atlas Shrugged trilogy. Wonder why they're not talking about that? Maybe because libertarianism is not so much an inspirational as a parasitic phenomenon -- its acolytes find popular movies in which authority is challenged, and storm the premiere crying RON PAUL!

Another big headline, for a video credited to Nick Gillespie and Amanda Winkler:
'America Has Ceased to Exist': Investment Guru Doug Casey on the Coming Economic Meltdown
I will confess that I did not listen closely to the entire 15-minute video, having heard enough Glenn Beck Goldline ads, and the sort of America-is-Doomed-Buy-My-Video-and-Day-of-Resistance-Silver-Coin gibberings that support the smaller rightblogger sites, to know what I was in for. Sure enough, Gillespie introduces a Seer, Doug Casey, and tells us "unfunded liabilities, excessive government spending are basically bringing the U.S. to the brink of some kind of economic catastrophe" and the Seer himself tells us that "The U.S. has been going downhill in all important regards for many years...
I'm not saying that what happened in Yugoslavia is gonna happen in the U.S., but then again, on the other hand, increasingly the U.S. is sectionalizing -- where people that live in ecotopia in the Pacific Northwest don't have an awful lot in common with the people in Southern Florida. So I think centripetal force is overtaking the U.S...
Helter skelter, she's coming down fast! Gillespie is game: "So I guess the term is called Balkanization for a reason, right?" The Seer says that's cool because what he wants is "seven billion little nation-states... if the U.S. broke up into six, more or less, that would be a good thing." Just like what those libertarian geniuses want for California, only global! Out of the one, many -- just like the Founders intended! The solution is to buy libertarianism now! Operators standing by day and night!

One more headline:
The Populist Uprising Against Common Core Is Libertarian and It’s Winning
Libertarian? But I'm no libertarian and I don't like Common Core -- in fact, Diane Ravitch is pretty much the polar opposite of a libertarian and she doesn't like it. But look -- when you're peddling Randroid ravings no sane person could support, and doing such a bad job of it that you're reduced to claiming yourself a victim of censorship because a college refused to take your donation, you have to appropriate victories wherever you can -- and besides, the Central Committee rejected your original "choc-o-muts ice cream is libertarian" proposal. So: Common Core, amirite? In a really free society most of you peons wouldn't need to know how to read and write!

I'm wondering how long it'll take before the Kochs decide this is a waste of their money and opt to just offer to pay our student loan debt if we become their slaves.

UPDATE. Some commenters tip us to the longevity of Seer Casey's racket -- smut clyde:
OK. So it turns out that Casey's exclusive interview with Gillespie is a reprise of an interview he gave elsewhere in 2012, including all the same jokes, except that in 2012 Casey was celebrating the immanent disintegration of the EU whereas in the current version he has used s/EU/US (in passing, he sneers at George Soros and Warren Buffet for being mere idiots savant who know how to make a lot of money without actually understanding anything about markets).
It's a living.


  1. opt to just bribe us all to become their slaves.

    Kinda misses the point, doesn't it?

  2. AGoodQuestion11:52 PM

    "unfunded liabilities, excessive government spending are basically bringing the U.S. to the brink of some kind of economic catastrophe"
    We did get scary close to an economic catastrophe not too long ago when the blunt end of the House of Representatives held out on raising the debt limit until our credit rating was downgraded. I have a feeling that's not what the rockin' Reason rebels are talking about, though.

  3. Code Name Cain11:56 PM

    I'm not trying to be a spoiler but, as someone who read the Hunger Games trilogy, I'm afraid Gillespie is mistaken if he thinks the series will conclude with the extermination of all non-military taxes and the corpse of Ayn Rand being declared president.

  4. Common core is a government program, therefore opposition to it opposition to government! Just like Ron Paul! Libertarians live in a binary world, where everything boils down to a clash of good and evil.

  5. Spaghetti Lee12:02 AM

    I'm kind of perversely fascinated by that whole Money Morning/"End of America" banner ad stuff. It seems so hokey and so obviously a scam, even by wingnut standards (DEVASTATING NEW OBAMA LAW END OF AMERICA!!1!z0rz!) but I guess the browsers wouldn't keep taking their money if some people somewhere weren't buying into it. Operations like that are the disease-ridden bottom-feeding scum of the internet.

    Incidentally, Money Morning's slogan is "Only the News You Can Profit From" which is either a slogan from the evil TV station in Network or the Onion's new site parodying wingnut financial sites. It's like a movie theater putting "We Only Show the Dumbest, Most Derivative Crap Out There" right out front. It's just unusual to see them being so honest is all.

  6. Spaghetti Lee12:06 AM

    Also, appreciate the griftastic beauty of "some kind of economic catastrophe." Inflation, deflation, high unemployment, market crashes, speculative bubbles popping--whatever happens, Doug Casey will still be right! That's why he's a guru and you're not! Dude's clearly a pro.

  7. Spaghetti Lee12:11 AM

    My parents, both teachers, hate CC because it's one more step on the march towards making word recognition and basic arithmetic the only things kids learn at school. Also, it apparently relies heavily on computerizing everything in a way that only the richest districts (where they both teach) will be able to do. So, two good reasons not to support it, neither of them libertarian: supporting the teaching of liberal arts as a good in itself, and concern for the less fortunate falling behind.

  8. M. Krebs12:23 AM

    Seems to be a job requirement of all presidents these days: Come up with yet another way to fuck up the educational system in the name of reform.

  9. M. Krebs12:25 AM

    I'm not saying that what happened in _______ is gonna happen in ________, but then again, on the other hand, increasingly the _________ is _________ .

    Jonahnism run amuck!

  10. DocAmazing12:31 AM

    Give Soave credit for being in the same zip code as right. Much of the push against Common Core is libertarian--that is, driven by an actual desire for liberty--but not Libertarian--that is, bozo-capitalist. The Libertarians have been trying to muddy that term for forty years.

    Maybe they like the word "liberty" so much because it's on the backs of quarters.

  11. Spaghetti Lee12:45 AM

    I wonder if the fact that I cringe when I see organizations with words like freedom, liberty, and American in them and assume they're either violent loons or grifters is intentional on their part or not.

  12. How much of a profit did Reason post for 2013? Musta been at least a bajillion doge coins at least.

  13. Good call. The idea that rich people are oppressed in this country is frickin' absurd. And not only was Ayn Rand a failed Hollywood screenwriter, crappy novelist, and all-around whackjob, Friedrich Hayek was a failed economist.

    But this is what they stake their nonsense on.

    OTDOH*...We need civil libertarians now more than ever.

    * On The Dreaded Other Hand

  14. The problems with computerization are not the expense so much as how the data are used. CC being a "scientific" education system, there's a huge data component to it. Basically, the whole system assumes that teachers are incompetent to determine student skill level, so it kind of routes around them by gathering tons of information about the students. Aside from the usual concerns about privacy and security, there's also the issue over who's going to process all that data, since the school system isn't set up for it. That means private contracts. In short, Arne Duncan's big plan is to add a whole new aspect to our educational system and then privatize it.

    There's another left-of-center to hate CC - it's yet another government giveaway to private interests.

  15. I would say that is its entire purpose.

  16. Spaghetti Lee2:04 AM

    such libertarian

    very freedom


  17. A good movie scene could be made: publisher of a libertarian rag, existing primarily to glorify profit, going in front of a couple of sneering, sarcastic tycoons, pleading his umpteenth annual grant application (generous salary included) after posting yet another loss.

  18. Pope Zebbidie XIII3:08 AM

    Like the People's Republic of China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and don't forget former East Germany—the German Democratic Republic. Why is it that the least democratic countries always brandish democratic-sounding names?

    - Juliet Lapidos,


  19. smut clyde3:52 AM

    So I think centripetal force is overtaking the U.S.I know that 'definitions' are all authoritarian and such, but the guy still might want to check on the usual meaning of 'centripetal'.

  20. "Central to my point", he answered, with no observable irony.

  21. smut clyde4:05 AM

    Gillespie introduces the seer Doug CaseyI know nothing about Casey's track record -- except that he is one of these altruistic libertarians who prefers to sell his investment advice to other people rather than keeping it quiet to maximise his own profits -- but he is best buddies with convicted stock-tip fraudster Porter Stansberry.

  22. smut clyde4:25 AM

    Further inquiries reveal that Casey has been predicting a new Great Depression (and selling the secrets of how to profit from it) for the last 35 years, so he's bound to be right one of these days.

  23. Glock H. Palin, Esq.4:28 AM

    Maybe they like the word "liberty" so much because it's on the backs of quarters.

    They mostly like their liberty on the backs of the working poor.

  24. smut clyde4:49 AM

    OK. So it turns out that Casey's exclusive interview with Gillespie is a reprise of an interview he gave elsewhere in 2012, including all the same jokes, except that in 2012 Casey was celebrating the immanent disintegration of the EU whereas in the current version he has used s/EU/US (in passing, he sneers at George Soros and Warren Buffet for being mere idiots savant who know how to make a lot of money without actually understanding anything about markets).

    Anyway, that earlier interview has the same misuse of 'centripetal'. At some point in high-school, Casey was evidently told that what we call "centrifugal force" is really a "centripetal acceleration", and like many another half-educated over-corrector he has been relying on that misremembered popsci factoid to bolster his sense of superiority ever since. Not getting as far as rotating frames of reference in 2nd-year physics.

  25. montag26:32 AM

    The truly scary thing is that many people and the press still refer to Bill Gates as a philanthropist interested in "fixing" education because his foundation is paying for the production of the Common Core program, without once acknowledging that he's the chairman of the board of the largest software company in the world, and that Common Core requires some sort of computing device capable of data entry for every student in the country because all the tests are... wait for it... only given by computer.

    It's as if, speaking of education, no one has ever read the story of the Trojan Horse.

    Look far enough down the road at this one and we're in the age of education robotics, where (with enough Ritalin and Adderall) teachers are superfluous and security guards maintain order.

    I think Mike Judge needs to do a sequel to "Idiocracy."

  26. I thought the neoCons had claimed the Hunger Games? Maybe they will fight. But either way, there is a certain amount of unintended hilarity in the spectacle of people who want to increase the number of hungry, desperate people living under the boot heel of the well-heeled saying "Gee, this is all about us!" and not realizing this is a bad thing.

    But I have to wonder: Do these fuckers ever read a book? Aside from Atlas Shrugged at the Fountainhead, that is. They seem to only get excited about the movie version of popular entertainment.

  27. montag26:52 AM

    Oh, no, they'd much rather that you see those words as patriotically uplifting and cross the bridge to thinking the same is true of their policies. The last thing they want is for someone to see through the patriot carny sideshow routine. They really do want the grift to work, and the good grifter is someone so completely invested in the con that they catch themselves believing it.

    Given the origins of libertarianism (a consortium of big corporations paid Milton Friedman to come up with it out of whole cloth circa 1948 as a means of destroying popular support for the New Deal), you're safer automatically presuming violent loons and grifters.

  28. Derelict7:38 AM

    So, we'll bust America up into little fiefdoms, and then liberty and prosperity for all!

    Until the good folk of South Bamastan decide that they need to raise some revenue for some overbearing Big Brother project like, say, a road. So the South Bamastanians start charging the East Ssissippians a toll to drive to Upper Disneyia. Then both East Ssissippia and Upper Disneyia will invade South Bamastan.

    It'll be like Game of Thrones meets Hunger Games. Only with a lot fewer teeth and a lot more lice.

  29. BigHank537:38 AM

    I actual sort of admire them. Not for the shamelessness, but for the fact that they manage to make the penis enlargement scams look almost wholesome in comparison.

  30. It's how they'll spot liberals after the Glorious Uprising.

    "Hey look, he cringed during Empress Palin's rendition of the new national anthem 'Evangelical Rambo Jesus loves American Freedom & Liberty Because it Isn't Gay'. Get him!!"

    (Glorious Uprising scheduled to begin as soon as enough Brave Patriots get their doctors' permission to engage in revolutions.)

  31. It's what they'll take with anyone who can't fight back.

  32. montag27:43 AM

    Well, as I recall, centripetal force is the force generated in the restrained spinning body, while centrifugal force is the force restraining the spinning body and keeping it in orbital equilibrium. Without both forces in the equation, there's no equilibrium, centripetal force ceases to exist and becomes straight-line acceleration.

    So, exactly how does that physics analogy have any bearing whatsoever on political science? None, except that this moron is saying, "I'd like the country to fly apart." Gee, problem. Countries don't fly apart. Even Lavoisier on his way to the guillotine would not have suggested that France mimicked a Newtonian orbital body. What this idiot is doing is trying to apply a scientific term to his own wish fulfillment, which instantly makes it a pseudoscientific claim.

  33. montag27:46 AM

    Ah, going back to the last thread, it's more Goldbergistics at work.

  34. montag27:50 AM

    "(Glorious Uprising scheduled to begin as soon as enough Brave Patriots get their doctors' permission to engage in revolutions.)"

    And Medicare pays to install mortars on Hoverounds.

  35. Gates is rich, of course he gets BJs from the press, lackeys and people to whom Wealth = Good.

    If he were some schlub of a middle school teacher trying to push the NewnImproved Edumacation System for Learnomatics he developed in his garage, he might get one condescending Human Interest story and then savaged by the right wing before he was tossed back into obscurity.

  36. Derelict8:01 AM

    We do need civil libertarians now, but the Libertarians seem to be very happy with most of the intrusive government we have now. The Paultards don't like drones, but they don't seem terribly upset by warrantless wiretaps, warrantless searches, unlimited detention without charge or trial, or any of the other great "Liberty Enhancements" put in place by Bush the Dumber.

  37. montag28:09 AM

    The Paultards are also very much down with anti-abortion legislation, which is sort of the definition of intrusive government, and about as antithetical to the concept of liberty as one can get.

    But, these guys are not big on the concept of privacy, partly, I think, because so many Silicon Valley Libertarians are making a lot of money on violating it.

  38. montag28:34 AM

    I ran across this the other day:

    It's a near-perfect explication of the mindset. There's no point in reviewing all the obvious flaws in their thinking--it's the sum total of them that's staggering.

  39. JennOfArk8:37 AM

    That's my take on it too.

    At the most basic level, Common Core is just another curriculum framework, like the ones schools have had in place for the past 25 years or more. Most of the hatred/resistance to it is based on nothing deeper than Obama having said he thinks it's a good idea. So of course that means it's a UN one world government takeover of our schools and indoctrination of our youth, never mind that the Common Core framework looks almost identical to the ones most states have been using for years.

  40. I guess I see both sides. I think Common Core really does have some serious problems, and is a bad idea. At the same time, progressives need to realize that the far right doesn't oppose Common Core because it's a giveaway to private interests, or because it fails to teach critical thinking. They're against it because they think it's gonna turn their kids into gay zombies controlled by the UN, or as you said simply because Obama supports it.

  41. Bethany Spencer8:46 AM

    It's weird how conservatives took exactly the opposite message from "Hunger Games" I did. Actually, I took away 3 things:
    1.) Power corrupts
    2.) Having too much money and power concentrated in one place is bad--for everyone, eventually.
    3.) War is bad.

  42. JennOfArk8:55 AM

    Common Core isn't a bad idea at the curriculum framework level. It may have lots of goodies ladled over the top for private testing companies etc, and I would agree that some, most or perhaps all of that stuff is a bad idea. But the framework itself is nothing more than a set of standards along the lines of "all children in grade 2 will exhibit proficiency in understanding that 2 + 2 = 4." The only difference between Common Core and what came before it at this most basic level is that Common Core puts all the states that have adopted it on the same page w/r/t standards. Instead of 50 different sets of educational standards, it's one, so the child who moves from Mississippi where "all children in grade 7 will exhibit proficiency in understanding that 2 + 2 = 4," to Maryland where "all children in grade 2 will exhibit proficiency in understanding that 2 + 2 = 4" doesn't end up 5 years behind grade level.

    That's actually a good idea - not only does it make moving less disrupting to children's educational process, it also ensures employers, institutions of higher learning, etc. that the student who graduate from Bumfuck HS in Mississippi studied the same topics as the kid who graduated HS in Prince Georges Co, Maryland.

    Guess what one of the main points of attack for the teabaggers has been? That exact thing. Their argument - one of them, anyway - has been "we have a RIGHT to insure that our kids are less prepared for the future than kids in other places!!! Damn you, Obama!" And not only do they assert that they have the right to graduate morons, but of course they still have the right to that sweet, sweet federal education subsidy money, so that the members of the athletic department can be well-paid while overseeing the morons they are graduating.

  43. the corpse of Ayn Rand being declared president.

    I like to imagine Ayn Rand as a lich queen, raising an army of undead morons.

  44. montag29:06 AM

    But, in practice, it's quite different--in part due to the forced computerization of both learning and testing. In NY, they're implementing recommendations to eliminate instruction in cursive handwriting in the early grades and substituting keyboard skills. It's hard to ignore that small children's hands simply don't span even small keyboards, and completely ignores the obvious--pencils work fine without electricity.

    The other big problems are, first, that the Common Core curriculum only works with computerized testing--that means that everything is backwards--the curriculum is driven by the test manufacturers, and second, the protocol was never even peer-reviewed or tested before roll-out. States adopted it to get NCLB and RTTT funds. Third, the system as implemented is driving kids, parents and teachers nuts--the kids hate it because the instructions are at extreme variance from what they've been previously taught, the parents hate it because the homework advisories are unintelligible and teachers hate it because it's destroyed motivation to learn. Fourth, its object is not to improve education, but to convince suburban parents that their schools are just as deficient as inner-city (code for poor black) schools and is meant to induce them to accept privatization of their schools.

    Finally, it's really expensive, not just in terms of the computer equipment required, but in the charges for the tests and review software, the secondary software giving students, teachers and administrators access to grades, etc., and the IT support required. When school systems eventually begin assessing the costs compared with the grants supplied for adopting the system, they're going to discover that they're in a bigger hole than they were, and have a bigger mess, because that's what it was intended to do.

  45. redoubtagain9:33 AM

    Thanks for reminding me that they love intrusive government when they're running it.

  46. mgmonklewis9:36 AM

    I like the cut of your jib. However, I don't know what eldritch powers an Adolescent Huckster lich queen would possess. A piercing whine? Mooching Hand +3?

  47. mgmonklewis9:39 AM

    Deserves multiple upvotes for "bozo-capitalist" alone.

  48. Halloween_Jack9:41 AM

    It seemed to be asking libertarians "is this REALLY what you want? A 'dog-eat-dog' kind of world with no civil protections or respect for human rights?"

    Top on the list of questions that don't need to be asked...

  49. Halloween_Jack10:12 AM

    isn't education the process of facilitating learning, rather than obfuscating it?

    It reminds me a bit of when I was a kid in the seventies and my grade school was doing some sort of newfangled educational program--I don't remember exactly what the name was, it began with an "I", I think--and instead of, you know, just teaching us, the teachers spent a bit of time describing this sort of abstract structure of the program to us. I now believe that part of the reason for that was that they didn't really have a fucking clue themselves about what the real purpose or goals of the program was, and discussed it with tweens in the hope that one of us would be some sort of savant that could break it down for them.

  50. Halloween_Jack10:16 AM

    Given Rand's penchant for smoking, I'd say that Blowing Smoke Up Your Ass would be one: make a fortitude save of DC 25 or be nauseated for ten rounds.

  51. Halloween_Jack10:17 AM

    Based on at least one person in my Tumblr feed, their takeaway from the latest movie was "hot damn Jena Malone."

  52. gocart mozart10:26 AM

    Those aren't Hoverounds, they're Freedom Scooters.

  53. montag210:30 AM

    Experience has taught that "reform" in the post-Reagan era most often really means "deform." Of course, this is intended to validate Reagan's Principio: Government is the problem. By making problems worse, or by spending ever more money badly, Reagan is thus proved right. QED.

    The more enterprising of the Snopes in Congress and the White House have seen this as a way of privatizing everything, thus fulfilling Reagan's dream of "limited government," even as costs skyrocket because of that privatization, and education, alas, does not have any immunity from that disease.

  54. XeckyGilchrist10:35 AM

    Yup. I'm really pissed about what they've done to the perfectly good word "freedom." I realized it was on life support and needed its plug pulled 'long about the time the House passed that loathsome "Freedom Fries" resolution.

  55. XeckyGilchrist10:36 AM

    What a difference one word can make. Libertarian - Civil Libertarian; Socialst - National Socialist, etc.

  56. gocart mozart10:38 AM

    "The Seer says that's cool because what he wants is "seven billion little
    nation-states... if the U.S. broke up into six, more or less, that
    would be a good thing."

    i.e. 'All power to the Soviets."

    1. One of the popularly elected legislative assemblies that existed at local, regional, and national levels in the former Soviet Union.

  57. XeckyGilchrist10:39 AM

    It does until you realize that they'll just reestablish the debt once everyone is enslaved.

  58. XeckyGilchrist10:42 AM

    progressives are dangerously naive to associate with the far right over this issue.

    Every issue, really. But if Rand Paul says dronz are bad, go for it.

  59. mgmonklewis10:45 AM

    That sounds about right. She is a ghoul after all. Though she might also inspire nausea and/or revulsion in those who merely gaze upon her.

  60. gocart mozart10:45 AM

    Centripetal force (from Latin centrum "center" and petere "to seek"[1]) is a force that makes a body follow a curved path: its direction is always orthogonal to the velocity of the body, toward the fixed point of the instantaneous center of curvature of the path. Centripetal force is generally the cause of circular motion.

    To be fair, circular reasoning is overtaking America.

  61. dstatton10:47 AM

    And a good reason for the IRS to wonder if they qualify for tax-exempt status.

  62. gocart mozart10:48 AM

    How to get rich by selling books and tapes about how to get rich. It's the American way, Amway for short.

  63. montag211:00 AM

    Oh, I think it was perverted a long, long time ago. When I hear "freedom isn't free," the first thing that comes to mind is that, yes, it's pretty damned expensive keeping all those rich people and their money safe.

  64. montag211:08 AM

    Or, Party - Tea Party.

    Exceptionalism - American Exceptionalism.

    Hobby - Hobby Lobby.

    Shrimp - Plate of Shrimp

  65. montag211:14 AM

    Y'know, if the guy is advocating that the U.S. go bankrupt, the least he could have done was suggest it before the 2005 change in bankruptcy law.

  66. tigrismus11:20 AM

    "So I guess the term is called Balkanization for a reason, right?"

    And the name of the song is called "Haddock's Eyes."

  67. tigrismus11:21 AM

    like many another half-educated over-corrector


  68. Helmut Monotreme11:30 AM

    And her minions would be like regular zombies, but dumber.

  69. Sean Peters11:34 AM

    Lol. Beat me to the punch. Physics majors for the win!

  70. mgmonklewis11:35 AM

    Guarding a hoard of bitcoins!

  71. Sean Peters11:39 AM

    Well, that's not quite correct. Centripetal force is the force pulling a rotating body toward the center. It's provided in the form of gravity for orbiting planets and such, and in the form of string tension when you spin a ball on a string. Centrifugal ("flight from the center") force, is, strictly speaking, not a force at all. There is a such thing as centrifugal acceleration, and from that one can come up with a number with the dimensions of force, but it's really an artifact of rotation. There's nothing actually "pulling" planets away from the sun, as an example.

  72. mortimer200011:39 AM

    I was a teacher decades ago for a short time. I saw good and bad teachers, mostly good, but back then I thought the worst people on earth were professional educationists -- theoreticians and academics for whom classrooms were foreign countries or abstract scientific concepts who were being hired by Boards of Education to administrate. Like most such bureaucrats, they could only justify their existence by 1. criticizing the status quo, and 2. creating "innovative programs" to scientifically address all the problems they discovered in step 1. Sure, some of this was called for and might have even helped, but IMO most of it was unnecessary, if not outright destructive, and even more problematical is that the process was impossible to stop and has just kept metastasizing since. Teachers I know who've stuck it out all these years -- who used to love teaching and were good at it -- are miserable and can't wait to retire early. Admittedly, this is all anecdotal, but Common Core sounds like more of the same with a bigger profit motive. And that doesn't sound like improvement to me, at least in any non-McArdle way.

  73. tigrismus11:43 AM

    Death has really improved her appearance.

  74. mgmonklewis12:00 PM

    And her personality.

  75. montag212:03 PM

    Yes. If no gravity, well, the planets go off in straight lines. "Artifact" is probably a good word for it, I guess, but it is definable in terms of angular acceleration. It's the combination of gravity and velocity normal to gravitational force that produces the angular acceleration of the rotating body.

    But,.yeah, you're right--I got `em backwards (thus proving, I suppose, that one doesn't have to think in those terms to understand orbital mechanics--in fact, Newton's explanations work just fine for most all two-body interactions).

  76. JennOfArk12:11 PM

    Well, the inclusion of a bit of edu-speak at the bottom of the page isn't helpful and probably shouldn't be there, but that shouldn't have anything to do with learning the skill from either the student's or the parent's perspective. From my experience with helping my nephew, the biggest issue with the way a lot of schools are implementing Common Core is that it's being used as an excuse to ditch textbooks. And of course, when you ditch those, you ditch all the material that teaches the skill (numerous examples, etc.) There are textbooks correlated to the Common Core; the issue is that thanks to consolidation of the textbook publishers, they now want $125 per book and a lot of districts have simply stopped buying because they can no longer afford books.

    I'd say the problem here isn't the Common Core standards in and of themselves - it's peripheral issues. That bit of gobblespeak you referred to is a lot of what's been wrong in education for the past generation - it has for quite some time been entirely driven by publishers and professors of education. They push phonics, then 5 - 8 years later, they'll be pushing sight reading. Same with the other subjects. I remember giving a workshop to some teachers after the roll-out of yet another, new program for reading in our state, and telling the teachers, "I understand your frustration - they come along about every 5 years with something new, and they tell you, 'You're going to teach these kids to read! And THIS TIME, we REALLY MEAN IT!!!'" They all fell out laughing because - that IS exactly how it is and has been in the schools for the past 30 years or so. And it's all driven by publishers and academia - some professor of education at such and such university has developed a new pedagogy, a publisher sees an opportunity for making the books they've already sold obsolete, and here we go again...

  77. JennOfArk12:37 PM

    THIS. A thousand times. See my later post, posted about 30 minutes after this, slightly down the thread - I wrote it before reading yours but we're saying the same things. The schools are being done in by the professional fiefdoms that have grown up around university colleges of education and those theoreticians attached to them.

  78. montag21:12 PM

    Unfortunately, a lot of this is driven by my generation, that flood of education PhDs who began tenure track in the `70s. Taken all together, I don't think they've acquitted themselves well. Began the trend to administrative top-heaviness, constant churn in instructional design, etc.

  79. redoubtagain1:17 PM

    And yet another example of their willingness to use force on those not like themselves.

  80. redoubtagain1:19 PM

    (We have those people in the Fed. They're called "consultants".)

  81. M. Krebs1:36 PM

    I think this is spot on, except for "some professor of education at such and such university has developed a new pedagogy." It's more like group-think among hundreds of education pedagogues, bound together by national organizations like the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics). Actually I haven't heard yet what NCTM has to say about CC, but it sure sounds like they'd be on board.

  82. M. Krebs1:40 PM

    Mostly what they create is a endless stream of new buzzwords that everyone must use in order to comply with accreditation bodies, get grants, etc. I get the impression that the latest buzzword is "data-driven."

  83. Kordo1:40 PM

    Perfectly understandable.

  84. JennOfArk1:40 PM

    I knew that, unconsciously.

  85. willf1:51 PM

    So don't associate with the far right. That doesn't mean that we have to accept common core.

  86. willf1:53 PM

    I read that Neiwert post. He completely misreads Diane Ravitch.

  87. willf1:55 PM

    Most of the hatred/resistance on the right to it is based on nothing deeper than Obama having said he thinks it's a good idea.

    fixed yr typo. There are of course good reasons for liberals/progressives whatever to resist Common Core that have nothing to do with the blahness of our president.

  88. willf2:01 PM

    I'd say the problem here isn't the Common Core standards in and of themselves - it's peripheral issues.

    There's got to be a pony under here somewhere.

  89. willf2:05 PM

    On the one hand, it's a bad idea.

    On the other hand, don't work with conservatives to stop it because ICKY.

    Now that's what I call purity.

  90. willf2:10 PM

    Standards may be a good thing, as you assert. But this is not the way to go about it.

  91. willf2:12 PM

    It's like a new mad-lib:

    Seems to be a job requirement of all presidents these days: Come up with yet another way to fuck up the ___________ system in the name of reform.

    We would also accept "medical" system and "postal".

  92. ADHDJ2:41 PM

    I think Gates is sincere in his efforts to improve education through technology. I think his position is bullshit, but he comes by it honestly. This sounds pretty damn sincere to me:

    It's more of a "when all you have is a hammer" things. Of course the founder of the largest software company on the planet would think that software is the solution... scientific reductionism is a good way to eradicate malaria, maybe not so good for improving education.

  93. Gromet2:44 PM

    So, we'll bust America up into little fiefdoms, and then liberty and prosperity for all!

    Plus it's way more fun to man the ramparts during a climactic moment in history! BUST IT UP! Who wants to live peaceably in some unremarked-on year like 1831 when you could yell and bleed in the angry chaos of 1862? It never occurs to them that chaos is exactly what they hate (how many conservatives have fond memories of 1967-69?) or that the crisis might just chew them up like it did 30,000 people at Antietam instead of turning them into that one fuckin guy looking noble on top of a white horse who gets to retire to a giant farm when it's over and be loved forever by asshats.

  94. ADHDJ2:44 PM

    "The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from." -- Grace Hopper

  95. brandonrg2:49 PM

    They imagine themselves on the top, so...

    also always like this line from Futurama:

    Leela: Why are you cheering, Fry? You're not rich!
    Fry: True, but someday I might be rich. And then people like me better watch their step.

  96. brandonrg2:52 PM

    If your state has adopted them, the Common Core standards should be available on your state's education website. Illinois are.

    Common Core is a set of standards, not a curriculum. I wish people would stop confusing the two.

  97. JennOfArk3:04 PM

    Oh, so the previous framework standard that said "children in grade 2 will exhibit mastery of simple addition" was ok, but the same standard in Common Core is not?

    Sorry, but that's ridiculous.

  98. Mickey_Zellberg3:23 PM

    He can change the song on the jukebox by elbowing it?

  99. Jay B.3:26 PM

    The Hunger Games is literally about the lengths the 1% go to in order to keep the masses in check -- including the ritual sacrifice of their children for pointless endeavors. Moreover the perils of a power-soaked Big Government has been richly covered in all kinds of novels through the history of the left, that libertarians don't even understand the basic project of liberalism is a tell. They literally don't know what liberals actually believe in, for fucksake. So they cheerlead when an obviously -- and I mean stone-stupid obvious -- liberal subtext about inequality has a government heavy in it.

  100. Derelict3:32 PM

    Nothing says liberty like forcing everyone to adopt your pointless point of view.

  101. montag23:33 PM

    Technically, that's true. But the standards determine the testing, and the testing will drive curricula. That's a fact of life today. One inevitably shapes the other. Maybe the implementation will be better than I expect, but the early indications in places like NY don't give me a lot of hope.

  102. Derelict3:38 PM

    I get to edit A LOT of education thesis. Muddled thinking, circular reasoning, self-referencing, staggering logical fallacies, and even a surprising number of these things that become self-refuting without the candidate realizing it.

    These are the people who are moving into administration and teacher education.

  103. Glock H. Palin, Esq.3:45 PM

    Eh, I don't think that Bill Gates' interest in computerizing education has anything to do with potential profit, I think it just springs from a technocratic faith that more computers are the solution to every problem.

  104. tigrismus3:50 PM


  105. willf3:54 PM

    Given the product placement that runs through the material, I'd agree.

  106. smut clyde3:55 PM

    Hey, the guy is rich from people giving him money... clearly he knows what he's talking about, so we should give him money too!

  107. Christopher Hazell3:56 PM

    Your right, it is pretty silly to compare Barack Obama to a sci-fi villain.

    I mean, just because he's dispatched an army of killer robots across the globe to ruthlessly destroy his enemies as well as any innocent children or wedding parties that happen to be standing in the vicinity, that's no reason to compare him to sci-fi supervillains.

    Dr. Doom wears a mask, and Obama wears a suit. It's totally different!

  108. smut clyde3:57 PM

    Those who can, do; those who can't teach; those who can't teach call themselves education consultants.

  109. BigHank534:00 PM

    At the very least it's slowed her book production.

  110. LittlePig4:01 PM

    Yep. Contrary to popular belief, Bill Gates ain't all that damn bright.

  111. willf4:05 PM

    Edroso didn't say that it was wrong to compare Obama to a supervillain, only that Libertarians had completely misread the tale they are appropriating in order to do so, as usual, with predictably funny results.

    But thanks for playing!

  112. smut clyde4:11 PM

    From Casey's 2012 interview:The average person doesn't realize that the country we know as Italy
    today was only created in 1861, a consolidation of many completely
    independent and very different entities that had been separate states
    since the collapse of the Roman empire. Germany was only unified in
    1871, out of scores of principalities, dukedoms, and whatnot. Both
    unifications were very bad ideas.1. Don't you just love the smug superiority of "The average person doesn't realise"?

    2. The Germans don't seem to think that unification was such a bad idea. Even those dumbshit Bavarians keep voting against secession. The re-unification a few decades ago was expensive but popular.

  113. montag24:16 PM

    Which proves that there are blessings in everything, even death.

  114. smut clyde4:18 PM

    Come on. You know he's one of those people who say "an historian".

  115. Christopher Hazell4:24 PM

    Well, Roave's piece isn't so much an analysis as it is a puff piece.

    I haven't read any of the Hunger Games trilogy, but this teaser certainly seems to be about the President of the future making pretty speeches while simultaneously using the specter of terrorism to justify horrible policies of repression.

  116. montag24:25 PM

    That's possible, I suppose (but, not very likely, since what Gates is good at is not computers, but marketing).

    But, ponder this: what if the National Governors Association, or whomever is currently taking credit for Common Core, had a requirement that all software used, without exception, had to be open source? I doubt very seriously that Bill Gates' philanthropy would have extended that far.

  117. FFS, isn't The Hunger Games about a bunch of poor people who need to unite, rise up and overthrow their rich, self-absorbed masters?

  118. TGuerrant5:09 PM

    Where are you getting this? Everybody knows it's what happens when these things go into rut:

    Centipede, arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda of the subphylum Myriapoda. Science, people! Learn your science!

  119. TGuerrant5:12 PM

    Noroviral, I believe.

  120. Derelict5:22 PM

    So . . .
    Before modern times, we had collections of city-states and tiny regional monarchies. None prospered, most wasted their resources on infighting and war, and all had standards of living that were well behind their unified neighbors.

    THIS is the model that works best! Join us libertarians and we'll take you back to the good ol' days when freedom meant, uh, well, uh, . . . Have you thought about buying gold lately?

  121. Killing people outside the state while governing according to law inside the state is not the hunger games model.

  122. Pope Zebbidie XIII6:20 PM

    Retroviral more like.

  123. Pope Zebbidie XIII6:22 PM

    He's a pretty good C coder.

  124. I can look at The Hunger Games from the point of view of a rank-n-file conservative. I could play the part of the Devil's Advocate and argue from that perspective if I wanted to.

    The average working-class Rightwinger talk radio listener looks at the movie's characters and sees Katniss and her people as honest, hardworking conservative people who know how to hunt and fish and aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. They probably listen to country music.

    That same Rightwinger looks at the rich people in the movie and sees latte-sipping Liberals, with their outlandish fashions and degenerate lifestyles. Their women are spoiled and their men are effeminate. They probably listen to avant-garde jazz or classical music.

    From a cultural perspective, I understand why social conservatives would see this movie as a confirmation of their worldview. But aren't libertarians supposed to be concerned with economic matters instead of cultural matters? It's harder for me to understand why libertarians would embrace this movie.

  125. cleter7:30 PM

    I guess if you're Gillespie, and all you have is a hammer, everything looks like John Galt.

  126. cleter7:33 PM

    Sounds a lot like a certain "compassionate conservative" semi-elected president we all know and love.

  127. cleter7:36 PM

    Man. Don't get me started on that "fiat currency" bullshit. ALL currency is fiat currency, even gold. Money is a made-up construct that works because society thinks it works. Libertarians are really shitty anthropologists.

  128. M. Krebs8:02 PM

    Fiat currency is a currency based upon the Fiat.

  129. smut clyde8:11 PM

    these guys are not big on the concept of privacyThey like it, just they like it more when it's reserved for the wealthy. The thing about 'privacy' is that it has no value as a status symbol if just anyone has access to it.

  130. tigrismus8:31 PM

    I want to make a joke about centipedal force and 100-feet-pounds, but I studied art.

  131. StringOnAStick8:32 PM

    The parents I've seen quoted around here that oppose CC had the idea that it results in too much data being collected about their kids that will follow them forever, and that they feared would be sold to profit-making enterprises. The article headline made you think they were "mark of the beast" loonies, but their actual quotes indicated they didn't think there was enough security to ensure that ID theft items wouldn't be easily extracted from all that collected data.

  132. Derelict8:39 PM

    I've always suspected that the real GOP motto is "Get government out of the boardroom and into the bedroom." And given their push to ban abortion, contraception, blowjobs, anal sex, oral sex, and sex toys while repealing all business regulation, I think they take that motto very seriously.

  133. Derelict8:42 PM

    She reportedly hated showering or bathing and was pretty foul smelling by all accounts. So, yeah: Nausea, revulsion, and that glowing green gas in atheist's picture, above.

  134. Derelict8:44 PM

    I want to run my fingers through this comment's rich, thick fur. And hope it doesn't nip at me!

  135. StringOnAStick8:44 PM

    Ha! So my 850 was actually more valuable than I thought it was! Granted, that's not saying much.

  136. Derelict8:48 PM

    Welcome to the world of Prosperity Gospel! All you have to do is tell a bunch of people that God wants them to be rich. The proof of that is that God made YOU rich. So we're gonna pass the hat now and everybody give til it hurts 'cause that's the way to show God how much you love him! And he'll make you rich, too!

  137. JennOfArk9:32 PM

    Those are obviously legitimate concerns, though it's entirely possible/doable to implement the Common Core standards without buying into a techno ball of wax w/r/t testing and compiling stats.

  138. whetstone9:48 PM

    Buy gold! It's a valuable hedge against our political ideas!

  139. Tehanu9:54 PM

    It's exactly the same as in the business schools. Actually learning about what business is good for and how to conduct it has long since been sunk under endless trendoid buzzwords which all boil down to the same thing, maximizing bullshit. Frankly I blame the business schools for most of what's wrong with this country -- but I'm willing to add the colleges of education to my hate list.

  140. Ellis_Weiner9:57 PM

    You can't spell Mad Libs without the "Mad" in Mad and the Libs in Libertarians!

  141. Tehanu9:59 PM

    And pronounces "Van Gogh" as "Van Gogggghhh". /woody allen

  142. Pardon the interruption, but I think you all should know that Eric Loomis at Lawyers, Gnus and Money has found someone who is dumber and lazier than Jonah Goldburp.

  143. XeckyGilchrist10:15 PM

    ...Shows Why Big Government Is Scary

    Funny how you always find confirmation bias in the first place you look for it.

  144. susanoftexas10:32 PM

    That's the genius that said (more or less) eliminating banking regulation would eliminate bank failures when he was guest posting for (of course) Megan McArdle.

  145. whetstone10:34 PM

    I would have more patience and sympathy for education reformers if a single one of them expressed any interest in America's lack of... well, basically anything for ages 0-5 aside from a patchwork that's outdone by basically every other developed country.
    It's insane: the options for parents during the most important developmental years are, generally speaking, bad or expensive, and the laws that literally every other OECD country except Mexico has that allow parents time with their infants are non-existent. The best guarantee is that you get 12 weeks with your kid without getting fired.
    Then we freak out about it when they can't read. Well, no shit, we've done nothing for them until they're already behind.
    It's a perverse process. I'd say, well, I guess it's cheaper to incarcerate them, but... it's not actually cheaper.

  146. Well, to be fair and all, I'm sure that the libertarian interpretation of The Hunger Games is typically idiotic, but the idea that a work of fiction can illustrate real-world principles seems uncontroversial. Of course, the fact that these people think Ayn Rand novels as such shows that their judgment of such things is not to be trusted, but it's perfectly reasonable in the abstract.

  147. By that token, the same applies to Star Wars.

  148. Rula Lenska7:00 AM

    Hey, what happens in Yugoslavia, stays in Yugoslavia!

  149. Blogpimpin' ain't ez

  150. Not because they're "icky", because they have pernicious agendas. In trying to work with them you are in danger of obfuscating your message, and also of being pulled into fights you don't want to be involved with. I understand your criticism about purity, but to me this is more a matter of knowing your "allies".

  151. Derelict8:56 AM

    They literally don't know what liberals actually believe in.

    This is true of conservatives and libertarians. They have managed to construct a caricature of "liberal" in their heads that has shut out the reality of what liberals believe. The conservative liberal:

    Believes in making government bigger simply as an end in itself.
    Believes all minorities must get preferential treatment.
    Believes all business is evil.
    Believes all rich people are evil.
    Doesn't bathe, doesn't shave, and has all kinds of wild sex at all times.
    Lives on a commune, or in upper-class suburbia, or in one of the major cities.
    Drives a (Volvo, Prius, Smart Car), but wants cars banned.
    Eats groats, sprouts, and granola, and is probably vegan (but sneaking hamburgers on the side).
    Hates Jesus and Christians.
    Plans on tearing down the cities and forcing everyone out into the countryside to work the land. This will be done after forcing everyone to move to the cities because suburbia is too wasteful of resources.

  152. Derelict8:58 AM

    Well, with inflation, you can now break that 850 into two 500s.

  153. Derelict9:02 AM

    Lawyers, Gnus and Money

    One of my favorite sites for getting my daily gnus!

  154. billcinsd9:23 AM

    Arkan the Tiger wishes this were true

  155. randomworker9:37 AM

    Nice catch, smut clyde. From the January 2012 interview:

    L: Wow… okay… More investment implications, besides getting out of the euro?

    Doug: Buy gold and silver. Don't be fooled into thinking the dollar is strong just because the euro is weaker.

    Hmm, let's see. How good was his advice back in January 2012? He was completely every detail.

    Dollar - no change (DXY)
    Euro - Up (EURO)
    Gold - Down...a lot (COMEX)
    Silver - Down...a lot (COMEX)

    People still hang on his nuts for investment advice. Idiots. Good thing we have Social Security...because his investors won't have anything left.

  156. M. Krebs9:53 AM

    I'll bet he pronounces "realtor" as "realator" and "jewelry" as "jewlery."

  157. M. Krebs9:59 AM

    Hey, you wouldn't happen to have any groat clusters, would you?

  158. Derelict10:01 AM

    You'll have to wait until I'm done having wild sex using my government-issued birth control.

  159. he "advocates the United States government default on its national debt
    to punish the bondholders who sponsored the heavy borrowing that he
    affirms will commit the future generations of Americans to long-term
    'indentured servitude'."

    Default on our national debt now to avoid dire consequences for future generations? Wow, I didn't think anyone could top the innumerate causality-mangling dumbshittery of "We must slash Social Security benefits now, in order to protect them from being slashed twenty years from now." So I guess congratulations are in order, Stansberry.

  160. Can I get four tires for that? I need to feed the meter.

  161. One of my favorite sites for getting my daily gnus!

    Eh, too prolix. I want terse summaries, not a bunch of yak-yak-yak.

  162. XeckyGilchrist11:38 AM

    Libertarians can't tell the difference between economic matters and cultural matters. Well, not exactly; to them, *everything* is an economic matter. All part of shoehorning a complex world into a rock-stupid oversimplified worldview.

  163. Right--from a conservative perspective (and an anti federalist one) the movie seems to repeat cultural tropes that go as far back as the American Revolution and the writing of the Constitution. The idea that a capital city itself is a bad idea, that cities are hotbeds of luxury and vice, and that small family farms and independent businessmen in rural areas are/should be the backbone of society.

    Of course to believe that this is what obtains hundreds of years after a founding is to assume that the hinterland isn't shaped by the urban areas and that the two aren't in dialogue with one another. Rural areas--mining towns, farms, etc are shaped by their economic interacton with cities and (in this country) subsidized by cities and non farm taxpayers. I'm not arguing that there is any way that the Hunger Games city folk can be seen as virtuous. But they aren't identical to or representative of city people in the modern US. City people in the modern US are no more likely to be seduced by games/tv/propaganda than rural people. And they aren't financially supported by Rural people and their labor although they, like rural communities themselves, do take advantage of the labor of non citizen migrant field workers and slave labor elsewhere in the world.

    If The Hunger Games had been explicitly about cross border oppression--with the "rural areas" being Mexican Macquillodores factories and the Big City being obviously American and White with a capital White the Conservatives would be busting a gut. But it would have been a more accurate representation of the real world.

  164. "unfunded liabilities, excessive government spending are basically
    bringing the U.S. to the brink of some kind of economic catastrophe"

    Guys, guys, calm down. I know things look bad in Iraq right now, but we're still probably not going to blow another $2 trillion that isn't paid for.

    In more general terms, you're right about the "unfunded liabilities," though: we definitely need higher income tax rates on the rich. I'll admint I'm surprised to see schmibertarians embracing that idea, but kudos anyway.

  165. That's a movie I'd like to see.

    Put Maria La Del Barrio in the role of Katniss, and few conservatives in this country would be willing to identify with her at all.

  166. Yep, I've heard a lot about these Fictional Liberals on the conservative talk radio, and they really are like you describe.

    Such awful people.

    This is one area where the false equivalency breaks down. (It probably goes without saying, but I'm talking about the idea that both sides are the same, that they can be seen as mirror images of one another.) I am a liberal. I don't have to invent a fictional Rightwinger in order to believe the things I believe. I can simply listen to the words coming out of their mouths.

  167. Halloween_Jack12:23 PM

    I didn't think anyone could top the innumerate causality-mangling dumbshittery of "We must slash Social Security benefits now, in order to protect them from being slashed twenty years from now."

    Pretty much every wingnut who thinks that they know anything about economics:

  168. Look at the hysterical rejection of casting Prim as black (although I believe she was black in the book). People were upfront about refusing to be able to identify with and love a little girl who was black in place of the imaginary/fictional little white girl they had put in her place when they were reading the book.

  169. Halloween_Jack12:26 PM

    City people in the modern US are no more likely to be seduced by games/tv/propaganda than rural people.

    Some of my country cousins were way more up on their pop culture than I was, since they had more time at home, generally, and also got satellite cable access well before most other people I knew did.

  170. In a more general sense, the idea that things need to get a whole lot worse before they get any better is an idea I've heard from liberals and conservatives alike.

    Personally, I don't believe in it.

  171. Well, yeah, but I was thinking of the highly-specific, disturbingly popular version involving "We must destroy this now, or it might not be around far in the future!" I mean, if pure dumbshittery is the sole criterion,

    (in passing, he sneers at George Soros and Warren Buffet for being mere idiots savant who know how to make a lot of money without actually understanding anything about markets).

    scores higher on the Economics Stupid Fuck index.

  172. I didn't realize there was such rejection!

    Not surprising I guess, even though that little girl could not have been more adorable.

  173. realinterrobang2:45 PM

    Some of us self-describe as libertarian socialists, which is basically a sort of Europeanish way of saying "Let the state handle the things the state is good at, and keep it and corporations out of people's private business." I can't be said to be a hard socialist, but I'm betting I have harder stances on what should be under direct (or at least close) government control than a lot of people even here. But calling yourself a "libertarian socialist" in the US is a great way of exploding some people's heads. :)

  174. benjoya3:57 PM

    centripetal force is the thing holding things in orbit, ie, a force toward the center of revolution.

  175. Reminds me when Reason interviewed Neil Stephenson about a decade ago. Asked to explain the popularity among libertarians of his novel Snowcrash, in which governments had become irrelevant in a world ruled by corporations and cartels, he fairly politely suggested that the libertarians didn't see that it was a dystopian vision of the future.

  176. too prolix

    I agree. Many of their posts could have 1/3 the words and lose nothing. Loomis & Spencer are better, though.

  177. Mickey_Zellberg6:25 PM

    Eat dick. I mention a relevant blog once in a blue moon.