Your friendly neighborhood conservative goes to get some frozen yogurt in Missoula, Montana while on vacation, and suddenly he’s reading about Molly Laich, the 30-years-old liberal whose mom still pays her cell phone bills.

I went to Montana for a week to get away from Washington, DC, to enjoy the mountains, have a giant steak or two or three … and find out what it was like to run at 3,600 feet above sea level. The last thing I planned to do was write, but after picking up the Missoula Independent outside the Yo Waffle yogurt shop in downtown Missoula, I couldn’t resist.

“Gimme Shelter” by Molly Laich is a great piece, although not in the sense that The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter was a great song. No, Ms. Laich’s work is notable because of its liberalism, proudly on display for all the world to see.

“Gimme Shelter” is a piece written by someone who appears to have been sheltered from basic economics and personal responsibility her entire life, primarily by the kind of mother who pays for her 30-years-old daughter’s iPhone bills, but also by her liberal friends and colleagues who refuse to pull her aside and tell her it’s time to become an adult.

Before Laich, a community college teacher, leaves Detroit for Missoula, Montana, readers already know the journey they’re about to witness will be of the self-absorbed liberal who travels many miles while ultimately going nowhere.

Teachers make expensive promises the world can’t deliver because we’ve got student loans of our own to pay. As an adjunct instructor teaching two sections of composition for a semester, I make about $3,500. After the money spent on gas to commute to campus, food, clothes and movies to make the pain go away, by the end of April I have about $1,500. Take into account my student loans, in a perpetual state of deferral, slowly accruing interest like an abominable snowman rolling down the mountain to crush me, and I’m worth negative many thousands of dollars.

But that’s okay. I’m not interested in money. I just want to go to the woods and live deliberately. I want to stand in a field of rye and catch children. Barring all that, all I can think is, how can I get back out West, to Montana? And once I’m there, how long can I get away without working?

“I’ve had it,” I tell my mother. “The day after the semester ends I’m going back to Missoula for the summer, and then who knows!”

There’s nothing more fascinating than the liberal college kid who takes out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and then when the bill comes due they say they “don’t care about money.” Politicians cut from the same cloth have occupied Washington, DC, running up bills they have no intention of ever paying. And why not? In Ms. Laich’s case her mom will pay the bills. A friend will drive her around or let her sleep on the couch. Defaulting on loans means nothing to the modern day liberal, because the costs will be shifted to someone else who “deserves” to be shouldered with the bill (e.g., “the rich”).

Once Laich gets to Montana, the “who knows” she talks about follows a somewhat predictable path:

  1. The author relies on friends to haul her around town and offer her shelter.
  2. The author takes on odd jobs to survive.
  3. The author ends up living in a shabby hole-in-the-wall.
  4. The author applies for food stamps.

That place the Laich eventually crashes? It’s a $100 a month laundry room in a house filled with Occupy kiddies — punks, anarchists and nomadic dumpster-diving hippies. Laich promises not to write about the house before doing precisely that. And thank goodness she did, because once again everything conservatives have been saying about the Occupy movement is vindicated by one of their intellectual allies:

I’m not sure what it means to be a practicing anarchist in 2012. If anarchy is about rejecting capitalism, religion, popular media and other profit-driven institutions that enslave us, I’m on board. But there’s a belligerent subversiveness that I’m not as sure about. I’m not willing to walk into a restaurant whose business practices I disagree with and shit in their sink, for example.

The kids I live with are not like ordinary people. They don’t spend money on anything if they don’t have to. They’re scavengers. They’ll circle around and around a grocery store sampling the free coffee until their caffeine needs are met.

Today’s hard core liberal kids look at a mom-and-pop shop, and if they don’t like their “business practices” (e.g., owners who don’t appreciate unemployed losers eating all the free samples and walking out the door), then the kids take a dump in their sink. Instead of telling the truth — these kids are society’s skid marks — the best Ms. Laich can muster is: “I’m not as sure about” such tactics.

It takes awhile, but the author  of “Gimme Shelter” finally admits the truth: She is 30 going on 19.

To be clear: I don’t know anything about real want. If I run out of money, I can call my mother and she’ll deposit double whatever I ask for into my bank account. She still pays my cellphone bill, based on the shared lie that she needs to in order to keep in contact with me, like if I didn’t use my iPhone to call my mother I would have no need for such a device. She tells me that 30 is the new 19. She refers to this time in my life as an “adventure,” which I consider only a little condescending. …

I apply for food stamps and they arrive in my post office box a week later.

Only “a little” condescending? At what point will Ms. Laich look in the mirror and realize how sad and pathetic her “anarchist” worldview is? Ms. Laich thinks the world is enslaved by profits, when the reality is this: She is enslaved by the fear of failure. Profits come from people who took risks, failed (multiple times), dusted themselves off, and got back into the ring. They didn’t seek shelter from mom and dad. They went out into the wild, uncertain world of ideas and put theirs to the test. Profits are a good thing. And the iPhone bill that Ms. Laich’s mom pays for, and the food stamps used by ungrateful anarchists are all made possible by profits.

Ms. Laich doesn’t need shelter; she needs to grow up.


  1. She wants to live in the woods, bug out on her student loans, and get food stamps in the mail.

    Weirdly, we have hundreds if not thousands of those types living here in The People’s Republic of Vermont.

    Some of them teach at government schools — sucking at the public teat while badmouthing the rest of us who worked their asses off for what we’ve got.

    I would take a guess that she doesn’t vote as that would make her a tool of the establishment.

    Which is fine with me.

    1. I went to the farmers market in Missoula on Saturday, and right down the street they had “The People’s Market.” Sigh… Oh well. The breakfast sandwich at the farmers market was amazing.

    2. So says unemployed, self-described “layabout” living at home after his liberal arts degree didn’t pan out in the real world.

      I certainly don’t agree with the Ms. Laich’s attitude or lack of intelligence, but there are too many similarities between you and Ms. Laich for you of all people to rag on her. And that’s just by taking what you write on your blog at face value.

  2. Kudos, Mr. Ernst for finding such a glaring example of what is wrong with society today. Too many people have fallen into the trap of borrowing money they don’t have to pay for overrated degrees that will never give them the money or the success that comes with making lots of money that will make them a truly productive part of the free market society. It is especially gratifying to see the protagonist of this story is the antagonist for many of us in the right, a teacher.

    Time was teaching was not a career but merely an avenue for young single women to fill the days until they married either the rich widower with child/children who acted out due mainly to the fact they needed a mother figure in their life full time or the local sheriff who wants to retire but can’t since he has to have one final shootout with the leader of the gang that has just escaped from prison. Ah, I miss those days. and while there were male teachers, they only learned to be male once they have come West and killed something and/or someone and usually then became sheriff because teaching was never really a noble profession. I miss those days.

    The days I will not miss are the present days where people’s dependency on entitlement programs like Pell Grant, Government-backed student loans and the GI Bill end up clogging up the education system that used to be for people who would actually get useful degrees that they could use to actually make money to pay their own way in life.

    I don’t say this very often because I am usually the one having it said to, but thank you. Thank you for bringing to light what is so wrong with society today.

    And You’re welcome.

    1. Jeff,

      You mastered sarcasm. Congrats. When you feel like having an honest debate about a 30 year old woman who has her mom pay for her iPhone because she wants to hang out with anarchist kids who take dumps in the local store’s sink as a form of protest … I’ll be here.

    2. Why would a debate be necessary when we seem to agree that this woman has no reason seeking an education that she cannot afford to participate in a field that will most likely never allow her to pay off her debts? I also agree that while she seeks furtively for employment, like we both believe that one, and not earning a enough money for rent or food, she should not have the luxury of an iPhone. Let her use the payphones that litter our vast urban areas such as Missoula. She could put them to better use than their usual customers.

      But instead she thinks that it is okay to live in the lap of luxury with her Food Stamps and the idyllic haven she so lovingly describes the anarchists’ sprawling estate as being. No, sir. That is not a choice I would make or a choice, I am confident, you would make either.

      I just find it so ironic that an essay about a woman who can only find shelter of last resort with a group of anarchists takes as its title the name of a song which speaks of the coming chaos and the need of protection from the ravages of a society gone mad. She probably didn’t though. So much for liberal arts education, huh?

      And yes, while Gimme Shelter is a great song, I do have to say, ever since that hippie Walden printed his blueprint for living, shelter in my mind has been way overrated. Yes, from the tone of the piece, I picked up that what she was describing was her idea of heaven on earth and she wouldn’t want to be doing or spending time with anyone else.

      I’m still struggling to see where we disagree. And while I didn’t touch on the defecation into the sink, I also do not think that is okay at any level of society. Read any etiquette book or ask any woman who has spent any amount of time at fraternity house parties, the sink is to micturate in. And never as a protest, only when you do not wish to wait in line to use the only already backed-up toilet. For defecation purposes, the neighbors’ bushes are fine in a pinch.

      You’re welcome.

    3. Hmmm. Sorry if I misread your post. This paragraph struck me:

      “Too many people have fallen into the trap of borrowing money they don’t have to pay for overrated degrees that will never give them the money or the success that comes with making lots of money that will make them a truly productive part of the free market society. It is especially gratifying to see the protagonist of this story is the antagonist for many of us in the right, a teacher,” (Jeffrey Frey).

      1. I think the syntax of the first sentence kind of muddies the water as to what you’re saying, and “never” is a strong word. My issue with the author isn’t that she took out a lot of loans for a particular degree — it’s that she seems not to care if she defaults. With some schools, it’s not necessarily the degree you’re paying for, but the networks that come with it… Given that, I can see why some people overpay for an education. That’s a calculus they have to make, and I don’t particularly care what they decide as long as they commit to being an upstanding citizen and paying it off no matter how long it takes.

      2. To me, saying “teachers” are an antagonist to “the right” is wrong. I think conservatives have an issue with BAD teachers and unions that protect BAD teachers, which often makes it almost impossible to get rid of the dead weight.

    4. Read his reply closer. He continued to mock you, just more subtly.

      He is clearly a master. It may be best to throw in the towel in this fight, Doug. Hell, he even made this girl into a sympathetic character in a few short sentences. Bravo, Jeff, bravo.

    5. It’s times like this, MeAgain, I wish WordPress had private messages. So many things I want to say …

      I will say: My response was necessary. It served multiple functions, and was crafted in a way that I think accomplished them all.

    6. It is I that must be the one apologizing I believe. I should have chosen my sentence structure so as to better communicate with one who seems to be an adherent to Noam Chomsky’s generative grammar theory.

      And while I do feel sorry for using semantics that are based on the more formal classical approaches in communication (i.e. see DEADWOOD), I am saddened by your use of a qualitative to give shelter to the very things that are dragging our society down to Hell in a hand basket. But not surprised. We, the right, have taught ourselves to lessen our views so as to seem palatable to the ever judgmental left. So its not about teachers, its about bad teachers. Its not about abortion, but bad abortions (ones terminating pregnancies due to non-forcible rape as an example.) We cannot allow the left to gain a foothold from our mincing of words.

      You should stick by your guns, being a former member of the military something that should come naturally as it does with the like of Allan West and Donald Rumsfeld. This young woman has never made a decision in her life that would define her as an upstanding citizen. If she cared anything about becoming a contributing part of society, she would not have chosen a degree that cost so much money that would put her into a career whose guarantee of monetary success are nonexistent. She is a teacher of writing for college students. She could have easily stepped sideways and received an education degree which we both know, while far from placing in society upstanding citizens, as least would have guaranteed her a life of luxury as a public school teacher and all the financial windfalls that this come with this modern boongoggle perpetrated on society by liberal do-gooders.

    7. I see you’re now following my blog. I don’t have time to respond to every post of yours that tries to speak for “the right” while playing a cutesy game. I suggest making a faux conservative website if that’s what you’re into. Regardless, I will consider your comments spam if it continues.

    8. Don’t be a bad sport. Comes with the territory when you accept comments. He makes some good points and had me thinking deeper on some of my beliefs, even though I don’t self-classify with a conservative or liberal label.

      I think you should keep engaging him. He’s making good points, even if he’s generalizing. But you are guilty of that in almost every post. Classifying his clever comments as spam because they present a challenge isn’t very “bare-knuckled” is it?

    9. The guy kicked the shit out of both our comments. Mocked some of my view too. So sharp, I didn’t mind. My vote I you let him go on… but it’s your blog, your rules.

    10. I’m pretty good about allowing posts. I think I can count on one hand the comments I’ve deleted, and they’re usually like, “f**k you!”

      I’d feel weird if I went to someone’s blog and said, “As we liberals believe…”

      It’s not cool. We’ll see how it goes.

    11. If you want to private message me, email me. You have it from the comments, right? I was thinking about talking to you about a website idea I had.

    12. Engagement has to be a two way street. I get that. Wasn’t even trying to have a confrontation. As anonymous points out, I never did not address your post or speak from ignorance of the piece you were criticizing. In other words, I gave your post and each reply the courtesy of my full focus and while I was having a lot of fun doing so, I would never comment on another person’s blog lightly.

      Yes I was being critical. You may not appreciate the form my criticism took but as I look at your comment section, do the ideas I used to add a certain tone to my post differ from that much from the ideas that you see from, lets say Jim Zee, on a daily basis. and as for pretending to be something one is not, isn’t that what you do whenever you try to suss out in your posts what a liberal thinks or does? And Anonymous got it right away. Some liberals don’t, their thought process mired in the smugness and closed-mindedness that they like to try and hang on the right. I give them what I gave you – my full focus.

      You engage in your way. I will in mine. Now, if you want to come to my site and call me a hack and a poser, that’s fine. I’ll more than welcome the traffic. Just started this week and I’m still working on the main home for all the pieces.

      As for cutesy. I do take offense. Especially from a guy whose gravatar is reminiscent of a Ted Nugent album cover without even being one. At least do Weekend Warriors unless of course it’s too sacrosanct for you.

      Now, back to character where I don’t have to be so earnest.

    13. There we go. Much better. Your true character comes out. Deep seated anger and bitterness, as expected.

      Nice touch with the dig on the gravatar. Kudos.

      Good luck with the website.

    14. As I said in an earlier comment and say continuously to all Americans, you’re welcome.

      Now I must prepare for the convention in Tampa. First things first, booking a room on theTravelocity.

  3. You feed 16 trolls and what do you get?
    Comment sections filled with liberal rhetoric
    Saint Jude don’t you call me cuz I can’t go
    I owe my soul to the internet troll

    The trolls are clever — but not clever enough.

    I love the smell of roasted third-columnists in the morning.

    1. Who is a troll?

      I have a job and pay taxes. You are unemployed and live at home with mom and dad after earning a liberal arts degree that qualifies you for, at best, hosting a shitty open mic/slam poetry night at your local coffee shop.

      I engage Doug because I don’t alway agree with him. Your contributions usually entail cheesy gun analogies and lame, regurgitated rhetoric fed to you by others.

      Clean up your own back yard before knocking on your neighbors’ door. First, I’d stop posing for glamour shots in front of your truck and get a job and start paying taxes.

      Sorry for the lack of decorum, Doug, but it needed to be said.

    2. No problem. If this was a boxing match, I usually hold off until someone goes Mike Tyson and bites an ear or blatantly goes for the groin.

      Like I said, you’re not a drive-by insult clown and for the most part you spar with me in a respectable manner. I just don’t like people who come here and swear for no reason, add nothing to the conversation or who pretend to be conservative when they’re not.

  4. Personal attacks and name calling are a concession of any debate.

    When liberals lose the argument due to lack of facts and impossible positions, this is a typical response.

    Thank you for the concession.

    Your IP from your visit to my blog has been duly noted.

    Thanks for brightening my day by allowing me to annoy you.


    1. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get a hate blog dedicated to you! I can’t wait for “Does Jim Lee Hate America?” to start. I haven’t been to that dude’s website in awhile…He broke Godwin’s Law on his second post, which was rather amazing.

    2. That’s rich coming from you, Mr. Liberals Have a Mental Disorder. Don’t pretend you are taking the high road. Your truck doesn’t have the tires for it.

      How did I lose an argument with you due to lack of facts? Did I miss where you have a job, pay taxes, and live on your own? Who pays for your iPhone? Fact is, the gulf between you and Ms. Laich isn’t as far as you’d like to admit.

      I will concede and begrudgingly respect your partisan blatherings when you earn a seat at the adult’s table by getting a job and paying taxes instead of complaining about the state of this country from the safety of your childhood bedroom.

      You have my IP? Oh no! They teach hacking at Poetry U? I’m impressed.

    3. Your continued feeble attempts to goad me into a flame war are amusing.

      Particularly hilarious is the insult to my truck tires. Have you been watching too much Larry the Cable guy?

      As I don’t engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent, I’ll not reply point by point to your concession of the debate. That’s already occurred.

      Instead , I direct your attention to a blog post written exclusively for you:

      Thanks for re-making my day. Your whining is music to my ears.

      A liberal irritated is a liberal disarmed.

    4. Why not join the flame war? At least then you would find gainful employ as a soldier.

      Insult your truck tires? Seems you did not understand how I linked truck tires to taking the high road. I know you struggle with detecting satire and sarcasm. Poor Doug had to explain the Toure satire to you. Not the first time. Sad.

      Who pays for your iPhone? I see you removed the “layabout” description of yourself on your blog. That says it all.

      An irritated liberal arts major is… looking for a job?
      … bummed Mom didn’t make pot roast?
      … upset he can’t find a word to rhyme with Vermont?
      … flustered the barista won’t give up her number?
      … mad his beret is fraying at the edges?

      I’m done. Excelsior!

  5. It’s heartwarming to read the concerns of so many men about this young woman’s life path. You guys are really showing some tough love, pointing her in the right direction. Clearly, she needs some strong arms to shake her awake and show her that the only way to be a productive member of our American society is to earn and spend. All of our best American Literature tells us this: The Great Gatsby, Spiderman (“With great power comes the great responsibility to make money”).

    Just to be clear, I’m being sarcastic.

    1. I appreciate the comment, but why don’t you engage in a real debate instead of posting a few sarcastic lines and running?

      My guess is that besides a little snark aimed at F Scott Fitzgerald and Stan Lee (two “men” who were rather successful artists), you don’t have much to bring to the table. Please, prove me wrong.

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