Wednesday assorted links


#4 "reward to vote with the majority" So basicly another incentive scheme to lynch people.

Justice, the Rortian way. Scott Sumner would approve.

Stop defaming Rorty and Sumner. They never said anything like that.

In other “weirdest timeline” news, Paul Krugman says his apparent recent mass downloading of child porn was a case of hacking, and implies it’s possibly a wide ranging conspiracy to discredit him.

2. From the link: “Diversity means not bringing people with darker skin who use exactly the same models and ask exactly the same questions and reach the same conclusions,” said Cecilia Conrad, an economist who is now an executive at the MacArthur Foundation. “Embracing diversity means opening up to the kinds of new questions and new ways of seeing the world that will eventually improve economic science.” Shout it from the rooftops!

At the rental car stations, while the majority of our respondents were on a road trip, the silent minority actually weren’t. They were looking for home. As far as the professional services, they were small waves, with tiny, forgotten steps, remainders of deviance. We asked the customer about travel habits, weather and traffic; instead of distrusting pockets of storage and puddles of discrepancy, we corroborated the by-product of a third party.

6. Tucker blames the alliance with conservatives: "Some people date the decline and fall of sloganized libertarianism to events following the end of the Cold War, when some libertarians, I among them, imagined that they could form a coalition with aspects of the American conservative movement. It was not an entirely implausible plan at the time. The warfarism of the American right was bound up with anti-Sovietism from 1948 onward; perhaps this would die out and make way for a more consistent anti-statism in the new times. It seemed promising at first. This idea, however, gradually morphed in a few years into something different, mainly because the conservatives (the “paleoconservatives) with whom the libertarians linked up were themselves against market economics. As much as they hated welfare and warfare, they had no affection for modernity or appreciation for commercial society – or even much affection for the idea of individualism and human rights."

I, on the other hand, blame the (natural) alliance with authoritarians, what I call the libertarian-authoritarian axis. Of course, libertarians accept inequality, praise inequality, inequality of the individual, her IQ, ability, motivation, etc. It's the libertarian's job to assure that the superiors dominate the inferiors. Who gets to identify the superiors and the inferiors? Markets? Master?

Shorter rayward: Freedom is slavery

Stop trying to make Fetch libertarian authoritarian axis happen, it’s not going to happen

haha nice reference

Libertarians are a joke because they never try to implement their libertarian society with no government, in complete contrast to the socialists and communists.

Israel grows out of the Zionist communist effort to build a great society. In many places in the US, communist societies have been established. And Jewish communists were the engine of the Russian revolution.

Plenty of opportunities have existed, and still exist, to create libertarian societies, places of no government, poverty, want, which desperately need a system that provides freedom from extreme poverty.

Unless libertarian theory declares land and people to be discarded by the millions or even billions because its impossible to build a libertarian society of more than a few dozen rich people profiting off oppressed masses, libertarians should be able to build a libertarian society from any number of ungoverned lands and people. Major parts of Africa, Asia, etc.

In fact, aren't the indigenous peoples in Canada and Amazon, especially Brazil trying to maintain a libertarian way of life?

When libertarians argue for both no government and everything being private property, libertarians become self contradicting because the first authoritarian power of government is dictating property rights which requires taking property from others.

Locke argued for private property limited to only that which a person builds, with land sufficient for the building of private property taken out of the vast common lands. He viewed the Americas as having so much common land that it was impossible to imagine no common land remaining. But he hinted that if no common land existed, his theory had a big problem.

The US ran out of common land circa the 1920s, with no viable nation to invade and annex, and no remaining libertarians to drive out in order to expropriate their lands.

Note, if you are a libertarian society, you have no means of defense, and get deemed savages to be killed, driven out, enslaved as property,...

People confuse tribalism or anarchy with libertarianism. Every tribe or solitary person is their own government, none of them usually libertarian. And failed states don't have zero bossy guys with guns and little effective oversight, they have tons of them, none of which would be very welcoming to the suggestion that they lay them down and get real jobs. Because the people with real jobs are the prey of the people with the guns.

To paraphrase Norman Maclean's father, libertarians are Republicans who can read.

1. "In 2010, the National Book Award for Fiction went to Jaimy Gordon, who has a doctorate in Creative Writing from Brown University and has taught in the MFA program at Western Michigan University. She beat Lionel Shriver, who has an MFA from Columbia, Nicole Krauss, who has degrees from Stanford and Oxford, Karen Tei Yamashita, a professor of Literature at U.C. Santa Cruz, and Peter Carey, a member of the MFA faculty at Hunter College in New York."

Death to the lifeless soulless unclued aloof overwrought and obsequious prose that squits out torrents cataracts and cascades of ordure courtesy of the academic industry that confers mercenary and lethal Master of Flatulent Arse degrees. (Death equally to doctoral credentials in "creative writing.")

Death to the Great American Novel, since only careerist academics bother trying to read samples thereof.

Death to the academic captivity of American letters.

+1. Credentialing creative writing is a ridiculous practice.

To me, this ties into an earlier post:


My feeling is that novel writing is being taking over by women, and women read a lot more novels than men. The few remaining male novelists are targeting women, perhaps on the advice of female editors and marketing people. So it's really hard to find a novel without excessive chick-lit relationship crap that goes on for pages and pages without advancing the plot. Even female novelists are getting more chick-litty than before.

Olen Steinhauser's espionage stuff, of all genres, suddenly became obsessed with the protagonist's marriage. J.K. Rowling's mystery P.I. series's most recent entry is massively bloated in page count, and it's all family and girlfriend crap.

I don't care about that stuff. Paint me a quick picture with a paragraph or so, and my imagination can fill in the details. Or not.

We finally got away from 19th century novels that described the faces and clothes and furniture landscape and weather in excruciating detail, resulting in lightweight, sinewy writing. But now books are porking out with detailed relationship details.

It would be interesting to compare the sales figures for NBA nominees and winners with the sales figures of non-nominated non-winners like Gillian Flynn. NBA books are like the assisted "autobiographies" of politicians: the point is to signal that one is on Team Woke (or Team Blue) rather than to actually select the best books on offer.

The same "not actually diversity" process has hollowed out the awards for SF (Hugo and Nebula) and it is working on Romance even as we speak.

America's "literary awards" industry has long been its very own genre of "corruption in marketing"--so pernicious has it become that published authors now commonly cite the fluffy awards they've simply been nominated for (without winning), and this useless information then features prominently in their CVs and in the bioblurbs printed on the back covers of their tedious works and which they pass around for the precious academic conferences they attend.

The Nobel Prize in Literature (even apart from the literary award culture/industry it helped spawn over the past century) likely has killed more able prose along the way than Nobel's dynamite ever killed in any military context.

If Libertarianism is really hollowing out, its because we won all our major battles.

As late as the 70's, socialism was still a growing thing and centralized control of economic matters was still considered useful or even preferred. Today? Socialism is all but dead save a few hopefuls and their sycophants in the media and economic regulation is viewed with suspicion.

Within my lifetime, homosexuality went from being actively discriminated against to tolerated and even protected by law.

Also within my lifetime the drug was has gone from obviously correct to viewed with great suspicion.

Guns have gone from all but illegal to carry in most places to legal to carry in most states and protected by both Supreme Court cases and a friendly Court for the foreseeable future.

Everywhere you look, the libertarian battles are won. Think of the things that Milton Friedman fought against. How many of them are still a concern today?

We won, so there is less and less reason to be part of an ongoing libertarian movement.

Yes on the social aspects, you are correct. On economics it's less clear. States and state spending have grown dramatically since Friedman's day. Globalization and free trade are no longer moving forward. Regulation of business has proliferated. Etc.

Including economics, I think MOFO would have a point up until the 2000s. The resurgence of economic illiberalism (and social as well in certain respects) since the financial crisis of course cannot be ignored as a big reversal.

On economic freedom, i'd consider stocks versus flows. The pace of economic liberation has slowed or even reversed some the 90s, but that's because China and India have already cast off their socialist shackles. NAFTA and the EU have already created vast (more or less) free trade areas. The WTO has already demolished Manny of the old protectionist enclaves.

The pace has slowed, but we are much forget up the mountain than we have ever been.

Trade is already pretty free and there isn't any serious constituency to make it freer. Consumers don't go to Walmart and brissle at the high cost of Chinese plastic coat hangers or Cambodian t-shirts. The things that are expensive in the U.S. are housing, health care and education. Dusting off free trade arguments from the 19th century is not going to make these things more affordable.

Cheaper cars and electronics would be nice though, and freer trade could bring down the costs of lots of inputs into housing like construction materials and healthcare like drugs and devices (even Trump seems to support freer trade for importing pharmaceuticals). Plus a lot of higher-end clothing and consumer goods are made abroad too; we wouldn’t be able to get nearly the variety/quality/cost combination without trade; it’s not just cheap stuff at Wal-Mart.

The average tariff rate in the U.S. on industrial goods is 2% and, pre-Trump, the average rate on all imports was 1.5%. Tariffs could be slashed to zero and most consumers would not notice the difference.

Basically, we have picked all of the low-hanging fruit when it comes to simple welfare gains from trade. Pharmaceuticals involve trusting foreign regulators and are commonly subject to price controls so they are a different animal.

Electronics are astoundingly cheap as long as you don't go for premium brands and the very latest technology. Yes, Apple products are expensive but almost everyone knows that this isn't because of tariffs or big government regulations. There is no traction to be had by promising people cheaper electronics and sneakers.

A bigger issue than tariffs is regulations. For instance the FDA's dislike of European cheesemakers methodologies (in the name of consumer protection) keeps most European cheeses from coming to the US. Similarly European regulations on cars keep many US manufacturers from exporting vehicles to Europe.

Agreed and that is why freeing trade even more is so complex and difficult. Agriculture is even more fraught as food products can do contain pests that can disrupt local ecosystems.

For doctrinaire libertarians, free trade is synonymous with abolishing regulations. For everyone else, it is something we have a reasonable approximation of. Most people are not willing to put complete trust in foreign regulatory agencies and the Brexit saga shows that international regulatory bodies breed resentment.

Modern free trade agreements are mostly about negotiating regulatory compromises, not lowering tariffs or the traditional free trade fair. There's nothing inherently libertarian about them. Indeed the solution to "You have Regulation 1 for Product X, we have Regulation 2 for Product Y" may very well be both parties agreeing to adopt Regulation 1 and Regulation 2.

"Think of the things that Milton Friedman fought against. How many of them are still a concern today?"

All of them? Friedman famously thought America was a socialist country: "Nonetheless, in the course of time both major parties adopted the position of the Socialist party.
The Socialist party never received more than 6 percent of the
popular vote for President (in 1912 for Eugene Debs). It got less
than 1 percent in 1928 and only 2 percent in 1932 (for Norman
Thomas). Yet almost every economic plank in its 1928 presiden-
tial platform has by now been enacted into law. The relevant
planks are reproduced in Appendix A."

"Think of the things that Milton Friedman fought against. How many of them are still a concern today?"

Wins for "libertarianism" in addition to what you mentioned include: all volunteer military, lower marginal income and death tax rates, floating exchange rates, decline of unions (e.g., Janus), Citizens United, Religious Freedom Restoration Act (& Hobby Lobby etc.).

Things from Capitalism and Freedom that are still a concern today:

The control of money (the Fed is still around and doesn't follow any clear rule), free trade in retreat, fiscal policy a mess, most welfare and entitlement benefits have expanded (major contributor to long-term fiscal mess), public education still expensive and mediocre with ever more federal government involvement, expanding categories of protected classes from 'discrimination,' social responsibility of business (see Business Roundtable's 2019 statement and woke capitalism in general), farm subsidies, occupational licensure expanded, higher state minimum wages, return to rent control, much Sturm and Drang about the distribution of income.

Libertarians won all their battles?

This is the offical campaign song of Elizabeth Warren.

Libertarians have about as much influence as they can hope to have in a weird democratic political system such as America's. Their victories came from aligning with wealthy special interests and there is little appetite from the public for the remaining parts of the libertarian agenda that don't have special interest backing, aside from legalizing marijuana.

Cut SS and Medicare? Good luck winning elections. Repeal (rather than weaken) anti-discrimination law? Watch minority Democratic voter turnout rise. Cut subsidies for sugar farmers in Florida and corn farmers in Iowa? Not without abolishing the electoral college and reforming the crazy primary voting system.

Sugar farmers in Florida are a truly minor league constituency in numerical terms and the numbers of Red River Valley beet growers isn't very big either. The fact that Americans with a sweet tooth pay triple the world price for sugar is a crime committed by the government.

Committed by whom exactly? And with what motive? This is one of many unproductive tendencies of libertarians: instead of trying to understand the real world and how to influence it, everything instead is cast as a Manichean struggle.

I'm happy to revise my explanation and say that millions of dollars in campaign contributions in races across the country and lobbying also play a role. But money can easily tip the scales in close elections with negative campaign ads and get out the vote efforts.

Ricardo is doing some good work in this thread, +5 internet points

At the conference, I struck up a pleasant conversation with a mainland Chinese professor. She asked, so I told her that a stereotype of Chinese people is hardworking students who study a lot. In return she said that her stereotype of North Americans is "fast" "tall" and "tight" (I think she meant "uptight").

#6 Will Libertarians ever stop whinning about how the cool kids won't go their slumber parties?

This "hollowing out of libertarianism" business (golly, what a navel-gazing and melodramatic term to use -- what are we, teenagers?) reminds me a lot of back in the day, when 80s rock went out of style. Suddenly, everywhere, everyone was wearing oversized flannel. Fine, but where did all those rockers go? What happened to them? They just... disappeared.

It happened again a few years later when people got tired of grunge. Suddenly every Tool and Pearl Jam wannabe band was playing rap rock, and I just couldn't figure out... like, are these the same guys who decided to stop writing the other stuff and write this new stuff, or was there a whole other group of guys who had always been playing rap-rock who suddenly found that their moment had arrived?

And then the moment The Yeah Yeah Yeahs hit the charts, almost to the day, a bunch of guys wearing bad herringbone suits and Beatle cuts were playing on My Local Stage. It seemed like there hadn't even been enough time to hear The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, decide you want to switch genres, and then find a bunch of like-minded guys to play music with.

Well, all that dealt a blow to my prior beliefs about authenticity. The sound-alikes are always going to be sound-alikes, because sounding alike is what they do, no matter who or what is popular. When there was YouTube money to be had in walking around D.C. with a bullhorn, the sound-alikes did that. Now that the money's in... think-tanks and stuff... that's what the sound-alikes are doing.

The mistake is conflating the sound-alikes with the zeitgeist. The sound-alikes are just amplifying whatever happens to be popular. Tucker seems to acknowledge that the chaff have moved on, and libertarianism can get back to focusing on the wheat. Cowen, though, appears to think that since the sound-alikes have moved on, libertarianism itself has gone out.

I side with Jeffrey Tucker.

Meanwhile, America can not even build tractors as good as the ones we used to build 40 years ago. It is sad!

Industry everywhere has consolidated into oligopoly, bloating bureaucracy and stifling innovation. The country is a nation of tradespeople, now being ruled over by an unholy coalition of Wall Street financiers and autistic code jockeys.

Tyler fully supports the big business.

#6 LOL. I mean come on, we TRIED to get them to let us nominate Ron Paul.

Tucker's liberal tears suggest he wasn't long for the movement any way. Aren't most of these guys already winding down to "libertarianism is a state of mind" gigs?

Have you been in the movement much longer than he has?

3. Nice. Reminds me of the Lee Kum Kee condiment company, which is worth tens of billions of dollars and recently bought the most expensive building in London. You can get Haidilao soup bases in the US and they are delicious. And the founder has a true rags-to-riches story, going from random Chinese peasant to billionaire. I don’t know if they will focus on food and restaurants, but that’s a massively growing industry. A couple of years ago in the US, people spent more on restaurant meals than at-home meals for the first time in history and this trend is only going to accelerate as people get more affluent.

6. Libertarianism has always suffered from a bit of "reductio ad absurdum", which is why I could never bring myself to be more than "libertarianish".

I'm sorry that the eternal verities of libertarianism no longer excite you or aren't cool and trendy like in the Friedman/Hayek/Thatcher/Reagan heyday when you and I were excitable striplings.

I'm also sorry that lots of people adopt the mantle of libertarian who are no such thing.

Keep your eye on the ball and don't worry so much about fashionable trends.

Reductio ad absurdum can be seen in the writings of Bryan Caplan. It will never be salable to anyone neurotypical and should not be.

Another amusing bit of business is the degree to which actually existing libertarianism has essentially late-adolescent concerns. Ann Coulter proposed to her local Libertarian Party that she run for office on their line. "I discovered the only issue they gave a damn about was the drug laws". Libertarians have only a pro-forma interest, if that, in the injuries done to people by anti-discrimination law, because, well, acting as a landlord or an employer is something working adults with families do. They're also a great deal more likely to be celebrants of cultural degradation than critics of it, an indicator that they chafe at constraints imposed by adult life rather more than constraints imposed by the bureaucratic state.

If we're fortunate (and we usually aren't), libertarian insights will be incorporated into standard Republican discourse, and these other shnooks just go away.

Maybe Ann Coulter should run on the line "This is why our founders distrusted Catholics". That and promissing to get rid of anti-discrimination laws will go sown well with Nazis. Or the line "I don't care if @realDonaldTrump wants to perform abortions in White House after this immigration policy paper." I am sure Evangelicals will find a Biblical excuse dor supporting her.

rid of anti-discrimination laws will go sown well with Nazis.

You people cannot help yourselves.

I think Ann Coulter is right. Ideological libertarianism seems to be something people grow out of in their mid-20s.

If this wasn't true in 70s and 80s America, I suspect these older libertarians were people who started out with a profound dislike of the Vietnam War and the drug war. Since these were bipartisan initiatives, they tended to radicalize people toward the idea that both political parties were equally bad.

Today, though, most people with libertarian tendencies tend to gravitate toward the GOP. And those libertarians who cared more about social issues will find Democrats acceptable enough.

No. The core counterintuitive insight of libertarianism is "bottom-upness".

We are conditioned to think that anything that functions in the world does so due to "top-downness", but that is not the case.

'Diversity' to the left is always the same: People of many different colors and genders, all of whom must think exactly alike.

Real diversity is exactly the opposite: Ignoring superficial traits like skin color in favor of diverse economic, cultural and academic backgrounds and ways of seeing the world.

Faculty are so appealing:


Strangely, the claim that novels or prize-winners are becoming less diverse is unaccompanied by any data about baselines, for example, who was publishing novels then and now, and their backgrounds and training. It is almost as though the author is making a polemical point in the guise of an empirical one.

#6: while we're all giving our two cents, I'd offer the following:

1. The logic of our current Race & Gender hysteria militates against the spread of individualist attitudes. Better to hang together than hang separately. But to form any kind of cohesive or durable coalition, one must be willing to make compromises, though, with other group members, and thus libertarianish attitudes are relegated to the background. You accept a trade war with China without complaint as the price of not having Elizabeth Warren as president.

2. the idea that Silicon Valley is one day going to put most people out of work, which seems more plausible each year, renders traditional libertarian arguments against redistribution rather uncompelling.

3. The open borders crowd to me (and probably other people to) seems unreasonable, dogmatic, impractical,and perhaps somewhat dishonest at times. To the extent that "all open borders all the time" has become a key tenet of libertarianism, it's probably shrinking rather than growing the movement.

Don't take description as endorsement.

This time it's different.

Without endorsing these points, I think your comment accurately describes the societal themes that arose against libertarianism. For me personally, the increasingly ridiculous claims of Caplan and the open borders and trade agreement set were too much.

I’d add that the big wins in the push to legalize soft drugs seems a bit out of touch in a country struggling with opioids. They also attracted a particular kind of young advocate to libertarianism who was never going to stay long term, nor be interested in things like reducing the size and power of government.

Soft drugs!= opioids

Sure, of course. Nonetheless, libertarianism picked soft drugs as a hill to die on and it hurt the movement, or whatever you want to call it, in numerous ways. If they had picked some other vaguely fringe civil liberties issue, say, concealed carry rights, they would have experienced something similar but with a different set of people.

For whatever reason, libertarianism picked priority #29 for their big push, got into bed with a crowd that didn't match their principles well, and now they're paying for it. Mind, this is hardly the only thing done wrong. Open Borders is clearly the biggie.

#1 - In this 20,000 word essay I will make the observation that writers who win awards, in fact, ALL became professional writers!

You really have to have a burr up your ass about anything with the word diversity to be credulous enough to eat up trash thinking like this. Give me a fucking break. Imagine picking out Kevin Powers, Jesmyn Ward, and Peter Carey and trying to make the argument that they are unforgivably similar because they all took jobs commonly offered to prominent writers.

It's really aberrant for all book award winners to be MFAs teaching creative writing. I don't know why you think that's normal but it's not.

Writers of "great novels" teach creative writing. They do this because this is how you can make money and have a comfortable life with a very low income. It is one of the only ways to have a consistent income and lifestyle as a writer. This is not "aberrant" in anyway. It is somewhat different than the past, because the economics of writing have changed, though not that much, as most of the early National Book Award Winners also taught at, or had residencies, at universities during their careers, a fact not so surprisingly ignored in this shit-ass essay.

The article cites William March's not finishing at the university of alabama, but fails to point out that he went on to Columbia. It mentions that John Cheever dropped out of school but not that he was a faculty member at the Iowa Writer's Workshop. It mentions that JF Powers dropped out, but not that he taught creative writing at St. Johns University.

This is only a tiny sample of the misleading trash in the article.

The nature of careers have changed as well, and it is far more typical for people to pursue professional accreditations and far more people attend college. Unclear why this would be different for writers. Do more award winners today have MFAs? Yes, MFAs largely didn't exist in the same way many years ago. Not many of the early winners typed on computers, either. So, what.

Only a moron could eat up this article.

An MFA program is obviously a weak substitute for having had an interesting life, or at least having lived in a more varied and interesting time - but it's not really their fault they missed that. And anyway, the winners all being from the subset of people who attended or taught at an MFA or writing program is at least better than their coming from the subset of people who get Ph.D's and then insist on being addressed as "Dr." You meet one of those people now and again, and it's just hard knowing their existence is a mistake, and knowing they don't know it: ya know, just awkward.

How do we go about "insuring racial and gender diversity in top positions at leading journals"?

I'm not sure who would be willing to underwrite that. Lloyd's of London?

6. For one thing, it doesn’t seem that old-style libertarianism can solve or even very well address a number of major problems, most significantly climate change.

Nobody, libertarian, socialist, republican or Amish, can do anything about "climate change".

I dunno, maybe greedy capitalists trying to save a buck can help.

A highly skilled bioterrorist could do a great deal about climate change.

I guess you can’t make fun of Nobel Prize winners.

Off topic -

if you want to read the goodbye to this website from Efim Polenov, you can, at this moment, find it on the thread that began with the post that is time-dated
1/7/2020 9:52 AM.

It might be deleted soon but that is ok with me. I just do not have it in my heart to wish anything but the best for people I respect, like Cowen, for example.

Seriously, Tyler (and you can call me Steve anytime you want), except for your lack of understanding on the abortion issue - of course Yale Law School would have accepted you if you applied, and trust me, Professor Cowen, if you knew as much about the law as you do about other things you would be pro-life ----- and you would be a better lawyer than Marty Ginsburg or that guy from Colombia University Law School who was so enamored of the beautiful verses of Gerald Hopkins - Chirelstein was his name ---- and you would have been a better lawyer than Dershowitz and Tribe and even poor little Kennedy - trust me, I know these things ----- I could have made poor Paul Samuelson look like a patzer (Yiddish for poor chess player) if poor Paul Samuelson tried to make me look bad bragging in his way about what he thought he knew about numbers and probabilities ---SAD! ----- which he would not have done, I remember ----

Please please read Proverbs 8 as if it were a letter you received in the mail from someone who cared about you the way a great professor cares about the best of his students, then read, well maybe the first two chapters of the letters to the Ephesians or Phillipians, or maybe you know much much much more than me what you should read.

God loves you , my friend.

I remember. Pleasanton 1974.

You've never told us.

It is extremely kind of you to ask.

All of us, without any exceptions, have had moments in their lives that are similar to what I think of when I think of Pleasanton 1974.

If you want the exact details, I was 14, and at the age of 14 I understood, without the help of anyone - not the kind people of the Amador High School Faculty, not my sad Asperger-raddled relatives, not the girls I wanted to date or the guys I wanted to be in the same gang with ----
none of whom could have been expected to know that I was going though that moment in life where GOD reveals to us how much we are loved in the worst of our sufferings, all of them had similar moments later on .....
I understood something that poor little Freud, poor Jung, poor little Otto Rank, poor Ernest Becker, all of whom I was familiar with at the age of 14 -I was not an ordinary child ---- seriously, I was 14 years old and I could have told you what was wrong with Jung's view of the unconscious, I could have told you why Freud did not really understand where joy is found ------

I understood something they never understood.

You have no idea, or maybe you do, how frightening it was to be 14 and to understand that God had inflicted you with mental illness and you tried to conquer that mental illness not because you cared about yourself but because you thought it might be nice to figure out how to conquer the specific problems you had because in the goodness of your heart you thought you might be helpful to someone else some day in the future and your response, knowing that you had not asked for the tragedy of being a 14 year old with mental illness with nobody around you who cared, was this response ----

is that the worst?

This is bad, but I can handle this.

12 years later I saw the angels of God after a car crash that would have killed 999 out of a thousand other people.

And in those moments after the car crash, I understood, after just a 12 year wait, what I understood in Pleasanton in 1974.

Remember, I was a badly dressed lonely little kid, all the teachers loved me because I was just as eloquent at the age of 14 as I am now, but there was nobody who treated me in the friendly way that we all want to be treated.


And I remember this ----- I remember thinking ---- well, Steve, try and remember a billion details ---- and as God is my witness I could tell you a billion details about the way Pleasanton looked in 1974, and just as many details about Livermore and BART and San Francisco and the Sunol park and so many other places back in the day, because like I have said again and again, I remember -----

like I said, a billion details.

You have no idea how much I appreciate Wente wine, or how much I know about every single tree or smell or hillside slope in Pleasanton in 1974 or 1975, unless you also ---- and I think you do ---- have a similar connection to a different place.

Let me say one more thing. I have never met anyone braver than me, which seems like an arrogant thing to say, but I have met thousands of people as brave as me, which is so so true.

Proverbs 8.

Thank you. And I hope you are kidding about not posting here anymore.

Thank you for those kind words.

All of us , without any exceptions, have had moments in their lives that are similar to what I think of when I think of Pleasanton 1974 .....

that is all I wanted to say,

God remembers every good moment in your life but trust me


Thanks for reading,

I reside in China; Haidilao is more than just a hotpot restaurant. It is THE hotpot restaurant du jour and has taken on a cultural following far beyond the simple fact of eating there. People can get their nails done while they wait in line, take tours of their state-of-the-art kitchens, etc. I can't think of a comparable Western restaurant in terms of overall impact.

Libertarianism is a white thing, specifically an Anglo thing. There’s not a global constituency for it and there has never been. With accelerated immigration changing the makeup of countries, questions of Nationalism vs Internationalism have come to the fore. In Bryan Caplan’s America, there is no libertarian movement of any influence.

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