Europe Prevails!

Ryder Cup Win
ESPN Photo
Yep folks, a sports post on a day chalk full of awesome sporting events...NFL Games, The Ryder Cup Golf, Fall Major League Baseball with playoff implications plus the NASCAR Chase is in full swing so all those races really count 

I still find it absolutely incredible that Europe came back and won the Ryder Cup after the lead the United States took into today's singles matches....We only needed 4 wins and a tie out of 12 matches to win and we blew it! Kind of makes me sick to roll over that way almost without passion or a fight. Congrats to the European players and coaches, they were fantastic.

That is all for now. I am really feeling under the weather and the old specter of pneumonia haunts me to this day because the symptoms are so familiar. OK Time For Me To Rest...

There is shockingly little literature on the economic thought and economic policy thought of Dr. King

I am picking up a summer project I had started on the subject...

...does anyone know any good peer-reviewed articles? It's astonishing how little there is, which makes me more glad I'm getting this down.

Five times as many libertarians support Romney as support Gary Johnson

Wow - that's embarassing (HT - Brad DeLong).

Doesn't matter much to me. I don't want either elected and I think this election is going to be more about who gets out the base than about swaying the other side.

I imagine these numbers would be pretty different if the libertarians' favorite career Washington politician (Ron Paul) were running, even though some of the more thoughtful libertarians agree that Johnson is better than Paul.

btw - since I don't post all that much about electoral politics, this is as good a place as any to note that Brad DeLong has also been posting a lot about how ridiculous that Friedersdorf column about not voting for Obama was. That's been nice to see. I've been seeing far too many of my fellow left-of-centerers praising that thing.

Scroll a few posts back for my view on drones and such, and use the search function to find old posts on how insane it is to castigate a president for treating enemy fighters like enemy fighters rather than common criminals. There is plenty to criticize Obama for. Killing enemy fighters is not one of them.

Jonathan on Human Capital and the Crisis

Jonathan has a good post up on taking human capital investment seriously even in the midst of a demand-driven crisis. Often in the blogosphere you'll hear the subject dismissed, simply because it's a long term growth issue that has no (or at least very little) relevance to our current problems.

Like Jonathan, I agree the consensus on the contribution of skills mismatch to the crisis is right. Also like Jonathan, I hope this is not going to lead people to ignore it (if for no othe reason than that I spent a lot of my time studying human capital investment issues!).

He argues that the problem isn't a skills mismatch so much as a policy mismatch:

"There is a lot of evidence that some firms can’t find qualified employees. Earlier this week, I linked to an article in the Wall Street Journal arguing that some 600,000 jobs in manufacturing were left unfilled in 2011. Here in San Diego, I was made aware of a firm, which produces machine parts, offering free classes in its trade to lure potential employees — wages are relatively high too: I heard up to $80,000, but I’m sure there’s a range (with most new employees making much less). In this kind of environment (San Diego, specifically, has an unemployment rate of 9.2-percent) these kinds of offers seem ridiculous, but it reflects on real structural problems (workers with superfluous skills).

But, these kinds of offers may not seem that attractive when you can go to a subsidized university for as cheap as $3,500 a semester (current price of attending SDSU [which four semesters ago cost ~$2,500) — UCSD is much pricier, of course, at ~$13,000 for the entire year [and, this doesn't include parking, rent, books, et cetera], and USD charges ~$40,000). Some even get it cheaper through student aid (I not only attend for free, but get aid to help pay for my cost of living in general — the benefit of being an older, financially independent student). Even where students pay through student loans, you can get a high proportion of subsidized loans. Apart from subsidies, there also seems to be a culture fixated on the benefits of higher education, and so parents (in large part also because of higher real incomes) are more willing to subsidize their children’s education (this may breed contempt for jobs requiring a heavy degree of physical labor). The result seems to be too many college students and too little people seeking alternative means of improving their own human capital, such as trade schools."

To a certain extent I agree with this. I don't think the problem is so much our investment in college education as it is our underinvestment in other alternatives.

He concludes with an important thought:

"So, when we recognize the existence of skills mismatch, we should really be wary of advocating things like "improving human capital," since the only person in a osition to know in what direction to improve human capital is the individual - anything that can distort decision making can actually worsen the skills mismatch problem (that tend to reveal themselves during bad economic times."

Again, I obviously think there is a bigger role for policy here than Jonathan does. There are plenty of credit constraints, inequality and inadequate primary and secondary school problems that constrain the opportunity to attend college or other training programs, and positive externalities associated with education to justify making public investments in human capital investment.

The key - as Jonathan points out - is that the decision making capacity needs to be at the individual level. Too often we hear targets from politicians that we need X number of scientists and engineers or Y number of college graduates. These are numbers that market signals will provide and that individuals will make decisions about based on their own abilities and aspirations. They're not numbers that can be set by politicians.

What politicians can do is structure educational institutions to give students a wide range of opportunity and choice (and the schools considerable flexibility in satisfying those needs). Then you let the market determine the allocation and investment in skill.

I think the economic questions that lead me to support public investment and Jonathan not to are somewhat different from the issues raised here. We both agree that individual choice in human capital investment is the best way to grow the human capital stock.

Adjusting again!


I don't know why this is but every time in my life, especially recently.....I try to make some changes in my eating habits, exercise and lifestyle to be healthier I end up get sick. It never fails fails.

About 7 weeks ago I started to make some changes and have stuck with it through my son's wedding up until now. I feel good about it and can honestly say I haven' really had too much of a struggle and I feel better which is always great motivation.

But I am convinced now that my body thrives on un-healthy situations...crowded smoke-filled taverns, drug and alcohol abuse, over-eating...jeez whenever I get healthy I'm running a high fever, have bronchial issues, can't breath and a terrible cough.

I think I just got so used to the toxic state of being that was my norm that my body now rebels at healthy situations...ironic, I know!

Anyway...still trying to get used to the Fall change of schedule and going back to church early Sunday mornings which in all honesty was something I really missed. 

So off we go, we shall have more to say later....

Whole30: Week 2 Summary

I have settled in to this lifestyle a little bit more this week.  The wild emotions have tamed a bit and I'm much more level.  I'm also not feeling quite so tired and getting really great sleep at night.

Unfortunately I did have a bit of a rough week dealing with some personal issues.  It didn't affect anything that I ate (meaning I didn't fuck up) but it made me realize that I do use food and drinks as a crutch when things are hard.  When you're feeling a bit beat down and having a hard time, having a drink or a treat is definitely something that would help me along.  I abstained (other than an *apple with almond butter - which I actually regretted because I ate it for the wrong reasons) but I feel like I have had a harder time pulling myself out of the situation and how it made me feel.

On that note I am totally alone in this Whole30 journey and I have actually been feeling lonesome. (I struggle to explain this feeling other than to say that this lifestyle can be a bit isolating.) Anyone in this house besides myself who happens to eat Whole30 approved foods only does it because I am the sole cook in the house and the food I cook tastes good.  But when push comes to shove and a beverage (or several) is offered, they are quickly consumed (by someone else, not me - to be clear).  That's fine, this gig certainly isn't for everyone, but I  just wish there was a little more support in the form of kind words or expressions of caring or time spent together doing something, anything.

On the topic of food, I hauled out my crockpot and used it several times this week.  What an ass saver that is! This past week I cooked meals while I slept!  It doesn't get much easier than that!

 I also order and received Melissa Joulwan's  cookbook, "Well Fed". I paid and arm and bloody leg for it since it isn't sold in Canada and also because I'm impatient and I wanted it ASAP.  I had heard so many good things about this cookbook and it did not disappoint.  Have tried a couple things already and am pleased.  This is my current before-bed reading material right now!  I can't wait to try so many other things from this book.



In other exciting news, I found GRASS FED beef at my LOCAL butcher!  I actually yelled in the store, to the butcher "YOU HAVE GRASS FED BEEF!??"  when I saw it.  He seemed  impressed that I knew anything about it at all.  Granted, it is imported from Australia and not locally sourced but it's all I can get so I'll happily take it.  Also not overly expensive. I got 4 decent sized steaks for under $18. Less than $4.50 per grass-fed steak is a pretty decent price.  They also carry organic ground beef and chicken, all at a reasonable price. Guess where I'll be meat shopping in the future?


Lots of Whole30/Paleo recipes call for Coconut Aminos - which take the place of soy sauce (soy and all derivatives are prohibited on Whole30 and in a Paleo diet).  Shannon and I did a taste test of it during our lunch break on Friday and we were both unsure. It's a slightly different taste than soy sauce for sure.  We both wondered if it would be better when used in a recipe.  I am happy to report that it works beautifully in place of soy sauce in recipes.  Actually gives food a nice flavour.  I had to hunt this down in a "specially/health food" store and it was nearly $8 a bottle.  Good thing I saved on the steaks.  By chance, at that same store I found some Whole30 approved Chorizo sausages which I made into a delicious dinner with prawns and a "rose" sauce over spaghetti squash.  I have definitely been enjoying the food I've been making/eating.  However I have noticed several times this week I have been unable to finish my meals.  I haven't increased my portion sizes but have been finding I am done eating before my plate is empty.

I as I mentioned in a previous post this week, I let go of my gym routine - right now I just can't make it work and so I am going back to running.  It's more enjoyable for me right now, it's outside, there's greenery and fresh air and it's time efficient.  I ran 14km this past week.  10 of which were awesome and 4 of which were hot, hard, tiring and total shit.  I know I didn't fuel properly for the "bad" 4km and I need to work on that. I can't just bust out the door with no fuel in me and expect to pull off a 5km run like I maybe could when I was eating processed carbs.

On a positive note, I have found that the negative self talk has quieted quite a bit.  I am not sure what the final results will be at the end of my Whole30 (as far as weight goes) but there is something about knowing that you are doing absolutely everything right for your body that makes you more accepting of yourself.   If my extra weight doesn't start to come off after eating this way for 30 days (and beyond) then there is nothing more I can do.  I will have no choice but to accept myself as I am because I couldn't do things more right than I am right now.  That's a somewhat comforting feeling.

On a note of self care, I had been hoarding a gift certificate for the spa (from my birthday in April) and used it on Saturday with my girlfriend. (Thank you, Lori!)  I had the most relaxing facial and pedicure.  It felt so wonderful to do this.  It was peaceful and a big treat and also nice to spend time and have some laughs with a friend.  The tough part came when I was offered a glass of wine with my pedicure.  I turned it down without a second thought but it really would have added to the pleasure of my experience.  I think perhaps once I am done Whole30 I should reward myself by going back to the spa for a treatment and say yes to that glass of wine - what do you think??

Now, on to week 3!


*Just realized that I ate an apple with almond butter as a snack three times this week. DANGER! DANGER! I know I was eating those for the wrong reasons and I will put a stop to it immediately.

Somebody Is Looking Out For Her...


Something just happened over here that makes me think I have do a better job of keeping track of Kim. I think I've mentioned that her new job has  her working 6 -10 hour days: 3p until 1:30am (her regular hours are 4-10 hr days Monday through Thursday but she is working mandatory Friday/Saturdays as well)....she is pretty exhausted most of the time but really likes the job.

Well she didn't have to work OT this weekend so she has been hanging out with me and it has be a nice weekend but a little strange because she is often still so exhausted. For example it's 10 pm and my Mum was getting ready for bed. Kim kept telling her she was leaving to go home and I literally heard her head out the door. I went and got her and asked where going and she said it was already morning and she had to get home to sleep to go to work! She has no clue what day it is.

So yea...she needs the $$ the Over-Time would bring but she needs the R&R even more so somebody UPSTAIRS is looking out for her!

I don't understand this

I don't want to get into the "apodictically certain" stuff in the post. I'm not sure what the point of even worrying about that is. But I didn't understand this point by Peter Klein:

"Both the Austrian and neoclassical approaches to demand begin with an ordinal preference ranking. But the understandings of marginal and total utility are completely different. For Menger, marginal utility applies only to discrete units of a homogenous stock of a good. The fourth apple is allocated to a lower-valued use than the third apple, and so on. The law of demand follows from the fact that additional units of a homogenous good are used to satisfy lower-ranked ends. Note that for the Austrians, the term “marginal” applies to the units, not the utilities. “Marginal utility” is the total utility of the marginal unit, not the marginal utility of a unit. There is no larger concept of “total utility,” of which marginal utility is a little slice."

The bolded part, specifically.

What is the difference? Why would you make a claim like that? Isn't this just fundamental theorem of calculus stuff? I don't see what the difference is.

Quiggin on "Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren"

Here. (HT - Brian Leiter [who my brother told me the other day he thought he saw driving by in a minivan])

I have not had a chance to read it yet.

Quote of the day

"There is no magic formula for wringing knowledge about complicated problems from stubborn facts"

- Milton Friedman, pg. 277, Essays in Positive Economics

Feynman on Math and Physics


Some of you have probably seen this before, but I wanted to share an excellent lecture by Feynman on the relationship between math and physics that I listened to yesterday. When I don't feel like listening to music I sometimes put these sorts of things on in the background while I work. If I internalize 10% of it I've still gained something. This was good enough that I replayed it after listening to it the first time and paid even closer attention.

I especially liked the discussion of the difference between (what he calls) Babylonian and Greek mathematics, and the fact that physicists are more like the Babylonians. It's something that I think can really be generalized to all science, including economics.

The idea is that Greek mathematicians did the math we do today: you take a few axioms that you assume are fundamental and build up a system of knowledge on top of it. The Babylonians did math differently. It was rule-based but it wasn't axiomatic. Different pieces of the puzzle could be used to develop a proof that was convincing, but it was not derived up from knowledge that was assumed to be any more fundamental than any other knowledge. Feynman describes Babylonian math as "efficient" in that sense, and I'd also add that it is robust.

Physics works that way too, according to Feynman - physics is Babylonian. There's no fundamental truth. Instead, we take bits of different things we know and try to construct theories that connect those dots. It's wrong, he says, to expect that you have all the axioms at your disposal. And if you don't have all the axioms at your disposal then reasoning from an incomplete list (this assumes you haven't made a mistake in your reasoning - a big assumption in itself for human beings), you're going to get wrong results. The whole nature of the scientific endeavor is to understand what we don't know about. If you don't fully understand a phenomenon, how are you going to be able to assert you have all the relevant axioms at your disposal?

Draw whatever conclusions you want to about the fatal conceit of Mises on this point. You all know I have, of course.

So is the Greek math we're taught wrong?

No - and Feynman is very adamant about this. He says towards the end that it's not a mathematician's job to do physics. If the mathematician isn't doing what you want him to do don't complain to him about it: do the work yourself! What the Greek approach provides is a collection of arguments and ways of thinking about the world that are derived using a particular algorithm in mind. It's a framework or a superstructure that we as human beings have found very useful. It may not be the efficient way to discover new properties about the world, but building up from axioms is a very efficient way to erect a stable edifice of a series of mathematical propositions, given a common denominator set of axioms. And such an edifice is very useful to have.

In a lot of ways, this is why I don't mind mainstream "microfounded" neoclassical economics. I recognize the problems with it. But it provides a framework that has proven to be very useful in understanding human society. I would not let that constrain me from doing Babylonian economics. The so-called "ad hoc", non-microfounded mathematical macroeconomics as well as the more pluralist methods of qualitative researchers and other heterodox economists ought not to be considered so heterodox. They have important contributions as well.

Policy Precedents and the 1920s

Since the money supply is endogenous and the natural rate of interest is going to change over time, it's always tough to know whether you can really call a monetary policy stance "tight" or "loose". You can, of course, point to whether the Fed is buying or selling and there are of course other policies like IOR and reserve requirements that you could probably independently call "tight" or "loose". But otherwise it's tough.

Bob Murphy asks whether we can at least all agree that the Fed took unprecedented policy steps in the early days of the Depression:

"Here’s something I want to pin down. In my book on the Great Depression, I quote Lionel Robbins saying (I think in 1934) that central banks around the world had tried unprecedented measures to stimulate a recovery through cheap credit, and that this was a complete reversal of traditional central bank doctrine...

So here’s my question: Do any of today’s Keynesians deny this? Obviously you think that these measures were woefully inadequate, in light of the shortfall in Aggregate Demand in the early 1930s. But I’m asking, do you agree with Robbins, Hayek, and the random Joes writing letters to the NYT, who at the time were claiming that the central banks of the world were fighting the downturn differently from how things were handled in previous crises?

Note well, I’m speaking here in absolute terms, not in a Sumnerian view whereby the Fed–by definition–has been “tight” the last few years because NGDP is below trend. Rather, I’m asking (for example) if it’s true that central banks in the early 1930s were actively trying to ease credit (by lowering interest rates, setting up special asset purchases or loan programs, etc.) when they had never done things like this in earlier crises?"

I get what he's getting at, but I still think it's tough to get someone to commit to the idea that the Fed was "easing" credit. I looked at Friedman and Schwartz, and there was some activity in 1929, but that was pulled back. More substantial bond purchases seemed to be going on in 1931, but the policy didn't seem like it was sustained. I don't know the period particularly well, but nothing extraordinary seemed to be going on.

Were they "easing"? That's very hard for me to say yes to. Were they making bond purchases? Yes - it seems like they were sporadically, but the major action had to wait for Roosevelt in 1933.

Was this unprecedented?

That I didn't know for sure. They met the 1920-21 depression with a rate hike, not because they were Austrians but because they were anticipating Volcker. If you want to call the rate reductions in 1921 a counter-cyclical response you're free to, but I don't think that makes much sense. I think it makes more sense to say that they broke the inflation and ended their policy of high rates, not that they broke out low rates to fight unemployment. So I don't see much precedent there.

I don't know much about the rest of the decade, though, nor do I know about precedent at other banks.

The blogger "Lord Keynes" does. He has a very detailed post up demonstrating the use of open market operations during the other two recessions of the 1920s. As I noted in my RAE paper on 1920-21, this decision to rely on open market operations was in part a response to the whiplash they got from relying on the discount rate alone in 1920-21. OMOs are a smoother ride.

This all seems like Bagehot to me.

If I were Bob, this is how I would put it: before 1933, the Fed engaged in some bond purchases to address the contraction. The New York Fed was particularly energetic in the very beginning, when Wall Street was in so much toil. They did not behave like a modern central bank and were following precedent from the previous decade, but of course they were building toward a modern central banking mentality.

If anyone has anything else to add, I'm sure LK and Bob would both appreciate it.

The transparency canard (more on drones)

The authors of the Standford-NYU, along with their complaints about drones, have also called for greater transparency and democratic accountability around the program (HT - Andrew Sullivan). Just like "auditing the Fed" it sounds lovely and democratic and nice, but this is an active front of a war. You're not violating democratic principles to keep the details confidential any more than we are violating democratic principles by not trumpeting what banks are facing problems or disclosing CIA ops or publishing grandma's medical consumption (that's Medicare! that's a public program! democratic accountability!).

We ought to have a vigorous public debate about drones, but you don't disclose the war strategy while the war is on.

Democratic accountability means an informed public, but democratic accountability also means that our elected representatives have an obligation to professionally provide for the public defense, and that means not disclosing the details of active military operations.

decluttering, reorganizing

i've finally taken the time to do it...reorganize, sort, de-clutter and otherwise overhaul my website, which at 25,000+ images, needed some love and attention. now there are just a few collections on the homepage to navigate through, depending on desired content: 
  • performing arts (the dancers i love so much to photograph)
  • commercial (so many fun and creative projects coming into being there)
  • the working portrait (empowering others to photograph!)
  • giving back (free services for local groups)
  • art prints (no explanation needed)
it feels good. it feels tidy. i feel re-purposed and inspired to CREATE, now that my mental space has been de-cluttered and reorganized. 

An Open Letter...


To Those Who Know Me In Real Life Who Read This Blog,

Please keep in mind that the “theme” of this blog is my real life. It’s not a fairy tale. Being real is what makes this blog entertaining to many – including you. I write openly, with my heart on my sleeve and I usually try to put an entertaining spin on things – isn’t that what makes it fun to read?

Every once in a while I get in shit for something I write. Someone doesn’t like something and the “Psst… did you see what’s on The Blog?” starts. Sometimes I get the cold shoulder from someone and I can’t figure out why. Sometimes I am out right scolded. And you know, with all that I expose of myself – it’s the shits to be kicked by my loved ones for some sentence, paragraph or post that you have taken personal offence to.

I consistently poke fun at myself and expose my personal thoughts and feelings. Don’t think for a second that that’s always easy for me. Realize that I am putting myself out there and getting nothing in return. I’m showing you first hand what is inside my head and my life. I’m not a robot. I’m not a writer for the National Enquirer. I am Tara. Your wife, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, friend. I am a real person and as cheesy as this sounds: I have feelings.

I have never, nor do I intend to start editing myself. Everything I write is true and posted with the intent of being entertaining and realistic. I don’t set out to be hurtful or scornful of anyone who may (or may not) make a cameo in any of my posts. By all means, if what I say offends you, you are free to stop reading at any time.

Perhaps it’s time to take ourselves, and this blog, a little less seriously.

Red Frog Marina Review

We sat at anchor for a month before deciding on a marina to sit in to get some work done and while Jennie went home to Vancouver for 6 weeks. We had sat at the anchorage just outside Bocas Marina and we really liked the marina, however Red Frog Marina has great beaches just a walk away to take Dexter for a run. Right from the begining we heard stories about bad things happening to dogs, poor customer service, bad facilities (other than the docks), and how they cater to a couple mega yachts before the majority of the cruisers. All that aside, easy access for Dexter to run was top on the list; I mean how bad could it really be.

I want to mention I was really not wanting to write this, I really wanted our experience to be different, to be positive. We are very dissapointed that these roumors are true and I feel we owe it to othe cruisers who come down to Bocas del Toro to know that there is a reason why the two other marinas are full and Red Frog is not.

The dog issue was the first rumour to be supported by our experience. Dogs are not welcome here, sure they say they are, but the general attitude is very different. We always clean up after Dexter, once in a while we might have been a few minutes late to clean up the deed, but we are resonsible owners and it gets cleaned asap. Well that didn't stop us from getting comments and critism, not from fellow cruisers, but from the livaboard workers and management. I guarantee you the patch of dock in front of Cypraea is the cleanest in the marina, never the less someone always seemed to be spying on our every move. Late night drinks with friends at a table on the dock we might let Dex walk around and get pets, but only if we know people are ok with it. Never lie to a dog owner about how comfortable you are around dogs. Red Frog Marina is a tough place to have a dog on your boat, but you do get to run them on the beach which is a bonus.

Now the story of how Red Frog Marina got the nickname "Dead Dog Marina". One of the owners of the Red Frog Resort and Development was annoyed with the local dogs. He went and fed them rat poison and killed them. We thought this was a joke, until everyone who was here affirmed it. The owner of the development even owned up to it without remorse. Maybe that sort of thing goes in Panama, but where I come from and most of Red Frog's clients that is disgusting.

Enough about the dog issue. The Office has been encredibly unhelpful and could use a course in customer service. First off they have no one who speaks spanish and english. So when we had to call the dentist and the receptionist only spoke Spanish, Red Frog's response was, "good luck with that." Umm, thanks? Then they make you use their "vetted" employees (I will discuss this issue in detail further). Well they just give you the number and don't facilitate anything than charge 10% on the bill. I am a firm belive that money should be earned, and this just seems like a extra tax on top of keeping your boat in their marina. We used their people and that was fine with us, we had to hassle them for months just to get the work done, and it still isn't finished. So obviously the good workers go to the marina's that don't charge them and are way easier to get to (it is a 15 minute panga ride opposed to a 1 minute ride to the other marinas). Everyone know the jurisdiction that charges more tax attracts less business and less quality businesses.

Jennie and I met a nice crew of a mega yacht that came in to the dock. They were chill and we got along. The Captain said hey if you want some work, I can get you to do some stuff around the boat. Cool, bonus for us. So we are working on their boat, and the manager comes up.  Red frog had just hired a new managing couple (the 5th in 3 years), I thought cool maybe these guys won't be so bad at customer service...WRONG!!!!! It is worse than before.

The manager, who told me a few weeks before he knew he got the job that he doesn't pay the marina the 10% all the time, came up to me with a tone of militaristic authority and explains "The Rules" and how he'd let it slide a bit. Nicce guy eh? Well a few days later we do a bit more work, he come up to me the next morning while I'm running to the bathroom (broken head), and started giving me the third degree like I'm some kind of child. I explained that he needs to talk to the captain of the boat he has issue with. Then he went off on how Red Frog is in the "Money Making Business" I trold him thnat I am a customer and comments like that make me want to take my boat somewhere else. The response was, I shouldn't have gone there. Well I'm on a fixed budget and when someone wants to take my earned money for no reason I put up a fight. I keep working on the yacht, and then I run into the washroom to have a shower this morning, and he is cleaning all 5 and wasn't going to let me have a quick shower, I was feeling really greasy. Great customer service. Then he told me that I need to have a meeting with him by days end. As a customer I prefer to be asked to have a meeting, maybe send me and email, not told like I am a child. I told him to talk to the captain of the boat he has issue with and sent it in email form, as the rest is just hearsay Plus I know what contract I signed, and I have not broken it, but I have no idea what contract the mega yacht signed. The new manager talked to the captain, I am going to sign the papers and the captain is going to pay them the $10 a day or what ever, for a couple days. The Captain is returning the expensive golf cart that cost much more...... So the outcome is two pissed off clients (over a stupid rule) and a loss of $25 per day. Oh and an acurate review on the marina being posted on the internet for people to read, which no one has done in the past 3 years.

Red Frog is a horrible place to leave your boat, all the boats left here have ripped tarps which the marina doesn't replace, and they only wash your boat before you get back, not every month or two.

The management will not tell you about the great restaurants and bars around, outside of the poorly run resort ones. We tell people about Los Secretos and Palmar, because they are great places to spend an afternoon, and have great service. One is a 5 minute dinghy ride away with a magical view, and the other is a 5 minute walk and has a great beach bar vibe.

All in all the possitives are consistent electricitry, new docks (not a good communal hang out for sundowners though), new showers (laundry doesn't get your clothes clean though and for $4, 50 cents more a girl does it in town and they come out really clean), they have good internet ussually, and it is a short walk to the beach.

The real question is would we come here again and pay a premium over the other marinas for it. Absolutely NOT. We are going to get back on anchor asap. Jennie and I both worked in customer service, and the customer sevice here sucks. I wrote this because i don't want others to be douped by the nice docks. Go to Bocas Marina or Carenero Marina, our experiences and what we have heard from "resident" cruisers has been nothing but good.

Sorry about the rant, but people here are afraid of being "kicked out" for speaking up. We are not afraid of being kicked out for having an opinion.

More on drones

In the comment section of this post, Bob Murphy says that I have "unusual preferences when it comes to the president being able to blow up Americans with flying robots and no judicial review."

It's an awfully loaded way of putting it, but I'd like to say a little bit about why my preferences are not all that "unusual" (assuming "unusual" means "inexplicable" rather than "uncommon").

Another motivation for this post is a recent report from Stanford and NYU shared by Glenn Greenwald (the guy who a lot of people seem happy to outsource their views on all things war on terror related to) (HT - Bob Murphy). The report is thought provoking and it points readers in a lot of directions to learn more. It raises concerns about the reliability of the data (which is somewhat well known now, since the issue of the definition of "militant" was discussed a litle while back) - which as a data guy I consider very important. I had a hard actually getting a sense of the data in the report. There is some information in some charts at the end, but by putting the number of casualties on the same axis as the number of strikes, and then not providing a clear table that aggregates it, it's hard for me to follow.

However, the report does point to other peoples' data which is presented more clearly. I specifically looked at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a non-profit in London. The report says that "TBIJ's data currently constitute the most reliable available source". The primary reason is that they do not rely on official designations of militants. The chart I put together below compares their numbers on all drone strikes to Iraq War casualties from 2003-2012 that come from the Iraq Body Count project (also - from what I understand - an opposition-approved source):


This is the biggest reason why I refuse to concede the moral high ground to Glenn Greenwald types. These are the numbers that a highly critical report considers fairly reliable. Drones are (as Klaidman has called them) a "significant humanitarian advance over other kinds of weaponry". There's a lot of misdirection from Greenwald and others by pointing out the obvious point that you may want to dig a little deeper rather than trusting the administration's word on how precise drone attacks are. That's clearly true, but the fact that the administration may be presenting an overly rosy picture hardly demonstrates that drones are not precise.

The primary contribution of the report (from what I've read - I didn't read the entire thing) is to discuss the suffering that people experience from the drone attacks in more detail, based on information gathered in 130 interviews (none of the interviews seem to include American military personnel, based on the description of who got interviewed). This sort of thing is important - particularly for driving home the point that people like me have been making for a decade now vis-a-vis the Iraq war that you create terrorists in these conflicts as well.

But again, this has to be considered in the context of the counterfactuals.

How does drone warfare compare in this regard to conventional warfare? My working assumption - just based on the numbers above and common sense - has to be that prosecution of the war on terror with drones has reduced this problem, not exascerbated it. I have a very hard time taking concerns about "creating new terrorists" seriously looking at the drone numbers, particularly when considering how effective it is at dismantling terrorist infrastructure.

The real concern around "creating new terrorists" for me is the entire war in Iraq, as well as the fact that we are so deep in Afghanistan now because we did not crack down hard in the tribal regions on the border back in 2002 and 2003. It seems to me that if you're concerned about "creating new terrorists", the drone strikes are getting back to minimizing that problem after a decade of counter-productive (and in the case of Iraq, entirely unprovoked) conventional warfare.

The Greenwald types never seem to have an answer to this. Of course drone warfare isn't pretty. But instead of just talking about how warfare isn't pretty, let's compare it to the counterfactuals.

There is another counter-factual, of course. We could just drop the whole thing.

We could leave Iraq to Islamist parties, and leave Afghanistan to whatever militants, tribal leaders, or warlords can hold a certain territory. We can leave al Qaeda - an enemy that launched the first strike on U.S. soil in sixty years - entirely unharassed in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere. Will this be less terrorizing for these populations? Will less terrorists be created in these situations? Would Americans be safer?

I can't see how.

The trouble with Greenwald and those like him is that they often lump a lot of things together.

I think drone warfare is an important advance to embrace. But I do think we could probably scale it back - and the Obama administration appears to agree lately. I think there's nothing wrong with having a military prison on a Cuban beach or holding militants for the duration of a conflict where their compatriats are still fighting. But I don't think we should torture people, violate international law, or go against Constitutional law. I think if an American citizen is fighting with an enemy force it's a military matter. But that doesn't mean I'm non-chalant about due process. I think we should have gone to war in Afghanistan. But I don't think we should have gone to war in Iraq.

Just as it's hard to get Greenwald and Greenwald types to talk about counterfactuals, it's hard to get them to talk about these sorts of distinctions and nuances.

But that's really what we need to talk about, not how me and people like me are monsters and don't care about due process or civilian casualties. It's precisely because I care about civilians that I want to eliminate al Qaeda and the Taliban in the most sensible way possible.

*****

Watch it in the comment section. If you're an asshole to me or anyone else your comment is going to get deleted. Believe it or not, I really don't enjoy getting told that I'm a statist or that I don't care about human suffering or the Constitution. Sometimes I leave nasty comments if they are accompanied with additional substantive thoughts. Don't count on that.

Publications moving along!

I just received word that my article with Marla McDaniel on racial disparities in the employment returns to a high school diploma that we recently resubmitted has been accepted for publication at the Review of Black Political Economy.

Also, it looks like my submission to Notes and Records of the Royal Academy of Sciences on some of Keynes's Newton-related activities in 1942 and 1943 has some reviewers assigned to it.

Lots of Friedersdorf chatter going around....

Responding to this.

For me, Obama is still the clear choice. He is the "lesser of two evils" in the sense that any politician is going to be the "lesser of two evils" at best (although his biggest transgressions are macroeconomic, and not even raised by the chatterers). But that thinking doesn't dominate for me. He's not all that evil - not to any extent that it is worth noting. He's a pretty good president, and would have been even better if we didn't have this depression (because then it wouldn't even give him the opportunity to drop the ball on the macroeconomics).

And I'm not even a Democrat.

Anyway - I doubt those thoughts are news to many readers.

Which brings me back to Friedersdorf. The people praising his article today are probably thinking "Wow Daniel, you have really been suckered. The spin of the Obama campaign has got you hook, line and sinker. You don't even realize how bad Obama is."

Just remember what I'm thinking: "Wow, those guys have really bought into the Ron/Rand Paul-Gary Johnson-Murray Rothbard line that the Ds and the Rs are indistinguishable. They don't even realize that they've been duped just to aggrandize these politicians".

Actually I don't really think that in most cases. I do think these libertarian claims are more electoral posturing than substance, but I also believe libertarians genuinely believe it.

So here is my reaction to the reaction to Friedersdorf: if your story requires that everyone who disagrees with you is being duped and everyone who agrees with you "gets it", then something is probably wrong with your story.

"The New Classroom is a Factory"

Very interesting article on on-the-job-training (HT - Kate). They mention labor shortages, but it's a news item so I can't be too picky. The point is still on target - we have a hard time educating middle skill workers in this country, and companies are picking up the slack. This is good, simply because it provides the non-college-bound with opportunities, but it is also good because there is a greater guarantee that the education will be relevant to the job.

Of course this is no way to provide a complete skills distribution. OJT will be weighted towards firm-specific skills. What we need is a system (like apprenticeships, or entrepreneurial community college or CTE programs) that gets buy-in and participation from employers and can provide the general skills that may be less forthcoming in OJT.

You could see where this could develop a virtuous cycle. Given a set of CTE and community college graduates with the right general skills (because of cooperation with industry), firms will be willing to spend more OJT on brand new workers (who they now trust to have useful skills). Companies with strong professional development policies will attract more interest from students and schools and bolster the CTE and community college system. All of this is going to help raise wages, productivity, and reduce dropping out.

A little inter-species homosexuality never hurt anyone

Bartleby has long been a kisser. If you pucker up he is happy to walk right up to you and give you a kiss.

Today (I imagine because Kate is gone!), he walks up to me, slaps his paws on each of my cheeks, and starts kissing me, entirely unprovoked.

Very cute.

For those of you not aware, and who are thinking I'm cheating on my wife and making major lifestyle changes, this is Bartleby:

Carrying The FULL Load


Regular readers of this blog will know that I have just recently started re-posting some of the more significant posts from the past. The last day or so saw me re-post two very significant pieces of my personal puzzle and they concerned forgiving the three men who sexually assaulted me as a boy. It was probably one of the most significant acts of my life and because of it I have been able to move on with life and learn how to live again.

So 11 months later how am I faring as far as moving on with my life? Have I been able to continue in that mode of forgiveness?

Well the answer is yes and no. I would be less then honest if I didn't admit that there have been moments when the old anger and hate have slipped back into my life but for the most part it has gone well.

Carrying a full load of HATE and vengeance around had taken it's toll and I still recognize the difference in how I feel day to day. I did not recognize it but I was like a caged animal, obsessed with revenge and escape...but no more.

I think the hardest part of the struggle is that there are people, places, situations, TV shows, magazine articles, etc that touch on this subject and it dredges it all bask up again. The hardest part is that entirely out of the blue this topic can appear and with it come all the ghosts that go along with it for                                                                                                                                                  me and that is something I have to just get used to and I will over time.

If you take Hayek seriously (like I do), don't read Taking Hayek Seriously

Greg Ransom, the author of Taking Hayek Seriously, is impressive in his ability to marshall up texts by Hayek and as a general resource.

But please, please, please, don't take his interpretive claims about Hayek for granted. This is not Daniel the Keynesian talking - I know a lot of Austrians have big reservations about him too.

My motivation, now, for saying this is this post by Greg:

"As pointed out by an endless stream of leading academic specialists, Jeffrey Sachs & Paul Krugman are constantly making false and deeply ignorant claims about Friedrich Hayek and his work.

The latest false and ignorant claims of Jeffrey Sachs and Paul Krugman can be found in "Masters of Money – Friedrich Hayek" presented by Stephanie Flanders on the BBC.

Here is Hayek’s clearly stated view:

"I agree with Milton Friedman that once the [1929] Crash had occurred, the Federal Reserve System pursued a silly deflationary policy. I am not only against inflation but I am also against deflation. So, once again, a badly programmed monetary policy prolonged the depression."

F. A. Hayek, interviewed in 1979, from Conversations with Great Economists: Friedrich A. Hayek, John Hicks, Nicholas Kaldor, Leonid V. Kantorovich, Joan Robinson, Paul A.Samuelson, Jan Tinbergen by Diego Pizano.

"I think it is certainly true that ending an inflation need not lead to that long-lasting period of unemployment like the 1930s, because then the monetary policy was not only wrong during the boom but equally wrong during the Depression. First, they prolonged the boom and caused a worse depression, and then they allowed a deflation to go on and prolonged the Depression."

F. A. Hayek, interviewed in 1977

In "Masters of Money" Sachs and Krugman flatly and falsely say that Hayek denied what he directly asserts just above
."

Notice both these are from the 1970s - 40 years after the depression. This was not what he was saying during the depression.

Take "The Fate of the Gold Standard", in 1932:

"Although there can be no doubt that the fall in prices since 1929 has been extremely harmful, this nevertheless does not mean that the attempts made since then to combat it by a systematic expansion of credit have not done more harm than good. In any case, it is a fact that the present crisis is marked by the first attempt on a large scale to revive the economy immediately after the sudden reversal of the upswing, by a systematic policy of lowering the interest rate accompanied by all other possible measures for preventing the normal process of liquidation, and that as a result the depression has assumed more devastating forms and lasted longer than ever before."

The claim in the 1970s - that the response to the depression was wrong because it allowed deflation - is completely different from the claim in the 1930s - that the response to the depression was wrong because it didn't allow for enough liquidation! Indeed the whole essay is an argument against what Hayek called the "stabilization theorists" who were arguing what Hayek would come to argue in the 1970s - that you wanted to avoid both inflation and deflation.

Greg could responsibly argue that some time in the intervening 40 years, Hayek changed his mind and agreed with the Keynesians and the monetarists. But he cannot accuse Jeff Sachs and Paul Krugman of "bottomless ignorance" for accurately presenting Hayek's view at the time of the depression. This was the common perception of the Hayek-Robbins position, and it was a common perception for good reason. If you want to talk secondary deflations we can talk secondary deflations and that sort of thing. But Hayek, in 1932, was critical of the Federal Reserve because it ameliorated too much of the deflation; whatever deflation was occuring, Hayek of 1932 thought there should be even more of it.

Methinks thou doth protest too much

Bob Murphy thinks I deserved my own entry in Noah Smith's bestiary...

...hmmm. I'm not the one that has a whole post series, set of you tube videos, and charity drive solely dedicated to trolling Paul Krugman, Bob!

It's true, I agree with Krugman often. I also disagree with Krugman (including in the comment sections of one of Bob's more recent Krugman posts where I claim that he makes a bad analogy between the Broken Window and the iPhone, which puts me in the company of that great Krugman-lover Robert Wenzel).

Surely agreeing with Krugman and putting forth arguments to that effect doesn't amount to "trolling", particularly since the only comment sections I regularly participate in these days are Bob's and my own (and occasionally I get in a tussle at Coordination Problem).

No, I don't think that's trolling.

Having a blog dedicated to arguing with Krugman? That's trolling.

Exposing yourself on youtube to try to get Krugman to argue (err... debate) with you? That's trolling (although it is a bit of trolling that I'd personally like to see come to fruition).

It is a very weird state of affairs when (for many people) calling Krugman an economically illiterate partisan hack is "engaging in honest discourse" and me raising the point that he's a decent economist that makes good points is "trolling".

Krugman fans may be a type of troll that plagues other blogospheres... maybe right or left wing political blogospheres. They are not a phenomena in the econ blogosphere. Krugman haters, though...

Racial Justice and Libertarianism

There have been a couple interesting posts by Bryan Caplan and one by David Henderson recently on racial justice issues that I wanted to call attention to.

The first is a series of three posts on libertarianism and Jim Crow (here, here, and here). Bryan starts off by asking about libertarian positions on Jim Crow at the time. He links to Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard. Rand discusses racism as a form of collectivism. Like a lot of Rand, she has a point and then gets distracted by her own excesses (various versions of being proud of your family history "are samples of racism", for example). Rothbard's piece is more interesting. He presents the standard, half-right libertarian formula that segregation is bad but integration is bad too. He calls public efforts "compulsory integration" to drive home the point. But that's largely in the background. Most of Rothbard's chapter discusses the Civil Rights movement itself, the various factions within it, and the probable future course of the movement. This is what we've been hearing from Ron and Rand Paul recently as well - and it doesn't just apply to the Civil Rights movement. It's the old line that slavery was bad but so was Lincoln (I have some scattered critiques of Lincoln, but I don't approve of this advocacy of opposition to the Civil Rights Act or the prosecution of the Civil War).

All of this is rooted in a twisted application of the non-aggression principle that only sees certain aggressions as actually aggressive. This strain of libertarianism ignores institutional discrimination, and it ignores the intergenerational transmission of past crimes. It also ignores cases where people are coerced by virtue of the property rights system (i.e. - involuntary impositions through negative externalities). When you start to think how long the list is, it becomes quite clear that Rothbard isn't really pro-liberty so much as he is anti-state. Libertarianism, in Rothbard's sense, is better thought of as Antistatarianism. Whatever the state does - whether it is pro-liberty or anti-liberty - is not considered acceptable. Anarchism, if you will. Obviously this doesn't characterize all libertarians - but I do think it's important to clarify that all libertarians (Rothbardians/anarchists or not) distinguish themselves more on the question of the state than on the question of liberty.

David Henderson follows up on Bryan's post with his own on Milton Friedman and segregation. Friedman takes the same position as Rothbard. Indeed, Henderson shares that Friedman considered Nazi anti-Semitic legislation, Jim Crow, and Civil Rights legislation to all be "similar in principle" to each other. Henderson says Friedman is right, but I think it's utter nonsense. Again, this is the sort of thing that you get when you confuse being pro-liberty with being anti-state. It's true, opposition to the Nuremberg Laws, Jim Crow, and Civil Rigths legislation is all consistently anti-state. But the distinction between the first wo and the last one is that the last one is pro-liberty. Milton Friedman is following the Rothbard/Rand line of argument, and it's leading him down a very problematic path.

In the third link, Bryan shares Ilya Somin's thoughts. Somin discusses Moorfield Storey and W.H. Hutt. I found the article on Storey very confusing. I have no idea why he is supposed to be a libertarian. The article presents a couple points: (1.) Storey was an anti-imperialist (not just a libertarian thing), (2.) Storey was a goldbug (many libertarians aren't), (3.) Storey was anti-segregation (not just a libertarian thing), and (4.) Storey thought blacks had a right to property and economic liberty (not just a libertarian thing). Storey may very well have been a libertarian, I'm just not clear on whether he was or not. The article framed it as Storey the libertarian vs. left-liberals and I just found a lot of the discussion confused. Still, he sounds like an admirable guy.

Somin additionally shares Hutt's book on the subject, which I am not personally familiar with. Hutt, of course, is South African and so he has a lot of experience to draw on in addition to his familiarity with the American case. The book as framed as being about the economics of discrimination. That is intriguing to me. Can anyone provide a synopsis of the economic argument that's made in the book?

*****

I also wanted to quickly discuss Bryan's post on whether we should give land back to the Indians. He also cites Rothbard extensively in this one. Rothbard essentially highlights the fact that the title chain to American land is very unclear. Even if you knew a particular parcel of land was stolen on a particular date, the lack of title and inheritance records means that no white (or other) owner of a piece of American land today has any victim they can compensate by returning the land.

This is an excellent example of points that Gene Callahan has made in the past about the coercions of different understandings of legitimate property rights. Indians didn't have titles or inheritance records because they didn't have the same system of property rights that we do today. The issue we're dealing with is quite akin to the enclosure movement in England. It would be like subsequent landowners dismissing complaints because those who used the common land can't show that they have title to the land. Of course they can't show that! The whole point was that it was not a private property right system!

Once again, as above, Rothbard shows that he is not really pro-liberty at all. He is pro-the-maintenance-of-a-very-specific-property-rights-regime. So he is antistatarian and propertarian, but not especially (or shall we say, not uniquely) pro-liberty.

I consider the Indian issue to be a very hard case. Enclosing the commons is form of social organization that to a large extent I support (I'm not saying that all commons ought to be enclosed). But I'm not like Rothbard in that I do recognize that you are dismissing someone's rights. Compensation, I think, is reasonable. I would certainly support substantial federal investments in Indian communities. I think it would probably make the most sense to have a sort of block grant scheme. There's a big concern (among some) about changing the way they live on reservations. Flexibility in the investments helps those sorts of decisions to be made at the local level.

But I don't apply this universally. I'm a lot more concerned about Indians in the West than I am in the East. In the East you have to remember that a huge portion of Indian lands were obtained as a result of the French and Indian War. The Indians were willing (indeed, eager) French allies in that war. When we (we, in this case and at this point being "the British") beat the French, we got Canada from them. The French lost their rights when they lost the fight. Why should we treat the trans-Appalachian territories any differently? Why must we feel obligated to give Ohio back to the Indians but we don't feel obligated to give Canada back to the French? Not only did we win the war in both cases, but the French and the Indians were fighting the same damn war on the same damn side! It's a subtle form of ethnocentrism to shed tears over the land lost in the trans-Appalachian territories but not over the loss of French territory in Canada.

I am not as well versed in Western history, but my impression is the situation there was very different and it was more straight theft.

I feel the same way about reparations for slavery, by the way. The idea that the black community today isn't experiencing disparities resulting from slavery and Jim Crow is nonsense. Failure to right these wrongs comes close to complicity in the wrongs.

Good Morning...Judgement, Wrath and Retribution! (Re-Post)

This is another re-post from late October of 2011 and the one I mention in the introduction to the previous post.

This is about forgiveness and I warn the reader that it is full of graphic content describing an actual rape...my own as a 12 year old boy. These last two post I consider to be some of the most significant writing I have EVER done...It was LIFE-Saving work.                                                                          





Vengeance...Retribution...Wrath...Judgement...It might sound as if I am pulling words out of an Old Testament Bible Scripture but alas, I am not. Those were and frankly still are relevant words to me in my own life's story when I once again began to think about forgiving the 3 men that assaulted and raped me as a 12 year old boy.

Forgiveness?! Are you out of your mind...there was a time, not long ago when I could visualize putting a bullet in the head of each one of those bastards...and feeling unsatisfied because they wouldn't have suffered enough! How is THAT for Vengeance, Retribution, Wrath and HATE for you? Me...their judge and jury? Damn right...I'd be their executioner....I wanted to make them PAY!

Funny thing is though..over the last 36 years...that unquenchable fire of rage, wrath, vengeance and hate was consuming only one person and doing them great emotional, psychological and yes...spiritual harm...and that person was ME.

A while back I wrote several posts throughout a few week period that dealt with this very subject of forgiveness. And as a result...I got closer and closer to that place in my heart where I might forgive them...I didn't...perhaps I couldn't, I don't know it doesn't much matter now: The bottom line is I did not forgive and as a result, I won't completely heal or even have a chance at healing until I do.

Forgiveness, as I have come to understand, intellectually at least...is for the FORGIVER...and in this particular case that would be ME. Why can't I do this? Why must I hold onto that HATE & ANGER so tightly that even in death, you probably could not pry my cold, dead fingers off of it!? Typically when confronted with a difficult task like this, unpleasant...emotionally hard...something I've needed to do to help my recovery, it has just taken a little time and I have been able to move forward. 

The prospect of forgiving those 3 guys seems different to me somehow. And I think FAITH or a lack there of has a great deal to do with it. Because...if I forgive them, the vengeful side of me seeks a guarantee that they WILL indeed be punished, that they will suffer like I have suffered. Well...God doesn't work that way, he won't make that promise to me...he owes me nothing. No...Romans 12:17-19 says: 

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do NOT take revenge, my dear friends but leave room for God's Wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay" Says the Lord". 

Well that does seem fairly clear cut, doesn't it? And ultimately the bottom line is this: I know now that forgiveness is for ME, that I am the one who benefits the most for offering it unconditionally. The anger that boils deep inside of me will only destroy me in the end if I don't put it aside and FORGIVE. I do not want to be consumed by my own rage...I know very well how tormented one feels when they HATE all the time.I don't want to go through the rest of my life feeling this tormented. I no longer want to be impaled on the Devil's Horn of HATE...certainly not for all eternity!

That being said...how do I go about forgiving them? I never knew any of them and except for that brief, violent encounter back in 1975...I had never even seen them before. I haven't seen any of the three since though at times in the late 70's I re-visited the scene of the crime several times...

Ultimately in my new faith I turned to the Bible to see what God said about forgiveness...Obviously, HE has a heck of a lot to say about it, as you might imagine and a great deal of it is about forgiving us our sins. But I was struck by a little something different that I saw in
Colossians 3:13...

"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you".

Bang, Bang...KABOOM! There it was for all to see and finally I know had no choice but to forgive..."Forgive as the Lord has forgiven YOU (ME)". I no longer could argue anymore, could I? If God can forgive ME, considering ALL the things that I have said and done over nearly 50 years of living hard and exclusively for SELF at everyone else's expense...well then surely I can forgive. 

Granted I am not a rapist but the point was made...GOD gave HIS SON, his perfect SON in sacrifice so that he would DIE in my place for the forgiveness of my sins and yours...They were forgiven, forever...and it would be the height of selfishness and arrogance and stupidity for me to hold on to this flaming ball of hate any longer. So here we go: WARNING: The Following content is violent and GRAPHIC, read on knowing you will be reading about rape.

Hey...I don't know who you are. I never knew your names...I didn't want to and I still don't. The only detail I remember of any of you is an image burned into my memory's EYE                                 of your mocking, name screaming, raging faces of 36 years ago and oh yea...I can still smell your sweat, your after-shave, your fragrance of HATE and violence, I can feel you pulling my hair, trying rip it out of my scalp while one of you is kicking me repeatedly in the face, all the while I'm being raped, my head is continually smashed into a wall by a urinal...that is what I remember, that is my memory of YOU...You could all three be dead already for all I know and I honestly wouldn't care...or you could be living next door. I haven't a clue...and it doesn't mean ANYTHING really.

But I forgive you...each one of you...completely...no strings attached...I forgive you, you and you. I sincerely hope you found or find the LORD and find HIS forgiveness because honestly,that is the ONLY forgiveness that really matters. I can forgive you for what you did to me...but I can't forgive your SIN...only GOD can do that...and he will, if you ask him to. I won't make excuses for what you did...perhaps one of you or all three of you has suffered for what you have done, perhaps I wasn't the only one that night on your rampage of HATE...STILL, that doesn't matter...I forgive you.

It is my sincere hope...and prayer that those men find forgiveness...But I have no way of knowing if they will. But regardless I think that just maybe...I might have found something much more important today: PEACE.

Redemption: My Very Own Half Mile Sewer Pipe of Sh*t (Re-Post)

The following post is one of the most significant I have ever written. Just one post earlier (That re-post will follow this one) I had found it in me to forgive my attackers after 30 odd years of that episode eating me up from the inside out. 

Just a heads up, these next two re-post are graphic, straight forward posts about rape and it's aftermath....please know that before you choose to read on.






It's been half a day or so since I publicly forgave the trio of men that perpetuated a terrible, violent crime against me when I was a kid. They violently attacked and sexually assaulted me, beating me up pretty badly and leaving me literally scarred for life with many hidden wounds and a raging case of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It is only in recent years that I have begun to heal at all from this monstrous crime and it's hideous memories.... 

I was totally prepared to write the usual post about how I don't really feel any different but I'm thankful I went through with it, etc. etc. The only problem with doing that though is I wouldn't be telling you the truth. I really do FEEL different as I sit here this afternoon. My whole world changed this morning and I'll never be the same...

I no longer carry the minute to minute torment of what happened that day around with me like a weighted chain around my neck. Those 3 guys no longer live rent-free in my head, constantly reminding me by their presence there how horrible that whole thing was and that I would never be able to live life without thinking about it constantly...and without thinking, dreaming and feeling things about THEM.

But now...I have been released...it's simple really, I was released from the hell I've carried around with me for 36 years. Granted..it still happened and yes I remember it...all of it. But I no longer entertain those three men daily in the private confines of my inner brain...I have been carrying THEM around with me for years too, in the form of HATE, Anger, Resentment and RAGE. And that combined emotional stress & strain has been eating away at my peace and serenity...and yes my sanity ever since...

The act of forgiving them and in turn letting go of the anger, the rage, resentment, fear...etc. is the real act of healing here. Letting it go is what made the true, tangible difference for me...and frankly, I had no idea how obsessed I was with those people and what happened to me then. 

Holding on to that memory and what they did that day was with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week was SICK and that very same memory controlled most everything I thought and felt. I had no conception how sick I really was until today when I shoveled that sh*t out of my life once and for all. Now I'm simply stunned at the possibilities that await me...today, much like Andy Dufresne,the lead character from the movie Shawshank Redemption ,I emerged from my own half mile sewer pipe of emotional and psychological shit: a totally FREE man.

That whole situation had changed in one shining instant of redemption, through forgiveness  and all in one morning's time...and now I have my own memories back, really I have my own life back again. And truly in it's own way, I am starting certain aspects of my life over again. What a wonderful opportunity after so many years of hiding in the darkness of the evil that had been laid on me at such a young age. I still tremble when I think of that innocent boy who left home that day and the fearfully damaged individual that returned in his place...

36 years later that lost little boy finally has found his way home. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm crying as I type, my hands shaking so badly that there is no way I could write this with a pen or pencil. Honestly readers...I never expected this to happen...I never thought I would EVER be free from that torment...even for a few moments.

Shift (Updated)

In the past couple months a problem has arisen in my little world: my husband’s shift has changed. He used to work pretty much the same hours as me, seeing us both home by 4pm. One of us would pick up the kids from daycare and we would work together (mostly) during the afternoon/evening getting everything done that needed doing. This also meant that I could hit up the gym right after work on the days that I wanted to work out.

Unfortunately (for me, not so much him) he now doesn’t get home until around 5:30pm. In that hour and a half I have single handedly gone and picked up the kids from daycare, tidied the house (dishes!floors!laundry!bedrooms!), refereed 4 or 5 fights, changed a shitty diaper (every fucking day at the SAME time!), made 2 different meals (kids, ours), met most of the demands of a 2 and a 3 year old (Can I have water? Can I have a banana? Can I have my red car? I want my crayons!), and fed the kids. He walks through the door, takes his work boots off and sits down to a hot meal.

At that point I am really fucking DONE. Get in my car, drive to the gym and lift weights now? Go suck rocks.

I usually end up back in the kitchen after dinner, cleaning up the aftermath and then making lunches, followed by bathing the kids and getting them ready for bed all while feeling shitty for not getting to the gym and trying to think of how I can make it work better tomorrow.

I know that lifting weights is really, very beneficial. I have been doing it for a several weeks now (although much less lately) and just the other day I thought I saw a tricep muscle on my arm. Exciting, I know.

And while I generally like how I feel after a workout, lately I don’t actually feel all that crazy about doing the workouts. In fact if I was going to be completely honest I might even say that I’ve begun to slightly dread them – likely in part because getting to the gym is such an ordeal now and I’m usually getting texts while I’m there saying, “can you grab diapers and milk while you’re out?”

Then this past Saturday I woke up with the urge to go for a run. I quickly threw on my running gear and split before anything had a chance to go sideways on me. I ran a 5km for the first time in a while. It felt fanfuckingtastic. I loved every minute of it and realized that I really miss running a lot. I’m outside, ALONE, listening to music, getting fresh air and good, hard exercise, working out my thoughts (I do some of my best thinking while I run). Not to mention, I don’t have to drive anywhere to go for a run and I can be out and back in 35 minutes. And it makes me happy!

In the past I could always fit running into my life. In current circumstances it would certainly be easier to fit in a run than a trip to the gym. The fresh air would contribute to my well being, the clarity and meditation type thinking that happens when I am running would definitely serve me well.

I know that strength training is better for my physical body than running is, and I hate to let it go – but it’s not doing me any good if I can’t find the time to make it happen or if trying to fit it in causes added stress.  And one of the things that have come about while doing the Whole30 is the realization that I want for things to be simpler. To have less stress. Be happier. Go easier.


So for now at least, I’m bringing running back.


...~UPDATE~...

Steve got home from work yesterday at around 5:15pm. I had dinner *almost* ready and my running gear on. I headed out the door.  There was a wee bit of backlash from my "people" and the little tendrils of guilt started to creep in for leaving them during hectic time. I pushed that bullshit aside and and hit the street. I ran 5km in the beautiful, fresh air and it felt really, really great.  I was wiped when I was done but that's the whole point. 

I got home and plated dinner and we ate.  Nobody suffered too much while I was gone a whole 35 minutes. After dinner I had a shower, got in my jammies and then I just layed down on my bed to relax.  I think Steve was a bit surprised by this, I don't usually take a rest.  After everyone went to bed (around 8pm) I got back up and finished up lunches and folded a load of laundry and then went to sleep.  And I slept like the dead. 

In the meantime, I woke up this morning to see that Whole9 had posted this on their Facebook page.  I can't believe how fitting it is for this very moment in time...

"Green Exercise" (exercise performed outside with exposure to green visual inputs like grass and trees) improves mood and self-esteem in as little as 5 minutes, and is particularly effective for those with mental health problems. 

Seeing and reading this little bit of info this morning has reinforced that I am doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing and I am exactly where I'm supposed to be.