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Libertarian calendar for September

30 Sep

September 30
Washington DC

Book Forum

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 12:00PM

Featuring the author Todd Zywicki, Professor, George Mason University School of Law; with comments by Anthony Yezer, Professor, Department of Economics, George Washington University. Moderated by Mark Calabria, Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute.

Why do people borrow? An attempt to live beyond their means or income smoothing that accompanies growing prosperity? Consumer Credit and the American Economy examines the economics, behavioral science, sociology, history, law, and regulation of consumer credit in the United States. The authors look at why Americans use credit and the implications for both the American economy and government regulation. With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created by the Dodd-Frank Act, spreading its wings, there is perhaps no better time to have an in-depth discussion about the past and future of consumer credit. This panel features some of the leading experts in consumer financial regulation, who have served as both regulators and scholars.

This event is being co-sponsored by the Federalist Society.

REGISTER  or Watch online Sep 30

September 30
Arlington VA

Liberty on the Rocks

Do you feel it? Fall is in the air! We have almost a year until dealing with bathing suits and interns again so let’s get together to toast with some (big) beers at Hunan.

Scottish (lack of) independence, ISIS, checking Bitcoin value on your iphone 6 – there’s a lot to catch up on! I hope to see you there and keep the conversation about liberty alive.


* $5.50 32 oz beers (ALL BEERS – IPAs, Blue Moon, Shocktop, etc. not just the miller/bud tier, but not Guinness)
* 2/$6 shots
* Dinner entree and sushi specials

Happy hour lasts until 9:00PM!
18+ to enter
21+ to drink

Hunan Number One is located at 3033 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201, right off the Clarendon Metro on the Orange and Silver Line.

September 30
Arlington VA

Nova Libertarian Party fundraising letter stuffing

Libertarians, let’s get together and assemble the fundraising letters that will be going out to Libertarians throughout Northern Virginia. Come on out for specials on draft beer, and help LPNOVA spread the word. 


    • September 30
      Libertarian Alliance
      We meet on the third Tuesday of the month 
      at 7pm at the Shephall Community Centre,
       Shephall Green, off Hydean Way, 
      off Valley Way, Stevenage, SG2 9XR.
      On Tuesday, 30 September, David McDonagh will talk on  “The life of Gladstone; featuring the part he played in rise and the fall of classical or pristine liberalism”.
    • Stevenage, United Kingdom

Peter Thiel does DC

24 Sep
(There are 4 videos, Thiel’s remarks and 3 of Q&A covering bitcoin, The Social Network, Facebook, charter cities, and seasteading.  I’m busy today so come back tomorrow for all videos here, or check out YouTube directly.  I don’t know that anyone else recorded it.)

On bitcoin:

On charter cities and seasteading:

‘Silicon Valley’ Premiere: ‘This Is Your Baby’

12 Apr
Sundays on HBO.  A Peter Thiel figure (“Peter Gregory”) who gives grants for people to drop out of college, bids against a Google-type company for partial ownership of a new company that is based on an innovative algorithm that searches compressed data files, whose founder/owners are a smorgasbord of nerd stereotypes.

‘Silicon Valley’ Premiere Review: ‘This Is Your Baby’: If you caught Mike Judge’s new show on HBO Sunday night, you ought to know what it’s called. Characters made at least five references to Silicon Valley, as the show is named, throughout the half hour. But Judge can be forgiven these transgressions because our hero is about to quit his day job at hooli, an over-the-top fictionalized version of Google to start his own company. And geographically, Google sits in the heart of “the valley”. Oh, yes, and the show is pretty entertaining.

Peter Thiel on the future of liberty

23 Feb

Peter Thiel at Students for Liberty: We must put our hope in libertarians
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Peter Thiel of PayPal and Facebook fame

I’m constantly on the lookout for other young libertarians.  I search in part for social purposes (birds of a feather…), in part to reaffirm my sanity (see image on next page), and in part because I agree with Peter Thiel that, simply put, we young libertarians are the ones who can save the country.

It was easy to find young libertarians this past week.  First – on Thursday, Feb. 16 – I went to a panel discussion sponsored by the self-described “classical liberal” America’s Future Foundation (AFF) and titled “What is the role of the federal government in marriage?”  Matthew Bechstein of GOProud and Jason Kuznicki of Cato Institute presented on the side that most of the audience supported.

Second, I spent the weekend at the Students for Liberty fifth annual conference with over 1,000** libertarian students from across the country.  The conference offered educational sessions on topics such as “What is Austrian Economics?” (Chris Coyne, Foundation for Economic Education) and “What Kind of Libertarian are You?” (Nigel Ashford, Institute for Humane Studies).

Clearly, young libertarians exist.  If you can get 700 of them to travel to the lion’s den of libertarianism (Washington, DC), then there has to be at least a decent size.

But it’s difficult to know just how many young voters are libertarians (self-described or accidental).  David Kirby and David Boaz estimate that “14% of American voters can be classified as libertarian.”  By all outward appearances, youth libertarianism is bigger.  Consider flawed-libertarian-vessel Ron Paul’s success among young voters in polls and actual elections:  This mid-January Gallup poll shows Paul to be the favorite Republican candidate of all young voters (31% to Romney’s 26%, Gingrich’s 10%, and Santorum’s 7%), and Paul has scored a number of youth wins among those few enthusiastic young voters who turn out for Republican primaries: 48% of the youth vote in Iowa; 47% in New Hampshire; first place in South Carolina; second in Florida, etc.

Suggestive evidence of youth libertarianism can also be found in the explosion of groups like SFL, AFF, Young Americans for Liberty, Cato Institute summer internships, Koch Foundation’s student programs, and the student programs of the Institute for Human Studies.  Finally, the initial returns from a survey done by my RK Research organization suggests that college students think the Republican party is far better with economic issues than they are with social issues – a form that fits libertarianism. (page 2)

Whatever their number, these young libertarians are the potential saviors of the country.   Peter Thiel – co-founder of PayPal and Facebook angel investor – made this argument as the SFL conference keynote speaker.  According to Thiel, the United States is in a bad position:  Innovation drives the U.S. industry and our innovation (with a few exceptions, namely the computer/internet world) has stagnated.  Witness the airplane – the planes we now fly go the same speed as they did in 1990.  We use coal for large amounts of energy, just as we did in the nineteenth century.  The number of new drugs we produce has slowed.  Life expectancy is no longer rising at the rate it once did. Etc.

Unreasonable explanations for this include:  1) We’ve reached the end of history; it’s impossible for us to improve on the technology of the plane, and 2) We’re not as smart as we used to be.

Peter’s alternative explanation – developed in his essay “The End of the Future” – is far more feasible:  the modern regulatory system has choked invention.

And the only people in the place to fix this aren’t the statists on the right or on the left, but the libertarians.  As Peter said, “It’s an exciting time to be a libertarian.”

Armed with new enthusiasm, I spent the rest of the weekend at SFL learning more about how the state is choking development, and I met the people who are going to fix this course in the near future.

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