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October 29, 2009


It's been great reading your posts; best of luck in all your endeavors, esp. protecting this here internet we've all come to know and love :)

Sorry to hear, for purely selfish reasons.

maybe even an additional site that's devoted strictly to telecom stuff

I hope you do do this, and of course you'll let us know, right? I would love to read it.

thanks for everything pub.

I'm sorry to read this post but can't fault the gracious way in which you take your leave or, for that matter, your reasoning. I figured out a couple of years ago that I could either blog or work--and working won out. Sounds like you've reached the same impasse.

So, go do good work, and keep your readers in mind. I'll keep an eye peeled for any posts.

I'm a long time lurker both here and at Legal Fiction ... best of luck to you, I've enjoyed your work.

The lack of hilzoy and the post-election climate seems to have taken a lot of the fire out of ObWi -- I don't say that as criticism, but rather as a reflection of my own feelings about both OW and the blogosphere in general. Like many people, I simply have other things to focus on right now, for better or for worse. I imagine that you do, too.

That said, publius, I've been there since the LF beginning -- while you were in law school, I believe, and before I'd even entered law school. It's been a long, strange trip and I can confidently say that you have been one of my political lodestars. Don't be a stranger.

The net will be poorer for the absence of your frequent insights. Hopefully, your hiatus will inspire some more brilliant people to get off their butts and throw their hats into the ring.

Enjoy the break and get some other work done. (Come to think of it, I should probably do the same.) I'll look forward to seeing your takes whenever you feel the urge to chime in.

I'm sad to see you go but can empathize with the wish to change the balance between ObWi and everything else in life.

Thanks for all the provoking of thoughts -- hope to see you around now and then -- all the best.

Thanks for the memories...

.....Au revoir
and Peace-out, Dude

And Then There Were Three...

I shall miss Publius's frequent and thoughtful (on good days even both)posting, along with Hilzoy's. ObWi was the first political blog I started following regularly, so the two of you have my gratitude for showing me that the political blogosphere was not all DailyKos and RedState.

Any chance of an expansion? The first nomination I could thin of would be Gary Farber, as his recent posts were interesting and he's always been a thoughtful commenter.

Heck I can't even comment anymore, best of luck Publius.

Good luck to you, publius. I, too, will miss your terrific writing and insights, so please don't be a stranger.

Congratulations on your impending new-found freedom! You'll be very much missed.

And let me add my voice to those suggesting Gary Farber as an addition to the ObWi roster.

I've enjoyed your posts very much, publius, hope to still see a few more.

I like the group of people who comment here and the tone of the conversations, and keeping that rolling I think requires at least one or two substantive posts a day, which seems hard to sustain without one or two more people blogging. I would be another to suggest Gary Farber if the other front-pagers are agreeable. Perhaps there are other regular commenters with blogs who might be interested? I can think of a few I'd pick out.

Life has a bad habit of getting in the way of blogging. I hope you enjoyed your sojourn here as much as I enjoyed your writing. Take care.

d'awww, man! Sorry to hear it, publius. I'm another who's been reading you, and mostly lurking, for years and years.

And I'm another who would favor making Gary Farber a regular front-pager here.

First, Bilmon, now you. What the hell? Bummmer.

I too have been enjoying your wit and insight since early LF. Keep fighting the good fight, we love ya but the world needs you so I guess we'll just have to share. Best.

πάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει

Enjoy the free time publius! Many thanks for all of your contributions here. We will all look forward to whatever occasional comments you have time to share.

I knew this was coming, but...crap. The bed's too big without you, in a blogging kind of way.

And they drop like flies. publius, as with the rest, I will miss your pithy, articulate, sometimes rambling posts and look forward to seeing your name in the comments section.

As to replacements, yes I would love to see Gary come on board. But there are a couple commenters here who I think would also make good front-pagers if they were willing.

My admiration for russell knows no limits. But I would also, despite my frequent disagreements with them, not mind seeing McKinneyTexas or even Marty be given occassional posting privileges. I have no idea if any of those three would be willing, but from a rant standpoint, russell is as good as they come and McKinneyTexas and Marty both articulate the conservative/libertarian POV quite well without being overly derogative.

I'm sorry you're going.

I'll think of you sitting in your deckchair on the Beach of Senior Bloggers enjoying a well-deserved break.

Sorry to see you go, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I've been reading your stuff since Legal Fiction and found it consistently well done. Good luck.

I'd also like to echo the thoughts about an expansion of the roster for ObWi, though I don't have any nominees right now.

I don't think the trolls won. The threads have been fine lately. Hopefully someone willdelete the troll on this thread.

Have fun,publius, and I hope you do show up every now and then.

I vote for Gary and Russel and McKinney form Texas as frontpagers! Promote fromthe ranks!

Again thanks and enjoy your freedom.

I second John Miller's suggestion of McKinneyTexas or Marty.

Obviously I'll disagree with them like crazy ;-) but if the two active front page bloggers left are Eric Martin and Lindsay Beyerstein, properly the third ought to be someone from the right field.

Why do infielders get no respect?

All Hail Publius! You will be missed by all, especially me. I don't hang out on conservative sites because, quite frankly, their kool aid flavor isn't to my liking. Here, I get to debate with smart people who see things differently and are willing to entertain opposing views.

May I be so bold as to suggest that you give yourself a couple of months to tend to other matters. Travel, relax, refocus and see where you are at year end.

OBWi is a great site, and you are a big part of why. Civil discourse among people who disagree needs to be nurtured.

FWIW, I understand burn-out very, very well. It's good to take a step back and sort out what matters most. Do that and see where you land.

To John Miller and Wonkie: very kind words for which I thank you.

See, comments like this is why Marty : he could get to explain at length why he's "appalled and angry" that Obama isn't behaving more like Bush.

(Now if that doesn't tempt you to join the front page elite, Marty, surely nothing will?)

And Jes too!

It's true; blogging can become what happens when you're making other plans. (Apologies to J Lennon.)

Best of luck with the transition into other lives, and do please keep on touching us.

just want to second (or third) the suggestions of mckinney, marty, and/or farber for the front page.

thanks john and wonkie for the kind thoughts, but my wife would throw the computer out the window if I was online any more than I am now. :)

best of luck publius and enjoy the free time! give yourself a vacation from the news for a while.

I'm sad that you're semi-retiring, but am glad that you'll be here from time to time. I've enjoyed your posts immensely, Publius.

All the best for your well-deserved break. I look forward to any telecom law blog.

How about allowing guest bloggers? Maybe Russell might be allowed to take a stab at that. Possibly more conservative voices might get heard that way too, as it wouldn't mean a full time commitment to blogging and defending themselves from the "lefty" commentariat.

First Hilzoy, now Publius!

Sorry to see you go, man.

Thanks all -- very very kind to say. I don't want to be to sappy in the post. But it really does mean (and has meant) a lot that people have been willing to take time to read and comment on something you write.

It's really something you never get entirely used to -- and it's always (to my wife's great annoyance) the first thing I always do every morning -- go check the comments. It's just been a big part of my life.

But it's time -- I've tried not to come to terms with the fact that I lack time now. But it's time to reallocate some energy.

Anyway, thanks all -- and we'll definitely consider suggestions, etc. for new writers.

I like 243's idea of guest posts.

My first chance to write op-ed pieces came when my move to Maine happened to coincide with the creation of a "Board of Contributors" in the Augusta paper and I submitted some essays on moving to the country, with observations on land use issues that were hot at the time.

The Board was a loosely defined group and people contributed pieces on a wide variety of topics, kind of randomly. It didn't last long as such, but it gave me an opening through which I could occasionally offer a column over the years.

There are quite a few people who comment here from whom it would be great to see, now and then, a longer and more developed piece on some topic that interests them, even if they don't have the time/energy to produce something on a near-daily basis.

The work (for the core front-pagers) of vetting guest contributions would hopefully be balanced out by the help they'd be getting in providing interesting content.

Not that this is a democracy, mind you. ;)

Great idea about guest posts, JanieM and 243. The truism used to have it that 'everyone has one good novel in them'; surely several people have some good posts in them.

The sticky part is that at a place like ObiWi blogging is, at least nominally, topical. There's that dang enduring tension between the fully-developed/researched and the immediate. Publius, Eric and Hilzoy have struck a good balance for years and years, but it clearly burns you out after a while. Maybe 'semi-fully-developed' and sort of fast?

[I meant no offense to any other front pagers here by not including them in my list - I'm just not as familiar with Von, et. al. as with the three I mentioned).

well, Ordinary Gentlemen does it rather well, with a core group of contributors talking topically and commenters with a specific viewpoint given a front page to elaborate on that viewpoint, respond to critics, ruminate further on a comment they wrote, etc. Given that ObWi often has very long, detailed, thoughtful posts deep down in the comments it would seem that a similar system could work very well for this site


Another one bites the dust...

I can understand the reasons. I can relate with them. Hope to see you back soon!!

This is Joshua from Israeli Uncensored News

While never being a front pager on a major blog, I have found I can either post or not post. The middle ground is unsatisfying because you are walking away from a conversation that you will either learn from, or hopefully win.

So I get the idea that you can't just do less.

What I think is that bloggers dropping out is that the work is done (or less urgent), so the passion has left. That is probably a good thing too.

I blame jrudkis for turning me on to Legal Fiction 3 or 4 years ago (I think - I can't tell time very well) for my current state of disappointment. (Everyone else here can blame him for my comments.)

The best to you, Pub. And I'd enjoy reading your writing on telecom law.

Sorry to see you go, pub. Ditto what the others said above about various commentors here who would (should they have the time and inclination) make good front page authors.

In left blogistan this year it feels sort of like the last episdoe of HBO's Band of Brothers. The world is a nasty mess that still needs to be cleaned up but the big war is over, the survivors are happy to still be standing but are a bit on the worn out side, and now everybody is sort of milling around not knowing exactly what to do while they wait for their demobilization orders, so they play baseball, go swimming, and get drunk (and then there is the occasional and most unfortunate friendly fire incident).

Happy trails.

Secret English court seizes billions in assets from the mentally impaired


Welcome to the semi-retired bloggers club! It's good to have you as a member. :)


You've got to do what's right for yourself, of course. But I'm going to miss you, publius. When I wake up at 5am and get on the Internet, this is always one of the first places I go. I'm going to miss your insights and knowledge.

Feddie commenting on this post is just too appropriate. Talk about shades of the Legal Fiction days. :) Hi, Feddie!

thanks for all of your hard work, publius. you have made a real difference to discourse.

come back when you can.

Belatedly, I endorse the multiple comments above that:

1) bemoan your departure but wish you well;


2) endorse Gary Farber as a worthy addition to the Regular Cast.

Well, hell, I'm really lost now. :-( This has been my first stop for quite a while now--stimulating discussion without driving up the blood pressure. And nothing against the other bloggers here, but it won't be the same. I'll have to find another "home" on the internet that isn't an echo chamber or a "fright sight." You'll be missed.

Sorry to see you go. I'd read McKinney or Marty or guest bloggers. but if I wanted to read Gary or Jes, I'd go to their existing blogs.

Perhaps an alternative would be an ObWiAnnex with some of the above commenters as front-pagers and a policy of regularly front-paging posts by commenters. The thing I've always liked about ObWi has been the way that the commenter pool has been relatively small, thoughtful, involved (few drive-by comments), and troll-contained, and the way that the front-pagers have historically read and responded to comment threads. It made the comment threads here more informative than most solo bloggers elsewhere.

It seems apparent - not a criticism, but an observation - that a pace of quality front-page posts sufficient to keep the existing readers isn't going to be possible with just Eric, Von, Sebastian & Lindsay. So perhaps before everyone gets out of the habit of ever checking here, one or the other course of action could be taken (new front-pagers here, or a new group blog).

I hesitate to name people because I know that not everyone aspires to front-page blogging (i.e. me) but if they were interested, some other names would be McKinneyTexas, liberal japonicus, and russell. (I know some may have blogs elsewhere but a good group blog has a particular appeal based on the shared readership.)

I am glad to see publius do what he needs to do; I'm very reluctant to see ObWi lose another solid voice, especially from the so-called "left" - posts from other front-page bloggers have not only been scarce, but thin soup, to boot: Lindsey hasn't really established herself yet, and Sebastian seems caught up in perfecting his Bohner / Grassley imitation, leaving von as the only really consistent - if infrequent - voice on the FP.

That's a lot of freight for von to haul by himself.

Gary, Russell and/or Catsy would be fine additions to the roster without disrupting the balance too much; mckinney would be an excellent addition, too, if we wanted the FP to mirror the Delay/Armey Congress, or a first-rate replacement for one of the existing 'conservative' voices...but it's not a 'conservative' voice that's making room....

Hope things work out: this is one of my favorite sites - and *definitely* my favorite political site: may it remain so!!!

FWIW, I would like to see ObWi retain its general flavor which I see as 'more left than right', using 'left' and 'right' in a very general sense. As flattered as I would be to play any role--commenting is just fine with me, too--the more important issue is for this site to do well and maintain its general character.

The only way the blog will be saved is if Hilzoy un-retires.

And as an enticement for that, if she returns I'll stop commenting, and go back to lurking... (at least until the next Presidential election season).

And if no Hilzoy, then I want Carleton Wu elevated to author: the perfect progressive irritant to stir up irate responses (like Liberal chalk screeching on a blackboard), and (unlike Farber) able to make a point in less than 30 paragraphs.

Carleton, Carleton, he's the Man..
If he can't Tu Quoque it...
Nobody can!!!!

Sorry to hear it, John. I'll miss your posts.

(signed w/ my real name for once)

Sorry to hear that, Publius. You'll be missed.

With both Publius and hilzoy gone, I'm not sure how the site will maintain itself.

Thank you for your excellent work, please try to find a way to let us know if you ever guest-blog or decide to come out of retirement in another venue.

I go to the Bahamas for 5 days and this is what I come back to?

Damn, I'm going back to the beach. I can't take it. We'll miss you, publius. But I'll be more than happy to bug you for your thoughts on Twitter.

I know this is an old thread – but I been away, what can I say.

One more vote for Gary – a big one. Come on guys – you go days and days with no new threads. I totally understand: Eric and Von – you’re doing reruns, when you can. Eric – baby – OK, excused. Publius- totally understand.

Gary could revitalize this place overnight. What the hell is the problem?

I'm with OCSteve.

I found out about hilzoy's departure the same I just found out about publius -- in catch-up mode.

This is becoming a dangerous place to turn off.

And while we are casting about potential guest bloggers, I nominate Bernard Yomtov.

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