Category Archives: Character

The Position of Compromise

Last week, Senator Rand Paul was interviewed by David Axelrod, and spoke about the polarization in America over abortion. He talked about how he believes the country is “somewhere in the middle” on abortion and needs to be persuaded before abortion can be made illegal. His stance is surprisingly gentle considering his March 2013 introduction of the Life at Conception Act, which never made it to the floor of either the House or Senate.

The trouble I find with this whole “polarization” discussion is that there’s really just one group that doesn’t wish to compromise at all. They’re the ones who claim we want “abortion on demand” and try to ban emergency contraception. They’re the ones that hold up signs at clinics with pictures of dead fetuses, as if that represents what most abortions look like. They’re the ones that don’t rush to condemn domestic terrorism against abortion providers, even when that violence murders doctors.

But when you look at the public opinion polls and talk to people, reasonably, you’ll find that most people, even those opposed to abortion, aren’t actually like the people I just described above. Out of civility, I’ll refer to that whole group by the name they call themselves: pro-life.

For this discussion, I’ll ignore the fact that there are Republican candidates who’ve called pregnancy from rape a “gift from God”, and that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy as “the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

In the interest of non-hysteria, let’s note that most pro-life individuals often support the option to abort in the instances of incest, rape or risk to life of the mother. And let’s also acknowledge that even pro-choice individuals speak out against things like “partial birth abortion“, which has been banned federally since 2003 (it was already illegal almost everywhere, but the “party of small government” apparently loves redundant laws), and nearly all pro-choice individuals defer to medical standards of viability when discussing acceptable restrictions.

Rand Paul is right about one thing here: America is “in the middle” on the abortion issue. Which is reflected in current laws. Continue reading The Position of Compromise

International Judd Weiss Appreciation Day

So, on Monday, Jeffrey Tucker & Steve Horwitz declared Wednesday, April 23rd to be “International Judd Weiss Appreciation Day”:

Jeffrey and Steve's Plan

When I saw the annoucement, I quickly bought the domain name:
http://www.juddweissisawesome.com

Originally I was going to make a blog post here and point the domain to it, but I decided the effort needed it’s own website, so it was my little project last night. We debuted it last night and started inviting people today. Continue reading International Judd Weiss Appreciation Day

Count It All Joy

Many years ago, a woman named Eileen sat on her front porch and looked over the chain-link fence at my strange family and our friends, all dancing around a Beltaine Maypole in a nice suburban neighborhood of Manchester, New Hampshire.

Despite our peculiar activities, I suspect it was the smell of delicious food on the grill that finally convinced her to wander over and inquire as to the reason for our celebration. She got a bit of an education on Druidism that afternoon, and made fast friends with our group.

Eileen became a frequent visitor to our home, a close friend of my mother’s, and even the emergency babysitter if my family needed someone to watch me. She was the perfect example of a good neighbor. She and Mum both loved flowers, and the space between our yards became gardens in the spring & summer of irises, lilies and roses. Continue reading Count It All Joy

Let Hate Die With Him

So, a certain bigoted hate-mongering beacon of controversy passed away on Wednesday night. I don’t blame a single person who wants to protest his funeral, or dance on his grave. The man was hated almost as much as he hated others, and he deserved it.

But he’s dead now, and though his church and family is still around and may protest more funerals and cause more ruckus, he’s dead, and there’s one less bigot in the world. This appears to be a plus for humanity in general.

So what to do, to mark the occasion? Protests, celebrations — all of that is fair. Does he deserve the peace and quiet he refused to allow so many others at their funerals?

The world has plenty of hate. I don’t want to add to it. I want to improve something, try to make things better than Fred Phelps ever did.

If you’d like to join me, I’m planning on donating to a few organizations, and I just might send each donation noting “In Memory of Fred Phelps”. Continue reading Let Hate Die With Him

What Fired Felt Like

My first official job was as a Sales Representative for a company called Wilson’s Leather. I was a teenager and I loved my job, I loved my managers, I loved all of my co-workers: we were an awesome little family. My store manager was a man named Colin, who has taught me more about work ethic and sales and customer service than anyone I have ever met, and my continued success in sales environments is very much due to his influence. Continue reading What Fired Felt Like

Breaking Resolutions

So, I made this fantastic goal for myself to write 24 blog entries this year. Two a month. The plan was around the 1st and 15th of each month. It’s not even that big a feat, considering how many people write multiple articles in a day or week. I had subjects prepared, partial drafts together. I wanted to do it, because I want to get into the habit of writing more, and on topics I care about. But I failed.

I should have posted another one by March 1st. But I was busy. I got back from a week-long trip to the East Coast. I returned home and was swamped with work that built up during the week I was gone. I got into a car accident. Someone else quoted me in a blog entry instead.

Most people don’t really know this about me, but I can get a bit self-defeatist at times. Not about life – I’ve got lots of hope and ideas and possibilities. But about things I try at and mess up on. It’s like I get a plan in my head and then I start on it, and the first time I fuck up, I go “shit, guess that wasn’t meant to be” and I throw out the entire thing. Continue reading Breaking Resolutions

The Lucky Ones

I am tremendously lucky in my life. I’ve had some amazing loves. I’ve been passionately kissed under fireworks and under stars, I’ve been the center of somebody’s world before, and I’ve felt the smile of my lover like the sun in the sky. If I was never loved again in my life, I think the amount of love I’ve felt and given is probably more than many get to experience in their lives.

I am phenomenally fortunate. Continue reading The Lucky Ones

Twenty Thirteen

So my resolution this year is about writing. It’s about this blog becoming an actual platform for the stories of my experiences that have informed my philosophies on life – personal & political & anything between. As I’ve said many times: the only thing I truly feel like an expert in are my own experiences and my reactions to them. By articulating them here, I may be able to find a way to share what knowledge I’ve unearthed through pursuing love, through enduring pain, through aspiring to be as fearless as possible and my ever-growing need to embrace doubt and truth as recklessly as possible. Maybe these stories will be useful or inspiring, either to others or simply reflecting back at myself.

So I promise 24 stories this year. Two a month. There are days when I feel that I could write entire novels of my life, and other days when the lake of inspiration is dry as a bone, but over this year, I can do 24 pieces of this puzzle which forms my personal picture.

Anais Nin said it best: “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” — I’m taking that to heart this year.

So I’ll start with this past year. 2013 was an exciting year of my life. To be honest, pretty much every year since 2007 has been a progressive attempt to top the previous one in terms of challenging myself, embracing new experiences or diving further into what I’m capable of. Continue reading Twenty Thirteen

On & Up

We’ve all made mistakes in our past. We’ve dated people we probably shouldn’t have, wasted time and money, hurt people (intentionally or unintentionally) and otherwise made regrettable decisions. Mistakes are lessons if you learn from them, and what matters is that you try not to make them again. If you have crappy patterns, deliberately change them.

If you want a good future, move on from your past. Give others that opportunity as well. Move forward. If others won’t let you, leave them behind. Everybody’s got a journey, and sometimes you get to hold hands along the way, sometimes you have to fight and walk in opposite directions. But never stop moving. Never stop trying. Never stop striving. Never stop doing. Not for anybody else, but for you.

Baring More with Peter Paradise

Long before I became the subject of hundreds of photographs by Judd Weiss, I modeled for Peter Paradise of Boston. I posted a few shots of our work together in the past, but as both of our birthdays approach, I wanted to share some of our story, and some of the best work I feel we ever did together.

The next few photographs will include some semi-nudes, so those who would be offended or disinclined to see these (hello, family!) should probably do themselves a favor and not look any further. Spare me the lectures, too. Continue reading Baring More with Peter Paradise