Category Archives: Experiences

I’m A Product of Feminism

I was born and raised as a feminist by my mother, who is exactly 40 years older than I am. My mother went to college in the 1960s in New England, where she tried to open a bank account but they wouldn’t let her unless her husband or father co-signed as an account holder. She wasn’t legally allowed to have a credit card until 1974. She got married in 1975, and legally, she had no right to refuse to have sex with her husband until the late 1970s in some states (and 1993 in others).

The Pill was introduced in 1960, but she couldn’t legally use it if she wanted to – it wasn’t until 1965 that the Supreme Court ruled married couples had a constitutional right to possess it, and wait, she wasn’t married yet – it wasn’t until 1972 that the Supreme Court ruled unmarried people also had a constitutional right to possess it. Then, of course, there was 1973’s Roe v. Wade, protecting a woman’s right to an abortion before fetal viability, though my mother told me often she’d never exercise that right. Continue reading I’m A Product of Feminism

To Win Hearts & Minds

On Wednesday, my Facebook friend Antony Davis posted an excellent comparison in a status update that I had to share because I thought it was too good to ignore:

“Liberals see government as a complement to community. Libertarians see government as a substitute for community. So when liberals say “government should care for the poor,” and Libertarians say, “government should not care for the poor,” they are both saying that we should care for the poor.”

He posted a comment afterwards that I also thought was too good to get lost on a Facebook Timeline:

“This is the sort of thing we must stop doing: liberals characterizing libertarians as heartless, and libertarians characterizing liberals as brainless.

To be complete humans, our hearts and brains must work together. Without the former we are machines. Without the latter, we are mere animals.

Some Liberals are indeed brainless, just as some Libertarians are heartless. In both cases, they are minorities who should be ignored.”

This is something that I’ve noticed for a very long time (as in: my entire life) in the corridors of communication between and about liberals and libertarians: a lack of understanding of each other’s terms. To top it off, it often feels like there’s a willful desire to be misunderstood.

* * *

So, in the interest of terminology: I’m going to start by telling you that I dislike calling liberals “liberals” for dozens of reasons (one being that I refer to myself as a Classical Liberal) but I’m going to go ahead and accept the term here as being somebody who wishes to advocate progressive policies by government with the intended consequence of making a more equal and just world in their eyes.  That’s the general definition I’m using here, for clarity’s sake. Some of my libertarian friends prefer the term “statist”, which also displeases me, as it’s tremendously divisive and doesn’t foster respectful communication. So, “liberal” is the word, and the working definition is as stated above.

The word “libertarian” in this instance is going to apply to anybody who is at least aware of and somewhat guided by the non-aggression principle (the NAP).

Now that we’re defined our terms, let’s talk about how we respond to them:

An excellent example here is the knee jerk reaction of libertarians to the liberal proposal that “we should do something” is immediately equated to a proposal that the government must do something. If a liberal ever says the slightest hint of “but, how will we help the [insert oppressed group here]?” a libertarian instantly assumes that government is the proposed answer (it might be) and rails against that with such fervor that it scares the shit out of the liberal.

Ironically it’s what causes more people to feel government must because people freely won’t. Continue reading To Win Hearts & Minds

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

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

Stardust Spirituality

On January 13th, I attended a debate in Santa Monica between Rabbi Michael Gotlieb, Dr. Theodore Drange and Dr. Yaron Brook. The topic was “God vs. Atheism” and both Dr. Drange and Dr. Brook were representing the atheist side. The debate was engaging, entertaining and frustrating, as I have a number of other points I did not feel were properly addressed.

I walked away from that debate wanting to sit down with the Rabbi and engage in more of a discussion about religion, faith & science. I decided to write him a letter, which I will send him, but that I can share publicly to explain my own lack of faith to those who have asked me.   Continue reading Stardust Spirituality

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.