Never Trust a Politician with Stupid Hair

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Don’t be afraid to judge a book by its cover, or a politician by his hair. Both can reveal a surprising amount about the content of their object’s character.

No, I’m not kidding: if a politician has stupid hair, you absolutely should NOT trust them. Here’s why:

The political world has a very rigid code for appearance. You have to wear a dark suit with either a blue or red tie, and either a white or light blue undershirt. Even when going for the “man of the people” look you have to wear a blue tucked-in dress shirt with rolled up sleeves, i.e. a look that no actual man of the people has ever adopted. Beards are far too savage, and therefore off limits. Mustaches are a no-no; what are you, Freddie Mercury or Joseph Stalin? This leaves only a limited range of neat hairstyles as the sole outlet for self-expression. Therefore, it’s entirely acceptable to judge who a political candidate is based on their hair. [Read more…]

My Free State Story

Representing the Free State Project at a Students for Liberty conference outside of Boston

Representing the Free State Project at a Students for Liberty conference outside of Boston

It finally happened. After well over a decade of toiling tirelessly in the dark, the Free State Project has finally reached its goal of 20,000 signers pledging to move to New Hampshire for liberty in the next five years.

This barely-funded, largely decentralized, volunteer-driven last stand for liberty has taken thousands of individuals contributing their all for a rash dream: liberty in our lifetime. I can’t disrespect all the others who worked towards this goal by attempting to speak for them. Instead, I’ll only speak for myself.

This is my Free State story.

Discovery

In early 2012, wasting my time in Phoenix and working side jobs to get by, I decided to restart my old career in public policy in the liberty movement. I went to the Atlas Foundation’s global compendium of pro-free market think tanks, scrolled through the entire list, and applied for a job at each and every one that was hiring, from positions in Washington, D.C. to those in Lima and New Delhi. When I came to New Hampshire listings I noticed the Free State Project, investigated, very much liked what I saw, but noticed they weren’t hiring. I moved on to search for other opportunities, but always kept my eye on those strange rabble-rousers trying something new in almost-Canada. [Read more…]

The Sweetness of Severance

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Loss can become addictive.

Humans do not strive for adversity. Our deepest longings are for love, fulfillment, prosperity, and security, while the pervasive cancer that is our fear is nourished by the prospect of the loss of those things. This fear of loss drives us to success, but can also paralyze us, leaving us unable to embark upon the long and treacherous path of risk. Yet, burning bridges to the treasured aspects of one’s life can become a bit of a drug.

There is a certain air of masochism to the whole affair. For those who have become accustomed to loss, its familiarity can be a source of comfort in uncertain times. It is what we deserve, the only purpose for our wretched existence. Loss is pain, though pain without fear, and fear can be more agonizing than pain itself.

A fatalistic approach to loss can also prove attractive. Cynicism is empowering, as it gives us control over dark circumstances. Predicting with success brings a feeling of pride and accomplishment, and in times of difficulty, the predestination of pain is paradoxically uplifting. Through the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy, even the dullest among us can become wizards. [Read more…]