I am now (Cato) Unbound!

I’m extremely pleased to announce that I am participating in the May 2013 edition of Cato Unbound (@CatoUnbound), the most intelligent online journal of intellectualism.

The topic of this month is fusionism, specifically between libertarians and conservatives. My good friend and America’s Iron Lady, Jacque Otto (@jacque_otto) is kicking off with a lead essay, followed by yours truly on Wednesday, to then be followed by Students for Liberty Vice President Clark Ruper (@clark_ruper) on Friday and Acton Institute Research Fellow Jordan Ballor (@JordanBallor) on Monday.

This is the big leagues, folks, and I am very proud to be here. While six years ago I wanted to just do sci-fi writing, this is still extremely exciting. And I’m sure I can work it into my science fiction–after all, a great many science fiction writers were and are passionate libertarians. For that reason, HUGE thanks are in order to Cato Unbound editor @JasonKuznicki, to whom I now owe a keg of scotch. Or something.

Please read the lead essay up here, and feel free to join in the discussion!

http://www.cato-unbound.org/2013/05/06/jacqueline-otto/state-debate

More Op-Eds

I’m back in the op-ed writing business.

One piece, on how CPAC (which just concluded) screwed everything up, is now available at FITSNews.com. And yes, it is called “CPAC Is Doing It Wrong.”

The other piece, about an event at the Cato Institute on social media and drug violence in Mexico, is available on theblaze. Yes, Glenn Beck’s website.

Hopefully I will have more material up on both of these sites again soon. I like both of them a lot.

New Op-Ed: Why Don’t We Leave Each Other Alone?

A couple of days ago, I published a new opinion piece in the Daily Caller, titled “Why Don’t We Leave Each Other Alone?” Yes, it is again a libertarian op-ed, and the title more or less sums it up. Here’s a snippet:

These days, politics is the art of one group trying to impose its beliefs on another. The art of using government force to get one’s way. The art of turning everything into a fight because that’s all there is left. The art of the unnatural.

We have President Obama and Congressional Democrats forcing us to pay a tax — that’s what it is, no two ways about it — if we don’t buy health insurance, thus forcing us to follow their wishes. We have Republicans who still want to ban same-sex marriage, thus imposing their beliefs on all of America. There are bans on big sodas, regulations that force taxi cabs to be expensive (for our own good, they say), and now we even have New York Times writers who want to draft everybody for “national service.” Not to mention all the bailouts, government loans and subsidies that direct our money toward companies we probably don’t like and whose products we’d never buy — but are forced to support anyways.

Simultaneously, we are seeing the breakdown of our economy and our government. Millions of jobless Americans are not counted as unemployed because they’ve given up looking for work entirely. Congress, although always a bit of a joke, is no longer functioning at all. And last year (and the year before) thousands of Americans took to the streets to protest.

Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party, whatever — they protest because they know what is going on is against human nature. It’s something we learn as children on the elementary school playground, the first time the big bully takes our lunch money and makes us prostrate before him for mercy. It’s something we naturally recoil at as teenagers when our parents tell us to be home by nine or we’ll get the belt (again). Deep down, we all recognize that it is human nature to want to be free.

 

This isn’t my first op-ed published there. I wrote one about a year ago on Social Security and entitlements and how they were going to bankrupt the youth. It was meant as a wake up call to both the old and the young: the young, because they’re being fleeced and don’t even care to know it; and the old, because when the young do find out, they are going to lose every single iota of their benefits. But nobody seems to recognize this.

I think I will have a few more written there over the coming months. Great place to land op-eds, if you ask me, especially if you want to learn and develop.

Cut Europe

Cut Europe | United Liberty | Free Market – Individual Liberty – Limited Government.

The above is my blog post at United Liberty on how conservatives can cut military spending and get away with it: namely, by pulling troops out of the “commie” European Union. (I don’t like using the term “defense spending,” since these days our military isn’t really defending us, its flattening other countries and forcing them to eat McDonald’s “freedom fries.”)

Also, if you’re interested in more great libertarian writing, be sure to check out my friend Michael Wilt, blogging at the Washington Legal Foundation.

Entitlement Spending

Again mixing politics and writing…

One of the things that has always bothered me about government spending is entitlements. The biggest thing about them is just not that they’re unsustainable, but that they’re a wealth transfer from the youth to the elderly–effectively robbing the youth of their labor to make the retirement of the old more comfortable.

And today, my 731-word op-ed on entitlement spending was just published by the Daily Caller:

I was always told that parents want their children to have better lives than they have, that each generation will strive to make things better for the generation that follows. But as our politicians in Washington debate spending cuts, the debt limit, and whether there will be a government shutdown this week, I’m starting to see something very different: that our elders are instead passing off their debt to us, and ensuring we won’t have any future at all. And nobody in my generation seems to care.

Saying its pretty cool that my op-ed was published is, well, a huge understatement. I’ve thought for years about just getting a letter to the editor published in my hometown paper, and now I have an op-ed published on one of the larger news sites in DC. This is just…incredible.

The writing process was arduous. I originally started out with something else entirely, but felt this was far more immediate, with the oncoming government shutdown. I went through five different drafts, cutting out every needless word and paring it down to the most effective package, focusing on clarity of message and avoiding complicated metaphors and word choices. (Unfortunately, there were a few in my initial drafts.) I also had a colleague take a look, and she made some suggestions in terms of word choice that I feel made it far better.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from this, its two things:

  1. Lots of drafts lead to a better product, though at some point you need to quit.
  2. Everybody needs an editor.

Now that I’m published in the opinion world, I think I may continue in this direction–though getting a short story published is definitely going to be my next stop. At least after a couple of different op-ed ideas…