The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Libertarian Mommies?

Congratulations to Hillary on her victory yesterday. Anyone think it made a difference?


I think we can all agree that intelligence isn't just what's tested on a piece of paper. Still, SOMETHING is being tested there, and I think it's valid to seek to quantify mental qualities. Still, without the emotional balance or leverage to actually power our life actions, intellect isn't close to enough. I've known too many people who created great complex models of the world, but didn't actually test their assumptions. Then they complain if the world doesn't behave as they predicted, and actually blame God for "errors." Cracks me up when I hear people who don't exercise intelligently suggest that design flaws are responsible for their bad backs. If they never changed their car's oil, and the engine died, they can hardly blame the design. This is one reason why I am so insistent on the Body-Mind-Emotions framework: it is simply too easy to bullshit yourself if you're not careful.


And speaking of denial, I have a question for you guys. The vast majority of Libertarians I've ever heard discuss their philosophy have been men. Most of them single. Are there any Libertarian gals out there, especially with children? Love to hear your perspective: right now, I strongly suspect that the Libertarian position is the essence of "I've got mine, get yours if you can" and that childlessness tends to feed the sense that an individual human being is separate from the society around them. If equal percentages of mothers can be found here as among Democrats and Republicans, I sit corrected.


Over on the discussion board, I mentioned some ways of making the Tibetans tougher. This is totally unnecessary for most people, just an option. Truth is, the Tibetans are a breathing meditation, with sufficient intensity to force you to focus. For the out-of-shape, by the time you can do 21 reps you will have made a serious impact on your health. But they are primarily concerned with longevity: stress reduction, joint integrity, balanced muscle tone and so forth. Those who want to play with the effects would probably find that if they want a higher level of fitness they can use the Tibetans just to warm-up, then do their workout.

The other thing to consider is that even if you are only doing three a day, most people will find it MURDER to do them daily. The strength of their body-mind connection just isn't strong enough.


Working on "In the Night of the Heat" right now--to turn it in Friday. Keep your fingers crossed.


Anonymous said...

I'm mixed politically so I can't really address the libertarian mommies concern. When it comes to vice laws I'm libertarian, on other issues I'm more aligned with the green party or the socialists or... It all depends on the issue.

I've officially done seven mornings worth of the five tibetans, three of each exercise each morning. My scale thinks I've lost five pounds, but it's exaggerating. My first weigh-in was after a day of junk food indulgence and too little water at Disneyland. Much of that weight was lost just by being adequately hydrated again. So far it's been fast and easy. The first couple of days I dragged my feet reluctantly, but really I can get it all done in the time it would take me to talk myself out of it. So I try to get it done before I can think about it, if that makes any sense. There's as small area above each hip, on my waist and back that is a little tender, but it's a good kind of sore. I'll reach for something or be stretching off the lazies and feel that it's a little tight since I've been doing the Tibetans, but it feels good, like it's waking up, not like it's been strained.

Tomorrow I'm planning to bump it up to five of each exercise. Right now I do three of one rite and then three of the next. Should I be doing all five rites and then repeating the cycle three times (well, five times as of tomorrow) instead?

Michelle said...

I'm female, a mommy and a libertarian at heart.

I plan to vote libertarian this election. Though I don't every election. It depends on whose running.


I like a lot of the libertarian points.

I don't want to see McCain in office. One townhall meeting with him was enough to convince me.

I've never been a fan of Hilary and think we need something newish (I know she's probably not in the running but I have respect for her because she's holding on to the end...I'm tired of candidates who concede. )

As for Obama...the more I read his stance on the issues the more I disagree. Of course voting libertarian might get him to the white house. It is a conundrum for me.

A third party. I want those percentages up and libertarian is a good way to go this time.

Collette said...

I am a Libertarian mother of three boys. I am also an atheist who does yoga:)
Your comment "I've got mine, get yours if you can" couldn't be further than the truth for me personally. It is more like I respect your right to do whatever you feel is right in your life even if I disagree and I expect the same in return. As long as it isn't hurting others I respect others right to live as they choose and do not want morality legislated by the government. Does this make more sense to you coming from a mother?

I will go further and say that it is our diversity that makes life rich. Some people come out of extreme poverty to do some amazing things they never would have done if we lived in utopia and everyone was "equal". I am not saying it is good to be poor, I am saying it is our diverse experiences that make us who we are and when the government steps in to try to make us all the same we all lose because of it.

Buddy to Crystal:)

Kai Jones said...

I am not a member of the Libertarian party but I certainly lean libertarian on social issues. I've raised two children to manhood and have a grandson being brought up in an intact marriage.

Where what you said is right about me is that I am a strong traditional liberal on children's rights, because I was the victim of nominally middle-class parents who ignored mine. I want a government-run, tax-paid social welfare program for children, because they are citizens of society but we place them the mercy of their parents' bad decisions.

Dan Moran said...

Answer I've been giving on this one for some years now -- libertarian for adults, liberal for children, "responsible" on fiscal issues....

I used to say that I was "conservative" on fiscal issues ... but conservatives are even worse than liberals on fiscal issues these days; I can't use that word to describe anything resembling sane spending policies any longer.

Adults should be left to sink or swim, if they've been given a fair shot as children. As far as I'm concerned, giving children a fair shot at life is the purpose of government in the first place.

Lynn Gazis-Sax said...

Several things kill libertarianism for me, if it's of the thoroughgoing, libertarian on all issues, variety. One is that, at least when I was younger, libertarianism seemed to include being against any sort of anti-discrimination legislation at all. Another is the business of ensuring a basic minimum of care and opportunity for kids.

On some particular issues, though, I find libertarian arguments persuasive, and there are some particular libertarians whose arguments I respect.

Not a mother, but the mothers in my own family lean about as I do, liberal rather than libertarian.

Reluctant Lawyer said...

I would be interested in finding out what occupations libertarians hold. What I've seen in the past is that libertarians typically do not go into public service positions, such as the military, law enforcement, or emergency services. I admit that I have not conducted an extensive survey regarding this, but I am curious. The "i've got mine..." philosophy that Steve mentions seems to be at odds with the ethos of serving the public. Any thoughts?

PS: Just my observations, and in no way mean to offend anyone.

Michelle said...

Hrm...I'm actually a Web Designer.

I almost went into the Navy...but didn't qualify.

Law enforcement never crossed my mind.

I did do a fire fighter apprentice program and YCC but was not impressed with the FS and I knew I could not handle EMT hours...or have nurse/doctor grades in math/science.

Kami said...

I'm a libertarian mom with two kids. I guess my excuse is that I value self-sufficiency a great deal. My husband's parents had very little and they got by through strict prioritization of their needs and by making/growing what they needed as much as possible. My parents and I came into the USA with two suitcases and lived in a relative's attic until they could make enough money to rent an apartment and survive on their own. My husband introduced me to Yankee frugality. I'm not sure if the Yankee thing is offensive to anyone but I loved the idea of using creativity and ingenuity to make up for what you can't provide for yourself by brute force expenditure of cash.

I don't deny that there are people out there who need help from the government because they can't get by on what they have. I don't want government help to go away all at once and leave people to starve and die. I do think a lot of people who need help don't get it or don't get enough because the way the government writes programs and dispenses aid forces them to accept bogus claims as well as legitimate ones. They can't turn away someone on a suppose because they might be wrong and deny help to someone who really needs it. They can't invade someone's privacy, go into their house and see if there's groceries in the pantry or pop and chips and drugs (nor would I want them to.) And the government can't deny irresponsible or outright criminal people help because that may be the only thing that feeds the kids. This is a stuck dynamic and rather than try to modify or adapt, current government systems dig in deeper. I also think there's a not-so-subtle message that says that no one can survive without government assistance that keeps many people in a child rather than an adult role.

I think libertarians have some good ideas that might help. I don't think a libertarian administration would yank the rug out from under programs all at once and I don't think government assistance would ever be eliminated altogether. I don't think there are any libertarians who want to see people starve or die.

Unfortunately in the current political system it's impossible for there to be a libertarian president. They're not allowed in debates and the presidential candidate (along with the green party candidate) was arrested when he tried to get into one in 2004. They're given bogus reasons for not being admitted to debates, such as 'you need to have at least 15% of the electorate behind you before you're allowed in.' I guess if they do get 15%, someone will raise the bar to 20%. I'm sure both the Democrats and the Republicans are all for crowding out any voices other than their own. It's one area in which they're consistently bipartisan. We have some local libertarian politicians that have done well and I don't see them having done local programs any harm by their presence.

There are libertarian ideas that I disagree with, but I have disagreements with my neighbors, and I certainly have issues with the current 'real' candidates just as I definitely agree with them on points. But I don't feel my children would be in danger if libertarian principles were applied to government.

Kami said...

I'm a stay at home mom, btw, though I work retail part time and I also write speculative fiction (unpublished so far.) My husband is in corrections.

Kai Jones said...

@Reluctant Lawyer:

I'm a legal secretary. :)

Dan Moran said...

"I think libertarians have some good ideas that might help."

Maybe. I'd like to see them run a city somewhere before I pay attention to their plans for global domination, though.


No, Hillary's done, barring an unexpected meteorite crashing into Obama's plane. Which could happen, and is probably why she's still in the race.

Anonymous said...

I've recently drifted from being a libertarian to a classical liberal, but some would say that this is a distinction with not much of a difference. I was in the Air Force for several years. I'm a public school teacher now - at a charter school which Steve was once kind enough to visit for career day. One of the pillars of libertarian thinking is that, beyond a bare minimum needed to maintain the basic rule of law, government coercion tends to be a bad thing and personal choice tends to be a good thing. I don't see a libertarian having a problem with a job that involves service or sacrifice, as long as the person doing the job wants to do it. I'm proud of my military service, but being a GI gave me the opportunity to travel and expanded my horizons. Besides earning a salary, I love teaching at my school, so the service and sacrifice are rewarded.


Lester Spence said...

dan says libertarian for adults and liberal for children. what do the libertarian mothers think about this? if children can benefit from their parents, should they pay because of their parents?

EVS said...

Ha. Everybody is libertarian until you start screwing with their cash and other goodies. Start diddling and tweaking with those things held near and dear as prescribed by Mr. Maslov and you can turn the most hearty libertarian into a fascist and all things in between at your leisure or as PRONTO as you please.

Steven Barnes said...

Thrrrnbush: Do three reps of #1, followed by three of #2, then three of #3, etc.

Steven Barnes said...

Thank you VERY much for the Libertarian thoughts. I think everyone would say they want government to interfere in our lives "as little as possible." Te disagreement seems to primarily be over what those areas of interference should be. Everyone has a slightly different idea. Like Dan, I'd like to see a city (or town?) operating on Libertarian principles, otherwise I have to consider it an interesting thought exercise without any real-world experimentation.

Michelle said... about a state?

Jesse Ventura...38th Governor of Minnesota and served from January 4, 1999 to January 6, 2003

He was a libertarian but there was only so much he could get away with.

Dan Moran said...

OK, you got a libertarian governor elected.

Now, how about a city?

Jesse Ventura was one guy in a state full of Democrats and Republicans. As you note, there's only so much one person can do. But libertarians successfully running a medium-sized city somewhere would be a demonstration that libertarians can actually enact the libertarian agenda somewhere.

Capitalists, communists, socialists, royalists, fascists, have taken over entire countries. Why can't libertarians manage a single city, anywhere in the world?

What do all those other political ideologies have that libertarianism lacks?

I'll give you my 5 cent answer, which is certainly incomplete: anarchists and libertarians don't play well with others, which is certainly their right, but the rest of us are permitted to look upon their plans for how everyone else should live with some skepticism.

There are communes scattered all over the US even today. I don't know of a single libermune, though....

Dan Moran said...

Speak of the devil ...

A libermune! They're calling it a "libertarian commune," which is fine by me, though I like "libermune" better.

Some mean people are calling it "Paultard City," which is harsh, but funny.

Steven Barnes said...

Yes. Show me a Libertarian township. I'd be willing to look at any community with a population over 500, and study how they work. A fascinating social experiment, to be sure.

Michelle said...

Some Mayors

Steve Cotrell Nevada City

Below the 500 limit:
Alex Joseph Big Water Utah 86-94

Frank Gilbert Tull Arkansas

Michelle said...

Oh and Ed Thompson, Tomah Wisconsin population above 8000.

Dan Moran said...

Michelle, I'm not disputing that there are libertarians in the United States, some very few of them holding elected office. I'm disputing that there's a town being run on libertarian principles in the United States (or anywhere else in the world), though. It's a meaningful difference.

Michelle said...

I don't think you can approach it that way.

There is no town anywhere that I know of that solely operates on the principles one and only one political ideology.

Josh Jasper said...

michelle - Even if it's Bob Barr? Because he may win your party's nomination by importing conservatives masquerading as libertarians.

Dan Moran said...

There is no town anywhere that I know of that solely operates on the principles one and only one political ideology.

Half the small towns in America run according to pure conservative, capitalist (or crony capitalist, anyway) principles.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe. I'd like to see them run a city somewhere before I pay attention to their plans for global domination, though."

How about Mogadishu?

Steven Barnes said...

How about a town operating on DOMINANTLY Libertarian principles? There are certainly many towns that are primarily one POV or another. Anything for Libertarianism?