Archive | March, 2015

Remy: I Need a Hashtag!

31 Mar

Libertarian Women’s History Month: Mimi Gladstein

31 Mar

Mimi Reisel Gladstein (born 1936) is a professor of English and Theatre Arts at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her specialties include authors such as Ayn Rand and John Steinbeck, as well as women’s studiestheatre arts and 18th-century British literature.

Gladstein was born in Nicaragua and moved with her family to the United States at an early age. She grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexicoand El Paso, Texas, and became a US citizen at the age of 19.[1] She obtained a PhD in Contemporary American Literature from theUniversity of New Mexico.[2] She is married and has three children.
She was a pioneer in the field of women’s studies, teaching a class on “Women and Literature” in the early 1970s. In an attempt to provide students with an example of a successful female character in literature, she began assigning Ayn Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged for her class. This led her to write one of the earliest academic articles about Rand as a literary figure, “Ayn Rand and Feminism: An Unlikely Alliance,” which was published in 1978.[3] She later wrote or edited several other works about Rand, including The Ayn Rand Companion and Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand. When Gladstein began work on The Ayn Rand Companion, she sent Rand a request for an interview. The reply was a letter from Rand’s attorney threatening to sue Gladstein for violation of Rand’s copyrights if she proceeded with the book,[4] a response that Gladstein found “bizarre.”[5]

In 1986, Gladstein published The Indestructible Woman in Faulkner, Hemingway, and Steinbeck. Her work related to Steinbeck has won multiple awards. She received the John J. and Angeline Pruis Award for Steinbeck Teacher of the Decade (1978–1987), and in 1996 she received the Burkhardt Award for Outstanding Contributions to Steinbeck Studies.[2][6]

In addition to her scholarly work, Gladstein has held a number of administrative positions at the University of Texas at El Paso. She was the first director of the Women’s Studies Program, director of the Western Cultural Heritage Program, and executive director for the university’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration. She was twice the chair of the English Department, and later chaired the Department of Theatre, Dance and Film. She also served as Associate Dean of Liberal Arts.[2]
Gladstein has served as president of both the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association and the South Central Society for Eighteenth Century Studies.[2]

In addition to the two awards for her work on Steinbeck, Gladstein also received the Burlington Northern Award for Teaching Excellence, and in 2003 the University of Texas at El Paso gave her the College of Liberal Arts’ Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award.[2][6] The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes won a 2009 Latino Book Award: 2nd place for Best Biography in English.[7]
Glastein has twice received grants from the Fulbright Program. She was a Fulbright Professor in CaracasVenezuela in 1990-91, and in 1995 she taught at the Complutense University of Madrid as a Senior Fulbright Scholar.[2][6]

Libertarian calendar for April 2015

31 Mar

April 7
Kentucky
Rand Paul announces

Liberty karaoke events everywhere (click link for locations)

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April 10 – 12

North Carolina Libertarian Party convention
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  • April 10 – 12
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    European Students for Liberty conference

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

     

  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

    Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin, Germany

  • Tickets Available

    esflc.org
The 2015 European Students For Liberty Conference will take place on 10-12 April, 2015 at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

Go to ESFLC.org to register, find more information on ESFL, read the biographies of the speakers, learn about our sponsors, read about last year’s ESFLC, and much more.

Our sponsors this year are the Atlas NetworkSaxo Bank, and many more.

Pay in Bitcoin: esflc.org/bitcoin

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April 11
Omaha NE

Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom and Tea Party Patriots
Tax Day Tea Party
1 PM to 4 PM
Walnut Grove Park, 150th & Q Streets, Omaha.

The theme is “Taxed to the Max.” Keynote speaker is Iowa Congressman Steve King. Other speakers include state and local officeholders. Our tea party also will feature patriotic music, contests, drawings for prizes, a Liberty Tree, tables loaded with Tea Party materials, and free hot dogs, chips, and bottled water. Bring friends & neighbors!

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April 15
Washington DC

Deciphering the Job Search Process

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

1747 Connecticut Avenue NW
Applying for a job is hard enough—but sometimes it’s difficult to even figure out what jobs you are qualified for!job-search
Job postings can use a lot of jargon.  What is a coordinator?  What are companies really asking for when they request “attention to detail” or “team-player”?
Also, it’s difficult to tell how much of the job description is necessary.  Can I apply to a job that requests 2-4 years of job experience when I only have one?  Does that make me a risk-taker or an annoyance to the company?
Get help understanding these mysteries and more at Deciphering the Job Search Process, a career panel brought to you by AFF, IHS, and Reason at 6pm on April 15th. The panel will be hosted at the Reason offices, located at 1747 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC. Please join us after the panel for a brief reception. Get more information, learn about the panelists and register here!
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April 16
Washington DC

Empire Salon with Professor Frank Buckley
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Is the President More Powerful than George III?
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6:30 p.m.
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1575 I Street NW
ASAE Building
Marriott Conference Center
(parking available in building)
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RSVP:
James@CommitteefortheRepublic.org
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The Framers of the Constitution envisioned Congress as the strongest branch and a defense against the encroachment of the executive upon the liberties of the people. In The Once and Future King, George Mason law professor Frank Buckley documents the alarming growth of executive power at the expense of Congress and the courts. The rise of one-man rule, Buckley argues, means that America is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave. Many parliamentary governments around the world are freer than the increasingly autocratic presidential system we have in the United States.
The breakdown of separation of powers and checks and balances has given rise to what Buckley calls “Crown government”. An all-powerful President, Buckley says, “makes and unmakes laws without the consent of Congress…and the greatest of decisions, whether to commit his country to war, is made by him alone.” Buckley demonstrates that “a presidential government that can readily go to war is a government more likely to go to war, and a government with a greater military budget.” Just as Madison predicted, untrammeled presidential power can lead the country into a perpetual state of war where the Commander-in-Chief rewards friends, punishes enemies and tramples on our civil liberties. The citizen state of our early Republic is dead and today’s Presidency, Buckley says, has morphed into “rex quondam, rex futurus – the once and future king.”
The nation that cast off the yoke of King George III now submits to an increasingly unchecked presidential monarchy. Every four years Americans search for a charismatic leader who promises a risk-free existence. We have what George Mason called an “elective monarchy.” This new form of monarchy, Mason predicted, is worse than a hereditary one because it appears more legitimate. The American people have acquiesced in the charade of a two-party system where the Democratic Party and the Republican Party compete to concentrate power in the executive to advance the political agenda of their respective parties.
Buckley is pessimistic about a favorable resolution of our constitutional crisis. Without leadership, citizens will continue to go to the polls and elect representatives who fail to discharge their constitutional responsibilities. To restore congressional power, Buckley argues, Congress must breathe new life into the ultimate sanction and exercise the power to impeach and remove presidents.

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April 16
Austin, TX

YAL Texas conference
University of Texas
9 am – 6 pm

Sign up at: http://www.yaliberty.org/convention/state/2015/tx

The state convention is FREE for all YAL dues-paying members. If you are not a member, you can join YAL for $10 and go to the convention for FREE.

If you recruit 10 people from your YAL chapter to attend the event, you will get a $250 activism grant.

If you carpool to the event, you can get up to $100 reimbursed for each car carrying 4 or more convention-goers.

Any questions about the convention or carpooling to the event, email Dalton Laine or Nick Virden.

dalton.laine@yaliberty.org or nick.virden@yaliberty.org

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April 18
Blacksburg, VA

YAL Virginia State Convention

1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Graduate Life Center, Graduate Multipurpose Room
155 Otey Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060 (map)

David Boaz is the Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute and as such has played a key role in the development of the libertarian movement. He is the author of The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom and the editor of The Libertarian Reader. Boaz’s other books include The Politics of Freedom and the Cato Handbook for Policymakers. He is a provocative critic and leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism.
Jeffrey Tucker is the Chief Liberty Officer and founder of Liberty.me, the global liberty community with advanced social and publishing features. He is also distinguished fellow of the Foundation for Economic Education, executive editor of Laissez-Faire Books, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, and author of five books.
Jim Lark is a professor in the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia. He also serves as national campus coordinator for the Libertarian Party, and advises college and high school libertarians throughout the country on promoting libertarian ideas on campus. He is a member of the Libertarian Party’s national committee, and served as the Libertarian Party’s national chairman during the 2000-2002 term.

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April 17 – 19
Kansas Libertarian Party convention
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April 18
New Mexico Libertarian Party convention
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April 24 – 26
Colorado and
Oregon Libertarian Party conventions
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April 25
Indiana
Minnesota
New York and
Wisconsin Libertarian Party conventions

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April 16-19
Franklinville, NC

Liberty Liberty Fest

Liberty Liberty Fest (L2) is a gathering of libertarians, voluntaryists, market anarchists and other such types held just outside of Liberty, North Carolina.

The festival is held in Franklinville (just down the road from Liberty–get it now?) at a rustic conference center in The Living Well Community on the banks of the Deep River. Most attendees will bring tents to camp, but there are also motels and hotels in nearby Siler City or Asheboro if camping is not your style.

L2 2015 will be a “back to basics” sort of event. Just a bunch of freedom-lovers hanging out by the river and camping. There will be no officially scheduled talks, printed schedules, recordings, meals, online ticket sales, or anything else. The cost will be $20 per person (children 12 and under are free), payable upon arrival in cash or equivalent silver.

L2 in the past has featured talks centered around the idea of maximizing individual liberties in a not-so-free world. Examples have included home beer brewing, Bitcoin, online security, home health care, DIY gun building, tiny homes, homeschooling, agorism, and similar topics–we’ve even had a handful of more philosophical talks.

While no talks are being officially scheduled this time, anyone is welcome to use the facebook page to announce any talk you’d like to give (along with the day and an approximate time) or to announce anything you plan to sell (including food vending–that’s something people definitely like to know about ahead of time). You can consider the entire event to be an agorist marketplace, so plan to bring whatever you have to sell/trade, keeping in mind that this is held on private property, and we need to make sure the owners “avoid any imperial entanglements”.

Dogs are welcome if they don’t pee on my tent.

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I’ve created three threads to serve as places to announce your talks, food vending, and non-food vending:

Talks: https://www.facebook.com/events/769648823116647/permalink/769724669775729/

Food vending: https://www.facebook.com/events/769648823116647/permalink/769725143109015/

Non-food vending: https://www.facebook.com/events/769648823116647/permalink/769725423108987/

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Libertarian women’s history month: Leslie Graves

31 Mar

Leslie Graves (195? – )  started in Libertarian Party and anti-draft activism and gradually moved to behind the scenes activism in tax and term limitation initiatives and then freedom of information issues.  Many libertarians are not familiar with Ms. Graves, who has never been well profiled on the Internet or in any libertarian publication.
Originally from Spring Green, Wisconsin, her father served in the Korean War.

Leslie matriculated at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland in 1972.  A “Great Books” school, St. John’s requires that students read original sources and texts, even in maths and sciences, from Plato to Freud, Leslie’s college years overlapped with another well known (and now long term) libertarian activist studying at St. John’s College, Tom Palmer, with whom she would later work on the 1980 Ed Clark for President campaign, though apparently they never met as undergraduates.   Years later, after raising children and working in the Libertarian Party,  Graves did graduate work in philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She co-authored “Is indeterminism the source of the statistical character of evolutionary theory?” in the Philosophy of Science and wrote “Transgressive traditions and art definitions” for the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.   


But in college, Leslie married another “Johnnie,” as St. John’s students are called, Steve Key, and had a daughter, Sara Key.  The marriage dissolved amicably while Sara was an infant, and Leslie moved for a year to Washington, D.C., where she worked with the Ed Crane wing of the libertarian movement that was running Ed Clark’s 1980 Presidential campaign (for which David Koch served as an angel donor and the Vice Presidential candidate).  In 1980, Leslie and Sara became roommates with a libertarian gay couple working for the Clark campaign and the Libertarian Party in the Glover Park neighborhood near the Libertarian Party national headquarters (at that time on Wisconsin Avenue just above Georgetown, over what is now, of course, a Starbucks.)  Leslie was tasked with working as a representative to the Coalition Against Registration and the Draft‘s national board, popularly referred to as the CARD Board.  The anti-draft movement of the time was contentious, as for the first time marxists and socialist front groups, along with honestly socialist parties, had to contend with multiple libertarian groups, including the Libertarian Party, the Young Libertarian Alliance, the Association of Libertarian Feminists, and the Society for Individual Liberty, all finding a Washington, D.C. member and appointing them to represent them and vote for them on the CARD Board.  Leslie was also the state chair for a time of the Wisconsin Libertarian Party,

While in D.C., Leslie met another mid-Westerner, Eric O’Keefe, a handsome Detroit factory worker who had saved money and invested shrewdly in the stock market, and then quit his auto industry job to take the position of Executive Director of the Libertarian Party.  Eric O’Keefe  has since gone on to work for a number of tax and term limitation groups, is on the board of directors of the Cato Institute, and has worked in support of the campaigns of governor Scott Walker.  They married and remain married today, and have had several children who are now adults working in the liberty movement.  In March of 2015 the O’Keefes attended the 35th anniversary of the Ed Clark for President campaign in New Orleans (Eric O’Keefe, pictured right foreground, with David Boaz, Howie Rich, and Andrea Millen Rich; photo credit: F.M. Strandfeldt).  Leslie and Eric were both part of the group of libertarians who ran the Clark campaign and who sought, unsuccessfully, to have Georgetown University international relations professor Earl Ravenal nominated as the 1984 Libertarian Party presidential candidate.  Leslie was dubbed the “Madame LaFarge” of the libertarian movement by Murray Rothbard, then somewhat cranky in his dotage. Amusingly, Rothbard was at best 5’8″ while Graves was, as she liked to minimize, “5’11 and a half.” (One of Graves’s sisters is an Olympic rower, and in the late 90s the four Graves’s sisters competed in a Nike sponsored rowing event.) Unhappy that his advice about campaigns and elections was often not heeded, Murray exiled Leslie to the Rothbard list of people to be banned from the libertarian movement, for being nefariously associated with the Koch brothers and/or Ed Crane (leftovers are truly second handers – even Koch derangement syndrome was started by a libertarian!)  Like most of the others in this group, Leslie left Libertarian Party activism for good for other political activities, and the Libertarian Party shrank, not matching the Ed Clark/David Koch vote total until the 2012 race of Governor Gary Johnson.

Today, Leslie is the publisher of Balletopedia, which covers elections and campaigns as a specialized wikipedia, as a project of the Lucy Burns Institute, which says its mission is “to connect people and politics,” which she founded in 2006 and until recently served as president.  The Institute also has three other projects, a WikiFOIA, Policypedia, and Judgepedia, which attempt to provide more transparency in government machinations.  In 2012, Graves authored a guidebook titled Local Ballot Initiatives: How citizens change laws with clipboards, conversations, and campaigns.

Graves’ political analysis has been included in the Wall Street JournalReutersBloomberg NewsCampaigns and Elections, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Ballotpedia investigates: school district scandal in St. Joseph, Missouri

31 Mar

Libertarian women’s history month: Sharon Presley

31 Mar

Sharon Presley (March 23 1943 – ), is a libertarian feminist, writer, activist, and retired lecturer in psychology, who co-founded the Association of Libertarian Feminists.

Presley received a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in psychology from San Francisco State. In 1981, she received a Ph.D. in social psychology from City University of New York, where she was a protege of Stanley Milgram, who famously researched obedience and resistance to authority.

Between 1982 and her retirement in 2009, she had a succession of instructor, adjunct, and visiting, positions at thirteen different schools, most recently California State University, East Bay where she was a lecturer. According to Rebecca Klatch, much of Presley’s research focuses on “issues of power, obedience, and resistance to authority.”
Presley was apolitical until she read Ayn Rand at the age of nineteen. She was radicalized when her boyfriend, who was leader of the Alliance of Libertarian Activists, was arrested in Berkeley, California. She joined Young Americans for Freedom, the Free Speech Movement, Students Opposed to Conscription, and the Alliance of Libertarian Anarchists (“ALA”).  I think I first met her at a Libertarian Party or Ed Clark for President event around 1980
On Saturday, March 4, 1972, civil engineer John Muller and graduate student Sharon Presley opened a small bookshop in a storefront on Mercer Street in Greenwich Village.  At the opening of Laissez Faire Books were some of the leading libertarian luminaries of the day including Murray Rothbard, Roy Childs and Jerome Tuccille.  (I actually finally made it there in the early 80s, and it was thrilling that it existed.)
From the beginning the goal of Laissez Faire Books was to create a one-stop place to shop for everything libertarian. That included books ranging from Menger’s Principles of Economics to Mencken’s Treatise on the Gods to Steve Ditko’s underground “Mr. A” comics whose hero reflected the influence of Ayn Rand’s objectivist philosophy.  In those pre-internet days, the Laissez Faire Books catalog, along with reason magazine and The Freeman, were the lifelines that kept libertarians in contact with each other.

Laissez Faire Books  morphed into something more than a bookstore. It became a marketplace of ideas for libertarians who had no other venues to discuss social and political issues of the day. With lectures, films, and book signings it became the 20th century version of the ancient Greek agora. The store was later sold to Andrea Millen Rich, and subsequently other owners, and still exists today as a mail order book service.)

In the mid-1970s, Presley became the national coordinator for the Association of Libertarian Feminists. She currently is executive director of the group.  She wrote an early libertarian feminist pamphlet in the 70s with reason editor Lynn Kinsky entitled Government is Women’s Enemy.  She speaks often at libertarian events like Libertopia, the annual west coast festival, where she was given a lifetime achievement award in 2011.  (I was happy to introduce her, though I wished I had had more time to prepare some remarks.)

Presley’s research has included 19th and early 20th century libertarian feminists (especially individualist anarchists) and questioning authority, especially expert opinion.  She edited an anthology on anarchist feminist Voltairine de Cleyre.
Presley said in 2013 that libertarian feminism is not different from mainstream feminism except in the unwillingness of libertarians to resort to government solutions to social problems. She said she prefers “a hand up” from private sources such as mutual aid societies “rather than a handout” from government. She said in 1980 that libertarian feminists “don’t believe in seeking government solutions to women’s problems”.
Presley rejects the view that transgender women are not women, or that they should not take part in the feminist dialogue and says that transgender people should be judged on their merits, like other people. She said, “Depending on distant bureaucracies run by white men who have no understanding has been problematic for women; there is no reason to assume that trans people will be any better served by those bureaucracies.”
Presley believes that the government should not subsidize abortion for the poor, nor make any laws limiting or banning abortion; she maintains that abortion should be available as a choice. Likewise, she believes that birth control pills should not be subject to government subsidy or restriction.
Presley says that the government should not make any laws regarding prostitution. She also says that the customers of prostitutes should not be prosecuted. In this regard, Presley differs from feminists who wish to restrict prostitution. She says that, despite the general agreement among feminists that violent pornography is degrading to women, that there should be no government laws limiting such pornography, which she describes as a symptom of a societal problem. Instead, she suggests that the problem’s cause should be identified and treated with education.  She disagrees with Susan Brownmiller that anti-obscenity laws would solve the problem.

Presley defended feminism against its critics in reason:  “Both liberal and libertarian feminists define feminism in similar terms and include men in their groups. One liberal feminist organization that’s been around since 1995 writes, for example, that “In the most basic sense, feminism is exactly what the dictionary says it is: the movement for social, political, and economic equality of men and women.” In regard to males, they write ‘After all, equality is a balance between the male and female with the intention of liberating the individual.’ 

“Some myths about feminists, including that they are anti-male, are humorously debunked by a male feminist here.

“The majority of women who vote now define themselves as “feminist.” According to my calculations based on several census reports from 2010, that’s over 32 million women. Isn’t it really a bit much to believe that all those women (except the conservatives) are man-hating and irrational?”


Presley’s self-help book, Standing Up to Experts and Authorities: How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated, and Abused, came out in 2010. In the first chapter she cites scholarly studies to describe how people may unknowingly disengage their critical thinking in the face of apparent authority. This reaction masks the possibility that the authority’s assertions may be challenged. Presley continues by giving the reader pointers on how to overcome their initial reaction and regain a calm and assertive footing.

On the very active FaceBook page for the Association of Libertarian Feminists, Presley organizes her activists to oppose sexism inside the libertarian movement, according to her stated belief that: “The question of why there are not more equal numbers of men and women in the libertarian movement is not new. The late Joan Kennedy Taylor wrote about it in 1999. Since then, both formally and informally, others have asked the same question. A recent attempt to answer this question was by Pamela Stubbart in her essay “Why Aren’t More Women Libertarians?”Unlike Taylor, Stubbart thinks that male hostility toward women is not the problem. She, in fact, writes that the problem of libertarian men being “unfriendly” toward women “seems largely exaggerated (especially due to availability bias).” However, what Stubbart has observed is not typical.  Both in my position as Executive Director of the Association of Libertarian Feminists (ALF) and in just general activism, I have been hearing stories of women ignored, hit on, or otherwise ill-treated for many years.”

Libertarian women’s history month: Julie Borowski

30 Mar

Julie Borowski (October 10, 1988 – ) entered the libertarian movement through the presidential campaigns of Congressman Ron Paul, and went on to create a very popular YouTube channel, Token Libertarian Girl, that reached out to young people by addressing current events with humor, as Borowski donned costumes and persona to address her topics.  She is a Policy Analyst at FreedomWorks, having joined FreedomWorks as an Economic Research and Policy Intern in Spring 2010. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Frostburg State University.

While an undergraduate, she was a Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow with the Institute for Humane Studies, interning at the Center for Competitive Politics. Most recently, she was a government affairs associate at Americans for Tax Reform.  A newlywed, she lives in DC’s Virginia suburbs.
While in college, she developed a passion for the Austrian School of Economics. She served as Vice President and Treasurer of her Maryland Student Legislation delegation and remains active in Students for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty. She has volunteered for political candidates in Kentucky and in her home state of Maryland. Her writings on various topics have appeared in numerous blogs and newspapers.  She also does volunteer work placing foster dogs.



Borowski says though she votes for Libertarian Party candidates, when the Democrat and Republican are not palatable, she recommends political activism inside the GOP to grow the Liberty Caucus and elect more candidates like Rand Paul, Justin Amash and Thomas Massie.

Pro-life, she often the object of criticism by libertarian feminists, including for her views on how to encourage more women to be active in the liberty movement.  She also from time to time has some friction with her social media followers who are Ron Paul fans, who sometimes have views or approaches more paleo-conservative than her own.