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Libertarian women’s history month: Virginia Postrel

26 Mar

Virginia Inman Postrel (born January 14, 1960 – ) is an American political and cultural writer of broadly libertarian views who was the editor of reason magazine during the 1990s.

She is best known for her non-fiction books, The Future and Its Enemies and The Substance of Style. In the former she explains her philosophy, “dynamism,” a forward-looking and change-seeking philosophy that generally favors unregulated organization through “spontaneous order“. She contrasts it with “stasis“, a philosophy that favors top-down control and regulation and is marked by desire to maintain the present state of affairs. In November 2013, she published a third book, The Power of Glamour, which defined glamour as “nonverbal rhetoric” that “leads us to feel that the life we dream of exists, and to desire it even more.”  (It would be interesting if Postrel had returned to reason to do its recent interview with Camille Paglia, given her research interests.)

Virginia Inman was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. Her father was an engineer and her mother was a homemaker who later went on to get her masters degree and teach at the college level. Virginia went on to college at Princeton University, graduating in 1982 with a degree in English Literature.

Postrel was editor of Reason from July 1989 to January 2000, and remained on the masthead as editor-at-large through 2001. Her writing has been attacked by paleo-libertarian Justin Raimondo and praised by Objectivist philosopher Diana Hsieh.  She hired editor Nick Gillespie, her successor at reason.  Prior to that, she was a reporter for Inc. and the Wall Street Journal. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). From 2000 to 2006, she wrote an economics column for the New York Times and from 2006 to 2009 she wrote the “Commerce and Culture” column for The Atlantic. She also appeared on the last episode of the third season of Pennand Teller‘s Bullshit!.

Postrel wrote the biweekly column “Commerce & Culture” for the Wall Street Journal until April 2011. Since May 2011, she has written a biweekly column foR Bloomberg News.

Postrel has written several articles on health care and bioethics, including accounts of her own experiences.  In March 2006 Postrel donated a kidney to an acquaintance, writer Sally Satel. She has recounted the experience, and referred to it in several subsequent articles and blog posts—many of which are critical of legal prohibitions against compensating organ donors. In some of these pieces she discusses strategies for working around these restrictions, such as organ donor transplant chains.
In her March 2009 article “My Drug Problem” in The Atlantic, Postrel wrote about her own experience of being treated for breast cancer with the expensive drug Herceptin.  She questioned if such a costly treatment would be available to others and if the risky research that makes such innovative treatments possible would be profitable under proposed health care reforms in the United States.

Postrel has also referred to her experience as a cancer patient in her writing about the importance of design aesthetics in hospitals, and the competitive forces that drive them to create more attractive environments for patients. This ties into the thesis of her second book—that beauty is more than simply a superficial, frivolous trait, and can go more than skin deep. Notions of beauty and desirability—and thoughts on what makes good design good beyond the needs of sound engineering—inform her work at the “Deep Glamour” blog.

On December 10, 2013, Postrel was criticized by The Colbert Report for an opinion article she wrote for titled, “Who Needs a Raise When You Have TV?”

Libertarian women’s history month: Veronique de Rugy

24 Mar

Veronique de Rugy (May 20, 1970 – ) is a French born economist, living in the Arlington, Virginia suburb of Washington, DC.  She received her PhD from the Sorbonne in 2000; her dissertation analyzed the interaction of private and public tax revolts, the interactions and trade offs between tax evasion and tax limitation initiatives.  De Rugy has at times written on women and economic policy.  Speaking at a panel at the America’s Future Foundation a year ago on women outside the Democratic Party establishment, De Rugy made it clear she is not comfortable with conservatives or Republicans, and views her libertarianism as outside of the GOP.

In the 1990s she was an instructor at the University of Tours, and after receiving her PhD immigrated to the United States.  While preparing her thesis, she oversaw academic programs in France for the Institute for Humane Studies Europe. Eager to live in the United States,she was hired by the Cato Institute as an analyst, specializing in tax competition.  She then worked at the American Enterprise Institute where she specialized, among other topics, in matters of internal security, and bio-terrorism. In 2007, she joined the Mercatus Center at George Mason University where she is a senior research fellow and mainly deals with US budget and tax issues, as well as the US economy, the federal budget, homeland security, tax competition, and financial privacy. Her popular weekly charts, published by the Mercatus Center, address economic issues ranging from lessons on creating sustainable economic growth to the implications of government tax and fiscal policies. She has testified numerous times in front of Congress on the effects of fiscal stimulus, debt and deficits, and regulation on the economy.

De Rugy writes regular columns for reason magazine and the Washington Examiner, and she blogs about economics at National Review Online’s the Corner. Her charts, articles, and commentary have been featured in a wide range of media outlets, including the Reality Check segment on Bloomberg Television’s Street Smart, the New York Times Room for Debate, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, CNN International, Stossel, 20/20, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, and Fox News.  Her worked has been discussed by writers Brad DeLong and Matthew Yglesias.  She has been attacked by statist polemicists like Paul Krugman and Jonathan Chait, some of whom tend to snarky and somewhat misogynist “criticism” like one writer at a so called “progressive” website:  “Veronique de Rugy is a Doctrix of The Economy, says the Sorbonne, which is weird because the impression Wonkette gets from reading her column is that she learned everything she knows about economics from a cardboard cutout of Ron Paul’s left nut.”

De Rugy has two children and is connected to reasonTV editor Nick Gillespie, with whom she sometimes collaborates on articles and projects.

Does Joan Walsh have the hots for Nick Gillespie?

6 Mar
Libertarianism is for petulant children: Ayn Rand, Rand Paul and the movement’s sad “rebellion”

S(t)alon, the leftover website edited by Joan Walsh, a frequent MSNBC contributor, pretty much has a daily piece chock full of howlers attacking libertarians.

For months my hypothesis has been this was just whoring, socialist street walkers after capitalist cash, as the articles usually target particular libertarian divas with a big fan base: Ayn Rand, Ron Paul, Rand Paul.  Essentially this clickbait is a form of pay per view porn, where proglodytes can join  David Sirocco or some other nerdy pajama boy, minimally cooler than they are, in a gang rape of that uppity bitch’s (Ayn Rand’s) bones.

But the tone of recent articles, like the one above calling libertarians juvenile, suggest a new diagnosis.  It’s projection.  These nerdy leftovers are infatuated with libertarians, like a smelly, borderline autistic kid making prank calls or stalking a beautiful and popular student who doesn’t even know they exist.

In her recent appearances it looks like Joan Walsh has had her famously rodent-like dentition ground down, a new hair cut, and maybe a little freshening around the eyes.  If she can’t land Nick for some extramarital hanky panky, perhaps she’s aiming to get a show as MSNBC cleans the Ronan and the Sharpton out of its stables.  The old mare may ride yet!

20 Of The Hottest Libertarian Men Alive

22 Jun
20 Of The Hottest Libertarian Men Alive | Liberty Viral

Johan Norberg, Tim Moen, Marion Tupy, Arvin Vohra, Bjorn Lomborg, Chris Coyne, Peter Leeson, Tim Helbig – all variously hotter than some or all (in Moen’s case) on this list. By limiting  to Americans and white people they produced a defective list. 

This list is even sillier than the female list. A straight guy HAD to compose this. Half of these guys, nice guys, attractive guys, smart guys but NOT hot at all. And no way in a top 20. Also notice you have 50 year olds on the guy list (which is ok, it may well be some hot 50 year olds) not one woman over 35 on the gal list. I am going to redo this list sometime in the month with actual HOT libertarian guys. In the meantime try your luck with top 20 hottest libertarian lesbians and gays, top couples, and top libertarians of color.

For only a couple of million bucks, you can live above Reason magazine…

22 Jun
…a few doors down on the same block, at 1737 Connecticut Avenue NW, in your pick of four lovely luxury condominiums.

And there is an InsomniacLibertarian discount.  If you use me (Bruce Majors) as your buyer agent, I will give you a rebate and make a donation to a libertarian cause of your choice.  As well as one of mine.

From this perch you can watch Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie and other reason staffers’ comings and goings.

Ann Coulter: Groupthink is Destroying Libertarian Pussies

21 Mar

Ann Coulter: Groupthink is Destroying Libertarian Pussies

It’s curious that Ann Coulter is charging libertarians with sucking up to progressives.  I don’t disagree with her that one can find libertarians or “liberaltarians” who do this, especially in academe, the media, and inside the Beltway.  But Ms. Coulter herself in her tortured legal “philosophizing” thinks that African Americans, and African Americans alone, should be given special legal privileges no one else has, at the expense of everyone else, because America once had race slavery.  What is that if not sucking up to “liberals”?  Especially when black comedians like Chris Rock point out that American Indians had a harder time than blacks.  Not to mention the fact that, if you want to play this game, women and gays didn’t have a jolly old time before or after Emancipation.  And that no one alive today in any of these groups has been a slave, except to the federal and state governments, and no government programs overall help disadvantaged groups get out of their underclass status.

Coulter’s barbs and jokes at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Committee, where she is less defensive than when before libertarians, are indeed entertaining.

Ms. Coulter’s history with libertarians predates the recent Students for Liberty/Stossel kerfuffle about which Nick Gillespie writes on the reason magazine website today.

She was once approached by the Connecticut Libertarian Party to run for Senate against a RINO Republican when she opined that she would seek the LP line to run against him and make him lose to the Democrat. The LP decided she was not sufficiently pro-decriminalization so it thanked her for the meeting and did not allow her the candidacy. (A woman scorned?)

Early in her career out of law school she became friends with a libertarian Republican fellow Hill staffer and lawyer (who is now my neighbor). He stills reads her books before they are published and tries to persuade her each time to remove the most non-libertarian elements. Following CoCo Chanel’s advice about accessories, she is reported to only remove one item each book.

At her book signing in DC last year at the offices of Grover Norquist group, Americans for Tax Reform, Ms. Coulter entered to first encounter me and a Ron Paul donor to whom I had just given a Gary Johnson button. It was the day after Romney’s one good debate, and she grabbed my friend’s blouse and looked into her face nose to nose and said “Oh no no no no no no no – after that f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s performance last night you must be for Romney!”  She then grabbed my own epynomous button for my Congressional campaign on my shirt and stared at me, to which I non-confrontationaly said “It’s for a local campaign.” She released me intact from her grip. Later one could hear her reply to a book buyer’s question of how her day was going – “it was great until I got here, and even here there are Gary Johnson buttons!”