Posts tagged Liberty

How Nathaniel Branden Changed My Life, and Impacted Us All

Nathaniel Branden and Judd Weiss

I’m not the only one who’s had some socially awkward teenage years. Mine were pretty depressing. I wore mostly black, I was hostile when I spoke back to everyone, and I had no friends. I don’t blame others, I was pretty uncomfortable to be around. I was a smart kid, but I was way behind everyone else. The most toxic part about it was how self righteous I was. Clearly being a loner meant I was much better than everyone else. This was obviously preferable to associating with all the mindless sheep. But I knew something was wrong because I was always sad. I was stuck in a hole. Discovering Nathaniel Branden’s books were like finding an outstretched hand guiding me out of a dark hole. When I discovered him I quickly read everything of his that I could find. I scoured used book stores and found powerful books of his that had long been out of print. There’s no question that I was transforming myself as I read his books. Everyone has potential, but too often too much of that potential is restrained and untapped. From an incompetent loner who was uncomfortable even socializing with people, I’m still stunned by how quickly I became a massive overachiever with an overwhelming abundance of incredible friends in my life. It seems strange now since I’m such a public person, but I used to be an extremely private person. I had to rip myself open with both hands, I had to fight against my inertia and change my terrible habits, I had to reach up and pull with everything I’ve got. Finally I was excited to become something more than a disgruntled loser. I saw a path out, and I took it. Nathaniel’s writing laid the foundation for me to create a powerful blueprint for my life that I could act on and achieve with. Which is why I’ll always be so deeply grateful to him. And why I often say that I was raised by Nathaniel Branden’s books more than by my own parents.

Nathaniel Branden Self Esteem Respect Kindness Generosity Quote16 years ago, when I was a young 18 year old, I would drive to any book signings for Nathaniel within driving distance, just for the chance to see him in person. I never really got a chance to talk to him back then, I was shuffled along in the line of his other fans. About 7 years ago I reconnected with Nathaniel at a regular local Objectivist salon hosted at the home of a mutual friend of ours in LA. Nathaniel was in his later years at this point. We eventually became friends. What that initially meant is that he would call me up when he had computer problems and I would try to fix it. When he eventually stopped driving, I started giving him rides around Los Angeles. His wife appreciated it since it would relieve some pressure off her busy calendar, and I appreciated the opportunity to talk with him. I held a few events for Nathaniel at my house to speak to a group of friends that I assembled. I later held large birthday parties for his 81st and 82nd birthdays. By the way, his 82nd Birthday Party here was the largest party I’ve ever thrown at my house, with about 400 well dressed high quality people literally stuffed like sardines into my living room (never ever again, never will I ever let my house get that packed again). Nathaniel Branden Judd Weiss like a grandson Facebook commetNathaniel would sometimes tell me fondly that I was like a grandson he never had. I never lost sight of the fact that Nathaniel was a hero to me. If I could go back in time and tell my 18 year old self that “one day you are going to become personal friends with him , and you will even host Nathaniel Branden’s birthday at your house in Bel Air”, probably 18 year old Judd wouldn’t believe me. Because 18 year old Judd did not believe he was capable of that.

Nathaniel Branden 82nd Birthday at Judd Weiss House

Nathaniel Branden’s 82nd Birthday Party I threw for him at my house. The reaction as I introduced him.

Yesterday I was honored to speak at Nathaniel’s memorial in Los Angeles. It’s not easy for me to let go of him. No one in this world has had a bigger impact on my life. If Nathaniel Branden hadn’t been in my life, I wouldn’t have accomplished what I have. I wouldn’t be who I’ve become.

Some people touch many lives, Nathaniel Branden profoundly changed many lives. Millions of lives. In fact, all of us have been affected by him.

Nathaniel Branden IntegrityIt’s very challenging to quickly articulate the enormity of the legend that is Nathaniel Branden. I hope I’ll do him justice here.

A world renowned author of over 20 profoundly impactful books   Continue Reading >>   

Judd Weiss interviewed by Jan Helfeld

While at the International Students For Liberty Conference in DC last weekend, I sat down for an interview with the famous Jan Helfeld, notorious for tripping up famous politicians and media figures with difficult ideological questions. He employs a type of Socratic questioning to get their fundamental principles, which always exposes their contradictions and humiliates them on camera for being inconsistent at best, or hypocritical and lacking integrity at worst. Press secretaries usually pull the plug and motion to abruptly end the interview. His major media figure guests are not expecting his line of questioning, most of the time they get violently hostile when they end the interview, and I’m amazed that Jan is still able to successfully get these interviews with major figures after over 2 decades of this.

So when Jan asked to interview me, I told him to do his worst, dial it up to 10, and find a chink in my armor. I think I was the first person he’s ever interviewed to come out unscathed! I don’t know what all the other interviewees are a complaining so much about. Next time he needs to ramp it up a bit and try harder! I guess my background in philosophy paid off. To be honest, after the fact I realize I could definitely answer the questions more succinctly and articulately, but considering that I was completely put on the spot and I had no talking points ready at all, I think I did ok.

Enjoy ;)

[Another Jan Helfeld interview with me, and more hilarious interviews with Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and others after the break!]

  Continue Reading >>   

Judd Weiss on The Peter Schiff Show!



Well guys, I got on The Peter Schiff Show. That’s a pretty big deal for me, as I’ve been a massive fan of Peter Schiff for a while. I wasn’t on with Peter, I was on with Neeraj Chadhary, who was guest hosting the radio show. I was talking about connecting with people, and a more effective approach to communicating our ideas, especially when there’s a difference of opinion.

After you listen to my segment, if you’re familiar with Peter Schiff, you’ll realize that he certainly does violate a lot of the principles that I’m discussing, as he’s rather well known for infuriating those who disagree with him. His (lack of) ability to persuade those who disagree with him isn’t what makes him an exceptional communicator, or what makes me such a huge fan. What makes Peter Shciff such an exceptional communicator is that he possesses a legendary ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and powerfully. In that regard he is among the greats, and one of the best speakers I have ever seen. Now I do wish he would stop attacking the character of those who disagree with him, be a bit more considerate to where they’re coming from, I think he’ll be a lot more effective in his outreach. Yet his extraordinary ability to explain these complex ideas simply and convincingly has certainly brought a tremendous amount of understanding to many (me included). I’m so impressed with his ability to articulate, that I’ve learned about as much from studying his technique as I have from studying his ideas (i.e. turn everything into a metaphor).

For a crash course in why Peter Schiff is incredible, check out my earlier article on him here.

  Continue Reading >>   

An Open Letter to all Republicans to drop Mitt Romney for Gary Johnson

Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney - Alien vs Predator - Gary Johnson - HustleBear.com

So, you’re a Republican? That’s your team. You would like a smaller less intrusive government that costs a lot less, right? Great! I’m with you there. That’s why you need to realize that Mitt Romney is NOT on your team, you need to vote AGAINST him and make sure you do what you can to deny Mitt Romney the presidency. Even if it means that Obama stays in office. Why?? Well let’s back up a few years.

Election Day, November 4, 2008. That day the Republican party was officially pronounced dead. Not even on life support. The party was over. Dead. It was embarrassing to say you were a Republican. Obama won in a landslide victory. Democrats increased their control of the House of Representatives and Senate, and became an unstoppable force able to ram through just about any legislation they like. And that they did. Welcome ObamaCare.

Republicans desperately needed to completely re-imagine themselves if they had any hope of continuing forward.

Election Day, November 2, 2010. Republicans swept up, taking control of local office, state office, the House of Representatives, and nearly took back the Senate, removing Democrats’ filibuster proof majority, leaving Democrats sweating it with a razor slim majority. WHAT THE HELL CHANGED?!

Principles. Principles were discovered and defended at a time when the importance of principles became obvious. These principles weren’t handed down by someone’s god, they’re principles of reality. For instance, you spent all your money? No more party. Very simple.

Tea Party March on Washington DC - Mitt Romney vs Barack Obama - Gary Johnson - HustleBear.comDespite a desperate smear campaign from much of the media, the Tea Party movement that came into prominence had nothing to do with racism towards a black president or the pocketbooks of greedy wealthy elites. The Tea Party sprung up as a mass of Libertarians and Republicans that stood up for their common principles. They hadn’t found religion. To the contrary, they abandoned religion, for the most part, at least politically. They focused solely on economics. They focused on problems of the enormous growing national debt. They focused on reducing our spending and the cost of government and thus reducing our tax burden. They focused on limiting government’s scope and involvement in our lives.

Because of those principles, even as an atheist libertarian, I was as passionate a Tea Party supporter as anyone else; happy to find common cause with any religious supporter on board with these limited government principles.

One of the greatest things that we were all excited about with the Tea Party is their credibility and their unwillingness to compromise it. They knocked out viable Republicans from office if they violated their limited government principles. Because who needs them? Right? What good are Republicans that push for costly bigger government in our lives?

Armed with principles, the Tea Party brought excitement back into the dead lifeless corpse of the Republican Party. The wave of excitement culminated into a sledgehammer of force that overwhelmingly knocked Democrats out of local office, out of State Governor positions, out of the House of Representatives, and almost even cost Democrats the Senate. Nothing could stop the principled Tea Party movement.

  Continue Reading >>   

Memories from Freedom Fest 2012

Freedom Fest 2012 - Naomi Brockwell - Money Is Good[Photo Album at the end of article]

This is the most epic set of photos I’ve ever taken, not because they are my best shots, but because I’ve never captured so many living giants in one photo album. Just about every person in every photo in this album below has had significant impact, or clearly will have some significant impact, with many people in our culture. These are the incredibles. And I was struggling like hell to try to capture some human element from them. Which is challenging because they are often so guarded, and usually when they see some guy with a camera they tell him to fuck off. So like the bastard that I am, I made it my task to find a crack in their armor and capture that human moment. Not some awkward defensive goofball reaction, but something true and authentic.

Freedom Fest 2012 - Peter SchiffHere you go my friends, if you’re a fan of anyone in this album, you can see that the legend is a human, like you. Reach out, pull up, join them.

[more info and MANY PHOTOS after the break]

  Continue Reading >>   

I organized an event for Peter Schiff at my house, some difficulties ensue… (with Photos and Video!)

Peter Schiff - Judd Weiss - Nathaniel BrandenWhoa man, my house has been packed before, but never like this! Last week I held a cocktail party with a short talk from Peter Schiff. About 300 people came over, and most of them piled in my living room all at once to see Peter speak. It was so tight that the photographer actually had a hard time lifting his arms to take pictures. I was honestly terrified by the sheer number of people I knew would show up that I’ll somehow fit in one room; but hey, we made it work! And it was a great time!

Everyone looked amazing. Check out all the pictures below:

Peter Schiff - Judd Weiss - Guests Peter Schiff - Judd Weiss House peter-schiff-event-5 Peter Schiff event - Nathaniel Branden - Den Bradshaw
Peter Schiff Event Peter Schiff Event - Brooke Taylor Peter Schiff Event - Anna Mason

(Many more photos below at the end of this article)

As many of you know, I’m a massive fan of Peter Schiff, he’s had a significant impact on my economic understanding, and I watch all of his videos that get posted online. I even named him “Man of the Year” in a previous article. To say the least, I was extremely excited to have him over to speak at my house. I know I was warned a thousand times by many people that he can be difficult to deal with. Still, I was surprised that for a moment even I was pissed with the guy.
  Continue Reading >>   

My First Experience at Freedom Fest 2011 (with Photos!)

Nick Gillespie and Judd WeissA Behind The Scenes Exposé of the Personalities behind the Liberty Movement

(There is A LOT here, so take your time. Each day of the conference easily warrants its own separate blog article, but I hate splitting these things up. Each person here is significant and warrants his or her own blog article, so this is actually concise. Consider this a crash course in many of the leading figures of the current liberty movement, with photos and links.)

Ayn Rand The FountainheadI’ve never been secretive about my thoughts and outlook. I’ve actively been a part of the pro-liberty movement since high school, when I first discovered Ayn Rand, the world’s most controversial philosopher. Before I got to college I read everything I could find that she ever wrote. My mind was racing then, her material got me thinking about everything in new ways. I started to train my mind to approach every situation by searching for the fundamentals. I tried to find the core of every issue, and I’d consider its philosophical implications. In time this in-depth philosophical background became so damn powerful for me. I could analyze and understand issues with more clarity. I began writing more confidently. I even began making bolder serious life and business decisions much more quickly. The world is more intelligible the better you understand its matrix.

Very few of my friends gave a shit.

  Continue Reading >>   

I’m So Relieved, The Atlas Shrugged Movie is Fantastic

Atlas Shrugged Movie Poster - Who Is John Galt

A couple nights ago, at a private screening for Atlas Shrugged Part 1, I took my seat, closed my eyes, dropped my head, and for the first time in my life, I said a prayer. “Please don’t be cheese ball. Please don’t be cheese ball. Please don’t be cheese ball.” A vision flashed in my mind of John Travolta, on the cover of a Battlefield Earth poster. Petrified, my fingers hardened into a grip around my arm rests. “No!! Please don’t be cheese ball. Please don’t be cheese ball…”

No doubt, the excitement in the room was mixed with fear. The producers of this film had the balls to make a motion picture out of one of the most thought provoking and controversial novels of all time. A Library of Congress reader’s poll ranked Atlas Shrugged as the second most influential book of all time next to the Bible. Other prominent reader polls of Best Novels ever written have listed Atlas Shrugged as #1. It’s a 1000+ page classic epic packed with action, philosophy, adventure, politics, romance, mystery, and a whole lot of attitude. Back in the 1500s, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of a prominent Catholic church, sparking The Reformation. Ayn Rand nailed these 1000+ pages on the door of the world’s churches and state capital buildings, sparking what history might record as the beginning of the next renaissance. The next cultural movement to bring a focus on reality and reason and freedom and productivity back to the world.

FIRST TRAIN ACROSS NEW REARDEN METAL BRIDGE - Atlas Shrugged MovieThis novel isn’t about running a railroad. It’s about society crumbling. And what causes that. It is so ambitious and controversial because it dramatizes the different fundamental values of our culture, and how that plays out through people in a society in crisis. When times get tough, more is demanded and taken from the achievers and high earners. So they work harder, they try harder, but the chains pile on, until they strike. Yes, the business leaders strike, not the employees. The title references the Greek god Atlas, who strains to hold the weight of the world over his shoulders. The load gets heavier and he struggles through blood and sweat to keep the world up. Until he changes his mind, shrugs, and drops the world. Let it fall. Let the world burn. Let all the ungrateful leeches and apes have it to themselves and enjoy it. Atlas is done.
  Continue Reading >>   

End The War On Drugs. Start By Legalizing Marijuana.

drug alcohol prohibition

Midterm elections are coming up with a host of policies to vote on. This month I’m going to talk about several political matters whos fate our ballets will determine. Starting with the most obvious and easiest disaster to see: The War On Drugs.

Anyone with eyes to see can recognize the total disaster of The War On Drugs.

More Prisoners. More Police Abuse. More Corruption. More Gangs. More Crime. More Killings. More Fear. More Waste. More Debt. More Government Spending. More Government Control.

Less Freedom.

 
 

“Drug Prohibition is the biggest failed policy in the history of our country, second only to slavery.”
-Retired California Superior Court Judge James Gray

If you do nothing else to look into this issue, at least watch this video from a hero of mine, Milton Friedman, who explained decades ago in great detail why drugs should be legalized:

What have we gained from all the deaths, police crackdowns, and money spent? What have we gained?

Have people stopped doing drugs? No
Is drug use less prevalent? No
Are kids prevented from doing drugs? Find me a high school in this country where you can’t obtain virtually any illegal drug.
Should we try to stop people from doing drugs?

  Continue Reading >>   

Video of the Day – Matt Ridley: When Ideas Have Sex

Phenomenal! I’ve never heard a stronger case made for Libertarianism and Free Trade from an Anthropological point of view. The opening statement subtly helps put Global Warming Alarmism in perspective. He even quoted the famous libertiarian piece I Pencil. Matt Ridley just gave this presentation several days ago at TED. This is up there with the quality of Richard Dawkins’ Growing Up in the Universe.

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >