I’m delighted to report that the pledge drive to fund Ari Armstrong’s and my new policy paper in defense of abortion rights is rolling along on schedule. So far, we’ve received 28 pledges for $1,560. That’s over the threshold — HOORAY! So thank you, thank you to everyone who has pledged so far!

However, I’d love to collect a bit more in funds before tomorrow’s deadline, if possible. Why? First, some people don’t pay their pledges, so I’d like a bit of wiggle room for that. Second, I’d love to use any extra funds to promote the paper after it’s completed. Third, a bit more money raised would be good for CSG’s court challenge to Colorado’s campaign finance laws.

You have until tomorrow at midnight to pledge. Please do pledge, if you want to support this project! Any amount is welcome, and your pledge is not due until the paper is published on September 17th.

You can find out more about Colorado’s 2014 “personhood” ballot measure here. If you have any questions about the project or pledging, please email me.

Here are some of the comments that people have made while pledging… which I’m sharing because I appreciate them so much:

While we need staunch defense of abortion rights everywhere, this project is of personal interest to me because my daughters live in Colorado, and I want them to have the fullest protection of their rights possible there.

Thank you for using sane reasoning to argue for positions that I care about. I support your cause, and wish that as a student I could contribute more. Hopefully soon as a professional I can help more.

It’s very important that you write this. Personhood laws destroy reproductive rights, and destroys Republicans’ commitment to and reputation for supporting freedom and individual rights.

I am looking forward to the updated paper. I found the original very interesting and informative.

Keep up the good work! Look forward to the update and to the defeat of Amendment 67.

Me too!! Again, please pledge before tomorrow at midnight if you want to support the writing and promotion of a new paper in defense of abortion rights!

 

After a hiatus in 2012, I’m sorry to report that “Personhood for Zygotes” is on the ballot again in Colorado in 2014. However, I’m pleased to announce that Ari Armstrong and I will update 2010 policy paper in defense of abortion rights in light of the very much changed political landscape. Once again, we need your support to make that happen!


Colorado’s New “Personhood for Zygotes” Amendment

Despite the defeats of “personhood” measures in 2008 and 2010, the crusaders against abortion rights have returned with yet another attempt to grant the full legal rights of personhood to fertilized eggs.

The ballot question reads:

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution protecting pregnant women and unborn children by defining “person” and “child” in the Colorado criminal code and the Colorado wrongful death act to include unborn human beings? (Full Text)

If successful, this measure would outlaw therapeutic and elective abortions, common fertility treatments, and popular forms of birth control. It would subject women and their doctors to intrusive police controls and unjust criminal prosecutions. It would force Coloradoans to abide by the deeply religious and sectarian view that the fertilized egg is imbued with rights from God.

Due to its misleading wording — particularly its talk of “protecting pregnant women” — 2014′s Amendment 67 will likely fare significantly better in the polls than the “personhood” amendments proposed in 2008 and 2010. It’s unlikely to pass, but that doesn’t mean that abortion rights are secure. The dangerous ideology of “personhood” has spread like wildfire in the past four years among religious conservatives. In the 2012 presidential election, every Republican candidate except Mitt Romney endorsed “personhood for zygotes.”

The ideology of “personhood for zygotes” must be steadfastly opposed — based on a firm understanding of rights in pregnancy — not merely because “it goes too far.”


Support a 2014 Paper in Defense of Abortion Rights

To combat the dangerous ideology of “personhood” and defend abortion rights on principle, Ari Armstrong and I will publish a new version of their policy paper on the “personhood” movement. The updates to the paper will focus on the new language in 2014′s Amendment 67, the widespread embrace of “personhood” by the Republican Party in the 2012 election, the synergy between “incremental” and “personhood” approaches to abortion bans, the defeat of a “personhood” amendment in Mississippi, and more.

However, that work depends on your support! The update to the paper will only go forward if at least $1500 is pledged by August 20th. That will help pay for the many hours of work this update will require. If sufficient funds are pledged, the 2014 paper will be published by September 17th.

So, if you want to help defend abortion rights in this 2014 election, please pledge! Any amount is welcome, and your pledge is not due until the paper is published.

Note: Due to efforts of the Center for Competitive Politics on CSG’s behalf, I hope that she will not have to report on funds collected for this project, as she’s been obliged to do in prior elections. Time — or rather the judge — will tell. In any case, pledges for this paper are helping us have a viable case with which to challenge Colorado’s onerous campaign finance laws.

If you have any questions about the project or pledging, please email me.

New OList: OPeople

 Posted by on 28 March 2011 at 11:30 am  Announcements, OList, Pledge Project
Mar 282011
 

Thanks to Earl Parson of Creatures of Prometheus, OList.com hosts regular online get-togethers, particularly twice-weekly OList Virtual Socials and every-other-week Movie Nights.

These events have been going fabulously well. I find that they’re a great way to connect with my many awesome OList friends, as well as a way to get to know new Objectivists. In fact, these social events were one of the many reasons why SnowCon 2011 was so much fun: many attendees were regular participants in the OList Virtual Socials!

The only problem with these events has been that we’ve not had any way to disseminate announcements and reminders of them just to the people interested in them. I really hate to send announcements to all the OLists, as I think that’s bothersome for many people. Until now, however, that’s been the only option.

Now the problem is solved… with OPeople! (I’d hoped for “OFriends,” but alas, that name was already in use on Google Groups.)

OPeople is the latest OList. The most basic function of OPeople will be to “disseminate announcements about OList events, such as Movie Night and Virtual Socials.” That’s starting immediately, so if you’d like to receive those announcements, please subscribe now.

The only criterion for subscription is that you be an Objectivist, meaning that you agree with and live by the principles of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism as best you understand them. You need not be subscribed to any other OList. Also, you can lurk, but for that, you must be a lurker on at least one other OList.

In addition, I would like to open the OPeople list to friendly, off-topic chatter, such as movie and art recommendations, discussions of work and hobbies, requests for information and advice, and more. Basically anything off-topic for the other OLists would be welcome on OPeople. It’s a kind of catch-all OList.

However, for that to happen, I’m asking that interested people pledge a few dollars, just as was done for OLeaders, OGeeks, and OCrafters. I want to make sure that sufficient people are interested in that option, and if so, I’d like a fair trade for the work required of the list manager (William Green) and me.

So if you want to pledge, please do so using this form:

Please note that your payment won’t be due until after $200 is pledged, when I open up the list to that off-topic chatter. I’ll send an invoice. And if you pledge, thank you — and don’t forget to subscribe!

Feb 092011
 

Remember… the preview for Luc Travers’ OList Webcast on “Bringing an Artwork to Life” will be tonight: Wednesday, February 9th at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET. It’s free and open to anyone. To join that preview, just go to the webcast’s page on OList.com at the appointed hour.

The webcast itself will be on Wednesday, February 23rd at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET. You can find out more about the webcast — and pledge for it — on that same page.

I hope to see you tonight!

New OList: OCrafters

 Posted by on 7 February 2011 at 2:00 pm  Announcements, OList, Pledge Project
Feb 072011
 

I’m pleased to report that OCrafters raised the $200 in pledges required for its creation and launch! Yipee! (And wow, I’d better resume my long-forgotten knitting projects!) Here’s the basic description of the list:

OCrafters is an informal private discussion list for Objectivists and others who engage in the production of crafts such as knitting, furniture-building, weaving, metalworking, paper-making, sewing, flower-arranging, jewelry-making, and so on. Its purpose is to provide a forum for Objectivist crafters to ask each other questions, share useful advice and resources, and to brag about work in progress or completed.

Any Objectivist who engages in at least one craft may subscribe and post to OCrafters. Moreover, non-Objectivist crafters, as well as non-crafty Objectivists are welcome to subscribe to the list, but only as lurkers; they cannot post. OCrafters is not moderated, but members who violate its rules will be subject to moderation, if not unsubscribed.

As usual, OCrafters is open for subscriptions, but discussion won’t begin for a few days. (That’s to give people time to subscribe to the list.) If you’d like to join, please review the full subscription requirements posted here, then request a subscription to the Google Group.

OCrafters is managed by Earl Parson — accomplished knitter, welder, and woodworker. If you have any questions about OCrafters, he can be reached at earl.parson@gmail.com.

I’ve now created three new OLists via pledges. I’m delighted that my experiment in funding new OLists worked so well — and many thanks to everyone who pledged! For those of you who pledged for OCrafters, I’ll send your invoices sometime in the next few days.

Two New OLists: OGeeks & OLeaders

 Posted by on 24 January 2011 at 3:00 pm  Announcements, OList, Pledge Project
Jan 242011
 

I’m tickled pink to report that — after just a few short days — $200 in pledges were made for the creation and launch of each of two new OLists: OLeaders and OGeeks. The lists are now open for subscriptions, and they’ll open for discussion on Friday. If you’d like to join please review the full subscription requirements on OList.com, then request a subscription to the Google Group.

  • OGeeks is an e-mail list for Objectivists and others interested in geeky topics like science, computing, engineering, mathematics, and technology. Its purpose is to facilitate discussion and sharing among Objectivists about all things geeky, such as best practices in programming, software reviews, scientific discoveries, educational resources, logic puzzles, technology trends, and geek comics. Non-Objectivist lurkers are welcome. OGeeks is managed by Rose Wiegley of A Little Bit of Green.
  • OLeaders is an e-mail list for Objectivists who manage or assist with Objectivist organizations, particularly community groups and campus clubs. Its purpose is to facilitate the exchange of ideas about the effective creation, management, and expansion of Objectivist organizations and their events, as well as communicate announcements of likely interest. Membership is limited to Objectivists. OLeaders is managed by Santiago Valenzuela.

One list remains in utero, waiting to be born: OCrafters.

  • If created, OCrafters will be an e-mail list for Objectivists and others who engage in the production of crafts such as knitting, furniture-building, weaving, metalworking, paper-making, sewing, flower-arranging, jewelry-making, and so on. Its purpose would be to provide a forum for Objectivist crafters to ask each other questions, share useful advice and resources, and to brag about work in progress or completed. Non-Objectivist lurkers will be welcome. It will be managed by Earl Parson of Creatures of Prometheus.

So far, OCrafters has collected $65 in pledges. It needs $135 more before March 20th to come into existence. If you’d like to help make that happen, you can pledge using the form below (or here):

I can’t express just how thrilled I am that this experiment in funding the creation and launch of new OLists via pledges has worked so well. I’m definitely open to creating new OLists by that method, provided that I have some reliable person willing to manage the list.

Many, many thanks to those of you who pledged for OGeeks and OLeaders. I’ll send your invoices sometime in the next few days.

New OLists… Maybe

 Posted by on 19 January 2011 at 8:00 am  Announcements, OList, Pledge Project
Jan 192011
 

Over the past few months, I’ve had lots of requests for two new OList.com e-mail lists: OGeeks and OCrafters.

OGeeks would be an informal private discussion list for Objectivists interested in geeky topics like science, computing, engineering, mathematics, and technology. Its purpose would be to facilitate discussion and sharing about all things geeky, such as best practices in programming, software reviews, scientific discoveries, educational resources, logic puzzles, technology trends, and geek comics. Posters would be limited to Objectivist geeks, but non-Objectivist geeks and non-geeky Objectivists would be welcome to lurk.

OCrafters would be an informal private discussion list for Objectivists who engage in the production of crafts, such as knitting, furniture-building, weaving, metalworking, paper-making, sewing, flower-arranging, jewelry-making, and so on. Its purpose would be to provide a forum for crafters to ask each other questions, share useful advice and resources, and to brag about work in progress or completed. Posters would be limited to Objectivist crafters, but non-Objectivist crafters and non-crafty Objectivists would be welcome to lurk.

In addition, given the creation and expansion of so many Objectivist groups in 2010, then the minicons popping up in 2011, I think it’s high time to create OLeaders. OLeaders would be an informal private discussion list for Objectivists who manage or assist with Objectivist organizations, particularly community groups and campus clubs. Its purpose would be to exchange ideas about the effective creation, management, and expansion of Objectivist organizations and their events. The list would serve as a conduit for announcements of likely interest to other group leaders and their members too. Posters to OLeaders would be limited to Objectivists actively involved in the management of an Objectivist organization (or seriously considering creating such), but any Objectivist would be welcome to lurk.

I’ve been a bit reluctant to create these lists, even though I have reliable people eager to manage them, because the process of launching a new OList consumes a good bit of my time and effort. It’s also a bunch of work for the manager at the outset. Plus, I just don’t know how many people are really interested in those lists, particularly OGeeks and OCrafters.

Happily, I realized a few weeks ago that I could use the pledge system to solve those problems. By asking people to pledge for the creation of the list, I could determine whether enough people were sufficiently interested in it to justify its creation, as well as compensate the manager and me for the work involved in launching it.

So… here’s the deal that I’m offering for OGeeks and OCrafters. I’ll create these lists provided that I can raise $200 in pledges for each list. As soon as the total money pledged reaches $200, I’ll close the pledge form and create the list. That $200 will be divided evenly between myself and the list’s manager. If I don’t get enough pledges by March 20th, I’ll conclude that interest is too weak, so I’ll close the pledge form, void the pledges made, and ignore all future requests for the creation of such a list. (Yup, I’m just that mean!)

As for OLeaders, I’m sufficiently committed to that as an activist project that I will personally fund that list, if needed. That way, I can launch the list next week, whether anyone pledges for it or not. However, I’d definitely appreciate any contributions for that list, particularly because I’ll need to do some extra work for its launch. And you can contribute to it by pledging for it, as with the OCrafters and OGeeks.

Update: OGeeks and OLeaders have been fully funded by pledges! Thank you! OCrafters still needs pledges, and you can pledge for it using the form below (or here):

This attempt to fund the creation of OCrafters and OGeeks via pledges is definitely an experiment. If it works, then I’ll be willing to create more OLists using this same method. So… I really really really hope that this works!

Jan 062011
 

I’m pleased to announce that Eric Daniels’ upcoming webcast on free speech has been green-lit, thanks to the support of the people who pledged! YAY! And thank you, thank you, to everyone who pledged!

For those of you who haven’t yet pledged…. you have until the start of the webcast itself — Monday, January 10th, 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET — to set your own price for the webcast by pledging. After that, you can only gain access to the webcast by paying $50 to purchase it. You can find out more about the webcast and about pledging, as well as listen to Dr. Daniels’ teaser for it on the main page for the webcast: Eric Daniels Webcast on the Foundations of Free Speech. Please remember that you need not attend live to pledge, as pledgers will have access to streaming video and recorded audio after the webcast.

If you wish to pledge, you can do so using this form:

Thank again, pledgers! I’m so excited for this webcast to happen!

Jan 052011
 

After battling with iMovie for far too many hours yesterday afternoon, I emerged victorious! I created two YouTube videos with Part One and Part Two of Eric Daniels’ preview of his upcoming webcast on the foundations of free speech.

Even though I didn’t have video for that preview, I wanted to create YouTube versions because they’re much easier to share and recommend via social media than podcasts. Of course, if you just want to listen to what Eric has to say, you can go to the podcast.

So… without further ado, here are the two videos. Please don’t let my work go to waste… hit those “like” and “share” buttons on the pages for these videos YouTube!

Eric Daniels Free Speech Webcast Preview, Part 1

Eric Daniels Free Speech Webcast Preview, Part 2

Oh, and if you want to pledge, go to the page for the webcast: Eric Daniels Webcast on the Foundations of Free Speech.

 

A few days ago, I closed the books on the pledge project for Ari Armstrong’s and my policy paper, The ‘Personhood’ Movement Is Anti-Life. I’m so grateful to all the people who contributed to Ari’s and my work by their pledges. The paper would not have been updated without those contributions — many of them very generous and all of them appreciated. Given that the measure didn’t even break 30%, I’m so glad that we put in those grueling hours. Plus, I’m really proud that we offered the most substantive defense of abortion rights from an Objectivist perspective written to date.

I can’t properly explain how motivating the pledges are. It’s not just that I’m paid for my work. It’s that I’m paid directly by individuals, many of whom I know personally. And in the process of pledging, those people tell me what my work means to them. Given that activism can seem like a grind sometimes, that’s hugely important to me.

Amy Mossoff was one of the pledgers on this project, and I really appreciated her take on the pledge model as a way of raising money for such projects. Here’s what she said, shortly after the paper was released:

I haven’t read the whole paper yet (just the intro), but I already know that am pleased with my (oh so small) investment. Thanks for your great work, and the brilliant pledge idea, which allows me to support things like this without sacrificing or else feeling like my scarce money was just a meaningless drop in the bucket.

Exactly!

Unfortunately — and for the very first time — a few people failed to make good on their pledges. I’ve sent multiple invoices over many months, but I’ve not heard back from these few people. I wouldn’t mind quite so much if they would just write me to explain. As I’ve said with every pledge project, I’ll gladly void the pledge (or offer a refund) to anyone not satisfied with the product delivered, provided that he explains his reasons. Of course, if a person lost his job and needed every penny to put food on the table, I’d be happy to void his pledge too. I’d just like to hear back, so that I’m not left hanging. So… if you’re one of those people who pledged but never paid, please do me the courtesy of e-mailing me some kind of explanation.

For now, while I have so many other projects in the works, I’ve decided to put the Coalition for Secular Government on hold. I might blog for Politics without God on occasion, but likely nothing more. However, never fear… Ari and I will surely fight Colorado’s next “personhood” measure in 2012. We’ve already put in far too much work on the issue to let those theocratic bastards take the moral high ground… ever!

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha