Quantcast
Learn More
Find A Leader
Support SFL
Make a Donation Join the Network Attend an Event Start a Group

Early in high school I started working at a little restaurant in New Jersey for my first job. I was young and clueless. It was a small place and the majority college-aged staff was very close. It was expected that as the new kid I would struggle to fit in at the start. Weeks and months went by and I began to find my place. I took a liking real quick to one employee named Vinny. His nickname was “Goblin.” He was a high-school drop out, cooked a delicious cheeseburger, and was addicted to heroin. He was one of my best friends throughout high-school and through the job.

Vinnny was awesome. We had so much fun when we were on the same work shift. He would cook and I would cover the counter. We would sing songs and I would just laugh at his jokes and impressions. We made fun of our bosses together. We would try flirting with female customers. We would sneak chicken nuggets to each other when the bosses were not looking. We would argue about hip-hop and yell at each other over songs. After I got my license, we hung out and drove around. He was hard on me though. He wanted me, an idealistic high school kid, to understand the realities of the world around me. I knew about his addiction the entire time and I knew he was struggling.

Vinny was a good friend and there was a real brotherly love between us. But during senior year, I began to work less. When high school ended, I left the restaurant to go to college and we drifted apart. I didn’t see or talk with Vinny for a while. I went back to the restaurant last year and learned that Vinny had died from a heroin overdose in September 2012.

(more…)

Ben Carson is full of it. America’s favorite ultra-conservative Fox News personality is criticizing Common Core for all the wrong reasons.

The program will take the power to set education standards from the states and place it in the hands of the federal government. This move has inflamed conservatives and has led them to decry the program as a federal takeover of education and as a move by the Obama administration to force the values of Washington upon school children across our 50 states.

While I wouldn’t go this far in my own personal criticism of Common Core, I will acknowledge that the program is befuddled with problems. Namely, the Common Core standards still place standardized test scores as the benchmark for how we determine whether children are learning. It is asinine to think that failure to pass a standardized test is an indication of low intelligence or an inability to learn.

Our society’s obsession with testing is deeply disturbing. Education in this country needs to be fundamentally re-envisioned. It simply does no good to scrap the old standardized tests and replace them with new standardized tests. Common Core does exactly this and should be rejected as a result.

However, Dr. Carson has other reasons to despise Common Core, and (shockingly) his reasoning is stupid.

(more…)

My first Students For Liberty Regional Conference irrevocably changed me and my path in life for the better. That probably sounds like an overstatement—and if you’ve never experienced an SFL RC before, I understand your skepticism. Can one weekend really impact someone so much? But having attended both the Arizona and Southern California RCs last year, I can vouch for the powerful nature of putting libertarians and liberty-minded people together for a whole day. Being surrounded by like-minded people with the common intention of developing ideas and forming communities is the perfect platform to expand one’s own knowledge, passions, and relationships. Although the RC is an opportunity to teach others and inspire change, it is also intrinsically an opportunity for self-evaluation, improvement, and enlightenment.

(more…)

The following was written by Linda Kavuka, an African Students For Liberty Executive Board Member. 

The Women For Liberty Seminar held on October 11th at the University of Nairobi was the first of its kind in Kenya. It attracted over 50 participants, with some traveling from as far as Eldoret (6 hours away) and Kitui (3 hours away), both out of town. The fact that women were the target audience also did not deter men from attending. The conversations that came up were very interesting, as the participants challenged each other, asked questions, and came up with solutions to the highlighted issues. This particular audience was very inspiring, being made up of ladies and gents form different schools and faculties of study. Liberty and Leadership formed the agenda for the day as this seminar was taking a different approach from the usual tired topics. Women have been empowered and it is time for young ladies to stop complaining and take advantage of the numerous opportunities accorded to them thanks to increased educational opportunities in the developing world. It is time for women to contest for leadership positions in society, politics, and the economy. (more…)

Little Guides to Big Ideas is an SFL educational series introducing important libertarian thinkers. Each post is written to give liberty-minded students a starting point to learn from the great movers and shakers who have contributed to the ideas of liberty. The entire Little Guide to Big Ideas series can be found here

“A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave.” – Oscar Wilde.

Who: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish writer and poet. He is popular today because of the intensity with which he lived his life and because of the wit and wisdom he showed in his writings, especially his plays and epigrams.

Why he matters: Wilde considered himself a libertarian socialist and even though he had mixed ideologies, his main concern was reaching an individualist society focused on individual flourishing and enlightenment. He thought that altruism was a false cure to poverty and that the way to eradicate it was through competition. Wilde stressed the difference between authoritarian socialism and individual socialism, advocating for a more libertarian approach. His major libertarian work is his poem A Sonnet to Liberty, and after reading some works of Peter Kropotkin he declared himself an anarchist. The British government ruined Wilde’s life by imprisoning him two years under the charge of homosexual acts. After being released, both his health and career decayed.

If you only read one thing: Read The Importance of Being Earnest, which is a satire on society’s morals and obligations of the time.

Major works available online:

Learn more about Wilde:

Introduction to Wilde and his World 

The Religion and Political Views of Oscar Wilde

70 Brilliant Oscar Wilde Quotes

Oscar Wilde in America