I am the youngest of four children to two Dust Bowl Okies who migrated to Shafter, California in the Central Valley. My family was fairly apolitical, with Republican leanings. I graduated with a BA in political science from California State College, Bakersfield in 1974 (magna cum laude); earned a MA in political science from University of California, Davis in 1976; and finished everything but my PhD dissertation (ABD) in political science at University of California, Santa Barbara in 1980.
I began political life as a typical McGovern liberal, moved left to become a card carrying member of the Socialist Party USA, and in the late 1990s evolved into a libertarian.
During undergraduate and graduate studies I was active in-on campus politics. As a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara in the late 1970s I led the Graduate Students Association in joining the nationwide Coors beer boycott and several other political campaigns. In 1972 I joined the War Resisters League and participated in and organized anti-war protests, including giving public speeches before crowds numbering in the hundreds at UC Santa Barbara. For more than 10 years I protested a portion of my income taxes as being war taxes. In the latter years of that period, I withheld part of my income taxes from the federal government. In 1980 I was arrested, along with hundreds of others, for civil disobedience at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s I was a hyper-active socialist: twice running for Santa Barbara City Council openly as a socialist in the mid-1980s; worked with tenants (three city-wide rent control campaigns in seven years), and gays and lesbians (Deb, my wife, was the first heterosexual, or “breeder,” on the Gay and Lesbian Resource Center Board of Directors); and fighting political cultists in California’s Peace and Freedom Party (the only socialist party with ballot status in California). During this period I also found time to work full-time as an editor (from 1982 to 2000) of a political science journal published in Santa Barbara.
From the early 1980s to 2000, I published several political articles in publications such as Liberty magazine, the Santa Barbara News-Press, the Santa Barbara Independent, The Socialist, Left Out, and Tenants United.
From 2000 to 2009, I mostly dropped out of politics and concentrate on my job (Real Property Appraiser for the Santa Barbara County Assessor’s Office); building a real estate “empire” (four rental condos); and exploring and hiking the southwestern United States with my wife, Deb, as often as we could get away.
In 2009 we moved from Santa Barbara to St. George, Utah. In the past three years (up to December 2013) I have had more than 40 essays published in The Salt Lake Tribune and The Spectrum (local St. George daily newspaper). It is a rather eclectic group of articles: hiking/travel stories, political essays, and humorous musings.
I also published a book in 2012, Why We Left the Left: Personal Stories by Leftists/Liberals Who Evolved to Embrace Libertarianism. See the Why We Left the Left webpage for more information including direct links to online bookstores: https://my.bookbaby.com/book/why-we-left-the-left/
In September 2013 Why We Left the Left was awarded Honorable Mention in the Non-Fiction Category of the League of Utah Writers Published Book contest.
In September 2014 Challenge Authority: Memoir of a Baby Boomer was awarded 2nd place in the Non-Fiction Category of the League of Utah Writers Published Book contest.
Visit the Challenge Authority Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/challengeauthority
My latest book, Hiking Southwest Utah and Adjacent Areas, Volume 1, was released in December 2014. The webpage, including links to online bookstores, is found at: http://my.bookbaby.com/book/hiking-southwest-utah-and-adjacent-areas
The Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hiking-Southwest-Utah-and-Adjacent-Areas/1489605251309735