As he lets his light shine…

I’ve known Judd since high school, and it has been incredible to see him passionately pursue and then create the reality he dreams of. And even more importantly, share it with his community. This was especially evident when he invited Nathaniel Branden to his home, to celebrate his mentor and friend, and to make sure that others would have a chance to hear from and learn from someone who had made such a difference in his life. Judd is truly one who lifts as he climbs. An inspiring, loving, driven, and amazing human I’m proud to have in my life. And I’m thankful he has found an incredible partner in Avens, who created this page. Such beautiful fireworks between two brilliant sparks. ❤

-Nurit Katz, July 2014

A Vision

If I could use one word to describe Judd, it would be “vision.”  He is a man with a strong vision for everything that he produces, whether it involve words or the beautiful images he captures with his cameras. As an artist myself, I know how difficult it can be to reconcile the spirit of art with the reality of the world.  Yet he seems to do it almost effortlessly, though I know the process requires a great deal of time and hard work.  He uses that talent to capture moments in time for countless people and organizations, and often does so out of his own pocket.  It’s something I can truly appreciate, and commend him for.  He is a man of vision, and uses that vision to not only create art, but to give back to others.  Happy birthday Judd, may you have many more happy years to come!

-Katherine Elise

The Bird Says He’s The Best

“The last two and a half years have been some of the most incredible of my life, thanks in large part to Judd. For welcoming me into his life and letting me into his heart, an honor I know is rare and speaks to how important I’ve been to him. We have our differences, but it isn’t just one that causes us tension or strife. We have our compatibilities, and they kept us together far longer than either of us expected.

For all the ways that I know I have been easy to love for him, I also have a tendency to be tremendously difficult as well. This is a personality trait we both appear to share, and it makes me laugh to know we can both own that so honestly to one another.

Judd is and will remain one of my dearest friends. He has been beyond amazing to me. I truly cannot be happier for the way this is ending, and for the incredible experiences we’ve had together. I regret none of it, and I think we’ve both left each other better than we found us. One way or another, we’re still close, there is no animosity or ill-will, and I think we both want to make sure our friends, our communities and everyone who has known us as a unit understands that we are comfortable and happy with this separation. He will always be in my heart, and I expect him to always be in my life in some way.”

-Avens O’Brien, February 2015


-Ryan Hirsch

It’s Happening!

This is an excerpt from a post on the Liberty on the Rocks – Los Angeles blog.

I first met Judd through a friend at the Reason Foundation who invited me to the most interesting party I had heard of: a cocktail party for Peter Schiff. This was in early November 2011.

Liberty, always something I valued and thought about as I read the day’s news had been on my mind a lot at that time.

I had been active in the liberty movement in college – rolling with the College Libertarians at Berkeley from the fall of 2001 to graduation in the fall of 2003. Interning at the Cato Institute between Junior and Senior years. Obsessively opposing the Iraq War. Failing miserably at stopping the Iraq War, I graduated and focused on a career in opinion research.

I let my libertarian leanings suffer silently through the W. Bush years. I moved from DC to LA. I worked in entertainment market research. I started eating #paleo, and hoped, like many other millions in 2008, that Obama would do good things for civil liberties and peace.

By November 2011 I realized how terribly wrong I was.

That September, a 16 year old American citizen named Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was killed by a drone strike in Yemen. In July of that same year, a mentally ill homeless man named Kelly Thomas, a white man, was beaten to death by the Fullerton Police Department. There was gruesome video and audio and yet, I knew, because I had been following the writings of Radley Balko and Gene Healy since meeting them at the Cato Institute in 2002 that the police were likely to get away with it, unscathed.

Occupy was out around America and had recently taken up residence in DTLA. Later that month Occupy around America and in DTLA would be crushed with a show of force that disturbed me.  An empire abroad and police state at home. All powered by massive surveillance.

Judd Weiss’ party in Los Angeles was my first opportunity to connect with other libertarians since moving to that city in 2007.

Ron Paul was picking up steam in his run for President in 2008. After years of quiet despair, I felt like it was happening. A libertarian moment.

And it turns out, it was exactly that.

Judd’s sleek home, nestled in the hills of Bel Air with an astonishing view of the Getty Center and West L.A., was a magnificent introduction to the Los Angeles liberty movement. Not only that but Judd Weiss has a way of talking about liberty in a persuasive manner, crafting his message to persuade and motivate rather than to belittle and decimate the non-believer. This tact Judd deploys when talking about liberty is a mark of his background as a salesman.

At the same time I saw libertarian populism pick up steam, I saw started to notice a refinement in approach – once exclusively the domain of the Cato Institute, there were organizations like Students for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty and individuals like Judd starting to appear on my radar – a broader and more accessible message of liberty emerged.

At Judd’s parties, for Nathaniel Branden (my personal guru), the Ayn Rand Institute, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (fantastic anti-drug war police people), and liberty-minded speakers I met individuals who were part of Ayn Rand’s circle, work for Objectivist think tanks, make films and media with libertarian themes, write blogs, run massive activist enterprises and through this network I met Melinda McCrady who founded Liberty on the Rocks – Los Angeles in January of 2013.

I am not an activist, I am not a politician. I pursue happiness and want to network with other liberty-minded individuals in this great world city that is Los Angeles. This is why Liberty on the Rocks appeals to me so much. You go and you meet and have cocktails with interesting people. Sometimes you listen to an interesting speaker. But speaker or not, I know that I am providing a platform for other liberty-minded individuals to interact and meet each other. Who knows what could come of that? These are some seriously crafty and bright folks who need to meet others and make stuff like businesses, manifestos, media ventures and political campaigns.

Take a look at these pictures and then go look at all of Judd Weiss’ photos.

It’s happening. And Judd Weiss has the pics to prove it.

If we were to get maudlin and terrible – like that Frank Capra movie and imagine a world that did not have Judd Weiss:

1: we would see the liberty movement as a bunch of neckbeards taking crappy iPhone photos in dank bars and neon-lit conference rooms around the country.

2: I wouldn’t have ever been inspired to seek out Liberty on the Rocks to replicate, in some small way, these grand salons that meshedlibertarianism, social networking and the joys of living in this magnificent city of Los Angeles that Judd Weiss hosted in his home.

Thank fully A is A and Judd’s body of work exists. We have this awesomeindividual who has the visual genius to capture the warmth, intelligence, humor and depth of a growing movement of people who believe in the strange notion that people are not the government’s property.

Los Angeles, the world, rejoice. It’s happeningJudd Weiss is awesome, and has the photos to prove it.

-Liberty on the Rocks!

A force for Liberty, and a gifted entrepreneur!

Having known Judd for a few years now, I’ve been to his amazing parties, seen (and been the subject of) his professional-quality photography, and witnessed his amazing energy and passion for all things Liberty.

But I think there is something even more important that – due to his humility – sometimes gets lost in the mix. What impresses me most about Judd is the fact that he has been a success in three distinct businesses over the past 15 years or so, most recently in commercial real estate and valet parking.

Many of my friends are successful in business: one of my closest friends is a VP of Sales at a large technology firm. Another owns her own staffing firm, and is the fastest-growing firm in her field. Yet another is a Managing Director for a financial services firm. All three of them have worked hard for many years and after lengthy careers, went on to achieve success in their respective fields.

But what’s even more remarkable about Judd, is that he achieved these successes, all before the age of 35. That’s the mark of a truly gifted entrepreneur.

Judd’s girlfriend Avens often points out in her writing that Liberty is not a destination in and of itself – it is a way of organizing society so that we each of us can pursue the life we choose. In my view, Judd Weiss epitomizes this principle of being a force for Liberty, and a force to be reckoned with.

-Neeraj Chaudhary, July 2014

A Great Friend, Clark Ruper Says

“Everyone knows about Judd’s awesome photography. I don’t know if everyone is aware of what a great person and friend he is. I have had the privilege of crashing at his place twice on trips to LA, and he is by far the best host I have had. And that’s saying something since I spend half my days on the road. He always goes out of his way to make sure I am comfortable and having a good time. He drove me around town to meet his friends, see the sights, visit fancy parties in the Hollywood hills, and other such fun. Hell he even made me dinner from scratch, making me feel so incredibly welcome.
I see these qualities in him all the time. So helpful and accommodating, he is going to have a good time and make sure everyone else does too. He has given me and countless others amazing life experiences and I am incredibly grateful for it. Happy birthday Judd.”
-Clark Ruper, Students for Liberty, July 2014

Verdict In: Seth Hipple Thinks Judd is Awesome

Judd is a passionate and talented photographer and an honest, giving friend. You will often see him explaining the workings of a camera to a complete stranger and teaching them how to use it better. Rarely have I met a person with as much patience and generosity with his time.

Have a great birthday, Judd! You deserve it!

-Seth Hipple, NH, July 2014

Clark Ruper Approves

“I do not remember exactly when I first met Judd. Must have been some Students For Liberty Regional Conference or ISFLC or something, I’m usually running around too much to remember anything. But over the years we became friends via these events and Judd became one of Students For Liberty’s best allies. At SFL we have always stressed the importance of dressing well, taking ourselves seriously, and having a good time in the process. But Judd brought something else to the table, his pictures are able to capture the joy, positivity, and all around awesomeness that come from attending our conferences in a way no one else has. Who would have ever imagined that you could make liberty look sexy? But Judd did. So once Judd started photographing conferences, instead of just telling stories SFL students were able to actually show their friends what an SFL event is all about. Since word of mouth and Facebook are our best communication channels, Judd’s photography has been a boom to the growth of the student movement for liberty.
-Clark Ruper, Students for Liberty, July 2014

The Bird Speaks

If we have one more day together, one more month, one more year or one more lifetime – however long we are involved, however intensely, it’s perfect. He has made my life an adventure this past year, and I’ve no doubt he’s positively affected the general trajectory for years to come. I wouldn’t presume to speak for him and his experience with me, but I spend every day hoping I bring him as much happiness as he brings me.

Avens O’Brien on Taste it Twice, August 2013.