Back to the Freedom Summit.
After a quick breakfast, I found that several individuals were already milling about in the patio area around the entrance to the convention room. I picked up my badge and went inside to check out the vendors. While I made up a mental list of things I would buy later, people started to find seats.
Ernie took the dais and made a few announcements, mostly having to do with Arizona politics as it relates to the upcoming elections. He welcomed everyone and introduced Barry Hess, who was to MC the event.
The first speaker way Doug Casey, a man who makes enough money in market speculation to finance his travelling habit. He spoke on the world view of the terrorist/Iraq/Afghanistan situation.
An elderly gentleman who calls himself Lazarus Long was next. He had a Power Point presentation of a New Country he plans to build on a sand bar in the Caribbean. The presentation wasn't very convincing.
Jim Peron, an American who lived in South Africa for a time and now lives in New Zealand, spoke about the government of New Zealand, its taxes and its receptiveness to immigration, and the ease of starting a business or working there. He made it sound pretty good.
Charles Goyette is a talk show host on a Phoenix radio station. He has a somewhat gloomy view of the future of freedom in America, with some suggestions of things that might happen that might make the outlook a little brighter. I spoke with him briefly after his speech and found him to be very sharp and quite a bit more upbeat than his speech seemed to indicate. I wish I could listen to his show. I could listen on the net, except he's on while I'm at work.
Claire Wolfe is a pretty hard-core underground person who's been writing about the approaching police state for years. "101 Things to Do Until the Revolution" and "The State vs the People," for example. She was the next speaker, and spoke about creating online "gulching" communities, insulating yourself from the bad guys, etc. I did get a couple of chances to chat with her. She was good enough to sign a couple of her books for me.
Mary Ruwart spoke about the federal gov't's role in soaring prescription drug prices. Ms Ruwart is a pharmaceutical research scientist who has first-hand knowledge of the outrageous degree of regulation under which pharmaceutical firms must attempt to work.
Justin Raimondo, a policy analist for the Center for Libertarian Studies gave an impassioned speech in opposition to the Iraq war and a plea that all libertarians oppose it in any way they can.
Now, I have no sympathy for the old Iraqi government, but I'm not in the least satisfied with the blarney coming from Washington DC regarding this "War on Terror." I'm even less satisfied with the feds having set up apparatus by which they can control our movement, our travel, our work, our education and our health care (well beyond what had been done by previous administrations) and by which they can collect information on each and every one of us in just about any area of our lives. Any of that bunk they tell you about needing the approval of the courts to tap your phones or raid your computer files falls completely apart when you realize from whom the judges' paychecks come.
Ah, another digression......
We had a break to freshen up and to engage in conversation as pleased each of us, until it was time for the evening's hjigh point: Dinner and the keynote speech.
After a very good dinner, George Smith took the dais. He spoke on the dangers of the NeoCons, as they have strong influence on President Bush and the direction of the federal government is currently heading. Gone is any pretense of limiting the size of gov't or any pretense of moving in the direction of freedom (except, of course, in rhetoric). George also made a point to observe the increase in importance relicious faith has in the President's personal philisophy--and how that fits with the doctrines of the NeoCons.
So....after the speech, and after a conversations with a number of attendees, I trundled off to rest up for the final day. It's a good weekend!