10:00-10:45- Homocons: The Rise of the New Gay Right
Christopher R. Barron & Jimmy LaSalvia | GOProud
This was a pretty good presentation. The founders of GOProud seem to be exceptionally smart and principled people. They emphasized how every issue is a “gay” issue and stressed the importance of gun rights in combatting hate crimes, rather than fluffy bullying laws that accomplish nothing. They also refuse to automatically endorse whoever the Republican nominee might be in a given election. You would think that this wouldn’t be something that an organization has to brag about, but in the current political environment, this idea of standing on principles is quite the anomaly (looking at you, Tea Party). The only thing that detracted from this presentation was the praise they offered for Ann Coulter. They presumed we libertarians don’t like her because we think she’s homophobic. It goes without saying that there are many reasons to dislike Ann Coulter that don’t have anything to do with gay people.
11:15-12:00- The Dynamics of Interventionism
Chris Coyne | FEE
This was an incredible breath of fresh air. I’ve been taking a microeconomics class this semester with a professor who, since I brought up the Austrian School, desperately tries not to call on me as he spouts his praise for Krugman and the like. Needless to say, Chris Coyne is a brilliant economic mind and did an incredible job of explaining the Austrian business cycle. Most of the lecture that delved into price ceilings, bailouts, etc., emphasized the main point of Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson. The fallacy of “looking at the tree and ignoring the forest” is at the root of why our economy is in such shambles. Coyne also taught how important it is to gauge economic health by the amount of actualproductive value that a given economy generates. Another great point that he made was the fallacy of seeking linear solutions to convoluted networks of economic realities. I sought him out after the presentation to thank him for giving me more ammo to use against my Keynesian professor. He was extremely amicable. He also gave me a bunch of sources to turn to for my upcoming report on government’s role in education.
1:30-2:15 Liberty and Foreign Policy
Christopher Preble | Cato
This was kind of a summation of our errant foreign policy decisions. I feel like the intention of this session was to reassure young libertarians that “Yes, everything you’re all already saying about our interventionist policies is correct”. While this was nice, I kind of wish I had gone to one of the Economic seminars instead. Mr. Preble did offer very credible arguments that would work really well on any Conservative with common sense, and for that reason I would definitely buy his book for my either of my grandfathers.
2:45-3:00 The War on Terrorism, the Constitution, and Civil Liberties
Jacob Hornberger & Bruce Fein (with Jack Hunter) | FFF
This seminar was one of the most inspirational hours of my life. I have been a huge fan of Jacob Hornberger since I became conscious of liberty, so choosing this session was a no-brainer. He and Bruce Fein delivered such powerful messages with youthful energy that you would expect from a 20-year-old. The incredible difference, however, is their background. They are two of the most credible people in the political spectrum, and they were essentially calling for another American Revolution! All of their arguments were articulated and justified so well that I couldn’t imagine a living, breathing human being that wouldn’t agree with these “radical” propositions of freedom. Jack Hunter also provided great commentary and was funny as always. I introduced myself after the show and mentioned that he had published one of my father’s articles on RonPaul2012.com, and he knew exactly which article I was talking about, and told me to make sure I tell my dad what a good job he did. I guess I’ll give him some credit…
(Part 2 to come later…For now, I am off to enjoy the final day of the conference)