It’s not too late to make a flight reservation or jump into your car and head to Austin, Texas, which might just be the best city in the United States. I can personally attest to this given that I spent three years of my life in Austin attending law school at the University of Texas in the 1970s. Situated in the state’s “hill country,” Austin is an absolutely awesome part of Texas.
But the big reason to come to Austin this Saturday, April 11, is the great conference that The Future of Freedom Foundation and the Young Americans for Liberty are co-cosponsoring. This conference has all the makings of one of the best events in FFF’s 25-year history.
Consider, first, our three speakers:
Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who disclosed Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s super-secret surveillance scheme to the world. I have heard Greenwald deliver speeches several times. He is one of the best, most knowledgeable, and most committed public speakers I have ever seen.
Ron Paul, the man who has inspired millions of people around the world in favor of liberty. He is definitely one of my real-life heroes. The words courage, principle, and passion all apply to Ron Paul.
Radley Balko is one of the libertarian writers who have achieved tremendous success, not only with his position as a columnist at the Washington Post, where he writes on the drug war and the militarization of police, but also with his cutting-edge book, Rise of the Warrior Cop.
It’s hard to get much better than that!
Consider, second, our topic: The drug war and the war on terrorism. We are not looking to reform these two deadly and destructive programs. The theme of our conference is: “End the Wars on Drugs and Terrorism.”
It would be difficult to find a better example of the violations of the principles of freedom than the war on drugs. Imagine: The state punishes a person for doing nothing more than ingesting a substance. Who’s in command of a person’s life — himself or the government? Why should it be the government’s business what a person puts into his mouth? It shouldn’t be. What a person ingests is none of the government’s business. Government should be defending the exercise of freedom, not infringing on it.
And look at all the horror the drug war has produced, much more horror in fact than alcohol Prohibition caused. All the robberies, muggings, thefts, and burglaries that addicts commit in order to get the money to pay for the exorbitant black-market prices for drugs. Gang wars and drug cartels that illegality brings into existence. Police and judicial corruption entailing big bribes. Asset-forfeiture laws that give law-enforcement officers a license to engage in highway robbery, especially of poor people who deal in cash. Long jail sentences for people whose only crime is being a drug user or a drug addict. Deadly drug raids. Warrantless searches. Militarization of the police. And, of course, all the deaths, including 60,000 dead people in Mexico alone during the past 6 years.
But as bad as all that is, it pales to insignificance when it comes to the war on terrorism. Did you ever think you’d be living in a society where the military and the CIA wield the omnipotent authority to round up, torture, execute, or assassinate American citizens and anyone else around the world? Didn’t we grow up thinking that those sorts of things happen only in totalitarian regimes? Why are they here in America, as part of our governmental structure? That’s not the type of society envisioned by the Framers? That’s the type of society the Founding Fathers revolted against.
Invasions, wars of aggression, occupations, partnerships with brutal dictators, foreign aid, foreign meddling, and foreign provocations. All of it is the cause of the ever-increasing anger and hatred toward our country, which is then used as the excuse for a massive totalitarian-like apparatus that spies on us, invades our privacy, destroys our civil liberties, and leads us to national bankruptcy with out-of-control spending and debt.
It’s time to reevaluate where we are as a country and to examine, discuss, and debate such important issues as the role of government in a free society. It’s time to examine and challenge such programs as the war on drugs and the war on terrorism, along with the apparatuses that have been grafted onto our federal governmental system to wage such wars, such as the national-security state, the military-industrial complex, entangling alliances, and an extensive foreign war of military bases.
That’s what our conference is all about — sharing and discussing ideas on liberty with the aim of moving our nation in a better direction, one of peace, prosperity, harmony, and liberty.
So far, we have around 650 registrations. There is still room for you! I hope you’ll join us this Saturday, April 11, in Austin. It’s going to be an informative and enjoyable event. And bring your family and friends!
Finally, FFF is hosting a thank-you luncheon at noon on Saturday for members of the FFF Freedom Club who are attending the conference. If you would like to attend, please contact Bart Frazier at: firstname.lastname@example.org.