Monday, May 26, 2008

DEBATE AT LOLITA BAR: Should Conservatives and Libertarians Vote for Barr Instead of McCain?

barr-speaks.jpg mccain-leans.jpg
Next week, Wed., June 4 (8pm), Avery Knapp (who ran the Ron Paul Meet-Up group, remains active in the movement, and is a radiologist by day) will argue yes to that question and writer Ken Silber (whose writing has appeared in Reason, TCSDaily, the Freeman, and several prominent right-leaning publications) will argue no — while interested Democrats look on to see what happens when the right develops a Nader of its own — on the basement level of 266 Broome St. at Allen St. (one block south and three west of the Delancey St. subway stop), with Michel Evanchik moderating and Todd Seavey hosting.

Today, though, Memorial Day is observed — and some might find themselves thinking of war heroes like John McCain or soldiers in Iraq and planning to vote for the Republican in November’s presidential election.

And today is also the final day of the Libertarian Party convention, and former Republican Rep. Bob Barr has emerged as their presidential nominee, with fairly mainstream libertarian sportcaster Wayne Allyn Root as his running mate — the six hundred or so delegates at the convention narrowly picking Barr over Mary Ruwart, who has suggested legalizing child pornography and investigating whether explosives were used to fake the World Trade Center collapse. (Let us never speak of her again.)

Whether you favor McCain, Barr, or just seeing conservatives experience electoral pain in some small way comparable to that which Gore experienced in 2000 and Hillary is experiencing now, please join us.


Note that after our June 4 Barr/McCain debate, our next Lolita event will be Tue., July 22 (a panel of women who have donated eggs) instead of our usual first-Wednesday-of-the-month. Our previous debate, on congestion pricing for traffic (not quite the privatized roads and adjustable user fees I’d most like to see), yielded some more fine photos by the talented J.D. Weiner.

After that debate, by the way, I mentioned to the crowd that one of my old ABC News colleagues (Michael Mendelsohn) has mused, interestingly, that subsidizing the federal highway system may have stunted the evolution of personal flying craft that might otherwise have occurred. But lest we fear all such flying ambitions are lost, see this footage of a rocket-winged solo flying man over the Alps.

As legislator/philosopher Dan Greenberg, who visited the Seavey family home in Norwich yesterday, has said, civilization is largely a race between technology and regulation, so I say that as long as private-sector rocket men stay ahead of public-sector rocket men (and FAA regs), it will get harder and harder to stifle freedom with things like the Berlin Wall.

On the other hand, it’s become pretty obvious the military will be the first major users of real-life “Iron Man” tech and smart robots, which could spell trouble.

Private agents may want to start building — and implicitly socially-normalizing — as many Heinleinian jump suits, Cody-esque rocket packs, and Starkian exoskeletons as possible right now before the government gets anything like a monopoly on them. The time for a revolution that is not purely intellectual/legal may yet come, and it may be fought with weapons bearing little resemblance to today’s.

UPDATE: WebMD lists the “100 drunkest cities,” using various indicators of unsafe drinking in making its tabulations — and making special mention of Colorado, where, perhaps fittingly, the Libertarian convention just occurred.

But I also see my friends in Hartford, Boston, Austin, and DC on the list — and I think we all know that the only thing that kept New York City off it is that so few of us drive here.


patrick sullivan said...

I’d like to hear criteria for US abandoning Iraq, specifically, estimated chaos after USA exit, effect on war in Afghan, & confronting current evidence for a much improved outcome!!!

E5 said...

I hear rumors of a “special guest” at the debate.

Interestingly enough, Barr himself will be in town on Wednesday for the Colbert Report.

Any connection?

Todd Seavey said...

Out of my hands, but we shall see.

Fred said...

You should make a video of the debate and post it for us who can’t attend- Avery is a great debater!

Gerard said...

Very good show.

Was kind of surprised that his “I’m not an isolationist” remark didn’t provoke more of a reaction, i.e. riot, from the crowd.