Saturday, July 5, 2008

Readings Fit for Independence Day Weekend

•I mentioned yesterday that as former Ron Paul campaigner Avery Knapp moved out of NYC for L.A., he gave me one of his numerous free copies of the Constitution (with the Declaration of Independence as an appendix, just in time for the Fourth). He also gave me a copy of Ron Paul’s book The Revolution: A Manifesto, which turns out to be much better than I expected.

To be honest, I figured I’d feel like I’d heard it all before and furthermore would think it sounded like it’d been ghostwritten by a young staffer, like most political books. But The Revolution is so short — about 170 pages — and so free of footnotes, I think the man himself may well have found time to write the thing. More important, it has the same sense of urgency and outrage that made his campaign motivate people in a way that most abstract, dry libertarian philosophical arguments so far have not.

You will want to join the revolution, liberate America from Washington, DC absurdity, and rescue our economic system before it’s too late, even if you disagree on a few particulars here or there (perhaps not sharing his opposition to our wars or differing with his pro-life position, induced by witnessing an abortion as a young doctor, for instance). I think this may become the new book I send people to for a short introductory dose of libertarianism — and whether this one comes with more-embarrassing or less-embarrassing baggage than the previous book I used for that purpose, Charles Murray’s What It Means to Be a Libertarian, I leave for others to decide.

In other political-book news appropriate for this July Fourth weekend:

•Ben Wattenberg would take issue with Ron Paul’s use of the “neocons”-as-usurpers epithet and can be seen here talking to PajamasMedia about his new book Fighting Words: A Tale of How Liberals Created Neo-Conservatism.

•Don Boudreaux notes that Chapter 7 of economist Edgar Browning’s new book Stealing from Each Other: How the Welfare State Robs Americans of Money and Spirit is available online.

•And lest people think that Obama will square all circles and solve all problems, editor Adam Bellow notes the release of Hugh Hewitt’s essay/pamphlet Letter to a Young Obama Supporter.

I’ve also got a Drew Carey-hosted video from and a Lithuania-inspired pro-liberty video from Free to Choose Media still to watch — not to mention recently-acquired DVDs of the home movies fellow libertarian Paul Taylor and I made in childhood, but those have less to do with politics than with using toy laser guns to defeat people in rubber monster masks. More or less the same underlying principle, though.

P.S. J.D. Weiner also e-mails to note that he’s put up more photos from our Debate at Lolita Bar with cameo by Bob Barr and to note that he likes this shot in particular.

1 comment:

Todd Seavey said...

I’m taking the “liberty” of posting an e-mail from Bretigne Shaffer Calvert here related to Ron Paul, but I don’t think she’ll mind:

For anyone who doesn’t already know, Kent Snyder, Ron Paul’s presidential campaign manager, passed away last week. Kent was instrumental in getting Ron Paul to run for president, and worked tirelessly on his campaign, even when his health was threatened. I didn’t even know him, but I believe the movement has lost not only a valuable asset but a genuine, good person who was loved and admired by everyone who knew him.

When Kent died, he left behind $400,000 in medical bills that will not be covered by insurance. A Chip-in fund has been set up to collect money to help his family cover these expenses. Please consider making a donation here:

…and please forward this to anyone else you know of who might want to help out.