FreedomFest 2013 - Are We Rome?Submitted by Doug Eberhardt on Mon, 07/15/2013 - 14:39
I attended FreedomFest this past week in Las Vegas. I did a search for anyone else who might have attended, and didn't see anyone mention it, so thought I would step forward and relay my experience.
FreedomFest brings many Liberty minded individuals to one forum where they can meet and listen to various experts on investments, the Constitution, Liberty issues and political issues. It has helped me in much of my forming how and why I think the way I do, and has helped me to understand that for which I do not know, the definition of ignorance.
First, the people I met (and gave each my Barackazillion's too:
These were the main headline attraction speakers for this years event, titled "Are We Rome?" and there were 2000 of us there, the most I have seen this being my 3rd year in attendance.
There were many, many more speakers who I listened to and met, and you can find a list of all the speakers here: http://freedomfest.com I purchased the entire event of speakers and their breakout sessions on an MP3 thumb drive for $200. Some of the other most popular speakers were Dinesh D’Souza, Matt Kibbe, Nick Gillespie, Grover Norquist, Charles Murray, Art Laffer, John Allison, Stephen Moore and organizer Mark Skousen.
One speaker I was particularily impressed with was George Gilder who wrote the book “Knowledge & Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism” This book actually is one I will be reading in preparation for writing my next two books. Gilder has predicted many things correctly, including smartphones, before they were smartphones,with his past books and I believe this to be another along those lines. Here's a good interview of him: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0314/intelligent-investing...
John Stossel taped his show there live with most of the attendees in the audience (you will see me in the front row) The show airs on Fox Business Network next Thursday evening. Stossel was booed by the audience for his stance on NSA, but other than that is a huge plus for Liberty with his show and comments.
Rand Paul spoke of NSA and other issues with his speech which will come out on youtube eventually. You can view the photos someone took of Rand Paul and others at the event here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/page1/
As far as exhibitors go, there were many gold dealers (of which I am one) at the show. Peter Schiff wasn't there because of a newborn, but his brother Andrew was, and he was surprisingly bullish on the stock market (as Peter has mostly been negative), but mostly foreign stocks in stable countries with good dividends, not U.S. stocks.
All sides of every investment were discussed. Jim Rogers is bullish on Asia and sugar. There were representatives there from oil and natural gas. The Tea Party was represented along with Koch Industries and Heritage Foundation. Somehow I don't see those institutites funding Liberty candidates though.
Justin Amash was there, but I missed him.
There were many good debates and they put the Republican Party on a mock trial which ended in a hung jury. There wasn't much talk of neo-conservatives but there was an anti-war sentiment held by most all. You'll never hear the Heritage Foundation speak of being anti-war as they are pro defense and have been since the time of Reagan.
Grover Norquist and others spoke on tax issues. The general consensus of course is to end the IRS, but more realistic (with the clowns who control Congress) solutions given were flat tax of 15% or an intriguing one, give the states all the taxing authority with a set percentage given to the Federal Government to pay for things like military and other issues the state can't handle on a national level.
This analysis above doesn't give justice to what the event accomplished in the minds of those who were in attendance. The important issue was, "do something," and there are many more doing something in the name of Liberty, and no, Liberty is not dead.