I tromped to Albany this past weekend to give the closing spiel at the annual Property Rights Foundation of America conference. Carol LaGrasse, the chief of the foundation, is one of my heroes. She has done great work for many years fighting back against government oppression. She has awakened legions of folks to how private property is the bulwark of individual liberty. She is a hardliner’s hardliner – and with a great sense of humor to boot.
It was great catching up with Carol and her husband Peter. I also had a chance to hear Martha Boneta give a fine speech about how conservative groups have persecuted her for attempting to farm in rural Virginia. Michael Diederich, a public interest lawyer from New York, had great stories about his work as a JAG military officer fighting waste and abuses in Afghanistan and Iraq. Tom DeWeese gave a fire-and-brimstone speech about how the United Nations and other internationalist groups are targeting Americans’ property rights and freedom. Jay Lehr, the science director at the Heartland Institute, presented a radical proposal to replace the EPA with state environmental agencies.
I especially enjoyed hearing how some of the attendees had personally fought back against overreaching government in their own backyards. The attendees at Property Rights Foundation conferences tend to be among the toughest activists I see anywhere. They don’t back down from public criticism or bureaucratic bluffing.
Carol and Peter LaGrasse (on the left)