The Feast of the Elephant

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I skipped the American Enterprise Institute's annual dinner last week, but after hearing some of the other Reasoners' accounts, I was eager to check out novelist Mario Vargas Llosa's keynote speech accepting the Irving Kristol Award.

I figure a few eyebrows were raised when he denounced the war on drugs. And the audience must've grumbled a bit when he declared his support for abortion rights and gay marriage. But revealing that he has a "passion for French culture"? I can only assume they were scandalized.

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  1. One wonders if AEI meant to give this award to a different Mario Vargas Llosa. How many could there be?

    AEI Presenter (after Llosa’s acceptance speech): Dammit, this is exactly what happened with Schwarzenegger last year!

    Which conservative values, pray tell, does Mister Llosa embrace? I’ll bet Kristol must be spinning in his grave. (Um, he is dead, right?)

  2. My favorite quote:

    “We cannot do without power, except of course in the lovely utopias of the anarchists. But it can be held in check and counterbalanced so that it does not become excessive. It is possible to take away its unauthorized functions that quell the individual, that being who we liberals believe is the touchstone of society and whose rights we must respect and guarantee. Violating these rights inevitably unleashes a series of escalating abuses, which like concentric waves sweep away the very idea of social justice.”

    Hoo-hoo, the neocons must have been absolutely squirming! This gets my early nomination for “Fly On The Wall Moment of The Year”.

  3. No, Kristol is still alive.

  4. Ah. Well, good for him!

  5. A new definition of libertarian?

    One who wishes liberty for everyone except those who disagree with them?

  6. Well, why should those opposed to liberty for everyone be allowed to run free? I mean… wait, now my head hurts. Thanks a lot, dammit.

  7. I did go to the dinner and I am happy to report that much of the audience was squirming when Vargas Llosa defended gay marriage, abortion and opposed the drug war. Some more conservative dinner guests did look around in disapproval when some libertarians (that would be me among others) applauded a bit too enthusiastically in support of his defense of liberty for everyone. Wonderful speech!

  8. Ron, thank you for representin’! I dare say quite a few monocles fell into martinis during that little speech, eh?

  9. (Um, he is dead, right?)

    Only from the neck and up.

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