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PFF meeting in DC
From: David Farber <farber () central cis upenn edu>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 02:04:57 -0500

I had the opportunity to sit in on part of the Progress and Freedom
Foundations conference in Washington on the information future. My reactions
I am about to state may not be indicative of the PFF in general and may just
be a startup problem . As many know the PFF is Newts baby and has provided
him with a forum for several years.

I was just able to spend the afternoon there but I am told the morning was
about the same.BTW there were several members of the Clinton administration
there so attending does not, I assume, imply support of the republican party
or Newt.

Many , all to many, of the speachs I heard were best described as right wing
properganda with just a bit of NII thrown in. They called for the normal
right wing republican things and , again all too often, crowed about the
victory and the future republican government. 

Newts speach at the end was in fact also political but was at least one of
the more intelligent speaches I heard. He is one smart person and while I
dont agree with his political position I am impressed by his style and
handling of himself. 

The NY Times had a rather nasty report on the meeting -- maybe  too nasty
but  when one advertises a thoughtful meeting and turns it into a victory
conference , one has a right to question.

The whole EFF Board was there as guests. Mitch and Barlow gave a short
remark at the end where they pleaded for compassion for those who are at the
bottom. Mitch also stated what I felt -- that to people of liberal
background and view, the message being heard was disturbing.

By the way, Newt said that he too feared for a bi modal society and the
instability that that implied. 

We also went to the closed reception after the meeting. The food was
excellent and again Newt is just a very very good politician and a very
smart person.

PFF stated public policy has in words many reasonable things. What the
future will have to see is whether they are indeed a political group or in
fact are abroader organization with whom one can disagree in parts and maybe
even agree with in parts.

The near future will tell.I will try to establish better contacts with them
and see what happens.


By the way just to make it clear, I consider the term politician to be a
very good term. I have respected many of them (and did not like some). If
one of my sons said he was going into politics I would not be unhappy.

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