The LRC Events Calendar and the Armenian Connection

Earlier this year on the Blog I casually mentioned that it would be nice if we had some way of knowing when LRC writers were speaking so we could try to catch them. You know the kind of thought. It’s the kind of whim that non-libertarians would express with “There oughtta be a law…." There’s no harm in it really, it’s just a way of saying, “Here’s something that annoys me and that I wish someone would do something about. But it isn’t really important enough to me that I’m going to get off my derriere to do anything about it myself.” I promptly forgot about what I wrote. It was just a passing fancy.

Then I got the e-mail. If it had been from anyone else I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. It was just a casual comment at the end of an e-mail on another topic that “…I agree that some kind of speaking schedule for LRC writers would be a good idea." But it was from Tom Woods. I got a chill when I read it.

Oh sweet, innocent readers. You’ve read Tom’s excellent articles. If you’ve met him or seen him speak you’ve gotten the same impression that I did at first: Here’s the genuine article. A smart guy, but a nice, funny guy. A scholar who isn’t going to compromise the truth but isn’t going to add insult to injury, making you laugh even as he challenges your cherished beliefs. But there’s something else about Tom that he carefully veils in his articles and public appearances. You don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. At my own risk, let me pull back the curtain ever so slightly.

How do I explain this about Tom Woods? Remember in Godfather III when they explain how Michael Corleone was only feared but Vito, his father, was both feared and loved? Let’s just put it this way… In private, we refer to him as Tom “Vito” Woods.

Tom had, in his own faux casual way, given me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I knew then that I should have just kept my trap shut. Within minutes I had fired an email off to Lew letting him know that I was willing to manage a Events Calendar and, by the way, Tom Woods would like it. Lew had Eric Garris, the Webmaster, setting up the calendar about as fast as Internet packets could fly.

The distractions of life set in, though. I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle having a wife and small baby, working as a full time computer programmer, keeping up on the computing literature as well as trying to keep up on the political economy literature and write articles for I’ve already dropped learning ancient Greek and picking jazz piano back up from my wish list. Tips from those who somehow live 3 or 4 lives simultaneously are appreciated. (One pastor/historian advised me that the people he has studied that got a lot done in their lives usually didn’t get much sleep… Surely there’s got to be another way!)

So things dragged out. Then I saw a blog from Tom a little over a week ago that got things jumpstarted quick. Again, in a seemingly casual aside he let his wishes be known with the threat a little less veiled this time: “…may I point out that I’m mostly Armenian?” Later that day he found another way to drop the hint, “As an Armenian and not Anglo-Celtic at all…." He had brought up the Armenian Connection. Twice. I reached down to check my legs to make sure they weren’t broken.

Now don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are mostly Armenian, but this let me know that there wouldn’t be anymore warnings before I might have a visit from one of the gentleman from the old country. I wasn’t going to let that happen.

So the Events Calendar is now up. (Phew!) The purpose is to have one place to go to find out where your favorite columnists are speaking. We already have a few events posted and more are on the way. Whether they’re speaking at a local campus, part of a conference, making a TV/radio appearance or having a lecture webcast we want you to know about it as soon as possible so that you can make plans to catch them. I’ve asked the columnists to let me know about events as soon as they know a date and location. So if you see something up there that you can catch but it is sketchy on details, go ahead and mark the date on your calendar. We’ll get the exact time and place up there as soon as we know.

Personally, I enjoy reading folks more when I’ve met them in person. It is also nice to get a chance to ask questions of a speaker and see how they field them in front of a live audience. We want all LRC readers to get a chance to see LRC columnists live, one way or another.