Last week, Acton welcomed Lawrence Reed to the podium of the Mark Murray Auditorium for his Acton Lecture Series address, entitled American Presidents: The Best and the Worst. Reed, the President of the Foundation for Economic Education, tackled the subject with his usual grace and an evident (and praiseworthy) passion for the protection of the individual liberties of average citizens from the ever-expanding power of central government. Reed’s address is now available in full on YouTube, and is posted below. Additionally, we have a bonus edition of Radio Free Acton for you, as Paul Edwards took some time following the lecture to speak with Reed; you can listen via the audio player below the YouTube window.
Grand Rapids has been the focus of national attention over the last week or so, most recently for the services surrounding the passing of former First Lady Betty Ford. In the midst of loss and mourning, there’s some cause for levity. See, for instance, this local news story that is getting some coverage around the country, “Angry bird attacks during Ford services.”
I myself have been a victim of this red-winged menace! Some of you may have heard that one of the reasons that Acton University (our premier week-long program held in Grand Rapids) changed venues this year was to accommodate an increase in participants. But now the real reason can be made public: we had to change venues to avoid these angry birds!
The Acton Institute’s offices are right across the Grand River from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (and what will be Ford’s final resting place). Having passed these sites every day for several years on my walk to work, news of the ex-president’s death was especially poignant.
National Review Online offers an interesting symposium on Ford’s presidency and legacy.
From the other side of the ideological divide, Newsweek provides several retrospective pieces.
A striking thing about Ford that I hadn’t known (or didn’t remember) is that he used the veto no fewer than sixty-six times during his brief tenure. That sounds like a worthy legacy to me.