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    Monday, November 27, 2006

    ISI soiree at Florida State and visit to JMI

    On November 27, we did an ISI soiree at Florida State which was sponsored by the Institute for Conservative Studies at FSU. They are a very well-funded conservative organization that has been around since 1988. About 15 or more people came, including a few students from Tallahassee Community College.

    Thanks again to Troy Irwin for putting it all together and to Kirsten Borman and Bran Mahoney for spreading the word, and to the rest of the students that showed up. As someone famously said, "Most of life is just about showing up."

    Earlier in the day, I made a stop to the James Madison Institute, a conservative public-policy think tank in the state capital of Florida, Tallahassee. Between JMI and the conservative students at FSU, my Sunshine State is getting more "red" by the minute. Posted by Picasa

    Sunday, November 26, 2006

    Thankful to be in Florida

    I spent this Thanksgiving holiday with some family in Jacksonville, Florida. My parents came up from Palm Beach county and my brother and I left Gainesville, FL (where I had been all week for some ISI business) to join my cousin, her husband and 3 kids, as well as an aunt and an uncle, for some good food, football, and conversation.

    This week, it has been great to reunite with family and with my home state of Florida. Although I won't be making it down to "South Florida" where I grew up, I continue to appreciate all the diversity that my home state of Florida has to offer. Jacksonville, Gainesville, and Tallahassee have been my home these past 10 days. These are three distinct cities in Florida that are truly part of "the south."

    On Thanksgiving Day, my day was made when both of my Miami football teams. the Dolphins and Hurricanes, won. Sure, they are both having rocky season (although watch out for those 'Fins, they might just surprise us all), but it was great to see them both win on Thanksgiving. I topped off a week of sports with a trip to the state capital of Tallahassee to see the Gators beat the Seminoles in FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium. While my brother was reporting for The Independent Florida Alligator, I was able to pluck a ticket off another fan for just $30 and get inside and enjoy the game.

    I am in Tallahassee to meet with some students at FSU and hold a "Get to Know ISI" soiree at FSU on Monday night. But it was nice to utilize some of my time in Florida to get together with family over Thanksgiving and enjoy the warmth of the Sunshine State - not to mention some live Gator football and basketball. (oh yea, did I mention I got a free ticket at UF to see #1 Florida defeat Praire View A&M last Tuesday night?)

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    Thanks, Rick - my published article

    I wrote an article about Rick Santorum and what he fought for. It was published today on the ACU's Conservative Battleline.

    Check out the article here.

    Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    Jerry Seinfeld: "Stop Laughing. It's Not Funny."

    That's probably a quote you would never have heard Jerry Seinfeld say, but he did last night on the David Letterman Show. In light of the "racist tirade" that Michael Richards (aka "Kramer") went on at a comedy club last week, Seinfeld convinced Letterman to allow Richards to come on to his show and apologize

    I'm not sure a comedy show was the appropriate venue for a serious apology - which is why Seinfeld had to tell the audience, in the middle of Richard's apology, to "Stop laughing. It's Not Funny." Three white Hollywood liberals - Seinfeld, Letterman, and Richards, all trying to figure out why at least one of them might be a racist.

    Sunday, November 19, 2006

    The Florida Frontier

    I'm back in Florida this week. I flew in on Friday afternoon and I've been staying and hanging out with my brother since I got here. Thanks to Casey Hampton, a conservative student from Jacksonville University, who picked me up from the JAX airport and drove me to Gainesville, where the University of Florida is located.

    On Saturday, I attended my first Gator football game in "The Swamp", which seats about 93,000. They reported having about 90,000 in attendance as they destroyed Western Carolina 62-0.

    Today I met with the staff of The Florida Frontier, the newest member of ISI's Collegiate Network. In fact, when they were officially added as a member to the most prestigious network of conservative college publications, they became the 100th current member. I attended The Frontier's Sunday evening meeting where 15 students attended. It ran very smoothly and everyone seemed to be very involved and motivated. After dinner, I took about 4 people from their executive board out to dinner to discuss some finer details of how they could improve.

    This all makes me reflect back to when I started a paper, The Terrapin Times at the University of Maryland. And, I remember having a CN person come visit with our staff and give us some pointers. It's great to have the tables turned and be in this supportive role, and I'm very excited to see their motivation, their ideas, and their creativity at work.

    Tomorrow, we'll be doing a "Get to Know ISI" Soiree at UF with the hopes of introducing other students to all things ISI and increasing ISI's presence on the UF campus.

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    Post-election thoughts: Where Have All the Conservatives Gone?

    The following is from the introduction of the email I sent out to all of ISI's Volunteers this week after the elections:

    Over the past week, many right-of-center college students have felt disappointed. The Republican Party many of them supported has now lost power in both houses of Congress. But is this really a time to be gloomy? The ISI student knows better.

    As M. Stanton Evans said in his 1964 book, Revolt on the Campus, "The ISI student, first of all, must have a desire for something different, something in contrast to the collective orthodoxy; he must have spontaneous sympathy for the philosophy of freedom and the kind of intellect that spurns simplistic fallacies, and opens into the deeper logic of free men and free institutions."

    A month before the 2006 election, Daniel McCarthy of The American Conservative, published an article critical of the state of campus conservatism, "GOP and Man at Yale," which I encourage you to read. In his article, McCarthy claimed that, "The intellectual dexterity that once distinguished campus conservatives has given way to mindless Republican boosterism." As we move forward as conservatives, we must remember the principles we cherish.

    Being a conservative is not about having some kind of power. For, as Lord Action reminded us, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Being a conservative is something different. It is holding on to an idea and keeping that idea alive no matter where the tide of history takes us. As T. S. Eliot told us, "We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors' victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation it will triumph."

    With these thoughts in mind, we must continue to educate ourselves on the principles of a free society and do our part to expand this education to others around us. For more than 53 years, ISI has played a vital role in the "culture wars" and we have been inspired by great men like Russell Kirk who emphasized that it is more important to renew the culture than simply to be focused on seizing some kind of political power. Culture comes before politics. If the culture is renewed, the politics will follow. Below are some ways you can help renew the culture and revitalize the conservative intellectual movement in America.


    From there, I pointed students and faculty to our resources, which you can get at: