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    Friday, July 28, 2006

    ISI honors program in Montana

    On Thursday, I drove about 6 hours from Utah, through Idaho, and finally ended up in Big Sky, Montana, where the ISI Honors Program is taking place. Week 1 is almost over. I came up in the middle of it, to give a talk to the 25 honors fellows that are here this week to "take your ISI experience back to campus." My hope is that many of them will start or become involved with ISI Groups on their campus so that their honors program experience doesn't end here, but continues to create an alternative educational experience for them and many other students on their campus.

    Montana is beautiful. My first time here. Mountains, open spaces, fresh, clean air (I love the smell of the pine trees). We're elevated pretty high up here, so you can start feeling a bit dehydrated pretty quick, and one beer may even give you a buzz. We're staying at the "Big Sky Resort" which has about 5 hotels. Skiing is big here in the winter, but the hotel staff told me they are still at about 80% capacity in the summer. I probably prefer visiting in the summer actually.

    Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Salt Lake City, Utah

    I flew into Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday. I had a few hours to walk around the city. Very clean, very nice, but smaller than I thought. I went down to "Temple Square" where the major Mormon Temple is located. Only Mormons are allowed in. It's a very pious tradition, I guess you could say.

    But, I saw some of the gardens, and a tiny bit of the welcome center museum about the Mormon Temple. I also went to the Family Research Center they have where the Mormons are still compiling records of just about everyone they can to trace back the entire human genealogy. I spent a few minutes on one of their computers to look up my mom's side of the family. I found my grandma on a 1930 census from Ohio. But then they told me I can do this all from home at So maybe I will.

    I met with Josh Daniels, a student from BYU. Josh is also the Executive Director of the College Republican Federation of Utah. He's already an ISI member and will now be a Campus Representative at BYU. He seems like a great guy (all Mormons do actually - ok the ones I know do). He's excited about getting more students in Utah involved with ISI and I'm excited to help him do it.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Bush says "S" word... and more with Blair has the video/audio recording of President Bush speaking to Prime Minister Tony Blair at the G8 luncheon. It's a real funny video (can't believe it's real, but apparently it is), where Bush and Blair are just casually talking over lunch (Bush munching on food, it's hilarious), but it just shows how they are real people, shooting the sh-t about the Israel-Lebanon situation, Iran, Iraq, etc.

    At one point Bush says to Blair, "See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over."

    Damn straight, Mr. Prez.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Conservatism on Tap featured in Campus Report Online

    Julia Seymour of Accuracy in Academia wrote about the first "Conservatism on Tap" event at the Brickskeller on July 12th for Campus Report Online.

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    Conservatism on Tap!

    On Wednesday night, our recently formed ISI Young Alumni Association in DC held their first major event, "Conservatism on Tap." This will be a monthly series, supported by ISI, to bring young conservatives together in DC in a social setting. The venue for the talk was the Brickskeller, which is one of the coolest, most collegial bars in DC. The bar claims to have over 1,000 beers from around the world, "the largest selection of beers from around the world."

    ISI Faculty Associate, Patrick Deneen (Professor of Government from Georgetown) was the speaker and he spoke on the topic, "Vocation and Modern Society." He talked about how finding one's life calling is more difficult in today's modern society and the talk was very deep and hit on a lot of points. But, I think one that stuck out to me was how the idea of "place" (or space) is quite different in America, especially today, as most Americans move around, travel more frequently and never do come to grips with their "restlessness."

    Over 80 people showed up in a space that really fit about 60 comfortably. About 55 free drink tickets were handed out, which taught us that we'll need to start limiting the RSVPs for the next one and for future events, which is scheduled for August 8th at the Brickskeller. William Saunders of the Family Research Council will be speaking on the topic, "The Roberts Court - Lessons from the hearings, the 2006 term, and what to expect in 2007." Should be good.

    Kudos to Evan Baehr, Cindy Searcy, and Brendan Steinhauser for setting this all up. They are trying to create a post-college intellectual environment for young conservatives who wind up in that most un-conservative place, the District of Columbia.